Monday, September 22, 2014

CC Netters Go 3-1 in Tourney

By Travis Stahl
Laurisa Rehrer (left) and Macie Hinen (right)
The Columbia City Lady Eagles volleyball team traveled to the Wawasee Tournament Saturday and ended the day in third place with a 3-1 record.  Columbia City got wins on the day by beating Wabash, Tippecanoe Valley and Bethany Christian and only lost on the day against Garrett.

Against Wabash the Lady Eagles fell in game one 25-22 before coming back to win 25-12 in game two and 15-10 in game three.  Avery Sparks and Bayley Smith each had seven kills.  Jayla Wigent had three blocks and Macie Hinen led the way with 22 digs.

The Lady Eagles then won in dramatic fashion against Tippecanoe Valley.  Columbia City won game one 25-14 before falling in the second set 25-13.  Game three was a back-and-forth contest which saw the Lady Eagles come from behind to win 18-16.  Smith led the team with seven kills and Cassie Bosselman had two aces while Molly Green added two blocks.

Columbia City fell to Garrett in it's third match-up of the day when the team fell to Garrett 25-14 and 25-11.  The Lady Eagles came back on the court though and ended the day with a victory by beating Bethany Christian.  Columbia City lost the first set 25-23 before taking the next two 25-15 and 15-13.  Wigent had 8 kills and Hinen added 18 digs.

The Lady Eagles are on the court again tonight when the team hosts Blackhawk Christian.

Myer, Eagles Narrowly Fall

By Travis Stahl
Braden Myer

The days of the dominant running back in the NFL and college football seem to be over.  Different running backs specialize in different areas so no one player gets the chance to pile up yardage behind a dominant offensive line.  But in high school, a good running back can still put a team on his back and carry them up and down the field.  Friday night against DeKalb, Columbia City running back Braden Myer did his best to carry the Eagles to victory before the team fell to the Barons 33-29.

Myer is this week's T and T Athletic Supporters Player of the game for the Columbia City offense.  Myer followed his linemen on the way to 118 yards on just 15 carries.  He also scored two touchdowns on the night with one coming from two yards out and the other from four yards away.  Myer also led the way for the Eagles defense.  Along the defensive line Myer had a team-high six tackles including one for a loss.

Columbia City's other scores in the loss came from quarterback Trevor Bolt.  First Bolt connected on a 17-yard touchdown pass to Dayne Asplund.  Then in the fourth quarter Bolt ran in a score from four-yards out.

The loss drops the Eagles to 2-3 on the season and keeps the team win less in the Northeast Hoosier Conference.  Columbia City is back on the field Friday night at 7 p.m. when the team hosts New Haven.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Discussing the NFL's Issues

By Trent Lawrence
and Travis Stahl

You know what's more exciting than week two in the NFL?  Yep, week three of the NFL season.  If you love football as much as we do you could talk about it constantly.  There are so many story lines to cover it's difficult to get to all of them.  For now, here are our thoughts on some comings and goings in the NFL.

The NFL season has been overshadowed to this point with off the field issues.  There has been a lot of good play on the field though and we are seeing some very competitive games.  So far through two games who has been the team or individual player that has surprised you the most?

Well, first let me start by pointing out how much parity we are seeing in the NFL. We've been saying this for a couple years now and the talent level is almost a wash no matter what two teams are playing. Week one Seattle looks like they are going to steam roll their way to a repeat championship and the next they struggle. The Bears look awful week one and then make an improbable comeback against San Francisco on the road. Go figure. The biggest surprise for me is the 0-2 Saint. They are a good football team and have come up a little short both weeks. Make no mistake about it though, if healthy, this team will make the playoffs. Right now they are missing Darren Sproles.

It's interesting you bring up Sproles.  The Eagles running back has probably been the best at his position so far this season.  I'm shocked at the impact his departure has had on the Saints.  In Philly he adds another play maker to a dangerous offense.  Trent Dilfer yesterday called Chip Kelly the best coach to come in to the NFL in a long time.  Is this Philly team a fad or the real deal?

The team is the real deal. That two headed monster in the backfield is hard to prepare for. Time will tell about Chip Kelly. Is he a total package at the head position or just an offensive mind?

We haven't heard anything from Rodge Goodell in days and the number of NFL players getting arrested continues to add up.  How do you feel about how the league is handling this issue?  Do you think the players themselves are being treated fairly by their employer?

The media is out of control with this. I would like to see the league do nothing until the process is over. I believe it is up to the team owners to decide whether to play and pay these players. I'm not a fan of guilty until proven innocent. To me it is a legal issue and the league needs to stay out of it. If an owner doesn't want to pay or play a player that has legal charges against them then I would say release them.

You know what I was thinking about this morning that is really kind of weird?  Adrian Peterson, Greg Hardy, Ray Rice and now Jonathon Dwyer all broke the law, were arrested and are now barred from participating with their teams.  Pittsburgh running backs LeVeon Bell and LaGarrett Blount were arrested for possession of marijuana and there hasn't been one word from the league or the Steelers.  Both players are still playing.  I understand what they did isn't as severe as the other cases.  But isn't breaking the law still breaking the law?

This is just an image thing for roger Goodell and the NFL. If they think it might cost them money then they suspend them. This country is changing it's stance against marijuana.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

CC-DeKalb Preview

By Travis Stahl

The Game:  Columbia City travels to DeKalb at 7 p.m.

Last Season: Columbia City defeated DeKalb 34-12.

Next Week: Columbia City hosts New Haven at 7 p.m.

About the Game:  Some rivalries are geographical and others are based on bad blood.  The DeKalb-Columbia City feud is based on a pure desire to crush the other.  Aside from Whitko this is the game circled on the Columbia City schedule every season.  Both teams enter with records of 2-2 and on two-game losing streaks as the Barons are coming in off consecutive losses to East Noble and New Haven.  Both teams are now sitting at 0-2 in the Northeast Hoosier Conference.  The Eagles have not lost to DeKalb since 2008 and would love to keep that streak alive.

Key Questions:  Which Quarterback/Wide Receiver duo will pass it's team to victory?  Columbia City features the combination of Trevor Bolt and Dayne Asplund and the Barons have quarterback Harrison Price and Will Crisman.  It seems every time Bolt puts the ball up in the air Asplund has it in his hands for a touchdown.  Crisman will be a tough match-up for the Eagles secondary as the junior is 6-7.   Which offensive line gets the running game back on track?  DeKalb's line is massive and does a good job opening holes for Denton Gamble.  The Columbia City linemen keep plugging along opening holes for whichever player has the hot hand.  Braden Myer and Khale Rider need to churn out some serious yards on the ground and keep the offensive linemen paving the way.

The Outcome:  DeKalb is a much better team then they have been in the past.  Two wins this year is more than they've seen in a whole season in a long time.  But they probably won't get to three this Friday.  The Eagles defense is just plain ferocious this season with Bronson Ball, Ashten Barnes and Drew Cummings hitting everything in sight.  This should be an Eagles win and run the team's streak to six in a row over the Barons.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

This Season is Crazy Already

By Travis Stahl

In the midst of all the NFL ugliness that has been taking place we have missed something important.  The games.  I know ... I was surprised too.  The NFL being what it is has not disappointed us through two weeks of play.  Some teams looked better than expected, others look much worse than expected and the vast majority look to be horribly unpredictable.  We need to take a few minutes to break down some of the events of the first two weeks of the NFL season.

Arizona, Buffalo, Houston and Carolina are 2-0 - Nobody thought these four teams would be this good, nobody.  Anybody who tells you differently is a liar.  We wrote all four of these teams off for dead long ago as Carolina and Houston each lost key offensive pieces from last season.  Buffalo we assumed would be the same old Bills and Arizona started the season with two tough games.  Turns out none of it matters because all four teams have one at least one game over a quality opponent.  And, all four of these teams sit alone atop their divisions through the first two weeks.  Weird.

Indianapolis and New Orleans are 0-2 - The Colts being 0-2 isn't that big of a stretch.  Indy had a tough game on the road against Denver and then returned home to play an explosive Eagles team.  The Saints being 0-2 is a shock.  Losing in the final minutes to both the Falcons and the Browns has to have the Saints questioning some changes especially on offense where the team has struggled throwing the ball.  To lose running back Mark Ingram just as he was emerging as a legitimate threat makes it even worse in New Orleans.

Parity Rules - 18 teams in the NFL right now are 1-1.  That's just over half the league.  The NFL is a league of parity where one team can go from worst to first in the blink of an eye.  Still, this gives the impression there aren't going to be a lot of teams running away from the competition and we could see some 9-7 playoff teams.  Teams like Dallas, Chicago and New England have left us scratching our heads already.  Are these teams as good as each of their wins have suggested or as bad as each of their losses has been?  It may be a roller coaster ride all year.

Thursday Night Football - I will grant you the new Thursday Night Football doesn't role off the tongue as smoothly as Monday Night Football.  But was have all noticed that the luster on the MNF games on ESPN has started to fade and it has become more of a sideshow than a football game.  From what we have seen of TNF this is not the case as both games have been relatively good.  Yes we have to listen to Chris Collinsworth but we have NFL football on a Thursday night and it's on network television.  It's hard to complain about that.

Things are going to continue to change rapidly in this crazy NFL season.  The rule of thumb has always been it takes four weeks of football to really know the identity of a team.  If any or all of those four unbeaten teams are still without a blemish I will be shocked.  Notice I'm not including Denver, Philadelphia or Cincinnati in that discussion, we knew those three teams would be good.  If your team has looked bad so far give it two more weeks and then proceed to panicking.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Can the NFL Tone Down the Violence?

By Travis Stahl

So ... did you hear about Adrian Peterson?  Just kidding, we all did.  This incident of child abuse that the Minnesota Vikings running back is accused of could not come at a worse time for the NFL.  Peterson's legal troubles come fresh on the heals of the Ray Rice domestic violence fiasco which follows the Ray McDonald domestic violence issue which comes after the Greg Hardy domestic violence problem.  It would appear the NFL has an issue with it's players hurting other people.

Regardless of what NFL commissioner Roger Goodell did or did not know about the situation with Rice assaulting his fiance in an elevator the NFL is in the midst of a pretty significant problem.    Players just can't keep their hands to themselves which is a lesson most of us learned in the third grade.  McDonald, Rice and Hardy have all been accused (or caught on video) assaulting their significant others.  Peterson inappropriately disciplined his four-year old son with a switch.  The are men who participate in a violent game taking the violence home with them.  Should we be surprised?

The NFL's new policy on domestic violence is a direct result of these recent situations.  Strike one equals a six-game suspension.  Strike two and you're out.  The big question the NFL has to answer now is whether or not Peterson will fall under this policy.  Is disciplining a child with a stick the same thing as punching your wife?  If so, Peterson is likely going to miss six games of the season which won't sit well with the Vikings.  Minnesota is already in a pretty tight spot.  After all the Ravens cut Rice as soon as that video surfaced to try to distance themselves from the ordeal.  There would seem to be no way the Vikings will cut the best running back in the league.

Goddell is going to have to take a stand on these issues sometime soon.  McDonald has still been playing for San Francisco and Carolina is just now going to start holding Hardy out of games.  The NFL is all about image.  If you cast a bad light on the league you are going to face discipline and that's probably how it should be.  If I get arrested for punching my wife in the face my employer has every right to decide that maybe I am not the kind of worker they want hanging around.  Why should we expect any less from an NFL player?

If athletes are roll models they need to act like it.  They can cry and whine all they want that they don't want to be put up on that pedestal but by choosing the profession they have it comes with the territory.  The NFL needs to come down hard on any player who gets physically violent with another person.  Players need to realize when they step off that field the need to hit people ends.  There are rules in society that we all abide by and NFL players are no different.

Monday, September 15, 2014

CC Narrowly Falls to Homestead

By Travis Stahl

Football games can sometimes be decided by the narrowest of margins.  A pass that falls one-yard short of a first down or a missed tackle can change the whole complexion of a game.  If you eliminate one small chuck of time from the Columbia City-Homestead football game Friday night then the Eagles win the last game in the 39-year rivalry.  But one six-minute chunk of time made all the difference for the Eagles.  Homestead was able to win that one six-minute section of time in the third quarter and use it to escape with a 27-20 win against Columbia City.

If that one six minute chunk of the third quarter was eliminated the Eagles win this game 20-6.  In those six minutes though the Spartans scored three touchdowns and put the Eagles in a hole they couldn't climb out of.  Columbia City scored in the fourth quarter in an attempted rally but ran out of time before they team could have a chance to put the ball in the end zone again.  Columbia City also had to deal with some questionable calls from the officials which came at inopportune times.

Columbia City got on the board first when Braden Myer pounded into the end zone from one-yard out in the first quarter.  The Spartans answered in the second quarter and the two teams went in to the locker room tied 6-6 at the half.  Both teams sputtered to start the third quarter before Homestead started running off touchdowns.  The Eagles tried to answer as quarterback Trevor Bolt saw a tipped pass go right to Dayne Asplund for a 73-yard touchdown.  Columbia City scored once more in the fourth quarter when Bolt completed a 31-yard scoring strike to Drew O'Dell to get the team within seven points.

The offensive player of the game for the Eagles was Bolt.  The quarterback threw for 191 yards and two touchdowns while adding 43 yards on the ground.  The defensive player of the game for Columbia City was freshman linebacker Bronson Ball.  Ball led the Eagles in tackles with 6.5.  Ball also had a sack in the game.

Columbia City now has a 2-2 record on the season.  The Eagles are back on the field Friday night when the team travels to DeKalb with kick-off scheduled for 7 p.m.