ScuttleBu(r)t …

Ironwood’s Sam Fontecchio, who has umpired at least 20 Little League state tournaments since 1997, saluted Norway’s juniors at Rochester Hills.

“Norway, they’re No. 2 in the state. That’s not a bad deal,” Fontecchio told Jason Juno of The Daily Globe. “They didn’t have many kids that stood out, but they all could play baseball.

“They could give anybody a run for their money.”

Fontecchio expected Midland and Norway to meet for the age 13-14 baseball state title.

“They were the team to beat,” he said of Midland, a 10-0 winner over Norway. “They could pitch. They could hit. They got a good team.”

Fontecchio and traveling partner, umpire Steve Ritenour of Marquette, left Rochester Hillls for a senior (age 15-16) regional tournament in Illinois. Fontecchio umped the 2011 Little League World Series at Williamsport, Pa. …

Former Iron Mountain High School basketball coach Dennis DeMerse attended last week’s reunion of the 1961 Marquette John D. Pierce High School state Class D championship basketball team.

Pierce, with all seniors on the squad, knocked off Freesoil 68-61 in a battle of 25-0 teams at Michigan State University’s Jenison Fieldhouse.

“There wasn’t a lot of pressure involved,” DeMerse told The Mining Journal. “We took everything in stride. Everyone contributed all season.”

John D. Pierce High School was closed permanently after the title game …

Tom (Richie) Kaeser of Marinette’s EagleHerald, in the wake of the Ryan Braun drugs case, did find PEDS – popcorn, energy and determination – at the American Legion U.P. Zone Tournament in Menominee.

“What a refreshing break from the steady drone of denials and half-hearted apologies from pro athletes who feel they have to juice up to reach their full potential,” Kaeser wrote. “I’ve watched young players strive to reach their potential by busting their butts, not by injecting a needle into it.” …

Bob McGinn, U.P. Hall of Famer and Milwaukee JournalSentinel pro football scribe, on the Green Bay Packers shaking up their offensive line: “Heaven help the Packers if (Mike) McCarthy and (Ted) Thompson are wrong again.” …