Beacon News sports writers shed light on the local sports scene

April 2011 Archives

NIU game at Elfstrom cancelled

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Tonight's 6:05 p.m. game between the Northern Illinois University baseball team and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee at Elfstrom Stadium in Geneva, home of the Kane County Cougars, has been cancelled due to poor field conditions and more rain in the forecast. No makeup date has been set for the non-conference matchup.

The Mid-American Conference West-leading Huskies (20-18 overall, 10-5) are coming off a 2-1 series win over Toledo last weekend and are scheduled to resume Friday at Central Michigan for the start of another three-game conference series.

Nolan, who had been coaching the girls basketball team at Geneva since the 2004-05 season, officially resigned Monday due to a desire to fully recover from a summer breast cancer diagnosis.

We wish her the best of luck, and we have no doubt she'll be back on a sideline in a year or two.

Charting more 'Boat' tattoos

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Here's a taped post-game interview with East Aurora's Ryan Boatright from earlier this month in suburban Houston at the All-American Game held the same weekend as the Final Four.

It appears courtesy of YouTube and Coast2CoastHoops.com.

"Boat" talks about moving on to UConn and shows off tattoos we havnen't seen before.

It happens to everyone I guess ...
so enjoy some of these favorites of mine! It'll make us both feel better!

Ohhhh, you can hear 'em crack!


and one more...

UMass set to join MAC for football?

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The Mid-American Conference may soon have a new member, for football at least.

MAC and University of Massachusetts officials have scheduled a press conference at Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots, for 2:30 this afternoon. The Minutemen are currently members of the FCS (formerly Division I-AA) Colonial Athletic Association and are expected to move up to FBS status and join the MAC, possibly for football only.

The MAC currently has a seven-team East Division and six-team West Division, including NIU. UMass would be a natural to slide into the East Division, which would allow Bowling Green to move back to the West. BG, in fact, currently has an agreement with the league to play arch-rival Toledo in one of its annual crossover games with the West Division. That scheduling difference would then be alleviated.

UMass currently plays in a 17,000-seat stadium, which doesn't meet FBS minimum capacity standards. It's possible the team could play its games at Gillette. Temple currently plays home games at the Philadelphia Eagles' home stadium.

Interestingly, quarterback Kellen Pagel just transferred this semester from Bowling Green to Massachusetts and is taking part in the Minutemen's spring drills. If UMass stays at the FCS level he is eligible to play this coming season. If UMass were to move up immediately, he would have to sit out a year. Pagel is the son of former NFL quarterback Mike Pagel.

UMass moving up for the coming season would seem unlikely, however, given the fact that schedules are made up so far in advance. The move would be more likely to happen in 2012.

Matt Brennan reports that West Aurora will start a football field renovation in mid-May, installing FieldTurf to replace the natural grass.

The 2011 football season will have some real buzz on the West side, with new coach and alumni Nate Eimer taking over the headsets and this new field to play on.

Baseball games from across the area were cancelled on Monday - so we took a stroll around the diamond to catch up on many of our teams, beginning with Aurora Christian ace Bobby Kuntzendorf.
The junior lefty is off to an incredible start yet again - 3-0 with a sub-1.00 ERA.

It's not every day that someone with $250 in cash on them steals about $60 worth of clothes.

It's also not every day that that person with $250 in cash on them and stealing about $60 worth of clothes is an active major league pitcher.

Mike Leake - your table is ready. Dumb@$%

528402-kevin-na.jpg There is always a reason to watch run-of-the-mill PGA Tour events during the season when Tiger and Phil et al are not playing.
Every now and then, you get a treat like the one Kevin Na provided everyone this afternoon.
I couldn't believe what I was watching live - and thankfully the PGA Tour did everyone a solid and put this video up of his collapse at the Valero Texas Open today.
It's not every day when you see a Tour pro shoot a 15 a 16(!) ... alternately painful and hilarious!

Tait-er was a good one

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One of my favorite interviews from the last few years was a phone conversation I had with Cleveland Cavaliers' broadcaster Joe Tait for a profile piece I wrote on him. Wish it could have taken place, in person, before or after a Cavs' game.

Tait is retiring after this season. The Aurora native is revered throughout much of Ohio for his 30-plus years of broadcasting Cavs' games, as this blogger's entry proves. Heck, the West High grad even has his own bobblehead, check it out.

Which brings to mind another West High grad and broadcasting "legend," Neal Ormond. So what if his work has been done on a slightly smaller stage? If I were the president of the West High sports boosters, I'd look into the possibility of having an Ormond bobblehead made and sold as part of a fundraiser.

It probably wouldn't be cost-effective, but it could be part of a series of bobbleheads highlighting the East-West basketball rivalry. Just imagine the possibilities ... Gordie Kerkman, Ernie Kivisto, John McDougal and Scott Martens, just to name a few of the coaches. And then there are the players ... Bill Small, Tom Kivisto, Kenny Battle, Thomas Wyatt, Matt Hicks ... and on and on.

Thanks to the best golf blogger in the country (and his readers) for letting us know this disturbing news: the Western Golf Association is going to be taking its tournament - the BMW Championship - out of Chicago in 2014.
I don't know why Tour players don't like Dubsdread at Cog Hill, but they don't. So now the WGA and PGA Tour are going to move the event around.

The piece says other Chicago area venues might be interested in hosting the tournament somewhere down the line, but once an event leaves, it's kind of hard to bring it back. And if it's only once ever 3-5 years ... during football season ... good luck with that.

You can now join The Sports Beacon on Facebook!

As always, follow us on Twitter as well @SportsBeacon.

just helped out Geneva High School with a large donation to rip out the mud that is Burgess Field and replace it with an artificial surface.
The FieldTurf is the way to go for high schools, but few places needed a facelift more than that one. Rob Wicinski's football team has been making deep runs in the playoffs the last 4-5 years and the soccer teams are very, very good.

Congrats to Geneva HS and its athletes - they deserve the upgrade.

NIU player critical after shooting

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Northern Illinois University football coach Dave Doeren has cancelled all team activities, including Thursday morning's spring practice after an off-campus shooting Tuesday night left junior linebacker Devon Butler in critical condition.

"All our thoughts and prayers as a team and as a coaching staff right now are with Devon," Doeren said in a statement issued by the school. "He's a member of our family and the most important thing is his health."

Butler was shot in an Aspen Court apartment building according to DeKalb police and university officials. He was first taken to Kishwaukee Community Hospital in DeKalb but later airlifted to OSF St. Anthony Hospital in Rockford.

Two NIU students - Mark O. Orozco, 24, and Richard F. Van Arsdale III, 20, both of DeKalb - have been arrested and charged with attempted first-degree murder and aggravated battery with a firearm. They are also facing charges of aggravated discharge of a firearm and unlawful delivery of marijuana.

Doeren, a former Wisconsin assistant who was hired in December to replace Jerry Kill after his departure for Minnesota, was at the hospital with Butler Wednesday and was said to be in close contact with the player's family.

Butler is a communication major and physical education minor from Pembroke Pines, Fla. The 5-foot-11, 222-pounder started 13 of the team's 14 games in his sophomore season for the Huskies and was second on the team with 80 tackles.

NIU Athletic Director Jeff Compher met with the football team Wednesday morning, the school's statement said.

"As an athletic department and as a university, I know that we are going to support Devon, his family and his teammates in every way we can," Compher is quoted as saying in the release. "Our primary focus is on all of our student-athletes at this time."

I love the announcer giggling "nails a kid!"

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

well - at least he didn't get one to the grill...

This is why you don't play soccer with toddlers...or you can...and create hilarious memories!

Finally, here are some of those clips, along with several others, set to a charming soundtrack

All aboard the Boat show ...

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Here's some more love for co-Mr. Basketball of Illinois, Ryan Boatright, courtesy of Slam Online Magazine writer Bryan Crawford. Enjoy.

Huskie fans could be howling

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From the "be careful what you wish for department" is this take from Wall Street Journal staffer Darren Everson on what might happen if a college football playoff took the same type of "March Madness" turn this year's NCAA basketball tournament has with surprising Final Four qualifiers all around.

So, I guess it's OK to root for first and second round upsets in the NCAA hoops fest but apparently many of the college basketball aficionados among us are troubled by the likes of Virginia Commonwealth and Butler reaching the Final Four. I've heard similar sentiments expressed this week on sports talk radio by those who would prefer to watch the high-profile, big-name coaches and their programs make the Final Four.

To that I say, too damn bad.

Funny, I say the same thing every year the Yankees and Red Sox fail to qualify for the World Series.

And take heart, fellow NIU alums, Northern's program may be closer to Texas Christian and Boise State status than you think. Considering the state of the facilities in DeKalb just five years ago, that ain't bad.

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This page is an archive of entries from April 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

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