BUTLER COUNTY — There aren’t many words that can be put into context to justify what has been brought upon us, as many businesses, schools, families — you name it — are being effected tremendously by the most recent halt in life due to the growing coronavirus COVID-19 situation.
Earlier this afternoon, the Ohio High School Athletic Association announced that all remaining winter tournaments are immediately postponed, with no timetable yet declared for possible rescheduling. The announcement was made after state and local officials recommended that no public gatherings take place to help stop the spread of the virus.
The suspended tournaments include the girls state basketball tournament; the state individual wrestling tournament; the state ice hockey tournament, and the boys regional and state basketball tournaments.
As we ALL come together to put forth a collaborative rebound effort, let us take a moment to recognize the area student-athletes who may not get the opportunity to play on Ohio high school’s largest of stages:
- Lakota East boys basketball — The Thunderhawks have had a historical season, having reached the Division I regional final against Moeller in a contest that was scheduled for Saturday. Lakota East has won 16 in a row and owns a 25-2 record. The Thunderhawks reach the Elite 8 for the first time in program history.
- Lakota East wrestlers Alex Epstein and Aaron Sharp — Epstein, a senior who has a 45-4 record in the 135 weight class, was expected to compete this weekend in the Division I state tournament. He joins Sharp, who is a senior with a 29-11 record in the 285 weight class.
- Ross wrestlers Alex Coleman and Sean Beltran — Coleman, a senior who owns a 41-1 record in the 285 weight, was expected to compete this weekend in the Division II state tournament. He joins Beltran, a junior who owns a 36-6 record in the 145 weight class.
- Talawanda wrestler Terell Wills — The senior has a 32-9 record at the 220 weight class and was expected to compete this weekend in the Division I state tournament.
- Fairfield wrestler Brandon Smith — The junior has a 31-4 record at the 220 weight class and was expected to compete this weekend in the Division I state tournament.
- Madison wrestlers Quincy Brown and Devin Oligee — Brown, a senior who has a 40-8 record in the 195 weight class, was expected to compete in the Division III state tournament this weekend. He joins Oligee, who is a junior with a 51-3 record at the 170 weight class.