Kelly's Johnson moves to Jackson

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

He will focus on assisting Scott with the boys basketball program.

After a three-year stint as Kelly boys basketball coach, Cory Johnson will join the Jackson coaching staff next school year as an assistant coach.

Johnson led the Hawks to 39 wins in his first two seasons on the bench. Kelly fell off this past season, finishing 9-16. Overall, Johnson finished with a three-year record of 48-32.

"Obviously the toughest part is leaving the kids," Johnson said. "I've been there for five years. I've had them from junior high through now. That was the most difficult part of the decision."

The former Southeast Missouri State and Three Rivers standout also has coached the baseball team the past three seasons, winning a district title in 2004. Johnson also serves as Kelly's athletic director. Johnson will no longer have the added duties of baseball and athletic director next year, something which will give him more time to spend with his family.

"Just concentrate on the family and basketball," Johnson said.

Kelly fell to Charleston in the Class 3 district championship game in each of Johnson's first two years at the helm. The Hawks also made it to the championship of the Southeast Missourian Christmas Tournament in Johnson's first year, falling to Jackson. It was the first appearance in the championship for the Hawks since 1997. Kelly had 3-1 records at the Christmas Tournament all three years under Johnson, taking home fifth place in 2005 and the consolation bracket this past year.

Johnson previously coached with Jackson coach Darrin Scott at Notre Dame and has known Scott since his high school days.

"Darrin and I have been good friends for, say, 10 years now," Johnson said. "I've known him since high school. It's going to be nice to work together again."

Jackson won its first district title since 1998 this past season before falling to Lindbergh in the Class 5 sectional round. The Indians return all five starters.

Scott said he is excited about working with Johnson.

"From a basketball standpoint, it will be great," Scott said. "It will be like having two head coaches on the court."

Noon Optimist tourney

The first time Central hosted the Noon Optimist Spring Classic girls soccer tournament two years ago, rain forced the tournament to stretch over a two-week period.

Area coaches will be watching the weather reports this week when the tournament begins Thursday at Central. There are 12 games scheduled on Central's two fields over the three-day event.

Four of five area teams will compete in the tournament, with Jackson out of the field for the third straight year. St. Vincent will face Poplar Bluff and Perryville will play Sikeston in 4 p.m. games Thursday. Notre Dame takes on Marion (Ill.) at 5:45 p.m., and host Central finishes off the first round against Farmington at 7:30 p.m.

Semifinal games in the championship bracket are 5:45 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Friday, and the championship game is 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Notre Dame topped Central 3-1 in the championship last year.

Scott excels in Canada

Central freshman Susan Beth Scott had a big weekend this past week at the Swimmers With a Disability Can-Am Championships, a Para Pan-Am qualifier in Montreal.

Scott was first in the 800-meter freestyle in a Pan-American record 9 minutes, 49.62 seconds. Scott also finished first in the 400 freestyle (4:47.09) and the 100 backstroke (1:17.31). She was second in the 50 freestyle (30.78), 100 freestyle (1:04.87) and 200 butterfly.

The three-day event served as a qualifier for the Para Pan-American games, set for Aug. 12 through 19 in Rio de Janeiro.

All-JCC

St. Vincent basketball coaches Terry Wengert and Bruce Valleroy both earned coach of the year honors in the Jefferson County Conference.

Wengert led the St. Vincent girls squad to its first district titles since 1989. Lacey Siegmund and Jessica Welker made the first team for district-champion St. Vincent.

Gregory Finger made the first team on the boys side, and Chris Fischer made the second team.

Lawson signs with Mineral Area College

Jackson senior Logan Lawson has signed with Mineral Area College to play baseball next season.

Lawson led the Indians in innings pitched (42 ) and strikeouts (36). In seven starts, Lawson went 4-1 with a 2.95 ERA.

Colon earns all-American status

Central graduate Ashley Colon earned all-American status in the weight throw by finishing third at the NCAA Division II National Indoor Track and Field Championships held in Boston, Mass.

Colon, a senior at Truman State, had a throw of 58 feet, 8 1/2 inches. The throw set a Truman State record.

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