The Houston Sports Notebook

By Yolande Lezine
Updated: March 25, 2009

Sports HOUSTON – A brief look at some of the most recent news and notes involving area and national sports figures.

– The Houston Cougars have started their 2009 spring football practices. The Cougars will have three practices this week and then host an open scrimmage on Saturday at 12 noon at Robertson Stadium. The first-ever Cougar Youth Experience will follow the scrimmage.

– Cougar head football coach Kevin Sumlin announced that senior quarterback Blake Joseph has left the team. “Joseph decided to forgo his final year at Houston, and we wish him the very best in whatever he decides to do.” Joseph played in 22 games in his career for the Cougars. He threw for 1,581 yards and 10 touchdowns, completing 66.7 percent of his passes. In 2007 he passed for 1,324 yards and nine touchdowns. He is slated to graduate from the University of Houston in May with a Bachelors degree in Sports Administration.

– The State Farm Wade Trophy Committee along with the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association and the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport announced the 12 finalists in contention for the State Farm Wade Trophy. The finalists include: Jayne Appel-Stanford, DeWanna Bonner-Auburn, Tina Charles-Connecticut,Marissa Coleman-Maryland, Jantel Lavender-Ohio State, Angel McCoughtry-Louisville, Renee Montgomery-Connecticut, Maya Moore-Connecticut, Courtney Paris-Oklahoma, Kristi Toliver-Maryland, Ashley Walker-California, Berkley, and Monica Wright-Virginia.

– Geno Auriemma of Connecticut earned his second straight Division I Coach of the Year Honor from the WBCA.

– Houston senior captain Ivan Diggs made his return to competition at the TSU Relays by winning the high jump to help lead the Cougars to the collegiate title. As a team, Houston posted seven first place finishes and 15 top five finishes during the two-day meet. The Cougars racked up four first-place finishes in the relays, including the women’s 4x800m, 1,600m medley, 4x200m and the 4,000m distance medley relayrs and the men’s 4×100 relay.

– The Dallas Cowboys will not be coming to play the Houston Texans this preseason due to scheduling conflicts with their new stadium. The Texans will host the New Orleans Saints and visit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The NFL still has to schedule two more games for them.

– The NFL begins next season on Sept. 10th when the defending Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers host the Tennessee Titans at Heinz Field.

– Saturday will be “A Day with Rice Athletics”. Fans will receive a general admission ticket to the Rice-Memphis baseball game, a ticket to the Victor Lopez Bayou Classic and vouchers good for food and a drink at the Reckling Park concession stand. The busy day of activity on campus includes the Blue-Gray football spring game, which kicks off at noon.

– The season came to an end for the Prairie View A&M Lady Panthers as the top-seeded Oklahoma Sooners handed them a 76-47 loss in the first round of the Oklahoma City Regional in the 2009 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament. They finished the 2008-09 season with a 23-11 overall record. The Panthers won both the SWAC regular season championship and conference tournament. Sunday’s loss snapped the Lady Panthers 19-game winning streak.

– The Jack Yates High School State Basketball Championship Team will be honored by Houston City Council on Tuesday, March 31, 2009 at 1:30 p.m.