Previously, I covered high school sports for The Cincinnati Enquirer and freelanced for the Dayton Daily News. Below are some of my features:
From refugee camps to races: Aiken cross country
The Pashto word meaning “involved” echoed around the track as the Aiken High School cross country runners roared in excitement awaiting a team photo.
The photo was going to be historic. For some runners, it captured their first time participating on a team. For the school, it marked the first time Aiken fielded both a boys and girls team.
Last year, the school had one runner. In 2018, there was a team. That in itself was an achievement, head coach Aaron Parker said.
“These are like the best kids in the world, literally,” Parker said. “I mean that figuratively and literally.”
This story originally ran Nov. 19, 2018 for The Cincinnati Enquirer. (Continue reading here.)
Double cornea recipient excels on, off the golf course
Bob Goodridge had no idea his best golfer was born blind.
But standing at sectionals with Morgan Hughes and her family, the comment came up in passing, as if it wasn’t a big deal. Maybe there’s a reason for that: Hughes won’t let anything be a distraction or an excuse.
“I’m a hard worker and I put a lot of effort into things,” Hughes said.
This story originally ran Oct. 4, 2018 for The Cincinnati Enquirer. (Continue reading here.)
Muhammad Bah: The long-shot kicker looking for another chance
The rule was set.
By now, the season opener against Washington, D.C.’s Archbishop Carroll was three days away, and anyone interested in playing for the 2015 Shroder High School football team already missed the deadline to join.
Head coach Gerald Warmack wouldn’t budge, not even for the kid standing on the side of practice watching. It didn’t matter that he spent the summer in Atlanta, or that he could be the team’s new kicker. Warmack remained insistent.
Until he heard the thud.
The thud kept happening. Over and over.
“What is that?” Warmack said he thought to himself.
It was the kid kicking the ball. One of Warmack’s assistants grabbed a tee when he wasn’t looking and set the ball up for kick after kick. They remained consistent and better than anyone on the roster.
Instantly, the rule was rewritten.
“OK, go suit that kid up,” Warmack insisted.
The Jaguars had a new kicker. His name was Muhammad Bah, and he instantly became the most versatile player in the program’s recent history.