All-American Days: Soggy, successful

NOT EVEN rain can dampen a good thing.

Case in point: The Bellaire All-American Days Festival.

The festival was staged May 31, June 1-2. The event had to overcome some miserable monsoons Friday. Credit must go out to the festival committee. The panel members plan the event virtually year-round; thus, some bad weather is a mere speed bump.

The entertainment lineup takes a backseat to no other local fest. It is climaxed in sparkling fashion Saturday night by the grand finale of the fireworks by Pyrotechnics by Presutti sponsored by The Bellaire Area Chamber of Commerce.

A quality mix of vendors, crafters, sponsors, donors and volunteers is a recipe for success. An added bonus this year was the Civil War exhibit. It proved a popular addition.

As you may expect, plans are already in the works for next year’s festival.


PAT MILLER is an OVAC Hall of Famer. The Shadyside High great has a daughter working on her own glittering athletic resume.

Meredith Miller enjoyed a banner frosh softball season at Division I Hilliard Bradley. The Lady Jaguars mired through an 8-14 season, but Miller posted impressive numbers.

She produced 25 hits en route to posting a ,368 batting average, .442 on-base percentage and .779 slugging percentage. Meredith flashed robust power, slamming eight home runs and four doubles while knocking in 23 teammates. The slick-fielding shortstop led the team in RBI and homers.

Her lofty totals also translated in a host of post-season accolades.

Meredith was a first team all- Ohio Capital Conference, which is comprised of 32 teams while garnering second-team all-district honors. She was named to The Columbus Dispatch – All Metro Team – Special Mention list.

She will participate in the All-Ohio Underclass Fastpitch All-Star Games at Pickerington Central on June 18 & 19 (20 girls from seven counties – all divisions) – play against five other district teams.

The Hilliard Bradley Slugger Award recipient gets it done in the classroom as well, being named to the all-conference academic squad which requires at lest a 3.5 GPA. Meredith also was nominated for a tryout in Bloomington, Ind. on June 21, for the US Junior National team.

Her softball exploits come on the heels of much success in basketball at Bradley. The 5 ft. 11 forward was the Lady Jaguars’ fourth-leading scorer. She had a season-high of 20 points against Delaware. Meredith helped Bradley to a 15-8 mark while splitting time as sixth man and starter.

Meredith is also projected as a starter in volleyball this season.


THE BELLAIRE Presbyterian Church has launched a school supply mission to benefit “Students in Need” at Bellaire elementary and middle schools. The church is collecting school supplies and monetary donations through August. The Bellaire Presbyterian Church has designated 50 percent of the One Great Hour of Sharing offering and 40 percent of the Pentecost offering as seed money for this mission.

Leigh Ann LaRoche has taken the lead on this mission. Anyone wishing to donate may call Leigh Ann at 676-0746 or email to obtain the supply lists.

Items can be dropped off at the church office located at 3599 Guernsey St. between the hours of 9 a.m. and noon Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Please make checks payable to the Bellaire Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 322, Bellaire, Ohio 43906. Donations are tax deductible.


THE U.S. Open begins Thursday. As much as I hate to say it, Tiger Woods is the man to beat. I will go with a longshot in Jason Dufner. He has played well all year.

CONGRATULATIONS TO all the latest OVAC Hall of Fame selections. The shrine is an exclamation point on all the enshrinees’ career achievements.

ELECTRONICS RECYCLING Services will be having a grand opening celebration, complete with tours and demonstrations, on Tuesday, June 26 at 10:30 a.m. ERS is located at the former First Ward School in South Bellaire.

DUGAN HILL is stepping down as Caldwell High athletic director. The Noble County-based school will be hard pressed to find a classier or wiser individual to fill his shoes. Dugan is one of the premier running coaches in the OVAC if not the state. His coaching resume of success is second to none. We wish him well.

THE NBA Finals are poised to begin. Before the abbreviated season began, I picked the Oklahoma City Thunder to win the championship. I see no reason to change now.

THE AUCTIONING of unnecessary Switzerland of Ohio school buildings this week was intriguing to say the least. The purchase prices ranged from $20 (Beallsville) to $156,000 (Hannibal Elementary). Along those same lines, Powhatan went for $100 while Woodsfield Elementary was purchased for $130,000. Woodsfield High, however, went for a mere $5,500. I remember when the Bellaire School District auctioned off idled buildings: West Bellaire, First Ward, Gravel Hill and Rose Hill. They each went for $30,000 to $40,000. West Bellaire still remains idle.

All told, the Switzerland of Ohio school building auction brought in $415,620 for district coffers.

IT WAS a sad ending to a great Cinderella story. When I’ll Have Another was forced into retirement Friday due to injury on the eve of his Triple Crown bid, it was a shocking development. The horse racing industry needs a boost and a successful Triple Crown run would be just what the veterinarian order.

I’ll Have Another’s injury could prove profitable, however. If the horse had competed Saturday and lost, his siring stock would have dropped. Now, I’ll Have Another will always be regarded in near-legendary status, with fans wondering what could have been.

I HAVE known Coy Sudvary for many years. He is a good man and a quality administrator. However, I never realized the Buckeye Local High principal was such a daredevil. His plans to take a tandem parachute jump with the U.S. Army’s famous Golden Knights this summer is quite impressive if not insane. I wish him the best for a soft landing.

Kapral may be reached at bkapral@timesleader