The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Sports

January 22, 2014

Rankin suspends 7 players for Hickory game

- — The 2013-14 Sharon High boys’ basketball team may or may not qualify for the District 10 playoffs. But that’s not as important to Tigers’ taskmaster Jason Rankin as his players adhering to an honorable code of conduct.

Without reservation, Rankin suspended 7 players for Wednesday night’s Region 5-AAA showdown with Hickory. 

“ ... You can’t be successful — truly successful — if winning games is more important than kids’ behavior,” Rankin remarked prior to the weather-postponed make-up.

“I’m trying to teach a certain degree of discipline — that’s not too much to ask,” he emphasized.

Tuesday, the Tigers were tattooed at Meadville (66-30). On the return trip to the Shenango Valley — delayed by a bus breakdown — what rankled Rankin was his team’s demeanor. Rankin repeatedly requested, not necessarily silence from his players, but that they observe a reserved or quiet decorum.

The disciplinary consequence, Rankin said, would be wind sprints for all team members in the gym upon returning to campus at approximately 10:30 p.m. Rankin was aware, owing to recent frigid weather, that Sharon schools would be functioning on a 2-hour delay Wednesday morning. However, essentially Sharon’s starting lineup chose not to participate; consequently, they were suspended for 1 game, pending today’s scheduled team meeting.

“This was a case where not everyone was acting up, just a select few,” Rankin explained, emphasizing, “but there are certain things we do as a team, and if I tell some of them, that means we all do it as a team. Some of the kids slept on the way home, but they got off the bus and ran, without question,” he added, noting the extent of the disciplinary measure was approximately 10 minutes worth of running.

“That’s typically the amount of time (upon arriving back on campus from a road game) that guys mill around, unloading their stuff. It’s not like we were there until midnight,” Rankin explained, noting,

“Some kids told me, ‘Coach, my ride’s here, I can’t stay,’ but I told them, ‘I’ll take you home — personally,’” Rankin related, recalling,

“When I went through the (hiring) interview process, I was somewhat oblivious to what Sharon basketball was all about. ... But it was brought to my attention that there had been an inordinate amount of misbehavior with some of the athletes, and (the school’s administration) needed somebody to put behavior on a very high list of priorities.

“I was taken aback by the lack of respect some of the players had last year,” admitted Rankin. “We had mulitiple suspensions last year ... plus the tragedy (Lee-Lee Crumby Ford’s death in an off-campus shooting incident).

“I can’t tolerate that as a person,” Rankin emphasized.

A 3-hour academic tutoring program, augmented by an early-morning running regimen, helped the basketball program “kind’ve turn the corner,” as “10 or 12 guys” last year dwindled to “four or five” this year, Rankin related.

”There’s no doubt, we take the floor with as much if not more athletic ability than anybody we play, but we have a five-hundred record,” he noted.

And winning basketball games will not take precedence over addressing disciplinary issues, principally disrespecting school personnel.

“I can’t have that, and if people have an issue with that, I’m sorry,” Rankin said. “But I’ve gotta teach these guys the right things. ... I feel better when my kids come back and tell me, ‘I learned how to become a good person, a solid citizen.’ That means more than any championship.

At today’s meeting individuals will have the opportunity to accept Rankin’s disciplinary methodology, or ...

“They’re free to walk ... they can choose not to do so and turn their uniform in,” he said, later adding, “I’m an easy guy to play for ... but I don’t have to be loved.”

Rankin recalled, following his hiring interview, “(The administration and school board) made no bones about the fact this is what they want.

“We don’t have bad kids ... but in every other walk of life, you make a mistake and there are consquences for the decisions you make,” Rankin reasoned. “Just like you or I face consequences. We all have bosses, people who are expecting things from us, and I’m expecting good behavior, first and foremost ... in the classroom, on the court, and any time we’re together as a team.

“Seven of our last eight games are on the road,” Rankin noted, “and we can’t go on the road with guys acting up like ‘banshees,’ celebrating or acting in a certain way. I just don’t go for that.

“Any discipline you achieve in life starts with you,” emphasized Rankin, who related, “I understand what some of these kids are going through ... I grew up in a public housing project. But I know you’ve gotta help yourself by turning the tables and doing the right thing.

“Whether or not we win or lose ... make the playoffs ... I have to live with myself and say I did the right thing — and this is the right thing.”

1
Text Only
Sports
  • On to baseball GC coach Bell retired — sort of!

    You can take the man out of coaching, but you can’t take coaching out of the man.
    Former Grove City High football coach Jeff Bell has spent his first few months of retirement hearing the ping of a baseball ricocheting off an aluminum bat instead of clap of shoulder pads coming together.
    “My grandson Maddox (Bell) and a few of his friends play on a traveling team, so I’m helping out with that,” said Bell, who retired as the Eagles’ football coach this past winter. “They’re a good group of kids to work with and this is a lot more enjoyable. It’s a lot less stress.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPORTVIEW: Johnny Football claims he has learned from his 'rookie mistakes'

    HERE ARE some thoughts from a guy who might have made a few “rookie mistakes” in his life, ala Johnny Manziel.
    Johnny Football admitted this past week that he made some rookie mistakes. Really?
    Usually rookie mistakes for most NFL newbies are throwing into coverage or fumbling the football because you don’t tuck it tightly to your side.

    July 27, 2014

  • NFL NOTEBOOK: Ex-Sharon star Austin hopes to spark Lions' defense

    THE TALENTED — albeit underachieving — Detroit Lions commence camp July 27 in Allen Park, Mich. as the National Football League prepares for the 2014 season.

    July 21, 2014

  • Fighting cancer Racing to fight cancer

    Former Hickory High athlete Amanda Budzowski is on the run — the run to raise money to fight cancer.
    Budzowski is part of Team in Training, an organization that has raised more than $1.4 billion for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society since forming in 1988. Her division is known as IRONTEAM and she is currently training for the 140.6-mile Ironman triathlon in Mont Tremblant, Canada, in August.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPORTVIEW: Pirates, Indians need fast start after All-Star break

    SO FAR, so good. I’m referring to the start of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cleveland Indians after the All-Star break on Friday night.
    Both teams rallied to win. The Buccos beat the Colorado Joints — err, I mean Rockies — by coming from behind in the 8th inning. Since they legalized marijuana sales in that state, it gave new meaning to John Denver’s song “Rocky Mountain High.”

    July 20, 2014

  • Sky high Rutters earn spot in national motocross event

    The brother-sister racing duo of Elijah and Dannah Rutter of Mercer are set to travel to Hurricane Mills, Tenn., to compete soon in the prestigious 33rd annual Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championships presented by AMSOIL at Loretta Lynn Ranch.
    Elijah, 18, and Dannah, 16, earned a ticket to the event with their performances at qualifiers and then regionals and are among the top 5 percent of riders in the U.S. Overall, 20,000 hopefuls from across the U.S. competed and there are only 1,446 qualifying spots at nationals.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sharon Football scramble Notebook: Sharon football greats meet, reunite at inaugural golf scramble

    Mid-July, with the temperature 80-plus degrees at Avalon at Buhl Country Club; however, it felt like a fall, football Friday.
    The inaugural Sharon Football Boosters 4-man golf scramble took place recently, and served as a Who’s Who in the Tigers’ triumphant tradition.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPORTVIEW: All is right with the world - LeBron has come home!

    HAPPY DAYS are here again. The prodigal child has returned!
    The announcement that “King James” is returning to Cleveland has created a level of euphoria not seen since the Browns won the city’s last major sport championship a couple of years ago.
    What’s that? Oh, yeah — make that 50 years ago (1964).

    July 13, 2014

  • LeBron James Full text of LeBron's essay in SI

    LeBron James announced his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday in an essay that he wrote for Sports Illustrated. The following is the full text of that essay.

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Snyder, Gordon, Popatak named to All-State team

    Grove City High’s David Gordon, Sharpsville’s Greg Popatak and Lakeview’s Logan Snyder recently were named to the Pennsylvania High School Baseball Coaches Association all-state team.
    Synder was selected 1st-Team in Class A as a designated-hitter, while Gordon was honorably-mentioned in Class AAA and Popatak similarly was honored in AA. Gordon gained his laurels as a pitcher; Popatak as a 3rd baseman.

    July 10, 2014

  • Oprah lands first interview with Jerry Sandusky's adopted son, Matthew

    Matthew Sandusky, the adopted son of former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, is breaking his silence for the first time since his father's 2012 conviction on 45 counts of child sexual abuse, sitting down with Oprah to tell his story.

    July 8, 2014

  • County champs Little League Tournaments

    Sharon won the District 2 Major Division (12-year-olds) Championship, while Greenville 9-10 and West Middlesex 11 teams notched tournament victories in recent action.

    Hermitage Brennan Chiropractic won the Mercer County 14-under championship recently.

    Following are game reports:

    July 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • John Cook The First Tee of Sharon celebrates 15th anniversary

    Professional golf star John Cook has received many honors and awards in his illustrious career, but probably none mean as much as those similar to the one he received Monday afternoon at The First Tee of Sharon.
    During a special ceremony to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the local program, a permanent plaque was unveiled in his honor describing the contributions he has made to junior golf.

    July 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPORTVIEW: John Cook here Monday for First Tee; other celebs on July 11

    THE RETURN of Tiger Woods to a PGA event sparked a lot of interest this past week. The return of John Cook to Buhl Farm Golf Course Monday will do the same locally.
    Cook, a standout on the Champions Tour and outstanding TV golf analyst, will conduct a clinic at 11 a.m. Monday at the course to help celebrate the 15th anniversary of The First Tee of Sharon program.
    It is open to the public at no charge.

    June 29, 2014

  • Tri-Athletes Hickory honors Tri-Athletes

    Hickory High honored its 2013-14 tri-athletes in a recent ceremony, the latest installment in a program that began in 2003-04.
    Fifty student-athletes (grades 9-12) were cited for having competed in at least one sport in the fall, winter and spring while maintaining a minimum B (85 percent) grade-point-average during the first three 9-week grading periods of the  academic year.

    June 22, 2014 1 Photo

Top 25 (AP Poll)
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Facebook