Head coach Bret Bielema, who has led Arkansas to a better record in each of his previous three seasons with the Razorbacks, will be the featured speaker at the 22nd annual L’Arche Football Preview, set for Thursday, May 26, at the University of South Alabama’s Mitchell Center.
Arkansas is coming off an 8-5 record which includes a Liberty Bowl win over Kansas State. Never shy of sharing his opinion since joining the Southeastern Conference, Bielema won three Big Ten titles during his seven years at Wisconsin.
Also on the agenda are Mario Cristobal, Alabama assistant head coach; Travis Williams, Auburn defensive coach; Tyler Siskey, USA wide receivers coach; Joe Tessitore, ESPN and SEC Nation host; Phil Savage, Reese’s Senior Bowl executive director; Taylor Zarzour; SiriusXM College Sports Nation host; Randy Kennedy, program director for WNSP; and a yet-to-be-named member of the Florida State coaching staff.
“L’Arche Mobile is excited about this year’s lineup of guest speakers,” event director Marty O’Malley said. “We appreciate the coaches and media taking the time to share their insights into college football.”
DEX Imaging and the Reese’s Senior Bowl sponsor the football preview, while Hackbarth Delivery Service and Aviation Services are the presenting sponsors. The doors will open at 5:30 p.m. for sponsors and 6 p.m. to the general public. The evening includes a silent auction, dinner and speakers.
The annual event benefits L’Arche Mobile, a Christian community that shares life with people with intellectual disabilities in a permanent, familylike environment. L’Arche Mobile relies on donations and fundraisers such as the football preview for financial support.
“I’m thrilled to come to Mobile for my two great passions — discussing college football and service to others,” Tessitore said. “I’m honored that L’Arche invited me to speak. It’ll be that time of the year when the hype and hope starts bubbling up, when the great debates of the SEC and beyond begin. Every day of the offseason I prep for college football, visiting practices, talking to coaches, and I look forward to sharing my insight with everyone there.”
Single tickets are $50 and a table of eight can be purchased for $400. For more information, call 251-438-2094 or send an email to [email protected].
Mobile native gets drafted
Emily Messer, a senior third baseman for USA, was the 31st overall pick in the 2016 National Pro Fastpitch Draft and was selected by the Akron Racers.
“I did not expect this, but I am really excited,” Messer, a St. Paul’s Episcopal graduate, said. “It’s something I never thought would be possible, but three years of hard work under [assistant] Coach [Kristina] McCain and [head] Coach [Becky] Clark has helped me put everything together this year.”
Messer leads USA in batting average (.463), hits (57), runs (5), slugging percentage (.610) and on-base percentage (.518). She is on pace to set school records for batting average and slugging percentage.
Messer recently was named to the Sun Belt Conference’s first-team squad, along with pitcher Devin Brown (leads nation in strikeouts) and Kaleigh Todd (among SBC leaders in stolen bases and batting average). Haleigh Lowe, Stephanie Pilkington and Haleigh Lane were on the second-team squad.
Tennis camp, anyone?
The Brochu Tennis Academy will sponsor three tennis camps this summer. Action will be at the Bruce David Lubel Memorial Tennis Counts on the USA campus.
The camps will be May 30-June 3, June 27-30 and July 18-22. They are open to players ages 7-18 and will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. The cost is $250 per person, or $200 for the four-day camp in June. Some discounts are available.
Former USA athlete eyes Olympics
Lindsay Schwartz, an All-American track and field star for USA in 2011 and 2012, has posted a qualifying score for the U.S. Olympic Trials. The Wisconsin native won the heptathlon at the fifth annual Sam Adams Combined Events Invitational with 5,991 points.
The seven events included the 100-meter hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200-meter dash, long jump, javelin throw and 800-meter run. The U.S. Olympic trials will be July 1-10 at the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field.
MSA events coming to town
The Mobile Sports Authority is hosting two events this month. For more information, call 251-725-1794 or visit www.MobileSportsAuthority.com.
The second annual Port City Shoot Out 3v3 Soccer Tournament will be this Saturday. The Mobile United Football Club is also sponsoring the event. The tournament will have divisions from under-6 through adult. Games will be played on the artificial turf fields at Herndon Park on Sage Avenue.
On Saturday, May 28, the 2016 Battleship Rugby Seersucker Sevens Invitational will be played at USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park. Divisions include Seniors, Collegiate Men, Collegiate Women, High School and Youth. The hosting Battleship Rugby Football Club will also host a social at O’Daly’s Irish Pub.
USA golfer honored
After having just enrolled at South Alabama in January, Peter Staalbo quickly made his presence known on the men’s golf team. For his efforts, he has been named first-team all-Sun Belt Conference.
In six tournaments, Staalbo posted a team-best 72.39 scoring average and placed in the Top 20 five times. The sophomore from Denmark helped USA finish fourth in stroke play to qualify for the match-play semifinals at the SBC Tournament. He has also been selected to compete as an individual at the NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional.