First place in the Lone Star Football League will be at stake Saturday night when Amarillo hosts Laredo in a 7:05 p.m. (CST) kickoff inside the Amarillo Civic Center. Both teams check in with 6-2 ledgers.
The defending regular season and playoff champion Venom are led by former Bellaire High and Ball State University quarterback Nate Davis.
In just five games this season, the strong-armed Davis has fired an eye-popping 25 touchdown passes while only being picked off three times. He is 91 of 166 for 884 yards.
This will be the third meeting of four between the two league powers, with each team claiming one victory thus far. Amarillo won at home 62-58, but dropped a 62-58 shootout at the Rattlesnakes' nest.
The final regular-season meeting is set for June 29 at Laredo.
Davis, who has had several opportunities in the Arena Football League, ranks second in the LSFL in passing efficiency at 99.8. His 176.8 yards per game is third.
In addition to his aerial yardage, the 6-2, 230-pounder has lugged the leather 15 times for a team-leading 88 yards and four touchdowns.
In fact, his longest pass of the season is 36 yards, one shy of his longest jaunt!
Due to injuries on the defensive side of the ball, Davis has been forced to play some linebacker, but has responded with 10 solo tackles and an interception. Not bad for someone that never played defensive in either high school or college.
Pirates Continue Winning Ways
With Pittsburgh in the midst of some late dramatics, it brings back to mind the game that former Bucco Mark Smith ended with a mighty swing of the bat in extra innings.
It was a Saturday night, July 12, 1997.
I resided in Weirton at the time and just happened to venture to Pittsburgh for the post-game fireworks display, not the game, with my three kids (now adults) and a companion and her two sons.
I can remember driving up US 22 and then the Parkway West listening to, well at least trying with five kids in the car, the game, which continued to be scoreless.
We, somehow, lucked out and got a prime spot in the old Three Rivers Stadium lot. Turned on the radio and got the kids situated on blankets, awaiting the fireworks.
Little did anyone know at that time, the biggest of boom booms would be delivered by pinch-hitter Smith.
Oh, and by the way, in addition to the Pirates winning 3-0 on Smith's blast to left, Francisco Cordova and Ricardo Rincon teamed on the first combined, extra-inning no-hitter in major league history!
Battle Lands Coaching Job
Former Linsly girls' basketball standout Ashley Battle was named head coach of the Chartiers Valley girls' program.
Battle was named Tuesday.
She played collegiately at national powerhouse UConn where she was part of the 2002-04 national championship Huskies. She was named the Big east defensive Player of the Year in 2003.
Following graduation, Battle played in the WNBA for the Seattle Storm, New York Liberty and San Antonio Stars.
I was fortunate, early in my journalism career, to have been able to cover a few games Ashley played. She was the real deal.
Good luck Ashley.
North can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org