Thursday, December 17, 2015

NFL Power Rankings

by Justin Fischetti

  1. Carolina Panthers (13-0) - The Panthers are the 9th team in NFL History to win its first 13 game of the season. Their defense has always been good, but their offense, led by probable MVP Cam Newton, has now scored 79 points over their past 2 weeks.

  1. Arizona Cardinals (11-2) - The Cardinals have solidly established themselves as the 2nd best team in the NFL. They are on a 7 game winning streak, with wins over the Seahawks, Bengals (when they were healthy), and Vikings during the streak.

  1. New England Patriots (11-2) - With star tight end Rob Gronkowski returning, the Patriots looked like themselves again with a nice 27-6 win, and establishing themselves as the best team in the AFC conference.

  1. Seattle Seahawks (8-5) - The Seahawks may have only 8 wins, but have looked dominant since a 2-4 start, especially since beating the similarly-hot Steelers 3 weeks ago. While they will probably end up as a wild card team for being in the same division as the Cardinals, does any other team want to face Seattle in the first round of the playoffs?

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-5) - While the Steelers have only 8 wins, their offense has been unstoppable lately, scoring at least 30 points in 5 straight games. Last week's surprisingly easy win against the Bengals was particularly impressive, and established themselves as a contender for the Super Bowl.

  1. Denver Broncos (10-3) - The Broncos record is nice, but it could be even better if their offense didn’t miss all those chances to score a touchdown with dropped passes and other poorly-timed bad plays in a home loss to the Raiders. Although Brock Osweiler is playing better as a quarterback than Peyton Manning did earlier in the season, the Broncos remain a defensive team.

  1. Green Bay Packers (9-4) - Although they have looked vulnerable since a 6-0 start, the Packers still remain in first place in the NFC North. Their rushing game, not Aaron Rodgers, carried the offense in last week’s win over the Cowboys. The Packers may end up thanking their game-winning hail-mary pass in Week 13 against the Lions if they win the division.

  1. Kansas City Chiefs (8-5) - The Chiefs are on a 7-game winning streak since a 1-5 start, playing dominant defense throughout their victories. With a fairly easy schedule to finish the year, an 11-5 finish and a 10-game winning streak to close out the season seems like a good possibility for the Chiefs.

  1. Cincinnati Bengals (10-3) - Sure, the Bengals lead their division and are 10-3, but Starting Quarterback Andy Dalton is out until at least the rest of the regular season. While they will likely still win the division and get at least the 3rd seed in the playoffs, this team is vulnerable to a loss.

  1. New York Jets (8-5) - The Jets are on a nice 3-game winning streak and have looked good with Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick playing very well of late. It is worth noting that thanks to a weak AFC South, one of these three teams will miss the playoffs; the Steelers, Chiefs, or Jets.

  1. Minnesota Vikings (8-5) - Bad play by Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to take a sack when you are about to kick a last-second game-tying field goal in their loss to the Cardinals. While the Vikings are 1 game behind the Packers for 1st place in the division, they have looked vulnerable lately in losing 3 of their past 4 game, 2 of those losses being embarrassing home blowouts.

  1. Oakland Raiders (6-7) - The Raiders continue to be surprisingly decent this season, coming up with some clutch defensive stops in a nice 15-12 win over the Broncos in Denver. Although they will probably miss the playoffs, this season is a step forward for the franchise.

  1. New York Giants (6-7) - The Giants finally found a way to win the 4th quarter in Monday Night’s win over the Dolphins. Odell Beckham Jr. has been on a tear lately; at least 100 receiving yards in his last 6 games, the longest such streak in the NFL so far this season.

  1. Philadelphia Eagles (6-7) - It's safe to say the Eagles are now watchable again after those  terrifyingly bad losses to the Dolphins, Buccaneers, and Lions, beating the always elite Patriots and a Bills team as desperate for a playoff spot as them to remain tied for first in the NFC East.

  1. Washington (6-7) - Washington finally proved it can win on the road with a win against the Bears at Chicago, something you need to do if planning to make the playoffs. The game between the Eagles and Washington next Saturday is going to be HUGE.

  1. Houston Texans (6-7) - The Texans looked bad against the Patriots at home on Sunday Night, but still appear to be the best team in the horrible AFC South division. A big game occurs this weekend for them with a matchup against the Colts.

  1. Buffalo Bills (6-7) - If the Bills end up missing the playoffs for the 16th straight season since 1999, they can blame their inability to let the refs keep their flags in their pockets. The Bills have been flagged an NFL-high 146 times this season, including 15 times in their loss on Sunday to the Eagles.

  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-7) - The Buccaneers had a good chance to stay in the wild card race for a playoff spot, but their defense couldn’t stop Drew Brees in a bad loss to the Saints and didn’t score much against the Saints’ abysmal defense.

  1. New Orleans Saints (5-8) - Believe it or not, the Saints just won a game playing solid DEFENSE. Drew Brees also played well in a win over the Buccaneers which severely hurt the Bucs’ playoff chances.

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-8) - The Jaguars offense has been on fire of late with Quarterback Blake Bortles (no joke), scoring 51 points in a dominant win over the Colts last weekend. Despite being 5-8, the Jags can still make the playoffs as they are only 1 game behind 1st place in the bad AFC South Division.

  1. Chicago Bears (5-8) - Competitive sports teams prefer to play in their home stadium, right? Not for the Bears. They are 1-6 in Chicago this season, their last 2 losses coming to the 49ers and Washington, while they are 4-2 on the road.

  1. Indianapolis Colts (6-7) - The Colts have been losing uglier than any other team over the past 2 weeks. Their last 2 losses have been by a combined score of 96-26. Yes, 96 combined points given up in just 2 games. Luckily for the Colts, they are still tied for first place in a horrible, horrible AFC South division.

  1. Miami Dolphins (5-8) - The Dolphins’ Monday Night loss to the Giants was what had been the result of many losses for them throughout the year; falling to dumb penalties and bad wide receiver drops. The loss eliminates them from the playoffs.

  1. St. Louis Rams (5-8) - Star Running Back Todd Gurley finally had a big game as the Rams snapped an ugly 5-game losing streak with a win over the Lions.

  1. Detroit Lions (4-9) - As soon as the Lions start to look good; they would have been on a 4-game winning if they didn’t give up a hail-mary pass on the final play heading into the week, they lose to a Rams team which had looked almost as bad as the Falcons in a 5-game losing streak. That’s what very bad teams do.

  1. Cleveland Browns (3-10) - The Browns get a nice jump to 26th (well, nice for the Browns) on the rankings for being the only very bad team to not look horrible last weekend. Looks like Johnny Manziel will be their starting quarterback for the rest of the season.

  1. Dallas Cowboys (4-9) - With or without Starting Quarterback Tony Romo, the Cowboys offense has been pretty awful throughout the season, especially in last Sunday’s game against the Packers when Quarterback Matt Cassel completed just 13 of his 29 passes. Even in a weak NFC East Division, the Cowboys will most likely miss the playoffs.

  1. San Francisco 49ers (4-9) - Losing 24-10 to the Browns is pretty embarrassing. Despite having probably the least talented roster overall in the NFL, the 49ers have managed to sneak out a few wins here and there, most recently hurting the Bears’ playoff chances with an overtime win in week 13.

  1. Baltimore Ravens (4-9) - Without Starting Quarterback Joe Flacco, the Ravens have predictably gone from bad to worse, getting demolished at home 35-6 by the Seahawks. Actually, while the Seahawks loss was ugly, their first 8 losses were by 8 points or less. You have to win those close games to be in the playoffs.

  1. Tennessee Titans (3-10) - The Titans were actually playing pretty well with Quarterback Marcus Mariota over the past month… until they got destroyed 30-8 by the Jets last Sunday.

  1. San Diego Chargers (3-10) - Well, to win football games, you need some offense, right? Make sure you tell the Chargers that. They have been held to just 3 points in 3 of their past 4 games, that’s just one field goal throughout the entire game. The Chargers have also dropped a ton of close games; 7 of their 10 losses have been by 8 points or less.

  1. Atlanta Falcons (6-7) - Oh. My. Goodness. Yes, the Falcons are 6-7, and yes, the Falcons still have a chance to make the playoffs. But oh my, has there been any team playing worse than Atlanta over the past 2 months? Since a 5-0 start, they have lost 7 of their last 8 games and 6 in a row overall, with losses to the 49ers, Saints, Colts, and Buccaneers (twice!) in this horrible, horrible stretch. Most embarrassing was their most recent loss, a 38-0 loss to the Panthers. Yup, that’s one big goose-egg. No score, and a good example of what happens when the worst team in the NFL plays the best team.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

NHS Boys Soccer dominates BAL

Alex Lotier
Staff Writer

The last week of New Hope-Solebury’s Boys soccer season has begun, with two huge matchups against Lower Moreland and Faith Christian. The results of these final two games will decide their momentum going into the postseason.
 A team that is fully capable to make a strong playoff run and push towards a state championship, they must focus on each game rather than looking too far ahead. Key players that may have a huge impact on the Lions’ success include sophomores Jake Zimmerman, Nate Bawduniak and Dylan Smith. Three of the youngest players on varsity, the team will strongly benefit with a step up in their play and work ethic going into the postseason. When asking midfielder Riley Smith about his feelings on the upcoming postseason, he said, “I’m excited to get out there and show the league what we are capable of, and come back from our loss in the championship game last year.”
 This past Wednesday, October 21,  the team had a huge comeback in a divisional matchup against Lower Moreland. After trailing 0-1 at halftime, the team fought back with two goals scored from forward, Alex Lotier and a couple of fantastic saves from Andrew Mardirossian in goal, giving the team a 2-1 victory.
 With one game left in the regular season against Faith Christian, the stakes have never been higher. With a win, the boys would not only be BAL champions for the first time in history, but they would also be first seed in the district and earn the only first round bye in the playoffs.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Football Team Ends Historic Season

Matt Fest & Matt Kolen
Staff Writers

The football team bounced back from their loss at Delaware County Christian by shutting out Lower Moreland 27-0 on Nov. 13. They then played three games in eight days, a stretch that is unusual in high school football, which usually requires more rest for football players. The Lions first beat Springfield Township to capture their second district championship in three years. Their celebration was short-lived, as they went to work the next morning in preparation for their next game. They won that game against South Hunterdon 14-7, in the annual Battle of the Bridges.
 Following a practice on Thanksgiving, the Lions headed to Plymouth-Whitemarsh to battle West Catholic, a state powerhouse team that recruits players from around the Philadelphia Area. The Lions lost badly, but Jack McKenna was able to finish out the season with over 1,000 rushing yards. West Catholic has advanced to the state semifinal game, and is projected to win the state championship in Hershey.
 The Lions, though disappointed with their loss, were happy to end a historic season 12-2. They had several All-League selections. First team: Jack McKenna RB, Matt Fest OL, Tommy Capriotti OL, Blake Hildebrandt WR, Alec Coburn DB, Matt Kolen P, Marcus Hems DL. Second Team: Nick Garritano QB, Jack McKenna DB, Matt Fest DL, Franco Mannino FB/LB, Russell Abernethy LB. There were numerous Honorable Mention selections.

 The team looks to continue the winning tradition next year and bring the school its third district championship.

Lions Basketball ready to dominate

Brian Hauch and Dylan Waterman
Staff Writers

As winter approaches, it is only right to start thinking about Lions Basketball. Despite losing some of last year’s valuable players, the team has high expectations for this season and hopes to compete for a league championship.
 This year the team returns six varsity players, three of which are seniors.  Hopefully, that will serve them well and carry them deep into their season. Although the Lions lost their top two scorers from last year, Max Wagner (21 PPG) and Spencer Tinkel (14 PPG), they are not worried because the returning seniors have enough talent to shoulder the load. Senior Captain Mayes Lane is extremely excited about the upcoming season as well as the brand new mixtape that will debut in the Lion’s home opener: “Our mixtape is gonna be sick, and the fans are gonna be awesome, so we are probably gonna win a lot of games. That along with a high level of commitment will lead this team to infinity and beyond!” said Lane.
 The Lions are coming off of a somewhat disappointing 2014-15 season in which they went 12-10, but with a new offense and revamped starting lineup a championship season is very possible for this years team. Because they missed out on the District playoffs by one game last year, they now know what they must do to be successful; the odds are in their favor. Considering the experience this roster has, plus the pure talent they possess at every position, they should be able to compete for a district title.
   The team will begin the season against Central Bucks East in the annual Dick Rabberman Tip off Tournament at Council Rock South.

Cross Country Season Review

Sam Lombardi
Staff Writer

The New Hope Cross Country team has once again found success at the District Championship at Lehigh University. For the fourth consecutive year, the boys’ team won their division and competed at the State Championship in Hershey on November 7th, ending the season with a 12th place finish. The girls’ team managed to finish third in their division race even without their first runner, Julia Mycek, who was out due to a stress fracture. Following a hard defeat for the boys team by Jenkintown at the League Championship, the week leading up to districts was nerve-wracking for the runners and coaches. However, New Hope once more proved its consistency with racing.
 Overall, the season has been incredibly successful for New Hope, with some of the fastest times posted in awhile by runners. Hopefully even greater success can come in the upcoming track season based on these performances. The majority of the team consists of juniors, so the 2016 season is already shaping up to be very strong for New Hope. Hopefully the boys’ team will continue to find success next year and it’s no doubt that with a full lineup and no injuries, the girls’ team will be one of the top contenders for the district title next year.

History is made: The Eagles suffer first loss on Thanksgiving but come back to conquer Patriots

Clay Asplundh & Alex Lotier
Staff Writers

Dating back to 1939, the Philadelphia Eagles had been 6-0 on Thanksgiving day games. Three of which were shutouts by the defense, who also allowed an average of only 16.7 points per game! Though these facts may be very impressive, nearly every Eagles fan would have some doubt to see it continue this year. With a team that is already lacking skill at many positions, they have additionally been hit with the injury bug and as a result, they continue to lose to the weaker NFL football teams. Well, this doubt proved to be for good reason on this thanksgiving day. A game that became only more painful to watch as it progressed, it was not only an Eagles loss, but a domination. The first thanksgiving defeat came with 45 points scored against the Eagles, nearly tripling the average points given to opposing teams for the six games prior to this year. It had been no surprise to anyone that this was this year when the streak was broken, but I think all of Philadelphia still remained hoping that their team could figure out a win. The truth is, we have too many holes to fill and at this point, it’s time to look forward to the draft and next year’s season.
....But that was a week ago…
Let’s talk about Tom Brady. Brady who? The Eagles certainly knocked this reigning champ and MVP off his game with two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. After losing three of the most horrific games in the Chip Kelly era, Eagles fans were at an all-time low. The only expectation was a complete domination on our team this past weekend, but the very unexpected came true. A reverse domination for most of the game as the Eagles scored 35 unanswered points against the Super Bowl Champs. History was made once again, except this time for the better, as the Eagles got their first ever win against Tom Brady. More than ever, how this team’s season will play out is anyone’s guess. But as of now, the Eagles are sitting in first place and in full control of their own destiny.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Time to Start New Quarterback

Morgan Shadle
Staff Writer

Is it time for the Philadelphia Eagles to start Quarterback Mark Sanchez instead of Sam Bradford? The answer is no. The Eagles have been doing well with Sam Bradford. It’s just that they don't finish their drives. Philadelphia receivers have dropped about 20 balls so far this year, and they have to learn how to catch these balls if they want to get first downs and better field position. Also,once the Eagles hurry up offense starts to get going there's no stopping it, so drop balls is a game changer for the Eagles.
Can Mark Sanchez help the Eagles more than Bradford? No. Mark Sanchez will never be the guy for the Eagles. He just doesn't have the accuracy or knowledge to be a great quarterback. Last season, Mark Sanchez did well, but he blew big chances against teams like the Washington Redskins. If the Eagles won that game they probably would have made it to the playoffs. He, also he made really careless decisions that game. We need a quarterback that it is smart like Sam Bradford, but we need him to be like he was his rookie year when he won rookie of the year. Sam Bradford is accurate and precise, but he needs to be consistent. If the coaches can help him more, the Eagles are going to be a hard team to beat this year.
Also Sam Bradford has a one year contract with the Eagles. If the Eagles don’t like him and don’t want him the result of the season can determine if they drop him into free agency and get a new quarterback in free agency or the draft. So, aside from the season it’s not that big of a deal if he does poorly. However, it would be better to him to have a great year and for the Eagles to finally take first place

Fantasy Busts and Sleepers

John Sharkey and Tommy Lupo
Staff Writers

This NFL season has been filled with big time injuries and breakout performances. Before the first snap of the season, a slew of players were hyped up and gauged for a monster season. Players like Brandin Cooks, Sammy Watkins and Mike Evans, have performed lower than most NFL wide receivers, let alone have record breaking years. In the running back department, Eddie Lacy, CJ Anderson and Jeremy Hill were as high as first round picks and have performed like waiver wire pick-ups at best. The let downs do not stop there though, even looking to the Tight End position players like Dwayne Allen and Zach Ertz had major hype heading into the season, but have failed to produce much of anything in either real life stats or fantasy points. Finally, in our busts section, we move to the Quarterback position. One of the most consistent  players of our generation, Peyton Manning, seems to finally be slowing down, producing extremely low fantasy points across the board. Not only is this passing yardage and touchdown record holder getting up there in age, he has suffered from numerous injuries such as needing neck surgery and surgery for his planters fasciitis. In addition, Ryan Tannehill, poised for a breakout year has been quiet and even started the year 1-3 in the NFL. Overall, the year is only a little more than a quarter done, much more football is left to be played. Only time will tell who takes 2015 by the horns and who can’t get off their feet.
 Break-out performances happen every year from so-called nobodies, but the biggest breakout player is Devonta Freeman, running back for the Atlanta Falcons. After rookie running back Tevin Coleman went down, Freeman stepped in and has averaged almost 31 points in his last four games. Another big sleeper from this year would be Gary Barnidge, tight end from the Cleveland Browns. After being a no-show in the first two weeks of the season, Barnidge broke out for 65.8 (ESPN Standard) points in his last four games.
 Lastly, at debatably the most important position in fantasy football, the quarterback, a man by the name of Tyrod Taylor has burst onto the scene. Tyrod Taylor is the starting quarterback for the Buffalo Bills, and prior to the season there was optimism about who would be under center in Orchard Park. In the first five games, Taylor scored a whopping 102.5 (ESPN Standard) points. From a backup to QB1, Taylor has made the people who passed up on him in their drafts regret it.

Standouts (For each position) PPG:                                              Busts (For each position) PPG:
QB: Tom Brady                                                                              QB: Peyton Manning
RB:Devonta Freeman                                                                    RB: Jeremy Hill
RB: Adrian Peterson                                                                      RB: Eddie Lacy
WR1:Deandre “NUK” Hopkins                                                       WR: Jordan Matthews
WR2:Julio Jones                                                                            WR: TY Hilton
Flex: Odell Beckham Jr.                                                                 Flex: Carlos Hyde
TE:Rob Gronkowski                                                                       TE: Jimmy Graham
D/ST: Broncos                                                                                D/ST: Texans
K:Stephen Gostkowski                                                                   K: Adam Vinatieri


Crazy NBA Start

Matthew Bracco And John Flavin
Staff Writers

The 2015-16 NBA season has definitely been off to an interesting start. There have been surprises and letdowns as well.
 One surprise came from Andre Drummond of the Detroit Pistons.  He put up some Wilt Chamberlain-like stats. He has already played three games this year in which he has had at least 20 points and 20 rebounds. That’s something that the rest of the league has only done once this year. So far he's averaging 18 points a game and 19 rebounds a game. Drummond has been off to a great start and many think that he can continue dominating.
 A disappointment early on this season came from D’angelo Russell of the Los Angeles Lakers. He was the second pick in the draft, but he hasn’t looked good so far. However, he is only 19 years old and has plenty of time to get it together.
 The Golden State Warriors, who won the championship last year, and look even better this year. They started off the season 10-0.
 Steph Curry had a historical start to this season. He already has four 20 point quarters this year, more than anyone else in the league. He scored 118 points in the first three games of the season, joining Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, and Jerry West.
 The Philadelphia 76ers have not started off their season particularly well, considering that they’re 0-8. There is an upside though: Jahlil Okafor had five 20 point games already this season, 4 more than any other rookie has. The main concern about Okafor coming out of the draft was his defense, but he has looked good blocking shots and defending his man. Okafor has plenty of time to develop into one of the future stars of the NBA and could bring the 76ers a championship one day.
 Another highlight is how competitive the Western Conference will be this year. The Warriors look like they will clearly be the first seed, but there are five title contenders in the conference.

Temple Owls to Face Toledo Rockets in Marmot Boca Raton Bowl

Thomas Muzekari
Staff Writer

The Temple Owls football team started off 7-0 for the first time in team history after beating East Carolina 24-14. The Owls’ next test was when they hosted the 8th ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Lincoln Financial Field, in a showdown on Halloween night. The Owls had a field goal lead late, but couldn’t hold on as they lost in a nail-biter, 24-20.
 The Owls were a little under the radar at the start of the season, but the team got off to a fast start as they beat Penn State for the first time since 1941, 27-10 in the season opener. Ever since, the team did not let up and strung together nine more wins. The team’s success has been anchored by running back Jahad Thomas who has 19 total touchdowns through thirteen games. Also, the team’s defense has been strong, allowing under 20 points a game.
  Temple stepped into the top 25 for the first time since 1979 after its win against UCF. “People are respecting Temple and how we have played,” Head Coach Matt Rhule said. “We have to keep doing what we’ve been doing,” he explained.
   Temple were 10-2 with their only two losses coming against Notre Dame and USF. They clinched a spot in the conference championship after taking down UConn 27-3. They then lost to the 18th ranked Houston Cougars in Texas.

  The 24th ranked Owls have earned a spot in the Marmot Boca Raton Bowl where they will face the 9-2 Toledo Rockets on December 22.

NFL Player Found Guilty

Oliver Colvin and Blake Doherty
Staff Writers
After hearing of Greg Hardy’s assault on his former girlfriend Nicole Holder, Judge Becky Thorne Tin ruled Hardy guilty. Hardy was sentenced to a suspended 60 day jail term and 18 months probation, a punishment sent aside by Hardy’s appeal for a jury trial in Superior Court.
 The incident began in the football player’s uptown luxury apartment after a night of travelling the city and drinking thousands of dollars in champagne on May 13. Holder explained that once in the apartment, Hardy threw her from the bed to the bathtub, dragging her around by her hair. Hardy then proceeded to choke and threaten to kill Holder, but instead dialed 911 and explained that Holder was going crazy trying to beat him up. Hardy’s defense attorney explained that after Holder spent the night drinking and buzzing cocaine she was asked by Hardy to leave the apartment. He then said that Holder flew into a jealous rage.
 The most important evidence came from two females that were involved in the entourage that night. The information led to the closing of the case. Both pieces of evidence pointed toward the story that Holder told, in which Hardy assaulted Holder and tried to cover up his tracks. Judge Tin did not find Hardy’s story to be true and proceeded to rule him guilty.
 As of right now, the case has not yet affected Hardy’s standings with the Carolina Panthers, but there are long term concerns of where Hardy might stand with the team. Hardy signed a $13.1 million one year contract last Spring.

 When asked about the case, Judge Tin explained that it does not matter if the charged person is an NFL player or an average joe, if the person assaults someone they will be prosecuted and convicted.

The Fallout of CJ2K

Danny Doherty
Staff Writer

A legend was born at the 2008 NFL Combine when a product from East Carolina University ran the fastest 40 time in the history of the combine. Chris Johnson, a running back from Orlando, became a first round draft pick, and in his just second year in the league, he became the sixth man to rush for 2,000 yards. His career, as well as the Tennessee Titans franchise was looking up. But just as his peak of performance was reached, a long road down a rough path of unfortunate events has led to the fall of “CJ2K.”
 In the years following his record breaking season, tough times sought Johnson. His yardage steadily declined, and he went from one of the most sought after running backs in the NFL, to a backup for a failed New York Jets organization in 2014. Just a month after he was released by the Jets at the end of their 2014 season,  Johnson would never forget. Shot in a drive by shooting in his hometown of Orlando, losing a friend in the shooting, and possibly kissing away his NFL career forever, Johnson was in a tough state.
 Determination, and a will to go on was what propelled Johnson over the top and overcome insurmountable odds. With a reminder of the incident still logged in his shoulder, he was signed as a backup for one year by the Arizona Cardinals during the preseason of the 2015 season. He quickly earned the starting role and in no time showed what “CJ2K” was all about. Rushing for 100-yards in four games, and projected his best season since his 2,000-yard campaign, Johnson once again hit a wall.

 The week 12 game against the 49ers gave Johnson resulted in a career ending fractured tibia in his leg. This most likely delivered an epic blow to the end of a career of one of the most prolific running backs in a generation. Johnson has shown to come back from tough odds before, but most likely this is the final blow for the legend of “CJ2K.”

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Football Team Continues Dominance Heading into District Championship.

Matt Fest & Matt Kolen
Staff Writers

The football team bounced back from their loss at Delaware County Christian by shutting out Lower Moreland 27-0 on Nov. 13. The team is continuing a historic season with a 10-1 record and still more games to go. The team is looking to bring the District One AA title back to the school.
 They battle Springfield Township on Friday, Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. The game will be played at War Memorial Field in Doylestown, at Central Bucks West. The team is looking to have a great week of practice and continue their winning season with a win this Friday.
 “The program has been overshadowed by the 2013 team. We are looking to top that and go farther,” said two-time captain Russell Abernethy.
 “We’re just gonna go out there and play hard football,” two-way starter Tommy Capriotti said. “We know what we have to do and we’re gonna do it."

Friday, November 13, 2015

Get ready for an exciting NBA season that may leave out the Sixers

Jonah Slominski 
Staff Writer

The NBA season is finally here! After a summer of events from the draft, summer league, free agency, training camp, and preseason, we have finally reached the start of the new season. Some players have joined their new teams and are looking forward to playing with their new teammates. There will be teams this year eyeing a championship run, while other teams will be focused on the future and not be in contention this year. This article will go over notable free agency signings, teams that have a real chance at the title this year, and a few teams that may not be winning now, but are exciting to watch win or lose. Sorry Sixers fans, this year looks to be a rough one once again, unless rookie Jahlil Okafor dominates the competition immediately. Watch for Okafor’s development as a player, as well as the development of our other young players as the season goes on.

Notable Free Agency Signings (and resignings)

These players have either changed teams, or signed new contracts with their current teams. The players here will have an immediate impact on their respective teams. While not every player on this list would be considered a top 10 talent, they will provide something their teams were previously lacking, or reinforce an area of strength on the team.

  • LaMarcus Aldridge: Previously of the Portland Trail Blazers, Aldridge has joined the San Antonio Spurs in a search of his first championship. He joins future Hall of Famers Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker, giving Aldridge the best supporting cast he’s had in his career, as well as having the best coach in the league in Gregg Popovich. Aldridge was the best free agent available this offseason.
  • Jimmy Butler: Butler resigned with the Chicago Bulls this offseason after a breakout season in which he was selected to his first All Star team, and won the NBA’s Most Improved Award. He gives the Bulls a legitimate two-way player who can carry the Bulls as former MVP Derrick Rose recovers from yet another injury as he looks to return to form.
  • Monta Ellis: The top scorer on the Dallas Mavericks last season cashed in on his great season and joins the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers gain an elite scorer to pair with their own All Star in Paul George. Ellis, like Butler, will shoulder the scoring load as George recovers from a gruesome leg injury suffered last summer while playing with Team USA.
  • Deandre Jordan: Arguably the second best player available behind Aldridge, Jordan provides elite defense and rebounding at the center position, something the Clippers desperately need. He looks primed for another great season and is a front-runner for the Defensive Player of the Year Award.
  • Paul Pierce: THE TRUTH! Last season, Paul Pierce provided veteran leadership and clutch shot making for a Wizards team that swept the Toronto Raptors in the first round of the playoffs. He now joins his old Celtics coach, Doc Rivers, in Los Angeles, and looks to provide once again clutch shooting and depth to a Clippers team aiming to win this season.
The Contenders

These teams are the ones that truly have the ability to win the championship this season. They are all a step above the rest in terms of talent and coaching. As you will see below, the majority of these teams play in the Western Conference, a testament to how deep the conference is talent-wise.

  • Golden State Warriors: Last season’s champions brought back most of their key contributors, have an MVP in Stephen Curry, as well as continued development from players like Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes, and Draymond Green. The key for a repeat this year will be if the team can stay healthy. If they are healthy and survive the gauntlet that is the NBA’s Western Conference, they have the best chance of winning the title.
  • Cleveland Cavaliers: When you have Lebron James on your team, you automatically become a title contender. The key for this team to win the title this year will be health like the Warriors. They play in the lesser conference talent-wise , the Eastern Conference, and Lebron James is still the best player on the planet, enough said. Expect to see Lebron James represent the East in the finals for the sixth straight year in a row.
  • Oklahoma City Thunder: Former MVP Kevin Durant is finally healthy, and when healthy, is the second best player in the league behind only Lebron James. Paired with another top-ten player in Russell Westbrook, a shot blocking and 3-point shooting power forward in Serge Ibaka, Durant is looking to redeem himself and his team in search of his first championship after missing the playoffs last year.
  • San Antonio Spurs: When the rich get richer and add the top free agent available, the rest of the Western Conference should start to worry. The Spurs remain the top organization in the NBA top to bottom, from the owner, to the GM, to the coaching staff, down to the players themselves, San Antonio is the model organization of the NBA, and are expected to be in the thick of the championship race again.

Teams to Watch

While these teams may not be teams that have a good chance at winning the title this year, teams in this group will definitely make every game they play in interesting. Some of the teams in this list may be a player or two away from being a true contender, or they are a team on the rise with young and exciting talent to watch out for.

  • Los Angeles Clippers: While they have improved their depth and improved internally, the Clippers to me are still not on the same level as teams like Golden State, San Antonio, and Oklahoma City. However, with players like Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and Deandre Jordan, the Clippers will still draw big crowds and provide plenty of SportsCenter highlights. If this team plays well during the regular season, they could be considered contenders, but for now, we will wait and see.
  • Orlando Magic: This team has no chance of winning the Larry O’Brien Trophy this season. However, they are full of young and exciting talent just filled with potential. The Elfrid Payton and Victor Oladipo backcourt may not provide much shooting, but both bring defense, hustle, and athleticism. They drafted a young and fearless guard in Mario Hezonja, a sleeper candidate for the Rookie of the Year Award. These young guards paired with center Nikola Vucevic, who is an All Star level talent, gives the Magic a promising core to build around for the next few seasons.
  • Washington Wizards: A team that has been in the playoffs the past two years, only to lose in the second round both times. They are a team on the cusp of being considered “contenders”, and that is due to the continued growth of John Wall, Bradley Beal, and Otto Porter. John Wall is already an All Star level talent, Bradley Beal will continue to improve his ball handling and consistency, and Otto Porter looks to build upon his breakout performance in the playoffs last year. How these three players grow will determine if Washington can finally get over the metaphorical hump and become true contenders for a title.
  • Minnesota Timberwolves: The Timberwolves are a rebuilding team stocked with high flying athletes that can turn any game into a track meet. Guard Zach Lavine was last year’s dunk contest winner. Last season’s Rookie of the Year, Andrew Wiggins, is also one of the most athletic players in the league. They added the first overall pick in the draft, Karl Anthony-Towns, another elite athlete to the roster, and look to grow into a contending team over the next few seasons with the help of veteran players like Kevin Garnett and Andre Miller.