Tuesday, January 9, 2018

LiAngelo Ball’s implusive actions lead to new path

Matthew Bracco and Charles Bray
Staff Writers

After a mishap that led him to facing jail time in an unfamiliar country, and withdrawing from his college, LiAngelo Ball needed to embark on a new experience. LiAngelo had committed to UCLA for Division I basketball. However that involvement was cut short when on a team trip to China, he and two of his teammates were caught shoplifting from designer shops.
  Ball, being the highest-profile player involved, said: “I’d like to start off by saying sorry for stealing from the stores in China. I’m a young man, but it’s not an excuse for making a really stupid decision.”
  Due to his poor decisions, Ball was suspended from the team until further notice. His father, Lavar, being the outgoing and impulsive individual he is, decided to pull LiAngelo out of UCLA completely.
  Claiming that he had another path for LiAngelo to enter, one that was superior to the experience he had as a UCLA basketball player.
  Although hope seemingly was lost for LiAngelo, he recently signed a contract to play basketball overseas. Ball landed in rainy Lithuania on Jan. 3 to start his career at a local basketball club, BC Prienai. Little is known about the current situation of LiAngelo. Both he and his father have high hopes, with dreams of him following in his brother’s footsteps of being drafted into the NBA. With this setback, LiAngelo is still pursuing his dreams, but due to impulsive decisions, he now has to forge his own path to success.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

New Hope-Solebury Girls Volleyball takes it to the competition

Garrett Hoffman & John Devaney

The 2017 New Hope-Solebury Girls Volleyball had a well-rounded season. With a 16-2 record in their regular season, and 8-0 in their BAL league, the girls managed to get first place in the Perk Valley tournament.
  Head coach Roy Watson stated that “New Hope defeated AAAA Perkiomen Valley the then fourth ranked AAAA Suburban 1 team. New Hope’s list of victories included those against Gwynedd Mercy Academy, WC Henderson and Germantown Academy.”
  They also won several AAAA PLAYOFF bound schools including, Central Bucks South and Council Rock South.
  Katie Costello finished first in one category in the BAL (kills) and second in the hitting and blocks. She had 229 kills,  314 hits,  and 14 blocks.  Katie had big block against BIG hitting teams like CB South, CR South, Souderton, NP, Perk Valley, Germantown Academy which were all wins. She was Six rotation player, had 2.05 Passer rating, 46% 3-ball passer, and 93 Digs.
  Rachel McMahon was a Senior Captain, two Year Captain, team Leader, high Volleyball IQ, and intelligent hitter. She lead the floor, direct the offense, stabilizes the team with her leadership, production. She was a four year starter, six rotation player, 1.95 passer rating, and 45% 3-ball passer. Rachel had 57 aces and had 96 kills.
  Grace Hanley had 88 digs, 91 serve percentage, 2.01 Passer Rating, and 48% 3 Ball Pass. Grace was a  stabilized S/R and defense.  She was a solid contributor in the back row, who set OOS and 2/6 S/R rotations to allow Gwen to hit. Grace was a big player who plays older than her age and understands the game intuitively.
  New Hope-Solebury Girls Volleyball had a great year, won many contests and had so much fun. ​

Top 4 NFL Teams in the Playoffs

Jack Gawason and Nick Fest
Staff Writers

New England Patriots- After last season when they completed a Super Bowl comeback from a 28-3 deficit the Patriots continue to be the best team in the league. After some early season injuries most notably Julian Edelman and some key defensive players the team was not right. Then they played the Steelers in a crucial week 15 matchup playing for the top seed in the AFC playoffs. They looked like the traditional New England Patriots from the past couple years they fought on defense and moved the ball on offense scoring in the most needed times escaping with a three point win. With their history and recent success in the playoffs, knowing Tom Brady and Bill Belichick have won five super bowls together, they have to be the Super Bowl favorites heading in as the number one seed.

Pittsburgh Steelers- The Steelers three primary players on offense all had outstanding seasons. Antonio Brown led the league in receiving yards before his season wrapped up shortly after suffering a calf injury but he is expected to be back for the Steelers first playoff game. Ben Roethlisberger began the season tossing interception after interception but soon turned it around and finished as a top ten quarterback. When Le'veon Bell finally arrived after a hold out hoping for a bigger contract he quickly returned to himself padding his rushing and receiving totals turning in a typical Le’veon season in hopes of receiving a bigger contract next year. With these three weapons on offense this team needs be feared with their biggest challenge coming in a possible match up against the Patriots.

Los Angeles Rams- A completely revived Rams team, fresh into their new city, had a wonderful season. A needed change in a new coach, Sean McVay, the youngest coach in the league has produced tremendous results. Second year quarterback Jared Goff has enjoyed a bounceback season but nothing compared to running back Todd Gurley who is a comeback player of the year and most valuable player candidate. Their offense is scary with lots of weapons and successful play calls. On the other side of the football they have surrounded stud lineman Aaron Donald, a defensive player of the year candidate who seems to always be getting hits on the quarterback, with other skilled players.

Philadelphia Eagles- The Eagles were the league favorite at the conclusion of their week 13 win against the Rams with the record 11-2. Shortly after this win the team doctors would inform the press Carson Wentz had suffered an injury believed to be a torn ACL. He indeed tore his ACL and Nick Foles became the teams starter. With Nick Foles looking close to perfect and then quickly to below average in a small sample size(less than three games) Eagles fans have to be worried but with the pieces surrounding Foles on offense and defense you never know what can happen on playoff Sunday.

Dark Horse Candidate:
Buffalo Bills-Barely sneaking in to the playoffs after a Bengals touchdown on 4th and 12 that knocked the Ravens out of the playoffs. The Bills ended the longest playoff drought after 18 years of devastating seasons they are finally back. Another team with a new head coach, Sean McDermott seems to have this team heading in the right direction. They have Tyrod Taylor at quarterback who is doing a good job passing and rushing the ball with additional pieces in Lesean McCoy and the midseason addition of Kelvin Benjamin they are playing in a place they have not been in a while and who knows how they will react.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Boys Varsity Soccer celebrates District Title

Deven Smith
Staff Writer

The New Hope-Solebury Boys Soccer team beats Lansdale Catholic 3-2 in overtime, to win the school's first ever soccer AA District Championship. 
 On Nov. 4, at one PM the starting whistle blew and the game started. The game began with complete dominance by New Hope, but it was Lansdale Catholic (LC) that drew first blood with their first shot of the game off of a counter attack by Matt MacDonald. However, it did not take New Hope long to strike back, they got a goal just 82 seconds after conceding.
  Jake Jacquemot finished a rebound off of Captain Nate Bawduniak free kick to bring the score level at 1-1.
  LC then proceeded to score a second goal with a 35-yard header by MacDonald after New Hope’s keeper Ethan Datz was caught out of the goal after he cleared the ball.  However, New Hope would not give up.
  The Lions tied the game again after only 46 seconds with Nick Fest stealing the ball at midfield and kicking it upfield where it was flicked on to Nate Bawduniak who finished the ball in the bottom left corner with only a minute left in the half. 
 The second half of the game produced no goals,  but it was still full of excitement as the Lions aggressively battled it out all over the field. 
  Balls hit the post and goals were called back due to fouls or calls for players being offsides.  But the real excitement came in over time in which the team that scores first wins. 
 Captain Jake Zimmerman started off the play with a wide ball to Senior Dante Demeo who with a burst of speed prevented the ball from going out of bounds.  He then proceeded to cross the ball which was then cleared to out of the box where Zimmerman banged it into the goal to win the District Title. 

Old Saint Nick Is Here to the Eagles “Blitzin” Defense to a Super Bowl Victory

Frank Spadavecchia and Devin Bock Staff Writers After an impressive win over the 9-3, NFC West leading LA Rams, the Eagles faithful received heartbreaking news about their franchise quarterback Carson Wentz. He took a hard hit at the end of the third quarter and has torn his ACL. This injury has ended his season and dramatically dropped the chances of the Eagles’ Super Bowl dream; or so people think. The Eagles backup quarterback Nick Foles is going to lead the Eagles to a Super Bowl despite this hardship. Foles, a former Pro Bowl Offensive MVP in 2013, has played with the Eagles in the past and led them to success. In 2013, he led the team to an NFC East title and threw 27 touchdowns with only 2 interceptions. They ended up losing in the first round to the New Orleans Saints by a field goal, but that will not happen again this year. Things are different with this team and the whole city can feel it. All year the Eagles have been plagued with injuries including losing Darren Sproles and Jason Peters. They have kept a “next-man up” mentality all year and this injury to Wentz will not change that. Everybody has been stepping up this year and Nick Foles will do the same. Nick Foles came into the game against the Rams and secured the victory for the Eagles after Wentz went down. He threw 6-10 for completions and threw for 42 yards, including a huge 3rd down pass to Nelson Agholor to continue the march down field. For Nick’s first start of the season against the 2-11 New York Giants, he threw for 237 yards and 4 touchdowns. This was a spectacular outing and a huge moral boost for Eagles Fans. It is up to them to rally around their new quarterback and give him the support he deserves. Foles is ready; now it is time that we get ready. With the Eagles sitting at 12-2, only needing one more win for home field advantage, it appears that the offense is Super Bowl ready.

Flyers Hope to Find Success in Roller Coaster Season

Justin Fischetti
Staff Writer

On Dec. 16, in a game against the Dallas Stars, the Wells Fargo Center erupted when Shayne Gostisbehere scored a game-winning overtime goal on a powerplay, his second goal of a game, in a 2-1 victory for the Philadelphia Flyers. This victory was the sixth in a row for the Flyers, bringing them within just four points behind the second wild card spot with still plenty of season left in the NHL.
  It is hard to believe that just two weeks earlier, the Flyers were skating to their tenth straight loss in front of a furious home crowd chanting for head coach Dave Hakstol to be fired.
  These streaks have perfectly defined the rollercoaster-like season that the 2017-18 Flyers have endured. After a decent start, a 10-game losing streak occurred that seemed to suck all the enthusiasm out of a young, rebuilding team that was hoping to compete for a playoff spot, though five of the losses came in overtime where the Flyers were able to get a point. A surprising 6-game winning streak immediately followed however, getting the Flyers right back into the thick of the playoff race with still over three months of the season left. The winning streak would end on Dec. 18 with a loss to the Los Angeles Kings, and it will be interesting to see if the team can rebound quickly from the loss.
  The Flyers currently have 35 points and a 14-12-7 record as of Dec. 19. With plenty of games against the Eastern Conference coming up - the Flyers schedule was loaded with Western Conference games early - winning games will especially be important for the Flyers playoff chances now. The Flyers though face a challenge in their playoff quest in that they are playing in the strongest division in the league; the Metropolitan Division. Despite being just four points back of the last playoff spot, the Flyers are tied for the fewest points of any team in their 8-team division. By comparison, the Flyers would be in 4th place if they were in the other Eastern Conference division, the Atlantic Division, instead.
  In an encouraging sign, many players have taken a step forward in their performance so far this season compared to last season. Center Sean Couturier has enjoyed a breakout season, with 15 goals and 15 assists; his 15 goals are already more than the 14 he had all of last season. Right winger Jakub Voracek currently leads all NHL players with 33 assists. Left winger Claude Giroux is bouncing back from a disappointing performance last season with 13 goals and 23 assists so far this season. Younger players, such as defensemen Shayne Gostisbehere and Ivan Provorov as well as center Travis Konecny are also performing well. Goalie Brian Elliott, signed to a two-year contract last summer, is off to a fairly good start as well.
  When asked about Couturier’s strong start in what seems to be a breakout season, Giroux replied by saying that “I’d seen potential, yeah. He’s just a really smart player, gets open really well. For us it’s trying to build on it. We had a good chemistry early on in preseason. We just need to keep building on it.”
  With the more important part of the schedule about to begin, it will be crucial for the team to perform well if they have playoff aspirations. With how inconsistent the Flyers have been so far in this rollercoaster year, it is impossible to tell where the team will take off from here. A non-playoff year won’t be disastrous for the franchise as management continues to rebuild by developing youth, but it would be disappointing. But if the Flyers continue to get strong performances from their team leaders and the other players step it up, a playoff berth for this season is definitely a good possibility.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

The return of Josh Gordon

Will Kelley,Lear Asplundh, and Mike Borys
Staff Writers

 Josh Gordon, one of the most talented NFL players throughout the past five years has finally made his 2017 return to the NFL. Gordon has had multiple cases where he has been suspended from league play and has got in trouble with the law for abusing different narcotics. His first case was in 2013, when he was suspended the first two games of the NFL season for violating NFL substance-abuse policy. Despite missing two games during the 2013 season, Gordon was still among one of the top receivers throughout the league. After a productive season for the Cleveland Browns in 2013, weeks before the start of the 2014 season, Gordon was suspended for driving under the influence of alcohol. Due to these altercations Gordon was suspended a full year from the NFL. Within days Gordon had also had altercations once again with substance-abuse policies which costed him a removal from the 2014 Pro Bowl, Later his suspension was reduced to only 10 games due to the leagues new drug policies.

Playing Sunday against the Chargers was the first time since the 2014 season. The first play for the brows was a nine-yard catch to Josh Gordon. In his first game he managed to grab four catches for 85 yards. He was obviously the most targeted receiver that game. The next game against the Packers, Gordon caught his first touchdown in almost four years. He recorded three receptions for 69 yards and one touchdown. So far, Gordon’s impact to the Browns is significant. Now that the Cleveland Browns have an elite reciever they can possibly have a better season next year. This past week Gordon helped the Browns nearly take the Packers down with a heartbreaking overtime loss. Gordons third week back he hauled in 5 receptions for a total of 47 yards against the Baltimore Ravens. Gordon back in the Browns lineup has been a difference maker. He is truly a special one of a kind talent the Browns need after a disappointing 0-14 record through 15 weeks of the 2017 regular season.