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SALEM, Ore. Brazil Blank Jerseys . -- Conner Mertens didnt want to pretend anymore -- especially with his teammates. So the redshirt freshman kicker at Division III Willamette announced Tuesday that hes bisexual. "It got to a point where I just got tired of it, trying to hide who I was and trying to pretend I was something I was not," he said. Mertens, 19, announced his sexual orientation to his teammates during a meeting on Monday. A story about him appeared on Outsports.com on Tuesday. Speaking on campus later in the afternoon, Mertens said he hopes his announcement helps dispel the stereotypes and stigmas associated with bisexual athletes -- and in turn let other LGBT athletes know they are not alone. "You can be real and you can be yourself," Mertens said. "That only starts when you can love yourself and let others love you. Thats kind of where I was going with this." Bearcats coach Glen Fowles said the players were overwhelmingly supportive of his decision. "Its been great to see the way our guys have rallied around," Fowles said. "For our guys, Conner is just a kicker." Team captain and junior inside linebacker Jack Nelson said: "It wasnt a big deal and we were glad he felt comfortable to tell us." While several LGBT athletes have come out, including former NBA player Jason Collins, WNBA star Brittney Griner and Major League Soccer player Robbie Rogers, its believed that Mertens is the first active college football player at any level to publicly announce his bisexuality. Willamette issued a statement supporting Mertens decision, saying the university "respects his contribution to a more humane and just world." Fowles joked about how Mertens first approached him: "He says, Coach, Im really going to utilize this open door policy." Mertens, who told his family just after Christmas, said he was humbled by the response. "It sounds corny, but I legitimately feel theres a weight off my shoulders. Its tiring to pretend your something else for 24-7, for 18 or 19 years of your life," he said. "So finally to be able to joke about it, to be honest about it, not have to put on this mask, Im finally able to take a deep breath." The Bearcats play in the Northwest Conference. The team went 7-2 overall last season and finished third in the league at 4-2. Mertens did not play his freshman season because he hurt his left knee while playing soccer. He will compete with two other kickers on the Bearcats roster. Marquinhos Jersey .K. Subban has picked the right time of the year to go on an offensive tear. Cassio Brazil Jersey . Future Hall of Famer Ricky Ray is in his prime and back for a third season in double blue. The 34-year old was magnificent in 2013, throwing for just under 2,900 yards despite missing eight games, tossing an impressive 21 touchdowns against just two interceptions, completing 66 per cent of his passes in the process.DETROIT -- Zach McAllister gave up lots of runs in the middle innings last season. This year? So far, so good. McAllister allowed a run and four hits in six innings and Yan Gomes hit a two-run double in the Cleveland Indians 3-2 win over the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday night. McAllister (2-0) walked two and struck out four. "He used his fastball well early in the game," Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. "It was a great effort. He kept us off the field." The Tigers had runners on first and second with one out in the fourth, but McAllister got Nick Castellanos on a flyball that centre fielder Michael Bourn ran down in deep right-centre and then elevated a fastball to strike out Alex Avila swinging on a 3-2 pitch to end the inning. "That was a big inning for me," McAllister said. "The middle innings was where I couldnt get out of trouble last season." John Axford pitched the ninth for his fifth save for Cleveland, which had lost 18 of its previous 23 against Detroit. Axford got out of a jam with a runner on third to seal the win. Avila doubled and went to third on Bourns error with one out. Axford then struck out pinch-hitter Don Kelly and got Rajai Davis on a groundout to end the game. Brian Shaw pitched a scoreless seventh, but Cody Allen gave up an unearned run in the eighth when Francona called for a replay review on the play at first base on a bunt single by Detroits Ian Kinsler and the safe call was upheld. That put runners on first and second with no outs. Torii Hunter grounded into a double play -- after not being able to get a sacrifice bunt down -- and Miguel Cabrera singled to make it 3-2. Victtor Martinez followed with a single, but Allen fanned Austin Jackson to end the inning. Casemiro Brazil Jersey. Miguel Cabrera drove in both runs for the Tigers. Detroit starter Anibal Sanchez (0-1) gave up three runs -- two earned -- and two hits in five innings, walking four and striking out eight. "The cold was just incredible. Ive never pitched in this kind of weather in my life," Sanchez said. "Even in Minnesota, it has always been in the 40s, and today it was more like 30. In the first inning, I never got warm. "After that, I got a little better and I was able to get ahead of the hitters." Gomes gave the Indians a 3-1 lead in the second with his triple that scored Asdrubal Cabrera, who reached on an error by Cabrera at first, and David Murphy, who walked. NOTES: All players on both teams wore No. 42 in observance of "Jackie Robinson Day." Tuesday was the official celebration around the majors, but the game between Detroit and Cleveland was postponed due to inclement weather. It was 42 degrees when the game began Wednesday night. ... Bourn made his season debut after missing the first 13 games with a left hamstring strain he suffered during spring training. Bourn came off the disabled list Tuesday. He was 0 for 4 with a walk and a run scored. ... Due to early season postponements, Detroit LHP Drew Smyly -- the Tigers fifth starter -- has yet to start a game. He has made two relief appearances and hasnt allowed a run in six innings. Smyly is scheduled to make his first start Friday. ... Thursday afternoons scheduled starters are RHPs Justin Verlander (1-1, 2.57 ERA) for the Tigers and Danny Salazer (0-1, 6.75) for the Indians. Cheap Jerseys 2020 Discount Jerseys NFL Jerseys Cheap Discount NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys Wholesale Wholesale Throwback Jerseys Discount NFL Jerseys ' ' '