Category Archives: Sports

Blue Devils Drop Two of Three In Weekend Series Against Binghamton

by Tyler Roaix

The Central Connecticut State University baseball team went into a weekend series at Binghamton riding high, scoring a combined 17 runs in their last two games. But the offense struggled to get much going, scoring just six runs total in the three-game set.

The weekend series began with a double header on Saturday. The early game featured a CCSU offense that struggled to get anything going, as Central fell 6-1.

The Blue Devils started off well with junior Dean Lockery, hitting a leadoff homerun to take an early 1-0 lead. He would later single to account for two of the team’s three hits in the game.

Justin Yurchak carried Binghamton to the win. The third baseman went two-for-three at the plate, but his two-run homerun in the fifth inning delivered a huge blow to Central’s plans for a comeback.

Nick Gallagher was strong on the mound for Binghamton, allowing just one run on two hits in six innings of work. Gallagher also had two strikeouts, pushing his record to 6-1 on the season. The bullpen got the job done as well. Joe Orlando and Nicholas Liegi finished the game giving up just one hit combined.

Brendan Smith received the loss for CCSU, dropping his record to 3-6 on the year. He gave up two runs on five hits, but pitched just four innings. Tom Curtin struggled as well; he allowed three earned runs in three innings out of the bullpen.

Central was able to bounce back in the second game with a hard-fought 3-2 victory, earning a split of the double header.

The Blue Devils again jumped out to an early lead with a homerun from Mitch Guilmette, leading off the second inning. They added on two more in the fourth inning to make it 3-0, after an RBI triple from Buddy Dewaine and an RBI single from Dylan Maher.

Ron Grant had an impressive start for Central, holding Binghamton to just two hits in the first five innings of play. But the Bearcats finally broke through in the sixth.

Grant ended up allowing two runs on four hits, while striking out six in 5.1 innings of work. Two hits and a walk in the inning helped Binghamton cut the lead to just one going into the final inning.

The Bearcats again rallied in the seventh, getting runners on second and third with two out. Coach Charlie Hickey brought in Patrick Mitchell to get the final out of the game. Mitchell did just that, inducing a ground ball out to secure his third save of the year.

The rubber match proved to be the most exciting game of the series, as the two teams took it to extra innings in yet another pitchers duel.

The scoring started early yet again as TT Bowens singled in a run to give the Blue Devils an early 1-0 lead. But the Bearcats answered quickly with a solo homerun off the bat of Brendan Skidmore, tying it up at one run apiece. The teams then traded runs in the sixth to bring the score to 2-2.

The pitching duel then continued all the way into extra innings. But in the bottom of the 11th inning, Skidmore came through again for the Bearcats with a bases-loaded walk-off single to secure the win and the series.

The weekend performance brings Central’s overall record to 22-18. But their second-place position in the Northeastern Conference remains unchanged with a 12-5 record in NEC play. The Blue Devils will be back at home this weekend to face conference opponent Sacred Heart.

Still Not The Time For CCSU Student Athletes To Get Paid

by Kimberly Pena

Over the past years, the conversation in college sports about unionizing and paying student athletes have been heating up, and the discussion is not going anywhere, especially at Central Connecticut State University.

With over 400 student athletes attending CCSU, 99 of those students are football players, making up nearly 25 percent of the student athlete population at Central. On average, Central football players spend an approximate 45-plus hours training a week, and that does not include travel time, game time, study hall and their regular classes.

Joey Fields, a junior and a wide receiver for the football team, says his schedule is always tight. In the regular season, he does not get enough personal time to relax or hang out with friends. He wakes up at 6 a.m. to head to the field at seven in the morning for practice, then heads to lift weights at eight and following that, he must go to his daily meetings with the team at 9:25 in the morning.

Following his busy morning, Fields starts going to his regular classes and has an advising meeting in between. Once his academic day is done, Fields returns to the field and has practice from three in the afternoon to six in the evening. This is his daily routine, and it does not account for travel and game day.

“This is my job, this is my job,” said Fields. “We don’t literally get paid upfront with it, but this is what I do for a living.”

Since usual game time occurs on Saturdays, the team returns to campus late at night. The following morning, the team holds their weekly Sunday meetings, a few hours of practice and then study hall for about two hours at night. Fields believes that with this non-stop ongoing schedule, student athletes deserve to and need to be paid.

“The amount of hours we put into doing this, the time we have to be up, the time we go to sleep, the things you have to remember, the things you got to do,” said Fields. “You know a normal student, you can just go to class and go do whatever you want the rest of the day. We are living on a time schedule from the time we wake up, to the time we go to sleep. There is no stopping.”

Najae Brown, also a junior and a safety for the team, agrees with Fields and says the team works hard enough to get compensation that he believes they deserve.

“We do put in a lot of work, going to workouts, practice and then going to class,” said Brown. “We should get a little something, not like overly paid, but something.”

According to the Department of Athletics Assistant for Communication and Media Services Thomas Pincince, 274 out of 403 student-athletes receive some form of athletics aid, while 82 are on a full scholarship.

Fields and Brown are two of those 82, but it doesn’t mean they are never tight on money, typically turning to their parents if they need the extra cash for necessities, such as food. Fields explains how many of his teammates and other athletes in the school are constantly struggling financially, and are not as lucky as him who can turn to their parents for financial support.

“All my friends play Division I football and you know, they will send texts to me of them starving and they’ll be hungry, you know what I am saying. They are tight on money,” said Fields. “The café is closed and that’s where they usually get their food from, the café. So, let’s say they are on scholarships, they have meal plans. A lot of people say you are on a meal plan, there is nothing to be complaining about. What happens when the café closes, where do you go when the café closes? You open your fridge and there is nothing but water in there.”

Although the Department of Athletics at CCSU has a good understanding of the hours student athletes dedicate to the school and to the sport, there is just not enough money to pay the athletes, according to Pincince.

“I do understand some of the hardships that might come with that (being a student athlete), you know the ability to work and have a job to get some extra money,” said Pincince. “What makes it difficult at a place like Central Connecticut is the money factor. The reality is that an athletic department our size and our budget, we don’t have the money to pay student athletes. It is just the reality. We faced budget cuts each of the last few years.”

The CCSU Department of Athletics most recent budget cut amassed to be $300,000, according to CCSU Athletics Director Paul Schlickmann. With this cut, it makes the task of student athletes getting paid that much more difficult at Central.

“We understand that athletics is not unique in the challenges that come with the state financial picture, the direct impact it has had on the University and the challenges presented to each area of the institution to do more with less,” said Schlickmann. “We are committed to maintaining high expectations and providing our student-athletes with the best experience possible during their time at CCSU.”

The 2016 football season featured the Blue Devils turning in a record of 2-10. That record brought in a revenue of approximately $194,000, this includes game guarantees and ticket profits, according to Pincince.

Although that number is not millions like other colleges, such as Notre Dame or Ohio State, Fields believes their team brings in just enough to give attention and publicity to the university.

“Me playing a Division I sport, I see all the fan bases, the things that we bring in and you know, like the venues, like when the games are sold out, all of that. They are there for us,” said Fields. “We should be getting paid for the things we bring to the school and the time we put into it. People only see the games and what we are doing at the games, but people don’t see what’s going on behind that Saturday night or that Friday evening on game day.”

However, sophomore and quarterback Jacob Dolegala, understands why the team does not get paid because of the complexity that goes into making a system work, and simply because CCSU does not have the budget like other universities. However, he wouldn’t mind making the extra bucks throughout the semester.

“It would help to have that extra money on the side,” said Dolegala. “I know for a fact we [university] don’t [have enough money]. We have to win more, and we are planning on changing that, but we just have to win.”

Although several players from the football team hope to get paid sometime soon, that may be a scenario far out of reach. With not a high amount of revenue, budget cuts and for a small university compared to Alabama State, getting paid is not an option right now or in the near future for the Blue Devils.

Baseball Inches Closer To Top Spot in Conference

by Dillon Meehan

After Central Connecticut (21-16, 12-5 NEC) dropped the first two games of their weekend series against Bryant (17-21, 10-4 NEC) 6-3 and 7-0, a weekend series sweep seemed likely.

“On Friday were going against James Karinchak, who when healthy is one of the ten best pitchers in the country. It’s deflating from that standpoint, but thats what the game is,” said Blue Devils head coach Charlie Hickey. “This team at times struggles with it’s confidence and gets deflated; that’s the danger of running into a hot pitcher. And sometimes that can get contagious and impact other games and kick yourself.”

However, during the second game of this past Saturday’s doubleheader, freshman pitcher Mike Delease threw a two-hit complete game shutout en route to an 8-0 win against the NEC’s best team.

The Blue Devils rode the momentum from Saturday’s win to hold onto a 9-7 win on Sunday to split the weekend series, and are inching closer to the top spot in the conference.

“It was a good opportunity in the middle of our season to sort of access where we can play,” said Hickey. “Losing the first two of the series can be discouraging, but we get a good performance from Mike Delease yesterday and today was an old fashioned, gut wrenching win.”

Since Bryant has joined the NEC in 2008, the Bulldogs have only lost three series total in conference, with their last loss coming four seasons ago in 2013.

“The reality is, they beat us last year eight out of nine times, and they were the better team,” said Hickey in regards to the difficulties facing Bryant over the years.

It’s the first time since late-March that the Blue Devils lost consecutive games in conference play.

“There’s still a long way to go. We get an off week against Binghamton, an out of conference team next week, and then we finish with three series to go,” said Hickey on his team’s outlook for the rest of the season.

In the second game of the double header, Delease allowed a base hit to leadoff the game, but Bryant could only gather another two baserunners for the rest of the game.

The Blue Devils grabbed the lead in the third inning when junior Dean Lockery doubled down the right field line, with runners on second and third, to score the first two runs of the game. Later in the inning Lockery would score on a baulk etc make it 3-0.

In the fifth, the Blue Devils put the game out of reach. Freshman TT Bowens brought in two runs with a single to left field making it 5-0. On the next at-bat, junior Mitch Guilmette would launch a three run homerun to right field to make it a better 8-0.

On Sunday, Bryant jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first. However, in the bottom of the third, the Blue Devils would come back to take the lead when junior Nick Garland hit a solo homerun to left field to tie it. A few at-bats later, junior Ryan Costello would bring home his fellow classmate Nick Landell with a sacrafice fly to take a 2-1 lead.

The teams traded runs until the bottom of the eight inning, where the Blue Devils blew the game open. Up 5-4, Costello singled in Landell to make it 6-4. A ground ball by Guilmette would make it 7-4, with a single by senior Tyler Coleman that would bring home two more to give CCSU a 9-4 lead.

Bryant would attempt a comeback in the bottom of the ninth, having the first three batters reach base safely before scoring three runs.  However, Bryan’t comeback fell short and Blue Devils were able to walk out Sunday with a split series,

“The first game was where we didn’t realize compete as hard as we should of and were feeling sorry for ourselves. But to their credit to go out there and fight and get a win shows how mature they are,” said Hickey.

The Blue Devils will have a stretch of out of conference games away against Albany, Binghamton and Quinnipiac, before beginning a weekend series against Sacred Heart starting May 5.

Football Holds Annual Blue And White Spring Game

Pete Rossomando is confident his team will improve from a disappointing 2016 season.

by Dillon Meehan

After spending the past month and a half waking up early and preparing for the upcoming fall season, Central Connecticut’s football team held it’s annual Blue and White spring scrimmage, with the White team edging past the Blue team 10-0.

The White team, led by backup quarterback Tanner Kingsley and backup running back Drew Jean-Guillaume jumped out to an early 7-0 lead on their first drive of the game. Kinglsey scored  on a 25-yard run after keeping the ball on a read-option play.

On the next drive, another long run by Kinglsey set up a 25-yard field goal by Frankie Palmer, making it 10-0. That would be the final time either team had a chance to score.

The game excessively featured the current Blue Devils roster with first, second and third stringers drafted to each team.

While the game is mostly put on for students and fans to catch a glimpse of the team before the fall, it’s difficult to perform well when backups and starters are randomly mixed together.

“The hard part is you break up the offense, when you do that you have 11 guys that have been playing together for the whole spring, and when you break them up they just aren’t used to playing together,” said Blue Devils head coach Pete Rossomando.

After the initial first drives, the majority of starters were pulled in order to give backups reps and to protect themselves from being injured.

“We didn’t play Drew, Cam or KJ that much simply because we’re just trying to keep them healthy. We saw enough out of those guys all spring that we just needed to take them out,” said Rossomando on putting his team’s heath first. “We’ve got two guys out because of surgery and overall we’re just thin in numbers, so we’re just trying to keep everyone healthy.”

After a difficult 2-9 season, including going 1-5 in conference, the Blue Devils are looking to bounce back in 2017.

“We’ve looked good. I think we’ve done a nice job. Spring was really positive offensively with Jake and the other veteran group, our offensive line is coming together,” said Rossomando on his outlook for the team. “You couldn’t tell from today because we split them up, the communication just isn’t the same.”

Now heading into his second season as the full time starting quarterback, Jacob Dolegala is looking to add on to his record breaking 2016 season. The junior set the school record for most passing yards in school history with 2,934 yards, which was also good for second bets ever in the history of the NEC. On top of that, Dolegala completed 60 percent of his passes and threw 15 touchdowns to nine interceptions.

“He’s had a great spring, it’s just different when you have a guy back there that knows what he is doing. We’ve talked about synergy in the past and there is just so much synergy with him out there. He’s not just worried about what he’s doing, he’s lining every else up too,” said Rossomando on his starting quarterback.

The Blue Devils start their season on September 1. against Syracuse, with their first home game coming on September 9, against Fordham.

Blue Devil Baseball Sweeps Weekend Series

by Kyle Flynn

The Central Connecticut State University men’s baseball team, came into this weekends series against Mount Saint Mary’s with a record of 16-13.

Mount Saint Mary’s, who sat at 4-22 coming into this series, got behind pretty early to starting pitcher Brendan Smith, and the rest of the Blue Devils. TT Bowens opened things up with an RBI single in the first inning and the flood gates opened from there.

The Blue Devils would go on to score six more runs before Mount scored their first run of the game. Bowens finished the game with three hits in five at bats, with three RBIs. He was the major catalyst in the Blue Devils series opener, which they finished with a 7-2 victory.

The second game of the series had a completely reverse script to it. Mount Saint Mary’s led the game 5-2 going into the latter stages of the game. Bowens, Kanios, and Mahers, all had huge plate appearances in the last three innings of the game, and all three of the batters knocked in huge runs to give Central the lead and eventually the win.

The Blue Devils rallied to score five more runs after trailing 5-2 and won the contest 7-5. Freshman Chris Kanios led the way with two hits in four at bats, along with an RBI and two runs scored. Dylan Maher finished the game with three RBI’s, including the two that gave Central the lead in the top of the 9th inning.

The final game of the series came on Saturday, and the Blue Devils brought their best, and in return got one of their best offensive outings of the season. Ryan Costello started the game off with a solo home run to right field, followed by an RBI double by Mitch Guillmette, scoring TT Bowens to give Central an early 2-0 lead.

Mount Saint Mary’s got two of their three total runs in fourth inning of the game to tie it up at two a piece. That was the last hope that Mount had at winning a game in this series. In the fifth inning CCSU took the lead back 3-2, but in the sixth inning the offense started to soar. An RBI single by Dean Lockery started what would become a seven run inning for the Blue Devils.

Each team added another run for their team’s in the final three innings of the game, and Central would win the game 11-3, and sweep the weekend series to give themselves three important NEC  wins.
The Blue Devil baseball team now holds a record of 19-13 during the 2017 season, giving them the best overall record in the conference. Although Bryant is in first place in the NEC with a 6-1 record, they are just 12-18 overall. Central is right behind the Bulldogs, in second place with a conference record of 9-3.

CCSU has a big four-game home series against the Bryant Bulldogs upcoming from April 21-23, as the Blue Devils look to take sole possession of the first place spot in the NEC  heading into the second half of the season.

Blue Devil Softball Stomp All Over Mount St. Mary’s University

by Kimberly Pena

Led by Karleigh Edward’s three RBI and Sarah Ogilvie’s two RBI afternoon, the Blue Devils stomped over Mount St. Mary’s University with an 11-1 victory. On a partly sunny Friday afternoon, Central Connecticut State University took advantage of Marian Ruf’s poor outing to improve their record to 9-19 for the season.

The damage began in the first inning when Alexis Debrosse led off the inning with a walk, after a pass ball and a strikeout to Brittany Camara, Britanny McNulla followed up with an RBI single. One batter later, Edward hit an RBI double to make the score 2-0. Ogilvie then hit an RBI single to make it 3-0.

Pitcher Alexandra Casañas continued her streak of good pitching, only allowing one run over five-innings, three hits, two walks and a strikeout. Casañas has now won three straight starts, permitting four earned runs over a span of 20 innings, dropping her ERA to 3.59.

“Alex does a great job of hitting her spots and keeping hitters off balance with her off speed pitches, said Edwards. “She is an important part of our pitching staff along with our two other pitchers.”

In the second inning, the Blue Devils increased their lead with Debrosse doing some of the damage with a two-run home, scoring Alicia Bertolino to make the score 5-0. It is Debrosse’s fourth homerun of the year.

But the big blow came in the fourth-inning, when CCSU sent 10 batters to the plate, scoring six runs on an already shaky Ruf. Tori Constantin led off the inning with a double, while Bertolino reached on a defensive misplay by second baseman Morgan Alisauckas. Two outs later, Camra walked to load the bases and McNulla walked to bring in a run.

With the bases still loaded, Kerri Dadalski singled in two more runs and advanced to second on the throw, extending the lead 8-0. The power duo of Edwards and Ogilvie came to bat back-to-back, with Edwards bringing in two more runs and Ogilvie scoring Edwards to end the afternoon for Ruf.

“I think in those situations I am just looking for a good pitch to drive in runners with,” said Edwards.

“Our offense can be extremely powerful and dangerous when everyone works together to string along some hits and puts pressure on the defense,” said Ogilvie.

Ruf’s final line was three and two-third innings, 11 runs, five earned, four walks and three strikeouts, giving her five losses in the season versus two wins.

Casañas kept the Mountaineers hitless in the last two innings, ending the game after five innings.

Moving forward, the team knows there are still changes to be made to continue on the success like Friday afternoon’s victory.

” I think that our team needs to continue to stay focused on both offense and defense and take it one game at a time, not thinking too far in advance,” said Edwards.

But the team knows if they can stick together, they can do just that.

“Our team chemistry is great both on and off the field,” said Ogilvie.  “We all have so much fun during practices and games; we all get along really well and all want to play and win for one another.”

The Blue Devils go on to face Saint Francis University on Sunday, April, 23, in a double-header. First pitch for game one is set for 12 p.m.

UMass Win Big Against Blue Devils 15-0

by Dillon Meehan

In a rare showing of poor form, Central Connecticut State University fell to University of Massachusetts 15-0 this past Tuesday.

After winning seven of their nine previous games before Tuesday’s outing, the Blue Devils (19-13. 10-3 NEC) suffered their biggest loss of the season.

“There was nothing we did well. I’m definitely trying to get this out of my memory,” said Blue Devils head coach Charlie Hickey after the game.

UMass jumped out to an early lead in the first inning, when Ryan Lever hit a two run homerun to left field. 

In the following inning, Dylan Robinson singled home a run to make it 3-0, before Lever followed up with his second homerun of the game, doubling UMass’s lead by making it 6-0. Following Lever’s second homerun, freshman pitcher Arik Sypher, who earned the loss, was pulled after throwing 1.2 innings.

“We didn’t do anything well. We didn’t hit, we didn’t pitch, we didn’t field, we didn’t do anything,” said a frustrated Hickey after the game.

UMass added another run in the third inning to make it 7-0, before recording six straights in the fourth and exploding for six runs to extend their lead to 13-0.

“We were displaying some ugly baseball which is pretty uncharacteristic for us, especially as of late,” said Hickey.

The Minutemen added two more runs in the sixth inning to make it 15-0, and cap off their impressive scoring output for the day.

“Obviously you never want to suffer a loss like this, but luckily enough it was out of conference play so it won’t impact us too much.”

Despite being shutout for only the third time this season, the Blue Devils faired well offensively, garnering nine hits. But they weren’t able to bring home any runs.

Senior Franklin Jennings and junior Dean Lockery played well, each grabbing a pair of singles. While junior Mitch Guilmette had both a single and a double.

“Luckily we have some veteran leadership, so this shouldn’t carry over to the weekend series,” Hickey said of his team’s chances this weekend.

Hickey was right, despite the rough outing against UMass, the Blue Devils were able to sweep the weekend series against Mount St. Mary’s, winning Thursday’s game 7-2, Friday’s 7-5 and Saturday’s game 11-3.

Following the weekend series, the Blue Devils continue to be in their grove, winning eight out of their last ten games. The Blue Devils face against Siena, then have a four game weekend series against Bryant, the NEC’s top-seeded team. If the Blue Devils win the majority of the games this weekend, they will steal the top spot in the conference.

Hartford Had It’s Moment This Weekend, But Will It Last?

This weekend marked the first home series for the Hartford Yard Goats, Connecticut’s newest professional sports team.

Despite being the Hartford Yard Goats last season as well, the team was forced to play all of their games outside of Hartford due to Dunkin’ Donuts Park not being built in time for the season.

In the days leading up to the game, it was announced that the 6,000 seat ball park had sold out, and 2,000 standing room only seats were being sold for $8.

It’s an optimistic sign for a city that has been looking to revitalize itself, and natives of Hartford can see it come to fruition.

“I do think this is going to help the city,” said Alexx Dennis, a 23-year old East Hartford resident who spent much of his life living in Hartford. “Although it was a long and bumpy road to finally get the stadium built, I think that it will be beneficial for the city and possibly the state as a whole in the long run. I know I’ll go to a few games this summer.” 

Residents are being cautiously optimistic about another planned revitalization of the state capital, especially after seeing many failed attempts.

“I mean, I hope. But the science center and other hotels that have been in downtown for some years now, and haven’t provided enough attraction for everyone to enjoy,” said Joel Rivera, a 27-year old Hartford resident who has spent his entire life living in the city. “The Yard Goats on the other hand, have a good chance to bring in a new crowd. I’ve seen people from all over the state in the first three games. Definitely more people who aren’t from Hartford rather than actual residents though. Which I guess is a good thing for the city.” 

But bringing in professional sports teams aren’t the only thing the city is doing to improve itself. The residents are also aware of how else the city is helping the youth.

“I think they’ve been doing a decent job as a late. For example, schools are doing a lot more for the youth than like what I had as a kid. There are new tools for better education, better after-school programs and uniforms which helps crack down on bullying in my opinion. But also a lot of people feel like it’s more gentrification going on in the city rather than actually helping. Starting in downtown Hartford and working its way out into the more urban areas,” added Rivera.
Although the team was swept by the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, each game featured a large crowd. However, it is only the first three games of a long season, so the jury is still out on whether the team will have a long term positive impact on the team.

Premier League Week 33 Recap

by Evan Sobol

This week’s action featured league-leading Chelsea falling to defeat, while Tottenham Hotspur continued their hot streak.
The Red Devils of Manchester United continue to improve their offense. Following their 2-0 home victory against Chelsea, they have scored five goals in their past two matches. The result is also thanks to great defense; they shut down the league-leaders to zero shots on goal.
Marcus Rashford struck a goal first for United in minute seven. The 19-year-old forward met a through pass by Ander Herrera that cut through Chelsea’s defense, and scored with a low shot that snuck past goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.

It was Rashford’s fifth goal of the season. The goal came as a surprise to many, as the youngster started in front of Zlatan Ibrahimović, who currently leads United with 17 goals on the season.

Controversy surrounds the play as well. Herrera’s hand touched the ball just before he gained position, but referee Robert Madley did not call a handball, allowing the play to continue. Herrera was responsible for United’s second goal in minute 49.

The Spain international took advantage of sloppy defense and gained possession inside the box. He then scored with a shot that deflected off a Chelsea defender and went into the center of the net. It was the midfielder’s first goal of the season.
Chelsea faced offensive woes the entire match. This is largely due to the Blues’ biggest play makers, Diego Costa and Eden Hazard, being unable to create opportunities. The offense recorded just five shots total.

Costa’s struggles continued throughout the match. After a scoring streak at the beginning of the season, he has failed to strike goal in his last five matches.

With this drought, he still has 17 goals on the season and is tied with Ibrahimović and Sergio Aguero for fourth-most in the league. Hazard has not had as tough a time in recent matches, but he was practically invisible against United’s defense.

The Belgium international currently has 15 goals on the season.
Following the victory, United stays put at fifth in the table. They sit just three points ahead of Everton and four points behind Manchester City.

If they continue playing good offense, they will have a chance to make it into the top four in the following weeks. A resurgence in Paul Pogba’s game would help make that happen. He has not recorded a goal since December, and has lost possession to opponents quite frequently, even with his size.

Manchester United’s next match is against Burnley on Sunday. The club fell to 14 in the table, following a 1-3 defeat to Everton on Saturday.
The loss was Chelsea’s second in their last five matches. The loss gives Tottenham a chance at the title, as they sit just four points behind in second place.

The Blues look to find their groove again as they face Southampton next Tuesday. The Saints sit at ninth in the table, and were shut out 0-3 by Manchester City on Saturday.
Tottenham Hotspur have been the hottest club in the Premier League over the past couple months, winning seven straight matches including their dominant 4-0 victory against Bournemouth on Saturday. The Spurs’ offense has been firing on all cylinders, as they have scored 11 goals in their past three matches.
Midfielder Mousa Dembele scored the first goal for Tottenham in minute 16. The Belgium international found open space in the box following a corner, and fired a shot into the center of the net. It was his first goal of the season.

Son Heung-Min scored for the Spurs three minutes later with a short-range strike into the back corner of the net. It was his 12th goal of the season and fifth in the last four matches.

Forward Harry Kane scored his 20th goal of the season, with a short-range goal from the center of the box. The England international gained possession, following a cross by midfielder Dele Alli.

Substitute Vincent Janssen scored his second goal of the season in stoppage time. He capitalized from short-range, after his first shot was blocked by Bournemouth goalkeeper Artur Boruc.
Bournemouth managed to record just one shot on goal against the Spurs’ defense. Their best goal opportunity came in minute 24 when defender Steve Cook’s header went just over the net. They held just 31 percent of possession for the match.
Tottenham hopes for a chance at the title following the victory and Chelsea’s defeat. They currently sit just four points behind the Blues, and face bottom-half club Crystal Palace next Wednesday.

If their offense continues to get everyone involved, they will be the scariest team to face in the coming weeks. Harry Kane has a chance at the Golden Boot, as his 20 goals are second-most in the league behind Everton’s Romelu Lukaku. It would be his second straight season earning the award after he recorded the league-best 25 goals last season.
Bournemouth falls to 16 in the table with the defeat. It was their second straight loss. They sit just two spots away from relegation, but could stand their ground with a home victory against 19th place Middlesbrough on Sunday.

Hernandez To Seek Appeal

by Brennah Dallaire

Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, was acquitted of first degree murder charges on Friday, in the killings of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado. While Hernandez’ attorneys work on a case for appeal of his 2015 conviction, speculation about his future circulate.

Abreu, 29, and Furtado, 28, were gunned down outside of the Boston nightclub, Cure. The shooting was in response to a supposed altercation inside the nightclub after Abreu bumped into Hernandez on the dance floor, spilling his drink.

The prosecutor’s explained that Hernandez and friend Alexander Bradley left the club, followed the victims by car, pulled up next to them at a stop light and opened fire on Abreu, Furtado and three other men. One other man in the vehicle sustained an injury but survived.

After making an immunity deal with the Suffolk District Attorneys Office, Bradley went on to testify that Hernandez had in fact shot and killed the victims. Bradley is serving time in prison in Connecticut for involvement in a Hartford nightclub shooting. Bradley believes Hernandez is involved in a shooting in Miami in 2013, that left Bradley blind in one eye.

However, jurors found that the burden of proof was not met. Hernandez was found not guilty on the first degree murder charge, but was convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm.

Judge Jeffrey Locke sentenced him to four to five years in prison on top of his life sentence without parole, at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center for the murder of Odin Lloyd in 2013.

Surveillance video and texts messaged show Hernandez and two friends pick Lloyd up from his home the night of his murder. Texts messages between Lloyd and his sister showed Lloyd wanted her to know who he was with referring to Hernandez as “nfl.” Other surveillance footage from that night show Hernandez with a gun at his North Attleboro, Massachusetts home. Lloyd was shot and killed in an industrial park a half mile away from Hernandez’ home.

Hernandez’s attorneys felt that they have a strong case for appeal. Hernandez’s defense attorney, Jose Baez told ESPN “I wish he’d called me [for the first trial].”

“I think there are plenty of flaws in that (Lloyd) conviction. If they are exposed properly, he certainly can and should get a new trial,” Baez said.

Not all parties are happy to hear that Hernandez may have a shot at getting out of prison. Although he was found not guilty on the most recent murder charges, the families of the victims found comfort in the verdict knowing that Hernandez would stay in prison.

“At least he’s not walking out the door today,” is what Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley told ESPN family members of the victims said.

The appeals process can take years. Hernandez’s defense team would have to prove that Judge Susan Garsh made mistakes in the Odin Loyd case, that impacted his receipt of a fair trial.

According to Sports Illustrated, those injustices could not adequately explain to the jury the definition of extreme atrocity and cruelty in the first degree murder convictions. The jury came to the conclusion that the murder was not premeditated, but was of a cruel nature warranting first degree murder.

There is a possibility that the court will hear his appeal in the Lloyd murder case. However, Hernandez would still serve four to five years for the unlawful possession of firearms conviction; unless this charge is appealed and vacated as well.

Retired NFL Hall of Fame player Cris Carter, told TMZ Sports that he does not think Hernandez will ever play in the NFL again, even with a successful appeal.

“I doubt he would ever play again in the NFL…if he was in any other industry besides the rap industry he wouldn’t be able to get work,” said Carter.

In 2013, the Patriots released Hernandez less than two hours after his arrest. The team quickly distanced themselves from the investigation and Hernandez who had no previous behavioral or criminal issues.

A prison record doesn’t necessarily mean athletes can’t return to play in professional sports. Michael Vick served 18 months in prison after being convicted of conspiracy to operate a dog fighting ring.

Shortly after, Vick was reinstated to the NFL and began playing with the Philadelphia Eagles, then went on to play for the New York Jets and the Pittsburgh Steelers before retiring.