Kicking spot up for grabs

first_imgDays after giving up 536 yards of total offense in a 32-31 loss to Washington, the USC defense was back on the field Tuesday trying to improve itself for the high-powered, physical Stanford offense it will face Saturday.Filling in · Because of senior kicker Joe Houston’s inconsistent play this season, senior punter Jacob Harfman is competing for his spot. – Mannet Saini | Daily Trojan The Trojans face another elite quarterback in Stanford’s Andrew Luck, and USC defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin said the defense has to crack down on giving up significant yards.“You can’t give up big plays,” he said. “You’re going to give up some yards and plays but when you get the big yardage like that it’s going to come from big plays. You don’t put up 500 yards of offense without big plays. How many times are you going to have 500 yards of offense that [are] five, six, seven, even 12 yards a clip?”USC ranks 116th out of 120 teams in passing defense, giving up an average of 288 yards through the air each game. With Stanford ranking 29th in passing offense, averaging 255.6 yards per game led by preseason Heisman candidate Luck, the Trojans know they have to improve.“You got to know you can’t take any plays off,” sophomore safety Jawanza Starling said. “It’s not a sense that you’re not mentally ready or prepared. It’s knowing that at anytime they can take a shot at you and go deep, not always expect the routes to go shorter or be run plays.”The Trojans’ defense also needs to improve on missed tackles, something that doesn’t show up in the box score. USC missed several tackles when Washington running back Chris Polk ripped off a 26-yard run that put the Huskies in field-goal range late in the fourth quarter.But the issue goes beyond that play and is something the Trojans have struggled with throughout the season.“We’re not playing very well,” USC coach Lane Kiffin said. “We’re really emphasizing [missed tackles] this week. I obviously was hoping we’d play a lot better. Maybe early on I didn’t account for how inexperienced they really were. You’ve got a true freshman at corner, two true sophomores at safety getting their first significant playing time, and [senior cornerback] Shareece Wright, who many think is a veteran, had only three starts coming into this year. So maybe my expectations were a little high for them. But still with that we got to play a lot better.”—Kiffin said after Saturday’s loss that he would open up the kicking competition this week and he stuck to his word. Incumbent kicker senior Joe Houston, who is 2-for-6 on field goals for the year and missed a 40-yard attempt that hit the upright late in Saturday’s game, and senior punter Jacob Harfman both took six field goals apiece at the end of practice.Houston went 2-for-6 and Harfman went 4-for-6 on kicks that were taken from about 35, 45 and 50 yards out.Harfman said he hadn’t kicked a field goal in three months and didn’t know he was going to be kicking in practice until Tuesday afternoon.Kiffin said the competition will last all week and whoever does better will kick on Saturday, but based on the combined 6-for-12 on field goals Tuesday, he wasn’t very optimistic when talking about the uprights.“Basically what we got out of that was that we’ll be going for it more in the red zone if they don’t improve,” Kiffin said.—Senior fullback Stanley Havili did not participate in practice after dislocating his shoulder early in last week’s game.Havili has had chronic problems with his left shoulder, and even though he popped it right back in after Saturday’s injury, he didn’t get another carry and only caught two more passes during the rest of the game.Havili, who was crucial in the attack at Washington State, said he expects to practice and play this week, and that his injury won’t limit him in any way.—Consistent play has been lacking from the defensive front seven this year.Excluding the Washington State game, the Trojans haven’t regularly gotten pressure on the quarterback or had crucial sacks, fumbles or interceptions — something Kiffin hopes to improve this weekend.“We haven’t had a lot of significant plays in tough times — the big sack, the big fumble, the big interception, the big play on the ball that’s going to be a first down that they knock out,” Kiffin said. “I would imagine we’re the worst no-huddle defense in all of football right now. We’ve given up 34-37 points in no-huddle and something like 477 yards in no-huddle situations through five games. Those are points that people are getting real fast on us, where you need those types of [defensive] plays.”Clarification: The print version of this story states that Jacob Harfman went 3-for-6 on field goals at Tuesday’s practice. Harfman actually went 4-for-6, which would bring the total between Harfman and Joe Houston to 6-for-12. The online version has been changed to reflect this edit.last_img read more

Mason City High School prepares for graduation

first_imgMASON CITY — After having their graduation parade over the weekend, the 2020 Class of Mason City High School now prepares for graduation ceremonies later this week. Principal Dan Long says it will take place over two days, this coming Thursday and Friday.  “We really have a personalized, kind of intimate, one family at a time approach for graduation. Students will still get the experience of walking across the stage, getting their diploma cover, getting their picture taken, hearing their name read. A difference would be is that it’s more of an up close and personal experience for our parents and their families than what they’ve had before.” Long says after Thursday and Friday, they’ll be able to put together a full graduation ceremony video for everyone to see.   “That real experience itself will still be there, and then in the process we’re able to record that over those two days and then put together a final product that everyone will be able to see graduation. So you’ll still have your senior speakers, you’ll still have some of the music, you’ll still be able to see the processional people walking across collectively. We try to tie some things in together. I think it will give us the ability to really share that out to maybe a wider audience than we’ve actually ever been able to do before.” For more information about graduation, head to masoncityschools.orglast_img read more

50,000+ households from Regions 3, 4, 6 to benefit from water treatment plants

first_imgFollowing the establishment of water treatment plants at Uitvlugt, Diamond and Sheet Anchor to be completed by yearend, more than 50,000 households will benefit.While over 4,000 households within Vergenoegen, Region 3 (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) will soon be able to gain access to potable water through the establishment of a well—including ongoing works on wells at Pouderoyen and Westminister, which are expected to be completed by August 2019— these wells are expected to increase the capacity of the three water treatment plants installed in the region, whilst improving service delivery to residents.Speaking with the Department of Public Information (DPI), Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) Managing Director, Dr Richard Van West-Charles said the efficiency of treating water goes in tandem with the agency’s metering efforts.“We know that the water is being treated but  the metering has allowed us to take two stations off… we have been able to reduce the operational cost by taking two stations which are now redundant in case of one of the stations going down, we can then re-activate one of the two,” he explained.This efficiency can also be seen within the Uitvlugt and Diamond communities, according to the Managing Director, which has tightened the network and improved the water pressure.“For us at GWI, metering is critical for the improvement of the service and the level of service for people throughout the system,” Dr Van West-Charles added.For the first half of 2019, the coalition Government has expended $1.4Billion of the $2.9Billion allocated to improve potable water supply and distribution systems.Thus far, to ensure efficient management of this valuable resource, GWI has installed 3,952 water meters in 1,271 communities across Regions 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 10 to reduce the loss of  non-revenue water. This speaks to approximately 8,640 cubic metres each month.In the Berbice area, roughly 60% of the metering activities have been completed under the New Amsterdam Water Treatment Plant Project. This reduction in non-revenue water will allow for improved delivery of water to residents of Sandvoort by increasing water pressure in the mains.In addition, works will commence in the second half of the year on the expansion of Parika water supply systems. Upgrades to the water distribution network and transmission mains at Orealla, Ithaca and Kingelly are set to commence and are expected to be completed by year-end.New pumps were also installed at water treatment plants in Linden, more specifically Watooka, Amelia’s Ward and Wisroc.last_img read more