04-09-2020 Tri-City area sports

Press Box Player of the Week!

By John Oliphant

Our Press Box Player of the Week is JT Isbrecht. JT recently finished an outstanding MYWAY wrestling season, going 27-10 with 23 of those wins by pin. In 12 tournaments this winter he won five of them and placed second in three.

JT wrestles for the Hartford Wrestling Club in MYWAY tournaments, coached by Tony Birkhead.

JT is a 4th grader in Mrs. Williamson’s class at Watervliet North School and usually wrestles at 63 pounds in the Sunday MYWAY meets. He is the son of Tom and Kim Isbrecht of Watervliet and two of his brothers wrestle on the Watervliet High School varsity team, Nathan and Alex. His brother Luke was on the middle school wrestling team this year, and also had a good MYWAY season.

He said his favorite wrestling moves are the double leg shot and the arm bar. JT is also an avid soccer player as a member of the Kingdom Soccer Club in Portage. These days you’ll find him playing Fortnite with his quarantined friends online or reading one of the Inheritance books.

His favorite wrestler to watch is Panther senior Trever Pelton – but he doesn’t mind watching his brothers, too.

Congratulations, JT!

Coloma Press Box By Dave Vollrath

Mr. Tiger Al Kaline passes away at 85 years old

One of the greatest Tigers of all time has passed away at the age of 85. Anyone who grew up, as I did, in the 1950s and 60s as a Detroit Tigers fan more than likely admired Al Kaline. He was definitely the embodiment of how a major sport star should act, both on and off the field.

Kaline came to the Tigers in 1953 right out of high school, and moved into right field for the Tigers and stayed there for 22 years. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1980, his first year of eligibility, and remained a proud employee of the Tigers front office until his passing this week. Kaline is still the youngest player to ever win the American League batting title, and finished his career with over 3000 hits, 399 home runs, and a career .297 hitter. He still holds many Tigers offensive records, many times elected to play in the all star game, and was an absolute fan favorite, highlighted by helping to lead the Tigers to the 1968 World Series Title.

RIP, Mr. Tiger, your contributions on and off the field will always be remembered here in Southwestern Michigan as well as the entire baseball world.