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Sports News

McCook hits the road to Holdrege for a Softball Invite starting on Saturday, August 31st.  This is a double elimination tournament.  McCook will take on St. Paul in the opening game at 10:30am.  View the full bracket below.



McCook Community College softball coach Josh Barnes has resigned to take a new post to lead the softball program at Angelina College in Texas.
 
“I would like to thank Josh for his time here at McCook, he has done a great job with softball here and we will miss him,” said MCC Athletic Director Jon Olsen. “I have really enjoyed watching him grow as a coach, and definitely am happy for him as he moves forward.”
 
“Coach Olsen believed in me and gave me an opportunity that I will forever be thankful for,” Barnes said.
 
Barnes was at MCC for three seasons and worked as an enrollment coach as well. After a 22-38 mark in his first year, the Lady Indians improved to 29-25 in 2018 and won the Nebraska Community College Athletic Conference Championship.
 
 “I will greatly miss the people of McCook and how they accepted us into their lives as family. I am extremely appreciative of former players, past and present. They accomplished so much in the time they were here. McCook will always be a favorite part of Lani and I's lives,” Barnes said.
 
This past season, MCC won a share of the conference title and gained the team’s first appearance in the Region IX post-season in three years and went 2-2 to reach the championship game, but fell 9-4 to Western Nebraska and ended the season at 29-33.
 
“I want to thank McCook Community College, Kelly Rippen, Jon Olsen, the athletic department, the faculty, MCC Boosters and of course the staff in McMillen Hall,” Barnes said.
 
 “It’s always bittersweet when a coach takes another coaching opportunity, I’m proud of Josh, but always enjoyed our time working together,” Olsen said.
 
Assistant Coach Katie Ackerman will take over as MCC’s interim head coach.
 
“We are excited to have Katie take over on short notice right at the beginning of the school year, we have a great group of returners and a great class coming in and we are happy we can keep some continuity within the program,” Olsen said.  
 
Ackermann has spent the past three years with the team. Prior to McCook Community College, she attended Chadron State College, where played in 141 career games as an outfielder and was elected captain her senior season.  During her career with the Eagles, Ackermann held a batting average of .363 and is the current homerun record holder with 37 homeruns.
 
“Katie has done a great job as an assistant here at McCook, I have seen her work ethic and dedication to our student-athletes in the past and am excited to have her lead our softball team,” Olsen said.
 
A native of Kearney, Neb., Ackermann received a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and completed a Master’s of Science in Organizational Management degree at Chadron State College.
 
Katie and husband Brad have two children, Braelynn and Carter.




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DENVER (AP) — Nolan Arenado lingered near the batter's box a little longer than usual as he stared at his liner.

It wasn't to admire. It was simply to make sure.

In a season that's been so foul for Colorado, he wanted to double-check that his deep drive indeed stayed fair before celebrating.

Arenado hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning to give the Rockies a 7-6 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday.

A rare bright spot in what's been a trying stretch for a club that's all but assured it won't be making a third straight postseason appearance. The Rockies are 14-33 since June 21, which is one of the worst marks by winning percentage in the majors over the time frame.

"It's been a grind for all of us individually and as a team," said Arenado, who'd left four runners on base before connecting on his 27th homer of the season. "It feels good to come out with a win right there."

After Trevor Story was hit by a pitch to start the ninth, Arenado launched a fastball from Archie Bradley (3-5) over the fence in left — and just fair. It was Arenado's third career walk-off homer and first since June 18, 2017, against San Francisco.

"I hit it good," Arenado said.

Bradley threw it good, too.

Immediately after contact, Bradley began walking toward the dugout. He knew. He had his career-best string of 17 1/3 scoreless innings snapped.

"This is our last time here and I'm not sad about it," Bradley said about Coors Field. "I will be the first person happy to get out of here."

Arenado was doused with Powerade soon after crossing home plate and mobbed by teammates. Colorado ended a string of five straight losses to Arizona.

Arenado's homer came after Ketel Marte delivered a two-out, run-scoring bloop single in the top of the inning to give the Diamondbacks the lead. Marte dropped a slider from closer Scott Oberg (6-1) just over the head of Story, who turned and threw home too late. It was Marte's career high-tying fourth hit of the day.

Eduardo Escobar hit a two-run homer and Wilmer Flores added a solo shot in the sixth to give Arizona a 5-2 lead. The Rockies tied it up on pinch-hitter Ryan McMahon's three-run homer in the bottom half of the inning off Yoshihisa Hirano.

"That was fun, huh?" McMahon cracked. "I had a good time."

The Diamondbacks' bullpen was pressed into duty earlier than expected when starter Robbie Ray left in the third inning because of spasms in his lower back. Ray made one warmup pitch before the trainer came out to check on him. He said he could've pushed through, but he didn't "want it to turn into something that is a bigger issue."

It was far from a defensive clinic for the Diamondbacks, who committed a season-high four errors. Christian Walker, Nick Ahmed and Marte were charged with errors on fielding plays and Flores on a throw.

"This," Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said, "is a tough game to absorb."

TRAINER'S ROOM

Diamondbacks: OF David Peralta has been dealing with a stiff neck and didn't start on his 32nd birthday. He entered in the seventh as part of a double-switch and had a single in the eighth.

FREELAND'S DAY

Rockies starter Kyle Freeland allowed two runs in the first before settling down. He fell apart again in the sixth in surrendering three more. The scuffling left-hander who finished fourth in the NL Cy Young voting a season ago allowed five runs over six innings in the no-decision.

EYE CONTACT

Lovullo is impressed by the poise of rookie outfielder Josh Rojas, who was acquired in the deal that sent Zack Greinke to Houston.

"He looks me in the eye when he talks to me," Lovullo said. "Young players have a tough time doing that."

Lovullo still has a hard time believing that Rojas lasted until the 26th round of the 2017 draft before the Astros selected him.

"They uncovered somebody that's pretty special," Lovullo said. "This looks like a first-round draft choice to me."

Rojas didn't start but entered as part of a double-switch in the sixth. Rojas had a double.

UP NEXT

Diamondbacks: Begin a four-game series against San Francisco on Thursday. Lefty Alex Young (4-2, 3.32 ERA) gets the start for the Diamondbacks.

Rockies: After a day off, the Rockies host Miami for three games. Righty Jon Gray (10-8, 4.06) takes the mound Friday after skipping his scheduled start Tuesday due to a sore left ankle. The Marlins will throw right-hander Sandy Alcántara (4-10, 4.44).




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LINCOLN, NE —Today, the coaches for the 62nd annual Shrine Bowl of Nebraska were selected.  The following Nebraska High School football coaches will represent the North and South teams respectively: 

NORTH TEAM
Head Coach: Mark Macke ⁠— HC, Lincoln High (A)
Asst. Coach: Rusty Fuller ⁠— HC, St. Paul (C2)
Asst. Coach: Josh Deines ⁠— HC, Sandhills/Thedford (D2)
Asst. Coach: Bryan Soukup ⁠— HC, Blair (B)
Asst. Coach: AJ Santos ⁠— Defensive Coordinator, Lincoln High (A)
Asst. Coach: Paul Cloutier ⁠— Special Teams Coordinator, Grand Island (A)

SOUTH TEAM
Head Coach: Ryan Thompson ⁠— HC, Ashland-Greenwood (C1)
Asst. Coach: Evan Klanecky ⁠— HC, Centennial (C1)
Asst. Coach: Jay Lanstrom ⁠— HC, Omaha Central (A)
Asst. Coach: Troy Huebert ⁠— HC, Central City (C1)
Asst. Coach: Nate Tonjes ⁠— Offensive Coordinator, Ashland-Greenwood (C1)
Asst. Coach: Brant Loewe ⁠— Running Backs Coach, Skutt Catholic (B)

Lincoln High Head Football Coach Mark Macke, who has led the Links back into Nebraska high school football prominence, will guide the North team on the field.  During the 19 seasons he was a Creighton Prep assistant football coach and the offensive coordinator from 1992 through 2010, the Junior Jays were in the Class A playoffs 17 times with state titles in 1999 and 2004, and runner-up finishes in 2000 and 2003.

"I feel extremely honored and humbled to be selected as the North Head Coach. I was very fortunate to be an assistant in 2011. That was a wonderful experience not only for myself, but for the players as well," said Macke. "It's my goal that this will be another meaningful experience and that our players and coaches understand the true value of the Shrine Bowl and what it means to play in this game."
 
Ashland-Greenwood Head Football Coach Ryan Thompson, who led the Bluejays to seven straight playoff appearances between 2009 and 2015, a pair of Class C-1 state runner-up finishes in 2013 and 2014, and quarterfinal showings in four other seasons will lead the South team on the sidelines.

"I am very honored to be selected as the head coach for the South team in this year's Shrine Bowl Game. It is humbling to be associated with a long list of great coaches and players who have been involved with this game over the years," Thompson said. "Most importantly, I look forward to having our team support a great cause for an outstanding organization."

Dave MacDonald, Executive Director of the Nebraska Shrine Bowl remarked, "We are excited to have Coach Thompson, Coach Macke, and their assistant coaching staffs join us in our mission to support Shriners Hospitals for Children.  The talent their teams have exhibited on the field is a testament to their tremendous leadership.  We are grateful for their direction both on and beyond the field this year." 
 
The 62nd annual Nebraska Shrine Bowl game will be played at the University of Nebraska-Kearney’s Ron and Carol Cope Stadium Foster Field in Kearney, Nebraska on Saturday, June 6.  All proceeds from the game benefit Shriner’s Hospitals for Children.




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The McCook Community College Volleyball team is coming off of it’s second twenty win season going 21-14 last year, MCC lost seven sophomores due to graduation but are all moving on to continue volleyball careers at four year schools.  MCC will look to dominate this upcoming season under 4th year Head Coach Hayley Kobza.  MCC Volleyball squad opens up the preseason portion of the schedule starting on Tuesday, August 20th hosting Durham College from Ontario Canada, then on Thursday a match up with Garden City, before MCC hits the road to North Platte for the Mid-Plains Subway Invite August 23rd and 24th.  Full interview with MCC Volleyball Head Coach Hayley Kobza below.






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The McCook Community College volleyball team has announced its itinerary for a week of training with Durham College -- a team from Oshawa, Canada. The trip includes a blend of intense training and opportunities for the Canadians to interact with area residents, volleyball fans and experience the sport in the heart of volleyball country.
 
The team will arrive Sunday and will have supper with MCC Vice President Kelly Rippen.
 
MCC Volleyball Coach Hayley Kobza said that McCook Christian Church and El Puerto will provide a few evening meals for the team while they are in town.
 
On Monday from 2:30-6 p.m., the Durham Lords and Coach Tony Clarke will team up with Josh Cherry and B Street Auto Spa to wash cars and make snow cones. There will also be a free will donation box set up for any donations for the McCook Animal Shelter.
 
“We’re still working out the details but at some point, Coach Clarke and the team will also work out with Brandi Schmick at CrossFit McCook and I think she’s lining up some community projects for them as well,” Kobza.
 
On Tuesday, MCC and Durham will gather at 5 p.m. at the Peter and Dolores Graff Events Center for a public meet-and-greet, prize giveaways, and the two teams will face off for a pre-season scrimmage at 7 p.m.
 
“We are inviting everyone to come out at 5 p.m. to meet both teams, win a few prizes, and learn what MCC and Durham Volleyball is all about,” Kobza said. “Everyone that attends this event has a chance to win some MCC gear.”
 
The Durham Lords, conference medalists three of the past five years, have finished third (Bronze medal) in 2019 and second (Silver medal) in both 2017 and 2015 at the Ontario College Athletic Association championships.
 
In her fourth year at the helm of MCC Volleyball, Kobza took over a 2-40 team, which improved to 8-24 in 2016, 20-19 during the 2017 season, and 21-14 a season ago, that included the school’s first Nebraska Community College Athletic Conference title since 1980.
 
The Durham trip to Nebraska came about because Durham Athletic Director Ken Babcock was in McCook this past April to watch his son Braden pitch for the MCC baseball team and spent several days following the baseball and softball teams as well as spending time on campus, with MCC staff and in the community.
 
Durham to take on Western Nebraska at 4 p. m while MCC will open the season at home that same day against Garden City at 7 p.m on August 22nd.
 
Both teams will finish out the week at a Friday-Saturday tournament in North Platte. The Lords will play Eastern Wyoming at 5 p.m. and then take on the Lady Indians at 7 p.m. The Lady Indians will play Eastern Wyoming at 3 p.m. Friday.
 
On Saturday, Durham plays Garden City at 10 a.m. and North Platte at noon. MCC will play Hesston (Kan.) at 10 a.m. and Garden City at 2 p.m.
 
THE DURHAM LORDS OF OSHAWA, CANADA, will be in McCook Sunday for a week of volleyball training, scrimmaging, a game, and cultural exchange, as hosts of the McCook Community College volleyball team. The Lords have finished third (Bronze medal) in 2019 and second (Silver medal) in both 2017 and 2015 at the Ontario College Athletic Association championships. MCC and Durham will scrimmage at an open session Tuesday then face off for real Aug. 23 at the Mid-Plains Subway Invite in North Platte.




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Lincoln, Neb. -- The Nebraska football team practiced in full pads on Wednesday for just under two hours while splitting time inside the Hawks Championship Center and outside on the Ed and Joyanne Gass practice fields.

 Offensive Coordinator Troy Walters spoke to the media after the conclusion of practice and began his session talking about the success of the offense in this past weekend’s scrimmage.

 “As an offense we are executing at a faster pace,” Walters said. “Even the younger guys are picking up their sense of urgency and their tempo. The veterans on their first three possessions went down and scored. The next three, the defense shut us out. It’s a win-win. We win some and the defense wins some. It’s been good competition throughout camp.”

 Walters continued by discussing the improvement and depth at the wide receiver position.

 "I think we are going to be a pretty good unit,” he said. “A lot of guys have not played a whole lot, I’m putting them in pressure situations in practice, so that when the game comes around, they are ready to go. Going against our defense and secondary day in and day out makes our guys better. Iron sharpens iron. Those guys are making the young guys better. They are making everybody better. The reps we get against our secondary are going to make us better.

 “We can play with seven or eight guys on the perimeter. If a guy goes down, we have another guy that is able to step up. I am very pleased with the receiving group. We are not satisfied. We have some work still to be done. I am very pleased with the effort, camaraderie and what they have given us so far.”

 Walters was asked about sophomore wide receiver Javeon McQuitty and his recent play during practice.

 "He has done a great job,” Walters said of McQuitty. “He understands the offense. The biggest thing is he is confident. Last year he wasn’t very confident. He kind of was more reactionary. Now he goes and makes things happen. He’s got that confidence. He made plays in the scrimmage. He keeps getting better and has that sense of urgency. He wants it. He wants to be a part of this team. He wants to contribute to the offense. That’s a good sign."

 Walters also touched on the running backs and specifically the duo of Maurice Washington and Dedrick Mills.

 "They are playing well,” Walters said of Washington and Mills. “Rahmir Johnson is playing well. I feel like we have a bunch of running backs to contribute. We are going to need them all. Going into each game, we are going to scheme and find roles and fits and how their skill set can cause trouble to the opposing defenses. All of them are going to be involved.

 “Mills is a downhill guy. When defenses get tired, he is going to break some tackles and get extra yards. Mo (Maurice Washington) is Mo, explosive and dynamic. Then you add Rahmir and some of the guys like Wan’Dale (Robinson) at running back….we feel pretty good about that position"




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DENVER (AP) — The usually sure-footed Arizona Diamondbacks made a couple of uncharacteristic base-running mistakes.

It didn't matter. They found an easy way to around them — the long ball.

Jarrod Dyson homered on the second pitch of the game during a five-run first inning and was later involved in a quirky double play as the Diamondbacks cruised to a 9-3 win over the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night.

It was Dyson's third career leadoff homer — all this season. Christian Walker, Nick Ahmed and David Peralta added two-run homers off Jeff Hoffman (1-4), who was making an emergency start following Jon Gray's scratch due to left ankle soreness. Hoffman surrendered seven runs over two innings.

"Dyson started the party," said Ahmed, who's homered in three straight games. "A leadoff homer is always great and hitting can be contagious after that."

The strangest play of the night was on an inning-ending double play in the eighth that involved tagging out two Diamondbacks runners caught in rundowns. With runners on first and third, Dyson grounded a ball to first baseman Daniel Murphy, who trapped Ahmed between third and home. Ahmed was eventually tagged out and Dyson, who had broken toward second, eventually was tagged out going back to first.

The play was officially scored almost like a lottery ticket: 3-4-3-1-8.

"Good thing it didn't cost us the game," Dyson said. "We just learn from it and take the negative and fix it."

Arizona also had Josh Rojas thrown out trying to steal.

"Outs are precious. I don't like to give them up in any way," Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. "We gave them an inning's worth of outs on the base paths. That's not what we do here. We'll tighten that up."

Ahmed finished a double shy of the cycle in sending the Diamondbacks to their fifth straight win over Colorado. They're averaging 5.67 runs a game against Colorado since 2011, which marks the highest average of any team against a divisional opponent over that span.

This was a rough outing for the Rockies on "Bark at the Park" night at Coors Field, where fans brought their dogs and a pregame pup parade was held around the warning track.

Hoffman never got on track, surrendering three homers in the first. It's the second straight game the Diamondbacks have posted a three-homer inning, which is a franchise first.

"It was a rough night for Jeff," Rockies manager Bud Black explained.

Wearing teal-colored cleats, Arizona starter Zac Gallen threw four solid innings before his pitch count reached 90 and he was taken out. The right-hander allowed two runs in his second start for Arizona since being acquired from Miami on July 31.

Arizona's bullpen turned in another solid outing, with Kevin Ginkel (1-0) earning the win by throwing two scoreless frames.

Rockies catcher Dom Nuñez hit a solo shot in the eighth to become the seventh player in franchise history to homer during his major league debut. Nunez had his contracted selected from Triple-A Albuquerque before the game.

"If you would have told me this was going to happen I would have said you're crazy," said Nunez, who had the home run ball retrieved after it landed in the Arizona bullpen. "But I'm happy it did."

TRAINER'S ROOM

Rockies: Gray hurt his ankle when he slipped on the dugout steps in San Diego last week. Gray will throw a bullpen session Wednesday and could start Friday or Saturday.

FAREWELL

Veteran catcher Chris Iannetta was designated for assignment Tuesday after spending parts of eight seasons with the Rockies. He's the franchise's all-time leader among catchers in games played (620), runs scored (252), home runs (80), RBIs (293) and walks (309).

The 36-year-old was hitting .222 with six homers this season.

"What a great Rockie," Black said.

THE NEW FACE

Nuñez found out he was being called up when his Triple-A manager Glenallen Hill called a postgame team meeting in the clubhouse.

"He looked over at me and said, 'Nunez, you're going to the big leagues,'" he recounted. "The whole team erupted."

Nuñez was picked by Colorado as an infielder in the sixth round of the 2013 draft. He switched to catcher the following season.

The 24-year-old had about a dozen family and friends in attendance.

UP NEXT

Diamondbacks lefty Robbie Ray (10-7, 3.99 ERA) makes his fifth start this season against Colorado on Wednesday. The Rockies will counter with lefty Kyle Freeland (3-10, 7.06).




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Lincoln, Neb. -- The Nebraska football team practiced in full pads to begin the second full week of fall camp on Tuesday, working out for just over two hours while splitting time inside the Hawks Championship Center and outside on the Ed and Joanne Gass practice fields.

Defensive Coordinator Erik Chinander spoke to the media after the conclusion of the practice and started off talking about the full team scrimmage held over the weekend.

"My big takeaway from the scrimmage was kind of an overall theme for the defense," Chinander said. "When we had busts, assignment errors or communication errors, the offense was very productive. When we were all on the same page and everybody, all 11 guys were playing one defense, we were pretty salty. The offense came out with a really good tempo I thought that day and us being able to adjust to that tempo is going to be the tale of the story here. I thought the first group tackled well, the second and third groups need to get a little better. I thought we were physical when we needed to be, and we saw a lot of guys do a lot of good things, so it was great for us."

Chinander then spoke about the improvement of cornerback Cam Taylor and how he can be utilized for multiple situations.

"Cam's a really dynamic player," Chinander said. "He can take reps at corner, he can take reps at safety. He can replace JoJo (Domann) at outside backer against ‘11’ personnel teams when we need him to, so having a guy like him that knows the whole defense and every position and is physical enough to play down low and is good enough on the edge to play coverage is pretty exceptional."

Chinander went back to the scrimmage and talked about how the defense started off on the wrong foot, but was able to quickly respond.

"Like I said, it looked good," Chinander said. "That first series, the offense came out and punched us in the mouth and had some big plays. Then after that, especially the first group, they tightened it down and really played some good football. It was good and bad. Would I like to just go and shut the whole thing down every series? Absolutely, but then I've got a whole new bag of problems because then it's feeling good and trying to reel them back in. I liked how it went because we got knocked down right away and we came back and did our job, so there's a little bit of butt-chewing I can do, but we aren't quite there yet. I liked where it was at."

Chinander finished off with the leadership mentality that is starting to be implemented with the Huskers.

"I think there's vertical leadership and horizontal leadership," Chinander said. "Sometimes when the leaders go vertical down to the rest of the team or from me to them down, the others guys need to go horizontal so everybody understands the message, and I think that's starting to happen. Once the leaders and the coaches say something now, everybody is spreading the word and reeling everybody else back in, so it's been good."

The Huskers will continue fall camp with practice on Wednesday, with the first game taking place at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 31 against South Alabama at 11 a.m CT.




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The Nebraska volleyball team is ranked second in the AVCA Preseason Coaches Poll, which was released on Tuesday.

The Huskers received one of the 64 first-place votes and totaled 1,451 points. Stanford, which received 62 first-place votes, took the No. 1 ranking with 1,598 points. The Cardinal defeated the Huskers in the NCAA Championship match last December in Minneapolis, 3-2. The two teams will meet this regular season on Wednesday, Sept. 18 at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. This marks the second straight year the Huskers will begin the season at No. 2. 

Minnesota (1,414), Texas (1,385) and Wisconsin (1,329) rounded out the top five. Other Big Ten teams in the top 10 included No. 6 Illinois and No. 8 Penn State. The Nittany Lions received the final first-place vote. Nebraska is scheduled to play 12 regular-season matches against teams ranked in the AVCA Preseason Poll.  

The Huskers return five starters from last year's team, including first-team All-America middle blocker Lauren Stivrins. Nebraska will be replacing significant contributors in outside hitter Mikaela Foecke and libero Kenzie Maloney, who both won two NCAA Championships and two Big Ten titles with the Huskers in their four years at NU. 

The Huskers begin the season with the Red-White Scrimmage on Saturday, Aug. 24 at 6 p.m. at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. Tickets remain and can be purchased online here. 




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