Scrimmage gives players chance to exhibit skills

There won’t be any fans cheering as the Missouri football team makes its way onto the field this morning. There won’t be flashy player introductions, cheerleaders or firing cannons either. No one will even be keeping score. Still, for many players seeking playing time, today’s game might be the most important of their college football careers. After a week of studying playbooks and attacking tackling dummies, the Tigers will scrimmage for the first time this fall.

Questions aplenty at Chiefs camp

RIVER FALLS, Wis. — Defensive end Jared Allen, who had a team-high nine sacks last year and was voted Kansas City’s top rookie, is fighting for his job. The 6-foot-6, 265-pound Allen found himself running second team in practice Monday morning behind Jimmy Wilkerson. Allen has not had a great training camp and did not play well in last week’s exhibition loss to Minnesota.

Fans keep Tigers busy

By the time the circus began to wind down Sunday evening, Chad Moller was thoroughly and visibly spent. While players and coaches enjoyed a rare afternoon away from the monotony of summer two-a-days, Moller, the MU director of media relations, endured a non-stop adventure from start to finish at the Missouri football team’s Media and Fan Days at Daniel J. Devine Pavilion.

Johnson plays inspired round

Chris Johnson turned to others to guide him to victory in the Kiwanis Columbia Championship golf tournament Sunday afternoon. Johnson, a 16-year-old junior at Hickman High School, said when his play failed him, he was inspired by the memory of three friends who died last year.

Woods keeps Cards in check

CHICAGO — Mark Prior got relief from Kerry Wood, and the Chicago Cubs won another game from the NL Central-leading St. Louis Cardinals. Prior (8-4) threw 123 pitches in six innings for the win while Wood had his longest stint since being sent to the bullpen, two shutout innings with four strikeouts, and the Cubs held on through a shaky ninth for a 5-4 victory Sunday night.

Coleman not complaining

Long after most of the Missouri football players had happily made their way through the lobby of the Tom Taylor building and into the cafeteria for lunch early Saturday afternoon, junior quarterback Brandon Coleman emerged from a long hallway, quiet and alone. It’s been a long, lonely walk for Coleman in his three years at Missouri. Recruited out of North Miami High School in Florida, he arrived in Columbia just in time to get a front-row seat to the start of the Brad Smith Show. Since 2002, when Smith burst onto the national college football scene after becoming the second player in Division 1-A history to pass for 2,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in a season, Coleman has found himself lower on the depth chart, waiting for the opportunity to step into a starting role.

Defensive line repositions

When Lorenzo Williams first stepped on to Faurot Field two years ago, he couldn’t have guessed he would end up on Missouri’s interior defensive line. A standout linebacker at Midwest City High School in Oklahoma, Williams said he weighed only 225 pounds when he joined the Tigers. Last spring, though, the sophomore with career aspirations in the medical field, was called upon to repair the hole in the heart of the Missouri defense left by the sudden departure of C.J. Mosley for the NFL.

Johnson set for final round

Chris Johnson leads the Kiwanis Columbia Championship golf tournament after shooting a 2-over-par 72 in the second round of the three-round tournament Saturday at A.L. Gustin Golf Course. Dee Sanders had led after shooting a 2-under par 69 in the opening round Friday at Lake of the Woods Golf Course with Johnson (70) in second. Sanders shot 74 on Saturday to fall one shot back.

Gaining speed

With the loss of Thomson Omboga to graduation, the Tigers lost 39 catches, but junior receiver Brad Ekwerekwu said the receivers will not lose much in the end. “We’re all still strong,” he said.

Gateway’s Dessau still gets fans’ favor

The applause was as steady as it would have been two months ago, when Erik Dessau was one of the good guys. Fans in Columbia don’t forget about former Tigers.

Cub veteran contains Cards

CHICAGO – Greg Maddux worked hard for victory No. 314, then rejected talk about his retirement. The four-time Cy Young Award winner pitched his first complete game in more than a year to lead the Chicago Cubs to an 11-4 victory against the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday, tying Gaylord Perry for 16th on the career wins list.

Tigers plan to keep optimistic

As the August sun rose over Memorial Stadium and the Missouri football team Wednesday morning, thoughts of the colossal disappointment of last season were a distant memory. After all, it had been nearly a year since the Tigers went from preseason Top 25, to one of the biggest lemons in the Big 12 Conference. Nearly a year since running back Damien Nash publically critized his coaches’ play-calling, sparking a media frenzy and hurting team morale.

Marshall Maverick gets shot at spotlight

Pat Imig need not worry about getting Wally-Pipped. The Mavericks’ master of ceremonies, alias Joe Sportsfan, had scheduled Wednesday as a night off a month in advance to attend the 311 concert at Mizzou Amphitheater.

Cards sweep Brewers

MILWAUKEE - Ben Sheets was pitching too well for his own good. With Sheets having thrown 65 pitches against St. Louis on Wednesday, Milwaukee manager Ned Yost chose not to pinch hit for his ace when the Brewers, trailing by a run, had runners at the corners with one out in the seventh inning.

K.C. ties loss record

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Grady Sizemore hit a grand slam and added an RBI single to power Cleveland past Kansas City 6-1 Wednesday night, handing the hapless Royals their team record-tying 12th straight loss. C.C. Sabathia (8-9) went six innings, giving up seven hits and one run, with six strikeouts and one walk. After losing 4-3 to New York in their last home game, the Indians are 5-0 on a six-game trip to Detroit and Kansas City.

Daniel Boone All-Stars fall short at regionals

The Daniel Boone National League All Stars from Columbia lost to Harney from South Dakota 2-1 at the Little League Baseball Midwest Regional Tournament on Tuesday. Daniel Boone National will be eliminated from the tournament if Harney defeats Hillside from Nebraska today.

A running candidacy

Ever since the University of Missouri football team’s collapse down the stretch of a 2004 season that was supposed to be its most promising in years, the questions surrounding this year’s team have been swift and plentiful. Perhaps the most enticing question though, in a preseason loaded with them, is who will be starting at tailback when the Tigers open their season Sept. 3 against Arkansas State at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.

Smith makes’s top gamebreaker list

Missouri football fans have known quarterback Brad Smith is an explosive talent since Smith ran for 138 yards and a touchdown in his first college game. He led Missouri to a 33-20 upset of Illinois to jumpstart his freshman season. But now Sports Illustrated’s Web site,, has recognized it, naming the MU senior the No. 10 gamebreaker in college football. Other Big 12 Conference players in the top 15 are Texas quarterback Vince Young (No. 3), Texas A&M quarterback Reggie McNeal (No. 7), and Texas Tech tailback Taurean Henderson (No. 15).

Mavs’ skid extends to five

The glass has been half empty for the Mavericks since they began the season 0-10. They’ll take whatever positives they can. It doesn’t matter if they’re trivial, or even if they come from outside the baseball diamond.

Rookie Reyes keeps Cards rolling

MILWAUKEE – On any other pitching staff, Anthony Reyes would have earned an encore. The St. Louis Cardinals’ top pitching prospect threw 6 1/3 innings of two-hit ball in his major league debut but didn’t have much time to celebrate his 5-2 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday because the club planned to send him back to Triple-A Memphis in the morning. “I hope I won’t be sent down, but I know it’s going to happen,” Reyes said. “Hopefully, I showed them something where I can come back and pitch again.” That he most certainly did, allowing just two ...