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Happiness is…just playing a game

A couple of years ago when I was in junior high school, some crazy teacher decided to give me the lead role in “You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown.” Of course, I was outstanding and Oscar-worthy and though I have no video evidence of my performance (where were the cell phones?), I recall with fondness one of the songs that my friends and I performed. The song is called “Happiness” and Charlie Brown and his gang sing about all the simple things in life that just make them happy.

I saw that song brought to life last Sunday afternoon at West Union High School in a group of folks whose lives are all about happiness and on that particular afternoon, found it by just simply playing a game. Kudos to all of the Venture Hawks and their cheerleaders for showing us all how simple it can be to just find a little happiness.

Joy, pure joy. That seems to be the best way for me to describe how the Hawks approach life and how they approach just playing a simple game of basketball. How refreshing it was for me to be in a gymnasium where everyone cheered for everyone, no one screamed at the referees or their children on the court, and everyone came into the gym happy and left happy.

There is no doubt that we can all learn lessons from what we witnessed on Sunday afternoon. For me personally, it had been a very hectic and busy couple of weeks at work and I definitely needed something to slow me down and help me reflect on some of the more simple things. If you weren’t in attendance on Sunday to see “happiness” in action, then you better mark your calendar for next year, when I am sure that a few of those grounded Eagles will be thirsting for revenge.

I see a lot of ridiculous actions while on the road as a sports reporter, which makes the Hawks even more of a treat. I have decided that every high school, instead of holding those really boring OHSAA meetings in the pre-season, should satisfy that requirement by making every athlete and every parent attend a Venture Hawks game. Make them watch how the fans smile and laugh and most of all make them watch how the game can be played for just plain fun. Now, don’t think those Hawks weren’t out there to win, but they continually show us how to do it with a big smile.

Last year when I saw the Hawks in action for the first time, I wrote this in my column-“Next time you are feeling down and things aren’t going the way you planned, step back for a moment, catch your breath, look around, and count your blessings. I watched a group of people who do that every day of their lives.” A year later, those sentiments still hold true. The smiles are still contagious.

So to a very good-hearted group of men and women from the Sheriff’s Office, I say thank you for one more job well done. To the Hawks, I say thank you again for showing me how sports is supposed to be, just fun. My son always told me that the reason he played baseball was just because it was fun. I think he had the right idea.

As for me, I think it’s time to sing a bit. Happiness is….

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Mark Carpenter

Sports Editor

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