JOHNSON CITY (WBNG) – Two Rivers Church was in the full swing of holiday celebrations on Sunday as hundreds gathered to worship and enjoy the countdown to Christmas. Two Rivers Church will have a Christmas Eve service at 5 p.m. for those wishing to attend. The church says all are welcome. “Just really fun to sing with everybody and just worship. It was just a celebration there today and it was a really good time,” Snider said. “It’s really not about the gift of presents, so much as the gift of presence [of Christ].” Amidst all of the holiday mayhem, Snider was thankful for being able to enjoy a day of celebration with his community. A similar celebratory event was also held at the church’s other locations in Corning, Cortland and Ithaca. “We just love celebrating with our community,” Snider said. “It’s just an honor and a pleasure to host everyone here today.” Binghamton community pastor John Snider told 12 News between 500 and 600 people came to the church, taking part in a hot cocoa bar, cookie decorating, pictures with Santa Claus, hay rides, and worship.
Peter Crouch and Glenn Whelan have signed two-year contract extensions with Stoke, the Barclays Premier League club have announced. “I enjoy every minute of training and I also enjoy every minute I am on the pitch on matchdays too. I want to play a big part here in the coming years. “I have two more years now to make an impact. I’ve not signed the contract to sit here and put my feet up, I’m here to help the team improve and to win things.” Stoke progressed to the FA Cup fifth round on Monday with a 4-1 win at Rochdale. Keeping Crouch became even more important to Stoke after the news earlier this week that Bojan Krkic has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee injury. Manager Mark Hughes told the club’s official website: “We’ve been talking to both players for a while and it’s pleasing that both want to stay and be a part of what we are striving to achieve at the Club. “They are both fantastic professionals who had contributed a great deal to Stoke City long before I joined the Club and have continued to do so. I’m delighted they are staying with us for at least another couple of years.” Stoke chief executive Tony Scholes added: “Players like Glenn and Peter are very much the backbone of our squad and we’re delighted they have committed to spend at least another two years with the Club. “They have both proved to be fantastic signings for Stoke City. The experience they bring to bear on the side, both on and off the pitch, cannot be under-estimated and they still have so much to offer.” Crouch – who became Stoke’s record signing when he joined them for £10million from Tottenham, and turns 34 on Friday – believes he can help the Potters claim silverware in his remaining time with them. He said: “We have achieved so much in the time I have been here – finishing in the top 10 (of the Premier League for the first time in Stoke’s history) last year was huge for us and the squad we have right now is full of quality. “I’m just so happy that we are doing well and now we want to keep moving forward and possibly lift a bit of silverware – which is achievable. Former England striker Crouch had been linked with a move away from the club with his existing deal due to expire in June, but is now committed to the club until 2017. Crouch joined Stoke from Tottenham in 2011, while Whelan has been with the Potters since 2008, helping them win promotion to the Premier League later that year. Press Association
Published on October 17, 2012 at 2:54 am Contact Trevor: [email protected] | @TrevorHass A few hours before every home game, Jordan Murrell zones everything else out and focuses on a different kind of game before he steps onto the soccer field.After a 10-minute run and dribbling warm up, Murrell sits in his apartment and zeroes in on the TV screen. Eyes locked in, fingers in place, he goes to work as music by Trey Songz, Usher or Chris Brown plays in the background.It’s Call of Duty time.“People ask me why I do that,” Murrell said. “It just calms me mentally. I’m not too bad. I try to keep up with the rest of the world that plays all the time.”So far this season that pregame preparation has worked for the sophomore Murrell, who has excelled as a defender for Syracuse. Murrell has anchored an Orange defense that has held opponents to nine goals on the season. He has also chipped in with some timely offense, contributing two goals and five assists.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textShining on a soccer field is nothing new for Murrell, who was born and raised in England. Judith Murrell, Jordan’s mother, said her son was wearing shin pads at 18 months old and became infatuated with the game when he watched his older brother, Joel, play.One day, Joel was taking a team photograph and Jordan got a little jealous. He saw an opening and quickly darted into the picture, going as fast as his 18-month legs would motor.“We knew then that he was focused and driven about playing soccer,” Judith Murrell said.Murrell continued to hone his game on the streets of England. He said players ranged from 3 to 25 years old, so he got accustomed to playing against stronger, faster opponents at a young age.He used to come home from school, grab his soccer ball and head out to the streets for hours.“When I could walk I got a ball put in my feet,” Murrell said. “I used to play outside in front of my house from when I got home from school until the lights went off and I had to go inside.”At the age of 12, Murrell left his life in England to move to Ontario, Canada. His stepfather, who was originally from Canada, decided the move would be the best way for Murrell and his two younger sisters to get a superior education.When he arrived in Canada, Murrell continued to improve on the field and elevated his game to the next level. He joined the Unionville Milliken Soccer Club, where he played under Filipe Bento.Bento recalls one game where he drew up a play in a frenzy to try to tie the score in the waning minutes. He called Murrell over and gave him quick, last-second instructions on how to take the free kick.Worried that he didn’t provide Murrell with enough details, Bento was blown away when he executed the kick to perfection. Murrell sent a perfectly placed pass toward the goal and a teammate found the back of the net for the decisive goal.“He was always very intelligent,” Bento said. “We could see that he had promise and a future in soccer. He had something different that the other kids didn’t have.”That intelligence and talent has translated to two successful seasons at Syracuse, and he has his eyes on a Big East championship and an NCAA tournament berth this year.Against formidable conference foes Rutgers and Louisville, Murrell ignited the Orange with three assists — all of them coming off corner kicks.Against Rutgers, Murrell lined up for a corner two minutes into overtime. He zeroed in on teammate Lars Muller and lofted the ball toward the goal.Bull’s-eye.Murrell hit Muller in stride and the forward’s header beat the keeper, giving Syracuse a win in its first overtime game of the season. Earlier in the game, Murrell set up Jordan Vale beautifully on a corner and Vale timed it perfectly for a score.Head coach Ian McIntyre moved Murrell to left back because of his on-ball defense and ability to move forward and attack after making a stop. That strategy has worked flawlessly as Murrell has stopped defenders with poise and confidence.Though Murrell played well for Syracuse last season, McIntyre has seen considerable improvement from the sophomore, who has grown into a vocal leader on a team that has done a 180.“I think he’s more consistent and mentally tougher,” McIntyre said. “He has more resilience to his game. We’ve moved him to left back because of his quality on the ball. As he showed the other night, he’s got a very sweet left foot.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+
Seeded No. 1 in the South, Mt. SAC used an 18-10 run at the beginning of the second half to turn a close game into a 71-61 win over the North No. 4-seeded Owls at Fresno’s Selland Arena on Friday. “We definitely didn’t play one of our best games,” said Mt. SAC coach Laura Beeman, who had guided the Mounties to an average winning margin of 43 points per game since their only loss of the season on Jan. 12, but only won by 10 against a team they beat 63-46 earlier in the year. For the entire first half of its State Championship quarterfinal game against Foothill College, the Mt. San Antonio College women’s basketball team struggled. The second was another story – well, kind of. “We were just anxious. It definitely wasn’t one of our better games.” After leading just 33-28 coming out of halftime, Mt. SAC (35-1) began to distance itself in the second half. Freshman guard Jazlyn Davis had a game-high 23 points – 12 of which came in the first half – three rebounds and four steals for the Mounties. “We just wanted to come out and execute and play hard,” Davis said. “We came out a little flat today. But we picked up our defensive intensity. We didn’t want to go home today.” Sophomore guard Tonicia Tademy added 10 points and five steals for the Mounties, who had 11 steals and forced Foothill (27-9) into 28 turnovers. Mt. SAC pulled down an astounding 25 offensive rebounds on its way to 45 total rebounds for the game. “We always crash the boards hard,” Beeman said. “It’s what’s kept us in the big games. “We led them in every statistical category but shooting percentage. We took 24 (72-48) more shots than they did, it gave us our advantage.” Sophomore guard Tay Hester was 10 of 12 from the free-throw line as she scored 18 points and had six rebounds. The win sets up a semifinals matchup today at 5 p.m. against College of the Canyons (30-5), which beat North No. 2 San Joaquin Delta earlier in the day. The Mounties beat the Cougars 71-57 in the championship game of their season-opening Mt. SAC tournament. “They have an All-State point guard who is tremendous,” Beeman said. “They transition very well. We need to make them slow it down and run their half-court sets.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!