Great Falls Tribune from Great Falls, Montana on September 30, 1993 · Page 15
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Great Falls Tribune from Great Falls, Montana · Page 15

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Great Falls, Montana
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Thursday, September 30, 1993
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Page 15
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c 77 GIRLS' BASKETBALL CMR squad plays Hawks in Bozeman BOZEMAN - The CM. Russell High girls' basketball team tries to get back on the winning track tonight against the defending State AA champion Bozeman Hawks. The Rustlers of coach Jerry Schmitz are 2-6 overall and 1-2 in Eastern AA play. Bozeman is 6-1 and 4-1. The Rustlers lost twice In Billings last weekend, falling at Billings West 56-50 and at Billings Senior 43-31. FOOTBALL Quarterback change made at Weber OGDEN, Utah (AP) - Weber State coach Dave Arslanian has benched quarterback Rob Westervelt in favor of redshirt freshman Brad Otton. The Wildcats are 2-2, including two Big Sky Conference losses by a combined score of 70-10. Montana State defeated Weber 14-10 last week. Weber hosts Eastern Washington, 1-2, Saturday. Westervelt is 63 for 144 passing for 733 yards, four touchdowns and seven interceptions. Otton has played sparingly. He completed four of eight passes for 59 yards with one interception. CROSSCOUNTRY Montana's Smathers earns honors again BOISE, Idaho (AP) - For the second time this fall, University of Montana runner Shelley Smathers has been selected the Big Sky Conference women's crosscountry athlete of the week. Idaho State University runner Spencer Hill won men's honors. Smathers, a senior from Morton, Wash., was the top conference finisher in the Mountain West Classic. She finished fifth overall and fourth among collegiate runners. She posted a 20:52 clocking over a 6,000-meter course. BASEBALL Sheffield becomes lOth-best paid player MIAMI - The Florida Marlins on Wednesday made Gary Sheffield the highest-paid third baseman and lOth-highest paid player in baseball, signing him to a contract that will guarantee him $22.45 million in the next four years. Sheffield, 24, will be paid a base salary of $4,625,000 next season, $5,625,000 in 1994 and $6.1 million in both '95 and '96. "1 can prepare myself a little better each day knowing I'm go ing to be here Gary ShettMd for the next four years," said Sheffield, who was batting .296 with 20 homers and 72 RBIs entering Wednesday night's game against Montreal. "The money is not the Issue. Being somewhere where I'm happy and comfortable is the key for me." Sheffield began his professional career in 1986 with the Helena Brewers of the Pioneer League. Wednesday's big-league scores AMERICAN LEAGUE New York 8, Baltimore 3 Detroit 8, Boston 7 Minnesota 3, California 2 (10) Chicago 3, Seattle 2 (12) Toronto 9, Milwaukee 6 Texas 1 1 , Oakland 6 Kansas City 3, Cleveland 2 NATIONAL LEAGUE Colorado 5, San Francisco 3 Montreal 7, Florida 1 Pittsburgh 9, Philadelphia 1 Atlanta 6, Houston 3 New York 1, St. Louis 0 (17) Cincinnati 8, San Diego 0 Chicago 6, Los Angeles 1 Details, page 4C 1 if! la J ff iirifiLfcii i frLiskmli Classified Pages 6-8C INSIDE: Scoreboard 2C Community Sports 3C The Baseball Page 4C Sport scope 4C Questions or sports news tips? Call Sports Editor George Gelse, 79M470, or 1-800-4384600. Grass greener this side of Idaho border for Griz By GEORGE GEISE Tribune Sports Editor The Montana-Boise State football rivalry doesn't go deeper than dirt. As far as the Grizzlies and Broncos are con cerned, it's what's on top of the dirt that counts. The Montana Grizzlies have never won In Boise, and rarely have come close. The Boise State Broncos haven t won In Miss oula since 1985, and frequently have gone home mad. When the teams clash Saturday afternoon at Washington-Grizzly Stadium, the Grizzlies will be expected to win big. After all, the game's in Missoula, where they still play football on natural grass. "I definitely think that teams who play on artificial turf have trouble adjusting to grass," said UM coach Don Read, whose own teams used to have a tough time playing on artificial turf, the surface of most Big Sky Conference schools. But Boise State - which frequently plays 9 or 10 games a year on artificial surfaces, plus every practice has been awful on grass. Besides losing three straight at Missoula, the Broncos have lost seven of their last nine games in Bozeman against Montana State, four in a row at Cheney, Wash., against Eastern Washington and two of their last three at Ogden, Utah against "We may well have trouble on grass Saturday afternoon. But if we do, it will be because Montana has a fine football team..." Boise State coach Pokey Allen ' ' Weber State. Those are all grass fields. So far this season, Boise Is 2-1 on turf and 0-1 on grass, losing at Nevada-Reno two weeks ago. New BSU coach Pokey Allen, who grew up on Missoula's grass fields, doesn't buy the surface theory. "We may well have trouble on grass Saturday afternoon," Allen said Wednesday after practice. "But if we do, it will be because Montana has a fine football team. It won't have anything to do with the field, unless they've changed the dimensions of the football field since the last time I was there." The field is still 100 yards long, although it has seemed shorter this season after sophomore Dave Dickenson became the starting quarterback. Dickenson, a 170-pounder from Great Falls Russell, has passed for 12 touchdowns and run for 6 more in portions of four games, three of them victories. All three victories, of course, came on grass. "I think the road vs. home thing sometimes isn't as important as the grass vs. turf thing," said Read. "1 know there are some teams who just play better on the surface they are used to. Even when we've won indoors (turf), we've usually started slow and then had to rally in the second half." Montana returned from Eastern Washington Saturday with a victory for the first time in four tries against the Eagles. The Grizzlies lead the Big Sky Conference with a 2-0 record, while Boise ii playing its first league game. UM is ranked 12th In the latest NCAA Division I-AA poll, while Boise didn't receive a single vote. "I'm a big believer In momentum, and sure, we've got some now," said Read, whose team plays four October games at Washington-Grizzly See GRASS, 2C H A AY' t i : 'f( , " jr T 4 frit TrlkuiwFlltPlMt Montana coach Don Read will be looking across the field at an old rival Saturday afternoon. r Irate s r roms (tat . '; fo ' . ,f V. v I , v f for ilirts Braves move back into first place AP Photo San Francisco star Will Clark yells In disgust after striking out with a man aboard In the seventh Inning Wednesday afternoon at Candlestick Park. The Colorado Rockies defeated the Giants, who began the day tied with the Atlanta Braves for first place in the National League West. By DAVE ALBEE Marin Independent Journal SAN FRANCISCO - Standing on the threshold of a tight transcontinental pennant race, the San Francisco Giants left the door open for the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday afternoon. Darryl Boston belted two solo home runs and Nelson Liriano added another as the expansion Colorado Rockies ended the Giants' seven-game winning streak with a 5-3 victory at Candlestick Park. The loss, only the second in the last 13 games for the Giants, denied them an opportunity to take sole possession of first place in the NL West. Then Wednesday night, the Braves defeated Houston to climb back into first place by a full game. "We can get down after the game, but we can't stay down," Giants manager Dusty Baker said. "That's the beauty of baseball. You get to come back tomorrow and play. I hope we have a couple more weeks worth of tomorrows." The Rockies jumped on 21 -year-old rookie Salomon Torres for a 4-1 lead, then survived several scares to thwart the Giants. Torres (3-4) failed to pitch beyond the third inning. He surrendered home runs to Liriano and Boston leading off the first and second innings while walking four. He walked six in his previous start. It was Liriano's second homer of the season. Boston hit his second homer of the game (14th of the season) leading off the sixth inning against reliever Jeff Brantley. Colorado relievers Steve Reed and Bruce Ruffin helped preserve the win for starter Kent Bottenfield (6-10) Reed got Matt Williams to hit NATIONAL LEAGUE West Division W L Pet. GB Atlanta 101 57 .639 - San Fran ..100 58 .637 1 REMAINING GAMES ATLANTA (4) - HOME (4): Sept. 30, Houston; Oct. 1, 2, 3, Colorado. SAN FRANCISCO (4) - AWAY (4): Sept. 30, Oct. 1 , 2, 3, Los Angeles. into a bases-loaded, Inning-ending double play In the fifth and Ruffin recovered to strike out the side in the sixth after giving up a pinch-hit, two-run homer to Mark Carreon. "They're no slouches," Baker said of the Rockies, who play the Braves next. "Maybe Colorado can play Atlanta like they played us." The Giants left after the game to fly to Los Angeles for a season-ending four-game series against the Dodgers. The Giants will send 20-game winner Bill Swift to the mound Thursday night against the Dodgers' Tom Candiotti (8-9). Swift has thrown only 84 pitches and 92 pitches in his last two starts and has allowed only one earned run in his last three outings, all wins. But he has pitched 225 innings this season, 50 more than in any previous season. On Friday night, 21 -game winner John Burkett will oppose Ramon Martinez (10-11). Burkett has pitched more innings (226) than any other Giants pitcher and 20 more than he's pitched in a single season, with less rest between starts. New I-AA poll lacks clout, but still a big improvement Finally, weVe got an NCAA Division I-AA football poll that means something to fans. Unfortunately, it doesn't mean as much as it we might like. This fall, the NCAA decided not to conduct its own in-house poll. That means four committee members don't have to gather behind closed doors (actually, in a nationwide telephone hookup) and guess which teams should be ranked in the Top 20. For the first time, the I-AA poll looks like ... well, a football poll reflecting diverse opinions and regions. The Sports Network, an information gathering business based in Pennsylvania, is conducting the 1-AA football poll this fall, with the blessing (sort of) of the NCAA Dennis Poppe, who coordinates I-AA championships for the NCAA, claims the NCAA never really ( t i GEORGE GEISE Tribune Sports Editor wanted to be in the poll business. "We prefer not to, but we will (do a poll) if no other poll is being conducted in a division that sponsors a championship," Poppe said from his office in Kansas. Another guy who is happy that the NCAA isn't doing a weekly I-AA poll is Bill Moos, University of Montana athletic director and one of the four regional committee members. "This takes a lot of pressure off," Moos said Wednesday. "We talked Monday and we'll talk again on Oct. 1 1 . But we don't have to come up with rankings every week." My objection to past NCAA polls was that influential schools like Boise State consistently were ranked high despite weak schedules and medicore records. It also was a bit suspicious when the four voters represented schools or leagues that regularly appeared in the Top 20. So instead of four foxes guarding the henhouse, I-AA now has a broader poll base that includes ballots from 25 sports information directors, 15 coaches, 15 athletic directors and 15 members of the media. No longer is there unanimous conspiracy (er, agreement) on the top six or seven teams. No longer are undefeated teams automatically ranked high and teams with two losses automatically ranked low. My two favorite reasons for the new poll are: Northern Arizona isn't ranked in the Top 25. Western Carolina is. I'm a Big Sky Conference advocate, but it's tough to see how Northern Arizona could be anything other than 4-0 at this point of the season. The Lumberjacks may well be better than they've been in recent years, but they'll have to beat somebody better than Southern Utah and Cal-Northridge before they prove it to me. Western Carolina, ranked 22nd, may have a 1-2 record, but the Catamounts have lost to Division I-A Kansas and a good North Carolina A&Tteam (ranked 9th in I-AA), while beating a solid Citadel club. Actually, there is another reason why the new poll has earned credibility that the old one lacked. The Montana Grizzlies actually MOVED UP in the poll following a defeat. That showed me that somebody had the wisdom to recognize that a 35-30 loss on the road, to an Oregon team that is headed for a bowl, is worth more than a home victory over Southern Utah. : ' And we didn't have to point the finger of favoritism at Moos after the Grizzlies moved up. We can only hope that the I-AA selection panel will closely watch The Sports Network Poll and see how other voters most of them with no stake in the outcome evaluaUthe teams. Poppe claims that the NCAA has no obligation to use the new poll as a basis in picking the 16 playoff teams. Obi igation or not, well be comparing numbers when the playoff teams are picked around Thanksgiving.

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