Joe's Morning Sports-Monday, March 23, 2020

The Spanish soccer federation and the Spanish league say the suspension of professional soccer in the country will continue until government officials “consider that they can be resumed without creating any health risk.”  The soccer competitions had been initially suspended for two weeks, but yesterday the government said the country’s state of emergency would likely be extended, meaning the entire nation may have to remain in lockdown until at least April 11.  Spanish authorities say more than 33,000 people have been infected with the coronavirus in the country, with 2,182 deaths.

The Canadian Olympic Committee has announced it will not send a team to the Tokyo Games unless they are postponed for a year.  Canada is the first country to threaten such a move in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, but the committee says it was willing to help the IOC search for alternatives.  However, it feels it was not safe for athletes, “their families and the broader Canadian community for athletes to continue training for these Games.”

Dallas Cowboys and former Nebraska defensive end Randy Gregory, who was suspended indefinitely in February 2019, has officially filed for reinstatement to the NFL, a source told ESPN.  Under the league's substance-abuse policy, the NFL has to make a decision on Gregory's status in the next 60 days.  Gregory was suspended all of last season for recurring issues involving the substance-abuse policy that date to the 2015 scouting combine, before he was picked in the second round by the Cowboys.  He has been suspended four different times for failed or missed tests.  Gregory has admitted to issues with anxiety and marijuana use.  Under terms of the new collective bargaining agreement, players can no longer be suspended for a positive test for marijuana, but because he was penalized under the old system he would still need to be welcomed back by commissioner Roger Goodell.

ESPN reports that the New England Patriots have agreed to terms on a one-year contract with veteran quarterback Brian Hoyer.  His contract with the Patriots is for $1.05 million.  Hoyer is making $2 million from the Indianapolis Colts, who released him on Saturday, so with offset language, Hoyer will make $2 million in guarantees total this season between the two teams.  He returns for his third stint with the Patriots, joining 2019 fourth-round draft pick Jarrett Stidham and five-year veteran Cody Kessler as the three quarterbacks on the roster.

Denny Hamlin won a race without using a drop of gas.  Racing barefoot, the three-time Daytona 500 winner beat Dale Earnhardt Jr. off the final corner to win a NASCAR iRacing event at virtual Homestead-Miami Speedway.  Damaged cars were repaired with the push of a button, among a few virtual signs that NASCAR backed quite an unreal race.  NASCAR eased off the brake in the real sports world brought to a sudden halt by the coronavirus and introduced the country to iRacing with some of the sport’s biggest stars.  It was Hamlin's 31st victory in iRacing, which is where he was first discovered by Earnhardt long before he made it to NASCAR.  Hamlin was heavily involved in putting together yesterday's pretend race, which was broadcast live on Fox Sports 1 and called by its regular team of Mike Joy and Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon.  NASCAR has suspended racing until at least May 9.

The Randolph boys basketball team saw their 2019-2020 season conclude on March 12th after a 57-46 loss to Humphrey St. Francis in the opening round of the Class ‘D-2’ State Tournament.  The 17-8 Cardinals, who started 0-4 on the season, finished eighth in the Omaha World Herald and Lincoln Journal Star.  This season they beat Bloomfield twice, Wynot twice, Winside twice, Elkhorn Valley, Homer, Allen, Neligh/Oakdale, Wausa, Plainview, Emerson/Hubbard twice, Crofton, Hartington/Newcastle, and Deshler.  Randolph outscored by their opponents on average through 25 games 53.2-42.9.  They will graduate Carter Schnoor, Keaton Backhaus, Sam Lemmons, and Jamison Svehla. 

The Chambers/Wheeler Central girls basketball squad’s 2019-2020 campaign concluded with a 27-2 record and a third place finish in Class ‘D-1’ after the State Tournament March 5-7.  They routed Dundy County-Stratton 58-36, lost to eventual champion Pleasanton in the semifinals 50-46, and then topped Hartington Cedar Catholic in the third place game 66-54.  The Lady Renegades finished third in the Omaha World Herald and the Lincoln Journal Star.  This season, Chambers/Wheeler Central beat Summerland three times, North Central twice, Elkhorn Valley, West Holt, Riverside, Central Valley twice, Twin Loup, Spalding Academy, Ord, Stuart, Boyd County, O’Neill St. Mary’s, Ainsworth, Bloomfield, Niobrara/Verdigre, Neligh/Oakdale twice, Elgin Public/Pope John, Burwell, Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family, Alma, Dundy County-Stratton, and Hartington Cedar Catholic.  The Lady Renegades outscored by their opponents on average through 29 contests 62.4-32.4.  They will lose Taylor Peter, Grace Pokorny, and Megan Homolka to graduation. 

The Howells/Dodge wrestling team had a solid season by finishing fourth with 72 points at the Class ‘D’ State Championships February 20th-22nd.  Carter Throener (220) was third, Kyle Pickhinke (285) finished fourth, Wyatt Hegemann (170) got fifth, and Trevor Schumacher (182) was sixth.

Newstalk WJAG 105.9 FM & 780 AM the home of Kansas City Chiefs football & Kansas City Royals baseball!

In other news

NORFOLK - Northeast Community College Head Women’s Basketball Coach Matt Svehla recently announced the commitment of Yiesha Williams, a First Team All-Area selection from Elkhart Central High School in Elkhart, Ind.