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USC keeping coach Clay Helton despite 57 season

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LOS ANGELES — Clay Helton will remain Southern California’s head coach after the Trojans’ first losing season since 2000.USC athletic director Lynn Swann made the announcement Sunday, one day after the Trojans finished 5-7 with a loss to Notre Dame.Swann elected to keep the embattled coach for another season just nine months after he gave Helton a contract extension through 2023. Helton is 32-17 in his first head coaching job.The Trojans lost five of their final six games this season, capped by back-to-back losses to archrivals UCLA and Notre Dame.Helton took over at USC during the 2015 season. The Trojans won the Rose Bowl two seasons ago to cap a nine-game winning streak, and they won the Pac-12 title last season___More AP college football: https://apnews.com/tag/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25Greg Beacham, The Associated Press read more

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Teen ballet dancer speaks of joy after being accepted into Bolshoi Academy

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Rachel Armstrong, 17, front, will begin her four-year training at the school in SeptemberCredit:Affleck Academy of Ballet Rachel Armstrong, 17, front, will begin her four-year training at the school in September Honing her skills Ms Armstrong trained under the watchful eye of Hilda Affleck who runs a dance academy in the North-East of England having taught at the Royal Ballet School.  The elated dancer added: ‘”I am a bit nervous, but most of all I am just incredibly excited. It is such a fantastic opportunity and I am looking forward to it all. “I can’t wait to meet people from all over the world, and be taught different styles of dance at such a prestigious school.”Rachel, who has studied at the Affleck Academy of Ballet in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, for around six years, submitted a 15 minute video to the Bolshoi, where fees cost £17,000 a year, in March and was offered a place four days later without being interviewed.She added: “We were told exactly what the Bolshoi wanted to see in the video, we recorded it in a studio and sent it off. “I really hoped that I would be successful but I didn’t really know quite what to expect.”I was so shocked when I received the email. It is getting close now and I am know I am going to get more nervous, but I am still very excited.”I am most anxious about living away from home for the first time, but I am looking forward to it as well.”Her father, Peter, 54, who converted the family garage into a studio for Rachel, said: “We are all incredibly proud of Rachel. A teenage ballerina from Northumberland awarded a place at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy has told how she ran down the stairs to her mother to see if an offer letter was genuine.Rachel Armstrong, 17, is one of just a hand-full of British dancers to earn a place at the Moscow dance school. Training everyday for years she was in bed when she opened a letter from the prestigious school. Disbelieving she flew down the stairs to her mother and pirouetted with pleasure when she realised her deepest dream was now a reality.   She said: “I was so shocked. At first, I wasn’t sure if the email was real. I had to double check it. It had come in at midday but I didn’t see it until I went to bed.”I came downstairs and showed it to my parents. They couldn’t quite believe it.”We did not have any words.”I am absolutely delighted. Dancing is what I want to do every single day. I have a real passion for it and so it’s not something I find difficult or a chore. It is just what I love to do. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. “It is such an amazing opportunity for her. “When she got the email the course of all our lives changed in that one instance.”Rachel is quiet but also very determined. She might not have wanted to get her hopes up, but deep down she really wanted to be accepted.”The Bolshoi has such a fantastic reputation all over the world and Rachel has been building up to this for the past seven years.”The 17-year-old will move to Moscow for four years and will need to learn the language as well as dance. However, Ms Armstrong remains undaunted saying: “I’m quite excited for that, like, just doing it all day, every day.” read more

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