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Evansville, Indiana
March 17, 1989     The Message
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March 17, 1989
 

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10 Sports The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana March 17, 1989 Rutter on Sports By DAVE RUTFER Emotionally dif![0000cult year proves Risemas' gift for molding talent Despite the anatomical improbability, the eyebrows of virtually every sports fan in Evansville shot up when Rich Risemas was named basketball coach at Memorial in 1982. Remember the buzz? Ron Wannemuehler had put in his two decades and was moving on to coaching nirvana -- athletic directorship. So, the folks at Memorial looked around, double checked all the applications and picked Risemas. Who? What? If you escaped the stock market the day before it crashed last year or have expertise in tea-leaf reading, then you probably expected Risemas to get this job. Folks who make a killing dealing in pork bellies and Peruvian tin futures might have had some inkling. As for the rest of us, the bulb was burned out. Risemas was a winner, true, and he was well known around Memorial. He could coach. No doubt of that, either. But his career was at St. Benedict elementary school. What was that worth? He was used to coaching players who hadn't been out on dates yet. At least, no dates that their moms knew about. Heck, he'd never coached anybody who possessed a valid driver's license. How would he relate to dudes who actually NEEDED to shave? I've often wondered what the face-to-face job interview at Memorial was like for Risemas. "Yep, I can pinpoint my greatest coaching achievement without even thinking hard about it. We whipped a full-court press on those sixth- graders from Christ the King two years ago and they folded like a lawn chair." If there was anxiety about the choice, Risemas' first two years probably didn't assuage it. The Tigers went 5-16 and 4-17. Then the breakthrough season -- 15-6. After that, Risemas' troops went 20-7, 25-2, 12-10 and 19-6. That's a tough way to win 100 games and, as Risemas often says, there is nothing homogeneous in Memorial's student psychology. It can be a difficult place to coach, and Risemas can be a difficult taskmaster. "Diverse personalities," he says. Whatever the psychological eddies, Risemas' seventh season finally has demonstrated -- if any doubts lingered -- that he was the right man for the job. Indeed, Memorial's 19-6 record this season is testament both to Risemas' ability to mold talent and to his players' emotional resilience. When Memorial dusted Vincennes in the Regional championship last weekend for Risemas' 100th victory, it marked the third time in four years that the Tigers had claimed that title. In the other year -- 1987-88 -- the Tigers were steaming along when the wheels fell off. Sophomore Chad Weikert blew a knee, and Central interrupted the Sectional championship string. That injury was the first signal to what might have become a very mediocre year. If you don't recall the problems consider: A: Weikert still has not recovered from the knee injury and might never be the player he pro- mised to be. Before the injury, he moved Memorial's offense up a large notch. While he still works hard, it's obvious he's less natural. B: Freshman Kris Robinson, the 6-foot-8 center of a pre-season recruiting storm, left for Henderson County. While Risemas might not have used Robinson this year, Robinson finished the season producing double figures in both points and re- bounds for the Colonels. C: Senior Aaron Gries left a void at point guard when he decided to concentrate on baseball, an understandable decision because he has pro potential. But that left another gap for Risemas to fill. D: Then, there's the athletic makeup of the team itself. Many are marking time between their best sports. Starting point guard Pat Schulz is a better baseball player; Tim Vieth is an all- American soccer player headed for Duke; 6-5 Jason Edwards is a defensive end and sometimes quarter- back in football. There may be good athletes on this team, but not necessarily superior basketball players. Risemas has crazy-glued this team together. It plays hard and, occasionally, well. Whether that's enough in this weekend's Semistate is doubtful. Floyd Central and Terre Haute South possess bigtime talent. But whatever happens from now on, Risemas shouldn't despair. He's taken the Tigers past where logic says they should be, and that's a true test of quality teaching. Not too shabby for a grade school coach. Plehse patronize Message advertisers! Flaget team The sixth grade basketball team at Flaget School, Vincennes, recently won the Rivet High School In- vitational Tournament. Players were, back row, Mike Mills, Dustin Hitt, Jason Teising, Derrick Plahn, Mike Mouzin; middle row, coach Joe Mouzin, George Traylor, Eric Mikiska, Charles Kit- chell, Jon Lazzara and Adam Lane. Cheer|eaders are Sara Tressler, Amanda DeLisle, Michele Hor- rail, Amanda Scheirmann, Amber Donnoe, Meegan Hedstrom, Barbara Curry, Amy Halter, Andrea Musick, Laura Carpenter and Katie Meyer. [ RememberFor FUneralPlanning l- Miller & Mill r : ' e !. 424-9274 .  !i!;!!i;!::[:!  : :i!ili:i:i:i:i ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: ;::::: : : : :::2:i:: ! :i:!:!::;:!:i : : : : American National Bank Bicknell - Sandborn Vincennes Drive-in Facilities - Member F.D.I.C. A Full Service Bank FOR COMPLETE I ELECTRICAL SERVICE H.G. FISCHER RT. 1 ST. ANTHONY I I I PEACE CENTER TOURS presents MEDJUGORJE MARY'S CALL TO PEACE A Spiritual Journey & Retreat with Father Gerald Peterson of Glenmary Missionaries MAY 15 - 22, 1989 US$1,265 from Louisville Plus Taxes - $23 and Tip Fund - $35 - TOTAL $58 Single Room Supplement - $99 ITINERA R Y" MONDAY -- Depart Hometown for the Gateway City (Chicago or New York), connect in the afternoon with overnight JAT-YUGOSLAV AIRLINES trans- atlantic flight to Yugoslavia. TUESDAY -- Connect with short flight to Mostar or Dubrovnik. Late afternoon arrival, meet our representatives and transfer to PRIVATE homes in Med- jugorje for overnight. .. i WEDNESDAY through SUNDAY -- Experience the presence of Our Mother, as you gather for daily spiritual conferences led by your SpMtua/ Leader. Each evening, retreat from the world as you participate in the devotions of the Rosary, Mass and healing prayer at St. James with the parishioners. The days are free to climb the thorny hills of Podbrod (the Hill of Apparitions) and Mount Krizevac (Cross Mountain), as you walk along the pathways of peace. You have ample time to nourish your faith, as you pray and walk through the village which has become the spiritual crossroads of the world. Participate in the mysteries of Mary's intervention and share in the spirit-filled devotion. IN- CLUDED WITH OUR COMPL/MENTS is the visit to Fr. Jozo, the famed first spiritual guide of the Visionaries. MONDAY -- Transfer to Mostar or Dubrovnik for departure for theU.S. Arrive in New York JFK or Chicago in the afternoon, connect with flight to Hometown. i!ii !::!i:iii" ':'':: .......... "" i'': ............. ':: !" :: "'"" ' iii' " : :i .... 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