Jalon Samuel creates history with Gold Cup win

first_imgBRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) – Jalon Samuel took the record for the most Gold Cup wins after riding to the prestigious title for the fifth time at the Garrison Savannah here on Sunday.With his victory in the 39th Sandy Lane Barbados Gold Cup, aboard Night Prowler, the 25-year-old reins-man has surpassed Patrick Husbands as the jockey with the most wins.“It’s very special to win Gold Cup number five and have the most. It’s an honour, it’s a dream come true,” he said, after the eight-year-old Night Prowler, the oldest horse in the race, galloped across the finish line ahead of Bodie Tap, ridden by Rickey Walcott.Defending champion Celestial Storm, ridden by Rasheed Hughes, had to settle for third place.“I didn’t force him to do anything; the pace was a little fast out front and it was an easy setup for him. In the last furlong he really kicked … and it was perfect form,” Samuel added of the horse owned by Sir David Seale.The North-America-based jockey won Sir David his eighth title in the premier sporting event and a purse of BDS$214 000 (US$107 000).Night Prowler’s trainer Liz Deane told reporters after the race that she had faith in both Samuel and the horse, despite the latter’s age.“Everybody said the horse is too old. He lost last year and was supposed to win and didn’t, but he turned up today,” she said.Meantime, speaking after Sunday’s event, Minister of Sports John King said government was considering a programme with the Barbados Turf Club that would assist jockeys in getting training opportunities locally and overseas.“I think this is an area where Barbadians excel, and I don’t think they have had any intervention or much help from government and I would like to be able to change that,” he said.last_img read more

Out of the blue: Pressler leads Bryant into NCAA tournament matchup with Syracuse after rebuilding in wake of Duke rape scandal

first_img Related Stories Getting to know BryantSyracuse preps for Bryant’s Massa at X, attack-minded Poli Published on May 10, 2013 at 7:01 am Contact Jesse: jcdoug01@syr.edu | @dougherty_jesse Decide what’s relevant, and what’s irrelevant — that’s the task Mike Pressler has asked his team to do throughout its improbable path to the NCAA tournament.That’s the mantra Pressler used to push Bryant from an 0-7 start to becoming the first team in school history to compete in a Division-I NCAA tournament game.But at one time, Pressler was limping a path of his own, starting seven years ago, 570 miles southwest where he was fired as the head coach at Duke.On Sunday at 7:30 p.m., Bryant (8-10, 4-1 Northeast Conference) meets Syracuse (13-3, 5-1 Big East) in the first round of the NCAA tournament at the Carrier Dome. The odds are heavily stacked against the Bulldogs, but Pressler is no stranger to such adversity. After being fired as Duke’s head coach after three of his players were wrongfully charged with rape in 2006, Bryant gave him an offer, Pressler took the job and he hasn’t looked back since.“I was looking for a job and at that time couldn’t even find a high school one,” Pressler said. “For my family and me we had to get out of North Carolina, and this opportunity came pretty quickly.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThree false accusations were all it took to turn Pressler’s world upside down. The events of March 16, 2006, may never be clear, but Crystal Gail Mangum’s account will never be forgotten.Then a 27-year old stripper and escort of Allure Escort Service, Mangum was taken to the hospital after working at a Duke lacrosse party. Alcohol and narcotics were found in her system and she accused three members of the team of raping her thereafter.Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann were arrested and indicted on charges of first-degree forcible rape, first-degree sexual offense and kidnapping on April 18, 2006. Twenty-seven days later, Duke graduate David Evans was arrested and indicted on the same charges.The University responded quickly by canceling the remainder of the 2006 season and forcing Pressler to resign. He and his family received hate calls and e-mails, and had their property vandalized repeatedly.Pressler had no choice but to vacate Durham, N.C., and the program he had built in 16 illustrious seasons.“As we all went through that horrible time what stuck out to me was that Pressler is probably one of the most loyal people you could ever be associated with,” said Chris Loftus, father of Chris and Dan, who both played for Duke in 2006. “He stuck by everyone, no matter what, even when few people were sticking by him.”Loftus said that the entire Duke lacrosse community was sure that Pressler would pick up the pieces and succeed at his next job.“We had no doubt that he would persevere,” Loftus said. “When he left things were messy but Bryant gave him a shot and that was smart of them.”On April 11, 2007, the charges against Finnerty, Seligmann, and Evans were dropped and the accusations against them deemed false. But Pressler had already started anew.He moved his family to Smithfield, R.I., and took the helm at Bryant, then a Division-II program. There had been talks of a move to Division I, but he accepted the job knowing that he’d likely coach lower-level lacrosse for the foreseeable future.On October 18, 2007, however, Bryant officially accepted an invitation to become a Division-I program in the Northeast Conference. The 2007-08 season would be its exploratory year and the program would officially reclassify as a D-I competitor for the 2008-09 season.“When I was first came to Bryant I was content coaching a D-II program,” Pressler said. “Once we became D-I I was very excited to build the program from there.”Bryant is nearly 600 miles from Duke, and for Pressler, it certainly felt like it at first. The smaller, private institution’s enrollment of fewer than 4,000 was just more than a quarter of that at Duke. Bryant didn’t have the academic support or the facilities of an established Division-I program, providing obstacles for him in recruiting.Pressler looked past these challenges and focused on the field. In his first two seasons he molded the Bulldogs into a Division-II powerhouse, then challenged his team in 2009 by scheduling games against the likes of Maryland, Virginia, Army, Brown, and Penn. The team’s 10-5 finish put Bryant in the national spotlight at season’s end.“Coach Pressler was a huge reason why I chose Bryant while I was being recruited,” current senior captain Ben Sternberg said. “He’s an amazing individual, and it’s great to be led by him every day in practice, and in games.”This season, Pressler helped Bryant reach new heights just in time, Sternberg said. After going winless in their first seven games, the Bulldogs heated up in conference play to earn a spot in the NEC tournament. A 14-7 thrashing of Robert Morris in the championship game on Saturday vaulted the program to its first NCAA tournament and a first-round matchup with Syracuse.“It’s not going to be easy,” Pressler said. “We’ve been playing Division-I lacrosse for five years, Syracuse has been playing it for 80. To have this daunting opportunity is exciting.”For Bryant, what’s relevant is that the Bulldogs have made it this far. What’s irrelevant is that beating the top-seeded Orange is a seemingly insurmountable task.But if anyone knows about letting things play out, it’s Pressler.“When we first became a D-I program the goal was to play in an NCAA tournament, and achieving that has been humbling,” Pressler said. “Now we’re here, so let’s see what we can do.” Commentscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

STARTING OVER: To save his football career, Trishton Jackson left home for Syracuse

first_imgTrishton Jackson sat in his room at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego two Decembers ago and thought about life. He considered his three teammates kicked off the team after the four came to college together 11 months prior. He considered the younger players on Michigan State’s wide receiver depth chart exceeding his dwindling role. And he considered how his dream school revealed itself as detrimental to him.Jackson said a prayer to himself that night — something he made up in the moment and doesn’t remember today. Then he called his mother, Carol. He admits now that he was too close to home, but he fails to explain precisely what that entailed. Two days before the Spartans thrashed Washington State in the 2017 Holiday Bowl, Jackson had made his decision to transfer.On the phone that night, Carol sensed her son’s conflicted mind. She asked him if he was happy.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“I don’t think I was at that time,” Jackson said. “I was low at that point.”,He came to the hard realization that there wasn’t a path for him to succeed at Michigan State. In Syracuse, he’s followed a better trajectory since enrolling in January of 2018. After a year in limbo — the make-or-break period of Jackson’s transfer — his decision paid off. In his first game for SU, he reeled in an acrobatic touchdown catch in the Orange’s Camping World Bowl win over West Virginia.“I had faith that when I’d come here I’d be more focused,” Jackson said. “I wouldn’t be too close to home. I wouldn’t want to call Mom everyday, stuff like that. I would have to grow up and mature as a man. And I think I’ve been doing a really good job of doing that.”Michigan State was a natural landing spot for Jackson out of high school. Playing quarterback at West Bloomfield (Michigan) High School in the suburbs of Detroit — 70 miles from East Lansing — Jackson grew up in the middle of the Michigan-MSU rivalry that divides the state. His former high school coach, Ron Bellamy, and close family friend Braylon Edwards both played wide receiver at Michigan.But Jackson had always been partial to the Spartans. He watched former MSU wideouts Plaxico Burress, Aaron Burbridge and Tony Lippett growing up, encountering the latter two playing high school football in the greater Detroit area. More than anything, Jackson loved the blue-collar nature the Spartans exemplified under head coach Mark Dantonio.The rising senior turned in a stellar performance, playing receiver at the 2015 rendition of the annual Sound Mind Sound Body football camp. In an address at the camp, to more than a thousand high school athletes, Dantonio told them, “You want to be the breadwinner, you want to be the man,” according to a story in the Detroit Free Press.Dantonio spoke to Jackson and his father, Obbie, after the camp, offering a gray shirt to play wideout. The next day, MSU offered a scholarship and Jackson committed 24 hours later.The quarterback-turned-pass catcher exceeded expectations his first season for the Spartans by just cracking the rotation of mostly upperclassmen, finishing with five receptions, 89 yards and a touchdown. With the departure of three of MSU’s top four pass catchers to graduation, Jackson should’ve been one of the Spartans’ top returning options.Then, the Spartans lost the fourth receiver of that group and Jackson saw how fast circumstances could change. In January 2017, freshman wide receiver Donnie Corley, along with fellow freshmen Josh King and Demetric Vance, were suspended and ultimately dismissed from the team in June 2017 for alleged sexual assault. It was shocking for Jackson to see three close friends were removed in a matter of months.“I definitely got that realization, about how life can change so quickly,” Jackson said. “And it made me mature, to make the decision to leave. I think I matured from that situation.”Even with MSU’s top four receivers from 2016 gone, Jackson stagnated in 2017, catching just seven more passes than the year prior for a mere 143 total yards. He never got into the end zone and three true freshmen had more receptions for more yards.The coaching staff at MSU wasn’t the best fit for Jackson, either, he said. Orders were given without explanation and, even when well-intended, rubbed the wrong way. Though the relationship soured, Jackson holds no ill will toward Michigan State.“It’s more Saban-esque, business-y-like vibes and I don’t think everybody liked what he had to say about things,” Jackson said about Dantonio and the culture at Michigan State.Neither Dantonio or then-wide receivers coach Terrence Samuel were made available for interviews by Michigan State for this story.Jackson’s high school coach, Bellamy, got a call from MSU’s coaching staff that the receiver was transferring. The coach reached out to Jackson to figure out what was going on. Then, he started calling college coaches. One of them was to Vinson Reynolds, Syracuse’s defensive line coach who’d previously recruited Jackson’s older brother to Western Michigan. Bellamy told Reynolds that Jackson had interest in SU.Bellamy then looped in Evan Foster, Jackson’s high school teammate and current SU safety, and asked whether Syracuse could be a good place for Jackson.,After he realized he would have an opportunity to win a starting job or significant playing time Jackson and his mother visited Syracuse in January 2018.SU head coach Dino Babers entered the meeting and started with two questions.“First he asked me if I’m fast and of course I said, ‘Yeah,’” Jackson said. “Then he asked me would I like to catch 100 balls. And I said, ‘Of course, yes.’”Carol saw her son “light up like a Christmas tree” talking to Babers. He knew the Orange wanted him as much as he wanted them.The commitment came with the year-long wait Division I football transfers must go through when changing schools, finishing two semesters in residence before becoming eligible. During spring ball, Jackson practiced with his new team and continued with summer workouts. While the rest of the team prepared to play Western Michigan, Jackson toiled through camp toward a season on the scout team, emulating the opponent’s receivers week-to-week.Back at MSU, the receivers that in-part squeezed Jackson out of its rotation almost all got hurt. In total, eight receivers combined to miss 23 games in 2018 for MSU. It was a window, one that Jackson knew he might have to live with missing when he made this decision.Two years ago, Jackson would’ve seen the injuries and felt he made the wrong choice. Instead, he was at peace waiting for the opportunity he knew would come at SU.A new NCAA rule allowed both Jackson and Oklahoma transfer running back Abdul Adams to play in SU’s bowl game last season. When Jackson got the news, he called Bellamy and told him he had a surprise.“He was like, ‘I might be eligible to play in the bowl game,’” Bellamy remembered Jackson saying. “You know, I didn’t know the rule. I was like, ‘Dude. We’ve had this discussion. You have to sit out a year.’”,Jackson caught a touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter in the Camping World Bowl, making what he hopes to be the first of many plays for Syracuse in his two years of eligibility remaining.Finally eligible and finally in a place he’s mentally at peace, Jackson has become good friends with his quarterback, Tommy DeVito, playing paintball and eating steak. He’s bonded with the receivers, taking some leadership in organizing additional workouts in the summer with skill position players and going with them to see ‘The Lion King.’ He’s in a place he believes that will benefit him on and off the football field.When his mom asks him if he’s happy now, the answer is obvious.Cover photo by Corey Henry, Photo Illustration by Sarah Allam Published on August 29, 2019 at 1:53 am Contact Andrew: aegraham@syr.edu | @A_E_Graham,Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment. Commentslast_img read more