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COLUMN: The roller coaster ride that is the rebuilding SEMO football program
Posted Monday, October 5, at 1:38 PM
You know that moment when you're waiting in line for a roller coaster when you start to wonder if it'll all be worth it? Sure, you were excited to get to the amusement park and look forward to the thrill of the ride, but after 40 minutes of scooting forward two feet at a time behind a pack of teenagers Snapchatting their precious lives away, you start thinking less about getting an optimal seat and more about if you're wasting your day off...

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COLUMN: SEMO football plays to win without getting Paul McRoberts the ball -- wait, what?
Posted Saturday, September 26, at 7:56 PM

Tom Matukewicz likes to use the phrase "man crush" to describe his affection for players, and he's probably used it to describe his relationship with senior wide receiver Paul McRoberts more than any other Redhawk. So extensive was Matukewicz's admiration for the talents and character of McRoberts that in the offseason he was part of the creation of PaulMcRoberts.com, which labels the wideout as "legitimately one of the top wide receivers in the Football Championship Subdivision" and was designed to boast his status as an all-American and national player of the year candidate.. ...

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COLUMN: Dante Vandeven proves he's ready to be SEMO's quarterback
Posted Saturday, September 19, at 8:20 PM

When Southeast Missouri State football coach Tom Matukewicz closed practices this week, I had a feeling. When he inserted his freshman quarterback into Saturday's game against nationally-ranked Indiana State and confirmed my suspicions, I suddenly felt sick...

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COLUMN: Southeast Missouri State football team won long before McCrum's last-minute kick
Posted Saturday, September 12, at 11:14 PM

The Southeast Missouri State football team won long before Ryan McCrum made a field goal with 5.6 seconds left to give the Redhawks a 27-24 victory over Southern Illinois on Saturday night. Yes, McCrum's field goal gave Southeast the first victory on its schedule, but even if the junior kicker had missed for the fourth time in the game or the Salukis had somehow rallied, coach Tom Matukewicz could have considered his team's home opener a success...

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COLUMN: Southeast Missouri State football team keeps offensive 'conservative' vs. Mizzou
Posted Saturday, September 5, at 10:48 PM

There was a distinct difference between the mood of the Southeast Missouri State football coaches and their star offensive players following Saturday night's loss at Missouri. The Redhawks debuted with a decidedly limited playbook from which to work, something the coaches said had a purpose that focused on the future but drew frustration from the likes of star receiver Paul McRoberts...

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COLUMN: New SEMO president gets early challenge with AD search
Posted Monday, July 6, at 10:40 PM

Dr. Carlos Vargas officially became the 18th president of Southeast Missouri State University last Wednesday. On Thursday, director of athletics Mark Alnutt told Vargas he was resigning. "In some ways it was an unfortunate situation for us because I had heard very good things about what has been happening with athletics at the university," Vargas said Monday afternoon after the public announcement of Alnutt's departure. ...

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Group therapy post: The Cardinals did what?!?
Posted Tuesday, June 16, at 4:27 PM

I came to the office this morning with the intent to be productive all day. My to-do list is about a mile long as we enter the final stretch before the Semoball Awards. Then Southeast Missourian editor Bob Miller stopped me on the way to my desk to ask if I'd seen the New York Times story about the Cardinals being investigated by the FBI for "hacking" into the Astros database. ...

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COLUMN: Tay Bender making strong case to be Southeast's next quarterback
Posted Saturday, April 18, at 12:27 AM

Tay Bender looked and sounded like a kid who'd just finished opening his Christmas presents and was getting to give a full rundown of his goods for the first time on Friday night. It was December, after all, when he got his first look at Southeast Missouri State, and Friday night was his first opportunity to speak publicly about his new school and team...

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COLUMN: Rekha Patterson separated herself from crowd of Southeast Missouri State women's coaching candidates
Posted Wednesday, April 15, at 8:51 PM

Rekha Patterson was the right person for the job. After the vetting dozens of applicants for the Southeast Missouri State women's basketball coaching position and interviews with nine finalists that lasted more than 11 hours, that much was obvious to athletic director Mark Alnutt and senior associate athletic director Cindy Gannon...

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COLUMN: Rick Ray is more than his record but less than an easy sell as Southeast men's coach
Posted Tuesday, April 14, at 12:33 AM

If Dickey Nutt was the .500 mid-major coach who frustrated fans with underachieving teams, particularly in the playoffs, then Rick Ray is the losing SEC coach who couldn't convince fans to care enough to keep his job. For the casual or perhaps recently discouraged Southeast Missouri State men's basketball fan, Monday evening's announcement of Ray as the Redhawks new coach will be a hard sell on paper...

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Updated: What I know about Southeast men's coaching announcement
Posted Monday, April 13, at 8:11 PM

As you've probably seen, Rick Ray has been named Southeast's coach. Initial story here. More to come. --- From earlier: All indications are that the Southeast Missouri State men's basketball coaching job will come down to Virginia Tech assistant Issac Chew or former Mississippi State coach Rick Ray. (You can learn more about them here.)...

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COLUMN: Mark Alnutt makes statement with Southeast Missouri State basketball coaching moves
Posted Tuesday, March 24, at 12:14 AM

Mark Alnutt was introduced as the Southeast Missouri State athletic director on April 19, 2012. But when his time at Southeast is done -- whether he chooses to move on to another job, is fired or retires a Redhawk -- it will likely be March 23, 2015 that is remembered as the day he took over...

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COLUMN: An appreciation of Frank Staple
Posted Monday, March 16, at 8:55 PM

The Scott County Central boys basketball team added another chapter to the greatest history book in Missouri high school hoops with its Class 2 state championship Saturday. The Braves, as you already know unless you've been hiding in an underground bunker devoid of Wi-Fi the last couple days, won their record 18th state title overall and just their second in Class 2...

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COLUMN: Margenthaler forced to excuse the inexcusable in regressive season
Posted Saturday, February 28, at 11:57 PM

Earlier this season Southeast Missouri State women's basketball coach Ty Margenthaler said his team needed to win -- not eventually, but now. "Bottom line," Margenthaler said after his team fell to 0-2 in conference play in early January. "We need to win. This is not excusable."...

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COLUMN: Southeast men don't leave empty-handed against Murray State
Posted Sunday, February 15, at 2:38 AM

The Southeast Missouri State basketball team didn't get a signature win on Saturday night. The Redhawks didn't beat Murray State and as a result had to watch the Racers celebrate their 24th regular-season title on the Show Me Center court. It was an undoubtedly deflating end to a game it looked for all the world that they could -- and even should -- win...

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COLUMN: Sophomore Jamaal Calvin sparks Southeast men in win over Austin Peay
Posted Sunday, February 1, at 2:40 AM

After home loss to Eastern Kentucky on Jan. 10, Southeast Missouri State men's basketball coach Dickey Nutt spoke at length about how his team needed to start doing the "little things" better. He promised there'd be changes and promised he would figure out how to make a team that didn't "get it" understand the importance of what he was talking about...

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COLUMN: Jarekious Bradley's avoidable absence costs Southeast men
Posted Saturday, January 24, at 10:03 PM

Southeast Missouri State men's basketball coach Dickey Nutt spoke at length about his decision to suspend senior star Jarekious Bradley for Saturday night's game at UT Martin. Then he did his best to move on and talk about the game his team had just lost to the Skyhawks...

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Semoball Awards Selection Show live on Feb. 7!
Posted Wednesday, January 21, at 3:59 PM

It's finally time to announce the first round of Semoball Awards finalists, and I'm excited to share that the announcements will be made live at Dexter BBQ in Cape Girardeau and on SEMO ESPN airwaves at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 7. For the uninitiated, the Semoball Awards are the Southeast Missouri version of the ESPYs. ...

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COLUMN: Re-energized Southeast women reply to new low with first conference win
Posted Saturday, January 17, at 11:53 PM

I don't think there is a coach alive who cares more about his basketball program than Ty Margenthaler. There are undoubtedly many coaches who equal the Southeast Missouri State women's basketball coach's passion and desire, but it would frankly be impossible to surpass him...

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COLUMN: Nutt delivers stronger messages after Southeast men's latest loss
Posted Saturday, January 10, at 11:54 PM

Dickey Nutt delivered multiple messages to his team Saturday night. He delivered one by removing senior star Jarekious Bradley from the starting lineup. He delivered another by benching disgruntled senior Nino Johnson for long periods of time. He delivered others during timeouts and after the game as well...

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Rachel Crader is the editor of semoball.com. She graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism in May of 2009 before spending the summer covering the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.

Highlights from Rachel's days in college include having a class down the hall from Chase Daniel and having NCAA wrestling champion Ben Askren hold the door open for her at Brady Commons, Mizzou's student center. She spent time covering Mizzou basketball, softball and baseball while working for the Columbia Missourian and is excited to return home to Southeast Missouri to cover local sports for semoball.com.

Rachel has covered three Southeast Missourian Christmas Tournaments for the Southeast Missourian and semoball.com, and she'll see you courtside again this year.