JUCO foward is first signee for Redhawks

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Southeast Missouri State's men's basketball program landed its first player during the spring signing period when junior college forward John Chappell put his name on a national letter of intent this week.

Chappell, a 6-foot-6, 235-pounder, did not post overly impressive statistics at Highland Community College in Freeport, Ill., but his coach with the Cougars believes he will be a solid player for the Redhawks.

"He's a good match system-wise, need-wise," Pete Norman told the Freeport Journal Standard. "They needed three or four big guys, and they needed one that can branch out and shoot from the perimeter."

Chappell averaged 6.4 points and 6.4 rebounds while shooting 55.6 percent from the field for a Highland team that went 32-5 and finished sixth in the national junior college tournament.

Eight Cougars averaged at least six points per game, with their leading scorer averaging 12.2. Aaron Spears, a 6-9 forward who signed with St. John's, averaged just 9.7 points. Several other Highland players have also drawn Division I interest.

Chappell told the Journal Standard that he chose Southeast over Northern Illinois.

"They've got a good program, and they said I'd be playing a lot," Chappell said.

Although Chappell is reportedly almost certain to be academically eligible, some things still have to be worked out on his transcript before Southeast will officially announce his signing, per university policy.

Softball hosts Tech

Southeast's softball team will look to get back on track in Ohio Valley Conference play this weekend when it hosts Tennessee Tech in a three-game series.

There will be a 1 p.m. doubleheader today and a 1 p.m. contest Sunday.

The Redhawks have lost three straight OVC games, immediately after they put together a six-game conference winning streak.

Southeast (22-19, 10-7) is in fourth place in the 10-team league, while Tech (23-26, 7-8) is seventh.

Freshman Megan McDonald continues to lead Southeast offensively, as the Cape Girardeau Central High School product is batting .366. Another freshman, Michelle Summers, leads the Redhawks with eight home runs and 23 runs batted in.

Tennis signs player

Southeast tennis head coach Jay Pacelli announced the signing of Tatiana Rodrigues of São Paulo, Brazil, to a national letter of intent season. She has been one of Brazil's top-rated junior players the past several years.

"Tatiana is a great addition to our team," Pacelli said. "She is a physically gifted athlete who hits with great pace and accuracy off the ground."

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