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Ohio State’s Jesse Owens makes list of top 50 black athletes, but no Tiger Woods

Published: Wednesday, August 09, 2017 @ 7:15 AM

Former Ohio State track & field superstar Jesse Owens (1913 - 1980), on the left, won four gold medals at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. He's pictured here with former competitor Ralph Metcalfe (1910 - 1978).
Getty Images
Former Ohio State track & field superstar Jesse Owens (1913 - 1980), on the left, won four gold medals at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. He's pictured here with former competitor Ralph Metcalfe (1910 - 1978).(Getty Images)

There are several Ohio-connected superstars and former stars on a new ranking of the top 50 black athletes of all time, including long-ago Ohio State track &field phenom Jesse Owens at No. 5, but this list is controversial to say the least as golfer Tiger Woods did not make the cut.

Neither did Dayton native Edwin Moses, who won Olympic gold medals in 1976 and ‘84 (the United States boycotted the game in 1980 in Moscow, Russia), two world championships and 107 consecutive races in the 400 meter hurdles  while setting four world records and serving as a pioneer in the areas of Olympic eligibility and drug testing.

“Undefeated,” an ESPN product, put the list together, and it’s hard to fuss much about the top five: Basketball player Michael Jordan, baseball player Jackie Robinson, boxer Muhammad Ali of Louisville, baseball player Willie Mays and Owens, winner of four gold medals in the 1936 Olympiad.

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But no Tiger Woods? 

Sure, he’s been on the sidelines for a couple years with back problems and so forth, but he’s won 14 majors, second all-time to former Ohio State star and Upper Arlington native Jack Nicklaus!

Even ESPN’s Michael Wilbon ripped the list -- on the Undefeated website!

Former Celtics center Bill Russell -- owner of 11 NBA titles, five NBA MVP awards and 12 All-Star spots -- all the way down at No. 36?

Cavs King LeBron James at No. 29, one spot behind Steph Curry of the Warriors? 

At least former Browns running back Jim Brown, long the NFL’s career rushing leader even though he played but nine professional seasons, came in at No. 30 and former Reds outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. ranked at No. 37.

But there’s some chatter about this list, as you can see.

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Cougars thump Dragons in series finale, 13-4

Published: Monday, July 16, 2018 @ 4:41 PM
Updated: Monday, July 16, 2018 @ 11:32 PM

Dragons manager Luis Bolivar addresses a 13-4 loss to visiting Kane County at Fifth Third Field on Monday, July 16, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Dragons starting pitcher Adrian Rodriguez has a tough assignment: show he’s fully recovered from Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery.

From Mexico and acquired by the parent-club Cincinnati Reds as a free agent in 2014, Rodriguez missed the last half of the 2016 season after being injured and all of last season.

»RELATED: Dragons first baseman suspended 50 games

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He had hoped to finish off vising Kane County (Diamondbacks) for a sweep at Fifth Third Field on Monday night. Instead, he was tagged with the loss (4-5, 7.63 ERA) after being lit for eight earned runs and nine hits in 3.1 innings.

“It was tough on him,” Dragons manager Luis Bolivar said. “Hopefully, (he’ll) make some adjustments and come out better next time. He needs to keep working and keep getting stronger and good things will happen if you keep doing that.”

The Cougars (46-48), of the Midwest League Western Division, tallied four runs in the first inning and the rout was on. Kane County’s Jazz Chisholm had two home runs, a triple and two singles. He accounted for five RBIs and four runs to dismantle Dayton (43-50), which had a three-game win streak snapped.

»RELATED: Dragons photo gallery

Raul Wallace had a solo homer for the Dragons and Jose Garcia had his fifth straight two-hit game.

The Dragons are 12-13 in the second half and one game out of wildcard pursuit. If they’re to improve on that position anytime soon it’ll be on the road. Off Tuesday, Dayton is at Wisconsin on Wednesday and travels to Beloit on Saturday for three games each to wrap up intra-division play.

“Hopefully, we kick in to do what we have been doing,” Bolivar said. “I know we’re going to get hot and get a good winning streak. When that happens, we’re going to be in the thick of it.”

»RELATED: Streak ends but Dragons win

Dragons tales: Pitcher Packy Naughton, who extended a scoreless streak to 24 innings during a defeat of Cane County on Sunday, was named the Midwest League pitcher of the week for July 9-15 on Monday.

Naughton is a left-hander from Boston and was a ninth-round draft pick by the Reds in 2017 out of Virginia Tech University. In his last four starts Naughton has allowed just two runs over 27 innings (0.67 ERA). He went six innings in a 5-3 defeat of Cane County and improved his record to 5-8 (4.04 ERA). His 104.2 innings pitched leads the Midwest League.

In his prior start on July 9 Naughton was at his best, going eight shutout innings with nine strikeouts and allowing just two base runners in a 5-0 win at Great Lakes.

»RELATED: Former Sinclair, Hamilton pitcher wins

• Former Dragons outfielder Taylor Trammell, promoted to the high Class A Daytona Tortugas this season, had a homer and triple to earn MVP of Sunday’s SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game at Washington’s Nationals Park.

Current Dragons pitcher Hunter Greene, The Reds’ No. 1 pick and second overall in the 2017 draft, went 1.1 innings, allowing two hits and two runs to go with a walk and one strikeout. He topped out at 103.1 mph and didn’t dip below triple digits.

»RELATED: Dragons rally in 10th

Team USA defeated the World Team 10-6 to kick off Major League Baseball’s three days of All-Star Game festivities.

Greene (3-7, 4.69 ERA) has made 16 starts, all with the Dragons. He turned his season around his last nine appearances: 46.1 innings, 35 hits, 14 earned runs (2.72 ERA), 54 strikeouts and 10 walks. His next scheduled start is Friday against the Timber Rattlers at Appleton, Wisconsin.

»FACEBOOK: For more sports you should like Marc Pendleton

• Garcia, the Dragons second baseman and leadoff hitter, was punched out by a rare call in the fifth inning. The Havana, Cuba native, who speaks virtually no English, was repeatedly motioned by the umpire to return to the batter’s box after he stepped out each pitch. The umpire ended the routine by calling him out with just two strikes.

»TWITTER: You should like @MarcPendleton

Bolivar questioned the ump but there were no fireworks. It was a seldom-seen call that became popular in the 2015 season. There is no time limit for an at-bat and it’s on the ump’s discretion to make that call. It was recorded as a strikeout.

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5 things to know about the local high school football season (Vol. 1) 

Published: Monday, July 16, 2018 @ 12:37 PM

Fairmont QB Braden Miller unloads. Beavercreek defeated visiting Fairmont 14-3 in a GWOC National East high school football opener on Friday, Sept. 22, 2017. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF
Staff Writer
Fairmont QB Braden Miller unloads. Beavercreek defeated visiting Fairmont 14-3 in a GWOC National East high school football opener on Friday, Sept. 22, 2017. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF(Staff Writer)

High school football practice is getting closer, and our team previews are already rolling out. 

Miss any? 

Don’t worry! We’ll be recapping them periodically. 

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Here is version one: 

1. Fairmont wants to prove last year was no fluke. 

After being one of the surprise teams of 2017, coach Dave Miller’s Firebirds (7-4) are hungry for a second straight trip to the playoffs.

They have five marquee games on the schedule: the first two (Alter, Northmont) and the last three (Wayne, Centerville, Springfield).  

Their potential formula for success is a tale as old as time: The coach’s son (Braden) running the triple option. What’s not to love?  

»FULL STORY: Fairmont Firebirds football preview 

2. Valley View is hoping for a rousing encore, too. 

Are the Spartans back?  

One of the powerhouse programs of the ‘90s is coming off consecutive playoff appearances.  

They were undefeated in the 2017 regular season, and they don’t have to go far for firsthand stories about the glory days because the coaching staff includes former VVHS stars Brock Bolen and Andy Keating. 

»FULL STORY: Valley View football preview 

3. Greeneview could be better than last year’s 10-win team. 

The only other time the Rams went undefeated in the regular season (1996), they lost just about everybody to graduation.

Not so this time as 13 starters return, including all-conference performers Nick Clevenger, Clay Payton, Collin Wilson and Nick Wolfe. 

Quarterback Clevenger is the reigning Ohio Heritage Conference player of the year. 

»FULL STORY: Greeneview Rams football preview 

4. Arcanum looking to build off strong finish. 

Can the Trojans make a big jump in year two of the second Jason Schondelmyer era?

After going 4-6 (but winning three of their last four) in ‘17, they say numbers are up in offseason workouts. That’s never a bad thing, especially in Division VI, and especially for a team looking for its first winning season since 2008. 

They won’t have to wait to see how much progress they made in the offseason as Greeneview visits in week one. 

>>FULL STORY: Arcanum football preview 

5. Milton-Union is under new management, but it’s a familiar face. 

Like Arcanum, the Bulldogs are a former powerhouse being led again by a former head coach of the program. 

Can Bret Pearce (six playoff appearances the first time around) wake the echoes in his first season back at the helm? 

Having an experienced backfield (senior QB William Morris and senior RB Robbie Grove) helps, but they have to replace all-time leading rusher Zac Shields. 

>>FULL STORY: Milton-Union football preview 

Want more? 

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Dayton Flyers to open season on a Wednesday

Published: Monday, July 16, 2018 @ 11:13 AM

Dayton Flyers interview: Trey Landers

Two more non-conference games for the Dayton Flyers have become known in recent days.

The University of North Florida published its non-conference schedule on its website, and its first game is at Dayton on Wednesday, Nov. 7. That will be the 2018-19 season opener for both teams.

» SCHEDULE NEWS: A look at A-10 pairings

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The first day teams can play is Nov. 6. The NCAA moved up the start date from Friday to Tuesday this season so the teams can play their season openers during the week and not on a busy weekend for football.

“The start of the season had become so compressed with the holidays and exams,” Dan Gavitt, the NCAA’s senior vice president for basketball, told, “that the additional three days allows schools to better schedule the start of the season and it’s the benefit for the student athletes and coaches.”

North Florida finished 14-19 last season and ranked 282nd out of 351 teams in the Pomeroy ratings. It was one of the youngest teams in the country, ranking 331st in experience. It returns 10 of 12 players and its six top scorers.

Dayton beat the Osprey 86-71 at UD Arena on Dec. 5, 2015. That was the first meeting between the programs.

» DAYTON FEATURES: Donnie JonesJosh CunninghamTrey Landers | Ryan Mikesell

Another game that hasn’t been officially announced will be against Presbyterian. Jon Rothstein, of CBS Sports, reported that game last week, though a date was not announced.

Presbyterian, located in Clinton, S.C., finished 11-21 last season and ranked 334th in the Pomeroy ratings. It was a Division II school until 2007. It has not had a winning season since moving to Division I.

Dayton played Presbyterian once before, winning 71-52 at UD Arena on Dec. 19, 2009.

Presbyterian’s football program will join Dayton in the Pioneer Football League in 2021.

Here are the other known non-conference games:

Nov. 21: Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas. Possible opponents: Virginia, Middle Tennessee State, Butler, Florida, Oklahoma, Stanford and Wisconsin.

Nov. 22: Battle 4 Atlantis.

Nov. 23: Battle 4 Atlantis.

Nov. 30: Mississippi State at Dayton.

Dec. 8: Dayton at Auburn (reported by Rothstein).

Dec. 16: Dayton vs. Tulsa at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.

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Middletown’s Kyle Schwarber falls in finals of Home Run Derby

Published: Monday, July 16, 2018 @ 8:55 PM

Who is Kyle Schwarber? Ten facts about Middletown grad

Kyle Schwarber’s Chicago Cubs teammate, Javier Baez, watched him compete in the Home Run Derby from ESPN’s broadcast booth on the field Monday at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C..

“We’re going to have a great show from Schwarber,” Baez said.

» SCHWARBER COVERAGE: Hometown visit | A World Series champion | Strong start in 2018

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Schwarber, a Middletown High School graduate seeded fifth, delivered by advancing to the final round in his first appearance in the event. He lost 19-18 to Washington Nationals slugger Bryce Harper, who was playing in front of his home crowd.

Schwarber beat No. 4 seed Alex Bregman 16-15 in the first round. Bregman, of the Houston Astros, hit the top of the wall with his final swing.

In the semifinals, No. 8 seed Rhys Hoskins, of the Philadelphia Phillies, went first and hit 20 home runs. Schwarber hit his 21st home run in the final seconds.

» ALL-STAR GAME: Votto praises interim manager Riggleman

Schwarber, who has 18 home runs this season and 64 in his career, said competing in the Home Run Derby was on his bucket list.

“It’s one of those things you grow up watching (Ken) Griffey and (Mark) McGwire,” Schwarber said. “Now that I can do it, it’s a thing you want to do at least once.”

Schwarber’s agent, Jason Romano, was his pitcher.

“He's been throwing to me down in Florida in the off-season,” Schwarber said, “and he's a great dude and well-deserved. I would have picked my dad, but he's a little bit too old.”

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