Sports Shorts

Junior league hockey squad currently getting a break

FLINT — After losing a pair of games at the Toledo Cherokee on Dec. 14 and 16, the Flint Junior Generals of the NA3HL don’t return to the ice until traveling to face the Cleveland Junior Lumberjacks on Dec. 5-6. Flint, 14-9-2-2, is actually six points behind Cleveland, 19-7-0-0, in the race for first place in the East division, a pace Toledo is close to catching up to at 15-11- 0-1. The rest of the division features Three Rivers at 15-10-0-0, the Metro Jets are 11-13-1- 0 and the Michigan Mountain Cats round out this field with just 17 points.

Leading the Junior Generals in points so far this season is Grand Blanc’s Jacob Howie with 14 goals and 18 assists, Swartz Creek’s Andrew Lay is fourth with seven goals and seven assists and tied for fifth at 22 points apiece are Lucas Diarmid and Davison’s Nicholas Goettel. — M.S.

Grand Blanc to host CMU baseball clinic

GRAND BLANC — Central Michigan University baseball coach Steve Jaksa and his staff will conduct a Winter Baseball Camp on Jan. 19 at Grand Blanc High. The camp will be open to all players ages 12-18 and be broken down into two skill specific sessions. Session one will run from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and focus on hitting, fielding and base running. Session two will run from 1:15-3:15 p.m. and focus on pitching and catching. Cost is $50 per session or $90 for both.

Jaksa, a Grand Blanc graduate, has a .708 winning percentage in nine seasons at CMU coach. He has won four Mid-American Conference West Division titles and was MAC Coach of the Year in 2004.

For camp questions, contact Grand Blanc coach JD Wheeler at 810-348-2865 or e-mail — D.N.

Ruffed Grouse Society to host habitat seminar

IMLAY CITY — The Countryside Banquet Center, 596 Cedar, is hosting a free habitat seminar and meet and greet for the Robert J. Lytle Chapter of the Ruffled Grouse Society on Jan. 9 at 6:30 p.m. The featured speakers, RGS Regional Director Bruce Wojcik and RGS Regional Biologist Larry Visser, will discuss habitat activity concerning woodcock, grouse and other wildlife species. Details or to register: or 810-938-0560. — M.S.

Format change for boys’ teams hoops finals

EAST LANSING — A change in format for the boys’ high school basketball finals was just one of several actions taken by the Representative Council of the Michigan High School Athletic Association during its annual Fall Meeting, Nov. 30.

Mirroring closely the format of the MHSAA girls’ basketball finals, the boys’ finals will move this season from three to two sessions. The first session will tip off with the Class D final at 10 a.m., followed by the Class A championship game. The second session will begin tentatively at 4:30 p.m. with the Class C final and conclude with the Class B title game.

Previously, the Class A and B finals were separate sessions, with the Class A final tipping at 4 p.m. and Class B at 8 p.m. The change will make for a shorter day for spectators wishing to attend all four games, and also allow them to do so by purchasing tickets for two sessions instead of three. — L.P

Nike Combine sessions only about a month away

BLOOMFIELD — Nike Combine Training for high school football players to prepare for the 2013 season and preparation for SPARQ, Michigan Preps, and NUC testing protocols is on tap once again this year. Players will be taught drills and techniques used to prepare college seniors for the NFL Combine. This training session will be on Sundays beginning January 27 at D1 Sports in Bloomfield. To register go to or for more information contact Coach Jackson at (248)535- 7404. — L.P.

Avoiding hockey injuries

ROCHESTER, MN. — USA Hockey and the Mayo Clinic have released a video titled, Heads Up, Don’t Duck that demonstraties why players should not duck their heads when they are about to crash into the boards, as well as what the right stance to take is.

“If you are going to collide with the boards, try to take the impact with any part of your body other than your head,” says orthopedic surgeon, co-director of the Mayo Clinic’s Sports Medicine Center and chief medical officer for USA Hockey Michael Stuart, M.D.. “If you can’t avoid head contact, always keep your head up and don’t duck. When the head is up, the normal curvature of the spine has more shock-absorbing ability. When the head is down, the spine is straight, which makes it more susceptible to fracture that can damage the spinal cord. Improved neck flexibility and strength may help you better absorb forces, protect the neck, and possibly even protect the brain from concussion,” says Dr. Stuart. “The bottom line is: Avoiding contact to the head is the most effective strategy.”

Details: http:// News/ HeadsUpDontD uck. aspx, http:// newsnetwork. or http:// sportsmedcenter- rst/. — M.S.

Warriors readying for road games and holidays

SAULT STE. MARIE — Prior to their games at the Soo Eagles last Friday and Saturday, the Michigan Warriors of the North American Hockey League were in last place in the North division with 21 points in 29 games, while Soo was tied with Jamestown for first with 41 points in 30 games. Between these squads in the division standings are a field that includes Kalamazoo with 39 points, Johnstown has 36 points and coming in at 32, 29 and 24 are the Port Huron Fighting Falcons, Janesville and Springfield, respectively.

With former Carman-Ainsworth varsity hockey coach John Jepson now working for the Warriors as an assistant coach, Martin Gruse has been the squad’s top offensive performer with 17 points, Zack Szajner had 16 points heading into last weekend and Brock Labelle had 13 points. Michigan will be in Missouri to take on the Springfield Junior Blues on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1. — M.S.

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