Tag Archives: sports

A salute to the Lady Broncos volleyball team

One of the beats I have had since I’ve been a paid reporter is covering high school volleyball.

It started at the Wolf Point Herald News with the Lady Wolves, who I had fun covering for the fall season. Then I worked at the Cheney Free Press where I covered the Blackhawks volleyball team, who won two League championships, one District title in two of the three years I was covering them. I am now coming off my first season of covering the Lind-Ritzville/Sprague High School volleyball team.

I’ve written about the different aspects I love about volleyball – the strategy teams put together, the back-and-forth action and the personality of the athletes to name a few. The Lady Broncos team embodied some of the qualities I love in watching in a team compete. I’ve said it before, watching volleyball can be like watching an exciting MMA or boxing match.

Last night, LRS finished their season at the District 7 Tournament after back-to-back losses against Colfax, a powerhouse team that has been to the 2B State Tournament eight times in the last eight years – and St. George’s – who despite being a prep school were as hardy as the Lady Broncos.

It was a bittersweet end to what was a rollercoaster season for LRS, who finished 7-3 in league play and 10-7 overall. Although this year’s record wasn’t the 12-4 they earned in 2016, but it was certainly better than the 5-14 two years ago.

As cliche as this sounds, for what this team lacked in wins, they made up for it in technique and scrappiness on the court.

This squad had plenty of powerful hitters like Alarah Pierce-Pulliam, Rachel Schell, Peyton Curtis and Sierra Kiel. You also had vocal leaders like Lacey Miller and Emma Aldrich, who helped keep the team focus. Kierstin Witt, Ellie Gering and Tessa O’Brien shined on defense. In all honesty, all of these names had moments on offense and defense – one of the aspects of prep sports is athletes have multiple roles.

There were matches when it took the Lady Broncos a set or two to find their groove – which I equated to Eastern Washington’s Eagles football team, which is known for being a second-half team. I also thought they reminded me of tough MMA fighters – like Wanderlei Silva and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira – who would battle their opponents until the end.

The Lady Broncos will lose six seniors to graduation, and they will be missed, but I’m also looking forward to next year’s varsity team.

Standouts like Witt and Miller will be seniors and bring their leadership experience to the forefront while Eliza Galbreath and Ellie Gering will be battle-tested juniors. There are also JV and C Squad players who will no doubt take advantage of the opportunity to step up into a varsity role.

To quote the late, great “Macho Man” Randy Savage, “the cream will rise to the top.”

So I’ll raise my glass to the Lady Broncos volleyball team for a good season and I’ll be counting down the days until next year.

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Inside of a ring or out, ain’t nothing wrong with going down. It’s staying down that’s wrong

Demetrious Johnson breaks record

Last night, Demetrious Johnson submitted Ray Borg in the fifth round to retain the UFC flyweight title for the 11th time, breaking the record for most consecutive title defenses. He also earned another Performance of the Night performance.

Congrats to “Mighty Mouse” on the big win.

New things on a weekly basis

Yesterday after I finished work, I ventured to the store and purchased a six pack of Sam Adams’ Oktoberfest. When I went home and I cracked open the first beer, I took a sip and it felt good – I felt like I earned it.

One of the things I love about my job is I get to have new experiences on a weekly basis. This past week, I had three new experiences.

The first involved taking photos of the Lady Tigercats volleyball game against Pomeroy. My editor K.T. had another meeting to attend and asked me to go in her place. To be fair, she took photos of the Lady Broncos volleyball game on Tuesday while I had a meeting.

It was a fun game to shoot because I was able to get close to the sidelines and take some good pictures. The Lady Tigercats lost to Pomeroy in three sets, but they are a scrappy team and have good athletes.

The second experience involved local sports, but in a different way. Every year, the Journal prints out a special page for high school Homecoming that looks like baseball cards for football, volleyball and the cheerleaders. Part of that entails the editorial staff – K.T. and myself – reaching out to sponsors for the athletes. I was a little stressed from this because I haven’t really sold ads since my days at The Communicator and as a shy guy, it was intimidating to reach out to local businesses and attempt to sell the athletes.

I like this idea of baseball cards and it’s a good way to support local athletics, which is one of my favorite aspects of working at a weekly newspaper. Many of the kids have ties to businesses through family and friends, so it wasn’t too difficult. I managed to sell eight so far, but I didn’t feel like I was doing enough. This was my paranoia and doubt creeping into my mind.

I’ve learned over the years that stress and pressure can help you perform, but you shouldn’t let yourself get worked up and stressed to the point where it’s hindering your ability to perform. After a little bit of reflection I realized I did OK with selling the athletes, but I want to do better next week.

Experience No. 3 entailed attending the Teen Scene Escape Room activity at the library after I closed the office. The Ritzville Library has a plethora of cool programs, one being the Teen Scene, which is a way to have middle school and high school students to come to the library. The escape room came off to a slow start with a couple of kids, but more attended after a half an hour. I couldn’t really take pictures because of external circumstances, but I stuck around to support the library and I started helping the kids with the puzzles. It was nice to connect with kids on a different level – usually I’m just the reporter with the camera and notebook. After helping at the Teen Scene, I kind of want to help at the library, but don’t tell the Library Director I said that.
I’ve said this before, but I’m glad I moved to Ritzville. It’s only been a couple of months and I still have a ways to go before I feel comfortable here – but I’m getting there.

There is no such thing as a lost cause or a dead end

Boxer Andrew Ward announces retirement.

One of the pound-for-pound boxing kings recently announced his retirement from the Sweet Science. On his website, light heavyweight champion Andre Ward announced his retirement.

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

To the sport of boxing – I love you. You’ve been by my side since I was 10-years-old. You’ve taught me so much. You’ve humbled me. You’ve promoted me. I’ve sacrificed a lot for you, but you’ve given me more than I ever thought possible. You gave me a platform, made me a champion and helped me provide for my family. I am forever grateful to you. You and I will always be synonymous, connected at the hip. Thank you for all the wonderful people I’ve come in contact with because of you. I’ve made friends for life. As I walk away from the sport of boxing today, I leave at the top of your glorious mountain, which was always my vision and my dream. I did it. We did it.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you to everyone who has played a part in my journey. You know who you are. I could not have done this without you. I want to be clear – I am leaving because my body can no longer put up with the rigors of the sport and therefore my desire to fight is no longer there. If I cannot give my family, my team, and the fans everything that I have, then I should no longer be fighting. Above all, I give God the Glory, for allowing me to do what I’ve done, for as long as I have.

Ward’s last fight was in June when he stopped Sergey Kovalev in the eighth-round of their rematch, retaining the WBA (Undisputed), IBF, and WBO light heavyweight titles and winning the vacant The Ring light heavyweight title. He retired with a record of 32-0, finishing a 13-year professional career – 23 years total – that included 16 knockouts and a plethora of world championships.

In an interview on First Take, Ward said he felt the physicality of the sport and the physical pain. He’s accomplished so much in 13 years and doesn’t have anything left to prove.

A big bucket of win for Ward. Congrats to him for having such a great career and here’s hoping he succeeds in his next journey.

Pro Wrestling when fans attack

Jason Saint from S****loads of Wrestling posted this video of WCW referee Mark Curtis handling a fan who decided to interrupt a match between Dean Malenko and Psicosis.

When being an overzealous fan goes wrong, it usually means you get ejected from the arena after getting your ass kicked by a wrestler thirteen times your size and strength. In this instance… it may have been a bit more embarrassing. – Jason Saint

Embarrassing would be right and there are countless videos of fans getting involved during or after a match. It’s usually referees or security that takes them out, but fans have also seen wrestlers take the boots to a fan. One of my favorite memories was seeing Kevin Nash and Scott Hall take the boots to a drunk fan who decided to get in on the action.

I know, I probably shouldn’t be amused to see a fan, who isn’t a trained wrestler, get kicked by two professionals, but I’m also not someone who applauds stupidity when it’s masked as what people might think as courage. What really irks me is when fans try to justify the terrible behavior of others, especially if it’s directed as a wrestler they don’t like. I’m sorry, but why was it a good reason for someone to throw Money in the Bank briefcase at Roman Reigns.

Fans hitting the ring or messing with the heel wrestlers was common back in the day. It was a part of heels getting heat. In fact, wrestlers were encouraged to fight fans who got in their face or called them out in order to protect the business.

Still, I don’t think it’s a good idea for someone who isn’t trained to fight to get up in a wrestler’s face. On the other hand, it’s dangerous for a wrestler because you don’t know if someone is carrying a knife or a gun.

If you pay a ticket to attend a live WWE event, you are allowed to voice your opinion, cheer, boo – whatever you want to say. But that ticket doesn’t give you the right – or privilege – to attack a wrestler for whatever reason.