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NCAA Football

Kolby Watts Feels Right At Home With The Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions

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Kolby Watts has made his decision and decided to become an Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lion.

He committed to the Golden Lions on Saturday, Jan. 21 after taking a visit to the university that same day.

“They welcomed me [on the spot]. The day they saw me, they wanted to put me in the family that quick and there’s a lot of former teammates at DeSoto that also go there. I can have a good relationship with them while going to get a good education,” he said.

The 5’11, 200 pound, Desoto, TX native said that he can bring a determined student-athlete to Arkansas-Pine Bluff with a will to win and he will do anything to do so. He also said that he wants to be a physical therapist as a backup plan or second career after football.

Kolby Watts will be joining a Golden Lions team that went 1-10 (1-8 SWAC) in 2016. Watts won a state championship with DeSoto High School in 2016 as the DeSoto Eagles capped off a perfect 16-0 season with a 38-29 victory over Steele High School (Cibolo, TX) in the championship game.

“Oh man, winning a state championship and all that stuff, we’ve been trying to win that for years. Ever since we moved to DeSoto that has been one of the many goals we’ve tried to achieve. Winning a state championship really helped bring back life to the community,” Watts said. “The city needed it, they earned it. Coming to the games and all that stuff, they always do. The support we always get from them, DeSoto needed this.”

Watts finished his football career at DeSoto with 258 tackles (183 solo), nine tackles for loss, seven pass breakups, five sacks, five fumble recoveries, four forced fumbles, and two interceptions. He also earned a Texas 6A All-State Honorable Mention, All-District 7-6A Defensive MVP, and a 2016 SportsDayHS First Team Defense selection.

“Probably my height. People would overlook me and things like that but I try my best to play bigger than what I really am and let people underestimate me,” Watts said about he has had to overcome. Check out his senior year highlights

Off the field, he had help from DeSoto Linebackers Coach Brian Stansberry to mold him into the young man he is today.

“I would probably say my linebackers coach, Coach Stansberry because coming into DeSoto, he really took charge at becoming a mentor in my life. Without a father in my life, he showed me how to be a man. Showing me different things, different ways, and skills I could learn when I get older.”

Stansberry describes Watts as someone with tremendous character and a person who wants to be better every day. He mentioned family as a big part of Watts’s life being that he always wants to spend time with his mother and sister. As far as his relationship with Watts, Stansberry had this to say.

“Kolby and I have spent time helping senior citizens in the DeSoto community with yard work. We have spent time hanging out with my family, cooking food and watching football several times throughout the year,” he said.

Watts demonstrated his leadership skills to Stansberry in a playoff game where DeSoto was behind for most of it.

“I witnessed him passionately encouraging his teammates on the sideline to believe and we ended up victorious,” he said.

DeSoto Defensive Coordinator Mark Howeth said that Kolby Watts deserved to be an All-State Linebacker for his play during DeSoto’s playoff run. He caught Howeth’s attention in the spring of his sophomore year.

“He was undersized and did not really look the part of an inside linebacker.  However, he was not one to particularly care about his size.  He was extremely physical and proved to be very durable.”

DeSoto has a reputation for players like Watts and Taylor Young who Howeth also mentioned. Watts has always had the gifts but the ability to develop those gifts into what he became is what Howeth believed stood out most.

Kolby Watts likes to be able to get downhill from his linebacker spot and put a hit on somebody in addition to being the one in charge of calling plays and making adjustments so the defense is in the best situation.

“My deceptiveness, I got deceptive speed. People think they can outrun me but I’ll come around and I’m right there behind them,” Watts said about what the best part of his game is.

He does recognize, however, that he needs to pay attention more to the fundamentals of the game and he wants to learn more than what he already knows especially when it comes to shedding blocks.

Kolby Watts is going to miss the feeling of Friday night lights on the big D at Eagle Stadium.

“…I have to say that’d be the most memorable moment because having your teammates behind you, the coaching staff and all the supportive fans, the community all out on a Friday night taking their time out to come see us play, I think that’s the best, most memorable part,” he said.

NCAA Basketball

Louisiana Tech Sports Facilities Damaged by Tornado

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A deadly tornado, which has been linked to the death of at least 5 people across two states, damaged several sports facilities located on the campus of Louisiana Tech, according to ESPN.

While no injuries have been reported among the students at the school, two people were killed when the storm ripped through Ruston, Louisiana and caused a tree to fall onto their home.

The school is closed on Thursday and Friday, and the following images were shared on Twitter by the Athletic’s Department, showcasing some of the damage.

National Weather Service hydrologist C. S. Ross said that the deadly tornado cut a track over 130 miles from eastern Texas to near the Louisiana-Arkansas border.

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NCAA Football

Ex-Oregon Duck Doug Brenner Sues Willie Taggart, NCAA, University for $11.5 Million

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Former Oregon Ducks offensive lineman Doug Brenner has filed a lawsuit against the NCAA, University of Oregon, former Ducks’ head coach Willie Taggart, and former Ducks’ strength coach Irele Oderinde, for $11.5 million in alleged damages, according to The Oregonian’s James Crepea.

Per the report:

“Brenner’s attorneys allege the University of Oregon was negligent for failing to prohibit, regulate or supervise the workouts, which they describe as ‘physical punishment regimens.’ The lawsuit also alleges that Taggart and Oderinde, both now at Florida State, were negligent in imposing and carrying out the workouts, and that the NCAA has failed to regulate such practices by coaches of its member institutions.”

Brenner was hospitalized last year, January 2017, with “rhabdomyolysis and subsequent injuries” after a series of intense offseason workouts, and is seeking damages for the medical bills he accrued due to the workouts, along with the “severe injuries, some of which are permanent, permanent renal injury, a shortening of his life span by upwards of 10 years, increased susceptibility of kidney failure, kidney disease, and death, severe physical and emotional pain, [and premature death] and an impaired opportunity to play football in college and thereafter.”

The report goes on to say that offensive lineman Sam Poutasi and tight end Cam McCormick were also hospitalized with rhabdomyolysis, but neither player has been named as being a part of the lawsuit.

Taggart is now the head coach, and Oderinde is currently the strength and conditioning coach for the Florida State Seminoles.

One of the lawyers representing Brenner, Mark McDougal, said the following about the workouts referred to in the lawsuit:

“The drills were done in unison, and whenever a player faltered, vomited, or fainted, his teammates were immediately punished with additional repetitions. A key goal of this lawsuit is to force the NCAA to ban these kinds of punishing, abusive workouts. These workouts are contrary to NCAA guidelines for protecting players from injury and death. The NCAA needs to enact and enforce regulations that outlaw these practices.”

 

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MLB

Hurricane Florence Could Impact A Number of Games

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Hurricane Florence could threaten a number of games scheduled this week as the major storm system continues to threaten the United States Eastern Coast.

According to USA Today Sports, here are the games that could be impacted by the pending storm:

NFL

Sunday, Sept. 16

Carolina at Atlanta, 1 p.m.
Philadelphia at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m.
Indianapolis at Washington, 1 p.m.
New England at Jacksonville, 4:25 p.m.

College football

Wednesday, Sept. 12

Campbell at Coastal Carolina, 2:00 (rescheduled from Saturday)

Thursday, Sept. 13

Boston College at Wake Forest, 7:30

Saturday, Sept. 15 

Georgia Southern at No. 2 Clemson, 3:30
Middle Tennessee at No. 3 Georgia, 7:15
No. 13 LSU at No. 7 Auburn, 3:30
East Carolina at No. 11 Virginia Tech, 12:20
No. 15 West Virginia at North Carolina State, 3:30
No. 18 Central Florida at North Carolina, 12:00
Ohio at Virginia, 3:00
Southern Miss at Appalachian State, 3:30
Colorado State at Florida, 4:00
Old Dominion at Charlotte, 6:00
Norfolk State at Liberty, 6:00
Marshall at South Carolina, 7:30

MLB

Wednesday, Sept. 12

Miami at N.Y. Mets, 4:10, Game 2 TBA
Oakland at Baltimore*, 7:05
Washington at Philadelphia*, 7:05
Toronto at Boston, 7:10

Thursday, Sept. 13

Chicago Cubs at Washington*, 4:05
Oakland at Baltimore*, 7:05
Miami at N.Y. Mets, 7:10
Toronto at Boston, 7:10

Friday, Sept. 14

Chic. White Sox at Baltimore, 7:05
Miami at Philadelphia*, 7:05
Toronto at N.Y. Yankees*, 7:05
N.Y. Mets at Boston, 7:10
Washington at Atlanta*, 7:35

Saturday, Sept. 15

Washington at Atlanta*, 1:05
N.Y. Mets at Boston, 4:05
Toronto at N.Y. Yankees*, 4:05
Chicago White Sox at Baltimore, 7:05
Miami at Philadelphia*, 7:05

Sunday, Sept. 16

Chicago White Sox at Baltimore, 1:05
N.Y. Mets at Boston, 1:05
Toronto at N.Y. Yankees*, 1:05
Miami at Philadelphia*, 1:35
Washington at Atlanta*, 1:35

*- games with playoff implications

Minor League Baseball

Wednesday, Sept. 12
Carolina League: Potomac (Va.) at Buies Creek (N.C.), 1:05

Thursday, Sept. 13
Carolina League: Buies Creek (N.C.) at Potomac (Va.). 7:05
International League: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Pa.) at Durham (N.C.), 7:05

Friday, Sept. 14
Carolina League: Buies Creek (N.C.) at Potomac (Va.), 7:05
International League: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Pa.) at Durham (N.C.) 7:05

Saturday, Sept. 15
Carolina League: Buies Creek (N.C.) at Potomac (Va.), 6:35
International League: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Pa.) at Durham (N.C.), 7:05

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