LOOK OUT FOR EASTERN IN NEXT WEEK'S STATE TOURNAMENT

     Rarely is there every sports news about hot teams at Lansing Eastern High School, at least recently.  But quietly, boys basketball coach Rod Watts has pulled his team together for a good run at the end of the regular season which ends for the Quakers against Mason on Thursday.  Eastern should win that game to finish 10-10 with four straight victories.  Many of the losses were close in the early part of the season.  Eastern has a young team and Watts is bringing around ninth grade phenom LaDontae Henton, who has already heard from Michigan State, UCLA and Maryland to name a few schools who are carefully watching his progress.  Henton, who likes to play football, is also addressing his academics so that his future remains bright.  He is currently 6-6 and Watts thinks he will grow before his high school days end.

     Next week, in the class A district at St. Johns, Eastern does not play until Wednesday and the first opponent likely will be East Lansing.  If the Quakers win that game, certainly possible, they likely would play Sexton on Friday for the district title.  The teams met once early in the season and Sexton won by one point.  Eastern is a much better team now.  Look out for the Quakers and Rod Watts who has done a masterful job of bringing his team back to respectability.

     And remember the name Jack Rarick.  He has taught in the Holt system for 32 years and been an assistant on the Holt High School football staff for the past ten.  He is a candidate to replace Mike Smith next fall as head coach and Smith is pushing for him to be promoted.  Smith is off to Olivet College at the end of this school year to serve as an assistant.

     The Detroit Red Wings have a terrific team but man are they banged up.  Now comes word Wednesday that captain Nicklas Lidstrom will be out three weeks with a knee injury instead of the one as originally predicted after he was knocked into the boards in the first period Monday at Colorado.  As it is the Wings have also placed goaltender Dominik Hasek and forward Brian Rafalski on the injured reserve list.  Maybe the Wings won't end up with the best regular season after all, though they still are far ahead of the pack, but maybe that will be a good omen for the play offs when they all hopefully return.

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