Written by Staff
The team members of Irving’s newest resident sports team, Texas Wild – part of Mylan World TeamTennis (WTT) – come from all over the world, so here is a short introduction to the players.
2013 marks Bob Bryan’s 11th season with the WTT. He previously played for the Idaho Sneakers, Newport Beach Breakers and Kansas City Explorers. He is currently ranked No. 1 in doubles and won his 90th career doubles title with his brother, Mike Bryan, with a victory at London’s Queen’s club Championship in June. Also this year, the Bryan Brothers captured their 14th Grand Slam title at the Roland Garros in France.
Besides the victories shared with this brother, Bob, Mike Bryan captured the Mixed Doubles title at Wimbledon in 2012 with Lisa Raymond. Not only is Mike playing alongside his brother in the WTT, but competing against his father, Wayne Bryan, coach for the Sacramento Capitals.
Jim Courier previously played in the WTT for the New York Hamptons and the New York Buzz. He won Gland Slam singles titles at the French Open in 1991 and 1992 and in the Australian Open in 1992 and 1993. Courier not only played on Davis Cup-winning teams in 1992 and 1995 but currently serves as the captain of the US Davis Cup team. In 2005 he was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. During the course of his career, Courier has won 23 career singles titles.
It looked like Moscow native Alex Bogomolov Jr. was born to play tennis. His father, Alex Sr., was a Soviet national coach who trained some of Russia’s greatest No. 1 ranked tennis players. Besides having a rich history with the WTT, he was voted the Association of Tennis Professionals' (ATP) Most Improved Player in 2011 after rising 132 rankings spots and posting 27 tour-level wins. This year, he was on two Challenger Tour singles titles in Guadalajara, Mexico and Kunming in Southwest China.
Texas Wild’s youngest team member, Eugenie Bouchard, made her WTT debut in 2009 with the Kansas City Explorers when she was 16. This year, she made the Top 100 debut after reaching the quarterfinals round in Charleston, SC. She won three junior Grand Slams and is the first Canadian to win a Grand Slam singles title.
Currently ranked No. 12 in doubles, Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi, has won eight career doubles titles on the ATP World Tour. Prolific both on and off the court, he released a book in 2012 titled “Lessons Learnt from the Tennis Tour.” He also started charity, Stop War Start Tennis, dedicated to helping victims of weapons like landmines resume an active lifestyle.
Although Croatian Darija Jurak is a late addition to the team, she is bringing with her a successful European career where she has won many tournaments, primarily in Croatia and Italy, and reached a highest ranking of 39 for doubles.
Last Updated on Friday, 12 July 2013 01:22
Written by Nick Kammerer
The Irving Police Explorers participated in the Fort Worth Police Department SWAT camp at Sid Richardson Scout Ranch in Bridgeport, TX from June 27-30. Approximately one hundred Police Explorers from across state of Texas attended the four-day camp that encouraged participants to explore the career of a SWAT officer.
The events and activities at the SWAT camp were designed to promote teamwork, personal motivation, and discipline. They were designed to teach Explorers police and SWAT team tactics that are commonly used in dangerous, high-risk situations. The Explorers also participated in the Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience (COPE) high ropes course.
The Police Explorers arrived on Thursday afternoon and began their exciting weekend by engaging in group exercises that encouraged safety, teamwork and trust. Included in the activities was a trust fall where Explorers fell backwards off of a six-foot-high podium and were caught by their teammates down below.
The Explorers were up bright and early on Friday to participate in a mini duathlon. Participants in the race were required to run 1.5 miles, bike for two miles and run another half mile. Throughout the day, the Explorers competed in numerous team events including canoe races, bicycle relays, an obstacle course and a squad-car pull.
Perhaps the most exciting activity at this years’ SWAT camp was the COPE high ropes course where Explorers suited up in harnesses and safety equipment and maneuvered through a challenging obstacle course that included a 40-foot-high zip-line. In one portion of COPE, Explorers walked across a wooden balance beam that was suspended thirty feet in the air.
A few Police Explorers were hesitant to participate in the COPE course, but were quickly persuaded by their group members through positive motivation.
"As a leader in the Explorer post, it is important for me to lead by example and motivate my teammates,” Irving Police Explorer Sergeant Ricky Morado explained. "In the COPE high ropes course, I had to overcome my fears so that my fellow Explorers could overcome theirs. It was definitely challenging, but I felt a sense of accomplishment after I completed the course."
Last Updated on Thursday, 11 July 2013 21:48
Written by Colleen Ahern
Amid the towering antique aircraft of Addison’s Cavanaugh Flight Museum, teens gathered to rock out, create graffiti, and celebrate healthy relationships for the Be Project’s Music 4 Change concert on June 28th. Featuring local artists Rhea Raj, Dallas Wayde, Bentley Green and Marcella Fruehan, the concert was organized by Be Project’s student run group, Be More, that organizes events to speak out against bullying and violence in the media.
Teen leader Stephanie Castaneda has been involved with the Be Project for three years. She does everything from helping to organize social events to starting conversations about dating violence in schools. Teens like Stephanie work in unison with counselors who visit schools to advise students on dating violence and bullying. “One thing we did recently was to go to high schools, and during the lunch periods we would read statistics about sexual assault,” Stephanie said.
But at Music 4 Change, no one read aloud statistics. Instead, the focus was on having fun. As 15-year-old rapper Dallas Wayde performed onstage, his partner Rapjure jumped to the floor to get the crowd going. Between acts, kids posed with glow sticks in front of a photo wall and scribbled designs on a collection of graffiti posters. Director of the Be Project, Liz Ferrigno, was pleased by the positive atmosphere of the event. “We wanted to do something that was for something instead of against. It’s more proactive to have celebrations instead of just rallying against something all the time,” she said.
If you listened close enough, though, you could tell that the kids there were passionate about ending the cycle of bullying and dating violence. 12 year old performer Bentley Green got involved with Be Project last year after he recorded a song called “No More Pain,” that speaks out against bullying with lyrics like “keep standing tall keep doing you/ never quit don’t worry bout what bullies do.”
Musicians like Bentley are a rarity among pop and hip hop artists, many of whose lyrics contain stories of violence and unhealthy relationships. Stephanie Castaneda, who is a member of her high school’s dance team, remarks on how difficult it is to find songs to perform to that have a positive message. “Even if the lyrics are ‘clean’, they could have a really negative message,” she explained, mentioning, for example, the popular Eminem song, “Love the Way you Lie.” “I wish music could just be music,” Stephanie mused. “Why can’t someone just sing a song about having fun with your friends that’s not about drinking?”
Last Updated on Thursday, 11 July 2013 21:47
Written by Jess Paniszczyn
A single day could not contain all of the fun and excitement of Irving’s 2013 Independence Day celebrations.
The city’s traditional entertainments began July 3 with an outdoor party in Las Colinas featuring slides, a swing ride, an obstacle course, a quad-pod bungee and a climbing wall. As darkness fell around the Irving Convention Center, fireworks filled the night sky, choreographed to live music performed by the Irving Symphony.
Celebrating America with a 50 State Salute, Irving’s Fourth of July Parade started the following morning in true patriotic fashion as people lined the streets in honor of our nation’s birthday. Afterwards, parade participants and watchers filled Heritage Park for a watermelon reception and live concert by the Texas Gypsies.
Last Updated on Thursday, 11 July 2013 21:31
Written by Amanda Casanova
After about three years with the district, Superintendent Dana Bedden has resigned and will leave the top administrative position effective immediately.
The Irving Independent School District board didn’t spend long in executive session at the July 1 special meeting before Bedden announced his resignation. They had been scheduled to consider a voluntary agreement to buy Bedden out of his contract.
“The board and Dr. Bedden have entered into the agreement believing it is in their respective best interests in order for the board to pursue a different philosophical direction for the district,” a statement released by the district said.
According to the agreement, Bedden must then step down as an employee of the district by Sept. 20. On Sept. 20, he will be paid about $260,600 as long as he has not found full-time employment in a senior level position with another school or education-relation institution.
He will not be paid the $260,000 if he accepts a job as superintendent or other senior level position elsewhere.
Through Sept. 20 or until he finds a senior level position, Bedden will continue to be paid his salary and benefits. Depending on the number of vacation days he has, Bedden also may use up to 60 days of leave time before the Sept. 20 deadline.
Last Updated on Thursday, 11 July 2013 21:30