- Former state golf champion Bob Gaona, Tucson High Class of ’58, who played on the PGA Tour’s Senior Tour from 1987 to 1996, will be honored by the Tucson Conquistadores on Sept. 13 at El Rio Golf Course. The Conquistadores will stage a benefit for Gaona, who is suffering from stage IV-A thymic-carcinoma cancer, which has spread to his lungs and heart. In addition to a 7:30 a.m. shotgun start, the Conquistadores and Gaona’s friends will hold a silent auction, a beat-the-pro contest, closest-to-the-pin competition and a clinic as part of the First Tee program. A lunch is to follow at 1 p.m. Entry information: contact Jerry Leyva at 404-5353.
- Sunnyside High grad Michael Smith won’t play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this year. He injured his foot in the preseason and was placed on the Bucs’ injured reserve list. He will be paid for the full season, about $650,000. Smith, a tailback, was a seventh-round draft pick from Utah State a year ago.
- Mountain View grad Dan Moore was similarly placed on injured reserve last week by the Indianapolis Colts. A free agent fullback from Montana, Moore tore a shoulder muscle in practice Aug. 5.
- Cholla grad Vance Johnson, an All-Pac-10 tailback at Arizona in 1982 and later a three-time Super Bowl receiver for the Denver Broncos, was honored by the Broncos at Thursday’s preseason game against Arizona. Johnson was asked to participate in the pre-game coin flip and spent the game on the Denver sideline. Hard to believe it was 32 years since his dazzling true freshman debut against UCLA.
- It was encouraging to learn that Cholla High football coach Laurence Ruhf coached the Chargers to a season-opening victory Friday, breaking a 14-game losing streak. Coaching at Cholla, which has only 27 varsity players, isn’t easy. A lot of coaches would have walked away following 0-10 and 1-9 seasons, but Ruhf stuck it out. His twitter message after Friday’s victory – “the boys get all the credit” — said it all.
More short stuff: Conquistadores to honor Gaona, golfer who is battling cancer
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