If you get a chance, head over to Union Friday afternoon to support the East Central College softball Falcons as they attempt to qualify for the NJCAA Division II national softball tournament.
Brad Wallach has quietly built up a juggernaut and this is the third year in a row the Falcons have won the Region 16 title. It’s only the third time in school history a team has won three consecutive regional titles.
The soccer Falcons won four in a row from 2001-04. The volleyball Falcons of Brad Bruns won three in a row from 2008-2010. The volleyball team holds the record for most consecutive national tournament trips at three.
If the softball Falcons can win two of three from Murray State of Oklahoma, it will be the second national tournament trip in the past three seasons.
So why should you come to support the Falcons?
Brad Wallach has a nucleus of local athletes. He’s got three Washington High School graduates, one from New Haven, one from Pacific and one from Owensville.
And just outside the area are girls from Timberland, Fatima, Lindbergh and Salem.
The Falcons play an exciting brand of ball and can score via the bunt or by the long ball. It’s probably the deepest pitching staff the Falcons have had in a long time as well with four capable hurlers.
So, if the weather’s nice, get out there and support the Falcons. I’m certain they’ll appreciate everything.
• The two biggest local track meets are history for this year with the Union and Russell C. Nix events now added to the history books.
While those were meets held on recently renovated tracks in Franklin County and had a lot of volunteer help, that’s where the similarities ended.
Union had individual events while Washington ran everything as team “relays.”
Union had a timing company come in to administer the event while the Nix Relays were hand timed and scored.
Each of the approaches had pluses and minuses.
The Union Relays had to have some of the preliminary events re-run after issues with the timing calibration, but it moved quicker than the Nix Relays, where everything done the old way.
Washington did take advantage of the technology available with its video board to make the meet experience as positive as possible for the participants and spectators.
“The meet went great,” Washington Head Coach Mike Olszowka said. “We can’t thank our workers enough. They are the ones who make this meet operate so smoothly. From officiating and timing, to scorekeeping and running results on the video board, the meet was a total success. We had a lot of compliments from the coaches about how well the meet went off and about our new facility. These are the great things that people remember about this meet, and the things that keep them coming back to Washington.
So, what’s the best way to run a big meet?
Both approaches have their positives. Having a timing company take care of things does speed up the track events and that’s going to be the trend of the future. It’s how all of district, sectional and state meets are run now. Having one of those organizations come does cost, but takes care of a lot of the headaches of trying to secure enough timers, keeping track of everything and pushing out the results in a timely manner.
• We have no NBA team in the state, so why is LeBron James the most Googled athlete in Missouri?
An ESPN survey showed more folks used the Internet search engine to look up the Miami Heat superstar. Folks of the Show-Me State, this is disappointing!
I would assume everyone is using Bing to do their St. Louis Cardinals searches then. Or everyone knows everything about the Cardinals and doesn’t need to search the web about facts on the team.
James is actually the most popular in the nation with over 20 states.
Peyton Manning has a six-state duchy including a swath from north to south in the west (Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico) along with Indiana and Tennessee.
Adrian Peterson has a four-state kingdom with both Dakotas, Minnesota and Iowa.
What puzzles me more is that Tiger Woods is the most Googled athlete in Vermont. Manti Te’o is tops in Hawaii.
• Wrigley Field turned 100 last Wednesday. Contrary to popular belief, the field has been the home of a baseball champion. The Chicago Whales won the last Federal League title in 1915. The stadium was built for the Whales.
The last pro championship team to call Wrigley Field home was the 1963 Chicago Bears.
Nice place to watch a game, but let’s hope it’s another 100 years (at least) until they have a World Series champion.
On the same day, Billy Shakespeare turned 450. Who knows what he would be writing if he were alive in our time?
• The Franklin County Crimson rugby team will be hosting a team from Springfield this Saturday at the Lakeview Park soccer fields in Washington. It’s scheduled to kick off at 1 p.m.
The team has one additional home match this spring, May 17 against the Kansas City Rogues.
In recent action, the Crimson have beaten the Columbia Outlaws and Maryville University. The team also split two matches in the St. Louis Ruggerfest.
The team always is looking for new players. See the team’s webpage at www.crimsonrugby.com.
• The Missouri Cyclones, who will return to Borgia for a third season in 2014, start their season this Saturday in Collinsville with a 3:30 p.m. game against the Illinois Cowboys. That’s part of the GMFL Border Wars series.
The event starts at noon with the Missouri Valley Pitbulls taking on the Chicago Colts. The Midwest Chargers close out the event against the Chicago Cardinals at 7 p.m.
Currently, Troy Robertson’s team will play its first home game at Borgia Saturday, June 14, against the St. Louis Spirit. Kickoff is set for 8:30 p.m.