Struggling rivals seek redemption in Bayou Classic

Struggling rivals seek redemption in Bayou Classic

NEW ORLEANS (AP) With their hopes of a Southwestern Athletic Conference title gone for both Grambling and Southern, Saturday's nationally televised Bayou Classic in the Superdome gives both teams a chance to finish disappointing seasons in a big-game environment.

The Tigers (1-9) and Jaguars (3-7) enter the game with the worst combined record in the event's 39-year history.

They're wrapping up a season that saw the Jaguars fire their coach after only two games, while Tigers coach Doug Williams has learned that even his status as a playing legend and successful coach in his previous stint on the job doesn't buy much patience from unhappy fans.

``This has been a tough year, one that nobody at Grambling is used to,'' Williams said. ``These are the kind of years that blindside you. A lot of our fans are restless. Well, they forget that I'm an alumnus and I don't like it either.''

At Southern, interim coach Dawson Odoms knows that the ``interim'' part of his title will be removed after the game, but he isn't sure if the ``coach'' part will be gone as well.

Athletic director William Broussard has said he will make a decision on whether to retain Odoms, who was the defensive coordinator until the firing of Stump Mitchell, or begin the search process for someone else.

``Who wouldn't want to be the coach here?'' asked Odoms. ``This is a great place.

``But whatever decision they make, I'm OK with it.''

Certainly Odoms' status would have been improved with a little luck in the Jaguars' last two games, one-point losses to Alabama A&M and Alabama State.

The first game went to overtime and the second ended with an unsuccessful two-point try by the Jaguars after a late touchdown.

But late disappointments and coaching intrigue aside, this is a chance for two archrivals to salvage something from the wreckage of their seasons in what is still the showcase game for the two schools.

A crowd of more than 40,000 is expected in the Superdome and the game will be nationally televised on NBC, although that television contract is expiring after this season.

And for Southern, it's an opportunity to end a four-game losing streak in its meetings with Grambling, a skid that has seen the Tigers regain the series lead, 20-18.

``I haven't beaten Grambling since I've been here,'' said Dray Joseph, Southern's junior quarterback. ``Our record's better than theirs, and our record's not that good.

``So if we lose to those guys, it'd be tough.''

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Capitals re-sign forward Carl Hagelin to a four-year, $11 million contract

Capitals re-sign forward Carl Hagelin to a four-year, $11 million contract

WASHINGTON — The Capitals bolstered their forward depth and its penalty kill by re-signing two-time Stanley Cup champion Carl Hagelin before he hit unrestricted free agency next month. 

Washington has officially re-signed forward Carl Hagelin to a four-year, $11 million contract extension, a move that goes a long way toward re-establishing a third line that had some openings entering the offseason. 

Hagelin, 30, was a pending unrestricted free agent. Washington acquired him from the Los Angeles Kings on Feb. 21 just four days before the NHL trade deadline. Hagelin played primarily on the third line – although injuries in the Stanley Cup playoffs pushed him onto the second line.

Hagelin had three goals and 11 assists in 20 regular-season games with the Capitals and became an instant staple on the penalty kill. His 47 minutes, six seconds on the PK in those 20 games were enough to rank sixth among all forwards on the team.

Traded twice last season, Hagelin had a total of five goals and 14 assists with the Capitals, Kings and Pittsburgh Penguins in 58 games. He had a sprained knee (medial collateral ligament) with Los Angeles that kept him out for 20 games.  

"[Hagelin] was a good fit,” Washington general manager Brian MacLellan said on April 26. “I thought he fit seamlessly from day one. Really liked him on the third line, the way we used him, we bumped him up obviously with the [T.J.] Oshie injury. Our PK got a lot better. Fits in well with his teammates. It's a really good fit for us, yes." 

The Penguins traded Hagelin to the Kings on Nov. 14. He was a key part of Pittsburgh’s back-to-back Stanley Cup winners in 2016 and 2017, which came at the expense of Washington in the playoffs each time. 

This was the last year of a four-year, $16 million deal that Hagelin signed with the Anaheim Ducks in 2015. He was always viewed as a likely trade chip for Los Angeles, which finished in last place in the Pacific Division and eventually flipped him to the Capitals. 

Even after the disappointing first-round Stanley Cup playoff loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, Hagelin said he was open to re-signing with the Capitals before he hit unrestricted free agency on July 1. His signing follows the trade of defenseman Matt Niskanen on Friday. The NHL Draft is this coming weekend in Vancouver with more moves expected.   

“I liked the fact that I got a good look from the coaches,” Hagelin said on April 26 of his time with the Capitals. “I got to play with good players, I got to play in key situations. I felt comfortable here.”



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Orioles welcome home military service member with surprise first pitch

Orioles welcome home military service member with surprise first pitch

The Orioles helped make one family's Father's Day a day that they will never forget. 

Specialist Addam Bostwick from Fort George G. Meade United States Army installation surprised his father, former Marine Stephen Bostwick, with a special ceremonial first pitch Sunday afternoon at Camden Yards.

Stephen, who is a four-year veteran of the US Marine Corps, was expecting an Orioles player to catch the first pitch, was shocked to see Addam, who had been deployed in Afghanistan for four months, surprised his father.