Great Falls Tribune from Great Falls, Montana on January 22, 1991 · Page 11
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Great Falls Tribune from Great Falls, Montana · Page 11

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Great Falls, Montana
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Tuesday, January 22, 1991
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Page 11
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BlCrN. n. niti -n. n Scoreboard 2B IUUY r(Q a Big Sky hoop statistics 2B Great Falls Tribune rOJ JJvJjA ILtO a Sportscope 3B 1 Tuosday, January 22, 1991 V mSU VjV O Australian Open results ,.4B Super Bowl QB go way back as rivals By ALAN ROBINSON AP Sports Writer PITTSBURGH - Big game. Hostetler vs. Kelly. It happens Sunday in Tampa at the Super Bowl. It also happened 12 years ago in the Pennsylvania high school basketball tournament. New York Giants quarterback Jeff Hostetler was the star of Conemaugh Township High, which played Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly's alma mater, East Brady, In the 1979 Class A semifinals. East Brady's starters included Kelly's younger brothers, Dan and Kevin. Hostetler scored 28 points as Conemaugh won 63-57 in overtime. Among the first to congratulate him were Jim Kelly, then a quarterback at Miami, Kelly's father and five brothers. "I remember thinking how similar they were ... two very close families," said Conemaugh baseball coach Dave Michaels. "Now they're in the Super Bowl together." They play for two Empire State teams, but their similar upbringings in quarterback-rich western Pennsylvania greatly influenced the athletic success of Jeff Hostetler and Jim Kelly just as it did for Joe Montana, Johnny Unitas, George Blanda, Joe Namath, Major Harris, Johnny Lujack and Dan Marino. The Steelers haven't played in the Super Bowl in 11 years, but that hasn't lessened the Pittsburgh area's influence in determining the champion. Montana led the 49ers to the last two Super Bowl titles; the next NFL champion will again be quarterbacked by a product of the "Cradle of Quarterbacks." Four of the eight NFL playoff quarterfinalists had Pittsburgh-area born-and-bred quarterbacks, including Montana's 49ers and Marino's Miami Dolphins. The steel industry is on the decline, but Pittsburgh continues to turn out steel-nerved quarterbacks who play hurt and play smart. Hostetler suffered a hypere-xtended knee, but returned to lead the Giants' to the game-winning field goal in Sunday's 15-13 victory over the two-time defending champion 49ers. Kelly returned from a painful knee injury to lead Buffalo to a 44-34 playoff victory over Miami and Sunday's 51-3 rout of the Los Angeles Raiders. Hostetler, 29, and Kelly, 30, are classic examples of the work ethic so common among western Pennsylvania athletes. "Jeff had to be tough growing up because his brothers used to work him over," said Joe Majer, his high school basketball coach. "The 2-on-2 basketball games on their IBP farm were something ... the whole family is very intense. Their father used to have to stop them." Now, years later, Ron Hostetler still stops them during holiday gatherings because, mother Dolly Hostetler told The Pittsburgh Press, "They're too competitive. We couldn't take the chance that Jeff would get hurt Even when they're playing volleyball, we have to make sure all four of them are in the same side." Hostetler wasn't supposed to be the Giants' quarterback he got the job by default when Phil Si-mms got hurt. Of course, Hostetler wasn't supposed to be a quarterback when he went to Penn State in 1979. After playing quarterback as a sophomore and junior a Hostetler quarterbacked Conemaugh for 10 consecutive seasons he played tailback and linebacker his senior season. Two of his older brothers, Ron and Doug, were linebackers at Penn State, and Jeff also was recruited by Joe Patemo. He transferred to West Virginia two years later when Paterno chose Todd Blackledge as his starting quarterback. "I always thought he was a better athlete than Blackledge and I thought he'd make a better quarterback," said 49ers nose tackle Pete Kugler, a former Penn State teammate. "Now the guy's finally got his shot and he's on a roll." Hostetler was the valedictorian of his high school class, had a 3.85 grade average in finance at West Virginia and was nominated for a Rhodes Scholarship. He married West Virginia coach Don Nehlen's daughter, Vicky, then patiently waited for his opportunity to play after being the Giants' third-round draft choice in 1984. He didn't attempt a single pass in his first four NFL seasons, but Hostetler's next touchdown pass might win a Super Bowl. Interestingly, Kelly also was recruited by Penn State as a linebacker. He chose Miami after being promised he could play quarterback. V ... ' . ' i r AP Photo New York Giants' quarterback Jeff Hostetler (15) somersaulted while Lawrence Taylor bear hugged kicker Matt Bahr Sunday after Bahr's last-second kick beat the 49ers and sent the Giants to the Super Bowl. They'll play Buffalo Sunday in Tampa. Bills' offense clicking By BOB MATTHEWS Rochester Times-Union TAMPA - Super Bowl XXV is five days away, and annoyed fans of the 3-point underdog New York Giants already feel slighted. Commentary They shouldn't The Giants might beat the Buffalo Bills on Sunday but there are few logical reasons to expect them to. Here's why Buffalo should bring home a victory: The Bills have developed the best-balanced, most-potent offense in the National Football League. Don't be surprised if the no-huddle replaces the run-and-shoot as the hot attack mode in the league next season. Unfortunately for the copycats, they won't have Jim Kelly to run their no-huddle, and they won't have his supporting cast Running back Thurman Thomas, wide re- , ceivers Andre Reed and James Lofton, and tight end Keith McKeller are as good as they come at their positions. It is impossible to concentrate on them all. Last week, Los Angeles Raiders' coach Art Shell said this season's defensive unit was the best in the history of the organization. After the 51-3 loss to the Bills, he didn't change his mind: "Yeah, that's what I said. I guess that says something for Buffalo's offense." The Bills scored 51 but it could have been 61, or 71, or 81 if Buffalo coach Marv Levy weren't such a good sport He put the no-huddle back in storage after the first series of the third quarter, See OFFENSE, 4B It 's an almost New York Super Bowl Ever since the beginning of Super Bowl time, the all-New York matchup has been awaited. Finally, with the Giants and the Buffalo Bills, it's here. Or at least the all-New York State Thruway Super Bowl is here, with a detour down Route 17 in New Jersey to Giants Stadium. Despite the Giants' theatrical 15-13 conquest of the 49ers in San Francisco, the Bills have been installed as a 5-point betting favorite, not merely for their 51-3 rout of the Los Angeles Raiders. Oddsmakers remember how the Bills handled the Giants, 17-13, on Dec. 15 in a second-half duel of backup quarterbacks. Frank Reich replaced Jim Kelly, who suffered a damaged left knee in the second quarter, and Jeff Hostetler was inserted for Phil Simms, who severely sprained his right foot, which remains in a cast. In a twist of fate, if not destiny, Simms' injury provided Hostetler with the opportunity to prove all those wrong who had dismissed him Anderson Dave Anderson is a nationally syndicated sports columnist. as just a backup. "That's the thing to say, I guess, that I wouldn't be able to get it done," the 29-year-old scrambler said. "That just adds to the fire and keeps it going." But if these Giants are to be measured for Super Bowl XXV rings, the burden is on their defense to stop the Bills' offense that thrashed the Raiders following their 44-34 victory over the Miami Dolphins in the divisional playoff. With Kelly healthy, the Bills have put up 95 points in only two games against the best of the other American Conference teams. "Their big scores haven't surprised me," said Bill Belichick, the Giants' defensive coordinator. "They've got big-play guys making big plays." Belichick was alluding to Kelly, his two wide receivers, Andre Reed and the 34-year-old James Lofton, and the reliable running back Thurman Thomas. "With their shotgun and no-huddle offense, they pose different problems than the 49ers did," Belichick said. "They're a scoring machine." ' With Thomas having been chosen with Barry Sanders of the Detroit Lions for All-Pro honors, the Bills possess what the 49ers never really had all season a running game. "We tire them out," Reed said of opposing See ANDERSON, 4B Dodgers' farm system rated No. 1 By SCOTT MANSCH Tribune Sports Writer The Los Angeles farm system was so weak a few years ago that the Dodgers were forced to vigorously bid for free agents. Now, the team's farm system has gone from much-maligned to much-improved. In fact magazine Baseball America recently rated the minor league systems, by 1990 winning percentage and all-stars, and number of scouting bureau prospects. Los Angeles is the No. 1 organization in all three categories. But the Dodgers of manager Tommy Lasorda are still vigorously bidding and signing free It would seem to be a contradiction. But LA scouting director Terry Reynolds told Baseball America just because the Dodgers sign a Darryl Strawberry or a Brett Butler or a Kirk Gibson, or just because they trade for an Eddie Murray or a Kal Daniels, doesn't mean the farm system is devoid of talent When the Dodgers shell out big dough for big names, it makes big news. And that usually translates into ticket-office revenue. There is little question the team's free-agent activity can be attributed at least partly to a public relations philosophy, rather than a farm system deficiency. "I don't feel we need to defend our some good drafts and put people in the major leagues, and my hope is the kids we've drafted recently become Dodgers. The way today's system is, sometimes the kids you develop succeed somewhere else." At any rate, some of players drafted recently by the Dodgers, and some that began their careers in Great Falls, certainly seem destined for the big leagues. Baseball America ranks the top LA prospects thusly: 1. shortstop Jose Offerman; 2. outfielder Raul Mondesi; 3. pitcher Jamie McAndrew; 4. outfielder Henry Rodriguez; 5. outfielder Tom Goodwin; 6. pitcher Kiki Jones; 7. pitcher Dan Opperman; 8. pitcher Eric Karros; 10. third baseman Dave Hansen. All but Rodriguez began their pro careers as Great Falls Dodgers. Offerman played a little shortstop in Los Angeles last year and could be a fixture at the position for years to come. The rest of the prospects will probably be major leaguers before long, too. Not necessarily in Los Angeles, but somewhere. The Dodgers' farm clubs won at a .592 clip last year, tops in baseball. The Los Angeles minor-league teams have a .573 winning percentage the past three years, by far the best in the game. While oft-injured pitcher Dan Opperman appears to be on the mend, there is concern about the health of top prospects Kiki Jones and Pedro Martinez. Jones pitched in only nine games last year at Rangers' official upset with Pioneer League age rule By SCOTT MANSCH Tribune Sports Writer Texas Rangers farm director Marty Scott says a new major league rule setting age limits for minor-league players at the lower levels could distort the balance of power in the Pioneer League. The rule, which doesn't apply to the independent Salt Lake City Trappers, means that teams jn a league like the Pioneer now designated Rookie-Advanced will be able to have no more than 10 players on their rosters who are 21 years of age or older. Scott, quoted recently in Baseball America magazine, says the Pioneer has become a haven for clubs trying to break in their newly drafted college players. The new rule could well change that reputation. "It's a concern of ours that (leagues like the Pioneer) don't fit our needs anymore," Scott says. According to Baseball America, the Rangers had 18 players in Butte last summer who were at least 21 years old. The Great Falls Dodgers had the same number, and so did the Helena Brewers. The Billings Mustangs had 20 players last summer who were at least 21 years old. Scott says it isn't fair that Salt Lake City isn't required to adhere to the rule. "We might as well give (the Trappers) the championship trophy every year before we start," says Scott, whose Butte entry has been in the Pioneer championship series two times in the last three years. Great Falls general manager Ray Mesh doesn't necessarily agree with Scott, perhaps understandably since the Dodgers have won three straight Pioneer pennants. Klesh has confidence in the same scouts and LA administrators who have sent excellent talent to Great Falls the past three years. "I don't feel ifs that great an advantage for Salt Lake," Klesh says. "The Dodgers will give us a good ballclub, I'm sure. We'll be competitive." The new agreement between the major and minor leagues dictates for the first time age limits for players in the low minors. Previously, there were rules governing the number of players with professional experience, but not with respect to age. The Pioneer is now Rookie-Advanced, along with the Appalachian League. According to Baseball America, last year Pioneer League teams had on their rosters 45 players who under the new rules would not have been eligible to play. The next step up from the Rookie-Advanced is Short-A, like the Northwest League and the New York-Perm League. In those leagues, teams are permitted to have only two players who are 23 are older. What it all could mean is that clubs will be drafting more high school-aged players in the June draft. But Klesh says Los Angeles farm director Charlie Blaney has not indicated that. "What Charlie has told me," says Klesh, "is they will continue to send their best young ballplayers to Great Falls." Dickenson to sign on with Griz By Tribune Staff Record-setting quarterback David Dickenson, who led CM. Russell High to consecutive state Class AA football championships in 1989-90, has announced plans to accept a scholarship from the University of Montana. Dickenson considered of-fers from Montana State and Car-leton (Minn.) College before choosing the Grizzlies. "They'll probably redshirt me and get me used to the system," Dickenson said. "They only have two quarterbacks now. I think I can play there. This is the best route for me to go" Dickenson, a 5-foot-lO, 160-pounder, rewrote the CMR record books the past two years while leading the Rustlers to a 24-0 record. The strong-armed quarterback threw for 2,892 yards and 38 touchdowns last fall, he also rushed for 4 1 1 yards and 13moreTDs. As a junior, Dickenson passed for 2,180 yards and 23 touchdowns, while accounting for 10 more TDs rushing. Dickenson holds virtually all the CMR passing records. Dickenson, named Montana player of the year by USA Today, plans to study math or science at UM, perhaps with pre-med in mind.

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