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- ALLOY VISION MATERIAL: Engineered with an Alloy Vision material, our composite lacrosse attack/midfield shaft delivers a durable, lightweight feel that boasts a balanced performance
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Player Equipment Epoch iD Vision Lacrosse Head Sports & Outdoors
Player Equipment Epoch iD Vision Lacrosse Head Sports & Outdoors
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Epoch iD Vision Lacrosse Head
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New coach Gary Gait outlines vision for Syracuse men’s lacrosse, goal is ‘to win the championship’
Gary Gait has been a student of lacrosse for a long time. He credits his father for allowing him and his brother to play the sport as children in Canada. His dad even convinced Canadian legend Ron MacNeil to coach his sons. The Hall of Famer helped Gait hone his skills and ask the right questions to fully understand how lacrosse flowed.
“My dad somehow convinced him to coach a bunch of 12-year-olds,” Gait said. “It was the reason that I’m coaching today because what he did for a group of 12-year-olds was amazing. He was a forward-thinking coach. He didn’t look at our age, he looked at what we could do and then he proceeded to teach us how to play the game. More importantly, he taught me how to learn the game.”
That led Gait to his first ever coaching job – at the ripe age of 15. He took on duties leading a team of 12-year-olds with his twin brother, Paul, and he remembers the team finishing second in the league. Gait had to stop coaching as his high school life got more hectic, but that gave him a sense of coaching.
Flash forward to Thursday, and Gait now has an opportunity to lead his former college team back to championship glory. He spoke publicly for the first time at the helm of the program to media inside the Ensley Athletic Center.
Gait, a four-time All-American, takes on the heavy task of following John Desko in leading Syracuse’s push for its first championship since 2009. After years of success leading the SU women, Gait is excited to take on a new challenge and learn from his mentors, specifically Desko and Roy Simmons Jr.
“That’s what I think I pulled away from Syracuse the most in the coaching world was you need to build chemistry, you need to know your players, and you need to create a family atmosphere,” Gait said. “When all of those things come together, you can almost put in any x’s and o’s but you’ll come out on top if everyone works as one team, one unit.”
Gait set records as a player at Syracuse playing alongside Paul. The brothers won three national championships from 1988-1990 and changed the game with famous plays like Gary’s “Air Gait” moment in the 1988 NCAA tournament against Penn. His success continued professionally, winning championships in the NLL, MLL, Canada for International Box Lacrosse, and the ILF.
Yet, Gait never thought he could have a career as a coach growing up. That changed after received an offer from Cindy Timchal, then the head coach of the Maryland women’s team in 2005.
“I said, ‘You know what? I just had a baby girl a month ago,’” Gait said. “’This is something I would definitely be willing to try.’”
Gait later coached his daughter, Taylor, at Syracuse from 2013-2019. But first, he joined Timchal’s staff as an assistant coach and focused his approach on teaching and always growing while building culture. During Gait’s time in College Park, the Terrapins won seven consecutive titles. Success found Gait in his other endeavors, including a championship with the NLL’s Colorado Mammoth, two more with the MLL’s Baltimore Bayhawks, and an indoor trophy with Team Canada in 2007.
Gait has found championship glory at every stop he’s made, except for one. That would be his 14-year tenure as the head coach of the Orange women. His teams made it to three national championship games, most recently this past season with star scorers Emily Hawryschuk and Megan Carney injured. And, overall, SUwent 214-75 (74.0%) under Gait’s leadership, a testament to the culture he built and his knowledge of the game.
But even Gait acknowledged that he regrets moving on from the program without finishing the job.
“The job was to be a top-five team and to win the national championship,” Gait said. “I got half of it right. We were consistently in the top-five, unfortunately, we got to the game three times but didn’t get it done. If one thing I wish I had a redo, it would be one more time, one more shot. But that’s the way it goes.”
Gait said that he will still be involved with the program in a lesser role and that he has full faith in Syracuse to find another championship caliber coach for the team. In fact, Gait acknowledged part of the reason for taking this job was that he can still be around the women’s team and help its new coach raise a banner. But now his primary focus is set on getting the Syracuse men back to Memorial Day weekend and bringing the flair back to the program that his teams were known for.
On the field, Gait wants to recruit the best players in the world. He acknowledged that may lead to smaller classes. He also wants players to be more innovative on the field and in practice. “Style with substance,” he described as a method to break habits of shooting the same way over and over.
“The really great goal scorers shoot anywhere, and they take what’s given to them,” Gait said. “They may shoot underhand, behind the back, switch hands, whatever it is there’s not really a consistency so the goalies can’t guess or bait or do all that.”
Finally, Gait looks to build a culture that breeds championship success. He repeated a word synonymous with Ted Lasso: “believe.” He wants to take the family unit structure passed down to him from Desko and Roy Simmons Jr. to create a winner. And he fully understands the pressure that comes with said job.
“It’s the pressure I put on myself, all of the time,” Gait said. “Any coaching job I’ve ever taken, the goal’s been the same. It’s to win the championship.”
Should High School Girl Lacrosse Players Be Required to Wear the Same Helmets as High School Boys?
High school girls’ lacrosse players are at a higher risk of concussion from a stick or ball impact than boys’ lacrosse players. In girls’ lacrosse, players are allowed, but not required, to wear flexible protective headgear. What they aren’t allowed to wear is the type of hard-shell helmet with a full-face mask that the boys’ lacrosse players use.
A new study, published in May 2020 in Injury Epidemiology, finds that if girls’ lacrosse players used the same helmets that are mandated in boys’ lacrosse, the number of concussions suffered by girls could be reduced by 44 percent.
“What we found is that a surprisingly high proportion of the concussions that girls’ high school lacrosse players sustain, specifically by being struck in the head directly by the stick or the ball, could have been prevented if they had been wearing the same helmet as the boys,” says Dawn Comstock, PhD, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Colorado School of Public Health in Denver.
Different Rules for Boys’ and Girls’ Lacrosse Don’t Result in Lower Rates of Concussion
Researchers used lacrosse concussion data from the National High School Sports-Related Injury Surveillance Study, also known as High School RIO, an internet-based data collection tool that allows direct comparison of injury rates across sports.
By looking at the number of concussions, the number of events and practices, as well as the cause of the concussion, researchers estimated the total percentage of girls’ concussions that could have been prevented if the girls wore the same helmet required in boys’ lacrosse.
Investigators found that while the rate of concussion for boys and girls was nearly the same, the causes of the concussions were not. In girls’ lacrosse, stick or ball contact was the most common trigger and accounted for 72.7 percent of all concussions, and athlete-to-athlete contact accounted for 19.8 percent. For boys’ lacrosse, almost two-thirds of concussions were caused by athlete-to-athlete contact and stick or ball contact accounted for 23.5 percent.
The rules for girls’ and boys’ lacrosse are different. The girls’ game is designed to be “softer and safer,” says Dr. Comstock. “Girls are not allowed body contact or bodychecking like boys are, and girls have what they call the ‘sphere’ rule, which dictates that there is a seven-inch imaginary bubble around the head of each girl, and no one is supposed to be allowed to stick check within that imaginary seven-inch bubble,” she says.
“Those two rules are supposed to be preventing head injury in girls’ lacrosse. The problem is our data shows that those rules are not currently protecting them,” says Comstock.
Although there could be a few different solutions for reducing the risk of concussion in girls’ lacrosse, requiring the girls to wear the same helmets as boys seems to be one of the more logical and proven options, says Comstock.
“There’s lots of research out there that shows that helmets are actually very effective at preventing the kind of injuries of the type that occur when you’re struck directly in the head by a stick or a ball. Helmets are not as effective in preventing the concussions that occur from athlete-to-athlete contact though,” she says.
This safety issue seems like low hanging fruit, says Comstock. “We’ve recognized an injury problem in a sport, and we have an available intervention that we know would be effective at reducing that injury risk — why not utilize it?” she says.
Girls’ Lacrosse Protective Headgear ‘Allowed but Not Required’
Although girls aren’t allowed to wear the same hard-shell helmet that boys wear, there is headgear that is optional for girls’ lacrosse. In 2015, U.S. Lacrosse, the governing body of lacrosse in the United States, collaborated with ASTM International, a nonprofit organization that develops and publishes international voluntary consensus standards, to develop a standard protective headgear for women’s lacrosse.
The headgear fully covers the head and is flexible to ensure that players wearing the headgear will not injure players who are not wearing it, according to U.S. Lacrosse. The standard has two options, one with integrated eyewear, the other without, although any headgear used must be worn with the required eyewear.
The differences in head protection are presumably based on the rules, and not any inherent difference between the sexes.
“There isn’t really a biological or clinical reason for requiring different helmets for boys and girls,” says Mark Halstead, MD, an associate professor in orthopedic surgery and pediatrics and the director of the sports concussion program at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
And, Comstock adds, “It’s not clear if all the girls wore the optional headgear if it would reduce concussions, in part because hardly any girls chose to wear it.”
Would Mandating Hard-Shell Helmets for Girls’ Lacrosse Actually Increase Injury and Concussions?
“Girls’ lacrosse was very resistant to the protective eyewear mandate in 2004. There was a lot of pushback,” says Dr. Halstead. “Eventually it happened, but with a fuss. Certainly, I could see a similar issue if the change in headgear was proposed,” he says.
This unwillingness to change is not unique to lacrosse, says Comstock. “Historically, every time there’s been an effort to introduce protective equipment into different sports there’s been pushback from people, though the arguments are often the same, regardless of the sport,” she says.
Some people argue that the helmets and full-face mask would reduce peripheral vision or somehow impede the vision of the players, therefore putting the athletes at increased risk because they won’t see balls or sticks coming at them and be able to react accordingly, says Comstock. “That sounds logical, but if the boys could wear the helmet without any undue risk, why can’t the girls?” she asks.
Then there’s the “gladiator effect” argument: If you put a piece of protective equipment on the players it will cause them to be much more reckless and aggressive, which could introduce new injuries into the game because of that increased aggressiveness, says Comstock. “The helmets haven’t had that effect on the boys’ game, and there’s no reason to think that it would cause that for girls,” she says.
When Played Safely, Sports Are an Important Part of a Healthy Lifestyle
Playing a sport is associated with numerous health benefits, such as decreased risk of obesity, chronic disease, and depression, along with improved life skills, including time management and goal setting, according to research published in the Open Access Journal of Sports Medicine.
“We know that playing sports is the most important way for young people to incorporate physical activity as part of a healthy lifestyle,” Comstock says, adding that the findings are not intended to discourage girls from participating in high school lacrosse.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that athletes avoid the following behaviors to reduce the risk of concussion in sports:
- Striking another athlete in the head
- Using your head or helmet to contact another athlete
- Making illegal contacts or checking, tackling, or colliding with an unprotected opponent
- Trying to injure or put another athlete at risk of injury
“I’d love to see more kids play more sports. I just want to keep them as safe as possible while they do so,” Comstock says.
Newbauer Steps Down as Women’s Basketball Head Coach
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Cam Newbauer has stepped down as Florida women’s basketball head coach for personal reasons, the University Athletic Association announced Friday.
“Being the head coach of the University of Florida women’s basketball team has been the honor of a lifetime,” Newbauer said. “After much reflection, my family and I have come to the difficult decision to step away. Gator Nation and the Gainesville community have accepted me, my wife Sarah and our three daughters from the day we arrived. We will greatly miss all of the people that have made our experience and make this place so special.
“There are many people who I am forever grateful for, but I especially want to thank all of the players who I had the privilege to coach. I have no doubt that the program we built is poised for great success.”
Kelly Rae Finley has been named interim head coach and will fill that role for the 2021-22 season, Athletic Director Scott Stricklin announced. Stricklin said UF plans to name a permanent women’s basketball head coach following the 2021-22 season.
“We wish all the best to Cam and Sarah and their family,” Stricklin said. “We appreciate their efforts during their time here, and we know Cam worked incredibly hard for the Gators and brought a high level of energy to the job.
“During Kelly’s four years here at Florida, she has been well-respected within the women’s basketball program and throughout the UAA, and we’re fortunate to have her step in and lead our young women. “
“I am committed to our student-athletes and will continue to do all I can to help them become the best they can be on and off the court,” Finley said. “I’m grateful to be entrusted with this role and will bring my best every day to help us be successful together as a team.”
Finley is entering her fifth season at Florida, including the past two as associate head coach. A native of Edina, Minnesota, Finley also served as acting head coach for three games last season and helped lead Florida to its first win at Ole Miss since 2016 in her head coaching debut. She is an integral part of all facets of the UF program, including recruiting, scouting and player development and has built up an impressive track record of success on the recruiting trail over her 13 seasons as a Division I coach.
Prior to Florida, Finley coached at Arizona (2016-17), Colorado (2012-16) and Harvard (2008-12) and is a 2008 graduate of Colorado State University, where she was a two-year letterwinner and earned Mountain West Conference Scholar-Athlete Award honors.
How good can Rutgers men’s basketball be next season?
After a week in which Rutgers men’s basketball solidified its roster with Geo Baker and Ron Harper Jr. confirming their return, as well as SJSU transfer Ralph Agee announcing his arrival, it’s time to take a hard look at expectations for next season. It’s been an offseason with many questions but as the dog days of summer approach, there are now some answers to provide clarity on what this team could be next season.
(scholarship players only)
Guards: Geo Baker (6’4”), Paul Mulcahy (6’6”), Caleb McConnell (6’7”), Jaden Jones (6’8”), Jalen Miller (6’3”)
Forwards: Ron Harper Jr. (6’6”), Aundre Hyatt (6’6”), Mawot Mag (6’7”), Oskar Palmquist (6”8”)
Centers: Cliff Omoruyi (6’11”), Ralph Agee (6’8”), Dean Reiber (6’10”), Luke Nathan (6’11”)
The truth is that this roster is hard to separate into traditional categories. The size of the roster that head coach Steve Pikiell has assembled is impressive and signals a distinct strategy in how he wants to play. As I wrote earlier this offseason, the shift to positionless basketball is in full effect with how this team has been built. Lineup versatility and rotational flexibility is what Pikiell wants. Does he now have it?
With eleven of thirteen scholarship players standing 6’6” or taller. Rutgers will cause matchup problems for a lot of teams because of their overall size and make them harder to game plan against. Most of the roster can play and defend multiple positions. That will give Pikiell the ability to respond to game situations or specific matchups with many different potential solutions. Where a player is positioned on the offensive end isn’t necessarily going to be the same position they defend on the other end of the floor as well.
While Rutgers will look somewhat traditional in the starting lineup with the 6’4” Baker at the 1 and 6’11” Omoruyi at the 5, how Pikiell utilizes lineup combinations throughout the game will be fascinating to watch. Could we see a backcourt at the same time on the floor with the 6’6” Mulcahy, 6’7” McConnell and 6’8” Jones? Will he overload on the blocks at times by having Dean Reiber at 6’10” play next to Omoruyi for a stretch depending on the matchup? Or even pair the 6”8” Agee, who is a natural center, next to Omoruyi? Not necessarily, but that option and others would be possible if Pikiell wanted to experiment or mix in different looks based on situations.
An immediate positive with the roster additions is that Ron Harper Jr. will no longer be solely relied upon to play the 4 like he was last year. Expect LSU transfer Aundre Hyatt to play more in that role in an attempt to channel the way Akwasi Yeboah played two seasons ago, which he is suited for. When Harper Jr. is at his best, it’s attacking the rim from the perimeter and finding space to knockdown three’s. There was a push and pull at times last season when he appeared constrained by his role and shifting to the 3 is a more natural fit. That’s also where his pro future lies, so being able to predominantly play there this season will make him more comfortable and plays to his strengths. He’s also a better rebounder as a 3 than 4.
The experience of the roster is a strength as well. While the losses of key contributors from last year’s team in Myles Johnson, Jacob Young and Montez Mathis are significant, there are still five players that remain from the core rotation. Baker, Harper Jr., McConnell and Mulcahy have all been in the program multiple years and know what it takes to win now. They’ve taken Rutgers from the bottom of the Big Ten to respected winner on a national level, culminating in winning the program’s first NCAA Tournament game in 38 years. In addition, enduring last season during COVID-19 in isolation and playing without fans have only made them more battle tested. The leadership that Baker and Harper Jr. bring to this team is irreplaceable, but having proven contributors in Mulcahy and McConnell behind them is invaluable as well.
Omoruyi had an up and down debut last season, but his potential is immense and he now understands to what to expect playing at the Big Ten level. His training this offseason included impressing at training camp for the Nigeria men’s basketball team. Although he didn’t make the cut, head coach Mike Brown raved about him and his squad with six NBA players just defeated Team USA this past weekend in a pre-Olympics exhibition. Omoruyi’s development might be the biggest key to the season and having those four veterans around him should only help him take a step forward.
Landing Hyatt and Agee from the transfer portal also adds significant experience to the roster. Hyatt was a key contributor to an LSU team that made the Round of 32 last March, while Agee has had a journeyman career that saw him average double figures in scoring last season. He will look to get the most out of his last season in college basketball.
Rutgers will be different next season without Johnson, Young and Mathis, but they have a stable core that has been reinforced with those two veteran transfers. The other two players I expect to begin the season in the main rotation are Mawot Mag and Jaden Jones. The pair were teammates at Prolific Prep in California, which was the top ranked high school team in the country during their time there. While neither are proven at the college level, they’ve had time to marinate in the Rutgers culture this past year and are primed to play important roles off the bench this season. The sky is the limit for Jones and I think he has the most natural talent of anyone on the roster. He could develop into an offensive weapon unlike anything Rutgers has had under Pikiell. Mag is a hard nosed player that can defend multiple positions and can run the floor well in transition, making him an ideal replacement for Mathis.
A major question mark is what this team can expect from the rest of the roster. If Reiber can develop into a reliable big off the bench at times when foul trouble is an issue for Omoruyi and Agee, it would be a big plus. He plays hard and was fearless taking on some of the top trees in the Big Ten last season. Solid defense and rebounding when he is called upon would make him a plus player next season. Palmquist is probably the purest shooter on the roster and could be dangerous along the perimeter with his size. How he adjusts to the physicality of the league and holds up defensively will likely determine his impact. Miller has a bright future and is the most natural point guard that Pikiell has had at Rutgers. He won’t need to be rushed into action this season, but it’s possible his handle and pass first mentality help carve out a bigger role as the winter progresses.
Aside from how deep this roster actually is, how strong team chemistry is and how accepting each player is of their respective roles will be major keys as well. Replacing three multi-year players from the program with two transfers and a young nucleus could result in a better dynamic and flow on the court, but that needs to be cultivated. There is a clear hierarchy on the roster but comprised of veterans willing to serve as mentors to strengthen the future of the program. The return of Baker and Harper Jr. doesn’t just benefit next season, but also the long term development of the younger players.
Shooting will always be a concern until this team proves otherwise.
While Rutgers did improve from two-point range last season, making 51.7% from inside the arc, finishing around the rim is still an area they need to get better in. Three-point shooting has been a struggle and 31.2% last season isn’t good enough.
Too many times they began games 0 for 5 or 6 and fell into a deficit. Establishing better rhythm and more capable shooters this season is a must. In this day and age, being below average from behind the arc is a difficult deficiency to overcome late in the season. Baker, Harper Jr., Mulcahy, Hyatt, Jones, and Palmquist will collectively have the opportunity to change the narrative.
Of course, the inability to shoot well from the foul line has been an issue throughout the Pikiell era with RU finishing 331st nationally at 63. 6% last season. As far as career numbers indicate, replacing Johnson (39.7%) with Agee (61.8%) will help, as will the addition of Hyatt (75.0%). Another key is getting Harper Jr. (71.2%), Baker (76.2%) and McConnell (79.3%) to the charity stripe more often.
Will the offensive style of this team be different? Mulcahy will have the ball more next season along with Baker. Better ball movement and spacing is crucial to the offense taking a step forward this coming season. Without Young, the team’s best penetrator in years, the way Rutgers creates scoring opportunities will rely more on the extra pass than the extra dribble. That could make them harder to defend, but at the end of the day they need to make shots.
Establishing reliable secondary scorers behind Harper Jr. and Baker is essential. Can Mulcahy continue to grow as offensive producer? Will McConnell be more consistent with his own production? Can Hyatt have the most productive offensive season of his career? Will Cliff and Agee give Rutgers reliable low post scoring? Overall, can the bench give this team a lift at times and at worst hold steady during stretches in Big Ten play? These are all key questions for next season.
Of course, two key areas that have been the identity of the program under Pikiell is defense and rebounding. Rutgers was inconsistent with both last season and how they evolve in those areas will be a major factor for how far this team can ultimately go.
Replacing an elite rim defender and rebounder in Myles Johnson, as well as excellent on the ball defenders in Mathis and Young will not be easy. However, the improved size and versatility of the roster will allow Pikiell to throw different looks and matchups at opponents. Omoruyi, Hyatt and Mag are three players that have the potential to be big contributors on the defensive end this coming season. Ultimately, players learning their defensive responsibilities and focusing on team defense is crucial to Rutgers’ success.
The Scarlet Knights saw its season end because Houston was an elite and relentless rebounding team thatwore them down in the round of 32 matchup last March. Expect a renewed focus in this area and continued all hands on deck approach when it comes to rebounding. The same three players in Omoruyi, Hyatt and Mag, as well as Agee are key in improving in this area. McConnell and Harper Jr. have always made Rutgers harder to beat when both are crashing the boards on the regular.
At the end of the day, the ultimate driver towards success for this team will be its motivation. After having the most successful season in 38 years end with a stomach punch loss, the veterans returning will push the will of this year’s team. Steve Pikiell’s teams have always seemed more comfortable as the underdog and having a calling card to hold up as a sign of disrespect. There has been little talk this offseason about Rutgers and despite changes, the roster is still mostly comprised of players passed over or not given much attention in their careers. Its own fan base has already doubted the 2020 recruiting class after they didn’t make an impact last season. This team will be hungry to build on last season’s success and exceed it this season. Whether they actually do will come down to all the factors discussed above.
How the rest of the Big Ten shakes out will be a factor as well. The only three teams to post winning records in Big Ten play the previous two regular seasons were Illinois (29-11), Iowa (25-15) & Ohio State (23-17). Only three other teams avoided a losing season over that same two year span in Michigan (24-13), Wisconsin (24-16) & Rutgers (21-19). Michigan and Ohio State are loaded once again, but on paper Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin look likely to take at least a step back this coming season, possibly more. Purdue might just be the favorite to win the league after another top half finish last season. Maryland has added some top talent but have lost key contributors from last season in Darryl Morsell and Aaron Wiggins. Michigan State was down last season and could be improved this year, although they still don’t appear to be near their usual elite level.
The point is there is reason for optimism in weighing the outlook for Rutgers next season. They’re returning two all-conference players in Harper Jr. and Baker, including its leading scorer and most proven playmaker, as well as the top three-point shooter and best passer in Mulcahy. They return the ultimate glue guy in McConnell, its best athlete and former top 50 recruit at center in Omoruyi while adding a starter from another high major team that made the second round of the NCAA’s in Hyatt. They added one of the most efficient low post scorers in the country in Agee, as well have two young and versatile players in Mag and Jones.
This team will be hard to put in a box based on the athleticism, size and versatility of the roster. They need to improve in certain areas to maintain and build on success, but underestimating certain players to have the potential to make another jump this season would be a mistake. Harper Jr. and Mulcahy has improved every season. Baker and McConnell could have their best seasons if they can stay healthy. Omoruyi is just scratching the surface, as is Jones. There are a certain amount of unknowns with this team, but also far more that we do know.
Expectations should remain high and anything less than another top half of the conference finish and a return trip to the NCAA Tournament would be a disappointment. As much as people are concerned with who Rutgers lost after last season, remember that different doesn’t necessarily mean worse. They will be different, but the potential to be better certainly exists. Pikiell’s long term vision for what he ultimately wants this team to be is closer to becoming a reality than ever before. That should give fans a reason for optimism above all else.
Fickell Tabbed For Dodd Trophy Watch List
Complete Preseason Watch List
CINCINNATI – University of Cincinnati football head coach Luke Fickell was on of 17 coaches named to the preseason watch list for the 2021 Dodd Trophy presented by PNC, the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation and Peach Bowl announced.
The watch list was created through a selection process by the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation and Peach Bowl, Inc., taking into consideration each program’s graduation rate, commitment to service and charity in the community, projected success for the 2021 season and Academic Progress Rate (APR). Coaches in the first year with their current team are ineligible to receive The Dodd Trophy.
View the complete preseason watch list online.
“The Dodd Trophy is the most coveted coach of the year award because it looks beyond just the results on the field and measures the overall impact these coaches have had on their players, universities and communities. This was never more pivotal than last season,” said Jim Terry, chairman of the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation. “Each of these coaches showed unwavering commitment to the award’s three pillars of scholarship, leadership and integrity, despite all of the obstacles and challenges they had to overcome this past year in the face of the pandemic. “
Fickell is entering his fifth year at Cincinnati and led the Bearcats to an AAC Championship and New Year’s Six Bowl Game in 2020. Projected as a preseason Top-10 team, UC has won 31 games over the last three seasons, including back-to-back 11-win campaigns in 2018 and 2019 and three-consecutive bowl games. The Bearcats have a school-record 20-game winning streak at Nippert Stadium and have forced a turnover in 20-straight games, the longest active streak in the NCAA FBS.
Cincinnati opens the 2021 season on Saturday, Sept. 4, against Miami (OH) in the 125th Battle for the Victory Bell at 3:30 p.m. ET inside Nippert Stadium.
Visit the football tickets page to reserve your season tickets now!
ABOUT THE DODD TROPHY
Managed by Peach Bowl, Inc., The Dodd Trophy, college football’s most coveted national coaching award, celebrates the head coach of a team who enjoys success on the gridiron, while also stressing the importance of scholarship, leadership and integrity – the three pillars of legendary coach Bobby Dodd’s coaching philosophy.
ABOUT THE BEARCATS
Cincinnati finished 9-1 in 2020, winning the American Athletic Conference Championship and playing in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, a New Year’s Six Bowl. The Bearcats return 16 starters from last season’s squad, including Ridder and seven-time All-America selection Ahmad Gardner along with All-AAC selections Darrian Beavers, Marcus Brown, Coby Bryant, Myjai Sanders, Tre Tucker, Josh Whyle and Michael Young Jr. The 2021 roster projects to have nearly 40 local players who grew up and played high-school football in the tri-state area.
BUY TICKETS NOW • SUBSCRIBE TO ESPN+
New season ticket holders who make their purchases on a Friday between 9 a.m. and noon ET will be entered in a drawing to win various Bearcats prizes. Fans should follow @GoBEARCATS on social media and tune in each Thursday this summer for weekly prize announcements.
FOLLOW THE BEARCATS
For all the latest information on Cincinnati football, please visit GoBEARCATS.com. For up-to-the-minute updates, follow Cincinnati football (@GoBearcatsFB) and Coach Fickell (@CoachFick) on Twitter. You can also find the Bearcats on Instagram and Facebook.
Lacrosse sticks – huge selection at the best prices
Lacrosse is a team sport played with a lacrosse stick and ball, and the objective is to score by throwing the ball into the opposing teams goal. There are four versions of lacrosse: men’s lacrosse, women’s lacrosse, box lacrosse, and intercrosse. Each version of lacrosse may require a specific lacrosse stick depending on the rules of the game and playing field.
What is a shaft in lacrosse?
A lacrosse stick consists of a triangular-shaped head with a pocket of interwoven string or nylon that is used to catch and pass the ball. The shaft is the handle part of the lacrosse stick that allows you to maneuver it during play.
What lacrosse sticks do you need?
The type and size of the stick you use depend on your position and the rules that govern the version of the game you’re playing. For instance, a goalie will use a lacrosse stick with a 40-inch shaft, attackers and midfielders use a 30-inch shaft, and defenders use a 60-inch shaft. The size of the pocket on the head can also vary based on how you want to control the ball.A wide pocket makes it easier to catch the ball and is mostly used by goalies and defenders. A narrow pocket allows for accurate throwing and better ball retention, which are essential when playing a midfield or attacker position. Each version of the game has variations on the types of positions, but the basic positions are:
How long are women’s lacrosse sticks?
Lacrosse sticks for women players are generally between 35. 5 inches to 43.25 inches long. The head of the lacrosse stick for women is also smaller than it is for men. For instance, the head of the stick for male players is 6 to 10 inches wide, whereas the head of a lacrosse stick for women is 7 to 9 inches wide. The pocket on the lacrosse stick for women is also shallower than it is for men.
What are some of the brands that make lacrosse sticks?
Lacrosse players use protective equipment when playing lacrosse, but the most important piece of equipment is a lacrosse stick.You cannot play lacrosse unless you have one. There are several companies that produce top-quality sticks that are appropriate for beginners, intermediate, and advanced lacrosse players. These brands include:
- STX Crux 300 and 500
- Warrior Rabil
- Maverik Charger Complete
- Debeer Gripper Pro
Data on the upcoming flagships of Opel and Cadillac – DRIVE
The new Opel model can be launched in the series at the end of 2013.However, all information is unofficial. Representatives of the company did not confirm these rumors, however, they did not refute them, limiting themselves to the phrase “No comment”.
In Rüsselsheim, they are working on a major new luxury model, which is likely to revive the Omega name, which has been absent from the Opel lineup for almost a decade. This sedan will be redrawn from the four-door Cadillac XTS, in turn, created on a stretched version of the GM Epsilon II platform (Opel Insignia).Thus, the Opel flagship will be approximately 5.13 m in length (it will turn out to be an overgrowth of the E-class, practically F), and 2.84 m will go to its wheelbase. Supposed engines: naturally aspirated internal combustion engine 3.6 V6 (305 hp), as well as turbocharged units – petrol 2.8 V6 (325 hp) and diesel 2.0 (195 hp). The transmission is an eight-speed automatic. Drive – front or optional full with an electronically controlled limited slip differential.
As basic equipment, the new Omega should receive adaptive air suspension on the rear axle.
Of the interesting notions, a multimedia system with gesture control is expected on Omega. In general, the equipment with electronic systems (including active safety) promises to correspond to the luxury class.
It is curious that the “source” itself, that is, a rather rather big Cadillac XTS, does not seem to American bosses solid enough to fight the German representatives of the F segment (namely, the BMW 7 and Mercedes-Benz S sedans). Recently, General Motors has approved a plan for the release of the flagship Cadillac, which will be one step higher than the X-TI-es.As previously assumed, it will be a rear-wheel-drive giant, built on a completely new platform called, by a funny coincidence, the Omega. The car will receive V6 and V8 engines, an eight-speed automatic and four-wheel drive as an option. The release of this new item is scheduled for 2015. It should help the company strengthen its presence in the luxury four-door market, especially in China.
The exterior of the upcoming giant from Cadillac will be drawn based on the Ciel concept car.90,000 Bernie Moises “Ink”
Bernie Mojzes, “Ink”, 2011 ©
Ancient Horror sat quietly at the edge of the bar, smoking and staring at the olive in the empty martini glass. A soft pseudopod held a Virginia Slim with menthol to one lips, the other mouth was tightened with Camel without a filter, clamped in a wrinkled, clawed hand, the third, for lack of better, puffed with a cigarette. Smoke oozed from the various holes in the amorphous body, visible or hidden by the cheap suit he squeezed himself into with each breath.
One of the mouths released a thin, delicate tongue, which sensually wrapped itself around the olive at the bottom of the glass. The tip of his tongue pushed pepper out of the olive, and then tossed it into his mouth.
I wonder if he really disliked peppers, or was Ancient Horror a way of showing sexual frustration, sort of like people ripping off labels from beer bottles?
The bar stool next to him remained empty, despite the fact that it was Friday night and the kids from college were a dime a dozen.I walked through a sea of serious drunken faces. The snippets of conversations heard on the way were less about sports and relationships and more about the influence of context on Hegel’s perception and dialectics, as well as one extremely silly comparison of Umberto Eco to Dan Brown. Even linguistic students and philosophers wanted nothing to do with the Ancient Horror.
Or so it seemed.
However, the bar is still a public place and seems to be safe here. I sat down next to the Ancient Horror and waved to the bartender.
– To me the same as to him, – I said, looking at the Horror. – Or her. Whoever it is. But shake it up. And the next circle follows me.
Three eyes of Terror looked at me gratefully.
“Thank you,” he said. The word bubbled through his body like a Paleolithic bitumen pit. And yet I caught a tinge of suspicion in his words.
“No problem.” I touched the brim of my hat — a crumpled and rainy fedora, but that was all I could afford — and then held out my hand.- My name is Harry. Harry Levinson.
Horror squeezed out of itself a soft, smooth female hand with manicured nails. They were covered with black varnish, the nail on the ring finger had time to peel off slightly, and the varnish itself, it seems, was applied quite a long time ago, because the cuticle had no paint. One eye stared at me, twitched, drawing attention. I blinked, and when I looked down again, the woman’s hand was gone – a muscular and tattooed man’s hand was clutching my palm. I was even surprised how real she felt.
“Nice to meet you, Henry Levinson,” said Horror. A chorus of disharmonious voices said in unison, “You can call us Sam.
– Sam? – The name sounded outrageously normal.
– This name is no worse than others and better than many. And sometimes we play the piano. He waved a prominence-like tentacle behind his back, where, through the sea of students, I made out a lopsided piano. On its lid were plastic glasses and empty beer bottles in a mess.
– And okay?
– S-s-happens, – hissed Horror, as if steam had escaped from a burst pipe.
The bartender returned with martini glasses and a large shaker. He threw an olive into one of the glasses, put a slice of lemon on the edge of the other and poured the contents of a shaker over them. The viscous liquid resembled bloody ink. I glanced sideways at the bartender.
“Vodka, cranberry juice and black sambuca,” he explained. – Strange, but quite safe. You’re sixteen fifty.
I handed him a twenty.
The taste was disgusting. Sam chuckled a dozen mouths, not all of which were human:
“Just like mother’s milk,” he said. “Now tell us, Mr. Levinson, what you want.
It was foolish to hope that I could blend in with the crowd here, pass for someone who just dropped by for a drink after a long week. People like me have their own bars, where we sit alone and try to find absolution in endless servings of bourbon.However, for some sins, absolution cannot be obtained, at least in a bottle, at least, and the best thing we can do is try to remember about shaving at least once a week.
It was a bar for kids who had all their hopes and dreams ahead of them. I buried mine many, many years ago.
I had a photograph in my jacket pocket. The girl held the lacrosse club with fierce determination in her eyes, as if she could take her head off with it. Six months ago, right before the winter session, she disappeared.I put the photo on the table.
– Have you seen this girl?
Several eyes of the Ancient Horror were staring at me, turning, trying to see the face from all angles.
– You are not from the police.
– The search has stopped. I am a private detective. I was hired to find her.
– Who … – The voice broke off, sounds seethed under the skin of the creature, it seemed to me that it was arguing with itself. It pulled out a thin tendril and tapped the photograph with it. – We saw this woman. She sometimes went to the bar, sat down and talked to us.- Usyk carefully raised the photo, brought it to the gathered together eyes to study it. And then Horror suddenly crumpled the paper and threw it into my lap.
– You won’t find her if she doesn’t want to.
– Her name is Angela. – Sometimes, using the name, you can humanize the victim. However, I was not sure if humanization would have any effect on the creation of something like the Ancient Horror. – She …
– We know her name, – something like anger flashed in his voice, I was waiting for what would happen next, but he just looked away from me with his eyes on the stalks.
I took another sip from my glass. The taste was still nasty.
A murmur arose in the sea of students, which slowly grew into shouts of approval. The accumulation of bodies swirled in a whirlpool, and a young woman burst out of it, flushed and nervous. She stepped timidly towards the Ancient Horror.
– I beg your pardon, – he said. With a hint of a wiggle of my eyebrows, set apart from my eyes, I slid off the stool and retreated to the wall behind Horror.
– Of course.
He slapped the stool with a human hand and took the money that the woman had put there. Fencing off from everyone with his bulky body, he quickly leafed through the stack of banknotes under the gaze of one eye, while the rest of him exchanged harmless jokes about the girl among themselves. Her name (Megan), her profile (education with a focus on literature), her favorite band (Radiohead), and a hentai artist (she wasn’t really into that kind of thing).
And then he handed the money back:
– We’re sorry, but one hundred and fifteen dollars is missing here.
The news, like a wave, passed through the crowd, and soon the transmitted fives, tens and even twenty poured over the hands to gather on the bar in front of the Horror. He counted the money and handed Megan three twenty change.
– Are you sure? – he asked.
– I think so.
“You have to be sure,” he said in dissonant chorus. “You must want it yourself. Not for them.
She smiled palely.
– Yes. Yes, I want.
Ancient Horror pointed towards the door behind the piano.The crowd parted. I returned to my seat.
– Then go. Take off all the clothes you want to leave intact, and then turn off the lights. We will come to you soon.
Horror watched the girl to the door, then moved the money to the bartender:
– Enough to cover the bill?
– Yes, with a vengeance.
“Okay,” he said, rising from his seat. – Mr. Levinson, the next circle is behind us.
– Thank you, Sam. The bartender turned to me. – Another ink martini?
My taste buds protested.
– Maybe later. Whiskey is fine. Jameson, if any. ”I heard the door click shut behind me, and the bar exploded with cheers of approval again. – Better a double portion.
“We’ll have to wait,” the bartender said, seemingly an eternity ago. He did not explain why. The jukebox and chatting of customers drowned out most of the sounds coming from outside the door. Apart from the occasional scream that ripped through the air, there was no sign of anything out of the ordinary.
This went on for almost an hour.
When the door opened again and Megan stepped into the doorway, wet and naked, the clients stepped back and cleared the passage for her. Staggering on unsteady legs, she walked to the bar, to the corner that Sam occupied – it had been so empty all this time.
She climbed onto a stool and leaned back, arching her back until her head and shoulders were on the counter. She closed her eyes and breathed deeply, almost sighing.
She was covered with streaks of a viscous liquid: pearly white and transparent, and dark blue, fluorescent like the sea, and curls of inky black.They gathered in the hollow in the throat, between the breasts, in the navel. It ran down the legs, dripped from the heels and limp fingers, soaked the hair.
Those gathered in the bar surrounded her and moved closer. One sucked Megan’s feet, the other knelt between her legs, tongue crawling deeper in search of what might be hidden there. They licked her belly, breasts, tasted her lips, squeezed pearl rivulets from her hair. One of the women sat down on my lap and raised her limp fingers to her lips.
– What’s so special about that? I asked. – What is it?
“Hallucinogen,” she replied, dropping a drop on her tongue. She wore a Yale T-shirt cut off above the waist, taut so tightly across her chest that piercings were visible.
Another client climbed onto the bar and climbed over to tackle the back of Megan’s head. His skinny face, which looked even longer because of a ragged beard, looked exactly like that of the fugitive from the Mystery Bus [This refers to the Mystery Tour Bus of The Beatles.- Approx. per.], except for horn-rimmed glasses and a polyester T-shirt with wide lapels.
“Not hallucinations, man,” he said. – Visions. It’s like a god touched you.
“It doesn’t matter,” Yale replied. “It’s better than acid and doesn’t take away that much.”
She scooped up some of the liquid from Megan’s collarbones and brought it to my lips.
– Does it take it wrong? I asked.
– Half an hour. An hour at the most.
I didn’t resist when her sticky fingers slipped into my mouth.
I swam in a warm sea. Around me are strange creatures: jellyfish, bony fish with massive, armored heads. Creatures with shells and tentacles that swam, pushing water through their soft bodies. Some I caught with translucent thin tendrils and absorbed them, where I flattened them and kept them until they decomposed enough to be eaten. Attracted by the blood of my victims, something huge and sharp-toothed soon appeared – to immediately turn around and disappear into the dark depths.
The road wound like moonlight over the waves. Yellow lines all the way to the horizon, and another hour to the next stop. I shook my head and blinked until the lines straightened. Three more days to go home. The hands on the steering wheel in front of me were large – strong hands with broken nails and tough calluses. I reached for a thermos: the coffee was cold, but I drank it anyway.
The face was on fire. The frighteningly huge hand came forward again. Tears burned my eyes. She loomed over me, her face contorted with anger, a permanent cigarette hanging from her lips.
“Sorry, Mom,” I said. “I wasn’t going to…” I cried so hard that the words got stuck in my throat, and then suddenly splashed out in a tangled stream. But she could not be persuaded. It doesn’t matter that I didn’t want to be bad. It doesn’t matter because I was bad and deserved it all. But I still struggled, kicked and thrashed, tried to bite when she lifted my dress and pulled down her panties, and the worst thing that I remember was the touch of a cigarette.
Something soft was lying under my head.Soft, sticky and warm, it moved beneath me like a calm sea.
I peeled my face off Megan’s sticky chest and sat down. There were people here and there in the bar, face down on the bar or at a few tables, or sitting on the floor, leaning against the wall. Some lay with their heads resting on the knees of others.
“Twenty-five minutes,” said the bartender. – Going for a record. You probably didn’t take too much.
– Don’t you …
– I’m at work. And then, someone has to look after the order.I’ve locked the door and make sure no one takes advantage of the situation.
“Reasonable,” I said. – I have to go. Will you let me out?
– Of course. Found what you were looking for?
“Maybe,” I replied. – It may very well be.
I figured out what happened to Angela. At least in general terms. The question remained how to prove it. And can she be saved?
Only the Ancient Horror could answer these questions, but the next evening he did not appear at the bar – as well as the next day.
“He needs time to recuperate,” the bartender explained to me. “He’s not as young as he used to be.
I thought about that narcotic vision I had – when I was swimming in the ancient sea. Some of the creatures I’ve seen were the predecessors of dinosaurs. I found them in the reference book: ammonites, trilobites. In my honestly superficial review of the fossil record, I have found nothing that resembles Sam. But it didn’t really mean anything.
The next night Sam didn’t show up either, and no one knew where he was when he didn’t go to the bar.Maybe he had a house – an ordinary, country house, with a vinyl facade and a trimmed lawn, or maybe he lived in the river. What’s the difference? I didn’t have any other leads anyway, so I just kept going back to the bar.
A week passed, and when I made my way to the bar on Saturday night, battling the pouring rain and streams running down the sidewalks, I found it almost as packed as the night I first encountered the Ancient Horror. Sam was already there, perched on his high stool at the counter and sipping a blood-ink martini.
I sat down next to me and the bartender met me with a portion of whiskey.
“Good afternoon, Mr. Levinson,” Sam said. – We hope you’re okay?
– Only got a little wet. I shook the water off my hat.
– Yes, it has not been such good weather for a very long time. Don’t you think humidity works wonders for our appearance?
We chatted about the weather, global warming, and the upcoming elections. Discussing politics with a shapeless and unimaginably ancient creature was surreal.We pretended that I didn’t come here for Angela, and Sam had no answers to my questions.
In the end, I was already discouraged, but, rummaging in my jacket pocket, I fished out an envelope. There was a thousand dollars – exactly the same amount Megan gave last week. It was an advance on expenses, kindly provided by Angela’s mother.
– Why? Sam asked.
– Because you didn’t tell me something, but I want to know. This is the only way I know of getting closer.
– For whom? The scabbard took the envelope from my hand and slipped it back into my jacket pocket. – We have to refuse.
– Is it because I’m a man?
“Perhaps,” he said.
Sam looked at me intently.
– It doesn’t matter. Yes, more often women, but this is their choice, not ours. Men are somewhat more constrained in their actions, especially in the presence of a competitor.
– Perhaps because a creature with tentacles is more attractive to women?
Something slipped down my foot and got into my trouser leg, higher up my leg.It was cool and dry like a silky snake, and its touch was so skillful that I was aroused even before it passed my knee. I was about to press my hand against the elongated mound on my trousers to stop him, but I myself offered money for it, and if I back down now, I won’t see trust.
It slid along my scrotum and along my penis, and then it opened. It absorbed the head, first its very tip, and then a little more, until it closed on the trunk.I felt it stretching like a snake swallowing an egg. The dense irregularities of this shell squeezed the skin, and the muscles pulsed around the flesh, swallowing it deeper and deeper until they pressed against the pubis. Part of that thing stretched out to cover the scrotum. It started from the left side: first it grabbed my left testicle, and then …
Then everything stopped, a thin tentacle slid over my leg, and I gasped loudly.
“I beg your pardon,” the Ancient Horror said, and I had to gather all my strength to come to my senses and find that a young woman is standing in front of us and holding an envelope with money.
It was Yale, although today she was wearing a tight black dress and stiletto heels.
“Of course,” I answered, and stood up to make room. Passing by, I touched her hand and felt her trembling with anticipation and not a bit afraid. I understood her very well. – Have fun.
I watched them both disappear into the back room, and I felt … What? Jealousy? Annoyed? Anger? The weight of forty-six mis-lived years?
The Ancient Horror made his choice, finding me unsuitable.
I pushed my way through the crowd, trying not to rub myself on anyone with a member.
It was still raining outside, I stood in the middle of the parking lot, letting the wind blow the waves of cold water over my body, and looked at the lightning.
And then he turned, walked back into the bar and waited for Yale to return.
The next day I paid a visit to a client, Claire Cassidy, Angela’s mother. She sat tensely on the couch in the deceptively bright and comfortable living room, taking a drag on the Marlborough Light.She did not offer me to sit down.
I turned the low chair so that I could see her, not the TV, and sat on the armrest.
– So? She put the cigarette in the ashtray, which had been recently cleaned and already filled to the brim. Her voice was as intense as herself. – What did you find out about my daughter’s whereabouts?
What could I say? She’s gone. She – no, she did not die, strictly speaking, but she went forever where you will not get her.
– Do you know any reason why Angela could have left home?
– She wouldn’t dare.Claire knocked the cigarette out of the pack with trembling fingers, pressed it to her lips and brought the light of the lighter to the tip, automatically inhaling.
I waited for her to hide the cigarettes in her purse.
– You have already lit one.
Claire threw a cigarette in my face – it didn’t fly far and fell on the carpet.
– She would … not … dare!
I left the cigarette to smolder.
– This is what I know. She wanted to change her profile. She hated marketing. She wanted to do with her life what she wants to do, not what you want.And you? You stopped paying for her tuition. They undermined her financial situation, canceled the rent of the apartment. She was last seen walking towards the river. She said she was going where you could no longer hurt her.
– She …
– Dead? I shrugged. – Actually, I have nothing to answer. All I can say is that in three weeks I learned a lot about her, you don’t deserve to know. She was tough, quick-witted and tenacious, and if she is alive, you will never find her.And if not, you will not find her body either. And nobody will find it.
Claire Cassidy stared at me, then took another cigarette out of her purse, breaking it in the process. However, she lit it anyway.
“You’re fired,” she said in a voice strained with anger. – Get out of my house.
She will probably send me a claim for damages later. It didn’t bother me: there are practically no weak points in my standard contract. I went back to the office and typed out an expense report.
I dared to return to the bar only after almost a month. It took a long time to scrape together the money: someone poured sugar into the gas tank of the car, and my poor old Honda demanded a major overhaul.
The jukebox was off and I heard the sound of a piano through the hum of conversations. We played pretty well. One of Scott Joplin’s ragtimes, however, I did not understand which one. When the music ended, I stepped out of the crowd and raised my glass:
– Play again, Sam!
– Mr. Levinson.Still in business as far as we can see?
– Nope. I was fired early.
Many eyes turned to look at me.
– Then why are you here?
I tried to fake my usual grin, but I couldn’t control my face – I just curled my lips.
– I need to know one thing. Not for business. For nobody. Just for yourself.
– One thing?
I put the envelope with the money on the lid of the piano.
– Several things.
The Ancient Horror looked me over in silence, then pushed the envelope back. For a moment I felt despair, but then he reached out with a pseudopod for the handle of the door to the back room. The door flew open.
“Take off all the clothes you want to leave intact,” he said, “and then turn off the lights. We’ll be joining you shortly.
This was not what I expected. Well, I had no idea what to expect. Maybe beds? The room was empty except for the closet in which I hung my clothes and put my shoes on.On one of the walls were mirrors and a machine-tool, like in a dance school. Maybe there really was a school here at one time, although that’s odd for a back room in a pub. The floor was covered with linoleum tiles – yellow and avocado. Just like in the seventies. In one corner was a rusty drain grate. I tried not to think too much.
But he looked in the mirror. No, in vain, of course: getting old sucks. Few things are as unattractive as a middle-aged man. In the fluorescent light of industrial lamps, this is even worse.I left the unfinished glass on the piano. At a distance of some ten feet – and unimaginably far.
I slapped the switch and waited.
The light from the bar blinded me for a moment, and then the door closed, and the Ancient Horror and I were left alone. I heard him sliding across the floor, like snakes crawling around the room, surrounding me.
It was too late to run.
“Don’t touch me. Lord, let it not touch me! ”
– May I change my mind? I asked.The voice faltered.
The answer came from everywhere:
– Of course. Do you want to stop?
Thin tentacles crawled up my legs, and chills began to pound me. Or I just shuddered. I do not know exactly.
– Are you sure?
I bent down to touch the tentacles that had already reached my waist. They were soft and poked between my fingers like cats begging for food.
– I was not. But now yes. Thank you.
I felt the touch of my lips on my neck.Teeth nibbled on my ears. A gentle touch on the back, I was surrounded. Something ruffled my hair. The mouth pressed against my mouth – it opened, feeling it with its tongue.
The member was on fire. Wood … no. Sam. Sam touched my face, chest, back. Wrapped his legs with something like a hundred hungry mouths. He touched me almost everywhere. Everywhere except for the penis.
The darkness was absolute.
– What should I do? I asked.
– Nothing. – Voices sounded around me. – This is for you.
And then there was light.
Just a blue light that swayed at the end of the pseudopod hung right in front of my face. Like an angler fish.
I threw this image out of my head: a Lovecraft monster with tentacles is better than these teeth.
The light pulled down, went down and hung right in front of my penis. The tentacle reached forward, touched the tip. The member jumped – the glowing tentacle followed him like a dancing cobra. One more touch.
And it slid inside.
A hundred tentacles lifted me off the floor and brought me to the mirror, they lit more – bioluminescent, like an angler’s bait, letting me see my reflection. What was pushing into the urethra burned brighter until it began to show through the skin. I felt my penis swell as the blue light moved along its entire length, disappearing somewhere under the scrotum. I watched, hung motionless as it slid in and back, very slowly at first, and then faster.
A thin tentacle that was moving in me bloomed with wide shimmering petals – they twisted around the head of the penis, and then, as then, slowly grabbed the entire organ as a whole, crawled along the trunk with a pulsating tremor, while the thin process continued to enter and exit me.The sensations were indescribable.
A chorus sounded over the ear:
– We think you’re ready now. Were we wrong?
I nodded. I was lifted and laid on my back – on a bed that slid and crawled under me, it wrapped around my waist and pressed my arms to my sides. Something invisible crawled through the body and wrapped around his legs, pulling his knees to his chest.
Something wet stirred between the legs, pushed gently. I gasped and tensed.
– Relax. – A dozen voices.A hundred. Much more.
I took a deep breath and let it out slowly.
And it rushed into me. It was more than I could have imagined. I felt myself being stretched – not only the sphincter, but also the abdomen. In the darkness, it seemed that even under the skin something was slipping.
– How far can you go? – that was the last thing I said. Something slippery pushed against his lips and began to throb in his mouth. Tiny suckers caught the tongue, stuck to the inside of the cheeks.
“We’re infinite,” Sam said, “but the human body is fragile.
Something pressed hard against my prostate, something else grabbed my balls and started rolling them with something that I hoped was a tongue. I felt the inception of an orgasm, but not in the scrotum, but somewhere in the muscles of the shoulders. The body arched involuntarily, I groaned through the thing that was in my mouth. A thin tentacle slipped out of the urethra just at the moment when I poured out – into what? Into a gently throbbing tentacle.
And it also separated from me – miles and miles of branches slipped out between my legs, leaving me feeling stretched and empty. The tentacle in my mouth was removed, and everything that held me was gone. I sat down on my bed of snakes.
“Now that you’re warmed up, let’s start,” came a quiet whisper in my ears.
I didn’t know how much more I could take. I almost calmed down, and then I was touched not by a tentacle or an appendix, or a pseudopod, or a strange glowing thing, but human hands.No, not almost – I really calmed down. And even when these hands directed my mouth to a completely human penis – this I have never done before – I grabbed it as if it were the closest thing in the world, caressing it with one hand, I sucked it until it swelled and poured out in my mouth. I held on to him until he was deflated, pulled into himself and warm lips pressed against my face.
I ran my tongue between them: from the clitoris – down to the tender, moist mouth and back. I sucked on my lips, fingering my clitoris with my tongue.Sam sighed and ran his fingers through my hair, dug his nails into my back. I slid two fingers into her … into him. Something warm and wet tightened on my cock. The fingers grabbed the scrotum, penetrated where only the tentacles had been before.
I licked her until the fingers in my hair pulled tighter, and she clenched — clenched and groaned — and finished. She is? It. A thousand voices in unison with an almost infinitesimal delay.
I got up again. In the diffused blue light, I saw a transparent pseudopod pulsating around my penis.Hands caressed my legs, massaged my shoulders, opened me and penetrated with my fingers. Womens hands and mens. Old and young, different skin colors. Some had rough calluses and stiff nails and dark matted hair. Cro-Magnons? Neanderthals? Even older?
Perhaps there was something else – in the multitude that called themselves Sam, because this name is no worse than others. Tigers and bears, and even prehistoric beasts like dinosaurs and woolly mammoths. I pushed this thought in the same place as the image of the angler fish.Better not to think about that, not to give Sam ideas.
I took a deep breath and ventured to ask the question for which I came:
– Is Angela here?
Thousand Voices. A hundred adverbs. One answer:
I took it for yes.
– Can I talk to her?
Hands jerked away, the tentacle bed slid out from under me, and I remained on my knees on the bare linoleum. Only one translucent appendage coiled around a member connected me to Sam.
The blue light is brighter. The tentacle that caressed me darkened and thickened, turned into lips, mouth, face, head. The body, arms and legs were molded from it. She squeezed the base of my penis with warm fingers and removed her lips to look up at me.
“I wanted to be sure,” I said.
She brought her face closer to mine – she even breathed like a human!
– Are you sure of what? – The suspicion returned again and the hand that stroked my penis now grabbed it as if it could tear it off.
– I am sure that you are safe.
– It is, – she pressed against me, laid me on the cold floor, and then climbed up. She reached out and grabbed a member, pressed it to her vagina, fidgeted back and forth until she found the right position and sank on me.
Kissed me with soft, impatient lips.
“Thank you,” she said.
– For what?
– That you care.
– Was it worth it? I asked.- All this?
She pressed against me.
– Oh yes!
She moved on top of me until I poured in, and then curled up on my chest.
– Can you do something else for me? She asked. “When I… when I went to Sam, I did something that made them absolutely delighted.
– Sam. Them. Us. ”I felt her smile on my cheek. “Nobody else has done that since I joined. I think we can quite trust you.
– We? – Smile again. “Okay, for your sake. And … and all of you.
“Thank you,” she said, and before diving back into chaos, she told them how much they liked it.
Now the fuck has become serious. Tentacles and limbs and vaginas and mouths, breasts covered with sensitive growths that rolled under my palms. I asked for more light – I wanted to see what I was doing and what was being done to me.
The human body is not infinitely elastic like some things, but I could learn to adjust much more than was reasonable in daylight.More than one tentacle has now penetrated my ass. My mouth was filled with all sorts of things – men, women and others. Tiny dicks fucked my nostrils and ears like rabbits. Something sucked on the big toes, rubbed against the thighs, and sat on the fingers like human gloves.
Bodies appeared around me, fucked, flowed into other things, into other outlines.
I wade through the chaos, the madness that groped and fucked and sucked me, swam across seas of labia and climbed mountains of dicks.And finally I found a lump in the heart of the union that called itself Sam.
I touched it with my thumb, and a shiver ran through the room, all over them. I kissed him and licked him and sucked and he hardened back. I grabbed it in my teeth, bit it gently.
– Stronger. – Voice. – Stronger. – One more, echoing, and then others – dozens of voices. – Stronger, stronger, stronger! – And another voice – the voice that I now knew: – Yes. Now.
I bit hard and pulled at myself. Something came off.Bitter black ink splashed into my mouth, splattered over Sam’s surface, over my hands. Chaos of bodies convulsed around me. Hot liquid poured onto my back, onto my face – it was in my hair and in my ass.
I bit again – even harder. I chewed on this appendage, tearing off pieces from it, swallowing them. More ink. More semen. They rushed through me – shared memories of thousands, tens of thousands of souls.
It was too much. Quite, too much.
I woke up in the cradle of Sam’s flesh.We lay down a bit like this: I was too stunned to do anything, and Sam was just waiting for me. After a while they spoke:
“You want to join us,” they said.
“You don’t want me,” I replied. – I am a spoiled product. More bad memories than good ones.
“We have tested you,” they said, and this dissonant chorus no longer hurt me. It didn’t feel right anymore. – You are not yet ready to be with us, but when you are, we will welcome you with joy.
I nodded, trying not to show disappointment, and then got to my feet. A ball of snakes slid across the smooth floor, pointing the way, and I, naked, stepped out of the room on trembling legs into a sea of thirsty faces.
The time has come to share the gifts.
Translation by Elena Bondarenko
Illustration by Olga Malchikova
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Hunting 5×40 Digital Night Vision Monocular Telescope Handheld Camera Video Recorder Camcorder Night Vision Rifle Scope
This digital night vision device provides superior optical clarity with 5 magnification and 40 mm objective.It can be used as a telescope, camera and video, ideal for outdoor camping, wildlife watching, surveillance, caving, etc.
Digital Night Vision Monocular with 5x magnification and 40mm lens.
Multifunctional design, with camera and camcorder function: Can be used as a telescope, camera and DVR.
Superior optical clarity, high performance night vision.
Low light at a distance of 2 m to infinity, 200 m in complete darkness.
Built-in adjustable infrared illumination.
Video out any bike ride.
Robust water resistant housing.
Tripod stand. (Tripod not included)
Ideal for camping, wildlife watching, observation, caving and more.
Operating Voltage: 3.7VDC
Low Distance Light: 2m ~ infinity
Full Dark Environment: Max.200m / 656ft
Field of view: 5 ° * 3.75 °
Battery: rechargeable lithium battery (not included)