The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 2, 1997 · Page 21
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 21

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Thursday, October 2, 1997
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Page 21
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THE SALINA JOURNAL SPORTS THURSDAY. OCTOBER 2, 1997 03 T PRO BASKETBALL Garnett, Wolves come to terms Forward's six-year deal reportedly worth at least $120 million By The Associated Press MINNEAPOLIS — Kevin Garnett agreed to terms Wednesday night with the Minnesota Timberwolves on what could be the richest contract in professional sports history, a six-year deal reportedly worth at least $120 million. Garnett, the charismatic, sky's- the-limit forward who jumped from high school to the NBA two years ago and helped one of the league's worst franchises achieve respectability, agreed to the contract extension just four hours before a midnight deadline. "I'm just going to play like K.G., all wild and crazy with a smile," Garnett said. "That's how I would play regardless of whether I would play for a dollar or three quadrillion dollars." While neither side would discuss the exact dollar amount, some reports said the package could be worth as much as $123 million. The deal does not include an opt-out clause that would have given Garnett the option to- become a free agent before the seven years — the last year of his current contract and the six years of the extension — are up. "We couldn't be more happy or excited," team vice president Kevin McHale said. "This is a big, big commitment by the Minnesota Timberwolves toward our ultimate goal of whining a championship. We've jumped out of the boat and we're in the deep water now, so we're going to keep on swimming, trying to get to that championship." Shaquille O'Neal's $120 million, seven-year deal with the Lakers (a $1? million yearly average) is the most lucrative long-term contract ever. Garnett's surpasses that in terms of yearly average and also could eclipse it in total worth. Richmond status uncertain SACRAMENTO, Calif. — One day before the beginning of training camp, the Sacramento Kings don't know if five-time Ail-Star Mitch Richmond will be in attendance. "I've talked with Mitch within the last four or five days, and I've had many conversations with his representative," Geoff Petrie, the team's vice president of operations, said Wednesday. "But at this point I can't tell you for sure that he is going to be in camp." The Kings open camp Friday morning and Richmond will be required to attend. But Richmond did not attend the team's first few practices last year because he wanted his contract renegotiated. He's said throughout the summer that he would not attend camp this season. The Kings have repeatedly said they're not able to renegotiate Richmond's contract because the team doesn't have any flexibility under the salary cap. Richmond is due to make $3 million this season and $2.5 million next season. Nuggets deal McDyess PHOENIX — Antonio McDyess is headed to the one team he always wanted to play for, the Phoenix Suns. The Denver Nuggets, 40 games under .500 a year ago, •were unwilling to meet the 6- foot-9 forward's $100 million salary demand over six years and dealt him to the Suns for a flurry of draft picks. The deal also had the Suns sending guards Wesley Person and Tony Dumas to Cleveland. Denver picked up three-first round and two second-round picks plus cash. V MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL Indians turn to rookie Wright Cleveland hoping right-hander can turn team around after it squandered 5-0 lead.in Game 1 T AUTO RACING Geoff Bodine turns in fast lap, captures pole By The Associated Press CONCORD, N.C, — Geoff Bodine gave his rejuvenated race team another boost Wednesday night by edging Bobby Labonte to win the pole for the UAW-GM Quality 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "I've won a lot of big races and I've won a lot of poles, but I'll tell you, this pole tonight means as much as anything does," said Bodine, an independent owner-driver whose cash-strapped team nearly closed its doors this summer. Jim Mattel, a Dallas-based venture capitalist, purchased a majority interest in the team in August, and the team has rebounded with three top-10 • finishes in its last eight events. Bodine guided his Ford Thunderbird to a fast lap of 184.256 mph on Wednesday night, giving him his 36th career pole but his first since Sept. 16,1994, at Dover, Del., a stretch of 92 races. "We're getting this thing turned around," Bodine said. "I told V GOLF Senior event starts today at Salina Country Club By The Journal Staff It's a new concept making its debut on the state's golf landscape. But Kansas Golf Association executive director Kim Richey hopes the Senior Series Section Team Championship being played today and Friday at the Salina Country Club will catch on. The 36-hole event features 82 senior golfers from across the state playing on five sectional teams in four age divisions. Golfers qualified by playing in up to four one-day KGA-sponsored events through the summer in five geographic sections of the state — east, northeast, southeast, central and west. Each section could qualify up to 20 golfers for its team, but some sections won't have full teams, Richey said. The west, for example, has only nine players and might not field a team. Teams will compete in age divisions of 50-54, 55-59, 60-64 and 65- t By TOM WITHERS The Associated Press NEW YORK — Jaret Wright knows his baseball lineage, confidence and 95 mph fastball will be tried like never before when he takes the mound at Yankee Stadium. Cleveland's rookie right-hander, who began the year in Double-A ball, will start Game 2 of the AL playoffs against New York's Andy Pettitte tonight, trying to prevent New York from taking a 2-0 lead. "I'm human and I'm going to have nerves. I'm nervous and excited, but that's the thrill of competition," said Wright, whose father, Clyde, pitched for 10 seasons in the majors. "Playing baseball at the highest level, like the playoff's in New York is the thrill of a lifetime. It's an awesome feeling." And a lot of pressure on any player, never mind a 21-year-old in a nearly must-win situa- AMERICAN LEAGUE iO? p.m. (ESPN), demand al teYork, ?:13 p.m. (POX), NATIONAL LEAGUE No game scheduled tion. The Indians are hoping Wright can turn things around after Game 1's disaster. Trailing 5-0 in the first inning and 6-3 in the sixth, the Yankees hit three consecutive home runs for a stunning 8-6 victory before a wild, sellout crowd of 57,398 — the most ever for baseball at the renovated Yankee Stadium. Wright, 7-0 with a.3.44 ERA following Indians' losses this year, got a little taste of what he'll face during his start as he watched the Yankees' comeback. "I saw -it last night," he said. "New York filled to the top. People going crazy. It will probably test to the top of all that I can take." Cleveland manager Mike Hargrove said part of his decision to use Wright in Game 2 was because Game 3 starter Charles Nagy is a sinker- bailer, as is Orel Hershiser. Hargrove also senses something special about Wright, whom he describes as a "very young Roger Clemens." "The presence and image that Jaret projects also helped in my decision," Hargrove said; "He has tremendous talent, and I have yet to see him intimidated by a situation." Wright and Hargrove were the only Indians to visit the ballpark on Wednesday as both teams decided to use the unusual off-day to rest after their late-night slugfest. Hargrove said he would start Bip Roberts in left field against the left-handed Pettitte and that Tony Fernandez would play second. He also said he was toying with the idea of starting Kevin Seltzer at first base over Jim Thome. New York manager Joe Torre said he was still undecided about what changes, if any, he would employ. However, he did say he would stick with David Cone to start Game 4 despite the right-hander's bad outing in the opener, when he fell behind 5-0 in the first. "After the first inning, we were a little concerned if he was OK," Torre said of Cone, sidelined for nearly six weeks with shoulder ten- dinitis. "But in the second and third innings, he had good velocity and threw some good fast- balls. So it was just one bad inning." Jayhawks / Changes on offensive line FROM PAGE D1 "Coach hasn't said anything to us," Wegner said earlier in the week. "But we always get equal Snaps in practice. The only difference is, Matt works with the ones and I work with the twos. "I'd like to hear that I'll play. But either way, I don't have a problem with my role," Wegner added. "Everybody would like to start. But I enjoy coming in to play whenever, whether it's the third quarter or the last five minutes." Allen said his team would have to throw to be successful against an Oklahoma team that rolled to a 35-14 victory over Louisville on Saturday. The Sooners are 2-2 heading into Saturday's 1 p.m. kickoff at Lawrence's Memorial Stadium. Interior changes The Jayhawk offensive line was re-arranged last week in preparation .for the Oklahoma game. Justin Glasgow, a senior from Topeka, has been moved from right tackle to right guard, and junior Jeremy Parks from right guard to right tackle. The only problem is Parks weighs just 250 pounds, making him one of the smallest tackles in NCAA Division I-A. The reason for the switch, ac- l T PRO FOOTBALL everyone it would take a couple months, and it's been a couple months. This is a really big boost for this team." Now Bodine can concentrate on another drought. He is an 18-time winner on stock car racing's premier series but has not visited victory lane anywhere since Aug. 11, 1996, at Watkins Glen, N.Y., a span of 35 races. "This is exactly what we needed," he said. "People have kept believing in us, and it's paying off. We're going to make it keep paying off, too." Mark Martin, who trails Jeff Gordon by 135 points in the driver standings with five races left on the 1997 schedule, will start third in Sunday's 500-mile event after a 183.673 mph lap in a Ford. Gordon will start alongside Martin on the second row after a 183.380 in a Chevrolet Monte Carlo. "We've been thinking about Charlotte and running good here," Gordon said. "This is the first step to that, but the race is what we're here for," older. Salinans Bob Lavery, Tom Dunn, Bill Knox and Jim Knight will play on the central team. "Three players (in each age group) qualified on their gross scores,, two on their net scores," Richey said. "We'll take the best two gross and best net score from each group and compile the team score from those totals. There will eight gross and four net scores for a total of 12 scores for each round." The four net age group winners and the top eight players from the KGA's senior player of the year points list will form a 12-man team that will play in & Ryder Cup-style competition against a team of senior golfers from Arkansas Oct. 1617 at TaUgrass Country Club in Wichita in the first Kansas- Arkansas Senior Cup Challenge. "This is a new concept," Richey said. "The whole thing is still catching on. It's hard to say who the favorites are, how good the scores will be or how close it will be. We'll all be learning a lot." I . cording to Allen, is Oklahoma's tough defensive tackle duo of 280- pound junior Kelly Gregg and 301-pound senior Martin Chase. "Those are the guys that impress me the most on Oklahoma's defense," Allen said. "They're outstanding football players and one of the major reasons that we moved, in our minds, our best offensive tackle, Justin Glasgow, inside to try and neutralize the play of their defensive tackles." Glasgow is a 6-6, 315-pound junior. Injury report Senior linebacker Jason Thoren is expected to play against Oklahoma despite suffering a torn posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee against Cincinnati. Thoren, who is the second-leading tackier with 30 stops, will be fitted with a knee brace. "He's one of those guys who's embarrassed about not being out there," Allen said. "We're optimistic he'll be able to go." If Thoren is unable to play, he'll be replaced at one of the inside linebacker positions by junior J. J. Johnson, who has made 26 tackles. Another KU starter — wide receiver Eric Patterson — will play Saturday after missing two games with a rib injury. Orange Bowl reunion Members of the 1947 Jayhawk team that played Georgia Tech in the 1948 Orange Bowl game will gather this weekend for the Oklahoma game to celebrate the team's 50th reunion. The '47 Kansas team finished with an 8-1-2 record and was the first Jayhawk team to play in a postseason bowl game. Thirty-one members of the '47 team are expected to be on hand Saturday, with many of them joining the current KU team for the pre-game walk down Campanile Hill. "We're anxious to be part of it," Allen said. "That solidifies some of the previous thoughts about this place. To get 31 players back says a lot about how special this place is." Defense leads the way The loss to Cincinnati did little to mar KU's impressive defensive statistics. The Jayhawks rank third in the Big 12 Conference and 10th nationally in total defense and have allowed just one touchdown pass to be thrown against them. The Jayhawks have recorded 11.5 quarterback sacks in four games, just 5.5 fewer than the entire total for the 1996 season. Senior outside linebacker Ron Warner has 6.5 of those sacks. The KU record is 10 set by Dana Stubblefield in 1991. Two-week layoff Allen said his team needed the two weeks off following the loss to Cincinnati. "I think it's a good situation for your football team," Allen said. "Especially with our football team because we needed to do some things offensively to try and give ourselves a better chance. "It's still blocking and tackling and we have to do a better job on the blocking part of it." Series ends . Due to the alternating Big 12 Conference scheduling cycle, the nation's longest uninterrupted series will come to an end after this season. The Jayhawks play Oklahoma, Texas and Texas Tech from the Big 12's southern division in 199697. In '98 and '99, Kansas will face Oklahoma State, Texas A&M and Baylor from the south. KU and the Sooners will be playing for the 95th consecutive year on Saturday. KU has won the last two meetings between the, two schools — 38-17 and 52-24 —' and will be looking for three in-a- row against OU for thfe first time i in over 70 years. Panthers decide to switch quarterbacks By The Associated Press CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Kerry Collins, the Carolina Panthers' first-ever draft choice, was benched Wednesday after turning the ball over nine times in the past two games. Coach Dom Capers said he was making the move at quarterback because he felt the Panthers had rushed Collins back into the lineup too fast after he broke his jaw. "When you've been away from it, you can't just jump back in and expect everything to,.fall back in place the way it was," Capers said. "It's a step-by-step process." Steve Beuerlein Will take over as the starter for the Panthers,.who have a bye this week and play the Vikings in Minnesota next week. Capers did not set a timetable for Collins' return to the lineup, but he made it clear the Panthers still feel he is their No. 1 quarterback. Collins, who the Panthers took with their top choice in the 1995 draft, had his jaw broken in two places, on a hit by Denver linebacker Bill Romanowski on Aug. 9. Collins returned to the lineup 1 Sept. 14, at least one week earlier than expected. In his three games since then, he has been intercepted eight times and thrown for four touchdowns, and he has a lower quarterback rating than anyone in the NFL except Heath Shuler Kansas City site of 1999 gymnastics event KANSAS CITY, Mo. — USA Gy- nmastics has chosen Kansas City as host city for the 1999 gymnastics World Team Trials, a competition that could help shape the United States' Olympic team in 2000. USA Gymnastics, the national governing body for the sport, awarded the event to Kansas City and the Greater Kansas City Sports Commission and Foundation on Wednesday. The trials will be held at Municipal Auditorium downtown Sept. 15-18,1999. Organizers said it will be the first time a gymnastics event of that magnitude has been held in Kansas City. The World Team Trials normally feature the top 14 male and top 20 female gymnasts in the country. The top six men and top six women earn berths on the U.S. World Championships Team. The trials will serve as the selection meet for the U.S. team that will compete at the 1999 World Gymnastics Championships in Tianjin, China. The top 12 teams from that event qualify for the Olympics. FMSU to play lone fall baseball game today HAYS — Fort Hays State's baseball team will play Butler County Community College at 1 p.m., today at Larks Park. It will be the Tigers' only fall baseball game of the season. The Tigers return 14 letterwin- ners from last team that won the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference title, finished second in the NCAA Division II West Regional and compiled a school- and conference-best 48-15 record. Brown Mackie spikers win two matches Brown Mackie notched two much-needed victories Wednesday at the Salina Family YMCA. The Lions (15-16) defeated Hesston 15-8,15-8 and the Ottawa junior varsity 15-8,15-3. Laura Shumanski had eight blocks. Barb Boydston eight kills and Michelle Leon 12 digs for Brown Mackie against Hesston. Arynn Clark had 11 kills and 15 assists against Ottawa. "We're finally starting to turn it around," Brown Mackie coach Rhonda Kenkel said. "We've been struggling a lot... but we got the job done tonight. "The attitude and sophomore leadership was a lot better tonight." Brown Mackie plays in the Cowley County Tournament Friday and Saturday in Arkansas City. KWU men's soccer prevails at Tabor, 4-2 HILLSBORO — The Kansas Wesleyan men's soccer team snapped a four-game losing skid Wednesday with a 4-2 Kansas Conference victory over Tabor. Wesleyan (6-4 overall, 3-0 KCAC) led 1-0 at halftime on J.C. Walsh's goal and an assist from Nicky Ranieri. Murad Dibbini scored in the second half on an assist from his brother Mike. Mike Dibbini scored Wesleyan's final two goals, the first on an assist from Preston Seymour and the second unassisted. Rob Arnold scored both of Tabor's goals in the second half. "We felt good because even though we had lost four in a row, we knew it would help us in the conference," Wesleyan coach Brian Berner said. "We played a very solid match. "I feel like we're definitely going in the right direction. Losing a couple of games really helped us." Tabor won the women's game 21. Crystal Robinson scored for Wesleyan (3-7,1-2) on an assist from Colleen Walsh. Dolly Grant scored Tabor's first goal on an assist from Teresa Kroeker. Kroeker scored the Blue Jays' second goal unassisted. Tabor led 1-0 at halftime. From Staff and Wire Reports I Buy One of These Great STIHLSaws... I'arin Boss' Every home needs a workhorse. The 029 will handle the toughest jobs & then some. Stihl029 Save $20! I329. 95 Designed for firewood cutting and around the home tasks. Excellent for carpenters and landscapers. SUM 025 ...And you'll receive a carry case and extra STIHL chain FREE - hurry, offer for a limited time only! 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