March Madness took over the Vadalabene Center earlier this month and nearly 9,000 high school basketball fans enjoyed the action over three days as SIUE played host again to the Illinois High School Association Class AA sectional semifinals.
Most agree that the event draws large crowds of spectators from around the area, some coming to campus for the first time. This is the seventh year that SIUE has hosted the sectional finals. "It has a good effect on the university," said Nick Adams, assistant director of SIUE's Intercollegiate Athletics.
"Anytime we can bring that many people to see the facilities and the campus it is a good opportunity.
The sectional championship was played Friday, March 9, between Alton and Jersey Community High with Alton winning 57-52. In earlier action, Jerseyville beat Collinsville 66-45 on March 6 and Alton beat Triad 63-55 on March 7. Alton went on to win over Belleville West 62-59 in the super sectionals at SIU Carbondale, but was beaten by Chicago's Morgan Park 64-50 in the quarterfinals at Peoria's Carver Arena.
"Alton is a very good team that always draws well at SIUE to this sectional tournament," Adams said. "A few years ago, Alton and Edwardsville met on this campus and played what might be the best basketball game ever." The game went into six overtimes before Alton came out on top.
"We haven't even begun to see all the benefits and the good things that can come from this event being held at SIUE," Adams said. "For three days we have thousands of people packed into the gym, who see the facilities and the campus, many for the first time.
"Its been a phenomenal event for both SIUE and the Athletics department," Adams said.
After 16 years of teaching elsewhere in the country, the Hurricane came back to his hometown in 1985 and began a new chapter, literally and figuratively. But it was the same story, an activist's story.
When Eugene B. Redmond did come back to East St. Louis, he sought to create a commune of intellectuals who could affect change through encouraging other young writers, just as he had in the 1960s with the Black River Writers.
They would also encourage change by speaking out on the issues involving the black experience on the urban landscape."We have tried to continue what happened in the 1960s, which was a great era of foment," said Redmond, now an SIUE professor of English Language and Literature.
"I was an 'accidental' academician from the streets and because of that I have always had a split consciousness about what is learned through the academy, or university, and what is learned through life experiences."
In 1986, the newest incarnation of his activism and that of his literary colleagues became the Eugene B. Redmond Writers Club, a title he said he protested but was then convinced otherwise by the charter members.
At 7 p.m Thursday, March 22, the club will celebrate its 15th birthday at the Grand Marais Golf Club, 5208 Lake Drive, East St. Louis. Co-sponsored by Jazz 2000, the event also will feature the Miles Ahead Jazz Band. A $15 donation includes a "bouillabaisse" dinner, a poetry reading, and music. The evening is co-sponsored by the SIUE Department of English Language and Literature.
Over the years the EBR Writers Club has sponsored and co-sponsored conferences, festivals, symposiums, and readings, and has participated in symposiums around the country and in Europe. It also co-publishes, with the SIUE department, Drumvoices Revue, a multicultural literary journal.
Darlene Roy, co-founder of the club and its current president, said she hopes the group will continue along the same course. "The people of this community have said that they appreciate what we've been trying to do for the past 15 years," Roy said. "We will continue to bring in the important authors and poets for readings and we will continue to collaborate with other organizations in the region."
Roy also said the group needs a more permanent space to hold workshops for developing, talented writers. "We also would like to do more networking with other writers clubs around the country. We do that to a certain extent now, but I'd like to see us expand that."
The club means quite a lot to the founders who see themselves as advocates for writers who want to have a voice in society, to bring about dialogue on the issues that affect urban America. "The club brings me together with others who are interested in literature and culture," Roy explained. "I become uplifted and informed."
She and Redmond agree that the club also helps generate positive "press" in a city that seems to produce a great deal of distressing news. "We are a positive force in East St. Louis," Roy said, "and I think we've represented the city well in our travels throughout the country and overseas."
For the founders of the club, what they are accomplishing today is a continuation of 1960s activism. Redmond said he and many of his contemporaries at that time left the "street heat" of the urban scene and tried to affect change through teaching the black experience in America's colleges and universities.
Now that he's back home, the scrawny kid from the Rush City and South End neighborhoods of East St. Louis, who was nicknamed "Hurricane," continues to teach that experience. He has an affinity with the city and for its youth. "Every semester, I bring my students to East St. Louis and let them meet some of the young talented writers we have working and living in this area," Redmond said.
"It gives these students a chance to feel the experience and to show them how they can contribute to the cause and bring about change."
For more information about the birthday celebration or about the EBR Writers Club, call (618) 650-3991.
East St. Louis Center, SIUE, and Dress for Success of Southern Illinois is conducting a spring/summer suit campaign through March 30. Donations of new or "gently worn" women's suits, dresses, pant suits, accessories, bags, shoes, and new and packaged hosiery are being sought.
Individuals who wish to make a cash donation may make checks payable to: Dress for Success Southern Illinois and mail the donation to P.O. Box 157, East St. Louis, IL 62201.
In partnership, the ESLC and Dress for Success have suited 130 women. The program helps women who are living in poverty but who have a job interview; they can receive a complete business outfit-suits, shoes, handbag, accessories, and hosiery-for an interview. In addition clients are coached for an interview, given hair and make-up assistance, and provided a mentor. If the interview is a success, a woman may return for another complete outfit. One measure of the program's effectiveness is that 70 percent of clients come back for that second suit.
Drop offs for the Spring/Summer Campaig may be made at these locations between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday:
• East St. Louis Center, Room 2071, 411 East Broadway, East St. Louis, (618) 482-6948;
• St. Joseph's Head Start, 1501 Martin Luther King Drive, East St. Louis, (618) 875-9801;
• Bluff View Head Start, 8100 Bunkum Road, Caseyville, (618) 394-0718;
• BellMac Head Start, 912 Carlyle Road, Belleville, (618) 277-4681;
• Rendleman Building, Room 2228, SIUE, (618) 650-2536;
• SIU School of Dental Medicine, Administration Building No. 273, Room 1103, Alton.
Those who would like to become involved with the Dress for Success program also may help organize a clothing drive in their offices, volunteer a few hours each month to help clients make their wardrobe selection, mentor one of the Dress for Success clients, design fund-raising campaigns and special events, help at special events, serve on a committee, help receive, sort and organize donated clothing, provide free or low-cost dry cleaning service, or help with alterations and minor repairs to clothing.
The Straight Ahead Jazz Quintet, a female jazz ensemble known for its rendition of the blues "with feeling and fun," will perform March 29 as part of the Arts and Issues season.
Performing at 7:30 p.m. in Meridian Ballroom, the quintet will present songs of the great female blues singers "tied together with bits of wit and historical narrative." The evening will include songs of Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, Mamie Smith, Alberta Hunter, Koko Taylor, and Etta James, to name a few.
Arts & Issues Coordinator Richard Walker said the quintet, based in Detroit, is a culturally diverse group of women who combine several elements of jazz into a blend of traditional, transitional, and contemporary jazz.. "This group is known for their eclectic and soulful approach to creating music," Walker said. "I think our audience will love them because their live shows are such a joyful celebration."
These Grammy-nominated recording artists have traveled extensively in the United States, the Caribbean, and Europe. Recent appearances include a concert at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., and the Kansas City Blues and Jazz Festival. Recent awards include The Motor City Music Awards Hall of Fame and Talent Deserving Wider Recognition from Downbeat magazine.
Tickets for the March 29 concert are $16; students, $8. For tickets, call (618) 650-5555, or, from St. Louis toll-free, (888) 328-5168, Ext. 5555; or, write: Arts & Issues, SIUE, Edwardsville, IL 62026-1083; or, by e-mail, email@example.com. The Arts & Issues Web site is: www.siue.edu/ARTS_ISSUES. Admission includes free parking in the lots behind Morris University Center or Dunham Hall theater.
Coach Larry Bennett looks to see where his women's golf team is at this weekend. "We are going out to face some teams in our conference," said Bennett. "It will give us a chance to see where we match up."
The Cougars travel to Highland Heights, Ky., for the Northern Kentucky Invitational. The two-day competition begins on Saturday (3/31) at A. J. Jolly Golf Course. SIUE then heads to the Indianapolis Invitational for a one-day event on Monday (4/2).
"We will be playing 18 holes each of the three days. It should show us whether or not we are mentally and physically fit. The team has been hitting the ball well in practice, so I hope to have decent scores this weekend."
The women's golf team opened up its spring season with a third-place finish last weekend (3/23-24) at the Lindenwood Lady Lions Invitational. The Cougars shot a total of 758 (365-393) in the two-day invitational. "It wasn't bad for our first match, but it wasn't golf weather."
Katie Farrell (Princeton) was the top finisher for SIUE. Farrell shot a 180 (89-91) to place ninth overall.
Coach Bill Logan said this weekend could be the turning point for the men's tennis season. "I am hoping the team turns things around this weekend and makes the next two weeks count."
The Cougars, 2-7 overall and 2-1 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference, travels to Quincy tomorrow (3/27) for a 2:30 p.m. match. The team then returns home to face Northern Kentucky on Saturday (3/31) and Bellarmine on Sunday (4/1). Both matches begin at 9 a.m. on the SIUE courts.
SIUE dropped its only conference match last weekend (3/24) to Southern Indiana 9-0.
Coach Darryl Frerker said he's pleased with the team's performance last weekend. "We have had great season openers the past couple of years," said Frerker, "and this proved to be the same."
The men's and women's outdoor track season got under way last Friday (3/23) at Washington University. The men finished third with a team score of 85 while the women placed eighth with 29 points. "As young as we are as a team, I look for personal records to be set in the season opener, and that is what happened."
Joshua Benton (Carbondale) and Ruth Kipping (Quincy) had strong performances, just missing national provisional qualifying time. Benton finished first in the high jump at 6 feet, 8.5 inches (2.04 meters), the qualifying height is 2.08 meters.
Kipping placed first in the 800-meter run with a time of 2 minutes, 18.76 seconds missing the qualifying time of 2:15.00.
RyAnn Spann tossed a no-hitter Tuesday (3/13) as the Cougars split two contests at the Rebel Spring Games in Orlando, Fla.
Spann walked one and struck out six as SIUE downed Molloy in the day's opening game 11-1.
Catcher Kelly Clay ripped a home run and drove in five runs. Katie Waldo added two hits and four runs batted in. It was the 18th no-hitter in school history.
In the second game, Binghamton rallied to score two in the top of the seventh and defeat the Cougars 4-3. Dawn Farmer took the loss for SIUE. Erin Newman blasted a home for the Cougars.
Men's Tennis Opens With Two GLVC Triumphs
Coach Bill Logan and his men's tennis team travel to Evansville, Ind., on Saturday (3/24) to continue conference play.
The Cougars, 2-6 overall and 2-0 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference, look for their third consecutive victory when they face Southern Indiana at 2:30 p.m.
SIUE defeated Lewis 6-3 and Saint Joseph's 5-0 last Saturday (3/17) as the team opened conference play.
David Mims (O'Fallon) won both singles matches at No. 5 and is 4-6 on the year overall. Mims and Chris Welkner (Belleville) also went 2-0 in both doubles matches at No. 1.
After an 11-game road trip in Georgia, the SIUE baseball team opens Great Lakes Valley Conference play at Quincy this weekend (3/24). The three-game series begins with a Saturday doubleheader at 1 p.m. and a single game on Sunday (3/25) at 1 p.m.
SIUE, 13-12 overall, struggled near the end of the spring trip, coming home with a 6-5 record from Savannah, Ga. "The positive is we had lots of game experience," said Coach Gary Collins. "You can only get better with play, but we have been a little inconsistent."
Mark Bugger (Edwardsville), who became SIUE's all-time hits leader, powered the team on the road with a .457 batting average. Bugger recorded four doubles, a triple, three home runs and 15 runs batted in. He leads the team with a .464 batting average and 45 hits.
Dave Crouthers (Edwardsville) also had a strong road trip, batting .356 over the 11 games with two home runs, a double and a triple. Crouthers started two games on the mound for SIUE, finishing with a 1-1 record.
Bret Giaudrone (Gillespie) was solid out of the bullpen. Giaudrone pitched 11 and 2/3 innings in six games. He gave up only one unearned run, struck on nine batters, recorded two wins and two saves. Giaudrone, who needs just one save to tie the single-season record for saves set by Jason Guest (1997), leads the team with 1.52 earned run average, 15 appearances and seven saves on the year.
Coach Darryl Frerker's men and women's track teams start their outdoor season this weekend in St. Louis, traveling to the Washington Invitational on Friday (3/23) at 3 p.m.
Frerker said he is looking for this meet to give the teams experience.
"It will give us an idea where our training needs to go for the remainder of the season," said Frerker.
SIUE concluded its indoor season with two All-Great Lakes Valley Conference selections. Daniel Walden (Springfield) finished second in the 800-meter run with a time of 1 minute, 56 seconds. On the women's side, Sarah Turpin (Belleville) placed second in the 200-meter hurdles. Turpin finished with a time of 30.49.
Marisa DellAngelo pumped in 22 points as Northern Michigan University downed SIUE 65-58 in the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Regional Friday night (3/9).
The Cougars, 20-9, picked up 22 points from senior Misi Clark and 16 points from senior Crystal Gladson, rallying from 13 points down in the first half and forced six lead changes before falling in the final seconds to Northern Michigan, 23-5.
Despite outrebounding Northern Michigan 46-32 and shooting 45.8 percent from the field, SIUE was unable to overcome 27 turnovers.
After falling behind by 13 in the first half, the Cougars rallied to cut the lead to three at 33-30 by halftime. In the second half, SIUE rallied to hold a two-point lead with 1:57 to play.
A three-pointer from Maryellen Poutenen with :55 left gave Northern Michigan a one-point lead, one which it would not relinquish.
Clark, Gladson and Sarah Cook completed their collegiate career by scoring 46 of SIUE's 58 points.
SIUE's Marty Perry has been named Honorable Mention All-Great Lakes Valley Conference in men's basketball.
A native of Jacksonville, Ill., Perry was the Cougars (7-19 overall, 4-16 in the GLVC) main offensive threat. Perry finished his junior season as the Cougars' leader in scoring (16.3 points per game), field goal percentage (.535), three-point field goal percentage (.417) and free throw percentage (.891). During the season, Perry topped 20 points nine times and 30 points twice.
The University of Southern Indiana's Derrick Lyons was named Player of the Year and Lewis University's Austin Real was named Freshman of the Year. Coach of the Year was given to Dave Balza, of Saint Joseph's College.
The first team of the All-GLVC team was, Lyons, Lorico Duncan (Kentucky Wesleyan), Marlowe Currie (Southern Indiana), Brent Mason (St. Joseph's) and Craig Sanders (Northern Kentucky University).
The second team was Jared McCurry (Bellarmine University), Andy Foster (University of Indianapolis), Nick Wise (IUPU-Fort Wayne), Brian McNeil (Quincy University) and Josh Virostko (Lewis).
The women's basketball team (20-8) earned a bid to the NCAA Division II tournament with the fifth seed in the Great Lakes Region and will play No. 4 Northern Michigan (22-5).
The first game of the regional will be played Friday, March 9. The regional tournament will be at No. 1 seed Michigan Tech, in Houghton, Mich., from March 9-11. The winner of the region advances to the NCAA-II Elite Eight, held in Rochester, Minn.
Rounding out the Great Lakes Region are Great Lakes Valley Conference champion No. 2 Southern Indiana (26-3), defending NCAA-II champion No. 3 Northern Kentucky (25-4), and No. 6 Gannon (22-7).
Softball Box Scores
Baseball Box Scores
Marque Haupert, hall director for Woodland Hall, recently was given the Positive Trends award from the Illinois Division of the Great Lakes Association of College and University Housing Officers.
Kara Shustrin, nominator and assistant director of Residence Life-Residence Halls, commended Haupert's positive advisement of the Illinois State Resident Assistant Association executive board. "Marque has made a point of addressing women's leadership issues with this group and has helped women paraprofessionals in our department feel supported and able to achieve their goals in a welcoming environment," said Shustrin.
The Positive Trends award is given quarterly to individuals in order to recognize outstanding achievements of Illinois Housing Professionals.
Fifty-seven antiques dealers from the Midwest will display and sell a variety of items from furniture, fine glass, porcelain and china to tools, toys and books Saturday and Sunday, March 24-25, at the 31st Annual Antiques Show and Sale at the Vadalabene Center.
The event, sponsored by the Friends of Lovejoy Library, will take place in the gymnasium from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Free informal appraisals with paid admission (two-item limit) will be offered on Saturday from 2-5 p.m. and Sunday from 1-3 p.m.
Tickets are $4 and are available at the door; tickets are good for both days. Children under 13 years of age are admitted free. For more information, call the Friends of Lovejoy Library, (618) 650-2730.
Rebecca Dabbs-Kayser, acting director of the Early Childhood Center, recently was named director, according to Narbeth Emmanuel, SIUE vice chancellor for Student Affairs.
Dabbs-Kayser, who earned a bachelor's in elementary education and a master's in early childhood education, both at SIUE, has more than 12 years experience working with children and their families. She also holds a teaching certificate in Illinois.
In addition to her work at the SIUE center, Dabbs-Kayser has been an Early Childhood Inclusion specialist with the Child Day Care Association of St. Louis, and a supervisor, parent educator, and resource developer for Children's Home and Aid Society of Illinois. She also has been a first-grade teacher.