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Local Roundup: Kenan finishes 3rd at Motocross championship
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Braeden Kenan, 7, son of John and Kelli Kenan of Stilson, poses after finishing in third place out of 41 racers at the 2011 Red Bull MAA Motocross National Championship held July 31-Aug. 5 in Hurricane Mills, Tenn. - photo by Special to the Herald

    HURRICANE MILLS, Tenn. — Braeden Kenan, a 7-year-old from Stilson, finished in third place in the nation out of 41 competitors in his age group at the 2011 Red Bull Motorcyclist Association Amateur Motocross National Championship at Loretta Lynn's Ranch which ran Saturday, July 31 through Friday, Aug. 5 in Tennessee.
    Kenan competed on his four-stroke bike in the 4-6 age group, for racers who turned seven after Jan. 1, 2011.
    Kenan also won two holeshots worth $200.
    He ran in three races, finishing first, second and fifth.
    The fifth-place finish came in the second race, in which a crash may have kept Kenan from winning the national title.
    "I want to come back next year and win," he said.
    Kenan won a trophy and also gold and silver medals for his podium finishes.

GSU announces 3 staff changes
    Georgia Southern director of athletics Sam Baker recently announced promotions of two staff members.
    Jeff Blythe has been promoted to Associate Athletics Director/Business Operations.         Blythe joined the Athletic Department staff in 2007 as the chief financial officer of the Eagles' 15 sports teams following a three-year stint at Elon.
    Matt Taylor has been promoted to the Director of Athletic Marketing. Taylor had been an assistant in the marketing office for the past four years. His responsibilities will be to continue to increase the department's revenues through ticket sales, sponsorships and television advertising.
    Torye Hurst also has assumed duties as the Assistant Athletic Director/Athletics Media Relations. Hurst comes to Georgia Southern after 11 years on the Virginia Tech Media Relations staff.

Lady Panthers, SEB rained out
    PORTAL — Tuesday's scheduled game between the Southeast Bulloch Lady Yellow Jackets and Portal Lady Panthers, which was to be the season opener for both squads, was postponed due to weather.
    The game has been rescheduled for Sunday, Aug. 21.

Kennedy's Eagles get to work
    Georgia Southern men's Soccer kicked off the 2011 campaign with a two-hour practice at Eagle Field on Tuesday.
    Coach Kevin Kennedy led the team's first training session which focused on skill work and tactical understanding of the Georgia Southern system.
    “I felt we were a little rusty today,” said Kennedy. “Fitness wise the guys are in terrific shape, but we wanted things to be a little cleaner technically. Once we went to a small field game at the end, the guys had a lot of fun and most importantly there was a lot of competition.”
    The Eagles reported to campus on Monday afternoon and completed fitness testing late in the evening. Prior to the opening training session on the field, the Eagles hit the Iron Works for strength testing before lunch and the 3 p.m. training session.
    Georgia Southern plays host to a pair of exhibition matches before the regular season curtain raiser against North Florida on Aug. 27. The Eagles face USC Aiken on Aug. 17 at 4 p.m. in the season's first friendly and Lander on Aug. 21 at 2 p.m.

Lady Eagles VB begins practice
    The Georgia Southern volleyball team opened practice for the 2011 season Tuesday with am 8:45 a.m. practice in Old Hanner Gym.
    The gym will serve as the temporary home of the Volleyball team after the primary court in Hanner Fieldhouse suffered water damage and required rennovation.
    A sport court surface was added to the Old Hanner Gym before practice to give the court a true volleyball feel.
    “It has been a stressful few weeks with the facility change and getting everything situated but it has been good to get on the court and bring some normalcy back to at least the coaching staff's lives,” said GSU coach Chad Callihan. “I think the kids were excited to get back here and begin training again. It was a good first session for us.”
    Six upperclassmen return from the 2010 Southern Conference Volleyball Tournament Championship team and will be looked to provide leadership for a group of seven newcomers which includes six freshmen.
    “We are looking for a tremendous amount of leadership out of that group,” said Callihan. “They have been through it and understand the system.”
    The team will have 20 more practices beginning today before opening the 2011 season in Old Hanner Gym against Stephen F. Austin on Aug. 26.

    If you have a score to report, please call the Statesboro Herald sports desk at (912) 489-9408.