The 2015 edition of the KSF-K (Kung Fu Sanshou Federation) Warrior Search is returning to the Mobile Convention Center on Saturday, May 30, sponsored by the Shaolin Chan Foundation and the Mobile Sports Authority. Afternoon sessions will begin in the Grand Ballroom at 1 p.m., while the main events begin at 7 p.m.
For more than two decades, fighters specifically trained in the combat sport of Sanshou have been entertaining local fans. The sport’s origins go back more 3,000 years. It combines stand-up kickboxing with sweeps, throws, takedowns and grappling. Examples of past battles can be viewed at www.ksfworld.org/#!ksf-event-videos/c3tg.
Tickets are $10 for the day fights, $20 for the night events and $50 for ringside. According to the fight poster, the main card will feature Leon Ngo vs. Lionel Lewis, Josh Moore vs. Ty Robinson and John Ibert vs. Roland Dumas.
Grand Master Shi DeRu (Shawn Liu) started the U.S. Open International Sanda/Sanshou competitions in Mobile back in the early 1990s. Since its inception, some of the best Sanda, K-1, UFC and other MMA fighters started their careers here. Well-known martial art champions who have entered the Mobile ring include Pat Barry, David Sanders, Cung Le, Scott Sheeley and Melvin Guillard.
Never too early for football
The first games may be months away, but that did not keep the University of South Alabama (USA) from making news with its football squad. The National Football Foundation (NFF) recently honored defensive lineman Jesse Kelley. He was selected to the NFF Hampshire Honor Society.
Kelley just received his bachelor’s degree, with a major in meteorology and a minor in geology. He posted a 3.42 grade point average entering his final semester. The senior was a first-team CoSIDA academic all-district pick, and has been a member of the Sun Belt Conference Commissioner’s List the last two seasons.
Several of his teammates also had reasons to celebrate. Four former Jaguars have signed free-agent deals with the NFL. Receiving invitations to preseason camps are Brandon Bridge (Dallas Cowboys), Montell Garner (St. Louis Rams), Melvin Meggs (Kansas City Chiefs) and Wes Saxton (New York Jets).
● Former University of Alabama offensive lineman D.J. Fluker is hosting a summer football camp and charity golf tournament next month. Fluker, who attended both McGill-Toolen Catholic in Mobile and Foley High School, now plays for the San Diego Chargers.
The golf tourney is set for June 4, from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Heron Lakes Country Club, 3851 Government Blvd. The football camp, which is for players ages 11 to 17, will be June 5 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Archbishop Lipscomb Athletic Complex at 3610 Michael Blvd.
Fluker said he will bring past and present NFL players with him to assist. A portion of the proceeds will go to McGill-Toolen. For more information, call 214-966-6119 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
● Two members of USA’s track and field team set league records during the Sun Belt Conference (SBC) championships in Gulf Shores. Renaldo Frechou established a new high with a toss of 69.67 meters in the hammer throw, while Jan-Louw Kotze broke the SBC mark in the discus with a toss of 59.72 meters. They and several other teammates now advance to the NCAA East Region Preliminaries this weekend in Jacksonville.
● USA’s Daniel Leitner is capping off his college career in fine fashion. The senior from Niederfischbach, Germany, has been named the SBC Men’s Tennis Player of the Year, the USA Male Student Athlete of the Year and the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s Arthur Ashe Jr. Sportsmanship & Leadership Award winner. Thanks to his 3.89 GPA, Leitner is also on the Academic All-District 4 team. He finished with a 28-6 record after a loss in the NCAA Division I singles tournament.
● Heather Nail of the University of Mobile has been named a second-team NAIA All-American in women’s golf. The sophomore from Hartselle, Alabama, also was named the Southern States Athletic Conference Women’s Golfer of the Year. At the NAIA championships, she finished in a tie for 17th place. Nail finished the season with a stroke average of 76.4, with four tournament wins.
● The USA baseball team picked up its 15th SBC title this season. The Jags finished the regular season as the league’s top offensive team with a .285 batting average, while the pitching staff led the SBC with a 3.22 earned run average.
Right-hander Kevin Hill went 9-0 on the mound. He is the league leader in ERA (1.79), strikeouts (92) and opposing batting average (.197). The senior also earned several national player-of-the-week honors this year.
Other Jags gaining recognition were right-hander Hunter Soleymani, who was named to the Academic All-District Region 4 team. Outfielder Cole Billingsley picked up an SBC player-of-the-week honor for batting .450 with three doubles, five RBIs, seven runs scored and three stolen bases in a four-game run.
● The University of Mobile’s Sydney O’Connor was named the SSAC Softball Pitcher of the Week for her efforts at the 2015 conference tourney. She had a hand in all four victories as the Lady Rams swept to the title. The freshmen earned one win (a 1-0 victory over 10th ranked William Carey) and three saves. On the season, she is 10-2 with a 1.41 ERA.
The Lady Rams have continued to roll, having won the St. Gregory’s Regional. This earned the team a berth in the NAIA World Series in Sioux City, Iowa.