Friday, January 29, 2016

College Football Playoff and National Championship

Matt Fest & Matt Kolen

This year’s College Football Playoff, only the second of all time, featured blowouts and low ratings altogether. Along with a poor bowl season performance, many thought that the national championship game would be a blowout, as well.
 The teams to make the College Football Playoff (CFP) are selected by a thirteen-man committee and feature the top four teams in the nation. Last year, Ohio State beat out Alabama in the national championship game to capture the first CFP national championship in an exciting game.
 This year, Oklahoma was up against an undefeated Clemson team, and Michigan State had to face an Alabama team on an eleven game win streak. Clemson dominated Oklahoma in the second half, after a close first half. They pulled away and captured the 37-17 victory. Alabama completely embarrassed Michigan State, blowing them out 38-0. These scores alongside scores from other high profile bowl games, like 41-7, 45-16, 45-6, made people think that the bowl selection committee had let down fans.

 However, in the national championship game on January 11 between No. 1 Clemson and No. 2 Alabama, fans were not let down. The game was very tight with Alabama pulling away in the final quarters to win 45-40 after a risking onside kick call by Nick Saban that paid off. This win was Saban’s fifth national championship, which puts him as one of the top coaches of all time.

Wrestling Season Fast Approaching

Russell Abernethy
Matt Smith
Wrestling season is right around the corner and there is no one more excited then coach Irv Miller. “I can not wait to get back on the mat and I believe the boys feel the same way.” says New Hopes wrestling coach, Irv Miller.
The wrestling season finished the season last year with a very impressive 10-4 record and took second in the district. The team also sent 9 wrestlers to regionals and 2 of them won districts. The district winner where Igor Lupisella and Max Lupisella. The team also had 4 second place finishers and a few third and fourth place finishers. With the loss of only to wrestler but two keys and captains the team will have to come back. Mike Manns and Tobias Mintzmyer will be missed.
The team still has their one captain and best wrestler Igor Lupisella. The two new captains who will be leading this team to victory are Russell Abernethy and Brandon Smith. Smith is a four year varsity wrestle and Abernathy joined the team last year. These senior have all the characteristics to build this team and make it great. The team also have four new wrestlers with the addition of one freshman.
The team is hoping to make it to the State Duals with wins in both the BAL tournament and the district tournament. The team has a lot of potential to be one of the best teams that has ever come out of New Hope’s history. The team took second in both and would love to have revenge on Lower Moreland who handed both them both of their loses. The team is ready and is working hard to get to their goal.

With the season coming up soon we have to sit back and see what this team can do and see if they will make history.

The Search is Over

Alex Lotier
Clay Asplundh
Staff Writers

It was December 29, 2015, just three days after a devastating, season ending loss to the Redskins. All of Philly’s fans had felt hopeless of any possibilities that the future would be bright, as it seemed as if this team was only headed in a downward spiral. Top rated free agents and early round draft picks had all underperformed, all acquisitions that were lead by head coach, Chip Kelly. For these reasons and more, owner Jeffrey Lurie made the decision to fire Chip Kelly after a short three years of coaching. For many it might have been a surprise, but for some people such as myself, it was a great relief. Many would be impressed with Lurie to make such a “bold” decision but after consideration, this decision might have possibly been the best thing for this city. To begin a fresh new start in the 2016 season, with what many hope will be an experienced, old fashioned coach who runs a new offense that can achieve the highest success. Nobody knows what will happen for sure next season, but with the release of Chip Kelly, all Eagles fans can now be hopeful that a high powered, winning team is coming in the future.
As far as the coaching search goes, Adam Gase was believed to be the top choice for Lurie. Unfortunately his top prospect was not available for long, as the Dolphins quickly signed him. Suddenly, the Eagles coaching search became much more confusing. They also interviewed Chiefs Offensive Coordinator Doug Pederson, interim head coach Pat Shurmur, Ex-Giants head coach Tom Coughlin, running backs Coach Duce Staley, and Giants offensive coordinator Ben Mcadoo. All three coaches are offensive coaches with the exception of Coughlin. The Eagles have no more scheduled interviews, and this leaves no clear front runner for the job. Jeffrey Lurie needs to make a decision, and quickly, because coaches are becoming scarce across the league, and the city of Philadelphia needs an exceptional one.
It has only been about a week that has passed, and the Philadelphia Eagles have already nearly secured a full coaching staff. With a new head coach, Doug Pederson, who was once the quarterbacks coach of the Eagles under head coach Andy Reid many years ago. More recently, he has been an offensive coordinator on the rise for the Kansas City Chiefs over the past three years. An OC that has lead the Chiefs offense to an 11-0 run after a 1-5 start, only to lose a close game in the divisional championship game to the Patriots this season. After ending the 2015 season with great frustration and depression, Philadelphia can once again have hope that this change of coaching staff can bring their team success. That they are able to coach these players into the team who finally brings home a Super Bowl, and gives this city what they truly deserve.

Golf Team Hungry For More Success

Clay Asplundh
Staff Writer

A successful 2015 golf season for the Lions ultimately ended in a second place finish in states, but the young team is hungry for more success next year.
After many seniors that were leading the team left for college in 2014 following a state championship win, the team was left with young players who needed to pick up the slack. With no seniors this year, the young team won the district title, advanced through sub-regionals, and had a strong performance in states that left Coach Demby pleased with his team. What was originally considered a rebuilding year quickly turned into one of the most successful seasons in team history.
Returning veterans such as Clay Asplundh, Ben Wiseman, Nathan Hiriak and Nina Kouchie all led the charge, while younger, newer players to the team like Bobby Wanamaker, Pat Lovell and Sam Strand all had clutch moments when the veterans struggled.
The team always was rooting for each other and loved playing together. Ben Wiseman, a Sophomore for the Lions, explained how strong the bond of the team has become: “Being a younger team, we all know each other really well so it was great playing with each other because we all love playing with each other.”
The team also bonded on the long bus rides in the postseason along with the Five Guys or Chick-fil-A stops that Coach Demby has become known for. While this past season was great for the team, they want more for the 2016 season.
Pat Lovell, a sophomore, explained the golf team’s hunger for a state championship for the upcoming season, “After the team winning states my freshman year we had a lot to live up to this season, and while we did great this season, it would be nice to get another championship.”

Coach Demby believes that the team is certainly capable of doing so, and with the confidence found after back to back great seasons, the sky's the limit for the growing team.

Messi Wins Ballon d’Or for Record Fifth Time

Thomas Muzekari
Staff Writer

Lionel Messi was awarded with the fifth Ballon d’Or award of his career on January 11, 2016. The award is given to the best player in the world each year. Messi already held the all-time record with four, but he added on to his total as he was given the award over nominees Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo.
 Messi won four in a row before Ronaldo took it home two years in a row, but now the Argentine has won it again. “It’s a very special moment for me to be back on this stage, winning again another Ballon d’Or after seeing Cristiano win it.”
 Messi netted 52 goals and had 26 assists in 61 games in 2015 for FC Barcelona, while leading his team to a treble, a season consisting of a La Liga title, a Copa del Rey title, and a Champions League title.
 After being crowned with the biggest individual award in world soccer, Messi expressed his gratitude for his voters and teammates, and explained how it was “incredible” that it was his fifth time winning the award.
 Messi has many extraordinary individual achievements such as the most goals in a calendar year with 91, the record for the most Ballon d’Or awards, and the most goals in La Liga history. His team, FC Barcelona has achieved great things since he started playing for them in 2004. They have won seven La Liga titles, three Copa del Rey titles, and four Champions League titles.
 Messi, the man with many records and achievements, will look to carry his success into the games coming up and for all of 2016, for both his country team Argentina, and his club FC Barcelona.

Way too early Final Four predictions

Brian Hauch and Dylan Waterman
Staff Writers

Conference play in college basketball has started to pick up and fans are starting to see who the real contenders may be when March Madness rolls around two months from now. So far this season there have been a plethora of upsets and surprise teams that have made for some very entertaining early season basketball. The main thing we have learned is no team has truly set themselves apart from the rest, making for chaos at the top of the rankings. This should make for a crazy post season. Below we have predicted which teams will be playing in Houston at the final four in April.

  1. Oklahoma- Buddy Hield is the kind of player that can carry a team through March, and the scary thing is he has enough help to where he doesn’t even have too. Oklahoma has three other great players in Ryan Spangler, Jordan Woodard, and Isaiah Cousins. This is the most talented team in the country.
  2. Maryland- Like Oklahoma, Maryland has many talented stars that have the ability to do damage in March. Melo Trimble and Rasheed Sulaimon may be the best backcourt in the country, and Diamond Stone and Jake Layman are both huge threats in the paint. Maryland will win the Big 10 have an easy road to the final four.
  3. Michigan State- The spartans almost always find a way to make it to the final four, and this years team should have no trouble. Tom Izzo is a genius, Denzel Valentine is a player of the year candidate, and Bryn Forbes is a great complimentary piece. The Spartans will be in the final four yet again.
  4. SMU- Ladies and Gentlemen the last remaining unbeaten team in college basketball is not Kansas, Duke, North Carolina or Michigan State, its 15-0 SMU. Larry Brown’s scrappy team is led by senior guards Nic Moore and Sterling Brown who both have post-season experience. Just think about this, the Mustangs blew out Michigan back in December. That same Michigan team just upset the number one team in the country, Kansas. Watch out for the Mustangs.

  1. Oklahoma- Coming off a tough primetime triple overtime loss at Kansas on January 4th, the Sooners were able to showcase themselves to the nation and show how much damage they can really do in March. They are great offensively, but their challenge will be shutting teams down on defense when they need it most.
  2. North Carolina- After a strong recruiting class coming in this year and good development from returning players like Marcus Paige, Brice Johnson, and Kennedy Meeks, UNC is a deep team that can make a run far into the tournament
  3. Michigan State- This year’s Spartan team has been the best one in a while. They have a great combination of offense and defense, having great outside shooters like Bryn Forbes and Denzel Valentine, and big men that can score inside. Along with their offensive strengths, they are great defensively as well, being able to get key stops that are crucial in winning games.
  4. Xavier- This is my sleeper pick for the Final Four. The Musketeers already have double-digit wins over a Big Ten team, an SEC team, a Pac-12 team, an Atlantic 10 team and an AAC team, and are the favorites to win the Big East, which is looking very strong this year. If they maintain the level of energy and intensity they are playing with now throughout the season, this will be a dangerous team in March.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Rams Relocate to LA

Russell Abernethy, Nic Patino, and Matt Smith
Staff Writers

On Tuesday January 13, a meeting took place in Houston between the thirty-two team owners in the NFL to vote on which team would relocate to L.A. The decision was made to send the St. Louis Rams with a whopping 30-2 decision.
The Rams franchise was originally founded in Los Angeles in 1946, and then relocated to St. Louis in 1995. They found great success under hall of fame coach Dick Vermeil, and quarterback Kurt Warner. The team took two back to back trips to the Super Bowl winning one. The team was dubbed the nickname The greatest show on tur.
Where the Rams will play in 2016 is still a mystery. There have been some teams who are willing to open their stadiums up to the Rams until their stadium is built. Some stadiums that have a chance to host the Rams are Angel Stadium, Coliseum, Dodger Stadium, Rose Bowl and StubHub Stadium. Hoping the new relocated Rams will bring them a big pay increase with more tickets sold.
The Rams stadiums is going to be built in Inglewood, which is approximately 20 minutes outside of downtown Los Angeles. New stadium is projected to cost approximately $1.8 billion dollars and will hold between 80,000-100,000 fans.The new stadium will have a park outside where people can enjoy the amazing structure. Also there will be immense amounts of landscaping to round out the inside and outside of the stadium. Huge parking lots and buildings will be built to control the parking around the stadium.

The Rams are hoping that their move to L.A will start the team to a better record than in the past couple years, The Rams have missed the playoffs in 2015 and some years before. New stadium, new Rams start.