There are still many college football games to play this season, but that does not mean it is too early to start making travel plans for future campaigns. With the recent addition of two home games, the University of South Alabama has completed its non-Sun Belt Conference schedule for 2015 through 2017.
The Jaguars are set to face Gardner-Webb at Ladd-Pebbles Stadium Sept. 5 next season, but the highlight of the campaign will be a visit by North Carolina State Sept. 26. South will not get a break on the road, as it travels to Nebraska Sept. 12 and to UAB Sept. 19.
USA will start the 2016 season at Mississippi State Sept. 3, completing a three-game series between the schools. The Jags remain in the SEC nation Oct. 15, traveling along Interstate 10 to take on Louisiana State University. The non-conference home games include UAB Sept. 10 and Nicholls State Sept. 24.
Then in 2017, the Jags will start away from home as they play Ole Miss Sept. 2, before coming home to host Oklahoma State Sept. 9. Alabama A&M will make the march to Mobile Sept. 16, while USA travels to Louisiana Tech Sept. 30.
Dates for the eight SBC games will be announced at a later date. To keep up with the team, visit www.usajaguars.com or call 251-461-1USA (1872) for ticket information.
• In other Jaguar football news, quarterback Brandon Bridge was named the SBC’s Offensive Player of the Week for his performance in a dramatic win over Georgia State. The 6-foot-5, 220-pound senior from Mississauga, Ontario, set a school record for a quarterback by rushing for 137 yards while having a hand in all three of the Jaguars’ touchdowns.
Also, Wes Saxton remains in consideration for the John Mackey Award, which honors the nation’s top collegiate tight end. The 6-foot-4, 235-pound senior made it to the Midseason Watch List by being third on the team with 13 receptions for 107 yards.
After 20 weeks on the road with the ARCA Racing Series, Thomas “Moose” Praytor spent his first weekend off by giving back to his community. He was part of the Diabetes Walk in Mobile.
The next day, Praytor was present for the McKemie Place’s annual brunch. McKemie Place is a shelter for homeless women that his grandmother, Jamie Praytor, helped to establish.
“My grandmother, Mame, was involved in everything in Mobile,” said Praytor, who finished seventh in the ARCA drivers’ standings. “She championed so many causes, it was incredible. She instilled in all of our family to give back every time you could and to get involved. With our schedule, it’s hard to be everywhere we should be, so when we’re home we give back as much as we can.”
Wet a line for a good cause
The weather may be a little cooler, but that does not mean it is time to put up the rod and reel. The third annual Salty Worm fishing tournament will be this Saturday, Nov. 1, at the Bluegill Restaurant on the Causeway.
The brackish conditions make this a special event, as it appeals to both saltwater and freshwater anglers. The only two categories are bass and speckled trout.
The tourney will begin at daybreak, and the weigh-in will be at the Bluegill from 1 to 4 p.m. The Delta Bash awards party will be from 1 to 6 p.m., with live music, a seafood buffet and activities for children.
Tickets for either category are $50, with prizes going to the first, second and third place finishers. Participating anglers will be admitted to the Delta Bash, while others may attend for $30 (children 8 and under are free).
Proceeds will go to the Gaillard Pancreatic Cancer Research Endowment at the USA Mitchell Cancer Institute. The Gaillard family started the endowment in 2011 after two family members, brothers Peter and Tommy, were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer within a year of each other. The siblings were avid anglers, so the family felt a fishing tournament would be a proper way to help fund the project.
For more information, visit saltyworm.org or call 251-640-7032.
Vigor’s Desherrius Flowers was honored last week with a ceremony at his school auditorium. The running back has been selected to appear in the 2015 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
Flowers, who has committed to play for the Crimson Tide, ran for more than 2,000 yards entering his senior year with the Wolves. The 6-foot-1, 210-pound star plans to graduate in December and enroll in Tuscaloosa in the spring.
Talking like a Pirate
Chris Peacock, a former University of Mobile baseball player, has signed a contract with the Pittsburg Pirates’ organization. Peacock, who also played at Daphne High and Faulkner State Community College, has been pitching in various independent leagues for three seasons.
“It’s a dream come true, but it isn’t over yet,” Peacock said. “This is only the first step. Without the hard work and the support of family and friends, I wouldn’t be able to do any of this.”
The right-hander was most recently on the Wichita Wingnuts roster, where he had a 2-0 record for the 2014 American Association championship. In his minor league career, he is 15-8 with 135 strikeouts in 169 innings.
What a year it’s been
It is hard to believe that 12 months have passed since my first column appeared in Lagniappe. After having not written about sports since 1996, I jumped at the opportunity to come back and focus on subjects that were of interest to local fans and myself.
As always, I am looking for those certain features that reflect our unique community. So keep shooting me ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org. To keep up with local happenings between editions, follow my Twitter account, @goulaguy.