From pond to podium
Prior the main event, potential high bidders moved between buckets to inspect the athletes and determine which they would pick to take the year's top prizes.
It is a scene that has played out for many years in this corner of Crawford County.
Generations of Snyders, Mollis, Gallaghers and the like have gathered every summer for decades on the field out behind Maplewood Elementary School for Townville's version of the Kentucky Derby.
While COVID-19 caused the cancellation of the county town's Olde Home Days and by default the annual frog jumping contest, nine-year-old Gracie Snyder decided it was time to wade into the pond of community activism with a net to save a long-sanding tradition.
On Saturday, a couple dozen amphibian sports enthusiasts ascended into the arena. Some are grandparents who remember being tadpoles themselves carrying their frog into the center of the ring for what they hoped would be three epic leaps.
"I grew up doing this," said Tabitha Gallagher Reagle, who brought her daughter to the "Snyderville" event. She was quite adept at corralling frogs trying to escape, perhaps from her 30 years of competing. And she was eager to still compete in the adult division. She didn't get a strong frog though, only managing a 4'6" total, almost four feet shy of the winning bounce total. Her daughter faired better taking second place in the "Littles" division.
Man could that frog jump.
Like of all major sport contests the day was topped with an Olympic style podium ceremony where the top three contestants received their 'medals.'
Renee Snyder, Gracie's mom, said the event accepted donations and frog rentals were offered to raise money for the Townville Volunteer Fire Department, which lost an important fundraising event with the cancellation of the weekend festival and parade. Thanks to Gracie and her frog loving friends, the fire department revenue got a $304.75 bounce on Saturday.
Now that's something to jump up and down about.
Please click through the fun slides below. Renee asked me "If you want to cover something positive." I sure do, I sure do!