With PLL dreams, D-III transfer Mitch Wykoff faces latest challenge at SU

first_img Published on June 7, 2020 at 9:35 pm Contact Arabdho: armajumd@syr.edu | @aromajumder Mitch Wykoff had no intention of ending his lacrosse career. After the NCAA canceled his senior season due to the coronavirus pandemic, Wykoff first looked to the Premier Lacrosse League. A couple teams showed interest, he said. When the NCAA granted an extra year of eligibility for spring sport athletes, Wykoff considered dropping a spring semester class at Gettysburg, where he’d been a four-year starter, to continue playing with the Bullets next spring. By mid-March, Division I programs recruited him as a graduate transfer.Utah was immediately Wykoff’s top destination, said Brigid Wykoff, his mother. Three of the team’s assistant coaches currently play in the PLL. Wykoff had nearly guaranteed playing time with the Utes, and his PLL exposure would increase. But in mid-April, Syracuse assistant coach Lelan Rogers reached out to Gettysburg head coach Hank Janczyk.  “You’re kidding me,” Wykoff said to Janczyk upon learning of Syracuse’s interest in him.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“No, no, no,” Janczyk said. “He wants to talk to you.”The Orange had just lost defensive leader Nick Mellen to Major League Lacrosse and starting long-stick midfielder Jared Fernandez to Johns Hopkins. Wykoff’s versatility and reputation as a top cover player made him a strong candidate for both roles. The Utes remained an attractive choice as a pipeline to the PLL. But Wykoff went for the biggest challenge with the most rewarding payout, his mother said. He announced his transfer to Syracuse on May 9.“He’s more afraid of not just taking the opportunity and then regretting it,” Brigid said.At Fairfield Ludlowe High School (Connecticut), he was the ultimate “cover corner,” head coach Chris Parisi said. Wykoff always seemed to be three or four moves ahead of his matchup, baiting opponents into thinking he was beat before taking the opening away. He’d would spend hours watching film, focusing on his footwork. Whenever Ludlowe needed an opposing player eliminated from the game, Wykoff made it his “personal battle,” Parisi said.Wykoff continued to hone his stick skills, too. In his senior year against perennial Connecticut powerhouse Wilton, Wykoff performed a play that Parisi described as the most “exciting and improbable” one he’s ever seen on a lacrosse field. The score was tied at 10 with 10 seconds left, and a Ludlowe defender grabbed a rebound and passed it to Wykoff. He ran up the right sideline, but Wilton’s press tried to force him out of bounds. Wykoff jumped, his momentum carrying him out of bounds, and flung a behind-the-back pass that lasered down the sideline onto his attack’s stick.Another pass later, Ludlowe was leading. In 11 years as Ludlowe’s head coach, Parisi hadn’t beaten Wilton and hasn’t since.“You look at all these incredible athletic plays that Michael Jordan makes,” Parisi said. “Well Mitch Wykoff had one of those for us. You know, you just never forget a play like that.”Katelyn Marcy | Digital Design DirectorWykoff received interest from a few D-I schools in high school, eventually securing a scholarship from Richmond. For reasons Wykoff said he still doesn’t know, the offer was soon taken away, at a time when most schools had already filled up their rosters. Gettysburg, a D-III school, had shown interest in Wykoff earlier, and he’d gone to one of their camps, said Greg Wykoff, his father. Choosing Gettysburg, his mother’s alma mater, was an easy decision, Wykoff said. From his freshman year, Wykoff started all 17 games on the backline — unusual for the Bullets, Brigid said — and was charged with the opposition’s top threat. He followed up an All-Conference second team freshman season with two-straight second team All-American honors. He was named a first team All-American by Inside Lacrosse in the shortened 2020 season. “I wanted to show everybody that I could compete at the next level,” Wykoff said. “And I wanted to get numbers that nobody’s ever gotten before at the D-III level, and make something of myself one day, and prove that I didn’t need to be at Richmond to be successful.”Each year at Gettysburg, Wykoff’s role expanded. He was soon on the wings for faceoffs because of his knack for picking up ground balls, and his vocal communication improved to allow him to be the defensive quarterback — not just an individual defender. The summer before his junior season at Gettysburg, Wykoff went home to practice his shooting and dodging for hours each day at Fairfield Ludlowe’s field. Then, he would find YouTube game footage to analyze how the best shooters found holes and angles.Returning to Gettysburg, Wykoff found many teams gave him space to run with the ball, expecting him to panic and throw it away. He took advantage of the opportunity. The Bullets’ attackers spaced the field out and Wykoff ran down with a one-on-one matchup. He ended the 2019 season with nine goals, a program-record for a close defender.He played the following summer for the Coyotes in the Connecticut Box Lacrosse League’s inaugural season, a challenge to continue growing his game. Box lacrosse, unlike field, allows moving picks, so defenders need to be strong enough to push through the screens. Wykoff was one of the best defensemen in the league, coach Oliver Marti said, noting his physicality. I wanted to show everybody that I could compete at the next level, and I wanted to get numbers that nobody’s ever gotten before at the D-III level.- Mitch WykoffWykoff was placed on the short man (man-down) unit, adding to his learning curve, Marti said. Box lacrosse is faster because the restrained playing area prevents shots from exiting the rink, so defenders have to pick up more ground balls. There’s also more pressure on clears and no option for passes back to the goalie.In short man situations, the pace of play accelerates. While attacks seek out one-on-one matchups in field lacrosse, box lacrosse relies on quick ball movement. This forces defenders, especially at the top of the “box” where Wykoff played, to be more agile and aware in order to cut down passing and shooting lanes.Wykoff picked up box lacrosse quickly, Marti said. Against Duke’s Jordan Ginder, who was third in the Atlantic Coast Conference in face-off percentage in the 2020 season, the Coyotes decided not to contest the draw. They instead used Wykoff in the circle to put pressure on Ginder immediately after he picked up the ball. It forced a turnover about half the time, Marti said. While the Coyotes didn’t beat Ginder’s Copperheads in the regular season, they did in the semifinals. Wykoff earned an assist and a team-high eight ground balls in the playoffs as the Coyotes lost the championship game. Wykoff improved the most in his reaction time and decision making speed, Marti said. Marti doesn’t expect there to be many transition woes as Wykoff moves to Syracuse, given how well he picked up box lacrosse.“I think they need a great, strong, dependable, confident defender and long stick,” Marti said. “And I think he’ll be phenomenal at that role.”When Richmond dropped its offer a little over four years ago, Wykoff wondered whether he could play at the top level of college lacrosse, Brigid said. He turned “lemons into lemonade,” Greg said, and succeeded in every facet of the game at Gettysburg. But he knew very few D-III players made it to the pro ranks. Without a senior season, the chance of a PLL contract plummeted further. Once again, he had to make the best of the situation. Wykoff found a new home at Syracuse, where he’ll have a final chance to clear any lingering doubts and fight for a national championship and a spot in the PLL. It’s far from guaranteed, but that’s the way Wykoff wants it.  Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Sarajevo Mayor took over the “Flame of Peace” at the Olympic Stadium in Rome

first_imgThe “Flame of Peace” was handed over by Raffaele Pagnozzi, Secretary General of the European Olympic Committee and Josef Lib, a member of the EOC Executive Committee and President of the Coordination Commission for “EYOF 2019”.Mayor Skaka was also welcomed by Francesco Saverio Terruzzio, representative of the maestro Michelangelo Pistoletto, in cooperation with the Italian Embassy in Sarajevo. Before the start of the European Youth Olympic Festival EYOF 2019 in Sarajevo and Eastern Sarajevo from February 9thto 16th, mayor of Sarajevo Abdulah Skaka took the “Flame of Peace” at the Olympic Stadium in Rome.Organized by the European Olympic Committee in Rome, Nenad Vukovic, the mayor of East Sarajevo, took over the Plamen of Peace.In this way, the “Flame of Peace” begins its journey to Sarajevo where it will be lit at the ceremonial opening ceremony on February 10th at Olympic Stadium “Asim Ferhatović Hase”.“The flame of peace now goes to Sarajevo, the city where it belongs. Our city nurtures all the values ​​of Olympism, everything that this flame brings with it. Get an olive branch and this flame is a great honor that I share with peoples and citizens in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Sarajevo as a universal message of peace and progress, “said Mayor Skaka.last_img read more

10 freelancer deductions you won’t see this tax season

first_imgTis the season to start filing your freelance taxes and there’s good reason not to dilly dally. The impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is no longer a coming attraction, and the reality of its effects are likely to be felt by many freelancers.Specifically, some of the “regular” deductions that you may have claimed in the past have disappeared. Here are ten examples.Personal exemptionsThe new tax reform law increased the standard deduction on your 2018 tax return to $12,000 for single filers and married filers filing separately, $24,000 for married filers filing jointly, and $18,000 for heads of household. This is in lieu of the $4,050 in potential personal and dependency exemptions that used to be available.While this amount is higher overall, there are many other deductions that you can no longer claim, so it may represent a change to your tax obligation. If this is the case, be sure to explore all possible tax credits and other deductions you may be entitled to.Unlimited state and local tax deductionsYou will only be able to claim $10,000 in deductions for state and local taxes. Depending on where you live, this could significantly alter your anticipated tax obligation.A mortgage interest deduction of debt up to $1 millionOn this year’s return, a deduction for mortgage interest is capped at $750,000 for any mortgage transacted after January 1, 2018.If you transacted a mortgage prior to January 1, 2018 you can deduct the interest on the loan up to $1 million. If you don’t meet that maximum threshold amount and you have a home equity loan that you pay interest on, you may be able to deduct some of the expense to take full advantage of the mortgage interest deduction as described in the next point.Unrestricted deductions for home equity loan interestIf you have a home equity line of credit that you pay interest on, you may have been used to deducting the interest on that loan regardless of what the money was used for. This is no longer a viable tax deduction through 2026 unless the loan is used to, according to the IRS, “buy, build or substantially improve” the home that secures the loan.In addition, keep in mind that you can only deduct interest on the combined total of your primary mortgage and home equity loan up to the $750,000 threshold.Deductions for unreimbursed employee expensesIf you freelance and are also employed (i.e. you received a W-2 this year), you can no longer deduct any unreimbursed purchases related to your job.However, you can still deduct a wide range of qualified business expenses if they are incurred by your freelance business, so be sure to look into those deductions.Other popular itemized deductionsIn addition to the unreimbursed work expenses mentioned above, freelancers should take note that deductions for unreimbursed qualified employee education expenses, tax preparation and investment services fees, and professional dues are no longer available on your 2018 tax return.Moving expense deductionsUnless you are an armed forces member, you are out of luck if you moved this year as far as a tax deduction goes. All moving expense tax deductions have been eliminated.Unrestricted deductions for expenses related to natural disastersIf you were impacted by a hurricane, wildfire or flood in 2018, you will not be able to deduct any related losses that were not covered by insurance or another relief program on this year’s taxes.For 2018 this deduction is only available if you reside in a presidentially designated disaster zone.Alimony payment deductionsIf you divorced in 2018 and made alimony payments you can still deduct them from your federal taxes on this year’s return. However, for any divorce finalized after December 31, 2018 this deduction is no longer be available.Don’t miss outGiven the number of popular deductions that are no longer available this tax season, it is wise to check in with a tax professional to make sure you aren’t missing any of the new tax deductions that the TCJA ushered in. We’ll take a look at them, including the potential 20% tax deduction for pass-through businesses in our next post.In the meantime, you should have most of your tax documentation in hand, so don’t delay making plans to file your 2018 taxes and expedite any refund to which you may be entitled.Jonathan Medows is a New York City-based CPA who specializes in taxes and business issues for freelancers and self-employed individuals across the country. He offers a free consultation to members of Freelancer’s Union and a monthly email newsletter covering tax, accounting and business issues to freelancers on his website, www.cpaforfreelancers.com — which also features a new blog, how-to articles, and a comprehensive freelance tax guide.Jonathan is happy to provide an initial consultation to freelancers. To qualify for a free consultation you must be a member of the Freelancers Union and mention this article upon contacting him. Please note that this offer is not available March 1 through April 18 and covers a general conversation about tax responsibilities of a freelancer and potential deductions. These meetings do not include review of self-prepared documents, review of self-prepared tax returns, or the review of the work of other preparers. The free meeting does not include the preparation or review of quantitative calculations of any sort. He is happy to provide such services but would need to charge an hourly rate for his time.last_img read more