Fawcett again makes biggest sports news of the year

Matt HammondAs 2008 comes to a close, it’s time to look back at the top local sports stories of the year.

This year’s number one story was not a tough one to decide. For the fifth straight year, Nicole Fawcett is the biggest local newsmaker with her achievements on the volleyball court.

Fawcett capped her career at Penn State with a remarkable final season. The Benjamin Logan graduate led the Nittany Lions to a perfect season and a second straight national championship.

  • Written by MATT HAMMOND

Holidays bring stellar wrestling action

Along with the holiday season comes some great wrestling action over the course of the next few days.

Other than the postseason, this is the time of year I enjoy most because there are an overwhelming amount of exceptional matches to see and read about. Many top teams are doing battle head-to-head, providing some tremendous matchups.

  • Written by AARON LaBATT

Area’s young wrestlers need to keep their heads up

I’ve reiterated that the area’s wrestling teams are young this season. No coach or team likes to use that as an excuse for a loss, but facts are facts. Those young grapplers wrestle not only their opponent physically, but themselves mentally. Because of that I feel wrestling is all a state of mind.

So far this season I’ve seen some discouraged faces and some frustrated young wrestlers. As a freshman I remember what it was like to take on guys that were much better than me. I felt like I’d never win and that I wasn’t very good, but you have to stick it out. Wrestling is not an easy sport by any means and there is a reason wrestling rooms are not packed with 30 to 40 kids at the beginning of the year.

  • Written by AARON LaBATT

Ironman makes good on reputation

Driving into what seemed like a blizzard on I-71 last Saturday was not what I had planned for, but my visit to the Ironman tournament in Stow is always worth the trip.

The question is always asked: Is the Ironman really that tough? Well, consider this ... returning state champ Ty Mitch of Aurora did not even place in the top eight, threetime state champ Collin Palmer (140) of St. Edward lost in the finals and state champ Hunter Stieber (112) of Monroeville lost the first match of his high school career in the finals.

  • Written by AARON LaBATT

Weighing in on Oprah

I feel sorry for Oprah Winfrey.

The queen of the talk show circuit and one of the most influential woman in the world has felt it necessary to reveal she weighs 200 pounds again.

Her weight fluctuations have been the topics of tabloids and her own show for decades. The picture of her with a wagonload of lard after a liquid diet allowed her to lose 60 plus pounds and don a pair of size 10 Calvin Klein jeans is iconic after 20 years.

  • Written by MIRIAM BAIER