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BG Falcon Media

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BG Falcon Media

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BG Falcon Media

The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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Some of the best athletes in the country hail from “the heart of it all”

“And I can’t make it on my own (And I can’t make it on my own), because my heart is in Ohio.” This is a lyric from the song “Ohio Is For Lovers” by the Dayton-based group Hawthorne Heights.

That lyric rings true for members of fall sports teams at Bowling Green. Ninety-eight out of 194 fall sports athletes (roughly about 51 percent) hail from the Buckeye state.

The Buckeye state has been home to various sports greats over the years such as golf great Jack Nicklaus, Olympic sprinter Jesse Owens and NBA All Star Lebron James.

BG teams are taking full advantage of the state of Ohio like early settlers took full advantage of California during the California Gold Rush.

Women’s volleyball coach Denise Van De Walle believes the amount of quality Ohio born players could be the result of a rule change.

“Volleyball in Ohio is better now that the OHSAA loosened their rules to allow girls to play club. Once that happened and girls were allowed to play all year round, the level of play sky-rocketed,” she said.

Van De Walle, who is in her 24th season as head coach of BG’s women’s volleyball team, continued, “There are a lot of kids playing club volleyball. With a lot of kids playing club, there are a lot to pick from. The level of play and the quality of coaches has improved at this level.”

Men’s soccer coach Fred Thompson believes Ohio players are a special breed of athletes. “The determination and grit required in college is not something that has to be taught to Midwest kids. There are not as many flashy players in the Midwest as there are on the East or West Coast but there are far more solid, dependable responsible players and every program needs those. Playing Division One soccer takes commitment and hard work, I know the Ohio players aren’t afraid of that.”

Women’s soccer senior Lindsay Carter feels that Ohio Premier (club soccer) is what sets Ohio soccer players apart from players from other states.

“I would have to say that Ohio has become one of the most competitive states for club soccer over the years. Columbus, Cincinnati and Cleveland have all become known for their competitive and continuous state cup qualifying teams as well as regional and national appearances.”

Carter is the only senior on a women’s soccer team that hopes to defend its Mid-American Conference tournament championship for the third straight year and win the league title for second year in a row.

Athletes from Ohio are becoming increasingly competitive when it comes to finding roster spots, especially at the high school level.

Traditionally, the most competitive sport in the state has been football. Football in Ohio is regarded by most people as a “Football Hotbed.” With the four C’s (Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus and Canton) the state is equally engulfed in its football.

Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel likes to say how “he puts up a white picket fence around the state of Ohio” to make sure none of the quality talent gets away. Unfortunately for the Buckeyes, 42 players escaped OSU and landed in BG. Notable stars on the team include Anthony Turner (quarterback) and Corey Partridge (wide receiver), both of which hail from Ohio.

Maybe Hawthorne Heights was talking about how Ohio is for Lovers ” of Sports and just didn’t have room for that title. Then again, maybe not.

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