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Jessica said the church members had been practicing choir and preparing events for Easter since February. They are all now canceled. She said while they understood the situation, they could not help but feel devastated about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their religious routines.“It feels lonely. […] I know we can pray anywhere, but I miss praying at church. […] This community is like a family for me. After church services end, we usually stay for a while and have lunch together, particularly on a special day like Easter,” the 18-year-old college student said.“I hope everything will go back to normal soon.”Less than a dozen Easter committee members came to the church that afternoon, including the priests, some choir members, altar boys and lectors.Talking softly to four other committee members through their face masks, Jessica operated the live-streaming mass services from her laptop, while her friends prepared the recording equipment in front of the altar. At 5 p.m. sharp, with the help of that small quiet group, the Maundy Thursday Mass live stream began and was watched by thousands of the church members from their houses.Read also: Churches turn to livestreaming, suspend activities to support social distancingIn a house in Rawamangun, East Jakarta, Joneka Hehuwat, 54, sat at her dining room table with her mother, husband and two children. Together they were watching the live stream of the Good Friday service from the Indonesian Christian Church (GKI) of Kavling Polri.“Honestly it’s sad that we can’t celebrate Easter as usual. For me the meaning of Easter is more powerful than Christmas, because it’s how we all left our dark ways of life behind and started a new better life with His resurrection,” Joneka said. “But I’m grateful that I can celebrate it with my family in our home.”Joneka said some Jakartans she knew had contracted the coronavirus, and was therefore well aware that social distancing, including the cancelation of religious gatherings, was pivotal to curb the spread of the virus.By Saturday afternoon, Indonesia had reported 3,842 confirmed cases nationwide, mostly in Jakarta, which has imposed large-scale social restrictions since Friday. But while Christian communities in big cities like Jakarta can attend the Holy Week Masses online, a stable internet connection to access the live steams remains a luxury for those who live in remote areas.“I tried to do a live stream for Maundy Thursday, but the stream only worked until the first reading of the Bible, after that the internet signal went down,” Christoporus Aria Prabantara, a priest from Kristus Sahabat Kita Catholic Church in Nabire, Papua said.Paulus Christian Siswantoko of the Indonesian Bishops Conference estimated there were around 8.5 million Catholics in 37 dioceses across the country, and all so far have been compliant with the pray-from-home policy during Holy Week.Paulus said that although some regions had had difficulty providing or joining live-streamed services, they managed to access similar services through television channels and local radio programs.“We even heard that some priests at a church in Larantuka in East Nusa Tenggara used megaphones for the Holy Week Mass so that many could listen to their services,” he said.Read also: East Nusa Tenggara residents celebrate Good Friday from home amid COVID-19 pandemicChurches have also become an integral source of emotional support for many Christians during the pandemic.Bonifasius Melkyor Pando, a priest at St. Theresia Catholic Church in Central Java’s Semarang, found that some members of his congregation, in the hope to attend Mass, had gone to the church almost every Sunday even though it had been temporarily closed down since the middle of March. And every single time they had to return to their home since there was no Mass at the church.That longing for a Mass and prayers was the reason why the church held a Maundy Thursday Mass live stream on YouTube that they had never done before.“Hope is stronger than despair. Love is stronger than hatred. And life is stronger than death,” Father Melky said in the live-streamed Good Friday Mass a day after.A number of churches under the jurisdiction of Ruteng diocese in East Nusa Tenggara have also turned to radio for Easter services, while Christians in Manado mostly used video streaming.Read also: In Jerusalem, Christians mark a sombre EasterIn Vatican City, the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis celebrated Good Friday in an empty Saint Peter’s Square that would normally be packed with visitors during Holy Week.As lockdowns and stay-at-home orders are in place in many cities worldwide, Pope Francis has asked people to pray for and assist those who are homeless. — Markus Makur contributed to this story from East Manggarai and Agustinus Hari from ManadoTopics : There is no Easter like this year.Christian communities in Indonesia have seen it all in the past, from natural disasters, to terrorist attacks and persecutions, but the COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented in how it has changed the way Christians celebrate holy days.With the number of COVID-19 infections in the country growing, the government has asked religious communities, including more than 23 million Christians across the archipelago, to cancel any religious meetings and pray from home. It was an hour before the Maundy Thursday Mass began when Jessica Juliani stood in the middle of St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Kotabaru, Yogyakarta. She held a laptop to her chest. A feeling of emptiness struck her as she looked at the vacant benches and hallways inside the church that are usually packed with people on a special event like that day, she told The Jakarta Post.Maundy Thursday is celebrated in the middle of Holy Week, the week preceding Easter Sunday, one of the most important religious days, when Christians around the world celebrate the resurrection of Jesus on the third day after his crucifixion. On normal days, around 3,000 people gather at St. Anthony church. In previous years, some people have even had to join the mass from the street in front of the church because there was not enough room for everyone.But with churches closed for services as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, many processions and sacred church rituals during Holy Week have been canceled. Jessica and a small number of church committee members came almost every day during Holy Week to live stream the Mass for the church’s members who pray at home.
Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf National Hunting and Fishing Day, 2015 Proclamations Governor Wolf Proclamation — National Hunting and Fishing Day, 2015 by Governor Tom Wolf September 02, 2015 SHARE Email Facebook Twitter
Tanzanians go to the ballot today to elect a new president.Opinion polls have put the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party ahead, however analysts say the results may be very close.The results of the polls will determine whether CCM continues its 54-year rule, or give way for a new government.Four opposition groups have backed one candidate, a former CCM member for the top seat.President Jakaya Kikwete will stand down having completed his constitutionally allowed two terms.Kikwete has called for peace during this time, adding that “anyone who tries to cause trouble will be dealt with”.Some of the major issues for the country’s 23 million registered voters include improved health care, better education and access to clean water.The CCM was created in 1977 from a merger of two post-colonial parties, and has effectively been in power since the country gained independence in 1961.
“It’s a free country, they can dish outjokes, criticisms,” presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said, referringto the satirical cheer dance performance of some students of University of the Philippines-Visayas(UPV) in Miag-ao, Iloilo that tackled political and social issues that alsotook swipe at Duterte’s policy in dealing with China. “Oh, it’s a joke. The President alsosays the word ‘kill.’ They might only be imitating the President,” Panelo said. Following the now-viral satirical cheer,UPV has condemned the threats and harassment against its students. Skimmers, an academic organization of students from the University of the Philippines-Visayas in Miag-ao, Iloilo, perform a cheer-dance routine critical of President Rodrigo Duterte. Charot” is gay term, which means “justkidding.” “In UP Visayas, we encourage students tothink critically and allow them to exercise their freedom of expression. We alsoassure them of protection while they are inside the campuses. We remind them toexercise prudent in their actions, thus, we denounce all forms of threats andharassment hurled against them,” the university said in a statement. MANILA – It is only “natural” forPresident Rodrigo Duterte’s supporters to hit back at students who performed acheer dance routine critical of the Chief Executive and his administration,according to Malacañang. Panelo also dismissed the chant of thestudents, saying “Let’s kill the President. Charot!” The cheering performance of theSkimmers, an academic organization of students from the Division of Humanities,tackled issues related to the West Philippine Sea, the removal of Filipino inthe college curriculum, and the government’s call for mandatory ReserveOfficers’ Training Corps for senior high school students among others./PN
U. of Michigan facing more legal action over alleged abuseANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A legal team that says it represents more than 100 people who allege they were abused by a University of Michigan sports doctor on Friday announced the first step in filing a lawsuit against the school.The Anderson Survivors Legal Team said it has filed 20-plus notices of intent to sue the Ann Arbor school, its board and Dr. Robert Anderson’s estate. A lawsuit would be among a rising wave of legal action against the school, which is investigating allegations of decades of sexual abuse by Anderson.The university has acknowledged some campus employees were aware of accusations against Anderson before a 2018 complaint that led to a police investigation.The Anderson Survivors Legal Team says its clients include Robert Stone, the first to speak publicly about allegations of abuse against Anderson, and female accusers. Achiuwa turning proUNDATED (AP) — Memphis freshman Precious Achiuwa has announced he will enter the NBA draft, saying he has dreamed of “playing in the NBA since I picked up the game.” The 6-foot-9, 225-pound Nigerian-born star is projected as a likely first-rounder and possible lottery pick. Achiuwa became the first player in the American Athletic Conference named both player and freshman of the year, averaging 15.8 points and 10.8 rebounds per game after arriving as one of the nation’s top prospects.In other college basketball news:— Texas has landed top basketball recruit Greg Brown III, who had listed the G League as a possibility before decided to attend the college where his father played football. The 6-foot-9 forward from Austin is expected to play just one year in college before turning pro. He had long listed Texas among his top college choices but in the last few days had listed the G League as a possibility.VIRUS OUTBREAK-SPORTS Rafael Reyna was attacked while walking to his car shortly after midnight following a Dodgers game against Arizona on March 30, 2019. Reyna suffered a brain injury when his head hit the pavement.The suit says he spent days in a medically induced coma and still suffers effects of the injury.A team spokesman said the Dodgers had no comment on the suit.COLLEGE FOOTBALL-WASHINGTON STATE-PLAYER DEATHCoroner says Cougars player died of acute intoxication — The Texans have agreed to a three-year, $66 million contract extension with left tackle Laremy Tunsil, according to a person familiar with the situation. He had one year left on his current contract that will pay him more than $10 million this season. Tunsil was named to his first Pro Bowl last season after being acquiring from Miami in August.— Patriots center David Andrews says he is ready to return after missing all of last season with blood clots in his lungs. He says he’s excited to have the opportunity to play again, whenever and however the NFL season begins. Andrews has played four seasons for New England. In 2018, he started every game and participated in 99% of the offensive snaps.— Tua Tagovailoa (TOO’-ah tuhng-ah-vy-LOH’-ah) now knows where he’ll play next, but he still doesn’t know when. The Dolphins selected him with the fifth overall pick in Thursday’s draft and are willing to wait until 2021 while Tugavailoa continues to recover from a major hip injury. Tugavailoa says doctors have indicated he’s on schedule for a return this year. General manager Chris Grier said the Dolphins are comfortable about Tagovailoa’s health, despite a long injury history.— The older brother of Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott has died. Jace Prescott was 31. The Cowboys confirmed the older Prescott’s death yesterday in a brief statement. There was no information on how or where he died. Jace Prescott was an offensive lineman a decade ago at Northwestern State, where he played three years and started all 11 games in his final season.COLLEGE BASKETBALL-NEWS After having a record 15 of the 32 players in the first round of the draft come from the SEC, another 10 came off the board in Round 2.Seven more wide receivers went in the second round, one more than in Day 1. The wideouts included Florida’s Van Jefferson to the Rams and Baylor’s Denzel Mims to the Jets. With 13 receivers taken in the first two rounds, it breaks the record of 12 set in 2014.Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts was selected by the in the second round with the 53rd overall pick. He was the fifth QB selected in the draft, and the first in the second round.Round 2 was the running back round, with five high-profile players coming off the board. Green Bay used a second-round pick on running back A.J. Dillon, taking the Boston College workhorse with the 62nd overall selection.NFL-NEWS PULLMAN, Wash. (AP)— The Whitman County coroner says acute intoxication was the cause of death for a Washington State football player last month.Coroner Annie Pillers said Friday that 22-year-old Bryce Beekman died after consuming a combination of fentanyl and promethazine. She ruled the death as accidental.The senior defensive back from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was found dead in his Pullman apartment March 23.Beekman started all 13 games last season for Washington State after transferring from Arizona Western College.UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN-DOCTOR NCAA OKs 28- or 29-game schedules for upcoming hoops seasonINDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The NCAA is giving teams new scheduling options for the 2020-21 season.The Division I Council has approved a proposal to give men’s basketball programs choices with 28- and 29-game schedules.The council vote still must be reviewed by the NCAA Board of Directors and won’t be considered final until the conclusion of its board meeting on Wednesday.The proposal will allow schools that schedule 28 regular-season game to participate in one multiple-team event of up to three games. Programs with 29-game regular-season schedules can participate in a multiple-team event with up to two games. Nationals manager expects a 2020 seasonUNDATED (AP) — Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo expects there will be a 2020 major league season. In a conference call Friday, Rizzo said: “I’m optimistic, as is the commissioner, that we’ll have baseball in 2020.”The GM said the team’s owners have committed to giving Nationals employees full salary and benefits through the end of May. Baseball has been on hold since last month because of the coronavirus pandemic.In other developments related to the pandemic:— The Cape Cod League executive committee has announced the cancellation of the 2020 season, saying the unanimous vote was based on the health concerns and safety needs of all involved. The 10-team league is the top summer competition for college baseball players and was scheduled to run from mid-June until August. The league was founded in 1885 and had not missed a season since 1945, the last year of World War II. Associated Press Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditNFL-DRAFTFirst night of NFL draft draws record 15.6 million viewersUNDATED (AP) — Housebound football fans gave the NFL a huge boost on Thursday. BASEBALL-OBIT-DALKOWSKIFlame-thrower Dalkowski diesUNDATED (AP) — The hard-throwing, wild left-hander whose minor league career inspired the creation of Nuke LaLoosh in the movie “Bull Durham,” has died.Steve Dalkowski died Sunday at the Hospital of Central Connecticut in New Britain. His sister, Patricia Cain, said Friday he had several pre-existing conditions that were complicated when he became infected with the new coronavirus. Dalkowski had been in assisted living for 26 years because of alcoholic dementia.Dalkowski never reached the major leagues but was said to have thrown well over 100 mph. According to “Bull Durham” director and writer Ron Shelton, Ted Williams told him Dalkowski was the fastest he ever saw after facing the southpaw during batting practice at spring training in 1963.,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 — A Summer X Games stop in Minneapolis scheduled for July has been canceled due to the coronavirus. The action-sports event in Minneapolis was to be the fourth and final go-around in the city. The deal was originally for 2017 and ’18, but two more years were added after a successful first year. The X Games plans to bring regular and original programming through the World of X Games TV series and on digital and social channels. They will kick off an event called “Real Street” in May. It’s an all-video, all-street skateboarding competition shown on XGames.com.— The rest of the Dutch soccer league has been canceled without a champion declared. Ajax was level on points with second-placed AZ Alkmaar but ahead on goal difference when the league was suspended on March 12. The Dutch soccer federation added it will allocate Champions League and Europa League spots by the current standings. The federation’s decision sparked instant complaints from clubs who felt they had lost out.— Manchester United vice chairman Ed Woodward has told fans there will be reduced spending on players due to the financial consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. English Premier League games have not been played for more than six weeks and stadiums are due to be closed to fans when the season resumes in June at the earliest.— The U.S. Junior Amateur and the U.S. Girls’ Junior golf championships have been canceled. That makes six USGA championships that have been canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. Junior Amateur was to be played July 20-25 at Hazeltine National outside Minneapolis. The U.S. Girls’ Junior was scheduled for July 13-18 in Colorado Springs, Colo. The USGA says it wouldn’t be able to hold qualifying for its two premier junior championships because of health guidelines. State associations were to hold 100 qualifying events in 41 states between May and July.— Triathlon’s world series grand final in Edmonton, Alberta, in August has been canceled because of the pandemic. The decision was inevitable after the Canadian province’s chief medical officer extended the provincial ban on all gatherings of more than 15 people through summer. Edmonton’s triathlon was scheduled for Aug. 17-23. Goff creates cap room for Rams to sign Floyd, RobinsonUNDATED (AP) — The Los Angeles Rams announced the signings of linebacker Leonard Floyd and defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson on Friday after quarterback Jared Goff restructured his contract to create salary cap room.Floyd and Robinson agreed to join the Rams as free agents several weeks ago, but the announcements of their deals were delayed because they hadn’t been able to complete their physical exams because of the pandemic.Goff agreed last year to a four-year contract extension with an NFL-record $110 million guaranteed. The extension doesn’t begin until the 2021 season, but Goff agreed to restructure the deal’s money distribution to create breathing room for the Rams.In other NFL news: A team that does not participate in a multiple-team event can have up to 29 regular-season games.MLB-DODGERS-LAWSUITDodgers sued over parking lot attackLOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Dodgers are being sued for negligence by a man who was attacked in the parking lot of Dodger Stadium and left with brain damage.Lawyers for Rafael Reyna and his wife announced the suit, which contends that the stadium lacked adequate security. — The International Olympic Committee is allocating more than $25 million to cover extra athlete and team costs related to the one-year postponement of the Tokyo Games. The IOC says an extra $15 million will go to a program helping 1,600 athletes from 185 less well-funded countries prepare for the games in 2021. More than $10 million is available for national Olympic bodies to cover additional operational costs such as travel and accommodation for officials.— FIFA (FEE’-fuh) says advance payments of $500,000 are being sent to member associations to cover running costs during the coronavirus pandemic. Each of the 211 member associations is entitled to $6 million from FIFA spread over the four-year World Cup cycle. International soccer’s governing body says the next installment due in July will now be paid in the coming days along with other payments due from last year. FIFA president Gianni Infantino says the soccer body has a duty “to be there and support the ones that are facing acute needs.”— The German Cup soccer final has been postponed indefinitely and will likely take place without fans. The German soccer federation says the final will no longer be played on May 23 in Berlin as planned but it’s still sticking to a June 30 deadline to finish the season. There are no dates for the postponed semifinals, which were originally scheduled to be played this week.— A tropical island in the South Pacific is likely to be the only venue in the world hosting a competitive cricket final on Saturday, as most international sport remains shuttered around the globe. Vanuatu (vah-noo-AH’-too) Cricket Association chief executive Shane Deitz is inviting anyone missing live action to tune in to a live stream. Vanuatu went into lock down late last month as a precaution during the coranavirus pandemic and was then hit hit by a destructive cyclone on April 6. The lockdown and closed borders meant there were no reported cases of COVID-19 in Vanuatu.COLLEGE BASKETBALL-SCHEDULE The first night of this week’s NFL draft averaged 15.6 million viewers on television, easily shattering the record set six years ago.The first round was aired on ABC, ESPN, the NFL Network and ESPN Deportes. Viewership peaked from 8:45-9 p.m. EDT when 19.6 million people tuned in, according to Nielsen. That is up 37% over last year’s 11.4 million.The previous high was 12.4 million in 2014, when the draft was held in early May.The draft was the first live U.S. sporting event since the coronavirus pandemic. The draft originally was to be held in Las Vegas but is taking place virtually.The draft resumed from with second- and third-round selections. Update on the latest in sports: April 24, 2020
Garrett Jones is not only a great golfer and a great student, but he is also a relatively down-to-earth guy who is enjoying his time at the University of Wisconsin.Jones led the Wisconsin men’s golf team to its second straight tournament victory Sunday at the Wolverine Invitational at the University of Michigan Golf Course in Ann Arbor, Mich. Jones shot a 210 over the weekend en route to a three-under-par finish, good for third place overall.Jones, a senior from Rewey, Wis., said he is looking forward to more successful tournaments as the season progresses.”With the additions this year, it has given us a lot more depth and a lot more talent,” Jones said. “So we can be looking to win pretty much every tournament we go into.”In terms of upcoming tournaments for the Badgers, Jones said he is most looking forward to the Big Ten/Pac-10 Triangular in Bandon, Ore., during the third weekend in October.”It will be a really big tournament out in Oregon where five teams from the Pac-10 play and five teams from the Big Ten play. The field [of players] is going to be really strong and the course is really phenomenal out in Oregon called Bandon Dunes,” Jones said. “It should really bring out the best players, and the best team. I don’t see why we shouldn’t be regarded as one of the top teams there and [we] might be able to win that thing.”Despite all the success that Jones has experienced on the course in his last three seasons, he is far from content, hoping to expand on his previous accomplishments.”[I am] still looking for an individual win,” Jones said. “I’ve had a number of close calls; top-three finishes and a bunch of runners-up in my previous three years. I have gotten to the point where I have proven myself as a player, I just need to start winning.”Jones, who started playing golf at the age of 12, became passionate about the sport in high school.”[High school golf] was a lot of fun, I had a lot of friends on the team and I still actually talk to a bunch of them … a few of my past teammates have caddied for me and have been to a few tournaments,” Jones said.When Jones isn’t practicing or playing in tournaments, he is quite busy academically. He is majoring in finance in the School of Business and says that juggling the heavy curriculum of the Business School and being a student athlete is no easy task.”It’s not the easiest thing,” Jones said. “But it should pay off in the end.”After college, Jones has decided to turn pro, though he is not exactly sure when. “I will try to make a living at something that I really like to do,” Jones said. “I’m confident that it should work out. I have got to obviously get better in every aspect of my game and then everything should work out.”Jones, like most UW students, is enjoying the time he spends in the city of Madison. When Jones is not playing golf, and is not at the library, he can be found pursuing new hobbies.”I am trying to learn how to play the guitar,” Jones said. “It’s going to take some time … it should be fun, there is a freshman on the team [who] can play pretty well, so I am trying to learn some things from him.”Jones stands out as a person who is constantly trying to learn new things. Whether he is on the golf course or in the classroom, Jones shows that he is thirsty for knowledge. When asked what his favorite part of UW golf was, Jones attributed his learning experiences gained from Badgers head coach Jim Schuman and assistant coach B.J. Endicott.”I’ve learned a lot technically from Coach Schuman and Coach Endicott, and a lot off the golf course as well.”
The mercy rule is one of the great policy innovations in American history. Up there with the likes of the 13th Amendment and the Interstate Highway Act, the mercy rule has defined what it means to be a citizen of this country by preventing Little League baseball games from going on way too long.Unfortunately, the rule could not make it to the NCAA in time for this weekend’s home opener for the USC baseball team against Towson. It could have made a lot of peoples lives a lot easier and everybody’s weekend a little bit better had it been in place.As a baseball fan, I’m always conflicted when my favorite team is winning an absolute blowout. It’s always great to see a big rally or have your team bat through the line up in one half inning. But even for my beloved St. Louis Cardinals, I start to become a little impatient when the lead gets past about six runs. I have to draw a fine line somewhere between, “Wow, this is such a fun game to watch!” and, “Wow, I’m ready to get this thing over with,” and I start to secretly hope for my favorite players to ground out to the short stop on their first pitch.But it was so great to see the Trojan baseball team open up its season with a 17–1 win over Towson. Granted, I was only following Twitter updates of the game and not watching it live. Instead, I was at the men’s volleyball game against BYU, which proved to be much more interesting — though the Trojans fell short in four sets. Nonetheless, the victory for Trojan baseball kicked off a great weekend for USC sports and for the team’s season.The 17-1 win was followed by a 10-0 win the next day. The final score doesn’t look as crooked, but a bagel on the scoreboard for your opponent looks just as good. Towson actually made a game out of the series finale, only losing 8-6. But it just goes to show that even in the MLB, the best teams usually call it a successful weekend when they take two out of three games. The last game wasn’t as pretty as the other two, but nonetheless, to start the season with a sweep is impressive.USC baseball is actually one of the strongest programs historically in all of Trojan athletics. The Trojans have won more national champions than any other program with 12 — in fact, no other program has more than half of that. But the Trojans have struggled recently, missing the NCAA tournament every year since 2005. But like fellow columnist Regan Estes predicted last week, this year might be the year the Trojans finally break their slump and make the postseason.USC baseball is at a unique disadvantage in the Pac-12. USC is one of only two teams in the conference that is hails from a private university rather than a state school; the other is Stanford. Therefore, USC has higher tuition for baseball players than the average conference opponent. For football, athletic departments are allocated enough scholarships to cover the tuition of all signed players on the roster; there are only a limited number of scholarships allotted to baseball teams. Like other nonrevenue sports, baseball can only cover a fraction of tuition for players with scholarships. But unlike recruits for other nonrevenue sports, the top baseball prospects have the option of turning pro right out of high school. With the size of contracts for those picked early in the MLB draft, these decisions about college recruitment become very financial. The best of the best, who get drafted in early rounds out of high school, might sign right away, but many prospects will wait to develop for a few years in college. If they could develop into a top pick, they could sign million-dollar signing bonuses as part of their first professional contracts. Because of the expected payout from the sport, it might not be worthwhile for a player to spend extra on a private school’s tuition if it doesn’t marginally improve one’s draft stock or ultimate signing bonus.California is a hotbed of baseball talent in the country, but most of that talent has recently been going to UCLA. As much as it pains me to say it, the Bruins have totally had our number in baseball recently. In the last five years, the Bruins have brought two Pac-12 titles, one College World Series runner-up and one national championship back to Westwood. The 2011 MLB draft also comes to mind when thinking about UCLA baseball, when Bruins Gerrit Cole and Trevor Bauer were picked first and third overall in the draft.While USC is one of the best academic institutions in the world, the education might not be the primary concern of baseball players who are confident that they will be drafted into the MLB. But for players who value their education more and also want to play competitive baseball, it’s hard to compete against Stanford. The Cardinal’s recent success is evident both from the results of the team and from the number of high draft picks from the school. The Cardinal made the playoffs two of the last three years and have produced some of the best MLB prospects, such as Mark Appel of the Houston Astros’ system and Austin Wilson of the Seattle Mariners franchise.While recruiting some of the best players might seem like a challenge, USC also has a ton of resources available, and recruiting should be easier. The McKay Center was only unveiled a couple of years ago, and more interested athletes will see that the school really does take care of athletes.But more importantly, the Trojans have a capable commander in manager Dan Hubbs. In only his third full year at the helm, I expect the Trojans to continue to build on the success they had last year. Baseball America ranked USC’s incoming recruiting class for this season No. 25 in the country — this is the fourth year in a row that USC has had a Top 25 class. Baseball recruiting is a challenge, as coaches want to get the best players without signing prospects who are too good and will end up going to the MLB draft. Hubbs has demonstrated his ability to find that balance during his brief time at USC, and the benefits will start to show more this year. This season, expect this strong draft class to catapult the Trojans into the playoffs.Luke Holthouse is sophomore majoring in policy, planning and development and broadcast and digital journalism. His column, “Holthouse Party,” runs on Wednesdays.
AFCON 2019 QUALIFIER IN JO’BURG*22 Eagles train at Stephen Keshi Stadium ahead Thursday trip to Jo’burgDuro Ikhazuagbe Super Eagles dream of avenging the 2-0 defeat South Africa inflicted on Nigeria at the beginning of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers has received the backing of Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa.Okowa yesterday promised to reward Eagles with $25,000 (about N9million) for each goal scored against Bafana Bafana at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on Saturday.Gov. Okowa who is hosting Super Eagles’ camp in Asaba ahead of the trip to South Africa, promised the team the incentive when he breezed into the Stephen Keshi Stadium to felicitate with the players during their evening training session.“We are truly excited as a state to have you train at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, we are glad that you are in Asaba and from what we can see, this is a team for today and the future.“The fact that you are leaving Asaba for South Africa; we are sure you will get victory; you are doing very well and we welcome you to Asaba; as a state government, we will contribute to what you are going to do out there in South Africa, for every goal, we are going to give you $25, 000,” the governor said.He continued, “when you are back we are also going to host you here in Asaba. We want you to stay strong and success will be yours, because, we are a praying state and we are confident that you are going to South Africa to get a lot of goals,” concludes Gov Okowa.President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick had thanked the governor for making the Stephen Keshi Stadium available for the Super Eagles to train, describing the team as the “most disciplined, young and promising who are in the home of sports, Delta State. “Super Eagles Technical Adviser, Genot Rohr, described the pitch as one of the best in the country while team’s stand-in Captain, Ahmed Musa, assured Gov. Okowa that Nigeria would go to South Africa and qualify for AFCON 2019.Musa and 21 other players trained at the Stephen Keshi Stadium yesterday evening as the Eagles stepped into gear for the battle against the Bafana Bafana.At the evening training session were; goalkeepers Daniel Akpeyi, Theophilus Afelokhai and Ikechukwu Ezenwa, and defenders Olaoluwa Aina, Adeleye Aniyikaye, Semi Ajayi, Bryan Idowu, William Ekong, Leon Balogun, Kenneth Omeruo and Jamilu Collins.There were also midfielders Oghenekaro Etebo, John Ogu and Mikel Agu, and forwards Kelechi Iheanacho, Moses Simon, Victor Osimhen, Henry Onyekuru, Alex Iwobi, Isaac Success and Samuel Chukwueze.Only France-based forward Samuel Kalu is expected to arrive camp today.Table-toppers Nigeria actually need just one point from Saturday’s encounter to be sure of a slot at next year’s continental house-party, but a combination of national pride, assumed rivalry between both teams and commitment to avenging a stinging defeat by the Bafana Bafana in Uyo 17 months ago has adorned this match with a totally different garb.The South Africans had in June last year inflicted a 2-0 defeat on Nigeria in the first match of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Uyo. Although Nigeria is going into Saturday clash as Group E leaders on nine points a draw will seal Super Eagles qualification to AFCON 2019 in Cameroon.Meanwhile, Nigeria’s delegation to Saturday’s big match will depart the country aboard a chartered flight from the Benin City Airport on Thursday evening. The Eagles are expected to have a feel of the picturesque FNB Stadium on Friday afternoon by 3.30pm.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram