Mason: Injury to Beckum hurts stock

first_imgThere have been many questions asked about this year’s Wisconsin football team. After Saturday, at least one — when will they finally get a Big Ten win? — was answered.Others have popped up throughout the course of the season: Who will be the starting quarterback? How many carries in the backfield will be split? Why can’t the defense stop anybody?But one question seems to have been asked less frequently — although it’s certainly one worth asking: Did Travis Beckum make a mistake by staying for his senior season?Beckum suffered a season-ending leg injury in the third quarter of Wisconsin’s win over Illinois and didn’t return to action, meaning his time at UW is officially over. He finished with 159 career receptions, third-most in school history.The senior tight end also missed two games earlier this year due to a hamstring injury — the first two of the season against Akron and Marshall. For the All-American from Milwaukee, durability has proven to be an issue.As if battling injuries wasn’t enough, Beckum had to deal with a change at quarterback midway through the season. As a result, he saw a decrease in production from a year ago. He failed to find the end zone, and had just 23 catches for 264 yards on the season — one grab less than fellow tight end Garrett Graham, who leads the team.Many fans were excited when Beckum announced he would return to UW for his senior season, putting his dream of playing in the NFL on hold. It was a bit of a surprising move, given that experts had projected him to be the first tight end selected.Even with the Badgers having a down year, many — such as ESPN’s draft gurus Mel Kiper and Todd McShay — still have Beckum rated as one of the top tight end on their pre-draft boards. Beckum’s six-catch performance against the Ohio State Buckeyes in a close loss certainly helped his cause. He followed up the OSU game by catching five passes for 79 yards.But has Beckum looked like a lock to go in the first round throughout the 2008 season? Not really.This season, he hasn’t hauled in more than six passes in a game. In back-to-back contests against Michigan State and Illinois a year ago, he caught 11 and 10 passes, respectively. In Columbus, he caught nine balls for 140 yards and a touchdown.We just haven’t seen those types of dominating games from Beckum this year.Looking across college football, a handful of tight ends have been increasing their draft stock. Travis Beckum is not one of them.A year after the Badger senior would have likely been the first tight end picked, he’s seen his stock fall a bit. Missouri’s Chase Coffman is projected by some to go in the top 10, and it seems everyone agrees the Tigers’ big man (6-foot-6, 245 pounds) is a better fit as a true tight end compared to the leaner Beckum (6-4, 235).Of course, Coffman has had some guy named Chase Daniel throwing him the ball this year, while Beckum had Allan Evridge and Dustin Sherer trying — often unsuccessfully — to pass to him.Coffman isn’t the only one that’s put up good numbers. Oklahoma’s Jermaine Gresham already has seven TD snags, while Houston’s Mark Hafner has caught 52 passes for eight touchdowns. These two, along with Coffman, are currently ranked as the top three tight end prospects by Rivals.com.Where does Beckum sit on that list? All the way down at No. 9.There was obviously no way for Beckum to predict a devastating injury like this from taking place. It also wasn’t easy to foresee the Badgers struggling as much as they have in 2008. But what wasn’t hard to predict was where Beckum would have gone in last April’s NFL draft. Now things aren’t so certain.The decision to return to UW may have been a sign of loyalty on Beckum’s behalf, and he may have done it in hopes of a national championship.Today, however, the Badgers are about as far away as they can get from a championship bid, and a banged-up Beckum isn’t exactly a first-round lock anymore.Looks like someone should have taken the money and run.Tyler is a senior majoring in journalism. Think Beckum made the right choice by sticking around for his senior season? Let Tyler know at tmason@badgerherald.com.last_img read more

Position change going more smoothly than Kinder expected

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on August 12, 2013 at 2:55 pm Contact David: dbwilson@syr.edu | @DBWilson2 On Tuesday, John Kinder made a bit of a stir when he lined up at wide receiver, donning a green jersey. Shuffled down in the quarterback depth chart, he made the change.It’s no experiment, he said.“This is it. And make note mistakes about it,” he said, “I did this change to get on the field.”After almost one week, the transition has been even smoother than he could have imagined. He already knew the playbook, so that hasn’t been an issue, and he actually practiced a bit at wide receiver during his freshman season.That time, it was a foreign concept.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“Kind of like learning Chinese,” he said.He had never played the position before, but now that he’s seen it played up close at the college level, it’s become easier.During his freshman year, though, it almost got him on the field. He said it wasn’t as a true wide receiver, but in some sort of package that could make use of his legs with the lingering threat of his arm. At that time, though, he said he wasn’t ready.“I feel like my time here, being that I’ve seen a lot of football, I’ve had the pleasure of watching guys like Marcus Sales and Alec Lemon do it, being in the film room,” Kinder said. “I feel like this time around I’m a lot more comfortable.”He’s primarily lined up in the slot during his brief time as a wideout. There, his thinner build, sufficient length and big hands could let him make plays underneath and in the middle of the field.Kinder will have one season of eligibility remaining after this season. Even if he doesn’t have an immediate effect, there could be some time in the future where he can, largely thanks to his work ethic.“He works harder than 90 percent of people out there,” quarterbacks coach Tim Lester said Saturday, “so getting him to a position where he probably has a more realistic chance of helping this ball club — that’s all he wants to do is help this team.”His familiarity with the rest of the wide receiver corps has helped, too. When he was calling the plays in the huddle, he was the one instructing his weapons.“Now they’re helping me out,” Kinder said.There haven’t been any bumps yet in terms of knowing the playbook. It’s now just about learning to excel at a position that he never has for an extended period of time.As a freshman, it was an experiment. Now it’s for real, and he has to learn what it takes to make a wide receiver great.Said Kinder: “It’s just a matter of coming into my own in terms of being a wide receiver and those little intricacies about the position.” Commentslast_img read more

Salah snatches winner as Egypt edge Tunisia in Cup of Nations

first_imgJohannesburg, South Africa | AFP | Mohamed Salah scored in the final minute to give Egypt a 3-2 home victory over Tunisia on Friday in a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations match between two countries who have already qualified.The Liverpool star chipped the ball into the net to complete the scoring in a seesaw matchday 5 struggle during which both sides led.Salah has scored four goals in Cup of Nations qualifiers — two less than chart-topper Odion Ighalo of Nigeria.Naim Sliti gave Tunisia an early lead that Mahmoud ‘Trezeguet’ Hassan cancelled before half-time at the 86,000-seat Borg el Arab stadium in Alexandria.Baher el Mohamad nodded Egypt in front on the hour only for Sliti to score again with 18 minutes remaining and a draw seemed likely until Salah struck.Before flying to Egypt, Salah continued a return to form after a slow start to the English Premier League season by scoring the first goal for Liverpool in a 2-0 win over Fulham.It was his sixth league goal this season, and eighth for his club in all competitions.Salah had a sensational first season with Liverpool, scoring 44 goals in all competitions in the 2017/2018 campaign after joining from Roma.Victory brought Egypt level with Tunisia in Group J on 12 points, but the losers retained first place on head-to-head records.Tunisia entered the match as the only team among the 48 in the qualifying competition boasting a 100 percent record having beaten Egypt at home, eSwatini away and Niger twice.It was the first match in charge for Tunisian co-caretaker coaches Mourad Okbi and Maher Kanzari after veteran Faouzi Benzarti was axed despite delivering four victories.– Ziyech brace –Madagascar, Senegal and hosts Cameroon have also qualified for the 2019 Cup of Nations — the first to feature 24 teams — and another 15 countries could secure places this weekend.Morocco are almost certain to be among the finalists after a second-half brace from Ajax Amsterdam midfielder Hakim Ziyech brought a 2-0 win over Cameroon in Casablanca. Share on: WhatsApp With Cameroon qualifying automatically from Group B as hosts, Morocco have a six-point advantage over Malawi for the other qualifying place.Malawi will have to win away to out-of-contention Comoros Saturday and then achieve an unlikely four-goal home victory over the Moroccans next March to finish second.Ziyech converted a 54th-minute penalty to put the Atlas Lions ahead and netted again on 66 minutes.Cameroon, suffering their first loss in four matches since Dutch coach Clarence Seedorf took charge, were reduced to 10 men on 80 minutes when Karl Toko Ekambi was sent off.In Juba, Burundi climbed above Mali and Gabon to top Group C with a 5-2 win over South Sudan as Fiston Abdul Razak scored four goals.A close first half ended with the Burundians leading 2-1 as Razak scored, Atak Lual equalised and Cedric Amissi put the east Africans ahead a second time.Dominic Aboy brought bottom team South Sudan level again before Razak netted three times in 11 minutes for Burundi, who have seeking a first Cup of Nations appearance.Burundi have nine points, Mali eight, Gabon seven and South Sudan none with the second and third-place teams meeting in Libreville Saturday.The top two finishers qualify and a Malian victory over Gabon would assure them of a place at the June 15-July 13 tournament.last_img read more

Home Improvement Show To Feature 150 Exhibitors

first_imgBy Mary Ann BourbeauLINCROFT – Area residents can get their home and garden projects off the ground next week when the Jersey Shore Home Show springs into town.The show is a great place to meet area home professionals and gather ideas for future projects. The three-day event will take place Feb. 26-28 at Collins Arena at Brookdale Community College in Lincroft. Homeowners will have the opportunity to meet more than 150 home improvement specialists all under one roof. Builders, contractors, decorators and landscapers will be on hand to talk about their services. Visitors can find valuable information and ideas about kitchen and bath remodeling, flooring, patios, roofing and siding, and many other products and services.“I think for people who are looking to remodel their home, it’s a good place to find answers,” said Stephanie Kucharski, associate producer of expos for Townsquare Media Group, the company running the event. “You could do online research, but it’s nice to meet people face to face. You might also find things you didn’t think you needed for your house. It’s nice to have it all under one roof.”Some area exhibitors include Decorator’s Choice Closets of Shrewsbury, Majestic Exteriors of Colts Neck, Just Landscapes of Freehold, Superior Siding and Roofing of Ocean, Design Line Kitchens of Sea Girt and NJR Clean Energy Ventures of Wall.There will also be vendors offering information on basement waterproofing and remodeling, sunrooms, modular homes, tile, gutters, water conditioning, windows, awnings, home security, fencing and decks, solar panels, roofing and pools. Financial companies will also be on hand to help homeowners find a way to pay for it all.“It’s a pretty wide mix of companies,” said Kucharski.This year’s special guest will be Stephen Fanuka, host of the HGTV show “Million Dollar Contractor.” Fanuka, who has worked with some of the world’s top architects and designers, will host 45-minute workshops along with a meet and greet at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday, and 1 p.m. Sunday.Tom Paolino, owner of Millennium Stone Works of Colts Neck, will be among the exhibitors Paolino, a third-generation mason, has been in the business for 22 years and has taken part in the Jersey Shore Home Show for nine years.“It’s a great way to introduce yourself to people,” he said.Millennium offers landscape design services that can include multilevel patios, fireplaces, firepits, waterfalls, outdoor kitchens, pizza ovens and outdoor entertainment systems.“I love to create,” Paolino said. “It gives me a lot of pleasure.”Tom Klahre of Shrewsbury-based Decorator’s Choice Closets will be on hand to talk about the latest trends, such as building drawers inside the closet so the homeowners don’t need a dresser.“A lot of people want a jewelry safe in their bedroom closet,” he said. “We have one that is tied into the studs and you open it with a fingerprint. Some people want one under the bed so they can reach their pistol in about five seconds. It’s pretty cool.”Klahre said customers these days are looking for garage cabinetry, rich-looking closet doors, or a small desk inside a pantry that can be used for paying household bills or wrapping gifts. He even built a three-level clothing rack in a closet with high ceilings, where the racks are spring-loaded and can be pulled down for use.“We design a 3-D picture on the computer with the exact dimensions of the project so people can see exactly what they’re getting” Klahre said. “Whatever the customer wants is what they get.”Klahre said appearing at the Jersey Shore Home Show has been beneficial to his business in the past, but he is glad that the scheduling for this year’s show was better than last year.“Last year, they had it during the football playoff game,” he said. “Thank God they didn’t do that again.”The Jersey Shore Home Show will take place 1 to 8 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $8 for adults; children 17 and under are free. Seniors age 65 and up pay $6 on Friday only. Parking is free.This year, there will be a sweepstakes where one lucky winner will receive $5,000 to be spent at the exhibitor of their choice. For more information, visit www.jerseyshorehomeshow.com.Arts and entertainment writer Mary Ann Bourbeau can be reached at mbourbeau@tworivertimes.com. Find her on Twitter @MaryAnnBourbeau.last_img read more

Calico The Clown Is Sticking Around, State Says

first_imgBy Joseph SapiaMIDDLETOWN – If the Shoppes at Middletown project comes to fruition, it appears the iconic Calico the Clown sign on Route 35 North will be saved.But the local landmark that has stood near the Kings Highway East since 1956 may have to move to a new home nearby.The slightly sinister-looking “Evil Clown” with the puzzling red-tipped finger has been working for years, advertising the Food Circus and Foodtown supermarkets, and today the Spirits Unlimited liquor store. At 30 feet tall, the steel sign once rotated, but now stands stationary.The state Department of Environmental Protection’s Historic Preservation Office and Division of Land Use Regulation are working with the developer on a plan to protect Calico on the development site, said DEP spokesman Larry Hajna.“The development company has stated verbally that they believe Calico is a New Jersey landmark and intend to keep it, but they need to move it to another location on the property,” said Hajna.The developer of the 118-acre proposed project – John Orrico/Village 35 LP of Purchase, New York – could not be reached for comment regarding Calico. But plans for the project on the ShoppesAtMiddletown.com site, posted by National Realty & Development Co., suggest Calico would be moved more toward Kanes Lane.The Shoppes is to be 338,455 square feet of commercial space on 52 acres of Route 35 between Kings Highway East, Carriage Drive and Kanes Lane. It is to include retail, restaurant and movie theater space.Orrico/Village 35 was to have made its second appearance before the township Planning Board Wednesday, June 15 – after this issue of the Two River Times went to press.On the remaining 66 acres, Toll Brothers of Horsham, Pennsylvania, wants to build the Oaks at Middletown, a 350-townhouse complex. The Oaks project, which would be built along the Carriage Drive end of the property, has not yet appeared before the Planning Board.The 118 acres is owned by Mountain Hill LLC, or the local Azzolina-Scaduto family. The family, which owns the Spirits Unlimited, along with Calico, could not be reached for comment.Leslie Worth Thomas of the Road Ad Sign Company designed Calico, according to Weird New Jersey magazine. Thomas also designed the Asbury Park icon, Tillie, the smiling face once gracing the city’s Palace arcade.To locals and non-locals, Calico is an icon.Margie Rafferty, 55, is a lifelong township resident, a wife, a mother of four, a technical writer – and perhaps Calico’s biggest preservation proponent.“When I was a little girl, sitting in back of the ’64 Chevy, going to the store, the thing (Calico) is revolving and I’m cowering in the backseat,” Rafferty said. “He’s been an affectionate symbol of the town I grew up in.“Most of us want to hold onto him for that idyllic sense,” said Rafferty, who lives in the Chapel Hill area. “Calico becomes symbolic of a simpler time.”A year ago, Rafferty filed paperwork with the state, starting a process to get Calico placed on the federal Register of Historic Places. She also created the “Save Calico, the ‘Evil Clown’ of Middletown, NJ” page on Facebook and the @calicoclown account on Twitter.“It’s kind of been an ongoing labor of love,” Rafferty said.Ana O’Connor, 44, who has lived in Middletown since her freshman year of high school, said she “absolutely” wants to see Calico preserved. But she is OK with moving it for preservation.“’The evil clown,’ everybody calls it,” O’Connor said. “It’s a symbol, it represents Middletown.”Lifelong township resident Gina Gizzi, 48, wants to see Calico preserved somewhere in Middletown.“I remember growing up and seeing it here,” Gizzi said. “It’s sort of, kind of known throughout the state. It’s like the Tillie of Middletown, at least for somebody who grew up here.”John Krilla, 64, remembers passing Calico as a child on his way to the Jersey Shore from his home in Perth Amboy. Seeing Calico was a gauge as to how far he had traveled.Krilla, who now lives in the township, would like to see Calico preserved.“Just the history of it,” Krilla said. “It’s just a landmark, a familiar site.”Luigi Fardini, 55, of Fort Lee was visiting the Shore recently. It was the first time he saw Calico, he said, but he was won over for preservation.“It’s a good idea,” Fardini said. “It’s a big clown, everybody notices.”The township Landmarks Commission has been involved with the matter.“The question was whether it was Register-eligible, for the state and national Registers,” said Mayor Gerard P. Scharfenberger. “It’s not a matter of support or not, that was the question out there.”The state said it appears to be eligible, Scharfenberger said.Scharfenberger said he did not want to comment extensively on a project before the Planning Board, so as not to have a conflict of interest. Iconic Sign May Be Moved Nearbylast_img read more

Nelson Nordic, Whitewater Ski Club host swap weekend

first_img According to coach Karen Redfern, “properly waxed skis make a huge difference for skiers of all abilities, but it’s often neglected because it can be messy and inconvenient.”Redfern also says that all skis benefit from waxing and even waxless or scale skis need the tips and tails waxed for optimal performance. During the swap, skiers can have their skis waxed during the annual Nordic ski swap for a suggested donation of only $10.       The clinic is a fundraiser for the Nelson Nordic Track Attack and Junior Racers program and will be run by parents and athletes.The club will have several stations set up for short waiting times, and apply a general hot wax suitable for conditioning skis and average temperatures. Are you ready for some skiing — downhill or nordic?The Nelson Nordic Ski Club and Whitewater Ski Team are hosting respective ski swaps Saturday and Sunday.The Nelson Nordic Ski Team kicks off the swap weekend with its Ski Swap and Annual General Meeting Saturday at the Nelson Rod and Gun Club at 801 Railway Street.Re-sale items can be dropped off from 9-10 a.m. The AGM follows at 10 a.m. with the swap running from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.center_img Sunday, at Hume School Gymnasium, the 25th annual Whitewater Ski Team Ski and Snowboard Swap is being held from 12:30-3 p.m.Entrance is by donation. Ski, snowboard, telemark & touring gear and clothing can be dropped off from 9-11 a.m.Proceeds to toward the Whitewater Ski Team, a ski racing club dedicated to building life long skiers in a positive, fun and supportive learning environment.The goal of the club is to instill passion in young skiers, develop excellent skiing skills in all terrain and conditions, as well as building self confidence, respect for the mountains, and respect for their peers.Check out the Whitewater Ski Club on its Facebook Page.last_img read more