Local Sports 5-12-2020

Governor Pete Ricketts announced a plan yesterday to reopen youth sports in the state next month.  The governor is allowing practice in youth baseball and softball to begin on June 1st with games beginning June 18th.  Those games and practices will be conducted under several safety restrictions as the country continues to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.  Guidelines will include limiting fans to household members only, using their own chairs and players will not be allowed to use the dugouts.   Organized practices for other team sports like soccer and basketball remain suspended.  Ricketts said baseball and softball were selected over other sports because they involve limited contact.  June 18th would mark the first organized team sporting event in Nebraska since the boy’s state basketball tournament concluded on March 14th.  Under the plan, schools will also be allowed to open their weight rooms on June 1st for use by all student athletes, as long as they follow the same guidelines as fitness centers, gyms and health clubs.


The Nebraska football team has picked up a punter from Canberra, Australia.  Daniel Cerni announced yesterday that he was accepting a scholarship from Nebraska for the 2020 season.  Nebraska recruited the 20 year old through Prokick Australia, which has sent dozens of punters to college football, including five Ray Guy Award winners.  Cerni has an average “hang time” on his kicks of nearly five seconds.  He’ll join a crowded room of players looking to replace Isaac Armstrong, who finished 42nd overall in net punting last season.


Former Husker Dachon Burke has changed his mind again.  Burke left Nebraska at the end of last season to enter the NBA draft, then pulled his name for the draft and later transferred to South Alabama for his final year of college eligibility.  Now Burke will officially turn Pro, either in an NBA development league or internationally.  Burke averaged 12.2 points per game for the Huskers last season.


The National Association of Academic and Student-Athlete Development Professionals have named Maddie Holland of Nebraska one of five recipients for the 2020 Wilma Rudolph Student Athlete Achievement Awards.  The award is intended to honor student-athletes who have overcome great personal, academic or emotional odds to achieve academic success while participating in intercollegiate athletics.  Holland overcame an eating disorder and anxiety throughout high school and college.  She finished seventh in the pole vault as a freshman at the Big Ten Indoor Championships in 2018.  Holland redshirted in 2019 and returned in 2020.


BB>  Major League Baseball owners gave the go ahead Monday to making a proposal to the players’ union that could lead to the start of the baseball season by around the Fourth of July, without fans in the stands.  Spring training could start by mid-June. Each team would play about 82 regular season games.  Postseason play would be expanded from ten teams to 14, by doubling wildcards in each league to four.  The All Star game scheduled for Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles on July 14th, would likely be called off.


FB> The Pac 12 has discussed an 11 game regular season played solely against conference opponents as one possibility for keeping college football going this year amid the conronavirus pandemic.  Pac 12 teams typicaly play a 12 game schedule with three non conference games.  An all conference schedule would minimize travel , but it would wipe out several high profile non conference games on the league’s schedule this fall.


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