Friday, November 21, 2014

Peyton Manning Breaks Favre's Touchdown Record

Jake Smith
Staff Writer

 Peyton Manning broke Brett Favre’s all time passing touchdown record on a pass to Demaryius Thomas in a 42-17 win over the 49ers on October 19th.
 Manning finished the night completing 22 of his 26 passes for 318 yards and four touchdowns. His accomplishment further solidifies his spot as the greatest regular season quarterback of all time. Manning also holds the record for the most passing yards in a season. Favre congratulated Manning after the game posting on Twitter, “Well deserved Peyton. Congratulations on breaking my record.”
 Manning and the Broncos are poised to make a deep postseason run and are already Super Bowl favorites. The Broncos were blown out by the Seahawks in last year’s Super Bowl but have made many offseason additions to bolster their roster. Players like Emmanuel Sanders, Demarcus Ware, Aqib Talib, and T.J. Ward were scooped up from free agency and will look to help the Broncos win a championship.
 This post-season is a must win for Manning. He has a roster that can support him, and he will need to take home the trophy this year to erase his spotty record in the playoffs. Manning holds the record for most first round losses and most postseason losses by any quarterback. Critics have questioned his ability in the biggest games and as a quarterback, those are the games that count.
Manning’s only Super Bowl win came against a Bears team on a Cinderella run. The Bears had a strong defense but lacked offensive firepower and were outmatched by a Colts team that included future Hall of Famers like Manning, Dwight Freeney, Robert Mathis, and Marvin Harrison. People can’t take anything from Manning because of his outmatched competition. He can’t control that. But the win wasn’t memorable except for that it was Manning’s first Super Bowl title.
 Manning has the ability, and the talent surrounding him, to win his second ring and put himself in contention as the greatest quarterback of all time.

Anticipation Grows for Boys' Basketball

Matt Steele
Staff Writer

 As Fall sports wind down in New Hope, excitement grows for the coming Boys’ Basketball season.
 Despite having strong seasons for the past few years, it seems like every year, the Boys’ Basketball team is underrated. The team has historically been built around ball movement, rebounding, and strong defense. While these may not be the most highlight reel worthy traits, the results have been there.
 This season figures to be no different, with strong post play coming from Spencer Tinkel and Max Wagner, consistent performance from the guard rotations consisting of Patrick Gimpel, Dylan Waterman, Brendan Shadle, and Anthony Vlahovic, and versatile scoring from the wing from Mayes Lane and Andrew Bove.
 Captain Spencer Tinkel has an opportunity to surpass the 1,000 point mark this season, a feat that has only been performed six times before. When asked how he thinks his season will go, Spencer said, “I’m really excited about how well the team is meshing thus far, and the season hasn’t even started. I look forward to the team growing as the season rolls on. I can’t wait to see the Lions’ Den at full force at home games.”
 While fans can’t expect to see many sky-scraping dunks coming from the boys on the team, there’s something to be said for wins, and this year’s team figures to get plenty of those. Like all years, a District Title is the goal, and with the current makeup of the roster, it’s far from a pipedream.
 In the end, anyone looking for a fun activity to do after school should be able to find one in the ‘14-’15 team as this season promises to get the Lions’ Den roaring again.

Rise of Baseball Salary

Mitch Lewis
Staff Writer

 The past decade in baseball have seen some of the most lucrative contracts in baseball history. It seems every year that a new rising superstar signs a $150 million dollar deal and every year teams reach new ground in paying their players.
  In 2014 alone, three players signed $200 million or greater contracts. These players were: Clayton Kershaw, Joey Votto and Robinson Cano. These three players however are three of the most talented baseball players in the game, not only in Major League Baseball but in the world. Just last year the baseball world was shocked by a Felix Hernandez deal that was worth $25 million per year and will only grow greater as his contract continues. Currently, the highest paid baseball player is Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers. This year Clayton made $30.7 million, the single largest salary in baseball history.
  The Los Angeles Dodgers have the highest payroll in baseball right now of nearly $240 million. The team in second place is a full $30 million dollars behind them being the New York Yankees. In 2014 the team with the lowest payroll is the Houston Astros, with a payroll that doesn't even break 45 million. Currently, the best player on the Astros, Jose Altuve, made $1.25 million dollars while breaking the Astros single season hits record and winning the American League Batting title. Altuve was worth a total of six WAR or wins against replacement, meaning he gives the team six extra wins than if a replacement level player. Felix Hernandez may as well be the best pitcher in the American League as he was worth 6.8 WAR in his 2014 season. The main differences between these two players is the salary. Felix Hernandez made $22.8 million his season, one of the highest salaries in baseball. Altuve was worth .8 WAR less than Felix but Felix made $21 million more than Altuve. This is due mainly to the fact that Felix Hernandez ten seasons in Major League Baseball Compared to Altuve’s three. I don’t believe that simply because you have played longer, you deserve an absurd contract that is worth more money than you could possibly need to spend. Major League Baseball players play a sport that they love for a living. The average American makes around $46,000 dollars, Felix Hernandez earned almost $700,000 dollars for each game he appeared in (34). In my opinion, athletes are paid gross amounts of money that the players frankly don’t need. Players such as Joey Votto are paid tens of millions of dollars but then are stricken with injuries that forces them to miss the majority of the season. Why invest so much money into people that could become inconsistent or injuries? These salaries are often reached because players demand their salary based on their peers salary. This started with Alex Rodriguez when he signed a record 10 year $252 million dollar deal with the Texas Rangers. After this contract, players started demanding more and more money per year inflating contracts and exploding payrolls.
   After this years’ World Series, the Third Basemen of the championship winning San Francisco Giants, Pablo Sandoval was offered a $15.3 million dollar qualifying offer to be under contract for the next season. Pablo quickly declined the offer in pursuit to find a better deal worth more money. Pablo Sandoval earned $8.25 million dollars last year and produced a disappointing season in which he was barely above league average at both the plate and in the field. Pablo however has been very successful in the past three World Series’ he has appeared in, winning it in 2010, 2012 and 2014. Pablo also has a reputation of coming up clutch in the playoffs. While I have already made it evident that I don't believe any player should be making so much money, I especially don’t believe that a player who has not lived up to expectations for three years straight, should garner a contract worth $100 million dollars. While players are the main attraction of the game, I believe that they could make more than enough money on endorsement and commercial involvement along with their contract to cause any uproar from the players. Just 17 years ago, Albert Belle earned $10 million which was more than any other player up to that point. Albert Belle was a perennial all star who finished in the Top 5 in the MVP voting for four years straight. Brian Wilson, a reliever who was coming off of injury, was given a contract of $10 million and he proceeded to perform extremely sub par and hurt the Dodgers more than he helped them. Now it seems that every player makes at least $10 million, players earn this kind of money solely for playing longer than others, the longer they play, no matter how effective, they always demand more and more money.
  I personally believe that no player should earn more than $12 million dollars a year and that teams should maintain a salary cap of $115 million dollars This would prevent the inflation of contracts and the unnecessary paying of tens of millions of dollars to people who play what is simply a childs game.

Cross Country Wraps Up Fall Season

Savannah Herring
Staff Writer
Cross-Country Season Summary

The New Hope Cross Country team has completed another successful season. The seniors of the team stepped up and took charge of keeping practices orderly, focused but also, fun. Several new students joined the XC team this year in hopes to find fitness, team achievement and personal success. The boys’ team this year remained in division A, while the girls’ team moved up to division AA. Competition grew for the girls this year, but ultimately became a reason to work harder.
Pre-season began on Aug. 11 with two-a-day practices from 7-9 am and 6-8 pm. Practices throughout the season consisted of workouts like 5-10 and even 12 mile runs, tempo track workouts and triple hills on the popular sledding hill, Magills Hill. The result of everyone’s hard work at practice was clearly visible at every meet New Hope attended.
The first official meet of the season was at Moravian Academy on Aug. 29. The boys’ varsity team won their division. Everyone tested the training they had at that point in the season and saw what they needed to work on to improve their race technique and performance. The next meet was on Sept. 6 at the Abington Invitational. The runners faced a challenge with heat that day, but remained strong and performed well. Neither team won their division, but Tabitha Liucci and Savannah Herring both placed in the top 30 and received medals. A few weeks later the team loaded the bus for the Foundation Invite at Hershey Park on Sept. 20. This course is known for its hills but New Hope came prepared. Many people surprisingly broke personal records. They left in hopes to return for the State Championship in November. At the Council Rock Invitational, New Hope brought home two trophies. Both the girls’ and boys’ teams competed extremely well and were rewarded with a first place trophy for the boys varsity team and second place trophy  for the girls varsity team. The BAL Championship meet was soon after. Torrential down pours were not ideal running weather but New Hope endured and many members medaled for the best in the league. The final race for many runners was the District Meet at Lehigh University on Oct. 24. The team had been preparing for this race since the beginning of the summer, and it had finally arrived. The team faced new competition but had confidence in their training, knowledge of the course, and were prepared to run hard. The top 11 girls of the AA division received medals, and even though New Hope was not among these medalists, they were satisfied with their overall performance throughout the season. Greg House placed first of seven medalists in the division A boys. The boys showed strength and determination throughout the race. The JV runners also pushed themselves when faced with tough competition from A, AA and AAA schools. The boys’ team finished first and was soon back on the road to Hershey Park for one final race of the season where they placed 10th overall in the state of Pennsylvania.
The team was able to show why New Hope deserves recognition for all the hard work that goes into every practice, every race, and every season. This is a team that rises early, works in the sweltering heat, frigid cold and pouring rain, all to run and improve. A team that has always shown determination, dedication and love for the sport of running. Keep up the great work lions!

NBA Season Preview

Brian Hauch
Staff Writer

This NBA season is going to be an amazing one. There are an abundance of reasons for fans to stay glued to their television sets over the course of this NBA season.
  The homecoming of Lebron James, as well as the return of stars like Kobe Bryant and Derrick Rose headline the bunch, but there are also plenty of other storylines to follow over the course of the season. This years draft class is expected to be the best since the 2004 one, which are some huge shoes to fill. This almost impossible task will be most likely graded by the performance of the first three picks in this past years draft, as well as the rest of the first round picks respectively. Rookies Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Joel Embid, as well as other talents like Nik Stauskas, Aaron Gordon, and Marcus Smart will look to make big impacts for their teams in the 2014-15 season.
 New Coaches also expect to make an impact in the upcoming season. Derek Fisher will take the triangle offense to New York, Jason Kidd moves from Brooklyn to Milwaukee, and former basketball player and long time TNT analyst Steve Kerr will coach Steph Curry and Co. in Oakland.
 So who takes the Larry O’Brien Trophy this year? In my eyes, it is too close to call. There are many teams that look like legitimate contenders but none really seem dominant enough to coast right to the Finals the way the Heat did the last few years. Many experts believe the Spurs could be the favorites to repeat, and that has a decent chance of happening. They have the best coach in the NBA, as well as the old veteran core of Parker, Duncan, and Ginobili supported by young talents like Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard.
 Other teams that could compete for the title include the Lebron led Cavs, Kevin Durant’s Thunder, The Bulls, the high scoring Rockets, and many other Western Conference teams like The Clippers, Warriors, Trail Blazers, and Suns.

 Get ready NBA fans, it’s gonna be a fun season.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Messi Nears Another Record

Thomas Muzekari
Staff Writer

FC Barcelona star, Lionel Messi inched closer to breaking yet another record Wednesday, November 5 as he scored two goals against Ajax (located in the Netherlands) in Barcelona’s 2-0 win. With Messi’s 70th and 71st Champions League goals, he tied ex-Real Madrid player, Raul for the most goals in the Champions League. The record for the most goals in the Champions League by a player could be broken by Messi as soon as November 25 when Barcelona plays Apoel Nicosia. This is not the only record Messi is chasing right now. The Argentine is just two goals away from breaking the record for most goals in La Liga. Messi could break ex-Atletico Bilbao striker, Telmo Zarra’s record of 251 La Liga goals (set 60 years ago) with two more goals. It is incredible how many records Messi holds considering he is only 27 years old. “The magician, the genius of football (soccer),” FC Barcelona announcer Ray Hudson called Messi. Messi is known as one of the best players ever, if not the best ever. He has won a record four Ballon D’Or awards which are given to the best player in the world every year. He did this in four consecutive years. He could become a five time winner this year as he is having another brilliant year.
In Messi’s La Liga career he has scored 250 goals and also has had 100 assists in 248 appearances. In 2012 Messi broke the record for most goals in a year as he scored 91 goals for Barcelona. Those 91 goals in one year goes down as one of the best individual years for a soccer player ever. Barcelona and Real Madrid are in a tight race for the league title. Real Madrid beat Barcelona 3-1 on October 21 in the Bernabeu (Real Madrid’s home stadium). The Barcelona-Real Madrid match, next time at Camp Nou (Barcelona’s home stadium) should be an important one on March 22. Messi will look to expand his incredible goal and assist totals leading up to this match in March. Messi and Barcelona will hope to win yet another league title this season after losing a close, down-to-the-wire battle with Atletico Madrid last season. Messi could expand his La Liga goal total as soon as November 22 against Sevilla and his Champions League goal total as soon as November 25 against Apoel Nicosia.  
Messi has broken many records and two more should be broken by the Argentine very soon. There is much to argue that Messi is the best soccer player ever considering his four Ballon D’or awards, his 91 goals in a season record, and of course many other records that he has broken. It is not just the eye-opening stats and records that place Messi where he is in history, but also just the pure skill, knowledge, and creativity he possesses for the game. “He’s the best ever, there is no other like him,” ex-Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola (now Bayern Munich coach) described the Argentine. Messi, just 27, should expand many of his records and put his name under even more as he looks to lead Barcelona for many more years to come.

Another Massimino, Another Wildcat

Andrew Bove
Staff Writer

 New Hope’s own Roland Massimino, after four seasons of high school golf at New Hope, has decided to extend his golf career by playing at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas.  Kansas State University is a top division one college for sports and are in the Big 12 conference.  Massimino and the Kansas State Wildcats will take on big schools such as Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech.  Many of these schools have produced golfers who are now on the PGA tour  and playing very well in their professional careers.  An example of this is Rickie Fowler, who is a PGA golfer who attended Oklahoma State and has gone on to represent the US in the Ryder Cup and has become one of the US’s most popular golfers.
 Massimino had to build up quite a resume to earn a spot on this elite golf team.  Since his sophomore year, Massimino has won and successfully defended the PIAA 2A District Championship through his senior year three years in a row.  Also Massimino made it to the PIAA 2A State Championship individually every year since his sophomore year, coming in third place his junior year and second place his senior year.  Another accomplishment of Massimino’s was New Hope’s victory at this year’s State Championship as a team.  This is New Hope’s third State Championship victory in the history of New Hope’s athletics and the first for the golf team.  New Hope secured this victory on the 100th year anniversary of the PIAA.  What an amazing accomplishment for Massimino and send off from high school golf.

 Massimino signed his letter of intent on Nov.12 to officially become a Wildcat.  New Hope wishes Massimino good luck on his way in joining the elite world of college golf.

Girl's Soccer Finishes Strong

Bailey Jaronski
Staff Writer

The New Hope-Solebury Girls’ Soccer program had a very eventful season filled with activities from a memorable, extravagant senior night to fun team bonding exercises such as the Hopewell Corn Maze. These past couple of months have been enjoyed tremendously by all the members of both the varsity and junior varsity team.
 The season started in August during preseason. For the beginning of preseason, approximately half the team was across the world in England while the other was here on home turf getting into rhythm again.  
 In England they were tourists and soccer players at the same time. In between games, players would travel to famous sights in Europe such as Big Ben and Buckingham Palace. The synchronization was back when both halves were able to practice together for the upcoming season.
 The Lions had a very good start to their season, but with the good comes the bad, and the team went through a rough patch (a couple of tough losses). This included close losses to big schools such as Lower Moreland and Palisades; good soccer was played by both teams. Along with the victorious win against Mass Charter (7-0) came the devastating loss to Christopher Dock (2-1). The Lions overall record was 9-10.
 Besides games, the team participated in a lot of other activities; car washes, pasta party dinners, team tailgates, and cheering on the boys’ team; the girls have had a very exciting season.
 Yet the season was not quite over yet, as the girls played their rivals Christopher Dock on Monday Oct. 27. The Lady Lions were the underdogs and did not come out victorious; the season was over.  It started off as an intense, aggressive game, but after halftime when the score was only 2-0, the Lions lost their momentum.
After all, soccer season will be back before us players and coaches know it. Preseason will be here in 9 months and everyone will take out this anger and frustration from losing the semi-finals and generate a greater want to win.