Published on August 20, 2015 at 3:18 pm Contact Chris: firstname.lastname@example.org | @ChrisLibonati Kelly Cross, the women’s lacrosse player driving the car that hit the Mount Olympus steps in late March is no longer enrolled at Syracuse University, an SU Athletics spokeswoman confirmed.Cross, a junior midfielder, crashed a white Ford Explorer into four support poles, sending a newspaper box about 25 feet. The crash was reported at 2:27 a.m., and Cross checked into Upstate Hospital between 2:30 a.m. and 4:30 a.m. The cause of the crash is still unknown. The morning of the crash, a DPS officer said Cross was lucky to be alive. The stairs closed temporarily for repairs, but eventually reopened.Four days after the crash, Cross was indefinitely suspended and did not play any games with SU after her suspension. She was not allowed to travel to with the team, but was allowed to practice.“Kids may make mistakes, but we still stick behind them and we don’t isolate them and throw them to the curb,” SU head coach Gary Gait said.Cross had started every game for the Orange until her crash and had been fourth on the team in goals (14), assists (six) and points (20) at the time of the crash. Cross’ sister, Julie Cross, had committed to play women’s lacrosse at SU, but it could not be confirmed whether she is still enrolled at SU. A freshman named Julie Cross is listed on Syracuse University’s directory, however.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textTwo calls to the Cross family have gone unanswered. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+
In the midst of a desperate attempt to keep the Detroit Red Wings’ 25-year playoff streak alive, coaching the Wisconsin Badgers didn’t seem like an attainable goal for the new Wisconsin men’s hockey head coach Tony Granato.This spring, the then-Red Wing’s assistant coach was most concerned with ensuring the aging veterans and future NHL Hall of Famers of Detroit had one last chance at winning a Stanley Cup. Tony Granato, a 28-year veteran of the NHL circuit, didn’t even feel he was the right fit for the Badgers’ coaching job.With his brother Don Granato and Mark Osiecki each on the shortlist, Tony Granato was wary of competing against family and two highly-skilled, veteran coaches and recruiters. The former spent significant time as head coach of the United States National Team Development Program’s U-17 team. The latter was fresh off a stint as an assistant coach of the Rockford Ice Hogs, three seasons removed from head coaching the Ohio State Buckeyes, and six removed from assistant coaching Wisconsin under Mike Eaves.“I didn’t try to think about [the vacant coaching position] even though it was something I wanted to do,” Tony Granato said. “I … didn’t think of a plan or a situation where it would work out that [Osiecki, Don Granato or I] would be able to come back until the presentation that Barry [Alvarez] gave me.”Men’s hockey: With Granato comes experience both on, off the iceAfter two consecutive disappointing seasons, Wisconsin men’s hockey seems to be taking a step in the right direction with the expected announcement Read…During that initial phone call early in the spring semester and future discussions, Barry Alvarez, UW athletic director, Jason King, senior associate athletic director, and Granato, hashed out the details to form what many have called a “dream team” coaching staff.After they gave Tony Granato assurance that all three would be on board, he agreed to return to Madison, rather ecstatically, to right the ship of the struggling Badgers.The hiring of the trio reinvigorated fan enthusiasm for a team with a rich history but won just 12 games over the past two seasons. Their introductions March 30 drew a sizable crowd to the Kohl Center during their first press conference, and there seems to be a general buzz among players and in the athletic department.Luke Kunin, who was drafted No. 15 overall by the Minnesota Wild in the 2016 NHL draft, said the new regime is great for the program. With a budding NHL career on the horizon, that’s no small compliment from a player deeply concentrated on his development — especially one with significant experience playing for Don Granato.“I’m very familiar with the Granatos and I’m very excited to get the chance to play for them,” Kunin said. “I think they’ll be great for the program.”Cross: Alvarez’s comments bring issues of struggling hockey program to surfaceWith two losses to Michigan State, the Wisconsin men’s hockey team finalized its spot at the bottom of the Big Read…What’s so unique and exciting about this staff is how talented they are — their wide-ranging connections, but also the fact that they love this program as much as its fans.As former Badgers themselves, little is new for Tony Granato and his assistants. Just a walk down University Avenue is enough to bring back memories from the new coach’s time as a player during the early 1980s. Not much has changed, he said. The same pictures hang on the walls of the locker and training rooms, and constant visits from alumni always spark lively conversations between old friends.This in particular was part of the reason for hiring Tony Granato and his eagerness to come back. King said the athletic staff takes previous experience with the Badgers deep into consideration when hiring coaches and administration. Partly because there is such a unique culture surrounding Wisconsin athletics.“It doesn’t feel like I left just from the standpoint that,” Tony Granato said. “One of the reasons I even wanted to back was because I always felt that this was an important part of my life. It is something that I missed being a part of.“When I first got here I was asked, ‘Why would you be in the NHL and come back to college hockey?’ And I would say, ‘Why wouldn’t I? It’s the University of Wisconsin.’ For me it’s a dream job, I have a billion reasons why it was the best job.”That type of attitude and dedication to reinvigorating a struggling program is exactly the reason Tony Granato was picked as head coach, King said. The move comes with the added excitement of how it’s such a unique situation to have three coaches of this caliber all behind the same bench.Their wide ranging expertise in different areas makes it am elite combination, and one that can surely bring Wisconsin from out of the gutter.“You can tell I’m pretty excited about this hiring,” King said. “It’s a very exciting time for Wisconsin hockey. I know everyone involved with the team are very excited. We just need our fans to come out and support as well.”In an era when college hockey seems to be taking a backseat, the buzz in Madison might be just what the sport needs. The effects could be felt for years to come.But as the new head coach said, there’s much more than simply returning to Madison needed to right the ship.This is the first in a multi-part series on the state of Wisconsin hockey.
Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on March 5, 2018 at 8:53 pm Contact Anthony: email@example.com Shelley George’s father always asked her one simple question.“Are you any good?” he asked.Every time Jim Freeman, a former NFL player for the Steelers and Rams, would challenge his daughter, she responded assuredly and confidently.“I’m the best,” George said.George has spent her entire life trying to prove to her father why she deserves to call herself the best. As a player, a coach and a person, George fuels that desire by taking on new challenges and demonstrating her talents. As an assistant coach of the Syracuse (9-2, 2-2 Atlantic Coast) women’s tennis team, George said she preaches the same philosophy to her players that her father taught her. Her presence on the sidelines during practices and matches has helped SU in her nine seasons as assistant coach.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“When I grew up in Iowa, we were brought up to believe that we could do anything that we wanted to do as long as we worked hard and believed in ourselves.” George said.George grew up playing basketball. But one day as a junior high schooler, she tagged along to her mother’s tennis lesson. After hitting a few balls, she caught a famous coach’s eyes. Don Klotz, a former University of Iowa coach whose name now adorns the Hawkeyes courts, saw George hitting balls with her mother and offered her lessons.From that moment forward, George fell in love with the sport. Every day before school, she would head to the courts and play. When the school day ended, she was off to basketball practice. Then, after getting home and eating dinner, her day came full circle as she went back to the courts for more tennis.She went on to a four-year college tennis career, two at St. Ambrose University and two at the University of Iowa. Then, George led the City High School women’s tennis team in Iowa City for 18 seasons.She served as the Missouri Valley President of the United States Tennis Association while working at the North Dodge Athletic Club in Iowa City. She produced numerous collegiate athletes and developed some of the top talent on the tennis tour, including Madison Keys, the No. 14 ranked player in the world.“Her serve is a Shelley George miracle,” Luke Jensen, a 1994 French Open doubles champion and former SU head coach, said of Keys. “Shelley taught her that serve and it’s one of the biggest on tour.”When Jensen and former Syracuse athletic director Daryl Gross called George in 2008 to offer an assistant role, the former Iowa tennis star saw the opportunity as a new challenge.George left her family, friends and blossoming future in the USTA behind. Jensen said she was one step away from potentially being president of the USTA, yet she took the job in Syracuse.“I thought it would be a really fun challenge,” George said. “Daryl Gross and Luke Jensen were the two biggest motivators to me, it was about developing collegiate athletes.”George coached under Jensen until he left unexpectedly during the 2012 season. With the job vacant, George applied to be the head coach. With all of her experience teaching young athletes in both high school in Iowa and college at SU, George seemed to be the natural choice to replace Jensen.Gross gave George a phone call informing her that Syracuse had other ideas.The former athletic director gave assurances that George would still have a job as an assistant, but the school decided to go a different direction. Under Jensen, the school focused on American talent. By hiring Younes Limam, SU pivoted to the international scene. Today, six of the team’s eight players hail from outside the United States.“We were going from an all-American program to an all-international program,” George said. “I had no international recruiting experience at that time.”But that didn’t stop George from doing what she does best: teaching.George crafted her coaching style through 32 years of experience working with young players. Syracuse’s top-ranked player, Gabriela Knutson, said she’s tough yet firm, reassuring but demanding. Jensen said George has a knack for communicating with the young women on the court, always seeming to find a way to get through to them mentally.Whenever Knutson finds herself struggling in a match, she yells under her breath as she walks back to her bench in frustration. Against Boston College on Feb. 16, Knutson trailed 4-1 in the first set. George took a seat beside Knutson and listened to her voice frustrations. Then, the coach offered her input. She talked the junior through her anger, helping her to relax and play her game. George suggested small changes in Knutson’s approach that could make a difference. After their talk, Knutson won 11 of the final 12 games of the match.Much like George helped craft Keys’ serve, Knutson said the biggest difference in her game in the last two seasons is her improved service. By focusing on hitting the ball at the apex of the ball toss and increasing knee bend, Knutson has turned her serve from an occasional liability into a weapon. George’s technical advice has helped move No. 18 Knutson up in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings.“She pushes me to reach my full potential, she’s had really tough love for me,” Knutson said. “But I will always turn to her if I have any problems.”Not only does George coach the players, but both Jensen and Limam have learned from how she relates to players on the court.George was always the first to pick up on disagreements within the team, Jensen said. Even when she coached for Jensen, who was formerly among the best doubles players in the world, he said George was the first to notice when certain doubles pairings weren’t effective.“She’s making me a better coach every day,” Limam said.Jensen added: “She’s a rock star in our game.” Comments
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Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments By Rick Phelps, Wellington Wall of Crusader Recognition chairmanÂ â€” Garrison Hullinger, president of an interior design company in Portland, Ore.; Dale Scrivens, a national championship college wrestler; Russ Decker, a former Wellington head wrestling coach and administrator; and Bill Meridith, a Wellington High School supporter and contributor have been named to the 2015 Wellington Wall of Crusader Recognition.All four inductees will be honored with an awards presentation at Wellington’s Class Day ceremony tonight at the high school gymnasium at 7 p.m.The inductees will also attend the Chamber Coffee at 10 a.m. at the Daylight Donut Shop and at an all school assembly at 2:15 p.m. The following is a biography of each of the inductees:Â Garrison Hullinger – WHS Class of 1983Garrison Hullinger is the President of Garrison Hullinger Interior Design, Inc. located in Portland, OR. Garrison grew up in Wellington and attended local schools through graduation at WHS in 1983.Since college proved not to be in Garrisonâ€™s future, he jumped excitedly into the retail field and excelled with jobs at Dillardâ€™s, Foley’s, Neiman Marcus and The Gap. He was one of the founding employees of a new Gap division called Old Navy and eventually worked his way up to Store Technology Project Manager.He was an integral part of the Old Navy team that helped them become the first retailer to do more than $1 billion in its first four years of business in 500 stores nationwide.Garrison is a prime example of how lifeâ€™s misfortune can guide us to our ultimate purpose. He suffered a serious work-related accident in 1999 where he suffered a traumatic brain injury, which caused him to hit the reset button on life…spending four years relearning how to read, write and walk again.As part of his recovery he began managing small projects like replacing the kitchen sink and faucet to help regain motor skills. As his improvement progressed, he began buying and remodeling homes in San Francisco, which led to increased confidence in his design skills. At that point he knew he found his true career, so he officially launched his design business from his home attic with one part-time employee.That particular home was published in more than seven magazines and highlighted on a couple different TV shows, which caused his design business to skyrocket. Today GHID has 19 employees and in 2014 was recognized as one of the top 100 fastest growing companies in Oregon and Southwest Washington.Garrison is well respected within the design industry because of his generous ability to share best business practices and for embracing a forward-thinking philosophy in creating a working business model.He is proud to say he is an â€˜early adapterâ€™ and is quick to adapt his business needs that have taken a $75,000 company in 2009 to over $2 million in 2014. Garrison is known within the building industry as a marketing genius with his companyâ€™s online and social media presence. GHID has over 30,000 twitter followers and is listed in the top 25 Interior Design firms (out of 3 million professionals listed) in the U.S. by houzz.com.Garrisonâ€™s design work continues to be featured in magazines across the country each year.Dale Scrivens WHS Class of 1934Dale Scrivens grew up in Wellington and attended Wellington schools graduating from WHS in 1934.Â While at WHS Dale was an outstanding athlete in football and wrestling but it was in wrestling that he made his mark.Dale was a three time AVL ChampionÂ and was a state runner-up in 1932 and 34 and was a state champion in 1933. Â Dale helped lead the Crusaders to state runner-up in 1933 and 34.Â The WHS Yearbook Megaphone Â in 1934 said: “Scrivens possesses all the speed and muscular strength of a champion, besides his hard-fighting attitude and quick-thinking”After graduation Dale took his wrestling talents to Oklahoma A&M (Oklahoma State) and wrestled for the Hall of Fame coach Ed Gallagher .Â Dale helped lead the Cowboys to national championshipsÂ in 1937 and 38.Â As a junior Dale placed third in the nation and in 1938 became only the second wrestler from the state of Kansas to win a National wrestling title. Since then there have only been four other Kansans to be NCAA wrestling champions.After graduation Dale became the county extension agent in Marion County, Kans. until duty called.Â Dale enlisted in the Army Air Corp during WW II and was the bombardier on the Sad Sack II a B-24 in the 44th Bomb Group known as the “Flying Eight Balls” of the United States Eighth Air Force.While stationed in Libya North Africa, Dale and his crew were sent out on August 1, 1943 on a crucial and extremely dangerous mission.Â This, their seventh mission as a crew was part of the ill-fated operation known as “Tidal Wave”.The objective was to destroy the rich oil fields at Ploesti in Romania which supplied the Nazis with 60 percent of their oil.Â The planes flew in at tree top level under radio silence but the Nazis were prepared.Â Through thick clouds of smoke and under heavy fire from the ground and Nazi fighter planes Dale was able to direct the pilot to their target and drop their payload on target.Riddled with bullet holes, some as the pilot said, “the size of a mans fist” caused the plane to crash and Dale was killed on impact.Â The Sad Sack II was one of the 54 planes lost out of 177 that took off on a day that became known as “Black Sunday” and Dale was one of the 532 men of the 1,726 that did not return. For his bravery and service to his country 2nd Lt Dales Scrivens was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and an Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster.In 1987, Dale Scrivens became the second WHS alum to be inducted into the Kansas Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of FameRuss Decker â€“ WHS Teacher and Coach 1982 – 1995;Â Â WJHS AdministratorÂ 1995 – 1998;Â WHS Administrator 1999 – 2007Russ Decker has been wrestling since his youth.Â Although Russâ€™s wrestling career as a competitor was not stellar, he recognized and was able to use wrestling as a springboard to influencing kids and to achieve career goals.Russ began his wrestling career as a seventh grade novice in 1964 at Oakley, Kansas. After a self-described sub-par career as a wrestler in high school, Russ graduated in 1970 from Oakley. He went on to attend Ft. Hays State University where he joined the wrestling team as a walk-on.Russ struggled as a collegiate wrestler, but it was at Ft. Hays State that he began to build his future and to examine the lessons taught by his experiences. He was quoted by the Wellington Daily News upon his retirement from coaching that, â€œThereâ€™s a lesson, there. No matter what you do, no matter how talented you are, you must work hard. I think that is what I learned most â€¦â€Consequently, he made education his career choice and used wrestling to secure his future. The lessons he learned were first put to use at Belleville High School where Russ began his teaching and coaching career. He guided the Buffalo wrestling program to three league championships, two regional team championships, and three regional team runners-up. Russ’s Buffaloes had 45 individual state qualifiers, 10 state placers, and two individual state champions. Belleville also finished in the top ten in the state three times.In 1982, Russ, his wife Rita and their two young daughters Rusti and Kelley made the move to Wellington. He successfully built upon the Wellington tradition compiling a remarkable 125-14-1 dual record along with eight Chisholm Trail League titles. The Crusaders were regional champions four times and regional runners-up five times under Coach Decker.Wellington qualified 91 wrestlers to state competition during his tenure with 44 earning state medals and 10 winning state championships. The Crusaders claimed the 1991 4A state championship and were state team runners-up twice.In addition, five Wellington teams placed in the top five in state under Coach Deckerâ€™s guidance. Coach Deckerâ€™s efforts earned him recognition as the Class 5A Coach of the Year in 1984 and Class 4A Coach of the Year in 1991. Russ’s success in wrestling was recognized by his peers when he was inducted into the Kansas Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2004.Russ was very well liked and respected by his wrestlers but he also Â had the same high expectations of his students in the classroom as he did for his wrestlers and consequently gained the same respect and success as a classroom teacher with his students in the classroom.Russ retired as wrestling coach after the 1995 season and left the classroom but continued in USD 353 as an administrator, which included doing double duty as Assistant Principal and Athletic Director from 2000 until his retirement after 25 years of service to USD 353 in 2007.To this day Russ continues to support the Crusaders by listening to games, reading articles and spending time with the coaches and he frequently attends ball games and of course Crusader wrestling.Bill Meridith – WHS Supporter and ContributorMr. Meridith graduated from Argonia High School in 1957 and began his career working in machine shops learning the business from the ground up. In 1966 Bill decided to run a machine shop of his own and became a founding partner in Precision Machining Inc.For 33 years Bill used his good business sense and a strong faith to build “Pre-Mac”, as it became known, into a very successful business that was also an integral part of the Wellington economy.Â Through the years “Pre-Mac”Â employed over 700 employees many who were WHS graduates that were grateful to have the opportunity to work for a great company with a fair, honest, generous and caring ownerBill knows that the reason he was blessed with success in business is because of his strong faith and he has returned these blessing to the community of Wellington by generously supporting and contributing to many churches, organizations and individuals.Along with faith Bill also knows that education is important to individual and community success and he has been a great supporter and contributor of education in Wellington.Â Mr. Meridith founded the Wellington Christian Academy in 2003 supporting education beginning in pre-school. WCA and its students have had high achievement scores and obtained many academic awardsMr. Meridith has five children all of whom attended Wellington public schools and are WHS graduatesÂ Through Pre-Mac many WHS graduates were awarded scholarships upon their graduation to help further their education and attend the college of their choice.In 2001 after two bond initiatives to build a new high schoolÂ had failed Mr. Meridith as President of the D.S.S.R Foundation stepped forward and gave a donation to USD 353 to purchase the land where WHS sits today and as a result this helped the next bond issue to pass.Â The foundation also gave money to the USD 353 technology department in 2000 and 2001 to purchase fiber optics between buildings.WHS is proud and grateful to acknowledge Mr. Meridith’s contributions and support of education in Wellington.Follow us on Twitter.