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OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Running back Latavius Murray has left Oakland’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs with a concussion.
Murray scored two TDs in the first half and rushed for 112 yards on four carries before getting hurt Thursday night. Those were the first two rushing touchdowns of the season against the Chiefs. Murray had the most yards of any player since at least 1960 with five or fewer carries.
Offensive lineman Donald Stephenson (shoulder) and receiver Junior Hemingway (concussion) left for Kansas City with injuries.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Royals have acquired outfielder Reymond Fuentes from the San Diego Padres for left-hander Kyle Bartsch.
The trade was announced Thursday.
The 23-year-old Fuentes hit a combined .294 with five home runs, 33 RBIs and 25 steals in Triple-A and Double-A last season. He made his major league debut in 2013, hitting .152 in 23 games with the Padres.
The 23-year-old Bartsch went 5-5 with seven saves and a 2.29 ERA in 41 relief appearance at the advanced Class A level.
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — When Kylie Glass grows up, she wants to be a veterinarian and a roller derby jammer.
The 11-year-old from Edgerton, Kansas, fell in love with roller derby two years ago, when her parents took her to a Kansas City Roller Warriors bout, The Kansas City Star reported. The aggressive sport, where skaters with menacing nicknames race and often collide around an elliptical track, instantly entranced Glass. She didn’t go home until she had autographs from every skater.
When Kylie turned 10, her mom, Jackie Glass, let her join Junior Warriors, a co-ed roller derby team of about 40 players ranging in age from 10 to 17. The mostly female team is now in its sixth season. It’s coached by members of the Roller Warriors, Kansas City’s all-female flat-track derby league.
Until this fall, the Junior Warriors practiced only during the regular season, which starts in May and ends in August. In October, they started practicing year-round so they could better prepare for summertime bouts against other teams.
Roller derby has become increasingly popular in recent years thanks to movies like 2009′s “Whip It” and a growing number of skater-run leagues. The Roller Warriors, founded 10 years ago, is one of 1,500 roller derby leagues in 40 countries, according to derbyroster.com. Crashes and collisions are part of the sport’s appeal, which is why Junior Warriors are required to have health insurance and provide their own protective gear: Helmets, elbow pads, wrist guards, knee pads and mouth guards.
Kylie’s mom says she was “a little worried” to let her fifth-grader play roller derby with teenagers. But she figured the sport wasn’t any more dangerous than gymnastics, cheerleading or football.
Kylie quickly learned to block, fall without hurting herself and skate fast. She toughened up, started calling herself Lucille Brawl, and held her own against players who were a foot taller.
“I’m shy,” Kylie says. But on the track, as Lucille Brawl, she’s more confident: “I’m a different person.”
Junior Warriors coach Tessa Brant, who goes by Anya Neezenbeg on the track, says that through roller derby, kids and adults find community, embrace individuality and bloom with confidence.
The sport is not for everyone, Brant says, but “for the people who grasp onto it, it becomes their life.”
Junior Warriors come from all over the Kansas City metro to attend practices at Winnwood Skate Center. One player drives 45 minutes from Greenwood, Missouri. And it takes about an hour for the Glass family to get from Edgerton to the Northland rink.
Practice begins with a warm-up. The skaters coast counter-clockwise around the rink on quad skates. Under their protective gear, they wear bright shorts, tights or leggings and shirts emblazoned with nicknames such as Marilyn Mon Roll, Bash Ketchum, Princess Pain in the Butt and Demon Seed.
During a recent practice, the concession stand was dim but the rink smelled like buttered popcorn. The disco balls weren’t twirling, but skating rink standards such as “Pump Up the Jam” and “Good Vibrations” (by Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, not the Beach Boys) echoed across the wooden floor along with the click-clack of skates.
After plenty of squats and stretches, the Junior Warriors divided into two groups. The beginners group practiced basic skating skills while the intermediate and advanced group paired up and practiced leaning into one another as they slowly rolled around a makeshift track outlined by blue strips of fabric.
“Keep it low, keep it controlled,” yelled coach Laurel Hautala, also known as Madam McBomb. “It’s not about bashing each other – yet.”
“But I wanna bash!” a skater shouted out from the pack.
The first bash of the evening happened soon afterward – but it was an accident. Grace Reading, a 16-year-old Junior Warrior from Kansas City who goes by Barbie Brutality, tripped over her partner’s skate and went sprawling face-first across the wooden floor. Reading came up smiling, with a plastic mouthguard concealing her front teeth.
“If you fall and cry, why are you in roller derby?” Reading said after practice.
Like any contact sport, roller derby requires durability, strength and stamina. Coach Brant is working on her durability: Thanks to a bad back, she couldn’t compete with the Kansas City Roller Warriors last season. She volunteered as a referee instead.
Brant’s back injury wasn’t caused by roller derby, but roller derby doesn’t exactly help. Still, she says she won’t quit the sport she loves.
“I’m in physical therapy four times a week so I can do derby,” Brant says. She plans to join next season’s draft.
Roller derby players can’t be afraid to fall or get hurt. That’s tough for both players and their parents.
Nicole Craft is married to a roller derby player – her husband, Scott Craft, skates as Double Tap for the Kansas City Cowtown Butchers. Still, it was hard for her to allow 10-year-old daughter Cadence to join the Junior Warriors.
“I almost threw up the first time she had a bout,” Nicole Craft says.
Nicole says that Cadence, who skates as Tiny Dancer, has muscular dystrophy, and that being active helps: “The more she uses her muscles, the more she keeps it at bay.”
Despite being one of the youngest Junior Warriors, Cadence practices with the intermediate and advanced players and can block with the best of them. Nicole isn’t scared to watch her daughter compete anymore.
“We celebrate falls,” Nicole says, “because that means you pushed yourself as hard as you could push yourself.”
Learning to be aggressive didn’t come easy for Sam Allen, a 16-year-old Junior Warrior from Greenwood, Missouri, who goes by Sam Scissorhands.
“Hitting was new to me,” Allen says, “and I was horrible at skating.”
Now she can weave through other players backward, and she’s not afraid to bash.
“This does get out your aggression, but it’s not hostile,” Allen says.
Roller Derby might seem like an anything-goes sport, but there are lots and lots of rules. In a typical bout, two teams of five skaters compete in contests called jams that last as long as two minutes each. Each team has one scoring position called a jammer who starts behind the other players, called blockers.
The jammer’s objective is to pass through the pack of blockers. On the second pass, the jammer scores one point for each player from the opposing team passed, and the team with the most points at the end of the bout wins.
Skaters can’t use their hands, elbows or heads to block, and pushing another player from behind is prohibited. Rule breakers serve time in the penalty box.
The first time Lucille Brawl was sent to the penalty box, “I was Facebooking it,” says Jackie Glass with pride. “You gotta learn the rules and the consequences of breaking those rules.”
During Junior Warriors practices, coaches often stop the skaters during scrimmages to break down the rules. They call this “Zack Morris-ing it out” after the star of “Saved by the Bell,” who would take timeouts during the show to explain what was happening.
The Junior Warriors learn lessons on and off their skates. Brant says a big part of the team’s mission is giving back to the community. The Junior Warriors recently participated in an event that raised money for skin cancer research, and in December they’ll wrap presents for kids at Della Lamb Community Services.
“The overall goal,” Brant says, “is to teach them to work hard, play hard and be themselves.”
The players take their team and their sport seriously. Haven Price, a 16-year-old Junior Warrior from Shawnee known as Miss-B-Haven, says she’s looking forward to the day that roller derby is included in the Summer Olympics.
“I’m going,” Price says.
And Kylie Glass is determined to keep playing jammer. Over the summer, she played the scoring position and was voted MVP.
“I like jamming because I’m the one being counted on,” Glass says. “It makes me work harder.”
(Casper, WY) – The Missouri State University-West Plains Grizzly Volleyball team is still in the hunt for its first national title after defeating Salt Lake Community College, Salt Lake City, Utah, 25-21, 23-25, 25-16, 25-21 in first round action today at the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I Women’s National Volleyball Championship Tournament in Casper, Wyoming.
The Grizzlies (26-12), seeded 11th in the three-day event, will face third seeded College of Southern Idaho (33-2), Twin Falls, at 6:30 p.m. local time today in the quarterfinals. The Golden Eagles advanced by defeating No. 14 seed New Mexico Military Institute, Roswell, 25-15, 25-21, 25-7 in a first round match that took place on a court adjacent to the Grizzlies’ match. All of the tournament matches can be viewed via streaming live video at www.njcaatv.org.
Grizzly Volleyball Head Coach Paula Wiedemann couldn’t be more pleased with the effort her team put forth against the Bruins. “Our players were phenomenal,” she said of her players. “They executed our game plan very well. They played great defense, and that helped create our offense. I can’t say enough about their effort today.
The Grizzlies and the Salt Lake Bruins fought a tight contest through the first two sets, with neither team gaining more than a 4-point advantage. In the third, however, the Grizzlies jumped out to a quick 5-1 lead and continued to build that advantage throughout the set with great team play. The Bruins righted their ship in the fourth set, keeping pace with the Grizzlies until freshman middle attacker Penny Liu put the set away by scoring 4 of the Grizzlies’ final 5 points to give the team the win.
Liu led the Grizzlies offensively with 31 kills on 46 attempts with three errors for an attacking percentage of .609. Freshman outside attacker Pulotu Manoa followed with 17 kills, and freshman outside hitter Gabby Edmondson added 11. Freshman setter Susannah Kelley led the team in assists with 53, and sophomore outside hitter/defensive specialist Kaili Simmons recorded the team’s only service ace.
Defensively, Liu, Manoa and redshirt freshman right side/middle attacker Ashley Bishton each had two blocks, and Simmons led the team in digs with 25, followed closely by sophomore libero Alyssa Aldag with 21. Liu earned the most points with 35.
One notable statistic from the match really impressed Wiedemann. “Both teams only missed one serve the entire match! We have been working on it, and it made a difference. When teams come out and play like that, it’s fantastic,” she said.
The Grizzlies will have to turn in another great performance against CSI, Wiedemann said. “Defensively, we want to continue what we’re doing and try to be efficient on offense. We’re playing with a lot of confidence right now, and that’s how we need to be playing. Our players need to continue to give each other confidence on the court.”
(Ozark Radio Sports) – Gerry Elam is here with your latest local sports update, including information on the Willow Springs Sports Banquet and Grizzly volleyball action!
You can stream the volleyball games here.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Yankees President Randy Levine offered a succinct response when asked what he thought about the Marlins and outfielder Giancarlo Stanton breaking the record for richest contract that had been held by Alex Rodriguez for more than 13 years until last spring.
“Thank God,” Levine said, laughing. “Thank God.”
Not all executives are quite so pleased.
As baseball executives gathered for two days of owners meetings in Kansas City, the flurry of pricy contracts that have already been offered this offseason was a topic of conversation.
Along with Stanton’s record-setting $325 million, 13-year pact with Miami, the Blue Jays gave catcher Russell Martin an $82 million, five-year deal, and the Athletics agreed to give Billy Butler a $30 million, three-year deal to become their first baseman and designated hitter.
More huge contracts are on the way.
Outfielder Nelson Cruz, third basemen Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez are still on the market, and that’s before you even get to starting pitchers Max Scherzer, Jon Lester and James Shields.
“There’s just been a couple of signings, special players. I think it’s too early to draw any conclusions,” said Levine, whose Yankees still owe Rodriguez $61 million over the final three years of the $275 million, 10-year deal the third baseman signed in December 2007.
Levine said organizations have to decide for themselves how best to build their rosters. In the case of Miami, owner Jeffrey Loria decided to build around Stanton, a once-in-a-generation star.
“Every team has to make a decision based on where they are at the time, where they are at the moment,” Levine said. “This is a great player. I think Jeffrey stood up, the Marlins stood up, and both of them are pleased with it. Good for them.”
Not necessarily good for the game, though.
Kevin Brown was the first player to break the $100 million barrier in 1998, and Rodriguez became the first to top $200 million just two years later. But while escalation had seemingly slowed – it took 14 more years to produce baseball’s first $300 million man – that doesn’t change the fact that franchises are passing out record-setting contracts.
“I am really surprised,” Royals owner David Glass said, “and it’s not just Stanton. He’s a great young man and a great player. But I don’t understand how teams are going to be able to do this and do it within their economics, but we’ll see. They obviously know what they’re doing.”
The small-market Royals, who won their first AL pennant in 29 years, ended the regular season 19th in payroll at $92.7 million. That was far below the $255.9 million payroll of the Dodgers.
Might the Royals, in need of a starting pitcher and designated hitter, be tempted to chase their own big-money free agent, and nudge their payroll north of $100 million for the first time?
“I think if someone has a specific need and a specific player that fills that need, jump out there and do it,” Glass said, chuckling at the notion the Royals might ever reach $150 million. “But otherwise, there are a lot of deals that will be done that no one has even thought of yet.”
The Royals were mindful of their budget when they declined Butler’s $12 million option for next season, and he became a free agent for the first time. They remained in contact with their longtime DH, but were unwilling to offer the kind of money on the table the A’s made available.
“We’ve been an organization that has jumped out early on some players in the past. Sometimes their contracts look good in January, sometimes they don’t,” Kansas City GM Dayton Moore said. “You deal with the information you have in front of you. We all know hindsight is 20-20.”
That is certainly true for the Yankees, who likely have a much different opinion these days of the deal they lavished on Rodriguez. Will the same be true for the Marlins and baseball’s other big spenders when they have a chance to look back at this offseason?
“We’re looking to see where everything goes,” Levine said. “It’s still early.”
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — It’s a sense of humor often accompanied by a sly smile that teammates seem to love about Missouri running back Russell Hansbrough.
“He’s just the guy who sits in the corner and says something once every blue moon, but it’s funny as all get-out,” receiver Bud Sasser said.
His performance on the field has been no laughing matter. Last Saturday at Texas A&M, Hansbrough was all business as he ran 20 times for 199 yards and two touchdowns in a 34-27 win. After growing up in Arlington, Texas, the junior saved the best performance of his career for his homecoming.
There to see it were his parents, Doug and Janice Hansbrough.
“It was great, because my mom, she came out really smiling and happy for me,” Hansbrough said with a grin of his own. “My dad, too. Normally he doesn’t show any emotion – he showed a lot after the game.”
Hansbrough’s efforts highlighted a 587-yard output by the 19th-ranked Tigers, including 335 on the ground. Missouri (8-2, 5-1 SEC) entered the game averaging 330.1 yards – 13th in the SEC – including just 250.2 against five conference opponents.
In response, coach Gary Pinkel and offensive coordinator Josh Henson decided to slow the tempo of the offense and simplify the playbook, opting to run more to use up time.
It finally clicked against Texas A&M, which allows an SEC-worst 445.2 yards per game. Missouri’s offensive line bullied the Aggies, and Hansbrough took advantage for touchdown runs of 49 and 45 yards.
“I knew the offense was going to break through at some point,” linebacker Michael Scherer said. “It was only a matter of time. It’s cool to see, because a lot of people were down on them earlier in the year. I just hope they keep it rolling.”
Hansbrough ran just 19 yards on 15 carries against Kentucky on Nov. 1 before a week off, and said his latest performance provided a boost of confidence. At 5-foot-9, 190 pounds, he admits to not trusting his speed at times as he runs through gaps in the offensive line.
“I thought he really had a purpose with how he was running the football,” Henson said. “He carried the pile a few times – he’s a tough little guy. I was just really excited to see him respond and be aggressive in his running style.”
Both Hansbrough and senior Marcus Murphy, who ran 20 times for 88 yards last week, showed no ill effects from their workload. The goal is to keep each below 25 carries, Henson said, and substitute freshman Ish Witter in as necessary.
For his part, Hansbrough feels “100 percent” after experiencing nagging knee, shoulder and toe injuries through his career. Now with 790 rushing yards and nine touchdowns on the season, he claims to not look at his statistics so he can stay “level-headed,” an approach taught to him by Murphy and former teammate Henry Josey.
The Tigers will need to emulate that approach if they want to capture a second consecutive SEC East championship. To do so, they must win at Tennessee (5-5, 2-4), which blew out Kentucky 50-16 last week behind quarterback Joshua Dobbs, and at home against Arkansas.
“All of them know what’s going on,” Pinkel said. “You’ve got to keep yourself focused. There are opportunities out there, but there is no margin for error.”
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Asked if good shooting is contagious, Johnathan Williams III sheepishly said, “I guess so.”
The Missouri forward added a smile, which also proved easily transmittable to teammates Montaque Gill-Caesar and Wes Clark sitting alongside him in the media room after a 78-64 win against Oral Roberts on Wednesday night.
The Tigers (2-1) shot 25 of 49 from the field, including 12 of 21 from beyond the arc. The team converted 12 of 19 overall attempts in the second half, and Gill-Caesar’s 3-pointer with 12:40 remaining started a stretch where seven of eight baskets came from long range.
After a season-opening 69-61 loss to Missouri-Kansas City and a 56-41 win against Valparaiso, first-year coach Kim Anderson said his young team needed to see some shots go in.
“I think they’ve been freaked out,” he said. “I don’t think there’s any question. That’s why I wanted something good to happen. It was a great wake-up call, but then you’ve got to continue to build on it. I thought tonight was a pretty good step.”
Gill-Caesar finished with 19 points, Clark added 14 points and nine assists and Williams III scored 10.
The second-half outburst surprised Oral Roberts coach Scott Sutton, who said he’s never seen a better offensive performance in a half. The Golden Eagles (1-1) led for most of the first 27 minutes before Missouri scored six consecutive points to take a 58-52 advantage with 10:51 remaining.
An 8-0 Tigers run capped by a 3-pointer by Deuce Bello with 3 minutes left gave them a 73-62 lead, and Oral Roberts would get no closer than 10 the rest of the way.
The Golden Eagles’ Obi Emegano scored a career-high 30 points while Korey Billbury added eight points and 10 rebounds.
The teams combined for 49 fouls and 64 free throws, but despite the game’s slow pace both schools shot over 40 percent. Oral Roberts converted 13 of its 20 shots from the field in the first half, including its first eight attempts, but made only 5 of 24 in the closing 20 minutes.
Foul trouble sidelined Emegano’s torrid start as he scored 18 points in the opening 7 minutes before collecting two fouls in the following 30 seconds. He sat out the remainder of the half and scored 12 after the break, but never could match his early pace.
“I should have put him back in the game the way he was playing,” Sutton said. “He was playing at such a high level. . He’s too good. He’s too smart.”
Oral Roberts: The Golden Eagles were picked to finish third in the Summit League preseason poll by coaches, staff and media. The team returned to the conference after playing its last two seasons in the Southland Conference.
Missouri: Freshman Jakeenan Gant missed his third consecutive game while the school reviews his eligibility.
Oral Roberts plays at Oregon State on Friday.
Missouri plays Arizona on Monday in the EA Sports Maui Invitational in Hawaii.
Gill-Caesar now leads Missouri with 16.3 points per game as one of four freshmen to receive playing time. The 6-foot-6, 215-pound guard from Vaughan, Ontario, attended high school at Huntington Prep in West Virginia for new Missouri assistant Rob Fulford.
He finished with 5-of-11 shooting from the field, including 4 of 7 from 3-point range.
Despite being the larger team, the Tigers only outrebounded Oral Roberts 32-31 and converted eight fewer free throws.
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
“I thought he was going to score like 70,” Anderson said about Emegano. “I didn’t know how we were going to stop him. Fortunately, he got into foul trouble and that slowed him down a little bit.”
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Cardinals have added catcher Cody Stanley to the 40-man roster and released outfielder Shane Robinson.
St. Louis also sent right-hander Keith Butler outright to Triple-A Memphis in moves announced Wednesday. The Cardinals have four spots open on the 40-man roster.
The 25-year-old Stanley batted .283 with 12 home runs and 43 RBIs in 103 games at Double-A Springfield last season with 13 steals. He threw out 42 percent of attempted base stealers and was a Texas League All-Star.
A left-handed batter, Stanley hit .292 with 12 RBIs in 21 games during the just-completed Arizona Fall League season.
Robinson, 30, ended the season on the 60-day disabled list with a shoulder injury. He batted .150 with four RBIs in 60 at-bats.