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I'm here because I'm a Sports Authority...THEE Sports Authority

Bryant Burnette slapping five with dad after a single in the Legion game vs. Valentine on Wednesday.

By Rich Winter

Two of the best evenings I've had in the last seven days have centered solely around Mission baseball. Thursday of last week, went to the Mission ball-park and watched the junior-teener team defeat Lyman, 15-14. Twas a perfect night....75 degrees, light breeze, good company and just watching some baseball. Seriously, the night was so good I had a hard time keeping score and paying attention as I was really just enjoying the moment. 

Last night ventured down to Valentine to check out a Legion game with Mission vs. Valentine. Had  a pretty cool feel to it, a little more adult than the youth baseball leagues of Mission and right out of the gate, assistant coach, Pat Bordeaux gave me crap about driving 85-90 on the way to Valentine - "Pizza Hut ain't that good," was close to the funny way Bordeaux gave me a little crap. 

That was kind of the theme of the night for me though as I watched a lot of the boys that have come though the Mission baseball pipeline act like men out on the field. Suddenly the boys have beards and a heavy fastball and can play. Noticed the chatter amongst the kids and the talking out in the field from guys that have been coached to talk and chatter and move for the last ten years. Couple of great plays last night, one by SS, Austin Hammer who covered some distance to pull in a pop-fly that had erred to right field. 

Hear the Mission guys have gotten a tough deal everytime they go to Valentine and dang, right out of the gate Mission had two guys called out at home on questionable calls. And then, Mission had a play at the plate, appeared to have the guy and the ump called the Valentine guy safe.

WHOA....a little rumble came from the Mission guys and the crowd that had traveled.

And then, something pretty cool happened!

Clayton Shaw got on base, got to second and started a rally that brought Mission all the way to a 7-3 advantage before the skies opened and the storm hit.

Really was a great evening, AGAIN, so great to see Legion ball in Mission after so much hard work to get it there and keep it going.

The Mission Legion team was in Valentine last night and it was a ton of fun.


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Dwight Howard opted out of Houston and left $23 million on the table...Does anyone have the need for a bad tempered, former star with fading skills.

By Rich Winter

Kinda had to chuckle the other day when Dwight Howard opted out of his $23-million, last-season in Houston to test the waters of free-agency. 

Really....the former Magic, Laker and now Rocket somehow thinks fair-market value is going to pay him LeBron money after he cancerously tore up the last two teams he's been on, with skills declining, and a perceived bad attitude around the league?

Hmmmm, well, good luck with that!

Quite frankly, the descension of Dwight Howard from a 22 point, 14.5 rebound, 2.9 blocks per game guy into what he is today has been a sad tale of a guy that looks like he has no heart and is really there to pick up a paycheck. 

When is the last time you heard Dwight Howard talk about contending for a title or going out and getting one? Ya ever hear a team, Lakers or Rockets, talk about building around the rock-solid big-man they have in the middle?

Nada....

With this most recent opt-out in Houston, Howard once again clearly defines that he's not capable of playing in the shadow of a superstar, be it, James Harden or Kobe Bryant. Yes, he's as fabulously talented athlete that is 6-foot-11 but besides the stats (13 points, 11 boards, 1.9 blocks) what kind of negativity is this guy going to bring to the next franchise he tears down from the inside out?

The reports of the ugliness in the Laker locker were not exaggerated as the same thing happened in Houston - Above all else, there were constant reports regarding turmoil in the Rockets' locker room, particularly between Howard and superstar guard James Harden. A team source described the chemistry between Howard and Harden as "cordially bad," per ESPN.com's Calvin Watkins.

You get the feeling that while the fellas are carrying on and chilling after the game that Dwight Howard is off in the corner by himself, admiring his sinewy muscles and thinking about the shots he didn't get, the times he got looked off and then looking longingly at James Harden's locker area where a throng of reporters are gathered around to talk about the 40 that Big James just threw down.

He's a pout-sack this guy, a poison...One of those guys that doesn't give max effort on the court or in the care of thinking about his work situation and developing relationships with his teammates. Chemistry is such an under-rated part of sports and while teams like the Cavs grow together through their trials, teams like Houston fall apart and barely make the playoffs because the two best players on the team only look at each other with icy stairs...and then, only when they have to. 

Not a fan of Howard nor his work ethic. He might find the perfect situation this summer, lord knows he'll be coveted and told how great he can be and how much he'll help a franchise. While he might find the right team, and he might be the missing piece for someone....Buyer Beware, this guy has a track record!

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2013 Todd County graduate, Jaycob Herman will be a senior at Creighton University this summer.

By Rich Winter

Have the distinct honor to work and visit with Gwen Herman at the Todd County Tribune. Pretty much on a daily we talk about any number of things and early this week we talked about Gwen's grandson, Jaycob, who I got to know at least a little better earlier this spring.

You see, Jaycob is in Rockville, Maryland this summer working on an internship at the National Institute of Health. Pretty cool stuff for a kid that came from Mission, and appears well on his way to grabbing that Bio-Medical degree that he's been pursuing for a few years. 

The part of the Gwen and Rich talking part of this got interesting was when Gwen mentioned that Jaycob Herman's initial interest in pursuing that medical degree occurred when he was a 7th grader at Todd County middle-school. One of the teachers there, Bob Critchlow, noticed Herman's interest in science and told the family that he'd never seen a 7th grader get into INMED, but he would try.

Critchlow tried, and he succeeded, and with that effort, breathed a pretty inspiring career in front of a young person from Todd County!

Was kinda feeling bad today about being stuck inside, working, trying to get ahead of the holiday and put some real news together while a lot of people, teachers and such, MR. HAMMER, are lounging by the pool. Can't be jealous though, you teachers, you first-contacts put a heck of a lot of time and energy into your craft and the people you touch...You deserve a little pat on the back, even from the Panic Button. 

That said, as you recharge and get ready for the upcoming school year, I challenge you to go back to work to finding those little things that make a student tick. Find out what someone likes, loves, and then give em a little nudge...

Who knows where they'll land!

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