Wednesday, July 15, 2009

SEMO finishes 13th out of 60 teams in Arkansas fishing tournament

Southeast Missouri State doesn't just have a bass fishing team — they have a pretty good bass fishing team.

SEMO finished 13th out of 60 teams in the Under Armour College Bass National Championship on the Arkansas River near North Little Rock, Ark., over the weekend, one spot behind Mizzou and one ahead of Arkansas.

Boater Taylor Gorton and partner Mike Rains finished with a two-day weigh-in of 9.48 pounds, a little more than a half-pound behind 12th-place Missouri. North Carolina State won the event, which aired on ESPNU and paid the winning team $250,000.

A few other SEMO notes of local interest:

Bijon Jones, who left the Southeast men's basketball after last season, has signed to play at Indiana University East. Jones, of Jackson, Tenn., will have one year of collegiate eligibility. Jones started 12 games for SEMO last season and averaged 24.4 minutes, three points and 2.5 assists per game.

• A former SEMO assistant basketball coach is standing firm against critics as the new GM of the Golden State Warriors. The San Jose Mercury News featured a profile Sunday of Larry Riley; he coached the SEMO men's basketball team in the early '70s and earned his master's degree there.

Keno Davis, another former Southeast men's assistant coach, has signed a contract extension as the head coach at Providence, where he recently finished his first season. He guided Providence to a 19-14 overall record; the win total was the most by a Providence coach in his first season.

Leon Powell isn't likely to play this season for the SEMO men's basketball team because of what appears to be an ACL tear. The rumor was confirmed by coach Dickey Nutt in Wednesday's Southeast Missourian. Powell played the past two seasons at an Iowa junior college and was expected to anchor the team in Nutt's inaugural season as the Redhawks' coach.

Monday, July 06, 2009

One closing, one opening for local racing fans

One surprise closing was announced this week, offset by another one that came just days earlier, both of them sure to make waves among motorsports fans in the region.

Owners of the Turkey Penn Extreme Adventure park — a massive 3,800-acre site near Doniphan with more than 40 miles of off-road trails for ATVs, motorcycles, dune-buggies and other off-road vehicles — announced this week that the facility has closed less than 6 months after it opened.

I haven't been able to reach owner Todd Smith, but a message on the company's web site late Monday announced the bad news.

"Thank you to all of you that patronized our facility," the site said. "Due to the economy we have not been able to obtain the funding needed to complete or continue operating Turkey Penn."

Just weeks earlier, plans were being discussed to develop an area suitable for truck pulls and monster truck shows, along with a slightly-banked oval track for karts, ATVs and potentially stock cars.

But just a few miles away, Rick Donnell is putting the finishing touches on an oval dirt track that could be ready for stock car racing within a few weeks.

The track, 3 miles west of Doniphan on State Route A, has been under construction for almost two years. Only a few final details are left unfinished, including the addition of lights for nighttime racing.

Weekly racing will be on Friday nights and could feature several divisions, including open-wheel modifieds, street stocks, cruisers and four-cylinders. Special events for late models, sprints and other classes could be added.

The track is a quarter-mile oval with straightaways almost 300 feet long.

It would be the fourth track in Southeast Missouri to feature stock cars on Friday nights — tracks in Doe Run, Fredericktown and Malden also compete on Fridays, while St. Francois County Speedway near Farmington holds weekly events on Saturdays.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

SEMO's football game at Cincinnati finally has a kickoff time

If you plan to follow Southeast Missouri State to Cincinnati for the Redhahwks' Sept. 12 football game, you can take all afternoon getting there.

Cincinnati announced today that kickoff for the game will be 7:30 p.m., and it said the game will air live on Fox Sports Ohio. That start time will be the latest one this season for SEMO; two others kick off at 6, including the season opener Sept. 3 against Quincy.

And one reminder if you go: Cincinnati is in the eastern time zone.

From the SIFL: Former Cape Girardeau Central all-stater Mitch Craft is having a big season with the Acadiana Mudbugs of the SIFL, an indoor football league. He's started every game on defense so far in a 4-3 season and stands third in the league in total tackles (21 solo, 12 assists).

Junior Nationals: At the USA Track & Field Junior Nationals on Sunday, a pair of Southeast Missouri athletes placed high in the field.

Alyssa Allison of Festus finished second in the junior women's 3,000-meter steeplechase, one spot better than in 2008. Crystal City's Precious Selmon was sixth in the 100-meter hurdles and 11th in the long jump.