Lots of the kids are getting their mid-terms this week, we always have our grade book open here every Wednesday for you to chime in on what’s going in the sports world. As usual, WGEM SportsCenter host Josh Houchins and I will go over these grades around 8:20 on today’s program on ESPN 1440. To submit your grade, text us at 217-617-9437. Here we go:
A — Quincy University women’s soccer team. So much for flying under the radar. Dave Musso hoped his Lady Hawks would be able to sneak up on some people this year. After all, Becky Fleming, the program’s best player in nearly two decades, had moved on. Not only has QU shot back into the national rankings, but they’ve taken control of the Great Lakes Valley Conference race thanks to its huge 2-1 victory over Wisconsin-Parkside last week. If the Lady Hawks, who are now third in the nation, can continue to fly high, they have a great chance to host the NCAA Tournament for the first time in this string of NCAA appearances.
B —Larry Merchant. The veteran announcer made my weekend when he talked smack right back at Floyd Mayweather following Mayweather’s win over Victor Ortiz on Saturday night. After being disrespected repeatedly by Mayweather in the post-fight interview, the 80-year-old Merchant fired off the zinger of zingers saying, “If I was 50 years younger I’d kick your, (tail).” It was good to see that Merchant wasn’t going to let Mayweather bully him around.
C — LPGA Tour. The tour got a great shot in the arm over the weekend when 16-year-old American Lexi Thompson won her first title over the weekend. She whipped the field at the Navistar LPGA Classic, but the win didn’t get her an LPGA Tour card. She wasn’t even allowed to start the Q-school process until LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan allowed her to go through it even though she doesn’t meet the tour’s minimum age requirement of 18. Even after the win, Whan said Thompson has to go through Q School. She passed one phase earlier this summer, winning the qualfying tourney by 10 shots. On a Tour that’s lost on the American golf scene thanks to its foreign influence, Whan should be welcoming Thompson with open arms. She’ll probably glide through Q school anyway, but why not let her in. She’s already proven she can win.
D — Atlanta Braves. If the Braves don’t qualify for the playoffs, their 2011 swoon will go down as one of the worst in MLB history. On Sept. 4th, they led the NL wild card race by 8 1/2 games over the Cardinals and 9 1/2 games over the Giants. With a week to go in the season, both the Cardinals and Giants have playoff pulses thank to the Braves, who were 7-12 this month going into Tuesday’s play.
F — Kansas City Chiefs. After making the playoffs last year, all of the sudden Chiefs fans are hoping the team goes into the tank to get into the Andrew Luck sweepstakes. They’ve been outscored 89-10 through two games, lost one of their top defenders (Eric Berry) and one of their top offensive threats (Jamal Charles). You can’t blame Chiefs fans for being a bit anxious. Since they don’t have a competitive baseball team any more, the Chiefs are all that the town’s got. (Sorry, Sporting Kansas City fans.)