LOCAL SPORTS IN  BRIEF

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YOUTH BASEBALL

WR 12-U team still swinging

Rain has plagued the Dixie Youth Baseball “O-Zone” 12-year-old World Series, being played in Oxford, Ala. But it hasn’t cooled off the Texas team in the event, the team from New London/West Rusk.

The West Rusk boys, coached by Jake Jackson, is 2-0, having defeated North Carolina, 5-1, in the first round of the tournament on Saturday, and then bombed Georgia, 10-0, on Monday in a game that was pushed back a day due to the inclement weather.

At press time on Tuesday, the boys were getting ready to take the field against a team from South Carolina.

YOUTH SOCCER

KSA registration Saturday

There is one more regular sign-up date for kids who’d like to play in the Kilgore Soccer Associatino’s fall season.

The KSA hosts another registration this Saturday, Aug. 12, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., at the youth soccer complex just off Highway 135. Late registration day will be the following Saturday, Aug. 19.

The KSA is for boys and girls, and they have to be four years old before Dec. 31. Registration cost is $80 per player, and any child that didn’t play in the spring session needs to bring a birth certificate to sign-ups.

NHRA RACING/ TOP FUEL

Torrence out early in Seattle;off this weekend, with Torrence now No. 2

SEATTLE, Wash. – When you’re the quickest gun in town, as Steve Torrence has been for the last two months, you know that every wannabe in the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series is hoping to build a reputation at your expense.

Many fired and fell back but Terry McMillen found the mark Sunday and sent the sport’s hottest driver home in the very first round of the 30th annual NHRA Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways.

Torrence left the starting line first, as he usually does, but that edge, coupled with the fact that he directed the Capco Contractors Top Fuel dragster to its quickest run of the weekend, only got him to the finish line second, .018 of a second behind McMillen.

That upset ended a streak of 19 consecutive races in which Torrence had avoided a first round loss and, coupled with Antron Brown’s victory over McMillen in the final round, it knocked him out of the Mello Yello point lead for the first time since June 10.

When the tour moves to Brainerd, Minn., two weeks hence for the 36th running of the Lucas Oil Nationals, Torrence, from Kilgore, will trail three-time and reigning world champion Antron Brown by 13 points, less than one competitive round.

“If we had it to do over again, I don’t think we’d change anything,” Torrence said. “We went out and made our best run of the weekend (3.764 seconds at a finish line speed of 327 mph) and we just got beat. Terry and those guys did a helluva job. That was second quickest of the day by just a thousandth of a second."

“It was just a great effort on their part. All you can do is congratulate those guys, suck it up and get ready for the next one. We ran our number, what (crew chief Richard) Hogan thought the track would take. They took their shot and made it work.”

With just two races remaining before the points are adjusted for the NHRA’s Countdown to the Championship, the battle to start the six-race playoffs from the No. 1 spot has come down to Torrence and Brown, fast friends off the track, faster rivals on it, and Brown’s Don Schumacher Racing teammate, Leah Pritchett, who will start at Brainerd 76 points behind the Texan.

“It’s gonna be a battle right down to the wire,” Torrence said of the battle for the regular season championship and the 30-point edge it provides heading into the playoffs. “To be in the hunt for No. 1 seed at this point in the season, battling with Antron and Leah, what could be better?”

Despite the early ouster, Torrence left with the track speed record after no one was able to eclipse the 330.47 mph number he posted a year ago.

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