The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on August 5, 1997 · Page 11
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 11

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Tuesday, August 5, 1997
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THE SALINA JOURNAL SPORTS TUESDAY, AUGUST 5, PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL Stewart ends QB controversy Steelers' quarterback has completed 15 of 21 passes in 2 games By ALAN ROBINSON The Associated Press LATROBE, Pa. — Kordell Stewart has kept coach Bill Cowher's promise: There is no Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback controversy. Unlike last year's three-ring circus among Stewart, Mike Tomczak and Jim Miller that divided players' loyalties and disrupted the camp's continuity from start to finish, Stewart arrived as the set-in- stone starter. Three weeks later, he has the look of a star. To paraphrase the line popularized in Pittsburgh by former starting QB Bubby Brister: Kordell Stewart is the man. Write it down. "I think every day you kind of see him maturing into the role of a leader," Cowher said. "To this point, he's put everything into perspective. He hasn't changed his personality. He's been genuine and he's handled everything that's been 'thrown at him." His receivers handled virtually everything he threw at them in exhibition victories over the Bears and Chiefs. While quarterbacks' numbers can be misleading in the preseason, as receivers and defenders rotate with frequency and defenses aren't as complex, there is no masquerading Stewart's stats: 15-of-21, 239 yards, two touchdowns passing, one running and four •scores in as many drives. "We're just trying to get Kordell relaxed and ready for the season," '• receiver Yancey Thigpen said. . "We've told him, 'You throw it up 1 there and we'll catch it.' " Sure, it's only the preseason, and sure, Stewart has played only played 2% quarters, hardly long enough for protracted analysis or comparisons to Tomczak, his predecessor and, now, his backup. But they can't teach coolheadedness or confidence even in three-a-day practices, and Stewart has exuded plenty of both. "Yes, I'm playing with confidence," said Stewart, who has added an element of improvisational surprise missing from the Steel- ers' offense since Terry Bradshaw retired 15 seasons ago. "The key is not to have too much of it." His confidence reflected that shown in him by Cowher and offensive coordinator Chan Galley, who took a major gamble in the offsea- son by turning over their offense to a third-year player who never has started an NFL regular-season game at quarterback — and one who was O-for-10 in a playoff loss to New England in January. Gamble? So far they look like geniuses. They've taken the dash out of Slash — so far, he's been strictly a passer, with no ad-libbed sprints to the goal line or forays as a wide receiver. He's had only one carry, on a quarterback sneak. But there's plenty of time during the season to show off the speed he flashed on an 80-yard TD against Carolina last season, the longest in NFL history by a quarterback. For now, Cowher is keeping Slash and his multitude of talents mostly under wraps, but he hasn't tried to harness the athlete who already has injected considerable excitement into what once was expected to be a downsized, give-the- ball to Jerome Bettis offense. "He's getting to the point where he knows what people should be doing," Cowher said. "It's something that comes with time. It doesn't happen when you say, 'OK, I'm the starter.' He's addressed it when The Associated Press Former Colorado quarterback Kordell Stewart has sparkled in the Pittsburgh Steelers' two preseason games. guys haven't done it." Surgery for Seau San Diego linebacker Junior Seau underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair torn cartilage in his left knee. He is expected to be out four weeks and will miss the regular-season opener Aug. 31 at New England. Originally diagnosed with a mild strain of his left knee, the six- time Pro Bowl player was injured Saturday night on the final play of the first quarter in the Chargers' 20-13 exhibition victory over San Francisco. Defensive tackle Don Sasa also underwent arthroscopic knee surgery, and is expected to be sidelined for four weeks. Jackson rejoins Saints Rickey Jackson, out of football last year, was back on the practice field with New Orleans for the first time since 1993. "I felt like I was maybe 29 or 30," the 39-year-old linebacker said. Jackson, who played for the Saints for 13 years, retired following the 1996 season after two seasons with San Francisco. "I don't expect it to be a cut-and- dried situation right away," coach Mike Ditka said. "Once you've been away from it, it kind of gets hard to sort all that stuff out." Smith still unhappy Bruce Smith had his first workout of the preseason with Buffalo, then left the field unhappier than ever about his contract. The Defensive Player of the Year last season, Smith held out for three weeks before reporting to the team before its overtime exhibition loss to Chicago on Saturday night. He was fined $105,000, $5,000 for each day missed. "It's very difficult," the 34-year- old defensive end said. "So far as the contract situation is concerned, I'm not going to talk about it anymore. There's nothing else that can be said. I'm talked out." Smith has been complaining about a contract reworked in 1995 that calls for him to be paid $2.2 million this season. He wants to play out the final year in hopes of becoming a free agent. "There's nothing more than can be said. I'Ve been over this question 1,000 times," Smith said. "I played under a tremendous amount of stress last year, and look where it's gotten me — basically, nowhere." Dolphins pound Broncos; Elway injured Third-largest crowd in NFL history watches game in Mexico City By The Associated Press MEXICO CITY — No matter how bad the field, or at times the football, Mexican fans love the NFL. A crowd of 104,209, the third- largest in league history, turned out at this city's massive soccer stadium Monday night to cheer on the Miami Dolphins, second favorite in Mexico only to the Dallas Cowboys. Players slipped on the field all night and John Elway and Zach Thomas were hurt early in the exhibition game. It hardly mattered to the singing, shouting crowd on a damp and unseasonably cold night as the Dolphins beat the Denver Broncos 38-19. The fans chanted "Delfines" when their beloved Dolphins did well, and flashbulbs popped even for PATs. The Broncos had their share of supporters, but were booed all night, even when lining up for field goals. The crowd unleashed its loudest hoots and whis- tles when a Bronco took a knee in the end zone on the kickoff following the final touchdown. The place went nuts when Dolphins rookie Brian Manning caught a pass from Craig Erickson at midfield and ran for a 66-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter. Manning pleased the crowd in the second quarter when he extended at the goal line and pulled in an 18-yard pass from Dan Marino. Brandon Bennett's 31- yard run with 3:13 left gave the Dolphins (1-1) a 31-19 lead and linebacker Anthony Harris returned an interception 53 yards for a touchdown with 1:33 left. Elway helped sway the crowd a little toward the Broncos' side with some nice passes to Ed McCaffrey, but he left with a partially torn bicep in his throwing arm. He said he'll have an MRI today, "and it could be really good or it could be really bad." The Dolphins, already hit hard by injuries, lost Thomas when he broke his left fibula on a kickoff return in the first quarter. Thomas said he hopes to be back by the season opener Aug. 31 against Indianapolis. World / Braun captures heptathlon FROM PAGE B1 Richards told her "she could do it even though I was in the race. I told her we could be 1-2." Freeman, the first Aboriginal to represent Australia in the Olympics, won the silver medal last year, finishing behind Marie- Jose Perec of France. Perec, who also won the 200 at the Atlanta Games, did not defend her world title, and is competing in only the 200 at the championships. The only other Australian to win a world title was Rob de Castella, the 1983 marathon champion. Johnson, whose 58-meet winning streak in the 400 was broken in June, rebounded from his near failure in the heats at the champi- onships by winning his semifinal in 44.37, the year's fourth-fastest time. With Johnson awarded a wild card as defending champion, the United States was permitted to have three other entrants in the 400. The three — Antonio Pettigrew, Tyree Washington and Jerome Young — all reached the final, with Washington taking the other semifinal in 44.61. The rest of the final field will consist of Britons Mark Richardson, Jamie Baulch and Iwan Thomas, along with Ugandan Davis Komaga. Herbert was beaten for the hurdles title by France's Stephane Dia- gana, who, after crossing the finish in a 1997 world-best in 47.70, collapsed onto the track. Herbert was timed in 47.86, a South African record. American Bryan Bronson, the previous world leader and heavy favorite after Olympic gold medalist Derrick Adkins was eliminated in the semifinals, faded after a fast start and finished third at 47.88. After Diagana was helped up, he took a victory lap, and Herbert joined him, carrying the South African flag. Herbert foresees a bright future for himself. "From now on, it's just going up and becoming the Edwin Moses of South Africa," he said. In Monday's other finals, Sarka Kasparkova of the Czech Republic won the women's triple jump with a world-leading 49 feet, 10'/a inches, and Germany's Sabine Braun, the 1991 heptathlon champion, regained the title with 6,739 points. Kasparkova's leap was the third- best ever and made her the No. 2 all-time performer, behind Ukraine's Inessa Kravets. Romania's Rodica Mateescu, the runner- up, had the fifth-best performance in history at 49-9. The world's top two men's 1,500- meter runners — Noureddine Morceli of Algeria and Hicham el Guerrouj of Morocco — won their semifinal heats, setting up a showdown in Wednesday's final. A big surprise was the failure of Olympic champion Charles Austin to advance to the men's high jump final. Austin, also the 1991 world champion, failed to make the qualifying height of 7-5 %, clearing only 7-5. T MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL Former Shocker hurler lifts Phils Green gives up three hits in seven innings as Phillies down Rockies By The Associated Press PHILADELPHIA — Former Wichita State pitcher Tyler Green pitched seven solid innings for his second straight win and Scott Rolen hit a two-run homer to lead the Philadelphia Phillies to a 7-3 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Monday night. Green (2-1) missed all of last season with a shoulder injury and returned to the Phillies on July 13 after completing his rehab at Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes-Barre. Green allowed three hits in seven innings. Mets 4, Cardinals 2 NEW YORK — Lance Johnson hit a pair of RBI triples and Rick Reed won his fourth straight start, leading the Mets over St. Louis. Johnson went 3-for-4 and Reed doubled and scored as the Mets opened an eight-game homestand. Marlins 4, Astros 1 MIAMI — Rookie Livan Hernandez won his sixth straight game with 7 % strong innings and Bobby Bonilla drove in three runs with a homer and single for Florida. Hernandez (6-0) became the first pitcher in the Marlins' five-year history to win his first six decisions. He allowed four hits and struck out four before Jay Powell went the final 1 % innings for his second save. Braves 6, Pirates 0 PITTSBURGH — Andruw Jones returned from his first day off in 1 '/a months and hit a two-run homer, backing John Smoltz's sex:- ond shutout of the season as Atlanta beat Pittsburgh. Smoltz (10-9), who pitched a four-hitter, has limited the Pirates to nine hits and two runs over 16 innings while beating them twice this season. Giants 9, Reds 1 CINCINNATI — J.T. Snow drove in a career-high five runs with a pair of homers, powering San Francisco over Cincinnati. ?. Twins 9, Blue Jays 3 MINNEAPOLIS — Brad Radke pitched seven strong innings to tie a team record with his 12th straight victory as the Minnesota Twins, behind a pinch-hit grand slam by Greg Colbrunn, beat the Toronto Blue Jays. Radke tied the Twins record set by Scott Erickson in 1991 and also became only the third pitcher since 1950 to win 12 consecutive starts. Bob Gibson of St. Louis did it in 1968 and Pat Dobson did it with Baltimore in 1971. Indians 7, Tigers 2 DETROIT — Manny Ramirez homered and drove in four runs, Jim Thome hit his 30th homer and Charles Nagy continued his domination of Detroit. Red Sox 11, Rangers 5 ARLINGTON, Texas — Troy O'Leary's three-run triple in the eighth inning sparked Boston's comeback. With Boston trailing 5-4, John Valentin led off the eighth with a single off Matt Whiteside and Mike Stanley drew a walk off Dan-- ny Patterson (7-5). Wil Cordero's infield single loaded the bases and O'Leary's drive to left hit off the Scoreboard to clear the bases. BRIEFLY Barton Co. hires ex-Cloud Co. coach Tickets available for 4 K-State home games MANHATTAN — The Kansas State ticket office has received football tickets from opponents for four home games, KSU ticket manager Carol Adloph said Monday. Each visiting school is allotted tickets that are returned to the K- State ticket office they aren't sold. Tickets for the Ohio (Sept. 13), Bowling Green (Sept. 27), Missouri (Oct. 11) and Colorado (Nov. 15) are now on sale to the public. Prices are $26 for the Ohio and Bowling Green games and $31 for Missouri and Coloado. Tickets also are available for all away games. For more information or to purchase tickets, call the K-State ticket office at 1-800-221 2287. Coaches association honors Central's Diener Salina Central's Marvin Diener has been named the 11-Man Football Coach of the Year by the Kansas Coaches Association. Diener, who is entering his llth season with the Mustangs, led them to an 11-1 record and the Class 5A state championship last season. Diener will be recognized during the State High School Activities Association's Kansas Coaching School this week in Topeka. Smith Center's Jim Muck was named the Boys Cross Country Coach of the Year; Clay Center's Laura Pollman the Softball Coach of the Year; McPherson's Doug Gayer the Girls Tennis Coach of the Year; Beloit's Carle Kuhn the Boys Track Coach of the Year; and Weskan's Dave Hale the Volleyball Coach of the Year. Pittsburg State tops MIAA coaches poll OVERLAND PARK — Perennial powerhouse Pittsburg State is the choice of Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association coaches to win the conference football title this fall. The poll was announced Monday at the MIAA's preseason meeting in Kansas City. The Gorillas (8-3, 8-1) were co- champions with Northwest Missouri State last season. They received seven of 10 first-place votes. Northwest Missouri was second in the poll and received one first-place vote. Missouri Southern was third, Central Missouri fourth with two first-place votes, then Truman State, Empor ria State, Missouri Western, Washburn, Missouri-Rolla and Southwest Baptist. Coed Softball tourney scheduled at Lincoln LINCOLN — A coed softball tournament is scheduled for Aug. 16-17 at the Lincoln Ballfield. Proceeds will be used to purchase cheerleaders uniforms at Lincoln High School. There is a $100 entry fee per team. Entry deadline is Aug. 10. Call Meri Enyeart at (785) 524-9923. RALPH WEIGH Bonds - Insurance Phone 827-2906 115 East Iron Fomer Thunderbirds' coach Hobson to guide Barton County women By The Journal Staff ' GREAT BEND — Tony Hobson, a former Cloud County Community College coach, has been named women's basketball coach at Barton County Community College. , Hobson, 38, holds the single- game scoring record at Barton County with 47 points. He played at BCCC from 1977-79. Hobson coached the Cloud County women's team from 1983- 89. He lives in Superior, Neb., and has been head coach of the Superior High School boys basketball team the past two seasons. He was an assistant there for one season. Hobson also works on the family farm near Belleville and has taught business and physical education at Cloud County the past 12 years. "My ties to Barton County played a major part in my decision to accept the position," Hobson said in a news release issued by Barton County on Monday. "I wouldn't go anywhere else in Kansas to coach community college basketball. Barton County has a great tradition. If it doesn't have the best women's basketball program in the state, it has one of the best. Because of its tradition and its location in the central part of the state, it's a great coaching opportunity." Hobson resigned as Cloud County women's coach after the 1988-89 season to become a men's assistant coach at the school, pursue his master's degree and work on the family farm. He replaces Charles Mancil, who resigned in July after two seasons to become head coach at Texas A&M University-Commerce, For Hay • Hogs • Machinery 30', 40' or 50' wide by any length 15 Year Warranty on 10 oz. Cover N»RTH CENTRAL STEEL • MINNEAPOLIS, KS Call I-800-382-0106-Anytime CONNECTION Division of USA, Inc. • Nike Football Shoes • Nike Cross Country Shoes • Gym Clothes Shop & Compare • Volleyball Knee Pads Price & Quality Just South of the Stop Light on Cloud * Ohio 1915 S.Ohio 825-6247 YMCA WITH YMCA FALL SPORTS FOOTBALL • SOCCER • VOLLEYBALL Available at the Salina Family YMCA Get your child signed up NOW! y Call 913-825-2151 Registration Deadline Augusts, 1997

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