Oran coach calls basketball time out to focus on family

Saturday, August 9, 2003

Hoping to see more of his favorite two athletes, Oran coach Mitch Wood is stepping aside as the high school boys basketball coach after a 10-year run.

Wood, who never had a losing seasons while directing the Eagles, is hoping to catch his son Ryne and daughter Mindi pursue athletic endeavors.

Ryne, an all-state shortstop his senior season, recently signed to play baseball at Three Rivers Community College in Poplar Bluff. Ryne was a four-year starter for his father and four-time all-conference and three-year all-district. He batted .475 his senior year with an 8-0 pitching record.

Mindi will play volleyball, basketball and softball as a freshman at Oran.

"It's been enjoyable for me," Wood said. "I'm not tired of coaching. I have a daughter starting high school and Ryne is going to be playing at Three Rivers. He's going to be close, and I'd like to see him play some. I don't think I'm done coaching in basketball. Right now some of those other things are more important to me."

In his final season, Wood led the Eagles to a 21-7 record. Bell City blocked Oran's path to the state playoffs the past two years, but the Eagles won two district titles and several Scott Mississippi Conference titles under Wood.

Jim Gloth, an assistant to Wood the past two years, will take over the program. Gloth coached Delta's boys and girls before coming to Oran. Former Eagle player Travis Friga will assist Gloth.

Wood, principal at Oran High School, will remain head coach of the Eagles' baseball team, which finished as Class 1 runner-up in the 2003 season.

Ritter to play basketball at Hannibal-LaGrange

Recent Advance High School graduate Jared Ritter has signed a letter of intent to play basketball at Hannibal-LaGrange College in Hannibal, Mo.

A three-year letterman, Ritter led the Hornets in scoring his junior and senior years and was all-Stoddard County Conference and all-region second team both seasons. A 5-foot-10 guard, Ritter averaged 18 points a game his senior season.

Hannibal-LaGrange, a four-year NAIA school, competes in the American Midwest Conference.

Groves wins national title

Loren Groves capped her junior year by winning two state titles at the Class 2 track and field championships in May.

She didn't stop there.

Groves became a national champion in the discus throw at the AAU Junior Olympic Games in Detroit last week by winning the women's young division. Groves threw the discus 140 feet, 10 inches to win by over 5 feet. She also threw a personal-best 39-6 in the shot put to place fourth.

Groves, who has gained all-state honors 11 times in track and field, is getting ready for her senior year at Scott City.

Jamboree plans are off

Chaffee has canceled its jamboree scheduled for Aug. 29. The Red Devils were to be the host before Caruthersville and Hayti withdrew. Kennett participated last season but left the group to compete in a jamboree with Scott City and Portageville at Dexter.

First-year Chaffee coach Terry Brashear is not looking for any alternative plan for his Red Devils.

"We probably need a game, but we're starting everything new," Brashear said. "We would have had to make some changes for it. I know the fans would like to see it."

Brashear said teams usually don't show their hands at jamborees, and with that in mind, the Red Devils will be able to concentrate on their actual plays rather than spend time on plays used in an exhibition.

"It's better for us to take a week off and not have to be concerned about getting anyone injured," he added.

Central, Jackson and Perryville have added Wentzville Holt to their jamboree Aug. 29 at Jackson High School. Central, Jackson and Perryville made a threesome last year at Perryville after St. Vincent opted to join a group of smaller schools from the Jefferson County Conference.

Mirgaux joins Tigers staff

Former Scott City standout running back Britt Mirgaux is the newest member of the Central coaching staff. Mirgaux replaces Darrick Smith, now the school's athletic director, and will coach running backs and defensive ends. He brings in an impressive resume, having rushed for more than 2,000 yards his senior year at Scott City before playing fullback for Southeast Missouri State University and professionally in an indoor league.

Mirgaux will be a teacher's aid and coach track.

Practices begin Monday

Ready or not, the high school sports machine for the 2003-2004 school year will be put in motion next week.

Beginning Monday, fall sports teams will be allowed to practice. Games will begin as early as August 25. Football jamborees will be held Aug. 29, and the regular season schedule will begin the following Friday, Sept. 5.

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