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PREP NOTEBOOK Torrance to honor Blankinship

first_imgNorth Torrance’s Kyle Cryer already had established himself as a standout receiver, but he opened eyes with a prolific performance Thursday night at Redondo. Cryer rushed an eye-popping 44 times and gained 244 yards. He scored one touchdown and had three runs of 20 or more yards, including a long of 27 yards. “I knew he had numbers like that in him in an all-purpose role, but I would have been surprised if you told me he’d have that many rushing yards, considering he’s a receiver,” North coach Todd Croce said. Cryer had more than 200 receiving yards in Week 1. He moved to the backfield to help North try to snap a winless streak that has reached three games. Cryer didn’t care about his rushing totals. “We’re just trying to piece together a season,” he said. “We’ve got five guys up front and that’s all we’ve got.” Calling in reinforcements With a rising number of premier local cross country teams bolting from the South Bay Cup, Torrance coach Israel Pose knew he needed to make a drastic change. So he called in Saugus, the No. 2 girls team in CIF Division I, to add legitimacy to the meet. Look for an intense Saugus-Mira Costa showdown on the girls side. “Maybe getting Saugus will spark an interest,” Pose said. We’ve got a lot of good teams in the South Bay, but there’s coaches who don’t bring their teams to this meet, and it’s discouraging,” Pose said. The South Bay Cup is expected to have 15 teams, including Torrance, West Torrance, South Torrance, Mira Costa, North Torrance, Leuzinger and San Pedro. Saugus is coached by Rene Paragas, a former El Camino College runner who has known Pose for years. “Rene asks me every year if he could compete,” Pose said. “I always told him no before, but maybe we need to start bringing in some outsiders. Loyola and Lakewood have asked about this meet in the past.” The Hill has no love for this event. Peninsula, Palos Verdes and Chadwick opted not to run in this year’s version of the South Bay Cup. Redondo is expected to use its lower-level runners. Rain follies Friday’s rainy football games yielded an interesting statistic. There were seven safeties in the 10 games involving local teams. St. Bernard recorded a safety against Palos Verdes, Inglewood gave up one up in its game at San Clemente, Morningside got one against Animo, Westchester allowed two in its game with Washington and El Segundo and Mary Star each had one in its matchup at El Segundo. “I think any time you get the first rains of a season, the kids aren’t used to it, the fields aren’t ready for it and there’s a learning curve that goes with playing in wet weather,” El Segundo coach Steve Shevlin said. Shevlin said El Segundo’s field is in particularly poor shape and is not equipped to handle the wear and tear the teams put on it en route to a strange final score. El Segundo won the game, 11-2. “I’m sure it was a pretty interesting score to look at,” Mary Star coach Dino Andrie said. Close, but still, a cigar Palos Verdes girls volleyball coach Pinter Aguirre had a good reason for missing Tuesday’s match against Torrance. Aguirre informed Athletic Director Mike Boyd that he would not be attending the match so that he could be with his wife, Melissa, during the birth of their son, Connor James. The 6-pound, 12-ounce, 20-inch baby was born at 8:03 p.m. Tuesday. Palos Verdes captain Joanna Bahl called Aguirre to inform him of the team’s five-game loss to Torrance shortly after Connor was born, but her reason for calling wasn’t strictly volleyball-related. “She wanted to talk about the birth first and the match second,” Aguirre said. Quick ascension Redondo’s Hayward Gray was No. 3 on the Redondo depth chart as a junior, but this year he might be one of the quickest running backs in the South Bay. Gray rushed 26 times for 288 yards Thursday against North. He has the benefit of fullback Joe Rubio, who rushed 12 times for 55 yards. “We work well together,” Gray said. “He hits the hole and I come up behind him. I think it’s a good combination.” Linsky commits Peninsula baseball coach Dennis Gonsalves said that right-handed pitcher Lenny Linsky has made a verbal commitment to play at the University of Hawaii. – John Klima, David Saunders, Tony Ciniglio160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Torrance High will retire the uniform number of the late Kim Blankinship as the highlight of a girls volleyball tripleheader on Saturday at Torrance. Blankinship, the most decorated female athlete in Tartars history with 12 varsity letters, died unexpectedly at age 31 last October. She was a first-team All-CIF selection for two years in volleyball, soccer and track. The Tartars will retire the No. 14 jersey that she wore in both volleyball and soccer following the 5 p.m. Redondo-North Torrance match and prior to the 7:30 South Torrance-Torrance match at the Torrance Challenge. “She was everything right about Torrance,” Torrance girls volleyball coach Nathan Jones said. “We’ve had big athletes come through here. Louis Zamperini has the track stadium named after him. Fred and Jason Kendall have the baseball field named after them. We thought it was appropriate to honor Kim in this fashion.” Jones said Blankinship’s parents are expected to attend the uniform retirement ceremony along with several family members. The showcase kicks off with a West Torrance-El Segundo match at 3 p.m. The Redondo-North showdown follows and Torrance closes out with South Torrance in a Pioneer League match. Tickets for the full day cost a minimum $5 donation, and the proceeds will go to the Kim Blankinship Memorial Fund. “I’m pretty sure I’m going to be wiping away tears as we go down to play our match,” Jones said. “The Blankinships are such nice people.” Cryer in the rain last_img read more

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Hamas suggests creating Palestinian army with its militants folded in

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) – The leader of Hamas suggested Saturday that the Islamic group could create a Palestinian army that would include its militant wing – responsible for scores of deadly attacks on Israelis – in the aftermath of its crushing victory in parliamentary elections. Israeli officials condemned the plan, demanding that Hamas renounce violence. Palestinian security officers, including loyalists from the defeated Fatah Party, said they would never submit to Hamas control. “Hamas has no power to meddle with the security forces,” said Jibril Rajoub, a Palestinian strongman. The Hamas chief, Khaled Mashaal, reiterated that Hamas would not recognize Israel. He also indicated attacks on Israeli civilians would continue, accusing Israel of targeting Palestinian civilians. “As long as we are under occupation then resistance is our right,” he said. Angry police stormed the parliament building in Gaza and armed militants marched into Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas’ compound in Ramallah to demonstrate their rejection of Hamas’ authority. Their defiance raised fears of a spike in violence between Palestinian factions. Clashes have already broken out between the two sides. Hamas gunmen wounded two policemen in Gaza early Saturday in what authorities said was a roadside ambush. The attack came hours after another firefight wounded a Hamas activist and two police officers, one of whom was in a coma Saturday. Hamas won 74 out of 132 seats in parliamentary elections Wednesday to Fatah’s 45. The militant group’s victory threw the fate of international aid to the cash-strapped Palestinian Authority in doubt and darkened the chances for a peace deal with Israel. Speaking from his base in Damascus, Syria, Mashaal insisted his group would not disarm and said Hamas’ military wing, estimated at nearly 5,000 gunmen in Gaza alone, could be merged into a Palestinian army. “We are ready to unify the weapons of Palestinian factions, with Palestinian consensus, and form an army like any independent state,” he said. Israeli officials demanded that Hamas look for peaceful solutions to the conflict. “If Hamas wants to be considered a partner in peace, it’s very clear what it has to do. It has to renounce terrorism, disarm, accept Israel’s right to exist and support political solutions to issues rather than pursuing violent jihad,” Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev said. Mashaal also said Hamas would abide by existing agreements with the country “as long as it is in the interest of our people.” Israel and the Palestinians have a host of agreements dealing with everything from administration to peace frameworks. Mashaal did not say which agreements he was referring to. Israeli officials have said repeatedly that they would not deal with Hamas, and Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said Israel would not rule out targeted killings against Hamas leaders if they attack Israel. Israeli airstrikes in 2004 killed Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and his successor Abdel Aziz Rantisi. “Whoever stands at the head of a terror organization and continues to carry out terror attacks against Israel is not immune,” Mofaz told Israel’s Channel 2 television. Mahmoud Zahar, an incoming Hamas parliamentarian and one of the group’s top leaders in Gaza, told “CBS Evening News” that Hamas would be satisfied only if Israel withdrew from the land it has occpied since 1967, including Jerusalem. “Why not withdraw from West Bank and Jerusalem and to release our detainees and after that – after that everybody will look at how to continue the process,” he said. Hamas’ victory shocked Fatah, which dominated Palestinian politics for four decades. Abbas ordered an investigation into why his party lost so badly. Marwan Barghouti, the jailed Palestinian uprising leader who was Fatah’s top candidate and led efforts to reform the party, appealed for Fatah to hold a general conference to elect fresh leadership, according to a statement released by his wife, Fadwa. He also congratulated Hamas and said Fatah would peacefully transfer power. “We will respect the democratic process and its results and help those who won the confidence of our people,” he said. But many in the 58,000-member security force were less conciliatory and rejected any Hamas control. “The security institution is a red line. We will not allow anyone to tamper with it,” Gaza police chief Ala Hosni said. “It will remain a powerful and impartial arm that carries out the decisions of the presidency (Abbas) and that stops any infighting or civil war.” Dozens of armed police officers briefly stormed the parliament building in Gaza City, demanding the security forces remain in Fatah’s hands and calling for Hamas members who killed police in fighting in recent months to be brought to justice. In Ramallah, hundreds of Fatah activists, including gunmen and security officers, marched into Abbas’ compound and prayed at the grave of Yasser Arafat. “We came to you Abu Amar to forgive us for what happened,” they chanted, referring to Arafat by his nickname. Abbas’ security force prevented the activists from approaching his office. Militants outside the walled compound shot in the air. “We’ll show them hell as an opposition, and we will turn the Palestinian Authority security forces into armed militia led by Al Aqsa,” Ramzi Obeidi, a leader of the Fatah-allied Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, told the crowd. Other Fatah activists staged angry protests throughout the West Bank, including in Nablus. “We are now no longer part of the cease-fire,” an Al Aqsa gunman, Nasser Haras, told the crowd, referring to a year-old truce with Israel. In Tulkarem, gunman Ibrahim Khreisheh warned against cooperating with Hamas. “Whoever will participate in a government with Hamas, we will shoot him in the head,” he said. Abbas has said he would ask Hamas to form the next government and Hamas officials said they wanted to meet him Sunday. Hamas, with no experience in government, reached out to Fatah to form a coalition, but Fatah officials said they preferred to be in opposition. Outlining his group’s plan for the future, Mashaal said it would work to reform the corruption-riddled Palestinian Authority and continue its resistance to Israel. In a move likely to anger Israel, Mashaal said Hamas would release Ahmed Saadat, leader of the radical Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. He is being held at a Palestinian jail under Western supervision for ordering the assassination of an Israeli Cabinet minister in 2001. President Bush told “CBS Evening News” on Friday that the United States would cut aid to the Palestinian government unless Hamas, which the U.S. lists as a terror group, abolishes its militant wing and stops calling for Israel’s destruction. Speaking at the World Forum in Davos, Switzerland, former President Clinton suggested Saturday that the West should be more open to eventual talks with Hamas. “You’ve got to find a way to at least open doors … and I don’t see how we can do it without more contact,” he said. Hamas might “acquire a greater sense of responsibility, and as they do, we have to be willing to act on that.”last_img read more

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