Arkansas Sports

The Little Rock Rangers Soccer Club will be playing the final home game of their inaugural season Sunday evening at War Memorial Stadium. The team is made up of amateurs—mostly college players. Rangers President and General Manager Jonathan Wardlaw says starting the team this year has provided opportunities to reach out to youth.

Looking down the left field line of Dickey-Stephens Park in North Little Rock.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

As can be expected with a baseball team in existence since 1901, the Arkansas Travelers hold a fair share of firsts and claims to fan loyalty. On Wednesday, Travelers’ marketing director Lance Restum walked those at those at the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies’ Legacies and Lunch talk through the history of one of the oldest still-running minor league baseball teams.

He said the Travelers have an outsized presence compared to other minor league teams because it’s been a constant in a state where other professional sports have come and gone.

Wes Flanigan UALR Little Rock Trojans
Nelson Chenault / UALR

Wes Flanigan is the new head coach of the Little Rock Trojans. He takes over for Chris Beard, who led the men’s basketball team to a record season and the NCAA tournament this year. Beard has now been hired by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Flanigan has spent five years with the UALR program and most recently served as associate coach.

School officials made the announcement Thursday, with Director of Athletics Chasse Conque saying Flanigan "brings a wealth of experience, strong recruiting ties and a tireless worth ethic to the position."

Chris Beard UALR Little Rock Trojans coach
University of Arkansas at Little Rock

After recently leading the Little Rock Trojans to the NCAA Tournament and a record 30-5 season, basketball coach Chris Beard is leaving for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

UALR made it official Monday, after reports Sunday night that Beard had agreed to terms of a contract with UNLV.

While he spent just one season with the university, Chancellor Joel Anderson says Beard leaves the team in better shape than when he arrived.

UALR Little Rock Trojans
UALR

In double overtime, the Little Rock Trojans managed to upset fifth seed Purdue 85-83 in the NCAA Tournament.

The Boilermakers had a chance to win it when UALR's Maurius Hill missed two free throws with 9.8 seconds left and Arkansas-Little Rock ahead 84-83.

But Johnny Hill stumbled as he drove toward the basket and the ball never got to the rim.

Little Rock's Josh Hagins got the rebound and was fouled with 1.3 seconds left. He sank one free throw, missed the second and Vince Edwards' desperation heave was nowhere near the basket.

Little Rock Trojans Are NCAA Tournament Bound For Fifth Time In School History

Mar 14, 2016
Little Rock Trojans' home court the Jack Stephens Center at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
ualr.edu

Your Little Rock Trojans are headed to the NCAA Tournament so I'm sure we're all ready to dream big on our brackets and root for the home town team.

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock men's team secured the bid to college basketball's national championship tournament this weekend. Little Rock handily put away the University of Louisiana-Monroe squad 70-50 to win the Sun Belt Conference Tournament. UALR last won the Sun Belt title in 2011.

Little Rock Trojans Strive For Sun Belt's Record Number Of Wins

Mar 1, 2016
University of Arkansas at Little Rock

The Little Rock Trojans men’s basketball team is facing Arkansas State University at home Tuesday in their second to last game of the season.

Last month the team broke the school’s in-season record of wins set in 1987/88. Steve Sullivan, sports director at KATV, said the Trojans have a chance to set yet another record for the Sun Belt Conference, thanks in part to new coach Chris Beard. 

If the University of Arkansas at Little Rock team wins tonight its record will be 27-3.

The North Little Rock City Council has approved $375,000 to repair sinkholes at Dickey-Stephens Park where the Arkansas Travelers play their home games.

Sinkholes began appearing after heavy rains and flooding along the Arkansas River in December. The largest is on the center field warning track and is about 35 feet in diameter and six to seven feet deep.

City Engineer Chris Wilbourn told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that the work is to begin Wednesday and that officials won't know exactly how big the problem is until the digging starts.

A land donation is moving plans forward for a new baseball park and multi-sport complex at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. UALR announced on Wednesday that the Coleman family, of Coleman Dairy renown, donated eight-acres after talking with the school’s baseball coach. Little Rock Athletic Director Chasse Conque told KUAR it sets in motion plans that otherwise were off the table.

The man at the helm of the Texas League – home to two Arkansas minor league baseball teams – announced this week he is retiring after next season. Tom Kayser has been President of the AA league for over 20 years.

The soon-to-be former Texas League president spoke with KUAR’s Jacob Kauffman about his retirement, the state of Arkansas baseball, and his friendship with long-time Arkansas Travelers General Manager Bill Valentine who passed away earlier this year.

Boxer Jermain Taylor Changes Pleas To Guilty In Three Cases

Dec 1, 2015
Jermain Taylor
KATV, Channel 7 News

Boxing champion Jermain Taylor appeared in court Tuesday morning, changing his pleas to guilty in three cases in which he is charged.

The Kansas City Royals are atop the entire baseball world after recently winning their first World Series in 30 years. The championship extends a tradition of the sport in the city that was the birthplace of the Negro Leagues in the first half of the twentieth century.

Arkansas sport commentator Evin Demirel explores the impact of one all-black baseball team of that era whose reach stretched from Arkansas to Montana, and from the diamond to the basketball court.

Arkansas Home Run King Torii Hunter Ends 19 Season Run

Oct 27, 2015

An Arkansan who hit more home runs than any other born in the state is hanging up his cleats. Torii Hunter announced his retirement on Monday after 19 seasons in Major League Baseball. The Pine Bluff native is a five time All-Star and won nine Gold Glove awards.

An early version of the Atari classic Centipede.
Venture Center

Arkansas is in the midst of push to teach computer coding to students and the Venture Center in Little Rock hosted one pioneer programmer of Atari fame that claims Arkansas as home, Dona Bailey, on Tuesday night.

KUAR's Jacob Kauffman sat down with Dona Bailey before her Code IT talk in a conversation covering women in the early days of the industry and the increasingly entrenched place of video games in modern society.

University of Arkansas Athletic Director Jeff Long at the Little Rock Touchdown Club.
lrtouchdown.com

University of Arkansas Athletic Director Jeff Long told the Little Rock Touchdown Club on Monday that back-to-back Razorback losses on the football field are hard for him too.

“I would be very concerned if we didn’t have the passion in this room, didn’t have people upset,” said Long. “Heck, I hate to make this comparison because it’s not fair but boy, after a loss it’s almost like someone passed away in the family. It feels that bad.”

chuckwagonraces.com

Sunday is the final day of the National Championship Chuckwagon Races in Clinton. It’s the event’s 30th anniversary. Peggy Eoff and her husband Dan started the races. She says it all came from an idea for an activity for their Labor Day party.

sports injuries football
www.bigteams.net

The Little Rock School District and Arkansas Children’s Hospital are partnering to place an athletic trainer every public high school in the city. Officials say the goal of the agreement is to have adequate medical for all high school athletes.

Parkview basketball player, Morgan Brady, who will be a junior this school year, welcomes the news. In previous years, she says, her team did not get much attention.

Arkansas Children's Hospital is partnering with the Little Rock School District to place a hospital athletic trainer in all five of the district's public high schools.

Hospital and district staff announced the initiative Wednesday, but trainers have been on campus since July 1. The trainers from the hospital's Sports Medicine program will be stationed at the high schools in the afternoons through the end of athletic practices, but will also work with the middle school athletic teams.

Mo'ne Davis and her teammates in the 2014 Little League World Series have stopped in Little Rock as part of a civil rights tour.

The Philadelphia-based Anderson Monarchs are on a 23-day tour of landmarks of the civil rights movement and has made stops in Georgia and Alabama. The tour started June 17.

The team visited Little Rock Central High School on Sunday as part of the tour. Little Rock Central High School was desegregated in 1957 when nine black students were integrated into what was then an all-white school.

Arkansas Razorback basketball player Derek Hood went on to play professional basketball in several American leagues, including the NBA, and in Europe.
youtube.com

The University of Arkansas has announced nine new inductees into the UA Sports Hall of Fame.

The list includes former Razorback football players Steve Korte, Kendall Trainor and Lynn Garner, men's basketball star Derek Hood and baseball standout Mike Loggins. Also selected are divers Ron Meyer and Robin Ford, women's track and field All-American Deedee Brown-Campbell and men's track and field All-American and NCAA Champion Niall Bruton.

An Arkansas State basketball player is charged with punching a police officer in the throat at a medical facility.

Police say Anthony Livingston, 22, hit Jonesboro Officer Tyler Wilson on Thursday after Wilson threatened to shoot him with a stun gun because Livingston was being combative and resisting arrest. It wasn't clear why Livingston was at the medical facility.

Livingston fled but was arrested after being shot with a stun gun near the Arkansas State football stadium.

Wilson is hospitalized; his condition isn't known.

Jermain Taylor
Pulaski Co. Sheriff's Office

Boxer Jermain Taylor is facing a new charge after he was accused of hitting another resident at the rehabilitation center where he has been confined since he was charged with shooting his cousin and threatening a child with a gun.

A Pulaski County District judge issued the second-degree battery warrant Thursday. Sheriff's Office spokesman Carl Minden said the charge is connected to a report from earlier this month that Taylor hit a resident at the Oasis Renewal Center in Little Rock.

Arkansas Razorbacks
Univ. of Arkansas

The University of Arkansas baseball team has been selected as a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

The 64-team field was announced live on ESPNU Monday. The 20th-ranked Razorbacks will face No. 3 seed Oral Roberts Friday during the Stillwater Regional. Arkansas enters the tournament with a 35-22 record. The team has won 20 of its last 27 games, including going 7-0-1 over its final eight SEC regular season series.

American Pharoah has won the Preakness in a driving rain, keeping alive his Triple Crown bid.

With victories in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, American Pharoah needs a win in the Belmont Stakes to become the sport's first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978.

American Pharoah will bring a six-race winning streak into the Belmont, which will be run on June 6 in New York. That includes an win just as impressive in the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park.

Remembering "The King Of Baseball" Bill Valentine

Apr 27, 2015
Former Arkansas Traveler broadcaster Phil Elson with his daughter under the last piece of Ray Winder Field still standing.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

A fixture of the Arkansas baseball world, Bill Valentine, passed away Sunday at the age of 82. KUAR’s Jacob Kauffman reports from the now-demolished Ray Winder Field.

Boxer Jermain Taylor has pleaded not guilty to accusations he pointed a gun at a man's head and threatened to shoot three small children in Little Rock, Arkansas.

But local media outlets report a judge revoked his bond Tuesday afternoon in a separate case from August involving a firearm and issued a warrant for his arrest. Prosecutors say the boxer's arrest this week is evidence he violated the terms of his release.

Online records of the Pulaski County jail show Taylor hasn't turned himself in yet to authorities.

J.R. Carroll at the Clinton School of Public Service.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

J.R. Carroll, one of two agents in Arkansas representing NFL players, said Monday the prospect of college athletes receiving better compensation has never been better. Speaking at the Clinton School of Public Service Carroll, also a professor in sports law at the University of Arkansas, said after a whirlwind year of court rulings the path has been laid for stipends for student-athletes but not professional-level salaries.

A symbolic coin-toss by Mayor Mark Stodola will mark the opening of the Natural Steps Sports Complex in West Little Rock Saturday.

The city’s $1.1 million dollar investment reflects the growing popularity of soccer and lacrosse.

Jermain Taylor
Pulaski Co. Sheriff's Office

Boxer Jermain Taylor is free on a $25,000 bond after the former middleweight champion was jailed overnight in Little Rock in connection with a shooting that wounded his cousin.

Taylor appeared via video from the Pulaski County jail for an initial appearance Wednesday. District Judge Wayne Gruber also granted a defense request for Taylor to travel out of state to train and compete in a bout against Sam Soliman in October.

The Texarkana mayor says he will manage a golf course rather than seek re-election.

Mayor Wayne Smith said Monday at City Hall that he would have run for a second term if he hadn't gotten the golf job. He announced he has taken a job as operational manager of the New Haven Golf Course.

He was elected mayor in 2010. His last day is Dec. 31. Smith says he's a golfer and called the new job "an ideal situation." He says he'd like to get his golf game into single digits.

Smith says former State Rep. David Haak's decision to run for mayor didn't influence his decision.

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