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Sports

NASCAR grabs much-needed momentum

National Sports

By Jenna Fryer The Associated Press CHARLOTTE, N.C. — NASCAR had been planning sweeping changes for 2021 in hopes of finding new fans and adding some energy to a staid, stale schedule. The coronavirus pandemic put those plans on hold and NASCAR is frantically trying to recover from a ...

SEC set to allow workouts on June 8

National Sports

The Associated Press Southeastern Conference schools will be able to bring athletes in all sports back to campus for voluntary activities starting June 8 at the discretion of each university, and the Big 12 plans to welcome football players back to campus a week later. The Friday ...

Sports at a glance

National Sports

NHL approves playoff format The NHL Players’ Association’s executive committee authorized moving forward in talks with the league on returning to play from the coronavirus suspension, approving 24 teams making the playoffs with other aspects still to be negotiated The NHLPA did not ...

Legendary coach of Jazz dead at 78

National Sports

The Associated Press Jerry Sloan walked up the steps to the stage at the Basketball Hall of Fame to give his enshrinement speech in 2009, almost as if he were dreading what the next few minutes would bring. He never wanted the spotlight. “This is pretty tough for me,” Sloan said that ...

Sloan one of 10 greats to be denied title

National Sports

Jerry Sloan was undoubtedly one of the greatest coaches in NBA history. Yet there’s one glaring omission on an otherwise stellar resume. A championship. Sloan, who died Friday at age 78, isn’t the only coaching guru lacking a trip to a title. Let’s take a look at the 10 best coaches ...

Ex-Pitt great not too sure about game without fans

National Sports

By Greg Beacham The Associated Press LOS ANGELES — Aaron Donald is not thrilled about the prospect of playing football without fans. The Los Angeles Rams’ superstar defensive lineman doesn’t like the idea of playing an NFL season in front of empty seats, saying it “wouldn’t be ...

The Associated Press Some NFL quarterbacks are still finding ways to hold throwing sessions with receivers during the coronavirus pandemic, though things look much different. Players are keeping it simple and sticking to football instead of the annual weeklong bonding trips that have included sleepovers, cookouts, fishing, golfing and other activities. Detroit’s Matthew Stafford has thrown to Lions receivers Kenny Golladay and Danny Amendola in California. He connected with Lions tight end Isaac Nauta and rookies D’Andre Swift and Quintez Cephus in the Atlanta area. “We’re limiting the amount of people that are there,” Stafford said. “Obviously, it’s only the guy throwing and the guys catching.” Stafford has changed his routine between throws to avoid spreading germs. “I’m honestly making a conscious effort to try not to lick my fingers before I get the ball or throw it,” he said. “All those kinds of things are things that I would have never thought I would have had to think about.” After workouts, Stafford and his group are not giving high-fives, bumping fists or hugging. “Everybody would just kind of click cleats at the end and say, `Appreciate you running, appreciate you throwing and move on,‘” Stafford said. “So doing everything we can to try to stay safe. Obviously, I have three little ones and a pregnant wife at home, so it’s at the forefront of my mind to make sure that I’m staying safe.” Quarterbacks often organize passing workouts before training camp. They use that time together to build chemistry with new receivers and it’s an overall bonding experiencing. Philadelphia’s Carson Wentz held workouts with teammates in his hometown in North Dakota in 2017. Last year, he invited them to his house in Texas. Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott got together last July with wideouts Amari Cooper and Randall Cobb and tight end Jason Witten along with other players. “The training is one thing,” Prescott said after the trip. “You’re going out there, spending a few hours training, hammering it, talking about how I want you here on this route or what I’m thinking on this route, and vice versa. But when you leave there, play a couple rounds of golf, you have dinner, those type of things, those conversations. The tight ends getting to know the receivers better. Me getting to know them better. “All that pays off in the end when it comes to crunch time in a game. You can look at a guy and you know you put in time, that camaraderie, and you create a relationship that it’s easy at that point.” Social distancing and sheltering at home rules due to the pandemic have canceled those types of gatherings and forced players to alter their normal routines. Any throwing sessions now are important because teams are holding virtual meetings instead of traditional offseason programs. Earlier this week, Tom Brady and several of his new teammates on the Buccaneers worked out on a high school field in Tampa. Center Ryan Jensen was there along with receivers Mike Evans and Scotty Miller, tight ends Cameron Brate and O.J. Howard, running back Dare Ogunbowale and quarterbacks Blaine Gabbert and Ryan Griffin. Cleveland’s Baker Mayfield invited several of his Browns teammates, including tight end David Njoku and wide receiver Rashard Higgins, to get together with him in Texas last week. Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen and backup Matt Barkley worked out this month with three draft picks — wide receivers Gabriel Davis and Isaiah Hodgins, and running back Zack Moss — in southern California. Allen also plans to throw to new Buffalo receiver Stefon Diggs and John Brown. “There’s challenges for everyone, right? But what you do is, is you try and find ways to adjust and adapt, and like we said before our theme this offseason has been ‘Find a way,’” Bills coach Sean McDermott said. “And I think that really fits the time and the situation and circumstances we’re in.” Tennessee’s Ryan Tannehill has been working out with tight end Jonnu Smith for two months at a local park in Florida. “Not illegally, we’re not breaking any rules, it’s privately owned,” Smith said. “We’re getting all the work in that we can. … Ryan is making me better, I’m making him better, and we’re just building that chemistry.” Elsewhere: n The New York Jets and quarterback Joe Flacco have agreed to terms on a one-year deal, the 2013 Super Bowl MVP’s agency announced on Twitter. The move to bring in Flacco gives third-year starter Sam Darnold a veteran backup, but one who is also coming off a herniated disk that cut short his only season in Denver and required surgery to repair. JL Sports, headed by agent Joe Linta, announced the agreement Friday. Financial terms were not immediately disclosed, but ESPN reported the deal is worth $1.5 million and could reach $4.5 million with incentives. The 35-year-old Flacco spent his first 11 NFL seasons in Baltimore, where current Jets general manager Joe Douglas was a scout in 2008 — when the Ravens drafted the quarterback 18th overall out of Delaware. Flacco helped lead Baltimore to a Super Bowl victory to cap the 2012 season, beating Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers 34-31. n A Roman Catholic bishop in New England says not even a Hail Mary is going to help Tom Brady win a seventh Super Bowl championship now that he’s with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Diocese of Providence Bishop Thomas Tobin, in a tongue-in-cheek tweet Friday, took a swipe at the former Patriots quarterback while praising Brady’s former boss for raising more than $1 million for coronavirus relief by auctioning a Super Bowl ring. “Bob Kraft is auctioning a Super Bowl ring for charity,” Tobin tweeted. “Very admirable indeed. But is it true that Tom Brady bid on it because he knows it’s the only way he’ll get another ring?” Brady won six championships in 20 seasons in New England before signing a free agent deal with Tampa Bay. Tobin proudly touts in his Twitter profile that he’s a Pittsburgh native. That prompted a couple of people to reply that Brady has a better chance at another ring than Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

National Sports

The Associated Press Some NFL quarterbacks are still finding ways to hold throwing sessions with receivers during the coronavirus pandemic, though things look much different. Players are keeping it simple and sticking to football instead of the annual weeklong bonding trips that have ...

The flipside of ‘Hoosiers’

National Sports

By Michael Marot The Associated Press INDIANAPOLIS — The 1954 Indiana high school basketball tournament remains so vivid in Leon Agullana’s memory it’s as if he never left Muncie Central. He can rattle off the magical, same-day sweep of top-ranked Fort Wayne North and second-ranked ...

There are right and wrong ways to catch and release

Outdoors

According to an article in the Outdoor News, a 2008 survey by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission documented that 88 percent of Pennsylvania trout fishermen released their catches at least half the time. Catch-and-release has become an extremely common practice along Pennsylvania trout ...

Taking advantage of fish for free Sunday

Outdoors

Memorial Day weekend has long ushered in the beginning of the summer recreation season for many folks. With the lingering weeks of being shut in and all the craziness associated with it, some opportunity to get outside should be blessed relief. This Sunday marks the first of two fish for ...

It’s a different world: More women enjoy hunting than ever before

Outdoors

By Ryan Hynick The Associated Press The first day of rifled deer season each year will always find Kathy Scavone on her favorite deer stand. The Sweet Valley woman loves the anticipation of those first few moments when darkness gives way to daylight on opening morning. She loves preseason ...

PGC asking for help with goshawks

Outdoors

From Mirror reports HARRISBURG — With declining populations and a contracted range, northern goshawks have become rarer sights in Pennsylvania. But those who are lucky enough to catch a glimpse of this magnificent forest raptor, or who know where they nest, are asked to report their ...

SiriusXM keeping sports fans entertained

National Sports

When you oversee 19 sports stations, radio programming is a daily challenge. During a pandemic, it can become like throwing a no-hitter, scoring a hat trick and winning a NASCAR race all in one. Just ask Steve Cohen, SiriusXM’s senior vice president for sports, whose company broadcasts ...

Guidelines offered up to start youth ball

Local Sports

The next time children head out the door to play youth baseball or softball, they will have to be careful not to forget not only their glove and bat but their hand sanitizer as well. Pennsylvania senator Pat Toomey held a virtual conference with physician and public health expert Dr. Jay ...

Molliver ready to embrace life as a Marine

Local Sports

The Mirror is recognizing some high school senior spring sports athletes who missed out on their final scholastic seasons due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Trinity Molliver went into her senior softball season this spring at Hollidaysburg with her eye on a successful campaign, a winning season, ...

Pirates are forced to make more cuts

Local Sports

CHICAGO — The Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates are trimming payroll while they await word on the fate of the Major League Baseball season. The Cubs are instituting pay cuts because of the coronavirus crisis, but there will be no furloughs through the end of June. The Pirates announced ...

Incident could start new racing rivalry

National Sports

The Associated Press CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Kyle Busch is NASCAR’s reigning Cup champion and the resident villain of the series. Chase Elliott has been voted most popular driver the last two years and is quickly building a loyal and rabid fan base. Their on-track tussle at Darlington ...

With heavy heart, Briscoe captures Xfinity Series race

National Sports

The Associated Press DARLINGTON, S.C. — Chase Briscoe capped a heartbreaking week by winning the Xfinity Series’ return to action at Darlington Raceway on Thursday. Briscoe was in the Darlington infield Tuesday awaiting the race’s original start when he digitally joined wife, Marissa, ...

Sports at a glance

Local Sports

Foursome wins at Sylvan HOLLIDAYSBURG — The team of Daneen Litz, Sue Mielnik, Rosey McCoy and Connie Angeski won the scramble event at the Sylvan Hills Golf Club this week. Second-place honors went to Mary Jane Terza, Melissa Fetzer, Bonnie Deem and Pam Riley. Third place went to the team ...

Debate continues over start of football

Local Sports

The PIAA met for nearly five hours Wednesday, but the most passionate discussion came in the final hour when the status of the upcoming high school football season was mentioned. With many counties moving into the yellow stage of reopening from the corona-virus pandemic and some hoping for a ...