Sunday, February 8, 2004

Good sports

A look at sports in the community

Sizing up the past 12 years, Doug Spreen figured he had a pretty sweet career. The Terrace Park resident landed a job as a Cincinnati Reds trainer in 1992 and three years later became one of five sports medicine athletic trainers for the ATP Tour.

He couldn't imagine a better job - until the world's former No. 1 tennis player came knocking on his door. American sensation Andy Roddick asked Spreen to be his exclusive athletic trainer and complete a three-man team along with Roddick and his coach, Brad Gilbert.

"It was definitely a surprise," said Spreen, 34, who officially transferred duties Jan. 1. "I think Andy was looking at the next 10 years of his career and he wanted to surround himself with people who can keep him in the best physical shape."

Mariemont JV Girls Basketball Coach Doug Spreen.
(Mike Simons photo)
Spreen is focusing on preventive measures with an otherwise healthy Roddick. He'll accompany Roddick to 20 or more tournaments this year and he expects to spend 225 days away from home.

When they're on the road, Spreen said he and the tennis phenom have bonded over their shared love of sports. Roddick defends the Miami Heat, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and all things Nebraska. Spreen is a Bengals and Indiana Hoosiers devotee.

"When you have 100 tennis players from 30 or 40 countries at a tournament, everyone talks about sports from their own countries. We can always talk about college football," Spreen said.

Spreen has been introduced to Roddick's girlfriend, singer-actress Mandy Moore, and Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich sat in Roddick's box at the Jan. 19 Australian Open.

But Spreen said some of his best days are spent back in Cincinnati, where he has spent 10 years as the Mariemont junior varsity girls basketball coach.

Although he missed three games while assisting Roddick in the Australian Open, Spreen doesn't plan to miss any more. He told Roddick he'd be a bit late to the Feb. 9 Siebel Open in San Jose, Calif., because he wants to finish the season.

"After traveling so much, it's nice to have (basketball)," Spreen said. "It's my rock back home."


Colerain graduate Henry Dennis was named the 2003 USA 5K road champion after placing ninth overall and first among Americans in the CVS/pharmacy Downtown 5K in Providence, R.I. His time was 14:05. Dennis, the reigning two-time local Thanksgiving Day race champion, was ninth in this year's USA 10-Mile in Louisville in 48:11. The former high school teacher was named the 2002 Ohio Runner of the Year by Run Ohio magazine after winning the 2002 Lighthouse Run 4-Mile in Racine, Wis.


Kyle Forte (pictured) and Allan Dowler will represent Ohio in the 45th International PeeWee Hockey Tournament Feb. 12-22 as members of the Columbus Junior BlueJackets. The tournament, in Quebec, draws 2,300 players from 16 countries and is the finale of a three-week winter Carnivale. Forte and Dowler will stay with French Canadian host families during their stay. The Junior BlueJackets are one of 112 international teams accepted into the tournament. "This is the biggest hockey tournament, for my age group, in the world," said Forte, 12.


Dr. Robert S. Heidt Jr., an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist with Wellington Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine, was named an Ohio Outstanding Team Physician for 2004. The award recognizes Heidt's more than 20 years of service as orthopedic team physician to St. Xavier High. Heidt also serves as team physician for the Bengals. The award, which was presented Jan. 24 to five other Ohio high school team physicians, was presented by the Ohio High School Athletic Association, the Ohio Athletic Trainers Association and the Joint Advisory Committee on Sports Medicine of the Ohio State Medical Association.


The American Family Insurance Butterflies 6- to 8-year-old indoor soccer team recently completed an undefeated season, winning their division with an 8-0 record. They scored 85 goals and gave up two. The team members were Charly Jackson, Allison Donham, Sabrina Frankel, Amanda King, Brittani Ivans, Sarah Benz, Ashten Henry, Mara Steiner, Alex Hall, Courtney Hartman and Kaleigh Ireton. The coaches were Gary Benz, David Frankel and Ed King.

OnlinePoll - Log on and vote

Question: How much is the NFL to blame for the halftime controversy involving Janet Jackson's performance at the Super Bowl?

A: Totally. The league should have chosen artists to perform that it knew for certain would be family-friendly.

B: Somewhat. The league should have known something like this was possible with MTV producing the show.

C: Not at all. What happened was completely out of the league's control and it should bear no responsibility.


Know someone deserving?

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