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Covering the Spread (COLUMN)

June 4, 2012
B.J. LISKO - Salem News Sports Editor ( , Salem News

West Branch hired Lou Sellaroli over the weekend to take over the boys basketball program. Let me say this right off the bat - Sellaroli is a great hire. I have zero issue with the Warriors going with a guy very familiar with the program and community and someone who is one of the classiest acts in the area in any sport.

What struck me as odd was Sellaroli wasn't an applicant for the job. He was picked after two other candidates reportedly turned the job down, and the school board couldn't agree on a third from its own applicant pool.

Some potential candidates didn't even get an interview, and other qualified applicants were passed over. It kind of makes you wonder how serious West Branch really was about the change they said they wanted when they forced John Hancock to resign, or how serious they were about looking outside of the district.

I just hope the school board is truly in Sellaroli's corner moving forward so the program has a chance to prosper and thrive. There's nothing more distracting to a program then a school board divided on a head coach. They voted 4-0 in Sellaroli's favor (the fifth member couldn't be present for the meeting). Hopefully it stays that way so the program can truly establish itself in the next few years.


Tiger Woods might want to think about moving to Ohio, because he sure owns the place in every tournament he plays here.

Woods took the Memorial in Dublin Sunday coming back from four shots down on a course where he had won four times previously.

The only other professional tournament in Ohio, the WGC Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, also formerly known as the NEC Invitational, Woods has won seven times.

To say he's the early favorite at Firestone would be an understatement.

Tiger is without a doubt getting back to the dominant Woods of old. The doubters who remain should remember even at his best, Tiger didn't have the sort of control specifically off the tee he had this past week in Dublin. His ability to score from anywhere on the course was his ace in the hole. Can you imagine how good he could be if his putting gets as insanely hot as it used to be now that he's hitting the ball where he wants to?

Point blank - he's being over analyzed.

Golf isn't a game you can master. Even when you win, there's always spots where you could've done better. And no matter how many more times he wins, and even if he passes Jack Nicklaus' major record of 18, Woods will always be compared to his first run when he dominated everyone.

Woods elevated everyone else's game, so while he might not be winning by double-digits anymore, it's no less impressive.

I'm not sold on his swing being totally where he wants it just yet, but it's awfully close. After a lackluster Masters, it's hard to pinpoint the next major he'll win. But if I had to pick one out of the remaining three I'd go with the Open Championship across the pond.

He can get away with crazy shots there and it won't cost him. Even at just okay standards, if his flat stick (and he never goes long without sinking putts) is up to snuff, he'll take the Claret jug.

The U.S. Open will be telling, and he's probably the favorite there, too. But the potential for trouble looms large for a bad swing.

Regardless, he's inching closer to dominance, and that's a great thing for golf.

'til next time ...

E-mail B.J. Lisko at



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