Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Mount Union Machine

The powerhouse that is Mount Union football competes for yet ANOTHER Division III championship today in Salem Virginia against Wisconsin-Whitewater for the third season in a row.
How would you like to be the Warhawks where you beat everyone you play, but the monster is always waiting for you in the end.
I made the trip to Salem five years ago for a Mount Union title game and it was well worth the trip.
Larry Kehres has built a dynasty in Alliance that is unmatched in sports with the possible exception of the John Wooden UCLA basketball teams of the '60s and '70s.
Kehres has an interesting program and he does things that few other coaches do.
One is his policy of never cutting a player.
Any player that can put the effort forth to be part of the team makes the team and Kehres seems to make a special effort to get as many of those kids into the game as possible in blowouts, which is quite often in Purple Raider games.
Another thing that he does to save money and therefore allow more kids to be part of the program is when the Raiders go on the road, they bring prepared bag lunches for the ride home instead of stopping somewhere to eat.
The savings enables the team to travel extra players that would not be on the travel team otherwise.
On-field, Mount Union adjusts their offensive system to what personnel that they have.
I have seen Kehres coach running teams, passing teams, and balanced teams and that shows confidence in his ability and his players.
Most coaches have a set system and get the players for their system and that makes sense, but Kehres has a knack for finding players and then he makes adjustments to them.
The D-III title game is on one of the ESPN networks today at 4:00

Bullpen Notes

The New Jersey Devils take on the visiting Phoenix Coyotes at the Rock in a 1:00 matinee, coverage here tomorrow.

That assumes that we have power as a big winter storm is supposed to be heading through tonight and tomorrow.
I have become quite interested in the weather and watch the Weather Channel often at work, but I can never understand how the on-air hosts are always so chipper about bad weather!
Maybe they don't have to drive in it!

Going to miss Dan Haren in Oakland,but the prospects that are going to the Athletics are quite impressive.
Carlos Gonzalez and Brett Anderson are highly thought and so is former Kannapolis Intimidator Chris Carter,but one of our favorites is in the deal as well.
Former Intimidator and Winston-Salem Warthog Aaron Cunningham was involved in the transaction.
Aaron is a guy that has to be met to be believed and let me tell you-if he makes it to the show,his personality will make him an instant media favorite.
This looks like a great deal for both Arizona and Oakland...

On the way to work last night listening to Home Plate on XM radio, C.J Nitkowski was a guest on a show talking about Japanese baseball.
The well-traveled journeyman is currently pitching there for the Fukuoka Hawks and had two interesting notes on the actual baseball used in games.
One is that the Japanese baseball is slightly smaller than the MLB version and the other is that they do not "rub" the baseball down before using as is done here.
Nitkowski said this makes the ball slicker and harder to grip......

Until next time........

Photo Credit
Kehres-Mount Union College

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