The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on April 29, 1997 · Page 11
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 11

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Tuesday, April 29, 1997
Page 11
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TUESDAY ApftO&, 1S97 THE&ALfNA JOURNAL Sports CLASSIFIED / B5 FUN / B7 ALMANAC / B8 B T COMMENT J LYLE ; SPENCER Riverside Press-Enterprise GRIFFEY Baseball must utilize Griffey in rebuilding Baseball has in its midst one of the greatest players of all time at • the absolute peak of his abilities. He has more personality than Michael Jordan, more charm than Tiger Woods, more style and grace than a'ny NFL star you care to mention. Ken Griffey Jr. is the man who can save a battered, bruised sport — if the sport can figure out how to promote him the way the NBA has His Airness. Junior is smart and hip and charismatic, a child of the video age. He's a ballpark magnet for adolescents, at least as popular in his world as Jordan and Woods are in theirs. Kids love Junior; he has a warmth and sincerity they pick up on intuitively. Griffey doesn't embrace all forms'of superstardom, but there's nothing wrong with that. It shows he's intelligent enough to weed out the nonsense and focus on what's important. Seattle's most popular citizen broke an all-time record for homers in April on Friday night when he launched three bombs out of Toronto's SkyDome, giving him 13 in a mere 81 at-bats. The Dodgers were gamely keeping up with Junior, having struck 13 homers as well — in 641 at-bats. Maybe it's time for newspapers to begin one of those home-run tables: Griffey vs. the Dodgers. Griffey's early eruption has him days ahead of Roger Marls' 61- homer pace. If baseball catches a -long-overdue break, Junior will avoid ^debilitating injury and stare down'Maris and his 1961 record all the way into September. Even when he hurts himself, Griffejy does it with panache, in the line ogduty. He breaks a wrist crashgig against the center field wall making one of the season's most remarkable catches. I've seen • it dozens of times on tape and still watchrjin awe. Thfr Kid is all grown up now, and what a man he is. If Woods, Junior's, golf buddy and neighbor in Orlando, matures as gracefully, golf is even luckier than it imagines. Griffey's second homer Friday night was No. 250 in Griffey's career, Jiutting him about one-third of theiivay to Henry Aaron's seemingly jinassailable 755. Griffey, 27, needVito average 40 homers for 12 more Reasons to challenge The Hamrfier. Already, Junior has a more ftatural home-run stroke than jjjenry ever had. Griffey's sligh&ropercut gives his drives elevation Aaron, a line-drive hitter, never&eached. If itwas 375 feet to left center, AaronJ was happy to hit them 376. Griffey is a rocket-launcher, sending them 420 feet routinely. Grifiey wears his cap backwards and lijkes to goof off like most young; men, but he has grown in awareness the past few years. This was evident when Jackie Robinson's legacy was observed in New York.^Griffey set aside his usual No. 2<$that night, wearing No. 42 in tributjj to Robinson. "He;worked hard for each and everyone of us," Junior said. "I had a'chance to wear his number. Now t'll hang it on my wall. It's something I'll cherish forever." Coijtrast this with the reaction by Chicago's Frank Thomas, one of the few hitters in Griffey's class. Asked if he ever thinks about Robinson's influence, Thomas said, "Not Jeally. You know, I've got to be hottest, I guess I'm more from the new age. I didn't know much aboutlthe history and that part of things." Littje wonder people are turned off by>the self-absorbed new-age stars iof sport. Woods, to his credit, used his Masters triumph to acknowledge the efiforts of African-American trail blazers who preceded him such as Lee Elder and Charlie Sifford. i thought Tiger should have accepted President Clinton's invitation; to attend the Robinson cere- monyat Shea Stadium — nothing coulcUiave been more important that night — but, by and large, Tiger Candles himself well in the | eye oijthe publicity hurricane. He wouldn't have chosen a better T HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL •it4 WWJPI^ ;:\^1w"%^ M^jfo T COLLEGE BASKETBALL KU loses to UCLA on Davis Standout point guard from Santa Monica decides to stay near home in picking Bruins By The Associated Press KELLY PRESNELL/The Salina Journal Central left fielder Bobby Bartow makes a catch of a sinking line drive in the second game against McPherson on Monday. Central, McPherson split After being clubbed in the first game, Mustangs rally late in nightcap to earn split By LARRY MORITZ Tlie Salina Journal Sallm Cwrtral 1 5 The Salina Central baseball squad was due for a break. The Mustangs, playing their 10th game in eight days, were two outs away from being swept by McPherson in a doubleheader Monday at Dean McPherton ii__4_ Evans Stadium. Instead, Central came up with a two-run rally in the bottom of the seventh to salvage the nightcap, earning its fifth split in six twinbills this season. The Mustangs, 5-7 overall and 4-6 during their eight-day run, dropped the opener 111 before coming back to win the second game 5-4. "We needed something like that," Central coach Bill Bartow said. "It has been a long eight days and we've had our ups and downs ... a little too many downs for us to be satisfied. "But this was a good way to end that eight days because we finally got a break." That break came with one out and one on in the seventh with the Mustangs down 4-3. After a strikeout to start the inning, Dan Divilbiss ripped his third single of the game and was replaced by pinch runner Ramon Perez. Central junior Clete Wilson then lifted a fly ball toward right fielder Chad James. As James drifted over to make the play, his feet slid out from under him, allowing Wilson's ball to drop for a triple and Perez to score the tying run. With the McPherson outfield pulled in, Brian Gary followed with a line shot to left for a single, bringing Wilson home with the game-winner. Central scored single runs in the first, second and fifth innings, each time getting the run across with a two-out base hit. But the Mustangs stranded eight runners — all in scoring position — in the first six innings. "We had to manufacture a few runs and we've got the type of team that we can do that," Bartow said. "But we also have a team that can have the big offensive inning, and that's something we haven't had lately." Todd Just (2-0) went the distance, giving up five hits while striking out eight and walking eight. "Todd got himself in some tough situations and got himself out of some, too," Bartow said. "I told the guys in the seventh inning 'Todd has thrown too good a ball to lose it for him, so let's go get it.' " McPherson got a well-pitched game from senior Derek Temeyer in the opener. Temeyer allowed only three hits and did not walk a batter in the five-inning game. The Bullpups broke the game open when they batted around in both the second and third innings. Brian Lamone (1-2) walked the bases loaded in the second before Ryan Powell doubled to left center to score all three base runners. Cameron Crick and Tyler Black followed with run-scoring hits to make it 5-1. McPherson added four more runs in the third. Billy Weiland, Powell and Crick each had an RBI, and Weiland drove in a second run with a single in the fourth. Nine of the Bullpups' 11 runs in the opener came with two outs. Central's Bobby Bartow had two of his team's three hits in the game, including a leadoff triple in the first. Lamone drove in Bartow with a sacrifice fly for the team's only run. LOS ANGELES — Point guard Baron Davis of Santa Monica Cr9ssroads High, considered one of the top prep players in the country, announced Monday night he plans to attend UCLA next year. "Playing in front of my family and friends," Davis said in explaining why he chose UCLA over Kansas. "It's a great university. I have everything here, so why leave? "Winning the national championship, that's my first goal as a freshman." Davis announced his decision on Fox Sports West on the pregame show before the Utah Jazz faced the Los Angeles Clippers in a first-round NBA playoff game at the Los Angeles Sports Arena. Davis had made an oral commitment to attend UCLA last September, but that was before an investigation took place involving the sale of a vehicle to his sister by the son of former UCLA coach Jim Harrick. Harrick was cleared in October, but fired the following month for allegedly lying on an expense account. He was succeeded by assistant coach Steve Lavin, and Davis then decided to postpone his decision. Earlier this month, Davis was honored as the national high school male player of the year by the Gatorade Company and Scholastic Coach magazine. Davis averaged 25 points, eight rebounds, eight assists, five steals and two blocked shots per game in leading Crossroads to a 30-3 record last season. T COLLEGE GOLF ISU, OSU lead Big 12 By HAROLD BECHARD The Salina Journal HUTCHINSON — Dale Anderson has been the golf coach at Iowa State for 30 years and has never won a conference championship. In fact, the Cyclones have never been close, until Monday. When the Big 12 Conference Men's Golf Championship begins its final round this morning at the famed Prairie Dunes Country Club, Anderson's Cyclones will be playing with the big boys. The second-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys that is. The Cowboys, with 36 conference titles in their trophy case, will take a one-shot lead over Iowa State into today's 18-hole round. Anderson expects his team to be ready. See GOLF, Page B3 T HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETICS KSHSAA loosens ban on summer coaching Basketball, football, volleyball high school coaches still . have hands tied in summer By The Associated Press TOPEKA — The governing body for high school athletics has voted to allow summer coaching of all sports except basketball, football and volleyball. And, the Kansas State High School Activities Association will probably revisit the ban on summer coaching in those three sports, executive director Gary Musselman said Monday. The association's board of directors voted 62-6 on Saturday to rescind its decision of a year ago extending the summer coach- T COLLEGE BASKETBALL ing ban to all high school and junior high school sports. The rule would have begun applying this summer to such sports as baseball, softball, swimming, soccer and golf. Coaches would have been barred from coaching their school's athletes on non- school teams from the Friday after Memorial Day to the Tuesday following Labor Day. For now, those restrictions st\ll remain in effect for basketball, football and volleyball. Musselman said the change had been made last year in the interest of consistency among all sports. But many coaches of individual sports and of popular summer team sports expressed concern. For example, had the rule gone into effect, a high school baseball coach could not have coached his town's American Legion baseball team during the summer since most if not all the players would be from his high school team. "In many smaller schools the high school coach might be the only qualified or interested person available," Musselman said. Bill McDonald, baseball coach at Shawnee Mission South High School, presented the board a survey showing that 853 coaches favored being allowed to coach their athletes in the summer, with 219 opposed. Meanwhile, Musselman said the board wants to take a closer look at the continuing restrictions on summer coaching in basketball, football and volleyball. He expects that a committee will be appointed this summer to loo'k for an acceptable middle ground. "There are a lot of strong feelings, from families, students and coaches," Musselman said. Musselman said the board took care of a handful of items, mostly procedural, at the meeting. He said one significant change, proposed by schools from the Chisolm Trail League in the Wichita area, involves students who have earned enough credits that by their senior year they may need only one high school course to graduate. Such students often fill out their class schedules by enrolling at community col- . leges to get a head start on their college credits. There was a question of whether at some point a student with only a limited high school enrollment would retain a sense of identify with the school. Former FHSU coach Morse takes juco job at Colby By The Journal Staff COLBY — Bill Morse, who led Fort Hays State to two national basketball championships in the 1980s, has been named men's basketball coach at Colby Community College. Morse led the Tigers to the 1984 and 1985 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) championships. He compiled a 25375 record in 10 seasons as the Tigers' coach and is a member of the school's hall of fame. He has a 512-212 career record. "His record speaks for itself," Colby athletic director Kirk Hunter said. "We believe he will take this program to a higher level than ever before." Morse said he is glad to be back to western Kansas. "I love western Kansas and small towns," Morse said in a statement MORSE released by the school. "I believe rebuilding the Colby program is very realistic. "I know I have to be patient and recruit athletes who are going to stay and want to be part of a program. We will have a solid program and one that progresses each year." Morse was hired at Fort Hays in 1982 after a successful stint at Hillsdale (Mich.) College. He posted a 32-4 record his first season at Fort Hays and guided the Tigers to a third-place finish in the NAIA Tournament. His Tigers posted a 35-2 record during the 1992-93 season and won the NAIA title, downing Wisconsin-Stevens Point in the title game. The Tigers went 35-3 the following season and defeated Wayland Baptist (Texas) in the NAIA tournament championship game. Morse continued to have success the following six seasons, but only one team qualified for the NAIA Tournament (1988). Morse left Fort Hays after the 1990-91 season and was replaced by current Tiger coach Gary Garner. Morse coached at Mercyhurst College, in Erie. Pa., from 1991-95 and last season coached a team in the Norwegian Pro League. Morse replaces Darin Spence at Colby. Spence resigned last month to become women's coach at Cowley County Community College. Colby was 21-40 during Spence's two seasons. The Trojans were 5-25 last season, including a 1-15 mark in its first season in the Western Division of the Jayhawk Conference. II '*! t; SUGGESTIONS? CAL^BOB DAVIDSON, SPORTS EDITOR, AT (913) 823-6363 OR 1-800-827-6363 OR E-MAIL AT

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