In his first season as Wisconsin's quarterback, Samuel led the Badgers to a 6-4-1 record (4-3-1 in the Big Ten). Following a four-game midseason losing streak that began with a 23-20 loss to Penn State, the Badgers won five of their last six, including a 38-10 victory over Utah in the Copper Bowl.
``I would have liked to have won a few more games,'' Samuel said yesterday from his Frankford home. ``I have to improve my consistency.''
Playing in the Big Ten is everything Samuel expected it to be.
``It's awesome, very exciting,'' he said. ``The first time you walk onto a field in a huge stadium, it's overwhelming. But you get used to it.''
Samuel, who will return to Wisconsin soon, said he gets teased there about his Philadelphia accent.``But they sound funny to me,'' he said.
While he enjoys the football and social atmosphere in Wisconsin, Samuel said: ``I'll always be a Philadelphia fan. I'm not a
cheesehead, although I brought one home for one of my brothers.''
Samuel has met Eagles offensive guard Joe Panos, a Wisconsin graduate who returns to Madison in the offseason to work out.
Other Badgers from the area are John Waerig, a 6-2, 249-pound sophomore running back from Cardinal Dougherty; LaMar Campbell, a junior defensive back from Chester; and Onjai Bryant, a freshman defensive back from Overbrook (N.J.).
KIXX NEED KICK START A 7-1 start in their first National Professional Soccer League season was too good to be true for the Kixx. They are 2-7 in their last nine games.
That's the bad news. The good news is, the Kixx still lead the American Conference East Division with a 9-8 record.
Injuries to leading scorer Peter Vermes and Omid Namazi are partially responsible for the Kixx's recent slide. Vermes (15 goals, 13 assists, 44 points) has missed four games after undergoing hernia surgery. He is expected back in about one week. Namazi (5-24-32) missed the last game with a hamstring pull.
(Note: In the NPSL, regular-strength goals are worth two points, goals outside the 45-foot arc are three points; shootout and power play goals are one point.)
``With an expansion team,'' coach Dave MacWilliams said, ``the confidence level is going to be up and down. We've just got to work our way out of it. With the injuries, a little leadership has been lacking.''
St. Joseph's graduate Don D'Ambra is the Kixx's No. 3 scorer (14-5-36). Tony ``Chunky'' Bono (Drexel) has 35 points on 14 goals and 10 assists.
The Kixx host the Tampa Bay Terrors (5-12) Saturday night at the CoreStates Spectrum. The Kixx are 1-1 vs. Tampa Bay this season.
FRYAR WINS AWARD Veteran receiver Irving Fryar, who had an outstanding season in his first year with the Eagles, will accept the Native Son award at the 93rd annual Philadelphia Sports Writers Association awards dinner on Feb. 3.
Fryar set an Eagles record for receptions in a season with 88 and scored a career-high 11 touchdowns.
Fryar grew up in Mount Holly, N.J., playing for Rancocas Valley High, and played with the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins before joining the Eagles.
Others receiving awards at the dinner at the Adam's Mark Hotel include former Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda and Hall of Famer Jim Bunning, Special Achievement; World Series-champion New York Yankees, Team of the Year (owner George Steinbrenner is scheduled to accept); and Phillies reliever Ricky Bottalico, Good Guy.
For information about dinner tickets, call 1-609-786-0873.
BRYSON BRIGADE WINS Dave Pauley, Philadelphia Pharmacy's assistant men's basketball coach, has celebrated a Mummers first: Pauley marched with the Bryson New Year's Brigade of the Goodtimers that won the Comic Brigade competition for the first time.
Pauley and his colleagues wore lime-green faces as spacemen in a ``Planet Rock'' theme. Joe Bryson is the club captain.
The Goodtimers marched in memory of Chuck Smith, a member who died last year.
MISERICORDIA LEADERS Father Judge's John McGovern and North Catholic's Joe Harvey are continuing their impressive play for the College of Misericordia, near Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
McGovern, a 6-5 senior, leads Misericordia (3-4, 1-1) in scoring (17.3) and is third in rebounding (6.1). Harvey is runner-up in scoring (14.9) and averages six assists. The 5-10 senior leads the Pennsylvania Athletic Conference with a 32.5 average in two games.
DAFFY DISTANCE RUNNERS The Delaware Valley was well represented in the Walt Disney Marathon Sunday in Orlando, Fla. The top area finishers included:
Pennsylvania: Matt Maguire, 36, Philadelphia, 2 hours, 54 minutes, 16 seconds; Dennis Newman, 27, Philadelphia, 2:55.40; Edward Gribbin, 41, Merion, 3:00.38; and Michael Tuohey, 21, Exton, 3:15.09. Among women, Brenda Moyer, 30, of Harleysville, finished in 3:41.10, followed by Colleen Kennedy, 34, of Doylestown, in 3:42.33.
New Jersey: Michael Scythes, 39, Avalon, 2:43.26; Robert Cannava, 43, Mount Laurel, 3:06.15; Barry Roberson, 48, Medford, 3:17.24.
Delaware: John Langan, 32, Hockessin, 3:10.17; Randy Milby, 43, Newark, 3:44.57.