By Jay Neal
Possibly the largest casting call this side of Hollywood continues to take play out daily on the campus of Lon Morris College.
The director of this project is LMC head football coach, Johnnie Richey, and his search is for talented players that will earn a spot onto the first Bearcat football team to take the field in over 60 years.
Around 200 hopefuls are divided into two groups for workout and evaluatory purposes with one bunch hitting the practice fields at 7 a.m. and the other getting started at 9 a.m. The groups work out five days a week, focusing on conditioning, agilities and weight training, under the watchful eye of Richey and members of the Bearcat coaching staff.
“We’ve divided them up into groups and we are going to let the competition determine who plays football for Lon Morris College,” Richey said. “We have been pleasantly pleased with the effort and of the quality of kids we have out here.
“When (the semester) began we didn’t know how many players would even actually show up, and we have had to send a few back home, but overall we are happy about the talent level of a lot of these kids.”
Despite a very wet fall, LMC has two brand-new grass practice fields that are nearly ready, which will enhance the practice program for the Bearcats.
The ‘Cats will be utilizing the old Jacksonville Recreation Center for their weight training complex as soon as renovations are complete and all the equipment is in place.
Richey has a full complement of assistant coaches — Wayne Larson, Michael Collins, Michael Finney, Patrick Gow, Donnie Hogg, Adam Kirby, Jay McCurty, Russell Patterson, Kyle Segler and Mike Thomas — in place now.
The Bearcat coaches are burning the midnight oil in continuing their efforts in the never-ending quest for top-quality talent.
“All of our coaches are out visiting with the high school (football) coaches in the area and watching practices in the afternoon,” Richey said. “We divide up on Friday nights and try to scout as many games as we can to get a first hand look at the high school players and hopefully we will find some that we think will make good football players at Lon Morris.”
In addition to working out the 200 or so football hopefuls already on campus, scouting prep practices and watching games on Friday night, many of the Bearcat assistants are also continuing to further their respective educations.
“We have about six coaches that are young guys that want to be college coaches and they are doubling up, taking classes towards earning their master’s degree,” Richey said.
Richey is excited about how things are progressing in re-establishing football at LMC and is really looking forward to spring 2010.
“The weather has slowed us down a little in getting some of our facilities ready, but otherwise, we are on track and in the spring we will be up with every other (junior college) football program with a formal spring practice,” Richey said. “This is an exciting time for Jacksonville and for Lon Morris College.”
By Jay Neal
- Local Sports
Region XIV Men's Hoops: Tyler rallies in final half to clip Jacksonville 73-70
Tyler Junior College rallied in the second half to beat Jacksonville College, 73-70, in a Region XIV contest that took place at the Curtis Carroll Fieldhouse Saturday afternoon.
The Jaguars (4-8, 0-3 Region XIV) led 35-31 at halftime, but TJC took the lead for good at the 15:24 mark of the second half when Todd Eaglin drained an uncontested trey from straight away that made the score 42-39 in favor of the Apaches (8-2, 2-1).
BH-Tommy Young Classic: Bullard downs Troup; Guard upset by Grace
Day 2 of of the Tommy Young Boys Varsity Classic at Brook Hill Friday produced a pair of entertaining contests.
Jacksonville goes 4-0 in Madisonville Tournament
The Jacksonville Indians not only only posted a 4-0 record in the Madisonville Tournament on Thursday and Friday, but they won in a convincing manner as the Tribe had an average margin of victory of 22 points.
Coach Mark Alexander's Tribesmen will carry a 6-2 record into Tuesday's game at Athens. Varsity tipoff should take place around 7:30 p.m., following junior varsity and freshman games.
Fightin' Maidens double up Hawkins
Jacksonville unleashed some nasty defense on the Hawkins Lady Hawks Friday afternoon and as a result the Fightin' Maidens were able to dish out a 51-26 defeat to Hawkins in Jacksonville's final game of the Hawkins Tournament.
GONE FISHING WITH JERRY MILLER
Frank Lusk is one of the most patient and thorough worm fishermen I have fished with. We live in a time when everybody is in a hurry. You’ve probably heard the statement, “Hurry up, I don’t have all minute!” That’s how a lot of fishermen fish – in a hurry.
Personally I like to chunk and wind, throw and go, and burn up the water with my lures. I’m in a hurry to catch bass. When bass are active these methods work. But what do you do when you are in an area that is known for holding good size bass but they are reluctant to bite? Simply put, you slow down and then slow down some more.
Prep Hoops Roundup: Jacksonville, Bullard girls perform well in tourney play; Guard rout Tigers
Her's a quick look at the high school basketball action from Thursday that involved local and area teams.
Old Man Winter alters Jacksonville athletic schedules
Several alterations to the Friday-Saturday Jacksonville High School basketball schedules have been made due to the possibilty of hazerdous travel conditions this weekend due to a winter storm event.
Region XIV Men: Jaguars to entertain Apaches in Sat. matinee
The Jacksonville College men's basketball team will be playing its final home game of 2013 at 4 p.m. this afternoon when the Jaguars take on Tyler Junior College at the Curtis Carroll Fieldhouse.
The Jags will enter the matchup looking for their first Region XIV win of the season. The JC men are 4-7 overall, 0-2 in conference, and are coming off of a 76-54 loss to No.3-ranked Kilgore College on Tuesday.
New Summerfield homecoming festivities postponed
New Summerfield High School's basketball doubleheader scheduled for this evening has been postponed due to travel concerns later this evening.
McCown on track to start for Chicago Monday vs. Dallas
Josh McCown took reps with the first string offense on Thursday as the Chicago Bears said that starting quarterback Jay Cutler will not be available for duty on Monday night when the Bears host the Dallas Cowboys at 7:30 p.m.local time.
- More Local Sports Headlines
- Region XIV Men's Hoops: Tyler rallies in final half to clip Jacksonville 73-70