Originally created 05/17/98

Local buzz: Mercogliano leaves too many hats to be filled

Who will miss Frank Mercogliano most?

Will it be Clint Bryant, the Augusta State athletic director, as he begins the search for a new sports information director?

Will it be the Augusta GreenJackets, who must not only find an official scorer but, more importantly, someone to keep the Lake Olmstead Stadium crowd entertained with an assortment of tunes and comical sound effects?

Will it be the South Atlantic League, which twice recruited Mercogliano as a fill-in umpire when illness and injury knocked out two different Blues during a two-week period last summer?

Will it be the braintrust at Jones Intercable and WRDW radio, folks who hired Mercogliano, a guy with little broadcasting experience, to handle the play-by-play of local sporting events, then watched him run circles around some of the so-called pros in this one-horse town?

Will it be The Chronicle sports department? Not only did we count on him the past four years for everything Augusta State sports, but we could also always call on Frank to cover that big high school football game we otherwise wouldn't have had the manpower to staff ourselves.

When it comes to local sports, Frank has literally done it all, donning such a wide variety of hats that, sometimes, you'd forget his real job was serving as the SID at ASU.

Fittingly, in the middle of a GreenJackets game last week, the native New Yorker who grew up in Plantation, Fla., accepted the SID job at Division I Idaho State in Pocatello. Former NFL cornerback and CBS color analyst Irv Cross is ISU's athletic director and Mercogliano's new boss.

Why Idaho? His wife, Melissa, is a native of Boise. So, this is more than just a move up the ladder to a D-I school. It's also a great move for his family.

So Frank, no potato jokes here. Just the best of luck. Augusta will miss you. ...

It's been a great month for golfers named Jim Dent.

Last weekend, Laney High and Paine College alumnus Jim Dent Sr. recorded his 12th Senior PGA Tour victory at the Home Depot Invitational.

The previous weekend (May 3), oldest son Jim Jr. was the Division II medalist at the National Minority College golf championship in Florida.

The younger Dent, who attended Lakeside before his family moved to Tampa, is a junior at Talladega (Ala.) College. The 22-year-old, whose driving average is 280 yards, plans to give the PGA Tour Qualifying School a try next year. ...

Is Samantha Jo Storey the youngest girl in the world to make an unassisted triple play?

They think so in McCormick.

The 8-year-old from Plum Branch. S.C., plays second base for the Braves of the McCormick County Recreation Department League, and she accomplished the rarest of defensive feats on May 5 at Westowne Field in McCormick.

With the bases loaded with Red Sox, the Long Cane Academy third grader made a diving over-the-shoulder catch in short center field. She then tagged second base to retire the runner who had already rounded third, then caught another runner attempting to scramble back to first base to finish it off.

Keeping in mind only nine triple plays have been turned in major league history, we'd like to see Samantha's glovework recognized.

How does throwing out the first pitch at a minor league game and tickets for the whole family? Hope the GreenJackets agree. ...

The Augusta Lynx booster club means business. Founder Jeff Morgan tells us the group is already more than 100 members strong with several projects underway, including an Adopt-a-Highway campaign. Their next meeting is May 28, 7 p.m., at the Woodcrest Apartments clubhouse (1811 Sibley Rd.).

Got an item of local interest? Please share it with us. EMail: robm@altavista.net. Or FAX us at 706-823-3408.


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