Sports & Recreation
CHAMPIONSHIP STAFF RETURNING TO RIVER BANDITS PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Sports & Recreation
Written by Marco LaNave   
Thursday, 16 January 2014 10:01
Omar Lopez set for second year as manager; Borkowski, Chimelis and Coleman return from 2013 field staff

DAVENPORT, Iowa (JAN. 15, 2014) Manager Omar Lopez and three coaches from the Quad Cities River Bandits' run to the 2013 Midwest League Championship are returning to the team for the 2014 season. The River Bandits and Houston Astros, entering their second season of a new affiliation, announced the Class-A club's field staff on Monday.

Lopez will begin his second season with Quad Cities and seventh as a manager in the Astros organization when the River Bandits host Kane County on Opening Day at Modern Woodmen Park April 3. In 2013, the River Bandits won 81 regular season games – the third-most in franchise history – and Lopez, 37, reached his first playoffs as a minor league manager. Quad Cities went 7-1 in three postseason rounds to claim its second Midwest League Championship in three seasons and sixth title since the franchise joined the league in 1960. Lopez is the 34th manager for the Quad Cities Midwest League franchise and fifth to manage an Astros affiliate in the Quad Cities. He is the third Quad Cities manager to win a championship in his first season, joining Jim Napier of the 1979 Quad City Cubs and Don Long of the 1990 Quad City Angels. Prior to Lopez, only Fred Koenig, with the 1969 Quad City Angels, and Napier, with the 1980 Quad City Cubs, returned to the Midwest League club the season after leading the team to a championship.

Lopez has a career regular season record of 217-237 (.478) in his first six managerial seasons in the Astros organization. He managed the rookie-level Greeneville Astros in the Appalachian League in 2011 and 2012, the Gulf Coast League Astros in 2009 and 2010, and the Venezuelan Summer League Astros in 2008. Prior to managing, Lopez served as a hitting and infield instructor in the Astros Venezuelan program and as a scout for the organization from 1999 to 2007. He was the Astros International Man of the Year in 2005 and Player Development Man of the Year in 2010. A native of Valencia, Venezuela, Lopez was an infielder for three seasons in the minor league systems of the Chicago White Sox (1996-97) and Arizona Diamondbacks (1998). He played two seasons for the rookie-level Bristol White Sox and his final season with the South Bend Silver Hawks of the Midwest League.

Former major league pitcher Dave Borkowski returns for his second season as the River Bandits pitching coach and fifth as a coach in the Astros organization following 15 seasons (1995-2009) as a professional pitcher. Borkowski's first Quad Cities staff issued the fewest walks (394) in the league and posted a 3.62 team ERA that was fourth-best among 16 teams. Borkowski, 36, appeared in 181 Major League games (21 starts) and was 13-20 with one save and a 5.87 ERA in seven combined seasons with Detroit (1999-2001), Baltimore (2004), and Houston (2006-08). His first professional season was in 1995 after being selected in the 11th round of the June 1995 draft by Detroit, and he pitched in the Midwest League for the 1997 West Michigan Whitecaps. Borkowski coached the pitching staff of Class-A Lexington in the South Atlantic League in 2011 and 2012, and he was the pitching coach of rookie-level Greeneville in 2010.

Joel Chimelis returns for his second season as the Quad Cities hitting coach and ninth consecutive season as a hitting coach in the Astros organization. In 2013, Quad Cities was fourth in the league with 636 runs and third with a .338 team on-base percentage. The 2014 season will be the 11th overall as a minor league coach for Chimelis, 46, following a 14-season professional career. He has also coached in the Astros organization with short-season Class-A Tri-City (2006-10), Class-A Lexington (2011) and Double-A Corpus Christi (2012). Chimelis was on a championship-winning staff with Tri-City in 2010. He spent 2004 and 2005 with the Savannah Sand Gnats of the Washington Nationals (Montreal Expos in 2004) organization. As a player, Chimelis was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 11th round of the 1988 Major League draft. He was a minor league infielder in the Athletics (1988-1991), San Francisco Giants (1991-1995) and New York Mets (1996) organizations. He was called up to the Giants major league roster in 1995 but did not appear in a game. Chimelis also played in Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Taiwan and Korea.

Former major league All-Star Vince Coleman is entering his second season with the River Bandits and Astros organization as a development specialist focused on outfield and baserunning. He will again be with the club for homestands and also be a scout and roving instructor within the Astros organization. Quad Cities led all Midwest League Western Division teams with 151 stolen bases as a team in 2013. Coleman, 52, played 13 seasons for the St. Louis Cardinals (1985-90), New York Mets (1991-93), Kansas City Royals (1994-95), Seattle Mariners (1995), Cincinnati Reds (1996) and Detroit Tigers (1997). He was the National League Rookie of the Year when he set a major league rookie record with 110 stolen bases in 1985 – the first of a major league-record three straight 100-steal seasons to start a career. In his first six seasons, he was a two-time All-Star, and led the National League in stolen bases every year from 1985 to 1990. In 1989, Coleman set the major league record when he stole 50 consecutive bases without being caught. His 752 career stolen bases rank sixth in Major League history.

Michael Rendon enters his first season as the River Bandits athletic trainer and fourth season overall with the Astros organization. Rendon worked with rookie-level Greeneville in 2011, and he was with short-season Class-A Tri-City in 2012 and 2013, when the ValleyCats won the New York-Penn League Championship. A 2010 graduate of Southern Illinois University, Rendon completed two internships with the athletic training staff for the Double-A Springfield Cardinals in the St. Louis organization and worked for the Southern Illinois University Clinical Experiences, assisting with the rehabilitation and treatment of injured student athletes.

James McNichol enters his first season as the River Bandits strength coach and second with the Astros organization. McNichol was with the Gulf Coast League affiliate in 2013. Prior to joining the Astros, McNichol worked at the National Basketball Academy in Orlando, Fla. He received his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Central Florida, where he majored in applied exercise physiology.

In 2013, the Houston Astros had a franchise-record six minor league playoff clubs, becoming the first organization to have six domestic affiliates qualify for the playoffs in the same season since Pittsburgh in 2003. Each of the highest six affiliates - Triple-A Oklahoma City (Pacific Coast League), Double-A Corpus Christi (Texas League), Class-A Advanced Lancaster (California League), Quad Cities, short-season Class-A Tri-City (New York-Penn League), and rookie-level Greeneville (Appalachian League) - made the postseason. Quad Cities and Tri-City each won their respective league championships. The combined regular season winning percentage of all affiliates (.569, 476-360) ranked second out of 30 MLB organizations.

UP NEXT: Season-ticket holders can still guarantee their same seats for the upcoming season, but time is running short! Ticket-plan holders must renew their plans with a $50 deposit per seat by Jan. 31, in order to keep the same seats as last season. Contact your account representative or call 563-324-3000 today to renew your ticket plan. To order ticket plans - with new lower prices - for next season, call the River Bandits box office at 563-324-3000 or visit www.riverbandits.com to download the season ticket order form. Season ticket and mini-plan packages start at just seven games and begin at less than $40. Call a River Bandits account representative today to choose your seats and get the details of our various mini-plan packages.

ABOUT THE BANDITS: Having just been named Ballpark Digest's winner of Best Ballpark Improvement in America under $1 million, the River Bandits ownership is making one of the biggest improvements to Modern Woodmen Park since the ballpark was first built back in 1931! A new Ferris wheel, standing 112 feet over the playing field, is opening this spring, along with a carousel, a new ride called a "Drop and Twist," an expanded zip line, and many other new games and attractions. In 2013, the team unveiled a new 220-foot long dual zip line, a rock climbing wall, and a number of new bounce houses. The team's major league affiliate, the Houston Astros, just saw all six of its affiliates reach the playoffs - the first time in a decade any MLB team can claim such success. The River Bandits were one of three affiliates to reach the championship round and one of two to win their league championship.

*****

 
Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World Tips PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Sports & Recreation
Written by Larry Whiteley   
Wednesday, 15 January 2014 16:12

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.—Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World Tips presents free, seasonal how-to tips from professional fishing and hunting experts.  Each weekly tip offers practical advice to improve your skills.

Tips offered for February include:

• Going shed hunting now will pay off when planning your strategy for next hunting season. Get expert advice from RedHead© Pro Hunting team member, Bob Foulkrod.
• Larry Whiteley, host of the award-winning Outdoor World Radio show, offers the benefits of adding kayak fishing to your list of outdoor adventures. 
• The pros and cons of fishing near rocks and stumps are explained by Jerry Martin, member of the RedHead© Pro Hunting team.
• The challenge of bass fishing in the winter months can be made easier with bait tips from Jimmy Houston, host of Jimmy Houston Outdoors.
• Early spring bass fishing jig and bait selection and techniques are offered by Edwin Evers, member of the Bass Pro Shops National Fishing Team.

For all of this month’s tips, visit http://www.basspro.com and click on New & Tips.

 
Mediacom Sweepstakes to Send Winning Fan to The Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament in Indianapolis PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Sports & Recreation
Written by Alexandra Swanson   
Wednesday, 15 January 2014 09:05

DES MOINES, IA – January 14, 2014 – Mediacom will send one of its Facebook friends to Indianapolis, Indiana in March to attend the Big Ten Men’s Basketball tournament. The unique sweepstakes, sponsored in partnership with Big Ten Network, gives men’s college basketball fans a chance to be a part of the action and watch their favorite Big Ten teams compete for the championship title live.

Mediacom’s BTN2Go Championship Sweepstakes is open to anyone who visits the company’s Facebook page and submits an entry form between January 13 and February 17. Contestants must “like” the Facebook page and also click on the contest entry link. The winner will receive airfare for two, a three-night hotel stay, car rental, two tickets to all eleven games in the tournament, and $500 in spending money. Contest information can be found at www.facebook.com/mediacomcable.

 

The Big Ten has four teams ranked in the top-15 of this week’s AP Poll, including two in the top five. BTN will air more than 65 Big Ten Conference games, as well as four men’s basketball tournament games. The tournament is March 13 – 16, 2014.

About Mediacom:

Mediacom Communications is the nation's eighth largest cable television company and one of the leading cable operators focused on serving the smaller cities in the United States, with a significant concentration in the Midwestern and Southeastern regions. Mediacom Communications offers a wide array of broadband products and services, including traditional and advanced video services such as digital television, video-on-demand, digital video recorders, high-definition television, as well as high-speed Internet access and phone service. Through Mediacom Business, the Company offers affordable broadband communications solutions that can be tailored to any size business.

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MALLARDS WEEKLY UPDATE: JANUARY 13, 2014 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Sports & Recreation
Written by Brian Lavelle   
Tuesday, 14 January 2014 10:13

THIS WEEK
Friday, January 17, 7:05 p.m.
iWireless Center, Moline
Quad City Mallards vs. Wichita Thunder

 

LAST WEEKEND
Wednesday, January 8

Brampton 5 Quad City 4 (OT)

 

Friday, January 10

Wichita 3 Quad City 2 (SO)


Saturday, January 11
Arizona 1 Quad City 0


Quad City
16-8-7 (39 points)
6th place
Coach: Terry Ruskowski

Wichita
12-17-4 (28 points)
9th place
Coach: Kevin McClelland


QUACK TRACKS
Last Week
The Mallards went 0-1-2 last week, matching their longest winless streak of the season.  The Mallards did earn single points for last Wednesday’s overtime loss to the Brampton Beast and last Friday’s shootout defeat at the hands of the Wichita Thunder.  Quad City rallied from 2-0 down in both of those games.

 

Tight
The Mallards are one point behind the fifth place Tulsa Oilers (who have played eight more games than Quad City) and one point ahead of the seventh place Beast (on whom the Mallards have five games in hand).


Playing the Percentages
The Mallards, who have played fewer games (31) than any other CHL club, have the league’s fourth best winning percentage (.629).

Ups and Downs
While the Mallards went without a win last week, they have gone 6-2-2 over their last ten games.

 

Shot Down

The Mallards are 2-7 in games that last longer than 60 minutes.  With last Friday’s loss to Wichita, the Mallards dropped to 1-5 in shootouts.  Last Wednesday’s sudden death setback at the hands of Brampton left the Mallards 1-2 in games decided in overtime.


Tight, Take II

Each of the Mallards’ last three games and seven of their last eight tilts have been decided by one goal.

 

Balance

While the Mallards rank in the top half of the league in goal scoring- fifth at 3.5 per game- no Mallard ranks in the top 20 in the CHL in point scoring.  Eight Mallards have 20 or more points- no other CHL club can boast more who have reached the 20-point plateau.

 

Trouble at Home

The Mallards have gone without a victory (0-2-2) in their last four home games- their longest home winless streak of the season.

 

On the Road
The Mallards have won five straight road games for the first time since they strung together five consecutive away victories between November 23 and December 13, 2011.  The Mallards last won more than five in a row on the road when they ripped off seven straight wins away from home between December 31, 2010 and February 11, 2011.

Blanked

The Mallards last Saturday were shutout for the second time this season.  The Mallards were first blanked on November 15 when they fell 3-0 to the Cutthroats in Denver.  Last Saturday’s tilt was also the second 1-0 game in which the Mallards have taken part this season.  The Mallards defeated St. Charles by that score December 21.

 

Stingy
The Mallards, who have given up two non-shootout goals or fewer in three of their last four outings and in five of their last seven games, rank second in the CHL in fewest goals allowed per game (2.9).

 

Goaltender of the Week
While Thomas Heemskerk, who was named CHL Goaltender of the Week last Tuesday, saw his four-game winning streak snapped with last Friday’s shootout loss to Wichita, Heemskerk remains unbeaten in regulation in his last five games (4-0-1, 1.57, .944, 2 SO) and has suffered just one regulation loss all season (9-1-4).

 

Streaks Stopped
Gergo Nagy’s team season best seven game point scoring streak (2-6-8) was halted last Saturday as was linemate Matt Boyd’s five game point streak (2-4-6).  Nagy has produced 20 points (five goals and 15 assists) in his last 18 games.

Leaders
Nagy (+14) and Benjamin Dieude-Fauvel (+14) are tied for tenth in plus/minus ranking…Mike Hellyer is tied for second in game winning goals (5)…Among rookies, Thomas Frazee is tied for third in points (23) and tied for fourth in goals (8) and assists (15)...Heemskerk ranks second in goals against average (2.45) and save percentage (.920)…Ty Rimmer ranks sixth in goals against average (2.86) and ninth in save percentage (.906).

Milestones
Jim McKenzie has recorded 98 career assists…Darren McMillan has played 497 career games and collected 97 career CHL assists…Vladimir Nikiforov has played 297 career games.

Special Teams
The Mallards rank last in the CHL in power play efficiency (11.1 percent).  The Mallards have failed to score on their last 12 power plays, converted just one of their last 25, cashed in only 2 of their last 41 and scored on just three of their last 65.  The Mallards, who rank sixth in penalty killing (82.1 percent), gave up four goals on their opponents’ ten power plays over three games last week.  The Mallards are tied for second in the CHL in shorthanded goals (6).

 

Head to Head

The Thunder last Friday won the first of three games they will play against the Mallards this season.  The season series concludes when the Mallards visit Wichita February 22.  All-time the Mallards have gone 5-11-1 against the Thunder overall and 2-6-0 on the road.

 

Ins and Outs
Forward McKenzie (Wednesday) and defenseman Nicholas Rioux (Monday) both signed professional tryout agreements with the American Hockey League’s Iowa Wild last week.

 

NEXT HOME GAME
Friday, January 31, 7:05 p.m.- Mallards vs. Tulsa Oilers
$1 Dog/$1 Beer Friday Presented by 97X
January 31 is another $1 Dog/$1 Beer Night presented by 97X. $1 hot dogs and $1 beers are available at iWireless Center concession stands during each of the Mallards’ 11 Friday night home games this season.

 

ON THE AIR
Fox Sports Radio 1230 is the radio home of Mallards Hockey Presented by Genesis Power Sports Performance.  Mallards games broadcast on AM 1230 also stream live online at www.wfxn.net.  A limited number of Mallards games will not air on Fox Sports Radio 1230 due to conflicts with University of Illinois basketball and football and Green Bay Packer football.  Free audio webcasts of games that do not air on AM 1230 are available at myqcmallards.com.  CHL-TV pay-per-view video webcasts of all Mallards games are also available at myqcmallards.com.  For a full Mallards broadcast/webcast schedule, go to

 

TICKETS
Single Game Tickets
Single game tickets for all Mallards regular season contests are now available.  Fans can contact the Mallards at (309) 277-1364 orinfo@myqcmallards.com for more information about tickets.  Single game tickets are also available at the i wireless Center box office, at Ticketmaster outlets, through www.ticketmaster.com or through Ticketmaster charge-by-phone toll free.  The box office is open weekdays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and on game days from 10:00 a.m. until the start of the second period.

 

Group Tickets
Groups of at least ten can receive savings off the walk-up price and a host of other great group benefits.  Mallards group tickets are a great fit for youth organizations, friends, co-workers, family groups, religious groups, school functions and business events.  For more group ticket information, fans can contact the Mallards at (309) 277-1364 or info@myqcmallards.com.

–### Quad City Mallards ### –

 
Adventurers Race to Win 2014 Chevy Silverado and Weekend with NASCAR Legends PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Sports & Recreation
Written by Matt DeMargel   
Monday, 13 January 2014 14:21

Enter Great Clips Sweepstakes to Win the Greatest Weekend Ever

 

(January 2014)  - Ladies and gentlemen, start your entries to win a brand new Chevy truck and the weekend of a lifetime with NASCAR legends, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kasey Kahne. Great Clips, the world’s largest salon brand, will award the winner of The Greatest Weekend Ever Sweepstakes a 2014 Chevy Silverado worth nearly fifty thousand dollars.  The winner and three friends will also enjoy a two-night stay at Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s lake house near Charlotte N.C., a barbecue party with Junior and Kasey Kahne, and VIP passes and tickets to two NASCAR races at the Darlington Raceway in South Carolina.

“We’re thrilled to offer this sweepstakes as a thank you to our customers who have helped Great Clips become a champion brand,” says Rhoda Olsen, Great Clips CEO.  “The contest is an opportunity of a lifetime for the winner to enjoy a gorgeous new truck and to experience The Greatest Weekend Ever with two superstars of one of America’s most popular sports.  We’re honored to have Dale Jr. and Kasey Kahne on the Great Clips racing team. They’re elite competitors who make our race team world-class.”

Steering to Fame

Earnhardt Jr. is a third generation driver in a family bonded forever to the sport of stock car racing. “Junior,” as he’s fondly called by fans, is famous for his street smart charm that rocketed him to fame as one of sports’ most popular icons. Race car fans have selected him 11 consecutive times as the winner of NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver award.

“This is an exciting opportunity for Great Clips to provide a great, memorable weekend,” said Dale Earnhardt Jr.  “We’ve had a lot of fun with this program, and I appreciate Great Clips pulling it all together. I’m sure I speak for Kasey and the Great Clips race team in saying we look forward to meeting the winner and guests.”

The winner will ride in style in a 2014 Chevrolet Silverado. The winner and  guests will enjoy a two-night stay at Dale Jr.’s lake house, which sits on the shore of Lake Norman in Mooresville, N.C.  The four lucky people can relax poolside or enjoy water sports before a barbecue party with Dale Jr., Kasey Kahne and members of the Great Clips race team. Winners will enjoy great conversation, photographs and autographs that will surely create lifelong memories.


Stay Ahead of the Pack to Win!

The sweepstakes runs from Dec. 17, 2013, through Jan. 31, 2014. People don’t have to steer through difficult maneuvers to win. To enter, simply visit www.greatclips.com or text BBQ to 47328. You can also check out a Behind-The-Scenes Video of The Greatest Weekend Ever TV spot featuring Dale Jr. and Kasey Kahne on the Great Clips YouTube Channel or at #GreatestWeekendEver on Twitter.

For other promotions, giveaways and specials from Great Clips, sign up for the Great Stuff program to connect with Great Clips for stuff you will love.

###

About Great Clips, Inc.
Great Clips, Inc. was established in 1982 in Minneapolis. Today, Great Clips has more than 3,500 salons throughout the United States and Canada, making it the world’s largest salon brand. Great Clips salons employ nearly 35,000 stylists who receive ongoing training to learn the Great Clips customer service system and advanced technical skills. Make Great Clips your choice for value-priced, high-quality haircare for men, women and children. No appointments are needed, and salons are open nights and weekends. And it’s more convenient than ever with Great Clips’ Online Check-In and Clip Notes®. To check in online, visit www.greatclips.com or download the app for Android and iPhone. For more information about Great Clips, Inc. or to find a location near you, visit www.greatclips.com.

 
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