Sports

Muskegon Clippers Season Opener

Muskegon Clippers Season Opened, Tuesday, June 6, 2017 at Marsh Field

“Opening Day begins new season, new league, highly competitive play and affordable family fun”

MUSKEGON, Mich., June 5, 2017 – Muskegon’s summer collegiate baseball team, the Muskegon Clippers, returned for its fourth season at historic Marsh Field in Muskegon. Opening day was Tuesday evening, June 6, 2017 at 7:05pm.

During its first three years of play, the Clippers have gotten rave reviews from baseball experts and casual fans alike. Not only was there great baseball played, but the fans loved the historic ballpark and the fun and interactive atmosphere that was created during the games.

Game tickets are $5 for adults; $3 for Senior Citizens, $3 for students; $2 for children 5-12. Children 5 and under are free. There is also special pricing for season tickets, a 10 game flex package or group sales.

This season is full of new things at the ball park.

New League – Higher Quality of Play

The Clippers were admitted into the highly respected Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League which is supported by Major League Baseball. The Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League (GLSCL) has 15 teams in three divisions. The Clippers will compete in the Northern Division.

Other teams in the Northern Division of the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League will be the St. Clair, Ontario, Green Giants, the Irish Hills Leprechauns from Adrian, Michigan, the Lake Erie Monarchs out of Flat Rock, Michigan and the Grand River Loggers out of Grand Haven, Michigan.

The GLSCL is sanctioned and supported by Major League Baseball and markets their league as, “future Major League Baseball stars right in your backyard”.

Improved Roster

By joining the new league, the Clippers will be adding more players to their roster from Division I colleges and universities. They will also be playing more games against better competition.

The Clippers have completed their roster and have signed players from Universities like Michigan, Michigan State, Western Michigan, Central Michigan, the Citadel and Western Kentucky University. Several stand outs from last year’s squad will also playing for the Clippers. They include, Austin Batka, University of Michigan, Andrew Null, Slippery Rock University, and Cameron Bair from Davenport University.

In addition, the roster will include several local stars including Jacob Bushberger, Davenport University and Montague High School; Tyler Trovinger, Oakland University and Mona Shores High School; Bryce Kelley, Michigan State University and Rockford High School and Nolan Bryant, Davenport University and Rockford High School

The Fan Experience

In addition to the play on the field, The Clippers have built a reputation of creating a great family friendly experience that incorporates the fans in the action.

Part of the excitement includes walk up music for each Clipper batter. Crowd participation with the action on the field and between innings, is part of the uniqueness of Clipper baseball. And finally, kids are allowed to run the bases after the games.

Upgraded Concessions

Well known for their ball park dog, brat and popcorn, the Clippers will be adding delicious hamburgers right off the grill, nachos, pizza and Dippin’ Dots ice cream to their concessions line up.

In addition, to a variety of soft drinks and ice cold Budweiser products, the Clippers will be adding craft beer nights and tap takeovers to their schedule.

And of course the Clippers will have team gear and merchandise available for purchase.

Special Recognition Nights and Events

Throughout the season the Clippers will be offering up special recognition nights for groups like veterans groups, little league teams, sports clubs and charitable groups. There are even plans for “Bark in the Park”, where fans can bring their dogs to the park.

The Clippers also can arrange for group ticket sales, company picnics, family reunions and other special events on their party deck.

For more information contact Pete Gawkowski at 231-638-7696 or visit our website at www.muskegonclippers.com or join our Facebook page by searching Muskegon Clippers.

PEAK Training Academy’s PEAK Elite Program

PEAK Training Academy Launches Groundbreaking Program with Local Legend at the Helm and Scholarship Guarantee

Peak Training Academy, the newest and most cutting-edge, training facility in downtown Muskegon launched six months ago in downtown Muskegon. PEAK offers high-level training for athletes of all ages while using a 360 approach to growing not only the athlete, but the person. Located in the renovated LC Walker Arena Annex PEAK has a world-class training space with turf, basketball court, weight room, batting cage, hockey treadmill, and much more.

PEAK is launching its cornerstone program, the PEAK Elite Program. PEAK Elite Members will be chosen through an interview and application process from local high schools. Terrence Williams, founder of PEAK said of the program, “I believe this is going to change not only the lives of the individuals that participate, but will change the city as a whole.” The program is designed for student-athletes grades 9-12 with aspirations of using athletics as a vehicle for higher education, life experience, and personal growth. “We are focused on much more than just the athletic ability of the members. This program will prepare them mentally, academically, financially, as well as athletically for the rigors of being a college student-athlete”, Williams continued.

ttaylor

Terrance Taylor

Heading up the program as Executive Director will be local Muskegon legend, Terrance Taylor. A 2005 graduate of Muskegon high school and 2009 graduate of the University of Michigan, Taylor is uniquely equipped to head up the program. Terrance was an All-American at UofM, played in the Rose Bowl, and was drafted in the 4th round by the Indianapolis Colts in the 2010 NFL Draft. After spending time in the NFL with the Colts, Lions, and Carolina Panthers, Terrance has also wreaked havoc on the AFL.

On the addition of Taylor as Executive Director Williams said, “We couldn’t be more fortunate. Terrance is the example of what we want this program to produce. He’s not only had an outstanding athletic career, received a degree from one of the best institutes of higher education in the country, played professional football, but Terrance has a great name and reputation wherever he has been. He is passing on some great opportunities to come home to lead this program, so I hope people recognize and appreciate that. He really cares about West Michigan, and that matters to me.”

The PEAK Elite Program will focus in on four major areas; Philanthropy, Education, Athleticism, and Knowledge (life skills). “My mission is to help student-athletes achieve their goals and vision, not just on the field, but in the classroom and in life,” says Taylor about his goal for the program. Taylor hopes to make the path for up and coming West Michigan student-athletes easier than it was for him. He is excited to motivate student athletes to be all they can be. He tells students, “There’s nothing wrong with being ambitious, but there is something wrong with not taking the path many are afraid to take because you doubt yourself or your vision.” He continued passionately, “It comes down to accountability, mental toughness, and the ability to tackle and manage obstacles in their path to achieve their goals and dreams. It’s about being the best individual you can be in your sport and in life.”

The program will launch with a small test group in mid-march with the official launch set for early June 2017. Williams is so confident in the program that he is offering a money-back guarantee on the program. “If a student comes through this program and completes all of the requirements, we guarantee he or she will earn more in scholarships than the cost of the program. If they don’t we will give them the difference in the form of a scholarship back to them!”

Ironmen Get Big Win on the Field and Roster

West Michigan Ironmen sign 3 new players, hightlighted by GVSU All-American Jamie Potts.

ironmenMuskegon, MI: The West Michigan Ironmen earned the biggest victory of their early season coming away with a thrilling 34-30 win against division rival Chicago Blitz. The win was big for the young organization beating the Blitz who made it to the AIF championship game a season ago.

While the high-powered Ironmen offense struggled at times, the defense and special teams came up with big plays when it counted most. The defense started the game off with a Rony Nelson sack and forced fumble recovered by Derek VandenBosch for an early Ironmen touchdown. Special teams added another 2 scores on kick returns from Erik Thompson, including a thrilling game winning kick return with :28 seconds remaining in the game. The defense didn’t stop there, Corey Edwards sealed the victory with an interception in the end zone.

The offense had to work with a few new faces on the offensive line after injuries and promotions left the Ironmen without 2 of their starting offensive lineman. The Ironmen have answered their questions on the offensive line with the signings of Oklahoma State University standout Deonte Cruse and UMASS graduate Malcolm Speller along with Amilio Flores of Fruitport (Northwood University).

The offensive line additions aren’t the only new additions to the Ironmen roster. The West Michigan Ironmen have signed all-around athlete Jamie Potts, who recently retired from Professional baseball. Potts, was a standout 3 sport athlete at Oakridge before going to Grand Valley where he was a 2 sport All-American in football and baseball. Potts was drafted in 2015 by the Texas Rangers and played one year in their single A system in Spokane, Washington. Potts retired from baseball and returned home to Muskegon earlier this spring. Head Coach Tyrece Lynk said, “Jamie is a guy that we will be able to use in a lot of different ways. He’s an athlete, and in this game it’s critical to have guys that can help you in a variety of positions, and that’s what Jamie will do.” Potts signed with the team this week and has started practicing. He hopes to be ready to play in the upcoming game against the River City Raiders this Saturday at the L.C. Walker Arena.

River City is currently in first place in the division and the only team this season to have beaten the Ironmen. The Ironmen lost to the Raiders in a thrilling 75-68 game in St. Louis, MO earlier this season. With a win the Ironmen will put themselves in the drivers seat to win the division and get home field advantage in the playoffs. The game will kick off Saturday at7:05 at the L.C. Walker Arena.

Season tickets,individual game tickets, or group packages to watch the Ironmen take on Chicago at the L.C. Walker arena are on sale now. Keep checking for the latest news and events from the Ironmen. For further information please visit our website at www.westmichiganironmen.com for the latest Ironmen news. Reserve your seat now by calling the L.C. box office at 231-726-2400. The Ironmen play all of their home games at the L.C. Walker Arena located at 955 4th St., Muskegon, MI 49440.