My background in movies that have no sports content is sadly lacking.
In an effort to expand my horizons a bit, I headed to the theatre for a 3-D showing of The Avengers. In addition to confirming my suspicion that I look tremendously dorky while wearing 3-D glasses over my regular glasses, I realized that action movies aren't really my thing.
Iron Man's great. Who doesn't like Captain America? But I like my action heroes to be a little more local than, say, Asgard.
So, I got to thinking. If I could assemble an army of superheroes, like a Copper Country version of Nick Fury, who would I pick? I have no special radiation, so I guess we'll have to go with God-given abilities.
The Young Flash(es): Jamie Dompier of Chassell and Chelsea Jacques of Calumet.
They might look like mild-mannered high school athletes, but they possess some superhuman speed, with Dompier dominating the small schools and Jacques the WestPAC track.
Dompier, in particular, has documented experience in secret disguises (the extent of which is highly classified).
The Lumberjack: Ben Storm of Calumet
This tall man has wielded a long blade for many years, but he doesn't need a blue ox, just a blue uniform. Headed off to seek justice (and USHL success) downstate, he is clearly adept in hand-to-hand combat on the defensive line and leaps tall high jump bars in a single bound.
Colossus: Chuck Knuckles of Houghton
The ability to fling the shot put 50 feet is a trademark of this relatively new hero to the Copper Country universe. Think 50 feet isn't very far. Try carrying a shot 50 feet.
As a winner of the "Art from the Grieving Heart" poetry competition, we also know his strength is not just limited to the physical realm.
Curveball/The Cannon: Luke Paul and Tyler LaDuron
The primary pitching duo for the Hancock Post 186 American Legion baseball team has shown some powers early in the season. We've known Paul's ability to throw projectiles for accuracy (basketball) and confusion (baseball) for some time since his debut with the Hancock High School basketball team three years ago, but LaDuron is a recent addition to the local realm, featuring a fastball that defies description.
Eagle-Eye: Zoe Woodworth of Calumet
This Copper King has been queen of the scene in local golf for four years now. She can hit it far, but more importantly, she almost always hits it straight. That's how she made an eagle 3 on the 7th hole at Portage Lake Golf Course in the Bulldog Invitational. That Hawk-Eye character was pretty good with the bow and arrow in The Avengers, but if I need a target hit, I'll take Zoe and her driver any day.
Aquawoman: Olivia Rouleau of Hancock/Jeffers
Rouleau, a Hancock student, has already qualified for U.P. Finals in the shot put, but her true strength is in the pool, where as a sophomore for the Jeffers swim team she is already a two-time defending U.P. champion in the 200-yard individual medley, proving her mastery of all the required strokes. And this is without the use of flippers or scuba gear.
The Human Spring:?Adeline Grier-Welch of Houghton
The Gremlin senior has been making the long jump and high jump look quite easy for a long time, but has also played a significant role on the track as well, evidenced by her winning anchor leg in the 1,600-meter relay at Wednesday's WestPAC?meet.
The Flight Brothers:?Taylor and Trent Ambuehl, Lake Linden-Hubbell
After following the example of brother Travis, who is pole vaulting at the College of St. Scholastica, the Ambuehls have had more shows in the air than the Flying Wallendas. Then again, with Andy Steber of Calumet and his pole-vaulting siblings (at least two of whom did so for Calumet), maybe the psionic power necessary to fly through the air on the end of a pole without fear is a genetic trait.
Of course, as U.P. Finals roll around next week, almost anyone has a chance to be a superhero if they can grab some points for their team on the track or pencil in a few birdies on their scorecard. So, remember, high school athletes (with apologies to Captain Planet): The power is yours.
Brandon Veale can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/redveale.