Members of Triqui kids basketball team, made up of children from the mountainous region of Oaxaca, Mexico, greet the Los Angeles Lakers before an NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves in Los Angeles, Friday, Dec. 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)LOS ANGELES (AP) — Their Southern California itinerary is a 10-year-old boy’s dream: Disneyland, a Lakers game and a visit to the Santa Monica beach. But most of the players from a basketball academy in the mountains of southern Mexico haven’t heard of Mickey Mouse.They grew up in isolated villages, and for them, basketball is a ticket to a better life.At home in Oaxaca, the youngsters are so poor that they play without shoes. But they were all wearing sneakers on Friday as they got to slap hands with Lakers players. And after winning an international tournament in Argentina, they’ve been dubbed the “barefoot giants of the mountains.”“Despite having everything against them, these children have shown their strength on the basketball court and won,” said Gerardo Vasquez, president of a federation of Oaxacan immigrant groups in Southern California. “They’ve shown the world that despite their circumstances, they are a light of hope for Oaxacans and Mexicans.”While many Mexicans are soccer fans, in the rugged hills of Oaxaca there are more ball courts than soccer fields. Some say that the modern game echoes the traditional ceremonial game of “ulama,” which was played to the death in stone courts that now stand in ruins.At home in southern Mexico, the 7- to 11-year-old team members live at a boarding school, study Spanish and their native language of Triqui and attend daily three-hour practices.The 17 players come from some of the poorest areas, where “it looks like they’re stuck in the 18th century,” said Sergio Zuniga, chief coach and founder of the Mexican Academy of Indigenous Basketball in the city of Oaxaca.“To see children who only have one meal a day, sharing a plate of beans and one tortilla between three people, isn’t rare,” Zuniga said.Zuniga said his program uses basketball to teach discipline and pride, to help the children graduate high school and perhaps even attend a university.On their first U.S. tour, the youngsters are playing teams from Los Angeles-area Catholic schools, recreation leagues and even an ad-hoc team of reporters from Spanish-language news media. They arrived last Tuesday and will leave after Christmas.The children are usually shorter than their opponents. Zuniga and his team of coaches, teachers and social workers can’t do anything about their genes, and even the 11-year-olds look years away from a teenage growth spurt.On Wednesday night, while Zuniga shouted from the sidelines in Spanish and Triqui, the boys played a scrappy game and kept the score tight against their taller rivals in the Woodland Hills area of Los Angeles. They won.Tobias de Jesus Bautista, 11, said he was undaunted by his opponents’ size.“We have to give double, triple the effort,” Bautista said. “But I think we can compensate for our height by concentrating on our free throws, by being in better physical condition and by being more sure of what we’re doing. We can reach our dreams.”___Associated Press writer Edwin Tamara in Los Angeles contributed to this report.
PITTSBURGH (AP) — If Le’Veon Bell is returning to the Pittsburgh Steelers later this month, he hasn’t let his teammates and coaches know.Coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday he hasn’t heard from the All-Pro running back, who told ESPN on Monday that he will end his standoff with the team around Pittsburgh’s bye week, which begins after the Steelers face the Bengals on Oct. 14.“I have not talked to Le’Veon and I really have no Le’Veon update,” Tomlin said. “It’s the best approach for us to focus on the guys which are here and working … we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. Nothing has changed in that regard.”Bell is in the midst of an extended absence as an act of self-preservation when he and the Steelers could not reach a long-term agreement after Pittsburgh placed the franchise tag on him in the spring.Technically he is not holding out because he has yet to sign his one-year deal, a decision that is costing him more than $850,000 a week. Bell did not offer a specific date for his return, but if he comes in around Oct. 15 it would give him two weeks to show the coaching staff what he can do before the Steelers play Cleveland on Oct. 28.The two-time defending AFC North champions have slumped during Bell’s self-imposed sabbatical. Pittsburgh is 1-2-1 a quarter of the way through the season thanks in large part to sluggish starts that have forced them to play from behind and abandon the running game. The Steelers ran for 19 yards on 11 carries in a loss to Baltimore on Sunday night.Several of Bell’s teammates — particularly the offensive line — expressed frustration in early September when Bell opted not to rejoin the team in time for the opener, as he did in 2017. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger hopes Bell gives Pittsburgh a much-needed jolt, but isn’t exactly expecting Bell to show up and save the day, whenever that day actually arrives.“If (Bell) can come back and help us and be ready to go, then we’ll be ready to welcome him back,” Roethlisberger said on his weekly radio show on 93.7 The Fan. “A lot of things were said earlier in the year, but that’s kind of in the past and we’ve moved on, and hopefully he’s moving on in the sense of getting back and ready to be with us.”Bell’s actual physical readiness is unknown. During the summer of 2017 he flooded his social media accounts with video of draining workouts. He was merely OK in his first 2017 appearance but quickly took off after that, eventually leading the NFL in touches and piling up 1,946 total yards.Concerns over his usage rate in 2018 perhaps hurting his value on the open market in 2019 played a role in Bell’s unprecedented move to remain away while the Steelers got off to their worst start since they dropped the first four games in 2013, his rookie season.That was also the last year Pittsburgh missed the playoffs. Though it’s still too early to panic, the way the Steelers have been losing has drawn major red flags for Tomlin. The defense is 30th in the league in yards allowed and 26th in points allowed and the offense can’t seem to get it going before finding itself in a hole. Pittsburgh has been outscored 42-6 in the first quarter this season.“We’ve got to get out of the gate quicker,” Tomin said. “You can’t spot people points in the National Football League. We’ve got to do a better job of starting game on both sides of the ball.”NOTES: The Steelers placed CB Nat Berhe on injured reserve with a torn pectoral and promoted CB Brian Davis from the practice squad to the 53-man roster. … WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (ankle) and ILB Vince Williams (hamstring) will be monitored this week and could play against Atlanta. … CB Mike Hilton (right elbow) and S Morgan Burnett (groin), both of whom did not play against Baltimore, may be available to face the Falcons.___More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin listens to a question while meeting with reporters following a 26-14 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in an NFL football game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018. (AP Photo/Fred Vuich)
MIKE PELAIACOURIER STEELERS CENTRAL James Conner leaps for a TD in the Oct. 7 victory vs. the Falcons. (Photo by Courier photographer Brian Cook)The Steelers have one of the best quarterbacks in football with Ben Roethlisberger. It’s undeniable.They also have the best wide receiver in football, with Antonio Brown. Another fact that can’t be argued.Yet, the key to their success comes from rushing the ball with James Conner and when he returns, Le’Veon Bell and playing defense with fury.When the Black and Gold do that, they win football games. Period. And that’s what they’ll need to do again this upcoming week, Oct. 14, against the Cincinnati Bengals if they want to win the game. I don’t see it any other way.I understand that Roethlisberger can put up gaudy numbers but those numbers don’t always translate to putting up the “W.” And that’s all that he, or anyone affiliated with the Pittsburgh Steelers, wants.Before I go further, let me be clear; I’m not suggesting the Steelers turn Roethlisberger into a game manager, far from it. I’m merely suggesting the Steelers reduce his throws, control the clock by utilizing the rushing attack and get their defense going.It’s their secret formula to winning ball games.In the Steelers games this season, this is how it broke down in their two wins and one tie.Week 1 at Cleveland, tied 21-21: 159 Rushing yards, 135 rushing yards by Conner. 41 Roethlisberger throws. Seven defensive sacks.Week 3 at Tampa Bay, won 30-27: 78 rushing yards, 61 rushing yards by Conner. 38 Roethlisberger throws. Three defensive sacks.Week 5 vs. Atlanta, won 41-17: 131 rushing yards, 110 rushing yards by Conner. 29 Roethlisberger throws. Six defensive sacks.Do you see the trend? Rushing yards higher, sacks up, Roethlisberger’s attempts were more limited (the Cleveland game was a bit high on the throws, but they didn’t win, they escaped with a tie)In their two losses this season so far, here’s what happened.Week 2 vs. Kansas City, loss 42-37: 33 rushing yards, 19 rushing yards by Conner. 60 Roethlisberger throws. One defensive sack.Week 4 vs. Baltimore, loss 26-14: 19 rushing yards, 19 rushing yards by Conner. 47 Roethlisberger throws. Two defensive sacks.Do you see the trend there? Far less rushing yards, far more Roethlisberger throws and a limitation on the defensive sacks.If the Steelers plan to go into Cincinnati this week, Oct. 14, and come out victorious, which they normally do when going into Ohio, they need to follow the formula above.They’ll need to allow Conner to rush the ball around 25 times, gaining 100 yards, or more. They’ll need to keep Roethlisberger’s pass attempts to around 35, allowing him to still distribute the ball to Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster, still getting close to 300 yards and a couple of TDs, but not throwing it so often that the clock doesn’t move. You may love the passing yards in today’s NFL but I don’t believe Ben needs 450 yards for this team to win. I think Roethlisberger is more effective, and more dangerous for that matter, when he has the ability to run some play-action, which, if this team effectively runs the ball, he can do.Play-action will allow Brown more opportunities and this entire offense will run more smoothly.What they’ll also need to do is get after Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton on Sunday afternoon and put him to the ground four or five times. When this Steelers defense is getting to the quarterback, they protect a weak secondary. The secondary didn’t look bad against Atlanta and when playing against guys like Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley, good secondaries are made to look foolish, let alone ones that are down right bad (with the exception of Joe Haden).They’ll face a challenge in Bengals receiver AJ Green this week so once again, I believe, the best defense they can put out is one that rushes the quarterback frequently and doesn’t allow plays to extend. Keeping the ball away from AJ Green and the Bengals offense, via the pass rush as well as keeping the Steelers defense off the field through a ball control offense, is the way this team will find its way to the win column this coming Sunday and every other Sunday onwards.I believe this is the game plan that will be implemented and executed.Steelers 27, Bengals 23 Rushing the ball and defense, that’s what Pittsburgh does.
Since starting the blog two months ago, the partners have published six posts, which is essentially outlining a detailed approach to founding one’s own brewery, including “Building a Business Plan,” “Designing a Brew System” and, of course, “Finding the Right Location.”Ideally, Grundmann and Betros have their hearts set on finding a site along Bay Avenue with the real Twin Lights perched above. But locating a building with the right height clearance to accommodate their equipment and at the right price point is easier said than done.“The search is a process and we’ve already seen several locations but nothing that we thought was a perfect fit,” Grundmann said. “If we have to expand our search to Middletown and Atlantic Highlands we can but the idea is to be as close to the Twin Lights as possible. This won’t work as well if we’re not. In our hearts and minds, Highlands is the place.”This article was first published in the June 14-June 21, 2018 print edition of The Two River Times. A former financial advisor with International Planning Alliance in Shrewsbury, Grundmann said the most important hurdle to clear is acquiring the capital to make this vision a reality. But he is confident his background and relationships in the finance industry will help move the project forward.In the meantime Grundmann, along with Mike Betros, president and director of brewing operations, will continue to grow the Twin Lights Brewing brand by focusing on what sets their operation apart from the rest. “Part of building an audience is communication and sharing your story and message with people,” Grundmann said. “The craft beer craze is as much about the beer as it is connecting with people and making them feel as if they’re part of something. That’s why we fell in love with it. And it’s how we want to operate.” “The generic answer is that we make great beer. But so does everyone else,” Grundmann said. “What makes us different is the sense of inclusivity around us. We want to let people in on our process and let them grow with us.”Grundmann and Betros grew up together in the Leonardo section of Middletown, developing a bond at Bayshore Middle School that strengthened over the years.The pair officially went into business in 2016 when they trademarked Twin Lights Brewing and created a limited liability company, putting their plan for a brewing location and tap room in motion.Since launching the brand, Grumann and Betros have placed a premium on community engagement and, though they are not yet licensed to serve and distribute their product, they have pledged to pull back the curtain on their step-by-step process, offering supporters total transparency through the Twin Lights Brewing Blog. By Chris Rotolo |HIGHLANDS – An up-and-coming craft brewing team is in search of a home in Highlands.Twin Lights Brewing, which takes its name from the storied lighthouse over-looking the borough and Sandy Hook, is in the early stage of locating a brick-and-mortar location for its craft beer imprint.Co-founder and CEO Will Grundmann, 27, hopes to have that site secured and fully operational by next summer.“I think the most realistic and reasonable timeline is summer 2019,” Grundmann said. “I don’t think that’s too ambitious. I think we’ll be brewing beer at our location by then.”
Ten gymnasts and two members of the trampoline team from Nelson’s Glacier Gymnastics Club, strutted their stuff at the 2016 BC Provincial Championships held recently in Langley.All the gymnasts’ performances seamlessly fit in with the lower mainland and other BC clubs. The Glacier team brought home 13 medals, 20 top-ten placements ribbons and the Level 7 Glacier team took first place on beam.“The coaching team is very pleased to have the gymnasts win so many top-ten placements,” said Sandra Long, Glacier Gymnastics Head Coach.“At the Provincial Championships, the categories are very large, running in the high 30’s and up to 40. So a top ten finish is a big accomplishment. And it also shows that our gymnasts are strong and accomplished on all the apparatus events.” In the Level 6 category, Lily Taylor competed in her first Provincial Championships, 13 year-old division. She won Silver all around and on vault, Gold on beam and bars and Bronze on floor. Another first timer, Eden Bellman, competed in the nine and under division; claiming the Silver medal for her elegant beam routine. Abby Majeski, competed in the 10 year-old division, winning a Bronze medal for her impressive bar performance.In the Level 7 category, Brianne Stefani, 11 years and under, took home the Gold medal for her confident beam routine and Silver for her floor routine. Sara Tolles, 15 years and up, also claimed the Gold medal for her graceful beam routine and Silver for her floor routine. Olivia Kelly, 14 year division, dazzled the judges with her unshakeable Beam routine, earning a Silver medal.Detailed Results:Trampoline Level 2- Girls 14 & up: Zoe Crisfield – 7th Double Mini, 9th TrampolineTrampoline Level 2- Boys All ages: Matthew Bullen – 11th Double Mini, 11th Trampoline Gymnastics Level 6 9 and under: Eden Bellman – Silver Beam, 4th Floor, 5th All Around; Shelbi van Hellemond – 6th Vault, 7th Floor10 years: Abby Majeski – Bronze Bars, 7th Floor, 10th All Around11 years: Dafni van Hellemond – 5th All Around, 5th Floor, 6th Vault, 7th Bars13 years: Lily Taylor – Gold Bars, Gold Beam, Silver All Around, Silver Vault, Bronze FloorGwen McCrory – 8th Bars, 10th All Around, 10th Beam14 & up: Teagan McTague – 6th BeamGymnastics Level 711 years: Brianne Stefani – Gold Beam, Silver Floor, 4th All Around, 8th Bars14 years: Olivia Kelly – Silver Beam, 10th All Around15 & up: Sara Tolles – Gold Beam, Silver Floor, 5th All Around, 10th VaultLevel 7 Team – 1st Place Beam, 5th Place Floor, 10th All Around
STELLAR WIND & BEHOLDER PREP FOR BC DISTAFFCAL-BRED MASOCHISTIC FIRES BULLET FOR SPRINTD’AMATO HAS TWO FOR THE MONEY SATURDAYUNUSUAL HEAT IS PENSIONED FROM STUD AT 26BREEDERS’ CUP NEXT FOR MISS SOUTHERN MISS STELLAR WIND GIRDS FOR ‘GREAT’ DISTAFF Stellar Wind, one of three champions scheduled to do battle in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Santa Anita three weeks minus a day away, on Nov. 4, worked four furlongs early Friday morning in 48.40 under exercise rider Jose Contreras.The champion three-year-old filly of 2015 is slated to meet three-time Eclipse champion Beholder and undefeated two-year-old filly champion of 2015 Songbird in the $2 million Distaff, for fillies and mares, three and up, at 1 1/8 miles.“It was nice and easy, just a maintenance work,” said John Sadler, who trains the daughter of Curlin for the brothers Hronis, Kosta and Peter. Stellar Wind received fractional times of 24.20 and 36.40, with a five furlong gallop out of 1:02.40.“It’s going to be a great race,” Sadler said of the Distaff, “very rare in the sense that it’s high quality with those three in it.”Richard Mandella reported Beholder doing well for the Distaff. “I didn’t let her do too much (in her four furlong work Thursday, 49 flat, breezing),” he said. “She couldn’t look better.”Songbird also worked Thursday, going five furlongs in a bullet 58.60 for Jerry Hollendorfer, who is at Keeneland this weekend.Stellar Wind will work again next Friday under regular rider Victor Espinoza.Also working Thursday was Breeders’ Cup Sprint favorite Masochistic, who drilled a half mile with regular rider Mike Smith up for Ron Ellis in a bullet 45.40, handily from the gate. It was the best of 46 at the distance for the six-year-old California-bred gelding by Sought After. SANTA ANITA STATISTICS Peter Eurton1030030%30%$197,044 Peter Miller3093330%50%$269,620 Richard Baltas2936210%38%$254,650 (Current Through Monday, Oct. 10) Jerry Hollendorfer2333213%35%$168,335 Victor Espinoza2452321%42%$670,105 Norberto Arroyo, Jr.3993523%44%$369,420 Kent Desormeaux2883329%50%$301,275 ENOLA GRAY MAKES GRASS DEBUT SATURDAYEnola Gray will make her first start on grass when she joins stablemate Long Hot Summer in Saturday’s $100,000 California Distaff Handicap for fillies and mares, three and up, at about 6 ½ furlongs on turf.“It’s a short field (five entered), she’s bred for the grass, and there wasn’t really any race for her,” explained trainer Phil D’Amato. “The timing’s good for this race and then going in the ($100,000) Betty Grable at Del Mar (seven furlongs on dirt Nov. 13), so that’s kind of the reason we drew in late.”The field for the California Distaff, one in the Golden State Series for California-bred or sired horses: Desert Steel, Rafael Bejarano, 6-1, Long Hot Summer, Joe Talamo, 6-5; Enola Gray, Tyler Baze, 9-5; Out Of the Ordinary, Jamie Theriot, 12-1; and Home Journey, Mike Smith, 3-1. Tyler Baze4163615%37%$210,140 REMARKABLE SIRE UNUSUAL HEAT PENSIONED AT 26Unusual Heat, the all-time leading sire in California progeny earnings, has been pensioned from stud at 26.“It is with great emotion that we have to announce the retirement of Unusual Heat,” said Harris Auerbach, managing partner of M. Auerbach, LLC. “He’s been remarkable and even in his final season at stud in 2016 managed to get 25 of 30 bred mares in foal. It’s been an amazing run and I’m happy ‘Heat’ can now just relax and enjoy the rest of his days just being a horse.”Doug Burge, longtime President of the California Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association remarked, “He’s been the perennial leading sire in California for over a decade and his influence on California breeding and racing will be prevalent for years to come.”Bred by John T. Jones in Kentucky, Unusual Heat is the son of Nureyev and Danish champion mare Rossard. In 1991, he became the highest-priced horse ever sold at a Barretts yearling auction, fetching $250,000. He went on to race both in Europe and the United States under trainers Dermot Weld, Richard Mandella and Barry Abrams. Unusual Heat was a multiple listed stakes winner who finished with a record of 16-6-2-2 and career earnings of $142,605.Unusual Heat stood his first season at the late Walter Greenman’s farm in Hemet before moving to Old English Rancho in Sanger, where he spent the bulk of his early stallion career. In 2010, he moved to Harris Farms in Coalinga, spending his last six seasons at stud.The impact of Unusual Heat on California breeding and racing was far reaching. From a humble first crop of 15, Unusual Heat had 11 runners, and 10 of them won in their first race, starting a ride never been seen in the Golden State. To date, his runners have amassed $52.4 million in worldwide progeny earnings. He has produced 12 graded stakes winners, five Grade I winners, 53 overall stakes winners, 18 additional graded stakes horses, an astounding 150 earners of over $100,000 and 75 earners of over $200,000 from just 556 starters. He won six California Leading Sire Championships and is still the reigning California Conceived Leading Turf Sire with 12 straight championships (2004-2015).Unusual Heat has also produced 15 California champions, including two-time California Horse of the Year and 2011 Eclipse Award Winner Acclamation. Other notable runners include stakes winners The Usual Q.T., Lethal Heat, Unusual Suspect, Golden Doc A, Gervinho, Burns, Pretty Unusual, Lennyfromalibu, Spenditallbaby, Mensa Heat, Tucked Away, Lakerville and Lightmyfirebaby.He is represented by 2016 stakes winners Cheekaboo, Majestic Heat, Pacific Heat, Boozer and Central Heat. In 2016, Unusual Heat has had 89 runners and 47 winners and leads all California sires in California conceived North American progeny earnings.For more information about Unusual Heat, contact Harris Auerbach at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.unusualheat.com . Flavien Prat45105722%49%$911,770 Rafael Bejarano49715614%57%$720,960 Philip D’Amato2930510%28%$297,705 Mike Puype1231025%33%$97,510 Bob Baffert1736218%65%$638,255 Mark Glatt1335323%85%$139,568 JockeyMts1st2nd3rdWin%ITM%Money Won FINISH LINES: It’s on to the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf for Miss Southern Miss, impressive 2 ½-length winner of Monday’s Surfer Girl Stakes for two-year-old fillies at a mile on grass. The daughter of More Than Ready was making her turf debut. “I don’t know if I was super high on her or super hopeful,” trainer Keith Desormeaux said Friday. “We’re definitely pointing to the Breeders’ Cup. Off a performance like that, I think I’m justified. I’d been trying to get her to relax with no success on dirt. When dirt would hit her in the face she would just grab the bit and run off, but there’s no spray on the turf so she relaxed a lot better.” . . . Condolences to the family of former trainer Dominick Manzi, who died on Wednesday of a heart attack in Escondido at the age of 58. He was the son of the late trainer Joe Manzi and was his father’s assistant before going on his own. A memorial will be held at Horsemen’s Beach in Del Mar, 11 a.m., Oct. 29, according his wife, Melissa. Those wishing to donate towards his cremation can do so by going to gofundme.com., typing in dominickmanzi, and following the prompts . . . Vince DeGregory was back at Santa Anita Friday for the first time since undergoing six hours of back surgery 17 days ago. “I’m getting better and stronger each day,” the 84-year-old agent said . . . Agent Nelson Arroyo has appealed the suspension of his brother, jockey Norberto Arroyo Jr., who received a three-day ban (Oct. 16, 20 and 21) for causing interference on victorious Woot Woot in last Sunday’s first race . . . Aron Wellman of Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and John Boal, author of Broodmare Sire Rankings, will be Tom Quigley‘s guests, Saturday and Sunday, respectively, 11:20 a.m. in the East Paddock Gardens . . . Tomorrow, Santa Anita hosts the undisputed party champion, Michelada Rumble 3, featuring live music by Sweet & Tender Hooligans, food trucks and a car exhibition for only $15. A $40 VIP ticket includes two drinks and much more (must be over 21 to attend). TrainerSts1st2nd3rdWin%ITM%Money Won Doug O’Neill4557711%42%$244,788 -30-