Nicholls Duo, SFA’s Ruiz Awarded Final Southland Football Weekly Honors

first_imgHonorable Mention: Shemar Bartholomew, Northwestern State; Tra Fluellen, Houston Baptist; Kody Fulp, McNeese; Gary Sampson, Stephen F. Austin. Honorable Mention: Gavin Lasseigne, Nicholls; Hayden Ray, Central Arkansas; Devonte Williams, Southeastern La. Defensive Player of the Week: Kevin Moore III, Nicholls – Jr. – Safety – Lafayette, La.The Colonels’ leading tackler all season, safety Kevin Moore’s final stop of the regular season helped Nicholls to a thrilling one-point victory in the title match against Southeastern Louisiana. Facing a second-and-goal at the 2 with 21 seconds remaining, the Colonel defense stuffed Lion quarterback Cole Kelley on a rush and Moore was able to knock the ball away on his hit, and Nicholls recovered it in front of the goal line. Special Teams Player of the Week: Storm Ruiz, Stephen F. Austin – Sr. – Kicker – League City, TexasRuiz played a vital role in a rivalry game win over Northwestern State, accounting for nearly half of the ‘Jacks points with three made field goals and three extra-points. He converted three-pointers from distances of 54, 41 and 44 yards, finishing his career as the Southland Conference leader in career field goal percentage (78.1) and wrapping up 116-for-116 on PATs. Southland weekly award winners are nominated and voted upon by each school’s sports information director. Voting for one’s own athlete is not permitted. To earn honorable mention, a student-athlete must appear on 25 percent of ballots. A senior kicker who will go down as one of the finest in league history statistically, Ruiz earns Special Teams Player of the Week honors for the second time this season following a 15-point performance in a 32-20 win over Northwestern State. All three of his made field goals were from 41 yards or further, including a 54-yard conversion. He finished his career 116-for-116 on extra points and posted the highest career field-goal percentage (78.1) in league history. Moore finished with a game-high 11 tackles as the Colonels were able to slow down a red-hot Lion offense that averaged 42 points in its four-game winning streak. FRISCO, Texas – Nicholls’ Dai’Jean Dixon and Kevin Moore III, along with Stephen F. Austin’s Storm Ruiz are the Southland Football Players of the Week, the league announced Monday. While Dixon’s score gave Nicholls the lead late, it was Moore’s crucial stop of Lions quarterback Cole Kelley at the goal line that secured the victory and garnered Defensive Player of the Week honors. The Colonel defense stuffed Kelley at the goal line and Moore’s forced fumble was recovered by Nicholls. The Colonels host North Dakota in the first round of the FCS playoffs at 3 p.m. Saturday. Offensive Player of the Week: Dai’Jean Dixon, Nicholls – Jr. – Wide Receiver – New Orleans, La.Dixon had a career night against Southeastern Louisiana, hauling in nine receptions for 190 yards and three touchdowns. With Nicholls trailing in the final two minutes in the winner-take-all matchup, Dixon caught a 57-yard touchdown pass that tied the game before the extra point gave the Colonels the lead. Earlier in the contest, Nicholls fell behind 14-0 before Dixon broke free for a 48-yard touchdown in the second quarter. He then followed up with a highlight 2-yard grab that tied the game before halftime. Dixon, who is averaging 122.3 yards in his seven games played, set a new career-high for the second straight week, besting his eight grabs for 185 last week against McNeese. Following a career night against Southeastern Louisana, Dixon picks up his first Offensive Player of the Week recognition after catching nine passes for 190 yards and three touchdowns in a 28-27 win in the River Bell Classic. The win clinched a share of the Southland Conference title and the league’s automatic bid to the FCS playoffs for the Colonels (8-4, 7-2 SLC). Dixon hauled in a 57-yard bomb from Chase Fourcade for the eventual game-winning score.   Honorable Mention: Chandler Harvin, Sam Houston State; Tyler Hudson, Central Arkansas; Justin Pratt, McNeese; Ben Ratzlaff, Houston Baptist.last_img read more

Jason Black reaches K2 base camp ahead of summit attempt

first_imgIrish Red Cross ambassador and Donegal man Jason Black has just reached K2 base camp in Pakistan ahead of his ascent of the world’s second highest and most dangerous mountain.Jason is a global endurance athlete who has previously summited Everest, and he holds the mountaineering world record for the double ascent of Kilimanjaro in 22.5 hours.And this is not Jason’s first attempt at K2. He made it as far as camp two in 2015 but no further, as mother nature had other plans and he had to turn back.The first and only Irish person to conquer K2 is Limerick native Ger McDonnell who died in an ice avalanche on his descent ten years ago, after successfully rescuing three stricken climbers.Today, Jason placed a plaque from the Irish people at K2 base camp in honour of Ger.Jason expects to reach the peak of K2 on 2 August, which is the ten-year anniversary of Ger’s death. Speaking before he departed for Pakistan, Jason said; “I recently visited Ger McDonnell’s family in Limerick and they are fully backing me in the climb. Ger’s Mum Gertie gave me some of his precious equipment to climb with and it means a lot to me; I’ll mentally be climbing with Ger.“I’ll be spiritually connected to him through the equipment and to some people that doesn’t make sense, but to me on a mountain where you’re alone, and it’s a big vast mountain, and you’re away from civilisation, you cling on to any small support and positive energy, and anything that makes life a little bit easier on the mountain. It gives you strength.”Jason’s previous K2 attempt will serve as great preparation over coming weeks.“I got up as far as camp two the last time and there’s four camps before the summit, so I do know half the mountain” says Jason. “It makes the enormity of the climb a little bit easier to digest, the knowing of what it’s going to take the climb the thing and the enormity of the exposure that’s involved.“You’re reading all the statistics before you leave Ireland – the fact that just over 300 people in the world have ever got to the top, and of course the death rate, so my knowledge of K2 from the last attempt helps break in it down in terms of knowing exactly what it is I have to tackle.” The weather on the summit of K2 generally consists of 200-miles-an-hour winds, but for four days, the weather becomes calm on the top – “and that’s when you have to strike,” says Jason.“It’s going to call on every bit of mountaineering skill that I have in my body, not only from a skill and physical perspective, but mentally, I need to stay strong to deal with the lack of oxygen, and to try to make good conscious decisions on the mountain because if I can’t make good strong conscious decisions, then I can’t survive.”Of course for many people the question for Jason is, why?“Some people struggle to get their head around parts of the jigsaw puzzle,” says Jason, “why do you do it, why you want to climb in minus 30 degrees, why do you want to climb in an environment that has little or no oxygen, why do you want to climb in an environment that has the potential to take a life? “But it’s a very humbling experience, honing and crafting my skills to be able to do it. I want to use my time on K2 to show that with self-belief, dedication, commitment, hard work and training you can achieve anything in this world.”Jason appeals to people “to not be afraid of life, to not be afraid of challenges, to not be afraid of setting goals and finding a way, even though sometimes the goals may be as high as K2.”Jason is also using his time on K2 to raise awareness about the work of the Irish Red Cross in his role as an ambassador for the charity.“I’m very proud to be carrying the Irish Red Cross badge on all my clothing for the climb of K2,” says Jason. “It is such a humbling experience to be asked to be an Irish Red Cross ambassador. The Irish Red Cross has reached out to help in local communities all over Ireland on so many occasions, particularly in the last year during Beast from the East and Storm Ophelia.“I also saw, first hand, the hard work of Irish Red Cross volunteers in my own home county during the Donegal Floods last August. I want to use my time on this mountain to raise awareness about the Irish Red Cross and the work they do – and what they actually achieve, from a humanitarian perspective, both at home and abroad.”Jason Black reaches K2 base camp ahead of summit attempt was last modified: July 2nd, 2018 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

On the relationships between Bidwill Keim and Ari

first_imgOn the relationships between Bidwill, Keim and Arians:SK: “I think that the success we had was built on that trust and respect for each other, and it was a philosophy Michael had when he hired us. It’s ‘roll up our sleeves, stay in our lanes and let’s do everything we can to improve this organization,’ and that’s what we did. He was unbelievable to work with. There were times I’d go down to his office – and I’ve told you guys – I could tell him, ‘Hey, we’re signing this player. We’re signing that player.’ The response was, ‘Cool, baby. We’ll get him ready.’ That just doesn’t happen in this league. So many times you get questions of, ‘Why are we signing this guy?’ And then Bruce had that trust, and the fact that we had so many examples of success in late signings were because his lack of fear for playing players off the street. And I think it’s a credit to him and his coaching staff that we had success with those guys because they catered to their strengths and put them in positions to succeed, and again, that’s the special qualities that Bruce had – not only the ability to coach guys hard and get them to love them later. As Michael said, he started a great foundation for us. We have a great culture here, and there’s no doubt in my opinion that this coaching position is going to be certainly one of the best out there.” (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo On the future of the current staff:MB: “That’s something Steve and I will be talking about. A number of years ago, we went through a similar situation. Some of those folks are under contract, and we’re going to honor all of the contracts, obviously. We’ll be in the individual discussions with them as well.”On how Arians approached him with the decision and ensuing conversation:MB: “Ultimately, it was yesterday we learned the news. Then he announced it today, just now.”On if he tried to talk Arians out of retirement and if he can provide a glimpse of the conversation:MB: “I think the most important thing is respecting (his decision). This is a very difficult decision for him to come to, and when you look at everything around his decision, I want to respect his decision and not try to put any pressure on him to come back, especially with some of the health issues and things like that he’s had over the years. Steve and I love him, and we want to see him have a great retirement. And we know he has left the organization in a great place with a great culture here, the locker room and everything else. And we appreciate everything he’s done – two-time (NFL) Coach of the Year and he’s just done tremendous things for this organization. I want to see him be happy and healthy in his retirement, and none of us were going to put any sort of pressure on him. We want to see him be happy and healthy.” Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling 3 Comments   Share   On if the relationship between Keim and Arians contributed to a successful run:SK: “It’s a number of things. I think the day that Michael put us both in this position was the fact that all three of us would have open lines of communication, which I’m proud that we did. And really, at the end of the day, we grew up 15 miles apart. I mean, how many times does that happen in the National Football League where you grew up that close to the person you work with? Very rarely did we have disagreements and when we did, we made Cardinal decisions and it was never personal. I think the best thing is looking back on the relationship and the way that he and Michael and I were able to communicate and how much pride I take in that.”On if Arians’ teams reflected his personality:SK: “No doubt. No doubt. When Jude asked that question to Michael, ‘What did you learn or take away?’ Mine was, ‘No risk it, no biscuit.’ No need to apologize for going for it and that’s what we’re going to continue to do as an organization. We’re going to continue to go for it.”On if there are any feelings as to whether QB Carson Palmer and WR Larry Fitzgerald will return next season:MB: “I’m not going to speculate on anything, or speculate on speculators.” SK: “As a matter of fact, I’ve been so busy that I haven’t had a chance to talk to (Head Athletic Trainer) Tom Reed, but I know that Jermaine (Gresham) had the Achilles last night. Aside from that, I think there were some bumps and bruises but I don’t anticipate any major time lost or offseason issues.”On C/G Evan Boehm’s knee injury:SK: “As far as I know, it wasn’t serious. At least I haven’t heard that now. Many times, the MRI will prove whether that’s right or wrong. I haven’t gotten that information yet.”center_img On the need for a quarterback and if the new head coach will need a track record of developing quarterbacks:SK: “I don’t know necessarily ‘need to,’ but at the end of the day, having your next franchise quarterback is no different from finding the next head coach and that’s going through the process, like Michael talked about, being true to it, and at the end of the day, you usually know in your heart who the guy is. The biggest thing is that we just have to make sure we aggressively approach it and take that on. Like I said, five years ago we started with no head coach and no quarterback and I feel like that ended up pretty good. I think that’s the way we need to approach this, this time around.”On if Arians will help with the coaching search:MB: “As Steve said, his door’s open and my door’s open. Bruce has given his, and will keep his comments private, but he’s given us his advice and wants to see us be successful and he is going to continue to be a friend of the organization, there’s no doubt. I’m excited he’s got that perspective and we’ll continue to have the benefit of his best judgment.”On updates with the players who were injured yesterday: On what was learned during the hiring process five years ago that can be applied now:SK: “That’s a great question. Again, what questions to ask and the process. Some of the things along the way that has happened in my tenure as a GM that I wasn’t prepared for or was all new to me that I can impress upon this coach that, ‘If this happened, how would you handle this? How would you deal with it?’ And the same type of questions that Michael would ask as well. Make sure that once we face adversity, are we going to be on the same page? Are we going to stay in your lane? And again, so many experiences that I’ve gone through now put me in a better position to be able to ask those type of questions, and I know Michael feels the same way.”On whether the team has reached out to anybody yet or if it’s too early to have done so:MB: “We’re going to be reaching out right after this press conference. We’ve got some permission slips that are part of the NFL process that are filled out. I’ll be signing them and we’ll be sending them off, probably within 15 minutes of the end of this press conference.”On what will be Arians’ lasting imprint on him:MB: “The ones on the field. The Green Bay game, the playoff game, that was unbelievable. Yesterday in the locker room – I’ve been around this my whole life, and that was one of the more incredible locker room environments yesterday afternoon in Seattle and it was the first retirement that I’ve seen and it was pretty emotional in the locker room. I think what he’s done in the community, all the different Arians Family Foundation events that I’ve attended. All the moments where we’ve sat, the three of us up in the draft war room, late at night, early in the morning, just kicking around what we’re going to do and things along those lines. I think Steve and I have both learned a lot from Bruce. There are many lessons that I know I’ll be carrying forward and same with Steve. It’s just been an honor to work with him and that culture that he’s brought. I think he’s really helped us with this organization. I look forward to taking those lessons that we’ve learned and making a better organization as we moved forward.” Opening statement: Michael Bidwill: “Good morning everyone and Happy New Year. Obviously, you just heard from Coach Arians and I want to echo my thanks for coach. Five years ago, we met, and it’s been an incredible journey since then – got to the NFC Championship game, been to the playoffs and had tremendous success. He leaves the game today as the winningest coach in Cardinals history, both total wins and regular season wins. Really proud of the success he’s had with his coaching staff and all the players that have played for us, as well what he’s done in the community, just not on the field, but the off the field things that you heard about just a couple of minutes ago. The impact he’s had has been very real in the community and we couldn’t be more grateful to him and to his family for everything that they’ve done. He leaves the team in a very good position.Steve Keim: “Obviously, I would like to thank Bruce Arians, as well. Probably a lot like Adrian Wilson’s retirement, you can tell it’s kind of hard not to get choked up. I don’t think there is any doubt that it’s going to be hard to replicate the kind of relationship we all had with Bruce and how special he was to us. We had some special moments – a lot of wins and battled through adversity together – and there’s no doubt that he’ll always hold a special place in my heart. As Michael said, we’ll now start our search for the next head coach. It’s an exciting time. We feel like we have a great core of talent on this football team. We’ll make some improvements this offseason, as well, and hit the ground running for 2018.” Tempe, Ariz. — Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians officially announced his retirement in a press conference at the Cardinals’ practice facility Monday.Following Arians’ announcement, Cardinals president Michael Bidwill and general manager Steve Keim answered questions regarding Arians and the future of the Cardinals’ organization.With the help from the Cardinals’ media relations staff, we’ve highlighted the conversation both Bidwill and Keim had with reporters on Monday. On desirable qualities of a head coaching candidate:MB: “I think we’re looking for primarily three things. We’re looking for a leader. We’re looking for somebody with a track record of performance – different places, different personnel, different things. And I think we’re looking for somebody that’s going to keep this culture of accountability moving forward.”On if the number of head coaching vacancies creates a sense of urgency:MB: “You look at the urgency, and a number of years ago, when we hired Coach Arians, there was all sorts of urgency. I think there were seven coaches hired that year, and he was the seventh. I’m glad we didn’t get caught up like it’s a race or something because I think we made the right decision by being patient, following our process, which is going to be thorough, and we’re going to do the same thing again.”On if an in-house candidate will be considered:MB: “We’re going to look at all sorts of folks. I’ll kick that over to Steve.”SK: “Yeah, I think we’ll leave no stone unturned, and that kind of information that you gain from the interview process is extremely helpful organizationally. You can learn different things from different organizations and how they do things. You’re always trying to look at self-growth and, ‘How can you get better as a franchise?’ And to me, this is a great opportunity for Michael and I to get out there and learn more about other teams.” Top Stories Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

ANU scientists invent new system that could help crack down on illegal

first_imgANU supported Switzerland’s École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, which led the project to develop this invention.Related StoriesScientists develop universal FACS-based approach to heterogenous cell sorting, propelling organoid researchNovel imaging molecule reveals brain changes linked to progressive MSSchwann cells capable of generating protective myelin over nerves finds researchANU scientist Professor Dragomir Neshev, a co-author of the research published in Science, said the invention measured infrared signatures of organic molecules and translated them into barcodes, which could be used to identify specific drugs.Infrared spectroscopy detects whether a given molecule is present in a sample by seeing if the sample absorbs light rays at the molecule’s signature frequencies.“We think our invention could be developed into a commercial drug-testing prototype within just a few years,” said Professor Neshev from the ANU Research School of Physics and Engineering.”Our invention can detect and recognize drugs in extremely small quantities which are released when the body metabolizes drugs, providing a new technology for police to mobile-drug test motorists or suspected drug traffickers in a simple and non-invasive way.“The device could replace bulky and expensive mid-infrared spectrometers, which cost more than $100,000 each. Our device would be portable and cost just a fraction of the price.”Co-researcher Dr Mingkai Liu said such a device could also be used for medical diagnosis and to optimize the efficiency and benefits of prescribed medications for patients on expensive therapeutic treatments.“Our invention consists of an engineered surface with hundreds of tiny pixels. Each pixel senses the molecular absorption at a specific frequency, generating a distinct barcode for every molecule that the surface touches,” said Dr Liu.These barcodes can be analyzed and classified using advanced pattern recognition and machine learning such as artificial neural networks. Image credit: Stuart Hay, ANU Source: Jun 12 2018A research team involving The Australian National University (ANU) has invented a system that can detect chemicals in miniscule quantities and could be developed into a portable drug-testing kit to help authorities crack down on the illegal drug trade.last_img read more