Originally created 01/19/00

Overtime: Former Butler lineman signs with Stallions



A former Butler High School and Georgia Southern lineman and an Arena Football League veteran are among three signees by the Augusta Stallions, bringing the new arenafootball2 team's roster total to 13.

Derrick Reeves, who played various defensive positions for the Eagles in 1994-97 after wrapping up his high school career at Butler, is expected to add speed and quickness to the Stallions front lines.

Aaron Sparrow, who played collegiately at Norfolk State, was with the AFL's Nashville Kats, where he came under the tutelage of Stallions coach Mike Neu in 1997-98, gives Augusta experience in arena football. Sparrow later played with the Grand Rapids Rampage.

"Sparrow is a competitor who brings much-needed experience," said Neu. "He has played arena football and has the ability to make plays. Talent and leadership such as his is key to a successful team."

Also signing with the Stallions is lineman John Cratic, who played at Fayetteville State (N.C.)

Neu calls Cratic a "solid two-way player who can contribute right away."

The Stallions, who are scheduled to open preseason practice on March 17, will hold their final free agent tryout camp on Saturday, Feb. 12, at the Augusta State Sports Complex.

On-site registration, which includes a $40 fee, and orientation for all positions will be from 11 a.m. to noon, followed by the tryout camp. All participants must be at least 18 years old.

Starting tackle T.J. Watkins of North Augusta is one of five Clemson players who have had surgery since the Peach Bowl. And, offensive guard Theo Mougros will have arthroscopic knee surgery on Friday.

Watkins's arthroscopic surgery was to clean out an ankle problem.

BOXING:

Yet another national boxing event, with the Augusta Boxing Club as host, will be held in Augusta this year.

The second annual Ringside's National Women's Golden Gloves Championships are scheduled Aug. 9-12 at May Park Community Center.

The first tournament was held here last year with more than 100 boxers from 32 states competing in two divisions.

"Last year's tournament was so successful that we decided to add one day to the competition and allow 16 boxers per weight class. This addition could possibly double the entries," said Augusta Boxing Club director Tom Moraetes.

WRESTLING:

Wrestler Ric "Nature Boy" Flair wants to follow the lead of Jesse "The Body" Ventura, now Minnesota's governor, and run for governor of North Carolina.

Flair, a 50-year-old platinum-maned pro wrestler, said Monday on the Live with Regis and Kathie Lee TV show that he might run as an independent candidate.

The last time a celebrity tried his hand in North Carolina politics was in 1996, when NASCAR driver Richard Petty lost his bid to be elected secretary of state.

Flair, whose real name is Richard Morgan Fliehr, has lived in Charlotte since 1974.

COLLEGES:

Augusta Christian pitchers Sammy Reed and Brian Bennett will sign with Middle Georgia College today at 1 p.m.

Last season, Reed was a GISA Class AAA all-state performer. Reed was the winning pitcher in last year's championship game.

Bennett hit 93 miles per hour in a showcase at Middle Georgia in December.

On Monday, Evans outfielder Jamal Jones said he would also sign with Middle Georgia today.

BASEBALL:

Quilvio Veras and the Atlanta Braves avoided arbitration Tuesday when the newly acquired second baseman agreed to a one-year deal for $3 million.

The Braves acquired Veras, outfielder Reggie Sanders and first baseman Wally Joyner from the San Diego Padres last month in exchange for outfielder-first baseman Ryan Klesko, second baseman Bret Boone and minor league pitcher Jason Shiell.

Veras, who hit a career-high .280, scored 95 runs, had six home runs, 41 runs batted in and stole 30 bases last season with San Diego, also has several incentive clauses in his new contract. He earned $2.11 million in 1999.

Outfielder Andruw Jones is the only Atlanta player still eligible for arbitration.

Meanwhile, former shortstop Rafael Belliard, 38, was hired by the club as a minor league infield instructor and Rick Adair was hired as minor league pitching coordinator.