Sports columns

Remembering a clutch player

Sooner or later, a person reaches the age where attending funerals becomes more common than going to weddings.I reached that unenviable position a few years ago. And since, I've seen a number of former teammates - and opponents - pass on.When that happens, I find myself reflecting on past ...

Something in water at E-TC

This past Saturday afternoon saw good evidence of the seemingly endless pool of basketball talent produced in the Ewen-Trout Creek School system.At Michigan Tech, Dillon Gordon's 16 points helped the Huskies men's squad to an upset win over Lake Superior State. And just a mile across Portage ...

Recalling when districts were special

There was a time when the high school district basketball tournaments were the biggest thing in a Michigan sports season.If you remember those days, you're very likely past the age of 50.If you're older than that, you can remember when as many as three district games were played on a single ...

Houghton hockey rising

When I was running around interviewing high school hockey coaches before the season began, one theme kept creeping into every interview: The state of hockey at Houghton. For the previous three seasons, the Gremlins had been the gold standard by which all four other local schools measured their ...

Veteran presence needed

In order to build a successful sports team, you often need a specific number of factors to work out. You need some young athletes (think Dylan Larkin or Marcus Mariota), some younger veterans (Von Miller or Sidney Crosby), and some grizzled veterans who can still give you key contributions when ...

Affluenza did in the all-star games

There are any number of reasons that all-star games in professional sports have all but lost their meaning.I'm not talking about baseball's all-star game, which is the lone "classic" that carries any importance. And even that game isn't without its warts.Take the recent National Football League ...

Dawg days of winter

Being a hockey fan first and a sports enthusiast second, I cannot help but smile this week after the weekend earned by both current and former members of local teams whose nicknames are dog-related. The Hancock Bulldogs defeated one of the top teams in the state in Hartland. The Michigan Tech ...

Chess games by coaches are intriguing

Probably one of the most overlooked part of any athletic contest is the ongoing chess game between the coaches.Over the years, I've had the chance to watch some of the all-time coaching greats.In football, there were legends like Ron Warner of Lake Linden-Hubbell High, Wayne Sickler of Calumet ...

To All-Star or not to All-Star

About a year ago today, I was preparing for my NHL All-Star adventure in Columbus, Ohio. What an adventure it was. I have memories from that weekend that will last a lifetime, both of the events we took in around the game, and of the game itself, despite the crazy score.Getting to see players ...

A hallowed U.P. mark about to fall

By all accounts, one of the most hallowed records in Upper Peninsula prep sports history could fall this winter.St. Ignace's Gage Kreski, a multi-sport standout for the Saints, is zeroing in on the mark set a half century ago by Dominic Jacobetti of Negaunee St. Paul.Kreski, who was a candidate ...

In Phillips, we trust

Being a sports writer for Daily Mining Gazette, I have the Michigan Tech hockey beat, and I would argue there is almost no better place to be right now as current head coach Mel Pearson continues to rebuild the prestige the program carried during the days of John MacInnes, whom Pearson played ...

50 years later, 2 similar teams

Just the other day, someone remarked to me about how things have changed on the Copper Country sports scene in the past 50 years.I thought about that for awhile, reflecting on all I have personally witnessed since 1966.Oh, I know there are considerably more sports for one thing. In 1966, high ...

Sports streaks (good or bad) fascinate us

Sports fans in this country are fascinated, some would say obsessed, with winning and losing streaks.If you don't believe that, look at the National Basketball Association this season.While a good deal of attention has been directed toward the Golden State Warriors terrific start, a fair share ...

Lions, Tigers must reboot

Another year is just ahead for sports fans.And it wouldn't be unfair to say that 2015 was very disappointing for many fans in Michigan, particularly in professional sports.Let's take the Detroit Tigers for a start.The Tigers underachieved right from opening day. They unwisely went into the ...

Holiday distractions

I hope you all had a wonderfully Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukkah. Mine was busy, running back and forth to Green Bay to meet up with multiple members of family, including getting to finally meet my five-month-old nephew, Alexandre. No, that is not a misspelling, his mother celebrates her ...

Older gyms had lots of character

Just recently while covering a basketball game in Lake Linden, a longtime fan remarked about the gym's size."Not too many gyms this small any more," he said.It was a comment that made me think about some of the old gyms that were still used when I first started covering games.Now, it's nice to ...

‘Cub’ was an unforgettable sports guy

The publication "Readers Digest" used to have a section entitled: "The most unforgettable person I ever met."The late Denny Myllyla was certainly one of those kind of people.Better known as "Cub" to his many friends, the Arnheim native left an impression on everyone he encounteredArnie Putala, ...

Confidence building

As a sports writer during the height of the winter season, I often find myself in numerous gyms and ice rinks each week. As a result, I average an event every night, leading to plenty of mind-juggling over who is playing who, where they are playing, how each team has done to this point, ...

College playoff gets it right

It required a little bit of juggling but the College Football selection committee appears to have come up with a winner.In a process that often appeared as complicated and mysterious as routine legislation in Congress, the committee had to dissect the dossiers of the four teams who eventually ...

Home invasion

For the greater Houghton-Hancock area hockey fans, we were subject to nearly 30 years of a struggling Michigan Tech hockey program. Sure, there was optimism from time to time, when a new coach was brought in, or a local high school hero joined the team, or they put together a winning ...