ANADARKO, OKLA. > FOOTBALL
Sheldon, a senior running back at Anadarko High, had 286 total yards and five touchdowns to lead the Warriors to a 35--18 win over Cascia Hall for the Warriors' first 3A title. His 47-yard TD catch late in the third quarter sparked a comeback from an 18--8 deficit; he sealed the win with an interception on Cascia's final offensive play. The performance capped a year in which he set state season records for rushing (57) and total TDs (64). He was the state's rushing leader, with 3,335 yards for the year.
December 26, 2011
LEE'S SUMMIT, MO. > SOCCER
Simonin, a senior defender and captain at Memphis, repeated as Conference USA's defensive player of the year and was named Lowe's Senior CLASS Award winner for NCAA Division I women's soccer. She had six goals and five assists while anchoring a defense that had 15 shutouts and allowed .53 goals per game. The Tigers had a team-best 22-1-1 record, and Simonin was named a National Soccer Coaches Association of America first-team All-America.
COLUMBUS, OHIO > SOCCER
Wall, a senior forward at Ohio Wesleyan, scored a first-half goal in the Battling Bishops' 4--0 NCAA Division III semifinal win over Montclair State and another in a 2--1 title-game victory over Calvin, to be named the tournament's most outstanding offensive player. The championship win gave coach Jay Martin the record for career victories across all divisions of college soccer (608). Wall, a 2010 All-America with 19 goals and 15 assists this season, is an NSCAA national player of the year candidate.
HUNTSVILLE, ALA. > GOLF
Michaela, a fourth-grader at Jones Valley Elementary, shot a six-over-par final round of 78—highlighted by a 60-foot birdie putt on the 11th hole—to become the youngest winner in the 49-year history of Valley Hill Country Club's women's championship. In August she tied for fourth among nine-year-old girls at the U.S. Kids Golf World Championship, and last May she was named the third- to fifth-grade girls' player of the year by the All-American Junior Golf Tour for the second straight season.
LUBBOCK, TEXAS > BASKETBALL
Parker, a 5'9" senior point guard at Trinity Christian School, collected his third straight tournament MVP honor of the season, leading the undefeated Lions to the Canyon Classic title with 20 points in a 66--42 win over El Paso Andress. A week earlier he led the Lions to their fourth straight Catclaw Classic crown, and last month he broke the 2,000-career-points mark (2,329 through Sunday) with 26 in an 80--45 win over Frisco Liberty on the way to the Ponder High Tournament championship.
CINCINNATI > VOLLEYBALL
Morgan, a senior at Niagara, had 19 digs to help the Purple Eagles defeat Fairfield for their third straight Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference title, earning MAAC Libero of the Year honors. She then posted 19 digs in a first-round NCAA tournament loss, ending her career with an NCAA-record 130 straight matches with double-digit digs—every match in her four-year career. Morgan broke her own single-season digs school record this season (710) and finished as Niagara's career digs leader (2,406).
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Pau'er to The Core
The back-to-basics moves that got Pau Gasol game-ready
Lakers strength coach Tim DiFrancesco employs a system of infant-like maneuvers, dubbed primitive patterns, to help forward Pau Gasol shake off his off-season cobwebs. Try this deceptively difficult upper-body roll to activate your core and improve its neuromuscular connections to your limbs.
REACH FOR THE SKY
Lying on your back with one arm above your head, lift the opposite arm straight in the air.
While looking at your hand, reach the raised arm across your body and roll over, using only your core.
Finish flat on the floor with your arms outstretched in a Superman pose.
... AND BACK AGAIN
Raise the same arm and repeat in reverse, still using only your core, to roll back to your original position.
THEY SAID IT
"Chemistry is something that you don't just throw in the frying pan and mix it up with another something, then throw it on top of something, then fry it up and put it in a tortilla and put it in a microwave, heat it up and ... expect it to taste good."
KEVIN GARNETT Celtics forward, on the difficulty of forming team chemistry during an abbreviated NBA preseason.