Friday, January 24, 2020
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Care and prevention of golf injuries

I have been taking care of 150 of the world’s top women golf professionals at Hunters Ridge Golf Course in Marion at the Ladies Titan Tire Challenge the past week. I was the Sports Medicine Chair for this event, and this allowed me to assemble a stout group of area sports medicine specialists (including Zach Johnson’s dad, local chiropractor Dave Johnson) that took care of the golfers all week.

Let’s take a closer look at common golf injuries to high school golfers and discuss some pearls of wisdom from the pros.

Golf injuries occur in 20 to 40 percent of high school golfers. Low back pain is the most common area of concern, followed by injuries to the hip, shoulder and wrist. There are many reasons that these injuries occur, including poor posture at setup, poor swing mechanics, improper grip, improper club fit, poor flexibility and poor core stability.

Golf professionals and golf coaches are experts in the area of the key components of the golf swing (proper swing mechanics, proper club fit and proper grip) and to some degree the golf posture at setup.


The Games We Played: Memories of a Marion Boyhood

(First of a three-part series)

In modern times, children are often led into sports by their parents, who transport them to soccer or T-ball practice when they are as young as five. They become athletes before they are fans.

Seventy years ago, in mid-20th century Marion, sports came to us out of the culture of childhood, as naturally as shooting marbles or playing tag.

That first spark of interest may have come when we were four years old, rough-housing with our grandfathers. Or when we were seven or eight, during mad scrambles at recess as we ran and wrestled on the leaf-strewn school yard. Perhaps it was listening with our fathers, on a Sunday afternoon, to a Cubs doubleheader on the radio. Or studying older boys at softball, and then asking our parents for a glove.

On the north side of town, we tended to take up softball first, around fourth grade. There was a make-shift diamond on the Emerson school yard, and baseball was by far America’s most popular sport. We learned the lore of the sandlot game from older kids, who taught us how to hold a ball (three fingers across the seam) and how to grip a bat (not cross-handed!).

A few fathers played catch with their sons, or hit them grounders and flies, but for the most part we had no coaches. We improved at sports through the act of playing them.


It's clean up time in Columbus

The hottest topic in sports, again, doesn’t have anything to do with something that happened on the playing field. The Ohio State mess and Jim Tressel’s resignation have become the topic du jour.

More than a month ago, I speculated that the seat was getting too hot and the evidence too damning and that Tressel would not coach the Buckeyes in 2011. The Buckeyes, too, I think will not be able to play those six players who have been implicated, including Terrell Pryor, in any games this year.

I think that gang will have to wait for the NFL strike to end and make their deals as they become available.

Since all of this business has been going on since at least 2002, the NCAA is going to take a jaundiced look at the Ohio State program. And I think their penalty will be very similar to what Southern California is going through at the moment.

There will be forfeiture of games, and trophies, if they can find them in the tattoo parlor. There will be no bowl appearances, and I do believe that Ohio State will not be eligible for the upcoming Big Ten football playoffs if they would somehow qualify.

It is going to be harsh and will require great cleansing in Columbus. Does this hurt the Big Ten and its image? Probably it’s a bruising, but not a major factor. I can tell you one thing from my experience with universities: No individual is bigger than the institution.

And now that institution has to clean itself before that football program can be viable again.


Matt Holland Louisville Slugger All-American

Matt Holland of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi has become the first player in school history to be named a Louisville Slugger NCAA Division I All-American.

Holland, who graduated from Marion High School in 2006, hit .391 with 10 homers and 53 RBIs for Texas A&M-Corpus Christi as a senior. He was named a third team All-American.

"We couldn't be more thrilled for Matt Holland to have earned this honor," Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Coach Scott Malone said. "As impressive as his performance on the field was this season, his presence as a leader and a model student-athlete were even more noteworthy.


Warrior girls 3rd in state team tennis

IOWA CITY - The Washington girls tennis team shrugged off the disappointment of losing its semifinals match and shutout West Des Moines Valley, 5-0, Saturday for third place in the Class 2A girls state tennis team tournament.

The Warriors were beaten by Iowa City West, 5-2, in Saturday morning's semifinals. Kristin King and Olivia Brooks took their No. 2 and 3 singles matches for Washington's wins. Katie Hammond, who finished third in the individual singles championships completed Friday, was beaten by West's Lola White-Baer, 6-2, 6-3, at No. 1 singles. White-Baer and Lilli Oetting finished second in doubles. The Warriors' King beat Oetting in singles Saturday.

Hammond bounced back and dispatched Valley's Jenni Aldrich, 6-2, 6-1, to fuel the Warriors in the third-place meet. King, Brooks, Rina Moore and Lanie Sabin also won.

Hammond finished her junior season with a 20-5 singles mark. She also is a member of the Washington girls soccer team that plays Linn-Mar on Monday at Kingston Stadium in the regional final for a state tournament berth.

Valley was beaten by Ames, 5-1, in the semifinals.

Ames beat Iowa City West, 5-1, for its third straight team title.

Waterloo Columbus beat Dubuque Wahlert, 5-3, in the 1A championship at Waterloo. It is Columbus' 14th state team title.



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