Originally created 12/15/01

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Prep Football

Four area players in Shrine Bowl

Four Aiken County high school football players - Aiken's Larry Anderson, North Augusta's Reggie Merriweather, Midland Valley's Jamie Peters and Silver Bluff's Troy Williamson - will participate in today's 65th annual Shrine Bowl in Rock Hill, S.C. This is the first time the game has been played in South Carolina.

The Shrine Bowl pits the best senior football players from North Carolina and South Carolina against each other.

South Carolina holds a 36-24-4 edge against North Carolina in the series that began in Charlotte, N.C., in 1937. South Carolina has won seven of the past 10 games, including a 66-14 last year.

Boxing

Holyfield meets Ruiz for title

Evander Holyfield wants to be whole again.

"If you're not undisputed champion, you're just a fraction of a champion," said Holyfield, who will try to win at least a piece of boxing's biggest prize for the fifth time when he challenges John Ruiz for the WBA heavyweight title.

"To be the champion, you've got to be the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world," he said.

So Holyfield sees tonight fight at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Conn., as only a step back to the position he held until Riddick Bowe made him a former undisputed champion in 1992.

The HBO telecast will begin at 10:30 p.m. The main even will be the second part of a championship doubleheader and is expected to start between 11:45 p.m. and midnight.

In the first fight, Tim Austin of Cincinnati will defend the IBF bantamweight title against Ratanachai Vorapin of Cincinnati.

Holyfield had become undisputed champ by knocking out James "Buster" Douglas in the third round in 1990.

The last time Holyfield faced Ruiz, he lost the WBA title on a decision March 3. He had won the vacant title by outpointing Ruiz on Aug. 12, 2000.

Should Holyfield win, he wants to take on the winner of the fight between WBC-IBF champion Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson, expected to be held in April.

Figure Skatingt

Kwan trails in early program

Michelle Kwan trailed her two Russian rivals after faltering a bit on her opening combination in the short program Friday at the Grand Prix Final in Kitchener, Ontario.

Irina Slutskaya, who has made a habit of beating Kwan in the GP finals but losing to her at the world championships, led after the short program. Maria Butyrskaya was second.

Sarah Hughes, the other American entry who beat both Kwan and Slutskaya at Skate Canada, was fourth after falling on triple loop.

The Grand Prix final brings together the top scorers from the six major events during the season, and is looked upon as a tuneup for the upcoming Olympics.

Later Friday, the skaters had a free routine to complete the first half of the scoring. Today, another free routine will determine the final half of the score.

Softball Augusta Impact seeks players The Augusta Impact 12-and-under girls fast pitch softball travel team is looking for all-star caliber pitchers and catchers.

For tryouts, please contact Jeff Towe at (706) 364-2170 or (706) 771-5618 or Roger Gray at 868-6489 or 738-6638.

Soccer Lakeside alumni game set Dec. 29 An alumni soccer match for Lakeside High School players will be held Saturday, Dec. 29 at 2:30 p.m. at Panther Stadium.

The cost to participate is $25, which includes a T-shirt.

For more information, contact Dave Morgan at 869-8282 or Ann Heigle at 650-0641.