Thursday, April 17, 2003

Talawanda High School misses its stolen bell

By Jon Gambrell
The Cincinnati Enquirer

OXFORD - The bell no longer tolls at Talawanda High School. The Victory Bell, that is.

The Victory Bell, which has rung in wins for Talawanda fall athletics since the 1960s, was stolen April 5 or 6.

Talawanda Athletic Director David Churchman, who graduated from Talawanda in 1964, said it's an important tradition for athletes. He recalls the bell ringing after victories when he was a student.

"We don't care to prosecute, we just want our bell back," Churchman said. "You can't place a monetary value on something like that.

"We could get another bell, but it just wouldn't be our Victory Bell."

The bell, which was originally on top of the school building, had been moved down to field level 10 years ago, said groundskeeper John Witt.

Witt surmised that those involved pushed the concrete cap off of the brick encasement around the bell. Then, the roughly 100-pound bell could be lifted straight out.

The football field is surrounded by fencing, but is open for the community to use the track.

The school district filed a report with the Oxford Police Department.

"They are checking with local fraternities and other places where pranksters might have taken it," Witt said.


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