Dragons fall to Fort Wayne in first-half finale

Published: Sunday, June 18, 2017 @ 6:28 PM


            Dragons catcher Tyler Stephenson slides home to score in the fifth inning. The Dragons hosted the Lansing Lugnuts (Blue Jays) in a Midwest League Class A minor-league baseball game at Dayton’s Fifth Third Field on Tuesday, April 18, 2017. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF
Dragons catcher Tyler Stephenson slides home to score in the fifth inning. The Dragons hosted the Lansing Lugnuts (Blue Jays) in a Midwest League Class A minor-league baseball game at Dayton’s Fifth Third Field on Tuesday, April 18, 2017. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Fort Wayne hit four home runs Sunday to hand the Dayton Dragons a 9-3 loss in the final game of the first half of the Midwest League split-season format.

The Dragons finished 41-29, earning the wildcard berth in the Eastern Division playoff race with a runner-up finish. West Michigan won the division. The 41 wins were the second-highest first-half total in franchise history.

Tyler Stephenson had a pair of hits and drove in all three Dayton runs. Michael Beltre added two hits.

Ty Boyles (2-2) allowed two hits and five runs in two innings. Boyles gave up two homers in the first and another in the second.

The Midwest League All-Star Game in Tuesday night in Midland, Mich. Six Dragons players — Stephenson, Beltre, Scott Moss, Tony Santillan, Wennington Romero and Aaron Fossas — will play in the game.

After the three-day all-star break, the Dragons will open the second half on Thursday at home against Lake County.

Recruiting: Early signing period coming to college football, ready or not

Published: Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 4:16 PM

Urban Meyer on Wayne's Robert Landers

On Dec. 20, high school football seniors will be able to do something they never were allowed to before: Sign a letter of intent with the college of their choice before Christmas. 

Their counterparts in basketball have had two signing periods — one in November, one in April — for years, but for at least as long as more than a few diehards have cared about recruiting, football players weren’t allowed to sign until early February. 

RELATED: Which area players are planning to sign early?

The path for that to change was cleared last spring when the NCAA Division I council passed several changes to college football’s recruiting model. 

Since then, people in and around the industry have wondered what effects might be wrought. 

With the big day finally near, one thing looks to be clear: Almost everyone is going to take advantage

Colleges are making plans to welcome recruits’ signatures on Dec. 20 as if it were the old February date, and nearly every player in the area who has verbally committed to a school has indicated an intent to sign rather than wait. 

The alternative would be to hold off until February to see what options remain — and some recruits who are undecided appear ready to do just that — but signing in late December may just become the new normal. 

RELATED: Checking where classes for Ohio State, Miami and Cincinnati rank in mid-December

An early signing period was discussed from time to time over the years with the date of it fluctuating with various proposals. 

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer spoke out against a potential summer date multiple times but said he could live with the December date after it became the new law of the land in May. 

“I was really opposed to a (signing day in) June and August,” Meyer told WSYX TV in Columbus. “I think December is OK.” 

Along with the new signing date will come a change in when players are allowed to make official visits, too. 

Class of 2018 prospects still had to wait until the beginning of their senior year to take official visits, which are paid for by the school. Many also make unofficial visits, but the prospect has to pay for those on their own. 

Beginning next year, juniors are eligible to take official visits as early as April 1. 

Meyer is happy about that but expressed concern about moving up the recruiting calendar. 

However, in many ways the new dates for visits and signing reflect changes that already occurred. 

Recruits of every pedigree — from five-star blue chips to lightly recruited three-star prospects — have been making unofficial visits as underclassmen and issuing verbal commitments earlier and earlier for a decade or more. 

Filling nearly every slot in a recruiting class by the end of the summer has gone from unheard of to the norm at many schools, including Ohio State, so letting players go ahead and put pen to paper made a certain amount of sense. 

Miami University coach Chuck Martin said in July he would prefer to see an even more drastic change. 

“It should be before the senior year,” Martin told this news organization at MAC football media days in July. "That's an early signing period. All these kids are committed now. How many kids in America that are juniors are committed right now? Why don't we have them sign? Because a few of the big boys don't want them to sign so they can poach them. No one wants to say it, but it's a fact.”

Not that the former Notre Dame assistant blames the big schools for throwing their weight around when they need to. 

“And if I was at Alabama, I wouldn't want an early signing period either,” Martin said. “I would want to be able on Jan. 28 to go steal somebody. If we're trying to teach kids what commitment is and what your word is, it makes no sense.” 

He also noted another unfortunate reality of recruiting: Sometimes schools pull offers, even from players who have been committed for months. 

“There are teams in our league that have dropped guys in January,” he said. "I'm not going to name names, but I know who they are. They just dropped them. Well, if they had signed, it protects the high school kid. It makes, no one has ever given me a compelling argument why we don't have one, but we still don't have it, so go figure."  

FLASHBACK: How last year’s classes ended up for the Buckeyes, Bearcats and RedHawks

If the new early signing period is an improvement —giving players who sign some piece of mind six weeks early — in some ways, it’s still far from perfect. 

Meyer lamented in late November being unsure how many players he can or needs to sign this recruiting cycle because he has an untold number of players with eligibility remaining who could enter the NFL draft early. 

They don’t have to make that decision until the middle of January, so his roster might have a different look than expected less than a month after the early signing period. 

“The other thing you’re going to see is the guy you keep on the back burner and try to flip him at the end, he signs on (Dec.) 20th, you don’t have those guys either,” Meyer said Nov. 13. “So it’s going to be an interesting year.”

Ah, yes, there is that issue Martin mentioned, too: Wooing players who are committed elsewhere. 

Meyer speaks often of saving a few spots for late-bloomers, those who might grow into high-level prospects only as seniors. 

Everyone does it, but Meyer more than most coaches has a reputation for flipping players who are committed to other schools, sometimes shortly before the old February signing day. 

Among the many players he lured away from previous commitments is Dwayne Haskins, his likely starting quarterback for next season. 

Two weeks before signing day in 2016, he decided to be a Buckeye rather than play for his home-state school, Maryland. 

Current Buckeye defensive tackle Robert Landers, a Wayne graduate, was going to West Virginia before his senior season convinced Meyer to offer him an OSU scholarship in December 2014. 

Wayne grad Robert Landers is one of Ohio State's key defensive linemen and one of the best interviews on the team. His mom made sure of the second one while he was growing up, and he explained how.

That is just two examples, but they serve as a reminder everyone has a unique situation. 

So while there is no doubt recruiting has entered a new world, just what consequences — intended or not — will come remains to be seen. 

Only time will tell — and it’s almost time to start finding out. 

Tailgating Recipes in The Flavor of Football Presented by Texas Pete® – Beer Cheese Top for Brats

Published: Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 4:16 PM

Tailgating Recipes in The Flavor of Football Presented by Texas Pete® – Beer Cheese Top for Brats
Find all the delicious tailgating recipes that you’ll need for your Saturday tailgate. Each week Texas Pete’s Flavor of Football will highlight a new recipe that is sure to be a hit at your tailgate.
Check out this week’s tailgating recipe:
 
Ingredients:
6-8 bratwurst links, fresh (about 2 1/1 lbs.)
6-8 of your favorite bun
Condiments; whole grain mustard, mayonnaise, ketchup
Beer Cheese
 
1 (12 oz.) lager, dark beer
4 C Monterey Jack Cheese, (set aside ½ cup for topping), shredded
4 (oz.) cream cheese, cubed
1-2 Tbsp. Texas Pete® Extra Mild Wing Sauce
Directions:
1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, add beer and bring to simmer.
2. Add cream cheese, whisking till melted.
3. Turn heat to low and add shredded cheese to the beer mixture, slowly stirring until the cheese melts and is smooth.
4. Stir in Texas Pete® Extra Mild Wing Sauce, combining completely.
5. Serve hot or can be refrigerated over night. Reheat before servicing.
For more delicious recipes visit TexasPete.com.

The post Tailgating Recipes in The Flavor of Football Presented by Texas Pete® – Beer Cheese Top for Brats appeared first on SEC Country.

Tailgating Recipes in The Flavor of Football Presented by Texas Pete® – Pepper Relish Top for Brats

Published: Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 4:15 PM

 
Tailgating Recipes in The Flavor of Football Presented by Texas Pete® –  Pepper Relish Top for Brats
 
Find all the delicious tailgating recipes that you’ll need for your Saturday tailgate. Each week Texas Pete’s Flavor of Football will highlight a new recipe that is sure to be a hit at your tailgate.
Check out this week’s tailgating recipe:
 
Ingredients:
6-8 bratwurst links, fresh (about 2 1/1 lbs.)
6-8 of your favorite bun
Condiments; whole grain mustard, mayonnaise, ketchup
 
Pepper Relish
 
1 (12 oz.) jar of Sweet Bell Pepper Relish
½ C Texas Pete® Sautéed Garlic Flavor Hot Sauce
 
Directions:
1. Mix together and refrigerate until ready to serve.
For more delicious recipes visit TexasPete.com.

The post Tailgating Recipes in The Flavor of Football Presented by Texas Pete® – Pepper Relish Top for Brats appeared first on Diehards.

Tailgating Recipes in The Flavor of Football Presented by Texas Pete® – Pepper Relish Top for Brats

Published: Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 4:06 PM

Tailgating Recipes in The Flavor of Football Presented by Texas Pete® –  Pepper Relish Top for Brats
 
Find all the delicious tailgating recipes that you’ll need for your Saturday tailgate. Each week Texas Pete’s Flavor of Football will highlight a new recipe that is sure to be a hit at your tailgate.
Check out this week’s tailgating recipe:
 
Ingredients:
6-8 bratwurst links, fresh (about 2 1/1 lbs.)
6-8 of your favorite bun
Condiments; whole grain mustard, mayonnaise, ketchup
 
Pepper Relish
 
1 (12 oz.) jar of Sweet Bell Pepper Relish
½ C Texas Pete® Sautéed Garlic Flavor Hot Sauce
 
Directions:
1. Mix together and refrigerate until ready to serve.
For more delicious recipes visit TexasPete.com.

The post Tailgating Recipes in The Flavor of Football Presented by Texas Pete® – Pepper Relish Top for Brats appeared first on SEC Country.