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.
Greenville girls soccer coach Jeremy Neve may wish he had a taller goalkeeper. Belding scored two goals over the head of Greenville goalkeeper Kenna Allen to beat the arch rival Yellow Jackets 2-1 on Thursday at Yellow Jacket Stadium. Belding coach Tom Griffioen noted they had to play without a few key players, including his daughter Tina, who watched from the sideline.
Plenty of sunshine and warm temperatures made for an outstanding turnout for the ninth annual Yellow Jacket Challenge (YJC). With temperatures in the upper 70s, albeit a little warm for racing, nearly 500 runners and walkers participated in the 5k and one-mile walk at Greenville High School and Greenville Middle School on Sunday. Hundreds more turned out to support those who participated.
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.
Justin Zimmer has been called “Michigan’s hidden secret.” For those who have witnessed Zimmer on the football field at both Greenville High School (2011 graduate) and Ferris State University (will graduate this year), the secret has been out of the bag for some time. While in high school, Zimmer was an All-State performer and helped lead the Yellow Jackets to a 9-2 record as a senior. At Ferris State, Zimmer developed a resumé that includes being a three-time All-GLIAC first team selection, three-time Academic All-American, two-time consensus All-America selection and a two-time nominee for both the Gene Upshaw NCAA Division II Lineman of the Year Award and the Cliff Harris National Small College Defensive Player of the Year Award.
In the past three years, Ryan Lee has made a transformation most people only talk about doing. With hard work and dedication, Lee has gone from an unhealthy, sedentary lifestyle to a healthy, physically active life full of CrossFit, triathlons, fat bike riding and more. CrossFit is an extremely popular strength and conditioning program for fitness buffs across the world. The program is a mix of aerobic exercise, calisthenics and Olympic weightlifting.
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.