USC senior Steve Johnson wrapped up a fitting ending to his prolific collegiate career by capturing his second-consecutive NCAA singles championship Monday.Johnson, the No. 1 seed in the tournament, clinched the back-to-back by defeating Kentucky’s No. 3 Eric Quigley 6-4, 6-4 in the finals at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga.A strained abdomen and shin splint could not hold Johnson back, especially in the final game of the second set.Champion · Senior Steve Johnson won the NCAA singles championship for the second consecutive year by defeating Eric Quigley of Kentucky. | Photo courtesy of Bill KallenbergHe fired off three straight aces before forcing Quigley to error with a deep ball that sent Johnson to his knees, screaming after taking his final point as a Trojan.With the singles title, the back-to-back singles champion also earned a wild card berth in the U.S. Open in August.En route to the finals, Johnson relinquished just one set to his six opponents.Johnson finished his Trojan career by winning an unprecedented 72 singles matches in a row, dating back to January 2011. After going 37-0 in his senior year, Johnson concluded with a 149-21 overall record.“He’s special; we all know that,” USC coach Peter Smith said. “In a lot of ways he’s changed college tennis. I think he’s going to show that it’s OK to stay four years.”No. 21 senior Daniel Nguyen, No. 25 sophomore Ray Sarmiento, No. 57 sophomore Emilio Gomez and No. 51 freshman Yannick Hanfmann also participated in the singles tournament after the No. 1 Trojans captured their fourth-consecutive NCAA team title last Tuesday.Hanfmann, who clinched the team championship for the Trojans with his singles win, fell 3-6, 4-6 in the first round against No. 50 Louis Cant.The other three Trojans, with the exception of Johnson, were eliminated in the subsequent round.Gomez and Sarmiento fell in straight sets to No. 9 Blaz Rola and No. 2 Mitchell Frank, respectively, while Nguyen finished his collegiate career with a 4-6, 4-6 loss to No. 5 Henrique Cunha.Nguyen, who was a part of the team for all of its last four championships, finished 135-38 for his career.In the 32-team doubles tournament, USC’s only pair, consisting of Johnson and freshman Roberto Quiroz, advanced to the quarterfinals as the No. 2 seed.Four-peat · The USC men’s tennis team won its fourth-straight national title by defeating the University of Virginia. The title is the school’s 20th. – Photo courtesy of Bill KallenbergAfter a grueling quarterfinals win over No. 39 Alex Domijan, Johnson could not finish the quarterfinals doubles match later in the day.[Correction: A previous version of the story incorrectly stated that Steve Johnson Roberto Quiroz were leading when they retired to the Texas Tech pair in doubles.]“I feel like I let Roberto down a little bit,” Johnson said. “I just physically didn’t have it in me, and I hit an overhead point in that last game that completely ripped my stomach apart.”Despite coming up short in doubles, Johnson, who had the option of skipping his senior year at USC to begin his professional career, achieved his ultimate goal of winning another team title with USC and became the first NCAA singles champion to also win four team championships.“I can’t believe it. Four years went by quick, but to say the least it’s been a special four years that I’ll never forget. It’ll definitely go with me for the rest of my life,” Johnson said.
Dear Editor,I have just had the benefit of reading the press reports of the acting Commissioner of Police on the location of Mr. Lyte at the time of the events which led to the deaths of three men on the 15th March 2018.It is unfortunate that the acting Police Commissioner — who indicated support for the officers of the Guyana Police Force involved in the incident, and voiced his opinion on the events which occurred on March 15th, 2018 — would choose to publicly challenge a citizen who was brave enough to come forward and provide a statement, especially since he has not had the benefit of interviewing that citizen.Needless to say, the absence of confidence which several eyewitnesses expressed to me and other independent investigators about the ability of the Guyana Police Force to protect their safety when their own officers are the subject of the allegation of murder, has been confirmed by the statements of the Commissioner.I confirm that on Monday afternoon Mr. Lyte met with Mr. Paul Williams, Crime Chief, in the Office of the Crime Chief at Eve Leary. The sole purpose of going to the Crime Chief’s Office was for Mr. Lyte to give a statement. The senior officer whom Mr. Williams contacted was not available at the time, and we agreed that we would return on Tuesday at lunchtime.In the intervening period, Mr. Lyte contacted me and expressed the collective fear of his entire family regarding his safety and protection.In an effort to persuade him that his fears were exaggerated, I attended his home, where I spoke with his grandmother and sister, both of whom were adamant that he would not be attending any Police station, as they were afraid for his safety and that of their family.I confirm that I attended the Softball Association of Guyana’s ground on Carifesta Avenue on Wednesday morning, where I spoke with a person who described himself as a supervisor, who confirmed the presence of Mr. Lyte at the location on March 15th 2018, but said he was not on the roof at the time of the shooting.I subsequently learnt from another source that the contractor was interviewed by the Police prior to my arrival, and was in fear of losing his contract with the Government to repair the building.Earlier this morning, we delivered a letter to the Commissioner of Police, expressing the exact fear of Mr. Lyte. A copy of the letter is attached for your benefit.Today I have personally interviewed two additional eyewitnesses who were at much closer proximity to the shooting, and whose line of sight was considerably more proximate than that of Mr. Lyte. Copies of their statements, with redactions to protect their identities, are attached.I also spoke to both the Minister of Public Security and the Crime Chief about the fears of the witnesses regarding their safety. This was prior to the Commissioner’s statements, issued later this afternoon.In light of the considerable fear and apprehension felt by eyewitnesses, who have provided me with statements of the events of March 15th 2018, the family of Mr. Cordis is of the opinion that it is beyond the capacity of the Guyana Police Force to conduct a fair and impartial investigation into the death of Dexroy Cordis.These statements have disclosed a frightening chronology of events, which have cast not only grave doubts on the version of events provided by the Commissioner of Police, but include a recount of one of the Police officers turning his guns on a group of persons who were playing football at the Guyana National Service ground when they were observed looking on at the events. A copy of these statements with the sensitive details is also attached.Both of these witnesses have expressed little confidence in the ability of the Guyana Police Force to protect them, and in light of the public statements and treatment of Mr. Lyte by the Commissioner of Police, who commented with the benefit of an interview with him, the fears of the two witnesses along with that of Mr. Lyte are now fully justified.I personally telephoned both the Minister of Public Security and the Crime Chief today to express these fears.The family of Mr. Cordis is now of the firm belief that the Guyana Police Force cannot be trusted to conduct a fair investigation into the deaths of these young men, and consequently wishes to call for a full, independent investigation into the events of the 15th March 2018.Also, I am not sure whether the good commissioner was a member of the Guyana Police Force when I took Mr. George Bacchus, a whistle blower on the phantom squad, to the Guyana Police Force, after having taken him to the United States Embassy.My recollection is that despite the sterling efforts of the Guyana Police Force to protect Mr. Bacchus, he also died of unnatural causes.The more things change…Yours sincerely,C.A. Nigel Hughes.Partner.