Baseball and Softball Equals Winter is Over, Now is the time to think ‘Play Ball’

By: Raymond Rolak

Celebrate Baseball and Softball, a Metaphor for Life

The spring flowers budding throughout the township is an indication that the end of winter is in sight. The tulips and crocuses blooming signal the start of Spring renewal and summer enjoyment. It is also the signal that baseball and softball in Redford Township is right around the corner. Opening Day with the Detroit Tigers reinforces another signal of rebirth and renewal especially, winter is finished. By the way, Opening Day for the Tigers will be on Monday, March 30th against the Kansas City Royals.

Spring time in America means many changes. One thing that sticks out as particularly significant to this time of year is the way in which baseball ties perfectly into the everyday fabric of Americana. In this global economy, I have seen first-hand how baseball’s popularity has indeed extended overseas. Baseball captures the American spirit. Redford Township, Old Redford and neighboring Livonia has a rich history of excellence in baseball / softball.

EMU junior power-wing Thomas Binelli #23 goes up and gets two against Northern Illinois University as Trendon Hankerson tries to distract him recently at the Convocation Center. Binelli got 26 points and hopes the Eagles are firing on all cylinders for the MAC Tournament in Cleveland.

The distinction of a quality baseball and softball program starts with a committed recreation department and continues with dedicated adults in the youth leagues and faithful community sponsors. It starts in the schools and continues in the municipal programs. The key essential is having superior and humanistic coaches like Bob Atkins and Emil Majeski. Both are honored Hall of Fame members of the Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Association. Atkins at Redford Union was bestowed this well-deserved honor in 2001 and Majeski at Redford Thurston   in 1991. There is a place for both competitive (travel teams) and house (recreational) baseball/softball programs.

Celebrate Girl Power!!!

Co-ed Madonna University’s sports programs are some of the best kept secrets in the area. Did you know the women’s cross country team won the NAIA National Championship?

It was the 40th women’s NAIA National Championship on the grounds of historic Fort Vancouver. On hilly terrain known as the Cascades in Washington State, the Lady Crusaders earned Madonna’s first ever national title. Mackenzie Gurne, Christina Murphy and Alison Shapic also received NAIA (small college) All-America honors for Madonna. Additional scoring places were Kathleen George and Caroline George.

Madonna’s men’s basketball team is peaking at the right time. They are 22-8 under veteran head coach Noel Emenhiser. Madonna beat the University of Michigan-Dearborn 84-73 and will now continue as the # 2 seed in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference playoffs. Dwight Burton and Joshua Reynolds have rewritten the offensive record book for the Crusaders. They are averaging 23 and 20 points respectively. Junior 6’-2’ power forward, Henry Speight is adding 13 points per game.

Did you know that Madonna University will field their first varsity football team in the autumn of 2020?

The men’s basketball team at Schoolcraft College is currently ranked number 14th in the country. That was according to the latest poll of the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II men’s basketball committee. The team is 24-3 and will soon begin their playoff journey. They hope to qualify for the NJCAA Division II Men’s National Basketball Tournament that will be March 17-21, 2020 and hosted by the Danville Area Community College in Danville, IL. The City of Danville is hosting the tourney for the 27th consecutive year.

On the season Schoolcraft is averaging 86 points per game for Coach Corey McKendry. Sophomore Tre Harvey is leading the team in scoring with 16 points per game. In addition, a balanced attack is unmistakably their strength. The scoring is being shared, resulting in a potent powerhouse. David Wren, D’Quarion Cole, Carl Bow, Zavon, Godwin and Kemon Bassett are all in double figures. McKendry said recently, “Dave (Wren) has been a relentless worker on and off the floor as an Ocelot. He always brings up our defensive intensity and is a terror in the open floor.”

Schoolcraft College men’s baseball Coach Rob Fay announced that they would be playing their home games at THE CORNER (Michigan and Trumbull Aves.) starting Saturday, March 21, against Lansing Community College at 1:00 P.M. Circle that date and look for Redford native- son, sophomore, INF/P Garrett Bush to have a breakout season.

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