Morning State Sports Briefs: Driver still productive at Packer campWisconsin Sports
-- Donald Driver is having his moments at Packer Training Camp. The 37-year-old receiver left corners Tramon Williams and Casey Hayward in the dust for large gains during yesterday’s practice.
GREEN BAY - Donald Driver is having his moments at Packer Training Camp. The 37-year-old receiver left corners Tramon Williams and Casey Hayward in the dust for large gains during yesterday’s practice.
Driver took a two-and-a-half million dollar pay cut to get the chance to win a receiver’s job in what would be his 14th year with Green Bay. Also at camp yesterday, tight end Eric Lair injured a knee on a running play and did not return. Defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove returned from his personal time away. And tight ends Jermichael Finley and Brandon Bostick returned from injuries, as did receiver Shaky Smithson. The Packers will hold another workout in full pads this morning, starting at 8:15.
Green Bay Packers’ coach Mike McCarthy says James Starks will be the Number-One running back this fall – if he stays healthy. After this morning’s training camp practice, McCarthy said Starks needs to avoid injuries in his third NFL season. The coach said Starks was making better decisions with his foot-work close to the line, especially in the more physical practices with full pads. The Packers plan to practice in full pads all week, including Friday’s Friday night scrimmage at Lambeau Field. Meanwhile, McCarthy says there’s a three-way competition for the No. 2 starting corner spot alongside Charles Woodson. The three candidates are Jarrett Bush, Sam Shields, and Davon House. House made an interception in the red zone at practice, and McCarthy says his drills have been very good. McCarthy also cited a lot more depth on the defensive line than a year ago. Undrafted tight end Eric Lair suffered an undetermined injury at yesterday's practice. And the Packers said Mike McCabe was not hurt as badly as originally feared during pass defense drill on Saturday. McCabe injured a hip, and McCarthy says the timetable for his return won’t be known for another 3-to-5 days.
Three-time defending national champion UW-Whitewater is No. 1 in the national small college football preseason poll from D3football.com. The Warhawks went 15-0 a year ago, and the team they defeated in the Division-Three title game – Mount Union – is second in the new poll. Wesley College is third. The only other Wisconsin team in the pre-season Top-25 is UW-Platteville at No.23. The Pioneers went 7-3 last fall. UW-Oshkosh also received votes.
Former UW-Milwaukee men’s basketball coach Bruce Pearl will spend this season on TV. He’s been hired by ESPN as a studio analyst throughout the college season – and he’ll also work on selected game broadcasts. Pearl spent last season as a commentator on Sirius-XM satellite radio. Pearl coached at UW-Milwaukee from 2001-through-’05. His Panthers made the NCAA’s Sweet 16 before he moved on to Tennessee – where he was let go in 2011 for recruiting violations.
John Frausto, the women’s tennis coach at Marian University in Fond du Lac, will also take over the men’s team in the next school year. Former men’s coach Craig Peltonen will stay with the program as an assistant for both tennis squads – and he’ll continue to be the head coach of the Marian men’s soccer team. The Marian women’s tennis team did not have a winning season until after Frausto arrived in 2003. Now, they’ve been above .500 in five-of-the-last-six years. Frausto has led the Marian tennis women to an overall mark of 50-38.
The assistant women’s golf coach at Edgewood College is moving up to the top spot. Katie Connelly will replace Gary Oftedahl, who coached both the men’s-and-women’s teams but will be in charge of only the men’s squad this fall. Connelly played her college golf at Wisconsin, graduating in 2003. She also played for four years on the Duramed Futures pro tour, before joining the Edgewood program a year ago.
Former UW-Oshkosh men’s running coach John Zupanc has been named to the U.S. Track-and-Field and Cross Country Coaches Association’s Hall-of-Fame. He’ll be inducted December 19th in Orlando along with Dick Booth, Dick Hill, Vin Lananna, Bob Pollock, and Fran Welch. Zupanc coached the Titan men’s cross country and track teams until he retired after the fall of 2010. He was named the national Division-Three cross country coach-of-the-year in 2002, and he led his teams to 20 Division-Three appearances. Oshkosh won four national cross country titles in 1988, 1990, and 2002. Zupanc was the Titans’ outdoor men’s outdoor track coach for six seasons, and won the D-3 crown in 2009. And he led Oshkosh to a Top-Four national finish in each of his five seasons in that sport.
In the Midwest League…
Wisconsin 7, Clinton 0
Beloit 5, Peoria 3
Burlington 2, Cedar Rapids 0
Kane County 5, Quad Cities 3
Fort Wayne 6, Great Lakes 1
Bowling Green 3, West Michigan 1
Lansing 9, South Bend 8
Lake County 11, Dayton 2
In the Northwoods League…
Battle Creek 10, Wisconsin 4
Lakeshore 7, Wisconsin Rapids 2
La Crosse 7, Madison 1
Green Bay 8, Eau Claire 7
Willmar 4, Rochester 2
Waterloo 10, Duluth 8
Saint Cloud 11, Alexandria 4
Thunder Bay 8, Mankato 4 in Game-One
Thunder Bay 5, Mankato 4 in Game-Two