Peebles Elementary hosts PBIS showcase NAES student starting Christmas Card project Try and tell them that nobody cares Senior Profile: Ethan Thompson 15-point lead vanishes, Hounds fall in season opener Deer Gun Season results down all across Ohio Hometown Christmas in Peebles rings in the holiday season Manchester Elementary receives 2016 Momentum Award Drug bust in West Union Stephen C Foster Donna Rivers WUES students perform as part of Honor Choir Ohio Brush Creek Canoe/Kayak access completed Hall of Fame Christmas in Portsmouth Thyme to trim the Christmas Tree Junior High Lady Hounds get season-opening sweep Lady Devils roll past Paint Valley in season opener Senior Profile: Jessica Johnson Michael E Roberts Sr Evelyn L Jones Thomas M Calvert Ryan, Sowards lead Lady Indians to easy win in season opener, 57-36 over Felicity Senior Profile: Wes Hayslip Justice off to hot start at VSU County boys’ squads on display in annual SHAC Preview Night ‘Operation Christmas Child’ collects 1,707 shoe boxes for needy children Two animal cruelty cases investigated in Adams County DP&L considers closing power-generating plants in county Holiday spirit makes an early appearance in Adams County Chester A Mann Jeffrey A Daley Sr Michael G Tincher DAR sponsors Good Citizen Award Ohio’s young hunters harvest nearly 6,000 deer during Youth Gun Season Senior Profile: Kayle Thomas Helen N Hiestand Rev Walter R Egnor Sr Betty Beam Jamie L Corrill Jeffrey L Heppard Edsel L Massey Jr It is time to stop and take time to give thanks on a special day Another year to be very thankful for Senior Profile: Savannah McCoy McCoy signs to continue golf career at SSU North Adams hosts SHAC Girls Preview DAR commemorates 50th anniversary of Vietnam War Historical Society honors veterans Star Wars routine leads Fancy Free Cloggers to ‘America’s Got Talent’ A Day at the Opera Eagle Creek draws community to Thanksgiving celebration Ward ekes out victory over Worley in county commissioner race Mary A Garman Ronald L Palmer Joseph S McClanahan II Emma O Hayslip Devils slip by Georgetown in Foundation Game Hupp, Hunter, Wolke named OSSCA Second Team All-State Senior Profile: Kain Turner Lady Devils romp in Foundation Game Oh, those aromas coming from Mom’s kitchen What Became My Biggest Project Deer gun season set to begin ‘Trees to Textbooks’ shares revenues with local schools and communities BREAKING NEWS Winchester’s Baxter wins Miss Ohio USA 2017 pageant Genny Elkins Pauline S Stevenson Donald E Lewis Sr Charlotte R Seaman Ruth Prater Bennie Skaggs Gertrude Swayne West Union High School hosts impressive Veterans Day ceremonies Peebles Elementary hosts ceremony to honor local veterans Duke Energy exits Killen and Stuart Plants GE Aviation hosts annual Veterans Day celebration Senior Profile: Logan Gordley Jeffrey A Brown Sr Peebles Library welcomes local author and survivor on Nov. 19 Homer C Eldridge Robert W Schomberg One Commissioner race too close to call in unofficial count Voters approve majority of county levies on Tuesday’s election ballot NAES Sixth Graders practice the democratic process Honoring one who gave the ‘last full measure of devotion’ Overcoming adversity, veteran of Iraq War opens local business Senior Profile: Ben Figgins Senior Profile: Macy Mullenix SHAC Basketball Previews are set for Nov. 18 and 25 Trio of local golfers finish careers with trip to the highest level of high school competition Peebles sophomore Jenny Seas finishes sixth in OHSAA state cross-country meet Upset win sends Trump to the White House ACRMC awarded plaque for 50 years of service Peebles Elementary releases Honor Roll for First Nine Week Grading Period BREAKING ELECTION NEWS! Senior Profile: Jordyn Kell Orlie H Kirker Military homecoming at NAES
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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