Mt. Vernon Register-News


August 12, 2013

Hines Sight: Bears, Rams face challenging divisions


The beginning of every sports season starts with sky high expectations.

NFL fans are no different. Fan bases in St. Louis and Chicago might want to temper their excitement a bit as the preseason kicks off though. We're less than a month away from the start of the season, and it's about the time when fans seriously start sizing up the quality of their squads.

It seems like just a few short years ago, the NFC West was the laughing stock of football. Every team was equally mediocre. Seattle edged into the playoffs with a losing record after beating the Rams in the final game of the regular season. That was 2010.

This is how quickly things can change in the modern NFL. The college ranks are loaded with talent that translates into impact rookies at the professional level. San Francisco ended this past season on the cusp of a Super Bowl title, falling to the Baltimore Ravens. The Seahawks advanced to the playoffs, earning a wild-card berth. This time their win total was an impressive 11.

This is the competitive environment the Rams will be competing in this season as they enter division play. St. Louis played both teams tough a season ago. St. Louis famously tied the 49ers and then beat them in overtime later in the season. Against the Seahawks, St. Louis split with each team winning on its home field.

The NFC West with the 49ers, Seattle and a solid Rams team should be one of the better divisions across the NFL. The only vulnerable team on a weekly basis is the traditionally hapless Arizona Cardinals.

The last few seasons Arizona has had a carousel of quarterbacks since Kurt Warner left. It's the most critical position in today's NFL and at Arizona it's always unstable.

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    The Rams tennis matchup against Flora on Thursday came down to the final match.

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    It was the opening match of the season for Mt. Vernon after three cancelations to start the year under first year boys coach Randy Knox.

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    Carmi-White County jumped out early in an 11-3 win over the host Lady Cardinals on Wednesday.

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    The Lady Cardinals used late offense to put Tuesday's softball matchup with Odin out of reach.

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    A trio of first-half goals were enough for Breese Central to top the Lady Rams soccer team 3-1 Monday.

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    Ryan, who has been the team's point guard the past two years, signed with Welch College in Nashville, Tenn. on Friday.

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    The Rams baseball team scored a pair of late runs to beat Carbondale 6-5 Thursday.

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    The Lady Rams softball team knocked out several hits but could never string together a solid rally in a 9-0 loss to Carbondale on Thursday.

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  • Mt. Vernon boys track Rams win quad meet

    Robert Grider etched his name in the Rams track and field record book Wednesday.

    The senior sprinter broke the 200 meter school record and tied the 100 meter mark in Mt. Vernon's win over Marion, Salem and Carbondale.

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Tom Lindley Sports