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Sports News

The Medicine Valley Raiders finished 2018 with a 5-4 record and a playoff berth.  Flashing back to 2017 where the Raiders had a perfect regular season and a Semi-Final berth in the playoffs before losing to eventual Runner-Up South Loup.  The Raiders felt like the 2018 season was a disappointment.  Med Valley doesn't want to experience a 5-4 season again like last year, instead Medicine Valley is hoping they can use experience from QB Sam Heapy, and TE Quade Potter and others to help propel the Raiders this season and a deep run in the playoffs, but the Raiders know they have a tough schedule ahead of them.   Full Interview with Head Coach Scott Johnsen below.





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The Nebraska volleyball team begins another season with the annual Red-White Scrimmage this Saturday at 6 p.m. at the Devaney Center. As of Thursday morning, a limited number of tickets and standing-room only are still available and can be purchased at Huskers.com/tickets. The Husker players will sign autographs following the scrimmage on the northwest concourse of the Devaney Center. 

The match will be broadcast on Husker Sports Network radio affiliates, including 107.3 FM in Lincoln and AM 590 in Omaha. A live audio stream will be provided at Huskers.com, on the official Huskers app and the TuneIn app. John Baylor is in his 26th season doing play-by-play for the Husker volleyball program. Lauren (Cook) West, a former All-America setter for the Huskers, will provide color commentary. 

Nebraska is coming off its fourth straight NCAA Semifinals appearance and returns 10 players from its 2018 NCAA runner-up squad. For the first time in school history, the Huskers will have no seniors on their roster. 

All-American Stivrins and Setter Hames Lead Huskers into 2019 Season
• Nebraska's two captains for the season are All-America junior middle blocker Lauren Stivrins and sophomore setter Nicklin Hames, who was an All-Big Ten Freshman pick and earned All-America honorable mention in 2018. The young duo will guide a Nebraska team that has no seniors on its roster for the first time in program history. 
• Stivrins, a Scottsdale, Arizona native, had a breakout sophomore season to earn first-team All-Big Ten and first-team AVCA All-America honors. She averaged 2.36 kills per set and had a hitting percentage of .421, the third-highest mark in school history and the No. 3 mark in the nation last season. As a junior in 2019, Stivrins will aim to hunt down Tracy Stalls' single-season school-record hitting percentage of .473 in 2007.
• Stivrins was selected to the NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team in 2018 after a career-high 19 kills on .615 hitting in the championship match against No. 1 Stanford. 
• Hames, a sophomore from Maryville, Tennessee, set the Huskers to the NCAA Championship match as a true freshman. She finished the season with 10.49 assists per set and 3.32 digs per set, along with 40 service aces, second-most on the team. 
• Hames had 25 double-doubles during the 2018 season, which broke Jordan Larson's school record for double-doubles. She tallied a career-best 62 assists in the NCAA final against Stanford with 12 digs.

"29,029" and "To Be Continued..."
• The 2019 Nebraska volleyball team has taken on two mantras for the season: 29,029 and To Be Continued...
• 29,029 is the elevation in feet of Mount Everest. The Huskers, who nearly reached the peak of college volleyball in 2018 before coming up three points short against Stanford, are using the memory of that defeat to motivate them in 2019. The Huskers will play 29 regular-season matches, and Head Coach John Cook said the hardest part of climbing Mount Everest is the final 29 feet. "Many people say the elevation is 29,000 feet, forgetting the final 29 feet. We got to that 29,000 (in 2018). We didn't get that last 29 feet. All the bad things happen in the last 29 feet. People mentally let go, they're exhausted, they get stuck. Our whole theme is we've got to figure out how to get the last 29 feet." 
• The Huskers also have a team slogan of "To Be Continued..." in 2019. The slogan references the Huskers continuing what they couldn't quite finish in 2018 - winning an NCAA Championship. It also means carrying on the recent success of the program (four straight NCAA Semifinals appearances) and preparing to bring back the entire team for the 2020 season. The Huskers have no seniors on their roster for the first time in program history. 

Foecke and Maloney Leave Big Shoes to Fill
• This year, the Huskers will be without two players who led the program to four straight final fours from 2015-18 in Mikaela Foecke and Kenzie Maloney. The All-Americans both graduated, leaving big production to replace at outside hitter and libero. Foecke and Maloney won two NCAA titles, two Big Ten titles and won more postseason matches than any other player in Husker history. 
• Stivrins and Hames are among 10 returning players who will be counted on to step up for the Huskers. Juniors Lexi Sun and Jazz Sweet return to lead the Huskers on the pins, and sophomore Callie Schwarzenbach is back after breaking the Nebraska freshman record for blocks last season with 177. Sophomore hitter Capri Davis played a big role last year coming off the bench, and sophomore Megan Miller and junior Hayley Densberger both have a plethora of experience in the back row. 
• A group of six freshmen will help offset the loss of the most decorated senior class in school history. Three of the six newcomers - outside hitter Madi Kubik, middle blocker Riley Zuhn, libero Kenzie Knuckles - were PrepVolleyball.com All-Americans and ranked among the top 40 prospects in the 2019 class. The Huskers' incoming class was ranked No. 2 by PrepVolleyball.com.  

Huskers Visit Asia in Summer of 2019
• The Nebraska volleyball team took a 17-day trip to Japan and China over the summer. The Huskers took on top professional teams from the two countries during the trip, winning about half of the sets they played. Head Coach John Cook called it "by far the best" of the five trips his teams have taken to Asia in his 20 years at Nebraska.
• In addition to the highly competitive matches, the Huskers also toured numerous sites in Asia, including the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and the Great Wall of China. With six newcomers and no seniors on the roster for the 2019 season, the trip was a great opportunity for the team to bond on and off the court, a team that will spend the next two years playing together. 
• The NCAA allows a team to take a foreign trip every four years, and Cook has made it a habit to take his team to Asia. Previous trips have usually paid off with successful seasons. In the last four seasons following a Cook-led foreign trip, Nebraska has responded by winning three conference titles and two national championships.
• Cook took his first team to Asia prior to the 2000 season, his first as Nebraska's head coach. The Huskers responded with a 34-0 season and the program's second national championship.
• In 2006, Cook took his team back to Asia and the results were the same: another national championship. The Huskers went 33-1 following their international trip and capped the national title with a 3-1 victory over Stanford in front of 17,209 fans at the Qwest Center in Omaha.
• Nebraska went back to Asia in 2010. Although NU did not win the national title that year, it did put together a 29-3 season that included a Big Ten title. Nebraska took a No. 3 ranking into the NCAA Tournament but was upset in a four-set loss at No. 11 Washington in the NCAA Regional Semifinal. 
• The Huskers' last Asia trip in 2014 with only one senior was followed by a 23-10 season. But the following year saw that young group go on to win the program's fourth national title. 

Nebraska Fans Continue Record-Setting Consecutive Sellout Streak
• Nebraska volleyball holds an NCAA women's record 253 consecutive regular-season sellouts. 
• Nebraska led the nation in attendance in 2018 for the sixth straight year since moving into the Bob Devaney Sports Center in 2013, averaging 8,205 fans per match.  
• Nebraska has ranked in the top three nationally in attendance every season since 1990 (28 straight seasons).

Huskers Ranked No. 2 in AVCA Preseason Coaches Poll
• Nebraska is ranked No. 2 in the AVCA Preseason Coaches Poll. NU began and ended last season at No. 2.
• The Huskers have been ranked No. 1 in 99 all-time polls, the most in NCAA history.
• The Huskers have been ranked in the top 10 a total of 487 times, which is also the most in NCAA history.
• Nebraska has appeared in all 542 AVCA Coaches Polls since it was established in 1982. Nebraska and Stanford are the only two programs to be ranked in every poll all-time.

AVCA Hall of Fame Head Coach John Cook Enters 20th Season at Nebraska
• Nebraska head coach John Cook is in his 20th season as the Nebraska volleyball head coach in 2019. He has led the Huskers to four national championships, nine final fours, 12 conference championships and 17 top-10 final rankings since 2000. Cook has 721 career wins and is one of the all-time winningest coaches in NCAA history. 
• Since taking over the program in 2000, Cook has led the Huskers to a nation-leading .881 win percentage in that time (560-76). 
• Under Cook, the Huskers have achieved 55 AVCA All-Americans and 19 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans, both among the best in the nation. He is a two-time AVCA National Coach of the Year, earning the prestigious honor in 2000 and 2005, and a seven-time conference coach of the year, including Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2016 and 2017, his first and second Big Ten honors with the Huskers in their Big Ten era (2011-present).
• Cook is one of only four active coaches - and one of six all-time - to be a two-time AVCA National Coach of the Year and was honored in 2008 by USA Volleyball, receiving its All-Time Great Coach Award.
• Cook was inducted into the AVCA Hall of Fame in 2017, joining former Husker volleyball coach Terry Pettit in the hall. 
• Cook became the ninth active Division I head coach to reach 700 career wins in 2018.




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PHOENIX (AP) — Tim Melville had to pause for a moment to clear his throat of some whipped cream.

He'd gotten the traditional condiment treatment in the showers from his Colorado Rockies teammates, in celebration of his first major league win.

Melville pitched seven innings of two-hit ball in his first big league appearance in almost two years, and the Rockies cruised to a 7-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday.

Melville, a 29-year-old right-hander with just six previous major league appearances who started this season in independent ball, limited Arizona to a first-inning double and a sixth-inning home run by Ketel Marte to go with four strikeouts and two walks. He also picked up his first hit — a two-out, fourth-inning single — and his first two career RBIs.

In April, Melville wasn't on a team when he came to a game as a fan at Chase Field.

"You win or you learn. I never look at it as losing," Melville said. "I've had a lot of ups and downs throughout my career and other opportunities in the big leagues. I'm very thankful for this one."

Melville was an emergency call-up from Triple-A Albuquerque earlier Wednesday to start in place of Jon Gray, whom the Rockies before the game placed on the 60-day injured list with a left foot fracture.

"I told him after the game, timeless. That's a throwback pitching style game. He could have pitched in the '20s, could've pitched in the '50s, '70s, '80s," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "That was fun to watch. A guy that understands how he gets his outs, how he changes speeds. He stayed just within himself and did his thing."

Colorado won the season series with Arizona, 10 games to nine. Alex Avila also homered for the Diamondbacks, who had their four-game win streak snapped.

The Rockies jumped on struggling Mike Leake (9-10) early with two runs on three straight singles and a fielder's choice in the first.

In the fourth, a hit batter, four singles and a sacrifice fly produced three more runs and a 5-0 lead. Leake got through five innings and was charged with five runs on eight hits. He's allowed 17 earned runs on 26 hits in 16 innings over his last three starts.

"Sometimes balls through holes can beat you," Leake said. "I got a little elevated towards that fourth inning. I could have stayed off the plate or more down."

Melville executed a squeeze bunt in the sixth to drive in Yonathan Daza, and Charlie Blackmon drove in his second run of the day with a single after Trevor Story led off the seventh with a walk and stolen base.

Marte hit his 27th home run of the season in the sixth, a solo shot to right field. Avila took Jesús Tinoco deep in the eighth for his ninth of the year.

"The theme here is we never got anything going offensively," Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. "I think we were prepared, we just went out of the zone (swinging) too often."

PAYAMPS DEBUT

Diamondbacks right-hander Joel Payamps made his major league debut and allowed two runs on four hits in three innings. The 25-year-old from the Dominican Republic also had three strikeouts, with his first one as a big leaguer coming against the Rockies' Garrett Hampson.

UP NEXT

Rockies: RHP German Márquez (12-5, 4.71 ERA) gets the call to open a four-game series at St. Louis on Thursday. Márquez is 4-0 over his last five starts.

Diamondbacks: After Thursday's off day, the Diamondbacks are off to Milwaukee for a three-game series with the Brewers in a matchup of teams trying to stay in the postseason hunt. Arizona has RHP Merrill Kelly (9-12, 4.63) set to start Friday's series opener. The Diamondbacks have lost five straight at Miller Park.




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McCook Bison Softball Squad had its fair share of struggles in 2018 finishing 10-21 on the year. This season the expectations are a little higher with six Seniors making a return this season. Head Coach Jason Cochran talks with the Hometown Family Radio Sports Network about the upcoming season and hopes the Bison have improved from the struggles a year ago.  McCook kicks off the season Friday, August 23rd at Gothenburg. First pitch slated for 6:30pm.





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The McCook Bison Girls Golf Team is ready for the season to get rolling.  McCook will get the season started with an invite involving Cambridge, DCS, Southwest, and Lexington.  McCook returns everyone back from last year's squad plus some new faces to make an impact for the team.  Head Coach Joel Arterburn previews the upcoming season. Full interview below..





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Maywood-Hayes Center struggled in 2018 finishing with a record of 2-6 in 6-Man Football.  The Wolves though did end the season on a high note defeating a 5-3 Red Cloud squad who only had two losses on the season before Maywood-Hayes Center got done beating them. The Wolves though are looking to improve off of last year returning 8 Seniors.  Only one player won't return from last years team Ethan Broker, who rushed for 623 yards and threw for 514 yards. It will be interesting to see what the New Head Coach and Jeff Erickson has up his sleeve.  View full interview with Coach Erickson below.





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Lincoln, Neb. -- The Nebraska football team practiced for just over two hours Wednesday morning inside the Hawks Championship Center and outside on the Ed and Joyanne Gass practice fields, concluding practice with a brief walk-through on Tom Osborne Field in Memorial Stadium.

Offensive Coordinator Troy Walters spoke with the media after the conclusion of practice and talked about if he sees any separation in the wide receivers he coaches.

"Yeah we're putting guys in different situations,” Walters said. “Playing a lot of guys in different positions because we want that depth. This past week we've had a couple of scrimmages, a couple of game day simulations just to see how guys react. Definitely guys are separating themselves but I feel good about the depth that we have. I feel good about the guys understanding the offense so that we can move guys around, JD Spielman doesn't always have to play in the slot, we can move him outside if we need him. So we're very pleased with how things are coming and the depth of the group."

Walters went on to discuss how deep he would like to have his group on game days.

"You'd like to be at least two deeps, so that gives you six,” Walters said. You'd like to have six to seven guys that you believe in, that you can put in at anytime. One of the focuses this season is playing fast and selling out so I don't want guys to hold things in and be on cruise control because they're tired. They don't want to get tired. We want guys to go full speed and when you get tired we'll sub and get some other guys in and we feel like we have some depth where we can get guys in and play just as fast. We'd like to play six, seven, maybe eight."

Walters also commented on how the true freshmen have fared doing during camp.

"They're doing a good job,” he said. “What I'm pleased with is some of the other guys that have stepped up. So they've made it harder for those freshmen, they kind of ‘overshined’ the freshmen. They've done a good job but some of the other guys, (Jaevon) Mcquitty, Mike Williams, Andre Hunt have stepped up and their game and are doing well. The freshmen, they have a battle on their hands, but they've stepped up we'd like for them to play this season, get some experience under their belt. How much? Really just depends on the season and how things kind of shake out."

Walters finished his comments by speaking on moving toward game day preparations for South Alabama and what he will look for from his offense.

"Competition against the defense has been awesome,” Walters said. “Going against them every day has been awesome so we don't want to lose that. We don't want to lose that ‘good on good’, or that ‘iron sharpens iron’. So we'll still go against our defense ones versus ones, twos versus twos, but now the focus shifts to getting a jump on South Alabama. Understanding their tendencies and what we're going to see defensively.

“Now first game, you're never sure what you're going to see. We're going to go into that game plan, doing what we do. The good thing about our defense is that it is very similar to South Alabama so we'll be able to adjust to whatever they throw at us, and now we're trying to simulate game day atmosphere, game day situations so the guys have to be focused, dialed in and the extra days of going against South Alabama (in practice) will help us next Saturday."

The Huskers will continue preparations for South Alabama on Thursday. Kickoff for the season opener is scheduled for August 31, at 11 a.m. at Memorial Stadium with television coverage provided ESPN.




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Lincoln -- Nebraska sophomore quarterback Adrian Martinez garnered another watch list spot, as the Manning Award, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl, announced its 30-player watch list on Wednesday.

Martinez is one of three sophomores on the Manning Award Watch list, which is presented to the top quarterback following the conclusion of the 2019 season, including bowl games.

Martinez returns to pilot the Husker attack after a record-breaking freshman year in 2018. The 6-foot-2, 225-pounder set 11 school records after becoming the first true freshman quarterback to start an opener in school history.  On the season, Martinez completed 224-of-347 passes for 2,617 yards and 17 touchdowns, while also rushing for 629 yards and eight scores en route to All-Big Ten and Freshman All-America honors.

Martinez ranked 12th nationally and led all freshmen nationally in total offense per game (295.1 ypg) while also setting school marks for 300-yard total offense (seven) and 400-yard total offense (three) games in 2018. Martinez set freshman records for completions, completion percentage, passing yards, passing touchdowns, total offense and total touchdowns (25), and he was fourth nationally among all freshmen in passing yards per game at 237.9 yards per game.

Martinez threw for a season-high 384 yards and two touchdowns against Wisconsin, while his best game of the year came against Minnesota, when he completed a school-record 86.2 percent of his passes (25-of-29) for 276 yards and three touchdowns, while rushing for a career-high 125 yards and a score on 15 carries.

Martinez and the No. 24 Huskers open the season on Saturday, Aug. 31, against South Alabama. Kickoff for the ESPN televised contest is set for 11 a.m. (CT).




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PHOENIX (AP) — Eduardo Escobar is collecting some memorabilia to go along with the flashy statistics he's posting this season.

Escobar had a lineup card and encased baseball Tuesday night, keepsakes for his most recent accomplishments.

The ball was from the two-run triple Escobar hit in the sixth inning, which gave him 100 RBIs on the season. That triple was part of a five-run rally that gave the Diamondbacks a big lead, and Arizona held on to beat the Colorado Rockies 8-7.

"For sure I'm going to put it in my office, 100 percent," Escobar said, admitting he never imagined 100 RBIs in a season. "I am so glad and so happy to play for this team. I love it here and I believe in my guys."

Pinch-hitter Jake Lamb broke a 3-3 tie with pinch-hit single before Escobar came up, and the Diamondbacks scored five runs in the sixth off Colorado starter Kyle Freeland (3-11) and reliever Bryan Shaw.

Escobar became the third player in Diamondbacks history with 20-plus doubles, 20 or more home runs and at least 10 triples in a season, joining Steve Finley (1999 and 2003) and Stephen Drew (2008). He also became the first National League switch-hitter with 100 RBIs since Chase Headley accomplished the feat with the San Diego Padres in 2012.

He's the ninth Diamondbacks player to reach 100 RBIs, and he's the only player in the major leagues with 10 or more doubles, triples and home runs this season.

"What can you say about Eduardo Escobar? We've got to appreciate exactly what's he's done here in Arizona for us this year," Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said, admitting he could have given his third baseman a little more rest earlier in the season. "This isn't the time to rest him, so he's got to grind through this and step up and do what he's doing."

Nick Ahmed homered and drove in two runs. He set a career high for home runs with his 17th and matched his career-best RBI total with 70.

Arizona's 34 home runs against the Rockies is a franchise record against an opposing team in a season.

Lamb, batting for starting pitcher Alex Young (5-3) with one out and the bases loaded, bounced a hit through the middle to drive in two runs, and Ketel Marte followed with an RBI on a fielder's choice ahead of Escobar's triple.

David Peralta had three hits, Young lasted six innings with three runs allowed and Archie Bradley got his sixth save.

"Any game where we can just grind out wins consecutively is huge," Young said. "It doesn't matter how we win."

Bradley gave up a run in the ninth inning after Charlie Blackmon led off with a double.

"We had a couple of chances throughout the game and couldn't get that big knock," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "We got the tying run, the go-ahead run to the plate a couple of different times and we couldn't really capitalize."

The Diamondbacks stayed within striking distance for an NL wild card, four games behind the Chicago Cubs.

Nolan Arenado homered in his 1,000th career game for the Rockies, and Trevor Story had four hits and two RBIs

The Rockies led 2-1 in the top of the fourth after Arenado's 31st home run of the season, a two-run shot. Down 8-3, Colorado rallied with three runs in the seventh, but couldn't catch up.

Freeland left the game with one out in the bottom of the sixth with a strained groin. He allowed three earned runs on five hits.

STRANGE THINGS

Peralta stumbled in left field and fell as he set up to throw the ball to the infield on Tapia's fifth-inning single.

It didn't cost the Diamondbacks for the moment, and Peralta smiled as he got to his feet and waved to the cheering crowd.

The Rockies' Daniel Murphy hit a ground rule double in the sixth because the ball got stuck under the padding of the right field foul pole.

And for good measure, a Wilmer Flores foul ball knocked over a phone in the press box.

ROSTER MOVE

The Diamondbacks called up infielder Ildemaro Vargas from Triple-A Reno before Tuesday's game after they optioned pitcher Bo Takahashi to Double-A Jackson following Monday's game.

Vargas has split time between Arizona and Reno this season. Takahashi, 22, was brought up for his first Major League stint on Sunday, but did not make an appearance in the brief time he was with the Diamondbacks.

UP NEXT

Rockies: RHP Jon Gray (11-8, 3.84 earned run average) is scheduled to start the series finale against Arizona, and is coming off eight scoreless innings of five-hit ball in his last start, Aug. 16 against Miami.

Diamondbacks: RHP Mike Leake (0-1, 7.71 ERA with Diamondbacks; 9-9, 4.64 overall) is set for his seventh career start against the Rockies. He's 2-2 in his career against Colorado.




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Season tickets for an action-packed 18-game schedule of Nebraska women's basketball at Pinnacle Bank Arena go on sale Wednesday, Aug. 21, at 10 a.m. (CT) through Huskers.com and the Nebraska Athletic Ticket Office. Nebraska's 18-game home schedule (including a preseason exhibition game) features eight non-conference games in November and December, including marquee match-ups with Duke and Creighton, before facing a nine-game Big Ten home schedule with clashes against Iowa, Michigan, Ohio State, Minnesota, Purdue, Indiana, Penn State, Illinois and Wisconsin.

Husker women's basketball has long been one of the hottest tickets in the nation, with Nebraska ranking among the top 25 teams in average home attendance in each of the past 10 seasons. Reserved season tickets are available for $180 - that's just $10 per game - while general admission adult season tickets are $90. General admission season tickets for youth and senior citizens are just $54. Visit Huskers.com/Tickets or call 800-8-BIG-RED.





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McCook Humane Society


McCook Humane Society