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Friday, September 29, 2017

Interview with Dom Tiberi: Maria’s Message, a Message of Love

“There lived once a young girl whose perfect grace of character was the wonder of those who knew her. She wore on her neck a gold locket which no one was ever allowed to open. One day, in a moment of unusual confidence, one of her companions would be allowed to touch its spring and learn its secret. She saw written these words— “Whom having not seen, I love.” That was the secret of her beautiful life.” 
                                                                                                                     Henry Drummond

In 2016, there were 13,999 wrecks involving distracted driving compared to 13,271 in 2015. The leading cause of death in children ages 8-24 in 2017 is car crashes. For Dom and Terri Tiberi, these statistics are more than just numbers, they are personal.
On Sept. 19th, two days after the 4th year anniversary of his daughter Maria’s death, Dom spoke passionately in support of House Bill 95 at a Senate subcommittee hearing. HB 95 will provide tougher penalties for moving violations which occur while driving distracted. The bill is a great start to hold people accountable for distracted driving by hitting them where it hurts, in the pocket book.

Legislation can only do so much though; It is hearts and minds however, that need to be reached so that real substantive change can occur. Tiberi has been fighting this battle for hearts and minds daily for the last four years ever since his daughter’s death.

Dom is the weekday sports anchor of 10TV News HD and the co-host of Wall-to-Wall Sports, seen on weekends at 11:30 p.m. on 10TV.  Known for his rich baritone voice and gregarious personality, he has become a fixture in Central Ohio having covered OSU, high school sports, and professional sports for the 10TV family since 1981. Dom is not only known for his love for sports, but his love for his family.

The father daughter relationship is both special and singular.  Maria Elizabeth Tiberi, the middle child of Terri and Dom Tiberi was affectionately known by her father as “the attorney.”  Maria was known for arguing her sibling Kelsey or Dominic’s cases when they got in trouble.

Maria Tiberi

As Maria got older, the loving father and daughter bond she and her father had developed only strengthened. They would talk everyday using the latest social media invention including Snapchat or FaceTime. In the fall of 2013, Maria was back home after finishing up her semester at OSU where she majored in Graphic Design.

Maria had two sayings in her young life, “Live and let live,” and “I love you more.”

On September 17th, 2013 at 10:38pm, Maria left the house for a late-night study session. Her mother’s words to her as she walked out the door were, “I love you, Maria,” to which Maria responded, “I love you more.” These were the last words they would ever hear.

Dom had an uneasy feeling that night after Maria left. He sat in what he called his “worry chair” which faces the pictures on the wall of his precious children; it’s a chair every parent has.

At 2:27 AM, Dom heard the doorbell ring five times and his life would never be the same.

“I looked out the side window and saw 7 policemen standing on my porch. As I opened the door I knew something was wrong. I saw the Chief of Dublin police, a friend of mine, Heinz von Eckartsberg.

I remember Heinz asking me, “Dom, does Maria drive a red car?” I said yes. He then said the words that no parent ever wants to hear. “Dom, I don’t know how to tell you this, but Maria was involved in a horrible accident and she did not survive.”
I will never forget the sadness in his eyes and in his voice as he told me. Heinz is a dear friend…and I will never forget that he was there for my family and me. I will never forget the sadness in all the officers’ faces. They cried with me that morning.” (Maria’s Story, Columbus Dispatch 3/13/2016)
No drugs or alcohol were found in Maria’s system and no texts or phone calls were made around the time of the accident. Police determined that the accident was attributed to distracted driving due to there not being any signs of breaking before Maria’s Corolla collided at 53 mph with the rear end of a semi-truck.
In the immediate aftermath of the accident, Dom thought about not going back on television, “When this happens, it’s a shock to your system.” He related that he didn’t care whether he lived or died. Dom told his wife, “If I’m going to do what I do to make a living, we are going to have to embrace this. We are going to learn to embrace the pain.”
On the advice of former OSU president Gordon Gee and the late John F. Wolfe (former CEO of Dispatch Printing Co.), Dom went back to work. Maria’s funeral was on a Monday and Dom went back to work on a Wednesday.
Dom credits his 10TV family with saving his life. He also expressed great gratitude to those in the Ohio State community, “We will always have a special place in our hearts for the Wolfe family, Jack Nicklaus, Coach Urban Meyer, Coach Thad Matta, Gene Smith and Ohio State.”

Dom Tiberi with Coach Urban Meyer

Through the strength provided from that initial outpouring of love from 10TV, the counsel of John Wolfe and many others around the country, Dom and his wife Terri started the Maria’s Message campaign.  Maria’s Message has now been been shared with over 60,000 kids. Dom just recently spoke at his 86th high school in Canal Winchester. He started speaking in the spring of 2014.
No matter how many times Dom has given his talk, it’s very difficult for him to share Maria’s story and it’s very difficult for kids to hear it. The response to Dom’s talks however, is always strong. Recently at Hilliard Davidson, kids came up to him in tears and hugged him.
After hearing Dom’s heartfelt and personal talk, kids are asked to take Maria’s pledge.  “Keep your hands on the wheel, your eyes on the road and your mind on driving.”

Dom Tiberi speaking at Canal Winchester. Photo courtesy of Greg Dosch

A key component of Dom’s talks is the use of virtual driving simulators to simulate distracted driving and to teach defensive driving. The simulators are very graphic and cut through the oversaturated sensory environment kids spend most of their days.
Dom hopes and prays that kids begin to drive like everyone around them is distracted, and as if their life depends on it, because at the end of the day it does.
In 2014, Dom and his wife Terri founded the nonprofit organization called the Maria Tiberi Foundation. They don’t make any money from the organization.  All contributions are directed into buying new driving simulators. Virtual Driver Interactive from California has been supplying the simulators. The cost per simulator is about $15,000. 
Thus far, the Maria Tiberi Foundation has donated a total of 44 simulators to various police, county, and safety organizations around Ohio.  The police departments can then get the simulators in front of high school kids.  ODOT has also been gifted five simulators to use as they see fit throughout the state of Ohio.
The Maria Tiberi Foundation wouldn’t have been able to able to make this much progress without the kindness, compassion and great generosity of others.  The Columbus Police Department was gifted two simulators from the Buster Douglas Foundation and the Trey Burke Foundation. A simulator was donated to the Ohio State University police department through the generosity of Shelley and Urban Meyer and Coach Earle Bruce. Jim Tressel also helped to put a simulator in Mahoning County through Youngstown State University.
In addition to getting simulators in each county, it is Dom’s hope that one day all teens will be required to pass a simulator test as part of their Ohio driver’s license examination. The program is currently in the pilot stage at the Morse Road and Alum Creek BMV locations.
Dom doesn’t want any recognition for his efforts, “We don’t want any other family to go through what we did. Four years ago seems likes it was 30 seconds ago. We want to wake up from this nightmare. The holidays are always very difficult for us.”

Dom with his wife Terri, Maria, Kelsey and Dominic

Dom stated recently, “You don’t choose this it chooses you; we need to be on the top of a mountaintop screaming because it’s so preventable. It’s an epidemic. I pray for the day we can say it’s no longer an epidemic.” (Thomas Gnau, Dayton Daily News, Sept. 12, 2017)
Dom is driven by an eternal love for his daughter and a deep love for others. He shares that Maria’s message is a message of love, “We want you to love yourself enough to keep yourself safe.”  Dom confesses that there is no way he could deliver Maria’s message on his own, “I know that there is no way that I could be doing this if my little angel wasn’t with me, she gives me the strength to do what I do.”
Dom will not rest until he gets a simulator in every county and in front of every kid in Ohio.  To date they have placed a simulator in 19 of the 88 counties with Hamilton and Hardin County being the most recent counties.
There is so much more work to be done, and rest assured, Dom will keep sacrificing himself and shouting from the mountaintops in order that no one’s son or daughter’s life is ever deprived by distracted driving.
 “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends.” John 15:13
To help the Tiberi’s carry on Maria’s Message, please donate to The Maria Tiberi Foundation through Paypal or by mail to:
Maria Tiberi Foundation
P.O. Box 4225
Dublin, Ohio 43016
Nicholas Jackson

Copyright 2017 Nicholas Jackson - All rights reserved.

Nick is a 1997 graduate of Ohio University, in Athens, Ohio where he received his B.S in Biological Sciences. He went on to receive his Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy at Andrews University in Dayton, Ohio and then his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Chatham University in Pittsburgh. He has been published in the Newark Advocate, The Granville Sentinel, and the St. Louis Metro Voice; and professionally in the Journal of Acute Care Physical Therapy. Nick has also been a guest host on 88.9 WLRY and 880AM WRFD

Permission to reprint article required from author
Nick’s email:

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Heart of a Buckeye, The Jacob Jarvis Story, Part 3

 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV)

Jacob’s day starts bright and early every morning at 5 AM. As part of Jake’s morning routine, Jake’s stepfather has a devotional with him while he is in his EZ Stander (Jake stands in it an hour each morning and evening to help maintain his strength). This week, Chad and Jake are discussing the fruits of the Spirit from the Bible, particularly self-control. Along with self-control, Mr. Studebaker is trying to instill in Jake the importance of integrity. “Integrity is doing what is right when no one is looking.” It’s a lesson not just for Jake, but for all of us.

At Ohio State, Coach Meyer tries to cultivate a feeling of family, love and brotherhood. One of the ways he accomplishes this is through regular team meals. If folks can put down their devices for even just a half hour a day, and look each other in the eye; imagine the fellowship and bonds that could be forged over time.

When Jake and his stepfather attended that first practice in 2013, Coach Meyer invited them to also be a part of their post practice team meal. At one point, Chad had to run to his car while Urban watched Noah and Jake. Here was the CEO, and most powerful person at the head of The Ohio State Buckeyes football machine, taking time out to invest in two youngster’s lives. Jake said Coach Meyer spent 20 minutes explaining the biblical roots of their names, and the stories and meanings behind them. As Chad said, this was Coach Meyer’s expression of love to Noah and Jake.

Jake with Coach Meyer

Coach Meyer would be the first to tell you he is not perfect. He, like all of us, struggles with the battle to walk with integrity every day. It’s a choice we all make and the battle never stops. A dear friend remarked, “Urban Meyer was God’s gift to Jake, and Jake was God’s gift to Urban.”  Yes, Coach has done wonders for Jake’s confidence and growth, but Jake has had just as big of an impact on Coach.

In 2008, the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) joined forces with Parent Project MD to support Coaches to Cure MD. Parent Project MD is the largest nonprofit organization in the United States, devoted entirely to Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Coaches to Cure was developed to raise national awareness of Duchenne MD, and to help raise money to find a cure.

One Saturday of every season, AFCA coaches will wear a Coach to Cure armband to help raise awareness for Duchenne MD. As a member of AFCA, the Ohio State University football team has worn a patch for Coach to Cure ever since its founding.  Coach Meyer admits that he wore the patch every year but didn’t know really what it was for. It wasn’t until he met Jake and his family that the patch on his arm became more than just a symbol, it became personal.

In 2014, Coach Meyer and the OSU football team donated $10,000 to Parent Project MD. They have continued this every year since.  Coach Meyer has taken it a step further. Now every student athlete on the football team at the behest of Meyer, are encouraged to pay it forward and give part of their stipend to help fight Duchenne MD.

Former OSU cornerback and current NFL Denver Bronco Bradley Roby was one of the first OSU athletes to reach out to Jake and take him under his wing. Former OSU captain and current Denver Bronco Jeff Heuerman would also develop a friendship with Jake during the 2014 championship season that lasts to this very day. Unbeknownst to many, whenever Jeff would go out for pre-game coin flips he would consult Jake who always calls tails, for as we all know, “tails never fails.”

Jake with one of his best friends Jeff Heuerman

On September 27, 2014, Jake would join his best friends on the field as honorary captains and be a part of the coin toss in person. Doran Grant, Michael Bennett, Curtis Grant, Jeff Heuerman, Jake and his brother Noah all locked arms and strode out together as a band of brothers, going on to win 50-28.

Jake and his brother Noah headed out for the opening coin toss against Cincinnati

In addition to the captaincy, Chad and Jake had been present at almost every key moment in the historic 2014 season. They were both present at the pre-season practice where Braxton Miller tore his shoulder labrum. They were stunned as Braxton was taken off the field, leaving the prospects of a championship season in doubt.

They were both present at the OSU Michigan game November 29, 2014 when JT Barrett was bent over backwards, fracturing his lower leg, and putting their national title hopes once again in doubt. OSU’s 2014 season mirrored Jake’s own life. Facing early adversity with the season ending injury to Braxton, and the loss to Virginia Tech, the team lost their Heisman candidate quarterback right before the Big Ten championship. OSU entered the playoffs with an unproven third string QB named Cardale Jones; even Jake didn’t believe Cardale could lead us to victory over the vaunted Alabama Crimson Tide.

After dispensing of the Crimson Tide, Ohio State would go onto face the Oregon Ducks. Coach Meyer extended an invitation for Jake and his stepfather to attend the National Championship game in person. Ohio State went on to win 42-20 and capture the inaugural CFP national championship, going down as of one of the most memorable championship runs in all of sports.

Obviously, Jake had a lot of emotions that night. Having gone through his own personal trials of losing the ability to walk, and suffering the scorn of his peers, Jake was asked what he was thinking at that very moment when the confetti dropped and he was basking in the glory of the championship. Jake said, “I was raising my arms and praising God.”

The national championship in 2015 was a mountain top experience for jake. Coming off the high of that historical season, Jake returned to class at Olentangy High school imbued with confidence and with a renewed sense of purpose. Now his peers respected him, and he has formed strong friendships with many of them.

2015 and 2016 were also special years for Jake for another reason; Jake is a devout Cleveland Cavaliers fan and a huge fan of Lebron James. Longsuffering and full of self-doubt like most of his fellow Cavs fans, could they do the impossible? Facing a 3-1 deficit to the Golden State Warriors, Jake had lost hope. A story book comeback from impossible odds, however makes victory that much sweeter. Jake wept as the Cavs did what no team had done before them They came back from a 3-1 deficit, ended the curse, and made Cleveland an NBA championship city.

Jake is a junior at Olentangy High school, home of former Buckeye great Joshua Perry. A fellow Brave, Joshua has developed a special bond with Jake, spending time with him and his family and mentoring him. He has spoken at Jake’s high school events and to his Fellowship of Christian Athlete events, often sharing a meal with Jake.

Proverbs 17:17 says, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” Joshua Perry and Jeff Heuerman aren’t just with Jake during the good times. Like a brother, they are by his side when he is facing adversity too. Jeff even took the time out from a busy schedule to visit Jake in the hospital when he had an infection.

Photo courtesy of

Throughout all this adversity, Jake maintains a quiet Christian witness, preferring to let his life speak for itself; and serving as an inspiration to others, while ultimately pointing them to Jesus Christ. On April 17th, 2017 at Ohio State’s annual spring football game, Jake’s witness was shown to the entire nation.

As the clock ran down, and the Spring Game was about to end, Jacob Jarvis entered the game in his power wheelchair. JT Barrett handed the ball off to Jake. Jake said he had his entire run planned in his mind beforehand. He juked and jived his way to a touchdown, while his teammates mobbed him in the end zone. Unseen by most of the cameras, Jake did what one of his personal heroes Tim Tebow always did after scoring a touchdown; he prayed and offered thanks to the Lord Most High, giving Him all the glory. Thousands of people all around the nation on television and on the internet witnessed Jake’s crowning moment.

Often in life though, it’s not the big moments in life that shape your destiny. It’s the small, cumulative decisions you make over time when the cheering has stopped; but there is beauty in the commonplace.  

Jake knows he has an even tougher road ahead. He has begun to lose the strength in his shoulders, making it difficult to raise his arms overhead without help. Despite these challenges, Jake has not given up hope. He wants to study sports broadcasting and open a restaurant called “Jake the Snake’s.”

With the help of his loving family, his steadfast faith, and his deep abiding friendships, Jake will persevere; and come what may, he will praise and give God the glory, the entire way.

Nicholas Jackson

Copyright 2017 Nicholas Jackson - All rights reserved.

Nick is a 1997 graduate of Ohio University, in Athens, Ohio where he received his B.S in Biological Sciences. He went on to receive his Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy at Andrews University in Dayton, Ohio and then his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Chatham University in Pittsburgh. He has been published in the Newark Advocate, The Granville Sentinel, and the St. Louis Metro Voice; and professionally in the Journal of Acute Care Physical Therapy. Nick has also been a guest host on 88.9 WLRY and 880AM WRFD

Permission to reprint article required from author
Nick’s email:


Saturday, September 9, 2017

Heart of a Buckeye, The Jacob Jarvis Story, Part 2

 “Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand.” 1 Samuel 17:14

Jacob Jarvis, one of the most beloved Ohio State football fans in all of Buckeye football fandom, knows what it’s like to face down the Goliaths in his life. Jake deals with the Goliath of Duchenne muscular dystrophy every day.

Facing the Giants is an action packed, Christian sports drama directed by and starring Alex Kendrick. Jake professed that he watches Facing the Giants whenever he is sick or discouraged, to lift his spirits. Grant Taylor, the main character in Facing the Giants, has coached the Shiloh Eagles to a losing season for six straight years. Taylor learns that a group of fathers have secretly been working behind the scenes to remove him as head coach. Coach Taylor, facing these twin giants of fear and failure, cries out to God in desperation, and vows that win or lose he will give God the Glory; that he will challenge his players to give their very best, believe the impossible, and leave the outcome up to God.

Jake’s favorite scene in Facing the Giants is in the Georgia state championship game where the Shiloh Eagles are going for the winning 51-yard field goal with time expiring. With then Georgia Coach Mark Richt in the stands, their 145 lb., undersized kicker David Childers, is poised to win the game. Full of self-doubt, his longest field goal he has ever made was a 39-yarder. David’s father, a paraplegic, cheers on his son from the end zone. In this final climatic scene, David’s father stands up from his wheelchair and holds up his arms to inspire David to do his best, and praise God no matter the outcome.

Chad and Tracy Studebaker, Jake’s parents, were facing giants in their own life. The Studebakers wanted to have another child but were afraid that the child would end up with Duchenne MD. With a 25 percent chance that their child would also have Duchenne, they wrestled with the decision in prayer. They decided as a family to have another child and put the outcome in God’s hands. Noah is now an active, joyful and intelligent 9-year-old. Noah also has Duchenne MD but it isn’t as aggressive as Jake’s.

Chad, Jake, and his brother Noah with Buckeye legend Eddie George.

Most young people afflicted with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy lose their ability to walk from the ages of about 10 to 14. Jake started to lose his ability to walk at the age of around 14, as he entered the 8th grade. In kids with DMD, the Achilles tendon becomes very taut and contracted, impeding the ability to walk. In consultation with their team of physicians, Jake and his family decided Jake should have a heel cord lengthening procedure in hopes that Jake would be able to walk for as long as he could, before needing a wheelchair.

The surgery was a success and Jake could walk for longer than he would have, had he not had the surgery. The surgery, however, would only help for so long as it got harder and harder for Jake to walk without great pain and struggle. As Jake gradually lost the ability to walk, his step-father continued to push Jake to give his very best. Internally, Jake was striving to walk for as long as he could; but it got to the point where it was just too difficult.

Jake and his stepfather both had to come to grips with the fact that relenting and choosing to use a wheelchair as their primary means of mobility was not a sign of failure, but a wise decision based on acceptance and realism. About the time Jake had decided to use a wheelchair permanently, he fractured his ankle.

Around the same time Jake had the leg fracture, all his equipment came that Jake would so desperately need. The power wheelchair and elevator to be able to leave the house, arrived just at the right time Jake needed it the most.  Looking back, Jake’s step-father could see how God’s hand was upon them even at a time when things seemed the bleakest. Chad exclaimed, “We could see that God was working even then.”

Jake on his stair lift that was gifted to his family.

Even with the bright spot of getting all the new equipment, however, Jake was struggling. In a wheelchair for the first time, Jake became very self-conscious as anyone would at that age. Jake was facing some difficult times at school as his eighth-grade classmates were being typical eight graders and making fun of him. To use Jake’s words they were, “very disrespectful.”

Having endured a painful surgery, an injury, the loss of the ability to walk, and the ridicule and scorn of classmates, things seemed bleak for Jake. Little did he know, that on a fateful day in July of 2013, Jake would have an encounter with a person who would change his life forever, and help catapult him into the annals of Buckeye history.

On the invitation of former OSU lineman Kyle Trout’s family, Jake and his stepfather went to Friday Night lights, a recruiting event held every year in Ohio Stadium. While taking in the action, Urban Meyer noticed Jake among the throng of onlookers. Jake exclaimed that he wasn’t nervous, but rather he was excited to meet him. In his words, “Coach Meyer noticed a spark in my eyes.”

Jake loves Tim Tebow, the former Florida Gator who played for Urban Meyer, and helped lead them to two mythical national championships.  It was to Jake’s delight that Urban showed him how to throw like one of his heroes.  With hundreds of high profile recruits that day in Ohio Stadium, Urban took the time to invest in Jake, a boy he had never met, and give him the experience of a lifetime. Jake’s adventure would not end there, as Urban suggested that Jake and his stepfather should come back to watch practice. It was an offer they couldn’t refuse.

Photo Courtesy of

Mr. Studebaker and Jake arrived early for practice and the buzz was palpable. As they got out of their car, the first people they saw were former OSU coaches Earle Bruce and John Cooper. Like Jim Tressel before him, Urban encourages former OSU players and coaches to be around the program, building much needed program stability and continuity.

Jake and his stepfather were taking in the practice in a roped off area along with hundreds of other parents and onlookers. Much to their surprise, Urban motioned Jake and his stepfather to come over to talk with them. Was Urban motioning someone else? Chad and Jake couldn’t believe it. Urban even remembered Jake’s name, and they chatted for a few minutes. Coach Meyer then invited them to come into the Woody for a tour of the facilities.

Mark Pantoni, Director of Player Personnel, along with strength coach Mickey Marotti were arguably Urban’s greatest hires when he accepted the OSU job. Instead of delegating it to an assistant, Mark took it upon himself to personally take Jake and his stepfather around on a tour of the Woody. After a tour of the facility, Mark invited them into the offensive war room as the OSU coaches broke down film from that day’s practice, as they did after every practice.

Chad and Jake joined the film study, along with former offensive coordinator and current Texas Coach Tom Herman, Coach Tim Hinton, Ed Warinner and Urban Meyer. Chad and Jake couldn’t believe what was happening. Here was Urban Meyer, arguably one of the greatest coaches in college football history, sitting with his shoes off and feet propped up, while he and the others of the OSU offensive brain trust offered their assessment of the day’s events. Coach Herman, holding the remote, moved quickly and efficiently through the practice film, even taking the time to point out Jake on the sideline. “There’s Jake on the sideline,” Herman exclaimed.

Ever since that first practice, Jake has become a part of the OSU family, and a fixture at OSU practices and games. Being welcomed that first time by Urban Meyer, opened the opportunity for Jake and his family to build lasting friendships and to witness some of the most profound and iconic moments in OSU history.

Jake with his best friend Jeff Heuerman

Many would be content with watching a Buckeye practice, touring the facility, watching film and meeting Coach Meyer; but Jake’s story wouldn’t stop here, it was just beginning. Jake was about to embark on one of the greatest journeys a boy could take. Having faced down his giants, Jake was about to become an OSU legend, and a part of Buckeye history forever.

Click here to continue with Part 3 of the Jacob Jarvis story 

Nicholas Jackson

Copyright 2017 Nicholas Jackson - All rights reserved.

Nick is a 1997 graduate of Ohio University, in Athens, Ohio where he received his B.S in Biological Sciences. He went on to receive his Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy at Andrews University in Dayton, Ohio and then his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Chatham University in Pittsburgh. He has been published in the Newark Advocate, The Granville Sentinel, and the St. Louis Metro Voice; and professionally in the Journal of Acute Care Physical Therapy. Nick has also been a guest host on 88.9 WLRY and 880AM WRFD

Permission to reprint article required from author
Nick’s email:

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Discover Christian Church Holding its Annual Cruisin' for a Cause on September 17th, to Benefit Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

If you visit Discover Christian Church’s website you will see their motto on the front page “Love God, love people, and impact the world.” With a modest estimate of around 800 members in their congregation, DCC takes this slogan to heart. Nothing can be more evident of this love for their community, than their annual Cruisin’ for a Cause car and truck show held every September.

Since 2010, Discover Christian Church has been paying it forward in their community with their annual event. Originally, it started out as a fundraiser to help with hurricane ravaged Haiti (Hot Rods for Haiti) and has grown every year, becoming what it is today, a well-oiled machine and the “Best Little Show” in central Ohio. DCC members Alec Carpenter, Tom Adams, and Donnie Kinkead have all been instrumental in C4C's success. The last couple years, Cruisin’ for a Cause has helped raise money for first responders. This year, C4C is tackling a cause that really hits home, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is the most severe type of muscular dystrophy. Symptoms of voluntary muscle weakness usually being around the age of four, and progressively worsen over time. Muscle weakness starts in the upper leg and pelvic muscles, and progresses to the upper arms and shoulders, eventually affecting the head and neck. Heart and respiratory muscles are impacted as well. Children with DMD lose the ability to walk generally between the ages of 10-14 and life expectancy is currently estimated to be in the low to mid 20’s. 

Buckeye fans around central Ohio will recognize the name Jacob Jarvis. Jake, a member of DCC, is a young man with Duchenne muscular dystrophy who was adopted as an honorary Buckeye in 2014. OSU head coach Urban Meyer saw the spark in Jake’s eyes when he was on the sideline at an OSU practice in 2014. Jake was named an honorary captain at the OSU Cincinnati game, attended the 2014 OSU national championship game, and scored a touchdown this year in the annual spring game in Ohio Stadium.

Jake with the final TD to cap off the 2017 spring game.

Folks who know Jake, may not know that he has a younger brother, Noah.  Noah is nine years old and has DMD too. He undoubtedly has a tough battle ahead, as he is in the early stages of DMD’s progression.  Along with Jake and Noah, there is another boy at DCC with DMD, Levi Rhodes. Levi is in his early teen years, and is facing many of the same challenges Jake and Noah are.

Jake, Noah and his step-father Chad Studebaker

As any parent with a debilitating disease can attest, medical costs can be through the roof. A family with a child who has DMD, faces thousands and thousands of dollars of expenses throughout their child’s lifetime. A family can expect to incur regular costs for medical appointments, medicine, travel, new equipment and existing equipment modifications. The costs to put it bluntly, are astronomical.

This is where Discover Christian Church steps in; all proceeds of this year’s Cruisin’ for a Cause will go to one of the leading organizations in the fight to end Duchenne, Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy  DCC will use strict accounting procedures and maintain complete transparency throughout. If you are unable to attend, donations can be made directly to Discover Christian Church and then the funds raised will go directly to Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy. Please specify Cruisin’ for a Cause in the memo when making your donations.  Now that we’ve laid out the background information on the event, let’s get into the logistics of it and what people attending can expect to see.

Cruisin’ for a Cause consists primarily of a car and truck show where people from across Ohio will bring their vehicles to be judged. Cars and trucks in the show will be parking in the church lot, whereas regular attendees can park in the Meijer parking lot next to the church. There is no admittance fee for folks attending the event.

Custom made, hand crafted trophies made by Alec Carpenter at Ark Hotrods, will be rewarded to the worthy victors.  If you’re not into cars and trucks, don’t worry, there is something there for everyone. Vendors from all over will have tables set up, and there will be a craft show and a silent auction. This is a family friendly event so there will also be good food, music and all sorts of fun for families, with children of all ages.

If big cars and trucks sound intimidating for your little one, Buckeye Auto Scale Club will have a display outside, with miniature car and truck models for folks to judge. The best miniature car and truck model will be voted on and rewarded with a custom-made trophy as well.

T-shirts will be available for $15, with proceeds going to Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy

Some folks may have misgivings about it being a “church sponsored event,” so let me allay any fears or misgivings you may have. People of all faiths and backgrounds are welcome, those with a religious affiliation and those without one. There is no dress code so wear whatever you feel the most comfortable in. We will all be united together for one common cause, and that’s to raise money for the battle to end Duchenne.

Lord willing, Will Robinson, a dear man from Portsmouth, OH will be bringing his little one Brilyn who happens to have DMD as well. You can read about him and his story in this wonderful article by Nikki Blankenship in the Community Common.

Brilyn and his father are both big Buckeye fans and would love to someday go to an Ohio State practice and meet Urban Meyer and the team. At the very least it will be good for Mr. Robinson to meet other families going through the same struggles with DMD that they are (iron sharpens iron).

Will Robinson, chef at Patties and Pints. Photo courtesy of the Community Common

Lastly, Jake’s step-father Chad Studebaker will be speaking at the event. He is a man of great wisdom with a huge heart for those with Duchenne. You don’t want to miss the chance to hear him speak, and to meet him and his amazing family.

Jake, Noah and his parent's, Chad and Tracy Studebaker

Luke 14:13 says, “But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you.”

On September 17th, we want everyone to come. Let’s do something for people who cannot repay us, for that is a blessing in and of itself.

Nicholas Jackson

Copyright 2017 Nicholas Jackson - All rights reserved.

Nick is a 1997 graduate of Ohio University, in Athens, Ohio where he received his B.S in Biological Sciences. He went on to receive his Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy at Andrews University in Dayton, Ohio and then his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Chatham University in Pittsburgh. He has been published in the Newark Advocate, The Granville Sentinel, and the St. Louis Metro Voice; and professionally in the Journal of Acute Care Physical Therapy. Nick has also been a guest host on 88.9 WLRY and 880AM WRFD

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Monday, September 4, 2017

2017 OSU Training Camp, Part 2


Quarterbacks: Write JT Barrett in at the number one QB spot in black permanent marker. Barring injuries, JT will add to his already many OSU career passing records. JT is battle tested and will thrive under the tutelage of Ryan Day and Kevin Wilson. JT performs better with tempo and he will look more like the 2014 model than the 2015, and 2016 models. One important thing to note is that JT has already graduated and is taking a few online classes this season. He can devote many more hours to his craft, unencumbered by a busy course schedule.
JT will be backed up by Joey Burrow and Dwayne Haskins. To be honest, I have no clue who will be the backup yet. I would give the slight edge to Joey Burrow who has more game experience and command of the offense, but Haskins is no slouch. Look for Tate Martell to redshirt.

 Offensive Line: OSU returns 4 returning starters in Michael Jordan, Jamarco Jones, Billy Price (shifting to center from Guard) and Isaiah Prince. Look for all four to make leaps this year. I’ve heard rumblings that Isaiah Prince was playing with a significant injury last season, so look for him to make a big jump as well. Right guard is the only unsettled positon up for grabs. My gut says that Matthew Burrell will win the spot. He has rededicated himself both on and off the field and looks the part of a starting guard for OSU. Malcolm Pridgeon, Demetrius Knox, Branden Bowen, Josh Meyers, Wyatt Davis, and Thayer Munford are all in the mix and will provide valuable depth.

Matthew Burrell with a throng of admirers at Friday Night Lights:

Running Back: Mike Weber will look to add to his solid number s last season. He is stronger and faster and will look to improve his pass catching as well to prepare himself for the NFL. Number two running back right now appears to be JK Dobbins but Demario McCall is no slouch either, and Antonio Williams will be in the mix after being slowed somewhat with injuries.
H back: Look for Parris Campbell to take over in the newly christened, “Curtis Samuel position.” I could see Demario McCall working in here as well, when not at running back. KJ Hill and Eric Glover Williams will add needed depth.

Receivers: Kevin Wilson wants 8 receivers to be game ready, so Zach Smith will be charged with making this happen. Urban Meyer said this class has the highest work ethic and character he has ever seen so the ceiling is high. Receivers look to be Terry McLaurin, KJ Hill and Johnnie Dixon as long as he can remain healthy (praying for you young man). Bin Victor and Austin Mack are right in the mix as well, they just need to demonstrate more consistency. Talented freshmen Jaylen Harris and Trevon Grimes look to be the wildcards who can play the outside and inside positions.

Tight Ends: Marcus Baugh will have a firm grasp on the tight end position as long as he stays healthy (He had a walking boot on at cam but that appears to be more precautionary). Jake Hausmann and Luke Farrell will battle for the backup spot. The general feeling is that Luke Farrell may have a slight lead but we will know more after Saturdays scrimmage.


Defensive Line: This is the strongest position on the team and games are usually always won in the trenches. Larry Johnson returns a plethora of lineman including his famed Rush Man package of Nick Bosa, Sam Hubbard, Tyquan Lewis and Sam Hubbard. It gets a little murky after that. The nose guard Michael Hill is suspended indefinitely. Any combination of Tracy Sprinkle, Dre’mont Jones, Nick Bosa, Sam Hubbard, Jalyn Holmes and Tyquan Lewis will fill out the rest of the D-Line with Chase Young and Johnathan Cooper providing depth.

Larry Johnson looking over his Rushmen group: Photo Courtesy of  @AndrewMLind at

Linebackers: The Bucks appear to be solid at linebacker with Chris Worley shifting to middle linebacker, and Dante Booker and Jerome Baker filling out the two outside linebacker spots. Justin Hilliard, Keiondre Jones, and Malik Harrison will provide depth as well. The strong defensive line should give the linebackers ample opportunity to fill the gaps in run support and pass defense if needed. The linebackers won’t need to take a lot of chances with such a strong D Line in front; but Schiano and Davis will assuredly have the linebackers attacking and aggressive, while maintaining sound gap integrity.  Billy Davis’ corps will not miss a step as he continues to mold them into the key middle chamber of the Silver Bullets.

Cornerbacks: Denzel Ward was a de facto starter last season as he was heavily involved in Kerry Coombs cornerback rotation. There is a good chance Ward will be the next first round NFL draft pick churned out by Coach Coombs. Damon Arnette looks to be the next corner besides Ward. JUCO transfer and former five star cornerback prospect Kendall Sheffield will look to be heavily involved in Coombs rotation, perhaps even more than Ward was last year.  5 star corners Shaun Wade and Jeffrey Okudah will look to make an impact on special teams, but may be too talented to keep on the sidelines.

Safeties: Damon Webb appears to have the first safety spot locked down and Jordan Fuller and Erick Smith are battling it out for the second safety spot. I’m leaning towards Jordan Fuller capturing that second spot with Erick Smith in the mix as well (though he has been battling injury). Schiano may opt to rotate the safeties more like Coombs does with his corners. Jahsen Wint will be available as well.

Special Teams:

Field Goal Kicker: Sean Nuernberger looks to be the starting field goal kicker.
Punter: Drue Chrisman looks to be on the fast track to lock down the starting punter position. It will certainly be different not having an Australian rugby style punter back there anymore.

Kick Returner: Parris Campbell Jr. has this spot nailed down
Punt Returner: KJ Hill, Kendall Sheffield, and Demario McCall will all battle for the return duties but it’s too early to project the starter. Whoever has the best hands and ball security will probably win the job. My vote is for Demario McCall.

The situation is fluid and the depth chart will likely have some changes as we approach the season opener. We will certainly know more after the Buckeyes scrimmage on Saturday and I will revisit the position battles before the first game, so stay tuned. Let’s turn our attention now towards one of the great traditions Urban Meyer has brought with him and implemented at Ohio State, players losing their Black Stripe. 

Losing Your Stripes:

At OSU, winning is everything. However, the freshman at OSU don’t earn their stripes, they lose them. According to an article on, When Urban Meyer coached at Bowling Green he introduced the practice of having all freshmen members of the team wear a thin, black strip on their helmets. Freshman had to take care of business both on the field, in the class room, and in the community to have their black stripe removed. Meyer told the Columbus Dispatch, “I wanted to put them through a ritual to become a member of the team, but not to allow hazing and silly, dangerous stuff. They had to earn the right on the football field and by being accountable.” (Losing Your Black Stripe: inside One of Ohio State Football’s Coolest Traditions,, Aug. 19, 2016)

An upperclassman adopts a freshman and cultivates this spirit of accountability.  When the freshman has shown that he has earned the right to lose his black stripe, a ceremony is held. It’s a cause for celebration.

In this current recruiting age we live in, where top prospects are wined and dined and showered with adulation and praise, oftentimes they need “de-recruited.” The black stripe tradition aids in this de-recruiting process and fosters accountability and cohesion between the young Bucks and their veteran mentors. The tradition of the Black Stripe looks to be joining a long list of time honored Buckeye traditions such as Buckeye leafs on the helmet and singing Carmen Ohio after every game.

A look ahead:

This year, age is no longer an excuse. As Urban Meyer so eloquently put it in his presser, “Last year, we were the youngest team in college football, and this year, we’re not.” OSU has a solid mix of returning veterans and an extremely talented group of freshman, and sophomores. With the addition of a new Offensive Coordinator, QB coach, and Linebackers coach, the team is filled with quiet optimism as they are poised to make a run for the playoffs and to hoist that national trophy again.  Freshmen are champing at the bit to shed their black stripe and contribute in any way they can, whether it be in the rotation or on special teams. I also have a strong feeling that new offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson is looking to unleash holy wrath on his former team in Bloomington.

Until next time,

Nicholas Jackson

Copyright 2017 Nicholas Jackson - All rights reserved.
Originally appeared in @TWSSBuckeyeblog
Nick is a 1997 graduate of Ohio University, in Athens, Ohio where he received his B.S in Biological Sciences. He went on to receive his Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy at Andrews University in Dayton, Ohio and then his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Chatham University in Pittsburgh. He has been published in the Newark Advocate, The Granville Sentinel, and the St. Louis Metro Voice; and professionally in the Journal of Acute Care Physical Therapy. Nick has also been a guest host on 88.9 WLRY and 880AM WRFD

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2017 OSU Training Camp, Part 1.

Last Thursday, while fans were enjoying the beautiful yet often mercurial Ohio summer weather, OSU football players and coaches were hard at work. Training camp started at 6:30 AM and thus began the 29 preseason practices preparing for the rigors of a full season, but most especially for Aug. 31st in Bloomington, Indiana. The Chase, The Grind, whatever we are calling it, has begun but there are some key differences this year which we will unpack first, before we tackle the depth chart.

No More Two-a-days:

This year, in an effort to curb catastrophic injuries, the NCAA has implemented a new rule prohibiting two contact practices from occurring in the same calendar day. The NCAA’s Sport Science Institute claims 58 percent of football practice concussions occur during the preseason. NCAA Chief Medical Officer, Brian Hainline believes August is also the peak month for non-contact catastrophic injuries such as Heatstroke and cardiac arrest. (NCAA rule ending two-a-days forcing teams to adjust, Steve Megargee, AP sports, July 26, 2017)

The result of this rule change is that teams need to start training camp a week earlier in order to hit the magic number of 29 preseason practices.  Extending training camp from 4 weeks to 5 weeks takes up more of the student athlete’s time and may lead to burnout before the season even gets going.  Urban Meyer weighed in on the rule change, “So one choice is to bring the players in earlier, and I am so -- that breaks my heart because I don’t want these players to take more of their time,” Meyer said. “However, how do you get ’em ready? That’s what we’re fighting through right now, so it’s a major impact.”  (Urban Meyer forming practice plan minus two- a-days, Tim May, Columbus Dispatch, June 3rd, 2017).

Pat Fitzgerald, the Northwestern head coach weighed in as well, ““I don’t recall having contact in our second practice in maybe seven or eight years at our place,” he said. “So I would have loved to have had the opportunity to say, ‘Let’s keep the calendar the same.” “Instead we say you can’t go out and run around twice, even though my third-grader can go have recess twice. We can’t go have recess twice and play football, which is mind-boggling to me.” (NCAA tone-deaf in eliminating two-a-days from college football practice, Graham Couch, Lansing state Journal, July 27, 2017)

Coaching Changes:

QB coach Ryan Day: Day was hired to replace Tim beck, who took the job as QB coach with former OSU assistant and current Texas Coach Tom Herman. Day is a rising star in the coaching world and is tasked with maximizing 5th year senior JT Barrett’s potential as well as preparing JT’s understudies for spot duty or if the worst happens, and JT is injured. From what I’ve gathered, Day was able to come in right away and fix some lingering footwork issues JT had been having left over from the previous regime. Sometimes all it takes is a new set of eyes.  We will unpack the QB issue a little bit more when we examine the depth charts and position battles.

Offensive Coordinator Kevin Wilson: Kevin Wilson arrives from Indiana and is tasked with breathing new life into the OSU offense which had become a bit predictable and stagnant. Wilson is a homerun hire.  Expect major upgrades in OSU’s offensive tempo this season. No more delay of game penalties like we had last year, because we will have one decision maker instead of three.

Look for two good running backs to be featured this season as well. Tony Gerdeman of the Ozone looked at Wilson’s Tailback usage in his last few years at Indiana and if they had two capable backs available, they used them. Wilson spoke on the subject, “I think you need more than one tailback that’s ready to play because the volume of plays you get, the volume of practice you get,” Wilson explained. “You look at the elite pro teams and they’ve got their one-two punch, especially if you’re a tempo team trying to get plays, you can have so many plays you wear guys out. That happens with practice, everything we’re doing right now in preseason practice will have an effect on this team in November.” (Kevin Wilson Looking for a One-two Punch at Tailback for Buckeyes, Tony Gerdeman, Ozone July 31,2017)

Ryan Day coaching up the QB's. Photo Courtesy of @AndrewMLind of


Linebackers Coach Billy Davis: Billy Davis steps in at linebackers coach to replace Luke Fickell who assumed the head coaching job at the University of Cincinnati. I don’t expect much of an adjustment here for either the coaches or the players. Davis has a wealth of knowledge from his previous stints in the NFL (list teams). He spent last year observing the ins and outs of the OSU program so he has been able to hit the ground running this year as linebackers coach. There has not been a drop off in recruiting either as Davis has already helped land two top linebacker prospects in Teradja Mitchell and Dallas Gant. 4 star LB  K’Vaughan pope is set to announce on August 4th where he will be attending college. There is an excellent chance Davis will be adding his 3rd 4 star linebacker to the already loaded 2018 class.

New Linebackers Coach Bill Davis on the prowl at Friday Night Lights:

One more thing to note: Greg Schiano has taken on an expanded role as defensive coordinator for the upcoming season with Fickell’s departure. Fickell was somewhat conservative as coordinator. There is a good chance Schiano will institute a more aggressive and attacking style while utilizing more blitzes and stunts as well.

Now that we’ve done a little housekeeping with the rule change and coaching changes, let’s dive right in and look at the changes in the OSU lineup and depth chart this year. We will then look at a tradition Urban Meyer has brought to OSU from his previous coaching stints.

Until next time,

Nicholas Jackson

Copyright 2017 Nicholas Jackson - All rights reserved.
Originally appeared in @TWSSBuckeyeblog
Nick is a 1997 graduate of Ohio University, in Athens, Ohio where he received his B.S in Biological Sciences. He went on to receive his Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy at Andrews University in Dayton, Ohio and then his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Chatham University in Pittsburgh. He has been published in the Newark Advocate, The Granville Sentinel, and the St. Louis Metro Voice; and professionally in the Journal of Acute Care Physical Therapy. Nick has also been a guest host on 88.9 WLRY and 880AM WRFD

Permission to reprint article required from author
Nick’s email: