Inmate housing options narrow Opiate addiction strains Municipal Court Lillian E Cowdrey Catherine A Houk Warriors win Jim Neu XC Invite Week 2 football roundup Broncos unbeaten at 4-0 Lady Broncos compete in Bob Schul XC Invite Ronnie L Day Nettie F Lightner Wallace sentenced to life in prison Court filing links Anderson and Sawyers Man killed in Fatal Crash on US 52 Henry E Fields Anleah W Stamper Maxine M Garrett U.S. 68 reopens Drought ends for Lady Rockets G-Men rise to 3-1 with back-to-back victories Rockets cruise to 4-0 win over Jays Lady Broncos start off SBAAC American Division play with 3-2 win over Goshen Week one football roundup Fair board president Orville Whalen passes away Wallace guilty, faces life in prison Zoning ordinance approved for Village of Sardinia Felicity man killed in boat crash Evelyn E Smith Peggy A Wiederhold Thomas P Neary Warriors kick off SHAC play Lady Broncos stand at 2-1 Late Devil goals lead to Lady Warrior loss David R Carrington Sr Crum arraigned on murder charge Sawyers faces new charge Aberdeen’s fiscal officer resigns 12th Annual Golf Tournament by Veterans Home Aug. 26 Betty G Schatzman Robert L McAfee Paul V Tolle Herbert D Smith Helen R Little Eugene M Press Lady Broncos out to defend league title SHAC holds volleyball preview Lady Warriors packed with experience, talent for 2017 fall soccer campaign Georgetown’s Sininger off to excellent start for 2017 golf season New response team for overdoses Drugged driving becoming a bigger problem Danny F Dickson Eva J Smith Michael R Stewart Sr Charles McRoberts III Marsha B Thigpen Michael L Chinn William A Coyne Jr Woman found dead in Ripley A girl’s life on the gridiron Rockets face G-Men in preseason scrimmage 13th annual Bronco 5K Run and Fitness Walk draws a crowd William C Latham Four charged in overdose death Underage felonies strain county system Fayetteville looks forward to 2018 celebration Russellville council discusses underground tanks in village Marilyn A Wren Larry E Carter Virginia L McQuitty Practices get underway for fall sports Jays soon to begin quest for SHAC title Western Brown to hold Meet the Teams Night and OHSAA parent meeting Aug. 8 Norville F Hardyman Carol J Tracy James Witt Hundreds of Narcan doses used in 2016 Heavy weekend rain causes flooding and damaged roads Child Focus hosts Chamber of Commerce meeting Mary F McElroy Broncos out to defend SBAAC American Division soccer title Bronco 5K to take place Aug. 5 EHS volleyball team ready for new season Michael C Cooper Raymond Mays Harry E Smittle Jr Mary A Flaugher Western Brown’s Leto excels in Australia Rockets ready for 1st season in SBAAC Paddling, hiking activities available at Ohio State Parks SB Warriors get set to hit gridiron for 2nd year of varsity football Scotty W Johnson Glenna V Moertle Ricky L Hoffer Ruth E Ward David A Watson Janet L Dotson Vilvie S King Steven C Utter Cropper joins Fallis at Bethel-Tate Local kids find success in world of martial arts 13th annual Bronco 5K Run and Fitness Walk set for Aug. 5

Several sports stars have answered the call

As Americans all around the country honor the veterans who have served and kept the country free, it’s becoming easier and easier to notice just how intertwined the military and sports have in fact become.

Obviously, the National Anthem is played before a vast majority of competitions at levels ranging from pee-wee all the way to the pros. There are pre-game flyovers at major sporting events, like the Super Bowl and Major League Baseball’s All-Star game, and NASCAR is one prominent sporting organization who routinely invites service academies to sing the national anthem.

Patriotism is not limited to the giant sporting leagues, however. Minor league baseball teams honor veterans, either on-field or over a public address announcement. High schools across the country host Veteran’s Day assemblies in the gymnasium.

Yet, sometimes, it even goes a step further than that. Look no further than Cincinnati’s own Roger Staubach.

Staubach was born in the Queen City and attended high school at Purcell Marian. Upon graduation, he enrolled at the New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, New Mexico, but he only stayed one season.

In 1961, Staubach joined the Naval Academy. He did not start for the Midshipmen immediately, and his first taste of gridiron action was, shall we say, less than successful. He went 0-f0r-2 on his passing attempts and was sacked twice, losing 24 yards.

One week later, however, he came into the game against Cornell and led his squad to six touchdowns, three of which he himself was responsible for, and his team blew out the Big Red 41-0.

That sparked a career that would see Staubach throw for over 3,500 yards and, eventually, an induction into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Before any of that, however, Staubach had an even bigger task ahead of him. During his junior year, he was declared color blind, which necessitated his joining of the Supply Corps. Upon graduation, instead of requesting an assignment in the United States, Staubach chose to go to Vietnam, where he served one year at the Chu Lai base.

While he was on duty, Staubach was drafted by both the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL Draft and the Kansas City Chiefs of the American Football League Draft. He would join the Cowboys in 1969 and, after sitting out the first year or so of his career, led the Cowboys to 10 straight wins, including a Super Bowl title.

There are so many stories like Staubach, so many athletes who have either delayed or, in the case of Ted Williams, paused professional careers to join the military. Williams won the Triple Crown in 1942, then joined the Navy in 1943. He served three years before being recalled at 33 years old to fight in the Korean War, where he flew 39 combat missions.

Not every example has to be from the early 20th century, however. Look no further than former Arizona Cardinal safety Pat Tillman. Tillman enlisted in 2002 and was killed in a friendly fire incident in Afghanistan two years later.

Former Denver Broncos running back Mike Anderson served four years in the Marines after high school before a junior college coach noticed him and convinced him to attend the school. After two years, Anderson headed to Utah where he would set the career record for rushing yards per game (102.4). In 2000, he earned the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year award after gaining 1,487 yards.

There are many, many more examples of athletes who stepped up exactly like the four above players did. Talking about all of them would fill up more newspapers than I’d even want to think about.

But their stories are made famous by what they did on the field, and there are many more people who make the decision to enroll in any of the branches of military, yet those people don’t always get the recognition they deserve. Maybe it’s because they would rather not relive it, maybe it’s because they just aren’t the kind of people who go out looking for attention.

So, as we honor the men and woman who have answered the call, regardless of their athletic prowess, there is only one thing left to do: Thank a veteran.

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Garth Shanklin

Sports Editor

Reach Garth Shanklin at 937-378-6161 or follow him on Twitter @GNDShanklin. You may also send any email inquiries to gshanklin@civitasmedia.com.

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2016 News Democrat