Sports News-August 26, 2014

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith has confirmed he was going to meet with offensive lineman Richie Incognito, one of the central figures of the bullying scandal that engulfed the Miami Dolphins last season.  Smith also cautioned the "visit" might not necessarily end with the free agent guard resuming his career with the Bucs.  An NFL investigation determined Incognito and two other Dolphins offensive linemen engaged in persistent harassment of teammate Jonathan Martin, who left the team in the middle of last season.

Washington Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather has been suspended for the first two games of the regular season for a blow to the head to a receiver.  The NFL announced the suspension yesterday, saying it was the sixth time Meriweather has violated rules aimed at improving player safety.  Meriweather was flagged for a personal foul when he hit Torrey Smith in the second quarter of Saturday night's game against the Baltimore Ravens.  The safety will miss the regular season opener against the Houston Texans on Sept. 7 and the Sept. 14 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.  Meriweather was also suspended two games last year after multiple helmet-to-helmet hits.  The suspension was reduced to one game on appeal.

Ameer Abdullah is poised to become the first Nebraska player to record three 1,000-yard rushing seasons.  Earning that distinction doesn't seem to rank very high among his goals.  Abdullah said yesterday all he wants is to win games and a championship.  He said he's willing to do anything to help the Huskers make it to the Big Ten championship game, even if it means playing on the punt-block unit.  Coach Bo Pelini said Abdullah has added size and explosiveness and that his drive to win has been palpable since the spring.  The 22nd-ranked Huskers open Saturday at home against Florida Atlantic.  Nebraska also announced today that five seniors have been selected as captains for the 2014 season.  The group includes three offensive players in I-back Ameer Abdullah, receiver Kenny Bell and offensive guard Jake Cotton.  The defense is represented by cornerback Josh Mitchell and safety Corey Cooper.

The seventh ranked Nebraska volleyball team gets their season underway on Friday when they host 13th ranked Florida State at 7:00 in the opening day of the AVCA Showcase at the Devaney Center.  The Huskers will then turn around and play third ranked Stanford at 12:00 on Sunday.  This year, Nebraska will play 13 of their 29 regular-season matches against teams ranked in the preseason poll.  They return all but one starter from last year’s team, which finished with a 26-7 record.  Seven teams from the Big Ten are currently preseason ranked in the top 16.  The Nebraska Athletic Department and the Big Ten Conference announced yesterday that at least 23 of Nebraska’s 29 volleyball matches during the 2014 season will be televised or streamed online.  All 16 home matches during the 2014 season will be carried on TV or online via BTN, ESPN, NET, & BTN Plus.

Cal State Fullerton assistant coach Mike Kirby has accepted an assistant position with the Nebraska baseball program.  The Lincoln Journal Star reports that Kirby would fill the position vacated by former Husker assistant Will Bolt.  Kirby has been a coach with the Titans for the past three seasons.  He also previously coached with current Oregon coach George Horton, where he helped the Ducks' program return to national prominence after a 28-year hiatus.  While at Oregon, Kirby had a hand in four consecutive top-25 recruiting classes, including three ranked in the top 10.  Bolt, a former Husker player, left Nebraska in July to take an assistant coaching position at Texas A&M.

Omaha Storm Chaser catcher Francisco Pena was named to the All-Pacific Coast League Team yesterday after being elected to represent the PCL in the Triple-A All-Star Game in Durham, North Carolina, in July.  Pena has set an Omaha record for home runs by a catcher this summer with 27.  He also ranks third in RBIs with 60 for the Storm Chasers entering the final week of the regular season.  The son of former major league all-star Tony Pena was the only Omaha player selected to the 12-player All-PCL team.  Francisco is the first Chaser chosen since Wil Myer and Ryan Verdugo in 2012.

Wayne State Director of Athletics Mike Powicki announced yesterday that Shelli Manson has been named the new head softball coach for the Wildcats.  Manson becomes the 13th coach in the program’s 43-year history and replaces Krista Wood, who stepped down on July 22nd to become head coach at South Dakota State University.  Manson comes to Wayne State after spending the last five seasons at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, an NCAA Division III school.  She inherited a program that was last place in the conference and elevated the team to a second place league finish in 2013 and fourth place finish in 2014.  Manson will take over a Wildcat softball program that returns eight starters and was 35-18 in the 2014 season, placing fourth in the NSIC with a 20-8 league mark.

106 KIX has announced its upcoming high school football broadcast schedule featuring eleven regular season games.  Norfolk High's four broadcasts has them at home against South Sioux City & Omaha Bryan while visiting Columbus & Lincoln East.  Norfolk Catholic will be covered in road games at Bishop Neumann of Wahoo, West Point-Beemer, and Boone Central/Newman Grove.  Lutheran High Northeast will be broadcast in home games versus David City Aquinas & Battle Creek.  The Eagles will also be covered in road games at Hartington Cedar Catholic & West Holt.  The opener will be Norfolk High versus South Sioux City on Friday.  Aside from their regular season games, 106 KIX will also cover Norfolk Catholic’s playoff run.

The Norfolk High football team gets their season underway Friday when they host South Sioux City at 7:00.  The Panthers return four starters from last year’s 5-4 season with two being on offense and two on defense.  Trevor McKeown & Kory Reestman are back for the offensive line while Brock Juracek & Chace Hutchison return to the defensive secondary.  Norfolk’s starting quarterback will be Gunner Fuelberth, who saw time last year in relief of an injured Taylor Reedy.  Their schedule includes home games with South Sioux City, Lincoln Southeast, Omaha Bryan, and North Platte.  The Panthers will visit Columbus, Lincoln East, Millard West, Lincoln Northeast, and Kearney.  Friday’s home game against South Sioux City can be heard on 106 KIX starting at 6:30.

The Norfolk Catholic football team starts their 2014 campaign on Friday when they visit Arlington at 7:00.  The Knights return nine starters from last year’s 8-3 team.  Their starting quarterback will be Nathan Boyle replacing graduated Zach Pospisil.  Norfolk Catholic is ranked second in the Lincoln Journal Star in Class 'C-1' and fourth in the Omaha World Herald.  Their schedule includes home games with Wahoo, David City, Madison, and Wayne.  The Knights will visit Arlington, Bishop Neumann, West Point-Beemer, Pierce, and Boone Central/Newman Grove.

The Lutheran High Northeast football team starts up their 2014 season on Friday when they go to Ponca for a 7:00 game.  The Eagles return eight starters from last year’s 9-2 team.  The initial plan is to rotate quarterbacks Derek Adams & Ayden Wiederin.  Lutheran High Northeast is ranked sixth in the Omaha World Herald in Class 'C-2' and comes in seventh in the Lincoln Journal Star.  Their schedule includes home games with David City Aquinas, Cedar County, Crofton, and Battle Creek.  The Eagles will visit Ponca, Wisner/Pilger, Ainsworth, Hartington Cedar Catholic, and West Holt.  

Local Schedule:  Lincoln NE at Nfk High (SB DH-5:00); Nfk Cath at Battle Creek Inv. (GG-3:00); Omaha Storm Chasers at Reno (Bsbl-9:05).

Local Scores:  Reno 7 Omaha Storm Chasers 1 (Bsbl).

     INTERLEAGUE
    
      Final          Miami                    7    L.A.  Angels          1
    
    
          AMERICAN  LEAGUE
    
      Final          Baltimore            9    Tampa  Bay              1
      Final          Boston                  4    Toronto                  3,  10  Innings
      Final          N-Y  Yankees        8    Kansas  City          1
      Final          Oakland                8    Houston                  2
      Final          Texas                    2    Seattle                  0
    
    
          NATIONAL  LEAGUE
    
      Final          St.  Louis            3    Pittsburgh            2
      Final          Philadelphia      3    Washington            2
      Final          Milwaukee          10    San  Diego              1
      Final          Colorado              3    San  Francisco      2

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