Archive for the ‘Football’ category

Photo of the Week: Ishpeming wins 2nd straight State Football Championship

December 2, 2013
(Photo by Grandpa Camo)

(Photo by Grandpa Camo)

…Ishpeming Hematites are about one word, Heart. This city, this town, and this football team has so much character and respect for one another. Last year was about David and Goliath, this year the story was already written and Ishpeming was destined to win. These players play their butts off for Coach Olson and the High School they represent. Winning a state title one year is awesome, but celebrating back-to-back state titles is special. That’s what the UP and the city of Ishpeming is, “a special place.” UP Power is not a slogan or a saying, it’s a way of life…

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Photo of the Day: #4 Auburn upsets #1 Alabama 34-28 in Iron Bowl

December 2, 2013

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This picture is beautiful and describes the win and the rivalry perfectly. Everyone from the state of Alabama was present at the Iron Bowl in Auburn. My goodness the Jordan-Hare Stadium was rocking and every student rushed the field in a sea of orange and navy blue. This college football game will be talked about for a very, very long time and the significance behind it was remarkable. That’s the beauty of sports, one moment lives on forever…

Top 31 Moments in the UP! #20 – Football Practice at Westwood and Kingsford

October 8, 2013
Photo by Steve Brownlee

Photo by Steve Brownlee

High School Football in the Upper Peninsula is the popular sport and when the practice season kicks off, the fans and the players get excited for another season.

After working a long night on the weekend, it got even longer but it was worth everything I had ever imagined. Westwood High School had it’s annual midnight practice that Monday morning and I went to the high school to get some footage and talk to the coaches and players. It was wet and soggy but it got my photographer juices going and I was able to use a lot of new techniques to enhance the video for the viewer at home and get a closer look. The players had never seen a camera guy get close and personal with the action but they appreciated it afterwards with all the tight shots and different angles when watching it.

Coming out of that practice, I felt pretty good about shooting another one. I went to Kingsford High School one day and I shot the Flivvers practice and my camera work got better. The emotional shots I got, the tight shots of the football and the players completing the drills were crisp and fast. I even got my foot caught under the lineman bull rush machine. It hurt, but it was well worth it. The video even has over 1,000 views on YouTube.

One of the best shots I ever got was the first 4 seconds of Kingsford practice. The player is looking straight at my camera and is waiting on the snap count to finish the drill. When the coach said hike, I zoomed out fast and got the players running under the lineman bars to complete the drill. The emotion I captured in those 4 seconds is breathtaking and is one of the best pieces of photography I have ever captured. It was like you could see through the players eyes and understand what he was feeling at that moment. Video like that is hard to get and watching it in the editing booth but a smile on my face.

I am so proud of that moment and those two days of shooting football practice because it turned me into an excellent cameraman who could shoot and edit like a true professional. I will always remember those practices, they were awesome.

Unbelievable Upset! Fordham beats Temple 30-29 to begin season 3-0

September 15, 2013

Fordham footballToday made it 12 teams! 12 FCS (DIV 1-AA) have defeated FBS (DIV 1-A) teams this season. Fordham defeated Temple in Philadelphia, PA 30-29 thanks to a 29 yard touchdown strike from Mike Nebrich to a leaping Sam Ajala in the end zone with 4 seconds left on the clock (Highlight below). With the win, Fordham is now 3-0 on the season and beat an FBS opponent for the first time since 1954 season with a 13-7 win over Rutgers.

This season has been special so far for Fordham. Last week they beat #8 ranked Villanova on their home turf for the first time in school history, this team advance to 3-0 for the first time since 1988, and the Rams played their first game at an NFL stadium since 1983 when they faced St. Norbert’s College at Lambeau Field.

So where does this win rank in Fordham Football history? It may not be at the top, but it certainly is very high compared to recent history against FBS schools (Losses to Buffalo in 1993 and 1995, Army and UConn in 2011 and Cincinnati 2012). Last time Fordham was relevant in the FCS was 2007 when they lost to UMass in the first round of the FCS Playoffs. This team has struck magic in the early going and I hope they can keep it up going into next week.

The Rams host Columbia University next week at home for a 1:00 p.m. contest in the annual Liberty Cup game. I know the stands will be packed with maroon and white as fans will start entering Jack Coffey Field with smiles on their faces.

It’s a new era of Fordham Athletics. This is just the first step in bigger success coming to multiple programs. It’s time to get excited in the Bronx.

Top 31 Moments in the UP! #22 – Remarkable catch caught on camera!

September 3, 2013
(Photo By Grandpa Camo)

(Photo By Grandpa Camo)

Being a camera man and shooting at any sporting event is fun. But shooting High school football is a real treat. When I first started out shooting with the big, Panasonic DVC Pro Tape camera it was tough to follow the football through the air. But after a while, I truly got the hang of it and captured one of the more remarkable catches I have ever seen through a lens.

Ishpeming was playing Pewamo-Westphalia in the Division 7 Semifinal game at the Superior Dome with the hopes of traveling to Ford Field for a chance at the state title. But the Hematites had to go to through the Pirates first on November 17, 2012. The Hematites pulled out the victory 8-7 thanks to some great defense but that wasn’t the key memory for me. The memory was capturing the Pirates only touchdown.

In the first quarter, from the Pirates own four yard line, junior quarterback Kyle Nurenberg fired a pass which deflected off Ishpeming’s Tyrus Millimaki and into the hands of 6-foot-6 junior wide receiver Lane Simon for a 94-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead. While Simon was streaking down the sideline, I got run over by the team cheering and jumping all over the place. I was cheering inside too because I was able to capture that amazing play on tape which is so hard to do in this industry.

During halftime, my colleague at the time Mike Ludlum said, “Did you get the touchdown?” I said, “I sure did. Perfectly!” Even our competition didn’t get the catch on camera. That was an awesome feeling!

I still watch the play from time to time just to remind myself how much I love shooting football and how I am proud of what I do for a living. Capturing that one moment may not be the difference in the world for the Ishpeming faithful, but I know people from downstate sure appreciated the great camera work I displayed that day on the sideline.

Check out the highlight below!

 

 

KISS brings football back to Los Angeles

August 20, 2013

VIA ESPN:

KISS_SeasonTicketsHeaderThe Arena Football League announced last Thursday that it was awarding an expansion team to a group of individuals that includes KISS band members Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley. The team, called the LA KISS, will begin playing in March at the Honda Center in Anaheim.

“As a fast-paced, high-action band, this partnership with the AFL was an obvious fit for us,” Simmons said in a statement. “Attending an LA KISS game in 2014 will be similar to a live KISS show, with thrilling, heart-pounding action.”

Season tickets, which went on sale Thursday starting at $99, will include a free KISS concert.

While the team will use the band’s logo, it is not known whether the team’s uniforms will be silver and black.

Next season will mark the 27th season for the Arena Football League, which begins its games in March and culminates with the ArenaBowl in August.

As a KISS music fan I have to say that I don’t expect anything less from Gene Simmons. The guy knows how to market his product, manage his money, and get a lot of attention. I think this is going to be good for the sport and good for the Los Angeles area because arena football is like the band KISS (crazy, exciting, and fun). But the next thing I want to see are the design of the football jerseys. KISS is known for their great costumes and makeup so I expect the jerseys to be sweeter than ever. In the end, Arena Football used to be big back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s with a big TV deal and a solid fan base. Since then, football fans have turned back to NFL football on Sunday and have left the AFL in a commissioner’s nightmare.. Maybe this news will help them get out of it…

Top 31 Moments in the UP! #25 – First look at 8 Man Football

July 22, 2013
Photo by Grandpa Camo

Photo by Grandpa Camo

This countdown has brought up conversations discussing multiple sports that take place during all four seasons in the Upper Peninsula. #25 in the countdown will be about a sport I did not even know existed until I showed up to Eben Junction and saw Superior Central take on Bellaire on August 31, 2012 to shoot some 8 man football.

The concept is relatively simple. Instead of 11 boys playing on both sides of the ball, there are only 8 playing on offense and defense. The field is also constructed differently, The size of the playing field is often smaller in eight-man football than in eleven-man. Some teams opt for a smaller, 80-yards long by 40-yards-wide field.

In terms of gameplay, eight-man football is quite different from its eleven-man counterpart. Due to a smaller field and fewer players, the tempo of the game is noticeably faster-paced. Scores tend to be higher, even in high school games where quarters are only 12 minutes long (rather than 15).

Especially in high school, a higher percentage of plays are trick plays; direct snaps, Wildcat formation plays, and fake punts and field goals are somewhat more common.

I had no idea what to expect from this game going into it but all I have to say is that I was extremely entertained and it was a blast to watch. I watched Rapid River, Mid Pen, Superior Central, Cedarville, and Bellaire play. Two of the best offenses that I watched were Superior Central and Rapid River. The Rockets and Cougars both averaged 37 points per a game last season.

The Cougars had Trevor Maki at QB and Dan Steward at WR and that one two combo was hard to stop. For the Rockets of Rapid River, QB Jake Pearson was unstoppable with his arm and his legs. His teammate RB Eli Orth did a fantastic job finding the end zone with his good speed and soft hands coming out of the backfield.

What I loved so much about this style of football was the amazing plays that are created by the coaches and players. In the first highlight. Go to 0:30 seconds in and you will see a perfectly executed fake field goal for a two point conversion. In the second highlight, at 8:00 mark you will see a nice option by Mid Pen and then a nice long run by Rapid River to counter attack.

But my favorite play of them all is when I went to see Rapid River take on Brimley on September 4th 2012. The moment takes place at the 7:30 mark in the last video. The snap to Jake Pearson on third down goes over his head about 15 yards so he has to run and recover it but what happens is he turns up field and returns it all the way to the end zone breaking tackles by all 8 players. It was sure fun to watch. Definitely one of the better ways to play the game of football.