”This is what we are doing. Gone are the days when athletes wait till competition venue to get training grants that ended up to be counterproductive.’. ‘I am impressed with what I have seen here and I can assure you that we will encourage the Athletics Federation of Nigeria to provide more competitions for you to keep them busy, evaluate your performances and ensure the needed growth is achieved. The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development will also provide the necessary support to the AFN to ensure a smooth and efficient administration of the sport. We will not interfere in the day-to-day running of the administration of the AFN. We will only collaborate and provide the necessary intervention especially when the team is going for international competitions where they will be representing Nigeria.’. The AFN All-Comers witnessed a huge turn out of athletes who expressed their appreciation to the federation for giving them a quality event to assess how far they have gone in their training as they prepare for two major events this year. Enoch Adegoke, Emmanuel Arowolo, Favour-Ofili,Ifeanyi Ojeli,Joy Udo-Ganriel,Oyeniyi Abejoye and a host of other national athletes who represented Nigeria at the African Games in Rabat,Morocco last year gave glimpses of what Nigerians should expect this year. Meanwhile, the AFN has debunked rumours that the few athletes who attended the illegal competition in Ozoro in Delta state will be sanctioned. Read Also:2020 Olympics: Sports Minister plans with Presidents of Federations on Nigeria’s successful outing ‘That is just a figment of the imagination of people who are bent on distracting us but we are focussed,’ said Olamide George, president of the AFN. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Promoted Content10 Risky Jobs Some Women DoWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?Couples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable WayYou’ve Only Seen Such Colorful Hairdos In A Handful Of AnimeEver Thought Of Sleeping Next To Celebs? This Guy Will Show You10 Stargazing Locations To ‘Connect With Nature’10 Characters Who Would Make Astounding Disney Princesses5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme ParksThis Guy Photoshopped Himself Into Celeb Pics And It’s HystericalBest & Worst Celebrity Endorsed Games Ever MadeThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read More11 Most Immersive Game To Play On Your Table Top Sunday Dare, the Minister for Youth and Sports Development has said the welfare of athletes will not be negotiable as they prepare for both the African Athletics Championships in Algeria and the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. New Sports Minister Sunday Akin Dare Dare said this while addressing track and field athletes in Akure at the weekend at the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) All-Comers competition. Speaking through his Special Adviser on Media, John Joshua-Akanji, Dare said he will create a safe environment for the athletes to train and compete. ‘Government is determined there is the rapid development of sports in Nigeria as it is not only a unifying factor but also generates employment. This is why the welfare of athletes, especially their off-field environmental which has been taken for granted will be given priority attention,’ said Dare. The Sports Minister says prompt payment of allowances and training are key to success in sports and that athletes will no longer be owed allowances either in part or in full again. ‘I am sure you are all aware of the adopt a talent programme we have introduced. It is for all categories of athletes, whether foreign or home-based. I am sure one or two people here have benefitted from it. I can assure you we are expanding the net to capture more athletes,’Dare promised, adding that government all over the world partners with individuals and corporate bodies to develop sports. Loading…
Promoted ContentWho Earns More Than Ronaldo?Super Recognizable Outfits That Actors Wore In The Famous MoviesBest & Worst Celebrity Endorsed Games Ever MadeSome Impressive And Almost Shocking Robots That ExistBirds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For ThemShe Managed To Change The Lives Of Pakistan WomenInsane 3D Spraying Skills Turn In Incredible Street Art6 Interesting Ways To Make Money With A DroneThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read More7 Universities In The World With The Highest Market ValueA Soviet Shot Put Thrower’s Record Hasn’t Been Beaten To This DayThe Best Cars Of All Time “I want to go to the gym and get in shape to be able to box three or four-round exhibitions for some charities and stuff. “Some charity exhibitions, make some money, help some homeless and drug-affected motherf***er like me. “I do two hours on cardio, I do the bike and the treadmill for an hour, then I do some light weights, 300, 250 reps. “Then I start my day with the boxing thing, I go in there and hit the mits, 30 minutes, 25 minutes, start getting in better condition. “I’m starting to put those combinations together. I’m in pain, I feel like three guys kicked the s*** out of me.” The “Baddest Man on the Planet” was crowned the youngest world champion ever, aged 20, and his illustrious 20-year career saw him knock out 44 of his 50 opponents. His former trainer has even claimed he would still KO fellow American Deontay Wilder inside a MINUTE if he trained for six weeks. In recent years, Tyson has been more focused on his business and owns a weed farm in California having previously gone bankrupt in 2003 – when he was forced to sell his extravagant 52-room mansion to 50 Cent for £3.3million. read also:Inside Tyson’s 52-room mansion he sold to rapper 50 Cent for £3.3m But he has clearly been considering hopping back in the ring for some time – having given his two cents on how he’d fare against the likes of Tyson Fury, Wilder and Anthony Joshua. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Iron Mike, 53, recently revealed he is training for a stunning return to boxing amid plans to compete in four-round exhibition fights for charity. But Foreman, who the oldest world heavyweight champion ever at 45 in 1994 when he beat Michael Moorer, has pleaded with Tyson to keep the gloves off. Foreman, 71, told World Boxing News: “Tyson has done enough great things for boxing. No more is needed. “He is in the Hall of Fame and was a mighty puncher.” Tyson last stepped inside the ring in June 2005 – where he was stopped by Kevin McBride – but recently admitted he might make a return 15 years on. Speaking on an Instagram Live with rapper T.I. he said: “I’ve been hitting the mitts for the last week. “That’s been tough, my body is really jacked up and really sore from hitting the mitts. “I’ve been working out, I’ve been trying to get in the ring, I think I’m going to box some exhibitions and get in shape. Loading… Former boxing heavyweight champion, George Foreman, has begged Mike Tyson to call off his boxing comeback, saying “no more is needed” from the big-hitting heavyweight legend.
“Eight years ago, the Manager [sic] had been sacked by the club and we, the players had a team meeting where we recognised being partly responsible for his departure,” Drogba wrote. “The captain [John Terry] spoke, [Frank Lampard] [Petr Cech] and other leaders in the group too. “We decided to all give this competition everything, despite our defeat 4-1 against Napoli. “We had been chasing this trophy for eight years and couldn’t do better than runner up. Everyone agreed to put egos aside and challenge each over [sic] for the same goal. Promoted Content8 Superfoods For Growing Hair Back And Stimulating Its Growth2020 Tattoo Trends: Here’s What You’ll See This YearSome Impressive And Almost Shocking Robots That Exist7 Things That Actually Ruin Your PhoneBest & Worst Celebrity Endorsed Games Ever MadeTop 10 Enemies Turned Friends In TVThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read More12 Iconic Actors Whose Careers Were Stunted By A Single Movie10 Risky Jobs Some Women DoWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?Disney’s Live-Action Simba Was Based On The Cutest Lion Cub EverTop 10 Most Romantic Nations In The World Thomas Muller opened the scoring in the 83rd minute at the Allianz Arena and Drogba admitted that he was “so discouraged.” But the Ivorian former striker would cross paths with Mata again on the pitch and the Spaniard told him to believe as Drogba was on the verge of tears. Drogba tweeted: “Three months later, we were in Munich, in the final, in their stadium, submerged with a red wave. Loading… Chelsea mounted a successful comeback against Napoli in the second leg and continued to march all the way to the final against Bayern Munich. And the Blues were on the verge of going out of the Champions League after they suffered a first-leg 3-1 defeat to Napoli in their round-of-16 tie.Drogba, 42, has taken to Twitter and explained how the likes of John Terry, Frank Lampard and Petr Cech stepped up during a team meeting and how the players recognised they were “partly responsible” for Villas-Boas’ dismissal. The Chelsea hero, who retired from football in 2018, also opened up about his exchange with Mata over a series of tweets. I’m gonna cry like a few months ago when I lost the final with Côte d’Ivoire.Last minute, last corner, I mean first corner for us against eighteen for Bayern Munich.Guess who took that corner kick… @juanmatagarcia and the rest is history.The lesson is ALWAYS BELIEVE !!!!— Didier Drogba (@didierdrogba) May 19, 2020 on my way to kick the ball for the last 8 minutes I was so discouraged, the young man said to me “believe Didi, you have to believe” , almost in tears I answered after looking at the time score “believe in what? It’s almost over,— Didier Drogba (@didierdrogba) May 19, 2020 Didier Drogba revealed that he pleaded with Juan Mata to help him win the Champions League with Chelsea — and the former Blues star delivered in the final. Chelsea experienced an up-and-down 2011-2012 season as Andre Villas-Boas was sacked and replaced with Roberto Di Matteo. Read Also: Ronaldo talks tough after returning to Juventus training Mata whipped in a corner only minutes after Muller’s opener and Drogba connected with a powerful header past Manuel Neuer. Only the Manchester United midfielder would miss his spot-kick effort for the Blues during the shootout as Chelsea sealed a 4-3 win on penalties. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 “The hosts took the lead with 8 minutes to go and on my way to kick the ball for the last 8 minutes I was so discouraged, the young man said to me ‘believe Didi, you have to believe’, almost in tears I answered after looking at the time score ‘believe in what? It’s almost over.’ “I’m gonna cry like a few months ago when I lost the final with Cote d’Ivoire. Last minute, last corner, I mean first corner for us against eighteen for Bayern Munich. “Guess who took that corner kick… [Mata] and the rest is history. The lesson is ALWAYS BELIEVE!!!!” “After that meeting I asked a young 23 years old [Juan Mata] ‘please Maestro, help me win the champions league’ he looked at me like ‘man you’re crazy, you’re Didier Drogba you are gonna help me win it,’ I then told him I’ve been here for 8 years and never won it. “[So] I believe you’re the one who’s gonna help us win. I’ll even give you a present if we win it, that was end of February.”
The club’s former captain has enjoyed a return to prominence and form in recent weeks with four successive starts in the injury-enforced absence of current skipper Vincent Kompany. The 31-year old told the club’s website, www.mcfc.co.uk: “We have so many players here and it’s difficult to play every game, but you need to get ready and any time you have the chance to play give 100 per cent.” He added: “It’s very important to keep focused and to keep your concentration high and keep working hard in training. That’s the only thing you can do. “It’s always difficult when you don’t play and are not in the team, but the only thing that can keep you going is working hard and believing in yourself – and that is what I have been doing.” The Ivory Coast international is out of contract at the end of the season and there has been speculation that his recent form could earn him a one-year extension. Yet while his future remains uncertain, Toure is just happy to have been able to contribute again. Toure, a £16million signing from Arsenal in 2009, said: “I feel very good at the moment. I’ve had the chance recently to play more and I’m really enjoying being able to give my best for my team. “Everyone around me and all my team- mates have helped me a lot, and that’s very important. Every time I have played for City, I just give 100 per cent – for me the main thing is just to work hard.” Kolo Toure never lost belief in his ability after slipping down the pecking order at Manchester City, the defender has said. Press Association
Theo Walcott has called for Arsenal to “step it up” and lay down a marker in the Barclays Premier League title race with a flying start to the new season. Press Association The Gunners are set to play the second match of their Asia tour against a Thailand XI at the My Dinh National Stadium on Wednesday as manager Arsene Wenger continues his squad’s preparations for the new campaign. There has been much talk of the need for Arsenal to bring in some marquee signings this summer – with one £30million bid for Liverpool’s Uruguay striker Luis Suarez rejected, while Real Madrid’s £25m-rated forward Gonzalo Higuain, Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini, and even Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney have been touted as potential new arrivals. Walcott, who was top scorer with 21 goals last term, believes no matter what the team make up is, they must all build on a superb end to the previous campaign which saw the Gunners go on a 10-match unbeaten league run to snatch fourth place ahead of Tottenham and with it secure another shot at the Champions League, with a two-legged play-off ahead next month. “The way we ended the season last year, 11 games undefeated – we need to do it from the start, which I believe we can,” Walcott said, quoted on the club’s official website, www.arsenal.com. “The manager shows so much belief in us in every single game so we need to step up and I think we have got a very good chance of challenging this season. Every game in the Premier League is very tough and very interesting. It always comes down to the last few games, so we need to believe in ourselves. “Time will tell if players come in or not, but we just work with the squad we’ve got at the moment. Come the start of the season, there could be changes. We know it is a very long campaign, but we are all very excited about our prospects.” England midfielder Jack Wilshere missed Sunday’s 7-0 win over an Indonesian side in Jakarta with illness, but is expected to feature on Wednesday. As well as being busy on a recruitment drive, Arsenal are also looking to offload several more fringe players this summer to help free-up the Emirates Stadium wage bill. However, Denmark striker Nicklas Bendtner appears no closer to departing after talks with German club Eintracht Frankfurt broke down over personal terms and Hull manager Steve Bruce, who had the forward on loan when at Birmingham and Sunderland, admitted a deal to bring him to the newly-promoted Premier League club could prove too expensive. Ivory Coast forward Gervinho, who did not travel to Asia because of illness, has been linked with a £7m switch to Roma. Elsewhere, Arsenal’s Costa Rica international Joel Campbell, 21, has received a work permit to play in England, having spent time in both France and Spain following his initial signing in the summer of 2011. The 21-year-old attacking midfielder has been linked with a loan move to Crystal Palace.
Finally, the home side managed to fashion an opening as Giroud was played through on goal in the 43rd minute, but Tim Howard was out quickly to block from the France forward. The American had to be alert again in first-half stoppage time when Aaron Ramsey broke through the middle of a crowded penalty area. There was at least more purpose to Arsenal at the start of the second half, as Gibbs crashed a 20-yard effort wide following a corner. Ozil’s ball in from the right was knocked back by Jack Wilshere, but Cazorla could not get any power on his header, which was straight at goalkeeper Howard. Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny had to be alert when Everton broke quickly in the 54th minute, with Barkley playing in Steven Pienaar, whose 20-yard drive was turned away. The Gunners were soon back on the offensive, with a cross from Gibbs met by Ramsey at the far post, and his angled half-volley was blocked by Howard. James McCarthy was shown a yellow card for leading with a high boot into a challenge with Ramsey, which saw the Everton midfielder collect a caution, his fifth of the season which will result in a suspension. Szczesny saved from Barkley’s 18-yard strike before Arsenal made a triple substitution with 23 minutes left as Cazorla, Wilshere and Ramsey were replaced by Theo Walcott, Tomas Rosicky and Mathieu Flamini. Flamini dragged his angled shot wide of the far post after Walcott’s determined run into the right side of the Everton penalty area. Howard was booked for time wasting with 13 minutes remaining and on the break a Mirallas shot was deflected behind with Sylvain Distin heading over from the resulting corner. Arsenal took the lead with 10 minutes left. Rosicky’s sweeping cross out to the right was met by Walcott, who headed it straight back through the Everton six-yard box. Giroud completely missed his kick, but Ozil was on hand to crash the ball into the roof of the net. The lead, though, lasted only four minutes as Deulofeu smashed in from the right side of the box less than five minutes after coming on as a substitute, after Arsenal had switched off at the back. Giroud, though, almost snatched victory in stoppage time when his stunning 25-yard drive struck the woodwork, but Everton deserved to share the points. Arsenal almost snatched a dramatic victory in stoppage-time when Olivier Giroud’s 25-yard effort struck the woodwork, but Everton deserved to take something back to Merseyside. Following other results on Saturday, which saw Chelsea lose and Manchester City draw, Arsenal were looking to put clear daylight between themselves and the chasing pack. France forward Giroud was back in the starting XI having been rested for the midweek win over Hull, but England forward Theo Walcott, however, was again a substitute in a fixture designated to the Arsenal Foundation Charity. Unchanged Everton made a positive start, with a counter-attack seeing Kevin Mirallas get away down the right and send a low ball straight through the Arsenal six-yard box. The Toffees – who were on a seven-match unbeaten Premier League run – continued to dominate possession, with Costa Rica full-back Bryan Oviedo, who scored the winner at Old Trafford, a constant danger on the overlap down the left. After such an uncharacteristic slow start, Arsenal began to find some possession in midfield. A sweeping counter by the hosts, started from Ozil deep on the left, saw Santi Cazorla freed on the overlap down the right – and his low centre flew across the face of goal, with only a touch needed from the onrushing Kieran Gibbs to put the ball into the net. It proved only a temporary rally as Everton were soon back on top, with England World Cup hopeful Ross Barkley most impressive as he drove at the Arsenal defence. Everton battled to a 1-1 draw at Arsenal as the Gunners moved five points clear at the top of the Barclays Premier League. Press Association The Toffees, who had won at Manchester United in midweek, dominated for large spells, but fell behind to a Mesut Ozil goal with 10 minutes remaining. However, Roberto Martinez’s well-drilled side produced an instant response as substitute Gerard Deulofeu equalised.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) made a move on Wednesday afternoon that many had expected.CDC Director Robert Redfield announced that the agency has new guidance for essential workers. That replaces previous guidance that had asked workers to isolate for 14 days if they were exposed to someone who is infected with COVID-19.The new guidance allows many employees in essential fields of work, such as healthcare, policing, and food supply, to continue working even if they have have come in contact with someone who has coronavirus.Workers in the aforementioned fields are now asked to:-Pre-screen: Employers should measure the employee’s temperature and assess symptoms prior to the person starting work. Ideally, temperature checks should happen before the individual enters the facility.-Regular monitoring: As long as the employee does not have a temperature or symptoms, they should self-monitor under the supervision of their employer’s occupational health program.-Wear a mask: The employee should wear a face mask at all times while in the workplace for 14 days after last exposure. Employers may issue face masks, or they can approve employees’ supplied cloth face coverings in the event of shortages.-Social distance: The employee should maintain six feet of space and practice social distancing as work duties permit.-Disinfect and clean work spaces: Clean and disinfect all areas such as offices, bathrooms, common areas, shared electronic equipment frequently.“A potential exposure means being a household contact or having close contact within 6 feet of an individual with confirmed or suspected COVID-19,” the CDC said. “The timeframe for having contact with an individual includes the period of time of 48 hours before the individual became symptomatic.”Dr. Deborah Birx, who serves as the White House’s Coronavirus Response Coordinator, explained the change by saying, “It looks at degree of exposure and really making it clear that exposure occurs within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes, so really understanding where you shouldn’t be within 6 feet of people right now.”She continued, “But if you’re in a work situation where you have to be, there will be a series of recommendations that if you had had a significant exposure of what specifically to do, and if you’ve had a less exposure what to do.”CDC May Loosen Guidelines for Some Exposed to COVID-19
Part 2: When the injury is inside your head, some “don’t get it” – July 26, 2016 Latest Posts Latest posts by Taylor Vortherms (see all) Bio Taylor VorthermsSports Editor at The Ellsworth AmericanTaylor Vortherms covers sports in Hancock County. The St. Louis, Missouri native recently graduated from the Missouri School of Journalism and joined The Ellsworth American in 2013. Ellsworth’s Jack Weeks wrestles Mount Desert Island’s Elijah Malloy in the 138-pound championship at Saturday’s home tournament. Weeks pinned Malloy for his 100th-career win. PHOTO BY TAYLOR VORTHERMSEllsworth wrestling coaches rush to the center of the mat to hug Jack Weeks and present him with a trophy after the Ellsworth senior’s 100th-career win at Saturday’s home tournament. PHOTO BY TAYLOR VORTHERMSBucksport’s Matt Stewart looks to the scoreboard in the 160-pound championship match against Ellsworth’s Connor Petros at Saturday’s tournament at Ellsworth. Steward lost 9-5 and finished the day 2-1. PHOTO BY TAYLOR VORTHERMSEllsworth’s Robert Banner pins Cameron Cookson of Foxcroft Academy in a 126-pound match at Saturday’s home tournament. Banner finished the day 2-1. PHOTO BY TAYLOR VORTHERMSEllsworth’s Tyler Hardwick wrestles Jacob Hesseltine of Dexter in a 160-match at Saturday’s home tournament. Hardwick won 9-3 and finished the day 4-1, with his only loss coming from teammate and 160-pound champion Connor Petros. PHOTO BY TAYLOR VORTHERMS12345PreviousNextELLSWORTH — Ellsworth wrestler Jack Weeks notched his 100th win of his career in the 138-pound championship at Saturday’s Ellsworth High School tournament.“One hundred wins is the standard for measuring wrestling excellence in the state of Maine,” Ellsworth coach J.F. Burns said. “By far, we give out the nicest award for this achievement.”After Weeks pinned Mount Desert Island’s Elijah Malloy to take first place, Ellsworth assistant coach Travis Hardison rushed to the center of the mat to present the senior wrestler with a trophy.Other Ellsworth wrestlers who took first at the tournament included Peyton Cole at 132 pounds and Connor Petros at 160 pounds.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textIn the finals, Cole beat Nicholas Hallowell of Calais 11-0, and Petros beat Matthew Stewart of Bucksport 9-5.Ellsworth’s Josh Wright, Harry Larrabee and Tyler Hardwick took third in their respective weight classes.In the consolation finals, Wright beat Connor Johnson of Foxcroft 1-0 at 132 pounds, Larrabee pinned Brody Boynton of Bucksport at 138 pounds and Hardwick beat Wilder Young of MDI 6-5 at 160 pounds.The other weight classes were conducted in a round robin tournament style, where all wrestlers wrestled at least three times.At 126 pounds, Ellsworth’s Robert Banner completed the day with a winning record of 2-1.At 152 pounds, Ellsworth junior Dagan Berenyi went 4-0 for the day, including a win over Foxcroft Academy senior Brooks Law — a two-time Class C state champion and last year’s Class B state runner-up at 138 pounds. Berenyi — last year’s Class B state champion at 132 pounds — lost in the pair’s earlier matchup this season, but was able to pin Law this time.“The victory for Dagan is redemption for a one-point Christmas Tournament loss to Brooks,” Burns said.At 170 pounds, Ellsworth’s Trent Goodman also went 4-0. Teammate Jeff Weeks went 3-1, with his only loss coming against Goodman.At 195 and 220 pounds, Bucksport’s K.P. Hilaire pinned all three of his opponents to finish the day undefeated. Part 1: Invisible, incapacitating concussions are sidelining high school athletes – July 19, 2016 EHS names new boys’ soccer coach – July 13, 2016
Seeking to start conference play 2-0 for the first time since 2010, the Trojans instead blew a 22-point second half lead and dropped an 87-85 heartbreaker on the road to the Washington Huskies on Sunday afternoon.Washington scored the final nine points of the game after USC took an 85-78 lead at the 2:12 mark on a layup by Nikola Jovanovic. Back-to-back difficult shots by the Huskies’ Dejounte Murray cut the lead to one, and a turnover led to the go-ahead basket by Andrew Andrews with 25 seconds to play, who scored after grabbing an offensive rebound to give the Huskies an 86-85 advantage.Katin Reinhardt’s three-point try at the buzzer missed, and the Trojans, who beat Washington State on New Year’s Day, walked off Alaska Airlines Arena splitting their two-game Northwest road trip.USC led 66-44 with just over 14 minutes remaining in regulation, but fell apart after an early second half injury to Julian Jacobs, who landed awkwardly on his ankle while grabbing a rebound. Jacobs, who had 15 points and a number of electric dunks up prior to his injury, did not return. The Trojans were outscored 45-24 and committed 10 turnovers with him off the court.The Trojans played with energy right off the bat and jumped out to a double-digit lead midway through the first half behind a 9-0 run. A thunderous dunk by Jacobs with under two minutes to play in the half put USC ahead 44-32. The Trojans took a 46-36 lead into halftime.Despite starting the second half shooting 7-of-7 from the field, the Trojans could not overcome the injury to Jacobs, the junior guard who is averaging 12 points this season. Jacobs, along with Jordan McLaughlin and Bennie Boatwright, led USC with 15 points. Jovanovic added 14 points and 10 rebounds.The Trojans, who are now 2-21 in their last 23 road conference games, fall to 12-3 overall and 1-1 in conference play. They will head home to take on Arizona State on Jan. 7 and Arizona on Jan. 9.
Sheffield specifically praised the way that sophomore setter Lauren Carlini handled herself and drove the team throughout the game and especially in the fourth set to get Wisconsin back on track. Carlini had 42 assists on the night.Now that the Badgers are back in Madison, they will experience a full week of practice for the first time in a while after playing weekday matches the last three weeks. Following a day off Sunday, Sheffield said he is optimistic that his players will be ready to go in practice all week.The full week of practice will be much needed as the Badgers prepare to take on newcomers to the Big Ten, Rutgers and Maryland. Both teams have struggled through the early going of the conference season with identical 0-4 Big Ten records, but they have still compiled seven wins apiece.To prepare for a pair of squads that Wisconsin hasn’t seen much of, Sheffield said much of the gameplan will revolve around watching game film of the Scarlet Knights and Terrapins. While Sheffield and the players have yet to watch Rutgers in action this season, they did see Maryland play two matches when both teams participated in the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge.Wisconsin has been slowly making its way back up to the top of the rankings after two loses in a row against top ranked teams, Washington and Penn State.Despite the tough, early season losses, Sheffield said his players have remained resilient.“I think they were really, really down after those two losses, and they got back in the gym,” Sheffield said. “I think there was even stronger focus, stronger will … So I think that is the thing that I’m learning about this team and the players on this team is they may get knocked down, but they don’t stay down for long.”The Badgers have bounced back strong and hope to continue that trend in the upcoming weekend against strong rivals. Their recent successes are largely due in part to the team’s strong ability to communicate with each other both on and off the court.“If there is a big, big gap between the coach and the leaders, that is when miscommunication happens,” Sheffield said. “That’s when people go off and do their own thing. Those have usually been my toughest teams is when those leaders are [on a] totally different page than me. The group here, I think we’ve got some great leaders. They’ve done a really good job of making sure that the players away from the practice are doing and saying the right things. They’re coming to practice in the right mindset.”The Badgers will face off against Rutgers Friday at 7 p.m. and Maryland Sunday at 1 p.m. at the UW Field House. The No. 6 Wisconsin volleyball team is back in Madison this weekend after two victories in their first Big Ten road games of the season.The Badgers are coming off two big wins against Northwestern (13-2, 3-1 Big Ten) and Illinois (11-4, 3-1).In his press conference Monday, head coach Kelly Sheffield addressed the team’s recent success and upcoming games.“It was a tough week. Northwestern and Illinois are two really, really good teams on the road,” Sheffield said. “I thought the Northwestern match, I thought it was … very balanced. I thought Kelli Bates, in particular, stood out that match and really played well. I thought we served the ball really well.”The Badgers defeated the Wildcats last Wednesday night in three straight sets, 25-20, 25-16 and 25-23. As Sheffield referenced, the freshman outside hitter Bates had a big night with 13 kills.After the sweep of Northwestern, Wisconsin continued the Illinois road trip with a visit to Champaign Saturday night.“Illinois, probably one of the toughest environments I’ve been in, certainly the loudest environment I’ve ever been,” Sheffield said. “We came out and executed the first couple of games and got our tails kicked in game three pretty handedly. We came back and refocused in game four. We came up with what I thought was a huge win.”The Badgers faced the Fighting Illini in front of a rowdy, sold-out crowd. Despite the hostile environment, Wisconsin won the match in four sets 25-17, 25-22, 11-25 and 25-23.So how loud is Huff?? Try an ear-splitting 105 dB!! #illiniNOISE pic.twitter.com/vZm4PNdJnY— Illinois Volleyball (@IlliniVBall) October 5, 2014