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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.

Cougars Punch ticket to NAIA World Series

UPLAND, IN – Spring Arbor University is headed to the NAIA World Series Opening round on the merits of winning Bracket 2 and a finalist in the Crossroads League Post Season Tournament along with regular season champion Mount Vernon Nazarene University. Two teams represent the Crossroads League in the World Series and MVNU is already going as the CL regular season champion, so the Cougars earned a berth by defeating Taylor University 5-3 in the semi-finals.

Spring Arbor is making the first trip to the NAIA since 2009 when the Cougars went three years in a row including a World Series semi-final appearance in 2008.

Today's Crossroads League semi-final between SAU and Taylor opened with the Cougars two run first inning on Maverick Nichols two run blast over the left field fence. Nichols connected on a 1-2 offering from Trojan pitcher, Luke Hunter with Tyler Baker on second base.

Taylor responded with three runs in the bottom half of the first inning and would hold the lead through the third inning.

Spring Arbor took back the lead in the fourth inning when JP Maracani scored from second on Alex Zeiher's single to right. Zeiher scored from second base when Jonathan Newman singled to left field. Two runs for the Cougars left the score 4-3 in favor if Spring Arbor.

In the top of the fifth inning, Spring Arbor stretched the lead to two runs when Chris Wegrzyn scored from third on a wild pitch and the Cougars owned a 5-3 lead.

The game would remain scoreless the rest of the way but not without excited as Spring Arbor stranded two runners in the top of the sixth and Taylor would leave the bases loaded in the bottom of the same inning.

Spencer Geobel was a workhorse for the Cougars today as he went the distance for the Cougars, earning the complete game win. Geobel threw 152 pitches on the mound striking out six, walking two and giving up nine hits on the day.

Tyler Castiglione led the offense for Spring Arbor with a three hit performance in four at bats.

Spring Arbor will take a 30-15 record into the NAIA World Series while Taylor's season ends at 34-22

Pairings will be announced later this week and can be found on saucougars.com.

7th Annual Grande Championship

Grande Golf

Senior Division Friday, May 16th

 Open Division Sunday, May 18th

 

Grande Golf Club

1579 Floyd Avenue Jackson MI, 49201

 

See how you can perform under the conditions the professionals face every week. This tournament will have an open and a senior division.

 

The senior division will be open to anyone 50 years of age or older. Men will play the blue tees (6,443 yards), while women will play the red tees (4,785 yards). The senior division will play Friday, May 16th, with tee times beginning at 9:00 AM. Seniors are eligible for the Open Division as well.

 

The open division will be open to anyone. Men will play the black tees (7,157 yards), while women will play the white tees (5,911 yards). The open division will play Sunday, May 18th, with tee times beginning at 7:30 AM.

 

Pairings will be based on handicap (or average 18-hole score). The purpose of this event is to find the best golfer in the Jackson area, so this event will not be handicapped. The low score in each division after the event will be our Grande Champions.

 

The cost of this event is only $50, which covers 18-holes of golf, with cart, and lunch after golf. There will also be gift certificates awarded to the winner of each flight, courtesy of The Grande Golf Club. Cost to Grande Golf Club membership holders will be $15. 

 

(Prize breakdown for each Division) 

1st - $200 Gift Certificate to The Grande Golf Club

2nd - $100 Gift Certificate to The Grande Golf Club

3rd - $50 Gift Certificate to The Grande Golf Club

4th - $25 Gift Certificate to The Grande Golf Club

 

**There will also be an optional skins pot for both the senior and open divisions.**

No points will be awarded towards the Jackson golfer of the year for this event.

The course will be set up difficult, with fast greens and tough pin positions to make it a fun challenge for all.

You can register by returning this flyer to The Grande Golf Club, or contact us over the telephone at 517.768.9494.

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