KOMU.com http://www.komu.com/ KOMU.com Football Football en-us Copyright 2016, KOMU.com. All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Mon, 26 Sep 2016 20:09:31 GMT Synapse CMS 10 KOMU.com http://www.komu.com/ 144 25 Play of the Week Winner: David Connor (Week Five) http://www.komu.com/news/play-of-the-week-winner-david-connor-week-five-/ http://www.komu.com/news/play-of-the-week-winner-david-connor-week-five-/ Football Mon, 19 Sep 2016 6:00:40 AM Samantha Hoffmann, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer Play of the Week Winner: David Connor (Week Five)

Versailles' David Connor is the winner of the Friday Night Fever week four Play of the Week. Week Six candidates will be announced during the Sunday Sports Xtra show, and will be online Sunday evening. Voting closes Friday at 3 p.m.

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Missouri loses heartbreaker, but defense breaks out against Georgia http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-loses-heartbreaker-but-defense-breaks-out-against-georgia/ http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-loses-heartbreaker-but-defense-breaks-out-against-georgia/ Football Sun, 18 Sep 2016 9:47:38 PM Corey Miller, KOMU 8 Sports Reporter Missouri loses heartbreaker, but defense breaks out against Georgia

COLUMBIA — Missouri's SEC opener against the Georgia Bulldogs was anything but tame.

Missouri was in control for the majority of the game, until Georgia freshman quarterback Jacob Eason led a last minute drive to push the Bulldogs out in front.

The Tigers had a chance to make a last-ditch drive to win the game, but wide receiver J'Mon Moore committed Missouri's 5th turnover of the game on a fumble to seal the Tigers' fate.

"I just lost focus," Moore said of the last play. "I should have had a better grip on the ball."

After the game it was evident the loss also weighed heavily on head coach Barry Odom.

"I don't do a very good job of hiding my emotions and I appreciate the work they put in," Odom said. "I'm sorry I couldn't put them in a position to win."

Players said Odom had a specific message when the team got to the locker room.

"Stay together," tight end Jason Reese said. "This game could separate us or elevate us to the next level."

Even in defeat, the team was able to make significant strides on the defensive side of the ball.

The Missouri defense held Georgia's star running back Nick Chubb to only 63 yards, and kept him out of the end zone. The last time Chubb visited Faurot Field in 2014 he torched Missouri for 143 yards.

Highly-touted defensive end Charles Harris also made his presence felt for the first time this season. Harris finished the game with three sacks (his firsts of the year) and seven total tackles.

Odom was impressed by his star pass rusher.

"He's a game changer," Odom said. "He'll continue to build on that one. He's a difference maker, he'll continue to be that way and I'm glad he's on our team."

The Tigers will surely need to build on the solid game from the defense if they hope to compete in SEC play this season.

Missouri's next match up against Delaware St. from the MEAC should prove to be an easier challenge, as the Hornets are 0-2 to start the season.



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No. 16 Georgia rallies, defeats Missouri in 2016 SEC opener http://www.komu.com/news/no-16-georgia-rallies-defeats-missouri-in-2016-sec-opener/ http://www.komu.com/news/no-16-georgia-rallies-defeats-missouri-in-2016-sec-opener/ Football Sat, 17 Sep 2016 5:08:06 PM Reese Johnson, KOMU 8 Sports Reporter No. 16 Georgia rallies, defeats Missouri in 2016 SEC opener

COLUMBIA - The No. 16 Georgia Bulldogs (3-0, 1-0 Southeastern Conference) defeated the Missouri Tigers (1-2, 0-1 SEC) in the 2016 SEC opener for both teams Saturday evening at Faurot Field. Georgia scored the go-ahead touchdown with 1:28 left in regulation for a 28-27 victory.

Mizzou took an early 10-0 lead on Georgia scoring on its first two drives. Lock found tight end Jason Reese for a 15-yard TD pass 2:07 into the game and following a quick hold by the Tigers defense, the offense drove down the field before Tucker McCann kicked a 33-yard field goal.

Georgia responded with 14 unanswered points. First, Isaiah McKenzie scored on a 6-yard touchdown rush to cap 13-play, 75-yard drive late in the first quarter. Following a three-and-out by the Tigers offense, the Bulldogs took a 14-10 lead with 12:48 to play in the first half on a two-yard bootleg touchdown pass from Eason to fullback Christian Payne.

McCann booted his second field goal of the game, a 46-yard kick on the enusing Mizzou drive to get the Tigers within a point.

The Tigers would then take a 20-14 lead with 6:30 left in the half on a 79-yard touchdown pass from Lock to J'Mon Moore on the first play following a Georgia punt.

Eason showed poise early in his first career conference start, marching Georgia down the field for a five-play, 74-yard drive ending on a 20-yard touchdown pass to McKenzie with 1:48 left in the second quarter to put the Bulldogs up 21-20 at halftime.

Coming out of the locker room, Mizzou's defense stifiled Georgia on its first two plays and Cam Hilton intercepeted Eason on 3rd and 10 with a 26-yard return down to the Georgia 6. That set up the second one-play touchdown connection of the game for Lock and Moore, a six-yard TD pass to make it 27-21 Mizzou just over a minute into the third quarter.

Following a few drives from both sides that ended in punts, Georgia's defense forced Lock into his first major mistake of the game. Juwuan Briscoe came up with an interception as Lock tried to find Moore, setting up Georgia deep in Mizzou territory. The Bulldogs would get nothing out of the short field however, as William Ham missed a 23-yard field goal attempt.

Both defenses buckled down with Georgia forcing a second interception off Lock late in the third quarter, but the Bulldogs drive stalled at the Mizzou 22-yard line as Charles Harris and the Mizzou defensive line put pressure on the offense; Harris recorded three sacks for the game. With the Georgia offense stifled, Ham came on for a 38-yard field goal and missed his second attempt of the night.

The Tigers looked as though they would add to the lead after a 15-play, 60-yard drive midway through the fourth quarter that included a steady dose of Ish Witter and Damarea Crockett, but Lock was intercepted by Quincy Mauger for a second time on an initial incompletion that was overturned by review when it was determined Mauger got a foot down in-bounds.

Mizzou's defense backed their quarterback up however. Georgia only gained 16 yards on the drive following the interception and after a targeting penalty against Georgia's Kirby Chodes on the Bulldogs punt, the Tigers started at their own 44-yard-line with 5:49 left in regulation. Choates was ejected from the game for the illegal hit on Mizzou punt returner Johnathon Johnson.

After Missouri had to punt around midfield on that drive, Georgia had 3:32 to go 80 yards for the potential go-ahead touchdown. The Bulldogs managed to do that in just over two minutes, as Eason found McKenzie for a 20-yard touchdown pass on 4th and 10 for the game's final score.

Lock threw a completion to Moore on the first play following the Georgia touchdown, but Moore fumbled the ball and the Bulldogs recovered around midfield to ensure victory.



[Author's Note: This story was updated with live updates throughout the game and has been edited to reflect the conclusion of the game.]


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Kansas City Chiefs release their third round draft pick http://www.komu.com/news/kansas-city-chiefs-release-their-third-round-draft-pick/ http://www.komu.com/news/kansas-city-chiefs-release-their-third-round-draft-pick/ Football Wed, 14 Sep 2016 9:12:09 PM Matt Vereen, KOMU 8 Sports Reporter Kansas City Chiefs release their third round draft pick

KANSAS CITY - The Kansas City Chiefs released third round pick KeiVarae Russell on Wednesday.

Russell was highly ranked in the draft coming off a senior year at Notre Dame in which he recorded 60 total tackles and two interceptions.

He was the Chiefs' second selection in the 2016 draft, but he was placed below sixth-round pick D.J. White and off-season acquisition Kenneth Acker on the defensive depth chart.

Kansas City also brought back linebacker Dezman Moses on Wednesday to try to help fill the defense.

The Chiefs gave up 21 points in the first half of their week one game against the San Diego Chargers in a 33-27 OT win. They will go on the road to Houston for week two to take on the Texans.

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Former Missouri Tiger Harold Brantley transfers to Division II http://www.komu.com/news/former-missouri-tiger-harold-brantley-transfers-to-division-ii/ http://www.komu.com/news/former-missouri-tiger-harold-brantley-transfers-to-division-ii/ Football Wed, 14 Sep 2016 8:09:58 PM Matt Vereen, KOMU 8 Sports Reporter Former Missouri Tiger Harold Brantley transfers to Division II

COLUMBIA - A former Missouri Football defensive lineman has found a new home not far from his last one. Harold Brantley announced in a tweet on Wednesday he will play for Northwest Missouri State.

The school has not confirmed Brantley's new position, but the Northwest Missourian newspaper is confirming the move.

Brantley played for Missouri for two seasons and started 16 games. In 2015, he was forced to miss his entire season due to injuries suffered in a car accident.

Brantley was dismissed from Missouri's program in early August after failing to meet academic expectations.

Brantley is eligible to play immediately because he transferring to Division II, but it is unknown whether he will play against Nebraska Kearney this weekend.



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Missouri Football announces complete 2017 schedule http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-football-announces-complete-2017-schedule/ http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-football-announces-complete-2017-schedule/ Football Tue, 13 Sep 2016 9:03:57 PM Bobby Perry, KOMU Sports Digital Producer Missouri Football announces complete 2017 schedule

COLUMBIA- The Missouri Tiger football team announced its complete 2017 schedule on Thursday night, as did the rest of the Southeastern Conference. 

The Tigers will open the season at home against former Defensive Coordinator Dave Steckel and the Missouri State Bears on September 2nd in part of a four-game homestand to open the 2017 campaign, a first since the 1908 season.

Mizzou opens conference play against South Carolina in the second game of the season on September 9th.  The month of October puts the Tigers on the road for the first time all season in an inter-divison matchup with the Kentucky Wildcats on October 7th in Lexington. 

The Tigers host Idaho for its annual Homecoming game on October 21st, which is the lone home game for Mizzou in the month. 

In November, Missouri faces three straight divisional opponents, as the Tigers face both Florida (Nov. 4th) and Tennessee (Nov. 11th) in Columbia before traveling to Nashville to face Vanderbilt on November 18th. 

Mizzou will wrap up the regular season in Fayetteville as they travel to Arkansas for the annual Battle Line Rivalry game over Thanksgiving weekend. 

Complete Schedule:

Missouri State (September 2, Columbia, MO)

South Carolina (September 9, Columbia, MO)

Purdue (September 16, Columbia, MO)

Auburn (September 23, Columbia, MO)

Kentucky (October 7, Lexington, KY)

Georgia (October 14, Athens, GA)

Idaho (October 21, Columbia, MO)

UCONN (October 28, Storrs, CT)

Florida (November 4, Columbia, MO)

Tennessee (November 11, Columbia, MO)

Vanderbilt (November 18, Nashville, TN)

Arkansas (November 25, Fayetteville, AR)

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Marching Mizzou launches season with band's first female director http://www.komu.com/news/marching-mizzou-launches-season-with-band-s-first-female-director/ http://www.komu.com/news/marching-mizzou-launches-season-with-band-s-first-female-director/ Football Wed, 3 Aug 2016 3:06:32 PM Alex Dostaler, KOMU 8 Sports Reporter Marching Mizzou launches season with band's first female director

COLUMBIA — Dr. Erin Cooper said it is "very overwhelming" to be named the first female director in Marching Mizzou history.

"It was very exciting to get that offer, and almost didn’t seem real that I was going to get to come work here and be part of the SEC," Cooper said.

She was named director of athletic bands at the University of Missouri on July 13. Cooper is the first female director in the program's history and one of only two current female directors in the SEC. The other, Elva Kaye Lance, serves as director of bands at Mississippi State University. However, Cooper is the only woman in the SEC to currently serve as director of athletic bands.

Marching Mizzou, with more than 300 members, will be under new leadership for the first time since 2010.

Director of Athletic Bands Dr. Brad Snow left for the same position at Missouri State University, and Assistant Director of Bands Dr. Fuller Lyon left for his alma mater, the University of Tennessee, to be interim assistant director of bands.

Cooper was previously the director of bands at Southeastern Oklahoma University, a Division II college in Durant, Oklahoma. She also was previously a graduate assistant for the Million Dollar Band, the marching band of the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Cooper said she was first attracted to MU during Missouri's match up with Alabama in 2012.

"I remember they parked our bus at the back of the tailgating parking lot, and I was really concerned," she said. "Like, you know, the fans aren’t really friendly and it isn’t as safe of an environment, and everyone was just so friendly and so welcoming, so excited to see us."

MU School of Music director Dr. Julia Gaines said Cooper was the obvious choice.

"She was our top candidate, so, the fact she’s a woman is just icing on the cake," Gaines said. "Band directing is very much a male-dominated field, so I’m thrilled we’re starting to slowly move in that direction. I’m not sure if this is indicative of women in the field. I think some of this is luck, but I love the fact we’re breaking that barrier."

Marching Mizzou drum major Sean Kraus, who was also on the selection committee, said Cooper was the most personable and experienced.

"She definitely connected with the students the most," Kraus said. "She was very, very positive, had a lot of energy, and the students just definitely felt that she was the best for such a leadership position as is, so, everybody’s very excited and very pleased with the outcome."

Ben Wilton, a member from 2010-14, said he was happy with the hire and looks forward to his sister, a freshman at MU, being able to share traditions while trading old and new memories.

"I’m excited for my little sister, personally, that she’s going to have a new director, kind of a new face of Marching Mizzou," Wilton said. "I think she’ll have a different experience than I had, which is kind of cool, that she’s kind of following in my footsteps, but she’ll have her own experience in general, so I think that's pretty cool."

Cooper said she wants to continue the band's "great traditions," such as their pre-game show and the Missouri Waltz.

"I hope we can continue to have exciting halftime shows and add to everything that's existed here and is already wonderful," she said. "Great things have been happening and I want to make sure that continues."

Marching Mizzou is expected to make its 2016 debut on Sept. 10 vs. Eastern Michigan.

[Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story named Dr. Erin Cooper the only female band director in the SEC. Dr. Cooper is one of two; Elva Kaye Lance is currently serving as director of bands at Mississippi State University.]

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MIzzou DE Charles Harris could be next man up to represent "D-Line Zou" http://www.komu.com/news/mizzou-de-charles-harris-could-be-next-man-up-to-represent-d-line-zou-/ http://www.komu.com/news/mizzou-de-charles-harris-could-be-next-man-up-to-represent-d-line-zou-/ Football Sun, 17 Jul 2016 9:15:11 PM Chris Turner, KOMU 8 Sports Reporter MIzzou DE Charles Harris could be next man up to represent

HOOVER, ALABAMA - Aldon Smith, Sheldon Richardson, Kony Ealy, Markus Golden, and Shane Ray. 

Since 2011, Missouri football has had five defensive lineman selected in the first two rounds of the NFL Draft, strengthening the "D-Line Zou" reputation that the Missouri program powers itself on. 

Junior Defensive Lineman Charles Harris could be the sixth. 

Following a 2015 season in which he led the Southeastern Conference in tackles for loss (18.5), and the team in sacks (7.0), Harris is receiving recognition from around the country before the 2016 season begins. He was selected to both the Bednarik and Nagurksi award watch lists, given to the best defensive player in college football. At SEC Media Days last week, Harris was voted to the preseason All-SEC second team, the only Tiger to be voted to the preseason all-conference team. 

"I had to look up those awards," Harris said. "I had to look them up and see what they actually meant. It's kind of 'embarassing', but at the same time its kind of fun not knowing exactly what's going on. It's just another award I can strive to achieve."

The Tigers finished last year at 5-7, just short of a third straight bowl berth. Despite the early end to the season, Missouri finished as one of the best defenses in college football, ranking 6th in total defense. Harris will be looked at as a leader of a defense that returns almost its entire front seven. 

"I want him to be him," said new head coach Barry Odom. "We've talked a number of times on, you know, you do carry a heavy weight on your shoulders on being really good."

"For the most part, there's no extra pressure," Harris said. "It's just another season, another game. If I don't perform, I don't perform. I'm not going to beat myself up for that. And not anything else or anyone else." 

The tradition of "D-Line Zou" is something Harris holds very close, understanding how important having that pipeline can be to the development of his game and others. 

"Markus Golden, that's my big brother. said Harris. "Shane, that's my big brother too. We had Michael, we had Kony, you had Markus, you had Shane. They didn't have anyone else to look up to. Now that we already have those guys that's already there in the league who have experience, it's really our duty to take advantage of that." 

Pro Football Focus and Sports Illustrated project Harris to be a first-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Another big season will keep him rising on many draft boards. 

"Charles is a freak." said Senior Linebacker Michael Scherer. "If you thought what he did last year was good, you're going to be excited to see him this year."


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Missouri Names Wren Baker as interim athletic director http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-names-wren-baker-as-interim-athletic-director/ http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-names-wren-baker-as-interim-athletic-director/ Football Wed, 13 Jul 2016 3:29:52 PM Ben Burke, KOMU 8 News Digital Producer Missouri Names Wren Baker as interim athletic director

COLUMBIA - Shortly after news broke that Missouri Athletic Director Mack Rhoades would be leaving to take over the same position at Baylor, Chancellor Foley named Wren Baker as the interim AD Wednesday.

 Baker had been serving as the deputy athletic director at Missouri. Before that, he was had a similar position at the University of Memphis.

Baker has been the athletic director at two different universities: Northwest Missouri State and Rogers State. 

In a statement, Foley said the Baker "has an impressive background and will bring stability to the athletic department."


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Missouri Athletic Director to leave, take over at Baylor http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-athletic-director-to-leave-take-over-at-baylor/ http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-athletic-director-to-leave-take-over-at-baylor/ Football Wed, 13 Jul 2016 1:53:24 PM Ben Burke, KOMU 8 News Digital Producer & Chris Gervino, KOMU 8 Sports Director Missouri Athletic Director to leave, take over at Baylor

COLUMBIA - Missouri Athletic Director Mack Rhoades will leave the university to take over as the vice president and director of athletics at Baylor University.

KOMU 8 Sports Director Chris Gervino confirmed the move Thursday.

After 14 months at Missouri, Rhoades will walk into a Baylor program in the wake of a sexual assault scandal that saw the removal of both its athletic director and head football coach.

"While my family is excited to start this new chapter in our lives, we do so with great appreciation for our time at Mizzou... Thank you to the fans... The coaches, staff, and student-athletes are deserving of your continued support," Rhoades said via press release. 

Many former Missouri athletes reacted to Rhoades leaving, such as Former Missouri wide reciever Jeremy Maclin. 

"I normally don't speak on stuff like this but glad Mack left... we are a different breed in Como. It's family first he lacked that mentality," Maclin said on Twitter.

Rhoades will have an introductory press conference at Baylor on July 18.


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MU football player named to second watch list http://www.komu.com/news/mu-football-player-named-to-second-watch-list/ http://www.komu.com/news/mu-football-player-named-to-second-watch-list/ Football Sat, 9 Jul 2016 3:12:35 PM Marissa Rubino, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer MU football player named to second watch list

COLUMBIA - The Missouri Football team announced Friday that defensive end Charles Harris was named to the preseason watch list for the 2016 Bronko Nagurski Award.

The Football Writers' Association of America gives the award to the nation's defensive player of the year. Earlier this week, Harris was named to the watch list for the Chuck Bednarik Defensive Player of the Year.

Harris earned 2nd-Team All-Southeastern Conference honors last season.

While starting all 12 games in his first season as a starter, Harris racked up seven quarterback sacks, 56 total tackles, two forced fumbles and one pass broken up.







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Play 60 summer camps teach kids the importance of a healthy lifestyle http://www.komu.com/news/play-60-summer-camps-teach-kids-the-importance-of-a-healthy-lifestyle/ http://www.komu.com/news/play-60-summer-camps-teach-kids-the-importance-of-a-healthy-lifestyle/ Football Fri, 24 Jun 2016 10:06:56 AM Landon Burke, KOMU 8 Anchor Play 60 summer camps teach kids the importance of a healthy lifestyle

COLUMBIA - "Play 60" is a national nutrition and exercise program to encourage kids to lead healthier lives. This summer, the camp has come to Columbia.

Columbia's Play 60 camp is hosted at Strength & Conditioning Factory on the north side of town. Each day, campers come in for warm-up stretches, then take to the turf for a workout. Athletes practice agility, speed and endurance drills. After working up a good sweat, they kick back for a movie and a healthy snack.

The local Play 60 operation is spearheaded by JD Franklin and Carlos Hall, both personal trainers, and former professional football players.

Franklin and Hall said their main priority with Play 60 is to establish an active generation by teaching kids the importance of a healthy lifestyle.

"We try to teach the kids about nutrition, and we try to get the kids out of the house," Hall said. "We figured, we've got the spot, we've got the location... it was just something we wanted to do for Columbia."

At the camp, athletes are coached by qualified personal trainers, that can adjust each drill to match a kid's level of ability. The coaches said they hope to make exercise fun for everyone.

"Our vision for this program is to get as many kids out of the house and off the video games as we can," Hall said.

Franklin said today's kids live in a very different culture than he did as a child. He said it can be very tempting for kids to spend all their free time on electronic gadgets likes smart phones or video games. 

"When I was a kid, we didn't have cell phones," Franklin said. "Our 'cell phones' were the play grounds, the bicycles, the skateboards... that's what we did for our playtimes."

Franklin said he hopes Play 60 will encourage kids to once again pursue more active forms of play.

"We're trying to bring that back."

In addition to honing their camper's athletic skills, the coaches also were very deliberate in creating a culture of encouragement among the athletes. After every drill, the coaches make sure athletes are congratulating one another, and challenging each other to push themselves.

"Sometimes all you need is a little boost or a push," Franklin said. "A handshake, a pat on the back or a high five or something to encourage that kid... sometimes that's all that kid may need."

At the beginning of the first practice, none of the campers knew anyone in their group. They were strangers... different ages, and from different schools. But by the time their parents came to pick them up, they were laughing and joking with one another.

Kylie Lawrence, one of the coaches at Play 60, said knowing how to work as a team is an important skill in any sport, and in life.

"You're a brotherhood in here, you're a family," Lawrence said.

After the first day of training, KOMU 8 news talked to all of the athletes about their thoughts on camp. The campers said the training was not always easy, but they all said they had a good time doing it. 

"It was hard, but it was fun at the same time," one camper said.

"I encourage all the kids to come out here and have fun, and actually work hard," another athlete said.

Franklin said attendance has skyrocketed since day one.

The Play 60 camps will run through the first week of August. If you want to learn more about how you can sign your child up for Play 60, you can find more information here.

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NFL player Sylvester Williams gives back to Jefferson City http://www.komu.com/news/nfl-player-sylvester-williams-gives-back-to-jefferson-city/ http://www.komu.com/news/nfl-player-sylvester-williams-gives-back-to-jefferson-city/ Football Sun, 19 Jun 2016 12:23:29 PM Mark Kim, KOMU 8 Sports Reporter NFL player Sylvester Williams gives back to Jefferson City

JEFFERSON CITY - Sylvester Williams has accomplished a lot as a football player.

The Denver Broncos starting nose tackle wrapped up his third NFL season with a Super Bowl triumph as his team beat the Carolina Panthers, 24-10.

"The feeling of winning is unbelievable because I've accomplished the ultimate goal at the highest level in the sport that I play," Williams said.

For Jefferson City head football coach Ted LePage, watching the defensive lineman he once coached play in Super Bowl 50 was a surreal moment.

"Here’s a dude chasing Cam Newton and he was just in our high school a few years ago. So it was exciting the whole time," LePage said. 

Williams suited up on Friday nights for LePage for one year, in 2008. Because of that season, Williams wanted to give back to the community that gave him an opportunity to pursue his dream. 

"This is some of my roots and I’ve been able to be here and be blessed to be a part of some of the programs here," Williams said. 

USA Football helped Williams organize a football camp for kids in Jefferson City on June 18. LePage, Arkansas running back Kody Walker and Lincoln University receiver Khiry Draine were among the staff members that returned to Adkins Stadium to help Williams run the event. 

A former teammate of Williams, Walker couldn't pass up the opportunity to help his friend out.

"When I heard about it, I had to come back and help. I love, especially, what he’s doing for the community, for these kids," Walker said.

LePage describes watching his former players return to help out the Jefferson City community as "humbling." 

"It is a very big honor to think that many guys were affected by this program and then want to come back and give back to these young people," LePage said. 

Williams says the event's success surpassed his expectations. 

"I think we had 115 T-shirts and ran out so it was a blessing. I didn’t expect this many kids so to have this many kids show out; that was exciting," Williams said. 

Williams won't be in Jefferson City for much longer as he continues to prepare for the 2016 NFL season, but his hometown will continue to motivate him to work as hard as he can. 

"The support I’ve received, the love I got back here and all of the fans I got back here definitely motivates me and pushes me that much harder every day so I got a tremendous amount of support right here and it means everything," Williams said. 

Williams said he plans on bringing the camp back to Jefferson City next year. 

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TARGET 8: Analyzing student-athlete graduation rates http://www.komu.com/news/target-8-analyzing-student-athlete-graduation-rates/ http://www.komu.com/news/target-8-analyzing-student-athlete-graduation-rates/ Football Sat, 14 May 2016 1:46:38 PM Chinmay Vaidya, KOMU 8 Sports Reporter TARGET 8: Analyzing student-athlete graduation rates

COLUMBIA — The NCAA tracks the likelihood of college athletes playing professionally depending on the sport.

In 2016, more than 480,000 students participated in college athletics and their chances of playing professionally are listed below. 

The NCAA tracks student-athlete graduation rates for all universities using a method called Graduation Success Rate. The NCAA developed this method as an alternative way to track graduation rates.

Meghan Durham, NCAA assistant director of public and media relations, said this method is better than the federal graduation rate because it accounts for student-athlete transfers and gives credit to institutions and those students.

Durham also said GSR has tracked more students than the federal graduation rate.

She said all universities are required to submit graduation records to the NCAA. GSR was first tracked for students entering college in the fall of 1998. For a comparison between GSR and the federal rate, click here. 

The University of Missouri has seen an increase in graduation rates among student-athletes in football and men's basketball, according to the NCAA data.

For the most recent year (2014-15), MU reported a graduation rate of 83 percent in football and 85 percent in basketball. Both statistics put MU in the top half of SEC schools for those sports. Below is data for all schools in the SEC for football and men's basketball. 

According to the University of Missouri athletics department, 71 MU student-athletes graduated in the 2016 spring semester. Tami Chievous, MU's associate athletic director of academic services, said the university devotes plenty of resources to ensure student-athletes graduate. 

"Each sport team has an academic coordinator that works directly with them and we have close to 100 tutors and mentors on staff," Chievous said. "Our biggest emphasis in academics is setting up grad plans and degree programs that they are interested in." 

Chievous said the program encourages athletes to take ownership of their education. 

"When we get progress reports back, if we see that someone is struggling or their grade has gone down, then we will meet with them and see if they would like to meet with a tutor or maybe meet with an additional tutor," Chievous said. "A lot of it is on the athlete. We do like them to be responsible for their education, take ownership in their academics and really find out a career path that their excited for." 

Former Missouri quarterback Chase Patton found his passion in dentistry after shadowing medical professionals while in school. He said he was interested in the medical field since his childhood. 

"Both my parents worked in the medical and so I was the kid that liked watching heart surgeries on TV," Patton said. "I started shadowing a little bit and talking to a few people, they said to look into dental school because the work-life balance is a little more stable." 

Patton had another dream as a kid; playing in the NFL. He said an ESPN article from 2008 opened up the opportunity for him to possible play professionally. 

"At the time I wasn't really sure what my chances were going to be a get a tryout in the NFL, it was always a dream of mine as a kid," Patton said. "I think having that article come out, it was kind of an opportunity, just because it kind of got my name out there and exposed the idea that backups can have a chance."

Patton said he knew from an early age that playing in the NFL wasn't a life-long career. 

"Everyone says the NFL stands for not for long and you hear about these guys that make millions and millions of dollars and end up bankrupt," Patton said. "It kind of opens your eyes to the fact that it's not a lifetime thing." 

Patton said he thinks it's important for prospective college athletes to keep focus on academics as more emphasis gets put on college athletics. 

"When I was in high school, there was Rivals and there was Power Mizzou and there were still ways to get your head filled up if you wanted it to but now it's even more," Patton said. "You've got Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, all kinds of stuff where you're being told you're the greatest thing and I think that would be easy to say, "Well, I'm going to the NFL, I don't need to worry about school," I definitely think it has a big effect or can have a big effect."

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Arnel Monroe taught Hickman players more than football http://www.komu.com/news/arnel-monroe-taught-hickman-players-more-than-football/ http://www.komu.com/news/arnel-monroe-taught-hickman-players-more-than-football/ Football Thu, 9 Jun 2016 10:47:16 PM Conner Handel, KOMU Sports Reporter Arnel Monroe taught Hickman players more than football

Family, coaches, players and members of the Columbia community all gathered at Alumni Stadium Thursday night to remember Hickman football coach Arnel Monroe.

Monroe wore a Kewpie uniform as a high schooler and rejoined the program in 1995 as a coach. He coached as an assistant until he earned head coaching honors in 2011.

Over his 21 seasons coaching at Hickman he had the opportunity to work with several hundred players. Some of his players said his impact on their lives went beyond the game they were a part of.

"He just taught us what it was like to be a man, not just on the field but off the field," sophomore football player Ryan Padgett said.

"Coach Monroe, he finds out about everything," sophomore football player Foster McCormick said. "And every time I got in trouble he had a talk with me, like he sat me down and he just kept telling me 'You've got to quit what you're doing, you’ve got to get your life back together,' like he really cared about us and he was always there for me."

Hickman running back Darmarion Avery said he might not be on pace to graduate high school without Monroe in his life.

"I probably would have dropped out and said, 'Forget it,'" Avery said, "but he kept me on the right path."

Atah Knighten, an assistant football coach at Hickman and Monroe's fraternity brother, said he had a special bond with Monroe.

"Me and coach, that’s my brother," Knighten said. "He was a big brother, I was a little brother."

Knighten said Monroe strived to teach students more than football.

"Family, dedication, loyalty. That's what we teach the kids," he said. "Life knocks you down, get back up."

If Monroe noticed a student needed help getting back up, he would provide assistance.

"Like this year he sent me to Douglas [High School] to get my grades up and all that," Avery said. "If he didn't want me to get my grades up he would have let me stay here and would’ve let me struggle, but he sent me somewhere he knew I could get an education and come back to play football my senior year."

Avery said Monroe wanted to help him achieve his goals.

"He said 'I got a big dream for you', and he said, 'You’re going to go to JUCO [junior college]. You're going to go D-I [division one]. If you try hard and stay in school you’re going to make it,'" Avery said. "Every time I was in bad or doing bad he would tell me, 'What did I tell you? What dreams do I have for you? And he just let me know, 'Hey, you’re going to make it. Just pay attention."

"I hope what he has instilled in these kids is, like I said, the fight," Knighten said. "To keep on fighting. No matter what, keep fighting."


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Hickman football coach dies at 49 http://www.komu.com/news/hickman-football-coach-dies-at-49/ http://www.komu.com/news/hickman-football-coach-dies-at-49/ Football Sun, 5 Jun 2016 10:53:48 AM Melissa Zygowicz and Ben Burke, KOMU 8 Reporters Hickman football coach dies at 49

COLUMBIA — Columbia Public Schools said Hickman High School football coach Arnel Monroe passed away Sunday morning at about 8:30 a.m. He was 49 years old.

A family friend said Monroe died of a heart attack.

CPS said it is working to notify family, players and staff, as well as contacting counselors to provide support for the students of Hickman High School.

Monroe graduated from Hickman in 1985. He began coaching in 2011.

According to a blog post from Monroe on Friday, his death comes a day after players volunteered at a car wash to raise funds for summer and food expenses for the team.

Mikayla Logan, a family friend of Monroe, said he was an amazing mentor and coach.

"He would bend over backwards for you," Logan said. "He was going to push you to be the best you could be. Any time I thought I really couldn't do something, or wasn't going to make it through something, he told me I was and never really gave me an option to just quit."

Logan also said many people who knew him are devastated.

"He was Hickman," Logan said. "Someone said heaven got a little more purple and it couldn't be more true."

Messages of support and remembrance from around mid-Missouri poured in on social media Sunday morning.

Hickman graduate and current Battle assistant coach Cedric Alvis shared kind words for Monroe on Twitter.

Former Kewpie and current Missouri Western State University defensive backs coach Regi Trotter also took to Twitter.

Friends and family nicknamed Monroe "Spanky."

Many others shared their memories of Monroe, using the hashtag #RIPSpanky.

[This story was updated to provide clarity and add quotes from Monroe's friends.]

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Baylor demotes Starr, fires coach amid sex assaults scandal http://www.komu.com/news/baylor-demotes-starr-fires-coach-amid-sex-assaults-scandal/ http://www.komu.com/news/baylor-demotes-starr-fires-coach-amid-sex-assaults-scandal/ Football Thu, 26 May 2016 1:36:57 PM Jim Vertuno, The Associated Press Baylor demotes Starr, fires coach amid sex assaults scandal

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Baylor University demoted school President Ken Starr and fired football coach Art Briles on Thursday, issuing a scathing report over the university's handling of sexual assault complaints against players.

The board of regents at the nation's largest Baptist university said in a statement that Starr, a former prosecutor who investigated the Monica Lewinsky scandal, will vacate the presidency on May 31 and will become the school chancellor. It said it suspended Briles "with intent to terminate" and placed athletic director Ian McCaw on probation.

Starr asked a law firm last year to review Baylor's handling of sexual assault cases following allegations that the school mishandled several cases in which football players were accused of attacking women.

Among the firm's findings was that football coaches and athletics administrators had run their own improper investigations into rape claims and that in some cases, they chose not to report such allegations to an administrator outside of athletics.

By running their own "untrained" investigations and meeting directly with a complainant, football staff "improperly discredited" complainants claims and "denied them a right to a fair, impartial and informed investigation."

"The choices made by football staff and athletics leadership, in some instances, posed a risk to campus safety and the integrity of the University," the report said.

The report's "findings of facts" did not name specific coaches or athletics staff.

The university's statement said the review revealed "a fundamental failure."

The report also found that's Baylor was too slow to enact federally-required student conduct processes, and that administrators failed to identify and eliminate a "potential hostile environment" for victims.

Baylor has faced increasing criticism in recent months for its handling of reports of rape and other violent incidents involving football players and students. One victim has sued the university, saying it was deliberately indifferent to her allegations against a former player who was eventually convicted of sexually assaulting her.

Starr ordered an investigation last year but has been mostly silent amid the criticism. The former prosecutor took over as the university's president in 2010, about a decade after he investigated former President Clinton's sexual relationship with White House intern Monica Lewisnky.

The football team enjoyed unprecedented success under Briles' tenure, including two Big 12 championships in the last three years. That success brought a financial windfall, and in 2014, Baylor opened a new, $250-million on-campus football stadium. But Briles' program has also been criticized for recruiting or accepting transfer players without regard to the harm they might cause fellow students.

Starr rode the waves of the program's success, and often ran on the football field with Baylor students in pregame ceremonies. But as investigations began into the school's handling of sexual assault allegations against players, Starr provided only brief comments, even as criticism of the school mounted.

In a February statement issued by university, Starr said "our hearts break for those whose lives are impacted by execrable acts of sexual violence." And at a prayer breakfast last month, Starr told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram: "I am in favor of transparency. Stand up, take your medicine if you made a mistake."

Starr initiated the law firm's review last year, after former football player Sam Ukwuachu was convicted of sexually assaulting a female soccer player.

Ukwuachu, who was convicted last year, transferred to Baylor after he was dismissed from Boise State. His former girlfriend testified during his rape trial in Texas that he had struck and choked her when he attended Boise State.

Ukwuachu's former coach, Chris Petersen, now the coach at Washington, said he "thoroughly apprised" Briles about the circumstances of Ukuwachu's dismissal. Briles disputed that account, saying he talked with Petersen and there was no mention of the incident.

The school is also facing a federal lawsuit from a former student claiming the school was "deliberately indifferent" to rape allegations levied at a former football player Tevin Elliott, who was convicted in 2014 of sexually assaulting the woman.

The uproar following Ukwuachu's conviction caused Baylor to initiate the review by the Philadelphia law firm Pepper Hamilton, and to announce a $5 million effort to improve efforts on how it responds to sexual assault, including adding another investigator and more staff.

But the Ukwuachu case was just the start of months of revelations of football players being involved in violent incidents with little or no repercussions. At least seven other woman have publicly come forward to say the school ignored their sexual assault allegations.

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Former Mizzou standout A.J. Ofodile to join Barry Odom's staff http://www.komu.com/news/former-mizzou-standout-a-j-ofodile-to-join-barry-odom-s-staff/ http://www.komu.com/news/former-mizzou-standout-a-j-ofodile-to-join-barry-odom-s-staff/ Football Mon, 9 May 2016 5:12:23 PM Joseph Gjata, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer Former Mizzou standout A.J. Ofodile to join Barry Odom's staff

COLUMBIA - Former Mizzou and NFL tight end A.J. Ofodile is the newest addition to Barry Odom's new look Mizzou Football staff. The team announced Monday that Ofodile will serve as the program's new Director of Recruiting Operations.

Ofodile has been the head coach at Rock Bridge High School since 2003 and took the Bruins to the state championship game for the first time since 1993. The coaching link between Odom and Ofodile dates back to 2001 when Ofodile served as Odom's offensive coordinator at Rock Bridge.

"I'm very excited to have A.J. joining our staff. He will be a huge part of our entire program, and specifically our recruiting efforts," Odom said. "I have tremendous respect for A.J. as a person and as a mentor and I'm excited for how he will represent our program and university."

Ofodile earned a first-team All-Big Eight selection in 1993 for the Tigers, as well as being a three-year letter winner from 1991-93. The Detroit, Michigan, native finished his Mizzou career with 73 receptions for 851 yards and a half dozen touchdowns. 

"I've been very set about if I was to ever make the move to the college level, that who I was going to be working for was the most important aspect, and it couldn't be a better situation for me at Mizzou with Coach Odom," Ofodile said. "I have a world of respect for him, he's a first-class person and I believe his vision and the work that he and his staff are doing to build something special. Naturally, it's very special for me to be coming back to my alma mater."

After getting drafted in the fifth round of the 1994 NFL Draft by Buffalo, his professional career only lasted six years with the Bills, Steelers and Ravens. However, Ofodile's knowledge of Missouri high school football will be an asset for the Tigers' recruiting division in need of a bounce-back season this fall.

Currently, Ofodile's son, Alex, plays football at the University of Oregon.

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Three Missouri Tigers go in 2016 NFL Draft http://www.komu.com/news/three-missouri-tigers-go-in-2016-nfl-draft/ http://www.komu.com/news/three-missouri-tigers-go-in-2016-nfl-draft/ Football Sat, 30 Apr 2016 3:23:32 PM Robert Veno, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer Three Missouri Tigers go in 2016 NFL Draft

CHICAGO - The NFL Draft has called and Mizzou answered.

Today three former Missouri Tigers were selected in the 2016 NFL Draft.

Evan Boehm was the first to go as the Arizona Cardinals took him with the 30th pick in the fourth round.

Boehm, a four-year starter for the Tigers, made 52 straight starts, an almost unheard of accomplishment for an offensive lineman in college football.

The Cardinals’ line had difficulties in the passing game, especially with the interior line. People can expect Boehm to be in the thick of the competition for the starting guard and center positions.

Connor McGovern went to the reigning Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos with fifth pick in the fifth round.

Head Coach Gary Kubiak loves to pound the running game between the tackles, an almost perfect fit for the incredibly strong run-blocking lineman that McGovern is.

Last - but certainly not least - was standout defensive playmaker Kentrell Brothers.

The inside linebacker waited some time to hear his name called, but eventually got his chance after the Minnesota Vikings took him with the 23rd pick in the fifth round.

Seen as a little bit undersized and lacking athleticism, there were few players as productive as Brothers was last year. Brothers had over 150 tackles including 12 for a loss. He may not be the best athlete out there, but there’s no denying his abilities as a football player.

Each player will now go on to their team’s respective rookie mini camp in the summer.


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Drew Lock's TDs lift Team Gold over Team Black 21-0 in Spring Game http://www.komu.com/news/drew-lock-s-tds-lift-team-gold-over-team-black-21-0-in-spring-game/ http://www.komu.com/news/drew-lock-s-tds-lift-team-gold-over-team-black-21-0-in-spring-game/ Football Sat, 16 Apr 2016 9:13:45 PM James Stanley, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer Drew Lock's TDs lift Team Gold over Team Black 21-0 in Spring Game

COLUMBIA — In front of a crowd of 24,473 at Faurot Field on Saturday afternoon, Mizzou’s offense, clad in gold, defeated Mizzou’s defense, wearing black, 21-0.

Team Gold threw for 218 yards, going 19-36 with three touchdowns. Team Gold also rushed for 101 yards on 32 attempts.

On the flip side, Team Black totaled 51 tackles. Seven tackles equated for 20 yards of loss and included two sacks for a loss of 10 yards.

The Offense

Sophomore QB Drew Lock threw for 134 yards, completing nine passes on 13 attempts. Two of those completions were touchdowns, giving a solid outing for the young quarterback. The pinnacle of Lock’s day included a 64-yard touchdown pass to redshirt junior WR J’Mon Moore.  

Mizzou’s offensive line also performed well, holding the defense to two sacks. One sack was against Lock and another against junior QB Jack Lowary.

Team Black held Gold’s rushing game to 1.5 yards per rush, while junior RB Ish Witter ran for 45 yards on 13 attempts with a 3.3 average per attempt.

The Defense

Redshirt senior linebacker Michael Scherer led Team Black with six tackles, two of them for a loss adding up to a total loss of three yards.

Redshirt junior defensive lineman Marcell Frazier and redshirt freshman Ronnell Perkins each had four tackles, with the Team Black leaders combining for 14 of the team’s total 51 tackles.

Redshirt senior defensive lineman Rickey Hatley and redshirt sophomore Rocel McWilliams recorded the two sacks for the defense, which caused a loss of 10 yards.

Head Coach Barry Odom was impressed by the crowd that came out to support the Tigers in the Spring Game.

“They just did a great job of getting here and supporting our team,” Odom said.

Odom’s team will open the 2016 football season against the West Virginia Mountaineers in Morgantown, W. Va. on Saturday, September 3.

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