Emmett Staples was once a noted fullback, renowned for his
ability to power through defenders with his 240-pound frame.
As a Eureka High junior in 1991, Staples rushed for 1,559
yards, attracting a host of NCAA Division I scouts.
Staples' weight ballooned, resulting in a subpar senior season.
Eventually, he opted for a junior college, attending Highland
(Kan.) Community College. Now he's at Division II Central Missouri
State, where he scored two touchdowns Saturday in a 43-10 victory
over Washburn in a Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics
Staples, a junior, gained only 36 yards on 12 carries, but he
cemented a role in the Mules' backfield. Expectations of Staples
are high. At Highland, he rushed for 861 yards last year, averaging
5.4 yards per carry.
At Eureka, Staples seemed star-bound, but a disappointing
senior year and academic setbacks narrowed his options.
"He had a run of bad luck," Central Missouri coach Terry Noland
"He came here and was a little overweight at 265 pounds,"
Noland said. "Our staff worked with him, and he got down to about
about 245. He pulled a hamstring, which was probably because he
wasn't in the best of shape, and missed our first two games. He got
his first chance last week against Washburn and did a very nice job.
"He has a terrific work ethic, and we're expecting big things
from him," Noland said.
SMSU Blues: It's been 21 years since Southwest Missouri State's
football team began so poorly.
After Saturday's double-overtime loss to fellow Gateway
Conference member Western Illinois, SMSU (0-3) is staring at its
worst start since 1973, when the Bears began 0-5 as a member of the
It's also the first time since 1981 that SMSU has dropped its
first two league games. That's when the Bears were in the
Mid-Continent Conference. SMSU never had been 0-2 in the Gateway
SMSU has lost all three games by a touchdown or less: 26-20 to
North Texas State; 12-7 to Northern Iowa; and 31-24 to Western
Illlinois on Saturday.
The culprit has been turnovers. SMSU has lost six interceptions
and five fumbles, while coming up with two interceptions and no
From East St. Louis to Macomb, Ill., Frank Spraggins has left a
trail of athletic accomplishments.
On Saturday, Spraggins, a freshman, tied a school-record and a
Gateway Conference mark with three interceptions in helping Western
Illinois to victory over SMSU. …