PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Sports

February 23, 2013

West column: Reid understands Charles is unique talent

PORT ARTHUR —  

    It took a while but new Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid finally got around to offering an assessment of Jamaal Charles and how he fits into Reid’s offense during a press conference at the NFL combine. Here’s what the pass-minded former Eagles coach had  to say about the PA Memorial ex. “I think you can probably put him in any offense and he’s going to do a heck of a job. He’s a very good running back and there are probably a lot of coaches in this league who would love to have him. He’s a heck of a player. I’m not going to change that. I’m going to give him an opportunity to do his thing and do what he does best.” Hopefully, that starts with plugging in a quarterback who can keep defenses from ganging up on Charles . . . Good news on the health of 1950s era TJ standout Goose Gonsoulin, who is battling prostate cancer that spread into his bones, and is rehabbing from quadruple bypass surgery that followed a November heart attack. “I’m feeling pretty good,” he reports. “The heart thing really threw me, but the rehab is coming along well. I’ve been working out, doing a lot of walking, can do some light lifting and am looking forward to being able to play golf again.”  A member of the Denver Broncos Ring of Honor, Goose says he knew his heart was OK when he didn’t collapse after Baltimore QB Joe Flacco’s desperation 72-yard touchdown heave took out his beloved Broncos in the second round of the NFL playoffs. “I still can’t believe that happened. I don’t understand how the receiver got behind our defense.”

    Although Bum Phillips told the Houston Chronicle he’s fine, after being in and out of the hospital this month, and taking a nasty face-first fall, the fact that Wade Phillips was at his 89-year-old father’s ranch in Goliad, rather than with the Texans’ coaching staff at the NFL combine this week, is reason for some concern. Typical Bum, he told the Chronicle, “I’m going to die sometime but it ain’t now.” . . . I would strongly encourage anyone reading this column to go to www.panews.com and check out the story headlined “Seahawks’ Sims overcomes stroke to play again.” Written by Lamar State College-Port Arthur public information director Gerry Dickert, it’s a beautifully done piece on how the Seahawks’ Evan Sims has come all the way back from a major stroke after his senior year in high school. Sims’ courage and determination are remarkable, and the fact that LSC-PA coach Lance Madison offered him an opportunity to realize his dream of playing college basketball is pretty special. Dickert tied it all together in a truly heart-warming story . . . Congratulations are in order for Vidor’s Montana Quirante for his truly improbable sweep of the Willie Ray Smith offensive and defensive awards. I didn’t vote that way, and would debate whether Quirante was the best player in Southeast Texas on either side of the ball, but I have tremendous respect for what he accomplished as a rare two-way player. To play two such demanding positions at the 4A level as quarterback and linebacker, and play them as well as Quirante did, iis amazing. He was probably more valuable to his team that any player in the state.

    Nice to see Lamar University’s first basketball coach Jack Martin, and two of his stars — Don Bryson and Earl Dow — saluted on the Southland Conference’s 1960s All-Decade team. All three were certainly deserving. I was not in this area in when Bryson played at Lamar, but I did see Dow and consider him to be the most exciting player of all the Cardinal players I’ve written about in covering some 45 LU teams. Mike Olliver was Lamar’s best as a college player but Dow was the most exciting. The SLC will be releasing more all-decade teams leading into the March 14-17 conference tourney. It’s going to be very interesting to see how many Cardinals make the 1980s team . . . Put me down for a resounding AMEN on the contention that says college basketball is close to becoming unwatchable. Coaches who are over-the-top control freaks, leading to games with scores in the 40s, 50s and low 60s, and rules and officiating that have turned inside play into a form of wrestling, are taking a serious toll. Too many teams work the shot clock and too few want to play up tempo. Billy Tubbs, who got a lot of credit for speeding the game up when he coached at Oklahoma, has been preaching for years that this is where college basketball is headed. He couldn’t have been more on target . . .  Roger Clemens,  as you would expect, drew a lot of media attention while working with Astros pitchers in spring training last week. Among the nuggets that surfaced was that Clemens is planning to write a book that he says will cut some of his critics “off at the knees.” Somebody better tell him about people who live in glass houses. And especially arrogant people with skeletons rattling around. I can’t wait for the chapter about The Rocket and singer Mindy McCready.

    Lincoln ex Stephen Jackson will be playing the rest of the NBA season and beyond with a heavy heart. Jackson, who had been on leave from the San Antonio Spurs for a “family matter” since Feb. 11, returned Thursday and told the San Antonio Express-News he and his wife were grieving over losing a baby 6 1/2 months into pregnancy. Jackson, who had been told by the Spurs to take as much time away as he deemed necessary, said he needed to rejoin the team to help himself and his wife . . . The Spurs, incidentally, continue to be the most amazing on-going success story in the NBA. Despite the advanced age of stars Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli, they just keep winning. A 116-90 rout of the Clippers on the night Jackson returned was their 16th win in 17 games, boosted their record to a league best 44-12 and made them 6-1 on a brutal nine-game road trip. If a team playing in Boston, Chicago, New York or Los Angeles had accomplished what the Spurs have over the last decade, you’d never stop hearing about it. Amazingly, San Antonio just keeps flying under the radar . . . Former PA News sportswriter Russ DeVillier, who sometimes still authors a piece for us, was singing the praises of James Harden, after watching him pour in 46 points in the Rockets 123-120 shocker over Oklahoma City Wednesday night. DeVillier took his sons, Mark and Craig, his grandson, Nick, and Nederland basketball players Zach English and Colton Kimler to a game he’d picked out early in the year, in part because he wanted to see Ozen ex Kendrick Perkins play for the Thunder. Ironically, Perkins was a last-minute scratch with a knee problem. No matter, DeVillier and crew got to see one of the Rockets best and most exciting games in years.

    Either Ricky Williams smoked too much loco weed, which is certainly a possibility, or, as a former Longhorn, he couldn’t bring himself to support an Aggie. It’s difficult to come to any other conclusion after Williams’ revelation on a Dallas sports talk show that he voted for Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o over A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel for the Heisman Trophy. Williams, who gets a vote because he’s a former Heisman winner, said he had Manziel second on his ballot . . . Speaking of Manziel, you have to wonder about the news that he’s taking all online courses this semester. Reportedly, it’s because of all the chaos that breaks loose when he shows up in a classroom. That, however, seems more than a little lame. For a college athlete to not be taking classes on campus seems troubling on several levels, not the least of which are the abuses that could take place if it becomes a trend. I’d say the odds just went way up that Manziel will be headed to the NFL after next season . . . Congratulations are in order for one of Orange’s greatest success stories — R.C. Slocum. The winningest football coach in Texas A&M history has been named a recipient of the Horatio Alger Award presented annually to individuals whose determination and hard work have enabled them to overcome obstacles and become successful entrepreneurs or community leaders. R.C., a special adviser to the president at A&M, is one of 10 winners for 2013. He’ll be inducted at the 66th annual Horatio Alger Award ceremonies April 4-6 in Washington D.C.

    Sports editor Bob West can be e-mailed at rdwest@usa.net

    

    

    

    

          

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  • Bassmaster Elites are coming back

    The Bassmaster Elite Series returns to Southeast Texas in March 2015 to fish out of Orange.
    The announcement was made last week, ahead of Bassmaster’s official tournament schedule announcement and the buzz is already strong in Southeast Texas and beyond.
    I was in Orlando, Fla. attending the ICAST (fishing trade) show and talked with a number of top anglers including Kevin VanDam, Mike Iaconelli and Shaw Grigsby who said it was no surprise they would return considering the massive turnout for the weigh-ins and that the area welcomed them in a very special way.
    It’s far too early to speculate anything like who the top contenders will be or how the fishing will be but there are some things to keep in mind and to look for over the next few months and into the event itself.
    • Prefishing-There is a pre-fishing cutoff that usually extends to right before the Bassmaster Classic and I fully expect most of the anglers in the Elites to come back and prefish.
    Last go-round probably 2/3 of the field fished the area but this time I expect that to be just about everyone. Many of the anglers that did not pre-fish told me they expected to have a lot of water to fish but the sheer volume and diversity was almost overwhelming.
    Beginning probably in the early fall we will see many anglers fishing local waters to get a better idea on how to approach the area.
    • East to West Runs-The Elite anglers fished far and wide but I expect even more running next go-round. After launching from the Simmons Drive Boat Ramp in Orange angler Bill Lowen ran down the Intracoastal, across Galveston Bay and fished in the Clear Lake area and placed in the top 12. The more adventurous anglers will try super long runs, in my opinion, even longer than last time to try and score on big fish. The Intracoastal Canal system makes that possible.
    • Sabine River -Very few of the anglers actually fished in the Sabine River despite the event being called the “Sabine River Challenge”. I think that will change with more anglers running as far north as they can to find pockets of fish that receive little pressure and perhaps a four or five-pounder to push them over the top.
    • Bigger Turnout-Last year some 34,000 people attended the event which set a Bassmaster record for an Elite event.
     It was broken a couple of weeks later in New York but I fully expect the 2015 tournament to draw 40,000 plus. The reason they are coming back is not for the stellar fishing because while we have lots of bass, everyone knows our fishery cannot compare to Toledo Bend for example.
    The support from the public however was amazing and that is what is bringing the top anglers on the planet to fish our area.
    We will have the very best coverage of the event beginning now and leading up to it with exclusive interviews with all of the top pros with not only their thoughts on the big event but with unique tips on how you can catch more fish.
    It’s an exciting time and I look forward to bringing you special coverage on a special event.
    (To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at cmooreoutdoors@gmail.com. You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at www.klvi.com or watch him on “God’ Outdoors with Chester Moore” Saturdays at 10 a.m. on GETV.org)

    July 23, 2014

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    The Mid County 16-18 Babe Ruth squad’s run to the World Series is over.

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  • Mid County sets up championship series with Tri County

    The Southwest Regional Babe Ruth championship series is set and yes the hometown Mid County squad will be there to play.

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  • MC Babe Ruth goes 2-0

    First things first, give Clint Landry and the rest of the officials credit for making the Southwest Regional Babe Ruth tournament possible this weekend at Nederland High School.

    July 19, 2014

  • Up the odds for solid bank fishing

    There are certain limitations to fishing without a boat.

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  • Derek Williams, Summer Money League light up the lanes at Max Bowl

    Thursday nights Summer Money League produced some very impressive scores.

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  • West column: Pacers hiring Pat Knight didn't help Lamar

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  • Babe Ruth.jpg Mid County Babe Ruth set to host Southwest Regional

    The Mid County Babe Ruth 18U team is once again knocking on the World Series door. Mid County will host the Southwest Regional at Nederland High School starting today. Mid County’s first game of the tournament is slated for 7 p.m. Friday against Pine Bluff, Ark. Thursday was a special day for Mid County Babe Ruth as two locals, Jimmy Collins (shown speaking) and Skip Hopkins (back left) were inducated intot he Southwest Regional Babe Ruth Hall of Fame. Both Hopkins and Collins have been involved in Babe Ruth for over 40 consecutive years either as player, coach or board member. There are nine teams in the tournament with the winner headed to Washington state for the World Series.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • West golf notepad: Eleven-year-old Henry scores ace in YMBL tourney

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From the Fieldhouse blog