Serving a piping hot batch of “David’s Appetizers,” assorted musings and observations on the sports scene:
A sure sign that football season is about here — just as teams began practice, the temperature was 100 and heat indexes reached beyond 110 degrees.
High school teams are practicing either in early morning or late afternoon.
Two-a-days no longer exist, according to new Arkansas Activities Association rules related to preventing serious heat-related issues.
Teams are only allowed to practice three hours a day. Some coaches are electing to go two hours, take a break, then finish with an hour of practice. Others, such as Conway High coach Clint Ashcraft, go three hours straight, then give players a break to rest, study film or lift weights.
YOUNG PLAYERS ON THE RISE
Conway junior offensive lineman Colton Jackson (6-foot-6, 291 pounds), who has not started a game for the Conway Wampus Cats, has already been offered a scholarship by the University of Arkansas, CHS coach Clint Ashcraft says.
He said sophomore quarterback Breylin Smith, who has not played a varsity game, has been offered a scholarship by the University of Central Arkansas.
Smith is a son of the late Dandra Thomas, one of the best athletes in Conway High history, and the grandson of Sandra and Danny Thomas, a former Hendrix star.
Both young athletes impressed college coaches in spring drills and team camps.
In the last four years, 18 football players from Conway High have signed college scholarships. Jerrell Credit is joining Hendrix’s new program, which has no scholarships for athletics.
“I’ve told our players that the younger players getting offered are going to help everybody,” Ashcraft said. “When one of two kids get offered, other schools come in to see what’s going on and more of your kids are going to get seen.”
UCA was fortunate that Clarence Finley, who has coached basketball on the high school, college and AAU levels, was readily available (as associate head coach) to replace Corliss Williamson as interim men’s basketball coach.
Finley is well respected and loved by players.
He also wants the fulltime job and that passion is another asset.
“The best men’s basketball coach last year at UCA last year is still on campus and I’m saying that not just because he’s my cousin,” said
Williamson. “He’s been my mentor and taught me so much.”
The case of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, who has ridden a roller-coaster of antics and mischief since winning the Heisman Trophy as a freshman, is strange indeed.
Manziel is under NCAA investigation for allegedly signing autographs for pay.
The weird thing is Manziel doesn’t need the money. His family is “not Garth
Brooks rich,” says his father but well off indeed — to the point that Dad bought Johnny a Mercedes because “he wanted one.”
Proving the case against Manziel, who allegedly provided his signature on a cash-only basis, will be difficult to conclusively prove without a paper trail.
A warning. He better not lie to either the NCAA or the IRS or he’s toast.
(Sports columnist David McCollum can be reached at 505-1235 or firstname.lastname@example.org)