Sports Briefs

Posted: Thursday, April 15, 2004

Whalers take third at Homer

The Soldotna Whalers Freestyle Wrestling club took third place with its 22 wrestlers at a tournament in Homer over the weekend.

Taking first for the Whalers were Logan Schoessler, Seth Hutchison, Jared Chavez, Austin Cunningham (who also had taken first in Wasilla), Monica Hutchison, Hugh Warner, Michaela Hutchison, Nathan Strieby, Zach Hibberd, Mathew Strieby, Erick Morris and Jacob Torwick.

Taking second place for the Whalers were Laine Archuletta, Tyler Frates, Hannah Hutchison, Kraig Morris and Ben Piatt. Taking third place for the Whalers were Trayton Bird, Catherine Schoessler, Josiah Martin and Connor Hamman.

AFC West will be active on Christmas

NEW YORK Christmas Day will be a holiday for most of the NFL but not for three of the four teams in the AFC West.

The NFL schedule, released Wednesday, has two Christmas games Oakland at Kansas City and Denver at Tennessee. They will begin at 5 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. EST, respectively.

The contests will follow a Christmas Eve game featuring two NFC Central teams: Green Bay at Minnesota, starting at 3 p.m.

The highlights of the opening week were announced two weeks ago with Indianapolis opening the season at New England on Thursday, Sept. 9 in a replay of last season's AFC title game. The first Monday night game will be Green Bay at Carolina, which lost to the Patriots in last season's Super Bowl.

As usual, the Thanksgiving games will be in Detroit and Dallas.

The Lions host the Colts at 12:30 p.m., then Chicago visits the Cowboys in a game starting at 4:15 p.m.

The schedule was announced for the first time on the NFL Network, which began broadcasting last November.

Barnett says those at 2001 party share blame

BROOMFIELD, Colo. Suspended University of Colorado football coach Gary Barnett acknowledges there was misbehavior at a 2001 party at the center of a rape scandal. He also says everyone at the off-campus gathering is to blame.

Barnett, questioned for nearly five hours Tuesday by a panel investigating recruiting practices at Colorado, said there were 10 people at the party, including four football players. The four later lost their scholarships and were charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor for providing alcohol.

''There is no question in my mind that inappropriate behavior occurred,'' Barnett said. ''There is no question that the behavior of the 10 young people involved was the result of their own poor decisions and under the influence of alcohol.''

Two women have alleged they were raped at the party by players or recruits; a third said she was assaulted in a dorm room shortly afterward. They are suing in federal court, seeking unspecified damages for what they say was the school's failure to rein in athletes and provide equal protection to women.

Roddick wins 10th straight match

HOUSTON Top-seeded Andy Roddick was happy he needed only 58 minutes to defeat Robert Kendrick in a second-round match Wednesday night at the U.S. Men's Clay Court championships.

''I don't want to play any long matches,'' Roddick said after a 6-2, 6-3 victory moved him into the quarterfinals.

Roddick broke Kendrick in the third game of the opening set on Kendrick's double fault at game point, and the two-time tournament champion dominated the match throughout.

By midway in the second set, both players were getting playful. Roddick hit a return into the stands and jokingly suggested someone check the mark. On an overhead winner by Roddick that bounced into the crowd, Kendrick feigned leaping into the stands in an effort to make a return.

''I felt pretty good out there,'' Roddick said. ''I was fortunate to get off to a pretty good start and I feel I'm hitting the ball pretty well right now. I'm doing what I want with it so that's good.''

Roddick broke Kendrick in the third and ninth games of the second set. Kendrick fell behind love-40 in the final game. He fought off the first match point by serving an ace, but Roddick won his 10th straight match on Kendrick's forehand error into the net at the second match point.

Roddick, going for his third title of the year, has a 30-5 match record this season. He led the United States' Davis Cup team to a 4-1 victory over Sweden last week, and now he's ready for a day off Thursday.

''I'm glad I got through easily because I've played a lot of tennis,'' Roddick said. ''Obviously, the Davis Cup was pretty emotional. I played a lot of tennis at Indian Wells and NASDAQ as well.

''So, right now, I'm trying to do my job and take care of business. I don't need any more drama on the court right now.''

Germany's Tommy Haas, who missed all of last season after shoulder surgery, continued his comeback with a 7-6 (5) 6-4 victory over sixth-seeded Robby Ginepri in a first-round match.

Haas was ranked No. 8 in the world in 2001 and was 11th when he was forced to undergo rotator cuff surgery in 2002. He returned to competition in February at the Siebel Open in San Jose, Calif.

''I know where I've been,'' Haas said. ''This is like a second start to my second career. I feel once I started in San Jose I quit worrying about my first one and I'm starting from zero.

''It's a very hard way to get back to the top. It might take a couple of years, but I'm 26, so I feel I've got a couple of good years left in me.''

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