About Mike Patterson

Mike Patterson is a staff writer for The Omaha World-Herald and covers Nebraska high school sports. You can follow Mike on Twitter (@mpattersonOWH) or email him at mpatterson@owh.com.

Posts by Mike Patterson

Metro Conference baseball tweaks tourney schedule

Due to weather concerns Thursday, the Metro Conference baseball tournament has moved up to a Wednesday start, with the semifinals set for Friday and the final Saturday.

Props to Omaha Westside AD Tom Kerkman for thinking outside the box to avoid Thursday’s probable nasty weather in an effort to get the tourney played.

The schedule:

Wednesday

At Westside: Omaha Westside vs. Omaha Benson, noon; Bellevue West vs. Omaha Central, 2:15; winners play at 4:30.

At Papio South: Papio South vs. Omaha Northwest, noon; Millard North vs. Omaha North, 2:15; winners play at 4:30.

At Omaha Creighton Prep: Prep vs. Omaha Bryan, noon; Millard South vs. Papio-LV, 2:15; winners play at 4:30.

At Millard West: Millard West vs. Omaha South, noon; Omaha Burke vs. Bellevue East, …

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Millard West Invite

The final of the eight-team Millard West Invitational baseball tournament between Omaha Westside and the host Wildcats will be played Saturday at 1:45 p.m.

The Warriors advanced by defeating Lincoln East 10-6 on Friday in the first semifinal. Nebraska recruit Jake Meyers had four hits and drove in three while Will Patterson added three hits.

In the late semifinal, Millard West defeated Millard South 3-2. Logan Jacik provided the walk-off double and picked up the win on the mound for the Wildcats.

This will be the second game this season between the 12-1 Warriors and the 11-1 Wildcats. Millard West won the season opener between the two schools 9-7.…

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Saluting the frozen fans

Having covered high school baseball in the spring since 2001, I know how chilly conditions can be.

The coldest game I ever covered entering this season involved Millard West playing at Papio South some years ago, when the Titans had only a baseball diamond on a hill and no break from the wind.

The runner-up was last year’s game between Westside and Prep at Werner Park.

But the game Monday night involving Omaha Skutt at Millard West is the new champion. Hands down.

The temperature was in the 30s that night and a relentless, bone-chilling wind dropped the wind chill to 15 by the end. The teams played on for nine innings — the Wildcats had tied the game in the bottom of the seventh …

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Nebraska prep baseball players to watch

Jason Allbery, Omaha Creighton Prep, Junior infielder: He was one of the top hitters in the state last summer in American Legion play, finishing at .473.

Jacob Barton, Omaha Skutt, Senior pitcher/infielder: The ace of the SkyHawks’ pitching staff was 7-1 with a 0.75 ERA in 2013.

Alec Bohm, Omaha Roncalli, Senior third baseman: The Wichita State recruit batted .375 last season.

Adam Caniglia, Omaha Burke, Senior catcher/pitcher: He drove in 56 runs during last summer’s American Legion season.

Anthony Cloyd, Senior utility: The Patriots’ starting quarterback batted .387 in 2013.

Byron Hood, Norris, Senior pitcher: The Nebraska recruit was 6-0 with a 0.97 ERA and 62 strikeouts in 2013.

Cole Johnston, Millard West, Senior pitcher/outfielder: The University of Nebraska at Omaha recruit was a …

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An NFL player in the midst

Yes, that was San Diego Chargers running back Danny Woodhead watching Tuesday night’s District A-1 girls basketball game between North Platte and Lincoln Southeast.

He was at Bellevue West that night to cheer for the Bulldogs, who are coached by his father Mark. Danny blended in well with the crowd, wearing a gray stocking cap and sipping a blue Gatorade.

“My dad has supported me his whole life,” Danny said. “It’s the least I can do.”

His hair is longer, but Woodhead looked about the same as I remember him back in his playing days at North Platte. And if you saw him sitting in the stands, you probably wouldn’t picture the 5-8, 200-pounder as an NFL player.

But that’s a tribute to Woodhead, who …

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Half-court magic lifts Gretna to win over Norris

The best thing about covering sporting events? You’re never exactly sure what is going to happen.

Case in point, the Eastern Midlands Conference tournament girls basketball final Friday night between Gretna and Norris. The host Titans led almost the entire game, until 5-7 senior guard Mary Janovich hit a shot they’ll be talking about in Gretna for a long time.

She swished a half-court attempt at the buzzer to boost the Dragons to a 49-48 win and a tourney title. Janovich said after the game she doesn’t practice the shot and probably would sink only one or two if she tried it 50 times.

But she made the shot when it counted, and the Dragons had their title.

And that’s what makes covering sporting …

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The pros of no consolations

As colleague Stu Pospisil wrote in Tuesday’s paper, there is a proposal underway to get rid of the state tournament consolation games that were added in 2008.

Not that I have a vote in this matter, but I’d second that motion. And, I’m guessing, so would many coaches.

Those consolations were added to generate more revenue for the NSAA, and some schools — mostly the ones that traveled the greatest distances to state — were OK with it. As someone who interviewed many coaches after semifinal losses Friday, it seemed as though the majority were just ready to head home after the dream of a state title ended.

Many coaches would shrug or just roll their eyes when you wished them good luck in the …

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Not so Sweet Caroline

With Creighton pondering the playing of Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” at games — like it did at the New Year’s Eve game against Marquette — I’d like to say two words about that.

Please don’t.

I think I dislike this song in part because it gets played so much by high school bands. You will hear it many, many times at the state tournament.

I’m not alone in my distaste for the song, which has seen it’s popularity grow after being played at Red Sox games. I’m joined by longtime PA announcer Barry Silverstein, a Bronx native who lives and dies for the NY Yankees.

At the Metro Holiday tournament last week, the music guy started playing it. Barry quickly got back on the microphone …

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All those Nor-folks

Covering the Norfolk-Omaha Burke basketball doubleheader Saturday night, I was pleasantly surprised by the number of Panthers’ fans who made the two-hour trip to the games.

Maybe I shouldn’t have been.

I remember covering Norfolk at the state tournament in recent years and it seemed as though the entire city was at the Devaney Center. On Saturday night, the Panthers fans loudly cheered both of their teams on to victory.

That support isn’t lost on the players, who obviously appreciate seeing so many familiar faces at road games.

“The fans always try to make it seem like a home game, no matter where we play,” junior Tyler Hagedorn said. “I know our teams feed off of it.”

Hagedorn certainly fed off of it, scoring a …

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Here we go again

After an unpredictable volleyball season, the girls basketball season is getting off to a similar start.

Just one week into the season and already the preseason No. 1 in Class A (Bellevue West) and Class B (Grand Island Northwest) have been defeated. The Thunderbirds fell to second-ranked Millard West while the Vikings lost to third-ranked Norris.

Special mention should be made of the Titans, who won the Class B volleyball title last month. They’re off to a great start, having already beaten No. 1 GINW and No. 2 Lincoln Pius X.

We’ll see what’s in store the rest of the season.…

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