World Oceans Day in SA

first_imgThe great white shark, a protected speciesin South Africa. (Image: Brian Skerry,National Geographic) Gansbaai, on South Africa’s south-westerncoast, is a well-known shark hotspot.(Image: Chas Everitt)Janine ErasmusSouth Africa commemorated World Oceans Day and the declaration of 2009 as the International Year of the Shark by highlighting the country’s continuing commitment to shark conservation.Water and Environmental Affairs minister Buyelwa Sonjica hosted the commemorative event held on 8 June in Gansbaai (Afrikaans, meaning “bay of geese”) in the Western Cape, situated just south of Hermanus.The national theme for 2009 was “One Ocean, One Climate, One Future”, a message that highlights the need for careful consideration of the oceans in any climate change strategy.World Oceans Day falls in South Africa’s national environment month of June, which also focuses on climate change in 2009.The ocean and the atmosphere are closely linked, as the ocean generates oxygen and soaks up excess carbon dioxide – some experts say as much as 40% of all carbon dioxide produced by human activity. The ocean also provides millions of people with food and a livelihood, and its health and the future survival of all living creatures are inextricably bound.This is the first observation of World Oceans Day, which was declared by the United Nations as 8 June each year, starting in 2009 with the official theme of “Our Oceans, Our Responsibility”.Shark conservationSonjica described South Africa’s continuing progress towards a better understanding of the importance of sharks.“For several years we have committed to study these animals both for improving our understanding of their often secretive behaviour and for understanding our marine ecosystems,” she said. “South Africa, in addition to our research efforts, has also taken management measures to reduce the impact of fisheries on sharks.”Sonjica announced that South Africa is to terminate all pelagic shark fishing in its waters by the end of 2009. No new permits have been granted since 2005 and South Africa is currently in the final stage of phasing out the industry altogether.There are seven companies operating with special permission and the ministry plans to give these fisheries rights in swordfish and tuna longline fishing only, with sharks as a bycatch.The ministry has also reduced the number of right holders in the demersal, or bottom-dwelling, shark longline fishery to just six, and will monitor populations of the relevant species to determine whether further reductions are needed.Dignitaries at the event were treated to a cage dive, where they were able to see the sleek creatures at close range in their own habitat. They also learned about shark tagging and the numerous ways in which tagging helps scientists gather valuable information about the movement and population of sharks.Shark attractionCage diving with great white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) is Gansbaai’s primary tourist attraction, and the town is viewed as a major great white hub. Whale watching is another tourist drawcard, with southern right whales often seen in the waters around the town.Ecotourism contributes at least US$6.1-million (R50-million) every year to South Africa’s GDP. Sonjica added that proposals currently under consideration may soon see the shark, together with the whale, marketed as part of the big seven – that is, the big five plus the two marine mammals that bring so many visitors to South Africa’s shores.Dyer Island, 8km off Gansbaai’s shore, is a nature reserve for marine birds and a well-known site for shark conservation efforts.Protected speciesSouth Africa has always led the way in shark conservation. In 1991 the country became the first ever to classify the great white shark as a protected species and to ban outright the killing of the magnificent creatures within 320km of its coastline.South Africa was followed by Namibia, Maldives, Malta, the US, and Australia in introducing legislation to protect sharks. The great white is currently classified as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).Other sharks under threat include the black shark, the Chilean angel shark, the dusky shark, the leopard shark and the great hammerhead. There are over 200 species of shark on the IUCN Red List of endangered animals.A number of shark conservation programmes operate in South Africa, among them the White Shark Trust in the Dyer Island area, the White Sharks Projects based in Kleinbaai, south of Gansbaai, and Oceans Research based in Mossel Bay.The Natal Sharks Board has promoted the conservation of sharks for over 40 years. In mid-2008 the SOS Foundation (Save Our Seas) opened a shark research and education centre in Kalk Bay, south of Cape Town on the Cape peninsula.National plan of actionThe great white has gained an almost mythological reputation as a ruthless killer, a state of affairs perpetrated by the media, but the truth is that this predator does not specifically target humans.Experts believe many of the attacks happen through sheer curiosity, with the shark biting the unfamiliar object in the water just to see what it is. In most cases the shark releases the victim immediately, and the majority of fatalities occur through subsequent loss of blood.As predators, sharks also play a vital role in the balance of the marine ecosystem. However, the animals are threatened by wholesale slaughter of their numbers for shark fin soup, commercial longline fishing and the associated tragedy of bycatch, and habitat loss.South Africa plans to publish its national plan of action for the conservation and management of sharks, based on the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation‘s 1977 international plan of action, later in 2009. The international document encourages countries to draft their own national plans and contribute to the worldwide effort to save the shark.“This will place us as a world leader in shark conservation and management where we rightly belong,” said Sonjica, adding that strategies likely to be covered by the plan include research on sharks and shark attacks, marine protected areas and the protection of sharks within those areas, and collaboration with other countries in shark research.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Contact Janine Erasmus at janinee@mediaclubsouthafrica.com.Related articlesSaving our vulnerable sharksSouth Africa’s shark whispererBig fish, big teeth, big bucksCagey crafts from cage divingUseful linksInternational Year of the SharkSouth African White Shark Research InstituteWhite Shark ProjectsWhite Shark TrustOceans ResearchDepartment of Water and Environmental Affairslast_img read more

Long-life flowers a blooming success

first_imgAfrican Floralush, which trades as Iluba, is headed up by South African entrepreneur JJ Viljoen and his son, Fanie. The flower head and stem are preserved separately. Once preserved, trained staff carefully join the two parts again, using stitching and glue. Iluba is creating both direct and downstream employment opportunities for South Africans. African Floralush buys roses from contract growers at a certain size and stage of development. Most of their customers prefer traditional colours, but some market segments enjoy enhanced bloom colours. Iluba flowers are treated with natural dyes to reinforce their colour and ensure that they remain crisp and beautiful for months. (Images: Iluba Long-life Fresh Flowers) MEDIA CONTACTS • Fanie Viljoen   Export manager  Iluba Long-life Fresh Flowers  +27 11 662 2225 RELATED ARTICLES • Floral wealth in caring hands • Six decades to survey East Africa’s flora • EC to get first botanical garden • Teaching people to work with natureWilma den HartighInnovative technology to preserve and extend the shelf life of fresh flowers, developed by the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU), is helping to boost job creation, develop skills and establish new market opportunities for South Africa’s flower industry.People have tried for centuries to preserve the beauty of flowers, but now local research at the NMMU’s Institute for Chemical Technology, InnoVenton, has perfected a technique that makes it possible to produce a natural alternative to artificial flowers.A Gauteng-based company, African Floralush, which trades as Iluba, is using the patented treatment process to preserve fresh roses and foliage.The company is headed up by South African entrepreneur JJ Viljoen and his son, Fanie.“Innovation is what this business is about. It is new and that is what excites me,” says JJ Viljoen. “It is a new floral sub-sector in South Africa.”Commercialising academic researchThe company’s Iluba roses are fast gaining local and international popularity, and show how academic research combined with business acumen can make a positive impact on society.The university is a shareholder in both the patent-holding company and in the manufacturing company, African Floralush, which licenses the technology. The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) provided the bulk of the investment to start the business.Viljoen says it was a rose grower from Addo in the Eastern Cape, Tinie Maske, who first approached the university with her idea to preserve roses. She experimented with various preservation methods in her kitchen at home, and believed that she was onto something with great promise.The NMMU took the idea, conducted further research, development and extensive testing, to develop the technique which is used today. Maske, InnoVenton’s director Professor Ben Zeelie, and Dr Shawn Gouws also of InnoVenton, can be credited as the inventors of the long-lasting rose.Viljoen says one of the biggest challenges of the new business was to refine the laboratory-scale technology to be suitable for processing at an industrial capacity.Jaci Barnett, director of the NMMU’s technology transfer office, explains that this is not unusual if new technology is commercialised.“The business has taken a long time to get off the ground,” Barnett says. “But it is gratifying to see one of our technologies really making a difference to people’s lives by providing employment.”The business has been in operation for just over three years, but through trial and error and hard work their efforts are paying off.The long-lasting roses are now distributed throughout 30 countries including Australia, Japan, Saudi Arabia, the US and Canada, European countries and South Africa for use in the gifting and décor market.Sales of the roses are mostly to wholesalers for onward distribution in retail stores and directly to the hospitality industry. Unlike freshly-cut arrangements, Iluba roses don’t have to be replaced and this is why the product is popular with home decorators, hotels, ocean liners and long-distance train operators.Research and development is underway to determine if the same techniques could be applied to preserve proteas and other varieties of flowers.As no cold chain is required, the company can also help to estab­lish emerging growers in rural areas to participate in the Iluba supply chain.Providing employmentIluba is creating both direct and downstream employment opportunities for South Africans. The business employs 90 workers, most of whom were previously unskilled, and Viljoen says they expect to employ a total of 120 people next year.More than 30 new and independent business enterprises were established in 2011 alone as a result of Iluba’s activities. They include enterprises that use the products to create new value-added décor and gifting floral products, as well as new specialist retail and distributor outlets.“There is so much that one can do with our product that one cannot do with either fresh flowers or artificial flowers,” Viljoen says. “We expect a new industry will soon emerge around preserved long-life flowers.”Viljoen also encourages staff to think innovatively about the production process. “We make a point of telling our staff members to come up with solutions for challenges that emerge in production,” Viljoen says. “One of our best employees has no formal education but is head of quality control.”What is the secret?Creating a single long-life rose is a highly technical process as workers have only a few hours, while the roses are absolutely fresh, within which to complete the preservation process.African Floralush buys roses from contract growers at a certain size and stage of development. The first step is to remove the flower head from the stem, as each part is preserved separately. Once preserved, trained staff carefully join the two parts again, using stitching and glue.Dr Shawn Gouws of InnoVenton explains that the water in the cells and tissues of the flowers and foliage are replaced with natural eco-friendly preservatives. This allows the flowers and foliage to last for six months without water.Viljoen adds that the chemicals and preservatives are similar to those commonly used in the commercial manufacture of cosmetics and processed food.The technique makes it possible to add natural perfumes to strengthen the fragrance of the roses, and the colours can also be adjusted.Fanie Viljoen says although 80% of their customers prefer traditional colours, some market segments enjoy enhanced bloom colours, including deep brown, black, blue and purple.The natural pigment in fresh cut flowers fades and becomes brown with time, but Iluba flowers are treated with natural dyes to reinforce their colour and ensure that they remain crisp and beautiful for months.Iluba flowers also have a very low carbon footprint, as they do not need refrigeration and can be shipped as opposed to air freighted, offering major environmental benefits.Changing demand for flowersAccording to JJ Viljoen there is a growing market for long-life flowers, particularly as the cost of replacing fresh flowers has become so expensive.As a result of the tough economic climate, consumers are spending less on luxury items such as flowers, which has caused the fresh cut flower market to decline locally and globally in recent years.However, in South Africa alone, the import of artificial flowers has grown by an average of 38% per year.“More consumers are buying these flowers as the quality is improving so much that it is often difficult to distinguish them from fresh flowers,” Viljoen explains. “Long-life flowers are positioned somewhere in between.”He says market research has shown that despite the move away from fresh cut flowers and more consumer interest in artificial flowers, the market would still prefer natural flowers, if they offered a much longer vase life.Awards to inspireAfrican Floralush has also won a few awards for its unique product and business concept.Recently the company was named the winner in the small business category for innovation in the 2012 IDC Business Partner Awards.The awards celebrate IDC-funded businesses that have contributed to commercially sustainable industrial development in job creation, innovation and sustainability.“Awards serve as recognition for all our tribulations,” Viljoen says. “It gives the business credibility.”last_img read more

WOTUS halted in court

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Last week, a federal appellate court suspended nationwide implementation of the “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule until further order of the court.Many agricultural groups saw this measure as a tremendous victory after many months of battling WOTUS.“This is a huge victory for farmers,” said National Pork Producers Council President Dr. Ron Prestage, a veterinarian and pork producer from Camden, S.C. “The court rightfully stopped implementation of this massive federal land grab and confusion across the country until the numerous lawsuits against it can be resolved.”The rule, which took effect Aug. 28, was proposed in April 2014 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to clarify the agencies’ authority under the Clean Water Act over various waters. That jurisdiction — based on several U.S. Supreme Court decisions — had included “navigable” waters and waters with a significant hydrologic connection to navigable waters. The WOTUS regulation broadened that to include, among other water bodies, upstream waters and intermittent and ephemeral streams such as the kind farmers use for drainage and irrigation. It also encompasses lands adjacent to such waters.The decision to “stay” the rule, granted by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit in Cincinnati, comes a little more than month after a U.S. District Court judge issued a temporary injunction against implementation of the regulation. That injunction, however, applied only to the 13 states that brought the lawsuit against EPA and the Corps of Engineers in the North Dakota-based District Court.But, said the Court of Appeals, “In light of the disparate rulings … issued by district courts around the country – enforcement of the Rule having been preliminarily enjoined in thirteen states – a stay will, consistent with Congress’s stated purpose of establishing a national policy, restore uniformity of regulation under the familiar, if imperfect, pre-Rule regime, pending judicial review.”In reaching its decision, the court found that there’s a substantial likelihood that EPA’s WOTUS rule fails to comply with the Supreme Court’s instructions in previous Clean Water Act cases and that the agency’s actions in the rulemaking process, to which NPPC objected at the outset, are “facially suspect.” (Click here to read the court’s decision.)“The WOTUS rule is vague and fails to let regulated parties know when their conduct violates the law,” Prestage said. “We all want clean water, but this regulation is just big land grab that promotes growth in the size of government and allows activists to extort and micromanage all kinds of farming and business activities.”last_img read more

Uttar Pradesh Minister’s relative named in Unnao rape victim accident FIR

first_imgAn Uttar Pradesh Minister’s son-in-law is one of the 10 persons accused of plotting the Rae Bareli vehicle collision in which the victim of the alleged Unnao gang rape was left critically injured. Arun Singh, the Nawabganj block pramukh and son-in-law of Ranvendra Pratap Singh, alias Dhunni, a Minister of State holding the Agriculture, Agriculture Education and Agriculture Research portfolios, is listed as accused no. 7 in the FIR lodged by the uncle of the survivor of the alleged rape. She is battling for her life in a hospital in Lucknow with multiple fractures, head and chest injuries. Mr. Arun Singh confirmed to The Hindu that he was in fact the same person named in the FIR. The FIR lists him as one of the persons accused of intimidating the family of the victim. The complainant, her uncle, said he and his family had faced repeated threats from Kuldeep Singh Sengar, MLA, and his men and were being intimidated to change their statements in court or compromise with the MLA or face dire consequences. ‘Falsely implicated’Along with the rest, Mr. Arun Singh faces charges of murder, attempt to murder, criminal conspiracy and criminal intimidation. Asserting that he was being falsely implicated due to “personal and political rivalry” with a former block pramukh in Nawabganj, Awadesh Singh, he alleged that his rival shared a link with the jailed uncle of the victim. Mr. Arun Singh had defeated Maya Singh, Mr. Awadesh Singh’s wife, to win the post. Mr. Arun Singh said he was a litigant in the 2006 murder case of a Dalit block pramukh, Ram Naresh Nirmal, in which Mr. Awadesh Singh is an accused. “Awadesh Singh is a history-sheeter with over 40 criminal cases and my political opponent,” he said. “He is using the uncle as a shield… he feels if he falsely implicates me or sends me to jail, then he will be able to manage his case,” Mr. Arun Singh said. In the FIR relating to the collision, the uncle mentions Mr. Awadesh Singh as being among the people who would come to visit him in jail. The police have so far traced the owner of the truck to Fatehpur, which shares borders with Unnao and Rae Bareli.Mr. Arun Singh downplayed his political links with his father-in-law. “I have no political connection with him. He is my father-in-law but not my political guardian,” said Mr. Arun Singh, who is considered close to Mr. Sengar and Unnao BJP MP Sachhidanand Hari, alias Sakshi Maharaj. Mr. Arun Singh’s name also surfaced last year in the assault case of the survivor’s father, who died in custody in suspicious circumstances. He was questioned but not formally charged. He says he is innocent. “I have never seen the uncle by face. I have never seen the victim and I don’t even know where their house is,” he said, adding he had not met Sengar in over six months. Mr. Arun Singh said he was ready to undergo a narco test and cooperate with any agency–the CBI has taken over the collision case and even lodged an FIR, which includes him–in the investigation. The uncle of the survivor was on Wednesday granted a day’s parole to attend the cremation of his wife and relative, who died in the Rae Bareli collision while they were on their way to meet him in jail. Awadesh Singh was not available for comment.last_img read more

Despite more injuries, Celtics beat LA for 10th straight win

first_imgLaVar Ball thinks son LiAngelo’s arrest in China ‘not a big deal’ QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Baynes also had eight rebounds and three assists, and Boston improved to 10-2 even as Horford sat out after being placed in concussion protocol earlier in the day. The Celtics then lost rookie forward Tatum late in the second quarter, when he went to the locker room with a sore right ankle.Coach Brad Stevens said Tatum had X-rays and was fitted with a walking boot as a precaution. He will be re-examined on Thursday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutIt’s yet another blow for a team that lost Gordon Hayward for the season after a gruesome leg injury on opening night.“Until we have only four left, I guess we’re just gonna keep playing,” Stevens said. Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa View comments RIVALRY REKINDLED?Lakers coach Luke Walton said this generation of players views the Celtics-Lakers rivalry differently than those around for the 1980s matchups.“I think some of them get it, more than others,” he said. “Guys like Lonzo that grew up in LA, I think if you grew up in either one of these cities, you’re probably pretty well schooled on the rivalry. For some of these young guys, they probably don’t know much about it.”Celtics fans chanted “Beat LA!” after Walton was whistled for a technical foul in the third quarter.CELEBRITY SIGHTINGSNew Red Sox manager Alex Cora, New England Patriots players Devin McCourty and Dion Lewis, and rapper DMX were in attendance.UP NEXTLakers: At Washington on Thursday night.Celtics: Host Charlotte on Friday night. Irving also got banged up and had his right leg examined by trainers between the third and fourth quarters. He came back with just over six minutes to play and immediately made an impact, scoring back-to-back baskets to push Boston’s lead back to 100-90.The Celtics led by 48-28 in the second quarter but were outscored 24-13 over the final 6:51 of the half to let the Lakers back into the game.TIP-INSLakers: Only lead of the game was 2-0. … Had 12 turnovers in the first half.Celtics: Shot just 8 of 24 in the fourth quarter. … The 61 points scored by the first half was a season high. … Took a season-high 98 field-goal attempts.LAY OFF BALLCeltics forward Marcus Morris thinks fans should ease up on Ball.“He’s a good kid — it’s his dad,” Morris said. “He’s got a big mouth, everybody knows it. … He has a long time to do this. He’s a young guy. It kind of sucks that he’s gotta go everywhere and they just boo him and boo him and boo him. He’s just a regular player.”Ball said he didn’t take offense to it.“They’re home. I’d boo too if I was a fan,” he said. Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding LATEST STORIES Read Nextcenter_img Giannis Antetokounmpo powers Bucks in bounce back win over Celtics PLAY LIST 02:29Giannis Antetokounmpo powers Bucks in bounce back win over Celtics00:50Trending Articles02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Boston led by 20 in the second quarter before letting the lead shrink to two in the third. Los Angeles then struggled down the stretch, shooting 5 of 18 from the field with six turnovers in the final period.Brandon Ingram and Jordan Clarkson led the Lakers with 18 points apiece. Julius Randle had 16 points and 12 rebounds.Celtics fans gave rookie Lonzo Ball an icy welcome in his first trip to TD Garden. They booed the No. 2 overall pick throughout the night whenever he touched the ball. He finished with nine points, six assists and five rebounds, making just 4 of 15 from the field.With Tatum sidelined in the second half, Boston struggled defensively, and the Lakers exploited the paint for several easy baskets.“They hit us in the mouth and we were kind of shocked,” Kyle Kuzma said. “The second quarter and the secondhalf we fought back.”ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Boston Celtics’ Kyrie Irving (11) and Los Angeles Lakers’ Brook Lopez reach for the ball during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Boston on Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)BOSTON — The Celtics are piling up injuries almost as quickly as they are victories this season.Aron Baynes matched his career high with 21 points, Kyrie Irving scored 19 and Boston overcame injuries to Al Horford and Jayson Tatum to beat the Los Angeles Lakers 107-96 on Wednesday night for their 10th straight win.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPAlast_img read more

The Texas Rangers Are Investigating Baylor and its Sexual Assault Scandal

first_imgOne Texas legislator is fed up with the ongoing sexual assault scandal taking place at Baylor, and wants the state’s best on the job to join the investigation.Texas state representative Roland Gutierrez filed HR 644 last week asking Texas governor Greg Abbot to have the Texas Rangers investigate “the obstruction of justice surrounding the sexual assault of young female students at Baylor University,” according to legislation documents.That investigation began today, according to ESPN’s Mark Schlabach: While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Texas Rangers have opened preliminary investigation of Baylor and its police department to determine whether further action is needed— Mark Schlabach (@Mark_Schlabach) March 1, 2017“The Texas Rangers are working with the local prosecutor to conduct a preliminary investigation to determine if further action is warranted,” Tom Vinegar, press secretary for the Texas Department of Public Safety told ESPN.The investigation will focus on the handling — or mishandling — of allegations of sexual assault by students at Baylor.“What has happened here in Waco, what happened at Baylor, is so far different from any university in the state,” State Rep. Roland Gutierrez told ESPN. “We can’t stop bad things from happening, but we sure as hell can demand accountability. We sure as hell can demand that people protect our children.”last_img read more

Spring Retrospective: Jarwin, Veatch to be Missed at Cowboy Back

first_imgCW1 (Blocking)Sione FinefeuiakiJr. CW1 (Receiving)Keenen BrownR-Jr. Keenan Brown and Britton Abbott are fine players, but they are not and will not be what Zac Veatch and Blake Jarwin were in 2016. Let’s continue with a look back at spring practice with a dive into what we saw from the cowboy backs.SummaryOnly a few weeks before National Signing Day, coach Mike Gundy said he was still looking for another cowboy back to come in and fill the blocking role Veatch left.Gundy got him in Sione Finefeuiaki, but he won’t be on the field until the fall. The way Gundy talked about him made it seem as if he would change the outlook of the position. That’s good because the group seems like it is one name away from having a chance to have a meaningful impact on the field.“We’ve chewed on them pretty good, they have big shoes to fill,” Gundy said. “We couldn’t have won 11 (LOL) games last year without Veatch and Jarwin. We don’t have a lot of experience at that position. We’ve got guys here that have skill and need to develop.”The effort was there all spring. Cowboy backs coach Jason McEndoo had his guys out at the Sherman E. Smith Training Center before any other position group. They even beat the reporters. McEndoo stood across from his group with a laminated piece of paper and shouted blocking calls that the cowboy backs walked through.It seemed monotonous, but it must have been working to some degree.“They’re dedicated, and they’re working hard,” Gundy said. “They understand the importance of that position in our offense. I would say that’s why they’re out here (early).”In the spring game, cowboy backs combined for a pair of completions for 30 yards. Still, if Gundy feels like he isn’t getting enough bang for his buck, he shouldn’t have a problem going to four or five receivers, which is something he has said will be used more in 2017.Camp StarOn a fourth and three at one point last season, offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich drew up a play for a walk-on.Britton Abbott flooded to the flat and was open but dropped Mason Rudolph’s pass. Turnover on downs.In the spring, it was a turnover of leaf for Abbott.“Britton Abbott’s twice the player he was at this time last year,” Gundy said.Abbott is a blocking-first, Veatch-esque cowboy back who is part of a family of athletes. His brothers play football at Tulsa, and his dad spent time in the NFL with the New York Giants. Abbott hasn’t been a game-changer by any means for the Cowboys through his first two seasons in the program.At a position with less skill than normal, that is likely to change.Projected Two Deep CW2 (Receiving)Tyler FergusonR-Jr. SpotPlayerClass CW2 (Blocking)Britton AbbottR-Jr. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

100 Days of Summer: Get to Know No. 93 Jarrell Owens

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Let’s keep this 100 days of summer rolling on with No. 93, junior defensive end Jarrell Owens.How he got to OSUA three-star prospect out of Palestine High School (Palestine, Texas), Owens was originally committed to to play closer to home at TCU. Six months after his commitment to the Horned Frogs, second-year DL coach Joe Bob Clements, convinced Owens to make a trip to Stillwater. Two days later, he had decommitted from TCU and was ready to sign with the Cowboys.What he’s done in StillwaterAfter a redshirt year in 2014, Owens began contributing immediately as a redshirt freshman, earning meaningful reps in a rotation headlined by Emmanuel Ogbah and Jimmy Bean. He was both productive and disruptive. That year he finished with 11 tackles (8 solo), three tackles for loss, three sacks, three QB hurries, a pass breakup and a forced fumble.In 2016, Owens earned a starting spot opposite Cole Walterscheid and started 12 games. He tallied 25 total tackles (17 solo), 5.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and three QB hurries. He also showed his athleticism during one of Oklahoma State’s Piesman-nominated plays.Wild play alert courtesy of @CowboyFB defense.#Big12FB on FS1 https://t.co/9wNohKypWe— Big 12 Conference (@Big12Conference) October 22, 2016During the off season, Owens hones his tackling skills in a way that may seem unusual to some. He hunts feral hogs — and catches them with his bare hands.Role in 2017Owens looks ready to defend his starting spot and should definitely be featured in the Cowboys’ two-deep end rotation which Mike Gundy expects to operate hockey-like line rotations. Between he, Jordan Brailford, Cole Walterscheid and Vili Leveni the Cowboys boast as talented and deep a group of rotation ends as Mike Gundy has had. Any one of them could have a huge game at any time and each one will need to have multiples for the Cowboys to reach their potential.Noteworthy Stats and highlightsHad a career-high two tackles for loss, including a sack against Southeastern Louisiana last season. In the Alamo Bowl, he was disruptive, recording four tackles, a tackle for loss and two QB hurries.last_img read more

England ‘need’ Wilshere for World Cup – Campbell

first_imgJack Wilshere England ‘need’ Wilshere for the World Cup, says Campbell Robin Bairner 22:02 16/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Jack Wilshere Arsenal Getty Images Arsenal Arsenal v Milan England UEFA Europa League World Cup Injuries are the only thing that have held the Arsenal midfielder back in his career, the former Three Lions defender has argued Former Arsenal star Sol Campbell has backed Jack Wilshere for inclusion in England’s World Cup squad.The 26-year-old midfielder has been called into Gareth Southgate’s squad for the first time in two years ahead of friendlies against Netherlands and Italy.Campbell believes that the Gunner is a “wonderful” player and should be someone that the Three Lions should take to Russia in the summer. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp “He’s a wonderful player,” Campbell told Talksport. “The only thing that has held him back is injuries and that’s such a shame, because he’s got great tenacity, great footwork and speed and knowledge.“He’s got great drive and he’s got a good goal in him too.“I’m pleased for him. England need that type of player who can play in tight areas and make thing happen.”However, the former centre-back, who won 73 caps for his country, does not think he is yet at the stage of playing at his best.“Jack needs games. He needs regular games, he needs to build up that stamina and he needs to get that rhythm going,” he said.“If he stays fit all the way until the end of the season he should be in that squad, for sure.”Wilshere has turned out 33 times for Arsenal this season, scoring two goals.His long-term future remains under question as his contract with the club is up at the end of the season. Though the likes of AC Milan and Everton hover, the Gunners are confident he will sign a new deal.last_img read more