Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Former Bismarck, DeSoto basketball coach dies

Frank Bradley, who coached high school basketball for several years at two Southeast Missouri schools, has died.

Bradley, who was 66, was voted KTJJ-FM basketball coach of the year in 1980 after coaching for several seasons at Bismarck and DeSoto. He died Friday at his home in DeSoto.

Services were held at Mahn Funeral Home in DeSoto. Memorials may be sent to The American Lung Association or DeSoto Elks Food Basket.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Dunklin County builds momentum with Paducah tournament title

Dunklin County might have stepped into the driver's seat for the upcoming American Legion zone tournament after it went 6-0 to win a big weekend title.

Dunklin County (24-4) won six games in the four-day Polk Brooks Invitational at Paducah, Ky., including the decisive 15-11 win over Columbia, Tenn., for the championship Sunday. Columbia won the 2007 American Legion World Series.

Dunklin's most narrow escape came in its very first game, a 10-9 win over Lyon County — a game Lyon County led until the final inning. Wins over Gallatin, Tenn., Florissant and Paducah completed a sweep of its pool. Dunklin defeated Terre Haute, Ind., in Sunday's semifinal.

Dunklin County hosts zone rival Cape Girardeau in a key doubleheader at 4 p.m. Tuesday. The zone tournament — hosted by Cape Girardeau — starts in a little over three weeks.

Several Southeast Missouri teams were included in the Paducah field, but only Dunklin County advanced to the semifinals. Cape Girardeau and Ste. Genevieve both went 3-1; Jackson was 0-4.

Another big tournament over the weekend ended with a Poplar Bluff championship. The senior American Legion team defeated Charleston's senior Babe Ruth team Sunday in Poplar Bluff's eight-team tournament.

Click here for a full list of scores from the weekend.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

See Blake DeWitt play in St. Louis for a bargain

Sikeston alum Blake DeWitt will join the Dodgers for a three-game series in St. Louis next month, and a special promotion has dropped ticket prices to just $10.

To get the discount, go to and click on the ad for 101 ESPN Day at the Ballpark. Tickets are $10 plus tax for the July 16 game, but they're regularly priced for the other games in the series July 15 and 17.

DeWitt was sent back to the minors the past two seasons shortly before his Dodgers were scheduled to make their St. Louis trip.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Chris Foster back on familiar ground as new North County coach

Chris Foster, whose all-state basketball career at Arcadia Valley led him to a record-setting run at Northern Iowa, is back in Southeast Missouri — this time as varsity boys basketball coach at North County.

Foster was hired to replace Dan Johnson, who resigned last month to accept the vacant Hillsboro coaching job.

Foster, 29, is a 2005 graduate of Northern Iowa, where he finished with 1,027 career points. He ranks No. 2 all-time in three-pointers made and second in three-pointers attempted.

The North County job is Foster's first as a head coach; he was an assistant coach at Northern Iowa for three seasons.

More than 20 boys and girls coaching jobs have been filled since the season ended in March. Click here for the full list.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Focused on baseball with an eye toward football

For the second year in a row, we're doing our best to round up scores for senior American Legion teams and senior Babe Ruth teams — rain has tinkered with the schedule as it usually does this time of year, but links to both scoreboards are on our homepage.

And for coaches, fans and athletes who don't see their team's score listed — pass them along to us at or in a text message via cell phone at 573-979-5929 after each game.

On the subject of lists: High school football preseason jamborees are about two months away, and teams have their preseason (and regular-season) schedules ironed out and ready to go. The links to both — along with last season's stats, SEMO 33 polls and photos — also are posted on our home page.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Michael Porter out 4-6 months after car crash

Sikeston High grad and current Missouri State University basketball player Michael Porter will be out 4-6 months after he was hurt in a car crash late Wednesday night.

According to a Missouri Highway Patrol report, Porter was not wearing a seat belt when his car overturned at a sharp curve on a highway in Christian County, about 5 miles south of Rogersville. He was thrown from the vehicle.

The accident happened at about 11:30 p.m. Wednesday. The report filed by the patrol doesn't specify the cause of the accident.

Porter was taken to a Springfield hospital and underwent surgery on his hip.

MSU coach Cuonzo Martin told the News-Leader that it's "a true blessing that it was nothing more than his hip. There weren’t any broken arms, wrists, knee or any head injuries."

Martin said that Porter "has a long road of recovery ahead of him, but all things considered the doctors indicated he was very fortunate. I'm just thankful that he's going to be OK."

Porter, an all-stater at Sikeston, was slowed by a hamstring injury in the 2009-'10 season and played just six games. He scored 23 points and had 11 rebounds.

Porter was recently approved for a medical redshirt and has four seasons of eligibility remaining.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Farmington takes another shot at KIT League baseball

In the annual ebb and flow of KIT League baseball, Farmington is in, and Sikeston is out.

Farmington makes its home-field return to the league Wednesday against Fulton, Ky. The teams are among five this season in the 5-year-old organization — Fulton, Marion, Owensboro and Dawson Springs' Tradewater represent Kentucky; Farmington is the lone Missouri team.

Farmington returns to the league with owner Ted Kapnick after the city's Firebirds franchise went defunct following the 2009 season. This year's Browns team — coached by Blue Mountain Community College coach Ryan Brisby — is 1-3 after road trips over the weekend.

At Sikeston, the Bulls' return to KIT baseball lasted one season. Sikeston finished fifth among six teams in the league last season before announcing it would be inactive in 2010. Its plans for next season aren't set.

Union City, Tenn. — a KIT member last season — also is inactive this year.

The KIT League is a collegiate summer wood bat group made up of players from NCAA, NJCAA and NAIA schools. Each team will play through July.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Crystal City finishes as a dominant Class 2 team

Crystal City set a high standard for itself after a 6-5 win over defending state champion Valle halfway through the regular season.

The followup was a nip-and-tuck run through the playoffs that ended with an emphatic 10-1 win Thursday over Carrollton for the Class 2 state title in Springfield.

Crystal City scored nine runs in the first two innings, highlighted by Nicholas Portell's two-run double in the first and a two-run home run in the second.

Crystal City (21-5) looked like a state champion early in Thursday's game, maybe even sooner. Clearwater was ranked No. 1 in the state before its loss to the Hornets in the quarterfinal round; Valle was No. 2 before falling to Crystal City in the district semifinals.

But Thursday's win was the most lopsided of Crystal City's postseason. Elijah Sample had three hits, and Logan Jett, Nathan Kaminski and Daniel Rothweiler had two apiece in a dominant offense.

Pitcher Gary Doyle went the distance and struck out three.

In two wins over two days, the Hornets finished with 28 hits and 16 runs.

The championship is Crystal City's first in baseball since an unlikely run in 2000, when the Hornets swept the playoffs and finished with a 13-14 record.

Cooter joined Crystal City as the only Southeast Missouri teams in the state finals; its 4-1 win over St. Elizabeth clinched third place in Class 1. Jonathan Boone, Seth Childers, Jesse Rayburn and Zach Watkins all had two hits; Boone pitched a complete game and struck out nine with a walk.

The Wildcats, who finished fourth in the state a year ago, ended the season at 23-7.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Caruthersville, North County and Van Buren make coaching moves

Nathan Morgan is the new varsity football coach at Caruthersville, stepping up from an assistant role to fill the spot left open by Brad Gerling. Gerling resigned last week to take a job as the district's elementary school principal.

Morgan's assistant coaching role will be filled by Jimmy Jackson, who will return to Caruthersville after an assistant coaching role last season at Hayti.

Two more coaching moves:

• At Van Buren, Dusty Weiskopf is the new boys basketball coach and will replace Wayne Jessen, who left for a coaching job at Mountain Grove. Jessen's team reached the sectional playoff round in March.

Laura Elam will coach the varsity girls basketball team at North County next season; she replaces Craig Allen.

So far, at least 22 boys and girls varsity basketball jobs have opened across Southeast Missouri since late in the season. Five remain open.