FanSpeak 5/8/05

Sunday, May 8, 2005

Free falling

FACE IT, the Southeast Missouri State athletic program is basically in a free fall with only a few exceptions -- track and women's basketball. Overall, the athletic teams are only minimally competitive in the Ohio Valley Conference, which is one of the weaker Division I conferences in the NCAA. This is what most of us fans feared when Southeast became Division I. I am trying to continue supporting the teams but I'm losing interest fast, quite frankly.

Stop the slide

IT'S UNDERSTANDABLE that it's extremely tough to produce a winner every season. Unfortunately for Southeast baseball coach Mark Hogan, that one "forgettable" season is this year. Let's just hope coach Hogan and his baseball bunch is able to bounce back next year after seeing several other sports at Southeast continue to slide downhill.

Checking the dates

I NOTICED in Sunday's paper that one of the soccer clubs was having tryouts for its under-11 team in the last part of June. According to the Missouri Youth Soccer Association guidelines, rules and regulations, tryouts are not to take place in the Eastern District of Missouri until July 9 and 10, and I would like to see this corrected in the advertisement. I would like to inform the coach that he does have guidelines and rules he needs to follow. To make it fair for all other teams that are wishing to have tryouts and wishing to have girls on their traveling teams, it's not right for him to not follow the rules and to hold his tryouts three weeks prior to when the rules and regulations state that you can.

(The tryout dates were changed when the calendar was printed in Thursday's edition.)

Chasing the Salukis

IT WASN'T so long ago that the athletic teams at Southeast Missouri State could compete with Southern Illinois University on an even playing field. Now, with the exception of women's basketball and track, the Redhawks have fallen way behind. The football team had defeated the Salukis three straights times before SIU decided to sink some money into its program and now they have one the best I-AA teams in the nation. Southeast on the other hand, cuts its budget and can't even make it a game out of it. The Southeast men's basketball team played SIU to four points this past year, but on the grand scale is nowhere near what the Salukis have accomplished recently. The SIU softball team is nationally ranked, and now its baseball team is on fire, while the Redhawks continue to struggle and can't seem to stop the bleeding. Unfortunately, SIU doesn't have a women's soccer team for the Redhawks to beat up on. Most people in Southern Illinois haven't even heard of soccer. If so, they might play with a square ball. Overall, the Redhawks are far behind SIU and it's time for that to change. It just takes a commitment from everyone, both physically and financially.

Defending Puxico

I DON'T know where the information came from [for the May 5 story about the state-ranked Advance baseball team's 11-0, five-inning win against Puxico] but Puxico was not the host. Puxico's top three pitchers were not available to throw, coming off a seven-inning win over Doniphan, and a no-hitter in seven innings against Bell City the days prior. But the information is better one-sided. They basically slammed the JV team ... mostly freshmen.

(We regret the error on the location of the game.)

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