Playoff Semifinal

22 May 19
USA TODAY Sports Brackets

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Standing on the tee box at the 15th hole on Wednesday, Auburn sophomore Julie McCarthy received word that the Tigers had lost to Wake Forest in the semifinals of the NCAA Women’s Golf Championship. Her first thought? “We’ll be back.” “I think we all just got a taste of it this week,” […]

22 May 19
USA TODAY Sports

Tigers came back to beat top-seed Texas in quarterfinals 3-2

22 May 19
Boston Herald
The hockey gods finally had granted David Backes his wish. After 13 years of some very hard hockey, the Bruins forward finally has the chance to play for the Stanley Cup. But those extraterrestrials are an untrustworthy sort. For after giving Backes his long awaited chance to play for the sport’s biggest prize, they turned around and said, “OK, now you’ll have to climb over some of your best friends to get it.” Standing between Backes and the Cup now is the team he once captained, the St. Louis Blues. Now, this is no Sophie’s Choice for Backes, mind you. He’ll gladly elbow his old buddies out of the way to grab the Cup. Face washes will be available to all comers. That’s the way hockey is, was and always will be. All sports have that cut-throat element. But it’s safe to say this is not how he would have scripted it. Asked if it was more bittersweet or motivational for him that it’s the Blues the B’s are playing, Backes leaned distinctively to the former. “It would have been fine to make the finals in different years and then each (team) could have had a shot at it, maybe,” Backes said. “But now it’s all about in this room. There’s still some good friends, one of my best friends (Alex Pietrangelo) is on that team, he’s the captain of their team. But I told him, ‘I’m going to love him now, I’m going to love him afterwards, but I’m going to hate him for the next three weeks.’ That’s a mutual decision that we’re going to battle out butts off for this ultimate prize. We’ll patch up whatever we need to patch up afterwards, but it’s all about what’s in this room, what our goal is and what we need to do to win these games.” St. Louis Blues’ David Backes, right, is congratulated by teammate Jaden Schwartz (17) after scoring during the first period of Game 3 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Western Conference semifinals against the Dallas Stars, Tuesday, May 3, 2016, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) Backes did not just play for the Blues. He was the face of the franchise for a time, fully ensconced and active in the community with his charity work. He admitted he stayed up past his bedtime Tuesday to see the Blues seal the deal and joked he has to be vigilant with his “personal filter” with all the messages he’s been getting. “There’s going to be heightened emotions,” Backes said. “But it’s a binary decision now. It’s us or them. There’s no third party, no ties. One of us is going to win the Cup, either the St. Louis Blues or the Boston Bruins. That’s the position you’d want to be in at the beginning of the year. We’re in that position. I wish those guys well up until this point, but now it’s all about us and winning this thing. All our thoughts and all our efforts are in this room.” While there has been some turnover on the Blues since he last played there in 2015-2016, Backes estimated he still played with half of that team. “There’s some familiarity, but not a ton where I know every guy up and down,” Backes said. “Now if I have some information that I think can help us, I’m going to disseminate it, but I don’t know if I’ve got a secret sauce. “It’s going to be a battle of wills. Both teams are very similar in their makeup, very similar in their style of play, very similar in their resiliency, both have really good and hot goaltenders. Maybe the difference I see is we’ve got a number of guys who’ve been at this stage, competed in this finals extravaganza before and I think they just have David Perron, who was there last year (with Vegas).” Backes is not the same impact player he was when he was in St. Louis, but he still has a strong voice in the leadership group. When he arrived in Boston he helped establish a chapel group that meets away from the rink regularly and he’s taken a lot of the young players, such as Brandon Carlo, under his wing. While this series will be emotional for everyone involved, Carlo believes Backes will feel the ups and downs a little more acutely. “It will be hard on him if things don’t go the proper way, but at the same time, I think it would be so sweet for him if we end up working toward our goal and accomplishing that. It’s definitely a unique scenario with how long he was there and how big of part of the city he was in St. Louis. We’ll definitely work toward the goal for him as well.” After scratching Backes for the first game of the playoffs and then a few more late in the Toronto series and early in the Columbus series, coach Bruce Cassidy has chosen to stick with the intangibles Backes brings in the past seven games. All wins. “Where he is at this stage of his career — anybody’s really, but particular him, who’s been through it — he doesn’t know when he’s going to get another kick at the cat here,” Cassidy said. “So I think that will be the biggest motivating factor for him, getting his name on the Stanley Cup. It happens to be St. Louis. I think it’s a great story line, but I don’t think it’s going to affect his drive.” And to be sure, there is no blue left in his blood. It’s all Black and Gold right now. “The stars have aligned for this to be one heck of an event and we’re just going to embrace and throw everything we have out there in every shift, every moment of every game,” Backes said. “I love this group. I wouldn’t want to be in the Finals with any other group. I believe in this group. We’re solely focused on winning Game 1 and then we’ll worry about the next game.”
22 May 19
FightBook MMA

NEW YORK: This afternoon, Professional Fighters League Lightweight and Featherweight fighters slated to compete in PFL 2 weighed-in ahead of Thursday Night MMA action at NYCB LIVE, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, on Long Island, N.Y. PFL 2 will feature 10 action-packed fights beginning at 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN 2 and ESPN Deportes, […]

22 May 19
Redwood Gigantea

By: Audrey Longan This year’s spring sports had an extremely successful season which includes the victories of Softball, Baseball, Girls & Boys Swim, Boys Golf, Boys Tennis, and Track & Field.  They have won 7 out of a total of 8 League Titles. Here is a brief summary of the post season accomplishments for each […]

22 May 19
DIMER

Discerning player value is no easy task, and projecting player value is even more difficult. Assigning grades to trades is somewhat of a fool’s errand, especially when the players have barely had a chance to move to their new markets. Grades will change and become more accurate over time. But we won’t let that dissuade […]

22 May 19
San Gabriel Valley Tribune
WEST COVINA — South Hills’ boys basketball coach Jelani Gardner, who was fired last week by the Covina-Valley Unified School District and who made a plea for his job to be reinstated during an emotional school board meeting on Monday night that lasted over three hours, was told on Wednesday that he will not be reinstated. Gardner spoke to the school board along with his dad, two sons, players from South Hills’ team and many others who spoke glowingly of his character and commitment to kids. Gardner was hoping the school board would have a change of heart and recommend to the school district that he be reinstated following Monday’s meeting, but that recommendation never came. Covina-Valley superintendent Dr. Richard Sheehan confirmed Wednesday that the district was not bringing back Gardner, who was a walk-on coach. “There is no change in Mr. Gardner’s status and South Hills will be looking for a new coach to lead the program during the 2019-20 school year,” Sheehan wrote through a press release. Gardner said he was appreciative for all that supported him, but he has to look ahead. “At the end of the day, I’ve got to move on,” Gardner said. “I don’t want to be somewhere where I’m not wanted or appreciated. I’m just going to take this as a message that this is not the right place for me and my family.” All along, Gardner felt he had the support from athletic director Darren Murphy, principal Dr. Matt Dalton and Sheehan, and that is was pressure from the school board that forced him out. “I want to thank Murphy, Dr. Dalton and Dr. Sheehan, they were good to me and my family,” Gardner said. At Monday’s board meeting the specifics as to why Gardner was fired were never revealed, but Val Rose spoke in public comment on behalf of parents who filed grievances with the district over Gardner’s alleged misuse of booster club funds, use of language and his “bullying intimidation” tactics. Head coach Jelani Gardner of South Hills looks on again Rowland in the first half of a semifinal basketball game during the Glendora boys basketball tournament at Glendora High School on Friday, December 7, 2018 in Glendora, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) “He may have checked all the boxes for school administration because of his history as a basketball player, but we parents observed his intimidation and bullying tactics during the year,” Rose said. Gardner denied mistreating anyone who played under him and said that not all of the existing players or families were prepared for the pressure of going beyond winning eight games in a 30-game season. “It was just an adjustment period for them,” Gardner said in an interview before Monday’s meeting. “If they stick to it, take accountability for what they need to learn for next year, there’s always a prize at the end of the tunnel when you go through adversity.” Parent Micah McNeil-Tyler, who was president of the basketball booster club until a majority recently voted to disband it, said the misuse of funds was a simple and easily corrected misunderstanding over team polo shirts Gardner bought for school administrators. The three booster club members, whom she declined to name, opposed Gardner from the first parent meeting of the season and seem to have gotten their way by getting Gardner fired and disbanding the booster club to force whoever comes next to re-file the group as a nonprofit organization, McNeil-Tyler said. Booster club meetings eventually became so tense that school administrators eventually had to attend to serve as mediators, she said. “The parents would just attack, attack, attack, and Coach Gardner never raised his voice at them, he was never disrespectful,” McNeil-Tyler said. “It seemed like they were trying to bring anger out of him.” Part of the reason Gardner came to South Hills was because of its athletic and academic tradition, which he thought was a great fit for his son Jazz Gardner, a 6-foot-8 highly touted eighth grader who would be a freshman in the fall at South Hills. He also has a younger son that was expected to enroll at South Hills in a few years. What happens now with his sons and where they attend is what Gardner is focused on. “I’ve had some coaches and schools reach out to me already because Jazz is going to be a freshman in the fall,” Gardner said. “They’ve talked about having me join their staff, but I don’t know yet. What’s important to me is finding the right fit for my kids for basketball and school. This isn’t about me, this is their time, not mine.” South Hills had raved about Gardner when they hired him, and he made an immediate impact Gardner took over a program that was 8-18 a year earlier and led South Hills to a 15-15 overall mark and finished fourth in the Hacienda league for the 2018-19 season. South Hills advanced to the championship of the Glendora tournament and reached the second round of the CIF-SS playoffs. Gardner came to South Hills after leading Blair to a 22-8 record and the second round of the playoffs in the 2017-18 season, and was well known because of his high school and college playing days. He attended St. John Bosco, and went on to play at Cal and Pepperdine and played 13 years with different professional teams in Europe. Prior to South Hills, he had coaching stints with La Salle, Duarte and Blair. LIVE: South Hills’ Jelani Gardner addressing the school board about being fired last week as boys basketball coach and why he should be reinstated. https://t.co/dsMCaQpeW7 — Fred J. Robledo (@SGVNSports) May 21, 2019  
22 May 19
Pasadena Star News
WEST COVINA — South Hills’ boys basketball coach Jelani Gardner, who was fired last week by the Covina-Valley Unified School District and who made a plea for his job to be reinstated during an emotional school board meeting on Monday night that lasted over three hours, was told on Wednesday that he will not be reinstated. Gardner spoke to the school board along with his dad, two sons, players from South Hills’ team and many others who spoke glowingly of his character and commitment to kids. Gardner was hoping the school board would have a change of heart and recommend to the school district that he be reinstated following Monday’s meeting, but that recommendation never came. Covina-Valley superintendent Dr. Richard Sheehan confirmed Wednesday that the district was not bringing back Gardner, who was a walk-on coach. “There is no change in Mr. Gardner’s status and South Hills will be looking for a new coach to lead the program during the 2019-20 school year,” Sheehan wrote through a press release. Gardner said he was appreciative for all that supported him, but he has to look ahead. “At the end of the day, I’ve got to move on,” Gardner said. “I don’t want to be somewhere where I’m not wanted or appreciated. I’m just going to take this as a message that this is not the right place for me and my family.” All along, Gardner felt he had the support from athletic director Darren Murphy, principal Dr. Matt Dalton and Sheehan, and that is was pressure from the school board that forced him out. “I want to thank Murphy, Dr. Dalton and Dr. Sheehan, they were good to me and my family,” Gardner said. At Monday’s board meeting the specifics as to why Gardner was fired were never revealed, but Val Rose spoke in public comment on behalf of parents who filed grievances with the district over Gardner’s alleged misuse of booster club funds, use of language and his “bullying intimidation” tactics. Head coach Jelani Gardner of South Hills looks on again Rowland in the first half of a semifinal basketball game during the Glendora boys basketball tournament at Glendora High School on Friday, December 7, 2018 in Glendora, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) “He may have checked all the boxes for school administration because of his history as a basketball player, but we parents observed his intimidation and bullying tactics during the year,” Rose said. Gardner denied mistreating anyone who played under him and said that not all of the existing players or families were prepared for the pressure of going beyond winning eight games in a 30-game season. “It was just an adjustment period for them,” Gardner said in an interview before Monday’s meeting. “If they stick to it, take accountability for what they need to learn for next year, there’s always a prize at the end of the tunnel when you go through adversity.” Parent Micah McNeil-Tyler, who was president of the basketball booster club until a majority recently voted to disband it, said the misuse of funds was a simple and easily corrected misunderstanding over team polo shirts Gardner bought for school administrators. The three booster club members, whom she declined to name, opposed Gardner from the first parent meeting of the season and seem to have gotten their way by getting Gardner fired and disbanding the booster club to force whoever comes next to re-file the group as a nonprofit organization, McNeil-Tyler said. Booster club meetings eventually became so tense that school administrators eventually had to attend to serve as mediators, she said. “The parents would just attack, attack, attack, and Coach Gardner never raised his voice at them, he was never disrespectful,” McNeil-Tyler said. “It seemed like they were trying to bring anger out of him.” Part of the reason Gardner came to South Hills was because of its athletic and academic tradition, which he thought was a great fit for his son Jazz Gardner, a 6-foot-8 highly touted eighth grader who would be a freshman in the fall at South Hills. He also has a younger son that was expected to enroll at South Hills in a few years. What happens now with his sons and where they attend is what Gardner is focused on. “I’ve had some coaches and schools reach out to me already because Jazz is going to be a freshman in the fall,” Gardner said. “They’ve talked about having me join their staff, but I don’t know yet. What’s important to me is finding the right fit for my kids for basketball and school. This isn’t about me, this is their time, not mine.” South Hills had raved about Gardner when they hired him, and he made an immediate impact Gardner took over a program that was 8-18 a year earlier and led South Hills to a 15-15 overall mark and finished fourth in the Hacienda league for the 2018-19 season. South Hills advanced to the championship of the Glendora tournament and reached the second round of the CIF-SS playoffs. Gardner came to South Hills after leading Blair to a 22-8 record and the second round of the playoffs in the 2017-18 season, and was well known because of his high school and college playing days. He attended St. John Bosco, and went on to play at Cal and Pepperdine and played 13 years with different professional teams in Europe. Prior to South Hills, he had coaching stints with La Salle, Duarte and Blair. LIVE: South Hills’ Jelani Gardner addressing the school board about being fired last week as boys basketball coach and why he should be reinstated. https://t.co/dsMCaQpeW7 — Fred J. Robledo (@SGVNSports) May 21, 2019  
22 May 19
Whittier Daily News
WEST COVINA — South Hills’ boys basketball coach Jelani Gardner, who was fired last week by the Covina-Valley Unified School District and who made a plea for his job to be reinstated during an emotional school board meeting on Monday night that lasted over three hours, was told on Wednesday that he will not be reinstated. Gardner spoke to the school board along with his dad, two sons, players from South Hills’ team and many others who spoke glowingly of his character and commitment to kids. Gardner was hoping the school board would have a change of heart and recommend to the school district that he be reinstated following Monday’s meeting, but that recommendation never came. Covina-Valley superintendent Dr. Richard Sheehan confirmed Wednesday that the district was not bringing back Gardner, who was a walk-on coach. “There is no change in Mr. Gardner’s status and South Hills will be looking for a new coach to lead the program during the 2019-20 school year,” Sheehan wrote through a press release. Gardner said he was appreciative for all that supported him, but he has to look ahead. “At the end of the day, I’ve got to move on,” Gardner said. “I don’t want to be somewhere where I’m not wanted or appreciated. I’m just going to take this as a message that this is not the right place for me and my family.” All along, Gardner felt he had the support from athletic director Darren Murphy, principal Dr. Matt Dalton and Sheehan, and that is was pressure from the school board that forced him out. “I want to thank Murphy, Dr. Dalton and Dr. Sheehan, they were good to me and my family,” Gardner said. At Monday’s board meeting the specifics as to why Gardner was fired were never revealed, but Val Rose spoke in public comment on behalf of parents who filed grievances with the district over Gardner’s alleged misuse of booster club funds, use of language and his “bullying intimidation” tactics. Head coach Jelani Gardner of South Hills looks on again Rowland in the first half of a semifinal basketball game during the Glendora boys basketball tournament at Glendora High School on Friday, December 7, 2018 in Glendora, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) “He may have checked all the boxes for school administration because of his history as a basketball player, but we parents observed his intimidation and bullying tactics during the year,” Rose said. Gardner denied mistreating anyone who played under him and said that not all of the existing players or families were prepared for the pressure of going beyond winning eight games in a 30-game season. “It was just an adjustment period for them,” Gardner said in an interview before Monday’s meeting. “If they stick to it, take accountability for what they need to learn for next year, there’s always a prize at the end of the tunnel when you go through adversity.” Parent Micah McNeil-Tyler, who was president of the basketball booster club until a majority recently voted to disband it, said the misuse of funds was a simple and easily corrected misunderstanding over team polo shirts Gardner bought for school administrators. The three booster club members, whom she declined to name, opposed Gardner from the first parent meeting of the season and seem to have gotten their way by getting Gardner fired and disbanding the booster club to force whoever comes next to re-file the group as a nonprofit organization, McNeil-Tyler said. Booster club meetings eventually became so tense that school administrators eventually had to attend to serve as mediators, she said. “The parents would just attack, attack, attack, and Coach Gardner never raised his voice at them, he was never disrespectful,” McNeil-Tyler said. “It seemed like they were trying to bring anger out of him.” Part of the reason Gardner came to South Hills was because of its athletic and academic tradition, which he thought was a great fit for his son Jazz Gardner, a 6-foot-8 highly touted eighth grader who would be a freshman in the fall at South Hills. He also has a younger son that was expected to enroll at South Hills in a few years. What happens now with his sons and where they attend is what Gardner is focused on. “I’ve had some coaches and schools reach out to me already because Jazz is going to be a freshman in the fall,” Gardner said. “They’ve talked about having me join their staff, but I don’t know yet. What’s important to me is finding the right fit for my kids for basketball and school. This isn’t about me, this is their time, not mine.” South Hills had raved about Gardner when they hired him, and he made an immediate impact Gardner took over a program that was 8-18 a year earlier and led South Hills to a 15-15 overall mark and finished fourth in the Hacienda league for the 2018-19 season. South Hills advanced to the championship of the Glendora tournament and reached the second round of the CIF-SS playoffs. Gardner came to South Hills after leading Blair to a 22-8 record and the second round of the playoffs in the 2017-18 season, and was well known because of his high school and college playing days. He attended St. John Bosco, and went on to play at Cal and Pepperdine and played 13 years with different professional teams in Europe. Prior to South Hills, he had coaching stints with La Salle, Duarte and Blair. LIVE: South Hills’ Jelani Gardner addressing the school board about being fired last week as boys basketball coach and why he should be reinstated. https://t.co/dsMCaQpeW7 — Fred J. Robledo (@SGVNSports) May 21, 2019  
22 May 19
News Directory

<div _ngcontent-c14 = "" innerhtml = " ATLANTIC, APRIL 12: (L-R) Jacare Souza from Brazil and Jack Hermansson from Norway are addressing them at the UFC Seasonal Press Conference within the State Farm Arena on 12 April, 2019, in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Josh Hedges / Zuffa LLC / Zuffa LLC through Getty Images) photo […]

22 May 19
MMA Junkie

One last hurdle in booking Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Dustin Poirier has been cleared.

22 May 19
National Post

TORONTO — With his team pulling away in the fourth quarter of a pivotal playoff contest, Nick Nurse was standing by the broadcasters’ table and applauding the previously struggling Raptors bench players that had given Toronto a 99-82 lead in Game 4 of its NBA Eastern Conference final against the Milwaukee Bucks. That’s when rap […]

22 May 19
News Archives Uk

Jack Ross hopes Sunderland's luck at this time will be in Wembley. Nearly two months since the Black Cats lost the final of the Checktrade Trophy on penalties against Portsmouth at Wembley, it was time again, this time for the play-off final. This time, however, more is at stake against Charlton, because a failure of […]

22 May 19
COALFIELDS & CO.

Last year, we released the first ever West Virginia Prep Football Insider to great success. The book sold hundreds digitally and physically. This year we plan to step up the production and quality even more. Expect tons of articles, rankings, and of course, each team’s full page preview. We had four covers last season: Hurricane, […]

22 May 19
Sport Archives

A high-school rugby rivalry that's been the best for the better part of two seasons is set to be this week. On Wednesday evening, the Earl Marriott Mariners senior boys rugby team will hit the pitch against Abbotsford's Yale Lions in the Fraser Valley championship game. This year marks the 10th consecutive season that the […]