Park District opens archery range

From WOOD COUNTY PARK DISTRICT The Wood County Park District introduces its newest park property. The Arrowwood Archery Park grand opening will be Sunday, October 14, 2018 from 1:00 – 3:00 pm. Try your hand at archery and receive a short safety and skills lesson available first-come, first-served. Guests are welcome to bring their own equipment. The new archery range, located at 11126 Linwood Road in Bowling Green, will be open every day of the year from 8:00 am until 30 minutes past sunset. It is a covered, open-air shelter that is free to use. Park visitors bring their own equipment for personal range use. Park programs will provide equipment and instruction. The first public program offered at the Arrowwood Archery Park will be the free Jack-O’-Lantern Open Archery on Saturday, October 27th from 10 am until 12:30 pm. Pumpkins and carving tools are provided to create your jack-o-lantern target. Expert instruction and archery equipment are also provided at this Halloween-themed outdoor recreation program. For more information about the 20 parks and nature preserves in the Wood County Park District system and about the public programs offered, please visit , or call 419-353-1897.  

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Time running out to help BGSU’s Slater Ice Arena earn Hockeyville USA distinction

From SLATER FAMILY ICE ARENA The Slater Family Ice Arena in Bowling Green, OH is making a run for the title of Kraft Hockeyville USA 2018!  The Kraft Hockeyville USA contest is in its fourth season and focuses on the community spirit fostered by participating in the sport of ice hockey, as well as other types of involvement found in ice arenas around the country.  Local arenas participate by initially being nominated by someone from the community. Once nominated, additional community members are encouraged to share their passion for their hometown ice arena through posting stories, pictures, videos, and notes, and include reacting to what has been posted and sharing the content with others. This year’s contest is in the nomination phase until March 10, 2018.  Judging will occur from March 11 – March 16, with the top four finalists being announced on March 31.  The next phase is a national voting period from April 13 at 12:00am ET to April 14 at 11:00am ET. This vote will be open for the entire country to choose the most deserving rink out of the four finalists.  The Grand Prize Winner is scheduled to be announced at an NHL game at 3:00pm ET on April 14. The Grand Prize Winner receives $150,000 in rink upgrades and hosts a future pre-season NHL game. The numerous skaters and fans who have called the Slater Family Ice Arena home for over 50 years strongly believe the local arena embodies the sense of community that is built from the passion of hockey and skating.   The Slater Family Ice Arena is unique in that it is a university ice arena on the campus of Bowling Green State University housing the competitive Division I Falcon Hockey team and activities for BGSU students, while also serving multiple communities through Learn to Skate programs, recreational Public Skates, Youth Hockey, Figure Skating, Adult Hockey, and High School hockey, among others. Winning would help improve the facility for all user groups of the building through updating and adding spaces to allow additional hockey and skating instruction and events, more local high schools to be housed in the arena, and dedicated spaces for women.  In addition, lighting and sound system enhancements are much needed to improve the user experience and save on utility costs. Help the Slater Family Ice Arena share its story with the country by winning the title of Kraft Hockeyville USA 2018! Go to and share an experience or memory directly to the Slater Family Ice Arena page.  To search for the arena use the zip code 43403. Once on the Slater Family Ice Arena Hockeyville page, add a story, photo and/or video, post a note, share the page, and react to content already posted to help the Slater Family Ice Arena win the Kraft Hockeyville USA 2018 title and with it the much needed rink upgrades and a pre-season NHL game!   

Service award helps Mariana Mitova rally support for sports program for kids with special needs

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Receiving the Faculty Senate’s Community Involvement award wasn’t just a boost for Mariana Mitova. It was also a boost for the causes she espouses, especially RallyCap Sports. Mitova, who teaches in Bowling Green State University Apparel Merchandising and Product Development Program, said that in addition to being a personal recognition – “the glass plaque is proudly displayed in my office” – being honored last year has greatly benefited RallyCap Sports. The program, which was founded by alumnus Paul Hooker, offers the chance to be active in sports to young people with special needs. BGSU was the first campus to host the program.  (click for related story.) Mitova is the BGSU chapter advisor, and her son, who is blind, is a participant. Mitova told Faculty Senate Tuesday that her recognition has increased awareness about the program, donations have increased to RallyCap, and more faculty became interested. They then promoted it to other families who may benefit. Her receiving the award is being used by this at national headquarters who are trying to find campus advisors at the 12 other RallyCap locations. Mitova said she used the monetary award to host a dinner for 22 core student volunteers. (More than 1,000 students volunteer putting in more than 5,200 volunteer hours.) Those broader effects, said Mitova, are the reason faculty members should take seriously the calls for nominations. If Associate Dean Mary Murray had not nominated Mitova this would not have happened. She conceded faculty get a lot of emails, and it’s easy to delete them. Mitova said she deleted the first two calls for nominations herself. “Guilty as charged,” she admitted But after being asked to address senate, “I started thinking more about what would have happened if Dr. Murray hit the delete button,” she said. “Instead she took the time to solicit support, write the nomination letter, and submit the nomination package.” That time is valuable, Mitova said. “However, she thought this nomination is worth the time.” In addition to RallyCap, Mitova is also active with the Cocoon Shelter, Victim’s Services, the Giving Store, and other charities. She said the deadline is approaching, and urged her colleagues to act. “I would imagine there is at least one person in your immediate unit, your school or college who deserves to be nominated. I am constantly inspired by the most amazing things people on our campus do. Let’s get them recognized.”

Bubble soccer – blow up suits cushion the blows

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   They are like human bumper cars. But rather than rubber bumpers, they are protected by giant plastic bubbles that surround their bodies from the knees up. The Bowling Green Parks and Recreation Department has human-size plastic bubbles for adults interested in trying out the non-traditional sport of “bubble soccer.” The community center recently hosted a game of bubble soccer for those interested in playing a sport from inside a bubble. The bubbles stay on by the player holding handles at chest height. “It’s almost like a backpack you strap on,” said Kristin Otley, director of the city parks and recreation department. The players’ legs are free to run or kick – unconstrained by the bubble. “So your legs are running around outside the bubble,” explained Ivan Kovacevic, city recreation coordinator. The plastic bubbles pay off during some of the more physical plays. “Some of the hits people take are pretty powerful hits,” Kovacevic said. “But the hits don’t hurt.” However, getting back on their feet can be a struggle for bowled over players. “It’s like being a turtle on its back,” Kovacevic said. “It’s awkward at first.” The protective bubbles do allow competitors to try plays they otherwise might not be brave enough to attempt, especially on an indoor court. Players dive to defend the goal, or throw themselves onto their sides to block a ball – completely cushioned with their bumper bubbles, he said. In addition to being fun, bumper soccer is also great exercise, Otley and Kovacevic agreed. “It’s a fantastic workout. You’re getting a really good workout as you are having fun,” Otley said. “It’s definitely a really good workout,” Kovacevic said. The parks and recreation department is hoping that the bubble soccer can become a regular sport offered at the community center, either for drop-in players, a league or special events. “I’m hoping to see if we can make it into some type of reoccurring program,” Kovacevic said. “We’re really trying to get some type of a league for them,” Otley said. Anyone interested in playing bubble soccer may contact Kovacevic 419-354-6224 or

Disabilities melt away for Ice Frogs hockey team

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Off the ice, they are kids with autism, cerebral palsy or attention deficit disorders. But once they leave the bench, their disabilities melt away and they become part of a team. They are the Black Swamp Ice Frogs, an ice hockey team for players with disabilities. The team makes room for people to play the sport regardless of their abilities. “It’s really neat to watch the kids play,” said Heather Sayler, whose son, Ethan, plays with the Ice Frogs. “It’s making them fit in.” “No one is looking at you and judging you,” said Ethan’s father, Todd Sayler. The Ice Frogs’ current players range from age 4 to 35. Some of the common disabilities are autism, Down syndrome, respiratory problems, physical impairments, cerebral palsy, and attention deficit disorders. The Ice Frogs hockey team was formed in 2012, and has about 15 players. All the teams in their league play no-contact hockey. Sue Kepling’s grandson, Dylan, 18, is non verbal and has 13 disorders. But that doesn’t keep him off the ice. “To see him stand on ice skates, with all his disabilities, is amazing,” Kepling said. But ice hockey is expensive. And ice hockey for kids with disabilities can have crippling costs. The parents are not asked to help with expenses, since that would make it impossible for some of the players to participate. “We want the kids there,” Kepling said. Ice time alone at the BGSU Ice Arena costs the team $2,600 a year. The team has never had new equipment. They started out five years ago with hand-me-downs, and continue trying to make do. It became glaringly obvious last year at a tournament game that the Ice Frogs looked like the rag-tag Bad News Bears of hockey. “We’ve been using used hockey equipment since we started,” Heather Sayler said. Shoelaces are missing from the skates. Pads are falling apart. Helmets are far from the latest technology in protection. Then there’s the unpleasant factor of incredibly sticky equipment, with a mouse nest being found in one of the equipment bags last year. “When we meet other teams, we look like the Bad News Bears on ice skates,” Kepling said. Beyond uniforms and regular gear, there’s the expense of adaptive equipment. One player uses a metal harness system, and some use “walkers” on the ice. Others need special ice walkers that include seats. “Some of our players have physical disabilities that require a special blade on the skates,” said Shannon Anderson, secretary of the Ice Frogs team. During a recent weekly practice at the Ice Arena, the players put on their gear and got on the ice. There was no yelling by coaches, and pucks that didn’t quite make the goal were given a helpful push into the net by BGSU hockey players who were helping out. Making goals is the best part of hockey for Ethan Sayler, 12. “We get to shoot goals. I like doing the dance after we make goals,” Ethan said. “I like working together. I like passing to my friends.” Winning is also big on Ethan’s favorite list – but he’s OK with losing, he added. Winning has a different definition with the Ice Frogs. For Josh Anderson, 8, being a “floater” on the ice is a…

BGSU sports management students to get behind the scenes look at Super Bowl

By PARKER BROWN Submitted by the SPORTS MANAGEMENT ALLIANCE AT BGSU The Sport Management Alliance (SMA) is sending 32 lucky Bowling Green State University (BGSU) students to one of the largest sporting events on the face of the Earth: Super Bowl LII. Come February, they will spend a week in Minneapolis, getting a first-hand glimpse on what it takes to put on such a massive entertainment spectacle. On February 2, 2014, 112.2 million Americans tuned in to watch the Seattle Seahawks defeat the Denver Broncos in a 43 – 8 affair. It remains the last time SMA had student representatives working the Super Bowl until this coming year. But it’s not just the game that matters to SMA and the students. What matters is what the opportunity represents. “This trip provides the opportunity for our members to get experience in the field, build their resumes and network with professionals,” said Courtney Burson, Travel Coordinator for SMA and Junior in the Sport Management program. “Ultimately though, the goal is help them with professional development.” Trips like these are where SMA’s main purpose truly comes to life. The organization is founded on the belief that providing students interested in the sports industry with real life experience and opportunities to pick the brains of executives and employers not only directly benefits the student but gives SMA and BGSU more prestige as well. This aspect goes beyond just the students preparing to graduate, extending to the underclassmen who likely have little to no professional athletic experience in a collegiate or professional environment. Out of the 32 students who will be heading North to Minneapolis in late January, just under half are either freshmen or sophomores at BGSU. Juniors lead the way by overall numbers with 15 attendees, but there are mix of all classes including one graduate student. Some may be getting the opportunity early or late in their college careers, but learning how to come together to put on a sporting event is the underlying theme that unites them all. What better way to get a crash course in event management than watch the professionals do it at one of the largest sporting events in the world? “First off, I think they will realize how tough it is to organize an event like this,” said SMA President and Junior Sport Management major, Brian Lobban. “This is something the Host Committee has been working on for probably over two, three, maybe even four years.” Lobban, who has seen multiple iterations of SMA through his years as a committee member, leader and president, is hopeful the trip will help inspire some to take the industry a little more seriously. “I think the big lesson you can learn is that there are so many things that go into an event,” said Lobban. “When people think of the Super Bowl, it’s not just the game that you see on the field. All these things that lead up to it, like fan events, that people don’t think of but are just as important.” There is one unfortunate side effect in undertaking such an ambitious endeavor: the cost. Sending 32 students to Minnesota for a week is a significant financial burden on SMA. Despite being one of the larger student-run organizations at BGSU, early predictions for attendee cost was…

Family values at the heart of star sport broadcaster Jay Crawford’s life

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The first image Jay Crawford flashed on the student union ballroom screen Tuesday night was one of him on his graduation day in 1987. Here he was in all his 22-year-old finery, gold necklace visible because his shirt collar was unbuttoned, and long locks hanging underneath his mortar board. The image was a fitting introuction to his talk “You Can Get There from Here,” in which he talked about his journey from Bowling Green State University to a tiny TV station in Hazard, Kentucky, and over 30 years all the way to ESPN’s flagship show SportsCenter.  That “really groovy picture of me,” he said, caught him on the first step of his journey. In the talk the Sandusky native offered advice and encouragement to students about how to pursue a career. That photo also introduced an important undercurrent to Crawford’s success story. He was flanked by his parents. “The people on left and right had an undying faith and belief in me,” he said. They worked hard to put him through college debt-free. “It was my job to never let them down,” Crawford said.  “I want my parents to be proud of me. I want them to understand I appreciate the sacrifices they made for me.” Crawford is spending this academic year as an executive in residence in the School of Media and Communications. In April as part of a cost cutting move, ESPN bought out his contract. The terms of his separation agreement with ESPN will keep him from taking another media job until late 2019. This period is his “practice retirement,” he said. Introducing Crawford, Tariel Turner, an undergraduate student, said has been impressed by Crawford’s “ability to listen, and not just listen, to understand and to affirm.” The qualities that allowed him to ascend through sports broadcasting are rooted in the qualities he learned from his family, particularly grit and work ethic. “Work ethic is a choice,” he said. “If you choose to be the first in and the last out and work harder than all your colleagues, you’ll be rewarded. People from this part of the country have it.” With family members sitting in the front row, he talked about his uncle who was a farmer. No one, he said, worked harder or longer. His Auntie Annie raised four kids by herself. The children went on to get master’s degrees. And after having to quit high school to help support her family, she received her high school diploma at 95. “That’s where I come from,” he said. These folks raised children and grandchildren and “put them through college and stressed the importance of education.” Even before Crawford graduated he put in long hours at BGRSO while his classmates were at the Brathaus. His first job was in Hazard, Kentucky. He was a one-man sports operation. He reported and edited his own film, working 60-70 hours a week for $15,000. This kind of job, he said, benefits someone just out of college. “The more you can do, the more valuable you are to your company.” After three years, he moved to Hartford, Connecticut, covering his first professional sports team, the Hartford Whalers. When his two children were born to him and his wife and Falcon Flame, Tracy, he took a job…