Utah’s ‘other’ defensive lineman starting to make a name for himself

first_imgSALT LAKE CITY — The Utah defensive line has been heralded as one of the best D-lines in college football with a pair of all-American candidates in Bradlee Anae and Leki Fotu, both first-team all-Pac-12 selections last year, as well as tackle John Penisini, who earned second-team all-Pac-12 honors in 2018.Then there’s that other guy, what’s his name?That would be Mika Tafua, a 6-foot-3, 252-pound sophomore who plays the left end in Utah’s 4-2-5 defensive alignment.Ask Tafua if he feels overlooked or dissed by the lack of attention he receives and the soft-spoken big man replies, “No not at all, I just do my job. It’s not me. It doesn’t define me, but it’s something I want to do well at.” Tafua has done well so far as he leads his fellow defensive linemen in tackles with six so far this season, and he also had a sack and a fumble recovery, both in the BYU game.“Mika’s an outstanding player,” said Ute coach Kyle Whittingham. “He’s a little bit under the radar and doesn’t get the attention that the other guys get, but he’s playing excellent football for us.”How he ended up at Utah is a story Tafua calls “interesting” as he was hardly recruited by the Utes out of high school.He was a first-team all-state selection at Kamehameha High School in Hawaii in 2014 and signed a letter of intent with BYU. He then went on a church mission to Tacoma, Washington. Soon after he returned from his mission back in early September of 2017, Tafua was standing on the sidelines at the annual Utah-BYU game when he saw Utah assistant coach Lewis Powell. He knew Powell from Hawaii, where Powell coached the University of Hawaii defensive line for three years before moving to Utah.Tafua, who was basically a “free agent” at this point, decided to check out the program at Utah and was impressed enough that he decided to enroll at the U. and sat out the 2017 season as a redshirt.“I’ve known him for awhile,” said Powell. “He was going to head to BYU and came here and fell in love with our staff and program and what we’re trying to do. Shoot, it didn’t take much, but we’re excited to have him. He’s going to continue to get better.”“I had a lot of family here in Utah, so it was pretty easy,” Tafua said of his transition.It didn’t take long the following autumn for Tafua to claim a starting spot at the right end position on the Ute defensive line. After the third game, he switched with Anae and went to the left side. He had to miss three games with injuries but ended up starting seven games and finishing the season with 23 tackles, seven tackles for loss, two sacks and a forced fumble.“Oh man he’s doing really good,” said Powell, who coaches the defensive ends. “People are game-planning for Brad and all of a sudden Mika starts making plays and that’s what we need from him. Mika’s still young, just a sophomore, but he was a starter last year and he’s continuing to get better as he understands where he fits in and what we’re trying to do.”The Utah depth chart actually has Tafua and junior Maxs Tupai as co-starters and while Powell said the Utes try to split the reps, Tafua has been getting the majority of the time this year.“Maxs has been getting the shorter end of that, but we like both of them to play,” Powell said. “They bring different things to the table. They’re both really good, and we’re excited for both of them.”Whittingham praises Tafua’s “consistency” and believes his time in the spotlight is coming.“He’s really has no weakness,” Whittingham said. “He plays the run well, he’s a good pass rusher and has a good motor. His entire game is his strong suit because there really is no weakness. He’s got two more years after this and his time will come in the headlines.”last_img read more


Overtime 5-4-16

first_imgLike us at https://www.facebook.com/pages/New-Pittsburgh-Courier/143866755628836?ref=hlFollow @NewPghCourier on Twitter  https://twitter.com/NewPghCourierDownload our mobile app at http://www.appshopper.com/news/new-pittsburgh-courier Bill Neal:10—First and foremost, I want to offer my sincere sympathy to the family, friends and colleagues of Ms. Kathy Neely. She was a delightful most pleasant woman, with a wonderful smile and a great personality. She had a quiet, but direct quick wit. I would sometimes tease her that we must be half related…“Neely”…“Neal.” That being said, I will remember her most for keeping me in line, especially when we did the “Top 10 Women” story each year. Let’s just say she made sure “Brown Sugar” was properly represented. God Bless you Kathy and may you rest in peace!Kathy Neely:09—You know I continue to get pushed back from the young bucks who actually think and believe that they know more than me about “Old School”…and they didn’t live “Old School”…I did! For example, you young folk will never see the likes of James Brown, the Temptations, Earth Wind & Fire, Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Luther or Prince. That being said, you are never going to have the pleasure of seeing a Jim Brown, Tony Dorsett, Bo Jackson, Kareem, Kobe…and most especially, Wilt Chamberlain or Michael Jordan both recognized as the greatest players of all time. But officially, you only need to go to the NBA website where it states…“By acclamation that Michael Jeffrey Jordan is the greatest player of all time”!! What’s my point you ask with baited breath. Do you think for one minute that “The Greatest of all Time” with an unmatchable 15 year career that included being on the all defensive team 9 times is going to let Steph Curry score 30 or 40 a night in a playoff series. My friend, to quote the great Denzel Washington… “You are outside your mind.” Not going to happen. Never going to happen. So shut up and stop calling me! The Bulls would destroy the Warriors.:08—THIS – IS – A – REAL – BIG – SHOUT­OUT – TO – A – LIFE – LONG – FRIEND – AND- A – LOYAL -AND – DEVOTED – OVERTIME – READER. (Well, I don’t know if she’s loyal and devoted, that might be a stretch, but she does read Overtime.) Diane Thomas. You are now in “The Locker Room.” Thanks for the memories…love ya!:07—The Heat…The Miami Heat for all you disbelievers, are now a third of the way to upsetting The Cavs and winning the NBA East. And remember, I told ya!:06—Did I hear somebody say “Lumber Company II”. Your Pittsburgh Pirates are knocking the cover off the ball man.:05—Your Pittsburgh Steelers heard you loud and clear this time and selected cornerback Artie     Burns out of Miami. Great pick. Hard-nosed. Miami pedigree. Blazing speed. And, he’s not a linebacker.:04—Just a thought. What’s the chances of naming your son Isaiah and your last name is Thomas and he becomes a star guard in the NBA. And you’re not related to “The Real Isaiah”. WOW!!!:03—Can someone please tell me why Portland even bothered to show up? Look, if you can’t play hard, go home!:02—This lead in before I conclude with Norm Thomas. “The Legend” that is Hubie Bryant was at the Penn Hills Hall of Fame. Ladies and gentlemen, the Legend is real!!!:01—I’ll give you this again because it’s worth repeating, Norman Thomas was inducted into the famed Penn Hills Hall of Fame. Without question, one of the three greatest hurdlers of all time. Still holds several WPIAL and Penn Hills records after a 47 year departure from the track. Be reminded once again that his superior talent on the track was only surpassed by his superior persona as a gentleman, family man and friend. “Banfield Forever.”:00—Double OvertimeThis just in from the Pittsburgh marathon…a Kenyan won the race!!!Whatever MMMAAANNN!~ GAME OVER ~last_img read more


Firmino’s stoppage time winner helps Liverpool down Paris Saint-Germain

first_imgRoberto Firmino scored a stoppage time winner as Liverpool kicked off their Champions League campaign with a thrilling 3-2 win over Paris Saint-Germain.  However, Thomas Tuchel’s side go back into the game before the break thanks to a goal from Belgium international full-back Thomas Meunier.  MATCH FACTS Champions League Anfield, 52.478 espectadores. Firmino hace enloquecer a Anfield con una obra de arte Goles Cüneyt Çakir. TA.: Van Dijk (27′)/Meunier (45′). 3-2 LIV PSG Liverpool IN SPORT.ES Despite trailing, PSG rarely looked like getting back into the game for long periods of the second half but that’s what they did when Kylian Mbapper scored after good work from the generally quiet Neymar. Nil Baños Summer signing Juan Bernat then fouled Georginio Wijnaldum and James Milner struck home from the penalty spot woth the game still in the first half.  Árbitro 19/09/2018 PSG Incidencias But Liverpool’s heads didn’t drop and they kept probing for the winner, which arrived when substitute Firmino turned Marquinhos in the penalty area and fired into the bottom corner in the 93rd minute. Last season’s finalists hosted one of this year’s favourites at Anfield on Tuesday and it was the home side who took the lead through Daniel Sturridge.  Areola; Meunier, T. Silva, Kimpembe, Juan Bernat; Rabiot, Marquinhos, Di María (Choupo-Moting, 80′); Mbappé, Cavani (Draxler, 80′), Neymar. Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Milner, WIjnaldum, Henderson; Salah (Shaqiri, 85′), Sturridge (Firmino, 71′), Mané (Fabinho, 93′). 1-0 M. 31 Sturridge. 2-0 M. 36 Milner (pen). 2-1 M. 40 Meunier. 2-2 M. 83 Mbappé. 3-2 M. 91 Firmino. Upd. on 20/09/2018 at 10:45 CESTlast_img read more


Buckingham for McMillan

first_imgWELL-KNOWN Warragul man Chris Buckingham has been endorsed by Labor to run for the seat of McMillan at the next…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.last_img


Hornets add CJ II sectional to SCT tennis championship

first_imgBY MATTHEW ROCCO Correspondent A fter winning the Shore Conference Tournament, Holmdel High School continued its success in girls tennis this fall with a NJSIAA state sectional title.The Hornets defeated Manasquan High School, 3.5-1.5, in the Central Jersey Group II final before losing to perennial tournament rival Haddonfield Memorial High School, 3-2, to end Holmdel’s state tournament run.Holmdel once again dominated in doubles play. Against Manasquan, Holmdel’s first doubles tandem of Lauren Byrket and Tiffany Huang topped Shannon Harman and Nicole Lauria, 6-1, 6-1. Nandini Krishnaswamy and Sarah Yan defeated Manasquan’s Hannah DiBernardo and Margaret Ann Smith, 6-1, 6-1.Alicia Lai won her second singles match over Gabrielle Longo, while Lucy Wang fell to Manasquan’s Brianne Lauria in third singles. In first singles, Katie McKay of Holmdel played to a draw with Abby Duddy as rain put an end to the final match.“It was a good effort by singles to fortify that win,” Holmdel head coach Chuck Chelednik said.The Oct. 17 match against Haddonfield (30-0), the eventual Group II champion, was a hard-fought loss, Chelednik said. The Hornets were swept in singles play, but doubles has been a strong suit this season. Byrket and Huang won, 6-3, 7-6 (7- 2), on a second-set tiebreaker against Erica Pascocello and Arpie Senopoulos. Haddonfield’s Chelsea Brown and Sylvia Strauss forced a super tiebreaker, but Krishnaswamy and Yan secured the victory, 6-1, 1-6, 10-7. “We get into a better position to win every time we play them,” Chelednik said of Haddonfield. “At least we gave ourselves a chance to win. We were right there. Their toughest match so far was us.”Holmdel’s doubles teams lifted the Hornets throughout the season. Coupled with strong play from McKay and Lai at the top two singles spots, Holmdel (20-2) was a tough team to beat.“Primarily our doubles have carried us, but different people have stepped up at different points during the season,” Chelednik said.Despite being eliminated from the state tournament, Holmdel’s season is not over just yet. TheHornets are making up some matches from the regular season, including matches against Red Bank Catholic High School on Oct. 24 and Raritan High School on Oct. 25.“We won the Shore Conference Tournament and Central Jersey Group II, and we still haven’t won our division yet,” Chelednik said.last_img read more


Tsiamalili Jnr: We will meet FIFA World Cup deadline

first_imgTsiamalili made this statement during a visit to the two venues this week.The visit was with members of the Infrastructure Project Steering Committee (IPSC) as part of its weekly meet, and which Tsiamalili chairs.The IPSC comprises of key technical officials that include the Department of Treasury, Department of Finance, Department of National Planning, Central Supply Tenders Board (CSTB), and the FIFA Local Organising Committee.This weekly meet is to ensure that the required support committed by the respective government agencies and contractors in areas of construction and refurbishment of the stadiums as well as upgrading of fields at all training venues are implemented.“The Departments of Finance, Treasury and Planning have been tremendous in their hands-on support for this world event so far.“At this stage, the need for the full draw down of funds from the National Government is crucial. This will ensure that we meet our deadline in 30 days and get our games over the line,” said Tsiamalili.last_img read more


Events rescheduled as high winds sweep through Pyeongchang

first_imgSeveral Olympic events were postponed or rescheduled as strong winds swept through the Pyeongchang region on Wednesday, damaging temporary structures set up for the Games.Nordic combined, biathlon and Alpine skiing events were postponed or delayed due to weather conditions, Olympic organisers said as they rejigged the competition schedule and worked to limit damage sustained around venues.At the Gangneung Ice Arena, the venue for figure skating and short track speed skating, a tent set up for security screenings lay flat on the pavement.Olympic volunteers and reporters trudged with their backs to the wind, shielding their faces from the dust.The Korea Meteorological Administration said on its website that winds in the region were blowing at 7 m/s as of 17:30 (0830 GMT).In text messages sent to mobile phones in the coastal area, Gangneung City Hall called for people to be wary of flying objects and falling debris.The streets of the Gangneung Media Village, where the majority of international journalists covering the Games are staying, were deserted except for a few security officials trying to fix damage to temporary structures. Several tents used as work areas for the press were closed.Athletes have also felt the effects of the treacherous winds.Canadian pairs figure skater Meagan Duhamel wrote on Twitter that the hanger she used for her competition dress “broke from the wind” ahead of the short programme on Wednesday in which she and partner Eric Radford finished third.last_img read more


Liverpool ease to victory at Watford to maintain pressure on City

first_imgLiverpool maintained pressure on table-topping Manchester City with three second-half goals sealing a comfortable 3-0 victory at Watford on Saturday.After a largely uneventful first half, Mohamed Salah put the ball past Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster in the 67th minute before England defender Trent Alexander-Arnold scored a stunning second goal.The 20-year-old beat Foster with a brilliant whipped free kick from 25 metres nine minutes later, before his international team mate Jordan Henderson was dismissed for a second bookable offence.Liverpool were not hindered by their numerical disadvantage, however, with Roberto Firmino adding a late third goal as the visitors extended their unbeaten start to the Premier League season to 13 games.Juergen Klopp’s side remain second with 33 points and trail Champions City by two points after Pep Guardiola’s side beat West Ham United 4-0 on Saturday. Watford slipped to eighth after a third game without victory.last_img read more


Urbiztondo relishes second wind

first_imgDozens wounded as Iraqi protesters up pressure on government SpaceX launches, destroys rocket in astronaut escape test Panelo: Duterte only wants to emulate strong political will of Marcos On the edge of America, census begins in a tiny Alaska town Marcos monument beside Aquino’s stirs Tarlac town Panelo: Duterte only wants to emulate strong political will of Marcos LATEST STORIES Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite Released by GlobalPort early this year, Urbiztondo is making the most out of his chance with the Slingers as their heritage import.“It’s truly a humbling experience and a blessing that I’m able to go back to the Finals, and I’m just gonna fight out there,” Urbiztondo, a one-time PBA champion with the B-Meg Llamados in 2012, said after the match where he finished with 20 points.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSBreak new groundSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC returnThe Slingers will clash with the Hong Kong Eastern Lions, who swept the Saigon Heat, in the Finals starting Friday. Canadian military mobilized to help Newfoundland dig outcenter_img Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Ai-Ai delas Alas on Jiro Manio: ‘Sana pinahalagahan niya ang naitulong ko’ Palace: Crisis over ABC-CBN franchise unlikely Bolts shuffle Aces; no relief for NLEX MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Photo by Glenn Michael Tan/ABLBALIUAG, Bulacan—Veteran guard Josh Urbiztondo finally achieved what he has not done in the Philippine Basketball Association the past four years.Urbiztondo is playing for a title for the first time since he played in a championship series for Ginebra in 2013, after keying the Singapore Slingers’ 82-64 drubbing of Alab Pilipinas that completed a two-game sweep of their Asean Basketball League semifinal series on Friday at Star Arena here.ADVERTISEMENT View commentslast_img read more