Monday, June 29, 2009

Racecar spelled backwards is racecar...

A few of my shots from the UMP Summer Nationals stop this season at Paducah International Raceway.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

All A Classic follow up

Heath with All A championship trophy.

Teams from the First Region and Second Region played a total of 11 games this weekend in the All A Classic state championship tournament. Livingston Central bowed out Saturday night with its second loss coming late that night to Beth Haven. Heath won the whole thing coming through the loser's bracket.

A few thoughts:

Livingston Central could have gotten by into Sunday with a few more hits late Saturday night. The Cardinals got just one extra-base hit from Courtney Walker against Beth Haven and had just four hits. The Cardinals are a good extra-base hitting team, and with a few more strung together, the outcome might have been different than a 5-2 loss.

By Day 2, with teams getting tired, it quickly became evident the team with the best pitcher was going to win the tournament. Heath had the best pitcher in Kelleigh Jones and took the title. While other teams were substituting their aces one she got tired, Jones kept throwing, and throwing, and throwing. She had 80 strikeouts in eight games. No, that wasn't a typo. Eighty. That's an average of 10 a game.

While we're quick to report on the highlights of the top 5 in Heath's lineup, the Pirates also won the championship thanks to the bottom of their lineup. No. 6 batter Hailee Murphy's eight hits in two days were critical to the success of the team. Allison Garrett, Nikki Glisson and Sarai Holstein all had timely hits in the bottom of the line up. And DP Katelyn Collier was able to spell Jones for a break in the circle successfully enough.

Sarai Holstein sliding into home against Henry County on Sunday.

Heath's outfield also played a unique role. While the three didn't have to make many diving catches, Taylor Sheerer's long arm from centerfield to Emily Montgomery at home plate kept two teams from scoring runs with the successful tag.

Green County is going to be incredible in the next few years. The Dragons dispatched Livingston Central in the opening round quite easily, and beat Heath on an error in 10 innings Saturday night. While Heath came back to defeat the Dragons to continue on Sunday, it wasn't easy. The Dragons lose two seniors, including No. 4 batter and Murray State signee Brittany Estes, and other than two juniors, played all underclassmen this weekend, including two capable eighth graders and a freshman soon-to-be phenom pitcher in Kasey Estes.

Brittany Estes slides home against Livingston Central catcher Kayla Moore on Saturday in the opening round of the All A Classic state softball tournament.

Photos by Tim Webb. See more of his work at .

Saturday, May 9, 2009

All A Classic softball state tournament Day One

The Sun covered Region 1 and Region 2 in the All A Classic softball state tournament today in Jeffersontown, Ky. By Sun, I mean me. :)

Heath, First Region, won the first two games, then lost the third to Green County 1-0 in 10 innings on an error. With the way Kelleigh Jones pitched today — 36 strikeouts in 21 innings — the Pirates might be good to make a run through the loser's bracket. The Pirates need a few more hitters to make it out of the loser's bracket for good, though.

Livingston Central, Second Region, lost its first game to Green County (the Dragons are good if you couldn't tell or hadn't heard), then rallied to beat Bracken County in the second game, only to fall to Beth Haven the third game.

It's unfortunate for the Cardinals, who have eight seniors on the team. Not only do they leave on a sour note, but they missed their senior prom, too!!! On the bright side, the Cardinals will have a full-out softball prom next weekend. Way cool. If I wasn't out of town next weekend, I might try to crash it... :)

And despite my best efforts to plan for the weather, it still got a little cold on me tonight, and I did go to bed with a sunburn. I poured on the sun lotion early and often, but missed a few places. Like a strip along the inside of the left arm, and a patch on the back of my right hand. Nothing painful or tan-line setting thankfully.

I would have posted more today, but it was a busy day. The 16 teams played 22 games at Skyview Park today since the All A got rid of its handy sub-sectional qualifier game. I watched six of them. I'll be following Heath at 10:30 your time tomorrow, and I'll post when I can.

All A Classic

Looks like the All A Classic softball state tournament will start a few minutes before 1 p.m. Louisville time. Check back with my blog or tomorrow's Sun for more details.

Heading out to the field now.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Swinging for a Cure

I know this is a little late, but I wanted to applaud these two softball programs for their efforts to create awareness about breast cancer.

Marshall County and Graves County played a softball game on April 21, titling the event "Swinging for a Cure". Through T-shirt sales and other fundraisers, the two schools raised more than $2,300 for the American Cancer Society.

Players, coaches, and fans all were asked to wear pink marking the ocassion.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A NASCAR writer is gone...

David Poole, NASCAR writer for the Charlotte Observer, died today. He was 50.

I met Poole while freelancing the 2007 Nextel (now Sprint) Cup All Star race at Lowe's Motor Speedway. He was known all through the pits and the media room — famous, really. He was good friends with the reporter I was working for, and it was always interesting to look at his stories as they came over the wire here, and remember that I had once met the man.

At The Paducah Sun, if we run NASCAR stories, it's generally written by one of two people: Jenna Fryer for the Associated Press or Poole.

Poole, and his writing, will be missed.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

A few additions:

Murray State men's basketball coach, Billy Kennedy, on his seniors Tyler Holloway and Kevin Thomas after the Racers' loss to Austin Peay on Friday in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament semifinals.

“Both of these guys have been with me the last three years, and it’s disappointing they don’t get to continue playing. Tyler has probably gotten more out of his ability than just about any player I’ve ever coached. His mental preparation, his attitude, his character, and his work ethic has been better than anyone really in our program the last three years. Kevin, the last month or so, stepped up. He battled injury early in his career and really did a tremendous job the last few weeks and even in the last six minutes of the game, he didn’t want to let go, and I’m really thankful we had these two guys and their effort and their character was much appreciated.”


Part of the Racers' problem Friday was the fact they couldn't get any breaks in play. The Racers were called for 22 personal fouls while the Governors were called for 15. Only a few of the Racers' fouls were desperation, strategical fouls. Whether the calls were legitimate or not really isn't my expertise, but in the last six games of the season, the Racers were called for an average of 14.6 fouls a game. Their opponents were called for 21.2 fouls a game. Granted, the Racers played five of those six games at home, but it's not like the Racers are a hack-and-shove team.

I cut this part of my story from Friday night because it simply made my story too long for publication:

Coach Kennedy’s frustration with the officiating was clearly evident, and he spent plenty of time stalking the sidelines, yelling at referees’ decision for a call or no call. With just less than four minutes left and the Racers called for another foul, Kennedy just threw his hands at the refs and walked back to his bench.

Even when Jeffery McClain hustled after a loose ball and collided with two other APSU players, it was McClain that went to the bench injured and with a foul.

“He’s OK,” Kennedy said about his sophomore. “He’s more disappointed than injured. We didn’t fly around with that kind of recklessness in the beginning of the game, and we tried to at the end but it was too late.”

Friday, March 6, 2009

Ohio Valley Conference Tournament - Racer men

Murray State lost to Austin Peay, 67-50. Stay tuned for follow up matter either here or in The Paducah Sun.

Ohio Valley Conference Tournament - Racer men

With 7:53 left and Austin Peay up 53-31, Murray State appears to have given up. A time out and the Racers come out somewhat renewed, but it appears to be over now and the Racers seem to know it.

Anyone know of the greatest comeback in basketball history? The Racers could use one.

Ohio Valley Conference Tournament - Racer men

At the half, Austin Peay 33, Murray State 22.

Not looking good for the Racers right now. Defensively, the Racers aren't terrible, it just looks a lot worse when you're shooting 27 percent from the field and are 0-of-9 from the 3-point line.

No one is counting the Racers out yet, though. A few clutch 3-pointers and the Racers could be back in it.

If not, Racer nation has had a short trip to Nashville.

Ohio Valley Conference Tournament - Racer men

Austin Peay 16, Murray State 8 with 11:03 left in the first half.

The Racers have effectively taken away Wes Channels and Drake Reed to start but the others are making some gutsy plays.

Ohio Valley Conference Tournament - Racer men

One awesome feature at the Sommet Center is the mega-jumbo-largatron viewing score board. Yes, that appears to be high definition on those screens.

While gorgeous, they equal the only scoreboard in the arena and you got to cran your neck for the scores.

I'll be blogging periodically during the Murray State men's game against Austin Peay, too.


Former Racers Charles Johnson and Bruce Carter showed up to the game in almost the front row to cheer on their former teammates. Both Johnson and Carter were wearing symbolic championship rings - Johnson's from the last OVC championship and Carter's from winning the national title at his former junior college.

OVC Tournament - Racer women

Austin Peay 90, Murray State 84.

The Lady Govs advance to the championship game of the OVC Tournament.

The Racers are guaranteed a berth in the WNIT. More on that later.

The Racer men's team plays Austin Peay at 8 p.m. tonight.

Ohio Valley Conference Tournament - Racer women

Austin Peay is not going way, leading 64-60 with 10:22 left in the second half. They're making just about everything they throw up, and if they don't make it the first time, an offensive rebound assures them of a second, and often a third chance. Murray State is going to have to step it up on the defensive end, or they're going to go home unhappy.

Ohio Valley Conference Tournament - Racer women

Austin Peay came out hot, hitting almost 50 percent of their shots in the first half, but Murray State went into halftime up just 39-38.

Biggest weakness: The Lady Govs' speed and physical presence in the post. They outrebounded the Racers 22-16 in the first half.


A nice, healthy crowd of Racer fans showed up. I'm impressed.


Both mens' teams from the competing women's schools showed up in support of their female counterparts. That was a nice gesture.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

MSU miscellaneous

As of Monday, the Murray State football program has secured coaches for the offensive and defensive coordinator positions, Racer media relations assistant John Brush said. Other position(s) have yet to be filled, and the program is waiting to release information on the hirings until all are filled and final.


In Thursday's Sun, I wrote a feature story on Racer senior guard Tyler Holloway. So as not to throw away quotes, I've included my leftovers here:

Holloway on MSU:
“Everybody told me once you go to the place you’re supposed to be at, it will just hit you. I probably never would have dreamed it would have been as awesome as it’s been. I knew it was going to be great but it’s been all that I could have imagined and more, and I feel very blessed to say that I’ve played for Murray State and been a part of the program here.”

Coach Billy Kennedy on Holloway's experience at this point in the season:
“Tyler has the best understanding of what’s at stake right now because he’s participated in the NCAA Tournament and won an OVC championship. Our younger guys, and even some of our returning guys, it hasn’t hit them yet. That’s the biggest thing he brings is his experience and the understanding of what it takes to be a champion.”

Kennedy on Holloway's "marketability" for the program:
“He’s just a good example of what our program wants to represent. Somebody who’s going to get his degree, somebody who’s going to work hard, somebody who’s going to make good choices on the court and off the court, and a guy who can play. Tyler has great confidence in his ability to shoot the ball and that’s something we need to continue to build on through the end.”

Holloway on moving the 3-point line back this season:
“If you look at it, especially guard, I was never toe-to-the-line anyways. The way the game is played, it’s pressured out so much that you’re three or four feet behind the line anyways. I think you’ve seen a difference in big men’s percentages, and not shooting as many, but as far as guards, if you talk to me or anybody else, we’re not seeing a big difference.”

Holloway on why he's a clutch shooter:
“I think it starts in high school. I’ve always wanted to take that big shot. A lot of your really good players want the ball in their hands, in a clutch time like that, starting in high school. I think I’ve hit big shots and even here in Murray, I look back at clutch shots in my career.”

Holloway on the end of his career at MSU:
“It’s really starting to sink in. When high school ended, I knew I had something bigger and better coming, and not saying I don’t now with what’s coming. Because life’s all about changes, but I’ve always kind of been known as that guy who plays basketball. To know it is about to be over it gives you a whole different mindset.”

Holloway on how coach Kennedy's style compares to coach Mick Cronin:
"He’s a lot more laid back, which is a lot easier, almost, to play for a coach like that because you know that if you make a mistake, yeah, you might come out, but he’s not the kind of guy that’s going to get up in your face and yell at you, and I think it brings a calming presence to everybody else.”

Monday, February 23, 2009

They do hear you...Part II

The usually unruly fan that sits behind me did it again.

After being totally silent all game (based on later coughing and yelling, I presume he was under the weather), Mr. Unruly decides to heckle UT Martin's Lester Hudson during Murray State's game against the Skyhawks on Monday.

Hudson was called for his third foul late in the game, and spent Murray State's free throw time talking to the referees.

Mr. Unruly started yelling about diapers, insinuating he was a "cry baby." He caught Hudson's attention, and Hudson made a slight attempt to ignore him. Then he responded after Mr. Unruly began taunting him with his then field-goal ratio 3-for-15.

"Well you’re not out here are you," Hudson said, with other mild mumbles.

This fueled Mr. Unruly, who continued to heckle. "Hey Hudson, I've been watchin'!" until he grew hoarse.

Hudson, who averages 27.4 points a game, finished with 15 points.

Monday, February 16, 2009

They do hear you...

Murray State basketball fans found most of their excitement Saturday jeering and booing Jacksonville State men's coach James Green when he received a technical with six minutes left in the game. Green irked fans all night with his sideline antics advocating for his team.

One usually unruly fan yelled loudly at the officials, saying “You got no guts, ref! I’d have throwed him out! You got no guts!”

The referee turned to him after Tyler Holloway’s technical free throws and responded, “You might be going out soon. I’ll have you going out in a hurry.”

The fan was mostly quiet after that, only muttering epithets to those around him.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Thoughts from the Marshall County-Murray doubleheader

I have a problem.

I'll be walking in the mall, covering a game, grocery shopping, etc., and I'll come across someone with the above logo on a shirt or baseball cap.

My senses start beeping, and I scream in my head, "MIZZOU!" The University of Missouri fight song plays in my head, and I believe I've just found a kindred fellow alumnus to befriend.

Wrong. What I generally find is a Murray High School fan. The Murray Tigers have long ago adopted the same colors and logo as Mizzou (I am not insinuating a rip off here or copyright infringement), and it trips me up every time. In a closer glance at the logo on the jacket of Ron Greene, Murray's boy's basketball coach, it appears the only difference might be their Tiger has an actual eyeball. I can't really tell.

Anyway, no offense Murray Tiger fans, but it's always a bit of a disappointment to discover you're not a Mizzou Tiger fan.


We picked the wrong game to cover.

The Marshall teams played in a boys-girls doubleheader tonight with Murray's teams, and I traveled to Draffenville to only cover the first game, the boys game.

The decision was made mostly because of time constraints. I'm technically an hourly employee, and because of the strapped economy, I'm not allowed to work overtime — on or off the clock. We opted to send me to one game to get me out of the office early and quickly.

But we picked the wrong game.

The boys game, my game, was a bona-fide rout. The Marshals won 73-47. The girls game, however, was a thriller, going into overtime as I write this. The Lady Marshals won.

In picking which high school games we cover in any sport, we always try to pick games where the competition level will be high or district/region standings are on the line. Yes, we usually follow winning teams. Sometimes our guesstimations are wrong, and a team has a bad night and things end up in a blow out and I end up typing crazy box scores. Sometimes, our guesstimations are wrong, and a team has a stellar night and things become a lot more exciting.

Anyway, our apologies for not staying for both games.

Monday, February 9, 2009

EIU observances

Observances from Murray State’s men’s game at Eastern Illinois on Monday night.

Tyler Holloway had his own personal heckler Monday night in the Panthers’ student section. He was annoying, but at least couth and not too offensive.

The heckler may or may not have been aware that Holloway was just 15 points away from 1,000 career points. If he had any effect is debatable; Holloway was heavily guarded through the night and scored 11 points. He is on tap to break 1,000 when the Racers return home to play Tennessee Tech on Thursday.


Lantz Arena got a face lift since last season. The retaining walls behind the goals are now splashed with flashy, professional murals. It easily went from one of the ugliest arenas in the Ohio Valley Conference to one of the “prettiest.”

After a 12-day break where the Racers were able to heal and get healthy, they’re banged up again.

Holloway sustained a gash to his head during the game at Austin Peay, which needed two staples to mend. Danero Thomas limped slightly during halftime warm ups and walked with the trainer for a while when he was on the bench. Jeffery McClain was feeling under the weather with a stomach bug. Isacc Miles, who was ill for the Austin Peay game, was feeling better, Racer coach Billy Kennedy reported.

Kennedy continues to get more animated on the sidelines as the season progresses. Several times assistant coach Steve Prohm had to tug Kennedy’s jacket from behind, signaling he ought to lay off the referees a bit.

I’m waiting for him to go on record with his feelings on the officiating. I’ll probably be waiting a while.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Kennedy quotes from APSU

Murray State’s whole camp was bummed after its 83-80 loss at Austin Peay on Saturday night. Racer head coach Billy Kennedy was just as bummed as the rest of them.

Because the Sun had an earlier-than-normal deadline still dealing with remnants of Ice-trina, I saved a few more quotes from Kennedy’s post-game interviews:

On part of the sense of heartbreak:
“We scored enough points to win, but just felt like defensively we didn’t do a very good job. And we didn’t get any breaks.”

On Danero Thomas’ 30-point career-high performance:
“He’s played well the last few games, and hopefully he’s coming into his own. I thought he did a good job of being aggressive when he needed to, and taking 3s when he needed to. His decision making is much better.”

On what overshadowed Thomas’ performance:
“He was good. He was very good. I thought that was good to see. Unfortunately in tonight’s game, Drake Reed and Wes Channels were very good. They scored 54 points and defensively, we didn’t do a very good job of guarding Channels, but I thought Reed was just awesome. The first half, the shots he was throwing in and making, was special. He had 23 at the half, and I haven’t seen a kid do that against our team in a long time."

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Official Observer

When you spend as many hours on the road and as many nights in different high school and college gymnasiums as I do, you get to meet some pretty interesting people.

Like Tynes Hildebrand.

I met Mr. Hildebrand on Wednesday night at Murray State's basketball games against Tennessee State. Hildrebrand was on an official visit to observe the referees of the men's game, essentially grading their performance and reporting it back to the NCAA for the officials' files and records.

We chatted and exchanged pleasantries during the women's game. Turns out, Hildrebrand coached at Northwestern State in Louisiana before becoming the school's athletic director for many years. He said he recruited a player from Paducah a long time ago.

He was very excited to see Racer head coach Billy Kennedy. Hildrebrand gave Kennedy his FIRST JOB as an assistant coach in 1988. Kennedy actually SMILED when Hildebrand caught his attention before the national anthem. Kennedy doesn't smile much around a court.

Anyway, back to officiating. Hildebrand shared that he sees anywhere from four to six games a week on the road as the South's regional advisor. Today he was heading to Austin Peay to observe more officials, and would travel to Columbia, Mo., Monday, to my alma mater, to observe the officials in the heated Missouri-Kansas rivalry game (very jealous of him).

I asked Hildebrand about officiating during intense rivalry games, and he said that players get away with more fouls/referees don't call as many in the more heated games. The games naturally take on a more aggressive, physical format than other not-so-important games.

As for the officials at Murray State's game at TSU, Hildebrand methodically made his marks and notes during the game. While he responded to the quality of officiating in the first half off the record, my personal thoughts were that it was a rare, relatively well-called game.

Of the three officials, Hildebrand had observed Bret Smith in other games, and said he was a very excellent official.

We did agree on two bad calls, discovered because of my jokingly prodding for information.

If I get table-mates half as interesting as Mr. Hildebrand at a game, you know it's going to be a good night.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Record breaking

Murray State senior forward Ashley Hayes just broke the Racers' single game scoring record with 46 points against Tennessee State in a 97-93 win at the Gentry Center in Nashville, Tenn., Wednesday night.

The previous record was set by Joi Scott on Feb. 16, 2006 with 43 points at Tennessee State.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Tennessee Tech is ...

... the only place I've ever, ever, ever in my entire life, seen "The Wave" go around an arena three straight times. And not just a scant few waving up, I mean the whole Eblen Center.

Nice job Golden Eagles. Nice job.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Midseason Racer Report Card

(This was written pre-Jacksonville State)

It’s almost halfway through the men’s college basketball regular season (sadness, I know) and college teams around America have had about 15 games to prove themselves. Or not.

The Murray State men’s basketball team (7-8, 2-3 Ohio Valley Conference) is currently in need of a dose of confidence and a helping or two of victories. But the Racers are doing some things right midway through the season.

The Racers could make a run to the OVC Tournament championship game, but things might be a little hairy until then.

Take a look at my midseason report card:

Offense: C
Since the Racers have lost six of their last eight games, clearly they aren’t scoring enough points. They’re getting enough shots but those shots just aren’t going in. Chalk it up to inexperience (three of the starting five are newbies, and five of the available 10 are new) and playing eight of the last 10 away from home.

Defense: A-
The Racers are the best defensive team in the league, holding teams to just 42.7 percent shooting. However, when the Racers shut the top scorers down, someone off the bench always goes off for a career night.

Post production: B
The Racers have more post production depth than in the past, but starters Jeffery McClain and Ivan Aska are still undersized compared to their counterparts in the post. They’re also young. The Racers’ post players however, provide the most excitement and energy than anyone else on the team. Georges Fotso’s minutes off the bench against Austin Peay were some of the best in terms of defensive effort. His assignment, former Player of the Year Drake Reed, may have only gotten one pass in Fotso’s eight minutes on the court.

Point guard: A-
Kevin Thomas has the ability to be a go-to guy (think 21 points against UT Martin), but is so far inconsistent. His 1.7 turnover-to-assist ratio isn’t shabby, and he pushes the ball and sees players on the court just like a senior point guard should.

Shooting guards: B-
No one is making shots, but depth and talent overall are very good for being so young. Sophomore transfer Isacc Miles is oftentimes the only one keeping the Racers in games (his role as back up point guard I believe prevents breakout scoring). Preseason all-OVC pick Danero Thomas is fickle. He’s capable of lighting up for 20+ points, but we’ve only seen that once this season.

Bench: B
With two players injured (Tony Easley and Jewuan Long) and one player down already from departure, the Racers’ bench is likely the deepest of any other OVC school. No player on the team averages more than 28 minutes a game.

Coach: B
Coach Billy Kennedy and staff have brought in fabulous talent and navigate a tight ship with character kids. But while it can be hard to sort through a talented bench, the Racers may operate on too many line ups, preventing players from finding an offensive rhythm before they are taken out of a game. Kennedy’s quiet court demeanor serves him as both a gift and curse right now while the Racers struggle.

Leadership: C
When three of your few elder statesmen play off the bench and your lone starting senior isn’t vocal, leadership is going to lack. Sometimes I think the Racers are too nice on the court and to each other.

Toughness: B
The bodies of the Racers are built to run, not to battle. When they’re forced to battle, they get out-toughed. But McClain, Aska, and Miles give the Racers muscle and it’s staggering to think Aska, a freshman, is playing as well as he is with the OVC’s veterans.

Swagger: D+
To me, last year’s seniors not only took a lot of scoring with them when they left, they took all the braggadocio. This is a temperate team when things go wrong and when things go right. If the Racers find good leadership soon, they might find some swagger, too.

Fans: B -
Racer fans show up in good number, they just don’t do much once they arrive. The last two home games, I’ve listened to hearty cheering in only the last minutes of the games, fans negatively yelling at their own players and criticism of the officials. That’s a great atmosphere to come home to. When your team’s struggling, fans, that’s the time you’ve got to be the loudest.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Murray State's Saturday VIP

At Saturday's televised game against Austin Peay, the Murray State Racers will host a very important person.

Rosalyn Durant, the vice president of ESPNU, will be in attendance for her very first Ohio Valley Conference game.

Also in attendance will be OVC commissioner Dr. Jon A. Steinbrecher.

"What better way to expose that individual to the OVC and OVC basketball than to attend really one of the most passionate rivalries that we have."

Stay tuned for my story on the impact of televised basketball games on Murray State in Sunday's news section.

This year, the OVC's contract with ESPN and its platforms gives the conference 14 exposures. Murray State received two of those. I asked the commissioner Friday if MSU's storied tradition and atmosphere during games played into his decision in handing out the games.

"At the end of the day, if you would track where our exposures are," Steinbrecher said, "we probably end up at certain schools more than others and it has to do with the fact their programs are more successful and their attendance patterns are stronger. So of course that filters in when you are creating your schedule."

Paint the Town Pink

The Murray and Calloway County girls basketball teams warming up for the rivalry game at Calloway County.

If there is a "Pink" theme going in somewhere in the country, you know I'm a supporter.

Some of you know my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was in junior high. Anytime I can support a breast cancer awareness night, I'll go out of my way to help.

Friday night's cross-town rivalry between Murray and Calloway County high schools was no different.

Seeing the men, women and youngsters wearing pink almost made me cry tonight. I wish there were more folks wearing pink, but the rivalry took over the need to wear school colors. The Calloway student section was clad in it, though.

Although in the picture, they look red, I did have sparkly pink shoes. And a fuzzy pink sweater. And a sparkly pink ring. Oh, and earrings, too. I did my part.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Thoughts on the Racers' game against Tennessee State

1. The Murray State men's basketball team collectively lacks swagger, which is a problem. However, newcomers Isacc Miles, Ivan Aska and Jeffery McClain are likely to show glimpses of swagger every now and then.

2. Removing freshman Donte Poole's redshirt was a good thing. In seven games played, he's averaging just over five points a game. Against Tennessee State he had six. By the time he hangs up his jersey for good, he'll be quite the basketball player.

3. The Lone Oak elementary students present for the game were emphatically more excited and better fans than the rest of the Racer faithful. After 40 days away from the Regional Special Events Center, no one but the Flash kids seemed really excited to see them.

4. It's a shame Georges Fotso didn't play basketball sooner in his life (he began play late in high school). He's got more heart for the game than anyone on the team. His post defense late in the game may just have bought the Racers a win.

5. Ohio Valley Conference officiating is, well, not so good lately. This makes four OVC games in four days that I have watched and the amount of no calls has been questionable. Then the make-up calls have been embarrassing. I'm no expert, but the referees set the tone for the physicality of a game based on what they will call and won't. In two men's games and two women's, the games have been very, very physical. I'm a big fan of letting the teams play it out on the court, but some one is going to get hurt soon.

6. The new pennants on the music stands of the Racer Band are a nice touch. But I do love the Racer Band at all times.

7. The Racers' two main weaknesses right now? Inbounding the ball and consistent offense. Their two main strengths? Post play and Kevin Thomas (almost five assists a game). Agree or disagree as you will.