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When the Halifax County Middle School football team takes the field today against Fieldale-Collinsville Middle School at 5 p.m. at <a href=""></a> Tuck Dillard Memorial Stadium it will looking to turn around its fortunes and take a step toward building a successful season.

The Lions fell to Ben Franklin Middle School in their home opener, and with today’s game being the first of five games remaining on the team’s schedule, this provides the Lions a good opportunity to build momentum for the rest of the season.

“I am really excited about this year to see what we have,” said Lions Head Coach LeVar Medley.

“Right now, offensively we have to continue to work on execution. The base of the offense is in, and all we have to do is sharpen things up. Defensively, we just have to make sure we know our assignments and fly to the ball. That’s what I preach on the defensive side of the ball everybody fly to the ball.”

Medley has experience and some talented young athletes in the ranks, especially in the offensive backfield where he has everyone returning. Osiris Ross returns at quarterback, bringing with him good experience from last season.

“He took over in the middle of the season last year, and did a tremendous job for us,” Medley said.

“This off-season he has had the whole off-season dedicated to thinking like a quarterback.”

Ross has two solid runners in the backfield <a href=""></a> with him in fullback Mikyler Smalls and Saeed Buster, giving the Lions a three-pronged threat.

“Mikyler ran the ball tough for me last year,” Medley noted, “and he is back healthy this year after suffering a broken ankle in the Bluestone game last year. We have the real fast Saeed Buster running again this year, and he has gotten bigger and stronger. He was very electric, very fast last year.”

Another runner Medley is expecting good things from this season is Montreal Claiborne, a runner Medley describes as “a shifty-type of guy with good vision.”

Up front, Medley is looking at returning center Greyson Balance to anchor the offensive line.

The Lions lost a lot of their defensive starters from last season, but have a stalwart returning at defensive end in Zachariah Carter. Carter is one of four returning defensive starters for the Lions.

“He is the leader of the defense, and I might say the leader of this team,” Medley pointed out.

“He is not a man of many words, but he leads by example in practice, in the school hallway and on the playing field.”

Medley likes the mixture of experience and <a href="">Tracy Porter Jersey</a> youth he has in this year’s team.

“We’re young,” he noted.

“The more we play, the more we’ll get it.”

After today’s game, the Lions will play their next three games on the road before ending their season Oct. 4 with a home game against Laurel Park Middle School.

A six-pack of Dolphins notes on a Tuesday:

• For a team that allowed a <a href=""></a> league-worst 4.8 yards per carry last season, this was encouraging, even with the extremely small sample size:

Miami emerged from Sunday’s 19-17 win against the Chargers allowing just 3.1 yards per carry, 7th best in the league.

What’s more, after relinquishing 140 yards per game on the ground last season, Miami allowed just 44 on Sunday.

And there’s this: The Chargers’ 44 rushing yards were the fewest allowed by the Dolphins since Sept. 30, 2012, when Arizona mustered only 28.

“I thought we had very few missed tackles,” Adam Gase said. “The entire defense did a good job playing off each other. We had one that kind of got us for a longer run. For the most part, everybody was in the right gaps, playing fast, a lot of gang tackling. A lot of guys were around the ball, collapsing everything. Really good to see.”

Chargers coach Anthony Lynn stopped running the ball as much after watching Ndamukong Suh blow up a couple of plays early on. Suh had two tackles for loss.

“What I saw early was Suh dominating up <a href=""></a> front, and I got away from that,” Lynn said of the running game.

• Cody Parkey’s 54-yard field goal was the longest game-winning field goal in Dolphins history, according to the team.


Dolphins coach Adam Gase, still irked <a href=""></a> about Lawrence Timmons leaving the team without permission on Saturday, was non-committal on Monday about whether the veteran linebacker would remain a part of the organization, let alone play next week at the Jets.

According to a source, Timmons was doing much better Monday after dealing with an undisclosed personal matter over the weekend and wants to play Sunday at the Jets. He missed Sunday’s game at the Chargers after going AWOL Saturday.

SPN reported that Timmons would meet with team doctors on Monday, which the team did not confirm.

Gase declined to say when asked if Timmons is expected to remain with the organization.

“Nothing to add, for what I have right now,” Gase said. “Really just gathering a lot of information. I’ve got a few other things I have to deal with the guys who played [Sunday].”

Gase said Monday he hasn’t talked to Timmons and has “no idea” if he was in the Dolphins’ facility.

Gase was asked if he has a lot of rules. “Be on time and play hard,” he said. “I don’t know if that’s real hard.”

The coach was asked his tolerance level when those rules are broken.

“What do you think?” Gase answered. “You’ve got two rules. It’s not hard.”

Among Miami’s most realistic options is suspending Timmons for as many as four games for conduct detrimental to the team.

Article 42 of the collective bargaining agreement allows teams to fine a player for up to one week’s salary or to suspend him, without pay, for detrimental conduct for a period “not to exceed four weeks.”

The Dolphins gave Timmons a two-year, $12 <a href=""></a> million contract in March, including a $5.5 million signing bonus and $11 million in guaranteed money.

But only $1 million of his pay this season is in base salary. So if Timmons is suspended without pay for one week, it would cost him $58,823 – one/17th of a 17-week NFL season, according to someone who has access to his contract.

If the Dolphins suspended him for the maximum four weeks, it would cost him $235,294.

Cutting him would not benefit the Dolphins much financially. According to, his cap hit would be nearly identical this season if he’s on the team ($3.77 million) as if he’s not ($3.75 million).

Next season, he has an $8.2 million cap hit if he’s on the team, $7.2 million if he’s cut before June 1.

And $4.5 million of his $5.4 million base salary for next season already has been guaranteed, per sources.

The Dolphins learned Timmons had gone AWOL on Saturday night and filed missing person’s reports with multiple Southern California police departments, according to a source.

According to TMZ and a team source, police found Timmons at Los Angeles International Airport on Sunday morning in a boarding area. TMZ said a Dolphins official was summoned and met Timmons there and left with him. Timmons was trying to get to Pennsylvania, where his baby and the baby’s mother live.

TMZ said the reason Timmons bolted was because “he missed the baby and wanted to visit. He was serious about visiting her.”

Sunday’s absence ended a streak of 101 <a href="">Nick O'Leary Womens Jersey</a> consecutive starts for Timmons, which ranks 10th among all active players and second among all defensive players, behind only Ravens cornerback Brandon Carr.


Lorenzo Alexander had a huge impact on <a href=""></a> the Buffalo Bills defense in the 2016 season. Initially signed to be a special teamer, Alexander earned a starting role in Buffalo’s defense last summer. He took the opportunity and ran with it, as he recorded 76 tackles and 12.5 sacks for the Bills last season.

Alexander has now taken a leadership role in Buffalo’s locker room. When speaking to the media earlier this week, the 34-year-old praised Ramon Humber, a linebacker who has a background that is shockingly similar to that of Alexander. Humber, 30, was brought in by the Bills last season to play on special teams – but he won a starting linebacker role in this past summer’s training camp.

Humber was impressive in the team’s 2017 season opener, as he recorded a team-high 12 tackles.

“He’s going to continue to do that,” Alexander told the Buffalo News. “There’s certain guys that you know when you play with, you’re like, ‘he’s probably just a teamer.’ But then there’s other guys like, ‘this dude can ball no <a href=""></a> matter what.’ He’s one of those guys that we trust. We’re not out there like, ‘oh, that’s a weak link.’ That’s Ramon. We know he’s got it. He’s going to lock it down.”

Humber’s road to being a starting linebacker in the NFL has been a long one, a road that features many twists and turns. After going undrafted in the 2009 NFL Draft, Humber signed with the Indianapolis Colts. After a two-year stint in Indianapolis, Humber signed with the New Orleans Saints. He would spend the next six years of his NFL career with the Saints before joining Buffalo in August of 2016.

“He’s old in this league now. People think that he’s younger than what he is,” Alexander said. “He’s learned a lot of football. He’s been around a lot of great players, a lot of great teams, and he’s always been productive when he’s gotten his opportunity.”

Alexander was right. While Humber has never been a superstar, he’s always taken advantage of the opportunities he’s been afforded. While he’s only started 19 games throughout his career, he’s recorded 222 tackles.

Humber took advantage of another opportunity this past Sunday when he recorded 12 tackles and an interception on a two-point conversion against the Jets.

Humber and the Buffalo defense will take on <a href="">James Laurinaitis Youth Jersey</a> the Cam Newton-led Carolina Panthers in Week 2. If Alexander’s comments are any indication, Humber will have yet another big outing this week.


It was a scorching hot Saturday last Sept. 10 <a href=""></a> and Woodrow Wilson and Highland were ready to face off in what figured to be a key football game in the West Jersey Football League Royal Division.

Moments before kickoff there was no indication a national and International story was going to occur, nothing to dictate that the spotlight was going to shine as bright as that September sun on Woodrow Wilson coach Preston Brown and his coaches and players in the coming days, weeks and months.

But as the national anthem started to play, Brown took a knee. His coaches and players – all except two – joined him.

Brown had decided a few days before he was going to take a knee as a way to speak out against economic disparities and social injustices. He had been inspired by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick making a similar gesture before a preseason game – and starting what would become a national controversy over his actions.

Brown told his team his plans so they wouldn’t be surprised, and unbeknownst to him, the majority decided to do so with him. They repeated the act for every anthem the rest of the season, changing course after Brown said they would only do it for two weeks because of how many calls and e-mails he received supporting their stance.

It’s been nearly a year since that opening game of the 2016 season – which Highland went on to win, 13-7, in what became something of a footnote of the day’s events.

The teams will meet again this Friday night in what is expected to be another closely-contested, important game. Brown said on Wednesday night he hadn’t discussed with the team whether he would kneel for this game or what their plans were and had the mindset that everyone should make their own decisions.

Stories on about the decision last September drew hundreds of comments. A 45-second video of the team kneeling has 91,000 views.

National and even International news <a href=""></a> agencies – the BBC did a piece the following week – talked to Brown and the players and followed up on their stance. Brown admitted the attention was nothing he expected and even this week – perhaps through the power of Google – the school fielded 8-10 phone calls on the issue as if it just happened.

Brown noted 70 percent of the responses he has seen throughout the year have been positive, though there are plenty of commenters who have called for his firing and were further enraged when the school district and superintendent supported him.

Brown said this week he suspects some officials who don’t agree with the Tigers’ decision have let it affect their impartiality.

"I was told by my AD that some refs didn’t want to ref our games," said Brown. “We got a penalty for too many men on the field when we didn’t have enough. One game they went to explain a call to the other coach and when I asked for an explanation I got a sideline warning. Against Moorestown, we were called off-sides when we weren’t even rushing in. We were told not to rush in during the final couple minutes of the Delsea game because they were going to take a knee, even though I said what if they fumble the snap? We got a penalty on an extra point for not enough people on the line that didn’t make any sense.

“In a lot of games there were some interesting calls and usually you just deal with it, but in close games that can cost you. And I still saw some questionable calls in one of our scrimmages this year.”

Brown said he continued to sit or kneel as he assisted with the basketball program this past winter and some players did the same.

“I don’t regret decisions we made,” said Brown, a Wilson graduate who is also the school’s Dean of Culture and Climate. “I still feel strongly about it. There’s been some improvements in some issues, but we still have issues. There’s questionable things happening.

"You see the (NFL player) Michael Bennett (involved in a racial profiling incident) in Las Vegas. You look at who the President is and how <a href="">Marshal Yanda Womens Jersey</a> many people are unhappy he is representing our nation and the things he has said publicly. You see what’s happening with (President) Trump now with DACA, which is going to affect some kids in our school if it goes through. There’s a great social economic divide and racial divide.


A 12-pack of notes, a day after the Dolphins’ 19-17 season-opening win at the Los Angeles Chargers:

• After missing Sunday’s game for an <a href=""></a> undisclosed personal reason, Dolphins linebacker Lawrence Timmons is doing better and wants to resume playing immediately, according to a league source.

But Timmons must first meet with coach Adam Gase, and that meeting will help determine his Dolphins future.

In addition, ESPN’s Adam Schefter said Timmons is scheduled to meet with doctors today to determine the “personal” issue.

Gase has said he will discuss the matter at his 3 p.m. news conference.

Timmons left the team on Saturday and Dolphins officials didn’t determine his whereabouts until Sunday morning.

Sunday’s absence snapped Timmons’ streak of 101 consecutive starts, most in the league among front seven defenders.

• Based on the naked eye, and some metrics from Pro Football Focus, the Dolphins’ young players had mixed results Sunday.

Cornerback Xavien Howard was targeted a league-high 13 times in Week 2 and allowed a league-high 10 receptions for 87 yards, including a key one on San Diego’s final drive that ended with a missed field goal. His overall grade <a href=""></a> of 46.8 ranked 62nd among all cornerbacks for week two.

While linebacker Mike Hull - forced into a major role - held up in the running game, he allowed all nine passes thrown against him to be caught for 95 yards. The targets, receptions and yards allowed were all the most for any linebacker in coverage for Week 2.

Even if Rey Maualuga eventually replaces Hull, pass coverage at middle linebacker remains an enormous concern. Maualuga was out with a hamstring injury Sunday.

Hull played all 58 of Miami’s defensive snaps. Rookie Chase Allen, who started alongside Hull and Kiko Alonso, played 13 snaps and had an 81.3 grade, third highest among Dolphins defenders.

Rookie first-rounder Charles Harris played 27 snaps and had one quarterback hurry. In all, a relatively quiet debut.

While PFF ranked Davon Godchaux poorly for the day, he appeared to be playing well. He logged 32 of Miami’s 58 defensive snaps - more than Jordan Phillips’ 21 - and was part of a Miami defense that limited the Chargers to 3.1 yards per carry.

• On offense, Laremy Tunsil earning a run-blocking grade <a href="">Will Montgomery Womens Jersey</a> of 80.5, according to PFF, which makes the top 20 among all tackles. But he struggled in pass protection, permitting three QB hurries and two sacks and a hit in 32 pass-blocking snaps. His overall grade of 45.7 ranked 44th of all tackles in Week 2.


When’s your birthday?

If it’s this month, then you may share it <a href=""></a> with some famous people, such as:

Sept. 1 – Gloria Estefan, Lily Tomlin, Barry Gibb, Alan Dershowitz, Rocky Marciano, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Dr. Phil.

2 – Keanu Reeves, Selma Hayek, Mark Harmon, Terry Bradshaw, Jimmy Connors, Eric Dickerson.

3 – Alan Ladd.

4 – Beyonce Knowles, Tom Watson.

5 – Michael Keaton, Raquel Welch, Jesse James, Freddie Mercury, Bob Newhart.

8 – Peter Sellers, Patsy Cline.

9 – Colonel (Harland) Sanders, Hugh Grant, Adam Sandler, Rachel Hunter, Otis Redding.

10 – Roger Maris, Amy Irving, Randy Johnson.

11 – Paul “Bear” Bryant, Tom Landry, Harry Connick Jr.

12 – Maurice Chevalier, Jesse Owens.

13 – Walter Reed, Bill Monroe, Milton Hershey.

15 – Prince Harry, Tom Hardy, Tommy Lee Jones.

16 – Marc Anthony, B.B. King, David Copperfield.

17 – Danny DeVito, Martin Scorsese, Rock <a href=""></a> Hudson.

18 – Greta Garbo, Robert Blake.

19 – Jimmy Fallon, Twiggy.

20 – Sophia Loren.

21 – Bill Murray, Faith Hill, Nicole Richie.

22 – Joan Jett, Jeremiah Wright.

23—Bruce Springsteen, Ray Charles.

24 – Jim Henson.

25 – Will Smith, Christopher Reeve, Catherine Zeta-Jones.

26 – Serena Williams, Olivia Newton-John.

Every Vikings player bears the scar of last year’s season-ending 3-8 skid, even though Mike Zimmer is quick to defend his prideful defense <a href=""></a> that started the year better than any team in the NFL.

“We had two bad games,” Zimmer said of the defense. “I don’t know about tapered off. We finished third in the league in points scored and every other statistical category.”

In Zimmer’s third season at the helm, the Vikings defense recorded top-10 finishes in five major categories: yards allowed (third), passing yards allowed (third), sacks forced (fifth), points allowed (sixth) and takeaways (seventh).

The NFL took notice when they were the league’s last unbeaten team at 5-0.

“Our team was clicking,” defensive end Brian Robison said. “Offense was putting up points. Defensively we were making plays.”

Carrying the weight of an offense that <a href=""></a> failed to reach 21 points in seven of nine games, the Vikings defense, the team’s backbone, started to break.

Perfectly mediocre made a sour replacement for all-time great. That’s 8-8 for you.

Zimmer knows his defense, which featured five Pro Bowl players last season, is better than the record suggested. That’s why the Vikings extended the contracts of three cornerstones — cornerback Xavier Rhodes, defensive end Everson Griffen and defensive tackle Linval Joseph — this summer.

But Zimmer still tinkered with the unit that brought the Vikings back to relevancy. He made at least three lineup changes. The veteran defensive coach even considered giving up play-calling to better manage game days but quickly took back the play sheet this preseason.

He and his coaches are also encouraging Vikings defenders to generate a little recklessness within their well-oiled, tightly wound machine in the <a href="">Mike Pouncey Kids Jersey</a> hope of interrupting offenses more at and behind the line of scrimmage.

“Don’t be satisfied with just, ‘Hey, I did my job,’ ” said linebackers coach Adam Zimmer. “Let’s get more hats on the ball.”

OSTA MESA, Calif. -- Don’t get comfortable.

That’s basically the message from Los Angeles Chargers general manager Tom Telesco to players on his initial 53-man roster.

All the Chargers’ selections from <a href=""></a> this year’s draft except second rounder Forrest Lamp (on injured reserve due to ACL knee surgery) and five undrafted rookies made the team’s initial, 53-man roster. In all, 20 players on this year’s roster were not part of the initial, 53-man roster at the start of last season.

“I like where we are right now,” Telesco said in a conversation with reporters. “I still think we have work to do. When you talk about the roster, it’s never over, it’s never done.

“We made two claims today [Sunday]. There were some other claims that we made that we didn’t get. But we’ll keep after it and see if anybody else can help us moving forward. So it’s a never-ending process of trying to get the right team on the field.”

The players the Chargers claimed were offensive lineman Michael Schofield and defensive back Jeff Richards off waivers, releasing receiver Geremy Davis and cornerback Craig Mager to make room on the 53-man roster.

Telesco said Schofield -- a third-round selection by the Denver Broncos in the 2014 draft who was released on Saturday -- will provide depth up front and should make an easy transition since the Broncos run the similar scheme.

“We’re looking at him as a guard more than a tackle,” Telesco said. “But that fact that he has some versatility is nice. We’re just looking to add depth on the offensive line.

“As the year goes on it gets harder and harder <a href=""></a> to add some good depth at different positions, so you have an opportunity at the cut to 53 -- it’s a good place to do that. He’s tough, he’s smart and he’s been very durable and accountable there in Denver.”

At 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds, Telesco said Richards, claimed after the Carolina Panthers released him on Saturday, will start out at corner.

Telesco said releasing veteran safety Dwight Lowery was one of the team’s toughest cuts, but the Chargers felt they had solid depth at the position. Lowery, who played the most defensive snaps for the Chargers last season (961), was scheduled to make $2 million if on the team’s roster in Week 1.

“You try and do what you think is best for the football team at that moment,” Telesco said. “And we just felt like we had a pretty deep group at safety and all of those guys had done some positive things.

“After a lot of discussion, it was a decision we had to make. Dwight did an excellent job for us last year. He’s a great pro, handles himself <a href="">Tyrod Taylor Kids Jersey</a> extremely well, and I still think he has football in front of him. It was a very difficult decision, but we went with the five that we have right now, and I think it’s a pretty strong group.”

They are calm.

I, however, am an emotional mess.

It is the morning of Aug. 28, 2017, at 8:28 a.m. The first day of kindergarten for my twin daughters, who turn 6 in October.

In just a few minutes, for the first time in <a href=""></a> their lives, they will go to the public elementary school in my town. They will ride the bus to and from there.

And the journey will have officially started.

We took them shopping and as they carefully considered lots of different clothes, shoes and sparkly backpacks, I was fine.

There was an orientation meeting at the school and we took them to meet their teachers, see where their classrooms were and learn where to get on and off the bus. I was fine.

And then it was the morning and we are walking them to where the bus picks them up and they slowly get on. They have excitement and fear in their eyes and as they sit down in the second row together and look at me ... I just lose it.

One of them is shy. Already too smart for her own good, she's the prankster, often in her own world, very opinionated, a total mush ball and easily distracted. She's 5 going on 15, constantly in her mom's closet figuring out what she's going to wear. She's the one that's going to give me trouble in high school, I already know it.

The other is the social one. Quick to make friends at a park, playground or someone's house, she's the rule follower, she's super considerate of everyone else, she's the one who shares, hyper aware of everything, she has no problem putting her foot down, hands on her little hips and letting us know what needs to happen. She's also five minutes older, so she takes the responsibility of being the "older sister" very seriously, often telling the other that she can have her dessert or that they need to watch what she wants, because "that's what big sisters do."

hey are beautiful and brilliant and maddening and unique and frustrating and puzzling and fantastic and insane and have me completely and totally wrapped around their fingers.

And as of 10 days ago, they are no longer mine.

They went to a daily preschool together, a half-day thing five minutes from our house, but otherwise have been at home with my wife up until this year and so, even with the caveat that they are twins, they are very close. Sharing private jokes, not wanting to sleep unless the other one is in the room with them, they are inseparable.

The shy one always relies on the other to include her <a href=""></a> and bring her into play at playgrounds and parties. The "big sister," poor thing, inherited her father's awful eyesight (I wear contacts), so she wears glasses and sometimes is self-conscious about them. She leans on her younger sister for self-confidence and reassurance.

And now, at least in school, they won't anymore. We decided -- and by we, I really mean my wife decided and I didn't fight it -- that we would split them up. It's what the school and other parents of twins recommend, so right or wrong, we're doing it.

I feel that way all the time. Right or wrong, we are doing "it," whatever "it" may be, in raising the girls.

I am sure this will be of no surprise to anyone who has read me for any amount of time, but I have no idea what I am doing when it comes to parenting. And as the girls grow older, that's only going to become more apparent. To them and to me.

I often feel helpless, unsure of what to do, as my two little beans look to me for answers and guidance and everything a little girl wants from her daddy. Attention and love, I've got down pat. It's just everything else that's a question mark.

But at least, as I fumble my way through that, it was self-contained. In our own little world, their mother and I, their brothers and some friends. It was a self-contained world, where the worst thing that happens to them is we run <a href="">Leonte Carroo Youth Jersey</a> out of apple juice.

And that ended 10 days ago. I know I have to share them with the real world.

They're ready. I'm not.


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