Thursday State Sports Briefs: Stricker okay after cart accidentWisconsin Sports
-- Madison golfer Steve Stricker is okay, after he jumped out of a moving cart that slid sideways down a hill. It happened yesterday during a practice round at the Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club.
CHICAGO - Madison golfer Steve Stricker is okay, after he jumped out of a moving cart that slid sideways down a hill. It happened yesterday during a practice round at the Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club.
Assistant U.S. captain Scott Verplank was driving the cart when it fell out of control. Stricker’s caddie, Jimmy Johnson, was thrown from the vehicle – and Stricker’s golf clubs and bag went flying as the cart did a 360 on the hill. Stricker said he bailed out and ran down the rest of the hill. It happened when Verplank drove down a steep bank on the grass – and he slid when he hit the brake to slow down. Stricker had just hit his tee shot on the Par-three 17th hole at Medinah Country Club – where he and the rest of the U.S. team will play against a European squad beginning. tomorrow.
A high school guard from New Mexico has decided to play his college basketball at Marquette. Several reports said John Dawson gave a verbal commitment yesterday without visiting the Milwaukee campus. The 6-2 Dawson is regarded as a passing-minded point guard. He had 16 points, seven rebounds, and four assists in a New Mexico state high school semi-final game last spring. Dawson chose Marquette over Texas-El Paso, Creighton, Auburn, Wyoming, and Colorado State. He would round out Marquette’s next recruiting if center Chris Otule receives a medical waiver that lets him return for a sixth year. He missed almost all of the 2009-10 campaign with a broken foot.
There’s a new Division-One leader in this week’s state high school volleyball poll from the coaches association. Milwaukee Divine Savior Holy Angels moved into the top spot, after beating former-No. 1 Burlington in the finals of a tournament last weekend. Burlington dropped to second in the new poll, followed by Milwaukee Pius XI, Neenah, and Westosha Central. East Troy leads Division 2, followed by Kettle Moraine Lutheran and Waukesha Catholic Memorial. Oostburg tops the Division 3 poll, with Oconto and Spencer in second-and-third. And Burlington Catholic Central is the leader in Division 4, followed by Clayton and Owen-Withee.
Green Bay Packers’ defensive back Charles Woodson spoke to his teammates yesterday, as they returned to practice to get ready for Sunday’s home matchup against New Orleans. The 15-year NFL veteran said the Packers cannot perceive themselves as victims after Monday’s officiating debacle which resulted in Green Bay’s loss at Seattle. Woodson told his teammates not to blame anybody but themselves for their two-point defeat – and he reminded the players that they dictate the game. He told them quote, “Just play football.” Linebacker A.J. Hawk said the Packers should not have put themselves in a position to lose on the final play – and had they played better early on, the game could have been more out of reach. Coach Mike McCarthy said emotions are fine, except for self-pity. Corner Tramon Williams said he agreed with Woodson that the Packers cannot play the blame game – except to blame themselves for leaving the door open for the Seahawks to win. Only one Packer did not practice yesterday. Rookie safety Sean Richardson was out with a hamstring. Right tackle Bryan Bulaga was limited with a knee problem. Linebacker Jamari Lattimore was back at practice, after missing most of the last three weeks with a bad ankle.
University of Wisconsin defensive end David Gilbert expects to start in Saturday night’s Big Ten opener at Nebraska. Gilbert went through a full practice yesterday, after he injured a toe in last Saturday’s win over Texas-El Paso. Defensive line coach Charlie Partridge said Gilbert look great in yesterday’s workout. Defensive end Brendan Kelly did not practice, and Partridge is not optimistic that he’ll be ready for the Nebraska game. Kelly has missed two of Wisconsin’s last three contests with a hamstring injury. Meanwhile, running back Montee Ball is expected to go through a full practice today as he gets over a head injury from last week. Ball practiced yesterday, but defenders could not have contact with him. Both Wisconsin and Nebraska are 3-1 going into Saturday night’s contest.
Former Packers’ running back Ryan Grant had his first practice with the Washington Redskins yesterday. He agreed to a contract late yesterday, and the Redskins announced the signing today. Grant was acquired to help an injury-riddled Washington backfield. Running back Roy Helu was placed on injured reserve, which means he’s out for the year with turf-toe in his left foot. Helu had only two carries for two yards this season, plus seven catches for another 45 yards. Grant is the Number-one backup for Redskins’ starting tailback Alfred Morris. Grant became a free agent this year after five seasons with the Packers in which he rushed for more than four-thousand yards and 25 touchdowns.
Former Brewers’ closer Eric Gagne writes in a new book that he used enough human growth hormone to quote, “ruin my health, tarnish my reputation, and throw a shadow over the extraordinary performances of my career.” Gagne’s book is called “Game Over – The Story of Eric Gagne.” He won the Cy Young Award in 2003 and converted a Major League-record 84 straight save opportunities with the Los Angeles Dodgers, where he played for eight-of-his-10 seasons. He had elbow surgery in 2005, and he later played with Texas and Boston before spending his final year with the Brewers. Gagne struggled in his only season with the Crew, when he went 4-and-3 with 10 saves and a 5.44 ERA. At his low point, he publicly questioned whether he should keep the closer’s job – and former Brewers’ manager Ned Yost yanked him after making that comment. Baseball’s “Mitchell Report,” which uncovered Gagne’s use of HGH, came out just after he signed with Milwaukee. It was two years later when he first admitted publicly that he took the hormone. In the book, Gagne said that 80-percent of his former Dodger teammates had used performance-enhancing drugs. He did not name them.
The University of Wisconsin men’s hockey team is picked to finish fourth in the WCHA this season. That’s according to an annual pre-season media poll commissioned by a Duluth radio station. Defending conference champion Minnesota is picked to repeat, with North Dakota second and Denver third. Badgers’ forward Mark Zengerle made the pre-season all-conference squad, after being named to the league’s third team last spring. Incoming Wisconsin freshman forward Nic Kerdiles took second in the voting for the pre-season rookie of the year.
The UW-Milwaukee men’s soccer team is 4-4, after losing a double-overtime match at Bowling Green Tuesday, 2-1. Danny Baraldi scored the game-winner on a penalty kick in the 103rd minute. Laurie Bell scored the only goal for UWM.
Emily Goebert of Carroll University in Waukesha is the Midwest Conference volleyball player-of-the-week on offense. The senior outside hitter had 46 kills and 32 digs to lead Carroll to a 3-2 record last week. Goebert had 19 kills and 10 digs in the final match at the Gargoyle Classic in Chicago. Kylea Weber of Cornell was the league’s top player on defense. Also, Morgan Zuleger of Carroll is the women’s golfer-of-the-week. Zuleger, a junior, shot a team-best 83 to help Carroll take second at the UW-Whitewater invitational. She tied for fifth among the individuals.