Over the last 30-some years covering sports in Holmes County I have had little opportunity to have the teams I cover coincide with the world I left behind when I moved south from Cleveland.
There was the time a childhood classmate of mine showed up at Classic in the Country at Hiland. He saw my name in a preview story about the girls basketball event, and he was the principal at Cleveland Central Catholic, whose star player Jantel Lavender was one of the top players in the country. It was great having an old friend to visit with while watching some great hoops.
I met up with another former Lakewood Ranger from the 1970s, who had gone on to play basketball at the College of Wooster and was living in New Philadelphia, marketing a basketball shooting program, and I also crossed paths a few times over the years.
Knights' journey hits close to home
But over the last couple weeks of West Holmes' historic run on the gridiron, the Knights opponents have hit closer to home.
First there was the Rocky River Pirates, who I used to go watch on Saturday mornings when my nephew played quarterback there, and then I watched his younger brothers play as well, but not as frequently.
By the time my younger nephews were in high school, Rocky River had finally put lights in at their stadium and moved their home games to Friday nights, which already were booked by my coverage of local events.
I used to love watching my nephew play quarterback. Man, could he throw the ball. I had the good fortune of coaching him in peewee football and knew very early on he was going to be good. One week he earned the Cleveland Plain Dealer Player of the Week honors, and shared space next to a kid from Cleveland St. Joseph High School named Desmond Howard, who went on to be a Heisman Trophy winner at the college up north.
Then, this past week, the Knights took on Holy Name.
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Holy Name ... Holy cow!
That's where my dad went to high school! Of course, that was back in the 1930s, and it isn't exactly the same place.
But when my great nephew, one of my other sister's grandchildren, played linebacker for the Green Wave just a couple years ago, I enjoyed a visit to the private high school in Parma Heights, and saw class pictures on the walls from the '30s that not only had my dad, but also my wife's uncle who was a basketball star there back in the '30s.
Talk about history; that almost 90 years ago. Time truly does fly when you're having fun, and covering West Holmes during this incredible football season has been more fun than should be legally allowed.
It has made me remember some of the great football teams I have covered at West Holmes from back in the 1990s, like those of coach Bob Maltarich, which featured his son, Kevin, and Deke Miller, or the teams of Rod Taylor, Nolan Mackey and Billy Baker, Matt Cohen and Dan Morganti, as well as more recent playoff teams featuring Gabe Snyder and Layne Perone or Bridger Cline, Shane Jones and Cale Ogi.
I hope you enjoyed this nostalgic trip down Memory Lane. I know I did.
This article originally appeared on The Daily Record: Lynch: Reliving sports nostalgia through history West Holmes gridders