With the number 70 emblazoned on their helmets and the memory of a slain teammate as their 12th man, the Rebels of Columbine High School yesterday won their school's first Colorado state football title.
This championship victory, 21-14 over Cherry Creek, meant a lot more than bragging rights. It honored Matt Kechter, gunned down April 20 in the worst high school massacre in U.S. history. Kechter, who wore the number 70, would have been a senior and hoped to start for the Rebels as a lineman. Chants of "We are Columbine" echoed from the stands in Greenwood Village, Colo., as Columbine beat perennial powerhouse Cherry Creek for the Class 5A title. The chant had become the school's unofficial motto since the attack when two students opened fire in the school, killing 12 classmates, a teacher and themselves. "It's been a very difficult seven months for everyone," Columbine Principal Frank DeAngelis said. "But this is just one of the success stories we've had all year. It's kind of fun to see kids smile, and just be kids."
An estimated 8,000 Columbine students and fans filled the stands.
700 Club for Summitt?
Tennessee's Pat Summitt could become the second women's coach to reach 700 career wins today when the No. 2 Lady Vols face No. 25 Wisconsin in Madison, Wis. Summitt is rapidly closing on Texas Coach Jody Conradt (730) for the career lead. Only 16 men's coaches are members of the 700 club, and at 47, Summitt is younger than all of them when they did it. It is conceivable that Summitt could reach former North Carolina coach Dean Smith's leading mark of 879 wins before the end of the next decade. She got wins 500 through 600 in 3 years 2 days. If the Lady Vols beat Wisconsin, wins 600 through 700 will have come in 3 years 12 days.
Azinger, Pak Ahead
Paul Azinger and South Korea's Se Ri Pak combined for a 9-under-par 62 in best-ball format to seize a four-stroke lead after three rounds of the JCPenney Classic in Palm Harbour, Fla. . . . Ernie Els matched the course record and stretched his lead in the Million Dollar Challenge in Sun City, South Africa. The South African carded an 8-under 64 and leads the tournament by six strokes entering the final round. . . . Hale and Steve Irwin combined for a 13-under 59 to take a one-stroke lead over Jack and Gary Nicklaus and Raymond and Robert Floyd after the first round of the Father-Son Challenge in Naples, Fla.
Minor League Basketball
Bristow Steps Down
Allan Bristow, a Richmond native, has stepped down after four games as coach of the city's entry in the International Basketball League, forcing General Manager Ralph Sampson to assume the duties of head coach. The Rhythm (0-4) is the IBL's only winless team in the league's inaugural season. Richmond plays the Baltimore BayRunners today in Baltimore.
Potential investors, including former NFL stars Eric Dickerson, Bo Jackson and Tony Dorsett, are discussing a pro football league with games to be played in March through June. The Spring Football League plans franchises in Houston; San Antonio; Los Angeles; Washington; Miami; Birmingham; Canton, Ohio; and Jackson, Miss.
Manchester United Triumphs
Norwegian Ole Gunnar Solskjaer scored four times to lead Manchester United to a 5-1 victory over visiting Everton and return the Reds to first place in the English Premier League.