Hubert Lawrence | Student athletes and academics

first_img GOOD NEWS It’s brilliant that a fourth-form class of 33 students at Wolmer’s Girls’ School could sit CXC Mathematics and hammer it to the tune of 33 distinctions. This accomplishment speaks volumes about the aptitude and attitude of the girls, the work of their teacher and the learning environment provided at the school. A closer look reveals good news for sport. Five of those 33 bright sparks represent Wolmer’s in sport. This quintet includes national Under-17 goalkeeper Oneilia Yearde, three track and field hopefuls and the other is part of the traditionally strong Wolmer’s volleyball group. Their success flies in the face of the conventional wisdom that asserts that academics and sport don’t mix. We’ve all heard the stories about sportsmen who needed help to complete their travel documents, capable only of a barely legible scribble for a signature. I haven’t heard those tales in years. The Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA), the governing body for high school sport and the teachers in our schools deserve a lot of credit. Years ago, ISSA instituted a minimum academic performance eligibility rule. This statute sets out to ensure that student-athletes have to make an effort in the classroom as well as on the field of play. Recently, I witnessed a teacher handing out assignments to members of a Manning Cup team after a match. She issued a word of encouragement to each recipient and reminded all of the due date for completion. That type of care and diligence for our student-sports is very valuable. The teacher of the Wolmer’s 33 is Lance McFarlane, a Boys and Girls’ Championships medal-winning sprint hurdler and 400-metre runner for Kingston College (KC) in 1999 and 2000. Teacher McFarlane represents another piece of good news. Though his days as an active athlete are long gone, he is excelling in the classroom. With his help, those 33 young ladies have put CXC mathematics behind them. Now they can tackle fifth form with a lighter course load and with the confidence that they can do well at whatever they choose. He also is a symbol of a productive life for retired sportsmen and women. Retirement comes sooner, for some like McFarlane, or later for luminaries like the incomparable Usain Bolt, but it comes nevertheless. If they pursue their new lives with the energy they showed as athletes, they can be successful. Some may walk away as Bolt plans to do next year as global brands, with the world at their feet. Others may test the waters in business before they retire like super sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. Whatever the course of action, all must carefully map the way forward for the rest of their lives. For now, let’s all hail Yearde and her fellow student-athletes in that stellar group of 33 at Wolmer’s Girl’s. Along with their teacher, they represent bright hope for the future. – Hubert Lawrence has made notes at trackside since 1980.last_img read more

Brotherly combo scores for Ducks in season opener

first_img But Joffrey Lupul, entering his second NHL season, had two goals, one at even strength, the other short-handed. “Getting the first goal was a relief,’ said Selanne, in his second tour with the Mighty Ducks. “The first win was more important.’ Scott Neidermayer was happy to get back to work after losing a season to the lockout in what could be a faster, more-fluid NHL because of several rules changes. “Both teams were excited to get back on the ice,’ he said. “You have that combined with the number of penalties and it wasn’t really a control game for either team. There was a lot of activity all over the ice.’ The Mighty Ducks converted two of nine power-play chances, while the Blackhawks were 1-for-9. Rob Niedermayer said the last time he and his brother scored a goal for the same team in the same game was with Team Canada during the 2004 World Cup. Scott wasn’t so sure, but looks forward to skating with his brother. “I don’t have that good a memory of it, but if he said it, it must be true,’ Scott Niedermayer said of scoring in the same game. “Just going the full season of competing together for the same team will be special for us.’ CHICAGO — The Mighty Ducks got goals from likely and unlikely sources in their season-opening 5-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday night. Teeumu Selanne and Scott Niedermayer the Ducks’ big free agent acquisitions scored power-play goals and Rob Niedermayer, Scott’s younger brother, added one with the Ducks short-handed. center_img Lupul profited from playing on Anaheim’s special teams to get his first career short-handed goal. “I don’t think I saw two seconds on penalty killing last year,’ Lupul said. “Now (coach) Randy (Carlyle) is giving me a great opportunity to kill penalties and work on the power play. It’s something I’ve got to run with.’ Anaheim got 36 saves from Jean- Sebastien Giguere. However, Chicago’s Nikolai Khabibulin the highest profile free agent goalie this summer after helping Tampa Bay win the Stanley Cup in 2003-04 allowed five goals on 24 shots. “I have to do a better job of controlling (the puck),’ Khabibulin said. “I really wanted to do well. Home openers are usually a tough game to play.’ Chicago rookie Rene Bourque scored in his first NHL game, while Mark Bell and Curtis Brown added goals. “It’s one game. I’m not going to sit there and beat the team down after one game,’ Chicago coach Trent Yawney said. “The start was excellent. When we played 5-on-5 hockey, we were very, very good. “When they scored two short- handed goals, that’s difficult. It takes a little wind out of your sails.’ Eight of the nine free agents signed by the Blackhawks since July 2004 played Wednesday. Only defenseman Jaroslav Spacek (sore ribs) didn’t dress. The Mighty Ducks had three newly signed free agents Selanne, Scott Niedermayer and Jason Marshall in their lineup. Bell opened the scoring at 8:22 of the first period by jamming a loose puck past Giguere from a scrum in front of the net. Selanne was credited with a 5- on-3 power-play goal at 11:33 that tied it 1-all. Petr Sykora’s shot from the point struck Selanne, then ricocheted off Chicago defenseman Jassen Cullimore and slipped between Khabibulin’s pads. Lupul’s scored the first short- handed goal of his career with 2:30 left in the first to put Anaheim ahead 2-1. After breaking away down left wing, Lupul cut in front and fired a low shot that squeezed between Khabibulin’s pads and barely trickled over the goal line. Lupul’s second goal, at 2:19 of the second, made it 3-1. He cut down left wing, backed in rookie defenseman Brent Seabrook, cut to the net and scored on another low shot. Brown cut it to 3-2 at 8:40 when he took Kyle Calder centering pass and scored from the edge of the crease. Scott Niedermayer’s goalmouth deflection on the power play made it 4-2. Bourque made it 4-3 by popping in a rebound on the power play with 3:56 left in the second. Rob Niedermayer converted a rebound for a short-handed goal at 1:40 of the third to make it 5-3. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more