PURDUE CALUMET RANKED NO. 21 IN PRESEASON POLL: Purdue Calumet is ranked 21st in the NAIA Division II Preseason Poll. It's the first time in almost 20 years that the Peregrines will open the season with a national ranking.
KENTUCKY NO. 1 IN AP PRESEASON POLL: Kentucky – with a collection of high school All-Americans – is ranked No. 1 in The Associated Press' preseason Top 25, a significant step considering the Wildcats finished 21-12 last season and were upset by Robert Morris in the first round of the NIT.
It's Kentucky's third preseason No. 1 and first since 1995-96 when the Wildcats won the national championship. The other preseason No. 1 was in 1980-81.
Michigan is ranked seventh, while Notre Dame is rated 21st.
VALPO'S VERVYNCKT EARNS ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT HONOR: Valparaiso senior Todd Vervynckt was named to the Capital One Academic All-District V Men’s Soccer team for the second consecutive year.
As an Academic All-District V member, Vervynckt will be placed on the ballot for Academic All-American Honors. Vervynckt has two goals and two assists this season for the Crusaders. A mechanical engineering major, he has a 3.98 GPA.
L.C. GRAD BURVAN SIGNS WITH OILMEN: Purdue infielder and Lake Central graduate Ryan Burvan has signed to play with the Northwest Indiana Oilmen next summer. Burvan will be reunited with Indians' alum Jimmy McNamara, who pitches for the Oilmen.
LOCALS TO PLAY IN POSTYOURT GAMES: Eight area players will participate in the POSTYOURT.ORG East/West High School Soccer All-Star Games on Saturday in Knightstown. The list includes Portage's Bree Coleman, Michigan City's Paige Tharp, Sarah Thurman, Lauren Slisher and Hannah Laux, Hobart's Hank Pimentel and Matt Plesac, and Griffith's Carlos Tellez. The three girls games will begin at 9:30 a.m., with the boys games starting at 2 p.m. Admission for all six games is $8 for adults and $5 for children kindergarten through 12.
FIRE HIRES YALLOP AS NEW COACH: Former San Jose Earthquakes coach Frank Yallop has been hired as coach and director of football for the Fire.
The 49-year-old Yallop replaces Frank Klopas, who was fired Tuesday after New York eliminated the Fire from the MLS playoff race for the third time in the last four seasons.
San Jose fired Yallop, a native of England, midway through the season after the Earthquakes opened 3-6-6. He was coach of the year in 2012 in his second stint with San Jose. In his first stint, the Earthquakes won the MLS Cup twice in a three-year span.
WHITE SOX PICK UP LINDSTROM OPTION: The White Sox have exercised a club option for next season on reliever Matt Lindstrom and hired Todd Steverson as hitting coach.
The White Sox could have bought out Lindstrom for $500,000. Instead, they'll pay him a base salary of $4 million. Lindstrom was 2-4 with a 3.12 ERA over 76 appearances last season after signing as a free agent in January.
Steverson had worked in the Oakland organization since 2004, most recently serving as the Athletics' minor league hitting coordinator. He accepted the White Sox's job last week, replacing Jeff Manto.
DOLPHINS BEAT BENGALS ON OT SAFETY: Cameron Wake sacked Andy Dalton for a safety with 6:38 left in overtime, and the Miami Dolphins beat the Cincinnati Bengals 22-20 on Thursday night.
On third-and-10 from the 8, Dalton retreated to the goal line and was tackled by Wake coming up the middle for the third overtime safety in NFL history. The officials signaled safety, and the call was upheld following a replay review.
Wake had three sacks, and Cincinnati committed four turnovers that might have meant a difference of 17 points.
Mike Nugent kicked a 54-yard field goal with 1:24 remaining in regulation to put the Bengals ahead, but Miami answered with a 50-yard drive, and Caleb Sturgis made a 44-yard field goal with 11 seconds left to force overtime.
PORTAGE DODGEBALL SIGN-UPS END TODAY: Registration for the Portage Park Department's youth and coed adult dodgeball leagues will run from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. today at the park office. The youth fee (children aged 7 to 14) is $25 for Portage residents, $35 for non-residents. The coed team cost is $150. Games will run Thursdays through Dec. 26. Youth games are 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Thursdays. Coed games run from 7 to 10 p.m. Thursdays. For details, call Ralph Mundt at (219) 841-5156.
YOUTH KICKBALL REGISTRATION ENDS TODAY: The Portage Park Department's youth kickball registration will run from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. today at the park office. Children aged 7 to 14 are eligible. Cost is $25 for Portage residents, $35 for non-residents. Games will be played from 5:45 to 6:45 p.m. Thursdays through Dec. 26. For details, call Ralph Mundt at (219) 841-5156.
Around the horn
Purdue Calumet men’s basketball coach Dan Voudrie will preview his squad on "Purdue Calumet Sports Insight" at 5:30 p.m. today on WJOB-AM (1230). ... Thursday's Valparaiso men's soccer game against Western Michigan was canceled due to the rain. The game will not be rescheduled.