Tournament time in the high school ranks is here and one of the Akron City Series' household names will be prepared for the slate ahead of them.
Steve White, the head coach of the Buchtel Griffins joined the Sam Bourquin Show Tuesday to talk about the makeup of his team and what's been going on with the Griffs on the hardwood.
He says he and his team will do some scouting tonight as Tallmadge will be playing Alliance, and then Buchtel will play the winner of that matchup either Friday or Monday.
He says his team is starting to play their best basketball heading into the tournament.
"We got better as the season went along," White explained. "You always hear Coach (Keith) Dambrot say, 'Just get better, just get better,' and that's what we've been doing, we beat a very good CVCA team Saturday night here at Buchtel, and we've just been getting better."
He (White) says that he thinks his team can survive and advance, they just have to come to play when the game lights come on.
He also says his team's confidence is high and that they can go toe-to-toe with anyone if they play their game.
The Jackson Polar Bears have put the cap on an impressive 2015-16 campaign, and they are ready for a deep run in the Division I State Basketball Tournament.
Tim Debevec of the Jackson Polar Bears joined Sam Bourquin Show on Monday to talk about how his club has done this season, and how their challenging out-of-conference slate has helped them get ready to face some tough teams in D-I.
"I thought we had a tremendous year with the schedule we had, the non-league schedule, it was disappointing not to win the (Federal) League this year, but at least we won a share, and we'll be ready for the tournament," Debevec explained.
Led by young men like Kyle Young and Logan Hill, the Polar Bears have been coming on strong, but coach Debevec says the fun starts now.
"We're excited about it, and hopefully we can make a long tournament run."
The Copley Indians are now 22-0 on the season after their defeat of Green last weekend, a big boost for his squad as they head into the playoffs.
Mark Dente, the head coach of the Copley Indians' boys basketball team joined the Sam Bourquin Show Monday to talk about the season, preparing for the playoffs, and the special group of young men who made this season special.
"It was definitely pretty exciting," said Dente. "I mean obivously it's something you dream about, but don't ever expect to have happen."
He said it was special to be able to get the seniors a standing ovation as they walked off the court, and that by beating Green, who is a tough opponent, served as an exciting conclusion to a special regular season for the Indians.
Dente said the home crowds at Copley have been great and he appreciates the support of the community and the student body throughout this season. The Indians have East coming up Wednesday, and he knows they're going to get the Dragons' best effort.
He says that the kids have done a great job handling their business on the court, and that they are prepared for tournament play.
"I sense that this (22-0) is not enough for them, and I know they're going to be ready for the tournament."
February as you know is Black History Month, and the Cleveland Browns put a special program on for the student athletes from inner-city Cleveland at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Former Browns wideout Steve Sanders joined the Sam Bourquin Show to talk about being one of the panelists at the event, and what it means for him to give back to the community and touch people's lives.
Sanders said he was excited to be a part of that special group.
"It was a great time at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, it's just an iconic place, so they toured for about 45 minutes, they listened to us for about an hour, and we were able to give them our knowledge and talk to them about sportsmanship and leadership," he said. "It was an outstanding afternoon."
He was joined by former Browns Greg Pruitt and Felix Wright on Thursday afternoon.
Sanders recalled playing for coach Urban Meyer while at Bowling Green, and he said that he picked up a lot from Coach Meyer, including being a better person away from the playing field.
I got a chance to share that with the audience yesterday, and I could just see their faces light up when I mentioned Urban Meyer, and I told the kids it was his mission to make everyone on that team (at Bowling Green) better in life."
Sanders played with the Browns from 2006-2008. After football, Steve's authored a book as well as traveling around the country speaking with various coaches and athletes about personal development.
In addition, he's also done some analyst work with WKYC-Channel 3 in Cleveland, talking about the Browns.
With the NFL Draft coming up in just a short amount of time, the Browns will assuredly take a look at a quarterback in April.
Former Division III national champion Jim Ballard, who played quarterback at Mt. Union joined the Sam Bourquin Show on a Feel Good Friday to talk about some of the signal callers like OSU's Cardale Jones, Cal's Jared Goff, and North Dakota State's Carson Wentz.
"The quarterback position is so objective and subjective by all the scouts in the NFL," says Ballard. "Things I might look for in a quarterback might not be a big deal to other scouts," he says.
One of the players who might get a look in the 2nd or 3rd round is former Walsh Jesuit star and Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook, who has all the physical tools, but questions arise about his leadership, seeing that he was not voted as a captain his senior season in East Lansing.
One of the big events ahead of WrestleMania 32 is the WWE "Fastlane" event coming up at the Quicken Loans Arena Sunday.
WWE Superstar Bray Wyatt joined Brad Russell in the Average Sports Show Friday to talk about his character, what it's like gracing the squared circle in front of thousands, and offering his take on what it will be like to perform live.
"The crowds they travel, just to see the pay-per-view, so they're always a little bit more riotus," he said. "It's true probably with any sporting event, the louder the crowd is, the more response they get from the athletes performing."
As the leader of the "Wyatt Family" Bray says he enjoys the day-to-day grind of the professional wrestling business, and he'll be on hand when the Wyatt Family takes on Ryback, Kane, and Big Show in a six-man tag-team match.
In the NFL, there is no offseason, and one of the NFL's biggest names is in the news.
Peyton Manning, two-time Super Bowl winner and Denver Bronocs quarterback was accused of sexual assault by a former trainer while playing at the University of Tennessee in the late 1990's.
Sobleski explains his stance on the issue, saying that nothing being reported here is new.
"We have one writer who basically stumbled upon this case for the first time in his life, and reported it from a first person perspective and it really wasn't," Sobleski said.
Manning has denied any wrongdoing in the matter. The university has been recently named in a Title IX lawsuit regarding sexual assault cases.
Brent also touched on NFL free agency, saying that there's some things the Browns need to look at including Alex Mack possibly bolting or addressing wide reciever in free agency.
"One of the guys you might look at is Bengals WR Marvin Jones," Hue (Jackson) likes him, and he would be a good #2 opposite Josh Gordon," he explained.
With the NFL draft just a short couple of months away, a lot of the latest mocks have the Browns taking a signal-caller with the #2 overall pick.
The Akron Zips have swept Buffalo in the season series defeating the Bulls at Rhodes Arena 80-70 last night, giving them 21 wins on the season.
UA men's head coach Keith Dambrot joined the Sam Bourquin Show to talk about how the team has been fighting the injury bug and grinding out wins.
Dambrot says he's proud of how his kids have handled adversity.
"We have a very skilled team, we can dribble, pass, and shoot, we're not as strong defensively as we've been in the past, but we offset that with good ball movement and team play," he said. "When we shoot the ball well, we can play with anyone in America."
The Zips will take on Kent State Friday night at 6 p.m. at the MAC Center on the campus of Kent State University.
The Tuslaw Mustangs boys basketball team made history last night, defeating Hoban 56-36 to move on to 22-0 on the regular season, the only team in Stark County history to do so.
Coach Kevin Lower joined the Sam Bourquin Show to talk about the win and what it means to the Tuslaw community to pick up win #22.
"It was a heck of a game, for two teams, and for us to finish 22-0, it was a great feeling," said Lower.
Coach Lower said he was nervous initially about the Hoban pressure and athletic ability, but he was glad his team was able to come out with the win.
He said his group has done a great job taking care of business game in and game out.
"We have 9 seniors and 7 of them play significant minutes, so we're led by them, and they know the expectations I have, and we're on the same page," Lower explained.
Tuslaw will be competing in the Salem District of the Division III state tournament, taking on Waterloo at home on Tuesday. But Coach Lower knows there will be some challenges down the road, but he says his squad will be prepared for whatever lies ahead.
The Canton Central Catholic Crusaders are making progress throughout the season, gutting out wins despite injury and illness.
Coach Matt Creamer joined the Sam Bourquin Show Tuesday to talk about his hoop squad ahead of their matchup tonight against fellow Stark County nemesis Perry.
"It's going to be an emotional backyard rivalry type game," Creamer said.
He said that if his team plays to their strengths, they can compete against anybody.
"We seem to do things methodically and by design to stay in the game, so if we have quailty ball possessions andget some stops defensively, we can beat a lot of teams."
The Crusaders will play Perry tonight and wrap things up against Northwest for Senior Night.
Friday night the Canton McKinley Bulldogs will be taking on St. Vincent-St. Mary in their regular-season finale at the Fieldhouse before tournament play begins.
Head coach of the Bulldogs' boys basketball team Rick Hairston joined the Sam Bourquin Show to talk about his team being prepared for the Irish and how his team is coming together on the hardwood.
"We got a lot done today," coach Hairston said. "We went through a little stretch where it was pretty tough for us."
The Bulldogs lost to Hoover and Lake, losing their shot at winning the Federal League title, but have reeled off five wins in a row, including an 89-74 win over Warren Harding most recently.
When it comes to STVM, Hairston says the young men are excited to play the Irish and are prepared for the challenge ahead.
"They're an outstanding ball club, they shoot it very well, and they're very athletic," said Hairston. "We just have to make sure we get out and guard the perimeter."
The Cleveland Cavaliers are at the midpoint of the NBA season and there are many people who think that they need to maybe add one more piece to make their championship run.
Greg Swartz from the Bleacher Report joined the Average Sports Show Monday to discuss the Wine and Gold's season thus far.
When asked about team chemistry and how that is at this point of the season, Swartz said he would be surprised if one of the Cavs' secondary pieces is still here after the trade deadline.
"I would be shocked if (Timofey) Mozgov is still on the Cavaliers after 3:01 Thursday afternoon," Swartz said. "He's fallen out of the rotation and he loved playing for David Blatt who was the coach of the Russian national team."
Greg also spoke about LeBron James and his status as a Top-5 player in the NBA, and how he needs to help lead his team to that next level.
The Lake Blue Streaks are co-Federal League Champs, and they are playing solid basketball heading down the stretch of the regular season.
Tommy McBride, the heac coach of the boys' team at Lake, joined the Sam Bourquin Show Monday to talk about his club and what they've been doing this season.
"We've been really engaged, "said McBride. "We've had sophomores playing like juniors and seniors playing like college players, and when that happens, magical things take place."
The Blue Streaks are co-champions along with Jackson High School. They will have two big matchups with Louisville High School on Tuesday and Firestone High School on Friday.
McBride says the Blue Streaks are riding the hot shooting hand of Chandler Vaudrin, and he says that along with Vaudrin, some of the other young men are stepping up their collective game.