Morning State Sports Briefs: Midwest League holds all-star game tonightWisconsin Sports
-- Class-“A” Midwest League will play its All-Star Game tonight in Geneva Illinois.
GENEVA, Ill. - Class-“A” Midwest League will play its All-Star Game tonight in Geneva Illinois.
Seven Wisconsin Timber Rattlers and seven Beloit Snappers will be on the Western Division squad. Miguel Sano of Beloit, the Minnesota Twins’ top slugging prospect, will start at third base for the West squad. Greg Hopkins of the Timber Rattlers will start at second. Three Beloit position players were named as reserves for the West – infielders Tyler Grimes and Eddie Rosario, and outfielder Jhon Goncalves. The Timber Rattlers’ reserves are infielder Jason Rogers and Yadiel Rivera. Both state teams have a combined seven pitchers on the All-Star squad. They include left-hander Jason Wheeler of Beloit, and Snappers’ right-handers A.J. Achter and Michael Tonkin. Wisconsin’s pitchers are right-handers Drew Gagnon, Seth Harvey, Tommy Toledo, and Mark Williams.
The NFL released more of its evidence yesterday that the New Orleans Saints had a bounty system aimed at knocking out opposing quarterbacks. The release came on the same day that Green Bay Packers’ defensive end Anthony Hargrove and three other players had their appeal hearings before Commissioner Roger Goodell on their penalties for the bounty program. Hargrove was suspended for eight games. Jonathan Vilma, who was suspended for the season, walked out of the hearing at mid-day, saying it was unfair that Goodell be the quote, “judge, jury, and executioner.” The biggest revelation was that a $35,000 prize was waiting for the Saints’ defender who would knock out Brett Favre from the NFC Championship Game in 2010. Former Minnesota Vikings’ coach Brad Childress sparked the investigation, after hearing of a possible bounty on Favre in the Vikes’ title game loss to the Saints. The league released a video in which linebacker Jonathan Vilma was offering 10-thousand dollars to knock out Favre. Also game video was shown of Saints assistant Joe Vitt telling his defense that Favre had left with a broken leg, and Hargrove – who had the biggest hit on Favre – was heard telling teammate Bobby McCray quote, “Hey Bobby, give me the money.” A league attorney said much of its evidence was not released because players and coaches would have otherwise hesitated to tell what they knew.
The Milwaukee Bucks brought in their fourth group of NBA Draft candidates for auditions today. Center Justin Hamilton of LSU and forwards Keith Wright of Harvard, Olu Ashaolu of Oregon, and Tony Mitchell of Alabama are among those who could be picked in the second round a week from Thursday night. Concerns have been raised about Mitchell after he was suspended by Crimson Tide coach Anthony Grant early in February. He said it was due to an “accumulation of things.” He was averaging 13 points and seven rebounds a game at that point.
Carol Cayo of the Milwaukee School of Engineering has been named the Woman-of-the-Year in the Northern Athletics Conference. She played on the Raiders’ basketball, tennis, and outdoor track teams – and she graduated from MSOE last month in industrial engineering with a three-point-nine-eight grade point average. Cayo was the NAC’s basketball player-of-the-year and defensive player-of-the-year, and was Milwaukee Engineering’s all-time career rebounder with 1,141. She received All-American honors in basketball and all-conference honors in tennis in both doubles and Number-One singles. And Cayo still found time to volunteer in a book drive, soup kitchen, tutoring program, and other community functions. As the conference woman-of-the-year, Cayo has been nominated for a similar honor at the national level.
The Marquette University men’s basketball team has named Jerry Wainwright as its director-of-operations. Wainwright has spent 16 years as a Division-One head coach at DePaul, North Carolina-Wilmington, and Richmond. His teams have played in three NCAA tournaments and four NIT’s.
The La Crosse Loggers are starting to pull away in the South Division of the Northwoods League. The Loggers opened up a four-game advantage over Wisconsin Rapids and Green Bay during the weekend. La Crosse improved to 14-5 after topping the Wisconsin Woodchucks 4-2 last night. Green Bay and Wisconsin Rapids are both 10-9. Rapids crushed Battle Creek 12-4, while Green Bay did the same to Eau Claire 13-7. Tonight, La Crosse opens a series in Michigan against Battle Creek. Green Bay hosts the Madison Mallards, who beat Lakeshore 9-to-3 yesterday. Wisconsin Rapids is at home against Eau Claire. Lakeshore travels to Wausau to play the Woodchucks. In the North Division, Mankato has a one-game lead over Waterloo. Mankato plays at Rochester tonight. Waterloo hosts Alexandria. Duluth is at home against Thunder Bay. And Willmar plays at Saint Cloud.
Steve Stricker’s Top-15 showing at the U.S. Open did not help him in the new World Golf Rankings. The Madison golfer dropped one place to 12th, as two of the top finishers at the Olympic Club rose ahead of Stricker in the new rankings released today. Webb Simpson, who won the Open at San Francisco, jumped nine places to Number-Five in the world. And Graeme McDowell, who tied for second at the Open, rose 10 spots in the new rankings to Number-11. Pewaukee native Mark Wilson, who missed the cut this past weekend, dropped two places to 41st. Jerry Kelly of Madison, who did not qualify for the U.S. Open, fell four more spots this week to 171st. Luke Donald and Rory McIlroy remain first-and-second in the World Rankings, even though both missed the cut at the Open. In the Fed-Ex Cup season point standings, Wilson dropped one place to 17th after Simpson shot past him into ninth. Stricker rose two places to Number-20. Kelly remains in 130th. Jason Dufner still leads the Fed-Ex point totals.
The Big Ten Network will put on its fifth annual awards show tonight, featuring the top teams and performances from the conference over the past school year. Wisconsin has seven nominations in five categories. The Badger football and cross-country teams are two-of-the-four nominees for the “Men’s Team of the Year.” Wisconsin running back Montee Ball is one of four candidates for “Breakout Performer-of-the-Year.” Ball is also one of four nominees for the “Most Dominating Performance,” a 200-plus-yard rushing day and three touchdowns against Purdue last November. Two Wisconsin football games against Michigan State were nominated as the “Game of the Year” – the October contest at East Lansing in which the Badgers lost on a Hail Mary pass, and the December conference championship tilt which the Badgers won at the last second. The Hail Mary game was also nominated for the Best Finish. Also, former Marquette basketball coach Tom Crean – who’s now with Indiana – is a nominee for the men’s Coach-of-the-Year. Tonight’s awards show begins at 6:30 on the Big Ten Network.
UW-Oshkosh graduate Eamon McKenna is returning as the Titans’ new men’s cross country and men’s track coach. He replaces Paul Brown, who was the interim cross country coach last year and the interim track leader for the past two years. McKenna was an assistant coach in both sports last year at Wisconsin Lutheran College near Milwaukee. He has also been an assistant at Mount Mary College in Milwaukee and Oconomowoc High School. McKenna competed on the UW-Oshkosh cross country team from 1999-thorugh-2002, and the track team from 2000-through-’04.
In the Northwoods League…
La Crosse 11, Battle Creek 7
Wisconsin Rapids 5, Eau Claire 4
Wisconsin 4, Lakeshore 0
Green Bay 8, Madison 0
Mankato 11, Rochester 6
Waterloo 10, Alexandria 4
Willmar 9, Saint Cloud 6
Thunder Bay 7, Duluth 2