Altitude built on attitude at Wooddale

middleschoolfootballby Andre Mitchell
Special to The New Tri-State Defender

This week, The New Tri-State Defender's middle schools spotlight is on Wooddale Middle School, where head coach Danny Pogue and the Eagles have their sights set on a successful season.

Tri-State Defender: What do you expect your team to accomplish this season?

Danny Pogue: I expect this year's squad to bring a championship trophy and plaque back to Wooddale Middle.


TSU – ‘with making up to do’ – downs JSU

SHC-TSULess than 24 hours before kick-off, Southern Heritage Classic organizers – alerted to a forecast of severe thunderstorms – directed all tailgaters to evacuate their encampments near Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.

The storm hit with strong winds, thunder and lightning that sparked fire from the brand new scoreboard. But when the sun rose on "Classic Day," there was no indication of any threat by the forces of nature.


‘Hurt’ Tigers look to heal against MTSU

by J.R. Moorhead
Special to The New Tri-State Defender

After a humiliating loss to UT-Martin in week one, it seemed as if there was nowhere to go but up for the University of Memphis. And although the Tigers lost week to Arkansas State, Memphis looked much better in all aspects of the game.

The Tigers have managed to take the lead into halftime in both of their games so far, but their offense seems to fizzle out in the second half. The next chance to get that rectified comes Saturday (Sept. 15) at 6 p.m. when Middle Tennessee State University visits Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.


Southern Heritage Classic ‘Ambassadors’ make it happen

SHCvolsFred Jones and his staff stage one of the region's most highly anticipated spectacles each fall: the Southern Heritage Classic Weekend. The mainstay's centerpiece is a long-held tradition of rivalry on the football field between Jackson State University in Jackson, Miss., and Nashville's Tennessee State University.

Add to that the pageantry of luncheons, fashion shows, celebrity performances, champaign receptions and a fiercely-performed "Battle of the Bands." The result is a multi-million-dollar affair complete with thousands of alumni and students who converge on the city to witness it all.


Tigers could use a kick-start

Tigers-Defenseby J.R. Moorhead
Special to The New Tri-State Defender

Over 39,000 fans filled the stands last Saturday (Sept. 1) to get their first glimpse of the newly renovated Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium and the 2012 Memphis Tigers football team. Halfway through the third quarter, however, this first take was cut short for many because of a storm front that rolled through bringing lightening that forced a 90-minute delay.

That's not to say the entertainment stopped. With field security in hot pursuit, many students took turns running onto the field and sliding head first across the Memphis emblem at the fifty-yard line.


Tigers face climb to respect as college football returns

Jumbotron-1by J.R. Moorhead
Special to The New Tri-State Defender

What's the worst time of the year for sports fans? Many would say the doldrums that are post-NBA finals excitement and mid-season baseball coupled with being able to smell football in the air. This year, sports lovers were able to soothe their pain with the Summer Olympics.

Still, the wait for college football season to begin was still weighing heavy on their minds. It's like that feeling they used to get as children the night before Christmas. Now, they are all grown-up and today (Aug. 30) is their new favorite holiday. And it doesn't matter if they've been naughty or nice because FOOTBALL IS BACK!


Elliot Perry spices Celebrity Sports Breakfast

ePerryby Andre Mitchell
Special to The New Tri-State Defender

A breakfast of fried chicken, waffles, eggs and juice mixed with a guest appearance by Quincy Pondexter of the Memphis Grizzlies and spiced by a verbal challenge from Elliot Perry helped make for a hearty case of outreach at the annual Celebrity Sports Breakfast last Saturday (Aug. 25).

This year's annual sports breakfast was held on the campus of The LeMoyne-Owen College (LOC) in the newly renamed Bruce Hall/Jerry C. Johnson Gymnasium. As usual, it was a key element of the 2012 Hank Aaron Celebrity Sports weekend, benefiting the United Negro College Fund and the college.


Coach ‘T’ makes the cut

CoachT-2by Andre Mitchell
Special to The New Tri-State Defender

When Steve Harvey's new daytime TV talk show debuts Sept. 4, former Memphis-area high school football coach, Tim Thompson, is scheduled to make a guest appearance – as an author. Here he talks with The New Tri-State Defender about his new book – "The Locker Room" – and how he hooked up with Harvey.

Tri-State Defender: Coach 'T,' what do you say to people who still doubt you and your ability after taking lack luster programs at several schools – Westwood, Melrose, Fayette-Ware (Fayette County) – and turning them around?


New Tigers coach out to change football culture

Coach-Justin-Fuenteby J.R. Moorhead
Special to The New Tri-State Defender

After a disappointing 2011 campaign, the University of Memphis injected change into the football program.

The biggest news of the off-season was the announcement that the Tigers would be joining the Big East Conference. Many had embraced the notion that Memphis might miss out on a bid to a bigger conference during all the conference shifting and realigning,

Another change, more directly pertaining to football, was the replacement of head coach Larry Porter with new head coach Justin Fuente.


Dwight Howard emerges as new face of Lakers

dwighthowardby Kenneth Miller

From Watts to South Central, to Inglewood, to Hawthorne and beyond, Lakers fans are rejoicing in the acquisition of superstar big man Dwight Howard joining the storied basketball franchise.

It is one of those moments that sort of transcends your normal sports story. Not as important as the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. assassination or the presidential election of Barack Obama, but you remember where you were when you heard about it.


Middle school football jamboree – 10 minutes and visions of glory

MSfootballJamboreeby Andre Mitchell
Special to The New Tri-State Defender

One 10-minute period – that's all the football teams in the Memphis Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) middle school, season-opening jamboree were given as they tried to lay claim to who at least looks like they might be a formidable opponent and/or "the team to beat."

Fairgrounds Stadium played host for the 2012 version of the annual event last Friday and Saturday (Aug. 10-11).


The Olympics prove consumerism is a professional sport

by Cheryl Pearson-McNeil
NNPA News Service

If you're one of the millions of viewers who watched the Olympics recently, you're not alone. Nielsen research shows that the all-important, mega-produced opening ceremony in London garnered a stunning 40.7 million total U.S. viewers (African Americans made up 3 million of those watching), annihilating all previously held records for a summer Olympics broadcast.


Baseball in DC: More than the ball is white

Regular readers of this column know that I am a "born again" baseball fan. I grew up on baseball in New York but lost interest during my teen years. In 2000, I reconnected with baseball through a reintroduction, of sorts, to the work of the late, great Curt Flood, the St. Louis Cardinals outfielder who took on Major League Baseball over their system of indentured servitude called "the reserve clause."