Beyond the Block A: Non-Wildcat Local Sports Success Stories

Yes, this is a college town. Frankly, it's probably the biggest college town in America in that at times you'd think there's NOTHING ELSE to talk about other then 'our' Wildcats.

And sure, the University of Arizona's athletic program is among the best in the nation, so it's certainly deserving of the lions' share of fan and media attention.

Just as long as the locally bred non-Wildcat sports studs get their love when deserving.

For those who are blind to all things not decked out in cardinal-and-navy or with a giant A on it, here's some of the recent success stories you probably aren't aware of:

* Rincon/University HS grad Michael Thompson finds himself atop the leaderboard after finishing his second round of the Honda Classic today in Florida. Though there are still golfers out on the course who can catch him, the 27-year-old who also starred collegiately at Alabama appears in good position to win his first PGA Tour event and his first professional tournament since a Hooters Tour win in 2010.

Thompson has been here before, though, having led the U.S. Open in San Francisco last June only to struggle in the second and third rounds before ultimately finishing tied for 2nd.

* Ironwood Ridge High School graduate Alex Bowman is a rising superstar on the auto racing circuit. Just 19, he finished third last weekend in the Nationwide Series race at Daytona, Fla. Nationwide is the level just below NASCAR's Sprint Cup, and don't be surprised if Bowman gets to that level soon if he keeps up these kind of performances.

* Palo Verde HS grad Bryce Cotton is a big reason that Providence College is having it's best men's basketball season in three years. The 6-foot-1 junior point enters the final three games of the regular season leading the Big East Conference in scoring at 20.1 ppg. That's also good enough for 15th nationally among players from 347 Division I schools.

There are tons of these kinds of stories out there, you just have to look past the floating block A to find them ...