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01-03-03: St. Henry evergreen now wears scarlet and gray
The Daily Standard
    In Buckeye country, fans are known to be a little creative. The Stahl family of St. Henry is no exception.
    Thirteen-year-old Tony Stahl decided the family's 10-foot artificial Christmas tree wasn't ready to return to its storage box just yet. With gray and scarlet running through the family's veins, they picked up on Tony's idea for a "Buckeye tree" and began replacing Christmas garland and ornaments with any kind of Ohio State Buckeye items available.
    "All four kids went through the house and began hanging all the decorations they could find," said the children's mother, Lisa Stahl. "Sandals, pompoms, red beads, and of course the OSU ornaments we already had."
    Adorning the tree are authentic Buckeye necklaces made by Tony, the Buckeye Neutron Man, an OSU license plate cover, hats, headbands and wrist bands, all bearing the OSU insignia.
    "I thought it would be pretty cool to have a Buckeye tree since we were going to have a Fiesta Bowl party at our house tonight," said Tony.
    About 35 family members will gather at the Beckman Avenue home for the party, but not until after they travel to Fort Recovery to see nephew Tyler Niekamp, a senior at Fort Recovery Local Schools, play basketball against the Redskins. The high school game is scheduled earlier than normal, just for Fiesta Bowl fans, and the gang hopes to get settled back at home before kick-off between OSU and Miami University.
    Tony will be wearing his lucky long-sleeved OSU gray sweatshirt.
    "They've not lost a game yet when I wore my lucky shirt," he said proudly.
    Tony and brothers Brad, 11, and Kyle, 8, were already dressed in OSU team wear early this morning, as was little sister, Olivia, in her OSU cheerleading uniform.
    Olivia clutched her beloved stuffed Brutus, as her brothers talked about their favorite players - Mike Doss, Maurice Clarett and Matt Wilhelm, to name a few.
    The family attends many of the college games in Columbus. Lisa Stahl graduated from St. Henry High School in 1981 with former professional football player Jim Lachey. Her husband, Jerry Stahl's family tree includes former OSU players and St. Henry natives, Bobby and Tom Hoying.
    Lisa Stahl's biggest problem tonight likely won't be running out of food or entertainment for her guests. It will be what to wear.
    "All of our stuff is on the tree. I'll have to pull something off it before I can get dressed," she said with a laugh.


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