Best of Columbus: Editors’ Picks for Sports

A renaissance lineman, a Blue Jacket legend’s fond farewell, a run for the record book and more

Columbus Monthly staff
Harry Miller (76)

Renaissance Lineman 

Things you should know about OSU offensive lineman Harry Miller: He was a high school valedictorian; he makes mission trips to Nicaragua; he plays guitar, cello, banjo and keys, and covers songs by Steve Miller and Childish Gambino online; he mentioned in a press conference that he’d just read the epic Hindu poem “Bhagavad Gita”; he’s a mechanical engineering major who wants to own a bookstore and sail the Atlantic; he will shove huge men into the turf this fall. 

Sharpshooters 

The 2017 Best of Columbus issue noted that the most successful OSU program is synchronized swimming. Well, add another under-the-radar dynasty to the mix, as Ohio State’s pistol team picked up national championships in the open and women’s divisions, the sixth in each since 2000. Buckeyes Jackson Leverett and Katelyn Abeln also won individual titles. 

Passing of the Torch 

The Upper Arlington girls’ lacrosse team has dominated Division I in Ohio, having never lost a playoff game since the OHSAA sanctioned the sport in 2017. This year, they were upset by the Dublin Coffman Shamrocks, who went on to win the state title over New Albany with a goal at the buzzer. 

More:Columbus Monthly’s Best of Columbus 2021

Public Health Promotion 

The only gameday gimmick with better value than Dime-a-Dog Night? The Columbus Clippers’ vaccine giveaway. After 20 months in pandemic limbo, the team collaborated with Mount Carmel to provide the Johnson & Johnson shot to fans during the first three innings of games from May 11 to May 16. 

Former Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Nick Foligno (71) takes a face-off during the first period of the NHL hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes at Nationwide Arena in Columbus on Monday, Feb. 8, 2021.

Farewell 

Unlike the departure of most sports stars, there seemed to be nothing but well-wishers when Nick Foligno was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in April. Perhaps it was that the Blue Jackets were clearly heading toward a rebuild, or that he could return this summer, or that he’s widely seen as a class act—albeit one who punches people at work—but Columbus Monthly readers still picked him as their favorite Jacket even though voting ended two weeks after he left. 

Ohio State running back Trey Sermon hurdles Northwestern defensive back A.J. Hampton.

Run for the Record Books 

Running back Trey Sermon was a Buckeye for only eight games, but the Oklahoma transfer left quite a legacy. With OSU trailing in the Big Ten championship, Sermon trampled Northwestern as if settling a blood feud, amassing 271 yards in the second half alone. His 331-yard total outpaced the Wildcats’ entire offense and broke Eddie George’s single-game school record, as well as Ezekiel Elliott’s Big Ten title-game record. Sermon’s 65-yard third-quarter scamper also led to a great moment in TV announcing, as the inimitable Gus Johnson—ostensibly giving coach Ryan Day advice for the Bucks’ comeback—screamed into the mic, “Run! The ball!”