The Wright State Raiders aim to overcome a bumpy season start to propel a run of backboard-slapping matches into success at February's Horizon League tournament. The challenge inspires energetic head coach and well-known public speaker Billy Donlon—now in his second year at the helm after four years as assistant coach—to further psych up his roster with canny strategy and an all-team Henry V discussion group. As cheers ricochet around the arena, junior guard Julius Mays pops off screens for soft jump shots and jukes defenders for ardent drives to the bucket. Meanwhile, sophomore forward AJ Pacher patrols the paint with nearly 7 feet of rebound readiness. From corner seats in the Wright State University Nutter Center, fans command a panoramic view of the court and the freshly baked new video board that gleams amid a sea of raucous students and other faithful basket boosters.
Obsessed with all things sports, Buffalo Wild Wings shepherds hungry fans through victory and defeat with sandwiches and signature wings as they watch their favorite teams compete on the restaurant's many TVs. Diners can break from huddles over the menu to call for orders of six Buffalo wings clad in 1 of 16 saucy uniforms ($4.99) and guarded by spicy front lines of southwest bites stuffed with jalapeños and spicy chicken ($5.29). The black-and-blue burger ($8.29) lumbers up to tables seasoned with bayou spices and blue-cheese dressing, and the honey-barbecue chicken salad with fresh greens and pico de gallo ($7.99) flutters onto plates as daintily as a football tossed by wood sprites. Buffalo Wild Wings strives to prevent post-dinner nap attacks and their attendant ketchup mustaches with a slew of attention-grabbing entertainment options, including cards and eclectic trivia questions answered via individual electronic devices.
Though they operate more than 200 locations in upwards of 30 states, the team behind U.S. Baseball Academy aims to make each young athlete's experience a personal one. Their four- or six-week camps are taught by local instructors who are current or former coaches at the high school or college level, and typically offer a 6:1 or better player-to-teacher ratio for intense, professional-style training. The Academy's proven itinerary of hitting, pitching, fielding, and baserunning drills was developed by an advisory board of college coaches and Major League players, including Cy Young Award–winner and ace pitcher Brandon Webb.
Racket-wielding instructors at Schroeder Tennis Center help elevate players' tennis acumen with clinics and leagues for athletes of all ages and experience levels. Children's classes acclimate younger players to the game with smaller-sized racquets and courts, and this helps develop basic, size-appropriate skills at an earlier age. Adult classes range from beginner basic courses to high-level clinics, which teach players to smash tennis balls and small planets into orbit. The facilities include climate-controlled indoor courts—five in the summer and seven in the winter—as well as six outdoor courts.
Since 1976, Keith and Betty Ketring have been combining their interests in woodworking and fine-art prints by preserving their clientele’s artworks and heirlooms with custom frames. Their inventory of framing materials includes a spectrum of moulding styles—from stark black to ornately carved and gilded—as well as conservation glass and a multitude of colorful mats.
Dayton Center Courts and Tennis Academy's seasoned tennis pros train budding ball-swatters to command the net with skill, agility, and aplomb. Beginner clinics help build fundamentals in tennis novices and players aiming to return to the game after long sabbaticals or periods of cryogenic hibernation. Each hour-long class focuses on the rudiments of racket-wielding, as up to 10 trainees per instructor practice blistering backhands, master sublime serves, and hone opponent-obliterating volleys and drop shots. Courses are available for youths age 15 and under on Mondays and Wednesdays, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., and for adults age 16 and up on Mondays and Wednesdays, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.