Sports Briefs: April 22, 2017
Minor League Baseball
Rockies still seeking host families
The Grand Junction Rockies are still searching for host families to house players for the upcoming 2017 season.
Host families are asked to provide a clean, safe and warm environment for a player from the team, who would stay approximately 45 nights in the home from the middle of June until the beginning of September accounting for road games. Host families will receive two tickets to each Grand Junction Rockies home game and access to host family gatherings at the stadium.
Coach happy with recruiting class
Facing the prospect of replacing two all-region players — one of whom was a first-team All-American — Colorado Mesa this week announced the signing of four incoming freshmen and four college transfers for the upcoming fall season.
The Mavericks, who finished 14-2-5 and lost all-time leading scorer Roy Abergil to graduation, got a class that coach Todd Padgett said “will add flair, athleticism technical ability and strength to our roster next year and for years to come.”
Three of them, defenders Sam Cioara and Chris Boyd and midfielder Nick Rizzo come from Gilbert, Arizona, the same hometown as goalkeeper Briley Guarneri. Cioara will transfer from Mesa Community College and Boyd from Division I Oral Roberts, the school said in a release.
Also joining the Mavs will be Demetrio Baldo, who played for a high-level developmental program in Chicago, Mesa Community College transfer Benjamin Delgadillo, Ross Elliott of Cheyenne, Wyoming, and first-team all-Centennial League midfielder Jacob Roldan of Smoky Hill. Also joining Mesa will be Freddy Fragozo, an Aurora Central grad transferring from Iowa Lakes Community College.
Snowsports advocates given honor
Five influential snow sports advocates will be inducted into the Colorado Snowsports Museum Hall of Fame, the museum announced on Friday.
Heading the inductees will be Chris Davenport, who contributed to a rise in popularity in backcountry skiing when, in 2007, he became the first person to ski all 54 of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks in one year. Another is Chris Diamond, who retired as president of Steamboat ski resort in 2015 and has since written a book about managing a resort in an ever-changing industry.
Other inductees are Vail’s Diane Boyer, the owner of SKEA Ltd., Walt Evans, the former executive director of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club who ended his 46-year involvement with ski racing with the Aspen Valley Ski Club in 2016, and Dave Stapleton, an Aspen native who helped dramatically improve safety in ski racing.
The hall of fame class will be inducted in October.
Mixed Martial Arts
Yates loses third professional bout
Grand Junction fighter Andrew Yates lost a professional bout at Legacy Fighting Alliance 10 at Massari Arena in Pueblo, as Andrew Tenneson submitted Yates with a guillotine choke 49 seconds into the first round.
The defeat brings the 28-year-old’s professional record to 10-3, all of his loses coming via submission.
Yates, who also trains fighters at Golden Fights MMA Gym, is the No. 5-ranked professional fighter in Colorado at 145 pounds.
Major League Soccer
GK Howard rips Rapids, league
DENVER — Colorado Rapids goalkeeper Tim Howard blasted his team and Major League Soccer on Friday, asking for heightened security in light of his verbal altercation with a fan that resulted in his three-game suspension.
Howard was suspended and fined an undisclosed amount last week for profane language toward a fan during a game against Sporting Kansas City and an altercation with a fan after the match, which Colorado lost 3-1.
The longtime U.S. national team star, who played with Manchester United and Everton in the English Premier League, tweeted a link to a Facebook post on Friday that began: “I want to begin by saying I am genuinely sorry for my behavior in Kansas City and I want to apologize to my fans. I let myself get too worked up after being provoked and said some things I shouldn’t have. I am at fault and certainly not a victim in this incident.”
However, Howard, continued, “after reviewing the incident in Kansas City, my league and my team chose to admonish me and suspend me for almost 10 percent of the season, but they did not say a word about the fan’s antagonistic behavior or the negligent security.”
Neither the Rapids nor MLS immediately responded to messages seeking reaction to Howard’s post.
Millican powers to early lead
BAYTOWN, Texas — Clay Millican powered his Top Fuel dragster to the qualifying lead Friday at the 30th annual Spring Nationals at Royal Purple Raceway in Baytown, Texas.
Millican, who is still searching for his first NHRA Top Fuel victory, set the track elapsed time record with his 3.722-second run at 325.69 mph during the second qualifying session.
“I got to do my favorite thing and go out there and stomp on the loud pedal,” Millican said. “I didn’t expect to go No. 1; I really didn’t. I hope it’s a typical Houston day tomorrow at 100 degrees and we stay No. 1.”
Courtney Force (Funny Car) and Jeg Coughlin Jr. (Pro Stock) were also provisional leaders in their respective categories at the fifth of 24 events on the season schedule.
Force set both ends of the track record with her 3.851 run at 330.23 during the second qualifying session in her Chevy Camaro SS Funny Car. Defending world champion Ron Capps qualified second with a 3.884 at 326.56.