Central Montcalm’s volleyball team found a good way to start its season Saturday. The Green Hornets won the Daily News Volleyball Tournament, beating the host Belding Redskins in three games in the championship game to win.
Here it’s my first week as Daily News sports editor, and I’m already playing from behind.
Having accepted the new position on Monday, transitioning from features editor and filling the vacancy left by my dear friend and longtime and much-respected Sports Editor Bruce Bentley, I’ve had to “hit the line hard” and catch up with teams, local athletic directors and coaches as high school fall sports season is already upon us.
The Buffalo Bills have gained a whole new fan base in West Michigan. While Justin Zimmer, a 2011 Greenville High School graduate, did not hear his name called during the three days of the NFL draft, he was quickly signed to a free agent contract following the draft by the Buffalo Bills on Saturday. A dominating defensive tackle from Ferris State University, Zimmer realized his childhood dream of playing in the NFL with the signing.
After another playoff disappointment, the Detroit Red Wings have some work to do to get back to being a contender for the Stanley Cup. Sure, the Wings have made the playoffs for 25 years. But in the past few years, it’s been a struggle to get there. In order to make it 26 straight and do some damage, the Wings will have to make a lot of changes.
The NFL draft, a three-day extravaganza, begins in less than two weeks. For Greenville graduate Justin Zimmer, an NFL defensive lineman prospect from Ferris State University, it’s down to a waiting game: Waiting to find out if he will be drafted, and, if not, signed as a free agent following the draft. After training for three months in Texas, Zimmer is back home in Michigan and working out at Ferris State in preparation for the draft and a potential NFL minicamp.
What a difference a change of venue and better weather conditions can make. The West Michigan Whitecaps went from blowing snow in South Bend, Ind., — where they won two games — to a sunny, but cold day Saturday where they lost to the South Bend Cubs 5-3 in the Whitecaps’ home opener. The game-time temperature for the home opener was 35 degrees, which was the second-coldest home opener in Whitecaps’ history. It was 34 degrees in 2003.
So the old man goes out on top. Super Bowl 50 will likely go down as Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning’s swan song, and he will be going out a winner — even if brother Eli wasn’t all that thrilled about big brother getting his second title. It will also go down as a defensive clinic by the Broncos, showing defense is still possible in a league that is outlawing defense little by little.
For the past 13 months, Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh has produced a steady stream of headlines. Some of them are by his own doing and some of them are strictly due to the 24/7 media cycle, which includes social media. I’m actually surprised I haven’t read an update about what Harbaugh ate for breakfast yet today. The latest stream of headlines, with signing day just five days away, has to do with the flow of Michigan graduate transfers, decommitting/committing recruits and the “evil” that is Jim Harbaugh.
It’s now been 107 years since the Chicago Cubs, aka the Lovable Losers, have won a World Series championship. In 1908, the Cubs defeated the Detroit Tigers in five games to win their second World Series championship. No one then would’ve dreamed their beloved Cubbies would suffer such a drought since then.
Quarterback Dan Orlovsky would like to forget 2008 as much as anyone. Orlovsky was at the helm for the Detroit Lions as they fell 31-21 to the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field that year. While any loss has the ability to leave a sting, this particular defeat marked a milestone that anyone would love to go without. A 10-point difference was all it took for the Lions to earn the title of becoming the first team to go winless throughout an entire 16-game season, since the 1976 expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which finished their year at 0-14.