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Tuesday Tidbits: The post-Labor Day post

September 7, 2010

The Detroit News profiles Latarrius Thomas. (Attention this is how you do a profile!)

“I loved Louisville, but it was just something I had to do for myself,” Thomas said. “I had a great relationship with coach English. I didn’t know much about him when I first met him. He just had a presence about him. He’s a great coach, great mentor, great man. I just wanted to follow him here.”

Thomas should write publicity material for English.

MAC blog Hustle Belt awards Dwayne Priest the “Hustle Belt” Belt Award for top offensive performer of the week.

Dwayne Priest, Eastern Michigan: 26 carries, 144 yards, two touchdowns in a tough loss to Army. Do the fourth-grade math; that’s over five-and-a-half yards per carry against our nation’s greatest land unit. Other guys had some solid numbers (quarterbacks Jerry Davis and Spencer Keith, running back Eric Williams, and receiver Marcus Rivers), but they were all padded stats against FCS teams. Very crafty of you to load up on cupcake frosting, gentlemen. Now let’s see that razzmatazz against Bowl Subdivision platoons.

Priest was also named the Mid-American Conference West Division Offensive Player of the Week (MACWDOPotW?). But really, how seriously can you take it when the acronym is that long and they give out six PotW awards each week?

Senior tailback Dwayne Priest (Roanoke, Va.) ran for a career-best 142 yards on 26 rushes and scored two touchdowns. Priest added two five-yard touchdown scores in Eastern Michigan’s 31-27 loss to Army last Saturday, Sept. 4.

I’d gladly trade 100 of those yards for a win, and I suspect Priest would also.

Football on the Fringe ranks EMU #11 in the MAC — one spot higher than I’ve yet had the courage to place them.

Army needed a last minute touchdown to knock off a much maligned Eastern Michigan team, and we thought Army was going to be pretty good this year. Perhaps EMU is closer to turning the corner than we thought. Their week 2 game might be a good one.

EMU’s women’s soccer team took their first loss of the year, falling 4-0 to Michigan State Friday evening. The Spartans, led by All-American Laura Heyboer with a goal and an assist, outshot the Eagles by an impressive 30-6. The Spartans are now 3-1, while EMU is 2-1-1. Next up, the Eagles’ home opener is 4 p.m. this afternoon at Scicluna Field, as they face the Detroit-Mercy Titans (2-2-1). Later this week, they return to the road to play at 3-0-2 Valparaiso Friday evening and at Northwestern Sunday afternoon. If it seems as though the EMU women’s soccer team is spending an awful lot of time on the road, it’s because they are. Only six of their twenty regular-season games are at home, and only three more are within Michigan (already-played matches at the University of Michigan and at Michigan State, and a season-closing match at Central Michigan).

Maybe he was a long shot, and maybe he wasn’t, but in the end, Johnny Sears did not make the Bengals’ 53-man roster.

As a reminder, the baseball team will hold open tryouts tomorrow at Oestrike Stadium. If you think you might be interested, click that link and read it, because the tryouts start at 6 a.m. tomorrow, and there are some things you would need to do in advance — which means today.

MAC coaches picked the EMU women’s cross country team to finish fifth in the conference (yes, that’s the conference as a whole — cross country does not split into divisions). The team kicked off the 2010 season on Friday at the Michigan Open at Hudson Mills Metropark near Dexter. Although the University of Michigan runners dominated the race, taking 7 of the top 8 spots, EMU sophomore Courtney Calka from Livonia finished first, with a time of 17:42.0 for the 5,000 meter (5 kilometers, or about 3.1 miles). The second EMU runner to finish, and tenth overall, was another sophomore, Morgan Churchwell, from Ada, MI. The women’s cross country team’s next race will be the George Dales Invitational on September 19 in Three Rivers, MI.

MAC coaches were more generous to the EMU men’s cross country team, picking them to win the conference. The Eagles finished second at the 2009 championships, and return senior captain Matt Hammersmith and sophomore second-team All-MAC runner James Hughes. Their schedule starts this Sunday with the Running Fit Detroit Titan Invitational in Northville, followed by the afore-mentioned George Dales Invitational.

I don’t know if the expectations were off or the schedule is easy, but the EMU volleyball team, picked to finish last in the MAC West, has advanced to a 7-0 record. With a sweep of Bucknell, Iona, and Providence, the Eagles took the Bucknell Invitational, surpassed their entire 2009 win total (5), and made their best start in seven years. The Eagles have not just squeaked by either, they’ve dominated those seven games, winning 21 sets and losing just 1. Ashley Mason and Haley Stein were both named to the all-tournament team, and Rachel Iaquaniello continued to perform well also. Next up, the Eagles play at Oakland University (3-4) tonight at 7 p.m., then head up to East Lansing for the Michigan State Tournament where they will face Eastern Illinois this Friday, then Clemson and Michigan State on Saturday.

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