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View Sample Pages : New Braunfels Herald Zeitung, December 18, 2003

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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 18, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas Canyon junior varsity basketball player Jimmy Facundo.Thursday, December 18,2003 — Herald-Zeitung — Page 5A PORTS COMING SUNDAY A different breed Evan Payne takes cheering to new heights. Herald-Zeitung To have your event publicized, contact David Rupkalvis at 625-9144, ext. 223, or by e mail at [email protected] DAILY K-E-T i GMAC Bowl Louisville (9-3) takes on Miamo of Ohio (12-1) in Mobile, Ala. Time: 6:30 p.m. on ESPN2 B New Braunfels girls basketball After winning district opener, Unicorns go for two straight at Lake Travis. Time: 7:45 p.m. B Canyon girls basketball Cougarettes took to rebound when Del Valle visits in district game. Time: 7:45 p.m.Local swimmers excel without fanfare or a pool By Wally Gullick Correspondent There are no Friday-night lights, pep rallies or television specials produced to record their exploits. In fact, they don’t even have a pool to call their own. But the New Bruanfels swim team could have as many as nine competitors at this year’s state meet in Austin. The swimmers will compete in the district meet shortly after students return from Christmas vacation, and third-year Coach Doug Konomos says he has four boys and five girls who could advance through the district and regional stages. “All nine have posted times that would get them to the regional. Some could advance as members of relay teams, while others will have a good shot to get there on their respective individual events,” Konomos said. Sean Duckworth, John Quinn, Daniel Phipps and Mitch Adams are the leaders on the boys’ squad. Seniors Kip Puckworth and Kelley Shelton, junior Catherine Zimmerman and sophomores Elise Stemel and Dane Malastesta pace the girls. “The girls best chance is to get there through the relay events, but Malastesta has really improved her breaststroke and could get to the state in that event,” Konomos said. Last summer, Malastesta was clocked in the 100-yard breaststroke at 1:36, but has shaved her time to 1:20:18. “That still won’t get me to state. I’ve got to get to 1:17 to have a shot,” Malastesta said. On the boys' side, Konomos wishes the meets would include a mile-long event, because he’d have an entry with Phipps, whose endurance seems to increase daily. “Freestyle is his stroke, and he just keeps getting stronger and stronger the more he swims,” Konomos said. “He’s really come on and he’ll be a threat in the 200 and 500." While Phipps is pleased with the DAVID mORAM/Herald-Zeitung Canyon s Van Anderson swims laps during practice Wednesday. endorsement from his coach, he remains his own worst critic. “I’m pleased with what I’ve been able to accomplish, but I should be better at this time. As for my endurance, I’m not sure why, I just don’t get tired,” Phipps said. Without a pool to call their own, the McKenna Club hosts the practice sessions for the New Braunfels and Canyon swim teams. Konomos plays a contributing role for the Cougars. The club pool is not set up for competition, though, so the Unicorns are on the road for every dual and invitational meet. “That’s going to change. This com-munity and this team need an indoor facility, and I’d say within the next 5 years we’ll have one,” Konomos said. just the move to McKenna has helped. In addition, New Braunfels Athletic Director Rick Rhoades endorsed the swim team by creating a first period athletic class for swimming. It has boosted interest and morale. "Before last year, we were making 20-mile bus trips to San Marcos for practice. At the end of the day, it wound up being an hour each day just to travel, and it really took its toll,” Konomos said. Right now, local interest in the sport is booming. Konomos is grooming youngsters in the summer as coach of the Dolphins swim .program which practices at the Landa Park pool and hosts the annual Schlitterbahn meet. The meet attracts more than two dozen swim clubs throughout the state. DAVID INQRAM/Herald-Zeitung New Braunfels swim coach Doug Konomos talks to some of the swimmers during practice Tuesday. Konomos said that nine Unicorns could qualify for the state meet. Enrollment was at an all-time high for the Dolphins this past summer, with kids as young as 6 competing. “We generate interest in the swimmer with the Dolphins, but then have no indoor facility to keep the kids interested,” Konomos said. “What happens next is the better swimmers opt for other sports and we lose them. Swimming is a 10-month commitment, and cur high school team is really up against it when we swim against schools that have superior facilities.” CODY PULLIN'* nmONAL PLAYBOOK I Cody Fuller graduated from Smithson Valley High School in 2001. I He is a wide receiver on the Red Raiders football team and the starting center fielder for the baseball team I Fuller is the son on Kenny and Cindy Fuller. Photo submitted by L Scott Mann Smithson Valley graduate Cody Fuller stars for Texas Tech on the football field and the baseball diamond. Union rejects changes to A-Rod’s contract NEW YORK (AP) — The baseball players’ union rejected Boston’s proposed changes to Alex Rodriguez’s contract Wednesday, jeopardizing trade talks between the Red Sox and Texas Rangers. Rodriguez and Boston general manager Theo Epstein spent the day meeting with Scott Boras, the shortstop’s agent, and Gene Orza, the union’s No. 2 official. Boras expects the parties to meet again Thursday, and Texas owner Tom Hicks set a Thursday evening deadline for an agreement that would send Rodriguez to Boston for Manny Ramirez in a swap of baseball's highest-paid players. "The dialogue is continuing,” Boras said. Rodriguez has completed three seasons of his record $252 million, 10-year contract and Ramirez has finished three seasons of his $160 million, eight-year deal. Boston wants Rodriguez to rework his contract, but baseball’s collective bargaining agreement says deals can be reworked only to add benefits for players. “We did suggest an offer the club could make to Alex” Orza said. “As was its right, the club chose not to make it.” Orza and Boras wouldn’t detail Boston’s proposal. Rodriguez’s contract has $179 million remaining on it. “The principle involved is a transcendent one, affecting all of Alex’s fellow players," Orza said. “To his credit, Alex from the outset, recognized this.” If the owners are able to work something out, the Red Sox would then need to trade shortstop Nomar Garcia-parra. Epstein has said the team’s first choice was to sign Garciaparra to a long-term deal, but Garciaparra turned down a $60 million, four-year offer last spring. Rangers, Cougars named to academic all-state teams By David Rupkalvis Sports Editor Twelve Smithson Valley and four Canyon football players received one of the ultimate honors for high school athletes Tuesday when they were named the Academic All State teams. The team is chosen by the Texas High School Coaches Association and only seniors are eligible. Criteria for the team is based on grade-point average, class rank and SAT or ACT scores. David Chenault, Caleb Cook, Kenny Cook and Jay Young were named to the first team while Travis Baer, Dean Johnson and lamie Kern were named to the second team. Nick Binkley, Kip Cunningham, Alan Hill, Skako-tah Knowlton and Jay Warnke received honorable mention recognition. Smithson Valley Coach Larry Hill said that while success on the football field is an important part of the high school experience, receiving a quality education is the real reason the students go to schools. Canyon’s Steven Stockwell made the Class 4A first team. Ryan Odell was named to the second team and Tim Awbrey and Bryan Jonas were named honorable mention.Fuller has double the fun Smithson Valley grad plays football, baseball at Tech By David Rupkalvis Sports Editor As a star athlete at Smithson Valley High School, Cody Fuller dominated two sports and rewrote many chapters ir\the school record book. As a sophomore on the Texas Tech football team, he is waiting for his opportunity to shine on the football field, but is already a star on the baseball dia- Cody Fuller mond. As Texas Tech gets ready for the Houston Bowl, Fuller said that playing wide receiver in the Red Raiders pass-happy offense is a dream come true. “What more could you ask for,” he asked. “You have a chance every play to get the ball. It makes you a better receiver." After catching 83 passes for 1,325 yards during his senior season at Smithson Valley, Fuller has caught only 15 passes in two years at Tech. But with two years of eligibility remaining, he is slowly becoming one of Tech’s best long threats. This year, he is averaging a team-best 19.8 yards per catch and has scored one touchdown. Fuller admits that he is faster than he was in high school and says that he expects to become a bigger part of the passing game next year. When he graduated from high school in 2001, Fuller wanted to go to Tech. But there was a catch. Before signing, he had to know he could WHIM ARE TMY NOW? Tracking careers of local athletes. play both football and baseball. “We grew up with Tech,” he said. “My dad was recruited to play football there. They offered me the opportunity to play baseball, which was important.” The family tradition could continue next year when Fuller's brother Lance, an alldistrict running back this season, is expected to enroll at Tech. While Fuller is enjoying football at college, he admits he misses his days as a Ranger. “With the winning tradition and the coaches, Smithson Valley is like no other school I’ve ever seen,” Fuller said. “I still wish I Could go back and play. I watch them play at least once a year.” After the Red Raiders finish the season at the*Houston Bowl, most of the team will take a much-deserved break — but not Fuller. When he takes off his football uniform, he will head to the baseball diamond where he will begin preparations for another sports season. While Fuller's progress on the football field has been steady, he has become a star on the baseball diamond. Last year, Fuller established himself as the starting center fielder by hitting .326 with 62 hits, eight doubles, two triples and two home runs. The success is an extension of his high school career, where Fuller was named all-state two times and all-district all four years. He had a .425 career batting average with 21 home runs. While Fuller admits his two sports are very different, he said there are also some similarities. “There’s the same amount of focus on both sports,” he said. “I like to take aggression out on to the baseball field. I think hitting a baseball is the hardest thing to do in sports.” Fuller admits that playing two major sports at a Division I university limits his ability to excel in either one, but he refuses to choose just one. “You know every time you leave that sport at the end of the season, those other guys aren’t leaving,” Fuller said. “Their games will progress and yours won’t. It’s tough, but I love them evenly.” In the long run, Fuller may be forced to choose because he is expected to be drafted out of college in baseball's amateur draft. But for now, he's going to enjoy both. “When it’s the fall season, football is my favorite sport,” he said. “When it’s spring, baseball is my favorite.” ;