Levy tackles struggles, punishes opponents

first_imgJEFF SCHORFHEIDE/Herald photoIn the world of the controlled violence that is football,the goal of a linebacker is simple: Punish the ball carrier and anyone who getsin the way. It takes a special breed of player to succeed at this gruelingposition, someone who relishes every opportunity for contact and exhibitsunrivaled toughness. Wisconsin’s linebacking corps — Jonathan Casillas, DeAndreLevy and Elijah Hodge — have no difficulty meeting those requirements. Theythrive in such situations. But at least to start the season, that wasn’t the case.After an impressive defensive showcase last year, theBadgers defense, specifically the linebackers, were highly acclaimed headinginto the 2007 season. Jonathan Casillas was named to the preseason watch listfor the Chuck Bednarik award, given annually to the top defender in collegefootball. DeAndre Levy had an impressive campaign in 2006, in which he startedall 13 games and led the team with six sacks. Elijah Hodge, brother of GreenBay Packers linebacker Abdul Hodge, emerged as a special-teams ace and madesignificant contributions as a backup middle linebacker.Unfortunately, the Badgers defense failed to live up to thehigh expectations set forth this year by football pundits and coaches. Blownassignments, missed tackles and a throng of injuries plagued the entire unit. “We all had our share of injuries during camp, and itcarried over into the season and limited our productivity,” Casillas said. The breaking point for the defense came after abysmalperformances against Big Ten rivals Illinois and Penn State. Over the two-gamestretch, the defense allowed an average of 29 points and surrendered more than 800yards. “It was frustrating,” Levy said. “Even the games we won, itfelt like we lost.”Of all the players on defense, none took more heat thisseason than Levy. He did not live up to his role as a hard-hitting presence onthe field and saw a steep drop in his production, both statistically andfundamentally. Often caught out of position, Levy had trouble sheddingblockers, and his tackling and angles of pursuit left much to be desired. After the embarrassing loss to Illinois, Levy called himselfout for failing to play to his ability. “I was fed up. I had enough of being passive and takingpunishment all season defensively,” Levy said. “As a unit, we weren’t playingwell, and individually I felt like I wasn’t doing as much as I could do. I feltlike something had to be done.”Fueled by criticism and personal letdowns, Levy took thepractice field with a new sense of urgency. “I started attacking practice the next few weeks with adifferent mentality,” Levy said. “I tried to go out and put more into[practice], and I knew I’d get more out of it.” Results from the last few weeks indicate that Levy’sintensity and hard work in practice have paid off. His transformation has been startling. The player who onceseemed unfit for the rough-and-tumble role of a linebacker has shown a nastymean streak on the field. Not only was Levy making the tackles he once missed,but he began dishing out punishment with new zeal and ferocity. His defining game could not have come at a better time.After some deep soul-searching, Levy took it upon himself to personallydismantle Indiana’s high-powered offense. During the homecoming game, fans hadtrouble recognizing the blur of red and white that flew across the fieldattacking anything that resembled a Hoosier. That “blur” was Levy, whose defensiveshowcase was a huge factor in the Badgers’ 30 point drubbing of Indiana.Levy, who had arguably his best performance as a Badger,notched eight tackles, a sack, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a passbreakup. Later that week, he was recognized as the Big Ten Defensive Player ofthe Week, the first accolade of his college career.”It felt good,” Levy said. “It kind of surprised me, becauseI didn’t realize that my game was that good.” It is clear from the resurgence of hard-nosed football inrecent weeks that the linebackers have taken it upon themselves to transformthe defense into the feared unit of the past. “Basically, the three linebackers started stepping up,”Casillas said. “Once we started making plays and committed to getting our headson right, it kind of got the ball rolling and it carried over from game togame.””We always had the chemistry,” Hodge added. “It’s just thefact that we are playing fast and playing to our abilities. Right now we arehealthy, and we are all flying around.”last_img read more

Gfinity Elite Series to broadcast exclusively on Facebook

first_imgGfinity has signed an exclusive digital broadcast agreement with Facebook that will see Season 3 of the Elite Series streamed on the social platform globally, excluding Australia.This agreement gives Facebook the exclusive digital rights to the tournament, where it will stream games from the regular season, as well as the play-offs, behind-the-scenes looks with teams and players, weekly highlights, and more. The Elite Series kicked off of March 9th, with teams from around the world battling it out on FIFA 18, Rocket League, and Street Fighter V.Neville Upton, Chief Executive, Gfinity said: “Facebook is a leading global brand with over two billion people on the platform and this partnership brings to life their commitment to drive innovation and engagement in esports with their huge gaming community. This pioneering deal will enable us to accelerate our plans for growth to reach our Gfinity World Series goal.”This news comes hot on the heels of Noah Media Group becoming the exclusive production partner of Gfinity for the next two seasons of the Elite Series. Facebook is also the exclusive streaming platform for ESL’s CS:GO tournaments and leagues, as well as the H1Z1 Pro League.Gfinity’s main aim is to bring esports to the masses, and so this decision to go via Facebook, the world’s largest most global social media platform, is no major surprise. Esports Insider says: It’s an interesting move by Gfinity to allow Facebook to be the sole platform of the Elite Series, especially when you look at the “growing pains” the ESL Pro League is going through at the moment. Whilst the viewing experience from Facebook isn’t as polished as its competitors just yet, it has the funds – and seemingly, the willingness – to become the next hotspot for esports gameplay.last_img read more

Criminal clashes in Cancun responsible for violence say authorities

first_imgCancun, Q.R. — The continued violence in Cancun is the result of clashes between criminal groups, says the state prosecutor.Head of the State Prosecutor’s Office, Miguel Ángel Pech Cen, said that the continued clash between groups is resulting in the violent deaths being recorded as they fight over drug deals and the collection of money.With the city of Cancun exceeding 200 deaths already this year, Pech Cen asks citizens to support the police by coming forward and providing details and evidence to help with investigations and jail those responsible.Criminal clashes in Cancun responsible for violence say authoritiesThe secretary of state public security, Rodolfo del Angel Campos, says the nearly 3 billion peso has been allocated to Quintana Roo to acquire technology and strengthen security throughout the state.He explained, “2.9 billion peso have been authorized for a comprehensive security plan that includes technology in radio communication, infrastructure and equipment for police.”He says that there is also a strategic plan that will be implemented with the help of the funding.“Three security circles are being contemplated, one at the entrances of the state, a second perimeter that is in the central of each of the municipalities and the third security perimeter is in the main avenues with surveillance cameras.”He said that all those cameras and metal detection arches being installed will have a plate detector and a face detector that will allow more databases coverage and a shorter response time.He says the projects have already been signed off with state agencies and expects the installation of cameras to begin in one month, starting with Cancun.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)last_img read more