INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Michael Sam says he wants to be known as just a football player, hopeful his sexuality soon won't be a story.
The defensive end from Missouri made his first public appearance Saturday since announcing he's gay. He said at the NFL scouting combine he's not worried about the way he'll be treated once he enters the league.
Sam smiled and laughed often during a 12½-minute news conference at Lucas Oil Stadium, looking relaxed and confident.
Sam is projected as a mid-round pick in the draft in May. He says he doesn't care what position he plays, as long as he can rush the passer.
BROCTON, N.Y. (AP) - The teammates of a high school football player in upstate New York who died after being injured in a game have voted to end their season early.
Damon Janes was injured during the third quarter of Westfield-Brocton's Sept. 13 against Portville. He was able to get on his feet but lost consciousness on the sidelines. He died three days later and an exact cause of death has not been released.
Concern about hard hits among has brought renewed attention to concussion management and a national initiative to teach the "Heads Up" tackling technique. A recent study in the American Journal of Sports Medicine found an average of 12 high school and college players die annually.
Damon's was at least the fifth high school football death this season. But his was the only team to cancel the season because of it.
Teammate Joey Villafrank says, "Now I realize that there's more than just playing the game."
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The upcoming fall high school football season will include a St. Louis County home-school squad.
The 14-member Central Panthers practice at Rockport Baptist Church in Arnold and compete on the junior varsity level in their first season. They're led by a pastor-coach who was a 51-year-old backup middle linebacker at Westminster College in Fulton while earning his master's degree in theology.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the new Mid-East Missouri Homeschool Football Association hopes to add to at least two more teams with players from O'Fallon, Wentzville and St. Charles to the north, and Jackson and Cape Girardeau (juh-RAHR'-doh) in the south, as well as a Central varsity team next year.
The Missouri State High School Activities Association voted in 2012 to allow its members to play home-school teams.
A group of home-schooled students will face a new test Saturday when they play their first ever high school football game.
The Central Panthers junior-varsity team is the brainchild of Coach Bob Schembre, an associate pastor at Rockport Baptist Church in Arnold. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Schembre formed the Mid-East Missouri Homeschool Football Association and the team in the spring after discovering interest among families in his church who home-school.
The 14 boys, mostly 12-14 year olds, will play both offense and defense when the Panthers travel to Clarksville, Missouri to play the Clopton-Elsberry Indian Hawks.
Schembre told the paper that next year, he hopes to add a North team of players from O’Fallon, Wentzville and St. Charles, and a South team with players from the Jackson and Cape Girardeau areas. He'd also like to add a varsity team next year.
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri coach Gary Pinkel is providing few clues as to who's winning the competition to start at quarterback this fall.
Returning starter James Franklin began spring camp March 12th listed atop the depth chart, but Corbin Berkstresser and Maty Mauk have also taken snaps with the top offense ahead of Saturday's Black and Gold game.
Pinkel says he's in no rush to make a decision.
Earlier in the day, Wes Welker announced he was leaving New England for a free agent deal with the Denver Broncos. That opened the door for Amendola.
KSDK reports that Missouri Baptist University will scrimmage next year, but plans to compete in the NAIA in 2014. Officials expect to recruit over 100 new students for football and more for the expanded cheerleading program.
MBU will play their home games on CBC's field.