Chad Clinger column: Catching up, and a huge thank you

We have reached the end of May, and that means we’re almost halfway through 2019. As I sit here drinking my coffee, I can’t help but feel an overwhelming wave of emotion run over me as I think back to what this year has already brought me personally.

First, I’d like to speak about the things going on in the primary aspect of my job here at the Galion Inquirer, sports.

By the time this column finds its way to print, the 2018-2019 high school sports seasons will be on their final day, concluding with the finals at the state track and field meet.

I could sit here all day and go over all of the accomplishments of Galion, Colonel Crawford, Northmor and Crestline student athletes, since we’re limited on space, I will simply send an umbrella-type congratulations to all.

On that same note, I’d like to personally wish the best of luck to all seniors from the class of 2019.

This past year has been one for the books, to say the least. I have been privileged to watch some stellar individual and team performances and look forward to doing the same next year and beyond. With that being said, it occurred to me that the class of 2020 will be the first class in which I have had the honor of covering since their freshman seasons.

And that brings me to another thing, past student athletes that I have seen move on to great accomplishments.

I’ll start with one that I went to high school with, you know, back in the day.

Danielle Holt graduated the year before me at Galion High School and I attended many of the volleyball games that she played in. Holt was part of the two state champion teams from Galion and went on to continue her career at Kent State University. Danielle was feared on the courts in high school. I remember her — at least once — spiking down a kill so fierce that it knocked a girl on her behind. Anyway, Holt was recently inducted to the Kent State Hall of Fame and is the school’s career leader in kills, among other categories.

Mac Spears, a 2017 Galion graduate, is a member of the Heidelberg University baseball squad. Recently, “The Berg” earned a berth in the Division III College World Series, so, that’s pretty rad in itself. Spears is a member of the starting pitching rotation up there in Tiffin and this summer will be in action for the Galion Graders for his second consecutive season.

There’s also Marisa Gwinner, one of the most decorated athletes in Galion High School history. She recently won the Division II National Championship in the high jump for Tiffin University … as a freshman. Marisa cleared a height of 1.73 meters at the meet in Texas to become the first-ever female national champion in the Tiffin school’s history. In March, Gwinner earned her first All-American selection by finishing third at the Indoor Championships.

If anyone has more information about area graduates doing big things, please feel free to shoot me an email and let me know. I love hearing about people succeeding, whether it’s athletics or otherwise.

To anyone that followed along in March, you may recall that I was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Well, as a bit of an update, I have since been cleared to return “back to normal.” Following more blood work and scans, it was shown that the cancer was caught early and did not have a chance to spread to any other part of my body. So, that’s the good news.

For the bad news, I am now stuck with close to $10,000 of hospital bills in the process. It is daunting to think about but hey, so is the alternative.

That diagnosis left me feeling defeated, I won’t lie. It kept me from covering a lot of spring sports activities and, in the process, took its toll on me emotionally. However, I am doing my best to combat that and I feel like I am finally hitting my stride again. To all of you that have asked me how I am doing and such, thank you. I may not always seem jovial to field the questions, but I do appreciate your concerns and thank you all again for your prayers and well wishes.

Moving forward, I hope to attend as many Galion Graders games as I can over the summer so that I may provide you all with updates on how the local squad is doing. There are many returnees on the field this season and a good group of local kids that many of you may recognize, either by face, name or former accolades.

Additionally, the summer is sort of a “down time” for sporting news. With that being said, feel free to send me suggestions on things going on in the area that may be of interest. I want to again extend a “thank you” for continuing to follow along and I hope that, from here and beyond, I can continue to bring you all of the sporting news that I can.

Chad Clinger Galion Inquirer Clinger Galion Inquirer


Follow Chad on Twitter @GalionSportsGuy, call him at 419-468-1117, ext. 2048 or email him at