Wednesday, August 22, 2012

'I'm blessed:' Concordia player gets second chance.

Article by: DENNIS BRACKIN , Star Tribune 

"After life on the streets and failure in school, Concordia-St. Paul football player Jermaine Clemon found "Mom and Dad," a stable life - and hope he wants to share.

The call that would alter so many lives came on Feb. 28, 2007. It was early, around 9 a.m., Wendy Webb remembers.

Geneva Clemon was on the other end of the line, crying, saying she could no longer be responsible for her younger brother, Jermaine. Too much heartache. Too much worry, especially with five young children of her own to raise.

Jermaine Clemon was only 14, but he had already been in and out of juvenile detention centers, booted out of the public school system and immersed in the drugs and violence of the tough streets of inner city Racine, Wis.
"I said, 'I will be there in 10 minutes,'" Wendy Webb said.

Clemon remembers getting into Wendy's van, with his earthly belongings filling half a garbage bag, and thinking he did not want to be there. He had met Bob and Wendy Webb a year earlier at a Bible study, his attendance predicated on the free meal that was offered. The Webbs, he knew, were big on rules and religion.

Spend a couple of days with the Webbs, Clemon figured, and then he'd leave and get back to the street life he knew so well, the one he had been seemingly destined for since his father was killed on a Chicago street when he was 3 months old. His childhood was spent in places like the abandoned Chicago apartment he shared with his mother and siblings for almost two years, with no heat or electricity, save for an electric cord that stretched to a neighbor's garage. Many meals, Jermaine says, came from the dumpster behind a nearby White Castle.

A couple of days with the Webbs stretched to weeks, then months and years. The Webbs became legal guardians, and more important, the people Jermaine now calls "Mom and Dad'' with an ease that sounds as if they have held the titles forever.

"Dead or back in jail,'' he replies without hesitation when asked where he'd be today without the Webbs.

Instead, he is on course to become the first person in his biological family to graduate from college, already twice a member of the Dean's list in his third year at Concordia (St. Paul). At 6-4, 240 pounds, the redshirt sophomore tight end is also a core member of the school's football team.

"I'm blessed,'' Jermaine Clemon says, a phrase he repeats multiple times during an hour interview.

Wendy Webb vividly remembers the first time she met Jermaine Clemon. He was standing on a Racine street corner with his brother Jimmy, and cousin Eddie, both older than Jermaine. Wendy was driving an oversized van, picking up youngsters for Bible study.

The Webbs already had raised three children, who were adults and remained in California when their parents moved to Racine in 2004 to help build an inner city ministry through Calvary Chapel.

The day she saw Clemon and his two relatives board the van, Wendy says, was the only time she ever has been afraid driving the van.

"I figured, 'I'm going to have a knife in my neck before I get off this street,''' she says.

The boys became regulars at Bible study. Wendy and Bob already had built a relationship with Geneva, whose children began attending Bible study in 2005, and passed on word of the free meal to their older cousins.

A couple of months after Jermaine moved in, the Webbs also took in Jimmy and Eddie. Jimmy remained almost two years, Eddie, the oldest, for only several months. The Webbs gained guardianship for only Jermaine, in large part because of his youth.

"That's kind of mind-blowing to me, even now,'' Jermaine Clemon says. "For a family to take in three teenage kids at the same time?''

Clemon arrived at his new home with a 0.8 GPA after his freshman first semester at Racine Case High School, and already had been dispatched to the Mack Center, a school for troubled youth. Wendy almost immediately started pleading for Clemon to be readmitted to the public school system. Her campaign proved successful when Racine Horlick High administrators decided to take a chance.

"Jermaine was a very determined young man,'' Webb says. "He wanted a chance at life. ... He had no study skills. The world Jermaine grew up in, there was no time to study. He had a life of survival. We gave him a life of structure.''

The transition wasn't easy. Clemon admits he balked at the nightly homework sessions. And there was so much he didn't understand.

"When I first got there, I would get up at 1 in the morning and go lock the doors because I was so scared,'' he says. "It was just that mindset, that somebody was going to be coming and knock down the doors. ... And I thought it was the most absurd thing that they left their bicycles outside. I'm like, 'Aren't you going to take the bikes inside? Are you going to lock the doors?'"

Wendy says she has told Jermaine numerous times that "he is the most courageous person I ever met. When he was 15 years old, he walked away from everything he had ever known, and walked into a life where every interaction was a risk.''

Clemon was taking college prep classes within a year of his arrival at Horlick. He worked his way onto the school's GPA honor roll for several semesters, and had a 3.4 GPA as a senior. He joined choir, and found he had a natural bass voice.

Success on the athletic fields came slower.

He never had played on a youth team of any kind -- "Never even crossed my mind,'' he says -- before going out for football as a sophomore.

He says his varsity football experience as a sophomore and junior consisted of one play. He was cut from the basketball team as a junior.

By his senior year, he was growing into his body, gaining speed and an understanding of sports he missed out on as a child.

He captained both the football and basketball teams as a senior. Several college football coaches watching highlight video sent by Horlick took an interest, none more so than Concordia's Ryan Williams.

Williams, Concordia's offensive coordinator at the time, was the first coach to make an in-person visit at Horlick.

"What sealed the deal is, they wanted me. They showed interest in me,'' Clemon says.

He was redshirted as a freshman, and became a regular contributor last season, making 19 catches for 237 yards. Williams said "there's no doubt'' that Clemon is a diamond in the rough, the sort of player Division II programs can only hope is missed by major colleges.

"He's got some special gifts. With his power, his athleticism and his intelligence, as he continues to mature, the sky's the limit,'' Williams said.

"Clemon, like so many college players, dreams of playing in the NFL. But he knows the odds are so long against it that he calls it "my backup plan.''

Plan A, he says, is to complete college and find work as a special education teacher and high school football coach. Special education, he says, because he wants to take kids who have "gone through some tough things, and let them know, 'Hey, you have hope.'"

Providing hope has become something of a personal mission for Clemon. Despite all that the Webbs have meant, despite being "my mom and dad,'' he says he never wanted formal adoption and a change of his last name.

The name, he says, is a big part of what drives him today. Part of what makes him embrace academics, the weight room, even two-a-day practices.

"I just want the Clemon last name to be something more than just getting arrested, being involved with drugs or whatever the case may be,'' he says.

The quest often seems a lonely one. Among his biological family members, only Jimmy has seen him play an athletic event, and that was one football game last year at Upper Iowa.

"Bob and Wendy go to every game,'' he says. "But none of my biological family has ever seen me ...''

As he speaks, tears well in his eyes, then slowly trickle down his cheeks. If his Clemon family members could see him play just once, could just see for themselves how far he has come, that, he says, "would be the ultimate. I think that's why I work so hard,'' he says.

"It's more than just me. What I do is for my sisters and my brothers, my nieces and nephews. I'll break every bone in my body so I can succeed if I can give them hope.''

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

MINNESOTA STATE UNIVERSITY OF MANKATO HEAD FOOTBALL COACH LANDS IN JAIL ACCUSED OF CHILD PORN

According to Paul Walsh of the Minneapolis Start Tribune, “The head football coach at Minnesota State University Mankato was jailed Tuesday afternoon and accused of being involved in child pornography, and a temporary replacement is running the team.

Todd Hoffner, 46, of Eagle Lake, was arrested at his home pending a court appearance and being held on suspicion of "use of minors in a sexual performance" and possessing child pornography, according to the Blue Earth County Sheriff's Office.

The Sheriff's Office said it received information Monday about Hoffner allegedly possessing pornography. His home was searched Tuesday, and the coach was then taken into custody.

According to the university, Hoffner has been on leave from his coaching position since Friday.

In a statement released Tuesday night university spokesman Dan Benson said, "The University's top priority is 
ensuring the safety and well-being of its students, program participants, and the community. The University is not aware of any allegations affecting university students or program participants."

A university investigation against Hoffner is pending, Benson said.

The Mankato Free Press is reporting that Hoffner was escorted from the practice field Friday.

Assistant Coach Aaron Keen has taken over the Division II team in Hoffner's absence.

"The whole situation comes as a shock and is still a shock," Keen said.

The players have now gone through two days of workouts without Hoffner, and "the guys have responded really well," said Keen, who was the team's offensive coordinator last season.

The players and coaches were scheduled to meet Tuesday night to "share information and to be there with them," Keen added.

Todd Hoffner was entering his fifth year as the field general of the Mavericks, compiling a record of 34-13. 

Over the past four seasons, he has led Minnesota State to the playoffs (2008 and 2009), a Mineral Water Bowl Championship (2011), three Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference South Division Titles (2008, 2009 and 2011) and a share of the NSIC title (2011).

Hoffner is married and has three children. The Star Tribune attempted to call Hoffner's house, but the line was disconnected.”

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Thursday, August 9, 2012

First female NFL ref takes field for Packers-Chargers game - Minneapolis News and Weather KMSP FOX 9

By BARRY WILNER AP Pro Football Writer

The NFL's first female official is welcoming her role as a sports pioneer.

Shannon Eastin says she's excited and a bit nervous but not at all intimidated by the challenge of working a pro game. Eastin makes her NFL debut Thursday night as the line judge when the Green Bay Packers play at San Diego in the preseason opener for both teams. A 42-year-old referee in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference - college football's second-highest level - Eastin has 16 years of officiating experience.

She is among the replacement officials hired by the league while the regular officials are locked out. Like the rest of her current colleagues, she could easily be back to her regular officiating gig once a new labor deal is struck.

"I want to encourage women: Don't be afraid," Eastin said on a conference call Tuesday. "Pursue and have dreams. This is my dream. With very step I hope to show it really doesn't matter if you are male or female."
Eastin is in a particularly difficult spot for three reasons:

- No woman has officiated an NFL game;

- The Chargers host the Packers on national television;

- She is viewed by some of the NFL's regular officials as a scab.

Check out the link from Fox 9 for more information on this report. 

An inside look at sports academies | Minnesota Hockey Hub | MN Boys High School Hockey

Total Hockey Minnesota

Where: Lakeville

Enrollment: Intense Hockey Training program serves about 200 kids.

Club/team affiliations: Fushion AAA

Training facility highlights: Ice rink, speed ramp, hockey treadmill, shot radar gun, shooting accuracy goal, stick work simulator, weight room.

Cost: Examples taken from Intense Hockey Training program registration form: $3,250 -- high school boys; $3,000 -- high school girls; $2,500 -- bantam/pewee. IHT is a seven-month program that includes on- and off-ice training four times a week.

Notable clients: NHL players Zach Parise, Drew Stafford, Kyle Okposo, Derek Stepan.

43 Hoops

Where: Hopkins

Enrollment: "Hundreds of members training year-round."

Training facility highlights: Three basketball/volleyball courts, weight room and classrooms.

Club/team affiliations: 43 Hoops Basketball, Club 43 Volleyball

Cost: Basketball -- membership training package, 12-month unlimited -- $300 month ($3,600 annual); one-on-one session -- $60; team-training session -- $150. Volleyball -- club fees (six months, for top team in 15-17 age group) -- $3,400; one-on-one session -- $25-$60.

Notable alumni: Kris Humphries (NBA, Brooklyn Nets); former Wisconsin point guard Jordan Taylor.

Note: All academy owners said that families that can't afford to pay these fees can work out some sort of payment plan.

JASON GONZALEZ

Opportunity – for a price | Minnesota Hockey Hub | MN Boys High School Hockey

By Jason Gonzalez, Star Tribune
 
Behind the walls of an old grocery store in Lakeville is Reed Smith's playground. For at least two hours, four times a week, the 13-year-old bounces around the warehouse with purpose.

The food aisles have been replaced with athletic equipment and ice, and the store clerks with certified trainers, transforming this building into Total Hockey Minnesota training academy.

Along with the couple hundred other hockey players of all ages from all areas of the Twin Cities and beyond, Smith and his older sister Annabeth spend considerable time and family resources for a chance at becoming the sport's elite.

"It's very competitive," Smith said about the training environment. "I do believe it's good for me. It helps me excel in my hockey career to be like the pros. It's necessary."

Check out the link below for the rest of the report.


Saturday, August 4, 2012

GET TO KNOW QUINTON LEON GARVIS

Quinton Leon Garvis was born on March 28, 1996 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Garvis has been
involved in basketball his whole life. He started playing in the first or second grade and has two
siblings. Currently, he stands 6 feet 2 inches tall.
 
He plans on playing college basketball. He will graduate from Minneapolis Washburn in 2014. One of
the lessons that he said that he was learned from playing basketball was, “No matter what it is, if you
work hard enough, you can do it.”
 
In his free time he likes to hang out with friends, play video games, and clown around with
his friends.

You can also find Garvis in a gym or a local weight room working on his game and strength.

Edited by: Andre Chouravong twitter.com/discokryptonite

123PRINT.COM WENT UP AGAINST PAT MADISON IN THE HOWARD PULLEY PRO CITY SUMMER LEAGUE

123Print.com matched up against Pat Madison in a Howard Pulley Pro City Summer League basketball
game.

123Print.com jumped out to a quick lead early in the contest. Pat Madison hard a difficult time making
shots that they put up. They didn't get frustrated because the shots that they were putting up were not
going in.

123Print.com didn't get down on themselves because they were not able to get shots they wanted to
fall.

At the end of the first quarter the score was 123Print.com 25 and Pat Madison 21.

The second quarter got off to a quick start as each team raced up and down the floor looking to make
quick baskets.

The score went back and forth throughout the second quarter. Both teams were able to able to make
fast break lay-ups.

Both teams dove on the floor as they went after loose balls and rebounds. DeAndre Bear Townsend
was all over the floor for 123Print.com. On the offensive end he was able to blow by his defenders and
get to the basket and make lay-ups. On the defensive end he was able to control his guy and made it
hard for him to hit shots.

The score was relatively tight in the first half as neither team went on a run or gave up easy baskets.

As the quarter continued both teams made some good plays on the offensive end as they both were able
to make lay-ups and jump shots.

123Print.com did a good job of getting loose balls and getting fast breaks.

At halftime the score was Pat Madison 45 and 123Print.com 44.

The third quarter got underway as quickly as the second quarter ended. Both teams were able to use
their quickness as they both tried to maneuver away from the other team.

Townsend continued to drain jump shots in the third quarter. He was dead on.

Kyles made some good moves to the basket as he was able to hit shots that he put up.

Damian Johnson for 123Print.com made some good moves around the basket. He was able to fight for
balls and go after rebounds on both ends of the floor.

123Print.com went on a run midway through the third quarter. Pat Madison called a timeout with 4:36
left in the third quarter 123Print.com had a 62-52 lead.

Johnson came up with some nice slam dunks on the offensive end. He had some good looks at the basket. 

Johnson was not afraid to shoot the ball from anywhere on the floor.

At the end of the third quarter the score was 123Print.com 75 and Pat Madison 64.

123Print.com didn't let up at all. They kept their foot on the gas as they were able to score whenever
they wanted to .

Pat Madison had difficultly shooting the ball from the onset. They were not able to hot shots that they
put up but they didn't get down on them self's at all. 123Print.com came away with the 105-94 victory
over Pat Madison.

 Edited by: Andre Chouravong twitter.com/discokryptonite

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

"Live Inside You" Troy Bell Prod by G-Mo ft Green Eyed Mammi Brian Gabri...

INFORMATION INVESTORTS GROUP TOOK ON ERROL CARLSTROM PLAYAZ IN THE HOWARD PULLEY LEAGUE

Information Investors went up against Errol Calrstrom Playaz in the Howard Pulley Pro City Summer
League. The game got off to a quick start as each team traded baskets in the first quarter.

It took a while for the teams to get accustomed to each other in the first quarter.

At the end of the first quarter the score was Errol Carlstrom Playaz 20 and Information Investors 21.

The second quarter got off to a quick start as each team traded baskets for a good portion of the quarter.

Neither team went on a run in the first half. Each team played with a lot of passion and pride. Neither
team gave up any easy open shots.

Both teams looked to get easy baskets in transition. They were able to do that as there was very weak
defense by both teams as they were giving up easy looks at the basket.

At halftime the score was Errol Carlstrom Playaz 43 and Information Investors Group 36.

Darren Clover made some nice shots in the game. He was able to blow by his defenders and hit lay-up
after lay-up.

The game remained close throughout the early goings of the third quarter.

Errol Carlstrom Playaz went on a run in the third quarter. Information Investors couldn't hit shots.

At the end of the third quarter the score was Errol Carlstrom Playaz 76 and Information Investors
Group 52.

The fourth quarter was sloppy. Neither team got into a rhythm on either end of the floor. In end Errol
Carlstrom Playaz came away with the 114-87 victory over Information Investors Group.
 
Edited by: Andre Chouravong
 

MILLER TIME TOOK ON FUNDAMENTALLY SOUND ATHLETICS IN A BASKETBALL GAME

Miller Time went up against Fundamentally Sound Athletics in the Howard Pulley Pro City Summer
League.

The game got off to a quick start as each team raced up and down the floor looking for jump shots.
Fundamentally Sound Athletics looked a little quicker than Miller Time.

Miller Time had a hard time making baskets in the first quarter. They were not able to hit shots that
they put up.

Cole David Aldrich, who is from the Twin Cities and is trying out for a few NBA teams, showed up and
played for Miller Time.

Troy Bell for Miller Time made some nice baskets in the lane for his team. He was not afraid to shoot
the ball from anywhere on the court however.
 
At halftime the score was Fundamentally Sound Athletics 56 and Miller Time 34.

The third quarter got off to a rip roaring start as Rodney Williams came up with a nice two handed
power slam dunk that got the crowd into the game.

Siyani Tahir Chambers was all over the floor for his team. He was able to dribble around the
competition. He was much quicker that his defenders.

At the end of the third quarter the score was Fundamentally Sound Athletics 71 and Miller Time 58.

Miller Time looked to go on a run in the fourth quarter. They pushed the ball down the floor as they
were looking for other ways to get the ball into the basket. They didn't get frustrated because their
shots were not falling.

Both teams played with a lot of emotion and energy. The game got chippy down the stretch late in the
game as the brand of ball became more physical.

Bobby Fong for Miller Time was able to hit shots from everywhere on the floor. He was not afraid to
shoot it even if he had a defender guarding him.

In a hard fought game Fundamentally Sound Athletics came away with the 94-81 victory over Miller
Time.

Edited by: Edited by Andre Chouravong