Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Minor league baseball players reminisce about their football careers

HighBeam Research

Title: Football season brings memories to Cougars.(Sports)

Date: 8/25/2000; Publication: Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL); Author: Bush, Joe
High school football begins today in Illinois, and for some in the Kane County locker room, the feeling unique to football has never stopped.
Cougars center fielder Chip Ambres was a double-threat quarterback for the Westbrook High Bruins in gridiron-mad Texas and turned down scholarship offers from Texas A&M and Nebraska in order to take more than $1 million of the Marlins' money in 1998.
The two times the Marching Cobras marching band from Kansas City has played at Elfstrom Stadium, Ambres drifted back to Friday nights in the Lone Star State.
"I get chills," Ambres says.
Six-foot-8 Cougars reliever Bryan Moore still gets giddy when he thinks of being on a college football field in front of 15,000 fans. One of the finest, most unbelievable moments of his life happened last year when the University of Houston played Eastern Carolina.
If you're struggling to picture the lanky Moore playing Division I football, or know that last fall Moore was no longer a student at UH because he had signed with the Marlins in the summer of 1999, then you're on the right track.
Moore didn't play organized football past grades school, but that day, in a halftime promotion, he kicked field goals of 35 and 45 yards to win $10,000. Moore - whose selection from the crowd was hardly random because he knew the lady who chose the three people - didn't just eek out the kicks, either. They both sailed through at or near the top of the uprights.
"I still, like, talk about it now and get the adrenaline rush," says Moore, who has the event on videotape and has shown it to Cougars teammates. "It's probably the most pressure thing I've ever done. It surpasses any of this baseball stuff."
Before you think that it's just like the world to award $10,000 to a pro athlete, get this: Moore was a fifth-year senior when the Marlins drafted him in the 13th round, meaning he had no negotiating leverage for his signing bonus. It was either sign or get a job.
"(The prize) was almost two 1/2 times my signing bonus," Moore says. "Ten thousand dollars was nice."
After taxes, it was actually $8,500, but had Moore made the 35- yarder and missed the longer one, he'd have won a T-shirt.
Right fielder Matt Padgett kicked field goals with pads on and a helmet and a Clemson uniform - a real team member. He once beat North Carolina State with a last-second field goal. In high school, Padgett played safety and fullback as well.
"High school football was probably one of my most favorite things I've done," Padgett says. "Even like, college football and college baseball. High school football was a good time."
Alumni news: Former Cougars right fielder Brett Roneberg (1998, '99), now at Class A Brevard County, earned a berth on the Australian Olympic team.
COPYRIGHT 2000 Paddock Publications
This material is published under license from the publisher through the Gale Group, Farmington Hills, Michigan.  All inquiries regarding rights should be directed to the Gale Group.

This document provided by HighBeam Research at http://www.highbeam.com

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