Tag Archives: Sports

Icehawks crush Quad City

Donald Lierman          

Sports Editor

   A hunting we will go, a hunting we will go….  If Elmer Fudd handled ducks the way Port Huron man-handled the Quad City Mallards, Donald would be in bird heaven.

   When the feathers finally settled on Friday, April 2 at McMorran, the Icehawks had flown away with a 6-0 victory. Icehawks goalie Larry Sterling stopped 26 shots while notching his 20th victory of the season.

   “We were solid from start to finish,” Port Huron Coach Stan Drulia said. “We had a couple breakdowns early but we battled back.

   “I liked our desperation that we showed at times when we were vulnerable. The team didn’t make it easy for them. Our battle was very good and when there was a breakdown Larry (Sterling) was there for us.”

   Port Huron’s Mike Kinnie opened the scoring for the Icehawks at 5:42 of the first period. A minute later, Hawks’ Mickael Bedard scored his 33rd goal of the year to make it 2-0. After Hawks’ Kris Vernarsky scored a power play goal six minutes later, the die was cast.

   Two minutes later Port Huron’s Peter Flache made it 4-0 with his 7th goal of the campaign.

   “We have three excellent lines,” Flache said. “Guys are coming back into the lineup … all of whom can play. When everyone plays to their potential, it is no wonder you get six different scorers in a game like this.”

   The Icehawks added one in the second and one in the third to seal the deal.

   Sterling played down his shutout after the game.

   “It was more important for me to get a win than the shutout because it’s been quite a while for me,” he said. “The shutout is nice but the only reason I’ve got it is because we played a 60 minute game tonight.

   “Forget how many goals we scored,” Sterling said. “Our defense paved the way. They had only one or two odd man rushes. It was tough for them to move the puck as we always had a forward responsible in the offensive zone. That’s the way we need to play the rest of the year.”

   Drulia knows a second place finish will be tough.

   “I think we are going to have to win out to get the second seed,” Drulia said. “The energy on the bench and the commitment by the players we saw tonight …  we have to continue this for the next month.”

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

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.

Who’s your new tiger?

Thomas Pregano

Business/Advertising Manager

   Hey Tigers’ fans, it’s time for another exciting season of Tigers’ baseball. The Detroit Tigers opened their 2010 season with an impressive come from behind win, Monday, April 5 against the Kansas City Royals.

   With all the panic about losing Curtis Granderson, Tigers’ fans fail to recognize the talent we now have. For instance Johnny Damon who was instrumental in the big six run seventh inning, along with Austin Jackson who was a part of the three team deal involving Granderson.

   Also coming over in the trade, Jose Valverde from the Houston Astros, Phil Coke from the Yankees and Scott Sizemore from the Angels.

   The Tigers sent Granderson to the Yankees, Edwin Jackson to the Diamondbacks and Fernando Rodney to the Angels to complete the deal.

   Valverde is already paying dividends closing out the game in a non save situation in the bottom of the ninth. Valverde proved to be a good pick up for the Tigers; after a leg injury he converted all of his 19 chances for saves.

   He converts 87% of his saves which puts him in around the top closers in the game with names like Rivera, Papelbon, Nathan and Rodriguez at around 90%.

   So there you go Tigers’ fans. With come from behind sprit like in the opener and the new guys contributing, don’t worry about the Tigers this year. They will be there when it counts.

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.

Yeah, Babeeee!!

Hail to the victors; SC4 celebrates MCCAA Eastern Conference Tournament Championship.
Hail to the victors; SC4 celebrates MCCAA Eastern Conference Tournament Championship. Photo by Donald Lierman

Donald Lierman

Sports Editor

March Madness finally arrives. Let the banners be unfurled.

For the first time in school history, Saint Clair County Community College will progress to the nation junior college championships.

The Skippers defeated the Henry Ford Hawks, 83-78, at Mott Community College on Saturday, March 6 in their third consecutive tournament victory.

“Our team kept together and kept battling,” SC4 Coach Dale Vos said. “We may have led down the stretch but we trailed a lot of different times during the game. After leading 80-71, we find ourselves down 80-78. Yet, we found a way.”

The lead changed hands numerous times throughout the game. With minutes remaining, the Hawks sparked a seven point run to cut the Skippers lead to two. SC4’s Kieon Arkwright dropped three of four free throws to put the game out of reach in the final minute.

“After they cut the lead to two,” Vos said, “Kieon grabbed a big rebound. We then grabbed one, lost it, and Kieon pulled it away. Then Marquis Lee grabbed another big one, all in the last minute.

“These are small guys by basketball standards. They just went up and seized the initiative.”

Arkwright was named tournament Most Valuable Player. Eric Mack, Jr. was named to the All-Tournament team.

“I couldn’t have been MVP without the help of my teammates,” Arkwright said. “This is more than an MVP, it’s a team award.”

On his last minutes heroics, Arkwright added, “I knew if we wanted to get to the nationals, I needed to make the extra effort to bring the guys home. I wanted to come through for them.”

Vos, who has been named All-Tournament as well as MCCAA Eastern Conference Coach of the Year, acknowledged the team had to overcome a lack of team height if not heart.

“At one of our last pre-season meetings,” Vos said, “I told the guys that unless the next coming of Shaquille O’Neal walks into the room, this is your team. We’re not very big so you are going to have to overcome that. So start thinking right now how much effort that will take.”

Arkwright led the Skippers with 26 points and six rebounds. Marquis Lee added 18 points and  Mack, Jr. 16 points in the Skippers’ victory.

The road to the championship began the prior Tuesday with an 84-75 victory over the Kirtland Firebirds.

To get to the finals, SC4 defeated the Oakland Raiders, 78-73. Despite leading by 13 at the half, the Skippers were forced to scramble to pull out the win. Mack led the scoring with 20 points while Arkwright added 14.

“With four or five minutes left I thought we’re going to lose this one because we can’t make any free throws,” Vos said. “I am proud of our kids for the way they answered their runs and closed the game out.

“Give Oakland credit. They made adjustments and came out in the second half and jammed the ball inside. We weren’t able to do a good job of stopping that. We let them tie it but I don’t believe we let them take the lead.”

To set up the championship, Henry Ford defeated last year’s National Championship team, the hometown Mott Bears, by one point. Mott had the Skippers’ number this year with two defeats over SC4. Some say fate is unstoppable. Sometimes you’re just in the zone.

O. D. ‘s Rant 57-12

Donald Lierman

Sports Editor

The SC4 men’s basketball team not only made college history this year by making it to the national tournament but performed not too shabbily there either.

The Skippers dropped their first game at the NJCAA Division II National Tournament in Danville, Illinois to Lewis & Clark College (IL) by a score of 78-70.

They won their next two games against Bismarck State College (ND), 93-87, and Monroe CC (NY), 83-67. Finally, on Saturday, March 20, they were downed by Pima (AZ), 59-52.

“We were very disappointed when we lost the opener to Lewis and Clark,” Coach Dale Vos said.  “However, as has been the case with this team all year, we got up and went to work and still finished eighth in the nation, no small feat.

“I just love the work ethic, togetherness, teamwork and defensive intensity of this team. I also love the leadership and love for each other that this team displayed all year.

“What a great ride they gave me and the rest of the coaching staff.”

O.D. say conceptualize ‘dis, please. As a community college, SC4 has two year turnover.  Coach Vos and his staff have two years to mold a team for basically one run per group of players.  Add to that a scholarship difference and boom, was ‘dis not amazing?

Congratulations to all involved. The college should honor these student athletes for their achievements. Be proud. Be a Skipper!

All I can say is ha ha ha, University of North Carolina. Your arrogance, after last year’s victory over MSU, reaped just deserts. Who cares if you win the NIT? You’re a classless organization who didn’t make the Big Dance after winning the year before. Come on. Brag about how great your team is now, coach.

My Wings. First, you knock off Calgary in Calgary with less than two minutes to go. Then, on to Edmonton to tie the game with .5 seconds left. Saturday, you win in overtime in Vancouver with .3 seconds remaining in overtime.

Despite all the injuries, the Red Wings have battled back to make a run for the Cup again.  Forget the Miracle Mets. With the injury (knock on wood) curse fading and those players hitting mid-season form now, look forward to some fun when the playoffs begin.

I cannot get over the negativity towards the Detroit Lions looking at Adam “Pacman” Jones as a potential free agent. Hey, you forgive Michael “I am so tough I torture and murder dogs” Vick.

At least Jones is man enough to whomp on his fellow humans. Give me a mean Jones over a cowardly Vick any day of the week.

1.5 million dollars, no doubt someone in the league would pay Judas Iscariot the same if he could throw a football. Of course, it was Philadelphia who signed Vick.

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.

Leading by example

Photo by Brian Johnston; The SC4 gym is home to the Skippers, home of six graduating sophomores.
Photo by Brian Johnston; The SC4 gym is home to the Skippers, home of six graduating sophomores.

Thomas Pregano

Business/Advertising Manager

“They led by example, by word, and through their ability to bring everybody into the Skipper family,” men’s head basketball coach, Dale Vos, said about sophomores Ben Abraham, Kieon Arkwright, Devon Kling, Marquis Lee, Eric Mack Jr., and Jake Stark.

Vos said, “We will miss these six players; however I believe they have done a good job with the last job of a leader and that is to train the next leaders.”

All six of the players have their own agendas; including 19 year old Ben Abraham from Memphis plans to be a mechanical engineer. Abraham will most likely attend Oakland University. He hopes to work for Chrysler after he graduates.

According to Abraham he has had offers from schools to play football and basketball but doesn’t plan to play anywhere.

Abraham said, “Playing basketball at SC4 was one of the best experiences of my life and it couldn’t have gone much better than it did.”

Kieon Arkwright is 20 years old from Flint, and played at Saginaw Valley last year. Arkwright is majoring in sports medicine. He hopes to continue playing for a division one or two school.

Arkwright said, “It meant a lot for me to be here and help the program out.” He made it to the All-Region and All-Conference team.

“This season was different for me in so many ways. It was the first time that I felt like, in the huddle, the guy to the right and left of me would do anything for me,” 19 year old Devin Kling said.

Kling is majoring in accounting and plans on transferring to Walsh College and will continue to play basketball in a men’s league with his family.

Marquis Lee is the oldest of the group at 22. Lee is from Frasier and nicknamed “Show Time” by teammates and fans. He hopes to play for a division one or division two university. Lee is undecided in his major but is confident he will find one when he gets where he is going.

Lee said, “This season meant the best for everybody.” He made the All-Defensive team in the MCCAA.

Eric Mack Jr., 19 of Detroit, is undecided on his major and plans to continue playing basketball. According to Mack, “Wherever I fit in, whether it be division one or division two, this season has meant a lot to me. These are the best teammates I’ve ever had in my life.”

Mack made the second team All-Conference.

The 20 year old Jake Stark, from Richmond, plans on majoring in teaching or sports management at Concordia or Tiffin University, in which he will also continue his basketball career.

Stark also made the All-Conference honorable mention team as the Skippers finished eighth in the national tournament. This year was the first time the Skippers made it to the National Tournament in SC4’s history.

Icehawks edge Generals

Photo by Donald Lierman; Peter Flache, number eight for Icehawks, goes head to head with a Muskegon Lumberjacks player.
Photo by Donald Lierman; Peter Flache, number eight for Icehawks, goes head to head with a Muskegon Lumberjacks player.

Donald Lierman

Sports Editor

For the first fifty minutes, the game was all Port Huron’s. The Icehawks flew up and down the ice, seemingly at will.

The last ten minutes were a different story.

Port Huron allowed four goals in the last ten minutes but held on to defeat the Flint Generals, 6-5, at McMorran Arena on Saturday, March 20.

“We got complacent with a 6-1 lead,” Icehawks’ Coach Stan Drulia said. “We took a dumb penalty, let them get the second one, and stopped playing. I’m obviously not happy. I gave it to the guys pretty good. But in their defense, you don’t know what a penalty is anymore.

“The officiating was disgusting again tonight. The referee was undoubtedly refereeing the score.  There’s no call when we were getting hooked in the slot but then something goes minor our way and he calls it. Those penalties gave them the opportunity to climb back in. It was part us but the officiating was also lacking.”

The Icehawks opened the scoring at the eight minute mark of the first period as Kerry Bowman shoveled a pass across the net to be tipped in by Nick Lindberg for goal number 14 of the season.

Seven minutes later Ian Turner shot a knuckler that Peter Flache deflected past the Flint goalie to make it 2-0.

After Flint halved the lead in the second period, Port Huron’s Mike Kinnie tallied the first of his three goals. The Icehawks’ Derek Patrosso followed with a shorthanded goal, his 26th of the year.

Kinnie scored his second of the night late in the second period then completed his hat trick with his 17th goal of the season, three minutes into the third period.

“It was great to get Mike back in the lineup,” Port Huron’s Captain Kris Vernarsky said. “He always adds offense to our lineup. However, we need to remember we always have to put out a 60 minute effort this time of the year.

“Flint is fighting for a playoff spot. We got away from the little things, took a couple of bad penalties on which they scored, and that’s a game changer right there.”

Flint scored four unanswered goals but Port Huron held them off in the final minutes for the win.

“We have to keep a high level of confidence going into the playoffs,” Vernarsky said. “We need to work on the little things and enter the first round on a roll.”

Drulia agrees that work needs to be done.

“We’ve got some work to do if we’re going to move up the ladder,” he said. “We need to play the game the right way. We’re getting some of our guys back from injury and that will hopefully push the envelope for us.”

The Bloomington Prairie Thunder returns to McMorran to battle the Hawks on Tuesday, March 30. Face off time is 7 p.m. For further Icehawks’ information, visit   www.porthuronicehawks.com.

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.”