Southeastern baseball coach Mike Metheny was recognized by the Oklahoma Senate Tuesday afternoon after becoming NCAA Division II’s all-time winningest coach.
Metheny was born in a log cabin, did his homework by light from the fireplace, walked to school barefooted, often in snow and ice, 17 miles one way and uphill both ways …
… and now he’s atop the mountain all alone.
It’s difficult to get your head around that honor. Despite being coach of the year numerous times, being a member of the Southeastern Athletics Hall of Fame and the NAIA Hall of Fame and winning the NCAA D-II World Series in 2000 … it’s still difficult to comprehend winning more D-II games than any baseball coach in America.
His overnight success came during his 37th season in the third-base coaching box and by a quirk of scheduling, the big win came at the Ballpark in Durant.
Clip and save the following for future trivia-quiz answers:
March 31, 2017
9-1 win over Harding University at the Ballpark in Durant
Winning pitcher: Scott Richards
Losing pitcher: Austin Allen
Time of game: 2:25
Winning run: Hunter Harrison on Jett Swigart’s 2-run single to right field in the first inning
Winning coach: Mike Metheny
Wow factor: Off the charts
ANOTHER SOUTHEASTERN FIRST came Wednesday morning when coach Shawn Hamil’s No. 22 young ladies logged a 5-2 win over No. 33 New York Institute of Technology in the first round of the NCAA D-II tennis National finals in Altamonte Springs, Florida.
More firsts: It was the first trip to the National Finals for the Southeastern women (21-2) and, of course, the first victory at thatlevel.
The team has now advanced to the Final Eight and put Southeastern into an 8 a.m. match today against Hawaii Pacific.
Hamil has been named 2017 ITA Central Region Coach of the Year.
Hamill was also named the Great American Conferencee Coach of the Year in women’s tennis to go along with his men’s GAC titles.
SOUTHEASTERN’S HAYDEN FOSTER, playing as an individual, shot a 2-over-par 74 in the first round of the Central/Midwest Super Regional in Axtell, Nebraska.
OTHER THAN THIS, not much going on in Southeastern sports.
RIVERON, YURK AND MACKIE make up the new instant replay crew for the NFL.
Sounds like a legal team and that might not be a bad idea.
Shortly after the NFL moved to a more centralized reply procedure designed to speed up the process, there was a change in personnel.
Dean Blandino was the league’s senior vice-president of officiating. Shortly after the NFL decided to move the final say on all replay decisions to the Art McNally GameDay Central room, Blandino stepped down from his VP position to pursue other opportunities and probably also to spend more time with his family.
Albert Riveron is now the NFL’s senior vice-president of officiating. Russell Yurk is now the vice-president of instant replay.
Poor old Mackie didn’t get a title, or at least didn’t have it listed other than that he is a talented, knowledgeable instant replay and officiating expert like the others.
The team of Riveron, Yurk and Mackie will have the final say on all replay decisions, along with the consultation of referees.
Blandino is no dummy. He will not have to be in the room with the game-day crash and burn of a game official off somewhere in the boonies who somehow can’t see a runner’s or receiver’s foot land 17 inches out of bounds.
IDIOCY ON STEROIDS.
Los Angeles and Paris, France, not Texas, are the only two official bidders for the 2024 Olympic games.
Bidding on the Olympics is much like running for president of the United States. The job pays $400 grand a year and people pay out approximately $387 bazillion dollars on campaigns. That’s a lot of money for smoke and mirrors, which is the sum of the campaigns.
The 2024 games will be awarded at a September meeting of Olympics leaders in Lima, Peru. Those leaders are trying to award the games for both 2024 and 2028 to save time and embarrassment.
Both LA and Paris say the bids are for 2024 only. Houston, do we have a problem?
Some tidbits: President Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily banning refugees and immigrants from seven predominantly Muslimcountries could throw a monkey wrench into the works.
That exec order is stalled in court and who knows what will happen there.
The United States last hosted the Summer Games in 1996.
Los Angeles says it can stage the games for only $5.3 billion (that’s with a B like in bilious). Maybe 95 percent of the proposed venues are already built. The LA Coliseum would host the opening ceremonies as it did in 1932 and 1984.
The new $2.6 billion NFL stadium is now a construction site, but would be ideal for soccer. It would hold a whole wad of fans and quite possibly set a new record for injuries and fatalities.
LA traffic wouldn’t notice the extra cars since it’s not possible to drive from here to there under any circumstances.
The bid from LA guarantees 100 percent of ticketed spectators would be taken to various venues by public transportation or systems designed for spectators (shuttle buses). The check is in the mail.
Financial success is already guaranteed since a poll by Loyola Marymount University found 88 percent of respondents wanted Los Angeles to host the Olympics.
An LA24 claim says more than 1,000,000 (one million) Facebook users want to see the games in Los Angeles.
Another report indicated an explosion of support over a six-week period from places such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal and Indonesia.
Supporters from Bangladesh supposedly rose from a few dozen to more than 113,000 in about six weeks.
The story out of Los Angeles says LA stands by the numbers.
One quick thought: Where is Hollywood located?
Harold Harmon is the retired Sports Editor at the Democrat and Sports Information Director at Southeastern