The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


March 2, 2014

Schremmer: Sports about more than games

A quick rant through the week in sports:

• It’s easy to get caught up in winning and losing, but sometimes stories surface that show you how sports can be about so much more.

• Two CNC high schools helped make this evident.

• Last week, The Joplin Globe’s Andra Bryan Stefanoni told us the story of Rhett Huncovsky, a special-needs student at Frontenac High School. A big-time football fan, Huncovsky suited up for the Raiders and received a carry as the crowd erupted in cheers. To make things even better, Huncovsky was named Frontenac’s homecoming king this winter.

• Southeast High School named Trenton Powers, a senior with autism, as its homecoming king. Powers has played for the Lancers’ junior varsity basketball team the past two years. On senior night last Thursday against Baxter Springs, Powers earned his first varsity start. Powers responded by scoring four points, including a basket at the final buzzer during the Lancers’ lopsided win. The Southeast crowd responded by storming the court, and a pair of fellow students carried Powers on their shoulders.

• Yes, sports are definitely about more than winning and losing.

• In conjunction with the Oscars on Sunday night, I will keep my annual tradition (for a whole two years running) of picking the best sports movie of the year.

• The story of Jackie Robinson breaking baseball’s color barrier, “42,” runs away with the award for 2013.

• The best sports documentary category is much more competitive. ESPN’s “30 for 30” series included some great ones in 2013. “Survive and Advance,” “Elway to Marino,” “Free Spirits,” “Big Shot,” and “The Price of Gold” were all tremendous.

• The winner: “Big Shot,” the story of how a young businessman nearly conned his way into owning the NHL’s New York Islanders in 1996.

• As we talk about sports movies, I must take a moment to remember Harold Ramis, who died last week at age 69. Ramis directed “Caddyshack,” which is the funniest sports movie of all time.

• Congratulations to Columbus wrestlers Taylor Watkins and Jace McDown for winning Class 4A state championships at 160 and 182 pounds, respectively. Their performances helped the Titans finish sixth in the team standings despite having only four wrestlers.

• The Northeastern Oklahoma A&M Golden Norsemen earned a junior college national championship after resuming their wrestling program this year. You have to admire NEO coach Joe Renfro, who predicted a national title in his first year when he was introduced as the head coach in October 2012. It was evident that day that his declaration was more than pep rally banter. You could tell he truly meant it.

• Maybe Coach Renfro should be referred to as “Broadway Joe” from now on.

• Wichita State capped a perfect regular season by improving to 31-0 on Saturday. The Shockers, after advancing to the Final Four last year, are one of the best basketball teams in the country and are perfectly capable of making another run in the NCAA Tournament.

• I really hope the Shockers go deep in the tournament, because if they don’t, you can be sure that doubters will quickly say the loss proves WSU wasn’t for real. However, that statement will be completely unfair. One loss shouldn’t tarnish everything Wichita State has accomplished.

• I’m not going to pull a Coach Renfro and predict a national title, but the Shockers’ body of work over the past two years has proven that they are more than capable.

• The Philadelphia 76ers recently retired the jersey of former all-star guard Allen Iverson.

• Iverson’s honor just goes to show you that practice makes perfect.

• Wait a second....

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