Alumni Notebook: Lions claim NU grad Havner after Packers cut him |

Alumni Notebook: Lions claim NU grad Havner after Packers cut him

Mere hours after the Green Bay Packers cut 2001Nevada Union graduate Spencer Havner on Sunday, the Detroit Lions claimed him, according to a story in The Detroit News.

Havner, who played tight end, linebacker and special teams for the Packers last year, did not immediately return a call for comment. A National Football League source confirmed the signing, according to The Detroit News.

The 27 year old saw his most significant NFL game action yet last season, stepping up to replace injured tight end Jermichael Finley.

Havner scored four touchdowns with seven receptions for 112 yards as a tight end for the Packers, but also saw action returning kicks and on defense. He returned two kicks for 26 yards and on defense, had 19 tackles, 16 solo.

Numerous accolades were bestowed on Havner at UCLA including being named a semifinalist for the Dick Butkus and Vince Lombardi awards. The Butkus award is given to America’s top collegiate linebacker and the Lombardi award is for the best lineman or linebacker in the game.

When he graduated, he was ranked third on the UCLA career list for both tackles and tackles for a loss.

Now, it appears Havner will have an opportunity to use his versatility to try to help lift the Lions from last season’s NFC North cellar.


Josh Roenicke (Nevada Union, ’01); Toronto Blue Jays – The flame-throwing reliever was called up Sunday from Triple-A to the big league Blue Jays and threw an inning of relief, striking out one. The Blue Jays downed the Yankees 7-3 in that game.

This is Roenicke’s second time up with the Blue Jays this season. He’s spent most of the summer pitching for the Las Vegas 51s.

Roenicke is 1-0 with 11 walks, 13 strikeouts and a 4.61 ERA in 13 2/3 innings for Toronto. He’s posted a 9-1 record with 25 walks, 54 strike outs and a 3.64 ERA in 59 1/3 innings for Las Vegas.

When the 51s visited the Sacramento River Cats last month, Roenicke told The Union that Blue Jays management wanted him to cut down on his walks allowed in order to be considered for another call up.

Pete Ruiz (Nevada Union, ’05); Greenville Drive – Ruiz got the win, striking out five and walking one in a five inning outing last Sunday agains the Asheville Tourists.

The Aug. 29 win is likely the final appearance of the regular season for Ruiz, as he was listed Sunday on the 7-day disabled list. Greenville’s regular season ends today with a game against Hickory.

Ruiz is 10-8 with 109 strike outs, 23 walks and a 4.19 ERA in 124 2/3 innings.

Before Sunday’s night game, the Drive were leading the second half standings by 1 1/2 over the Tourists.

Robby Alcombrack (Bear River, ’06); Chico Outlaws – Alcombrack continued to swing a hot bat this past week, knocking a homer and a double among his three hits and two RBI game Thursday against the Calgary Vipers.

He’s now hitting .309 with 10 homers and 29 RBI in 136 at bats.

The Outlaws are part of the independent Golden Baseball League.

Jason Roenicke (Nevada Union, ’04); Evansville Otters – Roenicke was touched up for a run on three hits in an inning Friday against the River City Rascals. The Otters lost the game 8-3.

Roenicke is 3-3, with 32 strike outs, 16 walks and a 4.83 ERA in 69 innings.

The Otters play in the independent Frontier League.

Matt Miraldi (Bear River, ’06); Gateway Grizzlies – The Bear River graduate saw little action this past week, going 0-for-1 in a 14-4 win over the Southern Illinois Miners last Sunday.

He’s hitting .228 with no homers and three RBI in 57 at bats.


Zach Masch (Nevada Union, ’07) University of Hawaii – Masch had one tackle in Thursday’s 49-36 loss to USC.

Hawaii’s next game is against Army at 9 a.m. Saturday.

Andrew Jackson (Nevada Union, 0?) Fresno State University – Jackson’s Bulldogs downed the Cincinnati Bearcats 28-14 Saturday.

Jackson and his fellow offensive lineman kept Cincinnati at bay, allowing quarterback Ryan Colburn to throw for 247 yards in the victory.

Last month, Jackson was named to the Outland Trophy Watch List by the Football Writers Association of America. The Outland Trophy is awarded to college football’s best interior lineman.

Have we missed anyone? If you know of a college/professional athlete with local ties, please contact Brian Hamilton via e-mail at or by phone at 477-4240.

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