R-C Sports Notebook: A real state championship | RecordCourier.com

R-C Sports Notebook: A real state championship

by Joey Crandall

I talk often about being able to see something I’ve never seen on a playing field before.

Saturday was one of those.

For the NIAA, it was the ideal representation of the organization’s intent.

On one side of the ball you had the state academic co-champions. On the other, you had the other state academic co-champs.

For 80 minutes, the two squads battled it out for the right to be called the state’s athletic champion.

There was visible surprise from both the Douglas and Galena girls’ soccer teams when it was announced following pre-game introductions that the two had tied for the state academic championship.

The two teams had posted identical 3.71 GPAs on the year.

It was a neat thing to see. As you hear over and over again, the whole purpose of high school athletics is to emphasize the “student” in student-athlete.

To see two teams who had obviously taken care of business in the classroom get the opportunity to show who was best on the field was a rare thing. For me, it was brand new.

A special congratulations goes out to Douglas, who bested their own state championship average GPA of 3.69 from last year.

Just a reminder, we have recently started making out our old sports pages available for print on the commemorative items on our photo sale page at http://www.recordcourier.com/photos.

If there is a page you’d like to have made into to larger print, a poster, a mouse pad or any number of things available at the photo site, just let us know what day it printed (and hopefully what page number) and we’ll post it for you to purchase.

We’ve started small (just last year’s regional baseball championship, the regional tennis tournament this year and the recent girls’ soccer regional and state championship front pages), but we’ll add any and all of the pages requested. With Christmas coming up, these could make great gifts for parents, kids or coaches.

One condition, our archives available for reprint apparently only go back to Jan. 1, 2006. So if the page you are looking for is within that time frame, we can help you out. Any further back, though, and I’m afraid there is not much we can do.

Again, just go to recordcourier.com/photos to see what we’ve got. I believe it is posted under the “Sports” category and the “R-C Sports Pages” link.

Now that we’ve made it through our first season doing Cover it Live updates for sports at Douglas High, I wanted to take the chance to ask if what improvements I can make in the live coverage.

With all the driving back and forth between Reno, I listen to a lot of sports on the radio. There are certain things play-by-play guys do that drive me nuts.

So, that in mind, I know there are plenty of things I can do to improve the coverage … but I want to know what you as readers would like to see that I’m not doing.

I know a number of you have asked for more score updates, which is completely doable. What do you want to see more of? What do you want to see less of? What completely annoys you?

Keep in mind, I have to structure different approaches to the different sports. With basketball and wrestling, there won’t be much of a chance to plug in anywhere, so I have to take battery life into account, particularly with back-to-back boys’ and girls’ hoops games.

I should be able to do pretty regular play-by-play for wrestling, since the matches don’t take a ton of time. For basketball, I’m thinking about posting at timeouts and quarters, maybe after big plays or runs. I don’t really know yet. I just want to get an idea from all of you what would be ideal for you.

It’s all fair game, just shoot me a line at jcrandall@recordcourier.com or give me a call at 782-5121, ext. 212.

Credit Galena coach Steve Struzyk for making what might have been the defensive adjustment of the year Friday against Carson.

Struzyk went from the 5-3 the Grizzlies’ employed the first time around against the Senators (which Carson ran all over to the tune of 251 rushing yards and 45 points) to the 4-4 and held the Senators to just 219 yards of total offense.

I like linebacker-heavy sets as a rule (particularly the 3-5 because of its added options in blitz packages and pass coverage – but that’s neither here nor there), especially against option or misdirection type of running attack.

But that 4-4 (which incidentally helped Galena keep Douglas to just 94 yards rushing earlier this year) is a great run package only when you have the athletes to fill it – which Galena does. As Carson defensive coordinator Bob Bateman said, the Senators had been eating up the 4-4 all year. But Galena had the horses to pull it off.

Going in, I though Carson would roll, but the defensive adjustment took away the perimeter run, which is where the Senators have been so very deadly this year. Congrats to the Grizzlies for coming up with the gameplan and the win.

– This was a subtle one during the year, but it was huge over the past three weeks. The girls’ soccer team was 9-0 in games played at neutral sites this year. Five of those were at Damonte Ranch during the state and regional playoffs.

– With her two shutouts last week, Brianna Randall tied the state and school records for shutouts in a season with 13.

Let me get this straight, you’re coming off your biggest win of the year, you are the talk of the NFL, some people are using your name in the same sentence with the Super Bowl, and you have the league’s leading rusher … so what do you do?

You go out and sign running back Larry Johnson – a guy who’s been suspended twice in the last calendar year and was let go from the Chiefs after basically being labeled a cancer. I knew it was all too good to be true.

– “I think they should still be able to play football, regardless. Tennessee is my place. It’s my football team …Yeah, it’s Tennessee. That’s the way it is sometimes,” Corey Zickefoose, victim of an attempted armed robbery by three University of Tennessee football players.

– You have to wonder what, exactly, the Western Athletic Conference is hoping to get out of hiring a Boise-based PR firm to help push the idea of Boise State in a Bowl Championship Series game this year.

I don’t fault the conference for trying to get everything they can out of a perfectly legitimate argument. But seriously, what will the PR firm actually say?

I’ve read stories that say the firm’s basic game plan is to present statistics and stories to the national media to show how good Boise State actually is.

Guess what? There’s no surprise there. The media won’t be the ones they need to sway. Boise is a credible program and as of this week I’d put them in the top eight or nine teams in the country if I had a vote (although at this point, that Nevada-Boise State matchup in two weeks is looking like the game of the year … Right now, I’d pick the Wolf Pack for the surprise upset, but that’s another thing all together).

The firm has also stated they won’t in any way be lobbying pollsters. Which begs the question: Then what is the point?

As it is, it may not even matter. If both Boise and TCU win out (and those are still sizeable ‘ifs’), the at-large pool as it stands would be favorable to both schools.

Still, I can’t get the image out of my mind of these random mass e-mails with tag lines that read something like: “P.S. Forward this to 15 people in the next 15 minutes or you’ll be cursed with seven years of lackluster BCS performances from Ohio State and Oklahoma.”

If you’ve read this column for any length of time, you probably already know I attended TCU.

So you can forgive me for cheering for Florida State over Florida, Florida over Alabama and a Texas loss in the Big XII Championship in the next few weeks. It might come to the surface more than once.

– Keeping the house clean used to be a daily chore. With two kids, its become more of a lofty goal.

Sign-up is free and you will be competing for local and national prizes.

Visit recordcourier.com/profootball to sign up and make your picks.

Congratulations to Justin Harris, who picked 12 out of 15 games correctly last week.

I didn’t fare so well. When am I going to learn to lay off the Seahawks? Not this week, apparently.

Here are my picks for week 11:

Panthers over Dolphins

Ravens over Colts

Cowboys over Redskins

Lions over Browns

49ers over Packers

Jaguars over Bills

Steelers over Chiefs

Seahawks over Vikings

Falcons over Giants

Saints over Bucs

Cardinals over Rams

Chargers over Broncos

Patriots over Jets

Bengals over Raiders

Titans over Texans

Tiebreaker: Eagles 21, Bears 14

Last week: 8-7. Season: 95-49. Season Survivor: Out.

Time for this week’s installment of Edd Roush’s All-Stars (Formerly “This Wacky World of Sports”) – Celebrating Edd Roush, the only player ever ejected from a Major League Baseball game for sleeping in the outfield.

– I’m just going to post the link this week, because words can’t make it any better (If you’re short on time, just forward straight to 0:20, because that’s the best part … but the whole thing progresses during the entire shootout. Amazingly enough that guy kept up the routine up until the final two or three shots):