Centenary Staffer versus the Athlete
Wednesday, October 22, 2008

SHREVEPORT – For those of you who don’t know me I’m Tony Black the Assistant Sports Information Director at Centenary. While I was never much of an athlete other than playing pick up games with neighborhood kids I always enjoyed sports. My athletic dreams died pretty quickly in life, I got cut from the basketball team in fifth and sixth grade and was axed from the baseball team in seventh grade.


I am at most of the athletic events at Centenary and sometimes I’ll kick the ball with the soccer athletes or play catcher at softball practice, it doesn’t look very skillful but I enjoy doing it.


The idea of me playing against our athletes actually came from our softball coach Mark Montgomery. I’ll do this periodically in hopes of maybe beating one of our athletes at their sport. While I won’t run up and down the field with our soccer team, or run a 6K race with our cross country team I’ll try my best to beat them.


The first sport that welcomed me was our men’s soccer team, as Brian Hurlburt and I competed in pk’s. Hurlburt has one pk this season, smacking the match-winner against IPFW earlier this month.


We did everything by the book, 12 yards away from goal with a goalie trying to stop us, and the keeper defending us was Rennie Walker, who has 51 saves this year. Sitting under the tent at games I often say ‘How can it be the difficult to put a ball in a large netted area?' I answered my own question Tuesday night on Mayo Field, pretty hard.


I took the first kick and I hit a slow roller to Rennie, who had no problems stopping my shot. Brian hammered a screamer to the goal and Rennie had no chance of putting a paw on the ball.


No shocker, but I missed my next shot, though it did look a little crisper. Hurlburt put me down 2-0 on his next shot and I had one last opportunity. I don’t know if Rennie let me have a little life in our competition, but I got my next two shots past him to tie it at two.


It was down to our final shot, could I pull off the upset or would it be the expected? I got a last bit of advice from Dragan Hinic and I was ready to go. Trying to be a little fancy, I tried to go to the upper 90, but I pulled it way right. I was now really hoping Rennie would stop Brian’s shot, but no such luck and I lost 3-2.