Sports columns

Saluting all the seniors

I'm not sure when I first took special notice of graduating high school seniors. It might have been after my first full year of reporting prep sports for the L'Anse Sentinel in 1974. Since Baraga High was my primary coverage area that year, I got to know the athletes and coaches pretty ...

This HOF class the real deal

The most recent Upper Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame class is one of the most talented I can recall. This group had a heavy Copper Country flavor to it as Mary Seaton, Chris Givens, Jim Crawford and Carl "Scuppy" Backstrom attained the honor. Seaton and Givens are former Hancock High standouts ...

Baseball in area comes back

There was a time when baseball in the Copper Country was a big summertime happening. As far back as the early 1900s, there was baseball being played up here. George Gipp, the football immortal, was reportedly a great baseball player. His speed and heavy hitting ability attracted the attention ...

Tigers and Lions shorted by hall of fame

With the various sports hall of fames getting ready to announce their latest picks, it's almost certain that Detroit athletes will get shorted once again. How can I make this statement? Easy. Consider the following: All-time baseball greats like Alan Trammell, Lou Whitaker and Jack Morris ...

Thoughts from the penalty box

I will be the first to admit, I did not see this coming. Despite the fact that Mel Pearson spent 23 years as an assistant under Red Berenson at the University of Michigan, I always believed that if Michigan Tech University, his alma mater, ever came calling with a serious offer, and if he ...

Time for Lions to roll the dice

This week could determine whether the Detroit Lions are ready to join the rest of the National Football League's better teams. The college draft — an event that has often seen the Lions fail miserably — starts Thursday. Think about it. This is the team that wasted (that's not strong ...

Tigers will be interesting this year

There is little doubt the Detroit Tigers will be an entertaining team in the 2017 season. Any team that has the star power (Miguel Cabrera, Justin Verlander, etc.) is going to be in the headlines most of the time. But the one thing the Tigers are lacking in appears to be pitching. Oh, the ...

Old rivals combining forces

It probably didn't come as much of a surprise, but the recent decision by Baraga and Ewen-Trout Creek High School to enter into a sports co-op next football season with two old rivals still raised a few eyebrows. The Vikings, who had fielded eight-person teams the last few seasons, will now ...

Farewell, Joe Louis Arena

Sometimes in sports, the singular moment is bigger than any of the context surrounding it. I have been a part of state and regional championship teams. I have played in a national tournament. I have played on teams that won league titles. I have never experienced a moment like that so clearly ...

Bad officiating tarnished NCAA Final

If it was maybe one or two calls, you could maybe explain the officiating at the NCAA men's basketball final game. But the referees did such a shoddy job — especially in the second half — that they tarnished what should have been a classic matchup. Instead, they turned the game in a ...

Hockey weaves its fabric

The other night, I could have sworn I was in a time warp as I waited to cover the second game of the Gibson Cup series between the Portage Lake Pioneers and Calumet Wolverines. Sitting in my car outside the Calumet Colosseum before the game, I watched as the good-sized crowd filed in. There ...

Worth the trip

For the second time in three years, the Michigan Tech Huskies' hockey team made it to the NCAA Tournament, something that had not happened with any regularity since the late 1970s. After the Huskies won the WCHA Playoff title in double overtime, I knew that I was going to want to be there to ...

NCAA Tourney delivers again

One of the things that makes the annual NCAA basketball tournament such a hit is its unpredictability. Just when you figure you've got March Madness (and its brackets) down, something comes along. Now, I've been watching this annual two weeks of madness for a long time. Once upon a time, I ...

March Madness at its best

It’s often been said that March Madness brings out the best in teams and players. That was certainly the case this season. Take the Dollar Bay High boys basketball team. The Blue Bolts won the Copper Mountain Conference with a late-season win over Jeffers, then went through a tough ...

Love of the game has no boundaries

He not only came to the snowy Copper Country, but Brandon Robinson stayed for four years at Finlandia University. Robinson, a native of North Hollywood, Ca., made the decision to play basketball at FU. And he did it in a quiet, business-like manner. Now, getting anyone from the West Coast ...

Too much success can be bad

It's an argument that sports fans have been debating for a long time. Is there such a thing as being too successful? It's an argument that flies opposite of the American Dream. The feeling is that the more success a person or company has, the better. But in the world of sports, ...

WCHA stronger than most think

With two weekends left in the regular season for the WCHA, the Michigan Tech Huskies find themselves sitting in second — where they have spent much of the season — 10 points back of the Bemidji State Beavers and 10 points ahead of the Minnesota State Mavericks. As USCHO.com announced its ...

The long, winding road in sports

Just recently, I was asked what was the first sports event I ever covered. I didn't have to think too long because the fall of 1965 was a pretty interesting one for me. For one thing, I had just enrolled at Suomi College after working at McLouth Steel Co. in Trenton for one year. I might ...

Enjoying hockey in all forms

I will be the first to admit, at some point last week, I walked into the office in the morning and started my day in what has become my tradition, stopping by to say hello to the news editor and to her boss. Her boss was kind enough to remind me that I had made a comment about a week earlier or ...

Super Bowl could be SUPER

In this age of glitter and glamour, it's possible the upcoming Super Bowl game between the Patriots and Falcons may be overshadowed. I would like to think otherwise, but we live in an era where style trumps (no pun intended) substance. Now, the hi-jinx for Super Bowls started many years ...