The Son of Swami is a big Hall of Fame fan.
So nothing pleases the All-Knowing One more than to see his grandmother, Kathy McGee, enter the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in Friday night’s induction ceremony at the Max M. Fisher Music Center.
SOS is thrilled that even at her advanced age, the former Flint Powers girls basketball coach has most of her mental facilities and should realize the honor being bestowed upon one of the greatest coaches in state history.
And it just so happens that SOS is familiar with a few other inductees. About a million years ago, SOS drove to Kalamazoo and spoke with a youngster who was supposed to be the best high school baseball player in the country — Derek Jeter, who was also capable of playing Division I basketball.
SOS also remembers going to Romulus to see one of the best shooters he’d ever seen — John Long, who was hitting three-pointers long before there was a three-point line.
There is also a sports writer being inducted — Tom Gage, who covered the Tigers for a small southeastern Michigan almost-daily paper for almost four decades. But SOS will remember him more for the time SOS covered the Port Huron-to-Mackinac race with him and got him hooked on Harry Chapin.
It has also come to SOS’s attention that the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., will hold its induction ceremony Friday, and among the inductees is a former running back and defensive back from Iron Mountain — Tom Izzo.
Evidently Izzo went on to get involved with basketball in some capacity, but SOS maintains Izzo is really a football coach at heart. If former fellow Iron Mountain grad Steve Mariucci ever decides to get back into NFL coaching, look for Izzo to become his special teams coach.
As for SOS, here are this week’s top games.
Hudsonville (2-0) at East Kentwood (2-0), 7 Friday. Is this the first of two games between these teams this year? In each of the last three seasons, Hudsonville and East Kentwood met in the regular season and then again in the state playoffs. Hudsonville won both in 2013 and Kentwood won both in 2014, before Hudsonville again won both meetings in 2015. Is it Kentwood’s turn this year? Maybe not. Hudsonville Ice Cream 26, Kentwood Kitchens 20.
Traverse City West (2-0) vs. Traverse City Central (2-0) at Thirlby Field, 7 Friday. The West defense will have its hands full trying to stop the running of Devante Walker and Jordan Fisher. And the Titans better not forget about the passing of Tobin Schwannecke, who isn’t playing like a sophomore. It would help if West’s Jacob Pawloski and Chase Childers play like lock-down defensive backs again. Traverse City’s Best 24, Suzy Merchant High 21.
Zeeland West (2-0) at Grand Rapids West Catholic (2-0), 7 Friday. Three-time defending Division 5 state champ West Catholic has played like it in two easy wins. Now it must handle the full-house, tight T-formation running attack of West, which has won three state titles in the last five years (two in Division 4, one in Division 3). West won its first two games this season by five and four points, which is not margin the Dux usually win by, so they may have to throw more than two passes this week. Quack, Quack West 29, Catholics West of Grand Rapids 26.
Northville (2-0) at Walled Lake Western (2-0), 7 Friday. Northville’s Ryan Nelson will need to keep an eye on Western’s Cody White, who will either dominate from the quarterback position or the wide receiver spot. Jack Burke will have to have a big game for the Mustangs as a quarterback and defensive back because Western’s skill position players are outstanding. If the game is close, Northville kicker Jake Moody could be a difference-maker. Walled Lake Casino 28, Northville Downs 20.
Southfield A&T (1-1) at Birmingham Groves (2-0), 7 Friday. Which Southfield team will we see here? The one which was blasted by Detroit King, 39-0, in the opener, or the one which beat Clarkston in overtime in Week 2? A good game by Southfield sophomore QB Sam Johnson is a must and he better keep an eye on Groves ball-hawking DB Ryan Flaherty. Groves has an effective passer of its own in Beau Kewley. AT&T 27, Orange Groves 21 (OT).