Saturday, April 14, 2007

Corpus Christi Spoil Ruff Riders Debut 70-54

(Katy, Texas-April 14, 2007) The Corpus Christi Hammerheads (1-0) scored early and often and spoiled the Katy Ruff Riders (0-1) inaugural home game by invading the Merrell Center for a 70-54 victory on Saturday afternoon in Katy.

In what was a typical high-flying, Intense Football League contest, Hammerheads quarterback Wes Cooper threw for 197 yards and five touchdowns and the Ruff Riders found it difficult to stop Corpus Christi running back Fred Wallace. The bruising 300-pound runner racked up 117 yards on 21 carries and scored four times to lead the Hammerheads offense.

Corpus Christi took a 21-7 lead midway through the first quarter, and never trailed as they found the end zone on all nine of their first half possessions. The Ruff Riders contributed to their demise by turning the ball over three times, including a pass that was intercepted by Corpus Christi’s Carl Greenwood on the very first offensive possession of the game. Corpus Christi led 61-41 at the half, but both sides stepped up their defense in the second half, as the scoring slowed down.

“I thought that for our first real game action, we looked pretty good at times,” said Ruff Riders Head Coach Donald Hollas. “We struggled a bit in the first half on defense, because we tried to do a little bit too much. But we toned that down and held them pretty well in the second half. But it’s tough to play at any level of football, when you turn the ball over and give the other team a short field. The best sign I saw was that our team fought back, didn’t quit, and made some adjustments we needed to make. I was very pleased with that.”

Katy quarterback Albert Higgs completed 16 of 29 attempts for 191 yards and four touchdowns and wideout Darrick Wallace found the end zone four times as well for the Ruff Riders, including a pair of kickoff returns for scores. Sammy Knight added two TD’s for the Ruff Riders, while Se’e Poumele and Carlos Alsup each posted TD runs.


(Santa Monica-April 10, 2007) This August 25, Red Bull Flugtag, the outrageous human-powered flying competition, will make its triumphant return to Austin’s Auditorium Shores after four long years away. Santa’s sleigh, Oompa Loompas, and many a flying Elvis have
graced the U.S. skyline over the years, but Flugtag is coming back to see what the Lone Star state can offer.

Flugtag, or “flying day” in German, dares creative individuals to pilot their homemade flying machines off a 22-foot high ramp and into the wild blue yonder – or, as is more often the case, directly into the waters below. Thirty teams of up to five members each will be chosen to soar
over Austin’s shores this summer. All those who think they’ve got what it takes should apply to fly online at by June15 – don’t miss your chance!

Since the first Red Bull Flugtag held in Vienna, Austria, in 1991, more than 35 Flugtags have been held around the world, attracting up to 300,000 spectators for a single event. The record for the farthest flight-to-date currently stands at 195 feet and was set at Red Bull Flugtag
Austria in 2000. A new U.S. record was set just last year at Red Bull Flugtag Baltimore with a flight of 81 feet.

Don’t expect to see any ho-hum helicopters or commercial aircraft replicas flying above Auditorium Shores this August. Instead, perhaps a stack of pancakes or a two-story puffin will soar through the air. In short, the more flamboyant, the better because teams aren’t judged solely on whether or not they’ll go the distance. Just ask one of the 50,000 spectators who crowded Auditorium Shores and screamed at the shenanigans at Red Bull Flugtag Texas in 2003!

Teams are judged on three criteria: distance, creativity and showmanship. Distance means exactly what you think: how far can you fly? Creativity, well, keeps it interesting. The aesthetically pleasing and eye catching crafts score best here. For the showmanship portion, each team will be given one minute on the flight deck before they launch their craft. This minute can be filled with dancing, skits, and general tom foolery to get the crowd roaring. The sky’s literally the limit here – so get inspired, brainstorm the implausible and sketch something

What would a contest be without a few rules? First off, all flying machines must be entirely human-powered (no external energy sources or stored power so forget about the slingshots, catapults or anything other than your brute strength). Secondly, all crafts must be less than 30
feet wide. And finally, no matter what they say, size does matter – all crafts must weigh no more than 450 lbs (including the pilot).

The payoff can be sweet for those who play fair. The first place prize is a pilot’s training course (cash value $7,500), second place gets skydiving lessons (cash value $3,000) and third place can learn to paraglide (cash value $1,500). There is also a special prize awarded for the People’s Choice which will be decided day of by spectators’ SMS voting.

Red Bull Flugtag Texas is free and open to the public

Monday, April 09, 2007

NEWS FLASH: Wheeler Replaces Lidge As Closer for Astros

By Chris Price

(CHICAGO, IL-April 9, 2007) Manager Phil Garner announced to the media in Chicago that Brad Lidge will be replaced by Dan Wheeler as the closing pitcher for the Astros.

He further stated Lidge would pitch earlier in games, possibly in the sixth or seventh inning.

This is a smart move for the Astros. This will give Lidge a chance to get his act together.

If he can't, perhaps a move to Round Rock might give him the "motivation" to start earning that high dollar paycheck instead of just showing up and giving opposing batters a chance to pad their averages.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Bay Area Toros To Play Professional Baseball In Clear Lake

By Robert H. Kelly
(League City, TX-April 8, 2007) Professional baseball will be come to the Clear Lake/League City area in May in the name of the Bay Area Toros.

Ron Baron, President and CEO of the Continental Baseball League (CBL) has announced that League City, Texas has been awarded one of the four franchises for the inaugural season in the independent league.

The Toros will play a 12 week, 60 game schedule, with the first game occurring on May 27, 2007. They will play their games at Clear Creek High School and will be managed by local coaching legend Jim Bolt.

The Toros roster, in addition to the other teams in the league will consist of 20-25 players, with many of them coming from the local college ranks, along with other young professional players from independent and Class A minor league teams.

The league will held tryouts in Dallas on March 30-31, with the Toros holding tryout locally on April 15, 22, and 29.

Other teams in the league are the Tarrant County Blue Thunder, the Lewisville Lizards, and Dallas based Texas Heat.

The CBA, which is striving to be fan friendly, will offer tickets from $5.00 to $10.00 and will and have complementary parking at each ballpark.
TexSport Publications will stay on top of this new league and will provide further information as opening day approaches.

Lidge Gives Up 5 Runs in Astros 10-1 Loss To Cardinals

By Robert H. Kelly

(Houston, TX-April 8, 2007) Houston Astros manager Phil Garner has stated pitcher Brad Lidge is his relief pitcher. Some have questioned that statement but I for one, think it is not in the best interest of reporting to second guess a manager. He knows more about the team than someone sitting in front of a computer screen.

Writers have the luxury of being able to sit back and analyse a manager's decisions. A writer can only guess the intensity of the pressure that any baseball manager feels when he makes player decisions.

With that being said, I didn't write anything about Lidge sub-par performance on opening day. After today's disaster in 2/3 of the ninth inning, I feel it is my job as a writer to look at the facts and make some observations.

Today, Lidge was tagged for five runs, two of those earned, on a three-run double by Scott Rolen and a two-run double by Yadier Molina. He also walked two batters and raised his ERA to 16.20.

Combine that with his performance on opening day, where he pitched one inning, giving up two hits, one run (earned), a homerun and a walk, while striking out only a single batter and it seems to me this guy is not earning his paycheck.

He is making $5,350,000 this season. One would think that he would out a bit more effort into a performance. I realize he is playing to his ability, but to receive that kind if money and to play as he has in his past two outings is nothing short of criminal.

If he doesn't get his act together, he needs to load his gear on the train and get Junction Jack to haul his "sub-par" butt to Round Rock, Corpus Christi, or some other minor league team.

I don't think he is trade material, because what Major League team would want him? He has a one year contract with the Astros and that may be one year too much.

He needs to "shape up or ship out." Garner and the fans will not wait much longer for him to find his groove and start earning that 5.35 million dollar paycheck.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Craig Biggio 3000 Hit Watch

TexSport Publications will post a seperate blog on the historic run of Houston Astros second baseman Craig Biggio's quest towards 3000 career hits.

We will be posting game by game updates along with interesting commentary and other pertinate data as he approachs this memorable milestone.

Click here or on the title above to be taken to the Craig Biggio 3000 Hits Watch Blog

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Pozdniakova, van Katwijk, Shamburger Earn C-USA Swimming and Diving Honors

From University of Houston Press Release

University of Houston divers Anastasia Pozdniakova and Ginni van Katwijk and swimmer Jessica Shamburger received specialty awards from Conference USA, as selected by the conference’s head coaches, on Tuesday.

Pozdniakova was honored as the league’s Diver of the Year, while van Katwijk was recognized as one of two Newcomers of the Year. Shamburger claimed Freshman Swimmer of the Year accolades.

The honors are just the latest for the Cougar Swimming and Diving program, which finished 23rd at the 2007 NCAA Championships, the seventh consecutive season that the Cougars have ranked among the Top 25 team leaders at the nation’s top collegiate meet.

Pozdniakova just finished her sophomore season at UH and compiled numerous honors. In 2006-07, she was named the C-USA Diver of the Week five times during the regular season and was honored as the C-USA Diver of the Meet after winning both the 1- and 3-meter championships.

After winning the 1- and 3-meter championships at the NCAA Zone D meet, Pozdniakova continued her impressive performances at the 2007 NCAA Championships during her first appearance at that meet. She finished as the National Runner-Up on the 3-meter springboard and captured another All-America honor on the 1-meter board after finishing fifth.

Competing in her first season at UH, van Katwijk joined the Cougar diving corps after transferring from Wyoming and made an immediate impact. She joined Pozdniakova as the only divers to finish among the Top Three leaders in all three diving events at the C-USA Championship.

The Grootebroek, Netherlands, native finished second on the platform in the consolation finals of the 2007 NCAA Championship to earn All-America honors.

van Katwijk shared the C-USA postseason honor with SMU’s Angela San Juan Cisneros.

Shamburger captured the C-USA 100-yard backstroke championship during her first collegiate season and was a member of three All-Conference USA relay teams at the C-USA meet. The Spring native’s time in the 100-yard backstroke was the second fastest in school history.

SMU’s Petra Klosova was named the 2007 C-USA Swimmer of the Year.

Durant Named AP Player of the Year

By Robert H. Kelly

University of Texas basketball standout Kevin Durant was named the Associated Press’ college basketball player of the year. He is the first freshman to receive the award.

Durant receives all but two of the 72 votes cast from the national media panel that selected recipient of the award.

He was also selected to the AP’s All American team earlier in the week, averaging 25.6 points and 11.3 rebounds per game.

University of Texas coach Rick Barnes was quoted, "There's no question Kevin deserves every individual accolade that he will receive. But the one thing I respect most about Kevin is that he is the ultimate team player. He really doesn't care about the individual numbers and awards. All he cares about is the success of his team. When you're around a guy like that, it makes coaching him a joy."

The only question in my mind is when will Durant announce he is leaving the college ranks and enter the NBA draft?

This young man has nothing to prove in college anymore. However, I wonder if he is mentally and physically mature enough to handle the NBA?

His skills seem to be of the caliber to handle the talent in the NBA. But will his mental skills be able to handle the stress and strain of the NBA season? There are many distractions that go along with being a professional athlete. I hope he has someone to help him down the road and make the transition from college to the NBA ranks a smooth journey.

There is no doubt in my mind that he will be going to the NBA and forgo his college career at Texas. I just hope he is smart enough to get his education along the way.

When this writer was a student at the University of Texas, I had Earl Campbell in a class. That was his senior year and he missed the class quite frequently. After all, that was his Heisman Trophy year and he was being courted by the NFL. As any sports fan knows, he was drafted by the Houston Oilers and went on to a stellar professions career.

What many don’t know is that Campbell went back to UT and finished his degree afetr he went pro.

I hope Durant has the same good sense. After all, how will he manage his millions and trust those who will be by his side he doesn’t have that education?