Memphis loves winners, says CBUs womens soccer coach Gareth OSullivan -- though the situation rarely seems that way with a losing professional basketball club and a struggling college football club getting most of the press attention. In contrast, OSullivans squad in on the brink of a breakthrough: an undefeated season. A national championship. Oh yeah, and the squad will play its second round NCAA Division II game here in Memphis.
Got your attention yet? OSullivans squad is currently 19-0 and will play host to the West Florida/Barry winner this coming Saturday at 4 p.m. at Sinaigo Field on CBUs campus at South Parkway and Central.
Its going to be huge, OSullivan says of the tourney game. He knows how much this game can mean to the home fans. Our local community have a chance to come and support us, he says.
The Bucs are currently undefeated at 19-0 for the regular season, and are ranked number two in the nation for Division II. Among the other accomplishments of this squad so far: Set NCAA record for 152 goals in a single season (old record was 129); best ever CBU record and only recorded undefeated record; highest ranking ever by a CBU team; a second straight Gulf South Conference (GSC) Championship; held opponents to 9 goals for the season
; Out shot opponents, 528-81; and outscored Division I opponents, 15-2.
OSullivan says that I knew we were much improved, from the 1999-2000 squad which went 17-3 and took the Gulf South Conference Championship. Part of his confidence came from the nine new faces including a dynamite frosh and a couple transfer students from Division I programs.
And those new people have pulled their own. Junior Margaret Saurin broke the NCAA record for assists this season with 26 and is currently ranked second in the GSC in the nation in goals per game. Also, frosh Anna Rask ranks second in the GSC behind Saurin in assists, shes tied for third in overall point totals, and seventh in goals per game.
The new players join junior Missy Gregg who took home player of the year honors from the Gulf South Conference. Gregg currently holds the NCAA record for goals and points in a season and also set an NCAA record for at least one goal scored per game in the last 18 games.
So Memphis, do you love this team or what?
This past Saturday, November 3rd, on the Memphis University School football field, local footballers of national acclaim held a flag football game to raise money for the United Way September 11th fund. Called the Hero Bowl of Memphis, organizer Cher Payne believes the event was a success. Were still tallying [the proceeds], she said. From everything we can tell, its about $4500. Payne collected money in the form of points pledges, where donors offered fifty cents per point.
The two teams, led by former Maniax head coach Kippy Brown and New England Patriots receiver, Stanley Morgan, scored over 100 points during the game which featured few defensive sets but plenty of football stars. Among them were Buffalo Bills first-round pick Derrick Burroughs, Tennessee Volunteer and now Green Bay Packers player Aaron Hayden, ex-Memphis Tiger, ex-New York Giants receiver, and now Memphis firefighter Earnest Gray, and former Maniax players Ken Druckenmiller and Shante Carver. Also from Memphis Arena2 Xplorers were Jeremy Scruggs, Tim Lester, and former Memphis Tiger and now Xplorers head coach Dan Barto. Filling out the roster were local fire fighters, police officers, and EMS workers.
I worked for the Maniax, Payne said of her Memphis football connections, as well as her time in New York as a talent agent. I wanted to do more than just give a donation to September 11th, to give the fans something to be involved in.
Payne says that Hero Bowl 2 is in the works for next year. Also, Payne says that she has hopes for the NFL to pick up the event as an officially sponsored charity in cities around the nation.
Danny Manning, national champions in 1988, youre so old. Drunk fan to Dallas Mavericks forward and member of Kansas Jayhawks 1988 championship team, Manning.
Im still going. And you paid to see me. Danny Manning to drunk fan who has not Ð reportedly Ð played for a national championship team or an NBA squad.
Youre my hero, MLB 2001 World Championship Diamondbacks manager, Bob Brenly to co-MVP pitcher Curt Schilling. Schilling had just pitched eight innings of six hit, two run baseball before bowing out to his relief staff.
Its sort of unfair to [Jason Williams] when you look at it. Jason has five turnovers again. And three of those turnovers, three per game, were because guys didnt catch the ball. Its unfair to him. Grizzlies head coach Sidney Lowe on point guard Jason Williams after the Grizzlies lost to the Dallas Mavericks, 94-85.
Opening night is opening night. The verbose Jason Williams on the significance of playing for Memphis first ever regular season game.