KITNA SUITS UP FOR COWBOYS
As has widely been reported, Lincoln head football coach Jon Kitna reached a deal on Christmas Eve to return to the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys, the team he last played for in 2011. Kitna suited up for the Cowboys and served as the backup to starter Kyle Orton on Dec. 29, a season-ending 24-22 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. The game set up as a winner-to-the-playoffs matchup.
Kitna, who has compiled a 13-7 record as the head coach of the Abes in two years – reaching the playoffs both seasons – will donate his entire $53,000 paycheck he earned with the Cowboys back to Lincoln High School.
The deal to return to the NFL came about after Cowboys starter Tony Romo was injured in a win over the Washington Redskins on Dec. 22. Kitna, who was still familiar with Dallas’ system and personnel, inquired Cowboys management via text about a possible return.
The deal was reported as official on Christmas day. In over 14 years in the NFL from 1997-2011 – his first four years coming with the Seattle Seahawks – Kitna completed 2,677 of 4,442 pass attempts for 29,745 yards and 169 touchdowns.
LIONS’ YOUTH REPRESENT WASHINGTON
After winning the Greater Puget Sound Youth Football League title on Dec. 3, five players from the Tacoma Lions eighth-grade football team will take part in the Football University National Championship Final Four as members of Team Washington on Jan. 3-5 in San Antonio, Texas.
Lions players Malik Putney, Josh Hanigan, Dalton Vasquez, Ian McDougal and Ezekiel Sayavong will compete as members of the team after their squad won four qualifying matchups after their youth season.
Team Washington earned the trip to Texas starting with a resounding 60-15 win over Team Oregon on Dec. 7 at Eastside Catholic High School. The following day, they edged Team Idaho 26-16 to advance to the next round. They traveled to Sacramento, Calif. the following weekend, and captured a 34-6 victory over Team Utah in their opener and defeated Team California (Orange County) 28-14 to advance to the Final Four.
The youth championship is held in San Antonio as part of a weekend that also includes the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, a game that features some of the top high school seniors that likely will be playing at the next level. The seventh-grade team from Washington also advanced to the Final Four.
TATE SUBMITTED BY ROUSEY
Franklin Pierce High School grad and 27-year old mixed martial arts star Miesha Tate fell short in her quest to claim the women’s bantamweight title on Dec. 28 in Las Vegas, as she was submitted by archrival and reigning champion Ronda Rousey by armbar in the third round.
It was the latest chapter in the fierce rivalry between the two fighters, who were featured as opposing coaches in “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series in the fall. Tate was looking to avenge a loss to Rousey in March 2012 that left Tate with a gruesome arm injury and vigorous months of rehab. The loss leaves Tate with a 13-5 overall record in her professional career.
TITAN MEN FALL TWICE
After a resounding loss in their opener at the Clackamas Holiday Tournament on Dec. 28, the Tacoma Community College men’s basketball team responded with a win the following day to reach the consolation finals.
The Titans fell 102-73 to Yakima Valley in their opener, as the Yaks surged out to a 54-
31 lead by halftime and shot 61 percent from the field in the game. But three Titans managed to score in double figures, as Anthony Harper had team highs with 19 points and 12 rebounds, while Terrell Lewis was 6-for-12 from three-point range and tallied 18 points. Marquis Blackwell also had 18 points for TCC and added eight rebounds. Juawnn Springfield had a game-high 22 points for Yakima Valley.
TCC responded with a 65-57 win over Clackamas on Dec. 29 despite shooting just 34 percent from the field. Lewis led the way for the Titans with 18 points, while Isaiah Flynn added 13 points, Blackwell had 10 points and nine rebounds and Harper had seven points and a team-high 11 rebounds. In all, the Titans held a 47-30 rebound advantage over the Cougars, outscoring them 13-3 in second-chance points.
TCC was set to take on Linn-Benton in the consolation finals on Dec. 30, and will travel to take on Grays Harbor on Dec. 4 at 7 p.m.
LADY TITANS STRUGGLE
The Tacoma Community College women’s basketball team fell in their first two contests at the Lower Columbia Holiday Classic on Dec. 27-28 to be eliminated.
The Titans fell 72-45 to North Idaho on Dec. 27, as 24 turnovers on offense helped their demise. Alexus Grant had a team-high 11 points while tying for a team-high of seven rebounds with Tyanna Barton, who added 10 points and five steals.
TCC fell 50-42 to Yakima Valley the following day, struggling offensively to shoot just 27 percent from the field. Tyanna Barton led the way by going 4-for-7 from the field for a team-high 11 points while adding a team-high 14 rebounds. Naomi Brown added 10 points for TCC, while Jessi Williamson had seven points, 11 rebounds and four blocks. In the losing effort, the Titans’ defense limited the Yaks to just 27 percent shooting from the field.
The Titans return to action when they travel to Grays Harbor on Dec. 4 at 5 p.m.
LUTES FALL IN TOURNEY OPENER
The Pacific Lutheran women’s basketball team fell 63-52 to Transylvania in their opener at the Scottsdale Shootout in Scottsdale, Ariz. on Dec. 29.
The Titans shot just 31 percent from the field in the game, as Shelly Kilcup led the way with 14 points while Sarah Barnes added 11 points for PLU. The Lutes jumped out to a 20-8 lead and led 30-27 at the half, but struggled in the second period to be outscored 36-22. PLU held a 57-38 rebounding advantage over Transylvania, but committed 29 turnovers and 23 fouls, as the Pioneers sank 22 of 30 free throws.
The loss dropped the Lutes to 3-5 overall on the year, as they faced Concordia on Dec. 30 in the consolation bracket. They were set to begin NWC play by hosting George Fox on Jan. 3 at 6 p.m. and Lewis & Clark on Jan. 4 at 6 p.m.