So, the Enquirer has released a pair of lists this week on Cincinnati.com regarding the Cincy-area's 100 best multi-sport high school athletes. There's a male list and a female list. I haven't really given the female list much of a look (not that I won't) but the male list is filled with former Reds as well as guys who played in the Reds' farm system. It's kind of a cool, who's-who of Reds from yesteryear.
But that's not the only fun part. Seeing pictures of Barry Larkin in his football helmet or long-forgotten names like D'Jaun and Hiawatha Francisco brought back a lot memories and some new images that I'd never seen/forgotten about from this city's rich sports history. Stuff like: did anyone here know that Astros and Dodgers stand-out Jimmy Wynn ran cross country for a season in high school? I sure as balls didn't.
As for the list itself -- and I can't believe I'm typing this being an Ohio guy -- I think Northern Kentucky is a little under served here. Yeah, there's your Highlands kids and the occasional Cov Cath and New Cath player (and of course David Justice at Covington Latin) sprinkled in, but most of the KY athletes are in the middle or back end of the top 100. Also, I don't believe there's a single Indiana kid -- I could be wrong because I don't know where some of the now-defunct early-20th Century high schools were located -- but that makes sense as the Enquirer, and Cincy media in general, has pulled its way out of SE Indiana.
This list got me thinking about some of the better athletes I knew growing up and some of the very good high school talent I was allowed to witness in this city. So, here's my question: who's the best HS athlete (this means multiple sports) you've seen live? For me, I saw LeBron James (he played football at SVSM for two seasons) as both a sophomore and senior but as far as the best Cincy-area athlete, the jury's still out. There have been a lot. Michael Munoz is certainly one that I'll never forget and that kid didn't make the Enquirer's list.
I know this site is frequented by a good share of GCL alums as well as some Princeton folks and (I believe) a Middletown person or two. So there's a good chance that a few of us saw some real stars in bloom. And for those of you in Kentucky and Indiana and points elsewhere, who was the best from your area? I think it's alwasy crazy to hear stories about college and pro players from their HS days. Like this guy, who should have never played college football but instead focused on baseball. (Seriously, dude was better at the hard ball than the pigskin.)
So, RR, anyone standout to you from your collective glory days?