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Ireland got off to a shaky start, with keeper Aaron McCarey having to keep out a miscued third-minute header by team-mate Derrick Williams before Dutch skipper Alex Schalk hit the post with a deflected shot. But O’Brien set them on their way when he tapped home from Forde’s cross after it eluded the entire Netherlands defence. The teenager might have claimed a second with 22 minutes gone, but dragged his shot wide. However, he did not have to wait long to extend Ireland’s lead, turning home Everton defender Shane Duffy’s flick-on from a Forde free-kick. O’Brien hobbled off 11 minutes after the restart after falling awkwardly as he challenged for a high ball, but the game was effectively over seconds later when Forde was fouled by Stefano Denswil and he picked himself up to convert the resulting penalty. Substitute keeper Sean McDermott had to make an important save at the death to deny Joel Veltman a consolation goal but Ireland were worthy winners over a Dutch side who qualified for this summer’s Euro 2013 finals as group winners. The victory will give King’s men a massive boost in confidence as they prepare for the new qualifying campaign, which gets underway in the Faroe Islands in August. Press Association Debutant Aiden O’Brien claimed a double as Ireland Under-21s surged to an impressive 3-0 friendly victory over the Netherlands. The 19-year-old Millwall striker scored twice before the break, firing his side ahead after 10 minutes and then increasing their advantage eight minutes before half-time. Wolves midfielder Anthony Forde completed the job when he converted a 57th-minute penalty to cap a second successive victory for Noel King’s side, who ended the qualifying campaign for the 2013 European Championships with a 4-2 win in Italy in September last year.
Press Association Everton captain Phil Jagielka will not be rushed back to offset the injury to fellow central defender Sylvain Distin, according to manager Roberto Martinez. But the Toffees boss has always been adamant Jagielka will only return when he is 100 per cent. “Phil Jagielka has got his own programme and it is important that we follow that and we don’t rush him back,” he told evertontv. “He has been involved with the first team training now and that is a really good sign. “We want Phil back as quick as we can but not because we have got an injury with Sylvain. “We aren’t going to rush and do the wrong things in his individual programme. “Phil is going to be fully fit very soon and I do expect that he will probably be able to make the squad against Manchester City (on May 3) and that’s always been the plan. “I do believe that we will be able to reach that.” Distin sustained a hamstring problem in last weekend’s win over Manchester United – the same complaint which has kept Jagielka sidelined since the end of February. If the French defender does not recover in time to face Southampton on Saturday Martinez will be left with just John Stones, who himself has been filling in for Jagielka, and Antolin Alcaraz – who has played just five times since making his debut in December following an injury-troubled season after his summer move from Wigan.
EUROPAÂ Manchester United has been boosted by the return of several injured players on the eve of their Europa League semi-final first leg at Celta Vigo.Defender Eric Bailly trained wednesday despite limping out of Sunday’s draw with Swansea City.Chris Smalling and Phil Jones took part having missed nine games with a knee injury and broken toe respectively.Midfielder Paul Pogba returns from muscle fatigue, while Juan Mata could start after undergoing groin surgery.Manager Jose Mourinho faced the prospect of fielding midfielder Michael Carrick or 19-year-old Axel Tuanzebe in central defence at Celta’s Estadio de Balaidos, but either Jones or Smalling will now likely feature alongside Bailly.United is bidding to win the Europa League for the first time and guarantee a place in next season’s Champions League in the process.This will be the English teamâ€™s first meeting with Celta, who sits 11th in La Liga and has lost its last three matches.Mourinho’s side, by contrast, is unbeaten in 11 matches in all competitions.The second leg is on May 11 at Old Trafford. The winners meet Ajax or Lyon at the Friends Arena in Stockholm on Wednesday, May 24.Â Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
Just five teams made it to the softball Section III Class AA playoffs, though regardless of the number or sides involved, the path to a championship involved trying to upend Cicero-North Syracuse.And it was Baldwinsville that would earn the right to topple the Northstars in the championship game, though it didn’t prove easy for the Bees to get there.In fact, no. 2 seed B’ville trailed no. 3 seed Syracuse late in Saturday’s sectional semifinal at Carrier Park, but woke up just in time to deliver the runs needed for an 8-3 victory. The Syracuse program, a combination of the city’s high schools, had struggled for a long time before 2019, when it went 10-4 in the regular season and contended within the Salt City Athletic Conference Empire division.Proving that this mark wasn’t a fluke, Syracuse didn’t get fazed when Mattison Phinney’s RBI groundout in the bottom of the first inning put the Bees in front 1-0 and Kayla Young made that slim margin hold early.In the top of the fifth, Syracuse got to Young, tying it 1-1 on Alyssa Mann’s RBI triple, then going in front when Young and her relief replacement, Taylor Tripodi, both threw wild pitches with runners on third, allowing them to score. Tags: BaldwinsvilleC-NSSoftball Now it was B’ville’s turn to rally. With two outs in the bottom of the fifth and trailing 3-1, the Bees got an RBI single from Alyssa Dybacz before a pair of Syracuse errors brought the tying run home.So it was 3-3 going to the bottom of the sixth, when Syracuse’s defense again made a crucial error, which put Phinney on third, and Phinney scored the go-ahead run on Madison Ascioti’s single.Kaycee Hawk followed with an RBI single of her own to make it 5-3. Then, in order, Young doubled, Dybacz singled and Emma Johnson also singled, each of them bringing home three more B’ville runs.Tripodi kept Syracuse off the board in her last two innings of work, and B’ville advanced to the sectional final against a C-NS team it beat 14-8 the last time they met early in May.Of course, the Northstars remembered that defeat and were bent on avenging it. First, though, it had to get past Fayetteville-Manlius in its sectional semifinal at Carrier Park – which it did 15-0 in just five innings.Having not played in a week, the Northstars only managed a single run in the first two innings on Brandi Feeney’s single that scored Giana Wameling, but big numbers followed.Ten batters came to the plate in the bottom of the third and five runs scored, C-NS patiently wearing down F-M pitcher Paige Murphy as Ally Cifaratta’s two-run double was the big blow.Seven more runs followed in the fourth inning and two runs in the fifth ended it due to the mercy rule as Cifaratta went three-for-three with three runs scored and three RBIs, while no. 9 hitter Jenna Imbesi had three hits and drove in four runs.Feeney and Alana Harbaugh also had three-hit outings, Harbaugh contributing a triple and two RBIs. Jordyn Maldonado drove in two runs, with Wameling and Brooke Nicolaos getting one RBI apiece as Arianna Corasaniti held the Hornets to three hits.Share this:FacebookTwitterLinkedInRedditComment on this Story
Published on February 4, 2018 at 8:59 pm Contact Matt: firstname.lastname@example.org,Comments are closed. Comments Danny Varello raced to midfield from the Syracuse sidelines, leading a charge of nearly the entire team. Those on the field tackled freshman midfielder Jamie Trimboli, whose acrobatic goal captured a 12-11 overtime win against Duke in the Carrier Dome.Varello reached the dog pile mobbing Trimboli, and leapt on top. Trimboli’s game-winning goal made him the hero in SU’s fourth-straight one-goal victory.But it was Varello that won the possession for the Orange that led to the victory.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“You’re as good as your last faceoff,” Varello’s father Joe constantly preached. “Very few people in a lifetime will be in a moment like that.”Varello was just a freshman, and a backup to Ben Williams, Syracuse’s greatest faceoff specialist in history. But several times during the 2017 season, the SU coaches called on their freshman specialist for a lift in crunch time. Williams struggled during the middle of the season, after injuring his shoulder. When SU needed something different Varello offered it, Syracuse head coach John Desko said. Williams has since graduated, and Varello, a sophomore, is now the lead faceoff specialist for a young team searching for its first Final Four in five years, the longest drought ever for a Syracuse team since its first NCAA Tournament appearance in 1979.,Varello faces a demanding challenge, replacing an All-American in Williams. The two-time Tewaaraton nominee broke the program records for faceoffs won and groundballs picked up in just three seasons. Williams was the “physical specimen” of the team, Joe said. He was the strongest and the fastest, and the player everyone wanted to transform themselves into. Varello didn’t just want that, he needed it.“Ben’s my biggest role model,” Varello said last season. “I look at Ben, I’m like, how can I be the player he is?”The position is perhaps the most physically demanding in lacrosse. Williams fit the mold perfectly.“You look at Ben compared to any athlete, his muscle tone, his strength, speed,” Joe added, “you’re comparing (Danny) to an Adonis.”• • •Within the first year of Varello’s soccer career, Joe realized it was not the sport for his son. Rather than playing the game with touch and finesse, a young Varello would track down his opponents and knock them over.“I always got penalties,” Varello added. “I was definitely a little too tenacious out there.”Instead of soccer, Varello preferred football, where he could “ram his head into people.”Around the same time, in 2010, a 12-year-old Varello continued his pursuit of physicality when he began taking lessons at the Fogolax Academy in Huntington, New York, with faceoff specialist coach Matt Schomburg.“He was like a little round mound of rebound,” Schomburg said. “Like a little Charles Barkley.”Varello wasn’t a natural athlete, Schomburg said. But Varello was naturally gifted as a faceoff specialist. He had incredibly quick hands, in part, due to their sheer size. At 12, Varello had bigger hands than some high schoolers, Schomburg said.“I thought, ‘This kid can beat anyone … if (he) can get in shape,’” Schomburg said. “He’s just a naturally gifted, talented kid.”Schomburg considers four key traits in evaluating the skills of a faceoff specialist: speed, balance, technique and power. Within just a few weeks of practicing, Varello had already tackled the first three. The one he lacked, surprisingly, was power.In his youth, Varello had the size, just not the strength to match it.By his sophomore year of high school, though, things were different. Varello became the starting faceoff specialist for Smithtown West (New York) High School. Despite being one of the youngest starting faceoff specialists in the county, he showed promise with his lightning-quick hands and his raw power, which came into form as he aged.“You’re not going to push him off his spot,” Smithtown West head coach Bob Moltisanti said. “He’s a fire hydrant.”But as the strength began to emerge that year, he still wasn’t maximizing his potential. He needed to be quicker. Between his sophomore and junior year, Moltisanti emphasized the importance of footwork and agility in becoming a successful faceoff specialist.Varello listened, visiting the track several times per week to work on his foot speed and explosiveness. By his junior season, Varello combined the power and speed to become one of the best specialists in New York.And he only continued to improve. By the end of his senior year, Varello was Smithtown West’s all-time leader in faceoff wins as well as a two-time All-Division and All-Suffolk County honoree.“To see him transform from a 14-year-old kid to an 18-year-old young man,” Moltisanti said, “that was special.”• • •In high school Varello was the star. When he arrived at Syracuse, that dynamic changed. He wasn’t the top at his position, or even second. Williams was the best, and no one else seemed close.Varello impressed Williams early on in fall practices, though. The two faced off over and over, with Varello winning a few, Williams said. He praised Varello’s “really fast hands,” the quickness with which he clamps his stick down on the ball.“I realized he was going to be a guy that would make me better,” Williams said. “You want to be challenged and have someone to compete with.”Varello earned his opportunity to compete early in the season. An injury forced Williams to miss SU’s home contest with Army. But Syracuse head coach John Desko opted to call on senior Cal Paduda to replace Williams.Paduda won the first faceoff, which led to an SU goal. But he couldn’t do much more. Paduda finished just 3-of-13, and SU found itself down 8-4 toward the end of the second quarter. Desko turned to Varello to win at the faceoff X.He thrived, winning 10-of-17, and leading an SU comeback. Despite the 14-13 SU loss, Varello succeeded, winning 58.8 percent of his faceoffs against Dan Grabher, the fifth-leading faceoff specialist in the country in 2017.“I proved to everyone that not only do I play well in practice,” Varello said, “but I can play in those big games.”Coming off five-straight one-goal games, in which SU went 4-1, the Orange hosted Duke one month after Army. During the previous three contests — all SU victories — Williams struggled after returning from injury, finishing 36-of-69.Against Duke’s Kyle Rowe, Williams’ troubles escalated. Despite winning just four of 17 faceoffs, Syracuse held a two-goal lead entering the fourth quarter. But eight seconds into that frame, Duke scored immediately off a faceoff win.Desko replaced his All-American with Varello. SU needed its unknown freshman to help lead then-No. 5 SU to a win against the 11th-ranked team in the nation.Varello marched out and looked up into the stands. Seventy-three hundred people packed the Carrier Dome, the largest attendance of the year, and of Varello’s life.From the start, Varello consistently beat Rowe. His first faceoff win led to an Orange goal. But SU turnovers handed Duke a two-goal lead.With just more than six minutes left, Syracuse rallied. Varello won the following faceoff with ease, and sprinted directly toward the Duke goal, setting up an easy Brendan Bomberry finish.Following another SU goal, both teams were knotted at 11. Neither side broke the tie in the final 1:30 left in regulation. Instead of going back to Williams in the overtime period, Desko trusted Varello to win the last possession.“When I went in, I knew our coaches were really, really, really betting on this Plan B to work,” Varello said.Varello looked up to the stands one more time before crouching down into position. He and Rowe attacked each other, trying to win the ball, but Varello gained control and gave SU the possession. Forty seconds later, Trimboli netted the game winner before the mob ensued, and Varello, the unsung hero, went unnoticed.The following Monday in practice, Varello approached Williams, who was coming off the worst game of his career.“‘Shake it off,’” Williams remembers Varello saying. “‘We’re going to do great going forward and we’re going to work on things together.’”“That meant a lot to me,” Williams added. “Especially for how well he played in that game. It spoke a lot about him as a teammate.”• • •Syracuse’s conditioning test consists of three sprints of 440 yards, Varello said, which combined, must be completed in 214 seconds — three minutes and 34 seconds. Williams never failed his test. When Varello attempted his first test his freshman year, he finished in 215.“It bothered him,” Joe said. “He wished he was better prepared conditioning-wise.”After Duke, Varello struggled the remainder of the season, winning just five of his remaining 17 attempts, finishing with a season percentage of 52.2.In the offseason, the coaches didn’t want him focusing on his faceoffs though. Instead, they wanted Varello to play lacrosse — midfield, attack and defense — and focus on getting in better shape.“I told him I didn’t want to see him until he was 10 pounds lighter,” Schomburg said.And Varello listened. Every day over the summer, he headed to the track at Smithtown West and did sprinting workouts.Then he would play midfield in tournaments on Long Island to work on his stickhandling and to see the field better once he wins the faceoff. To improve on faceoffs, Varello met up with Gerard Arceri of Penn State, Austin Henningsen from Maryland and both specialists from Hofstra, all of whom live in the area.The five would meet at a small indoor facility, and spend the entire day facing off against each other. It was almost a “top-secret exclusive cub,” Varello joked.“You get five guys in a room and a couple of whistles,” Varello said. “That’s really all you need.”He changed his diet to cut carbs, even though it’s almost impossible coming from an Italian household, Varello said. He quickly shed those 10 pounds and continued working on his technique with Schomburg.Kevin Camelo| Digital Design EditorNow, entering his sophomore season, Varello has improved his all-around game. He has gotten stronger and faster, improved his off-ball skills and his quickness at the faceoff X.“He even may be a hair quicker than Ben,” Desko said.And he passed the fitness test that haunted him since last year.“Danny looks at himself and to a (former) senior like Ben,” Joe said, “‘I’ve got to be in that shape. That’s my goal. I’ve got to eat right, I’ve got to be lean. I have to condition right. My position demands it and my teammates are counting on it.’”Williams finished his career at Syracuse with a faceoff percentage of 61.4 percent.Heading into this season, Schomburg gave Varello a prediction for his season mark: 62 percent. Varello thought the number was too low.“Prove me wrong,” Schomburg said to Varello. “Let me see how good you are.”Banner photo by Paul Schlesinger | Staff PhotographerSponsored by
A switch-hitter, Grandal batted .328 in 19 games for Toros del Este in the recently completed Dominican Winter League. He hit two home runs, including “one of the furthest home runs I’ve hit from the right-hand side.” It was his first right-handed home run in a game at any level since 2013 — a fact Grandal recites quickly.To Grandal, that success at the plate is evidence that his knee is completely healed from a gruesome injury in 2013 that required surgery.“It’s 110 percent” improved compared to a year ago, Grandal said of his knee. “It’s the reason I went to the Dominican Republic to make sure I was right. I think I showed I was right and that’s why so many teams started calling in afterwards.”Grandal said that five teams were interested in trading for him when he returned to the U.S., including the Dodgers.Now that he’s here, Grandal can largely dictate his own role with his bat and his glove. He’s slated to platoon with incumbent A.J. Ellis. Grandal said that he, Ellis and manager Don Mattingly recently met in person but there is still no specific arrangement for how the two catchers will split the playing time.“A.J. couldn’t put it any better: Whatever it takes to win,” he said. “If that day A.J. is the man for the job behind the plate and we are going to get a win with A.J. behind the plate, that’s going to be him. At the end of the day, if we get a win, that’s a team win and we all get a ring.”Also …Pitcher Chris Withrow said he doesn’t have a timetable to resume throwing following back surgery in December and Tommy John surgery last June. … According to a team official, 22,000 fans attended the FanFest. … McCarthy was asked for an outsider’s perception of the Dodgers among players: “It feels like there’s a bottomless pit of money.” A decision Zack Greinke hasn’t even made yet had a heavy bearing on some of the biggest decisions the Dodgers’ front office made this winter.Greinke can opt out of his original contract with the Dodgers after this season and become a free agent. The 31-year-old pitcher said Saturday at the team’s FanFest he doesn’t know what he’ll do when the time comes, but the open market might make the decision easy. Greinke’s six-year, $147 million contract was a record for a right-handed pitcher at the time, but Max Scherzer signed a jaw-dropping seven-year, $210 million contract with the Washington Nationals two weeks ago. Another typical season could allow Greinke to make nearly as much money as Scherzer, if not more.Even though the bottom line lured Greinke to Los Angeles in the first place, he rattled off a few more reasons to stay. “I really enjoyed L.A.,” he said. “I don’t know if you can have a better organization. The new front office is probably like the best, or a top-3 in the game. The coaching staff’s great. There aren’t better options anywhere besides here.”Between Greinke and Clayton Kershaw, who can opt out of his contract after the 2018 season, general manager Farhan Zaidi said the Dodgers needed some long-term stability in their rotation. That was a large reason why he signed injury prone right-hander Brandon McCarthy to a four-year, $48 million contract in December.Greinke isn’t rushing into the decision, but he’s already hurrying the Dodgers.Grandal optimisticYasmani Grandal isn’t blindly optimistic about his first season with the Dodgers. He has the stats to back it up. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error
Asked if he was angry or disappointed with Puig, Roberts said he was “not angry at all.”“It’s something where things happen, guys make mistakes,” Roberts said. “. For us, we talk about expectations, of vision and accountability. For me, you have to be accountable for your actions. That’s my job. I think Yasiel, the team, everyone will be better for it.”Rehab roundupLeft-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu pitched four scoreless innings for the Oklahoma City Dodgers on Wednesday afternoon, his third start on a minor-league injury-rehabilitation assignment but first against Triple-A hitters.Ryu allowed four hits, didn’t walk a batter and struck out three. He threw 55 pitches in the four innings (with his fastball at 89 mph) and another 10 on the side afterwards, getting him to his targeted pitch count.He is expected to make two more rehab starts before rejoining the Dodgers in early June.Scott Van Slyke was 1 for 4 as the DH for the OKC Dodgers Wednesday. He is 2 for 10 in three games (one with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga, two with Oklahoma City) on a rehab assignment that is expected to last at least another week. Puig’s .203 average and .221 on-base percentage since April 15 certainly give Roberts ample justification to bench Puig in favor of Thompson (hitting .315 with six home runs in May) and Kendrick (14 for his past 40).Puig’s history of mental lapses and occasional lackadaisical efforts on the field also gave Roberts justification to be on alert for the kind of challenge Puig provided Tuesday. But Roberts has said he viewed Puig as having “a clean slate” with the new manager.“Obviously, I’ve heard about the history. I’ve seen some of it,” Roberts said. “That incident, I dealt with it the best I felt for the ballclub. It’s not a cumulative thing. … There’s expectations on how we play the game and if they’re not followed then there’s consequences.“I honestly don’t care about what he’s done in the past. From what I’ve seen, he’s been tremendous. I really don’t concern myself with what’s been done in the past. … We’re still learning one another. But I do believe the buy-in, the care for his teammates is getting better each day.”Puig’s responses to the inevitable post-game grilling by reporters Tuesday night did seem more sincere and less combative than those sessions after Puig had crossed former manager Don Mattingly. Puig did seem to genuinely regret betraying the new relationship forged by this manager’s relentless attempts to build him up. Though he wasn’t in the lineup Wednesday, he was on the field four hours before game time, working on his hitting with coaches Tim Hyers and Manny Mota. It was the first test of Dave Roberts’ authority as manager. And it was absolutely no surprise to anyone that it came from Yasiel Puig.Two days after he failed to run from second base when a teammate tried to bunt him over — a mental lapse that Roberts said “shocked” him but did not require any discipline — Puig failed to run out of the batter’s box when he hit a drive off the right-field wall in the sixth inning of Tuesday’s game. The RBI single should have been a double, Roberts felt, and he pulled his right fielder from the game at the end of that inning.“After the game we talked and kind of had an extended discussion of my thoughts and his thoughts,” Roberts said. “He received everything well so for us it’s just moving forward.”They moved forward with Puig on the bench to start Wednesday’s game. Roberts said the decision to go with an outfield of Howie Kendrick in left, Joc Pederson in center and Trayce Thompson in right had been made before Tuesday’s game and was based on matchups and playing time. Leaving Puig on the bench was “definitely not punitive.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error
With Westbrook, the Thunder had a high-energy point guard who was unstoppable going to the rim and a terror on defense. With Durant, Oklahoma City had the player who could get any shot he wanted and presented a mismatch every time he was on the court. Harden was the sixth man for that team as he provided a solid scoring option and a better defender than people may remember (he was given the job of guarding LeBron James in the 2012 NBA Finals for long stretches).But, we can only tell you so much about how they played together. It will be much better to show you. Just take this game on March 23, 2012 when the three combined to score 110 points against the Timberwolves. Harden and Westbrook totaled 70.As good as they were as a team, though, a lot of people didn’t take them seriously. That is until they dominated the Spurs in the Western Conference finals. After losing the first two games, they came back to win the last four by an average of nearly 10 points (9.75).In that series, the big three dominated as Westbrook averaged 18.1 points, 7.3 assists and 5.8 rebounds, Harden put up 18.5, 5.5 and 3.6 while Durant added 29.5, 5.3 and 7.5. This was the team to beat for years to come.They wound up losing to the Heat in the Finals in five games, but they won the first one, and had it not been for a missed foul call in the waning moments of Game 2, the Thunder might have gone up 2-0 in that series and then, who knows?This team was the Warriors before the Warriors and Harden and Westbrook were huge parts of that. It looked like it was going to be a dynasty for years to come in the West, but that was until Harden was coming due for an extension and more money. Russell Westbrook trade rumors: Thunder send star to Rockets for package including Chris Paul Rockets fans can dream about the potential of this tandem, but it’s not an idea that is foreign. In fact, we’ve seen this combination before as Harden and Westbrook both were drafted by the Thunder and played together from 2009-12 and made an NBA Finals alongside Kevin Durant in their last season together.So what did those teams look like in Oklahoma City? They looked great, we’ll tell you that. Related News Ultimately, the Thunder didn’t pay him and he was dealt to Houston along with Daequan Cook, Cole Aldrich and Lazar Hayward in exchange for Kevin Martin, Jeremy Lamb, two first-round picks (which became Steven Adams in 2013 and Mitch McGary in 2014), and a second-round pick (which became Álex Abrines in 2013).Harden then went on to win an MVP with Houston in 2018, Westbrook won it with the Thunder in 2017 and Durant got one in 2014. Now, two of those players are back together. Durant is the only one to have a title (he won two with the Warriors), but Westbrook and Harden can see if they can get one they so highly covet. The NBA world was shocked again Thursday as ESPN reported the Rockets and Thunder completed a trade sending Chris Paul to Oklahoma City and Russell Westbrook to Houston.This is a huge deal for the Western Conference as Houston boasts a similar team to what it had last year, but got younger and more athletic in the process.
JOHNSTON — Vice President Mike Pence will visit Iowa on Friday and Governor Kim Reynolds is flying to D.C. today for a meeting with President Trump, Pence and others at the White House.“I will be going to give them an update on what we’re doing in Iowa and really talk about how testing and case investigation, our assessment, really working with our processing plants and how we’ve tried to be proactive in that respect,” Reynolds said yesterday, “to give him an update on that and to thank them for their assistance throughout the process.”Based on yesterday’s reports, 16 percent of Iowa’s confirmed COVID-19 cases are employees at four meat packing plants in Columbus Junction, Tama, Waterloo and Perry. Pence told reporters yesterday in DC that there are concerns about virus hot spots in Chicago and Des Moines. A top doctor on the White House coronavirus task force also said the new cases identified in the Des Moines area are a concern.On Tuesday, Governor Reynolds said daily case counts are growing in Iowa because testing has ramped up. In Perry, 58 percent of the Tyson meat plant workers tested there have the virus.“We’re prioritizing areas where virus activity is high so that we can target our response,” she said.As of today, Hy-Vee is limiting the amount of meat customers may buy as processing plants shut down due to COVID-19 outbreaks among employees.“We’ve been in constant communication with the facilities to, you know, talk about the procedures that they’re putting in place to keep their employees safe,” Reynolds said during her daily news conference. “…They are working very diligently with their employees because they know it’s so important to keep that workforce safe and healthy.”The vice president’s staff has announced Pence will visit Hy-Vee headquarters in West Des Moines Friday for a discussion with farm and food supply company leaders about the security of the nation’s food supply. Pence also plans to meet with faith leaders to discuss the guidelines for how houses of worship may “responsibly reopen” in the midst of the pandemic.