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The Ticat Tamer: Meet the Hamilton stylist doing the hair of Grey Cup-bound players this week –



She grew up playing with her dolls’ hair, but now Lohifa Pogoson-Acker is designing the manes of some high-profile cats — the Grey Cup-bound Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

“Oskee Wee Wee,” the 36-year-old Nigerian-Canadian yelled in her home hair studio, wearing a black sweater with a gold cardigan.

“All week I’m going to be wearing these colours. All week. I don’t care if I have to wear the same clothes all week, I want that energy going, that winning energy going.”

With the Grey Cup game against Winnipeg Blue Bombers this Sunday, she’s seen notable names walk through her front door this week, including Bralon Addison, Dave Watford, Don Jackson, Tim White, Papi White and Chris Frey Jr. — all players who will have final team practices and the CFL awards Friday evening before the big CFL game.  

Papi White’s hair this week after seeing hairstylist Lohifa Pogoson-Acker and local barber Yoshi Al. (Submitted by Lohifa Pogoson-Acker)

Such a big week comes with the need for a special ‘do. 

“I like to consider myself a specialty stylist. What I do involves pattern styling, so we can do cornrows, we can do twists, some of them have dreadlocks … I style their locks, I interlock them or retwist them and do them with those,” she said.

While she may be busy styling high-profile clients, Pogoson-Acker has only been doing hair full time for two years.

Before that, she grew up in Nigeria and the U.K., where she styled hair of family, friends and fellow students in boarding school. She said she also worked in family salons and even ran her own out of her parent’s garage as a side hustle after they immigrated to Vancouver in 2000.

Her full-time work included international development and health-system strengthening overseas before landing in Hamilton in 2012 to work as a project coordinator at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton.

She said former Ticat Adrian Tracy approached Pogoson-Acker after hearing a glowing endorsement of her hairstyling.

She impressed Tracy, who later brought in then Ticat Nikita Whitlock.

Fast forward two years. Pogoson-Acker decided to try hairstyling full time out of her home on the Mountain, and said she’s worked with about 20 Ticats now, past and present.

After spending up to four hours styling their hair, she sends them to local barbers Yoshi Al and Jayy Way Fade, who cut the players’ hair.

‘Simply a joy to be around’

Ticat running back Don Jackson, also known as hip-hop artist Don Jayy, called Pogoson-Acker “extremely talented.”

“She absolutely kills it — not just my hair, but most of our guys,” he said, after getting a fresh style this week. 

He praised her work on his Instagram account, thanking her for “pulling a last-minute miracle.”

“She’s simply a joy to be around,” he told CBC Hamilton.

WATCH: Lohifa Pogoson-Acker talks about hair-styling Ticats

This woman is a hairstylist for Hamilton Tiger-Cat players

9 hours ago

Duration 1:06

For the past two years, more than a dozen Ticats have trusted Lohifa Pogoson-Acker with their hair. 1:06

While Ticat players work in a high-pressure environment, Pogoson-Acker said she tries to help relieve their stress by not talking too much about football.

Sometimes, she plays some of Don Jayy’s music, and other times they’re cracking jokes and sharing life stories.

“We have fun over here … when you walk in, positive vibes only,” she said with a beaming smile.

“They come here looking a certain way and the leave here looking so much better, feeling so much better, just loving themselves so much more, feeling more confident and that’s my goal for anyone sitting in this chair.”

Pogoson-Acker holds her favourite ilarun — a wooden comb. She sharpens the comb with a razor blade and says she always tries to use it when styling. (Bobby Hristova/CBC)

But Pogoson-Acker does have one more thing in common with her Ticat clients — the desire to win the Grey Cup.

She said she hopes her styling gives them a confidence, energy and beauty boost before Sunday’s final.

“They’ve worked so hard, they’re so inspired, they’re so, so ready to get out there and win,” she said.

“I see a brand-new energy in this city surrounding the Grey Cup … but I really want everyone to encourage these boys as much as they can.”

For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.


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Canada's Denis Shapovalov is on to the fourth round of the Australian Open – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News



The Canadian Press

Published Friday, January 21, 2022 7:28AM EST

Last Updated Friday, January 21, 2022 6:40PM EST

MELBOURNE, Australia — Canada’s Denis Shapovalov has a spot in the fourth round of the Australian Open for the first time in his career.

He beat Reilly Opelka 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 on Friday to set up a showdown with third-seeded Alexander Zverev of Germany.

The Canadian has been pushed hard at Melbourne Park, averaging three hours 37 minutes of court time per win so far.

“I’ve gotten very familiar with the ice baths the last week,” Shapovalov said with a smile in an on-court interview. “We’ve become very good friends.”

At six foot 11 and 225 pounds, Opelka is an imposing force on the court. He had a 17-10 edge in aces on the 14th-seeded Shapovalov but made 46 unforced errors.

“Early on I actually found a rhythm on his serve,” Shapovalov said. “I was able to chip quite a lot back, so I was happy with that. I think I did a really good of just taking the chances today.

“Obviously it’s really tough to get the rhythm against a guy like that so I’m super happy.”

It was the first career meeting between Shapovalov and the 23rd-seeded American. Zverev, meanwhile, has a 4-2 edge in head-to-head matchups against the Canadian.

“Hopefully I can win,” Zverev said. “It’s going to be a great match.”

Shapovalov, from Richmond Hill, Ont., previously reached the third round at Melbourne Park in 2019 and 2021. The 22-year-old’s best Grand Slam performance was a semifinal showing last year at Wimbledon.

Zverev defeated Maldova’s Radu Albot 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 in third-round play.

“Radu is in great form right now … 1/8I’m 3/8 happy to be through in three sets,” Zverev said.

Ninth-seeded Felix Auger-Aliassime of Montreal was scheduled to play Britain’s Daniel Evans in third-round play Saturday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2022.

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Defense trade targets for the Maple Leafs, Sheldon Keefe's "soft" comment, and how many games should Petr Mrazek start the rest of the way? – MLHS Podcast Episode 38 – Maple Leafs Hot Stove



Founded in 2008, Maple Leafs Hotstove (MLHS) has grown to be the most visited independent team-focused hockey website online (Quantcast).
Independently owned and operated, MLHS provides thorough and wide-ranging content, varying from news, opinion and analysis, to pre-game and long-form game reviews, and a weekly feature piece entitled “Leafs Notebook.”
MLHS has been cited by: ESPN, Sports Illustrated, CBC News, USA Today, Fox Sports, Yahoo! Sports, NBC Sports, TSN, Sportsnet, Grantland, CTV News, CBSSports, The Globe & Mail, The National Post, The Toronto Star, The Toronto Sun, Global News, Huffington Post, and many more.

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Tennis-‘I’m not God! Can’t win every match’ – Osaka proud despite early exit



Naomi Osaka was at peace with herself after yet another failed attempt at defending a Grand Slam title at the Australian Open and the former world number one was especially proud of the way she has managed to mould her mindset to deal with tough losses.

The former world number one crashed out from Melbourne Park after a third round loss in the deciding set tiebreaker to American Amanda Anisimova — the same stage the four-times major winner exited the U.S. Open four months back.

Following the Flushing Meadows defeat, a tearful Osaka told a news conference that she was taking a break from the sport, raising more concern about her mental health struggles that forced her to miss parts of the tennis season.

The soft spoken and self-confessed introvert declared at the start of the 2022 season that she was looking to have more fun on court and enjoy playing the sport.

“I would definitely say I’m proud of myself for this,” the Japanese player told reporters on Friday. “Though to me it didn’t feel like a short amount of time. It felt like ages ago.

“This for me is the biggest step. Even though I lost. I was really focused throughout the entire match, and I didn’t have a dip. So that’s really good. Hopefully as the season continues, I’ll be able to keep this up, and get even better at it.”

It was the fourth time that Osaka had failed to defend a Grand Slam title but on Friday she held two matchpoints against the American – something that also made her proud.

Osaka felt her defeat by 60th-ranked Anisimova showed the depth of women’s tennis.

“I fought for every point. I can’t be sad about that,” Osaka said, adding that she was yet to decide on her schedule before the WTA 1000 event in Indian Wells in March.

“I’m not God! I can’t win every match. The last match that I played in New York I think I had a completely different attitude.

“Of course I lost, but I’m happy with how it went. I just want to go into this year knowing that I’ll play the whole year and I’ll just have the greatest attitude ever.”


(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; editing by Christian Radnedge)

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