The Batavia High School Athletic Boosters and Terry Sheehan, Batavia High School athletic director, have devised an ingenious plan for an athletic event that has not taken place in Clermont County since 1931.
The last known all-inclusive, Clermont County-wide track and field championship meet for elementary schools, only, took place in the spring of 1931 on the fields behind Whitaker School. Known as Batavia Township District #3 school, Whitaker was a one-room schoolhouse in which the youngest eight grades were taught together. It still stands on the southwest corner of the intersection of Amelia-Olive Branch Road and Judd Road. For many years it served as the Batavia Township Hall and it also served for years as a private residence. Whitaker was the name of the family that owned the land when the school was built, from bricks fired on the site, in the mid 1800s.
This unique athletic event will take place May 5, beginning at 10 a. m., at the Batavia High School track and football field.
The competition for children grades five and six will be approximately from 10 a. m. - 1 p. m. and the competition for children grades three and four will be approximately 1-4 p. m.
One of the reasons to qualify describing this event as unique it that this will be the first known time Brown County elementary students are also being invited to participate. The old annual elementary meet was always strictly only for Clermont countians. Before the Whitaker School became the annual site, the event took place at the Clermont County fairgrounds in both Olive Branch and Owensville.
Whitaker served as a school for students in a three square mile area that included the now ghost town of Centerville, also known as Brazier's Station, that surrounded the intersection of Amelia-Olive Branch Road and Clough Pike. This community began in the 1870s and for all intents and purposes died out in the 1930s when the Cincinnati, Georgetown, and Portsmouth Railroad went out of business and was no longer using the site for a ticket area and waiting room.
A post office known as Brazier's began there on Oct. 13, 1879, and was closed down on May 14, 1895. Henry Brazier who owned the land was the first postmaster.
The 2007 event is an open track and field meet for individuals and/or teams. The cost to compete is $1 per entrant and each individual can compete in up to three events. The admission price for spectators is $1 per student, $2 per adult, or $5 per family.
Already three Clermont County schools have responded they will have students competing - Locust Corner, Williamsburg, and Willowville elementaries. Others elementaries have replied they, too, will be represented.
The events will be the 30-meter dash, 50-meter dash, 100-meter dash, 200-meter run, 400-meter run, 400-meter relay (tag-off), high jump, long jump, softball throw, and frisbee toss.
Sheehan is aware of the increasing lack of physical fitness and health among the youth of the United States. He said, "This meet is to introduce the kids and interest them in physical fitness and wellness. The meet will promote track and field and exercise. I'm seeking input from Clermont countians on how to organize it and run it since this will just be the first of what we want to become an annual event."
The Bulldogs' athletic director pointed out the Clermont County YMCA is a sponsor of the meet along with the Batavia Athletic Boosters Club. More sponsors are being sought. If interested in helping sponsor this event, or for more information, please contact Sheehan at 732-2341 (extension 129) or E-mail him at Sheehan_T@bataviaschools.org.