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Messenger Sports Briefs for January 22

Messenger Sports Briefs for January 22
Briefly

Semi-pro football
coming to Jackson

Professional football is coming to Jackson.
The Gridiron Developmental Football League, a semi-professional league that boasts of connections to scouts in the Canadian Football League, has granted the city an expansion team for the 2010 season.
The franchise, known as the West Tennessee War Eagles, is having open tryouts for prospective players on Saturday at Solus Performance Training Center.
Play in the GDFL begins in June and ends in late-September.
The team also has plans to name its head coach at a kickoff celebration on Saturday at the Holiday Inn on Carriage House Drive.
The War Eagles have yet to secure a home field and the team’s schedule has not been released either.
For more information, visit www.west10wareagles.org.

UTM wideout Hicks
in East-West game

UT Martin senior wide receiver Mike Hicks has been added to one of the rosters for Saturday’s East-West Shrine Game at the Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fla.
According to Hicks’ agent, Brian Anderson, the UTM product will be added to the West roster to replace an injured player.
Hicks was a 2009 Preseason All-Ohio Valley Conference selection. He saw action in 10 games and had 46 receptions for 599 yards and four touchdowns this season. .
Hicks, a native of Jacksonville, Fla., transferred to UT Martin from Ole Miss for his junior season. He played in 22 career games for the Skyhawks and scored 16 touchdowns.
Hicks is the fourth UT Martin player since 2006 to play in a postseason all-star (bowl) game.

Balanced Racer effort
enough at Eastern Ill.

CHARLESTON, Ill. (AP) — Murray State got points from 10 players in a 60-51 victory over Eastern Illinois on Thursday night.
Tony Easley and Ivan Aska scored 10 points apiece to lead the Racers (17-3, 9-0 Ohio Valley), who won their eighth straight and remained unbeaten in conference. The Racers’ start is their best since the 1998-99 squad opened 17-2.
Jeremy Granger led all scorers with 23 for the Panthers (10-9, 4-5), who dropped their fourth in a row. Ousmane Cisse had just two points but 10 rebounds.
Murray State led 27-23 at intermission, but Granger scored five points in a row to put Eastern Illinois on top 32-31 early in the second half. It was the Panthers’ last lead.
Shortly thereafter, Murray State ran off eight points in a row, ending with Jeffery McClain’s tip-in with 10:46 left to make it 48-37.
Eastern Illinois cut it to six but never got closer.

Skyhawk softball team
picked to finish 2nd

Defending Ohio Valley Conference softball tournament champion UT Martin has been picked to finish the 2010 regular season in second place by the league’s head coaches.
The Skyhawks return three all-conference players — including Freshman of the Year Jenny Bain — from last year’s team that advanced to the program’s first-ever NCAA Tournament.
UT Martin earned two first place votes and accumulated 60 points in the poll, tying them with Southeast Missouri and Tennessee Tech. The Skyhawks won the second place tie-breaker by virtue of their first place votes.
UT Martin will begin its 58-game schedule Feb. 12 when it faces Missouri-Kansas City in the season-opener at the Middle Tennessee Invitational.
The Skyhawks will play 24 games away from Bettye Giles Field before they welcome Eastern Kentucky for the home and OVC-opener on March 20.

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