As we enter a new year this weekend, I couldn’t help but to reflect on 2010 a little bit.
I’m going to give a few of my interesting sports moments or stories that I can think of right off the top of my head. The stories or moments are in no particular order, and this is not a countdown of the top sports stories of 2010.
Isn’t that weird?
Last spring, St. Joseph and Conway Christian girls basketball teams met five times.
The weird thing about it was they alternated wins, starting with Conway Christian winning at home. The Lady Bulldogs bounced back to win their home conference game. Conway Christian later beat St. Joseph in the district tournament championship game, and the Lady Bulldogs returned the favor in the regional tournament title match. Conway Christian won the school’s first state title as a member of the Arkansas Activities Association with a win over St. Joseph in the state finals in Hot Springs. Fortunately, I witnessed all five games.
They finally got the icing on the cake
Former Conway High seniors Preston Purifoy and Kenyon McNeaill couldn’t ask for a better end to their high school basketball careers.
Both players led Conway to a 7A state championship in the spring with a win over Fayetteville. Purifoy, who is now at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, and McNeaill, a Louisiana Tech freshman, overcame injuries and adversity in their high school careers. And, they went out as champions.
Most intriguing hires
I’m a historian and a fan of Arkansas Razorbacks basketball, so when I heard that former All-American Corliss Williamson was going to be the head coach of the University of Central Arkansas men’s basketball team, I was pleased. It’s a good fit for both parties.
The hiring of Ashley Nance was also a good decision by the Conway School District. Nance is a proven winner and she’ll continue to improve the girls basketball program.
Ashcraft puts stamp on program
It didn’t take long for Conway coach Clint Ashcraft to put his stamp on the football program.
The Wampus Cats had a phenomenal year, earning a share of the 7A-Central Conference title. Conway was ranked in the top 5 in the state for most of the year and also garnered national attention by being ranked in the USA Today national top 100 poll for the better half of the season.
It’s two of the best in the state
Residents in Conway can be proud to have two of the best recreational facilities in the state.
The City of Colleges Park opened with a bang in the spring. Conway Station Park is also nearing completion. So it’ll be a busy spring and summer at both facilities. If you haven’t been to either one, go by and check them out. These parks are second to none.
The Central Baptist College Lady Mustangs captured a national championship in softball. Need I say more? I will say kudos to coach Jason Anderson for keeping some of the best local talent to build a solid program.
No longer the doormat of the 5A-West
Greenbrier’s football team had another great season. It’s safe to say that athletic director Steve Wood and coach Randy Tribble have turned the program around. The improvements to the program are visible both on and off the field. No team can any longer circle the Greenbrier game as an automatic win.
(Michael Allen is a freelance multi-media journalist. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)