05-14-2020 Tri-City Area sports

Coloma Press Box By Dave Vollrath


Tidbits from the national sports news

As everyone continues to try and hang on to their sanity in these unprecedented times, sport fans jump a little in anticipation every time they hear just a flicker of a chance one of the major sports suggests that they may be putting together a plan to get back to business. There still is a great chance NASCAR will be back racing on TV, before any of the other spectator sports although nothing is certain at this point. May 17 is their target date, the first of four races they plan to run in 11 days. They have announced that they will be racing with no fans in the stands.

Major League Baseball also appears to be getting ready to release a season-shortened schedule soon. It has been widely speculated that MLB would reopen training camps in mid-June, and begin the shortened regular season around the 4th of July. Also the plans would call for an 82-game regular season, with games played in the home parks, and expanding the playoff teams to 14 from 10. Currently however, MLB executives are meeting with the player’s union to try and hammer out the financial details. MLB and the player’s union had made an agreement back in March, when they suspended the spring camps, but some of those terms now, according to top baseball brass, would not work. The possibility exists, that if they cannot come to an agreement financially, they could still cancel the 2020 baseball season.

The NFL which is still planning on opening the regular season as usual normally begins training camps in July, has pre-season games through August, and starts the regular season the beginning of September. The schedule released this week by the NFL moves the season back a couple of weeks more than usual. The season opener for our local teams, the Lions and Bears, has them facing each other on Sunday, September 13 at Ford Field in Detroit. The Lions next face Green Bay and Arizona on the road, before returning home to face New Orleans. It is a very tough looking 4-game start to the season for the Lions. The Bears have a slightly easier 4-game start, when looking at it based on last year’s results. Following the week one Lions encounter, the Bears will face the Giants at home, the Falcons on the road, and then the Colts at home.

Just seeing the schedule come out has football fans talking some again, and hoping more than anything that the proposed schedule will be played in full and on time.

In the golfing world the PGA has come to terms with the players and agreed to a revised schedule, with the first tournament back being the Colonial beginning on June 11 in Fort Worth, Texas. This event and the next three tournaments on the new PGA schedule will be played without fans on the course. The PGA brass and the players are still hammering out the specifics in keeping the players and course volunteers as safe as possible.

In the NBA there seems to be no rush back to the court. Thoughts around the NBA would be to have at least three more weeks of regular season, possibly all played in just two locations – Orlando and Las Vegas. The thought is there would be no sense moving players all over the country when there would be no fans in the stands for any of the remaining games. There is still much discussion taking place with the executives and players regarding finances and safety.

Kevin VanPeteghem Comet varsity head baseball coach

Several months ago, when the sports world suddenly came to a screeching halt, the Tri-City Record reached out to several of the Comet head coaches and asked their thoughts on their coaching careers. In response, here is a story given by Kevin VanPeteghem (Coach V), one of several he shared that he considers his top memories from his 18 years coaching baseball in Coloma – 10 years an assistant and the last eight years as head coach. Coach V has an impressive overall record since being named to the head coaching position at Coloma, standing at 149-126.

This is one of those memories Coach V tells that he will always keep as one of his favorites. In the words of the Coach, “In 2016, in our first year in the SAC Conference, we won Coloma’s first conference baseball crown since 2004. It was highlighted by Coloma hosting the defendi