This, of course, is the time of the year baseball teams start watching the scoreboard every inning of their game. They tell you they don’t, but I will guarantee you that if you ask them what their main rival was doing they would give you the score before they ever gave it a thought. Next time you are at a game late in the season watch the players’ reactions when the fans suddenly react and there is no action on the field. Their eyes will automatically go to the scoreboard. The National League Central Division has been the most competitive all year and continues to go down to the wire. You can bet that the players of the top three teams are watching the scoreboard! This is something quite unique to baseball because it is one of the few sports where all the scores are available during the entire game. Sports like football and basketball might cover part of the scores, but usually they don’t have room to cover all of them. Of course, having been a Cubs fan, we stopped watching the scoreboard on April 15–that is usually when the Cubs are out of the race.
All three are expected to be ready for the regular season, however, and their absence gives inexperienced or forgotten players the chance to showcase their skills against a talented group of Trojan receivers. As the team continues to grow, they haven’t forgotten last season’s emotions. Redshirt freshman cornerback Isaac Taylor-Stuart runs during spring football practice. (Josh Dunst / Daily Trojan) “The defensive line has been probably the most impressive, just with their techniques up front,” Pendergast said. “The inside linebacker position with the young guys has been fun to watch. They’ve really picked up their ability to blitz inside.” All USC teams are talented, but this one faces the monumental task of making fans forget about the team’s frustrating 2018 campaign. The defense in particular has a lot of questions to answer: The unit lost four major contributors from 2018 in linebackers Porter Gustin and Cam Smith, cornerback Iman Marshall and safety Marvell Tell. “Honestly, it helps us more because we’re able to learn more positions on the field and get used to playing inside and outside instead of corner sticking to corner, safety sticking to safety,” said redshirt freshman cornerback Chase Williams. “It helps us all to learn every position on the field and, at the end of the day, it gets our conditioning up.” “What I want is a bunch of leadership,” Burns said. “Even the freshman [are] communicating, being boisterous about situations and encouraging each other. I think we have a crop of leaders, not just in the secondary but on the defensive side.” “The technique as a corner is very important, especially getting your hands on them, stopping them from running their route, making it a lot tougher for the [quarterback] to make the throws,” Taylor-Stuart said. Defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast said putting players at multiple positions helps the coaches as well as the players. “When you’re teaching the defense, when you’re putting it in in the spring, trying to find out what guys do best, what gives them the best opportunity not only for the team but for them as well, you have to kind of mix and match,” Pendergast said. Taylor-Stuart and Williams said their work with defensive backs coach Greg Burns helped them pick up the slack. “We want to come out and dominate and compete every day,” redshirt sophomore defensive lineman Marlon Tuipulotu said of his position group. “We want to hold ourselves to a higher standard than we did last season because we felt we didn’t do what we were supposed to.” Taylor-Stuart echoed Burns’ philosophy of emphasizing on proper technique, especially when it came to physicality with receivers. The other areas of the defense have had a bit more luck healthwise. Pendergast said he has liked what he has seen from the defensive line and inside linebackers. Nothing can be taken for granted when a team has everything to prove. That is the mindset the USC football team holds halfway through its spring practice schedule. “I just like working against whoever steps up,” said redshirt freshman cornerback Isaac Taylor-Stuart, a highly-ranked recruit who missed much of last season due to injuries. “I like working with [senior Michael] Pitt[man], [redshirt-junior] Tyler Vaughns, [sophomore] Amon-ra St. Brown — it doesn’t matter who steps up. As long as I work and get better, that’s all that matters.” With young players stepping up, Burns said he didn’t care who emerged as a leader, just that they communicate. The injuries have forced the remaining defensive backs to fill in at every position in the secondary, which can be mentally and physically tiring but also rewarding. The team is dealing with particular challenges replacing those last two players, however. The Trojans are dealing with injuries to sophomore cornerback Olaijah Griffin (shoulder) and sophomore safety Talanoa Hufanga (collarbone), both of whom were poised to get significant playing time in the defensive backfield. Even freshman cornerback Max Williams is currently unavailable as he recovers from a knee injury that ended his senior season of high school. “He’s super detailed, he gets down to the real nitty-gritty stuff and he pushes us,” Williams said. “Each day, he gets more and more intense, but at the same time, he stays on the fundamentals. He continues to have us repeat the same drills, the same techniques because they transfer to the field.” Taylor-Stuart said he has liked the team’s energy as spring ball has progressed. We’re a lot more competitive,” he said. “We know what losing feels like, and we don’t want to lose anymore. If we just have that winning mentality, not thinking about losing but only getting better … we just keep winning like that.
Swiss-Belhotel International Group to open first Australian hotelSwiss-Belhotel International Group to open first Australian hotelThe Swiss-Belhotel International Group will open its first Australian hotel, the Swiss-Belhotel Brisbane next month.The newly-built Swiss-Belhotel Brisbane is located within easy walking distance of River Quay, South Bank Parklands, Brisbane Convention & Entertainment Centre, Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Gallery of Modern Art and the Mater Hospital and Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital precinct. The Goodwill Bridge provides a direct link to the CBD and Queensland University of Technology Gardens Point campus.The full service, 134-room Swiss-Belhotel Brisbane is situated at 218 Vulture Street, South Brisbane. Rooms range from Superior Rooms to Swiss SuperSuites and interconnecting rooms, many with views of the Brisbane River, city skyline or Story Bridge and Kangaroo Point cliffs.The stylish, contemporary interiors are designed for comfort and convenience with amenities including full minibars, galley kitchens (in some rooms), marble desk and LED lighting accents.Hotel facilities include a large Corporate Lounge, ideal for early arrivals or late departures, two meeting rooms, an indoor heated swimming pool, in-house gymnasium and secure on-site parking for 40 cars.While dozens of restaurants and cafes are within a short stroll, Café 63 at Swiss-Belhotel will offer breakfast, lunch and dinner daily from a menu featuring local produce, signature dishes as well as casual options. Cafe 63 at Swiss-Belhotel is an expanded version of the very popular Cafe 63 in Brisbane. There’s also a large bar with evening and weekend entertainment, which is sure to prove a popular spot for a casual drink.Cafe 63 at Swiss-Belhotel will also provide room service and cater for the meeting rooms as well as selling takeaway coffee and meals.Swiss-Belhotel International Chairman and President Gavin Faull said the group was very excited to be opening its first Swiss-Belhotel branded property in Australia in the booming Brisbane market.”We have a unique location with three large and famous children’s hospitals nearby which will bring in a special medical and family market,” said Mr Faull. “We are very close to the Gabba – the international sports ground where Swiss-Belhotel will be well placed to capitalise on many of the international sporting fixtures at that ground. We are also close to the Brisbane CBD – which can be walking distance away – and Swiss-Belhotel Brisbane will be the ideal business hotel for the CBD market.”Swiss-Belhotel Brisbane General Manager Mrs Dinah-Louise Marrs said the hotel was on track to open October 15, and was looking forward to welcoming its first guests.For Swiss-Belhotel Brisbane bookings, call (07) 3120 0800, email: Brisbaneemail@example.com. www.swiss-belhotelbrisbane.com. Opening rates of $165 per room are available, subject to availability.Swiss-Belhotel International International currently manages a portfolio of 135 hotels that stretch across the globe incorporating the Middle East, Europe, China, Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand. The brand now spans 20 countries and employs more than 7,000 people worldwide with a new Athens office providing a beachhead for European growth. And there is no sign of a slowdown with plans to have at least 10 hotels managed by Swiss-Belhotel International in Australia within five years and at least 40 within 10 years. *Numbers may fluctuateSwiss-Belhotel International currently manages a portfolio of more than *135 hotels, resorts and projects located in China, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Australia, New Zealand, Bulgaria, Turkey and Georgia. Awarded Indonesia’s Leading Global Hotel Chain for six consecutive years, Swiss-Belhotel International is one of the world’s fastest-growing international hotel and hospitality management groups. The Group provides comprehensive and highly professional development and management services in all aspects of hotel, resort and serviced residences. Offices are located in Hong Kong, New Zealand, Australia, Europe, United Arab Emirates, China, Indonesia and Vietnam.Source = Swiss-Belhotel International Group – Swiss-Belhotel Brisbane