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COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Pacers, Jaguars are ranked among top 5

USC Aiken is second and Augusta State is fourth in the first regular-season men's NABC/Division II Coaches Poll.

Findlay is No. 1 with 200 points. USC Aiken earned 190 points, while Augusta State totaled 170.

- The USC Aiken women moved up nine spots to 11th in the latest USA Today /ESPN Division II Top 25 Coaches Poll.

At 6-0, the Lady Pacers are two wins away from tying the best start in school history, set under Gail Moody-Johnson during the 1990-91 season.

FOOTBALL

Guy semifinalist for induction into hall

Former Raiders punter and Thomson native Ray Guy is one of 25 semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The list will be reduced to 15 before the final vote on Jan. 31 in Tampa, Fla., the day before the Super Bowl.

There will be 17 finalists in all, including senior nominees Claude Humphrey , a former Atlanta Fal-con, and Bob Hayes . From the 17, four to seven new Hall of Fame members will be chosen.

Among the first-time eligibles are Bruce Smith , the NFL's career sack leader, and versatile defensive back Rod Woodson .

COLLEGE BASEBALL

Nine players signed by USC Aiken coach

USC Aiken coach Kenny Thomas signed nine players during the early signing period.

Among the signees were three junior college transfers and six high school players, including Midland Valley's Taylor Grover , a right-handed pitcher.

The junior college signees were infielder/outfielder Larry Perry (USC Sumter), outfielder Zack Kilday (South Georgia), and right-handed pitcher Mark Henderson (USC Salkehatchie).

Other high school signees were infielders JJ Loker , of Elkton, Va., and Josh Miller , of Chapin, S.C., utility player Randall Sipp , of Almonte Springs, Fla., and right-handed pitchers Ryan Milewski , of West Boylston, Mass., and Jake Padgett , of Batesburg-Leesville, S.C.

SOCCER

Four local players selected All-State

Four local players were named to the Georgia Independent School Association Class AAA All-State team.

Joseph Hall and Alex Levy made the team from Augusta Prep, while Aaron Harris and Marcus Tebbs made the team from Westminster.

Hall, Levy, Harris and Tebbs were also named to the GISA All-Region 1-AAA team. Three other Augusta Prep players -- John Paul Lynn , Daniel Hull and Griffin Eubanks -- were also named to the team. Westminster's Michael Bone and Will McCartney were also selected.

Augusta Prep's Forrest Wimberly was named GISA All-Region 1-AAA Coach of the Year.

- For the third consecutive year, the Augusta Prep varsity soccer teams were named National Soccer Coaches Association of America Team Academic Award winners for the 2007-08 school year.

Augusta Prep is one of 52 schools in the country to have both teams honored for exemplary performance in the classroom.

To qualify for the award, a team must have a minimum grade point average of 3.25 for the entire academic year.

The girls team had a 3.60 GPA, while the boys had a 3.50.

GOLF

Jaguar finishes in top 10 in Classic

Augusta State sophomore Henrik Norlander shot 3-under-par 68 on Tuesday and finished in ninth place in the Western Refining College All-America Golf Classic in El Paso, Texas.

Norlander began the final round tied for 11th after opening with a pair of 72's on Monday.

The tournament, in its 34th year of existence, consisted of a field of 27 returning All-Americans from last season.

Marquette's Mike Van Sickle , sank a 7-foot birdie on the sixth playoff hole to beat Oklahoma State's Trent Leon for the title.

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Christmas Eve rains to dry up

If Wednesday seemed particularly wet and dreary, you would be right. The day broke the record for the wettest Christmas Eve that Augusta has ever had.
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