Pickaway County and as far as I’m concerned, the world, lost a very special person Saturday, Sept. 2, 2023 when former sports editor of the Circleville Herald, Brad Morris, passed away.
He was only 40 years old.
I had the pleasure of knowing and working with Brad for the last 20 years.
A gentle giant of a man, you always just felt better when you saw him at a sporting event or conversed with him through email, as Brad and I often did over the years.
He was always interested in everything you had to say and we shared many laughs, as well.
Readers of the Record-Herald saw his byline in our paper many times over the years.
Since the Blue Lions and Panthers often play Logan Elm (Brad’s Alma mater) and Circleville, Brad and I would share stories and photos.
Brad was the sports editor at the Circleville paper from 2002 until he was laid off in 2020.
We continued to keep in touch, probably more than ever, the last few years as he operated the Sporting Pumpkin website.
I was speaking with Brad several times in the past couple of weeks, as he contacted me and asked me if I would send him a couple of photos from the Logan Elm at Miami Trace football game. Of course, that was my pleasure to send him some pics.
We emailed each other back and forth a few times Friday night.
I was in the office for awhile on Saturday and I saw something on the internet I found interesting, so, I copied and pasted it and shared it with Brad at 3:50 p.m.
Even though Ohio State (his college Alma mater) was playing at Indiana, Brad responded to my email with his usual insightful take on what I had sent him.
There was no way to know that this would be the last exchange I would have with Brad on this earth.
He responded to my email at 4:04 p.m. and I sent him back an email at 4:49 p.m.
Brad was kind, very easy to know and to like, very intelligent, thoughtful, truthful — pretty much all the things that make a true friend so special.
These last few years, Brad was my go-to guy to help get Miami Trace and Washington High School student-athletes all-District recognition in football and boys and girls basketball. He was familiar with the stand-out athletes in Fayette County.
I got to sit down with Brad at the basketball tournament at Southeastern High School this past winter.
It was always a treat to just be in his presence. You would feel good inside, just seeing him walk into a gym or sports arena. Often he’d be wearing a Reds t-shirt.
I would often sit in his press row seat at Ohio State games, waiting for him to arrive. We would talk about the previous evening’s high school football games that we covered and I was always keen to get his thoughts on his teams and Ohio State’s chances in that day’s game.
As far as our email correspondence, Brad was very knowledgeable about his favorite teams, the Reds, the Bengals and the Buckeyes. He just didn’t have a passing interest in these teams, but he knew all about the teams and their players.
We spoke back and forth about the Reds a lot this summer. He would tell me who the Reds were about to call up, or who they should call up and sure enough, before long, the Reds would add another rookie to their roster.
Brad left us as the Reds were battling for a wild card to make the playoffs.
He left us as the Bengals were about to begin another season with very high expectations.
Gone so terribly soon, Brad will now have a view of his sports teams like he never dreamed.
He never wavered in his feelings for his friends, colleagues and favorite teams.
There will almost certainly be a moment of silence in memory of Brad and many tears prior to the kickoff this Friday of the Circleville Tigers at Logan Elm Braves football game.
Brad would have been there in person, but now, he will be there in spirit and he will be in everyone’s hearts and minds.
There were so many heartfelt statements regarding Brad on the internet and I read many of them Monday afternoon.
Not just Pickaway County schools, but different teams from around the county spoke about how great Brad was and how much he was appreciated. He was more than well thought of, he was loved.
I am still shocked and stunned as I was when I received a couple of texts Sunday morning, telling me of Brad’s sudden passing.
Brad, you were and still are, an awesome person, my friend, a friend to so many. The world needs more people with the kind and gentle heart and soul of Brad Morris and it will be a lessor place now that you’re gone.
I so very much appreciated all of your help, thoughts and insights, not just regarding sports, but current events in our country, as well.
He touched so many and made such a profound difference in the lives of all who knew him.
Brad, I will miss you very much.
Love you, man.