SCIOTO COUNTY — I’m not usually one for making public dedications or even declarations, and can often times skip the ceremonials.
However, as August officially opens another football season —and fall sports season —for me, my 24th professionally truth be told across a number of newspapers, this one is indeed different.
That’s because, simply put, this one’s for mom.
My mother Jean Boggs — in fact a former resident of Portsmouth for a brief period — passed away what will be three weeks ago on Monday (July 12), after enduring almost three full years of suffering and pain caused by several health issues.
She would have celebrated her 75th birthday this coming Friday (Aug. 6), and it was her goal to at least live that long at the outset of this summer.
However, God needed her and called her home sooner —and finally relieved her of her physical, mental and emotional agony.
And, of course, it’s cliche’, but my mother was more than just being a mom.
She did much more than make sure I had hot home-cooked meals to eat and a bed to sleep in at night.
She did much more than make sure I attended school every single solitary day, and that I excelled in my academics — which I did.
She did much more than make sure I had new clothes or shoes, or enough fuel in the tank of my 1991 Plymouth Sundance when in high school, or enough money to pay for ANY and ALL dates I went on as a teenager in the early 1990s.
She gave good advice for those, too.
She supported my decision to attend Ohio University and study Journalism and Communications in the late 1990s, and supported each and every career decision I ever made.
No matter what publication and parent company has employed me, she was my number-one all-time reader of my stories — a record which will never be broken.
Countless times we would converse about my job and the schools and teams which I covered —what event(s) or college signing(s) I was covering that particular day or night, and even what I thought might happen or whom I believed would win.
The next day, she would read the headline, then read my story — then ask all about how it went the evening or the day before.
There’s also all those candid critiques and discussions about Wellston High School athletics, as I am a Wellston alum.
We repeated that cycle for days, months, years and sports seasons on end —up until the point when her health would simply no longer allow it.
Unfortunately, that’s included my almost two full calendar years with The Portsmouth Daily Times.
However, her passing this summer has actually reinvigorated me for this coming fall campaign —and I’m ready to get rolling again.
I haven’t always said that — or even deep down believed it — in some years when the calendar turned August, but bereavement and previously-scheduled paid vacation taken in July has given me a chance to re-think, relax about some things, and truly re-charge some certainly spent batteries.
The coronavirus situation over the past year-and-a-half hadn’t helped matters either.
But, after almost half-a-summer spent in hospital rooms being by my mom’s bedside —gymnasiums for volleyball, courses for cross country and golf, and fields for football and futbol (soccer) are indeed a welcome sight.
Plus, mom would want me to be happy and enjoy doing what I’m doing — as I enjoy what I’m doing and where I’m doing it at, The Portsmouth Daily Times.
That said, it’s time to turn the calendar to Aug. 1 — and to truly jump headfirst and dive headlong into fall sports with a renewed passion for what we do.
In fact, our first football media day activities are set for Saturday —at Notre Dame, where my mother actually wanted me to get my high school education from after eight years (grades one thru eight) at Saints Peter in Paul in Wellston.
How fitting for us then that Notre Dame leads off our annual blitz of football media days.
As this day, as this high school sports season will be, this one’s for mom.
In addition, in case you were wondering and/or even inquiring about, the following informational item was included in Thursday’s Ohio High School Athletic Association news release.
remain same for 2021-22
“Per action by the OHSAA Board of Directors, the 2020-21 enrollment data and tournament divisions will be utilized again in the 2021-22 school year. With some schools not offering sports along with many students transferring to non-traditional learning modules last fall due to COVID-19, the Executive Director’s Office deliberated on how to handle enrollment data, since October 2020 is when the OHSAA traditionally would have received that data (EMIS) from the Ohio Department of Education for use in tournament representation, tournament division breakdowns and classifications for OHSAA District Athletic Board elections. While understanding many schools had various unique enrollment situations this year, it was determined that utilizing the same data for a third and final year was the fairest for all OHSAA member schools since any new data collected would likely be severely skewed and/or an unreliable representation. Constitution Article 6-1-9 allowed the Executive Director’s Office to make this change, and it was subsequently approved by the Board.”
Reach Paul Boggs at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1926, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @BoggsSports © 2021 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved