No, I didn’t get suspended 50 days for using a banned substance, although I think malt-based energy drinks could qualify as that and I did use one of those against my better judgment while staying up late pretending I was in college again. Which for me means going to Walmart with my bro at midnight on the release date of NCAA (Football) 2010, picking up some McDoubles and playing on a 42-inch HDTV LCD at my parents house while my wife sleeps at her parents’ house down the road. I digress.
The point is I took my own little All-Star Break from everything you know me to be a part of, and despite the fact that Hillsdale County high school and college sports are at a standstill in late July – I’m back. My boss obviously knows I’m back as he has me dabbling in some news in my spare time. I’m learning that the city government and things like healthcare are PROBABLY more important than who can throw the best curveball or do the best bicycle kick, but the personalities are much more guarded in the political arena. People’s answers are more predictable than coaches yawning while in the midst of saying “The better team won, it is what it is.” But, there are just as many facts to provoke questions, just as many in-depth strategies to analyze and a whole lot more at stake than school records or banners for the gymnasium. I’m a sports fanatic, but value the truth, so figure what you may.
That said, here are a few quick hits on some sports notes of local interest from the last few days, followed by some of my work on the news side just to change things up a little and prove I can hit left handed, even though my skills may reflect in my average.
Nicolet strikes again
Sure former Chargers QB Mark Nicolet is still a backup in the AFL2, but he’s made some major strides since last year. Last week he made the Green Bay Blizzard’s highlight reel once more, going 3-for-4 for 49 yards and a TD in relief duty, during his squad’s 60-20 drubbing of in-state rival Milwaukee. To make things even sweeter, the Blizzard clinched their fifth straight playoff berth. The only thing holding Nicolet back right now? Record-setting starting QB Gino Guidugli, who now has the Blizzard’s single season passing yards mark. Still, Nicolet is one play away from being THE MAN on a professional football team headed for the postseason.
A future Charger getting some ink
Zach Cherocci wasn’t one of the main guys Keith Otterbein was talking about on signing day and the only reason I remember the soon-to-be defensive lineman is because of his hard-tof-forget last name. Apparently he’s a likeable guy who several papers feel the need to say goodbye to, so good for him. Here’s a piece in the Oakland Press, which interestingly was written by one of my newspaper buddies by Northern days, and yet another — this one from one of the Eccentric papers.
Hillsdale wins Major League softball title
From a recent edition of the HDN…yeah it’s rec league softball, but I much prefer this to Michael Jackson coverage, so watch what you holla on this inclusion: “Alexis Michael crushed a bases-loaded triple to drive in three runs in the top of the seventh inning and give Hillsdale’s KL&T Transporting softball team the Girls Major League Softball County Championship trophy.
Hillsdale downed Pittsford 9-5 Thursday, with Jamie Davis making a diving catch on a line drive in the bottom of the final inning to end the contest.
“They were ecstatic to be able to win this thing,” head coach Scott Crawford said. “Everybody just peaked at the right time to get it done.”
Jenna Crawford picked up the win on the mound and Hannah Cleveland was clutch at the plate going 4-for-4 with a triple.
Jamie Davis, Libbie March and Kim Sanderson all added hits in the win.
“The girls worked very hard all season and we had practice or games four or five nights a week since this started,” Crawford said.
The following girls are part of the championship team: Kim Sanderson, Colleen Hastings, Alexis Michael, Christina Craig, Jamie Davis, Brooke Gibbs, Shelby Gibbs, Hannah Cleveland, Lauren Chase, Jenna Crawford, Libbie March and Shay Kunkel.
Crawford gave a big thanks to KL&T Transporting for all of the support throughout the season.”
Running, swimming and diving oh my!
Charger sophomore takes Cherry Fest gold: As a resident of Traverse City, Hillsdale College sophomore Jacob Secor knows all about that city’s great Cherry Festival tradition. Over the weekend, Secor became a part of that tradition. Secor finished first in the Festival of Races 5K event in Traverse City. The race is a regular part of the Traverse City National Cherry Festival, one of the top festivals in the northern Michigan city each year. Secor, who completed his freshman year with the Chargers’ cross country team in 2008, finished the race in 15 minutes, 25 seconds, more than nine seconds ahead of the second-place competitor in the event. Around 2,600 athletes competed in the various races around the Cherry Festival over the weekend. Secor’s time of 15:25 was a personal best in the 5K event.
All-Academic accolades for swimming and diving: Two members of the Hillsdale College women’s swimming team – Meredith Scott and Linda Okonkowski were recently honored by being named Division II Academic All-Americans by the Collegiate Swim Coaches Association of America. In addition, the Charger team, with a cumulative grade point average of 3.28, was named by the same association as an Academic All-American Team. Scott and Okonkowski, who were both also named Academic All-GLIAC, were two of the four national-qualifying members of the 2008-09 women’s swimming team from Hillsdale, and both will be returning to the program in 2009-10.