About BTiell Sports Reports

Dr. Bonnie Tiell writes a monthly column for the Tiffin Advertiser Tribune Sports Department (http://www.advertiser-tribune.com/). This blog archives each column and dates back to the 2008 Olympic Academic Experience in Beijing, China. Check out the Blog Archives to read more. Check out info about the TU Olympic Academic Experience at http://www.tuolympics.blogspot.com/ and contact Dr. Tiell at btiell@tiffin.edu

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Summer has all but faded in September’s rush to begin another great fall sport season. The thrill of Friday night lights has quickly overshadowed anything resembling summer fun. Our community is not unlike many other small American towns excited over the pee-wee guys butting shoulder pads at the local park or fired up for the weekly cross town high school rivalry game.
The local flare of youth football is but a stepping stone to the fascination with the college scene which sends everyone with an inkling of an interest to park themselves in front of TV sets or Sirius/XM radios if they weren’t fortunate enough to land coveted tickets inside the Horseshoe, Big House, or Notre Dame stadium. The media delivers with plenty of coverage of the Buckeyes and Fighting Irish as well as wonderful side bar stories such as the dozen-plus players suspended for academic fraud at my alma mater in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and the suspension of the Boise State assistant coach for suspicion of intoxicated driving before their victory at Virginia Tech. Will they ever learn?

Then, there is the over-commercialized excitement of the NFL, especially in our town since the New Orleans Saints and Tennessee Titans each have a former Tiffin University player earning a roster spot. Actually, only the rookie Chris Ivory had to earn his roster spot with the Saints. Nate Washington’s free agency signing paid huge dividends for the Titans in week one since the former Dragon led all receivers in a 38-13 thumping of the Oakland Raiders.

Tiffin sport fans still love to flock to the Dawg Pound when the battered and bruised and hopeless, hapless Browns play in town. The NFL package is another vehicle which has helped the force of pro football frenzy while also helping Heritage Lanes, the Clover Cub and other local establishments drum up their share of Sunday afternoon business for a few of the colder months.

But despite the charge of fall volleyball, soccer, and football seasons, summer sports in Ohio aren’t completely over in September. Major League Baseball is hot and heavy into pennant races and even a handful of local softball and baseball leagues wait to wrap up their seasons until after Labor Day. Summer sports such as tennis and road racing just continue right into fall without skipping a beat.

Then there is golf.

The wonderful world of golf is the one sport that remains alive and well for as long as possible in this area despite the change in seasons which quickly freezes out a majority of fair-weather players. Golf fever in the colder months just turns into travel season for the diehards who can’t stand to go without swinging a club for too long. Just ask Dr. Hoyda who usually can’t decide to drive or fly his plane back and forth to his second home in Myrtle Beach almost every month.

One local enthusiast with an interesting summer on the links is Bryce Gorrell, a rising local sport star to keep on the radar screen. The eighth grader at Hopewell won his age division in at least six tournaments on the Lake Erie Junior Golf Association tour this summer. More impressive is that Gorrell also finished in the top 15 in his second trip to the British territory of Bermuda where he competed in the Blackie Talbot Junior International Classic. Anrdrea De Bono from Basiglio, Italy won the 54-hole tournament held at the Mid Ocean Golf Club, host for two PGA Grand Slam events.

Gorrell continued his global tour a month later by qualifying for the International Junior Tournament at the PGA National Resort Course in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. The field in his age-group alone included players from Thailand, South Korea, Australia, Venezuela, Canada, Uruguay, Ecuador, Columbia, Malaysia, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Denmark, and South Africa.

The young Hopewell student kicked off the season winning the Mohawk Golf Club Derby Day tournament with a cast of a bit older team mates including Dr. Mark Akers, Dr. Ajit Desai, and the infamous Jim Streaker. But the game is far from over for this young man whose favorite place to hang after a round of golf is probably anywhere serving hot wings [just ask his dad or my husband or a few of our friends who often argue who gets to partner with him during some of their friendlier games]. Bryce still hits the links at Mohawk as often as possible and will be competing in a shoot-out in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina over Thanksgiving … perhaps with my husband as his caddy or Dr. Hoyda cheering in the gallery. But remember, this amateur only accepts the customary hardware or a twelve-piece hot wing special.

Kudos goes out to another youth golfer. Heather Steiner is a senior who plays for Calvert Catholic High School’s varsity boys’ golf team. Having followed her progression since she picked up the game a summer or two before her freshmen year, it is inspiring to see how years of dedicated practice has helped her shave around ten strokes from just her nine-hole game. The improvement vaulted her from Junior Varsity to Varsity status.

Steiner has always been extremely coachable in all the sports she played growing up, primarily because it is apparent that she truly respects her teachers, coaches, and mentors. Her attitude is far too rare in the era of a society of youth often characterized by an expectation of immediate gratification and entitlement. Steiner breaks the mold and she has a younger sister, Haley, who has another year to match Heather’s accomplishments.

Yes, golf helps keep the love of summer in our hearts while the chill of fall has become inescapable. Either way, you have to appreciate that sports are a large part of the fabric of Tiffin, no matter the season or the times. Stay tune for more interesting sports talk next month.

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