March Madness Intramural Tournament Held at CHS

Competition was fierce among the players at the March Madness Intramural Tournament held at Cairo High School on Saturday.  The tournament gave children in third, fourth, and fifth grade the opportunity ro show off the skills the had learned over the course of an eight-week fundamentals of basketball camp.

The camp was put on through a joint effort between Danny Brown and several other volunteers, including members of the Cairo Varsity basketball squad.

“I really felt there was a need to do something for the younger kids,” Brown said.  “They don’t have anything to prepare them for when it’s their time to play in junior high.”

The cost of the camp was minimal for all involved, with the gym being open on weekends and snack being provided by parents and coaches.

Brown stressed the importance of sportsmanship over the course of the camp and during the tournament.

“I want all you to cheer for everyone,” Brown said in a huddle before the first game of the tournament.

The children cheered for eachother while not playing and enjoyed refreshments from the concession stand.  Members of the community were in heavy attendance, filling the East bleachers of the gym for much of the afternoon.

Team Thunder, made up of Trevel Davis, Omarion Barber, and Isaiah Brown were crowned champions of the event.

“We definitely want to make this an annual event,” Brown Said

Kameron English, Demarion Duncan, and William Wilterson watch an ongoing game between peers at Cairo High School on Saturday afternoon. The intramural tournament gave younger students the opportunity to play against eachother and show the community skills learned over the course of an eight-week camp. -- George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Kameron English, Demarion Duncan, and William Wilterson watch an ongoing game between peers at Cairo High School on Saturday afternoon. The intramural tournament gave younger students the opportunity to play against eachother and show the community skills learned over the course of an eight-week camp. — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen

 

Cairo Pilots Take 1A Boys Regional Championship

The regional basketball tournament held at Century High School last week pitted area teams against eachother for a chance to extend their seasons.

Cairo met the Meridian High School Bocats in the 1A Regional Championship game on Friday evening.

Game 6 was an aggressive match up that saw both teams fight back and forth for the lead over a majority of the four quarters.

Cairo Coach Brian Brantner expressed his gratitude towards the team he has worked with for the past several months.

“We’re a really balanced team,” said Brantner. “It’s been a different kind of year. We went up against teams that had more resources than us and we did well.”

Brantner also went on to commend Jarvis Woodson for his leadership skills and tenacity..

“Jarvis is our emotional leader,” said Brantner.  “There’s no quit in him.”

The Pilots were victorious over Meridian with a score of 68 – 65.

At the time of printing Cairo had a record of 15 – 13.

“I couldn’t be prouder of these guys,” said Coach Brantner. “Our schedule was brutal but they stuck with it and it payed off.”

Senior Center Bryce Gardner triumphantly holds the net from the 1A Boys Regional Championship game held at Century High School in Ullin on Friday.  The Pilots battled the Meridian Bobcats for the title  and were victorious with a score of 68 - 65. -- George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Senior Center Bryce Gardner triumphantly holds the net from the 1A Boys Regional Championship game held at Century High School in Ullin on Friday. The Pilots battled the Meridian Bobcats for the title and were victorious with a score of 68 – 65. — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Jarvis Woodson drives past Meridian defense at Century High School on Friday evening. -- George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Jarvis Woodson drives past Meridian defense at Century High School on Friday evening. — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Players fight for possession of the ball during game 4 of the Century Boys Regional Basketball Tournament on Thursday in Ullin.  Cairo lost to Century with a score of 55 - 47. -- George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Players fight for possession of the ball during game 4 of the Century Boys Regional Basketball Tournament on Thursday in Ullin. Cairo lost to Century with a score of 55 – 47. — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Malik Hagler of the Century Centurions  motions to his teammates during game 4 of the regional tournament Thursday night.  -- George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Malik Hagler of the Century Centurions motions to his teammates during game 4 of the regional tournament Thursday night. — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen

George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen

 

 

Cairo Junior High Claims Regional Championship

The Juninor High Cairo Pilots beat Meridian High School to claim the Class M Regional Championship on Saturday.

The Cairo Junior High basketball team is shown after being crowned Class M Regional champions on Saturday, February 1, 2014 at Meridian High School in Mounds. -- George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
The Cairo Junior High basketball team is shown after being crowned Class M Regional champions on Saturday, February 1, 2014 at Meridian High School in Mounds. — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Cairo's Tyler Lewis Drives past Meridian defense on Saturday, February 1, 2014.  The Junior High Cairo Pilots went on to win the Class M Regional Championship. -- George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Cairo’s Tyler Lewis Drives past Meridian defense on Saturday, February 1, 2014. The Junior High Cairo Pilots went on to win the Class M Regional Championship. — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen

Cairo Varsity Loses to Scott County Central 86-65

The Cairo Pilots faced Scott County Central High School Tuesday evening at Cairo High School.

The Junior Varsity squad played an aggressive game, maintaining possession of the ball for a majority of the game.  The Junior Varsity Pilots pushed past Scott County and were crowned victorious with a score of 63-57.

The Varsity Pilots were unable to contain the Scott County Varsity team, losing 86 – 65.

Cairo's Junior Varsity squad beat Scott County Central High School 63 -57 on Tuesday evening at Cairo Junior/Senior High School.   The Junior Varsity Pilots maintained possession for a majority of the game and were able to hold on with the lead for the win. -- George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Cairo’s Junior Varsity squad beat Scott County Central High School 63 -57 on Tuesday evening at Cairo Junior/Senior High School. The Junior Varsity Pilots maintained possession for a majority of the game and were able to hold on with the lead for the win. — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen

George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen

Saluki Sports: January 30, 2014

It’s hardly final . . . and we haven’t taken the time to check records extensively, but in addition to being one of the losingest teams in SIU’s history, the 2014 Salukis may become the all-time leader in “close” losses.

Coach Barry Hinson’s outfit is developing a true ability to play well enough to lose by just a few points.

Check the records to date:  The Salukis lost by two points to Austin Peay and Miami  (Ohio), by three points to San Diego and Drake, by four points to Chicago State, by six points to Evansville, Bradley and Missouri State, by eight points to Murray State, and by nine to Western Kentucky.

It’s true . . . a loss is a loss whether by one or 21, but eight losses by six or fewer points is somewhat unusual.  And, believe me, we’re not trying to make excuses for this year’s team.  Nor last year’s team (14-17).  Nor Chris Lowery’s final team in 2012 (6-23).  Nor Lowery’s second-to-last team in 2011 (11-19).  Nor his 2010 team (15-15).  Nor his 2009 team (13-18).

It’s been six years since SIU’s basketball program has finished with a winning record and that was a somewhat modest 18-15 mark.

That’s not good.  In fact, it’s bad even if this year’s outfit is showing some signs of being competitive.

We acknowledge the fact that Hinson has gone to a young starting lineup.  In SIU’s most recent loss — at Missouri State — it not only was young, but exceptionally young with three freshmen and a sophomore.

The Salukis competed.  They got off to a fine start, overcame several Missouri State leads during the game and were definitely within striking range in the closing minutes of the game.

However, before one gets excited about the future . . . and particularly in competing against Missouri State, it’s only fair to note that the Bears have one of the youngest teams in the nation.  Their leading scorer, a sophomore Marcus Marshall, was recently injured and out for the remainder of the season.  A freshman, Austin Ruder, and two other sophomores — Gavin Thurman and Dorrian Williams — combined for 39 of Missouri State’s 69 points against SIU’s 63.

Bear coach Paul Lusk — yeh, the former Saluki great — has two other underclassmen playing at 6-10.  Lusk is loaded for the future just as are several other Missouri Valley Conference teams.  The Valley, while not necessarily strong this season outside of Wichita State and Indiana State, is loaded with young players.

Despite the fact that the Salukis are comparatively young, there’s no guarantee that they’re going to wind up being the league’s next pre-season choice for championship honors.  Or the following season.

Yet, it’s first things first and the Salukis need to win a few games this season, by a single point or whatever.  Win a few games and avoid another single-digit win total.  That’s a truly tough figure to hide and fortunately there’s only been a few in SIU’s basketball history.

The one we have trouble with is the 1980 record of 7-20 which came after a 7-2 start, including an opening win over Memphis State.  We still haven’t figured that one out and don’t even try any longer.
Fred Huff| For The Cairo Citizen

St. Louis Cardinals’ Logo Has Roots in Cairo

With the St. Louis Cardinals currently in The World Series, fans from the regions are rejoicing and hoping for victory over the Boston Red Sox.  What many from the region do not know is that the Cardinal’s iconic logo has roots in Cairo.

The emblem, which depicts two fighting red birds facing eachother perched on a baseball bat, was inspired by a table centerpiece created by Allie May Schmidt in the winter of 1921.  Schmidt got the idea for the decoration after observing two red birds sharing a branch outside her window.

Once prepared, the decorations were used as centerpieces during a fellowship dinner at the Ferguson Presbyterian Church.  The guest speaker for the gathering was Branch Rickey, the Cardinals’ field manager and vice-president.

After seeing the decorations the idea was sparked by Rickey.  At the time, the Cardinals’ uniform only features the words ‘Cardinals’ during home games, and ‘St. Louis’ on the road.

After conferring with Schmidt’s father and a St. Louis-based art firm, Woodward and Tiernan Printing Co., the logo was drawn up and selected by Rickey.  Soon after, the design found it’s way onto the team’s jerseys.

Allie May Schmidt would later marry Clarence L. Keaton , of Cairo, a chairman of a committee that would later persuade Cardinals team owner Sam Breadon to use Cairo as their site for spring training.  Because of travel restrictions in place during the war, the team was inclined to stay closer to it’s home.

In the winter of 1943 the Cardinals traveled to Cairo for their pre-season practice.  The town was buzzing with prosperity and excitement.  A reporter from the St. Louis-Star Times was on hand to document the events, including Schmidt’s introduction to some of the players adorned with her design idea.

While the origin of the design and the story surrounding it is a lesser-known part of baseball history, several in the area preserve the story.  The Cairo Custom House Museum houses several artifacts documenting the story.

Louise Ogg, a local historian and employee of The Custom House remembers the banquet where the design was concieved fondly.  She was tapped to serve the event by a teacher.

“It was a big opportunity, I felt,” said Ogg.  “I just think it’s neat that someone from Cairo had a hand in designing the logo.”

Ogg, who has worked at The Custom House since 1983, believes the story is a rich part of Cairo’s history.

Louise Ogg displays old Cardinals' logos at The Custom House Museum in Cairo. -- George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Louise Ogg displays old Cardinals’ logos at The Custom House Museum in Cairo. — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen

George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen

The Week in Photos: September 12, 2013

The visual report for the week of September 12, 2013

Michael Smothers warms up for the Cache River Calling Contest.  Smothers won the contest taking home $500 and a trophy.  -- George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Michael Smothers warms up for the Cache River Calling Contest. Smothers won the contest taking home $500 and a trophy. — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen

 

Area residents partake in a guided canoe tour through the Cache River Wetlands on Saturday, September 7.  The tours allowed participants to explore the unique and fascinating environment while enjoying a warm and sunny afternoon.
Area residents partake in a guided canoe tour through the Cache River Wetlands on Saturday, September 7. The tours allowed participants to explore the unique and fascinating environment while enjoying a warm and sunny afternoon. — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Karen Mangan of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service leads a tour through the Cache River Wetlands Saturday.  The tours were part of Cache River Days in Ullin.  The area has been deemed a Wetland of International Importance and features a wide variety of animal and plant life.  One of the highlights of the tour was the opportunity to behold the state champioin Bald Cypress tree which is over one thousand years old. -- George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Karen Mangan of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service leads a tour through the Cache River Wetlands Saturday. The tours were part of Cache River Days in Ullin. The area has been deemed a Wetland of International Importance and features a wide variety of animal and plant life. One of the highlights of the tour was the opportunity to behold the state champioin Bald Cypress tree which is over one thousand years old. — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Meghan Smith of Jonesboro was crowned Senior Miss Cache River Friday at the Cache River Days beauty pageant held at Leona Brust Civic Center in Ullin. -- George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Meghan Smith of Jonesboro was crowned Senior Miss Cache River Friday at the Cache River Days beauty pageant held at Leona Brust Civic Center in Ullin. — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
(Left to Right) Mallory Ozment, Lauren Taake, Meghan Smith, and Jayci Needling pose for a photo after being crowned royalty at the 2013 Miss Cache River Pageant. -- George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
(Left to Right) Mallory Ozment, Lauren Taake, Meghan Smith, and Jayci Needling pose for a photo after being crowned royalty at the 2013 Miss Cache River Pageant. — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
A spectator takes a photo of the newly crowned royalty during the 2013 Cache River Days pageant. -- George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
A spectator takes a photo of the newly crowned royalty during the 2013 Cache River Days pageant. — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Lilly Levins, 4, of Miller City is comforted by her mother after judging at the 2013 Cache River Days pageant. -- George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Lilly Levins, 4, of Miller City is comforted by her mother after judging at the 2013 Cache River Days pageant. — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Keysha Brown, 2, of Pulaski walks the runway at the 2013 Cache River Days pageant held at the Leona Brust Civic Center in Ullin. -- George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen.
Keysha Brown, 2, of Pulaski walks the runway at the 2013 Cache River Days pageant held at the Leona Brust Civic Center in Ullin. — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen.
Lauren Taake was crowned Miss Cache River Friday at Leona Brust Civic Center in Ullin.  First runner up was Olivia Gordon.  Second runner up was Clare Bunyan. -- George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Lauren Taake was crowned Miss Cache River Friday at Leona Brust Civic Center in Ullin. First runner up was Olivia Gordon. Second runner up was Clare Bunyan. — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Jayci Needling of Jonesboro was crowned Little Miss Cache River on Friday at the Leona Brust Civic Center in Ullin. -- George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Jayci Needling of Jonesboro was crowned Little Miss Cache River on Friday at the Leona Brust Civic Center in Ullin. — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen

 

Mallory Ozment of Ullin poses for a photograph after being crowned Little Miss Cache River on Friday. -- George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Mallory Ozment of Ullin poses for a photograph after being crowned Little Miss Cache River on Friday. — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen

 

Shelby Scane picks out a loaf of bread at the Helping Hands Food Pantry in Tamms.  The pantry opens its doors every Thursday and allows area residents to recieve food in times of need. -- George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Shelby Scane picks out a loaf of bread at the Helping Hands Food Pantry in Tamms. The pantry opens its doors every Thursday and allows area residents to recieve food in times of need. — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Samari Smith and Khalia Washam share a laugh  in the dugout before their softball game.  The Cairo Pilots lost to Egyptian School 9-2.
Samari Smith and Khalia Washam share a laugh in the dugout before their softball game. The Cairo Pilots lost to Egyptian School 9-2.

 

 

 

 

 

Camp teaches more than skills on the court

Brian Branter hopes to pass on more than basketball skills with his summer camp.

Cairo High School basketball coach Brian Brantner, middle, addresses camp goers June 14 at Cairo High School during his two week summer basketball camp. Brantner said  the camp was an opportunity to talk about life lessons with kids. “Basketball a lot of times is a metaphor for life,” he said. He worked with students from grades 3-8 during the camp and hopes to host a second two week session at the end of the summer but has not finalized the details. – Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Cairo High School basketball coach Brian Brantner, middle, addresses camp goers June 14 at Cairo High School during his two week summer basketball camp. Brantner said the camp was an opportunity to talk about life lessons with kids. “Basketball a lot of times is a metaphor for life,” he said. He worked with students from grades 3-8 during the camp and hopes to host a second two week session at the end of the summer but has not finalized the details. – Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

Local hoopster hosts charity tournament

More than 60 basketball players from the area converged at Meridian Elementary School June 1 and 2 for the 1st Annual Bobcat Hoopfest.

Eight teams played games all day June 1 and into the night on the 2nd, with the Championship game started at 8:30 p.m.

The final game of the tournament showcased the red team against the blue team. The red team had local players such as Isiah Jones, RJ Williams, DJ Weldon, Jared Staples, and former SIU player Nick Evans.

Darius Brown, formerly of Cairo, also played for the red team. Brown will join Josh “Joddy” Jones at Odessa College in the fall.

The blue team had players from outside the Pulaski County area but had several talented high school athletes.

The Kissing Brothers from Crab Orchard High School were three big players for the blue team. The three brothers each scored over 1,500 points in their high school careers. Youngest brother Ben scored over 2,300 and has the school record for points at Crab Orchard.

After 40 minutes of competitive play, the red team came away with the victory 49-45.

Red teams Ben Kissing led both teams in scoring with 28 in the final but his older brother Ray was the talk of the tournament.

The blue team rallied behind their leading scorer Isaih Jones who had 12. Nick Evans had 11 while DJ Weldon had back to back three point baskets to finish with 6.

A bigger story than the championship was the condition of the playing surface. It was very wet. Players fell countless time and luckily no one came away with any injuries. The location of the tournament and the playing surface could be a concern in the coming years of the Bobcat Hoopfest.

There were many more memorable performances from the weekend; Josh Jones had 33 points and 13 rebounds in a game for his team.

The money raised from the tournament will go to the Meridian Elementary school to purchase new athletic uniforms.

This was a tournament that was run well and will continue to be a success for many years to come. Congratulations to all the teams that participated in this competitive tournament. 

–Tyler Dixon can be reached at (618)-734-4242

Egyptian senior makes it to state

23a_track001_webAlex McCrite, a recent senior at Egyptian High School. represented Southern Illinois at the State Track and Field Meet held at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Ill. May 23. McCrite Qualified for State by tacking second place at the high jump at the Sectional at Nashville High School May 17. McCrite’s personal best in the high jump this season is 6’8”. He also placed fourth in the long jump with a jump of 19’4”.

Alex has had a great track career at Egyptian. He holds the school record for the 800 meter, 1600 meter and the 3200 meter run and high jump. He has competed as an individual for the last two track seasons. McCrite also participated in cross country, baseball and basketball.