Thursday, October 11, 2007

Hockey Season Starts With Lakers 'Blue-White' Game

The 2007-08 hockey season started for us on Saturday, with the annual Lake Superior State Lakers 'Blue-White' Game, which is an intra-squad scrimmage where the team splits up and plays each other. Nana and Papa came up from Cadillac to spend some time with us and watch the game. The game was special for us, as family friend Nathan Peterson was trying out for the team as a walk-on. We were happy to support Nathan, as he played great and showed up some of the scholarship players. Nathan stayed with us in 2006, when he was playing for the Blind River Beavers in Canada.

In the game itself, the White team came out on top again. Sophomore transfer Zac MacVoy scored two goals to lead the White team to a 7-4 victory. Other goal scorers for the White were captain Troy Schwab, Matt Cowie, Jason Blain, Steve Oleksy, and Josh Sim. Schwab and Sim also added two assists apiece. Dan Eaves had two goals for the Blue team, while Brad Cooper and walk-on candidate Kyle Waisanen rounded out the scoring. Justin Gutwald and Nik Sellers had two assists each for the Blues. The goaltenders switched team back and forth, so they all saw some action. Pat Inglis had 15 saves in the game.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Lily The Ballerina

Lily has started her ballet class and is loving it. She has class every Thursday at Lake Superior State through the Sault Academy of Performing Arts. At the end of the season in May she will be part of a big musical number called 'Send In The Clowns'. That is fitting for Lily. More pics will come in the future, this is her getting ready for her first class. She's having fun and making lots of new friends.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

'Caps Win! 'Caps Win! 2007 Midwest League Champs!

The West Michigan Whitecaps repeated their task of a year ago by winning the 2007 Midwest League Championship in a grueling five game series against the Beloit Snappers. The 'Caps won the decisive game by the score of 11-5. Michael Bertram had three hits and two RBI's and Scott Sizemore went three for five with two runs scored. West Michigan releiver Luis Marte gave up two hits and struck out a season-high nine over five scoreless innings to earn the win. The 'Caps surged in the fifth inning, scoring eight runs on five Snapper's errors. "If any field in the league in any part of this country could cause that many errors in an inning, I'd pick Pohlman Field every time," Bertram said. "The field is so rocky and hard, especially in the outfield, so I'm not too surprised there were that many."
This is the Whitepcaps third championship in four years, and it's fifth in fourteen seasons in the league. The Whitecaps jumped out to a two game lead in the series, squeaking past Beloit 4-3 and 3-2 at 5/3 Ballpark in Comstock Park. Beloit bounced back with two wins of thier own, including a 5-0 shutout in game 4, before West Michigan wrapped up the series on the road.

Former Laker Jakaitis Signs With The Toronto Marlies

Lake Superior State graduate Jeff Jakaits signed a minor league contract to play in the American Hockey League for the Toronto Marlies. Jakaitis played four years for the Lakers, earning a degree in business and setting multiple goal tending records while wearing the anchor.
In his senior season, the Rochester, Minn. native had a 16-16-3 record with a 2.31 GAA. His 16 wins ranked fourth in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. Jakaitis' career save percentage of .925 is a school record, and his career GAA was 2.39. In all, he set nine school records including most shutouts with nine, breaking Blaine Lacher's record set in 1993-94. He ranked second in career saves with 3, 446. Jeff is pictured above with Trevor and Lily taken during the 2005-06 season.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Baseball Trip 2007

Dayton, OH-7/30/07: This was our only home loss of the trip, as the Dragons fell to the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 6-1. It was a nice little stadium in Dayton, though, carved into the downtown area. We met my friend Darryl from high school and had a great time. This was the first time we were at 5/3 Field in Dayton. Got autographs for the kids from former Tiger pitcher Doug Bair.

Toledo, OH-7/31/07: This was exciting to watch AAA ball. We saw players that have been up to the 'show', like Chris Shelton and Brent Clevlen. We watched Tigers pitcher Fernando Rodney thow to a few batters as he was recooperating with the Hens. All in all, the Mud Hens doubled up the Richmond Braves 8-4 on a home run from infielder Jack Hannahan, who also had 3 RBI's in the game. 5/3 Field in Toledo is really a nice stadium (pictured above), and we probably had the most fun here.

Midland, MI-7/31/07: Our first trip to Dow Diamond to watch the Loons was a memorable one. It was a long trip up from Toledo, but it was worth it. I met former Tigers catcher Lance Parrish, and got him to sign some cards for the kids. The game was long, but got exciting in the 9th. Down 8-4, the Loons came back to tie the Clinton Lumber Kings with a four run inning. Then in the 10th they won it with a walk off home run. Honestly, I can't remember who hit it, but it was pretty thrilling. Parrish seems to be doing a good job down there as manager. This was the most gruelling day of the trip, though.

Comstock Park, MI-8/1/07: As always, it's great to watch my favorite team, the West Michigan Whitecaps. This game was really special, though, as they were playing the Peoria Chiefs who are managed by former Cub and Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg. I waited almost an hour, but is was worth it to meet him and have him autograph an Cubs baseball. I MET RYNE 'FEAKIN' SANDBERG!!!!! Awesome. We saw a great ball game, but it went quick, as the 'Caps beat the Cheifs 3-1. We saw some great defensive plays from both teams. Second baseman Scott Sizemore had two hits for the 'Caps including a double. This was a great contest between the two division leaders.

Traverse City, MI-8/2/07: The Traverse City Beach Bums held on to beat the Southern Illinois Miners 6-4. Not a bad game, but the quality of baseball is a little low compared to AAA and even A ball. We had a good time, though, and I headed back up to the Soo after the game. They gave away free steffed bears for the kids which was nice. A little cooler weather, so we liked that, too. A pretty good end to a long trip.

Because of the intense heat, we skipped the Lugnuts game in Lansing on the 1st. We were actually getting sick from the heat and lack of sleep. Still a lot of fun and look forward to planning next years trip.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Perfect Day For Putt-Putt

It was a perfect day here in Sault Ste. Marie for putt-putt gold, and Lily, Trevor, and I took advantage of it. As usual, we had a really fun time just hanging out together. I was absolutely awful, but the kids didn't do too bad. Lily sunk some nice puts, and Trever was, well, Trevor. Daddy just couldn't find the cup, either. We still had a great time and enjoyed some flav-or-ice afterwards. We're spending as much time together as possible before I leave for my four day baseball trip tomorrow.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Lily's Little League Season Concludes

Lily's baseball season has come to an end. It went by so fast, yet here we are. I can honestly say that I can't think of many things that have brought me more joy in my life than watching my daughter play ball. I am proud of her for trying it, and glad that she enjoyed herself so much. I also feel proud that I had such an influence on her playing. Again, I feel truly blessed.

Down to the game at hand. Lily completed the 2007 season on a good note both at the plate and in the field. She was able to get some balls hit to her and make some plays. She fought for a couple, too, which is good for her. I only saw two of her three plate appearances, but the ones I witnessed she did extremely well. Her first hit was a ground ball toward the third base side. Her second hit was a screaming line drive up the middle. I hear her third hit was solid as well. Most important, she had more fun playing with the other kids.
Cheering Lily on this week were Mommy and Daddy, Trevor, Grandma Nichols, and Uncle 'Muttley'. Grandma treated the kids to dinner at McDonalds after the game. Also, tonight was a 'fun night' at the ball field. I had to work and Lisa took the kids. They had fun, but nothing special going on so they went out for a picnic at Brady Park. A fun end to a fun season.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Lily Scores Big In Baseball

The Sault Little League season is winding down, but Lily certainly is not. She gave another spectacular performance on Tuesday night. In the field, she was able to make plays on most of the balls hit to her. One was a 'ground ball with eyes' that saw it's way around her glove, though. She made good throws on her plays, too. At bat Lily continues to hit the ball well. She's hitting a lot of grounders, as the coach keeps the tee a little lower than Lily is used to. She's still making solid contact, though.
The usual crowd of Mommy, Daddy, Trevor, and Grandma Nichols were there to root on our #9. I had to leave a little early, though, to make it back to work on time and missed the final half-inning of Lily in the field. Hopefully I'll be able to get a shift change on Thursday for her last game and Friday which is a 'fun day'.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Papa And Nana Watch Lily Play Ball

Lily's Papa and Nana Burrill came up from Cadillac Thursday to watch Lily play some ball. She didn't disappoint, either, playing a great game and making us all proud. She had two solid hits, one toward third base and a rocket up the middle. In the field Lily was entertaining as well. Luckily she had some balls hit to her so she could show off how good she plays defence. She made good stops and throws on all of them.
Along with Papa and Nana, Mommy, Daddy, and Trevor were in attendance to cheer Lily on. We also received her team photos and button. They turned out great. Next week is our last, as she has games on Tuesday and Thursday, and Friday is a Sault Little League 'fun day'.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Lily's Team Goes Extra Innings

Lily's baseball team played three full innings for the first time this season in Sault Little League action. That means that Lily had her first three hit game, and they all were good. She's still the only one used a wood bat, which is true to the sport. She hit solid ground balls all three at bats. Only one ball was hit to her in the field, but it was a 'ground ball with eyes' that evaded her glove and snuck through. She continues to entertain with her dance routines, though. I'm just glad she's out there having fun.
Lily had a good sized cheering section for the game, consisting of Mommy, Daddy, Trevor, Grandma Nichols, Grandma 'Pappy', and her cousin Rachel. It was our turn to bring the snacks, so granola bars and Kool-Aid Koolers were served after the game. Trevor helped me pass them out. He loved to get involved and can't wait until next year to play with Lily.

Baseball Back In Battle Creek

It didn't take long for Battle Creek to replace the Southwest Michigan Devil Rays, who left to become the Midwest League's Great Lakes Loons in Midland. This season introduced the Battle Creek Bombers who are competing in the Northwoods Baseball League. The Northwoods League is a non-professional league that consists of current NCAA college players looking to expand their skills with some summer ball. The Bombers roster has players from local colleges such as Central Michigan, and from larger Division I schools such as UCLA and Nebraska. They also play at C.O. Brown Stadium, former home of Class A teams Michigan Battle Cats, Battle Creek Yankees, and SWM Devil Rays.
The Bombers are just 2-6 in the second half of the season, but have four players on the Northwoods All-Star team who play their game this Wednesday. Here is the official website of the team:

Friday, July 13, 2007

Lily's Baseball Team Plays Shorthanded

I'm not sure if it was the fact that it was supposed to rain all day, or if a lot of families were on vacation, but only five players showed up from Lily's team in Sault Little League action. Two showed up just before it started to give them seven. The game went on, though, and Lily did a super job again. She got two solid hits and ran the bases well. Surprisingly, she didn't get anything hit to her in the field, but played first base the second inning, so she got a lot of balls thrown to her.
Lily's cheering section this week consisted of just Trevor, Daddy, and our friend Jon (Uncle Muttley). I offered Trevor's services as a 'replacement' player, but the coach didn't bite. Oh well, he'll be playing next year with Daddy as coach. Papa wanted to come up, but the news called for rain all day, so he'll be up next week.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Lily Gets Rained Out

Lily's baseball team was able to sqeeze in one inning of play in Sault Little League action before the rain started to fall. She did have a big inning, though, as she got five balls hit to her in the field. She made great plays on all of them with super throws to first base. Lily also got a solid hit in her only at bat.

Despite her all-star performance, she also found time to entertain the masses with her usual poses and dancing routines in the field. She also finds it necessary to talk the coaches ear off after she makes a nice play.

Mommy, Daddy, Trevor, and Grandma Nichols cheered Lily on. She also got her pictures taken before the game. If weather holds, she'll be playing again Thursday. Trevor was busy with his truck and impressing the little girls.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Lily And Trevor Meet World Champion Tigers

Over the weekend we went to Mackinac City to the grand opening of the Mackinac Outfitters store. Some celebrities were on hand for the grand opening, also. On Saturday the kids got to meet Spiderman (again), and Lisa met country music singer Mel Tillis and an actor from one of her soap operas. I was a little disappointed, though, as Detroit Tiger legends and World Champion baseball players Jack Morris and Mickey Lolich were advertised to be there, too. In a little trick, the store scheduled them for Sunday, trying to bring in more business over the weekend.
Like idiots we took the bait and drove back down. It was worth it, though, as the kids and I met and got autographs from Jack and Mickey. Morris signed cards for the kids, a couple of pictures, and a baseball for my dad. Lolich signed a picture for each of us and the baseball. Both were great, but the store workers really hurried things so we couldn't really talk to either of them that much. I did shake Lolich's hand and thank him, and he seemed to appreciate that. The kids are already acquiring a good collection of autographs, and hope their interest in sports grows, too. You should see what Lily can do on the climbing wall!!!!!

Friday, June 29, 2007

I Hear Lily Did Well In Baseball

Due to dark forces at work, I was unable to break away and see my beautiful daughter compete in Sault Little League action.
Lisa took Lily to her game, and did a great job of cheering her on along with Trevor and Grandma Nichols. Lisa does a better job of getting pictures, too, as seen by the 'action' shot to the left.
Lily hit the ball really well both times up to bat. Our practice is really paying off. She didn't have anything hit to her in the field, though. Still she had fun and Momma flipped the bill for Burger King after the game. No game next week due to Independence Day. Her pictures will be taken on July 10th at 5:00 before her game.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Another 'Dinger For Lily

Lily had another fun night of Sault Area Little League. She got two more great hits, and the second one her second 'homer' of the career, as she was the last batter for her team. Lily is getting a lot better in the field, too. She made some nice stops on the ball, and a good throw to first. More than that, she's just having a lot of fun.
Just Trevor and I cheering Lily on again this week. Next weeks games have been cancelled due to the holiday (Independence Day). Lily will have her team pictures taken on July, 10 at 5:00.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Lily Blows Away The Competition

It was a windy night in Sault Area Little League action, but Lily rose to the occasion. She had two more good hits in the game. Her first time up, she was the last batter, so she got her first 'home run' of her career. The second time up, she made solid contact because she backed off the plate and hit the ball in her 'power' zone.
Lily got some action in the field in the first inning. She made some good stops on the ball and some good throws. The second inning she only had one hit to her. She can entertain herself, though, if she get s bored.
Just Daddy and Trevor cheering her on again. More game next week.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Lily Plays In The Rain

It was a rainy night in the Soo, but Lily's little league game went on. It did clear up a bit to get both innings in.
Lily hit the ball well again, especially her second hit. She really made good contact with that one. She made a good play in the field the first inning, and had some interesting poses and dances going on in the second inning. She's such a ham, but also a good sport, as she's the first one in line to shake the other team's hands every week.
Trevor and I were the only one's out in the rain this week. With a baby in her 'tummy', Lisa is feeling the sickness that comes with that.
The kids are also enjoying the treats that come after the game, too. Trevor got one this week because they thought he was so cute. That's our boy, and our girl.

Trevor Catches A Pike

In just our second fishing outing of the season, Trevor snatched an 18" Great Northern Pike. We drove all the way to the river mouth in Paradise, MI, and the gamble paid off. It was a beautiful day, but turned a little rainy to cut our trip short. We were still able to spend some quality relaxation time together, though. The rest of us just caught 'grass pike'. Trevor said he loves fishing, and both he and Lily can't wait to go again. In the picture is Lisa holding Trevor's fish for him. He wasn't sure he wanted to touch it!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Practice Pays Off For Lily

It was a hot night in the Soo, but Lily still had a fun time again. We practiced hitting during the day, and that paid off as she clobbered the ball both times up to bat. Lily had a little extra speed on the base path wearing her new 'Princess' shoes. In the field she got to play first base again, where at least she gets some action. She did a pretty good job and was showing off her great throwing arm. She also got to play against her friend Sarah McKinney again, too.
Same ol' cheering section for Lily, as Mommy and Daddy, Trevor, Grandma Nichols, and Grandma 'Pappy' were in attendance. Trevor was more concerned with playing with the girls and impressing them, though, than he was about watching his sister play. More games next week, and maybe her Papa and Nana can come up from down state to watch.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Another Fun Night For Lily

Lily had another fun time playing baseball last night. She had two more solid hits, despite the fact that her coach keeps pushing her too close to the plate. She still makes pretty good contact and gets the ball out there. She didn't have too much hit to her in the field, but she doesn't push other kids out of the way like some of the others do. She does a good job of keeping to her position and not chasing the ball when it's not hit to her. After the game, Lily ran to the front of the line to shake hands with the other team. She's such a good sport.
Cheering on Lily this week again were Mommy and Daddy, Trevor, Grandma Nichols, and Grandma 'Pappy'. Another game this week on Thursday.

First Time For Fishing

Lisa and I took the kids fishing for the very first time the other day. There is a trout pond by Rotary Island that is filled with fish every week and is just for kids. Unfortunately, we had no luck catching ANYTHING at all, but the weather was great and we had a fun time being together, which is what fishing is really all about. Going on a Monday night, the pond had been fished out all weekend. We'll have to go earlier to get some fish next time. I do hope they catch at least one fish, because neither of them were very happy that we got skunked!
Their fishing poles where presents from the 'Easter Bunny' for Easter.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Putt-Putt Golf Season Begins

Lily, Trevor, and I started out putt-putt golf season today in Sault Ste. Marie. It was a beautiful day, and we all had a great time. I lucked out with a hole-in-one on hole 5, but the kids did really well too. Lily had a couple of hole-in-twos, and Trevor, is, well, just Trevor. Lily can hit the ball a little more consistantly, but Trevor still has fun hitting the ball and running around. We'll do this plenty of times this summer, and hope to hit a few new 'courses'.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Lily Beats The Storm, Gets Her Uniform

Lily had another great night of baseball, and just in time as the later games were cancelled due to the pending storm. It started off as a beautiful evening, but halfway through the game the sky turned dark with rain seen in the distance.

Lily had two more great hits at the plate. One was a liner up the middle and the othr a fly ball toward third base. She's really getting her swing down and making good contact. In the field Lily made a good play on the ball and had a solid throw to first base.

Lily's cheering section this week consisted of Mommy and Daddy, Trevor, and cousin Timothy.

The teams received their uniforms this week, too. Lily's teams colors are light blue and navy blue (like the Whitecaps!) and she's opted to wear #9 for this season. We'll be taking some quality pics of her in her uniform soon, and will get them to family and anyone else who wants them.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Lily Shines In The Cold Sault Weather

Despite the cold and windy conditions, Lily excelled in Sault Little League competition Tuesday night. In her first at bat she hit a solid liner up the middle. Her second at bat took her a couple of tries, but she hit another good one after a swing and miss in her first attempt. Lily runs hard to first and likes to slide into the other bases. In the field, she played first base. Being a 'southpaw', she is likely to see a lot of action at this position. She did a good job of getting in front of the ball and throwing it back to the coach. She likes to sit down by the base until the ball is hit as well as entertain with her usual antics.
In attendace to cheer her on again were Mommy and Daddy, brother Trevor, Grandma Nichols, and her Great Uncle John (Lisa's uncle). Lily also got to play against her freind Sarah McKinney, who she used to play with when she was a todler. Next game for her is Thursday at 5:30.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Rain, Rain, Won't Keep Us Away

Severe thunderstorms couldn't keep us from the ballpark on Saturday night. The weather cleared up nicely and became beautiful for a fun night of baseball at 5/3 Ballpark in Grand Rapids. Lily and Trevor were more concerned with getting their ice cream, but enjoyed the game. Of course meeting Spiderman had to be the highlight. Papa and Nana enjoyed the time with their grand kids and, of course, spoiling them rotten.
We planned on going to Sundays game, but opted for Saturday night since the weather was supposed to be worse on Sunday. The kids still got some autographs from coach and former MLB player Benny DiStefano and a ball signed by Detroit Tigers prospect Gorkys Hernandez. Just one more month before the big baseball trip with myself and Papa.

Whitecaps Double Up Wizards 8-4

The West Michigan Whitecaps beat the Fort Wayne Wizards 8-4 at 5/3 Ballpark on June 2. Hometown local Duane Below earned the victory, upping his record to 6-2 for the season. The 'Caps bats were hot on Saturday night, too. Designated Hitter Michael Betram led the way going 3 for 4 with two RBI's. Scott Sizemore and Diek Scram had 2 hits a piece, with Sizemore driving in 2 and Scram 1.

The win moves the 'Caps into a second place tie in the Midwest League Eastern Division with the Lansing Lugnuts with a 30-24 record. Sunday's game was suspended due to rain, with West Michigan leading Fort Wayne 1-0 in the second inning. Here's the official box score from Saturday's game:

Friday, June 1, 2007

Lily Has More Fun With Baseball

Lily had another great time playing baseball last night. When asked what her favorite part of playing is, she stated "Everything. I like to play everything." She added two more hits, but wasn't satisfied with the second one. Lily knows where to stand when she hits to get the heart of the bat on the ball. The coach kept moving her closer, resulting in her hitting the ball on the inside of the bat. Still a good hit, but she's a good hitter and can be left alone to bat. Rooting her on again were Mommy and Daddy, Trevor, Grandma Nichols, and Grandma 'Pappy'. After the game Lily and Trevor enjoyed playing on the park and spending time with teammates. More games next week on Tuesday and Thursday.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Lily Plays First Baseball Game

Last night we experienced the wonderful chaos that is little league T-Ball. No player really played in a position, as they were just scattered around the infield (very few balls were hit past the infield). Both teams batted around twice, and every player ran the bases with the last batter for each team hitting a 'home run' to clear the bases.
Lily did great getting two solid hits. Unfortunately, nothing was hit to her in the field so she wasn't able to show off her strong throwing arm. I may have 'over did it' a bit, as Lily is the only T-Baller sporting batting gloves. Glad I laid off the spikes and face paint. She kept us laughing by sitting on first base and doing some dances in the field. The important thing is that she had a fun time and it gave us all a chance to enjoy the weather and the sport. Trevor also had a good time watching his sister play and was so good. No uniforms yet, but we're hoping to have them by Thursdays game.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Sault Little League Releases 2007 Schedule

This week the Sault Area Little League released it's listing of teams and schedules. Lily will be playing T-Ball for Team 4 coached by Nick Jannetta. The teams have yet to receive uniforms, so we're not sure what colors she'll be sporting when she takes the field. All games will be played at Bunker Field in Sault Ste. Marie with games on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Here is the schedule as follows:

5/29@6:30 5/31@5:30 6/5@6:30 6/7@5:30 6/12@6:30

6/14@5:30 6/19@6:30 6/21@5:30 6/26@6:30 6/28@5:30

7/3@6:30 7/10@5:30 7/12@6:30 7/17@5:30 7/19@6:30

7/24@5:30 7/26@6:30

Thursday, May 17, 2007

'Player To Be Named Later'

I am happy to announce my beautiful wife Lisa is pregnant once again, and we are very excited. Lily (5) and Trevor (4) are also looking forward to the new addition to our team. At this point, we're just fighting over names and determining if we want to know the gender ahead of time. As long as he/her is happy and healthy is all we really are concerned with, though.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Sault Little League In Full Swing

The Sault Ste. Marie area Little League baseball is in full swing, with practices starting outside this week. Previously, the players have been practicing inside the Norris Center working on the basics of throwing and hitting. The kids are having a little more fun outside though, where they can run around a little more. This does make it a little more challenging for the coaches to maintain some order during these clinics. Pictured up top is Lily taking some cuts off the tee. She'll be playing T-Ball with other five and six year olds. The T-Ball league will be separated into four teams, which will be picked this week. Games will start in approximately two weeks, after the coaches have some time with their own team. Lily is having a lot of fun, and enjoys the clinics and being outside. She's a south-paw, but can hit from both sides of the plate.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Lakers Graduate Six, Recieve LOI's From Three

If times flies while your having fun, then the last four years must be a blur to the six Lakers who graduated today at the Taffy Abel Arena. Forwards Dominic Osman, Trent Campbell, Jeff Rainville, and Derek Smith, defenseman Barnabus Birkeland, and goaltender Jeff Jakaits were a crucial part to taking a last place program, and leading it to the first CCHA final-four appearance since 1996.
Out of the six seniors, the Lakers will most likely miss Jakaitis most of all. Jeff is a four time team MVP, holds multiple goaltending records, and was voted LSSU's Outstanding Male Athlete in 2006-07. His junior year he was first team All-CCHA and won the Perlini Points player of the game award. Jeff, a Business Administration major, will be waiting until the end of the summer to decide on his hockey future.
Rainville, Campbell, and Birkeland all have plans to pursue their hockey careers in France. Campbell and Rainville majored in Business Administration and Business respectively, while Birkeland majored in Economics. Campbell led the Lakers in scoring his junior year, and Birkeland served as team captain during the successful 2006-07 season.
Dominic Osman led the Lakers in goal scoring his freshman year, but a back injury in his sophomore season hampered his remaining hockey career. Dominic is a Fire Science major and played in the ECHL for the Reading Royals upon the conclusion of the '06-07 season, but has recently been released.
Smith is a Criminal Justice major and has yet to make any plans for hockey life after college. LSSU has one the best CJ departments in the country, so his odds of attaining a job is this field remain high.

To ease the pain of the departing seniors, LSSU recieved three Letters Of Intent this week. Forwards Rick Schofield and Chad Nehring along with defenseman Dillin Stonehouse will all don the anchor next season.
Schofield is a Pickering, Ontario native, and played for the hometown Panthers of the OPJHL. The 6-1, 195 pound sniper led Pickering in scoring last season with 36g-34a for 70pts. He's a former teammate of current Laker John Scrymgeour.
Nehring spent last season with the Yorktown Terriers of the SJHL, leading his team and playoff scoring with 12-11-24 totals-good for second best in the league as well. In regular season play he scored 85 points on 38 goals and 47 assists. At 5-11, 195, the coaching staff looks at him as a solid two-way player.
Stonehouse was second in the SJHL among scoring defenseman with 12-36-48 numbers. The Melfort Mustangs d-man should help ease the loss of Derek A. Smith to the pros, and be a physical force at 6-0, 180. He's a product of Elkhorn, Manitoba.

The Lakers also have a verbal commitment from defenseman Matt Cowie and need to sign a goalie to back up sophomore Pat Inglis. Here's the official release by the Lakers:

Sunday, April 15, 2007

First Baseball Trip of 2007 A Success

The first baseball trip for he kids and I was a huge success this weekend. Despite the weather being in the mid-forties, we were able to bundle up and enjoy some great baseball. The kids enjoyed seeing the Whitecaps mascots Crash and Franky. They do a great job of interacting with all the kids at the game and making it a great experience. We were also able to interact with the players and coaches a bit. Pictured left with Lily, is Whitecaps manager and former World Champion with the Tigers Tom Brookens, who took time to sign some cards for the kids. Hitting coach Benny DiStefano, who played for the Pirates and Astros from 1984-92, gave a game ball to Trevor. We were also able to get some cards signed by Tigers prospects such as Brandon Timm and Josh Rainwater.
Hopfully the weather will be a little friendlier next time, but a great way to start the season for us. See you at the ball park.

Whitecaps Split Double-Header With Silver Hawks

The West Michigan Whitecaps split a double-header with the visiting South Bend Silver Hawks Saturday afternoon at 5/3 Ballpark.
Game one went to the visitors by the score of 2-0. Lauren Gagniar took the lose for the 'Caps, pitching four innings and giving up four hits, including a home-run. Phil Napolitan came in relief, and pitched three great innings. He fanned two and only gave up one hit, but the 'Caps couldn't bolster any offence. They only had three hits in the game by Scott Sizemore, Brennan Boecsh, and Santo DeLeon.
Game two belonged to the 'Caps, who snuck out a 2-1 win. Outfielder Gorkys Hernandez was the star of the game with a double and run scored. He scored the winning run on a passed ball in the third inning. West Michigan's first run was scored by James Skelton who hit a double and was hit home by Boecsh. Diek Scram also had a double in the game. On the mound Angel Castro earned his first win of the season. He gave up six hits, but was able to pitch himself out of a jam in almost every inning. Steve Jensen got his second save of the season, both the 'Caps only wins.

Derek A. Smith Signs With NHL's Senators

Lake Superior State Junior defenseman Derek A. Smith signed a two-year free agent contract with the Ottawa Senators on Thursday, April 12. Smith had a break-through year with the Lakers this season, tying for the team lead in points with 30 (10g-20a) with Trent Campbell and Troy Schwab. He was a +6 on the season, and only took five minutes in penalties. Smith was also a finalist for the CCHA Offensive Defenseman Award.
Here's the official story from the Lakers website:

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Whitecaps Ready To Defend Midwest League Title

The West Michigan Whitecaps get ready to defend their 2006 Midwest League title on April 9, when they take on the Lansing Lugnuts at 5/3 Park in Grand Rapids. With Matt Walbeck moving up to AA Erie, former Detroit Tiger and World Champion Tom Brookens takes the 'Caps helm this season. Brookens has spent the last two seasons managing the Oneonta Tigers of the New York-Penn league. He served as hitting coach for the 'Caps last season on an interim basis as well. Although the final roster is yet to be set, the 'Caps will be lead on the mound by Tiger's draft pick Jonah Nickerson. Nickerson led Oregon State to the College World Series title and played for Team USA. He also threw 13 innings in Oneonta-fanning 12 and holding the oposition to a .190 batting average. Outfielder Brennan Boesch will try to fill the void left by Cameron Maybin. He had a solid pro debut last season hitting .291 and had a combined 81 rbi/runs scored. He made six errors in Oneonta, but his strong arm makes him effective in both center or right. Infielder Scott Sizemore finished second in the New York-Penn league with a .327 average. Despite being a natural second baseman, he was put at short-stop because they had no one else to fill the position. He'll get help this year by SS Audy Ciriaco who spent the last two seasons in the Gulf Coast League hitting .232 despite the fact that he won't turn 20 until June. Also from the GCL Tigers comes relief pitcher Brett Jensen. He was 1-0 with 31 strike-out after finishing his collegiate career at Nebraska.
The Whitecaps will be giving out championship hats for the home opener on the 9th, and Cameron Maybin bobbleheads on April 13.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Welcome to the Burrill Sports web page. I will be covering primarily local college hockey, featuring the Lake Superior State Lakers. Also, my love of baseball as well pushes me to cover some of the state's minor league teams like the West Michigan Whitecaps and the new Great Lakes Loons. I always enjoy positive feedback, and try to do my best to cover these great teams in thier respective sports.
Thank you, and enjoy.