United Rebel Sprint Series returning to Thomas County Speedway

first_imgCOLBY, Kan. – The United Rebel Sprint Series will open the 2017 season this Saturday night, May 20 at Thomas County Speedway in Colby, Kan. Last year Ty Williams tamed the semi-banked 3/8 mile oval to take the win in front of a packed house.Joining the URSS Sprint Cars will be IMCA Modifieds, Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMods, IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars, IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks and Mach-1 Sport Compacts. Hot Laps are at 6 p.m. with races kicking off at 7 p.m.With Mother Nature scoring all the checkers for the year the URSS Rebels are chomping at the bit to hit the track.last_img

Trojans finish season on the road at BYU

first_imgThe men’s volleyball team (7-17, 5-15 MPSF) will conclude their regular season this Friday and Saturday as they head to Utah to face No. 1 BYU (21-3, 17-3 MPSF), which is coming off two wins over then-No. 1 UCLA on the road last Friday and Saturday.The Trojans are coming off of a split weekend at home. Last Friday night, USC swept UC San Diego (25-20, 25-17, 25-13) but lost to No. 15 UC Irvine in straight sets (21-25, 15-25, 23-25).Junior outside hitter Lucas Yoder led the Trojans with 17 kills on the weekend. Senior middle blocker Josh Kirchner was second on the team with 13 kills.Going to BYU is always unpredictable for the Trojans. When the two schools meet, just like with USC and Hawaii, the teams play back-to-back matches.“[Traveling is] a learning experience for the younger guys,” head coach Jeff Nygaard said. “It’s a great chance to educate them on what it takes to go on that trip and play in that environment.”Playing at BYU is a challenge all of its own. Provo, Utah is just above 4,500 feet in elevation. Los Angeles is just over 200 feet in elevation. The difference in elevation alone is a difficult adjustment for teams to make, not to mention the fact that BYU is a mecca for men’s volleyball.“It’s hostile in that it’s an extremely favorable BYU crowd,” Nygaard said.“Favorable” would be an understatement. In their 10 home matches this season, BYU has averaged about 4,000 fans in attendance. In USC’s 13 home matches this season, they’ve averaged about 400 fans.BYU has a home record of 8-2 this season. Their losses were courtesy of No. 3 Stanford in mid-January and No. 6 Pepperdine in mid-March. USC has an opposite away record of 2-8. They’ve struggled this season, but especially on the road.Despite the daunting conditions, Nygaard isn’t afraid of the challenge ahead of the Trojans.“I would expect them to win,” Nygaard said. “I don’t see any reason otherwise.”Nygaard, a former UCLA men’s volleyball standout, has experience playing in BYU and knows what it’s like to head into that “hostile environment.”“I think it’s a great environment for volleyball,” Nygaard said. “I love going there and I love competing there.”As the season is drawing to a close, Nygaard shared his belief that all of the ups and downs of the season will help transition the team for next year.“Everything we’ve done this year is helping us transition for next year,” Nygaard said. “Regardless of what happens, it’s always going to transition to the next year.”The adversities of this season will aid the Trojans in becoming a more weathered, toughened team. Pair that with a longer time under Nygaard’s direction and plan, and the Trojans look to come out firing for next season.But before they can move on to any of that, they’ll have to take on the Cougars.last_img read more

Analysis: As LeBron James turns 35, the Lakers star offers glimpse into how his game will change

first_imgJames has been limited in the last week by a groin injury the Lakers have described as a contusion. While James and the team have suggested it’s not related to the injury he suffered last season, it’s had an eerily similar effect. James has enjoyed 40 dunks so far this season, but just one – a two-footed putback – came in his last three games since returning from the injury. James talked about reviving his “quick-twitch” muscles over the summer, but he’s at an age where nagging injuries can set him more off-course.His below-the-rim game, however, has helped compensate. The Lakers were restless after a less-than-aggressive Christmas outing against the Clippers that many players felt involved a lot of “around-the-horn-type” passes, as Danny Green put it. The Lakers don’t operate as well from the outside-in – getting the ball inside unlocks their offense from the interior and exterior.It starts with James. At the moment, he’s not able to do the back-it-up, clear-out-the-paint drives that have made his bruising game memorable. But he can still dive into the post and pass from there, where he still draws gravity because of his ability to hit a turnaround jump shot. But from standing in the high post, his most effective weapon is often a pass.“My role is to not only get into the paint but also facilitate the ball and get my guys looks,” James said recently. “Be there to attract multiple eyes where if I attract multiple eyes, then it’s a numbers game on the weak side. We have the ability to have a four-on-three on the weak side or sometimes a three-on-two or whatever the case may be.”His assists this season have been some of the best of his career. A preseason behind-the-head look on a fastbreak to Danny Green was, he said, one of his best ever. In Atlanta, he dished off to Dwight Howard between his legs. They aren’t dunks, but they carry their own kind of wow factor – and they help win games too.Related Articles AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersThe hairs on his face are thinning and graying, his 2003 draft class peers are drifting off into retirement, and James is still averaging 25 points, 7 rebounds and nearly 11 assists per game. In the sports realm, it might be one of the most valiant battles ever fought against Father Time: No one has ever extended those marks for a whole season when they were older than 30.And yet his groin injury last year dented a sense of invulnerability that he crafted through 15 seasons of remarkable durability. While he’s still wowed with dunks this season, stat site Cleaning the Glass reports his rim finishing is down to just 66 percent, which is the lowest its been since his rookie season. He’s getting blocked more while drawing fewer fouls, and his bullish lane drives have been less frequent than they used to be. More often, James is just as content to step back for a deep 3-pointer when he gets a favorable defensive matchup.But one facet of a game that doesn’t diminish as much with age is the very skill that made James different from a generation of hard-driving scorers: He sees the floor in a way few others do.In two wins on back-to-back nights, James gave a window into what the future version of his dominance is, threading passes behind his back, across the court, into pockets that his own teammates barely seemed to register. Combining an attacking mentality to touch the paint with a court vision that has always been a hallmark of his game, James racked up 29 assists to just three turnovers against the Trail Blazers and Mavericks.“It’s a hell of a two-game stretch,” Coach Frank Vogel said. “His pace the last two nights has been outstanding. Just in the open court, but also in the halfcourt. Not looking to settle.” After passing the 9,000-assist mark with 13 dimes on Sunday night, James thought back to the very beginning of his career when he was 9-year-old in youth basketball. His teammates couldn’t dribble and couldn’t create baskets for themselves. His coach at the time, Fran Walker, told James it was his responsibility to help them with his passing.“We won the championship the first year. We won it the second year,” he said. “I started winning and winning and winning, and it’s been instilled in me. I just knew that was the right way to play.”In one light, perhaps the more things change, the more they stay the same. As James ages, his aerial game will be less of a factor whether he’s injured or not. The passing that once drove his game before he could dunk is becoming his premier skill once again: With targets such as Anthony Davis and Kyle Kuzma and other 3-point spacers, he’s on track to lead the NBA in assists for the first time in his career.It just might be the ultimate way to steal a little more time at the top for himself, and keep “winning and winning and winning.” LOS ANGELES — When it comes to LeBron James, nothing might be more precious than time.His 35th birthday was mere hours away after a Sunday victory over the Dallas Mavericks. When he was asked about getting another year older, he protested.“I’m not 35 yet,” he said, prompting laughter from the locker room. “If I was back home then I would be 35. I live in L.A. now. Don’t count me out just yet.”Sure enough, on Monday morning, James celebrated his 35th year by posting Instagram videos from the Lakers’ practice facility, where he’s devoted to staying as youthful as he can for as long as he can. While discussing time zones, James joked that he might fly to Hawaii on Monday, giving him a few more hours as a younger man. How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs center_img Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions last_img read more

Oklahoma didn’t falter as Jalen Hurts, Sooners defense led historic comeback against Baylor

first_img“It’ll be a hell of a story,” said Grinch, “if we come back and win this football game.”“We’ll just add another one to the list,” Hurts said.MORE: SN college football rankings, Week 13What seemed an impossible burden became instead an historic opportunity.Grinch rallied his defense to its finest hour, and Hurts stopped giving the ball away, leading No. 10 Oklahoma to complete the greatest rally in the program’s 125 years of football in a 34-31 victory over No. 13 Baylor.It was, as Grinch predicted, a hell of a story. It was the first time in major college history that a 9-0 team had blown a 21-point halftime lead, according to ESPN Stats & Info.“I know who they are,” said Baylor coach Matt Rhule, who watched his team’s perfect record fizzle into the Waco night. “You don’t win that many championships in a row without fighting back. I expected it to be a battle.”OU improved to 9-1 overall and 6-1 in Big 12 play, and a rematch seems likely in the Big 12 championship game on Dec. 7. With ESPN’s “College GameDay” originating from the banks of the Brazos River, and with McLane Stadium sold out all week, Baylor and its fans swarmed the Sooners early to build a 28-3 lead.Never before had an Oklahoma team come back from more than 21 down.“Y’all didn’t think we were gonna come back,” Hurts said.No one did. Except the Sooners.“You still have to make it happen,” said coach Lincoln Riley, “but the belief for a comeback like that is where it starts.”Oklahoma outscored Baylor 24-0 after halftime (17-0 in the fourth quarter), with Grinch’s defense collecting two critical takeaways — their first in 5 ½ games — and Hurts putting together his most memorable performance of the season.The Sooners also fell behind by 25 in their last road game, 48-23 at Kansas State. They rallied to within a controversial onside kick in that one but fell short. This one swung for good on Gabe Brkic’s 31-yard field goal with 1:45 to play, and ended when Nick Bonitto intercepted Charlie Brewer’s final pass with 29 seconds left.It was the Sooners’ 19th consecutive November victory — they call it “Championship November” — and it puts them within one game of earning another trip to the Big 12 Championship Game, where a fifth straight Big 12 crown awaits.MORE: College Football Playoff picture, Week 13Does it put them closer to their fourth College Football Playoff appearance in five years?Maybe. Maybe not.“You have to win,” Riley said. “I know all the people all TV talk about style points, how much you win by, how much you lose by. I just think you have to find a way to win. That’s all I know. That’s been a decent formula for us the last few years. You’ve got to win the tough ones like these.”It was as tough as anything Riley has won in his three seasons at Oklahoma, and as tough as anything Hurts won in his three seasons at Alabama. Hurts completed 30 of 42 passes for 297 yards with four touchdowns, and he did it without All-American candidate CeeDee Lamb, who missed the game with what Riley termed a “medical decision.” Hurts also rushed for 114 yards on 27 carries.Against the Big 12’s most formidable defense, Hurts’ halftime deficit seemed a Himalayan climb — especially with his two fumbles and an interception in the first half. But he pulled it off with the help of Grinch’s defense, which was similarly hapless against the Bears in the first half. Baylor scored on five of its six first-half possessions, including drives of 5 and 7 seconds after Hurts turnovers. WACO, Texas — The two men who felt most responsible for what seemed an impossible task for Oklahoma on Saturday looked each other in the eye coming out of the halftime locker room.Having surveyed the scoreboard — a 21-point deficit to Baylor — Sooners defensive coordinator Alex Grinch and quarterback Jalen Hurts sized up the situation. The second half, with Hurts hanging onto the football and Grinch’s defense forcing its first turnover in more than a month (Parnell Motley’s strip of JaMycal Hasty and Pat Fields’ recovery) and three straight three-and-outs, the Sooners surged. Oklahoma held the football for more than 41 minutes, including 24:20 in the second half alone.Meanwhile, without Lamb, Hurts delivered the football to receivers who hadn’t caught it all season: freshman tight end Austin Stogner scored twice, freshman Theo Wease opened the fourth quarter with a touchdown, and H-Back Brayden Willis tied it up at 31 with 5:25 to play on his first career touchdown. Those three had combined for just 15 catches all season.“I give our kids credit,” Riley said. “They made so many phenomenal plays. It would have been easy to pack up the tent tonight. We didn’t do it.”last_img read more