November 2, 2009 Rotogram

GOVERNOR VISITS

Chuck Jordan, District 6820 governor from Greenville, makes his official visit to the Club today. He met with the board at 11:00 a.m.

BATTLE OF THE BULGE, 65 YEARS AGO

Dr. Mark Hazard, author of World War II as I Remember, will focus on the Battle of the Bulge next week.

LAST WEEK

Invocation and Pledge: Maridith Geuder

Attendance: There were 112 members (30 exempt, 2 honorary) present and 83 (21 exempt, 9 honorary) absent.

Makeups reported: Amy Tuck in Charleston and Scott Dodd in Columbus.

Guests and visitors: Member’s guests were Jeremy Brown of Ron Brown, Tom Walker of Mike Cason and Greg Bohach of P.C. McLaurin. Guests of the Club were Kasper Eriksen, Youth Exchange Student, and Paul Sims, Starkville Daily News.

Past-President McLaurin introduced Bohach, MSU’s new Vice President of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine. On the job about 3 weeks, he is “learning lots of things.” Most recently he served as University of Idaho Experiment Station director

Kudos: President Martha noted that Joe Bumgardner had been recognized in the Starkville Daily News for his archer-harvested 200 pound deer. The 11-point buck qualified for the Pope and Young national registry.
Rotary Minute: Peggy Buckley, membership chair, reminded us of the prospects identified by small group brainstorming a few weeks ago. So far this year our trend is level with no net loss or gain. There is only one month left for the award for most members recruited for the first half of the year. Jack Forbus leads the field with 3 sponsorships.

NEW MEMBER INDUCTION

Lloyd Rose, new member induction chair, officially greeted our newest members saying, “I remember a the days when it was not a very special time as far as attitudes, but it is special now.”

Six inductees and sponsors included Stan Acy (Jack Forbus), Rodney Foil (Roy Ruby), Andy Hughes (Bill Foster), Larry Otis (Jack Forbus), Ken Ramsey (Bobby Crosland) and Charlotte Coker (Chip Templeton).

GREEN STARKVILLE

Nick DiColandrea, Green Starkville’s vice president, arrived in time to distribute recycling bags to Rotarians who had signed up for the citywide program last week.

DAWGS PICKED TO WIN SEC WEST

Despite a breakdown in communications, and only a few hour’s notice, MSU Assistant Basketball Coach Robert Kirby was up to the challenge. Speaking without notes or props, he gave Rotarians an exceptionally complete and entertaining description of this year’s men’s basketball Bulldogs.

David Boles introduced Kirby as the member of Rick Stansbury’s staff responsible for working with the “bigs,” recalling such outstanding players as Eric Dampier, Lawrence Roberts, Charles Rhodes, and currently Jarvis Varnado. He also is an excellent recruiter.

Expectations are high and the Bulldogs are pre-season picks to win the SEC western division. All five starters from last year’s SEC Championship team returned and have been working extremely hard. Kirby attributed much of last year’s success to the fact the young players (both the starters and those on the bench) bought into their assigned roles as the season progressed and learned how to play together as a team.

“The guys won the SEC tournament and now they all want a bigger role. Last weekend’s scrimmage was very close. Everyone wanted to score. We want to keep ‘em mixed to develop a strong bench,” he explained.
He then talked about each of the players.

Dee Bost, sophomore point guard has come back stronger but still needs to work on his leadership role.
Barry Stewart (one of the two seniors on the team) is stronger – “he got banged up in the scrimmage but really showed his toughness.” He’ll back up Bost at the point.

Much to the delight of fans, fellow team members, and coaches, Jarvis Varnado elected to return for his senior year. “Jarvis gained 22 pounds then lost 7 in Serbia on the World University team. He’s a picky eater – we’re trying to get more weight on him.”

Junior guard Ravern Johnson is an outstanding shooter, but needs to learn more, especially on defense.
Romero Osby, sophomore forward, is also bigger and stronger and made all of his three-point shots in the weekend scrimmage.

Junior forward Kodi Augustus, who took a year-and-a-half to buy into the team concept, “is feeling really good” according to Kirby.

Twany Beckham, sophomore guard, had surgery on both hips but hopes to be able to get back on the court before too deep in the season.

Kirby said junior guard Phil Turner is tough as nails, loves the game, and plays with a great deal of passion and energy.

Elgin Bailey, who suffered that “terrible looking” ankle dislocation in last season’s Florida game is hoping to get back. “That’s a hard injury to recover from because it stretches the ligament. It’s going to take him awhile – a broken ankle heals more quickly.”

Junior Riley Benock is recovering from an off-season ankle injury but is expected to be back in a week. “Riley understands the game very well, but we need him to be more aggressive. He needs to get hungrier to push Stewart.”

The biggest man on the team is freshman John Riek. A 7-1 freshman from the Sudan, his eligibility was reinstated by the NCAA, but he must sit out the first nine games. He spent last year at Florida’s IMG Academy rehabbing from knee surgery. He’s healthy and has played really hard – he and Varnado will make an imposing duo.

Renardo Sidney, the 6-10 freshman from Jackson whose case is still in limbo awaiting a final NCAA decision, is a very good basketball player who is working hard He came to MSU too heavy (304+ pounds) and needs to lose some weight. Kirby said they are optimistic, and an eligibility ruling could be further delayed or could be handed down anytime.

Kirby mentioned three other players – walk-ons playing a key role on the scout team: Taylor Luczak, a 6-8 forward and two freshmen guards, Baxter Price from Brandon and Charles Parker from McKinney Texas.
Toughest pre-conference tests for the team will come early when Rider plays here on Nov. 13, and especially when it faces UCLA in Anaheim, Cal. on Dec. 12.

Varnado, the conference’s top shot blocker the past 2 years and a pre-season pick to the all-SEC first team, is uncomfortable with all the media coverage – “he’s still a very humble young man.”

The new practice facility will really help the basketball program. “Our players have not been able to get on the floor from the end of the season until August. Players are made in the off-season, between May and August. The new facility will have a huge impact on recruiting and in helping our players develop. I want to say thanks to all of you who contributed to make it possible,” Kirby concluded.

DISTRICT 6820 KENYAN WATER PROJECT

The Ngusishi River Water Project in Timau, Kenya will use Rotary Foundation and District 6820 dollars to improve the lives of more than 6,000 people.

  • Women and children must walk 5 to 7 miles to find the rare resource, water.
  • School dropout rates are increasing due to time spent by children looking for water for the family.
  • Drought is increasing in this leeward side of Mt. Kenya. The mountain’s glacier decreases each year.
  • Several communities in the project area currently rely completely on relief food.
  • Childhood diseases and malnutrition are increasing in area households.
  • HIV/AIDS victims are living shorter lives due to an upsurge in opportunistic diseases because of lack of clean water and food.

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