Sports, December 20th

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL

The Rifle Bears travel to Palisade tonight for a league showdown with the Bulldogs. The girls tip off at 6 o’clock while the boys battle the Bulldogs at 7:30. You can catch both games on 99.1 and 96.7 KMTS and KMTS.com.

NBA/Nuggets

Portland, OR–The Denver Nuggets go for their fourth straight win tonight as the take on the Trailblazers in Portland.

JETS SHOPPING SANCHEZ, TEBOW

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) – The New York Jets will consider all their options regarding quarterback Mark Sanchez in the offseason, a person with knowledge of the situation tells The Associated Press. The person, who requested anonymity because the team’s personnel plans are private, tells the AP on Thursday that the Jets have not made any determinations involving Sanchez. That means the benched quarterback’s status is in limbo and a trade cannot be ruled out. He’s not alone. The futures of Tim Tebow, coach Rex Ryan and general manager Mike Tannenbaum with the Jets also are uncertain. Parting ways with Tebow, the popular but little-used backup, appears likely. But the Jets could be hard-pressed to trade or cut Sanchez, who is due $8.25 million in guarantees next season.

PHELPS; ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

Michael Phelps has added another triumph to his list of accomplishments: The Associated Press male athlete of the year. The retired swimmer edged out LeBron James in voting announced Thursday, a fitting payoff for winning four golds and two silvers at the London Games, as well as recognition for becoming the most decorated Olympian ever. Phelps finished with 40 votes in the media balloting, winning the award for the second time. James had 37, followed by track star Usain Bolt with 23.
Carl Lewis is the only other Olympic-related star to capture AP male athlete of the year more than once, taking the award in 1983 and ’84 for track and field. The only men honored more than twice are golf’s Tiger Woods, cyclist Lance Armstrong and basketball’s Michael Jordan.

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) – Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly has been voted Associated Press coach of the year after leading the Fighting Irish to a spot in the BCS championship game. No. 1 Notre Dame is 12-0 and will play No. 2 Alabama for the national title on Jan. 7 in Miami. Kelly received 25 votes from the AP college football poll panel, and Penn State’s Bill O’Brien was second with 14 votes.

UNDATED (AP) – Wisconsin reportedly has found its new football coach and will hire Utah State’s Gary Andersen to replace Bret Bielema (BEE’-leh-muh), who left the Badgers earlier this month to take the Arkansas job. The school was expected to introduce Andersen at a news conference today, but a snowstorm might change those plans. Neither Utah State nor Wisconsin had anything official to announce about Andersen on Wednesday.

ASHBURN, Va. (AP) – Robert Griffin III has taken part in his first full practice since spraining his right knee. The Washington Redskins quarterback said he did all of his usual work as the team held its first workout ahead of this week’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Coach Mike Shanahan said doctors will examine Griffin’s knee on Thursday to see if there’s any swelling before deciding he can play against the Eagles.

NEW YORK (AP) – Ichiro Suzuki will remain with the New York Yankees after the 10-time Gold Glove outfielder accepted a two-year, $13 million contract. The 39-year-old will make $6.5 million in each of the next two seasons and needs 394 hits to reach 3,000 for his major league career. Suzuki’s batting average jumped from .261 with the Mariners to .322 with the Yankees, with five homers, 27 RBIs and 14 steals.

ANAHEIM, Calif. – The Los Angeles Angels have traded Kendrys (KEHN’-drees) Morales to the Seattle Mariners for left-hander Jason Vargas. The 29-year-old Morales. Morales hit .273 with 22 home runs and 73 RBIs last season. Vargas led Seattle in wins last season, going 14-11 with a 3.85 ERA.

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