The week past with an absence of action but that flipped 180 on Friday. Both halves of the Track & Field team got to work in Palo Alto. The star of the team, Alyssa Olin, continued her impressive performance on the year and finished second in the elite level of the competition. The Mott native was from the only Bison to have a strong showing against some of the nations top university. On the guys side of it, Payton Otterdahl took home the hardware for his discus throwing. You can see the full results for the guys and gals, which you should!
Meanwhile on the ball field, Softball split a quartet in Tempe. When their pitching was able to limit the scoring, the ladies did well with run support. When the opponent got the better of the pitching, the offense couldn't keep pace. That may work well in conference play but against some of the best in the country it won't always work out well. For their part, the guys also had some trouble scoring runs in their trio of takes to the field on the way to a sweep by Oral Roberts. ORU is still the class of the conference for Baseball but it would have been nice if the guys could have taken at least one of the three road showdowns.
Team Skol made a couple more shrewd moves, plucking pieces off the free agency pile. Retaining Marcus Sherels may not have made any headlines on ESPN but for the team to maintain success in all three phases, it could work out well. That being said, I'm not sure that he hasn't lost a little bit of his ability to make the game changing plays in the punt game that he used to. A rebound with a couple return touchdowns could happen this season but this could also be the final run for the guy that has always overcomed the odds against him!
The other move that the Vikings made was to get a signature by Kendall Wright. I was hoping for more of a field stretching, outside receiver but having Diggs and Thielen as the best duo in the NFL makes the acquisition of another guy that can play all along the line of scrimmage a sound business decision that could be magical come September!
It's draft month so there will be no shortage of rumors, "news" and news over the next few weeks! Should be fun!
The boys of summer are back! The wise moves that the front office made in the last few weeks have already started paying off. Jake Odorizzi is the headliner since he took the bump to start the season but I have to give the nod to young José Berríos as the best thing of the three game season opening series. After the Ervin Santana news broke I thought that Berríos may be the best option to lead the staff. He already has some of the nastiest stuff in all the major leagues so it's just a matter of him maintaining control game after game. Well through one game that looks like a strong possibility! He completed nine innings of shutout ball while the offense mashed four balls out of the park. That's a strong pairing if you ask me! But it goes beyond either Odorizza, Berríos or the offense. As a matter of the fact that the team has come out looking very strong.
In a 162 game season, jumping to conclusions after .018% of the season is flat out dumb. But the three starters that they rolled out did something that no team had done since the 60's - all throw scoreless innings. I'd love to see Lance Lynn push that to four games of scoreless play by the pitchers after tomorrow but instead of moving onto that, I'm going to leave it on that high high note! No runs allowed by the starting pitchers to start the season! YES!!
Jimmy Butler isn't back just yet but even with the worst loss the season in the near rear view, the team seems to be rounding into a shape. It begs the question of how they will do with their current dynamic once the top dog comes back! Hopefully the equilibrium doesn't get disturbed too much and only to make the teams overall ability to succeed all the higher.
Do I think that Thibs should get fired? The thought is growing. If the team makes the playoffs it's all but a certainty that he'll be back. Win a series and it goes from 98 to 99.999999999. That would make the 18-19 season all the more intriguing. To see how the guys would handle him for another 82+ games...it could implode. For now though, the team still has a strong chance of making the playoffs, whether that's because of the coach or just because of all the talent on the roster, it would be a fantastic way to go into the Summer!
Dragons may breath fire but not even they can withstand the onslaught of Winter in the Heartland. Because of that the week went from decently full of action to quite dull. The lone survivor for the winged ones was the Softball team. Just far enough away to manage their play, the sluggers took two of four games in Aberdeen. Even just by glancing at the box scores it is evident that all four contests had their own flavor. Whether that lead to a dominating loss or a narrow victory with 13 total runs being scored, or things in between & beyond, the Dragons did not lack for inventiveness!
In like minded fashion to their neighbors to the east, the corn cobs also suffered the effects of Ma Nature against sports. It would have been a light week even without the cancellations but due to those factors it was a week off along eighth street.
The Force are living up to their name. As one of the best teams in the USHL, they've won 10 of their last 12 and are showing no signs of slowing down. With only a few skates left on the season, those young men should have a great chance to compete and win in the playoffs. Maybe not a championship but a round or two at least. And even for a non-Hockey fan like myself that is fun to pay attention to! Go get em!!