Very much a part of the international display by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) when the regional team plays host in the Caribbean, Scotiabank’s grass-roots thrust, Scotiabank Kiddy Cricket, which has turned out an estimated 20 national/West Indies cricketers, will experience even more growth this year in Jamaica.At yesterday’s launch at the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) conference room, it was announced that the kiddies development programme will feature 84 new schools, increasing its overall total to 224.Scotia’s Kiddy Cricket first bowled off in the year 2000, a joint effort between the financial institution and the WICB to help foster skills and passion for the game among West Indian children.The showpiece has grown among 14 Caribbean countries, with more than 750,000 now participating.Shelley Sykes-Coley, Scotiabank’s manager, sponsorships, said her organisation remains committed to the growth and development of cricket regionally.foundation skills”We will continue to build on the foundation skills of our young cricketers with our Kiddy Cricket skills display, cricket camp, and Kiddy Cricket festival,” she said.”That boys and girls aged 7-12 not only learn to play the game, but acquire love for learning, while building leadership skills in the classroom and on the field.”Courtney Francis, chief executive officer, JCA, was also in attendance, while Phillip Service, WICB Kiddy Cricket Coordinator, distributed newly certified child-protection course certificates to coaches.Since last year, there has been a series of child-protection courses – mandatory for all youth cricket coaches – which hosted over 119 attendees. This course is being facilitated by the JCA and the Child Development Agency.Scotiabank and the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) are in partnership with UNICEF on this project, and they will endeavour to complete another 12 to 14 workshops across 14 parishes in Jamaica, with the primary focus being 150 primary schools in the Kiddy Cricket programme.Preliminary matches among primary schools started just ahead of the press launch, with an exciting festival featuring Excelsior vs Rollington Town, and Mountain View vs Clan Carthy, at Sabina Park.
With their backs against the wall for the majority of Saturday’s North Coast Section Division-VI championship game, the Cubs continued to fight.But after four innings the No. 1 seeded South Fork High baseball team ran out of steam, relenting a slough of runs in the final few innings to No. 2 Credo — Rohnert Park before falling 8-3 in the section title game Saturday afternoon at South Fork High.“We finished second in league — came very close to splitting it — and second in the NCS, so overall …
Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting There’s also a healthy network of VC firms, including Ventures West, Banyan Capital Partners, GrowthWorks, Yaletown Venture Partners, and Chrysalis Ventures, as well as a strong angel investment community in the city – all providing the necessary capital and mentorship to startups in their developing stages. The Provincial Government also offers tax credits and cash-back incentives to investors, as well as investment and support from the regional colleges and universities.Greater Vancouver accounts for more than 60% of the province’s 600+ digital media companies, and it’s also one of the leading centers for video game production. As such, the city is a blend of both major media and gaming companies, as well as local, indie businesses – Sierra Wireless, Pixar, THQ, and Vivendi/Activision, to name just a few. The local Internet startup seen is anchored by accelerators like Wavefront and the Bootup Entrepreneurial Society, and companies like Hootsuite, Plenty of Fish, Geotoko, and Compass Engine call Vancouver home.“For tech startups, Vancouver rocks,” says Daryl Hatton, the CEO of ConnectionPoint Systems. “We have a vibrant and creative tech talent pool, tremendous support from the provincial government in helping acquire angel/friends/family financing, and a quality of life that keeps people here. Our proximity and shared time zone with Silicon Valley makes it easier to partner with industry leaders.”On one hand, the proximity to other tech hubs like Seattle and Silicon Valley may make it easy to overlook Vancouver. But with a strong talent pool, a great education infrastructure, and a good economy, Vancouver certainly holds its own.Photo credits: reach the city Related Posts audrey watters When you talk about vibrant West Coast startup scenes, obviously Silicon Valley dominates the conversation. Then there’s Seattle, of course. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Portland too. But just north of the border, the entrepreneurs in Vancouver, British Columbia insist that their city should be viewed alongside these other prominent West Coast hot-spots.Home to the recent Olympic Winter Games, the coastal city is Canada’s eighth largest, often ranking as one of the most livable cities in the world. Known for its proximity to both the mountains and the ocean, it’s a great spot for the outdoorsy, the adventurous, and yes, the entrepreneurial.In fact, the city’s mayor recently touted Vancouver as having the highest number of entrepreneurs per capita in North America. Tags:#Never Mind the Valley#start The Vancouver Startup EcosystemVancouver has a number of local events and programs that connect and support members of the community, including Vancouver GreenTech Exchange, Vancouver Startup Weekend, Mobile Mondays, and BCIC-New Ventures Competition. RWW’s Never Mind the Valley series:AustinBangaloreBeijingBostonBoulderIsraelLondonLos AngelesNew YorkPortland A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market
MOST READ “It’s the Masters, you need to suck it up,” Day said his wife, Ellie, told him Friday morning.Day, who has a history of being bothered by medical issues, did better than just sucking it up. He went out and shot a 5-under 67 to move into a tie for the second-round lead.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsAnd that had him feeling a lot better.“I can’t complain about it too much,” Day said. “She’s birthed three children and I haven’t, so she’s a lot stronger as a person than me with regards to pain, and I just hit a little white golf ball around a course.” PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Boxing’s new leader steps into fight to keep Olympic status Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue He does stretches and therapy for 20-30 minutes at night and the same in the morning. He blows into a balloon to, he said, move his rib cage into proper position.And he deals with the negative fallout on social media when he leaves a golf tournament because of medical issues. At the age of 31 that’s happened nine times already, and that doesn’t include when he collapsed on the ninth green in the opening round of the U.S. Open in 2015 because of vertigo.After his withdrawal at Bay Hill someone posted a photo on social media of Day walking around with his family at Disney World the next day.“Pain is a funny thing, it goes up and down, and everybody’s pain threshold is different,” he said. “Someone that is in a lot of pain might feel, you know, something totally different compared to me, so it’s hard. Every day I feel like I wake up with some sort of aches, you know, and I think you just kind of learn to live with it and you just go along the way.”Day, an Australian native who lives in the U.S., has won 12 times on the PGA Tour, including his lone major, the PGA Championship in 2015. He won twice last year and has played relatively well this year, with three top-10 finishes, and is ranked 14th in the world.The Masters is his favorite tournament and one he might have expected to win by now. He finished tied for second in his first Masters in 2011.If anything, Day says, he might want the green jacket too much. And, in a funny kind of way, his bad back might ease the pressure this week.“Yeah, definitely. Especially at a place like this,” he said. “… How big and the distraction of wanting to win this tournament so bad, and sometimes it’s almost a blessing in disguise with regards to it just brings down the expectation of going out there and trying too hard.” Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Jason Day, of Australia, holds his back on the fourth tee during the first round for the Masters golf tournament Thursday, April 11, 2019, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)AUGUSTA, Ga.— Jason Day began the Masters by throwing his back out while leaning down to kiss his daughter on the practice green.He played his way onto the leaderboard a day later after receiving a scolding from his wife.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Day birdied all the par-5s on Augusta National to get to 7-under-par going into the weekend. That followed a 2-under 70 the day before, when Day said he injured himself kissing his daughter just a few minutes before walking to the first tee.Day’s trainer followed him around the course in the opening round, giving him treatment at one point as he lay down on the second tee box. Day said he briefly considered pulling out of the tournament but decided to play in hope his back would loosen up.Exercise and treatment helped enough that he was relatively pain free in the second round, and Day took advantage. He was particularly effective on the reachable par-5s, making birdie on all four after birdieing three the day before.“The whole goal is to try and take advantage of the par 5s here this week,” Day said. “The par 3s can be difficult at times, and then some of the par 4s, you need to get through. But you know, over the last two days, I’ve played the par 5s nicely.”Just being able to play this year has been difficult at times for Day, who withdrew from the Bay Hill tournament earlier this year because of back issues.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid View comments
Sead Kolasinac says Arsenal plans on trackby Paul Vegas4 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveSead Kolasinac says Arsenal’s plans this season are on track.Arsenal can return to third in the table with victory at Sheffield United tonight.“The Premier League isn’t called the hardest league in the world for nothing,” said Gunners defender Kolasinac. “It [the race for the top-four] is pretty wide open. For example, Manchester City lost to Wolves before the international break. But we are just going to focus on ourselves and try to work hard to win every game. Who knows what will happen at the end of the season? “We are still at the beginning now, but we hope to finish in the top four.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
FSU FootballsFlorida State travels to Wake Forest this Saturday, and the game could be affected by the path of Hurricane Joaquin. At the very least, heavy rain could fall during the contest, and the Seminoles are preparing for the inclement conditions. Here’s a video courtesy of FSU beat writer Safid Deen showing the Seminole running backs working with wet footballs in anticipation of a downpour on Saturday. The balls get a quick dunk in a bucket of water before being used in the drill.FSU’s running backs working with wet footballs in preparation for Saturday’s game at Wake Forest. #Noles pic.twitter.com/tvkRuRavtE— Safid Deen (@Safid_Deen) October 1, 2015Can’t leave any stone unturned when getting ready to play.
On Sunday night, I put out a call on Twitter for burning NFL questions. Among the responses, some guy asked:Whoa, boss. This is a question for which everyone seems to have an answer, but about which few people have anything new to say.Assessing how good someone is at something is easy if that thing is directly measurable, like running 100 meters, or is independent enough to be measured over time, like hitting a baseball. In sports like basketball or hockey, contributions may be harder to measure, but can often be imputed indirectly: There’s often enough data to see how a team performs with or without individual players.1At the very least we can model how various statistical markers (like points, rebounds or assists) predict how a team performs with or without individual players. All of these metrics are basically variations of “statistical plus-minus” — even ones that came before, like John Hollinger’s PER.But in football, a player’s contribution is impossible to measure directly, because there are too many variables that go into every result. And it can’t be measured indirectly, because the sample sizes are too small (that is, there are relatively few games and not as much data). Thus, player valuation is a quagmire of guesswork and debate.This is why I prefer questions of limited scope, like, “How certain are you that Peyton Manning is a good quarterback?” For which, the answer is “really extra pretty super-duper certain.” OK, that seems obvious, but ask me the same question about Joe Montana — whom many regard as the greatest quarterback of all time — and I’m not sure. It seems very, very likely to me that Montana was a good quarterback, but I am literally thousands of times less certain of that fact than I am when evaluating Manning.But that doesn’t even prove that Manning was better than Montana, though I tend to think the odds are tilted a bit in his favor. The problem with saying anyone is “the best” is that he has to be better than Montana, then better than Dan Marino, then better than Lawrence Taylor, etc. And it’s even possible that the true winner could be someone with incredible skills who was never in the right situation. Like, what if Jeff George had played for Bill Walsh? Anything is possible.So we can’t know for sure. But we constantly have to act on things we don’t know for sure. Thus, if my life depended on guessing who was the best NFL player of all time, I’d pick Peyton Manning.2But, oops, the answer was Randall Cunningham, and now I’m dead. Not because he’s clearly the best, but because he seems to have the best odds of being the best.Why do I think that? Have you got all day? OK then, short version, there are four main axes to the issue:3Any one of which could probably be a series of posts in its own right. Answering this isn’t quite as straightforward as it sounds.For the largest gap between a player’s TD per game and the baseline for his era, the answer is Peyton Manning. Not only is he the all-time pass touchdown per game leader, but he’s about .7 touchdowns per game higher than the league average for his era. But as a ratio between a passer’s TD per game and that of the entire league during the period he played, he is only in second place. For the highest, you have to go all the way back into the 20s, when Benjamin “Benny” Friedman of the New York Giants got it done:Manning has 1.51 times more TD passes per game than his era, but Friedman had 1.65 times more.If you look at the details, that 1.65 might not even do it justice. In 1929, Friedman had 20 TD passes. The next highest total that season: six. The entire league (12 teams) had only 81 TD passes; Friedman accounted for nearly one quarter of them. And he was way ahead of his time — the NFL wouldn’t even reach .6 touchdown passes per game until after Friedman retired.Also worth consideration is Dan Marino. While technically his TD rate may not have been as far above average as Manning’s, he played in an era when no one else was even close.8He also did it in an era that didn’t feature any massive changes to the game, unlike Friedman’s era and possibly the present one. Note that Manning has a lot of company in the two TD/game zone, including Aaron Rodgers right beneath him.I had to do a double take at first because there are so many modern players on that list, despite the fact that the measurement is relative to era. In other words, the current era isn’t just an era of pass-happy offenses, it’s an era in which some offenses are way more pass-happy than others.Rookie QB watchThis week we saw the Jacksonville Jaguars’ Blake Bortles score his first win (despite throwing three interceptions, he was the first rookie to win a game since last month), and Teddy Bridgewater score his first touchdown pass for the Minnesota Vikings. With the Cleveland Browns’ Manziel still on the bench, the rookie QB game seems to be all about Bortles, Bridgewater and the Raiders’ Derek Carr. Each of these now has at least four full games under their belt — that’s a big achievement unlocked. So let’s start comparing some real stats.What we learn about rookies is very different from what we learn from other QBs. Normally we care a lot about efficiency and how much a QB helps his team win, but for rookies we’re normally looking for raw production. But let’s take a peek at efficiency anyway, shall we?Here’s a table comparing the rate at which each QB’s drives end in a touchdown or interception, and the average Expected Points Added (EPA) per drive:Carr currently leads all three categories. Note that their EPAs are all negative, meaning they are scoring fewer points per drive than a typical NFL team — but Carr is doing the least-worst.Kicking awardsIt was kind of a crazy week for kicking, with the entire NFL making just three of eight tries from 50+ yards, but going 45 for 46 on all other attempts. (That’s why you see a large cluster of kickers just to the right of zero in the chart).Last week I talked about the golden triad of young kickers, which includes Blair Walsh, Justin Tucker and Dan Bailey. All three made all of their kicks in Week 7, and Walsh took the MVK award, largely due to his 55-yard make just before the half. It’s like the Hacker Gods were paying attention and wanted to justify my devoting a large section of this column every week to kickers.9Though, admittedly, my perception that one event resulted directly from the other could just be a fiction. From the Hacker Gods’ perspective, they may have simply programmed me and the universe to recognize Walsh at the same time.Cairo Santos also deserves recognition for hitting a 48-yard game-winning field goal, but the points vs. expectation model isn’t impressed by a 48-yard attempt.10As of this moment, the MVP algorithm doesn’t distinguish between close games that you won and close games that you lost.This week Walsh was one of two kickers (along with Shayne Graham of the New Orleans Saints) who had points above expectation higher than the margin of victory or defeat in their games. Unfortunately, both of their teams lost their games, so no kicker earns a “win” just yet. (My definition of a kicker “win” is that their points above expectation must have been the difference in the game –not just their actual points scored. Kicker “wins” are extremely rare. There have been none so far in 2014, and there were seven in 2013, with Justin Tucker taking two of them. In 2012 there were none.)Gunslinger of the weekMatthew Stafford led his team back from a 14-point third-quarter deficit — still down 13 points with under 4 minutes to go — to win against the New Orleans Saints. Oh, and he threw an interception in the fourth quarter with his team still down 10.Stafford, for all his woes as QB of the Lions, seems to have a game well suited to the gunslinger paradigm.Among QBs with 20 or more games with comeback opportunities (down 9+ in the second half), Stafford now has the third-highest winning percentage, behind only Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. This is, of course, despite his relatively high interception rate (e.g., over twice as high as Aaron Rodgers’s):That he did this for lowly Detroit is particularly remarkable to me, since Stafford has gotten some of the worst team support in football.There’s a basic way to test how much support a QB gets. Winning Percentage Added (WPA) is a stat that measures how a team’s chances of winning a game (based on league-wide models for a typical team) change after each play. Thus, a QB’s WPA for a game is how much his team’s chances of winning increased on the plays he was involved with. All else being equal, his team should win a game about 50 percent of the time plus the QB’s WPA.11If you’re clever you can adjust this for home/away, etc.If you take this estimate and then subtract from the actual result, you get a figure equal to the amount of winning percentage added by elements of the team that are NOT the passing game (including running, defense, and special teams). We can plot a comparison between these two like so:Some QBs like Tom Brady and Joe Flacco actually win more often than their passing would suggest, meaning the non-passing part of their team is contributing as well. Others have to overcome bad teams. Stafford is a great example of this, as he typically adds close to 10 percent to his teams chances, only to see even more stripped in the plays where he isn’t an active participant. In fact, Stafford gets the worst support of any QB with a positive WPA.Most empirically significant game of Week 8Lots of great and/or interesting QB matchups in Week 8, such as:Philip Rivers vs. Peyton ManningMatthew Stafford vs. Matt RyanJay Cutler vs. Tom BradyAndrew Luck vs. Ben RoethlisbergerAaron Rodgers vs. Drew BreesJoe Flacco vs. Andy DaltonRussell Wilson vs. Cam NewtonOoh, the final matchup is an interesting one. Two 25-year-old former rookie Pro Bowlers known for their running abilities — one 5 feet 11 inches and the other 6 feet 6 inches.Last week, Wilson joined the illustrious list of QBs who passed for 300 yards and ran for 100 in the same game:Yet the Seahawks picked up their third loss, equaling Wilson’s total from last season. As the boss notes, the Seahawks are in a precarious spot, such that, even aside from the information value of a loss, it may get very hard for the Hawks to make the playoffs even if they’re really good, considering their schedule and division. Are the Seahawks going to be a dynasty like the Pats or teams-Peyton-Manning-is-QBing? Or will they regress to the mean and/or burn out like most teams do?Both teams are 3-3 (though Carolina also has a tie). Historically, teams that start 4-3 make the playoffs about 30 percentage points more often than teams that start 3-4 (about 50 percent vs. about 20 percent). So it’s a high-leverage game on both sides.Reminder: If you tweet questions to me @skepticalsports, there is a non-zero chance that I’ll answer them here.Charts by Reuben Fischer-Baum. A player’s location on the y-axis represents the number of TDs he has thrown per game played for his entire career. The horizontal lines show the span of his career. The bubble at the end of each career shows you how many touchdown passes he threw in total. The thick black line shows you the NFL’s average TD’s thrown per game by year. What do we take away from this?First, NFL teams have gotten better at passing for touchdowns, though I was a little surprised at how many touchdowns were thrown in the 50s and 60s. Johnny Unitas, for example, wasn’t nearly the outlier I assumed he would be: While he did break what was then a long-standing record (ultimately by a very large amount), he was also a product of a very passing-friendly era.Manning now has the largest bubble, obviously, and in a shorter career than Brett Favre’s — so far. But the record-setting QBs are a pretty elite group.So, relatedly, here’s another question I got on Twitter: Stats: No matter how you slice and dice the stats — career stats, drive stats, winning stats, efficiency stats, or whatever you want — Manning generally comes out on top. But players in the NFL aren’t responsible for their stats to nearly the degree players are in baseball or basketball, so without more corroborating evidence, this doesn’t mean as much as people think.But perhaps even more important than the stats themselves is consistency: Manning’s consistency is preternatural. Since 2001, he has completed 65 percent or more of his passes every year and only once passed for fewer than 4,000 yards.4He had 3,747 in 2005. Most quarterbacks’ performance varies significantly from year to year, largely as a result of the changing variables around them. But Manning essentially does the same thing year in and year out.Lack of entanglement: Manning has played for four different coaches and two different teams now, and hasn’t failed to win 10 games since 2001.5Also, the Colts stunk the one year they were without him or Andrew Luck, though I’d discount this a bit because it isn’t clear that they were trying very hard to win. Of course, it’s still possible that he has been surrounded by superior talent, but that’s a lot of lucky to get. Looking at dynasties in NFL history, who has ever been so good for so long? The 49ers, who had three different coaches and two great QBs; the Patriots, with one quarterback and one great coach; and Peyton Manning. Winning consistently in the NFL is hard, especially in the salary cap era.But the playoffs: Manning gets knocked for performing below expectations in the playoffs, and I won’t dismiss the issue out of hand. As I’ve shown before, Manning handles tough defenses well.6In some preliminary research, I’ve also found that Manning performs slightly better in the playoffs against teams that he also played in the regular season. So there are basically three possibilities: first, Manning has gotten unlucky in the playoffs; second, Manning has gotten lucky in the regular season; or third, Manning just plays worse in the playoffs for some reason. I can’t disprove the third possibility, and I’m not above believing that sort of thing, but I haven’t seen a plausible explanation yet.The second and third axes are probably undervalued. Manning’s unnatural consistency in a number of different scenarios is a unique phenomenon. And this is what Bayesian inference is all about: I’ve just witnessed a phenomenon, and I want to know what the most likely causes are. To do this, I consider the likelihood of each potential cause, and the likelihood of those causes creating that effect.And so in this case the question is really, which is more likely: that Manning has been uniquely, historically, fortunate in having many great players and coaches around him constantly, or that Manning is a unique, historical talent?Chart of the weekOne area where Manning seems unassailable is in the record books, but in fairness to everyone else, he has presided over a distinctly offensive era. So how does his career touchdown record stack up to history?Let’s summarize every NFL QB’s career in one chart:7Like The New York Times did, but different.
Talking to Spencer Smith, it’s quickly obvious that he is a family man. But mention his brother, Connor Smith, and his face brightens, his eyes widen and a toothy grin takes shape. When they were younger, Spencer Smith, a redshirt sophomore fullback, and Connor, a redshirt junior offensive lineman, played many sports together, including soccer, basketball and baseball. But football is where they have always shared their strongest bond.The two played high school football at Colerain, a perennial public school powerhouse on the outskirts of Cincinnati, where they were coached by their father, Joe Smith. The brothers have since migrated 90 miles north to play at Ohio State.“I’d say first of all, my brother’s probably my best friend,” Spencer Smith said. “That’s one of the biggest reasons I decided to come here in the end is because of my relationship with him.”Connor Smith has truly relished the time spent with his brother even though they have always lived under the same roof and live together off campus.“Me and my brother, we’ve been on every team together growing up,” Connor Smith said. “We hang out all the time; it’s really a neat situation.”Considering all the quality time the brothers enjoy together, it comes as no surprise that OSU football is truly a family affair for the Smiths. Joe Smith was an offensive tackle and four-year letterman at OSU from 1979-1982. For him, the experience of playing OSU football has come full circle.“It’s been great for me, but truly it’s about them, the experience that they get a chance to go through,” said Joe Smith, now a veterinarian at College Hill Animal Hospital in Cincinnati. “It gives you something in common for the rest of your life with your boys.”The relationship between the two only seemed to strengthen on the football field, especially at Colerain high school. They were only on the field together for one season, but they did not waste any opportunity to line up side by side.“My junior year, when we played right next to each other, that was an unbelievable experience just knowing that I had a lot of trust in him. It’s something that’s almost indescribable,” Spencer Smith said. “He’s got your back, you’ve got his back. It’s like a bond that’s even stronger than just a teammate’s bond.”Now that they are at OSU and play different positions, the brothers don’t see much of each other on the field. But they manage to run into each other through alternative means.“When we played in high school, we were together a lot,” Connor Smith said. “We’re sort of coached by the same people now, so we’re in a lot of our meetings together now.”Because Joe Smith coached his sons in high school and was also available at home, the brothers picked his brain to get a sense of his football acumen.“He always pushed us hard. When we wanted to be pushed, he pushed,” Connor Smith said. “He’s very knowledgeable. He was a very good model for me and Spence.”Spencer Smith said his father was often a closed book when asked about his experiences playing at OSU. But Joe Smith always referenced an OSU coaching icon.“He’s a very humble man. I’d learn stuff through other people because he was so humble,” Spencer Smith said. “But he talked about Woody Hayes. He was recruited by Woody Hayes, and he played his redshirt year for Woody Hayes. That’s who he came to play for at Ohio State.”In Joe Smith’s mind, the brothers had enough of an innate desire for success that he did not need to get his point across often. However, that does not mean that he treated his sons differently than their teammates.“There were a few times when I had to get after them for effort, and I certainly made it publicly known. Me and the [Colerain] head coach both had sons on the team, and we had to make sure we didn’t play any favorites,” Joe Smith said. “You actually overcompensate because you’re harder on your own kids, but you do that to make sure there isn’t a prejudice there with the other kids.”For Spencer and Connor Smith, the coaching continued well after practice. Not only could they turn to their “coach” for advice on strategy and technique — but for guidance and life lessons, too. “I talk to my dad, if not every night, six out of seven nights of the week,” Spencer Smith said. “He’s always there to encourage me. It’s good because he’s been where I’ve been. Maybe different positions, maybe [at a] different time, but when it comes down to it, the tradition and excellence of how good either of our teams were, we’ve been in a lot of similar situations. “He’s probably been the biggest influence of my life, and he always has the right things to say. He knows what I’m going through, and it’s nice to always talk to him.”Spencer, Connor, and Joe Smith might have gone through many of the same exhilarating victories and heartbreaking losses, but according to Joe, the game has changed since his playing days.“Things were different then,” Joe Smith said. “There were more kids on scholarship, more kids to compete against. Spring ball was a lot longer. We didn’t have a mandatory academic day on Monday. We practiced every day. “The time commitment was more back then, just from what I can see. I think the way the coaches have to coddle the athlete now is much different.”But what hasn’t changed is OSU football’s tradition of excellence. Surviving the rest of the season will be tough Spencer Smith said, but he believes the team has a great foundation for success.“It takes an effort to manage your time, but you have all the support staff around you that makes it possible,” Spencer said. “It would be tough to do it all on your own.”Both on the field and in their family, support will never be an issue for the Smith brothers. They hope to carry their unbreakable bond to a national championship and use it to further the tradition of the OSU football family.“The goal is to win the national championship. We’ve been pretty close the last couple of years,” Spencer Smith said. “The Big Ten championship is always one of our team goals. You win the Big Ten championship, you’re always in the national title hunt.”
Then-redshirt-sophomore quarterback Cardale Jones (12) lines up behind members of the offensive line during the College Football National Championship game against Oregon on Jan. 12 in Arlington, Texas. OSU won, 42-20.Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorMuch like the rest of the Ohio State football team, the offensive line is bringing back plenty of experience.With four starters coming back to Columbus and just one spot open, it appears as though there’s a two-horse race to become a starting member of what the Buckeyes call “the slobs.”Redshirt-senior Chase Farris and sophomore Jamarco Jones are the frontrunners to replace Darryl Baldwin at right tackle, but offensive line coach and offensive coordinator Ed Warinner said Farris is ahead of the pack.“He hit stride where we thought he was playing really good towards the end of the (2014) season, but you got a starting lineup, we (were) on a roll. Darryl Baldwin was playing his butt off,” Warinner said Thursday. “If he keeps doing what he’s doing, he’ll be able to take that position over, (but) Jamarco Jones is not by any means just going to let him have it.”While Jones is behind Farris on the depth chart for now, he has been getting extensive reps in practice at left tackle with senior Taylor Decker sitting out most of spring practice for rest purposes.Decker said Thursday that he also believes Farris is the favorite to win the job, but has been pleasantly surprised with the way Jones has been performing in his usual spot.“I think he is doing a really good job. The one thing I wanted to see personally out of him was consistency and how he practices. I think he is developing that, especially with all of the reps he is getting, he doesn’t have a choice,” Decker said. “Coach (Urban) Meyer is going to be right there watching him. Coach Warinner is going to be watching him because they expect a lot out of him.”Regardless of who wins the job, Warinner said he is pleased with the personnel he has along the offensive front. “I love the chemistry with those guys. They are great people, I love being around them. They are part of a family that we are all a part of,” Warinner said. “Those guys are great, great kids and that’s why we have a great room and so forth.”Redshirt-junior offensive lineman Pat Elflein, who is set to enter into his second full season as a starter, said the chemistry within the unit is a credit to Warinner’s “very intense” coaching.“He’s a perfectionist. He won’t let anything slip. No matter what it is, wrong step, whatever, hand placement, if it’s not perfect, he’s on you,” Elflein said Thursday. “I think that is probably his best quality and that’s why we’ve been playing so good. He has developed so many guys to be great players.”But while he is a coach and not a player, how does Warinner fit in among the self-named “slobs?”“I don’t know where that name came from. I didn’t give them that, but I am the head of them. So I am an honorary. I am also trying to lose 10 pounds,” Warinner said with a smile. “They are always trying to gain their weight. They’re human garbage disposals. Eight-thousand calories a day and they look pretty good doing it. If I keep up with them, you’ll have to get a 4X (shirt) for me.”With a coach who has developed players and has just one starting spot to fill, Elflein said he is excited to see where the Buckeyes’ front five can go.“We just have to get everybody on the same page. It’s not easy. That’s our goal is to get everybody bought into the culture and if we can do that, watch out,” Elflein said. “We are going to have a good unit.”The Buckeyes are set to take to the field for their annual Spring Game on April 18 at Ohio Stadium before beginning the 2015 season on the road against Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., on Sept. 7.
Sophomore safety Jordan Fuller (4) awaits the snap during the second quarter at the OSU-Maryland game on Oct. 7. Credit: Ris Twigg | Former Assistant Photo EditorOhio State junior safety Jordan Fuller will not play against Oregon State, due to a hamstring injury.Redshirt sophomore Jahsen Wint and sophomore Isaiah Pryor started in place of Fuller, with both Wint and Pryor fighting for the starting safety position alongside Fuller in the offseason.Fuller was out on the field early, participating in warm-ups before the rest of the team.Fuller was named a team captain for the Buckeyes earlier this week.