Pirates slash Centurions

The Pope County Pirates took down the Century Centurions on May. 16 7-5 in the semi-finals of the Class 1A Regional Tournament at Pope County.

Century gave it everything they had but were depleted by injuries and sickness and could not find a way to score after the 2nd inning.

The Pirates found a way to get the bases loaded in the top of the 1st but were only able to scrap together one run.

Sophomore pitcher Caden Hight found his rhythm after allowing the run. Hight struck out three to end the 1st.

The Centurions got their bats going quickly in the bottom of the 1st frame scoring 4 runs on only 2 hits but forced Pope County defense to commit 3 errors in the inning.

Both teams added a run in the 2nd putting the score at 5-2 in favor of Century after 2 innings.

Pope County found a spark in the 4th inning with their number 9 batter getting a 1 out single. The Pirates went tacked on 4 runs in the inning to lead 6-5 going into the 5th inning.

Aaron Jones came on in relief in the 6th inning after Caden Hight had a solid outing with one rough inning. Hight had 7 strikeouts in 6 innings.

The Pirates found another run in the top of the 7th; they held a 7-5 lead going into the bottom of the inning.

After a 2 out single by Aaron Jones, the Centurions couldn’t extend the game and fell 7-5.

Jones and Cordon Hight each had 2 hits for Century in the loss.

Century will be a regional and conference favorite next season after only losing two starting seniors this season. They are two pieces that Century head coach Garret Wilson will have to replace.

Brandon Jackson started the most games at pitcher and was solid at the plate for the Centurions while Cordon Hight added pop to the line-up and was a leader on and off the field to this young squad.

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

The Week in Photos: May 16, 2013

The visual report from the week of May 16, 2013.

Angela Thomas, right, shares a tearful hug with her son Eric Dent after he his graduation ceremony May 10 at Egyptian High School. Dent said he plans to attend Shawnee Community College and hopes to play basketball. Dent graduated with 30 of his fellow seniors. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Angela Thomas, right, shares a tearful hug with her son Eric Dent after he his graduation ceremony May 10 at Egyptian High School. Dent said he plans to attend Shawnee Community College and hopes to play basketball. Dent graduated with 30 of his fellow seniors. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Lacey Hacker, left, waits for her friend Jade Yates to put on her gown just before graduation May 10 at Century High School. Hacker and Yates were among the first of Century’s 20 graduates to arrive for the ceremony. Yates said she has plans to attend Shawnee Community College to get her associate degree. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Lacey Hacker, left, waits for her friend Jade Yates to put on her gown just before graduation May 10 at Century High School. Hacker and Yates were among the first of Century’s 20 graduates to arrive for the ceremony. Yates said she has plans to attend Shawnee Community College to get her associate degree. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Danny Kohn, left, insists the held of Century High School teacher’s aid Michelle Nale to fasten his tassel to his cap May 10 before Century’s graduation ceremony. Kohn said he plans to attend Shawnee Community College before transferring to SIU where he hopes to get a degree in international studies. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Danny Kohn, left, insists the held of Century High School teacher’s aid Michelle Nale to fasten his tassel to his cap May 10 before Century’s graduation ceremony. Kohn said he plans to attend Shawnee Community College before transferring to SIU where he hopes to get a degree in international studies. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Cairo Pilots third baseman Lorenzo Nelson just misses tagging out an opponent May 13 during the Pilot’s regional loss against the Dongola Demons. The Pilots lost 25-3. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Cairo Pilots third baseman Lorenzo Nelson just misses tagging out an opponent May 13 during the Pilot’s regional loss against the Dongola Demons. The Pilots lost 25-3. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Kylee Wright, of Charleson, looks out the window of the Airbrush Dreamz trailer May 9 in Cairo. Derik Davis, Wright’s mother’s boyfriend, sells airbrushed clothing and accessories out of the trailer. Davis said he primarily sets up shop at carnivals and festivals but said he does come to sell his wares in towns like Cairo from time to time. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Kylee Wright, of Charleson, looks out the window of the Airbrush Dreamz trailer May 9 in Cairo. Derik Davis, Wright’s mother’s boyfriend, sells airbrushed clothing and accessories out of the trailer. Davis said he primarily sets up shop at carnivals and festivals but said he does come to sell his wares in towns like Cairo from time to time. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

Pilots fall in regional quarterfinal

Cairo Pilots third baseman Lorenzo Nelson just misses tagging out an opponent May 13 during the Pilot’s regional loss against the Dongola Demons. The Pilots lost 25-3. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Cairo Pilots third baseman Lorenzo Nelson just misses tagging out an opponent May 13 during the Pilot’s regional loss against the Dongola Demons. The Pilots lost 25-3. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

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

Centurions finish 18-6

The Century Centurions finished the final week of the regular season at 3-2, leaving them at 18-6 for the season.

Century started the season on a hot streak but has had a couple rough games in the past few weeks.

This week Century picked up wins against Carrier Mills, Crab Orchard, and Ziegler-Royalton and had losses against Shawnee and Herrin.

The Shawnee loss was tough for the Centurions because if they would have won, then the SEC Conference Championship would have been theirs.

Despite taking the loss against Shawnee, Brandon Jackson had six hits at the plate and added a home-run last week. He also picked up the win against Ziegler-Royalton.

Zach Sauerbrunn and Brad Wilson each had 4 hits in the 5 games.

The main goal for Century in preparing for regionals is getting players healthy and getting them in the right state of mind. Century is one of the younger teams around with Brandon Jackson and Cordon Hight as the lone starting seniors.

Century’s regional kicks off on May. 16 against Pope County at Pope County. Game-time is at 4:30 p.m.

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

Baseball regional tournament dates set

Regionals are finally upon us and there is plenty of action to come.

Cairo, Egyptian, and Meridian are in the Shawnee Regional.

Mon May 13:

Game 1- (5) Dongola vs. (4) Cairo Location: Cairo Time: 4:30 p.m.

Wed May 15:

Game 2- (1) Shawnee vs. Winner of Game 1 Location: Shawnee Time 4:30 p.m.

Thu May 16:

Game 3- (2) Meridian vs. (3) Egyptian Location: Shawnee Time: 4:40 p.m.

Sat May 18-Championship

Game 4- Winner of Game 2 vs. Winner of Game 3 Location: Shawnee Time 4:30 p.m.

Century is in the Pope County Regional and is the number 2 seed.

Century will play Pope County on May. 18 at Pope County. If they win, they will play on May. 18 at 11:00 a.m.

Follow The Cairo Citizen Sports on Facebook and @cairocsports on twitter to get all the action.

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

12 arrests made in Cairo, Meridian brawl

The Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department has arrested and charged 11 adults and 1 juvenile in their involvement in the brawl at Meridian High School Feb. 20.

Those arrested 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 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.

The Illinois Compiled Statutes, defines reckless conduct as: (a) A person commits reckless conduct when he or she, by any means lawful or unlawful, recklessly performs an act or act that: (1) cause bodily harm to or endanger the safety of another person; or (2) cause great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement to another person.

Pulaski County Sheriff Randy Kern and his officers worked with Meridian High School principal Terrance Gaddy to review video footage and come up with a list of suspects.

Kern said while there have been fights at previous Cairo vs. Meridian basketball games, this even was unique.

“We’ve never had any fights like this before,” Kern said. He added that the number of participants this year was larger than any year he could remember.

“I think there’s probably more that could have been arrested but we didn’t have any information or any I.D.’s on any of them,”he said.

Pulaski County State’s Attorney Grayson Gile could not be reached for comment in this report.

The incident took place after the Cairo vs. Meridian Regional semi-final game at Meridian High School in Mounds. Century and Egyptian were on the court warming up for the final semi-final game when the brawl started and both teams were directed to their locker rooms as county and state police tried to separate the offenders. Police dogs were brought in to help control the crowd. The final game of the night was cancelled and fans were split up based on what side of the gym they were seated and directed to leave from two separate exits.

Isaac Smith contributed to this report.

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

A Letter from the Editor

Feb. 20 was my first Cairo and Meridian basketball game. Since coming to Cairo and covering sports, I was told that this was a not a game to miss. Everyone that said this was right.

The competition was spirited that night. The calls were fair, the action quick, the fans passionate and perhaps this is where things went wrong. Based on all the reports I had heard in the weeks leading up to the game about previous conflicts between fans, I had anticipated a scuffle or two, but not almost ten fights in as many minutes. How swiftly the situation escalated was surprising and disheartening.

Both teams are talented and many of the players are friends. It is a shame these two teams, which are less than ten miles apart, cannot regularly play one another because of years fan misconduct. The rivalry between Cairo and Meridian is as old as the hills and sadly so are the fights.

The Cairo Citizen favors neither the Cairo Pilots nor the Meridian Bobcats: We favor a solution to the violence. We don’t have the right answer but we know there is one and we hope someone will find it.

The Meridian Regional Tournament in Photos

Photos from the first to the last round of the Regional Tournament.

Freshman guard Melvin  Duncan puts up a shot Feb. 18 during the opening game of the Regional Tournament featuring the Cairo Pilots and the Dongola Demons at Meridian High School. The Pilots went on to win their game by a margin of 42 points. The second game that night between the Joppa Rangers and the Century Centurions  was taken by the Centurions. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Freshman guard Melvin Duncan puts up a shot Feb. 18 during the opening game of the Regional Tournament featuring the Cairo Pilots and the Dongola Demons at Meridian High School. The Pilots went on to win their game by a margin of 42 points. The second game that night between the Joppa Rangers and the Century Centurions was taken by the Centurions. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Fans wait to enter Meridian High School Feb. 20 for the first round of the Meridian Regional Tournament. Police Estimate there were nearly 1,500 people in attendance. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Fans wait to enter Meridian High School Feb. 20 for the highly anticipated second round of the Meridian Regional Tournament. The first and only game played that night was between The Cairo Pilots and the Meridian Bobcats. Police Estimate there were nearly 1,500 people in attendance. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Sophomore guard D.J. Weldon, middle, drives through Cairo defense Feb. 20 during the Regional Semifinals at Meridian High School. The Bobcats defeated the Pilots 80-70 and went on to win the tournament. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Sophomore guard D.J. Weldon, middle, drives through Cairo defense Feb. 20 during the Regional Semifinals at Meridian High School. The Bobcats defeated the Pilots 80-70 and went on to win the tournament. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Junior guard Jarvis Woodson, left, junior center Ronald Henderson, middle, and senior guard Devante Johnson listen to Pilots head coach Brian Brandtner during half time of the Regional Semi-Final Feb. 20 at Meridian High School. The Pilots narrowed their 13 point deficit in the second half, but lost to the Meridian Bobcats 80-70. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Junior guard Jarvis Woodson, left, junior center Ronald Henderson, middle, and senior guard Devante Johnson listen to Pilots head coach Brian Brandtner during half time of the Regional Semi-Final Feb. 20 at Meridian High School. The Pilots narrowed their 13 point deficit in the second half, but lost to the Meridian Bobcats 80-70. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Pulaski County police control a crowd Feb. 20 after fights broke out following the Cairo and Meridian Regional Semifinal game at Meridian High School. Police presence was increased and new protocols put in place at all the following Regional games to ensure no more fights broke out amongst fans. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Pulaski County police control a crowd Feb. 20 after fights broke out following the Cairo and Meridian Regional Semifinal game at Meridian High School. Police presence was increased and new protocols put in place at all the following Regional games to ensure no more fights broke out amongst fans. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Linda Blake, left, hands out tickets for the rescheduled Century/Egyptian Regional Semifinal basketball game Feb. 20. The game was postponed because of fights that broke out after the Cairo and Meridian basketball game. Police said no arrests were made that night, though some are pending and no players were involved in the incidents. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Linda Blake, left, hands out tickets for the rescheduled Century/Egyptian Regional Semifinal basketball game Feb. 20. The game was postponed because of fights that broke out after the Cairo and Meridian basketball game. Police said no arrests were made that night, though some are pending and no players were involved in the incidents. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Joppa Junior Tyler Castleman drives past junior guard Zach Sauerbrunn Feb. 25. Joppa was defeated by Century. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Joppa Junior Tyler Castleman drives past junior guard Zach Sauerbrunn Feb. 25. Joppa was defeated by Century. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Sophomore guard Caden Hight, left, pushes past Egyptian defense Feb. 22 during the rescheduled Regional Semi-Final game at Meridian High School. The Pharaohs won that round, but lost the tournament to the Meridian Bobcats. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Sophomore guard Caden Hight, left, pushes past Egyptian defense Feb. 22 during the rescheduled Regional Semi-Final game at Meridian High School. The Pharaohs won that round, but lost the tournament to the Meridian Bobcats. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Justin Prewitt, right, snatches a rebound in the final round of the Regional Tournament Feb. 23 at Meridian High School. The Pharaohs fell to the Meridian Bobcats 68-61. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Justin Prewitt, right, snatches a rebound in the final round of the Regional Tournament Feb. 23 at Meridian High School. The Pharaohs fell to the Meridian Bobcats 68-61. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
The Meridian Bobcats pose for a portrait Feb. 23 after winning the Regional Tournament at Meridian High School -- Isaac smith | The Cairo Citizen
The Meridian Bobcats pose for a portrait Feb. 23 after winning the Regional Tournament at Meridian High School — Isaac smith | The Cairo Citizen
Meridian sophomore guard David Davis cheers Feb. 23 after his team was given the trophy for winning the Regionals Tournament at Meridian High School. The Bobcats defeated the Pharaohs for the title. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Meridian sophomore guard David Davis cheers Feb. 23 after his team was given the trophy for winning the Regionals Tournament at Meridian High School. The Bobcats defeated the Pharaohs for the title. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

Fights disrupt regionals

Pulaski County police control a crowd Feb. 20 after fights broke out following the Cairo and Meridian Regional Semifinal game at Meridian High School. Police presence was increased and new protocols put in place at all the following Regional games to ensure no more fights broke out amongst fans. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Pulaski County police control a crowd Feb. 20 after fights broke out following the Cairo and Meridian Regional Semifinal game at Meridian High School. Police presence was increased and new protocols put in place at all the following Regional games to ensure no more fights broke out amongst fans. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

The Meridian Bobcats toppled the Cairo Pilots in post-season play, but this was not the news of the day Feb. 20.

The story that developed came after the historic rivalry between Cairo and Meridian fans boiled over. Fights between after the game caused the second competition of the night between Century and Egyptian to be postponed for two days.

Pulaski County Sheriff Randy Kern said the violence came as a surprise. He was in the hallway when the first fight broke out.

“I grabbed a hold of one of them and the next thing I know they are jumping on me, on my back and I’m on the floor,” he said. Kern said he quickly realized he and his 11 officers were outnumbered.

“We were going fight to fight to fight. We were totally out numbered,” Kern said. Kern said no ballplayers were involved in the incidents.

School officials from both Meridian and Cairo decided to take steps to help prevent any other disruptions to the tournament. Kern attended a meeting Feb. 21 with school officials, the lieutenant of the State Police, his chief deputy and the principal of Meridian High School to draw up the game plan to be implemented at all high priority sporting events at the high school. At the rescheduled semi-final game and the Regional Championship Kern  and 14 other officers covered all the doors and separated fans as they left the gym in hopes to prevent any more fights, a solution that Meridian School District Superintendent Terry Moreland said was sufficient. Athletic Director for Cairo Jr. / Sr. High School Ronnie Woods was also at both games to make sure no one from Cairo involved in the incident Feb. 20 was let in to the game.

Woods said while these kinds of measures are necessary, he it is sad and these kinds of incidents do more than just disrupt a night of basketball.

“It hurts the kids that participate. It hurts the community that wants to come together to see a good competition,” Woods said. Headcoach for the Bobcats Jeff Mandrell said while the schools can’t be blamed it defiantly hurts public perception.

“I think it makes the schools look bad,” he said. Mandrell said he wishes those who come to games to start trouble would simply stay home.

“You wish people would either go to the games to watch or just not go,” he said.

Linda Blake, left, hands out tickets for the rescheduled Century/Egyptian Regional Semifinal basketball game Feb. 20. The game was postponed because of fights that broke out after the Cairo and Meridian basketball game. Police said no arrests were made that night, though some are pending and no players were involved in the incidents. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Linda Blake, left, hands out tickets for the rescheduled Century/Egyptian Regional Semifinal basketball game Feb. 20. The game was postponed because of fights that broke out after the Cairo and Meridian basketball game. Police said no arrests were made that night, though some are pending. No players were involved in the incidents. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

Cairo School District Superintendent Andrea  Evers said she was emotional leaving the Feb. 20 game.

“My heart is really heavy,” Evers said. She said to have this incident be the bookend to a very good season is disheartening.

“To have a negative shadow cast over their season because of the choices of an adult is just saddening,” she said.

Kern said no arrests were made Feb. 20 in regards to the fights at the basketball game, though investigations are being conducted and arrests are pending.

Woods said the two schools are primarily looking to get beyond this season, after that they will look at how to make sure next year runs smoother. He said several options have been proposed including having no fans attend future Cairo, Meridian games or having a student only game, though, Woods is not a fan of any of these ideas.

“All those options …  are sad. It says a statement about your community,” Woods said. While he sees how dire things may seem now, Woods is hopeful they will get better.

“I think it’s something that can be solved,” he said.

For an editorial regarding the Feb. 20 regional game, please visit:
www.thecairocitizen.com

– Isaac Smith can be reached at (618)-734-4242

Bobcats take 5th regional

Meridian sophomore guard David Davis cheers Feb. 23 after his team was given the trophy for winning the Regionals Tournament at Meridian High School. The Bobcats defeated the Pharaohs for the title. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Meridian sophomore guard David Davis cheers Feb. 23 after his team was given the trophy for winning the Regionals Tournament at Meridian High School. The Bobcats defeated the Pharaohs for the title. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

The Meridian Bobcats won their 5th straight regional championship Feb. 23 against the Egyptian Pharaohs at Meridian High School.

Despite a slow start, Meridian held a 15-8 after the 1st.  Josh Jones was called for his 2nd foul with 2 minutes left in the 1st and didn’t play the rest of the half.  The Bobcat bench held up the slack and help score 17 in the 2nd.

Devantae Price and Justin Prewitt scored all 14 points for the Pharaohs in the 2nd where they trailed 32-22 at the end of the half.

The 3rd quarter was the Jones and Prewitt showcase.  Jones scored 10 for his team’s 22 points for the quarter while Prewitt had 11 of the Pharaohs’ 19.  Egyptian still trailed 54-41 going into the 4th.

The Pharaohs tried to make a run in the 4th but fell short and lost 68-61 to the Regional Champion Meridian Bobcats.

Egyptian’s player of the game was Prewitt.  He scored 30 for the Pharaohs.  Despite Josh Jones and Michael Schoffner scoring 18 for the Bobcats, their standout performer was sophomore wing David Davis.  Davis had 16 points with 13 assists and also added 5 steals.

Meridian head coach Jeff Mandrell said his team, “Lived up to the hype.”  With Meridian’s track record, they normally go far in postseason play. Josh Jones said being part of a team that regularly wins the Regional Tournament is a rare opportunity.

“Most people don’t have this chance,” he said. Jones also said he has to focus and get ready for the Bobcat’s Sectional game against Goreville.

Egyptian senior guard Devantae Price was disappointed in the loss but knowing this wasn’t his last time playing competitive basketball softened the blow. Price said he hopes to go on to play college ball. Price holds the Egyptian single game scoring record.  Pharaoh Head coach Matt Mandrell said his team went above and expectations.

“We exceeded what anybody thought,” he said.

Box Scores

-Egyptian   8 14 19 20 61

-Meridian 15 17 22 14 68

Egyptian

Davis 2, Turner 6, Price 23, Prewitt 30

Meridian

Powell 9, Schoffner 18, Parker 2, Davis 16, Jones 18, Moore 8

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