In her address to the 1,300-strong crowd, Jessica shared some of the year’s top netballing highlights, such as being awarded the Best Local Sports Event of the Year at the Singapore Sports Award and praised the team for their SEA Games win.She also paid special tribute to Mrs. Tan Yoon Yin, the first President of Netball Singapore for her contributions and efforts in building and growing the local netball community.Following the opening ceremony, fans were treated to a heart-thumping curtain raiser as Singapore took on rivals Papua New Guinea in what was an enthralling and close encounter as the visitors edged the match 44-43.In a repeat of the 2014 opening match, the teams went head to head right from the tip-off with Papua New Guinea’s quick and crisp passing game evident as they scored the first points of the match through GS Tiata Baldwin racing to a 5-1 lead before Singapore called a timeout. Singapore looked an inspired team after the timeout, with centre Nurul Baizura connecting a string of passes, and GS Charmaine Soh, and GA Pamela Liew, who scored 5 and 4 points respectively. The quarter ended with Papua New Guinea leading 11-9.The second quarter started with Singapore on the comeback as they rallied to take the lead 12-11 and then 14-12, as the teams went neck and neck throughout. Papua New Guinea then went on to score 9 in the second quarter to reclaim the lead from Singapore, ending the half with a 20-18 lead. Notable performances in the quarter came from Charmaine Soh (Singapore) with 5 points, and Lua Rikis (Papua New Guinea) with 6 points.At the mid-way point, Team Singapore made several changes as they brought on Ang Shi Qi as WD, and Yasmin Ho as GS, moving Charmaine Soh to GA, Micky to GK, and repositioning Premila to GD. Kimberly and Baizura retained their roles as WA and C respectively.Despite Singapore’s good start to the third quarter, the host found themselves down 31-33, as the Papua New Guinea defence proved tough to break down, with GD Susan Wellington, and GK Kilala Owen putting on impressive defensive displays to keep the opposition at bay. Midway through the quarter, Singapore regained their momentum to eventually tie the quarter at 13 all.The fourth quarter began with Papua New Guinea’s two-point lead from the first quarter intact. Mid-way through the quarter, Singapore tied the score at 40-all as a steal from Shi Qi was well finished by Yasmin Ho, who ended the match with 17 points. However an opening victory for the host was not to be as Papua New Guinea closed out the nail-biting match with a 44-43 win.When asked about the performance Team Singapore head coach Ruth Atiken said “ A one point loss is always hugely disappointing, but in terms of the fire of the team finishing strongly I was really pleased. It was a great game over 60 minutes and is a reflection of what this tournament is going to be about, we knew that they are a every strong team, they’ve been very close to us, so it’s all on.”When asked about the newer players in the team she added “I think Yasmin played really well as a goal shooter, she scored five or six in a row and her availability was excellent.”Micky Lin, Team Singapore captain said “I think we were a bit too careful to start, we played really short stuff and slowed the game down quite a fair bit. We usually play a much faster game, and took awhile to settle in, but we definitely got better over the last few quarters, and I think if we had a better start it would have been different for us, definitely something we need to bring back and work on.”Photo: Team Singapore’s Charmaine Soh takes a shot to bring the host nation a point closer to equalizing with Papua New Guinea at the 10th Mission Foods Cup. Photo courtesy Straits Times.
DES MOINES, Iowa – Drake University football head coach Rick Fox announced Monday, Dec. 10, that he is stepping down from his position at Drake University.”My wife, Julie, and I felt that this is the right time for us as a family and the right time for Drake football for me to step away from being the head coach at Drake University,” Fox said. “The 11 years here, including the last five as head coach, have been incredibly rewarding. To be a part of a football program and culture that builds Impact Men in the pursuit of football excellence is rare in college football. These impact men make a difference in their community on a daily basis. They also are difference makers on the field as everyone saw on the field in our most recent game at Iowa State.” “Our family is eager to make a similar impact in new endeavors outside of Drake football. We know that Drake football will continue to produce tremendous young men of character who will make an impact while at Drake and for years afterward. We are grateful to the leadership of Brian Hardin and the Drake University administration for the trust and support in allowing a Division I program that creates Impact Men through football.”Fox, who recently completed his fifth season as the Bulldogs’ head coach, had a 33-22 record at Drake following the team’s near upset of No. 24 Iowa State Dec. 1. During his tenure, the Bulldogs finished fourth or higher in the Pioneer Football League standings each year and were second in the league three times. Drake’s 28-12 PFL record over the past five seasons was better than all but two league schools during that stretch.His teams collected a total of 84 All-PFL awards, 35 Academic All-PFL honors, eight CoSIDA Academic All-District selections and three CoSIDA Academic All-Americans. Tight end Eric Saubert was drafted in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons.”I am so grateful for the time I had with Rick and Julie over the last year,” Drake director of athletics Brian Hardin said. “They are wonderful, faith-driven individuals that feel they are being called to impact people beyond the Drake football family. I am happy they can make that journey together.” “Hundreds of football student-athletes competed for the Bulldogs during Rick’s time on our sideline. We enjoyed great team success and celebrated many individual accolades while Rick was our coach. However, his legacy will be the many Impact Men he coached that are now – or will soon become – Drake alumni. We thank Rick for the incredible impact he had on our program.”Hardin appointed current defensive coordinator Todd Stepsis as acting head coach and announced that a national search for Fox’s replacement will begin immediately. Print Friendly Version