By Matt McCoy
Grandview officially dedicates Larry Larson Middle School Friday
I have the honor Friday to serve as emcee for the official dedication of Larry Larson Middle School in Grandview.
As many of you know, Larry--best known at WTVN as "Mr. High School Sports"-- worked with us for more than 20 years before retiring to California in the summer of 2011. He dedicated his radio life to supporting and promoting high school sports. He also went from being "Mr. High School Sports" to "Mr. Blue Jackets," covering the National Hockey League team for WTVN from the moment the franchise was born.
Outside of radio he started the "Stand and Deliver" program, taking superior high school student athletes to speak at grade and middle schools in Central Ohio about succeeding in sports and in the classroom. All of that came after his long and distinguished career as a teacher, coach and athletic director in Grandview.
The number of lives Larry has impacted is remarkable. In Central Ohio in general and in Grandview in particular, it's difficult to find someone that Larry hasn't touched. Larry worked in the Grandview Heights School District from 1966 to 1994. If you believe Larry, he would tell you he was just OK at his job. His students, co-workers or former players would tell you otherwise. One special year in particular, 1979, Larry coached the Grandview High School football team to a perfect 10-0 record...the best season in school history.
Even since retiring from teaching, Larry remained active in Grandview, most specifically, overseeing the fifth and sixth grade camps for the District every spring. For those reasons and many more, the Grandview Heights School Board chose to honor him.
It was October when Grandview Middle School became the Larry Larson Middle School but Friday will be special. Larry will be on hand as the guest of honor and will experience the love and accolades he so richly deserves.
While he's overwhelmed and honored that a school bears his name, Larry said he also feels a little embarrassed. "Schools should be named after heroes and I don't find myself particularly heroic," he told me.
You may not feel heroic Larry, but you are. Just ask your family...Just ask anyone you taught....Just ask anyone you coached...Just ask anyone you've worked for or worked with...Just ask anyone who calls you friend.
If you would like to be part of the festivities Friday night, the dedication begins at 7 p.m. The Larry Larson Middle School is located at 1240 Oakland Avenue in Grandview. Following the ceremony, there will be a receiving line when Larry will greet those who wish to say hello. We would love to see you there.