If you have been to Galion High School athletic events in the past five to seven years, chances are you will have seen Isaac Babcock there. He can usually be found helping with athletic equipment, lending a hand to a coach, talking to students or players, or hanging out eating a slice of pizza, enjoying the game. Win or lose, he is there supporting his Galion Tigers.
If you are really lucky, you have had the privilege of getting to know him personally. And if you know him well, you just call him “Babs.”
Babcock is a 2016 graduate of Galion High School. Born with Down syndrome, he was mainstreamed for the entirety of his education as a student at Galion City Schools. He was a part of a tight knit class of kids who always seemed to take special care of him over the years they were in school.
Former classmate Houston Blair recalled his first memory of Babcock when they were little.
“The first time I remember him we were in second grade playing Upward Basketball at the Nazarene Church,” said Blair. “We were on the same team.”
Blair has many memories of Babs over the years, including lunches in the cafeteria together with a collective group of around 20 other classmates and having Babs lead the basketball team out of the team tunnel on senior night.
“He has always been pretty special to everyone,” Blair said.
Former track coach and assistant football coach Todd Roston echoes the same sentiment about Babs.
“He’s a great guy,” said Roston, a teacher at Galion Middle School. “I first met Isaac when he decided to run track his junior and senior year. He then stayed on and helped out every year after that until I was done coaching in 2020. He came to every practice and would help set up drills and help the coaches out in any way needed.
“He has helped with football the past several seasons, basically helping us in multiple ways throughout each week,” continued Roston. “Isaac is very supportive of all Galion sporting activities. He is one of the athletes’ biggest fans!”
Current track coach Ryan Scribner said many of the same words when it comes to the support and encouragement given by Babs.
“When it comes to being a Tiger fan, he has got to be the biggest fan in our community,” said Scribner. “I can’t think of a sporting event that I’ve either been coaching or watching as a fan myself that I haven’t seen Babs. He loves his community, Tigers, and is truly one of a kind.”
“He’s at every practice and just enjoys being around the kids and staff,” Scribner said. “He cares about every person that he is around and usually always asks how the kids and coaches are doing. We love having Babs around, and when it comes to having the eye of the Tiger, he’s got it!”
One might be lucky enough to even spot Babs on social media from time to time. His friendships with current students have involved creating and posting Tik Tok dances from the sidelines this past football season.
According to Babs’ mom, Lisa Babcock, his active schedule keeps her busy, too.
“His love for Galion sports is what gives him a social life,” she explained. “I’m thankful for that, even when it keeps me running too, just to get him there all the time.
“He gets attached to the kids each year. Graduation hits him hard because he really hates to see the seniors go. He’s a big softy, and he gets sad about it.”
Babs still talks often about time spent over the years with former students who have taken the time to create friendships with him.
“He will come home from games and tell me that he got to see Gage (Lackey) or Colton (Powell) while he was there, and it just makes his night,” said Lisa Babcock.
But make no mistake, Babs is very passionate about one thing for sure: he always wants to see Galion win. And while he supports all Galion sports equally, he will tell you that he definitely has one sport that is special to him.
“Basketball is my favorite,” he said. “I really like football a lot, too.”
This season, not only will Babs be watching from the stands during every game at GHS, he will also be assisting the eighth grade boys basketball coach Ted Maglio at Galion Middle School during practices and games.
“I’m going to help them win,” said Babs.
Contact Erin Miller at [email protected].