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Mr. Sports: Olympics, high school and SEC football, and Huntsville Stars

The Summer Olympics are underway. The world’s top athletes in 26 sports and over 300 events representing 200 nations are showcasing their talents for the entire world to see.

The motto of the Summer Olympiad is “Inspire a Generation.”

Some have raised questions if all the money which is spent on opening ceremonies and special events surrounding the games is worth it. Financing for the summer games is basically split three ways: 64-percent from the Central Government, 23-percent by the National Lottery and 13-percent from the City of London.

Most eyes have been glued to swimmer Michael Phelps who is ready to set the all-time record of winning Olympic medals. Going into the games, Larissa Latynina holds the record with 18 medals, nine of them gold, won in three separate Olympic Games. The Soviet gymnast set her high mark 48 years ago. Today, Latynina is 77 years old.

Phelps is expected to earn the top medal winner honor with ease this year.

Swimmer Natalie Coughlin is scheduled to win medals to make her the most decorated female American athlete ever.

Here are some tidbit facts for the 530 athletes representing the United States:

Of the total number of athletes, representing 44 states, 128 are from California. Oldest is equestrian Karen O’Connor at age 54. Youngest is 15-year old swimmer Katie Ledecky. There are two sets of twins in the games with Bob and Mike Bryan playing tennis and Grant and Ross James as rowers. There are several siblings participating in the games.

High School Football

The 2012-2013 school year is just around the corner with season opening contests within a month away for high school sports. Official practices are getting underway in several sports with first contests of the new seasons coming up on Aug. 23rd in volleyball and Aug. 30th in football, cross country and swimming.

For the first time ever, Madison will have two high schools participating with the addition of Clemens High along with Bob Jones. The Clemens Jets will participate in varsity and freshman action with a varsity schedule that gets underway with a pre-season game versus Grissom on Aug. 24th. The regular season kicks off against Johnson on Aug 31st. Then, on Sept. 7th, the Jets will actually face cross-town rival Bob Jones. The first three contests on the Jets’ schedule will be at home at the Madison City Schools Stadium.

Meanwhile, the Patriots of Bob Jones will entertain Athens for its pre-season game on Aug. 23rd. The Patriots season opener against Northridge will be on the road on Aug. 31st before the face-off against Clemens High on that long-awaited Sept. 7th date.

SEC Football

The Southeastern Conference announced its early season 2012 TV schedule, which kicks off on Thursday, Aug. 30th with South Carolina facing Vanderbilt in Nashville. The game will be broadcast on ESPN at 6 p.m. Also, Texas A&M will tangle with Louisiana Tech on ESPNU that night as well.

Tennessee will play N.C. State on Friday, Aug. 31st on ESPNU.

On the opening Saturday of the new season, the two big games in the SEC include Auburn facing Clemson with a kickoff set at 6 p.m. on ESPN and Alabama tangling with Michigan on ABC beginning at 7 p.m. in the game to be played in Dallas.

By the way, just to tease you a bit, the Alabama-LSU match up is set for Nov. 3rd with kickoff at 7 p.m. on CBS.

Huntsville Stars

Our hometown team is home through Aug. 7th. After being on the road for a week after this home stand, the Stars will return home again on Aug. 14th. We’re into the last month of the 2012 season and our Stars are playing excellent baseball with numerous Stars being promoted to making it to The Show.

Go out and support our Stars. It’s great summer fun for the entire family.

By Bob Labbe