Serving up a Memorial Day batch of "David’s Appetizers," assorted musings and observations from the sports scene:
The Conway High baseball coaching tree was fertilized nicely this past baseball season.
Former Wampus Cat Sam Tyler, who took over at El Dorado this season after a successful stint at Greers Ferry Westside, led the Wildcats on a late surge to the Class 6A state championship.
Former CHS player R.J. Thomas became the winningest coach in the history of Hendrix’s baseball program, leading the Warriors to a 22-20 record.
Chris Curry, a former catcher for the Cats and assistant baseball coach at the University of Arkansas, led Meridian Commuity College in Mississippi to a 36-23 record, losing in the Region 23 title game.
The roots of success from coach Noel Boucher’s baseball program are going deeper.
The Southland Conference is not sitting still in the new wave of conference expansion.
At the recently completely spring meetins of the Southland Conference, officials have have decided to make exploratory visits this summer to Abilene Christian, Incarnate Word of San Antonio and the University of New Orleans as possible new members. ACC, which was a charter member of the league, and Incarnate Word are Division II members and play football. UNO, which does not have football, is a former Sun Belt member.
Oral Roberts and Houston Baptist enter the league this season.
Also at the spring meeting, league officials decided to award the first- and second-place finishers in basketball automatic berths into the semifinals of the postseason tournament. The intention is to make success in a round-robin regular season mean more and possibly enhance the prospects for postseason and higher seeds in postseason for the top teams in the league.
The third- and fourth-place teams gain automatic berths to the quarterfinals in the eight-team brackets for men and women.
The league will no longer have division play for basketball.
UCA has been awarded the 2014 Southland Conference baseball tournament. The host role circulates among league members on a rotating basis.
Brad Teague, UCA’s athletic director, will move into the presidency of the Southland’s Governing Body.
Lee University, which Central Baptist College defeated in softball to gain the Elite Eight at the NAIA National Tournament, is the newest member of the Gulf South Conference of NCAA Division II.
Lee, in Cleveland, Tenn., was added to the conference by a unanimous vote.
Sports columnist David McCollum can be reached at 505-1235 or firstname.lastname@example.org