NBA head coach Steve Clifford shares words of advice with Ellsworth students

Posted on September 20, 2020Categories pubotneiTags , , , , , , , , , , ,   Leave a comment on NBA head coach Steve Clifford shares words of advice with Ellsworth students

first_img Ellsworth runners compete in virtual Boston Marathon – September 16, 2020 Latest posts by Mike Mandell (see all) Hospice volunteers help families navigate grief and find hope – September 12, 2020 Latest Posts Biocenter_img Mike MandellMike Mandell is the sports editor at The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. He began working for The American in August 2016. You can reach him via email at ELLSWORTH — There aren’t many places the sport of basketball hasn’t taken Steve Clifford.Throughout Maine, Steve and his brother, Ellsworth High School Principal Dan, spent years coaching at the high school level. Years before that, they became immersed in the sport as their father, Gerry, coached everywhere from Mattawamkeag to Lincoln to the other side of New England near the Vermont-Canada border.For Steve, the sport has launched a career that’s landed him one of the most prestigious titles in professional sports: NBA head coach. Speaking at Ellsworth High School on a return trip to his home state Friday, the Orlando Magic head coach shared some of the lessons and experiences that took him from rural Maine to coaching in the best basketball league in the world.“I’m 56, and I’m still evolving every day,” Clifford said. “I’m different at 56 than I was at 54. That’s what keeps me happy as I get older is that I’m constantly learning, and you will all learn that, too, when you get older.”This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textLong before Clifford reached the NBA ranks, his coaching career began in Downeast Maine at Woodland High School. Yet whether Clifford’s players have been high school freshmen or professional superstars, there are some qualities he’s has seen in everyone he’s coached.“The thing that I tell people that they don’t understand is that [NBA players] have the same emotions that you and I have,” Clifford said. “They have good days, they have bad days, they have times when they question themselves and they have times when they’re disappointed.”Steve Clifford signs student Brett Bragdon’s shoe Sept. 14 at Ellsworth High School. The Magic named Clifford head coach in May after he was fired from the same position with the Charlotte Hornets the previous month. ELLSWORTH AMERICAN PHOTO BY MIKE MANDELLAlthough coaching professional basketball has been a dream come true for Clifford, the nature of the job is a brutal one. As a result of the NBA’s results-oriented nature — nine of the NBA’s 30 head coaches at the start of the 2017-18 season were fired by year’s end — most head coaches, assistant coaches and front-office members have experienced multiple firings.Clifford has been no exception. Prior to being named the head coach of the Magic in May, he had been replaced at three straight jobs as an assistant coach and once as head coach of the Charlotte Hornets. Although such situations are rarely ideal, controlling what he can control has put in positions to resurface in a business that makes survival a difficult prospect.“Good days start with being happy with yourself,” Clifford said. “Everyone wakes up in a bad mood some days, but if you want to have a good day, you have to talk yourself into it. The people who usually come out on top or have that advantage are the people who keep persevering.”Following his trip to Maine to visit family and spent time at a coaching clinic at his alma mater, the University of Maine at Farmington, Clifford was set to head back to Orlando. The Magic had workouts and practices scheduled all day Monday and Tuesday as it continued its preparation leading up to the start of next month’s regular season.Clifford knew two long sessions with his players and his assistant coaches would bring up obstacles and challenges the same way any other day in his professional or personal life would. Just as he planned to anticipate the obstacles he would experience on the job, at home or wherever else his life would take him, he inspired Ellsworth students to do the same.“Chances are that four or five of those guys are going to do something that really ticks me off Monday or Tuesday, but I understand that. So I’m not going to let that get me down,” Clifford said. “More than likely, two or three more things are going to wrong for me after that: disappointment, frustration, whatever it is. It’s how you handle that when things go against you that determines how happy you are.” MPA approves golf, XC, field hockey, soccer; football, volleyball moved to spring – September 10, 2020last_img read more

‘Duel for the Dishes’: The night the Syracuse Chiefs become the Salt Potatoes

Posted on September 16, 2020Categories ogkbxbqeTags , , , , , , , , , , ,   Leave a comment on ‘Duel for the Dishes’: The night the Syracuse Chiefs become the Salt Potatoes

first_imgOn Saturday night in NBT Bank Stadium, the Syracuse Chiefs didn’t play. Instead, there was a pregame wedding, an eight-foot tall golden fork, salt potato pizza, potato sack races and taekwondo. All took place in the freshly named Tater Town, where the Chiefs changed their name to the Salt Potatoes, the Red Wings turned into the Plates and Jose “Mashed Potatoes” Marmolejos homered amid the quirkiness.Josh Shub-Seltzer | Staff PhotographerThere was a baseball game — called Duel for the Dishes — but it was just a sideshow. As the Salt Potatoes took batting practice, a couple stated their vows on the venue’s party deck.The wedding had been planned for this specific weekend. Katie Brown, a Syracuse native, had introduced her new husband, Jared Forst, to salt potatoes earlier in their relationship because the buttery delicacy is a staple of central New York. Forst hails from Ohio and had never experienced the side dish.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“He’s like addicted now,” the now-Katie Forst said.“It was kind of weird, the wedding thing,” Marmolejos “Mashed Potatoes” said. Like the rest of the Salt Potatoes, and the team itself, the outfielder had his name altered to a food for the game.The wedding took place beyond the right-field wall. Marmolejos warned them it wasn’t a safe spot.“I yelled at them, ‘Hey watch out, don’t get hit with a ball,’” Marmolejos recalled. “That was the first time I’ve seen that. That was kind of different.”Billy Heyen | Assistant Sports EditorAs game time approached and fans filed in, they had their first opportunity to take part in the starch-dedicated evening. Syracuse dished out bobbleheads, depicting a Salt Potato standing on the Plates logo, to the first 1,000 people in the stadium, in addition to season-ticket holders.One father and son pair received bobbleheads. But that’s not why they were early: The pair was in attendance to watch a younger brother perform in a pregame taekwondo demo. That meant they were walking around carrying three boxed bobbleheads. The older brother plans on keeping his saved in the box. It’s a collector’s item, after all. As the father held his bobbleheads, Master Pryor’s Taekwondo students aligned on the third-base side of the diamond. With music playing, they smashed boards with their hands and feet.That father and two sons grouping tries to make the half-hour drive to the ballpark from Palermo at least once a year. With his son performing martial arts on the field before the game, Saturday was the night.Brian Goodheart, from Phoenix, has never collected bobbleheads — but maybe the salt potato bobblehead, his first, might start a collection, he said. Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on August 27, 2018 at 11:55 pm Contact Billy: | @Wheyen3 Goodheart can keep the bobblehead, but he couldn’t bring home the night’s biggest attraction: an eight-foot tall fork.The fork was available before and during the game for photos in the stadium’s main concourse. But minutes before first pitch, Syracuse general manager Jason Smorol walked out toward the mound with the fork in hand.Smorol called the ‘Dishes game the “single most important game in the history of minor league baseball.” In all, 6,221 fans celebrated what Smorol called “the most underrated, underappreciated side dish of all time.”And that’s why Smorol made sure the potato wouldn’t be forgotten, at least for one night.As was only fitting in Tater Town on Saturday, the first pitches were thrown with salt potatoes. The Forsts threw theirs together. They stood back-to-back on the mound and both fired strikes to Scooch, one of Syracuse’s mascots.Rochester began the “Plates” promotion last season in homage to the famed “Garbage Plate,” which originated in Rochester. The dish features macaroni salad, home fries, two hamburgers and meat sauce.Kennys Vargas is a first baseman and designated hitter for the Rochester Red Wings. Visible are the layers of a garbage plate, and the lettering “Plates” is across his chest.Chris David, from Rochester, is a super fan. His girlfriend lives in Fayetteville, so it was a multi-purpose trip down Interstate 90. He arrived at about 1 p.m., in time to make it to the Rochester team bus and have players sign his Plates flag.“Because they have this whole food rivalry thing, it’s pretty interesting and fun,” David said.Before the third inning of baseball got underway, potatoes raced potatoes.Three kids headed out to the third base line and picked up potato sacks. They stepped right in and hopped up and down the third-base side. They were cheered on by both of the usual Syracuse mascots, Scooch and Pops.A few innings later, the wedding party returned, most having changed out of their full ceremony garb. They played a variation of the hot potato game. Teams would form as pairs, and the women would lob potatoes over their shoulder for their partner to run down and catch in their potato sack.As Syracuse struggled with its bats to plate runs, fans did no better. Dizzy bat, a popular minor league gimmick, tasks children with standing over a baseball bat and put their forehead on the knob, pressed to the ground. Then, they spin around the bat 10 times. Naturally, they’re very dizzy, but in this variation, they were forced to run to pick up a potato sack.After wobbling to the potato sack, they hopped back toward their original spot next to the bats. While the kids struggled to jog to the potato sack, it seemed that dizziness affected hopping less than running — all contestants made it back to the finish line without any dramatic falls.In what seemed like the night’s secondary act, Marmolejos turned on a first-pitch fastball and sent it soaring toward the party deck in right field. It landed right where the wedding had taken place hours earlier.After the homer put Syracuse in the lead, 1-0, the Salt Potatoes’ Twitter account wrote a tweet that began “Spudnificent!!”. But the night was not to stay as such — Rochester came back to win, 3-1. With victory in hand, the Plates could now claim the night’s biggest prize.At the game’s conclusion, the Rochester Plates were granted the eight-foot tall Golden Fork. With Rochester general manager Dan Mason unable to attend, Grant Anderson was handed the fork. Anderson works as an on-field host for Rochester.He was joined in claiming the fork by two members of the Rochester coaching staff, manager Joel Skinner and pitching coach Stu Cliburn, and Salt Potatoes’ GM Smorol.On a night which featured salt potatoes, garlic parmesan salt potatoes, salt potato pizza and salt potato hot dogs on sale in the ballpark, fans were given a final perk free of charge: fireworks.Red, blue and gold illuminated the sky. Different sizes of burst and volume echoed through Tater Town. A common conclusion to a night at the ballpark. The fireworks could’ve been on any Saturday night — there were no salt potatoes.Photos by Staff Photographer Josh Shub-Seltzer Commentslast_img read more

Samuel Tetteh eyes further improvement after hat trick

Posted on August 28, 2020Categories cyzlkjjuTags , , , , , , , , , , ,   Leave a comment on Samuel Tetteh eyes further improvement after hat trick

first_imgLeading goal scorer of the Ghana Premier league Samuel Tetteh is elated about his current form after his hat trick consigned Sekondi Hasaacas to a humiliating 5-0 defeat.Tetteh’s hat trick added to his goal on the opening day to take him two clear of Wa All Stars Maxwell Baako , teammate Charles Boateng and Hasaacas’ Eric Bekoe.Gideon Waja and Charles Boateng added to the scoring to complete the rout and for Tetteh, his side have improved from last season.“WAFA is a different team from last season because last season was okay but we are doing better despite our poor away form,” he told Joy Sports.On his personal form, Tetteh was bent on improving on his debut season“I am now in my best form because I did well last season but I am doing great this season and I want to better it from last season.” “I am happy about my hat trick because scoring three goals in the Premier League is not easy. It is special.”The WAFA attacker made his Black Stars debut in November against Comoros in a World Cup Qualifier.–Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @JoySportsGH. Our hashtag is #JoySportslast_img read more

U.S. Open 2019: How Rory McIlroy, Brooks Koepka, others will attack Pebble Beach

Posted on August 16, 2020Categories pdyqyhoqTags , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   Leave a comment on U.S. Open 2019: How Rory McIlroy, Brooks Koepka, others will attack Pebble Beach

first_imgPEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — If Pebble Beach promised anything its first few days at the 2019 U.S. Open, it’s that golfers will be in for a surprise at almost every turn.The weather is unpredictable as players are first greeted with the promise of sun only to have the scenic views obstructed by fog rolling in from the ocean, like it did Wednesday. The course is difficult as the fairways are narrower and greens that could change on the USGA’s command — or Mother Nature’s. The field is the toughest yet as golfers stare down impressive records and look to continue hot streaks. U.S. Open 2019: Brooks Koepka constantly tries to prove himself wrong U.S. Open 2019: Jason Day says he’s ‘underachieved,’ but new caddy Steve Williams will help Whatever works, right? Well, for one golfer it will mean a U.S. Open championship.Here’s how 5 players will attack Pebble BeachBrooks Koepka”I’ve said it the last time, there’s so much pressure. There’s so many guys that shoot themselves out of it just because it’s a major. They change their game plan from a normal week to this week, added pressure of I’ve got to play well this week.”You never know what’s going to happen. Yes, it is a shorter golf course, but you’ve still got to find the fairway. You’ve still got to hit it close, and you still have to make putts. It doesn’t make it any different than any other golf course. Obviously the views make it a little different. But you’ve still got to go out there and execute.”Rickie Fowler”To me I look at Pebble as not necessarily a place that the more you play it you have an advantage, necessarily. It’s a pretty straightforward golf course. There’s only a couple of tee shots that are somewhat blind that you need to just make sure that you’re comfortable on lines. It’s pretty much right in front of you. Very small greens.”So it’s — I love that about it. It’s not very tricky. You hit it in a lot of the middle of the greens here, and you’re going to be in a good position. So, no, I’ve played well here. I had a chance to win. …”But how could you not like this place and get good vibes, especially the last couple of days with the weather we’ve had and just makes you feel good. It’s a beautiful place.”Jason Day”You have to keep reinforcing positive things. And that’s what I need to do most, is just slowly keep reinforcing that — whether I’m going to get back to No. 1 in the world or I am a good player. Hopefully over time that self-reinforcement of positivity will sooner or later go into my golf game and give me confidence. And I’m definitely guilty of that. I’m on the golf course sometimes and I’m thinking negative things. That’s human nature.” U.S. Open 2019: Tiger Woods explains why he was better at the Masters than the PGA For some like Brooks Koepka, they will stick to their usual script, and like Rickie Fowler will remain calm as they face the challenges that await at the start of play Thursday.Some, including Jason Day, will make sure they take the necessary steps to ensure their mental game is equal to their golf game and others, like Jon Rahm, will use familiarity — in some cases a unique familiarity — to try and conquer Pebble. Related News Rory McIlroy “If you look at the length of this golf course, and it’s obviously not one of the longest golf courses that we play all year, but there’s so many approach shots, if you do drive it well, between sort of 130 and 150 yards, obviously there’s some approach shots that are much longer than that as well, but I just wanted to give myself every possible option in terms of yardages and shots that I could play.”And if I’ve learned one thing about the U.S. Open overall these years is your distance control has to be spot on. That was the reason for putting that extra wedge in. And I got a nice bit of practice with it last week, and feeling good about the setup. …”I sort of started to think about the setup that I needed for this week a few weeks ago. I’ve played two tournaments with that setup, and it’s worked pretty well.”Jon Rahm”Where I grew up in Northern Spain, it’s somewhat similar to California. Very similar coastline and very similar golf courses. So I feel comfortable.”And I think the second reason was growing up in poa annua, poa annua greens, it’s something that I’m comfortable on. I’m comfortable reading those greens. And more so than any other week I know that we’re going to miss putts. It just happens when poa annua comes. And it’s just hard to make them. Unless you’re Tiger in 2000, you don’t miss a putt inside 6-10 feet. That rarely happens. If you can be patient and have a decent putting week, you’re definitely going to probably beat the average on the golf course.”last_img read more