FLAG FOOTBALL: No. 2 Choctaw shuts down No. 1 seed Middleburg for Class 1A-Region 1 Championship

MIDDLEBURG, Fla. – A five-hour drive in three SUVs didn’t bother visiting Fort Walton Beach Choctawhatchee one bit.

Nor did the fact that the Indians were the No. 2 seed in Class 1A-Region 1 coming into their first regional final appearance since 2018.

In the end, it was Choctaw, who most people refer to the school as, that put the end to the No. 1 seed Middleburg on their home field of Alan Powers Field to advance to their first trip to state since 2017.

The Indians used a strategy they have used before, putting quarterback Rowan Franklin in charge while mixing things up with Trinity Myers and putting in a heavy dose of Kendal Wilson in the seams that flustered the host Broncos with Choctaw (14-2) winning 14-0 over Middleburg (16-1) to lay claim to the Class 1A-Region 1 Championship.

FIRST HALF TIGHTNESS

In the first half of the game, Middleburg (16-1) started the night with the ball first got things going that saw the Broncos cross the 20 for a first down quickly but sputtered just as quickly as Choctaw’s defense got into force a punt.

However, the Broncos were ready to match the Indians defensively and after getting the ball at their own 25, Choctaw moved quickly almost to midfield facing a fourth and two at their own 38, needing to get to the 40 for the first down.

In needing the stop rusher Desiree Hall for the Broncos got in quickly on Franklin to put the stop to Choctaw’s first drive and set Middleburg up with great field position at the Indians’ 33.

At first, it appeared that the Broncos were going to strike first with Brooke Swenson getting out two quick passes to Jaden Lopresti and Kelsey Harrelson along with a third-down run by Swenson to get them inside the 20 with 3:15 left to go in the first quarter.

A couple more passes by Swenson would get down to the 7 of Choctaw before two incomplete passes with just under a minute to go in the quarter would shut the door on points as the Indians’ defense made it difficult for Broncos’ receivers to get open to force a turnover on downs.

Middleburg was not going to let Choctaw have it easy though as they were able to force a punt quickly into the second quarter with 9:25 left after the Indians got one first-down play.

Just as quickly as the Broncos has the ball back in hand, with one first-down play happening that got things out to the 20, Trinity Thomas rushed in for an Indians sack on Swenson, sending the drive sputtering as Choctaw started to lock things down on defense.

And if things were starting to potentially unravel, they did near the two-minute warning when the Broncos got flagged for illegal contact that set up the first of what would become two Choctaw scores when Franklin found Wilson for two quick strikes including an 18-yard touchdown pass that came after receiving the pass that set up first and goal.

But Middleburg didn’t shut the door on getting points for the first time in the game when they got the ball back with the full two minutes on the clock that saw Choctaw get penalized for illegal contact after a first down play to Harrelson that put the ball at midfield.

After a sack and eventually, two passes that got the Broncos back in the red zone, a dropped pass along with three straight incomplete passes ended the hopes of the Broncos getting points with the Indians taking a 7-0 lead into the half.

INDIANS TIGHTEN UP, BRONCOS SPUTTER IN THE SECOND HALF

With Choctaw getting the ball to start the second half, the urgency was on for Middleburg to keep the Indians away from the endzone and it showed quickly after the Indians got one first down pass play out to their own 30 when the Broncos forced a punt with 7:39 left to go in the third quarter.

Middleburg, however, quickly work themselves back into the red zone once again for the third time as Lopresti and Kayleigh McWatters quickly got the Broncos in scoring position once again.

But things stalled once again after Swenson ran for a few yards to get things closer, but a sack by Choctaw back at the 21 on third helped shut the door when a fourth-down attempt went incomplete.

After that, things basically unraveled for the Broncos who had scored over 400 points in the 16 previous games played so far as Choctaw was about to unleash its full potential coupled with another illegal contact penalty on the Broncos that would result in Franklin finding Marissa Brown from 14 yards out for the second and final touchdown of the night with 10:15 left to go in the game to take a 14-0 lead.

Middleburg would cross midfield and get into Choctaw territory one more time on the night, but time was not on their side at that point with Choctaw’s defense playing lights out and forcing punts, sacks and stopping the Broncos from getting anywhere close to the red zone for the rest of the game.

CO-COACHING AT ITS BEST

For Choctaw Head Coach Jim Bay and assistant head coach Matt Pacheco, they have been building this program up for years over in Fort Walton Beach and they talked to FloridaHSFootball.com after the game about how much better this team appears to be compared to the team that got to the Final Four in 2017.

WHAT’S NEXT

Choctaw will be the No. 2 seed for the state semifinals on Friday and will take on No. 3 Miami Edison when the FHSAA Flag Football Finals open at Mandarin High School in Jacksonville at 3:45 p.m. ET.

SCORING SUMMARY

SECOND QUARTER

C Rowan Franklin 18 pass to Kendal Wilson (PAT good)

FOURTH QUARTER

C Franklin 14 pass to Marissa Brown (PAT good)

The post FLAG FOOTBALL: No. 2 Choctaw shuts down No. 1 seed Middleburg for Class 1A-Region 1 Championship first appeared on FloridaHSFootball.com.

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Peccadillo Pictures announces the release of Boys on Film 22: Love to Love You – Cinerama Film Online

Boys on Film 22: Love to Love You arrives on DVD, Blu-Ray and On-Demand on June 27th.

The latest in Peccadillo’s critically acclaimed series – now established a leading showcase for new and emerging queer filmmaking talent from around the world – features a fresh and exciting selection of the very best contemporary gay short films. Each self-contained drama in this diverse and thoughtfully curated collection offers fascinating and insightful new perspectives on the gay experience – sensual, affecting, sometimes provocative and always entertaining.

Boys on Film 22: Love To Love You brings together filmmakers from the UK, USA, Mexico, Brazil and Australia, as well as featuring appearances from some of Britain’s exciting young actors including Ben Aldridge (Pennyworth, Fleabag), Samuel Barnett (Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, Penny Dreadful) and Simon Lennon (Emmerdale).

Boys On Film 22: Love To Love you features: 

HAVE WE MET BEFORE? (UK, 12 mins) Dir. Oliver Mason

Prepare for a kitschy, kinky voyage via the homosexual gaze from the 1970s to the present day. The internet may have changed the way gay men meet, but as always, some things never change.

THE ACT (UK, 18 mins) Dir. Thomas Hescott

It’s 1965, the eve of decriminalisation for acts of male homosexuality. We meet Matthews, a young gay man at odds with the world and his own sexuality, as he discovers love, sex and a family in the back alleys of Soho.

FIRST POSITION (USA, 20 mins) Dir. Michael Elias Thomas

In 1980s San Francisco, aspiring dancer Zachary fights to keep his dream alive after falling ill. Meanwhile, a fleeting romance with fellow dancer Jamie provides brief respite.

WINTER (Mexico, 16 mins) Dir. Luis Pacheco, Rafael Ruiz Espejo

Out of the blue, cabaret performer Nico receives a call from their estranged father who is coming to visit them. Keeping their queer lifestyle under wraps, Nico soon realises that they and their father are much closer than they previously thought.

THE SUIT WEARETH THE MAN (UK, 30 mins) Dir. Mitchell Marion

Maciej suppresses his sexual and cultural identities in order to climb the corporate ladder, struggling with the conflicting wishes of his conservative mother Marta and the orders of his handsome yet ruthless boss Christopher.

INFINITE WHILE IT LASTS (Brazil, 19 mins) Dir. Akira Kamiki

At a party, Danny and Seiji fall in love. While those around them think their relationship is doomed to fail, Danny believes the differences between them can prove stronger than their feelings.

MELON GRAB (Australia, 10 mins) Dir. Andrew Lee

An uncertain future dawns upon two young best friends as one of them is moving away from their coastal hometown. Their way of dealing with it is skateboarding as the descending sun marks a new point in their lives.

THRIVE (UK, 17 mins) Dir. Jamie Dispirito

Joe and Alex enter into a mobile phone hook-up conversation that leads to a physical meet-up. The attraction between them is evident, but it quickly becomes apparent they’re looking for different things. Nominated for Iris Prize 2020.

142 min approx | Cert: 18

DVD / Blu-ray Extras:
The Making Of The Suit Weareth the Man. First Position Interviews, Infinite While it Lasts Director Interview, Behind the scenes gallery, Music Reel.

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Next Week in Music | May 9-15 • The Long List: 310 Releases On The Way – Tinnitist

Bluesman Robert Johnson was born on May 8, 1911. If you don’t know who he is and what he accomplished in his short life, feel free to read my feature on the man, the myth and the legend HERE. But first, peruse this list of 310 new albums, EPs, singles, box sets, compilations, anthologies, retrospectives, soundtracks, vinyl reissues and cassettes coming soon to a midnight crossroads near you:

Aara | Melmoth The Wanderer
Acidgvrl | Found Cvlt Tapes Vol. 1
Mick Adler | Dédalo
Album Club | Album Club
Alessandro Adriani | Program & Rhythm
Aldn | Good Grief
Alia | Lo So Come Sei Riuscito A Vivere Senza Gli Altri
Francesco Allendes, Harry Romero | What To Do
Amaia | Cuando No Sé Quién Soy
Amyl and the Sniffers | Comfort To Me Deluxe Edition
Andrre | Lac Noir EP
Anniken | Climb Out of Hell
The Anix | Live in Los Angeles
Ante-Inferno | Antediluvian Dreamscapes
Aokigahara | 羞恥刑 Châtiment De La Honte
A River of Trees | Waste E​P
The Associates | Sulk 40th Anniversary Edition
Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express | Voices Of Other Times
Axis Decade | Half Full Of Empty
Ayokay | Digital Dreamscape
Aztur | Fear Of The Unknown Single
Nat Baldwin | The Red Barn
Lucian Ban | Ways of Disappearing
Baston | La Martyre
Chris Bathgate | The Significance of Peaches
Battle Symphony | War On Earth
Baumschule | ( )
Bazzi | Will It Ever Feel The Same?
Bear’s Den | Blue Hours
Holland Belle | Bird Song
Jenny Berkel | These Are the Sounds Left From Leaving
Berlin | Metro: Greatest Hits
The Big Deal | First Bite
Biollante | J’Espère Que Tu Danseras Quelque
Black Cab | Rotsler’s Rules
The Black Keys | Dropout Boogie
Black Uhuru | New Day
Blac Youngsta | 4LIFE
Graham Bonnet Band | Day Out In Nowhere
Bridear | Aegis Of Athena
The Bros. Landreth | Come Morning
Dana Buoy | Experiments In Plant Based Music Vol. 1
Bush Brothers and Space Rangers | Oneness Of Juju
Busty & The Bass | Karneval
Cage Fight | Cage Fight
Ethel Cain | Preacher’s Daughter
Bruno Capinan | Tara Rara
John Carpenter | Firestarter Soundtrack
Cartilage | The Deader The Better
Cauchemar | Rosa Mystica
Cavernlight | As I Cast Ruin Upon the Lens That Reveals My Every Flaw
Celestial Burst | The Maze EP
Chainsmokers | So Far So Good
Christian Death | Death Wish
Chymes | Karma EP
Clayhands | Is This Yes?
Coletivo 91 | Águas Ruins
C.J. Cooper | Are We There Yet?
Shane Cooper & Mabuta | Finish The Sun
Cosmonection | Hidden Places
Cathal Coughlan | E​.​P. of Co​-​Aklan
Cyphonism | Cosmic Voidance
Noah Cyrus | Mr. Percocet
Craig David | 22
Wayne Davis | Wayne Davis Vinyl
Diatom Deli | Time​~​Lapse Nature
Demiricious | III: Chaotic Lethal
Dishwalla | Alive EP
Dr Sure’s Unusual Practice | SGTH​/​WAB
Matt Dorien | Blue Pastoral
Dorsal Fins | Star of the Show
Double Gainer | Such is Life
The Dreaded Laramie | Everything A Girl Could Ask
Ecstatic Vision | Elusive Mojo
Joel Eel | Love Infinity
Elcamino | Let There Be Light
Elephant Gym | Dreams
Duke Ellington & Coleman Hawkins | Duke Ellington Meets Coleman Hawkins Vinyl Reissue
Chase Elodia | Portrait Imperfect
Entrée Libre | Avant-Première EP
May Erlewine | Tiny Beautiful Things
Ilan Eshkeri | Space Station Earth
Eucalyptus | Moves
Everlust | The Tale Of The Noble Knight
Fabich | Brand New Single
Faintin’ Goats | Failin’ Gods
Famyne | II: The Ground Below
Faust | Punkt
Feiertag | Dive
Felicita | Cluck
La Femme | Levitation Sessions
Findlay | The Last Of The 20th Century Girls
5 Seconds of Summer | Me, Myself & I
Flamango Bay | The Fool EP
Flesh Configuration | Adapt Swarm Planet
Florence + The Machine | Dance Fever
Steve Forbert | Moving Through America
49 Winchester | Fortune Favors The Bold
FredAtLast | Banner of a Lost Belief EP
Becky G | Esquemas
India Gailey | To You Through
Helen Ganya | Heart To Heart Mirage EP
The Garbage & The Flowers | Cinnamon Sea
Jacob Garchik | Assembly
Sam Gendel & Antonia Cytrynowicz | Live A Little
Gentle Heat | Sheer
Gentle Sinners | These Actions Cannot Be Undone
Ghost Hounds | You Broke Me
Giacomelli | Return of the Return
Giant Walker | All In Good Time
Gospel | The Loser
Simon Grab | Anthropocene Panic / Remixes
Graduation Speech | Controlled Burn
Graveland / Commander Agares | Awakening of the Storms
Green Sky Accident | Daytime TV
Gripe | Como Acabar Contigo Mismo
Gronibard | Regarde Les Hommes Sucer
Group Project | Happily Catastrophic EP
Alexander Hacke | Borsigwerke: Complete Recordings of Alexander von Borsig
Mary Halvorson | Amaryllis
Mary Halvorson | Belladonna
Haunt | Windows Of Your Heart
Francesca Heart | Eurybia
Gilad Hekselman | Far Star
Heterochrome | From The Ashes
David Hillyard & The Rocksteady 7 | Plague Doctor
Hiraki | Alterer
Horseface | Sanakirjan Takana
Inkswel & The Snaglepuss | Chasing Infinity
Intolerance | Dark Paths Of Humanity
Loraine James & TSVI | 053 EP
Yves Jarvis | The Zug
Joel Jerome | Super Flower Blood Moon
Allysha Joy | Torn : Tonic
Jungle Rot | A Call to Arms
Whitney K | Hard To Be A God
Killjoy | Time Is Now White Vol. 16
King Youngblood | Big Thank
Cameron Knowler & Eli Winter | VXVW
David Knudson | The Only Thing You Have to Change is Everything
Kendrick Lamar | Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers
Laraigné | The Brightside Of It All
Lucas Laufen | Weathering
Lawbreaker | Dear Who?
Chad Lawson | Irreplaceable EP
Leikeli47 | Shape Up
Johan Lenox | WDYWTBWYGU?
Leo/need | Leo/need Sekai Album Vol. 1
Libretto & Vitamin D | Rusty Bladez
Lil Eazzyy | Too Eazzyy
David Lioncourt | American Scream
Gustaf Ljunggren with Skúli Sverrisson | Floreana
Local Suicide | Eros Anikate
Christopher Lockett | At The Station
Lyle Lovett | 12th of June
ルーシー Lucy | Reykjavík
LVL1 | Co1n
Cam Maclean | Secret Verses
Anna Mae | For The Romantics
Mallrat | Butterfly Blue
Mama’s Broke | Narrow Line
Måneskin | Supermodel
Maserati | The Language Of Cities Anniversary Edition
Maserati | 37​:​29​:​24 Anniversary Edition
Master Boot Record | Personal Computer
The Master Musicians of Jajouka led by Bachir Attar | Dancing Under the Moon
Cam Maclean | Secret Verses
Max Creeps | Nein
Delbert McClinton | Outdated Emotion
MeeeZ | v1c
Melts | Maelstrom
Misanthropic Rage | Hallucinatory Phenomena
Misery Index | Complete Control
MisikePlayz | iRon Channel
Moderat | Moer D4ta
Mogli | Ravage
Mon Doux Saigneur | Fleur De L’Age
Monophonics | Sage Motel
Montclair | The Stars Will Look Down Upon Us EP
Moonraker | The Forest
Moon Tooth | Phototroph
Mandy Moore | In Real Life
Kevin Morby | This Is A Photograph
Morgue Supplier | Inevitability
Motor!k | 3
Victor Mucho | Moonlight in Visby
The Muffs | Really Really Happy Deluxe Edition
Ali Shaheed Muhammad & Adrian Younge | Jazz Is Dead 011
Ivan Nahem | Crawling Through Grass
Koki Nakano | Oceanic Feeling
Nastergal | Solitude EP
Nechochwen | Kanawha Black
Michael Nesmith | And The Hits Just Keep On Comin’ 50th Anniversary Edition
New Mama | Narrow Line
Noisia | Closer
Norilsk | Beyond the Mountains
The Now | The Truth Always Comes Out In The End
Nu Genea | Bar Mediterraneo
Oak Ridge Boys | Boys Night Out
Obongjayar | Some Nights I Dream Of Doors
Olanza | Olanza
Weston Olencki | Old Time Music
Onyx | Onyx Versus Everybody
Opeth | In Cauda Venenum (Extended Edition)
OT The Real and Statik Selektah | Maxed Out
Outshine | The Awakening
Ox33n | With A Twist
Jorge Luis Pacheco | The Lockdown Album
Charlemagne Palestine, Oren Ambarchi & Eric Thielemans | ਚੈਨਲKAANALचैनलRÁÐעָרוּץ
Panic Is Perfect | Becoming Yourself EP
Perel | Jesus Was An Alien
Phelimuncasi | Ama Gogela
The Pineapple Thief | Give It Back (Rewired)
Pkew Pkew Pkew | Open Bar
Post Animal | Love Gibberish
Povoa | In Su EP
Primitive Man | Insurmountable
Princess Goes To The Butterfly Museum | Ketamine Remixes EP
Prosper & Le Marabout | C’est Vrai (ft. Fou Malade & Niagass) Single
Psychedelic Porn Crumpets | Levitation Sessions
Pulley | The Golden Life
Puttorso | Solo los Muertos Ven el Final del Descojono
Pyrex | Sinfonia Della Distruzione
Quelle Chris | Deathfame
Raavi | It Grows on Trees
Ratos De Porão | Necropolítica
Rebolu | Mi Herencia (My Heritage)
Charlie Reed | Eddy
ReoNa | Naked
Michael Rider | Cycle
RiskR | Self Sabotage
RLYR | RLYR
The Rolling Stones | Live At The El Mocambo
The Roots | Deeper Roots Reissue
Roxy Music | Country Life Reissue
Roxy Music | Stranded Reissue
Rubbabandz | Killa Bee Killed
Ruinas | Resurrekzión EP
Emma Ruth Rundle | EG2: Dowsing Voice
RYLR | RYLR
St. Michael Front | Schuld und Sühne
The Same River | Weight of the World
Mayberian Sanskülotts | God Tiger Need Chemical Works
Fredrik Saroea with BIT20 Ensemble | Rona Diaries: The Chamber Versions Live at Greig Hall, Bergen
Say Sue Me | The Last Thing
Scarlxrd | Acquired Taste: Vxl. 2
Scitalis | Doomed Before Time
Shygirl | Firefly
Dylan Sinclair | No Longer In The Suburbs EP
Sonny Singh | Chardi Kala
Sister Ray | Communion
Skills | Different Worlds
Sasha Alex Sloan | I Blame The World
Sloan Brothers | System Update
Slow Dawn | Into The Machine Haus
The Smile | A Light for Attracting Attention
Snake | Undreams
Sound Of Kalima | Sick Puppy EP
Spread Joy | II
Sagana Squale | Piranha
State Champs | Kings Of The New Age
Luke Steele | Listen To The Water
The Stereo | Thirteen
String Noise | Way
Sunset Sons | Too Many Humans, Not Enough Souls.
Tak Ensemble | Love, Crystal And Stone
Talk Show Host / Cluttered | Enemy Us Split EP
Tank And The Bangas | Red Balloon
Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers | Pretty Good For A Girl Band EP
They Hate Change | Finally, New
Kamara Thomas | Tularosa: An American Dreamtime
Zekarias Thompson | Goodnight Shiva
3LH | Silver Dream Road
Tomorrow x Together | Minisode 2: Thursday’s Child EP
Tops | Empty Seats
Toyah | Toyah! Toyah! Toyah! Deluxe Edition
Nate Traveller | Born Erased EP
Trueno | Bien O Mal
Oded Tzur | Isabela
Alex Ubago | Alex Ubago 20 Años
Unendlich | Misanthrope Divine
Urine Hell | Weakling
Sofía Valdés | In Bloom EP
Vansire | The Modern Western World
Varg²™ | Lonestar Pandemonium EP
Various Artists | Euphoria Season 2 Soundtrack Vinyl
Various Artists | PC Music Volume 3
Various Artists | Simmerdim: Curlew Sounds
Various Artists | Time Is Now Allstars Vol. 3 EP
Juliana Velasquez | Dos Dos Dos
Visions Of Atlantis | Pirates
Vonica | If You’re New Here Dance EP
Rick Wakeman | The Myths And Legends Of Rick Wakeman
Giant Walker | All In Good Time
Joel Tyler Wall | F.I.T.H.
The Wandering Hearts | The Wandering Hearts Deluxe
Wasia Project | How Can I Pretend?
Waterparks | Funeral Grey
Tray Wellington | Black Banjo
Where’s My Bible | Circle EP
White Flowers | Are You
Why Not | Why Not
Wiki | Half God
WiL | The Gold Mine
Wayne Willingham | Temptation Row
Remi Wolf | Michael
Woorms | Fatalismo
Ydane | Kanda 2
Ye Vagabonds | Nine Waves
Spencer Zahn | Pale Horizon

80 dias de guerra: Ucrânia comemora retomada de Kharkiv

Os países do G7 declararam hoje que nunca reconhecerão as fronteiras que a Rússia quer modificar com a guerra na Ucrânia.

For Mentors of Entrepreneurs, There are Many Kinds of Rewards

Passing it On

Kasey Corsello

Kasey Corsello, a certified coach and co-owner of the Corsello Butcheria in Easthampton.

There are many components to the region’s entrepreneurship ecosystem, perhaps none more important than the small army of mentors who are passing on what they know to a growing number of people looking to work for themselves instead of someone else. They impart to these entrepreneurs everything from the importance of understanding a spreadsheet to the notion that failure is … well, not unexpected and something to be learned from.

When asked what she tries to impart to entrepreneurs as a mentor, or do for them as she counsels them, Kasey Corsello summed it all up by saying that she tries to “normalize the emotional experience of it all, so they don’t feel like there’s something wrong with them.”

Anyone who has ever owned a business or tried to launch one — or mentored anyone who has, for that matter — knows exactly what she’s talking about.

“It is scary to be in the face of uncertainty, so I help them access their own inner resources, their own wisdom of lift experience to be able to make sound decisions,” said Corsello, a certified coach, co-owner, with her husband, of the Corsello Butcheria in Easthampton, and mentor with participants in EforAll Holyoke’s accelerator programs. “I help pull out their confidence and get them thinking that they can do this.”

With that, she described one of the many ways that mentors work with their clients and, while doing so, contribute in powerful ways to the vibrancy of the region’s business community.

Indeed, there are many components to the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Western Mass., and one of the most important is the small army of mentors who pass on what they know and provide much-needed sets of eyes and ears (especially ears) to those looking to start or grow a business.

And for this issue and its focus on entrepreneurship, BusinessWest talked with several of them.

Individually, and collectively, they spoke of the various kinds of rewards — and there are many of them — that go with mentoring, and about the various ways they try to counsel those on the other side of the desk, or the telephone, as the case may be.

This counsel can be technical in nature, such as how to read a spreadsheet and understand the numbers of business.

“I tell them that numbers really matter — get to know the numbers,” said Bellamy Schmidt, a retired executive who worked for many years at General Electric before moving to Wall Street and the giant investment firms JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs and then Holyoke City Hall, where he served as auditor. “As much as people may find the numbers uncomfortable, they basically tell the story of a business.”

In other cases, it’s practical advice, everything from understanding one’s audience and meeting its needs, to the importance of networking and relationship-building.

“I tell them that networking is the key to building relationships,” said Yadira Pacheco, who owns a real estate agency and is a mentor in EforAll’s Spanish program, EparaTodos. “I tell them to network every chance they get; it doesn’t matter if it’s linked directly to their type of business — they’re going to find somebody who knows somebody who knows somebody who’s going to connect with them because of what they do.”

Yadira Pacheco

Yadira Pacheco says she tells entrepreneurs to network every chance they get, because relationship-building is one of the keys to success.

And then, there’s advice, or counseling, that falls more in the category of psychology, if that’s even the right term, that Corsello referred to.

“I tell them not to be afraid of failing — and for obvious reasons,” said Bill Cole, owner of Tiger Web Designs and a serial entrepreneur himself. “The bottom line is this … if you interview all the super successful people in this world, you’ll find that a common thread is that they failed miserably many times before they got to be successful. And there’s a reason for that; some things you must learn the hard way in order to learn them well.”

How well someone copes with failure, and, overall, how well one can learn from it, will play a larger role in one’s ultimate success in business than any given product or service, said Cole, who told BusinessWest that he focuses on helping those that he mentors become good entrepreneurs much more than he counsels them on any specific idea they may have to change the world as we know it.

Getting the Idea

As he talked about his mentoring work, Cole said he “got the bug,” eight to 10 years ago.

That bug, as he called it, is a desire to give back to what is, by all accounts, a growing number of people who would rather work for themselves than for someone else. Or at least try to do just that.

What all who try find out is that this isn’t easy, and if it were, everyone would do it. The fact that not everyone does, speaks to just how hard this is, meaning every aspect of entrepreneurship, from conceptualizing ideas to bringing them to market, to coping with the known — things like competition and the laws of supply and demand — to dealing with the unknown and sometimes what can’t possibly be foreseen … like a global pandemic.

Bill Cole

Bill Cole

“I tell them not to be afraid of failing — and for obvious reasons. The bottom line is this … if you interview all the super successful people in this world, you’ll find that a common thread is that they failed miserably many times before they got to be successful. And there’s a reason for that; some things you must learn the hard way in order to learn them well.”

Overall, entrepreneurship is daunting, said those we spoke with, adding that it’s important to assist those who don’t know what they don’t know with the many important aspects of starting and then running a business, while also helping them deal with the roller-coaster ride that is entrepreneurship and all that comes with it.

“I force them to realize that they’re not alone, that they can rely on their mentors to help them,” said Schmidt. “That creates a sense of comfort; it’s not me against the world — I’ve got people who have my back.”

This ‘having one’s back’ aspect of mentoring is as important as any practical advice on a product or marketing, or reading a balance sheet, said those we spoke with, adding that they want to help people learn about themselves as much as they do about business.

“There’s a lot to learn, and when we’re in a space of learning, self-doubt comes in,” said Corsello. “And that creates an emotional response — ‘I can’t do it,’ or ‘I’m overwhelmed.’ There are some people who have a mindset for entrepreneurship and it’s very easy for them — they’re not afraid to fail, they’re not afraid to take risks; their natural strengths are geared toward entrepreneurship.

“There are others who have a hard time with uncertainty, who have a hard time taking risks, who have a hard time failing,” she went on. “I work with people to break down the steps and celebrate each and every small thing.”

There are many of these small things that are involved with starting a business and taking it to the next level — whatever that might be, said those we spoke with, adding that, overall, they work with their mentees to keep their eye on both the big picture and all the little things that contribute to a business being successful.

And while doing so, as Corsello noted, they try to make these entrepreneurs feel comfortable in their own skin. This in a nutshell, is what she strives to do as a mentor to entrepreneurs, a new role she accepted recently as part of the program known as Blueprint Easthampton, which she helped launch.

She said mentoring is like coaching, in that she’s helping build the confidence needed to get where they desire to go.

“I get to see people in their full light, essentially, and fully believe in them when they can’t believe in themselves,” she explained. “They’re realizing their vision and their dream, and they’re learning about themselves and gaining the tools they need to be resilient.”

Bellamy Schmidt

“I force them to realize that they’re not alone, that they can rely on their mentors to help them. That creates a sense of comfort; it’s not me against the world — I’ve got people who have my back.”

Elaborating, she said that entrepreneurship can be as isolating as it is challenging, and, as Schmidt said, these business owners need to know that they’re not alone. And beyond that, they need to understand that what they’re experiencing — the fears, the self-doubts, the seemingly endless hits to their self-confidence, are not unique.

“They need to understand that they’re not the only ones struggling with this,” she went on. “And that’s why I say that I normalize their experience.”

Rewards Program

Over the past decade or so, Cole has been a mentor for several of the agencies that are now part of the region’s entrepreneurship ecosystem, including VVM, EforAll, SCORE, the Small Business Administration, and others. He’s worked with startups, mom-and-pop businesses, and some looking to get to the next level, and, because of his background, he’s often asked for advice on creating a website.

But his broad advice to entrepreneurs comes in many flavors, including that aforementioned counsel on failure, why it should be expected, why it’s normal, and, most importantly, why it shouldn’t bring an end to one’s dreams of owning their own business.

Overall, he said he advises those he mentors to work smart — and not just hard, although that is critically important as well.

“There’s a combination of working hard and working smart that has to happen,” he explained. “You can’t just work hard, you have to be smart, too. And ‘smart’ just means paying attention to what’s going on around you.

“We tend to have tunnel vision on what we’re trying to do — whatever that may be,” he went on. “If it’s a product, you may have tunnel vision on the product itself, when you have to think about things like how are you going to go to market with that product, or organize the business itself — how many people need to be hired, how much is it going to cost? There’s a difference between having a product idea and a business, and the difference is that most people have ideas that are expensive hobbies when it’s all said and done — it’s not really a business.”

Schmidt agreed, and said he stresses the importance of understanding who one’s customers are and what need is being met by their product or service.

“I try to force them to think about what it is the customer really wants,” said Schmidt. “Because often, a businessperson will want to do something that they want to do, and it might not be what the customer wants; if you have a business, it’s all about the customer, it’s not about you.”

Miguel Rivera, co-owner, with his wife, of Rewarding Insurance Agency in Holyoke, and another mentor in the EparaTodos program, concurred.

“Many people don’t have a target market,” he explained. “You ask them who their target market is, and they say ‘everyone.’ Then I try to teach them that their clients are not ‘everyone’; they must identify who their target market is so they can do the right marketing.”

When asked what they enjoy about mentoring, all those we spoke with said there are many kinds of rewards.

One obvious one is the satisfaction that comes from helping someone or some group take an idea and turn it into something successful.

“The first day I went to work after college, my new boss said to me something along the lines of … ‘the most important thing I get out of my job is a sense of accomplishment from helping move young people along in their careers and watching them grow,’” Schmidt recalled. “As naive as I was, I thought that was kind of a ridiculous answer. But as I matured, I realized how right he was; there’s a tremendous sense of accomplishment when you see someone develop that you have helped.”

Rivera agreed. “I’m glad to see business owners doing their ribbon cuttings and grand openings — that’s what I enjoy the most,” he said. “And many of my clients are still in business — they’re doing well, and I take pride in that.”

Said Cole, “I love it when someone is successful and I had something to do with it — it’s a wonderful feeling. But I don’t mind being there when someone is struggling, either; I’ve been there, so I know.”

Pacheco has been there as well, and so she knows first-hand how daunting entrepreneurship is. And that’s why she mentors others.

“When I was starting my business, it was very difficult, because I didn’t have the support, the guidance, or a blueprint — anything,” she recalled. “So, I was literally thrown into it and had to figure it out for myself. And that’s one of the reasons why I help others. I know how difficult and stressful it can be when you’re trying to grow a business.”

The Bottom Line

Beyond that, though, mentors say that they inevitably learn from those they are mentoring, and this helps them become both better business owners — and better mentors.

“I’ve learned a tremendous number of things that I never would have learned otherwise,” said Cole. “The reality is I’m smarter for it and I have a lot more experience from it than I ever would have had if I just done my own little thing.

Pacheco agreed.

“You always learn something from each participant,” she told BusinessWest. “Everyone has a story; everyone’s background is different. In the process of me helping others, they are also helping me; it’s a learning experience on both sides.”

Such sentiments explain why mentoring is so rewarding — and why it’s so important, for all those involved.

George O’Brien can be reached at

The post For Mentors of Entrepreneurs, There are Many Kinds of Rewards appeared first on BusinessWest.

At Least Ten Killed In Buffalo Grocery Store Mass Shooting

Law enforcement says a man wearing military-style gear entered a Tops Friendly Market in Northeast Buffalo, New York, and began firing a rifle. Police say at least ten people were killed. Authorities say they’ve arrested the alleged gunman, who was 18 years old. Sources say at least two rifles have been recovered from the scene, with the N-word apparently etched into one weapon. Police are looking into whether the suspect was motivated by white supremacist ideology.» Subscribe to NBC News: http://nbcnews.to/SubscribeToNBC
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At Least Ten Killed In Buffalo Grocery Store Mass Shooting

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