• Air Force football seniors to visit White House on Monday

    Fri, April 20, 2012 by admin with 1 comment

    One of the coolest perks of playing service academy football is getting to visit the White House upon winning the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy, and Air Force will get that honor for the second straight year on Monday.

    The ceremony will happen at the Rose Garden at 2:30 p.m. Eastern time. Air Force sends only its senior football players, not the entire team, which is said to be because of travel costs, but also serves as a great motivator for each Falcons senior class. Air Force won the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy for a second straight year with an overtime win at Navy, and a come-from-behind win against Army at Falcon Stadium.

  • Mountain West television schedule still being worked out

    Mon, April 16, 2012 by admin with no comments

    The Mountain West released its television schedule for football games last year on April 7. It’s a little more complicated this season.

    The conference is still working out the final details on the television schedule (the schedule of games with no television information is out, find that here), which became tougher when it was announced The Mtn. was going to halt production at the end of May. When the television schedule is announced, it will give schools a better idea of how much work they have to do to get the unselected games on television. Air Force is among the schools waiting to explore its options for broadcasting the games that aren’t taken by one of the league’s television partners.

    Schools around the league are starting to wrestle with the issue and consider options. Here’s a story from the San Diego Union-Tribune on the Aztecs exploring television possibilities. The Wyoming Tribune Eagle also wrote about the issue as it affects the Cowboys. One interesting tidbit from the Tribune Eagle’s story is the reality that no television might mean more tickets sold to the games. That’s an issue all schools, including Air Force, will have to debate internally after the television schedule is announced.

  • No surgery needed for Air Force’s Lyons, Fitzgerald

    Fri, April 13, 2012 by admin with 2 comments

    Air Force basketball got good news this week when magnetic resonance imaging tests on the ailing shoulders of returning starters Michael Lyons and Mike Fitzgerald showed slight tears that will not need surgery.

    Both players plan to rehabilitate the shoulders this offseason, coach Dave Pilipovich said. That’s a relief for the players because they were looking at four-to-five months of inactivity if surgery was required.

    “When you shut them for four or five months, you lose a lot,” Pilipovich said.

    Pilipovich said Lyons’ shoulder is a bit worse than Fitzgerald’s, and at some point in his life Lyons may need surgery to tighten the socket to fix the instability in the shoulder, but he for now he can strengthen the shoulder and the surrounding area through offseason training.

  • A look at Air Force’s men’s basketball recruiting class

    Wed, April 11, 2012 by admin with 2 comments

    The initial signing day for college basketball’s regular period is Wednesday, and while Air Force gained many of their commitments a while ago, here’s a peek at what the Falcons’ 2012 recruiting class looks like.

    The preliminary list that follows was culled from recruiting site Rivals.com and reports from news outlets around the country (heights and weights were from Rivals.com, ESPN.com or berecruited.com). Air Force does not announce its class before the recruits arrive at the academy because of academy rules. Most or all of these players will go to the prep school:

    Justin Cousin, SG

    6-2, 190; Burlington, N.C. (Graham)

    Cousin committed last October, shortly after visiting Air Force and attending the Falcons’ football game against TCU, according to the Times-News in Burlington, NC. Here’s a great story on Cousin, his school’s all-time leading scorer.

    Hayden Graham, SG

    6-5, 180; Austin, Texas (Anderson)

    Graham agreed back in November to come to Air Force – here is the story from his pretty in-depth website. He has a reputation as a good perimeter shooter.

    Tyler Harris, SG

    6-4; Bakersfield, Calif. (Christian)

    Harris averaged 23.9 points and 9.2 rebounds per game, according to Bakersfield.com.

    Nick Jorgensen, SF

    6-6, 180; Minnetonka, Minn. (Hopkins)

    Jorgensen didn’t become a starter until his senior year, but was a productive sixth man on a deep team before that. He was named third-team all-state by ESPN.com before the season.

    Eric Lewis, PF

    6-8, 225; Scottsdale, Ariz. (Horizon)

    Here’s a story on Lewis, who could add some size for the Falcons down the road.

    Darrius Parker, C

    6-5, 205; Allen, Texas (Allen)

    Parker is listed as a center by recruiting websites, and his height is listed anywhere from 6-5 to 6-7.

    Joe Tuss, PF

    6-7, 220; Las Vegas, Nev. (Durango)

    Tuss committed to Air Force in early February. The Las Vegas Sun said he is a 6-7 shooting guard, and added he is a great 3-point shooter, so his size and shooting ability should fit well with the Falcons.

  • So you think Navy football can dance?

    Tue, April 10, 2012 by admin with 10 comments

    Saw this via Grantland.com, which credited the Washington Post’s “D.C. Sports Blog,” which credited Lost Lettermen … whoever posted it first, this isn’t just some impromptu quick dance, this is Navy’s football team getting down to about every dance craze since the Macarena.

    And if you think I’m posting this just to see the comments from you all … you got it.

     

  • Weichers wins another title as Air Force gets boxing crown

    Sat, April 7, 2012 by admin with 3 comments

    When Casey Habluetzel won his bout, ensuring Air Force won its 19th National Collegiate Boxing Association championship, the Falcons boxers celebrated just outside the ring. Falcons coach Eddie Weichers was oblivious to it all.

    When athletic director Hans Mueh came to congratulate Weichers, the coach didn’t change expression. When Mueh explained that Air Force couldn’t be passed by Navy and the team championship was clinched – after all, Weichers had shown no signs that he knew the Falcons had won it – Weichers simply told Mueh, “I know,” and focused back on the ring. He had two boxers left to fight title bouts. They both needed his full attention.

    After all of the bouts, there would be time for the longtime boxing coach to celebrate, just as he had the first 18 times he brought a boxing national championship to Air Force.

    “A little bit,” Weichers said after the final bout of the day. “I’ll smile now.”

    Even after the bouts were done, Weichers wanted to let the boxers enjoy their accomplishment. He didn’t want to get in the ring to join everyone else for a team photo with the first place trophy. He was eventually persuaded to join them, after initially waving them off.

    Although Weichers has been Air Force’s boxing coach since 1976 and has the full respect of the academy’s administration and athletic department as a stellar coach, he never takes the credit.

    “They sacrificed their year, their spring break – we were here training twice a day over spring break while everyone else is out having fun,” Weichers said. “This group of seniors were great. Mike McLain and Tyrus Korecki led us, and all we did was follow them down the road.”

    Weichers credited the Air Force administration for pushing to host the event, and also gave credit to Navy and Army, which finished second and third. Anything to avoid drawing attention to his own role in the championship.

    “We’re happy, but also very respectful of everyone in this tournament,” Weichers said.

  • Air Force baseball coach Kazlausky suspended again for ejections

    Fri, April 6, 2012 by admin with 7 comments

    Air Force will be without baseball coach Mike Kazlausky for the rest of its weekend series against New Mexico after he was ejected arguing a call during Thursday’s game.

    The Mountain West announced he was suspended two games under Rule 4.4.4.3, the “subsequent offenses” rule. Kazlausky was ejected from two games last season and subsequently suspended for one game last May.

  • Without The Mtn., what might Air Force’s television options look like?

    Thu, April 5, 2012 by admin with 21 comments

    The Mtn., the network dedicated to televising Mountain West games and programming, will be off the air after May 31. One of the most immediate questions for Air Force, which will be discussed at the academy over most of the spring, will be what happens to the television broadcasts of its football games.

    CBS Sports Network has the rights to the Mountain West games, and has various options for those games. Air Force’s marquee games – such as games at Army and against Navy – should be picked up. The rights for the Falcons’ game at Michigan is controlled by the Wolverines. And some of Air Force’s conference games will be picked up by CBS Sports Network, NBC Sports Network or another party, as negotiated by CBS Sports Network. But The Mtn. broadcast six Air Force games last year, so there’s likely to be some leftover home games that fall in the academy’s lap.

    While it sounds like an opportunity for Air Force to make some money, it might not be that easy to sell the rights to games like the opener against Idaho State. There are significant production costs involved (I was told it runs about $50,000-60,000 for a standard definition broadcast, even more for high definition), and a television station would have to figure out if it could make back those costs on advertising.

    The Falcons could shop the rights to any unselected home games to Colorado sports cable networks like Root Sports or Altitude, and if that isn’t an option, they could see if a local station is interested. If Air Force can’t find any interested outlets, it could look into options like video streaming games on its website. Broadcasts of Air Force’s road games will also be interesting to track through the upcoming weeks, because Air Force won’t control those rights.

    The next few weeks should be interesting at Air Force as it figures out the pieces to the broadcast puzzle for the 2012 football season.

  • Lyons, Fitzgerald each get MRIs on shoulder, surgery possible

    Thu, April 5, 2012 by admin with no comments

    Air Force men’s basketball teammates Mike Fitzgerald and Michael Lyons both dealt with shoulder issues through the 2011-12 season, and each had a magnetic resonance imaging test this week to determine whether surgery is the best option to repair the problem.

    Falcons coach Dave Pilipovich said the players will meet with a doctor next Monday to go over the tests. The hope is that they can both rehabilitate and avoid surgery, which would require four-to-six months of recovery time.

    “Hopefully it’s nothing serious,” Pilipovich said.

    Lyons had issues with both of his shoulders last season. In a game against Colorado State he had to come out before shooting a second free throw because of pain in his shoulder, and against UNLV later in the season he went down in pain after being hit. He didn’t miss any games because of the shoulder problems, and neither did Fitzgerald.

    Both players will be returning starters for what should be a talented Air Force team next season, and it wouldn’t be ideal to miss a bulk of the offseason training.

    “It always sets you back because they wouldn’t be able to condition, and we’re talking about so many months you wouldn’t be able to get a shot up,” Pilipovich said.

  • Air Force first baseman Kline out a few weeks after collision; Falcons ask league to review play

    Wed, April 4, 2012 by admin with 1 comment

    Air Force will be without first baseman Seth Kline for at least a few weeks, as he suffered a shattered cheekbone and broken jaw in a collision the Falcons have asked the league to review.

    Last Saturday, San Diego State outfielder Greg Allen laid down a bunt down the third base line, and in the play at first base Allen and Kline collided and the throw hit Kline in the face, causing the injuries. The Falcons submitted a video of the collision to the Mountain West offices for review, Kazlausky said. A Mountain West spokesman confirmed the league is reviewing the matter submitted by Air Force. The Falcons are unsure if Allen did enough to avoid the collision.

    Air Force baseball coach Mike Kazlausky said he hopes Kline can return for Air Force’s series against UNLV that begins April 20, but with the extent of the injuries that can’t be a certainty. Kline can’t do any activities for a few days as the swelling goes down.

    Kazlausky said while it appears Allen might have tried to avoid Kline, Air Force wants the league to review what happened. Allen was called out on the play. San Diego State coach Tony Gwynn said Allen was going for the outside corner of first base, the throw drew Kline into the baseline, and the contact was accidental.

    “Greg Allen isn’t that type of kid,” Gwynn said. “It was unintentional contact.”

    Kazlausky, who did not accuse Allen of initiating the contact while speaking about the play, said he wasn’t making a judgment on whether the collision could have been avoided.

    “I don’t know,” Kazlausky said. “We’ll let the conference rule on that.”

    Kazlausky said Gwynn and Allen apologized after the game, and he said Allen told him he felt awful about Kline’s injuries. Kazlausky said it is difficult to tell on the video exactly what happened, and he said he never called on the league to take any disciplinary action against Allen, only that he wanted the league to review what happened.

    “If they deem it was an issue, they’ll take action on it,” Kazlausky said. “I’ll wait for the league to decide. If nothing happens, nothing happens.”

    Gwynn said although it was unfortunate Kline got injured, he didn’t think Allen would or should be suspended because it wasn’t intentional, and that the contact happened because the throw drew Kline into the baseline.

    “He didn’t try to knock Seth over or run into him,” Gwynn said. “You hate to see that, but I don’t think there was malicious intent.”

    Kazlausky didn’t come off as angry as he talked about what happened, just disappointed that he has lost Kline, one of the Falcons’ best hitters, for a while. Kline is hitting .350 with 11 RBI in 11 games.

    “It just is unfortunate with the severity of the injury,” Kazlausky said.