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.
Jared Coreau had a pretty successful run as the starting goaltender for the Grand Rapids Griffins. The undrafted free agent from Northern Michigan University spent the past two-plus months as the top netminder, having to take the place of Tomas McCollum while he was recovering from an injury the Griffins wouldn’t disclose.
Greenville Public School’s Legacy Field will be a busy place beginning tonight and continuing to Saturday afternoon. For the third consecutive season, Legacy Field will be hosting two Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) football playoff games.
Plenty of people have a passion. John Forton’s passion is golf. When your job is also your passion, life is good. As is the case for Forton. Forton, a longtime PGA teaching professional, recently accepted the men’s golf head coaching position at Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC). It’s been a lifelong dream to coach at the collegiate level.