The opening games are Thursday, August 28th, not Friday, because it's Labor Day week end.  And the nine week high school football season will be underway.  At Lowell, 12th year head coach Noel Dean will dedicate his home opener September 12th against Holland to raising money for breast cancer research.  The goal is to raise $50,000 that night and plenty has come in thus far.  Each Lowell player will wear a pink jersey and a name on the back of someone who is a cancer survivor, or someone who has passed away.

     Dean is anxious to see how his former quarterback, Keith Nichol, does at Michigan State next year.  Nichol will be up against Kirk Cousins and Andrew Maxwell for the starting job, at least those are the three who should be in the mix that we know of at this point.  Dean's team lost to Maxwell's in the semi-finals of the state tournament last November "and I see why they took him," he told me Tuesday.

     At East Lansing, Bill Feraco is anxious to go with a team that won't have stellar running back Issac Harper-- he's off to Saginaw Valley State with the area prep career rushing yardage record in his pocket.  East Lansing has an MSU verbal, Blake Treadwell, to play on both sides of the ball.  East Lansing opens at Haslett in a traditional game and the host Vikings have to find a starting quarterback once practice finally gets under way.

     The Pistons must be hoping to get lucky to take someone like Kwame Brown, a free agent, on a two year, $8 million deal.  That's chump change for NBA free agents.  Brown was the 2001 number one draft choice and went to the Washington Wizards, chosen by then team owner, Michael Jordan.  Brown spent last season with both the Lakers and Memphis Grizzlies.  He'll have to make a quantum leap to help the Pistons get to the NBA finals next season-- I'm figuring the Pistons are not done changing personnel.

     NBA referee Tim Donaghy was sentenced to 15 months in prison today in a Brooklyn courtroom.  The 41-year old Donaghy could have got a worse sentence, but his lawyer pleaded with the judge for some leniency because of Donaghy's admitted gambling problems.  Donaghy bet on NBA games and provided inside information to gamblers.  Now we await the fines and suspensions from the Midwest League over last week's brawl in Dayton between the Dragons and the Peoria Chiefs.  Dayton has already released one of the instigators who has had other attitude problems-- infielder Angel Cabrera.  The pitcher charged with felonious assault from Peoria, Julio Castillo, was released on bond from the city jail last Saturday.



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