Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Lions Baseball team ends their regular season with a record of 16-4

By: Ian Mendola & Justin Horak
Staff Writers

New Hope Solebury Lions Baseball ended their season 16-4 with their only losses being to Holy Ghost Prep, Lower Moreland and Christopher Dock. As the season winds down, nine seniors are close to their last game as lions. The team has two seniors taking talent beyond high school baseball. Derek Smith will be attending and filling out the outfield for Dickinson University. In addition, Blake Doherty will be attending the United States Naval Academy where he will also be a pitcher. As the season winds down, Derek Smith is hitting .388 with four home runs. Blake Doherty is hitting .328 with 14 RBI’s. They both are huge factors in the team's success both on the mound and in the outfield.
    The starting lineup stayed the same throughout the season with Blake Doherty and Deven Smith as the number top pitchers, John Mangan (Catcher), Blake Doherty or Cole Davis (First Base), Michael Lehman (Second Base), Cameron Mertz (Shortstop), Jack Gawason (Third Base), Kyle Campbell (Left Field), Connor Campbell (Center Field), Derek Smith (Right Field) and Justin Horak or Dan Khouri (Designated Hitter). The starting lineup for the Lions had five first team all-league players and three second team athletes on the team. Head Coach Tony Vlahovic won coach of the year for the second season in a row.
    This year at New Hope-Solebury High School, the varsity baseball team is having an amazing season. With the current record being 16-4, they have advanced to the district playoffs. The Lions' District Semi-Final Game will be hosted at HOME at the varsity field. The game will have a noon start time on Saturday, May 25. This group of senior players has the most wins for a class in New Hope history. We are hoping to continue to add to those wins within the following weeks.
    Make sure to come out and support the boys on Saturday!
On Saturday May 25, New Hope Solebury Baseball played against Palmerton High School. The game went down to the wire and did not end until the 8th inning. The game started off with Blake Doherty on the mound pitching for the Lions. The team had a shutout top of the first in the field. Starting at the bottom of the first inning was Mike Lehman, Cameron Mertz, and Derek Smith. Cam Mertz came up with  a big hit to get him a double with 1 out. Derek Smith came up to the plate and hit a home run to right field. The Lions went up 2-0 at the end of the first inning.
    Make sure to come out and support the boys on Saturday! On Saturday May 25, New Hope Solebury Baseball played against Palmerton High School. The game went down to the wire and did not end until the 8th inning. The game started off with Blake Doherty on the mound pitching for the Lions. The team had a shutout top of the first in the field. Starting at the bottom of the first inning was Mike Lehman, Cameron Mertz, and Derek Smith. Cam Mertz came up with  a big hit to get him a double with 1 out. Derek Smith came up to the plate and hit a home run to right field. The Lions went up 2-0 at the end of the first inning. Throughout the whole game the score was very tight. Neither team had a major lead throughout the entire game. As the 7th inning is approaching, New Hope and Palmerton are tied 7-7. With both teams playing tight defense no team scored in the 7th inning. New Hope was in the field at the top of the inning. With Josh Shiller on the mound for the Lions in the top 8th, they came out of the inning with the game still tied. With Mike Lehman, Cameron Mertz and Derek Smith coming up in the bottom 8th the Lions are due for a run. Mike Lehman got up to the plate and came up with a big hit to get on first base. While Cameron Mertz is up to bat, Mike Lehman steals second base and is now on 2. Cameron Mertz struck out trying to bunt. Palmerton intentionally walked Derek Smith with John Mangan coming up with 1 out. First pitch John Mangan hit a line drive to left field and drove in Mike Lehman from second. As soon as Mike Lehman touched home plate to get the winning run the whole team dog piled in the infield. With an all out team effort the Lions are headed to Coca Cola Park in Allentown for the District Finals Game.
The Lions have started the district final game strong. The team has bases loaded with one out. But were unsuccessful in scoring any potential runs on the board. Josh Shiller was the starting pitcher for this game and he threw a great game but was wearing down. First team all BAL pitcher Deven Smith entered the game in the fifth inning. Everyone was cheering for #6. Deven threw a fantastic game and the Lions were holding their own for 6 innings and then things took a turn for the worst. Notre Dame was playing a fantastic game and ended up taking the win 5-0. It was a fantastic season for the Lions.

The U.S starts its for it’s fourth World Cup as the 2019 games begin

Juliana Covino

The 2019 Women's World Cup has kicked off! The United States enters the Women's World Cup as the defending champion, the No. 1 ranked team, and the favorite to win the title once again. The National Team has begun its quest for its fourth Women's World Cup title with a match against Thailand on Tuesday. The last time the team played in the World Cup was in 2015 when they faced off against their rival Japan. The 2015 World Cup final was a rematch from 2011 in which Japan took home the cup after a defeat of the United States in a penalty shoot-out following a 2–2 a tie at the end of regulation. However, the women’s team rallied and crushed Japan 5-2 in the 2015 World Cup Final earning them their third title.
    Although, times have changed over the past four years with the women's national team.
     When the U.S entered the World Cup in 2015 they had Abby Wambach (F), Hope Solo (GK), Sydney Leroux (F), and Christie Rampone (D) all of them are astonishing soccer players that have since left the team.
     Nevertheless, the women's team still has 2015 World Cup veterans such as Carli Loyd (M), Megan Rapinoe (M), Alex Morgan, and Tobin Heath (F) as they enter the 2019 Cup. In addition, the team has welcomed a new generation of amazingly talented players such as Rose Lavelle (M), Crystal Dunn (D), Mallory Pugh (F), and Sam Mewis (D) that are sure to make a lasting impact on the team’s future.
    Over the years, the U.S Women’s national team has increased their level of play with the help of there returning coach Jill Ellis. The USA is no longer the only nation with a well-funded national team and well-run domestic league, but Ellis continues to work her team harder than ever. After a devastating defeat at the Rio Olympics, the team needed to reevaluate their play in order to regain their number one ranking. Overall, the Women’s team is one to look out for as they attempt to earn another World Cup with a young yet highly skilled team.

Newcomers challenge vets: the Blues and Bruins face off in the 2019 Stanley Cup Finals

Will Kelley and Kel MacDowell
Staff Writers

The 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs have been one of the best we have seen in years. Quick skating, hard shots, bone crushing hits, and fast pace place have all made for an exciting playoffs. Every year, 16 teams enter the playoffs but only two will end up in the Stanley Cup Final. This year, from the Eastern Conference, it’s the Boston Bruins, a big body size and playoff experienced team.
The Bruins were the Stanley Cup champions in 1929, 1939, 1941, 1970, 1972, and 2011. From the Western Conference, the St. Louis Blues are coming into the finals for the first time since 1970. The underdogs have also never won nor played for the Stanley Cup before. The Blues are a smaller team but have very quick skating and excellent shooters on the team such as Jaden Schwartz, Vladimir Tarasenko, and Ryan O’Reilly. The Blues captain, Alex Pietrangelo, is a solid defenseman that can play both ways and is the core of their team.
On the other hand, Bruins captain, 39 year old Zdeno Chara is one of the most experienced players in the entire league and stands at an astonishing 6”9. They also have the most hated player in the NHL, Brad Marchand, who is an animal at getting in his opponent’s heads. The Bruins are not new to the Cup Finals and look to win another championship.
The series without a doubt will be a nail biting head to head matchup that will start out in Boston, Massachusetts and then head to St. Louis, Missouri for game 3 and four and so on. The location of games five, six, and seven are to be determined if necessary. The battle between the Blues and Bruins is set to be one for the ages as each team is coming in with their own skill sets, and one hoping to best the other.

Toronto faces off against the Golden State Warriors in the 2019 NBA Finals

By: Michael Borys
Staff Writer

The NBA finals are finally here. The Golden State Warriors have made their 5 straight appearance to the finals. The Toronto Raptors have made their first finals appearance in history. Led by newcomer Kawhi Leonard who was traded from the Spurs before the season. The raptors had a great regular season finishing in second place. Raptors finished with 58 wins. The Milwaukee Bucks finished in first with 60 wins. Raptors just eliminated the Bucks 4-2 in the Eastern Conference Finals.
    On the other hand, the Warriors finished with 57 wins and first place in the western conference. Throughout the season, the Warriors had 5 all stars containing Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, and Demarcus Cousins. Cousins was sidelined with an injury for a majority of the season, and re-injured himself before the playoffs. During the western conference finals Kevin Durant suffered a calf injury and has been out since. The Warriors are hoping for Durant to be back due to his unbelievable scoring ability. Even though Klay and Steph also have the scoring ability, they need all they can get when facing the very strong defensive Raptors.
    The Warriors have the upper hand due to experience. Warriors have been 5 straight when the Raptors are just getting to their first NBA finals in team history. Raptors leader Kawhi Leonard has made the finals before when he was with the San Antonio Spurs. In 2014, a young Leonard defeated the Miami Heat dynasty. The Heat had Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh. Kawhi beat the stacked lineup at just 22 years old and won the finals MVP. Even though the Warriors have the upper hand in experience, the Raptors are hungry for their first NBA Championship.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Sixers have a great but heartbreaking season

Parker Cane and Lear Asplundh
Staff Writers

After a 51-31 2019 NBA season, the Sixers hoped to win a championship with the transactions made during the season. The Sixers made two key trades to emphasize their win now mentality and complete the process. The team made some major trades. In November, they traded Dario Saric, Robert Covington, Jerryd Bayless, and a 2022 second round pick, for Jimmy Butler and Justin Patton. Then just before the trade deadline, they acquired Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic and Mike Scott, in exchange for Landry Shamet, Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala, the Sixers own 2020 first round pick, and the Miami Heat's unprotected first round pick in 2021 and two second round picks in 2021 and 2023. Finally, they traded Markelle Fultz to the Orlando Magic, for Jonathon Simmons, and a first and second round pick.
     This resulted in the Sixers reaching the third seed for the second consecutive year. In the playoffs, the 76ers defeated the Brooklyn Nets in the first round in five games, winning four straight to end Brooklyn’s season. However, they didn't go as deep as they would have liked after losing to the Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference Semifinals in seven games due to a Kawhi Leonard buzzer beater miracle in Game 7. This left Sixers fans heartbroken heading into the offseason.
     The Sixers look to improve in the off season and to become stronger and smarter. They will look to keep Jimmy Butler and possibly Tobias Harris but both these players have the player option, meaning they can go wherever they want and the Sixers can do nothing about their decision. However, the Sixers can offer Butler a special “supermax” which includes a five-year $220 million contract. The 76ers will now try next year to get to the championship and win it for the city of Philly.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

2019 Formula 1 season preview: Driver swaps, name changes, questionable sponsors, and more

Joey Tebben

The 2019 Formula One season is approaching fast. Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes clinched their fifth and sixth world championships, respectively, in 2018 and they’ll be back to defend their title in 2019. They will face some of the same rivals as they did in 2018, but the main story of the F1 off-season has been the massive amount of driver changes throughout the field. Along with these driver changes, the other main story has been the trend of questionable sponsors, from disguised tobacco companies to blatant Ponzi schemes, jumping on board F1 teams.

Mercedes - The 2018 World Constructors’ Champions return with an unchanged driver lineup of defending champion Lewis Hamilton (UK) and Valtteri Bottas (Finland). Hamilton, as the reigning champion and the only 5-time champion on the grid, doesn’t have much to prove and his only task in 2019 will be to defend his championship. If he wins a sixth championship, he will be second in the all-time ranking, only behind 7-time champion Michael Schumacher. Bottas, on the other hand, will be fighting for his job. In his first year with Mercedes in 2017, he won three races (his first in F1), but 2018 was a winless season where he ended 5th in the championship while his teammate won. With Mercedes junior drivers like George Russell and Esteban Ocon waiting in the wings, he needs to have a much better 2019 to keep his Mercedes seat.

Ferrari - Ferrari lost yet another championship to Mercedes in 2018 and they’ll be hoping 2019 can be the year they finally win their first championship since 2008. They will enter this season as “Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow,” running major sponsorship for Philip Morris International’ Mission Winnow brand, which is basically a way for PMI run sponsorship without actually advertising their tobacco products, as tobacco advertising is illegal in most countries. 2018 runner-up and 4-time champion Sebastian Vettel (Germany) returns for his fifth year at Ferrari. He is accompanied by new hire Charles Leclerc (Monaco). After many impressive races with Sauber last year, Ferrari promoted the 2016 GP3 and 2017 Formula 2 champion after only one year in F1. Facing off against a 4-time champion only his second year in F1 will be a challenge and it will be interesting to see if he can handle it.

Red Bull - The last of the “big 3” teams in F1, Red Bull has not only changed drivers, but they’ve changed engines. After 12 years (and 4 championships) with Renault power, Red Bull switched to Honda engines for 2019. Red Bull is another team running questionable sponsorship in 2019, accepting sponsorship from FuturoCoin, a multi-level marketing scam that claims to be a cryptocurrency. Max Verstappen (Netherlands) was retained for his 4th year with Red Bull. He’ll be accompanied by 2016 GP2 champion Pierre Gasly (France), who graduates from Red Bull’s junior team Toro Rosso. Toro Rosso was powered by Honda in 2018, so Gasly will actually be the only driver on the grid with previous Honda engine experience. The switch to Honda power was a big risk for the team and it will be very interesting to see if it pays off.

Renault - Besides Mercedes and Ferrari, the only other manufacturer-supported team on the grid is Renault. Nico Hülkenberg (Germany) was retained for his third year with the team after finishing “best of the rest” behind the top 3 teams and top 6 drivers in 2018. He will be accompanied by Daniel Ricciardo (Australia), who shocked everyone when he announced he’d be moving from Red Bull, the team he won seven races for, to Renault, a team that hasn’t even got a podium since its return to F1 in 2016. Both drivers will be hoping Renault can make a step above the midfield to fight with the top three teams in 2019.

Haas - America’s F1 team had its best year ever in 2018, finishing 5th in the constructors’ championship. They are the only team other than Mercedes to keep their 2018 driver lineup in 2019: Romain Grosjean (France) and Kevin Magnussen (Denmark). The main question about Haas in 2019 is about their new title sponsor: Rich Energy. Rich Energy is a supposed British energy drink company who promised millions of dollars to the Force India and Williams F1 teams. Both of those teams turned them down and rumors circulated that Rich Energy were not a real company and did not actually have any money. Somehow, they brought enough money to convince Haas to sign them as a title sponsor. Haas has already received Rich Energy’s payments so even if Rich Energy is shut down as some sort of money laundering scheme, Haas won’t be affected. Pietro Fittipaldi, their test driver, brings even more illegitimate sponsorship with his personal sponsor AirBit Club, a Ponzi scheme. Even with all of the questionable sponsors behind the team, Haas will be looking to improve on their fantastic 2018 and potentially even score their first podium finish.

McLaren - After another horrendous year in 2018, McLaren enters the second year of their Renault engine partnership and hopes for more success. They recently accepted sponsorship from Huski Chocolate, a Swedish company that claims to be a hot chocolate machine company. However, there’s no evidence that these hot chocolate machines actually exist outside of the company’s publicity stunts, which puts Huski Chocolate as yet another one in the “questionable sponsors” category. They are another team on the grid who has partnered with a major tobacco company. Partnering with British American Tobacco, McLaren’s cars will display the logo of “A Better Tomorrow,” which is basically just a way for BAT to advertise themselves without illegally advertising tobacco. McLaren’s drivers have also changed and they will run an all-new lineup in 2019. Their lead driver, 2-time champion Fernando Alonso, retired from F1 and he’ll be spending 2019 in sports cars and the Indy 500. His teammate Stoffel Vandoorne was dropped, but he has found his feet in Formula E. They will be replaced by Carlos Sainz (Spain), who moves from Renault, and 2018 Formula 2 runner-up Lando Norris (UK). Sainz, with 4 seasons under his belt, will be the most experienced driver in the pairing despite only being 24. Norris only started racing cars in 2014 and will enter his first full year of F1 at age 19. McLaren had an awful second half of 2018 and it is still unknown how much their relatively inexperienced drivers will be able to help bring McLaren back to their former glory.

Racing Point - After Force India, the smallest team in F1, went into administration halfway through 2018, Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll saved the team from bankruptcy and purchased all of its assets, renaming the team Racing Point. Sergio Pérez (Mexico) will return for his sixth year with the team, and he will be accompanied by Lance Stroll (Canada), son of team owner Lawrence Stroll. It is obvious that his father’s purchase had some influence in his hiring, but Stroll proved his talent in the last two years with Williams, where he scored a podium and plenty of points. With Lawrence Stroll’s personal billions and his business relationships bringing an influx of cash, Racing Point looks like it will be a surprisingly strong team in 2019.

Alfa Romeo - The team formerly known as Sauber has now been completely rebranded to Alfa Romeo Racing and it is yet another team with a completely new driver lineup in 2019. Their star of 2018, Charles Leclerc, is off to Ferrari and his teammate Marcus Ericsson is off to Schmidt Peterson Motorsports in IndyCar. They have been replaced by 2007 world champion Kimi Rӓikkӧnen (Finland) and 2016 GP2 runner-up Antonio Giovinazzi (Italy). 39-year-old Rӓikkӧnen, the oldest and most experienced driver on the grid, was dropped by Ferrari after losing to his teammate for the last five years. The day after he was announced to be leaving Ferrari, however, he announced that he would be returning to the team he made his F1 debut with in 2001. Giovinazzi has also raced for the team before, but only for two races at the start of 2017. This will be a very interesting team in 2019, with Rӓikkӧnen driving for a midfield team for the first time in many years and Giovinazzi making his debut alongside the most experienced driver in F1.

Toro Rosso - Red Bull’s junior team is yet another team with an all-new lineup. Pierre Gasly is off to the senior Red Bull team after a little over a year with Toro Rosso, and Brendon Hartley was picked up by Ferrari as a simulator driver. Alexander Albon (Thailand), the 2018 Formula 2 season’s third-place finisher, was surprisingly promoted in late 2018. He was dropped as a Red Bull junior driver in 2012, but seven years later, he’s been promoted to F1 with one of their teams. He will be accompanied by Daniil Kvyat (Russia), who is arguably the more surprising of the two. Kvyat started his F1 career with Toro Rosso in 2014, was promoted to Red Bull in 2015, then got demoted back to Toro Rosso in 2016, then got fired by Toro Rosso halfway through 2017. After one year as a Ferrari development driver, Kvyat will return to Toro Rosso, the team that arguably destroyed his career. With Red Bull’s new young drivers like Dan Ticktum and Jüri Vips waiting in the wings, there will be a lot of pressure on Albon and Kvyat in 2019. Toro Rosso also wasn’t missing from the questionable sponsor party, announcing a partnership with myWorld, a division of Lyoness, a multi-level marketing company that has been ruled as a pyramid scheme in most European countries.

Williams - The third-winningest team in F1 history had possibly their most disappointing season ever, finishing dead last in the constructors’ championship with only five points. For 2019, they announced a title sponsorship with phone company ROKiT, becoming ROKiT Williams Racing. Williams will also have an all-new driver lineup. Lance Stroll moved to Force India after two years with Williams and Sergey Sirotkin is off to SMP Racing in the World Endurance Championship. Williams’ 2019 lineup is arguably much stronger. 2018 Formula 2 champion George Russell (UK) was signed for his first F1 season in 2019, meaning that the top 3 in F2 in 2018 (Russell, Norris, and Albon) will have all graduated to F1 in 2019. He’ll be partnered by Robert Kubica (Poland) who has one of the greatest comeback stories in F1 history. At his peak in the late 2000s, he was considered one of the best drivers in F1. However, his F1 career was cut short in 2011 when he was nearly killed in a rally crash. Eight years later, with the support of Polish oil company Orlen, he’ll be making his return to F1. Whether he’s still on the same level as he was in his “first career” remains a question, but it is a great comeback story either way. With the rising talent of Russell and the potential of Kubica, Williams will be hoping for a much better 2019.  

There’s many questions that will finally be answered when the season starts. Will anyone be able to take down Hamilton and Mercedes? Will Red Bull’s partnership with Honda (and MLM scam FuturoCoin) work out? Can McLaren and Williams return to their former glory? Do Huski Chocolate and Rich Energy actually exist? No one knows yet. Formula 1 returns with the Australian Grand Prix on Mar. 17 on ESPN2. In this time zone, the race will be on at 1 AM Sunday morning. That is not an ideal time for most people, but the second race in Bahrain on March 31 is typically one of the best races of the season and airs at a much friendlier 11 AM.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Metropolitan wins 2019 NHL All-Star Games

Garrett Hoffman
Staff Writer

On Jan. 26 and 27 the NHL All-Star games took place at the SAP Center in San Jose, CA. Every season, there are all-star games and skill competitions held in January where the best players in the NHL can show off their skills. Each NHL team submits one or two players to be selected on a roster for the four all-star teams, the Central, Pacific, Metropolitan, and the Atlantic. There are four teams because there are four conferences in the NHL. Last week, the rosters were revealed.
     In the skills competitions, there was the fastest skater round, where players race around the rink and see who gets the fastest time. Connor McDavid won the fastest skater competition, completing a full lap around the entire ice in 13.454 seconds skating 40.9 km/h. No one has beat last year's record completed by Dylan Larkin getting 12.894 seconds.
    Next, there was best passer competition where competitors have to sauce pucks into different mini-nets. Johnny Gaudreau won the puck control competition. Then there was save streak which is when there is a shootout and players try to show off their best moves on goalies. Henrik Lundqvist, known as the king won the goalie competition. He made 12 shootout saves in a row. After that, there is a puck control competition. In this competition, players will have to skate through cones with a puck and keep control of it, after they make it around the cones they have to stickhandle through a line of pucks. On top of that, there was the most popular competition, which was the NHL’s hardest shot. This year, Washington Capitals, John Carlson wins with a 103 MPH slapshot. Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara still holds the world record with a 109 MPH slap shot. Lastly, they have the shooting accuracy competition. In this competition, players have to shoot pucks in all four corners of the net hitting targets, fastest time wins. When a player wins one of these competitions, it adds points to their team. Boston Bruins player David Pastrnak wins the shooting accuracy.
     After the skills competitions, they had the games. The first game was Central vs. Pacific, then Atlantic vs. Metropolitan. The winners of the games went on to play in the championship game. The Metropolitan won, beating the Central division 10-5. Pittsburgh Penguins Captain Sidney Crosby got the league's MVP. The entire Metropolitan team got a $1 million check which was divided amongst the players.
     There was a carnival in San Jose on the Friday, Jan. 25, before the competitions. There, people and fans met players and participated in many fun games.