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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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