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HAPPY HOMECOMING FROM ‘THE POST!’ It’s everyone’s favorite holiday of the year. Halloween can have the block party, there will always be Santa Fest the weekend before winter break and the second semester can have fest season. But Bobcats of all ages look forward to Homecoming. Homecoming is about bringing together current students, alumni and locals to celebrate the university, which has a special place in our hearts. Throughout the week, the entire city is buzzing with anticipation for the weekend festivities. The week starts with decorations hung all over campus from Baker Center to the coffee shops on Court Street. Students are busy getting all their work done so they don’t have to worry about anything for the weekend. Alumni are packing their bags, and the city is preparing for the influx of people coming to Athens. Saturday brings a long day of festivities,

but Bobcats are up for the challenge. Most students can barely wake up for their 10:45 a.m. class, but alarms will be set for 5:30 a.m. to make it on time to kegs-‘n’-eggs, which is the only time drinking that early in the morning is considered acceptable. Some people are bold and pull all-nighters, while others cherish a few hours of sleep to attempt to get some rest before the festivities begin. For others, the parade around Uptown starts their day. Locals, alumni and current students line the streets to see all their favorite local businesses and student organizations march in the parade. Everyone is also excited for the football game, even if it is just to see the Marching 110 and the alumni band perform together. Homecoming is one of the days of bliss in Athens when all other worries seem to be forgotten. Most people think of Athens as

a college town, but Homecoming is a time where the entire city is united. As a senior, I have also come to the sad realization that it is my last Homecoming. I am not sure the next time I will be back to celebrate with my fellow Bobcats. But now is not a time for sorrow. It is a time for celebration. I will celebrate Ohio University and the city of Athens. I will celebrate the memories I will make with my friends. I will celebrate the hard work The Post staff does to put together a newspaper every week. Most importantly, I will celebrate the best four years of my life.

Ellen Wagner is a senior studying journalism at Ohio University and the editor-in-chief of The Post. Have questions? Email Ellen at or tweet her @ewagner19. Cover photo by Ryan Grzybowski





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University designer creates intricate logo for Homecoming COURTNEY PERRETT FOR THE POST Homecoming week is in full swing, and one of Ohio University’s own designers created the Homecoming logo for all the festivities. “Ohio University alumni are incredibly passionate and loyal to their alma mater. Their love for Ohio University and desire to help current students succeed are what make Homecoming so special,” Erin Essak Kopp, assistant vice president of alumni relations and executive director of the OHIO Alumni Association, said in an email. The 2019 Homecoming logo was inspired by this year’s theme, “1804 and So Much More.” The logo was designed by Ohio alumnus Kyle Lindner, who graduated with a Bachelor of Art in 2017. Lindner works as a designer with Ohio University Advancement, Communication and Marketing, or ACM. The Ohio Alumni Association frequently collaborates with ACM to create and design all alumni engagement materials. “I wanted to encompass everything the university has been and is now,” Lindner said. The logo is circular with a banner across the middle with the Homecoming theme’s title, “1804 and So Much More,” on it. Underneath the banner are blue waves that represent the Hocking River. Above the centered banner is Cutler Hall, some trees, grass and rolling hills to represent the landscape of Athens. Lindner added that the process behind workshopping the final logo design took approximately a month.

Every year, the Ohio Alumni Association requests that OU’s alumni submit original Homecoming theme ideas. With the help of the Campus Involvement Center, a theme is voted on to tie up each Homecoming celebration. The theme, “1804 and So Much More,” was submitted by OU alumnus Clinton Amand. Amand graduated with a Bachelor of Science in 2012 and a Master of Art in 2018. The theme will be represented at all the Homecoming events throughout the week, culminating in the celebratory Homecoming Parade and football game. Both events will take place Saturday. Amand said he wanted to find a way to blend the history of OU with other elements when coming up with the Homecoming theme. “I was brainstorming ideas, and I wanted to incorporate the history of the university, but I knew there was more to the university than just the history, like our families and our friends,” Amand said. The Homecoming theme was the main inspiration behind the elements in the logo design. Lindner decided to include Cutler Hall in the design because it was one of the first buildings to be built on campus, established in 1819. “I included … some rolling hills and references to the green and trees in the area,” Lindner said. “I have the Hocking River coming in at the bottom to make the logo more active.” Joanna Gallagher, a sophomore studying plant biology, likes how the logo incorporates features from different parts of OU’s campus. “I like how they kept the buildings from the original

logo in the new one,” Gallagher said. “And I really like the (Hocking) river because the creek and Richland Avenue bridge are still a big part of campus.” Much like how the logo draws from features all around campus, the theme is meant to connect with people who have various connections to the university. “Whether you are an Ohio University graduate, a student, an employee or a friend, this year’s Homecoming theme serves as a reminder that you are a part of this community’s storied past, its present and its future,” Kopp said in an email. This year, the Ohio Alumni Association is also sponsoring the Homecoming 2019 Instagram Contest. This year’s prize is a two-night stay at the Ohio University Inn during Homecoming 2020. “Homecoming is a time for each of us to celebrate the legacy of excellence and camaraderie that defines what it means to be a Bobcat,” Kopp said in an email. Gallagher thinks that Homecoming is a unique moment in Athens for everyone involved. “I think that Homecoming is special because all the alumni come back to Athens at that time, and there’s a big celebration for everybody,” Gallagher said. Gallagher said she will be attending the parade Saturday to support the Bobcats and will be a part of the Homecoming celebration.




The Ohio University alumni band performs before Ohio volleyball’s match against Miami University on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019. (BRE OFFENBERGER / COPY CHIEF)

Alumni band members return to relive old memories


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As Homecoming weekend approaches, both past and current band members tune up their instruments in preparation for this weekend’s halftime performance. Alumni are brought back to the field to reconnect with old friends and relive the memories that made their college experience special. Mike Carpenter, Homecoming chair for the alumni band, played trombone in high school and was inspired to go to Ohio University because of his band director. “I would say the relationships, friendships (are the best part of being in the band),” Carpenter said. He not only formed friendships, but he met his wife, a fellow trombone player in the band, as well. Carpenter said that he, like many others, chooses to come back and play because of those relationships. Carpenter, who lives in Athens, said not everybody can come every year. He said he hasn’t been every year because of his children’s events. “You get to see people you haven’t seen in a while. You catch up. You have fun. Plus, there’s still that rush when you go out on the field and the crowd comes to its feet,” Carpenter said. Due to the large number of alumni that come back to play, the logistics can get a little tricky. Carpenter said an average of 300 people return to OU to play for halftime, and around 600 come for other big events.

Carpenter said the hardest part of returning is keeping up with the difference in the game, such as time of game, the rules on getting into the game and all of the logistics. The band does more than just Homecoming weekend. Carpenter said they also perform at women’s volleyball games. “We played at Homecoming for several years, and then it’s been 14 years ago, the then-volleyball coach came to some alums and asked if they could put together a band to play volleyball games,” he said. “The volleyball season is in the fall, and the Marching 110 is really busy … so we play at home volleyball matches, go to the MAC tournament and then we play other ... community service events.” Despite the number of events they perform at and the number of members, Carpenter said it’s much more low-commitment than being a student in the band. “All of us have families and jobs, and most of the people who play in varsity band for volleyball games don’t live here, so they drive here for the weekend,” Carpenter said. “It’s one thing to drive here for a Homecoming weekend; it’s a trip. You planned it, and you have accommodations and all that stuff. But a lot of the alumni varsity band members don’t live here. So they are doing that, you know, multiple times during the fall season. But it’s not nearly the commitment. You can come and play one weekend, and that’s it.” The alumni band also piques the interest of current Marching 110 Members. Josh Green, a member of the band and a junior studying integrated media, said he will definitely be joining the alumni band. Green said he was first introduced to the Marching 110 during his freshman year of high school. “It was my goal to be apart of the 110,” Green, who plays snare drum, said in an email. “Now that I’ve been in the band for three years, it seems like my time is starting to run out. I know that I’m going to miss being in this band and that’s why I know I’m going to come back and play after I graduate.” Green said that many alumni likely have similar experiences to his own. “They all made incredible memories during their time in the 110, and they want to relive those moments even if its only for one weekend every year,” he said in an email. “Plus, some alumni haven’t seen each other for 10 plus years! It’s great for current members to get to meet all of the alumni and I’m sure it’s a cool experience for the alumni to see who’s marching in a spot they used to be in.” Students outside of the 110 love the alumni band as well. “I love the alumni band. I love going to the game to see them and the actual 110 playing together,” Kelsey Rader, a sophomore studying chemical engineering, said. “Every year I go.”


Athens prepares for OU Homecoming Preparations include parade route instructions, the additional presence of first responders and extra trash clean up. TAYLOR BURNETTE FOR THE POST Athens prepares for the influx of alumni, students, community members and OU football fans that will be the result of Ohio University’s homecoming by staying vigilant and increasing city services. The city is preparing for a larger amount of trash, extra police presence during the homecoming parade and even extra beautification of Athens to welcome OU’s alumni back. There will be a surge of people on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, but it’s something the city has experience with, Ron Lucas, Athens deputy service safety director, said. The city will put out additional signage signifying where parking is not allowed, Stone said. Although these areas, like along State Route 682, are always restricted to no parking, they serve as an extra reminder to people. “We prepare for the traffic that the (football) game will bring in like any other game,” Andy Stone, service safety director, said. The parade is what sets homecoming aside from the average gameday though, Lucas said. “It’s by far the biggest parade of the year,” Lucas said. It is also the only parade of the year that the city puts

along Court Street. “Along that route, there’s often extra trash,” Chris Knisely, Athens City Council president, said. Stone said the city puts out extra trash collection and has extra cleanup. Usually, the city’s contractor empties the trash of the town once a day. With homecoming, however, the trashcans tend to fill up quickly due to the increased number of people out and about in Athens. With an already large load of trash from Friday evening into Saturday morning and with the additional trash from the parade Saturday morning, the city empties the trash cans multiple times throughout the day, Lucas said. “There’s just so much pressure on the trash cans of town with the number of people that we have here,” Lucas said. “We try to keep the receptacles free and clear.” With the alumni in mind, the city takes extra efforts to keep the streets clean and for their return. “We make a point to try to... keep things as spruced up as we can, both with our city landscapers and our, street crews, and the trash service, because you’ve got alumni coming back that you really want the city to look good when they show up,” Stone said.

out barricades. There is nothing worse before the parade than having vehicles enter the parade route, Lucas said. There is an additional presence of first responders due both to the parade and the large amounts of people coming back into Athens. The fire department will go to emergency staffing, Stone said. This consists of a few extra firefighters per station. In addition to this, there will be an additional police presence, especially during the parade, to make sure everything flows smoothly through town. There are officers at each intersection of the parade route to ensure the parade gets through safely, Lucas said. The city will also put out a press release on Thursday or Friday announcing road closures and blockades. Additional police will be present in the evening after the game and parade. Especially if the weather is nice, there is a greater potential for partying, Stone said. This additional coverage is similar to other staffing during the fall and spring. “We’ll patrol the areas of the city where party tends to occur, will typically bring in some mounted officers in as well,” Stone said, “then respond to nuisance parties or other problems if they if they occur.” A less visible aspect of parade preparations is dealing with the increased amount of trash disposals, especially


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OUPD receives ninth hazing allegation; forum prompts discussion on racial bias between cops, residents ABBY MILLER NEWS EDITOR NINTH FRATERNITY HAZING COMPLAINT RECEIVED An additional hazing complaint against an Ohio University fraternity is now being investigated. OU suspended all 15 Interfraternity Council chapters Thursday, Oct. 3. The suspension came in light of seven chapters coming forward with allegations of hazing. The Ohio University Police Department has already investigated eight chapters and their hazing allegations. None of those allegations have “risen to the level of actionable criminal activity,” Carly Leatherwood, a university spokeswoman, said in an email. OUPD is now investigating allegations of hazing for the ninth chapter. The chapter has not yet been identified, and the name will be released when it is available. Details of the allegations will not be released at this time in order to protect the integrity of the investigation.

Currently, ACACIA, Alpha Epsilon Pi, Beta Theta Pi, Delta Tau Delta, Lambda Chi Alpha, Phi Kappa Psi, Sigma Chi and Theta Chi have all been investigated. FORUM HELD TO ADDRESS POLICE POLICIES AND RECENT ARREST Chiefs from three local police departments held a forum at the Athena Cinema Tuesday to discuss their policing policies and racial biases. The Athens Police Department Chief Tom Pyle, The Ohio University Police Department Chief Andrew Powers and Hocking College Police Department Chief Tiffany Tims were all present and available for questions. Pyle answered questions from the audience about the recent arrest of Ty Bealer and the use of force in that arrest. Pyle said he now understands that race plays a role in all interactions between officers and a person of color. That being taken into account, he believes race was not the sole factor in Bealer’s arrest. He also stood by the use of three officers to arrest Bealer. Pyle said three officers are

commonly used in instances where force is necessary. Pyle also clarified some of his sentiments from the emergency press conference that took place Monday, Sept. 30. He said he underestimated the role that social media would play in the whole incident and apologized if anyone was offended by his statements. APD is now holding special topic training that will include cultural diversity, racial sensitivity and racial equity. The last time that mandatory training was done by the whole department was in 2012. All three chiefs agreed that continuous training should be in place. They also said their departments should be more approachable and active in the community along with continuing the conversation between police and Athens residents. The chiefs also agreed that more steps should be taken by their departments to recruit people of color. Both APD and OUPD do not have any black officers on their staff.

NEW GENERAL EDUCATION MODELS PROPOSED Three new models for restructuring OU’s general education were proposed Monday at Faculty Senate’s regular meeting. The goal of restructuring the curriculum is to meet the Ohio common goals. Those goals include critical thinking, ethical reasoning and written communication, among others. The proposed models include a fully integrated model, a distributed model and a blended model. A distributed model of education blueprints outcomes through individual gen ed courses and is the model OU currently uses. Switching to an integrated model would switch the focus of gen ed courses to program level outcomes. Faculty Senate members will vote on a new model in January.



Student won’t leave dorm; man has mail stolen IAN MCKENZIE ASST. NEWS EDITOR Some people don’t know when to call it a night. The Ohio University Police Department was called Sunday by resident assistants at Adams Hall. A student was intoxicated in her room and would not leave. Officers found her leaving the area with bloodshot eyes and slurred speech. She also smelled like alcohol. The student was arrested for underage consumption intoxication and criminal trespassing. She was transported to the Southeast Ohio Regional Jail. JUST A STROLL The Athens County Sheriff’s Office re6 / OCT. 10, 2019

sponded to a well-being check Tuesday for a man in Coolville. The man was not under the influence or in need of medical attention. He was just walking, and deputies gave him a ride back to his vehicle in Coolville. GHOST MUSIC Deputies received a noise complaint Tuesday in The Plains early in the morning. Deputies responded and sat stationary, but no music or any loud noises were heard at the time. DRIVING SCHOOL Deputies responded Tuesday to a car wreck at Heiner’s Bakery in The Plains. There were no injuries, but the elderly driver ran into the building, which was still structurally sound. The man hit the

accelerator on accident instead of the brake pedal. YOU DON’T HAVE MAIL Deputies were contacted by a resident, who said his mail had been stolen from his mailbox for the past three days last Wednesday on Gun Club Road. There are currently no leads. GHOSTED Deputies were called Friday to Rainbow Lake Road in Shade for a well-being check. The caller said that his girlfriend was supposed to meet him, but he could not get ahold of her. Deputies made contact with the girlfriend, and she said she had just fallen asleep.

JUST FRIENDS Deputies responded Saturday to Shade for a possible burglary in progress. Deputies talked to the man who was at the residence, and he said he was friends with the people who lived at the residence and was just trying to get in. PARANORMAL ACTIVITY Deputies spoke with people staying at a hostel in Nelsonville Saturday about weird noises they heard coming from the basement. They said the basement is where the owner of the hostel lives. There were no signs of distress from the voice.



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Marching 110 makes history with first female field commander BAYLEE DEMUTH CULTURE EDITOR The Ohio University Marching 110 is a group with tradition rooted in its core. While change isn’t normally found in the band’s vocabulary, this year’s season makes a welcomed exception. Sophia Medvid, a senior studying engineering physics, is the fi rst female field commander in Marching 110 history, the highest student-held position in the band. She served as the mellophone section leader for the band’s 2018 season and has been a member of the Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps, a World Class competitive drum and bugle corps, the past four summers. Unlike many schools that use the same term for the student who con-

Sophia Medvid, Ohio University’s first female field commander, poses for a portrait at Pruitt Field on Oct 7, 2019. (SYDNEY WALTERS / FOR THE POST

ducts the band, the Marching 110 field commander does not conduct the ensemble during performances. Medvid’s primary responsibility takes place off the field, where she teaches the fundamental marching technique of the band to new members. When Medvid found out she was chosen as the next field commander


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for the band’s 2019 season, she was hit with a whirlwind of emotions, some of which contained disbelief. “It’s just a big honor to be bestowed on anyone,” Medvid, who plays the mellophone in the Marching 110, said. “Like, I didn’t think it’d be me just out of humility’s sake. But I was also super excited because I had worked for three years hoping I would at least have a chance.” From the get-go, Medvid knew she wanted to be a motivational voice for the band, encouraging them when morale is low while also inspiring them to do better along the way. “I really wanted the band to feel like a family this year, and everyone in the band, whether they’re a freshman or a fifth year, we treat everybody with respect. That way, it’s a positive mindset on the field,” Medvid said. Being the first in anything comes with some added pressure. For Medvid, most of her worries came from the Marching 110’s history of women in the band. In 1967, all women were removed from the band, and it became the “Marching Men of Ohio,” but controversy quickly arose over the removal. It wasn’t until 1975 that women were readmitted into the marching band, retaining the name “Marching 110.” With that in mind, Medvid was nervous about what alumni would think, but after the first week of training, all her worries faded away. “Once I got in front of the band, I could feel that respect,” Medvid said. “It made no difference whether I was female or not. A lot of the previous field commanders dating back to the ‘70s have even reached out and told me they are supporting me, and it’s just

been really great.” On top of classes, playing her mellophone and commanding the band, Medvid has yet to find it difficult to balance a position she cares so much about. “I thought it would be a real challenge to balance school and be a field commander, but I’m so passionate about it that it actually hasn’t been an issue yet,” Medvid said. “I think I’m just so excited to get on the field each day that nothing really stands in my way.” That type of passion for the position is what eventually led Dr. Richard Suk, director of the Marching 110, to choose Medvid as this season’s field commander. The process of choosing a field commander is a three-year process. Suk, along with other assistant directors, observes all the members of the band as the seasons progress. It’s not until a member’s fourth or fifth year that they’re considered for the position. While Suk’s decision to choose Medvid as this year’s field commander is making 110 history, he did not choose her because she was female. “I get a little irritated when people say, ‘Well, it’s about time,’ because it’s always been about time,” Suk said. “It’s just finding the right person, and nobody was selected because they were male or female.” Despite the backlash Suk might receive, the band itself, generally, is always pleased with his choice of the field commander. “I’ve never had anyone in 23 years come to me and say, ‘You’ve picked the wrong person,’” Suk said. Medvid is no exception to that. Suk is impressed with her role in the band, and her ability to conjure respect, while also being someone the entire band looks up to. “She’s somebody who walks the walk and talks the talk. She’s good, and she won’t tell you she’s good — she’ll just show you,” Suk said. “Her level of expectation is really high for the band, and she inspires them to do better because they want to achieve, and they don’t want to disappoint her.” Slade Denman, a graduate student studying music education, assists the 110, seeing first-hand the effect Medvid has on the band, and is just as impressed with her as everyone else. “She’s awesome,” Denman said. “As far as motivational speaking goes, she’s probably the best one that I’ve ever seen, even in my time when I was in the 110.”


Bobcats look forward to Homecoming traditions EMILY NERDERMAN FOR THE POST



ach year, Ohio University’s Homecoming traditions are greatly anticipated by students and Athens residents alike. OU offers a large variety of opportunities for immersion in both fun and in remembrance of its rich history. To many, OU’s Homecoming is centered around the football game. However, there is more to OU’s Homecoming than football. For those seeking a history-rich event, Alden Library has just the fix. Each year, the library displays a historical archive comprised of student newspapers, photographs, handbooks and yearbooks, to name a few. Students can browse the multitudes of tables that hold these memorabilia. These give them a chance to reflect on the history that molded OU as people know it today. Falkyn Roth, a senior studying history, is a desk assistant at Alden Library. He enjoys these collections while also first-handedly watching them come to fruition. Given this, Roth offers a distinct perspective about the archives. “It’s cool to see it all come together,”

Roth said. Many students have family who have previously attended OU, which makes this collection an even more enriching experience. “My father, uncle and aunt went here years ago,” Roth said. “My favorite aspect of the archives is the yearbooks. It’s kind of fun to track them down in here.” As well as considering the litany of historical pieces, it is exciting to also entertain the potential of current and future Bobcats and what they will consequently contribute to this collection. The fourth floor of Alden Library will host the OU Archives Annual Homecoming Display from Oct. 9 at 8 a.m. through Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. At this year’s Homecoming football game, the bobcats will face Northern Illinois University at Peden Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 12, at 3:30 p.m. Students, faculty and Athens residents greatly look forward to the game. Hundreds congregate on College Green each year for Yell Like Hell, a signature tradition of OU’s homecoming. Yell Like Hell will offer live music provided by the Marching 110 and local bands, like Velvet Green. There will be tables with ev-

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erything from music to games to fun giveaways. The pep rally transcends the typical school-spirit type rally; it has something to fit everyone. Nick Latham, a sophomore studying theater, enjoyed last year’s rally with his friends and plans to attend Yell Like Hell again on Thursday. “I went to my first Yell like Hell last year,” Latham said. “My friends and I aren’t exactly football fans, but this was actually pretty fun.” Yell Like Hell will be held on Thursday, Oct.10, from 7-8 p.m. on College Green. The anticipation doesn’t stop there; aside from the action inside Peden Stadium, fans look forward to the football game by tailgating outside of Peden Stadium at Pepsi Tailgreat Park. The love for the game is apparent in everyone who partakes in all the tailgating festivities, such as cooking out and playing lawn games. Quentin Reams, a sixth year pre-law student studying communication studies, looks forward to the Homecoming tailgate each year. Reams reflects on his years spent tailgating while anticipating what could be his last time. “I’ve been tailgating for about three years. Last Homecoming weekend, there




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was a tailgate going on before the game, you know? I went there with my parents. We had a pretty good time,” Reams said. “During halftime, I went to go find our tailgate again to grab a few drinks and go back in the stadium. That tailgate was shut down, though. I happened to find a random tailgate and they welcomed me in. They said, ‘Have a few beers and some food; join us!’” Reams also notes the recent lack of tailgate attendees. “I’d like to see some more Bobcats tailgating,” Reams said. “What better way to spend a Saturday morning than with good company?” Reams remarks how Bobcats are more than just school-spirited. They’re kind-spirited and welcoming as well. “We had a good time and talked. It was pretty sweet,” Reams said. “Bobcats are always welcoming. I feel like you can just join any tailgate you want. They will not turn you away.” Other homecoming events include Paint the Town Green, the Homecoming parade, Pack the Pantry and many others.




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Paint the Town Green competition to inspire connection between Athens, OU RILEY RUNNELLS ASST. CULTURE EDITOR Homecoming is a time full of traditions, alumni and excitement, and nothing makes Ohio University feel more like Homecoming than the decorations from Paint the Town Green. Paint the Town Green is an Ohio Alumni Association, or OAA, and Student Alumni Board, or SAB, sponsored contest that challenges offices and businesses to create window displays for an OU or Bobcat theme or the specific homecoming theme. The displays are then judged based on a number of categories. Beginning in 2002, Paint the Town Green used to be just for Uptown, and there was a separate event for decorating the offices, but over time, the two events have combined to form one overall expression of Bobcat pride. The decorations are judged on three categories: creativity, spirit and representation of the Homecoming theme, “1804 and So Much More.” With all of the different categories,

businesses and offices have a good chance of taking home some of the judges’ favor. Kate Robey, a member of the OAA staff, is judging Paint the Town Green for the second time this year and feels proud to be a part of this event. “As an alumna as well as a staff and community member of the university, it gives me a great amount of pride that students and alumni as well as community members have the opportunity to celebrate connections and the university through all the festivities of the week,” Robey said. Paige Kirby, a junior SAB member, is judging the event for the first time this year and loves how creative all the decorations are. “The creativity is amazing, like the businesses have gone all out for this, and it’s just really cool to see what our Uptown can do,” Kirby said. “The fact that the offices participate, too, just shows how we all stand together.” This being the 17th year of the event, Agner recognizes the never-ending importance of a cohesive partnership between Athens and OU. “Proximity-wise, we’re close to Up-

town, and with so many local businesses around, I think it’s so important that we have this partnership, especially with our students roaming around and through Athens,” Agner said. “It’s important to have that partnership and spirit overall for Athens and Ohio University.” Jessica Rutkowski, a senior studying strategic communication, is on the 2019-2020 Homecoming court and helped contact businesses and offices interested in the event. “I think the event is important because it gets the entire Athens community involved, which actually plays into the Homecoming theme really well,” Rutkowski said. “‘1804 and So Much More’ means that during homecoming, we not only celebrate the school with ‘1804,’ but the entire community with ‘So Much More.’” The Uptown businesses and OU offices, like Ping Recreation Center, Dean of Students and Career and Leadership Development Center, as well as the rest of the Homecoming participants will find out who the winners of Paint the Town Green are at the Yell Like Hell pep rally. More than anything, Robey, Kirby and

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Rutkowski believe this event is integral in building connections between Athens and OU. “It’s a great opportunity to integrate everyone into the OU tradition,” Rutkowski said. “It also incentivizes business owners to celebrate OU by creating beautiful storefront displays that celebrate alumni coming back to the bricks, and I know that it’s those little things that can make an alumni’s day.” Agner believes there’s no better way to get alumni, students and Athens residents in the spirit of homecoming than seeing all of the decorations around town and bonding over common ground. “This event gives a cohesive welcome back and emphasizes the theme of homecoming,” Agner said. “I think it’s a really great thing for alumni and students to see. Everyone enjoys walking down Uptown or through Baker and seeing the offices decorated, and I think it’s really nice to unite the community and campus through homecoming events.”


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Why a group of student assistants need to be best actors on Ohio The group essentially plays charades to relay play calls to the offense.

Signal callers for Ohio University football during the first Mid-American Conference game of the season at University at Buffalo in Amherst, New York, on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019. (NATE SWANSON / PHOTO EDITOR)

ANTHONY POISAL SPORTS EDITOR Brett Brice receives the same text messages all the time. They’re usually something similar to, “Hey, you were on TV!” or a video of him on the sidelines donning a headset and making a complete fool of himself. Brice understands the messages, but he always has the same reaction: an eye roll. That’s because Brice is on a team of four student assistants whose jobs are to stand out the most on Ohio’s sidelines whenever the offense is on the field. The crew does all it can to relay play call signals from coaches in the press box to Ohio’s offensive unit before each play on the field. That’s done by flailing their arms and acting out certain actions or words to a huddle of players 20 yards away. They don’t wear green and white Ohio polos, either. Instead, their shirts are bright orange and complemented with a bright-colored arm sleeve. Brice and the rest of the group get it. They’re easy targets for TV cameras. They look silly doing their job. They make fans laugh. But they don’t care. “It’s pretty much a game of charades,” Brice, a senior in his fourth year with the group, said. “We always laugh about it. It’s really cool.”

Before each offensive play, the group acts out a set of actions connected to one word that corresponds with a certain play for each position group. Those words can be animals, movies, people — anything. To relay the plays from the press box to the field, the group acts out the word on the sideline. Some of those actions include jogging in place, pretending to slap themselves in the face or mimicking the swing of a lumberjack. At least that’s what they appear to be doing. They can’t really talk about the specifics. They don’t want to give any hint about a play to a visiting team, which is why they switch arm sleeves and the roles that come with them after halftime. The brunt of their signals are coordinated in the offseason and throughout fall camp. That’s when they sit down with players to attach a word with each play, and the assistants will come up with as many actions the players feel could help them connect the word with the play. “It’s awesome to be able to have those guys,” quarterback Nathan Rourke said. “It’s awesome to have those guys give so much effort to that, which is a really critical part of how we run our offense.” In practice, however, things aren’t always smooth when the group occasionally forgets a play or botches the order of the play calls.

The players forget the signs, too, and that often leads to one of the assistants shouting the word to a player before they smooth things out between breaks in practice. “It’s a learning curve,” Stef Walker, a junior who primarily works with Rourke, said. “When you get to this level, it’s playing chess, not checkers.” The mistakes can often lead to coaches becoming upset with the assistants. The majority of the frustrations from coaches flare throughout fall camp when everyone is still learning the system. That can sometimes lead to a coach shouting at an assistant just as much as a player. Those are typically the hardest days on the job, but the group understands the heavy emotions. If they don’t do their job right, the play typically fails. “Some days, there’s a lot going on, and it’s a little mentally draining,“ Townsend Colley, a sophomore in his first season with the group, said. “Sometimes, you could be signaling the wrong thing, and then you get three coaches looking at you.”

To ensure those mistakes are limited, the group often spends as much time on the job as they do in the classroom. A typical day for the assistants consists of meetings in the early afternoon, a twohour practice and then an additional hour or two spent reviewing and editing film for coaches and players. It’s not quite the standard 9-to-5 job, but it can feel that way. They do it without pay, too, except for the small stipend they receive to pay for textbooks. Still, they don’t have many complaints. All the assistants played football when they were in high school, and they wanted to find a way to stay on the sidelines in college. “I always had a hard time just being a fan,” Colley said. “Everything I do, I like to jump into it and do it at the highest level.” For the assistants, performing odd gestures and actions on the sidelines is the highest that level can go.


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Homecoming Battle Meet Ohio’s homecoming opponent, the Northern Illinois Huskies. MATT PARKER SPORTS EDITOR Ohio opened its Mid-American Conference schedule last Saturday with a 21-20 overtime road win against MAC East rival Buffalo. A game that featured many oddities – none more important than Buffalo’s missed extra point in overtime – the Bobcats (2-3, 1-0 MAC) found a way to win their first game in over a month. The Bulls were runners-up in the MAC Championship last season, and Ohio beat them. Now, it’s tasked with defeating Northern Illinois, the defending conference champions, on Homecoming when the Huskies make the 485-mile trip to Athens for the 23rd all-time meeting between the two programs. Here is a closer look at the Huskies: ALL-TIME SERIES: NIU leads 12-10. The first meeting between the two programs was in 1968 when the Bobcats won 28-12 at home. Last season, the Huskies won 24-21 in Ohio in DeKalb, Illinois. The Bobcats held a 21-9 lead heading into the fourth quarter, but NIU scored 15 unanswered points and escaped with a win. THE NIU REPORT: The Huskies (1-4, 0-1 MAC) are led by first-year coach Thomas Hammock, who played running back at NIU from 1999-2002. His career was cut short because of a heart condition, but Hammock finished with the 13th most all-time rushing yards with 2,432 in 32 games. Hammock has worked under some of the best minds at both the collegiate and professional level, including former Wisconsin coach Barry Alvarez and current Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh. It’s been a tough go from the sidelines, however, in Hammock’s first year. After it defeated FCS Illinois State 24-10, NIU had three consecutive games on the road against Power 5 schools and lost by an average of 20 points to Utah, Nebraska and Vanderbilt. The Huskies began conference play Oct. 5 when they dropped their MAC West Division opener against Ball State in a 27-20 final. Their offense fell flat in the second half, however, with four three-and-outs and three turnovers that led to Cardinals points. Quarterback Ross Bowers, a graduate transfer who previously played at the University of California, Berkeley, has gone 103-for-181 with 1,297 passing yards, four touchdowns and four interceptions. Bowers won the job from Marcus Childers, who started last year. The Huskies also have a potent rushing attack, and while the Bobcats have appeared to fix their problem on stopping inside zones, the stretch plays to the outside

gave them fits against Buffalo. Led by redshirt junior running back Tre Harbison, NIU’s rushing offense doesn’t have the most impressive numbers, but it’s effective when it needs to be. Through five games, Harbison is averaging 4.9 yards per carry and 74 yards per game. He also has two touchdowns. Defensively, the Huskies rank among the top five in the conference with 362.4 average yards allowed per game, and their pass defense leads the MAC with 182.2 average yards allowed per game. The Huskies have two interceptions this season and have only allowed five touchdowns. Where Saturday’s game will have the most intrigue is when Ohio runs the ball. It ran against one of the best rush defenses last week at Buffalo, and redshirt freshman O’Shaan Allison helped the Bobcats’ offense return to the identity coach Frank Solich and offensive coordinator Tim Albin have created over the last 15 years. The Bobcats, who are fourth in the conference with 165 average rushing yards per game, will have to figure out how they match up with NIU’s fifth-ranked rush defense, which has allowed 180 yards per game. HOW OHIO WINS: They left Buffalo with a win, but the Bobcats had every statistic that favors the opposite outcome. Buffalo outgained Ohio 378-341 in total offensive yards, had fewer turnovers (2-1) and more sacks (4-0). And yet, the Bobcats got their first MAC win because of a botched extra point. That’s not to say Ohio played poorly against the Bulls. The Bobcats worked on the things it needed to during the bye week and benefitted from a weekend of rest. They can win their Homecoming game by building off the performance it had on Saturday, and they should receive an offensive boost with the likely return of running back Julian Ross from an injury sustained Week 2 against the University of Pittsburgh. STAT TO KNOW: 36. The last time Ohio played NIU on Homecoming weekend was on Oct. 30, 1982, when the Huskies blanked the Bobcats in a dominant 36-0 final. PLAYER TO WATCH: Antonio Davis-Jones, redshirt senior linebacker, No. 4. Davis-Jones returns as the leader of the Huskie defense for his final year of eligibility. A First-Team All-MAC selection a year ago, he’s continued his production and currently leads NIU with 38 total tackles and is tied for first in interceptions and sacks.



Pushing the limit Ohio’s director of strength and conditioning’s roots hold true to his coaching philosophy. MATT PARKER SPORTS EDITOR

Dak Notestine, Ohio football’s strength and conditioning coach, poses for a portrait on the morning of Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019. (GRACE WILSON / FOR THE POST)



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Dak Notestine paced around midfield at Peden Stadium with a whistle hanging from the bottom of his lip. Practice had just ended, and while the players were anxious to escape the unseasonably high temperatures, there was still one thing left they had to do. Donning aviator sunglasses and a sleeveless black Ohio T-shirt, he curled the whistle tighter into his lips and blew. Then, he shouted over the conversations of players about which stretch was first. After his yell, the whistle dropped, and he started making small talk with defensive lineman Cole Baker. The brief exchange caused the just recently intense Notestine to break into almost uncontrollable laughter. As Ohio’s director of strength and conditioning, that’s all just part of the job and the only period where he works with the whole team in one spot on a daily basis. Being around the players and in the program isn’t just Notestine’s job, but part of his identity from the day he was born. His father played for Ohio back in the ’70s, and his uncle was a university employee and lived on East State Street for a number of years. Notestine’s a Bellefontaine native, and he’s always considered Athens home. The effects of living in a small town—Bellefontaine has a population of 13,370—haven’t left Notestine. He was raised in a home where everything you wanted had to be earned. There were no handouts. That’s a part of his identity that hasn’t been shaken, and his resume shows it, too. Notestine was a preferred walk-on for Ohio at the start of his career in 2007. At the end of his senior year in 2010, he started on the defensive line as a captain and had over 100 tackles. In his climb through the professional ladder, he started as a graduate assistant with Ohio and worked with the cheerleading squad and the golf team. Now in his current position, one he’s held since June 2014, he’s used that same mentality and has implemented throughout his coaching philosophy. “It’s a daily thing that you hope to live by,” Notestine said. “I tell the athletes it’s easy to show up on game day, but it’s the work that no one sees that is going to make you the person that everybody sees.” Notestine’s message hasn’t fallen on deaf ears. It’s a message that senior quarterback and team captain Nathan Rourke follows, in part because of Notestine.

Rourke always stays after the final whistle to perfect his craft, no matter how grueling the practice was. Whether it’s throwing to receivers or running up Victory Hill in the south end of the stadium, Rourke’s mentality is an embodiment of the culture that Notestine has helped build. “It makes my job a little easier when you’ve got guys in leadership positions that will go the extra mile to set the standard,” Notestine said. “There’s a reason why he’s doing the things he’s doing on game day.” Not all moments with a strength and conditioning coach are fun, though. Some of Notestine’s exercises are designed to see if players rise to the challenge or if they wilt away. The annual Jeff Hill run during summer workouts is one of the most grueling feats players undertake. The Bobcats dread the morning of Jeff Hill, and the night before is a mental war with preparation fighting against fear. Last summer, redshirt senior Javon Hagan ran the hill for his fifth and final time, but the outcome was the same as the previous four attempts. “I’ve thrown up every year running Jeff Hill,” Hagan said. “I’ve seen over 20 people throw up multiple times on Jeff Hill. Just the thought of going down the stairs makes my stomach go up and down.” But Hagan understands the philosophy behind running the steep hill and running the long trek at The Ridges. He knows that if players can survive a test like that, they’re going to be better prepared for when they’re down a touchdown in a conference game. “It tests our drive to be successful,” he said. Those hard days aren’t just difficult for players, either. Notestine said that watching the team can get scary at times merely because of how physically demanding the workouts can be. His peace of mind, though, comes when the players rally motivate each other. That’s how Notestine knows he’s doing his job. “That’s something we want to see in every sport,” he said. “Don’t stop fighting until it’s all said and done, and go all the way until they make you stop.” As Notestine blows his whistle one last time—this time signifying that practice is over—he wheels over the two trash cans that hold the bands toward the sideline. He tells the players to eat, sleep, hydrate and study, not because any of those areas are concerns. But because it’s all a part of the job.


What to expect from the Homecoming game ANTHONY POISAL SPORTS EDITOR

Our sports editors give their predictions for Ohio vs. NIU.

Ohio wins 27-24 Ohio’s defense had the rebound game it needed last week against Buffalo, and it should have an easier test against NIU. There’s nothing special about the Huskies, but they’re still capable of beating the Bobcats if they show any regression from last week. Ohio needs another win to show its improvements last week were real. I think there’s still questions about whether its offense is capable of matching the dominance it showed with Rourke the last two seasons, but it’ll do enough to improve the Bobcats’ conference record to 2-0.




OHIO (MAC RANK) 25.6 (3RD)


17.4 (10TH)

367.4 (6TH)


363.4 (7TH)

165.0 (4TH)


97.2 (10TH)

202.4 (8TH)


266.2 (4TH)

DEFENSE 27.6 (2ND)


28.0 (4TH)

446.8 (6TH)


363.4 (7TH)

203.0 (8TH)


97.2 (10TH)

243.8 (5TH)


266.2 (4TH)


Ohio wins 21-17 Ohio squeaked by in its MAC opener, but wins are hard to come by, as coaches and players noted throughout the week. The defense, like Anthony mentioned, took a step in the right direction against the Bulls, and I’d expect that production to continue against the Huskies. With Ross’ return to the field, the Bobcats will have their top two backs together for the first time since Week 2. Look for Ohio to lean on its run game a little more than usual, as NIU has one of the best pass defenses in the MAC. If the Bobcats can pick up where they left off against Buffalo, I’d expect them to have a happy Homecoming.




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Better together Ohio’s defense faced with new challenge in continuing success

MATT PARKER SPORTS EDITOR Javon Hagan flung his arms behind his torso in celebration as if he were flying. The redshirt senior safety certainly felt like he was flying after he recovered a fumble and secured Ohio’s third turnover of the season. While it was the Bobcats’ lone turnover in their 21-20 road win against Buffalo, it served a much greater purpose than just giving the ball back to the hands of quarterback Nathan Rourke and the offense. It served as a vote of confidence. “That was an electrifying moment,” Hagan said. “To finally get the offense the ball back, we’ve been struggling on getting turnovers. It’s about being at the right place at the right time.” Hagan was right. It’s been a sluggish start for a defense that led the Mid-American Conference with 32 turnovers last season. And in its first four games this season, Ohio allowed an average of 464 yards per game, but it’s beginning to turn things around. Against one of the most run-heavy teams in the country, the Bobcats held Buffalo to 181 rushing yards on 43 carries. The only team that had fewer rushing yards was the University of Pittsburgh, but that’s because it had found holes in its pass defense. For the first time all season, Ohio’s defense played with a sense of balance. Its issues with missed tackles and lack of turnovers were noticeably minimal after its Week 5 bye, thus having two weeks to not only get healthy, but to fix major issues from nonconference play. “We’re still a work in progress,” defensive coordinator Ron Collins said. “The end result (of the game) is what we really wanted, but we still got a ways to go.” Collins and the defense’s next challenge is to elevate that performance against Buffalo into the trenches of the 16 / OCT. 10, 2019

Ohio University safety Javon Hagan (No. 7) attempts to tackle University of Louisiana’s quarterback, Levi Lewis (No. 1), during the Bobcats’ home game on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019. (KELSEY BOEING / DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY)

conference schedule. It still has other areas to take care of that weren’t seen in its game with the Bulls. So far, the Bobcats have just five sacks, good for ninth in the conference. Interceptions have been even tougher to find. Ohio has just one, and it came near the end of a 41-20 win over FCS Rhode Island in Week 1. It’s not a complex method or secret formula to continue to elevate the defense, Collins said. He believes that doing less is more in Ohio’s case. “It’s just continue working on fundamentals and techniques,” he said, “understanding what their run fits are and knowing what their leverage is and being able to tackle. That’s a day-to-day process. It’s not something where we just snap our fingers at.” While practices haven’t shifted away from their usual scripts, players spend time working through pursuit angles

and hip tracking techniques for tackling fundamentals at the start of practice. There’s been more of an emphasis on celebrating in practice, too, in order to boost the morale and change the “next play” mentality that’s ingrained within the program. Some of those celebrations look like dancing after getting a turnover against the scout team or yelling the lyrics to the rap songs that play throughout practice. Regardless, it’s a step away from the typical straight-faced business approach that Ohio has seemed to carry this season. “I feel that we need to bring that juice because football is a game full of emotions,” Hagan said. “The issue in the past was one of us would make a play, and we would see guys not as excited. We have to straight up tell everyone to bring our emotions out and be enthused when we’re out on the field.”

That excitement showed after Hagan flew toward the sideline after his turnover against Buffalo. Everyone on the sideline had a mix of high-fiving, yelling and even sprinting the length of the sideline. Ohio typically has been one of the most revered defenses in the conference, and there’s optimism that it will get back to the playing level it had a year before. It showed flashes of that last week, and there’s optimism that it can take another step in its homecoming game Saturday. So whether it be Hagan pretending to fly or another member of the defense doing a creative move, the Bobcats feel ready for whatever comes their way.


6 songs to soundtrack Homecoming weekend the opening of “Home” is the perfect soundtrack for your drive back to Athens. Whether you have a quick hour drive or you’re trekking the distance back to Athens for Homecoming, singing along to this indie folk tune while doing so is sure to put a smile on your face. “OHIO” BY CAAMP Formed in Athens, Caamp dedicated an entire song to its favorite state. The track reminisces about the memories made in Ohio, and it’s the perfect tune to play while you reminisce on your favorite memories from Athens and Ohio, and the fact that you can revisit some of those over Homecoming.


omecoming is a time for alumni to revisit the glory days of college, for current students to get back in school spirit and for everyone involved to remember just how special Ohio University and Athens are. Athens is a second home to every OU student

“TAKE ME HOME, COUNTRY ROADS” BY JOHN DENVER Though it’s somewhat of a meme nowadays, “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” at its core, is a song about the beauty of Appalachia and its surrounding area. Athens is breathtakingly beautiful, so whether you’re visiting the town or you’re a current student, stop and take it in for a minute — Athens during fall is unlike any other place.

and alum, so it wouldn’t be right to ring in Homecoming without a few tunes that exude warm feelings of coming home. Here are six songs to add to your Homecoming playlist:

“HOME SWEET HOME” BY MOTLEY CRUE Shaking things up a bit, Motley Crue’s “Home Sweet Home” is the most climactic song to have playing right as you roll into Athens. Between the glorious piano chords during the song’s opening and the anthemic chorus and guitar solo, one can’t help but sing along to this power ballad.

“COMING HOME” BY DIDDY - DIRTY MONEY AND SKYLAR GREY The second song titled “Coming Home” on this list, this 2010 track from Diddy Dirty Money and Skylar Grey reminisces on good memories. Homecoming is a time to reconnect with old friends, remember the fun times you had and then make new memories for days to come. Tell the world you’re coming home, and queue up this rap track for Homecoming.

“HOME” BY EDWARD SHARPE & THE MAGNETIC ZEROS The sweet whistling featured in

“COMING HOME” BY LEON BRIDGES Fitted with doo-wop sounds and the soulful voice of Leon Bridges, “Coming

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Illustration by Mallory Stowe


Home” is the perfect tune to start off Homecoming. Take in the town, reconnect with old friends and revisit the places that make Athens so special.



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Watch the Homecoming parade from the 5 best spots around Athens Take in the sights and sounds from ground level or six floors up with these 5 places to watch the parade. SYDNEY WALTERS FOR THE POST The Homecoming parade is an important part of Homecoming week for Ohio University students and alumni alike. If you find yourself stuck behind people in the crowd while watching the parade, you’re bound to miss the excitement of the campus organizations, the Homecoming Court and the 110 alumni band marching. Because finding a decent place to watch can be difficult, here are the five best places to watch along the parade route: COURTHOUSE STEPS The closer to the top of the steps, the better view you’ll have of the parade. Not only will you not have to worry about standing behind the seemingly tallest person in Athens, but it’s relatively comfortable seating while you wait for the parade. You’ll also be closer to most Uptown

restaurants, so you can beat most of the crowd to lunch. Be warned, though, this spot seems to fill up quick, so it would be best to get there early. SCHOONOVER PATIO If you oversleep the morning of the parade, this spot is the best one for you. Situated above the crowds, this one gives you a bird’s eye view of the very end of the parade. This spot is also fairly close to Court Street and several lunch places, although you’ll probably be the last ones to leave the parade. UNION STREET NEAR THE CENTRAL CLASSROOM BUILDING The parade starts further down Union Street, so you’ll be the first one to see the parade with the parade participants still full of energy and enthusiasm. Being the first to see the parade start also means you’ll be the first to see it end, and with Union Street Diner very close by, you’ll be

able to beat the crowds to lunch.

spot probably wouldn’t be the best option.

BENTLEY STEPS This watching spot is another one for comfort and a good view of the parade. Situated toward the beginning of the parade and close to Uptown, the location of this spot is close to all the action of the parade. If you didn’t get enough the first time through, it would be easy to cut across College Green and watch the parade a second time. You can also get to Pepsi Tailgreat Park quickly after the parade, as this spot is close to the Richland Avenue bridge.

THE PORCH OF VOIGT HALL Watch the parade wind down from this vantage point as the marchers turn onto Union Street for the parade’s last stretch. The porch of Voigt gets you close to the action, but still gives you some coverage from the sun, thanks to the residence hall’s built-in awning. You likely won’t run into any traffic walking back to campus, although you might miss out on thrown goodies that run out earlier in the parade.

TOP OF THE ATHENS PARKING GARAGE This spot is perfect if you want to see all the parade from up above — six floors up to be exact. Obviously, you’d have to pay to park here in one of the 270 open spots and fight for a place along the edge to watch. If you’re big on getting all the candy and handouts from the parade, this


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Noah DeSantis is a freshman studying integrated media at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Do you agree? Tell Noah by tweeting him at @NoahDeSantis77.

Attending Ohio University as a third generation Bobcat LEXI LEPOF FOR THE POST I come from a family of Bobcats. Both my dad and his mother attended Ohio University, making me a third generation Bobcat. My grandma was an education major, my dad was a political science major and I am a journalism major. We all came to Ohio University for different reasons, but we are all leaving with the same thing — the pride of being a Bobcat. In high school, as it was time to start applying for colleges, my dad never pushed me towards OU. He always encouraged me to go wherever I wanted. But once I took my first steps on Ohio University’s campus, the decision was easy. I got that feeling. When you go there you can’t help but get that feeling — that OU Bobcat feeling. You can’t quite explain it, but any OU student or alumni knows the feeling well. It’s something about the atmosphere and the campus. Ohio University is an accepting community to be yourself and make lifelong friends. My grandma, Joyce Bruns Lepof, who attended in 1964 to 1968, is still in contact with her friends from OU, even though they graduated over 50 years ago. She says every time they’re together, “it’s just like the old days.” My father,

Matt Lepof, made his best friends at Ohio University. They were in his wedding and are now close family friends. “You never forget the time you spent there… you don’t have to go back physically, because you’ll always remember,” my grandma has said throughout her life. I currently live in Crawford Hall, the same hall my grandma lived in when it was first opened in 1967. My father often remembers when he moved me into my dorm for the first time. We left the door open while we were unpacking bags, and many people stopped by the door to say hello or ask if we needed any help. That never happened when they were moving my sister at a different university. It shows the friendly environment at Ohio University. Homecoming is a time for current students and alumni to come together to celebrate the history of OU. It’s a time to acknowledge all the great alumni who came before us. Because Ohio University is truly “1804 and so much more.”

Lexi Lepof is a freshman studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Do you agree? Tell Lexi by tweeting her at @LexiLepof.










A Civil War hat sits on a display on rifles at the Emancipation Day event in Gallipolis. (MCKINLEY LAW / FOR THE POST)

BAYLEE DEMUTH CULTURE EDITOR At dawn on an eerie morning in Sharpsburg, Maryland, the firing of a hundred cannons lit up the dark sky, illuminating the bodies of thousands of men reenacting the bloodiest day in American military history. Among the many Union soldiers at the reenactment of the Battle of Antietam in September 2012, Jim Oiler found it to be one of the more frightening and realistic American Civil War reenactments he had been a part of in the past 20 years. “Nobody could see anything, and people were slipping on the rocks,” Oiler, the commander of Cadot-Blessing Camp #126 of the Sons of Union Veterans, an organization dedicated to preserving the history and legacy of those who fought to save the Union, said. “It’s a wonder how we didn’t stab each other. The ground was shaking, and the smoke was rolling. It was a mess.” Oiler recently attended the 156th Emancipation Day in Gallipolis, billed as one of the longest continually-running celebrations of the Emancipation Proclamation in the U.S. There, he served as the liaison between the Sons of Union Veterans and the 5th United States Colored Troops (USCT) Company C. From the staunch, wool navy blue jackets with brass buttons to the heavy, Springfield rifles in their hands, the men of the 5th USCT came to educate civilians about a controversial time in our nation’s history. While some may think Civil War reenacting is just a hobby, it’s much more to these men. The countless hours 20 / OCT. 10, 2019

History Alive Civil War reenactors share their love for history, educating people and their fears of a dwindling subculture.

traveling from one battle or event to the next, the thousands of dollars spent on the authentic look of a character and the educational purposes of reenacting all create a distinct lifestyle Oiler and many others have come to cherish. MORE THAN A HOBBY While the 5th USCT is no longer serving in combat, many men keep its impact alive through reenacting. The 5th USCT was formed as the 127th Ohio Volunteer Infantry at Camp Delaware in 1863. A key battle for the regiment was the Battle of New Market Heights in Virginia, a vital part in the Siege of Petersburg. Out of the 14 Medals of Honor given to the USCT at the Battle of New Market Heights, four of them were bestowed upon men of the 5th regiment. As a retired electrician, Lee Randles mainly works around his house with the occasional reenactment event here and there. In Randles’ 20 years with the 5th USCT, he’s been to numerous reenactment battles the original regiment was part of as well as several other battles in Kentucky, Tennessee and Florida. “I would say we used to do about 20 or more events in a summer,” Randles said. “A lot of driving back and forth or just going to see stuff along with reenacting. We were just trying to grasp history. It’s just so vast.” One of Randles’ more memorable reenactments was the Battle of Olustee that takes place every February near Lake City, Florida. Olustee was Florida’s largest Civil War battle and a sight to behold for Randles. “When I was there, there were 500 or so African-American (Union) troops while there was maybe 2,000 to 3,000

Confederate troops,” Randles said. “We’re just standing there firing on the battlefield. It seemed like (the Confederates) never stopped coming out of the woods.” Reenactments like that are what drive Randles’ love for history, as he travels proudly in uniform to educate interested civilians and meet fascinating people. “It’s much more than a hobby,” Randles said. “I love for people to come ask me things, and I love asking them questions. The stories I’ve heard are just so enjoyable to listen to. It’s amazing. Nowhere else than being in reenacting can you get that and see that.” BEHIND THE SCENES Oiler himself met plenty of compelling people as an extra in the war movies Gods and Generals and American Drummer Boy. Oiler and the other extras would be up before the sun rose and out on the battlefield for a full day of filming. Despite the long work days on the sets of Gods and Generals in Staunton, Virginia, and Sharpsburg, Maryland, Oiler had the opportunity of meeting Stephen Lang (Stonewall Jackson) and Jeff Daniels (Joshua Chamberlain). “It was quite the experience,” Oiler said. “A lot of it was hurrying up and then waiting. Maybe an hour later, we’d do one charge and then — ‘Cut! Let’s go back and do it again.’ We may do the same thing three to four times.” While most reenactments are meant for public viewing, the retired high school science teacher enjoys the select few shared only among the reenactors themselves. One of his favorites was in 2004 when he traveled with the

91st Ohio Infantry to Shiloh, Tennessee, sleeping in a tent in 19 degree weather. “There’s a lot of things in reenacting that the public don’t see that makes it realistic to the reenactor, and that’s what makes it fun,” Oiler said. “When you do it for the public, you’re putting on a show, but you try to be as realistic as you possibly can, and I’ve really enjoyed my time reenacting.” AN EXPENSIVE TASTE The educational aspect of Civil War reenacting is one of, if not, the driving factor as to why Clark Morgan joined the 5th USCT. “I just love history, both Civil War history and black history in particular,” Morgan said. The minister of Love Missionary Baptist Church in Swanton takes a lot of pride in the authenticity of the way his characters look. From weapons to clothing, Morgan spends thousands of dollars to make his outfits as genuine as possible. “I probably have $8,000 to $10,000 invested,” Morgan said. “I have weapons well over a $1,000 each. I also do about seven to eight different characters, and that’s why it adds up.” Many reenactors buy all their reenacting needs from Civil War Sutler websites. These websites hold everything from working pistols and rifles to military pants and vests. The diverse range of products gives any reenactor the chance to be as original as possible. “There’s a term in the reenactoring community called the ‘10-foot rule,’ where everything should look legitimate 10 feet or farther away,” Morgan said. “But I like to go by the 5-foot rule. I like for it to be looking real up close.” With the many characters Morgan reenacts, including the more modern hero Martin Luther King Jr., he’s either holding presentations or at a reenacting event at least

once a month, sharing his broad knowledge of whichever character he’s playing that day. A CHANGING SUBCULTURE A more prominent character of the past Morgan reenacts is Sergeant Major Milton Holland. Holland was denied enlistment because of his biracial descent until 1863 when troops of color were integrated in the war, and he joined the 5th USCT in Athens. Holland was awarded a Congressional Medal of Honor for his acts of heroism at the Battle of New Market Heights. Along with Holland, many men from Athens and the Southeast Ohio area enlisted, due to the area’s proximity to West Virginia and Kentucky, border states that had to be propped up to remain loyal to the Union. Through careful research, Carl Denbow, director of communication emeritus at Ohio University, discovered a large portion of men from Southeast Ohio participated in Sherman’s March to the Sea in 1864. The march took place in Georgia from Nov. 15 until Dec. 21, its victory leading to the eventual surrender of the Confederacy. “Something like three of every 10 military-age men in Southeast Ohio were on the march,” Denbow said. “That means practically every family in the Southeast had a father, brother or someone who was involved. It affected this area pretty dramatically.” OU itself was forced to close down during the war since most of the students were away fighting. With that in mind, the magnitude of the Civil War and its repercussions are facts Oiler believes America still struggles to face today, negatively affecting the reenacting subculture. “I hate to see it dwindling. I’d just like to see more young people in it,” Oiler said. “They just don’t want to admit history happened. I think we need to teach history in schools

WOW !!

because we can’t deny what our country went through.” Although Denbow agrees with Oiler that the lack of teaching Civil War history is part of the problem, he attributes the decline in reenacting to the cyclical nature of the activity. “When they had the 100th anniversary in the 1960s, there was a big upswing, then the 150th there was another upswing, but now that’s kind of over,” Denbow said. “Whenever there’s one of these anniversaries, there’s a lot of articles and things on television about it that creates interest.” Brian Schoen, an associate professor of history at OU, agrees with the normal ebb and flow of the activity’s prominence in educating people on the Civil War, but he thinks part of its decline may also be a generational issue. “There are other ways people are engaging the past that are just different from an era in which reenacting was a primary way of doing that,” Schoen said. “It may also well be the role of video games and virtual reality that make the actual act of reenacting less central for people who are still interested in knowing the history or even envisioning what the past might have looked like.” As somebody who believes strongly in the need for history to be taught, Schoen agrees the more students exposed to the past, the better, but he does believe the Civil War is being taught in ways that are responsible in understanding the conflict. The presence of a more diverse representation of America’s history is a possible reason that could give reenactors hope to continue being an educational tool for all. “Reenacting in ways that represent the true diversity of the history being taught is one way of making it more appealing to a more diverse, educated American public,” Schoen said.







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the weekender Demolition Derby coming to Athens County Fairgrounds The Plains Volunteer Fire Department and the Athens County Agricultural Society will present “Fall Explosion” at the Athens County Fairgrounds. KERI JOHNSON STAFF WRITER

This weekend, The Plains Volunteer Fire Department and the Athens County Agricultural Society, or ACAS, are bringing mayhem and destruction to Athens. The “Fall Explosion” demolition derby will take place at the Athens County Fairgrounds, 286 W. Union St. Vehicle inspection starts at 3 p.m., and general admission starts at 7 p.m. The event can be found on Facebook. The event was an idea of Mickey West, fire chief at The Plains Volunteer Fire Department. The derby is a fundraiser for The Plains Volunteer Fire Department. Demolition derbies are a sport of perseverance, West said. “There’s 10 to 15 cars in a track inside barriers,” West said. “They start hitting each other, and it goes down to the last one running.” Demolition derbies are a common event held at the fairgrounds. They are a classic event, usually during the Athens County Fair. The Athens County Agricultural Society was a big help to West when he organized the event. “They’re letting me use the fairgrounds,” West said. The ACAS is helping organize food services and the sound system as well. “Demolition derbies here are usually pretty successful,” West said. He hopes this weekend draws a bigger crowd since students are in town. Fall Explosion isn’t all derby destruction, either. Small children will be running Power Wheels in the derby as well as two classes of lawn mowers. To West, demolition derbies are great, simple forms of entertainment. It gets people to come out and experience something fun. Cars in derbies are inspected and intended to be safe. Glass is removed 22 / OCT. 10, 2019

Photo of a past Demolition Derby taking place at the Athens County Fairgrounds. (PROVIDED VIA ATHENS COUNTY FAIR FACEBOOK)

from the vehicle, and drivers are prepared for motion. “It’s generally pretty safe,” West said. Inspections are also made for fairness purposes. “We inspect for safety and to make sure cars are not overbuilt and things like that,” West said. “(It’s) basically to make sure they’re not cheating.” West will be doing vehicular inspection. It is $5 to watch, and $35 to bring a car to compete in a race. To West, a demolition derby is a oneof-a-kind experience. It’s never the same thing twice. “It’s entertainment,” West said. “(It’s) something to do on a Saturday night.” The derby will also raffle off a chance to compete in the mini stock race. The winner must be 18 and up and have a valid driver’s license. “You never know what you’ll see at a demolition derby,” he said.

West hopes college students in town make for a bigger crowd than the usual summer derbies bring. Sean West, a laborer for Advanced Seamless Gutter & Roofing Inc., is running a car in the derby. While running a car in a demolition derby is risky business, it’s full of thrills. “It’s definitely an adrenaline rush,” Sean said. “You gotta keep your head on a swivel, and be aware of your surroundings.” There are precautions that are taken when driving, he added. “Safety is a major concern,” he said. “A lot of people wear neck braces and seat belts.” Sean has felt the effects of these risks, too. He’s experienced minor injuries driving before but nothing too serious. His cuts didn’t discourage him. Sean grew up watching demolition derbies. His father will be driving Saturday night as well. He’s always enjoyed

a good show. “(It’s) fun to watch — to see the cars bend, buckle up and metal crunch. It’s what people want to see,” he said. There are three classes competing Saturday night: mini-stock, mini-stock V-8 and kicker. With each class, cars increase in modification and sustainability, respectively. Sean will drive a car in the mini-stock V-8 class. “My race will probably only be about 20 to 30 minutes, depending on how many show up (to compete),” Sean said. Class competitions with more cars can last up to two hours, he said. Sean’s class modifies his vehicle to where it has no windows or interior. It reinforces the base of the car with a rollcage as well as a modified motor. For West, it is a vehicular-endurance competition. Derbies are about doing the right things to keep drivers’ cars running the longest. Kevin Marcum, manager at the Burrito Buggy, participated in a demolition derby in the early ’90s. Derby driving appealed to him because of the rush. “It’s fun to smash into things,” he said. Marcum thinks demolition derbies have universal appeal and add excitement to everyday people’s lives. “I think it’s the excitement of getting smashed — the adrenaline rush,” he said. “It’s addictive to watch.” @_KERIJOHNSON KJ153517@OHIO.EDU


WHAT: Fall Explosion Demolition Derby WHEN: Saturday, 7 p.m. WHERE: Athens County Fairgrounds, 286 W. Union St. ADMISSION: $5


FRIDAY National Coming Out Day at 10 a.m.

at The Front Room Coffeehouse, fourth floor of Baker Center. Make your own buttons, enjoy coffee and cookies and listen to stories over a piping hot cup of coffee on a fall day. Admission: Free

Offroad Park Open Ride at 2 p.m.

at Athens County Crawler’s Offroad Park, 4751 Gun Club Road. Go off-road for an afternoon full of pumpkin finding, carving and slingshotting. Admission: $20 per rig for one day or $30 for the entire weekend

Tea with a Librarian at 2 p.m. at the

Ohio University LGBT Center, 354 Baker Center. Chat about how to achieve academic success, and sip tea with the librarians from Alden Library. Admission: Free

SATURDAY Pumpkin Fest at 11 a.m. at The

Dairy Barn Arts Center, 8000 Dairy Lane. Celebrate the fall season by painting a pumpkin, enjoying a caramel apple or riding a horse-drawn wagon. Admission: Free

arts, music, & entertainment

Demolition Derby at 3 p.m. at the

Athens County Fairgrounds, 286 W. Union St. Watch what is certain to be an exciting and loud event. Admission: $5 to watch, $35 to run in the derby

The Union • 18 W Union St

Halloween Costume Creation at 10

Thursday Oct. 10th

a.m. at the Athens MakerSpace, 751 W. Union St. Bring your Halloween costume ideas to life at this class with costume designer Nellie Werger. Admission: $10

Music ACRN Presents

BATTLE OF THE BANDS Doors open at 8:00 pm 18 and over $5 at the door


Monthly Mindfulness at 2:30 p.m. at

Brewing Company, 8675 Armitage Road. Whether your thing is Dungeons and Dragons or card games, all are welcome to share their game or discover a new one. Admission: Free



for as low as

Ohio University Golf Course



for semester pricing and availability

Satuday Oct. 12 8:00 am REGISTER NOW

$20 student• $30 community $25 faculty/staff/alumni available at Presented by ABC Players


Thursday Oct. 10th Sunday October 13th


Tickets on sale now Reserved Seats $12 adult • $8 student available at



1008 E. State Street for Saturday October 12th

4:00 7:00 10:00 5:00 7:45 10:20

GEMINI MAN 4:10 7:10 10:10



IT: Chapter 2

The first in a series of events to celebrate Professor Emeritus and his work. Exhibitions, performances and gatherings will take place on campus and beyond

1:00 5:00 9:00

ADDITIONAL LISTINGS & advance tickets * Showtimes subject to change and may differ from day to day

Proceeds from this event benefit the Rita LaValley Student Support Fund. Providing opportunities for student scholarships and professional development funding

Peformance Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium AN INTIMATE EVENING OF SONGS AND STORIES WITH


Saturday Oct. 19th $45-$75 Main Floor • $35 Balcony


Trisolini Gallery • Baker Center Multicultural Art Gallery • Baker Ctr

HUSTLERS 4:30 7:30 10:00



FREE ADMISSION 52 Public Sq • Nelsonville

sponsored by the School of Art + Design and College of Fine Arts

Satuday Oct. 12 11am - 3pm

send us an email


Rec Skate at 3 p.m. at OU Bird Are-

na, 102 Oxbow Trail. Beginners, seasoned pros and everyone in-between is invited to show off their skills on the ice. Admission: $5 for adults, $4 for children, free for students; $4 for rental skates


The Dairy Barn Arts Center

On view throug Nov. 30th


Pumkin Painting • Henna Faeries • Apple Cider Carmel Apples • Wagon Rides

ART EXHIBIT Juried exhibition of works by contemporary Ohio artists


The Dairy Barn Arts Center

because it’s an affordable way to expose art, music, theater, films, and exhibitions

$15 per week!

Oct. 8th-12th

Game Night at 3 p.m. at Little Fish



$10 Adults • $ 7 Students/Seniors

Bodhi Tree Guesthouse and Studio, 8950 Lavelle Road. Explore mindfulness and meditation at this beginner-friendly gathering for women. Admission: Free, donations welcomed



Forum Theater • 35 College St by Lauren Gunderson Directed by Shelley Delaney






on view through October 12th

click on “College of Fine Arts” and select “news and events” for an entire listing of related events


THE ART EXHIBIT BY BLACK PEOPLE through December 1st Featuring Tsasia Mercado, kent Harris, & Elijah Justice


Music West End Ciderhouse


Join Chris Monday for Open Mic Night. $1 off most house & draft taps


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