High school volleyball players from Wayne County continue to attract the attention of collegiate programs throughout Ohio, including Walsh University, which has added a third local player to its roster.
Wooster High School senior Ravin Morgan joins Smithville senior Brooke Fatzinger, who signed last month, and Chippewa’s Grace Lindquist, now a junior at Walsh, to give the Cavaliers an even more dominating presence at the net, both offensively and defensively.
Morgan, a 6-1 middle hitter/blocker, was a four-year starter for the Generals, and Wooster Head Coach Jen Snowbarger describes her as a very smart player who is able to keep up with the tempo and block very effectively with her long reach.
“Ravin was always one of our leaders in kills, and her hitting percentage was one of the highest on the team, but her greatest strength was as a blocker, taking on our opponents’ best hitters,” said Snowbarger. “She was very consistent, reliable, hard-working, and coachable. She loved to learn, and was always willing to make adjustments to help her improve her overall game.”
Morgan is the second-youngest and the only girl in a very athletic family of five siblings — each of whom has a name that is associated with an NFL team: Colt, Steele, Jett, Ravin, and Bronson — although the names were actually inspired by books read by her mother, Raquel, who is a teacher.
Morgan’s ascent in volleyball has not come easily. Basketball was her first love, but the constant pounding on her body, complicated by her rheumatoid arthritis, which requires her to take shots weekly to reduce the inflammation, led her to concentrate solely on volleyball.
“She is a quiet competitor who played through a lot of pain,” said Snowbarger. “As she got older, she became more vocal, but she always took practice seriously and led by example.”
As for her collegiate pursuit of volleyball, Morgan said that she is excited for the challenges that lie ahead.
“The coach (Jayme Plummer) and the players at Walsh were a big part of my decision to go there,” she said.
Morgan plans to major in business and minor in graphic design, and she already has a head start on the process. She currently creates websites for several businesses in the Amish community, and has had considerable success with that venture.
Given her mental aptitude and her physical ability, that success is certain to follow her into the classroom and onto the volleyball court at Walsh this fall.
Shakespeare on Sports
The normally reputable Washington Post printed one of the more bizarre accounts of a major sporting event that I have ever read. Writer Chuck Culpepper put forth his best Shakespearean prose in his article about the NCAA men’s basketball national championship game earlier this month.
In the lead paragraph, he wrote, “Kansas, that curiously quiet No. 1 seed that crept and zoomed through the March Madness draw while all the noise and hype blared elsewhere, saved its most evocative quiet for the closing Monday night. It went hushed and dormant in a haunted first half against North Carolina in the men’s national championship game at the Superdome, trailing by 16 points so that a witness might have forgotten it was there.”
What? Can you say that again in a more direct, less bard-like manner? As sports fans, we might not be Rhodes Scholars, but we know a good article when we read one.
I have no doubt that Mr. Culpepper is highly educated, but most of us who follow sports just want the facts, not the fluff.
Why ask Why?
The tragic death of former Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins continues to reverberate throughout Buckeye nation and the entire football world.
As the shock begins to fade, the desire to find out exactly what happened begins to ramp up.
As naturally curious human beings, we want to know the details behind events such as this, but the bottom line is that it’s none of our business.
Give his family time to mourn and heal. If the circumstances leading up to the incident eventually emerge, fine. If not, we need to just let it go.
The promising season for Cleveland’s Cavaliers ended prematurely, due in large part to injuries, but there is certainly reason for optimism moving forward with players like Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen, Evan Mobley, Isaac Okoro, and Lauri Markkanen — all age 25 or younger.
The only thing I find puzzling is that the NBA does not define play-in games as playoff games. As far as I’m concerned, the Cavs made it to the postseason, and the best is yet to come.
Feeding a Family
The next time an athlete who is negotiating a multi-million dollar contract justifies his quest for more money by saying, “Hey, I need to feed my family” — a sentiment famously spouted by former NBA all-star Latrell Sprewell — I might just lose it.
There are many, many people in this world who are legitimately “trying to feed their family,” and they don’t make anywhere close to the amount of money these high-priced athletes make. So spare us the “feeding the family” routine, and state it like it is — you want just as much, if not more, than the other guy, which is perfectly understandable. Just don’t plead poverty. It’s highly offensive to those trying to make ends meet.
Browns owner Jimmy Haslam managed to escape the Pilot Flying J scandal unscathed a few years ago, but one has to wonder if he will be as fortunate if Hue Jackson’s claims about “playing to lose” are substantiated.
Tanking has become an acknowledged practice in the NFL and has seriously damaged the integrity of the league, but offering large sums of money to a coach to lose is an even more egregious practice.
Let’s hope it’s some type of misunderstanding, but between those allegations and the decision to sign Deshaun Watson before his name is completely cleared makes one wonder if the Browns have taken the motto of “winning at all costs” to the ultimate extreme.
The debut of the new USFL was unspectacular at best and in some respects even embarrassing.
I caught a few moments of the Todd Haley-led Tampa Bay Bandits’ victory over the Pittsburgh Maulers last week, and it was as uninspiring a game as I had ever seen. The television ratings were decent, but it didn’t look like anyone attended the game in person.
How many iterations of spring football will there be before people finally realize that it just doesn’t resonate with the average fan?