Sonny Fulks
Sonny Fulks
Managing Editor

Sonny Fulks is a graduate of Ohio State University and pitched four varsity seasons for the Buckeye baseball team from 1971 through 1974.  He furthered his baseball experience as a minor league league umpire for seven years, working in the Florida State League (A), the Southern League (AA), and the American Association (AAA).  He has written for numerous websites and outdoor publications, and for the past ten years has served as a regular columnist and photo editor for Gettysburg Magazine, published by the University of Nebraska Press.  Widely knowledgeable on that period of American History, Fulks is a frequent speaker on the Civil War at local roundtables throughout the Midwest. He and wife Mindy have two grown children and live in Covington, Ohio.


The latest from an impassioned reader on the topic of the economy,  competitive balance and expansion of the OHSAA football tournament.  His question seems to be:  Aren’t we all in this together?

Most of the emails and texts sent to Press Pros are short and to the point.

Those that aren’t are often edited for the purpose of getting to the point of the writer’s topic.

Our latest, from Daniel Semansky, was longer than normal, for sure.  But with respect for his time and thought put into sharing his opinion, we didn’t change a thing. 

“I was reminded by the recent decision of the Ohio High School Athletic Association that anything can be justified with the proper “spin”.  On the surface the decision to divide the Division I schools for the sake of competitive balance seems perfectly logical.  I’m sure adding a seventh division and another championship game sounds like a win-win for everyone.  I’m sure everyone is reading about it and shaking their heads that it’s a good idea.  It’s an improvement for the “sake of the kids”, as you frequently write on Press Pros.

But local school districts are struggling to put paper and pencils in their classrooms.  The economy continues to suck, and the true figure of people out of work or not working enough is one in five.  School administration is telling the taxpayer that they have to cut back.  Tax payers are realizing for themselves that they have to cut back.  We’re forced to buy less, travel less, and many people are eating less or not eating as well.  And in the middle of having to do with less the OHSAA “adds” another division, another football game, another title, and another “gate” to upcoming tournaments.  They’re “not” cutting back.

Here’s what their decision says to me.  The economy may be bad for you, but we’re going to find a way to squeeze more money out of it anyway for the sake of sports and our agenda.  Things may be tough for the schools and the families trying to send their kids to those schools, but we’re still doing OK.  You may not have money for classroom supplies, but we’ll find a way to teach lessons through sports.  Living with less may be a necessity for you, but it’s out of the question for us.  Go ahead and teach your kids the value of a budget, while we expand our own.

It seems logical that if we’re cutting programs and teachers from our public schools, that maybe we could set a better example through sports, as well.  I don’t mean that we eliminate sports, but it should follow logically that high school sports are representative of our total economy. 

In the recent “First Person” interview on Press Pros Commissioner Ross talked about declining attendance for tournaments.  But he also added that the dollars lost had to be made up by finding more corporate sponsors.  But guess what?  The cost of those corporate sponsorships by insurance companies and cable television is going get passed on to the rest of us eventually.  We’re all going to pay more for the same goods and services.  That’s how the economy works.

It seems like the wrong message to send to the kids we seek to serve.  It doesn’t matter how bad the economy is, certain things are untouchable.  The show must go on.  How can that be?  

The better message would be to live according to your ability to pay.  And that goes for everyone.  It’s the message I grew up in a family of seven.  We’re all in this together.

Daniel Semansky