The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper


Everyone knew Oak Harbor's 1982-83 boys’ basketball team was going to be

special. The veteran coach, Dave Christie, knew it and so did the players.


The success of the 1981-82 team, which finished 21-3 and lost to Swanton 63-60 in the district finals, was the precursor for what was to come.

What those Rockets didn't realize before the start of that 1982-83 season was how they would bring an entire community together and, in essence, become rock stars in Oak Harbor and in gymnasiums throughout the Suburban Lakes League.

"I remember walking into gyms before the jayvee games even started and they were already sold out," recalled Larry Fizer, then a 6-2 senior co-captain. "It was that kind of atmosphere the whole season."

The '82-'83 squad was a selfless bunch of gym rats who'd played together since they were in grade school.

The team consisted of seven seniors, four juniors and two sophomores, including the coach's sons, senior scoring machine Dan Christie and junior point guard Don Christie. Dan would be named the UPI Player of the Year at the end of the season, while Don was a third-team all-state selection.


Each year in March, 16 schools are vying for four divisional state basketball championships at Value City Arena in Columbus. 

However, the Genoa community and Genoa Area High School might want to reflect back in time over 35 years ago when the tournament was played at fabled St. John Arena.

Head coach Dave Hitchen and his comrades, 6-10 Ron Hammye, 6-7 Mike Diekman, 6-7 Harlan Niehaus, 6-2 Jeff Shaneck, and 6-2 Jim Feckley had defeated Elyria Catholic in the Class AA regional final at Anderson Arena in Bowling Green and were headed for the big show in Columbus.

Hitchen was instrumental in developing the Genoa program as head coach for nine years. During that time, the Comets were 118-59, won four Suburban Lakes League championships and were regional qualifiers twice. Before he came on board, the Comets posted only one winning season in ten years.

“We kind of set the trend for Genoa basketball starting with the 1972-73 season. Since then we’ve had an awful lot of good kids. Since then we’ve made Genoa one of the area’s best basketball programs around,” Hitchen explained.


Too bad for Oak Harbor girls basketball fans that Dan Christie decided to raise



his family in Central Ohio instead of his hometown.

Christie, a 1983 Oak Harbor grad who led the Rockets to the 1983 Class AA state championship game, played basketball at the University of Dayton. He married and stayed in the Dayton area, where he is a financial advisor for UBS Financial Services.

Had Dan and Margie Christie, who will be married 21 years in June, moved to Oak Harbor two decades ago, the Rockets' girls basketball program would have reaped the benefits of their three daughters' basketball skills.

Ashley Christie, 18, is a senior guard at Kettering Archbishop Alter High School. Her sister, Courtney, 16, is a junior guard at Alter while their older sister, Nicole, 20, was a standout for the Knights and is now a sophomore at Ohio University.

Nicole and Ashley were both starters and Courtney was a freshman sub in 2008, when Alter won its first girls state basketball title in school history. The Knights beat Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown 60-46 in the Division II title game at Value City Arena in Columbus.



Giving money to people along road

Do you feel compelled to give money to people holding signs along the road asking for money?
1842451304 [{"id":"10","title":"No, I'm not sure they're legitimate.","votes":"5","pct":62.5,"type":"x","order":"1","resources":[]},{"id":"11","title":"No, I'm afraid they will use it for drugs.","votes":"1","pct":12.5,"type":"x","order":"2","resources":[]},{"id":"12","title":"Yes, I feel good about helping someone down on their luck.","votes":"2","pct":25,"type":"x","order":"3","resources":[]},{"id":"13","title":"Yes, we could all end up like that.","votes":"0","pct":0,"type":"x","order":"4","resources":[]}] ["#194e84","#3b6b9c","#1f242a","#37414a","#60bb22","#f2babb"] sbar 160 160 /communitypolls/vote/1-root.html?Itemid=246&id=5 No answer selected. Please try again. Thank you for your vote. Answers Votes ...