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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
2:13 AM Sun, Dec. 16th

Sports Commentary

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Johnson: Hiking trails in the fall a favorite activity for many

Hiking Arizona

Fall, for many is their favorite time of year. Hiking where fall colors are on display in grand style, such as in the vicinity of Mt. Elbert, Colorado, is unforgettable. On my first trip there, I thought I was being given a glimpse of heaven.

Kobritz: Flyers mascot Gritty is frightening

Beyond the Lines

The origin of the first sports mascot is a matter of debate but the genre may trace its roots to 19th century France. History suggests the word mascot derives from a French opera, “La Mascotte,” the story of an Italian farmer whose crops wouldn’t grow until he was visited by a virgin named Bettina. With her help, his fortunes turned around.

Howard: The tennis boom of the early open years

My Point

It was a long time coming, but finally in 1968 the powers to be overthrew the old regime of a separated amateur and professional tour of tennis players and let tennis come alive with both competing against one another for men and women.

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Gunby: Golf rules changes will help speed pace of play

Tee It Up

The R&A and USGA have made some big changes to the Rules of Golf, beginning in 2019. These changes are intended to modernize the game and speed up the pace of play.

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Kobritz: ‘Most miserable fans’ goes to Kings, with Patriots on the other end of spectrum

Beyond the Lines

ESPN recently surveyed fans of teams in the four Major League team sports to determine the most miserable fan base in professional sports.

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Bergner: NAZ Suns moving forward with assistant GM Dylan DeBusk, for now

On The Ball

The NBA world came to a standstill Monday when Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver surprisingly fired General Manager Ryan McDonough, replacing him with James Jones, who was working under the title of vice president of basketball operations.

Howard: The path to playing professional tennis is a true test

My Point

This column is not for the faint of heart if indeed you have a child who has a goal of playing top level college and preferably professional tennis. It’s a dedication of time, money, hard work and willingness to give up most of the other things life has to offer and then there are still no guarantees.

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Johnson: A hike to keep you busy this fall: Hesperus Mountain

Hiking Arizona

First impressions of Hesperus Mountain, Colorado, are powerful. The first thing I thought when I spotted Hesperus for the first time was that it was the most beautiful mountain I had ever seen. I will never forget its contrasting bands of color, its perfect shape, its setting with a clear blue sky, patches of snow and wildflowers.

Kobritz: Grand jury investigation has MLB worried

Beyond the Lines

Yahoo Sports reported last week that a federal grand jury is investigating MLB’s international dealings, news which reportedly sent shock waves through the sport.

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Howard: Park of Fame: Tennis inductions and clinic success

My Point

When you organize and run a fairly large event, there are quite a few unknowns.

Gunby: Rules of golf and their evolution

Tee It Up

I ran across a newly published book that encompasses the entire history of golf, “Born on the Links: A Concise History of Golf,” written by John Williamson.

Kobritz: Compensating players for promoting beer

Beyond the Lines

Lost amid the excitement of September pennant races and the tabloid coverage of which NBA players slept with their teammate’s girlfriend, was an announcement that AB InBev (ABI), makers of Budweiser and other brands, had signed agreements to feature active MLB and NBA players in beer ads.

Howard: There’s much love for the history of tennis

My Point

Some people make it with their great play, some organize and work it, some write about it while others teach, some play at it and each part helps create the whole.

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Johnson: New Mexico’s high point is Wheeler Peak

Hiking Arizona

This is my favorite alpine hike. First, it is an excellent training hike for more serious alpine treks such as Mt. Whitney. ...

Kobritz: Legal sports betting may add billions to Major League teams

Beyond the Lines

Mark Cuban recently said: “I think everyone who owns a top four professional sports team just basically saw the value of their team double.”

Howard: Serena, Serena, Serena … bad behavior is bad behavior

My Point

There’s no real reason to go over what happened at the U.S. Open singles final except the fact that everyone seems to have a different take on it. Tennis, like most sports can be very emotional - and even more so because it’s just one person playing another, it falls completely on your own shoulders - you against them.

Gunby: How to pick out the best golf equipment for your game

Tee It Up

I think we all can agree that we play golf because it is a challenge and a never-ending quest for some common goals. Some of the common goals that I hear a lot from students is that they want to be consistent, hit the ball farther, improve their accuracy, and have fun.

Kobritz: Can we rid sports of performance enhancing drugs?

Beyond the Lines

On Sept. 3, 2003, federal agents raided BALCO, the San Francisco Bay Area Laboratory that provided performance enhancing drugs to several athletes.

Howard: Events make tennis much more fun

My Point

It was a crazy women’s final at the U.S. Open, and opinions of what took place are being bounced around like ping pong balls. But under the guise of this column, it’s still the fun events that make the game of tennis what it has become today.

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Johnson: Hiking Colorado’s Cross Mountain

Hiking Arizona

I feel a change in the weather coming, signaling the end of summer. However, autumn is still many weeks away, especially across the Southwest.

Kobritz: A novel proposal to save baseball

Beyond the Lines

A pair of academics have proposed a radical change to save baseball which is guaranteed to make traditionalists apoplectic.

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Howard: Don’t mess with my tutu, or my cat suit

My Point

It’s the day and age of almost anything goes in the world of tennis attire as well as where you change your clothes during a tennis match.

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Atherton: Local pickleball players gather to play Silver Fox tourney in Prescott

Paddle Up

The Silver Fox and Foxie tournament was held at Willow Hills Baptist church in Prescott on Aug. 25 and sponsored by the Willow Hills Pickleball Club, a ministry of the Church. The players were required to be 80-plus years old to play and the motto was, “You gotta be old enough to play to the game.”

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Gunby: More putting, part 3: Firing on faster greens

Tee It Up

This is the third of a series to assist you with putting. We will discuss different types of strokes and how to get the most out of your practice putting sessions.

Kobritz: Assault on the diamond, pitchers who throw at batters are ‘cowards’

Beyond the Lines

Headhunting in baseball is a euphemism to describe the actions of a pitcher who intentionally throws at a batter’s head. In any other setting we would simply describe the practice as assault.