Sports columns

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 ...

Coaching makes a difference

For those sports fans who don't believe that coaching can make a difference, you only had to look at two sideline masterpieces recently.The first came two weeks ago when Michigan State football coach Mark Dantonio came up with a great game plan to spill highly-favored Ohio State.Playing without ...

Copper Island Classic indeed

First, I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. I traveled to visit family in Detroit, returning just about an hour before Friday night's game between the Hancock Bulldogs and the Calumet Copper Kings at the Calumet Colosseum. If you have never seen a high school hockey game, you ...

NFL parity translates to mediocrity

With a modest 3-7 record, there's actually talk about the Dallas Cowboys being in the playoff hunt.You can envision former New Orleans coach Jim Mora voicing his famous: "Playoffs?" spiel.How in the world can a team even mention playoffs with a 3-7 record?Even with quarterback Tony Romo back in ...

‘Sustain’

During both his postgame discussions Saturday night with Dirk Hembroff of 93.5 WKMJ and with me, No. 19 Michigan Tech Huskies hockey coach Mel Pearson said he had one of his skaters, winger Tyler Heinonen write a certain word on the whiteboard in the locker room in recent weeks. That word was ...

The hypocrisy in college sports

The uprising at the University of Missouri was just the latest in the ever-continuing hypocrisy in college athletics.The problems at Missouri allegedly began when black students began to protest over what they said was increasing incidents of racism on campus.Fair enough. No person in this ...

Replay blues

"It's unfortunate that the outcome of a game has to be in question like it was," said Huskies coach Mel Pearson. "It's very disappointing. You ask your players to play hard and play the right way. It's a tough way to lose a hockey game, but you can't put yourselves in that position."I used the ...

Clutch performers are rare

Over the years I've had the chance to report on or watch numerous athletic contests.A few of them have been memorable, but for the most part, most have been pretty routine.But in that time, there have been just a handful where truly clutch players have taken over a game.Houghton High volleyball ...

State of Michigan Tech hockey

When current head coach Mel Pearson took over the No. 20 Michigan Tech Huskies' hockey program, he inherited a team that had won 10 more games only three times since 1998. Two of those three came back-to-back under Jamie Russell from 2006-08.With former Huskies' star Tanner Kero having made the ...