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Local Sports

NCAA cancels Division II, III fall championships

The NCAA Division II president’s council announced Wednesday championship events for fall sports will not happen this year due to COVID-19.  In a release on the decision, the council cited operational, logistical, and financial challenges are too great to overcome to put on the championship events in a safe and efficient manner.  The NCAA also canceled championships for Division III sports and a decision on Division I is expected next week.  The NCAA also announced fall sport athletes will retain their eligibility if their team participates in 50 percent or less of its season. 


Northern volleyball readies for tougher season than ever due to COVID-19

Northern State volleyball is set to begin in a unique 2020 season due to COVID-19.  The season has been delayed by the NCAA, in doing so has cost Northern five games and pushed the start of the season back to October 2nd

 

Northern head volleyball coach Brent Aldridge gave a schedule for the beginning of the 2020 season…

 

 

 

 

Northern is coming off an outstanding 2020 season where the team went 25-6 overall and 17-3 in the NSIC.  The team was upset in the first round of the NSIC conference tournament by Upper Iowa, but would go on to earn an at large bid to the NCAA Central Regional tournament.  From there the Wolves would go on to beat #7 St. Cloud State 3-0, but lose to #2 Nebraska-Kearney in the second round, ending their season.

 

For head coach Brent Aldridge he enters his 10th season as head coach at Northern, 28th head coaching year overall.  During his time at Northern he has compiled a record of 188-77.  Despite all the recent success he says this year will likely be his most difficult…

 

 

 

 

There are a lot of reasons for Northern’s program success entering 2020, but a big reason is how good local high school volleyball has been over the last decade.  Schools like Aberdeen Central, Warner and Northwestern have found huge success at the state level.  According to Aldridge, that helps in filling out the roster…

 

 

 

 

The Northern volleyball season opens October 2nd at home vs. the University of Sioux Falls and October 3rd at home vs. Southwest Minnesota State. 


Minnesota Vikings trade for P.J. Hill falls through

The Minnesota Vikings trade with the Las Vegas for defensive tackle P.J. Hill has fallen through due to Hill failing a physical.  The Vikings had agreed to trade for the defensive tackle Monday by sending a conditional 2021 seventh round pick, but Hall will revert back to the raiders who are expected to cut the former second round pick.  He is 25 years old, played in 30 games including 18 starts over the past two seasons, but has recorded just 1.5 sacks during that time.  The Vikings will likely continue to look elsewhere for defensive line help, trying to replace Michael Pierce who announced he would not take part in this season due to COVID-19 concerns. 


Northern men's basketball signs Josh Vaughan as assistant coach

Northern State head men’s basketball coach Saul Phillips has announced the addition of Josh Vaughn to the coaching staff.  Vaughan will serve as the team’s top assistant coach, coming to Northern after spending the past three seasons as the head coach at NAIA Dickinson State.  As head coach in Dicksinson, Vaughan led the Blue Hawks  to a 40-43 record including a birth in the NSAA men’s basketball tournament championship game in 2017-18.  Vaughan played under Phillips during his time as the head coach at North Dakota State University for two seasons. 


Northern announces new agreement with Avera

Northern State has announced after receiving a gift from Avera the top floor of the NSU Barnett Center will be renamed.  The floor will now go by the Bob Olson Strength and Conditioning Center to honor the former coach and athletic director.  The announcement was made Monday at a virtual media call featuring NSU president Tim Downs and Avera St. Luke’s President and CEO Todd Forkel.  Olson retired in 2012 after a 37-year-career at Northern who also served on AVera’s board of directors.  The gift also extends Northern’s agreement with Avera to use its health services through 2034. 


Minnesota Vikings and general manager Rick Speilman come to terms on new contract extension

The Minnesota Vikings announce they have signed General Manager Rick Spielman to a multi-year contract extension.

 

“Rick has been outstanding in his role as Vikings general manager. We are excited and honored to have him continue to lead our efforts to build a championship roster and first-class organization. With Rick’s and Coach Zimmer’s leadership in place, we are in a great position to continue to compete for a Super Bowl,” Vikings Owner/President Mark Wilf said.

 

Spielman originally joined the Vikings as Vice President of Player Personnel on May 30, 2006, and directed scouting, free agency and draft preparations for the club before being hired as team’s general manager on Jan. 3, 2012. Since taking over as general manager, the Vikings rank ninth in the NFL with a .570 winning percentage (72-54-2), which is fourth-best in the NFC over that eight-season span.

 

Throughout his tenure as general manager, Minnesota has drafted impact players and made key trades and free agency acquisitions that have resulted in 16 players earning 29 Pro Bowl recognitions, with five of those players also being tabbed All-Pro. Since 2012, Spielman has made more draft picks (93) than any other general manager in the National Football League. Of those picks, 56 are the result of trades and 13 have been first-round selections.

 

In addition to his success during the NFL Draft, Spielman has excelled at acquiring free agents, highlighted by quarterback Kirk Cousins, who signed with the club on March 15, 2018. In his two seasons in Minnesota, Cousins, who was named the Pro Bowl following the 2019 season, has posted a 103.0 passer rating, trailing only Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (110.0) for the highest passer rating in the NFL among all passers with at least 1,000 attempts since the start of 2018.

 

“We appreciate Rick’s work ethic, diligence and commitment to the Vikings. We continue to have the utmost confidence in him as we work to assemble championship-caliber teams to reach our ultimate goal of winning a world championship.”  Vikings Owner/Chairman Zygi Wilf said.

 

During the 2020 NFL Draft, Spielman turned 12 picks into a seven-round NFL-record 15 selections with two additional picks gained for the 2021 NFL Draft through trades. The Vikings 2020 class is the largest since the NFL condensed its annual draft to seven rounds in 1994. It also marked Minnesota’s first 15-member class since 1985, tying for the largest-overall draft class since 1976, when the team added 17 players over 17 rounds.


NAIA moves football national championship to the fall

The NAIA has announced it will postpone its football national championship to the spring in 2021.  Usually the football champion is crowned in the fall, but the game has been moved due to COVID-19 concerns.  The NAIA council of presidents voted in favor of postponing the championship at its meeting Friday July 31st.  NAIA conference are still allowed to compete in the fall and winter if they so choose to.  The move is expected to help NAIA institutions to better deal with restrictions at the local and state level due to COVID-19. 


USD's Jack Cochrane named Phil Steele pre-season All-American

South Dakota senior captain Jack Cochrane has been named a preseason all-American by Phil Steele announced Friday. Cochrane, a third-team selection, is one of 16 FCS linebackers on the squad and one of two from the Missouri Valley Football Conference.
 
Cochrane is a two-year starter from Mount Vernon, Iowa, who earned second-team all-Valley honors last season after leading the conference with 106 tackles. He also led the Coyotes with two interceptions, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. Of his 106 stops, 59 were solo, 7.0 were for loss and 3.0 were sacks.
 
Cochrane maintains a 4.0 grade point average while majoring in criminal justice and business administration at USD. He is a two-time, first-team MVFC All-Academic honoree and was named to the FCS Athletic Directors Association Academic All-Star Team at the conclusion of last season.
 
In addition to announcing an all-America team, Phil Steele also released its preseason all-MVFC team. In addition to Cochrane, the Coyotes were represented by tight end Brett Samson (first team), offensive lineman Mason Scheidegger (first team), punter Brady Schutt (first team), running back Kai Henry (second team), wideout Caleb Vander Esch (second team), linebacker Jake Matthew (second team), kicker Mason Lorber (second team), offensive lineman Isaac Erbes (third team), safety Elijah Reed (third team) and long snapper Dalton Godfrey (third team).


Twins place pitcher Homer Bailey on 10-day IR

The Twins have also placed right handed starter Homer Bailey on the 10-day disabled list with right bicep tendinitis.  The move was made retroactively to July 29th.  Bailey signed with the Twins as a free agent this offseason and won his first start pitching five innings and allowing two runs on July 28th.  The Twins have recalled right hander Sean Poppen from their alternate training site to replace Bailey for the time being. 


PC hires new linebacker coach

Presentation College head football coach Steve Heimann is pleased to announce the hiring of Henry Flickinger.

 

Flickinger comes to the Saints after serving as a graduate assistant coach for Tabor College in Kansas. With Tabor, Flickinger was a member of three conference championships. Flickinger was a student-coach for the Blue Jays from 2015-2018. Flickinger coached four All-Conference players at Tabor and one All-American.

 

With the Saints, Flickinger will be the outside linebacker coach.

 

"I am excited to welcome Henry Flickinger as the newest member of our Saints football family," said Steve Heimann. "He brings several years of coaching experience, working with a highly successful program.  More importantly, I know him to be a man of great character and work ethic."

For everything Saints Football, be sure to check out pcsaints.com or @PCSaintsFootball on Twitter. 


Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr placed on Reserved/COVID-19 list

The Minnesota Vikings announced Thursday it has placed linebacker Anthony Barr on the reserve/COVID-19 list.  This list was created this year by the league specifically to place players who either test positive for COVID-19 or who are quaranteeing after being exposed to someone with the virus.  The team did not release if Barr tested positive for the virus.

 

Barr has appeared in at least 12 games in each of his six NFL seasons, all with the Vikings.  He is a four time pro bowl selection and is a key presence on the defense in the locker room.  


The Summit League to delay the start of fall sports until Sept. 23rd

The Summit League’s Presidents Council agreed to delay the start of fall sports for member institutions until Sept. 23 based upon the recommendation from the League’s Joint Council due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
The delay will result in a conference-only schedule for the sports of women’s soccer, men’s soccer and volleyball.  Competitive schedule for men’s and women’s cross country and non-championship segments for men’s and women’s golf and men’s and women’s tennis will also be delayed until September 23, as will the non-traditional seasons for baseball and softball.

Training and practices may continue to be conducted at the discretion of each institution in accordance with NCAA regulations and local health and safety guidelines.

The Joint Council continues to meet and discuss the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic on member campuses.  The number one priority continues to be the health and safety of student-athletes, coaches and staff.

The President’s Council acknowledges the need to be flexible in this ever-changing environment and will continue to monitor national developments related to the pandemic and its impact on the League.

This delay does not affect any winter or spring sports. If necessary, any decisions involving those seasons will be made at a later date.


Vikings DT Michael Pierce opts out of 2020 season

Minnesota Vikings nose tackle Michael Pierce has informed the team he will not take part in the 2020 season due to concerns involving respiratory issues.  Pierce tells the St. Paul Pioneer Press he is a high risk case for COVID-19 due to underlying health conditions.  Pierce signed with the Vikings this offseason on a three-year $27 million contract to replace Linval Joseph who left via free agency.  According to NFL rules, Pierce is entitled to receive $350,000 for his contract toll next season.  In other football player news Chicago Bears defensive lineman Eddie Goldman will opt out of the 2020 season as well due to health concerns due to COVID 19.  Also opting out are New England Patriots linebacker and safety Don’t’a Hightower and safety Patrick Chung. 


North Dakota State loses last non-conference football game against Drake

North Dakota State football has now lost all its non-conference games this football season.  The Bison had originally planned on playing three non-conference games, including one highly anticipated game against the Oregon Ducks.  However, the Pack 12 announced it would not play non-conference football games this year, effectively canceling the game.  Following that the MEAC announced it would not play football this year, canceling the game against North Carolina A&T.  Finally it was announced July 27th the Pioneer Football League has canceled its season as well, canceling the game against Drake.  So far South Dakota State has lost just one football game against Nebraska, while all USD’s games remain intact. 


Twins catcher Willians Astudillo cleared to return to play following COVID-19 recover

Minnesota Twins catcher Willians Astudillo has been cleared to return to play and practice following his second negative COVID-19 test at least 24 hours apart.  Twins manager Rocco Baldelli announced Sunday Astudillo will report to the club’s alternate training site at CHS field in St. Paul.  He will be evaluated on his physical condition before training begins to get him ready for the season.  Astudillo missed all of the truncated summer camp after testing positive for COVID-19 upon arrival to Minneapolis. 


Vikings move four players to COVID-19 list before training camp

The Minnesota Vikings announced Monday it has placed four players on the reserve/COVID-19 list before training camp.  This category was created by the league to accommodate teams and players dealing with the coronavirus.  It is reserved for players who either have tested positive or who are quarantined due to contact with an infected person.  Those players include tackle Blake Brandel, safety Brian Cole, offensive lineman Tyler Higby and wide receiver and rookie first round pick Justin Jefferson.  The club is not required to say which if any player has tested positive or if they are quarantined out of caution.   


NSIC delays start of the athletic season

With the health and safety of its member institutions’ communities, the importance of successful institutional campus reopening and the overall well-being of its student-athletes as its top priorities, the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Board of Directors unanimously supported a delay to the start of NSIC fall athletic competition.

 

Northern State University will begin on-campus fall classes on August 19. For a full list of the health and safety precautions being taken by NSU faculty, staff, and students please visit northern.edu/coronavirus and nsuwolves.com/covid/re-engagement.

 

For the sports of football and men’s & women’s cross country, the first permissible practice will be Wednesday, September 2 with the first date of competition scheduled for Saturday, September 26. For volleyball and soccer, the first permissible practice will be Tuesday, September 8 with the first date of competition scheduled for Friday, October 2. As of today, the delay will not impact the start or competition dates for winter and spring programs within the NSIC.

 

Updated schedules for football, volleyball and soccer can be found at: www.NorthernSun.org/2020FallSchedules or on each sports respective schedule page linked above.

 

“This was a challenging decision for our membership to make,” stated NSIC Commissioner Erin Lind. “For the last several months, our membership has been working tirelessly to prepare for the fall sports season, including developing the resumption of athletic principles, revamping schedules and creating competition disruption plans. At this time, we remain optimistic that we can safely conduct a fall sports season and moving the start date of competition will give us the best opportunity to give our student-athletes the experience they deserve.”

 

The health and safety of student-athletes, athletics personnel, and greater campus communities in the NSIC is paramount. Given the information from the medical and scientific community, and the number of uncertainties and limitations involving local and state regulations, it has become evident that a delay to the original start dates can provide the membership the opportunity to be prepared for all student-athletes to return to campus and work through all of the requirements for resocialization.

 

Making this decision now permits campuses to focus solely on reopening safely for their broader campus communities. The challenge of preparing for a fall sports season amidst the present uncertainties should not affect overall institutional reopening plans nor the health and safety of the wider campus community.

 

“Athletics is a vital aspect of all 16 of our campus communities and we owe it to our student-athletes to exhaust all options that will result in an opportunity for them to compete in their sport. We are optimistic that remedies to manage the virus and minimize spread will improve over time which would provide a more consistent season and positive experience for our student-athletes. Although we are not able to guarantee this given the uncertain nature of the virus, we are committed to exploring all options,” said Lind.

 

The conference will continue to monitor the landscape and conditions surrounding the pandemic, locally, regionally, and nationally, and make any decisions or announcements at a later date, as necessary.


Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer talks about his extension

The Minnesota Vikings have come to terms with head coach Mike Zimmer on a three-year contract extension, keeping him in Minnesota through 2023.  Zimmer was in the last year of his previous deal making approximately $7 million a year.

 

He is 64 years old and has been the head coach in Minnesota since 2014. 

 

Zimmer says he is blessed to work for the Vikings…

 

 

 

 

Since taking over in 2014, the Vikings under coach Zimmer have gone 57-38-1 including two NFC north championships and three playoff appearances.  In the playoffs he currently has a 2-3 record. 

Zimmer’s tenure hasn’t been without problems, especially on the offensive side of the ball.  Under his leadership, the Vikings are on their fifth offensive coordinator in Gary Kubiak.  Two of those three offensive coordinators left mid season either by quitting or getting fired.  Zimmer says that’s not always a bad thing…

 

 

 

 

Getting this deal done took longer than expected and led to some speculation about Zimmer’s future with the team.  According to Zimmer however, it took longer because of the length of the deal which he said was very important to him…

 

 

 

The pre-season has been canceled this year due to COVID-19 so the Vikings will kick off week one Sunday September 13th vs. the Green Back Packers at noon at home. 


Tuszka signs rookie deal with Denver

Warner native and Denver Broncos rookie prospect Derrek Tuszka have come to terms on a rookie contract.  The Broncos announced the deal last Wednesday as part of a larger announcement the team had come to terms with its 10-member 2020 draft class.  Tuszka was selected in the seventh round by the Broncos with the 254th overall pick.  The deal is reportedly for four years and worth an estimated $3.3 million.  Tuszka was the Missouri Valley Football Conference defensive player of the year last season in his final year with the NDSU Bison.


Vikings sign 14 picks from 2020 draft

The Minnesota Vikings have announced the following roster moves:
DRAFT PICKS SIGNED:
NO. PLAYER POS. RD./SELECTION COLLEGE
18…..Justin Jefferson .... WR .................... 1st/22nd ................................ LSU
20…..Jeff Gladney ......... CB ..................... 1st/31st ................................ TCU
72…..Ezra Cleveland ........ T .................... 2nd/58th ..................... Boise State
27…..Cameron Dantzler . CB ..................... 3rd/89th ............. Mississippi State
57…..D.J. Wonnum ........ DE ................... 4th/117th ................ South Carolina
66…..James Lynch ........ DT ................... 4th/130th ............................. Baylor
45…..Troy Dye ................ LB .................. 4th/132nd ........................... Oregon
38…..Harrison Hand....... CB ................... 5th/169th ........................... Temple
17…..K.J. Osborn .......... WR ................... 5th/176th .............................. Miami
64…..Blake Brandel .......... T ................... 6th/203rd .................. Oregon State
44…..Josh Metellus ........... S ................... 6th/205th ......................... Michigan
79…..Kenny Willekes ..... DE ................... 7th/225th ................ Michigan State
39…..Brian Cole II ............. S ................... 7th/249th ............. Mississippi State
68…..Kyle Hinton ............. G ................... 7th/253rd ....................... Washburn

The 14 signees join Minnesota’s 244th overall selection Nate Stanley, who signed with the club on July 13.

Justin Jefferson (6-1, 202) was selected by the Vikings in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft with the 22nd overall pick, becoming the first member of Minnesota’s 2020 draft class and the first LSU player chosen in the opening round of a draft in Vikings history. Jefferson finished his LSU career ranked No. 5 in receptions (165), No. 6 in receiving yards (2,415) and No. 3 in receiving touchdowns (24), despite not catching a pass as a freshman in 2017. As a junior, the St. Rose, Louisiana, native led the nation in receptions (111) and set both career and CFP Semifinal game records for receptions (14), receiving yards (227), receiving yards in a half (186), and receiving touchdowns (4) in the Tigers’ victory over Oklahoma. In 2019, Jefferson became the 10th player in LSU history with more than 2,000 career receiving yards after surpassing the 1,000-yard mark for the season at Ole Miss with a nine-catch, 112-yard and two touchdown performance. He was tabbed Second Team All-SEC and named a semifinalist for the 2019 Biletnikoff Award, which is given annually to the top receiver in college football.

Jeff Gladney (5-10, 191) was selected with the 31st overall pick by the Vikings in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft and became the first TCU player drafted by Minnesota in the first round. A native of New Boston, Texas, Gladney finished his career as a Horned Frog with 146 total tackles (106 solo), 38 pass breakups, five interceptions (one for a score), 1.5 sacks, 6.0 tackles for loss and one forced fumble through 50 games (42 starts). Gladney tied for second in the Big 12 as a redshirt senior in 2019 with 15 passes defended, including a conference-best 14 pass breakups which tied for eighth nationally. He capped his collegiate career with Second Team All-America and All-Big 12 honors from multiple outlets in 2019.

Ezra Cleveland (6-6, 311) was selected by Minnesota in the second round (58th overall) of the 2020 NFL Draft. The Spanaway, Washington, native started at left tackle in all 40 of his game appearances over three seasons at Boise State, earning First-Team All-Mountain West honors in 2018 and 2019 and Honorable Mention All-Mountain West recognition in 2017. While at Boise State, Cleveland blocked for current Viking running back Alexander Mattison as Mattison recorded consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons in 2018 (1,415 yards) and 2017 (1,086 yards).


Cameron Dantzler (6-2, 188) was selected by Minnesota in the third round (89th overall) of the 2020 NFL Draft. The Hammond, Louisiana, native started the final 22 of his 35 career game appearances at Mississippi State. Dantzler finished his collegiate career with 108 total tackles, five interceptions and 20 passes defensed, earning Second-Team All-SEC honors as a sophomore in 2018.


D.J. Wonnum (6-5, 258) was selected by the Vikings 117th overall in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft, becoming the highest drafted defensive end by Minnesota since Danielle Hunter was chosen 88th overall out of LSU in the 2015 NFL Draft. Wonnum appeared in 43 games with 30 starts for South Carolina during his four-year career, logging 137 tackles with 14.0 sacks. He ranks ninth in school history with 29.5 career tackles for loss. Hailing from Stone Mountain, Georgia, Wonnum is a two-time team captain (2017 and 2019) and was named a 2019 Second-Team All-SEC selection by the Associated Press after finishing the 2019 season with 37 tackles, including 9.5 tackles for loss, and 4.5 sacks.


James Lynch (6-4, 289) was selected by Minnesota in the fourth round (130th overall) of the 2020 NFL Draft. The Round Rock, Texas, native appeared in 38 career games (27 starts) in three season at Baylor, leaving campus as the program’s career leader in sacks (23.0). Lynch was named First-Team All-America (Walter Camp, USA Today, The Athletic) and Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year as a junior in 2019 after compiling 13.5 sacks (Baylor single-season record) and 19.5 tackles for loss.


Troy Dye (6-3, 231) was selected by Minnesota in the fourth round (132nd overall) of the 2020 NFL Draft. The Norco, California, native made 50 game appearances (48 starts) in four seasons at Oregon, becoming the only player in program history to lead the team in tackles in four consecutive seasons (2016-19). Dye ended his collegiate career with 397 total tackles (third in program history) and 44 tackles for loss (tied fourth in program history).


Harrison Hand (5-11, 197) was chosen with the 169th overall pick in the fifth round of the 2020 NFL Draft, becoming the third of five defensive backs drafted by Minnesota. Hand compiled 114 total tackles (86 solo), 17 pass breakups, four interceptions, 5.5 tackles for loss and a forced fumble through 34 games during his three combined seasons at Baylor and Temple. As a junior at Temple, the Cherry Hill, New Jersey, native made a career high 59 tackles, including 4.0 tackles for loss, and three interceptions.


K.J. Osborn (5-11, 203) was taken in the fifth round (176th overall) by the Vikings in the 2020 NFL Draft, becoming the 16th player drafted out of Miami in franchise history. Osborn spent the first three season of his collegiate career at Buffalo University before electing to transfer as a graduate to Miami for his final year. As a senior in 2019, Osborn led the Hurricanes in receptions (50), receiving yards (547), receiving touchdowns (5) and all-purpose yards (1,018). The Ypsilanti, Michigan, native also served as the primary punt and kick returner for Miami while leading the team with 16 punt returns and 255 punt return yards in 2019. For his career, Osborn returned 33 kickoffs for 646 yards and a 19.6 average and returned 49 punts for 594 yards and a 12.1 average. During his three seasons on the field in Buffalo (2016-18), Osborn totaled 53 receptions for 892 yards and seven receiving touchdowns.


Blake Brandel (6-7, 307) was selected by Minnesota in the sixth round (203rd overall) of the 2020 NFL Draft. The Milwaukie, Oregon, native started all 48 games in which he appeared at Oregon State, earning Second-Team All-Pac-12 honors as a senior. A team captain as a senior in 2019, Brandel earned a 93.1 pass blocking grade from Pro Football Focus during his final campaign, the best score by any offensive lineman in the nation.


Josh Metellus (5-11, 209) was chosen by Minnesota with the 205th-overall pick in the sixth round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Hailing from Pembroke Pine, Florida, Metellus tallied 187 tackles, including 9.0 tackles for loss, five interceptions, 21 passes defensed and a blocked kick during his four-year career at Michigan. As a senior, he started all 13 games at safety and also contributed on special teams, making 74 tackles, including four for loss, with two interceptions, five pass breakups and one fumble recovery. Metellus is a three-time All-Big Ten honoree (2017-19) and was tabbed a first team All-Big Ten selection by the Associated Press in 2018 after recording 48 tackles, and three interceptions with one returned for a touchdown as a junior.


Kenny Willekes (6-3, 264) was selected by Minnesota in the seventh round (225th overall) of the 2020 NFL Draft. The Rockford, Michigan, native left Michigan State with 51 career tackles for loss (first in school history) and 26.0 career sacks (third in school history) in 40 game appearances (38 starts). Willekes was the 2019 Burlsworth Trophy recipient, given to the nation’s most outstanding player that began his career as a walk-on, as well as the 2018 Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year and a two-time Walter Camp All-American (second-team in 2018 and 2019).


Brian Cole II (6-2, 213) was selected by Minnesota in the seventh round (249th overall) of the 2020 NFL Draft, the last of five defensive backs drafted by the Vikings. The Saginaw, Michigan, native finished his Mississippi State career with 78 total tackles, including 10.5 tackles for loss, along with three sacks, two interceptions, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries. A 2019 team captain at Mississippi State, Cole began his collegiate career at the University of Michigan, where he played as a wide receiver in 2015, and East Mississippi Community College, where he played safety in 2016.


Kyle Hinton (6-2, 295) was taken in the seventh round (253rd overall) by the Vikings, rounding out the team’s historic 2020 draft class as the 15th and final selection. A product of Washburn University, Hinton is one of two Division II players to be drafted in 2020. He started the final 34 games of his career at LT for Washburn and appeared in a total of 40 games during his four-year stint. A native of Peoria, Arizona, Hinton was named to three different All-American rosters following his senior season as an Ichabod.


Seattle announces NHL team will be called the "Kraken"

The ownership group of the newest NHL team, which is based in Seattle, has released the team nickname, logo and colors.  The 32nd NHL team, which will begin play 2020-21 is the "Seattle Kraken" and they will play in the Pacific Division.

 

Seattle was awarded a franchise back in December of 2018 and will play out of Climate Pledge Arena which is undergoing a massive redevelopment.  

 

According to the team's website the officials colors include Deep Sea Blue, Ice Blue, Boundless Blue, Shadow Blue and Red Alert.  The Kraken is a creature of myth from Scandanavian folk lore and is often depicted as a giant sea monster with octopus like features.  

 

The city of Seattle has not had professional hockey since the Totems of the Western Hockey League left in 1975.  Even before that however, Seattle once had the Metropolitans in 1915 which played in teh Pacific Coast Hockey Association and in 1917 were the first American team to win a Stanley Cup.

 


SDHSAA votes to move forward with fall sports/activities as planned

The South Dakota High School Activities Association’s board of directors voted unanimously Wednesday to proceed with high school sports and activities this coming fall.  The board met in Pierre Wednesday.  The board followed the guidance of a task force put together to study the subject.  As for fans attending games, that will be up to the individual school districts how they want to handle that situation.  The football season is scheduled to kick off Friday August 21st with week zero. 


Wings select 10 players in 2020 NAHL entry draft

The Aberdeen Wings took part in the annual NAHL entry draft Tuesday, selecting 10 players in the process.  Center Thomas Weis, an 18 year old from Madison Wisconsin was selected by Wichita Falls with the top overall pick.   

 

The Wings selections went as follows:
1st round (23rd overall) – Will Arquiett F, Brasher Falls New York
2nd round (50th overall) – Jayden McCarthy F, Morris Manitoba
3rd round (77th overall) – Tanner Daniels F, Edinboro Pennsylvania
4th round (104th overall) – Dylan Thackeray D, White City Saskatchewan
5th round (114th overall) – Marshall Walker D, Sheboygan Wisconsin
5th round (127th overall) – Devon Carlstrom D, Palm Beach Garden Florida
5th round (131st overall) – Dominik Wasik G, Superior Colorado
6th round (158th overall) – Michael Stevens F, Massapequa New York
7th round (185th overall) – William Gilson D, Old Greenwich Connecticut
8th round (212th overall) – Ryne Mohrman D, Mounds View Minnesota

 

Wings head coach Scott Langer gave his thoughts on how the draft went for Aberdeen…

 

 

 

 

With the team’s first overall pick Aberdeen selected forward Will Arquiett.  Arquiett plays center, is a 2000 birth year from Brasher Falls New York.  He stands 5’7, 154lbs, and plays for the Cowichan Valley Capitals of the British Columbia Hockey League. 

 

Langer says he was surprised Arquiett was still there when they drafted at 23…

 

 

 

All these players and more will next head to West Fargo North Dakota to take part in the Wings main camp August 6th through the 9th.  There players were get their chance to make the roster.  Langer says the draft is very important in strengthening the roster year in and year out…

 


Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor interested in selling

Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glenn Taylor has gone public with his desire to sell the team which he has owned since 1995.  Taylor is 79 years old and has had rumors about a potential sale on and off for years.  According to the Athletic any potential sale must keep the team in Minnesota.  Taylor is reportedly seeking $1.2 billion for the team.  Former Timberwolves great Kevin Garnett, along with a group backing him up, is rumored to be interested in purchasing the team while Minnesota Vikings owner Zygi Wilf is also interested. 


Twins starter Jake Odorizzi listed as "day-to-day" with upper back stiffness

Minnesota Twins starter Jake Odorizzi missed his start during an intrasquad scrimmage Sunday due to upper back tightness.  According to the Twins Odorizzi is listed as day-to-day with the injury.  However, according to the Twins coaching staff, it is unlikely Odorizzi will miss his original planned start once the season gets underway at the end of this week. 


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