Sunday, September 24, 2006

Something to frame if you're a UNC fan

  • Two popular college basketball magazines are on newsstands with Poplar Bluff's Tyler Hansbrough on the cover.

    Hansbrough, a sophomore at North Carolina, is on the cover of the Lindy's and Athlon preseason magazines, although he's solo on Athlon's ACC regional cover. Hansbrough is also on Athlon's the pre-season All-America squad and is the only Tar Heel on the ACC's first team.

    According to, Lindy's rates the Carolina backcourt as the nation's best and picks the Tar Heel frontcourt behind top-ranked Florida. Hansbrough is the top power forward, while Terry was listed as the 10th-best small forward.

    Both magazines pick UNC to reach the Final Four. Lindy's picks Carolina, Florida, Kansas and Ohio State. Athlon picks Florida, Alabama and Kansas to reach the semifinals in Atlanta, with Carolina winning the title.

  • Mizzou is in the AP Top 25 for the first time since the second week of the 2004 season. The Tigers are No. 25. What's even more interesting is to see who's not in the Top 25: Miami, Michigan State, UCLA, Alabama and Penn State. MU plays Colorado on Saturday.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Tyler Hansbrough and Josh McRoberts head-to-head

A USA Today photographer was in Durham, N.C., last week to shoot a series of photos of UNC sophomore forward Tyler Hansbrough (Poplar Bluff) and Duke sophomore forward Josh McRoberts. has a 12-photo gallery from the photo shoot on its web site.

Hansbrough, last year's ACC Freshman of the Year, skipped a chance to enter the NBA Draft this summer and said he wanted another chance to win a national championship. The fact that Hansbrough will play just 2 hours from Poplar Bluff this season might have been a factor, too -- the Tar Heels play Dec. 22 at University of St. Louis in a game scheduled to air on ESPNU.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Craft sits out Southern Miss win

A couple of weekend highlights involving familiar Southeast Missouri high school players:

Former Cape Girardeau Central quarterback Mitch Craft was expected to split time on the field at middle linebacker Saturday in Southern Mississippi's win over North Carolina State, but the chance never came.

Craft, who was suspended for the first two games of the season, never played Saturday once junior starter Jerome Lyons got on a roll and made the most of his first career start. Lyons led the team with seven tackles. Lyons had never played prior to last week's 45-0 win over Southeastern Louisiana.

"When you play that good, you don't come out of the game," USM defensive coordinator Jay Hopson said of Lyons.

Coach Jeff Bower gave Lyons a clear vote of confidence Monday, which mean Craft's chance of making an impression this week is probably up in the air.

Bower on Lyons: "He's just come on and has gotten better. He's a smart player and is instinctive. I think he is a physical player. He played well." .....

Greg Klund had nine tackles in Lindenwood's 27-17 loss Saturday to Georgetown (Ky.). Klund is a senior defensive back from Cape Girardeau Central. Teammate Billy Ray Uren, a sophomore from Jackson, had four tackles; Chris Kline, a sophomore from St. Vincent, had one.

The three are part of a strong local group that includes sophomore Kyle Kline of St. Vincent, sophomores Adam Cecil and Plessie Ellitt of Caruthersville, and freshman Stuart Sago of Farmington.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

What's new, and what's still to come

There's good news if you've clicked around and found broken links: They're gradually going away.

Our individual high school pages continue to be updated with year-by-year information, and five more were updated extensively today. Boys basketball records should be updated for every team in Southeast Missouri by at least the start of basketball season, and football records already are online for every SEMO Conference team. Al Jackson of Hayti devoted endless hours to researching local basketball teams and uncovered years and years worth of information, which is now finding its way to the Internet for the first time.

There's also good news about our blogs and our photo gallery: The blog roster is likely to grow in the next month or so, and there are plans in the works for local photographers to showcase their photos in the gallery (although you're still invited to post your own snapshots and share your sports achievements with the rest of the online world).

As always, don't hold back with your suggestions. Or ideas. Or even complaints. They're always welcome.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Hometown athletes in college ... who are they?

Do you know of a local high school athlete who now competes in college? Or maybe the minors or even a pro league? We're setting out to compile the most complete list of college athletes with ties to any of Southeast Missouri's 23 counties, whether it's Jefferson County to the north or Pemiscot and Dunklin at our southern edge.

We have several names already, but there are dozens more who represent us well, whether it's in baseball, basketball, soccer, track or a variety of other sports. Pass along the names of your hometown athletes now in college either with a reply here or an e-mail at

And look for the list to appear on our home page soon.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Farmington (might) have a new basketball coach

It looks as though Farmington High School has its third different boys basketball coach of the 2006 calendar year. This item from the B104 FM web site Monday:

"Amid a cloud of uncertainty, has learned that Farmington has reached a tentative agreement with Joe Arnold to become the new boys basketball coach. Arnold was an assistant basketball coach last year and is also the head coach of the Farmington boys golf team. The coaching vacancy opened back in April when Tim Banger was fired after four years at the helm. Ed Belva was selected to replace him, but resigned after the first few weeks of the school year. The agreement with Arnold is pending board approval. The next Farmington school board meeting is Sept. 19."

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Two weeks in, and it's a battle at the top

For all practical purposes, we might as well be in the high school football preaseason right now. Under the Missouri state playoff format adopted almost two decades ago, Weeks 1-7 offer little more than message board material and roster shuffling. As playoff games, Weeks 8-10 are the ones that make or break a season.

But there's a field of contenders quickly pulling away from the rest of the pack, and Friday night was another step toward weeding out the field and giving a peek at which teams are likely to be the noisemakers when Week 8 comes along.

Among Southeast Missouri's 32 teams, 10 are unbeaten. Some are surprises, some not.

No surprise: North County, Caruthersville, Crystal City, Farmington, Charleston and Potosi are 2-0. They were all among the top 15 in our preseason PowerPoll and, for the most part, have shown only a few blemishes through two weeks of wins.

But it's the undefeated surprise teams that could turn into the most-watched programs over the next five weeks leading into the playoffs.

For starters, Festus was among the top-tier preseason teams but faced a true wildcard Friday against Dexter. The outcome: Festus won 13-10 and jumped to 2-0.

New Madrid County Central was a heavy favorite in Week 1 against St. Pius X, but the Eagles faced bigger odds against Cape Girardeau Central. Outcome: NMCC won 32-30 and withstood a rally to be 2-0.

Malden shoved past Scott City in a Week 1 warmup, but Hayti was an early season SEMO South opponent that had us all dishing out predictions. But few of us predicted the onesided outcome: Malden 32, Hayti 14.

And the biggest surprise of all? Try Perryville, which added to Pacific's woeful losing streak in Week 1, then swarmed MAFC opponent DeSoto 24-6 on Friday. The upstart Pirates still face a handful of hurdles, but Friday's win could be a big boost for a team that, until this season, hadn't won since 2004.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

What we learned from Week 1

Observations from opening weekend:

  • With a 34-game string of losses, Chaffee was among the what-ifs of Week 1, but the Red Devils were among the surprises of the night: surprising not because of the win, but because of the ease of it. Chaffee dominated Grandview and, based on that alone, has the second-best record in the SEMO South behind Malden and ahead of Portageville and Scott City. This is a team that not only shown it can win, but that it could be a player in the league.
  • Sikeston was expected to be improved after last season's letdown, but its opening-night loss to Caruthersville leaves lingering doubts. Sure, we knew Caruthersville had weapons, but for the Tigers to gang up on what has consistently been among the area's top programs was almost startling. And it doesn't bode well for a team facing what might be the region's toughest schedule -- its next four opponents are ranked in the top 10 on the PowerPoll. Ouch.
  • And speaking of Caruthersville impressions: Wow. Its matchup Sept. 15 against Cardinal Ritter and Sept. 22 against Hayti suddenly rank among must-see games through the early part of the schedule.
  • One week into the season, East Prairie already faces a crossroads: Regroup for Corning, Ark., on Friday, or settle into a frustrating path for Weeks 2-10. The Eagles returned talent and skill Friday against Hayti and watched it fizzle in what was expected to be an exciting rematch of last year's shootout. As a reward, East Prairie on Friday faces a Corning team coming off a 48-7 win over Rector, Ark.

Friday, September 01, 2006

You've found, so now what?

You're reading this, which means two things: You found Southeast Missouri's first all-sports web resource, first of all, and then you were intrigued enough by what you saw to look around a while. For that, we're grateful.

As you continue to explore the site, there are a few things you will notice.

Yes, there are areas of the site that have not been completed, so you might see a few blank spots or a few irritating "coming soon" lines. Be patient, and check back, because information is added to our site every day. Much of the high school year-by-year information is still to come, photo galleries will be significantly expanded over the next few weeks, and profiles of local athletes and sports personalities will appear on the site soon.

As you find areas of that you like and don't like, let us know. E-mail me at, or click on the Feedback page and fill out the comment form with your thoughts and suggestions.

Our No. 1 goal, of course, is for to be the most objective and balanced sports resource in our 23-county region. We hope you'll join us as we continue to grow.