While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. According to a report from The Franchise Sports’ Lauren Rew, Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich is interviewing for the same position at Auburn.According to my co-host @Lauren_Rew, a source tells her that #OKState OC Mike Yurcich is interviewing at Auburn.— John E. Hoover (@johnehoover) January 17, 2017Former Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee vacated his post to take the same position for UConn.In four years at Oklahoma State after being imported from Shippensburg, Yurcich has been at the helm of one of the most explosive offenses in the country that averaged more than 450 yards per game. Specifically, he’s been successful in developing and recruiting quarterbacks at a high level — an area Auburn could use some help with.The job could be attractive for Yurcich for several reasons. Playing in the SEC for a program like Auburn would almost guarantee a pay raise, and he would be walking into a situation inheriting former Baylor quarterback Jarrett Stidham, a five-star prospect almost certain to make a big impact as a junior college transfer. Also, Yurcich has coached in a two-back spread at OSU for four years now. Auburn runs that same offense.Acording to SEC Country, Yurcich will have total autonomy should he get the gig.Lashlee surprised many when he left his position as offensive coordinator to take the same title at UConn. The Tigers are also reportedly considering Arizona State offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey. Former Baylor head coach Art Briles is not a candidate.Whoever replaces Lashlee is expected to have total control over the system and the play-calling. Head coach Gus Malzahn used to call the offensive plays before giving up that control earlier this season.As for Oklahoma State, running backs coach Marcus Arroyo could be a good fit to be promoted to play-calling duties, should he be interested. The former San Jose State quarterback spent time as an offensive coordinator at Wyoming as well as at Southern Miss under Todd Monken before taking a job as a quarterbacks coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Oklahoma State has reportedly hired A.J. Ricker as an offensive analyst.#OKState’s new offensive analyst is former Missouri OL coach A.J. Ricker. Takes Josh Henson’s old position. OSU has three analysts now.— Mark Cooper (@mark_cooperjr) March 6, 2017When Josh Henson left the OSU staff to join Arizona State as the their new offensive line coach, he left an empty analyst spot with the Cowboys. When Henson rejoined the staff to replace dismissed O-line coach Greg Adkins, the vacancy remained.Days after hiring Brian VanGorder as a second defensive analyst, the Cowboys have hired former Missouri offensive line coach A.J. Ricker to fill Henson’s previous analyst spot. With former defensive coordinator Bill Clay, the Cowboys now have three analysts on staff.Ricker was an All-Big 12 center at Missouri, playing four years for the Tigers before coaching the offensive lines at Western Michigan, Missouri and Illinois. This is the second time Ricker has taken over for Henson. He actually replaced him as offensive line coach at Missouri when Henson was elevated to offensive coordinator.Ricker was likely brought on to help stabilize the O-line and running game — and there’s history between he and Henson. The Cowboys have had four O-line coaches in the last five seasons.
While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. There is genuine excitement in newly committed Kanion Williams’ voice when he talks about football. Williams, a three-star safety out of South Oak Cliff High School in Dallas, committed to Oklahoma State on Friday via Twitter, and he was quick to say why.“It’s the perfect school for my athletic ability,” Williams told PFB. “The way they run cover 3, the way they run their man with one high safety, it’s really based off the coverages that we run at my high school, so it just fits me. And then how they play physical.“They don’t play scared football.”#Theprocess Lets co cowboys @coach_traylor @SOCFootball1 @CoachWarden @CoachGundy @danhammer11 @CoachTimDuffie pic.twitter.com/aRqvd71NaD— *J A C K B O Y* (@slimpick6ix) May 19, 2017Safeties coach Dan Hammerschmidt is certainly unafraid. With Williams’ commitment, the Cowboys will have gained six safeties in two recruiting classes. Williams held offers from Missouri, Houston and both Arizona schools among others, but OSU had something that the others did not: A record of success at the position.Williams said last year’s pairing of All-Big 12 First Team honoree Jordan Sterns and four-year starter Tre Flowers is absolutely feeding into not only his commitment, but also the five others.“It feels great knowing that I have more experienced guys that play exactly like me,” he said.Williams said he will try to play more of the Flowers role as a true center fielder. His senior season stats show that he can certainly play that role after posting 62 tackles and three interceptions, one of which he returned for a score.Although he is just 6-foot, he has the athletic ranginess to play in the back third. A look at his Hudl tape shows that clearly, as well as a stunning ability to slap a ball carrier after 20 yards of pursuit.But he will have more than a handful of guys to beat out. That’s a good thing though. He said that’s something that he is looking forward to.“Hopefully that means I have some competition coming in,” Williams said.
Let’s take a look at some news from around the league over the last week or two.All Boats RiseThere’s loads of narrative out there on what the Big 12 must do to save themselves — it’ll take all hands on deck.We’ve debated for years the Big 12’s value. That debate needs to end. Ask not what your conference can do for you, ask what you can do for your conference. And the answer is, OU can beat Ohio State. West Virginia can beat Virginia Tech. OSU can beat Pittsburgh. TCU can beat Arkansas. Texas can beat Southern Cal (well, you know what I mean). And if a team makes the playoff, win once it gets there.“I think we’re all responsible for that,” Mike Gundy said. “I think we’re responsible for playing the very best we can in nonconference games to help the image of the Big 12.” [NewsOK]Would sweeping the nonconference slate do the trick? Probably not. But doing that makes the next step a whole heck of a lot easier: if OU had beaten Houston or Ohio State, would the Big 12 be have been shut out last year?Last year the Big 12 failed almost unanimously in early out-of-conference tests, all but sealing its fate as a non-playoff conference. [Yahoo Sports]Texas Two-StepTwo quarterbacks are in competition for the Texas job.Shane Buechele will probably be the starting quarterback when Texas opens its season against Maryland on Sept. 2. But it isn’t certain.Buechele will be pushed by true freshman Sam Ehlinger, and new ‘Horns head coach Tom Herman will give Ehlinger plenty of time to do some pushing.Texas opened fall camp Monday and Herman said he is in no immediate hurry to name a starter, and will wait two weeks before picking Buechele or Ehlinger. Once the page turns to start preparing for Maryland, then Herman will name a stater. [NBC Sports]It’s early August and Herman is new, but it’s a race worth keeping an eye on: Texas hasn’t had a quarterback that scares defenses since a guy named Colt something-or-another.Snacking SnyderK-State coach Bill Snyder has had to make some big changes as he fights off cancer… like eating.“It’s all good, I’m sure, but it just doesn’t taste the way it should,’’ he said. “And for me, it’s hard to eat anyway. I’m not accustomed to having a snack between breakfast or lunch. Or, having lunch. I haven’t ever done it.’’He’s always passed by a plate to devise ways to pass a football. [Topeka Capital-Journal]I read one time that Snyder as a high school coach in California tried to be hypnotized into not having to sleep to work more.Surging Cyclones?Iowa State has peanut-butter-and-jellied with Kansas at the bottom of the league over the last few years – but are they turning a corner?The Cyclones held Texas Tech to 10 points and 4.4 yards per play, led Baylor by 14 points in the fourth quarter, led Oklahoma State by 10 in the fourth quarter in Stillwater, played Oklahoma even over the final 46 minutes of a 10-point loss, and nearly charged back to beat Kansas State via dramatic comeback.And once Jacob Park took over the quarterback job over the last five games, ISU averaged 33 points per game and 6.9 yards per play. [SB Nation]Having your quarterback figured out and the confidence that you can play with the rest of the league could be big.Quick HittersBaylor ordered to release documents concerning assault allegationsKansas took over K-State’s radio channel(Least) Hot Take: Texas’ reign of mediocrity might end under HermanYou win, you lose some.The time @SeanJpadden raced the Dummy for Curfew! #ManVsMachine pic.twitter.com/Xgc7tCcJ6c— Matt Rhule (@CoachMattRhule) August 4, 2017K-State has a beard to compete with the Mullet. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Skipped the stash and kept going. And my friends, this is tame. Day 2 Stash 2. Don’t make @KStatefb Honeycutt’s beard #hangry pic.twitter.com/YGAqfUMXOU— Scott E (@KStateVDO) August 3, 2017Texas with some new digs.This is the NEW Texas. #HookEm pic.twitter.com/rAxLxV8fwk— Texas Football (@TexasFootball) August 3, 2017…and apparently their fussy new media policies.Texas has decided to ban football writers who cover the team from using Twitter or any social media during post practice interviews ? pic.twitter.com/2yO9QrcZff— Anwar Richardson (@AnwarRichardson) August 2, 2017The king of Kansas football is now immortalized.The official beer of the 2007 Kansas football season? pic.twitter.com/KCFHw7llnZ— Matt Brown (@MattBrownCFB) August 4, 2017
Former Oklahoma State cornerback Tyler Patmon has been performing well for the Jacksonville Jaguars camp.After bouncing around from the Dallas Cowboys to the Miami Dolphins, Patmon’s time with the Jags has gone off without a hitch, with the third-year vet recording eight interceptions in practice thus far in preseason according to Zach Goodall of NFL Spin Zone.In a scrimmage against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, Patmon logged an interception on Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston, and he has proven to be a valuable commodity in the red zone. Here’s more details from ESPN on his big Sunday showing against Tampa Bay.AdChoices广告 Yet ANOTHER play from Tyler Patmon. He can’t be stopped! pic.twitter.com/arX9feQ2XP— Zach Goodall (@zach_goodall) August 14, 2017Patmon only recorded one tackle in the Jaguars’ preseason game against the Patriots last week, but with his recent play, he could be trending towards locking down a spot on the Jags 53-man roster. Tyler Patmon just had a solid red zone period. He picked off a Jameis Winston pass that bounced out of his receiver’s hands and then made a really nice tackle on Adam Humphries. [ESPN] Tyler Patmon’s second interception of the day, tipped pass from Winston pic.twitter.com/ziH0HMLoDS— Zach Goodall (@zach_goodall) August 14, 2017 While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Man Utd keeper De Gea: A big mistake by usby Paul Vegas25 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United goalkeeper David De Gea admits there was great frustration after their 1-1 draw with Arsenal.De Gea says United’s defenders were put off by the linesman’s flag before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored.The Arsenal striker chipped in after Bukayo Saka pounced on Axel Tuanzebe’s misplaced pass.The assistant referee called offside just as the Gabon striker went to dink it over De Gea.VAR proved that Harry Maguire was in fact playing Aubameyang on and the goalkeeper tried to claim he was distracted.Asked if he was put off by the mistaken flag, he said: “Of course. It’s easier if the linesman keeps the flag down but also we know VAR is behind it [the decision] and if it’s offside, it’s offside.”De Gea enjoyed a strong game and was rarely threatened despite the pouring rain at Old Trafford.He added: “It was a big mistake for us, we gave away an important goal and I think the game was well balanced – they had good chances and we did but the game was at Old Trafford so we have to win it.”We keep learning, we have a young team and it’s time to keep looking forward. This is Manchester United, we play at Old Trafford and we have to win these games. We have a young team but the lads have to react and play better than they have been doing.”We are a team and have to improve and we are working really hard to do it and we’re looking forward to the next game.”
Angelina Jolie addressed the United Nations University in Tokyo this week, encouraging students to support her Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict initiative and take action against war zone rape.’’Our world is scarred by immense problems from poverty to injustice and war. But your potential as young people is boundless,” she said during a special screening of her film, In The Land Of Blood And Honey. “Problems that have defeated previous generations, you have the chance to overcome. ’This is a vast task and it needs every effort and every level, from government and the UN, to communities and families, down to you – but it is possible.“The suffering the film depicts is immense and it is only one small piece of a global problem. Together we have the power to prevent these tragedies from being repeated. We cannot change the past but the future, that is an open question, and you have the power to find the answer.“When I started down the road of making this film I thought only of telling a story and giving a voice of survivor but today I’m her not only a s director buy as a campaigner and part of global effort growing every day. The suffering the film depicts is immense and it is only one small piece of a global problem.”
Red, ripe tomatoes grown on the property are on display for sale at Vollmer Farms. Farmers from other parts of the country and others affiliated with the Farm-Aid project toured Vollmer’s Farm in Bunn on Sept. 12, 2014 to share farming ideas and techniques. The event was one of several associated with the big Farm Aid concert being held in Raleigh this weekend.by Jessie Ammonsphotograph by Chris Seward, The News & ObserverIf the abundance of farmers’ markets in our area is any indication, it’s safe to say that eating locally is no longer a trend – it’s here to stay. We’ve put together a list of the best spots to pick up fresh, local produce across the Triangle. Keep in mind that while many of our markets are year-round, many shift their hours according to season. This list is accurate through the end of the month. Tear it out and hang it on your fridge – right next to the grocery list.RALEIGHCampus Farmers Market @ NCSU2306 Hillsborough St.Wednesdays, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. (through August 19)campusfarmersmkt.wordpress.comFarmstand at Raleigh City Farm800 N. Blount St.Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 12 noonraleighcityfarm.com/farmstandIFFS Farm Stand 4505 Tryon Rd.Thursdays and Fridays, 2 – 6 p.m., and Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.foodshuttle.orgLoMo Market Traveling market truck, locations and hours varylomomarket.com, @LoMoMarket Midtown Farmers’ Market4150 Main at North Hills St.Saturdays, 8 a.m. – 12 noonmidtownraleighfarmersmarket.comPlantation Point Farmers’ Market6250 Plantation Center Dr.Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.plantationpointfarmersmarket.com Raleigh Downtown Farmers Market400 Fayetteville St.Wednesdays, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.godowntownraleigh.com/farmers-marketState Farmers Market1201 Agriculture St.Mondays – Saturdays, 5 a.m. –6 p.m., and Sundays, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.statefarmersmarket.org GREATER TRIANGLEApex Farmers Market 220 N. Salem St., ApexSaturdays, 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.apexfarmersmarket.com Carrboro Farmers’ Market301 W. Main St., CarrboroSaturdays, 9 a.m. – 12 noon, andWednesdays, 3 – 6 p.m.carrborofarmersmarket.com Cary Downtown Farmers Market135 W. Chatham St., CarySaturdays, 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.caryfarmersmarket.com Chapel Hill Farmers’ Market201 S. Estes Dr., Chapel HillSaturdays, 8 a.m. – 12 noon, andTuesdays, 3 – 6 p.m.thechapelhillfarmersmarket.com Durham Farmers’ Market501 Foster St., DurhamSaturdays, 8 a.m. – 12 noon, andWednesdays, 3:30 – 6:30 p.m.durhamfarmersmarket.com The Farmers Market128 S. Main St., Holly SpringsSaturdays, 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.hollyspringsnc.us/farmersmarketGrowers Market121 N. Main St., Fuquay-VarinaSaturdays, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.growers-market.org Knightdale Farmers Market810 N. First Ave., KnightdaleSaturdays, 2 – 6 p.m.knightdalenc.govSaxapahaw Farmers’ Market 1735 Saxapahaw Bethlehem Church Rd.,SaxapahawSaturdays, 5 – 8 p.m.rivermillvillage.com South Durham Farmers’ Market 5410 N.C. Hwy. 55, DurhamSaturdays, 8 a.m. – 12 noonsouthdurhamfarmersmarket.org Wake Forest Farmers Market405 S. Brooks St., Wake ForestSaturdays, 8 a.m. – 12 noonwakeforestfarmersmarket.org Waverly Farmers’ MarketCorner of Tryon and Kildaire Farm Roads, CarySaturdays, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.waverlyfm.com Wendell Farmer’s MarketCorner of Pine Street and Wendell Boulevard, WendellSaturdays, 8 a.m. – 12 noontownofwendell.com Western Wake Farmers MarketCarpenter Village: 101 Gathering Park Circle, CarySaturdays, 8 a.m. – 12 noonUNC Wellness Center: 150 Stonecroft Lane, CarySaturdays, 7:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.wwfm.ag Zebulon Farm Fresh Market301 S. Arendell Ave., ZebulonSaturdays, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.townofzebulon.org
photographs by Leslie BakerJoyce Fitzpatrick adds final touches to a topiaryWhen Joyce Fitzpatrick and Gail Perry had young daughters, the two hard-working Raleigh friends decided to show their girls that they, too, could excel in the domestic realm.“Move over, Martha!” jokes public relations dynamo Fitzpatrick, recalling the motivation to invite friends and daughters to make Christmas topiaries together one December Saturday.That was 1990, and they’ve been doing it on the first Saturday in December ever since. The first year, mutual friend Susan Gravely, who founded the fine Italian pottery importer Vietri, brought containers. “Vietri pots!” says Perry, remembering. “I think I brought the plaster of Paris.”Neither Vietri pots nor plaster of Paris plays a role in the topiary-making today – one’s too precious, the other too complicated – but the tradition endures.It’s a stylish one that reflects the taste of each participant. Some are simple, others ornate. With florist’s foam, hot glue guns, pinecones, and clippings from their yards – magnolia, ivy, boxwood, hydrangea – plus healthy lashings of Perry’s homemade eggnog, the group makes topiaries, wreaths, and other décor. To see the results is to realize that they might not be kidding about showing Martha Stewart the door.Not that they’ll admit it. “It’s just fun, and a relief to get the darn stuff done,” says Perry, a nonprofit fundraising consultant. She is particularly proud of her eggnog, which she makes with 2 percent milk “so you can actually drink it,” and delighted to have perfected the art of “proper” bow-making. It’s a skill she learned from her own mother, Marian Perry, and has been able to pass on to her girls. “Loop and twist, loop and twist; being able to make it really grand.” Doesn’t that sound just a little like someone whose name starts with M?No, no, Perry insists: “It’s just an old-timey thing, like quilting. The fun is in visiting with each other at the same time.”And in creating a tradition for the next generation. Now in their mid- to late-20s, Perry and Fitzpatrick’s daughters may have once rolled their eyes at their mothers’ annual tradition, but now they love it.“Now that I have my own house, my mom’s friends help me come up with ideas of what to do,” says Perry’s daughter, Cassie Rice, 28, who, like her mother, sticks to wreaths.The annual topiary-making party is not the only tradition Perry and Fitzpatrick have created for (and with) their daughters. When the oldest two were around 13, the friends took their girls to Greece for a “coming of age” ceremony they invented (again, tween eyes rolled). Now, Perry and Fitzpatrick say they’ve been vindicated: Their girls are dying to re-create the trip, to do it all together again. It’s a good indicator, they say: This homegrown topiary tradition might have legs after all.
courtesy Sunshine Lavender Farmby Jessie AmmonsIt’s almost an hour-long drive north from Raleigh to Sunshine Lavender Farm in Hurdle Mills, outside of Hillsborough. But arriving to a cheerful red barn atop a hillside teeming with purple blossoms is well worth the drive. “It’s a retreat we built to enjoy and relax,” Annie Baggett says of the property she lives on with husband Dale and their daughters Abigail, 24, and Sylvie, 18. The Baggetts grow and sell lavender year-round online and at farmers’ markets, but only twice a year do they open the farm to the public: in winter for a holiday soiree, and in June for a harvest celebration. “It’s a special event for those who are truly lavender lovers.”As it turns out, true lavender lovers are not hard to come by. “Dale calls it a lavender cult,” Baggett says, “Folks really love lavender. It ranks as one of the most popular fragrances in the world.” From 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 6, and 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 7, you can stop by to see the farm, try lavender ice cream and sorbet, create crafts with fresh lavender, and learn how to grow it yourself.Baggett didn’t set out to become a lavender farmer, although she has an admittedly green thumb. When the family first moved to their property 15 years ago, “I planted a gigantic vegetable garden to share with the community.” Deer ended up eating more of the produce than the community did. “A friend from the west coast mentioned that I should add lavender, since fragrant, oily herbs are not a deer favorite … (it) grew beautifully. It was intentional to plant something in that field and to share it.”photo by Jillian ClarkTwelve years later, lavender is their only crop, which they harvest to sell fresh and dried, as well as turn into other items, including lip balm and eye pillows. Sunshine is the state’s first farm of its kind. “I made the conscious decision to show others how to be a farm business by doing it and through sharing. Our thinking is to hand off the farm to our daughters, to have a legacy plan. Yet only time will tell that.”While both Baggetts work full-time away from the farm (Annie is, fittingly, the agritourism marketing specialist for the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services), it’s coming home that keeps them going. “We have chosen to be good stewards of the land,” Baggett says. “One of the reasons why I fell in love with this plot of land was the sunshine here. It’s amazing. The sunsets thrill me while perched on the porch or strolling the field.”They’ve developed a love affair of their own with their plants, too. “It’s by far the most versatile herb around. It will pretty much cure whatever ails you.” Baggett cites it as a remedy for insomnia, nervousness, itchy bug bites, and bad moods; or, she says to put a few drops of lavender oil in your HVAC filters when you change them, and keep sachets of dried lavender florets in your car. But her favorite? “Lavender in food,” she says. “This has been my message for years. This is why we offer lavender ice cream and sorbet made by Maple View Farm at our celebrations. Lavender in chocolate. Lavender lemonade. Any produce or protein skewered with lavender stems, then grilled. Delish.”The summer harvest celebration is open house-style, but you do need to RSVP in advance online. “Most folks come on Saturday,” Baggett says, “so I’m pulling together a small farmers’ market for Sunday, to add value to that day. Sunday is my favorite!”To learn more about the harvest celebration and about Sunshine Lavender Farm’s products, visit sunshinelavenderfarm.com.