NBA rule limits prep prospects

A record nine high school athletes were selected in the 2005 National Basketball Association draft in June. Next year, there will be none.

NBA players and owners agreed to enforce a new minimum age limit that requires athletes to be either 19 or wait one year after their high school class graduates before becoming eligible for the draft. The proposal was intended to better prepare players for the NBA and to improve the National Basketball Development League.

Woods roughs it, keeps lead

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland — Tiger Woods hit the ball so hard that he felt the shaft in his putter flex ever so slightly. Standing 50 paces away on the 18th green, his caddie removed the flag, backed away from the cup, then turned and raised his fist in a rare celebration Saturday at the British Open.

The ball stopped inches away for a birdie that allowed Woods to break par.

Steve Schmidt: The man of steel

Steve Schmidt has never lost a single one of his straight, perfectly aligned teeth.

Amazing for someone who uses his mouth to pull a 58,200-pound caboose.

Golf fosters special bond between father, son

Scott LaRue is autistic. His condition affects his concentration, motor skills and hand-eye coordination. But you would never know it watching him play golf.

He walks the course with purpose, smiling and always ready for his next shot. His swing, acquired with the help of his father, Jim LaRue, and several years of practice, is fluid and consistent.

Bruins learn from MSHSAA probation

Athletic administrators at Rock Bridge High School had a wake up call in the past year.

The Missouri State High School Athletics Association placed Rock Bridge on probation in February, 2004 for several minor infractions during the 2003-2004 school year. On June 15, MSHSAA removed the probation.

League revives park, brings teens together

Timothy Harris, 17, grinned as he gave his teammates high-fives and walked off the basketball court at Douglass Park Wednesday night. For him, Moonlight Hoops is about more than just playing ball. It’s about making friends.Timothy, who will be a junior at Rock Bridge High School next fall, moved to Columbia from Chicago last year.

Stairs lifts Greinke to second victory

DETROIT — Matt Stairs and Zack Greinke turned their fortunes around Thursday night.

Stairs hit two home runs, including a grand slam, and drove in six runs and Greinke won for the first time since May 31, as the Kansas City Royals beat the Detroit Tigers 12-9.

Mavericks offer no help in West’s All-Star game loss

Mid-Missouri Mavericks players had little impact on the Frontier League All-Star Game on Wednesday night at Falconi Field in Washington, Pa.

Brent Metheny started in left field and batted third, and Thomari Story-Harden started at first base and batted fourth for the West team, but both had no hits in two at-bats in a 5-4 East victory.

MU swimming, diving adds star freshmen

The Tigers added two athletes to their 2005-06 recruiting class. Gilad Kaufman of Natania, Israel, and Bryan Difford of Craighall, South Africa have joined the team to bring the number of freshmen men’s swimmers to 13.

Kaufman, the captain of the Israeli Junior National Team, is a three-time Israel National Champion, and holds five of his country’s junior records. His specialties are the butterfly and sprint freestyle events.

Local players tie at PGA

Jim Knoesel from A.L. Gustin and Scott Bess from Columbia Country Club finished in a three-way tie for 12th in the open division of the MacGregor Springfield PGA Championship on Tuesday at Panther Creek Country Club. Both shot 144 in the two-round event.

Bess tied for second with Richard Poe from Perche Creek in the senior division, where players shot two 9-hole rounds. Both shot 72.

AL continues All-Star dominance

DETROIT — Miguel Tejada, Mark Teixeira and their American League teammates gave a new-look All-Star game the same old result.

Tejada hit a home run off John Smoltz to start the scoring, Teixeira added a two-run drive off Dontrelle Willis and the AL overcame Kenny Rogers’ bumpy inning to beat the NL 7-5 Tuesday night for its eighth straight win.

Groundskeepers flock to field day

If a groundskeeper is in the spotlight, it usually means something is wrong.

On Tuesday, groundskeepers from across Missouri got to leave the background. Around 200 groundskeepers attended the MU Turfgrass Field Day at the MU South Farms.

Cahill adapts to life at Rock Bridge

Jason Cahill is not used to wearing slacks and dress shoes all day at this time of year.

He’s used to being out on the football field.

Mavs enjoying improved play

It was a start all too familiar to the Mid-Missouri Mavericks.

Following a nightmarish 2004 season in which they finished 28-66, the Mavericks lost their first 10 games of 2005.

MU improves Director’s Cup status

The University of Missouri finished the 2004-2005 athletic season ranked 41st in the nation in the United States Sports Academy Director’s Cup standings. Missouri improved on last year’s 46th-place finish and marks the second-highest finish by Missouri.

Points are award based on finishes in up to 20 sports – 10 women’s and 10 men’s – and any team that wins the national championship is awarded 100 points.

Bruins’ Martin dodges hurricane

Although Hurricane Dennis caused some of their games to be rained out, Rock Bridge pitcher Ben Martin and his teammates on the 16-year-old Mac-N-Seitz traveling baseball team had a rewarding trip to Puerto Rico last week.

The team, which played in several Puerto Rican cities and had its last game set for Friday, won its first three games but the remaining three were cancelled. However, coach Mike Lusardi said the team was never in danger.

Into the Alps

GRENOBLE, France — For Lance Armstrong and his Tour de France challengers, the true test begins now, in the thin air of the Alps, on snaking climbs lined by screaming fans.

“The mountains put everyone back in their place,” Armstrong’s team manager, Johan Bruyneel, said Monday as the 175 riders left after week one of the three-week race enjoyed their first rest day.

La Russa draws a Card to fill pitching spot

DEARBORN, Mich. — Tony La Russa found his All-Star starter on his own pitching staff.

Chris Carpenter of the St. Louis Cardinals will get the ball for the National League tonight at Detroit’s Comerica Park, capping a successful comeback from right shoulder surgery. His AL opponent on the mound will be Chicago White Sox lefty Mark Buehrle.

Back, back, back. . . gone!

DETROIT — Bobby Abreu won the Home Run Derby with a record-setting performance Monday night, hitting an astounding 24 home runs in his first turn at bat before outslugging hometown favorite Ivan Rodriguez in the finals.

Abreu also smashed the mark for total home runs with 41, besting Miguel Tejada’s 2004 total of 27 by the second round. He hit 11 in the finals, another derby record, to Rodriguez’s five in an event that lasted 3 hours, 3 minutes.


Adam and Aaron Gulley of Jonesburg got their start in motocross early.

“We would take them to the motorcycle dealership and lay the bike on its side,” said their mother, Terri Gulley. “And when they could pick it up on their own they could take it home.”