Inside Marshall Sports

Illinois State, hoops sked

Marshall’s first opponent this fall picked up a reinforcement, in former Illinois running back Walter Mendenhall. He had just four carries (for 57 yards!) last year, his third with the Fighting Illini. He has earned his degree in sociology, and is working on a master’s at ISU.

Pencil in Jan. 13 or 14 for the Marshall-WVU basketball game, according to colleague Dave Hickman. He has WVU’s nonconference schedule in the a.m., and the Capital Classic date hinges on conference scheduling.

Johnathan Goddard fund

If you haven’t seen this elsewhere …

Marshall supporters have set up a fund to help defray the funeral expenses for Johnathan Goddard, the former All-American defensive end who was killed recently in a motorcycle accident in Florida.

Goddard had no insurance, and his family is incurring a $13,000 expense.

Donations can be mailed to The Johnathan Goddard Bereavement Fund c/o Chase Bank, 1000 Fifth Ave., Huntington, WV 25701. Pay Pal donations may be sent to

A basketball scheduling note

I see Texas-Arlington released its schedule and has a Dec. 13 trip to Marshall on the docket. If memory serves, the Herd travels to Ohio on Dec. 17 (my birthday is the 18th).

Nothing big, but stay tuned…

Herd third in Phil Steele

Put my eyes on the first preseason mag, Phil Steele… Marshall is rated third in C-USA East, behind East Carolina and UCF. I won’t call this mag the final authority, but Steele puts a little bit of work into it, even with the “Non-BCS” leagues. I’ll take it as a good sign.

Hope all the Charleston QB Clubbers enjoyed themselves today at Berry Hills… the weather certainly cooperated…

And if you’ve watched any high school baseball, keep an eye on Nitro first baseman Matt Frazer. This guy has a left-handed stick that’s just plain different from everybody else, even on that team. … He should look like a Conference USA hitter about this time next year, his senior season…

Enjoy the summer!

Pardon the disappearance …

It’s May and it’s a busy (and kind of fun) time of year, and the high school championships keep on rolling here in Charleston.

A couple of things that have cropped up… Chris Royal’s stay in the Arena Football League was quite short. He was let go today by the Georgia Force.

And apparently, El Paso is going hard after the 2010 Conference USA basketball tournament. It seems everybody knows Tulsa will get that tournament, but I figure the idea is to get into a rotation for later years, and it looks like one is going to form.

The UTEP arena is a bit smaller than all the other candidates and El Paso has the obvious negative of geography. But as I’ve said in a previous column, I doubt you’ll find a place that will give this tournament a warmer welcome — even if the home squad takes a hit. We’ll see if the folks there can pony up a competitive bid.

Herd at the Charleston ball orchard…

Here to cover the Herd baseball team for the final time at Appalachian Power Park. The finishes its last home C-USA series Sunday… As you may have seen, I wrote an article for Friday morning on how the Herd is hitting C-USA pitching better, and I’ll be darned if it didn’t hammer the Southern Miss starter in a 16-10 victory. I continue to be impressed with this team.

In Monday’s column, I’ll throw out ticket sales dollar figures for football and basketball … and perhaps an update on Darius Watts, though I was stiffed in an attempt to contact him this week. We’ll see…

OK, so which team …

… would Bernard Morris fit in the Canadian Football League? Don’t laugh — his agent said that was indeed a possibility…

The Nigel Spikes question …

… is, in all likeihood, which prep school? But if he ekes out a qualifying test score, that makes the Herd’s roster a little interesting, doesn’t it?

On a down note of sorts, I have noticed the Herd is on the verge of a men’s/women’s sweep in golf … for last place. That’s a big bummer. And yes, I care about golf.

I also care about baseball, which brings me to my final note: You *have* to be a little excited about the state of the Herd program. 7-7-1 after 15 league games, with a trip to UAB on tap? Jeff Waggoner, Tim Adkins and crew are doing a nice, nice job. I heard the Herd is well within the top 100 in the latest baseball RPI…

At the ballyard…

Probably shouldn’t jinx it, but the Herd is downing UCF 7-3 in the sixth inning at “The App” today. Tommy Johnson crushed a homer to deep center, to the right of the batter’s eye and possibly in the street.

Football-wise, it’s past time for another scrimmage. It’s all starting to run together… By the way, we have a new poll up on our Web site, dealing with starting times. Surely, 1 p.m. isn’t going to win, right?

Practice No. 9

OK, here goes … First, we’ve got to wonder what kind of Green-White Game we’ll see with the sheer number of defensive players in blue and yellow shirts. Darn near looked like a Mountaineer squad, visually… And then Zearrick Matthews went down (ankle) in one-on-one drills, and watched the rest. He was able to stand, however.

Recapping all those who are being held out is starting to get tedious. Let’s see … Hoskins, McClellan, Harvey, Spillman, Kitchens, Wingate (though he does a lot of non-contact stuff), D. Marshall, Baldridge, Saunders. … and I have to be leaving someone out. Such are the rites of spring.

Mark Cann probably had a better day than J. Garner and B. Anderson. Cann and Garner got to run 2-minute drills, Cann with the ‘ones.’ Cann should have scored a touchdown, but Courtney Edmonson dropped a perfect pass in the end zone. Garner’s possession began with a sack and ended with two dismal incompletes.

Had a long, interesting chat with John Jacobs about the defensive ends (or are they linebackers?) in Minter’s defense. Defense put in some more screwy blitzes, and got to the QBs pretty often.

If you’ve missed it, MU set its home game times — 4:30 except for the TV games and the finale against Tulsa, which is 3:30. Of the road games, the UAB game was set for 4 Eastern, 3 Central.

Basketball-wise, the Florida kids signed as expected … look for a possible signee later in the week, but fear not… the Herd will not go over in schollies. It’ll work out 😉