Forward R.J. Umberger will be traded to the Flyers (actually having requested the trade because of play time and issues with the coach), but the mourning Columbus Blue Jackets fans were probably comforted by the thought of a newcomer: Scott Hartnell. The NHL player is a seasoned vet and a shocking gain for the team, racking up 250 goals in his career. Even better, as a former flyer, Hartnell probably dislikes the Penguins just as much as the CBJ fans.
Update: This article has been updated with specific match information.
Columbus will get its first taste of live sports since the pandemic closed down the country in March.
The Basketball Tournament, a 5-on-5 annual single-elimination competition, won’t be missing its chance at displaying high-stakes basketball this year. The 2019 Tournament champion Carmen’s Crew, a team consisting of Ohio State alumni, will get the opportunity to defend its title in its hometown.
Although the tournament won’t consist of the usual 64-team format or have fans in attendance, TBT is still dedicated to bringing live sports to Nationwide Arena for all 23 tournament games. Games will also be broadcast live on the ESPN family of television networks.
In its seventh installment, TBT will go with a condensed 24-team bracket. The tournament hosted an open application process earlier this year between March 15 and June 15. The pot for the winner-take-all tournament will be over $1 million.
Here are when the specific rounds of the tournament will take place:
Round of 24: July 4-5
Round of 16: July 6-9
Quarterfinals: July 10-11
Semifinals: July 12
Final: July 14
Here are when the specific games will take place:
3 p.m. – #9 Big X vs. #24 Jackson TN Underdawgs (ESPN)
5 p.m. – #12 Team Brotherly Love vs. #21 Stillwater Stars (Oklahoma State alumni) (ESPN)
8 p.m. – #16 House of ‘Paign (Illinois alumni) vs. #17 War Tampa (ESPN)
10 p.m. – #13 Team CP3 vs. #20 Mid-American Unity (ESPN)
2 p.m. – #10 Team Jimmy V vs. #23 Herd That (Marshall alumni) (ESPN)
4 p.m. – #11 Team Hines vs. #22 Sideline Cancer (ESPN)
7 p.m. – #14 Heartfire vs. #19 Men of Mackey (Purdue alumni) (ESPN2)
9 p.m. – #15 Armored Athlete vs. #18 Power of the Paw (Clemson alumni) (ESPN2)
Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds fans can rejoice, however. MLB voters, in a unanimous decision, voted to move forward with the 2020, according to a report from ESPN.
The shortened season will run just 60 regular season games, compared to the usual 162. The playoffs will also be expanded to 10 teams.
For now, the only date set in stone is the re-reporting to spring training, which will happen on July 1. The regular season has an unofficial start date of July 24.
As for our hometown Columbus Clippers, there is yet to be a verdict. According to a Columbus Dispatchreport, though, the president of the triple-A International League put the odds of even an abbreviated Triple-A season at less than 20 percent.
In 2019, there were rumors that 42 minor league teams were on the chopping block heading into the 2020 season. Minor league owners said they wouldn’t let that happen without a fight.
Things have drastically changed since. Minor league baseball brings a distinct character to towns and cities, sometimes often defining them. It would be a shame to see our beloved Clippers disappear, so here’s to hoping the minor league can rebound big in 2021, if they do in fact hold off on a 2020 season.
Olentangy female wrestling coach says it’s only a matter of time
When she began wrestling at five years old, Grace Jones, 17, of London, Ohio, said there weren’t many distinctions between the male and female wrestlers; they were all just kids after all. But in high school, that’s changed for Jones.
“I have gotten a lot of backlash from other teams and other teammates because I am the only girl on my team,” said the London High School wrestler and 2019 State Champion.
Jones is showing the world that not only are girls capable of wrestling, but they are part of the reason behind why wrestling has been identified as one of the fastest growing sports today. The Ohio High School Wrestling Coaches Association recognized that growth with its first-ever sponsored girls’ state meet, held in February. However, the meet was not sanctioned by the Ohio High School Athletic Association.
If a sport isn’t sanctioned at the state level, it limits the opportunities for competitive matches and, later on, college recruitment for scholarships becomes more difficult. Local girls’ wrestling coaches and advocates say that needs to change. This is why the SanctionOH movement through Wrestle Like A Girl was launched in June.
“I think (sanctioning the sport) contributes to the bigger picture,” said Vanessa Oswalt, an assistant wrestling coach for Olentangy Orange High School and a full-time Ohio National Guard member. Oswalt is one of the primary advocates for SanctionOH.
“Some (high) schools are working to provide training and competitive opportunities right now as (girls’ wrestling) grows. Some schools are wary to add it unless sanctioned,” she said. “Schools do not have separate funding for coaching of a girls’ team, which limits coaches’ ability to take girls to separate all-girl tournaments. If a girl is limited to only compete against boys, how is a women’s college team supposed to recruit?”
Many colleges are adding women’s wrestling to their athletic programs, Oswalt said.
“If we don’t sanction them at the state level, that will tear down the college programs as well, and we want to get them into the college programs,” she said. “I have colleges almost every week contacting me and asking me if I have girls in these weight classes. There are so many opportunities with wrestling.”
SanctionOH’s efforts are supported by local and national organizations, including Ohio USA Wrestling, Wrestle Like a Girl, Ohio Wrestling Coaches Association, National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA), National High School Coaches Association, and the OH Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, according to its website.
Most importantly, there is a pipeline beyond college that exists for female wrestlers, making it another good reason to sanction the sport at the state level. For example, women’s freestyle wrestling has been part of the Olympic Games since 2004 and the World Championships since 1989. And this year, the NCAA will add women’s wrestling to their emerging sports status list, all according to the SanctionOH website.
Because of the sports’ growth locally and internationally, Oswalt said it’s only a matter of when, not if, girls’ wrestling will be sanctioned in Ohio.
“We have worked with the coaches’ association and Ohio Athletic Association to determine the criteria to decide if it can be sanctioned,” said Oswalt. The good news, she added, is that wrestling is a long-established sport, and there are already girls competing on teams.
“They (OAA) are open and listening to us. They have been amazing and have included more girls’ rules in the wrestling rules for Ohio. From my opinion, they see it and know it will be sanctioned.”
Jones said she’s grateful for all the support.
“The girls’ wrestling community here is really good,” she said. “Most girls don’t think they can do it. But it changes you. Before I started wrestling, I was a way different person than I am today. It’s challenged me and made me healthier.”