We offer today a small batch of "David’s Appetizers," assorted musings and observations on the sports scene:

Many of us were shocked and saddened to learn of the weekend death of Kyle O’Quinn, a former assistant athletic director at the University of Central Arkansas.

O’Quinn, a graduate of Arkadelphia High School and Henderson State, was a son of Arkansas Sports Hall of Famer Mickey O’Quinn, a pioneer strength and conditioning coach at Henderson.

While at UCA, primarily in charge of the Purple Circle, O’Quinn was known as a diligent worker in helping the university during the transition to NCAA Division I, readily making new friends and acquaintances among the fan base of what was previously a rival school. He was a good man, easy to work with.

He worked as a coach and athletic official in Texarkana after leaving UCA as the result of a budget cut that resulted in the restructuring of the athletic staff.

He was serving as a coach at Texas High in Texarkana.

A memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Thursday at First United Methodist Church in Arkadelphia.

Former UCA standout Tristan Jackson returned a missed field goal 129 yards for a touchdown last week for the Saskatchewan Rough Riders in a victory over the British Columbia Lions in the Canadian Football League, which has a longer field and allows returns on missed field goals.

The field goal return was the longest in Rough Rider history, shattering the previous mark of 108.

Jackson, who was shifted from defensive back to return specialist before the game, had 248 all-purpose yards against the Lions.

The featured topic of conversation in much of the state this week will concern SEC Media Days in Birmingham, Ala.

UCA will get a chance to grab a share of the spotlight next week during Southland Conference Media Day, which will be Tuesday at Lake Charles, La.

It’ll be interesting to see how the Bears, who return the bulk of a playoff team from last year, will be picked in the preseason conference rankings by the coaches and sports information directors.

It’s a safe bet that Sam Houston State, which didn’t lose last season until the national title game, will be the favorite.

(Sports columnist David MCCollum can be reached at 505-1235 or david.mccollum@thecabin.net)