Friday, May 28, 2010

TOP STORY > >Family puts emphasis on education

Leader executive editor

Randy Carney of Jacksonville, who graduated from North Pulaski High School in 2004, has earned a master of science degree in materials science and engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He will graduate next week after submitting his thesis, “Probing Nanoparticles and their Assemblies with Analytical Ultracentrifugation.”

Carney, 23, joined Prof. Francesco Stellacci’s project at MIT, studying cell penetration of nanoparticles for drug delivery.

Stellacci has accepted a faculty position at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, a premier technical institute in Lausanne, Switzerland, where Carney will continue his Ph.D. studies.

Carney was president of the North Pulaski High School band and graduated as valedictorian. He was an all-region and all-state band member on two different instruments, baritone saxophone and trombone.

While in high school, he also attended Governors School, where he became interested in chemistry and decided to study in college.

He attended the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, where he graduated summa cum laude and earned a bachelor of science degree in chemistry. He spent a year in the Razorback Marching Band.

He is the son of retired Chief Master Sgt. Rich and Karen Carney of Jacksonville.

Rich Carney retired from the Air Force in 2005 after 28 years of active duty. He works for the Arkansas State Military Department at Camp Robinson. His wife has been a bookkeeper at Tolleson Elementary since 1998. They still live in Jacksonville.

Karen Carney was also in the Air Force and gave birth to their children while on assignments with her husband.

No one in their families attended college before their children started accumulating college degrees.

The Carneys have two other children, Ricky and Kylee, and a daughter-in-law, Tamara, all high achievers.

Randy, who is 26, was born at Keflavik Naval Air Station in Iceland. Ricky was born at Chanute Air Force Base, Ill.

Randy and Tamara met at North Pulaski High School and they were married last May. They live in Boston.

Randy, Ricky, Kylee and Tamara all attended and graduated from North Pulaski High School, and all four were in the NPHS band and all four were officers in that band.

They were all honor students and in the top 10 of their respective graduating class.

Ricky Carney, 26, graduated North Pulaski High in 2002, was an officer and an all-region band member, playing trumpet. He then attended University of Central Arkansas in Conway, where he received a bachelor of science degree in geography with a minor in psychology. He was also a trumpet player in the band at UCA.

He continued his education at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville to work on his master’s degree.

He recently graduated with a master of arts in geography. His thesis is “Exploration of Remote Sensing Imagery created by Dr. Harold MacDonald, 1971-1979.”

Tamara Carney, 24, Randy’s wife, who graduated from North Pulaski High School in 2003, was an officer and all-region band member, playing French horn.

She went on to the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, where she graduated summa cum laude and earned a bachelor of science degree in biology.

She spent a year in the Razorback Marching Band. She went on to Boston University and will graduate this summer with a master of arts degree in molecular biology, cell biology and biochemistry.

Her thesis is “Investigating a Role for Bioelectricity in Sea Urchin Development.”

Kylee Carney, 20, is following in her siblings’ footsteps.

She graduated from North Pulaski High School in 2007, was president of the band and an all-region band member playing French horn.

She spent her first year at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.

She was also a Razorback Marching Band member for a year.

She is attending the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, where she is enrolled in the early-childhood education program. In
December 2011, she will receive a bachelor of science degree in early childhood education.

“They’re great kids,” said Karen Carney. “We did a lot of family things together. They’ve never given us any heartaches.”

She remembers when her husband was assigned to Desert Storm and she had to take care of their children by herself.

“It was hard,” Karen Carney said, “but all worth it.”

EDITORIAL >>Students take charge

Since it’s election time and seniors have graduated, here’s an idea—let’s have an early PCSSD school board election, vote all the incumbents out and replace them with the outstanding seniors who showed us the ugly side of Jacksonville High School back in April.

Led by senior Nick Stevens, the students recently made an excellent, albeit sad, presentation to the board, called “Jacksonville High School: An Inside Perspective,” about the physical condition of their school. They also provided an analysis of district-fund allocations by zones between 2000 to 2011. According to their report, Zone 3/Maumelle has been allocated the lion’s share – 53 percent, while Zone 5/north Pulaski County has been allocated 1 percent and Zone 6/Jacksonville has been allocated 2 percent. Thirty-one percent of PCSSD students come from Jacksonville.

The slide presentation included photos of moldy surfaces, broken light fixtures and furniture, sagging ceiling tiles and electric wires protruding from walls and ceilings.

“We are not here to whine and complain but to make you aware of the effect of the condition of the school on students and teachers. Low teacher retention rate and dropout rate are associated with a neglected condition of the school and an atmosphere of futility,” the students told the board.

But the board, typically narrow-minded, instead directed its attention to its drawn-out battle to decertify the teacher’s union.

Perhaps a June 8 vote ushering the savvy students in to run things would bring peace and equity to the district and allow the teachers to do their job—produce outstanding students from everywhere in the district.

We will be first to get on board and back former and current JHS students Nick Stevens, Damion Donovan, Ed Calvo, Bill Bouillon and Jericha Wilson for the PCSSD school board if they were on the ballot on June 8.

EDITORIAL >>State’s budget finds healing

Will the new national health-care law be good for Arkansas? If your concerns are about the state budget, the answer is yes.

We have thought since each house of Congress passed a version of health reform that the final law was nearly certain to be a bonanza for Arkansas. Some 400,000 people will get health insurance at negligible cost to themselves and the state, people on Medicare will get better service and cheaper drugs, the great burden of unreimbursed care at struggling hospitals will be relieved and insurance companies will stop cutting people off insurance when they get sick and denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.

But there was the concern, expressed by Gov. Beebe and legislators and trumpeted by Republican critics, that the vast expansion of Medicare coverage for poor grownups might bankrupt the state, which must match federal assistance with state tax funds. It was a vast misunderstanding, created by the complexity and variety of the reform bills and by misinformed accusations, but it played a role in the reaction to passage of the final bill in March.

The Kaiser Family Foundation, which is the best authority on health care in America, produced a study this week of the precise effect of the law on individual states as it is phased in over the next 10 years. The quick picture for Arkansas: Few states will get more benefit, financial and medical, and none will pay less for it.

In fact, rather than jeopardizing the state budget, at least for the next seven years the new health law will relieve the state budget. That is, Arkansas taxpayers will pay less to provide medical attention for the poor under the law than they would have if the law had not passed. Considerably less.

Perhaps the biggest impact of the law in Arkansas will be the expansion of Medicaid to cover adults whose yearly earnings are less than 133 percent of the poverty line. In 2014, they will become eligible for Medicaid. Arkansas does a great job, better than many states, in insuring children but the worst job among the 50 states and the District of Columbia in insuring adults.

To qualify now, a person must have children and income no higher than 18 percent of the poverty line or else be permanently disabled. No state has such a low poverty threshold. Many states already serve adults with incomes up to the poverty line, paying heavily from state tax funds.

In 2014, some 200,000 more Arkansawyers will be eligible for medical assistance, and for three years Washington will pay 100 percent of the cost, the state government zero. In 2017, the state will start paying a small share, which will reach 10 percent in 2020. In the six years starting in 2014, an estimated $10 billion will be pumped into the Arkansas economy providing health care for people with low incomes. That will leave more money in their pocketbooks to spend on goods and services and tens of millions of dollars annually in new state and local tax revenues. Hospitals that now must write off these expenses will be made whole.

It gets better. In 2015, the federal government will pick up nearly 100 percent of the cost of children’s coverage in Arkansas.

That will mean an annual savings of $20 million to $25 million in state appropriations, which can be diverted to schools,
prisons, law enforcement and other priorities.

The right response of Gov. Beebe ought to be: Bring it on.

TOP STORY > >Early voting set to start for run-offs

Leader senior staff writer
With early voting in the Arkansas primary runoff elections starting Tuesday, a third televised debate between Sen. Blanche Lincoln and Lt. Gov. Bill Halter for the Democratic nomination for the seat she currently holds remains uncertain.
Lincoln received 45 percent of the votes in the May 18 primary, Halter 42 percent, with D.C. Morrison receiving 13 percent.
Halter has pressed for the debate, but Lincoln has said Halter must clarify his position on the Employee Free Choice Act, which would make it easier for workers to unionize.
Lincoln has opposed the act, and Halter, who has received about $5 million in support from unions, has yet to declare a position.
Halter says only that a compromise is being worked out between big business and labor.
Lincoln has received widespread press and some acclaim for her contribution to the Financial Reform Bill and has used the incumbent’s home-field advantage—the ability to announce projects and funding for things important to Arkansans.
She’s likely to announce this week that millions of dollars in federal and state funds have been acquired to move forward on the Bayou Met0 irrigation and flood control project, important to Delta farmers, landowners and hunters.

Former President Bill Clinton has endorsed Lincoln and headlined a fundraising rally for her Friday.

Halter has based his campaign on voter discontent with all things Washington, on his promotion of the state lottery that raises millions for college scholarships for Arkansans and on his work protecting Social Security as Bill Clinton’s director of the Social Security Administration.

The winner of the runoff will face Republican Rep. John Boozman, the easy winner of an eight-man primary.

In another statewide Demo-cratic runoff, Pat O’Brien of Jacksonville faces Mark Wilcox. O’Brien got about 49 percent of the vote, Wilcox 35 percent.

L.J. Bryant and Monty Davenport face off for the Democratic nomination of state land commissioner. Bryant got 40 percent of the vote, Davenport 38 percent in a three-person race. The winner will face Republican John M. Thurston.

In the Democratic runoff for the nominee to challenge for Rep. Marion Berry’s seat, his chief of staff Chad Causey faces former state Senator Tim Wooldridge. The winner will face Republican Rick Crawford in November.

State Sen. Majority Leader Joyce Elliott faces off against House Speaker Robbie Wills for the chance to face Republican Tim
Griffin in November to replace Rep. Vic Snyder.

Snyder’s former chief of staff, David Boling, who finished third in the primary, has endorsed Elliott. Patrick Kennedy and John
Adams, who finished out of the running have endorsed Wills.

Elliott is seen as the more progressive candidate, Wills the more conservative, but Wills has the endorsement of the Arkansas Education Association.

In Lonoke, Alderman Todd Wheat and challenger Danny Whitehurst each got 33 votes, so voters will settle the issue on the runoff ballot. Wheat and Whitehurst are Democrats, and the winner June 8 will go unchallenged in November.

Those who didn’t vote in the primary can still vote in the runoff.

Places to vote next week

Early voting in Pulaski County at the Pulaski County Regional Building in Little Rock will run 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday to Monday, June 7, with no weekend voting.

At other locations, including the Jacksonville Community Center and the Jack Evans Senior Center in Sherwood, voting will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday to Friday only.

In Lonoke County, all early voting will be at the Lonoke County Courthouse.

From Tuesday to Friday, voting will be from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Next Saturday, voting will be 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and then Monday, June 7, the day before the primary, voting will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

SPORTS>>Jacksonville’s catcher is lone all-state choice

Leader sports editor

Jacksonville baseball coach Larry Burrows would have liked to see more of his players named to the all-state roster.

But, Burrows said, the Red Devils only have themselves to blame.

Junior catcher Patrick Castle-berry was the lone all-stater selected from the 6A-East champion Red Devils. Castleberry was a worthy choice, hitting .430 with nine home runs and 54 RBI and working closely with standout sophomore pitcher Jesse Harbin.

“He’s definitely had an all-state year,” Burrows said. “That’s all you can say about it. He was thought real highly of by all the coaches.”

Castleberry stands alone on the all-star roster, Burrows said, because he had just too many quality teammates for voters to choose from. Jacksonville had five; including Castleberry, named all-conference and three others were second-team selections.

Burrows’ theory was that his players siphoned votes from each other and kept any one teammate from dominating the selection process.

“The voting kind of got spread out between the rest of our players,” Burrows said.

Shortstop Jacob Abrahamson, outfielder D’Vone McClure, Harbin and third baseman Caleb Mitchell were first-team all 6A-East, along with Castleberry.

“That five definitely deserved first-team all-conference,” Burrows said.

Abrahamson batted .400 for the Red Devils, who were bumped from the 6A state tournament by Benton in the first round.

McClure hit .430, Mitchell, who recently played in the Metro All-Star Game, hit .360 and Harbin was 8-2 with a 1.25 ERA.

“I think that says a lot about our team,” Burrows said. “Once again I thought we had the best catcher, infielder and outfielder in the conference.”

Designated hitter/pitcher Nick Rodriguez, right fielder Alex Tucker and reliever Mike Lamb were the Red Devils’ second-team all-conference picks.

Burrows said many of the teams the Red Devils faced were known primarily for one or two players. Searcy, beaten by Lake Hamilton in the 6A state championship, boasted all-state selection Dillon Howard, a right-hander touted as a major college professional prospect while Mt. Home had a pitching standout in Trey Killian.

“If you look at the other teams down the line you think of Mountain Home’s two pitchers,” Burrows said. “You think of Searcy’s two pitchers.

“But when you look at our team we had, I feel, Abrahamson, the best infielder in the conference when you talk about offense and defense. There’s not an outfielder that had a better year than McClure in our conference, I guarantee. Then you look at Harbin, he beat Howard and Killian and went 8-2.”

Burrows said he understood it was going to be hard to get more than a couple of Red Devils named all state, and he said his lone selectee Castleberry was deserving, at least.

SPORTS>>Big numbers boost Devils

Leader sportswriter

Improved numbers and size have led to improved efforts and hopes for the Jacksonville Red Devils.

The Red Devils showed up 64 players strong for their two weeks of spring football practice following a solid offseason. The final numbers will depend on final, second-semester grades and the players’ commitment to summer conditioning, but coach
Mark Whatley has liked what he has seen so far.

Jacksonville finished the last three days minus eight players who are out for American Legion baseball.

“Most of them, we have a pretty good idea of what they’re capable of anyway,” said Whatley, entering his fifth year at Jacksonville. “It would be nice to have them all in here, but we understand there’s obligations elsewhere.”

There has been good competition in several spots, and the squad has enough numbers at this point Whatley said players going one way in the fall is a strong possibility, providing those numbers hold up through the summer.

But one player, senior guard/linebacker Rhakeem James, reminds Whatley of old-school gridiron players.

“Rhakeem James has had just an unbelievable spring,” Whatley said. “He’s just a throwback; a committed football player — unselfish. He’s one that could go on both sides of the football and never come off the field.”

Whatley has spent most of the spring trying to get as many players as many repetitions as possible to see how they respond to different situations.

“We want to look at people in different spots and try to figure out when you get the big picture, how the whole is going to fit together,” Whatley said. “That’s the hardest thing.”

The plan for summer is 7-on-7 games beginning June 10 at Pulaski Robinson and team camps every Thursday after July 4.

With eight returning offensive starters, nine returning starters on defense and a successful offseason under their belts, Whatley said a year of experience and maturity should pay dividends for his players in the fall.

“We have a lot coming back, but we have a lot coming back off a 2-8 football team,” Whatley said. “So that’s yet to be seen how it turns out. I felt like we were in every ball game last year except for two of them. We got down to the wire and weren’t able to finish some off.

“Hopefully, with as many kids coming back who have been through that war, we can find a way to finish it.”

Whatley was pleased with the gains made in the weight room over the winter, and also said the offseason included more running than in previous offseasons. The workout schedule included a combination of muscle-confusion routines, which
Whatley wants to continue.

“I think the linemen are really going to benefit from that provided we continue to do it throughout the summer,” he said.

There will be plenty of proven talent in the offensive backfield, including incoming senior running backs John Johnson and Keith Mosby, along with senior quarterback Logan Perry. Whatley complimented Perry’s performance this spring and noted his improvements not just in fundamentals, but also in leadership and high-pressure situations.

“He’s had a good spring, he really has,” Whatley said Thursday. “Yesterday, he came out and did a heck of a job. He understands everything in and out. He’s kind of at the point now where he’s directing, and he can make something out of nothing now, which separates great quarterbacks from good ones, and I’ve seen some of that in him this year.”

SPORTS>>Interesting chapter to Reed

Leader sports editor

I had my whole column written, then I had to tear it up because I was reminded, even at this advanced stage in my career, there are two sides to a story.

When I heard Arkansas State freshman guard Brandon Reed was asking out of his scholarship, and that his father may have been behind his decision, I made some assumptions.

Here was a kid who averaged 15.1 points a game, was named Sun Belt Conference freshman of the year and was instantly bolting for greener pastures. I had heard Reed’s father and his former AAU coaches were telling him he was good enough to play in the SEC or the ACC.

I was reminded of a vacation getaway to Hot Springs, when I stopped by the Convention Center to check out a photography exhibit and found a youth beauty pageant under way. When I heard of Reed’s decision and his father’s apparent meddling, I instantly thought of the heavily made-up, preteen beauty queens being led around by their grim-faced mothers.

The press release Arkansas State used to announce Reed’s decision basically implicated the father.

“Brandon Reed, through his father, asked for permission to pursue other opportunities as it relates to his basketball future,” second-year Red Wolves coach John Brady said in a statement.

Arkansas State frequently opts for the press release when announcing less than pleasant news. But as opposed to previous bland and opaque statements, there was some meat to the university’s missive this time.

Why? Because this time Brady was involved, and anyone who remembers Brady from his days coaching LSU or, for that matter, who has followed him at Arkansas State, will know Brady is unafraid to call it as he sees it.

And Brady didn’t like what he saw.

“It is a situation that really disappoints me, upsets me, is not right and does not sit well with me,” Brady said in the release.

Reed, 6-3, figured to be the linchpin of a Red Wolves program on the way up after winning just 10 games in Dickey Nutt’s last season and 13 games in Brady’s first.

With Reed, a product of Atlanta’s Whitefield Academy, Arkansas State improved to 17-14 and reached the second round of this year’s Sun Belt Tournament.

Sure Brady is miffed. I would be, too.

But then I read a story in the Jonesboro Sun by sportswriter Matt Roberson. I have known Roberson for years and know he is an enterprising and fearless writer, and he didn’t let me down.

Roberson got Reed to talk — did his job, in other words — and in the process revealed another set of circumstances.

Instead of a young man with stars in his eyes being manipulated by the adults closest to him, Reed, in Roberson’s portrait, becomes a conflicted young man making a painful decision out of love for his family.

The newspaper account said Reed wants to be closer to his grandmother, who suffered a stroke earlier this year, and he said he had been thinking about a transfer even as he was lighting up Denver for 34 points, Western Kentucky for 30 and scoring an
Arkansas State freshman record 469.

Reed claimed the decision to leave was 100 percent his, absolved his father from blame, expressed his regret at leaving his friends on the team and urged fans to continue to support Arkansas State.

Nonetheless, if Reed wanted to wind up at a bigger school, or his father wanted him to, this situation may work out to Reed’s advantage.

He will be closer to Atlanta and his grandmother sure, but Reed also said in a statement of his own he was thankful to God for a chance to play at a “higher level of college basketball.”

Reed is reportedly considering a transfer to Georgia Tech or Clemson, of the ACC, or Tennessee, of the SEC.

I’m not saying Reed is manipulating a tough family situation to his advantage, and I’m not saying Arkansas State and Brady are wrong to be upset.

It may be just the way Reed says it is, or it may be that he is bailing out on a program that signed him when others wouldn’t.

But I doubt it is that clear cut either way. It never is.

I’m glad I was reminded of that.

SPORTS>>Pitcher Evans Panthers’ postseason pick

Leader sports editor

Matt Evans certainly made opponents earn their runs this season.

The Cabot senior pitcher was the Panthers’ lone all-state selection after going 8-2 and posting a 1.40 ERA against a challenging slate of 7A-Central opponents. Evans’ ERA places him in Cabot’s all-time top three, and he added a .397 batting average as the team’s leadoff or No. 3 hitter.

“For sure he ended up being our best pitcher,” Cabot coach Jay Fitch said. “I think he’s either second or third all time on our ERA.”

Evans helped keep Cabot in the mix during a confusing and hard-fought 7A-Central Conference race in which almost all of the eight teams were in the hunt for one of the six postseason berths heading into the final two games.

Cabot was eliminated in its last regular season game at Van Buren.

“Just a great player,” Fitch said of Evans. “We probably would have had a hard time even being in the hunt without him.”

With aluminum bats and a lot of solid hitters, the 7A classification has potential to provide some explosive offense, which makes Evans’ stingy ERA all the more impressive, Fitch said.

“That’s for sure,” he said. “To do that on the 7A level, you look at all the different classifications or conferences, you may have two or three out of the seven or eight that are pretty easy games but every game for us was a war.”

Fitch said Evans had weighed “seven or eight” good offers and is signing with Northeast Texas Junior College to continue his baseball career.

“You’re always proud of that,” Fitch said. “That’s kind of a feather in your cap as a coach and mostly in your program. But that’s something we take pride in. We’ve produced a lot of college kids. The last four or five years we’ve probably averaged between three to four players a year going to college.”

Fitch pointed to former Cabot standout Sam Bates, who is transferring to the Arkansas Razorbacks but will first play for Crowder in the Junior College World Series.

“So we’re excited about that too,” Fitch said.

Cabot had four players named to the 7A-Central all-conference team.

Outfielder and sometime leadoff man Powell Bryant, first baseman Tyler Erickson, catcher Andrew Reynolds and Evans were named to the first team. Center fielder Joe Bryant, infielder/pitcher Chase Beasley and hard-luck pitcher Cole Nicholson were second-team picks.

Nicholson was 3-7 but posted a 2.21 ERA, Fitch said, but was the victim of poor run support.

“Now how do you end up with seven losses?” Fitch said. “He had a lot of our close games we couldn’t quite pull out.”

Joe and Powell Bryant, twin brothers, made a habit of popping up on just about every athletic field Cabot has. The duo also played football in the defensive secondary and represented Cabot in the state decathlon at Cabot High School.

“They’ve done a lot of different sports and been good at all of them,” Fitch said.

Nicholson, a junior, will be the only returning player from Cabot’s cluster of postseason award winners. That means Fitch will be rebuilding in a tough conference.

“It’s kind of sad to see my seniors go,” he said before handing out awards during the team’s banquet Thursday night.

SPORTS>>Cabot’s spring features quarterback duel

Leader sports editor

If Cabot football coach Mike Malham could take his three quarterbacks into a lab and stitch them into one, he might have just what he is looking for.

As it is, Malham is still fairly pleased with the three candidates trying to replace departed senior Seth Bloomberg in Cabot’s Dead T offense this spring.

“We’ve been working three of them,” Malham said before the Panthers’ final spring scrimmage Thursday. “One will be a senior, Zach Brown, but he’ll probably start in the secondary for us. The other two will be juniors, Bryson Morris and Zach Craig.”

Malham said Morris and Craig have had problems with the center-quarterback exchange while Brown has not. But Brown may be needed in the secondary because of other departures from the team that reached last year’s 7A state semifinals.

“Right now, they’re getting equal reps, we’re working both,” Malham said of Morris and Craig. “We’ve had a little problem with both of them on the center-quarterback, just taking the snaps. I’ve never had that problem before. If we bring Brown back over we don’t have that problem.”

Malham said Brown is needed in the secondary because of the loss of the Bryant twins, Joe and Powell, the multi-sport athletes seen most recently competing in the state decathlon.

Plus, Malham likes the arm strength of Craig, 6-2, 195 pounds. While Cabot has been known to throw out of the Dead T on occasion, having a strong-armed passer would give opposing defense more to worry about on top of Cabot’s well-oiled option offense that thrives on misdirection and hard-nosed running.

“He throws well, he throws real well,” Malham said. “He threw for over 1,000 yards in junior high in Monticello before he moved over here and I told him, ‘That could have been the highlight of your career son.’ ”

Brown could be the emergency quarterback, Malham said, and added he and Morris are factoring into the secondary right now.

“A lot might depend on who we end up playing in the secondary,” Malham said.

Whoever wins the starting job, he will have to prove himself proficient in operating Cabot’s running game first.

“A lot will depend on who runs the option the best because that’s our bread and butter on the outside,” Malham said. “Your quarterback has got to be a good one.”

If he can avoid it, Malham doesn’t want his quarterback playing both ways.

“In 7A you really don’t want that,” he said. “It’s tough.”

In addition to Bloomberg and the Bryant brothers, Malham has to find a replacement for nose guard T.J. Bertrand and standout linebacker Spencer Neumann, The Leader defensive player of the year last season who signed with UCA.

The Panthers seniors won their first high school playoff game on the way to a home loss to Springdale Har-Ber in the semifinal.

“We’re just trying to fill all those holes left by those graduating seniors and see who’s going to do what,” Malham said.

Malham and the coaching staff took full advantage of the time allotted for spring practice — two weeks to get in 10 days. The Panthers were in full pads and scrimmaged almost every day.

“We scrimmage a lot. We usually take advantage of having the pads on,” Malham said.

“We can do a lot without pads but we’ve been doing that since January. The first half of is kind of individuals, when you’re going over your different reads; we’re going over our actions, backs are going over their plays. We put it together in a scrimmage in the second half.

“It’s a contact sport. We’ve got to find out who will get after it.”

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

EDITORIAL >>What they do after their primary win

The inviolable rule of politics is that whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, you cater to your base when you are trying to get the party’s nomination and then shift in the other direction in the general election to appeal to a wider spectrum of voters.

Rick Crawford of Jonesboro, the broadcaster who won the Republican nomination for the House of Representatives in the First District, wasted no time implementing the strategy.

Two days after dispatching Princella Smith, the energetic African-American congressional staffer from Wynne, Crawford assured the Arkansas Democrat Gazette that if he goes to Congress, he will never vote to privatize Social Security, cut Social Security benefits, raise Social Security taxes or lift the income cap on payroll taxes. Those are all the remedies that have been suggested for reining in Social Security spending and maintaining its long-term solvency. He said he would cut government spending somewhere else to make up for the looming deficits in current Social Security taxes.

Only a few months ago, Crawford signed a pledge to adhere as a congressman to a 10-point plan for conservatives. He promised that he would end “generational theft,” which is taking young people’s taxes to pay benefits to retired and disabled people — the Social Security system. He swore to vote to allow the diversion of workers’ Social Security taxes to Wall Street to the purchase of stocks and bonds, which became known as “privatization” when President George W. Bush proposed it.

Perhaps this is the difference: The Democrat Gazette did not make him sign a pledge to protect Social Security but just took him at his word. Voters may want something more than his word.

EDITORIAL >>Shame on Jim Keet

We were afraid this would happen. We are going to have to reassess Jim Keet, the Republican candidate for governor whose short tenure as a state legislator 20 years ago we admired for its sobriety and sound judgment.

Monday, Keet started campaigning for a constitutional amendment put up by a fringe group called Secure Arkansas. It would require every state, county and city agency to investigate everyone who seeks a “public benefit” — that is each of us at some point — to verify that they are lawful residents of the United States.

Politicians do what they have to do — in this case be sure you have the votes of your party’s base — but there is a limit. You don’t commit yourself to a reckless public policy that is calculated only to stir hysteria about Mexicans and Asians overrunning the country.

The idea behind the “Amendment to Prevent Persons Unlawfully Present in the United States from Receiving Certain Benefits” is that illegal aliens are lining up at Arkansas schools, colleges, welfare offices, hospitals and city and county licensing offices to cart away our taxes, get a city permit to sell enchiladas or obtain some other social service to which only true Americans are entitled.

Keet has a city license to sell Greek food on Highway 10 in Little Rock, but he presumably has the papers to show he’s a legal resident. He would be grandfathered anyway. The amendment would apply only to future applicants.

State laws already prohibit about everything the amendment would prohibit, but this anti-immigrant group from Benton County wants it all enshrined in the Constitution, where it would stay forever. But what the amendment would do that current laws do not do is require every agency of government to set up an apparatus to verify the residency status of everyone who is to get some “public benefit,” whatever that turns out to be. Would you have to execute an affidavit, as the amendment would require, to get your tax refund? And would inspectors have to determine whether you were truthful?

Gov. Beebe said he opposed the amendment. It would duplicate the prohibitions of current law and set up expensive bureaucracies everywhere to check everyone’s truthfulness. Every agency in the state would make a detailed report to the legislature every year forever on its compliance with the law. Talk about a police state.

Keet had been talking about cutting government spending. If there are people illegally getting Medicaid assistance, a retail permit or in-state tuition status at state colleges, it surely pales alongside the cost of policing the amendment. Of course, if the amendment gets on the ballot and it is ratified, it is apt to be widely ignored because it is practically unenforceable. Our long and tedious Constitution is full of such outmoded and impractical law that is simply on the books.

But the object of such campaigns is not to protect the taxpayers but to arouse their suspicion and hatred in an election season. It will be very successful at that. We didn’t think that was Jim Keet’s style.

TOP STORY > >Beebe chamber recognizes excellence

Leader staff writer

It was a night of well-kept secrets during the Beebe Chamber of Commerce annual banquet held last week at the ASU-Beebe University Café.

The chamber presented the Lifetime Service Award to chamber of commerce director Ruth Couch.
Couch said she was totally astonished with the award.

“It makes me feel rewarded for the things that I’ve done, the fun things and the things that were more difficult,” she said.

Couch said, “It gives me renewed energy to go out and accomplish more, knowing that I am appreciated by my colleagues. I have no idea how they got all the information, but it made the evening very special. It brought a delightful finish to this year’s work.”

Couch received her bachelor’s degree in education with an emphasis in English at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia.

She earned her master’s degree in education at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia. Couch then went on to receive her doctorate degree in English from Oklahoma State University.

Couch taught in Arkansas public schools for nine and a half years. She taught three and a half years at Oklahoma State University.

Her career spanned 32 year at ASU-Beebe. She was an associate professor, a professor, a division chair and vice chancellor of academic affairs. Couch was the first full-time professor at ASU-Beebe and the first woman at ASU-Beebe to have a doctorate degree. She has been chairwoman of many committees over the years. For 22 years, Couch was a consultant for the Higher Learning Commission.

When Couch retired from the university in 2003, she did not slow down. Couch became the Beebe Chamber of Commerce director. She taught two English classes at ASU-Beebe and eight classes on autobiography and fiction at the Shepherd’s Center.

Couch published her novel, “No Bells Will Ring” in 2009 and this year recorded her title as a audio book for the blind. She has edited two novels for colleagues and two biographies.

The Educator of the Year Award went to kindergarten and first-grade counselor Jamie Burns of Beebe Early Childhood School.

Burns said, “When I realized (awards presenter Robert Beavers) was describing me, I immediately thought of all the others I thought would be deserving of this award. And I wondered what my chances were of exiting stage right.”

Burns graduated from Beebe High School in 1974. She earned her bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Central Arkansas in Conway. Burns began teaching at Glenview Elementary School in North Little Rock. Then she taught special education at Beebe Elementary School for two years.

She stepped away from teaching to raise a family with her husband Buddy. They have four children: sons, Josh, Jake, Judd and daughter, Jordan.

Burns re-entered the classroom in 1992 teaching first grade at Beebe Elementary School. She became a counselor at the school in 1997.

She went back to UCA and earned a master’s degree in school counseling in 2001. Burns was a Beebe Elementary School counselor until 2009 when she was transferred to Beebe Early Childhood School.

School superintendent Belinda Shook has referred to Burns as “the world’s greatest little kids counselor.”

The Citizen of the Year Award was presented to Penny Parchman, Beebe’s Angel Tree program organizer.

Parchman said the Angle Tree program a range support with the community involvement of individuals, schools, businesses, churches and organizations.

The Angel Tree program helps make Christmas better for over 600 needy children from newborn to 12 years old in the Beebe area. It also helps families who have suffered a disaster such as a house fire.

The Angel Tree program began in 1981 with the Beebe Junior Civic League. When the civic league dissolved in 1986, Parchman took over the Angel Tree program. She and her husband Lester had two buildings built on their property to store donations.

Work on the Angel Tree program begins in July with the sending out of applications to the school districts to learn which children are in need.

Ian Ellis was the chamber of commerce-Future Business Leaders of America $500 college scholarship recipient. He is the FBLA vice president of public relations.

Ellis plans on attending the University of Central Arkansas to major in business planning. He would like to earn a master’s degree in business administration with an emphasis on marketing to become a marketing manager.

Ian is the son of Troy and Tess Ellis. He has volunteered working with Special Olympics, the Arkansas Food Bank, Arkansas Hospice and other organizations.

TOP STORY > >Crews, Hyde lead NPHS Class of ’10

North Pulaski High School had 169 seniors pick up their diplomas Saturday afternoon at the Jack Stephens Center at University of Arkansas at Little Rock. North Pulaski had 23 honor graduates, the most in the school’s history.

Leading the Class of 2010 were valedictorian Claire Crews and salutatorian Robert Hyde.

Crews will be attending the University of Arkansas. She plans on studying animal science.

Before the graduation ceremony, Crews said, “It is going to be an exciting experience. It will be a momentous occasion.”

Hyde said, “I’m very excited about graduation and I’m very proud of our class. I think we will be doing a lot of great things.”

Hyde accepted an appointment at West Point Military Academy. He said he would like to be in the infantry.

Hyde said, “It is great to be accepted. I look forward to serving our country and continuing a tradition of service. I know I wanted to be in the military. I can’t think of anything else I was serious about.”

Hyde said he was going to be in the Army. He was deciding on either the military academy or going to a college with an ROTC program when he received his letter of acceptance from West Point Military Academy.

Hyde said he enjoyed history and the sciences in high school.

Charles is the son of Col. C.K. Hyde, commander of the 314th Airlift Wing at Little Rock Air Force Base.

Graduating from North Pulaski High with honors along with Crews and Hyde were Derek Gililland, Bria Wiggins, Jessica Arnold, Sarah Dickerson, Nikki Mullen, Wesley Baltimore, Caitlin Wilson, Shelby Kimbrough, Bryant Moy, Ann Treat, Taylor Witcher, Allison Hillis, Kayla Adams, Erika Frost, Jonathan Buzzitta, Myranda Thomen, Sarah McDorman, Tara Taykowski, Mathew Ingersoll and German foreign-exchange students Mortiz Vetter and Maximilian Reinke.

TOP STORY > >JHS grads look back

Jacksonville High School seniors made their final trip to Jan Crow Stadium football field Friday night as students. Jacksonville had 167 graduating in the Class of 2010.

Graduation for Jacksonville High had co-valedictorians Nick Stevens, a National Merit finalist, and William Bouillon. The school also had co-salutatorians Kayla Parker and Jacob Hicks.

Stevens will be attending the University of Central Arkansas Honors College. He is interested in studying law, teaching or politics.

Looking back toward graduation Stevens said, “The night was amazing. I’m really proud of my friends and especially of Bill Bouillon. He and I have been best friends and scholastic rivals since second grade and while it seemed weird at first, I think being co-valedictorians was perfect. It was a true honor to stand as an equal with such a good friend rather than having one or the other coming out on top. Also, the feeling of finality and freedom was simply overwhelming.”

Bouillon will head to the University of Arkansas to study computer engineering. Bouillon had an invitation to attend high school at the Arkansas School for Math and Sciences and the Arts in Hot Springs. However, he said that he chose to stay at Jacksonville to be with his baseball team and friends in choir.

Before graduation ceremonies started, Bouillon said, “It is a weird feeling that it is here. I’m real excited and anxious. It is time to move on.”

Jacob Hicks will attend Arkansas State University. He plans to major in athletic training.

Waiting for graduation to start Hicks said, “It is more than I expected. I though it would be happy, but it’s getting more sad as I see it end (my) high school career.”

Kayla Parker will attend Arkansas State University to study chemistry. She said she was excited to graduate.

Graduating from Jacksonville High School with honors along with Stevens, Bouillon, Hicks and Parker were Meghan Brown, Eduardo Calvo, Ashton Coleman, Allison Cox, Devin Featherston, Zachary Priest, Kyle Stroup and Casey Tyson.

TOP STORY > >Austin soldier competes with best

Special to the Leader

FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — Jumping out of the back of a helicopter and into icy water at dawn with 90 pounds of gear for a swim across a pond is not a normal way to start the day.

But for Army Capt. David A. Vasquez it was just a small part of one of the most intense 52 hours of his life.

Vasquez, son of June Morgan of Austin, competed in the three-day best sapper event to determine what two-man team would endure as the Army’s best combat engineers.

Vasquez was part of a team from the 54th Engineer Battalion at Warner Barracks in Germany.

“Winning the competition is a goal that every engineer should strive for.

“This is our chance to prove to the rest of the Army how strong and capable engineers are,” said Vasquez, a 1999 graduate of North Little Rock High School.

He earned his bachelor of science degree in geology from the University of Arkansas in 2006.

Day one kicked off with the 29 teams taking a non-standard physical fitness test consisting of five minutes each of push-ups, pull-ups, chin-ups and a three- mile run.

After the run, the teams competed in a round-robin phase that included knot tying and identification, various weapons assembly, mine identification and manual breaching of obstacles while carrying a mannequin on a stretcher.

Day two started with a rucksack march in the dark. When the sun came up the teams performed a helo cast and poncho-raft swim while pulling their 90 pounds of gear.

When they finished the swim, the teams demonstrated their skills in a set of events for the sapper-stakes phase of the competition.

They had to run an obstacle course, fire various weapons as quickly and accurately as they could, repel 90 feet down the face of a cliff, breach one door with explosives and another with a shotgun, build and detonate field-expedient charges, and conduct room entry and clearance.

A night navigation event through the woods took the teams into the final day of competition.

The teams ended the competition on day three with a close to 10-mile run.

The run had a stake drive, bridge-building, log-cutting and a tire-flipping course that the teams had to complete before busting through a door for the final sprint to the finish line.

Vasquez and his teammate spent a lot of time leading up to best sapper training for whatever challenges they might face.

“We went on several ruck marches and had various training regiments daily to prepare for the competition,” said Vasquez.

For Vasquez, all the training leading up to the competition has prepared him for even what he might think of as the most difficult event.

“The ruck march will probably be the hardest because without knowing the distance it is hard to pace yourself, and the terrain here is pretty rough,” said Vasquez.

Vasquez chose to participate in the grueling best sapper competition to challenge himself and compete against some of the best soldiers in the Army.

“I am here to compete against the best combat engineers in the Army,” said Vasquez.

TOP STORY > >Sylvan Hills graduation

Sylvan Hills High School had 165 seniors graduate Saturday morning at the Jack Stephens Center at UALR.

Graduating at the top of the class were valedictorian Shelby Holden and salutatorian Joshua Persson.

Holden will attend the University of Arkansas. She plans to major in biology.

She spoke about graduation and said, “It is exciting. It is a big day. I’m excited about starting a new chapter and moving on,” Holden said.

Joshua Persson will attend the University of Arkansas at Little Rock for a year before transferring to a bible college. Persson is interested in pastoral studies.

Persson talked about graduation day and said, “It is important. People make it a big deal and it is. It is a big step in life. It makes you feel accomplished after the four years of hard work you put into it.”

Graduating with honors were Jacob Persson, Deion Lemelle, Victoria Mantooth, Michelle Monroe, Phillip Persson, Candice Harris, Austin Miles, Michael Lock, Adam Harris, Katherine Thompson, Ahmad Scott, Sean Rast, Rebekah VanPelt, Dewayne Allen, Skylar Daly, Mary Huffmaster, Natalie Kerr, Morgan Cranmer, Brooke Fehrenbach, Ashlee Grizzard, Hollie Smith and Kgothatso Fridge.

SPORTS>>Glaude grabs hardware in best outing for Beebe

Leader sportswriter

Griffin Glaude chose the best possible time to have a career game.

The junior right hander and the ace of the Beebe staff improved to 10-2 with a complete-game, 6-2 victory over Monticello as the Badgers claimed their first 5A state championship at Baum Stadium in Fayetteville on Friday.

Glaude’s 11-strikeout, four-hit performance was more than enough to earn him MVP honors, but he also came up big offensively with a two-run double in the top of the sixth that increased Beebe’s lead to 5-0.

Glaude also retired the Billies in order in the second, third and fifth innings.

“They were a good lineup,” Glaude said. “I knew they were going to hit the ball. I just had to go out there and keep battling with them.”

Glaude gave up his first hit in the bottom of the first inning to Monticello leadoff hitter Brandon Matthews and Hunter Lawson reached on a fielder’s choice, but he retired the next eight batters — six with strikeouts.

“Glaude’s one of those kids that he gets stronger as the game goes on,” Beebe coach Mark Crafton said. “He’s got a rubber-band arm. He’s one of the prime reasons why we got to where we are, and we were going to ride on his shoulders until the end. He did an outstanding job.”

Glaude showed poise after Matthews reached on his first-inning single when he grabbed Hunter Lawson’s infield grounder and forced Matthews at second, then struck out Caleb Bryant and Taylor Smith.

“I knew I couldn’t let that one hit get me down, because they have a really good lineup over there,” Glaude said. “I knew they would hit the ball, and I actually surprised myself with the pitches I was throwing and getting the guys out.”

Glaude continued serving up strikeouts in the second and third. He struck out two before giving up a pair of walks in the third, but came through with his third strikeout of the inning, this time against Bryant, Monticello’s No. 3 hitter.

Glaude didn’t know he had 11 strikeouts until he spoke to the media after receiving his MVP award.

“Oh, that’s awesome, I didn’t even know the numbers yet,” Glaude said. “It’s huge. I mean, it kept us in the game. We had said that if we scored six runs in the game, we would win, and that’s what we did and pulled out the victory.”

At the plate, Glaude popped up in the first inning and grounded out in the third before reaching on a walk in the top of the fifth. He was stranded at third, but came up big in the following inning with a long drive that split the left and center fielder and drove in two runs.

“That was quality right there; that was big with runners on,” Crafton said. “He’s done that in the past for us. He came up and got a good hit for us. That double was momentum to carry us into the next few innings.”

Monticello handed Glaude one of his two losses during the regular season, with the other coming against White Hall. But his biggest victories came in the state tournament and especially the championship game.

“I don’t know how he ended up finishing, but he did his job on the mound,” Crafton said. “And we finally gave him some run production. That was probably the difference in the ballgame.”

SPORTS>>’Rabbits already reloading

Leader sportswriter

If the Lonoke Jackrabbits were a Wall Street stock, their index graphic would give the most seasoned futures speculator fits with the losses and gains they’ve experienced since fall.

The Jackrabbits reached the 4A state championship last December on the strength of a stellar group of 15 seniors that included all-state running back Brandon Harris.

Harris, quarterback Michael Nelson and the other departed seniors have given coach Doug Bost some blanks to fill in. But, with the return of a number of players who sat out last season, most notably senior quarterback Logan Dewhitt, some blanks have been easier to fill than others.

A good turnout of underclassmen combined with Dewhitt and other reformed ’Rabbits have pushed Lonoke’s spring practice numbers close to 50, up from 33 this time last year.

“We had some kids that quit the team last year for various reasons, and stated that they wish they wouldn’t have,” Bost said.

“I’ve been pleased with how they’ve been working — wish they never would have quit in the first place, but they did — glad to have them back out here, and they’ve been working hard and want to earn some playing time.”

Bost said Dewhitt’s return should give the Jackrabbits a boost when they begin summer 7-on-7 games. Lonoke will participate in a weekly league in Searcy on Monday nights and will compete in the annual Sonic Air-Raid tournament at Harding University in early June.

The 7-on-7 schedule will include as many as 12 area teams from different classifications.

“He’s doing some good things,” Bost said of Dewhitt. “I’m excited for 7 on 7 this summer. I think he’s going to do a good job for us.”

Bost also said he anticipates playing close to 50 7-on-7 games before the end of summer as preparation for the fall.

Dewhitt appears to be a strong candidate for starting quarterback this year. Tarrell Watson will back up Dewhitt and is slated to line up at receiver. Both players standbetween 6-2 and 6-3 and possess good range, which is a change of pace from Lonoke’s previous two quarterbacks.

The offense spent the first week of practice on running plays and screen passes, and is focusing more on play-action and pass protection this week.

The shot in the arm to Lonoke’s passing game could prove to be vital for the Jackrabbits, who lost a premier running back in Arkansas Tech signee Smith and a mobile quarterback in Harris. The duo helped Lonoke to its berth in the championship, won handily by private school power Shiloh Christian at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock in December.

“That’s where I feel like I’m hurting a little bit, is running back,” Bost said. “We’ve got four or five sophomores, and maybe a senior we’re looking at. We’ve got options; we just need a couple to step up that we know we can count on.

“It might not be these two weeks, it might be on into August. I feel like someone is going to step up and take that spot.”

Bost, entering his second year, said conditioning is not a focus for the team this spring after a solid offseason. A stringent summer workout schedule is slated to begin in early July.

“We had kids who definitely got bigger, faster, stronger,” Bost said. “Coming off the success we had last year, they just want to build on that. They want to keep working hard, and they did that. There were about two or three days where they didn’t work that hard, but out of 70 or however many workout days we had, I think that’s pretty darn good.”

SPORTS>>Wolves stop Lions in 6A

Leader sportswriter

FAYETTEVILLE — Dillon Howard’s tour through the infield never included a stop at the spot where Searcy needed him most — the pitcher’s mound.

With Howard playing the field instead of pitching, Lake Hamilton beat Searcy 9-1 in the 6A state championship game at Baum Stadium on Friday. It was Searcy’s second loss in its second consecutive trip to the final.

Howard, Searcy’s right-handed, NCAA Division I pitching prospect, started the game at third base, moved to first when Reed Haggard relieved starter Preston Tarkington in the bottom of the second and finished the game at shortstop after another late pitching change.

“He had a sore arm still from Monday night,” Searcy coach Clay McCammon said of Howard, who worked four innings of Searcy’s semifinal victory over defending state champion Benton. “There was apossibility we could have got an inning out of him, but it would have had to been a game-saving situation.”

The Wolves (21-6) got to Tarkington immediately with a two-run, inside the park home run by Dalton Daniels, the No. 3 hitter, followed by a home run from cleanup man Carter Greathouse. Tyler Bradshaw hit a three-run home run in the second to make it 6-1 and chase Tarkington from the game.

Haggard managed to end Lake Hamilton’s home-run derby, but walked four batters in the third and fourth innings, two of which turned into runs.

“I’ve got to give Lake Hamilton credit, they came out swinging the bats,” McCammon said. “They had big home runs in the first two innings. I wish we would have played better. Our kids had a good year but they outplayed us; they deserved to win.”

Searcy (23-9) got off to a fast start when leadoff batter Haggard singled to right and scored when Lake Hamilton right fielder Tyler Bradshaw dropped a fly ball by Howard to give the Lions a 1-0 lead.

But that’s where the scoring stopped for Searcy.

“He got us out on our front foot a lot,” McCammon said of winning pitcher Jonathon Rucker, who pitched a complete game with four strikeouts and one walk.

Wolves’ No. 2 batter Levi Runyan walked in the top of the first inning and was followed by Daniels, who hit a drive just past Jared Eades in center field and sped around the bases as Eades chased the ball to the warning track.

That made it 2-1 and Greathouse followed with his drive over the wall to make it 3-1.

Tarkington walked Cody Jackson and Randy Young in the bottom of the second before facing Bradshaw a second time.

Bradshaw, the leadoff hitter, grounded out to short in his first at-bat but found the pitch he wanted on his second trip to deliver the three-run shot over the wall near the left corner to give the Wolves a 6-1 lead.

Reed Haggard gave up a run in the bottom of the third on a wild pitch and Chris Bond relieved him, giving up a bases-loaded walk later in the inning as the Wolves improved their lead to 8-1.

Lake Hamilton got its last run in the bottom of the fifth when Chris Oldner reached on an error and scored two batters later on another error.

“I’m so proud of them I can’t stand it,” Lake Hamilton coach Gary Curtis said. “They’ve done a great job of staying focused and not getting too wound up. It’s easy to do in this environment, you can imagine. We haven’t had many leads this year, but when we’ve had one, we’ve tried to keep getting more.”

Searcy finished with five hits and three errors. Lake Hamilton had five hits and one error.

SPORTS>>Badgers hoist historic trophy at Baum

Leader sportswriter

FAYETTEVILLE – Give the last laugh to Beebe.

The Badgers beat the Monticello Billies 6-2 behind a strong outing from Griffin Glaude to win the 5A state baseball championship at Baum Stadium on Friday.

It was the first victory over Monticello in three tries for Beebe, which lost two regular-season, 5A-Southeast Conference games to the Billies and had to settle for a state tournament No. 2 seed.

Glaude, Beebe’s junior ace, pitched the game of his career with 11 strikeouts, two walks and four hits allowed. He held Monticello hitless a hit from the second through the fifth innings.

“I don’t know if it was the patience, or if the jitters just wore off,” Badgers coach Mark Crafton said. “We got some timely at-bats and timely hits with runners on, and we started getting patient at the plate. We started hitting the ball and got runs on the board. Griffin Glaude went out there and finished it with his performance on the mound.”

Glaude contributed an RBI double to his cause as Beebe (25-7) won its first major-sport state title since a boys basketball championship in 1941. The large crowd of Beebe fans celebrated through the postgame ceremonies while spectators for the next game began to pour in.

“It’s amazing, the fan support we had at this game,” Crafton said. “And we’ve had great support my five years up here. The dedication to what these kids have put in, the work ethic they’ve instilled, the support that the administration and community has given us —it’s not just a team win; it’s a community win.”

Glaude struck out seven in the first three innings, including three in the bottom of the third. He struck out Monticello’s No. 8 and No. 9 hitters before leadoff manMatthews and Hunter Lawson reached on walks, but Glaude, the game’s MVP, struck out Caleb Bryant to leave both runners stranded.

“That was the biggest thing we talked about before the game was that we were not going to let them beat us three times in a year,” Glaude said. “We weren’t going to let them win a football championship and a baseball championship; we had to take one of them away from them.”

Billies starting pitcher T.J. Sanders kept the Badgers off the bases until he walked senior third baseman Logan Ballew to open the third. There were two out in the Badgers fourth when Sanders hit Beebe cleanup batter Adam Naramore and Dylan Byrd drove Naramore in with a single to left-center field.

Beebe loaded the bases when Sanders hit Tanner Ball and Ballew walked. But Sanders, visibly tired, got Lawson Bryant to pop out to right to get out of the jam.

Scott doubled to right in the fifth and scored on Ryan Williams’ single to make it 2-0.

Beebe broke it open in the sixth with three runs off two hits and two walks.

With one out, Sanders hit Ballew, who had already walked twice, and Lawson Bryant singled to advance Ballew to third. Ballew scored on Jared Ashbrenner’s sacrifice fly to center with Bryant, who took second on a wild pitch, moving to third.

Sanders continued to fade as he walked Scott and was relieved by third baseman Sam Cason. That brought Glaude to the plate and the pitcher helped himself with a double to left-center that scored Bryant and Scott to make it 5-0.

Glaude lost his shutout in the bottom of the sixth when Matthews belted a home run over the left-field wall. Byrd, 2 for 4 with two RBI, gave Beebe its final run when he homered over the left-field fence in the top of the seventh.

The Billies (26-7) scored again in the bottom of the seventh when Jordan Tilley doubled and Kameron Smith drove him in with a single, but Smith hit into a force play and Glaude struck out the last two hitters to lock it up.