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SOSA Staff

Remembering our friend and colleague, Brad Morris

Brad was a mentor, a colleague, and most of all, a friend.

Derrick Webb and Brock Netter, Staff Writers

Southern Ohio Sports Authority is presented by OhioHealth.

I wasn’t exactly sure how to honor someone with a stature like that of Brad Morris.

He’s spent his entire life as a pillar within the Circleville community, a Logan Elm graduate before serving the area’s high school athletes as the sports editor of The Sporting Pumpkin and the Circleville Herald.

I will never fully grasp the impact he had on his community. But I have a small idea of what he meant to student-athletes, coaches, athletic directors, parents and fans throughout Pickaway County. 

He was passionate about our area’s student-athletes and giving them the best coverage possible, which he never failed in doing.

That undying passion was evident in his work. When he was let go from the Circleville Herald following COVID layoffs, he was more determined than ever to give the area’s athletes coverage, which ultimately led to starting The Sporting Pumpkin.

One thing that always stood out about Brad was his memory. Seeing him conduct interviews with no recorder — just a notepad where he wrote key words down — was mesmerizing. Yet, if you go back through his writing, he never missed a single word a coach or athlete said. 

And seeing him and talking with him during our local media’s all-district football and basketball meetings was always a treat. He was filled to the brim with stories, witty one-liners and sarcasm.

It made those five-to-six hour meetings fly by in no time. 

His presence was larger than life and he was always up for conversation. And he never failed to ask how you were doing with a genuine care in the tone of his voice.

Thank you, Brad … for all of the conversations, laughs and memories. You truly were a one-of-a-kind journalist, colleague and friend. 

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Brad’s family, loved ones, The Sporting Pumpkin’s staff, and anyone he impacted over the course of his time with us. 

This Friday, Circleville will travel to Logan Elm for their annual football matchup. There’s no doubt that Brad would have been there roaming the sidelines. 

Instead, he’ll now have the best seat in the house.

— Brock Netter

There’s no “good place to start” when writing a tribute to someone you knew well, let alone someone like Brad Morris.

When I heard the news of Brad’s passing, it stopped me in my tracks — quite literally. I’m not often speechless but the phone call I received certainly changed that in an instant.

My heart hurts today.

I last saw Brad at a volleyball game at Logan Elm a few weeks back. It wasn’t uncommon for us to cross paths. I’ve covered many of the same games or events that Brad has over the years and it was always, always a pleasure to see and talk with him.

There was never a shortage of conversation. Brad and I shared a love for the Reds and the Bengals, but most of all, we shared a passion for giving our area’s athletes the coverage they’ve always worked so hard to earn.

Brad was a mentor to me. I had and will always have an immense amount of respect for him. He was the writer I strive to be, the friend that I’d die to have, and the colleague that you turned to when you needed advice — about work or about life.

In every single conversation I’ve ever had with Brad, and that is no exaggeration, he asked how my family and I were doing.

“How’s the little ones? You getting any sleep?” I may lose some over the next couple of nights, but not because the kids are keeping me up.

To say that our community and our brotherhood of local journalists have suffered a great loss is a true understatement. He was a leader of our group, a staple in his community and a role model for any young journalist trying to cut their teeth in the industry.

For a short period of time in 2018, when Brad was the sports editor at the Circleville Herald, I was in between jobs. He allowed me to freelance for his sports section and I’ve never been honored to do something more.

I’d take photos, write that night’s story and then stop to see him at the Herald’s office directly after. Those conversations are the ones that will stick with me. He’d come out from behind his desk, discuss that night’s results and just talk with me — about anything and everything, but always about something rather than himself.

He was sefless.

You don’t do what he did for an entire community without being selfless.

I know he’s watching, and editing, from above. He wasn’t afraid to let his belief in Jesus known and he wasn’t afraid to write about it, either. That’s what’s giving me comfort at this time. I know he’s sitting with Jesus, maybe even discussing why He hasn’t let the Reds or Bengals win a championship in the past few decades.

With a smile on his face.

Pickaway County will continue to have some sort of high school sports coverage, whether it be from The Sporting Pumpkin, SOSA, the Circleville Herald, or our friends at Litter Media. But as talented as I believe the people are who work at those outlets, and people I call friends and respect as colleagues, Brad Morris will never be replaced. That coverage assignment is simply impossible.

He was truly one of a kind.

— Derrick Webb

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