Sonny Fulks
Sonny Fulks
Managing Editor

Sonny Fulks is a graduate of Ohio State University where he pitched four varsity seasons for the Buckeyes from 1971 through 1974. He furthered his baseball experience as a minor league umpire for seven seasons, working for the Florida State League (A), the Southern League (AA), and the American Association (AAA). He has written for numerous websites, and for the past fourteen years has served as columnist and photo editor for The Gettysburg Magazine, published by the University of Nebraska Press, in Lincoln Nebraska. His interests include history, support for amateur baseball, the outdoors, and he has a music degree from Ohio State University.


After a week of college, and two weeks of high school football, some thoughts on trends, looks, and behavior we could all do without.

I was asked the question by email Saturday morning from a loyal reader. What’s impressed me so far about what I’ve seen from area high school football; and, the highly-profiled college games too many to watch.

And in general, I’m really not impressed yet with anything I’ve seen…except the potential for some teams to be really good by year’s end.

Marion Local has the goods. There’s not doubt about it. But they haven’t played anyone yet that’s really challenged them, and I guess that’s OK, too. I’ve said for years – and repeat it here:  I don’t know how you get a high school team really ready to play with a couple of thin scrimmages and a pair of non-competitive games to start your season. It’s not that easy.

Having seen Coldwater, another state finalist and winner of four of the last five in Division V, they looked a bit inexperienced and to be a work in progress. However, they competed – really competed – against a Division IV Clinton-Massie team that believes it’s going to be in the state finals. And had the game been played on a better weather night, Coldwater’s passing game might have really made it more interesting. After all, they only lost by 10 points and had 20 yards rushing.

Piqua is obviously talented, but continues to puzzle me with their defense. Too many times in the past three years have the Indians scored enough points to win comfortably (they put up 35 against Trotwood), but simply couldn’t keep opponents out of the end zone. Trotwood scored 42 the other night, and Piqua has to address that..

Troy, like Coldwater, is a work in progress. Sam Coleman will get better and better at quarterback as the season progresses, and that’s the biggest concern I have for the Trojans. Will they score enough points? They’re defense looks impressive, as always.

In Shelby County, I haven’t seen Sidney in person, yet.  But I’m told that we need to see Anna, and I believe that. We’ll see them this weekend at Versailles. I know they have the goods with quarterback Travis Meyer and running back Aidan Endsley. Endsley led the MAC in statistical rushing last year. But I want to see them against the likes of Coldwater, Marion and St. Henry…not against Arlington and Brookville. But the Rockets, I know, are talented!

St. Henry is another team that protends having a special year. Brad Luthman believes they’re going to improve from last year’s 7-3 record; plus, that he’s on the ground floor of a very special uptake with the program over the next three seasons. No reason here not to believe him. The ‘Skins have decimated their first two opponents, Covington and Eaton, a pair of pretty good traditions.

And, we’ll see Tipp this week, who’s 2-0 and stunned some people by handing Springfield Shawnee their hat last Friday night. They host Northmont this week, and I think it will be eye-opening, one way or another.

In the college games so far this weekend, it’s been pretty much as expected.

Ohio State was clearly more talented than Indiana, and has the depth of talent to withstand injury, should those come. They’re going to get better, and better, and better…..

Michigan was impressive – really impressive defensively – against Florida, but I hope they burned those ugly uniforms they wore immediately after the game. No team looks good in that much yellow…like a French’s mustard bottle. It’s hard enough to do a good job with maize and blue, and Michigan has always done it well. But I saw the Nike ‘swoosh’ on the pants, and that’s all you need to know.

Alabama was Alabama. ‘Nuff said.

And for that matter, I’m beginning to believe that Florida State is the annual personification of the old Texan who once said, “More hat than cattle.”

It was entertaining, though, and something much better to watch than “The Bachelor”, or the “Bachelor In Paradise”, or, well, you know….!

The one annoying thing I’ve seen in area high school, though, is more of the trend towards “Look at me” on the field – behavior displayed by adolescent athletes that mimic what they see on television that they can’t back up.

I see kids come out in neon shoes, because they’re impossible not to notice. Good thing in some cases, because there was nothing above the shoes that does impress.

I see kids get up from making a tackle and thump their chest, as if to say, “Look what I just did. I made a play.” Yeah, but if you’re down 21-0 when you do it there’s something seriously lost in the translation. It’s still a team game.

And another thing…if I seen another player, anywhere, mimics Ezekiel Elliott’s regrettable “feed me” gesture, by acting like he’s shoveling food into his mouth, I’m gonna’ puke. It looks selfish on Elliott, and it’s looks selfish on you.

Bengals coach, the great Paul Brown is famous for his quote to a rookie tight end named Bob Trumpy once after Trumpy spiked the football upon scoring his first professional touchdown.

“Son,” said Brown, sticking his finger in Trumpy’s face. “Act like you done it before.”

And with that, Happy Labor Day, everyone!