WI Women, India in crucial clash

first_imgMOHALI, India (CMC): West Indies Women will seek to banish the disappointment of their defeat to England Women last week when they take on hosts India Women in a virtual must-win game in the Women’s Twenty20 World Cup here today. After starting the tournament with two straight wins to top Group B, they stumbled in a heart-wrenching last ball defeat on Thursday, to tumble into second spot alongside Pakistan Women on four points. West Indies Women must now ensure they beat India Women and hope England also defeat the Pakistanis in order to clinch a semi-final spot outright. nerve-racking scenario Even if they win but England lose, the Caribbean side will finish in a three-way tie with England and Pakistan Women on six points, with net run rate deciding the two semi-finalists. This nerve-racking scenario is one captain Stafanie Taylor is desperately hoping to avoid. “I think we are very much confident. We know what we need to improve on. We worked really hard at training today and I think the girls are ready,” she said yesterday. “We just have to try and outsmart the Indians because we know they are going to come with spinners, so we just have to be ready.” West Indies Women have been let down by their batting in the tournament. In the last game against England in Dharamsala, they could only muster 108 for four off their 20 overs, but they bowled and fielded magnificently to almost successfully defend the total. Taylor, her side’s most dependable batsman, said a bigger effort was needed from the batsmen today. “We need to see some positives in the batting. The bowlers have been doing so well and I think we need to help out the bowlers. We need to put some runs on the board so the bowlers can have something to bowl at,” she urged. Taylor admitted that the narrow defeat to England Women had hurt. She said that after reducing England from 59 without loss in the ninth over to come within a wicket and one delivery of victory, missing out had been difficult to absorb.last_img read more

Horn wants Pacquiao rematch to settle rules row

first_imgPacquiao fights on: ‘I love this sport’ Missile-capable frigate BRP Jose Rizal inches closer to entering PH Navy’s fleet Duterte’s ‘soft heart’ could save ABS-CBN, says election lawyer ‘A bit heartbreaking’“I was shocked at Teddy Atlas when he said straightaway after I won that he didn’t think I’d won,” Horn said. “I was like, ‘Thanks. Biggest fight of my life and you reckon I lost.’“That was a bit heartbreaking, especially because I felt like I won. Inside my heart I felt I won, but when you hear people like Teddy say it to my face was a little bit heartbreaking.“I lost a little bit of respect for Teddy after that.”Pacquiao, who has an option for a rematch, has indicated he plans to continue his boxing career but has not said yet signaled his intentions to veteran promoter Bob Arum.Arum told AFP he believed Pacquiao would be reluctant to retire after a loss.READ: Pacquiao: Bob Arum hasn’t paid me and Freddie Roach“I went in after the fight when he was being stitched up and I told him don’t make any decisions for a couple of weeks,” Arum said. “I would think he would probably not want to retire on a defeat.”The legendary promoter said any rematch in Australia would likely be held in November, with the Docklands Stadium in Melbourne the likeliest venue.A return to Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium, the venue of the first Horn-Pacquiao fight, was unlikely because of the possibility of rain.“If it was Brisbane you couldn’t do it in Suncorp because of the risk of rain,” Arum said. “You’d have to do it in a 14,000-seat arena. LATEST STORIES “But in Melbourne, you have a place that’s bigger than Suncorp, which has a retractable roof so we don’t have to worry about intense heat or rain.” CBBSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ Duterte’s ‘soft heart’ could save ABS-CBN, says election lawyer The World Boxing Organization moved to quell the controversy by re-scoring the fight with a different set of judges — who found that Horn was the winner by seven rounds to five.READ: WBO review rules Horn beat PacquiaoFEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’Horn, 29, told reporters in Los Angeles he welcomed the verdict of the WBO’s review — even if he had been certain in his own mind of victory.“If it had come back and they’d said I hadn’t won, I would have still felt like I had won,” the former schoolteacher said. “But to have them say to everyone else that had doubted it that I definitely won the fight gives me a sense of relief. “I feel like I’ve defended the title already and I’ve only had it for a week.”However, Horn acknowledged that the only way for the controversy to be resolved definitively was by climbing back into the ring with Pacquiao.“I kind of feel it has been put to bed and that I definitely won the fight because it has been rescored,” he told AFP.“But people are always going to have their opinions and you’re not going to be able to change those. So I guess the only way you’re going to be able to do it is to have a rematch. And I think I would do better a second time.”Horn, meanwhile, said he had been stung by the criticism from veteran trainer and boxing broadcaster Teddy Atlas. In a post-fight interview shortly after Horn clambered out of the ring in Brisbane, Atlas told the Aussie he believed he had been wrongly awarded the fight.ADVERTISEMENT 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcanocenter_img Jeff Horn of Australia celebrates after beating Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines during their WBO World welterweight title fight in Brisbane, Australia, Sunday, July 2, 2017. APLOS ANGELES, United States — Australian Jeff Horn has no doubt that he was a deserving conqueror of Manny Pacquiao but believes only a rematch with the Filipino star will settle the controversy once and for all.Horn stunned the boxing world with a unanimous 12-round decision over Pacquiao in Brisbane on July 2, a hotly contested result that triggered an outcry in the Philippines.ADVERTISEMENT View comments End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LIVE: Sinulog 2020 Grand Parade Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ IT happens: Facebook sorry for Xi Jinping’s name mistranslation Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite Malacañang open to creating Taal Commissionlast_img read more

Immigration views not easy to pinpoint

first_img‘THOSE comments are disturbing to many of us,” said Arnoldo Torres, who worked in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s re-election campaign last year. Torres was referring to the governor’s private remarks on immigration and Mexicans, remarks that were recently made public. The comments, part of a recording that included Schwarzenegger and his staff discussing issues, were recorded and temporarily stored in the governor’s Web site before eventually making their way to the press. Some of Schwarzenegger’s comments are obviously offensive, not just to Latinos but also to every Californian. In one instance, the governor says that Mexicans make no effort to assimilate. When he was in a shopping mall in Lynwood, he says he felt he was in Mexico since everyone spoke Spanish. Mexicans re-create “Mexico in California,” he says. The tapes include comments that reiterate some of Schwarzenegger’s past public statements on immigration. For instance, he once came out in support of the Minuteman Project, a group that President George W. Bush called vigilantes. Schwarzenegger also once called for the border with Mexico to be “closed.” He later said he meant “secured,” not closed, blaming his faulty English. But until recently Schwarzenegger has been able to switch and soften his positions on immigration. He came out against the U.S. government’s plan to build a 700-mile fence along the Mexican border, saying that people could find a way to get in. He has also come out in favor of a guest-worker program, saying he supports the concept of earned legalization. In more recent public statements, Schwarzenegger seems to reflect a certain humanity and understanding of the complex issue. He has said that since some undocumented workers have kids who are American citizens, it would be impossible to send them back because you can’t “split” those families. Schwarzenegger’s proposal of health care for all Californians makes no distinction between legal and illegal residents. In fact, he was quoted as saying that “children are children” and deserve medical care regardless of the parents’ legal status. The same would, in all likelihood, apply to parents. Only healthy parents can take care of their kids. Schwarzenegger’s positions on immigration are complex and may reflect the challenges inherent in the issue. All Californians, and all Americans, struggle with the matter because, like Schwarzenegger, everyone is an immigrant. Schwarzenegger is probably trying to come to grips with a divisive issue. Schwarzenegger’s views on immigration are not easy to pinpoint because, like a very good politician, he changes and adapts. Although he has made some statements that were music to the right wing of the GOP, he has also realized that he can get quite a bit of mileage by being sensitive to immigrants and viewing them as human beings instead of criminals. The Latino vote represents 14 percent of the total California electorate. In the last election for governor, Schwarzenegger received 40 percent of the Latino vote, which for a Republican is great. His strategy indicates that politicians who want to win elections need to continue to deal with the needs and concerns of this group. Domenico Maceri teaches foreign languages at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria. Contact him through his Web site, languageblogger.blogspot.com. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

United given a ‘reality check’, admits Solskjaer

first_imgUnited also had France star Paul Pogba sent off in the final moments, ruling him out of the second leg in Paris next month.It was a dispiriting evening for Solskjaer, who had sparked such enthusiasm among United’s players and fans since replacing the sacked Jose Mourinho in December.Solskjaer conceded United, who managed only one shot on target in a tame display, had fallen short of the quality required against top sides like the French champions.“Today is a reality check for us on the level of top teams. They had the momentum after the first goal and controlled the game,” Solskjaer said.“You could see that we hadn’t played at this level for a while and we will have to learn.“It was an experience that can go either way, it’s not going to be a season-defining one, it’s one we have to learn from.”Pogba’s dismissal was the culmination of a surprisingly subdued performance from the man who had been so influential in United’s revival under Solskjaer.But Solskjaer claimed Pogba did not deserve to get a second booking for his challenge on Dani Alves.“Paul is trying to get his body across and Dani Alves is clever enough to put his foot in there. Paul wants to shield the ball, he’s unlucky,” he said.United’s cause was not helped by injuries to Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial and Solskjaer admitted the loss of that duo’s pace was a blow.“We had quality players to come on but Lingard and Martial give us something and let’s hope they are not too serious,” he said.“They are muscle injuries, we have to wait a couple of days.”United now face a huge task to reach the quarter-finals and Solskjaer called on his stars to produce a vastly improved display in the French capital.“Mountains are there to be climbed aren’t they? You can’t lay down and say this is over,” he said.“We will go there, play our game and improve from today.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was beaten for the first time as Manchester United boss © AFP / Paul ELLISMANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Feb 13 – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted Manchester United had been handed a reality check after Paris Saint-Germain cruised to a 2-0 win in the Champions League last-16 first leg.Solskjaer was beaten for the first time in 12 matches as United’s interim manager as second-half goals from Presnel Kimpembe and Kylian Mbappe rocked Old Trafford.last_img read more

Playgroup children pack over 100 boxes for Christmas Shoebox Appeal

first_imgChildren from Newtowncunningham Community Playgroup, Co Donegal and Rainbow Child and Family Centre, Derry have been getting into the Christmas spirit by taking part in the Team Hope Christmas Shoebox Appeal. The two playgroups have been working together to create the gifts for children in poverty as part of the Sharing From The Start programme.The ‘Sharing From The Start’ programme is supported by the European Union’s Peace IV Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body. It involves early years settings throughout Northern Ireland and the Southern Border counties forming cross-community partnerships, and the children taking part in joint curricular classes, improving educational outcomes and promoting good relations. Carrie Tracey from Rainbow Child and Family Centre said “Our two settings see so many benefits in partnering together. The children are making new friendships, we are making new community links and we’re able to take part in projects like this. We thought the shoebox appeal would be nice to do together, teaching children from a young age the joy of giving and the importance of helping those less fortunate.”Almost 100 shoeboxes, thanks to the generosity of the playgroups’ children and their families, will be sent to those affected by poverty and conflict in Africa and Eastern Europe, spreading joy and excitement to children in difficult situations. Before making up their boxes, the children had a chance to watch a video showing where their gifts will go and the difference it will make for children who normally would never get a shoebox, or a present at any time of the year.Theresa McGrath from Newtowncunningham Community Playgroup added “This is our third year taking part in Sharing From The Start. As a cross border partnership we learn a lot from each other and the different ways of doing things. From visiting each other we’ve been able to share ideas for the development of our outdoor spaces.  So there are wider benefits, not only for the children but the staff and parents as well. We’re all very much looking forward to taking part in many more educational activities this year.” Administered by Early Years, working in collaboration with the Fermanagh Trust and National Childhood Network, the Sharing From The Start project aims to engage almost 10,000 pre-school children in shared activities on an ongoing and sustained basis by 2022. Together these three organisations have a strong track record and over twenty years experience of working for the benefit of children and community relations.Playgroup children pack over 100 boxes for Christmas Shoebox Appeal was last modified: November 14th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Dani Alves: Greatest ever free signing and best full-back in the modern game?

first_img1 After Dani Alves bagged the opener in Juventus’ Coppa Italia final win over Lazio, many took to Twitter to rightly dub the experienced full-back the greatest ever free signing.The Brazilian moved to Turin last summer after he was bizarrely allowed to leave the Blaugrana for free following eight successful years at Camp Nou, and it’s fair to say that Barcelona are far worse off without him, even at 34 years of age. Juventus are on the cusp of a historic treble in part courtesy of Alves. He provided two crucial assists against Monaco for a Gonzalo Higuain brace in France, before rattling in a first-half volley against the recently crowned Ligue 1 champions in the return leg.Having set Juventus on their way to domestic glory on Wednesday night, Alves now has 32 major winners’ medals to his name – and there is a very real chance he will add 33 and 34 before the month is out. The Old Lady is just two wins away from Serie A and Champions League success following the 2-0 win at the Stadio Olimpico in midweek, and with it comes the possibility of writing themselves into the history books.Without Alves, though, this would likely have not been possible. When the deal was announced to bring the right-back to Italy, it was in a position where Juventus perhaps did not need to strengthen. Stephen Lichtsteiner is hardly the worst player in the position, while Juan Cuadrado had already been at the club for a year on loan. Yet, in Alves, Juventus landed arguably the best in his position in the modern game. Granted, many may suggest Philipp Lahm for the honour, but Alves is undoubtedly the prime example of the modern day full-back.“He is the best full-back in the world. It is very difficult nowadays to find someone else like him,” Lionel Messi said of Alves back in 2015. Two years later and you’d be hard pressed to find better. It’s no wonder Messi widely praised Alves two years ago, with the latter registering 55 assists between August 2009 and the season he left. 24 of those were for Messi, with the partnership between the pair crucial in Barcelona’s success of the period Alves was there.This does little but highlight Alves’ immense attacking ability. Granted, a team of Barcelona’s stature was rarely going to be troubled, but their sheer dominance allowed Alves to act almost as though he was an auxiliary winger, rather than a full-back. In the process, Barcelona overawed opponents on the right, with Messi cutting infield and Alves exploiting the space left behind. Max Allegri has since looked to maximise the Brazilian’s attacking credentials, which he is doing so excellently.On a number of occasions this season, Alves has been deployed as a wing-back or on the right wing in order to help hurt opponents. This has been best exhibited in the Champions League, where Alves (30) is second to Toni Kroos (31) for key passes and top for accurate crosses from open play (21). Yet, when required, Alves is one to carry out the necessary defensive duties, as 32 tackles in Europe’s elite club competition – one of the highest returns in the Champions League – shows.What’s more is that 3.1 tackles per 90 ranks highly of players to make 15 or more appearances in Serie A this season, with Alves’ athleticism shining through time and time again. While a number of right-backs have impressed over time, Alves has been playing consistently at the top of his game for the best part of a decade. As far as archetypal right-backs go in the current state of football, any fan would struggle to find better than Alves, if we’re being perfectly candid.While once a player who was prone to mistakes, there is no denying that Alves has rounded his game to the ideal level that will see him go down as one of – if not the – best in his position. A Serie A and Champions League winners’ medal in the coming weeks would do little but to further solidify his placing among the elite. Juventus’ Dani Alves last_img read more


first_imgREPORT FROM MILFORD: CLG BnaG 1-8 Fanad Gaels 2-8The U16s picked up their first defeat of the season, after they were defeated by a late goal in an ill-tempered local derby on Friday night.The game was marred by a number of unsavoury incidents with both sides to blame, and the boys suffered for over-indulging in the physical aspect of the game, which did not suit their style of football. Na Galloglaigh got off to an impressive start and found themselves two points up after 15 minutes, with Duncan Patterson and Kane Barrett both scoring two points. The forwards were causing trouble for the Fanad defence, but just couldn’t get enough possession into them. Barrett exchanged frees with Eoin Carr, but a late score from Fanad reduced the deficit to one point at half-time.A poor start to the second half proved to be the side’s downfall, with Fanad scoring 1-3 within two minutes of the restart. Na Galloglaigh improved after this spell and dominated the remainder of the game.However, they could only add 1-3 to their tally. Connor Gormley scored a wonderful goal, while Barrett contributed three frees.Fanad scored a point, and then late in the game, struck for the winning goal. Milford found themselves short at the back, and despite a valiant effort from the full-back line, the ball trickled over the line from the boot of Fanad’s corner-back. The boys tried desperately to get an equalising goal, but they could not find the breakthrough. The defeat is a blow, but there is still much to play for in the league campaign.Team: Gavin McFadden, Patrick Ferry, Kieran Sheridan, Odhran Coll, Conor McHugh, Shay Durning, Ronan Docherty, Luke Trearty, Cormac Toland, Jason Scullion, Connor Gormley (1-0), Shane McNamee, Duncan Patterson, Kane Barrett, Gavin Grier. Subs: Adam Serrinha, Daire Crossan, Dane Dunworth. GAA NEWS: FANAD EDGE MILFORD IN U-16 BOYS CLASH was last modified: July 20th, 2013 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:GAA NEWS: FANAD EDGE MILFORD IN U-16 BOYS CLASHlast_img read more


first_imgA director of a major Donegal youth organisation has described aspirations for a United Ireland as an ‘infeasible pipe-dream’ and questioned Martin McGuinness’s Presidential campaign.Paddy Duffy, a director with SpunOut.ie, makes his controversial comments in an article written for an American website.And he also claims the people of Donegal have more in common with people in Glasgow that with people in Cork! Said Duffy: “The reality is that green post boxes in Strabane will not make Strabane any happier or more prosperous a place to live in. It will not make the villages between Strabane and Derry that paint their curbs red, white and blue and brandish union flags and ensigns any more favorable to Ireland, or any less attached to Britain.“It will not change the fact that whatever the nationality of the people who live in those villages, they can probably trace their family roots as far back on this island as anyone.”And he went on: “Besides, a lot of Donegal Catholics have Scottish planter lineage too who converted at some point along the way. They’re hardly more Irish because of that. Britain handing over the deeds to Northern Ireland would not have any positive transformative effect. Combining our forces will not create a land of milk and honey.“As the recent Life and Times survey bears out, this isn’t a niche opinion. Most people in Ireland, northern Catholics or otherwise, are much more concerned about tackling social and economic matters than eternally gazing through a national prism. Besides, Ireland has always been much more complex and interwoven than the irredentists like to imagine. “Taking Donegal as an example, we have much more tangible connection with Glasgow than we do with Cork, lovely a place as it is. It’s much easier and quicker to get to Glasgow from Letterkenny than it is to Cork too.“People where I’m from who live in the Republic often do a lot of their shopping, socialising and even working across the border, the presence of which forms no impediment to traveling or interacting. In Padraig Pearse’s proclamation nearly one hundred years ago, he talked about freedom and liberty, about equal rights and opportunity, about pursuing happiness and prosperity.“As our access to the world and its different cultures becomes greater and greater, so long as we fight for those principles does it really matter what flags are flying overhead?“And then there’s the good old irredentists, the ones who maintain the Brits are occupying the six counties and that Ireland is for the Irish, whatever the hell that means. None of these have any real life application. I’ve lived on the border basically all my life and I don’t understand the fervency towards what is and has always been an infeasible pipe-dream.”The article on Irish Central did provoke some debate. One person responded: “What rubbish!!Of course it makes a difference.Northern Ireland,North East England and parts of Scotland are the poorest parts of the UK.Money makes money and it is drawn down South towards London and it’s surrounding counties.Northern Ireland is massively subsidized by the rest of the UK.Northern Ireland Catholic men have the highest unemployment rate of ANY group in the UK,while Northern Ireland’s Protestants have the second lowest.Do you want me to go on?”DO YOU AGREE OR DISAGREE?COMMENTS WELCOME BELOWDonegaldaily.com moderates all comments and will not publish comments which are indecent or insane. DONEGAL YOUTH WORKER SLAMS UNITED IRELAND AS ‘INFEASIBLE PIPE-DREAM’ was last modified: October 5th, 2011 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:paddy duffyunited irelamdlast_img read more


first_imgMadeleine in Donegal, pictured second from left in 2007British police have identified up to 20 potential suspects in their hunt for missing Madeleine McCann, a top detective has said, insisting that there is still a hope she is alive.Madeleine has many relatives throughout Co Donegal, her father Gerry’s family are from the county. Gerry and Kate spent some time on holidays in Dungloe a few months ago, visiting cousins and friends. The missing girl visited her Donegal relatives just three weeks before her disappearance in Portugal.Maddie went missing on May 3 in Praia da Luz in 2007 during a family holiday. She would now be 10 and her parents insist the search for her is very much ongoing as police continue a review.In a statement Detective Chief Superintendent Hamish Campbell said: “The purpose of the review was to look at the case with fresh eyes and there is always real benefit in doing so.“The review has further identified both investigative and forensic opportunities to support the Portuguese. “There is more than a handful of people of interest which could be explored further if only to be eliminated.“The key things are to investigate the case and our work is happening to support the Portuguese.”He told London Evening Standard that the Met squad had done a “fantastic” job in identifying “further investigative and forensic opportunities.”“We have to ask ourselves why are cases unsolved and, on many occasions, we find we passed the suspects by already and the suspect sits within our system,” he said.The detective also said Madeleine could still be alive, adding: “You cannot exclude it.”He said: “You only have to look at the case in Cleveland, Ohio, and the European cases. Of course there is a possibility she is alive. “But the key is to investigate the case and, alive or dead, we should be able to try and discern what happened.”The McCanns, who live in Leicestershire, have been kept closely informed of Scotland Yard’s review, codenamed Operation Grange, over the past two years.A spokesman for the couple said: “They have been encouraged from the moment the review started and are now greatly encouraged that police have drawn up a short list of people who they believe are of interest to the inquiry.”MADELEINE McCANN MAY STILL BE ALIVE, SAYS DETECTIVE AS 20 SUSPECTS IDENTIFIED was last modified: May 18th, 2013 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:MADELEINE McCANN MAY STILL BE ALIVESAYS DETECTIVE AS 20 SUSPECTS IDENTIFIEDlast_img read more

Turning tragedy into service

first_imgCANYON COUNTRY – The 20-year-old college student needed to find the perfect way to honor his lifelong buddy, Army Pfc. Cole W. Larsen, who died in November 2004 in a vehicle accident in Iraq. The assemblage of mementos neatly pieced together in his room was one way, but it lacked a certain something. So Chad Whitaker upped the ante: He enlisted in the Army Reserves. “I talked about joining with my buddy Cole,” Whitaker said recently, the day after returning from five months of basic training in Missouri. But a relationship with a girlfriend intervened. “After he passed, I made my final decision.” The punk rock-loving teen turned 20 while he was away, on Nov. 6. His superiors helped him celebrate by demanding 20 push-ups. His enlistment came as news to his parents, who were on vacation when he joined. “It was pretty much a shock,” said Chad’s mother, Lynette Whitaker. “We said, you can’t bring him back by doing this. We were scared to death the same thing could happen to our son.” The Whitakers and Larsens, who live a couple of homes apart, moved in at the same time, when Chad was 2 1/2 and Cole was 3. Whitaker said Chad had always been college-bound and never talked about joining the service. For Whitaker, her son’s decision to follow Cole to the military brought fear that gave way to acceptance and respect for her son’s choice. “I admire him – seeing the pain of Cole’s loss, how devastating that has been to us as a community on this street – that he’s willing to do this.” Larsen was 19 when he died, the second of three soldiers from Santa Clarita claimed by the Iraq war. Two other friends enlisted in the Army at about the same time as Whitaker, but one was rejected because of a knee injury. Cole’s anecdotes about basic training have come to life for Chad, who found himself doing some of the same things his friend did “without realizing it.” Things like sneaking a catnap under the bunks because he was sleep deprived. While Chad was away, Lynette gathered up the mementos – which include pictures of Cole in Iraq, at his memorial service, his graduation – and mounted them in a shadowbox frame. Whitaker’s enlistment reverberated beyond his own house. It churned up an emotional minefield at the Larsen home. “In a way I feel like I’m reliving it again. He’s an MP in the same boot camp,” said Christi Larsen, Cole’s mother. She knows the drill for when Chad is on active duty. “I’ll probably deal with it the way I (dealt) with our son. I’ll bake cookies, send care packages, write letters.” Unlike Whitaker, Cole talked nonstop about joining the military, Larsen said. “From the day he could talk,” she said. “He started going to the recruiting office when he was 15. I think he bled camouflage.” Larsen still unearths her son’s little green Army figurines when she gardens. On Tuesday nights, she enters a cyber-world with other women who have lost children or husbands in war. In a chat room they bare the thoughts and frustrations that only people in their circumstances can feel. Whitaker will continue his studies as a business major at California State University, Northridge, until he is called up for active duty. — Judy O’Rourke, (661) 257-5255 judy.orourke@dailynews.com160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more