Spring season still on hold

Wednesday, March 27, 2002

Almost every year high school spring sports are put on hold due to inclement weather. But this year, things have been unusually bad. Buckets and buckets of rain have kept baseball and softball teams out of action, while the bitter cold has turned off track and field, golf and tennis squads.

Are there any answers to solve these annual problems?

Indoor facilities could be built, but I doubt many schools could fit a multi-million dollar building into the budget. Maybe everybody could chip in to build a super regional sports complex somewhere, but all the squabbling that comes with scheduling and location would make it virtually impossible to pull off.

Baseball and softball might be able to avoid a few rain-outs by purchasing tarps for the infield. Why don't fields have those things already?

Of course the easiest solution will be to hold out for good weather like we do every spring. It's supposed to be nice all day today, then partly cloudy on Thursday and Friday with temperatures in the 60's.

All-state teams were released for 1A and 2A today, honoring the top high school basketball players in Missouri. Getting just one player on the list is a huge honor. If your team is really good, sometimes you will get two. This year Bell City got three players on the team, something that hardly ever happens.

Eric Henry, Dominitrix Johnson and C.J. Hadley all made strong cases to be all-state with dominant individual performances at the Hearnes Center. Henry was first team while Johnson and Hadley were both second teamers. Richland's Sherome Cole was placed on the first team, while Oran's Maria Eftink was put on the girls' second team.

In 2A, area all-staters include Caruthersville's Bryant Rodgers, Charleston's Jordy Mixon, Notre Dame's Deana McCormick, Notre Dame's Lisa Millham and Scott City's Loren Groves.

The Class 3A and 4A all-state teams will be released tomorrow.

Several coaching changes have taken place recently around the area. David Fields has been promoted to head basketball coach at NMCC, taking over for Joby Holland. Poplar Bluff football coach Mark Barousse resigned and took a job at Lafayette, Louisiana.

Scott Central basketball coach Steve Wells stepped down, as did Richland's Jimmy Lincoln. At East Prairie, Ken Lathum replaces John Garner as head football coach.

Scott City hired Piggott's Jason Burkman as head football coach. Farmington football coach Mike Thebeau is stepping down, and Doniphan basketball coach Shane Benson resigned and will replace Aaron New at Senath-Hornersville.

Malden basketball coach Ashley McMillian is leaving for a principal position. Malden girls coach Willie Butler has been offered the job, but hasn't accepted it yet.

I wish those schools with openings would think about persuading a memorable coach from the past to get back into action. Guys like Paul Hale, Doyle Pitts, Fred Johnson, Lennies McFerren, Roy Williams, Ron Cookson, Ronnie Jones, Kent Mangels, Mike Scott, Dan Kesselring, Jerry Bethune and Kevin Freeman could all make an impact somewhere.

It would be nice to have any of those guys back in the area coaching again.

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