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Greatest Bluffton High School girls sports team ever?

CORRECTION: Tara Buroker's last name was spelled incorrectly in the first version of this article.

By Bill Herr
Bluffton Icon columnist


Reading poetry with Amelia: The First Thanksgiving

By Amelia Alexander
Icon columnist

This is the first in a series of columns by Ada student Amelia Alexander about "reading and debriefing" poetry. 

“First Thanksgiving” by Sharon Olds


A Halloween story with a Bluffton twist

By Fred Steiner

Want to hear a good Halloween story? Here’s one. And, it’s true.

Most of us have forgotten that the bend in the road on State Route 235 north of Ada was originally laid out as a 90-degree angle. If you head north, you can see a remnant of that angle – but look closely.

Most of us have also forgotten that the 90-degree angle once had a name: Dead Man’s Jog. 


What BHS graduate has contributed more to athletics?

By Bill Herr

What graduate in Bluffton High School (BHS) history has contributed more to athletics before and after his graduation than any other? My choice is Jim (Spike) Berry. This is his story. Today Spike lives with his wife Joyce in Bluffton. They have two children, Julie and Jay, and four grandchildren. Spike graduated from BHS in 1956. He was a good athlete in three sports: football, basketball and baseball.

Ron Lora played football and basketball with Spike and shared these reflections: "Spike and I were classmates in high school. We even roomed together at Bluffton University in Lincoln Hall. He was always upbeat, outgoing, and friendly–popular with all of our classmates and teammates. Spike understood the fundamentals of the sports he did. I asked him which sport he liked best. He said that whatever sport was in season, he liked that sport the best."

In high school Spike was a team leader. He played in memorable games. Bellefontaine was ranked either 1 or 2 in the state in basketball. There were two divisions then, A and B. They were in A and BHS in B. Bluffton defeated them. Willshire was undefeated and won the State tournament, but their closest game was with Bluffton, which was ahead 16 points at halftime. Willshire's 6 foot 11 inch center dominated in the second half and they won. Spike scored in double figures in both games.


Diamonds and crayons are forever (practically)

A crayon recycling collection box can be found in the children's area of the Bluffton Public Library.

By Liz Gordon-Hancock

Don’t throw your unwanted crayons away! According to Crayola’s website, Crayola crayons are made of paraffin wax, which is refined from petroleum. That means crayons take years to biodegrade if thrown away and taken to landfill. 

According to the National Crayon Recycle Program, 12 million crayons are produced each day. That makes a potential 12 million crayons going into landfill tomorrow. 


Memories of the first day of school and favorite teachers

The following reflections on being a student and a teacher come from columnist Bill Herr who taught high school for 32 years. He taught math at Bluffton High School from 1975-1995.

By Bill Herr

Yahoo! School is starting.

When I taught high school I really enjoyed the first day back. The students were excited to see their friends and they often wore new clothes. The teachers were excited. I always asked the students to write what they did that summer. And I asked them to write the names of their siblings in case I had them in school before. They needed to know that I cared about them beyond the classroom.