The lone sporting event going on at Philomath High School this holiday week was the annual Benton County Championships wrestling meet. This is always one of the most enjoyable events to cover because it just makes for a good story to see the Warriors going up against athletes from neighboring schools.
Joey Howell had an interesting story within a story with his match in the finals against Monroe's Kai Garber in the 160-pound weight division. For those who don't know, the Howell family has deep roots in Monroe and Joey's close relatives wrestled there. So to end up in the finale against a Dragon made for a lot of interest.
In fact, Joey said his grandfather had some fun with his Monroe opponent's grandfather with the match's outcome.
While I'm on the subject of Joey, I must say that I've always had a lot of fun interviewing him. A lot of student-athletes try a little too hard in interviews, wanting to say the right thing or letting the digital recorder intimidate them. This is especially true of the underclassmen who aren't used to talking to me yet.
But Joey's always been a straight shooter with me. He seems to just say what's on his mind and interviews with him resemble a conversation I would have with a good friend. He's a senior now and he'll be one of the athletes I'll certainly miss.
Now, Joey, get your name up on that wall.