It’s not a really big secret, but baseball and softball players can be a pretty superstitious bunch of athletes at times. When Cedar National got started at the Little League West Regional in San Bernardino, it was more like a stumble than a bonafide sprint.
Once they won their opening game, the belief that Cedar National could keep the winning train rolling was just getting warmed up.
And all it required was a simple act when assistant coach Brandon Allen noticed the regional’s championship banner sitting in the dining hall at the stadium complex where the teams were being housed.
When Allen told the team “that banner’s going to be ours,” each Cedar National player made sure to walk up and touch it before the start of each meal – and even after if a player forgot the first time.
It seemed to be the subtle spark they needed. When Michaela Whitehair crossed the plate with the game’s only run that gave CN the championship banner all for itself in a tension-filled 1-0 win in eight innings over Mill Creek, Wash., those moments outside the field mattered just as much as what happened on it.
Payton Lister had clutch pitching performances at the right time, including a 5-0 shutout over Oregon that allowed CN to play for the banner and World Series trip. Whitehair and Sidney Webster were among the hitting stars, but everyone down the lineup delivered something at some point to give the team a daily boost of confidence.
With the big show starting today, Cedar National won’t be letting any sort of pressure get to them. They’re enjoying the moment too much to let anything else get in the way.
-Breaking news as of Aug. 5: Former SUU men’s basketball point guard Randy Onwuasor has announced his decision on where he’ll spend his final season of eligibility.
And the answer is…LSU.
For a player that got his minutes here and showcased how well he could score – a Big-Sky leading 23.6 points per game, including 43 that clearly willed, pushed and shoved the T-Birds over the finish line in the triple-overtime win over Montana State at the Big Sky tournament – it seems the 6-foot-3 shooting guard from Inglewood, Calif., may be heading to a similar situation in SEC Country that he’s leaving behind here.
The Tigers hired Will Wade as the new head coach in April after finishing 10-21 last season and failing to qualify for the SEC Tournament. They haven’t been to the NCAA Tournament since 2015, a fact completely unacceptable to a school that has four Final Four trips on its historical resume.
Will Onwuasor be able to find his way under another first-year head coach? That’s absolutely anyone’s guess.
-And drifting just a bit off normal “sports” topics (hey, this is called Random Thoughts for a reason), I was in bittersweet mode last Friday when one of my favorite funny TV shows that you’ve never heard of ended a fantastic run of four years and 600 episodes.
The Comedy Central show is called @midnight and aired for most of its final months (after Larry Wilmore’s “The Nightly Show” was cancelled) at 11:30 p.m. (9:30 p.m. here). We don’t judge technicalities, but the program gave a bunch of tremendous comedians a chance to show off their comedy chops with enough jokes to fill up your happy place in 30 minutes.
Even better: Fans like me got involved through the power of #HashtagWars on Twitter. Not those kind of wars, but comedic jousting with regular folks to see who had the most for the Twitterverse to see.
On June 22, I was honored with one honor by the show called Tweet of the Day. I won’t spoil it here, so please go to my Twitter that you’ll see shortly and you can judge for yourself.
As for me, four years of funny memories and a recognition for all of cable TV to see made being a fan so much fun.
Follow Tom Zulewski (and maybe find some laughs) on Twitter @TommyZee81 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.