Warren PohIf you want to have a championship water polo team, your goalie needs to be the backbone of the team.At least that is the case according to junior goalie McQuin Baron. Baron is wracking up accolades and records. He is a two-time All-American and is second on USC’s list for career saves. Perhaps the most impressive accolade, though, is that the humble Baron was an Olympian this year.“I didn’t deserve to walk out in the opening ceremonies with the greatest Olympian of all time, but it’s still awesome,” Baron said.Baron was talking about Michael Phelps. His favorite memories from the Olympics come from walking out during the opening ceremonies next to the swimming star as well as meeting the basketball team and watching swimming finals with Olympic swimmer Missy Franklin.“The Olympics unites people in sport,” Baron said. “It doesn’t matter who you are as a person or how high profile you are. While you’re there, you are equal with everyone.”Even for the highly competitive Baron, playing at the Olympics was more than just a tournament that the Americans didn’t win. The American team fell short in group play, winning two of their four games and failed to advance to the quarterfinals.“I’ll forever be an Olympian, but to a certain extent it’s really disappointing — even heartbreaking — because you work for four years to get to a certain level, and we could’ve trained for an extra month and still done just as well,” Baron said. “You start playing your games and realize it’s a just another tournament, but on a much higher level. You’re playing the same teams from the previous four years; the same people and you still have the same goal of wanting to win.”Baron took the spring semester off academically in order to train for the Olympics and dedicated approximately six hours a day to the sport. Team USA lifted weights from 6 a.m.- 7:30 a.m., practiced in the pool until noon, and had an afternoon session from 12:30 p.m.- 2:30 p.m. On top of that, three times a week the team returned from 5 p.m.- 7 p.m. for an additional practice. Baron said his favorite part about the training period was getting to live at home with his family and other collegiate Olympians who were staying with him. Baron also said his experience has made him an even better player this year, specifically playing against such high-level athletes on a daily basis.The summer competition also made Baron realize the difference between collegiate athletics and professional athletics.“College water polo is harder because you have so much more on your mind,” Baron said. “You’re still playing a sport that you love, and we play it because we love it. It isn’t your job, and that’s what you need to find success.”For Baron, success hasn’t been hard to come by. The Tustin native already has 125 saves this season, bringing his career total to 695; good enough for second on USC’s all-time saves list. The record holder remains former Trojan Joel Dennerley, who wrapped up 855 saves while winning four national titles. That elusive first national title, is now Baron’s only focus.“I could end my four years here and have every record, but if I don’t have a national championship, no one will remember me. Everyone will remember them,” Baron said.The team is returning this season as one of the most experienced groups in the country, having retained their key people from deep NCAA tournament runs in the past.“We have the best core group and our connection is unbelievable,” Barons said. “Now, there is no excuse.”Baron said he has 100 percent confidence in this team to win the title this year. For as much fun as it was to play for Team USA, Baron said he loves playing for USC where the fans and everyone involved with the success of the program are closer to home.“We have the experience,” Baron said. “I think we have the most experienced team in the NCAA and we have the most talented, so there’s really no excuse to not win.”Regardless, Baron will be between the pipes, just where the backbone of a team should be.
Friday night’s training session will be open to the public. However due to the large number of games in Semple this weekend Friday’s session will be held at Dr Morris Park.Speaking on last nights Extra Time programme here on Tipp FM, Tipperary Under 21 manager T.J Connolly said a Munster title and direct qualification to an All Ireland semi-final would be a huge boost to Eamon O’Shea’s side.Sunday’s game throws-in at 4 o’clock in Semple Stadium and will be broadcast live here on Tipp FM in association with Mulcahy Car Sales, Ardcroney, Nenagh.
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Stephen Piscotty, Matt Olson and Robbie Grossman homered, center fielder Ramón Laureano made three nifty catches and the Oakland Athletics averted a sweep with an 8-4 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday.Piscotty put the A’s ahead with his solo drive in the fourth inning. Olson and Grossman also went deep off Griffin Canning (0-3) as Oakland’s offense bounced back after being shut out on Tuesday night.Seven of the Athletics’ nine hits were for extra bases, including a pair of doubles by Matt Chapman.Laureano contributed with his glove. He remained in Oakland’s lineup while Major League Baseball decides on his appeal of a six-game suspension after being involved in a benches-clearing brawl Sunday against the Houston Astros.Laureano made a sliding catch to rob Jo Adell of a single in the fifth and then made leaping grabs at the wall to rob Tommy La Stella and Brian Goodwin of extra-base hits.Chris Bassitt (2-0) went 5 2/3 innings en route to his third straight win against the Angels. The right-hander came in with only two earned runs allowed in 16 2/3 innings but gave up four runs on five hits while striking out four.Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon hit solo homers for the Angels, who went deep 10 times in the three-game series. Los Angeles came into the game tied with San Diego for most homers in the majors with 20.Olson opened the scoring three batters into the game with a 454-foot blast into the elevated stands in right-center. Trout evened it in the bottom of the first when he put Bassitt’s sinker over the wall in right-center.Grossman made it 3-1 in the second with a two-run shot to right-center but Los Angeles evened it in the third on La Stella’s RBI single and a sacrifice fly by Trout.Piscotty then gave the Athletics the lead for good when he drove Canning’s curveball down the left-field line. Oakland added a run in the fifth on Chapman’s RBI double and broke it open with three in the eighth.Canning allowed four runs on six hits and struck out two. All four of his home runs allowed this season have been to Oakland.BOUNCING BACKRendon’s drive to center in the fifth inning gave him a homer in three straight games for the second time in his career. The other time was in 2017 for Washington.The third baseman came into the series with a .103 batting average and an 0 for 21 hitless streak but went 5 for 11 with three home runs and five RBIs in the series.HOMER HAPPYThe Angels’ 10 home runs against the Athletics ties a franchise record for most in a three-game home series. They also had 10 in a 1994 series against the Chicago White Sox and 2014 vs. the New York Mets.TRAINER’S ROOMAngels: SS Andrelton Simmons (ankle) took some at-bats against live pitching at the alternate training site in Long Beach on Wednesday. While manager Joe Maddon is optimistic that Simmons could return for this weekend’s series against the Dodgers, Simmons said he is a bit more cautious. He said during the game that he still doesn’t feel quite ready yet.UP NEXTAthletics: Get an off day on Thursday before going across the bay to face San Francisco in a three-game weekend series. RHP Frankie Montas (2-1, 1.57 ERA) gets the call in Friday’s opener.Angels: Remain home to host the Los Angeles Dodgers this weekend in the Freeway Series. LHP Patrick Sandoval (0-1, 2.70 ERA) gets his first career start against the Dodgers on Friday. Written By LIVE TV WATCH US LIVE Last Updated: 13th August, 2020 11:40 IST A’s Hit 3 HRs, Laureano’s 3 Fine Catches Help Top Angels 8-4 Stephen Piscotty, Matt Olson and Robbie Grossman homered, center fielder Ramón Laureano made three nifty catches and the Oakland Athletics averted a sweep with an 8-4 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday. Associated Press Television News COMMENT SUBSCRIBE TO US First Published: 13th August, 2020 11:40 IST FOLLOW US
Alexander Kokhanovsky, ESforceOne of the largest companies in esports ESforce has some big news this week with the announcement that one of its co-owners, Alexander Kokhanovsky, will be stepping down. Kokhanovsky is reportedly planning on focusing on developing his own projects, which includes recruiting platform DreamTeam. The platform is focused on becoming the key recruitment and management network for esports and gaming, and towards rthe end of 2017 it partnered with ESL ahead of IEM Oakland. Back in October we spoke to Kokhanovsky about this partnership and the wider plans for DreamTeam, which includes blockchain technology. A press release from ESforce noted that ‘neither this project nor Alexander Kokhanovsky’s other activities are in any way connected to the ESforce esports holding and its other shareholders’.Of his decision Kokhanovsky said: “Over the past two years, we’ve managed to build ESforce Holding, which has become a clear leader in the Eastern European and CIS market, as well as one of the strongest players in the global esports arena. For me personally, this has been an invaluable experience, which has helped towards starting one of the most ambitious projects in esports, DreamTeam. “This is what I’m fully focused on at the moment, and in order to avoid a conflict of interest when working with professional teams, players and tournaments, I have decided to withdraw as an ESforce shareholder. A decision of this sort is a good example of business ethics in esports which will benefit the entire esports community. I’d like to thank everyone on the ESforce team for their colossal efforts and incredible resolve to create the coolest project out there; USM Holdings, for wise advice and help in complex situations; and, of course, all our partners who’ve helped us make this journey.”Prior to becoming a co-owner of ESforce, Alexander Kokhanovsky was the founder and general manager of Natus Vincere, better known as Na’Vi. With him at the helm, Na’Vi’s CS:GO roster enjoyed considerable success, as did the org’s Dota 2 team. The Ukrainian organisation has also launched rosters in the likes of League of Legends, FIFA, World of Tanks, Heroes of the Storm, Hearthstone, StarCraft 2, and Paladins.Back in 2015, Anton Cherepennikov and Alexander Kokhanovsky teamed up to start ESforce Holding. In July 2016, ESforce Holding acquired the media and advertising sales rights to Natus Vincere; but later in November 2017, there was a mutual agreement which saw the rights related to Na’Vi reverted to Kokhanovsky’s Zero Gravity Group.Anton Cherepennikov, Co-Owner, ESforce Holding stated: “I’m grateful to Sasha for his years of work, his passion for esports and his contribution to the development of the holding and of Russia’s and CIS’s esports market in general. I fully support his decision to pursue his own projects from now on”. ESforce is a holding company based in Russia which integrates a number of areas across the esports industry. This includes organising international tournaments via Epic Esports Events such as Epicenter which just received major status for its upcoming Moscow event, content creation to publishing and advertising activities across numerous sites, as well as online retail sales of esports-themed merchandise via Fragstore. ESforce also owns Arena Moscow, an esports venue at 5,000 sq metres Billonaire Alisher Usmanov is the principal owner of the holding, while Anton Cherepennikov is the Managing Partner.Esports Insider says: This is big news for one of esports’ largest companies. Kokhanovsky was there at the company’s formation and has played an integral part in its staggering growth to date. At a time when esports as an industry is on a clear upward path this decision from the Ukrainian is a little surprising, but also is a clear statement of intent regarding his new DreamTeam project.