Stokes voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year

first_imgLONDON (Reuters) – Cricketer Ben Stokes was voted the 2019 BBC Sports Personality of the Year on Sunday for his World Cup-winning and Ashes heroics during the summer.The all-rounder won the prestigious award, which is voted for annually by the British public, for his incredible feats for an England side that also landed the Team of the Year award.The 28-year-old was man of the match for his brilliant innings in both the run chase and decisive super over that saw England’s men win the World Cup for the first time in a dramatic final against New Zealand at Lord’s.He then topped even that by playing one of the great match-winning test innings against Australia, his 135 not out that guided England to the most nail-biting and unlikely one-wicket victory at Headingley.Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton finished runner-up in the voting while sprinter Dina Asher-Smith, the world 200 metres champion, was third.last_img read more

Syracuse players elect Hickey, Lynch, Gulley, Rodgers 2014 team captains

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on August 18, 2014 at 8:31 pm Contact Phil: pmdabbra@syr.edu | @PhilDAbb The votes are in, and Scott Shafer loves the results.Syracuse conducted its captaincy vote Sunday night, Shafer announced on Monday, and the Orange’s 2014 captains are fifth-year senior offensive lineman Sean Hickey, senior linebacker Cameron Lynch, fifth-year senior running back Prince-Tyson Gulley and senior long snapper Sam Rodgers.Shafer pulled the four captains out of their positional meetings to inform them before notifying the entire team.“I was really excited with the way the votes came out,” Shafer said during his post-practice press conference on Monday. “I thought there was a lot of maturity in the way the votes came across. But four of them kind of dominated the captainship process we went through.”The voting process, as Shafer detailed it two weeks ago, values a senior’s vote as four points each, a junior’s vote as three points, a sophomore’s as two points and a freshman’s as one point.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textRodgers is considered the biggest surprise of the four captains, but Shafer offered plenty of validity for the three-year starter’s election. A devout Christian, Shafer said, Rodgers has ventured on missions in Haiti and led multiple campaigns within the team.“He’s a salt-of-the-earth-type person,” Shafer said. “Young man of high character and I think there’s a lot of respect there, so … I thought that showed some maturity with the way our kids handled it. I think the players really respect him for his value system.”Shafer also gave high praise to his other captains, who are all starters at their respective positions.The head coach dubbed Hickey as a “hard-nosed offensive lineman” and strong student, Gulley as a player who’s found his way by taking on a leadership role and Lynch as “everything” that Shafer had used to positively describe the captains. Commentscenter_img Related Stories Linebackers work on staying low and other defensive observations from Syracuse’s practice in the Carrier DomeEstime returns to drills and other offensive observations from Syracuse’s practice in the Carrier Domelast_img read more

Smith focuses on improving, regaining starting spot

first_imgJacob Schwoerer/The Badger HeraldThere are typically more than 100 players on a college football team, and they all have two things in common.(1) They all have a craving for playing time.(2) They have five years of eligibility to satisfy it.That means college football teams are rife with competition, and no player’s hold on a starting spot is immune to it.Wisconsin senior cornerback Devin Smith learned that the hard way last season.Starting all 13 games in the 2009-10 season as a sophomore, Smith led the team in passes defended (11) and pass breakups (nine) while finishing fourth in tackles (55). He also snagged two interceptions.Heading into his junior season, many expected Smith to become one of the Big Ten’s top defensive backs. Instead, he lost his starting spot and spent more time on the sidelines than on the field.At this time one year ago, as the football team gathered for its spring and summer camps, Smith fell victim to that competition. Teammates Antonio Fenelus and Niles Brinkley outplayed him for the two starring roles at corner.“I guess there was just good competition all the way around,” he said. “We were just constantly competing, and I started fighting injuries towards the end of summer as well. I just had to take the role I had and just do anything I could to make our team better.”Fenelus and Brinkley proceeded to earn honorable mention All-Big Ten designations, as voted on by the coaches (Fenelus also earned First Team by the media), while Smith was forced to fill in as a nickelback. He appeared in all 13 games, amassing 30 tackles and one interception.According to defensive backs coach and co-defensive coordinator Chris Ash – who now enters his second year at UW – last year’s reduced role humbled Smith but also taught him how to return to the starting lineup.“It’s difficult for anybody to go through that when they’ve been the guy on the field on game day, and then all of a sudden you’re standing there watching,” Ash said. “That’s a tough deal to go through, but he accepted it. Eventually he understood what he needed to do, and he’s gone and done it.”But with every year comes new opportunities. Brinkley has since gone on to graduate, leaving a clear shot for Smith to regain the role he enjoyed two years ago.Now, Smith is responding to any and all competition.“Before, things came easy for Devin, and then when other guys started to step up, he didn’t step up and now he’s learned to compete, and he’s competing right now to make himself the best he can be,” Ash said.After two weeks of spring camp, Smith has earned playing time with the first-team defense and appears to be the No. 1 candidate to start opposite Fenelus at cornerback this season.Throughout camp, Smith has dealt with a sprained AC joint – a joint in the top of the shoulder – although he has said it’s a “really minor” injury. The UW staff has given him a green jersey like quarterbacks wear for practice to make other players aware.However, that green jersey hasn’t prevented him from at least some kinds of drills involving contact. Thursday, he participated in bump and run drills with wide receivers and, despite his maimed shoulder, did not allow a single receiver to get past him without first disrupting the route too much. Saturday, he again practiced with the first team defense in a scrimmage.“I definitely think he’s embracing the role as the starting corner,” redshirt senior safety Aaron Henry said. “He’s definitely upped his level of play. He really hasn’t been doing anything that he wasn’t doing initially, but I think it’s just the confidence level. Last year he wasn’t as confident. I’m sure he’d tell you that, but going into spring ball, he’s a whole lot more confident. He knows he can play with anybody in the country.”When asked where the Smith’s strengths lie, Ash mentioned that although he does have a lot of talent, it’s the football IQ and technique that allow Smith to succeed.That’s lucky for Ash, because Smith still hopes to improve in those areas – as well as others – in the leadup to his senior year.“I’m really just focusing on my technique as a whole,” Smith said. “Also, I’m just trying to make sure I become a smarter player, just recognizing certain situations, being able to play a lot faster and just becoming a lock-down corner on my side where the rest of my team can count on me.”Now that’s competing.last_img read more