Local Sports 4-23-2020

It appears highly unlikely we’ll have an American Legion baseball season this summer. The Department of Nebraska Athletic Committee has canceled all Area and State post season tournaments for the summer because of the cornavirus pandemic. All tournament host sites will remain the same for the 2021 season. The Legion previously cancelled all eight regional tournaments, including one scheduled for Hastings and the World Series. However the committees intent is to play as much of or any part of a season in Nebraska that the situation allows, and to allow the local communities and regional area’s to conduct their own tournaments as they see fit based on the current restrictions for that area. However teams are not allowed to practice until receiving the go ahead from the Legion and must practice for 14 days before playing their first game.

Hastings St. Cecilia volleyball coach Alan Van Cura has made it official. He’s stepping down for a second time. Van Cura coached the team for 40 years before retiring after the 2014-2015 season, only to return two year later. Van Cura led the Hawkettes to the state tournament 22 times. He guided the team to six state titles and three runner up finishes. Van Cura was named the Nebraska Coaches Association volleyball coach of the year in 2014 and was inducted into the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2016. Van Cura is third on the state’s all time win list with 886. Grand Island Central Catholic Sharon Zavala is the only coach in the top 10 still active. She is the leader with 1,064 victories.

Britt Ehlers has been hired as the new girls basketball coach at Lincoln Christian, replacing Nick Orduna who stepped down earlier this month. Ehlers is a former Nebraska basketball walk on with no high school coaching experience. He has coached at the club level for nearly a decade and has coordinated and directed basketball camps for hundreds of players.

More games have been announced for the Heartland Hoops Classic that will be held on February 13th at the Heartland Events Center in Grand Island. Millard North will play national power Oak Hill Academy in one of the games. Millard North lost to Florida’s IMG Academy 70-65 in the showcase event last year. Other announced games include Bellevue West against Sunrise Christian of Wichita, Loomis against Mullen and BRLD against Auburn in a matchup of two time defending champions.

Fonner Park in Grand Island has been granted a second “live” racing season that will run from May 4th through the 27th. The current meet runs through April 29th. The addition will give Fonner an extra 12 days of racing. The track has been operating without fans in the stands since March 23rd. Racing will continue on a Monday through Wednesday schedule with a post time at 4:00pm.

NFL> The first round of the NFL draft will take place tonight. The draft was suppose to take place under the bright lights and flair of Las Vegas, but was moved to a studio setting because of the cornavirus pandemic. The Cincinnati Bengals will have the number one pick followed by Washington, Detroit, the New York Giants and Miami. Rounding out the top ten picks are the Los Angeles Chargers, Carolina, Arizona, Jacksonville and Cleveland. We’ll have coverage on ESPN Tri Cities beginning at 6:00pm.

Share this Story: