Saturday, April 25, 2015

Sports Columns

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Although I rarely go to movies in theaters (last time was 1989 to see "Rainman") or even rent them, I find myself reading every best-of-the-year movie list I find. The same is true for best-of-the-year lists of music CDs (which I rarely buy) and theater productions (which I rarely attend).

Call it vicarious living if you will, but for some reason I'm drawn to best-of lists.

The same is true for articles that predict the trends for the upcoming year, especially the ones about health and fitness. I've probably read a dozen or so for 2010, and I feel the need to respond.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010
BOB FORD/TIMES NEWS JIm Thorpe's Dillon Smith wrestles Mike Priest of Wyomissing during last year's AA Regionals..

Earlier this season, Dillon Smith reached a milestone that will keep any wrestler wearing Jim Thorpe's red, white and blue chasing him for awhile.

The senior 145 pounder is now the Olympians' all-time winningest wrestler with 133 victories.

That puts him in select company in the Thorpe grappling annals, as he has surpassed Mike Wernett, a 2000 graduate who had 115 career wins; Ryan Bennick, a 2003 alumnus, who had 106; Shawn Bradley, a 2007 grad, who had 105; and his brother Ethan, who graduated with exactly 100 in 2007.

Friday, February 19, 2010


Playoff time on the high school basketball level ... District 11's version of March Madness, only it's still February ...

If the way some of the league semifinals have turned out is any kind of preview what we're in for when the District 11 tournament gets under way next week, you better get to some of the venues early to get a good seat.

The other night I was fortunate to be at Martz Hall in Pottsville for the Schuylkill League girls semis and to no surprise, there was quite a crowd on hand.

Thursday, February 18, 2010
NANCY SCHOLZ/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Northern Lehigh coach Dave Oertner yells out instructions to his players during a recent game. The perfect regular season that the Bulldogs put together is a very rare accomplishment.

When he first looked at this year's schedule, Northern Lehigh girls' basketball coach Dave Oertner expected the unexpected.

The fourth-year Bulldogs' mentor truly believed that his team had a fair shot of accomplishing something rarely done in high school basketball an undefeated regular season.

That's a bit unusual to hear from any coach even before his team has taken the court.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010
MIKE FEIFEL/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS The Hedash brothers (from left), Craemer, Connor and Colin, have been racking up victories for Northern Lehigh this season.

The competition is usually fierce in the Northern Lehigh wrestling room.

With the Hedash brothers, those battles can be taken to a higher level.

When senior 152 pounder Craemer Hedash and junior 171 pound sibling Colin square off, there are times when the Bulldogs' grappling confines can barely contain it.

"We wrestle a lot in the room, and it usually ends up with me being thrown in the air," said Craemer with a laugh. "Overall, it's great wrestling against him."

Saturday, February 13, 2010

According to the writing great F. Scott Fitzgerald, last week's column required you to possess "first-rate intelligence," a characteristic he feels you need to honestly assess two extremely different ideas simultaneously.

Thursday, February 11, 2010
MIKE FEIFEL/TIMES NEWS Pleasant Valley’s Tarik Williams drives past a teammate during a recent practice. Williams has a genetic eye disease that is slowly robbing him of his vision.

One can't possibly overstate the importance of vision when playing sports.

Although it is sometimes taken for granted, athletes need to have good eyesight and a fast reaction time in order to process the information in front of them quickly and efficiently.

Unfortunately for Pleasant Valley's Tarik Williams, a member of the varsity basketball team and the school's band, his vision is slowly being taken away from him.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

When I first became interested in cycling, my previous athletic experiences helped. After more than five years of playing basketball every chance I got passing up the prom, for instance, to shoot jumpers by streetlight I averaged running 50 miles per week for the next five while competing in dozens of races, including five marathons.

Such a well-developed aerobic base allowed me to have immediate success racing bicycles at the beginner's level, especially if the course was particularly hilly or otherwise demanding.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Obviously, the hot topic for the weekend is Super Bowl XLIV.

Unfortunately for me, the Kansas City Chiefs didn't even get near the chance of playing in the National Football League's main event, so I have no other choice but watch two teams that I didn't root for this season play for the Lombardi Trophy.

Yes people, I am still a Chiefs fan, regardless of the last three years of horrific football the team has put me through.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

During the next several weeks, the term "on the bubble" will be heard over and over again in college basketball circles.

With 'March Madness' just around the corner, lots of opinions will be offered about which teams will make the NCAA tournament field and which teams will be left out.

While projections of which college teams will reach the postseason are largely subjective, that isn't the case on the high school level in District 11.