Brighter days ahead for Wisconsin

first_imgThis year’s abnormally cold and snowy spring has put most of the sporting world very much at the mercy of Mother Nature. For the UW men’s golf team, its last two tournaments have been right in the middle of snowfall, leading to cancellations at both the Purdue Boilermaker Invitational and the Ohio State Kepler Invitational.”We spent most of our early spring in North Carolina or out in San Diego, where you never see that kind of weather, so we had to make adjustments in our game,” head coach Jim Schuman said. “But we can’t use the bad weather we saw once we came back to the Midwest as an excuse for how we played in those two tournaments.”And it has been a rough couple of weeks for the Badgers. After never placing lower than fifth at any tournament this year, the team ran into a road block at OSU’s Kepler Invitational. UW finished 13th out of 15 teams, by far its worst result of the year.Schuman believes one of the reasons for the negative result might have been the Buckeyes’ recent renovation to their course, which included the lengthening of some of the holes. The other factor was the uncharacteristic weather.”I would have thought that (lengthening the holes) would have been an advantage for us considering how long we usually are off of the tee,” Schuman said. “Usually we would have handled that pretty well, but with the weather we had out there, it was really tough to get anywhere. If you were able to hit the green on a shot, you were doing a great job.”Schuman also said his team had troubles with the short game, which he believes may be caused by the inability to practice on real grass outside.”[The short game] just didn’t really materialize for us,” he said. “I mean, there isn’t a lot of chipping and putting you can practice in 6 inches of snow.”For many of the team’s practices this past week, players have had to play in a covered dome where there are a limited number of greens for them to practice on.Schuman was quick to say that while the team hasn’t been putting together its best scores of the season, he gives them a lot of credit for playing through the adverse conditions. One bright spot for the team in Columbus was the excellent play of sophomore Pat Duffy, who finished the tournament 16 strokes over par, good for a 43rd-place finish. It was the highest finish of the day for the Badgers.Looking ahead to the weekend, Schuman and his team hope to finally put the worst of the weather, as well as their play, behind them for good. The Badgers will look to finish the Big Ten season on a high note before entering the conference tournament in Columbus next weekend.The focus is on this weekend’s matchup though, as MSU’s Matt Harmon — the winner of the aforementioned Kepler Invitational — will surely look to protect his home course. “MSU is playing very strong right now,” Schuman said. “Facing them (in East Lansing) will be tough, but all of our players recognize that there is a challenge ahead of them, and they are embracing that.”last_img read more

Setbacks don’t stop captain from helping team

first_imgWhen Jeremy Sonkin arrived at Wisconsin four years ago toplay tennis, he was facing high expectations and was immediately thrust into ahigh-pressure situation.As a freshman, he was asked to play in the second singlesposition, a daunting task for a young player.“I was kind of the youngster amongst a bunch ofupperclassmen, and it was really kind of intimidating at first,” Sonkinsaid. “In such a short time I was asked to really be a person to followand set an example.”How did he respond to such a challenge? By posting 24 wins,the highest win total for any player on the team that season. In his secondseason, he was named one of the captains of the team, evidence of his abilityas a leader and a player.“By my sophomore year I really felt that I was of theability to be in the captain position, just from already playing at such a highlevel my freshman year and kind of experiencing some of the country’s besttalent,” Sonkin said. “I really felt ready to handle the leadershipposition and do a good job motivating my teammates.”He followed up his freshman effort with a similarperformance, posting a 25-11 record. However, he played solely at the No. 1singles position throughout the season.After the impressive opening seasons, Sonkin hit a roughspot in what appeared to be the beginning of a very promising career. He wasthe victim of an unfortunate accident where he was hit by a car while ridinghis moped. While he was recovering and unable to participate in matches, hestruggled with the idea of not being able to travel and contribute to the team.“It was really a different perspective for meconsidering a lot of my support was done from the sideline, and I could nottravel with the team,” Sonkin said. “College tennis is all about theteam and helping pull one another through tough matches and rough spots, so forme it was very, very hard not to be able to at least be there to support myteam.”With his injury and the addition of some new young players,Sonkin saw a decreased role on the team, fluctuating between the first andthird singles positions. He finished the season with a sub-standard record of9-12, and his position for his senior season was up in the air.Now a senior, Sonkin has once again been named captain, buthe finds himself as the No. 4 singles player for the team. Despite thedifficulties in adjusting from first singles to fourth singles, he has beenable to maintain a positive attitude and a team-first mentality.“It was a very hard adjustment,” Sonkin said.“A lot of times it was really evident that it bothered me, and it’s beensuch a learning experience for me. I had to forget about the past, forget aboutwhere I was, even as a junior, and I just had to realize that at this point intime, its not about me. You’re on a team, and you’re all in this together, sono matter where you are in the lineup, it’s all about getting that point tohelp the team win.”Head coach Greg Van Emburgh has been delighted with the waySonkin has dealt with his changing role on the team.“I think he’s grown tremendous amounts not only as aplayer but as a person,” Van Emburgh said. “He’s really starting tocome into his full stride right now as we get into the real important part ofour season. … He’s had a lot of setbacks with injuries, but Jeremy is thetype of kid who really fights through those obstacles and adversities and keepsa positive look on everything.”Though he started off the season playing poorly, losing sixof his first eight matches, Sonkin has found himself with a renewed sense ofconfidence late in the season and is now playing better tennis, winning five ofhis last seven matches.“Jeremy’s done whatever the team has asked of him. He’swon some big matches, and he hasn’t complained,” senior Nolan Polley said.“He’s been playing really well these past couple months, and I’m hopingthat he can keep it up and we can finish out strong.”Sonkin is also very excited about the way he has beenplaying of late, as he has come into his own in the fourth singles position.“Maybe me being the four is a blessing,” Sonkinsaid. “Maybe that’s a spot now that we know we can always get a win atbecause I feel like now with my confidence back, I should not be losing toanybody in this country playing No. 4 in singles, given my experience, mytalent and how much I want to win and how much I hate losing.”Sonkin’s resurgence on the court has been accompanied by thesuccess of the team as a whole. The team has gone 11-3 over its last 14 gamesand is now vying for second place in the Big Ten.“Quite truthfully, we have players who do an incrediblejob at the 1-3 positions, who are really proving that they deserve to be inthose spots, and they’ve been showing that match after match,” Sonkinsaid. “Knowing that, it takes more pressure off of me just because I’m soconfident that they’re up there and they’ve been doing well.”Even if he is no longer playing in first position, Sonkinknows what it takes to win and has welcomed his new role on the team with openarms. He has been a big contributor to the success of the team and he willcontinue to be a key factor in the teams’ success as they approach theculmination of this season.last_img read more

Giants’ Madison Bumgarner says he’ll refuse to enter game following ‘opener’

first_imgHe’s probably not a candidate for an opener.However, Derek Holland (4.20 ERA), Johnny Cueto (8.00) and Jeff Samardzija (9.00) have all had trouble in the first inning, so they could be candidates to come out in the second inning rather than the first.Clearly though, Bumgarner is having none of that. M Bumgarner has always been a team player and respectful of Bochy. He also has a good sense of humor. It’s staggering to see the number of purported “spiders news sites” that jumped on Bochy’s line and wrote that Bumgarner literally would refuse to follow an opener into a game.— Henry Schulman (@hankschulman) February 10, 2019Just to be clear, Bochy was laughing as he told story, Bumgarner has a good sense of humor, and Giants were never considering openers for their top starters. Plz don’t get mad online, people. https://t.co/shLdTms3oe— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) February 10, 2019Bumgarner went 6-7 with a 3.26 ERA for the Giants last season and held opponents to a .193 batting average in their first plate appearance.  Madison Bumgarner is known for policing the game on the field and now he’s trying to control it before he even gets on it.After the Giants’ new president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi told reporters in December he could embrace an “opener” strategy, Bumgarner reportedly shot a quick, firm text to San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy. “If you use an opener in my game I’m walking right out of the ballpark,” the text read, according to NBC Sports Bay Area.Bochy said Bumgarner sent him a text after Zaidi said Giants might use openers. “If you use an opener in my game I’m walking right out of the ballpark.”— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) February 9, 2019It was later noted that Bochy was joking. Related News MLB hot stove: Yankees reportedly offer Manny Machado $220M deallast_img read more

Fourth of July Pet Safety from Joint Animal Services

first_imgFacebook3Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Joint Animal ServicesTo help keep your pets safe and comfortable, it is important to plan ahead with 4th of July safety tips.Many dogs and cats are afraid of fireworks, causing some to get loose and run away. Make sure your pets are inside and turn on the air-conditioning, radio or TV to help mask the noise of the fireworks.Walk your dogs several times during the day or exercise them indoors to help them be relaxed and tired during the fireworks.   Chewing on a bone or toy filled with kibble and treats can help relieve your dog’s stress.Do not set off fireworks near wildlife areas.  The noises and bright lights may cause animals to flee their natural habitat, leaving their young behind. Stray sparks can also create fires.For more information about how to keep your pets safe during the holiday, please contact Animal Services at 360-352-2510 or visit www.JointAnimalServices.org.last_img read more