Kewpies win Helias Invite

Tuesday, April 19, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 12:33 p.m. CDT, Friday, July 18, 2008

Hickman won and Rock Bridge was fifth at the Helias boys’ golf invitational on Monday at Meadow Lake Country Club in New Bloomfield.

The Kewpies scored 298, 14 shots ahead of second-place Helias.

Rolla was third with 318 and Camdenton was fourth at 319. The Bruins shot 320.

Hickman’s D.J. Chung and Helias’ Connor McHenry tied with 1-over 73s, but McHenry was medalist after a scorecard playoff.

Hickman’s Nick Wilson was third at 74. His teammates Kyle Kovar (fourth at 75) and Chris Wilson (seventh at 76) also finished in the top 10.

Thomas Schuenemeyer, who shot a 77, Mark Kollias (79) and Tim Gross (81) led Rock Bridge.

OBITUARY: Sam Mills, an undersized linebacker who became a Pro Bowl player with New Orleans and Carolina and was later an assistant coach for the Panthers, died Monday after fighting cancer for nearly two years, the Panthers said. He was 45.

Mills, who was diagnosed with cancer of the small intestine in August 2003 but continued to coach Carolina’s linebackers between chemotherapy treatments, died at his home.

A five-time Pro Bowl selection, the 5-foot-9, 225-pound Mills spent the final three seasons of his 12-year NFL career with the Panthers, beginning with their inaugural season in 1995.

There is a statue of him outside Bank of America Stadium and he is the only player in the team’s Hall of Honor. Mike McCormack, Carolina’s first team president, is the only other inductee in the Hall.

“Words are inadequate to express what Sam meant to the Panthers organization,” Carolina owner Jerry Richardson said. “We were privileged to have him as a member of our family, and we are devastated over this loss.”

Mills was diagnosed with cancer in 2003, hours before he showed up at the stadium to coach the Panthers’ linebackers in their preseason finale. It was a devastating blow to the team, which had learned two weeks earlier that linebacker Mark Fields also had cancer.

Carolina restructured its coaching duties the next week to take some of the responsibilities off of Mills during his treatment.

Originally given just a few months to live, Mills battled the cancer and didn’t miss a single game that season. He scheduled treatment for off days to cut down on his time away from the team, and he often had to coach from the press box that year to preserve his strength.

He was an inspiration to the team that season as Carolina won the NFC championship and went on to the Super Bowl.

Players wore his No. 51, along with Fields’ 58, under their jerseys that season, and Mills gave an emotional pregame speech during their playoff run.

Mills continued his treatment all of last season. He was honored by the NFL in March with the Johnny Unitas Tops in Courage Award.

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