Touch Football Australia is pleased to announce the Australian Men’s, Women’s and Mixed Open teams that will play New Zealand in the 2014 Trans Tasman Series from Friday, 25 April until Sunday, 27 April at the Glen Willow Regional Sporting Complex in Mudgee, New South Wales. Nine players will debut for Australia in the Series, with several players also returning to the teams after a few years away. The Australian teams will be looking to win back the prestigious Trans Tasman trophy following their loss to New Zealand in the 2013 Super Trans Tasman Series, with the Women’s team the only side of the three to claim their division. Last time the teams played in Mudgee at the 2012 Trans Tasman Series, Australia were 3-0 series winners. The 2014 Trans Tasman Series is the last time the Australian and New Zealand teams will meet before the 2015 Federation of International Touch (FIT) World Cup in Coffs Harbour in April/May next year. TFA wishes to congratulate the following players who have been named in the Australian teams for the 2014 Trans Tasman Series. Australian Men’s Open TeamWillie BishopStuart BriertySam BrisbyScott BuckleyDrumayne Dayberg-MuirTerry DeeganNick GoodTim GoodDylan HennesseyBen MoylanRob NakhlaPete NormanJonathan PalauMatt ProwseSteve RobertsMatt TopeAustralian Women’s Open TeamNicole BeckKristin BossElizabeth CampbellDanielle DavisSamantha HopkinJessica McCallSarah PeattieLeah PercyKirsty QuinceAshleigh QuinlanPeta RogersonCatherine SargentSarah SpacieClaire TandekMarikki WategoLouise WinchesterAustralian Mixed Open TeamScott BundySimon LangMichael LawJustin MitchellCameron NichollsSebastian ReyMichael SinghDean SpringfieldDylan ThompsonTrent ToumaKristy BrennanKylie HilderPatricia MichaelopoulosElin MortimerLaura PeattieSamantha RodgersRelated Files2014_australian_teams_announcement-pdfRelated LinksAussie teams announced
Our most recent take on James was last summer, after the Heat won their second consecutive NBA championship. We looked at the odds of James catching up to Michael Jordan’s six championship wins, the most in the salary-cap era (since 1984-85). We put the odds of the Heat winning the 2014 championship at about 33 percent, with the chances getting lower each subsequent year. So given this year’s loss, James might be making a smart move with his current opt-out. But given James’s win shares, we put his odds at winning a championship — regardless of the team — at about 20 or 25 percent. We were partially right — Wade and Bosh did show solidarity in a move to Miami. But we were wrong in predicting James’s decision. In a follow-up piece, we further evaluated the merits of James joining the Heat. There was a major hit to his popularity because of the way he announced the decision and because of Miami’s relatively small fan base. We argued this could have reduced his earning potential by $150 million. We conceded that “James may able to redeem himself through athletic success,” which turned out to be the case: He made $42 million from endorsements in 2013, which dwarfs the $28 million he made in 2009 when he was with Cleveland. The world is abuzz with the news that LeBron James is opting out of his contract with the Miami Heat. There’s plenty of speculation about what this means and where he might decide to go, if anywhere, but we thought it might be interesting to take a look at our own history of guessing James’s future. Here’s a roundup of predictions that we’ve made, and how accurate they turned out to be:The last time James opted out of his contract was in 2010, when he left the Cleveland Cavaliers and signed with the Miami Heat, joining Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh there. Before he announced that decision, we analyzed his value as a player, as well as the different options available to him, and tried to determine the best route for him to take with regard to his personal brand. We decided he’d be best off trying to both win a championship and do so in a way that would be perceived as overcoming a challenge. We doubted that “forming a ‘dream team’ with Wade and Bosh in Miami would do that much for him,” so it was most likely that he would stay with Cleveland or join the Knicks, while Wade and Bosh would stick together in either Chicago or Miami.
Dwight Howard‘s became NBA bad guy No. 1 after last season’s incessant complaining about his situation, where he would be traded to, his coach and just about anything else. Out of it came the nickname “Dwightmare.”Looking back on it now as a Los Angeles Laker, Howard said the whole protracted, tried saga made him stronger.“I think there’s a reason why everything happened the way it happened,” said Howard, who ended up traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. “So far it’s been an unbelievable experience for me. It’s like a dream come true.”Howard endured a tumultuous final season with the Orlando Magic in 2011-12. The three-time defensive player of the year demanded a trade to the Brooklyn Nets at the beginning of the season, but the two sides couldn’t reach a deal.I did want to go to Brooklyn. That’s a place where I told the Magic that I really wanted to go,” to Stephen A. Smith and Ryan Ruocco on ESPN NewYork 98.7 FM. “[But] I was traded to the Lakers, and I think it was a blessing in disguise.“I thought I was going to get traded at the beginning of the year, actually; that’s when I asked for it. But everything happened for a reason. I had to go through last year to get to where I’m at today. It’s made me a stronger and better person for it. I had to go through the hell and the stormy forecast to come out to a place like this . . . and I’m thankful for it.”Going through it, however, was tumultuous. The perception was that Howard changed his mind about his loyalties every other day, fostering an impression of unsteadiness.“The whole year a lot of people were making up a lot of stories about ‘This deal is getting close, that deal is getting close to being done,’ or whatever, but none of those deals were ever close,” Howard said.Eventually, despite myriad trade rumors all the way up to the trade deadline, Howard stunningly agreed to waive his early-termination option and committed to stay with Orlando through the 2012-13 season.“I think a lot of it was people just felt like I was going back and forth with the whole thing,” Howard said. “But the business side, people don’t understand, when you’re doing business you have to be a shark. You have to demand things. If you don’t, people will run over you, and that was a lesson that I learned.“At the end of the day, you can’t please everybody. There’s gonna be people happy about me staying, there’s gonna be people happy about me leaving. I’m over that now. I can’t control the way how people feel about me.”
Saturday’s spring scrimmage might mean spring practices are coming to an end, but a number of position battles are just starting to heat up. Because of graduation and suspensions, at least 14 of 22 starters from last season won’t be on the field come the opening game of the season against Akron. The spring scrimmage is the players’ last chance to make a positive impression on the coaches before summer practice. Here’s a look at the top position battles to watch Saturday. Quarterback The most high-profile battle is undoubtedly at the quarterback position. Senior Joe Bauserman, redshirt freshman Taylor Graham, redshirt sophomore Ken Guiton, and freshman Braxton Miller are all vying to replace the suspended Terrelle Pryor for the first five games of the season, but none has made a strong enough case to be named the starter. Bauserman seems to be the first guy on the depth chart, but a senior getting the nod in a close battle is no surprise on a Jim Tressel-coached team and all candidates are getting reps with the first team offense. “They shine their own day,” redshirt junior Jake Stoneburner said. “They all seem to be getting a good grasp of the offense.” With Pryor still sidelined from surgery on his left foot, look for all quarterbacks to get equal opportunity on Saturday. Cornerback Perhaps the fiercest battle of the spring has been for the second starting cornerback position. Junior Travis Howard has arguably been the most impressive player on the Buckeye team this spring and has locked up a starting job, but the other corner spot is wide open. Coming into spring, Tressel spoke highly of sophomore Dominic Clarke. “We’ve kind of seen a transformation from (Clarke) not unlike we’ve seen from (former Buckeye Malcolm Jenkins),” Tressel said. But Clarke has some competition. Dionte Allen, a transfer from Florida State, has shown a great open-field tackling ability in addition to coverage skills. Sophomore Bradley Roby wasn’t necessarily expected to be in the picture for a starting job, but has played his way into the conversation. He’s shown playmaking ability and a nose for the football, intercepting two passes in last Saturday’s scrimmage. Howard said he’s not sure how the fight will end. “They’ve all been battling and each of them have their days,” Howard said. “I’m looking forward to see who actually comes out on top because those are three great cornerbacks.” Left tackle Senior Mike Adams’ suspension for the first five games leaves a hole on the offensive line at left tackle. Sophomore Andrew Norwell and redshirt sophomore Marcus Hall have emerged as the leading candidates to fill the gap. Norwell was the favorite entering spring practice, but Hall has been impressive, especially after being separated from the team last year because of academic issues. Saturday’s scrimmage could go a long way in determining who ultimately gets the starting job, but Adams says either one would be more than adequate to replace him. “Those guys filling in at left tackle are doing a great job. They’ve really made a lot of progress since we’ve started,” Adams said. “When you’ve got two big guys like that who are athletic, as long as they know what they’re going to do, they’ll be fine for the season.” Linebacker Senior Andrew Sweat and redshirt junior Etienne Sabino are clear starters at linebacker, but sixth-year senior Tyler Moeller, juniors Storm Klein and Jonathan Newsome, and redshirt freshman Dorian Bell all have a chance to see the field in the upcoming season. Moeller hasn’t participated in spring scrimmages thus far, so look for Klein, Newsome, and Bell to fight it out Saturday.
The No. 4 Ohio State men’s tennis team is looking to keep its undefeated record at home this season in tact when it hosts Notre Dame and LSU this weekend. The Buckeyes (10-2) head into the matchups coming off a trip to the semifinals in the International Tennis Association (ITA) Team Indoor Championship in Seattle, Wash. OSU secured shutout victories against two ranked opponents during the tournament run, beating both then-No. 13 California and then-No. 5 Pepperdine, 4-0, before falling to No. 1 Virginia, 4-3, in semifinal play. In the semifinal loss to the Cavaliers, OSU doubles tandems continued their 2013 win streak when the teams of junior Blaz Rola and redshirt sophomore Kevin Metka and redshirt senior Devin McCarthy and junior Ille Van Engelen won their matches, 8-4 and 8-6, respectively. In singles, after a 6-4, 6-2 victory from Rola, OSU forfeited its 2-0 lead as redshirt sophomore Hunter Callahan, redshirt freshman Chris Diaz and McCarthy all lost their individual matches. A win by senior Connor Smith tied the match 3-3 before the Cavaliers captured the winning point in a showdown featuring the top two players in the nation, Virginia’s Alex Domijan (No. 1) and OSU’s redshirt junior Peter Kobelt (No. 2). The scoreboard favored Domijan, 6-3, 3-6, 7-5. “We got the doubles point, and seemed to be off on the right foot,” said coach Ty Tucker. “Overall, the guys fought hard and played hard.” The close loss against the nation’s top team in Virginia gave the Buckeyes optimism for how the team will fare down the stretch. “We noticed that we have a pretty good team,” McCarthy said. “We have some guys who are stepping up. We obviously lost to the No. 1 team in the country, so just trying to build upon that and realizing that at the end of the year we could win a national title.” Van Engelen said the team knew they had the potential to knock off Virginia but fell short. “(The loss) is also perspective for the future, because they are the No. 1 team in the country and have amazing players, so if we can compete with them so closely now, that’s perfect,” Van Engelen said. Since both losses for the Buckeyes this season have taken place on the road, facing off against No. 25 Notre Dame and No. 24 LSU in Columbus should serve as an advantage for OSU, which has not lost at home in more than 150 matches. “The guys are comfortable here. We have two very good teams coming in, and we need to play good tennis,” said assistant coach Justin Kronauge. “After a tough loss, I think they are ready to get out there and put on a good show this weekend.” With only several matches before conference play kicks off, OSU players plan on keeping a high level of intensity on the court. “Especially since we are traveling to North Carolina right after (this weekend), it’s important to get back into the rhythm, win our matches and get back in the flow,” Van Engelen said. McCarthy credited Tucker for always telling the team to focus on “getting 10 percent better” and then seeing where the team is by the end of the season. “I think it’s kind of to this point where it’s ‘push through,’” McCarthy said. “You never know at the end of the season – we might win (a national title).” The matches against Notre Dame and LSU are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Both matches are set to begin at noon at the Varsity Tennis Center.
In college football it is widely accepted the Southeastern Conference is the best.Seven straight national championships is hard to argue with, especially when six of those title games have been by double digits.But the argument that the SEC is the deepest conference in America because any team can beat any team doesn’t seem to be realistic.From the start of the 2012 season until last Friday, the top six teams in the SEC based on their conference record: Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, Alabama, Louisiana and Texas A&M had a combined total of one loss to the bottom eight teams in the conference.Now after five of those teams lost to lower tier SEC squads – LSU to Ole Miss, Texas A&M to Auburn, South Carolina to Tennessee, Florida to Missouri and Georgia to Vanderbilt – the conference is being touted as the deepest in America.That just doesn’t seem logical, you cannot go from being blatantly top heavy to ultra deep just because the stars lined up one weekend and a bunch of teams lost.One week simply does not make a deep conference.If things continue along this trend and the top teams continue to falter then maybe that argument could be made, but for now, it doesn’t have enough merit.Even if you look at the SEC’s national titles over its collective run of dominance it is top heavy. Of the four championships won since Florida claimed their second in 2008-09, Alabama has won the title three times, with arch-rival Auburn being the only team to unseat them.And after the BCS rankings were released Sunday, the Crimson Tide, ranked No. 1, look poised to bring home another this year.If you are a league that supposedly boasts parity then shouldn’t those championships be more spread out? Wouldn’t you expect a team like Georgia or Texas A&M to contend for a championship?Last season the argument was made that the Big Ten conference was made up of Ohio State, who could not participate in the postseason because of sanctions stemming from tattoo-gate, and then everyone else.Couldn’t you make the same argument with Alabama this season?Sure, until someone manages to unseat the SEC as reigning national champions they will remain as the class of college football. But the conference doesn’t need the added hype making it seem better than it is.The gap in talent between conferences is closing, but until the SEC is brought back down to earth things will remain as they are in college football.
OSU then-sophomore midfielder Michela Paradiso (9) approaches a defender during a game against Pittsburgh Aug. 28, 2013 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. OSU won 2-0Credit: Lantern file photoThe Ohio State women’s soccer team ended its weekend road trip with a double overtime draw against Minnesota and a loss to No. 13 Wisconsin.The Buckeyes traveled to Minneapolis on Sunday to take on the Minnesota Golden Gophers for their second game in three days.Minnesota got on the scoreboard early in the 11th minute when senior forward Olivia Schultz scored off an assist from junior defender Haley Helverson.The Buckeyes tied the game up in the 33rd minute after sophomore midfielder Alexis Degler drilled a shot off of a Minnesota defender inside the right post after a corner kick by freshman midfielder Nikki Walts. Junior midfielder Michela Paradiso came close to giving OSU the lead late in the first half but her shot from 10 yards sailed over the crossbar.The game remained tied heading into the half with OSU holding an 8-5 lead in shots, 2-1 on goal.Senior midfielder Ellyn Gruber gave the Buckeyes a chance after gathering a loose ball but her shot from 12 yards was deflected by Minnesota sophomore goalkeeper Tarah Hobbs. Degler tried to give the team the lead in the 74th minute but missed a shot from 10 yards in the box.In the final minutes of regulation, Minnesota sophomore defender Ashley Pafko had a wide open shot from eight yards away but redshirt-freshman goalkeeper Megan Geldernick made a leaping save to send the game into overtime.The Buckeyes posted a 14-13 lead in shots during regulation while the Golden Gophers held a 6-4 advantage in shots on goal.The Buckeyes got a few chances early in overtime but were unable to find the back of the net in the first 10 minutes. The game went to a second overtime with neither team finding a way to score.OSU tallied a season-high 23 shots to Minnesota’s 17 with a 10-6 advantage in shots on goal to give the Buckeyes their first tie of the season.On Friday, the Buckeyes traveled to face No. 13 Wisconsin.The first half featured a lot of back-and-forth action between the teams. The game remained scoreless until the 44th minute when Wisconsin sophomore midfielder Rose Lavelle lofted a free kick past Geldernick to give the Badgers a 1-0 lead heading into halftime.Through the first half, the Badgers held an 8-3 lead in shots and a 3-1 lead in shots on goal.In the second half, the Badgers capped the scoring during the 65th minute when senior forward Cara Walls nailed a strike just under the crossbar.OSU didn’t respond for the rest of the game, taking the shutout loss.The Buckeyes fell to 5-7-1 overall and 2-4-1 in the Big Ten. The team’s next matchup is set for 7 p.m. Saturday against Maryland at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
GULF BREEZE, Fla. (WSVN) — A little girl in north Florida has passed away after the story of her cancer battle spread across the world.The family of 5-year-old Braylynn Lawhorn originally shared a heartbreaking photo of her with her grandfather weeping by her bedside in an effort to raise awareness of the deadly Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma tumor.Just days after the devastating picture went viral, Braylynn passed away.“Princess Braylynn has left us,” her mother wrote on Facebook Monday evening. “She can finally enter her kingdom. She fought so hard for so long, she exceeded everyone’s expectations.”According to St. Jude Children’s Hospital, the tumor starts in the brain stem and usually affects children between the ages of 5 and 10. Experts say the rare tumor also has a low survival rate.“DIPG is a monster,” said Braylynn’s mother Ally Parker in a Facebook Post. “It seems as if it targets the people who have the most to lose, who are supposed to be the happiest, but also the people who are strong enough to deal with this gracefully and courageously.” According to a GoFundMe page for the family, Braylynn was diagnosed with the tumor on Dec. 7 and was given about a year to live. However, the family said on Jan. 4 Braylynn went to the hospital feeling congested. A few days later she was placed in hospice care, unconscious and unresponsive.That is when Braylynn’s mother Ally Parker wrote on Facebook, “In a few days I will have to bury this beautiful little girl. Months, maybe even weeks, later, I will have to bury my father. Both of my heroes, gone, within the same year…”The accompanying photo showed little Braylynn in her hospital bed while her grandfather wept at her bedside. Parker said her father has been diagnosed with ALS, and doesn’t have much longer to live.The family said they hope that by sharing the photo and showing their struggle with the disease, they can increase awareness of the illness.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Addressing fellow Republicans at the House and Senate Republican Member Conference in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, mentioned the wildlife refuge known as ANWR in Alaska’s northeast corner as he recounted accomplishments in the last year, including the tax bill passed by Congress in December. Trump said he “never appreciated ANWR so much” but was told of its importance by others. The comment had a major impact, Trump said. But drilling is strongly opposed by environmental groups and Gwich’in Natives in Alaska and Canada who depend on the Porcupine Caribou Herd for their subsistence lifestyle. The director of the Alaska Wilderness League in a statement condemned Trump’s comments. Oil in the refuge, Trump said, is one of the great potential fields anywhere in the world. He called it a retreat from the GOP great conservation legacy stretching back to Theodore Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower. Millions of Americans do not want to see the country squeeze every drop of oil out of national parks and refuges just to increase exports, he said The 200,000-animal herd migrates 200 miles (320 kilometers) annually from Canada’s Yukon Territory to the refuge, where females give birth to calves on the coastal plain, a strip of flat tundra between the mountains and Arctic Ocean. “It’s clear from President Trump’s remarks that jamming Arctic Refuge drilling in the tax bill was always about politics and not a thoughtful energy policy,” said Adam Kolton. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — President Donald Trump said Thursday he “really didn’t care” about opening a portion of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling but insisted it be included in tax legislation at the urging of others. “That by itself is a big bill,” he said. Most Alaska elected officials supported drilling in the refuge, home to polar bears, muskoxen, wolves and grizzlies. “I really didn’t care about it, and then when I heard that everybody wanted it — for 40 years, they’ve been trying to get it approved, and I said, ‘Make sure you don’t lose ANWR,’” Trump said. “A friend of mine called up, who’s in that world and in that business, and said, ‘Is it true that you’re thinking about ANWR?’ I said, ‘Yeah, I think we’re going to get it, but you know.’ He said, ‘Are you kidding? That’s the biggest thing, by itself.’ He said, ‘Ronald Reagan and every president has wanted to get ANWR approved.”