SLC announces 1980s All-Decade Baseball Team
FRISCO — If the 1970s established Lamar University as a baseball power in the Southland Conference, the 1980s certainly continued that tradition as the Jim Gilligan-led Cardinals took home three championships in the decade. On Tuesday, the league honored the achievement, naming seven players to the All-Decade team and Gilligan as the Co-Coach of the Decade.
Gilligan, who shared the honor with Louisiana Tech’s Pat Patterson once again, was named the Coach of the Decade for the 1970s last week and also earned a spot on the All-Decade squad as a player for the 1960s.
“This really means a lot to me,” Gilligan said. “To share these last two awards with guy like Pat is one of the greatest honors I’ve received. As for the team, we saw a lot of great players come through here, and even though I was only coach for part of the decade, I have some of my finest memories from that time.”
Gilligan left Lamar following the 1986 season to pursue a career in minor league management. He returned to Beaumont in the same capacity in 1992 and has held that post ever since.
A total of 40 student-athletes makeup the 1980s all-decade team, including honorees from seven of the 12 institutions that were part of the league during the decade. Louisiana Tech and Texas-Arlington paced the squad with 10 student-athletes each on the team. Lamar had seven while McNeese State contributed five. Louisiana-Monroe added four selections while Arkansas State had two and Sam Houston State had one.
“Southland Conference baseball in the 1980s continued to be played at a very high level with Lamar and Louisiana Tech competing on the national level,” Southland Conference Commissioner Tom Burnett said. “As the membership transitioned later in the decade, you can see developing programs planting seeds for more success in the 1990s.”
Lamar won three SLC championships in the decade (1981, 84, 85). Gilligan led the program to an NCAA Regional in all three years, with the 1985 squad falling one game short of advancing to the College World Series. During the 1980s, Gilligan coached a Southland Conference Hitter of the Year, three Southland Pitchers of the Year and 19 all-conference players. In the decade, his teams were 262-201 (.566) overall and 74-39 (.654) in league play.
Among Gilligan’s all-conference players, seven found their way to the all-decade team, led by Tony Mack, who won consecutive pitcher of the year awards in 1981 and 1982. Outfielder Jerald Clark was a two-time all-conference player from 1984-85 and was tabbed hitter of the year in 1984. Clark enjoyed a seven-year stint in the majors with the Padres, Rockies and Twins.
Infielders Alan Marr (1980-81) and Kim Christensen (1980 and 1982) were selected to multiple all-conference teams while pitcher David Poss (1984 and 1987) collected multiple honors as well. Cardinal Keith Silver earned the 1984 Pitcher of the Year award while outfielder Beau Allred received all-conference recognition in 1987 and proceeded to play for the Cleveland Indians from 1989-91.
SLC announces 1980s All-Decade Baseball Team
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Bassmaster Elites are coming back
The Bassmaster Elite Series returns to Southeast Texas in March 2015 to fish out of Orange.
The announcement was made last week, ahead of Bassmaster’s official tournament schedule announcement and the buzz is already strong in Southeast Texas and beyond.
I was in Orlando, Fla. attending the ICAST (fishing trade) show and talked with a number of top anglers including Kevin VanDam, Mike Iaconelli and Shaw Grigsby who said it was no surprise they would return considering the massive turnout for the weigh-ins and that the area welcomed them in a very special way.
It’s far too early to speculate anything like who the top contenders will be or how the fishing will be but there are some things to keep in mind and to look for over the next few months and into the event itself.
• Prefishing-There is a pre-fishing cutoff that usually extends to right before the Bassmaster Classic and I fully expect most of the anglers in the Elites to come back and prefish.
Last go-round probably 2/3 of the field fished the area but this time I expect that to be just about everyone. Many of the anglers that did not pre-fish told me they expected to have a lot of water to fish but the sheer volume and diversity was almost overwhelming.
Beginning probably in the early fall we will see many anglers fishing local waters to get a better idea on how to approach the area.
• East to West Runs-The Elite anglers fished far and wide but I expect even more running next go-round. After launching from the Simmons Drive Boat Ramp in Orange angler Bill Lowen ran down the Intracoastal, across Galveston Bay and fished in the Clear Lake area and placed in the top 12. The more adventurous anglers will try super long runs, in my opinion, even longer than last time to try and score on big fish. The Intracoastal Canal system makes that possible.
• Sabine River -Very few of the anglers actually fished in the Sabine River despite the event being called the “Sabine River Challenge”. I think that will change with more anglers running as far north as they can to find pockets of fish that receive little pressure and perhaps a four or five-pounder to push them over the top.
• Bigger Turnout-Last year some 34,000 people attended the event which set a Bassmaster record for an Elite event.
It was broken a couple of weeks later in New York but I fully expect the 2015 tournament to draw 40,000 plus. The reason they are coming back is not for the stellar fishing because while we have lots of bass, everyone knows our fishery cannot compare to Toledo Bend for example.
The support from the public however was amazing and that is what is bringing the top anglers on the planet to fish our area.
We will have the very best coverage of the event beginning now and leading up to it with exclusive interviews with all of the top pros with not only their thoughts on the big event but with unique tips on how you can catch more fish.
It’s an exciting time and I look forward to bringing you special coverage on a special event.
(To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at www.klvi.com or watch him on “God’ Outdoors with Chester Moore” Saturdays at 10 a.m. on GETV.org)
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