Raising awareness on mental health with “Walking in my Blessings” Golf Classic

By Michael Moore and Okon Ekpenyong

Picture Credit: Les Rutland
Picture Credit: Les Rutland

It was perfect weather for the 4th Annual John A. Moman Memorial Golf Classic held at the prestigious Winchester Golf Course in Canal Winchester, Ohio with over 80 participants.  The very well-landscaped golf course sits in the middle of one of Canal Winchester’s most beautiful residential neighborhoods.

The John A. Moman Golf Classic organizer and founder, Chevez Moman, created “Walking in My Blessings.” The efforts and goals are to raise awareness in the African American community on mental health, provide a safe space where an open discussion on mental stress and trauma can be spoken about, and provide support as a community. All donations will benefit the efforts of “Walking in My Blessings.”

Community activists, council members, family, and friends all came out to show their support for this great event and enjoy a little golfing at the same time. Legendary coach James ” Satch” Sullinger, father of former Ohio State basketball star Jared Sullinger, was also in attendance.

“We have tried everything else except for unity,” Sullinger said.

Al Edmonson, a well-known community leader across Central Ohio, had the longest drive contest at 289 yards on a par five. The Golf classic Courage Award went to Mr. Craig Avery Sr, who is battling cancer. Despite undergoing chemotherapy every week, he always finds the time to golf with friends and family every Sunday, including the Jam Memorial Classic.

Chuck Brown, Robert Thomas, Glenn Collins, and New York Sam were this year’s winning duo shooting under 61 for the classic.

Stacie Baker, a council member representing the entire city of Reynoldsburg, was one of the players.

“Being able to support a great event like the Jam memorial golf tournament is a win because this event promotes giving back to the community,” said Stacie Baker.

“It is truly an honor and privilege to support the Jam Memorial classic. When an African American male in the community gives back, and the local entrepreneurs and business leaders support scholarship and service, it lifts our entire community”, Councilwoman Meredith Lawson-Row said. The event was a complete success, to say the least, having over 80 golfers come out to show support and unity, not just in the neighborhood but in the entire.

Originally posted by , August 31, 2021

Editor: Deba Uwadiae

A DIFFERENT TIME, A DIFFERENT PLACE

A DIFFERENT TIME, A DIFFERENT PLACE

By
Tonisha Chapman

 

June 25, 2021

In sports, we always like to discuss “Who is the Greatest of all Time.” However, the discussion often goes more in the world of basketball these days. Ever since LeBron James stepped on the basketball scene and proclaimed himself “King James,” the comparison discussion has begun about Lebron vs. Michael.

This particular discussion brings out everyone’s point of view and their criteria for determining who deserves the title “The Greatest of All Time.” For example, some people look at how many championships an individual has, while others want to throw statistics and off-court actions into the mix.

On the note of statistics and off-the-court actions, those are not valid in my opinion because you are talking about two highly different times when it comes to the climate of the NBA. When Jordan entered the league, the norm was for players to go to college for at least three years and then enter the NBA draft.

These days, you can go after one year of college or directly from high school. So when people want to start trying to compare LeBron & Michel’s stats, I say, “not valid, because LeBron has five years minimum on Michael Jordan.” Remember Michael Jordan when to college for three years, and took a 2 ½ season break after the killing of this father and then retired in 1998, then he came back two years later in 2000. So LeBron has seven years on Michael as far as years in the league, so it does make sense that LeBron would surpass Michael Jordan in some, if not all, stats.

The other criteria factors what LeBron & Michael have done off the court with their “athlete celebrity status.” Some believe that LeBron surpasses Michael because of everything he has done in the community, especially with the racial injustice situations worldwide in the past couple of years.

Some believe that Michael Jordan was a sell-out off the court, especially after his infamous comment, “Republicans buy shoes also.” However, when you look at the climate of the NBA then and now, you can tell that there is a big difference. When Jordan was playing, the owners had more control over basketball operations and the player’s actions off the court. Players did not have the power to be able to vocal like they do today.

Before the players gained control of the league, they had to choose their battles carefully because each move could have affected them financially in a big way. Now the players have more control of the league. Now they can dictate where they go, who they wish to play with, and what organization. Also, I do think social media has given the players more power as well. On another note about player power and control, I heard some compare what Aaron Rodgers is doing in Green Bay to how Michael Jordan & Scottie Pippen handled things in Chicago when they discovered that the general manager wanted to replace them.

It was commented on that what Michael and Scottie did was a bad thing. However, it was not because they did not have the control to get rid of the general manager like they do today. So before people judge Michael for his off-the-court contributions or lack thereof. His statistics at the end of his career and how he handled certain situations with management. Remember this he didn’t have the control and power that LeBron, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, etc., has today. Back then, the front office controlled daily operations, and now it seems a player has more control. These days, players have the power to be vocal and have the ability of social media to assist their causes. Just remember this:

A DIFFERENT TIME, A DIFFERENT NBA

No. 15 OSU looks to rebound after a tough loss

COLUMBUS, Ohio – After the postponement of Sunday’s game, No. 15 Ohio State will get back out on the court Thursday afternoon when it hosts Purdue. This will be the lone meeting between the two teams this season. Both teams are looking to get back on track as each is coming off a loss their last time out. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m. and the game will be streamed live on BTN Plus+

Ohio State and Purdue are hooking up for the lone time this season when the two teams meet at Value City Arena on Thursday. The Buckeyes hold a 47-31 edge in the all-time series between the B1G foes and are 24-9 in games played in Columbus. Ohio State is itching to get back out on the court as well as not have played in over a week because of the postponement of the Northwestern game on Sunday. The Buckeyes are 12-3 on the season and 8-3 in Big Ten play.
Purdue opened conference action 2-1 with wins over Penn State and Nebraska but has since dropped nine of its last 10 including five straight. The Boilermakers are coming off a 75-57 setback to Rutgers at home last Sunday. Kayana Traylor (13.9 ppg) and Brooke Moore (10.9) are the two Boilermakers averaging in double figures. Dorka Juhasz was named to the Naismith Midseason Player of the Year Watch List. She is one of five players from the Big Ten on the list.  Juhasz is riding a five-game double-double streak. That is the longest streak since Jantel Lavender did it five games in a row in 2010. Juhasz is also just 89 points away from 1,000 in her career.

Aaliyah Patty had her streak of seven consecutive games with 10 or more points snapped on Wednesday at Wisconsin. But she is still averaging 12.0 points and 6.5 rebounds per game this season.  All five Buckeye starters are averaging in double-figures led by Jacy Sheldon at 16.3 ppg.  Braxtin Miller is the team’s leader both on and off the court but the Buckeyes sure need her on the court. Her numbers may not be eye-popping but her veteran presence can’t be quantified by a number. She fouled-out for the second time this season and just the third time in her collegiate career on Wednesday. The Buckeyes have lost both times she has fouled-out and Oklahoma State also lost to Iowa State on Jan. 24, 2018.  Miller has had at least one steal in every game but the first game this season.

15/11 Ohio State vs. Purdue
Date: Feb. 18, 2021
Time: 4:00 p.m.
Venue: Columbus, Ohio — Value City Aren

Ohio State Edges Iowa

COLUMBUS, Ohio – In a grind-it-out team effort, No. 17 Ohio State handed No. 11 Michigan its first loss of the season in an 81-77 matinee on Thursday.

Six Buckeyes scored nine or more points in the game led by sophomore Jacy Sheldon with 20 points. Sheldon’s three-pointer with:45 seconds left gave the Buckeyes a 76-74 lead, and they never trailed the rest of the way.

Fellow sophomore Madison Greene finished with 15 points, while Dorka Juhasz added 14 points and seven rebounds in limited minutes due to foul trouble. Tanaya Beacham stepped into a starting role for the injured Aaliyah Patty, and she finished with 10 points and four rebounds.

Senior Braxtin Miller simply played hard, and she willed the team down the stretch. Miller finished with 10 points but grabbed a team-high eight rebounds and dished out a team-high five assists.

Rebeka Mikilasikova scored nine points and pulled in four rebounds.

The story of the game was Michigan forward Naz Hillmon. She scored a school-record 50 points and grabbed 16 rebounds. But just four Wolverines scored in the game, and they were just 2-of-20 from long range.

Ohio State led by four at the break and pushed the lead all the way out to 16 points at 63-47 with two minutes the play in the third quarter. The Buckeyes looked as if they would cruise home for the win. But Michigan’s defense stepped up in the fourth quarter.

The Wolverines opened the fourth on a 13-1 run as the Buckeyes missed their first six shots. A Beacham lay-in with 1:58 play was the first field goal of the quarter for Ohio State, and its only other field goal came on Sheldon’s clutch three with under a minute to play. The Buckeyes were 10-of-12 from the free-throw line in the final quarter.

The win was the Buckeye’s first over a ranked team this season. They will have another shot on Monday night as Ohio State welcomes No. 7 Maryland to Columbus. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m., and the game can be seen on ESPN2.

#sportzkelzdiva
Picture of the scores- Credit -OSU

2020 College Football Playoff & Heisman Trophy Watch

With this week’s latest Heisman rankings going out, I find it challenging and confusing why the country does not give the University of Florida Quarterback Kyle Trask more respect and higher rankings. They still have Mack Jones of Alabama leading off at number 1. Justin fields of Ohio State University at number 2. Trevor Lawrence of Clemson University at 3. Kyle Trask of the University of Florida at 4. Zack Wilson for BYU at 5. And lastly, Ian Book of the University of Notre Dame round out the top 6.

Now is it just me, or when you have a quarterback that leads the nation in touchdowns pass in 28 has the 3rd best QBR (quarterback rating) in the country and has only thrown 3 INTS on the whole year. Granted, I understand that he has one loss on the season to the now 5th ranked Texas A&M Aggies, but I really am not sold on Mack Jones. You have Trevor Lawrence that hasn’t played in two weeks. Kyle Trask has 12 more touchdowns than Jones, but the county and Committee believe that Mack Jones is undefeated in the SEC and has more passing yards and a higher QBR. All will become come clear when these two meet in the SEC championship game this year. If you think about it, Kyle Trask is a gamer and knows how to win a game. He’s special.

Picture Credit: Heisman Trophy

For a year of uncertainty and new looks, I thought this would be the year I could actually see one of these none power five schools get in and participate in the college football playoff. With BYU and Cincinnati being the two notable teams this year making a great case so far, the CFP is still not having it this year. Both of these teams are undefeated and have been blowing the meme opponents out the water. On top of that, both teams are ranked in the top 10. it has gotten to the point where you have groups like BYU asking to put more games in their schedule to have a better chance. Over the year, we have seen these none power five schools compete and win games. When they are given the stage, they have always risen to the occasion. From the Boise States in 2007 to the UCF’s and Memphis of the past two years, It’s time to give the little guys a chance. I believe 2020 should be the year we see that the next step takes place.

NBA Draft 2020 (Stars Are Born)

On November 18th, All eyes were on the 2020 NBA Draft.

This year’s draft was very different due to COVID-19 safety precautions. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced the selections virtually, similar to the way the NFL conducted their draft. We had not seen any college action since March 11th, when the season was cut short due to a rise in Coronavirus cases. It was during the conference tournaments, wherein in many situations, stars are born. Exceptional play, along with memorable shots, help raise the draft stock. These young men stayed focused on mental and physical health during such a trying time is honorable. There were a total of 60 players selected between 2 rounds.

The top 10 picks are:
1. Minnesota
2. Golden State
3. Charlotte
4. Chicago
5. Cleveland
6. Atlanta
7. Detroit
8. New York
9. Washington
10. Phoenix

Top 10 draft prospects:
1. Anthony Edwards 6’5 G Georgia
2. James Wiseman 7’1 C Memphis
3. Lamelo Ball 6’7 PG Australia(NBL)
4. Obi Troppin 6’9 PF Dayton
5. Onyeka Okongwu 6’9 PF Southern California
6. Addis Bey 6’8 SM Villanova
7.Deni Avdija 6’9 SM Europe
8. Isaac Okoro 6’6 SG Auburn
9. Killian Hayes 6’5 PG France
10. Devin Vassell 6’6 SG Florida State

Let’s hope for a successful, healthy, and long career for all these young men.

Quest For Perfection

Friday’s Ohio Division I state championship game between #11 ranked Pickerington Central Tigers and St. Xavier Bombers (Cincinnati) was a lopsided victory. St. Xavier defeated Pickerington Central 44-3 to end the Tiger’s perfect season and halt their quest for back-to-back titles and their third title in four years.

St. Xavier’s wide receiver Jalen Patterson exploded straight out the gate catching four touchdown passes in the first quarter.

Bombers quarterback Brogan McCaughey threw for almost 300 yards in the first quarter alone, completing 22 out of 33 passes and four touchdowns. Patterson also tied an Ohio state championship receiving record.

The Bombers also played a great game on defense lead by Grant Lyons.

Friday’s game was the first meeting between St. Xavier and Pickerington Central since 2016 when the Bombers beat the Tigers 29-27 in the semifinals to go on and defeat St. Ignatius (Cleveland) in a double-overtime thriller for the state championship.

Meanwhile, the Tigers came in averaging 257 yards rushing managed just 20 total rushing yards in the first half. A lot of that was credited to Lyons and nose guard Giovanni Albanese.

Pickerington Central got on the board with a 27-yard field goal at the start of the second quarter, but St. Xavier answered with two more touchdowns, including a 60-yard punt return by Gabriel Dubois.

Bomber’s coach Steve Spect in a post-game interview expressed how proud he was of these young men conquering all the craziness of 2020, and now they are state champions.

Both programs deserve a standing ovation.👏🏾
@ohsaasports

Meet Odessa Jenkins. Co-founder of the WNFC (Woman’s National Football Conference)

credit: OJ Jenkins
credit: OJ Jenkins

Odessa started her journey in 2017 while working as an intern for the Bill Walsh diversity coaching fellowship. She quickly realized that her passion and knowledge of the game could empower women to play a professional sport that many would say is too physical for women to play. Soon after, she was invited to join the Atlanta Falcons coaching staff for an intern job with the running backs. Jenkins served as an intern there for 9 weeks. Jenkins has achieved a lot athletically accomplishing: two-time USA National Team gold-medalist (Women’s Football), a two-time Big West Conference basketball player of the year.
Jenkins praised Falcons coach Dan Quinn on just about everything she has learned, from an organization in the film room to building a franchise. With the knowledge she obtained, she followed her dreams and co-founded The Women’s National Football Conference. Jenkins is also co-owner and coach of a team. The WNFC features 20 teams, playing a 10-week Spring season, broadcasting nationally, and culminating with the IX Cup Championship game honoring women in sports.
Jenkins feels proud about her achievement, saying that having a female counterpart to the NFL will be the “final frontier” in breaking down the barrier between male and female athletes.
Jenkins stated that women have been playing organized tackle football for 60 years, but many people probably do not know that. The WNFC is a groundbreaking organization that provides women with an opportunity to play, coach, and participate in American Football at the highest level.
As a premier professional women’s tackle football league, WNFC plays 11-on-11 full padded American tackle football. Each team has an owner, general manager, and coaching staff. They also have sponsors such as Adidas and Wilson, to name a few. The WNFC has over 1,000 athletes and coaches across 17 states, which makes up 20 teams.
WNFC started operating in
2019 but due to COVID-19, the 2020 season was canceled. The league should be in good economic standings to have a 2021 season, working on a $500,000 budget annually.
Definitely excited about this!

Big 10 football is back Michigan Vs. Minnesota Week 1 preview

At one point in this crazy year, we didn’t think that this time would ever come. But it’s finally that time the big ten is back, baby! And there is no other way to kick off the 2020 season then having the Mazin Blue in prime time. The Michigan Wolverines take on the Minnesota Golden Gophers at 7:30 P.M. ( check your local listings for the game) In Minneapolis, where you see a new look with the Wolverines and the Golden Gophers.

Under the Jim Harbaugh era at Michigan, this is the first black quarterback starting under center for Jim and the first black quarterback in six years that Michigan has had since 2010-2014 with Devin Gardner. You may be asking who this kid that you speak of is? His name is Joe Milton, a junior out of Olympia, Florida, that has patiently waiting for his shot to take this football program to the next level. He sat behind Shea Patterson and Dylan McCaffrey last year. He is now number 5 is on the rise; with COVID-19 playing a considerable part in this years offseason, Milton will be without Michigan’s top receiver and security blanket in Nico Collins this year due to him opting out, the football season too because of the coronavirus and wanting to get ready for the upcoming NFL draft. But don’t worry, Wolverines fans, because all is not lost. Milton will still have weapons at his disposal; some are not battle-tested, and yet some are. For example, Chris Evans will be returning for his fifth year of eligibility after being dismissed from the team for academic reasons. Look for a lot of running off the ball to help Milton navigate the beginning part of the season to build his rhythm and confidence.

For the Minnesota Golden Gophers, they were coming for a terrific season last year. Finished second in the Big Ten West behind Wisconsin and looking to continue their newfound resurgence and success under head coach Pj Fleck. With Minnesota keeping their starting quarterback Tanner Morgan but losing key offensive players at wide receiver and on the defensive side at safety, the Golden gophers still plan on “Rowing the Boat” to another successful season and ultimately making it to Indianapolis for the Big Ten title game in December this year. It will be interesting to see both teams come out and jump right into real gameplay and real game situations after being away for ten months!! I can honestly say that I’m excited for Big Ten Football to pick back up and start, are you? Sadly, for the Gophers, they lost to the Wolverines on Saturday, October 24th, with a score of 49-24.

Another fairy tale season ends in heartbreak.

Reynoldsburg and Hilliard Bradley faced off with one another last night in a second-round play of the battle. The atmosphere of the night was just right for a Friday night football game under the lights. Both sides understood the importance of the game. They also did their best abilities due to the COVID -19 pandemic, but to tell you from someone who is an alumnus of the school and been around the city during a playoff game… man, it’s was a great feeling. Going into how significant a factor the crowd would have played in this game and ultimately sway the Raiders’ momentum. After a year off, the Raider’s family lost two former players, and this game would have carried a lot of weight in the community. But in the end, the Hilliard Bradley Jaguars were the victors.

Picking up in the second quarter, you start to see that both teams are getting past the stage of feeling each other out and seeing the game’s real seed. The Raider defense makes a great play at the red zone where they forced a fumble and created a 2nd & goal situation for Bradley, then the quarterback for Bradley threw an incomplete pass on 3rd down and caused them to kick a field goal to make the score (11-10). Hilliard kicked the ball off to Reynoldsburg, and once they got the ball, they took off running. The offense was clicking on the ground, pounding away at the Jaguar’s defense. When the Raiders would try to implement the passing game going with Dijon Jennings, the Bradley secondary defense was everywhere. It was hard for him to get in a rhythm with his receivers. In the end, the raiders keep it again on the ground and turn the result into a Reynoldsburg touchdown ( James Williams) made the score 17-10. After the kick-off, the ball landed at the 35-yard line of Bradley. The Jaguars offense was creating the momentum with a high tempo, a lot of QB out of the shotgun formation and rolling out of the pocket and draw plays up the middle, making the Raiders’ defense tired and looking burnt out.
With 4:23 left before halftime, Hilliard scores with a pass to tie up a 17-17 with ( 2:41) left in the second quarter. Hilliard
Kicked the ball off, the Raiders take over on their 26-yard line. The offense came out with three pass plays in a role all incomplete, and all three attempts looked like the quarterback and receiver connection was not there at all. After that, Reynoldsburg punts the ball away and gives it back to Hilliard Bradley. Bradley takes over on their 28-yard line. They complete a pass to get them to the 41-yard line, then Bradley immediately calls time to stop the clock to avoid any costly mistake on the next play that would jeopardize the game for them. After the time out, the Raiders’ defense gets a sack by Jabari Mitchel and causes the Jaguars to punt on 4th and 19 and ultimately end the half all tied up at 17-17.

As time goes off the clock for halftime, I notice around 1:54 of the halftime break I see the Quarterback of Reynoldsburg ( Dijon Jennings) gather up his reviving core and take them to the field so they all can work on routes and get that connection back before the start of the second half. As he saw and noticed the needed adjustment, I took note of making a great leader and quarterback. They kick off the second half with the Reynoldsburg Raiders getting the ball on the 42-yard line, and the first play they come out with is their bread and butter, a run play for Damiel Broomfield, then come back a passing game to Justin Barko to give the Raiders excellent field position. The crowd is going crazy; the energy is there. The momentum is swinging in Reynoldsburg favor. The Raiders cap of this drive with Williams’s 4-yard touchdown, making the score ( 24-17). The Raiders kick the ball off to Hilliard, and they take over at the 25-yard line. As I watched how Bradley conducts their offensive game plan, I was amazed. The run sets everything up; when I eluded to it earlier in the article how the Jaguars were getting all their chunk play, and scoring drives were all from QB role outs and play action, they were successful in the defense and focused on the run. With both teams coming back from halftime, the Raiders were ready for that type of playstyle. Hilliard’s first time out came as the field end in a three and out with Reynoldsburg getting the ball back with 7:41 left in the 3rd quarter. The Raiders get the ball on the 12-yard line. Reynoldsburg completes the pass for the Raiders 1st down; then, they come with another pass play that Justin Barko caught, but Hilliard stripped the ball! And the fumble was recovered by Hilliard Bradley. Major momentum killer for the Raiders is never false for Reynoldsburg to shoot themselves in the foot and stop them from breaking this game wide open. Hilliard Bradley Jaguars capitalize and score on a screen pass to the running back Deswyuan woods with that opportunity. Hilliard kicks the ball off, Reynoldsburg takes over on the 27-yard line, they get a couple of good productive plays, starting with a 20-yard run by Broomfield. They get down to 4th and one but decide to go for it, and the Raiders convert and keep the drive alive. By retaining the ball, the crowds and the players rejoice! Reynoldsburg keeps moving and gets into another 4th and three situations and decide to go for it with 1:20 left, but they get stopped. So, they have to punt the ball and give it back to Bradley to end the 3rd quarter.

In the fourth quarter, Bradley received the ball but was careless and pushed the ball away from themselves. Reynoldsburg starts their drive at their 22-yard line; the excellent production from their running backs and convert on 4th down with 7:10 left in the game; they come back with a pass play intercepted and kill the driving momentum once again. This interpretation was not the best-looking sight; it was terrible to see the quarterback run around in the backfield, looking for someone to receive the ball. But it doesn’t help when your quarterback throws a jump ball up in the air hoping and wishing his recovery will come down with it under pressure. You won’t get the best outcome. Hilliard Bradley turned that interception into a pick-six! As a result of the Raiders’ costly mistake, Hilliard capitalized on the opportunity to extend the lead, making the score (31-24) with 5:55 left in the game. The Bradley sideline exploded; it was Mayhem. The Raiders get the ball on the 30-yard line, the first play of the drive pass play to Alex Crump-Whitson that would have resulted in a touchdown for Reynoldsburg called back a holding penalty. Another drive and momentum killer, Raiders try to come back with another pass play but fell incomplete and resulted in a Reynoldsburg punt. Hilliard Bradley gets the ball and gets shut down; the Raiders defense does their job and gets the Jaguars off the field. Reynoldsburg receives the ball back on the 46-yard line due to a shanked punt; it’s due or dies time now, a little over 2 minutes left on the game clock. Jennings completes a pass Markez Gillam rush up to the line but gets a false start penalty to be moved back to the six-yard line with 1:08. Raiders call QB run play for Jennings gets them to the goal, then they called a pass play, and it’s caught in the back of the end zone by Markez Gillam off a quick slant making the score 30-31 with 16.5 seconds left in the game the Reynoldsburg raiders play for the win and go for it and try the 2pt conversion. Everyone is on their feet, both sideline in jeopardy of getting sideline warning penalties, but for both teams, which would make the play and advance to the next round. It came down to the Hilliard Bradley Jaguars, making a stand at the goal line and winning the game. The Reynoldsburg Raiders, a halfback dived up the middle with a full box stacked against them and denied poor play calling with the talent and team you have. You come up with that poor execution; you felt the disappointment from the players, the coaches, and the parents in the stands that it was another heartbreaking loss in the playoffs. As Bradley players and coaches run on to the field to celebrate, it was a bittersweet ending for Reynoldsburg football.