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Sports briefs for March 29, 2013

By BDN Staff and Wire Reports, Special to the BDN

Portland women schedule April 6 rugby game

PORTLAND, Maine — The Portland Women’s Rugby Football Club will play its first spring home game at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 6 against the Middlesex team of Massachusetts at the Fox Street Field.

The Portland team practices Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6-8 p.m.

Registration open for Washington County Special Olympics

MACHIAS, Maine – Special Olympians from throughout the region are invited to register for the Washington County Special Olympics Spring Games to be held Thursday, May 9, at the University of Maine at Machias. A rain date is set for the next day.

This year’s event will include a softball throw, standing long jump, 25-, 50-, 100-, and 200-meter dashes, and indoor wheelchair races. There will also be recreational activities and games for athletes to enjoy between events and during the after party with food, music, and fun.

Special Olympians interested in participating in the spring games should visit the state web site at www.specialolympicsmaine.org, click on “News and Info,” and download the participant registration forms. They can also contact Scribner at 255-1228.

Those interested in volunteering or contributing to this year’s event are also encouraged to contact Scribner at 255-1228 or the Special Olympics Maine office in South Portland at 879-0489.

Former 49er Harris admits he’s gay

Former San Francisco 49ers offensive tackle Kwame Harris acknowledged that he is gay in an interview with CNN.

Harris’ sexual orientation came to light in January when a report surfaced of an alleged altercation between Harris and a former boyfriend.

He now wishes he would have been more open about being gay while he was playing in the NFL. The 49ers’ 2003 first-round draft pick left football after the 2008 season.

“I want people, whether gay athletes, athletes still in the closet, or youths who are not sure what their sexuality is to know those are common feelings,” Harris told CNN. “Don’t feel alone in having them.”

Harris encouraged athletes to express themselves but said the locker rook can be a difficult place to do so. He kept his feelings hidden because he feared the reaction.

Posey lands $167 million extension from Giants

The San Francisco Giants signed catcher Buster Posey to a nine-year, $167 million contract extension Friday that runs through the 2021 season.

The deal, which includes a no-trade clause, is the largest guaranteed contract in history for a player with three or fewer years in the major leagues and the longest in Giants history. The guaranteed money also is a record for a pleyer with fewer than four years of service, topping Todd Helton’s $151 million deal with the Colorado Rockies.

The 26-year-old Posey, who also plays first base, signed a one-year, $8 million contract before the season. With the extension, he’ll now get a $7 million signing bonus, $10.5 million in 2014, $16.5 million in 2015, $20 million in 2016, and $21.4 million each from from 2017 to 2021.The final year of the contract includes a $22 million salary or a $3 million buyout.

Posey won the 2012 National League Most Valuable Player last year and the NL Rookie of the Year award in 2010.

Romo agrees to 6-year, $108M extension

Quarterback Tony Romo agreed to a six-year, $108 million extension with the Dallas Cowboys. Combined with the $11.5 million Romo is due in 2013, he is now under contract for the next seven years at a total of $119.5 million.

The extension includes $55 million in guaranteed money, according to multiple reports.

Despite passing for 4,903 yards and 28 touchdowns last season, Romo was intercepted an NFL-high 19 times and the Cowboys fell short of the playoffs. The knock against him continues to be his lack of postseason success, but Romo continues to receive strong support from Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who made a long-term extension a priority this offseason.

The Cowboys submitted their first proposal last week, and Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones had been negotiating this week with one of Romo’s agents, R.J. Gonser of CAA.

One of the goals of the extension was to provide some flexibility for the Cowboys, who have very little room under the salary cap. Romo, 33, had been scheduled to count $16.8 million against the 2013 cap.

Stevens to remain as Butler coach

Brad Stevens, considered UCLA’s top target for their men’s basketball head coach vacancy, will stay at Butler, according to an ESPN report Friday.

Since Stevens led Butler to back-to-back national championship game appearances in 2010 and 2011, his name has appeared prominently the past two years in coaching searches by major programs. But the Indiana native has steadfastly refused to leave, saying he loves coaching in his home state, and apparently has done so again with UCLA.

He told ESPN earlier that he wouldn’t speculate on his status but said in a text message,

“I’m the coach at Butler.”

On Friday morning, Stevens tweeted, “Love walking thru Hinkle [Fieldhouse] in the morning… Anxious to get started on our spring workouts next week.”

After Stevens emerged on the national radar two years ago for such jobs as Oregon and Clemson, he signed a contract extension at Butler through the 2021-22 season at approximately $1 million per season. He also turned down Illinois last year after Bruce Weber was let go.

Mets’ Wright appears set for opening day

All signs point to New York Mets third baseman David Wright being ready for opening day.

Wright, who had been sidelined with a strained rib-cage muscle, played five innings at third base on Thursday in a minor-league game and went 0 for 4 with two walks. He was expected to play Friday in a Grapefruit League game with the Mets.

Wright suffered the injury on March 14 while taking batting practice with Team USA in preparation for the World Baseball Classic and there were questions about whether he would recover in time to start the regular season. But the Mets’ willingness to put him in the lineup before spring training ends indicates the team has no plans to place him on the disabled list.

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