By Randy Pospishilsports@norfolkdailynews.comNORFOLK, Neb. (Aug. 4) – It’s been a long time between wins for Dusty Poessnecker.So his excitement was no surprise after his win in the Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod feature Saturday at Off Road Speedway.A family-comes-first decision in 2013, to establish a local business in his hometown of Atkinson, put Poessnecker’s racing career on hold for four years until this season.“It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do,” he said. “But I needed to concentrate on my family and the business, a hometown body shop which I bought from my uncle.”So this rseason, with the business underway and with the help of Dale Bittner of Big Daddy Racing, Poessnecker – who began racing when he was 11 years old – is back on the racetrack.“I couldn’t have done it without Dale. He put me back in a racecar,” Poessnecker said. “I got back into racing this season in the Hobby Stocks (division), where I’ve had some success over the years, with four or five track titles.”But after four weeks of racing in the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks, where he qualified for four features and finished among the top five twice, Poessnecker switched to the SportMods, a first-ever experience which did not produce immediate results.Since then, during four weeks of competing in the new division, Poessnecker had qualified for just two features before Saturday night’s victory.“The car wasn’t doing what we wanted it to do, nor was the driver,” he said. “We just needed to get our relationship together, so with the three weeks off here at Off Road, we definitely spent some time visiting, me and the car, and we came to an agreement on how it was going to run.”Despite starting on the pole, Poessnecker faced a race-long battle among several cars before securing the lead midway through the 20-lap race to finish just ahead of Karl Brewer and Cameron Meyer.“The car was liking the track, I was liking the track; I kind of liked running the top, and the track was good up there,” Poessnecker said. “Everything was good; everything clicked. We’re definitely going to make notes on what worked, and I think we’ll be right in there in the future.”“The competition here is outstanding,” he said. “They started 18 cars in the feature, and I would say every one of them has a chance to win.”Another driver with a ‘big win’ was Gage Koch, who earned his first Off Road Speedway win of the season in the IMCA Hobby Stock feature.In the Mach-1 Sport Compact feature, Ramsey Meyer extended his season’s undefeated streak at Off Road to nine while TeJay Mielke won the IMCA Sunoco Stock Car feature.
Comments Kris Joseph made it a goal for himself when he was in high school. Whatever college he went to, he wanted to score 1,000 points. To him, the mark signified being part of an elite group of players.On Monday, Joseph joined that group.The senior small forward needed four points to reach 1,000 for his career heading into Syracuse’s 92-56 win over Manhattan. He got three of them on a triple from the left corner just more than two minutes into the game. And that last point he needed to break 1,000 came on another 3-pointer from the left wing.‘Just growing up, I always told myself whatever college I go to, I want to be a part of that club,’ Joseph said. ‘I think it’s an elite club to be a part of, and I’m fortunate enough that I was able to do it here at Syracuse University.’But Joseph didn’t stop there. That second 3-pointer triggered a stretch in which he scored eight points in just more than a minute. On SU’s next possession, he buried another long-range dagger from almost the exact same spot on the floor, forcing Manhattan to take a timeout.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAnd on the ensuing Jaspers possession after the stoppage, the Orange senior got a run-out and converted a two-handed slam.‘I was feeling it,’ Joseph said. ‘That was it. I shot with the big ball I’m back to my routine shooting with the big ball before the game starts in my little warm-up. I was just feeling hot. I knew I was four points away from 1,000. I was just trying to get them as quickly as possible.’Joseph finished the game with 15 points and seven rebounds.After the game, Joseph looked back on the moment when the public address announcer told the Carrier Dome crowd Joseph had reached the 1,000-point mark. He said he remembered as a freshman when Paul Harris reached 1,000 points and also when Rick Jackson did it last year.And he knew he wanted that special moment of his own.‘It was a great feeling,’ Joseph said. ‘I remember hearing it for Paul Harris. I remember how happy he was. And I remember them doing it for Rick. I wanted it for myself, so it was a great feeling.’Freshman Cooney redshirtedWith his hands on his backpack straps, Trevor Cooney gave a slight shrug of the shoulders before he answered. The saddened look on his face told the story, and there’s nothing he can do at this point.‘It’s disappointing, obviously, because you come here to college to play,’ Cooney said. ‘But there’s four really, really good guards in front of me and older guys. All I can do is take this year to get better and learn from those guys.’Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim announced Cooney will redshirt this year, following Monday’s win over Manhattan. He stressed this situation had nothing to do with Cooney’s readiness or playing ability, but rather the logjam in front of him at both of the guard positions.Cooney enters the 2011-12 season as the fifth guard in the SU rotation, and Boeheim felt playing only a couple of minutes a game, if at all, wasn’t the best option for the freshman.‘Sometimes a guy does redshirt because he’s hurt, but this is different,’ Boeheim said. ‘Usually, it’s because they’re just not good enough to play yet, and that’s not the case. … When you have four guards ahead of him, he’s not going to play a significant amount of time.’Boeheim mentioned that former players Andy Rautins and Lazarus Sims, among others, redshirted as freshmen and went on to become team leaders and great players as fifth-year seniors. He feels that Cooney, known for now primarily as a shooter, has a chance to become that same type of player.Cooney did see the court in both of SU’s exhibition games. He had seven points on 3-of-4 shooting against Cal State-Los Angeles and three points against St. Rose.Though disheartened, Cooney said it feels good to know Boeheim has confidence in his future within the program.‘That just shows how much trust he has in me, and it’s cool to hear him say things like that,’ Cooney firstname.lastname@example.org@syr.edu Published on November 14, 2011 at 12:00 pm Facebook Twitter Google+
“The 19th Hole” ran Mondays. To comment on this article e-mail Joey at email@example.com or visit dailytrojan.com. For the 16,850 USC fans in attendance, Saturday’s annual spring game at the Coliseum was not pretty, littered with interceptions, incomplete passes and missed field goals.With senior tailback Marc Tyler and sophomore wide receiver Robert Woods sidelined with various ailments, USC’s offense was noticeably out of sync and overwhelmed by a defensive front that has made significant strides in the past year.But it wasn’t supposed to look like that.With Trousdale lined with cardinal-clad fans and Traveler trotting around on the sidelines, it was supposed to mirror a fall game, where the Trojans would at least show some cohesiveness.Instead, it became plainly evident the festivities were taking place in April, not October, based on the number of botched plays, especially on the offensive side of the ball.Still, for a team severely handicapped by injuries and scholarship restrictions, a perfectly legitimate argument could be made that the team performed admirably considering the hand it was dealt.In other words, it might be a tad premature to start scaling back expectations for the 2011 Trojans.Because at certain moments Saturday, albeit brief ones, they looked rather sharp, particularly in regard to the ground game.On a play mid-way through the first quarter, freshman tailback D.J. Morgan reeled off a 34-yard run, showcasing breathtaking speed that could enable the Taft High standout, who redshirted last season because of a torn ACL, to crack the team’s starting rotation next September.Minutes later, junior tailback Curtis McNeal, who was academically ineligible last season, put his speed on display as well, finding the endzone on a 49-yard run down the north sidelines.The tandem combined for 196 yards on 27 carries.“I just matured,” McNeal said of his newfound success this spring. “I told myself ‘If I want to go to the NFL, I have to change my attitude.’”Yet the team’s success on the ground was not limited to either back. Sophomore tailback Dillon Baxter, who also received criticism for his immaturity last season, reminded those in attendance why he was such a highly touted prospect coming out of high school with 104 yards on 14 carries, despite recovering from an ankle injury.“I liked Dillon’s toughness there at the end,” said USC coach Lane Kiffin. “He came back in there pretty banged up.”And on the last play of the game, Baxter threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Barkley to cap off his afternoon.Considering the team’s depleted offensive line, their performances were not anything to shrug off, as four of USC’s projected starters for next fall were unavailable Saturday. Sophomore right tackle Kevin Graf and junior center Khaled Holmes missed all of spring practice with injuries, and freshmen guards Cyrus Hobbi and Aundrey Walker have not yet enrolled in school.Such circumstances might explain some things on the offensive side, particularly with Barkley, who looked uncharacteristically erratic, throwing 42 passes and completing just 20 of them in addition to throwing two interceptions.“The lack of depth was obvious throughout this whole spring, Barkley said, “but I do believe we made progress.”Provided you’re scrambling for a few positives, most of the issues Saturday stemmed from injuries. No Woods. No Brandon Carswell. No Rhett Ellison. No Kyle Prater, either.Barkley, as a result, was forced to throw almost entirely to his cousin, 6-foot Robbie Boyer, and Markeith Ambles, who seemingly spent most of the spring trying to fix his alarm clock.“It is hard to assess with so many people out all of spring and so many people coming in that are going to have to play for us,” Kiffin said, trying to maintain perspective.Fortunately, many of the depth issues could be shored up.With the return of at least 11 players from injury, as well as 24 incoming freshman, according to Kiffin, the Trojans will be afforded at least some depth, and whatever positive glimpses that were seen on Saturday could be magnified.In short, it boils down to depth. It always has.It’s no small secret USC lost games last season in the final minutes, against Washington, against Stanford, against Notre Dame. What it has in talent (see: Barkley, Woods, etc.), it lacks it depth.And if somebody like Woods is out, there aren’t a lot of options behind him — walk-ons mostly.But come fall at least, those walk-ons turn into highly-touted freshman recruits from across the country — Walker, Hobbi, wide receiver George Farmer and tailback Amir Carlisle, among others.Reinforcements are coming, in a few months. Yet nonetheless, it remains to be seen, whether any of them will be effective.