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Badgers face 1st true test against Michigan State

first_imgAgainst Michigan State, Wisconsin will rely heavily on defensive end J.J. Watt to rush the Spartans’ quarterback, Kirk Cousins, and stop their powerful running attack.[/media-credit]From a health standpoint, Big Ten play couldn’t have started at a better time for the Wisconsin football team.The Badgers have been relatively blessed on the injury front this season, the only major loss being outside linebacker Chris Borland.So when No. 11 Wisconsin takes the field in East Lansing, Mich., Saturday, the No. 24 Michigan State Spartans can expect to see the Badgers as strong as they might be all season. The question there is, will it be enough?The Badgers haven’t gotten much national love for grinding out a victory against an Arizona State squad that played itself out of its game against Oregon last weekend, or for demolishing FCS Austin Peay 70-3. Two voters in the AP poll didn’t even rank Wisconsin in their ballots this week.Michigan State entered the polls after its can-you-believe-it win over Notre Dame two weeks ago, beating the Fighting Irish on a beautifully executed fake field goal in overtime. Head coach Mark Dantonio is set to return to the sideline after suffering a small heart attack following the Spartans’ win two weeks ago.Both teams are unbeaten at 4-0 heading into tomorrow’s game, and there are a number of similarities between the squads. In Scott Tolzien and Kirk Cousins, both UW and MSU feature experienced signal callers ranked in the top 16 nationally in quarterback rating.While the Spartans feature a one-two punch of running backs in Edwin Baker and Le’Veon Bell, it’s Cousins who makes the offense go. The Badger pass rush is eager to get some hits in on MSU’s junior quarterback.“We’re real excited for that, because if you start hitting a quarterback, he’s going to start getting rattled,” defensive end J.J. Watt said. “When he gets rattled, he starts making poor decisions, that’s what we’re trying to do, force him into poor decisions, so we can get turnovers and takeaways. At the end of the day, that’s what wins football games.”After some early fumbling problems, the Badgers didn’t turn the ball over once in their last two games. Turnovers were a big reason Wisconsin failed tests last season against Ohio State and Iowa. Tolzien has played clean games over the past two weeks, and against MSU, he gets the added benefit of two veteran receivers returning.Junior Nick Toon has been out since the first week of the season with a turf toe injury, but is set to start against the Spartans. Toon was UW’s leading wide receiver last season and gives the Badgers a physical presence going over the middle of the field.“One thing [Toon] did, he’s coming back, he’s got fresh legs,” UW head coach Bret Bielema said. “He hasn’t gone through the two week grind of practice all those other guys did. So you notice a little difference with him.”Senior David Gilreath is also going to play, though he might not start. Gilreath missed the last two weeks with a concussion suffered against San Jose State. While the Minnesota-native has handled kick and punt returns his whole Wisconsin career, the coaching staff isn’t going to rush him back into the return game. Freshman running back James White will continue to return kicks, while safety Aaron Henry will take over on punt returns.While the Arizona State game proved the Badgers had a way to go on special teams, one of Wisconsin’s biggest strengths this season has come on the penalty front. The Badgers are tied for second in the nation in fewest penalties per game.“We know penalties are a big thing in this game,” running back John Clay said. “We take pride in trying to be the less-penalized team out on the field.”Michigan State, despite being undefeated, has had 11 penalties in three of its four games, and is 114th in the FBS in total penalties.Both teams are aware of the importance of playing a clean game. In 2008, one of Wisconsin’s worst losses in the Bret Bielema era came at Spartan Stadium. Bielema himself earned an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that helped spark an MSU comeback late in the game. Wisconsin had a chance to close the game out, but a 21-yard run by Clay was negated by a holding penalty. The Badgers lost the game 25-24.“Penalties are huge. Wisconsin people have to look no further than Monday night, the Packer game,” Watt said. “Penalties can play an absolutely huge part in a football game.”A Wisconsin win could arguably be Bielema’s biggest victory since becoming head coach. A victory in East Lansing would be the first time the Badgers have beaten a ranked opponent on the road since Barry Alvarez was head coach.“We’re both ranked teams; we’re both undefeated teams,” Clay said. “Going there in their house, they’re going to be motivated to keep that ranking, and we’re going to be motivated to stay undefeated too.”last_img read more

Weiss recall stumbles out of the gate

first_imgThe recall effort of Councilman Jack Weiss got off to a shaky start today with city officials telling proponents they have to start over in the process. City Clerk Frank Martinez said he told recall organizers they’d violated procedures by serving Weiss with a copy, rather than an original, of their intent to seek his recall. They also failed to get proof that Weiss had been served with the papers. A spokesman for the recall effort said steps would be taken to resolve the issues and serve Weiss as soon as possible with the notice. The effort is being launched by a group of Westside homeowners upset with Weiss’ approval of various projects in his district. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Victims’ father tries to attack Larry Nassar in courtroom

first_imgCHARLOTTE, Mich. >> A father of three victims of Larry Nassar rushed toward and tried to attack the disgraced former sports doctor during a sentencing hearing Friday, after the judge declined his request for “five minutes” alone with Nassar in a locked room. He was quickly tackled by bailiffs.Two of the man’s daughters had just addressed the court, saying they and another sister had been sexually abused by Nassar under the guise of medical treatment. Their father, Randall Margraves, then told …last_img read more

Tackling Sun City’s golf courses

first_img25 November 2010The Gary Player and Lost City golf courses at Sun City may offer top-quality challenges for serious golfers, but do they also offer an enjoyable challenge for those with high handicaps? We set off to find out – and to answer a few other nagging questions about a casino resort with apartheid-era origins.Sun City occupies an ambiguous place in the minds of many South Africans.On the one hand, it symbolises glitz, glamour and family fun, while the architectural excesses of the Lost City complex represent hotel magnate Sol Kerzner’s entrepreneurial daring.On the other hand, located in the former black homeland of Bophuthatswana, Sun City has its origins in apartheid’s Bantustan system. In recent years – as other casino complexes have sprung up around the country – it has been unable to escape the tawdriness often associated with gambling venues.The golf courses at Sun City evoke similarly two-sided responses.During South Africa’s sporting isolation, the Million Dollar Challenge at the Gary Player Country Club was one of few events able to lure famous sportsmen to the country. Post-apartheid, the tournament, in its later incarnation as the Nedbank Golf Challenge, flourished, as audiences delighted in watching local heroes Ernie Els, Retief Goosen and company take on the world’s best on home turf.The Lost City course was added in 1993, boasting crocodile-filled water hazards and Africa-shaped greens.Yet nagging questions remain. Should Seve Ballesteros, Bernard Langer, Ian Woosnam and company have come to the country with the apartheid regime still firmly in place? Where do we place South African golfers such as David Frost and Fulton Allem, who won in the late 1980s and early 1990s?Was the Lost City layout conceived as a top quality course or a gimmick to attract tourists daunted by the championship Gary Player Country Club course? Will the Nedbank Golf Challenge struggle, as it has done in recent years, to attract the world’s top professional golfers?With the likes of Robert Allenby, Anders Hansen, Eduardo Molinari, Padraig Harrington, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Justin Rose, Lee Westwood and local favourites Louis Oosthuizen, Tim Clark, Ernie Els, and Retief Goosen travelling to Sun City in December for the 30th edition of the tournament, the last question doesn’t seem to need an answer.Million-dollar courseFor most amateurs, serious golfers and weekend hackers alike, there is another important question: will I get my money’s worth? After all, the cost of playing at either course is substantial. Both have more or less maintained their places in Golf Digest magazine’s rankings over the years – the Gary Player is a regular second, the Lost City fluctuates between the ‘teens and twenties – and with this status comes high expectations.I was unsure what to expect when I joined a party of 12 guys driving west out of Johannesburg for a golfing weekend (unsure about the golf, that is; I took it for granted that there would be plenty of banter, braaivleis and probably also some bad luck at the blackjack tables). We were a group of 30-somethings, of the generation who grew up listening to the theme song of the Million Dollar Challenge as the soundtrack to a first week of school holidays spent glued to the television:“It’s the million-dollar shotSo give it all you’ve gotAnd you could be the hero of the day!It’s the million-dollar shotAnd if you play it hotYou could have a million dollars coming your way…”As a result, the Gary Player course had become sacred terrain to us – our adolescent golfing heroes walked on its fairways, its bunkers and water hazards and greens were their epic battle grounds. We had spent years imagining what it would be like to play its iconic holes: the par-five ninth with the island green, the equally lengthy 14th with the enormous bunker and its deadly love grass, the 18th with its dog-leg to the left over the lake and fountain.In real life, the course did not disappoint. It was in fine but unforgiving condition; the kikuyu grass rough, which had been kept fairly short for the 2009 Nedbank Golf Challenge, had grown syrupy-thick by the time we visited some months later.Never mind the bushveld – what really makes a round at the Gary Player so tough is the wide fringe of unmowed kikuyu around the regulation terrain. Miss the narrow fairways by more than a couple of metres and your ball can be plugged or even disappear.At under 6 000m off the club tees, it isn’t a long course, although the championship tees add another 500m, and that is doubled off the pro tees. But the Black Knight, as Player is known, has designed a course requiring accuracy.While the ninth, 14th and 18th may lend themselves to impressive television camera angles, amateur golfers find unexpected challenges at the par-three fourth, where their shots fly downhill over water, a limited view of the fairway from the 11th tee, and bunkers in the line of a decent drive on the 17th, as well as the watersports lake skirting the approach to the green.Our caddies, who knew the course backwards, kept us entertained with light-hearted quips when they realised that we weren’t scratch golfers.Tranquil settingThe Lost City golfing experience is markedly different in some respects – carts are compulsory, for instance – but the service is similarly polished. After struggling through the first eight holes under the baking Pilansberg sun, there’s a certain comfort in being asked to place your halfway house order before you walk onto the ninth tee.The view from the Lost City clubhouse, over the lake that divides the ninth and 18th fairways, is picturesque. One can’t necessarily say the same thing of the view towards the clubhouse, which is built of the same artificial orange-brown rocks as the Valley of the Waves and other structures in the vicinity.But if you’re willing to suspend your disbelief, the sight of the Palace of the Lost City’s turrets rising above thorn tree scrub is pretty impressive. There are vistas aplenty over the bush, koppies and savannah plains that surround and sometimes form part of the course, especially from the elevated tees of numerous holes on the back nine (11 and 13 to 16).The pleasure of playing the Lost City course is, in fact, partly attributable to distractions from golf: the birdlife is abundant, it isn’t unusual to see some variety of buck or a metre-long monitor lizard crossing the cart path, and even the odd elephant can be spotted brooding behind the out-of-bounds fence. It goes without saying that the inhabitants of the crocodile pit at the signature 13th hole are a drawcard, to overseas golfers in particular.Nonetheless, while it is a less punishing layout than the Gary Player, this is one of those courses about which the most mundane advice remains applicable: take a lot of balls.The description of the Lost City as a desert course – and when you’re standing in the larger bunkers, it can feel like the Kalahari – shouldn’t be taken as an indication of wide open space. There is plenty of thick stuff lining the fairways, and precision driving is a challenge if you’re playing off the back tees, in which case the course measures an intimidating 6 900m in length.So, back to some of those tricky questions. Can the twin Sun City courses be both top-quality challenges for serious golfers and “fun” for those with high handicaps? Undoubtedly. Have they left behind the taint of apartheid in the 1980s? Happily. And will they continue to offer excellent value for the locals and international visitor? If the experience of twelve high-handicapping, admittedly nostalgic, yet not easily impressed golfers on tour is the benchmark, then the answer is a resounding yes.First published by MediaClubSouthAfrica.com – get free high-resolution photos and professional feature articles from Brand South Africa’s media service.last_img read more

South Africa’s first gold at Fina Championships

first_img27 July 2015Distance swimming ace Chad Ho won South Africa’s first 5km gold medal in the open water swim on Saturday, during the Federation Internationale de Natation (Fina) World Championships taking place in Kazan, Russia.His victory comes six years after he made history as the first South African to win a medal in open water swimming at the global showpiece when he finished the 5km in third place in Rome, in 2009.“I’m over the moon; I honestly couldn’t believe the result,” Ho said after winning the title.“Today’s race was brutal, the wind was something else, and I had to fight the wind just to get a nice line.”Ho won the race by the narrowest of margins, beating Germany’s Rob Muffels thanks to a photo-finish reading, with the two posting matching times of 55:17.6.Muffels claimed the silver medal while Matteo Furlan of Italy bagged bronze in a time of 55:20.00.“I know that I had done the work and it paid off in the end. going into the last 400m I told myself ‘you can do this’ and I repeated this a few times as I sprinted for the finish line,” Ho said about the tight finish for the victory.“As I entered the final sprint I wanted to be close to the left lane rope so that I could breathe to the right.“I saw Rob and Matteo and thought ‘oh no’ but I found my legs and my second wind. That’s what open water swimming is all about, the very close finishes like today.”The pool events start on 2 August, when South Africa’s Olympic gold medallists Chad le Clos and Cameron van der Burgh will start their respective campaigns.They will be joined by Sebastien Rousseau, Ayrton Sweeney and Myles Brown as the only members of the country’s swimming contingent.Watch Ho talk about his win:The championshipsFina, the International Swimming Federation, is the organisation recognised by the International Olympic Committee for managing international competition in aquatics.It holds the championships every two years, in which athletes compete in swimming, diving, high diving, open water swimming, synchronised swimming and water polo.The first competition took place in 1973.Source: News24Wirelast_img read more

Friday Field Notes

first_imgMoriah Legvold is with the MN National Guard as a Child and Youth Program Coordinator and  has been working with State Family Programs for 3 years. Previously, Moriah was an elementary teacher at Iowa Connections Academy.  She has gained experience and a passion for military youth as a Camp Adventure Counselor on an active duty base in Hawaii during Summer 2010.  She continued her passion volunteering for the Iowa National Guard for 1 ½ years around the time she graduated from college in 2011 with a degree in Elementary Education at William Penn University. In our fourth Friday Field Notes blog post we are highlighting how State Family Programs has partnered with their local cooperative extension at the University of Minnesota to create some diverse youth programming.  As you read this post, consider how your efforts to build community capacity to enhance the resilience and well-being of military families via job and career assistance might benefit  from a collaboration with cooperative extension in your community.We first connected with the University of Minnesota Extension when a grant was funded to help support Military Kids through Operation Military Kids.  Operation Military Kids was established in 2005 in effort to support children of National Guard and Reserve soldiers who are called to active duty.  Operation Military Kids provides a support network to youth and their families by connecting them helpful people and organizations in their hometowns.Our OMK partnership has consisted of developing our MN Military Teen Panel.  The panel was started in 2010 to support military teens who have a parent currently serving in the National Guard or Reserves.  This is a group of about 14 teens who plan the Teen Summit each year. At our Teen Summit we have utilized 4-H Youth Development Educator, Brian McNeil to teach small group and large group workshops.  We have also partnered with them during Month of the Military Child to award Art Contest participants with prizes and promote Month of the Military Child t-shirts.  The partnerships also included support military children with a parent deployed.  At Yellow Ribbon events, Operation Military Kids provided a Regional Activity Coordinator to implement 6th-12th grade curriculum, provide Hero Packs (for kids with a parent getting ready to deploy) and comfort pillows (with a parent currently deployed) to 3-18 years old.  OMK supported a variety of events for Military Youth including Boots On Camp, SPEAK Out, and Family Camps.Since OMK funding has ended on a national level our partnership with Extension has continued.  We have utilized Extension for our workshops at the Teen Summit.  This year we are utilizing a Health and Nutrition Educator to teach a workshop on Healthy Living.  In the past we have utilized Family Development Educator, Sara Croymans, for a workshop on Finances, Cassandra Silveira for a workshop on Nutrition.   We are continuing to handout Hero Packs and Comfort Pillows at Yellow Ribbon Events.  In addition to the Hero Packs and Comfort Pillows we received a slew of OMK materials that we hand out at our Tween Overnights and Teen Leadership Forum.We haven’t had the chance to connect MN Military with 4-H Youth. However, recently at our Teen Leadership Forum we had 4-H come to implement their Engineering Clinic.  Along with a 4-H County Program Coordinator there was 4 4-H Youth who lead each group of teens throughout the clinic.We have found many benefits to partnering with a great organization, Extension.  There is a vast variety of personnel, and resources to pull from.  The knowledge base of Extension personnel far exceeds what any other organization has to support youth, in general. The opportunities are endless with partnering with an organization consisting of a wide variety of subject matters.  What helps is the fact they are local.  We continue to attend the 4-H Military Partnership Meeting each Spring, where we gather great ideas on how to further develop our partnership with 4-H and extensions as a whole.About us:Laura Groenweg, is the Lead Child and Youth Program Coordinator at Cognitive Professional Service Corporation.  She has been working with State Family Programs for 6 years, and started the Minnesota Military Teen Panel, or MMTP, 5 years ago. In that time she has become a military spouse and has had 2 boys, Levi, 2 ½ years old and Simon, 9 months old.  Recently, she experienced a 6 month separation while her husband was attending Basic Officer Leadership course in Ft. Sill, OK.last_img read more