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Second Thoughts

Little bro sets record, keeps it in family

By Frankie Frisco

This article was published August 4, 2014 at 2:48 a.m.


Washington Redskins' punters and kickers, Blake Clingan, left, Kai Forbath, second from left, Robert Malone, third from left, and Zach Hocker, right, smile during practice at the Redskins training center in Richmond Va., Thursday, July 31, 2014. (AP Photo/Richmond Times-Dispatch,Mark Gormus)

Alexander Stephan Ware, 12, showed up at the Arkansas Swimming Long Course Championship at Creekmore Park Pool in Fort Smith last week looking to make a splash for his Dolphin-Laser club team.

He certainly did.

Alex, a student at Pulaski Academy, came out of the weekend with a state record in the 11-12 age division in the 100-meter butterfly. His time of 1:03.82 broke a record (1:04.34) held for 29 years by Alex's stepbrother, Stephan David Ware, who competed for Indiana at the Central Zone Championship in Little Rock in 1985.

Melanie Ware, Alex's mother, said she spotted her stepson's name and record when looking through the program before the meet.

"We didn't know Stephan held the record until we were going through the 'psyche sheet,' highlighting the events and what heat and what lane Alex would be swimming," she said. "We got to the 100 butterfly and saw what the state record was and couldn't believe it."

Alex's heat time put him in the butterfly final, which was held just after he lost by a touch in the 200-meter freestyle final.

Alex's focus, Melanie said, was on the 100 butterfly, and they let Stephan know earlier in the day about the record and how Alex was gunning to break it.

"Honestly I was kind of surprised I had the record," said Stephan, 42, who swam collegiately at SMU and now lives in McKinney, Texas. "I was from Indiana at the time and just happened to be in Arkansas for the zone championships. Clearly, he is very talented and a great performer."

Melanie said Alex was named after Stephan, who has no children.

"They've always had a special bond," Melanie said. "He's never been a big brother to coach or correct, but he's been the big brother that supports."

Hairy decision

Washington Redskins rookie kicker Zach Hocker no doubt wishes he had opted to perform a comedy skit in front of his veteran teammates instead of letting them select his new hairstyle.

Hocker's haircut can be best described as a sideways Mohawk, with the one strip of hair going from ear to ear.

"I kind of regret it now," the former Arkansas Razorbacks kicker told ESPN's John Keim. "In the moment it was fun, but now I wish I had thought of something funny for the team. ... I didn't anticipate this. I got up on the stage and they put up three pictures for the team to vote on. This was my look. They let me have it and there I went."

The man whose job Hocker is attempting to steal, incumbent Washington kicker Kai Forbath, reportedly did the cutting. According to Keim, Hocker must keep the hairdo for a week, and veterans haven't told him yet whether he can shave it before Thursday's preseason opener against the Patriots.

Near costly ringer

A odd week in golf got even stranger on Sunday at the Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio, when Sergio Garcia's errant tee shot on the third hole at Firestone Country Club struck a female fan's finger and knocked the diamond out of her engagement ring.

Garcia arrived on the scene as officials searched for the diamond in the deep, gnarly Firestone rough.

The search went on for several minutes, with Garcia even asking for contact info from the fan in case they couldn't find the diamond.

Luckily for Garcia, and the fan, the diamond was recovered by another patron, but that was the end of Garcia's good fortune. Garcia, who entered the final round with a three-shot lead, shot a 1-over 71 to finish second, two shots behind winner Rory McIlroy.


Where did Kai Forbath play college football?



Sports on 08/04/2014

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