Time running out in Neal's search to find week one foe
Published 6:46 pm Wednesday, June 23, 2004
It has not reached a drop dead date yet, but W.S. Neal Blue Eables football coach/athletic director Shane Smothers said time is running out for his team to find an opponent to play in week one next season.
"It (the search) hasn't reached a drop dead point yet, but it's getting close," Smothers said. "I'm going to a coaches clinic in the near future and I possibly may find a school for us to play which I may not know about at this time. If I don't find somebody there, I'd say we're probably going to be idle that first week."
The Blue Eagles are searching for a home game to even out their home and away games. W.S. Neal currently has four home games and five away games for next season. The Blue Eagles spent six of 10 games on the road in 2003 and counting playoff games, eight of 13.
Smothers said the school has had a few opportunities to pick up games for the opener, but nothing solid has materialized.
"Probably the two best possibilites were Northview (Fla.) and Eufaula. Northview would have been a nice game for us to pick up because it is relatively close. That was what made losing Escambia County and Hillcrest off our schedule so bad. They were both close opponents, which made it easy for fans to get to the games," Smothers said. "Northview said they couldn't work us into their schedule this season. They may be a possibility down the road. Eufaula wanted us to go there. That's about a 200-mile trip and we've already got a lot of long trips in our new region alignment. On top of that, the way the price of gas is right now, it would make it a very expensive trip for us to make," Smothers said.
The loss of Hillcrest in week one, Escambia County in week five and Geneva in week 10 forced W.S. Neal to replace all three of its non-region foes.
The Blue Eagles have filled two of those spots with a home date against defending Class 4A state champ Trinity Presbyterian in week five and a road date at Class 2A state power Southern Choctaw in week 10.
If W.S. Neal can not find a team to play in week one, it will open the season September 3 at defending Class 3A state champ Pike County in an Area 1 battle. The Blue Eagles will play an exhibition game at Andalusia on August 19.
Speaking of Smothers, the W.S. Neal skipper particpated in last week's Pigskin Classic golf tournament in Greenville and won the closest to the pin competition.
The tournament consisted of more than 40 coaches, athletic trainers, physical therapists and athletic trainers.
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T.R. Miller High School graduate Deanna Jackson and the Indiana Fever enjoyed a pair of victories last week in WNBA action.
Jackson scored 10 points with two rebounds and an assist in a 63-50 victory over Sacramento. She put up six points with a rbeound and an assist in a 70-65 win over New York.
For the season, Jackson is avergaing 7.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.4 assist a game. She is shootign 32 percent from the floor and 69 percent from the free throw line. Jackson has started in each of Indiana's 10 games.
The Fever currently stand 6-4 and reside one-half game behind defending WNBA champ Detroit in the the eastern Conference.