Browns to be featured on Hard Knocks

Published: Thursday, May 17, 2018 @ 10:10 AM

CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 10: Head coach Hue Jackson of the Cleveland Browns is seen in the second quarter against the Green Bay Packers at FirstEnergy Stadium on December 10, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 10: Head coach Hue Jackson of the Cleveland Browns is seen in the second quarter against the Green Bay Packers at FirstEnergy Stadium on December 10, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

The Cleveland Browns will be featured on HBO’s Hard Knocks this summer, the team announced today. 

The Browns are coming off an 0-16 season and are 1-31 the last two years, and new general manager John Dorsey previously said he did not want the team to appear on the Emmy award-winning series.

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But the franchise did not meet any of the required exceptions to turn down the show, and for the first time since Hard Knocks debuted in 2001, no team volunteered to appear.

This will be the first time the Browns have been featured on the show, and Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback and first overall pick Baker Mayfield figures to be a central figure.

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“The storylines in Cleveland are compelling, which make the Browns an ideal partner on Hard Knocks,” NFL Films senior executive Ross Ketover said in a press release. “We’re looking forward to showing NFL fans around the world what the Haslams, John Dorsey, Hue Jackson and the coaching staff are doing to rebuild the team and reboot one of the most iconic franchises in sports.”

The six-week series will debut in August, and the obvious opening scene would be to show head coach Hue Jackson jumping into Lake Erie after saying last year he would do so if the team went 0-16, which it did.

This will be Jackson’s second experience with Hard Knocks. He was a Cincinnati assistant when the Bengals appeared on the series in 2013.

“I’ve been a part of Hard Knocks and when you experience it first hand, you come to appreciate the inside look it really gives fans,” Jackson said. “We are excited about what we are building within our organization and feel good about the progress we have made this offseason. Being able to bring our fans in so they can get to know our players and our organization in a different way will be a huge positive for us. I want people to see how much our players and coaches care, how hard they work and how badly they want to win for Cleveland. This will be a great opportunity for our team.”

Dorsey, who took over as general manager after last season, addressed his initial comments that he would be opposed to appearing on the show.

“Like many, I was reluctant about being the featured team on Hard Knocks but once we sat down and talked about it as an organization, I feel a lot better and understand why the time is right,” he said.  “Hue and I both feel like this team is in a good place and that we are in the process of building something that will lead to success. Being a part of Hard Knocks will give our fans the opportunity to see how passionate the people in our building are about winning and how excited we are about getting to work and preparing for the 2018 season.”

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Kenton Ridge beats Northwestern to advance to district final

Published: Wednesday, May 16, 2018 @ 7:15 PM

Highlights: Kenton Ridge beats Northwestern

The final at-bat took an eternity. Kenton Ridge pitcher Carly Turner threw pitch after pitch to Northwestern's Bry White with runners at first and second and two outs in the seventh inning Wednesday.

» PHOTOS: Kenton Ridge vs. Northwestern

White fouled a number of pitches into the fields surrounding the diamond at Shawnee High School before striking out on the 10th pitch. That one at-bat told the story of this Division II sectional final. Kenton Ridge won 3-2, but Northwestern showed fight until the last pitch.

“It’s always a good game between Northwestern and Kenton Ridge,” Kenton Ridge coach Sarah Schalnat said. “In the regular season, they went up 3-0, and we came back and tied it up and went ahead after that. It’s back and forth, good pitching, good batters on both sides.”

Kenton Ridge (22-1) advanced to play Monroe (18-2) in a Division II district championship at 5 p.m. Friday in Brookville. Monroe beat Franklin 5-0 on Wednesday in Lebanon.

 

Monroe has never won a district championship. Kenton Ridge last won the district title in 2016 before losing 2-1 to Hamilton Ross in the regional semifinal.

"I think the seniors really want it," Schalnat said. "They're focused. Every day they come to practice ready to practice. They're shocked if I give them any time off. They know they're going to practice and be there for a couple hours."

» DISTRICT TRACK: Photos from Piqua

This Kenton Ridge team ranks second in the state and has won nine games in a row since losing 7-6 to Jonathan Alder on April 27. Turner, who won her 20th game Wednesday, is a big reason why. She carried the Cougars at the plate and on the mound in this game.

Turner drove in the first two runs of the game with a single in the first. Peyton Fleming and Lexee Trainer scored on the hit. Turner also doubled in the third.

On the mound, Turner struck out five. The Warriors recorded eight hits but left nine runners on base.

“Big day for Carly,” Schalnat said. “Carly does a great job. She has the command on the pitching rubber. When she gets up, I expect a hit. She’s going to put the ball in play.”

The Warriors rallied after falling behind 2-0, tying the game in the fourth. A double by Miranda Gillman scored White and Hannah Weymouth.

» OHSAA NEWS: State approves change to transfer rule

Kenton Ridge regained the lead in the fifth. A single by Trainer scored Jordan Rucker. That turned out to be the game-winning RBI.

Northwestern finished the season 18-8. It was playing in Division II this season after competing in Division III last season. A year ago, it reached the state semifinals before losing 10-0 to Warren Champion.

This was the final game for four players who started in the final four last season: seniors Jamie Rutherford, Ashlee Barger, Macie Crew and Jenna Robbins.

"We had four great seniors," Northwestern coach Missy Johnson said. "It's hard to put into words how much they mean to the team, but we really had a great season bonding as a family. We're close. It's just sad we had to end today."

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District softball: Kenton Ridge beats Monroe to reach regionals

Published: Sunday, May 20, 2018 @ 9:27 PM

Highlights: Kenton Ridge beats Monroe in district softball

After postponements Friday and Saturday because of rain and a one-hour delay because of thunder on Sunday, Kenton Ridge and Monroe finally got to play their Division II district championship.

The Cougars (23-1), ranked second in the state, advanced to the regional semifinals for the first time since 2016 with a 6-2 victory at Brookville High School. The game started at 7 p.m. and finished just before it got too dark to play.

» RELATED: Bradford wins district softball title | Lebanon beats Fairfield

Monroe, which was seeking its first district championship, finished the season 18-3. Senior Faith Hensley, a Ball State recruit, hit a two-run home run in the seventh inning in the last at-bat of her high school career.

Kenton Ridge will play another Central Buckeye Conference team, Jonathan Alder, at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Mason High School. The teams split in the regular season. Both games went to extra innings. Kenton Ridge won 4-3 in Springfield on April 18 and lost 7-6 at Jonathan Alder on April 27. The Cougars have won 10 straight games since their only loss.

» EARLIER COVERAGE: Kenton Ridge beats Northwestern in sectional final

No. 4 Greenville and No. 7 Clinton Massie will play at 2 p.m. Wednesday in the other regional semifinal at Mason.

Carly Turner earned the victory on the mound, striking out nine, and drove in the first run of the game for Kenton Ridge in the fourth. Her double scored Lexee Trainer.

Paige Williams added an RBI single in the fourth. Then a squeeze bunt by Maddy Hall scored a third run. Trainer made it 4-0 with an RBI single in the fifth. Jordan Rucker drove in two runs with a triple in the sixth.

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Schwarber, Cubs hammer Reds, win series

Published: Sunday, May 20, 2018 @ 5:08 PM

CINCINNATI, OH - MAY 20: Tyler Mahle #30 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches in the second inning against the Chicago Cubs at Great American Ball Park on May 20, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins
CINCINNATI, OH - MAY 20: Tyler Mahle #30 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches in the second inning against the Chicago Cubs at Great American Ball Park on May 20, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)(Joe Robbins)

Yu Darvish recovered from a shaky start to earn his first win with the Cubs, and Kyle Schwarber hit one of Chicago’s three home runs Sunday in a 6-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

Schwarber, a Middletown native, launched a two-run drive, and Javier Baez and Ben Zobrist each had a solo shot to help the Cubs take three of four in the series. Darvish (1-3) went six innings and allowed only two hits, both in the first, during his eighth start since signing a $126 million, six-year contract with Chicago last offseason.

»RELATED: Reds have played winning baseball since 3-18 start

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In his second outing since coming off the disabled list Tuesday, the four-time All-Star overcame a 39-pitch first inning and finished six for the third time this season. He allowed one run with three walks and seven strikeouts.

Tyler Mahle gave up all three Chicago long balls, passing Homer Bailey for the team lead in homers allowed with 13. The Cubs reached Mahle (3-6) for seven hits, two walks and four runs. He struck out six.

Chicago outscored the Reds 16-1 over the final two games of the series while completing a 4-2 road trip. The Reds are 2-5 since sweeping the Dodgers in a four-game series at Los Angeles for the first time since August 1976.

The Reds scored their only run on Scott Schebler’s bases-loaded infield single with two outs in the first. Cubs shortstop Addison Russell went deep into the hole to backhand the ball, but he couldn’t hang onto it. Darvish retired the following eight batters and nine of the next 10.

Schwarber gave the Cubs a 2-1 lead in the second with his first home run since April 26. Baez, who went into the game leading the National League with 37 RBIs, followed with his first since May 7.

Zobrist led off the fifth with his second homer of the season and first since April 8. The Cubs capitalized on first baseman Joey Votto’s throwing error to add two unearned runs in the seventh.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Right-hander Michael Lorenzen (right shoulder strain) was scheduled to throw two innings of relief in his third rehab appearance for Double-A Pensacola.

UP NEXT

Right-hander Matt Harvey (0-2) makes his home debut for Cincinnati in Tuesday’s series opener against Pittsburgh.

TUESDAY’S GAME

Pirates at Reds, 7:10 p.m., FS Ohio, 700, 1410

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NBA Hall of Famer Bill Russell released from hospital

Published: Sunday, May 20, 2018 @ 11:56 AM

Hall of Famer Bill Russell led the Boston Celtics to 11 NBA titles.
Mike Lawrie/Getty Images
Hall of Famer Bill Russell led the Boston Celtics to 11 NBA titles.(Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)

Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Russell confirmed on Twitter he was released after an overnight stay in the hospital for dehydration.

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According to TMZ, the 84-year-old Boston Celtics great was taken by ambulance from his Seattle-area home to a nearby hospital Friday night. 

Russell tweeted Saturday that he was doing all right, writing that “Yes, I was taken to the hospital last night and as my wife likes to remind me I don’t drink enough.”

Russell also dismissed earlier reports by TMZ about being admitted to the hospital because of heart problems, tweeting “As most of my friends know, I don’t have a heart to give me trouble.”

Russell later posted a tweet that included a photo of him holding a glass of water


The Celtics legend was also hospitalized in 2014 after collapsing at a speaking engagement.

Russell made it home in time Saturday to watch the Celtics lose 116-86 to the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 3 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals. The Celtics lead the series 2-1.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens told ESPN that he was relieved to hear that Russell was all right.

"Yeah, that was obviously scary news, and happy to hear that he's doing better and he's been released from the hospital,'' Stevens said in Cleveland before Game 3. "He's the ultimate basketball winner. The way he impacted winning, the unselfishness of a teammate, what he stood for off the floor -- everything about him.” 

Russell won 11 titles with the Celtics and was named the NBA’s most valuable player five times. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1975.

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