Former left fielder whose dream of playing for the Atlanta Braves never came to fruition. Instead, worked my way through college and got a degree in journalism, pulling off a rare feat: working in the field of my degree. Began working at The Augusta Chronicle in 1998 and have covered many exceptional events since then (12 Masters Tournaments, the 2001 PGA Championship, 1998 Peach Bowl, 2002, 2010 and 2011 SEC Championships, two of USC Aiken's three golf national championships, Augusta State's 2010 and 2011 NCAA Division I golf national championships and four of Augusta State's Division II Elite Eight appearances (men-2008-2010; women-2004) and 12 Augusta Futurities -- along with myriad high school state championship games). In 2008, had a streak of 100 consecutive days of stories in the paper (from January-April). Honored to win first place in the Georgia Press Association's Sports Writing contest in 2009. I live in Augusta with my beautiful wife and our wonderful triplets.
Posted March 16, 2009 02:10 am

ASU vs. USCA: Two for Tuesday

After watching USC Aiken and Augusta State pick up a pair of tremendous NCAA Divison II Tournament second-round wins, I have a few basketball thoughts and a few non-basketball thoughts this Monday morning.

First, we've got Two for Tuesday. Since October (if not well before then), we've all known Augusta State and USC Aiken were the two best teams in the region. It's nice to see them both continue to work hard to get to this point.

Now, the area rivals will face off once more at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Christenberry Fieldhouse with a trip to the Elite Eight on the line. It's a shame that one team will be elated and one team will be devastated Tuesday evening. But that's life. Stock up on Kleenex and band-aids.

All this past week, AC/DC's "Let There Be Rock" has been stuck in my head. Especially the following verse:

Let there be light....Sound....Drums....Guitar

Awww, Let there be rock! 

Now, let there be Augusta State vs. USC Aiken, Round 4. This has a chance to be a classic. As Dip Metress mentioned immediately after his fourth-ranked Jaguars defeated Barton, his team's tilt with No. 16 USC Aiken will be the biggest game at Christenberry Fieldhouse since the Westside-Thomson region playoff game in the mid-1995 that featured William Avery and Ricky Moore (Westside) and Vonteego Cummings (Thomson).

As fourth sequels, there have been some movie clunkers (i.e. "Police Academy 4"). There have also been excellent fourth sequels -- "Thunderball" and "Live Free or Die Hard."

The top fourth sequel has to be "Rocky IV" when Rocky Balboa beats the Soviet Union's Ivan Drago ("I will crush you!") in a classic. If you're a USC Aiken fan, ASU is Ivan Drago. If you're part of the Blue Crew, your team is Rocky.

Either way, it should electric. Tickets are $10. Early word is the box office at the arena will open by 5 p.m. Stay tuned for more information.

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If nothing else, there will be a new national champion this year. Defending champ Winona State lost in the regional semifinals to Augustana.

In five of the eight regions, the top two seeds are facing each other. Top-ranked Findlay, No. 2 LIU-C.W. Post, No. 3 BYU-Hawaii, No. 5 Gannon, No. 6 Central Missouri and No. 7 Southwest Baptist are all still alive.

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I want to pass along good luck to my friend Jason Scherer who has double duty Tuesday. He is organizing the St. Patrick's Day Parade (2 p.m., downtown Augusta). Afterward, he'll head to Christenberry Fieldhouse for his role as public address announcer. He will be tired, but I can assure you he will get at least 80 percent of the names right for the basketball game.

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And before I let you go, I can't get this out of my mind. Every time I turn on the TV, I see the Hillshire Farm "Go Meat" commercials. These may be the best ad spots on TV in some time. I say "Hillshire" you say "Farm." Go Meat!