Tag Archives: Aaron Tomlinson

Skippers breaking apart

Aaron Tomlinson

Copy Editor

Crutches, athletic tape and ice packs plague the Skippers’ dugout this season. Injuries have haunted the Skippers’ baseball team since the dawn of the 2010 season.

In any sport, winning matters. Above all the hoopla of “playing as a team” and “giving your best,” winning is what other teams, coaches, players and even scouts see.

The Skippers now have a total of seven players out with season-ending injuries. Three are pitchers for SC4. Like any baseball team, losing pitchers could be the worst for the team and the player.

Keep in mind also, readers: these are young adults. Professionals would call them kids. Serious injuries requiring surgery can be fatal for a young player’s career.

Anthony Ingle, freshman infielder and pitcher from Port Huron, is one of the seven injured this season.

“The injury happened in Florida while we were playing Miami Dade College,” said Ingle. “When I dropped down to slide, my left foot didn’t come out of the ground and it rotated counter-clockwise around 180 degrees. My foot was facing completely backwards of the way it should.

“I fractured five different bones including my fibula and third, fourth and fifth metatarsals. I was in the hospital from the March 10-14, and March 13 was my birthday.”

Injuries like this have affected the team from the start of the season.

“A lot of arms are gone in the starting rotation,” said Chris Crimmins, freshman from Port Huron. “The team is doing whatever we can do to get through the injuries.”

America’s pastime may take a toll on the SC4 players, especially when every game played is a double-header.

“Kids are playing hurt every game,” said freshman Eric Harrington. “Right now I am playing on a sprained ankle.”

The team has a 1-13 Michigan Community College Athletic Association record and is 9-21 overall. Their only conference win was a 3-0 shutout against Mott Community College.

In order for the Skippers to turn it around, they must stay healthy for the remainder of the season.

New look and new hope for Tigers’ fans

Aaron Tomlinson

Copy Editor

   The Tigers’ roar is louder than ever.

   Opening Day happens Monday, April 5 for the Detroit Tigers. However, some fans may not know whether to roar or cry; with the loss of many key players in the off-season, the team looks different.

   “I’m upset that we got rid of Polanco,” said Drew Settor, sophomore from Smiths Creek. “That was a horrible trade on Detroit’s part. Also Verlander and Zumaya need to have a good season.”

   Verlander started the season for the Tigers, pitching five innings and allowing four runs against the Kansas City Royals. The bullpen took over in the 6th inning, shutting out the Royals.

   “It all looks bad because Polanco and Granderson both had great games,” said Settor.

   Curtis Granderson, adored by Tigers fans, was another player traded in the off-season.

   “I’m fed up with the Tigers,” said freshman Nicole Dambach from Harsens Island. “Granderson was my favorite player and all I cared about.”

   The Tigers will certainly still be selling tickets because they picked up ex-Yankee and ex-Red Sox player, Johnny Damon. Damon went 2-5 with two RBI’s to help the Tigers seal the victory.

   “I like Damon on the team,” said Settor. “I think he brings a great look to the team this year.”

   Not all skepticism and pessimism surrounds the new Tigers’ look this year. Rose Lane, sophomore from St. Clair, took her year-and-a-half old daughter last year and plans on doing it again this year.

   “Last year we took my daughter and it was her first game,” said Lane. “She enjoyed it very much.”

   “I plan on going to two or three games this year,” said Travis Turner, sophomore from Avoca. “We have a shot at first or second in the division this year. Cabrera will be the key player in our run for the division.”

   Cabrera did, in fact, keep the Tigers on the map in 2008 by claiming Detroit’s first homerun crown since 1991; with 37 homers and a career best 127 RBI’s. However, that was not enough to overcome the 74-88 record.

   Questions are brought up over what the Tigers will do this year with what they have, and whether or not they win the American League Central Division. The Tigers have not made the playoffs since their epic World Series run in 2006.

   “I think we will win the division this year,” said Drew Settor. “Coach Jim Leyland knows what he is doing.”

No-hitter for Skipper

Aaron Tomlinson

Copy Editor

   Freshman Jessie Smith made SC4 baseball history when he pitched a no-hitter against Concordia University on March 24.

   Smith struck out four while walking two, one of them being the lead-off hitter. He quickly cleared the bases with a pickoff move from the mound to catch the runner.

   “I felt very comfortable on the mound during the game,” Smith said. “The only reason for that was because I knew that I had a great defense behind me, and they put that on display throughout the game.”

   The Skipper defense seemed to be seamless throughout the game, not allowing anything past them.

   “[Smith] kept his pitch count down and was helped by an excellent defensive play by shortstop James MacMillan,” said head coach Denny Dwyer. “Jesse was in control the whole way with some excellent defense behind him.”

   The Skipper ace also had help from the SC4 bats. Freshman shortstop James MacMillan went 1-3 with a homerun, sophomore Patrick Pierce hit a two RBI double and freshman Devon Wiegers supplied three hits for the Skippers.

   The routine of striking out batters and forcing fly ball outs and ground balls is completely different than Smith’s pregame ritual.

   “The first thing I do is run one lap of the outfield fence while listening to specific music,” said Smith. “Next I go back to the dugout to change into my cleats and get my game ball.

   “After I get the game ball, I take it over to the field dirt and ‘doctor it up.’ Once I finish throwing, I go back to the dugout just before game time. At that point I have a certain order in which every single person on the team must touch the baseball.”

   Whether it is a superstition or if there really are “angels in the outfield,” Smith’s routine keeps him at ease on the mound. And it has been with him since his first start as a freshman in high school.

   “One of the other pitchers, who was older than me, stood with me while I was throwing,” said Smith. “When I was done he grabbed the ball from me and rubbed it.

   “He said it was for good luck. Once one of the other guys saw him doing it, he wanted to do the same exact thing. After that I gave the ball to every single guy on the team and coaches. It got to the point my senior year that everyone on the team had their own ritual with the game ball.”

   Between the offense, defense and pregame routine, Smith pulled off a no-hitter to open the season at Sanborn Park.

Bend it like Beckham

Aaron Tomlinson

Copy Editor

A new chapter in SC4 sports opens this spring. Women’s soccer has finally arrived in the form of a club formed by SC4 students.

Chelsea Borkovich, freshman of Fort Gratiot, is the creator of the 15-player club.

“SC4 hasn’t had soccer at all, but I could see the interest,” Borkovich said. “I knew plenty of girls that wanted to play the game.”

While soccer has seen many “ups” across the globe, it has seen more “downs” in the States.

In a race for popularity against sports like football, baseball and even NASCAR, soccer looks like it has a ways to go before reaching popularity.

For now the sport has somewhat reached the campus of SC4. So far the club has been limited to just practices at the SC4 gym, but according to Borkovich they hope to start games by April.

“We plan on playing other community colleges that have clubs and teams,” said Borkovich. “Maybe even scrimmages against each other once we get enough members.”

The club officially started this spring. But the concept has been sitting since August when Borkovich approached Dale Vos, the club adviser and Athletic Director of SC4.

“I can see this sport possibly becoming an athletic program at SC4, but for now it is a club,” Vos said. “It is an unbelievably undertaking to get that many people interested and ready for games, so we will see how things go.”

There may be questions about whether or not a women’s soccer club can have the same impact that current athletic programs are having.

Success is what SC4 athletics has experienced in recent times.

The volleyball team winning the MCCAA Eastern Conference; the men’s basketball team winning the MCCAA Eastern Conference tournament and going to the Nationals for the first time in school history; and the women’s basketball team finishing second in the MCCAA Eastern Conference.

Maybe that success will cascade onto the pitch this spring, brightening people’s optimism about the first sport known as football.

Their field of dreams

Photo by Nic McPhee, available under a Creative Commons license
Photo by Nic McPhee, available under a Creative Commons license

Aaron Tomlinson

Copy Editor

“If you build it, they will come.”

SC4’s baseball is shaping up for another season approaching this week. The Skippers prepared themselves, mostly off the field with fundraising events, in the offseason in becoming a contender in the 2010 season.

The team looks fresh with a whole new coaching staff led by Coach Denny Dwyer. Also 20 players of the 27-man roster are freshmen, sparking the thoughts of high expectation.

The Skippers have already played games in Florida and Tennessee this spring, bringing their record to 7-7. In Tennessee, the team split two games against Hiwassee College before coming back home on March 22.

The offense caught spark, outscoring Hiwassee in total, 31-27. The Skippers called two homeruns their own that weekend, with sophomore Chris Rivera clearing the wall and freshman Matt Deacon getting an inside-the-park.

Pitching backed up the bats in the two wins last weekend. In the first game, freshman Kevin Fisher pitched a complete game allowing two earned runs with six hits and ten strikeouts.

In the third game, sophomore ace Nick Baljeu struck out four allowing two earned runs and five hits in 6 1/3 innings.

“We worked together well and we definitely have the talent,” said freshman and team captain Emiliano Gonzalez. “The talent just needs to click.”

Something clicked last fall when the team earned over $44,000 at the Michigan Renaissance Festival, being the largest athletic fundraiser in school history.

“With a good coaching staff, we have worked really hard in the off season,” Gonzalez said. “All the fundraising helped us become a better team.”

The team hopes to achieve more than last season. The 2009 Skippers finished with a 16-30 record, finishing last place in the MCCAA.

“We expect to have a great year,” freshman Eric Harrington said. “We will be disappointed if we don’t get regional’s.”

The men’s baseball team hasn’t reached the regional tournament since 2006.

“We are good guys who want to learn,” Harrington added.

The team kicks off the season on Wednesday, March 24 against Concordia at Sanborn Park.

Nothing but net

Aaron Tomlinson

Copy Editor

The SC4 men’s basketball team wins games. Enough said? Well, not quite. The Skippers have been successful for the 2009-10 season and that success has yet to cease.

They cruised through the Michigan Community College Athletics Association this season with a 12-4 Eastern Conference record. They put a final 22-6 record on the season with a close 79-72 victory over Delta College on Friday.

All has seemed uneasy for Skippers’ head coach, Dale Vos, leading up to Tuesday night’s home playoff game against Kirtland.

“We had honestly no clue who we were going to play,” Vos said. “All we knew was where.”

That “where” has been favorable for the home Skippers, allowing for an 11-3 home record.

“Going into this tournament, all we can think is, ‘one more game,’” Vos said. “Just one more game.”

It very well could be some players’ final game. The Skippers have been led by six sophomores this year: Ben Abraham, Memphis; Eric Mack, Jr., Roseville; Kieon Arkwright, Flint; Jake Stark, Richmond; Marquis Lee, Fraser; Devin Kling, Memphis.

The success of this year has almost mirrored last year’s campaign that had the Skippers playing at home against Wayne County. The fifth seeded Wildcats upset the fourth seeded Skippers with a buzzer-beating shot, 67-66.

“That was a great basketball game, but the wrong team won,” Vos said.

In fact, this year’s Wayne County basketball team did not play a game.

This year’s Skippers have earned rankings throughout the campaign as a reward for their timely success. The men were ranked as high as number nine this season.

“I believe the last time we were ranked was 2001,” said Vos. “That was for a week.”

Dale Vos has coached the Skippers since the 1991-92 season. In 2000, Vos gave SC4 its first 20 win season in 25 years. Also Vos was named Community College Coach of the Year in 2000. The Skippers have continued that success under Vos; not having a losing record since 2005.

“This season has been a great year,” Vos reflected. “The kids have enjoyed playing basketball and they have enjoyed each other. They have worked hard all year and it shows. Winning was a big part of it but this group was fun either way.”

Clubbin’

Photo by Aaron Tomlinson; Two students talk with Zombie Defense Council members, left to right: Jeremy Case; Nigel Elliot; Cody Kimball.
Photo by Aaron Tomlinson; Two students talk with Zombie Defense Council members, left to right: Jeremy Case; Nigel Elliott; Cody Kimball.

Aaron Tomlinson

Copy Editor

   During the week of Feb 22, SC4 students in the cafeteria were greeted by representatives from different college clubs.

   Club Awareness Week had clubs on the search for new and interested students. From Phi Theta Kappa, to the Drama Club, to even the new Zombie Defense Council; clubs were prepared to advertise their interests before students.

   “Club Awareness Week is an opportunity for clubs to advertise what they are about to students,” Student Government secretary Paul Prax, said. “It is more of giving the students an option to join instead of recruiting.”

   Each day had a designated two or three clubs around lunchtime to show off what their club was about. Not only was it a benefit for unsure students to join, but also an opportunity for newer clubs to reveal themselves officially to the public.

   Two new clubs on campus are the Gay Straight Alliance and the Zombie Defense Council. Both clubs plan to launch themselves into the melting pot of student-campus interaction.

   “Our goal for the year, aside from fortifying our defenses against the impending zombie apocalypse, is to have students gather and speak freely about zombie concerns,” said Bob Kroll, faculty adviser for the Zombie Defense Council.

   The Zombie Defense Council plans on having a screening of “Night of the Living Dead,” as well as filming their own movies.

   The Gay Straight Alliance also intends for the students to become aware of who they are.

   “We are trying to bring out gay awareness,” said Sean Lathrop, treasurer of the Gay Straight Alliance. “We want to inform students of events that focus on the gay community. We aren’t the gay club; we encourage any student to join, whether gay or straight.”

   The Gay Straight Alliance plans on hosting a ping pong tournament on campus, as well as theatrical shows in the future.

   While the newer clubs are taking a leap into the pool, many clubs are already swimming.

   “The Student Government acts as the formal spokesperson for the college students,” said Dan Wiley, Student Government President. “We have many activities throughout the year like stress breakers, raffle drawings, candy giveaways and we are always interested in newer ideas.”

   The cafeteria filled with relieved students on break could sense the lyrics of Yung Joc through the club members’ mouths: “Meet me in the club, it’s goin’ down. Anywhere you meet me guaranteed to go down.”

Lady Skippers Douse Firebirds

Aaron Tomlinson

Copy Editor

The Lady Skippers basketball team let it rain against the Kirtland Firebirds, 67-52, on Feb. 6. The floor was dry in the first five minutes, however, with the score resting at 7-3.

Toward the middle of the first half, the Lady Skippers picked up the slack with points from turnovers and the bench. The score at halftime had the Skippers leading by a comfortable 18 point margin, 38-20.

What might not have been comfortable was the number of fouls committed by the half. The Lady Skippers racked up 10 fouls in the first half as well as the second.

With that great power came great responsibility, especially from freshman forward Jackie Highstreet of Algonac. Highstreet came off the bench and dropped 13 points and snagged six rebounds.

“At times it was rough out there, but I had to stay focused,” Highstreet said. “We had a goal to get to 40 points and we almost made it. Coach was proud of our hard work on the court.”

The starters also made noise with sophomore guard Chanahl Putnam, Almont, and sophomore guard/forward Megan Johnson, St. Clair, leading the way. Putnam had 13 points and Johnson had seven points along with four boards.

“We focused on defensive strategies to build up our offense a little bit,” said Johnson. “A win is a win but it was a rough game. There were defensive goals we didn’t meet but we can pick it up.”

Picking it up is what the Lady Skippers have been doing towards the final stretch of the 2009-2010 season. Coach Lohr and company have their sights on a conference title as the women improved to a 12-2 Michigan Community College Athletics Association Eastern Conference record.

They now trail number one ranked Schoolcraft by only one game in the conference and have only two games left.

Support is what the Lady Skippers need to build momentum heading into the Eastern Conference tournament, so support your women’s basketball team this weekend.

The Road to Glory

If you predicted this in September, I don’t blame you. If you predicted this in week 17 of the NFL season, I could not argue. If you saw this coming, so did half of the football nation.
Indeed, it’s February and Super Bowl XLIV has finally arrived. Maybe February is the shortest month of the year is because fans will remember the “Big Game” more easily.
Well, maybe that isn’t true, but the matchup that was set up early in the year has come. The Indianapolis Colts vs. New Orleans Saints.
Both teams look remarkably similar on paper, from the deep-ball quarterbacks, to the gritty defenses, to both teams clinching the top spot in their conference. With these similarities, there are slight differences. These slight differences will make the difference come Feb 7.
The first things you may think when seeing the fleur-de-lis or the blue horseshoe are Drew Brees and Peyton Manning. Both quarterbacks have proven to be successful yet again during the regular and post-season.
However, Manning’s name sticks out far more because of his Super Bowl ring, four MVP’s, and commercial and sitcom antics.
Drew Brees does not have any of that. Clearly, there is a large margin between the two; but this is not a David versus Goliath game like last Super Bowl.
Their numbers are remarkably similar. And don’t get me wrong, the quarterback matchup isn’t the only thing to watch. The wide receiver Colt’s combo got the job done all season but the running game belongs to the Saints.
The defensive matchup will be the overall key to winning the game. The Saints did battle a tough team in the Minnesota Vikings during the NFC championship, allowing 28 points in an overtime victory.
The Colts also looked weak defensively, allowing the New York Jets a 17-13 lead at halftime. However, they blanked the Jets in the second half winning 30-17.
The simple reason why the Colts should win is placing another Super Bowl ring on the hand of Peyton Manning. In doing so, Manning will be ultimately enshrined as one of the greatest quarterbacks to play the game.
An even simpler reason for the Saints: win one for the team. This is their first Super Bowl appearance and a win will be the only thing acceptable for the franchise.
Finally, my prediction: I have debated with many over who gets the nod. But I have made my decision whether or not I like both teams. Colts 23-Saints 17.

Skippers Sink Raiders

“There were a lot of bodies flying in different directions,” said men’s basketball coach Dale Vos. Bodies tossed, scrambled, and sliced in a conference clash with Oakland Community College with the Skippers reigning victorious 80-73.
In the first half, the action was hot enough to peel the new paint off the gym walls. Both teams were back to back in the first half with scoring drives and plenty of rebounding.
Sophomore Devin Kling of Memphis, dropped three three-pointers in the first half. The scoring leader of the half was sophomore Kieon Arkwright from Flint with 13 points.
“This definitely is a game we needed to win and Oakland was a good team,” said Arkwright.
However, the Raiders were fighting right alongside the Skipper gents. Both teams battled head-to-head till the half time buzzer with the score 41-39 Skippers.
The second half shaped up to be more of the same. However, the Skippers came prepared after halftime. The team took advantage of their rebounding chances against Oakland. Sophomore Jake Stark from Richmond finished the game with a team-high seven rebounds.
What may have decided it all were two late three-pointers from Eric Mack, Jr. “Coach told us at half time we needed to box out more,” said Mack. And box out they did, earning 13 second-half rebounds that lifted the Skippers past Oakland.
This game gave the Raiders their first Michigan Community College Athletic Association loss of the season.
“The main focus of this game was defense and rebounds,” Coach Vos said. “The team probably got sick of hearing it, but I kept pressing the fact that we needed to just play our game close with these guys.”
The Skippers tacked on another victory making them 14-3 overall and 4-1 in the conference. Their next game is Thursday at number fourteen ranked Mott Community College.