Singer-songwriter and Dark Star Orchestra’s tour manager, Matt Reynolds passed away unexpectedly over the weekend, leaving those who knew Reynolds and the extended Dark Star Orchestra family reeling. Reynolds served as Dark Star’s tour manager for twelve years, serving as the man behind-the-scenes for their countless nationwide tours since August of 2006. Reynolds himself was a musician, melding Americana, country-rock, and the blues for his soulful numbers, and was tapped for this year’s Dark Star Jubilee at the end of May. In April of 2015, Reynolds released his debut solo album titled Been Long Gone, which was co-produced by Dark Star’s guitarist and studio engineer Rob Eaton and Ted Pecchio respectively.In a statement issued by the band, Dark Star Orchestra sent their condolences to Matt’s mother, brother, and sister and penned a touching tribute to their tour manager, crediting him as being the “behind-the-scenes beacon guiding us through success, tumult, and all points in between, usually with great humor, and always with gentle nature.” You can read Dark Star’s full statement on the loss of Matt Reynold’s here, and check out Reynolds’ music via his Soundcloud here. Fare the well, Matt. You will be missed.
After a 44-year wait, Bruce Matson began the 2,189-mile journey that has long been awaiting him. On February 25, Matson set out from Springer Mountain in Georgia to begin a northbound thru-hike of the entire Appalachian Trail (AT). Back in 1974, before a long climb to the top of corporate success, Matson was inspired to look beyond the hustle of city life. At a camp in Connecticut, Bruce first became introduced to the almighty challenge of the Appalachian Trail by the legendary Warren Doyle. Doyle, now a major advocate and teacher so to speak of the A.T., had just recorded the fastest known thru-hike from Georgia to Maine. “I actually said to myself – ‘I’m going to do that some day,” said Matson.As a youth, Matson hiked Mount Katahdin, the northern terminus of the A.T., But then Matson went on to college and law school. Marriage and children also kept his A.T. dreams on hold.But over the years, the Richmond attorney frequently offered “trail magic” to A.T. thru-hikers passing through Virginia, helping them with resupply and bringing them dinner. Now, at age 60, he is finally fulfilling his childhood promise to thru-hike the A.T.Matson is no stranger to long-distance hiking. To prepare for the A.T., Matson hiked the 500-mile Camino de Santiago, as well as the 40-mile Overland Track in Tasmania, and the 35-mile Milford Track in New Zealand. Perhaps the biggest challenge Matson faces won’t be the A.T.’s grueling climbs, but his record-setting fundraising goal. Matson is pledging to raise $250,000 for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. If successful, Matson will provide the highest individual monetary contribution ever made to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. The effort is commonly referred to as RTK’s AT Challenge, a reference to his trail name and web site: Returning to Katahdin.“Bruce Matson’s dedication to the Trail has been an inspiration to us all at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy,” said Tiffany Lawrence, vice president of membership and development for the ATC. “His efforts have helped spearhead our new crowdfunding platform, creating a way for all Appalachian Trail lovers to easily raise money to help protect the Trail for generations to come.” “At this time of my life, it seems that the proper response is to be grateful and to try to give back,” says Matson. “That’s what I’m trying to do here, help make sure in my own small way that this footpath will be available to others with similar dreams.” You can follow in Matson’s footsteps at www.returningtokatahdin.com or on a weekly podcast entitled “Returning To Katahdin: An Appalachian Trail Dream” (available on iTunes and elsewhere). Author, podcaster, and 2014 AT thru-hiker Steve Adams will be interviewing Matson each week about his progress along the Trail.
“Urgency to the shooters is what our coach has been preaching,” Caldwell said. “Everybody’s a shooter on both Colorado and Utah, so just getting to them with a lot of urgency and try to make them alter their shot.” “We definitely are fine with playing at a fast pace,” Caldwell said. “But if we do get a half court situation, we know that we can execute our offense. So either way, we’re ready to battle.” Whether Utah attempts to implement the same high-tempo strategy it used against ASU or if it tries to slow the game down with halfcourt sets, USC expects to be prepared for whatever the Utes bring. USC will face Utah at Galen Center Friday afternoon and Colorado at noon Sunday. Friday’s tip-off is at 6 p.m. Sunday’s tip-off is at 12 p.m. Sophomore guard Desiree Caldwell has cooled down offensively since the last time USC faced Utah. (Ling Luo | Daily Trojan) USC was led by a career shooting performance from sophomore guard Desiree Caldwell, who finished the game with 14 points after sinking four 3-pointers on just seven attempts. Associate head coach Aarika Hughes said she and head coach Mark Trakh expect everyone who plays to be ready to share the burden of the scoring load given the extra attention they expect Pili to receive. “Clearly, the goal is to get out and run and slow the other team down,” Hughes said. “Utah is an offensively focused team. So slowing them down in transition and matching up and slowing the game down on the defensive end is crucial.” In Friday’s matchup against the Utes, USC will face a familiar foe. The Trojans’ last matchup with the Utes ended in heartbreaking fashion for USC: The Trojans hung with Utah despite a seemingly unstoppable barrage of 3-pointers before ultimately falling 67-65 at the hands of a last second basket. Standout freshman forward Alissa Pili heads into the game averaging a team-high 15.6 points and eight rebounds per game on the season. Pili recently enjoyed a career-high 32-point scoring performance during a 66-60 win in Pullman, Wash., against Washington State. Both teams shot the ball exceptionally well, combining for 20 3-pointers over the course of the afternoon. In her first career meeting with the Utes in January, Pili led the Trojans with 16 points along with eight rebounds. In that same game, five Trojans scored in double digits — the first time that had happened all season. The Utes were led by an excellent performance from redshirt senior wing Daneesha Provo, who had 17 points to go with three buckets from behind the arc. Freshman guard Kemery Martín also chipped in 12 points for the Utes. Over the last 12 games, Pili has averaged a stellar 19.7 points per game. Pili is the Pac-12 freshman leader in rebounds and scoring and looked more and more like a rising star each time out for the Cardinal and Gold. Utah travels to Galen Center with a bit of momentum after snapping a three-game losing streak with a home victory against Arizona State Sunday. The Utes currently sit just under the Trojans in the Pac-12 with an overall record of 13-14, but the teams share conference records of 6-10. The USC women’s basketball team will play host to Utah and Colorado at Galen Center this weekend. The Trojans currently sit at 14-13 on the season and hope to improve their chances of making the NCAA Tournament with a pair of wins over the two teams. Pili’s strong scoring performance against the Cougars was complemented by 12 rebounds, good for her 10th double-double of the season. Hughes echoed Caldwell’s sentiment. “Alissa Pili is driving us right now,” Hughes said. “She is our scoring force. We want to give her just as many looks every game, but everyone needs to be ready and willing to knock down shots and have that confidence because the coaching staff believes that they can do that as well.” Caldwell believes containing Utah’s shooters will be key to more success on the defensive end this time around.