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Tigers' Cole earns MIAA soccer honor -9/30/2014, 3:10 PM

Royals' playoff appearance years in the making for some fans -9/30/2014, 10:34 AM

Chiefs offense gets rolling in rout -9/30/2014, 10:31 AM

California has four teams in the playoffs for the first time -9/30/2014, 10:31 AM

TMP golf finishes third at Hoisington meet -9/30/2014, 10:35 AM

Monarchs move to 14-10 -9/30/2014, 10:30 AM

Big 12 coaches react to firing -9/30/2014, 10:21 AM

HHS volleyball goes 2-3 in Newton -9/29/2014, 10:27 AM

HHS tennis places third at Garden City Invitational -9/29/2014, 4:16 PM

Tiger tennis finishes fall season 5-2 -9/29/2014, 10:27 AM

MNF for Chiefs -9/29/2014, 10:27 AM

Royals' starters rest in win -9/29/2014, 10:26 AM

KU shows Weis the door -9/29/2014, 10:26 AM

Jayhawks take the conservative route in their loss to Texas -9/28/2014, 9:43 AM

FHSU soccer cruises past SW Baptist -9/28/2014, 7:03 PM

Victoria takes advantage for close win at Ness -9/28/2014, 1:14 AM

Plainville grabs first win, beats TMP -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Area prep football roundup: Otis-Bison, Kinsley set record -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Wildcats roll -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Delton, HHS run past Garden City -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Tiger women's soccer picks up 1-0 win at Southern -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Tiger women's XC wins at Emporia State -9/27/2014, 7:12 PM

Kansas City clinches first playoff berth since 1985 -9/27/2014, 7:02 PM

Tigers take down No. 8 Pitt State -9/27/2014, 6:53 PM

Kansas linebacker Jake Love lives on instincts -9/26/2014, 11:06 AM

Like old times, Kansas State takes pride in stuffing the run -9/26/2014, 10:57 AM

FHSU women fall 2-1 -9/26/2014, 10:23 AM

Big win for Tiger soccer -9/26/2014, 10:46 AM

Tough test for Tiger football -9/26/2014, 10:23 AM

Hays High, TMP move to 4A -9/26/2014, 10:24 AM

One more win and Royals are in -9/26/2014, 10:47 AM

HHS XC second at McPherson meet -9/26/2014, 10:25 AM

Indian soccer snaps skid -9/26/2014, 10:47 AM

HHS golf clinches share of WAC title -9/26/2014, 10:48 AM

Monarchs, Cardinals seek first win -9/25/2014, 10:13 AM

Royals drop game at Cleveland -9/25/2014, 10:26 AM

UTEP football coach Sean Kugler hopes to build a program that can emulate Kansas State -9/25/2014, 10:13 AM

Indians hit the road -9/25/2014, 10:13 AM

Giants, Redskins trying to avoid steeper climb in East -9/25/2014, 10:13 AM

Sports Scores

Tuesday

Prep basketball

Boys

Atwood 76, St. Francis 65

Dighton 62, Oberlin 47

Hillsboro 50, Goodland 47

Lakeside 42, Lincoln 32

Minneapolis 68, Russell 35

Rock Hills 42, Natoma 37

Salina Central 62, Andover 58

Salina South 62, Sacred Heart 47

Sharon Springs 75, Leoti 38

St. John's Beloit-Tipton 57, Osborne 34

Sylvan-Lucas 61, Thunder Ridge 48

Girls

Dighton 44, Atwood 11

Dodge City 71, Hays High 28

Hesston 51, Goodland 18

Hoisington 60, Victoria 46

Hoxie 65, St. Francis 13

Lincoln 33, Lakeside 26

Minneapolis 47, Otis-Bison 24

Osborne 59, Wilson 34

Sharon Springs 63, Oberlin 42

Sylvan-Lucas 43, Natoma 41 (ot)

Tescott 41, Rock Hills 33

Trego 56, Leoti 27

Thunder Ridge 33, St. John's Beloit-Tipton 30

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SPOTLIGHT
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Chiefs cornerbacks Cooper, Parker get a chance

Published on -6/20/2014, 9:44 AM

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By Terez A. Paylor

McClatchy-Tribune

When the Chiefs released Pro Bowl cornerback Brandon Flowers last Friday, one of the men who stood to benefit the most from the move didn't have much warning.

"I had just finished working out here," second-year cornerback Marcus Cooper said after a recent practice in Kansas City. "I found out when you guys probably found out."

Cooper politely declined to discuss his reaction to the news.

"I can't get into that, I'm just worried about myself and worried about my football shift," he said.

But he did make it clear that he's not about to be starry-eyed just because now he's a projected starter.

"Whether Brandon was here or not, I still would still compete as if I was going for the starting job," Cooper said. "There's no big difference."

That makes sense. Not only did the the 6-foot-2, 192-pound Cooper earn plenty of playing time last season, when he started six games after being claimed off waivers from San Francisco, but as a top backup, he also spent the Chiefs' voluntary practices during organized team activities with the first team while Flowers held out.

Cooper is not the only young corner the staff has gotten a chance to take a long look at, however. The man he's been paired with at cornerback for the last two weeks of practice, fourth-year veteran Ron Parker, didn't ascend to the first team until Sean Smith was cited for driving under the influence and careless driving on June 9.

But like Cooper, Parker has said all the right things when it comes to seizing the opportunity.

"Oh yeah, I always think I'm going to be able to compete for that spot," Parker said. "I'm just doing whatever the coaches are asking me to do."

Smith, who signed a three-year, $16.5 million contract before last season, attended all four voluntary practices last week but was demoted to second team for all of them. He missed all three of the Chiefs' mandatory practices this week because of illness, according to a team spokesman.

When asked if Smith, 26, would regain his starting job when training camp rolls around in mid-to-late July -- the players are now off until then -- Chiefs coach Andy Reid was noncommittal.

"We will see," Reid said. "There's competition there, and we'll see how all that works. The other kids did a nice job. Coop was working in there and did a nice job. Parker did a nice job at the other corner."

Reid, however, made it clear that his two young corners have plenty of growth ahead of them, and there have been signs of that during workouts.

Both have been beaten on a handful of deep passes, though it's tough to assign responsibility without knowing the players' defensive assignments.

Still, both players showed flashes of being productive last season, and it might behoove the Chiefs to see how much each can improve. Cooper, 24, earned the Chiefs' rookie of the year award for 2013 after logging 44 tackles and three interceptions. Parker, 26, finished with 17 tackles and showed a knack for making plays, with a sack and two interceptions in limited action.

"Listen, they've all got a long way to go," Reid said. "Ron is a tough kid that's going to challenge every play, and that's the thing that jumps at you. We saw that last year when he was in the game (and) he made plays. It seemed like the ball went his way. He forced turnovers when he had opportunities last year. That's a plus."

Parker, who is on his fourth NFL team, opened some eyes with his impressive performance against the Chargers in last year's season finale, in which he had six tackles, an interception and two pass deflections.

"I just went out there and played and played my heart out and gave it all I could," Parker said. "I had a good game, I think."

Good enough, it seems, to get an extended look this preseason, one that neither he nor his new running mate, Cooper, are taking for granted.

"You have no time to lose (your edge)," Cooper said. "This game's not for long, and you really have to come out there at the top of your (game). That's what I try to do every day."

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