Pensacola News Journal from Pensacola, Florida on May 23, 1999 · 41
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Pensacola News Journal from Pensacola, Florida · 41

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Pensacola, Florida
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Sunday, May 23, 1999
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41
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PENS ACOL A TNews ! Journal SUNDAY, MAY 23, 1999 SECTION D To report a story: 435-8521 Base-brawl Detroit's Tony Clark was hit by a pitch in Saturday's game with Cleveland, setting off a brawl. Major League report, 6D cm 771 ':: i NATHAN , ( las. ' I DOMINITZ Ty On boxing Jones takes basketball seriously The New Hampshire Thunder Loons, by their very name,7 don't inspire images of a great basketball team. When the Pennsylvania Val-leyDawgs take the court against the Washington Con-gressionals, it's not exactly the Jazz and Bulls. Well, maybe the new beataBulls, not Michael Jordan's Bulls. Yet the United States Basketball League has for 14 summers created a niche in the pro hoops world. It advertises itself as "The League of Opportunities," and boasts of 113 former USBLers who played in the NBA. The league has 13 teams with rosters full of NBA hopefuls, hopeless and has-beens. Along came Jones Then there's Gulf Coast SunDogs guard Roy Jones of rensacola, whose other job is boxing. It pays very well, sometimes $4 million a night. He hghts about three nights a year. The 30-year-old holds two world championship belts and wide regard as the Jones best fighter class. of any weight The rest of, the time he keeps busy with training for the fights, commentating on TV fights, operating a recording studio where he performs rap music, running his chicken ranch, overseeing other business ventures. And playing basketball. Lots of basketball. Always has, it seems. City recreation leagues. Pick-up games. And for the fourth season, in the USBL for the franchise formerly known as the Jacksonville Barracudas. If players with college experience question his intentions as a serious player, not a gate attraction, Jones will "make you accept me as a basketball player." It's a challenge to him. "I come in with the same drive and motivation (as other players)," said the 5-foot-ll Jones. "I work just as hard if not harder than they do." He recalled one day at practice during another season when he didn't challenge himself. "It was the worst day I had," he said. He won't let it happen again. He works on his game, and is concentrating more this season on his shot selection and decision-making. Through seven games, Jones averaged 4.3 points, 3.7 assists and 2.3 rebounds. Hoops and rings "I want to have that 'get better' mentality I lost in boxing," Jones said. "I have nothing to reach for. I'm on top. Any time you don't think you can get better it's time to get out of that sport. It's almost getting to that point. I need something to make me want to get better. I think basketball did it." ; Jones once made national news, and likely history, by playing guard for the Barracudas during the afternoon, and defending a world boxing title the night of June 15, 1996. On June 5 in Biloxi, Miss., Jones will fight fellow world champ Reggie Johnson to unify the light heavyweight (175 pounds) division. He's preparing by training in Sarasota by day and practicing and playing with the SunDogs by day and night. "My boxing career's already in place," said Jones (39-1, 33 knockouts). "I know what to do. I know how to out-think you. But I have to get myself in physical condition. That's the hardest part. That's what the basketball is forcing me to do." So the sport he loves most is serving the sport where he is loved. He will keep getting better, and keep playing long after the boxing career is over. Asked if we can expect to see Jones at 50 launching 3-pointers, he answered, "You know it." Nathan Dominitz covers boxing for the News Journal. Contact him by phone at 435-8657. Si Mobile Admirals' head trainer Tammy Lowrey-Ridgley is a pioneer in her profession who makes her players feel ByBillVilona News Journal staff writer MOBILE - In her first day as a pioneer, Tammy Lowrey-Ridgley feared her career faced a massive ceiling. Keith Traylor, veteran defensive tackle for the Denver Broncos, took one look at the new head trainer for the Barcelona Dragons with a scowl enveloping his face. "Ain't no girl tapin' me!" bellowed Traylor, who was on a rehab assignment with the NFL's World League team. "My heart just dropped," Ridgley said. Traylor meant business. But so did Ridgley. By the end of the season, Traylor respected Ridgley so well he request ed her assistance, i Two years later, Ridgley, a former Escambia High softball star, doesn't worry about breaking Ridgley stereotypes. She's earned her way into acclaim. Ridgley, 27, who grew up in a sports-minded family in Pensacola, is now the multivalued head trainer for the Mobile Admirals. She's the only woman working in such a capacity with any pro football team. "I respect her more for it," said quarterback Thad Busby, the former Pace High and Florida State star. "She doesn't take any crap. She works just as hard as the next person and brings quite a lot to this team. We're lucky to have her." Hard work may be understated. The normal day for Ridgley begins with a 4:30 a.m. wakeup alarm and doesn't end until she returns home 12 hours later. During the Admirals' training camp, a four-week period, she was sleeping fours a night, while tending to injured players. "It was total chaos," Ridgley said. "A lot of the guys weren't in the best of shape, because of being away from football for a long time. There were so many who needed treatment. We were very busy." Ridgley, however, can easily relate to players. First of all, her husband is Troy Ridgley, defensive lineman for the New Orleans Saints. The two met while in the NFL Europe league. Troy Ridgley, a 6-foot-3, 315- k " Pine Forest wins twice in jamboree By Dennis Ryan News Journal correspondent The final high school football jamboree of the spring was held Saturday night at Tate, and the coaches of the three teams involved could agree on one thing. They are glad to have three more months to get the kinks worked out of their respective teams. Pine Forest, Washington and the host Aggies played a half of football against each other in the jamboree. Tate defeated Washington 27-14 the night's first half of play, and Pine Forest beat On the field ADMIRALS BEATEN CHARLESTON, W.Va The Ohio Cannons switched their home game and altered the course of the Mobile Admirals' season Saturday night. Ohio gave Mobile its first loss of the inaugural Regional Football League season , 20-17. The Cannons' quarterback, Major Harris, was a former college star at the University of West Virginia, prompting the team to move Saturday's game into Lapley Stadium in Charleston.The Admirals (5-1) took a 16-hour bus ride Thursday to get to West Virginia. .-! : ' , -- is-3'-1 . r :0iry ' 'i v. "-.VvNk , M i ' f' ' fc. ' ij r if - Tony GibersonNews Journal Tammy Lowrey-Ridgley, a graduate of Escambia High, is the head trainer for the Mobile Admirals of the Regional Football League. Here she works with quarterback Thad Busby. RIDGLEY FILE AGE: 27 POSITION: Head athletic trainer, Mobile Admirals. HIGH SCHOOL: Escambia (1988) COLLEGE: Sante Fe Community College, Troy State (undergraduate), Auburn (postgraduate). FAMILY: Married to Troy Ridgley, 29, defensive tackle pound tackle from Notre Dame, has overcome two knee surgeries to repair torn ligaments. Tammy assisted with his recovery from the first one. Washington 14-0 in the second. Pine Forest rallied to beat Tate 15-13 in the final game of the night. Washington actually scored first in its game against Tate, on an 8-play, 64-yard drive. Sophomore-to-be quarterback Darius Smiley had 30 yards on three carries and Michael Brenson had 28 yards on two carries on the drive. Smiley scored on a 16-yard keeper around end at 9:31 of the first quarter. Raymond Forte's conversion attempt was blocked. On the ensuing kickoff, Tate's Crasha Stromas took On the air 11 a.m. Auto Racing, Busch Series, First Union 200, ESPN 11 a.m. Auto Racing, IRL, Indy 500 time trials, ESPN2 11:30 a.m. NBA Basketball Playoffs, triplehead-er, Eastern Conference semifinal, game 4, Indiana at Philadelphia; Eastern Conference semifinal, game 3, Atlanta at New York; Western Conference semifinal, game 4, San Antonio at LA. Lakers, WPMI-NBC Complete listings, 2D SCORELINE: Call 469-8290, then press code 3001 for New Orleans Saints. BACKGROUND: Was the News JournalNorthwest Florida prep softball player-of-the-year in 1 988. Also was a cheerleader and volleyball player at Escambia. Attended Sante Fe and Troy State on softball scholarships. Worked for past four years in NFL Europe, including past two as head trainer for Barcelona Dragons. "When you ask - players, they'll say they play football because there's something in them that loves it," said Ridgley, who has a full-time assistant and several interns the kickoff back 98 yards for a TD. Nathan Coverdale's conversion attempt was blocked. Tate's next score was set up by Juan Morrisette interception of a Smiley pass at the Aggies' 45-yard line. Tate drove 55 yards in 10 plays. Marculus Elliott ran 28 yards to set up quarterback Pat Bradley's 2-yard scoring run. Josh Blackmuns ran in the 2-point conversion run to make it 14-6. Bradley scored on a 10-yard option at 4:37 of the first quarter to make the score 21-6. It was set up by Rhett Summerford's fumble recovery On the z working on her staff. "Same with me. I love doing this. "It's the best feeling in the world to work with someone, get them over an injury and see them back on the field making a key block or tackle or scoring a touchdown. There's just something in my heart that I love doing this." Ridgley didn't plan a career in sports medicine. It sort of happened by accident. While playing softball for Sante Fe Community College in Gainesville, Ridgley needed a trainer's assistance. Unfortunately, the school couldn't See RIDGLEY, 8D at Washington's 17-yard line. Washington scored with 49 seconds left in the first quarter on Smileys 58-yard TD pass to Eldric Griffin. Smiley ran in the conversion to make it 21-14. Tate closed the scoring when Sam Howard recovered another Wildcat fumble at the Washington 17 and Elliott scored from 5 yards out with 7:21 left in the second quarter. In the Pine Forest-Washington game, both teams used junior varsity players during the first quarter. See PINE FOREST, 8D inside PORTLAND BEATS UTAH The Portland Trail Blazers used a 19-0 run to take control of their NBA Western Conference semifinals series game against the Utah Jazz on Saturday and rolled to a 97-87 victory to take the lead in the best-of-seven series. Also Saturday, the San Antonio Spurs beat the Los Angeles Lakers to take a 3-0 lead in that Western Conference semfinal. Roundup, 3D ALSO Colorado beat Dallas 2-1 in the NHL playoffs. Sidelines, 2D Durant still close to lead By Doug Ferguson Associated Press FORT WORTH, Texas -For the second straight week, Greg Kraft made a quantum leap up the leaderboard by tying the Colonial course record with a 9-under 61 Saturday. Only this time, he gets one more round to really make it pay off. Kraft holed a 60-foot chip from behind the 18th green to move up from a tie for 52nd and into a three-way tie for the lead with Scott Verplank and Billy Mayfair at 7-under 203 in the MasterCard Colonial. John Cook birdied the 18th in much more conventional fashion a wedge 2 feet from the hole for a 70 and was one stroke back. Six others were at 205, including U.S. Open champion Lee Janzen (65), PGA champion Vijay Singh (66), Phil Mickel-son (70) and Escambia High graduate Joe Durant (70). Durant, who has struggled this season with injuries (which have led to inconsis- ...-1 Associated Press Joe Durant, a graduate of Escambia High, hits out of the sand on the first hole Saturday at the MasterCard Colonial. Rousey captures JUCO golf title ByBillVilona News Journal staff writer The feeling hit when Nick Rousey saw his parents standing near the 18th green crying with joy. Thats when Rousey's own emotions settled in. Teary-eyed, he realized the the magnitude of his achievement. Rousey, 18, Rousey an Escambia High graduate, became the area's newest golf sensation Friday when he won the National Junior College Athletic Association Division I title at Highland Oaks Golf Course in Dothan, Ala. Rousey, a freshman, also led Central Alabama Community College to the team championship in the annual NJCAA On the diamond BAMA ADVANCES Alabama's B.J. Green got the final out with a man on third base in the ninth inning to preserve a 12-11 win for Alabama over Mississippi State, sending the Crimson Tide on to the championship game of the Southeastern Conference baseball Tournament for the fifth straight year. Roundup, 7D '.f ' l-y k " l S it J COLONIAL LEADERS Greg Kraft 75-67-61 - 203 S. Verplank 72-65-66-203 Billy Mayfair 68-67-68-203 John Cook 68-66-70-204 Lee Janzen 71-69-65-205 Vijay Singh 67-72-66-205 Fred Funk 68-68-69-205 Joe Durant 69-66-70 - 205 Scott Hoch 69-66-70-205 RMickelson 72-63-70 - 205 Nicklaus shoots 70 Golf roundup, 5D tent play) after a breakthrough season on the PGA Tour in 1998, played his third consecutive round of par or better in the tournament, moving himself into position for his second career victory. Kraft, who last week closed with a 64 to go from 60th place to a tie for 12th in the . Byron Nelson Classic, took advantage of a morning start under softer conditions. He finished with four straight birdies and signed his card before the final group even reached the second tee box. r .Ws; NJCAA NATIONAL TOURNAMENT 1. Nick Rousey (Cent. Ala.) 69- 74-64-71278 2. MarkTullo (Scottsdale) 70- 70-67-72279 3. Lee Curry (N.Mexico J.C.) 71- 71-72-68-282 Results, 2D Division I championship tournament. He shot a four-round total of 278 (10-under), which included a course-record 64 in the third round, edging Mark Tullo of Scottsdale (Ariz.) Community College by one shot. "This is truly unbelievable," said Rousey, who returned home Saturday, after the tournament. Tve won some junior tournaments, but nothing See STRING, 3D On the track IIIIIMWjI STEWART'S DAY Terry Labonte won The Winston for the second time in his career Saturday night, coming from behind to beat Tony Stewart at Concord, N.C. Labonte took home a winner's . check worth $207,500. Also Saturday, Arie Luyendyk won the pole position for the : Indianapolis 500. Auto racing roundup, 4D

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