Thursday, December 10, 2009

Generation gap?

Amy Pollick, You Don't Say, The Decatur Daily

Water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink.
That’s what some NAIA women’s soccer players at the end of the food line could have thought as they reached for a beverage during Thursday’s banquet for semifinal teams competing for the national championship.
The banquet started with five cases of bottled water, but the iced-down tub was empty by the time the last few athletes approached the beverage line.
Though regular and diet soft drinks remained plentiful, several of the athletes opted to do without something to drink. Looking across the room, reporter Paul Huggins observed nearly every athlete had bottled water next to her plate, while most of the coaches and tournament officials picked up soft drinks.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Comfort & Joy

Comfort & Joy
Neighbors welcome you into historic homes decorated with holiday charm for annual tour
By Patrice Stewart, Staff Writer, The Decatur Daily

The antique mantel mirror at the Garnett-Smith home on Oak Street Northeast reflects light from the crystals in the chandelier. Twin trees stand in front of the windows of the home, which is on the Historic Decatur Christmas Tour on Saturday.
Betsy Smith always wanted to own an old house with character like her childhood home in Cincinnati.
In 2006 Smith was living in Hampton Cove outside Huntsville, and visited Decatur to watch her son play baseball. As she drove through Old Decatur, she spotted a house that had a “For Sale by Owner” sign in the yard and quickly fell in love.
“When I walked in, I just knew I had to have this house,” said Smith.
Now she is busy decorating her three antique mantels and fireplaces on Oak Street in Old Decatur, one of the city’s two historic neighborhoods. She is positioning Old World Santas and hanging fresh garland to prepare for guests Saturday from 3 to 8 p.m. during the Historic Decatur Christmas Tour.
The 1887 Garnett-Smith House, which had already spent 75 years under the ownership of a family of Smiths, got its old name back in the deal. Most houses in Decatur’s historic areas have hyphenated names of the original and current owners.
The original owner at 618 Oak St. N.E. was W.W. Garnett, who owned and operated a grocery store on Bank Street. The store is gone now, while the house thrived through many changes but only four owners in 112 years.
“It is very unusual for a house to have only four owners in that time span, and I was excited when I found that out,” Smith said.
The earlier Smith family purchased the house in the 1920s and enclosed two side porches to create two new bedrooms and bathrooms. Sisters who inherited the house rented out the rooms and also moved the front door around the corner to Vine Street.
In 1993, Julian and Ann Price bought the house from the last of those Smiths and oversaw major renovations, replacing the roof, plumbing and electrical, enclosing a porch off the kitchen and making other changes.
Their extensive work left little for Betsy and Dennis Smith to do after they moved in with their teens, Meghan and Max, in July 2006.
Their main additions recently are new wallpaper, chandelier and shutters in the downstairs guest bedroom, where a Christmas tree features their collection of White House ornaments from the time they lived in Washington. Dennis Smith worked in the White House Office of Management and Budget in 1994-95; now he commutes to Research Park as project manager for Millennium Engineering.
They are looking forward to sharing the house with Christmas tour visitors.
“Everybody kept saying, ‘Please open it for the tour, because everybody wants to see it and the house has never been on the tour,’ ” Smith said.
This year she relegated Meghan’s Wizard of Oz decorations and Max’s baseball ornaments to their rooms upstairs, which will not be open for the tour, and created more elegant trees downstairs. The tree in the front study is done entirely in silver, while twin trees flank the mirrored mantel in the dining room.
“The kitchen look will be more whimsical, casual and comfortable, and we’re hoping to get a Santa mannequin into our clawfoot bathtub,” said Smith.
Some decorations, such as hand-blown glass and Russian ornaments, are borrowed from friend Pam Marthaler, who used to own a shop in Decatur and had plenty of extras in her attic. Also mingling with the Smiths’ decorations on trees, mantels and sideboards are some items loaned by Gloria Arthur of Bank Street Antiques.
The Smiths have put up fresh cedar garland, bows and a lighted wreath on the upstairs balcony over the front door, which was returned to Oak Street some years back. But she called on Ross Railey to create professional floral designs for the front door and dining room table as tour time nears.
Smith is familiar with the holiday home tour in Hampton Cove, but she likes the Decatur tour better and has served as a hostess in a tour home a couple of times.
“I think the Decatur tour is a lot more comfortable and inviting, and not so intimidating,” she said. “Everybody is so warm and welcoming when you go into the tour houses in Decatur.”
The Smith house is one of three that will be open Saturday in the Old Decatur district, while two houses in the Albany Historic District can be toured. Two public buildings and three churches also will participate (see list on E1).
Sandlin home
In the Albany neighborhood, the Malone-Sandlin House at 417 Jackson St. S.E. was on the tour once in the 1980s. Steve and Carol Sandlin, who have owned the house since 1976, remodeled the kitchen over the summer and agreed to open the house for the holiday tour again.
Originally constructed in 1888 by the Malone family as a two-story, four-square house with a boxy design, the house has seen many renovations over its 121 years. The Sandlins display photographs showing their house through the years.
Two other owners had the house before it was bought in the 1930s by Welsh Dinsmore, who owned Dinsmore Furniture in Decatur. The Sandlins bought it from the Dinsmores’ grandson and began a restoration project that has spanned more than 30 years so far.
“It was interesting, because each time we pulled the carpet up, we could see where the house had been added onto because the floor was different,” said Carol Sandlin.
They have enclosed porches and added to the width of the house, and they finished the attic to add a bedroom, bathroom, playroom and storage. Then they gutted the kitchen and added new lighting, tile and cherry cabinets.
“I like to cook, and this makes it easier,” she said, pointing out additions like an overhead cookbook shelf.
The kitchen has stained-glass panels that originally opened onto a porch that has been closed in, and the Sandlins added more stained-glass windows on the stairway and in the living room.
The house is furnished with antiques that have been in the family of Steve Sandlin, a pharmacist, since the early 1800s, along with items such as the dining table from England that can easily seat a dozen.
Tour-goers will see their collections of decorative Old World Nutcrackers, Byers’ Choice handcrafted carolers, music boxes and nesting Santas. Angels march the length of the burgundy and gold runner on the dining room table amid the Lenox Holiday china.
Their family Christmas tree is filled with ornaments collected from their travels, University of Alabama ornaments, and owls and other items belonging to daughters Allison and Mary Katherine.
Watch for the front porch with a child’s sled and gift-wrapped boxes displayed on the porch swing.
If you go
Ten houses, public buildings and churches will be open from 3 to 8 p.m. Saturday during the Historic Decatur Christmas Tour in the Old Decatur and Albany districts.
Talks, music, refreshments and carriage rides will be part of the event, too. This annual event showcases the outdoor lighting and decorations at many other homes in what is considered one of the largest collections of Victorian and early 20th century craftsman and bungalow houses in Alabama.
Malone-Sandlin House, 417 Jackson St. S.E.
Murray-Cole House, 507 Eighth Ave. S.E.
Garnett-Smith House, 618 Oak St. N.E.
Gray-Higgins House, 211 Vine St. N.E.
Mitchell-Godbey House, 204 Canal St. N.E.
Old State Bank, 925 Bank St. N.E.
Carnegie Visual Arts Center, 207 Church St. N.E.
First Presbyterian Church, 701 Oak St. N.E.
St. John’s Episcopal Church, 202 Gordon Dr. S.E.
Emmanuel Church International, 400 Grant St. S.E.
Refreshments: 3-7 p.m., St. John’s Episcopal Church
Carriage rides: 4-8 p.m., $10 per person, leaving from Carnegie Visual Arts Center and Delano Park tennis courts
Speakers: Both at 3 p.m. at St. John’s Episcopal Church
Lee Sentell, state director of tourism, will talk about the 2010 emphasis, “The Year of Small Towns and Downtowns”
Ross Railey, floral designer, will give holiday decorating tips with a demonstration
5 p.m., Three Sopranos with carols of the season, First Presbyterian Church,
6-7:30 p.m., Choir music and open house, Emmanuel Church International
3-8 p.m., Carillon Christmas music, First Presbyterian Church and Westminster Presbyterian Church
$15 per person, or $10 each for groups of 10 and up, available in advance at many local businesses plus Decatur-Morgan County Convention & Visitors Bureau, 350-2028 or 800-524-6181. On tour day, tickets will be available from noon to 7 p.m. at the Old State Bank, Carnegie Visual Arts Center and St. John’s Episcopal Church.
On the Net

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Cinderella Point Loma dances into NAIA finals

Cinderella Point Loma dances into NAIA finals
Lee advances with shutout victory
By Cody Whitlock, Sports Writer, The Decatur Daily

Point Loma Nazarene’s Cinderella run in the NAIA Women’s Soccer Championships continued the same way it began.
Two days after knocking off No. 1 Lindsey Wilson College, the unseeded Sea Lions defeated Azusa Pacific (Calif.) in a shootout in Friday’s semifinals at the Jack Allen Soccer Complex.
The score is officially recorded as a 0-0 tie, but Point Loma of San Diego, Calif., — the only unseeded team in the 16-team field in Decatur — made its first two penalty kicks to advance to Saturday’s championship match against Lee (Tenn.) at 7 p.m.
“We play in a very tough conference, but for us to come into the national tournament as the only unseeded team is totally Cinderella,” Point Loma head coach Tim Hall said with a big grin. “We endorse that, and we’re totally OK with that.”
Tommie Graham and Lauren Hernandez scored on penalty kicks for Point Loma, while goalkeeper Tiffany Kracy stopped two Azusa Pacific shots and watched another attempt sail wide left.
The Lady Sea Lions (15-4-4) defeated Azusa Pacific in a shootout in the Golden State Athletic Conference tournament Nov. 6 to advance to the national tournament.
Kracy finished with five saves, including a diving stop with 44 seconds remaining in regulation.
“She’s been doing it all year. She was our all-conference goalkeeper as a freshman,” Hall said. “In the women’s game, the keeper is big, and I think she’s the best in the country.”
Azusa Pacific’s Natalie Sun hit the post with 4:29 remaining in regulation, as the Lady Cougars were more aggressive in the second period.
Azusa Pacific (17-3-2) had four shots on goal after managing only one in the first 45 minutes.
“They hit the post a couple of times. It didn’t go in, but I think they had more opportunities than we did,” Hall said. “The soccer gods are smiling on us a little bit.”
Hall, whose team has played three matches in the past four days, said fatigue could be a concern for the championship match after playing a two-overtime contest Friday.
“The adrenaline and the emotion will carry us through, though,” he said. “The thing about these girls is that they just find a way to fight. They never ever quit.
“There are times when we’ve had teams coming at us, but then we find a way to go at them and find a way to stay in the game. They just don’t quit. It’s unbelievable.”
Lee (Tenn.) 1, Concordia (Ore.) 0: Defending champion Lee (20-2-1) advanced to the title match for the third time in the last five years with a victory over Concordia (21-3).
Jamie Achten kicked in the first period’s lone goal in the 33rd minute off a rebound after Christian Christensen’s shot hit the post. Christensen got off seven shots, but only one was a shot on goal. Lee goalkeeper Leah Wilson finished with seven saves to record the shutout.
Concordia’s Georgia Christensen had five saves. Concordia’s closest chance at a goal came in the 28th minute when Jessica Ramback missed off the post.
NAIA Women’s Soccer
All games are at Jack Allen?Soccer Complex in Decatur.
Friday’s semifinals
Point Loma 0, Azusa Pacific 0, Loma wins 2-0 in shootout.
Lee 1, Concordia 0
Saturday’s finals
Point Loma (15-4, 4) vs. Lee (20-2-1), 7 p.m.

Friday, December 4, 2009

NAIA teams donate cleats to Big Brothers

By Paul Huggins, Staff Writer, The Decatur Daily

Twenty-four children from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Morgan County will get a kick from the generosity of teams competing at the NAIA women’s soccer championship this week.
The four semifinalist teams, Lee University, Concordia, Azusa Pacific and Point Loma Nazarene, donated 24 pairs of cleats to the organization as part of its Champions
of Character program — and as part of the foresightedness of the Decatur-Morgan County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The bureau used the youth-sized cleats as table decorations for the tournament’s opening banquet with the intent that the teams could then give them to a local youth club, said Tami Reist, bureau president.
The Champions of Character program is a mainstay for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, she said, and teams look for ways to contribute to the community where they play.
Second gift this week
The cleats were the second gift to Big Brothers Big Sisters this week.
The Auburn University at Montgomery team met with the younger brothers and sisters Tuesday night to help them make Christmas ornaments for their big brothers and sisters.
“Even though they were defeated Sunday and could have gone home, they chose to stay and be part of the community,” said Leah Brown, Big Brothers Big Sisters director. “The kids loved them and the young women are great role models. Next year, we want to sponsor a team.”
In addition to Big Brothers Big Sisters, the NAIA teams met with students at Banks-Caddell Elementary School, played bingo with residents at Priceville Terrace, went bowling with Special Olympic participants and gave a soccer clinic to students at Decatur High Developmental.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Defending champs win again in NAIA

Defending champs win again in NAIA
Playing on muddy Jack Allen turf, Lee records another shutout
By R. Sirvell Carter, Sports Writer, The Decatur Daily
In a rematch from last year’s quarterfinals of the NAIA Women’s Soccer Championships, Lee (Tenn.) eliminated rival Martin Methodist (Tenn.) 3-0.
Second-seeded Lee (19-2-1) recorded its ninth straight shutout on a heavily muddied Jack Allen Soccer Complex field. Lee coach Matt Yelton said the team had to work with the conditions it was given.
“You’ve got to embrace it,” Yelton said.
All Wednesday matches were moved from main pitch at Jack Allen to an alternate field to allow for the main playing surface to recover from the consistent rain since Sunday night.
Kim Conrad, Christiane Christensen and Lauren Good each scored a goal. Twin sisters Jenna and Jamie Achten and Christensen each provided an assist. Goalkeeper Leah Wilson posted three saves.
Lee, which is based in Cleveland, and Martin Methodist, based in Pulaski, are separated by about 150 miles.
“Martin Methodist is a huge rival for us,” Yelton said.
Lee scored less than two minutes into the game. Conrad scored on Jenna Achten’s assist with 43:17 left in the first half.
“We couldn’t have asked for a better start,” Yelton said.
The Lady Flames secured the win in the second half when Christensen scored with 37:03 left in the game and assisted on Good’s goal with 16:19 remaining.
Lee has not allowed a goal since winning 9-1 at Columbia (S.C.) College on Oct. 23. The Lady Flames held Martin Methodist (16-3-2) to five shots.
Wilson’s last allowed a goal Oct. 13 in a 4-1 victory at Carson-Newman in Jefferson City, Tenn. Yelton said the freshman has made huge strides in her first season.
“She has performed above expectations, for sure,” said Yelton. “She’s really matured over the course of the year.”
Yelton cautioned that Wilson still needs to step up her strong play in order for Lee to repeat as champions.
The defending NAIA champions will play Friday in another 2008 tourney rematch. Last year Lee defeated Concordia (Ore.) 3-0 in final.
“We have a huge amount of respect for (Concordia),” Yelton said. They are consistently one of the top teams.”
Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.) 2, Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) 0: The unseeded Sea Lions knocked off a seeded team for the third time in the tournament.
They beat No. 9 Simon Fraser (Canada) in the opening round played in British Columbia. In Decatur, the Sea Lions (15-4-3) beat No. 8 Vanguard (Calif.) and then No. 1 Lindsey Wilson (19-3-2).
In Wednesday’s match, Point Loma freshman goalkeeper Tiffany Kracy saved five shots to earn her 13th shutout of the season.
Senior reserve Ashley Adams scored the first goal on a pass from Lauren Hernandez. In the second half, senior midfielder Alex Fuller sealed the win with a goal on an assist by Kelsey Lundberg.
It is the first time the number-one seed has not reached the semifinals of the NAIA Women’s Soccer Championships since seeding began in 2000.
No. 6 Concordia (Ore.) 3, No. 3 California Baptist 1: Three different people scored goals to help Concordia (21-2) knock off California Baptist (17-5-1).
Concordia opened the scoring when Jessica Ramback netted a cross from Alex Thomas with three seconds left in the first half.
In the 57th minute, freshman Kaitlyn Tebbs scored off a rebound from Alex Thomas’ shot. Jackie Hendrickson corralled a loose ball in the 64th minute to give the Cavaliers a 3-0 lead.
California Baptist added a goal in the 87th when Jacquelyn Witz headed home a cross from Amanda Lammers.
No. 4 Azusa Pacific (Calif.) 1, No. 12 Graceland (Iowa) 0: Azusa Pacific senior defender Katie Rorabaugh scored the only goal on a bit of a freak play.
She sent a free kick from 40 yards out skipping past the Graceland goalkeeper in the 40th minute for what would prove to be the game winner. Graceland (19-2-2) managed only two shots, while the Cougars (17-3-1) managed 13 shots. The victory put Azusa Pacific into the semifinals for the third time in four years.
NAIA Women’s Soccer Championships
All games are at Jack Allen?Soccer Complex.
Wednesday’s quarterfinals
No. 4 Azusa Pacific (Calif.) 1, Graceland (Iowa) 0
No. 6 Concordia (Ore.) 3, No. 3 California Baptist 1
Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.) 2, No. 1 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) 1
No. 2 Lee (Tenn.) 3, No. 7 Martin Methodist (Tenn.)?0
Friday’s semifinals
3 p.m.: Azusa Pacific, 17-3-1, vs. Point Loma Nazarene, 15-4-3
6 p.m.: Concordia, 21-2, vs. Lee, 19-2-1

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Hovden helps Red Hawks fly to vistory

Hovden helps Red Hawks fly to victory
Martin Methodist to play defending champs Wednesday
By R. Sirvell Carter, The Decatur Daily

Colleen DeMartini, left, of Graceland University uses her head to block a goal shot from Shayna Turner of William Carey University at the NAIA Women’s Soccer Championships in?Decatur on Tuesday.
Camilla Hovden scored twice for seventh-seed Martin Methodist (Tenn.) College as the Red Hawks beat 10th-seeded Northwood University 3-0 Tuesday in the first round of the NAIA Women’s Soccer Championship at Jack Allen Soccer Complex.
Nicole O’Donnell added another goal and goalkeeper Hanit Schwartz had three saves for Martin Methodist (16-2-2).
Shannon Walter and Amelia Pereira each contributed an assist.
“We defended them pretty well late in the game,” Martin Methodist coach Gerry Cleary said. “They were a little bit quiet tonight.”
Hovden put Martin Methodist on the scoreboard 32:28 left in the first half when she spun around a Northwood defender for a goal. The Red Hawks cushioned the lead after intermission with Hovden’s second goal with 23:04 left in the game. Walter assisted.
“(Hovden) created good chances for herself,” Cleary said. “She has been one of our better players the last few weeks.”
O’Donnell’s goal came on a header with 1:56 remaining from Periera’s assist on a free kick.
The win sets up a showdown with defending national champion and No. 2-seed Lee (Tenn.).
The game will be a rematch from last year’s quarterfinals which Lee prevailed 4-2 in penalty kicks. Lee defeated No. 15 seed Trinity Christian (Ill.) 2-0 on Monday in its first round game.
“They are very fast, very well coached, move the ball quickly and they get at you,” Cleary said.
Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.) 6, Vanguard (Calif.) 1: Katie Pedlowe had two goals and an assist for unseeded Point Loma (14-4-2) over No. 8 Vanguard.
Karri Currier had the goal for Vanguard (13-2-5).
Concordia (Ore.) 2, McKendree (Ill.) 1, OT: Jessica Ramback scored the winning goal in overtime for Concordia (20-2).
In regulation, McKendree (17-3-2) got a goal from Sarah Ryan before Concordia’s Kaitlyn Tebbs tied the score at 1.
Concordia plays California Baptist (19-4-1) at 1 p.m. Wednesday.
Graceland (Iowa) 4, William Carey (Miss.) 1: Chelsea Phillips scored twice and Shay Eskridge Karina Vega each scored once to give Graceland (19-1-2) the win. Natalie Nino had the lone goal for William Carey (20-2-1).
NAIA Women’s Soccer Championships
All games will be at Jack Allen Soccer Complex. The tournament includes 16 teams and is single elimination.
Monday’s first-round games
No. 4 Azusa Pacific (Calif.) 2, No. 13 Indiana Wesleyan 1
No. 3 California Baptist 3, No. 14 Auburn-Montgomery 2
No. 1 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) 4, Southern Nazarene (Okla.) 0
No. 2 Lee (Tenn.) 2, No. 15 Trinity Christian (Ill.) 0
Tuesday’s first-round games
No. 12 Graceland (Iowa) 4, No. 5 William Carey (Miss.) 1
No. 6 Concordia (Ore.) 2, No. 11 McKendree (Ill.) 1, OT
Point Loma Nazarene 6, No. 8 Vanguard (Calif.) 1
No. 7 Martin Methodist (Tenn.) 3, No. 10 Northwood 0
Wednesday’s quarterfinals
10 a.m.: Azusa Pacific (Calif.), 16-3-1, vs. Graceland (Iowa), 19-1-2
1 p.m.: California Baptist, 17-4-1, vs. Concordia (Ore.), 20-2
4 p.m.: Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), 19-2-2, vs. Point Loma Nazarene, 14-4-3
7 p.m.: Lee (Tenn.), 18-2-1, vs. Martin Methodist, 16-2-2
Friday’s games
3 p.m.: Semifinal
6 p.m.: Semifinal

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Top-seeded team records shutout in NAIA opener
By Cody Whitlock, Sports Writer, The Decatur Daily

Lindsey Wilson’s Yolanda Hamilton (5)?battles for possession with Southern Nazarene’s Whitney Seaton (16).
Lindsey Wilson, which won its second and most recent national title in 2006, lost in the semifinals a year ago.
“It’s a big motivation to do better and fight every second we’re out here,” said Heini Metsola, a sophomore defender who has scored five goals this year. “Every team here is a quality team, and we have to perform well because every team here is capable of beating us. In this format, it’s win and move on, or lose and go home. It’s a tough situation.”
Added Burwash: “I think there’s pressure there, but we don’t think we’re No. 1. We think every team is the same coming into this tournament. It’s 0-0 when the game starts, so everybody can beat everybody. We just have to fight through.”
No. 4 Azusa Pacific (Calif.) 2, No. 13 Indiana Wesleyan 1: Indiana Wesleyan’s Megan Marshall scored the match’s first goal in the 21st minute, but Azusa Pacific (16-3-1) tied the score eight minutes later on Jacqueline Confronto’s goal, which was assisted by Thereas Broad.
Broad kicked what would eventually be the game-winning goal in the 69th minute on an assist from Kelsey Walker.
Indiana Wesleyan finished at 18-3-1.
No. 3 California Baptist 3, No. 14 Auburn-Montgomery 2: California Baptist (17-4-1) fought off a 1-0 deficit at the break with three goals in a five-minute stretch in the second period.
Fabiola Dasilva scored an unassisted goal in the 66th minute, and Kitra Walters scored on an assist from Dasilva three minutes later. Dasilva assisted Lizzy Bendrick on a score in the 71st minute.
Helga Franklinsdottir scored on a rebound off a free kick with five minutes remaining.
AUM (15-5-2) got a first-half goal from Heather Welch on an assist from Tschana Wade. Helga Franklinsdottir added a goal at 85:08 on a rebound of a free kick.
No. 2 Lee (Tenn.) 4, No. 15 Trinity Christian (Ill.) 0: Marina Lima scored two goals, and Lauren Good added two assists to pace the defending NAIA champions.
Jamie Achten and Christiane Christensen each added a goal for Lee (18-2-1). Trinity Christian finished its season at 14-5-4.
NAIA Women’s Soccer Championships scores, schedule
All games will be at Jack Allen Soccer Complex. The tournament includes 16 teams and is single elimination.
Monday’s first-round gamesNo. 4 Azusa Pacific (Calif.) 2, No. 13 Indiana Wesleyan 1
No. 3 California Baptist 3, No. 14 Auburn-Montgomery 2
No. 1 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) 4, Southern Nazarene (Okla.) 0
No. 2 Lee (Tenn.) 2, No. 15 Trinity Christian (Ill.) 0
Tuesday’s first-round games
10 a.m.: No. 5 William Carey (Miss.), 20-1-1, vs. No. 12 Graceland (Iowa), 18-1-2
1 p.m.: No. 6 Concordia (Ore.), 19-2, vs. No. 11 McKendree (Ill.), 17-2-2
4 p.m.: No. 8 Vanguard (Calif.), 13-1-6, vs. unseeded Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.), 13-4-3
7 p.m.: No. 7 Martin Methodist (Tenn.), 15-2-2, vs. No. 10 Northwood (Fla.), 14-5
10 a.m.: Azusa Pacific (Calif.), 16-3-1, vs. William Carey or Graceland
1 p.m.: California Baptist, 17-4-1, vs. Concordia or McKendree
4 p.m.: Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), 19-2-2, vs. Point Loma Nazarene or Vanguard
7 p.m.: Lee (Tenn.), 18-2-1, vs. Martin Methodist or Northwood
Friday’s games
3 p.m.: Semifinal
6 p.m.: Semifinal
Saturday’s game
7 p.m.: Finals

TLC to feature Riverfest

TLC to feature Riverfest
Documentary series follows barbecue teams around the country
By Catherine GodbeyStaff Writer

At the 2009 Riverfest, J-Mack Cookers took home the grand champion title, but Decatur may actually reign as the top winner.
Amid the tons of meat and buckets of grease at the annual barbecue festival, a TLC camera crew roamed.
The cable network, famous for the shows “Jon & Kate plus 8,” and “Trading Spaces,” will air the footage as part of an eight-week documentary series.
Dubbed “BBQ Pitmasters,” the series follows six teams battling on the barbecue circuit as they fire their grills in competitions across the country.
Riverfest organizers and city officials hope the publicity places a national spotlight on the annual event, an official State Barbecue Championship competition sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society.
“These teams travel the country and make a living competing,” said Tiffany Brightwell of the Decatur Jaycees, which organizes the event.
“We know that these teams are nationally known, and the show will bring positive attention to our contest in the future.”
Tami Reist, president of the Decatur-Morgan County Convention and Visitors Bureau, agreed.
“Riverfest and the city of Decatur will benefit tremendously from the national exposure on the TLC network,” Reist said. “Anytime you get the city out there, it will drive more people to the area.”
After generating $48,000 in 2008, the revenue total for the 2009 Riverfest dropped to $20,000. Officials blamed the financial dip on rain.
The Decatur Jaycees hopes the exposure will boost revenue for the 16th annual Riverfest, scheduled for Sept. 17-18. Proceeds benefit local nonprofit organizations.
“BBQ Pitmasters” premieres Thursday at 9 p.m. Episodes will highlight competitions in Nevada, Missouri, Delaware, Illinois, Georgia and Alabama.
TLC scheduled the Riverfest episode to run Dec. 17, Brightwell said.
“It is a great honor for them to feature Decatur out of all the competitions in the Kansas City Barbecue Society circuit,” Reist said.
Annually, the barbecue society sanctions almost 300 events a year.
Big Bob Gibson
Reist and Brightwell credited Chris Lilly and the national reputation of Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Que for attracting TLC. Lilly credited Riverfest itself.
“Riverfest is actually one of the premiere competitions with a fantastic reputation that pulls some of the best barbecuers in from all over the country. Because of the reputation, that is one of the reasons why TLC chose Decatur as one of the stops,” said Lilly, resident pitmaster and owner of Big Bob Gibson.
According to Lilly, Riverfest attracts teams that compete in 30 to 40 competitions a year.
With local leaders pulling for Decatur as the ultimate winner, the question remains who will come in second — maybe Slap Yo’ Daddy.
Along with Harry Soo with Slap Yo’ Daddy, the series features Jamie Geer with Jambo Pits, Myron Mixon with Jack’s Old South, Paul Petersen with Pablo Diablo, Tuffy Stone with Cool Smoke, Johnny Trigg with Smokin’ Triggers and Lee Ann Whippen with Wood Chicks.
Riverfest on TLC
TLC will air the episode featuring Riverfest on Dec. 17 at 9 p.m.
On the Net
For more information about “BBQ Pitmasters,” visit