SPORTS BRIEFS

New local soccer league forming
The Southeast Arkansas Futbol Club will debut in October at the Monticello Sports Complex soccer fields. The club is affiliated with the Arkansas State Soccer Association, will feature coaches and officials trained through the state Association and will play by Arkansas State Association rules. The season will begin on Saturday, Oct. 21 and will run through Nov. 18. Although there is seasonal overlap, there will be no game conflicts for children who want to play in both SEAFC and the Monticello Youth Soccer Association. Fall baseball season will be complete, and there will only be one week of overlap with youth football leagues. The mission of the new league is to provide all youth in the community with the opportunity to play soccer regardless of their skill level. Through this development-focused youth program, youth will be taught to improve their soccer skills while learning the important values of teamwork, sportsmanship and fair play. The goal of the SEAFC is not only to advance the youth’s athletic skills but to grow their overall development as a person by building lifelong skills such as: strategic thinking, discipline, logic, and goal setting and leadership, among others. Games this fall will primarily be played on Mondays and Tuesdays, with two Saturday game days scheduled. Children ages 4-18 are eligible to play, going by their age at the end of 2017 (children turning 4 on or before Dec. 31 are eligible to play). There will also be special player development opportunities during the course of the season. Players of all skill levels are welcome. Parents interested in signing their children up for the 2017 fall season can visit the Southeast Arkansas Futbol Club Facebook page or go directly to https://www.gotsport.com/asp/application/reg/Default.asp?ProgramID=63452. Registration is $50 per child; families with three or more children playing receive a $10 discount per child on the third, fourth or more children’s registration.
UAM Homecoming golf tournament set
DeSoto Golf Club in Hot Springs Village will be the site of the University of Arkansas at Monticello Alumni Association’s Homecoming Golf Tournament Oct. 14. The tournament will begin at 9 a.m. with a shotgun start. The tournament is a four-person scramble with all proceeds earmarked for the Legacy Alumni Scholarship fund. Entry fee is $300 per team or $75 per player. The entry fee includes green fees and cart and range balls. Prizes for a hole-in-one will be offered at two holes. Coffee and donuts will be available before the start and a late lunch will be held after the tournament at the DeSoto GC. For more information, contact the UAM Office of Alumni Affairs at 870-460-1028.
UAM softball fourth in NFCA academic rankings
The University of Arkansas at Monticello softball team recorded a combined grade-point average of 3.671 during the 2016-17 academic year to rank fourth overall in the nation among all NCAA Division II programs, as was announced by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Tuesday. “I know the time our players put into their academics and the time that goes into softball and related activities,” head coach Alvy Early said. “Achieving those GPA’s is in concert with how committed they are representing our program and university each year in this national competition. It never ceases to amaze me the success our players attain while dealing with the many road trips, practice, and even the preparation for home games goes beyond what the average student does.” In addition to ranking fourth nationally as a team, 12 UAM softball players were recognized as NFCA All-America Scholar Athletes with GPAs at or above 3.50—Skyler Anderson of Foreman; Ashton Currey of Benton; Kali Bolter of Plano, Texas; Mallory McWhorter of Bearden; Alyson Finnigan of Brownwood, Texas; Kendra Coleman of Red Oak, Okla.; Kaylee Freeman of The Colony, Texas; Maylie Bain of  Searcy; Cailyn Bolick of Jefferson, Texas; Jordan Kane of Waynesville, Mo.; Korie Parker of Benton; and Kristen McNabb of Sommerville, Tenn. UAM  has finished in the top 11 times over the years and had the highest GPA of all four-year colleges at any level in 2010. The Cotton Blossoms’ academic ranking also leads the Great American Conference with Arkansas Tech University finishing 20th, Northwestern Oklahoma State University 23rd and Southeastern Oklahoma State University 26th.
Shoebox drive focus of UAM SAAC
The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee at the University of Arkansas at Monticello is continuing Operation Shoebox during the month of October. UAM student-athletes have been donating their unused shoeboxes, and the SAAC is looking to fill them up for Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse. The SAAC asks that any fan attending home football or volleyball games this month bring items to begin filling these shoeboxes—small toy items such as finger puppets, interactive toys that include push buttons, lights (include extra batteries), Etch A Sketch, play cars/trucks/boats, plastic tools, plastic dinosaurs/animals, foam ball, yo-yo, small Frisbees, small kites, hacky sacks, children’s baseball mitts with baseballs, marbles, Kaleidoscopes, kickballs (include manual air pump), slinkies, tennis balls and small stuffed animals. There will be bins placed by the main entrance gates at Willis “Convoy” Leslie Cotton Boll Stadium for donations at football games and bins placed at the entrance of Steelman Field House for volleyball matches. For more information on Operation Christmas Child, visit www.samaritanspurse.org/operation-christmas-child/what-goes-in-my-shoebo....
Two GAC schools ranked in Top 25
For the first time since the 2007 season, Southeastern Oklahoma State University returns to the ranks of the nationally ranked, debuting at No. 23 in the most recent American Football Coaches Association Division II poll released Monday. The move into the poll comes after a 5-0 start to the season, matching the team’s best start since the 1988 season. Southeastern Oklahoma picked up 105 points in the poll and checked in one spot ahead of Great American Conference rival Arkansas Tech University, which slipped from No. 11 to No. 24 following a loss over the weekend. Southeastern’s next game will be Saturday when it takes on Southwestern Oklahoma State University at home, while Arkansas Tech visits UAM.

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