In the USA, local communities salute their successful athletes and Findlay and Hancock County, Ohio has been honouring its local athletes since 1985. Ray Harroun, winner of the first Indianapolis 500 is one of the inductees into the Hancock Sports Hall of Fame.
This year it was the turn of the Roethlisbergers to be inducted. Brother and sister joined four other inductees.
Ben Roethlisberger – all-Ohio football and basketball player at Findlay High and before starring at Miami (Ohio), quarterbacked the Pittsburgh Steelers to Super Bowl XL (2006), Super Bowl XLIII (2009) and Super Bowl XLV (2011).
Carlee Roethlisberger – all-Ohio volleyball and basketball performer at Findlay High who went on to a solid college basketball career with the University of Oklahoma.
During her acceptance speech, Carlee suggested that, “Once a decade I get to beat Ben at something – Left-handed P-I-G, Yahtzee, Graduating college. The school scoring record.”
Carlee admitted, “It’s more than just awards and trophies. It’s what you do with the opportunities you’re given. “It’s a huge honour to share this with my big brother Ben. We’re grateful, because the support of this town has been awesome.”
“It’s about being able to dream big and go after those dreams,” stressed Ben, who said he imagined throwing game-winning touchdown passes in his backyard on Woodley Terrace long before he did it in a 31-28 win over Napoleon in high school, a 30-27 win over Akron in college and a 27-23 Super Bowl XLIII win over Arizona in the pros.
“It’s humbling to be up here in front of so many great athletes who have been inducted, and it’s great to be going in (the hall) with Carlee. She’s a phenomenal athlete and an even better person.”
The Finlay Hancock Courier suggested Saturday’s induction was redeeming as well as rewarding as far as Ben Roethlisberger was concerned.
In the past, “Some negative things were said about me by people in this town. I was hurt and I resented that,” he admitted. “But I want to say I’m sorry for letting a few bad words cloud the support I’ve had from so many people. I’m proud of this town. It means a lot to me and my family to be embraced with open arms like this. I’m humble and I’m proud to call Findlay home.”
Photo tweeted by Carlee Roethlisberger.