Morning State Sports Briefs: - Arrowhead still holds top spot in AP pollWisconsin Sports
-- Hartland Arrowhead still leads the large school category in this week’s AP state high school football poll. The top six teams are all unchanged from a week ago.
Hartland Arrowhead still leads the large school category in this week’s AP state high school football poll. The top six teams are all unchanged from a week ago.
Waunakee remains second, followed by Sun Prairie, Appleton North, Marshfield, and Mequon Homestead. They’re all 6-0, along with the top eight teams in the AP’s medium school category, and the top-10 in the small school grouping. The top-four medium-sized schools kept their rankings from the week before. West De Pere remains in the No. 1 spot, followed by Walworth Big Foot, Wisconsin Lutheran, and Plymouth. Waupaca moved up one place to fifth. Fond du Lac St. Mary's Springs is still the leader of the small schools. The top seven are the same as a week ago. Eau Claire Regis is second, followed by Lancaster, Edgar, Potosi, Hilbert, and Cuba City.
Green Bay Packers’ receiver Greg Jennings might have to sit out Sunday’s game at Indianapolis, after he aggravated a groin injury in last Sunday’s home win over New Orleans. Coach Mike McCarthy said yesterday that Jennings could not run at a full stride – and the injury appears to be back to where it was a couple weeks ago. The coach said yesterday that Jennings will go through the normal rehab process, and he’ll see how he’s doing when the team starts practicing tomorrow for the Colts’ game. Unlike some previous games, Jennings’ teammates made up for his loss during the Saints’ contest. James Jones, Jordy Nelson, and Randall Cobb combined for 215 receiving yards and three touchdowns, as Jennings missed part of the second quarter and the entire second half. He did, however, manage to score a TD before leaving.
The Indianapolis Colts confirmed today that their head coach has a treatable form of leukemia. Chuck Pagano will miss at least next Sunday’s home game against the Green Bay Packers. Team president Jim Irsay said Pagano has begun four-to-six months of treatment – and it’s not likely that he’ll resume his full duties for the rest of the season. In the meantime, offensive coordinator Bruce Arians will be the Colts’ interim head coach. The 51-year-old Pagano was hired by Indianapolis in January, after he ran Baltimore’s defense. Team officials said Pagano said acute myeloid leukemia, in which the bone marrow produces abnormal white blood cells that interfere with healthy cells. Symptoms include weakness, weight loss, and more. Chemotherapy is among the generally-prescribed treatments. Pagano was hospitalized last Wednesday night. The Colts had a bye this past weekend. And they’ll take a 1-2 record into next Sunday’s contest against the 2-2 Packers at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Packers’ fans might not have liked some of the calls from the regular officials in yesterday’s win over New Orleans. But coach Mike McCarthy said his team’s rhythm on offense was helped immensely by the return of the experienced NFL refs that were locked out for the first three weeks of the season. McCarthy has wanted to use a no-huddle offense, but it was not possible in the first three weeks because the replacement officials often had to hold conferences with each other to discuss issues as simple as spotting the ball between plays. McCarthy said he was able to speed up the game yesterday because of quote, “the professionalism, the communication, the management of the game – it was definitely a totally different atmosphere.” If the fans thought the regular refs would be perfect, they got their first disappointment mid-way through the first quarter – when New Orleans receiver Marques Colston appeared to push off a Packer defender in scoring a touchdown. Several other calls were targeted by the crowd as well. But McCarthy said quote, “Let’s not be foolish here – there’s going to be calls every week that not everybody agrees with.”
Even with a healthy Montee Ball, University of Wisconsin football coach Bret Bielema says he’ll try to get running backs Melvin Gordon and James White more involved in Saturday’s game at Illinois. The senior Ball scored three touchdowns in last weekend’s 30-27 Badger loss at Nebraska. But he only averaged two-point-eight yards a carry – and Ball had all but three of Wisconsin’s 35 rushing attempts. Gordon had two carries for five yards. White had one carry, and lost five yards. Bielema says there are a number of plays he’s considering for White and Gordon – and the coach said yesterday, quote, “We’re kind of trying to keep to task on that.” Wisconsin and Illinois are both 0-1 in the Big Ten Leaders Division heading into Saturday’s contest at Champaign. Wisconsin is 3-2 overall, while the Illini is at 2-3. Also yesterday, UW assistant coach Charlie Partridge said Jack Russell would most likely handle just kickoffs next Saturday at Illinois – while Kyle French takes over the field-goal and extra point duties.
The UW-Whitewater football team dropped one place to fifth in the new Division-Three poll from D3football.com. The three-time defending national champion Warhawks went down 14-0 last Saturday for the first time since 2008. And they came back to win at UW-Platteville by one point, 27-26. It was Platteville’s first loss after three victories, and the Pioneers dropped one place in the new poll to No. 14. Whitewater is also 3-1 – and the four teams above them in the poll are all 4-0. Mount Union remains on top, followed by Mary Hardin-Baylor, Linfield, and Saint Thomas. UW-Oshkosh rose two spots to No. 19. The Titans are 4-0 after a 19-7 win at River Falls.
A northern Wisconsin woman has started to coach U.S. cross-country skiers for the Special Olympics World Winter Games early next year in South Korea. Bonnie Kahn of Tomahawk was the Special Olympics coach-of-the-year in 2001. Now, she’s making her fifth appearance as a coach for Team USA. Kahn is working with three skiers from Wisconsin, Illinois, and Delaware. They’ve started their training separately, and they’ll meet for the first time in Lake Placid, New York in December. The World Winter Special Olympics will take January 29th through Feb. 5.
Tickets went on sale yesterday for the outdoor game by the University of Wisconsin men’s hockey team. The Badgers will play Minnesota on February 17th at Soldier Field in Chicago in the Hockey City Classic. The double-header also features Notre Dame against Miami. The Inter-Sport promotional firm is putting on the event – and it hopes to attract hockey fans throughout the Midwest.
Steve Stricker of Madison rose one place to 11th in the new World Golf Rankings, despite his struggles at the Ryder Cup. Stricker and his U.S partner Tiger Woods lost all three of their matches on Friday and Saturday near Chicago. And yesterday, Stricker lost to Germany’s Martin Kaymer in the singles’ matches – and Stricker’s match was the deciding one in Europe’s victory over the U.S. as the American team blew an eight-point lead. Stricker traded places with Louis Oosthuizen in the World Rankings. Oosthuizen dropped one place to 12th. Rory McIlroy remains atop the World Rankings. Tiger Woods is second, followed by Luke Donald and Lee Westwood.
The Marquette University women’s soccer team is still undefeated in the Big East, after blanking Cincinnati at home Sunday 5-0. Junior Meagan Kelly scored a hat trick, as the Golden Eagles improved to 5-0 in the conference and 9-2-1 overall.
The University of Wisconsin women played to a scoreless draw Sunday at Ohio State. Junior goal-keeper Genevieve Richard had a career-high six saves for the Badgers. They’re now 1-3-1 in the Big Ten, and 7-4-1 overall.
UW-Green Bay's women's soccer team was shut out at home by Indiana State, 3-0. Aubrie Musselman, Sydney Lovelace, and Taylor Reed scored the Sycamores. Katy Pilarzyk had two saves for Green Bay, and Nastacia Behle had one save. The Phoenix dropped to 3-7-1 overall.
The Marquette University volleyball team is now 3-0 in Big East Conference play. That’s after the Golden Eagles won at De Paul Sunday, three games to none. Holly Mertens had a .667 hitting percentage with 13 kills for Marquette, which is now 12-3 overall.