Spring Training is in full swing for the Cleveland Indians, and one of their pitchers is coming off an arduous rehab and is ready to to get back on the mound and contribute.
T.J. House spoke with Sam Bourquin out in Goodyear, Arizona Monday to talk about coming back from the shoulder problems that the
"I'm excited to be back, I feel like baseball's been on the back burner for me for at least a year, so it's good to get back out here and get going."
T.J. said he's feeling good and doesn't have any limitations health-wise, but he knows that he's going to pick up more knowledge and improve on his game while in camp.
House said he mastered his curveball while at the big-league level, and adds that to his pitching repetoire, along with his fastball and slider.
"They first developed my change-up here, and then they started working on my curveball, so 2014 was when I started getting comfortable throwing my curveball."
The NFL Combine is in full swing, and many notable college football players are doing their 40-yard dashes, cone drills, and other drills, ahead of the biggest job interviews of their lives.
Chris Trapasso from CBSSports.com and NFL.com joined Brad Russell in the Average Sports Show on a Friday to talk about the notable running backs that performed well at the combine today including Ohio State's Ezekiel Elliot, Alabama Heisman Trophy Winner Derrick Henry, and former Georgia running back Keith Marshall, who overcame a rash of injuries to show well in Indianapolis.
Trapasso said the NFL looks at the combine in many different facets and the 40-yard dash is still an important aspect of the combine.
"For a guy like Keith Marshall, who may not have been drafted, he runs a 4.3 40-yard dash, and may get drafted in the mid-rounds now," he said.
Some of the more important aspects of the process is the interview process, and Chris said former OSU defensive standout Joey Bosa displayed a good sense of confidence speaking to the media and scouts during the Combine.
"For him to say that he's the best player in the draft, you want to see that, you want to see that supreme confidence in a supreme prospect," he explained.
The Suburban League will be welcoming two new head football coaches into its ranks for the upcoming season, and both men are ready to hit the ground running.
Justin Todd, the new head coach of the Wadsworth Grizzlies joined the Sam Bourquin Show to talk about his new gig and what he's going to do to put his imprint on the program.
"I just can't be more estatic about being in Wadsworth, and I'm chomping at the bit to get started," said Todd. " It's going to be important to meet with each one of my players and their families and they can hear my philosophy and where I envision this program going."
Todd was the head coach of Loudonville and Mount Vernon previously before becoming the next head coach of the Grizzlies.
Alan Vanderink will be leading the Tallmadge Blue Devil football program in 2016, and he's ready to roll up his sleeves and get things going.
He previously worked under coach Scott Chouinard at Copley and he says he will take a lot of what he learned with him to Tallmadge.
"Coach Chouinard did a great job of making sure he built a family-type atmosphere within that locker room with those kids and that community," he said.
Vanderink says he's excited about the challenge Tallmadge brings and their tradition in football.
"You're not coming into a job where they've been unsuccessful for 15 years, but there's great support from the administration and the community."
Spring training baseball is right around the corner, and the Cleveland Indians are getting ready to roll in Goodyear, Arizona.
Matt Loede, from NEOSportsInsiders.com joined Brad to talk a little Tribe as they get ready for the long season, starting with Opening Day April 4.
The major question heading into the season is will the Indians have enough offense to sustain themselves game in and game out, especially with All-Star outfielder Michael Brantley out for an extended period of time with a shoulder injury.
"He appears to be on track to come back quickly, but you don't want a situation where you force him back early and he gets re-injured and tries to overcompensate," Loede said.
Fans are also looking to see more production out of Carlos Santana, who the club is toying with the idea of having him hit leadoff. Loede said in spring training, there's many things teams try to do to make things better.
The Browns are in a position to draft a top-notch quarterback in the upcoming NFL Draft, and there are a couple of guys on the team's radar.
Longtime Walsh Jesuit head football coach Gerry Rardin (now retired) spokewith Brad about the exlpoits of former Warrior signal caller and Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook and how his resilency and mental fortitude will serve him well moving forward to the NFL.
"He just worked on every possible area of his game," said Rardin. "His best trait is that he never let the last play bother him."
During his career at Michigan State, he bested current Washington Redskins' quarterback Kirk Cousins' mark for most wins by a QB in Spartan history.
The other big name that people have been talking about is former North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz, whose stock rose after a solid week of practice at the Senior Bowl.
Ron Wingenback, the head coach of Century High School in North Dakota also joined Brad to talk about his former quarterback and what he brings to the football field.
"Carson's a very good learner," Ron said. "He wanted to know everything he needed to know about the opponent, and that made him a very good quarterback in high school and in college."
The Kenmore Cardinals took care of business earlier in the week when they defeated Canton South 57-52 in the first round of the Division II boys' basketball sectional semifinals.
Head Coach Brian Dawson joined the Sam Bourquin Show to talk about his squad and how they continue to fight and scrap their way to victory.
He said what worked against Canton South was the defensive press that took them out of their offense and led to fast break points for the Cardinals.
"They rushed some shots, we were able to get some rebounds and turn them into points, plus we were aggressive offensively,"said Dawson.
Some of the players who have been key for Kenmore all season long include seniors Deon'ta Collins, Erik Palmer, and Deneris Hopkins, among others.
The Cardinals will take on Norton in the next round of the playoffs. The two teams played earlier in the year, with Kenmore taking a 59-50 victory.
"To be honest with you, this game is a 50-50 toss up, if we play, we can win, if we don't, Norton can surely beat us," Dawson said.
One of the University of Akron's most dynamic and exciting basketball players will be inducted into the school's Athletic Hall of Fame.
Former Canton Timken and Zips standout Jimmal Ball joined Sam Bourquin in studio Wednesday to talk about his career with Akron, his time playiing overseas, and some of his fond memories on and off the court.
Starting with his career as a Trojan, Ball said his teammates as well as himself had a great time on the hardwood.
"We were a band of brothers, we were like a family, we did a lot of dunking, shot a lot of threes," Ball said.
"Everyone was out supporting each other and it was great."
At the University of Akron, Ball had many highlights including a 44-point outing against Xavier at the JAR Arena. Ball said he's proud to be a Zip and have some recognition for the hard work he put into his career at UA.
"It means the world," said Jimmal.
"To have the opportunity to come and play basketball here and have the career I've had and finally be recognized for it means a lot to me."
Jimmal and the other inductees into this year's Hall of Fame Class will be recognized this Friday, Feb 26.
After his senior season at Akron, Ball played 14 years overseas including 12 in France. He went back to school to get his degree in French and is looking to get into some public and motivational speaking.
The Hoban Knights have had a bit of a layoff before tournament play, but they are looking to make some moves and make a deep run.
Head coach of the Archbishop Hoban boys' squad T.K. Griffith joined the Sam Bourquin Show to talk about his team needing to be on the same page heading into the second season.
"Right now we're just trying to get everybody together, get that coheisiveness, that basketball need to be successful, and hopefully come back with that same chemistry we used to get a couple of nice wins earlier in the year," he said.
Griffith says he's confident in his squad regardless if his team faces either Firestone or Nordonia (who play tonight).
"I feel a ton better about our guys right now, because we had some good practices this week," he said.
The NFL Draft is getting closer and closer and the Browns are looking at various prospects, including quarterbacks to lead the team out of the dumps.
Neal Driscoll from Phinmaniacs.com joined Brad Russell in the Average Sports Show to talk about the quarterback position, and what Cal's Jared Goff and North Dakota State's Carson Wentz bring to the table.
Driscoll says that Carson Wentz would be a good fit for the Browns in the rough-and-tumble AFC North.
"He's bigger (than Goff), he's mobile, he's got a cannon for an arm, and I think if you put a good offensive line in front of him, he'll be solid."
Wentz came from the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS or I-AA) which has some teams thinking the level of competition wasn't as good, but Driscoll thinks he can succeed at the NFL level.
"They're getting a good guy, and I don't see how the Browns don't take a quarterback at #2."
The University of Akron's athletics programs are in a good place, and one of the MAC's more spirited football rivalries will have a new date for the 2016 season.
Larry Williams, the University of Akron's Athletic Director joined the Sam Bourquin Show to talk about the UA/Kent State game being moved to October, the upward trend of the football program, and Keith Dambrot's squad, who is enjoying yet another 20-plus win season.
When asked about the giridiron rivalry between Kent and Akron, Williams said the new date ought to be a wonderful opportunity for Northeast Ohio football fans to partake in that festive atmosphere.
"This is one we want to make sure everyone shows up for, and really understands what this local rivalry is about," Williams explained.
He says the football team has some expectations never before seen coming off the Idaho Potato Bowl win over Utah State, and Terry Bowden's unit ought to capitalize on last year's success.
"I think we're in a pretty good spot right now with a somewhat seasoned quarterback (Tommy Woodson), and this is our opportunity to take a step forward and make some progress."
Switching to the hardwood, the Zips' men's basketball program has been a source of excitement for the University of Akron and for Williams himself.
"It's fun basketball, and winning is a culture that breeds on itself, and that's something we want to contintue to foster," he said.
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.