SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The Quick-Quarter of the Springfield Raceway will be back in action Saturday night, Sept. 14 after taking off last weekend for the IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s. The tight IMCA Modified point battle between James Thompson and Jody Tillman will resume. Look for three-wide action as the Quick Quarter never seems to disappoint especially in IMCA Modified action every Saturday Night. On Saturday, Sept. 21 during the Under The Lights Special Tribute race to the Ozarks Legends, the Bad Boy Mowers IMCA Modifieds will be racing for a $500 to win and $100 to start feature By Ronnie Williams
BRYAN FAUST/Herald photoSince the AVCA College Volleyball Showcase premiered in 1995, the 11 winners of the four-team tournament have found great success down the road, as ten of those programs have ended up in the NCAA Final Four at the end of that season.Whether Texas, the victor of the 2006 Showcase, can mirror such success remains to be seen. But without a doubt, the No. 8 Longhorns stepped into the hostile University of Wisconsin Field House environment and showed that they have a great shot at doing so.No. 9 Wisconsin, meanwhile, has ended its past two seasons one step away from the national semifinals, both times succumbing to the eventual NCAA champ, but the Showcase may have shown that UW has a Texas-sized workload if the Badgers want to advance to that next step.In the featured semifinal match on Aug. 25, following third-ranked Washington’s three-game drubbing of No. 15 Ohio University, Texas stepped on the Field House court and proceeded to shut down the new-look Badgers, who compiled a 13-2 home record in 2005, by a score of 30-28, 30-18, 30-22.In front of 4,226 vocal Wisconsin fans, Texas completely dismantled the Badger attack. UW’s lone representative on the all-Big Ten Preseason team, Audra Jeffers, produced only six kills against seven errors for a negative hitting percentage, and the Badgers hit just .137 as the Longhorns put up an impressive .325 match.Texas did all this even though they lost third-team, All-American middle blocker Brandy Magee during the match, as Magee went down with a knee injury in game two. After Magee left the match, freshman Destinee Hooker stepped up her game and finished with 12 kills and four blocks on the night. Ashley Engle, also a freshman, contributed 11 kills and another four blocks as well.In the championship game Aug. 26, disaster struck again for the Longhorns as senior middle blocker Jennifer Todd went down with a sprained ankle. Two major injuries to middle blockers in two nights, and Texas now had to continue against the defending national champion Washington Huskies.Yet somehow, someway, Texas pulled through in five games and claimed the AVCA Showcase title. Oh, and the Huskies had a 13-10 advantage in the fifth game — two points away from winning before Texas won the last five points of the contest.Meanwhile, the Badgers improved their play in the consolation match against Ohio, but the stat line would hardly agree. Wisconsin’s hitting percentage actually took a step down to .113, but survived the five-game thriller, which lasted nearly three hours, due to the Bobcats’ 48 errors during the match for a horrendous .078 average.UW also hit 11 service errors to Ohio’s nine, hit nine fewer assists (60-51), and, for the second straight night, was outdug 83-69. Statistically speaking, the Badgers salvaged the match by obliterating the Bobcat block 18-8.Even though Wisconsin may not have played tremendous volleyball, the Badgers more than likely won with sheer emotion, best summed up by junior blocker Taylor Reineke after the tournament: “Ohio’s a really great team, they’re really scrappy, they’re really fast, they run really fast sets … I just got really pissed. I did, I got real pissed, and I was like, ‘This is not going to happen. There’s no way they’re going to beat us on our home court,’ and that’s the way I played. I think it worked.”In other words, the Badgers will need to take the killer instinct that they showed in games four and five against Ohio and utilize it against the likes of the Longhorns or the Huskies.But what is the big difference right now between the two squads, Wisconsin and Texas? Is it the attacking efficiency, the ball control, the passing, the defense, the depth or just that fighting instinct?If you asked UW head coach Pete Waite, he’d tell you that it’s a little bit of everything.”You’ve got to take care of the little things, which [are] ball handling and serving,” Waite said after the loss to Texas. “I told the team, it wasn’t so much their blocking or their hitting, it was our passing. It affects you at times with the blocking, but I think the breakdowns came more on our ball handling.”After a close win over Ohio, Waite said, “It’s a combination of things, we just did not work hard enough last night in the back row, I think, to have confidence in the front row, and so they were just a little off-balance,” he said. “Tonight, the passers worked much harder, made it easier for the front row, and then they were able to bring that energy that they needed.”Part of it is just intensity level,” Waite added. “Our team for a little while just was caught off guard as far as the level they had to be in. That was NCAA-tournament level, which normally you’re used to after the Big Ten season [when] you’re all geared up and you’re ready to go.”Certainly, the Badgers have the personnel, the system and the overall talent on the floor to get Wisconsin back to the Final Four for the first time since 2000. But after participating in the Showcase — the year’s most prestigious preseason tournament — Wisconsin has seen exactly what it will take to do just that.
The Orlando Apollos are the champions of the Alliance of American Football — betting-wise that is.Betting site FanDuel has declared the Apollos as champions of the AAF and will pay out futures bets to individuals who put money on the team to win the title. AAF co-founder Bill Polian blasts Tom Dundon for shutting down operations “The AAF should be commended for trying to do something disruptive in the sports landscape, and we hope this symbolic gesture shows the players and coaches that sports fans everywhere appreciated the hard work and sacrifices they made for entertaining us with spring football,” FanDuel Group chief marketing officer Mike Raffensperger said in a statement given to the Action Network. “While we’ve declared the Apollos honorary champions, we think the biggest winners should be our customers and hope they enjoy their payouts.”The Apollos had the best record in the AAF at 7-1 when the league effectively shut down on Tuesday. Related News AAF suspends operations, reportedly raising questions Fellow betting site DraftKings has not decided a champion as of yet, though a decision could be coming soon, and Westgate Sportsbook will not pay out futures bets because those particular wagers were on winning a championship game in particular.Apollos coach Steve Spurrier told local station WFTV he believed the team should be declared champions on Tuesday.“We’ve got to be the champs, right?” Spurrier said. “We’re 7-1 and the other teams are 5-3. … We started the season wanting to win the Alliance championship, and if they declare a champ, hopefully these guys will be declared the champs, because they certainly are deserving.” According to the Action Network, primary investor Tom Dundon elected to shut down the league after he could not come to an aggreement with the NFLPA that would allow the AAF to share players with the NFL.This effectedly kept the AAF from becoming a feeder league for the NFL as Dundon envisioned for the organization. According to the Action Network, Dundon is estimated to have lost $70 million from his time with the league.
(Source: Nezavisne) Representatives of Bosnia and Herzegovina national team, Edin Dzeko and Miralem Pjanic were listed among the top 100 players that have marked the last season. The list was made by the choice of European Football Associations (UEFA).In the yearbook titled “European football” by UEFA, Dzeko and Pjanic qualified among the highest European elite. The reasons why they qualified for top 100 players is because they performed extraordinary at Mundial in Brazil and because of their good play in Manchester City and Roma.“Dzeko was marginalized in Manchester City when it was led by Roberto Mancini, but now he enjoys under the leadership of a new chief Manuel Pelegrini,” was written in the UEFA yearbook.About Pjanic is was also written in the superlative:“With the arrival of French coach Rudi Garcia in Roma, Pjanić’s game was brought to a new level. Former central midfielder for Lion is for now for third season in the Italian capital, where he became one of the most complete and most inventive players in Serie A, which guaranteed him a new four-year contract. This 24-year-old had a lot of magical moments last season, including a double winning the match against Napoli and a remarkable goal against Milan. In addition, he scored a goal for Bosnia and Herzegovina against Iran at the World Cup in Brazil, his first and biggest tournament of his country.”