This weekend’s Class 3A and 4A state tournaments at Slammers Stadium will not feature any local entries, which is a shame.
On the other hand, the baseball from Friday morning through Saturday night in downtown Joliet will be worth a time investment from local fans.
The Friday semifinal games in 3A will pit Marian Catholic against Champaign Central at 10 a.m. and Marmion against St. Viator at noon. In 4A, New Trier will face Crystal Lake South at 3 p.m., and Edwardsville will tangle with St. Laurence at 5 p.m.
Third-place and title games will be played Saturday. Additionally, IHSA TV icon Dave Bernhard will receive the Distinguished Media Service Award at about 5 p.m., just before the 4A state championship game.
Bernhard, a former teacher and baseball coach at Lincoln-Way, has broadcast high school games on WJOL Radio and hosted a weekly prep sports cable TV show during his media career.
However, while he is known statewide for his TV work, he also covered games as a stringer for The Herald-News, not only local high school and college games, but also the Joliet JackHammers back in the day. He always wrote excellent, knowledgeable stories, was a good ambassador for our paper wherever he went, and above all else is someone I always have considered a good friend.
Congratulations, Dave. Looking forward to seeing you this weekend at Slammers Stadium.
One of the best baseball pitchers in the Joliet area, Arizona State-bound Brady Corrigan of Plainfield North, went down with an injury midway through the season.
Had he been available in the postseason, who knows how far the Tigers might have gone? As it is, they reached the championship game of the Class 4A Oswego Sectional.
Injuries, such as Corrigan’s labrum tear, will happen, and there might be nothing anyone realistically can do to avoid them.
On the other hand, arm injuries to young pitchers have increased in recent years, and the consensus is that many of those injuries happened because of overuse, or because of kids attempting to throw too hard to impress someone at an offseason showcase or tournament. The IHSA tried to do its part to help lessen the frequency of injuries when it instituted pitch-count guidelines for this spring season.
In recent years, more than one local high school head coach or pitching coach has expressed their disappointment to me about losing a pitcher to an offseason injury.
White Sox team physician Dr. Anthony Romeo is among the experts who will tell you the problem should not be taken lightly. He will discuss the rise in throwing overuse injuries and the growing number of young athletes undergoing Tommy John surgery during a free clinic at 7 p.m. June 19 at the Bo Jackson Dome in Lockport.
Seating for the clinic is limited, and spots will be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis. Light refreshments will be provided. To register, visit www.RushOrtho.com/events/BJES.
The WNBA’s Chicago Sky is off to a 1-7 start, but Joliet Catholic Academy graduate Allie Quigley has been on top of her game. She is averaging 30 minutes, 14.6 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists, playing in the Sky’s past five games after her return home from her season in Turkey. She is shooting .538 from the field, .400 from 3-point range and is 7 for 7 from the free throw line.
Lockport graduate Mike Zimmer is back coaching the Minnesota Vikings in person after a doctor-ordered two-week hiatus, and he reportedly has admitted he should have taken his eye problems seriously when they began Oct. 31, when he scratched his right eye during a game against the Bears. He had the first of what is now eight surgeries the next day. His most recent surgery occurred May 17. He missed one game late last season, a December matchup against the Cowboys.
Zimmer has said he held conference calls with assistant coaches and traded text messages with players during his recent two-week leave. He stayed on top of everything that was happening during that time, which came as no surprise to anyone.
• Dick Goss can be reached at email@example.com.