Archive for October, 2011
*FULL DISCLOSURE: I attended only the brief beginning of the East Prairie Malden game in person; had an obligation to fulfill to Kelli Bone for season long use of her camera; I then shuttled home quickly to fixate to the TV and the epic memorable Game 6 of the World Series…
However, I was hooked up in the mini man cave; with two radios listening to Spencer Whitehead and Brink Naile on 107.1 while noting KYMO legend Reid Howel with the World Series shining brightly on the Big Screen.
The season didn’t end the way the Eagles wanted it to; for the Blue Jays, the regular season didn’t end the way they wished.*see related Game Story
MALDEN 50 EP 14
The first play of the game was supposed to be ‘money” for the Eagles. A play installed with the surprise and welcomed return of senior Phillip Latamondeer for his second and final game of his injury plagued senior year.
And the half back pass had all the looks of working when senior running back Dalton Golightly – back after a week’s sabbatical – hit the streaking Latamondeer in stride 15 yards in front of the nearest defender.
And, then it happened. P-Lat let the ball slip thru his hands – painfully and poetically – much as his senior year of football has seemingly done.
But, please – and he wouldn’t want you to – don’t fret for P-Lat; the stellar and high character young man departs for the Marines July 9th… Here’s betting that dropped pass will be a distant fondly recalled memory decades from now…
To the game, unfortunately, that kind of set the tone. Malden’s offensive is explosive and demonstrated so putting up the first of their half a hundred at the mark of the 11:04 mark of the first period. Murphy – who has to be the front-runner for First Team SEMO South All Conference QB – had a stellar night .
But I’m a Homer writer, and this is from the Eagles standpoint. Ep got their first points of the night trying to get back in the game trailing 22-0 at the end of the first quarter; Golightly – a lock for ALL CONFERENCE punter – hit payday with 11:09 left before halftime and with Frank Nave’s PAT cut the margin to 22-7 and still a game.
But, Malden’s offense had the energy to score twice – the second coming with seconds left in the second quarter – taking a commanding 36-7 lead into intermission.
Two more third quarter Tds put the Wave up 50-7 and a running clock.
Golightly would prove a point for the rightfully proud Eagle program with his second score of the night with a Nave PAT putting the final on the scoreboard 50-14. But, not in the hearts of the kids who played.
For the record; unofficially, Soto – the speedy sophomore – who just needs to camp out in the weight room in the off-season, eclipsed the century mark with 102 yards; Goilghtly had the two rushing Tds and 87 yards…
But, that’s not the whole story: It’s been said – but not often enough – complimenting the high character exhibited by Ep football kids on and off the field in recent seasons led by just departed Alan and Aaron Miller with Connor Scott – among others….
This graduating senior class of Eagles has witnessed a 22-21, 4-year total record under coach Jason Aycock with a playoff appearance and a highly regarded 2009 SEMO CONFERENCE SOUTH title…
And, Golightly has been at least some part of all those teams. And don’t fret Eagle fans. Back-to-back SEMO South Jr High teams are on the way to aid the young guns of Brad Beck, Adrian Soto, Nave, Mack Marcum among others…TJ Shands, Mason Douglas….
And, Jesse Soto and Shawn King of this current crop have led by example.
I’ll have a season ending review for this year’s team coming next week. a great group of kids – young men – that parents/educators/fans and sportswriters can be proud.
And – see post entitled Eagles/ Decade by Decade; and you’ll see just how truly good of a run this Eagle group has been a part of. And, I’m a better ‘dude’ for sharing a small part of that experience. Thanks, guys…Kp
Hayti 7 3 5 0
Malden 6 4 4 1
Scott City 5 5 3 2
Chaffee 5 5 2 3
Portageville 2 8 1 4
East Prairie 1 9 0 5
Dexter 9 2 4 0
Caruthersville 10 1 3 1
Charleston 5 6 2 2
Kennett 3 7 1 3
NMCC 1 9 0 4
Farmington 10 1 4 0
Sikeston 8 3 3 1
Cape Central 6 3 2 2
Poplar Bluff 2 7 1 3
Jackson 2 8 0 4
WEEK 1 Regional playoff action
Class 2A Regionals
Wednesday, Nov. 2
16 Crystal City Charleston 13
48 Caruthersville Herky 0
34 Hillsboro Sikeston 32
44 Valle Hayti 38
29 Park Hills Dexter 28
61 Farmington DeSoto 16
48 St. Gev. Fred’town 21
MONDAY matchup of note…Crytal City at Caruthersville Cass 2
What’s the feel today in Charleston from the Blue Jays players concerning tonite’s showdown with state ranked Caruthersville for the District 1 championship at John Harris Marshall Athletic Complex. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. on Senior Night.
From Senior Maurice Moore via a Facebook comment: “We feel that we can go out and upset cville.”
Junior Cole Byford echoed Moore’s sentiment and characterized the team’s focus; “We’ve got to stop their running game like we did against Malden. We have to match their speed and aggressiveness from the first play of the game.”
Yes, they do. And in back to back weeks the Jays have done so in convincing physical triumphs over district foes East Prairie and Malden. But, Caruthersville is a different kind of foe – but these Jays are aware of that fact and second-year coach Brett Blackman has the game plan installed.
Byford added: “Playing extremely fast and reading our keys faster than we have been and just being very physical.”
Senior Jamaul Gray summed it up succinctly. “Playing fast and aggressive.”
OCT. 26…2011 – *This was earlier version of story…
After posting 1-9 and 0-10 seasons, it’s a pretty hard stretch to think the Charleston Blue Jays would be sitting at 5-4 – 2-0 in the district – and set to host the #6 ranked team in Class 2A Caruthersville (8-1, 2-0) for the title tonite at John Harris Marshall Athletic Complex and an opportunity to host a state playoff game…
But, that’s the reality.
Charleston has already qualified for the playoffs, but the chance to claim a district title is in play. And, remember, in 2011, the Blue Jays reached the state playoffs for the first time in baseball school history (4th place finish) and another title run in hoops (3rd place finish); so the trifecta is already in place with the Blue Jay football team making the playoffs for the first time since 2007.
That’s a pretty impressive streak the Blue Jays have going…
Now, a win over Caruthersville would just be icing on the cake; Can the Blue Jays pull it off. I’m thinking they can. With the weather definitely playing a part in tonite’s contest, can the Tigers take the hits the Jays are set to deliver; will they be able to hold on to the ball; are they looking past Charleston…
If this game were at Hopke Field, I’d have a different feel about it; but with the Thursday contest slated for JHMAC – and Jays fans going all out to create a crowd – the home turf could be a determining factor.
There’s no disputing the athletic talent C’ville brings to town; Elbie Fonda is the front-runner – and SEMO’s leading rusher – for the Carr Trophy; backfield mate Darrell Monroe is no slouch and the Tigers have a large and athletic offensive line.
But, let’s look at what Charleston will counter with; Jamaul Gray and Rontavious Clark in the backfield; perhaps not as consistent as the Tigers backfield, but talent wise they’re all in the same seat…
Experience at the Qb slot goes to the Tigers, but Blue Jay Michael Hull is beginning to get settled in at the position; and receiving wise, if Charleston can get the ball to Sumner Foster or Krushon Scott big plays can happen…So, I’m saying this game is a wash offensively, it’s a matter of who wants it most on the defensive side of the ball….
Keyed by the linebacker corps of senior Michael Baugh and sophomore Deiontrail Winston, junior Kalen Armstrong, andsoid line play from junior Cole Byford, seniors Demarcus Coleman and Louis Gillepsie along with the speedy and athletic secondary, the Blue Jays defense has progressed as the season has played out…
The key to tonite’s game will be who hits the hardest and who delivers the first body blow; both teams will score, it’s just a simple matter of who scores the most….; not a genius point I know, however, if Caruthersville is looking past the Blue Jays for a state playoff run, there will be an opportunity for a Charleston victory….
Potential playoff opponents for the Jays and the Tigers will be Crystal City or Herculaneum; teams that Caruthersville topped in the regular season and the Jays beat Herky – though their best player was on the sidelines for that game….
A win by both District 1 teams in the first round would lead to a rematch of tonite’s contest on the home field of tonite’s game winnner…critcially important for the Jays to strike first….here’s saying they will….
GAME PICK: Charleston 35 Caruthersville 34
While the season may not have gone as seniors Phillip Latamondeer and Dalton Golightly would have wished – after all – they’ve been a part of the solid 4-year run as Eagles – there is good news concerning Thursday night’s against Malden (5-4. 3-1, 0-2 ) season finale as both will be back on the field.
East Prairie, (1-8, 0-4, 0-2) will be graduating seniors who have been a part of the most sustained successful run in program history, and the team will put forth a valiant effort Thursday – that one can be assured will occur. As documented in an earlier story, stringing together winning seasons at EpHS has been a pretty difficult accomplishment.
So, as this group ends their year – not like they wished – but with a chance for fans to show appreciation. It’s something that Eagle fans will eagerly embrace. Thanks for the memories…Kp
To the game: Malden is one of the top SEMO offensive teams; conversely, there at the bottom of the SEMO in terms of defense. So, it’s a dichotomy the Eagles need to find a way to exploit. Try and outscore Tanner Murphy, Romellio McCoy and company, or clamp down defensively – traditionally – and limit the shotgun attack the Green Wave with Murphy running the show; McCoy is a very capable running back and there are receivers capable of catching – and running – with the ball. Pick your poison.
Offensively, for East Prairie, with Golightly and Latamondeer back it should be a great opportunity to carry out a new offensive scheme and embrace the continued solid play of senior Shawn King; Frank Nave and Ardian Soto.
The Eagles have offensive weapons now, they will score point as they did in a first-half toe-to-toe Battle with Charleston.
Defensively, the key is on the Eagles; Freshman playing key points now are – as Ep legendary coach Ed Nichols would say – ‘they’re not freshman anymore. That’s a lot of pressure on TJ Shands and Mason Douglas who have gained 3 years of experience playing as a freshman; this duo has been a staple for the D until Douglas joined the long list of injured Eagles last week.
But with the two senior additions on D – it should be a pad-cracking, hard popping way to end your senior year with great memories on a field that you will never – ever – forget.
“Our team did excellent last night! We exceeded our expectations! I feel like we hung with caruthersville. The scoreboard may not say that, but I saw the game and I feel it’s one of our top games. Nobody was scared at all. Caruthersville is really good. Compared to other teams they are way more talented. They should make it pretty far in the playoffs. We didn’t come in thinking we were gonna get shut out though. Me experience is one I’ll never ever forget. I love my teammates to death! And some of them as my family. Without coach Aycock though, I wouldn’t be the player I am today. He believed in me and gave me my chances to prove myself. As for the fans, they never stop supporting us. Yeah the turnouts this year haven’t been as big as previous years but still. I feel like they haven’t gave up on”
And Golightly added via FB….”Game prep is going good. We have been focused all week on what we need to get done and tomorrow night I feel like were gonna be more ready than ever before”
:Hey kp sorry it took me so long to return to u the leg is doing a ton better and I am gna play Friday night cvillee lived up to their expectations and was very talented. The line blocked extraordinary Friday night. I’m glad I get to be the one the younger kids look up to “the leader”. Aycock and the rest of the coaches have tought me so much about the game of football and even more about life. I love my coaches and my team a lot. Me and coach Aycock have been through a lot together and I believe we will have a strong relationship throughout my later years in life. He’s a good friend to me.”
And Golightly concluded by saying.
“more on the younger kids I hope they learn from this season more than anything and build from this. They have a very good chance to be successful in their later years. A win thursday night will build momentum for them next year. That’s what were shooting for.”
But to show, the Eagles are still loose going into the game, this from dependable kicker and unselfish teammate sophomore Frank Nave.
“It’s feels good. It’s going to be a nice night tomorrow night. I feel like money hahaha…”
Game time is 7 p.m. Thursday night at Ep.
LATE ADD: This is a pretty cool comment from a freshman….
“Sorry that I’m just responding. And my injury is severe headaches, vision flashes, and seeing “auroras.” ; The experience I gained this year was amazing. The thought of being a freshman starting on Varsity never even crossed my mind. We have a great group on the team and it helped a lot to have the support we had, by the seniors. The coaches really worked with us and put their time into our team. The experience i gained this year will really be helpful in my coming years of Eagle Football. It really helps to have coaches that care and teammates to keep your head up, to give it your all, every single down. ; i think we will be better if the players for next year’s Eagles will work hard all offseason and get in the weight room. The linemen should really be helpful, we dont have a whole lot of size right now. But after tomorrow its time to prepare for next year. Blood, sweat, and hard work will get us where we want to be. We all gotta stick together.”
I assure you, I didn’t have that thought process as a freshman; nor was I on the field contributing to the team as a frosh; the experience gained by Douglas and Shands and the underclassmen will absolutely pay off in the coming years.
I think it pays off tonite….
GAME PICK: East Prairie 31 Malden 28
As Major General Michael Walsh will soon be finished with his duties as President of the Mississippi River Commission and head to Washington, D.C. to continue his career, here’s a different look at the man who made the difficult decision to activate the Birds Point New Madrid Floodway….
…”I’m from Brooklyn, New York; I went to Brooklyn Technical High School,” said the General in conversation outside of his official press conference held Friday at the Middle Crevasse.
“…in our part of the world you ask people what high school you went to and that tells you where you’re from in different areas, so that’s kind of a New York question you asked, what high school you went to. That’s something we do all the time as opposed to around here where you ask where your family is from whereas in New York they ask where you went to high school. So that was a good question.”
I then followed up with this nugget; KP: “Where did you matriculate in college?
MG Walsh: “I went…my Dad was a bricklayer and he said I could go to college anywhere I could afford myself and the subway would take me to. So the next stop on the subway was a place called Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute of New York, so that’s where I went to my engineering school.”
The talk then turned to the World Series and who his favorite team was…
“I’ve been following the Yankees for more than a little while and my wife is from the Bronx so if I wasn’t a Yankee fan before I married her I certainly am now…”
I then asked the General about his prior posts.
“Prior to taking this command I was commander of the Gulf Region Division in Iraq. I worked directly for General (David) Patreaus and prior to him getting there worked directly for Gen. (George) Casey.
“So I was building infrastructure in that country. Not only water infrastructure but rail, transportation, electricity, schools, hospitals and things of that sort.”
I interjected, somewhat in awe, sounding like a dummy to the General I’m sure, “Iraq?”
Walsh replied, “In Iraq.”
Then, continued on with the interview with not a hint of condescension to my goofy comment.
“Prior to that I was commander of South Atlantic Division; same job that I have here only covered down on the east coast so I was working water resources on that part and we had nine hurricanes during those three years so we spent a lot of time chasing Hurricanes across Florida and there into the Carolinas.”
Walsh will be moving to Washington, D.C., to assume his new post soon.
“I change command on the 10th of November and General Peabody, a really good fellow, John Peabody is coming in from the Great Lakes and Ohio River Division. He’s going to take over for me and really carry it on…he’ll become the President of the Mississippi River commission as well, and I’ll go to Washington and I’ll be the Deputy Commanding General for Civil and Emergency Operations.”
“So, what I’ve been doing here at the center part of the country. I’ll have those responsibilities for the entire country.”
It’ll be in good hands. We then talked on what transpired during the activation of the BPNMF.
“Certainly – and you’ve heard me from the 30th of April – as how to describe this flood. If it’s an epic flood, a historical flood. I kind of look at it now from a white knucke flood. Everybody’s hands were just wringing on did we make the right decision; too early, too late. Did we save lives…
“I can tell you from the other side of making those decisions not a single life was lost and we’re really quite proud of the system that was put in place by those folks after the 1927 flood. They decided to put something likes this together and the nation rallied around and put 13 billion dollars to put the Mississippi Rivers Tributaries Project into effect.”
“So I was really proud to be one of those (MRC) Presidents that were able to operate this (BPNMF) from what people thought about in 1927 and very happy to have this system in place.”
“In 1927, 500 people lost their lives. This year, nobody lost their life.”
I then asked the General, “if we ever have to do this again, we’ll be working off the 2011 revision of the 1986 revised plan based on the original 1927 plan. Isn’t that accurate?l
“Right now we’re putting the system back together as it was authorized by congress and it’s the ’86 plan. We’re not going to update it until we get the additional funds to figure out whether we’re going to leave it in place at 62.5 and explosively operate it or if there’s going to be something else.”
“At this point, we’re putting it in place – funding dependent – at 62.5 and explosively operate the system.”
What is the purpose of the press conference today *(Oct. 21)?
“The discussion today is, one, to come out and look where we are in the progress and renew our committment to get to 51 feet by the end of November and to inform folks that we are able to bring it up 55 feet funding dependent.”
*(Walsh received notification of the approved funding at 1414 hours Oct. 21 just prior to the beginning of the press conference.)
Walsh on the amount of work done by the USACE: “There’s about $22 million worth of funds that have been pushed into this project to put this back to the 51 feet. So a good portion of the funds that have been harvested from across America coming into this…which of the $75 million, $25 million of those funds, one-third of funds available to me are coming right here…”
And, the final question dealt with the significance of the ‘coins’ awarded by the General to USACE workers.
“Considering I have two titles; one is the commander of the Mississippi Valley Division and one is the President of the MRC; the medallion have on one side the commander’s thanks and the (MRC’s) thanks on the other side.”
Glad I got that pertinent issue cleared up. From the looks on the workers who received them, they are cherished items.
I will have a personal look at Colonel Vernie Reichling coming soon on the Kp Chronicle…