Cubs

Cheerleader's death leaves community stunned

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Cheerleader's death leaves community stunned

From Comcast SportsNet LOS ANGELES (AP) -- When students return for school Monday morning at Washington Prep, they'll be greeted by crisis counselors and missing one of their beloved classmates, a cheerleader who died after collapsing during a football game. Angela Gettis, a 16-year-old sophomore at the school, was rallying the crowd Friday night in the fourth quarter of a tie game at Fremont High School when she suffered an apparent cardiac arrest, Los Angeles Unified School District spokesman Tom Waldman said. The game stopped as coaches and trainers ran to help. Bystanders performed CPR while waiting for paramedics to arrive. Gettis died about three hours later at a hospital, becoming the second teenage girl from Los Angeles district schools to die over the weekend after a dramatic campus incident. School officials planned to discuss Gettis at a Monday morning news conference. School district Superintendent John Deasy said the girl was "a wonderful young lady. It is a catastrophic loss for the school and for the community. My heart goes out to her family." Gettis was a good student, said officials at the inner-city school in a rough area of Los Angeles. She planned to attend college and wanted to major in forensic science, school principal Todd Ullah told KABC-TV. At least two tribute pages memorializing the teen popped up on Facebook as news of her death spread. Grief counselors and a makeshift memorial also await students at South East High School in South Gate, where a 17-year-old student was stabbed during a lunch break in front of many student witnesses. The student, Cindi Santana, died at a hospital late Friday night, Deasy said. Another student and an administrator who tried to help Santana had minor injuries. Santana's former boyfriend, 18-year-old Abraham Lopez, was being held on suspicion of murder, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said in a statement. Deputies reached by phone did not know whether he had retained an attorney.

Kris Bryant motivated by trade speculation and Twitter critics following 2018 offensive struggles

Kris Bryant motivated by trade speculation and Twitter critics following 2018 offensive struggles

How quickly we forget that Kris Bryant has a Rookie of the Year Award, MVP and World Series title on his résumé.

Following the Cubs' first spring training game on Saturday, Bryant admitted that he felt slighted last season after being criticized for struggling offensively last season while dealing with a shoulder injury.

"Definitely, a little bit, but boy, it was great," Bryant said following a 2-for-2 game in which he hit a home run. "You know, when you're not playing, you have a whole lot of time to kind of just sit there and either go through a Twitter rabbit hole or whatever, you start seeing things about yourself."

Bryant played in just 102 games last season after injuring his shoulder sliding into a base. While he finished the season with a respectable .272/.374/.460 slash line, he hit just 13 home runs and posted a .242/.33/.374 slash line in his last 30 games. 

Bryant's name even popped up in popped up in at least one trade rumor this offseason. What's his message for anyone still doubting him?

"And seeing things saying 'Trade him' and this and that. And I'm like, 'Alright.' I'm motivated," he said. "Keep them coming. Bring it.

"And last year, I didn't really do anything. And, sure, it was warranted, but boy did it motivate me this year. I'm excited."

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The Blackhawks' thinking behind Henri Jokiharju's development

The Blackhawks' thinking behind Henri Jokiharju's development

A little more than a month ago, the Blackhawks were in the basement of the entire NHL. And Henri Jokiharju's minutes were dwindling.

At the time, it probably made sense to send him to Rockford, where he could regroup mentally and play in all situations on the top pairing. But things have changed rather dramatically now that the Blackhawks are in the middle of a legit playoff race.

On Friday, Jokiharju was recalled on an emergency basis because Brent Seabrook (abdominal strain) was out and Carl Dahlstrom (flu-like symptoms) was a game-time decision. Jokiharju played, and logged a season-low 9:14 of ice time. He took just three shifts in the third period.

The reports after Friday's morning skate were that Jokiharju's stint wouldn't necessarily be temporary. But it was, with the Blackhawks sending him back to Rockford on Saturday morning.

"I just think the other guys played pretty well," coach Jeremy Colliton said. "When I look at Henri's game, we're happy. I see a growth from when he left us to go to Rockford to now. Circumstances required us to bring him for the game, just with Seabs and Dahlstrom. Dahlstrom probably could've played in the end, but we didn't know that in the morning. So we wanted to get Henri since we called him up, but we feel that he's where he should be in Rockford and we're happy with his progression and how he's handling it. He's playing 21, 22 minutes every night and we're seeing a growth in his game, so that's a positive."

There are two sides to this development: The Blackhawks obviously want Jokiharju to be playing heavy minutes and developing as an elite defenseman. But they also want him playing in meaningful games.

The easy thing to wonder is, why can't he do that in Chicago rather than Rockford? Isn't he one of the team's better defensemen? Well, yes. But the Blackhawks don't want to run him into the ground at age 19. Young guys tend to struggle with the grind of an 82-game season because it takes a toll physically and mentally to do that against grown men in the NHL.

In the AHL, it's less taxing and, quite frankly, there's not as much pressure because he's not in the spotlight every night. There's value in developing at your own pace and doing it out of the spotlight, and the Blackhawks are looking at it from that lens.

"He's been great," Colliton said of Jokiharju's attitude. "We've had really good feedback, talked to [IceHogs interim coach Derek King] and [assistant coach] Anders [Sorensen] obviously, how he's been down there. He's been a pro. I think that's been good for him too. Initially when we sent him down he wasn't very happy. But when he got there, it was like, 'Oh OK, maybe this is a good thing.' And that was the reaction last night too.

"Yeah, he wants to be in the NHL, he wants to be a great player, an elite player and that's what we want too. But he's where he should be right now."

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