Sports and Outdoors

Friday, December 5, 2014

N-B Video: Bluffton loses on the chin on the mat to Woodlan

The Bluffton Tigers hosted the Woodlan Warriors Thursday evening. Watch BHS senior Noah Studebaker compete with Woodlan sophomore Mason Berry in the 182-pound class. Bluffton lost the Allen County Athletic Conference dual meet, 47-33. Learn more in the Friday, Dec. 5, News-Banner. (Video by Paul Beitler)

Monday, December 1, 2014

N-B Photos: Raider girls top Jets in ACAC opener

Saturday, the Southern Wells' girls topped Adams Central in Monroe, 49-43. Learn more in the Monday, Dec. 1, News-Banner. (Photos by Paul Beitler)

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Wisconsin, UNC, Florida, UCLA lead Atlantis field

Wisconsin, UNC, Florida, UCLA lead Atlantis field
Tar Heels to start against Butler

AP Basketball Writer
PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas (AP) — North Carolina coach Roy Williams knows a trip to the Bahamas will not in any way resemble a Thanksgiving vacation for his Tar Heels.
He’s not complaining.
And neither are plenty of other teams that are spending the next few days in paradise.
No. 2 Wisconsin (4-0), No. 5 North Carolina (3-0), No. 18 Florida (2-1) and No. 22 UCLA (4-0) headline the eight-team bracket at the Battle 4 Atlantis, which gets underway inside a ballroom-turned-temporary-arena on Wednesday and boasts arguably the most loaded field of any of the early season college basketball tournaments.
Butler (3-0), Oklahoma (2-1), Georgetown (3-0) and Alabama-Birmingham (2-2) are also in the field. Combined record of the eight teams: 23-4.
“It’s a wonderful tournament,” Williams said. “Looking at all the tournament fields, I think it’s the best field of any of the preseason tournaments. It’s a big-time challenge for us.”
For everyone else, too.
“Now we are going to be thrown into the proverbial fire,” Georgetown coach John Thompson III said.
That’s exactly the selling point tournament organizers have made to schools, trying to lure them to the Atlantis for a few days of sun, fun, turkey — and no easy games. Connecticut, Duke, Kansas, Louisville, Villanova and Iowa have all been part of the field in recent years, with Syracuse, UConn and Gonzaga among those scheduled to be there next year.
There could be plenty of other intrigue as well, such as the potential of a Butler-Georgetown game — a non-conference matchup against Big East members. Or maybe a Georgetown-UCLA matchup, which would pit Hoyas center Joshua Smith against his former school.
Smith and the Hoyas open against Florida in the last of Wednesday’s four quarterfinal matchups.
“He will probably be the biggest, most physical frontcourt player we’ll play all year long,” Florida coach Billy Donovan said of facing the 6-foot-10, 340-pound Smith. “I don’t think there’s anybody in college basketball like him, so he’s certainly a handful and that will be a challenge for us.”
Butler and North Carolina open things on Wednesday, a rematch of their meeting at the Maui Invitational two years ago.
“Getting ready to play, it’s a different team and I’ve got a different team, but there’s some guys that were around and they beat us by 88 points or something like that the last time we played them,” Williams said. “And I remember that.”
He’s off on one key detail: Butler beat North Carolina 82-71 in that meeting, but the Tar Heels will surely be reminded that beach time isn’t exactly as much fun after losses.
“We’re 3-0 and we’ve done some good things,” Williams said. “We know we’ve got to get a heck of a lot better.”
The Badgers, who open against UAB, have only been ranked as high as No. 2 in one other season, the 2006-07 campaign in which they climbed briefly to No. 1.
Through four games, no opponent has scored more than 60 on Wisconsin, which is holding teams to 34 percent shooting.
“It’s getting better every game,” Wisconsin star Frank Kaminsky said of the team’s defense. “We are learning things from previous games that we can take going forward and hopefully we keep building on it.”
Wisconsin has gotten to 4-0 with defense; UCLA, which opens against Oklahoma, has gotten there with offense, scoring 95.3 points per game.
“They looked like the Harlem Globetrotters out there, just toying with us,” Nicholls State coach J.P. Piper said after the Bruins dropped 107 points and 11 3-pointers on his team last week.
If nothing else, the three games everyone gets in the Bahamas this week will be a learning experience, Donovan said.
“Before December 1st, we’re going to know a lot about our team,” Donovan said.
AP Sports Writers Mark Long in Gainesville, Florida, and Joseph White in Washington contributed to this report.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

N-B Slideshow: Wells runners compete in regional races

In our latest slideshow, Wells high school cross country teams compete in regional races. (Photos by Paul Beitler)

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Chandler on active roster

With Teddy Bridgewater’s status still up in the air for tonight’s game vs. the Packers and only two quarterbacks on the roster (Bridgewater and Christian Ponder), the Vikings signed QB Chandler Harnish, who was signed to the practice squad earlier this week, to the active roster.
To make room for Harnish, the Vikings waived WR Rodney Smith.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

33rd Annual Eldora Speedway Event Showcases Variety of Open Wheeled Cars, Winged & Non-Winged


33rd Annual Eldora Speedway Event Showcases Variety of Open Wheeled Cars, Winged & Non-Winged

ROSSBURG, Ohio — A smorgasbord of racing may well be the best description for the 33rd Four Crown Nationals scheduled for Sept. 19, 20 at Eldora Speedway.
Over the course of two days, the historic one-half mile clay oval will host multiple open-wheeled divisions, beginning with the winged World of Outlaws (WoO) STP Sprint Car Series and the DIRTcar UMP Modifieds on Friday.
Saturday will see the three national non-winged series of the United States Auto Club (USAC) — Midget, Sprint Car and Silver Crown divisions in their only same-day appearance together on the 2014 schedule.
As if all that isn’t enough, members of the Vintage Auto Racing Club (VARC) will host a display and on-track exhibition, while the USAC Quarter Midgets will be competing on Little Eldora Speedway.

Coming into Friday’s chase, four different WoO winners have found their way to Eldora’s victory lane in as many contests this year. With this being the final 2014 WoO showing at Eldora, the balance of the field is hoping to keep that streak going and make it five different winners.

Among the hopefuls is 20-time WoO champion Steve Kinser. The Bloomington, Ind., veteran is making his final Eldora appearance as a full-time WoO point follower and would like nothing better than to close out that campaign with his 36th WoO win at Eldora. The traveling Outlaws have completed 149 races at Eldora and Kinser’s 35 victories sets him high atop the all-time win list.

Shane Stewart (Tulsa, Okla.) and David Gravel (Watertown, Conn.) captured their first-ever Eldora WoO wins when the tour invaded in May, while the recently retired Sammy Swindell (Germantown, Tenn.) captured the final checkered flag of his storied career on July 11. The next night saw Australian driver Kerry Madsen increasing his Eldora win total to three with a convincing $50,000 Kings Royal victory.

For the Modifieds, it will be their final tune-up before the three-day UMP Fall Nationals (October 2, 3, 4). Earlier in the season, teammates Jeff Babcock (Wayne, Ohio) and Matt Westfall (Ludlow Falls, Ohio) traded wins with three apiece before Jacob Hawkins (Fairmont, W.Va.) and Jonathan Taylor (Saltsburg, Penn.) moved in to end that streak with their recent ventures into victory lane.

When Dave Darland (Lincoln, Ind.) captured April’s USAC Sprint Car main event at Eldora, it inched him closer to August’s historic moment when he moved past veteran Tom Bigelow (Whitewater, Wis.) to become USAC’s all-time leading feature winner with 53 checkered flags. Darland is hoping to retain that momentum Saturday night as he comes into the event only three points behind Brady Bacon (Broken Arrow, Okla.) in the cumulative 2014 USAC National Sprint Car Series point chase. Bacon has yet to score an Eldora USAC Sprint win while Darland has amassed five.

Rico Abreu (Rutherford, Calif.) turned the trick in the USAC Midget portion of the Four Crown last year and rides into Saturday as the current point leader with a comfortable margin over veteran charger Tracy Hines (New Castle, Ind.) and young upstart Christopher Bell (Norman, Okla.).

Closing out Saturday’s tripleheader will be the time-honored Silver Crown division. Kody Swanson (Kingsburg, Calif.), winless in Eldora action thus far, leads the point chase over Hines, Bobby East (Brownsburg, Ind.) and last year’s Four Crown winner Chris Windom (Canton, Ill.).

Each night’s card will include full racing programs of Heat Races, B-Features as needed and the concluding A-Features.

During the daytime, the future stars of racing will be honing their Quarter Midget racing skills on the adjoining Little Eldora Speedway and the VARC members will be on hand with their biggest display of the year to bench race and retell the history of their restored race cars.

Autumn Owls at Ouabache State Park

Autumn Owls – Sept. 27, 2014 at Ouabache State Park

All programs for this event will be held at the Campview Shelter in the middle of Campground A.

2:00 pm What a “Hoot!” – LIVE Owls – Part 1
Discover fascinating facts about two of Indiana’s common owls and meet some up close! Join interpretive naturalist, Jennifer, as she sheds some light on these nocturnal wonders.

3:00 pm Owl Make- it/Take-it
Use your craftiness to create an owl masterpiece as a souvenir.

4:30 pm What a “Hoot!” – LIVE Owls – Part 2
Meet another resident owl of Indiana. Join interpretive naturalist, Teresa Rody, as she unveils the mysteries of this silent flyer.

7:00 pm Movie
Enjoy a family-friendly movie about owls. Feel free to bring your own chair and/or a blanket.
Following the Movie Owl Prowl**
Step outside for a short hike as we attempt to call-in some owls.
** weather permitting

Parents and children are encouraged to attend Ouabache’s interpretive programs together. Children under age 10 must bring an adult.