SALEM, Ore. NCAA Jerseys Outlet . -- 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. Fake NCAA Jerseys .J. -- The New York Jets have promoted Tony Sparano Jr. Custom NCAA Jerseys . That time around, the cage is as much a part of baseballs daily routine as a beer and a hotdog is to a fan in the stands. Coaches, scouts, broadcasters and other media hover, tossing verbal barbs, telling stories and sharing laughs. Occasionally, especially in spring when the atmosphere is relatively laid back, the list of invited guests expands and on this day, Gibbons welcomed two men strongly influential in his life. https://www.chinajerseysncaa.us/ . -- Creighton apparently has Villanovas number.(SportsNetwork.com) - The Anaheim Ducks had a sizeable winning streak halted last time out and would love to do the same to the hosting Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night at Bell Centre. However, the Habs come in with a streaking offense and could get another emotional lift when longtime captain Saku Koivu is honored following the end of his 18-year career. Montreal returned home last week following a 1-3-0 road trip, but has won the first three of a five-game homestand, scoring 13 goals over that span while allowing just four. The Canadiens are on their longest winning streak since a season-high six-game run from Nov. 5-16, but they lost seven of 10 after that before starting their current homestand. Montreal extended its win streak with Tuesdays 4-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes, with Alex Galchenyuk posting his first career hat trick. Max Pacioretty picked up an assist on each goal as well. It feels great. My linemates made it easy for me. I had a lot of fun out there tonight, Galchenyuk said. We had good chemistry tonight. Brandon Prust added a goal and Carey Price made 25 saves. The Canadiens will try to keep their impressive offensive run going in front of Koivu, who spent the first 13 seasons of his NHL career with Montreal. He spent the bulk of that time as the clubs captain and totaled 191 goals and 450 assists in 792 games with the Habs, a time that included a courageous fight with non-Hodkins lymphoma in 2001-02. Koivu then spent his final five NHL seasons with the Ducks before retiring in September. He ended his career with 832 points in 1,124 games. In an attempt to cool off the Canadiens, the Ducks themselves will be aiming to rebound after hhaving a seven-game win streak halted with a 6-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, who scored four third-period goals. Cheap Basketball College Jerseys. Sami Vatanen and Ryan Kesler scored for the Ducks. I dont think we deserved to lose by that much, said Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano. I thought we had most of the play. We gave them easy goals at the end of the game, but we held most of the play. Frederik Andersen made his 19th straight start and allowed four goals on 20 shots before being pulled in the third period. Ilya Bryzgalov turned aside 5- of-7 shots in relief, making his first appearance of the season and beginning his second tenure with the club. It is unknown if Andersen will continue his streak of starts with a first- career appearance versus the Canadiens tonight or if Bryzgalov will make his first start of the campaign. Bryzgalov is 3-3-1 with a 3.15 goals against average and .876 save percentage in seven career meetings with the Habs. Bryzgalov: 3-3-1 with a 3.15 GAA and .876 save in seven vs Habs Price is 1-2-1 in five career games versus the Ducks, with four starts, posting a 3.02 GAA and .899 save percentage. Anaheim plays the fourth of a five-game road trip that ends on Friday in Ottawa and wont have forward Kyle Palmieri for the rest of the trip because of a shoulder injury suffered versus the Leafs. The Ducks recalled young forward Emerson Etem, a 2010 first round pick, from the minors and he skated with Kesler and Matt Beleskey at practice. Etem has two goals and four points in 21 games with Anaheim this season. Anaheim lost both of its games versus Montreal last season, with a setback on Oct. 24, 2013 snapping a three-game win streak at Bell Centre. ' ' '