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Pure Michigan 400

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Photos from the Pure Michigan 400, Sunday, August 17 at Michigan International Speedway.  Photos by Ryan Kerwin, JTV Sports.  Click above photo to launch gallery.

Western Names New Basketball Coach

Ryan Mulnix

Ryan Mulnix

By Larry Jacobson
JTV Sports

Sometimes, even the best decisions are not easy ones.

So as Ryan Mulnix steps in to lead the boys basketball program at Western High School, he does so while acknowledging it was difficult to leave behind his beloved girls team at Reading High.

“It was definitely hard to leave,” Mulnix said. “I was a teacher in the system for eight years and I spent six years as girls coach, and I really think we got things rolling there in a positive direction. I’m pleased with the direction of the Reading program and I think they’re poised to continue that success.”

The opportunity to take over the Western boys program was too good to pass up on a variety of fronts.

“A big thing for my wife (Kellie) and I was the opportunity to be closer to home,” Mulnix said. “I’m a Springport guy and she’s from Concord, so this allowed us to move back to the area and be closer to family. The Western School System is absolutely top-notch and their new facilities are fantastic. As a coach, it’s amazing.”

The Panthers began playing in a new gymnasium at the beginning of the 2013-2014 season.

And the bedrocks of Mulnix’s girls’ teams at Reading will become the staples of his Panthers teams.

“I’m not very complicated,” he said. “I’m a firm believer in earning your stripes on defense, because if you can lock down on defense you can win every time you step on the court. Our teams will play extremely hard and we will push the ball on offense. We always want to be the attackers.”

At the moment, however, patience is the key. The school year is over a month away and Mulnix is still working on the logistics of the move.

“Right now I just need to get settled,” he said. “I’ve had a chance to work with some of the kids on a limited basis and I’ll be working at an upcoming basketball camp at Spring Arbor University and a few Western players will be there. There are a lot of things going on right now but I’m very, very excited to get going.”

Willis Picks Michigan State

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By Larry Jacobson,  JTV Sports

A scholarship to play football at Michigan State University sure sounds like a lot of fun.

Unless you’re Lumen Christi High School senior Khari Willis, who envisions that fun being tempered with a whole lot of hard work.

“It took a lot of hard work to get to this point,” Willis said. “God has blessed me with people who have helped along the way – my family and coaches and teammates – and it’s brought me this opportunity. But I know there’s a lot of hard work ahead, too. This is another chapter in my life and I’ve very excited about it.”

Willis, one of the most decorated football and basketball players to ever suit up for the Titans, enjoyed the entire recruiting process and looked at each option as its’ own unique opportunity.

Still, in the end, Coach Mark Dantonio and the Spartans won out.

“Throughout the process I’ve been very humbled by all of the options, because they’re all opportunities,” Willis said. “For a while I thought I’d end up in the MAC (Mid-American Conference) playing basketball or maybe in the ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference.) In the end I began to realize that the direction of the Michigan State program matched what I was looking for. And it’s close to home, which is important for my family and friends, too.”

The options don’t end with his destination, either.

Willis, primarily a record setting running back for the Titan football team, has options on the playing field, as well. When asked what position he might end up playing, he laughed.

“Well, there’s no clear answer on that, either,” he said. “I’m listed as an athlete, so there are a lot of options and we’ll just wait and see how it works out. I’ve spent time as a running back on offense and as a safety on defense. They’ve also looked at me as a possible linebacker.”

But that’s just on the football field. Willis is also an all-state guard on the basketball court and one of the best on-ball defenders and point guards to ever come out of the Jackson area. Might we see him lacing up the basketball shoes for Coach Tom Izzo’s Spartans in the future?

“I’m not closing the door on that – no sir,” Willis said with a laugh. “That’s something I’m definitely thinking about down the road, but the important thing to remember is that I’m going to Michigan State on a football scholarship so everything has to revolve around that. I have to make sure I’m taking care of things on the football field and in the classroom before I think about anything else. One thing at a time…”

Those decisions will be made later. For now, Willis is ready to take care of some unfinished business heading into his senior year at Lumen Christi.

“Well, I certainly am looking forward to enjoying my senior year,” he said. “But I think we have some unfinished business – both on the football field and the basketball court. The guys (my teammates) and I have already talked about it. It would be amazing to go out in style, with a really good shot at two state championships. That’s my goal. I’ve done a lot of things during my time as a Titan, but we haven’t won a state championship. That’s something I’d like to do.”

Winning a state championship in any sport takes a lot of hard work, and hard work is something that comes naturally to Khari Willis.

A year from now he’ll be entering the next chapter of his life, one that will have him draped in the green and white of Michigan State. But first things first – and hopefully that’s an eventful senior year in the green and gold of Lumen Christi.

After all, it’s about options and opportunities, and a young man determined to make the most of them.

Softball Results for Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Men’s Brown Division
Tracy’s Tavern 11 Full Spectrum Solutions 10. Dan Johnson went 3 for 3 with a triple and Mark Kreger went 3 for 4 with a double for Tracy’s. Cody Sharp went 3 for 4 with 2 home runs and 3 RBIs for Full Spectrum.

Diversified Construction 8 Kinch Farms 6. Abel Frausto went 3 for 3 with a triple and Mike Myers went 2 for 2 to lead Diversified Construction. Lee Vickers went 3 for 4 with a double for Kinch Farms.

Modern Electric 15 G.L.G. 3. Eric Stevens went 2 for 3 with a home run and a double with 4 RBIs and Bob Dingee went 3 for 4 with a home run and a double and 2 RBIs for Modern Electric. Mike Hurley went 2 for 2 to lead G.L.G.

Men’s Silver Division
ABC Supply 30 MIWI 18. Jordan Tuttle went 4 for 5 with 2 home runs and 6 RBIs and Mike Enbody also went 4 for 5 with a double to lead ABC Supply. Jacob Hense went 3 for 4 with 2 triples and a double for MIWI.

ALS won by forfeit over Thuli’s

Men’s Doubleheader Division
Game 1
Hometown Convenience/Integrity Electrical Co. 24 Chase Sports Bar/Trackside Sports Bar 3. Nate Whitney led a 29 hit attack in 4 innings by going 4 for 4 with a home run and Lee Page also went 4 for 4 with a double for Hometown Convenience/Integrity Electrical Co. Devin Crawford homered for Chase/Trackside.
Game 2
Chase Sports Bar/Trackside Sports Bar 16 Hometown Convenience/Integrity Electrical Co. 15. Travis Wiley went 5 for 5 with 2 home runs and 6 RBIs and Kris Henry went 4 for 5 with a triple for Chase/Trackside. Josh Williams went 3 for 5 with a home run and a double for Hometown Convenience/Integrity Electrical Co.

Hometown Convenience/Integrity Electrical Co. won the 1st round of the doubleheader division with a 12 & 2 record.

Game 1
Key Largo Lounge 16 Jackson Fire Fighters/Duffy’s 3. Tyler Aldridge went 4 for 4 with a Grand Slam and a double and Travis Lampman went 4 for 4 with a double for Key Largo. Rob Hemig went 2 for 2 with a home run for Fire Fighters.
Game 2
Key Largo Lounge 17 Jackson Fire Fighters/Duffy’s 15. Adam Sherwood went 4 for 4 with a double and 4 RBIs and Andrew Sullivan went 3 for 4 while David Cavender picked up both wins on the mound for Key Largo. Jason Longbrake went 4 for 4 and Kyle Benschoter went 3 for 3 for Fire Fighters.
Game 1
Pointe Bar & Grill 30 Chase Sports Bar/Robins Roost 14. Joe Dunigan went 4 for 5 with 2 home runs including a Grand Slam and 2 doubles and 9 RBIs and Michael Archer went 6 for 6 as Pointe Bar pounded out 30 hits in the win. Mike Marshall went 3 for 4 with a home run for Chase/Robins Roost.
Game 2
Chase Sports Bar/Robins Roost 24 The Pointe Bar & Grill 18. Charlie Cooper went 5 for 5 with 3 home runs and a double with 6 RBIS and John Howell went 4 for 5 to lead Chase/Robins Roost. Josh VanEpps went 3 for 4 and Brian Cooper went 1 for 3 with a walk for Pointe Bar & Grill.
Game 1
Mag-Tec Casting 10 B’Attitudes/Bone Island Grille 3. Rick Fairley and Justin Oldenburg each went 2 for 3 to lead Mag-Tec. Bobby Radziewicz went 2 for 3 for B’Attitudes.
Game 2
Mag-Tec Casting 15 B’Attitudes/Bone Island Grille 8. Tommy Weaver went 4 for 4 with a double while Carl Brown and Rich Richardson each went 3 for 4 to lead Mag-Tec. Robbie Kennedy went 3 for 3 with a double for B’Attitudes.

Quicken Loans 400

14409361066_9a992279c8_bPhotos from the Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway, June 15, 2014.  Photos by Ryan Kerwin, JTV Sports.  Click above photo to launch gallery.

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