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The Free Press WV

►  Sports study: High school athletes not being fully protected

A high school sports study conducted by the Korey Stringer Institute shows that many individual states are not fully implementing key safety guidelines to protect athletes from potentially life-threatening conditions, including heat stroke.

More than 7.8 million high school students participate in sanctioned sports annually. KSI announced the results Tuesday at a news conference at NFL headquarters. The league partially sponsors the institute.

The state-by-state survey of all sports played in high school showed North Carolina with the most comprehensive health and safety policies at 79 percent, followed by Kentucky at 71 percent. At the bottom were Colorado (23 percent) and California (26 percent). Those scores were based on a state meeting best practice guidelines addressing the four major causes of sudden death for that age group: cardiac arrest, traumatic head injuries, exertional heat stroke and exertional sickling occurring in athletes with sickle cell trait.

“The bottom line is that many simple policy changes can have a massive impact when a life is saved,” says Dr. Douglas Casa of KSI. “That is the goal of KSI in releasing these rankings, to prevent needless deaths in high school sports. We have had countless conversations with loved ones who have lost a child/sibling/grandchild/athlete. If these rankings can get more kids home for dinner instead of to a hospital or morgue, then we have succeeded.”

The institute is a sports safety research and advocacy organization located at the University of Connecticut and named after the former Vikings star who died from exertional heat stroke in 2001.

Sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death for the age range.

Casa notes that progress is slow because most states only make a change after a tragedy. But he stresses that the policies KSI promotes are not difficult to adopt.

“At least one state has adopted each individual item, and for many items, more than half of the states have the policy in place,” he explains. “So this tells us it is feasible (to maximize protection). Now we need to collectively get states to learn from their colleagues and adapt these (programs) in their own state. Our top state is at about 80 percent, showing that, with effort, these policies can be implemented.”

Bob Gfeller lost his son, Matthew, at age 15 in 2008, after a traumatic brain injury while playing in his first high school football game. Gfeller is an executive vice president at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and the executive director of the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma. He found the wide range of results by state “enlightening.”

Asked what can be done to get states to adopt more of the guidelines to protect high school athletes, Gfeller says: “Sharing of best practices amongst the state high school professionals. For each state to study where they are gapping and what other states who are scoring high are doing, so then to be able to determine how to close their gap.”

In his field of expertise, exertional heat stroke, Casa notes that states that have adapted significant changes to heat acclimatization policies have not had such a death when the policies have been followed.

“Keep in mind these policies are for the phasing in of initial practices in August,” Casa says. “Some of these states have still had exertional heat stroke deaths during summer conditioning in June/July or other times of the year, because they lack policies that govern these other circumstances.”

To prevent death from EHS, it comes down to three things:

— Prevention — heat acclimatization, modifying work/rest ratios based on environmental conditions, hydration, body cooling, etc.;

— Recognition — being aware, acting quickly, rectal temperature;

— Treatment — cold water immersion, cool first/transport second.

Casa adds that the monetary cost of reaching the desired preventive measures is not high.

“To be honest, you could get to 90 percent implementation with very little cost and effort,” he says. “Spending probably less than $5,000 per school could get you close to 90 points. You also would probably need a two-day meeting with the key state association officials to refine the details of the changes.

“It is matter of convincing people that these issues are important and that they need attention.”


►  This week in auto racing for Thursday, August 10, 2017

MONSTER CUP

PURE MICHIGAN 400

Site: Brooklyn, Michigan

Schedule: Friday, practice, 8:30 a.m. (NBCSN), qualifying, 2:05 p.m. (NBCSN); Saturday, practice, 5:30 a.m. (CNBC), 8:30 a.m.; Sunday, race, noon, NBCSN.

Track: Michigan International Speedway (oval, 2 miles)

Race distance: 400 miles, 200 laps.

Last year: Kyle Larson won after starting 12th.

Last race: Martin Truex Jr. won his fourth race of the year at Watkins Glen.

Fast facts: William Byron, 19, will take over the No. 5 car for Hendrick Motorsports next season. Hendrick had previously announced the Kasey Kahne, driver of the No. 5 since 2012, would not be retained. . . . Truex has a 116-point lead over Kyle Busch in the standings. But Busch has won six poles this season – twice as many as any other driver. Larson and Kevin Harvick have started first three times.

Next race: Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race, Aug. 19, Bristol Motor Speedway, Bristol, Tennessee.

Online: http://www.nascar.com

XFINITY

MID-OHIO CHALLENGE

Site: Lexington, Ohio

Schedule: Friday, practice, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.; Saturday, qualifying, 9 a.m. (CNBC), race, 12:30 p.m., NBCSN.

Track: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (circuit, 2.258 miles)

Race distance: 169.35 miles, 75 laps.

Last year: Justin Marks won his only series race.

Last race: Kyle Busch took first in New York.

Fast facts: Byron has won three series races already this season. He’s still 52 points behind Elliott Sadler in the standings. . . . Last week’s win was the 90th career Xfinity victory for Busch. But it was his first at Watkins Glen’s road course.

Next race: Food City 300, Aug. 18, Bristol Motor Speedway.

Online: http://www.nascar.com

 

CAMPING WORLD TRUCK

LTI PRINTING 200

Site: Brooklyn, Michigan

Schedule: Friday, practice, 10 a.m. and noon (FS1); Saturday, qualifying, 6:30 a.m. (FS1), race, 10 a.m., FS1.

Track: Michigan International Speedway.

Race distance: 200 miles, 100 laps

Last year: Brett Moffitt took first for the first time in his career.

Last race: Christopher Bell won for the second time in three races.

Fast facts: Darrell Wallace Jr. will return to the truck series this weekend. Wallace has five career wins in the series. . . . Bell has won four of his 12 starts and has finished outside the top 10 just once all season. But his edge over Johnny Sauter is just 18 points heading to Michigan.

Next race: UNOH 300, Aug. 16, Bristol Motor Speedway.

Online: http://www.nascar.com

INDYCAR

Last race: Josef Newgarden won his second straight race and third of 2017.

Next race: ABC Supply 500, Aug. 20, Pocono Raceway, Long Pond, Pennsylvania.

Online: http://www.indycar.com

FORMULA ONE

Last race: Sebastian Vettel took first in Hungary.

Next race: Belgian Grand Prix, Aug. 27, Circuit De Spa-Francorchamps, Francorchamps, Belgium.

Online: http://www.formula1.com

NHRA

Last race: Antron Brown won the Top Fuel event outside of Seattle last weekend.

Next race: Lucas Oil Nationals, Aug. 18-20, Brainerd International Raceway, Brainerd, Minnesota.

Online: http://www.nhra.com

OTHER RACES

WORLD OF OUTLAWS: Wednesday-Saturday, Knoxville Nationals, Knoxville Raceway, Knoxville, Iowa.

Online: http://www.woosprint.com/

In Sports….

The Free Press WV

►  Ohio, Illinois Governors Place World Series Bets

The governors of Illinois and Ohio have bet each other cases of beer, pizza, and other ballpark favorites ahead of the World Series contest between the Cubs and the Indians. In a Monday tweet, Republican Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner wagered an extra-large Chicago-style deep-dish pizza and a case of microbrew beer from Chicago if the Indians win, the AP reports. But “you’re not going to get that delicious food and beer,” Rauner said. “We’re going to eat it here. Because you know what? The Cubs are going to win.”

Ohio Governor John Kasich returned his fellow Republican’s challenge, saying in a tweet that he would send Rauner “fan favorites” should the Cubs end their 108-year title drought. “I’m gonna match him in that bet because I know the Indians are going to roll, and they’re going to roll not just for Cleveland but for people all across the great Buckeye state,“ he said. A Kasich spokeswoman says the “fan favorites” would include items such as local beer, ballpark mustard from Cleveland and other products from the city. The series begins Tuesday in Cleveland.


►  One of Sports’ Biggest Execs Walks to Work Unnoticed

Theo Epstein got himself hired as general manager of the Red Sox at age 28 and quickly became known as a baseball wunderkind when Boston busted its curse and won the World Series in 2004. Epstein is 42 now and on the cusp of doing the same for another city as president of baseball operations for the Chicago Cubs. (The Series starts Tuesday night.) In a lengthy profile at ESPN, Wright Thompson profiles Epstein, now considered a “baseball whisperer” of sorts. One nugget: He walks the seven blocks to work every day. “Most people don’t recognize him with his baseball hat pulled low, one of the most famous sports executives in the country, the man who embraced the culture of analytics to finally bring a title to the Red Sox,“ writes Thompson.

But much of the piece details how the real Epstein is quite a contrast from the image of an “analytics” nerd who crunches numbers. Complicated-looking formulas are posted on a glass window in his office, all of it “meaningless,“ Epstein explains, a joke playing off that image. He loves the game on a gut level, a feeling he had all but lost in Boston, writes Thompson, who adds that the stress took a physical toll. “His friends saw how the job changed his face.“ At one point, he called the Patriots’ Bill Belichick for advice on handling success after the World Series win, and Belichick told him, “You’re f——-.“ Click for the full story, in which Epstein recalls being so introverted in high school that he would follow people home unnoticed. “I could not exist but observe.“


►  There’s Pricey, Then There’s World Series Tickets Pricey

Fans hoping to see the Cubs play in the World Series for the first time since 1945 are finding a seat could cost them more than what their grandparents paid for their houses. The euphoria from Saturday night’s victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers gave way Monday to the realization that history doesn’t come cheap. Wrigley Field box seats on ticket-selling sites such as StubHub were $50,000 and up, with one seller asking $100,000 for a seat and another asking for just under $1 million, reports the AP. But there are lots of box seat tickets in the $5,000 to $10,000 range. Standing room tickets to the park are going for more than $2,200 each. List prices for World Series tickets at Wrigley range from $85 to $565, according to MLB figures.

World Series tickets are costing a lot more in Cleveland, too—well above the $83 to $750 list price range that MLB provided for Progressive Field—but are not as expensive as those in Chicago. And there are indications that Cubs fans, getting a look at what they would pay at Wrigley versus Progressive, are buying two tickets: one for a plane and one for a game. Ticket brokers were being flooded with calls from fans looking for tickets and, as of Monday, they were willing to pay as much as $12,000, one says. He adds prices might climb because Cubs fans are reluctant to sell no matter how much money they’re offered, to the dismay of this 97-year-old fan who witnessed the Cubs lose in 1945 World Series. Back then, a ticket in the upper grandstand was $6. Says a ticket broker in Chicago: “People have waited so long for this.“


►  Guy Crushes Coast-to-Coast Running Record

Philippides, who? Pete Kostelnick has just made the Greek legend’s marathon race look like a quaint sprint. Keeping an average pace of 73 miles per day, the Nebraska ultrarunner, 29, landed at New York City Hall on Monday having raced 3,100 miles from San Francisco in just 42 days, six hours, and 34 minutes, reports the New York Post. He smashed the previous record time for the trek, set by Frank Giannino in 1980, by four days, though Guinness World Records has yet to confirm the time. Kostelnick, who started running several years ago to lose weight, fell twice, per ESPN, but the only real casualties were the eight pairs of shoes he burned through running 15 hours per day, starting at 3:30am, with two 15-minute breaks.

A financial planner and two-time winner of the 135-mile Badwater Ultramarathon, per Competitor, Kostelnick drew comparisons to Forrest Gump, not only because of his Bubba Gump hat. Like the fictional character, he was joined by fans—“awesome people ... [who] drove 10 hours to run with me for 5 miles,“ he says. By the time he reached Manhattan on Monday to chants of “run, Pete, run,“ a crowd of 25 was running with him, including men in business suits. “As with [Tom] Hanks’ character, when Kostelnick stopped for a minute, such as to retrieve a dropped water bottle, the crowd stopped. When he moved, they all did,“ per the Post. “Well, I’m definitely not going to run back,“ Kostelnick said at the finish line. “All I want is a beer and my wife.“


►  Just One Season of Football Can Alter Kids’ Brains

Grade-school football players may not ever experience a concussion, but just one season of “sub-concussive head impacts”—blows to the head that aren’t quite severe enough to cause a full-blown concussion—could be enough to alter young athletes’ brains, ABC News reports. Per a study in the journal Radiology, researchers from the Wake Forest School of Medicine, among others, examined the brains of 25 boys ages 8 to 13 playing in a North Carolina youth football league, both at the beginning of the season and again at the end, NBC News notes. And even though no subject logged an actual concussion, researchers found the more force a player was exposed to during the season, the more likely it was for him to have a lower fractional anisotropy (FA) score, an indicator of smoothly flowing water molecules in the brain that usually signifies healthy white matter.

The players donned a sensor-equipped helmet that registered the type of force each boy endured; these hard hits were backed up by tape viewings of games and practices. “They [were] hitting at extremely high levels,“ says a pediatric neurosurgeon involved with the study, per NBC. Scientists then compared an end-of-season MRI that measured the water movement for each player along nerve fibers with one taken at the beginning of the season—and found players who’d endured more force had lower FA scores, which have been tied in other studies to brain disruptions. Study co-author Christopher Whitlow, head of neuroradiology at the Wake Forest School of Medicine, concedes the sample size was small and that more research is needed, telling ABC, “There is more we don’t know about these changes than we do know.“

Pioneer Offense Prevails Over Defense in Annual Spring Game

The Gilmer Free Press

Glenville, WV – The Glenville State Pioneer Offense (White Team) scored 51 on the Pioneers Defense (Blue Team) as they rolled to a 51-44 victory in the Annual Blue and White Spring game at I.L. and Sue Morris Stadium on Thursday night.


The Pioneer offense would find the endzone on their first possession as Quarterback Sean Steele hit Ralph Gordon at the 13:08 minute mark to take a 7-0 lead. Steele would end up having a nice day as he finished the game 12 of 20 for 121 yards and three touchdowns.


Quarterback Dante Roberts also had a nice game as he completed 10 passes for 64 yards and a touchdown pass to Damon Robinson.


Also on the offensive side of the ball Rahmann Lee had a nice game as and had several good runs. Lee carried the ball only eight times for 18 yards. Eric Kyle totted the ball 10 times for 32 yards while Isiah Scott carried the ball 11 times for 21 yards.


The Pioneer wideouts had a great night as they accounted for all four touchdowns by the Pioneer offense. Ralph Gordon caught four balls for 39 yards and a touchdown while Dante Absher hauled in six passes for 61 yards and two touchdowns. Damon Robinson also caught a touchdown pass in the game.


Kicker Tanner Wright connected on a 38 yard field goal for the offense while Tyler Czajkowski hit a 23 yard field goal.


On the defensive side of the ball Zach Mayes had several big plays from his safety position as he finished with six tackles while cornerback Earon Settles had four tackles in the game. Defensive end Javon Webster had six tackles, a pass breakup, and a sack. Safety Reggie Chambers had one of two turnovers for the defense as he had a late interception in the game.


Linebackers Fitzgerald Mofor and Tony Vasquez both had several good plays.


The Pioneers open up the 2015 season on Saturday, September 5th on the road at Urbana. Their first home contest is Thursday, September 10, 2015 when West Virginia Wesleyan travels to Glenville.

Glenville State Annual Spring Football Game

The Gilmer Free Press

Glenville, WV – For the now the fifth year in a row the Glenville State College Pioneer Football team is partnering with the Gilmer County Volunteer Fire Department (GCVFD) for the Annual Blue vs. White Spring Football Game which will be played Thursday, April 23 at 6:00 PM at I.L. & Sue Morris Stadium.

The game will feature the 2015 GSC Pioneer Offense against the GSC Pioneer Defense.

“The Gilmer County Volunteer Fire Department provides vital services to our community through the efforts of their volunteers. These members regularly risk their lives and take time away from their families for the benefit of our community. We wanted to take this opportunity to show them our appreciation for their dedication, and to help raise needed funds for them, over the last four years this has been a great event and we will for it to be even better this year for the GCVFD,” said GSC Head Football Coach David Hutchison.

“It’s a really great fundraiser, we really appreciate them raising money and donating to us. We are always excited about the event because it’s a lot of fun and it shows how close the college and athletics are to the community,” Martin Hess.

The spring game is free to the public, but the Glenville State College Football team will be collecting donations at the game which will benefit the Gilmer County Volunteer Fire Department.

The spring game represents the culmination of spring practice. The Pioneers return 10 starters on offense and 5 on defense from last year’s squad. In 2015 the Pioneers look to improve on the 5-6 mark of a year ago.

The Pioneers will open preseason camp on Thursday, August 10th in preparation for the 2015 season. GSC opens the 2015 season on Saturday, September 5th when they travel to MEC Conference foe Urbana. Their first home contest of the 2015 season will be on Thursday, September 10th under the lights at I.L. & Sue Morris Stadium against West Virginia Wesleyan.

Anyone who cannot attend the spring game but would like to donate to the GCVFD may contact Coach Hutchison at or 304.462.6230.

New Concussions Deal with NCAA Proposed

The Gilmer Free Press

CHICAGO, IL — There is a new proposed settlement in a head injury lawsuit against the NCAA brought by football players and other college athletes.

Notice of a new deal came in filings in federal court in Chicago late Tuesday night.

It’s the second proposal in the case. U.S. District Judge John Lee rejected the initial settlement in December.

The core of the new agreement is the same as the one Lee rejected. The new one also would toughen return-to-play rules after a concussion and would create a $70 million fund to test current and former athletes in contact and non-contact sports for brain trauma.

The new proposal also seeks to address Lee’s criticism. That includes his concern there was a lack of clarity about how athletes in what are designated as non-contact sports could benefit if they suffer concussions.

One of the lead plaintiffs’ attorneys, Joseph Siprut, told The Associated Press after the filings that he was pleased the sides could hammer out a new agreement.

“We are very excited about the fact that we are moving forward,“ he said. “We’re hopeful for ultimate approval.“

Ten lawsuits filed nationwide were consolidated into the one case in Chicago, where the first suit was filed in 2011. The lead plaintiff is Adrian Arrington, a former safety at Eastern Illinois. He said he endured five concussions while playing, some so severe he has said he couldn’t recognize his parents afterward.

Sports News   150329

The Gilmer Free Press


<The Gilmer Free Press

►  NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Game Results

(Saturday, March 28)

Final Score: Wisconsin 85, Arizona 78

Los Angeles, CA - Frank Kaminsky, Sam Dekker and the Wisconsin Badgers are headed back to the Final Four. Once again, it came at the expense of Arizona. Kaminsky’s dominance inside, Dekker’s clutch shooting and a plus-30 differential from 3-point range helped Wisconsin beat Arizona 85-78 in Saturday’s West Region final. Kaminsky scored 28 points in last year’s overtime win over Arizona that propelled the Badgers to the Final Four, where they ultimately lost to national runner-up Kentucky. The 7-footer netted 29 in this one. Dekker added 27 points, including 10 in the game’s final 3:36. Wisconsin made 10 3-pointers in the second half, missing only twice from long range. Arizona hit just two the entire game. The Badgers (35-3) will take on Kentucky for a second straight season next week in Indianapolis with a trip to the title game on the line. The unbeaten Wildcats rallied past Notre Dame on Saturday to win the Midwest Region.

Final Score: Kentucky 68, Notre Dame 66

Cleveland, OH - When the Kentucky Wildcats won the SEC championship on March 15, they went against tradition and left the nets at Bridgestone Arena intact. They had bigger goals in mind, including a second straight trip to the Final Four. Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Harrison made sure they got there. Towns scored a game-high 25 points, Harrison sank two free throws with six seconds left and Kentucky stayed unbeaten with a come- from-behind 68-66 win over Notre Dame in the Midwest Regional final. Notre Dame gave the 38-0 Wildcats as stiff a test as they’ve faced all season, leading for most of the second half before the NCAA Tournament’s No. 1 overall seed scored the game’s last four points. Towns, who led Kentucky with 25 points, muscled his way to the basket for a layup with 1:14 remaining to tie the score at 66. Empty possessions both ways led to Harrison working the clock down and attacking the rim, drawing a blocking foul on Demetrius Jackson. Both free throws were pure. Jerian Grant took the ensuing inbounds pass and raced up the left sideline against multiple Kentucky defenders. Willie Cauley-Stein forced him into the left corner, where Grant’s pump fake got him and Harrison to bite and fly by. But Trey Lyles followed the play and challenged Grant, who missed long at the horn.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Nothin’ but Net: Calipari and NBA may not work ... yet

You’ve heard a lot and read a lot about the University of Kentucky this season. The Wildcats could go obliterate the field and win a national championship with an undefeated season.

They have more pros on the roster than the New York Knicks. Karl-Anthony Towns, Willie Caulie-Stein, Trey Lyles and Devin Booker are expected to go in the first round of this summer’s draft. Dakari Johnson and pick your Harrison twin could go in the second.

But, what about head coach John Calipari?

There have been murmurs that Calipari wants back in the NBA. Steve Popper of NorthJersey.com cited a front office official saying, “He desperately wants it. He won’t say it out loud. The NBA is the only place he’s ever failed and it drives him nuts. He’s not the same guy he was then. He came to the NBA and he wasn’t ready. He’s ready now.“

If we believe that premise, is there a place for Calipari in the NBA?

Looking at this in a variety of lights, the answer may be no. The reasons vary from practical to specific and timing is everything, but it doesn’t appear to be a good fit at the moment.

First, there may not be many openings in the offseason. The Denver Nuggets and Orlando Magic both fired coaches during the campaign and labeled the next men up as interim. Melvin Hunt and James Borrego have done admirably, but not admirably enough to be automatic shoo-ins as permanent replacements. They could be in the mix, but aren’t gigantic names, so those positions will probably be filled by others.

Calipari could be a candidate for both, but one would assume Calipari might want personnel control if he’s going back to the big show. Each of those franchises has front-office pieces firmly in place.

Aside from those two teams, will there be any openings? The bottom teams in the standings most likely stay put. If Phil Jackson were to fire Derek Fisher after one season, it would add gallons of gasoline to his stormy tenure. Plus, things went so badly in the coaching search last year, Fisher is probably safe just so Jackson doesn’t have to look bad again.

Brett Brown’s grandchildren deserve the Sixers’ coaching job after pop-pop is gone due to what Sam Hinkie has put Brown through. Flip Saunders owns part of the Minnesota Timberwolves, so he should be safe. Byron Scott has had one season with the Lakers and half of that was without Kobe Bryant and all of it was without Julius Randle and Steve Nash.

The Brooklyn Nets, Calipari’s old team in the NBA back when they played games in a mystical world called New Jersey, might can Lionel Hollins after one season. If there was a group that needed stability, it’s the Nets, so Hollins might be safe.

Steve Clifford could be on thin ice in Charlotte, but he took the Hornets to the playoffs last season and may squeak in again.

Truthfully, the coaching carousel revolves (pun intended) around Tom Thibodeau and the Chicago Bulls. If Gar Forman and John Paxson deem the relationship unfixable, then Thibs becomes the biggest free agent of the offseason. Every coach except for Gregg Popovich and Doc Rivers should look over his shoulder. Thibodeau could trigger a few moves, thus making a competent coach available.

Calipari would seem like an interesting fit in Chicago. He coached Derrick Rose at Memphis. The team is littered with pros who could handle Calipari’s aggressive style, but the reported front-runner if Thibs is let go is Iowa State’s Fred Hoiberg.

It makes complete sense to me to bring in a coach with no NBA experience in favor of a top-three coach in the league. However, if Hoiberg is the man, why him over Calipari? I don’t have a good answer, feel free to e-mail me any theories.

Hoiberg’s candidacy brings up another problem with Calipari and that is the lack of success college coaches have had in the NBA. It’s not as rampant as seasons past, mostly because fewer college coaches are getting hired in the NBA.

Calipari at least has NBA experience. He owns a 72-112 record in two-plus seasons. Coach Cal studied under Larry Brown as an assistant with the Philadelphia 76ers, so he knows the pressures of the gig.

Plus, Calipari has been a fixture at many NBA events. Perhaps he’s networking, but he’s at All-Star games, drafts, you name it. He has a lot of former players involved in those activities, but Cal also likes the spotlight. That’s a fact,

Ian O’Connor of ESPN.com wrote a sensational piece on Calipari’s tenure with the Nets. Cal does not come off as fun uncle to be around. He annoyed players and staff. Has he mellowed enough to avoid that in the NBA? I believe so, but again, few spots are open.

O’Connor paints the picture of a rude tyrant. Cal is older, almost 20 years older to be exact. He’s had more experience with NBA players and can manage egos. The knock on Calipari is Xs and Os, but professional basketball is as much managing the inflated self-worth than it is back screens and defensive rotation.

Calipari has been able to convince young players to put aside personal glory and stats for the good of the team. Seems like promoting teamwork and unity would be a solid trait for a head coach at the highest level.

He’s also earned NBA players’ respect. Cal won a national title and became the best coach in the college rankings, no matter who the U.S. Basketball Writers Association chose. (Tony Bennett of Virginia, by the way, is who that body elected. Strange.)

A comeback in the NBA will be different for Calipari. He had to show them who was boss and that was a guy who guided UMass to some success.

It’s not that way any longer.

Why would Calipari want to return? He makes $7 million per season at Kentucky and could pick up his second national championship in a little over a week. There’s no bigger program in the country than Kentucky. It’s the pinnacle of college coaching. That NBA Jones better be very large to sacrifice obscene wealth and the job security of a Supreme Court judge to get fired 20 games into his third season in the NBA.

Calipari is just one of those guys who elicits hatred. He’s the poster boy for one-and-done players. Old-timers will tell you decisions like that destroy college basketball. Those fuddy-duddies are correct, but remember two things. First, the NBA employed an age restriction, not Calipari, Kentucky or the NCAA. He’s working legitimately (as far as we know) within a system made imperfect by a completely different organization.

Second, Calipari isn’t the only one. Jabari Parker went second in the NBA Draft last year. Jahlil Okafor is going to be one of the first three picks in June. They both attended Duke University for one year, yet Mike Krzyzewski is just one miracle shy of canonization.

Calipari has other flaws that won’t scare NBA teams. Everywhere he’s gone has been hit by NCAA sanctions. At UMass, Marcus Camby took money and other things. Calipari was shocked. At Memphis, someone not named Derrick Rose took the SATs for Derrick Rose. Calipari was stunned. It compounds the case for those who hate, but technically, the school has been hammered with sanctions and vacated wins. Cal has been just fine.

It’s part of the dance, but does an NBA team want a superstar as its head coach? Some might. Some team could feel like his presence would enhance season-ticket sales. A superstar head coach is not a bad thing. Other teams would see it as a distraction. Can’t argue that point if it’s your persuasion.

Public opinion wouldn’t be strong enough to generate protest if an NBA team hired Calipari.

Truthfully, he possesses a lot of skills NBA teams should covet. He’s got relationships with All-NBA players, experience and management experience with studs.

The timing just doesn’t seem right. Calipari probably isn’t looking at an NBA job this summer, but the time will come. It’s more of a statement that teams have decent pieces in place, rather than a black-balling of Calipari, but some would love that.

RANDOM THOUGHTS

- Steve Nash’s retirement is a big deal. He’s going to the Hall of Fame, but I’ll say I was not as big a Steve Nash guy as others. I felt like Shaq deserved Nash’s first MVP award (no argument on Nash’s second). I felt like Nash turned the ball over in big spots down the stretch and was a very good point guard who benefited from his team’s system. Again, he’s a Hall of Famer, but not an all-time great in my eyes.

- Since the tournament is ongoing, there hasn’t been much NBA news in the headlines. That’s fine with me.

- I’m sticking with Charlotte and Miami to make the Eastern Conference playoffs.

- Kevin Love naming someone other than LeBron James as MVP is traitorous. Or, it’s a guy giving his opinion, which, is probably correct. Russell Westbrook has a better MVP case than LBJ, so what’s the problem? I’ll say, Love and James don’t appear to be on the same page entirely, but this story is more manufactured than a Subaru.

- Movie moment - Just about two months until I don’t see the “Entourage” movie.

- TV moment - When I awoke Friday morning, I was greeted by the news that “Coach” is coming back to television. It’s a sequel and I’m all for it. Other TV shows coming back like “Twin Peaks” or “X-Files” or “Heroes” mean nothing to me. I spit at them. But “Coach,“ that’s something.  ~~  Jim Brighters ~~



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Pioneers Drop Double Header at Home

Glenville, WV – The Glenville State Pioneer Baseball team dropped a double header to the Concord University Mountain Lions on a cold and chilly Saturday afternoon at the Sue Morris Sports Complex.

In the first game Concord would take an early lead as they scored four runs in the top of the third inning as they took a 4-0 lead over the Pioneers.

Glenville State would cut Concords lead to two as the Pioneers scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning making it, 4-2.

Concord would add three runs in the top of the seventh inning as they Pioneers headed into the bottom of the seventh down, 7-2.

Glenville State would not be able to get their bats going in the seventh as they fell to Concord, 7-2.

Concord only had four hits in the game while the Pioneers finished with six hits.

Tyler Wiseman went 2 for 3 with 2 RBI’s while Heath Swisher went 1 for 3 and scored a run.

Brock McClung pitched 6.0 innings allowing four hits, six runs, and struck out five batters.

In the second game of the day Concord would jump out to a 2-0 lead after the first inning and would later take a 3-0 lead after Concord’s Andy Szamski hit a solo homerun in the top of the third inning.

Glenville State would struggle hitting the ball in the second game as Concord walked away with the 3-0 victory.

Concord finished with nine hits in the game while the Pioneers finished with only three hits.

Justin Lewis, Tucker Abruzzino, and Kenny Finzel all recorded a hit.

Art’om Rank pitched 4.1 innings allowing five hits, three runs, and struck out one batter.

The Pioneers will host Concord on Sunday, March 29, 2015 at the Sue Morris Sports Complex as they finished up their four game series with the Mountain Lions. The first pitch is set for 1:00 PM.

Box score (NCAA)


Concord at Glenville State (Game 1)
March 28, 2015 at Glenville, WV (Sue Morris Complex)

Concord 7

Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
——————————————————————————————————————————————————————
B. Sullivan ss…........  4  0  0  0   0  0  0  1   0
A. Seigel cf…..........  4  2  0  1   0  0  2  0   0
J. Groves lf…..........  2  1  0  1   1  0  1  1   0
A. Szamski rf….........  3  1  2  3   1  0  4  0   0
H. Cassada 3b….........  3  0  1  1   0  0  0  1   0
T. Brockway 1b…........  3  0  0  0   0  2  5  0   1
D. Frazier dh….........  3  0  0  0   0  2  0  0   2
C. Frazier 2b….........  1  2  0  0   2  0  2  2   0
C. Goss c….............  2  1  1  0   1  1  7  0   0
C. Kelly p…............  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Totals…................ 25  7  4  6   5  5 21  5   3


Glenville State 2

Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
——————————————————————————————————————————————————————
Justin Lewis 2b….......  4  0  1  0   0  0  2  2   0
John Hunter lf…........  2  0  1  0   2  0  0  0   0
Sean Garza dh….........  3  0  1  0   1  1  0  0   0
Tyler Wiseman 1b…......  3  0  2  2   0  1  9  0   1
Zach Sanford rf….......  3  0  0  0   0  2  3  0   2
Tucker Abruzzino cf…...  3  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   3
Randal Baugher 3b….....  3  0  0  0   0  1  0  4   0
Heath Swisher ss…......  3  1  1  0   0  1  0  0   0
Jordan Braniff c…......  3  1  0  0   0  0  6  0   0
Brock McClung p….......  0  0  0  0   0  0  1  1   0
 Danny McCormick p…....  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Totals…................ 27  2  6  2   3  6 21  7   7


Score by Innings                  R  H  E
—————————————————————————————————————————
Concord….......... 004 000 3 -  7  4  1
Glenville State….. 000 020 0 -  2  6  2
—————————————————————————————————————————
E - C. Kelly; H. Swisher; J. Braniff. LOB - CONCORD 3;
GSC 7. 2B - A.
Szamski. SF - J. Groves. SB - A. Seigel 2;
A. Szamski; J. Hunter 2.


Concord                IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF
———————————————————————————————————————————————
C. Kelly….........  7.0  6  2  2  3  6 27 30

Glenville State        IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF
———————————————————————————————————————————————
Brock McClung…....  6.0  4  6  4  5  5 22 27
Danny McCormick…..  1.0  0  1  1  0  0  3  4


Win - C. Kelly.  Loss - B. McClung.  Save - None.

BK - C. Kelly.

Umpires -

Start: 2:00pm   Time:   Attendance: 23

B. McClung faced 2 batters in the 7th.

.
.
.

Box score (NCAA)


Concord at Glenville State (Game 2)
March 28, 2015 at Glenville, WV (Sue Morris Complex)

Concord 3

Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
——————————————————————————————————————————————————————
B. Sullivan ss…........  4  0  0  0   0  1  1  2   0
A. Seigel cf…..........  4  1  3  0   0  0  1  1   0
J. Groves lf…..........  3  1  2  0   0  0  1  0   0
A. Szamski rf….........  4  1  1  2   0  0  0  0   0
H. Cassada 3b….........  4  0  1  1   0  0  0  3   2
T. Brockway 1b…........  2  0  0  0   1  1 10  1   0
P. Williams c….........  3  0  1  0   0  1  6  0   0
F. Lewis dh…...........  3  0  1  0   0  0  0  0   3
C. Frazier 2b….........  2  0  0  0   1  0  1  4   2
Z. Kelly p…............  0  0  0  0   0  0  1  2   0
Totals…................ 29  3  9  3   2  3 21 13   8

Glenville State 0

Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
——————————————————————————————————————————————————————
Justin Lewis 2b….......  3  0  1  0   1  0  0  2   0
John Hunter lf…........  2  0  0  0   1  1  1  0   0
 John Orsborn ph…......  1  0  0  0   0  1  0  0   0
Tyler Wiseman 1b…......  2  0  0  0   0  0  9  0   0
Randal Baugher 3b….....  3  0  0  0   0  0  2  1   6
Khalfani Mar’na dh…....  2  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Zach Sanford rf….......  3  0  0  0   0  0  3  0   0
 Bryan Bayliss rf….....  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Tucker Abruzzino cf…...  3  0  1  0   0  0  1  0   0
Kenney Finzel ss…......  3  0  1  0   0  2  2  3   1
Jordan Braniff c…......  2  0  0  0   0  0  3  2   0
 Kyle Johnston ph….....  1  0  0  0   0  1  0  0   0
Art’om Rank p….........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Justin Oney p…........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  1   0
Totals…................ 25  0  3  0   2  5 21  9   8


Score by Innings                   R  H  E
—————————————————————————————————————————-

Concord….......... 201 000 00 -  3  9  3
Glenville State….. 000 000 0X -  0  3  1
—————————————————————————————————————————-


E - B. Sullivan; H. Cassada 2; J. Lewis. LOB - CONCORD 8;
GSC 8. 2B - H.
Cassada; K. Finzel. HR - A. Szamski. HBP - J. Groves;
T. Wiseman; K. Mar’na.
CS - A. Seigel; C. Frazier; K. Mar’na.


Concord                IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF
———————————————————————————————————————————————
Z. Kelly….........  7.0  3  0  0  2  5 25 29

Glenville State        IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF
———————————————————————————————————————————————
Art’om Rank…......  4.1  5  3  2  2  1 18 21
Justin Oney…......  2.2  4  0  0  0  2 11 11


Win - Z. Kelly.  Loss - A. Rank.  Save - None.

HBP - by Z. Kelly (K. Mar’na); by A. Rank (J. Groves); by Z. Kelly (T. Wiseman).

Umpires -

Start: 4:00 PM   Time:   Attendance: 27


The Gilmer Free Press

►  Rangers acquire LHP Freeman from Cardinals

Surprise, AZ - The Texas Rangers have acquired left- handed reliever Sam Freeman from the St. Louis Cardinals for a player to be named later or cash considerations.

Freeman, 27, made 81 appearances over three seasons with St. Louis, posting a 3.33 ERA with 61 strikeouts in 70 1/3 innings.

The Cardinals were considering Freeman for a role in their bullpen, but he is out of options and would have had to pass through waivers to be assigned to the minors.

►  Cubs release Doubront

Mesa, AZ - The Chicago Cubs granted pitcher Felix Doubront his unconditional release as the team continued to pair down its spring training roster on Saturday.

Doubront, who was out of minor league options, was shelled for nine runs and 17 hits—including a pair of homers—in seven innings over four appearances this spring.

The 27-year-old lefty won 11 games for Boston in both the 2012 and 2013 seasons, but produced a 6.07 ERA over 17 games (10 starts) for the Red Sox last year before being traded to the Cubs in late July.

Doubront returned from a calf injury to make four starts for Chicago, going 2-1 with a 3.98 ERA.

The Cubs also optioned left-hander pitcher Eric Jokisch to Triple-A Iowa, reducing their camp roster to 38 players.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Top Shelf: Coveted coaches may be available

There is always speculation about coaching changes at this point of the NHL season.

With the deadline to qualify for the playoffs approaching, a head coach keeping his job could hinge on whether his team makes it into the postseason.

There are other coaches who may need to do more than simply punching a ticket to the playoffs to stay employed and others who may leave their posts willingly to pursue new opportunities.

Depending on how the chips fall over the next few weeks and months, there could be a a host of high-profile coaches looking for work. As always, there will be no shortage of teams looking to fill vacancies behind the bench.

Here’s a closer look at the array of coaches who soon may be available for hire.

MIKE BABCOCK - DETROIT RED WINGS

If Babcock leaves Detroit, it won’t be due to a lack of success. Considered by many to be the best hockey coach in the world, he is the first man to join the Triple Gold Club from behind the bench, winning a Stanley Cup title (2008 - Detroit), an Olympic gold medal (2010, 2014 - Team Canada) and a IIHF World Championship (2004 - Canada).

But rumors of Babcock’s departure from Detroit began before the season and are due to his contract status. He entered 2014-15—his 10th campaign with the Red Wings—with just one year left on his contract and Babcock has said little about his intentions beyond this season. In fact, one of the few times Babcock broke his silence on the subject this season was back in December when he shot down reports that a contract extension with the Red Wings was imminent. Babcock called those reports “fantasy” and said he was not actively working on negotiations with general manager Ken Holland.

If Babcock leaves Detroit, there will be a long line of suitors looking to get him under contract, but it’s likely only a few clubs will be able to afford his services. Numerous reports have suggested the Toronto Maple Leafs would be among them, as would the Philadelphia Flyers, presuming Philly lets go of current coach Craig Berube.

CLAUDE JULIEN - BOSTON BRUINS

Like Babcock, Julien has a Stanley Cup title on his resume, but the 2011 championship may not be enough to save his job. Bruins CEO Charlie Jacobs said as much back in February when he revealed both Julien and general manager Peter Chiarelli could both be on the unemployment line if Boston fails to make the playoffs.

A lot can change over the last two weeks of the season, but Boston’s postseason quest is not going so good at the moment. The Bruins recently lost their sixth straight game and enter Friday tied in points with Ottawa for the last wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. Boston not making the playoffs would count as one of the biggest disappointments of the season, but considering Julien has led the team to the Promised Land before and helped Boston win the Presidents’ Trophy with the best regular season record in 2013-14, his firing would be utterly shocking.

If Babcock stays in Detroit and Julien is fired, the Boston coach would shoot to the top of the list of potential coaching candidates.

TODD MCLELLAN - SAN JOSE SHARKS

While we very well may see Babcock and Julien with the same teams come next season, there is little hope of the same thing happening with McLellan and the Sharks.

San Jose has disappointed in the playoffs for years and rock bottom came last spring when it coughed up a 3-0 series lead while losing in the opening round against the Los Angeles Kings. Just about everyone in the hockey pundit world believed McLellan would fall on his sword for that debacle, but shockingly he was allowed to return for 2014-15. However, with the Sharks 10 points out of a playoff berth and only eight games left on their schedule it’s impossible to think McLellan could get another stay of execution.

Although his Sharks never met the high expectations placed upon them, McLellan is still young (47) and is a former protege of Babcock in Detroit. Things didn’t work out in San Jose like they were supposed to, but McLellan could have plenty to offer in a new environment.

BRUCE BOUDREAU/KEN HITCHCOCK - ANAHEIM DUCKS/ST. LOUIS BLUES

Both Boudreau’s Ducks and Hitchcock’s are very close to officially clinching playoff berths, but merely getting an invitation to the dance may not be enough to keep them in their current jobs. A deeper run in the postseason may be required to allow them to carry on into next season.

The Ducks are closing in on a third straight division title, but although Boudreau’s regular-season winning record is magnificent, his playoff resume is decidedly less so. Whether in Anaheim and Washington, he has never coached a team past the second round of the playoffs and another early exit this spring could have “Gabby” looking for work.

Hitchcock led Dallas to a Stanley Cup title back in 1999, and the Blues have been hoping he can pull the same trick in the Gateway City. After a second- round exit in 2012, St. Louis has been bounced in the first round in each of the last two seasons. The Blues are too talented for management to allow that to happen again without someone in authority paying the price, so it could be strikes and Hitch is out.

DAVE TIPPETT - ARIZONA COYOTES

Tippett is the winningest coach in franchise history, but he may not want to stick around to add to his record.

The Jack Adams Award winner after the 2009-10 season, Tippett’s high point with the Coyotes came in the spring of 2012, when he led the club to the Western Conference finals. Since then, it’s been three straight seasons without a playoff appearance, and that counts 2014-15 since Arizona already has been mathematically eliminated from postseason contention.

Despite the decline, it seems like it will be Tippett’s choice if he wants to stay in Arizona or not. According to reports, his contract does allow him to opt out after this season and he may choose to exercise that right if he’s interested in switching sides to coach a contender. It’s evident the Coyotes are headed for a rebuild and Tippett may not be interested in guiding a team through what could be a difficult and lengthy path back to relevancy.  ~~  Dan Di Sciullo ~~

►  Dodgers’ League out indefinitely with shoulder issue

Glendale, AZ - Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Brandon League is expected to miss at least the first two months of the upcoming 2015 season due to inflammation in his right shoulder.

League, who hasn’t pitched since March 09, underwent an MRI Wednesday which revealed the injury. The veteran right-hander will be prohibited from throwing for the next three weeks and is likely to begin the season on the 60-day disabled list, manager Don Mattingly told the Dodgers’ official site.

The 32-year-old posted a 2.57 earned run average over 63 appearances last season, his third with the Dodgers since being acquired from Seattle in July of 2012.

League has pitched in at least 58 games in each of the last six seasons.

►  NHL Game Results

(Saturday, March 28)


Final Score: Nashville 4, Washington 3

Washington, DC - The Nashville Predators are headed back to the postseason for the first time since 2012. Filip Forsberg had one goal and two assists as the Central Division-leading Predators clinched a playoff berth with a 4-3 victory over the Washington Capitals on Saturday. Mattias Ekholm, Mike Fisher and Mike Ribeiro also lit the lamp for Nashville, which has won four in a row. Pekka Rinne made 25 saves. Predators defenseman Shea Weber missed his first game of the season with a lower-body injury. He is listed as day-to-day. Troy Brouwer scored two goals for the Capitals, who hold the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. Mike Green also lit the lamp.


Final Score: Pittsburgh 3, Arizona 2

Pittsburgh, PA - Sidney Crosby posted a goal and two assists to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 3-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday. Daniel Winnik and Steve Downie both scored, while Thomas Greiss turned aside 22 shots for the Penguins, who had dropped six of seven coming into the game. With the win and a loss from the Islanders on Saturday, the Penguins and Islanders each have 93 points on the season and are tied for the second spot in the Metropolitan Division. Pittsburgh does have a game in hand, though. Tye McGinn and Tobias Rieder scored for the Coyotes, who had a two-game winning streak coming into the contest. Mike Smith allowed all three goals on 46 shots in the loss.


Final Score: San Jose 3, Philadelphia 2 (SO)

Philadelphia, PA - Brent Burns scored the winner in the fifth round of the shootout as San Jose claimed a 3-2 victory over Philadelphia on Saturday. Matt Irwin and Joe Pavelski lit the lamp for the Sharks, who improved to 3-3-0 on their seven-game road trip which concludes on Sunday in Pittsburgh. Alex Stalock only needed to make 16 saves in regulation and halted four of five Philly chances in the game’s terminal segment. Michael Raffl and Claude Giroux provided offense for the Flyers, losers in five of their last six games and teetering on the edge of being eliminated from playoff contention. Steve Mason took the loss despite stopping 42-of-44 shots.


Final Score: Anaheim 3, NY Islanders 2

Uniondale, NY - The Anaheim Ducks clinched a playoff berth with a 3-2 win over the New York Islanders on Saturday. With 103 points, Anaheim now sets its sights on a Pacific Division title and home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs. Frederik Andersen made 29 saves to help the Ducks improve to 2-2-0 on their five-game road trip, and Rickard Rakell, Kyle Palmieri and Andrew Cogliano all tallied goals. The Islanders lost for the seventh time in their last eight games and fell to 0-5-1 at home in March. Lubomir Visnovsky and Casey Cizikas scored New York’s goals, and Michal Neuvirth allowed three goals on 24 shots.


Final Score: Boston 4, NY Rangers 2

Boston, MA - Milan Lucic’s two first-period goals set the tone, and the Boston Bruins spoiled Henrik Lundqvist’s return to the ice with a 4-2 victory over the New York Rangers. Lundqvist, sidelined for New York’s last 25 games by a vascular injury caused by being struck in the throat by a puck, appeared rusty in his first game action since Feb. 2. The 2012 Vezina Award recipient allowed three first- period goals—two to Lucic and one to Carl Soderberg—before settling down to make 26 saves. About the only negative for the Bruins on the day was having goaltender Tuukka Rask exit 10 seconds into the second period for undisclosed reasons. He stopped all 14 Ranger shots before departing, with Niklas Svedberg recording 16 saves in relief. Rick Nash netted his 40th goal of the season for New York and Matt Hunwick tallied late in the loss, which halted a six-game road winning streak for the Metropolitan Division-leading Rangers.


Final Score: Detroit 4, Tampa Bay 0

Detroit, MI - Petr Mrazek made 23 saves for his second shutout of the season in the Detroit Red Wings’ 4-0 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Detroit earned at least a point for the third time in four games with goals from Joakim Andersson, Justin Abdelkader, Gustav Nyquist and Luke Glendening. Ben Bishop allowed three goals on 22 shots as the Lightning failed to clinch a playoff berth, which they could have done with a win. It was the first time they had been shut out since Dec. 14, 2013.


Final Score: Carolina 3, New Jersey 1

Raleigh, NC - Eric Staal and Justin Faulk scored in the third period to lift the Carolina Hurricanes to a 3-1 win over the New Jersey Devils on Saturday night. Cam Ward made eight saves in the third and finished with 21 as Carolina won its second straight game after dropping four in a row. Keith Kinkaid stopped 29 shots for the Devils, who have lost their last four games.


Final Score: Montreal 3, Florida 2 (OT)

Montreal, QC - Max Pacioretty scored at 2:59 of overtime as the Montreal Canadiens clinched a playoff berth with a 3-2 win over the Florida Panthers on Saturday. Vincent Trocheck was called for high sticking at 2:52 and the Canadiens won the ensuing faceoff. Working the puck down to the low right side, David Desharnais received it there and quickly whipped it to the front where Pacioretty pushed it in for the win. Alex Galchenyuk and Lars Eller also scored, while Carey Price stopped 21 shots for the Canadiens, who snapped a two-game slide. Montreal clinched a postseason berth for a third straight season, and holds a three-point lead over Tampa Bay for first place in the Atlantic Division and has a one-point lead over the New York Rangers for first overall in the Eastern Conference. Montreal hosts Tampa Bay on Monday. Aleksander Barkov scored both goals for the Panthers, who had won three of four coming in. Roberto Luongo turned aside 22 shots in the loss. Florida has 83 points on the season and sits four back of Boston for the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.


Final Score: Toronto 4, Ottawa 3 (OT)

Toronto, ON - Eric Brewer scored with 1:43 remaining in overtime and Toronto overcame a pair of two-goal deficits to claim a 4-3 decision over Ottawa at Air Canada Centre. Tyler Bozak helped the hosts by recording his first career hat trick, including the game-tying marker with 1:24 left in regulation for the Maple Leafs, with Phil Kessel and James van Riemsdyk adding three assists apiece. James Reimer earned the win thanks to a 22-save effort. Curtis Lazar, Mike Stone and Kyle Turris scored for the Senators, who have lost two in a row since winning seven straight. Ottawa crept within one point back of Boston in the race for the final wild-card spot in the East. The Bruins topped the Rangers, 4-2, earlier Saturday. Craig Anderson made his return to the lineup for the first time since March 10 and made 27 stops in defeat.


Final Score: Minnesota 4, Los Angeles 1

St. Paul, MN - Nino Niederreiter and Mikko Koivu each scored twice to power the Minnesota Wild to a 4-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday. Chris Stewart collected two assists, Koivu added a helper and Devan Dubnyk made 31 saves in his 34th consecutive start for the Wild, who won their fifth straight game to climb over idle Chicago for third place in the Central Division with 95 points. Dwight King provided the lone goal for the Kings, who had their three-game winning streak come to an end. Jonathan Quick was pulled after 20 minutes of play after giving up two goals on nine shots and Martin Jones stopped 9-of-10 shots in relief.


Final Score: Columbus 4, St. Louis 2

St. Louis, MO - The Columbus Blue Jackets continued their winning ways on the road. Boone Jenner scored the go-ahead goal late in the second period and the Blue Jackets went on to beat the St. Louis Blues 4-2 on Saturday night. Sergei Bobrovsky made 29 saves in Columbus’ eighth consecutive victory away from home, extending a franchise record. The Blue Jackets, who have won six straight overall, set a club mark for the most road wins in a season with 22. Brian Elliott gave up three goals on 16 shots for the Blues, who returned to Scottrade Center following a 3-1-2 road trip. St. Louis received mixed news on the injury front Saturday. Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk was back in the lineup after an abdominal injury forced him to miss 25 games, but forward Alexander Steen left in the first period with a lower-body injury and didn’t return.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Nishikori moves on in Miami

Miami, FL - 2014 U.S. Open finalist Kei Nishikori and David Ferrer were both easy winners as the second round of the $5.4 million Miami Open continued Saturday.

The fourth-seeded Nishikori needed just 69 minutes to roll to a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Russian veteran Mikhail Youzhny in the Japanese star’s opening match of this Masters 1000 series event.

Ferrer needed even less time to dispose of Federico Delbonis, with the sixth- seeded Spaniard rolling to a 6-1, 6-1 triumph in a mere 58 minutes.

Next up for Nishikori will be No. 32 seed Viktor Troicki, who ousted Italian Simone Bolelli 7-5, 3-6, 6-4 Saturday at Crandon Park. Ferrer will take on Lukas Rosol in the third round after the 26th-seeded Czech posted a 7-6 (7-0) decision over qualifier Alexander Zverev.

Top-seeded and defending champion Novak Djokovic will be in action during Saturday’s night session, with the World No. 1 taking on Martin Klizan. Also slated to take the court later on will be No. 5 seed Milos Raonic, who faces Teymuraz Gabashvili.

In other notable second-round matches, 11th-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga outlasted American Tim Smyczek 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 in the French vet’s 2015 debut. The result sets up a third-round bout between Tsonga and 17th-seeded countryman Gael Monfils, who edged qualifier Filip Krajinovic in a third-set tiebreaker to record a 3-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7-4) win.

Juan Monaco produced the day’s biggest upset so far, with the 30-year-old Argentine dominating 14th-seeded Ernests Gulbis 6-2, 6-4. American Jack Sock also knocked off a seeded player in straight sets, handling No. 21 Italian Fabio Fognini by a 7-6 (7-4), 6-1 score.

Fellow American John Isner, seeded 22nd, also advanced via a 6-3, 6-4 verdict over wild card Andrey Rublev.

The winner of this prestigious hardcourt event will claim $900,400.

►  Wozniacki moves on in Miami

Miami, FL - Caroline Wozniacki was a third-round winner Saturday at the $5.3 million Miami Open.

The fourth-seeded Wozniacki fought back from a set down to beat Kaia Kanepi 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 on the hardcourts at Crandon Park.

Ekaterina Makarova, the No. 8 seed, cruised past No. 26 seed Elina Svitolina 6-0, 6-4 and No. 12 seed Carla Suarez Navarro defeated No. 22 seed Alize Cornet 6-0, 6-4.

In second-round action, German qualifier Tatjana Maria upset sixth-seeded Canadian Genie Bouchard 6-0, 7-6 (7-4) and No. 11 seed Sara Errani beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-1, 7-6 (7-5).

The 2015 Miami champ will earn $900,400.

►  Serena Williams wins Miami opener

Miami, FL - Serena Williams won her rain-delayed opener at the $5.3 million Miami Open in straight sets on Saturday.

Williams, who has won seven Miami titles, is back in competition after pulling out of her semifinal at Indian Wells last week because of a knee injury.

She had to wait an extra day to face Monica Niculescu after persistent rain washed out Friday’s night session at Crandon Park. She aced Niculescu seven times in a 6-3, 6-1 win that took 81 minutes.

Williams earned a third-round match against promising 15-year-old American CiCi Bellis, who upset 29th-seeded Zarina Diyas 6-2, 6-1 on Friday.

Her sister, three-time Miami champion Venus, won her third-round match on Saturday. The 16th-seeded elder Williams topped No. 23 seed Samantha Stosur 6-4, 7-6 (7-3).

No. 4 seed Caroline Wozniacki was a third-round winner, fighting back from a set down to beat Kaia Kanepi 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 on the Crandon Park hardcourts. She will play Venus Williams in the next round.

Also moving on with third-round wins were No. 8 seed Ekaterina Makarova, No. 9 seed Andrea Petkovic, No. 12 seed Carla Suarez Navarro and Daria Gavrilova.

There were three other second-round matches pushed to Saturday because of the rain.

An upset came when qualifier Tatjana Maria topped sixth-seeded Canadian Genie Bouchard 6-0, 7-6 (7-4). No. 11 seed Sara Errani beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-1, 7-6 (7-5) and 13th-seeded Angelique Kerber topped Heather Watson, 7-5, 3-6, 6-4.

The 2015 Miami champ will earn $900,400.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Moonshine Mullin getting closer to return

Hot Springs, AR - Moonshine Mullin, winner of last year’s Stephen Foster Handicap, may soon begin workouts after recovering from a leg injury.

Trained by Randy Morse for Randy Patterson, Moonshine Mullin is coming back from a minor leg injury. A broken splint bone was surgically removed approximately six weeks ago.

“He’s doing good since we took that splint bone out,“ Morse said at Oaklawn Park. “It’s a shame. I sure wish I had him ready. He loves this race track.“

Moonshine Mullin hasn’t raced since winning last year’s Foster Handicap over Eclipse Award winner Will Take Charge. Morse said the horse had a tiny ligament tear in one of his ankles last summer.

Moonshine Mullin has earnings of just over $1 million with nine wins from 32 career starts. Prior to winning the Foster, Moonshine Mullin captured the Alysheba in defeating Golden Ticket with Will Take Charge finishing sixth.

►  Prince Bishop defeats California Chrome in Dubai World Cup

Dubai, United Arab Emirates - Prince Bishop, ridden by William Buick, went from last to first and defeated Horse of the Year California Chrome to capture Saturday’s 20th edition of the $10 million Dubai World Cup at Meydan Racecourse.

Trained by Saeed bin Suroor for Godolphin Racing, Price Bishop was last in the nine-horse field up the backstretch after breaking from the inside post. The 8-year-old gelding went off at 17-1 with California Chrome the 4-5 favorite.

California Chrome, who started from the outside post, pressed the pace with his regular jockey Victor Espinoza. The 4-year-old colt was four wide for much of the race as Hokko Tarumae set the pace in the 1 1/4-mile World Cup.

On the final turn, California Chrome was three wide with Hokko Tarumae on the lead. Prince Bishop advanced into fifth and then second over Meydan’s new dirt track.

Price Bishop came sweeping to the lead past California Chrome down the stretch and went on to post a three-length victory over last year’s Kentucky Derby and Preakness champ. Lea, last year’s Donn Handicap winner, finished third with Candy Boy fourth.

“We ended up traveling very well in the last turn,“ the winning jockey said. “I didn’t look back, I kept going. I thought he won very well, because I could hear the commentator.“

The time for the Dubai World Cup was 2:03.32 on a fast track.

Prince Bishop, a stablemate of last year’s winner African Story, gave his owner and trainer their second straight World Cup victory and seventh overall. The chestnut gelding recorded his first win on a dirt track after posting a pair of seconds earlier in the year at Meydan.

Prince Bishop has 11 wins in 28 lifetime starts for $7,061,632.

Prince Bishop returned $36.00 and $8.80. California Chrome paid $2.10 for place and Lea paid $2.10 to show.

►  Dortmund likely odds-on for Santa Anita Derby

Arcadia, CA - Undefeated 3-year-old Dortmund, from the barn of Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, is likely to be made the odds-on morning line favorite for next week’s Santa Anita Derby.

Santa Anita oddsmaker Jon White told the racetrack’s publicity staff that Dortmund will be made a short price for the 1 1/8-mile stakes.

“Based on the current projected field, I’ll be making Dortmund a short price on the morning line, probably 4-5 or 3-5,“ said White. “Not only is Dortmund unbeaten in five starts, he has been odds-on in his last four races. He was 4-5 in a 10-horse field when he won the San Felipe and defeated Prospect Park and Bolo. In view of that, I’d say it’s a virtual certainty Dortmund will be bet down to odds-on favoritism in the Santa Anita Derby.“

With Martin Garcia riding, Dortmund has posted three straight stakes wins coming into the Santa Anita Derby on April 4. The chestnut colt, owned by Kaleem Shah, won both the Los Alamitos Derby and Robert B, Lewis Stakes by a head over Firing Line, last week’s Sunland Derby champ. The colt was 1 1/4 lengths to the best over Prospect Park in the San Felipe.

“It was a walk in the park for him,“ Baffert said after the San Felipe win.

Dortmund and Prospect Park both had their final workouts for the Derby on Saturday morning.

Dortmund covered six furlongs in 1:11.60 with Garcia riding.

“I got him in 1:11 and four with a gallop out (for seven furlongs) of (one) 24 and three,“ Baffert said. Baffert is also probable to saddle One Lucky Dane, with jockeyRafael Bejarano, in the race.

Owned by Pam and Marty Wygod. Prospect Park, with jockey Alonso Quinonez aboard, went five furlongs in 1:01.20 for trainer Cliff Side Jr.

“I had him in 1:01 flat,“ Side said. “I got splits of 13 and one, 12 and one, and 11 and four; he came home in 23 and two and galloped out three quarters in (one) 13 and four. It was a perfect work. I couldn’t have written it any better this morning.“

Here is the probable field for the Santa Anita Derby: Dortmund, Martin Garcia; Prospect Park, Kent Desormeaux; Bolo, Mike Smith; One Lucky Dane, Rafael Bejarano; Cross the Line, no rider; and Bad Read Sanchez, Mario Gutierrez.

NBC Sports Network will provide live coverage of the Santa Anita Derby from 5-7 PM ET as part of NBC Triple Crown Prep Day, which includes the Blue Grass Stakes and Wood Memorial.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Walker pushes lead to 4 in San Antonio

San Antonio, TX - Jimmy Walker carded a 3-under 69 in Saturday’s third round and extended his lead to four stokes at the Texas Open.

Walker finished 54 holes at 9-under-par 207. He earned his fourth PGA Tour win earlier this year at the Sony Open in Hawaii.

Jordan Spieth, who was tied for the lead after a par at 13, played the final five holes in 1-over par to close out a round of 1-under 71. He is four strokes off the lead at minus-5 on the AT&T Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio.

Reigning FedExCup champion Billy Horschel also carded a 71 to improve into third place at 3-under-par 213.

Scott Pinckney shot 3-under 69 to jump into a share of fourth place at minus-2. He stands alongside Zach Johnson (72), Brendan Steele (72), Jason Kokrak (71) and Chesson Hadley (71).

Aaron Baddeley (76), Kevin Na (75) and Chris Kirk (73) are the final players in red figures at minus-1 and they are tied for ninth place.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  NASCAR topic: Cheating with tire pressure, or just hot air?

MARTINSVILLE, VA — There’s been lot of talk about tires in the NASCAR garage the past few weeks, or longer, and lots of theories about whether something shady is going on or if the chatter is just a bunch of hot air.

After last two races, NASCAR confiscated tires from teams. It took tires from red-hot points leader Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano after the race at Phoenix two weeks ago, and declared them fine a few days later. It took tires from Harvick, Kurt Busch, Paul Menard and Ryan Newman last weekend at Fontana.

Harvick, the defending series champion, has won twice this season and finished first or second in eight consecutive races dating to the end of last season. It’s the second-longest such streak in NASCAR history. Seven-time series champion Richard Petty did it in 11 straight races in 1975.

Several drivers think there is something to be found during these so called tire audits.

Four-time series champion Jeff Gordon had his tires confiscated in 1998 after a race, and his team was cleared of any wrongdoing, but he’s a believer that some teams are tampering with their tires.

“I do think they are,” he said Friday at Martinsville Speedway. “When it gets to this level and when you’re hearing about it and I’m hearing about it and they are talking about things in meetings with crew chiefs — that tells me that it’s being done. It’s just not clear on how it’s being done.”

Air pressure in tires rises during a race, and Gordon is a proponent of NASCAR allowing bleeder valves that would allow the tires to maintain a certain level. They are not allowed now, however, and rumors that some teams have devised ways to create that effect have caused NASCAR to take a closer look.

Goodyear, which provides the tires for races, offers a recommended tire pressure for each race. Teams can choose to follow that guidance or use a different pressure, but not alter it during the race. Many choose a lower pressure, knowing the racing will cause the pressure to rise over time.

“There is a lot of talk, there is a lot of dialogue and there are a lot of rumors in the garage,” said Alan Gustafson, crew chief for Gordon. “Yeah, I think it is obvious that some people think something is going on, and is NASCAR reacting to that? Or do they feel uncomfortable with what is going on?

“I don’t know that answer. But I do think that it is something that is on the forefront of a lot of people’s minds. Obviously NASCAR is trying to make sure that we are all on level playing field and if anybody is violating that, they will pay the price, which they reminded us this morning is very stiff.”

Denny Hamlin thinks if a team is found cheating, the penalty should be harsh, and permanent.

“I know NASCAR sat down all the crew chiefs last year in Phoenix and told them to stop doing it,” Hamlin said after practice Friday. “My guess is that if they said stop then they’ve seen something.

“If it’s out there and they know about it, you should be gone forever. That’s a major, major thing and this isn’t like the old rodeo days of being able to go out there and run a big motor or soak the tires.

“This is a professional sport and people alter tires — that’s a big, big deal. Definitely no room for it in the sport, that’s for sure. Hope they clamp down on that if they do find it and if they find it multiple times with somebody, they should have a permanent vacation somewhere.”

►  Logano on pole for Martinsville race

Martinsville, VA - Joey Logano will start on the pole for the STP 500 after topping Ryan Newman in Friday’s qualifying at Martinsville Speedway.

Logano, who won the Daytona 500 last month, made a lap around this 0.526-mile, paperclip-shaped oval at 98.461 mph during the final round of qualifying for his second pole of the season and the 10th of his Sprint Cup Series career. His first pole this season occurred at Atlanta four weeks ago. Logano’s best finish in his previous 12 starts at Martinsville is second, which happened in March 2010. He scored top-five finishes in both races here last year.

When the series competed at Martinsville in March 2014, Logano set a new track qualifying record with a lap at 100.201 mph during the second round, but he ended up finishing third in the last round, while Kyle Busch won the pole.

“It’s cool to get a pole here at Martinsville because I’ve come so close to getting a pole at Martinsville but had never been able to do it,“ Logano said. “We have the track record but no poles. It’s awesome to get it.“

Newman will share the front row with Logano for Sunday’s 500-lap race. His lap was just 0.026 seconds behind Logano.

“I wish we could have been just a tick quicker and gotten that pole, but nevertheless, this is the best starting spot we’ve had, and it’s obviously a good starting spot,“ Newman said.

Martin Truex Jr. qualified third, while Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson rounded out the top-five. Gordon and Johnson have eight race wins each at Martinsville.

Chase Elliott, who will take over for Gordon in the No. 24 car next year, will start 27th in his first career Sprint Cup start. Elliott, the defending Xfinity Series champion and 19-year-old son of NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott, is scheduled to drive the No. 25 Chevrolet for Hendrick in five Cup races this season, beginning with Martinsville.

“It’s definitely a big relief for us,“ Elliott said after he qualified for his first Sprint Cup race. “It’s weird being excited about qualifying, wherever we qualified, 27th, but we’re in the show, our first Sprint Cup Series race. We’re excited for Sunday.“

Finishing sixth through 12th in qualifying were: Tony Stewart, Kyle Larson, Matt Kenseth, Kasey Kahne, A.J. Allmendinger, Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski, who is Logano’s teammate at Team Penske.

Kevin Harvick, the defending Sprint Cup champion, failed to make it out of the second round and qualified 17th. Harvick has finished either first or second in the last nine races, a streak dating back to last season.

“Qualifying has never really been my strong suit at Martinsville,“ Harvick said. We’re okay in race trim, and our (car) will be ready to go on Sunday.“

Denny Hamlin, a four-time Martinsville race winner, will start 15th, one spot behind Dale Earnhardt Jr., who won here for the first time last October. Kurt Busch, the winner of last year’s spring race at Martinsville, will roll off 26th.

Brendan Gaughan and Ron Hornaday Jr. failed to qualify.

►  Talladega to add more SAFER barriers before NASCAR race

TALLADEGA, AL — Talladega Superspeedway will add SAFER barriers in three places before NASCAR visits in May.

Talladega chairman Grant Lynch says the decision comes after an extensive safety review by track owner International Speedway Corp., NASCAR and ARCA. All tracks are being looked at in the wake of Kyle Busch’s crash into a concrete wall last month at Daytona.

Busch broke his right leg and left foot when he hit a wall that lacked the energy-absorbing barrier.

Talladega will add SAFER barrier before the May 03 race to the inside wall at the entrances to pit road, Turn 1 and Turn 3.

Lynch says Talladega will continue to review its safety initiatives and provide updates as circumstances warrant.

►  Larson hospitalized after fainting at autograph session

Martinsville, VA - Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Larson was taken to a hospital for precautionary reasons after he fainted during an autograph session at Martinsville Speedway on Saturday.

Larson, the 2014 rookie of the year in NASCAR’s top series, was at the Chevy Stage in the fan zone area at this half-mile racetrack when he became ill. According to multiple reports, he was transported to a local hospital but was awake and alert at the time.

Prior to the autograph session, Larson had participated in final Sprint Cup practice. Larson is hopeful that he will be medically cleared by NASCAR for Sunday’s 500-lap race at Martinsville. On Friday, he qualified seventh in his No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet.

►  Logano wins first career Truck Series race at Martinsville

Martinsville, VA - Joey Logano became a first-time race winner in the Camping World Truck Series after grabbing the lead following the last restart with just two laps to go in Saturday’s Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway.

Logano, the winner of last month’s Daytona 500, ran in third for the restart of a green-white-checkered finish but moved to the inside of the track and pull ahead of second-place Erik Jones and then leader Matt Crafton in turn 1. Logano crossed the finish line 0.431 seconds ahead of Crafton, the two-time defending series champion, for his maiden truck win in his seventh start. Jones placed third.

Logano, who started on the pole and led the most laps with 150, became the 26th different driver to win a race in all three of NASCAR’s top three series. He has nine career victories in Sprint Cup and 22 in the Xfinity Series. Logano will start on the pole for Sunday’s 500-lap Sprint Cup race at Martinsville. He drove the No. 29 Ford for Brad Keselowski Racing in the truck event here.

Johnny Sauter finished fourth, while Tyler Reddick, who is Logano’s teammate and the winner of the truck season-opener at Daytona, took the fifth spot. Daniel Suarez, James Buescher, John Wes Townley, Matt Tifft and Justin Boston completed the top-10.

Cole Custer, making his first start of the season, bounced back from two pit- road speeding penalties to take the lead on lap 246 of this scheduled 250-lap race. While in a fierce battle with Crafton and Logano for the top position, Custer bumped into the back of Crafton, causing him and Logano to run wide up the track.

Crafton quickly caught up with Custer and bumped into him several times before Custer spun out, forcing the ninth caution and therefore setting up the two- lap overtime finish. Crafton had led a total of 100 laps before Logano made his winning pass.

Custer, who is the 17-year-old son of Stewart-Haas Racing executive vice president Joe Custer, ended up finishing 16th, the last truck on the lead lap. He drove the No. 00 Chevrolet for JR Motorsports, which made its Truck Series debut in this race.

►  Hamilton beats Vettel for Malaysian GP pole

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Defending Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton placed his Mercedes on the pole for the Malaysian Grand Prix after edging Sebastian Vettel from Ferrari in Saturday’s rain- soaked qualifying.

The start of the final round of qualifying was delayed more than 30 minutes due to a heavy downpour. In Q3, Hamilton made a lap around Sepang International Circuit in 1 minute, 49.834 seconds for his second pole of the season and the 40th of his F1 career. Two weeks ago, the Briton started on pole and won the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

Hamilton’s lap time was only 0.074 seconds quicker than Vettel.

“I think the first lap (in Q3) was quite good,“ Hamilton said. “It was difficult because none of us have driven in the wet this weekend. So the first lap is always the unknown. You don’t want to take too much risk.“

Hamilton won last year’s Malaysian GP from the pole.

Vettel, in his second grand prix with Ferrari, ended Mercedes nine-race streak of sweeping the front starting row. Hamilton’s teammate, Nico Rosberg, qualified third for Sunday’s 56-lap race with a lap time in 1:50.299.

“When it starts to rain here, it can mix up things,“ Vettel said. “I think it was an interesting qualifying session. The car felt good in both dry and wet conditions. So I’m reasonably happy.“

The last time Rosberg qualified outside the top-two was in June 2014 in the Austrian Grand Prix, where he started third.

“I just didn’t drive well enough,“ Rosberg said. “I’m annoyed by that. Third place is not good for tomorrow. But that’s the way it is.“

Daniel Ricciardo from Red Bull took the fourth spot, while his teammate, Daniil Kvyat, was fifth. Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen placed sixth. In Australia, Verstappen became the youngest driver ever to start a F1 grand prix at age 17 years.

Felipe Massa from Williams qualified seventh, followed by Lotus’ Romain Grosjean, Valtteri Bottas, who is Massa’s teammate, and Marcus Ericsson from Sauber.

McLaren once again struggled in qualifying, as Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso finished 17th and 18th, respectively. Honda is supplying engines for McLaren this year.

Alonso is making his first start of the season after suffering a concussion during an accident in preseason testing last month on Barcelona.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Nietes retains WBO light flyweight belt

Metro Manila, Philippines - Donnie Nietes kept his WBO light flyweight title after a technical knockout win over Mexico’s Gilberto Parra on Saturday.

Nietes (35-1-4, 21 KO) sent Parra (19-3) down to the canvas in the eighth round and later forced the match official to call the fight between the ninth and 10th.

Nietes retained his title for the sixth time.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Kaka helps Orlando earn draw in Montreal

Montreal, QC - Kaka scored one goal and assisted on another to help Orlando City SC earn a 2-2 draw against the Montreal Impact at Olympic Stadium on Saturday.

The Impact jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first 27 minutes with a penalty kick from Ignacio Piatti and another goal from Jack McInerney.

However, Kaka set up a goal for Pedro Ribeiro in the 29th before Ribeiro returned the favor, allowing Kaka to score his second goal of the season just one minute later.

Montreal has drawn its last two games after opening the campaign with a loss, while Orlando City owns five points from its first four outings.

The home side snatched the lead in the 14th minute when Orlando defender Sean St. Ledger was called for handling the ball inside his own penalty area.

Piatti stepped to the spot and beat goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts, who was then picking the ball out of his net again in the 27th after he was caught out of net and was beaten by a chip from McInerney.

The two-goal lead lasted just two minutes, however, as Kaka laid a ball off to Ribeiro inside the penalty area and he lashed a left-footed shot past goalkeeper Eric Kronberg from eight yards.

Ribeiro then turned provider one minute later when he powered past a defender and slipped a ball to Kaka, who juggled past his man and volleyed home past Kronberg.

But after an intense 15-minute period that saw four goals scored, chances dried up after the break and Piatti had the best opportunity to separate the sides with a shot from the top of the box that Ricketts kept out with a fine stop.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Watch this super enthusiastic Zambian soccer team’s goal celebration horribly backfire

Always keep your eye on the ball. That rule holds true in soccer, apparently, even if you don’t think the ball’s in play. A Zambian team learned that lesson the hard way recently when they put on an elaborate goal celebration while their opponents continued to play. Within seconds the score was equalized.

D’oh! The K-Stars thought they’d done it with a late winner over Mozambique’s Ferroviario. Alas, their extended celebration that, heartbreakingly, involved running over to a group of ecstatic school children was cut short when Ferroviario demanded the ball back without the opposing goalkeeper in the net.

A big boot from nearly midfield easily sailed in to make the score 1-1 at full time.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Quarterback Colt McCoy re-signs with Redskins

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Washington Redskins have re-signed free-agent quarterback Colt McCoy, who started four games for the team last season.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

McCoy, 28, appeared in five games overall in his first season with the Redskins, completing 91 of 128 passes (71.7%) for 1,057 yards, with four touchdown passes, three interceptions and a team-high passer rating of 96.4.

The McCoy signing means, at least for now, the trio of quarterbacks who started games for last year’s 4-12 club will return, including 2012 first-round draft pick Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins.

Head coach Jay Gruden said last month during the NFL scouting combine that Griffin would enter the season as the starter.

Griffin, who dislocated his ankle in Week 2 against Jacksonville, moved in and out of the starting lineup last season. He finished 2-5 as a starter for a club that was last in the NFC East for the sixth time in seven seasons.

When Griffin went down, Cousins relieved him and led Washington to a Week 2 win, but then went 0-4 before being pulled at halftime against Tennessee.

McCoy engineered a comeback win over the Titans and an upset victory the following week at Dallas before Griffin returned.

McCoy would later start games from Week 13-15 before being placed on injured reserve due to a neck injury.

Washington owns the fifth overall pick in the upcoming draft. Recent speculation has centered on what the team might do if Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota of Oregon is available.

McCoy is entering his sixth NFL season and his second with the Redskins after joining the team as an unrestricted free agent last April. In 33 career games with 25 starts, he has completed 501 of 831 passes (60.3%) for 5,458 yards, 25 touchdowns and 23 interceptions.

McCoy played at Texas (2006-09), completing 1,157 of 1,645 career passes for 13,253 yards with 112 touchdowns and 45 interceptions. He added 447 rushing attempts for 1,571 yards and 20 touchdowns.

A third-round pick by Cleveland in 2010, McCoy played three seasons for the Browns before being traded to San Francisco in April 2013.

►  Bears ink CB Ball

Lake Forest, IL - The Chicago Bears added secondary depth on Friday by signing cornerback Alan Ball to a one-year contract.

Ball, age 29, spent the past two seasons with Jacksonville, starting 22 games. He missed the final nine games in 2014 because of a biceps injury.

A seventh-round pick by Dallas in 2007, Ball has registered 216 tackles and six interceptions in 93 career games (44 starts) with the Cowboys, Texans and Jaguars.

►  Panthers sign WR Boykin

Charlotte, NC - The Carolina Panthers signed wide receiver Jarrett Boykin to a one-year contract on Friday.

Boykin, who starred for Butler High School in Charlotte, spent the first three years of his NFL career with the Green Bay Packers.

He caught 49 passes for 681 yards and three touchdowns in 2013, but dropped down the depth chart and had only three catches last season.

►  Panthers sign WR Boykin, claim OT Martin

Charlotte, NC - The Carolina Panthers signed wide receiver Jarrett Boykin to a one-year contract and claimed offensive tackle Jonathan Martin off waivers on Friday.

Boykin, who starred for Butler High School in Charlotte, spent the first three years of his NFL career with the Green Bay Packers. He caught 49 passes for 681 yards and three touchdowns in 2013, but dropped down the depth chart and had only three catches last season.

Martin was waived by the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday

He appeared in 15 games (nine starts) for the 49ers last season after being acquired in a trade with the Miami Dolphins in March.

Martin walked away from the Dolphins in October 2013 amid claims he was bullied by former teammate Richie Incognito. The former second-round draft pick had started the first 23 games of his NFL career before abruptly leaving the team.

The Gilmer Free Press


References
ABC - American Broadcasting Company
CBS - Columbia Broadcast System
FOX - Fox Entertainment Group
NBC - National Broadcasting Company
JIP - Joined in Progress
DSS - DIRECTV
TSN - Sports Network (Canada)
SNET/SN - Rogers SportsNet (Canada)
RDS - Reseau des sports
MSG - Madison Square Garden Network
TNT - Turner Network Television
TBS - Turner Broadcasting System
SNY - SportsNet New York
CBSSN - CBS - College Sports Network
CSN - Comcast SportsNet
TCN - The Comcast Network
NBCSN - NBC Sports Network
NESN - New England Sports Network
MASN - Mid-Atlantic Sports Network
ROOT - Root Sports (Pittsburgh, Northwest, Rocky Mountain)
CST - Cox Sports Television
FCS - FOX College Sports
FS - FOX Sports Regional
RSN - Regional Sports Networks
CPTV - Connecticut Public Broadcasting
TVG - Horse Racing Channel
FS1 - FOX Sports 1
TWC - Time Warner Cable Sports Channel
* - If Necessary


SUNDAY, MARCH 29, 2015
Major League Baseball - Spring Training
Tampa Bay vs. Boston, 1:05 PM - NESN
Detroit vs. Philadelphia, 1:05 PM - TCN-Philadelphia
NY Mets vs. St. Louis, 1:05 PM - FS-Midwest, MLB Network
Baltimore vs. Toronto, 1:07 PM - SNET
Cincinnati vs. LA Angels, 3:10 PM - FS-West
Seattle vs. San Diego, 4:05 PM - MLB Network
Chicago WSox vs. Cleveland, 4:05 PM - CSN-Chicago
Los Angeles vs. San Francisco, 4:05 PM - CSN-Bay, SportsNet LA
Chicago Cubs vs. Kansas City, 4:05 PM - WGN
Texas vs. Los Angeles, 4:05 PM - TXA21
Arizona vs. Colorado, 4:10 PM - ROOT-Rocky Mountain
National Basketball Association
Houston at Washington, 12:30 PM - ROOT-Southwest, CSN-DC, DSS
LA Lakers at Brooklyn, 3:30 PM - Time Warner Cable, YES, DSS
Minnesota at New Orleans, 4:00 PM - FS-North, New Orleans, DSS
Philadelphia at Cleveland, 4:30 PM - CSN-Philadelphia, FS-Ohio, DSS
LA Clippers at Boston, 6:00 PM - FS-Prime Ticket, CSN-New England, DSS
Detroit at Miami, 6:00 PM - FS-Detroit, SunSports, DSS
Memphis at San Antonio, 7:00 PM - SportSouth, FS-Southwest, DSS
Dallas at Indiana, 7:00 PM - FS-Southwest, Indiana, DSS
Oklahoma City at Phoenix, 9:00 PM - FS-Oklahoma, Arizona, NBA TV, DSS
National Hockey League
Washington at NY Rangers, 3:00 PM - CSN-DC, MSG, DSS, NHL Network
Detroit at NY Islanders, 5:00 PM - FS-Detroit+, MSG+, DSS
Florida at Ottawa, 5:00 PM - FS-Florida, RDS, TSN5, DSS
Boston at Carolina, 5:00 PM - NESN, FS-Carolina, DSS
Calgary at Nashville, 5:00 PM - SNET-West, FS-Tennessee, DSS
Anaheim at New Jersey, 7:00 PM - FS-West, MSG, DSS
Chicago at Winnipeg, 7:30 PM - CITY, WGN, DSS
San Jose at Pittsburgh, 7:30 PM - ROOT-Pittsburgh, NBCSN
Men’s College Basketball
Michigan State vs. Louisville, 2:00 PM - CBS
Gonzaga vs. Duke, 4:30 PM - CBS
Women’s College Basketball
Florida State vs. South Carolina, 12:00 PM - ESPN
Baylor vs. Notre Dame, 8:30 PM - ESPN
College Hockey
East Region Final, 5:00 PM - ESPN U
Midwest Region Final, 7:30 PM - ESPN U
Major League Soccer
Philadelphia at Chicago, 5:00 PM - ESPN 2
Toronto at Real Salt Lake, 7:00 PM - FS1
International Soccer
Brazil vs. Chile, 9:50 AM - beIN Sports
Portugal vs. Serbia, 2:30 PM - ESPN2
Arena Football League
Philadelphia at Orlando, 7:00 PM - ESPN 2
Golf
EUROPEAN - Trophee Hassan II, 9:00 AM - Golf Channel
PGA - Valero Texas Open, 1:00 PM - Golf Channel
CHAMPIONS - Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic, 3:00 PM - Golf Channel
PGA - Valero Texas Open, 3:00 PM - NBC
LPGA - Kia Classic, 6:00 PM - Golf Channel
Auto Racing
FORMULA ONE - Malaysian Grand Prix, 2:30 AM - NBCSN
SPRINT CUP - STP 500, 12:30 PM - FOX
INDYCAR - Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, 3:00 PM - ABC

Glenville State Football Releases 2015 Schedule

The Gilmer Free Press

Glenville, WV – Glenville State College athletic officials and Head Football coach David Hutchison have released the schedule for the 2015 football season.  The 11 game schedule includes five home games and six road contests. Four of the games will take place on Thursday nights.

“The 2015 schedule is a very challenging schedule it will be great for our players and fans to have four Thursday night games under the lights. I can promise you that our coaching staff and players will be ready for the 2015 season,” stated Hutchison.

The Pioneers open up the 2015 season on the road on Saturday, September 5th as they travel to Urbana, Ohio to take on Mountain East Conference foe the Urbana University Blue Knights. The Pioneers defeated the Blue Knights last season at home 31-28. However the last time the Pioneers played at Urbana they fell to the Blue Knights 12-9.

In week two Glenville State will return home as they host the West Virginia Wesleyan College Bobcats on Thursday, September 10th. It is the first Thursday night game of the season and the first Thursday night game at I.L. & Sue Morris Stadium since September 19th, 2013. Glenville State and West Virginia Wesleyan series is tied at 3-3 going back to 2009; however the Pioneers fell at West Virginia Wesleyan last year 38-35.

Week three takes the Pioneers back on the road as they travel to Charleston, West Virginia to battle the University of Charleston Golden Eagles on Saturday, September 19th. The Pioneers defeated the Golden Eagles last season at home 34-30 but lost to the Golden Eagles the last time they played at Charleston back in 2013.

Week four the Pioneers return home to host the UVa-Wise Cavaliers on Saturday, September 26th. That date is also Homecoming for the Pioneers. Glenville State is 2-0 against the Cavaliers since they joined the MEC Conference. They beat UVa-Wise last year on the road 35-9.

The Pioneers then travel to South Euclid, Ohio to take on Notre Dame College on October 3rd in week five of the season. Glenville State is 2-0 against Notre Dame since they joined the MEC in 2013. The Pioneers defeated Notre Dame last year by a field goal, 41-38.

Saturday, October 10th Glenville State returns home as they host the Shepherd University Rams. The Pioneers are 4-4 against the Rams since 2007 with their last win coming in 2010. Glenville State fell last season at Shepherd, 37-14.

On Thursday, October 15th Glenville State travels to Philippi, West Virginia to take on the Alderson Broaddus Battlers. This is the only non-conference game of the season for the Pioneers. It’s also the second Thursday night game of the year.  This will be the Pioneers and Battlers first meeting since Alderson Broaddus started their football program back in 2012, four years ago.

The Pioneers hit the road for the second straight week in a row as they travel to Institute, West Virginia to take on the West Virginia State University Yellow Jackets on Saturday, October 24th. Glenville State is 7-1 against the Yellow Jackets dating back to 2007. The Pioneers defeated West Virginia State last year 30-7.

On Saturday, October 31st the Pioneers will return home to host Concord University. Glenville State and Concord series is tied at 3-3 since 2008 with the Mountain Lions winning last year’s matchup 54-27. The Pioneers and Mountain Lions did not play in 2013.

On Thursday, November 5th the Pioneers travel to West Liberty, West Virginia to take on the Hilltoppers of West Liberty. This will be the third Thursday night game of the season. Glenville State and West Liberty series is tied at 2-2 since 2011 with the Pioneers winning in 2011 and 2012 while the Hilltoppers won in 2013 and last year 2014, 27-24.

The last game of the regular season the Pioneers return home as they host the Fairmont State University Falcons on Thursday, November 12th in the Annual Battle for the Bit. It is also the 88thmeeting between the Pioneers and Falcons since they first played back in 1909. Glenville State is 4-1 against Fairmont State since 2010. Last season the Pioneers fell at Fairmont State 40-36.

“It is nice to have our schedule completed so we can now put our complete focus on our off-season program as well as spring practice, also making sure our players are focused in the classroom,” Hutchison concluded.

For more information about Pioneer Athletics, call 304.462.4102. All game times and dates are subjected to change.

Sports News   150212

The Gilmer Free Press


The Gilmer Free Press

►  Area High Schools Boys Basketball Game Results

(Wednesday, February 11)


#5 Robert C. Byrd 63     Wyoming East 50

Parkersburg 71     Princeton 53


►  Area High Schools Girls Basketball Game Results

(Wednesday, February 11)


#7 Gilmer County 55     Calhoun County 39

Elkins 43     Lewis County 40

Notre Dame 57     Doddridge County 55

#3 North Marion 71     Buckhannon-Upshur 61

Parkersburg Catholic 52     Ritchie County 47

Robert C. Byrd 37     Liberty 28

Spring Valley 74     Parkersburg 70



The Gilmer Free Press

►  MEC Men’s Basketball Notebook – February 11

* West Liberty established a new NCAA record after being ranked for the 77th-straight week in the NCAA Division II Coaches Poll. The poll was established in 1960-61. WLU has been ranked in every poll since February 02, 2010.

* WLU’s C.J. Hester and Charleston’s Aleksander Kesic each earned Academic All-District honors. The two now advance for consideration for Academic All-America honors. Hester is already a two-time All-American, while Kesic is vying for his first such honor.

* The Mountain East Conference is the highest-scoring league in the country with its teams averaging 78.88 points per game.

* WLU sits atop the MEC standings with a one-game lead over Fairmont State. The ‘Toppers will play Shepherd on Thursday night before a showdown with the Falcons on Saturday at the ASRC.

* West Liberty’s Seger Bonifant is still fourth in the country in scoring averaging 24.7 points per game. Bonifant has not played more than 29 minutes in any of the last six games.

* West Liberty is averaging 16.5 turnovers per game, but has forced 20.3 turnovers in its last six games since employing platoon substitutions.

* Fairmont State handed West Liberty its first conference loss of the season, 99-83, on January 17. Thomas Wimbush and Nick Harney each scored 20 points and FSU shot 59% from the field in the win.

* Fairmont State has not lost since a January 10 setback against Concord. In its nine-game winning streak Harney is averaging 21.9 points, 9.5 rebounds and has four double-doubles.

* Glenville State currently sits third in the conference standings. The Pioneers average 11 three-pointers per game.

* GSC is committing four fewer turnovers per game than its opponent, which helps it overcome a -5.0 rebounding margin.

* Brett Morris leads the league in blocked shots per game with 1.96.

* UC is 3-3 in its last six games, with its three losses coming to the teams ahead of it in the standings. Two of those three losses came by a combined eight points.

* The Golden Eagles are second in the league in points allowed per game 66.3 points per game.

* No player is averaging more than 12.4 points per game (Chris Evans) and UC has had eight different players lead it in scoring in games this year.

* After a stretch that saw Concord go 7-1, the Mountain Lions have lost their last two.

* CU is 8-2 at home and 5-5 on the road. Concord averages 10 more points per game at the Carter Center.

*  Aaron Miller is the only underclassman in the league averaging more than 18 points per game (18.7).

* Mike Boyd leads the league in assists with 5.27 per game.

* Wheeling Jesuit has won seven of its last eight games. Through the first 13 games, WJU was averaging 77.8 points per game, but is has averaging 88.4 in its last eight.

* WJU is 0-5 this year when held to under 70 points or less.

* Five of Shepherd’s last six games have been decided six points or less.

* SU leads the league in free throw percentage making .751 of its attempts.

* Notre Dame is the team in the league to have four players ranked in the top 23 in scoring. Tyree Gaiter ranks second (20.2), Lawrence DeArmond is third (19.8), Kyauta Taylor is 21st (12.8) and Will Vorhees is 23rd (12.5).

* NDC has just four wins away from Murphy Gymnasium this year going 2-8 on the road and 2-0 at a neutral site.

* West Virginia Wesleyan features the nation’s leading rebounder in Tanner McGrew (13.0). McGrew has 14 double-doubles on the year, seven more than anyone else in the conference. 

* The Bobcats lead the league in scoring defense allowing just 63.3 points per game.

* Four of WVWC’s last seven games have been decided by five points or less, and another game went to overtime. The Bobcats are 1-4 in those games.

* After missing the first nine games due to injury, Markee Mazyck is averaging 22.2 points per game in MEC contests. That average is second in the league.

* Urbana is second in the league in steals with 9.09 takeaways per game.

* UU’s Rodney Clark has scored in double figures in each of the last five games.

* UVa-Wise’s Philip Owens is the highest-scoring freshman in the league averaging 14.0 points per game.


►  MEC Women’s Basketball Notebook - February 11

* The Mountain East Conference is the second-highest scoring league in NCAA Division II with its teams averaging 69.43 points per game.

* The MEC had four players represented on the Capital One Academic All-District 2 team. Notre Dame’s Martha Nagbe and Lauren Langenderfer, Fairmont State’s Hailey Garrett and Charleston’s Nichole Perry were recognized and are now eligible for Academic All-America honors.

* Four teams are tied at the top of the MEC standings with Fairmont State, Charleston, Shepherd and West Liberty having identical 13-4 conference records.

* West Liberty and Shepherd on Thursday night, and the Hilltoppers follow that up with a matchup against Fairmont State on Saturday. Charleston plays at Concord and then is home against UVa-Wise this week.

* Fairmont State has won six of its last seven games with its lone loss being a two-point setback against Charleston during that stretch.

* Hailey Garrett is 10th among active players in NCAA Division II with 1,693 career points.

* Garrett leads the league in field goal percentage hitting 56.5% of her shots.

* Teammate Emily Lohr leads the country in three-point field goal percentage at 53% (53-of-100).

* Charleston is the only team in the MEC allowing fewer than 60 points per game (59.0). The Golden Eagles are 11-2 in games they hold their opponent to 60 points or less.

* Shepherd has already won four times as many games this year as it did all of last year last year.

* After suffering its first two-game conference losing streak of the season, the Rams have bounced back to win three straight.

* Cara Mason, last year’s Freshman of the Year, is second on the team in scoring (12.0), but leads the team in assists (5.0) and steals (2.2).

* Six different players have led the team in scoring and nine different players have led the team in rebounds in games this year for Shepherd.

* SU is only outscoring opponents by an average of +1.7. 

* West Liberty’s Kailee Howe leads the country in assists per game with 9.8. She is the only non-senior among the top 15 active players in career assists with 379.

* Howe leads the league with 10 double-doubles.

* Liz Flowers is sixth in the country in scoring at 21.3 points per game. She also leads the nation in made three-pointers per game at 3.65.

* WLU has scored 80 points or more in each of the last four games and is 4-0 during that stretch.

* Wheeling Jesuit’s Jaila Bryant leads the team in scoring (15.9), assists (3.2), steals (1.5) and is third in rebounding (4.8).

* The Cardinals are second in the league in field goal percentage making 46% of its shots.

* After a five-game winning streak, Notre Dame has dropped four of its last six games.

* Martha Nagbe is third in the conference in scoring with 17.6 points per game and is the only player to be named conference player of the week three times this season.

* Glenville State has won five of its last seven to move over .500 for the year with a record of 11-10.

* Keyanna Tate has led the team in scoring 15 of GSC’s 21 games.

* UVa-Wise’s Blair Harding is one of just eight players in the MEC to score 30 points or more in a game this season.

* Concord’s Jacqueline Kestner is second in the conference with nine double-doubles this year.

* In West Virginia State’s seven wins this year, Shealyn Shafer averages 16.9 points, up four points from her season average.

* West Virginia Wesleyan’s last eight games have been decided by 10 points or less.

* Urbana’s Tori Purk leads the league and is sixth in the country in free throw percentage at 89.4.

►  MEC Men’s Basketball Ranking

SchoolOverallPct.ConfCPct.HomeAwayNeutralStreak
West Liberty20-20.90915-20.88213-17-10-0W6
Fairmont State17-60.73914-30.8248-49-20-0W9
Glenville State17-60.73913-40.7658-39-30-0L1
Charleston16-70.69611-60.6478-37-31-1W1
Concord14-80.63610-70.5888-25-51-1L2
Wheeling Jesuit13-80.6199-70.5636-35-52-0W2
Shepherd13-100.5658-90.4717-46-60-0W1
Notre Dame 12-110.5228-90.4718-32-82-0L1
WV Wesleyan 10-130.4358-90.4716-53-71-1W2
WV State 3-210.1253-130.1881-102-90-2L8
Urbana5-180.2172-150.1183-101-81-0L3
UVa-Wise1-210.0450-170.0000-110-101-0L21


►  MEC Women’s Basketball Ranking

SchoolOverallPct.ConfCPct.HomeAwayNeutralStreak
Fairmont State19-40.82613-40.76511-38-10-0W5
Charleston18-50.78313-40.7658-28-32-0W3
Shepherd16-70.69613-40.7656-39-41-0W3
West Liberty16-70.69613-40.7659-25-42-1W4
Wheeling Jesuit13-70.65010-60.6258-35-40-0W2
Notre Dame 13-100.5659-80.5298-34-71-0L3
Glenville State11-100.5249-80.5295-46-60-0L1
UVa-Wise8-150.3487-100.4123-75-70-1L2
Concord6-150.2866-110.3532-74-60-2L2
WV State 7-140.3335-110.3135-82-60-0W1
WV Wesleyan 2-180.1002-150.1180-102-80-0L4
Urbana1-220.0431-160.0591-100-100-2L16


The Gilmer Free Press

►  West Virginia holds on to beat K-State

Jevon Carter and Gary Browne each made late free throws to help 21st-ranked West Virginia secure a 76-72 victory over Kansas State on Wednesday night.

Brandon Watkins had 14 points and nine rebounds to lead the Mountaineers (19-5, 7-4 Big 12), who bounced back from a pair of blowout losses to Oklahoma and Baylor. Juwan Staten finished with 11 points and six assists against the struggling Wildcats.

“Do you draw pictures when you golf? A guy told me you write the number, not draw a picture of what you did,“ said West Virginia coach Bob Huggins. “I’m going to say today was a win, but it was frustrating.“

Nino Williams matched a career high with 22 points for Kansas State (12-13, 5-7), which has dropped five games in a row to fall below .500 for the first time in 11 years. The slide began with a 65-59 home loss to West Virginia on Jan. 27.

The Wildcats played their third straight game without top scorer Marcus Foster after he was suspended by coach Bruce Weber for violating team rules.

West Virginia saw a 10-point lead disappear late in the second half. Jaysean Paige drained a 3-pointer to make it 67-57 with 5:27 remaining, but then missed three free throws after being fouled on a 3-point shot.

K-State answered with a 12-0 run to take a 69-67 lead with 2:25 to play. West Virginia tied it on a pair of Nathan Adrian free throws and moved back in front on a Devin Williams layup following a K-State turnover.

With 41.2 seconds remaining, the Wildcats had a chance to tie it, but Nigel Johnson missed both free throw attempts.

Carter was 2-for-2 at the foul line with 19.8 seconds left to make it 74-70. Browne was fouled and hit two free throws after Justin Edwards missed a running layup for K-State.

“I thought we had some pretty good looks, but not enough to get a win,“ Weber said.

It remained a tight game deep into the first half, but a dunk by Watkins off his own missed free throw put West Virginia up 35-25 with five minutes left.

K-State scored the next six points before a Paige three from the top of the key capped an 11-2 West Virginia run. Johnson hit two free throws to make it 46-35 at halftime.

Game Notes

The last time the Wildcats were below .500 was when a home loss to Missouri on Jan. 28, 2004 also dropped them to 12-13 ... West Virginia shot just 28 percent in the second half after shooting 62.1 percent in the first half ... Carter and Paige each had 10 points ... Johnson and Edwards scored 14 points apiece.


►  Winning’s the only consolation as Bob Huggins ponders West Virginia’s ‘worst performance in months’

After Wednesday night’s narrow victory wrapped a tourniquet around a team leaking momentum, neither West Virginia’s players nor their 61-year-old coach showed much satisfaction.

Jevon Carter said no one in the locker room was happy about squeezing past a shorthanded Kansas State team. Juwan Staten described it as “one of those games where you feel like you should have lost.” Gary Browne claimed he’d value any win and promptly admitted “but we can’t do stuff like that.”

Upon beating K-State 76-72, West Virginia began beating up itself for the moments of malaise that made this game competitive at the finish.

                          Upon beating K-State 76-72, West Virginia began beating up itself for the moments of malaise that made this game competitive at the finish.

From 5:18 remaining until the 1:58 mark the Mountaineers went from 10 points ahead to two points behind. In that span they were 0-of-3 from the floor and 0-of-5 from the foul line with five fouls and two turnovers. Now this, Bruce Weber, was bad basketball.

Meanwhile, Kansas State backup Nigel Johnson was having a Reggie Miller-like experience by producing six points in 13 seconds.

West Virginia, flailing and fading, needed a break—and one arrived in the apropos form of an airball. Browne’s badly missed 3-pointer from the corner dropped into the arms of Nathan Adrian, who was fouled beneath the basket and made the tying free throws.

On the ensuing inbounds pass came another break: K-State’s Nino Williams called for traveling when he felt he was bumped by a defender. (Debate as you like whether it was actually a walk or a push; there’s no debating the inconsistent officiating crew had called fouls on less contact.)

Alas, West Virginia converted the turnover into a Devin Williams go-ahead basket and subsequently saw the 71-69 lead stand up when K-State’s Johnson turned unReggie-like by missing two free throws.

When it was over, and the must-win officially recorded, Staten let loose a “whew” through puffed-out cheeks. The senior appeared to be on auto-pilot as he ambled off the court, touching hands with a few fans.

“We had plenty of times we should have put them away, but we started making mistakes,” he said. “Everybody will take a win, but it’s also about the way you play. You want to play good basketball.”

Instead West Virginia scraped by on “good-enough.” Losing 15 turnovers to a K-State defense that sagged and rarely gambled. Giving up run-outs because of press misalignments. Fouling so frequently that K-State enjoyed the bonus for 13:57 of the first half and 9:42 of the second.

                          Within the previous eight days West Virginia lost to Oklahoma by 19 and Baylor by 18, yet Huggins called this “by far our worst performance in months.”

Kansas State scored 72 points, its highest output since beating Savannah State on Dec. 14. Kansas State shot 56 percent from the field, obliterating its league-play average of 43 percent. Kansas State accomplished this with its best scorer suspended.

“We let people shoot 56 percent because half the time we don’t even know what (defense) we’re in,” said Bob Huggins. “This has been a great group to coach, and today these guys were no fun to coach whatsoever.”

How not fun was it? Within the previous eight days West Virginia lost to Oklahoma by 19 and Baylor by 18, yet Huggins called this “by far our worst performance in months.”

The Mountaineers, after leading by 13 in the first half and by 10 inside of six minutes, repeatedly stumped their own momentum and narrowly avoided a spine-crushing loss.

“If we lost this one we knew we would’ve been done,” said Carter. The freshman meant “done” in reference to the Big 12 title race; the implication, though, might have struck far deeper and more damaging, all the way to Selection Sunday.

Instead, West Virginia skirted a worst-case Wednesday and emerged victorious, relieved and possessing a 19-5 record.

Huggins, declining to categorize it as “a bad win,” merely termed it a frustrating one. In truth, he didn’t care to waste much breath describing it at all.

“If it’s all right with you,” he said, “I’m just going to say we won and move on.”    ~~  Alan Tatlor ~~



<The Gilmer Free Press

►  Top-25 College Men’s Basketball Game Results

(Wednesday, February 11)


Final Score: (2) Virginia 51, North Carolina State 47

Malcolm Brogdon scored 15 points, Mike Tobey had 11 and No. 2 Virginia held on to beat North Carolina State 51-47 Wednesday night. Virginia pulled through despite playing without guard Justin Anderson, who will miss 4-6 weeks after suffering a fractured finger on his left hand in Saturday’s win over Louisville. The Cavaliers (22-1, 10-1 ACC) have won three in a row since falling to Duke on Jan. 31. Trevor Lacey scored 14 points to lead the Wolfpack (14-11, 5-7) but missed a layup that could have tied the score in the last 10 seconds.


Final Score: (6) Villanova 74, Providence 68

Ryan Arcidiacono led the way with 20 points and four assists as No. 6 Villanova defeated Providence 74-68 on Wednesday. Daniel Ochefu scored 19 points on a perfect 7-for-7 shooting clip and pulled down nine rebounds and Darrun Hilliard netted 16 points for the Wildcats (22-2, 9-2 Big East), who won their fifth straight game. LaDontae Henton provided a game-high 23 points and Kris Dunn and Tyler Harris each scored 17 for the Friars (17-8, 7-5). Providence head coach Ed Cooley returned to the bench for the game after leaving Saturday’s loss to Xavier and spending time in the hospital with an unspecified condition.

Final Score: (9) Louisville 69, Pittsburgh 56

Louisville, KY (SportsNetwork.com) - Montrezl Harrell had 28 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks as ninth-ranked Louisville pulled away for a 69-56 win over Pittsburgh on Wednesday night. Terry Rozier added 22 points and 10 boards for Louisville (20-4, 8-3 ACC), which has won five of its last six games. The Cardinals were coming off Saturday’s loss at Virginia. Wayne Blackshear left early in the game with a hip pointer. Michael Young provided 16 points and Jamel Artis supplied 15 points and nine rebounds for the Panthers (16-9, 5-6), who had a three-game winning streak snapped.


Final Score: (13) Northern Iowa 83, Illinois State 64

Seth Tuttle scored 18 of his 23 points in the first half and No. 13 Northern Iowa crushed Illinois State 83-64 on Wednesday. Averaging 65 points per game, the Panthers (23-2, 12-1 MVC) scored 50 in their best first half of the season. Deon Mitchell scored 12 points for Northern Iowa. The Redbirds (15-10, 7-6) held a brief lead very early in the game but had no answers on the defensive end of the floor. Daishon Knight paced Illinois State with 16 points, and Paris Lee and DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell each scored 10.


Final Score: (15) Wichita State 74, Indiana State 57

Fred VanVleet had 21 points, six rebounds and three steals in the 15th-ranked Wichita State Shockers’ 74-57 rout of the Indiana State Sycamores on Wednesday. Darius Carter added 17 points and seven boards for the Shockers (22-3, 12-1 MVC), who have won 30 in a row at home. Tekele Cotton tallied 16 points. Tre’ Bennett ended with 11 points for the Sycamores (12-13, 8-5), who shot just 34.8 percent from the field. Devonte Brown contributed 10 points on just 1-of-7 shooting.


Final Score: (19) Maryland 68, Indiana 66

Melo Trimble and Dez Wells each netted 18 points to help No. 19 Maryland avenge an earlier loss to Indiana with a 68-66 win on Wednesday night. Jake Layman tallied 14 points for the Terrapins (20-5, 8-4 Big Ten), who have won two of their last three. Maryland dropped an 89-70 decision in Bloomington back on Jan. 22. Yogi Ferrell led all scorers with 23 points in the loss, while Troy Williams added 17 points with 10 rebounds for the Hoosiers (17-8, 7-5).


Final Score: La Salle 74, (20) VCU 69 (2-OT)

Fueled by Jordan Price’s career bests of 34 points and 18 rebounds, La Salle continued 20th-ranked VCU’s recent spiral with a 74-69 double-overtime triumph at the Siegel Center. Price accounted for all 12 of the Explorers’ points in the second overtime to help send the injury-plagued Rams to a third loss in four games. VCU (18-6, 8-3 A-10) got a career night out of JeQuan Lewis, who racked up 26 points, but shot just 30.1 percent and finished a woeful 3-of-23 from 3-point range.


Final Score: (21) West Virginia 76, Kansas State 72

Jevon Carter and Gary Browne each made late free throws to help 21st-ranked West Virginia secure a 76-72 victory over Kansas State on Wednesday night. Brandon Watkins had 14 points and nine rebounds to lead the Mountaineers (19-5, 7-4 Big 12), who bounced back from a pair of blowout losses to Oklahoma and Baylor. Juwan Staten finished with 11 points and six assists against the struggling Wildcats. Nino Williams matched a career high with 22 points for Kansas State (12-13, 5-7), which has dropped five games in a row to fall below .500 for the first time in 11 years. The slide began with a 65-59 home loss to West Virginia on Jan. 27. The Wildcats played their third straight game without top scorer Marcus Foster after he was suspended by coach Bruce Weber for violating team rules.


Final Score: (23) Ohio State 75, Penn State 55

Sam Thompson scored a career-high 22 points and No. 23 Ohio State cruised past Penn State on Wednesday, 75-55. The Buckeyes (19-6, 8-4 Big Ten) never trailed to avenge last season’s sweep at the hands of the Nittany Lions. D’Angelo Russell totaled 17 points, seven assists and six rebounds despite shooting just 4-of-13. Penn State (15-10, 3-9) got 16 points from D.J. Newbill, the conference’s leading scorer. Brandon Taylor scored 11 points and shot 3-of-6 from 3-point range.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Wizards’ Beal has stress reaction in leg

The Washington Wizards announced Wednesday that shooting guard Bradley Beal has been diagnosed with a mild stress reaction in his lower right leg and will be sidelined through the upcoming All-Star break.

Beal exited the Wizards’ 94-87 loss at Charlotte last Thursday with what was initially described as soreness in his right big toe, with further tests revealing the injury.

The No. 3 overall pick of the 2012 NBA Draft has missed Washington’s last two games and will not play in Wednesday’s contest at Toronto. The Wizards will not play again until February 20.

Beal is averaging 15.0 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists while shooting 43.6% from 3-point range through 42 games this season. The 21-year-old missed the first nine games recovering from surgery to repair a fractured left wrist.


►  Reports: Ex-NBA star Mason had heart attack

Former NBA star Anthony Mason is fighting for his life after suffering a heart attack, according to several reports.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Anthony Mason and his family,“ the New York Knicks tweeted Wednesday evening.

Longtime NBA columnist Peter Vecsey reported on Twitter that Mason suffered the heart attack while undergoing a test at the hospital.

The New York Daily News, citing a source close to Mason’s family, said the power forward known for his bruising style of play was in critical condition following a “massive” heart attack.

According to Vecsey, Mason is suffering from congestive heart failure and has had four surgeries, including one that lasted nine hours.

Mason, 48, appeared in 882 games over 13 NBA seasons with New Jersey, Denver, New York, Charlotte, Miami and Milwaukee, averaging 10.9 points, 8.3 rebounds and 3.4 assists. He was an All-Star in 2001 with the Heat.


►  NBA Game Results

(Wednesday, February 11)


Final Score: Orlando 89, New York 83

Nikola Vucevic had 28 points and 18 rebounds in the Orlando Magic’s 89-83 victory over the New York Knicks on Wednesday. Victor Oladipo added 19 points in a game that featured 21 lead changes and 13 ties. Willie Green and Elfrid Payton tallied 13 and 12 points, respectively, for the Magic (17-39), who snapped a two-game losing streak heading into the All-Star break. Orlando, however, lost starting forward Channing Frye to a dislocated left index finger. Jason Smith ended with 25 points and seven boards for the Knicks (10-43), who have lost five in a row. Andrea Bargnani and Tim Hardaway Jr. contributed 11 and 10 points, respectively. New York was without forwards Carmelo Anthony (knee) and Lance Thomas (undisclosed).


Final Score: Boston 89, Atlanta 88

The Boston Celtics led for only 0.2 seconds Wednesday, but it was when it mattered most. Evan Turner’s runner just before the buzzer gave the Celtics a stunning 89-88 victory over the Atlanta Hawks despite trailing by 18 at one point and shooting just 32 percent from the field. The Hawks were well on their way to becoming the fifth team in NBA history to win 44 games before the All-Star break, but the Celtics rallied behind Jared Sullinger, rookie Marcus Smart and Turner’s game-winner. Sullinger finished with 17 points and 15 rebounds, and Smart scored seven of his 11 points in the fourth quarter to help send Boston into the break with victories in four of its last five games. Al Horford finished with 22 points and 12 rebounds and fellow All-Star Jeff Teague added 10 points and eight assists for the Hawks, who shot an uncharacteristic 33 percent from the field in the second half. Atlanta’s two other representatives heading to New York this weekend, Paul Millsap and Kyle Korver, had especially off nights, combining to shoot 4-of-16 from the field (25 percent) for 15 points.


Final Score: San Antonio 104, Detroit 87

Danny Green scored 19 points with eight rebounds to help the San Antonio Spurs to a 104-87 win over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night in each team’s final game before the All-Star break. Tony Parker had 17 points with six assists and Manu Ginobili added 13 points off the bench for the Spurs, who have won four of their last five. D.J. Augustin paced the Pistons with 22 points to go with six assists, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope tallied 20 points in the setback.


Final Score: Toronto 95, Washington 93

DeMar DeRozan’s jumper with 12.9 seconds remaining lifted the Toronto Raptors to a 95-93 victory over the Washington Wizards in the final game for both teams before the All-Star break. DeRozan’s tie-breaking bucket capped a 23-point night, while Lou Williams poured in 27 points to give the Raptors a huge lift off the bench. Toronto enters the break having won nine of its last 11 contests and in second place in the Eastern Conference, owning a commanding lead atop the Atlantic Division. John Wall, who will join Toronto’s Kyle Lowry to comprise the East’s starting backcourt for Sunday’s All-Star Game in Brooklyn, posted 21 points and eight assists to lead Washington. Paul Pierce and Nene finished with 17 and 14 points, respectively, in the Wizards’ sixth loss in their last eight outings. Lowry recorded 13 points and six assists.


Final Score: Cleveland 113, Miami 93

LeBron James chased a triple-double against his old team, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 113-93 win over the Miami Heat on Wednesday night. James finished with 18 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists and the Cavaliers cruised to their 14th win in 15 games despite playing without Kevin Love for most of the second half. Love left after being poked in the right eye by Heat guard Mario Chalmers early in the third quarter. Timofey Mozgov picked up some of the slack, scoring 14 of his season-high 20 points in the second half. Tristan Thompson added 17 points and nine rebounds, Kyrie Irving had 15 points and six assists and Iman Shumpert scored 13. Chalmers scored 18 to lead the Heat, who head into the All-Star break with a 22-30 record. They are 2-5 since Dwyane Wade went down with a strained hamstring. The Cavaliers, 2-1 since their 12-game winning streak was snapped at Indiana on Friday, have won 10 in a row at home.


Final Score: Milwaukee 111, Sacramento 103

O.J. Mayo scored 21 points off the bench in the Milwaukee Bucks’ 111-103 win over the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday. Brandon Knight added 20 points, six rebounds and five assists for the Bucks (30-23), who head into the All-Star break on a three-game winning streak. Khris Middleton tallied 15 points and 10 boards. DeMarcus Cousins ended with 28 points, 19 rebounds and four blocks for the Kings (18-34), who have lost 13 of 15. Rudy Gay and Ben McLemore contributed 17 and 16 points, respectively. Wednesday’s game was likely the last for Sacramento interim head coach Tyrone Corbin. George Karl has agreed to take over as Kings head coach after this weekend’s NBA All-Star break, according to the Sacramento Bee. Sacramento fired Mike Malone earlier this season, then let Corbin handle the duties on an interim basis.


Final Score: Golden State 94, Minnesota 91

Stephen Curry accounted for 25 points with eight assists to lead the Golden State Warriors into the All-Star break with a 94-91 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night. Klay Thompson had 14 points, while Leandro Barbosa and Andrew Bogut tallied 10 points each. Bogut also ripped 10 rebounds for the Warriors (42-9), who have won three straight and enter the break with the NBA’s best record. Kevin Martin had a team-high 21 points for Minnesota and Ricky Rubio supplied 18 points with nine rebounds. Nikola Pekovic deposited 17 points and 13 rebounds in the Timberwolves’ second straight loss following a three-game winning streak.


Final Score: Indiana 106, New Orleans 93

David West finished with 17 points, seven assists and five rebounds against his former team as the Indiana Pacers topped the New Orleans Pelicans 106-93 on Wednesday. Indiana (21-33) also got 17 points and nine assists from George Hill to win four of its last five games heading into the All-Star break. Rodney Stuckey scored 16 off the bench on 7-of-10 shooting. The Pelicans (27-26) go into the break having lost three in a row, most of which was played without All-Star Anthony Davis, who is dealing with a shoulder injury. Luke Babbitt paced New Orleans with 15 points and eight rebounds off the bench and Alexis Ajinca and Toney Douglas each scored 14.


Final Score: Oklahoma City 105, Memphis 89

The Thunder head into the All-Star break a season-high three games over .500 thanks to one of their more impressive wins of the season on Wednesday. Kevin Durant scored 26 points and pulled down 10 rebounds in leading Oklahoma City to a thorough 105-89 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies. The Thunder (28-25) led by as many as 22 and moved within a half-game of the Phoenix Suns in what figures to be a tight race for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Russell Westbrook flirted with a triple-double, totaling 24 points, nine assists and nine rebounds, while Nick Collison chipped in a season-high 15 points and nine boards off the bench. Zach Randolph led Memphis with 16 points and 11 rebounds, while All-Star Marc Gasol was limited to eight points on 2-of-10 shooting. Memphis still leads the Southwest Division with a 39-14 record and is second in the West standings behind Golden State.


Final Score: Dallas 87, Utah 82

J.J. Barea had 22 points and the Dallas Mavericks held off the Utah Jazz 87-82 on Wednesday night. Dirk Nowitzki posted 15 points and 14 rebounds for the Mavericks, who have won six of their last eight games. Trey Burke tallied 16 points, six boards and four assists, Derrick Favors supplied 14 points and Gordon Hayward provided 12 points, nine rebounds and eight assists for Utah, which has dropped six of its last nine contests.


Final Score: Portland 102, LA Lakers 86

LaMarcus Aldridge had 18 points and 12 rebounds and the Portland Trail Blazers routed the Los Angeles Lakers 102-86 on Wednesday night. Wesley Matthews netted 20 points and Damian Lillard added 15 points and eight assists for the Blazers, who head into the All-Star break having won four of their last five games. Jordan Clarkson posted 17 points, six boards and four assists, while Wayne Ellington added 16 points and eight rebounds for Los Angeles, which has dropped six consecutive contests.


Final Score: LA Clippers 110, Houston 95

Jamal Crawford scored 12 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter as the Los Angeles Clippers downed the Houston Rockets 110-95 on Wednesday. DeAndre Jordan finished with 24 points and 20 rebounds and made enough free throws down the stretch to keep Houston at bay. J.J. Redick added 20 points and All-Star Chris Paul totaled 12 points and 12 assists in the win. The Clippers were mired in a 1-5 slump before knocking off the Mavericks on Monday. They head into the All-Star break with a 35-19 record thanks to the Rockets attempting 45 3-pointers and only making nine of them. James Harden was especially cold from the perimeter, going 0-for-7. The All- Star guard was held to single digits for the second time all season, as he scored just nine points and only attempted five free throws. Corey Brewer and Josh Smith led the Rockets with 22 and 21 points, respectively. Smith also pulled down 13 rebounds. Houston sits in second place in the Southwest Division with a 36-17 record.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Jackie Robinson Little League stripped of U.S. title

The Chicago area team that won last year’s Little League United States championship has been stripped of its title for use of ineligible players.

According to a statement from Little League Baseball, the Jackie Robinson West team knowingly used players who live outside of its boundary area and must vacate all wins from last year’s Little League tournament, including the Great Lakes regional championship and the United States title.

In addition, the team’s manager, Darold Butler, was suspended from participating in Little League and the district administrator, Michael Kelly, was also dismissed from his position.

“For more than 75 years, Little League has been an organization where fair play is valued over the importance of wins and losses,“ said Little League International CEO Stephen D. Keener in a statement. “This is a heartbreaking decision. What these players accomplished on the field and the memories and lessons they have learned during the Little League World Series tournament is something the kids can be proud of, but it is unfortunate that the actions of adults have led to this outcome.

“As our Little League operations staff learned of the many issues and actions that occurred over the course of 2014 and prior, as painful as this is, we feel it a necessary decision to maintain the integrity of the Little League program. No team can be allowed to attempt to strengthen its team by putting players on their roster that live outside their boundaries.“

The investigation began last September after a league official from a neighboring district in Illinois expressed concerns pertaining to players’ residencies.

“Little League takes these matters very seriously and has spent countless hours gathering information about the many issues facing Jackie Robinson West Little League and Illinois District 4,“ Keener added. “During our review, it became clear that both Jackie Robinson West officials and District Administrator, Mike Kelly signed documents to make players eligible who should not have been.“

The 2014 U.S. championship has been awarded to the Mountain Ridge team from Las Vegas, which lost to the Chicago squad in the title game.

“Unfortunately, no allegations against Jackie Robinson West Little League were made until well after the tournament ended, contributing to the difficulty of resolving these many complex issues,“ Keener stated. “As an organization, Little League has faced issues similar to this in the past, and we felt that we must take the appropriate action set by that precedent.“

It’s the third time Little League Baseball has had to take action against a team for using ineligible players. A Philippines team that won the championship in 1992 was disqualified and a team from the Bronx, New York was stripped of its third-place finish in 2001 because it was determined that star pitcher Danny Almonte was 14 years old and not 12.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  A-Rod apologizes to Yankees’ brass

Alex Rodriguez met with New York Yankees ownership and other team officials Tuesday and offered an apology for his actions over the past few years.

A joint statement was released after the meeting, which included Yankees general partner Hal Steinbrenner, president Randy Levine, general manager Brian Cashman, assistant GM Jean Afterman, Rodriguez and his attorney, Jim Sharp.

“Alex initiated the meeting and apologized to the organization for his actions over the past several years,“ the statement read. “There was an honest and frank discussion on all of the issues. As far as the Yankees are concerned, the next step is to play baseball in spring training.“

Rodriguez is set to return for the upcoming season after sitting out all of 2014 as part of a Major League Baseball suspension for his role in the Biogenesis scandal.

The 39-year-old slugger still has three years remaining on his contract.

Position players are scheduled to report to spring training in Tampa, Florida on February 25.


►  Padres make Shields signing official

The San Diego Padres officially announced the signing of starting pitcher James Shields to a four-year contract on Wednesday.

The deal, which will reportedly pay the right-hander approximately $75 million, includes a club option for 2019.

Shields, 33, had a 14-8 record with a 3.21 ERA in 34 starts for the American League champion Kansas City Royals last season. He struggled in the playoffs, however, losing both of his starts against the San Francisco Giants in the World Series.

The veteran hurler has been a workhorse throughout his career, pitching more than 200 innings every year since 2007.

Shields owns a career 114-90 record and a 3.72 ERA over nine seasons with Tampa Bay and Kansas City. He was shipped by the Rays to the Royals in December 2012 as part of a multi-player trade that included outfielder Wil Myers, who also was added by the Padres this offseason.


►  Brewers’ Lucroy to miss most of spring training

Milwaukee Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy will be sidelined for most of spring training because of a right hamstring strain.

The Brewers did not disclose how Lucroy was hurt, but said the “mild” strain will keep the All-Star out for about 4-to-6 weeks. He will likely be ready for the start of the regular season on April 6.

Lucroy played a career-high 153 games last year and batted .301 with 13 home runs and 69 runs batted in. He set a record for doubles by a catcher with 53, was an All-Star for the first time and finished fourth in the MVP balloting.

The 28-year-old veteran is a career .285 hitter with 59 homers and 204 RBI in 607 games over five seasons, all with Milwaukee.

Pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to Brewers spring training in Arizona on February 20.


►  Report: Marlins to host 2017 All-Star Game

The Miami Marlins will apparently host the 2017 All-Star Game.

The Miami Herald reported that Major League Baseball should make it official sometime before pitchers and catchers report to spring training. It will be Miami’s first time hosting the event, but it is not the first time it has been awarded the game.

MLB awarded the Marlins the 2000 All-Star Game only to take it away and give it to Atlanta after the 1997 World Series team was dismantled. The franchise had also made a bid to host the 2015 contest.

Cincinnati’s Great American Ball Park will host this year’s All-Star Game, while San Diego will welcome the 2016 Midsummer Classic.

Once the next three games are completed only four existing ballparks will remain that have not yet hosted an All-Star Game. They are: Yankee Stadium, Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park, Tampa Bay’s Tropicana Field and Washington’s Nationals Park.


►  McCown released by Bucs

Josh McCown’s unsuccessful run with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers lasted just one season, with the team releasing the journeyman quarterback Wednesday.

The Bucs signed McCown, coming off a career year with the Chicago Bears in 2013, to a two-year contract last March to serve as their No. 1 quarterback. He started 11 of the club’s 16 games, but won just one of them as Tampa Bay tied for the NFL’s worst record at 2-14.

McCown was due to earn $5.25 million in 2015, and the Buccaneers will incur no salary cap charges by cutting him loose.

The move leaves third-year pro Mike Glennon as the only experienced quarterback on the current roster, though Tampa Bay is expected to use the No. 1 overall pick in April’s NFL Draft on one. The last two Heisman Trophy winners, Florida State’s Jameis Winston and Oregon’s Marcus Mariota, are both candidates for the top choice.

McCown threw for 13 touchdowns with just one interception while completing 66.5% of his passes over eight games, including five starts, in place of an injured Jay Cutler with the Bears in 2013.

Those numbers dipped dramatically this past season, however, with the 35-year- old tossing 14 interceptions and completing just 56.3% of his throws for 2,206 yards and 11 touchdowns with Tampa Bay.

McCown’s success in Chicago came under the tutelage of then-head coach Marc Trestman, whom the Bucs interviewed for their offensive coordinator position in January but instead hired former Atlanta Falcons OC Dirk Koetter.


►  A’s, Clippard avoid arbitration with 1-year deal

The Oakland Athletics agreed to terms Wednesday on a one-year contract with right-handed reliever Tyler Clippard.

Clippard, who was acquired from Washington last month for infielder Yunel Escobar, was Oakland’s last remaining player eligible for arbitration.

The deal was for $8.3 million, according to the Associated Press.

Clippard, who turns 30 on February 14, had a 2.18 ERA in 75 games for Washington last season with a 7-4 record and 82 strikeouts in 70 1/3 innings.

The two-time All-Star has a 2.88 ERA in 420 career games over eight seasons, the last seven with Washington. He started six games for the New York Yankees in 2007, his first year in the majors.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  NHL Game Results

(Wednesday, February 11)


Final Score: Pittsburgh 4, Detroit 1

Coming off back-to-back shutouts, Marc- Andre Fleury provided another solid performance as he made 23 saves in the Pittsburgh Penguins’ 4-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday. Blake Comeau and Patric Hornqvist each tallied a goal and an assist and David Perron and Nick Spaling also scored for the Penguins, who bounced back from a 5-0 drubbing from Vancouver with backup Thomas Greiss in net. Stephen Weiss scored in the second period to end Fleury’s shutout streak at a career-high 1:65:06. Petr Mrazek allowed all four goals on 17 shots and Jimmy Howard returned from a groin injury and stopped all four shots he faced in his first action since Jan. 10. Detroit entered the game with three straight wins and were victorious in nine of its previous 10 games.


Final Score: Vancouver 5, Chicago 4 (OT)

The Vancouver Canucks wasted a late two-goal lead but recovered to beat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-4 on Daniel Sedin’s overtime tally. Daniel Sedin scored his second goal of the game off a pass from twin brother Henrik 1:20 into overtime after Eddie Lack gave up two goals in the final 2:11 of regulation. Linden Vey, Bo Horvat and Zack Kassian had second-period goals for the Canucks, who have won three of their last five games. Lack finished with 37 saves. Marian Hossa registered his third consecutive two-goal game and Patrick Kane finished with a goal and two assists for Chicago, which has opened a stretch of eight straight home games with back-to-back losses beyond regulation. The Blackhawks lost in a shootout to Arizona on Monday. Corey Crawford, who stopped 31 shots, was on the bench for each of Chicago’s last two goals.


Final Score: Washington 5, San Jose 4 (OT)

Joel Ward scored the game-winning goal with 2:18 left in overtime as the Washington Capitals emerged victorious in a back- and-forth game with the San Jose Sharks by a 5-4 score on Wednesday. Jay Beagle posted two goals and an assist, John Carlson had a goal and an assist and Troy Brouwer also lit the lamp for the Capitals, who have won four of their last five games. Braden Holtby made 26 saves in the opener of Washington’s four-game road trip. Brent Burns scored twice, Joe Thornton and Logan Couture each supplied a goal and an assist and Antti Niemi stopped 28-of-33 shots for the Sharks, who dropped their third in a row.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Murray, Wawrinka move on in Rotterdam

Top-seeded Andy Murray and No. 4 seed Stan Wawrinka were a pair of opening-round winners Wednesday at the $1.825 million ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament.

Murray handled French qualifier Nicolas Mahut 6-3, 6-2, while Wawrinka held off game Dutch wild card Jesse Huta Galung 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 at Ahoy Rotterdam.

Last month’s Australian Open runner-up Murray was a titlist here in Rotterdam in 2009. He’ll next face 24-year-old Canadian Vasek Pospisil.

An upset came in the second round when Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller dismissed fifth-seeded Bulgarian star Grigor Dimitrov 6-2, 7-6 (10-8).

In other second-round action on Day 3, Frenchman Gael Monfils upended seventh- seeded Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut 7-5, 7-6 (7-5) and Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsky stifled Austrian Dominic Thiem 6-1, 6-3.

In some other first-round action, Italian Andreas Seppi overcame Dutch wild card Robin Haase 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 6-3 and Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez dismissed Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin 7-6 (7-5), 6-4. Last week’s Zagreb champion Garcia-Lopez will face Wawrinka on Thursday, while last week’s Zagreb runner-up Seppi will encounter third-seeded defending Rotterdam champ Tomas Berdych.

Also on Thursday, second seed Milos Raonic will take on Italian Simone Bolelli.

The 2015 Rotterdam champ will earn $405,000.


►  Petkovic sneaks into Antwerp QFs

Third seed Andrea Petkovic staved off match points before going on to win her second-round match Wednesday at the Diamond Games tennis event.

The German star snuck past Belgian wild card Alison Van Uytvanck 6-7 (7-9), 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 in her opener this week on the indoor hardcourts at Sportpaleis Merksem. The former top-10 star “Petko” received a bye into the second round.

In some first-round action involving seeds, No. 5 Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro came back to beat Italian Camila Giorgi 1-6, 6-2, 6-4, No. 6 former Australian Open runner-up Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia whipped Ukrainian Kateryna Bondarenko 6-1, 6-2 and No. 8 rising Czech Karolina Pliskova handled Croat Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 6-4, 7-6 (7-5).

The other opening-round results saw France’s Kristina Mladenovic top Spaniard Silvia Soler-Espinosa 6-2, 1-0, retired, Romanian Monica Niculescu dispatch Belgian favorite Kirsten Flipkens 6-3, 6-2 and Dutch qualifier Indy De Vroome overcome Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova 5-7, 6-3, 6-3.

On Thursday, top-seeded Wimbledon runner-up Genie Bouchard will open her week against German Mona Barthel.

Six other seeds will see second-round action on Day 3, including No. 2 Angelique Kerber and the aforementioned Cibulkova.

The 2015 Antwerp champion will claim $113,000.


►  Peng exits Pattaya City

Top seed Peng Shuai suffered a second-round upset Wednesday at the Thailand Open.

Japan’s Misaki Doi knocked out the Chinese Peng in 6-3, 2-6, 6-2 fashion at this hardcourt event.

“She’s a very strong player,“ Doi said after the match. “She’s No. 1 seed, so it was always going to be difficult for me, but I just tried to go out and enjoy the match and luckily I played well.“

In other action involving seeds, No. 7 Monica Puig of Puerto Rico snuck past Swiss Romina Oprandi 6-1, 3-6, 6-0 and Russian wild card Vera Zvonareva tackled No. 8 Chinese Zhang Shuai 7-6 (8-6), 6-3.

“I felt pretty good. It was a very tough match and we had a very close first set,“ Zvonareva said after besting Zhang. “She’s a very good player and has had some great results over the past three years while I was away. It was a great opportunity for me to test myself and I’m very pleased with how I played and that I fought very hard.“

Puig will face the 104th-ranked Doi in the quarterfinals, while Zvonareva will take on New Zealand’s Marina Erakovic, who mauled Ukrainian lucky loser Yuliya Beygelzimer 6-1, 6-1.

The two-time Grand Slam runner-up and former top-10 star Zvonareva is a two- time Pattaya City champion. She’s still on the mend following a shoulder injury.

The 2015 Thailand Open titlist will claim $43,000.

►  Almagro knocks out Robredo in Sao Paulo

Three-time champion Nicolas Almagro beat No. 2 seed Tommy Robredo in second-round action Wednesday at the Brasil Open.

Almagro, who won this tournament in 2008, 2011 and 2012, defeated Robredo by a 6-3, 7-6 (7-1) margin at this clay court event.

The 29-year-old Almagro improved to 6-1 all-time against Robredo, who was the Brasil Open champion in 2009.

Also in the round of 16, fourth-seeded Argentine Leonardo Mayer held off Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 and fifth-seeded Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas was leading Facundo Bagnis 5-1 in the first set when the Argentine retired.

This week’s winner will collect $80,850.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  78th Del ‘Cap coming in July

The 78th edition of the $750,000 Delaware Handicap (Del ‘Cap) at Delaware Park will be conducted on Saturday, July 18. The track announced its complete stakes schedule Wednesday.

“The Delaware Handicap has always been an important date on the national filly and mare stake schedule and last year was no exception,“ said Executive Director of Racing John Mooney.

Last year’s Del ‘Cap, run at 1 1/4 miles, was won in an upset by Belle Gallantey over the favored Princess of Sylmar. Belle Gallantey would go on to capture the Beldame Handicap at Belmont Park.

“With her impressive win over Princess of Sylmar, Belle Gallantey established herself as a major contender in the division last year and I congratulate her connections on their successful 2014 campaign,“ Mooney continued. “We look forward to another exciting Delaware Handicap in 2015.“

Coming up one week before the Del ‘Cap will be the $300,000 Delaware Oaks on Saturday, July 11. The 2014 running was won by Fortune Pearl for trainer Graham Motion.

The 78th season of live racing at Delaware Park will feature 81 days with the meet starting on Saturday, May 16 and concluding on Saturday, October 17.


►  Thegirlinthatsong returns in Santa Maria Stakes

La Canada Stakes winner Thegirlinthatsong heads a field of 10 fillies and mares in Saturday’s $200,000 Santa Maria Stakes at Santa Anita.

Thegirlinthatsong, trained and co-owned by Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer, will start the 1 1/16-mile stakes from post 2 with her regular jockey Rafael Bejarano.

Bejarano rode the 4-year-old filly to an upset victory in the La Canada last month over even-money favorite Lexie Lou, last year’s Queen’s Plate champ.

“I had a beautiful trip. By the three-eighths pole I still felt I had a lot of horse and when I let her go in the stretch she took off,“ Bejarano said.

Thegirlinthatsong has earned $407,695 with won five wins from 19 lifetime starts along with four seconds and four thirds.

The filly was second to Cassatt in the Zia Park Oaks on November 24 and last October 25 she was fifth to Lexie Lou in Santa Anita’s Autumn Miss Stakes.

Here is the complete field for the Santa Maria Stakes in post position order: Yahilwa, Gary Stevens; Thegirlinthatsong, Rafael Bejarano; Tiz Midnight, Victor Espinoza; Uzziel, Fernando Perez; Legacy, Joe Talamo; Warren’s Veneda, Tyler Baze; Sweet Marini, Martin Garcia; Awesome Baby, Flavien Prat; Backintheacademy, Brandon Boulanger and Valiant Emilia, Tiago Pereira.

Post time for the Santa Maria will be approximately 7 PM ET.


►  Mischief Clem comes north for El Camino Real

Trainer Bob Hess is sending Cal Cup Derby winner Mischief Clem north for Saturday’s $200,000 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields.

The El Camino Real Derby is part of the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” series and offers 10 points to the winning 3-year-old.

Owned by Craig and Lorie Griffin, Mischief Clem will start the 1 1/8-mile stakes from the far outside post 10 with Kent Desormeaux again in the saddle. The colt is 9-2 in the morning line.

Mischief Clem won the Cal Cup Derby on January 24 by a head as an 11-1 longshot versus six rivals.

Following the win, Hess said his 3-year-old colt would start in the $550,000 Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park on March 21 because of the synthetic surface, which Golden Gate has.

Mischief Clem has won half of his six lifetime starts for $266,380. The colt found the winner’s circle in his first two starts, at Del Mar and Santa Anita, respectively. He was third to Acceptance on November 1 in Santa Anita’s Golden State Juvenile and on November 21 was second in an allowance race at Del Mar. The colt finished 2014 with a fourth behind Acceptance in the King Glorious Stakes at Los Alamitos.

“We’ve always been real high on him,“ Desormeaux said after the Cal Cup Derby. “Bob has been entering him in these head-hunting spots because we thought he was ‘all that.‘ Every race we always seemed to have a quirk.

“The races just didn’t go well, none of them did. He’d either miss a start, hop a start, get stuck inside or last time, he was just too aggressive.“

California Derby winner Cross the Line, trained by co-owner and Hall of Fame member Jerry Hollendorfer, is 5-1 in the program and has drawn post 5 in the 10-horse field with jockey Juan Hernandez back to ride.

Cross the Line won the Cal Derby at Golden Gate by 1 3/4 lengths over 2-1 favorite Soul Driver and stablemate Stand and Salute.

The 3-year-old has two wins in four starts, all at Golden Gate, for $83,920.

“We took our time with him,“ said Hollendorfer after last month’s win. “He’s a big horse and he wasn’t responding really well early on. He had some time off after we bought him at the sale. It looks like he might get a little more ground. Juan did a real good job with the horse, so a lot of credit goes to him.“

Trainer Mark Casse has entered Conquest Typhoon in the El Camino Real for the colt’s first start of the year. Owned by the Conquest Stable of Ernie Semersky, the Canadian bred is 7-2 in the morning line and will be ridden by Hall of Famer Mike Smith from post 9.

Conquest Typhoon won the Summer Stakes at Woodbine last September 13 on turf and claimed Del Mar’s Cecil B. DeMille Stakes on grass November 30. The colt finished fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita on October 31 less than four weeks after getting second in Woodbine’s Grey Stakes on the synthetic main track.

Conquest Typhoon has earned $352,065 in six starts with two wins and three seconds.

Here is the field for the El Camino Real from the rail out: Donji, Pedro Terrero, 30/1; Indianaughty, Corey Lanerie, 4/1; Metaboss, Alex Solis, 8/1; Ernest Shackleton, Drayden Van Dyke, 12/1; Cross the Line, Juan Hernandez, 5/1; Harmonic, Ricardo Gonzalez, 20/1; Soul Driver, Dennis Carr, 6/1; Stand and Salute, Russell Baze, 6/1; Conquest Typhoon, Mike Smith, 7/2 and Mischief Clem, Kent Desormeaux, 9-2.

The El Camino Real Derby has an approximate post time of 6:45 PM ET.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Golf Tidbits: Day’s win caps tough week in golf

Jason Day has been teetering on the edge of greatness for a few years now. He took another step in the direction on Sunday.

Day’s win at the Farmers Insurance Open was a big step forward for a player who can’t seem to stay healthy. It also closed the book on a very tough week for the golf world.

The tour left Phoenix for San Diego, where two of the biggest names in the game - Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson - had made names for themselves.

Woods has dominated Torrey Pines with eight professional wins there, seven Farmers Insurance Open victories and a U.S. Open Championship title. Mickelson won three Farmers titles himself and has lived in the area for a number of years.

But both were coming off missed cuts in Phoenix. It was the second time in their careers that they both missed the cut at the same event. Their weeks in San Diego were not much better.

Fog rolled in and out and back in again on Thursday. That threw players’ preparations off. Woods had started to warm up for his round, then stopped when the fog came back in.

Once his opening round began, Woods started to struggle with a stiff back early in his round. He battled as long as he could, but called it quits on his 12th green - No. 3 - because the pain was too great.

Mickelson’s week wasn’t much better. He went 74-72 and missed the cut for the second straight week for the first time since 2002.

Fans at the two events and television viewers alike suffered with two of the biggest names, if not the two biggest names in the sport, failing to make it through four rounds for two straight weeks.

As if seeing two of golf’s current greats suffer weren’t enough, the sport as a whole took a pair of big blows with the passing of two legends.

Charlie Sifford, who broke the color barrier on the PGA Tour, died late Tuesday. He also broke the color barrier in the World Golf Hall of Fame. Woods himself admitted that if it weren’t what Sifford had done, he may have never picked up a golf club.

Then on Saturday, Billy Casper died. Casper was also huge in the San Diego area. He won the tournament in 1966, was a three-time runner-up and, like Mickelson, lived in the area for a long time. Casper, also a World Golf Hall of Fame member, collected 51 PGA Tour victories.

Casper was overshadowed during his career by the big three of the era - Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player.

“I think it is fair to say that Billy was probably underrated by those who didn’t play against him. Those who did compete against him knew how special he was,“ Nicklaus said. “I have said many times that during my career, when I looked up at a leaderboard, I wasn’t just looking to see where a Palmer or a Player or a (Lee) Trevino was. I was also checking to see where Billy Casper was.“

Some thought it should have been a Big Four, including Casper, instead of the Big Three.

While the pall was cast over the final round, the action on the course Sunday was reminiscent of the battles Woods and Mickelson, and Sifford and Casper, would thrive in.

After numerous players moved in and out of the lead during the round, four players kept fighting after 72 holes. Day was joined in a playoff by J.B. Holmes, Harris English and the event’s reigning champion, Scott Stallings. That group had 10 combined PGA Tour titles.

English and Stallings made par on the first extra hole, but it wasn’t enough as Day and Holmes made birdie. Day’s par on the second playoff hole was enough for PGA Tour victory No. 3.

The cliff notes version doesn’t begin to describe the cliffhanger Day went through on his final hole of regulation. He intentionally knocked his second shot over the green at the 18th.

Day had planned to chip across the green, hoping for the left fringe, but thick rough grabbed his wedge and his chip went left and headed for the pond short of the green.

His first thought was where he needed to drop his ball after it rolled into the water. As luck would have it, his ball barely stayed dry. Day managed to get up and down for par from there to get into the playoff.

Earlier in his career, many thought Day would challenge Woods for the top spot in the world rankings.

The battle will now be against Rory McIlroy as Woods has tumbled down the rankings. Day, who has seven top-10 finishes in majors over the last five years, is certainly up for the challenge.

Day just has to stay healthy. Woods and Mickelson know that feeling all too well these days.


MINI-TIDBITS

* There was plenty of extra golf this week as the PGA, LPGA and Web.com tours all had playoffs. All three also had weather delays that threatened to force Monday finishes, but all three ended by sundown Sunday.

* The Pebble Beach Pro-Am is this week and the field includes many of the regulars. Sports figures like Matt Cain, Herman Edwards, Buster Posey and Wayne Gretzky (wonder who he is playing with?) will be on hand as will Bill Murray, Ray Romano and Don Cheadle.


►  Woods: I’ll return when my game is ready

Tiger Woods says his game is not “tournament-ready” and he will not play again until it is.

Woods said on his website Wednesday that he would like to play the Honda Classic in two weeks, but will not be in the field unless he feels he can compete.

The 14-time major champion withdrew from last week’s Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines after just 11 holes because of tightness in his lower back, but said the injury is not related to the back surgery that sidelined him for several months last year.

It was the third time in his last eight official PGA Tour starts that Woods withdrew because of an injury.

In his first start this season, he shot his worst score as a pro—an 82—and missed the cut in a tie for last place at the Phoenix Open.

“The last two weeks have been very disappointing to me, especially Torrey, because I never want to withdraw,“ Woods said Wednesday. “Unfortunately, lately injuries have made that happen too often.“

Woods said he’s undergoing daily physical therapy and is “feeling better every day.“

“Right now, I need a lot of work on my game, and to still spend time with the people that are important to me,“ he said. “My play, and scores, are not acceptable for tournament golf. Like I’ve said, I enter a tournament to compete at the highest level, and when I think I’m ready, I’ll be back.

“Next week I will practice at Medalist and at home getting ready for the rest of the year. I am committed to getting back to the pinnacle of my game. I’d like to play The Honda Classic—it’s a tournament in my hometown and it’s important to me—but I won’t be there unless my game is tournament-ready. That’s not fair to anyone.

“I do, however, expect to be playing again very soon. I want to thank the fans in Phoenix and San Diego. They were amazing. I greatly appreciate everyone’s support.“

Woods grimaced through his round last Thursday and later said his injury was exacerbated by a fog delay.

“My glutes are shutting off,“ he said after withdrawing. “Then they don’t activate and then it goes into my lower back. So I tried to activate my glutes as best I could but ... they never stayed activated.“

Woods has 79 career titles on the PGA Tour, but none since winning five times in 2013 on the way to his 11th Player of the Year award. He has not claimed a major championship since winning his 14th at the 2008 U.S. Open and remains four shy of Jack Nicklaus’ all-time record.



►  Lee Named to the 2014 Don Hansen NCAA Division II All-America Team

Glenville State’s outstanding junior running back Rahmann Lee was named to the 2014 Don Hansen NCAA Division II All-America First Team Offense.

Lee ranked first in the MEC in All Purpose Yards with 1,639, ranked second in the MEC in Scoring with 14 total touchdowns and ranked second in Rushing with 1,120.

The Gilmer Free Press


Lee also was ranked nationally in several categories, he ranks 13th in All Purpose Yards in Division II, ranks 29th in the nation in Scoring and ranks 42nd in Division II in Rushing Yards.

Lee, is also only 185 rushing yards away from breaking Glenville State College’s All-Time Career Rushing Record which was set back in 2008 by Jerry Seymour.

Congratulations to Rahmann on this outstanding achievement.

2014 Don Hansen NCAA Division II All-America Team Complete List


First Team Offense

POS NAME HT WT YR SCHOOL HOMETOWN

QB Jason Vander Laan 6-4 241 JR Ferris State Frankfort, IL

FB Chris Robinson 5-8 205 SR Lenoir-Rhyne Newnan, GA

RB Anthony Bilal 5-7 170 JR Lake Erie Painesville, OH

RB Terrell Watson 6-2 240 SR Azusa Pacific Oxnard, CA

WR Gary Brown 6-1 200 SO California (PA) Columbus, OH

WR Ricky Collins 6-0 200 SR TX A&M-Commerce Tyler, TX

WR Darius Davis 5-11 212 SR Henderson State Frisco, TX

TE Tim Brown 6-3 235 JR West Chester Clifton Heights, PA

AP Rahmann Lee 6-0 184 JR Glenville State Capitol Heights, MD

C Josh Meeker 6-2 290 SR Minnesota State Omaha, NE

OG Perrin Cunningham 6-2 275 SR OH Dominican Cincinnati, OH

OG Andrew Muer 6-3 275 SR Minnesota Duluth Perham, MN

OT Cole Manhart 6-6 310 SR Nebraska-Kearney Highlands Ranch, CO

OT Joe Ray 6-1 270 JR Lenoir-Rhyne Atlanta, GA

PK Anthony Pistelli 5-9 199 SO Valdosta State Thomasville, GA


First Team Defense

POS NAME HT WT YR SCHOOL HOMETOWN

DE Darius Allen 6-4 251 SR CSU-Pueblo Pueblo, CO

DE Josh Gordon 6-2 250 SR Minnesota State Milwaukee, WI

DG/DT Blake Baker 6-1 250 SR Lenoir-Rhyne Bethlehem, NC

DG/DT Devin Benton 5-11 270 SR Southwestern Oklahoma Arlington, TX

LB Tanner Botts 6-2 215 SR Lenoir-Rhyne Lawrenceville, GA

LB Rush Seaver 6-3 250 SR Angelo State Lampasas, TX

LB Bre’Nard Williams 5-11 230 SR Clark Atlanta Omega, GA

S Zack Mitchell 6-0 1 85 SR Ouachita Baptist Vilonia, AR

S Jordan Shaw 6-2 2 15 JR Shorter Jasper, GA

CB Solomon St. Pierre 5-11 171 JR Sioux Falls Wagner, SD

CB Al-Hajj Shabazz 6-2 200 SR West Chester Philadelphia, PA

RS Etauj Allen 5-9 185 SR Ouachita Baptist San Antonio, TX

P Patrick Carney 6-0 215 SR New Mexico Highlands Chico, CA


Second Team Offense

POS NAME HT WT YR SCHOOL HOMETOWN

QB Anthony Abenoja 6-3 217 SR Pittsburg State Overland Park, KS

FB E’Lon Spight 5-10 200 SR Eastern New Mexico St. Louis, MO

RB Brock Jones 5-10 210 JR Gannon Peninsula, OH

RB LaVance Taylor 5-11 195 SR Central Missouri Raytown, MO

WR Jeff Hill 6-4 215 SR Bentley Mansfield, Mass.

WR Gavin Lutman 6-4 201 SR Pittsburg State Peculiar, MO

WR Xavier Milton 6-0 190 SR Florida Tech Alameda, CA

TE Cole Spurgeon 6-3 235 JR Colorado Mines Gretna, NE

AP Marquise Cushon 5-10 162 JR Pittsburg State Kansas City, MO

C Quincy Awa-Dubose 6-2 320 SR West Georgia Oxnard, CA

OG Alex Davis 6-4 295 SR Gannon Erie, PA

OG Garrison Ushery 6-1 335 SR West Georgia Austell, GA

OT Tory Day 6-1 255 SR Harding Memphis, TN

OT Isaiah Shelton 6-2 308 SR Shepherd Temple Hills, MD

PK Saul Martinez 5-9 190 SR TX A&M-Commerce Pittsburg, TX


Second Team Defense

POS NAME HT WT YR SCHOOL HOMETOWN

DE Julian Howsare 6-3 255 SR Clarion Altoona, PA

DE Matt Longacre 6-3 270 SR Northwest Missouri Omaha, NE

DE Braysean Jones 6-1 205 JR Miles Montgomery, AL

DG/DT DuVontae Covington 6-2 285 SR Winston-Salem State Greensboro, NC

DG/DT Anthony McDaniel 6-1 280 JR Bowie State Ft. Washington, MD

LB Leron Furr 6-3 245 SR Fort Valley State Columbus, GA

LB Tyler Henderson 6-3 235 JR Minnesota State Mankato, MN

LB Justin Shirk 6-0 240 SR Bloomsburg Harrisburg, PA

S Nathan Hancock 6-2 195 SR Minnesota State Independence, MO

S Derrick Johnson 5-10 190 JR Concord (WV) Pleasant Hill, CA

CB De’Vante Bausby 6-2 179 SR Pittsburg State Kansas City, MO

CB Curtis Pumphrey 5-8 155 JR Bowie State Laurel, MD

RS L.J. Strohman 5-10 185 SR NC Pembroke Hamlet, NC

P Mike Wenk 6-0 205 SR Southwest Minnesota Hartford, SD


Third Team Offense

POS NAME HT WT YR SCHOOL HOMETOWN

QB Sean McCartney 6-2 200 SR West Chester Doylestown, PA

QB Kevin Rodgers 6-3 215 JR Henderson State Rockwall, TX

FB Jordan Ollis 5-10 230 SR Brevard Columbus, NC

FB Romo Westbrook 5-10 210 SR Harding Marion, AR

RB Andy Hibbett 6-0 200 SR Carson-Newman Corryton, TN

RB Cameron McDondle 5-8 196 JR CSU-Pueblo Littleton, CO

WR Vernon Johnson 6-1 190 SR TX A&M-Commerce Fort Worth, TX

WR Tyler Slavin 6-2 215 SR New Mexico Highlands Corona, CA

WR T.J. Smith 6-0 175 FR Concord (WV) Charleston, WV

TE Lucas Hefty 6-4 240 SR Upper Iowa Traer, Iowa

AP Paul Revis 5-9 165 FR Western Oregon Scappoose, OR

C Jack Abercrombie 6-2 295 SR California (PA) Horsham, PA

OG Michael Gibbs 6-2 300 SR Delta State Brandon, MS

OG Nick Perez 6-4 290 JR Tarleton State Stephenville, TX

OT Zack Martinez 6-6 301 JR CSU-Pueblo Redlands, CA

OT Jesse Yancey 6-7 315 SR Valdosta State Claxton, GA

PK Connor Frazell 5-10 183 SR Pitsburg State Iola, KS


Third Team Defense

POS NAME HT WT YR SCHOOL HOMETOWN

DE Derrick Mann 6-3 225 SR Assumption Sharon, Mass.

DE Marcus Martin 6-3 235 FR Slippery Rock West Mifflin, PA

DG/DT Kenny Allen 6-2 294 JR Central Oklahoma Perkins, OK

DG/DT Brandon Yost 6-2 280 JR Northwest Missouri Omaha, NE

LB Eric Reimer 6-2 225 SR Northwest Missouri Menomonie Falls, WI

LB J.J. Sanders 5-10 235 JR Florida Tech Columbus, OH

LB Tavarius Washington 6-2 230 JR Albany State Keysville, GA

LB Ronell Williams 6-1 245 SR West Chester Chester, PA

S Michael Jordan 6-0 200 JR Fort Hays State Kerens, TX

S Jarrod Lacy 6-0 200 SR CSU-Pueblo Boynton Beach, FL

S Keeston Terry 6-3 203 SR Pittsburg State Blue Springs, MO

CB O’Neil Blake 5-9 190 SR Lenoir-Rhyne Kissimmee, FL

CB Travis Lee 6-1 185 SR Miles Atlanta, GA

RS Torie Wagner 5-9 180 JR Charleston (WV) Severn, MD

P Andrew Cerett 6-5 260 0S R California (PA) Huntingdon, PA



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Colts cut S Landry

The Indianapolis Colts have released safety LaRon Landry, a move that will save the team more than $2 million in salary cap space for next season.

Landry, who just completed the second season of a four-year, $24 million contract he signed with the Colts in March of 2013, is coming off a 2014 campaign marred by a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. He temporarily lost his starting job to Sergio Brown after being reinstated in November.

The eight-year veteran appeared in 11 regular-season games with six starts in 2014, recording 46 tackles and 2 1/2 sacks.

Landry earned a trip to the Pro Bowl in 2012 after amassing a career-best 100 tackles and two interceptions with the New York Jets. The 30-year-old spent his first five seasons with the Washington Redskins, who selected him with the sixth overall pick of the 2007 NFL Draft.

The Colts also placed two players on waivers Wednesday, offensive tackle Xavier Nixon and linebacker Andrew Jackson.

Nixon started one game for Indianapolis in each of the last two seasons. Jackson, a sixth-round pick of the Colts in last year’s draft, registered 10 tackles in 13 games while being used mainly on special teams as a rookie.


►  Steelers, Vikings to play in 2015 Hall of Fame Game

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Minnesota Vikings will kick off the 2015 NFL preseason by meeting in the Hall of Fame Game.

The game will be played in Canton, Ohio on August 09, one day after the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2015 is formally enshrined.

Former Steelers running back Jerome Bettis and former Vikings center Mick Tingelhoff will be inducted that weekend.

Bettis played 10 of his 13 seasons with the Steelers and ranked fifth all-time in career rushing yards with 13,662 at the time of his retirement.

Tingelhoff never missed a game in 17 seasons with the Vikings from 1962-78.

Also selected to the 2015 Hall of Fame class are linebacker Junior Seau, wide receiver Tim Brown, outside linebacker Charles Haley, guard Will Shields and former league executives Bill Polian and Ron Wolf.


►  Giants officially waive David Wilson

Running back David Wilson, the New York Giants’ first-round pick of the 2012 NFL Draft, was officially waived by the team Wednesday with his career having been cut short by a neck injury.

Wilson sustained the injury during a game against Philadelphia on October 06, 2013 and has not played since. He spent the entire 2014 season on injured reserve after failing to receive medical clearance.

The move was made to clear a roster spot for center Brett Jones, whom the Giants signed after a successful two-year stint with the Canadian Football League’s Calgary Stampeders.

Wilson rushed for 504 yards and five touchdowns over 21 overall games with the Giants, but made his biggest impact as a return man. The Virginia Tech product set a club record with 1,533 kick return yards, highlighted by a 97-yard touchdown against New Orleans, as a rookie in 2012.

Jones was named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Lineman in 2014 and helped the Stampders to a Grey Cup championship this past season. The 23-year-old Saskatchewan native was selected as the league’s Most Outstanding Rookie the previous year.

The Gilmer Free Press


References
ABC - American Broadcasting Company
CBS - Columbia Broadcast System
FOX - Fox Entertainment Group
NBC - National Broadcasting Company
JIP - Joined in Progress
DSS - DIRECTV
TSN - Sports Network (Canada)
SNET/SN - Rogers SportsNet (Canada)
RDS - Reseau des sports
MSG - Madison Square Garden Network
TNT - Turner Network Television
TBS - Turner Broadcasting System
SNY - SportsNet New York
CBSSN - CBS - College Sports Network
CSN - Comcast SportsNet
TCN - The Comcast Network
NBCSN - NBC Sports Network
NESN - New England Sports Network
MASN - Mid-Atlantic Sports Network
ROOT - Root Sports (Pittsburgh, Northwest, Rocky Mountain)
CST - Cox Sports Television
FCS - FOX College Sports
FS - FOX Sports Regional
RSN - Regional Sports Networks
CPTV - Connecticut Public Broadcasting
TVG - Horse Racing Channel
FS1 - FOX Sports 1
TWC - Time Warner Cable Sports Channel
* - If Necessary


THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2015
National Basketball Association
Cleveland at Chicago, 8:00 PM - TNT
National Hockey League
Toronto at NY Islanders, 7:00 PM - TSN4, MSG+, DSS
Anaheim at Carolina, 7:00 PM - FS-Prime Ticket, SportSouth, DSS
Edmonton at Montreal, 7:30 PM - SNET-West, RDS, DSS
Pittsburgh at Ottawa, 7:30 PM - ROOT-Pittsburgh, RDS2, TSN5, DSS
St. Louis at Tampa Bay, 7:30 PM - FS-Midwest, SunSports, NHL Network, DSS
Winnipeg at Nashville, 8:00 PM - TSN3, DSS
Florida at Minnesota, 8:00 PM - FS-Florida, North, DSS
NY Rangers at Colorado, 9:00 PM - MSG, Altitude, DSS
Calgary at Los Angeles, 10:30 PM - SNET-West, FS-West, DSS
College Basketball
Tulsa at Connecticut, 7:00 PM - ESPN 2
Ole Miss at Florida, 7:00 PM - ESPN
Purdue at Rutgers, 7:00 PM - ESPN U
Western Carolina at Mercer, 7:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Illinois-Chicago at Wright State, 7:00 PM - Time Warner Sports, ESPN3.com
Presbyterian at UNC Asheville, 7:00 PM - Big South Network
Minnesota at Iowa, 7:00 PM - Big Ten Network
Sacred Heart at Mount St Mary’s, 7:00 PM - MASN, FCS, ESPN3.com
American at Lehigh, 7:00 PM - CBSSN
Chattanooga at Wofford, 7:00 PM - FSN
Northeastern at Hofstra, 7:00 PM - NBCSN
Florida Gulf Coast at Northern Kentucky, 7:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Jacksonville at Kennesaw State, 7:00 PM - ESPN3.com
North Florida at USC Upstate, 7:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Stetson at Lipscomb, 7:30 PM - ESPN3.com
Montana at North Dakota, 8:00 PM - MidcoSN
Siena at Marist, 8:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Western Illinois at Oral Roberts, 8:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Tennessee State at Tennessee Tech, 8:00 PM - American Sports Network
Old Dominion at UTSA, 8:00 PM - American Sports Network
Texas-Arlington at Texas State, 8:30 PM - KBVO
California at Colorado, 9:00 PM - FS1
Loyola Marymount at Gonzaga, 9:00 PM - ROOT-Northwest, ESPN3.com
FIU at Southern Miss, 9:00 PM - FSN, MASN2
SMU at Houston, 9:00 PM - ESPN U
Stanford at Utah, 9:00 PM - Pac-12 Network
Michigan at Illinois, 9:00 PM - ESPN
North Dakota State at Denver, 9:00 PM - ROOT-Rocky Mountain
Seattle at New Mexico State, 9:00 PM - ESPN3.com
UT Martin at SE Missouri State, 9:00 PM - CBSSN
St. Mary’s (CA) at BYU, 9:00 PM - ESPN 2
Long Beach State at UC Santa Barbara, 10:30 PM - FS-Prime Ticket
Santa Clara at San Francisco, 11:00 PM - ESPN U
UC Riverside at Hawaii, 12:00 AM - OCSports
Women’s College Basketball
Quinnipiac at Marist, 5:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Florida State at North Carolina, 7:00 PM - RSN, FOX
NC State at Georgia Tech, 7:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Florida at Georgia, 7:00 PM - SEC Network+
Miss State at Kentucky, 7:00 PM - SEC Network
Kennesaw State at Jacksonville, 7:00 PM - ESPN3.com
USC Upstate at North Florida, 7:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Lipscomb at Stetson, 7:00 PM - ESPN3.com
LSU at South Carolina, 7:00 PM - FSN, ESPN3.com
Tennessee at Ole Miss, 7:00 PM - SEC Network+
Wright State at Green Bay, 8:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Milwaukee at Valparaiso, 8:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Missouri at Alabama, 9:00 PM - FSN, ESPN3.com
Arkansas at Texas A&M, 9:00 PM - SEC Network
Iowa at Nebraska, 9:00 PM - Big Ten Network
Cal Poly at CS Northridge, 10:00 PM - ESPN3.com
UCLA at California, 11:00 PM - Pac-12 Network
Golf
PGA - Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, 3:00 PM - Golf Channel

Harvey Inks with Glenville State

Man Football’s Gage Harvey is a Glenville State Pioneer.

The Man High School tight end signed with Division II Glenville State College on Thursday.

Harvey helped lead the Man Hillbillies to the Class A playoffs in back-to-back seasons.

Man finished 6-5 this past season, falling 21-16 to Tug Valley in a first-round Class A playoff game at Mingo Central’s Buck Harless Stadium.

The Gilmer Free Press
Man High School’s Gage Harvey is tackled after making a catch in a 28-0
homecoming win over Fayetteville during the 2014 season.
He signed with Glenville State last Thursday.


Not counting the playoff game, Harvey had five catches for 82 yards and a touchdown during the season for Man. Harvey is an excellent blocker and helped Man’s running game tremendously.

The Pioneers will open up Spring practice on March 23 to prepare for the Annual Blue/White Spring Game.

Glenville State plays in the Mountain East Conference.

Back on November 15, Glenville State defeated the West Virginia State Yellow Jackets, 30-7, in the regular season finale to finish the 2014 grid campaign at 5-6 overall and 5-5 in the MEC.

The Glenville State Pioneer football team and head coach David Hutchison announced the signings of 23 new football players on National Signing Day on Wednesday. Those players are as follows:

•  Chandler Carrera – Charlottesville, VA

•  Jonathan Peterson – Point Pleasent, WV

•  Eric Rivera-Mejia – Falls Church, VA

•  Deonte White – Baltimore, MD

•  Antonio Williams Jr. – Pineville, NC

•  Thomas Bales III – Lake Gibson, FL

•  Noah Zentz – Haymarket, VA

•  Austin Ratliff – Glenville, WV

•  Jonathan Burkes

•  Tyrell Davis – Charleston, WV

•  Gage Harvey – Man, WV

•  Anthony Mayes – Summersville, WV

•  DeShawn McLaughlin – Norflok, VA

•  Anthony Milord – Pembroke Pine, FL

•  Keshann Cuffee – Chesapeake, VA

•  Antoine Hunt Jr. – Chesapeake, VA

•  Clifford St. Louis – Naples, FL

•  Prince Thomas – Lake Gibson, FL

•  Kquadre Corbin – Virginia Beach, VA

•  Samuel Thomas – Woodbridge, VA

•  Colton Campbell – Hyattsville, MD

•  Barry Deaton – Independence, KY

•  Christia Nelson – Woodbridge, VA

~~  Paul Adkins ~~

Falls Church High’s Eric Rivera Signs with Glenville State College

Student accepts a four-year college scholarship Wednesday to college in West Virginia

Eric Rivera didn’t grow up tossing the ball around. He wasn’t wearing a jersey as a young child, he wasn’t being taught a three-point stance or a run block. He didn’t have the team experience. However that all changed after he came to his future high school’s Activities Fair. He stepped into the Falls Church High School gymnasium that night, with coaches lined left and right. He walked around the room and listened to all the different teams and clubs he could get involved with. He also met the head football coach, Said Aziz, who still remembers that day he saw this tall eighth grade student walk up to his table.

The Gilmer Free Press
Eric Rivera and his father at Eric’s signing ceremony, with Coach Said Aziz.


That day started a long journey of growth, of friendships, of hard work, and of success. Eric was immediately a strong member of the program. He was a standout—he hustled day in and day out, a leader by example. He became a critical part of the team—playing on the offensive and defensive lines. Eric Rivera was a star defensive end and tackle.

In his junior year, in a game against Edison HS, he made a dive for a fumbled ball and landed on his elbow—dislocating his shoulder. Surgery was required. Eric was surrounded by support despite such a difficult time. He had the surgery the night of the Bell Game, just a few weeks later and the road to recovery was already being laid.

Eric not only recovered but again became a leader. As a football player (and also as a wrestler—Eric competed in the 220 heavyweight class), Eric was right back out there making plays. He was also a leader in the pre-season work. He broke the school record in the weight room for best hang clear—hitting 280 pounds.

Eric’s work did not go unnoticed. Colleges started visiting. His parents were proud—Eric would be the first in his family to go on to college. On February 4th—the National Signing Day—Eric signed his four year scholarship paperwork with Glenville State in West Virginia. His father was present with him, along with head football coach Said Aziz and the rest of the Jaguar football coaches and head wrestling coach Dustin Payne. Each coach had kind words to share and look forward to what this incredible student-athlete will continue to do at the collegiate level. The Falls Church High School staff are extremely proud of him and wish this Jaguar all the best as he continues his success in college.

~~  Falls Church Patch ~~

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