Veteran receiver is finally getting his chance to shine

first_imgUSC’s receiving core is looking a little different than it did last season.In fact, at times, it’s unrecognizable.Other than sophomore receiver Marqise Lee, who was a star last season and has carried that success over to the spring, there have been some lesser known players who have stepped into the enormous shoes that junior receiver Robert Woods left when he announced he was out for the duration of spring practice.Photo by Chris PhamOne of the players making a name for himself is junior De’Von Flournoy.Last season, Flournoy caught a total of zero passes. He has no catches in his Trojan tenure. But looking at him this spring, you sure wouldn’t think he was inexperienced.Flournoy has made the routine catches but has made the difficult ones as well. And he is enjoying every second of it.“It’s been wonderful,” Flournoy said. “I’ve been put in a position I’ve never been at before.”Flournoy came to USC as a four-star recruit out of Birmingham High School. He had offers from some of the college football heavyweights, including Notre Dame and Oregon. Injuries, however, have hampered his career.He has gotten lost in the receiving mix with Woods, Lee and former top recruit receiver George Farmer, all from Serra High School in Gardena, Calif., headlining the squad.But injuries caught up with Farmer and Woods this spring, and Flournoy has been working with the first-string offense in their place.Flournoy has had to change his outlook now that he is a focal point of the offense.“It’s definitely a mindset,” Flournoy said. “I have to prepare myself the day before for all kinds of positions. I have to be ready for anything.”He also said that in working with the first team, he has paid greater attention to detail and is taking things more seriously.“I’m getting [more of a] feel for football,” Flournoy said. “[I’m] getting more comfortable being out on the field and just bettering myself as a football player.”With more exposure and more chances to succeed, Flournoy has also gained a great deal of confidence.But it is not just playing with the first team that is giving the junior confidence; it is his knack for the spectacular play and knowing that coaches are watching.“I’m getting confidence by being out here, but I’m getting confidence by making big plays because I know it’s on film,” he said. “Like [associate head] coach [John] Baxter always says, ‘Every day, the coaches are going upstairs and watching a silent movie about you.’”While his playing time has changed, so has his regular quarterback. Though he and freshman quarterback Max Wittek have the most catches between them this spring, Flournoy has had to adjust to catching passes from senior quarterback Matt Barkley.“Every quarterback throws the ball differently,” Flournoy said. “Getting reps with Barkley out here [in practice] and outside of school is a good thing, because we’re working on timing … and that’s where you want to be. You want to be with the first team.”When it comes down to it, however, Flournoy said that though his quarterback is different now, his job will always be the same: to catch the football when it comes his way, no matter who throws it.“It’s just being out there and in a different position and just being able to catch the ball from the quarterback … if he trusts you enough to throw you the ball,” Flournoy said.The offense has been somewhat of a work in progress this spring, with players normally atop the depth chart out with injuries. Flournoy, however, has not made any excuses; he is playing with the first team.“We’ve installed a lot of plays so, as an offense, we have a lot that we’re handling mentally,” Flournoy said. “We just have to go out there and just execute it.”Flournoy will likely take a back seat when Woods and Farmer return; however, he said he is making the most of his opportunities and is soaking in everything he has learned this spring, at every position he can.“I’m not going in with the mindset I’m playing one position,” Flournoy said. “I’m in the mindset of being thrown everything.”last_img read more

No. 56 Hoosiers hose No. 75 Badgers 7-0

first_imgUW AthleticsDespite a valiant effort and close matches across the board, No. 75 Wisconsin fell 7-0 to No. 56 Indiana Sunday at the Nielsen Tennis Stadium.“The losses are never easy,” Wisconsin head coach Greg Van Emburgh said after the match. “[Indiana] competed well and they played the important points really well.”Wisconsin (11-10, 2-7 Big Ten) fell behind 2-1 in doubles play to give Indiana (16-11, 6-3) the doubles point.The first match to wrap up was court No. 2 doubles, where the Badgers’ duo of freshman Alexander Kokorev and junior Petr Satral lost 8-2 to the Hoosiers’ Daniel Bednarczyk and Josh MacTaggart.On court No. 1, Wisconsin’s best doubles pairing made up of seniors Billy Bertha and Alexander Kostanov faced the No. 21 ranked doubles tandem in the nation, Indiana’s Sam Monette and Isade Juneau. It was knotted up at 7-7 until the Hoosiers were able to break Bertha’s serve and go on to win the match 9-7, clinching the point for Indiana.UW freshmen Jakhongir Jalalov and Oskar Wikberg were able to come from behind and beat Chris Essick and Dimitrije Tasic 8-7 (7-5) for Wisconsin to avoid the doubles sweep.In between doubles and singles play, Van Emburgh told the team “to compete hard and try to win,” according to Satral, who believed the team still had a chance to come away with a win as six points still remained up for the taking. After all, the team had come back from a deficit just two days ago to steal a win away from Purdue.“We won two other conference matches after losing the doubles point so I told the team that we’ve come back before and I felt that we were even or better in most of these matches,” Van Emburgh said. “We were ready for a long day and I told the guys that we were going to have to fight like we did on Friday night [against Purdue].”The Hoosiers, however, were able to carry over the momentum from doubles and bring it to the court for singles play. First to finish was court No. 2, where MacTaggart beat Satral soundly 6-2, 6-1. The resounding victory was followed shortly after by Essick defeating Wisconsin freshman Frederik Strabo in No. 6 singles 7-6 (7-5), 6-2.After dropping his first set against Juneau in No. 3 singles 6-0, Bertha fought his way back into the match with a 7-6 (8-6) tiebreaker in which Bertha was awarded the second set after Juneau received a point penalty. Juneau, however, kept his composure to win the final set 6-3.For the first time all season, Kostanov found himself playing at the No. 1 position for Wisconsin and competed against freshman phenom and No. 106 Monette. After dropping the first set 7-5, Kostanov pushed the second set to a tiebreak, but came up just short 7-6 (7-3), ending the match in two sets.On court five, Jalalov and Bednarczyk played three extremely close sets, but in the end the Badgers couldn’t hold on to a one-set lead as Jalalov fell 6-7 (1-7), 6-4, 1-0 (10-7).For the second time in as many matches, Wikberg played in the final match. After losing the first set, 6-1, the freshman pulled out a second set win, 7-5. In the third set, which lasted over an hour, including a 16-minute final game, Tasic won 7-6 (7-4) after fighting off five match points to secure the 7-0 victory.“Oskar had three or four match points so I’m sure he’s a little upset about that,” Satral said. “But he played extremely well and that was just another example of a great match with a bad ending.”The Badgers will head to Iowa City, Iowa, to take on the Hawkeyes Friday with hopes of finishing the season off strong.“We want to try and have a good couple of days of practice this week,” Van Emburgh said. “Iowa is a good team and even though they’re last in the conference right now, they have good players that are going to try to go out, compete and beat us. We just have to be ready for their best day and we have to make sure that we [give them] our best day.”last_img read more

Wellington Art Walk features 4 artists this Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. at downtown businesses

first_imgby Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — This Friday afternoon, three Wellington downtown business owners will be holding its second monthly “First Friday Wellington Art Walk Downtown,” running from 5 to 7 p.m.The event started in December, and is a new promotion by Wellington downtown owners to not only bring people to the business district but to promote Wellington’s burgeoning number of local artists and craftsman in the south-central Kansas area.This month’s feature artists include: •Samson Ledesma at The Gold Corner.•Bill Wisely from Backyard Wood X-Pressions at Barbara Jons.•Norma Strunk ceramics at Pea Pod Consignment Gallery.•Jessica Vega at the Slate Creek Book Store.The Wellington Downtown Art Work is the brainchild of Gary Streepy, owner of the Pea Pod Consignment Gallery at 115 S. Washington in Wellington which opened its doors this fall.“This is the second of what I hope is of many Art Walks in Wellington,” Streepy said. “We will do this on the first Friday night of each new month. The hours will be from 5 to 7 p.m.”Streepy said Pea Pod has participated in the Final Friday Art Crawl in Wichita for the past year.“We have found it a great way to get people in to see our store,” Streepy said. “The idea is to feature original artwork of local artists and offer free snacks and refreshments for the guests.”It started Friday, Dec. 7 in Wellington. Pea Pod gallery featured art by Rose and Brent Litsey. Brent created the mascot for the Art Walk that you see above.“We are thinking about naming him ‘Willie,’” Streepy said.Barbara Jons featured Brooke Kuehnny in December, an artist from Caldwell.The three featured artists this month are good ones.As the advertisement below states, The Gold Corner will be featuring one of Wellington’s own. Ledesma is a Wellington High School graduate, who is now a professional illustrator.His original drawings and prints will be featured from 5 to 7 p.m. at the jewelry store located on 102 N. Washington.Next door at Barbara Jons, Wisely is from Conway Springs, who is known for baking goods. He also does wood working and will have some of his wares on display at the new gift shop in Wellington at 104 North Washington.At Pea Pod Consignment the featured artist Strunk is from Wichita and she will be featuring various ceramic creations.At Slate Creek Books, Vega will be featuring drawings and paintings mostly of local landscapes and trees.Samples of Norma Strunk ceramics. Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments (2) Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. +9 Vote up Vote down Small Town Boy · 393 weeks ago Kansas City also has a “First Fridays” event in the Crossroads District year-round that is very successful. I am so glad to see Gary Streepy get this going in Wellington, as there are so many talented people in the area that don’t have regular outlets with which to share their talents. I hope the community embraces this opportunity and I hope to see it flourish! Report Reply 0 replies · active 393 weeks ago +3 Vote up Vote down Wellington Gal · 393 weeks ago I’m excited to see this! Report Reply 0 replies · active 393 weeks ago Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new commentslast_img read more