Friday, August 28, 2009

Basic shuts out Boulder City to retain Jug

By Anthony Fenech

Saturday, Aug. 29, 2009 | 12:03 a.m.

Friday’s buzz around the latest installment of the Basic-Boulder City Jug Game took the rivalry back to the olden days, when friendly pranks were a norm.

The talk was of a blue paw print surfacing on the Eagles’ field.

Come game time, the field was unscathed.

But the Wolves had their paws all over Boulder City during the game and on the Jug after a 26-0 victory.

“It meant a lot for our kids not to give the Jug back to them,” head coach Jeff Cahill said.

Senior quarterback Tyler Dobbins, who watched last year’s rivalry game as a backup, jump-started Basic’s offense with two long touchdown runs of 34 and 54 yards.

“This was big,” Dobbins said of the victory. “It’s our legacy here.”

Dobbins finished with 99 yards rushing on 15 attempts and added 140 yards through the air, going 11 for 20.

“I told coach I wanted the ball in the first half. He gave it to me, and I ran with it,” Dobbins said.“

Both touchdown runs were of the play-action quarterback keeper variety, a play Cahill kept handy in his back pocket.

“That’s one of our staples, one of our best plays, and it worked to our advantage,” Cahill said.

Owners of the Jug since 1999, Basic was ecstatic when the trophy made its way from the locker room onto the field.

“We’re bringing it home, baby!” shouted senior linebacker Quinn Richardson.

Basic’s first touchdown, courtesy of Dobbins, came late in the first half, one play after a high snap deflected off Eagles quarterback Ross Lamarca and running back Devin Combs and was recovered by the Wolves.

In addition to pitching a shutout, Basic’s defense harassed Lamarca all game, racking up eight sacks and recovering two fumbles.

Junior Rayshawn Gulley’s 50-yard touchdown run with five minutes remaining all but sealed the deal for Basic.

Boulder City head coach Alex Kazel knows all too well the rivalry at hand, having coached and played at Basic before joining the Eagles staff two years ago.

Although being on the losing end, Kazel was pleased with his team’s performance.

“This was a great game for us,” Kazel said. “We are a 3-A school with less than 700 kids, and we hung with last year’s regional champions in 4-A.”

“No matter the outcome, we got challenged, we got pushed and we got to see how to play football,” he said.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Rare baseball card on display at Henderson card shop

By Anthony Fenech

Friday, Aug. 28, 2009 | 2:05 a.m. (This story appears in the Las Vegas Sun print edition)

Jeffrey Rosenberg’s mind raced and his hands trembled as he sat in the stands at the Little League field in Texas. No, he wasn’t worried about the game.

Rosenberg, founder of a sports memorabilia company, was constantly checking his cell phone, waiting to hear from auctioneers in California.

The first call: $40,000 was the bid on the first-ever baseball card — the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings.

“Wow,” Rosenberg thought. “This is way too low.”

Over the next hour, the bidding escalated: $50,000, $60,000.

“We knew we wanted the card,” he said.

Rosenberg waited at that field for more than hour before dropping his final bid of $75,285. Then he waited some more.

“The longest 15 minutes of my life,” he said. “All of a sudden I get a call saying ‘You’ve won,’ and I was in disbelief. Shocked actually, absolutely shocked.”

Rosenberg is bringing the historic card to AllStar Sports Cards in Henderson, where it will be on display from 2 to 7 p.m. Saturday.

The card was discovered earlier this year by a 72-year-old woman from Fresno. Bernice Gallego buys the contents of storage lockers and sells the contents. She found the card in a box full of miscellaneous things.

On the front of the 140-year-old piece of compressed cardboard are the 10 members of the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings. The team generally is considered the first professional baseball team, put together by Harry and George Wright, two of the best players of that era.

Not knowing what she had, Gallego posted it on eBay with a starting bid of $10. She told reporters she thought it might be worth $15, but didn’t want to pay 20 cents extra to start the auction that high. A friend told her that it might be worth much more to collectors, so she pulled it off the online site.

“To own something that’s so rare, so unique and historical, it’s a dream come true,” Rosenberg said of the card. “We want to share it with the fans.”

Rosenberg is president of Houston-based Tristar Productions, one of the leaders in sports memorabilia and shows. The company’s collection includes the only hand-signed “Shoeless” Joe Jackson baseball bat; game-used bats from all 25 players in the 500-home run club; and the most recognizable baseball card, a T206 Honus Wagner. It’s also the most expensive; one of these rare cards of the Pirates star sold for $925,000 in July.

Jared Bing, manager of Allstar Sports Cards, is excited about displaying the 1869 Red Stockings card.

“The oldest baseball card in the world at our store is a big deal,” Bing said. “To think about the history of this card and how much it’s been through, the Depression, world wars. It’s remarkable.”

It’s part of a daylong celebration of classic baseball cards and memorabilia.

Tristar, which is the exclusive baseball card producer for Minor League Baseball, also introduce a series commemorating the centennial of the Obak cards. Those 1906 cards were featured in tobacco products and are smaller, miniature versions in terms of today’s baseball cards.

The new T212 series includes 68 cards combining nostalgia (Duke Snider in Fort Worth Cats uniform, Tom Seaver on the Jacksonville Suns, Satchel Paige on the Miami Marlins), history (baseball inventor Alexander Cartwright), ownership (Branch Rickey and Bing Crosby) and investment (a handful current minor leaguers such last year’s No. 1 pick Tim Beckham, which should make collectors salivate).

The set isn’t scheduled to be released to the public until Tuesday.

“We’ll be opening them before anybody else in the world,” he said.

Families and fans are encouraged to join Saturday’s party-like atmosphere, the first of 17 around the country, and will feature games, pizza and prizes, including three to four thousand dollars in free Tristar merchandise giveaways.

“For us, it’s a thank you to our customers who have been loyal buying our cards,” Rosenberg said. “It’s an opportunity to see baseball history before your eyes.”

Silverado defeats Chaparral in season opener

By Anthony Fenech

Friday, Aug. 28, 2009 | 1:53 a.m.

Silverado’s Teran Madu-Jules found himself congested in a pack of Chaparral defenders when he realized the only way to escape his nightmare was to outrun it.

He sidestepped one defender, stiff-armed another and scampered 56 yards down the football field before being taken down, placing an exclamation point on his monster opener under the Thursday night lights.

The senior amassed 241 yards on 20 carries, scored three touchdowns and had five rushes of more than 20 yards in Silverado’s 42-6 win over Chapparal.

“I wanted to show everyone that we are a team to be reckoned with this year and for years to come,” Madu-Jules said.

Silverado welcomed senior Trenton Tipton back with a breeze, allowing the dynamic quarterback to play second fiddle to the rushing game, which ended up with 475 yards on the ground.

“The more work we do, the easier my job is,” said Tipton.

The win wasn’t as breezy early on, when Chaparrel first-year head coach Donnie Davis had his team running the no-huddle offense down the field with ease before an untimely fumble at the goal line.

Just a play after Silverado was flagged for pass interference on fourth down, senior running back Greg Tucker lost the handle on the ball just before crossing the goal line. It ultimately squirted through the back of the end zone for a touchback.

“We knew they were a little bit bigger and stronger, so we wanted to try and catch them off guard,” Davis said. “But after the fumble, momentum-wise, it hurt us.”

Tucker finished the game with 57 yards rushing and 80 receiving.

With the momentum in hand, a collection of Skyhawks running backs enjoyed big holes from the seven-man rotating unit Silverado coach Andy Ostolaza uses.

“We like to run behind those guys,” he said. “They’re all big, strong, physical guys that are getting over the hump, and they’re going to be special for us.”

In addition to Madu-Jules’ yardage, seniors Tyler Anderson and Dariouse Gravely rushed for 88 yards and 53 yards, respectively, each scoring a touchdown.

“They weren’t opening up holes, they were opening up gaps,” Madu-Jules said of his team’s offensive linemen. “If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have had the yards.”

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Boulder City golf out to defend state crown

By Anthony Fenech

Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2009 | 3:11 p.m.

Bridget Ward lined up her putt a few feet from the hole and attempted to finish practice with a perfect performance on the putting green in four tries.

The short putt traveled slowly but disappeared into the hole, a microcosm in the Boulder City High girls golf team’s quest to defend their 3A state championship.

“We’ve definitely putted better than we did last year,” Ward said. “It’s coming along.”

The short game will have to come along if the Eagles want to achieve their goal of winning a second consecutive title.

“We can hit the ball off the tee with distance, that’s our advantage,” Boulder City coach Regina Quintero said. “But where we need to work at is our short game and putting.”

Last season, the Eagles succeeded in large part because of their seniors, who came through the program together determined as freshmen to win the state title.

Halfway through the season, one of those seniors, Bethany Smith, died because of a heart ailment.

“It was tough,” Quintero said. “The team said, ‘Hey, we need to keep playing because that’s what she would want us to do.’”

Keep playing they did, and with Smith’s inspiration in mind, they advanced to the state championship, where they won by 17 strokes.

“It was bittersweet because somebody was missing,” Quintero said. “Everybody was happy, but to a certain point.”

After losing their top two scorers from last year, the squad will have a different feel to it this season.

Returning are four with state tournament experience — Ward and juniors Indiana Mead, Bree Morang, Lizz Ropp — and four newcomers, who took up golf because of a vacancy in their fall sports schedules.

“They’re all competitors and I think they figured this is something that’s going to help them in the future,” Quintero said.

Ward, the team leader and lone returning senior, credits the strong influx of softball players on the team to recruiting the beginners.

“We all know each other, hang out on and off the course and it’s a lot of fun,” she said.

Morang agreed, saying, “Our girls are good all-around and we like to win.”

The coaches believe that with due effort, the girls can knock down their strokes by five or six, from the low-90s to the mid-80s.

“Working hard shows in dropped strokes,” Quintero said. “Our job is to convince them that they do have the ability.”

A slight rule change will make the Eagles title defense tougher. The Southern 3A League, down from four teams last year to three this fall, will only send one team to the state tournament — whereas in years past, two teams qualified.

Mesquite’s Virgin Valley High appears to be the Eagles’ biggest threat. Virgin Valley also will host the regional tournament.

“Last year, we beat them,” said Ward, before acknowledging Virgin Valley is going to field a tough squad. “This year we want to blow them out of the water.”