Sports News-August 23, 2013

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Ryan Braun is admitting taking performance-enhancing drugs during his National League MVP season of 2011.  The suspended Milwaukee slugger says he took a cream and a lozenge containing banned substances while rehabilitating an injury, now calling it "a huge mistake for which I am deeply ashamed."

The top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee says the NFL players' union "is now holding HGH testing hostage" and that could "force Congress to intervene."  Republican Elijah Cummings of Maryland says in a statement emailed by his office to The Associated Press yesterday that the "NFL Players' Association continues to disregard its promise to implement HGH testing."  The oversight committee held a hearing in December to take a look at the science behind blood tests for human growth hormone.  HGH is a banned performance-enhancing drug that is hard to detect and has been linked to health problems such as diabetes, cardiac dysfunction and arthritis.  Two full NFL seasons have passed without a final agreement on HGH since the August 2011 labor deal paved the way for testing.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has opened its expanded Memorial Stadium, which will increase attendance at Husker football games.  A special ribbon-cutting ceremony for the east Memorial Stadium section was held yesterday.  The $63.5 million expansion project, which started in October 2010, will hold 6,000 more attendees.  That will increase attendance at Husker football games to 92,000.  Additions include more suites and sideline seats.  Omaha television station KETV reports the expansion will also have space for the Nebraska Athletic Performance Laboratory and the Center for Brain, Biology and Behavior.

Big Ten football players received a message straight from the top about how they carry themselves as college athletes.  Commissioner Jim Delany wrapped up a tour of all twelve of the conference's preseason football camps, making stops yesterday at Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska, all in less than twelve hours.  Before the Cornhuskers hit the practice field, Delany delivered the same message to players that he did during other campus visits the past three weeks.  He told them they are on a "big stage" and that they need to be smart and think before they act.  Delany's meetings with players came during a summer in which 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M has had his eligibility jeopardized in the wake of allegations he received payment for autographs.

The Nebraska-Omaha volleyball team was picked to finish eighth in the Summit League Preseason Poll released by the conference office today.  Defending tournament champion Fort Wayne, received three first-place votes and tied with reigning regular season champion Indiana-Purdue-Indianapolis, who earned four first-place tallies.  This season, the Mavericks return nine letterwinners and four starters from 2012, and head coach Rose Shires will enter her 24th year at the helm of the program.  Nebraska-Omaha opens the 2013 season at the Houston Baptist Tournament, Aug. 30-31, in Houston, Texas.

The Lincoln Journal Star has posted it's preseason high school softball rankings.  Class 'A' Two-time Defending State Champion Millard South is ranked first while Omaha Skutt is number one in Class 'B'.  In Class 'C', Wahoo is ranked first, West Point Guardian Angels is third, Wayne is ranked fourth, and O'Neill is ninth.

The Northeast Community College volleyball team gets their season underway today when they take on McCook Community College at 3:00 and Southeast Community College at 5:00 at the Southeast Community College Tournament at Beatrice.  Northeast has reinstated volleyball after the program was disbanded in 2002-2003 with Amanda Schultze being named as the head coach.  This year's Hawk roster includes Stanton's Kennedy Cheyney, Allen's Brittany Sullivan, Winside's Nazya Thies, Atkinson's Shelby Weber, Randolph's Kirsten Fink, Wayne's Sarah Maxson, and Haley Roelle & Sydney Luedtke from Creston.  Northeast's regular season schedule includes home matches with McCook, North Platte, Central of Columbus, Southeast, and Iowa schools Kirkwood, Ellsworth, Southwestern, Southeastern, Iowa Western, and Des Moines Area.

The Lutheran High Northeast softball team gets their season underway on Saturday when they play West Point-Beemer at 10:00 at the Wayne High Tournament.  They will also play two more games later in the day.  The Lady Eagles will try to better last year's 9-20 record.  They return six players with starting experience to their ten girl roster in Janey Pasold, Cara Colligan, Rebecca Blank, Lindsay Reifert, Ashlynn Marx, & Courtney Schindler.  Lutheran High Northeast's regular season docket includes home games with Pierce, Wayne, South Sioux City, David City Aquinas, West Point Guardian Angels, Boone Central, Madison, West Point-Beemer, and the Mid States Conference Tournament.  

Local Schedule:  NECC Vs. McCook CC-3:00; Vs. Southeast CC-5:00 (SECC VB Tourn. At Beatrice); New Orleans at Omaha Storm Chasers (Bsbl-6:35); Creighton at Utah St. At Logan, UT (W Socc-5:00); Nebraska-Omaha at New Mexico St. At Las Cruces, NM (W Socc-5:00).

Saturday Morning:  Sportstalk on 106 KIX & from 9:00-10:00 AM from Hy-Vee East.  This week:  Nfk High's Tom Olson & Chuck Hughes; Nfk Cath's Jeff Bellar & Travis Fisher; LHNE's Kiley Koch; & NECC's Amanda Schultze.

Local Scores:  Lincoln SE 10-9 Nfk High 2-1 (SB DH); Omaha Storm Chasers 3 New Orleans 2 (10 Inn.) (Bsbl).

      Final            N-Y  Yankees          5    Toronto                  3
      Final            Minnesota              7    Detroit                  6
      Final            Chi  White  Sox      4    Kansas  City          3,  12  Innings
      Final            Cincinnati            2    Arizona                  1
      Final            L.A.  Dodgers        6    Miami                      0
      Final            Washington            5    Chi  Cubs                4,  13  Innings
      Final            Philadelphia        5    Colorado                4
      Final            St.  Louis              6    Atlanta                  2
      Final            Pittsburgh          10    San  Francisco      5
      Final    Detroit      40    New  England      9
      Final    Carolina    34    Baltimore        27

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