Wednesday, August 01, 2007

ETBU Picked 7th In Football

This from ETBU:

MARSHALL, Texas – East Texas Baptist has been picked to finish seventh in the 2007 American Southwest Conference Preseason Football Poll released last week by the conference office.
The annual poll of the ASC’s nine head coaches, sports information directors and selected media has defending champion Mary Hardin-Baylor as a runaway favorite to repeat, followed by Hardin-Simmons in a distant second-place.
The Tigers, who will be in their first season under new head coach Mark Sartain, received 105 points in the poll and one first-place vote. ETBU is coming off a 3-7 season in 2005, and the seventh-place standing in the preseason poll is the lowest for a Tiger team since the inaugural season of the program in 2000.
UMHB received 239 points and 24 first-place votes, with Hardin-Simmons taking 217 points and the other two first-place votes.
Coming in third in the poll was Mississippi College, which had 155 points after a 5-5 season in 2006. Howard Payne, with 127 points, was fourth, followed by Texas Lutheran (121 points) and Sul Ross State (116 points) in fifth and sixth, respectively.
Finishing behind ETBU in the voting are Louisiana College (90 points) in eighth place, and McMurry, with 45 points, in ninth place.
UMHB senior linebacker Jerrell Freeman was voted the league’s Preseason Defensive Player of the Year, while Sul Ross senior running back T. J. Barber was the ASC Preseason Offensive Player of the Year. Texas Lutheran senior kicker Holt Storrie was the Preseason Special Teams Player of the Year.
ETBU players report for preseason workouts Aug. 11, with the Tigers’ season opener set for Sept. 1 in Ornelas Stadium against nationally-ranked Trinity University.

Monday, July 30, 2007

East Texas Swimmer Headed To Nationals

An East Texas high school swimmer entered rare air over the weekend when he qualified for the USA Swimming Junior National Championships. William Norton, a senior-to-be at Grace Community High School and member of the Tyler Swim Team, qualifed for nationals in the 1500 meter Freestyle at the USA Sectional Swimming Championships in San Antonio.

According to his Tyler Swim Team coach, Matt Franks, Norton is the first Tyler area swimmer to qualify for the junior national championship meet since another Tyler Swim Team member, Jacob Taylor did it in the late 1990's.

Norton leaves for Indianapolis, where this years junior nationals will be held, on Friday.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Tour de France Needs Fixing

One of the reasons I love sports so much is because there are athletes out there capable of overcoming incredible odds to do things the average person, including me, can't do.

I have a mountain bike, but I don't consider myself necessarily a "cycling" fan. However, I have always been intrigued by the Tour de France, and the monstrous challenges it offers. Following the 7 straight titles won by Lance Armstrong, after nearly dying from cancer, was awesome. I was similarly moved when Floyd Landis pulled out a miraculous win last year, all while needing a hip replacement! So when it came out that Landis more than likely cheated his way to victory, I was upset. I know this isn't just a problem in cycling. See Ben Johnson, Mark McGwire and Lyle Alzado just to name a few. But, the closer I looked at the sport of cycling at the Tour de France level, the more I saw a systematic effort by its participants to try to get away with cheating, whether it be with steroids, or blood transfusions or just taking a cold medicine. Yes, a cold medicine! These riders are not allowed to take ANYTHING! Oh, unless they have a medical waiver from their doctor saying they need to because of asthma or something. As long as they have a waiver, that drug is allowed. How ironic, that 60% of the riders at last year's race had medical waivers! Some of those over the counter drugs help "mask" the use of other illegal drugs. At last check, more than 40% of the riders had the medical waivers this year. Now, with two riders in two days being bounced from the race due to failed drug tests, including favorite Alexandre Vinokourov, and the race leader Michael Rasmussen under suspicion because he didn't report his whereabouts during a recent drug test, it seems the sport, or at least the Tour de France, needs to take drastic steps.

While I'm no expert, I'm going to use the common sense meter for proposing a solution. When each rider reports to the race, they are locked up in a "dorm" by tournament officials, where they will have zero access to outside sources. Each team will be issued the exact same support equipment, when it comes to water bottles, the water inside the bottles, the energy bars, etc. The teams will be "quarantined" in a separate compound, where all of their equipment will be searched and approved. Each rider will continue to submit to daily drug tests just in case. That's the only way this can be fixed. While it's hard for many Americans to grasp why these athletes would go to such lengths to cheat for a bicycle race, it's apparent this is a sport held in high regard in many parts of Europe, with millions of dollars on the line.

I am all for inspirational stories. I just don't like to find out later that their source of inspirational came in an illegal bottle of drugs.

Monday, July 23, 2007

East Texas High School Football Prospects

ESPN just released it's top 150 high school football prospects for the upcoming football season. Van's Jermie Calhoun ranks 4th on the list, and the top running back. Gilmer landed two players on the list, OG David Snow at 75th, and RB Justin Johnson at 122nd. Paris also has two players on the list with OT Stephen Good at 87th and CB Jordan Fields at 103. Kendall Wright of Pittsburg ranks 96th as an "athlete".

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Prairieview A&M Back To East Texas?

Prairieview A&M looks as if they will play another football game in East Texas. While not yet official, the Panthers have tentatively agreed to play a game at Lobo Stadium in Longview on October 20th. An opponent hasn't been finalized, but it looks to be Concordia College.

Wiley College, which doesn't have a football program, is considering holding homecoming activities in connection with the game.

More to come...

Friday, July 06, 2007

Nextel Cup Driver Boosting Busch Series Team

Grace Community High School grad C.J. Fambrough is the rear tire changer for the Joe Gibbs Racing #18 Busch Series car. Tony Stewart is driving the car for this weeks Busch race at Daytona. He'll start on the front row, after qualifying second!

One Heck Of A Water Hazard!

The rain in East Texas has been relentless, causing serious problems to roads and residents. It has also put a huge damper on playing golf, especially at Meadowbrook Country Club in Kilgore. Check out this picture sent to me by a viewer. This is looking down Houston Street. The creek has completely overflowed. This entire fairway is under water!

Here are some pictures from a viewer of The Woods golf course near Jacksonville. It looks like an island green in the first picture!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

East Texan Pitting For And "Acting" Big Time

Grace Community High School grad C.J. Fambrough, who is the rear tire changer for the Joe Gibbs Racing #18 car in the Busch Series will be appearing in a new commercial on ESPN. That's him in the Fed Ex fire suit, being filmed for the commercial. It will begin airing this weekend.

C.J. will also get his first exposure to a Nextel Cup driver as 2005 Nextel Cup Champion Tony Stewart slides behind the wheel of the #18 car for this Friday's Busch Series race at Daytona. Stewart drove the #18 car in the season opening Busch event at Daytona, but his Nextel Cup team pitted for him that race. C.J.'s Busch team pit crew has been putting in some great times this year. They won the award in a recent race for the least amount of time spent on pit row. I can't wait to see how they do with a Nextel Cup driver this week!