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Sports Briefs

Posted: Wednesday, May 23, 2001

Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby

Standings as of Monday:

First place: Charles Boaze, Soldotna, 159 pounds, caught on May 12.

Second place: Dave Ritchie, Bastrop, Texas, 150 pounds, caught on May 9.

Third place: Jay Palmer, Bozeman, Mont., 148.6 pounds, caught on May 9.

Fourth place: Douglas Brownson, Lakeside, Ore., 134.6 pounds, caught on May 12.

Fifth place: Lucille Chancey, Anchorage, 125.2 pounds, caught on May 12.

Soldotna drag racer Johnnie finishes second

Charlie Johnnie of Soldotna finished second in the second annual Army/Air Force Shootout Sunday in drag racing at Alaska Raceway Park in Palmer. Johnnie had a speed of 122.24 mph in the Top Sportsman class.

Laviolette to coach Islanders

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Peter Laviolette will be the New York Islanders' next coach, a team source said Tuesday night.

Laviolette, an assistant coach with the Boston Bruins, will be introduced at a Wednesday news conference, said the source, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Laviolette inherits a club that had the NHL's worst record and missed the playoffs for the seventh straight season. He will replace Lorne Henning, who has been interim coach since Butch Goring was fired March 4.

The 36-year-old Laviolette did not immediately return calls to his home from The Associated Press.

Mike Milbury has let six coaches go, including himself twice, in the 5 1/2 years he has been Islanders general manager. His job has been deemed safe for now by owner Charles Wang.

Laviolette, regarded as one of the league's promising assistants, was passed over for the Bruins' head coaching job twice in the past year.

Vikings' Moss to play minor league basketball

For one game at least, Randy Moss will trade slant-ins for slam dunks.

Moss, an All-Pro receiver for the Minnesota Vikings, will play basketball for the Pennsylvania ValleyDawgs, a minor league team coached by former NBA star Darryl Dawkins.

The USBL team, based in Bethlehem, Pa., said Tuesday that Moss is expected to play Thursday night. He will decide on future appearances after that, Dawkins said.

''It's a game-by-game thing,'' team spokesman Joe Heyer said. ''He wants to play the first game and see how he feels. He hopefully will be playing for a number of games. He's very much into it. But he doesn't want to commit himself to the season and then disappoint everyone by not showing up.''

Moss, who will make about $3.5 million with the Vikings this year, was twice selected as high school basketball player of the year in West Virginia and has been playing in a Los Angeles summer league.

The 6-foot-4 Moss will play guard and forward in the USBL, a spring-summer league. He is expected to practice Wednesday night and join the lineup Thursday against the Long Island Surf.

NASCAR breaks ground on school for mechanics

MOORESVILLE, N.C. -- Young gear-heads and grease monkeys who spend Friday nights working on their cars instead of going to football games now have a place to pursue their speedway dreams once high school days are over.

In an effort to get aspiring automotive technicians ready for a job working on stock cars, NASCAR broke ground Tuesday for a technical institute, a veritable MIT of motorsports.

''This is a school for motor-heads, the kids who are working in their garage at night getting grease everywhere and making their mom mad,'' said Tommy Baldwin, crew chief for Winston Cup driver Ward Burton.

''It's a tough business with long hours and we're looking for those kids who have a passion for this and are dedicated to this,'' he said. ''They're out there, I know, because I was one of them.''



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