July 28, 2014

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LeBron James says he's returning to Cavaliers
Written by Associated Press   
Friday, July 11, 2014 8:47 AM


Associated Press


CLEVELAND — LeBron James is going back to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

James told Sports Illustrated Friday that he's decided to go home. It's a move that would have seemed unfathomable four years ago, after the venomous fallout that followed his decision to leave Cleveland for the Miami Heat.

Soccer camp seeks to instill love of the game
Written by Jim Metcalfe   
Thursday, July 10, 2014 8:12 PM
The Challenger Sports British Soccer Camp returned to the Annex for a youth camp this week. Instructors Sam Warnes (left) and Henry Taylor explain a game/drill to campers Brayden Homes, Alexandra Blatter, Henry Hohman, Brayden Bolenbaugh and Carleigh Ankerman. (DHI Media/Jim Metcalfe)


DHI Media Sports Editor

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DELPHOS — The British have come! The British have come!

That is, the Challenger Sports British Soccer Camp for youth has come to Delphos once again.

The annual event is being held at the St. John’s Annex this week by instructors Sam Warnes and Henry Taylor for youth soccer players age 4 to approximately 11 — with one exception.

Several area soccer players — 11 — have taken advantage of these introductory sessions.

“We focus on passing on Monday, dribbling Tuesday, shooting Wednesday, heading the ball Thursday and defense and tackling on Friday — those are the core skills. That’s what we do every week of every camp,” Warnes began. “We do different drills to emphasize each skill but we try to make it fun in the process. We’re more about making it fun for the campers — we’re lighter on the technical aspects — to either get them interested if they are new to the sport or keep their interest growing if they’ve already been to a camp. Most of the players we have here this week have all told us they’d like to come to another one; that to me is a success.”

With the ongoing World Cup in Brazil, the camp has a World Cup theme.

“After an opening ceremony Monday, we have them wear team colors, like for the United States, Brazil, England, Italy, France. We have them make flags for the closing ceremony on Friday, which we invite their parents to attend,” Warnes said. “We have split this year’s camp up between Henry and I; he takes the 4-6 age group and they leave at 10:30 a.m., while I do the players from 7 to 11-plus. When the younger kids leave, he comes over and helps me with the older children.”

That’s the first time they’ve done this with two instructors for that reason.

“We use silly games, like ‘Islands in the Corner’, ‘Tom and Jerry’ (cat and mouse) and ‘Capture the Flag’ — only in this case it’s capture the soccer balls — instead of just drills, though we do have some of those. Again, it’s all about fun more than techniques, even though you can see the kids improve from the first day to the last.”

Chicago panel approves Wrigley Field upgrade
Written by Associated Press   
Thursday, July 10, 2014 8:10 PM


Associated Press


CHICAGO — Wrigley Field took a step in the direction of every major league ballpark in the country on Thursday when a city commission unanimously approved the Chicago Cubs’ massive renovation project that includes a Jumbotron and six other electronic signs.

The city’s landmarks commission, which must sign off on such plans because Wrigley is so well known, agreed to a renovation project that is dramatically bigger than one approved last year. Besides the Jumbotron above the ivy-covered left-field wall and another electronic sign above the right-field wall that it already approved, the commission agreed to the Cubs’ request to add five more electronic signs, expand the bleachers and build bullpens beneath the bleachers.

The vote came after a 4-hour meeting during which the Cubs and the owners of the rooftop venues across the street engaged in an argument that has become familiar to Chicago over the past few years.

On one side, the Cubs said they need the revenue generated by the signs to help fund the $500 million project and ultimately generate enough money to help the team win its first World Series since 1908.

On the other were the owners of the rooftops, who say the signs violate a contract they have with the Cubs that calls for them to pay the team 17 percent of their gross revenues because the signs would cut into the views of the field they need to survive.

The Cubs, which won approval last year from the commission and later the City Council for a less-extensive expansion project, say they came forward with the new proposal only because the rooftop owners would not rule out filing a lawsuit.

“We learned … the threat of litigation was very real, so we felt if we were going to get sued over two signs, that we felt we were within our rights to proceed with the original proposal,” team spokesman Julian Green told reporters before Thursday’s meeting.

McMahan wins emotional Brad Doty Classic
Written by Information submitted   
Thursday, July 10, 2014 8:10 PM
Brad Doty (left) and Bob Fricke (center) present Steve Kinser a retirement gift prior to the Brad Doty Classic at Limaland. (DHI Media/Mike Campbell Photos)

Earns third WoO STP Sprint Car Series win



ELIDA — Paul McMahan won an emotional World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series victory at Limaland Motorsports Park’s annual Brad Doty Classic Wednesday night after a pitched battle with 3-time champion Sammy Swindell that lasted much of the 40-lap feature.

McMahan, who earlier in the night talked about what Doty has meant to him as he developed as a driver and person through the years, said this win means a lot to him.

“I tell you what, it took me a little bit to collect my thoughts before I got out of this racecar because this just means the world to me,” McMahan said. “Brad Doty, like I said, is my hero and I’ve come here many times and never been able to get a win. It’s a normal win but this is the Brad Doty Classic. This takes every win I’ve ever won away and this is right up top.

“Man, I won the Brad Doty Classic… I can’t believe this, this is the greatest.”

Sammy Swindell started on the front row with Shane Stewart and dominated early. McMahan, who started in fourth, found his way around third place Kerry Madsen early and began working on Shane Stewart. The two battled in the opening laps with McMahan taking the second position by lap two.

Following a caution with two laps complete, Madsen drove his American Racing Custom Wheels car around Stewart and moved into the third position.

For the next thirty laps, Swindell and McMahan battled back and forth for the lead. Swindell ran high as McMahan tried both the low line and the high line, riding the cushion until it went away midway through the race. The two even traded position on lap 12 with McMahan taking over the lead briefly.

Farther back, Daryn Pittman was working his way forward in his Great Clips car after starting in the ninth position and Donny Schatz was doing the same after he was forced to use a provisional and started in the back. By lap 25, Pittman had moved to fifth while Schatz worked his way up to the ninth position.

With less than 10 to go, McMahan got the opportunity with his CJB Motorsports car he had been looking for to get around Swindell.

“I was following Sam and I was just kind of staying with him, I wasn’t getting nowhere,” McMahan recalled. “So I saw some lapped cars down there that were hard to lap and I just said, what the heck, I’ll give it a shot and the thing stuck and I just drove off.”

McMahan got around Swindell on the low side in the middle of turn one and two.

“I was a little nervous there at the end if I would get the lapped cars, whether I needed to be at the top or the bottom,” McMahan added. “But I know if I would have hesitated, Sammy would have pounced on me.”

With much of his family in attendance, McMahan scored his third win of the season and the 21st win of his career. He sits just 91 points out of the championship lead in third place.

Swindell fell back in the closing laps. He finished the race in seventh.

For second place finishing Madsen, this was his 22nd top-5 of the year and his fifth podium finish in a row.

“Great car, we had a good run,” Madsen said. “I felt like in the middle stages we had opportunities but the yellows would keep coming out. We had a great run. We had our chance - we didn’t take advantage of it but a great second place.

“It’s always an exciting race at Lima and I’m sure tonight was no different. I feel a little disappointed but we’re still really, really pleased with a second place run.”

Pittman, who closed out his night in third after advancing six positions from the start, credited his team, his car and a little positive thought for the success his team has had this season. He said tonight he just did not find the right line early enough.

Defender out of position comfortable facing Messi
Written by Associated Press   
Thursday, July 10, 2014 8:08 PM

Associated Press


PORTO SEGURO, Brazil — For a man about to face one of the game’s most prolific scorers, Benedikt Hoewedes is remarkably calm and composed ahead of the World Cup final.

Even more so considering he’ll be playing out of his usual position.

Hoewedes has been used as left back by Germany coach Joachim Loew during the tournament and the Schalke defender is likely to be the one assigned to stopping Argentina star Lionel Messi’s runs on the right wing.

“I’ll do my part but it will be a collective effort. That’s how even a player of such quality can be stopped,” Hoewedes said Thursday.

Hoewedes already has had to deal with another scoring sensation, Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal. Ronaldo was held scoreless and Germany won its World Cup opener 4-0.

Usually a center back, Hoewedes has defied skeptics with his performances at the tournament.

“Since we are in the final, I must have done something right,” said Hoewedes, one of the three Germany players to have played every minute of the tournament. The other two are goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and captain Philipp Lahm.

The position of left back has been considered the weak link in Germany’s team for years. Loew has tried several players in the position and even complained once that “I can’t cut a left back out of wood” when none met his standards.

When exactly Loew came up with the idea of using Hoewedes is not clear but he has been at left back since day one of the tournament.

“I am playing in a position for which I haven’t trained. But I think I am helping the team with my presence,” Hoewedes said.

Germany started the tournament with four center backs in its last line of defense but Lahm has since returned to right back from the midfield and the defense has gained stability.

Hoewedes has played right back for Germany and Schalke when necessary but being on the left is a novelty.

“For me, it’s completely crazy what’s going on. I still can’t believe it,” he added. “It’s huge what’s happening to me and the final will be the highlight. We want the title.”

Hoewedes does not provide much attacking spark on the left flank but says that that’s his not priority anyway.

Loew has praised Hoewedes’ robust performances.

“He’s been very strong in 1-on-1 situations and has covered a lot of distance,” Loew said. “His strong play in the air has been useful both in the back and in the attack.”

Despite woes, Argentines united in World Cup run

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Soccer has once again emerged as the patriotic touchstone that unites Argentines as they teeter on the precipice, this time threatened by a debt crisis, soaring inflation and the scandal-plagued end to a 12-year political dynasty that has polarized the nation.

The country’s World Cup semifinal victory over the Netherlands in a penalty shootout unleashed a collective catharsis on Buenos Aires’ streets Wednesday night the likes of which Argentines have rarely seen in recent times.

Coinciding with Independence Day celebrations, tens of thousands of Argentines dressed in blue and white partied well past midnight in cities across the country.