Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Basketball Dominates Royals Sports Highlights of 2009-2010

Another school year has come and gone. Thoughts of cool, autumn nights with the football lights shining down and the sight of combines in the background seem like they were just yesterday. The tremendous basketball season was such a fun ride but, like all fun rides, ended too soon. Spring and graduation came and went as quick as the dandelions popped up in my yard. Before we know it, it will be mid-August and we’ll be doing it all over again.

Although I wasn’t involved in much of the Royals athletic scene this year besides basketball, I did some research and formulated what I think are the top 10 sports highlights of the school year. Forgive me if I missed something obvious, and have fun reminiscing.

#10—Homecoming Victory over Lynville-Sully
“[Travis] Guy rushed for 95 yards and three scores and he also completed 5 of 10 passes for 46 yards and a touchdown. Ethan Jamison scored on an 80-yard run, Bryan Angell hauled in a 6-yard touchdown pass, Eley totaled 42 yards rushing and receiving and Tyler Erickson rushed for 44 yards for the Royals.”—Ames Tribune

#9—Young Talent on Girls Basketball Team Provides Plenty of Optimism for Future
Despite their 4-19 record, the girls showed marked progress toward the end of the year. The top two performers were a sophomore and freshman in Jessica Johnson (All Conference Honorable Mention) and Madison Eley (2nd Team All Conference). Johnson averaged 7 points per game and Eley averaged 10 points per game. Four others who saw significant playing time will be back next year—Makayla Klonglan, Alyssa Speake, Michelle Van Loon and Erica Babinat.

#8—Double OT Victory over North Polk Boys Basketball On Brandon Eley’s Birthday
“There is no better birthday present Colo-Nesco’s Brandon Eley could have received than the one he gave himself when the Royal boys’ basketball team took on North Polk Dec. 21 in Alleman.

Eley struggled for most of the night in a defensive battle between two of the top Heart of Iowa Conference Small School Division teams. But the birthday boy came through in a big way during crunch time, hitting three clutch shots, including the game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer in the second overtime, to give his team a huge 57-56 victory.”—Ames Tribune

#7—Football All District Team: Weston Neuendorf: 1st Team OL; Adam Good: 1st Team LB; Travis Guy: 1st Team DB

#6—Cross Country State Qualifiers: Shelby Dailey and Sean Dulaney

#5—State Track Qualifiers: Sarah Hansen—long jump (broke school record); Shelby Dailey—3000 meter; Brandon Eley—110 high hurdles

#4—Brandon Eley named Ames Tribune Mid Iowa Boys Basketball Player of the Year for 2nd Straight Year

#3—Brandon Eley named to 1st Team All-State Boys Basketball

#2—Hall of Fame Night vs. Roland Story Basketball
“Our biggest highlight of the year had to be the night they inducted the 1990 championship team into the Hall of Pride,” Wynja said. “Our kids played their hearts out to make everyone there proud to be a Royal. It was a special night, and one I won’t ever forget.”—Ames Tribune

#1—Boys Basketball Team Finishes 20-3; HOIC Small-Conference Champs; Break School Record for Most Victories in Regular Season

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Wizards Get #1 Pick. Does It Even Matter?

The NBA held its annual “lottery” for the upcoming draft Tuesday night, with Washington grabbing the #1 pick. Some are questioning whether the NBA’s current system of assigning a certain number of ping-pong balls to teams based on their record, and using a lottery style selection is the best way to see who gets the top pick. In the NFL, the worst team automatically gets the #1 spot. Ditto for Major League Baseball. But if the last 25 years are any indication, getting the #1 pick rarely guarantees championships in the NBA. Since 1985, only 4 players that were drafted number one eventually captured titles (David Robinson, Shaquille O’Neal, Glenn Robinson, Tim Duncan), and only two of those four were with their original team—Tim Duncan and David Robinson. Not only does having the top pick not guarantee success for your team, it doesn’t even mean that player will attain elite status. Of the past 5 NBA drafts, only one player (Derrick Rose) has made an NBA All-Star Game. In the past 25 years, 15 of those top picks have played in 2 All Star Games or less. Of course, not all #1 picks have been busts; here’s a list of my top 10 number one picks in the last 25 years:

1. Shaquille O’Neal (1992)—Orlando Magic—4 NBA Titles; 15 Time All Star; 1 MVP
2. Tim Duncan (1997)—San Antonio Spurs—4 NBA Titles; 12 Time All Star; 2 MVP’s
3. David Robinson (1987)—San Antonio Spurs—2 NBA Titles; 10 Time All Star; 1 MVP
4. LeBron James (2003)—Cleveland Cavaliers—6 Time All Star; 2 MVP’s
5. Allen Iverson (1996)—Philadelphia 76ers—11 Time All Star; 1 MVP
6. Dwight Howard (2004)—Orlando Magic—4 Time All Star
7. Patrick Ewing (1985)—New York Knicks—11 Time All Star
8. Yao Ming (2002)—Houston Rockets—7 Time All Star
9. Derrick Rose (2008)—Chicago Bulls—1 Time All Star
10. Chris Webber (1993)—Golden State—5 Time All Star

And my top five #1 busts in the last 25 years:

1. Michael Olowokandi (1998)—Los Angeles Clippers
2. Kwame Brown (2001)—Washington Wizards
3. Greg Oden (2007)—Portland Trail Blazers
4. Pervis Ellison (1989)—Sacramento Kings
5. Andrew Bogut (2006)—Milwaukee Bucks

Here’s the rest of the list by year that don’t fall into either category:

1. Brad Daugherty (1986)—Cleveland Cavaliers—5 Time All Star
2. Danny Manning (1988)—Los Angeles Clippers—2 Time All Star
3. Derrick Coleman (1990)—New Jersey Nets—1 Time All Star
4. Larry Johnson (1991)—Charlotte Hornets—2 Time All Star
5. Glenn Robinson (1994)—Milwaukee Bucks—1 NBA Title; 2 Time All Star
6. Joe Smith (1995)—Golden State
7. Elton Brand (1999)—Chicago Bulls—2 Time All Star
8. Kenyon Martin (2000)—New Jersey Nets—1 Time All Star
9. Andrea Bargnani (2006)—Toronto Raptors
10. Blake Griffin (2009)—Los Angeles Clippers

Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Sports Tribute To Moms

“My mother is my root, my foundation. She planted the seed that I base my life on, and that is the belief that the ability to achieve starts in your mind.”
-- Michael Jordan

My parents are my backbone. Still are. They're the only group that will support you if you score zero or you score 40.
--Kobe Bryant

Our Mother’s Day schedule is a replica of the life of a mom: crazy. We will begin our day by rising early for breakfast, getting kids and ourselves ready for the 8:30 a.m. church service, and finish our morning worship activities by teaching the College and Career Sunday School class at 9:30. As part of our ministry to our church’s college students (a class of 25-30 wonderful young people), we provide a weekly breakfast item along with juice and coffee, most of which my wife usually prepares. From there, we will have lunch with her parents at a restaurant in Ankeny, with (hopefully) just enough time to spare to arrive for our oldest sons soccer game in Greenfield, a mere 83 miles from home. I know this doesn’t sound like much of a relaxing day for my wife, but such is the life of a mom, especially one who has children in sports. It’s a life of sacrifice and selflessness. And seriously, without moms, would there even be sports? Could Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, or LeBron James have turned into the best basketball players in the world without their moms? Who would have taken them to countless basketball practices, camps and games? Who would have washed their jerseys and sweaty socks and underwear 4 or 5 times a week? Who would have organized their schedules, making sure they were where they were supposed to be 24/7? Who would have scheduled their doctor’s appointments and prepared them nutritious meals and made sure they put their hats and gloves on when it was cold? Who would have consoled them after tough losses, cheered them on at nearly every game, and encouraged them not to give up? Who would’ve provided snacks and drinks, participated in fund-raisers, and encouraged their children to work hard, maintain a positive attitude, and have good sportsmanship? In most cases, it’s Mom. Recently, a study was done to find the monetary value of the job of a mother. It was found that all the things moms do was worth about $145,000 a year. But we all know you cannot place a monetary value on the role of a mother. A mother is priceless. I wish to say a big thank you to my wife, my mom, and every mom out there-- sports mom or non-sports mom. Thanks for all you do. You really are priceless. Happy Mothers Day!

Andrew Gogerty