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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 24, 1983, New Braunfels, Texas Sports Hsrald-Zfitung Thursday, February 24, 1983    5 Staff photo by Scott Haring All-District Hoop playoffs Rangers to face tall, talented Van Vleck in Gonzales gym Julie Cappel (left) and Darlene Garrison, both members of the Smithson Valley Rangerettes girls basketball team, were named to the District 26-3A All District squad on the second team. Surprisingly, no Rangerettes made the first team despite Smithson Valley's 7 3 district record and second place finish. Cappel is a junior and Garrison is a senior. By SCOTT HARING Wire editor When the Smithson Valley Rangers take the Gonzales High School gym floor against the Van Vleck Leopards Friday night, they will look in a direction they may not be accustomed to: up. “They’ve got a point guard who’s six-two and 200 pounds,’’ lamented Ranger coach Roger Kraft. Kraft was not so worried about his inside forces of Rocky Neuman, Fat Bruce and Steve Blankenship as he was about the match-ups against his smaller outside players, Jamie Booth. Andy Severance, Butch Hegeman and Terry Kyler. “Match-ups will be the key,’’ he said. Kraft, as of Wednesday, had not yet decided who would be defend whom in his man-to-man defensive set-up. “I think we should be able to get the ball inside,’’ he said. “My biggest concern is controlling the boards.’’ With so much down-the-line height. Kraft says he has to keep the rebound fight even in order to have a chance to win. “Their (Van Vleck’s) offense is basically, ‘shoot it up so we can get the rebound and score,’’’ he said. The leopards also use a tough press that the Rangers will have to break to be successful. Kraft was undecided as to whether or not to use a press of his own. After ending the regular season Feb. 15. Kraft gave the team a couple of days off while waiting for the Sweeny-Van Vleck mess to untangle itself. After a couple of days of poor practices, Kraft said the team was “right back on track’’ Wednesday. He said he felt that his players would be ready for the challenge Friday night. “Just make sure you take care of business during the week,’’ Kraft said. Kyler, held out of the Boerne game on doctor’s advice, has been cleared for Friday night. “It gives us another dimension,” Kraft said, in that Kyler has a better shooting range than most other players. The injuries to Booth and Bruce are still a factor. Kraft said, though both will definitely see plenty of playing time. “I think we should be able to get the ball inside,” Kraft said. “My biggest concern is controlling the boards. Their (Van Vleck’s) offense is basically, ‘shoot it up so we can get the rebound and score.”’ The game will begin at 8 p.m. To get to Gonzales, take Hwy 46 from New Braunfels to Seguin, then head east on 1-10 to Hwy 183. Turn south on 183 to Gonzales. Once in Gonzales, turn left at the first 4-way stop. The high school is approximately two miles down on the right. The winner of the Smithson Valley-Van Vleck contest will meet the winner of the Cuero-Medina Valley game sometime next week. District 26-3A champion Boerne plays Sweeny Friday night at 7:30 in LaGrange. NB tennis team set for TST A state meet The New Braunfels Unicorn tennis team ran its record to 12-1 with a dual match win over San Antonio Roosvelt Monday afternoon, and will now turn its attention to this weekend's Texas State Tennis Association Team Championship to be held here in New Braunfels. The Unicorns beat Roosvelt, 11-7, on the strength of their boys’ play. “The guys are solid all the way down,” Unicorn tennis coach David Mueller said. The boys won seven of their nine matches (six singles and three doubles) against the Chargers, while the girls went 4-5. The Unicorns first loss of the season came last weekend at the regional tournament in Kerrville that served as a prelude to the upcoming state finals. The Unicorns handled Uvalde easily, 13-5, but lost a tight match in the finals to Mercedes, 10-8. “Mercedes is a good team. They’re the best team we’ve faced so far this year,” Mueller said. Again, Mueller praised the play of his boys especially David Pfeuffer and dreg Bender. Bender, playing just hours after finishing the basketball season, played especially well, Mueller said. This weekend’s tournament is not sanctioned by the University Scholastic league. The UIL does not recognize team tennis championships, only individual ones. The TSTA stepped in and organized this tournament as an independent event. The four top finishers from last weekend’s four regional tournaments will play. The sixteen teams intend #to play out the brackets, weather permitting, so as to rank all 16 teams in order. In addition to Mercedes, New Braunfels, Uvalde and Kerrville — the four teams from Region IV — top 4A teams like Taylor and Austin Westlake are expected. The tournament will be held all day Saturday and Sunday at Newk’s Tennis Ranch. SCOTT HARING Southwest Conference roundup Walker Georgia star 'got burned' — Dooley ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Coach Vince Dooley says Herschel Walker “got too close to the fire and got burned,” leaving his star tailback little choice other than to sign the richest contract in professional football history. Walker, foregoing a senior reason at the University of Georgia that probably would have made him college football’s all-time rushing king, signed Wednesday with the New Jersey Generals of the United States Football league only hours after the university declared him ineligible. The three-year contract was estimated to be worth $5 million. “He’s a millionaire right now,” said Jack Manton, the Heisman Trophy winner’s attorney. “He received a check today that contained seven figures, endorsed it, then gave it to his mother and told her to put it in the bank. “Ifs the highest contract ever in pro football, highest by far,” Manton said. Manton said the check included a bonus and his entire firstvyear salary, and added that the contract was guaranteed personally .by J. Walter Duncan, the Oklahoma oil tycoon who owns the Generals. Manton broke the news of the signing to a handful of reporters gathered in a hallway outside Walker’s off-cainpus apartment. Walker was whisked away from the apartment about 45 minutes later when Manton conducted a news conference with about 75 media members on the lawn in front of the Tech nips Rice in overtime apartment building. The attorney said Walker did not wish to speak to the media, but that he had a prepared statement from the three-time All-American tailback. The Atlanta Constitution reported in its late editions that Walker spent Wednesday evening in his apartment with a few friends and, when asked if he regretted the way things turned out, replied, “Yes, but that’s behind me now, and I just look to the future.” The newspaper said Walker would return to his home in Wrightsville, Ga., today and depart for the Generals training camp in Orlando, Fla., the first of next week. In the prepared statement, Walker said: “I wish to clarify my signing of a contract with the New Jersey Generals of the United States Football league. In denying I signed a contract, I made a mistake. No one realizes more than I that I ani a human being. “I wish to apologize to Coach Dooley, the University of Georgia and ail the people that have been my loyal friends. I ask for your forgiveness and ask God for his forgiveness.” The signing ended five days of controversy in which Walker denied reports that he had signed a contract with the Generals last Thursday night, but exercised an oral agreement with Duncan two hours later to get out of the deal. Walker had declared repeatedly that he had signed nothing and Dooley said he was convinced his star remained eligible because “Her-schel’s never lied to me.” By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Texas Tech, which lost three starters earlier this year and has been operating since with a thin bench, came close to not having enough players to finish out against Rice — but still beat the Owls in overtime. Reserve guard Tobin Doda scored his only two points of the game on a pair of free throws with two seconds left to give the Red Raiders a 69-67 Southwest Conference basketball win over Rice on Wednesday night in Houston. Texas Tech, which moved into the w inning column with a 7-6 SWC record, finished with three starters out of the game on fouls, a fourth player on the bench — and no more reserves on the bench. The win moved Tech, 10-15 for the year, into a tie with Texas A&M, a 76-66 loser to Southern Methodist, for fourth place in the conference. In another SWC game, sixth-ranked Arkansas ran up an easy 84-67 win over Texas. Tech led for the entire first half and had a 39-26 advantage at intermission, but Rice came roaring back in the second stanza behind the shooting of Ivan Petitt and gave Tech Coach Gerald Myers more than a few uneasy moments. “We played well in the first half, but we lost our momentum and Rice played a great second half. ...It was just a case of them missing a free throw and us hitting ours. Tobin was the guy. He had a similar situation in Lubbock where he came in and did a good job for us.’ Myers said. Rice led 55-51 late in the game on free throws by Mike Cunningham, but a foul call against Cunningham in the final 30 seconds of regulation turned the game around, said Owl Coach Tommy Suitts. “I thought it was unfair for the official to call the foul for an illegal pick after they had been having them all night without being called,” Suitts said. “Both teams played very well. They might have won the game or we might have, but it should not have been on something like that.” Rice dropped to 8-16 for the year and 2-12 in SWC play. SMU’s win was its first over A&M since the 1979 season. The Aggies had beaten the Mustangs their last seven outings. “We did a great job tonight, being patient.” Mustang Coach Dave Bliss said. “This shows we’re maturing as a ball club. It really showed at the end where we worked the ball around and got some layups.” Jon Koncak led SMU, 15-10 for the year and 7-7 in conference play, with 24 points. The Aggies, 14-13 and 7-6, were paced by Claude Riley and Steve Jones, w ho scored 14 each. Texas Coach Bob Weltlich compared his team’s loss to Arkansas w ith a horse race. The only problem, said Weltlich, was “we were looking like a bunch of Clydesdales chasing a bunch of quarterhorses." Arkansas got 22 points from Darrell Walker and 20 points from Alvin Robertson and the two lightning quick guards also helped harass Texas into 33 turnovers. The win raised Arkansas’ overall record to 23-1. including a 12-1 mark in conference play. Texas dropped to 6-18 overall and 1-12 in the SWC, the worst record in the league. Arkansas Coach Kddie Sutton said he was generally pleased with the w in. “Our defense was outstanding We had some breakdowns and gave up some easy baskets, but we forced a lot of turnovers and many of those turned into easy baskets for us.” Sutton said. SM baseball loaded with youth Sports editor’s note: This is the first in a series of three stories on the local high school baseball teams. By SCOTT HARING Wire editor “I’ve got a prediction for you," Smithson Valley baseball coach Stan Irvine said, as he sidled up to the third-base line fence during Ranger batting practice. “You watch that kid, and in the next five minutes, he’ll hit the first ball out of here this season.” Irvine was referring to Steve Bunch, a first-base candidate with blacksmith arms. Bunch’s swing was full of preseason rust, but approximately four minutes later...Bang! The rest of the players watched in admiration as the ball sailed through the Hill Country blue skies and nestled somewhere on the other side of the left-center field fence. It was one of the first things to go Irvine’s way this season. The Rangers’ problems are numerous: there’s very little pitching depth, the defense is unsettled, the team is young, and he’s not sure how many people can hit the ball. But, said Irvine, “we’re going to dress good and pose a threat.” The ’83 Rangers will be a very young squad. There are wily four returning starters and two returning lettermen, and three of those are still in basketball. There’s a serious possibility of freshmen on the varsity squad; if the basektball team goes far enough in the playoffs, those freshmen could even start. Fat Bruce and Joey Freeman lead the pitching staff; they may be the pitching staff. Of course, Bruce is still playing basketball and has an injury to his pitching hand. But Irvine figures that with district ballgames scheduled for Tuesdays and Fridays, he could use the two- and three-day rest intervals to recycle Bruce and Freeman all over again. Of course, if it rains or either of those two get hurt, there’s trouble. Other players w ith strong arms Irvine is looking at for mound help include Jeff Hastings, Sean Hayes, Chris Simons, Ray Reyes and Kevin Ruby. After pitching, Irvine’s second main concern is the infield. Bunch is the leading candidate for first, and he mentioned Chris Thompson at third and Kurt Walker at short. Second base, he said. is open to anybody w ho can reach out and grab it. Of course. Walker is still playing basketball and is also coming off a hurt knee. Reyes, a freshman, was mentioned as a possible starting infielder, especially if the basketball playoffs continue. The “only position that’s solid,” Irvine said, is catcher James Rust will perform behind the plate, and Irvine said he has a chance to be the best in the district. Randall Rigdon appears to have nailed down a center field spot, and Terry Kyler, Freeman and Bruce are expected to share the other two positions. As for the hitting, Irv ine said Bunch looks like the Mickey Mantle type, lots of power but lots of strikeouts, too “Fat Bruce is the closest thing we’ll have to average and power,” he said Can anybody else hit? Irvine can only hope. "We’re going to be competitive, but I don’t know what our competition is like," he said. One advantage the Rangers may have on other teams is quickness, Irvine said. So watch for lots of base stealing and bunting from the Rangers, who will scrape out their runs rather than collect them in bunches. “We’re going to have a ball," he said. Staff photo by Scott Haring SM baseball coach Stan Irvine makes a point to Ray Reyes during batting practice ;