Saluki Sports Update
By the time this column is being read, more than a hundred former high school coaches, administrators and officials, along with a few others, will probably be home resting after a tiring day of exchanging a few memories, some of which may even be true, at the annual get-together at Frank Bleyer’s property west of Carbondale.
We’re not sure it even has a name, but legend has it being initiated many years ago by a group of South Seven Conference coaches and officials, particularly those from Marion, Herrin and West Frankfort.
Whatever, it’s a highlight of spring for many, including us, and we’ll no doubt have a few details to report next week.
Participants now come from a wide area, although Leedio Cabutti (Champaign) has not attended recently, possibly because it was becoming more difficult to get “air time” with Mike Crews, Paul Restivo and Ron Felling all taking a breath simultaneously.
It’s a priceless day.
Meanwhile SIU’s baseball team is winding up its regular season this week and needing to finish on a high note with the Missouri Valley Conference tournament opening in another week.
Season-long play merely determines the pairings for the tournament which sends the winner to the NCAA’s post-season tournament. That’s the big prize and one which has eluded the Salukis since 1990.
The Valley is a strong baseball league which has been dominated by Wichita State for years. The Shockers are no longer around, of course, but Dallas Baptist is a baseball-only member and has a standout program. That, plus the fact, it is hosting the tournament this year.
It will happen again. Some year the Salukis will be back in the NCAA baseball tournament, but it will require an all-out effort and a surprise or two if it happens this year.