Lady Barons Open With Loss to Angola

Dekalb & Angola got together on Friday night at the Baron gym to do battle in girls basketball. It was the season opener for Dekalb, while the Hornets already had one game under their belts, as they had defeated Bishop Luers this past Tuesday.

In what was truly a game of streaks, Angola broke a 47-all tie with just over 3 minutes to play, and were able to score the final 8 points of the contest, as they won by the score of 55-47.

Hayley Martin at the Free Throw Line

The Barons jumped out to 9-0 and 11-2 leads early in the first quarter, fueled by what would turn out to be a monster game from junior Hayley Martin. But to the Hornets credit, they dug in and displayed some true veteran savvy, and by midway in the second period, they had turned the game around and led 27-15. The teams went to the locker room with Angola on top 29-20.

Dekalb must have “drank the kool-aid” during the break, as they came out and scored the first 10 points of the third stanza to regain the lead at 30-29. It stayed back & forth until the Barons inched ahead by five at 38-33 heading to the final 8 minutes.

But that savvy that I mentioned earlier reared its head in the form of Rachel & Ericka Rinehart, as Angola was able to roar back and take a 5 point lead at 47-42 at the midway point of the fourth. Martin would score the next five for Dekalb to knot the score, but those points would be the last for the Barons on this night, and Angola would walk out of the gym with a hard fought win to go to 2-0.

Martin would end up with 26 points, 15 rebounds, and 4 blocks in what was an outstanding performance. Equally impressive was the game of Rachel Rinehart for the Hornets, as she tallied 24 points, 5 steals, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists.

Bayley Rinehart added 12 points for Dekalb, while Ericka Rinehart had 11 for Angola.

Dekalb will play again tonight as they travel to Fort Wayne to take on Northside. Angola will host West Noble this coming Tuesday.

Trine Wins Big Over Olivet in MIAA Football

The Trine Thunder went into their football game on Saturday still hoping for a share of the MIAA league title as they were hosting the Olivet Comets. Trine held up their end of the bargain, as they rolled over the Comets by the score of 49-21. But when the score of the Adrian – Albion was final at 20-19 Adrian, all the Thunder can hope for is a second place finish. Adrian won the title with a perfect 6-0 conference slate.

Players Shaking Hands After the Game

Trine raced out to a 21-7 halftime lead over Olivet, thanks to 2 rushing touchdowns from sophomore running back Austin Shoemaker, and a fumble recovery in the end zone after an errant snap on a punt attempt. It looked to me like John Essex recovered the fumble, but the stats I received say it was Blaek Combs.

The Thunder started quickly in the second half, as they scored on their second play from scrimmage on a 42 yard pass from Ryan Hargraves to JaVontae Hence. Trine would score 3 more TD’s in that second half. Hargraves would scamper in from 12 yards out, Shoemaker added his third score on a 28 yard screen pass, and Charles
Dreessen would pick up a blocked punt, and score from 24 yards out to complete the scoring for the Thunder.

Running back Tyre Alexander scored all three touchdowns for Olivet, on runs of 17, 1, and 4 yards.

Shoemaker gained 63 yards on 15 carries, while Hargraves had 55 yards on 6 carries, Jamil Davis had 44 yards on 5 carries, and Jared Barton had 17 yards on 7 totes.

Hargraves completed 10 of 12 passes for 176 yards, with Hence snaring 3 of those for 101 yards.

Tyler Guzy and Caleb Nitz led the Thunder with 9 tackles each, while Louis Danesi & Tony Miranda each had 6 stops.

Trine will finish the regular season this coming Saturday when they will host Alma College. A win will insure second place all by themselves in the MIAA. It will also be senior day at Shive Field, so come on out and see this fun & exciting team, and also pay tribute to this fine group of senior leaders.

OSU Pulls Off Miraculous Win, Just Like in 2002

Last Saturday was a great day for college football throughout the Midwest, and it was made even better by the fact that my youngest son, Ethan, was able to come home from college for a few days. Even though we weren’t able to see all of the game, we were able to watch the latter stages of the Ohio State game against Purdue.

It was a game that simply put, the Buckeyes just shouldn’t have won. The Boilermakers were in control throughout, and when backup quarterback Kenny Guiton of OSU threw an interception with 2:40 to go, it looked all but over.

I kept thinking at that point about the Ohio State game against Purdue 10 years earlier, late in the 2002 season. That was a game that has come to be known as the “Holy Buckeye” game, because of the phrase that Brent Musburger said when OSU somehow pulled that game from the throes of defeat to one of their greatest victories ever.

O-H-I-O Performed by Some of My Favorite People

Back in 2002, the Buckeyes trailed 6-3, and faced a fourth & 1 at the Boiler 37 yard line, with no timeouts remaining, and just over a minute and half to play. Coach Jim Tressel had called a play that was supposed to be a short pass to the tight end. But when the pocket collapsed, quarterback Craig Krenzel stepped up and lofted a long pass towards Michael Jenkins who was streaking down the middle of the field. Jenkins caught the perfectly thrown ball in stride for the TD, and OSU held on for the 10-6 win. If that play doesn’t work, there is no national championship win over Miami at the end of the season.

Ethan & I both remember what we were doing when that play occurred. We had a DCBBL game at Waterloo Elementary School. We needed to get inside as our game time was quickly approaching, but we listened on the radio as the Krenzel to Jenkins catch unfolded, we hooted & hollered as the TD was scored, then went in to play our game (I was the coach).

So after the Guiton interception, even though all looked lost, I still had these eerie feelings about the 2002 game (sports fans know what I’m talking about). Could history somehow repeat itself? OSU got the ball back with 47 ticks of the clock remaining, and they were trailing by eight at 22-14. Guiton was playing because OSU starter and Heisman Trophy candidate Braxton Miller had been injured earlier in the contest. Guiton quickly connected on a couple of passes that had the Buckeyes facing a situation of having to score from the 2 yard line with under 10 seconds to play. Guiton threw a pass that was “low & outside” to wideout Chris Fields, who went down and cradled it just before it hit the ground. Then a beautifully conceived 2 point conversion pass to the tight end knotted the score with 3 ticks remaining on the clock.

OSU, now with all the momentum, scored first in OT on a short run by Carlos Hyde, and OSU held on to win 29-22. It kept their undefeated season alive in coach Urban Meyer’s first year at the helm.

The Buckeyes travel east today to take on the Penn State Nittany Lions in what a lot of people are calling the “ineligible bowl,” as neither team can take part in a post season bowl game because of NCAA sanctions.

All I know, is that any time the Buckeyes are playing Purdue, I will make sure that Ethan is spending time with us at home.

The World Series – The Apex of the Baseball Season

The World Series of professional baseball begins tonight in San Francisco where the Giants are hosting the Detroit Tigers for bragging rights as to who is “world champions.”

Justin Verlander and Barry Zito will be on the hill as each team tries to get the upper hand in game one. It should be a great series between 2 teams that I truly like & respect.

Some of the Family at a Texas-Cleveland Game From Earlier This Year

It is somewhat bittersweet though, as my beloved Texas Rangers will be watching from home after 2 straight appearances in the “Fall classic.” After being what was considered the best team in baseball for the better part of this past season, Texas faltered during the final couple of weeks, and were eliminated in the wild card play-in game.

I’ve been a baseball fan for all of my life, and getting the chance to go to the World Series in both of the past 2 seasons was something I will treasure forever. It not only was exciting, and had a certain “magic aura” to it, but having the chance to do this with family members made it very special.

Even though the Rangers lost the series both years, with last year’s being especially excruciating, being able to experience that whole atmosphere with Maureen, Brandon, Ethan, Krista, and our oldest son Joey, who works for the Rangers, made it truly memorable for me.

Good luck to both teams this year. It should be a memorable series in its own right, hopefully without any controversy. I’ll sit back and enjoy watching, and may the best team win!

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.