Editor’s Note: Joel Walker is the former publisher of the Troy Daily News/Miami Valley Sunday News. This article originally appeared in the paper shortly after Scott Homan’s tragic death in 1986.
Maybe it was that sly impish smile.
Maybe it was just the friendly conversations we had at high school golf matches.
Whatever it was, you had to like Scott Homan.
I will admit I didn’t really know him.
I don’t know his family. I don’t know what kind of student he was. I don’t know who his friends were.
But, then again, I did know Scott Homan.
He died last week when a truck pulled out in front of his car at Washington and Farrington roads.
I got to know Scott because he played golf for Piqua High School.
My son plays for Troy and the two teams end up competing against each other three or four times a year.
Scott was a kid who always had something to say before and after the matches.
He was friendly, congenial and realistic about the game itself and his own abilities.
I looked forward to seeing him at tournaments and matches.
He was no superstar, but he was good enough to make the Greater Miami Valley League all-league team as an honorable mention selections two years in a row.
That means he was in the top 15 players in the league.
I will never forget his excitement and joy at last years district tournament when he shot 75 to lead Piqua to a third-place finish and a berth in the regional tournament, beating Troy by a stroke.
And I won’t forget this year’s Troy-Piqua match at Miami Shores when things didn’t go as well for Scott or the Indians.
Troy won 156-160.
But, Scott’s smile was still there.
He didn’t grumble. He didn’t complain.
Scott was one of those kids who rooted for everybody.
He wanted everyone to play well, he just hoped his team could play a little better.
And if Piqua didn’t win or qualify or whatever, his next choice was Troy.
“How’s Michael doing, how’s John (Gulker) playing, what about Jerry Hounchell, how many over is Dave (Brown)?” were queries he often made about Troy players.
Why? Why did it happen?
The answer is elusive.
There will be pain and grief as his friends and family search their hearts for that answer. It seems so unfair when the life of a 16-year old high school junior ends so unexpectedly.
There are no words to adequately express the sorrow you feel in such a situation, so you must turn to the person’s life itself, remembering the positive, the good times, the contributions made to society.
Last year, we published a picture in our paper that shows him agonizing over a missed putt early in the season against Tippecanoe and Troy. I mean there was pain in that expression.
It shows the intensity of the athlete…Scott or anyone else.
I know what his reaction would have been to these words, to the picture…that sly, friendly smile.
As we are prone to say about young people we think a lot of: “He was a good kid.”