Afternoon State Sports Briefs: McCarthy wants Flynn to stay in Green BayWisconsin Sports
-- Quarterback Matt Flynn will stay in Green Bay if coach Mike McCarthy has anything to do with it.
GREEN BAY - Quarterback Matt Flynn will stay in Green Bay if coach Mike McCarthy has anything to do with it.
Up to 10 NFL teams will need a quarterback, and Flynn would love to start someplace. With three years as a back-up, he has more NFL experience than other young players coming in. But on the other hand, the Packers will need a quarterback if Aaron Rodgers goes down. And with the league’s new procedures for dealing with concussions, McCarthy says a team needs two good quarterbacks if it wants to win a championship. Rodgers missed a game-and-a-half last season after his latter of two concussions. Flynn was a capable back-up, and he almost led Green Bay to a victory at New England in December. Flynn has one year left on his rookie contract. He’s not a restricted free agent under the current rules – but that could change once the league and the players’ union strike a deal on a new collective bargaining agreement. Flynn has taken 146 regular season snaps in his Packers’ career, with a passer rating of 82.4. Rookie Graham Harrell is currently Green Bay’s third quarterback.
The WIAA has made several changes to try and boost the fans’ interest in the boys’-and-girls’ state basketball tournaments. And they’ll be in place when the boys’ regionals begin tonight. The most obvious change is the start of a fifth division. And officials hope it will give schools that have never been to a state tournament the chance to make the trip to Madison. Clinton and Lakeside Lutheran have never been to the basketball finals – and they hope to get a fresh opportunity by moving down one group to Division-Three. Also, the WIAA has avoided scheduling boys’ and girls’ games at the same time. Regionals for both genders are being played on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. And next week, the girls’ regionals should not come in conflict with the boys’ sectionals – many of which will be played Thursday night and Saturday afternoon. Finally, Division-One will no longer have twice as many teams in Madison as the other groupings. Instead, the final eight boys-and-girls teams in Division-One will play a “Super Tuesday” contest at one of four college campuses around the state. It’s designed to boost fan interest. Last year, the Thursday boys’ quarter-finals attracted just 8,950 fans at the Kohl Center – the lowest for that day since 2001.
Lindsay Laur of UW-Milwaukee is the Horizon League women’s basketball player-of-the-week. The senior forward had 20 points and nine rebounds in Milwaukee’s win over Butler. Laur then scored the game-winning shot in a one-point victory over Valparaiso. She made all 12 of her free throw attempts in both contests. Laur is now third in the nation in free throw percentage, hitting 92-point-six percent from the charity stripe.
Austin Meyer of the Milwaukee School of Engineering has been named the men’s basketball player-of-the-year in the Northern Athletics Conference. Concordia-Mequon coach Shawn Cassidy was named the league’s coach-of-the-year. And Scott Laskowski of Aurora and Tory Minnifield of Rockford are the co-freshmen-of-the-year. Meier, a senior forward, led Milwaukee Engineering to a school-record 19 victories this season. He averaged 17 points and 11 rebounds per game. Cassidy led Concordia-Mequon to a 16-0 conference record, its first 20-win overall season since 1989, and its first NCAA Division-Three tournament appearance since 2000. Joining Meyer on the All-Conference first team are Kent Faroute of Madison Edgewood, Edward Newton-Kemp of Concordia-Mequon, Robert Malone of Rockford, and Nate Green and Cameron Snelling of Benedictine.
Erika Laete of Wisconsin Lutheran is the Northern Athletics Conference women’s basketball player-of-the-year. Katie Luethe of Concordia-Mequon is the freshman-of-the-year, and Mike Lane of Dominican is the league’s top coach. Laete helped Wisconsin Lutheran make the NCAA Division-Three tournament with 19 points and nine rebounds per game. She scored a league-record 50 points in her regular season finale a week-and-a-half ago. Luethe made the All-Freshman squad, and she helped Concordia-Mequon to a runner-up spot in the regular season and league tournament with 12 points and six boards per contest. Lane’s Dominican team went from worst-to-first in the South Division. Joining Laete on the All-Conference first team are Gabby Allen of Alverno, Carol Cavo of Milwaukee Engineering, Becky Christofferson of Dominican, Megan Lawler of Rockford, and Marche Smith of Concordia-Chicago.
Sarah Hulbert of UW-Eau Claire and Christa Booman of La Crosse are the WIAC’s gymnasts of the week. Hulbert, a senior, was named the week’s best specialist. Booman, a freshman, won the all-around title for placing first at the Hamline Piper Invitational in Saint Paul last weekend.