FOOTBALL (7 p.m. unless noted): MVC—Tomah vs. Aquinas at UW-L; Holmen at Logan; Central at Onalaska; West Salem at Sparta. Coulee—Black River Falls at Westby, 3:30 p.m.; Viroqua at Onalaska Luther; G-E-T at Arcadia. Scenic Bluffs—Brookwood at Bangor; Cashton at Necedah. Dairyland—Eleva-Strum at Melrose-Mindoro; Blair-Taylor at Independence/Gilmanton. Ridge and Valley—De Soto at Wonewoc-Center/Weston. SWC—Prairie du Chien at Richland Center. Southeast-Red—Stewartville at La Crescent. Southeast-White—Caledonia at Dover-Eyota. South-East—Spring Grove at Houston. IHSAA District 3—Lansing-New Albin Kee at Central, Elkader.
VOLLEYBALL: NSAA—Dakota State at Viterbo, 7 p.m. Wartburg Invitational: UW-La Crosse vs. Gustavus Adolphus (Minn.), 5:30 p.m.; UW-La Crosse vs. Wartburg (Iowa), 7:30 p.m.
NAHL: Coulee Region at Minnesota Magicians, 7:15 p.m.
AUTO RACING: NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series—Bank of America 500 practice, NBCSN, 12:30 p.m.; Bank of America 500 qualifying, NBCSN, 6 p.m. NASCAR Xfinity Series—Drive for the Cure 300 practice, NBCSN, 2 p.m.; Drive for the Cure 300 final practice, NBCSN, 5 p.m. Formula One—Japanese Grand Prix qualifying, NBCSN, 1 a.m. (Saturday)
COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Memphis at UConn, ESPN, 6 p.m.; Morgan St. at SC State, ESPNU, 6:30 p.m.; Boise St. at BYU, ESPN, 9:15 p.m.
GOLF: European PGA Tour—Alfred Dunhill Links Championship second round, GOLF, 7 a.m. PGA Tour—Safeway Open second round, GOLF, 4:30 p.m.
MLB: AL Division Series Game 2s—Boston at Houston, FS1, 1 p.m.; N.Y. Yankees at Cleveland, MLB, 4 p.m. NL Division Series Game 1s—Chicago Cubs at Washington, TBS, 6:30 p.m.; Arizona at L.A. Dodgers, TBS, 9:30 p.m.
NBA PRESEASON: Boston at Philadelphia, NBA, 6 p.m.
SOCCER: FIFA World Cup 2018 qualifying—Italy vs. Macedonia, FS2, 1:30 p.m.; United States vs. Panama, ESPN2, 6 p.m.; Mexico vs. Trinidad and Tobago, FS1, 8:20 p.m.
No. 1 V-Hawks win top-10 showdown
On Tuesday, the Viterbo University women’s volleyball team moved up to No. 1 spot in the NAIA Coaches Top-25 Poll. On Thursday they solidified that ranking as coach Ryan DeLong’s team defeated No. 7-ranked Dordt College, 25-17, 25-21, 21-25, 25-22 in a nonconference clash at Beggs Gymnasium.
Senior Natalie Geidel, a two-time first-team NAIA All-American, had 21 kills to lead a proficient and lethal Viterbo attack. As a team the V-Hawks (18-0) had a hitting percentage of .287 — including an eye-popping .472 percentage in the second set — and racked up 66 kills.
Geidel was one of three V-Hawks to record 10 or more kills, as she was accompanied by freshmen Miah Garant (15) and Maya Roberts (13). Amelia Grahn, the program’s all-time assist leader, tallied 58 assists for the V-Hawks.
The V-Hawks are back at home tonight against NSAA foe Dakota State University at 7 p.m. and Saturday against Presentation College at 2 p.m.
WALL OF FAME
UW-L releases 7 inductees
UW-La Crosse will add seven inductees to its Wall of fame on Sunday, Oct. 22.
Jason Gonnion (football), Bill Hehli (tennis), Bob Hehli (tennis), Julia Rudd Webb (cross country, track and field), Mike Schnur (track and field), Nina Schubert (gymnastics) and Joe Werner (basketball) will be honored at halftime of the Oct. 21 football game against UW-Oshkosh and again at a brunch at the Student Union on Sunday.
Bradford returns to practice, could start Monday
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford returned to practice Thursday and coach Mike Zimmer didn’t rule out that he could play Monday at Chicago.
“If he’s ready to play, he’ll play,” Zimmer said.
Bradford, who has missed the past three games with a knee injury, returned to practice for the first time since Sept. 21 on Thursday. If he can’t play Monday, backup Case Keenum will start at quarterback for the fourth straight game.
“That’s my mindset is I’m going to start,” Keenum said. “Whether I am or not, that’s how I prepare, so that doesn’t change whatever week it is, whoever we’re playing and whenever we’re playing.”
The Vikings have gone 1-2 in Bradford’s absence. They are coming off a 14-7 loss to Detroit last Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Safety Andrew Sendejo and defensive tackle Shamar Stephen missed practice for undisclosed reasons. Tackle Rashod Hill was on hand but sat out with because of a knee injury.
VIKINGS ADD RIDLEY: The Vikings have signed veteran running back Stevan Ridley to replace injured rookie Dalvin Cook. The Vikings placed Cook on injured reserve and added Ridley to the roster Thursday. Cook tore the ACL in his left knee Sunday, cutting short a promising first season in the NFL.
Ridley was a third-round draft pick by New England out of LSU in 2011. He has 2,914 career yards on 688 carries for three teams. He rushed for 1,263 yards and 12 touchdowns for the Patriots in 2012 but has bounced around the league the last two years. Ridley was in training camp with Denver this year but released during the final cuts before the regular season.
He’ll complement Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon in the Vikings’ backfield.
WASHINGTON — The NFL is looking into a situation Monday night at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City during which Washington Redskins wide receiver Terrelle Pryor says he was called racist names and cursed at by a fan.
Pryor posted on Instagram story on Wednesday that it got so bad during the game against the Chiefs that a league employee had to stand by him from the second quarter on. Pryor apologized to teammates and the organization for “flicking the person off.”
NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart said the league is looking into “all aspects” of Pryor’s claim and will report back when the review is complete. Lockhart added that the league has “no tolerance for racial remarks directed at anyone in a stadium” and said those fans are not welcome to come back “this week, next week or any time.”
On Instagram, Pryor says the comments are the reason players are kneeling during the national anthem. He says he didn’t kneel because he and his teammates decided to stand together.
HOUSTON — Jose Altuve hit three home runs as Houston beat Boston 8-2 in Game 1 of the AL Division Series late Thursday night. Altuve connected twice off Red Sox ace Chris Sale and then against reliever Austin Maddox at Minute Maid Park. All three were solo shots. Altuve led the majors in batting this year. He is listed at just 5-foot-6.
It was the 10th time that a player had homered three times in a postseason game. Babe Ruth did it twice.
Pablo Sandoval was the last player to hit three homers in a postseason game, doing it for San Francisco in the 2012 World Series opener against Detroit.
WASHINGTON — Stephen Strasburg will start Game 1 of the NL Division Series for the Washington Nationals against the Chicago Cubs tonight.
Manager Dusty Baker named Strasburg his Game 1 starter before his team’s workout Thursday. He says the Nationals haven’t decided about Games 2 or 3.
Baker says the decision hinges on the status of former La Crosse Logger Max Scherzer, who has been dealing with a hamstring injury. Scherzer threw on flat ground in the outfield for almost 15 minutes Wednesday, and Baker says the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner is set to throw a bullpen session later in the day.
Baker knows that going with Scherzer in Game 2 would allow him to come back for a potential Game 5 on full rest but says “the health of Max is No. 1.” Left-hander Gio Gonzalez is the other logical choice for Game 2.
The Cubs on Wednesday named Kyle Hendricks their Game 1 starter and said it’ll be Jon Lester in Game 2, Jose Quintana in Game 3 and Jake Arrieta in Game 4.
There is a lot of racing scheduled to happen at the La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway over the next few days, but the fast-paced action doesn’t stop there.
Chuck Deery, the general manager at the Fairgrounds Speedway since 1987, and his staff have been preparing for the 48th version of the Oktoberfest Race Weekend for a year, and pulling off the Midwest’s biggest short-track racing event is a monumental challenge.
Weather, as in rain, can disrupt and drastically change even the best of plans. And that is exactly what happened Thursday night as qualifying for six divisions, including the Super Late Model, Late Model and Sportsmen, took place. Then the rain came. Heavy rain followed by lighter but persistent showers. After waiting nearly four hours, the Thursday night program was canceled around 9 p.m.
“The biggest challenge is the weather. The best way I can describe it is if I was a retailer and somebody decides to cancel Christmas because of the weather,” Deery said. “It changes everything.
“The four weeks prior to the event involve intense planning and making sure everything that is scheduled to be here, is here.
“Once it’s here, there are too many moving parts to look at in more than 6-hour segments. Whatever project or challenge needs to be accomplished in that six hours, you take care of. That you move on to the next six hours.”
Those six-hour segments turned into six-minute segments of watching the weather radar from various internet sources, media sources and every other source possible Thursday afternoon and night. It all showed the same thing — steady, then lighter, then heavier, rain. That forced track officials, including Deery and Motorsports Management Services president Gregg McKarns, into some difficult decisions. Wait and hope? Cancel Thursday night’s action? Attempt to move some of the races to an already jam-packed schedule?
After drying the track and rolling the Sportsmen Division drivers onto the track around 9 p.m., it rained again. This time, Deery and McKarns waived the white flag, canceling the first night’s action.
“There is nothing easy about rain delays and this type of weather for outdoor events that requires drying time,” Deery said about 8:30 p.m. Thursday. “It is a disappointment for the fans and the competitors because they had such high expectations on what could have happened, or could still happen. It is not what we planned, but we are going to try and make the best of it.”
Track officials had dried the track and were attempting to run several preliminary feature races before Thursday night’s the big event, which was the 40-lap, track championship deciding 40-late Late Model feature race. That race, or any feature race, never happened.
With more than 500 cars expected to hit the track in 18 different divisions — weather permitting — there are considerable challenges associated with getting the right cars ready to race (staging), then making certain those cars fall within the rules for that particular class.
That’s only a part of it, Deery said.
“There is the racing side of things, the camping side of things, the after-race parties, the camping activities, the memorabilia show, the racers’ reunion. It is a weekend of 10,000 details. It tell people it is like putting on 15 weddings in one weekend.”
It takes a combined 200 workers and volunteers to pull off the event, compared to about 50 on a regular Saturday night of racing. Despite the tremendous workload, Deery still gets great satisfaction of seeing thousands of race fans turn out each year. Many of them have been coming year after year.
“There are a lot of people rooting for this event. People just like the event, and as I have said many times, it’s a racing reunion for drivers, fans and those who follow racing,” Deery said.
“It is nice to host this event as we have the facility to race a number of different divisions, we have room for camping and it’s a beautiful part of the country.”
MAJESKI STAYS HOT: Ty Majeski, a developmental driver for Roush Fenway Racing, had an Oktoberfest to remember in 2016, winning the Oktoberfest 200 and the JMcK 63 and nearly pulling off a trifecta with the Dick Trickle 99 within grasp before he was disqualified in the first of the three segments. He has carried that momentum into the 2017 Oktoberfest Race Weekend, as he turned in the fastest qualifying time in the Super Late Model Division (18.694 seconds, 120.359 mph) Thursday night before the rain hit.
Majeski’s time edged out Bangor native Skylar Holzhausen, whose time of 18.807 seconds (119.636 mph) was the second fastest in the 35-car field.
LATE MODEL QUALIFYING: Majeski jumped from race car to another Thursday afternoon, and proved once again he is the driver to beat. The Seymour, Wis., driver, who runs a limited regular season schedule at the La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway, topped the 27-driver Late Model field with a qualifying lap of 19.800 seconds, or an average speed of 113.636 mph around the five-eighth’s mile track.
Points leader Nick Panitzke of Lonsdale, Minn., was second with a time of 19.900 seconds (113.065 mph), while former track champion Brad Powell was third (19.904 seconds, 113.043 mph). Steve Carlson, the West Salem driver who entered the night 11 points behind Panitzke in the chase for a track championship, qualified seventh (20.031 seconds, 112.326 mph). That meant Panitzke gained four points over Carlson in qualifying, pushing his lead to 15 points entering the feature race.
A decision on what will happen with the 40-lap Late Model feature was not available as of Tribune press time.
RESCHEDULING: With more rain forecast today, Deery and his team were already thinking of what, and how, to make the best of the situation.
“We will try and do the best we can with rescheduling some of the divisions,” Deery said. “But typically when you reschedule a division, it creates problems for that division because competitors are not expecting to compete on a (different) day and may have other commitments.
“It is not just ‘go ahead and move it,’ as there are a lot of other factors that go into making it happen.”