Junior Fair BBQ again a big success Beulah B James Senior Profile: Josie Myers Lady Indians place second at Ohio Classic in Hillsboro MVCA dominates Greyhounds in 45-0 triumph For Lady Devils, SHAC streak goes to 55 matches 9/11: Sixteen years later Gertrude Gibson Defender Bowl coming Sept. 16 Joyce A Walker Virginia R Young Senior Profile: Abby Campton West Union hosts 2017 Dragon Run New gridiron history begins for Peebles Trout, fire, and blueberry fields forever Senior Profile: Baylee Justice Lady Devils win SHAC thriller at Eastern Brown From Blue Creek to the Beaneaters Tough loss for Greyhounds in season opener Turning tragedy into hope What we learn from failure Absolutely had to get the wrinkles out Frances S Kidder Leo Trotter 41st Bentonville Festival set to begin Sept. 8 Winchester celebrates its history during three-day street fair Cruisefest returning to streets of Peebles Blue Creek- a community in transition honors its history and heritage Cuteness Galore – Winchester Homecoming Festival Baby Show Ronnie L Day Cast your vote for the Adams County Fairgrounds Nelson E Atkinson Ryan L Colvin Richard Tackett William L Tadlock Penny Pollard Wendell Beasley West Union soccer drops pair at Mason County Lady Indians go down in straight sets Senior Profile: Michael Gill Senior Profile: Katie Sandlin Royals dominate in big win over North Adams Dragons continue County Cup domination Archaeology Day returns to Serpent Mound Hourglass Quilt Square is back up again Manchester family hosts International Guests History, farming, and family- the bedrock of Cherry Fork’s community Bus drivers, emergency responders prepare for coming school year Working up a real good sweat What’s behind the motive? Rondal R Bailey Jr Thelma J Yates She’s all grown up now Scott A Yeager Soccer talent on display at 2017 SHAC preview Baseball community mourns the loss of Gene Bennett Winchester Homecoming Festival is Aug 25-27 Eleanor P Tumbleson Felicity man killed in Ohio River boating accident WUHS golfers take Portsmouth Invitational It was pretty cold that day Volleyball kicks off with SHAC Preview Night Young awarded Women’s Western Golf Foundation Scholarship One Mistake Senator Portman visits GE Test Facility in Peebles Adams County school districts facing some major challenges for the coming year Family, friends, and roots: the ties that bind residents of one Adams County village What is your strength? Just the chance to take a look back Ronnie L Wolford Dale J Marshall Herbert Purvis Great American Solar Eclipse coming Aug. 21 BREAKING NEWS: West Union wins fifth consecutive County Cup Wallace B Boden John L Fletcher Lady Indians golfers learning the links North Adams, West Union golfers open 2017 seasons This Labor Day, ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ Blanton announces candicacy for Court of Appeals Local student attends Congress of Future Medical Leaders MHS welcomes new principal Made in America When it feels like you’re spinning plates Bonfires and “building” a farm Lady Devils looking to take that next step 50 years of Bengal memories Ag Society delivers donation to Dragonfly Foundation Young Memorial Scholarship awarded to a pair of local seniors ‘Musical passion is in his blood’ Naylor named NAHS Principal Boldman retiring after 17 years as Homeless Shelter director Manchester concludes another River Days celebration Drug Treatment vs. Prison James R Brown Bobby Lawler Jr Adams County man charged with killing estranged girlfriend Lexie N Hopkins Volleyball, soccer previews coming this weekend Michael A Cheek

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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