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Kearney, Neb. – The Nebraska-Kearney volleyball team's adjusted 2020 schedule has the Lopers playing 20 MIAA matches this fall.

To help alleviate costs brought on by the Covid-19 crisis, all NCAA Division II women's volleyball programs are playing a maximum of 20 dates this fall. Teams can play multiple matches on a date and thus UNK and many other schools are aiming to combine a weekend schedule onto a single day. This will open up dates to allow for non-conference action.  

If some switches are made the Lopers begin the year as scheduled at the Colorado School of Mines Tournament (September 4-5) with opponents to be determined. UNK is hopeful its annual home tournament can take place the following weekend (September 11-12) but that is TBD as well.

There are currently four MIAA weeks where things might change to one site. They are September 25-26 (opponents are Newman and Central Oklahoma), October 6 & 9 (Central Missouri and Fort Hays State), October 23-24 (NU and UCO), and November 3 & 7 (UCM and Hays). More switches could take place as long as all parties agree; UNK's travel partner is Hays.

Currently the Lopers have 10 home and 10 away matches. The first scheduled home match comes September 18 vs. Emporia State. The MIAA Tournament, which was moved to Kansas City last fall, returns to campus this season. That event will come the week of November 16-21.

UNK, currently going through voluntary workouts that began June 1, reports to fall camp in mid-August.

 




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Kearney, Neb. – Nebraska-Kearney head men's basketball coach Kevin Lofton announced today that Australian Patrick Fraser has signed on with the Lopers.

A 6-5, 190 pound wing with four years of eligibility remaining, Fraser is UNK's fourth recruit to date. The previously announced members of the class are junior guard Myles Arnold (Fontana, Calif.), freshman forward Thomas "TJ" Fritz (Wamego, Kan.) and junior forward Darrian Nebeker (West Jordan, Utah). Kearney graduated guard Chase Winchester and forwards AJ Jackson, Kyle Juhl and Morgan Soucie off last year's squad. ​

Fraser prepped at the Sydney Church of England Grammar School (commonly known as the "Shore School"), located on the Lower North Shore of Sydney, New South Wales. This past season he came in at 18.9 points, 8.4 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 2.7 steals and 0.9 blocks per game while shooting 77% at the line and almost 40% from behind the arc.

Setting a new school record for made threes in a career, Fraser leaves as the program's fourth all-time leading scorer. A two-time first-team all-conference selection he also was a New South Wales Under-18 and Under-20 representative. Finally Fraser joins junior Matt Brien (New Zealand) as UNK’s international players in 2020-21.

The Lopers went 16-13 (10-9 MIAA) in 2019-20, qualifying for the MIAA Tournament, having two four-game winning streaks and recording victories over NCAA Tourney qualifiers Rogers State and Colorado School of Mines.




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CANTON, Ohio (AP) — The Pro Football Hall of Fame is still evaluating its options and says no decisions have been made about the Aug. 6 game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Pittsburgh Steelers. But Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine says it’s “highly unlikely” that crowds of 20,000 or so would be allowed for the game or the induction ceremony two nights later. DeWine says: “If the question was could that event occur today, the answer would be no. It would be extremely dangerous.”

OTTAWA (AP) — The NHL has settled on a format but not the locations where it will resume playoffs, if the coronavirus pandemic allows. The league has said it would like to have the games played in two hub cities and released a list of 10 candidates. Those include three Canadian cities, but the NHL says not if players are subject to the 14-day quarantine currently in effect at the border. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his government is “open” to hosting games, as long as local health authorities are too.

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The Buffalo Sabres did not make the NHL's proposed 24-team expanded playoff, so they’ve decided to move on from their general manager. Jason Botterill is out, despite an apparent vote of confidence from the team’s owners just three weeks ago. Cost-cutting appears to be a priority. Owner Terry Pegula says the teams needs to be effectively, efficiently and economically run. He sums up the situation this way: “We're going to get leaner.”

UNDATED (AP) — Longtime fan favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr. will join his late father in NASCAR's Hall of Fame next year, the feature attraction in the class of 2021. Junior won 26 races during his Cup career, including two Daytona 500s and the 2001 Pepsi 400 — four months after his father's death at the same track in February. The late Mike Stefanik also was elected along with Red Farmer from the pioneer ballot. Ralph Seagraves was chosen as the Landmark Award winner for outstanding contributions to the sport.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — The University of Virginia will change its athletics logos to remove a design element that refers to the school’s history with slavery. A statement from the school's athletics department says fans raised objections to the curves put on the handles of the crossed sabres below the V. The curves were meant to mimic serpentine walls on campus that were designed by Thomas Jefferson to hide the university's slaves from public view. The school's athletics director says she was made aware of the negative connotation.




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Lincoln -- A pair of Nebraska football greats are among 78 players from the Football Bowl Subdivision announced as finalists Tuesday for the College Football Hall of Fame.

Outland Trophy winners Zach Wiegert and Larry Jacobson will represent Nebraska on the 2021 ballot.  Wiegert is making his sixth appearance on the ballot, while Jacobson is a finalist for the third time.

Wiegert was a 1994 unanimous first-team All-American and is one of eight Huskers to win the Outland Trophy. A native of Fremont, Neb., Wiegert helped lead the Huskers to 1994 National Championship after NU played in the 1993 title game. The Huskers averaged 340 rushing yards per game in 1994, and Wiegert led Nebraska with 113 pancake blocks. He even earned one first-place vote for the Heisman, finishing tied for ninth with 27 points. In addition to winning the Outland, he was a finalist for the Lombardi Award, a consensus All-American, the UPI Lineman of the Year and the Touchdown Club of Columbus Offensive Lineman of the Year. His No. 72 jersey was retired before the 1995 season.

Jacobson was a stalwart on Nebraska's first national title teams in 1970 and 1971. A consensus first-team All-American in 1971, Jacobson won the Outland Trophy as a senior, as he tallied 73 tackles, including 12 tackles for loss, to become the program's first major award winner. He led the Blackshirts to top-five national rankings in rush defense (85.9, second), total defense (202.9, fifth) and scoring defense (8.2, third) en route to a 13-0 record and a second straight national title. During his three seasons at Nebraska, the Sioux Falls, S.D., product led the Huskers to a 33-2-1 mark with two national titles and three conference crowns. His No. 75 jersey was retired in 1994.

The announcement of the 2021 College Football Hall of Fame Class Presented by ETT will be made in early 2021.

Eric Crouch will become the 19th Nebraska player in the College Football Hall of Fame when he is inducted later this year. Other recent Husker enshrines include Aaron Taylor (2018), Trev Albers (2015), Tommie Frazier (2013), Will Shields (2011), Grant Wistrom (2009) and Mike Rozier (2006).




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Kearney, Neb. – The Nebraska-Kearney football team's adjusted 2020 schedule has the Lopers with five home and five away games.

Due to the Covid-19 crisis and to help alleviate costs, all NCAA Division II football programs are playing a maximum of a 10-game schedule this fall. The MIAA decided to have each school play five home and five away games; the previously released 11-game schedule had some schools with six home contests. The new schedule was determined by a blind draw with each institution keeping one previously announced home date. 

Returning to Ron & Carol Cope Stadium at Foster Field this fall is Northwest Missouri State (Sept. 12), Pittsburg State (Oct. 10) and Central Oklahoma (Oct. 24) with UNK heading to Lincoln (Sept. 19) and Missouri Southern State (Nov. 7) again. Homecoming is set for October 10. 

The remaining road dates are at Central Missouri (Sept. 26), Washburn (Oct. 17) and Northeastern State (Oct. 31) with Missouri Western State (Oct. 3) and Fort Hays State (Nov. 14) the other home opponents. UNK will not face Emporia State in 2020.

All Loper home game kick off times will be announced at a later date. The team, currently going through voluntary workouts that began June 1, will report to fall camp in mid-August.

 

Sept. 12                Vs. Northwest Missouri State (TBA)

Sept. 19                @ Lincoln (TBA)

Sept. 26                @ Central Missouri (1 p.m.)

Oct. 3                    Vs. Missouri Western State (TBA)

Oct. 10                  Vs. Pittsburg State (TBA – Homecoming)

Oct. 17                  @ Washburn (1 p.m.)

Oct. 24                  Vs. Central Oklahoma (TBA)

Oct. 31                  @ Northeastern State (TBA)

Nov. 7                   @ Missouri Southern State (TBA)

Nov. 14                 Vs. Fort Hays State (TBA)




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Catie Whitehead, a 6’1” forward for the North Platte Community College Knights, has accepted an offer to continue her basketball and academic collegiate career at York College in York. Whitehead, of New Port Richey, Fla., graduated with an associate degree from NPCC while carrying a 3.10 cumulative GPA.

Whitehead played in 30 games for the Knights this past season and led the Knights in blocks with 39. She averaged 4.4 points and 4.7 rebounds per game while helping to lead the Knights to a 10-21 record during the 2019-20 season along with a Region IX and District F championship.

“We could not be more excited and happier for Catie on her commitment to York College,” said NPCC head women’s basketball coach Jeff Thurman. “She has worked very hard and diligently in her one year here at NPCC.”

Thurman said Whitehead was an amazing teammate and student-athlete during her time at NPCC.

“It has been a pleasure getting to know Catie, and we are excited that she has the opportunity to play at the next level,” said Thurman. “Plus, she is just a couple hours away, so we will definitely catch a game or two.”




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NEW YORK (AP) — “It’s just a disaster for our game.” That’s Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred’s view of the breakdown in talks between teams and the players’ union over an abbreviated season. At issue is how to split up the revenues. Manfred tells ESPN there could very well be no season at all. The league has also revealed several players have tested positive for COVID-19.

UNDATED (AP) — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says the league should have listened to players’ earlier on issues of racial injustice, including Colin Kaerpernick. In an appearance on ESPN, Goodell also says he’d like to see Kaepernick back in the NFL this season. The 32-year old quarterback hasn't played the past three seasons. Kaepernick was with the San Francisco 49ers in 2016 when he kneeled during the national anthem to protest racial injustice.

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — The PGA Championship is scheduled for Aug. 6-9, and now we know where. The San Francisco Chronicle reports public health officials have approved plans for it to be held at Harding Park with no fans.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The San Francisco 49ers have rewarded coach Kyle Shanahan with a new six-year contract after he took the team to the Super Bowl in his third season at the helm. The Niners are replacing the three years remaining on Shanahan’s original six-year contract signed in 2017 to keep him under contract through 2025. ESPN first reported the new extension.

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Vegas Golden Knights have signed Ryan Reaves to a two-year contract extension worth $3.5 million. The rugged forward announced the deal in a video on the Golden Knights’ Twitter page, saying he now has a shot at winning a Stanley Cup this year. He also conceded he has no shot at a scoring title. Reaves had eight goals and seven assists for 15 points this season — 95 short of Leon Draisaitl’s (DRY'-sy-tulz) league-leading 110. Still, Reaves led the NHL with 316 hits.




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Lincoln – Home games in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and against Creighton highlight the 2020-21 Nebraska men’s basketball non-conference schedule released Monday.  The 11-game slate also includes previously announced games against Kansas State in Kansas City, and three games in the Myrtle Beach Invitational in mid-November.

“This non-conference schedule will help prepare us for Big Ten play,” Hoiberg said. “The Myrtle Beach Tournament will give us an early measuring stick with a strong field and three games in a four-day stretch. We also have opportunities with games against Creighton, Kansas State and the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, as well as several regional opponents.”

The 2020-21 season opener will feature a family matchup as the Huskers open against Cleveland State at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Tuesday, Nov. 10. The Vikings are guided by second-year coach Dennis Gates, who is the brother of Husker assistant coach Armon Gates. The meeting is the first between the two programs and one of two first-time foes for the Huskers this season.

Following a game with Purdue Fort Wayne on Saturday, Nov. 14, the Huskers will travel to Conway, S.C., for the Myrtle Beach Invitational from Nov. 19-22. The eight-team field includes Charlotte, Dayton, Loyola (Ill.), Missouri, Penn, Pittsburgh and Utah State. The tournament bracket will be announced later this summer.

The Huskers will return home on Wednesday, Nov. 25 to take on Lamar in the first matchup between the two teams and NU’s final tuneup for the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and the start of Big Ten play. The annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge will take place the week of Nov. 30 with the opponent and date announced by the Big Ten and ESPN at a later date. NU will begin conference play with a pair of games following the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

Following the start of Big Ten play, NU will return to non-conference action with a pair of highly anticipated games. The Huskers will host Creighton on Saturday, Dec. 12, as the Bluejays most of their roster from a team that won a share of the Big East title.  The following weekend, the Huskers will renew one of its oldest rivalries, as Nebraska travels to Kansas City for the meeting with old conference foe Kansas State on Saturday, Dec. 19. It is the start of a three-year series which includes games in Lincoln (2021-22) and Manhattan (2022-23).

Nebraska returns to Pinnacle Bank Arena to close out non-conference action against UMKC (Mon., Dec. 21) and Florida A&M (Tues, Dec. 29) before resuming conference action in early January. The Big Ten will release the 20-game conference schedule later this summer.

The Huskers’ first action will be an exhibition contest against Peru State on Monday, Nov. 2. It will mark the third straight year that NU has taken on an in-state foe as an exhibition contest.

This season, the Huskers return a pair of starters, including rising senior Thorir Thorbjarnarson, who led NU in 3-pointers and ranked second on the team in rebounding, and sophomore Yvan Ouedraogo, who set a school record for rebounds by a Husker freshman. NU adds a trio of sit-out transfers in Dalano Banton, Shamiel Stevenson and Derrick Walker along with a seven-member recruiting class. 

 

 




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Megan Hernandez-Belew has signed a Letter of Intent to continue her softball and academic career with Midland University, in Fremont. Belew, an outfielder and captain for the Knight’s softball team the last two seasons, helped lead NPCC to a 16-29 record in 2019 and a 4-8 record in 2020 due to a shortened season.

Belew, of Broomfield, Colo., finished her career with the Knights hitting .367 with 52 hits, six doubles, 17 RBI and 16 stolen bases in the 55 games she played. She also finished with 73 putouts for the Knights on defense.

“Playing at North Platte Community College has taught me how to become a better person, and because of that I’ve become a better player,” said Hernandez-Belew. “Hard work and dedication will always beat out talent. This is an important lesson I’ve learned through this program. This program does community service, which teaches the team how to work hard and how to work hard together. I’ve made so many great memories over the past two years. I have made lifelong friends because of this program, and I am so very thankful for that.” 

Hernandez-Belew said she is excited to become a part of such a competitive and successful program at Midland University.

“I am very thankful that I get to continue my education while still playing the sport I love,” said Hernandez-Belew. “Midland University has a great education program, and I can’t wait to be a part of that as well. Midland will be a great fit for me, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds. I am very excited to bring all the life lessons I’ve learned at North Platte Community College to help me through my time at Midland University.” 

NPCC head softball coach Janelle Higgins said Hernandez-Belew is the type of athlete she wishes she could keep for two more years.

“Megan has grown into a more confident and vocal leader here at NPCC,” Higgins said. “She has been our captain for the last two years even though she was very quiet when she arrived. When I had her start giving future Knights and their parents campus tours, she definitely found her voice.”

Higgins said Hernandez-Belew’s work ethic, grit and determination set her above and beyond other athletes while also setting an example for them and encompassing the culture that NPCC softball strives to attain.

“Those traits alone will take her far at Midland University, but even farther in life,” said Higgins. “We wish Megan the very best and will miss her endless Spongebob quotes and sense of humor.”

 




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FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — On the day the PGA paused to pay tribute to George Floyd, one of the tour’s four black players vaulted atop the leaderboard at the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial. Harold Varner III is tied at 7-under with Justin Rose, who also fired a 63 Thursday in Fort Worth. One player said the absence of fans made the day seem like a competitive practice round. Tom Lehman, a 61-year-old former champion at Colonial, got in on the act with a 65.

NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL is committing $250 million over 10 years to social justice initiatives, targeting what it calls “systemic racism” and supporting “the battle against the ongoing and historic injustices faced by African Americans.” But Niners cornerback Richard Sherman says in addition to throwing money at the effort, the league also needs to be “calling out bigotry.”

UNDATED (AP) — The NCAA football oversight committee is attempting to wrap up a plan for extending the preseason to give teams additional time for walk-throughs. Final approval is expected Tuesday by the Division 1 Council. The plan includes allowing teams to conduct the maximum six hours of unpadded walkthroughs per week while also requiring two days off for the players.

GRAHAM, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina judge has said not so fast to a small stock-car track for violating state limits on crowd sizes due to the pandemic. The judge says he would issue a temporary restraining order preventing the operators of Ace Speedway in Alamance County from holding events. Media outlets had reported weekend crowds at the speedway exceeding 2,000 people, even as gatherings are limited to just 25 people.

NEW YORK (AP) — Jockey Jose Ortiz notched his 2,000th career victory on Thursday, riding Creed to a win in the fourth race at Belmont. The 26-year-old rider’s win total includes 17 from his native Puerto Rico. Ortiz has purse earnings of more than $156 million since his first North American victories in 2012. He won the 2016 Belmont Stakes with Tapwrit and has three Breeders' Cup victories.

DYERSVILLE, Iowa (AP) — Major League Baseball is building a field a few hundred yards down a corn-lined path from the famous movie site for “Field of Dreams” in eastern Iowa. Unlike the original, it’s unclear whether teams will show up for a game this time as the league struggles during a coronavirus-shortened season. Those who live near the Field of Dreams say the country could use a boost like seeing the scheduled Aug. 13 game between the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox.




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Beginning June 18th NSAA member schools are permitted to participate in camps, clinics, and summer leagues in all NSAA sanctioned activities except basketball, football, soccer, and wrestling.

Effective immediately NSAA member schools may hold open gyms for basketball, football, soccer, and wrestling with the following restrictions:

Individual skills and workouts only
No physical contact with others
No sharing of equipment
No grouping of students
Open gym supervisors are required to enforce the above restrictions.

For more information and a full statement on this issue visit the NSAA websitehere




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The North Platte Community College athletic department has made the decision to call off most of its youth and team camps amid current COVID-19 restrictions.

All volleyball and women’s basketball camps have been cancelled, including the joint camps scheduled for July 8-10 and July 13-15. The volleyball and women’s basketball team camps planned for July 6-7 and July 25 are also off.

Additionally, the men’s basketball team has cancelled all of its individual camps. A team camp is still being considered for men’s basketball, pending state health measures.

Refunds can be received by contacting head volleyball coach Alexa McCall at mccalla@mpcc.edu or head women’s basketball coach Jeff Thurman at thurmanj@mpcc.edu.

 




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NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball’s amateur draft began with the first of a pandemic-shortened five rounds. Arizona State slugger Spencer Torkelson was taken with the No. 1 overall pick by the Detroit Tigers. The Baltimore Orioles selected Arkansas outfielder Heston Kjerstad at No. 2. Minnesota right-hander Max Meyer was third and went to Miami. Texas A&M lefty Asa Lacy was No. 4 to Kansas City. Vanderbilt shortstop Austin Martin went to Toronto to round out the first five picks.  

CHICGO (AP) — The Chicago Cubs selected hometown shortstop Ed Howard in the first round of the Major League Baseball amateur draft. The 18-year-old Howard was a prep star at Mount Carmel High School on Chicago’s South Side. He also started for the 2014 Jackie Robinson West Little League team that advanced to the finals of the Little League World Series. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound Howard went No. 16 overall, becoming the first Illinois high school position player to go in the first round since Jayson Werth in 1997.

UNDATED(AP) — Six women have filed civil lawsuits against USA Swimming, its local associations in California and three now-banned coaches claiming the national governing body failed to protect them from abuse by those coaches. Debra Grodensky, Suzette Moran and Tracy Palmero, along with three other women who remain anonymous, filed three lawsuits this month. Among individuals named in the suits are former U.S. Olympic and national team coach Mitch Ivey, former U.S. national team director Everett Uchiyama and former coach Andrew King.

UNDATED (AP) — NASCAR has banned the Confederate flag from all events and properties. NASCAR says the Confederate flag “runs contrary to our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all fans, our competitors and our industry.” Former chairman Brian France in 2015 tried to ban the flying of Confederate flags at racetracks, a proposal too broad to enforce and one that angered NASCAR’s core Southern-based fan base. Bubba Wallace, the lone black driver in the series, had called for the ban. He says it has been a stressful couple of weeks. 

UNDATED (AP) — Two-time All-Star outfielder Claudell Washington has died at age 65. Washington had been battling prostate cancer. He played with seven teams in a major league career that started as a 19-year-old in Oakland with the Athletics. He finished with 1,884 hits, 164 home runs and 312 stolen bases. Washington made the All-Star Game in 1975 with the A’s and in 1984 with the Atlanta Braves during his 17-year career.




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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — NASCAR is set to allow fans back at the track for races this month at Homestead-Miami Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway. NASCAR will allow up to 1,000 Florida service members, representing the Homestead Air Reserve Base and U.S. Southern Command in Doral, to attend the Cup Series race Sunday as honorary guests and view the race from the grandstands. Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama will allow up to 5,000 guests in the frontstretch grandstands/towers for the June 21 Cup race. There will be limited motorhome/camping spots available outside the track.

NEW YORK (AP) — The players are moving toward Major League Baseball with their latest proposal for starting the pandemic-delayed season. They are offering to cut the regular season to 89 games, a day after MLB cut its proposed schedule to 76 games. However, the two sides remain far apart economically. The players remain adamant they receive full prorated salaries.

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Boise State University says multiple student-athletes have tested positive for COVID-19 after some teams started returning to the Idaho campus for workouts. The Idaho Statesman reported that the university declined to say how many or what sport those athletes played, citing federal privacy laws. The Statesman previously reported that the football and women’s soccer teams started to return to campus last week for volunteer workouts. University spokesperson Joe Nickell says about 40 student-athletes underwent COVID-19 testing before workouts could begin Monday. Those who tested positive are expected to follow guidance from health care providers before returning to campus.

CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cleveland Browns have welcomed six young coaches, including two women and former NFL player Leonard Hankerson, to take part in the final three weeks of their offseason program. The coaches are part of the Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship, which provides experience to young coaches working with NFL teams to potentially land full-time jobs. Hankerson played four seasons with Washington. He's in his second season coaching wide receivers at Stephen F. Austin. Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said diversity will always be an important component for Cleveland's organization.

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) — Los Angeles Kings forward Jeff Carter has undergone surgery to repair a core muscle injury. The Kings say Carter had surgery last week. The veteran Stanley Cup winner is expected to be fully healthy for next season. Carter was injured in a game at Winnipeg on Feb. 18, and he missed the final 10 games of the Kings’ season. Los Angeles is among the seven teams that won’t be returning to action when the NHL resumes competition this summer amid the coronavirus pandemic.

UNDATED (AP) — Seven-time series champion Jimmie Johnson will make his penultimate visit to Martsinville Speedway tomorrow. Johnson leads all drivers with nine victories on the paper-clip shaped oval in Virginia. He hasn't won there since the fall of 2016. Johnson's overall winless streak climbed to 105 with his seventh-place finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It was his second straight race finishing in the top seven.

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — Paul “Rocky” Rochester, a defensive lineman on the New York Jets’ Super Bowl-winning team in 1969, has died. He was 81. Rochester began his pro football career with the Dallas Texans in 1960 and played three-plus seasons with the AFL team that would become the Kansas City Chiefs. He signed with the Jets shortly after being released by the Chiefs and became their starting left defensive tackle. He capped his playing career by helping Joe Namath and the Jets win the franchise’s first and still only Super Bowl title. 





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Hastings, Neb. - Wisbech, England-native Jade Ovendale will be joining Hastings College as the new Head Women’s Soccer Coach Athletic Director BJ Pumroy announced on Tuesday. Ovendale comes to Bronco Nation after spending the past two seasons as the head women’s coach at Northern Oklahoma College following three seasons as assistant men’s coach.

"I am honored and excited for the opportunity to lead the women's soccer program at Hastings College,” Ovendale continued. “I'm overjoyed and thankful for BJ Pumroy and the rest of the search committee in providing this fantastic opportunity. It was clear throughout the process that those at Hastings are passionate and dedicated to the success of their student-athletes both academically and athletically."

With NOC being a junior college institution, Ovendale saw 33 of her former players receive athletic scholarships to finish out their careers at four year institutions. Two of them went on to play NCAA DI, 12 went NCAA DII and 19 went on to play in the NAIA.

"My philosophy is built around an offensive style of soccer which I believe matches well with Hastings' history of being a dominant presence in the GPAC,” Ovendale said. “The program has a strong tradition of excellence and I want to continue building on that. I am ready to meet the team and get the season started."

Ovendale provides a wealth of experience having professional certificates like the USSF E License, FA Level 1 Talent Identification, and USC Goalkeeper Level 1 Diploma. 

“We had a deep pool of candidates for the position and Jade rose to the top,” said Pumroy. “Coach Ovendale’s commitment to success on the field and in the classroom brought her forth as the right fit to lead our storied women’s soccer program.  With her honors as NAIA player and scholar and transition to coaching I foresee Coach Ovendale maintaining the accolades of our program and keeping us in the hunt for GPAC and National Titles and academic awards.”

Ovendale graduated from University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma receiving her Bachelors of Science in Physical Education and Recreation in 2015 with cum laude honors. She later received her Masters of Education in Sports Administration from East Central University in 2018. She played her final two years of soccer for USAO where she scored 50 goals, dished out 17 assists for 143 points in her Drover career. She was named to the NAIA Honorable Mention All-American team in 2014 following her 32 goal season. She was also named Sooner Athletic Conference Player and Offensive Player of the Year and Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athlete. Following her senior year she was awarded The Bill and Pat Smith Scholar-Athlete Award.  The award, which is given to up to two USAO senior athletes — one male and one female — each year, is presented to those students who best embody the concept of a student-athlete and uphold high ideals in scholarship, citizenship and athletic competition.




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The North Platte Community College men’s basketball team has announced four new recruits to their 2020-21 recruiting class.

“We are very excited to welcome these young men into our program,” said NPCC assistant men’s basketball coach Kade Erickson. “Each of these student athletes is highly motivated with great character. We believe they will thrive in our community here in North Platte.”

Steven Garcia comes to the Knights from North Platte High School, in North Platte. A 5’9” point guard, Garcia averaged 13.4 points and 2.5 rebounds per game his senior season while shooting 40 percent from three the last two seasons.

He also broke the North Platte High School record for three pointers in a season with 59. Garcia was named to the Nebraska All-State team the last two seasons, 2020 GNAC All-Conference, All-Conference academic team and 2020 NCPA All-State.

“Steven is a very high character student athlete who was born to wear North Platte on his chest and will give 100 percent to this program and community,” said Erickson.

Torey Buie joins NPCC as a 6’2” point guard out of Hawthorne High School, in Hawthorne, Fla. Buie averaged 19.1 points, 4.6 assists and four rebounds per game as a senior. He helped lead the Hornets to a state championship while averaging 26 points per game in the tournament and being named the state tournament most valuable player.

Buie was named to the 1A All-State first team along with being named Orange Park Christmas Tournament MVP and Gainesville All-Area player of the year while finishing third in voting for 1A player of the year in Florida.

“Torey is a leader,” said Erickson. “He is a player that we believe can run this team and most of all he is a winner.”

Ethan Damerum travels across the Atlantic to join the Knights out of Loughborough College, in England. Damerum helped lead Loughborough College to an undefeated season in 2018-19 and was named a 2020 Deng Camp All-Star while being ranked #15 at the camp.

Damerum, a 6’10” forward/center, was also named a 2019 Hoopfix All-Star, a 2019 GB pathway player and a 2018 West Midlands All-Star.

“Ethan is a versatile big man who can stretch the floor and give defenses fits,” said Erickson. “He gives us an opportunity to be a top team in the region.”

Tyler Danburg, a 6’4” wing, comes to NPCC out of Axtell High School, in Axtell. Danburg averaged 15.6 points, 9.1 rebounds, 1.6 blocks, 1.5 steals and 1.7 assists per game as he helped lead the Wildcats to a 18-7 record during the 2019-20 season.

Danburg was named Fort Kearny Conference First Team, Kearney Hub All Area end team, Omaha World Herald and Lincoln Journal Star honorable mention, a member of the Fort Kearny Conference All-Star game and Heartland Hoops All-Star Game. He also excelled in football and track earning numerous honors in each.

“Tyler is a highly intelligent basketball player who knows where to be and when to be there,” said Erickson. “He will give us depth at the wing position.”

More information about NPCC athletics can be found online at npccknights.com




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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska says receiver JD Spielman has put his name into the transfer portal. Spielman is the first player to put together three straight 800-yard receiving seasons for the Cornhuskers and leaves No. 3 in career receptions and yards. Nebraska coach Scott Frost announced in March that Spielman had left the team to deal with an unspecified health matter and probably would miss all of spring practice. Spielman would have been a senior in eligibility this fall. It was unclear if he’s on track to graduate this summer, which would make him immediately eligible at his next school. He is the son of Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman.



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NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball is making another effort to start its season in early July. This time it’s proposing a 76-game regular season, that would expand the playoffs from 10 teams to as many as 16 and allow players to earn about 75% of their prorated salaries. MLB is asking the players’ union for an answer by Wednesday, saying it’s prepared to continue talking beyond that, but then it would have to be about a season with fewer games.

UNDATED (AP) — The National Football League has sent its team an outline for fully reopening their practice facilities. A memo written by Commissioner Roger Goodell and approved by the NFL Players Association describes protocols focusing on screening, testing, infection prevention and treatment for COVID-19, including response for new infections. However, there’s still no timetable. Until now, only players rehabilitating injuries have been allowed to enter the buildings.

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (AP) — The San Antonio Spurs run of 22 consecutive playoff appearances may be in jeopardy when the season resumes. LaMarcus Aldridge has had surgery on his right shoulder and will miss the remainder of San Antonio’s season, whenever it might resume. The seven-time All-Star injured a shoulder in a February game at Utah. He did play in two games after getting hurt, including one in which he still managed to score 24 points.

UNDATED (AP) — Seven current or former black NHL players have formed a group aiming to fight racism and intolerance in hockey. The Hockey Diversity Alliance will be independent of the NHL but hopes to work with the league to promote diversity and inclusion. Akim Aliu and San Jose's Evander Kane will lead the group, which also includes Trevor Daley, Matt Dumba, Wayne Simmonds, Chris Stewart and recently retired Joel Ward.

UNDATED (AP) — The coronavirus has been hitting Brazil hard, and that’s prompted the Brazilian Football Confederation to withdraw its bid to host the 2023 Women’s World Cup. It says it cannot offer FIFA the financial assurances it needs because of the impact of the pandemic. Instead, Brazil is backing Colombia’s bid against Japan and the joint candidacy of Australia and New Zealand. South America has never hosted the tournament.




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The North Platte Community College women’s basketball team has announced their 2020-21 recruiting class. Women’s basketball head coach Jeff Thurman made the announcement this week and is excited for the incoming student-athletes.

“Our 2020 recruiting class is filled with high-character student-athletes who will get it done on the basketball floor, but most importantly in the classroom,” said Thurman. “They will be highly competitive in all aspects of being a NPCC women’s basketball student-athlete.”

Kanesha Hall, of St. Petersburg, Fla., joins the Knights from Northeast High School. Kanesha, while averaging 12.9 points, 3.1 rebounds, 1 assist and 3.7 steals per game, also finished her high school career with several honors, including First Team All-County, First Team All-Conference, Pinellas County All-Star and Tampa Bay All-Star. Hall is also the career leader in points for Northeast High School with 1,310 career points.

“Kanesha is a special talent and an amazing addition to our program,” said Thurman. “She has been on our radar since her junior year. She is extremely competitive and has an edge about her. She brings scoring to the guard/wing position that we need. Her strength, athleticism and tenacity will assist her in contributing immediately, and we are excited to have her here at NPCC.”

Also joining the Knights from Northeast High School, in St. Petersburg, FL., is Jada Ballard. Ballard finished her senior season averaging 7.4 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game. Ballard also finished her career at Northeast High School career with several honors, including First Team All-County, First Team All-Conference, Pinellas County All Star, Tampa Bay All Star and was a Team Co-MVP.

“Jada is a Swiss-Army knife type of player,” said Thurman. “She can do it all - defend, rebound, score, etc. Anything she is asked to do, she does. We look for Jada to play multiple positions and be an on-the-ball defender who will cause havoc each night. We are looking forward to having Jada on campus.”

Kayla Pope joins the Knights from North Mesquite High School, in Mesquite, Texas. Pope finished her senior season as a member of the Honor Roll and First Team All-District while averaging 14.6 points, 6 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game.

“Kayla is a hard-nosed, competitive type of student-athlete who can play both guard spots,” said Thurman. “She will bring length and athleticism to our wing/guard position and can flat out defend. We are thrilled to add Kayla to our program.”

Jocylin Sellers joins the Knights from nearby St. Pat’s High School, in North Platte. Sellers averaged 8.3 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game her senior season. She also finished her career with the honors of First Team All-Conference, Lincoln Journal Star Honorable Mention, Omaha World-Herald Honorable Mention and was part of an Irish team that made three state tournament appearances.

“Jocylin brings size and athleticism to the post and painted area that we definitely need,” said Thurman. “Her ability to control the painted area will benefit her at the collegiate level. An all-area performer who comes from a great high school program is something that we are thrilled about.”

Maddie Heinzen, of North Platte, joins the Knights out of Maxwell High School, in Maxwell. Heinzen was the 2020 valedictorian at Maxwell High School and was awarded several other honors, including President’s Education Achievement Award, NSAA/NCPA Academic All-State, 2020 Omaha World Herald Academic Scholar and was named an honorable mention to the RPAC All-Conference Team.

“Maddie is a wonderful local student-athlete whom we are excited to have join our program,” said Thurman. “Her length, athleticism and ability to play multiple positions along with defending multiple positions will benefit her at the collegiate level and is exactly what we look for in student-athletes here at NPCC.”

Azaria Lacour joins the Knights out of Sierra High School, in Colorado Springs, Colo. During her senior season, Lacour averaged 14 points, 6.8 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 4.6 steals per game and was named to the Great 8 All-Conference Team.

“Azaria can play both guard positions for us,” said Thurman. “She can handle the ball at the point, but can score as well. She comes from a well-coached high school program, which will assist her at the college level. We are excited to have Azaria here at NPCC.”

Jordyn Moon, of Richfield, Utah., joins NPCC out of Richfield High School. Moon averaged 3.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2 steals per game while being name Academic All-Region with a 3.8 GPA. She was also named to the All-Region Team twice and was part of a high school team that qualified for the state tournament three times during her career.

“Jordyn is a flat out athlete,” said Thurman. “She is a team-first type of player who looks to get her teammates involved and will do the dirty work each night. She can play and defend multiple positions, rebounds and passes very well. We cannot wait to get Jordyn here.”

Diamond Moore joins the Knights out of Harrison High School, in Colorado Springs, Colo. Moore averaged 16.3 points and 12.7 rebounds per game while being named Team MVP. She also was named First Team All-Conference, First Team All-Metro League and was an All-State Honorable Mention.

“Diamond is a great addition to our program,” said Thurman. “She had an amazing senior season with great accomplishments. We are looking for Diamond to make an immediate impact this coming season. She can play both forward positions for us, score and rebound at a high-level. Her size, length and athleticism will make her a match-up problem for the other teams. We are excited to have Diamond here at NPCC.”

Casandra Olivas, of Thornton, Colo., joins NPCC out of Skyview High School. Olivas averaged 8.1 points and 7.9 rebounds per game as a team captain, while also being named to the First Team All-Colorado League and the CHSCA All-State Team.

“Casandra comes from a solid, well-coached high school program,” said Thurman. “She can play both forward positions for us and create mismatch issues at either position. Her basketball IQ is what sets her apart. She understands the game and plays it at her speed, which will translate to the collegiate game nicely. We can’t wait to have Casandra on campus.”

Kailey Brown joins the Knights as a transfer student-athlete out of Otero Junior College, in La Junta, Colo. Brown, originally from Far Northeast High School, in Denver, Colo., averaged 3.3 points and 1.5 assists per game for Otero last season. During her senior season at Far Northeast High School, Brown averaged 11 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.7 steals per game.

“We are excited to have Kailey join us as a transfer student-athlete,” said Thurman. “We are looking for her to come in and give us some leadership as a sophomore. Kailey knows what it takes to win at this level and how to be a college student-athlete. She is a competitor that can play both guard positions but excels at the point. She can score and set up her teammates to score.”

The 2020-21 recruiting class joins five returning Sophomores from the 2019-20 team that finished with a 10-21 record.




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HAMPTON, Ga. (AP) — Kevin Harvick picked up his second victory since NASCAR resumed its schedule, outpacing Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. inside Atlanta Motor Speedway. Harvick moved into sole possession of 12th place on the career victories list with 51, passing Ned Jarrett and Junior Johnson. Three of those triumphs have come at Atlanta Motor Speedway, including in 2001 and 2018. Seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson finished seventh in what was likely his final Cup race in Atlanta.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Former Cincinnati Bengals defensive back and five-time All-Pro Ken Riley has died at 72. Drafted by the Bengals in 1969, Riley had 65 career interceptions for 596 yards and five touchdowns in a 15-year career with the Bengals. He also recovered 18 fumbles, and his interception total ranks fifth in NFL history. He later became head coach and athletic director at Florida A&M.

ATLANTA (AP) — Former Atlanta Falcons and St. Louis Cardinals defensive end John Zook has died in his native Kansas after a long battle with cancer. Zook teamed with Hall of Famer Claude Humphrey to give the Falcons a dynamic combination at defensive end from 1969-75. Zook never missed a game during his tenure with the Falcons, starting 97 of 98 contests. He made his only Pro Bowl appearance in 1973, joining Humphrey in the all-star game.

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Former University of Florida and NFL wide receiver Reche Caldwell was fatally shot Saturday night in his hometown. Caldwell's mother confirmed her son's death to the Tampa Bay Times, saying police told her they believe her son was ambushed outside his home in a possible robbery attempt. Caldwell was drafted by San Diego in the second round in 2002. He had 152 catches for 1,851 yards and 11 touchdowns in six NFL seasons.

GREEN BAY, Wisc. (AP) — Will Ryan is the new men’s basketball coach at Green Bay, replacing Linc Darner. The son of former Wisconsin hoops coach Bo Ryan comes to Green Bay after posting a 14-13 record in his lone season as the head coach at Division II program Wheeling in West Virginia. Darner went 92-80 and posted a winning record in all but one of his five seasons with the Phoenix.




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