A huge congratulations to all the referees at National Touch League 2019 who received upgrades:LEVEL 6 UPGRADESOpen:Rachel DilgerRichard NorrisRebecca RogersCameron TurnerTess LeahyBree-Ann Lo GrandeCampbell MuirJoe AboudAlex FaulknerLucas PatersonJordan RandleTing FanJosh SchumacherNicole AlexanderSenior:Greg OatenCraig ButlerTony BradleyPeter CooperDanny DongMichael HonerJoseph JeffriesLEVEL 5 UPGRADESOpen Blake CooperTrev SchelbergPaul GeorgeLachlan KennedyMya CookeJosh FishlockAaron FoxoverRiley PrendergastJosh NorthChelsey WilksDarren WhitbourneLachlan BradleySeniorAndrew MahnDavid CooperIvan ColeCharity ElfordGeorge Forster-JonesPeter KhoudairSteve PrattPhil RaingerJason Taylor
OSU redshirt junior cornerback Gareon Conley (8) and OSU redshirt sophomore cornerback Marshon Lattimore (2) celebrate Conley’s first half interception during the Buckeyes game against the Badgers on Oct. 15. The Buckeyes won 30-23 in overtime. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo EditorOhio State’s inexperienced secondary exceeded all expectations during the 2016 football season. All one has to do is look at the success in pass defense — in terms of interceptions, passes defended and passing yards allowed — to understand why OSU has both starting cornerbacks and its best overall player at safety projected as possible first-round picks.Dominance from cornerback Gareon Conley was seen as a possibility before the season. But the emergence of Marshon Lattimore opposite Conley was not as anticipated. Now, both are gone and the Buckeyes will have to reload.They certainly have the class to do that.OSU coach Urban Meyer snagged the top two cornerbacks in the 2017 recruiting class, according to recruiting site 247Sports, in freshmen Jeffrey Okudah and Shaun Wade who have already enrolled.To add to that, Alabama transfer and the No. 1 junior college cornerback Kendall Sheffield will also join the Buckeyes in 2017. Okudah, Wade and Sheffield are all in contention to start at cornerback next year, and all will participate in spring practice which begins March 7. Sheffield is expected to join the program that month.“When me and Jeff (Okudah) talked, we said we are going to push each other no matter who starts or who plays over each other, we are going to push each other,” Wade said on National Signing Day. “That’s really the only thing we were talking about.”The OSU secondary intercepted 21 passes and returned a school-record seven for touchdowns. Conley and Lattimore each had four interceptions while safety Malik Hooker reeled in seven, including three touchdowns. The first-year starting safety was the most athletic of the bunch and will be difficult to replace.It’s probably too much to ask of the four freshmen cornerbacks in the 2017 class — which includes four-star, early-enrollee Marcus Williamson — or the current cornerbacks, junior Denzel Ward and redshirt sophomore Damon Arnette, to duplicate the numbers that Lattimore and Conley produced. But that’s not saying that expectation isn’t there.“We’ve only been here for a month, so we haven’t gotten a chance to feel the expectations but we know what the expectations are,” Okudah said. “With the class like the one we brought in, it’s the highest expectation and that’s to win a national championship.”For beginners, Okudah, Wade and Sheffield — all of which were former five-star recruits — possess the size of Conley, Lattimore and former OSU and New York Giants cornerback Eli Apple. Standing at 6-foot or taller, each of the three already fit into that mold that has become a breeding ground for NFL cornerbacks. That being said, Conley, Lattimore and Apple all redshirted their first seasons in Columbus. It’s not unprecedented for freshman to start at OSU, but to have an opportunity to play immediately for not one, but three players at one position — a chance that often isn’t presented to even the most heralded OSU recruits — is a rarity. However, that’s an even greater tribute to the talent, confidence and maturity the newcomers have before being with the program for a full month.Meyer said that immediate assistance will come in the defensive backfield.“I see those guys (helping),” he said. “We targeted those guys from day one, and we got the three primary guys.”
The Buckeyes earned some doubters with their early season play after losing to each of their first three ranked opponents. But Sunday, No. 15 Ohio State – at least temporarily – silenced those doubters while simultaneously bringing to life a roaring crowd at the Schottenstein Center, some of which had been camping out for the game since Friday. The Buckeyes’ 56-53 victory against No. 2 Michigan, who with a win against OSU would have been crowned the top team in the land, gave OSU its first win over a ranked team this season. All of that though, was almost taken away when Player of the Year candidate and Michigan sophomore guard Trey Burke’s 3-pointer rimmed out with 14 seconds left in the game. The Buckeye lead was just two at the time – down from the 21-point cushion they had earlier in the game – and free throws secured the victory for the home team. The performance was a stark contrast to OSU’s previous contests against No. 1 Duke, No. 6 Kansas and No. 12 Illinois when the Buckeyes never shot better than 35 percent and struggled to find an offensive rhythm outside of junior forward Deshaun Thomas. Against Michigan, it was far more than Thomas that helped the Buckeyes jump out to a commanding 20-point advantage about 10 minutes into the first half. Junior guard Aaron Craft, who has been criticized for a lack of production on the offensive end, attacked the basket early, scoring from both the outside and in. He stepped into a three in the game’s opening minutes and followed it up by twice slicing to the basket. He finished with nine points and four assists. Sophomore forward Sam Thompson added a spark as well, equaling his season average of seven points before the nine minute mark of the first half. Then there was Thomas, who continued his high-level of offensive play this season, with 20 points including two 3-pointers in the first half – one of which fueled him and many of his teammates to pound their chests on the way down court. The biggest contributor of all though, might have been the Buckeye defense, which smothered the Wolverines from the opening tip. Led by Craft, OSU forced five turnovers in the first eight minutes and nine by halftime, which led to 16 OSU points. By the time the teams headed into the locker room for intermission, Michigan had chipped away at the big lead, but the Buckeyes still held a 34-22 advantage. That lead would shrink to eight early in the second half as the Wolverines threw at least three different defensive looks at the Buckeyes in the period. The switches appeared to slow the Buckeye offense down, but Michigan’s attack wasn’t faring much better. With 10:35 left in the game Michigan had outscored OSU 9-8. It wouldn’t take long for the game’s pace to quicken, though. Out of a media timeout Thomas grabbed Craft’s missed jumper and dunked it in a forest of Wolverine defenders. The play gave OSU an 11-point lead, but Michigan, led by junior guard Tim Hardaway Jr., would respond by scoring the next 10 points to cut the lead to one. The Buckeyes ended the streak when sophomore guard Shannon Scott lobbed a pass to Thompson, who grabbed the ball with one hand in midair and threw it down. Michigan was not finished, though. A 3-pointer on the following possession knotted the score at 46 with 5:59 remaining. But it was OSU that would write the game’s final chapter. Senior forward Evan Ravenel scored back-to-back buckets and Thomas added another to extend OSU’s lead to six. Michigan had a chance to take the lead when it called timeout down two points with 30 seconds left, but Burke’s misfire and crucial free throws from junior guards Lenzelle Smith Jr. and Craft sealed the win. The Buckeyes are now 13-3 on the year and Michigan drops to 16-1. OSU is set to next play Michigan State Saturday in East Lansing.
Ohio State No. 2 senior Joey McKenna celebrates after defeating Michigan’s No.5 Kanen Storr by tech fall, 18-3, in the 141-pound bout. Credit: Sal Marandino | For The LanternAfter suffering its first loss of the season, the Ohio State wrestling team might be without one of its senior leaders.Ohio State announced that senior Joey McKenna, the No. 2 wrestler in the country at 141 pounds, is day-to-day with an undisclosed injury. “The medical staff said it wouldn’t be in his best interest to wrestle this weekend,” Ohio State assistant coach Tervel Dlagnev said.Dlagnev noted McKenna will face Cornell sophomore Yianni Diakomihalis, the No. 1 wrestler at 141 pounds, on Feb. 22 and did not give any timeline for his status moving forward.This season, McKenna is undefeated with a 14-0 record. He owns a career record of 93-8.According to the depth chart, Ohio State redshirt sophomore Clay Ragon would be next in line if McKenna is unable to go this weekend. Ragon is 6-6 on the season with two wins by technical fall under his belt. Ohio State will face Illinois on Friday in Champaign, Illinois and Northwestern on Sunday in Evanston, Illinois.
The Liberian president has been attacked by an opposition politician who believes this is not how things should be doneAfter news broke out about the plan by Liberian president and former football star George Weah to award Arsene Wenger, some critics started speaking out.Weah wants to give his country’s highest honor to the ex-Arsenal manager and French football coach Claude Le Roy on Friday.Mertesacker says Arsenal lacked consistency to win the EPL under Wenger Manuel R. Medina – September 10, 2019 According to the former Gunners footballer, Per Mertesacker, the team played well but lacked something special to be crowned champions.But an opposition politician has criticized the plans.Darius Dillon said on Wednesday that the president is only recognizing people who played a role in “his personal life”, according to an article by the Associated Press.“It only tells the publicity stunt, the political stunt that the president wanted to gain out of today didn’t happen,” Dillon said a few days ago after storming out of a meeting with Weah.
Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce has come out fighting after his side’s disappointing defeat to Sheffield United on Saturday.The Villans suffered an embarrassing 4-1 defeat to Sheffield United in the Sky Bet Championship and the Villa manager has backed himself to get it right at Aston Villa, insisting: ‘I do know what I’m doing’.A small section of the away end chanted words to the opposite effect as Villa were battered 4-1 by Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.Bruce labelled his side’s first-half performance as ‘embarrassing’ and said, as quoted by BirminghamMail: “We were a team that was fragmented and one or two turned into a circus act.”The boss blamed himself for picking Jack Grealish, John McGinn and Jonathan Kodjia as they had been struggling with injuries in the build-up to the game.But he stopped short of making excuses and said: “Everyone wants to kick our **** and we’ve had it truly kicked today.”Allardyce praises Newcastle’s Steve Bruce Manuel R. Medina – September 11, 2019 Sam Allardyce believes Steve Bruce is a better fit at English Premier League side Newcastle United than he would ever have been.He came out fighting, though, and insists times will get better at Villa under his leadership.“We are Aston Villa so when you get beat badly, you have to accept the consequences,” he added.“The social media dinosaur thing will be coming out and ‘you don’t know what you’re doing’. But, look, I have been four times out of this league and got beaten last year in the play-off final.“I think that would encourage me that I do know what I am doing. We have had an awful beating and you have to accept the flak which goes with it. It is part and parcel of being at a great club like this one.”“If you get beat heavily and put in a performance then questions are going to be asked. The disappointing thing for me, is I always ask of my team, put your boots on. Not enough did today.”