NYPD Boxing Championships N.Y. Sharks Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Tackle Football ITTF World Table Tennis Championships
NYPD Boxing Championships at Madison Square Garden Coverage of our featured fighters of the event: 4 Yaatae Turner NYC Dept of Correction Boldest Boxingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s International Champion. 12 Radwa Mohammed NYPD Auxiliary Officer and NY County D.A.. Investigator looks to make a statement for Muslim women. 18 ITTF World Table Tennis Championships MetroSports Magazine travels to Dusseldorf, Germany to cover NY Metro Region competitor Yue Wu. 22 New York Sharks Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s full-contact professional tackle football at its best. 29 Athlete of the Month
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MetroSports Magazine (MSM) is published six times a year by the New York Sports Photo Group. MSM is available online and can be downloaded in electronic format for viewing on tablet and hand-held devices, laptop and desktop computers and purchased as full-color glossy print editions. Founder, Editor-in-Chief, Art Director: Warren Rosenberg Publisher: New York Sports Photo Group: nyspg.com Features Editor: Warren Rosenberg Director of Photography: Clark Thompson Social Media: Clark Thompson Photo Contributors: Clark Thompson, Leon Libin, Warren Rosenberg Proofreader: Melissa Tougas Contributors: Leon Libin Advertising: For rate card contact firstname.lastname@example.org Please direct all inquiries to: email@example.com Visit us on the web at: www.MetroSportsMag.com
MetroSports Magazine accepts and welcomes photos, short articles, opinions and letters from our readers. There is no guarantee that unsolicited contributions will be published and MetroSports Magazine assumes no responsibility for failure to publish or for editing published contributions. The Contents of MetroSports Magazine consist of copyrightable and/or copyrighted material and cannot be reproduced without the express written consent of the publishers. MetroSports Magazine | 3
Yaatae Turner Boldest Boxing
C.O. Turner ‘Locks Up’ a Win
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2017 NYPD Boxing Championships 2
017 is turning out to be good year for NYC-based boxer Yaatae Turner, an officer in the NYC Department of Correction. Following his strong appearance in the Daily News’ New York Golden Gloves Championship, Turner headed overseas with his NYCD Boldest Boxing teammates and claimed victory in an intercontinental, inter-agency bout billed as “The Transatlantic Battle of the Badges” against Rich Haque of England’s Staffordshire Police Department. Fighting alongside him was fellow Correction Officer Patrina Hall-Madry who was featured in the July-August 2016 issue of MetroSports Magazine. Both Turner and Hall-Madry were victorious in their bouts. The New York City Department of Correction “Boldest Boxing” team was founded in 2010 by Captain Charles Matthews of the Department’s Emergency Service Unit, along with Correction Officer B. Grant of the Brooklyn Detention Center. Since its inception, the Boldest Boxing team has fought in various charity events, competing against other city agencies benefitting a such of charities such as Autism Awareness, Breast Cancer Society and Toys for Tots.
Photos: Warren Rosenberg www.nyspg.com
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Photo: Warren Rosenberg www.nyspg.com
A proud member of New York’s Boldest for just under two years, participation in competitive sports, and being the subject of a photographer’s camera, come as nothing new for Turner. A lifelong recreational basketball player, Yaatae competed in both track & field and football while attending John Adams High School in Queens, NY. In addition, he had a brief career as an amateur runway and print model. While he hasn’t done any formal modeling since becoming a Correction Officer, Yaatae did tell MetroSports Magazine that he still feels like he’s modeling
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every time someone takes a picture of him. “You can see the change in my face when a camera is on me, it’s like I jump into model mode”, he told us. Whether he was intentionally posing for us or not during his bout at the 2017 NYPD Boxing Championships, Yaatae certainly put on his game face for these photos. Since making his amateur boxing debut in Roanoke, Virginia in 2010, Yaatae is making his presence known compiling an impressive 5-1-1 record as an amateur. In his first run through the
New York Golden Gloves Boxing Tournament this year, he successfully made it through to the semifinals where, after compiling a 2-0 record, he lost on a split decision. When time allows, Yaatae trains at the Elmcor Boxing Club, part of the Elmcor Youth and Adult Recreation Center in Elmhurst, Queens. Elmcor’s mission is “to foster positive life changes for individuals and families through skills development leading to self-sufficiency, a sense of accountability, and a strong, empowered community.” Elmcor’s mission, and the trajectory of this young boxer’s life, seemed summed up in the words of Michael Kiwanuka’s current song. Love and Hate.
Photos: Warren Rosenberg www.nyspg.com
Standing now Calling all the people here to see the show Calling for my demons now to let me go I need something, give me something wonderful You can’t steal the things that God has given me You can’t take me down You can’t break me down You can’t take me down From: Love and Hate Written by Brian Joseph Burton, Dean Cover, Michael Samuel Kiwanuka • Copyright © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.
Above. Yaatae Turner in action on his way to claiming victory at the 2017 NYPD Boxing Championships at Madison Square Garden.
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MetroSports Goes One-on-One with Yaatae Turner MSM: Tell us about how you came to get started in boxing? Yaatae Turner: As a kid I always liked play-fighting with my friends and siblings. It started with slap-boxing, just to see who had the best “hand skills”. Me and my brothers got boxing gloves for Christmas and we would box each other all of the time. I went from carrying a basketball with me at all times to carrying two pairs of boxing gloves (one pair inside my backpack and a pair on the outside) just hoping a friend would challenge me. One day when I was 16 my father took my brother and I to Elmcor to see amateur boxing, I think it was the Metro USA boxing tournament. At that time I knew nothing of amateur boxing. As I watched along the ringside I laughed saying ‘this is amateur boxing, I could get in the ring and fight these guys now.’ Maybe a month or two later in December of 2008 I joined the Elmcor Boxing Gym and met my trainer Supreme. I quickly learned how long 2 or 3 minutes really was and that had I entered the ring that night, I would have definitely found out how soft the canvas really was. Instead, I was able to grow a love and respect for the sport and the hard work, dedication and discipline it requires. MSM: There aren’t many athletes who get to compete in “The World’s Most Famous Arena”. How did it feel to fight, and to win, in Madison Square Garden? Y.T.: Ahhh man, it felt great to compete in “The World’s Most Famous Arena” in front of my family, friends, and co-workers, and to bring that belt back to C-74. It was an amazing feeling. MSM: The NYCD supports a number of sports teams as do the NYPD, FDNY and agencies across the country and throughout the world (previous articles in MetroSports Magazine have included the British Royal Air Force Police and the Irish Garda). How do you feel that your participation as a member of Boldest Boxing helps you in your law enforcement career? YT: I enjoy crossing paths with people that recognize me from my being on the Boldest Boxing Team, I’m not sure how much it helps my law enforcement career but I do like the networking opportunities and the positive publicity that it promotes. Maybe someday It’ll lead to a higher-up recognizing me and saying “Hey, you’re Y. Turner right, the boxer? I’ve seen you fight, and you’re pretty good!”
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MSM: Many law enforcement organizations sponsor youth boxing programs such as New York’s Atlas Cops and Kids for which the MSG event raised funds. What would your advice be to young people and their parents? YT: I feel that everything in life is about balance. Therefore, my advice to the parents would be to just support the youth. Sometimes it entails that you push them to their full potential, but at the same time, allow them to be children and have fun. Additionally, I would advise the parents to pray for children. As for the youth, I once read a quote that stated “Shoot for the moon! Even if you miss, you’ll land amongst the stars!” MSM: Can you tell us something about your pre-fight training routine? YT: Well honestly, this life as a Correction Officer can be demanding. It has been challenging for me trying to balance: family, work, training, being on the wheel at work, overtime, and sleep. These days, when it comes to training, I just do what I can do when I can do it because it’s difficult to really have a routine. I get my road work in when I can, and hit the gym for bag work and sparring when I can. I trust God to fill the gaps where I lack. MSM: Who would you like to give a shout-out to? YT: I want to shout-out ALL of my supporters. All of my Family, Friends, Coworkers and Supervisors, my Wife and Son for their sacrifices and support, my trainer Supreme, you Mr. Warren Rosenberg for this opportunity, Dave Siev and the NYPD’s Fighting Finest. the Boldest Boxing Team and my Commanding Officer Ada Pressley. MSM: Is there anything else about you or that you’d want to say, that you’d like to have appear in the article? YT: My brother started the NYPD academy on October 7, 2015. On that day, I stood at my old job and went deep into prayer for an increase because I had a baby coming on the way and a job paying $15/hr with no benefits. I prayed on that day around 8:30 am. Later, on that same day, at 2:20 pm I received a call from Corrections asking if I still was interested in the job. God has a plan and purpose for me in this department and I trust His guidance. I work at C-74 RNDC, and any opportunity that I get to share a positive impact on an adolescent mind, I tackle it. My message to them and anyone else behind those gates is, “It’s not about how you start the race, it’s about how strong you finish it.”
Above: NYCD Boldest Boxingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Captain Charles Matthews giving Yaatae Turner some advice between rounds.
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A packed house was on hand at Madison Square Garden to take in the action at the 2017 NYPD Boxing Championships Photos: Warren Rosenberg www.nyspg.com
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Lt. Dave Siev Crowned as “The Don King of NYPD Boxing”
Clockwise from Above: Lt. Dave Siev enjoying the fight as action goes to the ground; With the NYPD Boxing cruiser provided by Movie Time Cars (@MovieTimeCars); All Decked Out at the 2017 NYPD Boxing Championships; Stepping in to officiate between NYPD and NYCD fighters at the 2016 NYPD Championships. Capt. Matthews - is that OK with you? On June 22, 2017, Lt. Siev was awarded a plaque designating him as “The Don King of NYPD Boxing” and recognizing his “successful contributions to children’s charities.”
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Radwa Mohamed NYPD’s Fighting Finest MetroSports Magazine was on hand at the Madison Square Garden Theater for the 2017 NYPD Boxing Championships on June 8th. Among the 46 boxers taking part in the evening’s 23 fights were four women, Stacy Weinstein, Katie Walsh, Selina Herrera and one of our two featured boxers in this issue, Radwa Mohamed. Radwa is an investigative analyst with the New York County District Attorney’s Office and an Auxiliary Police Officer in the 68th precinct. Photo: Warren Rosenberg www.nyspg.com
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We had previously seen Radwa in October 2015 at boxing event sponsored by the NYPD and billed as the Halloween Smoker. She was also a participant in the Battle of the Barristers sponsored by the New York County District Attorney’s office which served as a fund raiser for wounded veterans. What makes this 28 year old athlete and member of New York’s law enforcement community unique is her simultaneous competition in the brutal sport of boxing and beauty pageants.
â&#x20AC;&#x153;I want to tell Muslim girls specifically that God created you strong - God wants you to use what he gave you.â&#x20AC;? Radwa Mohamed
Photo: Warren Rosenberg www.nyspg.com
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Photo: Warren Rosenberg www.nyspg.com
A 2014 competitor in the Miss Arab USA Pageant representing her native Egypt, Radwa emigrated to the United States in 2011 and has qualified for the finals of the Miss Middle East U.S.A. to be held this summer in La Jolla, California. As a member of the law enforcement community committed to helping others, Radwaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s motivation for participating in these pageants is noble and twofold: to help raise funds for Syrian refugees, and to help advance the cause of young women or Arab descent. Proud of her cultural heritage and Muslim religion, Radwa told MetroSports Magazine that she believes her career path and lifestyle help to represent the possibilities that exist for Muslim women to pursue. 14 | July-August 2017
We had previously seen Radwa in October 2015 at boxing event sponsored by the NYPD and billed as the Halloween Smoker. She was also a participant in the Battle of the Barristers sponsored by the New York County District Attorneyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s office which served as a fund raiser for wounded veterans.
Photo: Warren Rosenberg www.nyspg.com
Photo: Warren Rosenberg www.nyspg.com
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16 | July-August 2017 Photo: Warren Rosenberg www.nyspg.com
MetroSports Goes Toe-to-Toe with Radwa Mohamed MSM: Tell us about how you came to get started in boxing? Radwa: One day while working out in the gym, I heard about the NYPD Boxing Team. I told my supervisor at the precinct I was interested in representing them in the next Smoker (NYPD boxing competition). Shortly after the precinct’s integrity control officer started helping me get ready for my first fight! MSM: There aren’t many athletes who get to compete in “The World’s Most Famous Arena”. How did it feel? Radwa: Even though I didn’t win my most recent fight at Madison Square Garden (“The Mecca of Boxing”) will forever be the most unforgettable experience of my life. The process leading up to the fight was what made the whole experience so worth while. I feel fortunate, honored and blessed by God to have the chance to represent the NYPD, my 68 precinct, and young Egyptian females who look up to me. My supporters are a huge reason I participated in this event! I had many mixed feelings before fight night...happy, excited, nervous, but It was definitely one of the best things that have ever happened to me. I hope I can get the chance to fight again next year at such a legendary venue. MSM: Many law enforcement organizations sponsor youth boxing programs such as NYC’s Atlas Cops and Kids for which the MSG event raised funds. What would your advice be to young people and their parents? Radwa: At the NYPD and The District Attorney’s office, we participate in charity events for children. Typically our goal at the NYPD is to create a safe environment for children to play and have fun. It is in my opinion that parents should encourage their children to participate in athletics, stay healthy, have fun all in a positive, safe and nurturing environment. MSM: What advice would you give to young girls about getting involved in boxing or other combat sports? Radwa: I want to say to all young girls who are thinking about getting involved in boxing is that this is your opportunity to find out what you have in common with boys, and to show boys that you are strong and confident. There is nothing that feels better than fighting through exhaustion, or responding to an opponent who may be stronger, or more skilled than you. The process leading up to a fight, learning a new skill, practicing, mistakes, winning, losing are all experiences that make you stronger. I want to tell Muslim girls specifically that you shouldn’t let someone else tell you that there’s nothing that God wouldn’t want you to do or accomplish- God created you strong - God wants you to use what he gave you. MSM: Can you tell us something about your pre-fight training routine? Radwa: 3 months before the fight - I run at least 30 minutes a day, I work on conditioning 5 times a week by jumping rope, punching a heavy bag and sparring at least twice a week. I also try to work on my core at the end of every work out by doing push ups, sit ups, pull ups, and burpees. MSM: Who would you like to give a shout-out to anyone? Radwa: Of course, I would like to thank all my trainers at Gleason’s Gym, the NYPD boxing club, and the District Attorney’s office who taught me everything I know today. I would like to thank all my family, friends, supporters and everyone who motivated me to keep boxing. Lastly, and most importantly, I want to thank my mother who died a few weeks ago for making me the strong woman that I am today. MetroSports Magazine | 17
NYC to Dusseldorf - Yue Wu ITTF Liebherr World Championships
While MetroSports Magazine, a New York based publication has covered a number of international athletes who have come to compete in the New York Metropolitan region, our coverage of the 2017 ITTF World Table Tennis Championships held last month in Dusseldorf, Germany, is the first time weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve sent a correspondent overseas to cover a Metro region athlete. MetroSports Magazine was represented by Leon Libin, an accredited journalist for the event and an active USA Table Tennis umpire. The focus of our coverage was on Yue Wu, who goes by the name Jennifer, a 27 year old member of Team USA Table Tennis who hails from Fort Lee New Jersey and trains at the New York Indoor Sports Club in College Point, Queens. Jennifer was a member of the 2016 USA Olympic Team, the 2016 North American World Cup Champion ,and a 2015 Pan Am Games Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Team Gold Medalist. 18 | July-August 2017
Photo Credit: Leon Libin
Wu, ranked #4 by USA Table Tennis, traveled to the event in Dusseldorf with her teammates who included Angela Guan (#7), Crystal Wang (#8) and Lily Zhang the #1 ranked women’s Table Tennis player in the U.S. on the women’s side and Nicholas Tio (#20), Kunal Chodri (#5), Nikhil Kumar (#11) and Kanak Jha(#2)on the men’s side. Over 600 world-class players competed in front of 55,000 spectators gathered for the tournament, 8,000 of whom are seated around the center court. Although she didn’t medal in the competition, Wu did win 4 of her 9 matches. The Chinese players took home 10 of the 24 medals awarded followed by Japan with 5, Korea with two and one each for Taipei, Germany, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Above and Below: Jennifer Wu and her former Olympic team mate Kanak Jha in mixed doubles action. Photo Credits: Leon Libin
Born in China, Jennifer arrived in the United States in 2008 and earned her U.S. Citizenship in 2014. A member of the Beijing Women’s Team prior to her immigration to the U.S., Jennifer took up table tennis at the age of 8, primarily because her mother believed that it might help to strengthen her eyesight. For a wonderful article on Jennifer, please see the NY Times of March 13, 2016. (https://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/13/nyregion/thecomic-judah-friedlander-and-the-table-tennis-champ-wu-yue.html?_r=0) Facing Page: Jennifer Wu (left) and Lily Zhang celebrate a point in their match against Korea’s Lee Zion and Yang Haeun
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Photo Credit: Leon Libin Above: Team U.S.A. ready for action at the 2017 Liebherr World Table Tennis Championships
All in all, six members of the women’s top 25 reside in the NY Metro region including Chen Wang (#6) from NYC and Amy Wang (#11), Judy Hugh (#12), Tina Lin (#13) and Lily Yip (#15), all from New Jersey. On the men’s side, seven of the top 25 hail from the NY Metro region including three brothers from Tenafly, NJ, Sharon (#3), Adar (#4) and Gal Alguetti(#18), Jack Wang (#9), Cory Elder (#12) and Allan Wang (#25) also from New Jersey, Yanjun Gao (#10) and Tal Leibovits (#19) of Queens, NY, and Yu Shaoe of White Plains, NY. Adding to the NY Metro region connection, several members of the U.S. team along with Olympic and world-ranked international players have previously appeared in the pages of MetroSports Magazine when they’ve competed in tournaments held at Pleasantville’s Westchester Table Tennis Center. Above: MetroSports correspondent, Leon Libin
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On July 5th, Jennifer heads off to the U.S. National Table Tennis Championships where she hopes to claim her first National Singles title.
One-on-One with Leon Libin
Interview with Jennifer Wu and Lily Zhang MSM correspondent Leon Libin met Lily Zhang and Yue Wu in the special after-match interview area just after their victorious Women Doubles match against a strong international pair Zhang, Mo of Canada and Polcanova of Soﬁa, Austria, and asked them a few questions for this article. MSM:“Lily and Jenifer (Yue) — congratulations! Lily Zhang.: “Thank you!” Jennifer Wu: “Thank you!” MSM: What does your participation in the LIEBHERR 2017 World Table Tennis Championships in Dusseldorf, Germany, mean to you and to your Table Tennis career? L. Zhang: “It means everything to me. It is my seventh or eighth World Championships and every time I go its such a new and exiting experience and always such an honor to represent the United States. Each time I go out there to play my best.” J. Wu: “It is my ﬁrst World Table Tennis Championships. I think, that our Doubles play is amazing and that’s why we keep going. I think, I played well.” MSM: Is there anything special you did to train for this event? L. Zhang: “Yes, we did have a training camps in the Netherlands right before this for three and half days where the whole team, men and women, came together, worked with the coaches and prepared for the Tournament. J. Wu: “The same”.
MSM: Have you any words of wisdom for younger players who aspire to achieve the level of success in Table Tennis that you have achieved? L. Zhang: “For me, I think, the most important thing is to have passion for the game. I think, that hard work and determination and everything else really comes along with the passion. If you have love for the sport it will help you to achieve whatever goal you have. J. Wu: “I think, that attitude is very important, strive for every single ball, always stay positive.” MSM: Is there anyone in particular, back home in the NY metropolitan region, that you would like to thank, or recognize, for their role in helping you get here? J. Wu: “I think, I need to thank Santos Shih. He helped me a lot for everything and I really thank him.” MSM: Now that you have made it to the World stage, what is your next goal in Table Tennis? L. Zhang: “Olympics in Tokyo.” J. Wu: “Yes, Tokyo Olympics” MSM: What would you like to say your fans? L. Zhang: “ I would like to thank them all for all these years, they never gave up on me and supported me in everything and I am certainly grateful and honored. J. Wu: “I thank them for all the support.”
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Photo: Clark Thompson www.ClarkShots.com Above: NY Sharks receiver, Maggie Natell (#81) avoids a tackle while tight end Sasha Santamaria (#85) clears the way.
The New York Sharks Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves
For a team that has become used to winning, the 2017 campaign has been a challenging one for the New York Sharks. As the longest continually operating women’s professional football team in the nation, and one of the winningest, the Sharks’ season ended in a dead heat with a 4-4 overall Won-Lost regular season record and a 1-1 post-season record. 22 | July-August 2017
The finned femmes were optimistic going into the semifinal round against the Montreal Blitz on June 17th having performed well on both offense and defense in their first round championship playoff game against the Philadelphia Phantomz. Facing Page: Quarterback Karen Mulligan (#30) looks downfield for an open receiver.
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Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves Aretha Franklin and Annie Lennox (c) 1985 Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart
The “inferior sex” got a new exterior We got doctors, lawyers, politicians too Everybody - take a look around Can you see - can you see - can you see There’s a woman right next to you Sisters are doing it for themselves Standing on their own two feet And ringing on their own bells Sisters are doing it for themselves
In their 19 years of operation, the Sharks have never posted a losing season, having racked up a record of 113-32 with fourteen winning seasons and seven undefeated seasons. The 2017 season is only the fourth season in their nearly two decade history where they posted a break-even record. The Sharks play their home games at Brooklyn’s Aviator Sports Complex on the grounds of the historic former Floyd Bennett Field, NYC’s first municipal airport.
Photo: Clark Thompson www.ClarkShots.com Above: Linebacker #56 Gabby Farrell making the tackle. Below: NY Sharks running back Ashley Gordon-Edwards sets her eyes on the way forward through the D.C. Divas defense.
The Sharks are one of 66 teams that play in the highly competitive Women’s Football Alliance (WFA). The WFA has teams scattered throughout 32 states, the District of Columbia and one team in Montreal, Canada. The WFA has a presence in most major American sports markets including Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Cincinnati, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Hartford, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Louisville, Miami, Nashville, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, San Diego, Seattle, St. Louis, and Tampa. Photo: Clark Thompson www.ClarkShots.com
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On June 24-30 of this year, the WFA had 42 of its players selected to compete in the Women’s World Championship in Langley, British Columbia. Among the members of the American team were two players selected from our own New York Sharks, Tight End Brilynn Fields (#25) and Defensive Back Jewelle Grimsley (#33). Grimsley, pictured in this issue on page 28, has been playing professional football for seven years, four of those with the Sharks. She is an active duty member of the U.S. military serving her ninth year in the U.S. Army, currently stationed in New Jersey and serving as an Army recruiter. Selected as alternates were three additional members of the Sharks, Quarterback Karen Mulligan (#30), Defensive Linebacker Brooklyn Fields (#52) and linebacker Gabriella Farrell (#56). Participating in this international women’s tackle football championship are teams from the United States, Australia, Canada, Finland and Great Britian. The United States team went into the competition as reigning Champion. In the first round of play, the U.S. defeated Mexico in a dominating performance, winning by a score of 29-0, followed by a 21-0 thrashing of Finland in round two. Accumulating 60 points while giving up nothing over the first two rounds attests to the American team’s strength on both offense and defense. In Friday’s championship game, the USA defeated tournament host Canada by a score of 41-16 taking their third consecutive world championship.
Photo: Clark Thompson www.ClarkShots.com Above: Cornerback Nhandi Brown (#18) is focused on the goal line as she is pursued by a D.C. Divas defensive player.
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Photo: Clark Thompson www.ClarkShots.com
Above: Team owner Andra Douglass (far right) introduces the 2017 NY Sharks Hall of Fame inductees.
New York Sharks 2017 Hall of Fame Inductees Steve Mark – Webmaster Toni Salvatore #41 – Cornerback Kathy “KH” Holloman #25 – Running Back Lorrie Greene #89 – Center / Guard Courtney Eaton #20 – Linebacker / Running Back Lisa “D” Doran #18 – Receiver Nikki Cerrato #55 – Tight End / Offensive Line Vivian “The Bus” Alberty #57 – Fullback / Offensive Line Mandy Oppel #17 – Linebacker / Running Back
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Photo: Clark Thompson www.ClarkShots.com
Above: New York Sharks Chief Financial Officer and Website Manager Dana Sparling (Center) with Officials of the NFL’s “Women Officiating Now” program who work the Sharks games and are all NFL trained.
Andra Douglas has been the owner of the New York Sharks since 2000 when she purchased the team after retiring from a successful career in the media and entertainment industry. An accomplished high school, collegiate and semi-pro athlete, Andra had played for the Sharks during the early years of her ownership. A firm believer in the positive role that sports and athletic competition can play in the lives of young women, Andra established the “Fins UP! Foundation” to help improve the lives of young girls through participation in sports and had served as Executive Director. In 2015 the Fins UP Foundation merged with the Women’s Gridiron Foundation (WGF) which now operates as the WGF. Dana Sparling currently serves as Chief Operating Officer of the WGF along with Rich Daniel the WGF’s Executive Director and also the General Manager of the D.C. Divas Women’s Tackle Football Team.
The Women’s Gridiron Foundation engages young women in highly innovative, gender equitable programs through the vehicle of sport. We educate and empower young women around the world to a place of greater self-worth and healthy self-esteem. The Women’s Gridiron Foundation empowers young women around the world to believe that they can do anything with dignity, self-respect and fearlessness.
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Cornerback Jewelle Grimsley, a 4th year starter with the N.Y. Sharks is an active duty member of the U.S. Army and was selected as a starting member of the United States Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Professional Football Team. Team U.S.A., including Grimsley and four other members of the N.Y. Sharks are competing in the 2017 Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s World Championships in Langley, British Columbia.
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MetroSports Athlete of the Month Yaatae Turner This humble family man, dedicated public servant and successful amateur boxer, Yaatae Turner, has been selected as our MetroSports Magazine Athlete of the Month for July 2017. For facing up to the daily challenge of helping to keep New York Cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s residents safe, serving as a positive role model for young men, and for his appearance in the 2017 New York Golden Gloves Tournament, for claiming victory in the Transatlantic Battle of the Badges, and for capturing the Light Welterweight Championship at the 2017 NYPD Boxing Championships at Madison Square Garden, MetroSports Magazine is proud to name NYCD Correction Officer Yaatae Turner as our Athlete of the Month.
Jewelle (TJ) Grimsley MetroSports Magazine grants special recognition to women who defy convention through participation in typically male-dominated sports. For her dominating performance as a member of the New York Sharks, for her selection to represent her team, her city and her county in the 2017 Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s World Football Championships, and for her service as an honored member of the United States Armed Forces, MetroSports Magazine recognizes New York Sharks cornerback and U.S. Army soldier, Jewell Grimsley, as our MetroSports Magazine Athlete of the Month for August 2017.
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