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  • 29 Jan
    导出博客文章(STATS) -- Stetson safety Donald Payne was named the Pioneer Football Leagues
    defensive player of the year Monday, becoming the first three-time winner of any
    of the FCS leagues major awards.PFL champion San Diego had two winners, running
    back Jonah Hodges named the offensive player of the year and Dale Lindsey the
    coach of the year. Drake place-kicker and punter Josh Lee was tabbed the special
    teams player of the year.Davidson quarterback Stockton McGuire and Marist
    defensive lineman Peter Delatour were the freshman offensive and defensive
    players of the year.Payne, a fifth-year senior, had 114 tackles in 10 games this
    season, leading the PFL in tackles per game (11.4) and with 85 tackles in league
    games. He also had 14.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, two fumble recoveries,
    three forced fumbles, one interception, one pass breakup, six quarterback
    hurries and three blocked kicks in a well-rounded season.Hodges, also a
    fifth-year senior, has 1,361 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns in 11 games,
    including the win at Cal Poly this past Saturday, which was the first ever for
    the PFL in the FCS playoffs. His 176.6 all-purpose yards per game rank fourth
    nationally.The PFLs postseason awards continue Tuesday with the all-league team.
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    . Louis Blues absence from top spot in the TSN. RIO DE JANEIRO -- With
    the deftest of kicks, Spains Patricia Garcia etched her name in history as the
    player who officially signalled rugbys return to the Olympic Games after a
    92-year hiatus. Rugby has arrived at the Olympics, but the womens sport cannot
    afford to miss this opportunity to grow the game worldwide.On Friday, Bill
    Beaumont, chairman of World Rugby, labelled sevens introduction into the
    Olympics as a game-changer. Brazil had a lot to live up to.The opening day at
    the Deodoro Stadium did its best to play up to sevens reputation as a sport
    anchored on entertainment both on and off the field. Songs in the charts and
    those tunes more arrowed on a mass drink-swaying sing-along boomed out of the PA
    system even before spectators were allowed into the stands. Once theyd traipsed
    in, with the stadium two-thirds full, a camera panned around the stadium
    spotting fans dancing to the various beats, all attempting to wear as little
    clothing as possible under the beating sun.Athletes before and after they played
    were either soaking up the rays in the stands or walking around the grounds
    confines, talking on phones to friends and family back home or catching up with
    players from other nations.And all the time a crocodile -- now unofficially
    named ruckadile -- swam along the Rio Pavuna.It was welcoming, unique, friendly
    and fun -- the perfect cocktail for attracting new followers and players of the
    sport but now comes the challenge to grasp this opportunity and use it to
    inspire future generations.Brazil already have the perfect athlete to inspire a
    new following: the brilliant, diminutive, electric Edna Santini. Standing at
    just 1.50m, she slips under flailing arms and has the pace to exploit any
    wayward positioning. Its the type of raw ability that causes folk to
    involuntarily leap from their seats in expectation. She has the star quality to
    become a continent-wide face for the sport but below this squad in the Olympics,
    the signs are optimistic.The legacy planning in this part of the world seems
    sound. Dotted around the stadium were various rugby-focused charity projects;
    one was Instituto Rugby Para Todos whose mission is to promote the education of
    children through the principles of rugby. Inspire the young, eager-eyed children
    and you have a foundation.And then there is World Rugbys IMPACT Beyond Rio
    programme, which was instigated in March 2015 reaching 175,000 players, coaches
    and young match officials.But thats just Brazil. World Rugbys vice-chairman,
    Argentina-born Agustin Pichot, wants to see the ripple effect of rugby in the
    Games carry to the other Latin America countries with Colombias qualification
    for the womens tournament a key catalyst in growing the game there while
    Argentina are already established as one of rugbys power-houses.ddddddddddddBut
    this talk of legacy is not just of Latin American importance. The USA has huge
    room to grow and they have the infrastructure and playing pool to become one of
    the worlds top sides in both mens and womens rugby but they need to start
    producing the goods on the field to get wider exposure. And then at the other
    end of the scale in terms of financial resources are Fiji.While the mens Fiji
    side are favourites to win the tournament, the women are less fancied but theirs
    is an inspirational story that needs to be told.In a country that has never won
    an Olympic medal, Fiji are daring to dream of their prospects here in Rio and if
    Fijis women end up medalling then it will be one of the most remarkable stories
    to emanate from the sport in recent times.The brilliant Litia Naiqato used to
    baffle her coaches. She was their fittest player but was tailing off in training
    sessions; only after looking into her circumstances did Chris Cracknell, Fiji
    womens head coach, find that she was running five miles to catch the bus in the
    morning to training and then five miles back in the evening. She was exhausted.
    Then Cyclone Winston struck in February and her village was obliterated. Yet
    here she is in Rio playing in a team that has three players under 18, five who
    have played the sport less than a year and Raijieli Daveau who played netball
    for Fiji with the Olympics her first ever rugby tournament.They dont use GPS
    equipment, instead they utilise the natural facilities available in Fiji such as
    their Sigatoka sand dunes. Regardless of whether they medal, they are here,
    beating the USA because of natural ability, good coaching and a love for the
    sport.On such tales, future generations can be inspired.Beaumont wants clubs
    worldwide to be inundated with new players after the Games, looking to play both
    15s and sevens. Furthermore, he hopes those clubs who play the traditional 15s
    will look to sevens and see an opportunity to offer an easier pathway into the
    sport.The womens game has the potential to take rugby away from the traditional
    powerhouses and develop a sport with worldwide appeal. Get this opportunity
    right, grasp the legacy and having the sport in the Olympics will prove to be
    that game-changer for the womens rugby. Cheap
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