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Family Comes First, Even for A Sportswriter

By Staff | Mar 2, 2016

Photo by Joy West Pictured is yours truly, left, with my brother Bob in front of his huge picture at the OVU Hall of Fame Banquet.

This week I got to witness some exciting basketball in the Ohio Valley from Brooke County to St. Marys.

I missed the River girls’ basketball team’s game against Malvern, along with the Magnolia girls’ exciting finish against Bishop Donahue, and Magnolia and Valley boys’ Senior Night contests.

However, I would miss them again just to be able to witness my baby brother Bob accept his Hall Of Fame accolades at Ohio Valley University.

I was covering other games when the Magnolia girls defeated Bishop Donahue, as well as the Pilots’ win in the Ohio Division IV District semifinals, and the Valley Lumberjacks’ Senior Night festivities at Hundred High School.

It was so nice that Hundred hosted the Lumberjacks’ Senior Night; not too many high schools would do that. However, Cameron, River, Paden City, Magnolia and Valley high schools have all done the same in the past. We have a great bunch of school pride in our area.

I dearly wanted to be there at Magnolia boys’ senior night to see all nine of the Blue Eagle seniors and their parents walk out on the floor for the very last time.

I’m sorry, but I had a good reason. I went to see my baby brother Bob receive the Ohio Valley University Hall Of Fame Honors.

My brother has coached at Ohio Valley University for quite a few years. He has been their head baseball coach for 20 plus years as well as the school’s cross country and boys’ and girls’ basketball coach.

He has coached quite a few players that have went on to be professional baseball players, doctors, lawyers, nurses, businessmen and women, husbands and wives, just all kind of people that have went on to do great things as well, but his best coaching has to be the Lord’s work.

I’m so proud of him. I would have missed almost anything to be there. He was introduced at the event by his son, my nephew Drew Crawford. He did an awesome job, and he too is a teacher and a coach as well. He too, will do good things, like all are teachers and coaches.

They all might not do what you think they should, but they went on to get their teaching license and coaching certificates. They are the ones that are teaching and molding our kids to be the best that they can. Give them a break. I have seen time after time so-called fans bash our teachers, coaches and referees and umpires at sporting events.

Stop already. If you want to make a difference, become a teacher, coach or referee. Not only do you bash them, but you bash every person that wants to make a difference in life.

What would you think if these teachers, coaches and referees would go to your house and tell you how to be a parent? One becomes a teacher, coach, or referee because they want to make a difference, just they way you want to make a difference. Do not bash them because you don’t think he or she is doing what you think is right.

If my brother had listened to the criticism of others and not become a teacher and a coach, what about all those kids that he changed their life for the good?

I’m proud to have been a parent, coach, referee and umpire, and I’m thankful for those in the professions to be a teacher, coach, or administrator of athletes at school. Don’t trash talk those who are teaching our kids; rather, embrace and work with them.