Friday, December 1, 2017

Roaring Eagles Lead the League

Frank Spadavecchia and Andrew Purdy                  
Staff Writers

The Philadelphia Eagles have taken the entire NFL by storm. For a team that has struggled in the past, to becoming the number one team in the league. The Eagles are 10-1. Carson Wentz is at the front of the MVP race with a record setting 28 touchdowns in the first 11 games of the season. Wentz’s 28-5 TD to interception ratio is a top the NFL and his play has been backed up by the rest of the team’s play.
 With the early emergence of the 5-0 Chiefs, a 4-1 start for the Eagles was completely overlooked. However, with the rest of the league thinning out, the Philadelphia Eagles have emerged as the best team in the league with a shocking 5-1 odds to win the Super Bowl which is the third highest of any team in the NFL as stated by ESPN. A defense that took a major hit at the cornerback position has proved to be one of the strongest units in the entire league. The Eagles have a total of 16 interceptions and a plus 8 turnover ratio with a total of 25 turnovers. After a shocking injury to the Eagles” newest acquisition Ronald Darby, many fans felt the injury was a massive blow to a promising season. Along with an early injury to Ronald Darby the eagles have had to win without All-Pro Left Tackle Jason Peters, as well as Linebacker Jordan Hicks.
 Even with all of the success on the field some of the best moments in the eagles season have taken place off the field. During the offseason Eagles Quarterback Carson Wentz took some time to take his Wide Receiving core out to North Dakota where the group bonded in an effort to forge new relationships. Offseason acquisitions such as Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith have given Caron Wentz trust-worthy targets on the outside. Another midseason acquisition in Jay Ajayi has proven to the Philadelphia fan base that this is the year the Eagles will contend for the Super Bowl.

 This Eagles team is firing on all cylinders and at a pace which no one could have seen coming. They have the best record in the league and have been improving each and every week despite injuries. Across the NFL, important players have been injured or suspended and their teams have fallen off the map. The Eagles, however, have fought through turmoil and are a battle-tested team poised to make a serious run this year.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Lady Lions Soccer Team experiences a mirror image end from last season

Shayna Berman and Laura Nagg
Staff Writers

A completely different feel this year, but a mirror image end from last season as the girls soccer season finished on Nov. 1. The Lady Lions placed second in the BAL, won semi-final districts, lost the district finals, and lost the first round of states. Yet, no matter what the record says, the team confidently can say that this season reaped much more positivity and unity than last year.
 Sophomore starter Maggie DeVito reflected on the season:“This soccer season was a time for getting to know our new coaches and having lots of fun.”
 The new coaching staff was definitely a transition for the girls. Previous coach and New Hope gym teacher, Chris Shank, returned to the program after a few years at CB West and taking a break from coaching high school soccer. He has been coaching for over 20 years at all levels and has led his teams to many championships. New Hope-Solebury alumni Emma Natale and Taylor Mohr were coached under Shank, winning many district titles themselves, came back this year as Junior Varsity Coach and Assistant Coach. The girls have a fairly young team considering that they lost 11 seniors last year including their goalie. This transition included a few freshman earning starting spots and playing time on the varsity team, including Sam Kruopas, who was a top scorer for this season. Another new addition was goal keeper Laura Nagg, who stepped up to begin training during preseason with Mohr who graduated from Elon University in the spring, playing D1 on the woman’s soccer team.

 Even with all the joys of being together as a team and the many victories during the season, it is bittersweet saying goodbye to beloved seniors. This includes the tied top scorer Claudia Kolinchak, their speedy forward Taylor Kropus, and top assister Shayna Berman and captain Laura Nagg. The other captains included juniors Halle Mohr and Katie Mardirossian.  The girls look forward to next year and believe that they will go far. They have an understanding of Coach Shank and know what they can expect from themselves and the team. Although they are dreading the preseason workouts, the girls look forward to an extremely successful 2018 season.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Eagles Looking To Win It All

John Flavin and Nick Garritano
Staff Writers

The Philadelphia Eagles have started the first half of the season on fire.  They have a record of 10-1 and it looks like no one is going to get in their way. Carson Wentz is leading the way with 2,657 yards and 28 touchdown passes and just 5 interceptions through 11 games. Another big part of the Eagles success is the play of their front 7 on defense. They have the best run defense in the National Football League and don’t give the opposing offense any easy yards.  
 According to 247sports, Wentz said: "We like where we’re at, especially being on this bye week. Obviously we got off to a good start, but just one of those things for me is just always on to the next. We’ve got another big one coming up. I’m not big on celebrating all of the success up to this point. We just gotta keep plugging along and hopefully we’ll be playing in the playoffs and see where this takes us."  
 That is a fantastic mentality to have considering that they are already widely considered the best team in the NFL. This team is hungry for a Super Bowl and won't be satisfied until they get there.

 The Eagles recent addition of RB Jay Ajayi from Miami at the trade deadline certainly won’t hurt their odds. Ajayi is one of the best young backs in the league. He had several games last season with over 200 rushing yards and a change of scenery could result in more games like that to come.

Field Hockey ends a Historic Season

Sydney Garvin and Rachel Saxton
Staff Writers

It has been a historic season for the New Hope-Solebury Field Hockey team with a claim on the BAL title, District One championship, and a first ever win in PIAA states tournament in school history.
 It started out as an unexpected season for the lions, going with a shutout season until the 4-1 win over Jenkintown High School. Their undefeated season continued until the regional finals game against Gwynedd Mercy with a tough 2-1 loss. “They got a goal on a quick transition we were not ready for,” senior Claudia Koeppen explained. “They were out for revenge and they got it, but we came back stronger and wound up getting farther in states. We won what really counted.”
 Like Koeppen said, the Lions continued onto the state quarter-finals where their season came to an end with a 3-1 loss over Wyoming Seminary whereas their past opponent, Gwynedd Mercy, lost in the first round of states.
 The field hockey team ended with nineteen wins and two losses, outscoring their opponents 148-6. Senior Sarah Wilson also beat the Bicentennial Athletic League’s career goal record in the final game against Wyoming Seminary. Former Christopher Dock player, Jill Bolton, had claimed the title with 111 goals, Wilson scoring her 112th goal in her final career game.
 “In past years, we have all been intimidated by Jill. It feels really good to show that she can be beat, and even though we weren’t able to beat her team last year, I got my revenge this year,” Wilson explains.
 The Lady Lions look forward to finishing their season with the annual parent-player game and the first ever field hockey/ soccer game versing the New Hope-Solebury Girls Soccer team. It has been a memorable season for the girls, and they cannot wait to see their first ever District One Championship banner hanging in the school gym.

Monday, November 27, 2017

76ers Begin Season with Promising Start

Justin Fischetti
Staff Writer

The Philadelphia 76ers started their 2017-18 season on Oct. 18 against the Washington Wizards, and with nearly a quarter of the season finished the Sixers are off to a promising start with an 11-7 record as of Nov. 26.
 After spending much of the previous four seasons near the bottom of the NBA standings while in the midst of a massive rebuild, the 76ers appeared poised to finally take a step forward in the 2017-18 NBA season. The Sixers returned many young key players from last season looking to make further improvements in their game, including Robert Covington, Dario Saric, T.J. McConnell and, most notably, Joel Embiid. Last season, Embiid put up sensational numbers despite having minute restrictions and missing over half the season due to injury.
 2016 number one draft pick Ben Simmons, who missed the entire 2016-17 season due to a foot injury, was set to make his long-awaited NBA debut. The 2017 number one draft pick, Markelle Fultz, was also ready for his debut. Additionally, the 76ers made a splash in free agency for the first time in years, most notably signing veterans J.J. Reddick and Amir Johnson to one-year contracts. These free agent signings showed that the Sixers were ready to take the next step forward and win as soon as possible, instead of continuing the rebuild by filling the team with only young players. These factors, combined with an Eastern Conference that was predicted to be weak, had led many NBA experts to predict that the 76ers will be a low-seeded playoff team; a drastic improvement from the near last-place finishes of the past few seasons.
 18 games later, the 76ers are on track to meet, and possibly exceed those predictions. The Sixers got off to a slow start, losing their first game to the Wizards and losing four of their first five games overall, they have been one of the hottest teams since. They have won 10 of 13 games since that slow start, including impressive wins over the Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers, and Portland Trail Blazers. Many of their players from last season have shown improvement so far this season, the veterans have contributed as advertised, and perhaps most significantly, Ben Simmons has exceeded even the most optimistic of pre-season predictions, contributing to the team in a wide variety of ways including scoring (18.5 points per game), rebounding (9.1 rebounds per game) and passing (7.7 assists per game).
 76ers head coach Brett Brown also praised Ben Simmons, especially in regards to his passing; "To look at the royalty that you're around, look at the company that surrounds you when you look at the NBA assist leaders, it's a reminder that he [Simmons] doesn't need to score” Brown said as reported in the LA Times. “He can score and it does help, but it's not mandatory, especially making shots. That's not going to define him this year. I think finishing will and free throws will. But growing that end of his game, and encouraging your point guard to pass the heck out of it like you do, it's exceptional at an early stage."

 The 76ers hope these trends will continue later in the season and possibly lead the team to a playoff spot in a higher seed than many expected. The only major disappointment in this season so far for the 76ers has been the injury bug affecting Markelle Fultz. Fultz suffered a shoulder injury in the preseason, and while he attempted to play through the injury at first, when it became clear that the injury was hurting Fultz’s performance, he was shut down after three games. He hopes to return to the court later in the season. The Sixers are also running into controversy with their handling of Jahlil Okafor, who has asked for a trade since he is not in the team’s rotation and therefore hardly gets any playing time. However, management has not yet found a good trade for him, leaving Okafor on the bench.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Cross Country sees slew of personal records

Kayla Paul-Koch
Staff Writer

On Oct. 27, the cross country team performed speedily at their district meet at Lehigh University, generating new personal records for many of the runners. Senior Chris Cammarata and sophomore Christian Kruse went on to race at states due to their tremendous effort during the grueling 3.1 mile race.
 Cammarata placed 5th coming in with a time of 17:49 with Kruse not far behind him in 8th place.  Additionally, Kruse bested his all time personal record with a time of 17:59. Both boys medaled and went on to another great performance at states a week later.
 At the state competition, the boys struggled more than they did at districts due to the abundance of hills and long inclines offered by the course, but nonetheless pushed themselves. Cammarata ran an 18:50 and once again Kruse wasn’t far behind, running a 19:05. The boys worked hard this season and gave it their all throughout to stay consistent.

The High Flying Offense of Manchester City

Jack Buckard
Staff Writer

Manchester City F.C. is a football club up in Manchester, England (that’s soccer for the American readers). They play in the English Premier League, the country’s top tier, and currently lead the league with 31 points, 8 ahead of their closest competitor. With the team scoring 52 goals across all competitions, it seems that the team is just playing for fun. Their juggernaut offense appears practically invincible.
 Pep Guardiola, Manchester City’s current manager, was appointed last season with high expectations. He finished last season in 4th place in the league, and no trophies. The media criticized Guardiola, but time was essential if the Citizens were to become a world power. With summer signings including fullbacks Kyle Walker and Benjamin Mendy, and an improvement in the goalkeeper position with Ederson Morales, Man City looked like a true title contender. Frank Lampard, a former English Chelsea midfielder, said to a Copa90 reporter a few days ago: “It’s what we’re all saying now but I can’t see them being caught. It's great to see a team playing that way, we all want to see our own teams involved but when they’re playing that beautiful football it’s great to watch whether you’re a City fan or not.” Being a former player of a direct rival of Manchester City, it was a bold statement by Lampard.
 Along with scoring 52 goals across all competitions, the team’s main striker, Sergio Aguero who is responsible for 8 of those goals, is currently tied with Harry Kane as the Premier League’s top scorer. David Silva of Manchester City has 7 assists, leading that category with fellow teammate Kevin de Bruyne right behind him with 6 assists. Also, forwards Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling have 7 goals to their names, with Leroy Sane getting 5 assists in a month and a half. At one point in the season too, Man City scored 20 goals in a row before conceding 1 to Stoke City, one of the best runs in team history. Despite destroying teams in the Premier League, the team leads their UEFA Champions League group with 12 points as well, with a 4-0-0 record with 2 games to play. Man City centre back, John Stones, has 3 goals in the competition, too.
 Along with outscoring the opponent, they seem to be outworking them as well. Kevin de Bruyne has run more than 5,000 meters in the Champions League, with only a few other players close behind. Manchester City also has a possession rate of 63.1%, a passing accuracy rate of 89.1%, and an average of 17 shots per game. With every player in each position in the top five of their categories, Manchester City seems unstoppable. No team since 2003-04 has gone the entire Premier League season unbeaten, with an Arsenal F.C. team going 26-12-0. Even though the season is long and grueling, this Manchester City team has the best chance to become the next “Invincibles.”