Sports Sports en-us Copyright 2014, All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Wed, 30 Jul 2014 15:07:53 GMT Synapse CMS 10 144 25 Texans Look to Fitzpatrick to Solve QB Woes Sports Tue, 29 Jul 2014 4:28:46 PM Associated Press Texans Look to Fitzpatrick to Solve QB Woes

HOUSTON (AP) - The Houston Texans' biggest problem in their 2-14 season was inconsistent play at quarterback.

Enter, Ryan Fitzpatrick. The veteran faces the big task of turning around an offense that did little right last year.

He isn't at all daunted by the challenge and won't let last year's woes bleed into 2014.

"This is completely new," he said. "We're not even thinking or talking about last year ... I think everyone has seen that it is really a year-to-year league. Just in terms of whatever happened the year before, it doesn't matter. If you think about it too much then maybe it affects you in a negative way."

Fitzpatrick was signed in the offseason after Houston traded Matt Schaub, whose terrible play in 2013 helped doom the Texans to the NFL's worst record. Fitzpatrick was slated to be Tennessee's backup last season but was thrust into the starting role after Jake Locker was hurt midway through the season.

A former starter for the Buffalo Bills, the nine-year veteran started nine games after Locker's injury. Fitzpatrick threw for 2,454 yards and 14 touchdowns. His best season came in 2011, when he started each game for the Bills and threw for 3,832 yards and 24 touchdowns.

Some thought the Texans should take a quarterback with the No. 1 pick in the draft, but they instead chose to upgrade their defense with Jadeveon Clowney. Fitzpatrick's good work in the offseason prompted new coach Bill O'Brien to name him the starter in minicamp and the quarterback said it feels different to be in training camp knowing he'll be in charge of the offense.

"I've got to take the next step now from kind of learning an offense through the offseason, now in training camp we're getting ready for the season," he said. "I've got to really take on that role of ownership. I think so far we've got a good start, but we've got a lot of work to go."

One player who has already been impressed by the 31-year-old Fitzpatrick is receiver Andre Johnson. Johnson raved about his new signal caller following their third practice together after Johnson skipped offseason workouts and mandatory minicamp.

"Me and him have been doing a lot of communicating since I've been here," Johnson said after Houston's first practice in full pads on Monday. "In this offense, the quarterback and receiver definitely have to be on the same page, so me and him are talking all of the time, just things about the offense."

Johnson has some catching up to do in learning O'Brien's system after missing so much time and has already been helped by Fitzpatrick's hands-on approach.

"We're all still learning because it's a new system for everybody," Johnson said. "He's into it; if you've got a question, there is no hesitation. If there is something he is thinking about, he is going to pull you to the side and tell you about it ... he's always on top of everything."

Fitzpatrick had been eager to start working with Johnson and his first three days with him as a teammate didn't disappoint.

"He's a great guy to come to work with every day," Fitzpatrick said. "I'm really looking forward to playing with him this year just because of the way that he works and the way that he has put in the time the first few days to learn and understand everything."

Johnson left practice early with a tight right hamstring but said it isn't anything serious and he'll be OK.

Running back Arian Foster missed practice Monday with an undisclosed injury.

"He's dealing with something," O'Brien said. "He'll be fine. He'll be back. It's a minor deal. It's a long season. He'll be out there."



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Romo to Skip Full Pad Session Sports Tue, 29 Jul 2014 4:24:32 PM Associated Press Romo to Skip Full Pad Session

OXNARD, Calif. (AP) - Tony Romo will sit out a competitive practice for the first time at training camp as the Dallas quarterback continues to ease his way into playing shape coming off back surgery.

Coach Jason Garrett said Romo wouldn't participate in the afternoon practice Tuesday after getting "mental work" in the morning walkthrough session.

Garrett said Romo has not had any setbacks. Romo skipped some lighter sessions earlier in camp, but went through the first two full-pad workouts Saturday and Sunday. The team was off Monday.

Romo had surgery for a herniated disk in late December after getting injured against Washington. He missed the finale against Philadelphia. It was the second procedure on Romo's back in eight months.



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Javelinas Picked 7th in LSC Preseason Poll Sports Tue, 29 Jul 2014 2:54:55 PM Lone Star Conference Javelinas Picked 7th in LSC Preseason Poll

CARROLLTON, Texas - Tarleton State was selected to repeat as Lone Star Conference football champion, according to the 2014 LSC preseason poll announced Tuesday.

The league's preseason poll reflects the opinions of LSC head coaches and sports information directors, plus various media representatives from throughout the region.

TSU, which earned a share of the 2013 LSC title with a 5-1 mark, earned first place votes on eight of the 21 ballots to finish with 139 total points.

West Texas A&M was picked second with 127 points and four first-place tallies on the heels of an 11-3 campaign last season that ended in the NCAA Division II quarterfinals.

Eastern New Mexico, the 2013 co-LSC champion, was third with 115 points and five top votes, while Midwestern State was fourth with 111 points and two first-place nods.

Angelo State was fifth with 99 points and one top vote, followed by Texas A&M-Commerce sixth (95 points and the remaining first-place vote), Texas A&M-Kingsville seventh (49), and McMurry (21).

The 2014 football season kicks off September 4, and the LSC has eight teams set to compete including McMurry, who joins the league as an affiliate member this season.

After playing seven conference games apiece over the first nine weeks of an 11-week regular season, the LSC's eight football teams will split into two brackets to conduct a two-week conference playoff. The conference champion and playoff seeding will be determined by regular season results with the higher seeds hosting each round.

The top four teams (No. 4 at No. 1 and No. 3 at No. 2) comprise the championship bracket with Week 10 winners playing for the playoff title in Week 11, whereas Week 10 losers will meet for third place. The other half of the bracket includes the remaining four teams with No. 8 at No. 5 and No. 7 at No. 6 in Week 10. The winners will play for fifth-place in Week 11, while the losers meet in the seventh-place game.

Three LSC teams were included in postseason play last season, with WT advancing to the NCAA Division II playoffs, A&M-C playing in the Live United Texarkana Bowl, and TSU being selected for the C.H.A.M.P.S. Heart of Texas Bowl, which was cancelled due to inclement weather.

1. Tarleton State
2. West Texas A&M
3. Eastern New Mexico
4. Midwestern State
5. Angelo State
6. Texas A&M-Commerce
7. Texas A&M-Kingsville
8. McMurry


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Appel to Start for Hooks Wednesday Sports Sun, 27 Jul 2014 7:36:33 PM Corpus Christi Hooks Appel to Start for Hooks Wednesday

CORPUS CHRISTI - The Astros announced Sunday that 2013 No. 1 overall pick RHP Mark Appel will join the Hooks from Houston's Advanced-A affiliate, Lancaster, in the California League. The Stanford product is Corpus Christi's probable starter Wednesday against San Antonio.

RHP Chris Devenski is slated to follow Appel in a tandem start.

Appel, rated the 13th best prospect in all of baseball by, went 2-5 with a 9.74 ERA in 12 starts for the JetHawks. His last start for Lancaster came Thursday, when he worked six innings against the Stockton Ports, Oakland's High-A affiliate. Appel picked up his second victory after he allowed two earned runs on five hits with no walks and seven strikeouts.

Following an off-season appendectomy that sidelined him for much of Spring Training, he broke camp with the JetHawks, but returned the Astros' training facility in Kissimmee, Fla. for just over a month after an April 23 start. Appel made his return to Lancaster May 31 and later strung together three straight starts in which he worked five innings and allowed three earned runs June 22-July 4, going 1-2 with a 5.40 ERA.

Owner of the Houston minor league system's best slider entering the 2014 season according to Baseball America, Appel was a two-time Louisville Slugger First Team All-American at Stanford and left Palo Alto as the program's all-time strikeout leader. During his 2013 senior season, he went 10-4 with a 2.12 ERA and four complete games en route to first team All-Pac 12 conference honors.

Appel was drafted three times: in the 15th round out of Monte Vista High School in Danville, Calif. by Detroit in 2009, eighth overall by Pittsburgh in 2012 and first overall by Houston last year. He became one of just 17 players in history to be selected in the first round of two different June drafts.


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1979 Texas A&I Football to be Inducted into Javelina Hall of Fame Sports Sat, 26 Jul 2014 9:25:18 PM Texas A&M Kingsville 1979 Texas A&I Football to be Inducted into Javelina Hall of Fame

KINGSVILLE, Texas-- On Friday, Sept. 5, the Texas A&I University 1979 football squad and staff will be inducted into the Javelina Hall of Fame at ceremonies in the Memorial Student Union Building ballrooms at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. The 1979 football team joins the 1986 men's and women's cross country clubs as inductees in this year's Hall of Fame.

35 years ago, the team was picked to finish third in the Lone Star Conference when the preseason polls were released. The 1979 Texas A&I Hoggies not only won the conference title but the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) national championship as well. On the road to the national title, the team compiled a 12-1 record and collected the seventh national trophy for the program.

In the three postseason games, the Javelinas defeated Western Colorado, 38-14, in the quarterfinals; Angelo State, 22-19, in the semifinals, and Central Oklahoma, 20-14, in the Palm Bowl in McAllen, the championship game for the NAIA at that time.

At the helm for A&I was Ron Harms. Harms took over the head coaching position two months before the start of the season. He had been the Javelina offensive coordinator in 1974 and 1975 before going to Baylor. On Harms' coaching staff were Pat Aguilar, Doug McCutchen, Pete Murray, Don Pittman, Glenn Starks, Bobby Jack Wright and Robert Young.

The team was jam-packed with talent such as Martin Stroman, Robert Pool, John Herrera and Andy Hawkins.

As starting quarterback, Stroman led the Javelina passing with 1,264 yards. He completed 78 of 162 passes. Pool was a running back for the Javelinas and was the top rusher with 1,189 yards and while Herrera started at wide receiver and led the receiving with 34 catches for 647 yards. As a linebacker, Hawkins topped the tackle chart with 134.

The Hoggies racked up several post-season honors in 1979 as well.

Defensive back, Jafus White was on two All-America squads. Durwood Roquemore and Don Washington also received All-America honors as defensive backs.

Hawkins was the most outstanding defensive player in the NAIA quarterfinal and semifinal games and was chosen for three All-American teams.

Stroman was the outstanding offensive player in the NAIA championship matchup and Herrera was the most valuable offensive player in the quarterfinals.

Defensive lineman, Leroy Seidel was the most valuable defensive player in the quarterfinals and defensive back, Emmuel Thompson was the most valuable player in the NAIA championship.

On the NAIA all-district first team were Hawkins, Herrera, Pool, Thompson, White and offensive lineman Eldon Wilie. Making the All-LSC first unit were Hawkins, Herrera, Pool, Thompson, White and Wilie. Hawkins was LSC all-academic first team.

The Javelina Hall of Fame is one of the oldest collegiate halls in the country, having been initiated in 1972.

Tickets for the banquet are $25 each and may be purchased at or at Tickets must be purchased in advance. There will be no sales at the door the night of the banquet.


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Andre Johnson Reports to Camp Sports Fri, 25 Jul 2014 9:18:49 PM Associated Press Andre Johnson Reports to Camp

HOUSTON (AP) - Andre Johnson had some issues with the Houston Texans.

In the end, they weren't serious enough to keep the star receiver off the field.

Johnson was all smiles when he reported to camp on time Friday. He's looking to move past an offseason where he skipped workouts and a mandatory minicamp after wondering in May whether Houston was "still the place for me."

"I love playing this game of football," Johnson said Friday. "I'm going to play football and ... I don't plan on walking away from this."

He wouldn't divulge what exactly was said or done to get him to return to the team. But said he's excited to be back with his teammates and that it's his plan to finish his career with the Texans.

His teammates shared his enthusiasm and said he received a standing ovation and was greeted with a slow clap when he entered a meeting on Friday morning.

"He's a huge part of our team," left tackle Duane Brown said. "He's been my teammate my whole time here and is a guy that I really look up to as a professional and it was good to have him in the building."

The 33-year-old Johnson, whose 1,407 yards receiving in 2013 ranked second in the AFC, rejoins a team that is looking to bounce back from a disastrous 2-14 season. He's the longest-tenured Texan after joining the franchise in its second season. In that time he's played on just three teams with winning records, fueling his frustration.

"I've been here 12 years. There's been a lot of things that happened," he said. "I've never really voiced my opinion on them. I think at times there comes a time when you don't agree with something, things need to be said. That's pretty much what it was."

He said his unhappiness stemmed from playing here so long and feeling that his opinions were not being heard.

"It gets frustrating," he said. "After what happened last year, we went 2-14 and things like that, it wasn't only frustrating for me, I understand it was frustrating for everybody."

He knows some fans were angry at him for skipping Houston's offseason work, but said the people he came into contact with were overwhelmingly supportive.

"It was never nothing negative," he said. "I think if anybody had something negative, it was behind my back. It was nothing said to my face. It was a lot of positive things. People telling me that they're praying for me. Things like that. They understand the way I felt."

Johnson has been the one constant on this young franchise through three different coaching regimes, several quarterback changes and countless player moves. Houston's first two No. 1 overall draft picks David Carr and Mario Williams have come and gone, but Johnson has remained. He's the only player on the team to have endured both of the team's 2-14 seasons after also playing on the 2005 squad that posted the franchise-worst mark.

After spending his career here, he knew this was where he needed to be despite his reservations about enduring what some view as another rebuilding season.

"This is my home now," he said. "I've been here for so long. I was in Miami my whole life and now I've been here for going on 12 years. This is my home away from home. I think I've I built a great foundation here and built a great relationship with the fans."

Johnson has always been known as a hard worker and said he'll do whatever it takes to learn coach Bill O'Brien's new offense. He knows it will be a challenge after missing so much time, but he's looking forward to it.

He'll have a new quarterback this season after the Texans signed veteran free agent Ryan Fitzpatrick in the offseason after Matt Schaub was traded to Oakland.

Fitzpatrick is eager to work with Johnson.

"He's a guy that's well-respected, not just here but around the league," Fitzpatrick said. "Anytime you have somebody like that on your team it's a great thing and he'll be a great player like he always has (been) and a great leader for us this year."

Several other Texans met with reporters after Johnson did on Friday, but this year's top overall draft pick outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney was not among them. His status for the first day of camp is still unclear as he recovers from surgery to repair a sports hernia.



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Romo Looks Sharp at Training Camp Sports Thu, 24 Jul 2014 10:10:55 PM Associated Press Romo Looks Sharp at Training Camp

OXNARD, Calif. (AP) - Tony Romo paused to add up how long it would take to coddle his surgically repaired back on the first day of training camp.

The final tally for the 34-year-old Dallas Cowboys quarterback was about four hours.

Romo isn't worried about getting hit. He thinks he can play several more years, even joking Thursday that he'll still be taking snaps when he's 45.

But he knows he will have to alter his routine significantly after a herniated disk in a season-saving win at Washington led to back surgery that forced him out of a loss in a playoffs-or-bust finale against Philadelphia.

Romo said he spent about 2 1/2 hours before the first full practice on stretching and other work on his back, and he anticipated at least another hour or so before he went to bed.

The extra care probably won't take that long all the time, but there will be at least a little something every day.

"That's what I have to do and I have no problem doing that," Romo said. "I love the game and it's going to be something that's easy to do to make sure that you're always in good health."

The Cowboys are easing into the practice routine to try to cut down on injuries, mostly hamstring problems that have plagued the team the past two years. Not only did they skip most of the offense-on-defense work in the first full practice, but Romo shut down the throwing long before the practice was over.

"It's not to save the arm," Romo said. "I am excited about going full go shortly. We'll go up against the defense in a day or two and I am excited to be out there and rip them a little bit."

And Romo is thinking about more than just being healthy. He's going into his eighth full season as the starter talking like his prime is in his future rather than his past.

"I've said it before but I think over the course of the next four or five years, you'll see the best version of me that I've had throughout my career," Romo said. "That's for a lot of different reasons. As my body continues to get healthier and healthier, it's going to be better."

The Cowboys will need a healthy Romo if they want to end a rare four-year playoff drought. The last three of those ended with losses to NFC East rivals when Dallas had a chance to make the playoffs.

And the most recent one ended with Romo watching from home just two days after back surgery.

Tight end Jason Witten, a high draft pick for Dallas the same year Romo signed as an undrafted free agent in 2003, never doubted Romo would be back in charge. And Romo's favorite target isn't thinking about his quarterback being one hard hit away from more back trouble.

"I am not curious to see. I know what the guy is made of," Witten said. "I don't think any of us are looking at this and saying we have to protect him because he's fragile. He's better than he's been because he's taken care of that."

Even though the throws were limited, there wasn't any question that Romo was the first-team quarterback in camp drills after that role was filled by backup Brandon Weeden while Romo worked back into shape during the offseason.

"Whenever he's been out, had an injury, on the sidelines and can't play, it's killing him," coach Jason Garrett said. "So he's dying to play and he's dying to do everything he can to be back 100 percent so he can play as well as he can for us. It's an exciting day for him. You can see it out there. You can see it on his face."

And the medical staff can see it in the training room.

NOTES: CB Brandon Carr didn't make the trip to California so he could attend to a family health issue. Garrett said there was no timetable for his arrival at camp. ... Garrett said he expected G Ron Leary to be ready by Tuesday. He's out with tightness in his hamstring. ... OL Tyronne Green was released from the injured list.

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Jones Says Garrett Not Coaching to Save His Job Sports Wed, 23 Jul 2014 9:08:31 PM Associated Press Jones Says Garrett Not Coaching to Save His Job

OXNARD, Calif. (AP) - Jerry Jones doesn't like to repeat his good sound bites, so he found a new way to say Jason Garrett isn't coaching for his job.

The Dallas Cowboys owner said Wednesday it wasn't a "make or break" season for Garrett, a year after opening training camp by declaring that last season wouldn't be "Armageddon" for his coach if the once-proud franchise missed the playoffs again.

The Cowboys have identical endings to all three full seasons under Garrett, losing to NFC East rivals to finish 8-8 and miss the playoffs.

This time, Garrett is in the final year of his contract. While he's not talking extension, Jones also isn't talking change.

"Did the record of 8-8, 8-8, 8-8 ... was that the factor? No," Jones said on the eve of the team's first camp practices. "In my mind he is more of an asset after this last 8-8 season than he was before the first 8-8 season we had three years ago."

In Jones' mind, that means Garrett is gaining experience since replacing Wade Phillips in the middle of the 2010 season. And the owner says he likes the continuity with Garrett going into his eighth season after he was hired as offensive coordinator before Phillips came on as coach in 2007.

"There's nobody that has a better feel for me than Jason, in terms of the relationship," Jones said. "We both know where our expectations are and when it's looking good and when it's looking dire. And I don't expect it to be the latter."

In other words, Jones isn't resigning himself to missing the playoffs a fifth straight time. Dallas hasn't done that since 1990, when the Cowboys entered his second year as owner coming off a two-year mark of 4-28.

"I don't want to have to stomach it," Jones said. "Let's put it like that."

Still, Jones was a bit cautious with his optimism, using his opening statement to point out that roughly half of the 90-man camp roster includes players who weren't with the Cowboys a year ago.

He also likes to say Dallas has gone from one of the oldest teams in the league to one of the youngest. Some might call that rebuilding. Not Jones.

"It's not about next year," Jones said. "I think we've got the fundamentals to compete and compete right now, and the decisions we've made are that."

The biggest decision was releasing franchise sacks leader DeMarcus Ware on the first day of free agency in March. The Cowboys hope to fill the void by finding quality in the large quantity of defensive linemen in camp.

Dallas also is looking for a replacement for Sean Lee at middle linebacker after he tore a knee ligament in the first offseason practice.

The offense is counting on a healthy Tony Romo, and Garrett said he would be ready "for all aspects" of camp.

The Cowboys will ease into workouts, even scrapping their traditional conditioning test to try to cut down on a two-year plague of injuries that helped wreck two of the worst defenses in franchise history. And that's one of the areas where Garrett figures he can be better.

"We want to evaluate how we used our players, what we asked them to do and how we can do stuff better," Garrett said. "So I can give you 50 examples of that, coverages we play, what we're doing up front with our guys, techniques we're using at the different levels of our defense. And we implemented all that stuff in the offseason."

So Garrett starts the process of trying to break out of his personal 8-8 rut for a franchise with a .500 record going back 17 years.



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Texans Training Camp Preview Sports Tue, 22 Jul 2014 10:17:53 PM Associated Press Texans Training Camp Preview

HOUSTON (AP) - As the Houston Texans prepare for the start of training camp on Saturday, their biggest question mark involves a player who probably won't be there when they take the field.

Disgruntled receiver Andre Johnson skipped offseason workouts and mandatory minicamp after wondering in May if Houston was "still the place for me."

A holdout by the face of the franchise and the team's longest-tenured player could cast a pall on the beginning of coach Bill O'Brien's first season.

O'Brien has tried to downplay the situation so far, but that tact will be much more difficult if Johnson's holdout stretches much longer.

Johnson joined the franchise in its second season and has said that playing on just three teams with winning records in 11 seasons "can become very frustrating."

The Texans were among the favorites to reach the Super Bowl entering last season after reaching the playoffs the previous two years.

But things quickly fell apart due in large part to poor play by quarterback Matt Schaub, coach Gary Kubiak was fired in December and they finished 2-14 to tie the worst record in franchise history.

The 33-year-old Johnson, whose 1,407 yards receiving in 2013 ranked second in the AFC, is unhappy at the prospect of enduring another rebuilding project after seeing the moves the Texans made in the offseason.

If they can't get him back on the field it will leave a big hole in O'Brien's new offense and put much more pressure on last year's first-round pick DeAndre Hopkins.

Here are some things to know about the Texans as camp begins.

CLOWNEY'S HEALTH: Jadeveon Clowney, the top overall pick in this year's draft, may not be ready to practice on the first day of training camp after having sports hernia surgery in June.

O'Brien said that he expected Clowney to be ready for training camp when he disclosed the procedure on June 13. But the former South Carolina standout told reporters recently that he isn't sure if he'll be cleared to practice by Day 1. Training camp will be important for the former defensive end who is making the transition to outside linebacker in defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel's system.

O'BRIEN'S TEAM: O'Brien returns to the NFL for his first head coaching job in the league after spending the past two seasons coaching Penn State. He took over the Nittany Lions in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal and led the team to winning records in both 2012 and 2013 before being hired in Houston. He comes to the Texans with a reputation as a quarterback guru after spending three seasons working as Tom Brady's position coach with the Patriots.

FITZPATRICK TAKES OVER: Houston traded Schaub to Oakland in the offseason and signed veteran free agent quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who was selected as the starter during minicamp by O'Brien. Fitzpatrick started nine games for the Titans last season after Jake Locker was injured, but there are questions about whether he's the answer to Houston's quarterback woes.

"He does a good job of controlling the offense and ... getting together with other groups and trying to let them see everything through the quarterback's eyes," quarterbacks coach George Godsey said. "I think he's done a good job of trying to keep that steady."

They also have Case Keenum, who started eight games last season after Schaub was benched, and drafted Tom Savage in the fourth round of this year's draft.

CRENNEL'S RETURN: Crennel returns to coaching for the first time since he was fired as coach of the Kansas City Chiefs following the 2012 season. He inherits a defense that features 2012 Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt and should get a boost with the return of middle linebacker Brian Cushing, who suffered a second straight season-ending knee injury in Houston's seventh game last year.

Crennel's excited about coaching again and said at age 67 the most important factor was the people he'd be working with.

"We all want to win, but if you've got good people and you can work with good people that makes the job easier," he said. "I felt that the people were good people and that I would enjoy working with them. That made it easier for me to come and give it a shot."

CAN FOSTER RETURN TO FORM: Arian Foster has recovered from back surgery that ended his season in 2013 after eight games. He participated in minicamp and the Texans are counting on him to return to form this year. Before the injury shortened season he ran for at least 1,200 yards in three straight seasons, highlighted by his breakout 2010 season when he rushed for an NFL-leading 1,616 yards.


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UIL Football Title Games Staying in Arlington Sports Tue, 22 Jul 2014 10:16:08 PM Associated Press UIL Football Title Games Staying in Arlington

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The Texas high school football championship games are returning to the $1.2 billion home of the Dallas Cowboys.

The University Interscholastic League said Tuesday that AT&T Stadium will be the site of all 12 high school title games for the second year in a row. The 80,000-seat venue has been the site for the larger classifications since 2010.

Last season was the first time the six-man championships were played in Arlington, Texas.

The UIL says last year's Class 5A Division I title game set a Texas high school attendance record with a crowd of 54,347 for Allen's 63-28 victory against Pearland.

The state's largest classification is now Class 6A, and six-man is now known as Class 1A.

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Former Cowboys RB Newhouse Dies at 64 Sports Tue, 22 Jul 2014 10:12:24 PM Associated Press Former Cowboys RB Newhouse Dies at 64

DALLAS (AP) - Robert Newhouse, who played running back for the Dallas Cowboys for 11 years and went to three Super Bowls, has died. He was 64.

Newhouse's son, Rodd Newhouse, says his father died Tuesday at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, after a battle with heart disease.

Newhouse had suffered a stroke in 2010.

The burly running back was drafted by the Cowboys in 1972 out of the University of Houston, where he ran for 1,757 yards as a senior, a school record that still stands.

Newhouse ran for 4,784 yards in his career with Dallas. He retired in 1983 after playing in three Super Bowls with some of the Cowboys greatest teams, including the 1976 NFL champions.

In the 1977 Super Bowl victory against Denver, Newhouse threw a touchdown pass.

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Cowboys Ready for Training Camp Sports Mon, 21 Jul 2014 10:11:30 PM Associated Press Cowboys Ready for Training Camp

IRVING, Texas (AP) - Tony Romo probably won't have to sneak into competitive situations when the Dallas Cowboys hold their first training camp practice Thursday.

The 34-year-old quarterback tried to get some unauthorized reps in a jersey swap with Caleb Hanie during minicamp in June, about six months after a herniated disk knocked him out of the season finale and resulted in back surgery.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says he expects Romo to be "full go" for the first workout in Oxnard, California. Romo's been waiting for that signal for weeks.

"He is chomping at the bit to do more," said coach Jason Garrett, who sniffed out Romo's trick last month and kicked him out of the huddle. "We need to have discipline with him. Giving him another month before we get into a competitive practice situation is certainly going to benefit him."

When he's ready, Romo faces quite a task trying to end a four-year playoff drought. He's on his third play caller in as many seasons, Garrett's future is in doubt entering the final year of his contract, and the defense is missing its two best players after its worst season in franchise history.

Scott Linehan is the passing game coordinator and play caller after getting swept out as Detroit's offensive coordinator when coach Jim Schwartz was fired. Bill Callahan had those duties last year after Garrett gave up the dual role.

Romo still has his primary weapons in running back DeMarco Murray, receiver Dez Bryant and tight end Jason Witten. But the defense is missing linebacker Sean Lee, out for the season after tearing a left knee ligament in the first offseason workout, and DeMarcus Ware, the franchise's career sacks leader who was released in March.

"Well, I don't think you're into evaluating your football team for how good they are," Romo said. "I think you're just about getting better right now. In some cases, we have new stuff on both sides of the ball and we need to get people up to speed and need to fly around and know the system like the back of your hand so you can play at your fastest tempo and speed."

Some things to consider as the Cowboys head into training camp:

REPLACING LEE: This is the top priority. Justin Durant, signed as a free agent last year, is the top in-house candidate. Others are second-year player DeVonte Holloman and rookie fourth-round pick Anthony Hitchens. "It's a collective thing," Holloman said. "One guy's not going to replace him."

DEZ THE LEADER: Bryant is the most experienced and by far the most accomplished receiver after the release of Miles Austin. He's also entering the final year of his rookie deal and could have a big payday coming. That was hard to imagine four years ago when one of several off-field problems for Bryant was a lawsuit over unpaid jewelry bills. "I wasn't understanding the whole process of how to be a professional player," Bryant said. "As time went on, I started learning little by little and it all came together, and it still is."

D-LINE OVERHAUL: The boldest move on draft day for Dallas was moving up 13 spots to get defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence early in the second round. The Cowboys acknowledged they might have overpaid, and did so because they thought Lawrence was the best chance to replace Ware after dumping him in a salary cap move. With Ware and 2013 sacks leader Jason Hatcher gone, it's safe to say the Cowboys will rely on plenty of new names.

JOINT PRACTICES: Dallas and Oakland will practice together Aug. 12 and 13 in Oxnard. That's after the Cowboys' preseason opener in San Diego and a couple of days before they break camp. "We used to have some unbelievable practices with the Raiders way back when," said Garrett, a backup quarterback for Dallas in the 1990s. "And I have always just felt it's a good way to really spice up training camp."

YOUNG BLOCKERS: By drafting Notre Dame's Zack Martin at No. 16 in the first round, the Cowboys now have four starting offensive linemen who are 25 or younger. Center Travis Frederick and left tackle Tyron Smith figure to be in their spots for years. Ron Leary is the left guard. Martin is plugged in at right guard for the moment but could get moved next year.



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Manziel Scores as NFL's Top-Selling Jersey Sports Mon, 21 Jul 2014 5:11:13 PM Associated Press Manziel Scores as NFL's Top-Selling Jersey

CLEVELAND (AP) - Second on Cleveland's depth chart, Johnny Manziel already tops one NFL list.

The popular rookie quarterback, who will begin his first training camp this week as a backup, had the league's top-selling jersey since April 1. The league said Monday that Manziel's No. 2 outsold all others from April 1 to July 17 on

Manziel is followed on the list by three quarterbacks: Seattle's Russell Wilson, San Francisco's Colin Kapernick and Denver's Peyton Manning. Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman is fifth followed by St. Louis rookie Michael Sam, the league's first openly gay player.

New England's Tom Brady is seventh and New Orleans QB Drew Brees is eighth on the list. Minnesota rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is 13th and Houston defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, the top overall pick, had the 16th best-selling jersey.

The league did not say how many Manziel jerseys - priced at $99.95 a pop - sold during the period. More than a few seemed to have been purchased in the Cleveland area, where brown or white Manziel jerseys can be found all over the city.

The Browns drafted the former Texas A&M star, who earned his Johnny Football nickname with his playmaking ability, with the No. 22 overall pick on May 8. He's scheduled to report to training camp on Wednesday and will battle with Brian Hoyer to be Cleveland's starter.


AP NFL website: and

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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IceRays Schedule At 2014 NAHL Showcase Released Sports Fri, 18 Jul 2014 4:15:17 PM Corpus Christi IceRays IceRays Schedule At 2014 NAHL Showcase Released

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX - The final pieces of the puzzle in the 2014-2015 schedule for the Corpus Christi IceRays have been placed together as the North American Hockey League released its' schedule for the 2014 NAHL Showcase from Blaine, Minnesota. The IceRays are on tap to battle Kenai River, Minnesota Wilderness, Wenatchee, and Keystone during the four day event.

"The NAHL Showcase is a hectic time for everyone," said head coach John Becanic, entering his second season with the IceRays. "So much hockey in a short span. There is no way to prepare your players for what's ahead, so the best thing you can do is to instill the compete level and have the players manage their bodies. Four games in four days at various times you need for your players to prepare their bodies as such."

After opening the season in Topeka the weekend before, the ‘Rays will kick off the Showcase at 1:30PM CST on Wednesday, September 17th against the Kenai River Brown Bears. Last season, Corpus Christi and Kenai River face one another four times. The second day will feature the IceRays stepping on the ice with the Minnesota Wilderness at 8:00PM CST. Last year at the NAHL Showcase, the Wilderness took a 2-0 win over Corpus Christi. A rare divisional game will take place on day three as Wenatchee will get their first look at the IceRays as members of the South Division. The puck will drop on that contest at 1:45PM CST. The IceRays will meet a new member of the league on Saturday morning as the expansion Keystone Ice Miners, formerly the Port Huron Fighting Falcons, will play the early game at 9:30AM CST against the ‘Rays.

"It's a great opportunity in front of so many college and pro scouts," Becanic finished. "The level of play is phenomenal. You just want your players to enjoy the process and play at their best possible level."

Each year, this event draws the attention of hundreds of NCAA, NHL, and other junior scouts. Annually, the Showcase attracts over 9,000 people in overall attendance, including a record number of 342 NHL, NCAA and junior scouts, who attended the 2013 NAHL Showcase last season. For more information on the NAHL Showcase including schedule, ticket prices, hotels, rental cars and arena information, CLICK HERE.

Following that game, Corpus Christi will return to the Coastal Bend and prepare for the home opener against Lone Star on Saturday, September 27th at 7:05PM inside American Bank Center.

All games at the 2014 NAHL Showcase will be broadcast LIVE on the TuneIn Radio APP,, and

Season tickets for the 2014-2015 season of IceRays hockey are on sale NOW. Call the front office at 361-814-7825 for details or check out the pricing and seating chart online at

Stay current with the latest team news by visiting In addition stay connected with the IceRays on Facebook (/corpuschristiicerays), Twitter (@goicerays), and the team's Youtube channel ICERAYS TV (@goicerays)


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Womens Basketball Coaching Staff #Chillin4Charity Challenge Sports Thu, 17 Jul 2014 6:07:34 PM Texas A&M Corpus Christi Womens Basketball Coaching Staff #Chillin4Charity Challenge

CORPUS CHRISTI - The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi women's basketball coaching staff along with Dr. Trent Hill, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, accepted the #Chillin4Charity Challenge today on University Beach. Members of the 2014-15 women's basketball team doused the coaching staff and Dr. Trent Hill with ice water coolers to help raise funds for the Kay Yow Foundation.

Coaches across the nation have been taking the plunge and passing on the challenge to others. The rules are if a head coach is called out they have 48 hours to complete the challenge. If they don't, they owe the Kay Yow Foundation $250, and if they answer the challenge, the one who challenged them will owe the Kay Yow Foundation $50. The Kay Yow Foundation has raised more than $8 million for research on women's cancers since it was started in 2007.

Dr. Trent Hill presented his challenge to Stephen F. Austin President Dr. Baker Pattillo.

For all the latest on the Islanders women's basketball team during the offseason, be sure to follow the team on Twitter and Instagram (@IslandersWBB) and like the team on Facebook (Islanders Womens Basketball).


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Hooks Salvage Split with Rockhounds Sports Wed, 16 Jul 2014 10:22:33 PM Corpus Christi Hooks Hooks Salvage Split with Rockhounds

CORPUS CHRISTI - Telvin Nash cracked his sixth home run in the last nine games and Kyle Smith allowed one run over 5 2/3 innings as Corpus Christi defeated Midland 5-2 Wednesday at Whataburger Field before 4,676.

Corpus Christi improved to 14-12 in the Texas League second-half while salvaging a split of the four-game series. Midland, which dropped just its second contest in the last 13, tops the South Division at 16-9.

The Hooks scored four-two out runs during the first. Jonathan Meyer dropped a single into shallow right-center for the night's initial tally. Tony Kemp drew a lead-off walk from Nate Long (8-5) and moved into scoring position on Ruben Sosa's sacrifice bunt.

Meyer and Andrew Aplin (single) scored ahead of Nash when the big first baseman belted a curve ball over the left-field wall, his 14th home run of 2014.

Midland finally broke through against Smith (4-2) in the fifth, Kent Matthes collecting the first RockHounds hit and crossing on Dusty Coleman's double to the right-center field gap. Coleman was erased attempting to stretch his drive into a triple, right fielder Aplin to second baseman Kemp to Meyer.

Smith exited a two-on, two-out fix the next inning, Jordan Jankowski defusing the threat by getting Max Muncy on a fly to right. Smith, who retired 13 of 14 at the outset, walked two and struck out five. Houston's No. 13 prospect has yielded one earned run or less in nine of his last 11 outings.

Jankowski struck out the side in the seventh en route to a three-inning save, Jefry Marte's ninth-inning double and Jeremy Barfield's RBI single the only blemishes.
Long lasted six frames and struck out nine to go with eight hits and two walks. His relief, Deryk Hooker, issued a one-out walk to Kemp, who stole second and trotted to third via a wild pitch. Sosa's looper to left over a drawn-in infield provided Corpus Christi with an insurance run.

Aplin has a seven-game hitting streak.
The Hooks play four in Frisco Thursday through Sunday before traveling to San Antonio for three. Corpus Christi returns home for seven games on July 24.


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Islanders Selected for 2014 Corpus Christi Coastal Classic Sports Wed, 16 Jul 2014 2:43:00 PM Texas A&M Corpus Christi Islanders Selected for 2014 Corpus Christi Coastal Classic

CORPUS CHRISTI - The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi basketball team will be one of the eight teams in the field for the 2014 Corpus Christi Coastal Classic, tournament organizers announced today. The Thanksgiving weekend exempt tournament will also see TCU, St. Louis, Mississippi State, Bradley, Radford, Mississippi Valley State and North Carolina A&T take part in the event.

Each team will play four games in the tourney - the first two at campus sites and the final two rounds at the American Bank Center on Nov. 28 & 29. A&M-Corpus Christi will play its first two games of the tournament on the road - at St. Louis and at Bradley - before returning to Corpus Christi for the final two games.

This is the second year for the exempt tournament to be hosted over Thanksgiving weekend at the American Bank Center. In 2013, Virginia won the event en route to a No. 1 national ranking and a Sweet 16 appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

"We're excited to be a part of the Corpus Christi Coastal Challenge this year," head coach Willis Wilson said. "Last year the Coastal Bend saw a Sweet 16 team and the runner-up from the NIT (SMU) play in the American Bank Center, and this year's field could have just as much star power. It should be a great experience for our team, our school and our city and we can't wait to be a part of it."

The Islanders are looking to follow up on a strong 2013-14 campaign that saw them post 12 more wins than the prior season and finish in second place in the Southland Conference. Wilson was named Ben Jobe National Coach of the Year - presented annually to the top minority coach in all of Division I men's basketball.

On the court, A&M-Corpus Christi is led by senior John Jordan, a First Team All-Southland selection who sits in the school's career top 10 in points, rebounds, assists, free throws and steals. Among the other key returners for the squad are sophomore Rashawn Thomas, who averaged 10.7 points and 5.2 rebounds in his debut campaign, and senior Hameed Ali, who has started 72 games and scored 620 points in his three years for the Islanders.

Tickets for the final rounds in Corpus Christi can be purchased beginning Saturday, July 19, by visiting or purchase by phone by dialing 1-800-745-3000. For ADA seating please call 361-826-4170. Tickets to the event will also be included in the Islanders men's basketball season ticket package. To order your season tickets, call the Islanders Athletics Ticket Office at 825-BALL (2255) today.


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UIL State Basketball Tournaments Moving to San Antonio Alamodome Sports Tue, 15 Jul 2014 2:06:12 PM UIL UIL State Basketball Tournaments Moving to San Antonio Alamodome

AUSTIN- The 2015 University Interscholastic League Girls and Boys State Basketball Tournaments will be played at the Alamodome in San Antonio the UIL announced Tuesday.


The change comes as a result of UIL staff seeking a solution to the difficulties with availability and affordability of hotels caused by concurrent events in Austin.


In June, UIL staff asked for guidance from the UIL Legislative Council as it related to the basketball state tournament venue. The council authorized staff to move the basketball state tournaments to San Antonio in 2015. The Alamodome has worked with UIL staff to finalize arrangements for the upcoming girls and boys basketball state tournaments.


"The decision to move the basketball state tournaments has been a difficult one," said UIL Executive Director Dr. Charles Breithaupt. "The tournaments have enjoyed a rich tradition in Austin, but in order to provide the best experience for student-athletes, coaches and fans, it is best to move the UIL basketball state tournaments to another excellent venue in Texas, the San Antonio Alamodome."


The first UIL Basketball State Tournament was played in Austin in 1921. Gregory Gym on the University of Texas at Austin campus began hosting the boys tournament beginning in 1931, and the girls tournament was added in 1951. The Frank Erwin Center on the University of Texas at Austin campus has hosted the boys and girls state basketball tournaments since 1978.


"The Alamodome has a proven history of hosting high-profile championship sporting events," said Michael Sawaya, San Antonio Convention & Sports Facilities Director. "We look forward to welcoming to San Antonio the many student-athletes, families, and fans to the 2015 State Championship Basketball Tournaments, and are honored to have been selected to host this great event."


The girls basketball state tournament will take place March 5-7, 2015 and the boys tournament will be March 12-14. Details about ticket sales will be forthcoming.


"We're thrilled the UIL has chosen San Antonio to host one of the state's premier high school championships," said Casandra Matej, San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau Director. "From NCAA Final Fours to the Spurs' march to a fifth NBA crown last month, San Antonio has proven to be a championship city when it comes to basketball. We look forward to providing another unforgettable experience for players, fans and officials at the 2015 UIL State Basketball Tournaments."


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Carroll Hires Mike Leal as Head Baseball Coach Sports Mon, 14 Jul 2014 4:46:04 PM Drew Collins - Carroll Hires Mike Leal as Head Baseball Coach

CORPUS CHRISTI - CCISD and Carroll High School announced Michael Leal as the new Head Baseball Coach on Monday afternoon.

Coach Leal served as the Tigers pitching coach since 2008. He's a 1988 graduate of Carroll where he played Football and Baseball.

He has head coaching experience at Riviera High School and has been an assistant at Falfurrias and Moody before going to Carroll.

Leal served as an assistant coach at Moody from 2006-2008.

He has won two state championships; at Moody in 2007 and Carroll in 2010.


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Hooks Hammer Hounds for 8th-Straight Home Victory Sports Sun, 13 Jul 2014 10:21:18 PM Corpus Christi Hooks Hooks Hammer Hounds for 8th-Straight Home Victory

CORPUS CHRISTI - Ruben Sosa, Telvin Nash and Tony Kemp homered in Corpus Christi's seven-run third as the Hooks blitzed Midland 14-1 Sunday evening at Whataburger Field before 4,877.

The rout snapped Midland's nine-game winning streak, the RockHounds falling to 14-8 in Texas League second-half play. The Hooks are 13-10, 1½ games off the South Division lead, and have won eight straight at home and nine of 11 overall.

Chris Devenski worked five scoreless frames while improving to 2-0 in his initial Double-A start. He walked one and struck out four.

Midland let Billy Burns' lead-off walk and league-leading 44th stolen base go by the boards in the first. Devenski retired the next three RockHounds.

The visitors threatened again during the second. Jeremy Barfield and Dusty Coleman struck one-out singles before Delino DeShields, Jr., robbed Hiro Nakajima of a three-run homer. On the run, DeShields timed his leap to bring the ball back from Corpus Christi's bullpen, the fence folding his upper torso at the waist.

Devenski caught Beau Taylor looking to avert any damage.
The Hooks tagged Shawn Haviland (5-6) for two in a second-inning, four-hit uprising. Rene Garcia's soft liner sat down in shallow center, scoring Andrew Aplin. Nash, who reached with a single of his own after Aplin's opening safety, ultimately scored on a wild pitch.

Then came the third, and the fifth Nash Mash in six games - a three-run blast over the left-field berm - was the biggest blow as Corpus Christi sent 10 to bat. Sosa's lead-off jack was the first volley and Kemp completed the trifecta with a two-out, two-run shot off Blake Hassebrock. Jonathan Meyer had an RBI single.

Haviland, who faced five men without recording an out, was gone after Nash's Mash, victimized for seven runs and hits to go with three walks.

Hassebrock was done after striking Kemp with a bases-loaded pitch in the dirt as Corpus tallied its 10th run in the fifth. Sosa's sacrifice fly greeted Frank Gailey. The Hooks added three unearned runs in the eighth off Ryan Doolittle and second baseman Conner Crumbliss, pressed into emergency duty on the mound.


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