He was a must-read columnist when any important sporting event took place in Conway or anywhere in Arkansas, but he was just as adept about taking a small, non-descript event or game and making it read like it was the Super Bowl. His credits go beyond the sports pages and his bylines include stories from the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah, former U.S. President Bill Clinton’s campaign and inauguration, and the “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match in 1973 between Bobby Riggs and Billie Jean King. McCollum’s nomination for the award reads in part:No one had their finger on the pulse of UCA Athletics like David McCollum. Whether you agreed or disagreed with his stance or his take on an event, deep down you knew he was probably right. He had a writing style and way of explaining things that made them make sense to a wide variety of readers, not just sports fans. McCollum worked for the Memphis Press-Scimitar, the Orange Leader (Orange, Texas), and the Arkansas Democrat (Little Rock, Ark), before moving on to the Log Cabin Democrat. FRISCO, Texas – Former sports editor and columnist for the Log Cabin Democrat newspaper (Conway, Ark.) David MCollum is the 2018 Southland Conference Louis Bonnette Sports Media Award winner. League commissioner Tom Burnett made the announcement Monday. Louis Bonnette was the first honoree in 2012. Bonnette enjoyed a storied career as the first McNeese SID, holding the position for 46 years. As SID, he boasted a national record of 516 consecutive Cowboy football games worked. He was inducted into the Southland Conference Hall of Honor in 2007 and the College Sports Information Directors of America Hall of Fame in 2009. The accolade, named after longtime McNeese sports information director Louis Bonnette, is presented annually to an individual that has made outstanding contributions in the field of sports information, print journalism, broadcasting or other media focused on the Southland Conference and/or its member institutions. The Southland’s sports information directors, athletic directors and other university personnel, and outside media executives nominate individuals for the award, and the sports information directors make the final selection. McCollum will be the seventh recipient of the award. Previous winners include: Former Lamar play-by-play voice and TV personality Dave Hofferth (2017); Northwestern State Assistant Athletic Director and Sports Information Director Doug Ireland (2016); former Daily Sentinel (Nacogdoches, Texas) Sports Editor Kevin Gore (2015); retired Sam Houston State Sports Information Director Paul Ridings (2014); southeast Texas sports journalist and retired Lamar Sports Information Director Rush Wood (2013). McCollum passed away in April after a prolific journalism career that spanned five decades. Burnett will present the award to McCollum’s wife Beverly in Houston on Thursday as part of the league’s Football Media Day. The McCollums’ son Gavin will also participate. “David was synonymous with Central Arkansas sports,” said Central Arkansas Athletic Director Brad Teague. “His consistent presence at our events will surely be missed. David was an advocate for all things UCA and we will miss him dearly.” “All of us in the Southland Conference are honored to present the Louis Bonnette Sports Media Award to the McCollum family in David’s memory,” said Burnett said. “He was a friend to everyone he met and was one of the finest professional journalists in our region. While he is missed by so many of us, we are pleased his name will live on with the Bonnette Award.”McCollum was inducted into the Arkansas Sportscasters & Sportswriters Hall of Fame in 2012. He was named Arkansas Sportswriter of the Year in 2008 by the National Association of Sportscasters & Sportswriters. McCollum was an active board member of the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame for more than 20 years. Last year, McCollum was recognized by the Arkansas Press Association with the “Golden 50 Award” for his 50th year in the newspaper business. Any sports figure that was anyone in the state of Arkansas has been interviewed by David McCollum at some point in their careers, and 99.9% of them would tell you they are better for it. He never met a stranger, never raised his voice or said an unkind word about anyone. He was a bastion in his church work at Second Baptist Church in Little Rock for the past 40 years but you would never have known it because he didn’t wear it on his sleeve. He did that, along with charity work and community service, on the side, away from the spotlight. He was more concerned with putting the spotlight on some young athlete who was trying to make a name for himself or herself, or a coach who was mentoring his players in the right way, or a team that was helping a community baseball team build their new field, or an injured athlete who was no longer able to compete but was still a big part of his/her team from the sidelines.
FRISCO, Texas – Abilene Christian’s Jaren Lewis is the season’s first Southland Player of the Week, the league announced Monday. Southland Conference Players of the Week are presented by MidSouth Bank.Lewis led the Wildcats (2-0) to a season opening 107-54 victory over Arlington Baptist and a 94-73 triumph over Arkansas State. ACU travels to Denver on Thursday for an 8 p.m. contest against the Pioneers.Men’s Basketball Player of the Week – Jaren Lewis, Abilene Christian – Sr. – Forward – Orlando, Fla.Senior Jaren Lewis missed just one attempt from the field, finishing 8-for-9 with 18 points in a season-opening win over Arlington Baptist. The Orlando, Fla., native followed it up with another 18-point outing in a 21-point victory over Arkansas State and grabbed 15 rebounds, the most by a Southland player through the opening week. It marked Lewis’ 15th career double-double.Honorable Mention: Ishmael Lane, Northwestern State; Cameron Delaney, Sam Houston State; Gavin Peppers, Nicholls
Garth carried that hot shooting into another home victory over Howard Payne, pouring in 24 points in 21 minutes on 9 of 14 shooting to finish as one of five players in double-figures. He was a perfect 8-for-8 from the charity stripe and averaged three assists per game and 2.5 steals per game. Honorable Mention: Shannon Bogues, Stephen F. Austin; Charles Brown III, UIW; Hayden Koval, Central Arkansas Garth averaged 30 points per game, including a career-high 36 points in an 80-72 victory over Texas Southern. He followed it up with 24 points in a commanding 121-32 win over Howard Payne. Garth leads the Cardinals into their final tune-up before conference play against Champion Christian at 2 p.m. Saturday. Southland weekly award winners are nominated and voted upon by each school’s sports information director. Voting for one’s own athlete is not permitted. To earn honorable mention, a student-athlete must appear on 25 percent of ballots. Men’s Basketball Player of the Week – Nick Garth, Lamar – Sr. – Guard – Houston Against a Texas Southern team that entered with road wins over Baylor and Oregon, Garth helped Lamar remain perfect at home with 36 points, the most by a Southland student-athlete this season. He hit 11 of his 17 shots, including 8 of 9 from beyond the arc. FRISCO, Texas – Lamar guard Nick Garth is the Southland Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week, the league announced Thursday. Southland Conference Players of the Week are presented by MidSouth Bank.
Loud Mouth–Joel Rosario–120Whooping Jay–Mario Gutierrez–120Irish Heatwave–Kent Desormeaux–122Galilean–Flavien Prat–124Feeling Strong–Tiago Pereira–120First post time for a nine-race card on Monday is at 12:30p.m. please visitsanttaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE. HOLLENDORFER’S GALILEAN & DESORMEAUX’S IRISH HEATWAVE LOOM LARGE IN MONDAY’S $200,000 CALIFORNIA CUP DERBY AT 1 1/16 MILESRACE IS PART OF LUCRATIVE GOLDEN STATE SERIES FOR CALIFORNIA-BRED OR SIRED HORSESARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 15, 2019)–A neck shy of being unbeaten in three starts, Jerry Hollendorfer’s two-time stakes winner Galilean, along with trainer Keith Desormeaux’s Irish Heatwave, head a field of five sophomores in Monday’s $200,000 California Cup Derby at 1 1/16 miles.Restricted to 3-year-olds bred or sired in California, the Cal Cup Derby is part of the lucrative Golden State Series, which is sponsored by the CTBA.GALILEANOwner: West Point Thoroughbreds, Denise Barker & William SandbrookTrainer: Jerry HollendorferA California-bred colt by Uncle Mo, out of the Indian Charlie mare Fresia, Galilean fetched $600,000 at the 2018 Barretts 2-year-old in Training Sale this past April. A first-out winner of the restricted Barretts Juvenile going 6 ½ furlongs at Los Alamitos Sept. 22, he was then second, beaten a neck by Bob Baffert’s Cruel Intention going seven furlongs here in the Golden State Juvenile on Nov. 3. A rousing nine length winner of the one mile King Glorious Stakes at Los Al Dec. 16, Galilean is Triple Crown nominated and should he win on Monday, will attempt to follow in the footsteps of 2014 Cal Cup Derby winner California Chrome.IRISH HEATWAVEOwner: Calumet FarmTrainer: Keith DesormeauxA winner of two out of his last three starts, all on turf, this colt by Unusual Heat, out of the Broken Vow mare Irish Winnie, kept to his task to finish fourth, beaten two lengths in the Cal Cup Turf Sprint here on Jan. 26. A one mile turf maiden winner versus statebreds three starts back on Nov. 3, Irish Heatwave has two wins from five starts and is winless in two dirt tries, both sprints.THE CALIFORNIA CUP DERBY WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER Race 4 of 9 Approximate post time 2 p.m. PT
A BUSY OPENING DAY FOR BALTAS ON SATURDAY POPULAR WALL CALENDAR FREE ON OPENING DAY POLANCO REMEMBERS THE LATE BOBBY FRANKEL POST SHOULD AID BELLAFINA IN GRADE I LA BREA SANTA ANITA’S POPULAR WALL CALENDAR FREE ON OPENING DAYA “must-have” among racegoers for decades, Santa Anita’s traditional wall calendar will be available free to all fans with paid admission on opening day. This year’s calendar will include racing highlights from the past 12 months and information about the California Retirement Management Account (CARMA), which is based at Santa Anita and assists retired racehorses in finding their next career and home.CARMA, which operates largely on purse money which is designated by Thoroughbred owners, facilitates funding and networking for over 20 aftercare charities in addition to running a placement program serving horses that have competed at Santa Anita, Del Mar and Golden Gate Fields.CARMA hosts a variety of fund raising events on a monthly basis, including Thoroughbred Classic Horse Shows, in which retired racehorses can compete against each other in multiple disciplines. CARMA also assists with aftercare awareness events and placement success stories.Special first post time opening day is 11 a.m. and admission gates open at 9 a.m. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE. BEER AND CIDER FESTIVAL IS SET FOR TOMORROW WORKOUTS:Storm the Court (Eurton) 12-22-19McKinzie (Baffert) 12-22-19Ashleyluvssugar (Outside) and Ekklesia (Eurton) 12-22-19Omaha Beach (Mandella) 12-22-19Bellafina (Callaghan) 12-20-19Gift Box (Sadler) 12-20-19Mother Mother (Outside) and Eddy Forever (Baffert) 12-20-19 LATEST CONTENT FROM XBTV:FEATURES:XBTV Saturday: What to Watch for at Santa Anita Park on December 28th, 2019Richard Mandella Discusses Omaha Beach’s Final Work Ahead of the Grade I Malibu Stakes.John Sadler Discusses Gift Box’s Time Off and Expectations for the San Antonio.Bob Baffert Discusses a Trio of Three-Year-Olds Heading Into Grade 1 Starts on Opening Day.Peter Eurton Discusses Draft Pick’s Last Race Heading into the San Antonio. SANTA ANITA REMEMBERS THE LATE BOBBY FRANKEL TOMORROWGoogle Bobby Frankel and it comes up “American horse trainer,” but he was much more than that. Infinitely more.Irascible, cantankerous, gruff would seem to fit his exterior demeanor, but deep down, in crunch time, when push came to shove, Frankel’s best side came to the fore. He was humane.Take it from Marcelo Polanco, a third generation horseman who learned the ropes under Frankel for a year and a half circa 1991-93 when the Hall of Fame trainer was in his prime.Frankel, for whom Saturday’s Grade III Robert J. Frankel Stakes is named, died at the age of 68 on Nov. 16, 2009. Hard to believe he’s been gone for 10 years.“It was the most wonderful time,” the 59-year-old Polanco recalled Friday morning. “We had horses for Juddmonte Farms, Jerry Moss, and Bobby would send me to other tracks when we ran in stakes, so I was on the road frequently. He sent me to Louisiana Downs for the turf festival, and of the six horses we ran, five won. I went to Hawthorne with Marquetry for a $500,000 race and it was very cold, and he used to call me every day with four questions, always very quick: “‘How’s the horse?’ Fine. ‘Temperature?” No. ‘How’s he eating?’ Good. ‘How’s the weather?’ Super cold.“I said, ‘What do I do?’ He said, ‘Walk him.’ This was five days before the race. Next day, same conversation. Finally, the day before the race I opened my mouth and asked him, ‘Do you want me to walk the horse before the race?’ and he said, ‘Listen, the horse has been running all year, he’s got all his conditioning, do you want to get him sick?’“The horse won super easy that day and I still have the picture.”Polanco, a trainer in his own right, is a native of Santiago, Chile, the country where his grandfather, Pedro, won the Chilean Triple Crown circa 1912. Marcelo was assistant to Julio Canani for 6 ½ years before joining Frankel with Dan Ward and Humberto Ascanio. Prior to that, he served with Ron McAnally, but his time with Frankel understandably remains indelible.“He was a great guy,” Polanco said. BALTAS HAS 10 ENTERED FOR SANTA ANITA OPENER Richard Baltas prides himself in having a “racing stable,” and race he will when Santa Anita’s Winter Meet starts tomorrow, showcasing seven stakes, three of them Grade I’s.Fresh from capturing the Del Mar training championship, Baltas has 10 horses entered on the 11-race opening day card, eight of them in stakes, including Lady Prancealot in the Grade I American Oaks, Del Mar May and Motion Emotion in the Grade I La Brea, Excellent Sunset in the Grade III Robert J. Frankel and Neptune’s Storm and Bob and Jackie in the Grade II Mathis Brothers Mile.“She got a very good trip last time with (Joe) Bravo,” Baltas said of Lady Prancealot, a consistent but trouble prone Irish-bred filly that won the Grade III Valley View at Keeneland Oct. 18. “She got a big number (91 Beyer), and if she can duplicate that, she’ll probably win.”Motion Emotion shortens up in the seven furlong La Brea after two straight races at amile and one-sixteenth, including victory last out in the Zia Park Oaks.“It might be too short for her, but it’s the last Grade I race in her three-year-old year and she came out of the race good, she’s doing well, so we’re going to take a chance,” Baltas said.Excellent Sunrise was beaten a head and a nose as the favorite in her last two startsat a mile on turf at Del Mar, and Baltas removes the blinkers from the Irish-bred mare in the Frankel at 1 1/8 miles on turf. “She seems to be training really well,” he said.Neptune’s Storm has never been out of the money in his last 11 races and figures to have another strong showing in the Grade II Mathis Brothers Mile on turf.“He lost to Mo Forza twice and Mo Forza’s the race favorite, but Neptune’s Storm is a damn good horse who’s made over $600,000. We’re looking for a good start and a good meet.”Santa Anita’s opening week schedule offers live racing Sunday, Dec. 29; New Year’s Day, Wednesday, Jan. 1; and Friday, Jan. 3 through Sunday, Jan. 5.First post time opening day is 11 a.m. Admission gates open at 9 a.m. Santa Anita’s opening day stakes: the $75,000 Lady of Shamrock, race two: Keeper Ofthe Stars, Abel Cedillo, 5-2; Brill, Flavien Prat, 3-1; Bodhicitta, Rafael Bejarano, 8-1; Mischiffie, Drayden Van Dyke, 6-1; Angel Alessandra, Joel Rosario, 6-1; Lucky Peridot, Javier Castellano, 4-1; Sold It, Mario Gutierrez, 10-1; and Lakerball, Joe Talamo, 12-1.The Grade II San Antonio, race five: Gray Magician, Javier Castellano, 4-1; Gift Box, Joel Rosario, 9-5; King Abner, Tyler Baze, 10-1; Draft Pick, Joe Talamo, 9-2; Mugaritz, Ricardo Gonzalez, 10-1; Midcourt, Victor Espinoza, 2-1; and Fight On, Abel Cedillo, 20-1.The Grade I American Oaks, race six: So Much Happy, Tiago Pereira, 30-1; Apache Princess, Javier Castellano, 5-1; Mucho Unusual, Joel Rosario, 4-1; K P Slickem, Jorge Velez, 15-1; Lady Prancealot, Joe Bravo, 2-1; Pretty Point, Mike Smith, 30-1; Giza Goddess, Victor Espinoza, 7-2; and Vibrance, Abel Cedillo, 3-1.The Grade I La Brea, presented as race seven: First Star, Drayden Van Dyke, 4-1; Del Mar May, Joe Bravo, 12-1; Free Cover, Abel Cedillo, 15-1; Stirred, Geovanni Franco, 20-1; Bellafina, Flavien Prat, 9-5; Bell’s the One, Javier Castellano, 7-2; Hard Not to Love, Mike Smith, 6-1; Motion Emotion, Mario Gutierrez, 15-1; and Mother Mother, Joel Rosario, 6-1.The Grade III Robert J. Frankel, race eight: Tiny Tina, Flavien Prat, 6-1; Excellent Sunset, Joel Rosario, 7-2; Don’t Blame Judy, Victor Espinoza, 5-1; Streak of Luck, Jose Valdivia Jr., 5-1; Curlin’s Journey, Ruben Fuentes, 6-1; Harmless, Abel Cedillo, 6-1; Mirth, Mike Smith, 5-2; and Ms Peintour, Brice Blanc, 20-1.The Grade I Runhappy Malibu, race nine: Much Better, Flavien Prat, 12-1; Complexity, Javier Castellano, 5-2; Manny Wah, Channing Hill, 8-1; Roadster, Joel Rosario, 3-1; and Omaha Beach, Mike Smith, 4-5.The Grade II Mathis Brothers Mile, race 10: Sash, Drayden Van Dyke, 12-1; Originaire, Umberto Rispoli, 15-1; Ocean Fury, Flavien Prat, 12-1; Never Easy, Rafael Bejarano, 15-1; Mo Forza, Joel Rosario, 9-5; Neptune’s Storm, Abel Cedillo, 3-1; Kingly, Mario Gutierrez, 6-1; Proud Pedro, Tyler Baze, 15-1; Barristan The Bold, Javier Castellano, 12-1; Loafers Boy, Tiago Pereira, 50-1; and Bob and Jackie, Heriberto Figueroa, 6-1. FINISH LINES: American Theorem, second to Eight Rings in the American Pharoah Stakes on Sept. 27 in his most recent start, could begin breezing in January for a possible start on the Triple Crown trail in the Grade II San Felipe Stakes on March 7, trainer George Papaprodromou said . . . Santa Anita track announcer Frank Mirahmadi will be Tom Quigley‘s guest 10 a.m. Saturday, while Toby Turrell, clocker and publisher of The Winners Card, will do honors 10:20 a.m. Sunday, each day in the XBTV studios . . . Thanks to Santa Anita’s Marketing Department, fans at Clockers’ Corner on a brisk but invigorating Friday morning were treated to free burritos courtesy of Burrito Break of Los Angeles, which caters to groups from 20 to 200. They can be reached at burrito-break.com . . . First post time for Sunday’s 10-race card is 11:30 a.m. GLATT DUO MAKE U.S. DEBUT IN MATHIS BROS. MILE DEPARTING TALAMO BACK ON DRAFT PICK IN SAN ANTONIODraft Pick deserves an “E” for effort if nothing else.The four-year-old Candy Ride colt seldom runs a poor race, even against Grade I competition. He was second in the Pacific Classic and fourth in the Clark, each a Grade I, and has a 3-3-3 record from 14 starts with earnings of $541,680, not too shabby for winning just one stake, the Grade III Affirmed at Santa Anita last June 18.Saturday he resurfaces in the Grade II San Antonio, a steppingstone to the Grade I Santa Anita Handicap on March 7. The San Antonio marks one of the final mounts here for Joe Talamo, who on Jan. 5 leaves Santa Anita to ride regularly starting Jan. 24 at Oaklawn Park.“We’ll miss Joe,” said Peter Eurton, himself a former jockey who trains Draft Pick. “He’s a good kid, a hard worker and a talented rider.”Talamo, who turns 30 on Jan. 12, has ridden Draft Pick in eight of his last nine races, winning three.As for Draft Pick, Eurton said “he seems to be pretty sharp, he likes the cooler weather and he’s trained well to this point.” ENGLISH INVADERS DEBUT IN MATHIS BROTHERS MILE FOR GLATTMark Glatt has a pair of double digit morning line outsiders making their United States debuts in Saturday’s Grade II Mathis Brothers Mile on turf: Sash and Barristan The Bold, both bred in England and entering off a brief layoff.“They’re both coming up to it fine,” the trainer said of the pair, each owned by Red Baron’s Barn LLC or Rancho Temescal LLC. “We’ll get an idea of exactly where they’re going to fit here, but both are nice looking horses that have trained well.“They’ve been away for a bit but I’m not too concerned about that. Good horses come over here pretty fit and they seem to have maintained their fitness, so we’ll see what happens.” TRAINER ‘LOVES’ POST FOR BELLAFINA IN LA BREAAs her 9-5 morning line odds would suggest, Simon Callaghan expects an exemplary effort from Bellafina in Saturday’s Grade I La Brea Stakes for three-year-old fillies at seven furlongs. It is one of three Grade I races at Santa Anita tomorrow, the last three Grade I’s to be run in the United States this year.Bellafina drew post position five in a field of nine.“I love the post,” said Callaghan, who trains the daughter of Quality Road for Kaleem Shah. The La Brea will mark the sixth consecutive start in a Grade I for Bellafina, who has been ridden by Flavien Prat in each of her 12 races, winning six while earning $1,386,725. SANTA ANITA HOSTS CRAFT BEER & CIDER FESTIVAL OPENING DAYIn addition to world class racing and Santa Anita’s coveted traditional wall calendar on opening day, fans will be treated to some of the best brews and ciders in Southern California as the track stages it’s popular Craft Beer and Cider Trackside Festival as well.Available to those 21 and over, the Opening Day Beer and Cider Festival will provide attendees with trackside seating and mouth-watering barbeque, provided by Meathead BBQ. The following packages are available at santaanita.com:VIP PACKAGE ($55):–Eight (3 oz.) Beer or Cider tastings–3 oz. Tasting Cup–One Signature BBQ Plate from Meathead BBQ–$5 Wagering Voucher–Access to Special VIP Trackside Seating–Club House Admission–Racing Program–Wagering Tip Sheet–Access to Trackside and Grandstand SeatingGENERAL PACKAGE ($32):–Eight (3 oz.) Beer or Cider Tastings–3 oz. Tasting Cup–$5 Wagering Voucher–Club House Admission–Racing Program–Wagering Tip Sheet–Access to Trackside and Grandstand Seating AreasPlease note, children are welcome in trackside seating areas, but you must be 21 or over to purchase the package. Seating is not guaranteed.For additional information regarding opening day and Santa Anita’s upcoming Winter Meet, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE. DRAFT PICK IN THE TRENCHES FOR SAN ANTONIO
Tottenham star Ryan Sessegnon and West Ham’s Michail Antonio to play out derby on FIFA 20… and loser has awful forfeit The match will not go ahead because the Premier League has been suspended until April 4 due to the outbreak of coronavirus.But Spurs star Sessegnon and Hammers forward Antonio will give fans the next best thing. RYAN SESSEGNON and Michail Antonio will put it all on the line when they play out this weekend’s suspended derby clash on FIFA 20.The pair will recreate the match between Tottenham and West Ham that was set to take place on Saturday – and there’s a cruelly embarrassing forfeit for the loser!2 Michail Antonio challenges one of his 93,000 Twitter followers to play him at FifaCredit: Alamy Live NewsThe clash cannot go ahead because the Premier League has been suspended until April 4 due to the outbreak of coronavirus.But Spurs star Sessegnon and Hammers ace Antonio will give fans the next best thing on Friday evening at 8pm.Antonio kicked off proceedings as he tweeted: “I ain’t missing playing a London derby this weekend… Fifa, who wants it?”Ex-Fulham star Sessegnon quickly replied: “I’m game, when we playing?”The West Ham ace then responded with a GIF of himself celebrating alongside the caption: “You ain’t ready for this…”After Sessegnon called for less talking and more gaming, Antonio decided to up the stakes.He confidently tweeted: “It’s on, let’s raise the stakes, loser gives a full apology wearing the other team’s shirt?????”Sessegnon showed no signs of backing down as he replied: “Gonna need a shirt for @Michaelantonio @SpursOfficial.”Antonio hit back as he said: “Not a chance mate!!!!! @WestHam sort me out with a kit for this guy I’m taking to school. Friday 8pm work for you?!”MOST READ IN SPORTTHROUGH ITRobbie Keane reveals Claudine’s father was ’50-50′ in coronavirus battle’I ACCEPT’McGregor accepts Silva fight at UFC catchweight of 176lbs in huge super-fightTOP SELLERGavin Whelan has gone from League of Ireland to David Beckham’s InstagramPicturedA CUT ABOVEMike Tyson shows two-inch cut ‘picked up in training’ ahead of boxing returnPicturedAN EYEFULMeet Playboy model and football agent Anamaria Prodan bidding to buy her own clubI SAW ROORodallega saw Rooney ‘drinking like madman’ & Gerrard ‘on bar dancing shirtless’ExclusiveRIYAD RAIDMan City’s Riyad Mahrez has three luxury watches stolen in £500,000 raidIT’S…NOT TOMMY BOWETommy Bowe discovers someone has been impersonating him on TinderNEXT STEPJonny Hayes set to move to English Championship having been let go by CelticMAC DADDYTriple H wants McGregor v McMahon with winner getting rights to billionaire strutSport-deprived fans went wild on social media as Sessegnon agreed to the match.It is also understood that the winner of the match will be given £1000 from their agents USM to donate to a charity of their choice.Mason Greenwood also lined himself up a FIFA 20 match against a YouTube star after he shared his Ultimate Team on Twitter.2 Ryan Sessegnon will take on Michail Antonio on FridayCredit: PA:Press AssociationChelsea show class as Roman Abramovich vows to give NHS staff FREE accommodation at Millennium Hotel in coronavirus battle
The defending champion Spirit are the competition’s top try-scorers, have made the most attacking metres and clean breaks, beaten the most defenders and won the most turnovers.Both teams are level on ten points with two wins from three games but the only stats the Fijians lead the competition in are yellow cards and penalties conceded.Head coach Senirusi Seruvakula says the Drua are looking forward to playing in front of a big home crowd in Suva with a chance to go clear at the top of the table.”They are the reigning champions and it’s a tough competition and we are very privileged for Australia Rugby inviting us into this competition,” he said.”We need the support of the people here in Fiji but it’s another tough game on Saturday and we just have to maintain our exposure and work hard for the week so we are ready on Saturday”.Six players from the Fiji Under 20s squad have been welcomed back into the Drua camp this week, while former Wallabies prop Pek Cowan will anchor the scrum for the Spirit. Photo: Fiji Rugby Union
16 rugby clubs made up of youths living in Ranuguri settlement in the Motu Koitabu area gather every weekend at the Kone field to participate.The clubs include competition leaders Cowboys, Black Knights, Panthers, Compound Tigers, Saints, Namo Dogs and Kouri.The competition incorporates rules of rugby league and touch football and is run by the community from funds raised by the youths.There are eight matches to go before the competition enters round two with the grand final expected during the festive season.Match official and president of the Ranuguri Touch Larry Saea said the aim of the competition is to keep youths busy and away from crime and illegal activities.Saea said this also brings the community together with families and mothers able to sell their goods to earn an income, and encourages youths to play sports and live a healthy life.“I also want to get youth physically fit and exposed to other competition so they can at least one day represent the National Capital District at the PNG Games.“I want them to have the opportunity to represent PNG at international events including the Pacific Games as they have a lot of talent,” Saea said.He added that the youths are always well behaved during the matches every weekend and even the supporters are always well behaved.
The Pool Capital of the Pacific – Lamana Hotel – will be abuzz with excitement once again as the competition enters rounds 5, 6 and 7 with some big games scheduled on the green tables.Starting proceedings will be the Tom English led Tekos Keleona up against John Sulia’s Next of Kin on Table 2 at 10am. Keleone having missed their mentor Dr Ray Korimbo had struggled last week but should be back in full strength against a NOK side fighting to find early season form.There will be no love lost when early competition leaders CRE face Patrons in the 11am cue-off on Table 2. CRE having broken away from Patrons this year have also recruited well in the off-season and will be looking to unsettle a Patrons team oozing with confidence following their big wins last weekend. Olympian – Willie Walimu and his charges need to keep a cool head about them should they want to triumph over a CRE line-up beaming with star players in Kelly Yambi, Welton Guy, Tanya Laumaea, Dolly Berua, Freddy Wapana and Winston Puka. The team that takes the early break should finish on top.Another interesting tussle at 11am on Table 5 will be between Niugini Islands Insurance Brokers Lamana and Papuan Blacks. NIIB Lamana boasting a star-studded line-up in Marcus Ng, Yiannis Nicolaou, Vaine Gavera, Kilian Amini, Wini Itana, Janet Mallian, Waisina Laho, Joe Chan, Qwentan Chollai and Andrew Taka should have this one under control.The midday clash between Tekos Keleone and defending premiers Cool Grafix is billed as the match of the day. Cool Grafix are slowly gaining form with the core of their premiership winning side in Manu Pongo, Warren Gai, Malcolm Maki, Tim Breria, Carol Pongo and Tony Sipa. However, Keleone are capable of pulling off surprises and with Dr Ray and Tom English leading their charges of Joe Kapi and Robyne Walimu, this should make for a mouth watering exchange.At 1pm on Table 5 former champions Heli Solutions Spin Doctors will meet old foes Patrons in an interesting match-up. Dr Sam Yockopua’s Spinners are seriously struggling to find form with their player ranks decimated by player exits and others not honouring their commitment to sign-up. While they still have Kepson Pundu, Kim Kala, ‘mama spinner’ Clara Navi and also hooked-up new players in James Bale and Kupe Yore – this is just not the Spin Doctors of old.The final match-up though will be on Table 6 at 2pm between Keleone and Dataco Pebbles. Pebbles have signed some good players in Robert Bire, Madeline Kaina and Ralph Kaina and are on cruise mode at the moment under Captain Billy George. The team that maintains focus should take the cream in a close tussle for early season bragging rights.
The ex-Proteas opener was provisionally suspended last month, having been found guilty of a string of breaches of Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) code of conduct relating to fixing a match or matches in the Ram Slam T20 Challenge Series.Petersen, 36, admitted four charges of “failing to disclose details of an approach to engage in corrupt conduct” and as many charges of “failing to disclose full details of matters evidencing a breach of the code by another participant”.He also accepted four charges of “failing to co-operate with the investigators by not providing accurate and complete information to them”, and one charge of “concealing and destroying information that was relevant to the investigation”.CSA withdrew Petersen’s charges relating to “fixing or contriving to fix any match and seeking, accepting or offering to accept any bribe or other reward to fix or influence any match”.Haroon Lorgat, the CSA chief executive, said: “Our aim to deal thoroughly with any form of corruption in the game remains steadfast and we will do everything in our power to protect the integrity of the game.”Alviro has realised his mistakes and has acknowledged contravening the code. He is obliged under the code to have disclosed various approaches that were made to him to engage in corrupt activities.”While having provided certain information to the investigators he had also withheld and concealed certain material information, such as the meetings with Bodi [former Proteas, Lions and Titans player Gulam, who was banned for 20 years after admitting match-fixing charges] and certain fixers.”This was directly relevant to the investigation and hence why we have imposed a two-year ban which Alviro accepts.”Bodi, Jean Symes, Pumelela Matshikwe, Ethy Mbhalati and Thami Tsolekile were all banned by CSA for offences in relation to the Ram Slam domestic Twenty20 competition.