Smith was friend, fan to everyone in OVC

Published 3:24 am Monday, August 10, 2009

He was a friend and fan among those in Chesapeake, but Grover Smith, known better to everyone as Joe, was just as good of a friend and fan to the entire Ohio Valley Conference.

Joe Smith died last week much too early. The former principal at Chesapeake High School was a key figure in the OVC as the league president. Tanks to Joe’s leadership, the conference grew to become very strong financially.

Joe was always smiling and quick with a handshake when he met someone. But the best thing about Joe was his class. He was old school. Sportsmanship, honesty and integrity were his calling card. And he really cared for the people he worked with and for the students. Joe might have been tough at times, but he was fair.

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Although many of us knew him because of his love for athletics, it never matched the love he had for his children.

I did get to know Joe’s children from covering them in high school, but I really got to know them by talking to Joe. He was so proud of all his children.

Even though he was retired, Joe loved to take in a local ball game. I’ll miss seeing him and getting his insight on academics and athletics.

Joe left his mark on the OVC that will be felt for a long time.

Jamboree Games

The Jamboree games will be held this weekend. The Jamboree game is basically a glorified scrimmage where an admission can be charged. The participating schools pay a combined total of $500 up front to the Ohio High School Athletic Association to cover insurance costs.

Symmes Valley plays at Rock Hill on Friday while Ironton goes to Coal Grove on Saturday. Both games are at 7 p.m. and admission is $5.

–– Sinatra ––

Jim Walker is sports editor of The Ironton Tribune.