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Successful careers and good luck Yellowjackets

The recently completed basketball season brings to an end the four-year careers of two former Superior High School standouts, Eric Thompson and Alexa Leighton.

Alexa Leighton

The recently completed basketball season brings to an end the four-year careers of two former Superior High School standouts, Eric Thompson and Alexa Leighton.

Both graduated from SHS in 2006 with Thompson and Leighton continuing their basketball exploits at Carroll University in Waukasha, and The College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, respectively.

In Thompson's four years at Carroll, the Pioneers had great success: four Midwest Conference Tournament appearances, one Midwest Conference Tournament championship, one NCAA Sweet 16 Tournament appearance and an overall record of 65-35.

Thompson put up some great numbers during his playing days, which include 12 points and 2.5 rebounds per game and 301 total points as a senior. He had 666 points, 145 rebounds, 42 steals and seven blocks for his career.

The former Spartan also had a field goal percentage of 46.5, 40 percent from beyond "Satan's Arc of Temptation," where he finished fifth all-time at Carroll with 133 3-pointers. He shot 74 percent from the free-throw line.

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On senior day, Carroll head coach and former UWS head coach, Dave Buchanan, spoke of Thompson:

"Our first senior is Eric Thompson. Eric is an exercise science major from Superior, Wis. He is joined today by his parents Bruce and Robin. Eric has been a part of over 60 wins in his four-year career as a Pioneer including an NCAA tournament berth. A deadly outside shooter, Eric currently leads the Pioneers in 3-point field goals made and has connected on more than 120 three-point shots in his career, which ranks him fifth all-time at Carroll University. Eric has scored more than 600 points entering today's game and will be remembered as one of the best perimeter shooters in Carroll Pioneer history. The Pioneer basketball program appreciates Eric's commitment and dedication to Carroll University."

During Leighton's four years at CSS, the team improved each season and qualified for a first-round playoff game, in which the Saints were upset by Presentation, a team they had defeated twice during the regular season by 18 and 24 points.

In that game, Leighton helped lead her team back from an eight-point deficit with less than two minutes remaining by nailing two 3-pointers to cut the lead to one. Another 10 seconds and a Saint win may have occurred that would have extended the season.

Some stats of CSS and Leighton during her four years are: three UMAC post-season appearances, 40 victories with 12 coming during her senior season, 27 starting assignments, 493 career points, 53 3-pointers, 75 percent free throw shooting, 258 rebounds and 43 assists. She was also know for playing intense defense and many times was assigned to guard the opposition's strongest player.

Leighton was a two-time UMAC Academic All-Conference selection, with a grade point exceeding 3.5. Next weekend, she will graduate with a degree in nursing from CSS. She was team captain for 2009-2010.

"It has been a privilege to work with Alexa for the past four years," CSS coach Stacy Deadrich said. "Her dedication to the team and to improving herself on and off the floor was a pleasure to witness and an aspect of our team that will be noticeably missed. On top of that, Alexa's humor was a gift that I will treasure forever."

Alexa is the daughter of Gloria and Don Leighton.

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UWS softball

This is why we play the game. Coach Roger Plachta and his University of Wisconsin-Superior softball team begin WIAC playoff action at Oshkosh at noon Saturday when they face Whitewater.

The Yellowjackets (25-9-1) defeated the then nationally-ranked, No. 14, Warhawks in an April 14 double-header in Superior by scores of 2-1 and 15-9.

The double elimination tournament was scheduled to be held today and Saturday but was moved to Saturday and Sunday due to the threat of inclement weather.

The six-team, double-elimination event will be hosted by UW-Oshkosh at the Oshkosh Sports Complex and Oshkosh North High School.

The winner of the tournament receives the league's automatic bid into the 60-team NCAA Division III Championship.

For a complete tournament schedule visit www.titans.uwosh.edu/2010WIACSoftballTournament/index.php .

UWS baseball

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Apparently the schedule makers know what they're doing. The Yellowjacket baseball team is currently in fourth place in the conference, one game behind Platteville for the last post-season playoff spot.

Guess who's coming to town? You got it, Platteville.

Starting at noon today and Saturday at Whereatt Field, doubleheaders may decide the No. 3 spot in the WIAC tournament.

Fourth-year head coach Eddy Morgan has brought in some great student-athletes, and as a result, the Yellowjackets have a record of 16-18, 8-12 in the conference. Morgan inherited a team that had been 3-35 overall and 0-24 in conference play. Steady improvement has brought the 'Jackets to the doorstep of a potential playoff spot. Many years have passed since that last happened.

Let's show up in force and show our support for the 'Jackets. There's nothing better than a day at the ballpark.

Congratulations to Eric and Alexa and good luck to the 'Jacket softball and baseball teams that have performed so admirably this season. No longer do teams from the WIAC take UWS for granted. Great job Coach Plachta and Coach Morgan.

Opinions and/or story ideas can be e-mailed to dleigh1273@aol.com or wgranlund@centurytel.net

Eric Thompson

Related Topics: BASKETBALLSUPERIOR
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