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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 7, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas Contact Sports Editor Bryan Adams, at 625-9144 ext. 223 Sports Thursday, August 7, 2003 IBOff and running K. JESSIE SLATEN/HerakJ-Zenung Texas State freshman and Clemens High School graduate Andre Booker returns a punt during the first practice of the season Wednesday in San Marcos. Texans look to improve stout defense HOUSTON (AP) — The expansion Texans, saddled with a rookie-laden offense that misfired more often than not, needed their veteran defense to come through last season. Vie Fangio’s unit responded with several strong games, producing two Pro Bowlers while ranking 16th in yardage yielded. This season, it returns IO starters who already are immersed in his 3-4 scheme. “I think our defense last year did well, but I think there’s a lot of room for improvement,” said cornerback Aaron Glenn, who along with defensive end Gary Walker reached the Pro Bowl.Texans Extra Points: Rookie tight end Bennie Joppru is expected to miss a week with a groin injury.... When the Broncos hit the held around 8:30 a.m. with the Texans, players used to cooler, drier climates already were complaining. "How do y’all practice in this?" Denver defensive end Trevor Pryce asked. Glenn rejects a statistical fact that made the Texans’ No. 16 ranking more impressive than it sounds. Because the offense was near the bottom in time of possession with an average of 28:06 per game, Texans defenders were on the field more than their counterparts on 27 teams. Of the top 20 defenses, only Carolina’s and Washington’s came on teams whose offenses held the ball less than 30 minutes a game. Dallas, with the 18th-ranked defense, was the only unit on the list whose offense had worse time of possession than the Texans. That was last year, though, and IO returning starters feel like they’re light years ahead of where they were last training camp. “You don’t hear as much screaming,” outside linebacker Kailee Wong said. “That’s one of the biggest things this year. You don’t hear a lot of extra chatter.” Fangio said his three-lineman scheme, used by only a handful of clubs in a league dominated by four-man lines, was completely installed by the end of last season. With everyone back except outside linebacker Jeff Posey, who signed with Buffalo, he can concentrate on fine-tuning this camp. “It’s easy to tinker with it with those IO of ll guys,” Fangio said. “We’re trying to find the right outside linebacker to fill the void left by Posey, and right now (Charlie) Clemons, (Antwan) Peek, (Patrick) Chukwurah and (Erik) Flowers are all competing for that job. We need to find a player who can fit in and not be our weak link.” Cowboys expect more sacks from Ekuban SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Ebenezer Ekuban’s talk with Bill Parcells was short and simple. The message from the coach was clear. The Dallas Cowboys expect Ekuban, their right defensive end and former No. I pick, to have more quarterback sacks. He had just one last season. “He sees ability, so he’s just trying to tweak some things so I can get to the quarterback,” Ekuban said. “He’s always scrutinizing and never satisfied, so every day you’re learning." Parcells likes the potential he sees in the 6-foot-3, 265-pound Ekuban. “Basically what Fve seen is a little bit of a one-dimensional rusher kind of guy. He just needs to get a little more versatility in the package,” Parcells said. “He does have the acceleration and speed to be successful, if he can just mix up his technique enough.” Berkman gets 4 hits in 11-1 win HOUSTON (AP) — Adam Everett hit the first inside-the-park home run at Minute Maid Park, and Jeff Bagwell and Richard Hidalgo each homered and drove in three runs in the Houston Astros’ 11-1 victory over the New York Meta on Wednesday night. Lance Berkman, a Canyon High School graduate had four hits in four plate appearances and scored three times. Geoff Blum also home-red, while Bagwell and Hidalgo each had three runs batted in. Wade Miller (8-10) allowed one run and six hits in six inmngs. Everett capped the scoring in the fifth inning when he hit a liner to center field off reliever Pedro Feliciano that Next Four BERKMAN HOUSTON ASTROS SCHEDULE Thursday, Aug. 7 Astros vs. New York Mete, 7:05 p.m. on FXSN. Friday, Aug. 8 Astros vs. Montreal Expos, 7:05 p.m. on FXSN. Saturday, Aug. 9 Astros vs. Montreal Expos, 6:05 p.m. on ASTRO. Sunday, Aug. 10 Astros vs. Montreal Expos, 1:05 pm on FXSN. TICKETS 1-877-927-8767 eluded a diving Jeff Duncan and rolled past the Meta outfielder. Everett slid into home and beat the relay throw from shortstop Jose Reyes for the first inside-the-park homer in the stadium’s four-year history. Rookie Aaron Heilman (1-5) allowed six runs and seven hits in three innings. Houston took a 2-0 lead in the second inning. Rangers rally in 9th to beat Yankees 5-4 Parcells insists he didn’t know that Ekuban was the team’s No. I pick in 1999. But the new coach was very aware of that single sack last season, which put Ekuban in a group of just five starting defensive ends in the NFL with one or no sacks. And that lone sack came in the season opener against the expansion Houston Texans, who went on to allow a record 73 sacks. NEW YORK (AP) — Reliever Mariano Rivera threw away a bunt that set up pinch-hitter Hank Blalock’s two-run single in the ninth inning and the Texas Rangers rallied past the New York Yankees 5-4 Wednesday. Rivera (5-2) walked pinch-hitter Rafael Palmeiro to start the inning. Donnie Sadler followed with a sacrifice bunt and Rivera’s high throw sailed into foul territory, with the error putting runners at second and third. Blalock batted for Todd Greene and followed with a single that scored pinch-run-ner l^aynce Nix and Sadler. Rivera has blown three of his last five save tries. Alex Rodriguez hit a solo homer off David Wells in the eighth to get Texas within 4-3. Ron Mahay (1-0) pitched Next Four BLALOCK TEXAS RANGERS SCHEDULE Thurwtey, Aug. 7 Flangers at New York Yankees, 12:05 pm on KABB Friday, Aug. 8 Flangers at Toronto Blue Jays, 6:05 p.m. on RANGR. Saturday, Aug. 9 Flangers at Toronto Blue Jays, 3:05 p m. on RANGR Sunday, Aug. 10 Flangers at Toronto Blue Jays, 12:05 p.m. on KABB TICKETS 1-888-968-3927 two hitless innings and struck out three Francisco Cordero worked the save. Nick Johnson homered to start a two-run seventh inning that gave the Yankees a 4-2 lead. Since the start of 2001, the Rangers have won eight of 12 games at Yankee Stadium, including four of their last five. Before that, Texas had been 8-28 at the ballpark the past seven seasons. Best leads Texas State Junior Golf Championships uaderiward From staff reports Julia Best of Bulverde used a strong short game to post a second-round score of 70 at Jimmy Clay Course and overtook defending champion Leisl Hasbrouck of Kingwood for the lead Wednesday in the Girls 15-18 Division of the Texas State Junior Golf Championships. ‘It wasn’t fairways and greens and 2-putts today. I had to get up and down some to keep the round even,” said Best, a Smithson Valley High School graduate and University of Texas signee. Best holds the lead with a two-day total of 143, with Hasbrouck a stroke back at 144. San Antonio’s Natalie Hocott is holding down third at 146. New Braunfels graduate and Tbxas Ibch signee Christine Kovalcik shot a 73 Wednesday to put her in a tie for seventh at 150 (77-73). Rowlett’s Chris Thompson’s lead in the Boys 15-18 Division of the 2003 Texas State Junior Boys Championships is down to one. Thompson entered Wednesday’s second round with a 2-stroke lead over Mission’s Dustin Garza and scored an even-par 71 on Austin’s Roy Kizer Golf Course for a 137 total and a 1-shot lead over Clay Hodge of Tyler. Nick Williams of New Braunfels was tied for 29th after shooting a second round 73 Wednesday, which gave him a two-day total 147. Su Min Yu of Pasadena posted a final round score of 70 for a 143 total and victory in the Boys 12-14 Division of the tournament. The runner-up in the 2002 Texas State Junior Championships, Plano’s See GOLF/4B TEXAS STATE JUNIOR GOLF CHAMPIONSHIPS (at Ktaear and Clay Golf Courses In Austin) Girts 15-18 1. Jute Best, SVHS    143 t7, Christine Kovalcik, NBHS 150 Boys 15-18 t29 Nick Williams, NBHS 147 Note: Final round of three tees off at 7 arn. today For bragging rights Greater NB Junior Golf Championship tees off today By Bryan Adams Sports Editor If there is any doubt as to who the best junior golfer Is in the greater New Braunfels area, today and Friday is the time to prove it. Today’s first round tee times/4B The Greater New Braunfels Junior Golf Championship tees off at IO a.m. today at Lands Park Golf Course. The tournament is open to all Comal, Guadalupe and Hays County juniors ages 10-18. “We had more than 60 kids sign up this year, which is more than any other year we’ve hosted die tournament,” tournament coordinator Dario Sassen-hagen said. “Some of the local high schools are using this tournament as their qualifier to be on the varsity team.” Among the players competing for first, second and third place trophies include 2002 Greater New Braunfels Junior boys champion Josh Ray and 2003 girls runner-up Casey Panther-muehl. The 2002 Greater New Braunfels Junior girls champion Christine Kovalcik, a New Braunfels High School graduate and 2003 Texas Tech signee, is competing at the Texas State Junior Championships this week at Roy Kizer Golf Course in Austin. The boys 2002 runner-up Nick Williams (NBHS) as well as Smithson Valley graduate and Texas signee Julia Best also are playing in Austin. K. JESSIE SLATEN/HeraJd-Zertung Although it might look like a discipline problem from a distance, the smile on six-year-okl C.J. Perez’s face gives away the truth — ifs just a golf lesson from dad, Steve Perez. Today the 2003 Greater New Braunfels Junior Golf Championships tee off at Landa Park Golf Course. ;