BY WARREN RAPPLEYEA Staff Writer The Middletown High School South boys soccer team has been pointing toward the postseason since September, and the Eagles are flying high. Coach Sean Reid’s team has been dominant in the Shore Conference tourney, downing Ocean (2-0) and Toms River South (1-0) to reach the semifinals on Friday. There the Eagles dominated CBA en route to a 6-1 victory and a meeting on Monday night against Toms River North for the conference crown. “We’re peaking at just the right time,” said Reid of his 17-0-1 team. “The old saying is that offense wins games and defense wins championships; well, we have both playing at their best right now.” Following the Shore finale, the Eagles will begin play in the NJSIAA North Jersey Section II Group III playoffs on Friday against the winner of the West Morris-Milburn game. Middletown South received a first-round bye as the second seed. Scotch Plains is the top seed. Meanwhile, the defense has been getting the job done all year long for the Eagles. Junior goalie Brian Hessinger, playing with two broken toes, has been outstanding behind a defense that includes sweeper Ryan Leahey, 6-0, 230-pound stopper Anthony Testa, and gritty 6-3 marking back David Kumm, who has tonsillitis and will have surgery after the season. In recent years Middletown South has mainly been known for its high-powered offense led by Tom Gray and Thomas Campbell. Both players have again been superlative. Gray leads the team in scoring with 20 goals and 21 assists, while Campbell has 21 goals to go with 15 assists. “We’re a team now, and our supporting cast is as good as, if not better than, anyone’s,” Reid said. “If anyone thinks we’re just the Tom and Tom show, they’re mistaken.” Chris Trimboli has been another mainstay on offense, contributing 11 goals and seven assists; and Leahey, playing with a brace due to a torn meniscus, has six goals and four assists from his sweeper post. In the middle Billy Snyder is a key along with Tyler Kimble, who has been playing through an illness. “As well as our guys have played, I don’t think they’ve been at their best yet,” Reid said. That’s not a pleasant thought for any Middletown South opponent. Notes… Following Monday night’s SCT final, the Eagles were set to concentrate on the state tournament, along with a handful of other local teams. The Christian Brothers Academy Colts received the No. 4 seed in the South Jersey Parochial A tournament, and will take on St. Joseph’s of Metuchen on Friday. St. Joe’s will also be playing for the Greater Middlesex Conference championship on Sunday against South Brunswick, and is playing its best soccer of the year. On the other side of the bracket, the seventh-seeded St. John Vianney Lancers will take on second-seeded Paul VI on Friday. The Middletown North Lions got the seventh seed in the Central Jersey Group IV tournament, and were set to take on No. 10 Old Bridge yesterday in the first round. The winner will take on the winner of the Marlboro-Brick Memorial opening-round game on Friday. In girls action, the St. John Vianney Lancers are the second seed in the South Jersey Parochial A tournament, behind top-seeded Red Bank Catholic. The Lancers will take on Bishop Ahr, seeded seventh, tomorrow, with the winner to face the winner of the Gloucester Catholic-Holy Cross game one Monday. The Middletown North girls entered Monday’s first-round action with the unenviable task of taking on fourth-seeded Hunterdon Central in their Central Jersey Group IV tourney opener. The Lions got the No. 13 seed, and were hoping to advance to tomorrow’s second round, where the winner of the East Brunswick-Hillsborough game would be waiting. Old Bridge is the top seed in this bracket. As for the Middletown South girls, they squared off with Colonia on Monday in the first round of the North Jersey Section II Group III tournament. The Eagles were the eighth seed in the tournament, and were playing for the right to take on top-seeded Ridge in tomorrow’s second-round action. BY WARREN RAPPLEYEAStaff Writer
The 20th annual Husky Indoor Soccer League is accepting mail-in registrations through Dec. 1. Forms are available at the Aberdeen Municipal Building, and forms and information can be obtained at www.leaguelineup.com/huskysport. The league is open to all ages and both genders — kindergarten through adult, and features one-hour games on Sundays from Jan. 9-Feb. 27. Teams are coed with volunteer certified coaches. All games will be played at the Lloyd Road School. There will also be a free soccer clinic given for kindergarten and first-grade players. For more information, call Art Perri at (732) 566-0154 or e-mail Huskysport@aol.com
This year is going to be a big one for sports fans. Three monumental championships and one individual quest for greatness lie ahead. Not surprisingly, it could be a year when our women dominate proceedings again. The Reggae Girlz have already made history by qualifying for the FIFA Women’s World Cup while the Sunshine Girls head for the Netball World Cup with their stocks rising after a silver medal at last year’s Fast5 tournament. To top off a busy June-July period, Alia Atkinson swims solo into history with her target being the World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea. In the sport where Jamaica has been more successful than in any other, the nation faces its first World Track and Field Championship since the retirement of the incomparable Usain Bolt. It will be a year that brings the 2020 Tokyo Olympics into view. Sadly, we arrive without Colonel Ben Francis; the founding headmaster of Vere Technical, without boxing champion Bunny Grant; young Calabar track and field mentor Kashif Bernard; football icon Winston Chung-Fah; high speed hurdler Dionne Rose; and the two-time Olympic weightlifter Calvin Stamp. They all did their part to build the Jamaica sporting brand. Perhaps those who don the black-green-and-gold at those four World Championships can dedicate their performances to Francis, Grant, Bernard, Chung-Fah, Rose and Stamp, and all of those who paved the way to the forefront. The Girlz will do battle with Brazil, Italy and Australia in first round group play at the World Cup in France this June. In July, the Girlz journey to Liverpool in pursuit of Jamaica’s best-ever finish in a Netball World Cup. With players like Jhaniele Fowler, just voted the number two player in the world, and Shamera Sterling, Fast5 MVP, there is cautious optimism. Now 30, Alia starts the trek to the only honour that has eluded her – an Olympic medal. World Championships success this year in July will build her confidence for Tokyo. McLeod now the leader Though the ‘Tall Man’ is gone, the track and field team that will assemble in Doha for the World Championships will be led by hurdler supreme Omar McLeod. He seeks a rare honour when the pistol cracks late this September. In all of World Championship history, only the American pair of Greg Foster and Allen Johnson have taken back-to-back titles in the 110 metres hurdles. Should he succeed, it would set the stage for another quest – to join Lee Calhoun and Roger Kingdom as the only men to defend Olympic titles in the same event. Fedrick Dacres, who dominated the discus in 2018, double Olympic sprint champion Elaine Thompson, ‘Mummy Rocket’ Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, and former World champions Yohan Blake and Danielle Williams head to Doha to embellish their rÈsumÈs. Fraser-Pryce has nothing to prove after winning five major global titles in the 100 metres. Yet, her 2018 season’s best of 10.98 seconds suggests that she still has the speed. I can’t wait. For those who can go to all four World Championships, now might be a good time to check to see if those passports are valid. Neglect can lead to bad news when you dive into the document at the last minute, only to see the expiry date is upon you. For those who will be at home, now might be the time to check out a big TV and a new reclining chair. You’ll need them in 2019. – Hubert Lawrence, who has made notes at trackside since 1980, has a valid passport.
“It was a massive hit by Ramnaresh Sarwan and it has gone miles out of the Providence Stadium for six. This is a colossal shot by the former West Indian player!”Those are some of the words that Leroy Phillips hopes to utter one day, from the commentary box at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence as he lives out his dream of being a part of the broadcast team for a cricket match.However, if you had met Leroy some 14 years ago, this dream would be farfetched given that the visually impaired athlete did not even like the sport of cricket at the time.“I never liked cricket to begin with,” Phillips admitted.Back in 2006, thanks to two friends who Phillips identified as Asif Khan and Vishal Mohabir, the now radio broadcaster was introduced to ‘Blind Cricket’, while at the St. Rose’s High School. During this time, although Phillips began to develop an affection for the sport, there was still one aspect of it that he did not appreciate as much.“I did hear my uncles listening to it before and in 2006 and it really used to sound pretty boring, with the English and Australian commentary,” Phillips explained.While One Day Internationals and Test Matches contributed to his appreciation for the sport, the one format and event that really got him excited about cricket was the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL).“That was quite an experience that I’ll never forget,” Phillips reminisced, as he began to tell the story of his fondest CPL memory.It was the inaugural year of CPL, in 2013, Phillips was seated in the lower parts of the Orange stand, enjoying one of the Guyana Amazon Warrior’s home games. Former West Indian batsman, Ramnaresh Sarwan was at the crease and being a visually impaired person, all Phillips could recall was hearing shouts and screams from those around him.“Before I knew it a ball landed so painfully on my right shoulder, luckily it didn’t hit anywhere else. But I discovered afterwards that it was Ramnaresh Sarwan who hit a six right into that stand,” he fondly recollected.Phillips told of the different vibe that CPL brought to cricket, the added excitement and the thrill that atmosphere held. For this reason and more, he noticed a shift in what valued and enjoyed most about the sport.Phillips who is an advocate for persons living with disabilities especially those that are visually impaired also plays Blind Cricket for Guyana and West Indies and even participated in a World Cup in 2017 in India.“I started enjoying what I previously hated, which is the commentary on radio and television. Just recently, during the India versus West Indies series I listened to commentary from guys like Barry Wilkinson and I’m like you know what one day I’d love to go in the box and work with those guys,” he expressed.Leroy is a huge fan of India’s cricket and their players especially M.S. Dhoni, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli and will never forget the end of the West Indies versus India T20 International match at Providence when he met and chatted with Kohli in the full view of the public and local and international press.Maybe it was that faithful hit from Sarwan’s shot into the crowd, or maybe it was the fact that he was now a part of the game; whichever reason it is Leroy Phillips now has another passion to pursue and it is all thanks to the Biggest party in sport.“It’s an exciting thing to do and I hope that someday soon I’ll get the chance to sit behind that mic in the studio. It would be a great start to do it with CPL.”
But, despite being out-played for long periods, Arsenal summoned a spirit and desire too often missing from their performances this term.Nacho Monreal’s equaliser forced extra-time and Sanchez’s predatory finish in the additional period secured a final date with Premier League leaders Chelsea back at Wembley on May 27.Arsenal’s third FA Cup final in the last four years — they won it in 2014 and 2015 — gives them a record 20 appearances in the showpiece match of the famous old competition.Crucially, it presents Wenger with a chance to mute the mounting criticism from his club’s supporters who want him to resign.The Gunners’ failure to challenge for the Premier League title has been compounded by their slide out of the top four.But those close to Wenger believe he is still leaning towards staying.With fourth placed City well adrift of leaders Chelsea, boss Pep Guardiola is destined to finish his first season empty-handed.He now faces the difficult task of lifting his players before a vital derby against Manchester United as the top four battles heats up on Thursday.City came close to striking first when the diminutive David Silva rose to meet Aguero’s cross with a header that Petr Cech pushed over.Silva departed due to injury soon after, but City monopolised possession and Arsenal were often reduced to kicking their opponents out of their rhythm.Aguero and Raheem Sterling combined to bundle the ball into the net just before half-time, but the goal was controversially ruled out because Leroy Sane’s cross was adjudged to have gone out as it looped over the bar before curling back into play.– Off the canvas –To City’s frustration, television replays suggested a tiny part of the ball was still in play before it reached Aguero.Yet Arsenal’s play still lacked conviction and by the 62nd minute the scoreline finally reflected City’s dominance.Arsenal’s defender Nacho Monreal (R) celebrates scoring their first goal against Manchester City on April 23, 2017 © AFP / Justin TALLISWhen Yaya Toure seized the ball after Aaron Ramsey’s mistake deep in City’s half, the Ivorian spotted Aguero and sent a long pass towards the striker.Aguero surged away from Monreal and, although his first touch almost ruined the chance, he recovered to lift a deft finish over Cech for his 30th goal this season.If that felt like the knockout blow, Monreal had other ideas and he hauled the Gunners off the canvas in the 71st minute.Having laboured for so long, Arsenal suddenly sprang to life and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain swung over a superb cross to the far post, where Monreal timed his run perfectly to slot home from close-range for his first Arsenal goal in over two years.City almost hit back immediately, with Toure’s 25-yard volley pushed onto a post by Cech before Fernandinho headed against the crossbar from Kevin de Bruyne’s corner.Danny Welbeck couldn’t win it for Arsenal with a fine curling strike before extra-time, but Sanchez came to Wenger’s rescue with a far more prosaic effort in the 101st minute.Sanchez has been a problem for Wenger with his mood swings this season and he was well below his best for long periods once again.But he was in the right place at the right time when a goalmouth melee ended with the Chilean beating Gael Clichy to the loose ball and firing in from close-range.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Arsenal’s striker Alexis Sanchez (R) celebrates scoring against Manchester City at Wembley stadium in London on April 23, 2017 © AFP / Glyn KIRKLONDON, United Kingdom, Apr 23 – Alexis Sanchez earned Arsenal an FA Cup final showdown with Chelsea and gave Arsene Wenger renewed hope of salvaging a troubled campaign as the gritty Gunners fought back to beat Manchester City 2-1 on Sunday.When Sergio Aguero put City ahead in the second half of a bruising semi-final, Wenger’s side were on the verge of another dispiriting defeat in arguably the worst season of the Frenchman’s 21-year reign.
160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! You morning commute will be slowed this morning as the California Highway Patrol reported a two-car crash that blocked the carpool lane of the southbound San Diego (405) at Sherman Way at 7:15 a.m. The crash possibly involved a gray Honda Civic and another vehicle, officials said. There were no reports of injuries.
According to sources, Watts is expected to meet NCAA qualifying requirements, but he was not going to be admitted to UCLA. The school talked to Watts about going to a junior college or a prep school for another year, but instead, Watts is looking at Arizona, Utah and Colorado. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “I’m very proud and happy I’ve had an opportunity to help change the way we recruit,” Bieniemy said. Recruiting update AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita UCLA doesn’t expect any of its recruits to back off their commitments because of Bieniemy’s move, sources said, and the Bruins are hoping to land a few more commitments before the deadline, including Notre Dame High of Sherman Oaks quarterback Garrett Green. Green, who was offered a scholarship by USC over the weekend, said he is trying to schedule an official trip to UCLA this weekend. He is also an accomplished safety, but wants his first chance on offense. “Ideally, I’d like to play quarterback,” said Green, who added he might visit Nebraska and Michigan. “I want an opportunity to compete for a job. I’ve met some of the coaches at UCLA, but (visiting) would give me a chance to sit and talk with them more.” Watts de-commits Los Banos High offensive lineman Walter Watts, who was the first member to commit for the 2006 class, de-commited to UCLA. The move was expected for the last month. In one year, Eric Bieniemy revamped UCLA’s recruiting efforts, increasing coach Karl Dorrell’s visibility and accessibility among Southern California’s prep players and coaches. Bieniemy, UCLA’s running backs coach for three years and recruiting coordinator the past 11 months, accepted the same position with the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings on Monday, but his recruiting strategy figures to remain. Bieniemy said a detailed recruiting plan leading up to the Feb. 1 national letter of intent signing day is in place, and UCLA already identified which juniors will receiver written scholarship offers Feb. 2.
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’Group Crafts, 9 a.m.-noon in Room A2. Computer Training, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. in Room A1. Chair exercise class, 9:45-10:15 a.m. in the dining room. Senior citizen lunches will be served, 11:30 a.m. in the dining room. Cost: $2. Computer training for the visually impaired will be offered, 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. in Room A3. Canasta will be played, 1-4 p.m. in Room A2. Country-western line dancing will be taught, 2-3 p.m. in the dining room. Cost: $3. Oil painting class, 6:30-9:30 p.m. in Room A3. TUESDAY T’ai chi ch’uan class, 8:30-9:30 a.m. and 3-4 p.m. in the dining room. Aqua Fitness classes, 8:30, 8:45 and 9:45 a.m. at Bouquet Canyon Senior Apartments in Saugus. Bridge will be played, 9 a.m. in Room A1. Low impact aerobics, 8:45-9:30 a.m. at Bouquet Canyon Senior Apartments in Saugus. Mixed Media, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. in Room A2. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The following events will take place this week at the Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center, 22900 Market St., Newhall. For information, call (661) 259-9444. MONDAY Aerobics class, 8:30-9:30 a.m. in the dining room. Bridge will be played, 9 a.m. in Room A1.
“It was a shocking betrayal for Mr. Pierce when he was targeted by people he considered brothers and then mercilessly harassed (him) out of a job that meant so much to him,” said attorney Genie Harrison. Council members said they approved the $2.7 million settlement with Pierce because of concerns that the city would have to pay out even more if it went to trial and lost the case. Only Councilman Dennis Zine voted against the agreement. “Firefighters and police officers play pranks on each other. I’ve had pranks played on me,” said Zine, who was an LAPD officer for 38 years. “I’m not saying what they did was right, but it wasn’t worth $2.7 million.” firstname.lastname@example.org (213) 978-0390160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! In what may be the largest employee settlement in Los Angeles Fire Department history, the City Council agreed Wednesday to pay an African-American firefighter $2.7 million to end a racial harassment lawsuit filed after his colleagues put dog food in his spaghetti. The case comes as the LAFD gets close to completing a new, independent complaint and discipline investigation process to address long-standing complaints of sexual and racial harassment, hazing and retaliation within the department. But the fixes sought by the Los Angeles Fire Commission won’t save the Fire Department from several pending lawsuits. The latest settlement is the third major payout to a firefighter in six weeks. The city has already paid out $4 million to employees since 2000 and could be on the hook for even more. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’The case settled Wednesday was brought by 19-year veteran firefighter Tennie Pierce, who was working at a fire station in Westchester when colleagues gave him a plate of spaghetti for dinner. After a few bites, he noticed his colleagues laughing, so he stood up and demanded to know what they put in his food. They wouldn’t say until later, when another firefighter admitted they put dog food in his meal. Pierce said the incident was sparked by a volleyball game earlier that day when he’d bragged, “You guys keep feeding the Big Dog,” which was his nickname. But he felt the prank was offensive, humiliating and took on a particularly malicious character because he was African- American and his colleagues were not, according to his lawsuit. “Because of what happened to me, I could not trust people I worked with, and I could not continue to risk my life as a firefighter with people I did not trust to protect me,” Pierce said Wednesday in a statement. Worse, the complaint said, Pierce’s supervisors bought the can of dog food, watched the prank and later tried to cover up the incident. They were later suspended. Still, co-workers continued to harass Pierce about the dog food, barking at him and making jokes. He eventually took a leave from work.
MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP)— Jubilant Somalis cheered as troops of the U.N.-backed interim government rolled into Mogadishu unopposed Thursday, putting an end to six months of domination of the capital by a radical Islamic movement. Ethiopian soldiers stopped on the outskirts of town, after providing much of the military might in the offensive that shattered what had seemed an unbeatable Islamic militia. Islamic fighters fled south vowing to continue the battle. “We are in Mogadishu,” Prime Minister Mohamed Ali Gedi declared after meeting with local clan leaders to discuss the peaceful hand-over of the city. Despite the celebrations in the streets, worries about the future were widespread in a country that hasn’t had an effective national government since clan warlords toppled a longtime dictator 15 years ago. Many in overwhelmingly Muslim Somalia are suspicious of the transitional government’s reliance on neighboring Ethiopia, a traditional rival with a large Christian population and one of East Africa’s biggest armies. Witnesses said crowds threw rocks at Ethiopian troops on the city’s northern edge. Somalia’s complex clan politics also are a big worry, having undone at least 14 attempts to install a central government in this violent, anarchic nation. Gedi’s government, set up in 2004 with U.N. backing, is riddled with clan rivalries, most notably between the young prime minister and elderly president. “The future of Somalia is very bleak and Somalis will share the same fate with Iraq and Afghanistan,” a Mogadishu resident, Abdullahi Mohamed Laki, said. “The transitional government has no broad support in the capital.” Gedi later said his government was seeking approval from the interim parliament to impose martial law across Somalia while its forces attempt to restore order. Weapons will be confiscated, he said without giving details. A chilling reminder of the chaos Somalia has known came as clan militiamen and criminal groups began looting almost anything they could after the Islamic forces fled. At least four people were killed in the melee, said one witness, Abdullahi Adow. President Abdullahi Yusuf, whose shaky acting administration has spent the last year in a temporary capital, Baidoa, 150 miles west of Mogadishu, said government troops are not a threat to the city’s people. “The government is committed to solving every problem that may face Somalia through dialogue and peaceful ways,” he said in a statement. But gunfire was heard for most of the day in the city. The United Nations flew out 14 aid workers and one U.N. staff member because of deteriorating security. Ethiopian troops, who pledged not to enter the capital, were stoned by crowds on the northern edge of the city, witnesses said. “How could we welcome an invading enemy,” said one protester, Faiza Ali Nur. Relations between Somalia and Ethiopia have long been strained. They fought a bloody war over their disputed border in 1977. After launching an offensive against the Islamic forces Sunday, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said his army would go home once it defeated the Islamic movement, whose fighters had extended their control over much of southern Somalia the past six months. Meles vowed Thursday not to give up the fight until extremists and foreign fighters supporting the Islamic movement had been crushed. “We need to pursue them to make sure that they do not establish themselves again and destabilize Somalia and the region,” he said, predicting that would take a few more weeks. Speaking in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, he said 2,000 to 3,000 Islamic fighters had been killed and 4,000 to 5,000 wounded. Ethiopia suffered a few hundred casualties, he told reporters. Islamic militiamen, who had said they would defend Mogadishu to the last man, retreated toward the southern port of Kismayo. The fighters had gone door-to-door in Kismayo recruiting children as young as 12 to make a last stand on behalf of the Islamic movement, according to a confidential U.N. report, citing the families of boys taken to the front line town of Jilib, 65 miles north of Kismayo. Residents told AP that Islamic leader Hassan Dahir Aweys arrived in Jilib with hundreds of his militiamen aboard 45 pickup trucks mounted with anti-aircraft guns. The Islamic movement took Mogadishu in a battle with clan warlords in June and then advanced across most of the south, often without fighting. When Ethiopia began providing military aid to the transitional government, Islamic leaders issued a call for foreign Muslims to join their “holy war” against the Ethiopians. Somalis living on the coast reported seeing hundreds of foreigners entering the country. The turning came when Islamic troops advanced on the interim government’s stronghold in Baidoa, and Ethiopian troops and fighter aircraft went on the attack over the weekend and the situation dramatically reversed. The International Committee of the Red Cross said that over the past few days, hospitals and other medical facilities in southern and central Somalia had admitted more than 800 wounded people. “The ICRC is extremely concerned about civilians caught up in the fighting, wounded people and people detained in connection with the fighting,” said Pascal Hundt, head of the Red Cross delegation in Somalia. The U.N. refugee agency said Thursday that two boats carrying Somalis and Ethiopians across the Gulf of Aden from northern Somalia capsized late Wednesday as they were being pursued by Yemen’s coast guard. At least 17 people drowned, and 140 were thought missing, it said. The refugee agency said some of the 357 survivors claimed to be fleeing the fighting in central Somalia. But their boats sailed from ports far to the north in a relatively peaceful area of Somalia, from where a steady stream of economic migrants has set sail in recent years. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: John Jackson greets a Christmas that he wasn’t sure he’d see160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!