EUREKA >> The postseason run has begun for the senior-heavy St. Bernard’s volleyball team, and its quest to make it back to the Division VI state tournament has taken a step in the right direction.The Crusaders swept Patten Academy of Oakland in straight sets (25-8, 25-16 and 25-23) in the first round of the North Coast Section Division VI playoffs at Crusader Gymnasium on Wednesday night.For one of seven seniors, middle hitter Betsy Brown, just being in the playoffs in her last year of high …
Time certainly does fly when you’re having fun. Or, in this case, jumping from one sport to the next with seemingly a snap of your fingers.No matter if it was final months of winter, spring, summer or fall — as the leaves changed on trees, the Humboldt County sports scene saw another season filled with thrills and titles.Both local college and high sports delivered the goods in 2016, as Humboldt teams represented the North Coast quite well once again.Here, in no particular order, are the top …
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Chelsea boss Frank Lampard: Fikayo Tomori my project playerby Paul Vegas21 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea boss Frank Lampard says his “project” player Fikayo Tomori has long justified his faith in him.The centre-back joined Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and Ross Barkley as the four Chelsea Lions in Gareth Southgate’s England squad this week. “I put trust in him early in the season – I think that was obvious with the way the pre-season went with the centre-backs,” said Lampard. “At the moment, he has really delivered and long may that continue. I think there is a lot more to come still.“Last year as Derby he was fantastic. But you don’t know until you put players in. Against Sheffield United at home was a game where I thought he deserved his opportunity for his training.”Those are the rules here. You have to train at a level. Then he gave me a big problem because he played so well and he has continued to do that. Yes, he is a project in a way but a nice one because everything you want him to do, he stands up and delivers.”
Twitter/@Fine_and_TandyPretty much every edition of the Kentucky vs. Louisville basketball rivalry is intense, and today’s game certainly didn’t disappoint. The game featured technicals on both coaches, huge dunks and blocks, and a dramatic finish, resulting in a two-point UK win.After the game, multiple Kentucky fans claimed that Louisville head coach Rick Pitino flipped off someone in the crowd while leaving the court. Twitter user Seiver Tandy captured the incident on video. Pitino definitely appears to make a gesture after being taunted, but it is hard to really tell if he gave a fan the finger or not, at least based on this footage.I got Rick flipping off UK fans on video @KySportsRadio pic.twitter.com/VPgUbRGM9H— Seiver Tandy (@Fine_and_Tandy) December 26, 2015Pitino sent assistant Ralph Willard out to answer questions after the game, so we’ll have to wait some time to hear Pitino’s side of things. If he did, in fact, flip of a Kentucky fan, that is a really bad look for the Hall of Fame coach.[KSR]
London: England and Portugal both scored five goals while France scored three as they overcame lowly-ranked Kosovo, Andorra and Lithuania in Euro 2020 qualifying on Tuesday. Captain Cristiano Ronaldo, making his 160th international appearance, scored four as Portugal won 5-1 in Vilnius and strengthened their position in Group B after a sluggish start. For Ronaldo it was a second hat-trick in three internationals. The victory over Lithuania, 130th in the world rankings, kept brought Portugal five points behind Ukraine at the top of Group B. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhPortugal, who opened the group with home draws against Ukraine and Serbia, started their recovery with a victory in Belgrade on Saturday. They have a game in hand on all the other teams in the group. “We were better, we are better, and we won because of it,” said Fernando Santos, the Portugal coach. “We kept the pace after the win at Serbia, otherwise this triumph would make no sense, and we are closer.” Ronaldo’s first goal was a penalty. The second, with the scores level after an hour, was a scuffed low shot from outside the penalty area which took a couple of stranges bounces off the artificial turf before it was parried into the air by the diving Ernestas Setkus. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterThe dropping ball hit the back of the goalie’s head before rolling in. The third was a clinical volley from close range. The fourth was a low shot into the corner. Vytautas Andriuskevicius scored the hosts’ only goal before William Carvalho added a fifth for the reigning champions at the end. Serbia beat Luxembourg 3-1, as Aleksandar Mitrovic netted twice, to solidify their grasp on third place. They are a point behind Portugal. In Southampton, Gareth Southgate’s England side trailed early on to Kosovo, ranked 120th in the world, when Valon Berisha scored after 34 seconds. England replied with a first-half goal binge that ended with Jadon Sancho scoring twice to make it 5-1 at the break. The visitors claimed two back in the second half, including a second for Lazio midfielder Berisha, but the 5-3 victory put England three points clear in Group A, ahead of the second-placed Czech Republic, who beat Montenegro 3-0. “A bizarre game,” said Southgate. “The outstanding parts of our play were obvious. The errors were obvious.” In Paris, the world champions made light work of beating 136-ranked Andorra 3-0. It was Les Bleus’ 100th match at the Stade de France. Antoine Griezmann missed a penalty for his country for the second game running but Kinglsey Coman, Clement Lenglet, with his first on the international goal, and Wissam Ben Yedder clinched three points. “It is really annoying. I’ll just need to keep working. You can’t be on top of your game all the time,” Griezmann said. Coman also scored two against Albania on Saturday. “It has been a very good week. It has gone well personally and collectively,” Coman told television station TF1. Cenk Tosun scored twice as the Turks beat Moldova with ease in a 4-0 victory in Chisinau. But Iceland, who had been level with the top two, suffered a blow as they lost 4-2 in Albania.
Quenton Nelson looks exactly like a franchise-cornerstone left tackle: Standing 6 foot 5, 325 pounds, Nelson is “built like a bank safe” and blessed with the athleticism and aggressiveness to be a perennial All-Pro. The quarterback’s protector is often called the second-most-important offensive position, so it’s no wonder that Nelson’s in the mix to be the first non-quarterback to be picked in this year’s draft.But one thing does separate Nelson from other highly coveted tackles on draft day: He isn’t a tackle. He’s a guard.How players at one position in the NFL’s otherwise-anonymous quintet of trench warriors became some of American sports’ most-prized athletes is a story so well-known it was turned into a best-selling book, and even a movie: The uniquely gifted protectors of “The Blind Side” emerged in the 1990s to stop the pass-rushing outside linebackers of the 1980s, like eight-time All-Pro Lawrence Taylor.For years afterward, teams trying to land the next Orlando Pace or Walter Jones had no qualms about throwing high draft picks at top tackles. Even less-than-perfect tackle prospects like Michigan’s Jake Long and Central Michigan’s Eric Fisher were deemed “safe” picks at No. 1 overall — because unlike quarterbacks, who are unlikely to play another position well, if those tackles fail to establish themselves as quality starters, teams have the option of kicking them inside to guard.As recently as 2012, guards were still afterthoughts, not worthy of the draft-value (and contract) investment that comes with a high first-round selection. Outstanding guard prospect David DeCastro, whom many evaluators deemed worthy of at least a top-10 pick, didn’t come off the board until No. 24 that year.In the 32-team era,1Since 2002. 62 tackles have been drafted in the first round compared to just 14 guards. On average, those tackles were taken with the 14th pick, while the average guard went between 23 and 24. In fact, after “The Blind Side” was released in September 2006, NFL teams went on a four-year tackle binge, drafting 19 first-round tackles compared to just three centers and two guards.Last season, though, the market for elite tackles seemed to dry up. Only two — Garett Bolles and Ryan Ramczyk — went in the first round, and both were picked in the back end of the round (20 and 32 respectively). After Alabama’s Cam Robinson was taken with the second pick of the second round, which was lower than most expected, no tackles were taken until pick No. 85. To get a sense of how high in the draft tackles have tended to go over time, we can quantify pick position using Jimmy Johnson’s draft-pick value chart, which assigns a point value to every pick in the draft based solely on how early the pick is, not on which player is taken. Last year, the picks used on tackles in rounds one and two were worth a total of 2000 points, the lowest sum since at least 1994. By comparison, the picks used on the six tackles taken in the first two rounds in 2013 were worth more than 10,000 points. The trend of devaluing tackles seems certain to continue in the 2018 NFL draft. After Nelson, tackle Mike McGlinchey (average mock draft position: 22.2) is the next offensive lineman projected to go. But then it’s a run of interior linemen: Center James Daniels (28.5) and guards Isaiah Wynn (28.8) and Will Hernandez (28.9) are all set to be drafted ahead of the only other tackle who’s projected to be taken on the draft’s first night, Kolton Miller (31.2).If Miller doesn’t make it into the first round, it’ll be the first time that fewer than two tackles have been drafted in any first round since “The Blind Side” was released, and it would match the 2005-2006 nadir for high-pick tackles — only three tackles were taken in the first round in each of those two back-to-back draft classes.It’s not like NFL teams suddenly decided that the offensive line isn’t important, it’s more that the value pendulum is shifting away from left tackle. If Nelson goes as high as he’s expected to, he’ll be the third guard picked in the top 10 in the last six seasons (the fourth if you count Washington’s Brandon Scherff, who was drafted as a tackle but has since become a Pro Bowl guard2Washington initially tried Scherff at tackle before switching him to guard in his first training camp.). Before Chance Warmack and Jonathan Cooper went in the top 10 in 2013, no guard had been picked that high in a dozen years.3Leonard Davis went No. 2 overall in 2001 as a guard, though he went on to play both tackle and guard in the NFL.But it’s not just draft capital that teams are investing in a previously neglected position.This spring, All-Pro guard Andrew Norwell signed a five-year, $66.5 million unrestricted free-agency deal that briefly made him the NFL’s highest-paid offensive lineman. Though former New England Patriots left tackle Nate Solder’s four-year, $62 million contract with the New York Giants topped Norwell’s $13.3 million average annual value, Norwell remains No. 2.In 2016, the five biggest free-agency deals4In terms of contracts’ average annual value. given to offensive linemen went to left tackles. In 2017, half of the eight offensive-line contracts worth at least $10 million per year went to left tackles — but the other half went to three guards and a center. In 2018, Solder’s was the only one of the top six offensive-line deals that did not go to a guard or center.So why the sudden change? For starters, the evolution of the left tackle was a response to a defensive revolution that’s been over for a long time; Taylor’s 10-season Pro Bowl streak ended 27 years ago. From Dick LeBeau’s zone blitzes to Jim Johnson’s and Jim Schwartz’s aggressive 4-3s, Wade Phillips’s one-gap 3-4 schemes to Bill Belichick and Matt Patricia’s hybrid/multiple fronts attack, defensive coordinators have as many different ways to send pass rushers at quarterbacks as there are gaps between offensive linemen.According to ESPN Stats & Information Group, 36 percent of the 1,082.5 sacks by front-seven players in 2017 were registered by a player lined up at right defensive end or right outside linebacker. That means even a Hall of Fame left tackle can’t possibly help with at least two-thirds of the pressure that defenses are generating.Then there’s the fact that quarterbacks don’t really have a “blind side” anymore. The heavy use of shotgun formation in today’s NFL allows quarterbacks to keep the whole defense in front of them. According to ESPN Stats & Info, just 13,319 of 32,436 offensive plays (41 percent) were run from under center in 2017– and of those, a quarterback dropped back to pass on just 4,201 plays (13 percent of all offensive plays).The average left tackle, then, will only be called upon to keep his quarterback clean during a traditional dropback about 1/8th of the time he’s on the field.But don’t tell Nelson, Wynn, Hernandez or any of the other guards set to be drafted this weekend that the value of offensive linemen has crashed. They’re about to prove that the NFL has finally figured out that anyone who can get keep a pass-rusher from getting to a quarterback is worth an awful lot — regardless of where he’s positioned on the line.
Captain Manuel Neuer insists that Germany must consider their two remaining group games in the World Cup as “finals” from now onThe reigning champions suffered a disastrous start to the defence of their crown when they lost 1-0 to Mexico on Sunday with a Hirving Lozano first-half goal proving to be the difference at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.Germany will be under an extreme amount of pressure to defeat Sweden this weekend in Sochi in order to avoid a shocking early exit at Russia.Neuer, who recovered in time from a broken foot, to take his place as Joachim Low’s number one goalkeeper for the World Cup insists that the team must take each game now as seriously as a final.“From now on, we only have finals. The players have to show what they can do but I am convinced that we can do it,” said Neuer, according to Punchng.Top 5 Bundesliga players to watch during the weekend Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 11, 2019 With the international activity cooling down for the next month, we go back to the Bundesliga’s Top 5 players to watch next weekend.The German…The 32-year-old is refusing to get overly concerned by the situation and believes that the best remedy is to turn their full focus on to Sweden now.“Complaining about what happened doesn’t change anything, we all know that,” he said.“We have to try to put this behind us as quickly as possible.”Germany are hoping to become the first team since Brazil in 1962 to successfully defend their world title.
Gary Neville’s latest suggestion about Liverpool seem not to have gone down well with the German boss Jurgen Klopp following his comments.The United legend suggested that Liverpool’s best shot at delivering the first ever Premier League trophy would come if they didn’t try to juggle every competition this term.When asked about Neville’s recommendation at his Friday press conference, the Reds boss laughed it off and claimed he didn’t fully understand Neville’s logic.“Gary should come over and tell me exactly how that would work,” Klopp said. “You bring your kids in the Champions League? That would be funny!“I don’t want to be too critical because I don’t know exactly how he said it but sitting in an office and talking about football is completely different to doing the job, to be honest.Vidic: “Ronaldo is the most professional footballer I’ve seen” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Nemanja Vidic opened up on how a 21-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo’s professionalism left him stunned at Manchester United.“What did he say about Manchester United in that case? The club he’s more interested in. Nothing?“I don’t know exactly what it means but to focus on one competition can only be if maybe you are already out of the competition nearly.“If it’s late in the season that you see you have a chance to do that or do this and all that stuff.“Last year, for example, we had no chance to focus on one competition because we had to qualify for the Champions League and I don’t think that even Gary Neville would have said: ‘Quarter-finals of the Champions League, let City win’.”
The 19-year-old has debuted for Roma against Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League and recently he was called to the national teamNicolo Zaniolo debuted with Italian Lega Serie A club Roma in a UEFA Champions League match against Real Madrid this season.His good performances have also made him shine and was called to the Italy national team too.And the 19-year-old is very excited about this.Karsdorp reveals he had too much stress at Roma Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 The Dutch defender has been with the Gialorrossi since 2017, but he has not enjoyed his time in the Italian Lega Serie A.“I expected a lot less to happen than what actually did. I would like to continue on this path. My debut at the Bernabeu against Real Madrid for the Champions League was crazy, I could not describe it,” he told Gianluca Di Marzio.“My legs were trembling, thank goodness De Rossi was there to give me a hand. Once on the pitch, however, I only thought about playing football.”“I did not expect the call-up to the Italian National Team. I was in front of the TV when I found out. I called my father and we went to Coverciano,” he commented.“I hope that in the future I will succeed, I played with champions like Chiellini and Bonucci and I tried to learn as much as I could although I had little time available. Mancini told me that he believes in me very much and that now he will show me how much I’m worth.”
Georginio Wijnaldum has urged his teammates to fight on despite the blip they suffered at the Etihad Stadium.The Reds unbeaten run came to an end after Man City beat them 2-1 on Thursday night as goals from Sergio Aguero and Leroy Sane gave the hosts three points.Firmino’s equaliser wasn’t enough to salvage a point for Klopp’s men but Dutch midfielder Wijnaldum believes the loss will not dent their title aspirations.“I think we did enough to get a point and we could have won it also,” Wijnaldum told Liverpoolfc.com after the final whistle at Etihad Stadium.“We were quite unlucky with the chances but we also could lose it – like we have now. We just have to keep the confidence and try to win the next game.Top 5 Premier League players to watch for next weekend Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 11, 2019 With the international activity cooling down for the next month, we go back to the Premier League’s Top 5 players to watch this weekend.After…“They cleared well and we hit the post. They also had two or three chances so it could have gone either way; we could have won, drawn or lost. At the end, we were unlucky and they won the game.”“We knew before it would be a hard game and we would have to give everything to win the game,” said the Netherlands international.“A few games this season we were lucky we have scored goals, and tonight we were quite unlucky with the chances that we had. That’s football.“Sometimes you have games where you score a lot and score with every chance that you get – and sometimes you don’t. What we have to do now is to keep our confidence and win the next game.”