Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The points point to a local school as basketball's best

You already knew Scott County Central's basketball program was good, but now there are point standings to back it up.

Using a format patterned after our annual SEMO All-Sports Award, the folks over at OzarksSports.net have applied that formula to list the 25 best boys and girls basketball teams in Missouri since playoffs began.

The results: Scott County Central is No. 1 in the girls list, and the school is No. 2 on the state boys list.

The girls top five: Scott County Central, St. Joseph's Academy, Visitation Academy, Northeast Nodaway and Marshfield.

The boys top five: Vashon, Scott County Central, Charleston, DeSmet and SLUH.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

All-star games are a big statement for SEMO baseball talent

How good was high school baseball in the eastern half of Missouri this year?

Good enough that all four games in the Missouri High School Baseball Coaches Association's senior all-star games over the weekend were won by the East Team. Good enough that 20 seniors from Southeast Missouri earned spots on the East rosters — and good enough that one of them was picked as MVP.

The annual games featuring seniors from across the state were played in St. Louis and featured the region's top seniors chosen by coaches. East teams won all four decisions over the West: 22-21 in Class 1, 4-3 in C2, 12-5 in C3, and 11-3 in C4.

Garrett Stockton of Twin Rivers was picked as MVP of the C2 game.

Southeast Missouri seniors on the East rosters:

C1: Cory Kovach of Naylor, Mike Duncon and Zach Ricker of Van Buren, Kyle Wakefield of South Iron, and Austin Fisher, Jake Hilton and Brett Atkins of Winona.

C2: Stockton and Cole McBroom of Twin Rivers, Andrew Dooley of Chaffee, Joe Campbell of Campbell, Ethan Browning and James Naile of Charleston, Spencer Sander of Saxony Lutheran, and Logan Jett and Gary Doyle of Crystal City.

C3: Dylan Eye of Potosi and Jacob Farmer of Fredericktown.

C4: Logan Bartels and Bobby Clark of Jackson.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

A new champion emerges for the annual All-Sports Award

A private school has again won Southeast Missouri's All-Sports Award for high school athletic programs, but for the first time it wasn't Notre Dame.

Valle Catholic won the annual competition among high schools in a 23-county area in convincing style — state championships in football, volleyball and track helped the school overtake 47 other local high schools that earned points in MSHSAA postseason events.

The annual award is tabulated by SemoSportsWeb using a system that awards teams points based on playoff performance. A team championship is worth 10 points, with eight points for second place and so on. Events used in the standings are baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, volleyball and wrestling.

It's the first time Valle Catholic has won the title since it began in the 2007-'08 school year. Notre Dame has won the past three awards.

Valle's 37 total postseason points bettered runnerup Notre Dame, which had 25 points. Festus was the highest-finishing public school in third with 20.5 points, Herculaneum was fourth with 20, and Farmington was fifth with 19. Click here for the full list of schools and final points.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Three years after flood, local track under water again

A new name and new ownership couldn't keep floodwater from once again overcoming a local racetrack this week.

Along with the playing fields, golf courses and sports venues under water this week, two popular racetracks in the 23-county region are under several feet of water. One of them - Black River Racepark near Poplar Bluff - just reopened three weeks ago after it was devastated by floods in 2008.

It's the second time the track (top photo) has been overcome by floods since it was built in 2004. Operating under its original owners as Poplar Bluff Speedway in 2008, the track was devastated by floods that left it closed for three years.

Parts of Malden Speedway (second photo) also are under several feet of water, most of it in the infield of the oval track. Parking and pit areas also are soaked with standing water.

Both tracks already have called off events for this weekend.

At Doe Run Raceway in St. Francis County, the track has cancelled its preseason practice day set for Friday because of damage it received from this week's storms. Its opening night has been moved to May 6.

Owners of Thunder City Speedway near in Ripley County are optimistic for weekend racing April 30. Roads leading to the track were under almost 6 feet of water Wednesday but are expected to be passable by the weekend.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

An emotional weekend on the track for a Sikeston racer

On a busy weekend for Southeast Missouri racetracks, the biggest win of all happened out of state.

Austin Rettig of Sikeston won his first career event on the Comp Cams Super Dirt Series, seven years to the day after the death of his older brother Nathan.

Austin, 16, won the event at Riverside Speedway in West Memphis, Ark., late Saturday. A day earlier, his dad — a longtime racer himself — made the right call.

"Dad told me yesterday that I was going to win on Saturday night, but to actually do it just means so much," Austin said. "I just know that Nathan was just there with me the whole way."

Nathan, the first to follow his father Allan's path as a late model competitor across the region, was killed April 9, 2004, from injuries he suffered in an ATV accident near his Sikeston home. He was 13.

On Saturday, Austin raced side-by-side with another of dirt racing's rising stars, Arkansas' Billy Moyer Jr. Austin's lead at the finish was 0.04 seconds.

"This one is definitely for Nathan," Austin said in victory lane.

AROUND THE REGION: Short-track racing continued at St. Francois County Raceway near Farmington and at Malden Speedway, and the weekly schedules began for Thunder City Speedway near Doniphan and Black River Racepark near Poplar Bluff.

Click here to follow results this season and from previous seasons.

Monday, March 21, 2011

New York Times puts spotlight on star SEMO pitcher

The New York Times detailed the amazing rise of Southeast pitcher Jordan Underwood in its weekend edition.

Underwood, who pitches at Southeast, lost his left eye after he was hit in the face by a line drive two years ago in Oklahoma, but he's emerged as one of the Redhawks' top pitchers. From the story:

"Three weeks after a line drive crashed into his face and destroyed his left eye, Jordan Underwood sat at Logan’s Roadhouse in Oklahoma City and decided his tea needed some sweetener. He opened a packet, extended his arm to the glass and proceeded to pour sugar all over the table.

"Losing an eye — and with it conventional depth perception — might seem devastating to an athlete, like a pianist developing Parkinson’s disease. But less than two years after being fitted with an acrylic left eye, Underwood has emerged as the ace pitcher at Southeast Missouri State, a Division I program."

It's a truly remarkable story. Click the link to read it in its entirety.

Southeast hosts Saint Louis at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Southeast fires its women's basketball coach

John Ishee's fifth season will be his last as Southeast women's basketball coach. The school said in a brief statement Tuesday afternoon that Ishee's contract will not be renewed when it expires in April.

Ishee was Southeast's coach for five seasons, and although his overall record was 77-74, recent campaigns have been disappointing. Southeast just completed an 8-21 season that included a 4-14 record in the Ohio Valley Conference.

Southeast won OVC championships in 2007 and '08 under Ishee, and he was picked as the OVC's coach of the year in 2007. That season's team reached the NCAA Tournament, and the Redhawks were picked for the WNIT Tournament in 2008.

Marcus Payne was picked Tuesday as acting head coach, and the school said a national search will begin immediately.