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Jeff Vorva's Extra Point: Baker gets a jump (or several) on the weekend

  • Written by Jeff Vorva

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Last week, Jason Maholy wrote a front page story on Brother Rice’s Jimmy Baker in the Regional-Reporter on how the senior is trying to play both volleyball and participate on the track and field team.

Now for a quick update.

Between Baker, track coach Tom Wazio and volleyball coach Dan Dwyer, they have all worked out a schedule that everyone could live with. Wazio said that if there is a big volleyball tournament on a weekend the track team has a meet, he agreed to let Baker play volleyball.

On Friday, there was the first round of a big volleyball tournament – the Smack Attack. It’s one of the best in Illinois. And a portion of it was at Brother Rice. That night, the Crusaders track also hosted a pretty big track meet – the Rice Relays.

This time Dwyer agreed to allow Baker to miss the first match of the Smack Attack so that the kid could get some jumping in. Baker led his team with a 5-foot-8 high jump, was second with a 19-0.5 long jump and was second in the triple jump with a 39-4. The Crusaders’ three jumping teams scored 26 points to help Brother Rice win the 10-team event with 79.5 points. St. Laurence was second with 73 followed by Marist with 60 and Evergreen Park with 55.5.

After track, he made it back to the gym and helped his team win a pool match over Cathedral from Indiana.

The next day, the third-seeded Crusaders played three matches and finished second.

“I had a personal best in the high jump and my long jump…I really didn’t do that well,” Baker said. “In the triple jump, I jumped and headed right to the volleyball match with about five minutes to spare. It was a lot of fun.’’

His Friday fun sure beat last year at this time. In an opening-round Smack Attack battle with Payton High School at Brother Rice, he injured his left knee and ankle.

“I can’t believe it’s been a year,” he said.

Tweet of the week

Second guessing coaches and managers is common in the Twitter world but this rip job is unique.

Last week, a Tweeter wasn’t happy with a St. Xavier University baseball loss and wrote: “Poor coaching decision cost the cougs in a 5-4 loss game 1. Gotta go get em game 2 @gosxucougars.’’

The kicker? The man who wrote the tweet was SXU coach Rocco Mossuto.

He was ripping himself.

Ratings of the weak

The National Women’s Soccer League was thrilled with its TV deal with the Lifetime Network for a Game of the Week all season.

But the Awful Announcing website is reporting awful ratings for the first Game of the Week on April 15. 

The Portland Thorns and Orlando Pride played in the debut game and an estimated 82,000 watched the match.

Interestingly, the pregame show drew 131,000 viewers. What could be more captivating about a pregame show than the match itself?

Nothing.

The theory is that the showing of a dusty old movie, “Two Weeks Notice” starring Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullock may have helped. This 2002 movie drew 237,000 and some continued to watch the pregame show for a while before they realized Grant and Bullock were not coming back on the screen.

Even worse news for the league – the Game of the Week picked up less viewers than the 118,000 folks who watched Skip Bayless on ‘The Undisputed” the day before on FS1, and he has been a laughingstock in the ratings game since bolting ESPN.