In My Opinion
By JOE SHOUSE
With the high school basketball season coming to a close and after watching nearly 80 games since November, I thought I would share my “best of” categories. Since this is an opinion article I feel I can share my opinion about what I have experienced after sitting in area gymnasiums on some very cold wintry nights while at the same time wondering if the roads will be clear for the drive home.
Well, here we go. Now, keep in mind, these may not be important to you but they are important to me; after all, I sat on some hard bleachers to watch these young athletes give their best – win or lose.
Best popcorn: That’s a tough one.
I give Hicksville the nod on the best, but Tinora had both regular and caramel and it was a nice change.
Best overall concessions: Parkway had pretzels and that’s a plus. Another note about concessions. Those chicken sandwiches that most schools offer are really good, especially when they cost $2 and not $3.
Best gym: I give the nod to Parkway. Very spacious. As for Parkway, I give them the top vote for the best press box. The school officials were friendly, accommodating, and the press box was right on top of the play.
Gym with the best lighting: Hicksville – bright and cheery.
Best band: No contest, the Antwerp band was the best. Only problem is they were absent on occasion. The Fairview band I give second place. They were loud but just didn’t play much.
Best cheer block: Fairview. While attending the Fairview vs. Antwerp girls’ game, they were loud and on their feet the entire game.
Best warm ups: Delphos Jefferson. Being from Indiana and appreciating the candy stripe warm up pants the Hoosiers wear, I could not help but get a little nostalgic when I saw the Wildcats in their candy stripes.
Best game ending shot: A no brainer. My first choice was going to be the Sam Williamson game ender against Edgerton in the Route 49 Classic, but then the Antwerp sophomore topped that effort with a buzzer beater against Woodlan.
Best mascot: After watching all those games, I don’t think I saw a school mascot. I guess I am showing my age.
Best canned music: I admit, I am showing my age on this one – most of it I didn’t like.
These are just some of my observations. It was another great season covering Paulding County basketball – especially the Antwerp Archers. The coaches were always available to answer my questions after a tough loss or a last-second win. The fans who I had the privilege to get to know a little better were a nice perk and those who I sat with on a regular basis made me feel like I was part of their small town and not an outsider.
Next year, there will be buzzer beaters and missed shots, wins and loses, joy in victory, sadness in defeat, but when it is all said and done, the most important part of the season will be – who had the best popcorn.
Joe Shouse is a correspondent for the Paulding County Progress.
The opinions stated are those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect that of the newspaper.