Bio Mike MandellMike Mandell is the sports editor at The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. He began working for The American in August 2016. You can reach him via email at [email protected] ELLSWORTH — For seniors at Hancock County high schools, graduation is only one semester away. Conner Wagstaff wants to make the time he has left time count.Between getting his house in order for college and graduation and pitching his final season for the Ellsworth baseball team, the next few months will be plenty busy for Wagstaff. Yet there’s something else on Wagstaff’s to-do list: ensuring the Eagles have a foundation for the future on the mound.“Looking back on it, there are just so many things I wish I had learned at a younger age when it came to pitching and technique,” Wagstaff said. “It’s important for them to learn the mental aspect of the game and have us to look up to.”To give younger players hands-on experience, Wagstaff is running a once-a-week pitching clinic at Ellsworth’s Katsiaficas Gymnasium. The five-week clinics began Sunday morning with separate sessions being held for the 7-11 and 12-15 age groups.Ellsworth senior Conner Wagstaff instructs a young player during a pitching clinic Jan. 27 at Ellsworth High School. Wagstaff, a senior, will be playing college baseball at Southern New Hampshire University next year after he pitches his final season for the Eagles this spring. ELLSWORTH AMERICAN PHOTO BY MIKE MANDELLThis is placeholder textThis is placeholder textWagstaff, a two-time All-Penobscot Valley Conference selection, has made pitching look easy in his three years at Ellsworth. As a junior last season, he went 6-0 in the regular season as he struck out 65 batters and posted a 2.25 ERA.Originally, Wagstaff’s plan for getting involved at the youth level was to coach in the Ellsworth Little League program in the spring. With the Little League International season coinciding with varsity baseball, though, there simply wasn’t enough time.“I thought about it, but I knew I wasn’t going to be able to do it,” Wagstaff said. “I also wasn’t sure what I age group I wanted to work with. I thought these clinics would be a good idea because I knew I could do them in the winter and solve both those problems.”There is much to be learned about pitching at the youth level, where many players are still learning the basic rules and fundamentals of the game. Yet the No. 1 sticking point for young pitchers, Wagstaff said, is muscle memory.“Thinking is the worst thing you can do as a pitcher,” Wagstaff said. “You want to not have to think about having the ball back, getting your knee up or getting your toe pointed so you can focus on the batter.”After the last clinic is held Feb. 24, Wagstaff will turn his attention to his final season as an Eagle. In the fall, he will head to Southern New Hampshire University on a baseball scholarship.“It’s kind of surreal to think I’ll be going up against college-level players,” Wagstaff said. “Whether you’re teaching or playing, you’re always learning, and that’s what this is all about.” Hospice volunteers help families navigate grief and find hope – September 12, 2020 Latest posts by Mike Mandell (see all) Latest Posts MPA approves golf, XC, field hockey, soccer; football, volleyball moved to spring – September 10, 2020 Ellsworth runners compete in virtual Boston Marathon – September 16, 2020
New Delhi: Paralympic silver-medallist Deepa Malik on Thursday became the first Indian woman para-athlete and the oldest to be conferred the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award but training commitments kept co-awardee Bajrang Punia away from the ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.Malik, who won a silver medal in the shot put F53 category in the 2016 Rio Paralympics, was joint winner of the top honour with Asian and Commonwealth Games champion Punia, who is in Russia to prepare for the upcoming World Championships in Kazakhstan. Malik became only the second para-athlete after double Paralympic gold-medallist javelin thrower Devendra Jhajharia, who received the recognition in 2017, to have won the prestigious award. At 49, she also became the oldest athlete ever to have claimed the honour.World Championships bronze-medallist shuttler B Sai Praneeth, woman cricketer Poonam Yadav, Asian Games gold-winner heptathlete Swapna Barman, footballer Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, two-time world silver-medallist boxer Sonia Lather, Asian Games silver-medallist equestrian Fouaad Mirza, motorsports ace Gaurav Gill and Kabaddi captain Ajay Thakur were among the 19 sportspersons who received the Arjuna Award from President Ram Nath Kovind here.Malik became fourth-time lucky as she was ignored for the award for the past three years, leading her to question and criticise the decision.Prominent absentees from the event apart from Punia, were cricketer Ravindra Jadeja, Asian Games gold-medallist shot-putter Tejinder Pal Singh Toor, and silver-winner quarter-miler Mohammed Anas, all of who were picked for the Arjuna award this year.Jadeja is currently on national duty with the Indian Test team in the Caribbean, while Toor and Anas are competing in the national inter-state athletics meet in Lucknow right now.The National Sports Awards are given on August 29 every year to commemorate the birth anniversary of hockey legend Major Dhyan Chand.”I am very happy. This whole journey has been more about changing the attitude of people towards disability and the hidden potential in people with disability,” Malik said.”I think the award is going to be a huge inspiration to women athletes in disability. It took 70 years for independent India to win medal in Paralympic,” she added.While the Khel Ratna award carries a prize purse of Rs 7.5 lakh, the Arjuna awardees are given Rs 5 lakh each along with citations.Besides the Khel Ratna and Arjuna awards, the President also gave away Dronacharya and Dhyan Chand awards to coaches, the Tenzing Norgay National Adventure awards, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Trophy and Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puraskar.List of Awardees:Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award: Deepa Malik (para-athletics), Bajrang Punia (wrestling)Arjuna Awards: Ravindra Jadeja (cricket), Mohammed Anas Yahiya (athletics), Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (football), Sonia Lather (boxing), Chinglensana Singh Kangujam (hockey), S Bhaskaran (bodybuilding), Ajay Thakur (kabaddi), Anjum Moudgil (shooting), B Sai Praneeth (badminton), Tajinder Pal Singh Toor (athletics), Pramod Bhagat (para sports-badminton), Harmeet Rajul Desai (table tennis), Pooja Dhanda (wrestling), Fouaad Mirza (equestrian), Simran Singh Shergill (polo), Poonam Yadav (cricket), Swapna Burman (athletics), Sundar Singh Gurjar (para sports-athletics) and Gaurav Singh Gill (motorsports).Dronacharya Award (regular category): Mohinder Singh Dhillon (athletics), Sandeep Gupta (table tennis) and Vimal Kumar (badminton).Dronacharya Award (lifetime category): Sanjay Bhardwaj (cricket), Rambir Singh Khokar (kabaddi) and Mezban Patel (hockey).Dhyan Chand Award: Manoj Kumar (wrestling), C Lalremsanga (archery), Arup Basak (table tennis), Nitten Kirrtane (tennis) and Manuel Fredricks (hockey). arjuna awardsBajrang Puniadeepa malikDhyan Chand Award First Published: August 29, 2019, 6:55 PM IST Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox – subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real time.
Angry Birds maker Rovio has teamed up with 20th Century Fox for the latest version of its insanely popular Angry Birds series. The game, a tie-in with Fox’s upcoming movie, Rio (a CGI movie due out in April), is “like the original with a few new twists,” according to Rovio.The company added that the game will be available “app stores everywhere in March.” So, iPhone and Android for sure, right? Probably Nokia’s Ovi store. And maybe Windows Phone 7 and HP’s webOS store? At launch, the game will offer 45 levels and improved graphics over the original. Future updates will bring “more levels and a surprise or two.” The game will hit the market in March. Check out a trailer after the jump.