Digest: Calvert Hall alum Bender is NSCAA D-III Player of the Year

Messiah College senior midfielder Jacob Bender (Calvert Hall) was named the NCAA Division III National Player of the Year by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America on Wednesday.

Bender, who finished with a team-best 34 points on 13 goals and eight assists as the Falcons' holding central midfielder, was honored earlier during the postseason as a first-team All-American, a member of the All-Mid-Atlantic Region first team and the MAC Commonwealth Offensive Player of the Year.


Football: Towson redshirt freshman kick returner Shane Simpson and senior punter Jake Ryder were named to the STATS Football Championship Subdivision All-America third team.

Men's basketball: Jimmy "Jumpshot" Smith (Northern), a 1976 Loyola College graduate, will sign copies of his book, "Running with the Greyhounds," on Friday at Reitz Arena when now-Loyola Maryland hosts UMass-Lowell in its final nonconference game of the regular season. Smith's book chronicles the program from its infancy through the early 1980s, when the Greyhounds moved to Division I. Smith is No. 5 on Loyola's all-time rebounding list with 749 and holds the single-game record for blocked shots with 11.


Academics: UMBC swimmer Carly Deeter, cross country runner and track and field distance runner Patrick Duboyce and soccer goalkeeper Billy Heavner were among five America East December graduates to be named presidential scholar-athletes.

Junior colleges: The Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference named CCBC-Essex's Joe Fiedler and Frederick Community College's John LaRocca (men's soccer), Montgomery College's Phillip Nana (women's soccer), College of Southern Maryland's Ashley Wolfe and Hagerstown CC's Beth Domenico (volleyball), Howard CC's Steve Musselman (men's cross country) and Anne Arundel CC's Jim Griffiths (women's cross country) as its fall Coaches of the Year.


Bears decide not to activate Fuller from IR

The Chicago Bears decided not to activate cornerback Kyle Fuller (Mount Saint Joseph) from injured reserve by Wednesday's deadline, ending his season before it began. A first-round draft pick in 2014, Fuller had arthroscopic knee surgery in the preseason and went on injured reserve in late September. He says he still feels pain and expected a quicker recovery. The Bears had a 21-day practice window to evaluate him. Fuller says he believes he is in the team's plans for next season, though he hasn't gotten any indications from general manager Ryan Pace. He also responded "yes" when asked whether he wants to remain in Chicago. Fuller was drafted by former general manager Phil Emery for a 4-3 defense. The Bears use a 3-4.

Et cetera

Wizards' Mahinmi to miss at least six more weeks

The Washington Wizards will be without center Ian Mahinmi for at least six more weeks. The Wizards announced Tuesday that Mahinmi, who has remained in Washington during the team's three-game road trip, will undergo platelet-rich plasma treatment on both his ailing knees, extending his time out of action. The treatment will take place at the Andrews Institute for Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Pensacola, Fla. Mahinmi has played just 14 minutes since joining the Wizards. The 30-year-old signed during free agency for four years and $64 million. He had surgery to repair a torn medial meniscus in his left knee in October but then developed soreness in the right knee after completing six weeks of rehabilitation from the procedure.


Bryan Flaherty and Candace Buckner,

The Washington Post

Major League Soccer: D.C. United will open their 2017 regular season at home against Sporting Kansas City on March 4 at 7 p.m. It is expected to be the team's last home opener at RFK Stadium before it moves to a new stadium in Buzzard Point. United's first road game will be March 12 at 2 p.m. against New York City FC at Yankee Stadium.

National Women's Soccer League: The Washington Spirit signed midfielder Havana Solaun to a one-year contract.