LOCAL AND STATE

Rural's Macy DeLeye set to sign with Drake

Washburn Rural senior Macy DeLeye will sign a volleyball letter of intent with Drake at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at Rural. DeLeye helped lead the Junior Blues to a second-place finish in the Class 6A state tournament this past season and earned All-Centennial League, All-City, All-6A State Tournament and All-6A All-State honors.

A four-year starter, DeLeye registered 378 kills and 83 service aces as a senior, helping Rural post a 40-6 record.

 

WVU women pull away from KU

The No. 19 West Virginia women outscored Kansas 18-6 in the final quarter Wednesday night, pulling away to a 68-49 victory at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence.

Guards Tynice Martin and Kysre Gondrezick led the Mountaineers (12-1, 2-0 Big 12), Martin scoring a game-high 23 points and Gondrezick backing her with 21. WVU led by only two, 31-29, at halftime before outscoring the Jayhawks (11-2, 0-2) by five in the third quarter then dominating the final 10 minutes.

Mariane de Carvalho and Aniya Thomas each scored 12 points for KU, which lost its second straight game to start league play despite owning a 16-11 lead at the end of the first quarter. Brooklyn Mitchell added 11 points for KU.

 

MISCELLANEOUS

Brady: 'I still have more to prove'

Whether Tom Brady will return as quarterback of the New England Patriots next season is still an open question. But the 42-year-old on Wednesday gave another indication that he isn't done playing football.

In an Instagram post to fans, Brady said “I still have more to prove” following a season that ended with the Patriots failing to reach the Super Bowl for the first time since 2015.

“In both life and football, failure is inevitable," he wrote. “You dont always win. You can, however, learn from that failure, pick yourself up with great enthusiasm, and place yourself in the arena again.”

New England's season ended with a 20-13 loss in the wild-card round to the Tennessee Titans on Saturday night. A six-time Super Bowl champion, four-time Most Valuable Player of the NFL title game and three-time winner of the league MVP, Brady could become an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career when his contract ends in March.

That has placed team owner Robert Kraft and coach Bill Belichick on the clock to either bring back Brady for his 21st season or watch the franchise’s greatest player depart from the only team he's called home.

 

McCarthy introduced by Cowboys

Mike McCarthy didn't take long before mentioning that his Super Bowl title came at the home of the Dallas Cowboys.

The former Green Bay coach then quickly added that he was ready to win his next championship with the Cowboys, who are going on 25 years since their previous trip to football's biggest stage.

McCarthy, 56, was introduced as coach of the Cowboys at a news conference Wednesday with a handful of players and dozens of Dallas staffers watching in the atrium of the indoor stadium that serves as the club's practice field.

“The commitment will be unwavering,” McCarthy said. “I won my first Super Bowl here at North Texas. I am anxious and excited to get to work winning the next Super Bowl for the Dallas Cowboys.”

Dallas missed the playoffs at 8-8 with high expectations in a make-or-break season for Jason Garrett, whose contract expires next week. At 9½ seasons, Garrett had the second-longest tenure for a Dallas coach behind Tom Landry (club's first 29 years).

Green Bay made nine trips to the postseason in 13 years under McCarthy.

 

Giants finalize deal with Judge

The struggling New York Giants went into their third coaching search since 2015 looking for a leader for their young team.

In hiring New England Patriots special teams coordinator and wide receivers coach Joe Judge on Wednesday, the Giants settled for a 38-year-old assistant who has never run a team either at the college or NFL level.

What they did get with Judge, though, was a young man who has worked with two of the best football coaches in the past 30 years in Bill Belichick and Nick Saban.

The Giants and representatives for Judge reached a contract agreement Wednesday, less than 24 hours after he was offered the job and asked to turn around a franchise that has made the playoffs once since winning the Super Bowl in February 2012.

Judge succeeds Pat Shurmur, who was fired a week ago Monday after winning nine games in two seasons.