Archive for April, 2006

Feeling a draft

April 25, 2006

I found a really cool feature on nfl.com. If you click on the “NFL Draft” section, and check out the “Prospect Profiles,” you can read the scouting reports on dozens of prospects.

I just wasted a good 10 minutes getting the skinny on former Clemson QB Charlie Whitehurst. The scouts question his release and consistency while praising his arm strength and feel for the game.

Really cool stuff.

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Weather woes

April 19, 2006

Heavy rains in the area Wednesday morning have pushed back the Shelby Savings Bank Easter Tournament schedule by a day.

Hopefully, Mother Nature will cooperate and we can get the event in by Friday, when I plan to go out of town…

Shelby Savings Bank Easter Tournament Schedule

April 17, 2006

Better late than never, I guess…

What: Shelby Savings Bank Easter Tournament

When: Today through Thursday

Where: Veterans Field at Keeter Stadium

Who: Six teams in two three-team groups. Crest, South Caldwell and East Rutherford in one and Burns, Shelby
and Charlotte Christian in the other

Tickets: $4 each day, but if you leave between games, you must pay to re-enter

Standings
Pool A
South Caldwell 2-0
East Rutherford 1-1
Crest 0-2

Pool B
Charlotte Christian 2-0
Shelby 1-1
Burns 0-2

Schedule

Monday
South Caldwell 10, Crest 0, five innings
Shelby 6, Burns 4

Today
East Rutherford 4, Crest 0
Charlotte Christian 6, Burns 2

Thursday
Charlotte Christian 8, Shelby 2
South Caldwell 3, East Rutherford 2, 11 innings

Thursday
Burns vs. Crest, 1 p.m.
East Rutherford vs. Shelby, 4 p.m.
South Caldwell vs. Charlotte Christian, 7 p.m.

Staring 30 in the face

April 10, 2006

My column from Monday’s Star

I’ve always tried to be honest in these columns, so today I’m coming clean. I’m turning 30 next month and I’m not real happy about it.

Alan had his column about turning 50 a few weeks ago, so it’s only right that I use this space for a little self-help therapy of my own.

I was sitting in the drive-thru at McDonald’s the other day, getting my usual high-fat, high-taste breakfast — a bacon, egg and cheese bagel and a hashbrown — when I heard about Maggie Dixon’s death on the radio.

Dixon, the 28-year-old sister of Pittsburgh head basketball coach Jamie Dixon, had just coached the Army women into the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history in her first season as a head coach on any level.

Apparently, she died from an irregular heartbeat just a month after being carried off the court by her players after winning the Patriot League Tournament Championship. West Point cadets and staff mourned her passing last week, with a mixture of laughter and tears, remembering the brief, but special time she was a part of their lives.

It got me thinking. Instead of spending my time looking at my hairline and wringing my hands about exiting my 20s, maybe I should be seizing these days instead.

I’ll never be an anchor at ESPN, I’ll probably never land a job covering the Orioles and I’m not exactly on the road to fame and fortune, but I’m still rich in many ways.

I’ve got a job, a place to live and a family that loves me. I’ve got friends, a car to drive and more food than I need to be eating. And I’ve got something else that I’m going to stop taking for granted.

I’ve got today, and I should use it like Maggie Dixon would. After all, this is a woman that drove halfway across the country to cold-call about a coaching job at DePaul.

She spent five years there before walking on campus at West Point this year just 11 days before the season started.She molded a team that was 74-70 in the five years before her arrival into a championship squad.

And she did it at Army.

So, assuming I make it until May, I’ll still turn 30 kicking and screaming. I still won’t like it, but I can at least be grateful for the chance to make it there.

Just to see what I can do with the extra days.

Ramblings

April 3, 2006

My column from Monday’s Star:

I’ve always enjoyed filling out NCAA Tournament brackets, but this year has been a humbling experience. As team after team flamed out on my sheet, I made peace with the fact that 2006 simply isn’t my year.

And that’s OK.

I’ll still watch tonight’s final between UCLA and Florida. I’ll be hoping for a well-played, competitive game, despite the fact that I don’t really care for either program.

Even though my powers of prediction have been dreadful lately, I’m still obligated to take a stab at picking the winner.

UCLA is a lockdown defensive team that relies on its defense to jump-start its offense while the Gators, probably the more athletic squad, are deadly efficient on offense.

I get the feeling that the Bruins’ will have trouble putting up points on Florida, so I’m leaning towards the Gators bringing home the title.

Opening day
Today is special for another reason. It’s the first full day of baseball season. That means games on all day and night, and the start of fantasy baseball season.

I had a good draft, and I’m ready to roll.

Looking for the most entertaining game on the dial? Try the Yankees and A’s at 10 p.m. on ESPN. Two of the best left-handers in the American League will take the hill as the Yanks’ Randy Johnson matches up against Oakland’s Barry Zito.

Pulling the plug
I’m pretty disappointed that Fox Sports 1390 cancelled the local morning show with Jeff Champion and Andy Foster after only seven weeks on the air.

Foster was also terminated from his full-time job at WADA-AM 1390’s sister station, WOHS-AM 730 after almost four decades on the job.

He’s been on the mic for hundreds of Cleveland County sporting events, and a man who has given that much to his industry and community deserves better.

More weird news
I guess Herb Sendek got tired of being the Wolfpack nation’s whipping boy. The successful, but constantly criticized, head coach has taken the Arizona State job.

In Tempe, his sole mission in life will be to beat Arizona. So, he basically traded in two Hall of Famers in his state (North Carolina’s Roy Williams and Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski) for one in Arizona’s Lute Olson.

Why State fans hate a guy that led his team to five straight NCAA Tournament appearances and 191 wins in his 10 years is beyond me.

Yes, he was 17-54 against Duke, Carolina and Wake Forest, but answer me this:

Who has done much better than that against those three schools?

The few guys who have aren’t coming to Raleigh to be the third wheel in the Triangle.

This is a sad day for Wolfpack fans, whether you guys realize it or not.