Monday, October 31, 2016

Soccer Playoff Season Kicks Off

Science, Evander, and Monroe Capture Playoff Wins

(Photos by Robert Cole)

By Robert Cole

SPORTS NEWS- The weather was not the only thing to heat up yesterday, so did the soccer action, as the 2016 PSAL A Division Soccer playoff kicked into full swing. 

The Bronx was represented with five schools from the borough in action. Bronx Science, Evander Childs, and Monroe captured wins, while Columbus and Clinton suffered shutout defeats.

Bronx Science and Evander exploded in the second half of their games, with Science scoring four goals, while Evander scored three goals in the last six minutes. 

Science (13-0-1) fell behind in the first half to Robert F. Wagner, from Queens, who used their speed and pressure defense to take a 3-1 halftime lead. During halftime, Coach, Phillip Cancellaro, got the Science players to relax and refocus, helping the Wolverines to slow down the pace of the game, and get back to their pinpoint passing, as they took control of the game. 

Science’s, Nicholas Karkut (#11), scored his second goal of the game in the seventh minute of the second half, pulling the Wolverines within one goal 3-2.  

Zachary Seigelstein (#30), scored a few minutes later to tie the score 3-3. With continued offensive pressure, the Wolverines were able to take the lead for good, when Arun Massand (#23), scored the game winning goal in the 18th minute of the half.  

Samuel Ruben (#14), scored an insurance goal in the 28th minute to put Science up by the score of 5-3. Science’s defense kept Robert Wagner from scoring to secure the win, and help their team advance to the next round of the playoffs, where they will host the number nine seed, Petrides, from Staten Island. 

Evander found themselves in a defensive battle with Madison, from Brooklyn, with neither team scoring until into the 34th minute of the second half, when the Evander’s, Idrissa Nikiema (#14), rocketed home the game-winning goal, for the 1-0 lead. One minute latter the Tiger’s Romain Freckleton (#20), scored giving Evander the 2-0 lead.  Evander’s lead caused the Madison defense to take more risk in an attempt to score, which allowed Evander’s Emmanuel Anie (#8) to break open for the Tiger’s third goal. 

The number 19th seeded Monroe Eagles went on the road and upended the 14th seed, Fredrick Douglass Academy by the score of 4-3.

Both Monroe, the 19th seed, and Evander, the 10th seed, will play their next round games on the road as Monroe travels to Grand Street Campus, the 3rd seed, and Evander travels a bit further out in Brooklyn to play Fort Hamilton, the 7th seed. With the 8th seed, Bronx Science stays home to play the 9th seed, Petrides, at Harris Field, in the Bronx.  

All games are scheduled for Wednesday November 2nd and start at 3:30pm.

Yankee Author Hails the Passing of his Hero

(Author Ray Negron with his mother Ventura "Jenny" Perez Negron)

By Ray Negron

SPORTS NEWS- Ventura "Jenny" Perez Negron Was a 4 foot 10 black, Puerto Rican woman who was very proud of her color and her culture. She was a very fearless person. As a mother she was like a lion who would do anything to protect her cub. When her first husband, my biological father, beat her, kidnapped me, took me to Cuba and left me there, she stopped at nothing to raise the money to buy two airline tickets to go into Cuba at a very turbulent time to go and get her son back by herself.

When she brought me back to America she would always say that it would be you and me against the world. We would move from the Bronx to Brooklyn, New York where I would meet a grocery store worker. He took a strong liking to me. My Aunt Olga Perez would babysit me every day while my mom would go to work. She would take me to this bodega, where Cirilo Negron worked, to get her daily groceries.

One day as I was sitting on the front stoop of our house with Aunt Olga, Cirilo walked by on his way home. He saw me and stopped and said "How would you like to come by my house and play catch?” At that moment my mom was standing right in back of him, just getting home from work. My Aunt Olga had told Mom how kind Cirilo had been to me. All of a sudden my mom kiddingly startled and said to Cirillo, "Well if you take my son home you're going to have to take the mom." That was the start of a relationship that lasted for over 50 years. 

In her youth, my mom was the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. Her inner beauty could never be surpassed by anyone, with the possible exception of God. She once told me that when she married Cirilo she didn't really love him but she could tell how much he cared about me. That was the motivating factor in her eventually falling in love with him.

My mother would go back to school to get her education and become a teacher for the Board of Education. She would be a leader in the parents and teachers Association and always voiced her opinion on all important causes. She helped Cirilo start a very nice grocery store business in the decade of the 60s. It was called "Ciros Food Center" She and Cirilo would have two daughters, Nancy and Naomi.

Nancy would be like Cirilo, very nice and very mellow. Naomi more like Jenny, strong-willed, always ready to explode. But Jenny was the total package. She was for me, the perfect mom. She knew how to give love like no other and she was also a very strict disciplinarian. She always gave me enough rope to hang myself. However when the rope reached the end, she would give me some of the best ass kicking's ever.

She was never afraid of anyone. I remember during the 1960s when the black power movement started to really take off, she was at a PTA meeting. Talk got very heated between the parents and the teachers. As my mom was speaking someone said to her, "You don't know about these issues you are Puerto Rican." My mom screamed out, "Do you see my skin, it's blacker than yours." At that moment I said, "Mom please don't." I was scared because it was only me and her. But mom being mom she went to the next level and said, "And how would you like my little foot up your ass." I said "Oh my God!" However, everybody started laughing hysterically. Here was my tiny mother challenging the whole PTA, not even realizing that in her own way she actually brought everyone together with her courage. Or maybe she did know.

My mom had five brothers that she was so proud of that it was ridiculous how much. But I have to admit so was I. My Uncle Chris was in the Army, My Uncle Joaquin was in the Navy and my Uncle Roman was a Marine. My Uncle Hector was a golden gloves boxer and Champion, and my Uncle Vincent was in the book printing business. Uncle Vincent wasn't a soldier or athlete but he was famous for always picking up beautiful women. 

My mom had me hang out with my uncles at different times. She wanted me to learn from all of them, both good and bad. My Uncle Hector developed a very bad drug problem and my mom would use this situation to knock it into my head how bad drugs were. As in adult, this would help me in dealing with Doc Gooden and Darryl Strawberry. My mother was also a very good negotiator. She had Cirilo adopt me as his son. She told my biological father that he wouldn't have to pay child support if he agreed to this. 

My new father, Cirilo, was the happiest person I have ever seen that day in court. I was happy too because I knew what a great man Cirilo was. I also knew how much he loved my mom. The thing that I love most about my mom was how proud she was of me when I was a Yankee bat boy. Mom and Cirilo only came to one game, but that's all they needed to see. They met George Steinbrenner only once. I think my mom really liked him because he reminded her of her own father who was a very tough church minister, a no-nonsense kind of guy. She knew that there was a special bond between Mr. Steinbrenner and me and she loved it because she felt that the Boss would always watch out for me. 

By the time I wrote my first two books, my mother was showing strong signs of Alzheimer's but she was still mentally strong enough to enjoy and feel proud of my accomplishments. All of my accomplishments in life I owe to her because she was my foundation, my strength, she taught me how to be a parent. When she was a teacher she had me come to her school and talk to the kids and tell them what it was like to be a Yankee bat boy. 

I cannot ever repay my mom for what he she has given me. This essay doesn't even scratch the surface. When I used to watch her interact with her own mother, it was more like they were sisters. I used to say that when I had kids I wanted to have that kind of relationship with them.  I think I do.

Last week my Mom died. She battled Alzheimer's for almost 10 years. It is such a horrible disease because to see someone so strong become so childlike at the end--it's just devastating. My poor sisters had the very tough duties of caring for my mom until the very end. My father Cirilo cared for her until he got very sick. Last month he was given his last rights but refused to die. Now this poor man has to live out his last days without his best friend Jenny. Maybe that was his master plan. Maybe he just didn't want to leave her behind. More questions that I will ask when I get to the other side.

The bottom line is that Jenny Negron was the most incredible woman that I have ever known. My God what a heart she had.

I have always been a dreamer and all she ever wanted was for me to follow my dreams. My whole life has been a magical mystery tour of which could not have happened without the incredible hopes and dreams that my mother, my friend, my soul had for her son. For her daughters.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Science Soccer Gets Bronx Bragging Rights

Bronx Science Finishes Regular Season Undefeated With Victory Over Clinton In Boys Soccer
(Photos by Robert Cole)

By Robert Cole

SPORTS NEWS- With only a football and soccer field separating Bronx High School of Science and Dewitt Clinton, the game between the two schools was more than just a neighborhood battle; it was a battle for bragging rights between actual neighbors. 

This year, Science proved to be the king of the block, defeating the Clinton Governors 5-2. The victory allowed Science to finish the year undefeated with a (12-0-1) record, with their lone tie handed to them by the same Clinton team on October 7th. 

In the final regular season game for seniors on both teams, it was senior, Nicholas Karkut (#11), of the Bronx Science Wolverines, who stood out as the most outstanding player of the game with three goals.

Karkut, scored the first goal for the Wolverines, in the 25th minute of the first half, to tie the score at 1-1. 

Karkut opened the second half scoring, in the 3rd minute, when he scored on a penalty kick, after a Clinton defender accidentally touched the ball in the penalty box with his hand.  

Between Karkut's second and third goals, Bronx Science players added two more goals with Evan Enochs (#7), scoring in the 20th minute, and Samuel Ruben (#14) scored six minutes later in the 26th minute, for a 4-1 commanding lead.  

Science added one more goal in the 36th minute, when Karkut scored his third goal of the game, to give Science a 5-1 lead.

Clinton was able to add one more goal before the game's conclusion, when senior, Andre Wallfall (#10), scored his final regular season goal with 15 seconds remaining in the game.

The final score of 5-2 helped Science to maintain its winning  ways, while the loss dropped Clinton's record to (4-5-4).  The loss also dropped Clinton behind JFK Campus, into third place, in the final Bronx A division standings.

Next stop is the city-wide playoffs for the PSAL Boys Varsity Soccer, as all the teams throughout the borough wait for playoff seeding and schedules to be released by the PSAL office.   

Good luck to the teams from the Bronx as they battle for the PSAL Soccer Championship.

Cleveland Fans Heckle 7-yr-old Cubs Fan Knocked Out at WS

World Series Gets Ugly for Young Chicago Cubs Fan

David Wallach said his son Johnny was knocked unconscious by cheering fans during Game 1 of the World Series between the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. When the Indians scored fans jumped up wildly and one elbowed the boy in the head, knocking him out for 30 seconds.

As Wallach took the child to get medical treatment, he said Cleveland fans around him chanted “Cubs Suck.”

Wallach posted the photo of his son being treated for the injury on Twitter.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Giant Abuser Let Go

Big Blue Releases Josh Brown

SPORTS NEWS- The NY Giants released kicker Josh Brown after police released his journals and emails in which he admitted to physically and mentally abusing his wife.

"We believed we did the right thing at every juncture in our relationship with Josh,” Giants owner and president John Mara said. “Our beliefs, our judgments and our decisions were misguided. We accept that responsibility.”

Brown’s wife had claimed that the Giant had pushed through a mirror among other instances of abuse. 

The abuse saga was another black eye for the NFL which has in the past struggle with players and spousal abuse. And the scandal comes just as the NFL has been struggling with declining viewers.

"I have taken measures to get help so that I may be the voice of change, not a statistic," Brown said in a statement. "It is important to share that I never struck my wife, and never would. Abuse takes many forms, and is not a gray area.”

Yanks to Host Playoffs for Soccer

NYCFC to Host First Post Season Series in Bronx
(Photos by Robert Cole)

SPORTS NEWS- NYCFC clinched their First Round bye thanks to a second half blitz against Columbus Crew SC at Yankee Stadium.

With the scores level on the hour when Ola Kamara equalized, Toronto FC looked to be pipping Patrick Vieira’s side on the line but a trio of goals from Jack Harrison, Khiry Shelton and David Villa ensured that there would be no midweek Knockout Round action at Yankee Stadium.

Here’s everything you need to know about our upcoming Eastern Conference semi-finals…

Sunday, October 30 is the date NYCFC will play their first-ever Postseason game, while the home leg of the semi-final will be on the following Sunday, November 6.

The first leg of the Eastern Conference semi-final takes place away from home, with the second leg being played at Yankee Stadium.

NYCFC are seeded #2 from the Eastern Conference, meaning they will face the top-seeded team to emerge from the Knockout Rounds. NYCFC will take on one of Toronto FC, DC United or Montreal Impact in the Eastern Conference semi-finals. NYCFC cannot face Philadelphia Union.

If Dallas, Colorado, Red Bulls, Toronto or Montreal win the MLS Cup, NYCFC would qualify for the CONCACAF Champions League.

Obviously, NYCFC would clinch a berth automatically if NY were to win the MLS Cup ourselves.

Knockout Rounds (East)…
Toronto FC vs. Philadelphia Union – Wednesday
DC United vs Montreal Impact – Thursday

Be There...
Tickets for the second leg clash are available.

They Said…
David Villa: “I told the guys in the locker room before the game to remember the first day in Florida, with the runs in preseason and today play 90 minutes for the runs in Florida.

“The motivation today was easy and every player was amazing.”

Patrick Vieira: “Hard work made us qualify for the playoffs, of course when I look back to the team for our first game against Chicago we’ve improved. We have a clear philosophy on how we want to play the game.
“All credit to the players and staff – they worked really hard and we are where we are today.”

David Villa Wins AT&T MLS Goal of the Week

(Photo by Robert Cole)

SPORTS NEWS- David Villa's late strike in the final game of the regular season has been voted by fans as the AT&T MLS Goal of the Week for Week 34. 

Scoring his 23rd goal of the regular season, Villa netted the final kick of the game for a 4-1 win over Columbus Crew SC on October 23 at Yankee Stadium. 

David went up against Pedro Morales of the Vancouver Whitecaps FC and had 54% of the vote. 

NYCFC will take on either Toronto, Montreal or DC United in the Eastern Conference semifinals which will kick-off on Sunday. 

Monday, October 24, 2016

Fordham Beats Georgetown in Squeaker

Fordham Gets an Ugly Win

(Photos by Gary Quintal)

By Rich Mancuso

SPORTS- There was another record almost set by Fordham running back Chase Edmonds up at Rose Hill Saturday afternoon. Despite the turnovers the Rams came away with a 17-14 win over the Georgetown Hoyas in a Patriot League game. And, like the weather, it was ugly as the Rams were without Kevin Anderson their league leading quarterback.

Anderson was disciplined for violating team policies and backup quarterback Luke Medlock stepped in and threw two touchdowns for 95 yards with an interception. The Rams committed four turnovers and the Hoyas six, which added to the ugly win. The 17-points scored also were a season low, and much of that was attributed to the void of Anderson and the undisclosed disciplinary action. 

But it was another good day for Edmonds, the junior, who set Fordham and league rushing marks in a 58-34 win over Lafayette two weeks ago. He rushed for 179 yards on 37 carries and was three carries shy to breaking a school record in a game that has been shared by three players.

Makay Redd and his 24-yard field goal with three minutes to play was the difference. 

And it is obvious, the void of Anderson does hurt the Rams offense. The defense forced the turnovers and they once again came up big in the next to last home game for Fordham. In two weeks Fordham will host Holy Cross at Yankee Stadium and by then the Patriot League title should be up for grabs or close to being decided. 

“The defense performance was outstanding,” said head coach Andrew Breiner. Fordham held the Hoyas to minus two in rushing yards and intercepted passes five different times. 

As to the developments that had Anderson sit down, Breiner was not at liberty to comment. However, he told his team before the game that without Anderson there would be a challenge to step up. The Rams took a quick 14-0 lead when Medlock threw touchdown passes of 3 and 37-yards to Robbie Cantelli. 

“I told the guys in the locker room, I can’t put into words how proud I am of this football team, the adversity we had to face,” commented Breiner pertaining to not having Anderson, the turnovers and errors by special teams, and some things such as Anderson that are not game related. 

“No one panicked, no one flinched,” he said. “The coaches had faith in the players. We put them in the position to execute. That is the picture and definition of a team win.”

Edmonds said, “Right now I am just trying to keep this team focused to get to the Patriot League playoffs.”  

It was their second straight conference win that has them opposing four in a row. On Saturday afternoon, Fordham travels to Lehigh then returns to Rose Hill in two weeks to face Colgate. After that, the next to last game on the schedule is the Yankee Stadium meeting with Holy Cross.

Comment Rich Mancuso:  Twitter@Ring786 Mancuso 

Friday, October 21, 2016

Kaepernick is NFL’s Typhoid Mary

QB Taking Knee Killing NFL’s Ratings

SPORTS- It’s official. Colin Kaepernick is doing to the NFL what he did to the 49ers in last week’s game against the Bills- he’s stinking up the place.

A new poll finds that fans are tuning out NFL games because they are sick of Kaepernick and other players making political statements during games.

Kaepernick appears to be the NFL’s Typhoid Mary as to what is killing the once golden goose of TV ratings.

According to a Yahoo/YouGov poll, 40 percent of respondents said they were tuning out because of the protests. Kaepernick and other players have been taking a knee during the National Anthem to protest racism in the country. 

The NFL has been hit with a surprise ratings drop this entire season and officials have been scrambling to figure the reason for the drop off. Popular games, including Sunday and Monday Night Football have seen a significant drop in ratings compared to last years. 

Despite what the poll says, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell does not believe Kaepernick’s protests are why viewers are tuning out.

“I think when you look at ratings, you have to go a little deeper than that … There’s viewers, but also how long they’re engaging for,” the NY Post quotes Goodall. “A lot of times, people will leave a game for whatever reason, whether they’re going to go to other programming, or whether the game is less competitive.”