Scott Shafer escapes stresses of coaching watching son’s 1st start

first_imgLess than 1,500 people filled the single-sideline stands compared to the 30,112 in the Dome on Friday night. Some fans chose a grassy hill for their vantage point rather than the hot bleachers. The balcony of a four-story house overlooking the field served as a makeshift coaching box.Instead of all eyes being on the third-year head coach like they were on Friday, Shafer took the rare opportunity to watch his son, since Syracuse and Ithaca usually both play on Saturdays. Regardless of the result, no one will call sports talk radio shows demanding Ithaca’s coach be fired and national columnists won’t speculate if he’s on the hot seat.“Being a coach’s son, I know how it is,” Wolfgang Shafer said. “This is their profession. A lot of people forget about that sometimes. You go to these big-time D-I games, you see ‘Fire Whoever’ in the crowd. This is their well-being.”Shafer enjoyed being a dad for the day, but said earlier last week that he gets more nervous for his son’s games than his own. He sat quietly but clapped after nearly every one of his son’s completions. Fans around him stood and cheered vocally, but Shafer maintained his stern appearance while his degree of focus won’t influence the game.Wolfgang Shafer orchestrated a dominant nine-minute opening drive that resulted in a touchdown.“It was like woosh, right there,” one fan said of his touchdown pass.“That’s a great decision,” another said after he scrambled on a play-action rollout for five yards.The environment is different, but still, all eyes are on a new quarterback. Friday night, it was Syracuse freshman Eric Dungey, who replaced an injured Terrel Hunt. Saturday, it was Wolfgang Shafer starting his first collegiate football game.Ithaca’s offense stalled on its next two drives and Union then tied it at seven. When Wolfgang Shafer and the Bombers trotted onto the field, a fan yelled, “Come on coach, make your adjustments!”For a change, the words weren’t directed at Shafer.Twenty seconds later, the referee announced a penalty on Ithaca’s center for “simulating a snap.” Half of Missy Shafer’s immediate family is entrenched in college football, but like any mom at her son’s game, she blurted out, “I’ve never heard of that before.”Despite the removal from coaching responsibilities Saturday afternoon, Shafer was still on his phone often while Ithaca was on defense. At halftime, he left Elsa and Missy in the bleachers and found a quiet spot next to the stands to work his phone. But when the third quarter began, he was back at his seat.With less than four minutes to play, Union drew within one score. The Dutchmen lined up in a different formation on the ensuing kickoff and the Ithaca coaches in the press box frantically called into their headsets before calling timeout. Another hectic split-second coaching move as Shafer sat still in the sun.Just minutes earlier, SU Athletics announced that Hunt would be out for the season with a torn Achilles. On what could be the most tumultuous day for the Orange all season, Shafer kept clapping for his son.Football is just a game and being in the stands offered some reality.Said Wolfgang Shafer: “It’s a little more pure here.” Comments Published on September 7, 2015 at 9:18 pm Contact Paul: | @pschweds SCHENECTADY, N.Y. — Scott Shafer walked unrecognized into the Ithaca fan section at Frank Bailey Field. Flanked by wife Missy and daughter Elsa, Shafer wore faded green khaki shorts, an Ithaca football polo shirt and aviator sunglasses.Shafer came to see his son, Wolfgang, make his first career start at quarterback for the Bombers at Union College on Saturday. Just 15 hours earlier, SU was wrapping up its season-opening win in the Carrier Dome against Rhode Island.“My passion for this game has grown from him,” Wolfgang Shafer said of his father after throwing for 265 yards and two touchdowns in a 38-23 win over Union. “Just coming out here and doing what I love to do and see him do what he loves to do last night, I mean, that’s what it’s all about.”This is the side of Scott Shafer that SU fans don’t get to see. When he talks to recruits, he often stresses the family environment of his program and the importance of keeping things in perspective. On Saturday, he practiced what he preaches.“It’s nice to be a dad for once,” Shafer said.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textcenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Final comment period open on MidAmerican plan to prevent bat and eagle deaths

first_imgDES MOINES — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is entering the final phase in approving a plan for MidAmerican Energy to help prevent the number of bats and eagles killed by its current and future wind farms.Fish and Wildlife Service spokesman Kraig McPeek says the final plan is now available for public comment following an earlier public hearing. “We’ve taken those comments that we received form that public commenting period last spring — incorporated changes edits and updates into the document — and now it’s going back out for a final 30-day review for the public,” McPeek says.McPeeks says there were around 100 comments in the spring. He says they could be grouped into categories that included overall displeasure with a permit that allows for the taking of bats and bald eagles, another category that was appreciative of the data-driven approach, and then comments on ways to improve the permitting process in the future.The plan would issue a permit to allow for a limited number of deaths for four bat species and 10 turbine-related incidental bald eagle deaths each year. Bats covered by the permit include the federally endangered Indiana bat, the federally threatened northern long-eared bat, the non-endangered little brown bat and tri-colored bat.McPeek says MidAmerican has agreed to take some measures that would cut down on the number of deaths of each species. “They’re going to feather their blades below their cut-in speeds where they being to produce electricity — that’s been proven to reduce impacts to bats,”McPeek says. “Working with land owners and county road commissions to be sure that road kill deer are not left — carcasses are not left where roadkill deer would bring them into contact with turbines.”McPeek says the company has a set number of eagles and bats that can be killed and they will pay for habitat improvements designed to replace those animals. “They will mitigate to basically create areas for bats to breed and create more bats, and to protect and breed more bald eagles in the wild,” according to McPeek.McPeek says there are still some things that are not known about the impact of wind turbines, but MidAmerican has taken a lot of time to analyze the information available to come up with the best plan. “They’ve spent almost five years now collecting information on their existing wind farms to inform this plan,” he says, “and we’ve combined that information with information from across the great Midwest. So, we do have nearly a decade of information to help us make these decisions.”And he says if they find out that what they are doing is leading to more deaths then expected — they have to take more action. “There’s what we call an adaptive management strategy. And so the company will be monitoring annually to determine if the number of animals killed is was we had expected or if it was greater or lesser,” McPeek says. “And then we have adaptive management triggers in the plan if they do begin to exceed what the expected number of fatalities were — then they do need to take measures to bring that back down.”McKeever says this is a little bit like the process when electric lines started going up and changes were made to keep animals from getting killed on them. He says the work continues on solutions. “This company and many other companies are working to keep bats away from insulation on power lines to keep bald eagles from being electrocuted. There’s some things that can be done to scare them away from wind farms,” McPeek says.McPeek says you can view a copy of the plan online. Paper copies will be available at 22 county libraries in Iowa. A final order on the plan will be issued after the 30-day comment period.last_img read more