Zalewski shining in Bielema’s spring corps

first_imgAJ MACLEAN/Herald photoAfter entering last season as the biggest question mark on a defense featuring a talented line and experienced backfield, the Wisconsin linebackers returned all three starters heading into this year’s spring practice. However, with senior “will” backer Dontez Sanders nursing an injury, several youngsters have stepped up for Bret Bielema’s defense.“Obviously, we have guys that haven’t had many reps in live game situations,” Bielema said. “The more you can put them in those situations through scrimmages, pressure situations, understanding what the point is in the football game that they need to do this, this and this for this to happen. That’s going to happen, but there’s a big, big learning curve. They learn every day, you can see it literally happen within a practice.”One of those youngsters who has grabbed the coaching staff’s attention this spring is redshirt sophomore Casey Hogan. Hogan worked at safety last season, but shifted to “sam” linebacker prior to the spring session and has earned a spot on the second team defense after beginning the spring buried on the depth chart.“What we’ve really done is put him in a position where he would have more success physically, in theory, than the other position,” Bielema said.The transition to linebacker has been, by Hogan’s own admission, tough. However, the new “sam” backer has been studying film and learning from teammates.“It’s definitely a lot more physical,” Hogan said of playing on the strong side. “I’ve definitely been in the training room a lot more than I’m used to. I’ve just got to use my size and my long arms to my advantage and know where I’ve got to line up in formations and stuff and just do my keys and I’ll be alright.”Hogan has made the most of his chances thus far, showing his combination of speed and quickness for a linebacker. The lanky 6-foot-5 Hogan has also used his atypical size to create problems for the UW offense on blitzes during scrimmages. For the Cross Plains native, his play of late is a culmination of many hours of hard work.“The goal coming into the spring was just to get the coaches to notice, work hard in the weight room and get bigger, faster and stronger with [strength and conditioning coordinator John Dettman] and company,” Hogan said. “I’m just working hard, trying to get up in the film room as much as I can, get up with the coaches, talk to them. I’m lucky they’re noticing and I’m making the plays and getting the opportunity.”The man ahead of Hogan on the depth chart, junior Mark Zalewski, has had one of the best springs of any player on the defensive side of the football. While senior Lamarr Watkins, who has played in 31 games (starting eight) in his career, has taken the majority of snaps with the first team defense at “will” in Sanders’ absence, only Zalewski appears to have a real grip on a starting job.“I think Mark Zalewski is a good football player,” Bielema said. “Zew’s probably my best linebacker at any position, and he knows that. He’s really competing well amongst himself. He knows what he has to do to become a better football player. The rest of the guys, it’s a wide open battle and they’re doing some good things.”A position in an upheaval of sorts this spring has been “mike” backer, where sophomore Andy Crooks, who took over the starting spot for five games near the end of last season, has been among a number of players working with the first team defense in the middle.Junior Reggie Cribbs, who started prior to Crooks’ emergence until he was limited by an injury last season, has been a noticeable absence this spring. Cribbs has not participated in practice reportedly due to academic issues, and his status for the fall remains uncertain.Along with Crooks, junior Paul Joran and redshirt freshman Josh Neal have each spent time at first team “mike”, with Joran seeing the most time of late.The group as a whole will receive a boost in the fall from a talented freshman class that includes highly touted linebackers Travis Beckum and Elijah Hodge. However, the influx of new talent could also leave several current Badger linebackers fighting for spots on the depth chart.“We can’t worry about them,” Hogan said. “We’ve got to do our job right now, it’s spring ball and they’re obviously not here. But when they come in, we’re going to welcome them and try to help them into our family at linebacker, help them as much as we can and make us a better unit.”last_img read more

Proud Phobian: Bernard Avle is Hearts of Oak’s latest signing

first_imgElvis Herman Hesse, Chapters Committee Chairman for Accra Hearts of Oak and Communications Director, Opare Addo earlier today [5th June 2020] presented the General Manager of Citi FM and Citi TV, Mr. Bernard Avle with a replica jersey of the club.The club officials who described Mr. Avle as a “proud Phobian” added that Mr. Bernard Avle has  “truly demonstrated his love and passion for the club”The Football club in a post on Twitter also described the host of Citi FM’s Breakfast show and Citi TV’s Point of View show as a “die in the wool” Phobian.Hearts of Oak today made a presentation to a die in the wool Phobian, Bernard Avle, host of Citi FM’s Morning Show and, he truly demonstrated his love and passion for the club. Bernard is indeed a proud Phobian.🔴💛🔵#AHOSC pic.twitter.com/ATHWLJPFU1— Phobians (@HeartsOfOakGH) June 5, 2020The gesture by the club has since ignited a footballing conversation on social media site, Twitter with many including musician Manifest, joining in to show their support for the club.Phoooobia 🏆 https://t.co/1OFQh2FiE4— M.anifest – #WeNoDeyHear (@manifestive) June 5, 2020Bernard Avle earlier this year in February declared his love for the rainbow team on Citi FM’s breakfast show, leading to a conversation that ignited a football fanbase discussion on the country’s most listened to English morning radio show.A true super excited @benkoku receives a branded jersey from Hearts of Oak..Aloski.🔴💛🔵#AHOSC pic.twitter.com/BgnXgsJqDJ— Phobians (@HeartsOfOakGH) June 5, 2020Mr. Bernard Avle in a post on Facebook and twitter, also thanked the club for the gesture with a quote from the club’s famous tagline, “until the bones are rotten”Elvis Herman Hesse, the Chapters Committee Chairman for @HeartsOfOakGH and Comms Director Opare Addo surprised me with a customised jersey today.Never say die until the bones are rotten! Phoooobia! pic.twitter.com/vEWeR9SvVC— Bernard Avle (@benkoku) June 5, 2020Accra Hearts of OakAccra Hearts of Oak Sporting Club is a professional sports club based in Accra (Greater Accra), Ghana.The club was founded on 11 November 1911. Hearts of Oak won their first major match in 1922 when Sir Gordon Guggisberg, Governor of the Gold Coast, founded the Accra Football League. Hearts won 6 out of 12 seasons in this league.In 1956, Hearts joined the Ghanaian football league and have flourished since.In the year 2000, Hearts of Oak won the Ghana FA cup, the Ghana Premier League and for the first time in their history the CAF Champions League.This was the most successful year in the Clubs’ history.–By: Jude Duncan Tags: Bernard AvleHearts of Oaklast_img read more