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SGA softball stays perfect, delivers Manry 500th win

DAMASCUS – Tommy Manry didn’t tell his players what was at stake before Thursday’s game against Tiftarea.

That’s because there was enough on the line already.

SGA was looking to improve to 5-0 on the season and beat a team that has given it fits over the years. And the Lady Warriors did just that, rolling to a 12-0, four-inning win. The victory also marked Manry’s 500th career win.

“I told them afterward, and they were real happy,” Manry said before adding with a laugh: “But I think they were glad they beat Tiftarea even more.”

Manry, who has been a teacher and coach for 44 years ­— 11 of those at SGA — joked that he felt as old as he was, “I should have 1,000 wins by now.”

“It felt good (to reach that milestone),” he added. “I’ve had some great kids over the years.”

Allison Warren struck out three and walked none, allowing just two hits in the win to improve to 3-0. Reigning Herald Player of the Year Madison Ragan, who came over to SGA from Randolph Southern this offseason with RSS closed, finished 3-for-3 with two doubles, a home run and four RBI. Baylee Everson added two hits and two RBI, and Braylie Blanton rocked two doubles herself and drove in two runs.

Kendyl Carver, meanwhile, had just one hit, but it was a monster home run — her fourth in five games to start the season. Carver is on a tear after hitting just five round-trippers all year.

SGA improved to 5-0 overall and 2-0 in region play.

ASU volleyball picked to win conference

ATLANTA — The Albany State volleyball team was the unanmious pick to win the 2013 conference title this season, after a recent vote by the conference’s volleyball coaches.

The Lady Rams, also predicted to finish on top of the East Division, were runners-up last season and will return a solid core of players led by its first team preseason All-SIAC selections Jillian Anderson and Ashley Johnson, who was the 2012 Co-Offensive Player of the Year in the conference.

Anderson, a senior middle hitter from Athens, recorded a hitting percentage of .329 and 325 kills. She also led the team in blocks with 77. Johnson, a senior outside hitter from Tallahassee, Fla., finished the 2012 season with a .257 hitting percentage and 418 kills.

Defending conference champion Clark Atlanta University was chosen to finish second behind ASU. Benedict College was selected in third place, while Claflin University was picked to finish fourth in the East Division. Paine College and Fort Valley State University were selected as the fifth and sixth team, respectfully.

In the West Division, Stillman College received five first-place votes as the favorite. Kentucky State University was picked to finish second, followed by Tuskegee University, Miles College, LeMoyne-Owen College and Lane College.

NFL settles concussion suit for $765 million

The National Football League has agreed to a $765 million settlement deal with thousands of former players who sued the league, accusing it of hiding the dangers of brain injury while profiting from the sport’s violence.

The league agreed to fund medical exams, concussion-related compensation and a program of medical research as well as to cover some legal expenses, according to a filing in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on Thursday.

The settlement is something of a win for the league, which observers estimated generates annual revenue as high as $10 billion.

“It would certainly seem to be fair financial terms to the NFL as an enterprise, especially given how difficult this lawsuit has been from a PR and perception viewpoint on both the NFL and the sport of football,” said Robert Boland, professor of sports management at New York University. “This is a very positive end for the NFL.”

More than 4,500 players had accused the league of glorifying football’s ferocity while concealing the risks of concussions and long-term brain damage as a result of repeated hits to the head.

U.S. District Judge Anita Brody in July had ordered both sides to meet with mediator Layn Phillips, a retired federal judge, in an effort to settle the dispute.

“This is a historic agreement, one that will make sure that former NFL players who need and deserve compensation will receive it, and that will promote safety for players at all levels of football,” Phillips said.