Sports briefs for May 9, 2013

Posted May 09, 2013, at 5:51 p.m.

Union Street Golf Range opens

BANGOR, Maine — Union Street Golf Range, which is located beside the Airport Mall, has opened for the season.

The facility has 22 golfing stations. Those seeking more info may call 631-9555.

Patriots sign wide receiver Hawkins

Free agent wide receiver Lavelle Hawkins has signed a two-year deal with the New England Patriots, according to The Tennessean.

Hawkins, who was released last week after five years with the Tennessee Titans, has 71 career receptions for 771 yards and a touchdown in 52 games.

He played just seven games last season because of an ankle injury, and had five catches for 62 yards. The 26-year-old also has experience on special teams, returning seven kickoffs in 2012.

With 11 other receivers in New England, Hawkins isn’t guaranteed a roster spot with the Patriots.

Wizards’ Collins to receive courage award

Washington Wizards center Jason Collins will receive the courage award from the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network for his decision to announce his sexual orientation.

Collins announced he was gay in a May 6 Sports Illustrated cover story — becoming the first openly active gay athlete in any of the four major sports. He has received support from fellow NBA players, including NBA commissioner David Stern.

He will be presented with the honor at a May 20 awards dinner.

“We are incredibly proud to honor Jason Collins with our Courage Award,” Dr. Eliza Byard, GLSEN’s Executive Director, said in a statement. “His decision to come out is a game-changer for sports and will have a profound impact on the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth, particularly those who participate in or want to participate in athletics.”

Federer upset by Nishikori in Madrid third round

MADRID — Defending champion Roger Federer became the second high-profile casualty at the Madrid Open when he was beaten 6-4 1-6 6-2 by Japanese 14th seed Kei Nishikori in the third round on Thursday.

The Swiss second seed’s surprise reverse follows Tuesday’s shock defeat for world number one Novak Djokovic to unseeded Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov.

Federer, 31, was playing his first tournament since taking a break following his loss against Rafa Nadal at the Indian Wells Masters in March.

It was the 23-year-old Nishikori’s biggest win since he beat Serb Djokovic in the semi-finals in Basel in 2011.

Crosby, Ovechkin, St. Louis named Lindsay Award finalists

Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby, Washington Capitals right wing Alex Ovechkin and Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Martin St. Louis are finalists for the 2012-13 Ted Lindsay Award, given annually to the NHL’s “Most Outstanding Player.”

The Ted Lindsay Award is the only one voted on by players, with the recipient to be announced during the Stanley Cup Final. Crosby, Ovechkin and St. Louis have combined to earn six of the previous nine awards.

Crosby appeared in 36 regular-season games for the Penguins, and helped the team to first place in the Eastern Conference. He tied for third in the NHL with 56 points.

Ovechkin skated in all 48 games for the Southeast Division-winning Capitals. He led the league with 32 goals.

St. Louis also played in all 48 games for Tampa Bay, and led the league with 60 points.

Geno Smith might align with Jay-Z

Jay-Z’s Roc Nation agency has become a heavy hitter in the New York market and could be close to adding a quarterback to a budding portfolio.

New York Jets rookie quarterback Geno Smith heard Roc Nation’s pitch for representation and is considering Jay-Z’s sports and marketing agency, which also fronts for Yankees’ second baseman Robinson Cano and Giants’ wide receiver Victor Cruz.

Smith terminated an agreement with Select Sports Group within days of his 2013 draft fall. He was anticipating being a first-round pick but the West Virginia senior dropped to 39th overall, where he was selected by the Jets to compete with Mark Sanchez, David Garrard and Greg McElroy in training camp.

Roc Nation is a marketing-focused arm teaming with CAA Football. Jay-Z owns Roc Nation but is not an NFLPA certified agent and therefore isn’t allowed to recruit or be a primary contact person for the combined agency.

Based on the rookie contract slotting system, Smith is eligible for a four-year contract and a signing bonus of $2.030 million.

Bears sign linebacker Bostic

Chicago Bears’ second-round pick Jonathan Bostic agreed to a four-year contract Thursday.

Bostic is a candidate to fill the void at linebacker created when the franchise decided to break off contract talks with veteran mainstay Brian Urlacher.

Bostic and former Denver Broncos’ inside linebacker D.J. Williams are the primary competitors to start at middle linebacker in 2013.

The 50th overall pick in the 2013 draft, Bostic is the fifth of the Bears’ six draft choices to agree to contract terms.

He had 237 tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss, eight sacks and five interceptions at Florida.

Cowboys’ safety Sensabaugh retires

Free agent safety Gerald Sensabaugh signed a one-day contract with Dallas on Thursday, so he can retire as a member of the Cowboys.

Sensabaugh, who turns 30 in June, ends an eight-year NFL career spent evenly with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Cowboys. He was a fifth-round pick in the 2005 draft by Jacksonville.

He spent the past four years in Dallas, and signed a five-year extension in 2011 season worth $22.5 million. He was waived after the 2012 campaign, saving the Cowboys about $1.5 million against the salary cap.

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