Originally created 02/10/01


The 16th annual Augusta Arsenal Spring Shootout soccer tournament continues this weekend, featuring more than 50 teams from Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Tennessee.

Competition begins at 8 a.m. this morning at Barton Field at Fort Gordon and ends Sunday afternoon. Under-10 to under-14 boys will be competing this weekend.

Admission for the tournament is free.

BOXING: Former Augustan Ray Mercer, who hasn't fought in 14 months and has only three bouts since he lost a disputed 10-round decision to Lennox Lewis in May of 1996, makes his return to the ring Sunday night.

Mercer, of Fayetteville, N.C., will fight Jeff Pegues in a 10-round bout at the Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin, Ill. It will be televised on Fox/ SportsSouth.

The 39-year-old Mercer, who filed for bankruptcy in 2000, reportedly will be paid $30,000 for his first fight for promoter America Presents.

Because of management problems, illness and injury, Mercer (26-4-1, 18 knockouts) did not fight in 1997 and only once each in 1998 and 1999, then not at all last year.

Riddick Bowe posted bail Friday in Hemphstead, N.Y., after his arrest on charges he hit his wife in the head, dragged her across their home and threatened her life.

The 33-year-old former heavyweight champion pleaded innocent to assault charges and paid $2,500 in bail before being released.

Bowe was sentenced to 30 days in prison last February after the boxer took his first wife and his five children from their home in Charlotte, N.C.

REUNION: A reunion of Augusta baseball players from the 1930s through the early 1960s will be held Thursday at Richmond Post 63 on Milledge Road.

The invitation-only banquet begins at 6 p.m. and is for American Legion players from Augusta; former city league players; and former Richmond Academy and Boys Catholic High players.

Former major league pitcher Billy O'Dell will be the featured speaker. He will be introduced by Lou Brissie, who also pitched in the majors.

TENNIS: Patrick McEnroe's debut as U.S. Davis Cup captain was half successful.

The Americans split their first two matches against Switzerland on Friday in Basel, Switzerland, as Jan-Michael Gambill won and Todd Martin lost.

Roger Federer defeated Martin 6-4, 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-1, then Gambill beat Michel Kratochvil 6-3, 7-5, 6-4.

In today's doubles, Gambill and Justin Gimelstob are scheduled to face Federer and Lorenzo Manta, although the captains can make last-minute changes. In Sunday's reverse singles, Martin is to play Kratochvil and Gambill is to face Federer. McEnroe hinted he might substitute Andy Roddick, the world's top junior last year.

BASKETBALL: Teams of the cash-strapped Continental Basketball Association scrambled Friday to pin down their options for survival. Some simply called it quits.

The league suspended play Thursday, less than a week after eight of the 10 teams failed to meet player payrolls.

"In my opinion, the CBA as a league is gone," said Bill Ilett, former majority owner of the Idaho Stampede.

At least one team has joined the International Basketball League and others might follow.

Reportedly at least $1.5 million in debt, the CBA's value plummeted when the NBA decided to operate its own developmental league rather than relying on the CBA.

PREPS: There will be no more discipline problems for the Thomson (Ill.) High School boy's basketball team.

The Thomson school board voted 7-0 this week to forfeit the team's final three games of the season after last Thursday's game at Savannah, during which Thomson received two technical fouls and a player was ejected.

"The real problem is a lack of respect for school authority and a lack of respect for the authority of the officials on the floor," Superintendent James Gray said.

Thomson's team has not been faring well, compiling a 2-19 record that included lopsided blowouts such as a 109-35 loss to Savanna last month, a 93-54 defeat to Freeport Aquin and the 86-35 loss to Savanna last Thursday.


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