Representatives from five States and Territory’s came to TFA to discuss State competitions. Wednesday saw Peggy Sanders from the Northern Territory, Phoebe Burgoyne-Scutts from the ACT, Lewis Tuck from Victoria, Mitch Collins from WA and Renee Bryant from SA come to TFA in Canberra to discuss competition development.The aim of the meeting was to create best practice guidelines for State Competitions. It was of benefit to streamline competitions, for other development opportunities.There was also a visit from BMTA’s Matt Hall. BMTA is Australia’s best-run affiliate, and Matt was there for competition analysis. This meeting will help all State-based competitions, and ultimately affiliates.
Updated – 5/8/19 Here are your 2019 NRL Touch Premiership Ladders for both the Men’s and Women’s Divisions.
Steven Davis pushing to leave Southampton for Rangers returnby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveSteven Davis is set to leave Southampton for a return to Rangers.Davis is in the final six months of his contract and Steven Gerrard is keen to bring him back to Ibrox, says the Daily Mail. Gers will try to sign him for a small compensation fee this month.The 33-year-old, who has started just two times this season, is understood to be keen on the idea of returning to Ibrox to gain more regular playing time. The experienced Northern Ireland international is a firm favourite with the Rangers fans having made over 140 appearances for the club during a four-year spell between 2008-12. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Quique Sanchez Flores insists Watford have plenty to play forby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveNew Watford boss Quique Sanchez Flores insists there’s plenty to play for this season.Sanchez Flores thinks the decision to bring him back in place of Gracia demonstrates the club’s ambition and shows why they can achieve “something special”. “I never see Watford at the bottom,” he said.”Three years ago, we were never there. The last three years, it was impossible to think about that, but football’s very hard right now. It’s very equal, very even and everything is pure competition, so everything is possible.”We need to go out of this position as soon as possible.”The ambition is the same. This is a club that is very clear about the way they want to grow and so I realise of course they have changed a lot of things, the training ground, the players, the squad.”But [what they want] is exactly the same what they wanted from me three years ago.”Now it’s a little bit different because they’re established in the Premier League, they want to keep going in the same category, so the pressure is the same, but the squad and the objective of the club they are different.”I’m confident we can work together and we can do something special.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Advertisement Login/Register With: Advertisement AS A CHILD, DID YOU WANT TO BE AN ACTOR OR DID IT FALL INTO PLACE THROUGH OTHER ACTIVITIES?I think that I demonstrated a flair for dramatics at a pretty young age haha. I loved telling stories. I trained as a competitive figure skater for 10 years and that was my main extra-curricular as a kid. But I was always singing around the house – to the extreme annoyance of my family. I remember being obsessed with the 2007 movie musical “Hairspray” and dressing up as Penny Pingleton for Halloween that year. Although, it wasn’t until high school that I got involved in the performing arts through Shakespeare plays, musicals and show choir in my hometown of Waterloo, Ontario.WHO INSPIRED YOU TO FOLLOW YOUR DREAM TO PURSUE ACTING?There’s a commencement speech that Jim Carrey gave in 2014 about chasing your dreams. In the midst of my own mid-youth crisis, his words really woke me up. I realized that the choices I had been making about my future, were made as he put it, “out of fear, disguised as practicality”. He said that “you can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.” It hit me like a lightning bolt and I realized all at once that I wasn’t going to be truly happy pursuing a career that was not creative.WHAT CHALLENGES HAVE YOU FACED IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY? WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR MOST REWARDING EXPERIENCE?Auditioning was a huge challenge for me after acting school when I was first starting out. It became clear to me early on that I needed to hone my audition technique and learn how to combat my nerves. So I worked hard at it and took a couple on camera auditioning classes. Auditioning gets easier and easier every time, especially if you’re returning to a casting director who has already seen you before for another project. I’ve learned to enjoy the process (because you really have nothing to lose), and to approach every audition as an opportunity to grow as an actor, regardless of the outcome.I’m fortunate to have had many rewarding experiences performing, but some of my favourite memories have been on set. There is something electric about building a world around you that convinces even the crew members of your character’s reality while you’re filming. It’s so rewarding to collaborate with other artists and work together towards a common goal of bringing a script to life.WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE TYPE OF CHARACTER TO PLAY?I love playing characters that are relatable and a little dorky. No matter what the genre, I’m always looking for ways to bring comedic, human quirks to a character. And on the more dramatic side of things, I love playing characters that have fight in them, even in the most tragic circumstances. Those stories are so important to tell, and it is so fulfilling as an actor to get to delve into those characters. Most of the roles I go out for are in the teen/young adult age range, and I LOVE playing there. Teenagers are often extremely emotionally charged and have a lot going on, so it’s really fun to access that as an actor in my 20’s. I embrace all challenges.WHAT MARKET DO YOU CURRENTLY WORK IN? ARE THERE OTHER AREAS YOU WOULD LIKE TO WORK?Right now I’m focusing my energy into film and television acting, and I’m based in Toronto. The film industry is growing rapidly here, especially with festivals like TIFF giving Canadian content the exposure it deserves. I’m also very interested in the prospect of creating my own content. I’m currently in the process of writing a screenplay for a feature film that I’m hoping to star in and direct.WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE NEW TRYING TO MAKE IT IN THE ACTING INDUSTRY?Let go of perfection. I’m a huge perfectionist in real life, and one of the biggest things I struggled with in acting school was always trying to execute the “perfect” performance that I pictured in my head. It’s okay to have high expectations of yourself as an artist but it will hinder your performance if you are so self-aware and critical of yourself that you miss out on what’s happening in the moment. Never forfeit the opportunity to work off of your scene partner. Life is messy and so are people, so your characters are allowed to be too. Don’t be afraid to give yourself the freedom to fail and know that you are never a finished product. Your craft is always a work in progress and the training never stops.WHAT FUELS YOUR PASSION?What drives me is the power to impact people. I think it’s probably the most powerful thing in the world; our ability to make someone else (especially a stranger) feel something. What I love about film is that it sort of puts a microscope on the world, and forces us to reflect on ourselves and on society as a whole. Film is more than just entertainment for the masses, it’s a catalyst for positive change. If I can spend my life being a part of that in any capacity, I will be happy.WHAT IS SOMETHING ABOUT YOU THAT MOST PEOPLE WOULD NEVER GUESS?I could probably eat more than my own body weight in popcorn.WHO ARE YOU CURRENTLY REPRESENTED BY?I’m represented by Tovah Small of Meridian Artists. She’s an absolute gem to work with.WHERE HAVE YOU TRAINED?I trained intensively in screen acting for two years in the Acting for Film & Television program at Humber College. Since graduating last year, I have trained at The Lighthouse Acting Studio and do private audition coaching sessions when time allows. I’m looking to train at Second City next!IF YOU WERE TO DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN, WOULD YOU DO THINGS EXACTLY THE SAME? DO YOU HAVE ANY REGRETS? SUCCESSES THAT MAKE YOU PROUD? I regret not starting earlier. I regret not taking singing lessons/dance lessons/acting lessons when I was a kid. But on the other hand, I had to work harder than some of my peers to sort of “catch up” and it showed me how badly I want this for myself. Work ethic is not always something that can be taught and it is one of my most valuable traits. Talent is wasted on laziness. What makes me most proud of myself is my consistent personal and artistic growth. That’s how I measure my success as an actor. This past pilot season I’ve had the opportunity to audition for so many amazing projects, many of them Netflix series, that I never would have dreamt of a year ago when I was graduating from college. Getting in the room is an accomplishment all on its own, regardless of whether or not you get the part.AGENT: Tovah Small of Meridian Artists FOLLOW CLARICE ON SOCIAL MEDIA:FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/clarice.goetzINSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/clarice.goetz/WEBSITE: https://www.claricegoetz.com/CLICK HERE TO VIEW ALL INTERVIEWS IN OUR ASPIRING TALENT SERIESIf you are an aspiring talent and would like to be featured in our Aspiring Talent SeriesContact Darlene via email at firstname.lastname@example.orgOpen to all (e.g. Actors, Models, Singers, Dancers, Producers, Directors, etc.) Twitter Advertisement As part of the eBoss Canada aspiring talent series, we had the opportunity to speak with Clarice Goetz.Clarice is an actress based out of Toronto working towards her dream. We had the opportunity to discuss her career with her recently. Clarice Goetz – Photo by Hilary Gauld Commercial Photography Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment
APTN National NewsThe way child services in Manitoba dealt with Phoenix Sinclair was substandard a former supervisor testified Wednesday at the inquiry looking into the five-year-old’s murder.Angela Balan was agreeing with a report completed after Sinclair’s death in 2005 that said how the case was maintained from November 2000 to March 2002 was substandard.Balan was the supervisor of Delores Chief-Abigosis who was in charge of the file from November 2000 to July the next year.Chief-Abigosis already testified she couldn’t remember much of the time she spent on the file. She also didn’t keep notes.The inquiry is looking into how child services handled Sinclair’s case.
There will be a Photo Booth and a DJ for the dance and other prizes to be won.Free tickets can be picked up at;-Party Town in Fort St John-The Taylor Hub in TaylorTo view the FB Event Page; CLICK HERETo view the Phoenix Volunteer Club FB Page; CLICK HERE TAYLOR, B.C. – The Phoenix Volunteer Club is hosting their 2nd Annual St. Patrick’s Day, Free Family Dinner and Dance to say thank you and give back to the community.Friday, March 8th from 5 pm – 9 pm at the Taylor Community Hall, there will be prizes for best dressed in St. Patrick’s themed outfit.Hot dogs and hamburgers will be served for dinner, with pop, water and coffee to drink.
Miami: Roger Federer admits he faces a real battle to land the 101st title of his career with the in-form Daniil Medvedev next up after Serbian Filip Krajinovic was dispatched 7-5 6-3 on Monday at the ATP and WTA Miami Open. The Swiss superstar produced an excellent all-round performance despite being tested by the world number 103 who belied his lowly ranking by producing some excellent tennis during an exciting first set. Federer, however, stylishly weathered the storm to seal the win – the 52nd of his career in Miami – and set up an intriguing last eight match with the highly-rated Medvedev. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhThe Russian, who is at a career high ranking of 15, saw off American Reilly Opelka 7-6 (7/5) 6-7 (5/7) 7-6 (7/0), and has won four ATP hard-court titles, including three since last August. Federer beat him twice last year but is already a fan. “He’s clever how he plays the court because he can play it up and down, and he’s unusual when he plays from back,” said the Swiss, who hit 14 aces and won an impressive 74% of points on his first serve. “It’s a bit of a different approach.Thankfully I played him last year twice in Basel and Shanghai and I’m very impressed about his progress. I must say the last year has been unbelievable for him.” Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterKrajinovic struggled with injury last year as problems with his ankle, left foot and hand restricted him to just seven tournaments in the first seven months of 2018. Yet some fierce hitting from the back of the court surprised the predictably pro-Federer crowd and a brilliant run and flick over the net handed him an early break for 3-2. Keeping the pressure on, however, was a different matter as Federer broke straight back before pocketing the opening set. The second set wasn’t as competitive, Federer easing home and finishing with 35 winners compared to the Serbian’s 18. Elsewhere, number 24 seed Grigor Dimitrov was beaten by world number 77 Jordan Thompson in straight sets ensuring the Australian will meet 2018 Wimbledon finalist Kevin Anderson who beat Portugal’s Joao Sousa 6-4, 7-6 (8/6). Simona Halep, meanwhile, got the better of Venus Williams once again as the Romanian made light work of the 38-year-old American to book a place in the quarter-finals with a 6-3, 6-3 win. “I was pretty strong with my serve and knew where to bother her,” said the reigning French Open champion who will meet China’s Wang Qiang in the last eight. “When I saw I can win easy games with my serve, it gave me great confidence,” she added. Bianca Andreescu, the 18-year-old Canadian sensation who won the title in Indian Wells, was forced to withdraw in the second set of her fourth round match with Anett Kontaveit. Andreescu was 1-6 0-2 down before a shoulder injury ruined her chances of another run to the finals. The Estonian will meet Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-Wei who continued her excellent form with a 6-3, 6-7 (0/7), 6-2 win over Caroline Wozniacki. Petra Kvitova, the world number 3, booked her place in the last eight, beating Caroline Garcia 6-3, 6-3 in a match which was held up for one hour and 40 minutes because of rain in South Florida. Kvitova plays Australian Ashleigh Barty for a place in the semi-finals.
Two of hockey’s Original Six are alive and well in the Eastern Conference finals, which began Saturday with the New York Rangers’ 7-2 rout of the Montreal Canadiens in Game 1.1The Chicago Blackhawks, another Original Six team, are also leading the Western Conference finals 1-0. The series is an interesting case study in the rebuilding of once-great clubs. No matter which of the two historic franchises prevails, the victor will have made it to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since it won hockey’s ultimate prize roughly two decades ago.2The Rangers haven’t been back to the Final since winning the Cup in 1994; the Canadiens haven’t been back since winning it in 1993. Their long road back saw 19 different head coaches between them,3A tally that includes Alain Vigneault, who has coached both teams. payrolls both desiccated and bloated, and years of mediocrity that flouted expectations. But their twin decades in the wilderness taught them the value of drafting well and committing to smart spending.North of the border, Les Habitants play the central role in Canada’s ongoing, agonizing Stanley Cup drought. The Canadiens are unaccustomed to going this long without a championship, and that’s putting it mildly. Over the course of the 77 postseasons between 1916 and 1993, Montreal hoisted the Cup once every 3.2 seasons on average. They won 24 titles; to this day, no other NHL team has won more than 13.4The Toronto Maple Leafs own that second-place distinction, despite not having won any Cups themselves since 1967.The 1992-93 Canadiens won the franchise’s first Stanley Cup since 1985-86.5At the time, Montreal fans would have considered that seven-year gap — and the seven-season void before that — an alarming dry spell. That championship team was good — and lucky. According to estimates of score-close Fenwick percentage (a team-possession stat), the 1992-93 Canadiens were the NHL’s eighth-best team at controlling possession, and they finished sixth in save percentage thanks to Patrick Roy, one of the rare goalies who could truly be said to possess consistently elite puck-stopping skills. Their luck often came in overtime, when the Canadiens won the majority of their playoff games; they went an incredible 10-1 in overtime during the 1993 postseason,6Setting the record for most overtime wins in a single playoff year. including victories in Games 2, 3 and 4 of the Stanley Cup Final. (Historically, there’s essentially no correlation between how a team does from one overtime playoff game to the next, so Montreal’s overtime record undoubtedly meant the Canadiens were the beneficiary of good fortune during their ‘93 Cup run.)The 1992-93 Canadiens were the fifth-youngest Cup-winners since the dawn of the Original Six era in 1943.7As weighted by the Modified Point Shares of each player on the roster. Modified Point Shares is an offshoot of Hockey-Reference’s Point Shares re-scaled to give forwards 60 percent of the league’s total value, defensemen 30 percent and goalies 10 percent, per research I conducted for analytics guru Tom Tango last summer. Despite carrying over much of the same core of players into subsequent seasons, Montreal declined sharply, soon missing the playoffs for the first time in a quarter-century. Habs GM Serge Savard wasn’t able to wheel and deal his way to a new championship-caliber group,8To the contrary — he dealt away Roy in one of the most one-sided trades in NHL history. and aside from the 1987 and 1993 drafts9The latter of which yielded Saku Koivu. the team did not restock well. According to a measurement of picking efficiency similar to one I used to evaluate NFL teams’ performances in the draft,10Using Modified Point Shares. the Canadiens were the league’s fourth-worst drafting team from 1988 to 1995.11And its fifth-worst over the larger 1988-2001 period.Making matters worse, the Canadiens were facing a weak national currency at a time before the salary cap. Because Montreal had to offer more money than U.S. teams did in order to get the same amount of talent, they found themselves at a competitive disadvantage. The Habs fell out of the league’s top 10 in payroll spending for the 1994-95 season,12According to Rodney Fort’s archived NHL payroll data, which spans the 1989-90 through 2011-12 seasons (save for missing data on the 1996-97 and 1997-98 seasons). dropping to 16th out of 26 teams that season and 17th in each of the next two years. Unable to compete financially (they’d been a top-five payroll team as recently as five years earlier) and having strung together a series of mostly poor drafts, the Canadiens fired Savard in 199513Although they didn’t do much better under Rejean Houle, either. and spent the next decade mired in mediocrity.Meanwhile in Manhattan, the Rangers were suffering much the same fate. Their 1993-94 Stanley Cup championship team had broken the Curse of 1940 and given Rangers fans their long-awaited redemption. The team was an incredible collection of talent, posting the fourth-best record and fifth-best estimated Fenwick close of any pre-2008 Cup winner,14Going back to the 1987-88 season, the first year of Hockey-Reference’s game log data. but also had the fifth-oldest roster in the league15Weighted by the Modified Point Shares of each player on the roster. and was the 23rd-oldest Cup winner since 1943.Instead of seeking out younger players, New York GM Neil Smith put the league’s oldest squad on the ice over the next three seasons (even recruiting a 36-year-old Wayne Gretzky to join a 36-year-old Mark Messier in the summer of 1996). While the Canadiens were struggling to contend with the NHL’s new financial realities, the Rangers had no such issues; their $44 million payroll in 1997-98 was the highest in NHL history at the time. But they were also committed to an old, overpaid roster that wasn’t producing — and, like Montreal, New York had compounded matters by drafting poorly over the previous decade.16The Rangers were the league’s third-worst drafting team from 1992 to 1999.A number of key players on the Rangers’ 1993-94 championship squad had been acquired in the draft during the late 1980s and early 1990s, including Brian Leetch, Mike Richter, Sergei Zubov, Alexei Kovalev, Sergei Nemchinov and Tony Amonte. But the subsequent batch of Rangers drafts produced first-round busts like Jeff Brown (No. 22 overall in 1996), Stefan Cherneski (No. 19 in 1997) and Pavel Brendl and Jamie Lundmark (No. 4 and No. 9, respectively, in 1999).The lack of decent prospects made it difficult for New York to avoid extending its aging stars’ contracts or overpaying for veterans on the free-agent market. From 1997-98 to 2003-04, the Rangers never fell outside the NHL’s top four teams in payroll dollars spent, yet never had a season with a winning record. Smith was fired after a disappointing 1999-2000 campaign that saw New York finish 12 points out of the playoffs, but his successor, Glen Sather, didn’t fare better, missing the postseason himself in each of the next four seasons.Both the Canadiens and Rangers were afterthoughts in the 2000s. But both teams began to turn their fortunes around after a lockout wiped out the entire 2004-05 schedule and radically shifted the game’s economic landscape.Under the league’s new salary-cap system (and with the loonie gaining strength), Montreal steadily began to spend more on payroll, cracking the top 10 once more in 2006-07, and the top five in 2008-09. And while the Rangers initially spent huge sums of money on their players,17They led the league in payroll during the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons. Sather began reducing the team’s payroll in 2010 — dropping out of the top five for the first time in at least 20 years, followed by a 14th-place payroll ranking in 2011-12 and a 19th-place ranking this year.The Rangers’ sudden, unprecedented reduction in payroll coincided with a newfound commitment to youth. After ranking among the league’s oldest teams each season going back to the early 1990s, New York transitioned to become one of the youngest squads in 2008-09, jettisoning aging stars like Jaromir Jagr, Brendan Shanahan and Martin Straka. This year, the Rangers’ only major contributors over 3018According to Modified Point Shares. are Henrik Lundqvist, 31, and Brad Richards, 33. And the team’s recent draft classes have supplied the Rangers with a host of talented youngsters such as Derek Stepan, Michael Del Zotto, Chris Kreider and Carl Hagelin. (Undrafted free-agent gems like Mats Zuccarello help, too.)In a similar vein, one of the biggest ingredients of Montreal’s turnaround has been a successful series of drafts by general managers Andre Savard, Bob Gainey and Pierre Gauthier, beginning in 200219Hey, Chris Higgins was a solid No. 14 pick. and cresting with strong hauls in 2004, 2005 and 2007. Under their stewardship, the team made a number of shrewd selections, like P.K. Subban at No. 43, Max Pacioretty at No. 22, Brendan Gallagher at No. 147 and Carey Price at No. 5. (Other 2013-14 Habs key players procured via the draft include Andrei Markov — a relic of the Houle era — and Tomas Plekanec.) All those players’ careers have exceeded what could reasonably have been expected from their draft positions.Those picks may have been plain old luck — the year-to-year correlation for teams’ per-pick draft efficiency is very nearly zero, suggesting drafting skill is largely random in hockey, just as it is in football. Regardless, Montreal and New York still brought themselves back into relevance.None of this guarantees a Stanley Cup this year. The winner of the Eastern Conference finals will face either the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks, or the Los Angeles Kings, who are the best possession team in hockey. Neither the Canadiens nor the Rangers has looked especially dominant in the playoffs thus far, aside from the Rangers’ pasting of the Canadiens in Game 1. Both teams needed Game 7s to squeak past their opponents in the conference semifinals, and the Rangers needed that many to top the Philadelphia Flyers in the first round, too. During the regular season, the Canadiens were not a strong possession team, still a major leading indicator of future team success.Despite all of those caveats, it’s notable that one of these two teams is guaranteed a place in the final. Each lost its way during the previous decade, but by successfully rebuilding through the draft and not throwing good money after bad, they’ve provided a road map for once-proud franchises to get back on the path to the Stanley Cup.
The OSU baseball team celebrates during a game against Northwestern on March 27 at Bill Davis Stadium. OSU won 5-4. Credit: Lantern file photoThe Ohio State baseball team is coming off its most successful season in years. For the first time since 2009, the Buckeyes were in the NCAA tournament and won their first Big Ten tournament since 2007.But repeating that success will be a challenge. The Buckeyes’ lineup will be returning just two hitters from that group against Iowa in the final tournament game — senior co-captain Jalen Washington and junior outfielder Tre’ Gantt — and both players are changing positions.The team also will return only two of its regular starting pitchers with redshirt junior Adam Niemeyer and sophomore Ryan Feltner. Friday night starter Tanner Tully, who was drafted by the Cleveland Indians, and Saturday night starter John Havird, who graduated last season, have left the program, leaving big shoes to fill.Replacing impact players like Nick Sergakis and Ronnie Dawson will be a combination of 17 junior college baseball players and freshmen joining the club, making for plenty of uncertainty.“We’re a very talented ball club. I say that with a little caution because we haven’t proven it,” said OSU coach Greg Beals. “There’s a lot of guys that are going to get their first shot to be everyday players here at Ohio State.”Arguably the biggest change for the team comes from behind the dish. Washington, who caught 62 games last season for the team, will leave the role of catcher and shift to shortstop, his natural position. Taking over at catcher will be sophomore Jacob Barnwell, a player Washington has worked with while in preparation for the new role.“We’ve had a lot of dialogue with me and Barnwell, (sophomore catcher Andrew) Fishel a little bit,” Washington said. “Just how to get comfortable, how to handle the pitchers. Majority of the game is understanding the pitchers, making the pitchers comfortable, making their job as easy as possible.”The remainder of the infield appears penciled in with a pair of junior college transfers likely to start on the right side of the infield, and one returning player. Beals said junior transfers Bo Coolen and Noah McGowan are favorites to start at first and second base, respectively, while sophomore Brady Cherry looks to start at the hot corner for the ball club.The outfield, however, is much more in question. Gantt, the primary right fielder last season, will be shifting over to center field to man his natural position. But he is the only player with a potentially guaranteed spot.One outfielder Beals has his eye on is freshman Dominic Canzone, a Louisville Slugger High School All-American praised for his promising hitting ability.“Dom Canzone — just a knack for hitting,” Beals said. “He’s got a hit tool that’s hard to teach. He puts barrel on ball at a high rate.”The pitching staff will see changes occurring within the rotation, but the bullpen figures to remain roughly the same as last season. Junior Seth Kinker, who led the team in appearances, returns to the club as will senior left-hander Joe Stoll, redshirt junior Kyle Michalik and redshirt junior Austin Woodby, who served as a spot starter and reliever.An interesting case is redshirt junior Yianni Pavlopoulos, who served as closer in 2016. He might be headed towards a role as a starting pitcher in 2017.“Yianni Pavlopoulos, we moved out of the closer’s spot into starting rotation potential,” Beals said. “The potential exists for him to be in the rotation, the potential exists for him to go back in the closer’s spot. But we’re training him with an increased pitch count so that he is ready to be a starter if need be.”Though Pavlopoulos will be competing for a spot in the rotation, the only known weekend starters are Niemeyer and Feltner, while the Sunday night starter and weekday starter remain unknown.“I think right now, all the positions are pretty open from a pitching standpoint,” Niemeyer said. “It’s kind of an open competition right now, so we’ll see how all the pieces fit in these next few weeks before the season starts.”The team still has some positions left to fill, but the ball club is optimistic about its chances in 2017. The team is young and lacks experience, but Niemeyer believes this is a club that can compete now.“We want to keep building on that culture we created last year,” Niemeyer said. “I think everyone in this locker room, the coaching staff, everyone expects us to be in the hunt for another Big Ten Championship and we all believe we can accomplish that goal.”