An institution of higher learning can bring about many positives on various fronts.
Not only for the community itself, but also for students who attend them.
I have to admit I learned a lot and definitely grew as a person while spending four years at Salem-Teikyo University.
Personally, I feel growth often can be attributed to good people who work at those places like a Paul Jacoby of Ohio Valley University.
Even before I started working at the newspaper, I was quite familiar with Ohio Valley. Not just because I lived in the area, but the Tigers and Fighting Scots met on the athletic fields.
I didn't get to know coach Jacoby until I started working here, but the OVU physical education instructor and the leader of the Fighting Scots' volleyball program has been a constant at Ohio Valley for two decades now.
Obviously, a small university like Ohio Valley doesn't have the means to go out and give dozens of full athletic scholarships to prospective student-athletes, but nonetheless the Fighting Scots definitely shape and form a lot of young folks into solid members of society.
Recently, coach Jacoby has had a couple of health setbacks, but he's ready to go out and fight for another year as volleyball season is just around the corner. Currently, he's "trying to get a schedule made out and keep recruiting," he said, as OVU enters its first season in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference.
"I got two excellent girls coming from California," Jacoby added of Valley Christian High School teammates Cayla Palmer and Alex Henry. "They want to go to a Christian school and play for a Division II school.
"We are going to have some pretty good kids. I got Megan Morrison from Parkersburg, Alexis Leach from Parkersburg South and Haley Bonar from Marietta. We've got another California kid we're working on at setter."
Jacoby is hoping the former Crusader teammates of Palmer and Henry along with the help of his three current local recruits will evolve into a good mix with his returning players.
"They are both really excellent volleyball players," Jacoby said of Palmer and Henry.
The Ohio Valley University volleyball program will have four players back from last year along with Jacoby's new recruits. He also is bringing in Casey West from Virginia.
"Casey's dad actually graduated from Ohio Valley and her mom played for me back in Philadelphia about 30 years ago when I coached at Northeast Christian Junior College," Jacoby noted.
Although coach Jacoby is also trying to get another talented player from the Mid-Ohio Valley, he's not at liberty to talk about her. I, though, can say she would be a solid asset to the Fighting Scots without question.
Jacoby has been doing his Monday night clinics the last couple of months and will have his OVU volleyball camp from July 22-25.
"My camp wears me out," he admitted. "Then I have a week and half until my girls come in for the season."
Contact Jay Bennett at firstname.lastname@example.org