USC concludes hell week as they prepare for season opener

2019 Holiday Bowl between USC Trojans vs Iowa Hawkeyes on Friday December 27, 2019. (Photo by Jordon Kelly / fi360 news)

Los Angeles, CA – USC football training camp is in full swing as the Trojans concluded what head coach Clay Helton dubbed as hell week during Thursday’s zoom press conference. Helton talked about the team’s increased physicality.

Helton said the practices have been extremely physical and extremely competitive. The kids have brought unbelievable energy to the park each and every day. 

“It’s been a really great week of practice,” Helton said. “It’s hell week for us, which is our most physical week of camp. Guys have been in pads every day.”

On Wednesday, USC junior safety Talanoa Hufanga participated in a media-only webinar to talk about the upcoming 2020 season. 

“I’m very excited. We are just trying to take it day-by-day.” Hufanga said. “We are eager to get out there. Obviously we know we have a lot of work to do and we have a couple weeks to prepare the best we can.”

2019 Holiday Bowl between USC Trojans vs Iowa Hawkeyes on Friday December 27, 2019. (Photo by Jordon Kelly / fi360 news)

The USC defense is learning a new scheme during camp with the addition of new defense coordinator Todd Orlando USC is getting used to Orlando’s aggressive, blitzing style. 

“It’s different. You go from a (zoom) meeting like this and you see the formations pop up on the screen then once you’re on the field it’s a whole different speed,” Hufanga said. “The coaches have done a great job. They preach two things, run and hit.”

Helton said Hufanga is flourishing in Orlando’s new defense. He’s one of those special, special skill sets that are required for this system.

“It really was made for Talanoa,” Helton said. “You’re talking about a 210-215 pound man that runs 4.4, that can cover, can hit, can be a box player, can literally walk in between the tackles and be in a linebacker position if needed.”

Huganga finished 2019 with 90 tackles in 10 games. He suffered a concussion against Utah and missed the Washington game, then sprained his right shoulder against Arizona and missed the Colorado and Oregon games. He had post-season surgery on the shoulder.

Photo by John Hays / fi360 News

“I’m a full go,” Hufanga said. “I’ve been cleared since June. Every live period, every tackling period I’ve been able to go to the ground multiple times. It’s been a blessing to have an opportunity with our team.”

The Trojans will continue to prepare for its season opener against Arizona State on Nov. 7 at 9 a.m. 

Dodgers Roll In Pivotal Game 3

Photo by Michael C. Floch

ARLINGTON, TX- Just barely two weeks after the Los Angeles Lakers won the NBA Title, the Los Angeles Dodgers have once again reached the World Series, giving hope, inspiration and joy to a city that continues to be resilient in the face of adversity.  Game 3 of the World Series on Friday night from Globe Life Field was a methodical victory for the Los Angeles Dodgers, easily defeating the Tampa Bay Rays,6-2, to take a 2-1 series lead.

It was a rout from the beginning as Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner crushed his eleventh home run of the playoffs, tying Duke Snyder for most homeruns by a Dodger in a postseason. Ace Walker Buhler strangled the Rays over six innings; pitching a no hitter until the fifth inning while only allowing three hits over six innings, striking out ten.

Los Angeles is famous for being a car town; whether it’s being caught up in bumper to bumper traffic on the congested freeways, or cruising down Sunset Blvd. The culture is obsessed with the automobile. The Dodger faithful crowded the otherwise vacant parking lot of Dodgers Stadium to watch the Los Angeles Dodgers on  a jumbotron. The horns blaring, the camaraderie and the sense of community is the reason sports exist in the first place.

Photo by Michael C. Floch

This Dodgers Drive-in costs $75 dollars per car. I strongly recommend it.

On a night when the bats were scorching, the Dodgers keep setting records. It was the sixth consecutive game hitting multiple HR’s, an MLB record. In addition, their potent offense scored 5 runs with two outs. Rays pitcher Chad Morton has been nearly flawless this postseason run, his 0.57 ERA, alongside with his three wins in October meant little to the Dodgers. 

In the third inning, a single by Turner followed by a Max Muncy single made it 3-0 early. It only got better from there. In the fourth, Austin Barnes executed a perfect squeeze bunt for a run. 

“They ask me to do something, I’ve got to do it. Runs are at a premium in the postseason,” said Barnes post game. Barnes is primarily known as a steady catcher- his hot bat is just another weapon in this potent and explosive offense. 

Both teams eked out game 7 wins  In their respective Championship Series, the Rays held off the Houston Astros (CHEATERS), earning the franchise their second trip to the World Series.

 Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 World Series is being played at Globe Life Field in Arlington Texas, 11,500 fans attended the game. Looking to exercise the demons of the recent past, the Boys in Blue made the World Series in 2017 and 2018, yet sadly failed to get the job done. Third time’s the charm!

Trailing 3-1 to the Atlanta Braves in the NLCS, the Dodgers rallied to force a game 7 for the ages. Kike Hernandez tied the game in the fifth inning, outfielder Mookie Betts climbed the wall, reached his glove to rob a home run away. In the top of the seventh, Cody Bellinger nearly ripped the seams off the ball, dropped his bat and admired it sailing to right field for the go ahead home run.

Another MLB postseason record: The Los Angeles Dodgers have scored 50 runs.  Since this is L.A. after all, it should come as no surprise  the Dodgers have the big name stars, with names and bats like Seager, Bellinger, Turner and Betts. It seems apparent the Tampa Bay Rays cannot match the juggernaut offense on display.

As for the Rays, a new star has emerged this postseason named Randy Arozarena, who smacked his eighth homer these playoffs. Their Bullpen has been reliable down the stretch, whereas it is the Achilles heel for the Dodgers, late inning meltdowns have haunted and dashed our hopes in past playoff appearances.

Photo by Michael C. Floch


I predict the Los Angeles Dodgers will defeat the Tampa Bay Rays in 6 games, winning their first World Series since 1988.

Dodgers shortstop, and NLCS MVP Corey Seager has been nothing  short of sensational in this whirlwind of a season. His postseason numbers are gaudy, .310 batting average, six home runs and 15 RBI’s.  However, the Dodgers have experience and confidence to finally get over the hump.  ONLY TWO MORE!

Arizona Quarterbacks talk football ahead of the 2020 Season

The California Golden Bears fall to the Arizona State Sun Devils 24-17 in their first loss of the season at California Memorial Stadium in Berkeley, Calif., on Friday, September 27, 2019. (Aaron Nelson / fi360 News)

With the season just weeks away, Arizona and Arizona State quarterbacks Grant Gunnell and Jayden Daniels took to a Pac-12 Webinar, talking about everything from football, team expectations, and the upcoming season.

Fresh off of seasons in which both players showed a lot of talent and potential, expectations are high for both players heading into 2020.

Already it has been a busy off-season for the both of them, however, as they enter the season with a bit of hype, that hype of course came with a little drama.

As you may recall, the Pac-12 had already canceled their season, before re-voting to restart the 2020 season, which is set for November 7.

Arizona vs Arizona State football game in Tempe, AZ on November 30, 2019 (Photo by John Hays)

While this quarantine has been tough for both quarterbacks, for Arizona quarterback Grant Gunnell, the extra time has been seen as a “blessing in disguise,” he said. “It’s something I would have never got if there was never the pandemic that happened… getting that time with him [offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone] to focus on the mental aspect of the game, rather than on the field.”

In a season in which the Wildcats will be relying heavily on the play of their sophomore quarterback, Gunnell appears to be ready. “I kind of feed off of that pressure,” he said. “That’s kind of what drives me… what makes me work so hard is so that that pressure doesn’t get me… that pressure is what makes me love football.”

If Arizona is going to exceed expectations, they are going to have fuel that love of football and play as underdogs for the whole year. “We’re going to take each day 1-0,” he said.

Just 100 miles North, ASU quarterback Jayden Daniels will have a different set of obstacles.

Following a season in which the then-freshman quarterback dazzled everyone with his cool, calm collectiveness en route to an 8-5 team finish, Daniels will have big expectations in front of him for 2020, especially as eyes are on him.

Arizona head coach Kevin Sumlin. (Photo by Jevone Moore)

“Coming back as the starting quarterback for ASU you know there’s going to be eyes on me,” Daniels said. “People are going to focus on me, but we still got guys that are coming back and new guys that are coming in that can make plays.”

And already being picked to finish as high as No. 2 in the Pac-12 South according to most pollsters, and the Sun Devils will rightfully have a target on their back. However, Jayden feels the South is “wide open” he said. “There’s a lot of physicality and a lot of speed. There’s a lot of talent in the South… anybody can win it.”

With that humble mentality, that is putting more pressure on Jayden and the Sun Devils to continue to put in the work. “That’s one thing that this off-season that I took very seriously,” he said. “Just trying to transform my body into something that we can build on.”

While the Sun Devils will have a talented group, a lot will depend on the play of Daniels, however, he appears ready for the challenge.

Arizona and ASU will kick their seasons off on November 7, and conclude it on December 11 (Friday) when they face each other in Tucson, Ariz.

Colorado coach Karl Dorrell, is confident heading into 2020 season

CU mascot "Chip" being ran into field prior to CU vs Washington at Folsom Field on November 23, 2019 (Photo by Laura Domingue/fi360 News).

Colorado is expected to play their first regular-season game on November 7th against UCLA at home in Boulder. And according to the first-year coach Karl Dorrell, his team looks promising despite this not being a perfect scenario due to Covid-19.

“Will we be perfect? No, but I think we’ll show a great promise early on,” Dorrell said, “our team is excited about putting their hats, like all the other teams in the conference for a chance to go for the championship.”

According to Dorrell, his team will have 25 practices before their first game, and the team will work hard to ensure. He has yet to coach any practice due to Covid-19 since he was hired in February.

Colorado Buffaloes vs Oregon Ducks on October 12, 2019 (Photo by Megan Connelly)

The previous head coach Mel Tucker left in early February to go coaching in Michigan.

Of course, the team has had workout sessions during the off-season as they waited for the season to start. Luckily, Colorado is not the only team that’s dealing with a lack of practicing.

Dorrell is CU’s 27th full-time head coach, and on Wednesday, he addressed in a virtual session where he discussed everything about his team, including all the challenges ahead. He also shared his confidence in his team, and that it’s going to take hard work to develop a great product.

Nebraska Cornhuskers vs Colorado Buffaloes game on September 7, 2019 at Folsom Field. (photo by Laura Domingue / fi360 News)

According to Dorrell, he is not worried about the lack of spring and summer practices because every other team in their conference is facing the same problems. And his team his mentally prepared.

“I feel good about the mental aspect of our team, and that gives us a chance because their mindset is in the right place,” Dorrell said.

Last year Colorado was 5-7, with a 3-6 record in the Pac-12, so the challenges ahead for Dorrell are real. A shortened season means nothing will be easy for the road ahead of them, but as Dorrell pointed out, these challenges are nationwide, and it’s going to take 25 practices to prepare.

Oregon Football Outlook 2020

Wisconsin Badgers vs Oregon Ducks at the Rose Bowl NCAA college football game on Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020, in Pasadena, Calif. Oregon defeated Wisconsin 28-27. (Jevone Moore)

In a year full of uncertainty, the Oregon Ducks will look to make the most of 2020 come November 7th when they begin their condensed six game season at home against Stanford.Despite being the overwhelming favorites in the Pac-12 North, the Ducks still have a huge chip on their shoulder. Head coach Mario Cristobal stated Thursday “We live our lives and practice like we have everything to prove”.

After winning the Rose Bowl last January,2020 looked to be Oregon’s year. Everyone knew the departure of senior quarterback Justin Herbert would leave some question marks, but with a talented young group at quarterback and almost every other key starter returning, the Ducks looked poised to contend for a national Championship. Now, they find themselves in facing some huge question marks. Who will start at quarterback? Are six games enough to make the College Football Playoff? Who will fill the voids from player opt-outs? How do they keep their players safe during a pandemic?

Oregon State Beavers vs Oregon Ducks battle in the Civil War football game on November 30, 2019 (Photo by Megan Connelly)

Fortunately for the Ducks, they enter the 2020 season with one of deepest groups they’ve ever had. Oregon will feel some big losses with opt outs from Outland Trophy winner Penei Sewell, Jim Thorpe Award finalist Jevon Holland, Defensive Back Thomas Graham, and Safety Brady Breeze, but they’re also confident the returning leaders can help fill those voids. Notably, star defensive end Kayvonthibodeaux will be returning for the Ducks, and after declaring for the NFL Draft senior corner Deommodore Lenoir opted back in for the 2020 season. The Ducks will also bring back an electric set of skill players with running backs CJ Verdell and Travis Dye, along with wide receivers Johnny Johnson III, Jaylon Redd, and Mycah Pittman.

Everything else aside, Oregon’s biggest question is still at the Quarterback position. Mario Cristobal has spoken highly of redshirt sophomore Tyler Shough but hasn’t ruled out the possibility of the graduate transfer from Boston College Anthony Brown or any of the young quarterbacks on the roster from having a legitimate chance to start this season. Speaking on the quarterbacks, Cristobal stated that “Tyler Shough has done a great job…he has a natural field presence; he has a commanding presence”, and In the short amount of time that Anthony Brown has been with the team he has proved that he “is an extremely talented guy that really is hungry, [and] driven, just like Tyler”. When asked to speak on the starting job, Cristobal said “We’ll enter day one with Tyler taking the first reps, and with Anthony taking reps with the twos. But we’re going to make it a competition, but it’s going to start off like that”. Referring to the talented young group in true freshman Jay Butterfield, true freshman Robby Ashford, and redshirt freshman Cale Millen he addedthat“they’re talented guys, and we have to ramp them up… They’re hungry, and as long as they are, they’ll have a shot”.

Arizona vs Oregon PAC-12 football game in Eugene, OR on Saturday, November 16, 2019 (Megan Connelly / fi360 News).

The 2020 season will also bring in a new wave of challenges as Mario Cristobal and the Oregon staff keep safety priority during the outbreak of COVID-19.They know the entire season is at risk if they don’t get everyone in the program to buy in, and they’ve been speaking to other programs that started their season already to create their protocol. Cristobal stated that “daily testing is the real game changer” and “the protocol is now a way of life. The mask really doesn’t come off. You’re going to have to make sacrifices for the four-month period of time that the season is going to last”.

Rejoice Colorado Football Fans! Football is coming back

USC vs Colorado football on Friday October 25, 2019 at Boulder, CU. (Photo by Laura Domingue)

2020 is not a normal year. It’s already October, and there’s only been one college football game in Colorado. It happened last Saturday when the Air Force Falcons dominated Navy 40-7.

But one college game this far into October is not enough for Colorado Fans.

The good news: football is coming soon. The bad news: it’s not coming back until late this month.

Covid-19 changed the course of the 2020 season, but it could not stop it from happening. Several league conferences including the Big 12 and the Big 10 have been playing since early September.

Colorado State vs Colorado football Rocky Mountain Showdown on Friday August 30, 2019. (Photo by Laura Domingue / fi360 News)

All three Colorado college divisions one team are not in these leagues. The Air Force Falcons and the Colorado State Rams are in the Mountain West Conference, while the Colorado Buffaloes are in the Pac-12.

The Mountain West begins their season on October 24th, and the Pac-12 begins November 7th.

Unfortunately, fans are barred from going to any of the games until further notice. Leaving Colorado fans including ticket holders behind. Some schools are allowing students/cadets to be in the stands only if they wear face masks.

Despite all these changes, at least the fans will have something on—something to watch on Saturdays across the country. The NFL season has been the only thing for football fans to rejoice in as we try to accept this as a new normal. The empty stands are a reminder of what everything used to be but, the return to football is honestly something to celebrate.

Colorado State vs Colorado football Rocky Mountain Showdown on Friday August 30, 2019. (Photo by Laura Domingue / fi360 News)

Better safe than sorry as Colorado and several of its schools have had outbreaks of the Covid-19 virus. So, despite being at home fans can still support their teams.

“We’ll continue to work with our public health officials to comply with the public health order and be a part of the community solution,” Colorado athletic director Rick George said, “The one thing I’ve learned in this pandemic is don’t get too high and don’t get too low.”

This might be the best advice. Let’s hope for the best and a great college football season.

Arizona Coaches Prepare for Unprecedented year of Football

Arizona vs Arizona State football game in Tempe, AZ on November 30, 2019 (Photo by John Hays)

Football is nearly here! And in a year that has brought a bit of unusualness, Arizona Coach Kevin Sumlin and Arizona State Coach Herm Edwards are prepared for anything.

Already, Sumlin has had quite the week, as it was announced that the Arizona head coach has contracted Covid. The Arizona head coach had tested over the weekend, and his results came back positive earlier this year.

Arizona head coach Kevin Sumlin. (Photo by Jevone Moore)

And like so many others across the country, he now finds himself having to prepare for the 2020 Arizona Football season at home.

Luckily for Sumlin “He’s doing alright,” he said. “It’s a process and it’s unfortunate, but we’ll see where we are at the end of the week.”

However, as he now isolates himself at home with virtually no symptoms for the next week or so, that may not be the biggest obstacle for him this season. 

In fact, Sumlin will have to put together quite the coaching performance this year. For a program that is coming off back-to-back losing seasons, there is zero margin for error.

And to make things even more challenging, the have lost numerous defensive players to transfer, most notably linebackers Colin Schooler and Tony Fields II. On top of that, the team will also have to play one of the toughest schedules in the Pac-12.

In an unprecedented year that had sidelined numerous program prior to Spring Football, Sumlin feels fortunate as his team at least got to participate in four practices before shutting everything down.

His new, defensive coaching staff was at least able to see some things from the team and begin implementing their new schemes.

Nonetheless, he is aware of the challenge that lies ahead. “We got of things to do as a team,” he said. “But I think we’ve got plenty of time to get it done.”

ASU Coach Herm Edwards. (Photo by Jordon Kelly)

Just 100 miles North, Arizona’s rival Arizona State is facing a few different sets of challenges. Aside from dealing with Covid as well, the Sun Devils enter the 2020 football season as a Darkhorse favorite to not only win the Pac-12 South but possibly even contend for a conference championship as well.

Coach Edwards enters his third season in Tempe, and with quarterback Jayden Daniels and a slew of defensive talent returning, one of their biggest issues moving forward will be staying focused, staying healthy, and seizing their opportunity.

“I think they understand, it’s a six-game season right now, we know that”, Edwards said. “But it could be seven or eight according to what you do during that time period.”

Picked to finish second in the Pac-12 South, the Devils are certainly a talented team with the potential to make a big run. However, for them, there is little room for error.

Arizona State Sun Devils wide receiver N’Keal Harry (1) diving into endzone during the Michigan State vs Arizona State in Tempe, AZ on September 8, 2018 (Photo by John Hays / fi360 News)

In a year that has been condensed due to the virus, it will all be about their preparation, and how they navigate through a rather unique season.

“As we prepare for opponents, we’re actually preparing for two opponents”, Edwards said. “Ones that you see on tape, on film, and there’s the one you cannot see, and you can’t let your guard down at any time.”

However, for Edwards, the message for his guys is simple, to have fun and enjoy it. “I want them to enjoy being a Student-Athlete”, he said. “Don’t get caught up in anything else… go out there and have fun with it.”

STATEMENT ON BREONNA TAYLOR’S VERDICT


STATEMENT ON BREONNA TAYLOR’S VERDICT
With yesterday’s verdict, many in our nation are experiencing a collective state of shock and dismay in response to the outcome of a Kentucky Grand Jury inquiry into the killing of Breonna Taylor. There is again a profound sense that her Black life did not matter, because no charges directly addressing her death were levied. Given that she was wounded multiple times while not posing a threat, the fact that there is no accountability for her loss is indeed untenable.

The Men of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity share in the grief, anxiety and outrage surging across the country. However, as a Brotherhood of Conscious Men Actively Serving Our Communities, we urge our fellow Americans to avoid succumbing to despair, anger and chaos in reaction to this unfortunate news. Instead, we affirm that Ms. Taylor’s inexcusable killing and the attendant miscarriage of justice truly deserve a renewal of our community’s resolve to effect meaningful change from within our system. We must stay the course of the fight for civil rights that has persisted for nearly a century despite thousands of similar tragedies.

The Social Action crusade Sigma began in 1934 to combat lynching and ensure fair and equitable treatment in this country is even more crucial today. For most of the Civil Rights struggle political participation was not available for all, but in this modern era, we have an awesome tool at our disposal to help realize this goal—Project Vote. Now, everyone has the ability to effect real reform. Since the system has failed to make necessary corrections to how policing is carried out or how the courts render justice, WE, AS A COMMUNITY, have a spiritual mandate to take to the polls and elect those who will restore integrity to the process. This unjust decision should sound a rallying cry for all of us to get to the polls and aid others in doing likewise.

In the Black National Anthem, Bro. James Weldon Johnson both laments and rejoices that: “We have come over a way that with tears has been watered, We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered; Out from the gloomy past, till now we stand at last Where the white gleam of our star is cast.”
In spite of the horrifying slew of extrajudicial killings and racially tinged murders we’ve been subjected to in 2020, we must commit to fighting the good fight through the heartache and pain we feel, in order to “March On, ‘Til Victory Is Won.”

Brotherhood First,

Hon. Bro. Micheal E. Cristal,
International President

Candace Parker Named Defensive Player of the Year

Temi Fagbenle turning the corner on Candace Parker during the Minnesota Lynx vs Los Angeles Sparks game at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Ca on June 3, 2018. (Photo by Jevone Moore/Full Image 360)

Candace Parker Named Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year

Parker Also Named to the AP’s All-WNBA First Team

The Associated Press announced today that a panel of 16 national media voters named Candace Parker the 2020 AP Defensive Player of the Year. She was also named to the AP’s All-WNBA First Team. In her 13th season in the league, Parker led the WNBA in rebounding for the third time in her career, averaging 9.7 per game. She grabbed 10 or more rebounds in 12 out of 22 games and was tied for first in the WNBA with 10 double-doubles. For the season, Parker averaged 14.7 points, 9.7 rebounds per game, and 4.6 assists per game, while shooting 51% from the field and 39.6% on 3-pointers. She’s the first player in WNBA history to average over 14 points, nine rebounds, four assists, and one block in a season while shooting over 50% from the field, per Across the Timeline.

Los Angeles Sparks forward Candace Parker #3 making it hard on Chicago Sky guard Jamierra Faulkner #21 during the Chicago Sky vs Los Angeles Sparks game at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Ca on June 10, 2018. (Photo by Jevone Moore/Full Image 360)

Parker was a force on the defensive end all season, using her athleticism and versatility to force the opposition into difficult, contested shots around the rim. She was fifth in the WNBA in total blocks (27) on the season, first in defensive rebounds (177) and first in total rebounds (214). She anchored a Sparks defense that finished third in the league in Defensive Rating and she personally finished third in defensive win shares and fourth in defensive rating, per Basketball Reference.

Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. Donates $10,000 to Association of Fraternal Leadership & Values

Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. has donated $10,000 to the Association of Fraternal Leadership & Values. The funds will aid in its’ collegiate members attending the annual AFLV Central Conference. AFLV Central includes the National Black Greek Leadership Conference, and is the largest, most diverse gathering of fraternal stakeholders in the country. Each year, more than 3,000 participants from more than 200 campuses come together for an experience with programming at all levels of the fraternity/sorority experience.  

Brothers of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity stand in Los Angeles in front of their Enough is Enough Billboard. (Photo by Bro Jevone Moore)


 “As A Brotherhood of Conscious Men Actively Serving Our Communities, our collegiate brothers play a major role in achieving our mission,” said Micheal E. Cristal, International President of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity. “They are the lifeblood and the future of our fraternity and communities.” The importance of AFLV to the Greek community and the growth and development opportunities that it offers members, is invaluable. 


Phi Beta Sigma has partnered with AFLV because of their tremendous support and advancement of the fraternal movement. The Men of Sigma are committed to giving our time, talent and treasure to cultivate today’s collegiate brothers into the leaders of tomorrow,” Cristal added. AFLV Executive Director, Ryan O’Rourke said he is grateful to Phi Beta Sigma, for making a significant investment in their members’ development. “Our organization is better because of partnerships like this ,” he said. “And we look forward to members of Phi Beta Sigma continuing to lead the way at AFLV experiences for the foreseeable future.”  

The $10,000 donation is one of several strategic giving investments Phi Beta Sigma had made in 2020.

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