Sports Digest: Fitzpatrick Trophy banquet scheduled for March 6

HIGH SCHOOLS

The James J. Fitzpatrick Trophy, awarded annually to Maine’s top senior footballer, will be presented on Sunday, March 6.

The awards banquet has been postponed from its original date of Jan. 16 due to an increase in COVID-19 cases statewide.

The banquet will feature the three finalists, Bonny Eagle two-way lineman Thomas Horton, who won the Gaziano Offensive Lineman Award in January; quarterback Will Ledbetter, who led Windham to the Class B North championship; and quarterback Caden McDuffie, who led Cape Elizabeth to the school’s first state football championship and was named University of Maine Player of the Year.

The Fitzpatrick Trophy dinner will begin at noon at the Holiday Inn by the Bay in Portland.

TENNIS

DUBAI CHAMPIONSHIPS: Novak Djokovic will fall from No. 1 in the ATP rankings and be replaced by Daniil Medvedev after losing 6-4, 7-6(4) to Czech qualifier Jiri Vesely in the quarter-finals.

Djokovic’s last stint at the top of the charts began on February 3, 2020, and his total of 361 weeks is the most for a man since the tour’s computerized charts began in 1973.

On Monday, Medvedev will drop from No. 2 for the first time and become the 27th man to reach No. 1. He won the US Open last September and has been a runner-up at the Australian Open for the past two years.

Medvedev is the first man other than Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal or Andy Murray to be No. 1 since February 1, 2004.

MENTAL HEALTH: Nick Kyrgios says he’s had ‘suicidal thoughts’ and dealt with depression and drug and alcohol abuse in the past, the latest in a string of top athletes to speak publicly and candidly about their mental health.

The 26-year-old Australian, who was ranked No. 13 in singles and recently won the Australian Open men’s doubles title, wrote in a post on his verified Instagram account that he is now ” proud to say that I “I have completely transformed myself and have a completely different outlook on everything.

MEXICO OPEN: Alexander Zverev has been fined $40,000 by the men’s professional tennis circuit and will lose over $30,000 in prize money and all Mexican Open ranking points after hitting the position of the chair umpire with his racquet following a loss in doubles.

In addition to these sanctions, the ATP announced that it would undertake “a further examination of the incident”.

The 24-year-old German was expelled from the tournament after he shouted at and insulted official Alessandro Germani and violently kicked the referee’s chair no less than four times.

SOCCER

NFL: Former Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Pace has accepted a senior position with the Atlanta Falcons’ scouting team.

Pace reunites with Falcons general manager Terry Fontenot. The two previously worked together in New Orleans.

Pace was fired by the Bears on Jan. 10 after seven seasons as general manager. His exit came with the dismissal of coach Matt Nagy after going 6-11 in 2021.

• Buffalo Bills linebackers coach Bob Babich has retired and is replaced by his son, Bobby.

SOCCER

PUNISHMENT: FIFA has suspended Zimbabwe and Kenya from international competitions for government interference in the management of their national football bodies.

Zimbabwe was banned after its government’s sports and recreation commission refused to relinquish control of the Football Association of Zimbabwe and restore the leadership of the federation.

ZIFA officials were removed from their posts in November over allegations of corruption.

Kenya was banned after its sports ministry also sacked the leaders of the football federation and accused them of corruption. Kenyan football president Nick Mwendwa faces criminal charges.

BRAZIL: Brazilian footballers from the two biggest Ukrainian clubs have appealed to the Brazilian government, saying they are trapped by the Russian military attack on Ukraine.

A group of Shakhtar Donetsk and Dynamo Kyiv players posted a video with their families from a hotel where they appealed for support from Brazilian authorities, joined by Dynamo’s Uruguayan player Carlos de Pena. They said borders were closed and fuel supplies had run out.

“We are really desperate. We are going through chaos,” Shakhtar defender Marlon Santos wrote on Instagram. “We have the support of our club. But desperation is agonizing. We expect the support of our country. We speak on behalf of all Brazilians in Ukraine.

ROAD RACING

NEW YORK MARATHON: The New York City Marathon on November 6 will return to full capacity with 50,000 runners this year after the race was canceled in 2020 and limited last fall due to the coronavirus.

After the 2019 New York City Marathon set a world record with 53,627 finishers, the 2020 race was canceled in June as the city faced a public health crisis created by COVID-19.

The marathon returned for its 50th edition in November with a shrunken field of 25,010 runners, all of whom had to present proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours of the race.

CAR RACE

FORMULA ONE: Four-time champion Sebastian Vettel has said he will not race the Russian Grand Prix in September after Russia launched a full-scale attack on Ukraine.

F1 said in a statement that it was “closely monitoring very fluid developments”, but had no further comment on the cancellation of the Sochi race.


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