Syracuse defensive veterans prepare to give way to younger players; Lester discusses running back Philips

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. — Though senior Cameron Lynch was Syracuse’s leading tackler and one of the best in the Atlantic Coast Conference, he feels comfortable handing off the keys to the Orange’s defense to its younger players, such as freshman Zaire Franklin.In a way, Lynch already has.“Knowing he calls the plays, I took a backseat because he can handle everything,” Lynch said. “As long as he keeps his head on straight, he’ll be a great player here. He’s in a better spot than I was when I was a freshman.”Boston College’s (7-5, 4-4 ACC) 28-7 victory over SU (3-9, 1-7) on Saturday signified the end of an era for a number of the Orange’s defensive contributors, many of whom will graduate and some of whom may receive NFL opportunities. But the conclusion of the 2014 season also capped off the first year of hands-on experience for a few promising young Syracuse defenders.After a 10-tackle performance at Pittsburgh on Nov. 22, Franklin made six stops against the Eagles, including a sack for a loss of 8 yards in his third consecutive start. Freshman cornerback Antwan Cordy chipped in two assisted tackles in his first career start.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textFranklin is in line for a starting role next year with Lynch and fellow linebacker Dyshawn Davis graduating. And Cordy could be in the mix to receive significant minutes next year when Brandon Reddish is no longer around.“I think it’s great learning experience for them,” senior defensive end Robert Welsh said. “This is their team now. They’re the future. Whenever you can get young guys a chance, throw them in the fire and get them a chance to get some playing time, that just helps you in the future.”The Orange started seven seniors at 11 defensive positions Saturday, and an eighth starter, safety Durell Eskridge, may opt to declare for the NFL Draft. Aside from junior defensive lineman Ron Thompson, Cordy and Franklin are the only starters from Saturday seemingly set to be back next season.Lynch assured that he has confidence in not only Franklin, but also freshman linebackers Parris Bennett, Jonathan Thomas and the rest of the future of the Syracuse defense.Some of them contributed in small roles throughout the year, but more of them watched as the Orange stumbled through an injury-plagued 3-9 season.But next year, most of them will have a better view.“We make sure as a defense that we set the tone for the next defense coming up because it’s good for them to show that they have to fight to the end, regardless of the record,” Lynch said. “I feel like, as a defense, we set that example for (them).“Hopefully when they grow up and endure situations like we did, they’re going to handle them the same way.”Lester discusses freshman Philips after season-ending lossSyracuse offensive coordinator Tim Lester wasn’t coy about his offenses season-long struggles.He was reminded of a goal of scoring an average of four-and-a-half to five touchdowns a game when he took over five games into the season, and gave a simple explanation of how he plans to reach that goal next season after falling well short in his first shot.It centered around injured quarterback Terrel Hunt, but he also discussed freshman running back Ervin Philips as a bright spot heading into the offseason.Philips ran for 16 yards on four rushes against the Eagles, and collected 25 yards on consecutive plays on the Orange’s only scoring drive. He finishes the season with 193 yards on 46 attempts for a unit that scored just two touchdowns — and none since SU’s opener on Aug. 29 — this year.The Orange won’t return senior running backs Prince-Tyson Gulley and Adonis Ameen-Moore, leaving Philips with sophomores George Morris II and Devante McFarlane. Morris rushed for 101 yards and McFarlane for 169, making Philips the leading returning rusher.“He did a very good job learning the offense,” Lester said. “That’s hard to do as a true freshman.”Along with Philips, freshman Steve Ishmael had the most receiving yards this season, 415, of any returning wide receiver. Comments Published on December 1, 2014 at 12:00 am Contact Phil: [email protected] | @PhilDAbblast_img read more

Jamaica Wins in International Ice Hockey Tournament Debut in South Florida

first_imgSOUTH FLORIDA – Playing in their first international ice-hockey international tournament at the Florida Panthers ice den located at 3299 Sportsplex drive in Coral Springs, on Friday, Florida Jamaica’s men ice-hockey team were convincing winners defeating Colombia 5 – 0 in their first game and later defeating Argentina 8 – 4. The Jamaicans continued their winning style on Saturday when they convincingly defeated Brazil 7-0, and on Sunday defeating Mexico 6-0.Finishing on top of the Men Division 1 group the Jamaicans scored 26 goals with only 4 goals scored against them. Jamaican goalkeeper Anson Thornton lead the leader board as the goalkeeper with the best save percentage, and shutouts.For many people it may be difficult to associate Jamaica, a tropical nation, with ice-hockey; field hockey, yes, but ice-hockey? But on Friday the Jamaicans proved that they are a formidable, talented team on skates and on ice-making their debut in the Amerigil-Latam tournament. In 2014, Jamaica was granted associate member status in the international ice hockey federation (IIHF) and since has developed a talented under-age 20 team which have been playing regularly in Canada.Jamaica was invited to compete in the Amerigil-Latam tournament to play against Latin American countries at the senior men’s level. Jamaica is playing in the first division against Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico, Chile, Brazil, and Argentina. Players of Jamaican citizenship and/or descent attended an evaluation camp in Toronto this spring. Players from Canada, USA, and the United Kingdom were evaluated vying for a position and a rare opportunity to represent Jamaica on the ice. Some of the young men from the under 20 team are included in the roster of the team playing in the South Florida tournament.last_img read more