At age 15, Shawnee soccer player Dylan Hooper becomes youngest player on Swope Park Rangers team with Sporting KC

first_imgDylan Hooper is the youngest player on the Swope Park Rangers.Dylan Hooper, a 15-year-old soccer player from Shawnee, has joined the Swope Park Rangers, Sporting KC’s USL Championship team, becoming the youngest player on the Rangers roster. He signed on alongside three other Sporting KC Academy players in early April.While still an amateur player, Hooper is now a member of a professional team in a professional league. He had spent a year and a half in the academy before being recruited.“It’s really cool to join here because there’s just a lot of opportunities to become a professional, which is my dream and goal,” he said.Hooper is now eligible to play for both the Rangers in their league, the USL Championship, and the Sporting Kansas City Academy Under-17 team, which plays in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.Hooper is the second Shawnee native in recent months to join Sporting KC on the professional level; Sporting KC signed Tyler Freeman last fall to play major league soccer.Within his first couple of weeks on the team, Hooper has already played with the Rangers during their pre-season. Hooper will finish out the season on the U-17 team while he plays with the Rangers.Because he is an unpaid Rangers player and holds a contract with the academy, he maintains his amateur status and eligibility to play in college after he graduates high school.‘Playing against guys…twice his age’Dylan Hooper. Photo courtesy of Sporting KCAt 6 feet and 175 pounds, Hooper is a freshman at Mill Valley High School. Before joining Sporting KC Academy, he played for the club soccer team KC Fusion.“He’s 15 years old, and he’s playing in preseason and training with guys that are five, six, seven, eight years older than him,” said Kurt Austin, communications director for Sporting KC. “If he gets into games with the Rangers, he’ll be playing against guys that are twice his age, potentially.”Hooper plays center back for Sporting KC Academy; he first joined the academy in October 2017, when he was 14. He started in all 15 games he’s played as a U-17 player and, as a defender, he scored one goal. Last year in U-15, he started 22 of the 24 games he played.“The idea of having these six different youth development teams is to basically capture the top players in the Kansas City and Midwest region, to bring them into an elite environment in terms of training and the coaches that they get, players that they’re playing with,” Austin said. “The idea is — from a player development perspective — it puts them in the best situation to be able to maximize their talent and grow as a player.”Passing is his favorite part of the game; fortunately, his position on defense often places him in team-oriented play. “Winning’s fun,” he added.Hooper’s place on the Rangers team puts him on a path to play major league soccer with Sporting KC in the future, if he so chooses. In fact, Sporting KC head coach Peter Vermes has said he’d love to see the day when the majority of the Sporting KC players are athletes who have come up through the academy: Players who have learned the model of Sporting KC play as well as team culture.But Hooper, as a high school freshman, is still considering his post-graduation options.“I’m kinda just keeping my doors open and just seeing where the best path will be,” he said.last_img read more

Kenai’s July 4th Parade And Festivities

first_imgFacebookTwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Kenai Chamber of Commerce will be hosting their annual 4th of July parade and festivities in Kenai. The parade will start at 11am, and go from Fidalgo Ave, left on Willow, right on Kenai Spur Highway, and down to Main Street Loop. Parade line up is from 8 to 10am on Trading Bay Road and starts in front of the Surgery Center of Kenai. Beech: “Be mindful that we will be closing down the Spur Hwy from 11-12:30pm for the Parade. KPD does a great job of  rerouting traffic, but if you are in a hurry that’s not the day to be in a hurry. I can’t believe we are almost here, but it looks like it’s going to be another great 4th of July.”  The midway festivities are from 12 to 4pm with various vendors, a beer garden sponsored by Kassiks Brewery, and a kids carnival. Kenai Chamber President Johna Beech…..last_img read more

Which conference is a breeding ground for March Madness upsets? – Missouri Valley Conference, that’s which one.

first_imgGary Rohman/MLS/USA TODAY SportsGary Rohman/MLS/USA TODAY SportsThe Missouri Valley Conference is the little NCAA hoops conference that could.The 10-school conference could send two teams to this year’s tournament — Northern Iowa and Wichita State — and were an Illinois State upset over Northern Iowa in the conference championship game away from possibly sending three teams to the tournament.The two representatives, though, could both make a serious run in this year’s tournament if things break the right way.Gary Rohman/MLS/USA TODAY SportsGary Rohman/MLS/USA TODAY SportsThe Wichita State Shockers became a household-ish name in 2013 when they made a shock (ha!) run to the Final Four, and the team has looked fantastic again this year, going 28-4 and earning a top ten ranking in the USA TODAY Sports Coaches Poll before dropping down to #12. They dropped down in the poll thanks to a stumble in the conference tournament, when they lost to Illinois State in the semifinal.The Shockers did win the regular season MVC title, however, when they beat Northern Iowa at the end of February.Gary Rohman/MLS/USA TODAY SportsGary Rohman/MLS/USA TODAY SportsNorthern Iowa is #11 in the country, and the 30-3 Panthers look like a team poised to win a few games in March. Led by MVC player of the year Seth Tuttle, the team has size and strength, and while their shooting can go cold at times, they’ve found ways to win tough games all year.The rivalry between these two schools has made the MVC one of the most exciting conferences in the country that’s really, really hard to watch on TV. They play differently, as well, making their matchups fun to watch just to take in the contrasting styles. Wichita State often relies on their dynamic backcourt of Fred VanVleet and Ron Baker to penetrate and make things happen on offense. Northern Iowa is more of a grinding team who love to get the ball inside to Tuttle and let him work.Gary Rohman/MLS/USA TODAY SportsGary Rohman/MLS/USA TODAY SportsMaking predictions this early is impossible — with Wichita State’s latest loss, they might see themselves drop down to an 8-seed and a second-round matchup against a #1 seed, surely a calamity for the Shockers.But either of these teams, if they get the right breaks, could make a run. Keep an eye on the Missouri Valley Conference teams this March.last_img read more

Fogarty sings the praises of Maher and Devaney

first_imgPhoto © Stephen Gleeson JD Devaney scored the winning goal for Our Lady’s yesterday mirroring a last minute goal he scored for Borris last Sunday.After yesterday’s Harty Cup win Our Lady’s Templemore now face St Flannan’s of Ennis in the semi final on the weekend of January 26th.Both will also line out with Borrisoleigh on the 19th in the club All Ireland final.Speaking to Tipp FM Sport after yesterday’s victory Our Lady’s manager Noelie Fogarty said the duo were exceptional. Borrisoleigh hurling duo Kevin Maher and JD Devaney have been lauded for their efforts this January by Our Lady’s Templemore manager Noelie Fogarty.Both former Tipp minor hurlers made a massive contribution to Our Lady’s one point victory over Thurles CBS in yesterday’s Harty Cup quarter final.Kevin Maher lined out at centre back for his school after playing for Borrisoleigh last Sunday in the All Ireland club semi final.last_img read more

‘The Walking Dead’ recap, “A New Beginning”

first_imgAMC/Jackson Lee Davis(NEW YORK) — (SPOILERS AHEAD) The ninth season of The Walking Dead begins with a sign, “Welcome to Alexandria,” and signs of progress: The burned church rebuilt, various projects underway. Michonne watches as Judith paints a picture of her friends and family left at the compound. Meanwhile, at the Sanctuary, a less refined community. Dead corn is being made into fuel, Daryl is helping fix motorcycles. All the survivors have created a series of security rally points to ease travel from Virginia to their destination, Washington D.C. Rick and Michonne scout ahead, dispatching stragglers, ahead of a convoy of their allies on horse drawn carts and other vehicles. The band work their way into a museum to round up supplies, going room to room. Eventually, Rick, Anne — formally known as the Scavengers’ leader Jadis — and Fr. Gabriel find what they were looking for: samples of all kinds of seeds that had been stored there for study, essentially a doomsday vault.Meanwhile, Carol, Maggie, and Michonne find their prize, an old wagon and farming tools their folks can use as a model to replicate. But they have to lower it over a glass floor that’s a ceiling to a veritable aquarium of walkers below. With the floor straining from the weight, Ezekiel falls through the glass. The heroes manage to pull him to safety in time, earning a hug  — and, unexpectedly, a kiss, from Carol. On the road home, on horseback, he proposes to Carol. She turns him down. “Put that thing away, it’ll snag on everything,” she says of the ring. He laughs, and says he’ll keep it for when she’s ready. On the way back, the way is blocked by a downed bridge and a muddy road. Their wagon gets bogged down in the mud as walkers approach, but they free it, leaving Daryl and Michonne to dispatch them. One of the Hilltop youths, Ken, who had been tending to the horses, tries to save a horse from a walker’s bite, when he’s bit himself, and dies. Maggie tearfully runs his head through to save him from turning. Back at Hilltop, Maggie tells the kid’s parents the bad news. They don’t take it well. Later on there’s a funeral for him, and Gregory eulogizes him. Rick, Daryl, and Michonne roll up to Sanctuary with supplies. While many hail Rick for toppling Negan and bringing peace, there’s an undercurrent of subversion. “We are still Negan,” somebody scrawled on a wall.Daryl says he doesn’t want to be the de facto leader of Sanctuary anymore, and later, Carol tells her friend she’s willing to take over — even though she’s happy with Ezekiel. Back at Hilltop, Gregory continues to work Ken’s dad, Earl. He gets him to break his sobriety to sow seeds of doubt in a vote that chose Maggie as a leader, blaming her for Ken’s death. “She’s the leader,” Earl slurs. “She doesn’t have to be,” Gregory responds. At Alexandria, in bed with Michonne, she proposes to Rick a charter between the communities. At Hilltop, Gregory speaks to Maggie, telling her that someone defaced Glenn’s grave. It’s obviously a trap. She walks over with her baby in a stroller, and she’s struck by a hooded man. The baby spills out of the stroller, as the scrap continues. Enid tries to help, and the assailant hits her, and she gets knocked out. Another Hilltopper grabs the assailant, and it’s Earl, now drunk thanks to Gregory. Maggie immediately confronts Gregory. “You want to lead this place and you can’t even murder somebody right,” she says. Gregory pulls Maggie’s knife on her, telling her that he’s going to kill her and say it was self defense. She disarms him, and he cowers. The next morning, Carol stays behind at Sanctuary, leaving Ezekiel with a kiss and a promise to return home to him. Rick, Michonne, and Daryl return to Hilltop, to find a bruised Maggie, and her thankfully uninjured baby Herschel, who was named after her dad. Rick lobbies her to provide more supplies from her thriving community, as well as manpower to help rebuild a bridge. Maggie is unmoved by the Sanctuary’s supply plight. She drives a hard bargain: the Sanctuary gets a handout of food from them in exchange for them providing labor for the bridge building, and all of their fuel. “They surrendered,” she says coldly. “We didn’t kill them.” She adds, “When we were fighting the Saviors…I wasn’t someone to follow. That changes now.”At nightfall, Maggie has the townsfolk gathered. Gregory is in the gallows; sitting on a horse, with a noose around his neck, Wild West style. “People need to understand, at Hilltop the punishment has to fit the crime,” she says.With Rick and Michonne watching, aghast, Gregory tries begging for his life like the coward he is, but Maggie gives the signal, and Daryl slaps the horse, letting Gregory hang until his death. “I made this decision, but this isn’t the beginning of something. I don’t want to go through with it again.” The Walking Dead returns next Sunday, October 14 at 9 p.m. on AMC.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more