<![CDATA[Colorado Springs Gazette RSS - sports >> air-force-academy]]> http://gazette.com/rss/sports/air-force-academy Wed, 31 Aug 2016 15:54:04 -0600 Zend_Feed http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss <![CDATA[Woody Paige: Diminutive Dee Dowis was giant of a man]]> http://gazette.com/woody-paige-diminutive-dee-dowis-was-giant-of-a-man/article/1584443?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/woody-paige-diminutive-dee-dowis-was-giant-of-a-man/article/1584443?custom_click=rss

Dee Dowis was the biggest little man of them all.

Michael "Dee" Dowis stood 5-foot-10 (supposedly) and weighed 153 pounds (honestly) when he played quarterback at the Air Force Academy.

"I think my size is an advantage,'' he once told me, in a Southern drawl you could pour on pancakes. Really? "They couldn't see me behind the offensive linemen.''

Before the 1989 college football opener at the academy, new San Diego State coach Al Luginbill had weeks to prepare for the Falcons, and specifically, Dowis. He switched from five defensive backs to four and inserted a third linebacker whose primary responsibility was to spy on Dowis every play. "We're going to smash them,'' Luginbill said at the time.



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Tue, 30 Aug 2016 23:11:38 -0600
<![CDATA[David Ramsey: Dee Dowis overcame so much to become Air Force's greatest offensive player]]> http://gazette.com/david-ramsey-dee-dowis-overcame-so-much-to-become-air-forces-greatest-offensive-player/article/1584399?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/david-ramsey-dee-dowis-overcame-so-much-to-become-air-forces-greatest-offensive-player/article/1584399?custom_click=rss

Fisher DeBerry and Dee Dowis met on a sun porch in Royston, Ga. It was the fall of 1985, and Dowis was a high school senior who had this vision of playing Division I football, and like many seniors he was having trouble finding anyone to share his vision.

Dowis stood 5-foot-9 and weighed 148 pounds. He didn't look like much, but looks are so often deceptive in football. He had a knack no one could teach. He could, like all the greats, find open spaces. His father, who had died when Dee was 3, was a spectacular high school star, too.

DeBerry looked at this scrawny player and made one of the best decisions of his long career. He joined Dowis in his unlikely vision.

So many memories rushed through DeBerry's mind on Tuesday



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Tue, 30 Aug 2016 21:31:09 -0600
<![CDATA[Reaction to the death of legendary Air Force quarterback Dee Dowis]]> http://gazette.com/reaction-to-the-death-of-legendary-air-force-quarterback-dee-dowis/article/1583992?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/reaction-to-the-death-of-legendary-air-force-quarterback-dee-dowis/article/1583992?custom_click=rss

Dee Dowis, a star Air Force quarterback from 1986-89 who became a Heisman Trophy finalist, died early Monday morning in a traffic accident near Atlanta.

Dowis remains Air Force’s all-time leading rusher with 3,612 yards and is a member of the Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame.

Here are some of the memories of Dowis and reaction to his death:

- “He was the most electric, dynamic and exciting football player probably in the history of service academy football, ever. And yet a better person,” - Air Force coach Troy Calhoun, who was Dowis’ teammate at the academy. 

- “I am shocked. So saddened. My heart’s broken.



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Tue, 30 Aug 2016 11:34:37 -0600
<![CDATA[Air Force's Jacob Onyechi set for huge year]]> http://gazette.com/air-forces-jacob-onyechi-set-for-huge-year/article/1583726?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/air-forces-jacob-onyechi-set-for-huge-year/article/1583726?custom_click=rss

For the first time in his Air Force career, Jacob Onyechi enters a season encumbered by nothing.

When he began his first season, the "spur" linebacker was still several months from his 18th birthday. So youth was a factor.

When he was a sophomore, the Falcons thrust him into a larger role, but he lacked experience.

As a junior, he was still sharing time at his position with senior Dexter Walker, and Onyechi didn't feel entirely comfortable in that situation.

"I've worked my way up to now," Onyechi said. "So it's going to be really cool to see what I can do when I'm 100 percent confident in myself."

In some respects, Onyechi is that quiet coworker who finally breaks out of their shell at a holiday party,



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Thu, 25 Aug 2016 22:06:57 -0600
<![CDATA['Timmy Turbo' serves as prankster, little brother and speedy star for Air Force]]> http://gazette.com/timmy-turbo-serves-as-prankster-little-brother-and-speedy-star-for-air-force/article/1583589?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/timmy-turbo-serves-as-prankster-little-brother-and-speedy-star-for-air-force/article/1583589?custom_click=rss

Little brothers are built to annoy. Therefore, little brothers must master the art of the swift getaway.

It makes perfect sense, then, that Tim McVey acts as the little brother within Air Force's football team, because no one escapes faster.

"He's a prankster," linebacker Grant Ross said. "If something happens to you, like someone kneed you in the back of the knee or bit you on the arm and you're trying to figure out who did it, it's usually Timmy. He's a rascal."

Hold it, (ital) bit (end ital) you on the arm?

"Yes, he does that," outside linebacker Haji Dunn said. "He even poked me in the belly button the other day. He's a little bully. A fun little bully. A little brother.



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Wed, 24 Aug 2016 16:49:07 -0600
<![CDATA[Jesse Washington back in the mix at cornerback as Air Force position battles tighten with opener lurking]]> http://gazette.com/jesse-washington-back-in-the-mix-at-cornerback-as-air-force-position-battles-tighten-with-opener-lurking/article/1583555?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/jesse-washington-back-in-the-mix-at-cornerback-as-air-force-position-battles-tighten-with-opener-lurking/article/1583555?custom_click=rss

Air Force began preparation for Abilene Christian and Georgia State on Tuesday, marking that shift in camp from install to game mode.

Even in this atmosphere, there are some positions undetermined.

Senior cornerback Jesse Washington is among those finishing camp strong in his quest to recapture the starting position he held throughout last season.

"He's really improved the last week or so," defensive coordinator Steve Russ said. "He's really playing better.

"That's not to say the other guys aren't, but he's really embraced the competition and he's doing some good things."

Washington is sharing first-team reps with junior Marquis Griffin, who had passed him for a starting spot in the spring and held that spot



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Tue, 23 Aug 2016 22:10:30 -0600
<![CDATA[Pair of juniors continue to lead competitive battle at linebacker for Air Force]]> http://gazette.com/pair-of-juniors-continue-to-lead-competitive-battle-at-linebacker-for-air-force/article/1583451?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/pair-of-juniors-continue-to-lead-competitive-battle-at-linebacker-for-air-force/article/1583451?custom_click=rss

Grant Ross has a fairly specific personal goal for this season.

"I'd like to be all-conference in the Mountain West," said the junior middle linebacker.

That Ross would have such lofty aspirations isn't surprising. This was a player good enough to have a Big 12 scholarship offer from TCU, after all. What's interesting is that a few months ago, Ross and fellow junior Jack Flor weren't even locks to start. Now, those positions seem secure enough that they can start looking beyond issues like playing time.

Because of injuries, Air Force played five linebackers last year. Of that group, only Connor Healy was a senior. That left Flor, Ross and seniors Claude Alexander III and Patrick Healy back to battle for the two



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Mon, 22 Aug 2016 20:42:21 -0600
<![CDATA[Air Force tall receiving corps ready to stretch defenses]]> http://gazette.com/air-force-tall-receiving-corps-ready-to-stretch-defenses/article/1583219?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/air-force-tall-receiving-corps-ready-to-stretch-defenses/article/1583219?custom_click=rss

Before Clune Arena opened in 1968, Air Force played its games at the Cadet Gymnasium. It's a safe bet that in its heyday, the old gymnasium never saw the kind of across-the-board height on its floor that it does now when Air Force's pass-catching corps engages in its regular pickup basketball games.

From the 6-foot-4 ringleader Jalen Robinette to his 6-4 backup Cody Bronkar to 6-5 tight end Ryan Reffitt, this a group that seems just as suited for basketball as it is for football.

Add to this mix senior Andrew Daughtery (6-2), sophomores Jake Matkovich (6-5) and Cameron Castleberry (6-3) and freshmen Xavier Price (6-3) and Geraud Sanders (6-2), and there are some towering figures waiting to catch passes in offensive



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Fri, 19 Aug 2016 17:24:48 -0600
<![CDATA[Air Force, Colorado College start women's soccer season Friday]]> http://gazette.com/air-force-colorado-college-start-womens-soccer-season-friday/article/1583174?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/air-force-colorado-college-start-womens-soccer-season-friday/article/1583174?custom_click=rss

Air Force will lean on its upperclassmen while Colorado College women's soccer will continue its youth movement as the Mountain West Conference programs begin play Friday in the Colorado Cup.

The Falcons host Colorado at 6 p.m. Friday (admission is free) while the Tigers head to Greeley to battle Northern Colorado. The Pikes Peak region teams then swap foes for Sunday's road games.

"The players are really excited to get the season going against CU," Falcons coach Larry Friend said. "We are traditionally a young team but we have strong junior and senior classes. That experience will help us."

Four-time regular season champion San Diego State was picked first in the coaches preseason poll while playoff champ San Jose



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Thu, 18 Aug 2016 22:48:14 -0600
<![CDATA[Air Force tight end Ryan Reffitt no longer learning on the job]]> http://gazette.com/air-force-tight-end-ryan-reffitt-no-longer-learning-on-the-job/article/1583055?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/air-force-tight-end-ryan-reffitt-no-longer-learning-on-the-job/article/1583055?custom_click=rss

If Air Force fans didn't know much about tight end Ryan Reffitt prior to his starting debut last year, they weren't alone.

Even the Falcons' coaching staff had to take a moment to take inventory of Reffitt's skill set when he was thrust into action by a pregame injury to returning starter Garrett Griffin before the 2015 opener.

Reffitt, then a sophomore, had spent only about four weeks under tight ends coach Steed Lobotzke after moving from outside linebacker.

"We went in right in pregame and asked if there were some things we wanted to change with our personnel groupings," coach Troy Calhoun said. "And Lobo said, 'No, he'll be fine.'

"We didn't miss a beat."

Reffitt started five games before Griffin



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Thu, 18 Aug 2016 06:13:16 -0600
<![CDATA[No more Mr. Nice guy: Sam Byers happy to provide mean streak for Air Force's defense]]> http://gazette.com/no-more-mr.-nice-guy-sam-byers-happy-to-provide-mean-streak-for-air-forces-defense/article/1582922?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/no-more-mr.-nice-guy-sam-byers-happy-to-provide-mean-streak-for-air-forces-defense/article/1582922?custom_click=rss

When Sam Byers needs a drink at practice, he seeks a manager and makes sure to include a clear "please" and "thank you."

When Byers proposed to his girlfriend, Erika Daniels, last summer, he involved her whole family at her grandparents' beach house. He had taken Daniels, his girlfriend since seventh grade, out on the tide flats when the water was down, and as they came back toward the house her brothers were on the deck holding a sign. When Daniels looked from the sign back at him, Byers had dropped to one knee with a ring.

In high school, the defensive tackle was so excited by the Air Force offer that he committed less than a week later. Facebook includes pictures of Byers snuggling with and smooching his puppy. When the



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Wed, 17 Aug 2016 15:38:04 -0600
<![CDATA[Air Force shark-tooth helmets draw TV air time, become viral hit]]> http://gazette.com/air-force-shark-tooth-helmets-draw-tv-air-time-become-viral-hit/article/1582859?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/air-force-shark-tooth-helmets-draw-tv-air-time-become-viral-hit/article/1582859?custom_click=rss

Air Force equipment manager Scott Richardson knew instantly on Sunday by the reaction on social media that the newly unveiled shark-tooth helmets were well-received.

But he didn't grasp the extent of the reach until the next morning, when he saw the three hosts of Fox & Friends discussing it on their show.

"They were sitting around talking about helmets," Richardson said. "That might be a first for Fox News."

The helmet, designed to mimic the look made famous with paintings on the noses of the A-10s flown in World War II by the "Flying Tigers," also made appearances on ABC News, ESPN and was a sensation on social media, drawing more than half a million imprints on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter just from the posts



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Tue, 16 Aug 2016 10:47:43 -0600
<![CDATA[Air Force Academy grad Cale Simmons fails to make Olympic pole vault final]]> http://gazette.com/air-force-academy-grad-cale-simmons-fails-to-make-olympic-pole-vault-final/article/1582736?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/air-force-academy-grad-cale-simmons-fails-to-make-olympic-pole-vault-final/article/1582736?custom_click=rss

RIO DE JANEIRO - Cale Simmons, a 2013 Air Force Academy graduate, never fully found his groove Saturday night and failed to make the final in the Olympic pole vault.

"It was an amazing experience," Simmons said a few minutes after his final vault. "I loved every second. I gave it my all."

Simmons cleared 5.30 meters (17 feet 4.6 inches) on his third vault to move to the second round of qualifying, but failed to clear 5.45 meters (17 feet 10.6 inches) and was eliminated. His personal best in the vault is 18-8 1/2.

He struggled on all the vaults at Olympic Stadium. On his first attempt, he knocked down the bar with his right knee. He did not come close on his second attempt. On his third - and only successful - attempt,



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Sat, 13 Aug 2016 21:35:25 -0600
<![CDATA[Air Force included on list to talk with Big 12 about expansion]]> http://gazette.com/air-force-included-on-list-to-talk-with-big-12-about-expansion/article/1582665?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/air-force-included-on-list-to-talk-with-big-12-about-expansion/article/1582665?custom_click=rss

According to a report from ESPN citing unnamed sources, Air Force is one of 18 expansion candidates that will conduct a video conference with Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby.

The list of schools was initially reported at 17 by the ESPN report, but the Falcons were a late addition on Friday evening. Before Air Force was added, the report had indicated that the 17 schools had contacted the Big 12 about being considered as expansion candidates. There was no mention of how Air Force was added, or if the Falcons had initiated contact or the other way around.

Air Force sources indicated to The Gazette in July that the program had no intention of making overtures at joining the Big 12.



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Fri, 12 Aug 2016 22:05:18 -0600
<![CDATA[Air Force grad David Higgins' happy Olympics ride ends - for now]]> http://gazette.com/air-force-grad-david-higgins-happy-olympics-ride-ends-for-now/article/1582611?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/air-force-grad-david-higgins-happy-olympics-ride-ends-for-now/article/1582611?custom_click=rss

RIO DE JANEIRO – It’s been a wild,  happy ride for David Higgins.
In April, he became the first-ever Air Force Academy cadet-athlete to qualify for the Olympics. In June, he was sitting with fellow graduates at Falcon Stadium, and Barack Obama mentioned him by name.
“David Higgins, a marksman who’s going to the Olympics in Rio, bring home the gold, David!” Obama said with a laugh.
On Friday morning in Rio, Higgins was standing at the Olympic shooting venue. He had just finished 40th in 50-meter prone rifle shooting, failing to make the finals.
The happy ride ended, for now.
“I’ve been living on Cloud Nine all



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Fri, 12 Aug 2016 12:31:13 -0600