SAD to be backWritten by Dave Woolford | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Just back from perusing the appealing environs of Fort Meyers, Fla., in an attempt to stave off the influence of SAD (Season Affective Disorder), also known as winter depression or, more simply, “It‘s time to get out of dodge for a while.” Think of spring training with very little emphasis on the “training” aspect.
When I informed past Toledo Storm coach, present Toledo scout and future Toledo Walleye coach Nick Vitucci that I was going to be in the Fort Meyers area on a sun-gathering assignment, he said he was going to be there also scouting two games between the Mississippi Sea Wolves and the Florida Everblades of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) where the Walleye will compete starting next fall.
My wife, Sue, and I met Nick at Germain Arena in south Fort Meyers. I asked Nick if he needed some help scouting the Sea Wolves, all of whom would become free agents with the team reportedly ready to suspend operations at season’s end. He agreed. Between the second and third periods, I told him I felt that No. 14 was a real good skater and I thought his name is Hall. Nick said, “Yeah, Jeremy Hall. He played for me in Toledo.”
Talk about a possible career as an assistant ECHL scout being cut short. That was really SAD.
Germain Arena has a little sentimental value for Vitucci. He played his 500th professional game in goal there during the 2000-2001 season against the Everblades while with the Greenville Growl.
When the Growl returned home for its next game, Vitucci was honored with a special night. Among the tributes, his teammates presented him with a regulation-size net, the front of which was all Plexiglas and covered with a collage of pictures and mementoes from his playing days.
Inverness Club members should remember Christian Sheehan, who served at director of instruction in 2003-04. He has since become the head professional at the Gateway Golf and Country Club in south Fort Myers. Golf Digest considered the 72-hole, 7037-yard course, a Tom Fazio design, one of the top 100 golf courses nationally when it opened in 1989.
A number of Brandywine country club golfers congregate at the facility every winter. They include Ted Meyers, Joe Gerace and Rick Kuncl. Toledoan Denny Spencer, who played five years on the Senior PGA Tour, and his wife Peggy were on hand to present Sheehan with a copy of Spencer’s very readable new book, “Listening for the Bugles.”
ODDS AND LOOSE ENDS
- Florida’s biggest ongoing sports news story appears to be Florida State appealing to the NCAA Infractions Committee to reinstate wins the NCAA mandated FSU vacate from games in which 62 ineligible students participated, beginning at the point they cheated on an online music course. That would include giving back 14 football triumphs, which appears to be the crux of the entire situation. It would mean that popular head football coach Bobby Bowden probably won‘t be able to become the winningest major college football coach ever. How emotional. He currently trails Penn State‘s Joe Paterno by one victory. FSU says its coaches are innocent. What’s interesting is that honesty and integrity have followed Bowden every step of the way at FSU, catching up with him frequently …
- ESPN, in an attempt to “grow” the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament, has helped concoct a tournament schedule that totally takes no notice of common sense. Michigan State, a No. 9 seed in the Women’s Tournament getting a home game against top-ranked Duke? Meanwhile, among the other three No. 1 seeds, Oklahoma played on a neutral court while UConn and Maryland played initial tournament games on their respective home courts. Predetermined sites are a flawed system. It crushes the integrity of the individual brackets. The problem? Can you say tee-vee? The NCAA and ESPN held their respective breath hoping Duke would beat Michigan State so the home court issue would be diffused. That, of course, didn‘t happen. Now, can you imagine their anxiety over the UConn men’s basketball team, playing for a national championship when it was determined that there’s a major cheating scandal involving the recruitment of Toledoan Nate Miles?