Gay and inclusive rugby team a haven for marginalised players –


The Christchurch Football Club Heroes are Canterbury’s first gay and inclusive rugby team, and one of just two in New Zealand.

Bastian Tremblay ended his rugby-playing days when a family member told him their team could not find out he was gay.

He loved the sport and had grown up in a “rugby family” but felt pressured to quit because of his sexuality. The family member’s comment was “the final straw”.

In the wake of controversy around Australian star Israel Folau’s comments suggesting gay people are going to hell, Tremblay is back in sport coaching the country’s newest gay and inclusive rugby team.

Wiremu Brown-Rapana, centre, listens to the team captain after a try is scored. Brown-Rapana is one of only a couple of ...


Wiremu Brown-Rapana, centre, listens to the team captain after a try is scored. Brown-Rapana is one of only a couple of players with previous experience, coming from another club about two weeks ago.

After a meeting with Canterbury Rugby Union, the Christchurch Football Club (CFC) Heroes – one of only two such teams nationwide – was formed this year.

* New All Blacks jersey will reveal rainbow flag as part of diversity campaign
* Australia urged to ‘let Israel Folau go and be someone else’s problem’
* Israel Folau sparks controversy by saying God’s plan for gay people is ‘HELL’
* Perenara lends hand to LBGT cause
* Diversity video driven by sponsors

Tremblay was put in touch with CFC, the second oldest rugby club in the world and one that has produced 32 All Blacks, and was “overwhelmed” by the response.

Coach Bastian Tremblay, left, no longer able to play due to a recent achilles injury, and Jason Shaw at the game on Saturday.


Coach Bastian Tremblay, left, no longer able to play due to a recent achilles injury, and Jason Shaw at the game on Saturday.

“Everybody was really positive about it … at this stage it was just a concept. We didn’t have a full squad, we didn’t have uniforms, we didn’t have anything. From there it just grew and grew and grew.”

Tremblay did not believe Folau’s comments rose to the level of hate speech. His dispute was with what was said, not that Folau said it.

“We will stand in opposition to the content of what he has said but never stand in the way of his right to say it, and his right to live his life as he chooses, because isn’t that exactly what the gay community wants as well?”

The team have been welcomed into the sport by other clubs, who Tremblay says are keen to see their new competitor grow.


The team have been welcomed into the sport by other clubs, who Tremblay says are keen to see their new competitor grow.

The new all-inclusive team is four games into its first season and improving weekly. On Saturday, they scored their first points in a 78-3 loss.

“Probably 90 per cent of the current squad have never played rugby before so we are very green and we are very new, but this is the key,” Tremblay said.

“This has been an environment that has been set up to be completely safe, that is completely inclusive – we welcome the diversity.”

Heroes captain Ed Lang says the team is "showing that diversity in New Zealand is really what matters."


Heroes captain Ed Lang says the team is “showing that diversity in New Zealand is really what matters.”

That ethos appealed to Jason Shaw, who had never played team sports before seeing an advertisement for the team on social media.

Playing with the team had helped him work on anxiety and isolation issues he had been battling earlier this year.

“I was pretty nervous coming up to the first game, I wasn’t sure what kind of homophobic slurs we might encounter and the sort of talk you get on the rugby field,” Shaw said.

The Heroes scored their first points on Saturday, losing 78-3 to Burnside, but are "not overly concerned about what the ...


The Heroes scored their first points on Saturday, losing 78-3 to Burnside, but are “not overly concerned about what the scoreboard’s saying”.

“There was none of that, really, and the teams were all incredibly supportive and understanding and everything, so it’s a real surprise to me personally.”

Tremblay said the only negativity he had witnessed was from some sideline supporters during their first game.

Heroes captain Ed Lang said the team was important because it made sure members of the LGBT community “have a team that they feel like they can be true to themselves on the field and off the field”.

“It’s really good to be breaking down barriers and really showing that diversity in New Zealand is really what matters.”

Tremblay said teams like the Heroes and the North Island-based NZ Falcons, along with the All Blacks’ Diversity is Strength drive, showed inclusiveness in sport was growing and efforts were “not just lip service campaigns”.

 – Stuff

2018 undrafted free agent tracker: Signings from all 32 NFL teams in one place –

After three crazy days, the 2018 NFL Draft is finally in the books, however, that doesn’t mean the excitement is over for your favorite team. As a matter of fact, the fun is just getting started. 

Over the next few days, every team in the NFL will be looking to beef up its roster by adding the best available undrafted free agents, and these are names you’re definitely going to want to keep track of, because, if NFL history has taught us one thing, it’s that undrafted free agents can end up making some serious contributions on the field. 

Some of the best players in NFL history fell through the cracks of the draft and didn’t get a shot in the NFL until they were signed as an undrafted free agent. Players who weren’t originally drafted include Hall of Fame quarterbacks like Kurt Warner and Warren Moon. Recently retired players like Tony Romo and former Steelers linebacker James Harrison were also originally signed as undrafted free agents. 

Active players who went undrafted include Eagles defensive end Michael Bennett and Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri. 

Basically, for teams looking in the right place, there could be a diamond in the rough out there, and if you’re really lucky, your team could make a Warner-like discovery and find a Hall of Fame quarterback. Several teams have already signed an undrafted quarterback, including the Panthers, Bengals and Buccaneers, who have actually already signed two!

With that in mind, let’s get to the full list of undrafted free-agent signings. The list will be updated periodically until each team officially announces their undrafted free-agent class, which should happen by the end of the week. (Note: Some of these “signings” may end up being camp invites only, and once we have that information, we’ll be sure to update)


AFC East

Buffalo Bills

  • Matt Boeson, LB/TE, TCU 
  • Robert Foster, WR, Alabama 
  • Levi Wallace, CB, Alabama
  • Gerhard de Beer, OL, Arizona
  • Ike Boettger, OL, Iowa
  • Ryan Carter, DB, Clemson

Miami Dolphins

  • Connor Hilland, OL, Willam and Mary
  • Quincy Redmon DE/LB, Fairmont State
  • Buddy Howell, RB, Florida Atlantic
  • Mike McCray, LB, Michigan
  • Jalen Davis, CB, Utah State
  • Jamiyus Pittman, DT, Central Florida
  • Claudy Mathieu, DL, Notre Dame College (OH)
  • David Steinmetz, OL, Purdue

New England Patriots

  • Shane Wimann, TE, Northern Illinois
  • Chris Lacy, WR, Oklahoma State
  • Trent Harris, DE, Miami (Fla.)
  • John Atkins, DT, Georgia
  • Ralph Webb, RB, Vanderbilt
  • Frank Herron, DT, LSU
  • JC Jackson, CB, Maryland

New York Jets

  • Dimitri Flowers, RB, Oklahoma
  • Cannon Rooker, K, Middle Tennessee State
  • Frankie Luvu, LB, Washington State
  • Austin Golson, OL, Auburn
  • Darius James, OL, Auburn
  • Tre’ Williams, LB, Auburn
  • Tyrice Beverette, DB, Stony Brooke
  • Dakoda Shepley, OL, University of British Columbia

AFC North

Baltimore Ravens

  • Du’Vonta Lampkin, DT, Oklahoma
  • Gus Edwards, RB, Rutgers
  • Devron Davis, CB, UT-San Antonio
  • Mason McKenrick, LB, John Carroll
  • Kaare Vedvik, K/P, Marshall
  • Christian LaCouture, DT, LSU
  • Jaelon Acklin, WR, Western Illinois
  • Alvin Jones, LB, UTEP
  • Randin Crecelius, OL, Portland State
  • Chris Board, DB, North Dakota State
  • James Crawford, LB, Illinois
  • Alex Thompson, C, Monmouth

Cincinnati Bengals

  • Chris Worley, LB, Ohio State
  • Jordan Franks, TE, Central Florida
  • Zach Green, RB, Arizona
  • Gaelin Elmore, DL, East Carolina
  • Trayvon Henderson, DB, Hawaii
  • Adonis Jennings, WR, Temple
  • Junior Joseph, LB, Connecticut
  • Ray Lawry, RB, Old Dominion
  • Ja’Von Rolland-Jones, DL, Arkansas State
  • Quinton Flowers, QB, South Florida

Cleveland Browns

  • Erick Wren, OL, Oklahoma
  • D.J. Calhoun, LB, Arizona State
  • Da’Mari Scott, WR, Fresno State
  • Montrel Meander, DB, Grambling
  • Darvin Kidsy, WR, North Texas
  • Desmond Harrison, OL, West Georgia
  • Trenton Thompson, DL, Georgia
  • Zaycoven Henderson, DT, Texas A&M
  • Evan Berry, KR/PR, Tennessee
  • Micah Hannemann, DB, Browns

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Greg Gilmore, NT, LSU
  • Jarvion Franklin, RB, Western Michigan
  • Parker Cothren, DT, Penn State
  • Quadree Henderson, WR, Pitt
  • Trey Johnson, CB, Villanova
  • Pharoah McKever, TE, North Carolina State
  • Patrick Morris, C, TCU
  • Ikenna Nwokeji, OL, Elon
  • Olasunkanmi Adeniyi, LB, Toledo
  • Chris Schleuger, OL, UAB
  • Jamar Summers, CB, Connecticut
  • Matthew Thomas, LB, Florida State
  • Kendal Vickers, DE, Tennessee

AFC West

Denver Broncos

  • Phillip Lindsay, RB, Colorado
  • Austin Schlottmann, C, TCU
  • Jimmy Williams, WR, East Carolina
  • Jeff Holland, LB, Auburn
  • Lowell Lotulelei, DT, Utah
  • Trey Marshall, DB, Florida State
  • Leon Johnson, OL, Temple

Kansas City Chiefs

  • Byron Pringle, WR, Kansas State
  • Dee Liner, DT Arkansas State
  • Ryan Hunter, OL, Bowling Green
  • Blake Mack, TE, Arkansas State
  • Ben Niemann, LB Iowa
  • Elijah Marks, WR, Northern Arizona
  • JD Moore, FB, Chiefs
  • Devondre Seymour, OL, Southern Illinois
  • Dante Sawyer, DL, South Carolina

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Tony Brown, CB, Alabama
  • B.J. Clay, CB, Georgia State
  • Zachary Crabree, OL, Oklahoma State
  • Chris Durant, OL, William and Mary
  • Marcus Edmund, CB, Clemson
  • Brandon Facyson, CB, Virginia Tech
  • Bijhon Jackson, DT, Arkansas 
  • Albert Havili, DE, Eastern Washington
  • D’Juan Hines, LB, Houston
  • Cole Hunt, TE, TCU
  • Tevin Lawson, DE, Nicholls State
  • Ben Johnson, TE, Kansas
  • J.J. Jones, WR, West Georgia
  • Anthony Manzo-Lewis, FB, Albany
  • Detrez Newson, RB, Western Carolina
  • Steven Richardson, DT, Minnesota
  • Nic Shimonek, QB, Georgia Tech
  • Trent Scott, OL, Grambling State
  • Kent Shelby, WR, McNeese State
  • Shane Tripucka, P, Texas A&M

Oakland Raiders

  • Marcus Baugh, TE, Ohio State
  • Eddie Pineiro, K, Florida
  • Nick Washington, DB, Florida
  • Nick Sharga, FB, Temple
  • Saeed Blacknall, WR, Penn State
  • Jason Cabinda, LB, Penn State
  • Nick Washington, DB, Florida
  • Brandon Hodges, OL, Pitt
  • Kishawn McClain, DB, North Texas

AFC South

Houston Texans

  • Andre Chachere, CB, San Jose State
  • Lavon Coleman, RB, Washington
  • Jaryd Jones-Smith, OL, Pitt
  • Anthony Coyle, OL, Fordham
  • Kingsley Opara, DL, Maryland
  • Vyncint Smith, WR, Limestone College
  • Terry Swanson, RB, Toledo
  • Trevor Daniel, P, Tennessee
  • K.J. Malone, OL, LSU
  • Devin Bellamy, DB, Georgia
  • Davin Coleman, RB, Washington
  • Mason Gentry, DE, Southern Methodist
  • Jester Weah, WR, Pitt

Indianapolis Colts

  • Will Ossai, LB, San Jose State
  • J.T. Barrett, QB, Ohio State
  • Michael Badgley, K, Michigan
  • Skai Moore, LB, South Carolina
  • Henre’ Toliver, DB, Arkansas
  • Robert Jackson, DB, UNLV
  • Chris Cooper, DB, Stony Brook
  • Tomasi Laulile, DT, Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Tony Adams, OL, NC State
  • Andrew Motuapuaka, LB, Virginia Tech
  • Quenton Meeks, CB, Stanford
  • Mike Hughes, DT, UNLV
  • Darius Jackson, LB, Jacksonville State
  • Allen Lazard, WR, Iowa State
  • K.C. McDermott, OL, Miami 
  • Dee Delaney, CB, Miami
  • C.J. Reavis, DB, Marshall
  • Tre Herndon, CB, Vanderbilt
  • Lyndon Johnson, DT, Cincinnati

Tennessee Titans

  • Austin Barnard, P, Samford
  • Devin Ross, WR, Colorado
  • Damon Webb, DB, Ohio State
  • Sharif Finch, LB, Temple
  • Deontay Burnett, WR, Southern Cal
  • Andrew Ankrah, DE, James Madison
  • Nico Falah, OL, Southern California
  • Nick DeLuca, OLB, North Dakota State
  • Rico Gafford, CB, Wyoming
  • Joshua Kalu, DB, Nebraska
  • Ethan Wolf, TE, Tennessee
  • Akrum Wadley, RB, Iowa
  • Jordan Veasy, WR, California
  • Mike Ramsay, DT, Duke
  • Aaron Stinnie, OT, JMU
  • Elijah Nkansah, OT, Toledo
  • Tejan Koroma, C, BYU
  • J.T. Luper, WR, Central Oklahoma
  • Ryan McKinley, CB, Montana


NFC East

Dallas Cowboys

  • Bryce Johnson, OL, St. Cloud State
  • Dalton Sturm, QB, UT-San Antonio
  • Jordan Chunn, RB, Troy
  • Donovan Olumba, CB, Portland State
  • Jake Campos, OL, Iowa State
  • Malik Earl, WR, Missouri State
  • David Wells, TE, San Diego State
  • Kameron Kelly, DB, San Diego State
  • DeQuinton Osborne, DT, Oklahoma State
  • Charvarius Ward, CB, Middle Tennessee State
  • Ed Shockley, LB, Villanova
  • Jashon Robertson, OL, Tennessee
  • Marchie Murdock, WR, Iowa State
  • Joel Lanning, LB, Iowa State
  • Kyle Queiro, DB, Northwestern

New York Giants

  • Davon Grayson, WR, East Carolina
  • Nick Gates, OL, Nebraska
  • Sean Chandler, DB, Temple
  • Tae Davis, LB, Tennessee-Chattanooga
  • Jawill Davis, WR, Bethune-Cookman
  • Grant Haley, CB, Penn State
  • Aaron Davis, CB, Georgia

Philadelphia Eagles

  • Jordan Thomas, CB, Oklahoma
  • Josh Adams, RB, Notre Dame
  • Jeremiah Briscoe, QB, Sam Houston State
  • Toby Weathersby, OL, LSU
  • Chandon Sullivan, CB, Georgia State
  • Jeremy Reaves, DB, South Alabama
  • Joe Ostman, DE, Central Michigan
  • Danny Ezechukwu, DE/LB Purdue
  • Ian Park, OL, Slippery Rock
  • Stephen Roberts, DB, Auburn
  • Bruce Hector, DT, South Florida
  • Ryan Neal, DB, Southern Illinois
  • Brandon Silvers, QB, Troy

Washington Redskins

  • Simmie Cobbs, WR, Indiana
  • Micah Holder, WR, San Diego State
  • Ty McCulley, OL, CSU Pueblo
  • Sean Welsh, OL, Iowa
  • De’Mornay Pierson-El, WR, Nebraska
  • Matt Flanagan, TE, Pitt
  • Martez Carter, RB, Grambling
  • Timon Parris, OT, Stony Brook
  • Davon Durant, DL, Marshall 
  • Jerod Fernandez, LB, NC State

NFC North

Chicago Bears

  • Nyles Morgan, LB, Notre Dame 
  • Andrew Trumbetti, DE Notre Dame
  • Michael Joseph, CB, Dubuque
  • Nick Orr, DB, TCU
  • Ryan Winslow, P, Pitt
  • Kevin Toliver, CB, LSU
  • Ryan Nall, RB, Oregon State
  • Dejon Allen, OL, Hawaii
  • Cavon Walker, DL, Maryland
  • Bunmi Rotimi, DE, Old Dominion
  • Rashard Fant, CB, Indiana

Detroit Lions

  • Chad Meredith, LB, Southeast MIssouri State
  • Kyle Lewis, WR, Cal Poly
  • Brandon Powell, WR, Florida
  • DeAndre Goolsby, TE, Florida
  • JoJo Wicker, DE, Arizona State
  • Amari Coleman, CB, Central Michigan
  • Chris Jones, DB, Nebraska
  • John Montelus, OL, Virginia
  • Beau Nunn, OL, Appalachian State
  • Josh Fatu, DL, USC
  • Anthony Sherrils, S, Missouri
  • Antwuan Davis, CB, Texas
  • Ryan Santoso, K, Minnesota
  • Brett Kendrick, OL, Tennessee
  • Teo Redding, WR, Bowling Green
  • Al-Rasheed Benton, LB, West Virginia

Green Bay Packers

  • Raven Greene, DB, James Madison
  • Chris Seisay, DB, Oregon
  • Damon Gibson, TE, Minnesota-Moorhead
  • Tim Boyle, QB, Eastern Kentucky
  • Kevin Rader, TE, Youngstown State
  • Marcus Porter, LB, Fairmont State
  • Filipo Mokofisi, DT, Utah
  • Jacob Alsadek, OL, Arizona
  • Tyler Lancaster, DL, Northwestern
  • C.J. Johnson, LB/DE, East Texas Baptist
  • Austin Davis, OL, Duke
  • Chris Seisay, CB, Portland State
  • Naashon Hughes, LB, Texas
  • Alex Light, OL, Richmond

Minnesota Vikings

  • Jeff Badet, WR, Oklahoma
  • Jake Wieneke, WR, South Dakota State
  • Mike Boone, RB, Cincinnati
  • Roc Thomas, RB, Jacksonville State
  • Garret Dooley, LB, Wisconsin
  • Korey Robertson, WR, Southern Mississippi
  • Holton Hill, CB, Texas
  • Kamryn Pettway, RB, Auburn
  • Tyler Hoppes, TE, Nebraska
  • Tray Matthews, DB, Auburn
  • Hercules Mata’afa, DT, Washington State
  • Trevon Mathis, CB, Toledo

NFC West

Arizona Cardinals

  • Chad Kanoff, QB, Princeton
  • Elijah Battle, CB, West Virginia
  • Frank Ginda, LB, San Jose State
  • Alec James, DE Wisconsin
  • Deatrick Nichols, CB, South Florida
  • Dennis Gardeck, DE, Sioux Falls
  • Matt Oplinger, LB, Yale
  • Jonathan Owens, DB, Missouri Western
  • Tavierre Thomas, DB, Ferris State
  • Matthew McCrane, K, Kansas State
  • Trent Sherfield, WR, Vanderbilt
  • Austin Ramesh, FB, Wisconsin
  • Zeke Turner, DB, Washington
  • Will House, OL, Nazarene
  • Malcolm Washington, DB, Northern Iowa
  • Jalen Tolliver, WR, Arkansas-Monticello

Los Angeles Rams

  • Steven Parker, DB, Oklahoma
  • Chucky Williams, DB, Louisville
  • Codey McElroy, TE, Oklahoma State
  • Steven Mitchell, WR, Southern California
  • Tegray Scales, LB, Indiana
  • Afolabi Laguda, DB, Colorado
  • McKay Murphy, DT Weber State
  • Dalton Keene, DT, Illinois State

San Francisco 49ers

  • Jamar McGloster, OL, Syracuse
  • Alan Knott, C, South Carolina
  • Tavarus McFadden, CB, Florida State
  • Patrick Choudja, DE, Nevada
  • Ross Dwelley, TE, San Diego
  • Niles Scott, DT, Frostburg
  • Corey Griffin, CB Georgia Tech
  • Steven Dunbar, WR, Houston

Seattle Seahawks

  • John Franklin III, WR, Florida Atlantic
  • Khalid Hill, FB, Michigan
  • Poona Ford, DT, Texas
  • Jason Hall, DB, Texas
  • Chris Hawkins, DB, Southern California
  • Easy Anyama, DB, Texas State
  • Marcell Frazier, DE, Missouri
  • Taj Williams, WR, TCU
  • Tanner Carew, LS, Oregon
  • Skyler Phillips, OL, Idaho State
  • Brad Lundblade, C, Oklahoma State
  • Eddy Wilson, DT Purdue
  • Marcus Martin, FB, Slippery Rock
  • Troy Williams, QB, Utah
  • Caleb Scott, WR Vanderbilt
  • Emmanuel Beal, LB, Oklahoma

NFC South

Atlanta Falcons

  • Chris Lammons, DB, South Carolina
  • Luke McNitt, FB, Nebraska
  • Joseph Putu, DB, Florida
  • Anthony Winbush, DE, Ball State
  • David Marvin, K, Georgia
  • Jacob Tuioti-Mariner, DE, UCLA
  • Emmanuel Ellerbe, LB, Rice
  • Malik Williams, RB, Louisville
  • Jake Roh, TE, Boise State
  • Kurt Benkert, QB, Virginia 
  • Daniel Marx, FB, Stanford
  • Dontez Byrd, WR, Tennessee Tech
  • Emmanuel Smith, LB, Vanderbilt
  • Matt Gono, OL, Wesley College
  • Demario Richard, RB, Arizona State
  • Damoun Patterson, WR< Youngstown State

Carolina Panthers

  • Brendan Mahon, OL, Penn State
  • Kyle Allen, QB, Houston
  • Kyle Bosch, OL, West Virginia
  • Tracy Sprinkle, DT, Ohio State
  • Taylor Hearn, OL, Clemson
  • Reggie Bonnafon, WR/RB/QB, Louisville
  • Chris Frey, LB, Michigan State

New Orleans Saints

  • Keith Kirkwood, WR, Temple
  • Henry Mondeaux, DL, Oregon
  • Taylor Stallworth, DT, South Carolina
  • Cory Helms, OL, South Carolina
  • Deon Yelder, TE, Western Kentucky
  • Colton Jumper, LB, Tennessee
  • Linden Stephens, CB, Cincinnati 
  • Jeromy Irwin, OL, Colorado
  • JT Gray, DB, Mississippi State

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Shaun Wilson, RB, Duke
  • Austin Allen, QB, Arkansas
  • Evan Perrizo, DE, Minnesota State
  • Antonio Simmons, DE, Georgia Tech
  • Donnie Ernsberger, TE, Western Michigan
  • Jason Reese, TE, Missouri
  • Riley Ferguson, QB, Memphis
  • Erv Philips, WR, Syracuse
  • Demone Harris, DE, Buffalo

Prep roundup: Sartell tennis takes 1st in Buffalo – St. Cloud Times

From Staff Reports
Published 9:17 p.m. CT April 28, 2018

BUFFALO — The Sartell boys tennis team took first place at the Magic Bison Invitational on Saturday. The Sabres defeated Buffalo 6-1, St. Michael-Albertville 5-2, and Monticello 4-3.

Eric Minnerath, Max Fesenmaier, Yash Hindka, Mo Alkhatib, and Colin Nord all went 3-0 for Sartell.

In the last match of the day, in the number 4 singles against Monticello, Austin Adelman took the win 6-2, 6-4 to seal a Sabre victory.

With this impressive showing, Sartell improves to 6-3 on the season.


ST. CLOUD — St. Cloud Tech defeated Virginia in nonconference play Saturday morning.

Troy Feddema (No. 3 singles), Michael Plombon (No. 4 singles), and Richard Zimring (No. 2 singles) all took victories in their singles matches.

On Friday, Hastings defeated Tech 6-1.

Boys golf


STAPLES — Albany junior Cameron Lemke shot 35-41—76 to take third in the seven-team invitational held at Vintage Golf Course.

Brainerd’s Cody Evans earned medalist honors by shooting 37-40—77 and led the Warriors to the team title.

Brainerd had 295 strokes to take first. Albany had 348 strokes to take fifth.

Team scores — 1. Brainerd 295; 2. Crosby-Ironton 337; 3. Staples-Motley 342; 4. Bemidji 345; 5. Albany 348; 6. Princeton 350; 7. Pine River-Backus 352.



MONTICELLO — Caitlyn Heinen and Shelby Gately led Rocori to a pair of wins, 10-0 over Monticello and 9-0 over Orono, pushing the Spartans’ record to 3-0.

Heinen struck out six and gave up two hits against Monticello. The game was called after six innings due to the 10-run rule. Heinen also went 2-for-3, including a two-run home run. Gately also collected two hits, including a double, and she scored a run.

In the second game, Kenzie Dufner pitched a complete-game shutout, striking out six, giving up two hits and a walk.

Heinen and Gately again led Rocori in batting, going 3-for-3 and 3-for-4, respectively. Gately had two doubles and Heinen one.

Rocori plays St. Cloud Apollo in a home doubleheader Tuesday.


MONTICELLO — Sartell went 1-1 in the Monticello tournament losing to Orono 11-2 and beating Monticello 10-0.

Jordan Allar was 2-for-4 with two homers and four RBI and Hannah Johnson was 2-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI to lead Orono to the win.

Cassidy Sarff was 2-for-3 and Maddie Thieschafer and Marissa Martins each had RBI for the Sabres.

The Sabres heated up against Monticello, commanding a 10-0 lead by the end of the third inning.

Courney Deters went 3-for-3 with two stolen bases and three runs while Cassidy Sarff added a double and three RBI.

Ryley Trobec earned the shutout win for Sartell going five innings and striking out four.



ST. CLOUD — Minnehaha Academy scored three times in the top of the 10th inning to beat St. Cloud Cathedral, 3-1, on Saturday at Dick Putz Field.

“It was kind of like a tournament game in June,” said Cathedral coach Bob Karn. “Both teams played really well defensively, and both pitchers were exceptional.”

Karn said Cathedral did manage to score once in the bottom of the 10th, but Minnehaha Academy held on to stay undefeated at 4-0. Cathedral fell to 3-1.

Minnehaha Academy is the defending Class 2A state champion.


RICHMOND — Rocori moved to 4-0 with a pair of Central Lakes Conference wins over Fergus Falls. Both games ended 10-0 after six innings.

In the first, senior pitcher Eli Emerson got the win, going five innings, striking out six and surrendering one hit.

He got offensive help from Dylan Rausch, who was 1-for-1 with a double, Brady Klehr, who was 1-for-2 with a double and RBI, and Jack Steil, who doubled.

Klehr pitched the second game, also going five innings, striking out five and giving up two hits.

He helped himself at the plate, going 1-for-4 with three RBI. Steil was 1-for-2 with a home run and two RBI. Dylan Tebrake was 2-for-3 with a double and RBI, and Dalton Thelen was 1-for-2 with a triple.

Rocori plays a doubleheader against St. Cloud Apollo at 4 p.m. Tuesday in Farming.

Iowa football: Undrafted Akrum Wadley heads to Tennessee Titans –


The outgoing Iowa running back meets with media a day after his Pro Day.
Chad Leistikow/HawkCentral

One of the most electric running backs to play for the Iowa Hawkeyes in decades wasn’t drafted. But he has found an NFL home.

Akrum Wadley tweeted after Saturday’s NFL draft concluded: “Head to the sky! This won’t be the last time you heard of me. #Tennessee”

The Tennessee Titans are a pretty good fit for Wadley. While they have a featured back in Derrick Henry and signed Dion Lewis in free agency, the franchise headed to the offseason with only two other running backs on its roster (barely used David Fluellen and Khalfani Muhammad) and didn’t draft one. 

It was thought that Wadley could be drafted as early as the fourth round. Instead, he wasn’t picked — a surprising development that still leaves Shonn Greene in 2009 as the most recent Hawkeye running back to be taken in the NFL draft.

At 5-foot-10, 194 pounds, Wadley won’t be an every-down back at the next level. But he should be an asset on third downs (he developed as a pass-blocker toward the end of his Iowa career and racked up 64 receptions in his final two seasons) and kick returns. His 171 kickoff-return yards in the Pinstripe Bowl almost single-handedly helped the Hawkeyes snap a seven-year bowl losing streak in December.

Most NFL teams carry at least three running backs, and Wadley should have a good shot to be the No. 3 guy in Tennessee.

Wadley finished his college career with 35 touchdowns, one shy of Iowa’s school record. His 2,872 rushing yards and 3,633 yards from scrimmage both rank No. 5 in Hawkeye history.

What other undrafted Hawkeyes are planning:

Offensive lineman Sean Welsh is headed to the Washington Redskins, his agent Jack Bechta told the Register. That reunites the longtime Hawkeye fixture at guard with another that’s become a Pro Bowl guard in the NFL: Brandon Scherff. Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz has compared Welsh to Marshal Yanda, another former Hawkeye who is one of the best guards in the NFL. 

Offensive lineman Ike Boettger, also represented by Bechta, has signed with the Buffalo Bills — where he will have a chance to block for new quarterback Josh Allen of Wyoming, which Iowa defeated in Week 1 in 2017. Boettger had surgery after blowing out his Achilles tendon in Week 2 against Iowa State.

Linebacker Ben Niemann has signed with the Kansas City Chiefs, according to Land of 10. Niemann was a three-year starter as the all-important outside linebacker position for the Hawkeyes who was adept at both run stopping and pass coverage.

Wide receiver Matt VandeBerg will get a tryout with the New York Jets, he tweeted; offensive lineman Boone Myers will get one with the Indianapolis Colts; running back James Butler will try out with the Jets and Redskins, he told Land of 10.

This file will be updated as necessary.

With up to seven newcomers, Nebraska volleyball spends another spring preparing fresh faces – Omaha World-Herald

LINCOLN — To come around the corner of a Devaney Center hallway and spy outside hitters Mikaela Foecke and Sami Slaughter catching their breath, recovering from an afternoon conditioning session, dispels any notion that the Nebraska volleyball team relaxed during an atypical spring practice period.

The defending national champions recently wrapped up their offseason indoor workouts away from public view. Without either of two setters likely to be on the team this fall, coach John Cook eschewed the traditional spring exhibition match. The only glimpse fans got of the Huskers was when they received their 2017 NCAA championship rings at halftime of the football spring game last weekend.

But Foecke expects the work the Huskers put in over the last month to be an essential foundation for their title defense this fall.

Nebraska must replace five seniors from 2017, and the Huskers could have up to seven new players on the fall roster, including four freshmen and high-profile transfer outside hitter Lexi Sun, last season’s Big 12 freshman of the year at Texas.

“I think we were just working on accomplishing more team cohesion,” Foecke said. “This past season, ‘With each other, for each other’ was our slogan, but we lost five players. Kind of finding it within ourselves and preparing for the freshmen that are going to come here in June.”

Nebraska has been here before. NU graduated four starters off the 2016 team that reached the NCAA semifinals, but developed into a juggernaut that ended last season on a 19-match winning streak to capture the program’s second NCAA crown in three years.

“It’s pretty much the same situation as last year,” Slaughter said. “Everyone kind of doubted us.”

Foecke, the NCAA championship’s co-most outstanding player, spent the spring fine-tuning the nonattacking aspects of her game entering her second season playing all six rotations. The rising senior took 110 swings in Nebraska’s last two matches in December, then didn’t take another until recently. She skipped NU’s winter beach volleyball season to rest a sore right shoulder that took more than 1,100 attempts last fall.

NU’s spring focus on serving, passing and defense continued the cultural shift Cook has engineered over the past few seasons. Nebraska notched the Big Ten’s lowest opponent attack percentage in 2016 and 2017.

The emphasis also was practical since the Huskers await the summer arrival of freshman Nicklin Hames, the country’s top-rated setter recruit, plus an expected transfer setter. Outgoing senior All-America setter Kelly Hunter practiced with the team in spring workouts, but was prevented by NCAA rules from competing in any exhibition.

“Not having a setter really isn’t that much of a difference,” Foecke said. “It’s just like any other position. Last year, we didn’t really have a right side hitter per se (in the spring).”

Instead, the Huskers focused on what they could control, making individual strides and building the groundwork to welcome the fleet of newcomers. Upperclassmen asked last year’s freshmen how they could better help new teammates get acclimated, and the player who exhibited the most positive effort in each spring practice was rewarded by coaches with a championship belt emblazoned with the letters “EDMF,” an abbreviation that remains a team secret.

Foecke said Slaughter and rising sophomore defensive specialist Hayley Densberger stood out as players who made big improvements in the spring, with Densberger, from Malcolm, Nebraska, earning the belt more than any other Husker.

“Hayley, her defense was impeccable this spring,” Foecke said. “No ball hit the floor. She was all over it. As a hitter, that’s so frustrating.”

For Slaughter, who nabbed the belt once, there was both physical and mental growth. The sophomore from Harrisburg, South Dakota, focused on controlling her hybrid jump serve and developing a portfolio of off-speed shots. She will be part of a crowded outside hitter unit vying for playing time next to Foecke with the addition of Sun and incoming freshman Capri Davis of Mansfield, Texas.

“I’m just going to work my butt off this entire summer,” Slaughter said. “I’m coming here for presession in May. I’ll be in the gym every day and lifting all the time. I’m just going to go all out, 100 percent.”

Just as important as the on-court development will be the unity developed away from the court. Hunter and NU’s other graduating captain, Annika Albrecht, served as the Huskers’ emotional compass, doling out encouragement and admonishment when appropriate.

It created an atmosphere in which any player could be lifted up in praise and none spared criticism. But it requires a high level of trust that next fall’s team will need to expedite with at least 11 players who will have been in the program for one year or less.

The team hopes a series of offseason social activities will start to build those bonds. Cookouts, movie nights, maybe a weekend getaway at the Slaughter family cabin in South Dakota.

But the buy-in from new players has to begin, Foecke said, with an example set by the returning Huskers .

“We just need to work on holding ourselves accountable,” Foecke said. “We can’t expect them to do one thing if we’re not doing it ourselves.”

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Carlsen Wins Shamkir Chess After Quick Draw With Ding –

Magnus Carlsen only needed 20 minutes to draw with Ding Liren and clinch his third Gashimov Memorial in Shamkir. When 4…Nd4 5.Nxd4 appeared, in a Rubinstein Four Knights, it was clear that there wouldn’t be a real game today.

Carlsen vs Ding Liren Shamkir 2018

A handshake after just 20 minutes of play. | Image: Shamkir Chess.

Carlsen at the press conference, responding to the question what he thought was his best game:

“I don’t think there is any game of mine of this tournament that will enter any best-games collection but I thought the game yesterday against Giri was a nice fight. There were mistakes for sure, but it was difficult. But that’s probably the only game that I’m more or less satisfied with. There were a lot of uneventful draws for me. Normally I would be very concerned about that but at some point in the tournament I stopped caring about that and I only thought about trying to get a few wins with White and maybe not care so much about winning with Black as well.”

Magnus Carlsen Shamkir 2018

“I don’t think there is any game of mine of this tournament that will enter any best-games collection.” | Image: Shamkir Chess.

It seems that Giri brought up the best in these players, because Ding also chose his fight with the Dutchman as his best:

“I will also mention my game against Anish Giri, although it’s a draw. I think I played very well until I missed the win. I added pressure to him and I had several winning chances, not one but many. Although I missed some, but still my position is much better and I found a nice idea to bring the king to the queenside.”

Ding Liren Shamkir

Ding Liren, who hasn’t lost in 70 classical games now, is now the new world number five in the live ratings. | Image: Shamkir Chess.

It’s the third time Carlsen played in Shamkir, and the third time that he wins. He said he likes the hospitality in Azerbaijan, a country where chess players are treated with respect. He didn’t think he’s invincible in this tournament (as was jokingly suggested).

“I think all of these tournaments, especially over relatively short distance as nine rounds, it has its turns, it has crucial points and for me a crucial was clearly in the seventh game against Topalov. Up till then he’d been leading the tournament. When you look at the final standings you cannot see that because both of us are far ahead of him but it was by no means obvious that I was going to win that game and if I don’t then I wouldn’t have won the tournament. I’m really happy with the result, but I think the fact that I’ve won here three times in a row is something I’m very proud of but it’s also always a bit coincidental. You cannot always control your own destiny in these tournaments.”

Commentator Ljubomir Ljubojevic, who limited himself to chess questions today, mentioned the famous opinion of Mikhail Botvinnik, who claimed that rest is important for top chess players, so much that they shouldn’t play tournament after tournament. Carlsen:

“I don’t feel like I’m playing that much at all. I was playing much more when I was 16, 17 years old. It used to be the norm for me to play one classical tournament per month but now it’s every second month or something. In this case it’s just a bit of a coincidence that these tournaments were only a week apart while more normal for me is to have I guess a month at least between tournaments and then there will be a lot of time to rest on your laurels or lick your wounds, if that is what you need to do.”

Ding, Carlsen, Ljubojevic Shamkir 2018

Ding, Carlsen and Ljubojevic at the press conference. | Photo: Shamkir Chess.

Carlsen will be staying a few more days in Shamkir (he lamented about the absence of daily flights, saying: “The only criticism: that it’s unbelievably hard to get here!”) and plans to explore the local nature. His next tournament will be Norway Chess, in a few weeks from now.

Asked when he will start preparing for Fabiano Caruana, he said: “It’s in the back of my mind, for sure, but that’s the way it will stay for the moment: in the back of my mind, not the front.”

Three more games ended in draws without much spectacle: Mamedov-Mamedyarov, Wojtaszek-Giri and Navara-Radjabov. (See PGN file for those.) The latter was the only player to score nine draws.

There was one decisive game though. For the untrained Veselin Topalov, also the oldest participant, the tournament lasted too long perhaps. He lost his third game in a row to Sergey Karjakin, who thus finished in clear third place.

Sergey Karjakin Shamkir

Karjakin, the only player to finish on plus one. | Photo: Shamkir Chess.

“Obviously it was a total collapse at the end but OK I kind of deserved it,” said Topalov. “There were so many missed possibilities, I don’t think I can blame anyone.

“The thing is I don’t really miss playing because otherwise I would be training. But I am not training so much. I’m kind of out of rhythm.”

Veselin Topalov Shamkir

Topalov: “I don’t really miss playing because otherwise I would be training.” | Photo: Shamkir Chess.

2018 Shamkir Chess | Final Standings

# Fed Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 Pts SB
1 Carlsen,Magnus 2843 2880 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 1 ½ 6.0/9
2 Ding,Liren 2778 2845 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 5.5/9
3 Karjakin,Sergey 2778 2805 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 5.0/9
4 Radjabov,Teimour 2748 2770 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 4.5/9 20.25
5 Mamedyarov,Shakhriyar 2814 2763 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 1 4.5/9 19.5
6 Wojtaszek,Radoslaw 2744 2770 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 4.5/9 19.25
7 Giri,Anish 2777 2767 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 4.5/9 18.5
8 Mamedov,Rauf 2704 2736 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 4.0/9 17.75
9 Topalov,Veselin 2749 2732 0 ½ 0 ½ 1 0 ½ ½ 1 4.0/9 16.25
10 Navara,David 2745 2605 ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 2.5/9

Carlsen winner's speech Shamkir

Carlsen giving a short speech at the closing. | Photo: Shamkir Chess.

Shamkir Chess took place April 19-28 in Shamkir, Azerbaijan. The prize fund was €100,000 ($123,689) with a first prize of €30,000 ($37,107).

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