From mats to bats, spring fever arrives

Here’s what’s happening: Richland’s men’s basketball loss to Eastfield put the T-Ducks in a regular-season-ending first place tie with North Lake. That means the T-Ducks and the Blazers are the Metro Athletic Conference regular season co-champions. Richland won the coin toss over North Lake to clinch the top seed and host the MAC Basketball Tournament Feb. 25. Defeating Brookhaven 71-67 to advance to the championship game againstNorthlake. 

Richland’s baseball season is already under way staying above .500 in the first two weeks of the young season. Richland entered conference play against North Lake on Feb. 22.

The 2017 NBA All-Star Weekend was held in New Orleans after the league stripped the festivities from Charlotte due to North Carolina’s bathroom bill. At the Smoothie King Center in the Rising Stars Challenge, Team World defeated Team USA, 150-111. New York Knicks big man Kristaps Porzingis defeated Utah’s Gordon Hayward to win the Skills Challenge. 

Former Pelican, now Rockets’ guard, Eric Gordon won the Three-Point Shootout over Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving and Charlotte’s Kemba Walker. If the NBA kept the All-Star Weekend in Charlotte, Hornets fans would have given their star Walker the advantage. The son of former top draft pick and two-time NBA All-Star Glenn “Big Dog” Robinson Jr. has become the “Big Dog” in the weakest Slam Dunk Contest I’ve seen in years. Pacers guard Glenn Robinson III defeated unknown Suns forward Derrick Jones Jr., DeAndre Jordan of the Clippers and last year’s runner up Aaron Gordon of the Magic. 

Unfortunately, Zach LaVine, who won the title last year, suffered a season-ending injury. So it was up to Gordon to steal the show. After a bunch of failed attempts, Gordon got the hook in the first round. Robinson won the contest after he jumped over a few Pacer personnel including a cheerleader. LaVine, please come back next season. Anthony Davis of the home-team Pelicans took MVP honors with an All-Star record 52 points as the West beat the East, 192-182.

Closer to home, 17-year-old Mack Beggs is wrestling proud for Trinity High in Euless. The thing is the wrestler is transgender and causing major controversy. Beggs is transitioning from female to male and using steroids legally while competing for championships. One wrestler chose not to compete and decided to take second place in the Class 6A Regionals. 

Coppell’s Madeline Rocha forfeited her match against Beggs. Now Rocha’s family and lawyer are filing a lawsuit against the University Interscholastic League. While the opposition wants Beggs suspended for steroid use, Mack’s grandmother Nancy Beggs is sticking up for Mack saying that a wrestler is a wrestler all the way to the heart regardless of skin color and preference. Beggs is living as a male, but according to UIL rules, he must compete against females due to the wrestler’s birth certificate gender and the rule prohibiting boys from wrestling girls. 

Beggs wants to compete with the boys. By looking at Beggs’ picture, he should. The question is, do the male wrestlers want to compete against Beggs or should they forfeit their matches? The situation is causing major dissension in high school wrestling, except at Trinity. Regardless of other opinions, Beggs will continue to compete. But for how long? And what will it look like if Beggs decides to wrestle in college? Too much confusion and opponents will have their opinions. Soon enough the courts will determine what to do with transgender athletes. But for now, try not to focus on the looks. Just wrestle.