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Wild, wild win in K.C. -10/1/2014, 10:23 AM

Jones didn't wait to impact Kansas State -10/1/2014, 10:23 AM

HHS soccer falls on road -10/1/2014, 10:23 AM

Tiger golfers finish 10th on home course -10/1/2014, 10:23 AM

After big win, Tigers back to work -10/1/2014, 3:09 PM

Chiefs' Smith in a groove -10/1/2014, 10:23 AM

Late surge pushes Dodge past TMP -10/1/2014, 10:22 AM

Monarch XC sweeps titles at Lyons -10/1/2014, 10:22 AM

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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Missouri DE Michael Sam eager for bowl game

Published on -12/20/2013, 10:24 AM

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By JAKE KREINBERG

Associated Press

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) -- Michael Sam laughed when asked if he was the most famous person from Hitchcock, Texas.

"As of right now, yeah I am, actually," the Missouri defensive end said.

Sam led the Southeastern Conference with 10 1/2 sacks and 18 tackles for loss, and he was on The Associated Press All-America team this week after tabbing him as the SEC defensive player of the year.

"Coach (Gary) Pinkel, at the beginning of the year in January, said we had to do something to earn some respect," Sam said. "And I used that as motivation. I didn't want to not go to a bowl game. And I didn't want to be like, 'Oh, we don't belong in the SEC."'

The 6-foot-2, 255-pound senior credits his teammates for his individual awards, and they were the ones talking for him during the season. Sam didn't meet with reporters after the opening day of fall camp.

He says he wanted to focus on football and graduating with a degree in sports management, which he completed last week replete with a rendition of his "sack dance" as he received his diploma.

"He's a great, cool guy to be around," defensive end Kony Ealy said. "He's funny off the field. He's serious when it's time to be serious on the field. He has a high motor. He lifts people. He doesn't necessarily have to say it; he goes out there and he shows it on the field."

A lightly regarded recruit, Sam played as a two-way starter at Hitchcock High in a town of about 7,000 people nestled along the Gulf Coast some 40 miles southeast of Houston. His first two years at Missouri, Sam backed up Aldon Smith and Jacquies Smith, both of whom compete in the NFL.

Sam had 4 1/2 sacks and seven tackles for loss as a junior in 2012 before helping the ninth-ranked Tigers win 11 games this season and advance to the SEC championship game in the team's second season in the league.

"It's been a privilege to see him grow as a player and help me grow as a player," said right tackle Mitch Morse, who lines up opposite Sam in practice. "I'm just glad I was along for the ride."

Defensive line coach Craig Kuligowski said it's not uncommon for players to reach a new level during their fourth or fifth years with a school, a notion Pinkel agreed with.

"Generally, it's more mental than anything," Pinkel said. "He's physically about the same player he was a year ago. But mentally he's at a different level, how he competes, how he prepares."

Sam will finish his college career in his home state as Missouri (11-2) faces former Big 12 foe and 13th-ranked Oklahoma State (10-2) in the Cotton Bowl on Jan. 3 in Arlington, Texas.

The Cowboys have won the past three matchups between the schools and score 39.8 points per game.

Oklahoma State averages 172 yards rushing, a statistic that could make the Tigers wary after allowing 545 yards on the ground to Auburn on Dec. 7.

Missouri entered the game allowing only 119.1 yards rushing, but Pinkel said his team lost its poise in an unfamiliar environment, and wants his players to learn from the experience.

Sam hopes for a personal rebound, too, before he trains for the NFL draft. He registered 10 of his sacks within a five-game stretch, and only has a half-sack and two tackles for loss in his past five games combined.

The good news is that he's done traveling for award shows for the time being.

"Well, I tell you what," he said, "those rich people got their money's worth because I've never signed so many autographs and taken so many pictures and talked to so many people in my life."

Missouri announced five early enrollees Thursday, including one junior college transfer.

The signees are cornerback Logan Cheadle of Lee's Summit, Mo., cornerback Kenya Dennis of Leland, Miss., and Hinds Community College, offensive lineman Mike Fairchild of Blue Valley West High in Overland Park, Kan., linebacker Brandon Lee of Lawrence Central High in Indianapolis, Ind., and quarterback Marvin Zanders of Raines High in Jacksonville, Fla.

Cheadle had three interceptions, returning one for a touchdown, in the Class 5 state title victory for Lee's Summit. Dennis was an honorable mention junior college All-American who also had offers from Arkansas and Auburn.

Fairchild was one of the top offensive linemen in Kansas, Lee was ranked by ESPN as the No. 16 outside linebacker prospect in the nation and Zanders is a dual-threat quarterback who had a hand in 37 touchdowns as a senior.

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