Some random thoughts on an ugly Friday night.
St. Clairsville's Jacob Visnic continued to dominate a pair of divisions on the Mountain Dew AMA ATV Motocross Tour.
The 11-year-old opened the season with a pair of first-place finishes in Washington, Ga., in the 70 Auto (6-11) and 90 Auto Jr. (8-11).
On April 3, he captured two more first-place finishes during the Amsoil Spring National at Muddy Creek Raceway in Blountsville, Tn. That gives him 60 points after two rounds in the 90 Auto Jr., nearly 20 ahead of the second-place rider. He has amassed 55 points in the lower division.
The third stop on the tour is nearly home to Visnic as they compete at High Point Raceway in Mt. Morris, Pa., in the Maxxis ATV Stampede. Mt. Morris is located on I-79 between Morgantown and Waynesburg, Pa.
WLU Spring Game
According to Hilltoppers' head coach Roger Waialae, a couple of former Eastern Ohio products performed really well in recent Black-and-Gold Game at Russek Field.
Martins Ferry's Marco Ricchetti, who sat out last season with a redshirt, is looking to have a great senior season as the Hilltoppers' safety. He was credited with a tackle for lost yards in limited action.
"Marco is a player we're going to count on a lot on the defensive side of the ball," Waialae said. "We're counting on him to be a leader and he hasn't disappointed."
River's Dylan Potts, who transferred from Akron, was a starting wideout last season. He caught three balls for approximately 60 yards in the game, according to the head coach.
"The competition between the offense and defense has been very good this spring," Waialae continued. "Usually the offense has had the upperhand, but the defense held its own after the first series."
The offense (Gold) won 66-47 over the defense (Black).
Maleski Getting Feelers
Former Bridgeport two-way all-Ohio standout Nate Maleski is getting some feedback from NFL teams regarding the upcoming draft, Waialae said.
"There are some teams that have shown interest, but nothing concrete yet," Waialae noted. "I think teams would be nuts not to take a chance on him."
The 6-2, 300-pound Maleski played nose tackle for WLU. He was a first-team all-MEC performer this past fall and took part in an All Star Game in Myrtle Beach.
Doosan Bears' righthander Dustin Nippert made his fourth straight opening day start earlier this month and was credited with the win after throwing five innings and giving up three earned runs on seven hits.
In a related matter, in wake of the tragic ferry sinking, the Korean Baseball Organization asked teams to curtail indefinitely cheerleader appearances, amplified cheering and other celebrations during games. The Doosan Bears team said on its website an autograph event has been canceled, and there will be no cheerleading at its games.
For those of you out there that thought Pittsburgh would skate past Columbus with ease just because it had during the regular season, Game 5 is tonight in Pittsburgh.
The playoffs are a second season ... an entirely different season as each, and every, game means so much. Sure, every regular-season games means something, but not to the magnitude in a win-or-go-home series.
I will confess. I thought the Penguins would have an easier time than they've had, but they haven't gotten anything out of their top two stars - Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin - yet. Sure they've jumped out to a pair of big leads, only to surrender them and eventually lose those games, but if they are to be a Stanley Cup-caliber team, then they've got to bury teams when they get ahead.
Tonight will be vintage Pittsburgh Penguins' playoff hockey. However, the series will go the distance with the Black-and-Gold prevailing.
NFL Draft Thoughts
Pittsburgh: An offensive lineman that can stay healthy and be able to play multiple positions in the trenches.
Cincinnati: A quality backup for QB Andy Dalton.
Cleveland: Where to start? It has to be a QB, but who?
The draft is set to begin Thursday, May 8 at New York's Radio City Music Hall.
According to many experts, and believe me there are a whole lot of them out there, South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney will be the first pick by the Houston Texans.
A pair of former Ohio State standouts - CB Bradley Roby and LB Ryan Shazier - are listed on many mock first-round ballots.
North can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org