State sports briefs


Johnson to be Episcopal Collegiate's head coach

Tyrell Johnson, a former safety with Arkansas State University and the Minnesota Vikings, was appointed as the new head coach at Episcopal Collegiate Tuesday.

Johnson, a Rison native, succeeds Michael Carter as head coach. Carter will remain the school's upper school dean of students.

Johnson won the 2000 Class 2A state title with the Wildcats before enrolling at ASU. He was a second-round pick in the 2008 NFL Draft and played seven years professionally.

-- Sam Lane

CAC names Howard as its head coach

Central Arkansas Christian announced Tuesday that Ryan Howard would be its next head coach.

Howard spent the past two seasons as an analyst and offensive assistant at Missouri, assisting with quarterbacks and wide receivers.

He was a quarterback at the University of Central Arkansas before graduating in 2014. He then was named director of football operations at UCA in 2015 and spent the next seven years on staff with the Bears as the tight ends coach, receivers coach and special teams coordinator.

-- Sam Lane


UALR's Kourouma earns Ohio Valley honors

University of Arkansas-Little Rock forward Sali Kourouma was named as the Ohio Valley Conference's Player of the Week on Tuesday following a two-game stretch in which she averaged 23.5 points while leading the league in scoring and blocked shots.

In UALR wins over Tennessee State and Tennessee Tech, Kourouma also grabbed 18 rebounds -- second only to teammate Angelique Francis -- coming up one rebound shy of a double-double in each contest.

-- Mitchell Gladstone


Travelers announce 2023 staff

Mike Freeman, a six-year MLB veteran was announced as the Arkansas Travelers' manager on Tuesday.

Freeman, 35, has spent time with six major league clubs during his career, including in 2016 and 2017 with the Travelers' parent club, the Seattle Mariners.

Shawn O'Malley is back for his second season as the Travelers' hitting coach. He's joined by newcomers Michael Peoples (pitching coach), Jose Umbria (assistant hitting coach and catching coach) and Brennan Mickelson (strength and conditioning) on the Travelers' staff.

-- Sam Lane


Darter, Baxley win South Central PGA awards

Dawn Darter, the head professional at the Greens at North Hills in Sherwood, has been named the South Central PGA's 2022 Golf Professional of the Year.

Darter has served in her role at the Greens at North Hills since 2010. She is a rules official for the Arkansas State Golf Association and has served as a regional junior director for the Arkansas chapter of the South Central PGA for over 10 years.

The South Central PGA also named Searcy Country Club professional Bruce Baxley as its 2022 Teacher of the Year. Baxley has been the SCC professional since 2005.

Darter, Baxley and the other award winners will be recognized at the South Central PGA Special Awards Banquet on Feb. 21, at the Stoney Creek Hotel and Conference Center in Tulsa.

-- Democrat-Gazette Press Services

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