Baseball camp set for July

The Southern baseball program will host the Roger Cador All-Star Youth Baseball Camp July 16-19 from 9 a.m.-noon at Lee-Hines Field.

Campers, ranging from ages 6-16, will learn fundamentals in all areas of the sport.

“We are going to enhance the baseball experience for young people, and they will have an appreciation for it,” Cador said. “We try to teach them how to play the game the right way.”

Coaches will teach base-running, hitting, catching, throwing and throwing techniques during the camp. The coaches will also be assisted by some of the active players on Southern’s roster.

Campers should dress weather-friendly. Equipment will be provided, but campers are asked to provide their own personal material.

“We are truly excited for the kids to come out. They are in for a great experience that will last a lifetime,” assistant coach Fernando Puebla said.

The cost is $150. Mail payment and T-shirt size to coach Roger Cador, Southern University, P.O. Box 10850, Baton Rouge, LA 70813

Payment can also be delivered upon arrival.

For information, call Cador at (225) 771-3712 or Puebla at (225) 505-6734.

Browne, Berry given honorable mention on preseason All-America team

Southern football players Chris Browne and Mike Berry have received their first round of preseason honors.

Browne, a senior left tackle, and Berry, a senior wide receiver, were both honorable mentions on the Beyond Sports Network’s preseason All-America team of Football Championship Subdivision players.

A native of Cleveland, Browne (6-foot-3, 290) will begin his fourth consecutive season as a starting left tackle. He played briefly as a true freshman in 2008, but tore a knee ligament against Mississippi Valley State and took a medical redshirt.

He has already earned his degree in business management.

Berry joined the Jaguars last year after two seasons at Copiah-Lincoln (Miss.) Community College.

Forced to play out of position at tight end, the 6-2, 215-pound native of Magee, Miss., made 39 catches for 508 yards and a team-high seven touchdowns.

Southern begins its third season under coach Stump Mitchell on Sept. 1 at New Mexico.

Chalk up two more for Roman Banks

Looking for reinforcements after a storybook season, the Southern men’s basketball program added four newcomers during the spring signing period.

Friday, the Jaguars added two more — including one with a familiar face.

Southern has signed 6-foot-7 post player Aaron Alston of Hesperia, Calif., and 5-foot-10 guard Michael Harrel, a former Southern Lab standout who has transferred to SU after spending two seasons at Southeastern Louisiana.

Alston will help bolster a frontcourt that was shallow and undersized last season, even as the Jaguars surprised the Southwestern Athletic Conference with a 13-win turnaround and second-place finish.

Southern lost two seniors from last year’s team, and both of them were frontcourt players: 6-8 center/forward Quinton Doggett, the team’s leading rebounder (7.8 per game) and second-leading scorer (12.3 points per game), and power forward Fred Coleman, who started all 31 games, averaging 4.2 points and 5.2 rebounds.

Alston, a junior-college transfer, will come to Southern with three seasons of eligibility.

“(Alston) brings length and versatility to our program,” SU coach Roman Banks said. “We needed some guys with some athleticism that can play above the rim. Obviously, with three years (left), we will be able to work with him a little bit differently than we would be able to work with other junior-college transfers.”

Alston played one season at Lower Columbia College in Longview, Wash., where he averaged 16.6 points and 8.0 rebounds. He was named Northwest Athletic Association Community College Freshman of the Year.

“Aaron learned a lot in his time, and we’re proud he was able to earn a scholarship at Southern,” said Jim Roffler, his junior college coach. “He should have a great time in the bayou.”

Harrel, on the other hand, is much more familiar with Baton Rouge. He averaged 24 points and 4.0 assists as a senior at Southern Lab in 2010, when he was named to The Advocate’s All-Metro team. Harrel signed with Southeastern, where Banks was assistant head coach, and played in 30 games over two seasons, averaging 1.7 points and 1.1 assists in 9.0 minutes.

Harrel left the SLU team early last season.

“We’re excited about having him join our basketball program,” Banks said. “He can help us (get) quicker because he’s played in the system where I coached before, and we do some of the same things. His understanding will far surpass that of a first-year player in our program.”

Southern signed four other newcomers in April: 6-foot-4 shooting guard Yondarius Johnson of Plain Dealing, 6-4 shooting guard Devonse Reed of Dallas, 5-10 point guard Chris Hyder of Dallas, and 6-7 post player Damian Goodwin of suburban Atlanta.

An early look at 2012: The quarterbacks

So let’s say there’s not much going on at Southern these days. Or, perhaps more accurately, there’s not much going on that involves things like footballs, coaches, athletes and stat sheets.

The baseball team flamed out at the Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament, losing twice to Mississippi Valley at Lee-Hines Field. The softball team is long gone. Same is true with tennis, golf, soccer, volleyball, ballroom dancing and underwater basket weaving.

You’ve got almost two months until preseason camp begins. What to do?

Check us out, of course.

As we all stagger through the summer, we’re taking a position-by-position look at the SU football team, which gears up for a make-or-break season under third-year coach Stump Mitchell.

We’ll outline what the Jaguars did last season, their key returning players and what each position must contribute for Southern to, ahem, improve on last year’s 4-7 record.

First up: the quarterbacks.

Oh, the quarterbacks.

You probably know the deal with these guys. But let’s dig a little deeper.

Dray Joseph (Jr.)
J.P. Douglas (So.)
Reid Sanders (Sr.)
Wynton Perro (So.)

Justin Morgan (5-10, 155), Pell City, Ala.
Chase Tuten (6-1, 210), Ocala, Fla.

How much time do you have?

For SU fans, each game was a trip to the movies: You never knew what you might get, and sometimes, you were sorely disappointed. But you were rarely bored. Sometimes, the quarterbacks were lights-out. Sometimes, they were masters of the untimely turnover.

Between 2010 and ’11, there was noticeable improvement, but also much of the same. Joseph, a part-time starter as a freshman in 2010, was brilliant in some games, but erratic in others. Had he been just a little more consistent as a sophomore, Joseph might have locked up the starting job. Of course, the same was true of Douglas. A short-ish, thin freshman, he played in 10 games, starting four of the last five, and had his moments — particularly in second-half rallies on the road against Mississippi Valley State and Alabama State. But Douglas’ play was also sprinkled with poor decisions, at times, too much emotion.

Of all the quarterbacks, Joseph had the best spring practice; he will likely enter preseason camp as the No. 1 guy. Honestly, that doesn’t seem to mean much with Mitchell. Two years ago, Jeremiah McGinty came out of camp as a starter; he ultimately gave up the job to Joseph and was cut a year later. Joseph entered the season as the No. 1 quarterback, but traded spots with Douglas all season. Mitchell has shown an obvious tendency to flip-flop, even at very, very curious times.

He even said last season that he’s open to redshirting Douglas at some point, thereby allowing the Atlanta native to be a fifth-year senior when the Jaguars play at Georgia in 2015.

With Mitchell, you just never know.

Worth noting: Sanders, a career backup who graduated this spring, also worked with Chris King, the baseball team’s volunteer pitching coach, to build his arm strength after undergoing shoulder surgery.

Also: Tuten might get a long look. The son of former NFL punter Rick Tuten, he was a late signee and listed as a punter, but Tuten also played quarterback in high school, in a pro-style system similar to that at SU, throwing for 1,113 yards and 14 touchdowns as a senior.

Bottom line: The Jaguars will be so much better off if one quarterback — whoever he is — emerges as a clear-cut No. 1, and improves his accuracy.

Joseph and Douglas combined to complete 51.9 percent of their passes last season — way short of Mitchell’s preseason goal. The coaching staff wants a completion percentage above 60.

Stump Mitchell golf tournament set for June 23

Team sponsorships are still available for the Stump Mitchell Golf Tournament, which happens June 23 at Copper Mill Golf Course in Zachary.

The “company team sponsorship” consists of one foursome team and a company hole sponsorship sign. Breakfast and lunch are provided, as well as a signature golf shirt. The cost is $500

Other group and individual entries are also available.

The event is organized by the nonprofit Blue & Gold Club, and proceeds will go to the SU football program.

For information, call Craig Pierre at (225) 324-7234.