Tag Archives: Sports

O. D.’s Rant 57-14

Donald Lierman

Sports Editor

Dearest reader, I have been maligned for too little or too many words in this, our last missive, of the book of O.D. I considered writhing or maybe just writing the word “THE” 666 times. But for you, dear faithful, I shall cry once more into the wilderness.

Again, I am forced to watch the Stanley Cup coverage when the national jerk works televise the games with the sound off. Their clear biases either send me to the gym or for a Canadian soda which I imbibe while screaming Iggy chants.

How to beat Phoenix? Find a ref who doesn’t feel it necessary to make up for being a bullied, inept hockey wannabee. Next, bring up the heavy hitters and don’t try to play finesse with wannabee Broad Street Bullies. Gosh, I’d love to see the Coyotes “toughies” on the ice with Dave “The Hammer” Schultz and company. Pant pant.

When I was blessed to meet the great Mickey Redmond, he had much to say about the playoffs.

“With the way the Western Conference is right now,” Redmond said, “I think the Wings are as good as anybody getting into the final four. If we continue to stay healthy and stay on track we have a good shot.”

On the “New” NHL…

“We must get rid of the phantom penalties,” Redmond said. “The way the game has cleaned up, without those calls the players would be able to exhibit their skills.”

No surrender Wings, we’ve battled back from worse than the leg-humping of desert critters.

Now for more hockey news.

Congratulations to Port Huron Icehawks’ Governor and Chief Financial Officer Frank Kinney for being selected 2009-2010 International Hockey League Executive of the Year.

I say it, the league says it, reader please see that the Icehawks are a class organization that excels despite having an arena that seats less than a fifth of some of their rivals.

Eh, Mr. Kinney, I, uhm, am graduating soon. Could you use a true hard-working fan-atic?

The playoffs are here. The Icehawks will be battling the team that defeated them in the seventh game of the finals two years ago. The time for revenge is ripe. Let’s douse the Komets.

Get out there and support the Hawks. I have had the honor to cover the players and the words class and dedication hardly describe these guys. They have an opportunity to bring the Turner Cup to our town.

This is playoff hockey, folks. This is Port Huron hockey. If you have never seen it, try it. Once you see it I feel it impossible you could not be hooked.

Icehawks’ Tab Lardner believes it will be a hard fought series.

“Fort Wayne is a strong team and have excellent older experience,” Lardner said, “but I don’t know what they will bring to the table. We have a lot of depth in our line up so we’ll keep the shifts short.

“Both teams are evenly matched. Whoever plays the game fundamentally will come out on top.”

Take a chance, dear reader, the Icehawks are one addiction that I think you will treasure.

Thanks to all involved. I’d just like to say … (rest chopped by the thought police).

Lucky to Have Tram

Thomas Pregano

Business/Advertising Manager

Harold Tramski is SC4’s video technician, stats keeper, and an assistant on the girls’ basketball and volleyball teams.

Tramski went to SC4 for three years and Michigan State University for two where he earned a Bachelors’ degree in economics. Tramski said, “I got a BA or a BS depending on if you like economics or not.”

According to Tramski, he has been videotaping games since 1994. Tramski said, “I was there for all of the games anyway. I might as well start taping them.” Tramski has only been doing the stats for close to four years according to him.

That doesn’t sound like a lot, but Tramski does much more than that. For instance when the teams go on road trips he drives his own van, uses his own gas, and is very happy to do it.

According to Dale Vos, Athletic Director and men’s basketball and golf coach, aside from the money he makes from being an assistant coach he does the rest as a volunteer.

Vos said, “He does so many things that make my job easier, things he enjoys that I do not enjoy. Like taking and compiling stats, inputting stats into the NJCAA (National Junior College Athletic Association)website, recording games and making copies for us, recording games of our opponents and researching our opponents.”

Vos said, “As you can imagine this means the world to us, we probably couldn’t do it without Harold, but I don’t think any of us want to try.”

Tramski has a positive effect on everyone he meets including Darrell Thompson, a campus patrol officer here at SC4. According to Thompson he has known Tramski for roughly 12 years when he worked at Golf Country.

Thompson said, “In the time that I’ve known him, he has been an extremely dedicated guy who is more than willing to drop whatever he is doing to help people out.”

Thompson said, “As a member of our athletic department he has devoted thousands of his own hours never asking for a dime. Harold, or as he is called Tram and Mallard, donates money to athletics for scholarships and trips.”

Thompson said, “I’m proud to know him and work with him; never challenge him to a round of golf unless you want to learn a lesson in losing 101.”

Pete Lacey, Registrar for SC4, said, “Harold Tramski is a blessing to the SC4 athletic department. He truly has the best interest of SC4 and the student/athletes in mind and is always willing to do whatever he can to help out.”

So the next time you see Harold Tramski, stop and thank him for all he does. We are all lucky to have a guy like Tram.

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.

Icehawks soar into playoffs

Donald Lierman

Sports Editor

The Bloomington Prairie Thunder arrived in Port Huron Saturday headed for the Turner Cup playoffs. They left Sunday for the putting greens.

Port Huron Icehawks rookie goalie Rafaelle D’Orso faced 40 shots in a 4-1 victory, Sunday that allowed the Flint Generals to pass Bloomington for the last playoff spot.

“I actually prefer getting a lot of shots,” D’Orso said. “Keep in mind the defensemen blocked a lot of shots, too. The defense did a great job.”

Icehawks’ Derek Patrosso was impressed by the rookie’s performance.

“Those Quebec goalies may have difficulties speaking English but they sure know how to stop the puck,” Patrosso said. “They know how to train their goalies in Quebec.”

Port Huron coach Stan Drulia was impressed by D’Orso’s poise.

“The kid proved he could play tonight,” Drulia said. “Like those in the French goalie mold, he is quiet in his movement and shows great confidence in the net.”

The Icehawks’ Mike Kinnie scored his 26th goal of the year and teammate Brandon Naurato his 25th in the second period. Despite Bloomington slicing the lead to one 45 seconds into the third period, two third period Port Huron goals put the game on ice.

“We still have to play more consistently in the playoffs,” Patrosso said. “We cannot have those spurts where we let up as we did in this weekend’s series. The team has to take it up a notch and limit our turnovers in the playoffs if we are to be successful.”

The victory was the Icehawks’ eighth straight home victory and 11th of their last 12 matches at McMorran.

On the previous night, the Icehawks watched a 3-0 lead dissolve and were forced to come from behind to defeat the Prairie Thunder, 5-4, in overtime. Port Huron’s Daniel Tetrault scored 28 seconds into sudden death to notch the Icehawks’ 46th victory of the season.

“The first period was all us, the second period all them, and the third period was well played by both teams,” Icehawks’ Coach Stan Drulia said. “They plain out-competed us in the second period. We lost every battle, we were lazy, and that’s not a recipe for success at this time of the year.

“In this league, there’s too much offense, too many power plays and four on fours that can change the momentum quickly.”

With the two victories, the Icehawks ended their season in third place with a record of 47-25-0-4. Port Huron faces the Fort Wayne Komets in the opening round of the playoffs on Thursday.

Fort Wayne visits McMorran on Saturday, April 24, for the second game of the playoffs. Face off time is 7:30 p.m. For further Icehawks information, visit www.porthuronicehawks.com.

Icehawks begin playoffs

Donald Lierman

Sports Editor

Two years ago, a defeat in the finals after a seventh game overtime loss to the Fort Wayne Komets left a bitter taste in the mouth of Icehawks’ fans. Although only the opening round, a chance for revenge begins Thursday as Port Huron travels to Fort Wayne to begin their quest for the cup.

The Icehawks ended their season in third place in the International Hockey League with a record of 47-25-0-4. The team produced two 30 plus goal scorers in Mickael Bedard and Derek Patrosso and two 25 plus goal scorers in Mike Kinnie and Brandon Naurato.  Bedard was also named the IHL’s 2009-2010 Rookie of the Year.

“Bedard was phenomenal,” Icehawks’ Coach Stan Drulia said. “With a young kid you don’t know what you are in for but he’s been professional, worked hard every day, and desires the next level.”

Hawks’ goalie Larry Sterling led the team with a 22-11-0-1 record and a 2.72 goals against average.

“If we’re going to go far in the playoff, Larry has to play well,” Drulia said. “Larry is well aware of this.”

Fort Wayne finished in second in the IHL with 104 points and a 50-22-1-3 record. The Hawks are 5-6 against Fort Wayne in regular season play.

“Fort Wayne has been the champion for the last two years,” Drulia said. “I would love to be the guy to end that reign. That is the mentality of the staff, the organization, and we’re going to relay that message to the players. I feel we’re up for that challenge.”

Port Huron’s 98 points occurred despite injuries to key players such as Tab Lardner, Jason Selleke, and Cory Stillman.

Icehawks’ Alternate Captain Robert Cowan feels the team will succeed if they stick to the basics.

Cowan said, “We need to realize that the regular season is over now. Whatever happened in the regular season is out the window.”

Unlike last year, the Hawks are entering the playoffs with momentum; especially at home with their eight game winning streak.

“Last year we were sputtering,” Drulia said. “This year we finished with a 7-3 record and 29 home victories for the year. That is the most I’ve won here in my four years. Not only have we played great here, we have performed well in Fort Wayne.”

There is a sense that the playoffs will be, well, chippy.

“There is a bit of a history between us,” Cowan said. “Losing game seven to them two years ago has developed a rivalry.”

Drulia agreed.

“I think it will be more physical here because of the rink size,” Drulia said. “Because their rink is larger and both teams skate so well, it should be more open in Fort Wayne.”

Port Huron faces the Fort Wayne Komets in the opening round of the playoffs on Thursday in Fort Wayne. Fort Wayne visits McMorran on Saturday, April 24, for the second game of the playoffs.

Face off time is 7:30 p.m. For further Icehawks’ information, visit   www.porthuronicehawks.com.

Skippers set lofty goals for golf season

Garrett Gavin

Staff Writer

When you think of sports at SC4, the golf team may not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, the team is at work for the young season and has enjoyed some early success.

They are currently the 24th ranked community college golf team in the country. Coach Dale Vos is excited with his team’s performance so far this season.

“The golf team is off to a good start. We have had 3 matches; at Mott Community College we finished second out of nine teams, at Oakland we finished third out of nine teams and at Grand Rapids we finished fifth out of 12 teams.”

Considering that Mott (18), Oakland (13) and Grand Rapids (3) are all ranked in the top 20 nationally, that is an impressive start to the season.

The Skippers are led by two sophomore golfers, Kris Bock and Matt Massad, who finished 22nd and 27th in the 2009 NJCAA Region 12 Division 2 individual rankings.

The team will look to these two for both leadership and performance this season. Bock is currently the 17th ranked player in the Region 12 individual standings, with an average score of 78.7 through three rounds of golf.

Coach Vos has not lowered his expectations for this young team, setting in the new season.

“Our goal is to win the MCCAA Eastern Conference. We are working hard and improving daily.”

If the Skippers were to win the conference, it would mark the first time since 2001 that they were able to accomplish this. SC4 will return to action on Friday, April 23 at the St. Clair County Community College Invitational, in Fort Gratiot. Tee time is scheduled for 10 a.m.

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.”

Scots sweep Skippers

Donald Lierman          

Sports Editor

   When you only have two pitchers on your staff, doubleheaders can take their toll.

   The Alma Scots swept the SC4 Lady Skippers at Pine Grove Park, Tuesday, March 30 by scores of 7-1 and 5-1. The losses dropped the Skips’ record to 3-7.

   “We had the chances to score but we didn’t get the hits when we needed them,” SC4 Coach Ron Matthews said. “The team hadn’t played in a couple of weeks and it showed.  We were shaky at the beginning but after a few innings, we played very solid.”

   Skippers’ sophomore Jordyn Denomme pitched the first game. She held the Scots to four runs in the first six innings but a three run seventh sealed the deal for Alma.

   “Both pitchers got a little tired in the end,” Matthews said. “It would be nice to have a third pitcher. We’re forced to go with two pitchers which can be tough.”

   In the second game, freshman Jackie Highstreet held Alma to one run in five innings in her first start of the year. However, Alma scored three in the sixth and another in the seventh to break a 1-1 tie.

   “I thought Highstreet pitched well for her first game,” Matthews said. “We just weren’t hitting the ball like we have been.”

   The Alma Scots raised their record to 6-0.

   “We came here with a couple of pitchers that aren’t usually our regular ones,” Alma Coach Denny Griffin said. “They did an excellent job today by keeping the ball down and keeping their good hitters from doing too much damage.

   “We got the hits when we needed them. We maintained high energy in a cold weather condition.”

   Skippers’ freshman Hannah Jones felt positive despite the results.

   “Alma is a pretty good team,” she said. “We played with first game jitters and it showed. We’re getting used to playing together. Once we get the chemistry going, I’m really excited for the future.”

   SC4 returns to play two league home dates at Pine Grove Park this week. On Thursday, the Lady Skippers play Macomb Community College at 3 p.m. Saturday,

April 10 SC4 will face Alpena with a start time of 1 p.m.

O. D.‘s Rant 57-13

Donald Lierman

Sports Editor

Cheers to MSU’s NCAA tournament play. The naysayers didn’t have them even picked to make it through the first round. However, without their best player they made a great run.

Usually, I would never cheer for any team that defeated Sparty. However, the Butler Bulldogs come from a second tier conference and have earned the grudging respect of many of us green and whiters (although some say the foul situation gave the Bulldogs an extra link to their chain).

Remember the SC4 baseball team plays their games at Sanborn Park and the softball squad battles at Pine Grove Park. Come out and support your college athletes.

Now for the scoop. Many do not realize that our athletic programs do not have the scholarship allocations that other schools are given in the Michigan Community College Athletic Association. Walk-ons are more necessary in our athletic program than in other schools. Athletic Director Dale Vos addressed this discrepancy.

“Here are some ballpark figures,” Vos said. “Schoolcraft and Oakland have 12 tuition waivers (i.e. 12 players get all of their tuition paid for). Mott gets enough dollars to give 10 players in-district 12- hour scholarships.

“Kirtland get enough money to give eight players 15-hour in-district scholarships. Alpena gets 200 credit hours to allocate per year. Wayne County had eight tuition waivers, but I don’t know what they are going to come back with next year.

“In contrast, SC4 received $6932 this year. At $94 per hour (in-district tuition and fees) – that gives us 73.74 total hours to allocate,” Vos continued. “Delta and Macomb have roughly the same scholarship distribution as us and Henry Ford receives no athletic aid.”

What this tells O.D. is what a great success rate SC4 has accomplished with a minimal amount of money to be allocated to draw student athletes. Kudos to all in the athletic department that have made our sports programs so successful!

Go Gunners! As Arsenal chases their first English Premier League football (soccer for ye Yanks) title in years, there is a three way log jam between them, Chelsea and Manchester United (boo!!!).

For those who still believe that soccer is an effete sport, tune into the EPL or the European Champions League. Better yet, take a couple weeks off for this summer’s World Cup.

Icehawks edge Bloomington

Donald Lierman          

Sports Editor

   The Icehawks gaveth yet the Icehawks managed to taketh away.

   After squandering a two goal lead to take the game to overtime, Hawks’ Matt Auffrey performed his version of the spin-a-rama to give Port Huron the win.

   The final score was Port Huron 4, Bloomington 3 at McMorran on Tuesday, March 30.

   “We went with three forwards in overtime and one defenseman,” Port Huron Coach Stan Drulia said. We were down two defensemen so we tried to go for it. The team got their chances and Auffrey was able to get the big goal.”

   Mike Kinnie of Port Huron opened the scoring ten minutes into the game with his 20th of the season. Bloomington tied the game before the end of the third period.

    Kinnie scored another two and a half minutes into the second to give the Hawks the lead, 2-1. 

   “Mike Kinnie can shoot,” Drulia said. “He’s dangerous every time he gets the puck.  What’s more, he has been very responsible defensively this year. 

   “His line (Peter Flache and Robert Cowan) plays the game right, plays it smart, and knows how to play the defensive side.”

   Kinnie agreed on his line’s play.

   “We’ve got a lot of games between us,” he said. “We’re probably the most experienced line on the team. The line knows what to do to get the puck to the net.”
   On a four on three power play, Brandon Naurato scored to make the score 3-1 with less than three minutes on the clock in the second period. Naurato’s goal was his 24th of the year.

   Bloomington cut the lead to one in less than a minute into the third period. Later, the Prairie Thunder tied the score on Craig Macdonald’s third goal of the night.

   “We played forty excellent minutes,” Drulia said. “Then we got ourselves down to four defensemen. The team turned the puck over twice and Bloomington got right back in the game.

   “We were unable to get any shots in the third. At one point we were down fourteen to one in shots.”

   Auffrey’s overtime goal saved the day.

   “There was not much of an angle to shoot,” Auffrey said.  “I didn’t want to give the puck up but as I turned away, there was a shot.”

   The Dayton Gems visit McMorran on Sunday, April 11. Face off time is 5 p.m. For further Icehawks information, visit www.porthuronicehawks.com.