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Each week sports reporters Matthew Lambert and Eric Schroeder will face off on a hot topic in sports. The world of sports is changing quickly and constantly, but we want to slow it down and take a better look at the juiciest gossip, scandal, rumor or issue that is making headlines this week. Lambert and Schroeder will take different sides and battle it out, telling you why you they are right.
This week’s topic: The NFL Scouting Combine
The NFL Scouting Combine is a weeklong showcase of future draft picks. College football players are tested physically and mentally in front of the league’s coaches, managers and scouts. But is it fair to put so much emphasis on one week’s performance that can make or break an athlete? Or should game performances over the years be taken into account? Let’s talk about it…
(Recap by Allison Mueller)
FROM ERIC SCHROEDER
The NFL Combine helps give a complete picture of the athletes. Not only does it give an idea of the physical strength and endurance of each player, but it also gets into the mindset and personality of the player.
One portion of the Combine that is not broadcasted as part of everything is the personal interviews that teams can conduct. In my mind the interview is the most important part of this entire process for these college athletes. It allows athletes and teams to connect on a more personal level and for teams to get insight into who the player is outside of the media. It also allows players to talk about blemishes on their record in college and show teams who they truly are.
At the same time this could completely drop a player’s stock if they interview poorly. Teams can see potential issues with immaturity or other behavior concerns. So while some may continue to disagree with the importance put on the combine, it has and will continue to be a staple as players prepare for the draft.
FROM MATTHEW LAMBERT
I relate the NFL Combine to the local county fair. The scouts are trying to find their prize hog to place their personal blue ribbon on.
Personally, I prefer to look toward the game film and everything they accomplished in college. Watching what they do in a game is more valuable than how high they can jump and if they can run a 4.3 40-time. Will they break down in a late game situation? How efficient are they when they have the ball? Are they leaders on the field? These questions are much more important than trying to find some athletic freak.
It’s been proven that it doesn’t pay off to try and make players be something they aren’t. There have been plenty of players who haven’t blown scouts away at the combine. Teddy Bridgewater didn’t shine perfectly and fell to the bottom of the first round but was arguably one of the best quarterbacks out of last season’s draft. Look at Shannon Sharpe or Tom Brady. Two players who are the top of their respective classes and didn’t have a great showing at the combine, slid very far on draft day and have Hall of Fame careers.
The point is simple. Don’t judge a book by its cover. I think in an age that values statistics and efficiency in sports, we should move away from the players who jump the highest, lift the most or run the fastest.
Sam Thiel/ Winonan
After seven games the Winona State University softball team was handed its first loss of the season with a 1-0 defeat against Grand View College in Rochester, Minn. on Thursday. The Warriors bounced back in their second game against Grand View with a 10-6 victory in the nightcap.
The starting pitchers on each team allowed six hits combined. The game saw its first and only score in the top of the fifth when Grand View got a runner in scoring position. Hanna Lythberg then committed an error on a line drive to the pitcher that scored the lone run of the game.
Lythberg said, “It is great to know as a pitcher that every teammate behind me will give everything they have on every play.”
Ashley Walker allowed one hit in four innings while striking out six.
Lythberg gave up one hit in three innings of work with three strikeouts and bounced back in the nightcap, tossing three innings while allowing a trio of hits and one earned run after relieving the sophomore starter Karly Olson, who allowed five earned runs in three innings.
Olson said the team was disappointed with their play in the opener but gave credit to Grand View’s starter.
“She threw a heck of a game and was able to get her team out of several innings when we had runners in scoring position,” Olson said. “We are a great hitting team, and it was just one of those games where we weren’t able to put our hits together.”
Down 5-4 in the third inning of the second game, Olson provided the biggest highlight of the afternoon for Winona State: a three-run blast to left. This brought in Allyson O’Herron and Jessica Kullmann to give the Warriors a 7-5 advantage as Winona State would go on to win 10-6 after five and a half innings due to time.
Olson said the second game was a lot better offensively for Winona State.
“The second game everyone stepped up to the plate and took much better swings on the ball, and we were able to put together 10 runs,” Olson said.
Lythberg said, “I think our biggest thing as a team is relying on solid defense to make it through our tough games,”
Winona State University (8-1) is off until March 8 when it heads to Florida for the first of 10 games.