Thomas Terriers football
|10 - 2||5 - 0||5 - 2||.833||377||164|
|2013-09-06||vs||Alva||W||28 - 21|
|2013-09-13||@||Okeene||W||14 - 0|
|2013-09-20||@||Carnegie||W||40 - 13|
|2013-09-27||vs||Burns Flat-Dill City||W||40 - 6|
|2013-10-04||vs||Apache||W||43 - 32|
|2013-10-11||@||Sayre||W||47 - 0|
|2013-10-17||@||Hollis||L||15 - 40|
|2013-10-25||vs||Cordell||W||49 - 13|
|2013-11-01||@||Snyder||W||15 - 0|
|2013-11-08||@||Mangum||W||44 - 18|
|2013-11-15||vs||Texhoma||W||28 - 0|
|2013-11-23||@||Ringling||L||14 - 21|
|Player Name||Number||Year||Height||Weight||Position (main)|
Thomas football News
NewsOK articles about Thomas football, or articles mentioning current or former Thomas football players.
Thomas High School Varsity Boys Football
Indiana coach Tom Crean isn't just talking tough. He's getting tough.On Monday, the Hoosiers announced sophomore Emmitt Holt had been kicked off the team and prized recruit Thomas Bryant will face internal discipline after being cited for illegal possession of an alcoholic beverage.For Holt, it was a second strike. In November, he ran into Devin Davis, a former teammate, with his car, leaving...
Hoosiers kick Holt off team, discipline Bryant
By MICHAEL MAROT, Associated Press | Aug 31, 2015Indiana coach Tom Crean isn't just talking tough. He's getting tough. On Monday, the Hoosiers announced sophomore Emmitt Holt had been kicked off the team and prized recruit Thomas Bryant will face internal discipline after being cited for illegal possession of an alcoholic beverage. For Holt, it was a second strike. In November, he ran into Devin Davis, a former teammate, with his car, leaving Davis with a severe brain injury. Holt was not cited by police, who police determined Davis jumped in front of the car and that both players had been drinking under age. "Sophomore Emmitt Holt has been dismissed from the men's basketball program effective immediately for demonstrating exceptionally poor judgment in the circumstances surrounding his recent citation, particularly coming after his involvement in the Devin Davis accident which should have motivated him to make better decisions," the strongly-worded two-sentence statement said. The statement did not specify what punishments Bryant is facing. Indiana State Excise Police released their report Aug. 24, acknowledging the 19-year-old Holt and 18-year-old Bryant were each found with a bottle of vodka in a parked car outside a local business at about 12:50 a.m. Holt and Bryant, police said, were passengers in the car. Since word of the most recent legal trouble leaked, outraged fans have expressed dismay over a series of problems -- and not just with the basketball team -- that have resulted in dismissals, suspensions and court dates. They're not the only ones upset. During an all-staff meeting last week, university President Michael McRobbie told coaches he doesn't want to see any more stories about "repeated" misbehavior and called this recent spate an embarrassment to the university. Athletic director Fred Glass said he echoed those comments at the meeting. And during an alumni association-Varsity Club event last week in Indianapolis, a frustrated Crean even questioned the leadership on his team. "Emmitt should have never put my freshman in that situation," Crean told reporters before apologizing to fans for having to watch this play out in public yet again. Losing Holt will hurt. The 6-foot-7, 225-pound forward averaged 3.9 points and 3.0 rebounds last season and showed enough promise he was expected to be a key contributor this year. He won't get a chance to prove it now. Bryant will. The 6-foot-10, 245-pound McDonald's All-American should give Indiana the strongest inside presence it's had since Cody Zeller left early for the NBA following the 2012-13 season. But Bryant also finds himself on a short leash. "As a result of his citation, (Bryant) is receiving internal team discipline and is subject to additional discipline for any future failure to live up to his responsibilities to the program," the statement said. The problems began when former forward Hanner Mosquera-Perea was arrested on an OWI charge in February 2014. Since then, guards Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell and Stanford Robinson have been cited for minor consumption of alcohol and possession of false identification, two players were suspended for failed drug tests and there was the Davis-Holt accident. In May, Davis and Mosquera-Perea were booted off the team after Davis was cited for marijuana possession. Campus police said Mosquera-Perea was present at the time but was not cited. The football team also has had its share of legal woes. In April, defensive lineman Ralph Green III was arrested after allegedly slapping a 20-year-old woman. He was charged with misdemeanor battery, public intoxication and disorderly conduct In May, receiver Isaac Griffith was arrested on a OWI charge with endangerment, and in June, safety Antonio Allen was dismissed after being arrested on drug-dealing charges. Green and Griffith have been practicing with the football team. Allen was dismissed from the team.
Aug 31, 2015
During a week when you'll hear lots of coaches and players talk about how excited they are — it's finally time to play some games! — no one is more pumped than Devante Averette.
OSU Football: Inside a Cowboy linebacker's comeback story
BY JENNI CARLSON | Aug 31, 2015STILLWATER — Devante Averette stood up during a team meeting a few weeks ago. Talk had turned to player ticket allotments for Oklahoma State's opener at Central Michigan, and even though more than a hundred people packed the room, the linebacker wanted everyone who wasn't using their tickets to know something. "Just put my name down," he said. He flashed a big grin, then sat back down. During a week when you'll hear lots of coaches and players talk about how excited they are — it's finally time to play some games! — no one is more pumped than Averette. He is a Michigan native, born and bred in Detroit, and that means family and friends by the dozens will be making the easy two hour drive to Mount Pleasant. Many of them haven't seen Averette play since high school, and most aren't able to travel all the way to Stillwater. This week, Averette is coming to them. "I've been talking about it for a month," said Averette, who will back up Seth Jacobs at the weakside linebacker position. "It's going to be a blessing." But his emotions are about more than his homecoming. Averette's journey to this point has been as circuitous as it has been frustrating. His road includes a year out of football spent working overnight shifts for UPS, a stint at an out-of-the-way Iowa junior college and a knee injury that knocked him out of a season when his team could've used some help. Those who know him best say none of that diminished his passion for the game. Quite the opposite. He loves it more than ever. "That's just so inspiring to me," said OSU defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer, a guy who's not known to throw around glowing praise. "That's something that just seeps through the veins of everybody when you have a guy like that, and he's one of those guys." Devante Averette is a fighter. Which isn't a surprise. *** Boxing was Devante Averette's sport growing up. He had an uncle and a cousin who boxed professionally, and they were always taking him to the gym. The first time he went, he was 4. He eventually became a regular at Kronk Boxing, a legendary gym in Detroit that produced Thomas "The Hitman" Hearns. Averette made a name for himself in the amateur ranks, going 37-0 with 33 knockouts. But when he was 16, his mom, Michelle, convinced him that boxing was too dangerous. Her safer alternative? Football. Michelle laughs about that now, but she stands by her reasoning. She just couldn't stand watching people punching on her child. And throughout his high school football career in Melvindale, a Detroit suburb, Averette was way more likely to be doing the hitting. There were honors. There were accolades. There were hopes that he'd land a major-college scholarship. But an offer never came. Averette had struggles off the field during his last couple years of school. He lost his grandmother to breast cancer. He found out that his girlfriend was going to have a baby. When the 2011 season kicked off, the only uniform he had was the one he wore to work for UPS. *** Devante Averette started working at a UPS distribution center when he was still in high school. He would go to work at 4 in the morning, moving the boxes and loading the trucks. Then, he'd go to school. Once he was done with high school, he started taking double shifts any time he could. He wanted to provide for his son, and he wasn't sure when a football opportunity might come his way. Some of his friends and family probably thought football was over for him, but Averette never thought that way. He always knew he'd get back on the field. He always believed a chance was out there. So did Mike Dennis. Dennis had been one of Averette's high school coaches, and he called all sorts of colleges. Small colleges. Big colleges. Junior colleges. It's something that Dennis now does full-time, helping unheralded high school players in the Detroit metro area get football scholarships, but Averette was one of his early successes. Dennis convinced the coaches at Ellsworth Community College to take a chance on Averette. Where is Ellsworth? Averette had the same question. Iowa Falls, Iowa, has a population of 5,238 and is about an hour north of Des Moines and almost smack dab in the middle of the state. Averette had no idea what to expect — he'd never been out of Michigan — but it was a chance to play, so he jumped at it. When his mom called to see how everything was going, he kept going back to one thing. "Ma, it's nothin' but corn," he said. "Corn, corn, corn and a Wal-Mart." Michelle figured Devante had to be exaggerating. Then, she visited. "This is really in the straight country," she thought. "It's nothing but corn!" But she loved it. The fact the town was so small and the school was so rural meant that Devante could focus. There was football. There was school. He could zero in on both. Michelle turned out to be prophetic — Devante got his associate's degree after only three semesters. Got that major-college scholarship, too. He tallied 92 tackles, including 29 for a loss, and earned All-American honors in his second season at Ellsworth. His quick-closing, hard-charging style caught Glenn Spencer's eye, and the Cowboys extended a scholarship. Averette chose OSU over West Virginia and others. With a thin linebacker corps, he arrived in Stillwater in Jan. 2014 with a chance to crack the starting lineup. But his fight wasn't over. *** His first spring in Stillwater, at a time when Devante Averette was supposed to be staking a claim on a starting spot, he tore his anterior cruciate ligament. He was devastated. Same for his family and friends. He'd always been the kid who didn't get sick, who never got hurt. His pediatrician only ever saw him when he needed to get shots. And now, when he finally got his big chance after all he'd been through, he got hurt? Averette asked everyone he knew to pray for him, and while he was praying, too, he was also religious about his rehab. He did what he was supposed to do. He did the treatment and finished the exercises and pushed the limits. He even got into the pool to rehab with the resistance of the water. When his mom heard about that, she knew how serious he was. He never got into a pool; he doesn't know how to swim. After only five months, doctors said Averette's knee was healed. He made his OSU debut in a reserve role against Texas Tech last September. He played the next week against Iowa State, too. As good as it felt to be on the field again, he also felt like he was off his game. Watching game tape only confirmed it. He didn't have his speed. He didn't make his cuts. "It isn't me," he thought. The coaches could see it, too. Spencer thought with continued rehab and strengthening, Averette might be full strength toward the end of the season. But was playing him late and burning a year of eligibility going to be the best thing for Averette? The decision was made to redshirt Averette and seek a hardship waiver, which was ultimately granted leaving him with two years eligibility. Averette struggled at times, watching his teammates struggle and even endure a five-game losing streak at one point. But he took out his frustration at practice. During his first full week on the scout team, he let it be known he was going to cause headaches for the offense. He popped guys, hootin' and hollerin' all the way. One day after practice, one of the offensive assistants approached Spencer in the locker room. "Geez," the coach said as they talked about Averette, "he's giving them fits." Averette plans to do the same this season, but now, he has his sights set on terrorizing opponents. Central Michigan is first. *** Devante Averette isn't sure how exactly many family and friends will make the trip to Mount Pleasant. He suspects they'll be at least 50 and maybe as many as 80. But since most of his teammates aren't from that part of the country, he has been able to get help with tickets from a lot of them. "I think it's all in the stars," his mom, Michelle, said. "It's all lined up." Averette's plea during that team meeting a few weeks ago seems to have worked — though he knows he'll have to pay back the favors with his tickets for big games later in the season. Guys have already called dibs on his tickets for Texas and Oklahoma. He's fine with that. No game, after all, is bigger than this one for Devante Averette. In addition to all the family and friends, this will be the first time that his son, now 4, gets to see his dad play in person. "He's definitely going to remember this one," Averette said. He won't be the only one. Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at (405) 475-4125 or email@example.com. Like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.
Sports were nothing new to Jeri, who played for Elk City High's state championship basketball team in 1973. She was also the school's football queen.
TRIBUTES: Jeri Cocannouer spent 36 years as a football coach's wife
BY SCOTT MUNN | Aug 24, 2015A farewell to people with Oklahoma ties who enjoyed the game day experience: Jeri Burch Cocannouer, 58, of Weatherford spent 36 years as a football coach's wife. Husband Dan is the head coach at Southwestern Oklahoma State and also had stops at Edmond Santa Fe, John Marshall, Chandler, Alva, Pauls Valley and Walters high schools. But sports were nothing new to Jeri, who played for Elk City High's state championship basketball team in 1973. She was also the school's football queen. Don Fowler, 88, of Cleveland, OK, played football for Oklahoma A&M. He was a member of the 1944 Missouri Valley Conference championship team that whipped TCU 34-0 in the Cotton Bowl. Drafted into the Army and finished his football-playing days in the service. Worked in drilling by trade. Bobby Greenberg, 85, of Tulsa. He was a member of Oklahoma's 1950 national championship football squad. The Korean War veteran worked in the oil industry. Cole Fuller, 22, of Bartlesville was an All-State soccer player for Collinsville High School. He was working toward becoming a personal trainer. Perry Tennison Jr., 86, of Guthrie was an accomplished runner. A World War II veteran. Juanita Anderson Robertson, 94, of Oklahoma City was a Shawnee High School cheerleader. Met future husband, Dean Robertson, at a Frederick High football game in 1944. Bob Barr III, 75, of Dover quarterbacked the Hennessey High School football team in 1956. The attorney donated his body to medical research. Mary Jane Hinkel Holman, 97, of Norman was a tennis player and golfer. Attended many PGA tournaments and Grand Slam tennis events. Alvin Lawson, 78, of Edmond was a 1955 graduate of Putnam City High School. He wrestled and ran track for the Pirates. Katie Ranke Cole, 90, of Norman was the 1990 Special Olympics Coach of the Year. The former Trans World Airlines hostess was a teacher for special needs children. Ed Moore Sr., 96, of Muskogee was a Chilocco Indian School graduate who played football at Oklahoma A&M over the 1938-40 seasons. Moore was an All-Missouri Valley Conference receiver and honorable mention All-American. He held OSU season tickets for decades after his playing career. A World War II veteran who was inducted into the American Indian Athletic Hall of Fame in 1991. An educator by trade. Donnie Bufford, 46, of Crescent. He starred in football and basketball for the hometown Tigers. An All-State guard in basketball. Bufford, who worked for Pioneer Telephone for more than 20 years, died a month after his brother, Terry, also a former Crescent sports hero, passed away. Loyd Garrison, 88, of Tulsa was an all-around sportsman who excelled in softball, basketball, table tennis and bowling. He worked for the John Zink Co. — and in 1962 was a pit crew member for Zink's entry in the Indianapolis 500. Active in the Oklahoma and National Senior Olympics. Walked 4 miles each day. Ronald Fox, 36, of Norman attended Carl Albert High School, where he wrestled and played football. Rebecca Lampton Bayless, 55, of Oklahoma City was an Arabian equestrian rider and trainer. She was awarded the national champion saddle seat equitation in 1978. Herschal Crow, 80, of Oklahoma City was a football and basketball star at Altus High School. He played basketball at Oklahoma A&M under coach Henry Iba and was also a member of the football team. After a brief stint coaching football and hoops in Altus, he began a career in politics. The former senator continued to follow OSU athletics. Joyce Mowdy Thomas, 81, of Oklahoma City was a Capitol Hill High School cheerleader. Jim Glasgow, 84, of Oklahoma City was a golfer who had six aces in his lifetime. Bill Davis, 99, of Oklahoma City was a tennis player. He and friend Dennis Ralston won the Oklahoma City Pro-Am in the 1960s. Linda Stevens Cradduck, 67, of Moore was a supporter of Special Olympics. She directed the Special Olympics for McCall's Chapel in Ada for four years. Darwin Waterman, 84, of Bethany was an educator who coached high school football in California. Ron Smith, 78, of Oklahoma City drove a 1932 Chevrolet factory stock race car at State Fair Speedway in the 1960s. A family obituary said Smith won "his share of trophies, including a rollover trophy or two." Brandon Lockwood, 37, of Edmond was an OU football and Thunder basketball fan. By trade, he was executive chef for the Oklahoma City Dodgers baseball team. Emmett Marcum Jr., 68, of El Reno starred in football and set records as a trackster at Hominy High School. He was a member of the Oklahoma State football team. Jim Monroe, 89, of Norman was a journalist. His career began at the Norman Transcript, where he served as the newspaper's sports editor. Rachael Cooper Mason, 87, of Edmond was a cheerleader at the University of Kansas. Reid Mullins, 52, of Bethany was an Oklahoma City radio personality who once played trumpet in the Pride of Oklahoma marching band on Saturdays during football season. Jim Coulson, 65, of Tulsa. He was an accomplished bass tournament fisherman. His favorite fishing spots were Grand, Hudson and Fort Gibson lakes. An avid bowler. Held season tickets for the Tulsa Oilers hockey team for 19 years.
Aug 24, 2015
NORMAN — Baker Mayfield has done it again. Mayfield, who walked on first at Texas Tech and then at Oklahoma, will be the Sooners’ starting quarterback for the Sept. 5 season opener against Akron, according to sources close to the program. Mayfield beat out the two quarterbacks who started games last year for OU—junior Trevor Knight and sophomore Cody Thomas. Mayfield walked on for the Sooners...
OU football: Baker Mayfield named Sooners starting quarterback
BY RYAN ABER, Staff Writer, firstname.lastname@example.org | Aug 24, 2015NORMAN — The climactic moment was ruined before it ever happened. There was Baker Mayfield, walking into a meeting room Monday morning where he was to hear the decision from offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley on who would be Oklahoma’s starting quarterback. But before he could even make it inside the door, any suspense was released from the room. “I ran into Cody Thomas right before, because he got out of his one-on-one right before me,” Mayfield said. “He gave me a hug and said, ‘Congrats, buddy.’ It was normal Cody. “So going into it, I knew.” That’s how Mayfield found out he had beaten out Thomas and Trevor Knight to be the Sooners’ starting quarterback. Oklahoma opens the season Sept. 5 at home against Akron. Neither Riley nor Bob Stoops would say much about the particulars of why Mayfield won the job. “I’m not going to detail that publicly,” Stoops said. “Those are all internal issues. “Overall, it’s obvious we just felt Baker was a little more consistent overall in what we need to get done.” Riley said the decision was a close one, but after taking the weekend to reflect on the position battle following the final scrimmage of camp late last week, it became clear Mayfield was the choice. While Mayfield didn’t know the decision when he arrived at OU’s makeshift facilities, there was no uneasiness going into the room even before Thomas gave it away. “I knew at some point I was going to get playing time,” Mayfield said. “I wasn’t nervous. That’s something people might find strange. I don’t really get nervous when it comes to that stuff.” Why would he? Mayfield’s entire football career to this point has been about overcoming long odds. As a freshman at Lake Travis High School in the Austin area, Mayfield was just 5-foot-2. Not only did he stick with playing football, he stuck with quarterback. “I wasn’t even a starter,” Mayfield said. “I was a little guy. “I wasn’t very big at all so they had other people playing that were more physically capable of winning games in high school. They had their plan, and I just developed my mental game of football before all that happened. Then I just realized you can know the game and still be good at it, even if you don’t have all the abilities.” By his junior year, Mayfield grew in both stature and as a player, taking over at quarterback and leading Lake Travis to a 25-2 record, including an undefeated state championship season as a junior. But while the two previous Lake Travis quarterbacks — Garrett Gilbert and Michael Brewer — had gone on to Division I opportunities at Texas and Texas Tech, Mayfield’s path wasn’t quite as simple. He had offers from places such as New Mexico, Washington State and Florida Atlantic. While he’d grown up an OU fan, Mayfield really wanted to go to TCU and held out for an offer from the Horned Frogs. By the time he realized it wouldn’t come, the other schools that were recruiting Mayfield had filled their quarterback classes. So instead of going to a lower-level school, Mayfield decided to follow Brewer to Texas Tech and walk on. “No matter what people say about me, I’m gonna believe in myself and as a quarterback you’ve got to believe in yourself,” Mayfield said. “People are going to scrutinize you at all times. You’ve got a bunch of cameras in your face no matter what. You’ve got to do what you’re capable of doing and believe in yourself no matter what.” By the time the Red Raiders opened the 2013 season, Mayfield had become the starter. He was the first true freshman walk-on in Power Five conference history to start the season opener at quarterback. He started seven games for the Red Raiders, throwing for 2,315 yards, 12 touchdowns and nine interceptions. After the season, he decided to transfer and quickly settled on Oklahoma. He grew up a Sooners fan despite being raised in the Austin area and frequently traveled to Norman in the early 2000s to watch OU play. But it didn’t look like a place where Mayfield would ever see the field. Knight had just beaten Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. Blake Bell had not yet moved to tight end. Kendal Thompson had yet to transfer, and Thomas and Justice Hansen looked like promising players at the position in the near future. Mayfield was confident even then that he’d eventually find playing time. “I can see a vision in my head that I thought I’d play here eventually,” Mayfield said. “It’s a dream come true for me, but what happens on the outside and what people said, they doubted me. “I’m here playing now so that’s just how it works out.” It took a season as the scout-team quarterback and a lost season of eligibility to get to this point, but Mayfield got there eventually. Monday evening, standing in front of an open door at OU’s indoor facility, Mayfield looked over his shoulder and remembered where that dream started. “I used to tailgate right here on this patch of grass,” Mayfield said, pointing out the door. “(I’d) throw the ball around in my Quentin Griffin jersey, watch Jason White and Mark Clayton play. It’s a dream come true to be able to go out there and play on the field they did and be able to try to replicate, duplicate what they did on the field.”
Aug 21, 2015
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Chiefs coach Andy Reid insists he has a handle on who will start along the offensive line when Kansas City opens the regular season, assuming a couple guys get healthy.Seahawks coach Pete Carroll? He remains decidedly noncommittal about his own.Alex Smith threw for 81 yards and a touchdown behind a hodgepodge bunch of blockers — and also tossed an interception that was...
Chiefs hold off Seahawks 14-13 in second preseason game
By DAVE SKRETTA, Associated Press | Aug 21, 2015KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Chiefs coach Andy Reid insists he has a handle on who will start along the offensive line when Kansas City opens the regular season, assuming a couple guys get healthy. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll? He remains decidedly noncommittal about his own. Alex Smith threw for 81 yards and a touchdown behind a hodgepodge bunch of blockers — and also tossed an interception that was returned for a touchdown — as Kansas City beat Seattle 14-13 in their preseason game Friday night. "You know what? For being a makeshift group, I thought they were OK," Reid said of his line, which was missing left tackle Eric Fisher to an ankle injury and right guard Jeff Allen to a knee sprain. "They tightened up a little bit and got better." Meanwhile, the Seahawks turned over three of their five starters on the offensive line from their preseason loss to Denver, and the result was some patchy protection for Russell Wilson. He finished 9 of 15 for 78 yards, most of that coming on three completions to Jimmy Graham. "We've got some stuff to clean up," Carroll said. The play of the game from Seattle's perspective was Bobby Wagner's interception, which he returned 25 yards for a touchdown that gave the Seahawks a 10-7 halftime lead. "I just sat back and read his eyes," said Wagner, who scored his first touchdown since he was a high school tight end. "I've never had a pick-six in my life. It felt amazing." Chase Daniel led the Chiefs (2-0) on an 86-yard go-ahead drive to open the second half, hitting tight end James O'Shaughnessy from 1 yard for the score. The backup QB has been sharp in two preseason games, throwing four TD passes without an interception. R.J. Archer played better than he did last week for the Seahawks (0-2), who lost regular backup Tarvaris Jackson to a high ankle sprain in a loss to Denver. But Archer was unable to move his team into range of a winning field goal in the final minutes Friday night. "I was pleased with the intensity of the running and the hitting across the board," Carroll said. "A ton of good things happened. I can't wait to see the films." Observations from the game: OFFENSIVE LINES Seahawks: C Drew Nowak, LG Justin Britt and RT Garry Gilliam were new to the lineup from the preseason opener, joining LT Russell Okung and RG J.R. Sweezy. They performed better as the game wore on, though Gilliam had his hands full with All-Pro pass rusher Justin Houston. "I heard he was pretty good," Gilliam said, "so I thought it was going to be a pretty steep learning curve." Chiefs: LT Eric Fisher (high ankle sprain) and RG Jeff Allen (knee sprain) did not dress, nor did their replacements fare well. Paul Fanaika started at tackle and was consistently pushed off the line of scrimmage, and Laurent Duvernay-Tardiff was manhandled at his guard spot. MISSING STARS Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch made the trip but did not play, while S Kam Chancellor was again absent as his holdout continues. The Chiefs used RB Jamaal Charles sparingly as they try to keep his workload down in the preseason. ROOKIE WATCH Seahawks: WR Tyler Lockett made a nice catch while working with the first team, but was bottled up in the return game. Lockett played at Kansas State, a short drive down Interstate 70. Chiefs: CB Marcus Peters, the No. 18 overall pick, had a solid home debut. C Mitch Morse, drafted in the second round, struggled to deal with Seattle's starting interior line. INJURY UPDATE Seahawks: CB Earl Thomas, who had shoulder surgery in February, was among many Seahawks who did not dress for the game. Thomas returned to practice Tuesday. Chiefs: LB Dee Ford was leveled by Seahawks RB Christine Michael in the second quarter. Reid said after the game that Ford may have a fractured rib. FLAG DAY The Seahawks were penalized 11 times for 105 yards, while Kansas City's offense only managed 238 yards. "That's a good way to lose a football game," Carroll said. QUOTABLE: "The ride to the stadium, smelling the barbecue, seeing the fans waving — I made sure I had my windows rolled down so I could take it all in. I went extra slow." — Chiefs safety Eric Berry, who played at Arrowhead Stadium for the first time since he was diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma last December. Berry was deemed cancer-free in June after several rounds of chemotherapy. ___ Online: AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and AP NFL Twitter feed: www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
Aug 21, 2015
Thomas appears to have made up ground and put himself right in the thick of the quarterback derby as Oklahoma’s Sept. 5 opener against Akron approaches.
OU football Q&A: Quarterback Cody Thomas talks competition, Lincoln Riley and decision-making
BY RYAN ABER | Aug 21, 2015NORMAN — Even though he started the final three games of last season, Cody Thomas entered the open quarterback competition over the offseason as a bit of a longshot. Thomas, who is now a redshirt sophomore, was behind Baker Mayfield and Trevor Knight even in late July when coach Bob Stoops spoke at Big 12 Media Days. But Thomas appears to have made up ground and put himself right in the thick of the quarterback derby as Oklahoma’s Sept. 5 opener against Akron approaches. Thomas spoke about his development and preseason camp in a Q&A with The Oklahoman. Q: How has your development with wide receivers come along? A: "Really good. This is the time through fall camp where you really start to mesh with your teammates. We get a lot of reps out here. A lot of our young guys at the receiver position that we haven’t gotten to throw to all year have really come along. Our relationship with them has been really good." What are your impressions so far of Jarvis Baxter, the walk-on who had signed with South Florida? "For a kid that’s come in here and basically learned the whole offense in a couple weeks, he’s really come on. He’s a fast little guy. He goes and attacks the ball. He plays bigger than he is for sure. We’re really excited for him." What’s been the biggest growth in your game since Lincoln Riley arrived? "Just my decisiveness. Playing fast, knowing where to go with the football and getting it out of my hands as fast as possible. I felt like I was a little cloudy last year with my decision-making. That’s one thing that I’ve really come a long way on. Coach Riley has really helped me with that, just being decisive and having confidence in everything you do." Were you thinking too much last year? "That might have been it. I couldn’t really tell you exactly what it was, but I like where I’m at right now." Does this offense keep you from over-thinking? "I think so. It’s an offense where you have to play fast and be really decisive with where you’re going. Because things do go fast. That’s something Coach Riley has worked on with us and helped us out with." Do you sense a decision coming? "I can’t really tell. He never gave us a specific deadline or anything. I’m just going out there competing and doing the best I can do." Would it help to know? "I mean, it’s not going to really change how I go out there and work during practice. I’m still going to try to be the best I can be." Does having run a similar offense in high school help you now? "It’s a little advantage. I played in this system in high school and it’s starting to come back to me, as far as the mentality and everything I was doing back then. It’s definitely helping me out a lot." What’s different about it now? "In college you’re going to have a lot more complexity with the offense. There’s going to be more wrinkles, more protections, stuff like that."
Aug 20, 2015
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Three years ago, Andrew Luck walked off the field in Chicago and promised to learn from a forgettable NFL debut.The Colts rookie had just thrown three interceptions, one touchdown pass and barely completed half of his 45 throws in a 41-21 loss to the Bears.He's come a long way since. On Saturday, Luck will be back on his home turf ready to face Chicago again — this time as...
Luck, Cutler follow different paths through NFL
By MICHAEL MAROT, Associated Press | Aug 20, 2015INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Three years ago, Andrew Luck walked off the field in Chicago and promised to learn from a forgettable NFL debut. The Colts rookie had just thrown three interceptions, one touchdown pass and barely completed half of his 45 throws in a 41-21 loss to the Bears. He's come a long way since. On Saturday, Luck will be back on his home turf ready to face Chicago again — this time as the presumed standard bearer for the next generation of NFL quarterbacks. "I would like to think I have grown mentally, emotionally, physically. I think I have a better understanding of what it means to be an NFL quarterback," Luck said Thursday before Indianapolis' second practice against the Bears. Whatever the explanation, the Colts and Bears — and their two quarterbacks — have gone in drastically different directions since the 2012 season opener. Back then, Luck was viewed as the young gun, running an offense in rebuild mode. Indianapolis wasn't even supposed to be a playoff contender. Bears fans, in contrast, viewed Jay Cutler as their long-term answer at quarterback, someone who could finally turn the Bears from a solid playoff team into a legitimate title contender. Instead, Indy's stability wound up paying big dividends. Luck has led the Colts to three consecutive 11-win seasons, back-to-back division titles, an AFC championship game, and perhaps now the role of biggest threat to dethrone Super Bowl champion New England. The secret of Luck's success is no secret. "Sometimes it's hard for guys to take constructive criticism. I think Andrew takes it very well," backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said. "If you tell him something, he'll write it down, say 'Thank you very much,' and he works on it." Hasselbeck also has seen enough in his 17-year career to understand that a good, smart quarterback doesn't win games by himself. The decline of Cutler, who played high school football in southern Indiana, is a perfect example. While Luck enters his third season under offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton and his fourth with head coach Chuck Pagano, Cutler has played for three head coaches and five offensive coordinators since joining the Bears in 2009. This year, Cutler's favorite receiver, Brandon Marshall, was dealt to the Jets, and now the Bears' projected starting receivers, Alshon Jeffery and Kevin White, are both hurt. Jeffery missed both practices in Indy this week with a strained calf. White is expected to miss a large part of the season after undergoing surgery on his shin. Without them, Cutler acknowledged the Colts' starting defense outplayed the Bears' No. 1 offense on Wednesday, and it may not get much better Saturday. "I would like to work with Alshon and Kevin, but it is what it is," Cutler said Wednesday. "We're shifting some guys in there, some guys are getting some work with the ones, and some of the threes are getting work with the twos, so it's a good thing we're seeing everybody right now." Cutler also is to blame for Chicago's struggles. His 44 turnovers over the past three seasons rank fourth in the NFL, just ahead of Luck at 43, according to STATS. And while Cutler has completed a higher percentage of passes than Luck (62.9 percent to 58.6) and thrown for nearly as many yards per attempt as his counterpart (7.0 to 7.1), Luck has thrown 20 more TD passes and won 36 games, including three in the playoffs. Cutler is 20-21 over that span and hasn't appeared in the postseason since Chicago's NFC championship game loss to Green Bay in January 2011. There's one other problem: The Bears' once feared defense allowed the two highest point totals in franchise history in 2013 and 2014, forcing Cutler to play catch-up much of the time. That's not a winning recipe for any quarterback. Meanwhile, the Colts understand they're fortunate to have gotten Luck, who has made people forget about those bad initial impressions. "If I had to pick one thing that's different, I'd say his voice in the locker room," Hasselbeck said. "He's a lot more confident since I've been here. He's always been good, but he's really comfortable with it now." NOTES: Jeffery, cornerback Tracy Porter, offensive lineman Jason Weaver, running back Daniel Thomas and tight end Chris Pantale all missed practice with injuries. Linebacker Jared Allen was given an extra day off for Chicago. ... Three other Bears — linebacker Pernell McPhee (knee), defensive lineman Brandon Dunn (quad) and offensive lineman Jordan Mills (calf) — all left practice early. ___ Online: AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and AP NFL Twitter feed: www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
Aug 19, 2015
Jonathan Marshall – a 6-foot-3, 250-pounder from Shepherd High School in Texas – flipped his pledge from TCU to the Cowboys on Wednesday.
OSU football notebook: Cowboys gain another defensive end commit
BY JOHN HELSLEY AND KYLE FREDRICKSON | Aug 19, 2015Oklahoma State received its second 2016 defensive end commitment in two days after Jonathan Marshall – a 6-foot-3, 250-pounder from Shepherd High School in Texas – flipped his pledge from TCU to the Cowboys on Wednesday. Marshall is a football, basketball and track standout at Shepherd, about 60 miles northeast of Houston. He attended a June football camp in Stillwater, according to GoPokes.com, and totaled 71 tackles (17 for loss), 10 sacks and five forced fumbles last season. News broke via Twitter, with OSU coaches Mike Gundy and Joe Bob Clements both issuing “Pistols Firing” from Shepherd, Texas, tweets Wednesday morning. “I had discussed it with my family and we decided that Oklahoma State was the best place for me to go,” Marshall told GoPokes.com later in the day. Scout ranks Marshall as a four-star prospect. On Tuesday, the Cowboys landed a commitment from Tramal Ivy, a former Muskogee High star who is now at Butler Community College in Kansas. Marshall is the Cowboys' 14th pledge of the 2016 class and the second defensive lineman, joining Ivy. QUOTABLE Cowboys offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich on the competition at receiver: “Ever since I stepped foot on campus here, it’s been good. It’s fun to have talented guys battling for positions and playing time. It keeps them on their A game. It’s fun to be a part of that. I know our quarterbacks enjoy it, because those guys are running crisp hard routes. Competition brings out the best in all of us.” HAMMERSCHMIDT PUTS SAFETIES ON NOTICE OSU safeties coach Dan Hammerschmidt expects Central Michigan to pound the running game in the road opener Sept. 3, despite the potential for change under a new head coach. That puts Hammerschmidt’s safeties in the crosshairs. “We have to be physical, especially in that first game,” Hammerschmidt said. “They’re going to come out hard if they do what they did last year. In smash-mouth football, if you’re a safety or linebacker, you’ve got to be able to taken on a block, come off a block and make a tackle. “We’re going to make plays on balls and things like that when it’s time, but people are going to check out the run game first. That’s where it starts. Stopping the run game, being physical, knocking balls out and make tackles is where it all starts. “It’ll end there, too.” The Chippewas averaged for 155.2 rushing yards per game in 2014, which ranked seventh in the Mid-American Conference. They lost leading rusher Thomas Rawls and his 1,103 yards — 122.6 per game. And there’s been talk of leaning on talented passer Cooper Rush in a more up-tempo scheme. Still, Central Michigan returns promising backs Devon Spalding and Martez Walker, along with Rimington Trophy candidate Nick Beamish at center and Ramadan Ahmeti at left tackle, a pair of senior linemen entering their third seasons as starters. Junior free safety Jordan Sterns led the Cowboys in tackles a year ago, developing a reputation as a hard-hitter and enforcer for the secondary. Sophomore Tre Flowers started six games at strong safety, while sophomores Jerel Morrow and Dylan Harding are in the mix, along with junior Deric Robertson, while true freshman Kenneth McGruder is pressing for a role. “We’re athletic in the secondary, but we’re still fairly inexperienced,” Hammerschmidt said. “We’ve got a couple of guys that have played… we’ve got talent. But we’ve just got to learn how to play and how to be physical.”
Aug 18, 2015
Benton O’Neal is a 1958 OU letterman whose brothers, Jay and Pat, also played football for Bud Wilkinson. Benton O’Neal emails me from time to time, reminiscing about the old days. I find his stories fascinating and revealing. Here’s his latest: “After spring practice each year, Coach Wilkinson would schedule a one-on-one individual meeting with each sophomore, junior and senior returning for...
Did Bud Wilkinson cut players from the team?
Berry Tramel | Aug 18, 2015[img width="" height="" style="" render="w620"]3777715[/img] Benton O’Neal is a 1958 OU letterman whose brothers, Jay and Pat, also played football for Bud Wilkinson. Benton O’Neal emails me from time to time, reminiscing about the old days. I find his stories fascinating and revealing. Here’s his latest: “After spring practice each year, Coach Wilkinson would schedule a one-on-one individual meeting with each sophomore, junior and senior returning for the next fall. It was an intense meeting. If in his estimation you were not the caliber of player he was looking for at OU, he would tell you that and you were not invited back to the team next fall. If those not invited back were a scholarship player, he (Wilkinson) would offer them to keep it and complete their degree. Some did; however, most opted to transfer to Division II, NAIA, etc. Word would get around to the ones invited back and they were heartless to the non-invitees by playing some sad song about them losing their saddle. “He (Wilkinson) would point out to the players invited back for fall practice, which was about 65 to 70, to work on their weaknesses during the summer. New freshmen were not eligible for the varsity team. Bud knew through injuries, flunkouts, dropouts and normal matriculation that number would drop down to about 55 to 60 sophomores, juniors and seniors after two-a-day practices. Out this group he would put together five teams capable of playing offense, defense and special teams being five deep at all positions. That meant five deep at right end, right tackle, right guard, center, left guard, left tackle, left end, quarterback, right halfback, left halfback and fullback. “Coach Wilkinson was opposed to changing the rules back to single platoon football in the early ‘50s. So, he decided if that was the new rules, he would put together two teams of fairly equal ability of both offense and defense to keep fresh teams on the field. Other teams tried to beat you with their best 11 players and not substitute as often as OU did. That's how OU won 47 games in a row.” Lots of good information there. First, the 21st-century trend of cutting players is not so new. According to O’Neal’s take on Wilkinson’s method, the prime difference is scholarship retention, but with a twist. Some negative peer pressure. Not necessarily to be gone, but to be shamed. Which often is the same. Some modern coaches readily admit to running off players. Some don’t do it but do admit to telling players they won’t play. As for the single-platoon stuff, college football established substitution rules in the early days, went away from them after World War II and returned to single-platoon football in 1954. Basically, players who left the field couldn’t return until the end of the quarter. That style of play remained until 1964. It led to great two-way players, like Billy Vessels and Clendon Thomas and Jerry Tubbs at OU. Centers were usually linebackers, quarterbacks were safeties, etc. O’Neal is right. Wilkinson used his second unit extensively. And it indeed paid off.
Aug 18, 2015
Mayfield recently talked about his performance in Saturday’s scrimmage, the importance of scrimmages for quarterbacks and the quarterback race in a Q&A with The Oklahoman.
OU football: Baker Mayfield sticking to the basics in quarterback competition
By Ryan Aber | Aug 18, 2015NORMAN — Oklahoma offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley said that the three quarterbacks in the mix to be the starter for the Sooners — Baker Mayfield, Trevor Knight and Cody Thomas — were making it difficult on him and the rest of the coaching staff to decide on a starter. The frontrunner in the spring appeared to be Texas Tech transfer Baker Mayfield, who ran the Air Raid both in high school at Lake Travis (Texas) and in his freshman season with the Red Raiders. Mayfield suffered from some shoulder fatigue during the summer but has been fully cleared since the start of camp. While Mayfield doesn’t appear to be the prohibitive favorite that he once was, especially with Thomas’ recent surge. Mayfield recently talked about his performance in Saturday’s scrimmage, the importance of scrimmages for quarterbacks and the quarterback race in a Q&A with The Oklahoman. Q: How was the scrimmage Saturday? A: It was pretty good. As an offense as a whole, we jumped out to a good early start and got after ’em. We scored on all three drives. We had a few bumps here and there. Other than that, we focused on erasing all of the mental errors and all of the minor stuff that we can fix before the play. I thought we did a pretty good job as an offense as a whole. How did you do? I did pretty good. I was happy with my performance. I’ve still got to get better here and there. I felt like I did pretty good. You struggled with decision-making at times at Texas Tech and in the spring. Has that been getting better for you and how did it go in that regard Saturday? I’m just sticking to the basics fundamentally, dropping the ball down, giving it to the guys. When it’s open, take it but not try to force too much stuff. I feel like the whole offense — all three of us, Cody, Trevor — we did a great job of getting the ball into other people’s hands. It showed on Saturday with the offense making some explosive plays. You get the ball in their hands and it works out for you. How big are scrimmages for quarterbacks? You can't make too much of it but it’s the first game-like situation you get to go in. That’s what you should base your quarterback play off — how his team responds when he’s in there, how they’re scoring, are they getting touchdowns, are they getting field goals, are they going three and out. You can judge a performance off that. But either way, it’s still a scrimmage. We’re still playing each other. We’ve seen each other’s plays the whole two-a-days. We’re ready to go out and see somebody else. Are you to a point where you’d like to know whether you’re going to be starting? I’m still working on my stuff. At this point I don’t think it matters to any of us. We’re still trying to work on our stuff individually to get better. Obviously we’d probably like to know but it doesn’t really matter when it comes down to it. Lincoln Riley has said the race is too close to call. Is that the sense you get? I really have no idea. I’m not too worried about it. … He’s telling us not to do too much. We don’t need to make too many big plays or look spectacular to win the job. Stick to the basics, do what you can and control what you can control when it comes down to it. And then you’ll be able to win.
Aug 14, 2015
Through one week of practice this season, Daniel and his teammates have spent less time on their bellies and more time executing the defense properly.
High school football: Defense could help Mustang take the next step
BY SCOTT WRIGHT | Aug 14, 2015MUSTANG — Mustang senior linebacker Cole Daniel remembers all the up-downs. With every mistake the Bronco defense made in practice came another round — down to their bellies, then back up to their feet. Then again. And again. Two seasons ago, the Mustang defense went through the learning process of new defensive coordinator Mark Yates’ scheme. Last year, there was more learning to be done, and more up-downs with it. But through one week of practice this season, Daniel and his teammates have spent less time on their bellies and more time executing the defense properly. “The last couple years, we were messing up a lot. Lots of up-downs and Coach Yates getting angry,” said Daniel, one of two returning linebackers along with Kaden Truelove. “But this year, everything’s clicking for the most part. Not so many mistakes. We’re just fixing the little things.” That could be the biggest difference for Mustang, which seeks to make another run at the Class 6A Division I state championship this fall. The Broncos reached the semifinals last season and return some central pieces on offense, built around third-year starting quarterback Chandler Garrett, a Wyoming commit. The offense was sharp most of the season, but the defense had to fight through some tough spots, allowing 27 or more points in seven of their 12 games, including all four losses. Yet the Bronco defense is built around a senior core, with several players who are starting for the third season under Yates — Jeremy Dombek’s defensive coordinator at Edmond North who came with him to Mustang when Dombek was hired in 2013. “We struggled covering the pass last year with some guys who were inexperienced, but they came back a lot more mature and a lot more coachable this year,” said senior safety Kiante Miles, one of three returning defensive backs. “We had to learn Coach Yates’ defense, but this being my third year, I feel like I could coach it now.” The defensive line has the least experience returning, with only Deontre Thomas on the three-man front. But Thomas, a 6-foot-2, 260-pound junior, is in his third year in the rotation. “The new guys will be ready,” Thomas said. “Our coaches demand perfection, and that’s what we’re gonna give ‘em. Our defense is mean. We’re tough, and we’ll be ready.”
Aug 10, 2015
NORMAN — Two seasons ago, Bob Stoops wasn’t quite sure what he had at quarterback entering the season, even after Trevor Knight beat out Blake Bell for the starting spot. The Sooners were moving to a zone-read offense and all of the drills and 7-on-7 work in the world wasn’t going to clear up what one game would. “Until it starts yeah, it’s a little bit of an unknown, definitely,” Stoops said...
Offense an unknown commodity for Oklahoma football
By Ryan Aber | Aug 10, 2015NORMAN — Two seasons ago, Bob Stoops wasn’t quite sure what he had at quarterback entering the season, even after Trevor Knight beat out Blake Bell for the starting spot. The Sooners were moving to a zone-read offense and all of the drills and 7-on-7 work in the world wasn’t going to clear up what one game would. “Until it starts yeah, it’s a little bit of an unknown, definitely,” Stoops said in the leadup to the 2013 season opener. While the zone read depends on reading the defensive end and taking hits, the Air Raid — the system new offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley is bringing back to Norman — relies on making quick decisions based on the coverage, making quick throws and trusting the receivers to make plays. The Sooners’ new offense allows for plenty of progress for quarterbacks during the offseason. “I think so,” Riley said. “Instincts and a trust to where they are so committed to what we are doing that they can do it no matter the situation, no matter who we are playing against. That year one, that trust is so huge. If we can get them to trust it in the critical situations, then I think they have a chance to play pretty well.” That element of the Air Raid could level the playing field a bit when it comes to the quarterback battle. While Texas Tech transfer Baker Mayfield has experience with the offense both with the Red Raiders and in high school, Knight and Cody Thomas have been able to make strides even before practices officially began last week. “With all of them, you can tell they’re more comfortable with their reads and where everyone is at,” Stoops said. “You can tell they did a lot of really good work all summer with their pass skeleton situations, their route-running with their receivers. You can tell they’re quicker and more comfortable with their looking and their spacing for their routes.” But just because the other two might’ve had longer to come in the offseason with the Air Raid, Mayfield had plenty of growing to do himself. “That’s stuff that you learn about the players and what defense want to run those pass plays into,” Mayfield said. “You learn what guys will go up and make a play for you. You gain trust with them so it’s pretty important.” The concern under this offense hasn’t been as much on what the quarterbacks can do once the season starts and the hits start coming for real but on keeping the quarterbacks’ arms healthy until the season starts. Both Mayfield and Thomas have dealt with some shoulder fatigue over the summer. “We have our guys on a pitch count every day,” Riley said. “Not a certain number, but it’s something that we monitor. To a point, everybody’s different. That’s something we started charting a long, long time ago. It’s something that was probably charted before I did it. We did it at Texas Tech. “Camp is a grueling time for their arms and there’s always time to bring them back. We’ll do that before we play.”
Aug 8, 2015
Westbrook could carry plenty of burden in Oklahoma’s new-look Air Raid offense. The top junior college wide receiver in the country a year ago, the junior is expected to complement Sterling Shepard at wide receiver.
OU football: Receiver Dede Westbrook balances being a dad with football
By Ryan Aber Staff Writer email@example.com | Aug 8, 2015NORMAN — Dede Westbrook looked around the room in upper deck of the east side of Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on Saturday and smiled. Wearing a crisp Oklahoma jersey and surrounded by his new Sooners teammates and swarms of reporters, Westbrook was at ease. It’s a long way from the driveway in Cameron, Texas, where he started making the decisions that eventually led him to Norman. “It seems like just yesterday I was sitting in the driveway talking to some of my family and friends like, 'A university’s a long way away and not only that but the NFL is a long way away too.'” Westbrook could carry plenty of burden in Oklahoma’s new-look Air Raid offense. The top junior college wide receiver in the country a year ago, the junior is expected to complement Sterling Shepard at wide receiver. But it’s nothing like the burden he carries around to take care of his family. After a successful freshman season at Blinn College in Brenham, Texas, Westbrook took a season off. Academic issues, he said, led to the decision. “At that point in my life I really didn’t know what I wanted to do or if I wanted to further my football career,” Westbrook said. “I went home and had a long talk with family and friends and they told me that’s where I needed to be just for my love of the game. “My beautiful children and my family are looking up to me and looking to me to provide for them and their future. That was my best choice to get back into it.” Keith Thomas understood where he was coming from. Thomas, who played at Oklahoma in the mid-70s and was an assistant coach for the Sooners under John Blake, had been at Blinn in other roles before taking over as head coach last season. “Dede had two kids and he’s going to do everything right for them because he’s a good daddy,” Thomas said. “So he told me the only days he gets them is on Tuesdays and Thursdays and he was going to have to miss practice.” So Thomas arranged for Westbrook’s children — daughter Destiny and son Vincent — to come out to practice during the days they were around. Blinn trainers would spend time with the kids during practice and then afterward they’d pile in Dede’s Lincoln and head home. Thomas said during his time around Westbrook that he never saw the receiver get hit hard. “He’s got a burst of speed that just not too many kids have,” said Rick Rhoades, Westbrook’s head coach at Cameron Yoe High School. “He’s got the ability to go up and get a ball that some kids can never do. He’s just an exceptional athlete.” Westbrook said his speed and elusiveness was built at his grandmother’s house in Ben Arnold, Texas, a tiny unincorporated town just north of Cameron and located virtually right in the middle of Austin, College Station and Waco. The game Westbrook played with his cousins and friends helped develop the ability to slip around obstacles. “When I was younger, we used to have rock wars,” Westbrook said. “We used to just throw rocks at one another. From that point, you’ve got to find different ways to shimmy or just move around the rocks or get hit. I guess that had a lot to do with it.” Saturday morning, Westbrook got a surprise at Meet the Sooners day when he looked up to sign the next autograph in line and Destiny, who is 3, and Vincent, who just turned 4, were waiting on him. He’s still getting acclimated to not seeing them as much since they remain in Texas. “Those are the sacrifices that you’ve got to make as a parent so that in the near future they can have anything that they want or anything that they’re promised,” Westbrook said. “Coach (Bob) Stoops is a family man and he understands my situation and where I am so if anything ever comes up or were to come about, he’s OK to let me go and be with my family.” For now, he’s focused on having a strong season at Oklahoma to help lift the Sooners and give him a chance to provide as a father. “He has a tremendous future,” Jarrod Smith, Westbrook’s wide receiver coach in high school, said. “I think Sooner fans are going to love him and I think fans of other schools in the Big 12 are going to wish that he had gone to their school. “He’ll quickly become a fan favorite, not just because of his athletic ability but because he’s a great kid.”
Aug 6, 2015
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — On every team that Will Shields played, from high school in Oklahoma to college at Nebraska to the NFL with the Kansas City Chiefs, there was always someone better than him.More talented. More athletic. More important.But when he's asked to identify those players, the affable Shields runs into a flaw in his case. Most of the names he mentions never played 14 seasons in...
Will Shields latest Chiefs lineman to enter Hall of Fame
By DAVE SKRETTA, Associated Press | Aug 6, 2015KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — On every team that Will Shields played, from high school in Oklahoma to college at Nebraska to the NFL with the Kansas City Chiefs, there was always someone better than him. More talented. More athletic. More important. But when he's asked to identify those players, the affable Shields runs into a flaw in his case. Most of the names he mentions never played 14 seasons in the NFL, or made 12 consecutive Pro Bowls, or paved the way for one of the best offenses in Chiefs history. None of them is going into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, either. "In high school, we had five or six athletes beyond compare," Shields told The Associated Press. "I was limited where I could go to college. I had four choices and that was kind of it. Then we had such great players at Nebraska, and everybody could play on the Chiefs." At least that much is beyond dispute. When he was chosen by Kansas City in the third round of the 1993 draft, Shields joined a team that included an eventual Hall of Fame quarterback in Joe Montana, a pass rusher in Derrick Thomas and running back in Marcus Allen. Over the years, he'd play with more Hall of Famers — Warren Moon spent time with the Chiefs, as did offensive lineman Willie Roaf. "Head coaches would say, 'Hey, you keep playing the way you are, you could get into the Hall of Fame,'" Shields said. "But Canton wasn't really in my mind for a goal. For me, it was the day in, day out. I couldn't look that far ahead. I was more or less worried about practice that day, or getting ready for the game that week." Each and every week. The only game Shields did not start was his first as a rookie, followed by a string of 231 appearances. During that time, Shields pried open running lanes for Allen, Priest Holmes and Larry Johnson. He established a pocket for Montana, Moon and Trent Green. He played for coaches that included Marty Schottenheimer, Dick Vermeil and Herm Edwards. But for all that talent, the Chiefs continually fell short in the playoffs. To this day, they have not won a postseason game since 1993, the year Shields was drafted. It remains among his biggest regrets in a career with precious few of them. "I think I was pretty much ready," Shields said of his retirement in 2006. "I knew at that point the team was going to go young. I wanted an opportunity to play in a Super Bowl, and win a Super Bowl, but at that point I had to make the best decision for me and my body, and at that point it was time to move on. Nowadays, I think, 'Man, if I could just get a couple more plays.'" He is speaking in jest, of course. Shields never thought twice about hanging up his pads, just like he never thought twice about playing for another team. In an era in which players rarely stick around more than a few years, Shields spent his entire career in Kansas City. "When we draft a player, we hope they can become a contributing member of the franchise," said Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt, whose late father Lamar founded the team. "But to have somebody like Will make it to the Hall of Fame, they have clearly reached the pinnacle." When asked for a favorite memory of Shields, perhaps a notable play or game, Hunt steers the conversation in another direction. In 2003, Shields received the Walter Payton Man of the Year award in recognition of his play on the field and his charity work off it. "I think that ties it all together so well," Hunt said. Shields remains active in the Kansas City community these days. Along with serving on a bank board of directors, he owns and operates a training facility called 68 Inside Sports and spends time on his "Will to Succeed Foundation," which targets literacy and scholarship, seeks to foster creativity, and helps agencies that cater to abused and neglected women and children. "For me, being able to say, 'Hey, I played a professional sport and made a living out of it,' that to me is icing on the cake. The end-all, be-all," Shields said. "I got a chance to play a game I played as a little kid. I got to play it as an adult. You can't ask for more." ___ AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
Aug 5, 2015
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. (AP) — As Saints quarterback Drew Brees rolled away from pressure, Mark Ingram raced out of the backfield and toward the left sideline, where he nimbly made a tough, twisting catch on a throw over his back shoulder.His father, former NFL receiver Mark Ingram Sr., might have enjoyed that play, even if it was only in training camp. The younger Ingram, now entering his...
Saints' Ingram angling for expanded role in passing game
By BRETT MARTEL, Associated Press | Aug 5, 2015WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. (AP) — As Saints quarterback Drew Brees rolled away from pressure, Mark Ingram raced out of the backfield and toward the left sideline, where he nimbly made a tough, twisting catch on a throw over his back shoulder. His father, former NFL receiver Mark Ingram Sr., might have enjoyed that play, even if it was only in training camp. The younger Ingram, now entering his fifth NFL season, hopes he'll be able to show off more of his receiving pedigree when it matters. "I've always wanted to do that since my first day here. I've always believed in myself that I could contribute in the passing game, coming out of the backfield, running routes," Ingram said after practice Wednesday. "I'm looking forward to that, hopefully expanding that role." Given some personnel changes in New Orleans this offseason, Ingram could get his wish. The Saints released Pierre Thomas, among the club's most productive receivers out of the backfield, particularly on screen passes. Last season, Thomas led all Saints running backs — and was fifth on the club overall — with 45 receptions for 378 yards. Ingram, whose maiden Pro Bowl nod came largely because of his 964 yards rushing, was third in receiving among Saints running backs last season with 29 catches for 145 yards. During 11-on-11 drills in full pads Wednesday, Ingram caught a couple passes from Brees and another from backup Ryan Griffin. Sean Payton said it's difficult to discern a resemblance between the way the younger Ingram catches the ball and how his father did it, largely because they've played different positions. Yet Payton stressed, "Mark has that versatility, though, where we feel like he absolutely is someone who can help us not only in the running game but in the passing game." Fellow Saints running back C.J. Spiller, acquired this offseason, also is expected to be involved in the passing game, an area in which he thrived in Buffalo. Still, Ingram believes he has the tools — even the resume tape — to push for more opportunities as well. When Ingram was young, his father worked with him on his receiving skills and technique, and the younger Ingram played receiver in high school in Michigan. After Ingram converted to running back at Alabama, he became the vaunted football program's first Heisman Trophy winner partly because of his ability to turn short passes into sizeable gains. Ingram is quick to point out that one of his favorite highlights of his college career came on a screen pass, in the second quarter of the 2009 SEC championship game. After catching the pass at Alabama's 25, Ingram accelerated rapidly, splitting two Florida tacklers at the 40, then cutting behind a block as he scampered across midfield. He slipped one more tackler before being pushed out of bounds at the Gators 3-yard line. He finished that season with 32 catches for 334 yards and three TDs receiving. In a 2010 game against Mississippi State, Ingram lined up wide on the right side, caught a bubble screen as he cut inside of a block by Julio Jones, and raced away from pursuers for an 80-yard score. "I've been doing it," Ingram said of his ability to make plays as a receiver. "I've just been waiting on my opportunity where I can do it here." Notes: Safety Jairus Byrd, trying to come back from knee surgery that sidelined him most of last season, remained absent with an undisclosed ailment that has sidelined him all six days of practice at training camp. "He is progressing well," Payton said. "I think sooner than later we are going to get a chance to see him, and at the same time we are going to be smart." Asked if Byrd's absence related to the safety's surgically repaired knee, Payton said, "Next question." ... Other absences from the padded practice session included inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe, outside linebacker Anthony Spencer and tight end Josh Hill. Cornerback Keenan Lewis left during practice, as did receiver Brandon Coleman. Payton generally declines to discuss injuries during preseason, when the NFL does not require injury reports. ___ AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
Aug 4, 2015
NORMAN — Oklahoma begins fall practices on Thursday with tons of questions surrounding multiple position groups and the overall state of the program. OU is unlikely to release any kind of official depth chart until the week of the first game, which won’t come for another month. So this feels like as good a time as any to post a projected — key word, projected — 2015 depth chart entering fall...
OU football: Projecting the 2015 depth chart entering fall camp
Jason Kersey | Aug 4, 2015[img width="" height="" style="" render="w620"]3757770[/img] NORMAN — Oklahoma begins fall practices on Thursday with tons of questions surrounding multiple position groups and the overall state of the program. OU is unlikely to release any kind of official depth chart until the week of the first game, which won’t come for another month. So this feels like as good a time as any to post a projected — key word, projected — 2015 depth chart entering fall camp. Below the depth chart, I've added some various thoughts on how I came to some of these decisions. QBNo.; Name; Cl.; Ht.; Wt.6; Baker Mayfield; Jr.; 6-2; 214 9; Trevor Knight; Jr.; 6-1; 206 14; Cody Thomas; So.; 6-4; 211 RB32; Samaje Perine; So.; 5-11; 237 28; Alex Ross; Jr.; 6-1; 220 25; Joe Mixon; RFr.; 6-2; 217 FB 36; Dimitri Flowers; So.; 6-1; 242 WR11; Dede Westbrook; Jr.; 6-1; 167 15; Jeffery Mead; So.; 6-6; 189 WR5; Durron Neal; Sr.; 5-11; 195 19; Dallis Todd; RFr.; 6-5; 201 WR3; Sterling Shepard; Sr.; 5-10; 191 2; Michiah Quick; So.; 6-0; 186 TE81; Mark Andrews; RFr.; 6-6; 247 45; Carson Meier; RFr.; 6-6; 244 LT72; Derek Farniok; Sr.; 6-9; 345 73; Kenyon Frison; RFr.; 6-6; 289 LG52; Jamal Danley; Jr.; 6-5; 301 75; Cody Ford; Fr.; 6-4; 322 C56; Ty Darlington; Sr.; 6-3; 299 68; Jonathan Alvarez; So.; 6-3; 310 RG54; Nila Kasitati; Sr.; 6-4; 315 63; Alex Dalton; RFr.; 6-4; 297 RT55; Josiah St. John; Sr.; 6-6; 309 78; Orlando Brown; RFr.; 6-8; 355 DE90; Matt Dimon; Jr.; 6-2; 274 87; D.J. Ward; RFr.; 6-2; 251 DT92; Matthew Romar; So.; 6-0; 294 93; Jordan Wade; Jr.; 6-4; 305 DE91; Charles Tapper; Sr.; 6-4; 283 97; Charles Walker; So.; 6-2; 299 OLB5; Devante Bond; Sr.; 6-1; 236 22: Ricky DeBerry; Fr.; 6-2; 240 ILB42; Dominique Alexander; Jr.; 6-0; 229 9; Tay Evans; RFr.; 6-2; 235 40; P.L. Lindley; Sr.; 6-2; 267 ILB26; Jordan Evans; Jr.; 6-3; 242 20; Frank Shannon; Sr.; 6-1; 238 18; Curtis Bolton; RFr.; 6-2; 229 OLB19; Eric Striker; Sr.; 6-0; 223 82; Ogbonnia Okoronkwo; So.; 6-1; 237 NB12; Will Johnson; So.; 6-0; 179 8; Kahlil Haughton; Fr.; 6-1; 178 CB15; Zack Sanchez; Jr.; 5-11; 175 27; Dakota Austin; Jr.; 5-11; 160 FS11; Steven Parker; So.; 6-1; 201 21; Will Sunderland; Fr.; 6-2; 186 SS13; Ahmad Thomas; Jr.; 6-0; 218 4; Hatari Byrd; Jr.; 6-1; 206 CB7; Jordan Thomas; So.; 6-1; 194 12; Will Johnson; So.; 6-0; 179 P38; Jack Steed; Jr.; 6-5; 209 PK43; Austin Seibert; Fr.; 5-10; 195 KOS39; Nick Hodgson; Sr.; 6-2; 198 H84; Grant Bothun; Jr.; 5-11; 189 LS42; Wesley Horky; So.; 6-2; 226 KR28; Alex Ross; Jr.; 6-1; 220 5; Durron Neal; Sr.; 5-11; 195 PR3; Sterling Shepard; Sr.; 5-10; 191 11; Dede Westbrook; Jr.; 6-1; 167 Now, some thoughts on a few key position groups: Quarterbacks: The most important position for any football team, and Oklahoma is obviously no exception. Trevor Knight is the incumbent starter, but based on his inconsistent performances last season and what I heard about Baker Mayfield’s spring — not to mention his superior showing in the Red-White Game — I’m going with Mayfield for now. Bob Stoops said at Big 12 Media Days last month that the battle was ongoing between Mayfield and Knight and that Cody Thomas was “right on their heels.” Receivers: Sterling Shepard, Durron Neal and Dede Westbrook are the safe bets to be starters, although there could be four receivers on the field at any given time in Lincoln Riley’s offense. I probably would have listed sophomore Jordan Smallwood over Dallis Todd if not for Smallwood’s spring ACL tear that will keep him out of the first couple games. Offensive line: Right now, Derek Farniok and Josiah St. John look like the frontrunners to start at the tackle positions, replacing the always reliable Daryl Williams and Tyrus Thompson. But don’t sleep on redshirt freshmen Orlando Brown and Kenyon Frison, who some believe could be the Sooners’ next great tackle tuo eventually. Defensive line: Charles Tapper and Matt Romar are obvious starters, but beyond that, things get interesting. I only listed three DL spots on this depth chart, although the Sooners could play with a four-man front a lot this season. I like Matt Dimon to start at the end spot opposite Tapper, but look out for sophomore and former Oklahoma high school star D.J. Ward. This feels like a make-or-break season for Ward. Also keep an eye on defensive tackle Jordan Wade, who, you’ll remember, started several games two years ago but barely saw the field in 2014. In a four-man front, it would probably be Romar and Wade at the tackle spots. Secondary: I feel good listing Zack Sanchez and Jordan Thomas as the starters. Behind them is where things get interesting. Dakota Austin looked like he might compete for a starting spot last year, but didn’t see the field much. Former Tulsa East Central standout Stanvon Taylor has been a big of an enigma. He started one game early in his true freshman season two years ago, but has been passed over since then. Junior college transfer Will Johnson could play some at corner, and could also be the Sooners’ nickel. At the safety spots, I like Ahmad Thomas and Steven Parker to start, with Hatari Byrd and true freshman Will Sunderland backing them up. But let’s be honest: the starting safeties are going to be on thin ice, and all of the incoming true freshmen are going to get plenty of opportunities to play. Specialists: True freshman Austin Seibert expects to have the chance to be the field-goal kicker, the kickoff specialist and the punter, but Nick Hodgson and Jack Steed will each have something to say about that. Hodgson has been excellent on kickoffs the last couple years, so there’s no reason to believe he won’t retain that job, but he could also end up kicking field goals. The way I’ve drawn it up now, let’s put Seibert on field goals, Steed on punts and Hodgson on kickoffs. But don’t be surprised if that’s significantly different by the time the season begins. Punt returner: Shepard struggled mightily last year in his first season returning punts, but I’ll leave him as the main returner for now. Michiah Quick and Westbrook will both have opportunities as well. I wouldn’t be surprised if Westbrook is ultimately the Sooners’ punt returner.
LaMarcus Aldridge, Dez Bryant and DeAndre Jordan are all after the same thing: A world championship.Three Texans with plenty of individual accolades can all point to a team title as the ultimate goal.So which one has the best chance to win the big one?Before we get to that answer, let’s take a look at each case separately, then add up the chips when the dealing’s done.Let’s start with Aldridge,...
Austin American-Statesman Cedric Golden column
Cedric Golden, Associated Press | Jul 24, 2015LaMarcus Aldridge, Dez Bryant and DeAndre Jordan are all after the same thing: A world championship. Three Texans with plenty of individual accolades can all point to a team title as the ultimate goal. So which one has the best chance to win the big one? Before we get to that answer, let’s take a look at each case separately, then add up the chips when the dealing’s done. Let’s start with Aldridge, the former Longhorn who grew up a few basketball courts south of American Airlines Arena. Seagoville’s most famous product was easily the prized catch in the free agent sweepstakes this offseason, so much so that the Los Angeles Lakers tried to woo him with a push from Kobe and a nice marketing slogan (LA to LA). Easy decision. Shoot, Shaq is closer to making a good movie than the Lake Show is to another championship, so Aldridge turned them and six other teams down to join the San Antonio Spurs, in his mind a turn-key franchise when it comes to collecting hardware. It’s the ideal fit for the only player to average over 23 points and 10 rebounds per game over the last two seasons. How Gregg Popovich and R.C. Buford continue to convince their core players to take less money to keep the franchise in the title chase year in and year out is something to behold. Aldridge joins Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, bargain-basement-priced free agent David West, and the newest superstar Kawhi Leonard to give San Antonio sole possession of second most dangerous team in the West, next to the defending champion Golden State Warriors. Imagine Aldridge playing power forward with Duncan at center. That’s 35 points and 20 rebounds a night and we haven’t even gotten to the perimeter guys yet. Sticking with the hoops theme, let’s tackle Jordan. I’m sure Dallas owner Mark Cuban would prefer the word “strangle” after DJ reneged on an verbal agreement to sign. Jordan showed the maturity of a high school senior — what was this, national signing day? — in his handling of his free agency, but all things considered, his decision to return to the Clippers was the best he could make if we’re talking about title potential. The Mavericks weren’t going to win one with him and they’re certainly not going to win one without him in 2016. His original attraction to Dallas was the opportunity to become a franchise player after toiling as the third or fourth option with the Clippers. That said, a center who shoots 40 percent from the free throw line and is not named Shaq or Wilt won’t be leading any team anywhere. He’s best as the third option in LA, which gives him his best chance to win a title. With football season fast approaching, I saved the Dez for last. Before he got his $45 million guaranteed, Bryant’s threat to sit out the regular season put me in the mind of Emmitt Smith back in the day. The Cowboys had just won their first Jimmy-Jerry Super Bowl in 1992, and Emmitt led the league with 1,713 yards, but did it at a salary of $465,000, well south of the $1.8 million Barry Sanders pulled in that year. So Emmitt held out and Jerry held firm, that is, until the Cowboys started 0-2 with Derrick Lassic at running back. Emmitt eventually got his money, rushed for more than 1,500 yards in just 14 games, and the Cowboys became the first team to open the season with two straight losses and win a Super Bowl. Jerrah didn’t want to go through that sort of thing again. Bryant is the best player on this team and a top-five player at his position, right there with Calvin Johnson, Demaryius Thomas, Julio Jones and Antonio Brown. His three-year average of 91 catches for 1,311 yards and 13 touchdowns is proof enough. So which Texan will be wearing a title ring at season’s end? I love Dez, but Dallas’ problems at running back have cooled me on the thought of them having a better chance to win a Super Bowl than the Spurs do at winning the NBA Finals. Jordan going back to the Clippers still doesn’t guarantee them getting out of the West. That leaves me with Aldridge. His new team may be a little long in the tooth, but it’s built to win now. Aldridge is the missing piece and the Spurs will be in the mix for title number six. ——— ©2015 Austin American-Statesman, Texas Visit Austin American-Statesman, Texas at www.statesman.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. _____ Topics: g000222672,g000065627,g000362661,g000066164
Jul 17, 2015
IRVING, Texas (AP) — Sarah Thomas shared hugs and idle chatter at her first preseason clinic since the NFL made her the first full-time female on-field official.All of her colleagues were doing the same thing Friday in what amounts to the unofficial end of their offseason. The pharmaceutical representative and mother of three was just another one of the guys, which is how she hopes coaches and...
NFL's first full-time female official low-key as debut nears
By SCHUYLER DIXON, Associated Press | Jul 17, 2015IRVING, Texas (AP) — Sarah Thomas shared hugs and idle chatter at her first preseason clinic since the NFL made her the first full-time female on-field official. All of her colleagues were doing the same thing Friday in what amounts to the unofficial end of their offseason. The pharmaceutical representative and mother of three was just another one of the guys, which is how she hopes coaches and players see her when the regular season starts in two months. "I know it may be new for some, but I think being a part of the developmental program and going that way, maybe they'll see me just as an official," Thomas said. "That's how I want them to see me." The 41-year-old Thomas won't be the first woman to call a regular-season game. That was Shannon Eastin in 2012 when the NFL used replacement officials during a labor dispute. But she will be the first one getting a full season — and a lot of attention along the way. "I certainly wouldn't want that attention," said a chuckling Aaron Santi, one of nine other first-year officials likely to get that wish. "It's going to be tougher for her. She's going to be under the microscope a little more because the reality is this is a really difficult job and we all make mistakes. Hopefully the fans and the public and the media will allow her to make mistakes and not treat her with a different standard than anyone else." Thomas, who will be a line judge in 2015, is already the first female official in major college football, and the first to work a bowl game. She's been in the NFL's development program for two years, so she has done training camps and preseason games. As for the novelty of being an NFL regular, long-time referee Ed Hochuli says that will wear off fast. "It'll be a big deal for the first few games," Hochuli said. "Then it will go away. And then it's a matter of are you right or wrong in your calls and you're just another official out there and you get treated the same." Thomas, who grew up and still lives in Mississippi, recalled the story of her first game as an official, when she was asked to be the clock operator and told one of her mentors that she didn't even know where the clock was. Thomas was a basketball player in high school and college and never worried about finding the clock. "So he said, 'Well, we can train monkeys to do the clock, and we're just short of them tonight, so it's your job,'" Thomas said. "That's how I got introduced." Thomas said not much has changed since the NFL hired her three months ago — "working out and rules study, film review, talking to mentors that I have. Same thing." And she won't be expecting players to treat her any differently. "They just want the job to be done and be done consistently," Thomas said. "Done right." Referee Walt Coleman, getting ready for his 27th season, has another view of Thomas as one of the guys: her career path. "They work their way up," he said. "They work junior high. They work high school. They work college football. And so when they get the opportunity to work in the NFL, they're working with the best officials in the world." And that means she can expect the fans to hate her the same way they do every guy around her. "I can tell you, when you get out there, with all those guys in those striped shirts, and everybody's going to be after us," said Coleman, whose son Walt Coleman IV is among the first-year officials. "And it's going to be the same way for Walter and Sarah or whoever it is. Once that game starts, it's going to be back to the same old football." And Thomas is ready. For the grief. For the second-guessing. For the attention. "The spotlight is what it is and being a first, I know that's the reason this is," she said. "I get it. It just comes with the territory. So no big deal." She's used to it.
Jul 16, 2015
The school board of Jay, Oklahoma, approved a plan to establish a life-size bronze bust of heavyweight champion Tommy “The Duke” Morrison on the school’s campus.
Jay school officials approve plan for statue honoring late boxer
By Sheila Stogsdill For The Oklahoman | Jul 16, 2015JAY — The Jay School Board unanimously approved a proposal to establish a life-size bronze bust of heavyweight champion Tommy “The Duke” Morrison on the school’s campus. Jim Roach, American Boxing Association president, briefly addressed the five-member board Tuesday saying that a larger percentage of money raised through the Tommy Morrison 8-man boxing tournament would be earmarked for scholastic endeavors. “I think this wonderful,” said Trisha Morrison, Morrison’s widow, in a telephone interview after the vote. About 50 people attended the regular school board meeting. Superintendent Charles Thomas recommended approving the monument with the stipulation that all legal arrangements will be reviewed and approved by the school’s attorney. Thomas said earlier the best interest of the school and the community would be a top priority of the school board when they make their decision. “It (the board’s approval) means a lot to me,” said Kenzie Morrison, Morrison’s son. Morrison said “he and his brother are extremely proud of their dad and honored that the bust was even considered. “Everyone knows where Dad came from and what he accomplished,” Morrison said. “It’s in our hearts — I'm from Jay myself.” “This means a lot,” said Trey Lippe-Morrison, another son. “He deserves it,” referring to the elder Morrison. For what Tommy Morrison accomplished — it a “good way to honor his memory,” Lippe-Morrison said. Both sons are undefeated heavyweights and bear a strong resemblance to their father. The bust will be more than 36-inches tall and will weigh about 100 pounds. Some of Morrison’s ashes will be encased in one of the boxing gloves. The $12,000 monument tab will be picked up by the association and unveiled at the Tommy Morrison 8-man boxing tournament, set for Jan. 2. That date is also Morrison’s birthday. Morrison, also a football standout, graduated from Jay High School in 1988. “Tommy was a tremendous athlete,” Roach said in an earlier interview. Morrison's legacy The young boxer who was just few years removed from the quite rural community of Jay shot to fame at the top of the boxing world with its bright lights and trappings. Morrison’s had a 48-3-1 record, knocking out 43 opponents and won a unanimous decision against George Foreman for the WBO Heavyweight Championship in 1993. His boxing reputation landed him a role as “Tommy Gunn” in the 1990 film "Rocky V" with Sylvester Stallone. Morrison had his run-ins with the law on weapon and drug violations. In 1996, the Nevada Athletic Commission suspended Morrison after he tested positive for HIV. Morrison later disputed the test results saying additional tests showed no virus, said his widow. “He went through rehab,” she said. “He turned himself around in the last part of his life.” Medical tests from other physicians and medical institutions revealed Morrison did not have HIV, she said. Morrison died Sept. 1, 2013, at age 44 from cardiac arrest, multiple organ failure, septic shock and pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Jul 2, 2015
The Texas Tech transfer who sat out last season is suffering from shoulder fatigue but does not have structural damage to his throwing shoulder, a source close to the program told The Oklahoman. Mayfield’s soreness is due to “simply throwing too many reps,” the source said.
Oklahoma football: Quarterback Baker Mayfield has shoulder fatigue
BY RYAN ABER | Jul 2, 2015NORMAN — Baker Mayfield might be Oklahoma’s starting quarterback when the season rolls around in September. But in July, Mayfield won’t be throwing much. The Texas Tech transfer who sat out last season is suffering from shoulder fatigue but does not have structural damage to his throwing shoulder, a source close to the program told The Oklahoman. Mayfield’s soreness is due to “simply throwing too many reps,” the source said. With Justice Hansen transferring, the Sooners have just three quarterbacks on campus now —Mayfield, Trevor Knight and Cody Thomas. With a large group of wide receivers, each quarterback has been throwing more than they would during the regular season as the team works out four days per week during the summer. Mayfield’s pain started approximately two weeks ago, and he was shut down from throwing a week later after having the arm examined, the source said. He is expected to stay away from throwing for another two weeks. He will likely be able to resume full activity before preseason practices begin. The source contradicted reports earlier this week that Mayfield suffered a torn rotator cuff. The official Sooners football Twitter account even addressed the report Wednesday night, also characterizing Mayfield’s condition as shoulder fatigue. This isn’t the first time Mayfield has suffered from a sore shoulder. He had a similar experience when he was a high school quarterback in Lake Travis, Texas, as he balanced both football and baseball. With rest, he was able to return to action while missing minimal time. Although the ailment is most often seen in baseball pitchers, Mayfield’s injury isn’t an uncommon one for athletes in sports that involve an overhead motion — including football and swimming in addition to baseball. The treatment for quarterbacks and pitchers is simple — elimination of the throwing motion until the soreness goes away and exercises designed to strengthen the shoulder and/or aid the range of motion in the joint. The injury often includes bursitis or tendinitis as the bursa at the top of the humerus becomes inflamed or the tendons and surrounding tissue become inflamed and swollen. Although Mayfield’s injury appears to be minor, it’s still a concern for the Sooners as OU looks for a starting quarterback to fit into new offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley’s Air Raid offense. Mayfield said in the spring that OU’s offense under Riley is “pretty much the same thing” as what he ran at Texas Tech, making him ideally suited to play in the system among the three quarterbacks on the roster. The junior threw for 2,315 yards, 12 touchdowns and nine interceptions for Texas Tech as a true freshman walk-on, starting seven games, before transferring to Oklahoma. After he announced his intentions to transfer from Texas Tech, Riley tried to recruit Mayfield to East Carolina — where Riley served as the offensive coordinator — before the quarterback eventually decided to transfer to OU. He sat out last season under NCAA transfer rules and lost a season of eligibility due to the Big 12’s in-conference transfer rules.
BEREA, Ohio — Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel held a funeral Wednesday for Johnny Football.“I’m trying to really close a chapter on my life and move forward and really continue to build on the things that I’ve done throughout this offseason,” Manziel said in his first interview since Dec. 29 after the Browns wrapped up their second practice of mandatory minicamp.Manziel admitted he became...
Browns QB Manziel closes chapter on ‘Johnny Football’
By Nate Ulrich, Associated Press | Jun 17, 2015BEREA, Ohio — Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel held a funeral Wednesday for Johnny Football. “I’m trying to really close a chapter on my life and move forward and really continue to build on the things that I’ve done throughout this offseason,” Manziel said in his first interview since Dec. 29 after the Browns wrapped up their second practice of mandatory minicamp. Manziel admitted he became overwhelmed by the Johnny Football persona he helped create when he took college football by storm and won the Heisman Trophy at Texas A&M in 2012. The hype, celebrity and partying became too much to handle. It played a part in his nightmarish rookie season with the Browns after they drafted him 22nd overall last year, and it ultimately contributed to him spending more than 10 weeks this offseason in an inpatient rehabilitation facility specializing in alcohol and drug addiction treatment. “I think it just overtook who I was just as person, too,” Manziel said. “I think, at times, Johnny Football probably took over me a little bit, too, and I bought into that. I think I didn’t do my best to hush things down, push down the hype. I think at times I welcomed it with immaturity and just accepted that a little bit, and that’s my fault. “At the end of the day, everything that happened last year is not on anybody else but myself. I guess I wasn’t prepared to handle the type of spotlight that I got and all the hype that came with it. So moving forward, I’m trying to do my part to push that down, suffocate that a little bit and just try to live my life and come out here, and I’m happy being back out here on the football field, I’m happy being back out here with these guys and I’m excited to come to work every day.” In an effort to bury Johnny Football, Manziel vowed to no longer flash his popular “money sign” hand gesture. In the past, he would routinely rub his fingers against his thumbs after making plays on the gridiron or while posing for photographs. He even did it on stage at Radio City Music Hall when he was drafted. “The money sign will not be back,” Manziel said. “I will not be making it.” Manziel, 22, politely told reporters he wouldn’t discuss details of his private life, but it’s clear the issues he faced off the field last year interfered with his job. He led the offense to just three points in six quarters as a starter and finished 0-2 after taking veteran Brian Hoyer’s spot in the lineup in December. He described his rookie season as a time he is not “proud of, not one that I want to look back on very much.” His poor performances and behavior away from the field cast a large shadow of doubt on whether he’ll ever live up to the expectations the Browns placed upon him when they traded up four spots to pick him. “Obviously, last year was, in my mind, for me personally, a disaster,” Manziel said. “I didn’t come out and perform. “I think it’s even my fault — the way that I’ve built myself up. I set myself up for a little bit of failure in that regard if I didn’t come out as a rookie and really perform.” Manziel thanked the Browns for their support throughout this offseason. He said his teammates embraced him when he rejoined the team after rehab and acknowledged his TMZ lifestyle has put many of them in difficult positions in the past. “My private life has been out there to a maximum degree,” Manziel said. “There’s no doubt about that. So for me, one thing that I want to do moving forward in this offseason is just try to quiet that to the best of my ability — whatever I can do to help quiet the noise that has surrounded this team and surrounded myself. I don’t want that anymore. I just want to be another player on this team that is in here trying to get better and trying to be successful. We want to win here. “Off the field, I was a little bit of a distraction. I feel bad about that today. I feel bad about that throughout the last months of my life really thinking back and seeing how much of my life outside of this field and outside of this locker room was documented. It’s not fair for [Pro Bowl cornerback] Joe Haden to be having to answer questions about me every day. It’s not fair for [All-Pro left tackle] Joe Thomas and all these guys to just continue to have questions asked about me. I don’t think that’s fair at all, and I don’t want that.” (EDITORS: STORY CAN END HERE) Manziel has promised to change before, only to fall short of delivering. After he landed on injured reserve last year, he didn’t show up to receive treatment on his hamstring the morning of Dec. 27 — the day before the season finale — at team headquarters because he stayed out too late the previous night partying with friends. The Browns reportedly sent security to rouse Manziel at his former downtown Cleveland apartment because they couldn’t reach him by phone. Two days later, he told reporters he needed to “look myself in the mirror and hold myself accountable and start making some deals with myself.” But the next day, a video of Manziel hanging out with friends at a nightclub in Miami Beach, Fla., appeared on social media. His partying continued during stops in Houston and Aspen, Colo. He checked into rehab Jan. 28 and news of his release broke April 11. Manziel realizes he must earn trust this time around. “Actions speak way louder than words,” he said. “So as much as I may have intended to do some of those things [I promised to do] last year and really truly wanted to, I don’t think I was in a position personally. Now I think I’m doing the right things and taking the right steps necessary for me to put myself in the best position possible to be exactly what this organization drafted me to be. I don’t want to give up on that fact at all. I’m not giving up on the fact that they brought me in here as a first-round pick and want to see something out of me. That’s not lost on me and hopefully not other people in this locker room, either.” Manziel has been working as the No. 2 quarterback throughout spring practices. Coach Mike Pettine has labeled veteran journeyman Josh McCown the favorite to head into the coming season as the starter. Last year, Pettine pitted Manziel against Hoyer in training camp, but this year, there has been no hint of a quarterback competition. “Obviously that’s Coach Pettine’s decision,” Manziel said. “But for now, I’m just doing all that I can do … to try and get better.” Manziel has been inconsistent this spring. He fumbled three shotgun snaps on Tuesday but rebounded with a better showing Wednesday, highlighted by an impressive back-shoulder throw for a completion to rookie running back Duke Johnson in team drills. Late last year, Manziel admitted he didn’t take his job seriously enough. Now he’s focused on improving his dedication and commitment, spending much more time at the team’s training facility, even when the players are off practice. “This position is extremely demanding, and for me now, even if I feel I may be doing enough, I need to continue to try and do more,” Manziel said. “And the more time I spend in this building, the better.” Pettine said Manziel has made strides this offseason “in all the little things that it takes to be an NFL quarterback.” He also has moved from downtown Cleveland and into a suburban golf course community west of the city. Julius Scott, his mentor and former offensive coordinator at Tivy High School in Kerrville, Texas, is living with him, a measure Pettine said he “absolutely” views as positive. “I have made steps to ensure a better chance of success for me moving forward,” Manziel said. The Browns are hoping Manziel can still thrive despite a turbulent start to his career. It might happen. It might not. Either way, Manziel wants his future to be determined without Johnny Football as part of the equation. “I think I’ve done a good job throughout this offseason of really trying to get back to my roots and who I really am as a person,” Manziel said. “I got back to doing some things that I grew up doing that I really enjoy, that are quiet, that occupy my time in a better way other than traveling or anything else of that sort. I’m here in Cleveland. Obviously, I’ve kind of made this my home, so moving forward just doing things that I really, truly love to do.” ——— ©2015 Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio) Visit the Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio) at www.ohio.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. _____ Topics: t000003195,t000046469,t000003183,t000158025,t000003194
MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — Shannon Fagan of the Cherokee County Herald received the Alabama Sports Writers Association's highest writing award.Fagan was presented with the award and two others Sunday night at the group's 44th annual convention.The Herby Kirby Award is given in memory of longtime Birmingham Post-Herald sports writer Herby Kirby, who died in the press box after covering Notre Dame's...
Cherokee County's Fagan wins top ASWA writing award
Associated Press | Jun 14, 2015MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — Shannon Fagan of the Cherokee County Herald received the Alabama Sports Writers Association's highest writing award. Fagan was presented with the award and two others Sunday night at the group's 44th annual convention. The Herby Kirby Award is given in memory of longtime Birmingham Post-Herald sports writer Herby Kirby, who died in the press box after covering Notre Dame's 24-23 national football championship win over Alabama in the 1973 Sugar Bowl. The Tuscaloosa News took home a convention-high eight awards. Three journalists won two awards apiece, including Tom Green of the Opelika-Auburn News and Tommy Deas and Cecil Hurt, both of The Tuscaloosa News. The other winners included Rob Ketcham of the Cullman Times, Tony Tsoukalas and Robert DeWitt of The Tuscaloosa News and Christopher Walsh of Saturday Down South. A list of the award winners honored Sunday in Mobile: Best Sports Story, Writing On A Deadline, Professional Or College Event Co-Runners Up: Teddy Couch, The Gadsden Times, JSU Tops Eastern Illinois to clinch DVC title; Christopher Walsh, Saturday Down South, Crimson Tide will remember 2014 SEC title as truly something special Winner: Tommy Deas, The Tuscaloosa News, Longtime University of Alabama gymnastics coach Sarah Patterson retires Best Sports Story, Writing On A Deadline, Prep Or Other Amateur Runner Up: Tommy Deas, The Tuscaloosa News, Hale County girls basketball team playing after the death of a teammate Winner: Tom Green, Opelika-Auburn News, Rashaan Evans signs with Alabama Best Column, Four Columns Any time Of The Year Runner Up: Mike Szvetitz, Opelika-Auburn News Winner: Cecil Hurt, The Tuscaloosa News. Best Football Feature Without A Deadline Runner Up: James Crepea, Montgomery Advertiser, Chris Davis Jr. journey to the NFL far longer than 109 yards Winner: Tom Green, Opelika-Auburn News, David Eastridge battles back from car accident, coma Best Basketball Feature Without A Deadline Runner Up: Tommy Deas, The Tuscaloosa News, Former University of Alabama basketball player is reunited with his SEC Championship ring four decades after losing it Winner: Rob Ketcham, The Cullman Times, Good Hope's Cofer shakes off visual impairment, blazes trail to scoring milestone, Eli Thomas Award Best Baseball Feature Without A Deadline Co-Runners Up: Stacy Long, Montgomery Advertiser, Outfielder Ty Morrison endures the same surgery and rehab that derailed his brother's Olympic decathlon hopes; D.C. Reeves, The Tuscaloosa News, Feature on heckling fans in right field at University of Alabama baseball games Winner: Tony Tsoukalas, The Tuscaloosa News, Feature on Tim Anderson, who went from high school kid with one junior college scholarship offer to first-round draft pick Best Outdoors Feature Without A Deadline Runner Up: Kim Craft, The Gadsden Times, Tharp leads Bassmaster Classic while Carden passes Alabama anglers Winner: Robert DeWitt, The Tuscaloosa News, Red Snapper Best General Sports Feature Without A Deadline Runner Up: Tommy Deas, The Tuscaloosa News, Death of University of Alabama swimmer John Servati Winner: Cecil Hurt and Tommy Deas, The Tuscaloosa News, University of Alabama reverses decision and reaches out to NCAA to support immediate eligibility of transfer women's basketball player after she alleges Title IX violations Best Enterprise Story Runner Up: Mike Szvetitz, Opelika-Auburn News, Auburn's athletic budget grows to $100 million-plus Winner: Christopher Walsh, Saturday Down South, Reclaiming the crown; How Alabama can get back to the apex of college football Best Story or Series Writing, Column - Non Daily Runner Up: Shannon Fagan, Cherokee County Herald, -"Just one of the guys" Sophomore Kaitlyn Rogers kicking for Spring Garden this season Winner: Shannon Fagan, Cherokee County Herald, "A Starr at Cinderella's Ball" Centre native receives "No Excuses" award in Washington Best Story or Series Writing, Non Daily, Game Story Runner Up: Shannon Fagan, Cherokee County Herald, "Drought ended" Spring Garden rallies, hold on to defeat Cedar Bluff, 21-20 Winner: Shannon Fagan, Cherokee County Herald, "Ready for Round 3" Cedar Bluff survives shootout against Hackleburg, 56-48 Best Headlines Runner Up: Michael Wetzel, The Decatur Daily Winner: Staff, The Tuscaloosa News Best Sports Layout Runner Up: Michael Wetzel, The Decatur Daily Winner: The Tuscaloosa News Best Supplement or Special Edition: Runner Up: The Gadsden Times, Kickoff with The Times Winner: The Tuscaloosa News, Reboot, Alabama makes fresh start for the playoff era Herby Kirby Memorial Award Best Story From All Categories Above Shannon Fagan, Cherokee County Herald, "A Starr at Cinderella's Ball" Centre native receives "No Excuses" award in Washington
Jun 14, 2015
We flew low over the Potomac River and onto the runway at Reagan National. The last time I was in Washington, D.C. (April 1981), Air Florida flight 90 had yet to crash into the Potomac. That would be nine months later. The last time I was in D.C., its close-by airport was called Washington National. […]
D.C. travelblog: A sobering day at the Memorials
Berry Tramel | Jun 14, 2015[img url=http://blog.newsok.com/dittocontent/uploads/sites/3/2015/06/korean-memorial.jpg]3702689[/img] We flew low over the Potomac River and onto the runway at Reagan National. The last time I was in Washington, D.C. (April 1981), Air Florida flight 90 had yet to crash into the Potomac. That would be nine months later. The last time I was in D.C., its close-by airport was called Washington National. Ronald Reagan had been in office less than three months. But now we were back, the Dish and I. She has a fund-raising conference this week, and I tagged along. I figure an American ought to see his capital every 30 years or so. I came through D.C. when I was 15, 1976, and spent a day. Then another day in 1981, just after my brother's Virginia wedding. Now I've got several days, with the perspective of half a century on Earth, to take in our seat of government. I had a friend who once joked that he thought a career as a schoolteacher would be tremendous, except for all those kids he'd have to deal with. D.C.'s a little like that. If it wasn't for the politicians, what a heck of a place Washington would be. So it's good in D.C. to try to focus on the government, and not the politics. Government gets a bad rap. Politics don't. Politics deserves its sewer-rat status. But government doesn't. Government has helped us produce a fabulous nation. You realize that walking the streets and the sights of D.C. We're staying at the Melrose Hotel, on the edge of Georgetown in northwest D.C. It's a good-sized room. The desk is built into a little enclave. Above the desk, on the wall, is not a picture or a window. It's a giant script, proclaiming, "We the People," continued in smaller type by remnants of the Constitution. I'm a little like Annie when she goes to spend Christmas at Daddy Warbucks' house. I think I'm gonna like it here. MEMORIAL ROW [img url=http://blog.newsok.com/dittocontent/uploads/sites/3/2015/06/washington-monument.jpg]3702692[/img] We had a 7:05 a.m. flight out of OKC on Saturday, which meant waking up at 5 a.m., and we didn't get to sleep very early Friday night, so we were running on empty when we got to our hotel about 4 p.m. Eastern time. Still, that's almost five hours of daylight. So our gameplan was this. Try to knock out the western side of the National Mall, which is a national park, rectangular in shape, that stretches from the U.S. Capitol on the east to the Lincoln Memorial on the west. It's 1.9 miles long, east-to-west, and varies north-to-south. Think Central Park, only with historical monuments. We figured we'd be walking a ton, so we took a cab to the Mall, which is about two miles from our hotel. We drove by George Washington University, which sounds cool but which has a setting a little too urban for my taste, and the State Department, which is a massive compound without much character (no political jokes here). The cabbie let us out on the north side of the park. And our stroll was tremendous. ‘* We entered the Vietnam Veterans Memorial without even knowing it. I guess we entered from the wrong side, though I don't know why it matters. You've heard all about the Wall. But the Vietnam Memorial is not something adequately experienced in print or video. The names are on two gabbro walls -- gabbro is a reflective rock -- each 246 feet, 9 inches in length. They are placed L-shaped and sunk into the ground, so you enter from either side and begin walking at a downward angle. The rock walls are just eight inches in height at the top, which means we didn't even know we were walking past them. Eventually, we figured it out, and at the bottom, the walls are over 10 feet tall. It's a sobering experience to walk past the walls. As of last year, there were 58,300 names listed. We went through six memorials Saturday; the Vietnam was easily the most reverent. It's the names, of course. Individual names personalize a war. At each end of the memorial are books, protected from the elements but accessible to the public, to look up a particular name. Fortunately, I couldn't recall a family member or friend who had been killed in Vietnam. I found the name of Bob Kalsu, the former OU star. I thought of Del City's football stadium, named for Kalsu, and the first time I saw it and wondered who Bob Kalsu was. [img url=http://blog.newsok.com/dittocontent/uploads/sites/3/2015/06/lincoln-memorial.jpg]3702693[/img] * The Lincoln Memorial stands majestically to the south of the Vietnam Memorial. We didn't get to the west of the Mall during either of my previous two trips to D.C., so I was looking forward to the Lincoln Memorial. I've always remembered the Gomer Pyle episode, when Gomer is supposed to sing at some big function in D.C., and Sgt. Carter has him signing some goober song, but a commander suggests "Impossible Dream" instead. Then Gomer finds out he's singing for the Vice President loses his voice because he's nervous. Gomer trudges off in shame and finds himself at the Lincoln Memorial, where a National Parks Service guard tells him that Abe Lincoln never lost his serve. Gomer starts reciting the Gettysburg Address, which is in huge type on the east wall of the Memorial, and gets his voice back. It's not completely kooky. I can think of few things more inspirational than reciting the Gettysburg Address at the Lincoln Memorial. I did it myself, in my head, Saturday. What a speech. On the west wall is Lincoln's second inaugural address. And the massive sculpture, with Lincoln sitting in a chair, is fantastic. The Lincoln Memorial is a Roman-style monument that sits 55 steps above the ground, overlooking the Mall. Lincoln himself is looking out over the Mall, in the direction of the Washington Monument. It's a glorious setting. As we descended the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, we noticed a singing group standing at the bottom, not far from the long reflecting pool (2,029 feet by 167) that stretches toward the Washington Monument. We went down and listened. I have no idea who they were; about 20 people dressed in blue shirts, most of them older but a few young people, singing "Shall We Gather at the River." * The Korean War Veterans Memorial was next. Full confession. Until Friday, I didn't know we had a Korean War Memorial. And it was the best surprise of the day. The Korean memorial includes a 164-foot-long granite wall, that contains more than 2,500 photographic images sandblasted, representing the land, sea and air troops who served. The main memorial is in the shape of a triangle, in which are 19 stainless steel statues, each over seven feet tall. They represent a squad on patrol. The entire memorial is gorgeous. It contains a short wall listing the nations that participated in the war. Inscriptions list the numbers killed, wounded, missing in action and captured. A plaque proclaims: "Our nation honors her sons and daughters who answered the call to defend a country they never knew and a people they never met." I wondered how the people of South Korea felt about Americans today. South Vietnam fell. South Korea didn't. South Korea is a thriving nation. North Korea is, well, North Korea. Then I got my answer. At the top of the triangle with the 19 soldier statues, sits a wreath, with these words: "We remember you forever. With people of the Republic of Korea. Presented by: Class of 1963, College of Commerce, Seoul Nation University." My father-in-law served in Korea. I wish he could have seen this. He died in 1995, the same year the memorial opened. [img url=http://blog.newsok.com/dittocontent/uploads/sites/3/2015/06/mlk-stone1.jpg]3702691[/img] * I've been to the Civil Rights Museums in Memphis and Montgomery, Ala., which in many ways are tributes to Martin Luther King Jr., and I've been to the MLK museum in Atlanta. So no reason to skip the MLK Memorial in D.C. The D.C. Memorials are more tributes than museum. They're not designed to tell the whole story. But the MLK Memorial, and the Franklin Roosevelt Memorial, come close. Both Memorials are across Independence Avenue, toward the Potomac River, which means they're outside the Mall. They sit on the Tidal Basin, the partially man-made reservoir between the river and the Washington Channel. It's a beautiful setting; it's the focal point of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. To enter MLK's Memorial, you walk through huge stones. Almost Egyptian in feel, and see back of the MLK monument, made out of the same stone. On one side is the inscription, "Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope." MLK's likeness then looks out over the Tidal Basin. Almost Egyptian in feel, and see back of the MLK monument, made out of the same stone. On one side is the inscription, "Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope." MLK's likeness then looks out over the Tidal Basin. The memorial, which didn't open until 2011, contains rock walls, also looking out onto the water, with 14 famous MLK quotations. Like this, "Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that." * You walk maybe an eighth of the way around the basin to get to the FDR Memorial, which opened in 1997. It's spread over 71/2 across of rock formations and contains four sequences, each representing an FDR term in office. Sculptures include FDR with his dog, iconic Great Depression scenes such as men waiting in a bread line and a citizen listening to a fireside chat, and Eleanor Roosevelt standing before the United Nations emblem. FDR quotes are inscripted upon the rocks. The most famous, of course, is "There is nothing to fear but fear itself." I heard a young woman in her 20s say, "Hey, I like that." Yep, it might have some staying power. * The Jefferson Memorial is on the opposite side of the Tidal Basin, which is 107 acres of water. So it's a nice walk. The Jefferson Memorial is not as famous as the Lincoln Memorial but is very similar. Roman-style columns, massive steps, covered but open-air sculpture. Jefferson is standing, not sitting, but same as Lincoln, some of his famous pronouncements are displayed on the sides of the memorial. Most historians agree that Jefferson was the smartest of our presidents. Maybe the smartest of our Americans. I had a history professor once say that the Theory of Evolution takes a hit when you compare modern presidents to Thomas Jefferson, who maybe wasn't the Father of our Country but was the Father of How We Think, as the principal author of the Declaration of Independence. By this time, we were pretty gassed. The Dish has one of those Fitbit things, and she was in the 18,000-step range (she would finish with 22,000-plus), so we decided to start planning for dinner. We continued to circle the Basin, back towards the Washington Monument, and near the Monument we hailed a cab. Our tour for the day was over. Lots more still to see, but unlike my previous trips to D.C., this time, I've got time to see them. COLD OR HOT Here's the problem when you travel in summer. It's hot outside. It's cold everywhere you go inside. Our Southwest flight from OKC to Atlanta was freezing. I wore a sportscoat for that very reason, and because that's how I keep track of everything, with interior pockets. But the Dish had my coat before we hit cruising speed. At dinner Saturday night, a famous D.C. place called Clyde's, the temperature had to be 66. It was freezing. But it wasn't freezing in our hotel room. The Melrose is an elegant hotel, seems to have all the amenities, but our room was hot when we checked in. I turned on the fan, thought maybe that was it, and when we returned Saturday night, it was no better. So I called the front desk, and about 20 minutes later they sent up an engineer. He found the problem in about 10 minutes. Some valve something or other. So it cooled off. But the Melrose isn't in the business of prompt service. They don't have ice you can retrieve yourself. You have to call for it. This isn't a resort. I don't mind getting my own ice. But you have to call for it. The Dish doesn't function without ice water at night, so I called for it. And 15 minutes later, it hadn't come. So I went down and made them hand it over. Some things done in the name of service are the exact opposite. The flights were mostly uneventful. The Atlanta airport, Hartsfield, is massive, of course, and they've got great dining options. Chick-fil-A is headquartered in Atlanta. So is Coca-Cola. Both had big airport presence. Varsity, a longtime Georgia institution, was there, too. I ate at one in Athens. The Dish got a good window seat for the flight to D.C., in front of the wing, but you have to be careful. You don't really want to watch baggage-handlers. Sort of like watching people make your food. You might be better off ignorant. It was nice to see them load both of our bags, but they were treated with all the delicacy of potting soil. GEORGETOWN I assume we'll start using the Metrorail, but it was all taxis Saturday. Reagan National sits on the south side of the Potomac, in Arlington County, Va., but literally on the banks of the river. So it's an easy jaunt over to the bridge that takes you right by the Lincoln Memorial. The cab ride from the airport to our hotel was $19. The cab ride from the hotel to the Mall was $6.22. The ride from the Washington Monument to Georgetown was $13, a lot of it caused by traffic. Traffic is bad in Georgetown. Georgetown is the neighborhood with the university of the same name, but it's also the trendy area of D.C., with great shopping, dining and housing. We had lunch at the Atlanta airport -- shared a cheesesteak at Charley's Cheesesteak, which was good -- but were hungry by 8 p.m. So we went to Clyde's, which has several locations in the D.C. area. It's sort of an old-saloon atmosphere. Quaint and lively, I'd say. We sat in the corner, literally in the corner, in rounded booth-like seats. The Dish had pasta carbonara; I had a Thai seafood stew. The carbonara was good, though it had bacon and I prefer chicken. My stew was good; really wasn't much of a stew. More just a collection of seafood, with rice, but it was excellent. The prices weren't too bad; mine was $19, I think, and the Dish's was $17. I'd go back. Then we got a piece of chocolate next door at Godiva and walked back to the hotel, ready to conk out and get rested for another day of adventure in our nation's capital.
Jun 4, 2015
Natural curiosity. But the answer will not determine the Sooners’ fortunes in 2015. The key to OU football this season is not who, but how. Move the w to the back of the word. How will the quarterback play, no matter who it is?
Quarterback mystery is paramount in the minds of Sooner Nation
By Berry Tramel | Jun 4, 2015DALLAS — From the back of the room in Prestonwood Country Club, a man in a crimson OU shirt yelled out a question. “Who’s your quarterback?” Bob Stoops responded, “Hey, Bud, go to the restroom again.” Don’t worry, Stoops hadn’t lost his manners at the OU Caravan pep rally Thursday night. The guy really was Bud — Bud Hebert, who played safety for the Sooners in the 1970s and now is a long-time friend of Stoops who doesn’t mind being a rabble-rouser. But Hebert spoke for the room. The quarterback mystery is paramount in the minds of Sooner Nation. Baker Mayfield or Trevor Knight or even Cody Thomas? Natural curiosity. But the answer will not determine the Sooners’ fortunes in 2015. The key to OU football this season is not who, but how. Move the w to the back of the word. How will the quarterback play, no matter who it is? Truth is, OU still has some talent, despite an 8-5 record last season. The Sooners went into October with national championship aspirations and limped out of December with the most depressed status of the Stoops era. But that doesn’t mean the shelves are empty. The offensive tackles are untested, and the receiving corps has been disappointing, and the defensive backs were burned a time or two dozen last season. But there still are good ballplayers in Norman. Samaje Perine, Zack Sanchez, Eric Striker, Sterling Shepard, Charles Tapper, Nila Kasitati, even the returned-from-exile Frank Shannon. That’s some upper-tier talent. All but Shannon were around last season, along with six players taken in the NFL Draft — Blake Bell, Geneo Grissom, Jordan Phillips, Aaron Ripkowski, Tyrus Thompson and Daryl Williams. That’s a solid foundation for a football team. “I think it’s really good,” Stoops said of the OU talent base. “And we have good players coming up, even young guys. For instance, true freshman a year ago Jordan Thomas, had his good moments, had his bad moments. But true freshman, that’s what you’ll usually get. He’ll be better this year.” But will the quarterbacking? Without strong quarterback play, a 21st-century football team is adrift at sea. Knight, the hero of the Alabama conquest in the Sugar Bowl, was spotty in 2014. Knight didn’t produce nearly enough big plays to offset the game-changing interceptions he threw against TCU and Kansas State. Off came the wheels. OU went from fourth in the nation to a three-way tie for fourth in the Big 12. If the Sooners get better quarterbacking, the 2015 season gets interesting real fast. If not, it gets old with the same speed. “For any team, college, high school, NFL, so much of it directly reflects on the quarterback,” Stoops said Thursday night. “It’s quarterback play. The guy handles the ball every play. His decisions make a major difference.” Certainly did in 2014, which is why most of us believe Mayfield will be the quarterback. No one really has any idea how he will play as a Sooner, but we’ve seen enough of Knight to know it’s time to see how Mayfield will do. Because despite what was shown against Baylor and Clemson, 34-point defeats both, Stoops has some ballplayers on campus. What he really needs now is a quarterback. Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.
Had a great chat with former Dallas Cowboys linebacker Thomas "Hollywood" Henderson, who is partnering with the Austin school district and Eastside Youth Services and Street Outreach to make some much-needed improvements to the Eastside Yellow Jacket Stadium and track at the old L.C. Anderson High School.After his sophomore year at Anderson, Henderson moved to Oklahoma City to live with his...
Austin American-Statesman Cedric Golden column
Cedric Golden, Associated Press | Jun 1, 2015Had a great chat with former Dallas Cowboys linebacker Thomas "Hollywood" Henderson, who is partnering with the Austin school district and Eastside Youth Services and Street Outreach to make some much-needed improvements to the Eastside Yellow Jacket Stadium and track at the old L.C. Anderson High School. After his sophomore year at Anderson, Henderson moved to Oklahoma City to live with his grandmother — he later attended Langston University before being drafted by the Cowboys in 1975 — but he returned to live here after his NFL career ended. He has kept a low profile but has always been a lover of community, particularly East Austin. He will spend 42 hours this week — 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday — at the Anderson track, where he will sign copies of his 2001 book "In Control," which chronicles his recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, for a $10 donation. Proceeds will go to ESYSSO to help resurface the track. "The bad news is the track is torn up," said the 62-year-old Henderson, who splits time between homes in Austin and Florida. "The good news is the track is torn up, which means people are using it. I've gotten several estimates, and it's going to cost $100,000 to fix it up." Henderson added that anyone struggling in recovery will receive a free autographed book. He encourages the public to come out and support the project or just stop by for a handshake. This is Henderson's second project involving the track and the stadium. He rebuilt the stadium and football field in 1994, then fasted for an entire week and raised $250,000 for improvements in 1997. Anyone interested in donating to the project can do so by mail: ESYSSO, P.O. Box 1415, Austin, TX 78767. Did we miss the NBA Finals? No. Just feels that way. There was nothing that could be done about this gap between games since the conference finals were pretty noncompetitive, but now that Game 1 is almost here, the question I can't wait to see answered is, "How much?" How much will we see LeBron James guarding Stephen Curry? How much will the layoff affect these teams? How much will we see Steph's 2-year-old daughter at postgame pressers? On that last question, you can count me as a card-carrying member of Team Riley. Curry's daughter is absolutely adorable, but he could really help the writers there by leaving her with the family for the five minutes it takes to answer questions. Not that he cares about non-television media — she's great for the cameras — but many of the writers are on brutal deadlines created by these 8 p.m. tipoffs and need every single minute after the game. Finally, some real hope for American men's tennis. Jack Sock went down in four sets to the great Rafael Nadal in the fourth round of the French Open on Monday but showed the kind of moxie we need to see if this country is to regain some international respect in the men's game. Sock lost 6-3, 6-1, 5-7, 6-2. Not lost in Rafa improving to 70-1 all-time at Roland Garros was Sock coming very close to handing him that second loss. The first two sets were a wash, but Sock grabbed the third set and had the king of clay looking absolutely unsure of himself. Sock, who's only 22, is ranked 37th in the world and has the game to become a top-five player — a booming forehand, thunder from an improved backhand and just enough nastiness — I like that — to give the big boys something to worry about. After losing to Roger Federer in the round of 16 at Indian Wells, Sock won his first ATP title at the U.S. Clay Court Championships over fellow American Sam Querrey in Houston. All of this after he missed the first two months of the season following hip surgery. John Isner (ranked 16th) and Querrey (38th) are good players, but at 30 and 27 years of age, respectively, they have already shown us their best, which falls short of winning a major. While the U.S. men are now 0-46 in grand slams dating back to Andy Roddick's 2003 U.S. Open win, Sock brings with him some hope for the future. If he keeps his wits about him and continues to develop a better on-court mentality, he could be the American to break that long drought. ——— ©2015 Austin American-Statesman, Texas Visit Austin American-Statesman, Texas at www.statesman.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. _____ Topics: t000003183,t000048049,t000177580,t000176110,g000222672,g000065627,g000362661,g000066164,g000065577
May 27, 2015
NORMAN — Oklahoma’s quarterback derby is down to three. Redshirt freshman quarterback Justice Hansen announced Wednesday that he will transfer. He released a statement on Twitter. News of Hansen’s transfer was first reported by SoonerScoop.com. Hansen, a former Edmond Santa Fe standout, signed with OU in the 2014 recruiting class and redshirted last season. He […]
Bob Stoops issues statement on Justice Hansen, says no transfer restrictions in place
Jason Kersey | May 27, 2015[img url=http://blog.newsok.com/dittocontent/uploads/sites/12/2015/05/Justice-Hansen.jpg]3679819[/img] NORMAN — Oklahoma’s quarterback derby is down to three. Redshirt freshman Justice Hansen will transfer, he announced in a Wednesday statement released on Twitter. “I have done a lot of thinking, talking with friends and family, and most importantly, praying,” Hansen said in the statement. “In the end I feel it is in my best interest to move on from the University of Oklahoma and continue my football career elsewhere. “The university was a great experience and I appreciate the opportunity I had to proudly represent it. I wish nothing but the best for OU in the future.” Hansen, a former Edmond Santa Fe standout, competed throughout the spring with juniors Trevor Knight and Baker Mayfield and sophomore Cody Thomas to be the Sooners’ starting quarterback in 2015. Based on last month’s spring game, though, Hansen was clearly fourth in the pecking order. He only attempted five passes, compared to 13 for Knight and Mayfield and 12 for Thomas. His transfer leaves Knight, Mayfield and Thomas as the Sooners’ only scholarship quarterbacks for 2015. Former Heritage Hall standout Connor McGinnis will walk on this fall as a true freshman, but Oklahoma did not sign a quarterback in the recruiting class of 2015. The Sooners already have a commitment, though, for 2016 from Austin Kendall, a four-star prospect from Waxhaw, N.C. Kendall is ranked as the 2016 recruiting class’ No. 27 overall by Rivals. Knight started 10 games last season, but was inconsistent and played very poorly in the Sooners’ Russell Athletic Bowl loss to Clemson. Thomas started the other three games while Knight recovered from a neck injury. Mayfield sat out last year after transferring from Texas Tech, and is considered by many to be the favorite in the Sooners’ ongoing quarterback battle, which Bob Stoops has said will continue into fall camp. Wednesday evening, Stoops issued a statement confirming Hansen’s decision, and said he won’t place any restrictions on his transfer. “We have met with Justice and certainly understand his desire to explore options that might provide him with more opportunity,” Stoops said in the statement. “He has our full support. He has been an outstanding team member and will make someone a good quarterback.” Hansen signed with OU in the 2014 recruiting class and redshirted last season. He chose the Sooners over offers from Arkansas, Auburn, Kansas State, Ole Miss, Missouri and Texas A&M. After impressive sophomore and junior high school seasons — which both ended in district championships — Hansen missed five games of his senior season with a high ankle sprain. Hansen’s father, Dusty, was part of Oklahoma’s 1994 national championship baseball team. With Wednesday’s news, Hansen becomes the fifth player to leave the OU football program since the end of last season. Running backs David Smith and Keith Ford and tight end Taylor McNamara all transferred, and wide receiver K.J. Young was dismissed for team rules violations. More from NewsOK Ten things to know about Justice Hansen
May 14, 2015
OU tailback Keith Ford has transferred, and that’s not the least bit surprising. Truth is, I thought that was already a done deal with the announced suspension from the spring. The Sooners have plenty of tailbacks, it seems, but Ford was a ballplayer. Outside of those pesky fumbles, Ford appeared to be a big-time tailback. […]
Can Keith Ford still make the NFL?
Berry Tramel | May 14, 2015[img url=http://blog.newsok.com/dittocontent/uploads/sites/3/2015/05/keith-ford-bedlam.jpg]3666336[/img] OU tailback Keith Ford has transferred, and that’s not the least bit surprising. Truth is, I thought that was already a done deal with the announced suspension from the spring. The Sooners have plenty of tailbacks, it seems, but Ford was a ballplayer. Outside of those pesky fumbles, Ford appeared to be a big-time tailback. Rugged, fast, hard-running. I liked him a lot. He looked like an NFL-caliber tailback to me. And don’t bet on his football future being over. Ford will transfer to some school and play. And don’t discount the NFL from Ford’s future. OU football history is rife with tailbacks who transferred and still found their way to the NFL. I found 13 players who made the NFL after transferring from OU. There could be more. I went to profootball-reference.com’s list of Sooner alumni, which includes players who played at OU even if they finished up at another school, and just did an eyeball/memory survey. Someone might have slipped past me. But 13 is in the neighborhood. And out of those 13 players, eight — eight! — were tailbacks. The non-tailbacks were Troy Aikman; cornerback Elbert Watts, who transferred to Southern Cal and played nine games for the ’86 Packers; Keith Traylor, who played linebacker at OU but transferred to Central Oklahoma and ended up as a 16-year NFL veteran, playing mostly defensive line, including a major contributor to Denver’s two Super Bowl champs in the ’90s; defensive lineman Tyrone Rodgers, who transferred to Washington U. and played 37 games for the 1992-94 Seahawks; and offensive lineman Jerry Crafts, who transferred to Louisville and played 54 NFL games for the Bills and Eagles. An interesting list. But not as interesting as the tailbacks. Here are the eight tailbacks who transferred from OU and still made the NFL: 1. Mike Thomas: From Greenville, Texas. Transferred to Nevada-Las Vegas during the loaded wishbone days of the early 1970s, ended up a fifth-round draft pick of the Redskins (108th overall) in 1975. In four seasons with Washington, Thomas rushed for 3,359 yards on 878 yards. He gained 1,101 yards in 1976, a 14-game season in the NFL. Thomas finished out his career with two seasons as a Charger. His NFL totals: 4,196 yards rushing and 19 touchdowns. 2. Dexter Bussey: From Dallas. Another talented tailback squeezed out in the Greg Pruitt-Joe Washington era of OU football. Transferred to Texas-Arlington and was taken in the third round (65th overall) of the 1974 draft, by Detroit. Bussey played 11 seasons with the Lions, rushing for 858 yards in 1976, 924 yards in 1978 and 720 yards in 1980. He finished with 5,105 yards rushing and 23 total touchdowns. Bussey is the Lions’ No. 3 all-time rusher, trailing only Barry Sanders and Billy Sims. 3. Glyn Milburn: From Santa Monica, Calif. Transferred to Stanford after playing as a 1988 OU freshman. Drafted in the second round (43rd overall) by the Broncos in 1993, Milburn played nine NFL seasons. He was used primarily as a receiver out of the backfield and as a kick returner. In 1998 with Chicago, Milburn returned two kickoffs and one punt for touchdowns. Milburn rushed for just 817 yards in his NFL career but had 170 catches for 1,322 yards. 4. Tashard Choice: From Hampton, Ga. Played sparingly as an OU freshman but transferred to Georgia Tech and became a star, rushing for 3,365 yards in three seasons. The Cowboys drafted Choice in the fourth round (122nd overall) in 2008. He played six NFL seasons, rushing for 1,579 yards for the Cowboys, Bills, Redskins and Colts. 5. Marcus Dupree: From Philadelphia, Miss. You know all about him. Was a national sensation as a freshman but left OU midway through his sophomore year. Dupree transferred to Southern Miss but never played for the Eagles. Dupree went to the World Football League and finally found his way to the NFL. Dupree joined the Rams, who had drafted him in the 12th round (327th overall) of the 1986 draft. Dupree played 15 games in 1990 and 1991, gaining 251 yards on 68 carries. 6. Donald Brown: From Annapolis, Md. Never really played at OU and transferred to Maryland. Drafted by San Diego in the fifth round, 129th overall, in 1986. Brown played defensive back for 18 games for the Dolphins, Chargers and Giants in 1986 and 1987. 7. Clifford Chatman: From Clinton. Never really played at OU and transferred to Central Oklahoma. The Giants took Chatman in the fourth round (85th overall) of the 1981 draft. He played for the ’82 Giants, gaining 80 yards on 22 carries. 8. Jimmy Edwards: From Oklahoma City’s Classen High School. Another talented player caught up in OU’s talent load of the early 1970s, Edwards transferred to Louisiana-Monroe. He wasn’t drafted but made the 1979 Vikings as a 27-year-old and was used primarily as a kick returner..
Here's a look at how AP's general news coverage is shaping up in Louisiana and Mississippi. Questions about coverage plans are welcome and should be directed to the AP-New Orleans bureau at 504-523-3931 or email@example.com. Jack Elliott Jr. is on the desk. AP-Deep South Editor Jim Van Anglen can be reached at 404-653-8460 or JVanAnglen@ap.org.A reminder this information is not for publication or...
AP-LA-MS--Louisiana-Mississippi News Digest 1:30 pm, LA
Associated Press | May 9, 2015Here's a look at how AP's general news coverage is shaping up in Louisiana and Mississippi. Questions about coverage plans are welcome and should be directed to the AP-New Orleans bureau at 504-523-3931 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Jack Elliott Jr. is on the desk. AP-Deep South Editor Jim Van Anglen can be reached at 404-653-8460 or JVanAnglen@ap.org. A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change. Expected stories may not develop, or late-breaking and more newsworthy events may take precedence. Advisories and digests will keep you up to date. All times are Central. Some TV and radio stations will receive shorter APNewsNow versions of the stories below, along with all updates. TOP STORIES DEAD ZONE LAWSUIT NEW ORLEANS — A federal judge who ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to take action to regulate farm runoff and other pollution blamed for the Gulf of Mexico's annual oxygen-depleted "dead zone" must take a second crack at his ruling. An appeals court has ordered U.S. District Judge Jay Zainey to reassess his 2013 order telling the EPA to set federal limits on the nutrients nitrogen and phosphorous, which feed huge algae blooms that contribute to loss of oxygen in part of the Gulf of Mexico every summer, killing or chasing away marine life. By Janet McConnaughey. SENT: 678 words. MISSISSIPPI-CONGRESS JACKSON —Thirteen candidates are competing in a special congressional election in north Mississippi. With so many on Tuesday's ballot, the race is expected to go to a June 2 runoff between the top two. The winner will serve the final year and a half of a two-year term started by Republican Rep. Alan Nunnelee, who died of brain cancer in February. By Emily Wagster Pettus. SENT: 330 words, photos. With: BC-Mississippi-Congress-Glance. By Emily Wagster Pettus. PLAYER ELIGIBLE CHALLENGE OLIVE BRANCH — The Mississippi Supreme Court has ruled a high school athlete can challenge a decision that barred him from playing football for Olive Branch High School. The ruling came Thursday in a lawsuit filed by the family of Ross Trail. The case now returns to DeSoto County Chancery Court. SENT: 411 words. (Eds: Also filed to sports lines) IN BRIEF VICKSBURG BAR SHOOTING — A Louisiana man will stand trial Nov. 30 on charges in a fatal shooting at a Vicksburg nightclub in February. SENT: 130 words. OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING — A Jefferson Parish deputy fatally shot a Harvey man Friday night after the man reportedly threatened officers with a gun. The victim was identified Saturday as 48-year-old Dedrick Marshall. SENT: 165 words. LAFAYETTE-VA FACILITY — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs says it has identified a location for a clinic in Lake Charles. Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs Sloan Gibson says in a letter than a lease for a temporary clinic in Lake Charles could be awarded by the end of the summer. SENT: 130 words. DOUBLE SLAYING-METAIRIE — A Jefferson Parish jury has convicted a New Orleans for his role in a 2013 double slaying in Metairie. Jason Thomas faces a mandatory life sentence in the deaths of Demektric Anderson and Tacara Williams-Moss, both of Memphis, Tennessee. SENT: 125 words. COACH-SEX-SENTENCE — The former coach of the Moss Point High School boys' basketball team has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for having sex with a student. SENT: 128 words. CARJACKING CONVICTION — A Jackson man convicted on two counts each of armed robbery and armed carjacking and one count of receiving stolen property will be sentenced May 18. SENT: 129 words. BROOKHAVEN SLAYING — A Brookhaven man has pleaded guilty to charges involving a 2013 fatal shooting in Brookhaven. SENT: 126 words. FBI MEMORIAL — A memorial service is set in New Orleans for FBI agents who have died in the line of duty. The FBI says Monday's service will be held at the New Orleans Museum of Art at City Park. SENT: 80 words. CHILDREN'S ADVOCATE — Former East Baton Rouge Parish Juvenile Judge Kathleen Stewart Richey has landed a position heading a statewide children's advocacy association. SENT: 109 words. MEMBER EXCHANGE EXCHANGE-FEMALE-OFFENDERS SOUTHAVEN — The road to a new life for Crystal Dye and her young son is a long, narrow one, lined with years of group sessions for her addiction, after-care and counseling for 3-year-old Evan, visits to state drug court and random drug screenings. By Henry Bailey, The Commercial Appeal. EXCHANGE-WATER QUALITY PROJECT DIAMONDHEAD — Over the past year, while many peers were shopping for formal dresses, Rutherford spent time collecting water samples from the Bay of St. Louis and Mississippi Sound as part of an expanding science project she started in sixth grade. By Justin Mitchell, The Sun Herald. EXCHANGE-LOUJISIANA TRIBES HOUMA — For local Indian tribes seeking federal recognition, congressional pushback is disappointing, but nothing new. U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, is demanding the Obama administration hold off on new rules that could make it easier for Indian groups to win federal recognition as tribes. By Jacob Batte, The Courier. EXCHANGE-FARM TO TABLE LAFAYETTE — The growing farm-to-table movement seems like it would be a win-win for Louisiana. Farmers get to sell and spotlight their products on local restaurant menus. Chefs get to work with the freshest local ingredients. Customers get to support and learn more about local agriculture. But the movement hasn't given Louisiana farmers the financial backing they'd like. By Megan Wyatt, The Advertiser. GUAM HOSPITAL CHIEF HAGATNA, Guam —Theodore "Ted" Lewis said he's no stranger to managing struggling stateside hospitals. So when the chance came up to be the next chief executive officer for financially strapped Guam Memorial Hospital, he saw an opportunity that others might run away from. Lewis has more than 25 years of experience in the hospital industry including, senior leadership positions at Riverside Medical Center in Louisiana and Baton Rouge General Medical Center. By Gaynor Dumat-ol Daleno, Pacific Daily News. SPORTS PLAYER ELIGIBLE CHALLENGE OLIVE BRANCH — The Mississippi Supreme Court has ruled a high school athlete can challenge a decision that barred him from playing football for Olive Branch High School. The ruling came Thursday in a lawsuit filed by the family of Ross Trail. The case now returns to DeSoto County Chancery Court. SENT: 411 words. ___ If you have stories of regional or statewide interest, please email them to email@example.com. If you have photos of regional or statewide interest, please send them to the AP state photo center in New York, 888-273-6867. For access to AP Exchange and other technical issues, contact AP Customer Support at firstname.lastname@example.org or 877-836-9477. MARKETPLACE: Calling your attention to the Marketplace in AP Exchange, where you can find member-contributed content from Louisiana, Mississippi and other states. The Marketplace is accessible on the left navigational pane of the AP Exchange home page, near the bottom. For both national and state, you can click "All" or search for content by topics such as education, politics and business.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Football and rugby are getting together to promote player safety.A youth clinic featuring the Heads Up Tackling program will be held on May 31as part of the final day of the Collegiate Rugby Championship.Former players and NFL executives will help educate coaches and young players on the value of safe tackling at the new Academy Fields located on the grounds of PPL Park in...
Youth football and rugby to get together
Associated Press | May 6, 2015PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Football and rugby are getting together to promote player safety. A youth clinic featuring the Heads Up Tackling program will be held on May 31as part of the final day of the Collegiate Rugby Championship. Former players and NFL executives will help educate coaches and young players on the value of safe tackling at the new Academy Fields located on the grounds of PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania. All players and coaches are invited to stay for the day's final Rugby 7's championship match. NFL director of football development Matt Birk and former players Hollis Thomas and Ike Reese will participate. "I'm looking forward to learning more about rugby and its techniques, some of which I anticipate being useful and applicable to football," said Birk, who won a Super Bowl with Baltimore in the 2012 season. "We at the NFL are open to learning and interested in any relationships or discussions that can help make our game safer." Rhino Heads Up Tackling is a step-by-step protocol to safely teach the core principles of the skill, utilizing five fundamentals through a series of drills. The purpose is to reinforce proper tackling mechanics and teach them with a focus on reducing helmet contacts. It is a technique rugby long has used, significantly reducing head injuries and concussions in both 15's rugby and 7's, the game which will be part of the 2016 Olympics. "Both football and rugby have a common core of athleticism and teamwork," said tournament director Donal Walsh, but most importantly they need to be safe and fun for all involved. We think this clinic will have great value for anyone interested in either football or rugby, and will educate both on how to play correctly." The clinic will help conclude the two-day Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship festival, the largest gathering of collegiate and high school rugby teams in America. Twenty schools will be competing for the national title. ___ AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Doran Grant picked up the phone for his first interview session as a professional football player and almost immediately blurted out: "Steelers, bro!"The former Ohio State cornerback's youthful enthusiasm was palpable. Consider it fitting for a team whose secondary is in the midst of a long awaited makeover.Pittsburgh grabbed Grant in the fourth round of the NFL draft on...
Steelers grab Ohio State cornerback Doran Grant in 4th round
By WILL GRAVES, Associated Press | May 2, 2015PITTSBURGH (AP) — Doran Grant picked up the phone for his first interview session as a professional football player and almost immediately blurted out: "Steelers, bro!" The former Ohio State cornerback's youthful enthusiasm was palpable. Consider it fitting for a team whose secondary is in the midst of a long awaited makeover. Pittsburgh grabbed Grant in the fourth round of the NFL draft on Saturday, hoping he can bring the same physical presence that helped him become a first-team All-Big Ten selection last season as the Buckeyes stormed to the national championship. The 5-foot-10, 199-pound Grant is the second defensive back taken by the Steelers, who picked up Mississippi's Senquez Golson in the second round on Friday as the club tries to find capable bodies to replace the likes of Troy Polamalu, Ike Taylor and Brice McCain. Polamalu and Taylor retired last month while McCain left for Miami in free agency. "There concerns when you have so many starters leave you at once," Steelers secondary coach Carnell Lake said. "You want to make sure you replace them and make sure you replace them with quality players." Golson tied a school record with 10 interceptions last fall for the Rebels. Grant had five picks for Ohio State, including two in a 59-0 rout of Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game. The Akron, Ohio native played at the same high school where LeBron James once roamed and joins several Buckeyes who have carved out nice careers for themselves in Pittsburgh, including defensive end Cameron Heyward and linebacker Ryan Shazier. Heyward and Shazier were among the first people to reach out when the Steelers used the 121st pick in the draft on Golson. Heyward has often talked about how the set-up at Ohio State made the transition to the Steelers seamless. Golson expects the same. "I love the history and the championship culture there," Golson said. One that finds itself at a crossroads of sort during the offseason. The Steelers went 11-5 and won the AFC North last season almost in spite of their defense, which ranked 18th in points and yards allowed and 27th against the pass. Exit Polamalu and Taylor — who called it a career when it became apparent they were not part of Pittsburgh's 2015 plans — and McCain, who parlayed a solid year into a lucrative deal with the Dolphins. In their place will be holdovers like William Gay and Cortez Allen and newcomers like Grant and Golson. Lake praised Grant's strength. Grant finished with 63 tackles last season played in 54 games in four seasons. That kind of versatility should help him find a spot on special teams while he learns the ins and outs of new defensive coordinator Keith Butler's 3-4 scheme. Lake said there's a chance the Steelers could give Grant a look at safety, where Mike Mitchell and Shamarko Thomas are slated to start. Grant has never played safety in an actual game but is willing to learn if that's what it takes to see the field. ___ AP NFL websites: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_NFL