Wednesday, March 31, 2010

With one high schools hoops job filled, more open up

Word came today that South Iron assistant coach Rob Harlow will take over as head coach at Clarkton next season, replacing Scott Blackburn. It will be his second run at the Clarkton job after posting winning seasons (16-9 and 20-5) in 2004-'05 and '03-04, his only other two seasons with the Reindeer.

Blackburn coached the team for the past three seasons, including a 20-7 finish in 2009 that ended with a loss to Eminence in the state sectional round.

But with one job filled, more have opened across the region. Bell City, Ellington, Grandview, Kelly, Naylor, Scott City, Twin Rivers and Woodland all have started searches for new boys basketball coaches. It's a long list, but one that's still shorter than last season when at least 15 jobs came open.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Good news about an old friend and a new race track

A couple of items heading into the weekend:

• Former Cape Girardeau Central quarterback Mitch Craft is optimistic that he will land in the Canadian Football League soon. Craft, playing linebacker and defensive end with the Lafayette (La.) Wildcatters indoor team, has been contacted by scouts with the Edmonton Eskimos of the CFL about playing linebacker in the league. Craft just began the new indoor season with three tackles, three hurries and two knockdowns in a 44-28 loss to the Greenville, S.C., team.

• Owners of Thunder City Speedway near Doniphan will unveil the track's new configuration with a practice day in late April, followed by weekly stock car racing each Saturday. Both are changes from last season, when the track was a one-eighth mile D-shaped oval (it's been expanded to a one-quarter mile oval) and held events on Fridays after it opened in August. Pictures of the dirt track's new look are on the track's site at

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

What's your baseball score?

The high school baseball season started Saturday for several SEMO area teams and, after a wet day Monday, goes full speed today. And just as we did last year, will post a full list of daily high school baseball varsity scores from across the region.

We gather results from a variety of sources to create a pretty big list, but to be absolutely sure your team is listed, e-mail yours to, or send a text message from any cell phone to (573) 979-5929. Then look for scores to pop up throughout the night and into the next day as they trickle in.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Arcadia Valley's lone loss heightens the "overrated" talk

Basketball fans in this part of the state are a tough bunch.

Arcadia Valley was 28-0, defeated schools twice its size and took four tournament championships back to its Ironton campus since late November. The Tigers were ranked No. 1 in the Class 3 state media poll since early in the season and had the second-longest win streak in the state.

And the talk going into Wednesday's Class 3 sectional game? The Tigers were overrated, and critics were lined up from Kennett to the Dexter gymnasium last night to see it for themselves.

Tough crowd.

For a team that skeptics called "overrated" since midseason, Arcadia Valley didn't look that way in its season-ending loss to unranked Kennett. AV cut a 17-point lead down to 4 points in the second half before a few quick defensive highlights sent Kennett (22-7) streaking toward the finish of a 77-57 win.

Overrated? Overmatched, no doubt. Kennett's bench was a factor. Overwhelmed, maybe. That could account for AV's mediocre 14-of-25 free-throw shooting.

But overrated? We won't know that until at least Saturday — against Cardinal Ritter, Kennett can prove that it was the team actually underrated all along.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Charleston hires a new football coach

Brett Blackman will coach Charleston's football team next season, his second run as a football head coach in Mississippi County.
Blackman was hired to replace Jeremy Helton, who left the program after one season. The Bluejays were 1-9 last year under Helton, the program's fourth new coach in six years.
Blackman most recently was an assistant coach and eighth-grade coach at Sikeston. As a head coach, he spent the 2003 season at East Prairie, where the Eagles were 4-5.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Basketball coaching shuffle gets an early start

Two small schools in the region already are looking for new boys basketball coaches for next season.

At Grandview, Jim Keeling will leave his position as head coach after the end of his second season. The Eagles are 6-14.

At Bell City, Chris Miller resigned in late February citing personal reasons. Miller was in his first season with the Cubs, who finished out the season with assistant coach Pat Niemzcyk as interim coach.