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As the Western Athletic Conference prepares to begin its inaugural season as an FCS football league, former Huntsville Hornets are ready to make their presence felt.

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THE WOODLANDS — After winning the first FCS National Championship in program history amid a pandemic season that included opt-outs, cancelations and a bevy of unusual circumstances, the Sam Houston Bearkats heard plenty of noise about a hypothetical asterisk next to their title run.

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The Sam Houston Bearkats swept the WAC's preseason player of the year awards, with quarterback Eric Schmid and defensive lineman Jahari Kay taking the league's top offensive and defensive honors.

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With WAC media day set for Wednesday and the ASUN revealing its preseason awards this week, the time has arrived to dissect what to expect for the one and only installment of the WAC-ASUN Challenge.

After guiding the Sam Houston Bearkats to the most successful season in program history, Brandt Kieschnick has been recognized as the top coach in the country.

National Sports

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ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Top prospect Jo Adell drove in three runs while reaching base four times in his season debut, Phil Gosselin had three RBI singles and the Los Angeles Angels won 11-3 at Texas on Tuesday night to end the Rangers' three-game winning streak.

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Yusei Kikuchi went six effective innings, Abraham Toro and Jarred Kelenic homered, and the Seattle Mariners beat the Tampa Bay Rays 4-2 on Tuesday night.

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NEW YORK (AP) — Naomi Osaka. Simone Biles. Both are prominent young Black women under the pressure of a global Olympic spotlight that few human beings ever know. Both have faced major career crossroads at the Tokyo Games. Both cited pressure and mental health.

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YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) — José Bautista had just gotten his first Olympic hit, extending the Dominican Republic's tournament with a walkoff single that capped a ninth-inning rally and eliminated surprising Israel.

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Should masks return as delta variant fuels new Covid cases?

The percentage of Texas Covid-19 tests coming back positive is now at levels considered red flags by Gov. Greg Abbott and the Trump administration during the height of the pandemic. State officials and virologists say the highly contagious delta variant is fueling the rise in new cases and hospitalizations, especially among the unvaccinated. The delta variant also is capable of infecting the vaccinated, considered breakthrough infections, although the vaccinated experience only mild cases. Should the public return to pandemic safety measures such as mask wearing in public places?

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