Trine Drops Volleyball Match to Alma

Dekalb TV Player of the Game, Betsy Irwin

On Saturday afternoon, the Trine Thunder volleyball team welcomed the Alma Scots to Hershey Hall on their beautiful campus in what was the Thunder’s final home match of the season.

Trine came into the match with an overall record of 18-9, and they stood at 9-4 in the MIAA Conference. On top of that, they were coming off of a highly emotional, down-to-the-wire contest the previous evening against league foe, Olivet. The Thunder won that “senior night” match in five games, with the fifth game score being 15-13.

Unfortunately for Trine, they ran into a buzz-saw in the Scots, and Alma won in 3 games by the scores of 25-22, 25-22, and 25-15. With the loss, the Thunder still sit in third place in the league standings, with road matches this week against Calvin College & Hope College to end the regular season. Those 2 schools are “only” a combined 46-4 for the season up to this point.

Senior Betsy Irwin, who hails from Athens, Ohio, had a very nice match for Trine as she contributed a number of nice serves, as well as leading all players with 12 kils. Sarah Radekin led the Thunder with 17 assists, while Darcy Crabtree had 15 digs.

After finishing the regular season this week, Trine will participate in their league tourney, which starts on November 2nd.

Barons & Railroaders Ousted, Blazers Move On

High school football sectionals from around the area geared up on Friday night, and just one of the Dekalb County teams will be moving on to next weeks second round action.

Baron Quarterback Evan Cochran

The Dekalb Barons, playing at home against the Wawassee Warriors, went to the halftime lockerroom tied at 7 apiece. But in the second half, Wawassee scored 3 touchdowns to Dekalb’s one, and won by the score of 27-14. The Barons got 2 TD passes from senior quarterback Evan Cochran, an 11 yarder to Dylan Cagle, and a 5 yarder to Logan Schilling. Dekalb finished 2-8 on the season.

The Garrett Railroaders led the Whitko Wildcats 16-7 in the second quarter of their contest. But Whitko, with touchdowns in the second & fourth stanzas, came from behind to end Garrett’s season 21-16. The Railroaders finished 7-3, including a share of the ACAC conference title.

The Eastside Blazers will be the only team from Dekalb County playing next Friday, as they ran roughshod over Bluffton on Friday by the score of 52-12. Quarterback Blake Blaker accounted for 412 yards of total offense, including 7 total touchdowns. He had 3 TD passes, and 4 TD runs. Eastside will have their hands full in the second round, as they will travel to Fort Wayne to take on the defending state champs, Bishop Luers High School.

Other results involving NHC teams saw East Noble lose to Concord on a last second field goal 38-35, Homestead lost to FW Snider 30-20, Columbia City beat Leo 14-7, Norwell got its first win by defeating Logansport 22-0, New Haven was all over Marion 43-20, Bellmont lost to Yorktown 31-20, and Carroll won big over LaPorte 49-7.

Trilogy of Ali-Frazier Battles, a Great Time For Boxing

I was having lunch with my good buddy Larry earlier this week, solving the problems of the world as we usually do, when the talk turned to the subject of boxing, heavyweight boxing specifically.

Joe Frazier & Muhammad Ali

We both grew up in what we consider the “hey-day” boxing’s top weight class. That would be the 1960’s & 1970’s.

That “golden era” started with Floyd Patterson & Sonny Liston, and ended with Larry Holmes. But oh my, in between there were truly some great fighters, who put on some tremendous bouts.

Muhammad Ali (aka Cassius Clay), Joe Frazier, George Foreman, George Chuvalo, Jerry Quarry, Jimmy Ellis, Ken Norton, Earnie Shavers, and Leon Spinks, just to name some.

These guys fought each other, didn’t back down, and fought frequently. Nothing like today where guys wait YEARS before getting into the ring to take on a top opponent.

In my opinion, the greatest boxing rivalry ever, maybe the greatest sports rivalry ever, were the 3 fights between Ali & Frazier that took place between March 1971, and September of 1975.

The first fight, staged in Madison Square Garden, was probably the biggest, most hyped sporting event in the 20th century. Both fighters were guaranteed 2.5 million dollars, an unheard of amount at that time. Anybody & everybody from the sports & entertainment industries were in attendance. Frank Sinatra was a ringside photographer for gosh sakes!

“Smokin Joe” knocked Ali down in the 15th round, and won the decision. The fight did not disappoint as far as action & and punches thrown that landed.

They met for the second time in January of 1974. I was living in Daytona  Beach, Florida at the time, going to school. I skipped out of a Monday night class, and drove 80 miles to Orlando to watch the fight on closed circuit TV. This fight was the least remembered of the three. Not as much hype as the first, but a good fight none the less. Ali controlled the fight, and won the decision.

Their third and final fight, took place just over 37 years ago in Manila, as my good friend Gary pointed out in a Facebook posting recently. Ali had regained the championship in a stunning upset of George Foreman about a year before this fight, and Frazier was hoping to regain the crown that he had lost to Foreman a few years prior.

The fight was simply a war from the opening bell. Both fighters would just pound and pound on the other, but neither would back down. Ali controlled the first five rounds or so, but then Frazier took over. Joe turned the fight around between rounds 6 and 10. Ali is actually quoted as saying he wanted to quit in around the 11th round.

But then, like the great champion that he was, Ali regained the momentum. By the end of the 14th round, Joe’s eyes were a swollen mass. The fight was stopped, and Ali kept the title. Ironically, despite the punishment that was inflicted, neither fighter was knocked down.

Looking back, this fight was the apex for both of these tremendous champions. They were never the same again. Frazier’s career came to end not long after the “Thrilla in Manila.” Ali hung on until early 1981, but he was a shell of himself as he lost his two last fights to Holmes & Trevor Berbick.

My buddy Larry was at the Ali-Holmes fight. As he has told me many times, you just don’t realize what it was like to be in an arena, and to have the heavyweight champ(s) come out of the dressing rooms and make their way to the ring.

I like to tell people that I met Ali in early March 1975, about 6 months before the 3rd Frazier fight. He came to Daytona Beach to fight an exhibition for the local boys club. My brother and I got first row ringside seats for $3 each. Ali fought 6 rounds against 2 separate opponents. He then entertained the crowd for about 30 minutes or so. As he was leaving the ring area, he shook both of our hands as he went by. It’s a truly great sports memory for me.

Who is the current heavyweight champion?

Trine Loses Low Scoring Game to Adrian

The Trine Thunder traveled to Adrian, Michigan on Saturday to take on the Adrian Bulldogs in a football game that if they won, they would have sole possession of first place in the MIAA Conference.

As the Coaches Talk to the Team, the Thunder Fans Enduring the Elements

It wasn’t meant to be, as Adrian put 10 points on the board in the second quarter, and they made it stand up, as they defeated Trine by the score of 10-3.

The loss ended a 3 game Thunder winning streak, and now they have to get help if they want to get a chance for a conference title. Adrian now leads the MIAA with a 3-0 league mark, as they now have won 5 games in a row overall.

On the wet rainy afternoon, Trine would drive between the twenties, but the offense would bog down as they neared the red zone. The Thunder would not score until just under 2 minutes remained when Tyler Keck knocked in a 22 yard field goal.

For Trine, Michael Inge rushed 13 times for 58 yards, JaVontae Hence caught 8 passes for 76 yards, and quarterback Ryan Hargraves was 11-18 for 116 yards passing. Myron Puryear, Michael Spears, and Caleb Nitz each had 9 tackles to lead the defense.

The Thunder are off this Saturday, and they return to action on the 27th, as they will travel to Hope College to take on the Dutchmen.

Tough Loss For Dekalb in Final Regular Season Game

Captains for Dekalb & Carroll Meet Before Friday’s Game

The less said about Friday night’s regular season finale for the Dekalb Baron football team, the better. The Barons went into the contest looking to knock off one of the powers in the NHC, the Carroll Chargers, to help prepare them for their sectional opener next Friday night against Wawassee.

As has been the case for most of the season, Dekalb found themselves in an early hole that they just couldn’t recover from. The Barons trailed 21-0 after the first quarter, and the Chargers would go on to a 63-11 win.

Dekalb was able to score on a 10 yard TD pass from Evan Cochran to Cody Krumlauf, a 2 point conversion reception by Kenny Knick, and a 40 yard field goal by Landon Cochran.

The Barons will play their first sectional game at home in 5 years starting this coming Friday at 7:00 pm against the aforementioned Warriors.

In other NHC games on Friday, Homestead won their 6th straight conference title, as they beat New Haven 24.13. East Noble, who seems to be peaking at just the right time, defeated Bellmont 51-10, and and Columbia City won over Norwell 26-6.

High School Football Sectional Pairings Announced

Earlier this week, the Indiana high school football sectional pairings were announced. Each year, when this time arrives, it is a time of anticipation as the players and coaches eagerly await word on who they will be playing in the first round, and where that game will take place.

Brandon Bacon & Austin Williams

The Dekalb Barons, competing in the Class 4A sectional 11, will host Wawassee in their opening contest on Oct. 19th. The Warriors record stands at 4-4, while the Barons are at 2-6. Dekalb is coming off of a 34-6 loss to Bellmont. They will be playing at Carroll in their regular season finale this Friday, looking to gain back some of that momentum that they created when they defeated Norwell the previous week.

The winner of the Dekalb-Wawassee game will take on the winner of the Plymouth-Northwood game in the second round. Other games in the Dekalb sectional are Angola at Northridge, and Concord at East Noble. On Friday, listen to the Barons-Carroll game LIVE.

The high-flying Garrett Railroaders have one of the best records in NE Indiana, as they stand at 7-1 going into their final regular season game Friday at Heritage. Garrett will travel to Whitko to play their first sectional game. Whitko has a record of 3-5.

The Railroaders had a great win last Friday against the previously undefeated Leo Lions. Garrett won that game 20-6, and they will be looking to win the ACAC title outright if they can get the win against Heritage. The Railroaders will be competing in the Class 3A sectional #18. The winner of the Garrett-Whitko game will play the winner of the Concordia-Jimtown game in the second round.

In the Class 2A sectional 27, the Eastside Blazers will open play at home against Bluffton. Eastside currently stands at 4-4, while Bluffton has a record of 5-3. The Blazers can finish over .500 on the regular season if they can win at Prairie Heights this coming Friday. Eastside has been on a roll as of late, as they won their last 2 games over Fremont & Central Noble by a combined score of 115-22. The winner of the Eastside-Bluffton game will play the winner of the Bishop Luers-Woodlan game in the second round.

Trine Gets Big Conference Win Over Albion

Saturday was a cool, crisp Autumn day up in Angola, Indiana, on the campus of Trine University. It was Homecoming weekend for the Thunder, as the Albion Britons came charging into town, looking to end Trine’s 2 game football winning streak.

Player of the Game Blaek Combs

As usually occurs right before kickoff, fireworks are set off to help get the crowd going. On this day, major fireworks went off right after kickoff, as just 2 minutes & 9 seconds into the game, the Thunder were sitting on a 14-0 lead.

Twenty-six seconds after the game got underway, senior quarterback Ryan Hargraves, who hails from Taylor, Michigan, made his way into the secondary on an option run over the left side, and he raced 83 yards to paydirt virtually untouched.

Then, when the Britons took over, Trine’s defense got into the act, as they forced a fumble, and another senior, defensive back Myron Puryear II, from Canton, Michigan, scooped up the loose pigskin over along the right sideline, and raced 79 yards for the Thunder’s second touchdown.

From there on out, it was a back and forth tussle, For the remainder of the first half, Trine would get a 4 yard touchdown scamper from Michael Inge, as well as a 32 yard field goal from Tyler Keck on the final play of quarter number 2, and the Thunder went to the lockerroom with a 24-12 lead.

But when Darrin Williams scored for Albion on a 10 yard run early in the fourth, the Trine lead was down to 2 at 24-22. Things were getting a bit antsy for the home team.

Discussing Strategy Late in the Game

The defense for the Thunder would then rise up and take over, keyed by an incredible game from junior defensive back Blaek Combs. Combs, from Rushville, Indiana, seemed to be everywhere, and seemed to be in on every tackle. It was appropriate that on the final play for the Britons, a desperation pass down near the Trine goal line, Combs would be there to pick it off, and seal the game for the Thunder. For his superb effort, Combs was our “Dekalb TV Player of the Game.”

With the victory, the Thunder now stand at 4-2 overall on the season, and more importantly, they sit at 2-0 in the MIAA Conference, going into a very tough road battle next Saturday at Adrian College. Game time is 4:00 pm.

Barons Looking For Third Win on Senior Night

Go Barons!

On Friday night, starting at 7:00 pm, the Dekalb Barons will be hosting the Bellmont Braves in varsity football action. The Barons will be looking for their 3rd win of the season on what is the traditional “senior night” celebration.

Dekalb is coming off of a hard fought defensive battle at Norwell last week. Dekalb held on with a great defensive stand in the final minutes, and won by the score of 7-6.

If you recall, earlier this season when the Barons defeated Garrett, it ended a 22 game losing streak. The win last week at Norwell ended another dubious streak for Dekalb. Before the victory over the Knights, the Barons had not won a road game since October 17th, 2008, when they defeated Carroll 21-7. Streak over.

The way the contest started last week, it looked like the Dekalb offense would have its way with the Knights. The Barons scored a touchdown on their first possession, the score coming on a 35 yard TD pass from Evan Cochran to Logan Schilling. Little did we realize at the time, that would be the final points of the evening after Landon Cochran converted the PAT.

Norwell would retaliate with a touchdown of their own early in the third quarter. But the Knights could not convert their extra point attempt.

Both teams would drive between the 20’s, but neither would mount a scoring threat until the final minutes. Norwell put together a nice drive, and had the ball 1st & goal at the Dekalb 7 with just under 3 minutes to play.

The Knight’s quarterback Piercen Harnish would roll out to his right and throw a TD pass to Cale Schumm. The Norwell crowd was in a tizzy as it looked as if the Knights might be in line for their first win of the season. But on the far side of the field, there was a little piece of “yellow laundry” sitting on the field. Illegal formation Norwell, 5 yard penalty, no TD.

After another motion penalty, the Knights ended up with fourth and goal from the 17. Harnish lined up under center, faked a handoff over the right side, and lofted a pass towards his tight end who was streaking toward the goal line. For a moment, he looked wide open. But seemingly out of nowhere, sophomore defensive back Chad Ramus cut in front of the receiver with a perfectly timed interception, and after a return to the 15 yard line, the Baron victory was virtually sealed.

Come on out to Cecil E. Young Field at Dekalb High School on Friday, and cheer the Barons on as they look to put another one in the “W” column.  Also, come out to salute all of the Dekalb seniors on their special night.

“Bat Out of Hell” Evokes Great Memories

The Materpiece, “Bat Out of Hell”

Growing up in the sixties & seventies, and during that time, learning to love what is considered “rock & roll” music, you could say that I truly am addicted to good compositions from that era.

Last evening, while getting ready for a good walk on the treadmill, I was looking for something to listen to while I was “sweating.” You could say that I am an old-time creature from the past, as I have good size speakers set up on each side of the treadmill to hear the music in a clear, crisp, but most of all, LOUD way.

Meatloaf, Ellen Foley, & Jim Steinman

I chose what I consider to be if not the best album I have ever heard, it is certainly in my top 2-3. That would be “Bat Out of Hell” sung by Meatloaf, and written by Jim Steinman.

Recorded in 1977, it has since sold over 43 million copies. Including LP’s, cassettes, and CD’s, I’ve probably worn out 10 myself.

I was introduced to this masterpiece in early 1978. After I listened to it for the first time, I bet that a day didn’t go by for the next few months that I didn’t listen to the whole album at least once.

The seven songs that are presented take up a total of 46 1/2 minutes of listening time, and each song is a truly special in their own way. In case you didn’t know, the seven songs are:
1) Bat Out of Hell
2) You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night)
3) Heaven Can Wait
4) All Revved Up With No Place to Go
5) Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad
6) Paradise By the Dashboard Light
7) For Crying Out Loud

The album plays like a rock opera that tells a story that includes motorcycles, speed, young love gained, as well as young love lost. There is also more than just a hint of sexual innuendo.

Meatloaf, who was born Marvin Lee Aday, does a masterful job presenting the lyrics in his own, unique way. Jim Steinman, who wrote the songs, does most of the piano work. Todd Rundgren, a great rock& roller himself, produced the album. Rundgren also does the guitar work during the “motorcycle revving” part on Bat Out of Hell, which starts at about the 6 1/2 minute mark of the song. There are also appearances on the album by Max Weinberg & Roy Bittan of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, Edgar Winter on sax, great female vocals by Ellen Foley, and of course, legendary baseball announcer Phil Rizzuto. His call of the “suicide squeeze” during “Paradise” is unforgettable.

After all of these years, it is still a tremendous listen. My time on the treadmill flew right by as I was “singing the lead” on most of the tunes.

My favorite song on the album would have to be……………………? I love them all. Go out and get yourself a copy.

Big Win For the Buckeyes Over the Spartans

Is Another National Title Possible in the Next Few Years?

Up until this point in the college football season, I have been somewhat hesitant to post a story about my beloved Ohio State Buckeyes. Even though the hiring of one of the best college coaches in the country, Urban Meyer, was a great move to get OSU past the final season of the Jim Tressel tenure, I wanted to see a signature win before I began to “chat them up.”

Well, this past Saturday up in East Lansing, Michigan, Meyer & his Buckeyes certainly provided that, as they won a hard fought, physical battle with the Michigan State Spartans by the score of 17-16. It was a win against a tough opponent, on the Spartans home turf no less, that have people starting to say, that yes, the Buckeyes might be back.

OSU dominated at the line of scrimmage. That was in my mind, the key to the game. They held Columbus, Ohio native Le’Veon Bell, one of the nation’s leading rushers, to just 45 yards on 17 carries. His longest run was 8 yards, and more impressive, it was the first time since his freshman season that one of his carries did not result in a first down.

Once again, it was the Braxton Miller show on the offensive side of the ball, as the sophomore had over 300 yards of total offense. His 63 yard scoring strike to Devin Smith in the 3rd quarter gave OSU a 17-13 lead, and the defense would make it stand up the rest of the way.

After wins over Miami of Ohio, UCF, Cal, and UAB, the victory over the Spartans makes the 5-0 start a little more impressive. It doesn’t get any easier though, as Ohio State will come home to host the Nebraska Cornhuskers this Saturday. Nebraska came from 17 down on Saturday to get a win over Wisconsin.

Go Bucks! O-H-I-O!