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Story Archives: Ferriday gym ready for tip-off; new high school rules are minor
|Ferriday gym ready for tip-off; new high school rules are minor|
When Ferriday Recreation Director McKinley Bates invited me to come and look at the Florida Street gym to see the work that has been done I expected to see a clean gym, but still a gym that looked very drabby.
After all, my past several dozen visits to the gym found a dark, rundown place that seemed to have little hope of returning to what it was in the 1980s when Ferriday High boys and girls basketball teams ripped and roared through opponents on their way to state championships.
What I found earlier this month left my open agape and my low expectations flushed down one of the toilets that now works and is very clean.
The gym floor was shining, 16 ceiling fans made a once-stifling place much bearable, the lighting chasing away the drabbiness, the concession stand area spotless, the bleachers were gleaming and the place looked like a gym that would make any high school in the area proud to call home.
Bates has used the $35,000 LGAP very fruitfully, turning a once run-down clubhouse into a vibrant place for the community to hold functions and plan get-togethers.
And I hope a place where Ferriday High can once again hold basketball games.
You know it's a slow year for National Federation High School Football rule changes when the first two are "All required field markings must be clearly visible and "Stripes located on the football must be adjacent to and perpendicular to the seam upon which the laces are stitched."
Three rules that were refined include a new article created regarding penalty enforcement for dead-ball, non-player or unsportsmanlike fouls that occur during or after a touchdown scoring play. Now, the scoring team, in most situations, has the option of enforcing the penalty on the subsequent kickoff.
And I love this one — "It is now illegal to grasp the opponent's chin strap."
You mean to tell me that was legal before?
And here's another one that you wonder where in the world it has been. "The horse-collar tackle has been added to the list of illegal personal contact fouls, regardless of where it occurs on the field. It is illegal to grasp the inside back or side back or side opening of the collar of the jersey or shoulder pads of the runner to the ground."
• There's a new gambler in capital city and he is having just as much success. LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri rolled the dice in the SEC Tournament, throwing Daniel Bradshaw, Nolan Cain and Ryan Byrd in the last three games, and he came up with sevens and 11s. I know the cupboard was starting to look bare after losing the first one, but Mainieri has shown all season he is not one to coach by the books.
LSU is a No. 3 seed, which I think is a travesty. Winning the SEC regular season and tournament should be enough to earn a team a No. 1 ranking and seed. The Tigers will have to prove it on the field anyway. Hopefully they won't see too many southpaws along the way or if and when they get to Omaha.
• As the financial crunch continues, look for smaller colleges to bite the bullet and schedule more games against Top 10 programs.
Louisiana Lafayette will travel to Georgia in 2010 and get rolled between the hedges.
There's even talk of McNeese State and Northwestern State playing LSU in the future.
— Even in stronger economic times, it did not seem to make a lot of common — or fiscal — sense.Verge Ausberry, the LSU associate athletics director, says the school is in talks with Northwestern State and McNeese State that could lead to the Tigers playing one of those schools in 2019 and the other in 2011.
Northwestern has not played LSU in football since 1942, when the Natchitoches school still was called Louisiana Normal.Mississippi State is hosting Jackson State for its opener next season. Well. at least Bulldog fans will enjoy watching the Sonic Boom.
I'm not a big fan of LSU playing in-state schools, especially the I-AA (OK, OK, Football Championship Subdivision) schools. I understand helping out the schools, but I just don't believe LSU gets enough out of it. The little brother is going to be playing as hard as it will play all season (see Tulane games in recent years). If LSU wins by a little bit, the Tigers will be criticized by Tiger fans for its poor play and probably fall a bit in the polls. If LSU wins by 40 points or more, some folks will look at LSU as the big bully.
I don't think you will see Alabama playing Alabama-Birmingham or Arkansas playing Central Arkansas. The Tide does host Florida International this season.
What does more games between big schools and smaller schools mean on the national level? It means the BCS will still be even more of a joke. Never mind the every week is a playoff game in college football. Somehow LSU versus McNeese State or Alabama against Florida International does not give me the feeling of a prelude to a Final Four showdown.
• Speaking of football, the Birmingham News (al.com) is releasing its SEC football picks (via the league's sports information directors) in Sunday's edition. Street and Smith's and Athlon's cannot be too far behind.
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