MR/DD Awareness Month needs community

Published 11:28 am Tuesday, March 10, 2009

March is designated MR/DD Awareness month. This year’s statewide theme is “Just like You.” I have already attended four events celebrating this theme.

Soup and Sandwich Night kicked off the celebration March 2 at the Early Childhood Center in South Point. The following evening Tri-State Industries, Inc. in Coal Grove hosted a dance to celebrate the occasion.

On March 5, I attended separate balloon launches at the Open Door School in Ironton and at the Early Childhood Center.

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There are still several events left for the public to attend. First, the annual March Madness Basketball games will be held in the Dawson-Bryant High School Gym on March 12 beginning at 6 p.m.

Next, the first ever Science Night will be at the Open Door School from 3:30 to 6 p.m. March 19.

Finally, the annual Chili Fest and craft show will be in the Dawson-Bryant High School Gym from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on March 28.

For more information and to register yourself, your business, or community organization for the Chili Competition, contact the LCBMRDD Board Office (740) 532-7401.

Recently, there have been rumors that the Ironton Sports Day may be revived. I was reminded recently of an incident concerning the first Ironton Sports Day honoree, Jerry Fields.

In 1954, Mel Adams finished a successful four year run as coach of the Coal Grove Hornets football team.

Coal Grove won one LCFL championship and the first OVC championship in any sport.

Overall, the Hornets were 27-11-0, a winning percentage of .711. Coach Adams will be remembered for a position switch made during the 1953 season. The team record was 1-3 after four games.

Coach Adams moved a starting sophomore end named Jerry Fields to quarterback. The results were spectacular. Coal Grove defeated South Point the following week and closed out the season winning five games in a row.

Added to the 10 wins in 1954 (10-0-0) and the first five games of 1955, the Hornets had embarked on a 20-game winning streak.

Jerry Fields would earn All-State honors in 1954 and 1955, participate in the annual North-South game and receive a full athletic scholarship to Ohio State.

A member of the 1957 National Champion Ohio State Buckeyes, Jerry was starting QB in both 1958 and 1959. He was drafted by both the New York Giants (NFL) and New York Titans (AFL), who would change their name to the New York Jets.

Jerry played three seasons with the Titans before finishing his football career in Canada.

Yes, if you have shopped for an automobile at Harmon Motors in Ironton, this is the same Jerry Fields who is sales manager.

Mike Nourse is a retired educator and contributing columnist for The Tribune. He lives in Coal Grove with wife Clara Gail, also a retired educator.