Barn Olympics a draw a crowd

John Stegeman Sports Editor

August 10, 2012


PDT Staff Writer

LUCASVILLE — The London Olympics had nothing on the Junior Fair participants Thursday night in the livestock arena.

“The 4-H Barn Olympics was probably the most exciting show I’ve seen on this fairground,” Scioto County Fair Board member Eugene Risner said. “We had kids screaming and yelling. We had club against club. Everybody was trying to be everybody else. We had a big crowd, a lot of participation, and we can’t wait till next year to do it even bigger.”

Risner may have been a little bit prejudiced, but in his opinion the Minford Dairy Club won the event “hands down.”

Jared McCray, who just happened to be a member of that team, took home MVP honors.

“I first started off in the ‘egg on a spoon,’ relay, and everyone else is a little smaller than I was. And it took me a little bit to get around the hay bales, and my hands were shaking,” McCray said. “But then, after that, we had the ‘tug of war,’ and it was me, my brother Jonas, Jake Blackburn, Nick Blackburn, and Lucas Hileman, and we were going up against a 4-H group from South Webster.”

This might be a good place to make note of the fact that Jared is 6 feet - 5 inches tall and weighs 305 pounds. He also plays a little football and will be part of the Minford team as a junior in 2012. Jared has received scholarship offers from Kent State and Akron and also attended camps at Ohio State, Penn State and West Virginia.

“We got on our sides of the rope, and we started pulling. We weren’t going anywhere really - they gave us a good match,” McCray said. “And then Jake decides to count to three and we would pull just as hard as we could, and that seemed to keep us up, and win that tug of war for us.”

Little did the Minford team know, but their biggest challenge of the night was ahead.

“There were some older fellas who wanted to challenge us,” McCray said. “So there was about the whole Minford Dairy Club against about nine or 10 older fellas, and we took them down.”

No gold medals were awarded, though it is obvious they earned them.

“We got some winners ribbons, and we got a couple of USA stickers,” McCray said.

Jo Williams, Extension Educator 4-H Youth Development verified the 4-H Olympics was the most exciting event of the season.

“I think it has been the most successful thing we’ve had this week so far,” Williams said.

Amanda and Mike Coverman oversaw the event to the delight of all of the participants and spectators.

“This is the first year that they’ve done it. They used to do something similar the Barn Olympics many years ago, but this is the first year they’ve done it in a long time,” Williams said. “It was a huge success. The kids had so much fun. So I’m pretty sure it will become an annual event now, because there were kids and parents and everybody. They had a great time. It was a lot of fun.”

Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 232, or at flewis@heartlandpublications.com.