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PECOS, Aug. 19 - The Sweetwater Mustangs are back in District 4-4A and
back in another familiar spot - in the Top 10 of the Class 4A preseason
Sweetwater - which closed its last season (1993) as a 4-4A member
ranked in the Top 10 - spent two years as a member of District 6-4A,
finishing 10th in last year's poll. They were moved back into District
4-4A in February by the University Interscholastic League, replacing
Monahans, which dropped down to Class 3A.
The Mustangs, 11-1 a year ago, are ranked seventh in the Associated
Press' 4A preseason poll this time with 50 points. Defending state champ
LaMarque leads the preseason poll with 191 points, while 1993-94 champ
Stephenville is next with 157.
San Angelo Lake View, which won the 4-4A title the two seasons
Sweetwater wasn't around, was the only other district squad to receive
any votes. The Chiefs got two points and were tied for 26th place.
Odessa Permian was ranked second in Class 5A in the AP poll, behind
North Mesquite, with Midland Lee and El Paso Irvin also receiving votes.
Among other West Texas teams, Ballinger was fifth in the 3A poll, with
Monahans and Alpine getting votes; Iraan was fifth in the Class 2A poll,
while Rankin and Wink just missed the Top 10 in Class A, finishing 11th
and 12th in the preseason voting.
The AP poll doesn't include six-man football teams. That poll is done
separately during the season by the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.
IRVING, Texas, Aug. 19 - Emmitt Smith, the newest member of the Dallas
Cowboys' lengthy injured list, still has a shot at playing in the season
opener Sept. 2 at Chicago.
Smith, seeing his first action of the preseason Saturday night, injured
his left knee when his teammate, 340-pound tackle Erik Williams, fell on
it in the second quarter of an exhibition game against Denver, which the
Cowboys lost 20-3. Smith stayed down for almost five minutes before he
walked unassisted to the sidelines.
Smith got lucky. He'll just miss 2-4 weeks with a first-degree sprained
medial collateral ligament of his left knee and a sprained ankle.
Another player went down against Denver. Offensive tackle George Hegamin
also suffered a medial collateral knee sprain, and it wasn't certain
when he would return to the lineup. Tackle Mark Tuinei is also out with
a knee ligament sprain.
``This is the best possible news,'' trainer Jim Maurer said on Sunday
after Smith, who recently signed a $48 million contract, underwent an
MRI. ``His rehabilitation should take from 2-4 weeks. Our goal is for
him to be in Chicago. It's not an unrealistic goal.''
Maurer also said Smith's ankle was slightly swollen and bruised.
``Emmitt felt a lot better after he learned the results of the MRI,''
Maurer said. ``There was just a mild stretching of the ligament. We have
him on around-the-clock treatment.''
Smith suffered a sprained right knee ligament last year, but didn't miss
any games because of it.
``Emmitt has had a lot of different injuries, but he's always healed
fast and had favorable outcomes,'' Maurer said.``You have to be patient
with this injury. ''
Coach Barry Switzer said: ``This is really good news. He has a chance to
play in the opener. We hope he can. We've really got some problems with
Switzer said second-year player Sherman Williams will substitute for
Smith in the team's final preseason game against Houston on Saturday in
``Sherman will do a good job,'' Switzer said. ``We can't move Herschel
Walker to tailback because he will be playing fullback while Daryl
Johnston plays tight end until Jay Novacek returns.''
The Dallas offense without wide receiver Michael Irvin and Novacek has
sputtered. The Cowboys have been outscored 83-16 in the last three
preseason games, all of which they lost.
They beat Oakland 35-34 in the exhibition opener.
``Our offensive line hasn't been together either, and we're just not in
synch,'' Switzer said. ``I'm getting a little concerned.''
The Cowboys trim their roster down to 60 players today.
(Copyright 1996 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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State and Regional Sports Pages--San Angelo Standard-Times
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