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Volunteer honored for service

WATERLOO — For the past 33 years, Mike Null has watched countless Symmes Valley High School boys’ basketball games from the sidelines.

He has witnessed hometown-stars make their way onto the court, fuel their fame and walk away with the shining trophy. But this year, it won’t just be memories that he takes home with him: he’ll have a well-deserved plaque in hand.

On behalf of the Southeast District Athletic Board, Null was honored with the Friends of Youth award for his outstanding and long-time volunteer time with the basketball team.

Null was one of 10 recipients of the award, which is a first-year happening that honors communitarians that have dedicated their lives to serving local youth.

Since 1975 when he was first asked to work the scoreboard, Null, a Symmes Valley Elementary janitor and Waterloo resident, has covered a lot of ground.

He has been the bookkeeper for home and away games, run the ball clock and worked the scoreboard. And has done it all for free — for the love of the game.

“I just like sports,” Null said. “I like baseball, basketball. I like it all.”

No matter what the reason, it is evident to the community that Null has a heart and passion for what he does.

“Mike is very dedicated to the basketball program,” said Jeff Saunders, Symmes Valley High School principal, who nominated Null for the award. “He does a tremendous job, and this award is well-deserved.”

Saunders said when he received the memo that the athletic board was taking nominations, he instantly knew he would add Null’s name to the list because of his dedication to the sports’ program.

“I nominated him for his role as the clock keeper,” Saunders said. “But he has coached youth basketball, run the clock and scoreboard for football games. It’s more than just what he does for the basketball team, and I hope he continues for awhile.”

And as long as he is able to, Null said, he will remain on the sidelines at every game.

“I’m going to keep on going until I feel like I’m too slow on the trigger,” Null said.