New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 27, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas
From wire reports STATE
MILLWOOD AGREES TO DEAL WITH RANGERS -
Free agent pitcher Kevin Millwood reached a preliminary agreement Monday on a $60 million, five-year contract with Texas, giving the Rangers the legitimate No. I starter they have been seeking. Texas can void the fifth year of the deal if Millwood doesn’t pitch a certain number of innings in earlier years of the contract. Millwood is expected to undergo a physical Tuesday in Texas, and the deal likely will be finalized Wednesday.
Details of the deal were disclosed by two people familiar with negotiations who spoke on condition of anonymity because die contract had not been finalized. Millwood’s decision to accept Texas’ offer was first reported by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on its Web site.
Millwood was 9-11 with a 2.86 ERA that led the American League this year, his only season for Cleveland. The right-hander, who turned 31 Saturday, rejected a salary arbitration offer from the Indians.
COWBOYS RELEASE CUNDIFF - The Dallas Cowboys released inconsistent kicker Billy Cundiff on Monday, the team’s fourth change at the position since training camp. The Cowboys re-signed rookie Sean Suisham, who was cut when the team brought back Cundiff on Nov. 19 and didn’t miss a field goal or extra point in two games. Suisham was first signed after Dallas cut Jose Cortez.
Cundiff, who was released in training camp when he injured his leg, was 5-for-8 since returning to the Cowboys. He kicked a team-record 56-yard field goal in his first game back against the Lions.
TURCO OUT WITH FLU
— Dallas Stars goalie Marty Tlirco didn’t travel to St. Louis for Monday night’s game against the Blues because of the flu. Tlirco is 18-9 this season. Johan Hedberg, his backup, is 4-1 in six appearances.
The Stars recalled goalie Dan Ellis from Iowa to take Tlirco’s place.Tuesday, December 27, 2005 — Herald-Zeitung — Page 5A
Parcells focused on coaching, not talking about quitting
Hoop teams head back to the hardcourt
Unicorns girls visit Smithson Valley today
From staff reports
Canyon's Bernie Gutierrez runs down field.
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Rangers begin 26-5A
Smithson Valley boys begin league play in second game of DH vs. Churchill. Time: 7:30 p.m.
IRVING, Texas (AP) — Bill Parcells doesn’t seem to act like he plans to quit coaching any time soon. With the Dallas Cowboys still trying to make the playoffs, he appears as focused as ever.
At 2 a.m. Christmas morning, Parcells was in his office watching film and already preparing for the regular season finale.
On Monday, he released inconsistent kicker Billy Cundiff. Veteran safety Tony Dixon was re-signed in case Pro Bowl safety Roy Williams’ injured left foot bothers him.
Parcells’ focus is solely on the finale against the St. Louis Rams, not on the help Dallas needs from other teams. And especially not a report that
claims he’s considering retirement.
“I’m not talking about any of that,”
Parcells said Monday, when asked about his coaching future.
“When you’re 64 years old, they can say anything they want. They’re probably going to be pretty close to being right, some day.
The Cowboys (9-6) remained in playoff contention with a 24-20 victory Saturday at Carolina, but a 10th victory Sunday night at home against St. Louis won’t be enough if Carolina and Washington win their road games earlier in the day. But if either the Panthers or Red
skins lose, Dallas gets a wild-card berth by winning the NFL’s last regular-season game this year.
“Not making the playoffs would be a disappointment to me,” Parcells said, adding that’s how he’d feel even if the team wins IO games.
Last year, a couple of teams got in with eight, but this year, we’re not that fortunate.” Parcells talked about how much he likes his team. He said the Cowboys have “been pretty close” to reaching the potential that he felt they had for tiffs season.
After going 6-10 last season, the Cowboys are already guar-
anteed their second winning season in three seasons under Parcells. They went through three straight 5-11 seasons under Dave Campo before that.
Parcells has another season left on his $17 million, four-year contract, though there has been some speculation about whether he would return to coach it. A report posted Saturday on ESPN.com, citing unidentified sources, said Parcells was privately contemplating retirement.
“There is no one I have talked to, no one about anything of that nature,” said Parcells, an ESPN studio analyst before joining the Cowboys. “I challenge anyone to step for
ward to say this guy said to me he was thinking about retirement.”
Parcells said he didn't want speculation about his future to be a distraction to his players this week. When told by a reporter that he could end any speculation by just saying he’d back next season, the coach responded tersely.
“I’m not saying anything,” Parcells said. “I don’t want any more questions about that. Thank you. I’ll say what I want to say when I want to say it about those subjects.”
There have been other reports that owner Jerry Jones wants to offer Parcells a contract extension, but the coach said there haven’t been any talks about one.
After a weeklong break thanks to Christmas, local high school basketball teams return to action beginning today.
In an all-Comal County matchup, the Smithson Valley girls will host New Braunfels in a nondistrict clash at 2 p.m. today at Ranger Gym.
The game will feature two teams that have shown signs of improvement but are still searching for a breakthrough win.
Smithson Valley (7-11,0-2 District
26-5A) struggled for much of the early season as injuries decimated the Rangers. Things were expected to get even worse once district play started, but despite playing in one of the toughest districts in the state, the Rangers have been an early surprise.
Smithson Valley battled highly-ranked Reagan and Madison to the final seconds before dropping each game by two points. The Rangers hope to finish off a game when New Braunfels visits this afternoon.
For the Unicorns, the story has been similar — flashes of brilliance but a difficult time finishing the task.
New Braunfels (6-11, 0-2 District
27-4A) showed both in the final game against Canyon. The Unicorns played step for step with the Cougarettes for a half, but a few quick baskets in the second half proved to be too much for New Braunfels to overcome.
Despite the early struggles, coach Lance Hughey has said he still believes his team can battle for a top-
DAVID INGRAM Herald-Zeitung
Canyon guard Isaiah Jackson drives to the basket during a recent game against Judson. Canyon will return to action Wednesday in the Holiday Classic in Houston.
three finish in the district.
To do so, New Braunfels must limit turnovers while shooting at a better percentage. The first step could come today.
The New Braunfels boys will also hit the hardwood today, traveling to Pleasanton for a nondistrict game. The Unicorns (4-12,0-1) are another confusing team. A victory over ninth-ranked Boerne and a hard-fought loss to lOth-ranked Canyon, have proven
New Braunfels can play with anyone.
But in between, the Unicorns have struggled and lost games they should have won.
Coach Chris Dial is hoping for consistency when his team opens the second half of the season tonight.
Canyon (13-1, 1-0) is easily the class of the boys field in the Comal County area, but the game against New Braunfels proved they can be beaten if they don’t play well.
Canyon will face a stiff test this week when the Cougars travel to Houston to participate in the Second Baptist Eagle I loliday Classic.
The Cougars, who have won 14 in a row since opening the season with a loss, will continue through Friday.
The Smithson Valley boys may have the toughest test this week, going without a warmup game before beginning District 27-4A play at home against Churchill at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Best in football
The H-Z’s all-Comal County grid teams.
Unicorns vs. Rangers
New Braunfels girls take a break from 27-4Afor nondistrict tilt at Smithson Valley. Time: 2p.m.
Alamo Bowl showdown
Michigan takes on Nebraska in matchup of 7-4 teams in Alamodome. Time: 7p.m. (ESPN)
Hundreds pay respects to Colts coach and son
Texans down to four healthy defensive linemen
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Tony Dungy and his wife stood for more than three hours Monday night, greeting hundreds of mourners with handshakes and hugs. From NFL players past and present to well-wishers off the street, all came to offer the couple condolences for the loss of their son.
The Indianapolis Colts coach and his wife, Lauren, will bury 18-year-old James Dungy on Tliesday.
Among those who waited hours to file through the tiny funeral home chapel were former Tampa Bay Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella and representatives from several NFL teams. Many had never met James Dungy, but still felt compelled to
show support for a soft-spoken man revered in this city as much more than a football coach.
The Dungys took the time to thank each person for coming by to pay respect to James, who was found dead in his suburban apartment last week of an apparent suicide. The exact cause of his death was pending the result of a toxicology report.
“Hopefully he felt the love that I have for him and Lauren," Tampa Bay Buccaneers Pro Bowl linebacker Derrick Brooks said. “He's doing the best he can under the circumstances. A lot of people have come to pay their respects because he’s meant more to this community than just a football coach.”
HOUSTON (AP) — The Houston Texans defensive line has dwindled to just four healthy players as they prepare to face San Francisco in the season finale on Sunday.
Veteran defensive end Gary Walker severed his right triceps on the first play against Jacksonville on Saturday and will have surgery on Wednesday. He will be placed on the injured reserve.
The Texans, who employ a 3-4 defense, had just one reserve defensive lineman against the jaguars after Walker’s injury. Coach Dom Capers was forced to play rookie Alfred Malone extensively. He had just been moved up from the practice squad on Tliesday.
Rookie Travis Johnson, the Texans top pick in 2005, was inactive against Jacksonville after he strained his back in a non-contact drill during practice on Wednesday. Capers said that Johnson is feeling “a lot better,” but that his status against the 49ers is not definite. He will likely practice on a limited basis this week.
“We’re going to have to monitor TYavis,”“We obviously can't go into a game with just four healtny defensive linemen."
— Dom Capers
Capers said. “If Travis doesn’t look like he’s going to be totally ready to go, then we’ll have to take a look in terms of maybe signing another defensive lineman. We obviously can’t go into a game with just four healthy defensive linemen."
Malone had seven tackles and a sack on Saturday, but also got a penalty for running into the kicker that led to a Jacksonville field goal.
“You never know what to expect when a guy comes from the practice squad and ends up going out and playing over 25 plays,” Capers said. “I think he was active.”
Capers also said he wasn’t too upset about the penalty because of Malone’s game inexperience.
“In fairness to him he hadn’t been in
those situation on the practice field very much,” Capers said.
Malone was elevated from the practice squad after defensive tackle Junior Ioane was placed on the injured reserve with a calf injury. There are no defensive linemen remaining on the practice squad.
Besides Malone, Houston’s other healthy defensive linemen are defensive ends Robaire Smith and Jerry Deloach and nose tackle Seth Payne.
The Texans are also having injury problems at running back. Domanick Davis has missed the last two games with inflammation in his knee and will not practice on Wednesday.
His backup, Jonathan Wells, has a thigh contusion and will also sit out of practice on Wednesday.
Capers said it is likely that Wells, who has ran for 173 yards and two touchdowns the last two weeks, will play against the 49ers.
Capers is less hopeful about the return of Davis, who needs just 24 yards to reach 1,000 for the third-straight season.