Sunday Round Up (5/14)
Viewing was on the light side this week as opportunity and the abyss began to go in opposite directions. What I mean is, that the number of competitions that I could have taken in, at times that I could have taken them in were less available then a week ago. That said, there were still several noteworthy individual & team performances this week. Headlines ranging from the high school diamond to the NFL gridiron broke this week locally.
Just when I was starting to think that the Vikings and the NFL could go to the back burner for a while they did what they do so often and so well - drew me back in. The signing of an NFL player at this point in the calendar rarely means much but a former first round pick from the Twin Cities is a different matter. Michael Floyd signing in Minnesota could mean many things but the most definite thing it means is that the receiver group going into training camp will be as strong as it's been since 98. I'm not implying that they'll sniff those kind of numbers but coming in second to those guys would mean
Having two football updates in Fargo in mid - May is unexpected and the second isn't about the Bison. The Pro - Am football team that plays their home games at Shanley through out the summer kicked of their home schedule on the 13th. They had already played one opponent in Burnsville and came away with another decisive victory. That's been a regular occurrence for them over their two + years of existence. Round two didn't go as smoothly. On a day that notched 90 degrees on my thermometer they had to grind to a 14 - 9 advantage against another Minneapolis based opponent. After falling behind 9 - 0 they rallied back in the second half to hold their opponent scoreless while getting a pair of touchdowns. With the season just beginning, hopefully the temperature isn't quite as extreme - for their sakes! But they're off to a good start regardless.
The Minnie & Paul's continued their run of good play and are still hanging around .500. If that's all this season bears out to be, I would be pleasantly, maybe even immensely, surprised but they've done it thus far so it is possible. They've also opted to finally unleash this final young stud. One start is no basis for drawing conclusions but 7 2/3 of 2 hit, 1 run ball is as good as anyone should ask for. Seriously, having one pitcher with a sub 2 ERA is a lot to ask for but two is unrealistic. So let's just hope that he does well enough to build confidence against MLB level batting and never has to go back to Rochester!
The Redhawks for their part also got under way this week. It was only by way of some exhibition games but it's another sign that we're baby stepping into summer. The results don't matter, but two of them were of particular interest to me. Recently, there has been talk of the MLB adopting a tie policy. It's a part of their continued efforts to shorten the game. This Millenial's opinion is that Baseball doesn't need shortening. When I go to the ball park I've often thought about the possibility of a 10, 12 or 14 inning marathon. Some my age need things instant and as rapidly as possible. Stop pandering to people who probably aren't even sports fan. But back to that point, two of the Redhawks exhibitions ended in ties this week. The games didn't matter so it was an easy decision but I for one didn't have a meltdown at the closure. So I'm not a purist but I don't need to be pandered to. Thanks for the help with that beak squad!
Word has it that a West Fargo HS baseball player had a four home run game earlier this week. Unfortunately it already seems to have become a myth because none of the write-ups that I referenced mentioned it. I wish I knew it to be true and the player specifically but in the off chance that the report I heard is accurate I feel compelled to give it the extra due. I mean, four homers, come on! That rarely happens on any level of baseball. So kuddos, Pegasus!
Every one of the athletes and teams deserves at least a paragraph but for the sake of space and to keep this post to a medium length I'm going with a condensed version.
NDSU took the most hardware this weekend as they had competitors going in Track & Field, Softball & Baseball. The men's track & field team went for and successfully completed winning their eighth consecutive league championship. Not to be outdone, the women's team scored a record 335 points en route to their tenth straight title. At the last Olympics I heard about one of the runners being a former NDSU athlete but thought it more fluke then anything. I'm eating some crow on that one because those spring timers more then held their own this weekend. And they weren't the only ones.
Facing four consecutive elimination games after dropping the first contest, the NDSU Softball team came back with authority to win four in three days, capped off with a double header in which they were forced to win both to win another title. In true champion fashion they not only got it done, they won comfortable scoring 38 runs while giving up only 13. It was a sudden death affair after game one but they held their own.
Then there was the Baseball team. There was no championship on the line for them just yet but coming out strong for the last weekend series at home was important. Giving up five runs can create a challenge for even the best baseball teams, unless it's five runs over a series of games. Two runs Friday, zero Saturday & three Sunday. It's going to be a much different team next year with the losses that they'll experience but for the present this team is hitting on all cylinders. With three games to go before heading to Tulsa for the Summit Tourney, hopefully the momentum continues at it's upward trajectory. In the event that it doesn't, well they'll have some very good memories to reflect upon in future days.
NDSU may get most of the headlines around town but they're not the only operation nor are they the only ones worth making noise about. MSUM had athletes competing in the Track & Field championships in the Twin Cities this weekend. After it their races were all said and down, the Dragons also walked away with some hardware. Long distance runners Cody Christ, 5000 Meters & Josh Young, 1500 Meters won their events while Alissa Mears came away with Silver in the 800.
Were there probably other accomplishments from the local college ranks? Yes. Does this give due recognition to the athletes for the great work that they did? No. But with the championships and accolades from just this weekend, I could probably fill a small book while still overlooking something. So I hope that this suffices and this small recognition of the accomplishments of the less heralded athletes will get even one more person to pay some attention to the Spring winners, because they deserve it too!