By Ryan Kaczmarski
- Last Friday was Veteran’s Day and I hope everyone took a minute to thank all the past and current service men and women for the freedoms we sometimes take for granted. There have been many publicized professional athletes that have fought in WWI (Christy Mathewson-New York Giants baseball, Eddie Grant- Cleveland Naps), WWII (Bob Feller, Joe Louis, Yogi Berra, Ted Williams, etc.), Korea (Eddie LeBaron-QB for Redskins and Cowboys), Vietnam (Rocky Bleier- Steelers, The Gulf War and Afghanistan and Iraq (and many more that I probably forgot to mention). All of those athletes made great sacrifices in the name of freedom, but there were many more that made the ultimate sacrifice and never made it back to play the games they loved so much. There are six known Major Leaguers who died in WWI. There were 21 NFL players and countless baseball players who died in WWII. More recently, there is Pat Tillman who died in Afghanistan. None of these men were able to enjoy the freedoms they fought for us. Thank you.
- The winter high school sports season is right around the corner, but I want to say congratulations again to the Westshore teams that won their conferences and/or went deep into the postseason: Bay volleyball (WSC champions), Rocky River boys golf (WSC champions), Bay girls golf (WSC tourney champions), Magnificat cross country and golf teams (made it to states as teams), Magnificat volleyball (district champions), Fairview football (won Stripes Division of the Patriot Athletic Conference), Rocky River girls soccer (WSC and district champions), The Bay cross country team (finishing first in districts) and Westlake girls tennis (SWC champions, Lauren Golick 4th in state). I hope I didn’t forget anyone. It was a great season and I’m looking forward to basketball, wrestling, swimming/diving, gymnastics and ice hockey to start at the end of the month.
- Start looking for the winter sports previews and schedules coming in the next few weeks.
- Have a sports story? Let me know at: ryank@westlifenews or call the paper at: 440-871-2214 Ext. 105