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, sports, the outdoors, and music; and he has a degree from the school of music at Ohio State University.

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The Southwest District Athletic Board of the OHSAA honored 46 of its finest scholar-athletes Tuesday, honoring a tradition that’s a quarter century old, and a highlight to the annual sports year season.

Dayton –  OHSAA deputy commissioner Beau Rugg was in town Tuesday night to make opening remarks at the 25th annual Southwest District Board Scholar-Athlete Reception at the Dayton Marriott.

“We certainly value our state championships very highly,”  said Rugg, from nearby Urbana.  “But tonight is the icing on the cake.  Tonight we celebrate the achievements of the scholar as well as the athlete, one of the highlights of our year.”

And with that the SWDAB (Southwest District Athletic Board) awarded better than $36,000 in scholarships up to $1,000 to 46 of the southwest districts brightest and best, including ten from Press Pros’ prime marketing area.  Korry Hamlin represented Bethel High School.  Danielle Winner and Kurt Rutschilling represented Versailles.  Rachel Shoemaker represented Anna High School.  Bryce Sosby and Kennadie Reese shared honors for Jackson Center High School.  Bailey Stammen was there from Ansonia.  Kaitlyn Mack represented the Miami East Vikings.  Ryan Bassler, from Twin Valley South, and Kam Lee from Lehman Catholic High School.

The SWDAB has raised scholarship money for years from the sale of T-shirts during the district rounds of the state tournament, and this year’s honorees represented 230 individual varsity letter awards, as well as an average grade point average of 3.89.

Included in the awards was the Andy Bixler, Bob Huelsman, Dale Creamer, and Dave Gray Honorary Scholarships, celebrating the service and long-standing commitment of each of those four men to southwest Ohio sports and student-athletes.

Bixler is the current superintendent at Anna High School, having previously coached basketball at Preble Shawnee.

Huelsman spent 36 years at Covington High School as coach, principal and athletic director – and won 228 games as head basketbal coach.

Creamer, a former administrator of schools in Brookville,  has served the OHSAA in one capacity or another since 1993 and currently serves as secretary to the SWDAB.

And Gray is the former principal, coach, and superintendent of schools at Franklin-Monroe, who also served last year as interim commissioner of the OHSAA, filling in for Dr. Dan Ross.

Every one of Tuesday’s recipients has declared an intention to attend a four-year university this fall.  Ohio State and the University of Cincinnati head the list of favorites, but others include the University of Alabama, Dartmouth, Washington University (St. Louis), University of Tennessee, Notre Dame, Vanderbilt, and the University of Kentucky.

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