Category Archives: Sports

Women of Soccer Calendar to Shoot in NYC

New YorkSep 19, 2013 / (http://www.myprgenie.com/) — International Soccer legend John Stavros today announced the upcoming shooting of the Women of Soccer Calendar to be held in NYC.

“The Women of Soccer calendar is done in coordination with some of the major soccer events world wide.”  said John Stavros, soccer legend and creator of the Women of Soccer calendar. “This calendar will be released in coordination with the World Cup in Brazil and feature some of the worlds top female soccer stars as well as some famous models. This will be the first time the exclusive calendar will be shot in NYC.”

Stavros, in the current owner of PMP studios and 320 studios NYC’s number one Private events space in business for 24 years, a soccer promoter and former Playboy TV Art Director, has created an elite brand in the Women of Soccer Calendar. Stavros was instrumental in forming one of the first female soccer team in New York, the S.S.T.’s and has been a promoter of major soccer event worldwide for over 30 years. The Women of Soccer calendar is a special edition calendar that is printed in very limited quantities and only produced in coordination with major soccer events world wide. The outfits worn by the calendar girls will be provide by Kappa, Italy’s top sportswear brand.

“The shoot will take place at 320 Studios in Manhattan and feature a dozen ladies I have worked with and discovered. We have already cast soccer stars Lauren Bustos and Riley Westgaard, both are great players and beautiful people! The calendar will be shot at months end and be produced and released in early 2014. This will be the best Women of Soccer calendar to date,” concluded Stavros.

The schedule for the Woman of Soccer shoot is as follows. All ever will be produced at 320 studios, 320 West 37th Street between 8th and 9th avenues

  • Monday and Tuesday September 23rd and 24th from 10AM to 5PM call back and fittings and casting of talent.
  • Wednesday September 25  - The Kappa Fashion presentation to the media. As well as the local talent to be introduced that night.
  • Thursday September 26th – 2014 WOS Local Talent shoot

Local Eastern Connecticut State University Student Paige Schneider ’17 of East Lyme Member of Fall 2013 Field Hockey Team.

WILLIMANTIC, CT (09/18/2013)– Paige Schneider of East Lyme, CT, is a member of Eastern Connecticut State University‘s field hockey team.

Schneider is a midfielder on the team.

Eastern Connecticut State University’s field hockey team is off to a great start having already defeated Anna Maria College, Lasell College, and Wheelock College this season.

The win over Wheelock College Sept. 11 at the Mansfield Athletic Complex was the third straight victory for Eastern (3-1) after an opening overtime loss, It gives the Warriors their first such winning streak since the 2001 season. That year the Warriors were propelled to an 11-9 record and their only post-season tournament berth in program history.

Eastern Connecticut State University is the state’s public liberal arts university and serves approximately 5,400 students each year on its Willimantic campus and at satellite locations. A predominantly residential campus, Eastern offers more than 30 majors and 50 minors while emphasizing a strong liberal arts foundation grounded in applied learning experiences. For more information, visit www.easternct.edu.

 

 

On the web: http://meritpages.com/achievements/Local-Eastern-Connecticut-State-University-Student-Paige-Schneider-17-of-East-Lyme-Member-of-Fall-2013-Field-Hockey-Team/7309962.

Rowers Race with Tradition

IMG_1167The sun poked out from the clouds just in time on August 3 to make a “beautiful rowing day” for the New London Currach Rowers—and four other teams they hosted for the Third Annual Regatta on the Thames River off Fort Trumbull State Park.
New London Currach Rowers is the one-and-only team in Connecticut to row these light and seaworthy, traditional Irish rowboats. Formerly covered with stitched animal hides, modern currachs are built of canvas stretched over a wooden frame. The boats can hold up to four rowers and they are a deep part of Irish tradition going back well over a thousand years.
The North American Currach Association boasts ten teams nationally. East Coast crews from Albany, Annapolis, Boston, and Philadelphia joined New London for the city’s regatta, consisting of eight different races. Each team boated classes for four women, four men, two women plus two men, three women, three men, two men plus one woman, two women, and two men. The Boston rowers took home the regatta trophy.
To join, write to row.currach.nl@gmail.com; New London’s website is www.NLcurrachrowers.com
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NBRPA Selects Seven from WNBA

By Roger Zotti

Teresa Weatherspoon made basketball history by becoming the first former WNBA player selected to join the National Basketball Retired Players Association.

Before the August 6 Connecticut Sun-Los Angeles Sparks game at Mohegan Sun Casino, the National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) announced its inaugural class of former Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) players. Founded in 1992 by basketball greats Dave Cowens, Dave Bing, Archie Clark, Dave DeBusschere, and Oscar Robertson, the NBRPA has 600-plus former National Basketball Association, American Basketball Association, and Harlem Globetrotters members.
Teresa Weatherspoon made basketball history by becoming the first WNBA player selected to join the NBRPA. Currently head women’s basketball coach at Louisiana Tech, Weatherspoon, a two-time U.S. Olympian, began her WNBA career in 1997 with the New York Liberty, retiring in 2004 as a member of the Los Angeles Sparks.
“With a world-class basketball legacy and dedication to give back and serve the community, ladies like Teresa embody the traits we seek from NBRPA members,” said Otis Birdsong, a four-time NBA All Star and NBRPA Chairman of the Board.
In addition to Weatherspoon, former WNBA players Sheryl Swoopes, Penny Toler, Dawn Staley, Cynthia Cooper-Dyke, Nikki McCray, and Carla McGhee were selected. A three-time Olympian, Sheryl Swoopes began her career in 1997 with the Houston Comets and retired as a member of the Seattle Storm in 2008. She helped Houston win WNBA championships in 1998, 1999, and 2000. From 1997 to 1999 Penny Toler played point guard for Los Angeles and was, the NBRPA website reports, “the first player to score a basket in a WNBA game.” She is now the Sparks’ President & General Manager. Dawn Staley is a three-time U.S. Olympian and began her WNBA career in 1999 with the Charlotte Sting. A six-time WNBA All-Star, today she’s women’s head basketball coach at the University of South Carolina.
Cynthia Cooper-Dyke, a three-time WNBA All-Star, was a member of Houston’s 1997, 1998, 1999, and 2000 championship teams. A two-time Olympian, she retired in 2003. She was twice named the WNBA’s Most Valuable Player. Nikki McCray’s WNBA career began in 1998 with the Washington Mystics. She was a three-time WNBA All-Star and a Gold Medal winner with U.S. Olympic team, in 1996. Today she’s assistant women’s basketball coach at the University of South Carolina. A star at the University of Tennessee, Carla McGhee was a Gold Medal winner with the 1996 U.S. Olympic team. She began her WNBA career with the Orlando Miracle in 1999, retiring in 2003.
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Fall Season Keeps Fans Jumpin’

Jordan Wells headshot

 

Jordan Wells
Communication Major
S. Conn. State University

The 2013 Connecticut Tigers season is wrapping up and it’s another successful year for the Detroit Tigers Short-Season Class A affiliate. Players like Austin Schotts, Dominic Ficociello—as well as team RBI’s and runs-scored leader, Ben Verlander—made sure fans were on the edge of their seats waiting for the next big hit.
On Sunday, September 15, the stadium plays host to the Norwich Auto Show, a biggie featuring hundreds of antique cars, trucks, and street rods. The cars are a feast for the eyes, but there’s something for everyone with free-face painting, a LEGO building contest, a flea market, live music, and much more. The car show will last from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m..
Do you feel as if you were born about 500 years too late? If so, then you need to experience the Connecticut Renaissance Faire. The festivities last from September 21 to October 20 on Saturdays, Sundays, and Columbus Day at Dodd Stadium. The faire offers entertainment such as jousting knights, fire-eaters, acrobats, musicians, and a large old-world marketplace. For more information visit www.ctfaire.com.

The Connecticut Tigers season may be wrapping up, however Dodd Stadium will play host to an array of events this Fall including the Norwich Auto Show on Sunday, September 15. photo by Dave Schermerhorn

The Connecticut Tigers season may be wrapping up, however Dodd Stadium will play host to an array of events this Fall including the Norwich Auto Show on Sunday, September 15.
photo by Dave Schermerhorn

Also, this year the Connecticut Tigers will be hosting their fourth annual Oktoberfest on October 12. Festivalgoers will sample delicious craft beer from throughout the area. The giant Chili Cook-off ensures that your taste buds will thank you bigtime.
As we glide toward Hallowe’en, the October 26 Panera Bread Spook-A-Thon is the perfect costume gathering that lets you and the kids raise funds for Connecticut cancer patients and their families. The Spook-A-Thon festivities include live music, a haunted clubhouse, a pie-eating contest, hayrides, a bouncy house, cookie decorating, and a raffle. A free breakfast will be provided by Panera Bread—but don’t eat too much because there will be a cookout for lunch. Register your team today, at www.spookathonct.org!
In the meantime, keep your eye on the ball: Most likely, some of our favorites from the 2013 Connecticut team will move up in Detroit’s farm system for next year, but don’t worry…there’ll be a new round of players ready for action in 2014.
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Oz Slugger Guides Tiger Hopefuls to Success in Land Down Under

Jordan Wells headshot

 

Jordan Wells
Communications Major
Southern Connecticut State University

 

What sports come to mind when thinking about Australia? Cricket? Rugby? Soccer? Yes, you’re missing one sport—baseball—which happens to be actually played, and quite well thank you, in the home country of Connecticut Tigers manager Andrew Graham. While baseball may not be the most popular sport in the Land Down Under, it’s gaining a strong increase in interest and, more important, players.
Graham has been playing baseball as long as he could remember. He “was born into it,” he quips. In Australia, his father was a baseball coach for Graham’s older brother’s baseball team and at the young age of four Graham signed, so to speak, with a team that consisted of all seven-year-olds. Here he performed just as well as the older kids—and from then on it was apparent baseball was going to forever be a part of Graham’s life, whether Aussie or no.
When Graham was 16, the Seattle Mariners drafted him, but he did not sign because his parents wanted

Connecticut Tigers Manager, Andrew Graham, grew up in Australia where his love for baseball brought him to the United States to study and play.

Connecticut Tigers Manager, Andrew Graham, grew up in Australia where his love for baseball brought him to the United States to study and play.

him to finish high school, a decision for which Graham would later praise them. During Graham’s senior year in high school he suffered an elbow injury, which lowered his chances of being drafted by a team.
Determined to follow his dream, Graham recovered and went to the United States to study and play baseball at a junior college in Texas, and after that moved on to Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, which has been in 14 of the past 24 NCAA championships.
Finally, in 2003, the big moment came. The Detroit Tigers selected Graham in the 19th round in Major League Baseball’s June Amateur Draft. That set the stage for five seasons in the Detroit Tigers organization where he made it all the way up to the AAA Toledo Mud Hens.
But Oz was not out of his thoughts: his favorite baseball memories would come in 2006 and again in 2009 when he was selected to the Australia World Baseball Classic team. During the World Baseball Classic, Graham played against some of baseball’s most famed legends, such as David Ortiz, Albert Pujols, and Miguel Cabrera.
But the States had their allure also; in 2009, Graham accepted the job of Connecticut Tigers manager. “It’s an honor to be a manager,” Graham says, noting that there is a real challenge in working with the fine line between not precisely acting as a “teacher,” but at the same time still taking on the role of a “leader.”
Indeed, Graham enjoys that challenge, but more importantly has an extremely fulfilling, enjoyable time at his work, guiding younger players to success—so they will one day reach their goal in the big leagues.
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Boxer Shelito Vincent’s a Champion in the Making — Never Losing Faith

Shelito Vincent is the number-one-ranked Bantamweight in the U.S.

Shelito Vincent is the number-one-ranked Bantamweight in the U.S.

Vincent’s Never Too Late to Win

by Roger Zotti

New London’s Shelito Vincent says she boxes “for the therapeutic satisfaction that I’ve beaten life. I should have been dead six times over. I’ve been through so much hardship in my youth that I could write a book that would make the pages and the ink cry.”

Though her childhood and early adulthood were harrowing, “I still pulled through and chased my dream….It’s never too late—so never lose faith.”

A second reason is “for the kids—to show them there is hope, to show them their dreams can happen as long as you work your hardest and don’t give up. Dedication is key.” Still another is “for love, for my mother, for my city, for my family—but most importantly for me. I was born to do this.”

Shelito, a professional prizefighter, is 33 years old, “which I hate to admit,” she says with a smile. She fights at 118-123 pounds and has a perfect 7-0 record. She’s the number one ranked bantamweight in the United States, eighth in the world, and 11th in the Women’s International Boxing Association. “I was also a 2011 National Golden Gloves Champion as an amateur,” she adds.

Her biggest challenge as a professional has been “the transition from amateur to pro, and also getting sponsors. So here I’d like to thank Goldy’s in New London, BMW of Warwick, RI, the great Adian Vega for keeping my head so laced up come showtime, and Avant Gard Spa of Cumberland, Rhode Island.”

Evaluating her progress at this juncture in her career, Shelito says, “I’m signed with Jimmy Burchfield at Classic Entertainment & Sports, and my progress is phenomenal. I don’t think there’s a busier female fighter out there. Most females don’t move, but I’ve fought seven times since October 7, 2012. That’s unheard of. They take good care of me at CES.”

The Resident asked Shelito what she did during the day of a fight, during those cruel hours before round one. “I used to get stressed and nervous to the max,” she replies. “Now it’s just another day. I laugh with the crew. Then I warm up [until] it’s ready for war. I realize when I get in there, when I’m in the ring, we’re just dancing. Hands can’t hurt me.”

 

Fiercely proud of her Italian and Cape Verdean heritage, her success enables her to give back to the community. For example, she volunteers for the Special Olympics and visits “schools to talk to kids about building character and against bullying.” She helps out with children’s reading programs, has raised money for different cancer fundraisers (her mother passed away at age 37 from leukemia), and addressed New London’s Hope Week Conference on Effective Leadership.

In addition to being trained by Peter Manfredo, Sr., Shelito’s team consists of Mary Del Pino Morgan, Steve Maze, Marcia Agripino, Noemi Bosques, and Ricky Pierce. “It’s the best team out there. I’ve never been in such great shape in my life.” And as for who’s Shelito’s next opponent, she says “We’re lookin’ into a few right now.”

 

Swatch Skiers Cup 2013 Teams

Captain Cody Townsend (USA) leads defending champions Team Americas in the 2013 SWATCH SKIERS CUP.

Captain Cody Townsend (USA) leads defending champions Team Americas in the 2013 SWATCH SKIERS CUP.

After two groundbreaking editions of the Swatch Skiers Cup in Valle Nevado, Chile, the event comes to Europe for the first time this February! The riders that will collectively make up Team Europe and Team Americas this year were announced this week. Elite skiers from Big Mountain (freeride) and Slopestyle (freestyle) disciplines have confirmed their attendance for this one-of-a-kind showdown between continents.

Captain Cody Townsend (USA) leads defending champions Team Americas. His team is stacked with new faces such as masterful, multi-talented backcountry riders Rory Bushfield (USA), Charley Ager (USA), and Josh Daiek (USA). On the other side, Kaj Zackrisson (SWE) takes the captain’s seat for Team Europe. Zackrisson’s team benefits from the experience of returning Swatch Skiers Cup riders like Markus Eder (ITA), Paddy Graham (UK), Richard Permin (FRA), and Sverre Liliequist (SWE). Other big names are Nicolas Vuignier (SUI) and Fabio Studer (AUT) who will also attend the event. Each captain knows the other’s strengths and weakness well, as both Zackrisson and Townsend ski together on the elite Swatch Proteam.

Yet despite the intense level of competition, the event ultimately serves to promote camaraderie between riders of different backgrounds. Event co-founder Zackrisson explains: “To see after two editions how stoked and how much fun everyone has during the event is just amazing. Our main goal is to create an event that brings together like-minded people from all over the world and just have a blast laughing and competing in the same time.”

Kaj Zackrisson (SWE) takes the captain’s seat for Team Europe.

Kaj Zackrisson (SWE) takes the captain’s seat for Team Europe.

Seven of eight riders are to be announced immediately, with the captains keeping their  eighth and final riders a secret until a later date. With Townsend’s and Zackrisson’s teams nearly complete, the captains have less than one month to contemplate their winning strategy. The teams are as follows:

Team Americas:

Cody Townsend, Captain (USA), KC Deane (USA), Rory Bushfield (CAN), Charley Ager (CAN), Josh Daiek (USA), Logan Imlach (USA), Timy Dutton (USA), Rider 8 TBC.
Team Europe:

Kaj Zackrisson, Captain (SWE), Sverre Liliequist (SWE), Markus Eder (ITA), Richard Permin (FRA), Nicolas Vuignier (CH), Paddy Graham (UK), Fabio Studer (AUT), Rider 8 TBC.

“Macho” Camacho Dies at 50

Former three division champion is shot to death in Puerto Rico.

by Roger Zotti

Former three-division world boxing champion Hector “Macho” Camacho, 50, died on November 24, in a San Juan Hospital.  On November 20 Camacho was sitting in the passenger seat of a Ford Mustang parked in front of a bar in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, the fighter’s hometown, when he was shot in the jaw by a gunman. Two days later Camacho was declared clinically brain dead. After suffering a heart attack, he was removed from life support Saturday morning. The car’s driver, 49-year-old Adrian Mojica Moreno, was also shot and killed. Police found nine small packets of cocaine in his pocket and an open packet inside the automobile.

A southpaw, Camacho, who began his professional boxing career in 1982 and retired in 2010, fought some of the best fighters of his era. His record was an impressive 79-6-3 (38 KO). Inside the ring Camacho, a compactly built counterpuncher with amazing foot and hand speed, was often attired in outrageous costumes that the entertainer Cher would envy. A spit curl dangling over his forehead, he would energetically enter the ring attired as an American Indian or a Roman gladiator. There were times when he sported a loincloth and, later, a dress.

New York Daily News columnist Tim Smith quotes former welterweight and middleweight champion Sugar Ray Leonard (whose ring comeback was ended when Camacho stopped him in the fifth round in 1997) as saying, “I called him the Liberace of boxing….I loved it because you always wondered, ‘What is he going to wear next?’… Hector’s toughest fights were always outside the ring. Hector’s persona was that he was always staring death in the face.”

Camacho was born in Bayamon, on May 24, 1962. His family moved to Spanish Harlem when he was an infant. He began boxing at age eleven and soon won three Daily News Golden Gloves titles (1978-80). As a teenager he was in constant trouble with the law. Smith writes: “Like many of New York’s wayward kids in those days, he gravitated to boxing as a means of channelling his aggression. He was an instant star in the ring. Unfortunately he never escaped the demons that plagued him outside it.”

Recently professional boxing has also been hit hard with the deaths of Emanuel Steward and former welterweight and middleweight champion Carmen Basilio. Steward, 68, was called “the Godfather of Detroit boxing.” One of the best corner men in the business, among the fighters he has worked with were middleweight champion Thomas Hearns, former heavyweight titleholder Lennox Lewis, and current heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko.

The crowd-pleasing Basilio, 85, became welterweight champion in 1955 and middleweight champion in 1957. The late Angelo Dundee, corner man of Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard, once said of Basilio, for whom he was also a corner man, “You could say boxers are rare people, and Carmen Basilio is the rarest of boxers… a standup guy who would outwork anybody to achieve his goal.”

Travel well: Hector Camacho, Emanuel Steward, and Carmen Basilio.

Chris Dyson’s Race Shop – Next Stop on Survive the Drive Garage Tour 2012

A Teen Driver Safety Program

SurvivetheDrive® is an independent, not-for-profit, educational organization educating drivers of all ages, particularly vulnerable and inexperienced teenage drivers, about the often hideous and everlasting results of inattentive driving.

The primary goal is to reach every newly or soon-to-be licensed teen (or adult) through the use of a multi-media presentation by Bob Green. He focuses the students on the detrimental activity of texting, reading, drinking, phoning and any other activities that remove conscious understanding of the ever-present operational hazards of heavy, moving equipment. Bob calls this type of driving ‘Driving While Oblivious’ (DWO) and results in driver error in 93% of all crashes. Past and present novice driver training and DMV driver testing results have been shown to have little deterrent effect on these crash rates.

SurvivetheDrive presentations can be scheduled as a single assembly or as an accompanying presentation that will focus on each student’s competence and the desire to be their “Best Behind the Wheel.”

Click here for more information.

OAK Racing hoping to finish on a Shang-high note in China

Photo credit: Clément Marin/DPPI

The 6 Hours of Shanghai brings the curtain down on OAK Racing’s FIA World Endurance Championship campaign in China this weekend (27/28 October) where the French squad’s LM P1 and LM P2 contenders have two different objectives.

Its Onroak Automotive designed and built #24 Morgan-Nissan 2012 LM P2 has already racked up three WEC class podiums this year and comes into the race off the back of finishing third at the previous round in Fuji, as well as clinching second overall in the ELMS standings at Petit Le Mans last weekend. Capping such a strong end to the year with victory in China is now the priority for team owner and silver grade driver Jacques Nicolet, as well as team-mates Matthieu Lahaye and Olivier Pla.

Meanwhile, the team will continue to improve its updated #15 OAK-HPD LM P1 after it returned to the championship in Japan following a three-race absence. The package of OAK chassis, Honda Performance Development engine and Dunlop tyres – for whom OAK Racing is the exclusive LM P1 development partner – is again piloted by Takuma Sato, Bertrand Baguette and Dominik Kraihamer who will hope to build on the experience accumulated at Fuji by moving closer to the established LM P1 privateers.

Sébastien Philippe, Team Principal: “Shanghai is our last race of the season and, after the mad rush of the last three weeks, we are really hoping to finish on a high note. We made much progress and learnt a great deal about the OAK-HPD LM P1 in Fuji so should be able to make good use of the data gathered in our fight against the private teams. On the other side of the garage we have proven the pace of our Morgan 2012 LM P2 on several occasions this year with podiums, pole positions and fastest race laps. Unfortunately we have not yet fully capitalised on those opportunities. The team really deserves a victory and that’s something we will be doing our best to achieve this weekend.”

Olivier Pla, #24 Morgan-Nissan 2012 LM P2: “Like the majority of teams we have no experience of the Shanghai circuit. It’s quite a traditional layout featuring sections of tight corners and others that are very fast. We have always been there or thereabouts in terms of performance, and the recent pole position achieved at Petit Le Mans is further proof of it, so in that regard things shouldn’t change. We just need a little bit more reliability. This is the final race so it’s very important that we finish the season strongly.”

Bertrand Baguette, #15 OAK-HPD LM P1: “Shanghai is a new circuit waiting to be discovered and one that I’ve had to learn virtually. The first corner in particular is unique and features a big stopping distance and long braking zone, which requires good stability and brake balance. But there is also a very fast section where we will require both downforce and top-end speed, so finding a good compromise and set-up will be vital. Ideally we would like to demonstrate that the car and its new package is efficient and able to get closer to the other private LM P1 teams.”

6 Hours of Shanghai schedule (local time):

Friday 26 October:
10:35 – 12:05: Free Practice 1
15:30 – 17:00: Free Practice 2

Saturday 27 October:
09:15 – 10:15: Free Practice 3
13:55 – 14:15: LMP Qualifying

Sunday 28 October:
08:00 – 08:20: Warm-up
11:00 – 17:00: Race

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Speedbowl Champ Jeff Smith Coaches Third Graders

by John Stratton

The 2011 late-model-car Track Champion at Waterford Speedbowl returned to his roots on June 7, as he shared a closeup look at his car and his philosophies with 19 Third Graders at Lyme-Old Lyme’s Center School.The 2011 late-model-car Track Champion at Waterford Speedbowl returned to his roots on June 7, as he shared a closeup look at his car and his philosophies with 19 Third Graders at Lyme-Old Lyme’s Center School.

Jeff, now 21, is an Old Lyme native. He was also a student of their teacher, Leanne Williams, back in his Second Grade at Mile Creek School a dozen years ago. That was a couple of years after he began his racing career in quarter-midget cars. Close readers of The Resident may even recall a December 2004 feature that highlighted Smith’s trophy-winning early career.

His star appearance on the green fields behind the Lyme Street school was the culmination of a series of lessons in reading and understanding created by Williams, who asked the students to prepare a written list of questions for Smith based on their readings of stories and books, notably “Racing in the Rain: My Life as a Dog” which combines racing ideals with family challenges. In addition, the students viewed track videos of Jeff in action at Waterford Speedbowl, learning to analyze and describe the drivers’ challenges.

In fact, Jeff’s path to the 2011 championship in Waterford in his “American-Canadian Tour” Late Model racing car, the 2004 Monte Carlo-bodied number 15 emblazoned with sponsors’ names and logos, was not just about winning races, but more about 21 top-five finishes in the 22-race championship schedule.

“Winning a race feels pretty good,” Jeff said in response to a student question, “but it’s better to win a championship made of many races.”  Since he started racing at age 7, he figures that he’s been in 10,800 races and heat races—some short, some long, all learning experiences.

Known as “Big Country” because of his six-foot, five-inch frame and easy-going, quiet nature, he’s developed a reputation for class and sportsmanship on the track, a point emphasized by his crew chief and father, Wayne Smith. Wayne and his own father also raced at Waterford years ago. Jeff’s mother, Karen, serves as a communicator and general organizer for the group.

Eager hands go up, with questions, many questions about his car, his life, his team and his teamwork with other racers.

So, what’s it like to zip down the straightaways at over 100 mph, slow for the corners at 50, and avoid contact with many others doing the same thing, trying to win?

Jeff answers: “It’s about focus and concentration. I really know at all times where I am on the track, the corner I’m in, the number of laps I’ve gone, my position, and where I want to be next.”

Not a bad life-lesson for a Third Grader, watching attentively.