K-Heart Sports – 06/16/23

K-HEART SPORTS – 06/16/23 – 0700

MINOT, ND – One of the top football prospects in North Dakota is staying home to play football in college. Bishop Ryan offensive tackle Coy Okeson announced on social media that he has committed to North Dakota State. The 6’5, 275lb Okeson chose the Bison over FBS schools like Nebraska and Wyoming. He is the fourth in-state recruit to commit to the Bison classs of 2024 joining Isiah St. Romain of Williston, Nate Tastad of Rolette and Peder Haugo of Fargo.
MINOT, ND – The Minot Vistas were at home for only the second time this season.
American Legion Baseball
Class AA
Bismarck Governors def. Minot Vistas, 8-6 (8)
Minot Vistas def. Bismarck Governors, 9-3
Fargo Post 2 def. Mandan Chiefs, 11-1
Fargo Post 2 def. Mandan Chiefs, 6-3
MINOT, ND – The Minot Hot Tots began a four game roadtrip in Mankato last night. The MoonDogs scored four runs in the seventh inning and won 4-1. The Hot Tots only run came in the ninth inning. Minot had their chances as they left 12 runners on base. Duncan Lutz takes the loss as he worked 1 1/3 innings in relief of Jack Smith giving up four runs on two hits with 3 walks and a strikeout. Smith went five innings for Minot giving up 5 hits, walking one and striking out two. The two teams will play again tonight in Mankato.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Javier Báez and Spencer Torkelson each had two hits and drove in two runs to help the Detroit Tigers beat the Minnesota Twins 8-4 on Thursday night for just their second victory in 13 games. Matt Vierling was 3 for 3 with a run and an RBI for the Tigers. They have scored at least five runs in a season-high five straight games. Matthew Boyd (4-5) survived a four-run second inning for the victory. He walked one and struck out eight over six innings. Donovan Solano homered for the Twins. They had won four of their previous five. Twins starter Sonny Gray labored through four innings, including a 35-pitch fourth that spelled the end of his night. Reliever Jovani Moran (0-2) replaced Gray and gave up three runs in the fifth.
RHP Joe Ryan (7-3) is set to start for Minnesota against Detroit tonight. He’s coming off a no-decision in Toronto, when he gave up three earned runs over six innings. Detroit hasn’t announced a starter, though Hinch confirmed after the game that Friday would be a bullpen game for the Tigers staff.
EAGAN, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings reported for minicamp this week with a dress-up theme — sports jerseys — that came with a contest to award the most creative player. The assignment generated by quarterback Kirk Cousins spread through the entire organization, with roughly two-thirds of all staff wearing one to work on Tuesday — some current, some throwback, some random choices in between. “All Kirk’s idea,” Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell said. “That was his whole deal, and the guys took it and ran with it.” Cousins chose a Georgetown-era Allen Iverson jersey. An assistant coach who wanted to needle his boss, whom O’Connell declined to name, found a replica of the head coach’s jersey from his college career at San Diego State. New Vikings cornerback Byron Murphy, in a head-to-toe Vancouver Grizzlies uniform featuring former point guard Mike Bibby, was declared the winner. Bibby happens to be Murphy’s uncle.
Cousins has been taking small groups of teammates out for dinners this spring, too, including one outing to a Chili’s restaurant near Vikings headquarters that fit right in with the quirky-yet-wholesome dad brand he’s presented to the public throughout his career. “When you spend time with your teammates, when you ask questions, when you get to know them, when you care about them, it just changes the way you pull for them and the way you pull for each other, the way you work together,” Cousins said. “During the season, even during training camp, it’s difficult to find the time to do that.”
The Vikings cleared $9 million from their salary cap last week by releasing running back Dalvin Cook, the ultimate move in what has amounted to a major offseason makeover. Dumping locker room leaders and longtime standouts such as Cook, wide receiver Adam Thielen and linebacker Eric Kendricks has on one hand been a jarring turn for a 13-win team and on the other hand made good sense in the context of data-based decision-making and maximum flexibility the front office under general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has stated as guiding roster-crafting principles. The Vikings also traded edge rusher Za’Darius Smith to Cleveland for two late-round draft picks.
O’Connell said this week he’s “well aware” of the resulting leadership void created by those decisions and has thus challenged some of the younger standouts on the team to help fill it. “It just has a natural progression, and you always have the next group of guys that are ready to step up and take on a bigger role — not just on the field but certainly in the locker room,” Cousins said. Having started his sixth season in Minnesota while playing the most important position on the field, Cousins would naturally gravitate to these efforts. The fact that he did not have his contract extended this offseason has made his team-building efforts all the more notable — and perhaps noble, too.
The Vikings under Adofo-Mensah and O’Connell have essentially placed Cousins into yet another prove-it year, without any promise he’ll be able to remain in purple beyond this season per his stated preference. Cousins, speaking to reporters on Wednesday after the conclusion of minicamp, acknowledged as much. “I think we’ll probably talk about the contract next March,” Cousins said, “and until then just focus on this season and the job to do right now.”


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