A Hodge-podge of sports talk
When looking for what to talk about on Thursday there was just too much going on in sports to settle on just one thing. The football teams are returning to action tomorrow nearing the end of the regular season, baseball jumps to the interesting part with the postseason at our door, and even basketball makes an appearance in the news with a new anti-flopping rule. Let’s do it.
After winning three of their first four games, Bellmont is in the middle of a three-game slide heading to DeKalb tomorrow. Adams Central blasted another lowly football program for their fourth win of the season at Ball State but hosting Bluffton could give the Jets the quality win they are lacking this season despite the winning record. South Adams has been looking for the win column since their victory over Winchester to start the season but will have to contend with Woodlan at home after back-to-back solid outings against quality teams.
The Braves, Jets, and Stars have three very winnable games tomorrow, but none of them are gimmies as all three coaches would say.
Bellmont faces a Baron team just as hungry for the victory as they are sitting at 2-5 but they have had trouble with the big game all season long. A win over Garrett somehow was followed later with big losses to New Haven, East Noble, Columbia City, and Homestead. The Barons lost 49-13 then got blasted by Col. City 62-10. A score recap…Columbia City was beat by East Noble 72-0 last Friday. Ouch. Bellmont should not sleep on the Barons, however, as they will still be looking for a more convincing win than the 7-6 clinic on “how not to score” against Norwell last Friday. Look for the Braves to run more option pass plays against DeKalb as their defense is to be exploited by an offense that has more than one dimension, a fact every other team in the NHC found out except for Norwell.
The Jets will come face-to-face with the other team in the ACAC with a decent passing attack. Heritage’s Sheehan likes to throw the ball, but let’s face it, with the talented speed the Patriots have, why bother throwing it anywhere when you can just outrun teams to the sidelines? Bluffton seems to be in the same boat as the Jets in being secure in the pass game but still searching for the answer at running back. Sharp has been giving senior Blake a run for his money but if coach Mosser could use both in tandem on the field the AC offense would be a force to be reckoned with. All AC must do to secure the win against Bluffton in what will surely be an offensive slugfest is to play some DEFENSE. Southern Wells should not have scored 24 points against the Jets (28 if they had one player who could kick the ball). I know the JV got on the field but there was still no sense of urgency for AC to play tight and work out the kinks in the line. If the Raiders can put up 24, what can a team with other options besides rushing up the middle do? Just ask Heritage or Leo.
South Adams can play stifling defense. Yes, the same Starfires who are 1-6 on the season. I’m talking about the same team. They just have not found a cure for their awful second half performances. Take away the third quarter against Garrett and SA is right in the ball game. They led against Bellmont in week two at the half and were right with the Jets as well before the rain stopped. Those young guns at SA need to dig down deep and figure out how to play for 48 minutes, not just 24. Teams will come out of the locker room with more than they had going in. It’s called coaching. The Berne boys will have to come out just as sharp in the second half against Woodlan or they will be embarrassed at home once again in what is their last chance at a conference win.
Quickly, my picks for the baseball playoffs!
First of all I was glad to see my Braves get back to the promised land without a mental breakdown like the Red Sox had with them last season. We’ll see how things go in the wild card game against the defending world champions. The Nats won’t win a series without Strausburg so…sorry DC fans. I feel like it’s the Reds year, finally. They seem to have all that is required and more of what I think is most important in the playoffs…a bullpen.
In the American League, I have to go with the band wagon on this one. Everyone seems to be limping into the playoffs except for the Oakland A’s and Orioles. My guess (or hope I suppose) is that the Athletics continue their dream run because that is the only way I’ll know that “Moneyball II” will become a reality.
Lastly for today…flopping. Yesterday, the NBA officially made flopping illegal and it will result in a fine or even suspension for repeat offenders. Good thing Vlade Divac and Reggie Miller retired.
I’m not sure where I sit on the fence for this one quite yet. If it slows up the game of NBA basketball anymore than it already is, I’m against it. If it gets players to man up and play defense, I’m all for it. I think that no matter where you sit with this you can’t deny the league has missed a major flaw in the game once more…what happened to travelling? Yes, I know you’re athletic but how can you take four steps and dunk the ball from the three-point line legally? Maybe next year.
‘Til next time. Thanks for reading.