With a state tournament emphasis, here is a fresh batch of “David’s Citations” for the interesting, zany and just plain weird in sports:
BIGGEST WASTE OF TIME
Jonesboro defeated Little Rock Fair’s softball team, 31-0, in the first round of the 6A state tournament. That’s in three innings with the mercy rule. When you consider the gas and expenses for teams, fans and umpires to get to Benton, it’s another ridiculous example of the “everybody gets in” setup in the watered-down 6A classification.
A MORE EFFICIENT IDEA FOR STATE TOURNAMENT ARRANGEMENTS
If a team goes winless or does not win a minimum number of games in 6A, it automatically forfeits in the first round of the state tournament and the opponent essentially receives a bye.
Saturday, May 17, fans at the 7A softball tourney worse hoodies, camo jackets, fleece and coats and huddled under blankets in a football-game chill atmosphere. Then, it started to rain.
BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN THE FACE OF DISASTER
Three Vilonia teams (baseball, softball and boys soccer) won conference champions and No. 1 state tournament seeds. Vilonia’s boys track team won a state title and the girls were runner-ups.
WILDEST RIDE ON A ROLLER-COASTER
After receiving donations for disaster relief from some of their rivals at the 5A state track meet, the Vilonia teams, on a high, went the opposite direction when they were disqualified in the first two running events — the 4x800 relay. Fortunately for them, they made up for it later.
WILDEST PLACE TO PLAY DODGE BALL
The 5A state baseball and softball tournaments are at Dupree Park in Jacksonville. One of the baseball fields and two of the softball fields are adjacent to each other in a semicircle around a common grandstand. A foul ball from either field could land in another. Balls and richochets could land in the lobby area from all directions. Fans at the event had to keep their heads up (or heads down) and be prepared to dodge from flying objects from either of the three fields.
BEST NONCHALANT CATCH
At a recent Arkansas Travelers baseball game at Dickey-Stephens Park in North Little Rock, a foul ball landed on the roof, then rolled down moments later. A boy walking casually walking along the concourse cooly reach out and grabbed the richochet and never broke stride. Fans gave him an ovation.
BEST JOB OF MULTI-TASKING
At the Southern Athletic Associaton track and field meet at Hendrix, the Warriors’ Elizabeth Krug, easily the high-point performer, ran the 400 hurdles, the 200 meters and anchored the 4x400 relay team in less than an hour. She placed in all three, including winning the 400. Try that sometime after — not to mention participating in six other events during the two-day meet.
BEST CONTINUING ACHIEVEMENT IN APR
The University of Central Arkansas volleyball team achieved a perfect 1,000 APR score (a measurement of retention, progress toward a degree and graduation rates for the third straight year. One of UCA’s most successful sports on a national level, the volleyball program also ranks in the top 10 percent in the country in academic achievement.
BEST ITEMS TO PUT IN A DRAWING IN THE BENEFIT BASEBALL GAME FOR DISASTER VICTIMS IN VILONIA AND MAYFLOWER
(Sports columnist David McCollum can be reached at 501-505-1235 or firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on twitter @dmaclcd)