Frazier promotion a win for Black coaches; Concordia wins two

By Kwame JC McDonald
Contributing Writer

LESLIE FRAZIER is the new Vikings football coach. He has been designated as the interim coach. Many are hoping that the word “permanent” will soon replace “interim.” Some think that the team’s performance will determine whether or not he becomes permanent. It will not solely depend on his win-loss record for the remainder of the season.

This writer thinks that Frazier winning his first game is a strong testament to his capability as a coach. It is also thought here that team effort in the future should be the prevailing determinant in the future. It is hoped that he gets the job. His victory over a tough Washington team should be the first brick in his new foundation.

Vikings tight end VISANTHE SHIANCOE said, “It feels like a new season here.

Right now, we’re 1-0. We’ve got to [stay undefeated]. There are a lot of smiles on peoples’ faces around there. It was great effort.”

Vikings prolific defensive end JARED ALLEN said of his new coach, “He provides a good work environment on the defensive side. He allows you to play within your abilities, within the scheme — he listens.

It’s important as a coach to have that camaraderie with your players.”

So, it appears that with a successful remainder of this season, the NFL may have the most coaches of Afrikan descent in its history. Let’s hope.

Hickman leads Concordia to victory

Concordia overcame a 37-33 half-time point deficit to give Michigan Tech its first defeat this season, 78-70, to capture the Radisson Roseville Thanksgiving Basketball Classic crown.

The shooting of point guard senior MAURIKA HICKMAN was spectacular: 3 for 3 from the three-point distance and 11 for 11 from the charity stripe for a total of 26 points. She was ably supported by frosh MANDY POKE, 12, JINEEN WILLIAMS, 11 and RACHEL HANSEN 10. As a team, Coach PAUL FESSLER’s charges beat a team ranked 14th nationally in the WBCA Top-25 coaches poll.

The Golden Bears shot 48.9 percent overall and 27 of 28 free throw attempts.

Hickman, incidentally, has 24 of 25 free throws, which is 96 percent for the season. Hickman was selected the tournament’s MVP.

Concordia men’s b-ball victory a near-perfect game
It has been my pleasure to witness nearly every game played in Concordia’s Gangelhoff Center since my return from the state of Washington in 1993.

The games this weekend were so well played, well coached and well officiated that it was a pleasure to witness Concordia University-St. Paul’s 77-67 men’s basketball victory over the Academy of Art (CA).

PETER OLAFESO (19 points), COURTNEY TYLER (10), BRENT BARZ (10) AND KENNY OLAFESO (10) led a balanced attack for the winners. The Academy of Art scoring leaders were KEITH DAVIS (18) and WILL OVERTON (10).

While the women’s game was very entertaining, well coached, well officiated and well played, I do not recall seeing a game on that court that was better coached, better officiated and better played than this DII contest.

I didn’t trust my own judgment, so I checked with others: referees, coaches, former players, table staff and others in whose judgment I trusted. My impression was validated. Those I queried agreed with my humble opinion.

It was the best officiated, the best coached and the best played game this writer has ever witnessed at Gangelhoff, ever.

In fact, I do not remember witnessing a more enjoyable experience. It was a hard-played, highly competitive, skillfully executed display of DII basketball.

Coaches KELLY BOE, Concordia, and the Academy of Arts’ MARK SEMBROWICH were tempered in their respective relationships with the officials, concentrating on coaching their respective squads.

Referees BLAINE JOERGER, BOB MAHRE and DAVID WITTMAN were as close to perfection (in my judgment) as this writer can remember witnessing.

This is not to say other games have not been well executed, impeccably officiated or skillfully played. It is to acknowledge the work of all of people involved in the contest.

Kwame McDonald welcomes reader responses to kmcdonald@spokesman-recorder.com or by phone at 651-398-5278.