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Starstruck Hendrick lives the dream

Starstruck Hendrick lives the dream

first_imgJeff Hendrick is still coming to terms with rubbing shoulders with Ireland’s biggest stars. The 21-year-old Derby midfielder has established himself firmly in Giovanni Trapattoni’s squad just a few months after his elevation from the Under-21s, and could be handed a World Cup qualifier debut against the Faroe Islands on Friday night. However, he is yet to fully comprehend just how he has gone from watching Robbie Keane and his team-mates on television to playing in the same team. “For the 2002 World Cup, I was only nine or 10 and I had my face painted watching him [Keane] scoring goals, and now to be involved in the squad with him is great,” Hendrick said. “I was watching in the pub – I wasn’t drinking, though! “Last October, I was with the Under-21s and I was watching them all playing games, and then when I was brought into the squad, it was unreal. It’s great. As a kid, it’s what you dream of, just being involved.” Hendrick’s rise has been little short of meteoric with Trapattoni having spotted something in him as he trawled for a new generation of Ireland players. He made his third appearance as a substitute in Sunday’s 4-0 friendly victory over Georgia, and having set up Wes Hoolahan for a goal on his debut against Poland in February, he did the same for Keane at the weekend. He said: “I’m happy, really, if I just don’t mess up on the pitch. I’m glad to set the lads up for a goal. If I am not scoring, I like to set someone else up.” Hendrick has stepped on to the international stage as if to the manner born, and has certainly not looked out of place in a green shirt. However, he modestly plays down his contribution to date. When it was suggested to him that he looked like he belonged on the pitch against the Georgians, he said: “I don’t know about that. I am just happy to get on the pitch, as I said, and try to get as many minutes as possible and learn as many things as I can to improve my own game.” center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Maine Maritime Academy suspends football program

Maine Maritime Academy suspends football program

first_img Mike MandellMike Mandell is the sports editor at The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. He began working for The American in August 2016. You can reach him via email at mmandell@ellsworthamerican.com. Ellsworth runners compete in virtual Boston Marathon – September 16, 2020 MPA approves golf, XC, field hockey, soccer; football, volleyball moved to spring – September 10, 2020 Latest posts by Mike Mandell (see all) Biocenter_img CASTINE — Hancock County’s lone college football program is on life support.Maine Maritime Academy announced Friday afternoon the immediate suspension of the university’s college football program. The decision puts into doubt the future of the sport at the school, which has fielded a football team since 1946.MMA President William J. Brennan made the decision public Friday in an email to players, coaches and media. In a statement, Brennan cited the “overall financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic upon programs and the college’s operations” as the reason for the program’s indefinite suspension.“The football program is our most expensive non-academic program,” Brennan said. “As the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are already mounting, and with the prospect of a 10 percent curtailment in state funding, we need to review the program’s overall impact — and the impact of all programs — on our ability to continue to operate the institution.”This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textAs is the case with college athletic programs throughout the state of Maine, MMA’s 2020 season was already a no-go as a result of the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic. Yet the decision to suspend the program altogether adds a layer of even greater uncertainty as players and coaches await when ― or if — football will return to the school.“I was a college football player myself; I understand it’s a part of your identity,” Maine Maritime Athletic Director Steve Peed told the Kennebec Journal. “It’s hard enough when that goes away with graduation. To first have your season yanked away by a pandemic and then, on top of that, to find out the program’s suspended and you don’t know if it’s coming back, when it’s coming back, that cuts to the core of who a young person is.”MMA competes in the New England Athletic Conference along with Catholic University (Washington, D.C), Coast Guard Academy (New London, Conn.), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Merchant Marine Academy (Kings Point, N.Y.), Norwich University (Northfield, Vt.), Springfield College and Worcester Polytechnic Institute. The Mariners also have a longstanding rivalry with Massachusetts Maritime Academy, with which they contest the Admiral’s Cup.Recent seasons have been rather difficult for MMA, which has lost 21 straight games since notching a 34-16 victory over Coast Guard on Sept. 14, 2017. The Mariners are 2-34 overall since the start of the 2016 season and just 1-27 in conference play during that span.In the past, though, MMA has enjoyed spells of significant success at the Division III level. The Mariners had eight winning seasons in the 1960s and also enjoyed noteworthy stretches from 1980-82 (21-5-1), 1992-95 (29-9) and 2005-10 (42-17). The team won conference championships in 1980, 1993, 1994 and 2009.MMA had three 2019 Hancock County high school graduates, Ellsworth High School’s Ethan DesJardin and Mount Desert Island’s Adam Burdzel and Sam Hoff, on its roster last season. The Mariners were slated to add another Hancock County player, ex-Ellsworth/Sumner standout Connor Crawford, to the team in 2020.MMA also is reviewing the status of its rugby and wrestling programs, both of which operate as club teams rather than varsity teams under the NCAA banner. Brennan referred to the suspensions of all three programs as “[an] administrative decision brought about by the extreme challenges we are facing as an organization.”On Sunday, one MMA player, senior Josh Thrasher, created a Change.org petition aimed at reversing the university’s decision. The petition, which had more than 700 signatures as of Monday night, called the decision “unfair” and noted that the football program is funded primarily via alumni donations.“With the cancellation of our season, there would be minimal expenses this year, making this decision extreme to say the least,” Thrasher wrote. “This program has a rich history that creates leaders who embody exactly what it means to be a Maine Maritime Mariner. We’ve respected the anchor and done our part. Now, it’s their turn.” Latest Posts Hospice volunteers help families navigate grief and find hope – September 12, 2020last_img read more

LA Clippers face tough six-game stretch

LA Clippers face tough six-game stretch

first_img“This was a bad night for us offensively (39.6 percent shooting), we still scored 103 points. So it’s our defense that has clearly improved.”The Clippers averaged 108.2 points during the winning streak and allowed opponents only 96.6, an impressive differential of plus-11.6.Griffin is expected to return on the road trip. He is listed is doubtful for Monday. Jordan is 50-50 for Monday.Crawford chimes inSixth-man Jamal Crawford isn’t known as an outstanding defender, but he does play hard on that side. He quickly responded when asked to identify where has team has grown.“Trust,” he said. “Flying around on defense, covering for each other. Even when somebody makes a mistake, the next guy is ready to cover for him and the next guy is ready to cover for him.”The Clippers had a tough time slowing the Kings on Saturday, though it was understandable. Not only were they minus Griffin and Jordan, Chris Paul played only nine minutes in the first half because of foul trouble.The Kings scored 64 points in the half, only 46 in the second when Paul played more than 18 minutes.Scouting the RocketsHouston took a 21-20 record into Sunday’s game against the Lakers and had won five of its previous six. The Rockets are being led by guard James Harden, who is averaging 27.6 points and 6.7 assists, but is shooting just 41.6 percent from the field, his lowest since shooting 40.3 percent his rookie season in 2009-10. He’s shooting a career-low 32.7 percent from long distance. “I think that through this stretch we have improved as a basketball team. I think that when DJ (Jordan) comes back first and then Blake, we are going to be a much better team because of all of this. But we still have a long way to go. Neither one of them are back yet, so we just have to keep pegging away.”The Clippers host the Houston Rockets on Monday night at Staples Center. After that, they embark on a five-game East Coast swing that will include stops at Eastern Conference-leading Cleveland, New York, Toronto, Indiana and Atlanta. That means five of the next six games – New York at 20-22 is the exception – will come against teams currently over .500. Toronto (25-15) is No. 2 in the East, Atlanta (24-17) is No. 4 and Indiana (22-18 before Sunday) is No. 6.Undaunted, Rivers spoke in confident tones late Saturday when asked about the toughness of the stretch.“Defensively, we’re a better team,” he said. “And that’s all you need to be, is a better defensive team. Offensively, I’m never that concerned about us. I think most nights we’re going to be a good offensive team. A lot has happened for the Clippers since Christmas. Blake Griffin went down with a partially torn left quad tendon after a game that night against the Lakers that has caused him to miss the past 10 games, the Clippers won nine of those as part of a 10-game winning streak, and DeAndre Jordan has missed the past two games with pneumonia.Yet, the Clippers appear to have strengthened themselves through adversity.The Clippers had their winning streak snapped Saturday when they lost 110-103 to the Sacramento Kings. But after a 16-13 start, they are 26-14 and feeling good. League beware?“We are not trying to send any messages,” coach Doc Rivers said. “Honestly, we are just trying to win games. The messages have to be sent at the end of the year by winning. We just have to keep getting better.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more