Flora Hilderbran Commissioners to meet with DP&L officials New state graduation requirements called a ‘train wreck’ Catching up with Keller Senior Profile: Justin Knechtly Piketon size is too much for Lady Indians, Peebles falls in sectional finals Greyhounds grab Senior Night win Indians finish regular season riding six-game winning streak Harper, Hupp, Defense lead Lady Devils to fourth consecutive sectional championship West Union Elementary recognizes Students of the Month for January Second Healthy Hero awarded by Adams County Health and Wellness Coalition Coal company files to intervene in power plant closings Senior Profile: Jessica Sowards Senior Profile: Dennis Welch Dorothy E Walls Mabel Chamblin Michael R Jones Marie I Simmons Ray Johnson One thing to remember this President’s Day Adams County Deer Harvest down over 21% MLSD amends five-year budget, prepares for future with power plant closings Lady Dragons triumph in sectional opener Lady Hounds eighth graders capture SHAC Tournament title Gary L Fetters Sr Boys Sectional brackets released ‘We’re only as good as the way we treat others’ Another round of smiles Adams County Board of DD members recognized Terry L Unger 8th Grade Lady Devils ousted in tourney semis WU’s McCarty signs with Ohio Christian Joyce A Huddleson Carolyn Spires BREAKING NEWS: Peebles police search for man accused of selling marijuana-laced sweets Decision Time BBN Senior Profile: Summer Grundy Lady Devils fall to Southeastern, 56-48 Devils outlast Manchester 47-44 in double overtime Peebles holds second Hall of Fame Ceremony Senior Profile: Patrick England Sowards hits 1,000, ties PHS three-point mark County agencies prepare for sweeping budget cuts Manchester Council votes to cut police chief’s hours Wrestling debuts in Adams County Peebles Library hosts book signing As plants power down, community must step up Raymond P Dryden Alva Palmer Billie L Shoemaker Judith Long Brent A Arn Girls basketball sectional pairings announced WU’s Weeks will continue gridiron career at next level West Union JH Boys drop pair at Ripley Eighth Grade Lady Hounds roll into SHAC semi-finals Janet A Kennedy DP&L moving ahead with plans to close power plants Outreach Center in Peebles is a hub of giving River Sweep contest winners announced Gordley hits 1,000 mark, but Indians drop crucial SHAC contest to Lynchburg Manchester lifters compete at Piketon Senior Profile: Madelyn Sanders Charles L Hurd Randy Casto Bobby Strunk Dorothy J Scott Chester A Lanter Coach David Smalley picks up 500th career win at Rio Grande Dustin Holbrook Senior Profile: Camron Gordley As usual, optimism abounds on 2017 Reds Caravan Breeze, Beasley newest members of NAHS Athletic HOF Two humble men Adams County Manor Home Health Care makes road to recovery easier Don and Venita Bowles named as Outstanding Fair Supporters ‘Tip off For Tammy’ is a huge success, joint effort by two schools Husted campaign makes stop in Peebles Benefit held for double-lung transplant recipient I loved that muddy water, building in the creek Margaret E Broughton Larry A Hanson DP&L press release confirms closing of power plants Eighth grade girls showdown lives up to hype, North Adams wins in overtime, 45-43 Senior Profile: Raeanna Stamm North Adams Football sign-ups coming soon North Adams JV girls go 11-4 with win over Peebles Harper wins MaxPreps/JJHuddle Athlete of the Week West Union duo headed to the college gridiron Lady Devils make it 11 straight with win at Peebles Adams County residents attend Trump Inauguration A Look back at our Archives Peebles native comes home to film documentary Ohio Valley Wrestling Cub hosting home match on Jan. 31 Ruth A Branscome Velma Hughes Carol L Lewis Betty L Greiner Devils top New Boston 63-53 in finale of Coach Young Classic Lady Devils rout Eastern Pike in Young Classic

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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2016 People's Defender