Wide out depth leaves some on bench

first_imgIn football, as in life, things often do not go according to plan. Just ask Kyle Jefferson.After finishing third on the team in receiving yards as a freshman behind tight ends Travis Beckum and Garrett Graham, the Wisconsin junior wide receiver has seen his playing time and number of receptions steadily decrease from 2007 to 2009.Jefferson’s smaller role within the Badgers’ offense has not been due to a lack effort though, according to UW wide receivers coach DelVaughn Alexander.“We just have another starter,” Alexander said. “Kyle’s performance hasn’t been bad, it’s just that somebody else has been better.”That somebody has actually been two players, sophomore Nick Toon and junior Isaac Anderson, who have shown much improvement since last year and moved into starting roles ahead of Jefferson.Jefferson’s newfound backup role is not unlike that of senior quarterback Dustin Sherer, who has similarly gone from a starting role in the second half of 2008 to third string this year. It is a result neither expected going into fall camp, and a far cry from the success each has enjoyed in the past at Wisconsin.“It’s tough to play one year and watch the next,” Toon said of Jefferson’s situation. “I actually think it’s harder to do that than to watch and then play, because you get kind of a taste of what it’s like to play as opposed to just kind of wondering what it’s like to play.”At the same time, however, Jefferson remains proud of the performances of his fellow receivers and their accomplishments. He continues to work hard to improve himself and help others at his position improve through any competition or knowledge he can provide them.And he has still seen the field in four of the Badgers’ five games in 2009. Unfortunately for Jefferson, however, his role on the team has been limited this year during games, as he has caught just one ball for four yards.“That’s just kind of the way things have played out this year,” Toon said. “Obviously Kyle came in and contributed right away and had a lot of success, but things happen for a reason. He’s a great receiver, but that’s just kind of the way the cookie crumbled this year for him.”Taking on a backup role is not the first time Jefferson has faced adversity in his time at Wisconsin. Just a month into his career with the Badgers the 6-foot-4 Cleveland native quickly learned how tough it can be to play wide receiver in the Big Ten.After catching a pass over the middle from quarterback Tyler Donovan, Jefferson took a devastating blow to the head from Nehemiah Warrick, knocking him off his feet. Of course, Jefferson tries to down play the hit.“No, it didn’t really affect me,” he said. “I just got up and ran off the field. You know, I had a little concussion or whatever, but I was able to play the next week so I was fine.”Toon, on the other hand, was a bit more shocked by the hit Warrick laid on Jefferson“Honestly, like, not being funny at all, when he first got hit I thought he might’ve broken his neck,” Toon said. “I thought he might be done playing football forever. It’s the hardest hit I’ve ever seen in person; I’ll never forget that.”For Jefferson, the hit is something he recognizes he will forever be connected with, especially with the video clips of it having gotten more than 1 million views on YouTube.“I’ll be on YouTube probably forever, but it’s no big deal,” Jefferson said. “It’s kind of scary when you first see it, but now it’s kind of funny and you just have to laugh about it.”Among those viewers is Toon, who says he has seen it “quite a few times.” He is also one of those players who jokes about the hit with Jefferson.The hit in 2007 was not the last of Jefferson’s obstacles, however. He suffered a concussion in last season’s game versus Minnesota after taking a blow to the head in the second quarter.Jefferson was knocked unconscious, but retained motion in his extremities. He was taken from the field in an ambulance, and Jefferson was transported to the hospital before being released the following day.“It took me a little bit longer last year to shake it off,” Jefferson said. “But once I did, I was able to go again and it really wasn’t that big of a deal.”Since that game, Jefferson has caught just two passes for 14 yards in seven games for Wisconsin. At the same time, Toon and Anderson have improved, moving ahead of Jefferson on the depth chart.In addition to joking about that devastating hit, Jefferson, Toon and Anderson work together every day as receivers, feeding off the competition each provides for the others. That response — a willingness to do whatever the team needs — to Jefferson’s diminished role with the passing game is one reason he continues to be an essential part of the Wisconsin offense.“His attitude’s been great and his commitment to everything we’re asking him to do has been great,” Alexander said. “He’s been a better player actually than he has been in the past, but it’s just been a matter of somebody else playing better.”And while he has accepted his role on this year’s team, Jefferson is not satisfied with simply playing out his remaining time in Madison in a backup receiver role.With seven regular season games remaining in his junior year and another full season as a senior, Jefferson hopes to continue working toward regaining the prominent role he had as a freshman.“I’m always, always working to get better and get more playing time,” Jefferson said. “I never get down, I keep my head up and I keep moving forward. My day is coming and you never know when it will be, things happen that you don’t expect in this game.”last_img read more

USC stays unbeaten with extra-inning win

first_imgThe Trojans worked for the win on Sunday afternoon and the laborious 12-inning effort paid off. When all hopes of a win seemed dashed, with USC trailing by a run down to their last out, redshirt junior Omar Cotto Lozada launched a soaring three-run, walk-off home run into the trees down the right field line for his first-ever collegiate home run.Heroic effort · The Trojans were down to their final out in the bottom of the 12th inning when outfielder Omar Cotto Lozada delivered a game-winning 3-run home run. Lozada came into the game batting .143. – Ralf Cheung | Daily Trojan “I really have no words right now. It felt amazing,” Lozada said, all smiles. “I’m just happy we got the win and we’re 7-0. I’m happy for that. It’s so unreal, so amazing. I’m just speechless right now.”With Lozada’s booming homer, USC protected an undefeated 7-0 record for the second time in three years. The win also marked the team’s second straight series sweep, this time of North Dakota State in the first series this season for the Bison.“To get sweeps back to back weekends, that’s really hard to do,” USC head coach Dan Hubbs said. “I don’t care who you’re playing, where you’re playing, what you’re doing.”Sophomore Kyle Twomey returned to the mound for the Trojans. The left hander kept the Trojans in the game, allowing only one run in a 5 1/3 inning-outing in which he fanned six.Twomey threw four scoreless innings until a bout of trouble and multiple defensive miscues found the Trojans in the fifth. The sophomore allowed a leadoff single, and a second Bison batter reached on a shortstop error, which quickly became a first and third situation after a stolen base. North Dakota State braved a suicide squeeze attempt, and in ill-advised and unsuccessful Trojan attempt to pin the runner at the plate, all runners were safe and the Bison took a 1-0 lead. Senior reliever James Guillen would finish the inning, but allow another run before his day ended.Until the eighth inning, USC was unable to take advantage of many scoring opportunities including three leadoff singles, stranding six runners. Down by two runs in the eighth, however, sophomore designated hitter AJ Ramirez drew a walk and stole second, setting the scene for senior third baseman Kevin Swick. On the two-out payoff pitch, Swick singled up the middle to an eruption of cheers. With eerie similarity to a Bison play just an inning prior, freshman Jeremy Martinez sent a soaring double past the diving left fielder to tie the game.In a display of offensive prowess, USC thrashed North Dakota State on Saturday, scoring in four consecutive innings for a resounding 9-0 victory. Equally impressive was the performance by senior Bob Wheatley, who pitched six scoreless innings, allowing only three hits and striking out four. Add that to a nearly flawless bullpen, which collectively allowed only one hit over three innings, and you get one of the most solid outings from the Trojan team thus far this season.USC leaped ahead early in the second inning with three runs off four hits, including a double from senior first baseman Jake Hernandez, who went 2 for 3 in the game with 2 RBI. In a game in which eight Trojan batters had hits and five had multiple hits, the loudest might have come off the bat of junior second baseman Dante Flores who launched a two-run blast to right in the fourth inning for his first home run of the year.The Trojans began the weekend series with their third walk-off in seven games this season, though this was the first settled without dipping into extra innings. USC trailed by three runs in the eighth inning — their largest deficit thus far this season — but staged a late comeback made possible by a pair of Bison errors to ultimately win 4-3.“I think the guys are feeling like right now that they can come back at any time,” Hubs said. “We’re kind of the cardiac kids right now.”Junior ace Wyatt Strahan found himself in a pitcher’s duel against North Dakota State’s Dave Ernst. Strahan held Bison batters hitless through 5 2/3 innings until the no-hitter was finally broken up in the sixth inning.The right hander would allow all three Bison runs on five hits in 7 2/3 innings of work, striking out eight batters and walking only one.USC was able to manufacture two runs in the bottom of the eighth, and after a shutdown inning from freshman reliever Jeff Paschke, the Trojans faced their final three outs trailing by two. After a walk and a single, an infield error by North Dakota State loaded the bases for sophomore center fielder Timmy Robinson. Robinson laced the game-winning, two-run single to left field.With four walk-offs in just seven games, the Trojan tenacity has been a staple of success thus far this season, but while exciting, Hubbs knows it’s not sustainable.“They’ve done a great job of fighting, never feeling like they’re out of anything, playing until the last strike,” Hubbs said. “As long as we continue to do that, I think we’ll have success. Are we going to be able to win like that every time? Absolutely not. We know that.”For the first time this season, USC will hit the road to take on Long Beach State at 6 p.m. Tuesday. The Trojans lost to the Dirtbags in a scrimmage this season, 4-3.last_img read more

United States warns those visiting Haiti

first_imgFor the first time in four years exports from the Caribbean and Latin America have increased. In the first quarter of 2017, the value of exports increased by 17 percent, following a decline of 2.9 percent in 2016. The recovery was primarily driven by a rebound in commodity prices, according to an analysis conducted by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) using detailed data from 25 regional countries.The United States Department of State has issued a warning to Americans to be careful when they visit the Caribbean nation of Haiti. The Department cited the current security environment and lack of adequate medical facilities and response, especially in the areas of Pétion-ville and the storm-damaged southern peninsula departments of Grand Anse and South. The current release replaces a Travel Warning dated November 4, 2016.A Jamaican man has lost his appeal against a lengthy prison sentence for drug smuggling. Tyrone Brown, 31, was last year sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for trying to smuggle packages of cocaine through the airport in his baggage. Brown launched an appeal against his conviction and sentence, both of which have been dismissed by the Court of Appeal. Judges ruled that the sentence was not manifestly excessive.And in sportsFormer Cayman Islands Football Association (CIFA) general secretary Costas Takkas plesded guilty to charges of money laundering conspiracy in a New York federal court on Wednesday. The 60-year-old Takkas a former attaché of former CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb faced charges relating to the transmission of millions of dollars in bribes paid during the official’s tenure in office. According todocuments presented in court, Webb received a $US3m bribe to guarantee the media and marketing rights for the home World Cup qualifiers of Caribbean teams during the 2018 and 2022 campaigns.Here’s what’s trending…Greg Gianforte, a Montana Republican running for a U.S. House of Representatives seat, was charged with assaulting a reporter hours before polls opened on Thursday for a special congressional election that could test President Donald Trump’s political clout. Gianforte was charged with misdemeanor assault after Ben Jacobs, a political correspondent for the U.S. edition of the Guardian newspaper, said the candidate “body-slammed” him during a campaign event. Republican lawmakers criticized Gianforte but stopped short of asking him to withdraw from the race.For Tomorrow’s weather forecastIt will be partly cloudy with isolated thunderstorms in Broward County, Mostly sunny in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties with a high of 91 and a low of 73. Today’s news was brought to you by the Florida Department of Health in Broward County, who encourages you to Protect Your Baby, Vaccinate On Time, Every Time. They remind you that Immunizations are SAFE, PROVEN PROTECTION. For more on these and other stories visit us at caribbeannationalweekly.com Make sure to pick your copy of Caribbean News weekly at your nearest Caribbean American outletlast_img read more