Sign-stealing by MLB teams is becoming ever more sophisticated, and some clubs are responding by making their own signs from catchers to pitchers difficult to decipher. The Nationals took their countermeasures to an extreme in this year’s World Series vs. the Astros.Per The Washington Post, Nats coaches worked out a plan before the best-of-seven Fall Classic to keep Houston from, legally or otherwise, picking up signs and then relaying them to hitters. The product was a complex set of signals that were used for every pitch, not just with runners on second base. The main setup, as reported by the Post’s Barry Svrluga, who spoke to Nationals pitching coach Paul Menhart and reliever Sean Doolittle:First, each pitcher had to have his own set of signs, and catchers Yan Gomes and Kurt Suzuki had to be familiar with each one. So the staff printed out cards with the codes and had them laminated. The catchers could have them in their wristbands, a la an NFL quarterback with play calls strapped to his forearm, and the pitchers would have them in their caps. Each pitcher had five sets of signs, and they could change them from game to game — or even batter to batter, if necessary. Using the set labeled No. 2, but worried the Astros were catching on? The pitcher could signal to the catcher to move to set No. 3.The story also goes into detail about indicators and sequences of signs, things like “chase the two” (first sign after two fingers are shown) and “outs plus one.”FOSTER: I should have been clearer about sign-stealing”This is the way the game’s going to go now,” Menhart told Svrluga. “You’re going to have to have this. Sign-stealing has become quite an art.”The Post’s story was published one day after The Athletic published a story (subscription required) in which former Astros pitcher Mike Fiers claimed Houston stole signs with video and then relayed that information to hitters in 2017, the year the club won the World Series. MLB took measures in 2018 to prevent electronic thievery after allegations that the Astros, Red Sox and Yankees were stealing signs or spying on opponents. MLB is working with the Astros to investigate Fiers’ claims. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich reported Wednesday night (again, subscription required) that MLB will want to interview Astros manager A.J. Hinch, Red Sox manager Alex Cora and Mets manager Carlos Beltran about the alleged relay system. Cora was Hinch’s bench coach in 2017, and Beltran was on the roster as a player. Beltran has long been known as one of the game’s best “legal” sign-stealers.Beltran denied to The Athletic (and, earlier, to Joel Sherman of the New York Post) that the team used video to steal signs. Instead, he said, they did it the old-fashioned way: by studying the catcher from second base.”We took a lot of pride studying pitchers [on] the computer. That is the only technology that I use and understand,” Beltran said via text message, per The Athletic. “It was fun seeing guys get to the ballpark to look for little details.”
Four-team Playoff lives (for now)The Playoff committee will not hot have to deal with the Alabama debate. That won’t completely stop the eight-team playoff push, especially knowing at least one Power 5 conference champion — perhaps two — could be left out. The Oklahoma-Utah argument is more palatable knowing a one-loss Power 5 champion could get in while the other doesn’t. That wouldn’t be the case if a one-loss non-champion got in over both.Bama faces big questionsThe Crimson Tide likely will still make a New Year’s Day 6 Bowl, but this will be the first time Saban coaches a team in the Playoff era in what could be considered a “consolation game.” LSU and Auburn shredded Alabama’s defense, which could mean some shifting on the defensive staff. The truth is the Crimson Tide did not have a championship-caliber unit on that side of the ball.Tua Tagovailoa could also opt for the 2020 NFL Draft, and that creates an interesting quarterback controversy for next season (do you go with Mac Jones, four-star freshmen Taulia Tagovailoa and Paul Tyson or incoming five-star recruit Bryce Young?) Nick Saban will once again need to ask some tough questions in the offseason. No. 5 Alabama lost to No. 16 Auburn 48-45 in the Iron Bowl on Saturday, which clinched a virtual certainty for the first time in the College Football Playoff era:Nick Saban-led Alabama will not be one of the four final teams in the Playoff. It’s a loss that shakes up the entire Playoff picture heading into conference championship weekend. Here are the biggest impacts on the SEC and Playoff picture: MORE: Tigers win a wild one in Jordan-HarePac-12, Big 12 rejoiceAlabama’s loss eliminates the Tide from the Playoff, based on the standard that no two-loss team has made the Playoff.That opens the door for Utah in the Pac-12 and, potentially, the winner of the Big 12 championship between Oklahoma and Baylor. Now those teams won’t have to become entangled in a philosophical argument with the Crimson Tide. It also will create an interesting argument between those three one-loss teams. Would you take the winner of Oklahoma-Baylor or Utah for that final spot if LSU beats Georgia?SEC can still get two teamsIt’s just the two teams everyone envisioned. Georgia, despite a loss to South Carolina on Oct. 12, still controls its Playoff destiny. The Bulldogs can get in with a victory against LSU, and the Tigers likely would stay in the top four unless it is a total catastrophe in Atlanta.Those two teams have enough quality victories piled up to stave off the Pac-12 and Big 12 champion — if you’re Baylor, Oklahoma or Utah, you are rooting hard for LSU so the SEC becomes only a one-Playoff team league.
by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow â€” From the Kinsey Sadler concert, to the parade, to the Logan Mize concert, to the Bakers Bonanza, to the SSB Wheat Run – 2e have the pictures! Are you part of the 200 images of the 2015 Kansas Wheat Festival featured here?Here are eight of the 200 images we saw on Friday and Saturday. Sumner Newscow will have Wheat Festival results throughout the week. Follow us on Twitter. Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. There are no comments posted yet. Be the first one! Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments
England’s Josh Hill has created a new world record as the youngest ever winner of an Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) tournament.Current boys’ squad player Hill – aged just 15 – claimed a remarkable two-shot victory at today’s Al Ain Open in the United Arab Emirates.The MENA (Middle-East North Africa) Tour event was largely populated by professionals, but Hill carded an eight-under par final round 62 to put his name up in lights.Hill replaces Japan’s Ryo Ishikawa as the youngest ever player to win an official OWGR event.Ishikawa was aged 15 years and eight months when he won the Munsingwear Open KSB Cup in 2007.Dubai-based Hill was only 15 years, six months and 27 days old when he completed his stunning feat having started the final round three shots adrift of another Englishman, Harry Ellis.Understandably, Hill was shell-shocked at his victory. However, he also expressed a little regret at not marking the record-breaking occasion by posting a final round in the 50s.“I am actually a little disappointed with my finish because I missed so many opportunities coming in. I honestly could have broken 60 today,” said Hill who will be a key member of the boys’ squad for Home Internationals and European Championships in 2020.“I knew I needed a good start, and once I got it, I just kept hitting one good shot after the other.“I really don’t know what to say right now. I am shocked. If you had told me during the summer that I will be winning a MENA Tour title against professionals and become the youngest ever winner of an OWGR event, I would have laughed at the notion.“I guess hard work pays.”Hill’s victory comes just a few weeks after an another graduate of the England Golf set-up – Robin Williams – won on the MENA Tour as a professional.“I was struggling in the summer and then something changed in the last MENA Tour event at Yas Links,” added Hill who drained a birdie on the first hole of his round and never looked back.“That top-10 finish gave me a lot of confidence and I knew it in my heart that I would do well here in Al Ain because I have such a good history here. I just love this track.Ellis was magnanimous in defeat and praised his fellow Englishman for rewriting the record books.“All credit to Josh. He played an unbelievable round today.”Hill finished on 17-under par for his three rounds with a total of 193 at a course he clearly loves.The rising star has won the Al Ain Men’s Open for the last two years and also claimed victory in a Faldo Series event at the Al Ain Golf, Equestrian and Shooting Club.Photography credit: MENA Tour 23 Oct 2019 Hill’s historic MENA Tour win rewrites the record books
Facebook37Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Experience Olympia & BeyondNominations have flooded in from community members shining the light on local athletes and sports leaders in Thurston County. The 2018 Sports Awards, hosted by Thurston County’s Sports Commission, recognizes local athletes and game changers in our community.Seven award winners will be announced at the Sports Awards from 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. on June 19 at Indian Summer Golf & Country Club. The awards are emceed by local broadcasting personality Jon Jensen and guests will hear a special keynote from Marco Azurdia, executive director of the Northwest Athletic Conference. Representing some of the Northwest’s premier community colleges, Azurdia is a driver in bringing tournaments to the region. His success as a college basketball coach still fuels coaching techniques for teams around the state.“Sports and sports tourism are important to our local economy. We want to honor the athletes, coaches and leaders that give it their all to the sport they love. Recognizing our local athletes and sports contributors at not only the high school level, but the collegiate and recreational levels captures the breadth of talent in our region and the important role sports plays in our destination,” said Shauna Stewart, chief experience officer at Experience Olympia & Beyond.2018 Sports AwardsMen’s Sport Star of the Year (College) and Women’s Sport Star of the Year (College)Nominees must be a female or male athlete enrolled full-time at any time during the 2017-2018 school year in a Thurston County college or a native to Thurston County. Nominees must also have participated for a minimum of one year in at least one collegiate sport, exemplify strong leadership, dedication and sportsmanship with good school behavior.Men’s Sport Star of the Year (College) Nominees:Nolan Black, South Puget Sound Community College, BasketballLuke Chavez, Saint Martin’s University, BasketballIssa Hassan, The Evergreen State College, SoccerAubrey (AJ) Hodges, South Puget Sound Community College, BasketballBrandon Madsen, Saint Martin’s University, SoccerCade Otton, University of Washington, FootballWesley (Wes) Reynolds, South Puget Sound Community College, BasketballBrad Wallace, Western Washington University, BasketballWomen’s Sports Star of the Year (College) Nominees:Brianna Attwood, Bellevue College, SoftballDeanna Avalos, Saint Martin’s University, Track and FieldCheyenne Baird, The Evergreen State College, VolleyballJamie Connally, Centralia College, Women’s BasketballHaley Harn, South Puget Sound Community College, Volleyball and BasketballBoy’s Sport Star of the Year (High School) and Girl’s Sport Star of the Year (High School)Nominees must be a female or male athlete enrolled full-time in a Thurston County high school. Nominees must have participated for a minimum of one year in at least one high school sport, exemplify strong leadership, dedication and sportsmanship with good school behavior.Boy’s Sport Star of the Year (High School) Nominees:Michael Barnes, Timberline High School, Track and FootballCato Cannizzo, River Ridge High School, Cross Country, Track and SwimmingIbi Ceesay, Pope John Paul II, Basketball and FootballAlex Wright, Olympia High School, SwimmingGirl’s Sport Star of the Year (High School) Nominees:Elianna Summers, Northwest Christian High School, Track and Cross CountryJadynne Thomas, River Ridge High School, SoccerContributor of the YearNominees must be passionate about the growth and success of sports in Thurston County and can include coaches, nonprofit organizations providing access to sports for individuals and/or large monetary donors to sports initiatives. Nominees must have demonstrated commitment to sports for a minimum of one year.Nominees:Eddie Gentry, North Thurston High School, Athletic DirectorAaron Landon, South Puget Sound Community College, Head Coach Men’s BasketballAndrew Mohl, Yelm Youth Tornados, Head Coach Football & CheerAlex Pribble, Saint Martin’s University, Head Coach Men’s BasketballSports Moment of the YearNominees can be a team or individual that has achieved national or local recognition for their sports moment during the 2017-2018 academic year. This moment would have taken place during a play in a single game or individual match or event for an individual or team. Nominees can include individuals with either inspiring stories, remarkable sports moments and or outstanding performances throughout the 2017-2018 season.Nominees:Luke Chavez, Saint Martin’s UniversitySaint Martin’s University Men’s Basketball TeamTimberline High School Boy’s Basketball TeamAlex Wright, Olympia High SchoolYelm High School Football TeamThurston County Sports LegendNominees must be an individual (over the age of 18) that was born or resided in Thurston County for a minimum of five years and must be passionate about the growth and success of sports in Thurston County. The nominee must have maintained and continue to maintain ties to Thurston County through philanthropic events and/or financial donations to support sports in the community. Ideally, nominees would have played either collegiate or professional sports or had a significant impact in the Thurston County sports community.Nominees:Jeff Carpenter, Olympia School DistrictJohn Kiley, Olympia High SchoolSid Otton, Tumwater High SchoolThe Thurston County Sports Commission, a division of Experience Olympia & Beyond, helps drive sports events to the region through direct outreach and assisting event organizers in finding venues, hotels and services. The Thurston County Sports Commission works in partnership with our local cities, schools and facilities to drive sports tourism to the region.
By Bruce Fuhr,The Nelson Daily SportsThe Nelson Leafs appeared to have solved that dreaded problem scoring.Now the two-time Kootenay International Junior Hockey League finalist has added some grit in front of the net, which could make finding goals even easier.Leaf coach and GM Chris Shaw announced Thursday the team is getting a bigger presence in front of the net after the team acquired 6’2”, 190-pound Evan Moir from the Calgary Canucks of the Alberta Junior Hockey League.The acquisition of Moir comes on the same weekend that Shaw is getting back 6’2”, 200-pound winger Cody Abbey back from a shoulder injury.“Evan is a power forward that’s a good fast skater who can carry the puck and has a good physical presence on the ice,” Shaw told The Nelson Daily Thursday. “And now that we have Cody Abbey back also, it should make a big difference for us.”The on-again, off-again Leafs appear to be back on after racking up a pair of wins. The first win was not totally unexpected against Grand Forks. However, Sunday’s win in Spokane over the red hot Braves was a victory that could provide the Leafs with some much-needed confidence as the squad attempts to climb the Murdoch Division standings.“We got back to the basics in practice and put in some hard work,” Shaw explained. “I’ve always been a believer you play the way you practice so we put our hard hats on, did some dryland and it paid off for us.”The dedication to detail combined with a few changes on the power play allowed the Leafs to snap out of a 1-for-31 slump with the man advantage.“We changed some things as far as entering the opposition zone differently,” Shaw said. “Once in the zone the guys were really passing the puck around and had some good finishing.”The Leafs hope to extend the streak a few more games than two when the club plays host to Kimberley Dynamiters Saturday at 7 p.m. in the NDCC Arena.Sunday it’s off to Spokane once again for an afternoon contest against the Braves.LEAF NOTES: Kyle Alexander’s stay in Nelson was brief after Shaw sent the former Flin Flon defenceman to Helena, Mont. of the Northern Pacific Junior Hockey League for future considerations. Alexander played only two games in a Leaf jersey . . . Two Leaf players, forward Tanner Burns and Colton Malmsten, will see action Friday for the Trail Smoke Eaters of the BCHL. The Smokies host the Victoria Grizzlies in Trail. Both players will return to the Leafs for the two weekend email@example.com
Michael Machowsky3786422%49%$297,106 Vladimir Cerin4696620%46%$341,424 (Current Through Saturday, March 26) SANTA ANITA STATISTICS Martin Garcia12418131315%35%$1,046,229 Santiago Gonzalez26947343317%42%$1,898,601 Kent Desormeaux12419252215%53%$1,596,495 TrainerSts1st2nd3rdWin%ITM%Money Won Flavien Prat24440454016%51%$2,594,116 Agapito Delgadillo961311914%34%$374,777 David Lopez16624142114%36%$743,416 -30- Carla Gaines5386315%32%$647,700 Steven Miyadi6813131019%53%$398,147 Joseph Talamo23429262612%35%$1,974,869 Alonso Quinonez866967%24%$306,730 Drayden Van Dyke16316162610%36%$1,001,672 William Spawr41106424%49%$279,732 Edwin Maldonado18039171822%41%$1,227,090 Rafael Bejarano27865552923%54%$3,050,147 J. Keith Desormeaux48861017%50%$351,629 Victor Espinoza871110813%33%$848,350 Mario Gutierrez17420312311%43%$1,246,549 Peter Eurton9215221216%53%$1,055,532 Tiago Pereira10861186%23%$437,783 Mike Smith951191712%39%$1,642,810 Brice Blanc5966810%34%$524,950 Brayan Pena7045126%30%$164,690 Stewart Elliott3843311%26%$177,915 TOKYO CITY CUP DISTANCE SUITS CHINA DOLL LOVERChina Doll Lover tackles a mile and a half for the first time when he runs in next Sunday’s Grade III, $100,000 Tokyo City Cup for older horses. He has a lot of company.The distance is rarely run in the United States, especially on dirt, but trainer Dan Hendricks feels it will be right in the wheel house for the six-year-old gelded son of Lawyer Ron. “His works have been great. It seems a mile and a half will be better for him,” Hendricks said.FINISH LINES: Turf marathon specialist Big John B, seventh in the grassy San Luis Rey Stakes March 13 after a wide trip, worked six furlongs Sunday in 1:14.20. Trainer Phil D’Amato has the seven-year-old Hard Spun gelding nominated to next Sunday’s Tokyo City Cup at a mile and a half on dirt . . . Early probables for next Saturday’s Grade III San Simeon Stakes for older horses at about six and a half furlongs on turf are Guns Loaded, Rafael Bejarano; No Silent, Gary Stevens; and Producer, Drayden Van Dyke . . .Santa Anita morning line maker Jon White relates that California Chrome spotted runner-up Mubtaahij “about nine lengths” in winning yesterday’s Dubai World Cup . . . Santa Anita will host Christine A. Moore for a Trunk Show on Saturday, April 9, at Champions Gift Shop where her Spring 2016 Collection will be showcased. Fans are invited to see a great selection of women’s and men’s styles. Tyler Baze26025403810%40%$1,393,751 Jerry Hollendorfer13522141516%38%$1,642,826 Doug O’Neill18129272616%45%$1,470,358 Bob Baffert9921161721%55%$1,570,285 Richard Baltas11219191417%46%$1,242,329 Mike Puype79812510%32%$369,930 Peter Miller12614122011%37%$629,960 ESPINOZA TOURS DUBAI AFTER SPARKLING CHROME ROMPDESORMEAUX SEEKS BETTER FINISH IN SANTA ANITA DERBYHENDRICKS LIKES MARATHON DISTANCE OF TOKYO CITY CUPSANTA ANITA WELCOMES ESPINOZA ON THURSDAYVictor Espinoza had more reason than usual to smile yesterday after guiding California Chrome to an eventful yet facile victory in the $10 million Dubai World Cup, worth $6 million to the winner and making the five-year-old California-bred son of Lucky Pulpit North America’s all-time leading earner with $12,532,650.“I spoke to Victor about midnight our time last night,” said his agent, Brian Beach, Sunday morning. “He’s staying in Dubai for a couple days because he’s never had a chance to see the sights, but he’ll be back at Santa Anita in time to ride on Thursday.”Espinoza is named on Lynne’s Legacy for trainer Jim Cassidy in the second race and El Huerfano in the fourth for trainer Peter Miller.Espinoza, who turns 44 on May 23, two weeks after the Kentucky Derby on May 7, won the World Cup despite a wide trip and having the saddle slip, never losing his cool and winning on cruise control by 3 3/4 lengths.“It was an impressive win,” Beach said, “but I was talking with Alan (Sherman, son of and assistant to California Chrome’s trainer, Art Sherman) every once in a while since he’s been over there, and he kept telling me, ‘This horse is doing better than at any point they’ve ever had him, better than his three-year-old year (2014).’ They were expecting a big effort.”“Chrome,” who made his 5-year-old debut in the Grade II San Pasqual Stakes here on Jan. 9, winning by 1 ¼ lengths, will be flown from Dubai to Chicago, where he’ll then be vanned to Kentucky.The long-range agenda for California Chrome’s future races would likely culminate with the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita on Nov. 5, but first things first.“They want to get him back to Taylor Made (Farm in Kentucky) and spend some time there before making plans,” Beach said. Taylor Made and Perry Martin own California Chrome.Meanwhile, Espinoza, the transnational tourist, is laughing all the way to the bank, although the self-proclaimed “happy Mexican” doesn’t need a vault of dinero to appease him.Espinoza’s cut of the $6 million winner’s share is $600,000.“Victor has a smile on his face 24-7,” Beach said.Any wonder? John Sadler831310816%37%$828,594 George Papaprodromou5295617%38%$292,010 Kristin Mulhall50117322%42%$402,645 Ron Ellis3292328%44%$229,050 Mark Glatt971012910%32%$496,460 Abel Lezcano757459%21%$526,844 Gary Stevens6312111019%52%$1,589,898 Philip D’Amato13327212320%53%$1,468,565 Martin Pedroza1001310713%30%$359,495 Fernando Perez17417202310%34%$909,362 JockeyMts1st2nd3rdWin%ITM%Money Won TRAINER WANTS BIG FINISH FROM EXAGGERATORThe jury is still out on Exaggerator for the $1 million, mile and an eighth Santa Anita Derby on April 9, at least in the mind of trainer Keith Desormeaux.The trainer has little doubt about the colt’s ability, but the question lingers on why he didn’t finish after making a bold move on the far turn in the San Felipe Stakes at 1 1/16 miles March 12. The son of Curlin was beaten 2 ¾ lengths despite trouble in the race.“I don’t have any complaints about how the San Felipe set up,” Desormeaux said about Exaggerator’s third-place finish behind front-running Danzing Candy and closer Mor Spirit. “He ran a decent middle quarter to make up the distance that he was from off the pace, and he should be able to do that.“The horse is very talented, yet I still can’t explain why he didn’t finish better. Even if there’s more speed in the Santa Anita Derby, it doesn’t matter to me. The way my horse ran last time, I hope he does the same thing, except for the finish.“I can’t explain why he didn’t finish.”Probable for the Grade I Santa Anita Derby: Danzing Candy, Mike Smith; Mor Spirit, Gary Stevens; Exaggerator, Kent Desormeaux; Uncle Lino, Fernando Perez; Smokey Image, Victor Espinoza; Iron Rob, Stewart Elliott; and Denman’s Call, Rafael Bejarano.
Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? After three Final Four appearances and one championship, the senior out of Bacolod bids goodbye to a UAAP career he hardly ever imagined.Montalbo said he only wanted to play in the Metro Manila because of the atmosphere but he never pictured himself to become the captain of the Green Archers, long considered as one of the elites in the collegiate scene.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back Chriss“Back in Bacolod I just told myself that I wanted to play in Manila because of the drums,” said Montalbo in Filipino. “In Bacolod, there was no drums, there wasn’t even a crowd.”“I didn’t expect that I’ll be the captain of La Salle and lead the team. I never expected that even in my wildest dreams but I’m here and I’m grateful for the university, the coaches, the bosses, the managers, everything.” Montalbo was an integral part of the Green Archers’ ninth UAAP title in Season 79 when he spearheaded Aldin Ayo’s Mayhem defense.And the former St. John Institute star in Bacolod could’ve had a few more games left in his collegiate career if only the Green Archers beat Far Eastern University in the fourth-place playoff.The Tamaraws and La Salle ended the eliminations tied in fourth with identical 8-6 records and the two teams had to duke it out in a do-or-die game to determine who goes to the Final Four.FEU took the 71-70 win that ended Montalbo’s career in the green-and-white.It was also in that game that Montalbo suffered a minor gash that left a few drops of blood to dry up on his jersey.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. LATEST STORIES Kib Montalbo’s collegiate journey has drawn to a close.ADVERTISEMENT Final Four starts Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college MOST READ Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal Montalbo, though, doesn’t plan on washing the final jersey he wore in the UAAP and instead put it in a frame with blood and all.“I won’t wash this because this is some sort of memorabilia that says I gave it my all for La Salle.” View comments
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) The Liberia Football Coaches Association, LIFOCA, will begin a two-week Level 1 Course to nearly 40 coaches drawn from clubs and communities in and around Monrovia at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium, beginning at 9a.m, today.According to CAF Coach Instructor Francis Tamba, the course will benefit participants who will pursue career in soccer coaching. “They are being prepared for CAF Coaching License D,” he said.The course’s coordinator is Mr. Barron Karr, secretary general of the Liberia Football Coaches Association, LIFOCA. Lecturers will include Emmanuel Baffoe, Gbobor T. Gbliwon and M. Kennedy Musue, who are also being groomed for CAF License B certificates, Tamba said.Also to serve as lectures will be CAF Coaching Instructors Francis Tamba and Henry Brown, who is also technical director of the Liberia Football Association, and subjects will include practical and theory of the game.“There will be intensive examination on the rules and responsibilities of coaches; coaching philosophy; how to impart coaching knowledge to players; mini-soccer, along with key techniques, among others,” Tamba told the Daily Observer yesterday.
At the end of three months my search for Asata directed me to Newport Street, in the heart of Monrovia. My informant said he was sure as day followed night. “I saw her there,” he said, grinning, “you’ll not believe how pretty she now look.” My face danced with joy, and clearly I could not control my emotions. I said, “Is she a real beauty as you’ve said?” Gbessay laughed, and corked his head on one side, said, “I tell you she is some beauty.” “Tell me more about her,” I said, as the thought of Asata danced in my mind with anticipation, “be frank with me, and do me the favor.” Gbessay was sixteen when I was bubbling with love for Asata. Now twenty-two, he had grown up, and was someone I could believe. He said, “I know you’ve been searching for her,” and hesitated for a moment, and I did not disappoint him, when I said, “I’ve been here,” meaning Vai Town, just across from Monrovia, “on the last three months and only you now telling me where I can find her.” “We talked about you,” he said, smiling, “When she could not hear from you, maybe she thought you died like many others.” I could not blame her, for thinking the worst for me; many young men were killed as the Liberian war held on. “Is a wonder,” I said, with some dignity, “that many of us survived this war.” “I know,” Gbessay said, “Asata will be glad to see you,” then I felt some inner dissatisfaction. Was Gbessay, like many Christian people, speaking in tongue? This could not be happening. “You’re not hiding anything from me, Gbessay?” “Tony,” he told me, “you must believe what I’m telling you.” So, I said, “What are you telling me?” He said, “Follow my direction and right after the huge building on Newport Street, after the school you’ll find her, or ask for her.” I told him how great he was, and that I appreciated his help, and bid him goodbye. Thirty minutes later, I was on Newport Street, and having passed by the school Gbessay mentioned, I slowed down, and walked leisurely, whistling to myself. Suddenly, my steps lost their agility. I then crossed the road toward Asata’s residence. At first my eyes deceived me, refusing to accept Asata, who seemed to be busy, at the corner of an old brick house. Her lanky frame hovered over the side of the road where a young man was putting some woods at their place. The sun beat hard on me, and several people walked about the place. Then, like a dream, I saw an old woman standing at the corner, near Asata, pointing her finger at me. I could not recognize Hadja at first, for the years of the civil-war had had a telling effect on her and had changed her, reducing her to a bundle of human caricature in a packaged cloth from her head to her toes. She might have run from this place and to another place, and as frail as she was, I knew she could not live through it. But she did. Hadja, her title, meant she was one of the fortunate ones who had fulfilled their religious duty, and had visited the holy city of Mecca, the birth place of the Prophet Muhammad. Hadja was highly respected in the community because of that success, and though she had encouraged me to visit the mosque, I never took it with any seriousness. As a woman with deep faith, she wanted her daughter, Asata, to marry someone who would follow her footsteps, and worship Allah, as she had been brought up. But now it would appear that my failure to attend services at the mosque, and the coming of the unfortunate civil-war had all conspired to deny me the woman I had once dreamed of having as a wife and the future mother of my children. As I moved closer to the house that I had been told Asata now lived, my heart bubbled with anticipation, imagining what she would say to me. In my heart, I was preparing to rush at her and hug her, and give thanks to Allah for preserving her. On my right, near a string of houses was a young beauty, busily engaged in some chores, her lanky frame revealing to me that she might have been the object of my search. Her hair was braided, the attachment flowing on her back and over her face. She was my Asata, I was now convinced, watching her closely, but my mind deceived me, suggesting she could be someone else, for Asata, though was tall, could not be the woman I feeding my eyes on presently. Was this Asata? How she had changed so much and more beautiful now! My heart thumbed in my chest as my feet walked their way towards the house. Since the information about her present residence did not hint about any changes in her life-style, I did not suspect any untoward surprise. But when I saw the old woman pointing her finger at me, something in me suggested right away that something was afoot. What was it? I did not care, all I cared about was searching for my Asata, and turning my head to look at heaven, I said a silent prayer, begging the good old man above to show me the way. By now I was almost at the entrance of the house, and the old woman smiled, and it was a painful one. She rubbed her two hands together, and when I turned to look on my right, the young woman turned swiftly, and smiled at me. “Oh my God,” I yelled in my heart, and smiled back at her. “You found me,” she said, and dimples on either jaw on her face did not mislead me, I concluded she was my Asata. But it seemed that something was not right with her. Under her smile I sensed her pain of anguish which was visible on her face, and it was the kind of loss, which eventually was to be mine alone. She turned her head and regarded at the man engrossed in his work, and nodded. Under normal circumstances, I would have wept, beat my chest and looked up to heaven, asking God why should I lose, but I was calm. She began to explain her eventual journey into marriage with the man who had replaced me. “I did not know whether you survived the war,” she said, her eyes downcast, “my ma is old now,” pointing to Hadja, “and so…” her voice trailed off, and I felt sorry for myself, for what she was about to disclose to me. I mustered a little courage, and said, my hands shaking like a car with an idling engine, “So you have to get married?” The question taunted me, and unable to control my emotions, I went on, “I searched for you everywhere,” as if that was enough justification. She looked away, and smiled. It was a smile I had known long before the Liberian civil-war began on 24 December, 1989. “I have to marry,” she said, and it was enough for me, for what else could she say again? Then fragments of the most touching melody intruded into my mind, and I could hear the song, “How Lonely Are Those Who Are Disappointed,” in my ears. But interestingly, I was aware of the popular opinion that “every misfortune is a blessing,” that I would have to work with to ensure how true it was. “So,” I managed, after struggling to regain my bearings, to say, “you can no longer be mine?” She might have thought my question silly, though the answer was obvious. What was I expecting her to do now, marry two men? I bowed my head in agreement, and with trembling hands, stared at her in silence. The echo of passing breeze swept around us, and I fought hard not to give in to tears.She turned her back to me, and looked at Hadja, whose smile was full of what I could only understand as resentment, since her daughter had already been married. Though she knew how much I loved Asata, but with new circumstances in her daughter’s life, she might have wondered about my appearance since until life turned upside down, Asata made her to believe I was the only man in her life. I could not be angry with her, for I admitted with a great deal of reluctance that while I was gone, time did not wait for me. “I’ll miss you, Asata,” I heard my voice crying out in anguish, as if that was not an obvious result, particularly when I realized that a tear was threatening to expose my weakness. I then turned my face away from her, and decided to leave her in peace. Painfully, my legs responded, and ambled away from her. She shouted at me: “I’ll not forget you,” but what should I care? I was moving on, though let down, beaten and crushed. Few minutes later I knew the danger had come and the risk was gone. My eyes felt tired, and at one point I wanted to cry. It was a difficult situation for me, walking away from Asata, the young woman whose fascination had brought me such an unexpected torment. Her cool voice kept repeating itself in my ears, “I tried to find you and when I could not find you, my ma advised me to find happiness somewhere,” and though the verdict was cruel, I could not blame her for what she had done. I felt nauseous, but my inner feeling urged me on to accept it, for it was clear that I had lost the battle. “I’m married now, sorry,” came back to haunt me. The afternoon sun beat harder on me, as if it was a divine punishment for my past bad deeds. As I moved on, the world seemed to be passing by me in a rush and by now my breathing had slowed down suddenly.Meanwhile, I wanted to stand aside somewhere on Newport Street, and gaze at her, and drink in her beauty, but I decided it was too late that, for to fight a losing battle war would demand more than ordinary tears of disappointment and frustration. Though I had a great deal of love for her, the reality was that she on the other hand had no affection for me. Afterward, I believed the popular maxim that “out of sight, out of mind.” My mind posed a surreal question to me, asking, “For what purpose?” and I could not find within myself to answer it. A glacial pang of pain hit my side, like the stab of a dagger of ice frozen from a poisoned well. My body was becoming adjusted to the message of doom as I heard it. I asked myself, “Is she happy?” and my mind answered, “If she is not happy she would not have told you that she was married,” a response that was ominous like the message Asata delivered to me. It was like a shuffling compromise between defiance and prostration, and walking away towards the bus or taxi rank, what appeared like stars danced before me. I was seeing things double, and I knew that Asata was gone for good. I felt her loss, but then I reminded myself that it was merely the loss of another chapter in my life. “I’ll move on,” I said under my breath, admitting the truth that I had lost her forever.It was then that I made a resolution not to let things take me by surprise, though events leading to the loss of Asata were things I could not control and they were reasons for which I could not hold her responsible. It had been many years now since that experience and realizing that life is how one makes it; I am not taking any chances now. Though the memory of Asata had always come to haunt me, I made use of it, as a new chapter in my life directing my focus to strike when the iron is hot.The EndShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)