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Ahead of the Crowd; Hunter Pate drives for success
With a family history of top-notch athletes, 13-year-old Hunter Pate is following her family’s lead and is on a mission to continue to excel. After she played in her first tournament, an enthusiasm was ignited. Since then, a spark has set fire to a passion. Led to the golf course at eight years old, Pate was like most young kids, more interested in fishing golf balls out of the water and playing in the sand traps. But after pausing for a moment and switching her attention from playing to the game, she instantly fell in love with the sport. Hunter’s skills with a club quickly progressed, and by age nine she was entered into her first tournament. There, an official’s ruling cost her the tournament and sent Pate leaving the course with a new desire to go out and dominate. “My parents were both world class athletes and my brother and I were professional tennis players, so I expected her to do something. What it would have been I wasn’t sure exactly,” says father Jack Pate. “Our goal was to hopefully get her good enough to get a college scholarship and she blew that out of the water the first year. Now it’s a matter of letting her go as far as she wants.” Since her first tournament, she has competed in about 50 tournaments, winning close to 70 percent of them, and after setting the record for the Youngest Women’s Nevada State Amateur Win in 2013, Hunter is getting ready for a summer of even bigger titles and events. As a result of her 2013 season and continued progression in the sport, Hunter was invited to the 2014 Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at the Augusta National Golf Club, the Women's Trans National Amateur Championship and the North-South Invitational, both of which she will compete at within the next few months. “I’m really excited to go to the Master’s,” says Hunter. “It’s every golfer’s dream to be number one in the world but right now I just want to work on being the best I can be and then just keep practicing. I just want to play the best I can.” In addition to her lineup of tournaments, Hunter enjoys charity specific tournaments designed to help support those with Down syndrome, which she chose in support of family friends. Over the course of her five years of playing, family and friends have put together a support team of instructors and mentors for Hunter. “It’s not just a team, it’s one giant family. We’re all headed in the same direction,” Jack says. Among those in her close golf instructor and mentor circle are: Director of Instructions at Sienna Golf Club Kim Dolan, Golf Professional Emeritus at Spanish Trails Country Club Jerry Roberts, former professional golfer Bob May and PGA competitor Parker McLachlin. “She’s a very good practicer, she works hard on her game and that’s the key. I’ve probably never had anyone this young that plays at her level,” says Dolan, who has worked with Hunter for five years. “To predict where she could be by next year—I can expect her to be one of the better junior players in the country. She’s already such an accomplished player that all she can do is get more consistent.” The spirit she holds on the golf course carries over to her academics as well. While this 8th grader at Grant Sawyer Middle School is a straight-A student, she’s out to reach a personal goal of being valedictorian in high school and prove that it’s possible to have the grades and be an athlete at the same time. “The only thing that can hold Hunter back is Hunter. As she gets older and better and stronger, everything comes together even more. I’ve been teaching a long time and it’s only happened a couple of times that someone comes along and you know this person can really play and will go far,” says Roberts, who has worked with Hunter for two years. “You can see something in Hunter’s golf swing, her attitude and her intelligence. She wants to be the best and that goes without saying, but her reaction when there’s a problem and how she handles it, that’s one of her real strengths,” Roberts continues. “On the golf course that’s very valuable and that’ll also be something that carries her through life as well.” SIDEBAR “It has been a treat to work with Hunter these last two years. She has the talent that a lot of people her age will not experience for some time. The drive she has on the golf course, as well as in the classroom, is the making of a champion. In everything I have seen Hunter do, she always strives to be the best, whether it is the golf swing or a certain golf shot. I believe that if Hunter puts her mind to it, she can do anything she wants. Hunter is a very mature young lady that has set her goals high, but I believe she has set obtainable goals because of her great ability.”
Trail Running: A Cardio Desert Retreat
While the air-conditioned gyms of society’s artificial escapes stand ready for gym enthusiasts, the freedom found in desert landscapes await trail runners looking for release from the routine orders of everyday life. From the prominent location of Red Rock Canyon to the less publicized trails in Henderson and the surrounding areas, the valley has a variety of trails of all lengths and levels of difficulty to choose from. “Probably the most popular trail for trail running in Red Rock is White Rock Loop. It’s six-miles long, easy to find and the footing is pretty good,” said Kathy August, Red Rock Canyon Outdoor Recreation Planner for the Bureau of Land Management. Additional popular trails among trail runners in Red Rock Canyon include the two-mile trail of Moenkopi and the moderate 11.4-mile Grand Circle Loop, which encompasses Moenkopi. According to August, one area within the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area that’s increasing in popularity among runners is the Cottonwood Valley, a section of trail networks located south of Red Rock Canyon’s main entrance. “Cottonwood Valley has 140-miles of trail and is popular because it’s a lot quieter. The trails have a lot of different sets of loops and give you the option to change up where you’re running every time and not get bored,” August said. Despite its prominence, Red Rock Canyon isn’t the only location for trail runners to enjoy. Found across the valley, additional trails continue to emerge and grow in popularity. Undergoing renovations, Henderson’s Sloan Canyon, hosts some currently available and many soon-to-be running trails. “One of the most popular trails in Henderson is known as Black Mountain Trail and is labeled trail 404. It’s 2.72-miles and is all uphill. It’s a power hike and run and is pretty intense, but you always see people on it,” said Brenda Warner, Sloan Canyon Outdoor Recreation Planner for BLM. In addition to the vigorous 404 trail of Black Canyon, some easy to moderate trails include trail 403, a flatter 1.8-mile loop and trail 402, an additional 1.5-miles on top of the 403 trail. While all the current Henderson trails receive their own amount of pedestrian traffic, Communications and Marketing supervisor for the City of Henderson Parks and Recreation Department, Kim Becker suggests that of the current trails, River Mountains Loop and Anthem East Trails sit as favorites among runners. River Mountains Loop Trail, a 35-mile paved multi-use trail features scenic views of Lake Mead and the Las Vegas Valley while Anthem East Trail is a 7-mile trail with the first ¾ of a mile being paved and after that, ranging from moderate to difficult in intensity. Keeping track of the copious amount of trails available may seem like a challenge but is less difficult than one might think. The Outside Las Vegas Foundation and Southern Nevada Health District have joined together on a task to create an online inventory of all the trails in Southern Nevada. The inventory is available at neontonature.org and outsidelasvegas.org. Both sites include trailhead locator information and detailed trail descriptions. The Neon to Nature trail system includes both off-street and on-street trail networks recognized by land management agencies as approved trails. Currently the trail system includes over 1,000 total miles of trail, 600 to 750 miles, specifically of unpaved trail running networks. “The primary purpose of the Neon to Nature System is to create a healthier population,” said Alan O’Neill, an independent consultant for the Outside Las Vegas Foundation. “The goal is to increase the prescription of outdoor physical activity to prevent, or treat, health problems resulting from inactivity and poor diet.” With plenty of outdoor options are nestled in the midst of city life, trail retreats stand in multitude ready for nature enthused runners.
Nunes Wrangles World Championship Title
You haven’t seen excitement until you’ve seen the championship round of the Professional Bull Riders Finals. Sunday concluded the PBR event in Las Vegas but offered plenty of action and tons of excitement for fans and riders. Despite an injury that occurred in round 4, where Robson Palermo was carried from the arena on a stretcher and taken to UMC with a possible fracture, Palermo surprised fans by showing up for round five, feeling a bit beat up, but with no serious injuries and ready to ride. Round five brought some of the most exciting riding seen throughout the event and in addition to intense match ups and great rides, the riders also brought a lot of fun to the arena. After their rides, both Guilherme Marchi and Travis Sellers danced around the arena and showed off their line dancing moves and even ballet skills, and let me tell you something, if you’ve never seen a tough bull rider in chaps, vest and all do leaps and turns across a dirt arena you are missing out. In professional bull riding, it is only expected that an injury will occur, in round five, Ned Cross left the arena with a broken nose after Straight Jacket smacked him in the face with his horn during the ride. Regardless of a broken nose, when qualified, Cross came back to ride only a short time later for round six. Round five offered intense excitement as fans awaited the round results to find out which riders would place in the top 15 and proceed to the final championship round. McKennon Wimberly won round 5 of the finals with an 89.25 score on Hawaiian Ivory, and along with 14 other riders, advanced to round 6. The 15 riders who made it to the final round included; Dustin Elliott, 88.75, Mike Lee, 88.75, Pete Farley, 88.75, Renato Nunes, 87.75, Guilherme Marchi, 86.50, Jordan Hupp, 86.50, Aaron Roy, 86.00, Silvano Alves, 85.50, Ross Coleman, 85.50, Paulo Lima, 84.00, Wesley Lourenco, Chris Shivers, Ned Cross, Robson Palermo, and Wimberly. Round six was everything that could be expected from these five great riders. Lots of intensity was given to each ride but at the end of the event, Brazilian rider Nunes earned the title of world champion of bull riding. Nunes became the fourth Brazilian to every win the championship in the history of the PBR World Finals. In addition to his prestigious new title, Nunes also took away from the arena a total of $1.58 million. “I am now a rich cowboy!” said Nunes after the award presentation. “It will be hard to sleep now after getting my dream.”
13 & Rising - Morgan Goldstein Climbs The Ranks
For Morgan Goldstein, 2015 has kicked off to a good start. With eight tournament events between January and April, she has began what she hopes to be a great year of golf Goldstein placed sixth at the 8th Annual San Diego Junior Amateur (15-18 age group) and the Toyota Tour Cup Golf Club at La Quinta. She placed first at the USGA 4 Ball Qualifier in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and at the beginning of April, she placed first in girls 12-13 at the Drive, Chip & Putt Finals at Augusta National and made history as the first and only player to win all three of the skills and place the only perfect score in the two-year-old event. When she picked up her first golf club at age eight, her swing displayed she was a natural. After launching into lessons, securing a coach and fitting in a lot of practice time, her game picked up and in 2010 she competed in her first tournament, a local U.S Kids Golf event. A few years later, tournaments are a routine occurrence in her schedule and her golf game continues to improve. Going forward this year, Goldstein, who is just 13, will compete in the 18 and under category in the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA). She will also compete in adult USGA tournaments as well as in her age group for the Junior Worlds, which takes place in San Diego in July. “I have school tournaments on Thursdays and outside of that I play in about five AJGA’s throughout the year, I am playing in Junior World and some USGA tournaments,” Goldstein says. Since July of 2014 she has been rated number one in the state for all girls graduating in 2015 and younger on Junior Golf Scoreboard Rankings, and as of recently, she is ranked fourth in the country for all girls graduating in 2019. At age 13, her golf career is already impressive and at this rate her goal of advancing in golf through high school, achieving a full-ride scholarship to college and moving on to the LPGA as a professional golfer is high on the list. “I love being active in golf and meeting new friends throughout the world. It feels awesome to know you’re a great player and you’re only in the 8th grade,” says Goldstein. “I just have to keep myself in check and always think before I speak to make sure I stay humble and remember to have fun.” Kicking off the month of May, Goldstein played in the inaugural USGA Women’s 4 Ball at Bandon Dunes, where she and her partner (Veronica Joels, also from Las Vegas) made it through qualifying and even won their first found of match play. As we went to print with this issue, she was attempting to qualify for the Ladies US Open and will soon attempt to qualify for the US Girls Junior as well. Aside from immersing herself in golf tournaments and the Faith Lutheran golf team, Goldstein says much of her free time is spent enjoying the game of golf with friends or setting up fun games with her younger brother Aidan, who also plays and has begun competing. But there’s always some time for fun mall trips and times to enjoy being a kid. “My favorite part about playing golf is the competition and all the friends I’ve made. Most of my friends are golfers and we all play for fun,” says Goldstein. “I am a golfer but I also do other stuff. I enjoy hanging out with friends and going shopping at Downtown Summerlin or going to get my nails done with my mom and to have a girls’ days. When I think of school I don’t think of homework, I think of all the friends I get to see there and hang out with so school’s another thing to have fun with.” Despite her competitive edge, for this 13-year-old golfer it’s about having fun, being a good student and staying humble along the way to success and so far she’s got all those bases covered. To learn more about Goldstein and to keep up with her golfing progress visit her website www.morgangoldsteingolf.com, a site specifically designed to help college coaches learn more about her as she advances in her game.
Las Vegas 51s to Light Up the 4th of July
Fireworks, baseball, beer and hotdogs, it doesn’t get much more patriotic than that and this 4th of July the Las Vegas 51s is offering all that and more. From 3:00 PM until well after the final bat is swung, the 51s’ Independence Day and all it’s accompanying 4th of July activities will offer fans and families fun and excitement for a day of celebrating. Prior to the game, from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM, Cashman Center will host the 51s Family Fun Fest presented by Dreyer’s Ice Cream. For three hours leading up to a night of baseball, attendees can enjoy games, bounce houses, live music from local bluegrass/jazz band, the All-Togethers, and more. The July 4th Family Fun Fest is free with a ticket to the night's game. Once 7:05 PM rolls around the Las Vegas 51s will take the field for their Independence Day game against the Albuquerque Isotopes. This will be the third time the 51s are taking the field against the Isotopes in the 2015 season. Both previous match-ups against the Isotopes (one in April and one in May) included a one-day rain delay and left the 51s walking away with four straight wins giving the 51s a 8-0 record against the Isotopes going into Saturday’s game. No 4th of July would be complete without the dramatic and thrilling display of hundreds of fireworks. For this reason, immediately following Saturday’s game the Las Vegas 51s will commemorate Independence Day with its biggest firework display of the year, their annual Fireworks Extravaganza presented by Nevada State Bank. All tickets to the 4th of July baseball game are $15.00 and include the post-game fireworks show and the pre-game Family Fun Fest. To purchase tickets visit Ticketmaster or learn more about the Las Vegas 51s on their website.
Training for Pregnancy: Fitness Tips from Strength and Conditioning Coach Anthony Marc Morando
For any fitness trainer or coach, there comes a sense of pride and responsibility as you train your clients. But when you are training two pregnant gold medal Olympians and one is your wife and the other is your sister-in-law, the feeling is all the more special. Anthony Marc Morando is married to U.S. Olympic women’s ice hockey player and gold medalist Monique Lamoureux-Morando and has been the fitness trainer to her and her twin sister and fellow teammate, Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson, for more than four years. “There’s a lot of pride when you train athletes in general, but this is special because it’s my baby boy in there. Every iffy move or ‘ow’ or ‘I don’t know if I feel good today,’ you have a greater sense of urgency and your perspective is growing by the day because you realize that your responsibility is going to be forever changed,” says Morando. “I’m really excited to be a dad. I’m really, really, really excited to share all of this with my wife because she’s my best friend, and I think it’s really special that I’m going to be able to tell my kid that I took care of mommy on this end of things.” Training for Pregnancy: Fitness Tips from Strength and Conditioning Coach Anthony Marc Morando 1When it comes to pregnancy and fitness, there is often a back and forth as to what and when it is safe to work out, but as strength and conditioning trainer and manager of human performance at Altru Health System, Morando attests there’s no wrong time to start working out. More so, pregnancy is the perfect time for women of all fitness levels to start investing in their physical health through implementing a proper workout regimen. “My wife is an Olympic athlete, my sister-in-law is an Olympic athlete, and I’ve worked with so many female athletes, but athlete or not, pregnant women should train,” says Morando. “I think training makes the pregnancy process that much more special, because women can feel the physical self-perception of exercise and can reap the benefits. I don’t think enough women feel empowered during pregnancy and just feel that they are gaining weight, so they eat anything and don’t train. You have to embrace the pregnancy by taking care of yourself. You can still be fit and pregnant, and it’s a beautiful thing—I get to witness it every day.” When it comes to prenatal fitness, Morando explains that generally there are two ends of the spectrum: someone who is really fit and becomes pregnant, and someone who is more sedentary, not as fit, and becomes pregnant. For the pregnant and fit athlete, the trick is bringing their fitness routine from the intense end of the scale back to the middle. On the other hand, for a less fit pregnant woman, the key is to help bring them from a sedentary end of the scale to the middle as well. The key is finding a safe balance of fitness either way, the only difference is having two different starting points. “You have to create balance in both their lives. It’s not going to hurt a pregnant woman who isn’t fit to become more fit. And the weekend warrior who wants to keep pounding the rock—she needs to take it down a notch so she doesn’t compromise herself and the baby,” Morando says. As a Manager of Human Performance, Morando reveals that regardless of a woman’s level of fitness during pregnancy, the biggest challenge is something beyond deadlifts and cardio, and is the key to successfully training them. “The biggest challenge either way is the psychological stressors. Being able to empathize without being able to empathize,” says Morando. “I’m not a woman. I’m a 34-year-old man. I love my wife very much, but I can only put myself in her shoes so much. As a trainer, as a coach and as a husband, I have to understand that this can’t be easy. And even though I don’t completely understand, I try as hard as I can so I can know how I can provide support, not only physically but emotionally as well.” The psychological stressors that affect pregnant women is the biggest challenge when it comes to fitness routines. Morando explains that a trainer can have all the data and game plans in the world but when it comes to pregnancy, it’s all by feel and constant communication. Upgrades and modifications are necessary in a fitness program to ensure safety and a feeling of comfortability. Whether you’re an Olympic athlete or use your at-home treadmill to sort laundry, when it comes to creating a fitness routine during pregnancy, there will be days when you just want to go for a walk or days when you can do two sets of 10 as opposed to four sets of 10. Acknowledging what the body’s needs, realizing capabilities will shift throughout the journey, and being able to adapt to the psychological stressors that arise during pregnancy are essential in order to achieve the optimal training solutions. During pregnancy, the female body undergoes a variety of remarkable biological and physical changes that can affect the psyche and fitness performance. Keeping in tune to the body’s needs and making proper modifications when it comes to specific exercises is key to ensuring that no harm is done. While psychological factors are an obvious difference from pre-pregnancy to pregnancy, overall, when it comes to physical training, Morando is striving to break the molds of male and female fitness perception. “There are always differences when it comes to gender, in particular hormonal differences, especially during pregnancy. At the end of the day, though, the only difference in a female is that her hip circumference may differ a tad so she is more at risk for a knee injury. Aside from that, men and women should train the same. You train them like men and treat them like women,” says Morando. “Now when it comes to pregnancy, the first rule of thumb is to do no harm, so there are moves that you do avoid.” When it comes to Morando’s training techniques for his wife and sister-in-law, the athletic mindset has shifted. For these two Olympians who typically train for a game day that involves a gold medal in February, their game day now is labor. Preparing for this event means tightening the abdominal muscles, initiating stabilization of the spine, and practicing a lot of exhalations. Pregnancy Fitness Tips from Anthony Marc Morando Exercise to Avoid: Crunches “No pregnant woman needs to crunch. Personally, I think crunches are outdated to begin with because our spine flexes way too much, but pregnant women are prone to splits down the middle of their stomach, so the best way to avoid that is to not flex the stomach. Instead, we want to stabilize the musculature around the amniotic sac that is going to surround the baby.” Alternative Option: Planks “We want to create strong stabilizers. Your abdomen is meant to store, transfer and brace when it comes to energy, so we don’t want to flex and extend the spine. Instead, we want to plank, and we want to put pregnant women in standing positions to make sure we don’t compromise their pelvis or the baby. We make sure things stay tight. We want to maintain stiffness in the torso because bracing and stability is what labor is. Bracing and stability is going to give them a chance to have a better labor because they will have the chance to strengthen the diaphragm, which will need to expand and recoil every time they push.” Exercise to Avoid: Plyometrics (Dynamic and Explosive Movements) Training for Pregnancy: Fitness Tips from Strength and Conditioning Coach Anthony Marc Morando 2“Plyometrics are not necessary for a pregnant woman. Explosive movements, excessive jumping and anything that requires holding of the breath before a movement aren’t needed. If they do have to jump, it should be minimal, but once you get into your second and third trimester you don’t want to rattle the cage. I personally say avoid plyometrics.” Alternative Option: Static and Stationary Movements “Some type of stationary movement is best. To avoid pregnant women from doing a squat jump, just have them do a squat. It’s about static versus dynamic. We want to minimize excessive dynamic and explosive movement, and we want to substitute that with static strengthening with things like a body weight squat and body weight split squat—exercises that will keep them safe and that are going to create a healthy foundational form of strength.” Exercise to Avoid: Intense Conditioning – Especially Burpees “You want to avoid movements that involve getting up and down quickly. I can’t stand burpees. I think it’s probably one of the worst exercises ever given. It’s degrading to the body because of how much damage it can do. The bigger the belly gets, the more awkward the movement becomes, and mom is going to get frustrated if things feel awkward. You can do a lot of other exercises to increase the heart rate moderately and give them the feel of what a burpee would be like without flexing the spine and potentially damaging their hips. For general cardio, you want to avoid excessive intervals and high intensity. When it comes to cardiovascular work, rate perceived exertion (RPE) with pregnant women should not go above an eight out of ten.” Alternative Option: Hip Flexions, Marching in Place and Non-Frictional Machines “A good alternative to intense cardio that we do is prone hip flexion or a push-up to hip flexion. This is done in a push-up position and includes bringing the knee to the chest. Other things you can do are march in place for 30 seconds or slamming a medicine ball. Basically, moves that require either a standing position or where the hands are elevated so the spine and hips aren’t compromised. If you really want to feel that burn, then that’s where exercise bikes, versa climbers and non-frictional machinery come in. Steady state cardiovascular work where you are building a general base of fitness is key. With the girls, they will do some intervals of a hard 10 to 15 seconds, but they don’t exceed that and they immediately have a 30 to 60 second rest afterward before another interval, so they have plenty of rest time in between. Even during these intervals, though, they never exceed 80 percent on the RPE scale.” Exercise to Avoid: Intense Stretching “Pregnant women are undergoing many hormonal changes and they are full of relaxin [a hormone secreted during pregnancy to prepare the uterus for labor]. Also, they are already getting stretched, so it’s pretty easy to overstretch. We don’t want to give them a potential cause for injury.” Alternative Option: Foam Rolling “To wind down, while we tend to do more core strengthening and shoulder strengthening, we also do some foam rolling to continue blood flow and to create a quality fascia line [connective tissue structures between muscles]or better quality of movement in the muscle. We also do a steady cardiovascular cooldown—what I call a flush—anywhere between five to seven minutes of low level, steady state cardiovascular work, where their heart rate is at a minimal intensity.” Exercise to Avoid: Supine Positions “We don’t want to put pregnant women in a supine [laying on the back] position, especially as they get further into their second and third trimesters.” Alternative Option: Standing Exercises “Sitting and standing are best. Standing is great because you can do so much from a standing position. Pregnant women can squat. Pregnant women can do high surface deadlifts. They can also get core work standing and carrying something. If they breathe normally, they will feel well and the best position for that is when they’re standing up. Balance is another deal. One leg holds, unilateral holds, holding for three sets of 10 seconds, or one longer 30 second hold all work great. And if you feel wobbly during these, then hold something for support, but remain on one leg to build stability. You can also stick to squatting and assisted squat patterns. Hinging, which is another form of deadlifting, can be done by lifting from a high supported surface so the lower back isn’t compromised. Pushing can also be done. Push-ups are fine but because of the extra weight and growing stomach, they may not be able to do it from the floor, so you elevate their hands to a high surface such as a barbell or a bench and have them touch their chest. They can also do exercises that require a pull, not necessarily a pull-up but a standing band pull or pulling a band apart to activate the shoulders, a standing pull-down, or standing rows. Most all pregnancy-safe exercises come from standing and seated positions.” As Morando continues to strive to educate women that pregnancy is the perfect time to strive for a healthy body, he gets closer and closer to adding a new title to his list of accomplishments: coach, trainer, husband and soon, dad. Until then, he continues to train his Olympian family during their pregnancies. “They do a really good job with knowing their limits. They are, obviously, very good athletes, but they are smart women too and they understand training. And sometimes you just have to bring them back every now and then. So, if I know Monique hasn’t been sleeping very well, then instead of banging it out at the gym, if she wants to get a good sweat in, then maybe it’s just a matter of putting on a sweatshirt and going for a nice two-mile walk. If you try to push through even a moderate workout when you aren’t on a good foundation, you’re not going to recover and you’re not going to gain longevity,” says Morando. “You’ve got to gauge it, you’ve got to communicate and every now and then you’ve got to say ‘no’ to your wife.” Anthony Marc Morando graduated from Springfield College with a bachelor’s degree in applied exercise science. He is a certified strength and conditioning specialist and holds certifications from the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association and in functional movement systems, TRX and CFSC. He is the former strength and conditioning coach for the men’s and women’s hockey programs at the University of Minnesota Duluth and the men’s hockey program at Boston University. He is currently the manager of human performance at Altru Health System, powered by EXOS.
Stanley Cup Arrives in Las Vegas Along with Hope for New Team
Among the lineup of everyday celebrity appearances gracing the city of Las Vegas, the NHL’s Stanley Cup has arrived and has made its formal appearance at the MGM Grand on Monday afternoon in anticipation of the upcoming 2015 NHL Awards. The Stanley Cup was displayed Monday, July 23 and Tuesday, July 24 at the MGM Grand, and while it was the main focus for visitors coming to the MGM display, the Stanley Cup was accompanied by even more of NHL’s most prized trophies including the Hart Memorial Trophy (most valuable player to his team), Vezina Trophy (top goaltender), Calder Memorial Trophy (top rookie), James Norris Memorial Trophy (top defenseman) and more. The 2015 NHL Awards will feature the sport’s top players and coaches in celebration of the 2014-2015 season and the Chicago Blackhawks’ 2015 Championship. The awards will be presented at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Wednesday, July and will air live at 7 p.m. on NBCSN. While the arrival of the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas wraps up the end of the 2014-2015 NHL season, for Las Vegas residents and NHL fans alike, it signifies the hope of good news regarding Las Vegas’ efforts to be granted the next NHL team in the league. While Las Vegas residents have speculated whether news of expansion would be revealed during the awards, Wednesday afternoon, the NHL Board of Governors and commissioner Gary Bettman annnounced that they will continue to accept expansion-franchise applications through August 10 and will review them through the fall. The Board of Governors is scheduled to meet again in September in New York, during so, it will review the submitted proposals and decide whether to persue moving forward with expansion. With the construction of a full arena set behind the New York New York Hotel and Casino and public support, since the start of 2015, the city of Las Vegas has strived to bring an NHL team to the neon city through a plethora of social media efforts and marketing campaigns of Vegas Wants Hockey. The campaign efforts to pre-sell 10,000 season tickets to show the city’s support for the movement has been surpassed and in June, the team’s prospective owner, Bill Foley announced; “we’re up to 13,200 season ticket requests. We’ve done our job. We delivered on what we are supposed to do. Now it’s up to them.” While NHL players and fans anticipate the NHL Awards taking place this evening, locals will continue to be on the edge of their seats awaiting additional expansion news. With local enthusiasm increasingly elevated, and anticipation building, Las Vegas residents and hockey fans alike will be listing up for Bettman and the league’s announcement of expanding beyond 30 teams. In regards to Las Vegas' efforts in pre-sale ticket drives and community support, Bettman says; “People came away with the impression that this community will respond to professional sports, to hockey, like many other significant cities across North America. There are people who live and work here, raise kids here, have businesses here who would like something communal from a sports standpoint to get behind. That’s what the ticket drive appears to have demonstrated.” For more information on the Stanley Cup and other awards visit www.nhl.com/awards. To keep up with the Vegas Wants Hockey campaign follow them at https://www.vegaswantshockey.com.
Vegas Badges Faceoff in Fundraiser Hockey Game
The Las Vegas Police and Vegas Valley Fire Departments will be matching up against one another and facing off on ice. The Battle of the Badges annual ice hockey fundraiser game will be take place Saturday, June 6 at 5:30 pm at the SOBE Ice Arena inside the Fiesta Rancho. This year, the police vs. fire department game will benefit the Terry Farrell Firefighters Fund, making this the first fundraiser game to benefit the selected recipient. Previous charities chosen as the hockey game recipients have been the Candlelighters Foundation and Opportunity Village. “People think there is a lot of animosity between the police department and the fire department. We like to give each other a hard time but it is only in fun,” said Clark Lamping, marketing and community relations for the Nevada Chapter of the Terry Farrell Firefighters Fund. “We have an enormous amount of respect for Metro Police and have a close working relationship with them. This event is a great opportunity to participate in some friendly competition.” This is the first time the hockey matchup will take place at the Fiesta Rancho, however if previous years’ turnouts stick with this year’s location change, attendees can anticipate a packed rink. “We really don't know what to expect. In the past, the game was held at the Orleans and we had a fantastic turnout. We are hoping to sell the Fiesta out,” Lamping said. The Terry Farrell Firefighters Fund was established in memory of Terry Farrell; a father, husband, brother and a dedicated firefighter who lost his life, along with 343 other heroes, during the World Trade Center attack on September 11, 2001. Paying tribute to his life as a devoted firefighter, the fund was started by Farrell’s brother to “assist firefighters and their families across the nation with financial, educational and medical support, and to provide equipment donations for fire departments in need.” The Terry Farrell Firefighters Fund has 11 state chapters, the Nevada Chapter being only one year old. With only a year under it’s belt and fundraising efforts just starting out, last year the Nevada Chapter was able to help four firefighters and their families. As attendees sit back on the bleachers and cheer on as the Las Vegas badges duke it out on ice in a fun spirited, yet sure to be semi-competitive hockey game, the game will result in the Terry Farrell Firefighters Fund Nevada Chapter adding one more family to their list of families they will be helping. “The money we raise at the hockey game will go towards the recovery of Josh Evans, who is a US Forrest Service firefighter,” said Lamping. “Last week while Josh was working, he received 2nd and 3rd degree burns on his face, arms, chest, and airway. Josh is only 26-years-old and it is unlikely that he will ever return to his job as a firefighter. Our goal is to raise enough money so we can send Josh to school so he can learn a new trade and provide for his family.” Tickets to Saturday’s game are $10, with children 12 and under receiving free admission. Tickets may be purchased in advance at hockey.yapsody.com or at the SOBE Ice Arena box office. For more information on the Nevada Chapter of the Terry Farrell Firefighters Fund visit terryfund.org/Nevada. See you at the arena!