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Copyright 2018 The Arizona Daily Star Jun 17, 2018

Arizona Daily Star (Tucson)


In preparation for the UA's anticipated home football schedule — USC, Oregon, ASU, BYU — Arizona athletic director Dave Heeke told me there will be more changes than just out-of-town scores on the video screen, a new PA announcer, more music from the band and, of course, the new Zona Zoo facilities. "More fireworks," he said. "Exploring new food options and local vendors. Enhancing ticket-purchasing methods. Pre-game tailgating improvements. New operational systems: entry, traffic flow and parking."

Sounds good. Fresno State announced it pocketed $110,000 last year in beer sales at football and basketball home games. Here's guessing the UA's next game-day change involves beer. … Hard to believe, but Robert Gamez, the 1989 NCAA Golfer of the Year at Arizona — winner of the Northern Telecom Open at Starr Pass as a PGA Tour rookie in 1990 — turns 50 next month and is preparing to join the PGA Tour Champions.

That means he is likely to play in next February's Cologuard Classic at Tucson National. Gamez, who is likely the top golfer in UA history, won three PGA Tour events and has recovered from a 2014 heart attack that almost killed him.

The Tucson Conquistadores, including executive director Judy McDermott, plan to fly to Madison, Wisconsin, this week to visit the Exact Sciences (Cologuard) facilities and then meet with 2018 Tucson champion Steve Stricker at this week's American Family Insurance Championship, a PGA Tour Champions event in Madison. … Tucson nurse anesthetist Sarah Sellers, who finished second in the Boston Marathon in April, returned to competition last week and finished 17th out of about 8,500 runners in the women's-only New York Mini-10K in Manhattan.

Sellers will run in the half-marathon July 24 in Salt Lake City, and has not yet scheduled another full marathon. … Tucsonan Cesar Salazar, a UA junior catcher, signed a $160,000 bonus with the Houston Astros last week and, as expected, will not return to Arizona for his senior season. He will be assigned to a Class A team. Here's the difference between being drafted in the seventh round, as Salazar, and the first round.

UA baseball coach Jay Johnson signed the No. 17 overall choice, Phoenix pitcher Matthew Liberatore, who signed with Tampa Bay for $3.5 million. Third baseman Nolan Gorman of Phoenix, the 19th overall pick and also an Arizona signee, accepted $3.27 million from St. Louis.

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June 17, 2018


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