The 2018 season kicks off Thursday, Aug. 30, with Southeastern Louisiana facing ULM on the road at 7 p.m. CT and Northwestern State traveling to College Station to take on Texas A&M at 7:30 p.m. The bulk of the league gets underway on Saturday, Sept. 1, while Sam Houston State’s opening game is set for Sept. 8 at home against Prairie View. 86 Southeastern Louisiana (119) is slated as the fifth-place team, followed by Stephen F. Austin (90), Abilene Christian (89), Northwestern State (86), UIW (53), Lamar (52) and Houston Baptist (32). Nicholls was voted second with 173 total points and six first-place tabs. Defending champion Central Arkansas follows closely in third place, earning five first-place votes and 170 points. McNeese earned a top vote and 159 points to rank fourth in the preseason poll. Houston Baptist Stephen F. Austin 89 2018 Southland Conference Football Preseason Poll Despite the hole left at quarterback by the graduation of two-time Walter Payton Award winner Jeremiah Briscoe, Sam Houston returns the core of a potent offensive unit. Wide receivers Davion Davis and Nathan Stewart headline six first team preseason all-conference offense picks for 2018. The pair combined for 2,854 receiving yards and 31 touchdowns last season. The Bearkats reached the FCS playoff semifinals last season and are ranked first in the preseason poll for the fourth consecutive year. 173 Central Arkansas (5) Southeastern Louisiana Nicholls (6) 90 Sam Houston State (10) Team (First-place votes) Total Lamar The Southland Conference preseason poll is voted on by each head coach and football sports information director. Each voter ranks their predicted order of regular season finish, not including their own team. First-place votes are worth 10 points, second-place votes are worth nine and so on to one point for 10th place. 119 McNeese (1) FRISCO, Texas – Sam Houston State is the preseason favorite for the 2018 Southland Conference football season, the league announced Thursday. The Bearkats earned 10 first-place votes and 187 total points to garner the top spot. Abilene Christian Nicholls enters 2018 with a league-high 14 total preseason all-conference picks, highlighted by junior quarterback Chase Fourcade. He passed for 2,316 yards with 14 touchdowns in 2017, helping lead Nicholls to its first FCS playoffs appearance since 2005. Northwestern State 187 52 170 53 UIW 159 32
HUNTSVILLE, Texas – Student-athletes from Sam Houston State recently took the time to continue a consistently-instilled Bearkat tradition of impacting the local community when the SHSU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) teamed up with Academy Sports + Outdoors to give back to a local elementary school.For the third consecutive year, Academy Sports + Outdoors donated more than 100 backpacks to aid a school-supply initiative coordinated by the Sam Houston State SAAC. The retailer, and partner of Sam Houston athletics, provided bags which were subsequently filled with necessary school supplies before being delivered to Scott Johnson Elementary in Huntsville.Sam Houston’s 17 teams collected items to assist the school including Kleenex, scissors (round edges), glue sticks, hand sanitizer, No. 2 pencils, 16-count crayons, wide-ruled notebook paper and spiral/composition books.“This has been a great partnership for us, and it is something that brings great joy to both our student-athletes and the elementary students who receive the supplies,” Sam Houston State Senior Associate Athletics Director Chris Thompson said. “We’ve been doing this for several years and it never ceases to amaze how many smiles it brings to all involved. Everyone, especially our SAAC members, love how rewarding the experience is.”SHSU athletics has a history of supporting Scott Johnson Elementary including the department’s Bearkat Mentor Program, which allows the athletes to serve as positive examples and role models for the elementary school children.SAAC is comprised of representatives from all sports in Bearkat Athletics and is a group who initiates community service efforts throughout the year. The organization has contributed to local school-supply drives for the past 13 years, receiving a list of supplies needed to replenish the classroom and help those children who do not have the resources to make it through the year.As part of the “Southland Gives Back” initiative, the Southland Conference will profile a community service outing from each of our 13 member institutions this holiday season.
CEDILLO RIDES A NATURAL TRIPLE ON SUNDAY HOROLOGIST ‘COMING TO HAND’ FOR SANTA MARIARichard Baltas hopes the fifth time’s the charm when he runs Horologist in Sunday’s Grade II, $200,000 Santa Maria Stakes for fillies and mares, three and up, at 1 1/16 miles.A rarity in that she is a New Jersey-bred racing in California, the four-year-old daughter by the Tiznow sire Gemologist lost all chance last out in the Grade I Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn Park April 18 when she was blocked through most of the stretch run.At 28-1 she still was beaten only five lengths, finishing sixth behind Ce Ce, who won by a dramatic head over Ollie’s Candy.“She had a really nightmarish trip,” Baltas said. “She got completely shut off, but ran well. She’s a nice filly and seems to be coming to hand.”Horologist was a distant ninth in the Grade II Raven Run at Keeneland last Oct. 19 in her first start for Baltas, improved to fifth when wide as the 3-2 favorite in the Grade II La Canada at Santa Anita Jan. 11 and missed by a nose going three wide in the restricted Nellie Morse at Laurel on March 14 before her Apple Blossom debacle.“The first time I ran her, I didn’t have her figured out,” Baltas said. “I think we’ve got her figured out now, and she’s going to be a very nice filly.”SANTA MARIA AN OPTION FOR GRADE I WINNER CE CECe Ce, determined winner of the Grade I Apple Blossom at Oaklawn Park by a head over Ollie’s Candy on April 18, is nominated to next Sunday’s Grade II Santa Maria but trainer Michael McCarthy and owner/breeder Bo Hirsch were mulling their options Monday morning.A four-year-old daughter of Quality Road, Ce Ce (pronounced see see) captured the Grade I Beholder Mile before the Apple Blossom and has won four of six career starts with one second, earning a hefty $726,600.“The filly worked over the weekend but I haven’t spoken with the owner yet so we haven’t made up our minds,” McCarthy said. “I was pleased with the way she worked.“I’ve got a couple options including the Santa Maria and the Ogden Phipps in New York. I’ll talk with Mr. Hirsch a bit later and go from there.”The Grade I Ogden Phipps will be decided at 1 1/16 miles June 13 at Belmont Park.Ce Ce breezed five furlongs Sunday in 1:01, while another Santa Maria probable, Hard Not to Love, went the same distance in a bullet 58.80 for John Shirreffs. It was the fastest of 48 drills at the distance, the average time of which was 1:01.52.Meanwhile City of Light, earner of $5,662,600, is relishing life as a stallion at Lane’s End Farm in Versailles, Ky., where he stands for $40,000.Thanks to McCarthy’s dexterous display of horsemanship, the son of Quality Road captured the 2019 Pegasus World Cup Invitational by 5 ¾ dominating lengths on Gulfstream Park’s sloppy track before going to stud.“He’s doing a helluva lot of servicing,” McCarthy said, “and it sounds like he’s enjoying himself.” FINISH LINES: John Sadler scratched Ollie’s Candy from today’s Gamely Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on turf and plans to enter the versatile Candy Ride mare in Sunday’s Santa Maria Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on the main track. Towards that goal, Ollie’s Candy worked five furlongs this morning in a minute flat . . . Sadler will run heralded Stela Star in Saturday’s Grade III Honeymoon Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on turf. The Irish-bred filly, who likely would have won her U.S. debut in the restricted China Doll at a mile on turf March 7 but for a slow start and a six-wide trip through the lane, will be ridden by runaway Santa Anita jockey leader Flavien Prat. The 27-year-old Frenchman leads runner-up Abel Cedillo 62-47 and is first in purse earnings with $3,209,546…Congrats to Cedillo and his agent Tom Knust, on a natural triple yesterday, with wins aboard Zest ($5.60) in race four, Camby ($8.80) in the fifth and Red King ($11.00) in the sixth…Belated happy birthday wishes to Dearborn, MI native Doug O’Neill who turned FIVE-TWO yesterday…Two-time Eclipse Award winning jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr., was interviewed by XBTV’s Millie Ball following his victory aboard Unbridled Ethos in yesterday’s first race. The interview is listed below….Santa Anita will be dark for live racing until an eight-race card on Friday, May 29, when action resumes at 12:30 p.m.LATEST CONTENT FROM XBTV:FEATURES:Irad Ortiz, Jr. following his victory aboard Unbridled EthosWORKOUTS:Authentic (Baffert) 5-24-20Midcourt (Shirreffs) 5-24-20McKale (Baffert) 5-24-20Ce Ce (McCarthy) 5-24-20Storm the Court (inside) and Absolute Unit (Eurton) 5-23-20Thousand Words (Baffert) 5-23-20Higher Power (Outside) (Sadler) 5-22-20Toinette (Drysdale) 5-22-20Honor A. P. (Outside) and Mobou (Shirreffs) 5-22-20War of Will (Casse) 5-21-20March to the Arch (Casse) 5-21-20Raging Bull (Brown) 5-21-20 OLLIE’S CANDY IS SWEET ON SANTA MARIA McCARTHY MULLS SANTA MARIA FOR CE CE TRAINER FINALLY HAS FILLY FIGURED OUT
PEOPLE will say Mauricio Pochettino has lost the Spurs dressing room, that his side have stopped playing for him.But that’s such a lazy thing to say — you have to look deeper than that.2 Mauricio Pochettino is overseeing a full-blown crisis at SpursCredit: Getty Images – Getty2 Harry Kane reflects on another miserable 90 minutes for Spurs as Brighton celebrate their 3-0 winCredit: ReutersMore than anything, Tottenham’s players are looking confused as to what is being asked of them.Boss Pochettino has been trying to find that winning formula by changing things up, whether that be formation or personnel.He’s tried a number of different systems but the lack of continuity is creating problems.While Pochettino is making fewer personnel changes — 1.86 per game compared to 3.14 last year — he has tried five different formations already this season.The result of this is that you’ve got players asked to play in a number of different positions.Moussa Sissoko played right-back at Brighton but has also been asked to pay right wing as well as his natural central midfield role.Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen have played in both a three and four at the back, while fellow centre-back Davinson Sanchez has also found himself at right-back.If you look at Liverpool and Manchester City they will more often than not play 4-3-3.Mauricio Pochettino insists he will not run away ‘like a kid’ despite bad losses against Bayern Munich and BrightonACCA WITH LADBROKES Pick up a whole load of acca features to help you land the big oneThe dynamic might change — for example they might have one or two sitting midfielders — but the system stays the same.But this is not the case with Spurs, who are chopping and changing both before and during games.I had it as a player myself where a manager would constantly change the system or team when they weren’t getting results.In the end the players don’t know what is expected of them as they can find themselves playing in a different position every week.And if you see your manager doesn’t have belief in his system, then it won’t be long before the dressing room starts to lose theirs, too.I can understand what Pochettino is doing but it can be very hard for players.It wasn’t too long ago that Eddie Howe couldn’t buy a win with Bournemouth.most read in footballTHROUGH ITRobbie Keane reveals Claudine’s father was ’50-50′ in coronavirus battleTOP SELLERGavin Whelan has gone from League of Ireland to David Beckham’s InstagramExclusiveRIYAD RAIDMan City’s Riyad Mahrez has three luxury watches stolen in £500,000 raidPicturedAN EYEFULMeet Playboy model and football agent Anamaria Prodan bidding to buy her own clubI SAW ROORodallega saw Rooney ‘drinking like madman’ & Gerrard ‘on bar dancing shirtless’NEXT STEPJonny Hayes set to move to English Championship having been let go by CelticPeople said that he had to change but Howe stuck to his principles and because of that the players went along with it and they soon got over that bad spell.It may well look like Pochettino has lost the dressing room but actually a majority of the players don’t know what’s expected of them right now.It’s not that the players have all of a sudden stopped trusting their manager — they’re just clearly confused and unsure of what their manager is asking of them.@Higginbotham05 Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris in agony as he suffers horror elbow injury at Brighton
Photo:Copyright: Wests Tigers Media (Tui Lolohea has signed with Wests Tigers through to the end of 2019). Lolohea has joined Wests Tigers until at least the end of the 2019 season and is available for selection for the team’s Round 13 clash against the St George Illawarra Dragons.The versatile 22-year-old has played 53 NRL games for the New Zealand Warriors since making his debut in 2014.Wests Tigers head coach Ivan Cleary welcomed Lolohea to the club.“On behalf of everyone at Wests Tigers I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome Tui to the club,” said Cleary. “Tui has shown that he is a player of tremendous natural talent. We look forward to helping him develop, and reach his true potential, in the coming years.”
This is since his 2009 debut season and he is glad to see long-suffering Eels fans excited again too.While coach Brad Arthur continues to do his best to manage expectations around the club’s impending first finals appearance in eight seasons, Mannah sees little harm in enjoying the ride.”The buzz is starting to grow a bit and I love seeing the fans get excited about their footy,” Mannah said.He admitted this Friday’s game against Newcastle – the first time this year a 6pm Friday game will be played at ANZ Stadium – was “a bit of a difficult time slot” transport-wise but encouraged as many blue and gold fans as possible to take up coach Brad Arthur’s advice and try to leave work early to head to the game.”The more support we can get there the better because we want them to be as excited as us and the more get there the better we play,” Mannah added.Of his milestone match, he said it had been “a huge honour and to be able to do it at this place I’m very passionate about, I consider myself very fortunate.”With nine wins from their past 10 matches at ANZ, the Eels are starting to feel comfortable with the venue as their home fortress.”We’ve actually embraced it, we’ve got a good record there at the moment,” he said.”When there’s a big crowd it’s awesome which is why we want to encourage fans to turn out.”Mannah said the excitement of a return to September football was beginning to take hold after eight years out.”My first year [in 2009] I remember thinking ‘how good’s this, we’ll play Grand Finals every year!'” Mannah laughed.”It’s been eight years since so a long break between but I’ve got no problem with the fans getting excited, we’re excited about our footy as well.”Mannah concurred with comments last week made by teammate Michael Jennings that the team needed to accept most of their games in the run home will see them start as favourites and embrace that while being careful not to underestimate their opponents.”I think we’ve got to learn to deal with it [being favourites],” Mannah said.”In the past we’ve been pretty poor at winning games we should win so I think it’s important we understand that ok, there’s going to be games that we are favourites but that doesn’t mean we change our preparation or change the way we go into a game, we still have to turn up with the right attitude to get the job done.”
Jarryd Hayne’s scintillating recent form has secured his spot as the NSW fullback for next week’s State of Origin opener in Brisbane.Hayne has been outstanding for a rejuvenated Parramatta this season, scoring six tries in his last four games and Blues coach Laurie Daley is set to resist the temptation to name him in the centres when he names his side on Tuesday with Josh Dugan losing the No.1 shirt he wore in games two and three last year.”I think Jarryd’s shown everyone what he’s capable of doing he’s playing in really good form and fullback is his best position,” Daley told AAP.”At this stage, if everyone is right then I expect Jarryd to be fullback.”Dugan assumed the Blues No.1 jumper for games two and three last year after Hayne succumbed to a hamstring injury.Hayne’s recent performances have been up there with his displays in the second half of the 2009 season when he inspired the Eels to the grand final and claimed the Dally M Medal.The Blues are looking to win their first series in nine years and the build up to game one has been plagued with injuries and suspensions to key players.This has been in addition to the disruption created by the spat between Daley and high-profile media identity Ray Hadley.Daley said the furore caused by the relationship between his assistant coach Matt Parish and Hadley’s estranged wife has been put behind them, and the mood around the camp lifted by how well Hayne is playing,”It’s been a difficult week but one we have put behind us and we are moving forward,” he said,”Jarryd’s playing outstanding football which is great for us and gives all of us real confidence.”That’s been real good, we just need to make sure everyone else does their job.”Daley and his selectors will on Monday evening finalise their side for the May 28 series opener at Suncorp Stadium.Top of the agenda will be the decision on whether James Maloney and Mitchell Pearce will keep their spots as the halves pairing. – NRL.com
Fiji tested PNG’S goalkeeper Lace Kunei early on but Kunei did not let anything get past her.PNG turned on the counter attack and dominated the possession. The Fijians responded aggressively and gave away penalties for foul play.Fiji’s Titi Dugucanavanua was given a yellow card and soon after followed by the goal keeper who was penalised for a foul committed in the penalty box. PNG’S Meagan Gunemba made no mistake, scoring an easy goal. Another penalty given away by the Fijians gave PNG their second goal when Gunemba slotted in her second of the day.
The Ceremony, due to take place on July 18, had originally been planned for the Bisini Sports Grounds, where a rugby league stadium will be built following the conclusion of the Games.It has not been declared fit to stage the Closing Ceremony, although it will still host preliminary football matches, as well as cricket, softball and lawn bowls.The venue, which Papua New Guinea’s Sports Minister Justin Tkatchenko described as “a mess six months ago” has undergone a large-scale transformation, but has still attracted criticism for its lack of grandstands.The Sir Hubert Murray Stadium was then proposed as an alternative but concerns over its readiness meant Port Moresby 2015 decided instead to have the Ceremony at the Sir John Guise Stadium, which stage the Opening Ceremony.“Our original plan was to hold it at Bisini Sports Grounds and we thought that we would have the Ceremony there but it is not ready,” Minogue told insidethegames.“The Sir Hubert Murray Stadium was identified as an alternative but that’s not complete.“We are now back at Sir John Guise, which no one is unhappy about as it is the premier stadium of the Games.“It would have been nice to use them all and to use one of these venues for a big occasion like the Closing Ceremony.”Minogue also confirmed that despite not being ready to stage the spectacle which will bring the 15th Pacific Games to a close, the Sir Hubert Murray Stadium, where construction is behind schedule, is “99 per cent certain” to hold the football finals.Concerns have been raised in the build-up to the event that the grass is not suitable, prompting complaints from the New Zealand team, who will compete in the Olympic qualifying tournament here.The proposal to have the main matches at the venue has been approved by the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) and Minogue expects competition to take place there as planned.“The Organising Committee are happy with things at the moment and they have written to the OFC to say they are ready to host matches at the Sir Hubert Murray Stadium,” he said.
Chairman of the PNGRFL, Sandis Tsaka said he was humbled to learn of the overwhelming support given to the Kumuls team, the coach Michael Marum and his support staff. “I visited the dressing room after the win on Saturday night and the boys were really excited and appreciated the congratulations I conveyed to them on behalf of every supporter of our PNG LNG Kumuls.“Skipper David Mead in his usual soft spoken character asked me to convey his thanks and those of his team mates to each and every one for your support, well wishes and prayers,” said Tsaka.He went on to thank sponsors, partners and stake-holders for their continuous support for the Kumuls. “PNGRFL is proud to be in partnership with them and the win by the PNG LNG Kumuls has raised the support and belief to another level.“It has really united us all and I want to thank all sponsors on behalf of the players, coaching staff, their families and all our supporters across the country and Pacific,” said Tsaka.Tsaka also extended his appreciation to everyone in Sydney for their hospitality and support to the team during their preparations leading up to the game, during the game and post- match.“The red black and gold supporters cheering on the Kumuls was unbelievable and really made me proud as chairman of PNG Rugby League.I wish to also thank the media here in PNG as well as overseas for their positive coverage of our beloved PNG LNG Kumuls,” said Tsaka.Meanwhile, Tsaka said the International Rugby League Board will issue a statement once the calendar is confirmed that will advise for any upcoming matches for the Kumuls.