Middies’ last game, first game in arenas to be broadcast online

Published: Tuesday, December 05, 2017 @ 11:43 AM


            The final basketball game at historic Wade E. Miller Gym and the first game at Miller Arena this weekend will be broadcast online thanks to a local church. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
The final basketball game at historic Wade E. Miller Gym and the first game at Miller Arena this weekend will be broadcast online thanks to a local church. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

The final basketball game at historic Wade E. Miller Gym and the first game at Miller Arena this weekend will be broadcast online thanks to a Middletown church.

RELATED: 5 things to know about Middletown’s storied Wade E. Miller Gym

Stratford Heights Church of God has volunteered its television production equipment to be used for Friday’s last game at Miller Gym and Saturday night’s first game at Miller Arena. The games will be streamed live on the church’s website, SHCOG.com.

The longtime broadcasting team of Lenny Robinson and Marty Flesher, who covered the Middies for many years on TVMiddletown, are teaming up for these two history-making games.

MORE: Here’s who made our list of Middletown High School’s greatest basketball players

“These are special games and it will be a treasure to have them broadcast and recorded,” Aaron Zupka, Middletown’s athletic director, said in a statement.

MORE: Middies great Jerry Lucas shares memories of Wade E. Miller Gym

Ray Phillips, senior pastor at the church, said while Miller Gym opened in 1952, his church’s heritage dates back to 1915 having started on Clayton Street.

“We appreciate the heritage both the Middies and we have in Middletown and, by being able to broadcast these games, it is just one more way we can help serve our community,” he said.

Robinson said it was important to broadcast these games so history could be preserved for future generations.

MORE: ‘It was the place to been seen,’ son of legendary Middies coach says of Wade E. Miller Gym

The Middies play Butler County rival Hamilton on Friday, then Lima Sr. on Saturday.

A limited number of tickets remain for sale for both nights and fans wishing to attend these two games should not wait for getting tickets at the door, said Zupka. Tickets are on sale at the athletic department office in the Manchester building.

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NFL Draft: Cleveland Browns take OSU CB Ward fourth

Published: Thursday, April 26, 2018 @ 8:15 PM


            ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 29: Tyler Vaughns #21 of the USC Trojans pulls in a pass against Jeffrey Okudah #29 of the Ohio State Buckeyes during the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic at AT&T Stadium on December 29, 2017 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 29: Tyler Vaughns #21 of the USC Trojans pulls in a pass against Jeffrey Okudah #29 of the Ohio State Buckeyes during the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic at AT&T Stadium on December 29, 2017 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

UPDATE, 8:36 p.m.

The Cleveland Browns selected Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward with the fourth overall pick after taking Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield first overall.

The New York Giants took Penn State running back Saquon Barkley second, and the New York Jets picked USC quarterback Sam Darnold third.

This is the second time in three years an Ohio State player has gone in the top four picks after San Diego took Joey Bosa third in 2016.

Original report:

The Cleveland Browns selected Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield with the first pick in the NFL Draft tonight.

The Browns also own the fourth pick in the draft and will be back on the clock in about an half hour.

This is the third time since 2012 the Browns have drafted a quarterback in the first round. They selected Johnny Manziel 22nd overall in 2014 and Brandon Weeden 22nd overall in 2012. The team picked DeShone Kizer in the second round last year and took Cody Kessler in the third round in 2016.

Mayfield, who is expected to backup Tyrod Taylor for the Browns in 2018, is the first Oklahoma player to be the first pick in the draft since the Rams took Sam Bradford 2010, and the fourth overall (Billy Sims, Lions, 1980; and Lee Roy Selmon, Buccaneers, 1976).

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5 things to know about the NFL draft

Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 11:52 AM

PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 27:  Members of the military march on stage prior to the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on April 27, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 27: Members of the military march on stage prior to the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on April 27, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)(Elsa/Getty Images)

The 83rd NFL draft is this week in Arlington, Texas. 

Here is what you need to know before the league’s annual talent grab kicks off: 

1. Round one is Thursday night, and fans will have more viewing options. 

For the first time, the entire draft will be available on broadcast television as Fox will simulcast the NFL Network’s coverage of rounds 1-3 on its broadcast channel. ABC will simulcast ESPN’s coverage of rounds 4-7. 

Along with the traditional broadcast on ESPN, the College GameDay crew will provide a “college-themed viewing option of round one” on ESPN2. 

The second and third rounds are scheduled for Friday night and the rest of the draft will be held Saturday. 

2. Quarterbacks will dominate the storylines even more than usual. 

Josh Allen of Wyoming, Sam Darnold of USC, Josh Rosen of UCLA, Baker Mayfield of Oklahoma and Lamar Jackson of Louisville are all in the mix to be taken in the first round. 

The last time five quarterbacks were taken in the first round was 1999, when the Browns took Tim Couch out of Kentucky with the No. 1 pick and the Bengals selected Akili Smith out of Oregon two picks later. 

The most QBs taken in one draft is six (1983). 

Ohio State quarterback JT Barrett explains what he has been doing since the NFL Scouting Combine, how his workout in Cincinnati went and more.

3. The Cleveland Browns will pick first for the second year in a row. 

Last year, they went with Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett. 

This time they are expected to pick a quarterback, though they could go with Penn State running back Saquon Barkley. 

The Browns pick again at No. 4, so they could end up with the PSU star and their quarterback of the future.  

4. The Cincinnati Bengals pick 21st. 

The Bengals traded down from the 12th slot to get offensive lineman Cordy Glenn from the Bills. 

That helped address a glaring need in Cincinnati, and team officials say it makes picking addressing a need and picking the best player available easier rather than having to choose one or the other. 

RELATED: 7-round mock draft

They might go for another offensive tackle, address the overall team speed on defense or perhaps take a center. 

5. Ohio State will be heavily involved again. 

Eleven Buckeyes were invited to the NFL Scouting Combine with Denzel Ward, Billy Price and Sam Hubbard considered the best available prospects

Ward and Ohio State coach Urban Meyer are scheduled to be at the draft. 

If Ward chosen in the first round, Ohio State would become the first school in the common draft era (since 1967) to have five defensive backs selected in the first round over a three-year span. 

One of the potential storylines to watch Saturday: Will anyone take a flier on J.T. Barrett

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Sports Today: NFL draft day drama gets an early start

Published: Thursday, April 26, 2018 @ 10:02 AM

Ohio State's Nick Bosa tackles Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, at Ohio Stadium in Columbus. David Jablonski/Staff
HANDOUT/David Jablonski/Staff
Ohio State's Nick Bosa tackles Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, at Ohio Stadium in Columbus. David Jablonski/Staff(HANDOUT/David Jablonski/Staff)

Hey there, how’s your NFL draft day going so far? 

Good, I hope. 

Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield was dominating the morning news cycle as I sat down to write this, and there were two pretty good reasons: 

First, he totally nailed recreating a classic Brett Favre draft day photo. 

Second, he apparently could be the No. 1 pick in the draft by the Cleveland Browns. 

This is a fascinating development because I like Mayfield a lot, and I think he could be a really good NFL quarterback. 

He’s got that chutzpah that likely will either cause him to soar once he hits the league or crash and burn spectacularly. 

That attitude could be good for a Browns franchise that lacks swagger outside of its live-dog mascot, but taking him No. 1 kind of works against conventional draft wisdom. 

Of course, that might not be a bad thing, especially for a franchise that has drafted so poorly. 

RELATED: Can the Browns go wrong with the No. 1 pick?

Mayfield has the ability to star in the NFL, but he might be the least talented of the top five quarterbacks in this draft, too. 

That’s notable because teams typically use their high first-round picks to maximize raw talent on their roster. 

Then again, there is risk involved in taking any of the five quarterbacks, so maybe getting the guy with the best intangibles makes sense… 

As the Cincinnati Bengals season circled the drain in December, I began hoping Mayfield would be the guy their next coach would want to replace Andy Dalton. 

Of course, they somehow righted the ship late in the season, inexplicably retained Marvin Lewis as head coach and committed to keeping Jon Kitna 2.0 as the starter so all that is out the window. 

I still believe — even with Dalton the definite starter this season — Lamar Jackson would be the best pick they could make at No. 21. That would allow them to develop him slowly until he becomes either Dalton’s replacement or a very valuable backup/trade chip. 

I don’t pay a lot of attention to mock drafts, but I have seen more than one pairing Arkansas center Frank Ragnow with the Bengals at No. 21. 

That would be a very strong pick as far as need and value in that slot… 

Meanwhile, the NBA playoffs continue to provide nightly entertainment.  

LeBron James is still doing everything he can to carry the Cleveland Cavaliers into round two. 

He came up with decisive plays on both ends of the floor in the last 30 seconds last night, blocking* a Victor Oladipo layup then canning the game-winning 3-pointer. 

(*It might have been goal tending, but I am guessing LeBron shoots a 3 at the end either way so I’m not sure it matters.) 

Later in the evening, the Rockets eliminated the Timberwolves and Russell Westbrook scored 45 points to keep the Oklahoma City Thunder alive in their series against Utah. 

The Jazz blew a 25-point lead but still are on top in the series 3-2. 

Right now all four second-round matchups look pretty intriguing, assuming the Raptors and Cavs take care of business… 

College basketball also made news yesterday with the publishing of a report suggesting various reforms the NCAA should institute. 

I wrote about this yesterday from the perspective of how the model of getting from high school to the pros could change

Perhaps I should have gotten more into the things that were left out, but I knew all the writers out there who are smarter and more progressive than I am and thus hate everything about the NCAA would cover compensation and whatnot, so I didn’t feel the need. 

In an interview with The Athletic, committee chair Condoleezza Rice answered concerns about the current compensation model pretty well. 

“What we wanted to say is there is a value proposition at the heart of the collegiate model that is different from the professional model. That value proposition is, you get to play. You get to hone your sport. You get the best coaching. You get nutrition. You get all of those things and most importantly, you get a college degree, which by the way will give you earning potential a million dollars over a non-college graduate over your lifetime; will give you contacts and mentoring that will serve you well the rest of your life; and, oh by the way, you get it for free as opposed to the kid down the hall who’s taking down loans and working 20 hours a week to get what you can get.”

Defending just about any aspect of the status quo on social media is frowned upon, but that is no excuse for letting so many ignore the many good things that come with the current system (despite its flaws). 

If the whole system were nuked and turned into another minor league, I think a lot of people would be disappointed with the result and more athletes (not to mention fans and local economies) would be worse off than would see real benefits, so I applaud Rice for taking this stance and for spelling out those benefits that are often overlooked... 

Continuing to let Brandon Finnegan work through things in the major leagues continues to hurt the Reds. 

Manager Jim Riggleman might have pulled him too soon in a 5-4 loss to the Braves last night, but it’s hard to blame him for having little trust in the hittable lefty. 

After missing almost all of last year because of multiple injuries, Finnegan pitched only 5.1 inning in spring training and hasn’t been very good in any of his starts since the regular season began. 

Otherwise, his presence in the rotation makes complete sense. 

Anyway, now that the offense is putting up enough runs to provide the bullpen with leads to blow, it feels like the season has finally started for the Reds… 

If you’re wondering about starting pitching in Triple-A, Robert Stephenson is 1-2 with a 2.95 ERA in four starts. He has struck out 20 in 21.1 innings, but he has also walked 17. 

Justin Nicolino, a late-spring acquisition, is 1-1 with a 3.0 ERA while Jose Lopez and Jackson Stephens both have ERAs over 5.0… 

Finally here’s a bit of breaking news this morning: Dunbar officials have admitted they messed up in their fight to get back into the boys’ basketball tournament in March. 

All that means is the Wolverines shouldn’t have been allowed to play in a sectional final game they won over Fenwick, fellow-DPS member Thurgood Marshall got a raw deal by not being allowed to play that game and DPS wasted public money fighting the OHSAA in court. 

Oh, and Dunbar is banned from next year’s tournament, too. 

What a disgrace. 

Obviously the players who were involved in the fight that started all this in January bear some blame, but this is another example of adults letting them down. 

How long will that be allowed to continue? 

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Fenwick AD on Dunbar announcement: ‘Everyone knows that we got the bad end of the stick’

Published: Thursday, April 26, 2018 @ 1:11 PM

Dunbar’s Michael Elmore holds the ball during the Wolverines’ 27-26 win over Fenwick in a Division II sectional final March 7 at the University of Dayton Arena. MARC PENDLETON/STAFF
Dunbar’s Michael Elmore holds the ball during the Wolverines’ 27-26 win over Fenwick in a Division II sectional final March 7 at the University of Dayton Arena. MARC PENDLETON/STAFF

Fenwick High School’s boys basketball season ended with a 27-26 loss to Dunbar in a Division II sectional final March 7.

Nothing is going to change that.

»RELATED: DPS admits it was wrong in Dunbar fight

» THE GAME: Dunbar 27, Fenwick 26

»RELATED: Step-by-step look at Dunbar case

Dunbar was scheduled to play Fenwick, then the Ohio High School Athletic Association replaced the Wolverines with Thurgood Marshall in the tournament because of an ineligible player. Dayton Public Schools went to court and got Dunbar reinstated while Fenwick dealt with all the uncertainty from a distance.

On Thursday, DPS superintendent Elizabeth Lolli made a public apology to Fenwick, Thurgood Marshall and the OHSAA after new evidence showed that Dunbar did indeed use an ineligible player in a postseason game and should not have been allowed to play Fenwick.

Fenwick athletic director Michael Coleman issued the following statement in response:

“Everyone knows that we got the bad end of the stick. This was really unfair for our kids and community, especially since we can’t go back to what the scenario should have been. Everyone involved could have handled this situation better.”

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