THE Guyana Police Force’s football team will face Riddim Squad while Uitvlugt will tackle Santos today, when action in the Hamilton Green Cup Knock-Out football tournament continues at the Den Amstel Ground, West Coast Demerara.In the opening match from 14:00hrs, the lawmen, just a winning streak in the just-concluded Corona tournament which they won, will be seeking a place in the quarter-final round of this tournament with the aim of carting off the $500,000 fir st prize money and trophy.However, they will have to be wary of Riddim Squad whose attack will be led by Kevin Agard and Teon Jones, while Seon Hope, Kevin Gordon and Lyliton Ramsay will lead the support from midfield.The team’s defence will be marshalled by Mark Gilkes, Dorville Stewart and Orville Stewart.In the feature game from 16:00hrs, both Uitvlugt of West Coast Demerara and Santos of Georgetown will also be seeking to book their places in the quarter-final round, but only one team (the winner) will be able to advance and this makes this game, like the opening fixture, a must see as it promises much excitement.Meanwhile, Den Amstel, Soesdyke Falcons and Ann’s Grove booked their quarter-final spots last Sunday with victories over Golden Grove, Mahaica Determinators and Buxton Bakewell, respectively at the Victoria ground, East Coast Demerara.Den Amstel of West Coast Demerara beat ECD’s Golden Grove 2-0, while Soesdyke Falcons of East Bank Demerara (EBD) defeated Mahaica Determinators 4-2 and Ann’s Grove (ECD) edged their ECD counterparts Buxton Bakewell 1-0 in the feature game.The winners of the Santos versus Uitvlugt game will meet Soesdyke Falcons in the quarter-final round and Den Amstel will face Ann’s Grove next Sunday at the Georgetown Football Club.Also on that date, Western Tigers will meet Milerock and the home side GFC will oppose Eagles United.The tournament is being coordinated by former national player/coach Lennox Arthur.
With a sly smile and reserved demeanor, redshirt freshman Tyler Vaughns is excited for the opportunity to make his presence felt. When asked whether or not he was ready to make his debut against the Western Michigan Broncos in the historic Los Angeles Coliseum, Vaughns couldn’t hold back his smile.“Yeah,” he grinned. “I’m really excited.”You would be, too, if you were Vaughns. He’s waited a year for his chance to shine in the spotlight. Like JuJu Smith-Schuster, Nelson Agholor, Marqise Lee and plenty more before him, Vaughns hopes to be the next USC receiver to break out and make a name for himself. Following an excellent spring and fall camp, Vaughns looks like he’s ready to make the jump. But it didn’t happen overnight. Coming from Bishop Amat High School, just a little over 20 miles away from the USC campus, Vaughns was seen by some as one of the top five receivers in the country when he was a high school senior. Vaughns has always had the physical talent. In his final season of high school, Reign of Troy writer Alicia de Artola described him as having “glue-like hands.” But the jump from high school to college was a big one. While he had always stood out on the field growing up, Vaughns struggled to set himself apart from his teammates for the first time in his football career. Vaughns was redshirted his freshman season at USC. However, it was a humbling experience for him, and he says he’s better because of it. “It really helped me in terms of knowing the game, knowing the playbook and all that,” Vaughns said. “So I’ll never take that year for granted. I worked my butt off. I was going against Adoree’ Jackson and [junior] Biggie [Marshall] everyday. So every day it was work. It wasn’t ever like ‘I’m a redshirt so I can just take it easy and chill.’ No it was business. It was a really good year for me.”As the Trojans prepared to play Penn State in a Rose Bowl for the record books, Vaughns studied the play books. As a redshirt, his role remained on the sidelines in the heart-stopping victory over Penn State. “During the bowl practices last year, I was up in [offensive coordinator Tee Martin’s] office going over the defenses,” Vaughns said. “I couldn’t recognize any of it. He’d quiz me on it, I’d go in and write it on his board or he’d give me a packet of routes to draw up.” The learning curve was steep, but after spending time learning the X’s and O’s, the lightbulb turned on and the game has slowed down. Before, he was unfamiliar with the plays, taking his routes slow to avoid mistakes. Now, Vaughns is ready to go full speed.With an offseason full of hype around redshirt sophomore quarterback Sam Darnold, one storyline of interest going into spring and fall camp was who would emerge as the big receiving threats for the Heisman candidate this season’s squad. And in a room full of talented athletes, Vaughns has stood out.“Sometimes it looks like [Sam Darnold]’s just gliding out there and just kind of floating,” Martin said. “He gets open for the quarterback. He just has a knack for doing those types of things. I think it’s special, it’s unique.” As for any personal goals ahead of the 2017 campaign, Vaughns has one: to start. He currently trails behind Jalen Greene in the depth chart, but Vaughns is determined that by the end of the season, that will have changed.“He’s playing so much more confident right now,” Martin said. “He’s gotten bigger and stronger in the weight room. He knows what to do now so he’s playing bigger and faster and now you can see his skill set. Very smooth, great route runner, catch radius. He’s just a football player.” As Trojan fans make their way into the Coliseum on Saturday, fans won’t be the only ones ready to start the season. After putting in the work, Vaughns will be a player to watch from now on, and he’s just as excited as anyone to see if this year will be his breakout season. While the team had a remarkable season last year, he and the Trojans are hungrier for more. And this time around, Vaughns hopes he’ll be the one making the big play instead of watching history from the sideline.