Tennis coach deflects credit

ScuttleBu(r)t …

Menominee’s Troy Reuter served up the credit for his U.P. Tennis Coach of the Year award to his players and volunteer assistant coach Peter Hitch.

“I’m thankful to receive the honor, but I have to pass on the honor on to all the members of our team,” said Reuter, a Kingsford grad who took over the program four years ago. “Those kids worked their butts off to improve and compete. I am so proud of them for that.”

Menominee came up just three points shy of winning the U.P. Division 1 title.

“Reuter turned the culture of Menominee tennis around,” wrote Tom (Richie) Kaeser of The EagleHerald

From Brad Dickson, Omaha (Neb.) World-Herald: “Some say that LeBron James will regret choosing Cleveland over South Beach. My money is on sometime in mid-January.” …

Iron Mountain’s Ariel Bloniarz, a co-captain on the St. Norbert College women’s tennis team, was part of a “really neat season.”

Green Knights co-coach Paul Miller, who works with his bride, Carrie, cited Bloniarz and the team’s seniors for setting a school record for wins.

“We had wonderful leadership with three seniors who led by example over the course of their careers,” said Miller, noting youth and depth also played a role. “Those things led to a great team.”

Bloniarz, a Kingsford High School standout, earned national academic honors and a sparkling tennis record at the Midwest’s most prestigious school …

From Blaise Winter, a football coach and motivational speaker who has visited Norway a couple times: “I’m a throwback, an old-fashioned dinosaur who will always show my passion. The greatest feeling on Earth is saying you left it all on the field.” …

ESPN college basketball icon Dick Vitale insists Michigan State’s “incredible force” will keep the Spartans a college basketball power this season despite losing three key players.

“Don’t ever count Michigan State out, not with (Iron Mountain native Tom) Izzo leading the way,” Vitale wrote. “He will pour his heart into building another winner.

“The Spartans will have a bunch of kids playing with pride, heart and passion. They will reflect the image of their great coach and leader, Mr. Izzo.” …

Crivitz back Ben Fischer plays for the North in today’s Wisconsin Football Coaches Association’s small school all-star game in Oshkosh …

Mother of Boston area Little Leaguer dreading a long baseball game: “I love my son dearly, but I have to say that watching a second-grade Little League game may very well be the Tenth Circle of Hell.”

Michigan’s favorite ice cream flavor? That would be vanilla, according to Baskin Robbins.

For Wisconsin, it’s my favorite, mint chocolate chip …

(Boston Globe, St. Norbert College Magazine and Milwaukee JournalSentinel’s PackerPlus contributed to this column)