State rodeo finals in town

Goat tying, pole bending and steer wrestling are some of the events at this year’s Missouri high school rodeo finals.

The 2005 Dodge City Missouri Finals, held today through Sunday at the Boone County Fairgrounds, includes 10 contestants from Boone County.

Royals pitch solidly to win

KANSAS CITY — Jose Lima pitched eight solid innings for his first victory in 14 starts and Emil Brown drove in two runs Thursday night in Kansas City’s 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Announcer returns to Taylor Stadium

To hear Florence manager Jamie Keefe tell it, Jeff Johnson, the team’s radio voice, is Superman.

“He’s outstanding,” Keefe said. “First of all, he’s, in my eyes, probably the best broadcaster in the league. But, more importantly, he throws good BP. And he’s a good sales guy.”

Loyal fans star in Tigers’ commercial

Jack Frier’s persistence finally paid off. At 4 p.m. Wednesday, he was one of about 50 Missouri football fans who showed their enthusiasm for the Tigers in a commercial to promote the upcoming season. It was the second attempt to shoot the commercial after bad weather foiled the first try last week.

After driving from St. Louis to Columbia last week for the first attempt, Frier was disappointed when it was postponed. However, he wasn’t going to let anything stop him from participating, not even his doctor’s orders.

Mavericks’ bats overpower Freedom

His cameo appearance was brief, but Donnie Poles’ ears were only ringing for so long.

The Mavericks’ right fielder heard praise as he filled his cup from the Powerade jug in the corner of the dugout before Mid-Missouri’s 12-3 win over Florence Tuesday night.

Rookies help Royals pull away from Dodgers

KANSAS CITY — Rookie Shane Costa’s first major league home run snapped a fifth-inning tie and led the Royals past Los Angeles 3-2 Tuesday night in the first game the Dodgers ever played in Kansas City.

David DeJesus hit a two-run homer in the first for the Royals, who improved to 9-4 under new manager Buddy Bell. They were 8-25 when Tony Pena resigned on May 10.

Firing on all Pistons

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — The defending champion Detroit Pistons got a burst of life, and so did the NBA Finals.

Playing with a furious energy that was nowhere to be found in the first two games, Ben Wallace and Richard Hamilton led the way as the Pistons won 96-79, thoroughly outplaying the San Antonio Spurs in the second half of Game 3 Tuesday night.

Blue Jays edge Cards

TORONTO — Roy Halladay says he feels he is pitching as well as he did in 2003, when he won the American League Cy Young Award. The statistics show he is better.

Halladay pitched a five-hitter for his major league-leading fifth complete game, and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-1 on Monday night.

U.S. Open Test Approaches

PINEHURST, N.C. — Four days ago, Conrad Ray was getting ready for the summer golf camp at Stanford University, where he just finished his first year as the golf coach.

Monday morning, he was on the first tee with Tiger Woods, getting ready for the U.S. Open.

Giddens’ future at KU uncertain

OLATHE, Kan. — Kansas fans who are finally getting over that embarrassing loss to little Bucknell have something new to grate on their nerves.

It’s not clear whether J.R. Giddens, the Jayhawks leading returning scorer who is recovering from a knife wound he suffered in a fight outside a Lawrence bar, will be allowed to rejoin the team. And it’s not clear he should.

Edwards flips again

Carl Edwards turned his first laps at Pocono Raceway playing a video game.

He paid attention, and when it came time for the real thing, nobody was better.

Spurs bolt by Pistons

Two steps quicker, two games ahead.

The San Antonio Spurs were at their best Sunday night in Game 2 of the NBA Finals, speeding out to a big early lead and frustrating the Detroit Pistons the rest of the way in a 97-76 victory for a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven championship round.

Good Clean Fun

The drivers’ fresh sunburns clashed with their bright orange shirts. Tearing down one of Columbia’s main thoroughfares in their colorful six-foot-long cars livened up the downtown considerably Sunday.

“Get off the track!” yelled several in the crowd at the 2005 Mid-Missouri All-American Soap Box Derby as an unsuspecting cyclist wandered onto the course on Broadway between Seventh Street and Providence Road.

Chung shines at Hagan

D.J. Chung made it look easy.

Chung, the 2003 champion and No. 6 seed, needed only 28 holes to beat his two opponents Sunday at the Francis Hagan Match Play Championship, including vanquishing the defending champion.

Barrel racing on their minds

If you ride horses you probably know the Schneider family.

Jeff, Nanette, Katie and Jacob Schneider have been riding horses for most of their lives. Not only do they win state awards for barrel racing, but they train and sell horses as well.

Former champions lead pack in Hagan

There were 110 golfers who took part in the qualifying round for the Francis Hagan Match Play Championship on Saturday at Lake of the Woods Golf Course. David McDonald, Dee Sanders and Scott Sasek led the field with low rounds of even par 71.

The qualifying round cut the field down to 64 for the start of match play competition today. Two rounds are scheduled to narrow the field to 32 with the final rounds set for next weekend.

New season, new uniforms

When the Missouri football players take on Arkansas State in this season’s opener, they will sport a new style that has been in the works for over a year.

“A little over a year ago, we decided it was time for a new look,” said Director of Equipment Operations Don Barnes.

Players test table tennis talent

Will Todd has known table tennis his entire life.

His father taught him the sport when he was 2 by attaching a net to a coffee table. When he was 6, the Columbia native was the No. 1 player in the nation for his age group, and he has since lost count the number of times he won the under-17 state tournament.

Royals waste shot at rare road sweep

SAN FRANCISCO — Felipe Alou frequently speaks of “stopping the bleeding.” Perhaps the San Francisco Giants have bandaged their troubles for a day.

Edgardo Alfonzo hit a go-ahead single in the sixth inning and pinch-hitter Pedro Feliz added a key two-run double, helping San Francisco snap a six-game home losing streak with a 9-7 victory against the Kansas City Royals on Thursday.

Cards challenge slipping Yankees

ST. LOUIS — After taking two of three from the team that swept them in the World Series, the St. Louis Cardinals move on to an even higher-profile series.

Next up, the slumping New York Yankees for a three-game weekend series in their first-ever regular-season visit to town.