The Visual Report for the week of March 6, 2014:
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.”
George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
The Juninor High Cairo Pilots beat Meridian High School to claim the Class M Regional Championship on Saturday.
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.
George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Cairo junior and senior high school students got the chance to argue in public July 20 and instead of posturing and raised voices, the kids were calm and used note cards to get their points across.
Eight Cairo students participated in a debate which centered around the theme of “The Colored Soldier and the Civil War, What Were They Fighting For.” The event, sponsored by the Dusable Museum of African American History and the Amistad Coalition, drew a crowd of nearly fifty community members to the Cairo Library.
The question was simple: Why did Abraham Lincoln free the slaves? Both teams had plenty of answers.
D’Erik Menz’s team argued it was a moral imperative that lead to the decision. They argued that because of his Christian beliefs, Lincoln made the order to abolish slavery.
It did not take long for Keyonte Graham and his teammates to find fault with this logic. It was their opinion Lincoln abolished slavery for political reasons only, citing a famous quote from the former president,” If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it.”
Menz and his team were quick to point out, however, this was not the entire quote. They reminded their opponents Lincoln followed this statement by saying, “If I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it.”
The dialogue was lively and professional and Brian Brandtner said this was the point.
“You can disagree with people in the real world … but there is a way to go about it and exercises like this kind of reinforces that,” he said. Brandtner, Cairo’s high school basketball coach, trained one of the teams and he said he saw a lot of growth in his debaters in a very short amount of time.
The teams started practicing July 12 and had just over two weeks to get ready. Brandtner said in the beginning, it was a bit overwhelming but once they began to narrow their focus, the students began to get more involved in the research and put their own ideas out on the table for discussion.
“Once you get to the point where the kids are putting their thoughts into it, then you have done your job,” Brandtner said. He added that independent thought is the goal of any teacher.
“As a teacher, as a coach, you want the kids to be as independent thinkers as possible … You want the kids to think critically.”
Jomo Cheatham, project coordinator for the Dusable Museum’s participation with the Amistad Commission, said this kind of education through action is a big part of his group’s initiative.
“The Amistad Coalition’s participation with the museum is to integrate all forms of education so it is not just specifically focused on the subject, but looks at how it can interconnect to other real, live, relevant parts of society,” he said.
He said each student learned just by participating in the debate and he said the results were clear.
“What we saw on display here … [were] some very intelligent young men who were able to speak really eloquently at times and in-depth in some instances about a topic that they probably did not know nearly as well, about a month ago,” Cheatham said.
Cairo superintendent of schools and team coach Andrea Evers agreed.
“I think both teams showed tremendous poise,” she said. “They had passion, they had reasons behind their decisions.”
Menz said through the process of preparing for the event, he realized there are strengths in disagreeing calmly. Graham said he learned it took a calm, clear point to be effective in arguing a point.
“It takes a lot to win … It takes a lot of information,” he said.
Menz said he really enjoyed participating in the debate and hopes he get the chance to hone his skills on a team. Evers said because of the success this first debate, she is strongly looking into starting a debate or forensics team at the Junior/Senior High School.
–Isaac Smith can be reached at (618)-734-4242
Court proceedings have begun for many arrested in the Feb. 20 brawl during the regional tournament at Meridian High School.
Preliminary hearings began July 10 at the Pulaski County Courthouse in Mound City. Pulaski County state’s attorney Grayson Gile said for the last 4 months his office has been reviewing video footage of the incident provided by Meridian High School and going over eyewitness testimonies. Gile said after reviewing the tape, he has been able to get several strong visual identifications.
“I’ve got several of what might be referred to as ‘Sports Illustrated’ shots,” Gile said referring to the clarity of some of the images he has been able to pull from video footage.
Not all the identifications have been this clear, though. Gile said he has had to postpone approximately one third of the cases so his office can gather more evidence. Gile said he wants to err on the side of caution and have more evidence than he needs before going to court.
“I do not want to go out there and make allegations to try to put forward a case if there is not sufficient evidence,” he said.
In May, the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office released a list of the twelve individuals arrested. They were: Bruce Woodson, of Cairo, Cameron Robinson of Cairo, Cordell Johnson, of Cairo, Darian Engram of Mound City, Darmez Nelson of Ullin, Darryl Jackson, of Cairo, Dejhanane Washington of Cairo, Jemond Pilgram, of Mounds, Kathryn Nesby, of Mounds, Richard Steele, of Mounds and Wilmont Gibson Jr. of Cairo. A juvenile was also arrested.
All 12 suspects were charged with reckless conduct. In the state of Illinois, reckless conduct can either be a class 1 misdemeanor or a class 4 felony.
–Isaac Smith can be reached at (618)-734-4242
Personnel changes was the theme of the night during the Cairo School Board’s monthly meeting June 27.
After deciding during the May meeting to hire in-house for the security position, the Board voted to bring in Anthony Brown to fill the position of Junior/Senior High School Campus Safety and Hallway Monitor
Also, to accommodate for Glenda Jones retiring from the Pre-K in Cairo, the Board accepted several voluntary reassignments. Sharon Neely was moved from first grade to Pre-K, Tena Harrell from third grade to first grade, Angela Coleman from fourth grade to second grade, Houston-Jones from the alternative classroom to Kindergarten, Mary Jo Miller, from Kindergarten to Primary Inclusion and Melanie Pitts went from primary inclusion to self-contained teaching. In the end, the Board posted a job opening for the position of third grade teacher.
The board is scheduled to have a special meeting June 27 to make routine changes to the school handbook and to rehire all coaches and athletic directors. Below is a list of all rehires.
1. Athletic Director – 1/2 time – Allen Pearman
2. Athletic Director – 1/2 time – Ron Woods
3. CJHS Baseball Head Coach – Allen Pearman
4. CJHS Baseball Assistant Coach – Brian Brandtner
5. CJHS Softball Head Coach – Regina Brown
6. CJHS Softball Assistant Coach – Joe Jangjirawat
7. CHS Volleyball Head Coach – Charlotte Loveless
8. CHS Volleyball Assistant Coach – Joyce Ivy
9. CHS Boy’s Basketball Head Coach – Brian Brandtner
10. CHS Boy’s Basketball Assistant Coach – Larry Wood
11. CHS Boy’s Basketball Freshman Coach – Chauncey Hughes
12. CJHS Boy’s Basketball Head Coach – Bernard Brown
13. CJHS Boys Basketball Assistant Coach – Julian Watkins
14. CJHS Girl’s Basketball Head Coach – Regina Brown
15. CJHS Girl’s Basketball Assistant Coach – Joe Jangjirawat
16. CHS Girl’s Basketball Head Coach – Kelly Shepard
17. CHS Girl’s Basketball Assistant Coach – Alvin Wiggins
18. CJHS Volleyball Head Coach – Latrice Wood
19. CJHS Volleyball Assistant Coach – Joyce Ivy
20. CJHS Girl’s Track Coach – Regina Brown
21. CJHS Boy’s Track Coach – Bernard Brown
22. CHS Girl’s Track Coach – Alvin Wiggins
23. CHS Boy’s Track Coach – Brian Brandtner
24. CHS Baseball Head Coach – Allen Pearman
25. CHS Baseball Assistant Coach – Julian Watkins
26. CHS Softball Head Coach – Latrice Wood
27. CHS Softball Assistant Coach – Larry Wood
28. CHS Cheerleading Coach – Keeshia Carr
29. CJHS Cheerleading Coach – Diann Thomas
– Isaac Smith can be reached at (618)-734-4242
Cairo and Meridian High Schools graduated their 2013 class May 18.
The visual report from the week of May 16, 2013.
The Cairo Pilots lost to the Dongola Demons 23-5 in the opening game of the Shawnee High School regional.
Cairo fell early and gave up 2 runs in the top of the 1st.
Speedy Johnson did his best to spark a rally with a lead-off home run to left field in the bottom of the 1st that put the Pilot faithful into a frenzy.
The Demon batters then came on in full force scoring in bunches.
Bryce Gardner and Johnson each scored 2 runs for the Pilots. Gardner also had a key defensive play in the early innings.
With 1 out in the top of the 1st, a Dongola runner tried to take up after a sacrifice fly but Gardner threw the runner out at home from center field.
It was an up and down season for the Pilots and they tried to end it on a high note but fell short.
Cairo has only a few seniors graduating and next year could be bright for this team as they have some key players coming up from the junior high ranks, such as D’Erick Menz.
–Tyler Dixon can be reached at (618)-734-4242