Sports Shorts

MSU players holding clinic

FLINT — Former Michigan State University players will be helping area kids get ready for the 2015 football season at an upcoming clinic to be held at Atwood Stadium. The free clinic is being held in conjunction with a fundraising event to benefit the Hurley Medical Center’s Children’s Miracle Network. The clinic will be held on Aug. 15 and will give participants a chance to see the upgraded Atwood field located at 701 University Ave. in Flint. The football clinic is being led by former MSU player William Cooper with Dig Deep Training. He will be joined by other fellow Spartans including Keith Nichol. The free two-hour clinic will allow aspiring football stars to learn more about the game from former college players. There is no cost to attend, but any children who participate must have a waiver signed by their parent or guardian. Registration begins at 9 a.m. and the clinic runs from 10 a.m. to noon. The clinic is open to children ages 6 to 13. Kristopher Johns and his wife Vanessa Ferguson are spearheading efforts to raise funds to purchase a piece of specialty equipment for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and are coordinating the clinic in conjunction with a fundraiser for Hurley. After the football clinic, starting at 2:30 p.m., MSU fans are invited to join Sparty at the Brick Street Bar & Grill in Grand Blanc located at 1223 E. Grand Blanc Rd. Sparty will be posing for pictures with fans. Nichol will also be on hand for autographs. The cost is $20 per family with all proceeds going toward the fundraising efforts for the Hurley NICU. “Spartan fans are getting a real treat by having the opportunity to get personal photos with Sparty,” said Johns. “He usually doesn’t make appearances for photos at games and it can be hard to get access to him at larger events.” Additional information about the clinic is available about Dig Deep Training at Anyone interested in more information about the fundraising efforts for the panda warmer can visit the project’s page on Facebook at or can email Donations can be made online at Kristopher Johns is available at 810-348-4437.

Firebird makes team Canada

FLINT– The youth core of the Flint Firebirds continues to shine as forward Will Bitten was among the 22 Canadians selected to represent their country at the 2015 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup, Aug. 10-15 in Breclav, Czech Republic, and Bratislava, Slovakia. This is the second time Bitten will represent Canada on the international stage. He was a member of Team Canada Red at the 2014 World U-17 Challenge where he had five points omn two goals and three assistin five games The U-18 Canadian National Team roster was selected following a five-day selection camp that included daily practices and three Red-White intrasquad games during Hockey Canada’s National Teams’ Summer Showcase at the Markin MacPhail Centre at WinSport’s Canada Olympic Park in Calgary. Bitten is one of only three OHL forwards selected on the U-18 Canadian National Team which includes a total of 13 forwards, seven defensemen and two goaltenders. In addition, Matyáš Kantner, the Plzen, Czech Republic native and Flint’s second round selection in the 2015 CHL Import Draft will also compete this week with the U-18 Czech Republic National Team. Last week, Vili Saarijärvi, who was selected in the first round by the Firebirds in the 2015 CHL Import Draft and by the Detroit Red Wings in the third round of the 2015 NHL Draft (73rd overall), competed with the U-20 Finnish National Team against the United States and Sweden national programs in Lake Placid, N.Y. For more information on the 2015 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup including team rosters, schedules, results and to watch games live, access the following links: Rosters, schedules, statistics and live game video. — K.W.

Youth sporting clays shoot

GRAND BLANC – Pheasants Forever Genesee County Chapter (PFGCC) is offering a free youth sporting clay shoot on Sunday, Sept. 27 at the Grand Blanc Huntsman’s Club, 9046 Irish Rd. Registration is at noon, a safety talk follows at 12:30 p.m. and a shotgun start begins the competition at 1 p.m. Awards and lunch immediately after. Open to kids ages 18 and under. The shoot is funded by the PFGCC and includes one round of sporting clays with 50 targets, ammunition is provided, awards, door prizes and refreshments included. Must pre-register by Sept. 15 and is limited to the first 78 to sign up by Sept. 27. Email application available at to or contact Pat Okopny at 810-695-5169. – L.P.

Brookwood 5K Boogie Race

BURTON– IMA Brookwood Golf Club will host its second 5K Run/Walk on Thursday, Sept.24 on the golf course. The event will take racers through the historic 18-hole championship golf course built in 1938. Runners will take off at 6 p.m. and walkers will go at 6:01p.m.

The 5K Run/Walk will benefit the IMA Recreation Association and The First Tee of Eastern Michigan. “IMA Brookwood Golf Club is home to both of these organizations so it made a lot of sense to provide the community with a fun outdoor recreational program that benefited both organizations” said Chris Allard, General Manager of IMA Brookwood Golf & Banquet Center.

“Each year the IMA has tried to provide the community with new events and activities to get outdoors and involved in. We are pleased to have the Brookwood 5K Boogie Race on our slate of healthy outdoor activities” added Allard.

Participants can take advantage of the early bird registration fee of $35 through August 31. The registration fee includes the race, post-race meal, entertainment and one adult beverage ticket. Participants that register by August 31 will also receive a race day T-Shirt and a Race Day Souvenir. New in 2015, children 12 & under can participate in the race for only $10.

Early packet pick-up will be available on September 23 from 5-7 p.m. at Complete Runner located at 915 S. Dort Highway in Flint. Packet pick-up the day of the race and late registration will take place at IMA Brookwood Golf Club beginning at 4 p.m. Details: Lisa Ray at 810-742-2169, e-mail or go to the race website at

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