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First seven recruits on board

Southern has received signed scholarship papers from seven football recruits so far Wednesday morning.

The Jaguars expect to wind up with 20 or more players before the first day of the national signing period ends.

Here’s who Southern has on board:

Name                           Pos.     Ht.       Wt.      Hometown                High School

A.J. Palominio          LB       6-2       220      Covington, GA       Newton

Mason Sims               OL       6-4       310      Atlanta                      Mays

Stacy Piro                   WR      5-11     165      Houston                  Furr

Thaddeus Hoffer     OL       6-6       230      Madison, WI         Madison East

Ceajae Bryant             DL       6-2       255      Spring, TX             Westfield

Jaquel Gant                 WR      6-1       190      Donaldsonville, LA    Donaldsonville

Demerio Houston        DB      5-11     151      Shelby, N.C.           Shelby






Softball schedule released

The Southern softball team will begin Southwestern Athletic Conference play at home against Texas Southern on March 27, according to the schedule released by the conference office Friday.

The league schedule calls for weekend series to be played on Fridays and Saturdays with two teams idle each weekend.

The Jaguars, who open the season Jan. 31 at home against Bishop State, will have their idle weekend April 24-25.

The SWAC softball championship is set for May 6-9 at Wilson Morgan Park in Decatur, Ala.

Southern finished 11-36 after going 1-2 in the SWAC tournament last season.

John Garris is in his first season as the Jaguars head coach.

Here’s a link to the schedule on the Southern website and below is the entire SWAC schedule:


Dates Home Away
March 27 – 28 Jackson State Mississippi Valley State
Alabama A&.M Alcorn State
Southern Texas Southern
Prairie View A&.M Arkansas Pine-Bluff
Grambling State (idle)
Alabama State (idle)
April 3 – 4 Jackson State Alabama State
Alcorn State Mississippi Valley State
Southern Grambling State
Texas Southern Prairie View A&.M
Arkansas-Pine Bluff (idle)
Alabama A&M (idle)
April 10 – 11 Alabama A&M Jackson State
Mississippi Valley State Alabama State
Arkansas Pine-Bluff Southern
Texas Southern Grambling State
Prairie View A&M (idle)
Alcorn State (idle)
April 17 – 18 Alabama State Alabama A&M
Alcorn State Jackson State
Grambling State Arkansas Pine-Bluff
Prairie View A&M Southern
Texas Southern (idle)
Mississippi Valley State (idle)
April 24 – 25 Mississippi Valley State Alabama A&M
Alabama State Alcorn State
Arkansas Pine-Bluff Texas Southern
Grambling State Prairie View A&M
Southern (idle)
Jackson State (idle)
April 27 – May 3 Rainout Days
May 6 – 9 SWAC Softball Tournament Decatur, Alabama


Alabama A&M assistant coach dies

The Alabama A&M basketball teams will host Southern under very trying circumstances Saturday.

Bulldogs assistant men’s basketball coach James Wright died Wednesday night at the age of 46.

Madison County Coroner Bobby Berryhill said Wright died of natural cardiopulmonary causes, according to

The school said in a statement that head coach Willie Hayes and director of athletics Bryan Hicks spoke with the basketball team Wednesday evening.

“We ask that you pray for Coach Wright’s family and keep them in your thoughts,” Hicks said in the staement.

Wright was in his fourth season at AAMU.

“We’ve lost a great coach, a great man and a great person,” Hayes said. “I’ve known him since high school … I’ve lost a great friend.”

The university said grief counselors have been made available to the players and staff.

Southern football coach Dawson Odums tweeted, “RIP to Coach James Wright from Alabama A&M … prayers will go up for the AAMU family.”

The Jaguars and Bulldogs women’s teams meet at 4 p.m. Saturday in Huntsville, Ala., followed by the men’s game.

Football team to visit UTSA in ’17 opener

Southern will open the 2017 football season against Texas-San Antonio in the Alamodome.

The announcement was made in a news release posted on UTSA’s website Tuesday. The game will be played Sept. 2, 2017.

The Roadrunners, coached  by former University of Miami head coach Larry Coker, were  4-8 and 3-5 in Conference USA last season.

The Jaguars and the Roadrunners have never played in football.


Men’s basketball team finding inside-outside balance

The Southern men’s basketball team has won its last four games, but it hasn’t been able to make any headway at the top of the Southwestern Athletic Conference standings.

That’s because neither Alabama State nor Texas Southern has lost a conference game yet. Both are 5-0 – Texas Southern has beaten Southern and Alabama State hosts the Jaguars on Monday to conclude a Southern road trip that begins Saturday at Alabama A&M.

The Jaguars, the defending SWAC champions, were picked second behind Alabama State in the preseason. They have played like a team capable of competing for the league title, but this could be an extremely competitive race that goes to the wire.

The difference between Texas Southern and Southern is the Tigers’ last-second, 59-58 victory in the F.G. Clark Activity Center on Jan. 5. These teams meet again in the regular-season finale March 7 in Houston and it wouldn’t be surprising if the conference race isn’t settled until that game is over.

Alabama A&M (3-2), Alcorn State (3-3) and Prairie View (2-3) are lurking behind the top three teams in the standings.

The Jaguars began the season knowing they had the talent, experience and depth in the backcourt to be competitive. But a lack of experience in the frontcourt called into question whether they would be ready to compete for the conference title.

Now that it has played 20 games, Southern seems to have developed its frontcourt to the point where it can make a run at another title.

Coach Roman Banks has tried different combinations, but seems to have settled on Frank Snow and Jared Sam as his starters. Both were key factors in home victories against Mississippi Valley State on Monday and Arkansas-Pine Bluff two days before that.

Keith Davis has provided another low-post scoring option off the bench and Joell Hopkins has emerged as another threat, both inside and out.

That foursome doesn’t have to score a large number of points for Southern to be successful because the team plays such good defense and gets lots of offense from its backcourt. But it does have to provide a consistently credible offensive threat so teams can’t abandon the paint and extend their defense against the guards.

That inside-outside balance seems to be developing. If teams have to be wary of the paint, then it’s going to be difficult to for them to contain the Jaguars backcourt.

Adrian Rodgers has been very effective from the perimeter and Trelun Banks and Tre Lynch, who has been the leading scorer despite not starting, are effective scorers both from the perimeter and by driving to the basket.

Christopher Hyder provides a steady hand at the wheel that doesn’t have to score to be a key player. Cameron Monroe and Mike Harrel have been solid on both ends of the court coming off the bench.

Neither Alabama State nor Texas Southern has provided an opening for other teams at the top of the standings. But if they do, the defending champions seem capable of taking advantage.


Women’s basketball team headed in better direction

The Southern women’s basketball team seems to have righted the ship after a rough start to the Southwestern Athletic Conference season.

The Jaguars, who are the defending conference champions and preseason pick to repeat, lost two of their first three games, matching their loss total for the 18-game SWAC schedule last season.

But since then they have made significant improvement with decisive victories against Jackson State, Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Mississippi Valley State.

At 4-2 they are tied for second place with Alcorn State, a half-game behind Texas Southern (4-1), which beat the Jaguars at the F.G. Clark Activity Center on Jan. 5.

Southern has an important road trip coming up this weekend when it faces two of the three teams that are even with it in the loss column with 3-2 records. The Jaguars play at Alabama A&M on Saturday and at Alabama State on Monday. Prairie View, which lost to Southern in the conference opener, also is 3-2. The standings are tightly bunched as six teams have one or two losses.

The Jaguars’ three-game win streak has coincided with several key players showing improvement. Senior post player Jasmine Jefferson, a preseason all-SWAC player, played well below par until having had a breakout game against Jackson State. She has seemed like a different player during the win streak, thought she did miss most of the first half of a 70-57 victory against Valley on Monday because of foul trouble.

Freshman forward Briana Green says she’s feeling close to 100 percent as she nears the one-year anniversary of surgery to repair a torn ACL she suffered as a high-school senior in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., last season. She has become a solid complement to Jefferson inside and succeeded in an expanded role while Jefferson sat Monday.

Guard Britney Washington, like Jefferson, has shaken off a disappointing start to the season to play better of late. She was a very effective sixth man last season and has started and come off the bench this season. She seems more comfortable in both roles compared to the start of the season.

Senior Kendra Coleman has become the primary point guard, though she also plays in her customary spot at the shooting guard. Her move has brought more consistent ball handling and decision-making to the point, though Bonnie Scott has been solid defensively and has had good moments while playing fewer minutes at the point.

Post player Yasmine Nelson tore the meniscus in her knee in a loss at Grambling on Jan. 10 and didn’t play again until Monday. She played just three minutes and was clearly hobbled. The injury likely will restrict her playing time to specific match-ups where her limitations won’t be exposed.

Kenidi Robinson, a key inside player, is out indefinitely after having surgery to repair a broken bone in her chin. Coach Sandy Pugh said Robinson won’t return until March, if at all.

Despite the injuries in the frontcourt, the Jaguars have shown pretty good depth.

All in all, the Jaguars seem to be headed in the right direction but the road trip to Alabama will be the biggest challenge to date.





Football opener will be at Louisiana Tech

The Southern football team will open the season with an in-state road game for the second consecutive season in 2015.

The Jaguars, 9-4 and runners-up in the Southwestern Athletic Conference last season, will begin the season against Louisiana Tech on Sept. 5 in Ruton, La. Last year, Southern opened the season with a 45-6 loss at Louisiana-Lafayette.

The other non-conference game has the Jaguars playing at Southeastern Conference power Georgia on Sept. 26.

Southern has just four games in A.W. Mumford Stadium. After the game at Tech, the Jaguars play their conference opener at Mississippi Valley State on Sept. 12, then play their home opener the next Saturday against Jackson State.

After the trip to Georgia, Southern has its first of two open dates Oct. 3.

The Jaguars return to action the following Saturday at Alabama State, then host Prairie View for Homecoming.

They visit Texas Southern on Oct. 24 before hosting Alcorn State in a rematch of last season’s SWAC title game on Halloween.

Southern visits Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Nov. 7, then hosts Alabama A&M a week later before having its traditional open date a week before playing Grambling in the Bayou Classic. This year’s Classic will be Nov. 28 in th Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Kickoff times will be announced at later. Here’s the full schedule:

Sept. 5    — at Louisiana Tech

Sept. 12 — at Mississippi Valley State

Sept. 19 — vs. Jackson State

Sept. 26 — at Georgia

Oct. 3     — Open

Oct. 10 — at Alabama State

Oct. 17 — vs. Prairie View (Homecoming)

Oct. 24 — at Texas Southern

Oct. 31 — vs. Alcorn State

Nov. 7   — at Arkansas-Pine Bluff

Nov. 14 — vs. Alabama A&M

Nov. 21 — Open

Nov. 28 — vs. Grambling (Mercedes-Benz Superdome)