Tag Archives: basketball

A Knight in Sir Dayton’s Court

Greetings readers,

It’s currently football season, but there’s talks of basketball happening now in the Miami Valley. You have your college hoops, then you have high school hoops. Then there’s the professional hoops happening in Dayton.

The Air Strikers are coming back for a fourth season in Dayton. Once thought to have folded, the Strikers found a fit in the Independent Basketball Association. Some of the opponents are familiar to Dayton, including the Gary Splash and the Lansing Capitals. The season, instead of waiting until January, will start on November 3rd. Also, while the home venue has not been established on the website, it does mention on the bottom paragraph of the page in their “newly renovated home venue.”

There will also be Knights playing basketball in Dayton, too.

The Dayton Knights will play in the Universal Basketball Association. In the UBA, there are a some teams around the Miami Valley, including the Cincinnati Slam. It is not currently known on where the Knights will play or who will play (as tryouts are happening soon.) What is known is Allen Drake will take the reigns as the owner and head coach. Drake is a graduate of Urbana University, which is north of Springfield, Ohio. There is no schedule up to this point, as well.

Will the Knights play the Air Strikers for a pre-season tune up? Will both teams complete their seasons? Only time will tell.

So if you live in the Miami Valley, there are now two more ways to get some basketball locally.

Sources of information from the Dayton Air Strikers website and the Dayton Knights Facebook page.

Until next time,

-Lee

The Press Stops Here

Greetings readers,

The website known as daytonprosports.com will soon be no more. The author Jeff Kuntz is moving to the sunny side of Florida for his business.

If you never been to the site, it was a cornucopia of things about pro sports in Dayton. From basketball, to hockey, baseball, and all sports in between, it was mentioned on the website. The Air Strikers, the Gems, the Dutch Lions, the Dragons, and the Silverbacks were the stars of the webpage. Even the Gem City Hall O’ Famers were on the site despite nobody knowing a thing on the team (turns out they played a couple of games in Lima and then folded.)

I first talked to Jeff back before the 2012 Air Strikers season began on Twitter, and right away I liked the site. Nobody else gave complete coverage of the teams that called the Dayton area home. Sure, Channel 7 might have had one or two clips of the first Air Strikers game, but not much else. The Dayton Daily News had a few articles, but coverage dropped as the season went by. Who kept the coverage going? Yep, daytonprosports.com.

It was around the time the Air Strikers moved out of Trent Arena and looking for a new home when I was first put into an article. I received word that the game would be played at the Dayton Boys Prep Academy. Although the plan was to not play the whole season there and just go back to Trent Arena, that didn’t happen and we played half of the games at The Prep.

The second time Jeff mentioned me was about the February 22nd game, where I believe the Air Strikers were supposed to play that day, then I tweeted about how that wasn’t going to be the case. He backed up the tweet saying that I was associated with the organization. Jeff then wrote an article later that day, stating that I said that game was now off (he then went on and put in a good word and asked people to follow me on Twitter.)

Then on March 8th, I send a slightly-edited copy of the press release to Jeff, and he publishes it on the website. That was the first game in Moraine (and my first game as the PA Announcer for the Air Strikers, as well.) Another press release was published, as well as a paragraph update in the General section for March 13th.

The last article was published June 1st, mentioning that the Dayton Gems have folded, as well as the Dayton Air Strikers (which I honestly didn’t know happened.) He also mentions the Silverbacks making the CIFL Championship game (which Dayton lost to Saginaw, by the way.) He also mentions the new hockey team arriving in Dayton, as well.

Jeff got my name out in a lot of Dayton Air Strikers articles, as well as Twitter too. He told me I got a shout-out on WONE when I wasn’t able to listen (I think I had work that day, I don’t remember at this point.) He also wished me luck finding a broadcasting job and told me to never give up in his previous tweets.

Since the website will be shut off in a couple of weeks, I’d like to post a snippet of the last article, with the people that Jeff thanks.

Last article (5/31/2012): …I’d like to thank Mister Askew, Anthony Byrd, Clint Davis, David DiCenzo, Brij Desai, Rob Garfield, Brian Gratz, Joe Greene, Sev Hrywnak, Michael Lause, Duane Lewis, Mike Mossel, Lee W. Mowen, Paul Nitz, Kathy Rupp, James Scott, April Shellenberger, JT Szabo, Ivar van Dinteren, Cor van Hoeven and various anonymous sources for all they’ve done for me and/or this website…

Good luck in everything you do Jeff, thanks for the coverage of Dayton sports and thank you for publishing my press releases when I was with the Strikers!

Folks, take a visit to daytonprosports.com before it’s too late.

Source of information from Dayton Pro Sports and writer Jeff Kuntz.

Until next time,

-Lee

Breaking the Cross County Trip

Greetings readers,

I’ve read this article written by Bob Huelsman about the future of the Cross County Conference, and I wanted to add my take to a possible fall of a local conference. As someone who occasionally watches Twin Valley South sports, this will be very important for not only the West Alexandria Panthers, but for all the high schools in the CCC.

From the article, some of the old Southwestern Rivers Conference (I think they were gone by 2001, not sure honestly) schools want to form a new conference. That includes Covington, Miami East, and Bethel, which are the eastern schools in the CCC, and a bit of a drive if you hail from Preble County (especially National Trail, considering they’re next door to Indiana.) It also includes Bradford, which is the northern most CCC school, and possibly Arcanum, near the heart of it all.

The CCC has been around since the 1978-1979 school year. Arcanum, Ansonia, and Bethel were original members, while Covington joined in 1990 and Miami East in 2006.

Something that has triggered these talks (other than the economy reasons) has been the football conference play. The CCC schools that do field a team (Franklin-Monroe, Tri-Village, and Newton in Miami County do not field these teams) play nine conference games, leaving one game for non-conference play. For TVS, that game has usually been against nearby New Lebanon Dixie. Usually, you will have around three-five non-conference games (depends on which conference.)

The writer in the article mentions some possibilities for the other schools should the conference break apart. Huelsman sees the Southwestern Buckeye League picking up Twin Valley South, Tri-County North, and National Trail.

Let’s say that does happen. That puts three more schools into the SWBL from Preble County, joining Eaton and Preble Shawnee (It also puts all five Preble County schools in a conference, too.) This would give the SWBL 17 members, giving either division of the conference one more than the other (unless the SWBL wanted to add another school for 18, and split the division up into three divisions.)

The 1998 Twin Valley South Panthers, who won the Cross County Conference that season.

For Twin Valley South, it sets up good, close rivalries with Valley View, Brookville, Dixie, Preble Shawnee, and Eaton in the conference (not necessarily in the same division of the SWBL.) It would also keep the State Route 503 rivalry with Tri-County North.

However, what about the other schools? The farthest school to the east is Waynesville, the last school district to the east before hitting Clinton County, followed by Bellbrook in western Greene County. To the south would be Monroe, and to the north would be Milton-Union in southwest Miami County. The western most school would be National Trail in the New Paris area, near Richmond, Indiana. So you now have a huge conference stretching from nearby Richmond to Wilmington. That’s a span of six counties.

How would those schools do in the SWBL? According to this list by the OHSAA, Twin Valley South has 253 students (136/117 boys/girls); Tri-County North 257 (119/138); and National Trail with 263 (139/124). Compared to current SWBL schools, Valley View has 469 students (220/249); Eaton 524 (290/234); Dixie 291 (158/133); Brookville 374 (211/163); and Preble Shawnee with 352 (176/176.) So if this was to happen, Twin Valley South and Tri-County North would be the smallest schools in the SWBL. If the conference spread their divisions for smallest, medium, and largest schools, there could be a good mix for the conference and schools.

I’m not saying this happens, as it’s more of a what-if. The Cross County Conference might survive and this idea of a new conference might flop. I liked the article and thought it was interesting to think about the future in West Alex and in Ohio. If the rest of the members can’t see eye to eye, we might see an old conference fall and a new one pop up.

Sources of information from the Press Pros Magazine and the Ohio High School Athletic Association. The 1998 TVS picture is from CCCBasketball.com.

Until next time,

-Lee

The More You Coles

Greetings readers,

After a tournament loss to the Toledo Rockets, Miami University Head Coach Charlie Coles called it quits. Since taking the job in 1996, Coles won 263 games with the Redskins/RedHawks and made seven trips to the postseason.

As well as coaching at Miami, Coles has had a few stops at a couple of local high schools and a stint as the Head Coach of the Central Michigan Chippewas. Coles also spent three years (1963-1965) as a Redskin and one of the program’s 1,000 point scorers.

Would you like to know what makes Coach Coles so different than most coaches? You can tell his passion for the game, as well as being a class act. Just ask some of the fans, like Ball State fans, Xavier Coach Chris Mack, Wright State fans, Dayton fans, and many more. The point is, Coles is in a class all by himself. He never minced words, especially

As a former Wright State student/sportscaster, I’ve seen a couple of Coles-led teams at the Nutter Center. I think I’ve only seen one Miami win at home, but one game Wright State won was off a last-second three to win the game (not to mention claim the lead for the first time.) I can tell you about the time when Coach Coles had his post-game interview patched through the main arena, and he was his usual self. I remember the remaining fans laughing and having a good time listening to the post-game show.

This audio clip (located on Raider Roundball) is Coles’ last post-game interview after a Miami-WSU game. I wish I could find the one I described, but alas.

One thing plaguing Coles has been his health. In the early beginnings of his RedHawk head coaching career, he fainted on the court of Western Michigan. He’s had several surgeries during his time at MU. He missed the road trip to Buffalo because of a virus. He has also had his heart reshaped.

While it’s tough to leave any job at your Alma Mater, I feel like it was the best for the Coach. With his health problems, he needs some time to enjoy with his family. It will be different for fans to see another coach take to the sidelines with the Oxford Red Birds, but I think Charlie needed a break.

Happy retirement, Coach Coles.

To close off this post, here is one of my favorite post-game interviews by Coles, as well as Cincinnati.com’s Top 5 Moments.

Sources of information from muredhawks.com, cincinnati.com, The Wright State Proboards, udpride.com, and raiderroundball.com. Picture from the Muncie Star Press.

Until next time,

-Lee

Build an Arena for the King (County)

Greetings readers,

Looks like Seattle might soon have a new arena, just what the Seattle Supersonics wanted all those moons ago around 2008. With the possibilities of the new arena, Seattle could land another NBA franchise and possibly a NHL team as well. If the city/county approves with aiding some $200 Million to the pot, the rest would be covered by private investors. Also, the arena won’t be built until one of the leagues guarantee a team would move to Seattle or a new franchise would be granted.

In total, the arena would cost around the ballpark of $450-$500 Million. The new building will be placed in Seattle’s SoDo district, which is just south of Safeco Field (where the Mariners play.)

Seattle is one of the few markets that do not have three or more professional sports franchises in the “Big Four”.

While this announcement certainly puts pressure on the court for the New Orleans Hornets and Sacramento Kings and on the ice for the Phoenix Coyotes, it also dampers on the process going on in Quebec City, trying to lure a NHL team back.

It will be interesting to see the Arena Wars between Quebec City and Seattle. While Seattle still has to get approval for public funds, the group “J’ai Ma Place” has revealed that all seventy-four corporate suites have been filled. The group is also responsible for selling 8,000 seats in the new, proposed Quebec City arena.

As of right now, the Sacramento Kings are trying to get a new arena and have set a deadline sometime in March. It’s not clear what the effect will be to Seattle if the Kings stay put.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. It’d be great to see the Green and Gold back in Seattle, but things have to fall in place, first.

Sources of information from ESPN and lfpress.com.

Until next time,

-Lee