Western Carolina hasn't played a football game since Nov. 20, but for its senior quarterback, David Rivers, the beat goes on.
Rivers, a former Lakeside High School standout, is staying in shape to play in two postseason all-star games - the annual Blue-Gray game in Montgomery, Ala., on Christmas Day and the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., on Jan. 20.
The two games, particularly the Senior Bowl, are showcase games for collegiate players who have an eye on pro football.
Rivers, a 6-foot-3, 222-pound quarterback who played sparingly at Virginia before transferring to Western Carolina for his senior season this year, will get a chance to display his talents for hundreds of pro football coaches, scouts and front-office personnel.
"It is quite an honor to be selected to participate in the Senior Bowl with such a number of great athletes," said Rivers on the Western Carolina website. "The list of Pro Bowl players that have participated in the Senior Game is endless and I am excited to have the opportunity to play in this game."
Twice during the season, Rivers was named the Southern Conference player of the week and he was national player of the week after a 474-yard passing performance against Wofford in October. He completed 208 of 250 passes for 2,878 yards, with 17 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
Four teams from the Augusta IceForum youth hockey association competed against teams from Greenville, S.C., on Saturday afternoon prior to the Augusta Lynx-Greenville Grrrowl game at the Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center, going undefeated (4-0-1) in five games.
The Augusta squirt division (ages 9-10) defeated two different Greenville teams by scores of 10-2 and 5-1. The Augusta Midget division (15-17) team won 8-3; the Augusta Pee Wee team (11-12) win 2-1 and the Augusta Bantam squad (13-14) tied Greenville 3-3.
Tommy Mudrak and Jake Garrison led the Augusta squirts with four goals apiece and Tyler Powell recorded 21 saves in the two games. Ben Lesshafft scored two goals and goalie Kevin Barenie stopped 24 shots for the Midgets; Ben Lillis scored twice for the Pee Wees and also added a goal for the Bantams. Goalie Chris Vizvary played for both the Augusta Pee Wees and Bantams and made 34 saves in two games.
Augusta's Matt Fliermans, a senior goalkeeper at Gordon College in Wenham, Mass., is a second-team all- Commonwealth Coast Conference player.
The Westminster Prep graduate was named the Gordon's most valuable player earlier this month after leading the team to a 12-8 record. He had three shutouts during the season and scored three points.
Italian forward Paolo Di Canio was cheered by players and fans on both teams Saturday for turning down a chance to score a go-ahead goal for West Ham in order to allow Everton goalkeeper Paul Gerrard get medical treatment.
Di Canio, who had an open shot with a 1-1 score, deliberately caught the ball to stop play.
"For Di Canio to do what he did brings tremendous credit on himself and his club," Everton coach Walter Smith said. "He has taken a lot of criticism in the past, but for anyone to do what he did out of concern for a fellow player deserves immense praise."
Hammers coach Harry Redknapp said it was the most astonishing example of sportsmanship he had seen, although he didn't know whether to be happy or furious.
"I'd be lying if I said I was happy," Redknapp said. "It was a fantastic bit of sportsmanship. I've never seen anything like that before on the (field), it was certainly unusual. But the problem was, would another team do the same thing for us?"
Home-crowd favorites Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi defeated top seeds Rick Leach and Ellis Ferreira 6-3, 7-5 Saturday to advance to the final of the ATP Tour World Doubles Championship for the third time in four years.
In today;s championship match, Peas and Bhupathi face Donald Johnson and Piet Norval, who defeated Simon Aspelin and Johan Landsberg 6-4, 5-7, 6-3 in the first semifinal in Bangalore, India.
South African Mbulelo Botile knocked out Paul Ingle of England in the 12th round Saturday to win the IBF world featherweight title in Sheffield, England.
Ingle was knocked down by three left hands just seconds before the bell ended the 11th round. Then, after just 20 seconds of the 12th, Ingle was knocked out by a stinging left. He remained on his back at the edge of the ring for several minutes after the fight ended and had to be carried out on a stretcher by a team of paramedics.
Botile (27-1) took the title in Ingle's second defense. Ingle slipped to 24-2, his only other loss coming against unbeaten Naseem Hamed.
In other title bouts on Saturday's card, Panama's Mauricio Martinez held his WBO bantamweight title by knocking down challenger Esham Pickering of Britain and Daniel Santos of Puerto Rico retained his WBO welterweight crown with a second-round knockout of Neil Sinclair of Northern Ireland.
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