Russian airline suspends service to Jamaica

first_img Sharing is caring! 86 Views   no discussions Share KINGSTON,Jamaica (CMC) – The recent political developments between Russia and Ukraine, has led to the suspension of service provided by Transaero Airlines.On Thursday, the Ministry of Tourism announced that Transaero will be suspending service between Moscow and Montego Bay, effective March 28, with a resumption of service set for November.This development has been attributed to “dramatic currency fluctuations in Russia, their impact on airline operations and recent political developments.”As a direct result of this development, the tourism ministry says the Jamaica Tourist Board’s (JTB) Regional Director in Europe, has been dispatched to Moscow “to keep in touch with the market and to protect the gains we have made there.”The airline began its Jamaica service in the winter of 2012/13. At the time it was welcomed as a major boost to the tourist trade from that part of the world. It was so successful that the airline opted to maintain the service through the entire year.However, in light of these recent political developments, Transaero has revealed it is not confident in its ability to maintain the same level of service this year.Caribbean Media Corporation BusinessLifestyleTravel Russian airline suspends service to Jamaica by: – March 21, 2014center_img Tweet Share Sharelast_img read more

Quad City Speedway hosts Aug. 3 Weedon Memorial

first_imgEAST MOLINE, Ill. – Quad City Speedway hosts its ninth annual Ronnie Weedon Memorial on Sunday, Aug. 3, with a $1,000 to win, minimum $150 to start feature for IMCA Xtreme Motor Sports Modifieds. Sponsored by J & J Camper Sales, the draw/redraw event is a qualifier for the 2015 Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational. At stake are IMCA Speedway Motors Weekly Racing National, Belleville Motorsports North Central Region and Allstar Performance State, but no local track points.Grandstand admission is $12 for adults, $5 for kids ages 6-12 and free for five and under. The entry fee for Modifieds is $40 and pit passes are $30. Pit gates at East Moline open at 3 p.m. and the grandstand opens at 3:30 p.m. The draw ends and the drivers’ meeting starts at 5 p.m. Hot laps are at 5:15 p.m. with racing to follow.More information about the Reinhart Memorial is available at the www.qcspeedwayracing.com website by emailing qcspeedwayracing@yahoo.com.last_img read more

Koscielny focuses on Gunners future

first_img The Gunners recorded a memorable victory over Bayern in the Allianz Arena in March, where Koscielny scored the second goal of a 2-0 win in their Champions League last 16 second-leg clash. Although it was not enough to secure qualification, it restored belief and kickstarted Arsenal’s brilliant end to the campaign, with eight out of 10 victories. Koscielny hopes his team can take that confidence into the new campaign, which will see them play a crucial Champions League qualifier in August. “The second leg of the Champions League against Bayern Munich was a trigger for us,” he added. “In the process, we almost won everything. “The most important thing is that Arsenal is in the Champions League. It is super exciting to play against the best teams in Europe.” Arsenal are expected to strengthen the squad this summer, with Real Madrid’s £25million-rated forward Gonzalo Higuain high on the watchlist of manager Arsene Wenger. The club are set to confirm the arrival of Yaya Sanogo on a free transfer when the France Under-21 attacker’s contract with Auxerre expires on July 1. Koscielny, 27, impressed alongside Per Mertesacker at the heart of the Arsenal defence over a 10-match unbeaten run in the Barclays Premier League which saw them overhaul rivals Tottenham to snatch fourth place and secure another shot at the Champions League. The France international has found himself linked with a summer move away from the Emirates Stadium, with Bayern Munich touted as a possible destination. However, the defender maintains his current focus is completely with the Gunners. Speaking to French regional newspaper La Montagne, Koscielny said: “I have a four-year contract. For now, I am still at Arsenal.” Press Associationcenter_img Defender Laurent Koscielny has again reaffirmed his commitment to Arsenal – and believes the Gunners can use their superb end to last season as a springboard for success in 2013/2014.last_img read more

Local college athletes to get added year of eligibility after lost season

first_img Mike MandellMike Mandell is the sports editor at The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. He began working for The American in August 2016. You can reach him via email at mmandell@ellsworthamerican.com. MPA approves golf, XC, field hockey, soccer; football, volleyball moved to spring – September 10, 2020 Latest Posts Ellsworth runners compete in virtual Boston Marathon – September 16, 2020 Latest posts by Mike Mandell (see all)center_img Hospice volunteers help families navigate grief and find hope – September 12, 2020 ELLSWORTH — This is not how the 2019-20 college sports season was supposed to end.As is always the case, the flip of the calendar from February to March raised the stakes for athletes at universities across the country. For winter athletes, it meant the chance to compete for championships; for those competing in spring athletics, it marked the start of conference play and the first full month of the season.Instead, that season came to a grinding halt with a series of cancellations stemming from the novel coronavirus. From the NCAA canceling March Madness and other championship events to individual conferences calling off their winter tournaments, athletes who are used to seeing their seasons end on the courts, fields and tracks instead saw them end in conference rooms.With winter sports nearing the end, the season’s conclusion was a finality for those athletes; for the underclassmen, a year they would never get back, and for the seniors, the end of the line. Yet with spring sports still in their early stages, those involved in baseball, softball, tennis, outdoor track and more earned a major reprieve: an added season of eligibility.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder text“It feels good to know that we have that opportunity,” said Conner Wagstaff, who graduated from Ellsworth High School last year and now plays baseball at Southern New Hampshire University. “We’re obviously bummed out with the season being over, but at least we know we have that option going forward.”The eligibility relief came after the NCAA Board of Governors instructed all three divisions of competition to grant an additional year to affected athletes. Administrative committees for each division announced March 13 that they would be providing said relief, though details are still being sorted out at the Division I level.Bucksport softball’s Mikayla Tripp pitches during the fourth inning of the Golden Bucks’ 2019 season opener against MDI at Bucksport High School. Tripp, now a freshman on the Husson University softball team, appeared in four of the Eagles’ 12 games prior to the cancellation of the 2020 season. FILE PHOTOWhereas Wagstaff and Southern New Hampshire had already played 16 games by the time the season was canceled, other teams had yet to begin when the dominoes began to fall. Such was the case with the Thomas College baseball team, which features three Ellsworth graduates (Nick Bagley, Devin Grindle and Brad Smith) and was less than a week away from its first game.“It’s really hard because we should be down in Florida playing right now,” Grindle said Tuesday. “We had been practicing since January and had even started some of our outdoor practices, so it’s tough.”Among the issues to be addressed is the effect eligibility relief will have on roster sizes. The NCAA places strict limitations on the number of scholarships (except at the Division III level, which has no scholarships) and overall roster spots teams are allotted for each sport, and with schools also bringing in incoming recruiting classes, there’s a chance many programs could be stretched thin.“I think that’s going to be an issue that varies from school to school,” said Steve Peed, the athletic director and head women’s lacrosse coach at Maine Maritime Academy. “There might be a little bit of a downward push in terms of recruiting, and that could really shake things up.”Getting an additional year is a positive development for many athletes, but exercising that option isn’t always affordable for the seniors set to graduate. Although seniors on scholarships might revel in the opportunity to return for one more year, doing so would mean an extra year of tuition for non-scholarship athletes.Such is the dilemma for seniors such as Bagley, who is still deciding between returning to Thomas and accepting a job offer, and fellow 2016 Ellsworth graduate Kate Whitney, who has elected to forgo an extra year with the St. Joseph’s College softball team. It’s also the case at MMA, where Peed said his two seniors aren’t about to put their prospective careers on hold.“They’re both pretty deep into the job process already,” Peed said. “One has a six-figure job locked down, and the other is interviewing. They’re not going to give that up for a year of lacrosse.”Even for those who will return, the restoration of eligibility won’t reverse the heartbreak of the 2020 season’s early end. Yet in a situation with few alternatives, the chance to play four full years isn’t something that will be lost on those athletes.“We wanted to play, obviously, but to know we’re not losing that year is a very, very good feeling,” Wagstaff said. “It’s awesome to know we have the chance to come back with some of the seniors who helped us through this season.” Biolast_img read more

Aruna Quadri Replaces Injured Wong Chun at W’Cup

first_imgThe international tennis body picked the experienced Nigerian who will now line up to play other top players in the world.The ITTF.com recalled that when Wong Chun faced China’s Xu Xin at the T2 Diamond Singapore event last week, the player suffered an injury at the end of the second game.Despite the best efforts by his team and coach, the 28 year old was unable to continue. Ranked number16 in the world, he will miss out in the tournament for the first time in three years.The withdrawal has profited Nigeria’s Quadri and will compete in the group stage of the competition. The 31 year old is a regular face at top international events and is no stranger to pushing the table tennis elite to the limit.The change of baton thus meant that Quadri will be making his fifth appearance at a Men’s World Cup and the last two editions in Disneyland Paris (2018) and Liège (2017) are his recent but his best performance however came at the 2014 edition in Düsseldorf, where he reached the quarter-finals stage.This year as a whole has been somewhat topsy turvy for Aruna. Starting with a round of 32 finish at the Liebherr 2019 World Championships in Budapest, he reached the semi-finals at the ITTF World Tour Bulgarian Open in Panagyurishte. Following that, his win in Lagos at the ITTF Challenge Plus Nigeria Open was followed by a surprising round of 16 exit at the ITTF Challenge Plus Portugal Open.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Femi SolajaNigeria’s brightest table tennis star and African number one player, Aruna Quadri, was yesterday handed another opportunity to show case his talent on the global stage following a late minute entry to play at the ITTF Men’s Cup in Chengdu, China this weekend.The opportunity came following the withdrawal of Wong Chun after an ankle injury he sustained last week at another major tournament and thus ruled him out of the world event that will hold from Friday 29th November to Sunday 1st December, 2019.last_img read more

Bold with beauty

first_img“It makes you want to watch more,” Aliyah said. “[Seeing them] painting their face in the best way possible makes you want to sit down with a cup of coffee and watch them do their work.”  When Davis is not experimenting and creating different makeup looks or working on photography, they can be found writing in their journal, filming videos or participating in student organizations, like the Black Student Assembly’s Creative Experience, all of which are key passions in their life. “There are a lot of really helpful resources on there for learning the basics of filming and editing. Every time I’m not too sure about something, I just look up a YouTube tutorial, and those definitely help out a lot,” Davis said. “For makeup, I’d say you’ve just got to practice a lot. So I would literally just do makeup at like 3 in the morning.”  Glam, glitter and bold lashes — since the first moment makeup artist and photographer Avery Davis laid eyes on the dramatic painted faces and elongated winged eyeliner integral to drag queen makeup, they have always been attracted to a bold and colorful aesthetic. From both their professional work and personal creative endeavors on YouTube and Instagram, Davis is an icon on campus known for their dark and beautiful works of art, be it through makeup or photography. In the beginning stages of their makeup journey, Davis said that their favorite beauty influencer was Michelle Phan, a pioneer of the YouTube beauty community, who arguably invented the concept of a beauty guru. Some of their favorite content creators on the YouTube platform include Jackie Aina and Miles Jai, both of whom are YouTubers who produce videos, such as wig reviews and foundation range tests, that cater specifically to the Black community’s experience in beauty.  Their makeup rates range from $45 to $60, totaling $80 to $100 if a photoshoot is included, Davis said. When Davis first began delving into makeup, Davis’ family and friends were greatly supportive of their interest in the art form and their self-starter attitude. Gaining rising popularity on their YouTube channel, Davis also eagerly shares their enthusiasm for makeup artistry online through storytimes and “Get Ready With Me” style videos. One of Davis’ goals as an influencer is to be an active role model, encouraging others to disregard hateful opinions and freely express themselves. Photo courtesy of Avery Davis Davis’ self-confidence has allowed them to pursue bold and transformative looks, featuring dramatic eyelashes, reflective glitter and colorful rhinestones. Some of these looks include drag and pride makeup, and tutorials for them can be found on Davis’ YouTube channel. Davis said they are interested in pursuing YouTube as a career if it takes off in the future, but as of now, they use it as a creative outlet to share their passion for makeup and explore content creation. Described by USC alumna Kenya Aliyah, a close friend of Davis, their YouTube videos are almost like ASMR.  Their online presence on Instagram and YouTube has also been met with positive engagement, and  Davis hopes to grow their following to be an inspiration for more makeup enthusiasts.  Aliyah, who has modeled for Davis several times, described the photoshoot process as very professional, yet fun and collaborative. Though Aliyah was new to modeling when she worked with Davis for the first time, they shared creative freedom in order for Davis’ characteristic dark and beautiful aesthetic to shine through. “Sometimes I’ll be like, ‘I want something really smoky,’ or ‘I want the base makeup and face to look really shiny,’ and just go off of that,” Davis said. “But  I don’t have a set goal or look in mind.”   “I did experience having some people who would make unnecessary comments when I was in high school, but also, I didn’t really care, so I was like, ‘Oh, OK,’” Davis said. “But I was also reaching a place where I … stopped listening and caring about what other people think.”  When creating looks, Davis normally waits for some inspiration or chooses to highlight a certain facial feature such as a cut crease eyeshadow look or a glossy lip. “I have a couple goals. One of them would be to almost be on the same level as Pat McGrath [self-made billionare], where it’s like I’m able to participate in runway makeup,” they said. “And even just having a makeup look get published by a really highly established publication … or to just be published in a Hollywood publication — that would be really nice.”center_img One of Davis’ favorite looks is more avant garde.  “Most times I’ll let them take creative freedom because I really trust their judgment,” Evins said. “All issues always come out really amazing, so I plan to just let them do their thing and like come up with their own ideas, because it never fails, honestly.” For aspiring makeup artists and beginner photographers, Davis recommends checking out YouTube.  “I don’t have an audience yet, and [it’s] just people commenting so that’s nice,” Davis said.  As a professional, one of Davis’ most memorable jobs was doing makeup for UMI for her music video, “High School,” released in 2019. For those interested in hiring Davis for freelance makeup and photography work, Davis said they are flexible with monetizing their creativity, prioritizing the art form itself.  A senior majoring in cinema and media studies, Davis serves and centers bold and daring looks on their Instagram, @stayservinglooks. Davis grew up in Compton and has been practicing makeup for about six years. Like many aspiring makeup artists, their journey began out of simple curiosity coupled with the need for a creative outlet to balance the stress of school and express their sense of identity.  “I have no brows, and it’s more of a blue look. And I just really like that one because I think my eyeliner looked really good that day,” Davis said, laughing.   “It was easier for my family to support me because like all of the makeup I had, I bought myself,” Davis said.  Discovering popular beauty gurus on YouTube to learn skills and find inspiration helped Davis gain increasing confidence in their makeup looks. They later decided to dive into the field of photography to capture and share the beauty of their makeup artistry. Branching off into photography inspired Davis to practice professionally and help others in the creative process of sharing their art. USC alumna Ryan Evins has also worked with Davis on album art for her music career and is eager to keep working with them in the future.  “[Davis’ aesthetic] is bold and colorful and has a message behind it — something that you’ve never seen before,” Giná said. “[There’s an] idea and thought behind it, like [each photo] based on the persona that they’re trying to recreate. They love glam, they love lashes, they love glitter, so they’re very expressive.” A future project Davis has in mind is with USC alumna Tiah Giná in a futuristic Afro-centric photoshoot. According to Giná, Davis’ strong suit is their expressiveness and boldness with painting colors and shapes on the face.  “I feel like the beauty of the muse and the photograph [always shines in] every photo I see,” Aliyah said. “I feel like you can really see the person and there’s always like a story behind it.”  Despite the familial support and online encouragement of their 1,501 followers on Instagram, Davis has also encountered some negativity along the way, but it has failed to faze them.last_img read more

Ryan Pioneers way back to Platteville

first_imgJEFF SCHORFHEIDE/Herald photoEight years later, the University of Wisconsin-Madison men’s basketball head coach Bo Ryan feels as though he never really left UW-Platteville.“The nice part is that (in) the 15 years there and then the years since, I’ve stayed in touch with all those people (at Platteville),” Ryan said at his press conference Monday. “It’s as if you’re still around; it’s as if you’re still down there in the community.“Platteville has never really left in my mind.”Usually one to chat about his hometown of Philadelphia, Ryan is now talking about Platteville because UWP will honor him Saturday by naming the court of Williams Fieldhouse “Bo Ryan Court.”Ryan’s head coaching career started at UW-Platteville, and he made the most of his first opportunity. With the Division III Pioneers, Ryan established himself as one of the top coaches in the country. Behind a stifling defense that set the all-time single-season Division III opponent’s scoring margin in 1996-97 (47.5 points per game), Ryan compiled 353 total wins and four national championships (1991, 1995, 1998 and 1999).And even now that Ryan has moved on to bigger and better things at UW-Madison, he remains concerned about UW-Platteville and the improvements he can make happen there.“The nicest part about the whole thing Saturday is going to be that there is going to be a lot of improvements at UW-Platteville as a result of all the fundraising efforts that they made around this court naming,” Ryan said. “It will be emotional, but what’s really neat is that something’s going to happen as a result in the future.”Despite being gone from the program for eight years, Ryan still can’t help but reminisce about the successes he had at UW-Platteville.After all, it was there that Ryan made coaching connections that are still intact today. UW assistant coach Greg Gard is a UWP alumnus and has been at Ryan’s side since 1993. Also, current UW-Milwaukee head coach Rob Jeter played for Ryan at Platteville and later joined him on the sidelines as an assistant coach.And it was Jeter, the captain of UW-Platteville’s 1991 national championship team, who Ryan credits for helping him jump-start his successful career as a Pioneer. However, Ryan believes the best part about that team was simply the group of guys he was able to bring together.“Led by Robbie Jeter and his brother, Carlton … that group that won in ’91, that was senior dominated — guys who had come through a lot, guys who got to Platteville in a lot of different ways,” Ryan said. “I mean, you name it, we had a guy from about every walk of life at Platteville that you could have on that team.”There will be a reception before the ceremony that Ryan’s wife, Kelly, will speak at. Ryan himself doesn’t anticipate making a speech, although he did have a certain request.“The only people I ever spoke to during the games were the officials,” Ryan joked. “And I asked if I could have a conference with them, but that got nixed.”While Ryan will be honored by UW-Platteville Saturday, another personal honor for him will be that his current team will be making a pit stop to join him on the way to Iowa.“I was just talking to Tucker one day about what was going on, and Alando said that he’d like to be there,” Ryan said. “I was just going to go down separately, but we got practice at Iowa City so we have to get ready for a game on Sunday.“That’s a pretty good stopping-off place on the way to Iowa City.”Men’s hoops news and notesWith last weekend’s win at Illinois, Ryan has now led the Badgers to victories in every Big Ten arena. The only other current Big Ten head coach to achieve this is Michigan State’s Tom Izzo … Kammron Taylor became the 31st player in UW history to reach 1,000 points Saturday with 20 points against the Illini … Wisconsin has won 15 consecutive games — the longest active streak in the nation.last_img read more

Sportsman of the Month rundown

first_imgOnce again, Sports Illustrated got it all wrong.Brett Favre is your 2007 Sportsman of the Year. Not a badpick, but this reeks of a lifetime achievement award more than a “Favre was THEgreatest athlete in 2007” honor.Of course, there are so many deserving candidates, and onlyone year. Fortunately, there are 12 months to make use of.Here’s the Second Annual Sportsman of the Month column:January — Peyton ManningAFC Championship Game. Colts down 21-6 to the Patriots atthe half. Was Peyton Manning ready to lose yet another big playoff game?Uh, no. Manning took control, throwing for 349 yards andleading Indianapolis to a comeback 38-34 victory.After the game, Manning couldn’t stop grinning as hemimicked ripping the metaphorical monkey off his back. The greatest footballplayer alive had finally “won the big one.”February — Tony Dungy and Lovie SmithDungy’s story of crisis (His 18-year-old son committed suicidein late 2005) and his ensuing comeback is unbelievably compelling, and likeManning he ripped the monkey off his back and finally won the big one.And Smith, uh, was rewarded for his faith in Rex Grossman.Oh, and he paired with Dungy to become the first two black coaches to leadtheir teams to the Super Bowl.March — Florida GatorsTrue, Billy Donovan’s squad didn’t actually claim thecollege basketball title until April. But the University of Florida enteredelite, uncontested status when the Gators won their second consecutive title inbasketball — sandwiched around a shocking football championship a few monthsbefore. Poor Ohio State.April — Alex RodriguezA-Rod had one of the most jaw-dropping baseball seasonsever, to finally clam up all those New York fans that wondered why he was eventhere.April was an extended highlight reel: .355 average, 14homers, 34 RBI and a few dramatic walk-off jacks along the way.May — LeBron JamesIf you missed LeBron’s Game 5 of the East finals againstDetroit, well, you missed out. The King went off for 48 points — including histeam’s final 25 points. LeBron looked absolutely “Jordanesque” and sent thebasketball world into a frenzy over this magical night.And then two months later, LeBron hosted the ESPYs withJimmy Kimmel. What a year.Of course, even LeBron wasn’t good enough for…June — the San Antonio SpursThey might have gotten my pick for Sportsman of the Year… ifI still didn’t feel that Spurs-Suns melee cost the Suns the rightful NBA championship.But it’s time these guys get their due. They are, in fact, adynasty. Four NBA titles in nine years, and they do it the right way, the teamway. Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili don’t wow you with their play,but they’re consistently the guys standing at the end.July — Roger FedererGreatness. Pure greatness.Federer won his fifth consecutive Wimbledon, and for oncewas pressed to the limit by new foe Rafael Nadal. Nobody had touched the Swissstud on his favorite surface — grass — but the Spanish kid with bazooka bicepsforced a fifth set. But instead of wilting under the pressure of history,Federer prevailed and tied the all-time record for consecutive titles at theAll-England Club.August — Barry BondsQuick moment of respect for the new Home Run King…Moment over. Let’s move on.September — Brett FavreThis just in: A certain gray-bearded 38-year-old quarterbackis absolutely torching defenses this season.While he probably shouldn’t have gotten the SI award, itseems appropriate that he get the nod for September. After all, he led the Packto a surprising 4-0 start — including wins at the New York Giants and over SanDiego — while setting his own giant record with his 421st touchdown pass atMinnesota.Rocktober — Colorado RockiesI picked the surprising Detroit Tigers for October lastyear, and it only seems right I give the same respect to the kid Rocks. Twenty-oneof 22 wins! Unheard of. We’ll probably never see it again.November — NCAA quarterbacks (Ryan, Williams, Brennan,Daniel, Tebow)Tomorrow the Heisman is announced. This is one of the mostwide-open races ever. And while each of these QBs is flawed, they each hadtheir own great moment in November.Matt Ryan against Clemson. Juice Williams against OhioState. Chase Daniel against Kansas.And Colt Brennan and Tim Tebow against, well, everybody.That’s probably what makes those two the favorites.December — Iowa State women’s volleyball teamC’mon, help me out here. There’s only been five days thismonth. It’s a painful pick, sure, but I’ll go with the little team that could,the team that shocked the high-flying UW volleyball team and is on its way tothe first Sweet 16 in program history.Brenner’s Sportsmen of the year — Boston athletesJosh Beckett and Mike Lowell. KG and Paul Pierce. Tom Bradyand Randy Moss.The year started inauspiciously for Beantown (see: Manning,Peyton). But ever since the baseball season began, it’s been all Boston, allthe time this year. They’ve absolutely taken the sports world by storm.I’m sick of Boston, you’re sick of Boston. But you can’thelp but feel jealous for the city and its sports fans.In the last 50 years, only four cities have won multiplechampionships in the same year (among pro football, basketball, baseball andhockey): Boston (2004), New York (1969) Los Angeles (1988), and Pittsburgh(1979).Nobody’s ever won three. Stay tuned.Love the picks? Hate’em? Think I left someone or some team out? Post your comment on the messageboard or shoot me an e-mail at ajbrenner@wisc.edu.last_img read more

Assistant coach Knight uses own flaws to instill coaching values at Syracuse

first_imgBrendon Knight didn’t have a team to play for.His junior hockey league team had just lost its final game, and there were no Division I college hockey offers waiting for him. So he drove over 2,000 miles across Canada to Calgary and lived with his uncle while working a dead-end job filling orders in a grocery store warehouse.“I just found myself surrounded by my coworkers that had been working at that job for like 15–20 years and I was looking at them saying to myself, ‘I don’t want to end up like these guys,’” Knight said.SUNY-Potsdam assistant coach Jay Green heard Knight wasn’t playing anywhere and called him. Desperate just to play again, Knight accepted the offer.Twenty years later, Knight is in his third season as an assistant with Syracuse. After playing for the Bears, and then for Isle of Wight Raiders in the England Premier League, Knight began his coaching career. At SU, Knight focuses on the forwards and special teams units, including an improved penalty kill unit that has killed off 86 percent of opponent’s power plays in the last six games.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textKnight teaches his players to not make the mistakes that he made when he played. Though he had trouble with listening to coaches when he was younger, as a coach he’s tried to connect with the players and show them they still have a lot to learn.“He does a good job of showing he knows the game and he’s a caring guy,” SU head coach Paul Flanagan said. “I know he’s created a very good bond with (the players) as a group.”Despite being talented, boasting soft hands and an accurate shot, Knight frustrated a lot of coaches.When Knight would slack off during games, his father, John Knight, would yell “hustle” from the stands. But because no one in Quebec knew what the word meant, they thought John Knight was calling his son an asshole.A stubborn Knight thought he knew more than those trying to help him — including his parents and coaches.“If you’re the biggest fish in the pond, you’re not the biggest fish in the ocean,” John Knight said. “But if you’re the biggest fish in the pond, it’s hard to convince the kid to grow.”Too small for the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, which he was drafted into at 16, Knight wanted to play for a college in the United States.He received letters from D-I programs including Harvard, but unfamiliar with the NCAA recruiting system, Knight thought they were generic letters and he never followed up on the schools’ inquiries.“I wasn’t exactly the hardest worker off the ice,” Knight said. “I didn’t really put in a lot of time. I relied heavily on my so-called talent, I guess, and that only brought me so far.”At the age of 18, Knight wasn’t playing hockey in Calgary and felt that something was missing.So he had his dad shipped his hockey equipment to him and Knight started playing in a local men’s league. For the first time in his life, he started working out. After just nine months, he started playing for SUNY-Potsdam.Success with Potsdam soothed Knight’s relationship with the sport and after college he spent a year playing in England. For the first time in his career, he was put on the penalty kill and asked to be a two-way player, blocking shots for the first time.Knight was planning for another year in Europe when Potsdam called again about a coaching position. Wanting to extend his career with the sport that had consumed his life, Knight retired from playing in 2002 to start his career behind the bench.After three years coaching at Potsdam, then six at Hamilton, Knight made his way to Syracuse in 2012.Now, he tries to use his own strained relationship with coaches and hot shot mentality from his playing career as a cautionary tale to his current players.“I think that’s the biggest mistake with the young hockey players today, they think that they know it all,” Knight said. “And I’m here to tell them that we don’t … I don’t know if it works all the time but hopefully a couple of them understand that.” Comments Published on January 20, 2015 at 12:07 am Contact Jon: jrmettus@syr.edu | @jmettus Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Gary Gait heads into 10th matchup against Maryland years after transforming sport with Cindy Timchal

first_imgA women’s lacrosse game has all the markings of Gary Gait and Cindy Timchal. From the lines on the field, the sticks in players’ hands and the skirts on players’ waists, Gait and Timchal moved forward an undeveloped game.Women’s lacrosse was brutal to watch in the mid-1990s, said John Blatchley, a friend of Gait and his fellow assistant at Maryland for two years. Whistles constantly stopped play and Blatchley estimates only about 500 people showed up to an NCAA championship game in the mid-1990s — a fraction of the 10,311 fans that showed up to the 2014 title game.There was no out of bounds. The referees determined when the players moved too close to a wall, the stands or the bench, too far from the game. With Gait as an assistant coach, Timchal won seven national titles as Maryland’s head coach from 1994–2002, the first being in 1995.Twenty years later, Gait, Syracuse’s eight-year head coach, will lead his No. 5 Orange against Maryland — the school where Gait and Timchal constantly re-evaluated and revamped women’s lacrosse — on Saturday for the 10th time in his career.“She wanted to move the game forward, she was very progressive in her thought,” Gait said. “I certainly supported those ideas and always have and did.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textGait — who won two national championships and holds the record for goals in his career at Syracuse from 1987–90 — originally planned on just playing professionally, not coaching. But his daughter Taylor had recently been born, so he decided to take Timchal’s offer to be an assistant coach on a whim.“It was kind of out of the box,” Timchal said, “I felt just watching Gary play for Syracuse — his style was very unique — I thought his style wasn’t your normal brute strength.”While Timchal coached at Northwestern in the 1980s, she pushed the United States Women’s Lacrosse Association to change the size of a goalie stick. Unlike in the men’s game, a women’s goalie’s stick had been the size of a field player’s stick, but she successfully petitioned to change that, said Nancy Stevens, Timchal’s former assistant at Northwestern and now Connecticut’s field hockey coach.Some disliked the move because they thought goalies would save too many shots, Stevens said. When Timchal brought in Gait, she faced further pushback. Stevens said other coaches were afraid of Timchal and Gait making the women’s game into the men’s game.“At the time, it was not a popular decision among her colleagues,” Stevens said. “Some people thought of it as a kind of unwritten rule like, ‘We don’t hire men.’“… People were aghast.”Gait was equally aghast at the rules of the sport. There was no contact allowed, meaning games had endless whistles, no out of bounds lines and no restraining lines, which limit the number of players that can play on one end of the field. Coaches could stand anywhere — even on the other team’s sideline.Two or three years into coaching at Maryland, Gait asked Erin Brown Millon, a co-worker at sports equipment company STX, “What is the deal with these rules?” But he read the rulebook, took the lineless field and made it his personal canvas.Most teams dropped three defenders back and played with eight offensive players.Not Gait.He threw all 11 field players forward on offense, which disrupted half-field play. As teams started picking up on the trend, Gait’s innovation was soon followed by the NCAA’s addition of restraining lines in 1998.“He was so smart in figuring out how some aspects of the men’s game could fit into the women’s game, but he also took the time to really understand the women’s game and really make it better,” said Missy Doherty, a UMD player from 1994–97 and now Penn State’s head coach.While men’s lacrosse uses a white ball, women’s lacrosse uses a yellow one. In the late 1980s, Syracuse men’s lacrosse started playing with all white heads and mesh on their sticks, making it harder to track the white ball out of the stick.At Maryland, Gait had his players use yellow heads for the same reason. Gait even had the stick of Alex Kahoe, a Maryland goalie from 1997–2000, strung yellow in case he ever ran a hidden-ball trick with his goalie.That’s where Gait may have made his biggest difference in women’s lacrosse — the stick. Gait helped players enhance their stick skills, a trait he was known for while he played.“It wasn’t just a men’s player saying, ‘This is how we should do it,’ and then showing stuff and using a guy’s stick,” Brown Millon said. “… He actually walked the walk, playing with a women’s stick.”He allowed Maryland players to be more creative than they had ever been before, throwing behind-the-back passes and doing around-the-worlds, a move where the player brings the stick behind them and shoots forward.He also helped push along the redesign of the stick itself. When Maryland faced Princeton in the 1995 national championship — Gait’s second year of coaching — the Tigers still used wooden sticks.The first time he spoke at an Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association convention, he made a presentation about the benefits of plastic sticks over wooden sticks. Gait said about half the coaches agreed that plastic sticks are more balanced and give players better control of the ball. A wood stick had less of a pocket and the ball sat at the base of the head, instead of by the shooting strings.“I think I told them to burn their wooden sticks,” Gait said. “I gave reasons why and I demonstrated and I think we went on to prove the plastic stick era was well on its way.”Gait even further influenced equipment, too. Under Armour, founded in Maryland, worked with Gait on designing light kilts for the players to wear. At the same time Gait was helping Under Armour design its first products, he was working on footwear products with Nike.His women’s lacrosse reformation is still unfinished. The men’s game has added stall warnings and an ensuing shot clock, but women’s contests can turn into keep-away late in games.Gait’s called for a shot clock numerous times.“I would like to see it,” Gait said after a slow game against Boston College on Saturday, “but that’s just me. I’m just one person.”But if Gait’s past is any indication, it may not take much more than that. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on March 4, 2015 at 12:25 am Contact Chris: cjlibona@syr.edu | @ChrisLibonatilast_img read more