Local Sports 5-7-2020

Another top football prospect from Omaha has turned down a scholarship offer from Nebraska.  Keagan Johnson of Bellevue West has committed to Iowa.  He is the son of former Nebraska football player Clester Johnson, who played wingback on the Huskers 1994 and 95 national championship teams.  Keagan Johnson caught 52 passes for 672 yards and eight touchdowns last season.  He chose the Hawkeyes over Nebraska, Kansas State and Iowa State.  Johnson is the second marquee 2021 recruit from the Omaha area to commit in recent weeks.  Defensive back Avante Dickerson of Omaha Westside committed to Minnesota last month.


Matt Fritsche has been named the new athletic director at Grand Island Northwest.  Fritsche is a former assistant women’s basketball coach at Creighton.  He also spent ten years as the head girls basketball coach at Bellevue West, leading the Thunderbirds to 199 wins and three Class A State Championships.  He spent one season as the head women’s basketball coach at Midland University.  The past two seasons, he’s been the women’s basketball coach at Hillsdale College, a Division II school in Michigan.  Fritsche will replace Mike Sorensen, who is leaving after five years to become principal at Chase County High School in Imperial.


The Tri City Storm has completed the second and final phase of the 2020 USHL Draft by making 21 selections in the 24 round draft.  Tri City selected 14 forwards, 5 defensemen and two goaltenders.  The Storm traded up to obtain the second overall pick in the opening round of the draft and used the pick to select forward Hunter Strand.  The next major event on the Storm’s schedule will be the 2020 Selection Camp and Tryouts held in late July at the Las Vegas Ice Center in Las Vegas.


HOPE> Major League Baseball expects to offer a return-to-play proposal to the players association within a week, as teams have begun to encourage players to prepare for a “spring” training that could begin in mid-June and a season that could start in early July.


Meanwhile, NBA commissioner Adam Silver and the National Basketball Players Association will host a call for all players on Friday.  That’s the same day the league has permitted teams to reopen practice facilities for voluntary, social distanced workouts in areas where that has been permitted by local public health officials.  Three teams, Portland, Denver and Cleveland plan to reopen on Friday, while several other teams said they hope to open next week.


Fans will be allowed to enter baseball stadiums for games in Taiwan for the first time this season as part of a gradual easing of restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic. The China Professional Baseball League said up to one thousand people would be permitted to enter their ballparks beginning Friday.

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