Businesses prepare for influx of Athens visitors ... PG 5 The ultimate alumni bucket list ... PG 15 Pierre Kemeni counts his blessings ... PG 23 THURSDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2021
The Homecoming Edition
FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK
Embrace your OU ties during Homecoming as in-person festivities return
ABBY MILLER EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
It’s probably some sort of big, beautiful mistake that I ended up being a Bobcat. I don’t have any family ties to Ohio University, let alone the state of Ohio. I hail from the far suburbs of Chicago, and most of my family lives within an hour radius of me. Both of my parents, my aunt and two of my uncles are graduates of Northern Illinois University, a fellow Mid-American Conference college — and the team that handed Ohio a frustrating loss in its last Homecoming football game before the pandemic began. So, why OU? It’s a question even I didn’t know how to answer at ﬁrst. I had heard the journalism school at OU is one of the best (and I can now conﬁrm that), and I found the brick roads and white-trimmed buildings of Athens utterly charming when I visited campus. Despite all of this, OU didn’t immediately feel like home to me. My freshman year was riddled with homesickness, the double-edged sword of having no familiar faces from my high school class and, at times, feeling like an outsider. Campus never felt so big that it would swallow me, but it wasn’t until I really started to try and embed myself into
the community that OU truly felt like home. The turning point was undoubtedly my ﬁrst Homecoming parade in 2018. At ﬁrst, I didn’t see the hype in waking up before the sun to interact with a bunch of fellow Posties I had only known for a little over a month. The hallowed tradition of the Homecoming parade seemed daunting to a freshman who was still adjusting to her new life and trying to ﬁnd her place in The Post newsroom — and at OU as a whole. I came into the event not yet feeling like enough of a Bobcat or Postie to participate. But standing in the cold for about an hour while waiting for the parade to begin ended up turning into one of the most pivotal experiences of my freshman year. It was beyond exhilarating to march on the bricks with my fellow Posties for the annual Homecoming parade. Between chanting and handing out copies of The Post to the many individuals lining Court Street, I found myself ﬁnally feeling at home. The joy and excitement we all held for The Post hung around us, and the energy on Court Street was electric. It was in that moment that I knew I would be a Postie thick and thin throughout my college career.
Now, three years later as a senior, I could not be more excited to march in my ﬁnal Homecoming parade. I feel beyond lucky that the current situation with the coronavirus pandemic will allow me to participate in one of my favorite activities, and knowing that underclassmen are getting to partake in the tradition for the ﬁrst time adds another layer of excitement. Seeing young Posties feel like they belong at The Post during the festivities is truly a testament to the welcoming nature of OU and what it means to have student outlets like The Post where everyone can feel like their voice is heard and valued. If you told me freshman year of high school that I would end up being a Bobcat, let alone a Postie, I wouldn’t believe you. While OU wasn’t the home I was expecting to fall in love with, I’m forever grateful that Athens is the place I come back to every fall. I can’t wait to be an OU alumna and experience the magic all over again with a new perspective. Abby Miller is a senior studying journalism and political science at Ohio University and the editor-in-chief of The Post. Have questions? Email Abby at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet her @abblawrence. COVER DESIGN BY OLIVIA JUENGER
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Abby Miller MANAGING EDITOR Bre Offenberger DIGITAL MANAGING EDITOR Matthew Geiger EDITORIAL NEWS EDITORS Emma Skidmore, Ryan Maxin ASST. NEWS EDITOR Molly Wilson PROJECTS EDITOR Taylor Burnette SPORTS EDITOR Jack Gleckler ASST. SPORTS EDITOR Eli Feazell CULTURE EDITOR Riley Runnells ASST. CULTURE EDITOR Kayla Bennett OPINION EDITOR Mikayla Rochelle ASST. OPINION EDITOR Hannah Campbell THE BEAT EDITOR Madyson Lewellyn ASST. THE BEAT EDITOR Emma Dollenmayer COPY CHIEF Anna Garnai SLOT EDITORS Anastasia Carter, Ashley Beach, Bekah Bostick, Isabel Nissley ART ART DIRECTOR Mary Berger ASST. ART DIRECTOR Olivia Juenger DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY Nate Swanson PHOTO EDITOR Jesse Jarrold-Grapes DIGITAL WEB DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR Brianna Lender AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT EDITOR Jack Hiltner DIRECTOR OF MULTIMEDIA Noah DeSantis BUSINESS DIRECTOR OF STUDENT MEDIA Andrea Lewis MEDIA SALES Grace Vannan 2 / OCT. 7, 2021
ISSUE 7, VOLUME 112
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The Homecoming Parade returns TRE SPENCER FOR THE POST Numerous Ohio University student organizations will be marching in the Homecoming Parade this year for the ﬁrst time since 2019 and are looking forward to making the return. Last year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, OU Homecoming events were held virtually, according to a previous Post report. This year, Homecoming week will feature both virtual and in-person events — including the parade. Alli Hale, a senior studying nursing and the president of OU Vibrations, had a great experience at the parade in 2019 and has similar expectations for this year’s parade. “When we were in the parade, I guess it was two years ago because of COVID. It was so much fun,” Hale said. “ Everyone was involved, singing, dancing … it was so much fun. This year, I’m hoping that it’s just as fun.” Hale is optimistic for the outcome of this year’s parade and
hopes to garner more attention and new members. “I hope that we have even more people come out,” Hale said. “I’m hoping that we have a bit bigger involvement this year, but I’m really excited. I feel like a lot of people will come out since we didn’t get to have it last year.” Other student organizations such as the Asian-American and Paciﬁc Islander Student Union, or AAPISU, are also preparing for this year’s parade. Megan Rose, a senior studying education and the president of AAPISU, and Jake Boyk, a senior studying communication and integrated media and the vice president of AAPISU, will both be heading the organization’s march in the parade for the ﬁrst time this year because the group was founded in 2021. “I guess the only expectation is just we’re going to have a great time,” Boyk said. “We’re going to go in there with an open mindset, just to really embody the experience and just represent the AAPI community.” Rose also said the organization is going to encourage its members to wear masks during the parade due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “They (Center for Campus Involvement, or CIC) are not allowed to require masks because the state of Ohio says that in outdoor spaces it is not required anymore,” Rose said. “We
can strongly encourage our members to wear masks because that’s what we feel safest with, and that’s what we will be doing for the Homecoming parade. I’m assuming most people are not going to wear masks because the CIC is not requiring it.” The Marching 110 will also be making its appearance at the parade for the ﬁrst time since 2019. The 110 traditionally performs at every Homecoming, and its members are excited to participate again this year. Gregory Sheets II, a senior studying engineering who is part of The Marching 110, is looking forward to this year’s parade. “People are going to be able to sit and enjoy performance from all the units in the parade, and when the 110 comes by, (it’ll) just be that performance and that quality that everyone expects,” Sheets II said. “They’re going to be able to be energized and entertained and really be proud of what Ohio University is producing.” The parade will kick off at 10 a.m. on Saturday at the West Union Street Ofﬁce Center and will take place despite any disruptions from the weather.
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Homecoming Past and Present Students, alumni excited for return of Homecoming 2021
ADDIE HEDGES FOR THE POST While Ohio University is welcoming back Homecoming celebrations after COVID-19 caused their cancelation in 2020, students and alumni are excited for its return. OU has several events planned for the return of Homecoming week, including an in-person parade and virtual events in which students can participate. Due to COVID-19, only OU juniors and seniors have been able to experience a true OU Homecoming. Despite that, underclassmen are excited to participate in the festivities. “(I’ve heard Homecoming) is a really big event that everyone enjoys going to, and it brings the Athens community together,” Brody Pugh, a freshman studying aviation and ﬂight, said. “What I’ve heard has only been good things.” Sam Gentile, a senior studying industrial system engineering, said he will participate in this year’s Homecoming events as much 4 / OCT. 7, 2021
as he can because he sees it as a rite of passage for OU students to take part in the celebration. As COVID-19 continues to spread, the Homecoming Parade, which is held outdoors, has been modiﬁed by the university to allow people to better physically distance, according to a previous Post report. A block was added to the parade route, as it will now end at the intersection of Park Place and University Terrace. Students and alumni will be able to determine if the experience of Homecoming is worth the risk of contracting COVID-19. “I feel like a lot of the time, the people who want to gather close together are already doing it anyway,” Matthew Welday, a sophomore studying mechanical engineering, said. “I feel like the people who attend the parade, who aren’t already doing those activities, are going to take their own precautions.” Pugh and Gentile believe if the advised COVID-19 precautions are followed, then Homecoming should be able to take place
without causing a considerable spike in the infection rate. “I still think that people who aren’t vaccinated should probably avoid doing (activities that could) possibly transmit the virus,” Pugh said. “It can’t get any worse than what it already has been the last couple of weeks with the virus outbreak.” Students are not the only people in the OU community excited to get together for Homecoming weekend. After more than a year of restrictions, alumni are excited to once again be at OU for the festivities. “We heard so many stories of older alumni coming back together, and that was the place where they met was in Athens,” Kyla Burns, a 2004 graduate of OU, said. “That was always the best part of Homecoming — for me — is that everyone was always drawn back there, and they felt the same feelings about this place that I did while I was there.” Homecoming is an opportunity for OU students, past and present, to join together as pieces of the OU community rather than people who have different ideologies or po-
litical views, Burns said. People join together for the love of OU and forget about everything that divide them. Another alumnus, Colton Henson, a 2014 graduate, said the cancelation of Homecoming last year made alumni sympathize with the disappointments many OU students faced during the pandemic. “(The cancelation of Homecoming) was our only insight, as alumni, into the hardships that kids faced on campus being there during the pandemic,” Henson said. After losing a tradition treasured by many in 2020, Burns suggests being as involved in the Homecoming celebration as possible. “If you’ve never been to the parade, get up and go. When your roommates don’t really feel like going, ﬁnd someone that does, or go by yourself and ﬁnd new friends,” Burns said. “One of the greatest things about OU is it’s a small enough town that you’re going to run into someone you know or make a brand new friend.”
Athens Business Prep
A sign reading “Masks Required Inside” stands outside of Brenen’s Coffee Cafe on Court Street. (ZOE CRANFILL | FOR THE POST)
ANNA MILLAR FOR THE POST Athens businesses are not expecting increased issues regarding masking inside their buildings and feel generally prepared for the festivities as Ohio University’s annual Homecoming approaches. According to a previous Post report, Athens business owners have been required to enforce masking within their stores in accordance with the stipulations outlined in the universal mask mandate that was reinstated in August. Eateries such as Brenen’s Coffee Cafe, 38 S. Court St.; Bagel Street Deli, 27 S. Court St.; and Union Street Diner, 70 W. Union St., are currently requiring masking inside and will continue to do so throughout Homecoming weekend. Brenen’s policy requires cus-
tomers to be masked when entering the building, moving around the dining room and when ordering. However, customers are allowed to remove their masks when sitting at tables and eating, Josh Thomas, co-owner of Brenen’s, said. Bagel Street Deli and Union Street Diner have similar policies, with Bagel Street Deli emphasizing masking when ordering especially, Grace Corbin, a worker at Bagel Street, said. “I would say, maybe 20% of customers come in without one (a mask),” Corbin said. “We do address it, ask them to put one on. We provide them if they don’t have them.” Tim Carman, an owner of Union Street Diner, said he has not seen many issues involving customers being unmasked. However, occasionally employees remove their masks in the kitchen due to high heat, Carman said. Carman does not expect Homecoming weekend to increase patronage, due to weekends already putting Union Street Diner at peak patronage throughout the
day. The “busy” time of day may last a little longer, he said, but he feels prepared because the business has already experienced Parents Weekend this semester. Brenen’s is preparing for increased patronage by potentially rearranging and removing some tables in order to create more space between customers, Thomas said. Echoing Carman’s expectations, Thomas does not expect a large uptick in customers, having already experienced Parents Weekend as well this fall. However, Thomas does expect to see a few more customers who do not want to follow Brenen’s masking policy, as he has dealt with a few people previously. “Those (unmasked) people just left when we said, ‘Listen, when you come in the door, you got to have a mask. If you don’t have one, we can provide one,’” Thomas said. “We did have a couple of people that. You could tell they just kind of shrugged their shoulders and said, ‘No thanks,’ and then they just left and went somewhere else.” Corbin said although she does occasion-
ally see customers come in without a mask on, she simply asks them to put a mask on and has yet to have a customer refuse. Given relatively few issues with masking, she is not concerned about an uptick in sickness due to larger crowds. Carman and Thomas are not particularly concerned, either. All Brenen’s employees are vaccinated, Thomas said, so he does not anticipate employees being out due to COVID-19. “I’m personally excited that they’re having the parade again, and I do plan to watch it from a safe distance from others,” Corbin said. “As a business, I would say we’re excited to have a big Homecoming crowd. As weird as it is during these COVID times that we’re still experiencing, I think we’re going to be happy to have a nice weekend of high sales.”
THEPOSTATHENS.COM / 5
Curtis Auto Repair and Towing accused of unreasonable practices; Mike Carey speaks at Athens County Republicans dinner EMMA SKIDMORE NEWS EDITOR Small businesses benefit from in-person festivals
With the return of in-person festivals, such as the recent annual Pawpaw festival, vendors have been grateful for an increase in their sales and the ability to interact with other sellers and customers. More than 60 vendors attended the Pawpaw festival alone, according to the festival’s website. Annabelle Heart, owner of Dumpster Score, a fashion upcycling business, said the Pawpaw festival not only helped sales, but also helped get their name out as well. Heart, who uses they/them pronouns, said selling in-person is their favorite way to sell because it allows for one-on-one conversation about their products. Similar to Dumpster Score, Thistlestitch, founded and run by Micaiah Clouse, works to upcycle clothing and benefits from personal conversation with the buyer. Clouse said her mission is to talk to people about what it means to recycle clothing, and said being there in-person definitely boosts her sales. Clouse also aims to bring awareness to issues such as overconsumption and increase sustainability with her business. She said individuals can take small steps to reduce overconsumption of clothing, such as learning to mend their own clothing. Heart described their mission as ensuring everyone feels safe, comfortable and confident in what they’re wearing on a day-to-day basis. Additionally, Clouse spoke highly of the culture surrounding in-person festivals and the opportunities to meet other sellers.
Students report complaints regarding Curtis Auto Repair and Towing
Two students have recently criticized Curtis Auto Repair and Towing, located at 81 Columbus Road, for wrongful towing and unreasonable practices. Maya Meade, a junior studying journalism, alleged she was wrongfully towed after she left work and discovered her car was missing. Meade, who was parked in the call-to-tow lot behind the Bobcat Fan store, located at 30 N. Court St., was told she had to pay $181 in cash to pick up her car. Meade said she shares the parking space with other store employees, which is paid for by her regional manager. Chloe Workman, a junior studying journalism, recalled her experience with Curtis Towing and said as they were towing her car, she was told she could either pay $45 in cash on the spot to keep it or retrieve it later for a fee of $181. Workman said she was unable to convince the employee to wait for her to get the $45 in cash, and her car was towed. When Meade traveled to the lot to pick up her car, she reported having to wait nearly an hour for an employee to arrive. During her wait, another man arrived alleging he had also been wrongfully towed and asserted neither he nor she would pay the fee. After the Curtis Towing employee arrived back at the lot, Meade said the other man informed the employee they would not pay the fee as they were both parked in spaces paid for by their companies. The man said he would report the vehicles as stolen to the police as they were towed from call-to-tow lots without a call. Meade called the practices of Curtis Towing ‘“sketchy” and questioned how people are able to pay large fees with cash only. Ultimately, Meade was able to successfully contest her fee, but knows others are not so lucky.
Curtis Towing declined to comment on the matter.
Mike Carey speaks at Athens County Republican dinner
Republican congressional candidate for Ohio’s 15th district special election, Mike Carey, spoke Thursday evening at a dinner hosted by the Athens County Republicans. Held at the Shade Community Center, the event also included live music and a silent auction. During his speech, Carey spoke anecdotally about his childhood in rural Ohio and his college education. Carey addressed his frustration with current policies regarding the coal industry, and he spoke in agreement on issues such as former President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall. Carey said there is not only a humanitarian crisis at the nation’s border, but a drug crisis, too. During his speech, Carey explained a motivation behind his campaign is to fight socialism, which he feels is the direction the U.S. is moving in. Additionally, he spoke on COVID-19, rising gas prices, the nation’s pull out of Afghanistan and his opponent, Allison Russo. Carey encouraged college students to vote and advocated for national direction that will allow students to return to the classroom. Brad Kennedy, a senior studying political science and the president of Ohio University’s College Republicans, said he was present at the event in order to increase the visibility of young voters in the conservative party.
Child accidentally calls 911; dogs running loose ANNA MILLAR FOR THE POST
LOCK YOUR DOORS
The Athens County Sheriff’s Office responded to Johnson Road in The Plains in regard to a report of an attempted break-in on a residence. When deputies arrived, they saw no signs of forced entry. Deputies also searched the surrounding area but did not find the suspect.
The sheriff’s office responded to a report of multiple dogs running loose around a residence in Millfield. Previously, the same dogs have been alleged to have attacked other animals. Deputies found the dogs and their owner, and they recommended the owner keep the dogs restrained within their property. The case was referred to the dog warden for a follow-up.
JUST A KIDDO
Deputies responded to a 911 hang-up call located on Glazier Road, according to the sheriff’s office. When they arrived, deputies discovered a small child playing with a phone. They determined there was no emergency and returned
6 / OCT. 7, 2021
WHO LET THE DOGS OUT?
The sheriff’s office received a report of a reckless driver on Ohio Avenue in The Plains. Deputies patrolled the surrounding area but did not make contact with the reported vehicle.
DON’T LIGHT IT ON FIRE, TAKE IT TO THE DUMP
The Plains Fire Department was assisted by deputies from the sheriff’s office when inquiring about trash being illegally burned on a residential property. When the fire department was finished speaking with the resident, deputies returned to patrol.
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Homecoming Arrests ALEX IMWALLE FOR THE POST The Athens Police Department and Ohio University Police Department do not expect a significant increase in arrests over Homecoming weekend but are nonetheless beginning to prepare. Based on past years, APD expects only a 10-20% increase in arrests on Homecoming weekend compared to a typical weekend, Tom Pyle, police chief of APD, said, amounting to around two to four more arrests than usual. “Arrest numbers from Homecoming are way down, as are other crimes in general compared to previous years,” Pyle said in an email. “The height of arrests were probably around 2002-2008.” Pyle attributed that decrease to two factors, including OU’s stricter alcohol consumption policies, Pyle said. Additionally, APD has changed its enforcement philosophy toward partying and drunken behavior to become more strict. “Those two things as a result have had a significant impact on the overall tone of parties and alcohol consumption in the City,” Pyle said in an email. “(There) used to be a larger disparity during peak years. That was when OU had a healthy party school reputation, OU policy was more lenient, and APD had a more hands-off approach to parties and drunken behavior.” While the university did not provide specific details regarding its alcohol policy, it will be enforcing COVID-19 guidelines throughout the weekend for students and visitors. “We’re following all university and city of Athens policy and guidelines, asking our alumni to do that as well,” Erin Essak Kopp, executive director of OU alumni association and assistant vice-president of alumni relations, said. “The OU policy states that all visitors need to wear a mask indoors and outdoors if you’re unvaccinated, so that is the policy.” George Harlow, OUPD captain, said OUPD also does not see a disproportionate spike in arrests during Homecoming. Since there is an increase in campus population during the weekend, the small increase in arrests they see is expected, he said. Despite the spike during Homecoming being rather small, Pyle said APD still takes necessary precautions due to the increase in nightly activity. Pyle said APD prepares for eventful weekends by directing an increase of on-duty staff. However, what has proved to be most successful in influencing behavior is the year-round party and disorderly fo8 / OCT. 7 2021
City of Athens police officers make their way down High Street on horseback bringing order to the string of parties down the road. (NATE SWANSON | DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY)
cused policing, he said. “(Protecting) the public is the main concern,” Pyle said in an email. “Drunk people cause minor issues, but there is inherent danger in drunken behavior so we focus on safety for the weekend.” Harlow said similarly to APD, OUPD plans for the weekend accordingly with its staffing. “Protecting the safety of our community and those who visit is always our top priority and Homecoming weekend is no different,” Harlow said in an email. “Our command officers, myself included, are all involved in planning for Homecoming and we adjust our staffing to meet the needs created by the planned events.”
Pyle acknowledged that increasing the number of on-duty police officers could cause more illegal activity to be addressed, therefore more arrests could be caused. However, he said that the main cause of the small spike is the increase in the number of people out on campus. Ultimately, Harlow said he is not worried about the eventful weekend, as OUPD is prepared to deal with Homecoming and its ensuing festivities. “We have successfully managed Homecoming, and many other busy weekends, over the years and expect this year to be no different,” Harlow said in an email.
Revenue Returns OU, Athens businesses look forward to revenue from Homecoming Weekend 2021 DONOVAN HUNT FOR THE POST Ohio University and Athens local businesses anticipate revenue booms as Homecoming festivities return following COVID-19 restrictions in 2020. The Homecoming football game usually grants the university the most or second-most revenue out of its four home Saturday games, Michael Stephens, senior associate athletic director for OU, said. Stephens believes this year’s game will be similar to what the university has seen in the past because it lifted restrictions for COVID-19 at athletic events. Stephens said from the three Homecoming games before 2020, the university gained $90,000 in 2017, $77,000 in 2018 and $71,200 in 2019 from single-game ticket sales. In addition, OU nets, on average, around $12,000 from concessions and about $3,000 from merchandise at those games. Those kind of numbers are what Stephens anticipates this year. Despite concerns about COVID-19, he said the athletic department does not expect a drop-off because it has not seen one in the first two home games of 2021. OU had an announced crowd of 23,904 fans at Peden Stadium, which has a capacity of 24,000, at its home opener against Syracuse on Sept. 4. “We believe we’re going to have a great crowd, a great game day experience,” Stephens said. “We love having all of our alums back to experience not just our game but everything that happens on Homecoming on campus and in Athens.” To bring those alumni back, the athletic department has advertised the game just like any other year, Stephens said. The university promoted the Homecoming game and festivities to alumni mostly through emails and social media. Due to COVID-19, OU’s football team only played three games in 2020, all without a crowd and against Mid-American Conference opponents. Stephens
said the shortened season caused a significant financial impact. OU reported $447,723 in total revenues from intercollegiate athletics in fiscal year 2020 and $4,495,377 in total intercollegiate athletic revenues during fiscal year 2019. “It’s something that we have worked through, and we’re glad that this year we are able to sell tickets and moving into a budget year where ... the revenue is once again where it was years prior to 2020,” Stephens said. The impact of COVID-19 was also felt
by local businesses when they missed out on Homecoming Weekend 2020. “Last year, we were right in the thick of it,” Mike Carson, owner of Mike’s Dog Shack, 20 S. Court St., said. “The university had a lot of restrictions on big fests and parties and everything. They limited the number of students in one setting. I think it was like eight to 10 people.” Carson described last year’s Homecoming as “tame” and said he expects this year’s festivities to be more “lively.” He said COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings hampered his business because
he did not sell bulk orders to fraternities or other groups throwing Homecoming parties. He believes there will be a drop in people traveling to Athens due to fears of COVID-19 and because he did not see the university promote it as much as in past years. Despite that, Carson said Homecoming weekend will probably be The Shack’s most profitable of the fall after the city of Athens canceled city-sanctioned Halloween festivities. Ben Ziff, manager at Donkey Coffee, 17 W. Washington St., said it will be interesting to see how COVID-19 affects Athens businesses during Homecoming 2021. Ziff said he expects Donkey to be “somewhat busier;” however, he said his expectations could be wrong. “People are so excited to get out and doing things again, and with nobody being able to do anything for Homecoming last year, I think there’s a very real possibility of there being a big influx of people,” Ziff said. Historically, Homecoming is one of Donkey’s ﬁve biggest weekends of the year, Ziff said. He also said he enjoys seeing OU alumni back in town for the events.
ILLUSTRATION BY KATIE BANECK THEPOSTATHENS.COM / 9
‘It’s All Coming Back’ LAUREN SERGE STAFF WRITER The history of Ohio University is all coming back for Homecoming 2021. OU Libraries is hosting a digital and in-person event dedicated to exploring archived materials from yearbooks, newspapers, photographs and more. For over a week now, the virtual version of the exhibit has been accessible and will remain so indefinitely. The in-person version began Oct. 4 and is located on the fourth floor of Alden Library until Oct. 9. The in-person exhibit explores OU’s history in a broader sense, while the virtual exhibit delves specifically into the history of homecoming at OU. The theme for both of this year’s exhibits is “It’s All Coming Back,” which Bill Kimok, OU’s archivists and records manager, conceived as one with many layers. “First of all, when people say, ‘It’s all coming back to me now,’ they are usually remembering something from their past, or at least from the past,” Kimok said in an email. “Both the physical exhibit, with its photographs, posters, handbooks, scrapbooks, yearbooks and student newspapers, and the virtual exhibit, with its narrative and illustrations of Homecoming’s past, are intended to evoke that kind of memory, especially from OHIO alum. Second, since alum will be returning to campus for Homecoming this year after their absence last year, and, since students came back in August, the ‘It’s All Coming Back’ applies to that situation, as well. So the title has a double meaning.” Miriam Nelson, director of the Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections, assisted in the illustrative and constructive components of the exhibits. Nelson said the archives help to evoke a certain emotion from the students and alumni who may view them, adding meaning to the overall theme. “The collections in the University Archives all have this sense of memory to them,” Nelson said in 10 / OCT. 7, 2021
an email. “They are not just impersonal documents, but rather objects that can represent the lived memory of the people who have made Ohio University the amazing place it is.” For several years now, Alden Library has held an in-person display of historical materials that are specifically highlighted during homecoming week. Last year, however, was the first year that a virtual component was added due to the coronavirus pandemic. Kimok described the process for creating the virtual exhibit and reinstating it for this year as well. “We had some really positive feedback for providing that virtual opportunity (last year),” Kimok said in an email. “So, knowing that there would still be people who would be reluctant to return to campus this year, we decided to offer another opportunity for them to reminisce about their own Homecoming memories on campus; this time by telling the stories and showing images of OHIO Homecomings through the decades since the first one in 1919. By doing this, and letting students and alum know that all of the research for the narrative and all of the images used for illustrations came directly from our sources that are already digitized and online for their own use, whether that be academic research or just for taking a trip down memory lane.” Erin Wilson, the digital imaging specialist and lab manager at OU Libraries, was responsible for compiling images digitally for the online exhibit. Wilson said the transition to virtual is widely accepted and will likely become the norm for future exhibits like this one, where a virtual component is available in conjunction with an in-person one. “Since this pandemic, much more emphasis has been placed on virtual engagement opportunities,” Wilson said. “This is a trend that I expect to continue even as in-person events and exhibits return. I think that supplementing them with some kind of virtual presence is a great way to reach a wider audience and create a more lasting product, whereas physical exhibits are only available during a brief window of time. The library’s 2021 Homecoming exhibit will continue to be available for students and alumni to view indefinitely. So, I think that’s how we’re starting to think of exhibits in general, even if they are in person. Ideally, they would have some kind of
Boozeman Koonce and his friend, Chase Deering, look at past Athena Yearbooks and Ohio University Photos in Alden Library for the “It’s All Coming Back” exhibit running Oct. 4-9 on the fourth floor of Alden. (RYAN GRYZBOWSKI | FOR THE POST)
virtual component as well.” Regardless of the virtual component, the in-person exhibit will still be in full swing. Kimok explained the physical structure of the in-person exhibit. “It will consist of a dozen six-foot tables filled and piled with items ... (such as) photographs, handbooks, scrapbooks, yearbooks, student newspapers and other historical items and memorabilia,” Kimok said in an email. “As background, I will erect standing boards that will be full of posters with lots of colors and textures and campus events going as far back as the 1920s representing student activities. The cool thing about the posters is that some are slick and professionally created, and others are magic markers on construction paper — sort of like what one might see on bulletin boards in some of the campus buildings.” During her time creating the exhibit, Wilson said she recognized the true importance of these exhibits is to make observations about the past and how they can influence the present. “It’s a very entertaining read,” Wilson said. “When compiling the images, I was really struck by the fact that while some things never change, and there is a legacy of tradition here, every year and every student body is different, and the university’s Homecoming history is an expression of those unique circumstances.” Nelson said the exhibit’s primary purpose is to allow students to realize the impact they
will ultimately have on the history of the university. “My hope echoes what Bill always says about his work with our students — the exhibit is an opportunity for current and former students to see that they are a part of history as it is being created,” Nelson said in an email. For both versions of the exhibits, Kimok said the significance of viewing these archived materials is to learn about prior generations and continue the traditions that the university has consistently built. “It has been obvious from my research of the history of OHIO Homecoming that right from its origins Homecoming has had at least two major purposes: one, to keep the alumni in touch with — and coming back to — their Alma Mater,” Kimok said in an email. “Continuing alumni interest, enthusiasm and support has always been an important part of the event; two, Homecoming has also always been intended to allow present-day students to learn more about the history that they now will share in common with those alums. We hope that our exhibits will help to keep those important traditions going.”
Staples of Homecoming
Students, alumni prepare to take part in the staples of Homecoming weekend tion also serves as a safe way for viewers to ALEX IMWALLE FOR THE POST
Court Street erupts with excitement as students, alumni and Athens families ﬁll the sidewalk. The sounds of the Marching 110 play over groups of people laughing and planning the rest of their action-packed weekend. This is the exhilarating image of the Homecoming parade, just one of the many highly anticipated traditions of Ohio University’s Homecoming week that will return to campus this semester. The week is packed full of events such as the Yell Like Hell Pep Rally, the Homecoming Parade, the Bobcat Bash, the football game and more. Rebecca Prater, director of alumni engagement, said all Homecoming events are displayed on OU’s website. Prater said many Homecoming events, including the parade, will have online and livestream options available, allowing alumni to participate in classic Homecoming traditions regardless of where they are. “One of the alumni favorites, of course, is the Homecoming Parade, so we wanted to make sure we could bring it to them,” Prater said. Erin Essak Kopp, assistant vice president of alumni relations and executive director of OU’s Alumni Association, said the online op-
watch the parade in accordance with existing COVID-19 protocols on campus. Similarly, the parade will follow an extended route in order to disperse the in-person crowds. “We take everyone’s health and safety very seriously,” Essak Kopp said. “We have worked very hard to plan opportunities that do that.” Greg Sheets II, a senior studying electrical engineering and the ﬁeld commander of the Marching 110, said the performances the 110 puts on, speciﬁcally the football game performance, have a goal of creating a sense of normalcy and comfort for the audience. After more than a year of the pandemic and a year without Homecoming, Sheets II said a lot of people have reason to still feel uneasy in daily life, but the band hopes to relieve that. “(We hope) for at least the eight minutes that we’re on the ﬁeld, (we can) have them forget about their daily lives and just enjoy the performance — that’s the biggest thing,” Sheets II said. Sheets II said Homecoming is very busy for the band. With rehearsals, concerts and performances multiple times a day, Sheets II said the 110 is suited up nearly all weekend. He also said the Homecoming parade and football game will include both the current
Marching 110 and the Alumni Band. He said this is another great way for the band to connect with former members, as they get the chance to perform together. “These big ﬁgures throughout the band’s history show up at the end of practice sometimes to talk to you,” Sheets II said. “It’s interesting hearing the history and knowing that you’re a part of something so much bigger than yourself.” Having the 110 alumni back to perform for the Homecoming game is a favorite aspect of Homecoming weekend for Ashley Saylor, a senior studying nursing. She said it is impactful to see the current 110 playing with all of the alumni, and she loves the atmosphere it creates. Saylor said her favorite event from Homecoming weekend has been tailgating and watching the football game with her friends. Saylor said, like past years, she will carry on the OU tradition of getting up early Saturday morning to prepare for the long day of events ahead. “I love just getting ready with everyone and then just going out,” Saylor said. “When else can you be out at 5 a.m.?” Aside from celebrating, Homecoming has allowed Saylor to meet a lot of new people and alumni as well as be a part of a staple of OU culture. “You can’t really describe it, it’s just the energy,” Saylor said. “Everyone is so happy to be there and so excited to get away from life, just to come back to the little Athens bubble
for a weekend. I really think the alumni is what brings it together.” Sheets II said the 100 has a lot of pressure to achieve a high-energy crowd any time it performs over Homecoming. He said each member of the 110 has a responsibility to do this while also ensuring a high quality performance. “There’s a lot of personal accountability and emphasis on the history we (the 110) have placed,” Sheets II said. “This is obviously the biggest show of the year.” As a senior, Saylor said she is excited to participate in one last Homecoming Week, but she wishes she could have had the experience last year. “Homecoming is one of those weekends you look forward to the whole year,” Saylor said. “You only get four of them … it was just really sad to miss it and not get to see everyone.” However, seeing the energy the alumni have when they return to campus has given Saylor a bright future to look ahead to. “They’re just so excited to be here; it makes me excited to be an alumna,” Saylor said. As an alumna herself, Prater emphasized the signiﬁcance that Homecoming weekend has for alumni returning to campus. “Home is where your heart is, and I think all Bobcats can relate to that,” Prater said. “There’s just something so exciting about getting to be truly where your heart is, and that’s in Athens at Ohio University.”
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Sean Redefer and his son, Elliott, walk along the decorated College Green in Athens, Ohio, on the last day of International Week on Saturday, April 6, 2019. (NATE SWANSON | DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY)
International students, alumni reflect on their time at OU KATIE MILLARD FOR THE POST Sometimes, Athens can feel like the only place in the world, especially during a week like Homecoming. With such a strong sense of home, it can be easy to forget the students here have not lived here their whole lives. In reality, Ohio University students come from all over the world. Thomas Opiyo Okumu is a graduate student studying international developmental studies, and he is originally from Kenya. He said he came to OU for the international development studies program, one only offered at a few universities. He also chose OU because he found the school had a good reputation. “One of the things I used to look at when I was trying to find a university was the ranking of the university, the worldwide ranking,” Opiyo Okumu said. “When I 12 / OCT. 7, 2021
looked at Ohio University in the U.S., it was really a good ranking, around 146 – number 146 out of all the universities in America. And so, to me, it means a lot because it puts me on the map in my country.” Now in Athens, Opiyo Okumu has thrown himself into OU. He is vice president of the African Students’ Union, and he said he has been able to find a sense of belonging through extracurriculars. “The African Students’ Union is a large organization here, and they’re part of the Bobcat community. When I’m here, I feel home,” Opiyo Okumu said. “Coming to Ohio University and finding such an organization makes you feel (like) you are home.” Namrata Jain is an OU alumna who graduated in May 2020 with a master’s in Asian studies. Jain is originally from India, and she was an ally of many student organizations while working with the Indian Student Association and the International
Student Union. She helped to host Diwali and the Holy Nights festivals for students, participated in conferences and helped give food lectures for classes. Jain was heavily involved during her time here, and she is excited to recall it. “Athens was home for four years, so I still miss it,” Jain said. Jain said she felt welcome at OU, listing a number of teachers who were always available to help, which she appreciated. She said she felt many professors went above and beyond the limits of their profession to help her. Coming from tropical India, Jain said she was unprepared for the winter weather and fondly recalled a time a professor helped her adjust. “Professor Julie White actually gave me a parka,” Jain said. “She was like, ‘You will need this. I don’t know if you’ve been in (cold weather).’ But I think that was ex-
tremely heart-warming and such a beautiful welcome.” Tithi Patel, a sophomore studying nursing, said she was born in India as well and, like Opiyo Okumu, has found serenity through her classes and extracurriculars. She advised fellow students, especially international, to get involved wherever possible. “Try to connect as much as you can, like in class or just go and meet new people,” Patel said. “Try to get involved in as many organizations as you can. Try to get in contact with more people.” Omar Kurdi was born in Saudi Arabia and graduated from OU in 2015. He now works as the associate humanitarian affairs officer at the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Kurdi said his time at OU helped him get where he is today. “The different time and people management skills gained through being active on and off campus, in academics and in student life, are skills I still draw upon today,” Kurdi said in an email. Like Jain, he looked back fondly at his time at OU. “The first thing that comes to mind when I think about OU is the intangible atmosphere at the university,” Kurdi said in an email. “It’s a wonderful combination of desire, curiosity, willingness to learn and grow and a bit of stress mixed in during finals week. But also when you think OU, you can’t ignore the tangible feel of college green and all the experiences one has traversing those bricks.” Kurdi said the lessons learned at OU will help students much past their time in Athens, just like they have helped him. “The ‘real-word’ isn’t much different than a classroom, a group project,” Kurdi said in an email. “Working with people to achieve common goals, dealing with conflict and different opinions, challenging our own beliefs – these are all topics that are explored daily at OU.” Jain agreed with Kurdi and said how her education at OU continues to help her today. “I think Ohio prepared me for … anywhere in the world, in the sense that I understand a lot of interpersonal relations because of the kind of exposure that I got at OU,” Jain said. Although Athens is a long way from home, all four students and alumni spoke of the people at OU helping to make them feel settled in a new place. “The very fact that people were very, very nice and very helpful made it so much easier being international here,” Jain said.
OU’s mascot, Rufus the Bobcat, emphasizes university history COLE PATTERSON FOR THE POST The Bobcat has been a relevant face of Ohio University for a long time. Visible on f lags, signs and posters everywhere, OU’s mascot, Rufus the Bobcat, can be compared to the likes of a local celebrity. Many students believe Rufus has been the face of OU for decades, but that’s far from the truth. In fact, Rufus wasn’t created until 2006. The history behind Rufus and the Bobcat mascot is rather complex and something many students don’t know. Alyssa Goodenow, an undecided sophomore, is an example of a student who had no idea of the history behind OU’s beloved mascot. “Honestly, I don’t really know much about the history or really any information about our school’s mascots at all,” Goodenow said. Although Rufus himself may be pretty modern, the iconic Bobcat dates back to 1925. It was a campus-wide contest initiated to help decide on a nickname for OU’s athletic teams that resulted in the introduction of the Bobcat mascot. Before the start of the Bobcat era, there were multiple names used to refer to OU’s sports teams. The introduction of the Bobcat was a big deal, as it finally allowed all sports teams to have the same nickname, bringing a sense of unification to the school. “Often if it was the football team it would be a generic reference to ‘the Ohio University eleven,’ or, ‘the Ohio football men,’ or ‘the grid men’ or ‘grid team’ or even ‘the O men,’” Bill Kimok, archivist and records manager at OU, said in an email. “For baseball similarly the references would be to ‘the Ohio nine.’ Sometimes they were referred to by school colors.” The Bobcat wasn’t just chosen to represent the school simply because it was popular. It was chosen for its reputation as a sly, wily and scrappy animal. Although the university finally had a mascot, it didn’t acquire a name until decades later. For decades, the mascot was simply the Bobcat, and in 1960, “Mr. Bobcat” was created by the men of Lincoln Hall. Unveiled during OU’s Homecoming
of 1960, Mr. Bobcat became the university’s first living mascot. In a vibrant green and white suit, the Campus Affairs Committee made Mr. Bobcat a permanent member of the cheerleader squad, cheering at all football and basketball games. In the early 2000s, it became evident that the current version of the Bobcat mascot and its suit were becoming very outdated. The university decided it was time to initiate a refresher on its mascot. Although preliminary sketches were completed by the university, a contest to choose the new mascot’s name ran from the end of the spring quarter to the first week of the fall quarter in 2006.
OU’s current mascot, Rufus, was officially unveiled at Peden Stadium in 2006. The name Rufus was selected for two significant reasons: the tie to the bobcat species name, Lynx Rufus, and the tie to Rufus Putnam, a former member on OU’s first board of trustees. It is very true the history of OU’s mascot and beloved Bobcat icon is rather lengthy, but even with such a rich past, most students know very little about this history. Some students believe that knowing mascot history is not essential to them. Sam Mader, a freshman studying music production, believes the knowledge of OU’s mascots isn’t needed. “I mean, it just seems more of like a school spirit thing,” Mader said. “I don’t
think it really affects student life.” However, mascots can play a lot of important roles despite some students saying otherwise. Mascots can give a student body a common reference, especially for all the interscholastic athletic teams that represent their school. “It brings students, staff and alumni together in a common bond,” Kimok said in an email. Overall, it can’t be denied that both Rufus and the Bobcat’s image is very well recognized. Although the university’s mascot history is not known by many, it certainly plays a big role in OU’s history.
Rufus leads the Ohio football team onto the field at the start of the Ohio versus Lousiana-Layfette game on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019. (RYAN GRZYBOWSKI | FOR THE POST)
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Why They Call Athens Home KAYLA BENNETT ASST. CULTURE EDITOR The excitement of Ohio University’s Homecoming is here, and so are all the proud alumni. There are many aspects of OU that keep alumni and their families coming back, but the multiple-generation connection to OU is a prominent one in many proud Bobcat families. With the long-awaited festivities ﬁnally here, there is much reminiscing in store, especially for returning alumni. For many, this week is a time to remember the good old days, like walking from class to class through College Green or going out with friends on Court Street. For Eli Burris, an alumnus who graduated in 2016 and is OU’s social media specialist, Homecoming is a time for people to gather and enjoy the familiar sights. Whatever it is, there are stories behind everything for many OU alumni. Burris was the 20th person in his family to become a Bobcat, and he couldn’t be more proud. He’s had many family members in the Marching 110, so he always has to watch their performances along with the football game. “It’s just so different, like you have four years of homecoming in high school, and that’s really geared towards current students like alumni aren’t super involved with high school homecomings,” Burris said. “But Homecoming at OU is all about the alumni.” Burris said when he was a freshman, he didn’t understand the signiﬁcance of Homecoming. That was before he saw how many young adults, grandpar-
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ents and grandchildren were lined up along the streets during the parade all to celebrate OU. Burris said his level of involvement in the university also pushed him to enjoy Homecoming more as a student and alumnus. “I still get emotional when I go and take photos of it now because it’s so cool to see so many generations of people all there for the same reason: celebrating OU together,” Burris said. For some, coming back to Athens is more than a celebration. It’s a reminder of the love they didn’t know they’d ﬁnd. Jeff Dickson, an alumnus who graduated in 1992, met his wife during his time at OU, and now, three out of his ﬁve kids became Bobcats. For Dickson and for many other alumni, one of the most notable facets of OU is the campus. “We’ve always just loved the campus. It’s so beautiful,” Dickson said. “If a family comes up toward the campus, just enjoy this time of year especially. It’s such a beautiful place when the leaves turn.” Dickson said every time he visits OU, it’s no less of a homecoming. He was thankful for the opportunity to go back and visit his kids when they were all there at the same time. “When I go back up there, there’s always alumni there,” Dickson said. “I just feel like I haven’t left.” As for the week of Homecoming, Dickson, like Burris, always enjoyed going to the football games and watching the Marching 110. Along with the current Marching 110, the Alumni Band also provides a performance, giving a refreshing energy to the parade. Burris said watching the Alumni Band gives him chills every time, and it never grows old.
Jada Mitchell, left, and Corey Mullenix, right, watch Squid Game on a blanket on College Green outside of Scripps Hall on Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021. The nursing major and plant biology major, respectfully, enjoy hammocking usually but decided to give their hammocks a break and lay out in the sunlight breaking through the clouds and trees just before sunset. (JESSE JARROLD-GRAPES | PHOTO EDITOR)
Ellen Boll, an alumna who ﬁnished her undergrad in 1988 and graduated with her master’s degree in 1990, agrees with Burris that watching the Alumni Band is a highlight of Homecoming. Boll said she loves campus in the fall and will take any opportunity to go back, which she often does because her son is a current Bobcat. “I just always love going back to Athens. Athens is comfort,” Boll said. “It just doesn’t exist anywhere else.” Boll said she hopes students will learn what it means to “come home” after experiencing Homecoming. Burris, Dickson and Boll all believe a new appreciation for Homecoming comes with graduation. After the absence of Homecoming last year due to the pandemic, it is only hoped the energy and
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excitement for Homecoming will be doubled. “It’s such a different energy around Homecoming weekend, and in Athens, there’s an electric charge in the air,” Burris said. “Even with some other events that have happened, like Welcome Week, I felt an energy that I hadn’t felt in a long time.” For many, this will be their ﬁrst Homecoming experience, and Burris, Dickson and Boll hope students are able to enjoy the week and fall in love with Athens. “It really feels like you’re coming home,” Burris said.
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An OU alumni bucket list for Homecoming 2021 MADYSON LEWELLYN THE BEAT EDITOR Athens is a magical place — there’s no doubting that. There’s a reason why so many students stumble into a ﬁfth year or squeeze in one more semester to elongate their stay: no one wants to leave. When the time eventually comes to pack up your Athens apartment or home for the last time, it’s a pain like no other to leave this Appalachian town. As sad as it can be driving away from Court Street, it’s never your last. Luckily, you have Homecoming to relive all your glory days and a visit each year to look forward to. It’s the crowded time of year that students and faculty welcome back all those who came before us — inviting them back home, even if for a brief weekend. As one of the biggest events of the year, the high attendance and excited energy show just how special Athens has always been. Above all, Homecoming shows how much OU is missed after the party is over, how people are willing to travel any distance if it means coming home again, how your “last time” is never truly the last. Taking place between Oct. 4 and Oct. 9, Homecoming is a time for alumni to relive your years on the bricks. Here’s your bucket list for homecoming weekend:
Walk through College Green
It’s no secret that OU has one of the most beautiful campuses around. Start off the weekend going back to your roots with a stroll through College Green. Bask in the days of walking to the library and having a brief, blissful moment on the Green. As one of the most historic spots on campus, it’s home to three of OU’s oldest buildings: Cutler, McGuffery and Wilson, as well as the Kissing Circle and Templeton-Blackburn Memorial Auditorium. Today, you can see students walking to and from classes, hammocking between the trees or hanging out with friends under the shade. The fall foliage will be simply breathtaking with the Athens leaves showing off all their beauty, making your walk this year all the more memorable. Grab a buddy, and take a walk through the Alumni Class Gateway before hitting the bricks on Court Street.
Go to the football game
After grabbing a coffee from Court Street Coffee or Brenen’s Coffee Cafe, head over to Peden Stadium to watch OU’s Homecoming game against Central Michigan on Oct. 9. Since kick off starts at 3:30 p.m., you have the perfect time to tailgate with all the other alumni in the parking lot beforehand if you so please. Attending the football game makes for a perfectly well-rounded Homecoming experience. Meet alumni from near and far for Gameday and, of course, the Marching 110. Admission for students is free. Admission for the general public is $30 to $40.
Drink a Junction Punch
Nothing says “I’m a well-seasoned alumni” like ordering a Junction Punch from The J Bar. While it’s a drink only the alumni know, it’s still a drink featured on their menu. If you’re lucky, “Pump It Up” by Endo will be playing in the background.
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Loaded with vodka, rum, gin, grenadine and sprite, it’s a concoction that’s sure to bring you a nostalgic buzz. Wash down the Hawaiian Punch ﬂavor with a refreshing Rumple Mintz shot. Don’t ask questions — just order it.
C-Side experience, don’t forget to wash it down with your favorite domestic beer.
Wave to Pumpkin the Cat
Grab a sweatshirt from College BookStore
Unpopular opinion: Pumpkin is more of a OU mascot than Rufus the Bobcat. Over the years, Pumpkin has become the cutest local celebrity that greets visitors and all that pass by the Athens County Board of Elections. In 2013, Athens County Board of Elections Director Debbie Quivey offered to take on Pumpkin as a rescue pet. Since then, the orange kitty has made quite a popular reputation for itself, with an Instagram following of 5,000 and merchandise featuring his face. The Ohio University Athletics even showed the love by changing their proﬁle picture from one with the OU logo to a photo of Pumpkin hissing. There’s no question that Pumpkin is certainly adorable with his bean bag-like build. You can always ﬁnd him sunbathing in the window of the Board of Elections ofﬁce of Court Street.
Get a slice at Courtside Pizza
After all of your activities throughout the long day, you’ll surely be hungry at some point. Visit an old fave to ﬁll up before you head out for the night. During homecoming, the most important things that can make or break your experience is to hydrate and refuel. Grab a big water bottle from Valero gas station and head over to Courtside Pizza for a slice of fresh, hot pizza. If you’re looking to sober up, grab two slices. Surprisingly, the heavy dose of grease will actually help you in the end. For the full
You never can have enough. While you might tell yourself to refrain from the bookstore this year because you “have too many,” just give in and grab the oversized, ribbed pastel OU crewneck. A new sweatshirt from your favorite place is sure to keep you comfy throughout the colder months. There’s sure to at least be a few sales that may catch your eye! If not, grab a $7.77 comfy T-shirt. It’s still a nice momentum to keep in your shirt rotation.
Wrap up your night at Souvlaki’s Mediterranean
You’ll be hungry again, trust us. Court Street might seem small, but between bar hopping and strolling around campus all day, you’re due to be starving once your night ends, or you’ll just be craving some of Athens’ ﬁnest drunk food: Souvlaki’s. Directly behind The J Bar, Souvlaki’s has become a delicacy to all drunk students on their way home from Court Street. Familiar or not, it’s an absolute must, and your night isn’t complete until you take a bite of a cheeseball. Sit in a booth with your friends or family and debrief the night while you wait for your order number to be called; there’s no better feeling than being handed your little greasy brown bag of food. Although you might regret eating it in the morning, it’s always worth it in the moment.
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Ohio University’s Homecoming celebration returns after brief but historic hiatus
livia Christiansen spent Homecoming 2020 with her roommates, cooking brunch and wearing Bobcat gear together in their house. Like many students and alumni, Christiansen, a senior studying strategic communication, greatly missed Ohio University’s Homecoming celebrations when they were made virtual for safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. Though she understood why and was happy to make the sacriﬁce, the day still stood out as a sore spot, and she missed the events with her choir, Ohio Bella Voce, and breakfast with the Public Relations Student Society of America, or PRSSA. She missed the bustling crowds of students and alumni who took over Athens for the Homecoming parade. She exchanged texts with her father, an alumnus, on that day, and hoped for a future in which Homecoming would return to OU. After a year, it will. Both the Homecoming football game and other celebrations were historically canceled in 2020. Homecoming celebrations this year will include the Yell Like Hell Pep Rally on Friday, the Homecoming Parade Saturday morning and the football game against Central Michigan in the afternoon, but the occasion has always been more than just the day’s events. The legacy of gathering Bobcats young and old together dates back as early as 1919, when Ohio University’s newspaper, Green and White, had a section explaining it expected to see a large number of OU alumni at the game against Denison University, according to the It’s All Coming Back exhibit from Bill Kimok, OU’s archivist. 16 / OCT. 7, 2021
TAYLOR BURNETTE PROJECTS EDITOR
Ohio’s Homecoming football game has been played every year since, with notable exceptions in the 1940s, when OU didn’t have enough students to play because of the U.S. Army’s requirement that men in its college training units not partake in collegiate sports. Throughout other times of national struggle, like the fall after students were kicked off campus because of protests against the Vietnam War and a month and a half after the events of 9/11, OU held its Homecoming football game, and students
and alumni alike gathered in Athens to celebrate the school they love. “Perhaps the fact that Homecoming — or Home Coming, as it was spelled then — was introduced and was relatively successful at OU in 1919, smack dab in the middle of the Spanish (Flu) pandemic, was an indication that future Homecomings would be held and be successful in other times of crises,” Kimok said in an email. After a year of built-up feelings and national stress, Homecoming at OU this year serves as a time to join together with
a community that has struggled to safely gather for over a year now. The traditions, some of them done for 100 years, have a signiﬁcance in providing comfort and bonding together the community during tumultuous moments. “In challenging times it seems that Americans, and probably people more broadly, take comfort in maintaining existing customs or generating new ones,” Brian Schoen, a professor of history at OU, said in an email. “When everything seems in ﬂux and there is so much uncertainty, we understandably appreciate activities that remind us of constancy and of better times.” For students like Christiansen, the return of Homecoming is a welcome return of some — but not all — normalcy. “I’m so excited. For the last two-anda-half weeks, it’s all I’ve been able to think about,” Christiansen said. “I know that everyone’s going to be bursting with excitement, and it’s going to be, I think, really special, hopefully, to have a sense of normalcy and be back celebrating OU and cheering on the football team and cheering the 110 and all that good stuff.” In 1946, after the end of World War II, the Homecoming football game against Miami had the greatest attendance the stadium has ever seen, holding 12,236 rowdy fans, as well as the longest Homecoming parade up to that point. Featured in Kimok’s exhibit, the Athena, the title of OU’s yearbook at the time, from 1946 talks about the ﬁrst Homecoming after the war. Although the U.S. isn’t out of the COVID-19 pandemic yet, the ﬁrst Homecoming since the beginning of the pandemic
I think the biggest thing about Homecoming to me has always been, you get to see all these alumni come back in. It just goes to show how special OU is.”
-Olivia Christiansen, a senior studying strategic communication can certainly have a similar energy. Sophomore Katie Wilson, who is studying psychology, said she has heard a lot about Homecoming from her sorority, talking about the events upcoming this year and feeling the excitement in the air from the impending celebrations. “I know last year, for some upperclassmen, missing Homecoming was a big deal, and they really missed out on a lot because it’s been so amazing in years past,” Wilson said. “I’m just happy that we get to participate in events. It’s some sort of normalcy for all of us.” Other organizations have passed on the legacy of Homecoming as well, freshman Jake Burke, who is studying aviation, said. “I just heard that it’s a week-long thing where people just get together, meet everybody on campus,” Burke, a player on the hockey team, said. “This is a welcoming opportunity, a second welcome week, so to speak.” The hockey team has three games during Homecoming week, and Burke said he is especially looking forward to the Homecoming crowd of fans. The hockey team’s alumni are the biggest supporters of the program. “We owe them everything,” Burke said. A fondness for the alumni community of OU graduates spreads across organizations and colleges, with many students looking forward to seeing graduates they knew as students — or even those who left before they got here. For Grant Schroeder, a senior studying engineering technology and management, the highlight of Homecoming weekend is seeing his family, who has been gathering together during OU Homecomings for nearly eight years. He looks forward to celebrating with them again this year after the hiatus. “It makes it more of a family gathering instead of just them visiting me,” Schroeder said. Ashley Wagoner, a junior studying nursing, also has alumni in the family on her dad’s side. Homecoming has been a lifelong event, Wagoner said, with a parent as an alumnus. This year, she is especially looking forward to the parade. “I think it’s a big deal that it’s happening this year, just everyone coming back and you haven’t seen these people in forever,”
Wagoner said. “It’s so good to get out of your house and not be scared because you’re outside.” Garrett DeMoss, a junior studying criminology, remembers the crowds of alumni gathering as early as 3:30 p.m. Friday afternoon when he got out of class, already starting to have a good time. The next day, when he woke up to march in the parade with the Air Force ROTC, he remembered the atmosphere that morning on his way to the meetup point. “I was in transit to the point where we started marching,” DeMoss said. “I remember there were tons of kids still up and about at 6:30 in the morning. It was an insane amount.” Marching behind the band and the cheerleaders in his ﬁrst Homecoming parade, he remembers the excitement of all the people watching from the sidelines. Alumni and students bounced about as they gathered together, and DeMoss recalls meeting a group of Bobcats who returned to be together just to have a good time, years after their time at OU came to a close. This year, DeMoss will be in the parade with the Air Force ROTC again and, afterward, he’ll go to a cookout out toward The Ridges with the same group. Wagoner and Schroeder will be spending the day with their families, enjoying Athens with the people who enjoyed it before them. Burke is looking forward to seeing the cheering crowds at all three hockey matches and said he is thankful he goes to a university where everyone is so willing to socialize and make friends. Wilson is spending the week doing activities with her sorority and is excited to attend her ﬁrst Homecoming football game. Although there won’t be quite as many Homecoming events as in years past with her choir, Christiansen has a concert Friday night with her group, even if it won’t get to host its alumni as it has previously. However, she is excited to go to her last Yell Like Hell Pep Rally as a student, to have breakfast with PRSSA and partake in the weekend’s exciting activities. One of her favorite parts of the weekend is the 110 Alumni Band, made up of graduates of the Marching 110, who march in the parade every year. The sense of community and the joy all of them have while marching
brought Christiansen to tears the ﬁrst time she saw them all marching together, with the older members of the band being just as joyful and youthful as its younger members. The group marching, alongside the thousands of people watching them in their green and white Bobcat attire, represents the broader strength of the Bobcat community for Christiansen. For everyone who leaves here, it’s an important sign that so many return as they’re able. “I think the biggest thing about Homecoming to me has always been, you get to see all these alumni come back in. It just goes to show how special OU is,” Christiansen said. “They have been gone from the school for however many years, but it still holds such a big piece of their heart that they were willing to take time out of their busy lives to come and celebrate for a whole weekend. I think that that really is a testa-
ment to the type of culture we have here.” For those who are too busy to return for the celebrations, Christiansen said she sees them share memories and pictures in their Bobcat gear on social media. However, seeing the crowds on the street while marching in the parade with her choir has given her a stronger understanding of the bond of the OU community. This year, Christiansen is immensely excited to see two of her closest friends who have graduated return for the festivities. However, there is one more thing she’d really like to see this weekend. “I’m hoping we can pull out the win over Central Michigan,” Christiansen said. “That would really be the icing on the cake.”
ILLUSTRATIONS BY MARY BERGER THEPOSTATHENS.COM / 17
Evaluating Ohio’s numbers after its win over Akron ELI FEAZELL ASST. SPORTS EDITOR
fter four weeks of struggling during its nonconference schedule, Ohio earned its first win of the season, 34-17, over Akron on Saturday. The Bobcats put up a much more complete and organized performance against the Zips than they did against
their first four opponents. They drove down the field and scored consistently, contained weapons on the opposing offense and cleaned up many of the avoidable mistakes that originally sent them on a four-game losing streak. Ohio is 1-0 in the Mid-American Conference, which is arguably the
most important stat it has right now. Here were some of the biggest improvements made by Ohio on Saturday and how they gave it its first win of the season:
Ohio found consistency with its run game
In Ohio’s ﬁrst four games, it averaged 141 rushing yards per game on an average of 28.75 carries. Those numbers aren’t low, but when paired with a passing attack that also struggled to get downﬁeld, Ohio wasn’t ﬁnding the end zone. Against the Zips, the Bobcats got off to a quick start with their run game and further embraced it as the game went on. After picking up 163 rushing yards on 20 carries in the ﬁrst half, Ohio’s run game was pushed to the forefront in the ﬁnal two quarters. Ohio had only one passing attempt in the second half next to its 27 rushes and 235 yards. De’Montre Tuggle, Armani Rogers and O’Shaan Allison picked up the majority of Ohio’s yards, with Tuggle leading on a career-high 201 yards and a touchdown. Rogers picked up two rushing touchdowns of his own after taking over as quarterback for the entire second half. The Bobcats went all in on their run game, and it paid off.
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Ohio’s defense shut the gates
Ohio not only found a groove in its run game, but the defense also found a way to stop opposing rushers. Prior to their game against the Zips, the Bobcats allowed an average of 283.5 rushing yards per game. Against Akron, Ohio allowed just 112 yards on the ground, a 56-yard improvement from its second-best performance of the season against Duquesne. Thanks to improved tackling by Ohio’s defense and the shutdown of dual-threat quarterback DJ Irons, Akron didn’t get much done on the ground. Ohio’s defense helped the offense to build a steady lead late in the game. The MAC has plenty of dangerous rushers, including Central Michigan’s Lew Nichols. If Ohio wants to start a win streak in conference play, it will help if its run defense continues to look like it did against Akron.
Strong drives were capitalized on
Ohio had trouble scoring for most of its ﬁrst four games. While much of that came from issues with driving downﬁeld, it didn’t help that Ohio struggled to ﬁnish when just shy of the end zone. The Bobcats had just three red-zone touchdowns prior to their matchup against the Zips, and all three came in their game against Duquesne. Other than those, Ohio made three ﬁeld goals, missed three other ﬁeld goal attempts and fumbled while in the red zone prior to Saturday. Turnovers and missed ﬁeld goals weren’t sufﬁcient when going against a nonconference slate that included Syracuse, Louisiana and Northwestern. Against Akron, Ohio cleaned up its act. It reached the red zone four times Saturday and scored every single time, with two of those scores being touchdowns. It wasn’t perfect, as Ohio was inside the opposing 10-yard line twice and was forced to kick ﬁeld goals. Even still, it’s promising that the Bobcats have found more consistency in their kicking game, avoided turnovers and managed to run up the score.
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Alex Wolff’s journey from equipment manager to safety JACK GLECKLER SPORTS EDITOR Alex Wolff didn’t expect his career with Ohio to extend beyond the equipment room — at least, not initially. The redshirt fifth year has carved himself a spot on Ohio’s roster as a dependable safety for the past four seasons. His stats never top the sheets, but he’s hung with the Bobcats since 2018 and pulled his weight along the way. But before Wolff was a safety for the Bobcats, he was off to the sidelines. Until his sophomore year, Wolff had been one of Ohio’s equipment managers. Before college, Wolff played football for Zane Trace High School, a school just north of Chillicothe with a body of around 400 students. His school wasn’t a hotbed for college recruitment, and he only recalled a handful of his friends that went off to play sports at the collegiate level. He’d never received any offers himself, so he joined Ohio’s equipment staff soon after arriving in Athens as a way to stay close to football. Wolff was content in his role for the first year and a half. He still got to be around the sport he loved, he got along with the Bobcats and he made quick friends with his fellow equipment managers. However, part of him wanted to be on the field again. “I just kind of liked being around the team, players, stuff like that,” Wolff said. ”I was kind of missing playing high school football and being around teammates. I love the equipment staff, I was kind of just missing out with playing football.” So, he figured he’d take a chance. During winter break of his sophomore year, Wolff mulled over whether or not to walk on to Ohio before spring practices began. He still enjoyed the equipment staff, but he missed being on the field. He asked the director of equipment at the time, Matt Morton, if he would be able to come back to work if tryouts didn’t go well. But Morton offered Wolff help and soon got him into contact with Chris Rodgers, Ohio’s then-director of football operations. Before long, Wolff had joined the Bobcats for winter workouts. The adjustments weren’t easy. Wolff hadn’t suited up in two years, and he was put on a separate conditioning regimen to get him eased into the workouts other Ohio players were doing. He even had to catch up on his knowledge of the game. Wolff never delved deep 20 / OCT. 7, 2021
Alex Wolff (10) helps make a stop against Northwestern University at Ryan Field on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021. (JESSE JARROLD-GRAPES | PHOTO EDITOR)
into Ohio’s playbook beforehand, so he had to learn quickly to catch up. “I was equipment, so I didn’t get to see all the X’s and O’s that was going on,” Wolff said. “I just remember it being a little challenging at first to really understand a college playbook and see how things work. But everyone treated me the same. I didn’t have any special treatment.” Was it difficult? Sure, but Wolff’s a quick study. As spring practices came and went, the safety adjusted quickly to college play. Come summer, he got a call. There was a roster spot with his name on it for the 2018 season. His first season was mostly quiet. The safety appeared in six games for Ohio in 2018, making his debut in its 58-42 win over UMass. He still remembers the excitement. “I remember probably kickoff I was a little nervous,” Wolff said. “Since I hadn’t played in, what was it, almost three years since I had played? I wouldn’t say anything
too crazy. Like not too much nerves, but I was looking forward to it.” But the first big moment of his college career came just over a month later, when Ohio blasted Western Michigan 59-14 on Nov. 1, 2018. Midway through the second quarter, Western Michigan wide receiver Jayden Reed fumbled a kick return, and Wolff — in just the third game of his career — recovered the ball on the 11-yard line. Ohio scored two plays later. The fumble recovery may not seem significant, especially in the context of the game itself. Wolff’s recovery was just one of four made by Ohio in that game. It wasn’t a flashy moment, but Ohio defensive coordinator and safeties coach Ron Collins recalled Wolff’s fumble recovery as the redshirt fifth year’s “big break.” “Well he came down the field, and I believe he got blocked,” Collins said. “And he dove over, the ball was on the ground, did a forward roll, grabbed the ball as he was roll-
ing and recovered that fumble. It was awesome. And you’re just like going ‘Man, that is a seriously athletic move.’” That was the moment Wolff was on Ohio’s roster to stay. He’s played in at least three games every year since and recorded a career-high four tackles against Louisiana this season. He’s a far cry from his days as an equipment manager, and he wouldn’t trade the experience he’s had for anything. “I’ve really just enjoyed it,” Wolff said. “Like I said, things I missed was hanging out with the players and being a part of a football team. Everyone pretty much welcomed me with open arms. I have some long-lasting relationships, and I’ve just been grateful and happy that I tried to do it and made the team.”
What to know about Ohio’s Homecoming opponent, Central Michigan ELI FEAZELL ASST. SPORTS EDITOR After beginning its Mid-American Conference schedule with a win, Ohio returns home to Peden Stadium on Saturday for its Homecoming game against Central Michigan. The Bobcats (1-4, 1-0 Mid-American Conference) are coming off their first win of the season, where standout second half performances on both sides of the ball led them to a 34-17 victory over Akron. The Chippewas (2-3, 0-1 MAC) dropped their first conference game to Miami and have had an up-and-down season thus far. They started their season by keeping it close with Power 5 team Missouri and shutting out Robert Morris, but they have lost two of their last three games. Like Akron, Central Michigan was one of three teams Ohio faced off against in its shortened 2020 season. The Chippewas gave the Bobcats their only loss that year. Here’s everything you need to know about Central Michigan ahead of Ohio’s Homecoming game:
All-time series: Central Michigan leads,
Last time they met: Nov. 4, 2020. Cen-
tral Michigan won on its home turf, 30-27. Although entering the break tied, Ohio was outscored 10-7 in the second half. Quarterback Kurtis Rourke and running back De’Montre Tuggle led the Bobcats’ scoring with two touchdowns apiece. Ohio’s defense struggled to contain Central Michigan, allowing quarterback Daniel Richardson to throw for 243 yards and a touchdown. Chippewas running back Kobe Lewis ran for 112 yards and two touchdowns. Central Michigan report: Jim McElwain is in his third year coaching the Chippewas and brings Southeastern Conference experience from his three-year stint with Florida. In his first season with Central Michigan, McElwain took a team that finished 1-11 the previous year and led it to an 8-4 regular season record and MAC championship appearance in 2019. The Chippewas sit near the middle of the MAC in scoring offense and defense. They’re fifth in scoring offense, averaging 27.6 points per game while topping the conference with an average of 460.6 yards per game. They also have the top passing offense in the
MAC, led by quarterbacks Richardson and Jacob Sirmon. Richardson exited Central Michigan’s loss to Miami in the fourth quarter with a shoulder injury, and his status for Saturday is not yet clear. Central Michigan’s depth chart lists either Sirmon or Richardson as the starter against Ohio. While Central Michigan boasts the best rushing defense in the MAC, allowing only 111 yards per game, it also has the worst pass defense in the conference, allowing 291.4 yards per game. The Chippewas have allowed at least 350 passing yards in their last three games, including 400 to LSU and 395 to Florida International.
How Ohio beats Central Michigan:
Saturday may be the day for Ohio to get its pass game back on track. After relying heavily on the run game against Akron, Ohio coach Tim Albin acknowledged in his Monday press
conference that Ohio can’t be as one-dimensional against Central Michigan. He expects to use both quarterbacks, Rourke and Armani Rogers, going forward. Rourke, known for his passing, could see a lot of looks downfield with a healthy Ohio receiving corps. The Bobcats’ defense will have many weapons they need to contain on the opposing offense. Wide receivers Dallas Dixon, JaCorey Sullivan and Kalil Pimpleton all have over 250 receiving yards through five games and will be threats regardless of which quarterback is throwing to them. On the ground, Ohio will have to look out for running back Lew Nichols, who has the second-most rushing yards in the MAC this season with 405. The Bobcats contained the Zips’ run game after struggling in their first four games, and they’ll need to continue their upward trend to get the Chippewas off the field.
Stat to know: Five. That’s how many times
Ohio has lost to Central Michigan since last beating it in 2011. Every loss aside from the one in 2014 was decided by one touchdown or less.
Player to watch: Lew Nichols, running back, No. 7 Nichols was named the 2020 MAC Freshman of the Year and has continued his production into this season. The redshirt freshman has made 85 rushing attempts in five games, 62 more than the running back with the second-most attempts on the team, Myles Bailey. Albin compared Nichols’ physicality to Northwestern running back Evan Hull. If Nichols performs anywhere close to how Hull did in Week 4, the Bobcats will be in for a long Saturday. @ELIFEAZ EF195418@OHIO.EDU THEPOSTATHENS.COM / 21
A look at Ohio’s history with Central Michigan JACK GLECKLER SPORTS EDITOR Ohio will duke it out with Central Michigan for its annual Homecoming game on Saturday. Central Michigan leads the alltime series 26-5-2, and Ohio hasn’t beaten it since 2011. That’s not to say there haven’t been notable moments since the two programs ﬁrst faced off in 1972. The teams have played each other in the Mid-American Conference Championship Game twice, and Ohio rang in Homecoming weekend in 2000 by blowing out Central Michigan 52-3. Here are some of the notable games from Ohio’s all-time series with Central Michigan:
The first time they played Sept. 9, 1972 | Ohio 26, Central Michigan 21
The Bobcats began their 15th season under coach Bill Hess with a 26-21 win over the Chippewas in Peden Stadium. Central Michigan — a Division II program at the time — was still three years out from joining the Mid-American Conference, and Ohio was coming off a less-than-stellar 5-5 record from the season prior. Though Ohio started 1972 with a win, it ended the season with a six-game losing streak and ﬁnished in the basement of the MAC standings.
The last time they played Nov. 4, 2020 | Central Michigan 30, Ohio 27
Ohio’s ﬁrst foray into the dual-quarterback system of Kurtis Rourke and Armani Rogers fell short in its 2020 season opener against Central Michigan. The Bobcats kept
AJ Ouellette carries the ball during Ohio’s Homecoming game against Central Michigan University on Saturday. (BLAKE NISSEN | FOR THE POST)
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pace with the Chippewas through the ﬁrst half, thanks to touchdowns from wide receivers Shane Hooks and Isiah Cox and running back De’Montre Tuggle and entered the break tied 20-20. Tuggle took off on a 93-yard kick return to start Ohio’s second half, but the offensive production ended there. Tuggle fumbled the ball on the next drive, kicker Tristian Vandenberg missed a 45-yard ﬁeld goal attempt and back-to-back punts sealed the Bobcats’ fate. A ﬁnal turnover on downs handed the ball to the Chippewas, who ran out the ﬁnal 28 seconds and secured the win.
Ohio’s largest margin of victory Oct. 21, 2000 | Ohio 52, Central Michigan 3
In their ﬁrst Homecoming game of the 21st century, the Bobcats buried the Chippewas in front of a crowd of 20,836 people. Sure, Central Michigan got on the board ﬁrst when kicker Paul Savich plunked in a 28yard ﬁeld goal on its opening drive. But those three points were all Central Michigan would score. It recorded just 290 total yards and turned the ball over twice. Ohio, on the other hand, stuck to the ground game and let its running backs take the reins. It racked up 444 total rushing yards that day — the third-most in program history. Four different running backs scored a collective six touchdowns, including three from Chad Brinker. Even quarterback Dontrell Jackson got to stretch his legs. Jackson rushed for 141 yards on 10 carries and ran in a touchdown of his own in the second quarter. The victory stands as the last time Ohio has beaten Central Michigan at Peden Stadium.
The Bobcats and Chippewas have faced each other twice in the MAC Championship Game. In their ﬁrst meeting in 2006, the Chippewas snuffed out the Bobcats’ hopes for a MAC title with a 31-10 rout led by quarterback Dan LeFevour’s 314 passing yards and three touchdowns. In 2009, Ohio didn’t fare much better. It rotated between three quarterbacks — Theo Scott, Tettleton and Taylor Price — and scored its only touchdown of the game after wide receiver Terrence McCrae hauled in a 29-yard reception from Price. Ohio went out quietly. Its ﬁnal three drives of the game ended with a missed ﬁeld goal attempt, a punt and a turnover on downs. Central Michigan ran out the clock, and Ohio was cut down at Ford Field once again.
Twenty-one years to the day after Ohio
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The 2009 MAC Championship Game Dec. 4, 2009 | Central Michigan 20, Ohio 10
Ohio’s last win over Central Michigan Nov. 10, 2011 | Ohio 43, Central Michigan 28
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was shellacked by Central Michigan 52-7 at Peden Stadium — its largest margin of defeat in series history — it returned the favor. Led by quarterback Tyler Tettleton’s 230 passing yards on 13 completions and running back Beau Blankenship’s 129 rushing yards, the Bobcats whipped the Chippewas at Kelly/Shorts Stadium. The Bobcats opened the game with touchdowns on their ﬁrst two drives and entered halftime with a slim 17-14 lead. But Ohio wasn’t done. It outscored Central Michigan 26-14 in the second half, highlighted by Blankenship’s two rushing touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Central Michigan was forced into three consecutive three-andouts and was intercepted by cornerback T.J. Carrie in its ﬁnal drive of the third quarter.
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Pierre Kemeni has learned a lesson from his parents’ home country JACK GLECKLER SPORTS EDITOR Pierre Kemeni often counts his blessings. The cornerback finds appreciation in everything Ohio has given him, from its coaching staff down to the training facilities. Now in the second season of his college career, Kemeni is making a small impact on Ohio’s defense. He’s appeared in every game this season and has recorded six tackles. The numbers are low, but Kemeni doesn’t mind. He knows as a redshirt freshman that he still has plenty of room to grow. In fact, he’s grateful that he’s playing at all. That passion to hone his craft hasn’t always been there, but he had an epiphany at the right age for it to take shape. The Milton, Ontario, native is the son of Cameroonian immigrants. His father, Pierre Sr., routinely goes on business trips to Africa, and he owns a cottage back in Cameroon. Those two factors often gave the family good reason to make several visits to see relatives. One of the first things Kemeni recalls
about one of his trips to Cameroon is the hills. Kemeni said the closest approximation to the countryside of the central African country is the stretch of U.S. Route 33 between Athens and Columbus. The foothills of Cameroon sprawled out for miles, and he remembers staying in his father’s cottage in the hills and staring out over a countryside dotted with vast treelines and wide-open fields. But the scenery isn’t what Kemeni took away from his trips. It was the people he met. “The main thing was going over there and seeing how people work with less, you know?” Kemeni said. “If people are over there working with nothing, and I’m over here working with a lot, I have no excuse. And that’s really what it was for me, like, ‘Wow, I’m seeing everybody bust their ass. I’m seeing everybody grind, and they barely even have an office.’” Cameroon is not as economically prosperous as the U.S. and Canada. The GDP per capita of the country was just $1,499.37 in 2020 according to the World Bank, compared to the United States’ GDP per capita of $63,543.58. Despite the economic challenges faced by
Cameroonians, Kemeni says some of the hardest working people were the ones he met while on his family’s trips. “You go over there, they don’t have Mercedes, they don’t have iPhones, but they’re happy because that’s what they love to do,” Kemeni said. “I can’t wake up and be mad because a lot of people don’t have this opportunity, and my cousins and families that are over there that are waking up the same time as me, doing things even harder, are smiling harder than I am.” The family trips stuck with Kemeni. He kept those images in his mind as he began playing high school football for Clarkson Football North, a football prep program based less than 20 miles from Milton. The memories stuck with him when he committed to Ohio in 2019, and he still hangs on to them today. Kemeni still visits Africa on occasion. In fact, he and his father returned from a trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo before Kemeni was set to report to Athens for Ohio’s fall camp. Now that he’s older, the trips hold more meaning for Kemeni.
“I’ve been to Africa a few times, but me as a 19-year-old is different than me going as a 12-year-old,” Kemeni said. “I was able to experience a lot of things and understand a lot of things I didn’t understand younger. So the Africa trip was amazing, and then heading into camp, it was perfect.” Now, Kemeni reminds himself to be grateful for what he has. He’s a redshirt freshman, and he’s got years of football ahead of him. When Ohio’s fall camp began, he’d sometimes grunt and groan over the 6 a.m. wakeups and the practices in the summer heat. But then he’d remember the people he met on his trips to Cameroon, and the complaints wash away.
Pierre Kemeni (7) prepares to reset after Northwestern runs the football during the game at Ryan Field on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021. (JESSE JARROLD-GRAPES | PHOTO EDITOR)
THEPOSTATHENS.COM / 23
Keegan Wilburn is proud of his sneaker collection ELI FEAZELL ASST. SPORTS EDITOR Around the time Keegan Wilburn was in the fourth grade, he began to notice other kids at his school had begun wearing one of the most sought after shoe brands on the market — Air Jordans. At the time, Wilburn wasn’t well-versed in the world of sneakers, and he still wore Skechers to school. However, he decided he wanted Jordans of his own to show off. He convinced his dad to buy him his first pair — orange Jordans with a white Jumpman — and took them to school soon after. His classmates’ reactions weren’t what he expected. “Everybody was like, ‘Oh, your Jordans are fake! Your Jordans are fake!’” Wilburn said. “It was crazy, but I had gotten them from Finish Line, I knew they weren’t fake.” From then on, Wilburn took it upon himself to have the coolest shoes he could get his hands on. He began collecting sneakers and even began reselling certain pairs to afford new ones. He had gained a new hobby in maintaining his shoe stocks. By the time he was in high school,
he had even set up a large display for his collection at his mother’s house. Collecting sneakers didn’t always come smoothly, however. As it is for most kids growing up, there wasn’t always spare money at Wilburn’s disposal. This sometimes made it difficult to keep adding to his collection, as certain pairs can retail for over $100. The high price tags were what encouraged Wilburn to begin reselling some of his shoes in the first place. The extra cash could help him afford him new pairs. The price tags weren’t the only reason Wilburn’s collecting hobby slowed down. As his high-school football career winded down and he committed to Ohio in 2019, his focus shifted toward preparing for college. It wasn’t until he was settled in Athens that he again found time to dive into his favorite hobby. “I definitely got back into it,” Wilburn said. “Made me feel like a little kid again.” Wilburn estimates that his collection has grown to somewhere between 80-90 pairs of sneakers. It’s gotten so big that he had to store some of them at his mom’s house due to the need for space.
Even though he can’t store it in one place, Wilburn’s collection is still growing. Some of the pairs he buys aren’t even available in stores. He has to track them down. “There’s pairs that you just can’t get,” Wilburn said. “They’re hard to find. There might be only so many pairs, so it’s almost like a little game in itself.” One of Wilburn’s current favorites, a rare pair of LeBron 9 Big Bangs that he hunted for years, were promotion samples that he obtained directly from the factory. He also owns a pair of cleats that professional kicker Dan Bailey wore during the 2011 NFL Combine. Wilburn admits to trying on Bailey’s cleats, although he hasn’t kicked in them yet. In some cases, buying and trading in the shoe market can be a multi-day experience. Some of Wilburn’s favorite memories stem from traveling with friends to cities like Cleveland or Chicago for shoe conventions and events. Wilburn has gone to conventions such as Sneaker Con, an event that has hosted over one million attendees and has been held in over 40 cities since its founding in 2009. At events like Sneaker Con, Wilburn was able to buy, sell and trade sneakers with independent vendors. He even remembers one trip when he and one of his friends, who now own a shoe store in Columbus, traveled to Chicago for a convention and set up a table of their own to manage. After years of collecting and with dozens of pairs of sneakers to his name, Wilburn believes that he owns not only one of the best collections among the Bobcats, but one of the best in the Mid-American Conference. “I might have the best shoe game in the MAC,” Wilburn said. He’s confident he’s up there with some of the best shoe collectors in the country, and the pairs he owns are a testament to his enthusiasm. After first being accused of bringing fake Air Jordans to school, no one can doubt Wilburn now.
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Upperclassmen take on Homecoming weekend MIKAYLA ROCHELLE is a graduate student studying public administration at Ohio University Homecoming is one of the best weekends in Athens. Student organizations come together to celebrate the work they have done thus far, and it’s always a great way to socially connect the new members of the organization to the current members as well as the alumni. My freshman year, Homecoming was the first social event I participated in with The Post. Before this, I felt intimidated by the upperclassmen because I didn’t know them. Now that I’m the upperclassman, I know that was unwarranted but understandable considering all of the feelings of freshman year. It’s unfortunate that Homecoming 2020 was just one of the many things that the pandemic took away from us, but we should be happy and thankful that Homecoming 2021 is back full-swing. Homecoming is a transformative weekend for new students. For me, Homecoming was the first time I truly felt like a bobcat. Knowing that even years after you leave, Athens and Ohio University are still home, is an indescribable feeling. One of the drawing factors that OU often touts for why it’s a good idea to go here is the strong and supportive alumni network that students get to be part of after they graduate. Homecoming makes it clear that this is true. Bobcats look out for bobcats, because this school creates a bond that lasts a lifetime.
As my role at The Post has transitioned from scared first year to confident fourth year, I have truly taken that to heart: bobcats look out for bobcats. I have felt this at The Post, in classes, and simply when I’m out on the town enjoying my weekends. We all look out for one another. All bobcats know, current and alumni, that there really is something special about this town and these bricks; OU is a special place, and it will always hold an incredibly special spot in my heart. This is my final Homecoming as a student. It’s likely going to be an emotional weekend for me and fellow students who are also experiencing their last student Homecoming, but we do have something to look forward to. I can’t wait to come back and experience this town as an alumna. It will of course feel different, and each year that I make it back, I will likely notice little changes here and there that have occurred since my time as a student. Changes in businesses on Court Street, renovations to buildings and – years down the line – changes in fashion trends. But I know one thing will always remain: the bricks, the bobcat family and the spirit of OU and Athens. Mikayla Rochelle is a graduate student studying public administration at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. What are your thoughts? Tell Mikayla by tweeting her at @mikayla_roch.
THEPOSTATHENS.COM / 25
Upperclassmen take on Homecoming weekend HANNAH CAMPBELL is a sophomore studying journalism at Ohio University Homecoming week is finally here, and now more than ever do Bobcats need a little cheer. The stress of midterms, the spread of the “Athens plague” and the overall chaos of college have everyone looking forward to this monumental celebration. As a sophomore, I missed out on so many important events last year, including Homecoming weekend. If you’re like me, it definitely makes you feel like a freshman again. With so many underclassmen who, like me, are experiencing this tradition for the first time, I decided to ask upperclassmen their favorite memories and tips for surviving the weekend. Kearsten Miller, a senior studying music education and vocal performance, will be marching in this year’s parade with the co-ed fraternity Alpha Psi Lambda. She said her favorite memory from past Homecomings is interacting with alumni from her fraternity. Miller also said she feels a sense of community beyond her student organizations during Homecoming. “Homecoming has also given me a sense of community
because so many different groups are coming together to make these events even possible,” Miller said. Unlike Miller, Riley Denney, a junior studying early childhood education, has never marched in the parade. However, she said it was her favorite memory during freshman year when she watched it for the first time. “It was so cool to see all of the different student organizations take part in it and get everyone on campus hyped for Homecoming,” Denney said. “Homecoming weekend is my favorite weekend of the year at OU.” Despite the city’s Halloween block party being canceled due to an increase in COVID-19 cases, Homecoming celebrations still seem to be taking place as normal with no significant adjustments being made. Miller said this year’s parade will be closer to past ones despite COVID-19 concerns. “I do think the attempt of having a more normal homecoming this year is the main focus and plan, but I am not sure how safe that will truly be,” Miller said. “Most Homecoming events are held outside, so that helps with the air circulating. Since the events are throughout this week, there is not much room anymore for change, so I think it will be as close to normal as they can get it.” Denney said she’s thrilled for the upcoming events and hopes it will be as close to past years’ weekends as possible. “I do think Homecoming will be as normal as possible this year, thankfully,” Denney said. “I’m super excited to hear that all of the normal activities are happening, such as the pep
rally with the band and the parade. Homecoming is such an exciting weekend, and I can’t wait for the underclassman to get to experience it this year.” Homecoming weekend can be intense, especially for underclassmen who have never experienced it before. Miller said the best tip for surviving the weekend is to not drain your energy by participating in too many activities in one day. “There will be an entire weekend of events, so you do not need to give all of your energy to one,” Miller said. “Also, take this time to sleep in when you can. Most events go almost all day, so you do not need to get there right when it starts.” Denney said the best way to get through the hectic weekend is to drink water, get some rest and enjoy the celebration. “Soak up every minute because it goes so fast and soon enough it will be your last OU Homecoming,” Denney said. Many students are upset about what COVID-19 has taken away, like Halloween Weekend. We should, however, appreciate that we can still celebrate this tradition. It’s especially important for underclassmen to participate since we already missed out on many other important events. So, get ready Bobcats, because this Homecoming will definitely be one to remember. Hannah Campbell is a sophomore studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnist do not reflect those of The Post. Do you agree? Tell Hannah by tweeting her at @hannahcmpbell.
TUNES WITH TATE
My parents rank their favorite OU Homecoming Weekend tunes from the 90’s TATE RAUB is a sophomore studying strategic communication at Ohio University For anyone new to Tunes with Tate, my parents are both Ohio University alumni. My mom started her college career at the Chillicothe branch campus her first year in 1991 and transferred to the main campus her sophomore year. She was an elementary education major and graduated in 1995. My dad went to school in the Athens City School District from fifth grade through high school. He became a mechanical engineering major when he started college at OU in 1991 and graduated in 1996. As homecoming week kicks off, it seems fitting to take a musical time machine back to their years at OU from 1991 to 1996. As will be made clear after reading both of my parents’ rankings, Pearl Jam is a top favorite. Eddie Vedder can frequently be heard in the house, tracks from Ten in particular. My mom’s favorites stay within 90s grunge alternative rock for the most part: 10,000 Maniacs and Toad the Wet Sprocket for example, and she actually saw them both live at Memorial Auditorium. My dad’s favorites definitely don’t exclude the alternative rock genre, but they include more heavy metal and 80s rock ‘n’ roll. Without further ado, here are my parents’ rankings of their favorite homecoming tunes from when they were in college: 26 / OCT. 7, 2021
My mom’s favorite tunes, in no particular order
My dad’s favorite tunes, in no particular order
My mom’s top 10 songs from the above list:
It’s interesting to see how music has evolved since the 1990’s, especially when it comes to the college experience. However, whether you’re blasting Mac Miller, Lil Nas X and Glass Animals or Soundgarden, R.E.M. and Metallica, OU Homecoming weekends will still be among Bobcats’ most fond memories from their time on campus.
Ten, Pearl Jam Mama Said, Lenny Kravitz “Give It Away,” The Red Hot Chili Peppers “Jump Around,” House of Pain “These Are Days,” 10,000 Maniacs (saw it at MemAud) “State of Love and Trust,” Pearl Jam “Walk on the Ocean,” Toad the Wet Sprocket (saw it at MemAud) “Breath,” Pearl Jam “Would?” Alice in Chains “Green Onions,” Booker T. and the M.G.s “Sabotage,” Beastie Boys “When I Come Around,” Green Day “But Anyway,” Blues Traveler “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (and I feel fine),” R.E.M. 10. “It Ain’t Over Til It’s Over,” Lenny Kravitz 9. “These Are Days,” 10,000 Maniacs 8. “Walk on the Ocean,” Toad the Wet Sprocket 7. “Jump Around,” House of Pain 6. “Green Onions,” Booker T. and the M.G.s 5. “Give It Away,” Red Hot Chilli Peppers 4. “It’s the End of the World As We Know It (and I feel fine),” R.E.M. 3. “Even Flow,” Pearl Jam 2. “State of Love and Trust,” Pearl Jam 1. “Breath,” Pearl Jam
“Nearly Lost You,” Screaming Trees Temple of the Dog, Temple of the Dog (arguably my favorite album of all time, no pick) “It Ain’t Like That,” Alice in Chains “Bad Luck,” Social Distortion “Crackerman,” Stone Temple Pilots “Fade to Black,” Metallica “Alive,” Pearl Jam “Slaves and Bulldozers,” Soundgarden “Pretend We’re Dead,” L7 “All Over You,” Live “Ramble On,” Led Zeppelin “Give it Away,” Red Hot Chili Peppers “Dip Dip Divin,” Justin Warfield “Thunder Kiss ‘65,” White Zombie “So What’cha Want,” Beastie Boys
Tate Raub is a sophomore studying strategic communication at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk more about it? Let Tate know by tweeting her @ tatertot1310.
2021 HOMECOMING SCHEDULE
Tue. Oct. 5 7 PM | YARD GAMES, MOVIE NIGHT, OHIO TRIVIA on South Green
Thu. Oct. 7 7 PM | YELL LIKE HELL PEP RALLY on College Green
Sat. Oct. 9 7 AM | HOMECOMING 5K at the Golf & Tennis Center
10 AM | PARADE along Union and Court St.
12:30 AM | TAILGATE at Pepsi Tailgreat Park
3:30 AM | OHIO V. CENTRAL MICHIGAN at Peden Stadium
Mars is in Libra during the middle of the week. This directly impacts your house of vehicles and transportation. Be careful parking on campus during this week’s festivities; you don’t want to end up getting a ticket! Ring in Homecoming with Big Mamma’s Burritos. Not only will it ﬁll you up and keep you energized for the busy weekend, but it’s also right next to the Athens parking garage.
Virgo (August 23- September 22): Red Brick
ILLUSTRATION BY KATIE BANECK
Homecoming Horoscope HANNAH CAMPBELL ASST. OPINION EDITOR Homecoming Week is ﬁnally upon us, and the celebrations are just beginning. With this weekend bringing the community together, let’s celebrate what it means to be a Bobcat. Whether it’s ringing in kegs and eggs at a house party or getting a morning pick-me-up at Donkey Coffee, here is where you should celebrate Homecoming weekend, based on your horoscope:
Aries (March 21- April 19): North End
The new moon moves into Libra this week on Wednesday, which could mean a chance for you to re-evaluate your love life. Take this newfound energy and channel it into that special someone you’re interested in. Celebrate at North End! Aries are known for being social, and there’s no better place to do so than at one of the most social bars and restaurants. Start the celebration with a margarita pitcher that’s easily split between you and whoever that special someone is.
Taurus (April 20- May 20): Bagel Street Deli
Before you can celebrate, you must take this week to grind on work as the Libra sun is in conjunction with Mars starting early this week. Whether it’s just a discussion post or a full-blown midterm, make sure to ﬁnish your work so you can enjoy all the festivities.
28 / OCT. 7, 2021
Carb-load this weekend at Bagel Street. Not only is it a great treat after all of that hard work, but you also want to make sure you’re not celebrating too hard on an empty stomach.
Gemini (May 21-June 21): Donkey Coffee
Venus enters your romance sector on Thursday, perfect for some one-on-one encounters this weekend. Homecoming brings so many people together, so be open to the idea of meeting someone during this time. This weekend can deﬁnitely be exhausting. Before you go out and celebrate, grab a coffee at Donkey with someone you’re interested in. It will wake you up and give you the opportunity to sit and get to know a new potential partner.
Cancer (June 22- July 22): Fluff Bakery
After the stress of midterms during Homecoming week, make sure to take some self-care time this week. It can be doing a face mask, meditation or even indulging in some Athens cuisine that helps you keep a balanced mindset before heading into the weekend. During this needed time of self-care, take home a sweet treat from Fluff Bakery. With so many delicious options for fall, the difﬁculty will be picking just one treat to buy.
Leo (July 23- August 22): Big Mamma’s Burritos
This week brings about concerns in your ﬁnancial sector. Before going on a spending frenzy this weekend, reﬂect on your past ﬁnancial decisions. You don’t have to break the bank to have a good time with friends. With cheap drink deals, celebrating Homecoming doesn’t have to hurt your wallet. Try spending some time at Red Brick and see how you can still have fun and save money.
Libra (September 23- October 23): Lucky’s Sports Tavern
With Mercury still in retrograde this month, your own sign being in Libra means fun and adventure in your future. Enjoy this week as a break away from the stress of college, as we didn’t get to last year because of COVID-19. Just remember to not have too much fun and enjoy it responsibly if you’re of age. Lucky’s may be an older favorite compared to other bars, but it’s still a fun place to spend Homecoming with friends and past alumni. Take a chance and try a new place. It might just become your new hangout spot.
Scorpio (October 24- November 21): Court Street Coffee
Mercury retrograde in Libra will hit your house of intuition hard this week, Scorpio. Take time for yourself before celebrating this weekend so you don’t get tired too quickly. The weekend can be a lot for some people, and this should be a positive experience for everyone involved. Make sure to hit Court Street Coffee this week for a quick pick-me-up in-between activities. With all of the events such as the parade and the football game, you’re deﬁnitely going to need it.
Sagittarius (November 22- December 21): Stephen’s On Court
Saturday’s Sun-Mercury conjunction in Libra will reunite you to celebrate with past friends. Call up an old friend from class or even an alumni that may be coming up to campus to visit for the weekend. Homecoming is the best time to bring people together. Stephen’s is where you’ll meet some fun alumni, while still managing to stay
trendy with current college students. Grab a mimosa on Saturday and ring in the festivities with both old and new friends.
Capricorn (December 22- January 19): El Tenampa
With Mars in Libra starting on Wednesday, your house of risk-taking is directly impacted. Spend Homecoming trying a new bar, a new restaurant or just a new food choice on your favorite’s menu. While Homecoming is about tradition, the best part about it is that you can create new ones. El Tenampa is the perfect way to try something new on Court Street this weekend. Full of delicious menu options, El Tenampa is a great place to start a new tradition with close friends while celebrating old ones.
Aquarius (January 20- February 18): Jackie O’s
Wednesday’s New Moon in Libra encourages you to set your intentions and manifest them throughout the week. Whatever they may be, bring this positive energy into the week’s celebration to truly experience the community and belonging that Homecoming can bring. While you may be on-the-go this weekend, stop and sit down in Jackie O’s. It’s a community favorite, and it supports community partners, further encouraging this sense of togetherness. Homecoming is about spending time with the people in your community, and there is no better way to do that than over a nice meal.
Pisces (February 19- March 20): The Pub
Venus enters your career zone on Thursday, which could mean making future connections to help your future. With past alumni coming down to celebrate, take the time to ﬁnd one who you can look up to and speak with them on your goals and future plans. Bobcats always help Bobcats. So many alumni come back and visit The Pub on their visit back to Athens. Come here and you’ll be sure to connect with someone you can relate to while sharing a drink and a laugh.
Homecoming Survival Guide JULIANA COLANT FOR THE POST
gle. Being dehydrated leads to headaches and feeling dizzy, which no one enjoys.
Surviving homecoming can be a challenging feat, but not if done the right way. Homecoming is basically a weekend whirlwind of celebrating school spirit, ongoing events and no sleep. Homecoming weekend puts stamina to the test and, above all, creates lifelong memories. Following these tips will have you not just surviving the upcoming weekend, but also thriving.
Among all the beverages being consumed on Homecoming, water is the most essential. Try carrying around a water bottle so it’s always on hand, or try switching up your drink order by adding a glass of water. Dehydration can take a toll, and when you’re not feeling your best, surviving the day can be a strug-
If preparing for a long day ahead after an even longer night, lean on caffeine. People looking for an energy boost between the festivities and the football game should swing by a local coffee shop. If coffee isn’t your thing, or it’s too late in the day, grab an energy drink from a gas station or grocery store. It’s not healthy to depend on caffeine constantly, but Homecoming is a special occasion where it comes in handy.
GET AHEAD ON HOMEWORK
Get ahead instead of waiting until the last minute to turn in those assignments due Sunday at midnight. Plan ahead of time the week before and turn in all weekend assignments before Saturday. The quality of work is
bound to turn out better if done in advance rather than rushing to turn something in on Sunday morning. To help make homework more fun, get a group of friends together and have a study session during the week so everyone is prepared by the time Friday rolls around. Homecoming weekend is meant to be a time to relax and have fun with friends — not a time to stress about looming deadlines or ﬁnishing homework.
Practicing self-care is an essential aspect of everyday life, so don’t let it slip as a priority during Homecoming weekend. Make sure to get plenty of sleep the week prior. The National Sleep Foundation suggests healthy adults get 7-9 hours of sleep a night. Calm your puffy eyes and dark circles with cooling eye gel pads from somewhere like Amazon. Touch up under-eye bags with concealer.
Lastly, don’t forget your skin-care routine, even if it’s only taking off your makeup and washing your face.
DON’T FORGET TO EAT
Among all the commotion and chaos of Homecoming, it’s easy to forget to eat. Take a moment to recharge, whether it’s a quick slice of pizza or a sit-down meal. Eating helps absorb the alcohol in your system and will help you continue on after screaming the whole football game. If near Court Street, places like Souvlaki’s or Goodfella’s make a good food pit stop. Broney’s Alumni Grill or The Pigskin are good sit-down eats.
ILLUSTRATION BY OLIVIA JUENGER THEPOSTATHENS.COM / 29
the weekender ‘Radium Girls’ play highlights current issues through artistic, historical lens ISABEL NISSELY SLOT EDITOR
The ABC Players are performing Radium Girls at Stuart’s Opera House from Oct. 7 until Oct. 9 at 7:30 p.m., and on Oct. 10 at 2 p.m. The show’s cast is composed of nine actors who tell the story of a factory producing radium-painted watches, its workers, their boss, health concerns and the cost of productivity in the 1920s. Though the play revolves around events that occurred a century ago, many of the ABC Players involved in the production feel that the play’s themes remain relevant today. “There’s the whole issue of corporate liability,” Celeste Parsons, director of Radium Girls, said. “There’s the issue of workers’ complaints (not) being taken seriously, especially when they are complaints made by female workers. There’s the rise of the consumer movement. There are a lot of parallels in this day and age.” The actors must navigate those conflicts as dynamic, nuanced characters. Joe Balding plays Mr. Roeder, the factory owner in Radium Girls. Mr. Roeder is forced to weigh the success of his operation against the human and environmental costs. Acting as both a financially-focused factory owner and a private individual with moral prerogatives, Mr. Roeder’s inner conflict reflects concerns that Balding possesses about the world today. “People are destroying our planet, and we need to really make noise about that,” Balding said. “Money is not going to sustain life. It’s always about, ‘Well, it’d be too expensive, and it would be this, and it would be that.’ But if we continue, it’s not going to matter because we won’t be alive.” Balding, whose sole role is Mr. Roeder, is one of the two Radium Girls cast members who portray a singular character. The other seven actors have upward of five roles each. The ensemble approach that Parsons took to organizing the production creates variety in the viewing experience and an opportunity for everyone to get a lot of time onstage. However, having many roles also created unique challenges for the actors. Crystal Bew acts as five different characters in the production, ranging from a widow to Marie Curie. She initially struggled with switching between such diverse characters, but she has grown more comfortable in doing so as she has begun to see aspects of herself in a few of the characters. “Some of the characters I can relate to, like I’m a mom and a wife, so I relate to the Mrs. Roeder character,” Bew said. “The characters that I can put myself into a little more, it’s easier to get into those characters.” ABC Players have had to adapt the way its members re30 / OCT. 7, 2021
Stuart’s Opera House in Nelsonville, Ohio. (JESSE JARROLD-GRAPES | PHOTO EDITOR)
hearse because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The actors have been practicing with masks on until just recently, when dress rehearsals began and the cast was outfitted in costumes and makeup. Attendees of the production are required to abide by Stuart’s Opera House coronavirus policies. Proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test taken 72 hours previous to the show must be provided upon entry. Masks are also required. Tickets cost $8 for students and $12 for adults. They can be purchased online on the Stuart’s Opera House website. @ISABELNISSLEY IN566119@OHIO.EDU
IF YOU GO WHAT: Radium Girls presented by ABC Players WHERE: Stuart’s Opera House, 52 Public Square, Nelsonville, OH WHEN: Oct. 7, 2021-Oct. 10, 2021 7:30 p.m., 2 p.m. matinee on Oct. 10 ADMISSION: $12 for adults, $8 for students and children
WHAT’S GOING ON?
Celebrate Homecoming; check out a burlesque show ANASTASIA CARTER SLOT EDITOR
THURSDAY, OCT. 7 Yell Like Hell Pep Rally from 6:45 p.m. to 8 p.m., hosted by the Alumni Association and gathering on College Green, 47 E. Union St. Gather for this popular homecoming festivity, and shout out your Bobcat spirit in preparation for Saturday’s game. The Marching 110 will also perform. Admission: Free The Wastemen with Blvck Hippie and Rat Motel at 8 p.m., hosted at The Union, 18 W. Union St. Check out live music from musicians from Athens, Memphis and Columbus. Doors open at 7 p.m. Admission: $8
FRIDAY, OCT. 8 ABC Players presents Radium Girls at 7:30 p.m. at Stuart’s Opera House, 52 Public Square, Nelsonville. Watch as the actors battle against corporate greed, quackery and family crises as women fall ill while employed as radium watch dial painters. The show will also be performed Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Admission: $8 for students, $12 for adults
Sound City: Dave Grohl’s Studio Documentary at 8 p.m., hosted at Donkey Coffee, 17 W. Washington St. This documentary follows Dave Grohl as he reveals the inside of Sound City Recording Studio. Admission: Free Goddess Collective Burlesque presents “Corsets & Curses” at 8 p.m., hosted at The Union. Check out this hauntingly good burlesque ensemble.
SATURDAY, OCT. 9 Athens Farmers Market at 9 a.m., hosted by Athens Farmers Market, 1002 E. State St. Shop for locally grown and locally made foods and goods at the farmers’ market. The market accepts SNAP and credit cards. Masks are recommended, and social distancing protocols are in place. Admission: Free Homecoming Parade at 10 a.m., beginning in Ohio University’s Parking Lot #154 and finishing at the intersection of Park Place and University Terrace. Enjoy this annual tradition that brings together current and former Bobcats to celebrate Homecoming. The parade will also be livestreamed for those who can’t attend. Admission: Free Student Affairs Homecoming Tailgate at 11:30 a.m., hosted at Pepsi Tailgreat Park. The celebration continues with free food, games, prizes and Ohio-themed fun. Admission: RSVP for free Fall Color and Tree I.D. Hike from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., beginning at the Nature Center at Burr Oak State Park, 10220 Burr Oak Lodge Road, Glouster. Wear sturdy boots during this 1.5-mile hike as participants will be using leaves and bark to identify different trees. Admission: Free Donkey Movie Night: The Miles Davis Story Documentary at 8 p.m., hosted at Donkey Coffee. Watch a documentary that takes a closer look at this artist. Admission: Free DJ B-Funk and DJ Barticus present BANGERS at 8 p.m., hosted at The Union. In a collaboration between the two DJs, guests can expect nothing but bangers all night long. Admission: $5 over 21, $7 under 21
SUNDAY, OCT. 10 Charlie Haskins Art Opening from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Casa Nueva, 4 W. State St. Attend this reception in celebration of new art being hung at Casa. Free Casa appetizers will be provided along with live music from The Corndoggers. Admission: Free
THEATER Forum Theater
MEN ON BOATS Ten explorers. Four boats. One Grand Canyon. Men on Boats is the true(ish) history of an 1869 expedition, when a one-armed captain and a crew of insane yet loyal volunteers set out to chart the course of the Colorado River. presented by Tantrum Theater By Jaclyn Backhaus Directed by Shannon R. Davis
October 7th-9th & 12th-15th 8pm October 16th 2pm
DJ B-FUNK & DJ BARTICUS
Bangers is the monster collaboration between DJ B-Funk and DJ Barticus and is coming to you live and in person!
Saturday, Oct. 9th 8:00 pm $5 over 21 / $7 under
ATHENS COMMUNITY JAZZ ENSEMBLE American Legion • Nelsonville
INSIDE/OUTSIDE SALE The Nelsonville American Legion Post 229 is holding an inside/outside yard sale. Legion Post is locate at 11 September Street Nelsonville OH.
Saturday, Oct. 9th 8 am - 1 pm
The Market on State
at the Athens Farmer’s Market Find hand-crafted jewelry, pottery, paintings and prints, yarn, lotions, quilts, eco-printed clothing, silkscreened t-shirts, wooden tables, boxes, bowls and more! Locally made by members of the Athens Art Guild.
Saturday, Oct. 9th 9 am - 12 pm Masks required
ADVERTISE SMALL BOX 15 per week
200 per semester
messaging can be updated weekly, TEXT ONLY
An outdoor concert presented by the OHIO Performing Arts Series, OHIO College of Fine Arts, OHIO School of Music, and the Athens Community Music School with support from the Ohio Arts Council and Envisage Wealth.
Sunday, Oct. 10th 2:00 pm Free & Open to the Public
Trisolini Gallery • Baker Center
ART WERGER: OVERVIEW One of three exhibitions sponsored by the Bobcat Print Club & the Printmaking Area in the School of Art + Design to honor Professor Emeritus Art Werger.
through Oct. 23rd FREE ADMISSION
First United Methodist Church UNIVERSITY SINGERS & CHORAL UNION
Under the direction of Director of Choral Activities Dr. Bradley Naylor, the University Singers are a mixed ensemble of 4050 voices devoted to the outstanding performance of choral repertoire of all styles and periods. presented by the School of Music
Monday, Oct. 11th 8 pm Free & Open to the Public
text can be updated weekly, logos, specialty fonts and spot color IS INCLUDED
ArtsWest • 132 W State St
Ohio Valley Summer Theater presents a stage version of the hit 1985 comedy CLUE. Based on the screenplay by Jonathan Lynn. It is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to experience one of the most classic comedies in modern history. Seating is limited for this unique prodution as you will be comfortably situated around Body Manor in this immersive production. By special arrangement with the Araca Group, Work Light productions and Michael Barra/ Lively MccCabe Entertainment
October 8th-10th & 15th-17th Fri & Sat 7:00 pm Sun Matinee 2pm $10-$12 general admission
OVST.ORG/CLUE Uptown Athens Parking Garage West Washington Street Gallery Wall ATHENS PHOTOGRAPHIC PROJECT
BEAUTIFUL REALITYPHOTOGRAPHS BY ATHENS YOUTH APP proudly presents photographs by 31 young artists in Athens County. These artists were able to share the joy and tumult of this time in their lives, to find unique visions of the world around them
through Oct. 31th OUTDOOR PUBLIC ART EXHIBIT
THEPOSTATHENS.COM / 31
Now Leasing New beginnings
PRIME UPTOWN & CAMPUS LOCATIONS 2022-2023
CHECK OUT OUR HOUSES 199
2-12 bedrooms with locations in every neighborhood
& APARTMENTS LEASE SIGNING
BONUS $150 cash
113 N. Congress St. 6-7 Bedroom . $500* $
on any unit with 5 or more Bedrooms
12 Palmer Street 4 Bedroom . $550*
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☞ CLOSE TO CAMPUS
160 Mill St.
6 Bedroom . $550*
40 Smith Street 5 Bedroom . $495
AVAILABLE NOW for 2021 - 2022
*Security deposits are per person, monthly rates are per person/per month
4-5 bedrooms • 2 bath FEATURING: separate living area, on-site parking, trash included, and access to the bikepath.
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& UPTOWN & MANY MORE EXTRAS
4 bedrooms • 2 bath FEATURING: off-site parking, balcony, trash included, in prime neighborhood
2 Milliron Apt. A 5 Bedroom $450*
97½ Playground Ave 5 Bedroom . $525*
740.594.9098 Call TODAY to schedule a viewing