DAYTON, OHIO (WDTN) – The Ohio State University is set to play Alabama tonight in Miami for the College Football National Championship. This year’s game will look a little different because of the pandemic. Stands will be nearly empty, meaning super fans won’t be able to make the trip this season.
Even with all the changes to sports during the pandemic, The Ohio State University alumni Larry Lokai isn’t letting that get his spirits down. Lokai has been known as ‘The Buckeye Man’ for the last two decades to many Ohio State fans. After retiring from teaching, Lokai began attending nearly every game, making a name for himself.
“As time went on, I started getting more involved. I actually had the chance to win ‘loudest college fan’ in 2000. That’s when things took off. That’s when I started collecting buckeyes and that’s when I started collecting necklaces,” said Lokai.
During his time as ‘Buckeye Man’, Lokai has given away over 44,000 buckeye necklaces, 1.8 million buckeyes, and 1,800 buckeye trees. For Lokai, it’s all about giving back and putting smiles on peoples faces.
“I keep paying forward because I’m very fortunate to have received a few degrees from there. We got our last granddaughter there. By 2023 there will be 27 Ohio State degrees from our family,” said Lokai.
Due to COVID-19, Lokai hasn’t been to a Buckeyes game since March 5th of last year. Even though the pandemic has kept Lokai from watching games in person this season, he’s not letting that get him down. “I’m not rich but I have rich thoughts about Ohio State,” said Lokai.