By John Powell, Asst. Sports Editor

I watched way too much Comedy Central on Saturday night, when this was written. I consider myself a southern boy and get a kick out everyone on the Blue Collar Comedy Tour (coming on April 24 to the Patriot Center, might I add).

No jokes here, please. I did a Google search for “Larry the Cable Guy Baseball,” and was entertained by “Uncyclopedia” entries and YouTube videos.

Honestly, everyone reading this column should be happy that I eventually stopped rooting for Kyle Busch in the Nashville 300 (he got third place, by the way, after getting his first win as a team owner in the truck series) to write this column for all my beloved readers.

I put down my camouflage Atlanta Braves baseball cap, turned off NASCAR, tried not to move my arms much from my third farmer’s tan of the season and forced myself to think about college sports.

My first thought was: “Wow, I had West Virginia in the championship game . . . and they lost in the Final Four. Well, now my bracket is officially dead.”

My second thought was: “I bet if Larry the Cable Guy would have played baseball in college and could figure out how to use his weight, he could have been like Bob Wickman.”

And finally: “What would the most underrated, redneck sport be here at George Mason University?”

I couldn’t think of anything that involved tractors, rusty wheelbarrows or driving, so all I could think about was racing.
We don’t have football at Mason, where people just beat the crap of each other, so I’m thinking track.

Mason actually has a pretty good track team. While some of the bigger-named sports, such as baseball and softball, don’t maintain as strong of a mark as fans would have hoped, the track team has done well.

The baseball and softball teams have both dropped crucial matches recently. The baseball team needed extra innings to defeat the UNC-Wilmington Seahawks in the second game of the weekend series.

The baseball team dropped a nail-biter after the Seahawks broke the tie in the eighth inning to go on to win the game 5-4. Had Mason won, they would have achieved a three-game sweep over the Seahawks for the first time in 22 years.

Then again, the team is still playing solid baseball with a 15-9 record. The young team will continue to be tested as they host the Old Dominion Monarchs in this weekend’s series.

The softball team is on a six-game losing streak, dropping nine of their last 10 matches; their sole win in the stretch was also their lone conference win, beating the James Madison Dukes by only one run.

The offense continues to struggle to score runs in the recent slide. The team was shut out for the fourth time in the past five games, and the offense has registered only one run in the past 27 innings. It does not help when Hofstra’s freshman pitcher records a perfect game.

The track and field team, however, has done incredibly well. In a split-squad weekend series, 14 marks were IC4A/ECAC qualifying. In addition, new qualifiers made 10 of those marks.

I wrote a feature story a few weeks ago about a sprinter named Rachaunn Ruffin. He has been on fire recently. When I wrote the story, I realized that the sophomore sprinter was a good runner, but the marks that he is putting up have stunned me over the last few weeks.

For instance, at the Raleigh Relays, he earned two IC4A qualifications on his way to clocking first-place finishes in the 100-meter and 200-meter events (a quick note: the 100-meter finish came in the preliminary round, but he did not compete in the finals).

These marks gave him his third CAA Men’s Track Athlete of the Week award.

Needless to say, this runner is the cream of the crop, and is only a sophomore. Time will show his true abilities.
I predict that he will dominate the track in his senior year. If he is dominating this much this year, barring injury, he will be phenomenal in the years to come.

Ja-Vell Bullard is also doing well, breaking his season-best times as the season goes on. At the Pepsi Florida Relays, he also had two qualifying times. This other sophomore sprinter has been constantly improving, and looks to continue his success into the future.

With these athletes leading the team, the Mason track team should be dominating the other runners in the conference for years to come.

There you have it: we run, we win. If only Kyle Busch could do it for me a little more often.