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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 11, 1997, New Braunfels, Texas Sports Hay ■ To talk with Sports Editor Tom Erickson about Sports Day, call 625-9144, Ext. 223. Readers can send e-mail to Sports Day 1B The Press Comal County Sports (Events are listed according to timeliness and as space allows) NOMS playoff tickets Tickets for Saturday’s Class SA Division ll state semifinal game between New Braunfels and Alief Hastings at the Astrodome in Houston will be available from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday at New Braunfels High School. All seats are general admission. Advance tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students. All tickets are $10 at the gate. Each ticket is good for all three games at the Astrodome. The 5A Division I state final will begin at noon, followed by the 4A Division I final at 4 p.m. and the 5A Division ll game at 8 p.m. Unicorn fans are encouraged to sit in the same area on the visitors side of the Astrodome to make plenty of noise. For more information about tickets, call NBHS at 625-6271. The NBHS Sports Booster Club will charter buses to Houston for the game. A signup sheet will be available beginning at 8 a.m. Wednesday at the school. For more information on the buses, call Carroll Coleman at 606-3634 or 625-7013. * 1Df« B>H>¥t Staid OfT Unicorn fans and boosters are invited to attend a “We Believe Send-Off” at 6:30 p.m. Friday in the New Braunfels High School cafeteria. Videos of games will be shown, and fans will be able to meet the players and get autographs. The Unicorns will play the Abel Hastings Fighting Bears in the Class 5A Division ll state semifinals at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Astrodome in Houston. ypilt ■ I ■ ii I ^ m — nDTO V TO|«CI VII ■OU Bt KHI New Braunfels High School Project Graduation will be stenciling Unicorn designs on cars this week. Stencils will be available from 3 to 6 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday at the Wal-Mart and H-E-B parkings lots and from 3 to 7 p.m. Friday at the high school parking lot. Fans can get three stencils for $5 a car or individual stencils for $2 each. SWT Pm Prsft^Ucruttlng Southwest Texas will sponsor a Pre-Draft/Recruiting Baseball Camp, open to all high school players, from 9 a m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 20 at the SWT Baseball Complex. Southwest Texas coach Howard Bushong, his assistants Monte Cain and Marcus Hendry, and major league baseball scouts Buzzy Keller (Chicago Cubs) and Mark tummus (Tampa Bay Devil Rays) will provide instruction on all the basics of the game as well as evaluations on all athletes in attendance. In addition, there will be a question and answer session with ail instructors. Registration is available by SWT baseball office The cost is per player, with a registration deadline of Friday. JlNfto MI Runfltfa* The fourth annual Red McCombs Jingle Bell Run/Walk is scheduled for 9 a m. Saturday at Landa Park. Proceeds from the event will benefit Family Outreach. Registration is $13 early and $16 on race day and $10 for the kids’ race, or $5 without a T-shirt. Registration forms are available at Comprehensive Fitness in New Braunfels, Fleet Feet Sports in San Antonio and For Goodness Sake in the Turn to Pratt Box, Page 2B Reed brings, home title from world triathlon competition By TOM ERICKSON Sports Editor GARDEN RIDGE — Don’t expect Joanita Reed to retire anytime soon. Reed, who took first place in the 70-74 age division at the world triathlon championships in Perth, Australia, said her best years may still be ahead of her. ‘Tm just 70, so I’m the baby in my age group,” she said. “As long as I don’t come in last place, I will continue to compete. I never really want to retire or take it easy. There will be plenty of time for that when I’m six feet under.” Reed has continued to improve her times in the triathlon in recent months. In fact, her winning time of 3:16 in Australia was 16 minutes faster than her qualifying time at the national championships earlier this year. “I really didn’t get off to good start,” she said. “I didn’t have a good swim because I swallowed a lot of water. That put me four minutes behind, and I was really lost getting onto the bike. “But then I saw my competitor just in front of me, and I was able to get ahead of her. She tried to pass me from time to time, but didn’t, and I was two minutes ahead of her after the bike ride.” Yet the 1.5 kilometer swim, 40 kilometer cycling course and IO kilometer run was almost too much for Reed, who had to be carried to the medical tent after finishing the race. “I gave it all I had on the run, and my legs gave out as I crossed the finish. They took me away and gave me plenty of electrolytes to get the energy back.” The triathlon will be an Olympic sport for the first time at the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney, so this race was used to drum up interest in the sport. “There were 40,000 people there to watch the race, but not many were out to see the start, which was at 6 a.m.,” Reed said. ‘All of the Turn to Reed, Page 2B Herald-Zeitung photo by Tom Erickson Joanita Reed, 70, brought back the United States' only first-place finish at last month's world triathlon championships in Perth, Australite. Joel Tienda (5) gets a punt away behind the blocking of Cody Guthrie (3) and Travis Haecker (90) in last Saturday’s playoff game with MacArthur at Alamo Stadium. Herald-Zeitung photo by Tom Enckson Special teams keep things going Silvas, Gibson offer inside look at the kicks, returns By TOM ERICKSON Sports Editor Eric Silvas and Zhon Gibson have unique roles for the Unicom football team. Perhaps a better word would be “special ” and that’s exactly what they have been in each of the last 14 weeks. They’re the members of the Unicom football team who don’t always grab the spotlight, but are definitely counted on when the game is close. Silvas ami Gibson are members of the special teams, a position both players seem to enjoy. “It’s just something that has to be done” Gibson said. “A lot of games are won or lost in the kicking game.” Silvas agreed. “We have a very important role,” he said. “If we can pin diem back behind the 20-yard line, they have to make plays to drive 80-pius yards and hopefully can make a mistake along the way.” Outside of the thrill of making a big hit or downing the ball after a long punt, special teamer take pride in their job, which usually has just one selling point — field position. “We think it’s a major role in the factor of the game,” Silvas said. “If we don’t go down and make our contact, a big play can happen .” But that hasn't happened to the Unicorns this season, as the special teams have held opponents without a touchdown on a kickoff or punt return through the regular season and playoffs. “We’re very proud of that."Gibson said. "Its always a goal not to allow any returns " New Braunfels got a strong return of its own at the start of last Saturday's state quarterfinal game with MacArthur at Alamo Stadium. Senior Joel Tienda fielded the opening kickoff and returned it 60 yards, but the offense failed to convert the big play into any points. 5A Division ll Semifinals Maw BraunMa (13-1) va. AM HaHngi (13-1) 8 pm Saturday—Aaktxtome. Houston Ratio: KGNB (1420 AM) newer Mound Mwcus (12-2) va. lytor John Tytor (12-2) 4 pm. Saturday — Texas Stadum, Irving Spurs 102 Clippers 87 Silvas said while the long return didn't lead to score, it was still something to be proud of. “If we can get a good play. it gets our offense fired up and puts them in position to score.” he said. Gibson said mental toughness is a key to each game and each play, no matter how insignificant it may seem. "All of these games have been tough, and you have to go at it every play," he said. "You can’t leave anything on the field. Everything has to be executed right.” And it’s likely that if the special teams are involved, it will be. Brown hires offensive, defensive coordinators AUSTIN (AP) — Greg Davis, the architect of new Texas coach Mack Brown’s offense at North Carolina, will be the Longhorns’ new offensive coordinator. Brown also said in a statement Wednesday that Carl Reese, who ran one of the nation’s stingiest defenses at Louisiana State, will take over the Texas defense. Brown, named to succeed fired and reassigned Texas coach John Mackovic last week, has gone a long way toward shaping his coaching staff with die appointments. Davis and Reese were expected to be officially named on Friday, when Brown hopes to have completed assembly of his staff.    ^ He has about $750,000 to spend on assistant coaches, but hasn't yet decided how many assistants there will be. Brown said he expects Reese to bring an “aggressive, attacking style of defense” to Texas. A consistently strong defense is something the Longhorns lacked under Mackov ic. This year, Texas gave up an average of 33.7 points per game. It allowed the worst home loss in the program’s 105-year history and second-worst overall, a 66-3 drubbing by UCLA. The Longhorns were 104th (out of 112) in the nation in rushing defense, giving up 241.5 yards per game on the ground. The Longhorns were 85th in the nation in total defense, giving up 399.2 yards per game. At North Carolina, Davis led the offense of a Tar Heels team that compiled a 20-3 record over the past two seasons. He was head coach at Tulanc from 1988-91. “Greg Davis has been a lifelong friend,” Brown said. “He has been a head coach and he has studied the game at all levels He did a great job for us at North Carolina, and we are fortunate that he has agreed to join us.” Davis also will coach Texas quarterbacks. Since Reese arrived at LSU in December 1994, LSU’s defense has ranked among the leaders in the Southeastern Conference. The Tigers allowed only 16.2 points a game this season, putting their defense first in the SEC and 11th in the nation in scoring defense. LSU also ranked second in the league in pass efficiency defense. At Vanderbilt, Reese reduced opponents’ average points per game from 41.5 in 1990 to 25.1 in 1994. Before that, he had been a graduate assistant at Missouri, his alma mater, and an assistant at Northern Michigan, Southern Illinois, East Carolina, Virginia, Kansas and Missouri, where he was defensive coordinator from 1977-82 and from 1986-88. From 1983-85, he was defensive coordinator for the USFLs Birmingham Stallions. NBA Spurs end losing skid in big way Robinson leads the way with 30 points SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Avery Johnson had a career-high 20 assists and David Robinson scored 30 points Wednesday night to lead the San Antonio Spurs to a 102-87 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers. The Spurs, who never trailed, broke a three-game losing streak. Vinny Del Negro added 22 points, Tim Duncan had 14 points, 12 rebounds and six blocked shots and Robinson tied a franchise record by connecting on 18 free throws. Los Angeles, led by Rodney Rogers with 12 points, suffered through a cold-shooting night and connected on only 39.5 percent of its field goal attempts. Johnson, who had 12 assists in the first quarter — two shy of the NBA record of 14 by John Lucas of the Spurs in 1984, tied the NBA season-high by rookie Brevin Knight of Cleveland against Washington on Nov. 22. San Antonio connected on 15 of 19 shots in the first quarter, which ended with the Spurs ahead 34-22. Behind 14 points by Robinson, the Spurs stretched the lead to 50-28 in the second quarter before Los Angeles pulled to 57-45 at halftime. San Antonio allowed the Clippers to climb back into the game in the third quarter by hitting on only 3 of 16 field goal attempts, and Los Angeles closed to 75-70 at the the end of three quarters. San Antonio opened the fourth quarter with a 6-0 run, capped by a jumper by Scan Elliott, for an 81-70 lead with 10:22 to play. Los Angeles could draw no closer than nine points the rest of the way. In addition to his 14 points and 12 rebounds, Duncan blocked a career-high six shots. Notes: Robinson and Duncan are the only teammates in the NBA to average double-doubles Johnson’s 12 first quarter assists for San Antonio tied him w ith Bob Cousy, John Lucas (twice), Magic Johnson and Mark Jackson for the second-most assists in one quarter. ... The Clippers are 1-10 when trailing entering the fourth quarter. Nebraska coach Tom Osborne retires after 25 years By TIM KORTE Associated Press Writer LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska coach Tom Osborne retired Wednesday with tears in his eyes, ending one of the most successful carcel s in college football history with a team that has dominated the sport for decades. Osborne said health problems were forcing him to give up the game and that he wanted to spend more time with his family and at church. He will coach his last game when the No. 2 Cornhusker* play No. 3 Tennessee in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 2 and said he may stay on until February if he can help the team. lf he wins his final game - and top-ranked Michigan loses to Washington State in the Rose Bowl — his 25-year reign as head coach almost certainly will end with a national championship “I think it’s wise to back off before you leav e feet first or somebody tells you it’s time to go,” the 60-year-old coach said. He rejected the idea of continuing to coach while delegating duties to top assistants. He said he didn’t want to become a “figurehead coach ” Longtime assistant Frank Solidi, the running backs coach, will take over the team. Osborne said the difficult part about retiring was telling his players. Usually stoical and composed, his eyes welled up as four of his players took the podium to ofter their thanks. “I care very much about those guys so that’s whats been most difficult,” Osborne said. “I hope at some point they will realize that I’m trying to do w hat s the best thing for them ” For a quarter-century, Osborne and Nebraska have been perennial powers, winning national titles in 1994 and 1995 while making 25 straight bowl appearances, including the upcoming Orange Bowl game. He will always be remembered for his gutsy decision to go for two points and a win over Miami in the 1984 Orange Bowl. After his team pulled within 31-30 with 48 seconds left, the Huskers needed only a tie for the national title. But Osborne, in what may go down as his defining moment as a coach, went for the win. The 2-potnt conversion pass fell incomplete and Miami ended up winning the national title. “He accomplished it all,” said Dallas Cowboys coach Barry Switzer, who as coach of the rival Oklahoma Sooners battled Osborne for years in the old Big Eight Conference. Turn to Otbomt, Page 2B ;