Monday, June 18, 2018

Boys’ Lacrosse season comes to a tragic end

Will Kelley and Lear Asplundh
Staff Writers

The 2018 Boys’ Lacrosse season was a one for the books. The team made a improvement in their overall record, beating the 2017 season one of 6-7, the 2018 record was 8-5. The team will have to overcome losing a great amount of seniors this season.
    The senior class consisted of 10 players, all being very valuable to the team. The team will miss all of these players, but like any other season, the underclassmen will have to step up to the next level. The freshmen and sophomore classes showcased much skill this season and look to improve even more next season.
    The attack led the team in goals, once again. Kyle McLaughlin, a freshman led the team in scoring. Sophomore Tom Raupp finished a close second. This shows that the younger players on this roster are going to lead the team for years to come.
    The position that will hurt the team is defense. Derek Donahue and Andrew Smith, both outstanding defensive players are moving on to college so, the defensive side of the ball, along with the goalie will consist of mostly freshman and sophmores. The midfield for the 2019 season will also consist of only juniors and sophomores. With Ryan Meyers, Jay MacDowell and Nils Dahlin graduating this year, younger middies will need to step up. For next year the midfield rotation is set to consists of Ben Koeppen, Parker Cane, Will Kelley, Kel MacDowell and Brian Dougherty, if everything goes as planned.
    Just like the past two freshmen classes, the 2019 class is expected to be very big (12-14 players). This is great for the program because the more players the team has will give the young players more time to develop and become solid players for the program.

The success of the 2017-2018 New Hope-Solebury baseball team

Deven Smith
Staff Writer

Was New Hope’s Baseball season a success? This team experienced a rollercoaster of a season. The season started on a high note with a trip to Florida to play other schools also looking to practice with some preseason games. It then dove back down with a disappointing start to the season with bad weather, losses and injuries.
   Unwilling to quit, the team proceeded to win the majority of their last games ending the regular season with a 13-7 record. The Lions then advanced to the District Finals after a narrow 4-3 victory over Springfield. However the hopes of repeating their district title win ended on May 24, when New Hope suffered a disappointing 4-2 loss to Lower Moreland.
   Was the season a success?
   This is a question that has plagued the minds of every player on the team for the past week. Initially, most feel no, it wasn’t. We had a goal: to win Districts, and we failed. Simple as that, right?
   But then as a team, we look back to all of the memories we made in just three months: fun practices, inside jokes, the thrill of winning a game, bus rides home, meals after games, and of course, seeing those white whales in Florida. Now, after just a few minutes of thinking about our season, my opinion has completely changed. A season is not defined by two runs. A season is about the memories you make with your brothers, and the relationships you will continue to have for the rest of your life.

Why the Yankees will win the World Series

Blake Doherty
Staff Writer

As the 2010s came into reality, so did the potential for the New York Yankees. With players like Alex Rodriguez being caught for steroids and veterans like Andy Pettite, Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera, and Derek Jeter leaving the sport of baseball, the New York Yankees started to be a forgotten team. They were remembered for their glory days in the late 90s and early 2000s for their dominance on the diamond with Hall of Fame-caliber players on the field every night. However, this viewpoint of the once great ball club changed after their 2017 season.

With the rise of players like Aaron Judge, who hit fifty-two home runs in his rookie season, and Gary Sanchez, a catcher with an incredible arm and thirty-three home runs at the plate, they became a force to reckon with. The Yankees became the dominant team that they were remembered for being through a strong pitching staff and an offense with unbelievable power. As they barely made the playoffs last year, they did not take the opportunity to play October baseball carelessly. Underdogs throughout the entire postseason, they proved all the critics wrong, first by beating the phenomenal pitching staff of the Cleveland Indians, coming back from a two-game deficit to win the series three games to two. They then went on to take the Houston Astros, who later won the World Series in to seven games, losing in Game Seven in a back and forth battle in Texas.
Once the offseason began and critics started to make predictions about who would be next year’s champions, and the Yankees finally started to become noticed as a organization with a legitimate shot at the title. Then, as trades between teams were starting to go through, the Yankees acquired one of the biggest trades in recent history. New York received Giancarlo Stanton from the Miami Marlins, the reigning National League Most Valuable Player, for some of their players including second baseman Starlin Castro. With Stanton, who hit 59 home runs last season, the Yankees offensive lineup went from great to terrifying.

The current status of the New York Yankees this season has only proved everyone right about their power team, leading the Major League with the most home runs with 87. The Yankees also hold the second best record in the Major Leagues, at 35 wins and 17 losses, with the addition of promising rookies in their lineup like Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andújar. Their performances against the top teams only forecast the success that they will have in the postseason, with five wins in seven games against the reigning World Series Champion Houston Astros.

So, when you look at all the factors of the Yankees, the only thing that they lack is an amazing pitching staff. However, they still have some of the best relievers in the game including Aroldis Chapman and a possible Cy Young Award winning starter in Luis Severino. With solid starts by these men on the mound when the championship is on the line, the offense will be able to dominate any challengers that come to face them, and win the World Series.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Cairney sends the Cottagers back to the Premier League

Jack Buckard
Staff Writer

The Premier League has, and always will be, the main focal point of football in England. With elite teams that have world class players, it’s hard for the Premier League not to be. Although, the lower leagues in England don’t get the same about of love, they do get some, but not enough. In order to progress up the league ladder to the higher division, the team has to finish in positions one or two, which achieve automatic promotion. However, if the team finishes in positions three through six, they go into a playoff and whoever becomes victorious in the final, is the third team promoted. On Saturday, May 26, it was Tom Cairney’s Fulham facing off against Jack Grealish’s Aston Villa at Wembley Stadium.
     Both Fulham and Aston Villa have had previous spells in the Premier League, with Fulham being a regular from 2001 to 2014. Aston Villa were also in the league from the start of the new Premier League in 1992, to 2016 when they were finally relegated. Fulham played a more possession-based style, using passes and weighted through balls to break down their opponents, while Villa played a more chaotic, counter-attack style to win games. Both teams went into the final on a high, and the game started to well with both teams trading chances until the 23rd minute. Ryan Sessegnon, a young left-midfielder passed a wonderfully weighted through ball between two Villa defenders to Tom Cairney, who finessed the ball into the bottom left hand corner to give Fulham the lead, which they would never give up.
     As the game wore on, so did the Villa fan’s stress levels. Chance after kept coming, but the strong backline of Fulham stood firm, not allowing Villa to grab a goal and level the game. Early in the second half, Villa forward Jack Grealish made a bad tackle on Tom Cairney, coming from behind, but only earning a yellow card for the tackle. This completely angered the Fulham fans and many users on Twitter, all stating that Grealish deserved a red card. Later, in the 70th minute, Denis Odoi received a second yellow card in the game, getting a full red and sending Fulham down to ten men for the remainder of the half. However, this ultimately led to nothing as Fulham stood strong and won the final, 1-0. Now, the Cottagers are moving on to the Premier League, where they hope to survive the season with the big dogs, while Villa are set for another season in the miserable EFL Championship.

Friday, May 18, 2018

NBA Playoffs Conference Finals set

Thomas Muzekari and Vince Vetrano

The Conference Finals matchups in the NBA playoffs are set and many questions are still in play.
     Is this the Rockets’ year? Will we see Warriors-Cavs IV? Will Lebron James make it to his eighth consecutive Finals? How will the Celtics keep playing without Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward?
     There were many exciting matchups in both the East and the West in the first-round and the second round, and the Conference Finals matchups are very intriguing.
     In the Eastern Conference first-round series, the 1-seeded Toronto Raptors (59-23) defeated the 8-seeded Washington Wizards (44-39) 4-2, the 2nd-seeded Boston Celtics (55-27) beat the 7th-seeded Milwaukee Bucks (44-38) in seven games, the 3rd-seeded Philadelphia 76ers (52-30) defeated the 6th-seeded Miami Heat (44-38) in five games, and the 4th-seeded Cleveland Cavaliers (50-32) defeated the 5th-seeded Indiana Pacers (48-34) in seven games. 
     As for Western Conference 1st round matchups, the 1-seeded Houston Rockets (65-17) took down the 8th-seeded Minnesota Timberwolves (47-35) in five games, the 2nd-seeded Golden State Warriors (58-24)  eliminated the 7th-seeded San Antonio Spurs (47-35) in five games, the 3rd-seeded Portland Trail-Blazers (49-33) lost to the 6th-seeded New Orleans Pelicans (48-34) in a four-game sweep, and the 4th-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder (48-34) fell to the 5th-seeded Utah Jazz (48-34) in six games.
     The second round matchups in the East were Raptors-Cavs and Celtics-Sixers. Lebron led the Cavs to a sweep of the Raptors that included a Game 3 game-winning buzzer beater, his second buzzer beater this postseason. Head coach Brad Stevens led his well-rounded Celtics to a win over the Sixers in five games as rookie Jayson Tatum lead the team in scoring with 23.6 a game.
     Matchups in the West for second round were Rockets-Jazz and Warriors-Pelicans. The Rockets won their series against the Jazz in five games thanks to likely MVP James Harden’s 28 points a game and his backcourt buddy Chris Paul’s 24.6. The Warriors defeated the Pelicans in five games with Kevin Durant leading the team in scoring with 27.8 a game. 
     The Conference Finals matchups are underway. Currently, the Rockets-Warriors series is tied 1-1 and the Celtics-Cavs series is 2-0 in Boston’s favor. Game 3s are on May 19 (Celtics at Cavs at 8:30 pm on ESPN) and May 20 (Rockets at Warriors at 8:00 pm on TNT) as each series shifts to the other team’s home court.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

2018 Phillies look inconsistent in their first month

Justin Fischetti
Staff Writer

The Phillies started the season with modest expectations following a big off season. Though they missed the playoffs last season, the franchise overall appears headed in the right direction while in midst of a long rebuild. Many of their key players from last season are still young and are poised to improve, such as starting pitcher Aaron Nola, center fielder Odubel Herrera, and left fielder Rhys Hoskins. In combination with a few big off season moves, such as the signings of Jake Arrieta and Carlos Santana, and expectations were that the Phillies in 2018 would improve from their 66-96 record in 2017 and perhaps even finish around an 81-81 .500 record, though playoffs were still a long-shot.
  About a month has passed into the 2018 MLB season, and for the Phillies, their first month can be called a success despite some issues here and there. At the conclusion of the team’s final game in April, the Phillies had a 16-12 record; a record that has been viewed as surprising by some followers. Throughout the month, fans have seen some players perform well and surprise them while other perform poorly and disappoint them.
  Odubel Herrera, Cesar Hernandez, and Rhys Hoskins have, as many expected, hit the ball well. These three have been crucial to producing many of the team’s runs. Some followers may say that Maikel Franco has had a pleasantly surprising start so far, and he is on track to easily improve from his disappointing 2017 season. In terms of pitching, Jake Arrieta has so far proven he was worth signing with a 3.49 ERA (and this number is inflated from one bad start), and Aaron Nola has continued his dominance from last season with a 2.58 ERA. Despite a few poor games, the bullpen has been good so far this season as well.
  Things aren’t all good, though. Outside of Herrera, Hernandez, and Hoskins, hitting has been inconsistent, and Carlos Santana in particular has been a disappointment since his signing. Starting pitching has also been inconsistent aside from Nola and Arrieta. Newly signed manager Gabe Kapler has taken some criticism with an especially tough first week highlighted by taking Nola out from his opening day start after just 68 pitches, a decision that backfired when the bullpen blew a lead, and a game where miscommunication resulted in a pitcher from the bullpen being inserted into the game without time to warm up. Phillies fielding has also been poor; it is statistically the second worst in MLB in terms of defensive runs saved.
  The biggest issue for the Phillies has been their inconsistency, which is to be expected for a young team like the Phillies. As a whole though, the Phillies first month can rightfully be called a success due to the 16-12 record and more positive signs from the young developing players than negative. The current 2018 total win forecast, according to FanGraphs, is 79 wins. A 79-83 record would be their best since the 2012 season and would make a good impression for contention in future seasons. Contending for a playoff spot this season, however, would require the Phillies to surpass those, and almost all other projections.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Girls’ Lacrosse gets set to take on the 2018 competition

Shayna Berman
Staff Writer

Despite the fact that snow is still on the ground, March has begun and therefore spring sports are well underway. As usual, the girls’ lacrosse team seems to have a bright season ahead of them. There are a lot of talented freshmen joining the team this year and seven seniors to lead the way. The girls are extremely excited for the games to begin to show off how hard they’ve been working in practice.
 Due to weather, the team has had to overcome unexpected obstacles resulting in indoor and even cancelled practices. Senior Riley Brennan expressed her frustration: “Even though the spring season is the shortest, it’s definitely the most difficult to schedule and plan because of the unpredictability of the weather and the effect it has on field conditions.” The girls are anxious to get outside and practice on an actual field, but they have to work with what they have for the time being. The team has been practicing and playing scrimmages on the weekends to get in some extra time on a turf field.
 Senior captain Laura Nagg expresses her excitement for the season: “This year we have a strong team and new, fresh skills. Although the weather has gotten off to a rough start, I am excited to see what the season has in store and know it’s going to be a lot of fun!”
 As of now, it is hard to predict what the season will look like for the Lady Lions, but the team is hopeful and optimistic that their season will be full of success.