By John Raffel Amateur baseball returns to the Art Van Sports Complex starting on Aug. 23. It will be Sunday baseball for a six-week period, ending in early October, area amateur baseball official Chad Kryska indicated. The games at Art Van are a part of the Grand Rapids Amateur Baseball League. It will be ages 9 through 16. Teams will play Sunday doubleheaders starting from noon until dark. “This will be our fourth year of fall ball,” Kryska said. “We’ve had approximately 40 teams total. They’re all over the Grand Rapids area and even up north a little bit.” Fall baseball takes advantage of seasonable fall weather, Kryska noted. Standings and records are not kept during fall baseball. “It’s just for fun and to keep the boys playing a little more,” Kryska said. “The weather is usually decent. We don’t usually have issues.” The competition “is broken up, it’s not like summer competition,” Kryska said. “But it’s pretty decent. We get a big mixture of kids from all over.” Some of the players will be in football during the week. “Some just choose to play baseball,” Kryska said. The last weekend is Oct. 4. Kryska is also organizing tryouts for his Flames baseball organization. Age groups are 8 through 18. Tryouts are set Saturday for 8-13 year olds and Sunday for 14 to 18. Details are on flames-sports.com for interested individuals. Tryouts are at Gezon Park in Wyoming for 8U to 13U and Belknap Park in Grand Rapids for the older age groups. Age groups are based on age for boys trying out on May 1, 2016.
Sports news from Rockford Public Schools
School sport training camps are beginning, and now is the time to give your student athlete a pre-concussion screening. According to Dr. Fortenbacher who is a member of the VisionHelp Concussion Project, “Research shows that unaddressed concussions can have a devastating effect on a child’s life. The CDC reports 3.6-3.8 million concussions are reported each year. The problem is that not every concussion is obvious and reported. This is known as a silent concussion. Whether it is a mild bump on the head or the result of sudden acceleration or deceleration forces, a concussion can occur without being immediately recognized, potentially leading to long term complications. The key is early detection. Now early detection is possible with the safe, fast and reliable King-Devick Test. The King-Devick Test has been proven to be a fast and reliable method to detect a dysfunction in micro-eye movements (saccades) associated with concussions. With a baseline King-Devick Test, subsequent testing will effectively detect a potential concussive injury allowing for more rapid and effective treatment, if necessary.” As part of a national public awareness initiative to advocate for early detection of concussions, Dr. Diana Koslowske, in conjunction with the VisionHelp Concussion Project, is offering free baseline concussion testing with the King-Devick Test for anyone who schedules a complete eye exam with her at Pearle Vision on 4284 Plainfield on the following Thursdays from 3:00-7:00pm: August 27, September 3, and September 17. To schedule a complete eye exam, call 616.364.6228.
By John Raffel The Department of Natural Resources points out that once again the weather has affected fishing conditions and catch rates as thermoclines and fish were all over the place in the Great Lakes. Anglers fishing the inland lakes should look for fish in shallower waters after the cold front, the DNR mentioned. Glen Blackwood from Great Lakes Fly Fishing Co., reports that the Rogue River has been fishing slow. “That’s from the lower water level,” he said.“With (Monday morning’s rain, that will give us an influx of cooler water.” Nymphs and streamer fishing has been good. “There’s not a lot of steelhead in the system,” Blackwood said. “This is August and is typically the slowest month of the year. Things should pick up with cooler temperatures. There’s been some smallmouth fishing on the lower section of the (Rogue) river.” The DNR reports that in the Grand River at Grand Rapids, there were no reports of any summer steelhead caught but smallmouth bass were taken on live bait, jigs and wax worms. Those drifting below the dam caught walleye on minnows. Flathead and channel cats were hitting on crawlers and bluegills. Those fishing off the wall caught bluegills. The DNR adds that at inland lakes in counties south of Rockford, anglers are finding a good number of largemouth bass. The Grand River in Lansing, the DNR said, continues to produce channel cats. A few bass were caught in the shallows early morning or evening, the DNR said, adding that there’s no word on walleye however some panfish were caught in the backwaters.
Johnny Agar, whose story on ESPN gained nationl attention, has been added to the board of directors of the West Michigan Miracle League (WMML). Agar, who was born with cerebral palsy, has completed numerous myTeamTriumph (mTT) marathons, an athletic ride-along program created for children, teens, adults and veterans with disabilities who would normally not be able to experience endurance events such as triathlons or road races. The Rockford resident was featured in ESPN’s e:60 show in December, 2013, which chronicled Agar as he transitioned from wheelchair-bound participant to walking, with the aid of his walker, the “Final Mile” of the Mitchell’s Run in Rockford. In his new position, the Aquinas sophomore will work with the organization to ensure that children of all abilities are given the opportunity to play baseball, a sport he loves. “We’re very excited to have such a remarkable individual on our board,” said Tony Comden, president of the WMML, said in a press release. “Johnny’s personal experiences and presence in West Michigan will be a tremendous asset to our organization as we continue working to create opportunities for children with disabilities in our area.”
Fighting back from a rotator cuff injury, Jim Dreyer will attempt arguably his most strenuous aquatic feat of strength to date on August 15th. The event, postponed from July 4th, will have Dreyer attempting to pull a new Lincoln MKC on a barge while swimming 3.58 miles to Mackinac Island. The total weight of his unusual cargo is approximately 16.5 tons. The swim is scheduled to start at 6:00 a.m., and will take place between just outside the swimming area of the American Legion Memorial Beach in St. Ignace and the docks at British Landing on Mackinac Island. The direction of the swim could change, depending on conditions. Pulling a vehicle to an island where cars are not allowed, may be an ironic twist, but Dreyer will be leaving with the car filled with Mackinac Island’s most famous export … fudge. The swim, called the Pfeiffer Lincoln Murdick’s Fudge Run, has the support of sponsors and swimmers of Labor Day’s Mighty Mac Swim, who collectively are responsible for raising $270,000 to date, for the revitalization of Michigan neighborhoods through Habitat for Humanity. Pfeiffer Lincoln has donated a 2-year lease on the Lincoln MKC Dreyer will be pulling on the barge. The vehicle will be raffled off at the finish line of the Mighty Mac Swim on Labor Day, a first-annual event for which Dreyer serves as Event Director. Mighty Mac swimmers have been selling raffle tickets for the car, The Original Murdick’s Fudge Company has teamed with Pfeiffer Lincoln to give away a half-pound box of fudge for every raffle ticket sold in special promotions, and Arnold Mackinac Island Ferry is conducting two “Jim The Shark Dreyer Cruises” where passengers get a free raffle ticket as part of their cruise berth, while getting up close and personal with Dreyer’s world record attempt. “I’ve been working real hard, and the shoulder is doing pretty good,” Dreyer said. “I don’t expect it to be 100%, but the most powerful muscle in your body figuratively, is your heart. The mission of Habitat for Humanity is close to my heart and larger than I, and therefore also larger than this obstacle. Pain won’t stop me. As long as the shoulder is functional, I will swim.” “Our fundraising success has […]