Thursday, July 31, 2014

Cardinals trade Allen Craig, Joe Kelly

The St. Louis Cardinals traded outfielder Allen Craig and starting pitcher Joe Kelly to the Boston Red Sox today for starting pitcher John Lackey.

It was the second trade the team had made for a starter in the last two days, following the deal sending a minor league outfielder to Cleveland for Justin Masterson.

Lackey and Masterson will join Adam Wainwright, Lance Lynn, and Shelby Miller in the starting rotation. Another starter, Michael Wacha, is on the disabled list and is not expected to return until September.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Missouri Southern men's track adds 19 athletes

(From MSSU Lions Athletic News)

Missouri Southern men's track and field coach Bryan Schiding has announced the addition of 19 individuals to participate in track and field at Southern begining this fall.

The list of athletes includes 14 high schoolers, three junior college transfers and two Division II transfers. Amongst the group is eight All-State performances, two state championships, two All-Americans and one National Champion.

"I am pleased to announce our recruiting class for 2014-15," Schiding said. "Our coaching staff worked very hard to bring in student-athletes with talent both on the track and in the classroom. We always expect our program's to be in contention for MIAA titles, and feel these young men will help to continue our program's success. We graduated three impact athletes last year and needed to fill their spots, and our outdoor season showed us that we needed more depth in a few areas. Our young men are putting in a great summer, and we have high expectations."

Below are short informational pieces on each student-athlete.

Tanner Erhart – Central Heights High School, KS – Personal Best Shot Put 52'10 (Height 6'2, Weight 205)

3rd Place 2013 3A State Shot Put

"Tanner Erhart, at 6'2 205, has a very high ceiling. Tanner will be a great addition in the Shot put and could also make a pretty good weight/hammer thrower as well."

Mitchell Hilger – Garden Plain High School, KS – Personal Best : Javelin – 188'7 (Height 5'10, weight 170)

2013 5A Javelin State Champion- 2014 4A State Champion

"Mitchell Hilger will add much needed depth to our Javelin squad. Mitch is very fast, athletic, and versatile, having dabbled in multiple events in high school. He will be a great asset to help expand our throws team."

Tyler Hovey- Iowa Central CC, IA- Personal Best: College Shot Put 57'4", College Discus 161'11 (HT 6'3, Wt 245)

2014 JuCo National Champion Shot Put & 5th Place JuCo All-American Discus

"Tyler will have an immediate impact at our conference and NCAA level. He has put in a great summer of training and we are excited to see what he will do for Southern."

David Smith Jr – Edmond Memorial High School, OK - Personal Bests: Shot put – 54'2, Discus – 176-8 (Height 6'3, weight 260) 2013 6A State Runner-up Discus , 6A 4th Place Shot Put, 2014 6A State Champion Discus

"David Smith will be a great compliment to our current Discus throwers and I think could make an immediate impact in the Shot Put, Weight, and Hammer as well."

Derek Webb – Eudora High School, KS - High School Best Javelin – 185'10 (Height 6'1, weight 190)

Johnson County Community College Best Javelin – 209'6" 2013: 7th place JuCo Nationals, All-American, 2014: 5th place JuCo Nationals, All-American

"Derek Webb will be competitive at the conference level right away. He has the build you look for in a Javelin thrower and has seen success at the Junior College level and will continue to do so as a Lion."


Chris Alleman- Ray-Pec HS, MO – Personal best: High Jump 6'5" (HT 6'0, WT 180)

"Chris will be joining our multi-athlete's training. He is mainly a high jumper with good potential in other events."

Isaac Hamilton- McMurry University, TX-Personal bests: Triple Jump 47'9.75", Long Jump 23'9.5", 100m 10.92, 200m 22.01 (HT 5'11, WT 170)

"Isaac will bring depth to the jumps program and help with our relays. He if full of untapped potential and has an outstanding work ethic. We are very fortunate to have a young man with his character and ability joining us."

Thomas Hawkins II- Lee's Summit North HS, MO- Personal bests: 200m 21.70, 400m 49.22 (HT 6'6, WT 198)

"Thomas is a strong sprinter who will have a future in the 400h. It's a rarity to have someone with his height have good foot speed. He will complement our sprinters and relays well."

Kennan Harrison- Carthage Senior HS, MO- Personal bests: Triple Jump 46' 1.25", Long Jump 20'10.5" (HT 5'9, WT 150)

3rd Place 2014 MO Class 4 State Meet Triple Jump

"Kennan is another local talent. He has a great work ethic and the ability to be a very good triple jumper at our level."

Sam Kohrs- St. Charles High School, MO- Personal bests: Triple Jump 44'10, Long Jump 22'4.5", 400m 49.47 (HT 6', WT 155)

2014 MO Class 3 State Meet: 3rd Triple Jump, 6th Long Jump, 7th 400m

"Sam was recruited as a triple jumper after we watched a video which showed great potential. He developed in to a solid Long Jumper and 400m his senior year. We're anxious to see what his potential will be."

Garner Rudroff –South Calloway HS MO- Personal Bests: Long jump 22'4.5", Triple Jump 44'4" (HT 5'9, WT 150)

2013 & 2014 MO Class 2 State Champion Long Jump

Desmond Williams- McMurry University, TX- Personal Bests: Long jump 24'7", 100m 10.86, 200m 21.16 (HT 5'10, WT 155)

"Des is another athlete who will have an immediate impact at our conference and NCAA level. His versatility is his strongest attribute. Both he and Isaac will be on our relays and help propel them to the national Stage."


Steven Chorma- O'Fallon HS, IL- Personal bests: 800m 157.95, 1600m 4:25.56, 3200 9:45.32. 3-Mile XC 15.03 (HT 6'1, WT 155)

2013 ISHA Cross Country Championships- 26th place

"Steven will bring versatility and depth to our distance program. He has a very strong background in training and will put in the mileage necessary to be successful for MSSU.

Travis Elbert- Washington HS, MO- Personal Bests: 1600m 4:31.84 (HT 5'7 WT 135)

Ben Grant- Coffeyville CC, KS- Personal Bests: 800m 1:58.81, indoor 1000m 2:38.79 (HT 5'11, Wt 140)

Carter Hensley- Carthage HS, MO- (HT 5'11, WT 130)

Gabe Lodge- Catholic HS, AR- Personal Bests: 800m 2:00 (HT 6', WT 160)

9TH Arkansas State Meet of Champions, 800m

Ben Southwick- Carthage HS, MO- Personal Bests: 800m 1:57.57, 1600, 4:32.37, 5k XC 16.09 (HT 5'7, WT 146)

68th @ 2014 Missouri State XC Championships, 9th MO Class 4 State Track Meet

"Again, it's great to continue to get local talent. Ben will be a versatile runner which we will expect production both in XC and Track."

Thomas Zeilman- Fatima HS, MO- Personal Bests: 800m 156.74, 1600m 4:26.00, 5k XC 17:16.91 (HT 5'10, WT 150)

21th @ 2014 Missouri State XC Championships, 2014 MO Class 2 State Champion 800m, Runner-up 1600m

"Tom will be another outstanding MD runner for us. He has great versatility. We will train him with the middle distance group, but he has the foot speed to drop down to the 4x400 if necessary. We are very excited to get Tom on Campus."

MSSU soccer signs Division I transfer

(From MSSU Lions Athletic News)

Missouri Southern soccer coach Alese Woolard has announced the signing of Cassidy Schoolfield, who transfers to Southern from Division I Mississippi Valley State.

Schoolfield, a 5-4 defender and native of Bixby, Okla., transfers to Southern after one season at Division I Mississippi Valley. She played in 12 games for the Devilettes as a true freshman. Schoolfield recorded two shots on the season and had two starts, one against Louisiana - Laffayette and Louisiana - Monroe.

Schoolfield prepped at Bixby High School, but played her club soccer for the Hurricane FC and Blitz Navy. She played three years of basketball at Bixby where she was a point guard and helped her team to a state runner up finish.

Schoolfield is the daughter of Ryan and Angie Schoolfield. She is a criminal justice major at Southern. Her brother Jeff Sumner is a wrestler at Carson-Newman.

Assistant volleyball coach hired at MSSU

(From MSSU Lions Athletic News)

Missouri Southern volleyball coach John Napier has announced the addition of Priscilla Morgan to the coaching staff.
Morgan comes to Missouri Southern after spending the 2013 season as the Director of Volleyball Operations at the University of Tulsa. Morgan assisted head coach Steven McRoberts in the daily operations of the Golden Hurricane program, managing travel, overseeing game day operations, and running the program's Golden Hurricane Classic annual tournament. Tulsa finished the season 24-7 overall, and finished No.1 in the NCAA in digs (per set) and 71st in team kills (per set).
Prior to Tulsa, Morgan spent three and half years as the first assistant coach at Southeastern Louisiana University. She served as the Lady Lions' recruiting coordinator while assisting in the day-to-day operations of the volleyball program, including all practices, scouting, strength and conditioning, academics, team travel and video exchange. Morgan primarily was responsible for training the Lady Lion defense and outside hitters. Morgan also served as head coach of the VIA / Louisiana Volleyball Club's 16-year-old team during the spring of 2013.
During the 2012 season, the Lady Lions doubled the previous year's win total and advanced to the conference tournament for the first time in four seasons. Morgan helped increase the Lady Lions RPI ranking from 311 to 245. In each of her first two seasons, the Lady Lions received the AVCA Team Academic Award for maintaining at least a 3.30 cumulative team grade point average. In addition, Morgan coached notable Southland Conference award winners Courtney Donald, Megan McMillin, Paige Dollison, and Alex Greer who all received accolades for being top performers in the green and gold jersey.
Before her move into collegiate coaching, Morgan served as a head coach with the Tri-County Volleyball Club outside Atlanta, Georgia and worked within country club management and parks and recreation. She was a Graduate Teaching Assistant at Middle Tennessee State University in the fall of 2007, served as Camp Director for the Boys and Girls Club in the summer of 2007, and as a sports leader with Winshape Camps during the summers of 2005 and 2006.
Morgan was a four-year letter winner in volleyball at Belhaven University, where she was a two-year captain, an NAIA Scholar Athlete, and helped the Blazers to the 2006 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference championship. She served as an intern in the Athletics Department, including a four-month stint during her junior season as the interim volleyball coach.
A native of Wilmer, Ala., she graduated Cum Laude from Belhaven in December 2006 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Sports Administration with a minor in Sports Ministry. Morgan and her husband Ryan reside in Joplin with their two dogs, Dakota and Daisy.
"We welcome Priscilla to the MOSO family," Napier said. "She brings lots of enthusiasm and a passion for the game to Joplin. She will definitely be a positive influence on the players here and for our fans in the community. She will help us take big steps to improve this program and give our fans a team they can be proud of. Her playing experience and academic success in college will assist the Lions on the court and in the classroom. We are very confident in the future of the Lion's volleyball program with the addition of Coach Morgan."

Video- Jack's Smack: Chiefs offensive line could be a concern

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Video- Kansas City Chiefs Saturday training camp update

Cardinals sign A. J. Pierzynski

The St. Louis Cardinals are expected to announce the signing of veteran catcher A. J. Pierzynski, who was released earlier this month by the Boston Red Sox.

Pierzynski has been the catcher on a world championship team in Chicago in 2005 with the White Sox.

Pierzynski will replace George Kottaras, who will be released. Kottaras was signed shortly after Yadier Molina suffered an injury which will keep him out at least until September.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Hall-of-Famer Len Dawson reminisces about training camp experiences

Chiefs' Jamaal Charles talks about new contract

Chiefs' Alex Smith happy to be in training camp

Springfield Lasers to play in Western Conference Championship tonight

(From the Springfield Lasers)

The Springfield Lasers are headed to the Mylan World TeamTennis Western Conference Championship for the second year in a row. 

The Lasers play the No. 1 seed San Diego Aviators tonight at the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, Calif., at 9 p.m. local time (7 p.m. PST.) The match will be broadcast live on ESPN3. Live scoring is also available at 

Tonight’s Lasers roster includes Olga Govortsova, Liga Dekmeijere, Michael Russell and Ross Hutchins, with Coach JL de Jager. 

The winners of the Western Conference Championship will advance to the Mylan World TeamTennis Final, where they will battle the Eastern Conference Champions for the King Trophy, named for Mylan WTT co-founders Billie Jean King and Larry King.

If the Lasers win tonight, Springfield will host the Championship Final Sunday, July 27, 4 p.m. at Cooper Tennis Complex’s Mediacom Tennis Stadium. Tickets and other details would be announced Friday. 

The Lasers enter the Western Conference Championship as the No. 2 seed, secured Wednesday night with the Lasers’ 25-7 win over the Boston Lobsters. The Lasers finished their regular season with a 7-7 record.

The Lasers are the 2013, 2009, 2001 and 1999 Mylan WTT Western Conference Champions.

In the Eastern Conference, No. 2 seed Philadelphia Freedoms face the No. 1 seed Washington Kastles tonight in Washington, DC. The Kastles have won the King Trophy for the last three years in a row, and also won in 2009.

The Western and Eastern Conference championships will be played concurrently tonight.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Chiefs rookies arrive at training camp

After missing 2013, Chiefs' Travis Kelce returns to practice field

Missouri Southern baseball signs 15 players

(From MSSU Lions Athletic News)

Missouri Southern baseball coach Bryce Darnell announced the addition of 15 new players to his 2014-15 recruiting class today. 
The list includes five Division I transfers, six junior college transfers, and four high school players. Below are short biographies of the incoming players, as well as an update on two signees from the early period. 
Chris Hoffman- JR
R/R         OF           6'1''        175         Home:  Lake Villa, IL          Previous School: College of Lake County
Chris was a two year starter in CF for Coach Cummings at College of Lake County in Illinois. This past season Chris had a .439 AVG (10th NJCAA-DII), 11 2B's, 8 3B's, and had 41 stolen bases (2nd NJCAA-DII) on his way to being named 1st Team All-American and Conference Player of the Year. During his two years at Lake County he also pitched a total of 35.2 innings, allowing 40 H, 9 BB's, and striking out 36.  Chris is the son of Dave and Michelle Hoffman and is an Education Major.   
Jacob Bryant- JR
R/R         IF            6'0''        180         Home: Fairland, OK            Previous School: Independence CC
Jacob started 47 games at SS in 2014 for Coach Schultz at Independence CC.  This past season Jacob led Independence CC with a .395 AVG, had a .442 OBP, and had 30 RBI.  Jacob was named 2nd Team Jayhawk East Shortstop.  Jacob is the son of Darren Bryant and Lea Ann Matlock and plans to major in Communications.    
Jackson Cain- JR
R/R         IF            5'11''      185         Home: Omaha, NE              Previous School: Cloud CC
Jackson played SS the last two seasons at Cloud CC for Coach Brummett.  As a sophomore he batted .318, with .392 OBP, had 16 2B's, 6 HR's, 45 RBI's, and stole 10 bases.  Jackson attended Westside H.S. in Omaha, NE, he plans to major in Logistics, and is the son of Herschel and Pat Cain.    
Chad Worman- JR
L/L         LHP        6'3''        195         Home: Blue Springs, MO   Previous School: Iowa Western CC
Chad has served as a relief pitcher at Iowa Western CC where he was a part of the 2014 NJCAA JUCO World Series Championship team.  In his two seasons at Iowa Western Chad made 11 relief appearances for the Reivers going 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA. In 13.1 IP Chad allowed 16 hits, 4 BB, and 8 K's. Chad is the son of Craig and Lori Worman and is a Business Major.      
Tyler Morrill- JR
R/R         RHP        5'10''      175         Home: Galen, KS                  Previous School: Independence CC
Tyler pitched in relief this past season at Independence CC for Coach Schultz.  In 2014 he was 3-2 with 3 saves.  In 17 relief appearances Tyler had 22 IP, 19 H, 26 K's, and a team leading 2.86 ERA.  Tyler is a Business Management Major and is the son of Buffi Freeman.  
Jesse Rall-JR
R/R         IF            6'3''        220         Home: Lincoln, NE             Previous School: Cloud CC
Jesse was a 2 year starter at first base while at Cloud CC.  This past season he led the team in hitting with a .399 AVG, a .471 OBP, 14 doubles, and 13 home runs.  Jesse also anchored the Cloud CC pitching staff this past season.  He was 3-5 with a 5.23 ERA and 8 complete games with 62 innings pitched, allowing 74 hits, 12 walks, and 40 strikeouts.  Jesse is the son of James and JoAnn Rall and will be a Pre-Med major at Missouri Southern.
Chad Shannon-SR
R/R         OF           6'3          225         Home: Lee's Summit, MO                  Previous School: Lipscomb University
Chad has spent the last two seasons at NCAA Division 1 Lipscomb University.  In 2013 as a junior he started 52 of 55 games as an outfielder for the Bisons.  During that season Chad batted .284 in 190 at bats with eight doubles, one triple, four homeruns, and five stolen bases.  This past season Chad saw action in 6 games, before his season was cut short due to injury.  Prior to attending Lipscomb he spent two seasons at Johnson County CC where he had a tremendous amount of success on the diamond and was a two time selection to the Jayhawk All-District Team.  Chad is the son of Larry and Jody Shannon and is a General Studies Major at Missouri Southern.
Jon Davis-SR
R/R         IF            5'10''      175         Home: Tulsa, OK                 Previous School: Oral Roberts University
Jon comes to Missouri Southern after spending last season at Oral Roberts.  Jon played in five games at ORU making two starts, where he saw time as a designated hitter and second baseman.  In 2013 Jon played SS at Cowley County CC where he batted .358 with a .462 OBP, 4 2B's, 21 BB, 14 K, and a .966 fielding percentage.  In 2012 J.D. played at Seminole State where he batted .328, with a .418 OBP, 14 2B's, and a .960 fielding percentage.  Jon is the son of Jerry and Johnetta Davis and is planning on majoring in Business Management at Missouri Southern.
Richie Gorski-SO
R/R         IF            6'2''        200         Home: Streamwood, IL                      Previous School: University of Illinois
Richie transfers to Missouri Southern after spending the previous two seasons at University of Illinois.  Richie redshirted during the 2013 season and saw action in four games at either third base or in a pinch hitting role during the 2014 season. In his senior year at Streamwood H.S. Richie had a .383 AVG, .432 OBP, with 8 2B, 5 3B, 1 HR, and recorded a 1.38 ERA in 45 innings pitched.  As a junior he posted a .405 average, seven doubles, two triples, five home runs, 36 RBIs and 33 runs and notched a 4-1 record with a 1.91 ERA in 18 1/3 innings on the mound in 2011.  Richie is the son of Richard Gorski, Sr. and Sandra Campos and will major in Health Promotion at Missouri Southern.
Nick Pettus-SR
R/R         RHP        5'11''      190         Home: Broken Arrow, OK Previous School: Texas Tech University
Nick spent this past season at Texas Tech where he pitched out of the bullpen.  He had 6 relief appearances and posted a 4.50 ERA.  Nick had 8 IP, allowed 8 hits, 1 BB, and recorded 8 K's while holding opponents to a .286 AVG.  Prior to Texas Tech, Nick spent two seasons at Seminole State.  As a sophomore he was 2-1 with 2 saves and 12.0 innings pitched with 16 strikeouts and 2 walks.  As a freshman he made 27 appearances with a 4-2 record in 35.1 IP, with a 1.53 ERA, nine saves, allowing 27 hits, striking out 43, and surrendering just 6 walks.  Nick is the son of Matt and Deb Pettus and plans to major in General Studies at Missouri Southern.
Kyle McCulloch-JR
R/R         RHP        6'1''        185         Home: Olathe, KS  Previous School: North Dakota State University
Kyle comes to Southern after redshirting last season at North Dakota State.  Prior to attending NDSU he played two years at Iowa Western CC where he pitched in relief for the Reivers.  In 2013, as a sophomore, Kyle was 2-0 with a 2.33 ERA in 27 innings pitched with 21 strikeouts and 6 walks.  As a freshman in 2012 he was 3-0 with a 2.79 ERA in 29 innings pitched, allowing 22 hits, 7 walks and striking out 14.  Kyle is the son of Kevin and Jacqueline McCulloch and plans to major in Mathematics at Missouri Southern.
Already signed with the Lions in the Fall -
Cody Hutchinson- JR
R/R         RHP        6'1''        170         Home: Owasso, OK             Previous School: Neosho County CC
Cody pitched for Coach Murry at Neosho County CC the last two seasons.  This past spring Cody was 4-2 with 1 save and 4.74 ERA. In 49.1 IP he allowed 59 H, 16 BB's, and struck out 44 batters.  Cody is the son of Max and Kelli Hutchinson and will major in Conservation Studies at Missouri Southern. 
Danny Biggs- FR
R/R         OF           5'10''      180         Home: O'Fallon, MO           Previous School: Fort Zumwalt West H.S.
Danny has been a four year starter in CF for Coach Gough at Fort Zumwalt West H.S.  This past season Danny had a .400 AVG, with 34 H, 24 BB, 41 runs scored, and was 20-22 in stolen base attempts.  As a Junior Danny was a 2nd Team All-State Selection following his junior year when he hit .410 with 14 stolen bases, helping to lead his team to a conference and district championship.  Danny is the son of Dave and Sue Biggs and is undecided on his major at Missouri Southern.
Additional incoming players
Kyle Smith-SO                   R/R        IF            McDonald County H.S.
Tanner Brown-FR              R/R        C              Pacific H.S.
Jack Kemper-FR                L/L         P             Vianney H.S.
Trenton Moeller-FR            R/R        P             Webb City H.S.

MSSU basketball player receives national academic honor

(From MSSU Lions Athletic News)

Missouri Southern junior Stephen Atkinson has been named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Honors Court, the organization announced today. 
A record number 895 student-athletes from 338 colleges and universities earned NABC Honors Court distinction. In order to be named to the Honors Court, a student-athlete must meet a high standard of academic criteria. The qualifications are as follows:
1.   Academically a junior or senior and a varsity player.
2.   Cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.2 or higher at the conclusion of the 2013-14 academic year.
3.   Students must have matriculated at least one year at their current institution.
4.   Member of an NCAA Division I, II, III, or NAIA Division I or II institution with a NABC member coach.
Atkinson maintains 3.48 GPA in biology. He was a member of the MIAA Commissioner's Academic Honor roll this season and helped the Lions to a 25-6 record, the 2014 MIAA Tournament Championship, and a trip to the NCAA Tournament. The team finished the season ranked 19th nationally and its only three losses in the final month and a half of the season came to the eventual Division II National Champions. 
Atkinson is one of 13 MIAA men's basketball players to be given this honor. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

MSSU men's, women's basketball schedules released

(From MSSU Lions Athletic News)

The Missouri Southern men's and women's basketball teams released their respective 2014-15 schedules today. 
Both teams will host tournaments in the month of November. The women open the season with six-straight games at home, as well as a home exhibition game. The men on the other hand, will open the season on the road at the Sanford Pentagon Tip-Off in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. 
The men will face Northern State and Sioux Falls on November 15-16 in a tournament that features teams from both the NSIC and the MIAA facing off in the Sanford Pentagon. 
The women will play host to Livin' the Dream in an exhibition on November 7 inside the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center. They will then play host to their own tournament on November 15-16, taking on Oklahoma Panhandle on the 15th and Rockhurst on the 16th. The game with Rockhurst will feature a tribute to Maryann Mitts, the all-time winningest coach at Southern. That tournament will also feature Evangel University as the Lions' playing partner. 
The Lions' men will host the Freeman Sports Medicine/Chris Tucker Memorial Classic on November 21-22. Southern will face off against St. Mary University of Kansas on Friday, while taking on Mid-American Christian on Saturday. Lincoln will be the Lions' playing partner in the tournament taking on the same two opponents. 
The women will host Avila, Quincy, Central Christian and Northwestern Oklahoma before the start of conference play. The men will take part in the St. Mary's (Texas) Classic on November 28-29 in San Antonio where they'll face off with Midwestern State on Friday and the host St. Mary's on Saturday. 
Conference play starts on December 4 at Nebraska-Kearney and the Lions' first home MIAA double-header will be on December 20 against Emporia State before the Christmas break. The teams will face off with Pittsburg State in Pittsburg on February 21 for the only meeting between the two schools this season, while the 2015 MIAA Tournament will take place from March 5-9 inside Municipal Auditorium. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

MSSU defensive lineman nominated for Good Works Team

(From MSSU Lions Athletic News)

Missouri Southern senior defensive lineman Ryon Phillips is one of 182 nominees for the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, the coaches association announced today. 
For 23 years the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team has served as one of the most coveted and prestigious off-the-field honors in college football. The award recognizes players whose charitable involvement and community service contributions stand out among all other student-athletes participating in the sport. Since its establishment in 1992, the award has existed to pay tribute to the "good" in college football that extends beyond the wins and the losses. While balancing academics and athletics, this select group of student-athletes nominated by their respective colleges and universities has committed their limited free time to having a lasting impact on their communities. 
Phillips is the only player from the MIAA nominated and he hopes to be the second Lion to earn the honor as Kellen Cox was part of the team in 2011 and was honored at halftime of the Allstate Sugar Bowl in New Orleans. 
Comprised of 11 players from the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision and 11 players from the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision, Divisions II, III and the NAIA, the final roster of 22 award recipients will be unveiled in September. From the nominees submitted by sports information directors across the nation on behalf of their schools, a special voting panel consisting of former Allstate AFCA Good Works Team members and prominent college football media members will select the 2014 Good Works Team.
The 2014 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® voting panel includes: former Good Works Team® members Zaid Abdul-Aleem (Duke, 1994 team), Matt Stinchcomb (Georgia, 1997, 1998 teams), Brian Brenberg (St. Thomas, 2001 team), Mike Proman (Amherst, 2002 team); media members Lou Holtz (ESPN), Kirk Herbstreit (ESPN), Bruce Feldman (Fox Sports),  Blair Kerkhoff (Kansas City Star); current AFCA President and Ithaca College head coach Mike Welch; 1987 AFCA President and former head coach at Brigham Young University LaVell Edwards; and Jim Haskins, president of Allstate's West Territory.
Once the final team members are announced in September, fans are encouraged to visit the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® website on, featuring profiles and images of the players, for the opportunity to vote for the 2014 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® Captain.
Once the final team members are announced in September, fans are encouraged to visit the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® website on, featuring profiles and images of the players, for the opportunity to vote for the 2014 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® Captain.

Chiefs pack, prepare for training camp

Monday, July 14, 2014

Video- Jack's Smack: The Royals need a bat

MSSU's Kimi Reed qualifies for USA Marathon Trials

(From MSSU Lions Athletic News)

 Former Missouri Southern distance runner Kimi (Shank) Reed has qualified for the USA Marathon Trials after running a qualifying time at the 2014 Grandma's Marathon in Minnesota in June. 
Shank finished 109th overall and 15th in her gender with a time of 2:41.54 in the race that took place in Duluth, Minnesota. The time qualified her for the USA Olympic Marathon trials to be held in Los Angeles in 2016. If she finishes in the top three of that race, she would qualify for the 2016 Olympics being held in Rio de Janeiro Brazil. 
Shank is one of the most highly-decorated distance runners ever at Southern. She holds the school record in four different events (indoor 5k, distance medley relay, outdoor 5k, outdoor 10k). She was a multiple All-MIAA and All-American, while being named the 2008 South Central Region Cross Country Athlete of the Year. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Springfield Lasers welcome back James Blake

(From the Springfield Lasers)

 The Springfield Lasers welcome American tennis star James Blake to the team for back-to-back Mylan World TeamTennis home matches this weekend.

Blake, the Lasers’ marquee player, first appears with the Lasers Saturday, July 12, 7 p.m. at Mediacom Tennis Stadium, in Cooper Tennis Complex, 2231 E. Pythian. The Lasers face the Texas Wild.

Blake also plays with the Lasers Sunday, July 13, 7 p.m., facing his longtime friend and rival, Andy Roddick, appearing with the Austin Aces.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Latvian joins Springfield Lasers

(From the Springfield Lasers)

 Springfield Lasers team member and 2014 French Open mixed doubles champion Anna-Lena Groenefeld has announced she will not be able to continue playing Mylan World TeamTennis this season, due to a hip injury.

Groenefeld, 29, from Nordhorn, Germany, played the first two matches of the season before her injury, sustained at Wimbledon, caused her to withdraw for the season. This was to be Groenefeld’s fourth Mylan WTT season, her first with the Lasers. Groenefeld advanced to the women’s doubles quarterfinal at Wimbledon, less than a month after she and partner Jean-Julien Rojer captured the mixed doubles trophy at the French Open. 

Lasers ownership representative Bob Belote said Groenefeld enjoyed her time in Springfield and hopes to be able to play for the Lasers again in the future. 

Liga Dekmeijere, 31, from Riga, Latvia, replaces Groenefeld on the roster. Dekmeijere played Mylan WTT with the Lasers in 2012, substituting for Timea Babos. This will be her fourth season of Mylan WTT, previously with the former St. Louis Aces (2009 and 2010.) She was named Mylan WTT Female Rookie of the Year in 2009.  She has one WTA Doubles title and 19 ITF doubles titles. She is currently ranked No. 235 in doubles, with a career-high No. 54 (2010.)

Dekmeijere plays her 2014 first match with the Lasers tonight in Austin, Texas, facing the Austin Aces. The Lasers return to Springfield Saturday, July 12, with marquee player James Blake. Blake faces longtime rival and friend Andy Roddick in Springfield Sunday, July 13.  Home matches continue July 17, 18 and 23. All home matches are at Mediacom Tennis Stadium, in Cooper Tennis Complex, 2331 E. Pythian, Springfield. Matches begin at 7 p.m. Gates open at 5:30, with live music 5:30-6:30. Concessions and the VIP Food Center both open at 5:30.

Grandstand tickets are $10 (July 18 and 23) $15 (July 12 and 17) and $20 (July 13.) Box Seat tickets, season tickets and VIP packages are also available. To purchase tickets, call Cooper Tennis Complex at 417-837-5800. 

For more information, visit or look for Springfield Lasers on Facebook or @SGFLasers on Twitter. For more information on Mylan WTT,

Monday, July 7, 2014

Video- Alex Smith considers himself fortunate to guide Chiefs offense


Video- Jack's Smack: Yost, Hosmer, and the Royals batting order

Springfield Lasers' Jean-Julien Rojer out for the season

(From the City of Springfield)

Springfield Lasers team member and 2014 French Open mixed doubles champion Jean-Julien Rojer has announced he will not be able to play Mylan World TeamTennis this season, due to a back injury.

Rojer, 32, from Curacao, Netherlands Antilles, helped lead the Springfield Lasers to the 2013 Mylan WTT Western Conference Championship, earning the league’s Male MVP award. Rojer partnered with Lasers teammate Anna-Lena Groenefeld to win the French Open mixed doubles trophy in June, coached by Lasers Coach John-Laffnie de Jager. Rojer made it to the third round in men’s doubles at Wimbledon last week. He had also entered mixed doubles with Groenefeld, but Rojer withdrew from competition as his injury became apparent. 

Rojer contacted Springfield Lasers ownership representation Bob Belote just days before the season opener with the news that a lower back injury would prevent him from playing.

“I cannot begin to tell you how much I looked forward to another season with the Lasers family there in Springfield,” Rojer said in an e-mail. “WTT was definitely a highlight on my schedule.”

Belote said the team is disappointed to lose a star player, but relieved that doubles specialist Ross Hutchins had agreed to replace Rojer on the Lasers roster.

“It’s tough to lose a MVP,” said Belote. “We’ll miss Jules and his charisma. But Ross is a world-class doubles player, and we’re very fortunate to get him. Coach JL was really pleased to add him to the roster, and he’s certainly up to the task.” 

Hutchins, 29, lives in Wimbledon, a suburban district of London, England, home to the Wimbledon Tennis Championships. Hutchins competed in men’s and mixed doubles in his hometown tournament just last week. He has five doubles titles and is currently ranked No. 143.   

The Springfield Lasers home season opens Sunday, July 6 and continues through July 23 at Mediacom Tennis Stadium, in Cooper Tennis Complex, 2331 E. Pythian, Springfield. Matches begin at 7 p.m. Gates open at 5:30, with live music 5:30-6:30. Concessions and the VIP Food Center both open at 5:30.

Grandstand tickets are $10 (July 6, 7, 18 and 23) $15 (July 12 and 17) and $20 (July 13.) Box Seat tickets, season tickets and VIP packages are also available. To purchase tickets, call Cooper Tennis Complex at 417-837-5800. 

For more information, visit or look for Springfield Lasers on Facebook or @SGFLasers on Twitter. For more information on Mylan WTT, visit

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Four Cardinals, three Royals make All-Star rosters

The starting catchers for the All-Star game, set for nine days from now in Minnesota will both come from Missouri teams.

Fans voted in St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina, while Kansas City catcher Salvador Perez is a replacement for an injured selection.

The Cardinals placed four players on the National League roster- Molina, third baseman Matt Carpenter, starting pitcher Adam Wainwright and reliever Pat Neshek.

The Royals, in addition to Perez, will be represented by closer Greg Holland and outfielder Alex Gordon.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Springfield Lasers season opens Sunday

(From the City of Springfield)

The 2014 Springfield Lasers Mylan World TeamTennis (WTT) home season opens Sunday, July 6, as the Lasers face the Philadelphia Freedoms. The match begins at 7 p.m. at Mediacom Tennis Stadium, in Cooper Tennis Complex, 2231 E. Pythian.

Tennis legend and Mylan WTT Co-Founder Billie Jean King plans to attend the opening match in Springfield Sunday evening. King, owner of the Philadelphia Freedoms, will visit the VIP lounge before the match and is available for a brief news conference on the north end (upper level) of Mediacom Tennis Stadium 6:30-6:40 p.m.

The Lasers enter the season as the defending Western Conference Champions. The highlight of the season comes Sunday, July 13, when Lasers marquee player James Blake faces longtime friend and rival Andy Roddick at Cooper Tennis Complex’s Mediacom Tennis Stadium.

Blake, 34, was the No. 1 American and No. 4 world player in 2006, placing him just behind Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Nikolay Davydenko. Blake is known for his powerful forehand, his speed on the court and his incredible comeback after breaking his neck in May 2004. Now returning for his eighth season of Mylan WTT, his first with the Springfield Lasers, Blake plays two Springfield Lasers home matches: Saturday, July 12 and Sunday, July 13.

All four Lasers roster members enter the season fresh from Wimbledon, where Anna-Lena Groenefeld advanced to the quarterfinal in women’s singles, and Jean-Julien Rojer made it to the third round in men’s doubles. Last month, Groenefeld and Rojer teamed up to win the championship in mixed doubles at the French Open.

Rojer, 32, from Curacao, Netherlands Antilles, is returning for his second season with the Lasers. He earned his first Grand Slam title at the French Open, and now holds 13 doubles titles. Rojer helped lead the Lasers to the Mylan WTT 2013 Western Conference Championship, and was named Mylan WTT Male MVP in 2013.

Groenefeld, 29, from Nordhorn, Germany, plays doubles exclusively and now holds 15 doubles titles.  New this year to the Lasers roster, this is her fourth season of Mylan WTT, previously playing for the New York Sportimes.

Lasers player Michael Russell also appeared in men’s singles at Wimbledon. Russell, 35, from Detroit, Mi., was the oldest American to finish 2013 in the ATP Top 100 for the fifth year in a row. He is returning to Mylan WTT for the first time since 2009, when he was named WTT Male Rookie of the Year.

2013 Mylan WTT Female Rookie of the Year Alisa Kleybanova announced June 27 that she would not be able to return to the Lasers roster this year, due to a shoulder injury which became apparent at Wimbledon. Kleybanova helped lead the Springfield Lasers to the 2013 Mylan WTT Western Conference Championship.

Olga Govortsova, 26, from Minsk, Belarus, replaces Kleybanova on the Lasers roster.  Govortsova is currently ranked No. 105 in singles, No. 87 in doubles, and appeared in singles at Wimbledon.

San Diego marquee player and former No. 5 Daniela Hantuchova also makes an appearance in Springfield Thursday, July 17.

The 2014 Springfield Lasers home schedule is:
  • Sun., July 6        Springfield Lasers vs. Philadelphia Freedoms     
  • Mon., July 7        Springfield Lasers vs. Texas Wild           
  • Sat., July 12       Springfield Lasers vs. Texas Wild (Featuring Blake-SPR) 
  • Sun., July 13      Springfield Lasers vs. Austin Aces (Featuring Blake–SPR and Roddick-AUS) 
  • Thu., July 17      Springfield Lasers vs. San Diego (Featuring D. Hantuchova- SD)        
  • Fri., July 18        Springfield Lasers vs. Washington Kastles       
  • Wed., July 23     Springfield Lasers vs. Boston Lobsters           

All home matches are held at 7 p.m. at Mediacom Tennis Stadium at Cooper Tennis Complex, 2331 E. Pythian, Springfield.