Alex K Miller Ann E Campbell Scott N Atkinson Senior Profile: Tyler Fowler Martin named to All-Tourney Team in North/South Battlefield Classic 200 years on the banks of the Ohio, in a little town called Moscow Edwin P Prince ACRMC Emergency Care Center renamed after Dr. Bruce Ashley Volleyball teams honor young cancer patient MHS honors veterans during pregame Kirker Covered Bridge gets a ‘Brown Goose’ facelift Adams County Heritage Days are Sept. 30-Oct. 1 Lady Devils prevail 1-0 over Peebles on Kickin’ Cancer Night Senior Profile: Patrick Baldwin Michael W Milby James R Grooms Sr. Fall Festival crowns Little Miss and Mister UPDATE: Pike County multiple murder Investigation; redacted autopsy reports released West Union Elementary names August Students of the Month SHAC streak continues for North Adams volleyball West Union volleyball picks up a pair of W’s Animal Shelter booth sees record crowds at Old Timer’s Day Festival Dragons top Manchester in Defender Bowl battle, 28-22 Senior Profile: Kendall Gallowitz Lady Dragons grab early lead in SHAC Tourney, final round is coming Friday Another Old Timer’s Days in the books and successful Run Gio Foundation to hold Oct. 1 benefit in Adams County Betty L Kelley Tom Cross, ACTVB Director, to receive ODNR Cardinal Award Seaman Fall Festival begins Wednesday, runs through Saturday Dragons still lead after two rounds of SHAC Golf, McCarty tops individual leader board Lady Dragons get SHAC win, downing Fayetteville 3-1 Overcoming obstacles, Pennywitt etches his name in MHS record books Dragons take first day lead in SHAC Golf Tourney New drug treatment offers more hope for recovering addicts Ronnie G Nace Lucille Wright Lois M Bixler Time to change those soccer rules Senior Profile: Hannah Grimes ‘Cruising up and down the main drag all night long’ Community effort erects town clock S Bridge to be replaced on Graces Run Road Senior Profile: Brittany Caldwell Lady Dragons break ACCC course record Dragons roll in county gridiron battle Down to last play, Hounds fall in heartbreaker I never won, but those lawn games were special times Donnie Austin Shari R Hiltibran Bentonville hosts 40th Annual Harvest Festival West Union soccer teams sweep Williamsburg, St. Patrick “Rockin” the mats again Senior Profile: Brittany Caldwell Sylvester Mefford Local teens selected to State 4-H Teen Leadership Council Connect with Serpent Mound over Old Timer’s Days Guthrie to speak about pests and diseases in beekeeping Old Timers Days Festival Cornhole Tournament is this week Defender Bowl coming Thursday Bentonville Harvest Festival holds Toddler Pageants 40th Anniversary Bentonville Harvest Festival hosts Baby Show 9/11 Reminds Us That We Are All Americans Lady Dragons are 2016 County Cup winners Bob Birchfield Senior Profile: Ryan Henderson Dragons take JV golf match Another rough night for Greyhounds, Notre Dame rolls to big win Remembering 9/11-15 years later Hughes honored at GABP Concussions and Youth Sports Roberta Newman to retire after more than 46 years at First State Bank Reaching out to the Baton Rouge flood victims Bentonville Harvest Festival celebrates its 40th anniversary Fire it up! Annual Jr. Fair BBQ cooks up another savory fare Lady Indians take down Whiteoak in four sets Senior Profile: Zack Best Greyhounds produce three winners at the 2016 Dragon Run Lady Hounds win in five sets at West Union Teresa Houdeshell Rosa Grooms Roy C Shiveley Mathew R Potts Staggs and Louiso to visit nation’s capital MLSD board members disagree on the merits of drug-testing students Law enforcement will target impaired drivers Labor Day weekend Figgins goal gives Devils a 1-0 win over West Union Lady Devils soccer rolls past West Union 9-1 Senior Profile: Madison Jenkins Boys golf season in full swing in county Winchester Homecoming Festival beats the heat and the storm I learned a lot from Rusty Verona McRoberts Lester Boldman Elsworth Cook Jr Harold L Applegate Governor Kasich honors Defender’s 150th anniversary ACRMC offers Language Interpretation Greyhounds stumble in opener, Green rushing attack leads to big win Notre Dame drops North Adams in straight sets
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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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2016 People's Defender