In this July 26, 2014, file photo, Arizona Cardinals’ Jonathan Dwyer runs on the field during the first day of NFL football training camp in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer pleaded not guilty on Monday to aggravated assault after being accused of assaulting his wife during two arguments at their Phoenix apartment.Dwyer entered his plea to the felony and eight misdemeanors, including assault, at a brief arraignment in Maricopa County Superior Court.Investigators have said Dwyer broke his wife’s nose with a head-butt during a July 21 argument, and the next day punched her and threw a shoe at his 17-month-old son, who wasn’t injured.Dwyer was initially booked on suspicion of aggravated assault against his son but was not indicted on that allegation.His wife told authorities the first assault occurred after she learned about Dwyer’s recent phone contact with another woman.Dwyer’s attorney, Jared Allen, declined to comment on Monday outside court.The running back answered a few questions by Maricopa County Court Commissioner Casey Newcomb about his name and birthday, and whether he had provided a DNA sample.“Yes, sir,” Dwyer said in response to the DNA question.He was arrested last month as the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell came under fire amid a series of allegedly violent off-the-field encounters involving some marquee players, including Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson and Greg Hardy.The NFL has said the Dwyer case will be reviewed under the league’s personal-conduct policy.The day after his arrest, the Cardinals placed Dwyer on the reserve/non-football illness list, meaning he can’t play for Arizona again this season.His next court appearance is Nov. 20.
Facebook0Tweet0Pin0 The City has been awarded the 2013 WellCity Award of Excellence, by the Association of Washington Cities. Olympia is one of 83 cities and public entities that earned the award by making an outstanding commitment to employee health. The City will receive a 2% premium discount on 2014 Regence medical premiums. This is the eighth consecutive year the City has earned this prestigious award and the second year there has been a financial savings in the reduction of benefit premiums.
However, getting MacLeod to the tournament has not been finalized yet.Currently MacLeod is property of Elmira Jackals of the East Coast Hockey League.But to get to play in the Prospects Game, the Business major needs to have a deal worked out between the BlueJackets ECHL affiliate in Kalamazoo and Elmira.If the deal is completed, MacLeod could have a two-way contract between between the American Hockey League team in Springfield and the ECHL affiliate in Kalamazoo.”So I’ll most likely be starting in the east coast and hoping to get a call up to Springfield at some point and play some games,” MacLeod said.MacLeod played minor hockey in Nelson before joining the Nelson Leafs of the KIJHL, helping the Green and White to the 2009 league title.He then played two seasons in Penticton in the BC Hockey League before getting a scholarship with Boston College.During his senior season at Boston College, MacLeod served as an assistant captain while playing all 40 games for the Eagles.He tallied 11 assists with four of the points coming 20 Hockey East contests, finished with a plus-8 rating and set Patrick Brown up with the game-winning goal to help Boston College clinch its fifth-consecutive Beanpot title.Off the ice, MacLeod won the William J. Flynn Coaches Award captured the Academic Excellence Award as the senior with the highest grade point average. Nelson Minor Hockey grad Isaac MacLeod has landed a contract to play professional hockey next season.However, the final resting place for the 22-year-old defenceman remains up in the air.The Boston College Eagle grad, drafted 136th overall — fifth round — by San Jose Sharks in the 2010 NHL draft, is hopeful when all the dust has settled, the 6’5”, 212 pound mobile rearguard will be part of the Columbus BlueJackets squad that will be playing in the 2014 NHL Prospects Tournament in Traverse City, Michigan.”(Playing in the tournament) will be great for exposure for me and the chance for me to see the level of other rookie players,” MacLeod said.The NHL Prospects Tournament runs from Sept. 12-16.The eight-team tournament includes prospects from the Detroit Red Wings, Buffalo Sabres, Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers and St. Louis Blues.
Ahead of the public viewing, The City of Tshwane will tomorrow, December 11, 2013 welcome a full complement of the Gauteng Government Delegation, led by the Gauteng Premier, Ms. Nomvula Mokonyane, for the viewing of Madiba’s body at the Union Buildings.The delegation will converge at the City Hall from 7:30 where they will be welcomed by Tshwane Executive Mayor, Councilor Kgosientso Ramokgopa and city councilors.The delegation will visit the Union Buildings where Madiba’s body will be laying in state from Wednesday, 11 December to Friday, 13 December 2013. The Premier and Executive Mayor are expected to lead the entourage from City Hall to the Union Buildings from 8:30 where they will file past and view Madiba’s body from 10:00.The procession at the Union Buildings is expected to be led by Presidency and the Mandela family, followed by Cabinet, Heads of State, and then the Gauteng Government delegation.The Gauteng Government delegation will comprise the Executive of the Province, its legislature (MPL’s), metro councilors, districts and local councilors, and top senior officials from province and municipalities.Members of the media are invited to join the delegation at the City Hall.City of Tshwane park and ride facilities and memorial routeDue to the anticipated increase of private vehicle use, the City of Tshwane has activated numerous park and ride facilities for the public at Tshwane Events Center; LC De Villiers Sports Facility in Hatfield and Fountains Valley Park to the Union Buildings.Members of the public are urged to make use of these services as access to view the body will be restricted to people in city buses only. Members of the public will only start viewing from noon to 17:30, and no accreditation is requiredThe daily procession will leave 1 Military Hospital in Thaba Tshwane at 7am to the Union Buildings.The cartage of the late president will depart from 1 Military Hospital on Old Pretoria road towards the City where it will join Kgosi Mampuru Road until the intersection of Madiba Street where it will proceed in the eastern direction towards the Union buildings. Members of the public are expected to line up the routes and form a public guard of honour for Madiba when the remains are transported.Street vendors are advised that no trading will be allowed on the designated roads during the cartage movement on all three days. Shop owners along these routes are also advised to temporarily close shop given the large number of people expected to line the streets.The following areas of interest marks Madiba’s footsteps in Tshwane Pretoria central Prison (Kgosi Mampuru Street)On 7 November 1962, Nelson Mandela was sentenced to five years for incitement and leaving the country illegally. He then began serving his sentence at Pretoria Local Prison and was assigned the prisoner number 19476/62.Freedom Park (Salvokop, a few metres from Kgosi Mampuru Street)In 1999 President Mandela said “the day should not be far off, when we shall have a people’s shrine, a freedom park, where we shall honour with all the dignity they deserve, those who endured pain so we should experience the joy of freedom.” Mandela was describing the Freedom Park, which today stands on 52 hectares on Salvokop in Pretoria; a monument to democracy.Palace of Justice (Church Square)On 9 October 1963, Nelson Mandela along with 10 other accused appears in the Palace of Justice in Pretoria. They were the accused in the Rivonia Trial. The case was remanded to 29 October. Prisoners were transported in the back of a van using the Madiba street entrance.This is where Mandela made his famous speech which concluded as follows “During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal for which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”Corner Lillian Ngoyi and Madiba streetsLillian Madiba Ngoyi (25 September 1911- 13 March 1980) was a South anti- apartheid activist. She was the first woman elected to the executive committee of the African National Congress, and helped launch the Freedom of South African Women. On 9 August 1956, Ngoyi led a march along with Helen Joseph, Rahima Moosa, Sophia Williams-De Bruyn, Bertha Gxowa and Albertina Sisulu of 20 000 women to the Union Buildings of Pretoria in protest against the apartheid government requiring women to carry passbooks as part of the pass laws.Lillian Ngoyi visited Nelson Mandela on Robben Island prison in August 1973.Nelson Mandela Drive and Madiba StreetIt’s only in the City of Tshwane where two streets named after Nelson ‘Madiba’ Mandela, meets. It is at this intersection where the City of Tshwane has set up an eco-open park in honour of Mandela.Union BuildingsThe body of Nelson Mandela will lie in state at the amphitheatre at the Union Buildings from Wednesday 11 December till Friday 13 December. Mandela was sworn in as the first president of the Democratic Republic of South Africa on 10 May 1994. On 10 December 2002, President Thabo Mbeki bestowed the country’s Order of Mapungubwe on president Nelson Mandela.Tshwane memorial serviceThe City will host a memorial service at Lucas Moripe “Masterpieces” stadium on 12 December 2013 from 14:00, to honour the democratic Capital’s City forefather and founder. The memorial service will be address by senior members of the national cabinet and interfaith community, supplemented by cultural performance and citations.Issued ByBlessing ManaleExecutive Head: Public Affairs, Media Relations and SpokespersonOffice of the Executive Mayor| Centurion | Cnr Rabie & Basden Streets |PO Box 3242 Pretoria | 0001Tel: 012 358 4320 |Cell: 083 677 1630 www.tshwane.gov.za | Email: [email protected]
Payback Calculations for Energy-Efficiency Improvements The Department of Energy Chooses a Definition for Net ZeroA Business Model for Net-Zero Energy DistrictsCalifornia Leads the Nation in Net-Zero ProjectsMajor U.S. Builder Tests Net-Zero MarketNet-Zero-Energy versus Passivhaus Bruce Sullivan is a building science consultant. This post originally appeared at The Zero Energy Project. A real world exampleFor a real world example. I’ll use my own ZEH. It was completed in September 2015 in Bend, Oregon (Climate Zone 5). It’s a small house, a bit more than 900 square feet. The building shell has extra insulation, including 10-inch thick walls, and a very low rate of air leakage (1.0 ach50). There is a ductless heat pump for space heating and a heat-pump water heater. Efficient appliances include a two-burner induction cooktop. To power all this, there is a 4.3-kW photovoltaic (PV) system. I kept careful records of all the construction costs and, for comparison, estimated the cost to build the house to a minimum code efficiency level.The investment in energy-efficiency measures required to bring the house to zero energy was $39,900. Financial incentives from the electric utility, state, and federal governments covered just under half of that, reducing my cost to $21,206. However, I was able to reduce construction costs by doing most of the air sealing and installing the ventilation system myself. Including sweat equity, my costs for energy improvements dropped to $16,085, so my added monthly mortgage payment was only $77.My energy model predicted energy savings worth $92 per month. Adding the higher mortgage payment and subtracting these monthly energy savings, I’m making a profit of $15 per month. Each year as energy prices increase, I will be making a little more. And if I ever were to sell my home I would get a price premium for the energy upgrades it contains and quality of life it provides. In the meantime I am living in a home that provides more comfort, more quiet, fresher air, and more durability. A hedge against rising energy costsSo far, I’ve shown you the return on investment starting with energy-saving “dividends” on move-in day and ending with a higher return on the day you sell your home. Another security you get with a ZEH is that the home’s features provide insurance against rising energy costs. Electricity price inflation has been steady at about 3% for decades and will undoubtedly continue to increase. Natural gas and petroleum prices are more volatile, but who wants to chain their home to unstable, carbon-emitting fossil fuels for decades to come?There are also many important non-monetary returns with ZEHs that should be taken into account: These homes are more comfortable, healthier, quieter, more durable, and kinder to the planet.The concept of “payback period” complicates and obscures both the solid financial returns from investing in a zero-energy home and distracts from the many non-financial benefits of the home. So let’s banish “payback” from our vocabularies. Every conversation about zero-energy homes (ZEHs) eventually comes around to the question of “cost.” The negative connotation of added cost and, even worse, “payback,” always puts ZEH advocates at a disadvantage. For years, I’ve encouraged advocates to call energy expenditures investments rather than “costs that must be recovered.” So, let’s banish the entire idea of “payback” and “payback period.”Would anyone judge a stock investment or an interest-bearing bank account by calculating how long it would take the earnings to equal the principal? No, that would be absurd. Likewise, it’s counterproductive to consider funds used for energy improvements to be costs. They are investments with a financial return — both immediate and long-term — that is both significant and predictable.When you spend money to reduce energy use, you receive a tangible financial benefit that begins the first month and continues for as long as you own your home. Let’s say that you’re building a new zero-energy home. You can calculate how much it will cost to increase insulation, reduce air leakage, improve equipment efficiency, and add photovoltaic panels. In most cases the investment will be in the tens of thousands of dollars. This investment will return immediate benefits whether you finance the purchase or pay with cash. Savings begin as soon as you move inTo illustrate the idea, let’s use an example of an investment of $40,000 in energy-efficiency measures needed to bring a new house to net zero energy. In my area, financial incentives from the electric utility, state, and federal government cover just under half the costs and reduce the amount to $21,000. If you finance this home with a conventional 30-year mortgage, with current mortgage interest rates at 4%, you’ll pay $50 per month for each $10,000 you add to your principal amount.If we assume that you financed the additional construction cost of $21,000 (after incentives), then your monthly added payment for energy improvements would be $100. Based on energy modeling, let’s assume the home will save $200 per month for energy.That $200 return starts the first month you live in your house, and in this example it exceeds the added monthly mortgage payment whether incentives were used or not. With incentives, the net return after paying for the energy improvements is $100 per month; without incentives the net return is $8 per month.You can also turn this calculation around by first looking at savings and then calculating how much money you could afford to invest. By building a home that saves $200 per month, you could afford to invest $40,000 in energy improvements.In return for your investment, you pay nothing or very little for energy from the day you walk in the door. The monthly savings almost always offset the additional mortgage payment. Many zero-energy homes will realize a profit on their investment during the very first month, as in this example. It’s a very simple idea. If the monthly energy savings exceed the monthly financing cost, you win!Businesses do this all the time, and they call it “leverage.” They borrow money to make an investment. If the return is higher than the outlay, they make a profit. If you think of energy improvements in this way, it opens a new way of thinking about ZEHs.While the figures used in this example will apply to many areas of the U.S., your return will depend on individual circumstances. Home size, local construction costs, local energy costs, interest rates, and locally available incentives are key factors that will need to be considered. The key point to remember is that your investment has an immediate return, as well as a long-term return.With financial investments, in addition to receiving interest and dividends, eventually you will withdraw the principal, when you close your bank account or sell a stock. How does that compare with money invested to improve the energy efficiency of your home? How do you recover the capital?Although there will always be real estate price fluctuations, it’s generally true that homes will grow in value over time. A number of studies show that energy-efficient homes, especially ones with solar collectors, sell faster and receive higher prices than conventional homes in many areas of the country, making highly energy-efficient homes a positive real estate investment. RELATED ARTICLES
It takes fake eggs, sterile incubators, some trickery and years of trial and error to breed Canada’s almost extinct northern spotted owl in captivity.Researchers at British Columbia’s Northern Spotted Owl Breeding Program centre in Langley say their fingers are crossed this spring as they delicately tend to at least one fertile egg, due to hatch within days.“We’ve learned a lot,” said spotted owl specialist Jasmine McCulligh, the centre’s program co-ordinator. “We’ve seen a lot of good behaviour from our (breeding) pairs. We’ve just had a really good season. I’m hoping it will be our best year ever.”Breeding success will boost survival chances for the owls that are listed as endangered and near extinction, said McCulligh.No northern spotted owls have been released since the breeding program’s inception in 2007.“We want to have a good captive population and a surplus of owls before we start releasing them into the wild,” said McCulligh.There are five breeding pairs at the centre and the goal is to double that before releasing between 10 and 20 offspring annually, McCulligh said.When that time comes, she said they plan to release their first owls in the Bridge River-Seton watershed area near Lillooet.But until that day arrives, the breeders will be wearing lab coats, gloves and masks as they attempt to raise newborn chicks from fragile eggs.McCulligh said the process involves removing the fertile egg from the nest and replacing it with a robotic egg that collects data during the 32 days it takes for the real egg to hatch. The female owl sits on the fake egg while the real egg is placed in an incubator, said McCulligh.“They are very delicate,” she said. “They could get cracked accidentally. We don’t want to risk a talon going through an eggshell, any bacteria on the nest.”Once the egg hatches, the breeders feed and monitor the chick for at least 10 days before placing it back into the nest, where the owl continues parenting as if nothing unusual has occurred, she said.“She’s expecting it to be 32 days sitting on this egg and then it’s going to hatch and be this tiny little 30-gram chick,” McCulligh said. “The timing is a lot off, but she doesn’t seem to mind.”She said they’ve also discovered the breeding pairs are open to adoption.“They’ll take back any chick,” McCulligh said. “It doesn’t have to be their biological chick. We’ve had a chick … who was found in the wild and she was three weeks old. We gave it to a female who had never seen a chick in her life and she and her mate took care of the chick.”And if having to sit on a robotic egg for 32 days or raising a chick from another owl isn’t enough, the breeders also attempt to trick the females into producing more eggs each breeding season.McCulligh said the breeders employ a so-called double-clutch technique where the female lays eggs twice during the breeding season. She said they immediately remove the first egg from the nest, which usually results in the female laying a second egg days later.If all goes well, the centre plans to set up a camera and live stream the owl chick and its parents in the next several weeks.Northern spotted owls once thrived throughout old-growth forests ranging from B.C.’s southern Interior to California. The B.C. Forest Ministry said at one time there were up to 1,000 owls in the province, but habitat loss and competition from the barred owl have reduced the population to less than a dozen.In an effort to resurrect the population, the province protected 325,000 hectares of the owl’s habitat, embarked on a cull of barred owls in spotted owl territory and launched the captive breeding program.Protection of the owls fuelled long-running disputes between environmental groups and forest companies as their fate was often tied to saving old-growth forests where they live.The environmental group Wilderness Committee said more than 70 per cent of the spotted owl’s old-growth habitat, from northern California to B.C., has been logged.Dirk Meissner , The Canadian Press
OSU players attempt to take down Illinois then-junior running back Josh Ferguson (6) during a game on Nov. 1, 2015 at Ohio Stadium. Credit: Lantern File PhotoFor the No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes, the important part of the season sits on the horizon.Looming are matchups with No. 13 Michigan State, No. 12 Michigan and, if things go right for the Buckeyes, a meeting with No. 5 Iowa is likely in the Big Ten Championship Game.Before any of those games come, however, OSU (9-0, 5-0) has a meeting with a team that has played spoiler in the past.A trip to Champaign, Illinois, to take on the Illinois Fighting Illini (5-4, 2-3) is on the docket for the Buckeyes on Saturday at noon.While the team understands the season-defining importance of the games following Saturday’s, sophomore linebacker Raekwon McMillan said the team’s coaches have made sure the team is only thinking about the task immediately ahead.“With (coach Urban) Meyer’s mentality, and our whole coaching staff’s mentality, it’s one game at a time,” McMillan said. “We really don’t worry about what’s down the road or what’s two weeks from now, we have to worry what’s right now and what’s coming at this time.”The Illini have given the Buckeyes trouble in the past in “trap games.”In 2007, Illinois came into Ohio Stadium and stunned the No. 1 Buckeyes. In three of the next four years following that game, the Illini put up a fight against OSU, losing by 10 points in 2008 and 2011 and 11 points in 2010, though the 2011 meeting saw OSU as the underdog pulling off an upset victory.However, Meyer’s arrival in 2012 has been accompanied with a turnaround in that trend.In Meyer’s three games against Illinois, the Buckeyes have won by a total of 96 points, scoring 167 points.Previously for IllinoisIt has been a season of change for the Fighting Illini, as the team fired its coach Tim Beckman just one week before the season, replacing him with interim coach Bill Cubit.Then, on Monday, the school’s athletic director Mike Thomas followed Beckham out the door following a report detailing mistreatment of football and women’s basketball players.Amid the high rate of turnover off the field has come an equal rate of inconsistent play on it.After a strong start to the season that saw the Illini start 4-1 — with its only loss coming against now-No. 23 North Carolina — the wheels came off the bus. In its last five games, Illinois has gone 1-3.That stretch featured a three-game losing streak, with competitive losses to No. 5 Iowa and No. 25 Wisconsin by nine and 11 points, respectively. However, the third game was a 39-0 thumping at Penn State.The Illini bounced back last Saturday, traveling to West Lafayette, Indiana, to blow away Purdue 48-14.Other than the rushing attack, one of Illinois’ strengths this season has been forcing turnovers, as it has come away with 11 interceptions, second most in the Big Ten. Redshirt junior safety Taylor Barton has led the way with four picks.Illinois is led by a strong run game anchored by the tandem of redshirt senior Josh Ferguson and true freshman Ke’Shawn Vaughn, who combined for 313 yards rushing against Purdue.“This team is going to try to establish the run, but it’s up to us to stop it,” McMillan said.Ferguson missed two games before the Purdue game but came back with 133 yards against the Boilermakers.“He’s a spark for that team,” McMillan said. “He wants to be that playmaker, so they’re going to put the ball in his hands a lot.”Back to full strengthAfter OSU lost a starter on the defense to the injury for the first time this season in the last two games, it appears the top 11 will be getting back to full strength on Saturday.Senior defensive tackle Tommy Schutt made his return to the depth chart for the Week 11 matchup after missing two games with a wrist injury.Though he will still have to wear a cast on the field, Schutt’s return comes welcome for a defensive line that rotated redshirt senior Joel Hale and redshirt sophomore Michael Hill in Schutt’s absence.For the season, Schutt has 20 tackles, including four for a loss.While not missing more than part of the fourth quarter, redshirt senior Braxton Miller is also expected to be able to play.Meyer said the H-back suffered a neck injury when his head was thrown to the turf on a tackle, but he should be fine for Saturday’s contest.OSU will also be getting redshirt sophomore J.T. Barrett back following a one-game suspension for a citation for operating a vehicle impaired.“I think it’s going to be a good thing,” redshirt sophomore H-back Jalin Marshall said about Barrett. “He’s proven himself as a great player, so we’re looking forward to having him back with the offense and the team.”Up nextThe Buckeyes are set to finish up their home schedule in a key Big Ten East division game against No. 13 Michigan State on Nov. 21. Kickoff is scheduled for either noon or 3:30 p.m. at Ohio Stadium.
OSU redshirt junior defensive end Tyquan Lewis leads the Buckeyes into Ohio Stadium as coach Urban Meyer greets each player before the Buckeyes’ 30-27 victory over Michigan on Nov. 26. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo EditorLast season, the Ohio State football team relied heavily on its secondary — namely, safety Malik Hooker and cornerbacks Marshon Lattimore, and Gareon Conley — to be the playmakers and backbone on the Buckeyes’ defense.With the departure of this athletic trio for the NFL draft, however, the “Silver Bullets” will now lean on an experienced defensive line to lead the way for defensive coordinator Greg Schiano in his first full season at the helm of the defense.As spring practice began this week, Schiano said the team has some lofty challenges ahead of it after losing a handful of key components on the roster. However, Schiano said he is looking forward to working with the abilities and skill he has upfront on defense.“That’s a heck of a group and I think we got really elite defensive lineman, and I think we have the best defensive line coach (Larry Johnson) in America,” Schiano said. “So, when you put those two things together, it’s fun to work with those guys and I’m excited to see how it all comes together.”Among those upfront, redshirt senior defensive end Tyquan Lewis returned for his final year of eligibility after the devastating, shutout loss to Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl. Following OSU’s exit out of the College Football Playoff, Lewis said he substantially thought about his plans for the future, but collectively, said he is satisfied with his decision to come back.“After the game, I had a talk with my family, coach (Larry) Johnson, and I had to evaluate some things,” Lewis said. “There was a lot going into it, I had a lot to consider — the pros and cons and everything. I had to make the right decision, so I chose to come back and I feel that, that was what was best for me.”Schiano said that as challenging as it will be, he will need to find a way to get Lewis and a talented group of linemen on the field at the same time. With that, Schiano added that improvements can be made to the rotation of redshirt junior Sam Hubbard, senior Jalyn Holmes and sophomore Nick Bosa on the edges, and redshirt sophomore Dre’Mont Jones and redshirt senior Michael Hill at defensive tackle already implemented into the Buckeyes’ scheme.“Our plan is a very solid and great plan. It keeps everybody fresh. Nobody is playing, like, 70 plays and that’s a good thing,” Lewis said. “Nobody should have to put their bodies through that all the time, and the type of caliber players we have here, you win games like that — with great players.”Despite being the reigning Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year, Lewis said that he still has improvements to make as a pass rusher in his technique with his hands and hips. Lewis also said that when it comes to being recognized for his performance on the field, his main focus is on being the top player at his position.“I mean, I just want to be the best. I just want to go out and play hard for my teammates, that’s the main thing,” he said. “Whatever else comes with all the accolades, I mean, I don’t really get into things like that. I just accept them.”
Ohio State senior Logan Melander performs on pommel horse against Michigan on Feb. 4. Credit: Daneyliz Rodriguez | Lantern reporterReturning from the Big Ten championships with their 14th conference title, the No. 3 Ohio State men’s gymnastics team prepares to hit the road for the NCAA championships. The journey, however, might not be the only thing on the minds of the athletes, as the Buckeyes mourn the loss of former team member, Larry Mayer, who passed away Monday evening.“We recently lost a member of our gymnastics family, and it was very hard for us,” said OSU coach Rustam Sharipov. “Larry Mayer was bright and a great athlete … Our thoughts go to his family and we are thinking of him. As for (the) NCAA championship, we’ve had some rough patches this season … but the guys work very hard and we are ready.”Mayer, 24, graduated in 2015 with a successful season, placing 10th on vault at the Big Ten event finals and seventh on vault at the team finals. He also won vault with a 15.150 against Michigan, and tied for second place on vault against Penn State with a 14.900. He was a two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection and a three-time OSU Scholar-Athlete.The NCAA championships start on Friday at the Christl Arena at The United States Military Academy at West Point.The championships qualifier begins Friday with two pre-qualifying sessions. The top three teams will advance to Saturday’s final session.Last season, the Buckeyes advanced to the 2016 NCAA championships with a second-place finish at the NCAA pre-qualifier at St. John Arena. However, it was Oklahoma who took home the title with a team score of 443.400 points. Stanford finished second with 434.050, while OSU placed third with 433.050.The Buckeyes will enter the championships ranked third in the all-around, second on pommel horse, third on rings, third on parallel bars and fourth on high bar.“We’ve basically just been making sure that everyone is healthy and everyone feels ready to go this weekend, but we’re actually so prepared that athletes who haven’t competed much this season will compete during the qualifier to give other guys a break,” said junior Seth Delbridge. “We’ve had a great season, and I just want to do the best that we can to earn the title. If we all go in with this outlook, I think we’ll do great.”OSU will compete in the first pre-qualifying session on Friday at 1 p.m. Team, all-around and event finals will take place on Saturday.
Ohio State sophomore forward Kaleb Wesson attempts a block against Cleveland State on Nov. 23 in St. John Arena. Credit: Amal Saeed | Assistant Photo EditorKaleb Wesson has been the focal point of the Ohio State offense over the last three games. Coming into the season with a career high of 18 points, the sophomore forward matched that against South Carolina State and exceeded that in his next game, scoring 19 points against Samford. Wesson continued his key role in the Ohio State offense in St. John Arena: the same place his father played in. In Friday’s 89-62 win against Cleveland State, he led the team with 19 points, matching his career high, making eight of 15 attempts from the floor. When you ask Wesson about the groove he’s been in, about the integral role he’s played in the offense in the last three games of Ohio State’s six-game winning streak to start the 2018-19 season, he does not mention himself. It’s all about the players around him. “I feel I have more opportunities because of my teammates,” Wesson said. “My teammates stepped up early in the year. Creighton, me and C.J. [Jackson] didn’t play very well and we still won the game because people stepped up. I feel if more people step up, I will get more shots.” He said his teammates move the ball around on the outside, finding an easier angle for the big man in the middle, finding an ability to pin defenders in the low post. But for a team that lost a lot of its forward depth right before the season began, with Micah Potter announcing his transfer from the program prior to its first game against Cincinnati on Nov. 7, many of the questions revolved around the same general topic. Wesson is only one player, and with only two other true “big men” on the roster —sophomore forward Kyle Young and freshman forward JaeDon LeDee — how would Ohio State be able to be consistent in the paint? How would Ohio State be able to play big? It’s setting the identity of Ohio State, no matter the personnel the team has available. It’s something that was planned for in the second half against Cleveland State. “The plan was to get the ball inside,” Wesson said. “Every single time, we try and play inside out.” In the second half, Wesson led the team with 10 points, connecting on four of seven shots from the floor. In Wesson, Ohio State is able to set the tone for the rest of the team in that area, something that Cleveland State head coach Dennis Felton had to prepare for.“We know that when he is in the game, they want to run their offense through him. They want to do a lot of things that end up being about four out, one in to get him the ball,” Felton said. “He’s very heavy and wide and strong and he’s terrific at using his girth to seal for angles. That came as no surprise.” Like Wesson said, though, it’s not just him, barrelling over opponents in the paint, using his size and girth to bully opponents in the low post. It’s his teammates, getting him in the right positions, finding the mismatches defensively. Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann said he gives credit to Wesson not being trapped so much, finding one-on-one matchups down low as opposed to what Creighton did, double teaming the forward in the paint. But even in those situations, Holtmann said Wesson has found a way to succeed. “What people have to understand is Kaleb, he understands how to play,” Holtmann said. “If there are two guys on him, he’s going to pass the ball out. There’s some teams that are really going to try and limit his scoring and he’s going to have to recognize that and be able to make the right basketball play.” But Wesson still can’t do everything in the paint by himself, and the numbers have shown that. The Buckeyes recorded 38 rebounds to Cleveland State’s 37, a team that its head coach described as struggling with its post presence. Much of the success for the Vikings against Ohio State was their ability to get second chances in the paint, recording 12 offensive rebounds and 10 second-chance points. Ohio State sophomore forward Kyle Young showed a bit of promise in that area, recording three offensive boards in Friday’s win, showing a hustle in the paint, getting to the loose balls, something Holtmann said the team, as a whole, did not do a good job in against Cleveland State. Wesson understands how important offensive boards are to a team’s success. “We definitely have to pick up our offensive rebounding,” Wesson said. “That’s a big key, getting extra possessions in the game, getting extra shots.” To Holtmann, it’s simpler than that. It’s rebounding in general, offensive and defensive boards. That’s what is going to give Ohio State that staying power. Even if his offensive numbers decrease, that’s where Wesson’s staying power will be, where his impact will be made: on the glass.