2012-01-05 / Sports

Sports Shorts

Kelly Walker Kelly Walker Davison harness racer National Driver of Year

DAVISON — Kelly Walker, a 55-year-old Davison farmer who has been racing horses only since 2004, was named National Amateur Driver of the Year by the U.S. Harness Writers Association.

Walker capped his year by winning the $25,000 Delvin Miller Memorial Gold Cup Driving Championship last month as part of the C.K.G. Billings Amateur Driving Series. The Gold Cup was held at The Meadows racetrack, near Pittsburgh.

“My goodness, I can’t say enough about how I feel about receiving this honor,” he said. “I’m thrilled. I had a great year, and more than that, I had a great time driving. To receive an honor like this is just icing on the cake.”

Over the past three years, Walker has won 46 races in 217 starts, a 21-percent win rate. He was named Michigan Amateur Driver of the Year in 2009 and joined the Billings Series a few years ago. Last October, he was selected by the North American Amateur Drivers Association to represent the U.S. in the World Cup of Amateur Racing later this month in New Zealand.

“I’m overwhelmed and exceedingly honored to be selected to represent the United States in the World Cup,” he said. “It’s the top of the game and a huge honor.”

Walker was introduced to harness racing as a youngster by his father and purchased a race horse before he bought his first car. But when his father died, the demands of the family farm and greenhouse left him little time for the horses. Twenty years passed before Walker purchased his next race horse.

Finally, after jogging and training his own stock for seven years under veteran horseman Terry Tomlin, Walker drove his first amateur race in 2004 as a member of the Michigan Great Lakes Amateur Driving Club.

Walker will receive his award at a dinner Feb. 12 in Orlando, Fla. — D.N.

Goettel, Junior Generals back on ice this weekend

FLINT — Nicholas Goettel and the Flint Junior Generals will resume their NA3HL season Friday with a 7:45 p.m. game against the Michigan Mountain Cats at Farmington. The team hasn’t played since Dec. 18, when it beat the Metro Jets, 7-6, in overtime at home. Goettel had two assists in the game.

For the season, the 18-year-old defenseman from Davison has two power-play goals and 15 assists in 24 games for 17 points. He is the highest scoring defenseman on the team and ranks seventh overall.

Flint stands second in the NA3HL East at 19-6- 3-0 for 41 points, eight behind Cleveland. The Generals will visit the Metro Jets at 8:30 p.m. Saturday at Lakeland Ice Arena, then return home Sunday for a 2:20 p.m. matinee against Michigan at Iceland Arenas. — D.N.

Lady Chippewas offering camps

MT. PLEASANT — On Jan. 21 Central Michigan University head softball coach Margo Jonker will host a basic pitching clinic for $60 in advance or $70 at the door from 9:30 a.m.- 12:30 p.m., which will be followed by an Advanced Pitching Clinic for $45 in advance or $50 at the door from 1:30-4:30 p.m.

On Jan. 22, Jonker and the Chippewas will also offer a General Skills Clinic for $75 in advance or $85 at the door from 9:30 a.m.- 12:30 p.m. and from 1:30-3:30 p.m. there will be a coaches clinic for $40 in advance or $50 at the door. Details: www.cmuchippewas.com/ camps. — M.S.

Sen. Gleason wants Atwood listed as historical site

FLINT — Sen. John Gleason (D-Flushing) announced that he will be moving forward on efforts to have Atwood Stadium designated as a historical site by the State of Michigan. The 11,000-seat stadium is the largest in Genesee County and has been used for sporting and entertainment events since 1929. The venue hosted then-Sen. John F. Kennedy on a presidential campaign stop in 1960.

“Atwood Stadium is full of history,” said Gleason. “This place has created a lot of memories since it was first opened more than 80 years ago.

“It has a fond place in my heart from my days of playing high school football there. It means a lot to my family and to so many others in Flint. Atwood deserves to be recognized for historical significance.”

The stadium first opened in June 1929 and was recently renovated in 2007. The venue was the site of the annual Thanksgiving Day football game between Flint Central and Flint Northern from 1930-1976, a game that drew more than 20,000 fans in its heyday in the 1950s. It has been home to minor-league baseball teams and has hosted such legendary players as Ted Williams for exhibitions.

More recently, Atwood hosted homecoming events for Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram Jr. and American Idol contestant LaKisha Jones. The stadium is still the home for local high schools and the semi-pro Flint Fury football team. — D.N.

Warriors lose pair to Port Huron, host North Stars

GENESEE COUNTY — The Michigan Warriors of the North American Hockey League lost twice to Port Huron last weekend, 3-2 in a shoot-out on Dec. 31 and 3-1 on Dec. 30.

Opening the scoring for the Warriors last Saturday at 14:51 of the first period was Matus Matis on the Tyler Perpich assist, giving Michigan a 1-0 lead. Port Huron then turned the tables and went up 2-1 just over nine minutes later.

The Warriors’ AJ White scored unassisted at 9:41 of the third period to send the game to overtime. It came down to a shoot-out that saw Michigan get stonewalled on its first five tries, while Joseph Pizza of the Fighting Falcons came through on his team’s third attempt.

In goal for the Warriors, Trevor Gorusch stopped 36 of the 38 shots he faced in 65 minutes of game time.

The Warriors will host the Traverse City North Stars on Friday and Saturday at Perani Arena. — M.S.

Return to top

Copyright © 2009-2018 The Davison Index, All Rights Reserved