Lady Cards can be co-champs with win Saturday

first_img     Should Central Arkansas and Lamar both win, the teams would tie for the Southland title, but Central Arkansas would hold the tiebreaker advantage for the top seed.    All other scenarios would give the Lady Cardinals the No. 2 seed. In any event, Lamar has earned a bye into the tourney semifinals, meaning the Lady Cardinals won’t play until next Saturday in Katy.    “Having a bye into the semifinals is nice,” Harmony said. “It means you have to just win twice to win the tourney. That’s a lot better than having to win three or four games in as many days.”    Southeastern Louisiana (8-21, 7-10) has already been officially eliminated from tournament consideration, so Saturday’s game will be the last of the season for the Lady Lions.     Southeastern Louisiana was a 67-62 winner over Lamar back on Jan. 18 in Hammond, La.    Saturday will be Senior Day for Lamar, as the Lady Cardinals honor four players who will be playing their last regular-season game: Gia Ayers, Francesca Bellatin, Chantelle Brockett and Alice Robinson. Ayers, who leads Lamar in scoring (15.3), will be playing her 100th career game. The entire regular season for the Lamar Lady Cardinals boils down to one game: Saturday’s clash with Southeastern Louisiana at the Montagne Center. Tipoff is 4 p.m.    A win would give the Lady Cardinals (17-11 overall, 12-5 Southland Conference) a share of the conference crown for the first time since the 2009-10 season. A loss would leave Lamar tied for second.    “We have to give it everything we have,” Lamar coach Robin Harmony said. “We’d like to raise a banner next season.”    A Lamar win combined with a Stephen F. Austin win over Central Arkansas would give the Lady Cardinals a share of the Southland title with SFA and the top seed in next week’s Southland Conference Tournament. It would also assure a guaranteed berth in a postseason tournament.last_img read more

Panic Disorder

first_imgSome health issues cannot be seen, they are the silent sufferings that are felt with the heart and battled with the mind. It could be a stranger, it could be a friend, it could be you. It is me. Last Wednesday, October 10, was World Mental Health Day and in acknowledgement of that day, I am breaking a very personal story to my readers, in hopes it gives strength to others. I suffer from panic disorder.Panic attacks are classified as a mental health disorder. They are not anxiety attacks, which are short lived and onset by a particular stressor. Panic attacks are unprovoked, unpredictable, and can even occur when waking up. Anxiety Disorder is the most common mental health issue in America, affecting 40 million adults (18.1 percent), in that number six million (2.7 percent) have panic disorder (PD). Women, unfortunately, are twice as likely to be affected than men.This is my story.“I am present, I am here, this is real.” This is the mantra I’ve repeated to myself more times than I’d like to admit over the course of my life. I’ve been hiding in the shadows, but now’s the time to step out of the darkness and shine light on the real issue. I struggle with panic attacks nearly every single day. Inhale, exhale. Life’s most basic function has become my biggest burden. Many mornings I wake up afraid to take my next breath, each gasp of air becoming a cognitive chore.When I was seven years old, my mother took me to St. Lucia for our first mother-daughter trip and scheduled my first (and only) scuba diving lesson. Unfamiliar with the breathing techniques while using the air tanks, I panicked. I became faint and fearful I wouldn’t get enough air. As memories fade and blend together, this single moment became an irreversible turning-point in my life. I developed anxiety associated with getting enough oxygen. My life was never the same.Slumber parties, a young girl’s favorite pastime filled with friends, were a dreaded invite. I distinctly remember calling my mother several times from my peers’ houses at odd hours of the night to pick me up. “It’s happening. I’m scared. Can you come get me?” It socially isolated me, “the girl who couldn’t spend the night without her mommy.” I was ashamed.As the months rolled on, so did my emotional triggers. I feared the onset of another attack, thus developing into the classification of panic disorder. Time off from school frightened me, vacation time meant more hours of the day where my mind would wander. I couldn’t be alone with my own thoughts; I needed a distraction. It was all happening so fast. Eventually, any place related to darkness became a call for distress. Then, the worst happened. In a plateau of events, I feared the moment the sun went down, and winter was a chilling reminder that the days were shortened. The darker the hour, the less “alive” the world felt. It became a cycle of isolation.Coming from a family where medication wasn’t the answer, I never sought medical help. This was a mental issue and therefore could be overcome naturally. So, up until I was 17, I had my rituals. Everywhere I went I would map out the nearest hospital and keep relatives’ phone numbers on hand in the event of a full-blown attack. These things provided me comfort, as every moment alive became an opportunity for paralyzing fear to strike. In time, each time, the attacks did dissipate and I never actually had to call an ambulance (though I came close several times). Meanwhile, I continued to travel with family, enjoyed nights out with friends, boyfriends, scholarly awards, and other life milestones. From the outside, I was completely normal. On the inside, I was in a near-constant state of panic, afraid of my own shadow.Upon a life-changing travel opportunity with an educational group, People To People, in 2006, I faced my fear and came back panic free. For over a decade, the attacks dissipated. Then, one cold night in December 2017, I awoke unable to breathe, dizzy, and in a sweat. The symptoms persisted and two weeks later I visited a doctor for the first time regarding my symptoms, to confirm what I was experiencing. I knew it all too well and was in disbelief at its return. To help, she gave me a small dose of Xanax to alleviate the pressure, to remind my body what it was like to be calm. It helped for two days, and a rare occasion since. But I still have most of those pills, on standby in case of a real emergency.Over time, the occurrence has become infrequent but the symptoms are terrifying. Like falling into a black hole, where the gravity continues to pull me in. I’m disconnected, disillusioned from all things I’ve known. I’m no longer real, life feels like another dimension I cannot touch. My chest continues to tighten, unable to get a full breath in. The hairs on my arms begin to stand. I feel faint. I question if I’m dying, so I place my palm in front of my lips to check if air is coming out. It is. Stand up, walk around, take a drive, call someone, anything to remind myself that I am connected to what’s around me. Every moment in it has become an irrational moment of fear.I am not a victim. My attacks do not define my life, they merely become moments of an additional breath. I’ve decided to share my story now in acknowledgement of the severity of this illness, gripping those in its path. It is an illness masked in smiles and silence. If you suffer, know you are not alone and you, too, will continue to find your Sharelast_img read more

NFL Week 9 upset picks: Underdogs with good odds to beat the spread

first_imgBuffalo has to fix their run defense which has surrendered 143 yards a contest in their last three outings. It’s given if Washington starts rookie QB Dwayne Haskins or Case Keenum (protocol to start the week), they will feature the run and Adrian Peterson.Snag the double digits as the Skins fall 17-10 to cover.NFL pick: Redskins +10 (-110) We have reached the halfway point of the NFL season. Hall of Fame coach Tom Landry of the Dallas Cowboys wouldn’t fit into today’s world of everything has to matter to somebody and be overanalyzed.Of course, Landry wanted his team to win every game, but he also understood and preached the first half of the season was about preparing for the rest of the year and making a championship run. That is what we partially have in mind in making this week’s NFL picks, looking at teams that are still building and possibly in decline. Here is our breakdown of underdogs we like who we expect to cover and could engineer upsets.MORE: Get the latest NFL odds & betting advice at Sportsbook ReviewHouston Texans vs. Jacksonville JaguarsSunday, Nov. 3, 9:30 a.m. ET (NFLN) at Wembley Stadium (London)Opening odds: Texans -1The Houston Texans came from behind to beat Oakland 27-24 and kept on the heels of Indianapolis in the AFC South. The Texans did receive terrible news, that they will probably be without the services of J.J. Watt yet again for the third time in four years for the rest of the season.Just like in prior years, this doesn’t make Houston’s defense better, but the players on that side of the ball understand what they have to do to compensate. The Texans will make their first-ever trip to London to face AFC South rival Jacksonville. This is the Jaguars’ seventh straight trip to England, as their owner has ties to the country.MORE WEEK 9 PICKS: Straight up | Against the spreadThe Jags are only 3-3 SU and ATS in those prior contests and know the drill compared to the Texans maiden voyage. After dropping their first two contests, Jacksonville is 4-2 SU and ATS and at least is positioned to make a run at winning their division with three consecutive contests versus all three divisional foes.Jacksonville’s defense is back to being disruptive, ranked 3rd in sacks and they nearly beat Houston in Week 2 at their place, falling 13-12 on a failed late-game two-point conversion.With the underdog in this matchup 10-4 ATS, we’ll grab the points.NFL pick: Jaguars +1.5 (-110)Tennessee Titans vs. Carolina PanthersSunday, Nov. 3, 1 p.m. ET (CBS) at Bank of America StadiumOpening odds: Panthers -3.5After winning and covering four in a row and coming off a bye week, Carolina was a very popular choice among sharp bettors and wise guys last Sunday at San Francisco. That lasted about five minutes as the Panthers looked a fighter taking on the champion and after being punched in the mouth once and afterward wanted no part of that foe.Carolina went on to lose 51-13, waving the white flag early and often as four-point away underdogs. The Panthers defense has been run of the mill and gotten by on sacks (second in the league) and turnovers forced (16). However, teams can score on Carolina’s defense, as all but one opponent, has tallied at least 20 points and they are 29th in yards per point allowed.With Marcus Mariota ineffective yet again, oft-injured Ryan Tannehill has stepped in and Tennessee has won both times. Tannehill has impressed his teammates with greater accuracy and more velocity on his passes and the Titans have totaled 50 points in their pair of victories, compared to 55 points 1n Mariota’s five previous starts.In this one we are catching +4 points and find that Tennessee is 13-3 ATS against NFC South and 10-2 ATS in road games off exactly two home triumphs. Upset? Quite possibly.NFL pick: Titans +4 (-110)Washington Redskins vs. Buffalo BillsSunday, Nov. 3, 1 p.m. ET (Fox) at New Era FieldOpening odds: Bills -11.5Let’s get this out of the way first, we believe there is only a slim chance that Washington will win this game. However, we do feel strongly that they will have a very good chance to cover the spread.Redskins interim coach Bill Callahan has created more accountability with his team and simplified many aspects of the offense and defense, designed to give a limited roster, especially on offense, a chance. Defensively, the core principles are now being followed and the Redskins are giving up fewer points.Buffalo was ripped by Philadelphia 31-13 at home last Sunday. After playing tremendous defense in their first five contests, the Bills gave up 21 to Miami and 31 to the Eagles. The Bills need to play strong defense because they have offensive limitations with quarterback Josh Allen still learning on the job.last_img read more