TOURNEY 2020: Five schools represented on All-Hancock County girls’ team

first_img Latest Posts Hospice volunteers help families navigate grief and find hope – September 12, 2020 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 mmandell@ellsworthamerican.com. Latest posts by Mike Mandell (see all)center_img The 2019-20 girls’ basketball season saw players all across Hancock County rise to the occasion. In some places, familiar faces returned to cement their statuses as top players; in others, new stars made names for themselves with breakout seasons.Comprised of one senior, two juniors, two sophomores and one freshman, this year’s All-Hancock County team highlights local players of all ages. Representing five different schools, these six players show that talent across the area will be running strong in both the days to come and the years ahead.Leah Carroll, sophomore, Mount Desert IslandA Mount Desert Island team with four new starters had to overcome its inexperience quickly to keep pace in the ever-competitive Class B North field. Carroll answered the call for Brent Barker’s group, which got off to a 5-1 start en route to yet another tournament appearance.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textCarroll finished in double figures in each of her first five games, a stretch that included a 19-point, 12-rebound performance Dec. 18 against Washington Academy. In addition to her team-best 11.2 points per game and her impressive 6.3 rebounds per game, she shot a Big East Conference-best 45.0 percent from 3-point range.Bucksport’s Jade Leeman shoots as George Stevens Academy’s Evelyn Dagan (left) and Sophia Biggie-Jennings defend during a high school girls’ basketball game Jan. 29 at Bucksport High School. Leeman, a freshman, averaged 19.1 points, 8.2 blocks, 3.9 assists and 3.2 blocks per game. KARIN BOS PHOTO“Leah has made some great adjustments this year to become a key player for us,” Barker said. “She’s shot the ball really well, and she’s been real aggressive. We know teams are going to try to key in on her.”Jade Leeman, freshman, BucksportThe Bucksport girls’ team fell just short of a tournament berth in 2019-20, but the Golden Bucks’ young players should have fans excited about the team’s future. No Bucksport player encapsulated that more than Leeman, who averaged a Hancock County-best 19.1 points per game along with 8.2 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 3.2 blocks.Last Wednesday, Leeman scored a career-high 37 points in Bucksport’s 66-40 win over Sumner. Among her other strong efforts were a 20-point, eight-rebound, seven-block showing Dec. 20 against Central, a 23-point, 10-rebound performance Dec. 28 against Stearns, a 28-point outburst Jan. 2 against Narraguagus and a 26-point effort Jan. 29 against George Stevens Academy that included five 3-pointers.Luna Perry-St. Peter, sophomore, George Stevens AcademyNo one in Hancock County came remotely close to Perry-St. Peter’s average of 12.6 rebounds per game this season. The sophomore captain was also GSA’s top scorer, averaging 12.6 points per game as she helped lead the Eagles back to the playoffs for the first time in three years.Perry-St. Peter scored a season-high 22 points Jan. 18 against Calais. Her other strong performances included 16 points and 15 rebounds Dec. 11 against Narraguagus, 20 points, 12 rebounds and four assists Dec. 13 against Searsport and 15 points and 16 rebounds Dec. 18 against Bucksport.“Luna is everything that you would want in a student athlete,” GSA head coach Brandi Ensworth said. “With her size and athleticism, she can play any position, which makes her a matchup problem for opposing teams. She gives everything she has every time she steps on the court.”Trinity Montigny, senior, EllsworthMontigny makes her second appearance on the All-Hancock County team after leading Ellsworth back to the playoffs with a remarkable senior season. The senior led the Big East Conference in scoring at 17.4 points per game and was also in the top three in assists (3.3) and steals (2.8) per game.Montigny’s biggest game this season came Jan. 29 as she scored 42 points to join Ellsworth’s 1,000-point club and lead the Eagles to an 80-35 win over Foxcroft on Senior Night. She was named Big East Player of the Week for the second and eighth weeks of the season.Deer Isle-Stonington’s Kaylee Morey shoots over Shead’s Maleeka Barnes during the second half of a high school girls’ basketball game Dec. 14 in Deer Isle. Morey led the Mariners in assists (4.7) and steals (3.3) per game and also averaged 9.0 points and 3.3 rebounds. ELLSWORTH AMERICAN PHOTO BY MIKE MANDELL“She’s just a great kid and a phenomenal athlete,” Ellsworth head coach Andy Pooler said. “She does the right things on and off the court, and she raises the level of those around her. There just aren’t enough good things to say about her. … She’s a joy to coach.”Kaylee Morey, junior, Deer Isle-StoningtonMorey was the starting point guard for a Deer Isle-Stonington team that went 16-2 in the regular season. She was immensely valuable as the facilitator and top defender for the Mariners, who will be playing in the regional quarterfinals for the fifth year in a row.Morey averaged 9.0 points, 3.3 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 3.3 steals per game. The Stonington native’s best games included a 13-point, six-assist, four-steal effort Dec. 14 against Shead, a six-assist, seven-steal performance Jan. 5 against Machias, a 12-point, four-assist, six-steal effort Jan. 14 against Machias and a 16-point, four-rebound showing Jan. 21 against Bucksport.Rylee Eaton, junior, Deer Isle-StoningtonAfter claiming a spot on last year’s All-Hancock County team as the leading scorer for a Deer Isle-Stonington squad that went unbeaten in the regular season, Eaton has earned the honor yet again in 2019-20. She led the Mariners in points per game (12.6) and also averaged 6.1 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.4 steals.Eaton will be eagerly anticipating this year’s tourney after missing all three of Deer Isle-Stonington’s postseason games a year ago. Forming an elite tandem with Morey on both ends of the floor, the All-Hancock County duo will look to lead the Mariners to a deep run through the Class D field.“They play very well together, and they also play well with everybody else,” Deer Isle-Stonington head coach Randy Shepard said. “They’re great kids.” Ellsworth runners compete in virtual Boston Marathon – September 16, 2020 MPA approves golf, XC, field hockey, soccer; football, volleyball moved to spring – September 10, 2020last_img read more

Cricket News Virat Kohli’s India in Australia: Five memorable moments from historic tour

first_imghighlights 1.)    Australia bogged down by the Great Wall of PujaraThey bowled short. They bowled full. They tried to swing the ball. They tried to frustrate him. Nothing worked. Cheteshwar Pujara was in the zone when it came to batting in Australia. His century in Adelaide and his fifty in the second innings was the difference maker for India as they won the first match of a series Down Under for the first time. When Australia got him out at Perth cheaply, it was the only time they won. His ton on a difficult Melbourne wicket ensured India had the Border-Gavaskar Trophy back and his 193 in Sydney was the icing on the cake. 521 runs at an average of 74 with three tons. India win series 2-1. Australia had failed to breach India’s new Great Wall.2.)    Rishabh Pant – making sledging enjoyable again”Have you ever heard of a temporary captain, ever, Mayank? Not everyone is like Pujara here”. “Come on Patty, we need some sixes now”. India were now mastering Australia in their own game and Rishabh Pant had takente internet by storm with his chirping. His sledging, combined with his keeping and batting, gave plenty of value to India. His world record 11 catches in Adelaide, over 20 catches in a bilateral series gave Kohli plenty of assurance. He also let the bat do the talking, becoming the first Indian keeper to hit a century in Australia. In 2018/19, Pant had mentally disintegrated Australia and made sledging enjoyable.3.)    MS Dhoni – Finisher no more finished?He was slammed for his slow 51 in Sydney that resulted in India losing the match by 34 runs. Following on his poor run in 2018, the knives were sharpened. The critics were baying for Dhoni’s blood. How did Captain Cool respond? In Adelaide 2019, just like he had done in 2012, he blasted a six and got India over the line in a tough chase. In Melbourne, he slammed his third consecutive fifty and gave another masterclass to help India clinch the game at the MCG and win the series. With 193 runs at a strike-rate of over 80 and an average of 193, Dhoni showed the finisher was not finished, not just yet though.4.)    Bumrah, Shami and Ishant – The holy trinity of deadly fast bowlersAfter the end of the MCG Test which India had won after 37 years, a stat made the round. Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma were now greater than Michael Holding, Joel Garner and Malcolm Marshall as well as Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander. An Indian pace trio dominating the world charts? It would have been impossible to picture that 20 years ago. In 2018, Bumrah, Shami and Ishant created a new record for most wickets in a calendar year. Bumrah, in particular, enhanced his reputation Down Under with a brilliant spell of bowling and his 6/33 put India on course for a splendid series win.5.)    Bhuvneshwar Kumar – Swing like a KingIn the absence of Jasprit Bumrah, India needed an experienced hand in the ODIs and they found one in Bhuvneshwar Kumar. He got Aaron Finch in all the three games with the inswinger and never allowed him to settle. His spell of 4/45 in Adelaide was the key factor in India restricting Australia to under 300. Had it not been for Bhuvi’s spell, the series result could well have tilted in Australia’s favour. His ability to swing the ball and get the early breakthroughs on a consistent basis was key in India not allowing Australia to capitalise in the powerplay. In the decider, his two wickets helped Yuzvendra Chahal take 6/42, the joint-best figures by a bowler in ODIs in Australia. New Delhi: Virat Kohli’s Indian cricket team have created plenty of history in their recent tour of Australia. They won Tests in Adelaide and Melbourne and when rain ruined the Sydney Test, India had created history when they became the first Asian side to ever win a Test series Down Under. More history was created in the New Year as Kohli’s band of cricketers beat Australia 2-1 to secure a bilateral ODI series win for the first time. In addition to the 3-0 Twenty20 whitewash in 2016 and the 2008 tri-series win under MS Dhoni, India became only the second side after South Africa to win a series in all formats Down Under.From the Twenty20 Internationals till the final ODI in Melbourne, there were plenty of contributions from players. Each member played a vital part in India breaking their overseas jinx and finally turning the tide when it came to performances overseas. Following the end of a tour where India did not lose a series in a single format, here are some of the memorable instances of the tour. India won a bilateral ODI series Down Under for first timeIndia won a Test series in Australia for first timeIndia did not lose a single series Down Under For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.last_img read more

Walker is still adjusting to life on the blind side

first_imgA year ago, Aundrey Walker was big — really big. He weighed in at 375 pounds — the heaviest of anyone on the Trojans’ roster by about 35 pounds.The sophomore offensive tackle felt all 375 pounds, too.“By the fifth play I would be gasping for air,” said Walker, who appeared in 11 games for USC last season.But this spring, Walker has felt lighter than usual after shedding nearly 60 pounds during the offseason from December to March. Credit a new and improved diet filled with meats and vegetables.“He’s completely different,” USC coach Lane Kiffin said. “When you lose 60 pounds, you move a little bit better.”Photo courtesy of Sports InformationA more nimble Walker, who is now listed at 320 pounds, has battled junior Kevin Graf to secure the Trojans’ starting left tackle spot — a position vacated following Matt Kalil’s decision to enter the NFL draft.For the time being, though, it appears as if the position will be occupied by Walker, who has been tasked with protecting senior quarterback Matt Barkley’s blind side.Last week, Kiffin announced that the Cleveland native would remain at left tackle for the foreseeable future and at least for the duration of spring practice, which culminates with Saturday’s annual spring game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.“He fits better over there with his length and his size,” said the Trojans’ third-year coach. “When you look at prototypical left tackles, that’s what they’re built like. Hopefully he can get used to it over there.”If anything, Walker will have to get used to life on the left side, as replacing Kalil, who projects to be a top-five pick in this month’s draft, won’t be easy.A season ago, Kalil was instrumental in paving the way for senior tailback Curtis McNeal, who ran for 1,005 yards on only 145 carries. Perhaps just as impressively, Kalil was a part of an offensive line that allowed just eight sacks all season.Walker is aware of the challenge.“It’s a blessing,” Walker said. “It’s a great opportunity to play left tackle after Matt Kalil. I’ve got some big shoes to fill.”Nonetheless, through just a handful of spring workouts, Walker appears to have a solid grasp on the position following the often talked about open competition with Graf.For the first week of spring practice, Graf started at left tackle, while Walker was inserted at right tackle. For the second week, they switched positions, and though Kiffin initially said they would rotate over the subsequent weeks, they haven’t exactly done that.Meanwhile, Graf has taken recent events in stride.“I’m going out there and doing what the coaches ask me as hard as I can every day — no matter where they put me,” said Graf, who started 12 games at right tackle last season. “I’m taking it one day at a time.”Walker has said similar things.“The goal was to help the team in any way possible and to just get on the field,” he said. “I’m still working to get better.”Despite his left tackle frame at 6-foot-6 and 320 pounds, Walker is at left tackle full-time for the first time in his career.A season ago, as a freshman, he was a backup on the offensive line, rotating in at a couple spots, and also played on special teams. In high school at Glenville High in Cleveland, he played right guard for a run-oriented team — contrasting the Trojans’ pro style offense, which often relies on the passing game and the left tackle as a result.“The first day was kind of iffy,” Walker said about his new position. “Over the course of the days, I have felt more comfortable and I feel like I’m doing well.”Similarly, Graf is adjusting to life on the right side.“I feel comfortable at both,” Graf said. “I feel more comfortable at left, but I know I can play right tackle, too. You’re still protecting the quarterback and not letting him get hit.”But no matter how comfortable both suggest they are on opposite ends of the offensive line, Kiffin insists the two have plenty of catching up to do, calling both tackle positions a “work in progress.”Luckily, it’s still spring.“I’m going to keep working,” Walker said. “Those words are motivating me to maintain the spot.”last_img read more

Kwesi Appiah primed for Brazaville test

first_imgGhana assistant coach Kwesi Appiah admits the coaching staff has to work hard at keeping Black Stars players focused on their Nations Cup qualifier against Congo as the hype around the friendly international against England dominates the front pages.Appiah will travel with coach Goran Stevanovic and the rest of the technical team to Nairobi on Sunday for training with the players ahead of their Group I Nations Cup qualifier against Congo in Brazzaville on March 27th.And Appiah is in no doubt what the priority will be. “The public talk may be that of the friendly, but it is our job as the technical team to keep reminding the players during the training period that the three points are far more crucial than anything.“We will be building team spirit and working on our approach for the Congo game but reminding them of how important it is will be a part of it.”Appiah knows that Brazzaville game has major implications for the Ghana and is delighted with the form of many key players in the build up to that.“It is important that Tagoe is scoring goals, and many of the players are in good form so it bodes well for us.” He is also pleased with the inclusion of young players like David Addy, Daniel Opare and Nathaniel Asamoah and says the competition their presence brings in the national team is good.“The coach is keen to give as many players as possible the opportunity and I think calling up Opare and Asamoah proves that. Asamoah’s case shows that if you do well, you can get your chance at the high level.“Sometimes you don’t call players to necessarily play them but you call players to give them a feel of what it is like to be in that sort of environment and being there will benefit all of them massively.”Source: Michael Oti Adjei/Kickoff.comlast_img read more

Lakers coach Byron Scott stresses academics to students at Compton Centennial High School

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error The words sounded more sobering than what Byron Scott could encounter overseeing the Lakers’ potentially long rebuilding process. The Lakers’ coach arrived at Compton Centennial High School on Tuesday, delivering a message to 400 freshman and sophomore students laced with brutal honesty about their future.Scott asked the crowd how many of them aspired to become a professional athlete, sparking about 50 students to raise their hands. “If one of you in this auditorium makes it in the pros, you’re lucky,” Scott said. “The odds are so against you, it’s unbelievable. You have a better opportunity to be the next (President) Obama than you do at being the next LeBron (James).”Scott has become a mentor for Compton Centennial High School’s Male Academy, an intervention program fashioned from President Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative that aims to help minority students. In what marked the first of an unspecified number of appearances throughout the 2014-15 season, Scott shared his own story in which he experienced mixed academic success at Morningside High and Arizona State. The low point came when Scott became academically ineligible at ASU, keeping him sidelined for the entire 1981-82 season during his junior year. “I’ve been knocked down and have gotten back on my feet,” Scott said. “I want them to have that same spirit. If you have a positive attitude and are throwing that positive energy out there, good things will happen.”X’s and O’sScott confirmed veteran assistant Jim Eyen and player development coach Mark Madsen will stay on his staff. Scott plans to finalize the rest of his staff “hopefully by the end of this week.” Outside of Kobe Bryant, Scott said the remaining starting positions “are up for grabs.” center_img “Basketball shouldn’t have been my number one priority,” Scott said. “Basketball should not be your number one priority. If it is your number one priority, you will screw up and you will fail at some point in your lifetime. I had to change.”Scott changed enough to play his senior season with the Sun Devils, ending as the program’s all-time leading scorer. The former San Diego Clippers drafted Scott in 1983 before trading him to the Lakers, where he won three NBA championships during the 1980s Showtime Era. Scott partly attributed that path to Compton Centennial High principal Jesse Jones becoming a mentor when he once served as Morningside High’s principal. That often entailed Jones pestering Scott to report to class. Said Scott: “In retrospect, he was trying to make sure I was doing everything the right way and giving me the best possible way to be successful.”“I drove Byron because he was the greatest athlete there,” Jones said. “If I was talking to Byron like that, imagine what the guy on the bench is thinking?” It was not easy, Scott recalling growing up in Inglewood surrounded by gang members. Scott anticipated that the current students at Compton Centennial High would encounter similar challenges. Yet, the school has reported a 10 percent increase in graduation rates since the Male Academy started four years ago, spearheared by former NFL quarterback Vince Evans.last_img read more

Women’s World Cup 2019: USWNT returns with hardware … and champagne … in hand

first_img Women’s World Cup 2019: Time, route and how to watch USWNT championship parade Immediately following Sunday’s final, the team began celebrating in the locker room. A number of players, including Harris, continued capturing the team’s celebration which sent social media into a frenzy.The posts included Alex Morgan dancing in the locker room and on top of tables later that night.  The USWNT’s celebration continues, but this time it’s stateside.After the long flight from Paris, which Ashlyn Harris chronicled in another hilarious Instagram story, the 2019 Women’s World Cup champions landed with their hardware and champagne in hand. Women’s World Cup 2019: TV ratings soar during USWNT final Women’s World Cup 2019: USWNT has hilarious reaction to 4th title win Megan Rapinoe was captured leaving the plane drinking a glass of bubbly. 🇺🇸 Home Sweet Home 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/AGa79VZaoi— U.S. Soccer WNT (@USWNT) July 8, 2019The national team won in a thrilling final to defended its title and earn a record fourth cup championship with a 2-0 win over the Netherlands. Related News But the celebrating and dancing didn’t stop there. As soon as the USWNT touched down, the party continued.Brought you back a little something.🏆 World Champs,baby! pic.twitter.com/iUonZWgv1q— U.S. Soccer WNT (@USWNT) July 8, 2019COUNT ‘EM⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ pic.twitter.com/Q4rGsV3NIg— U.S. Soccer WNT (@USWNT) July 8, 2019The USWNT will formally celebrate its title Wednesday in New York City at 9:30 a.m. ET.The route will follow the famed ticker tape parade line. These historic parades are traditionally held along Broadway, which is also known as the “Canyon of Heroes.”last_img read more

Hugo Alfredo Santillan, 23, becomes second boxer in days to die from injuries in ring

first_imgRIP Hugo Santillan.He passed away from injuries suffered during Saturday’s fight which ended in a draw.We join Hugo’s family and friends in grief, support and wish prompt resignation.Via @marcosarienti pic.twitter.com/WwT7LyLXIW— World Boxing Council (@WBCBoxing) July 25, 2019A super lightweight, Santillan — the son of former boxer Alfredo Santillan — made his pro debut in 2015 and was 19-6-2 with eight KOs. He becomes the second boxer this week to die from injuries sustained in the ring.Join DAZN to watch Hooker vs. Ramirez on July 27 and 100+ fight nights a year​Maxim Dadashev of Russia died Tuesday after suffering a similar brain injury during a fight Friday in Maryland against Subriel Matias of Puerto Rico. Dadashev was 28.According to ringside reports from Buenos Aires (via ESPN.com), Santillan’s nose began to bleed in the fourth round of Saturday’s 10-round bout and, though he raised his arm in victory after the fight, he collapsed after the judges announced the fight as a draw.Santillan, nicknamed “Dynamite,” underwent surgery for a clot on his brain and twice went into cardiorespiratory failure before he died of cardiac arrest at 12:35 a.m. Thursday local time Thursday, Olocco confirmed.“Upon admission to the hospital, he had successive kidney failure and he did not come out of his coma,” Olocco said (via The Guardian). “He had swelling of his brain and he never recovered consciousness. The swelling continued to worsen, and it affected the functioning of the rest of his organs.”The WBC expressed its condolences, tweeting, in part, “We join Hugo’s family and friends in grief.” Argentine boxer Hugo Alfredo Santillan died Thursday in Buenos Aires of injuries suffered in his fight Saturday against Eduardo Javier Abreu, Dr. Graciela Olocco from Hospital Agudos San Felipe confirmed to local media.Santillan was 23.last_img read more

Pjanić visited Children’s Hospital in Rome

first_imgBiH football player and player of Roma Miralem Pjanić visited yesterday Children’s Hospital in Rome, where he spent some quality time with sick children.He came to hospital with toys in order to cheer up the children who will be unable to spend Easter with their families.Children were thrilled with Pjanić’s visit and toys and have forgot about their situation at least for few moments.last_img

Golf Express drives through 1,000 barrier

first_img22 Jul 2015 Golf Express drives through 1,000 barrier Golf Express, which encourages busy people to play all the game in half the time, has smashed the 1,000 barrier in just two months. The campaign promotes 9-hole golf and has proved a quickfire success since it was launched in Staffordshire in May. Already, over 1,000 people have taken advantage of 9-hole green fees and after-work roll-ups. They include Spencer Williams of Barlaston Golf Club, who remarked: “I think Golf Express is brilliant because it fits in with people’s busy lifestyles and definitely fits mine!” Chris Jones from Westwood Golf Club added: “Golf Express is what golf needs. It fits not only with time, but also cost and makes it more accessible for me to play more on a weekly basis.” Golf Express is being backed by 23 clubs across Staffordshire, offering 9-hole green fees and a loyalty card. In addition, 13 of the clubs offer the opportunity to play in weekly, after-work roll-ups which are open to non-members and non-handicappers. Mark Butler, from the Mark Butler Golf Academy in Sedgely, commented: “Golf Express has energised our complex and we believe our rounds this year are up so far.” The initiative has captured widespread attention and been featured on Sky Sports TV and Midlands TV as well as local radio and national golf media. Gareth Shaw, Staffordshire County Development Officer, says: “The response to Golf Express has been fantastic with more than 1,000 people getting involved and clubs across the county offering a new way into the sport for people trying to juggle the demands of family and work life.” Iain Lancaster, Regional Manager for England Golf, added: “The time it takes to play the game is a barrier to the sport. We want to get out the message that clubs are making it possible to play shorter rounds of golf to suit your available leisure time and this will appeal to players new to the game, existing golfers and even lapsed golfers.”   Golf Express is part of an England Golf project which is trialling innovative ways of increasing golf club membership and participation in the sport. It recognises that most people’s leisure time is reducing and for many it can be as little as two hours a day. Research from Syngenta, the golf course turfcare specialist, shows that 54% of golfers are intimidated by 18 holes of golf and a 9-hole option gives the golfer choice. The clubs involved in Golf Express are: Barlaston, Bloxwich, Branston, Calderfields, Cannock Park, Darnford Moor, Dartmouth, Druids Heath, Izaak Walton, Lakeside, Lichfield, Mark Butler Golf Academy, Newcastle, Onneley, Oxley Park, Perton Park, Stafford Castle, Stone, The Chase, Trentham Park, 3 Hammers, Uttoxeter and Westwood. To find out more visit getintogolf.org/golfexpress or call 0800 118 2766 Get into golf is a national campaign to inspire new golfers run by England Golf through its county network. Opportunities include beginner and follow-on courses with PGA professionals. They are a fun and sociable way to start golf – and a great way to make new friends. Lessons can cost as little as £20 for a four-week course. To find your nearest centre visit getintogolf.org and look at the activity map or call 0800 118 2766 Caption: Golf Express players at Druids Heath Golf Club, Staffordshirelast_img read more

Augusta National adds first 2 female members

first_imgWOMEN IN GREEN—South Carolina financier Darla Moore and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will become the first women in green jackets when the Augusta National Golf Club opens for a new season in October. (AP Photos/File) by Doug FergusonAP Golf Writer NEW YORK (AP)—For the first time in its 80-year history, Augusta National Golf Club has female members.The home of the Masters, under increasing criticism the last decade because of its all-male membership, invited former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and South Carolina financier Darla Moore to become the first women in green jackets when the club opens for a new season in October. Both women accepted.“This is a joyous occasion,” Augusta National chairman Billy Payne said Monday.The move likely ends a debate that intensified in 2002 when Martha Burk of the National Council of Women’s Organizations urged the club to include women among its members. Former club chairman Hootie Johnson stood his ground, even at the cost of losing Masters television sponsors for two years, when he famously said Augusta National might one day have a woman in a green jacket, “but not at the point of a bayonet.”The comment took on a life of its own, becoming either a slogan of the club’s resolve not to give in to public pressure or a sign of its sexism, depending on which side of the debate was interpreting it.Payne, who took over as chairman in 2006 when Johnson retired, said consideration for new members is deliberate and private, and that Rice and Moore were not treated differently from other new members. Even so, he took the rare step of announcing two of the latest members to join because of the historical significance.“These accomplished women share our passion for the game of golf and both are well known and respected by our membership,” Payne said in a statement. “It will be a proud moment when we present Condoleezza and Darla their green jackets when the club opens this fall. This is a significant and positive time in our club’s history and, on behalf of our membership, I wanted to take this opportunity to welcome them and all of our new members into the Augusta National family.”Tiger Woods, who knows Rice through a mutual connection to Stanford, applauded the move.“I think the decision by the Augusta National membership is important to golf,” Woods said. “The Club continues to demonstrate its commitment to impacting the game in positive ways. I would like to congratulate both new members, especially my friend Condi Rice.”Augusta National, which opened in December 1932 and did not have a Black member until 1990, is believed to have about 300 members. While the club until now had no female members, women were allowed to play the golf course as guests.Rice, 57, was the national security adviser under former President George W. Bush and became secretary of state in his second term. The first Black woman to be a Stanford provost in 1993, she now is a professor of political economy at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.“I have visited Augusta National on several occasions and look forward to playing golf, renewing friendships and forming new ones through this very special opportunity,” Rice said in a statement released by the club. “I have long admired the important role Augusta National has played in the traditions and history of golf. I also have an immense respect for the Masters Tournament and its commitment to grow the game of golf, particularly with youth, here in the United States and throughout the world.”Rice recently was appointed to the U.S. Golf Association’s nominating committee.Moore, 58, first rose to prominence in the 1980s with Chemical Bank, where she became the highest-paid woman in the banking industry. She is vice president of Rainwater, Inc., a private investment company founded by her husband, Richard Rainwater. She was the first woman to be profiled on the cover of Fortune Magazine, and she made a $25 million contribution to her alma mater, South Carolina, which renamed its business school after her.Johnson regarded the membership debate as infringing on the rights of a private club, even though every April it hosts the Masters, the most popular of the four major championships, which brings in millions of dollars through television rights for the highest-rated telecast in golf.last_img read more