Friday, October 13, 2017

Varsity hockey coming to New Hope Solebury High School

Matt Benda and Jay MacDowell
Staff Writers

This winter New Hope Solebury high school will have its first ever hockey team. They are in the Varsity A division and play their first game in November. The Lions will be playing in the Suburban High School Hockey League (SHSHL) playing against other schools at the varsity A level such as Hatboro-Horsham, Upper Dublin, Lower Moreland, Upper Moreland and more from the area.   
The team’s home rink will be at Warwick Ice in Warrington. This season the team will be coached by Jeff Garvin and Paul Burns with assistance from the team manager Wayne Fowler. The team consists of all high school grade levels and the following students:

  • Aidan McCollum (Senior)
  • Chris Allen (Freshman)
  • Chris Braun (Senior)
  • Devin Bock (Senior)
  • Garrett Hoffman (Freshman)
  • Grayson Asplundh (Junior)
  • Jay MacDowell (Senior)
  • Kel MacDowell (Sophomore)
  • Matthew Bracco (Junior)
  • Michael Janora (Freshman)
  • Rex Fowler (Freshman)
  • Vincent Vetrano (Senior)

Some of the seniors on the hockey team are optimistic on the looming season. Senior Captain Chris Braun said “Championship or Bust,” when asked about the team’s goal for the upcoming season. Senior Captain Defenseman Jay MacDowell said , “I like hockey and am looking forward to the season”, when asked if he was excited on the upcoming season.
Considering that the New Hope team is in the Varsity A division this season the expectations have been set high for the upcoming season. The team will essentially be chip chasin’.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Penn State Wins a 21-19 Thriller Against Iowa

Jack Cane and Dan Flavin
Staff Writers

 This Saturday, Penn State’s football team won 21-19 against Iowa in the final seconds of the game. The game was taken place at Iowa’s stadium, Kinnick Stadium.
 The first quarter was dominated by defense. There were six drives, but only three points. The quarter was dominated by punts until one of the final drives when Penn State hit a 19-yard field goal. Throughout this season the Penn State offence has been extremely dominant, scoring more than 50 points in two of their three games. The lack of scoring made Penn State fans nervous.
 Going into the second quarter the score was only 3-0 Penn State. With seven minutes to play until halftime, Iowa had possession on their own three yard line. Shareef Miller, Penn State's defensive end, tackled Iowa’s running back in their end-zone for a key safety. This left Iowa fan’s shocked knowing they are now down 5-0 with Penn State's possession. Minutes later with just over 30 seconds left until half, Iowa quarterback Nathan Stanley throws 21-yard pass to receiver Nick Easley. Iowa now taking the lead 7-5 before half.
 Just five minutes into the third quarter, the Nittany Lions kicker, Tyler Davis, nails a 21 yard field goal to push Penn State ahead by one, 8-7. Just 5 minutes later, Penn State RB Saquon Barkley rushes the ball for a touchdown from within the red zone. This put them ahead even more, 15-7 going into the final quarter.
 In the starting minutes of the fourth quarter, Iowa’s QB Nathan Stanley launched the ball to receiver, Akrum Wadley, for a 70-yard touchdown. They were still down 15-13 so they decided to go for a two point conversion but failed. With just around two minutes left, everyone in the stadium was scared to see the outcome. As the Hawkeyes had possession and were still down by two, running back Akrum Wadley took a handoff and went all the way for a 35-yard rushing touchdown. Trying to get the extra two, they failed again on the two point conversion. Iowa now up 19-15 but Penn State's ball. After 11 plays in the possession, the ball was on the seven yard line with only four seconds left. With the time running out and the last possession of the game, Trace McSorley (Penn State quarterback) drops a quick laser over to Juwan Johnson (Penn State wide receiver) running into the endzone. A final score of 21-19, Penn State.
 After the game, many coaches from other teams had stuff to say  “ (Barkley is) making runs that are impressive, and he can catch the ball out of the backfield,” Indiana Coach, Tom Allen.

Penn State Football

Jack Gawason and Nick Fest
Staff Writers
Penn State has started off the college football season going three for three. Head coach James Franklin ended last year’s campaign with a Big Ten Championship and a Rose Bowl bid. Unfortunately, they fell short to the University of South California. This year they are an older and more experienced team, and considering they did not lose very many people to the draft or graduation last year, their a much better team than they were a year ago.
Coach Franklin has the best running back in the nation, Saquon Barkley and a solid quarterback in Trace McSorley. Their first three games were not too much of a challenge considering they played only one team from the power five conference. Their first game was against Akron, which was an easy win. Saquon got his Heisman campaign started in that game and continued it into the Pittsburgh and the Georgia State games. These games ended in a blowout, which was expected. On September 23rd, they face a familiar opponent in Iowa, a Big Ten matchup. They breezed by them last year. Big games coming up on the schedule include Ohio State and Michigan.

76ers start highly anticipated season

Adam Somers
Staff Writer

As the Sixers move towards a highly anticipated season, there is much to love. With the addition of Markelle Fultz and shooter, JJ Redick, the Sixers seem prepared to make a major jump this season. After going 28-54 last year, the Sixers’ combination of a healthy Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, along along with editions has ESPN predicting them to go 37-45, with many believing they can do even better.
 Philadelphia is known for its passionate fans and they are certainly excited for the season, and this resonates with the players. New addition JJ Redick called Philly a “Sports Town,” suggesting that he had never played in one before, bouncing around from Orlando, Milwaukee, and Los Angeles. Along with Markelle Fultz remarking to NBC Sports “Just walking around, just having the fans here. Just walking around hearing, ‘Trust the process.’ This team is just so young, so open. We’ve got some good vets here. Just coming here, I feel welcomed. It almost feels like I’m almost going back to college, just being welcomed. Just having everyone being around all the time. I love it. I don’t regret anything that happened. I’m excited.”  These new additions have certainly received a warm welcome from their fans, and will be an integral part of future success.

 Team President Bryan Colangelo, believes the Sixers are ready to take the next step as well, saying to CSN Philly “We have added a number of pieces, some familiar faces, some unfamiliar. But we feel that all in all, we’re going in with a good blend of that young core that we talk about. We talk about the veteran presence and inclusion with the mix, and feel that things are moving in the right direction with us and put us in a good position to compete and take another step forward as an organization.”  It definitely is a potent mix, and in years to come the Sixers should be serious contenders if they can keep their young stars on track.

The World’s Most Watched Competition

Jack Buckard
Staff Writer

The world’s most watched and richest competition, the UEFA Champions League, is back for another season. Prestigious teams from countries such as England and Spain, including the likes of players such as Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr., are back to take home the trophy. Back-to-back champions, Real Madrid, who have another world star in Cristiano Ronaldo, look to defend their title once again this year.
 The Champions League, which runs from the group stages in September to December, then the Knockout Stages from February to late May, than the competition ends with the Final in early June to millions of viewers from around the world. Also, just because well-known domestic champions are seen in the competition, doesn’t mean smaller teams from smaller nations don’t make a big impact. A Manchester City midfielder, Kevin de Bruyne, said to an ESPN reporter after the game, “I definitely think this was not my best game, but it is the way it goes. It was hard graft tonight but this team can play.” De Bruyne played against a lesser-known Ukrainian side, so it seems anyone can do well in the Champions League.
 Most people in the United States believe that the Super Bowl is the most watched sporting event of the year, but it is actually the Champions League Final. Over 350 million people worldwide watched 2017’s final, however only 3 million from America are in that total. The Super Bowl only got 175 million people worldwide to watch  the Patriots come back and beat the Falcons. Furthermore, the Champions League is the world’s richest competition, with each club earning millions of dollars with each advancement.

 So far this year, two matchdays have been completed, with reigning champions Real Madrid winning both of their games. Other teams including Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea, FC Barcelona, and Manchester City have started off well too, with each club gaining 6 points through two games. The top scorer so far is Harry Kane who has 5 goals, with Anthony Martial grabbing 3 assists to lead that category. Finally, it’s got one sweet anthem as well. So on October 17, when Matchday 3 comes on TV at 2:45, turn on Fox Sports 1 and watch Real Madrid take on Tottenham. It will be more exciting than you think.

Messi leading Barcelona to a hot start to new season

Thomas Muzekari
Staff Writer

On Tuesday Sept. 12 in Barcelona, Spain, FC Barcelona avenged last season’s Champions League Quarterfinals loss to Juventus with a 3-0 win in this season’s Champions League Group Stage opener versus the Italian side.
The scoring was led yet again by the magic man Lionel Messi, as the Argentine scored two goals, one just before halftime after a clever give-and-go with Luis Suarez and a sublime finish in the bottom right corner, and the other coming in the 69th minute, when Messi received a through ball from Andres Iniesta, then maneuvered around two defenders, and ultimately struck another past the great Italian goalkeeper, Gianluigi Buffon. The other goal came sandwiched in between the two Messi goals in the 56th minute, when Ivan Rakitic followed up on a Messi pass across the face of the goal, as the ball was deflected back to the center of the box, leading to the Croatian coolly placing it home.
This victory for new manager Ernesto Valverde and Barcelona came just after a 5-0 home win over Espanyol on Sept. 9 in a La Liga matchup in which Messi scored a hat trick, with the other two goals coming from Gerard Pique and from Luis Suarez late, one that put the icing on the cake of a dominant league win.
Barca’s next league fixture was on the weekend after the Juventus win, a game away at Getafe. The team pulled off a 2-1 comeback victory after trailing 1-0 until the 62nd minute when Denis Suarez--who came in as a sub--measured a precise lobbed finish into the top left corner. The game-winner came from the new signing Paulinho, who also came in as a sub, as the Brazilian took a pass from Messi, shrugged off a defender and calmly slotted home his first goal for the Spanish side. In the win, however, Barcelona’s other key signing this past summer, Ousmane Dembele was hurt and is now expected to miss 3 to 4 months of action.
The following league game was another win, this time at home over Eibar in a 6-1 triumph at the Camp Nou. Paulinho and Denis Suarez both scored for the second game in a row, but the headlines again belonged to Lionel Messi after another staggering performance, this time scoring an astonishing four goals.
In their most recent La Liga game, Barcelona defeated Las Palmas 3-0, led by Messi’s two goals and an assist to Sergio Busquets.
Before the start of this season, many were questioning and doubting Barcelona after the Brazilian Neymar left the squad to join Paris Saint-Germain for a record signing transfer fee this past summer. Add that to the fact that last season with Neymar, the Spanish side was unable to win La Liga or the Champions League. After Neymar departed, Barca made a few signings, bringing in Dembele and Paulinho. The team also kept all of their key players from last season aside from Neymar, but many retained their doubts and the belief that Real Madrid is certainly above Barcelona at this point.
Well, look now. Barcelona has commandingly taken down Juventus in the Champions League, and they most recently beat Sporting Lisbon 1-0. The club has played seven league games, and they have won all seven. Their 21 points in the league put them in sole possession of first place in the standings. Messi has been playing like his usual spectacular self, now doing even more to lead Barcelona without Neymar in town. Meanwhile, last season’s La Liga champions and Champions League winners, Real Madrid, are sitting in 6th place, seven points back from Barca. So, what are the doubters saying now?

CTE revelations come from Hernandez autopsy

Riley Brennan
Co-Editor In Chief

Aaron Hernandez, convicted murder, and former NFL tight end, who committed suicide April, has been found to have suffered from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), following recent examinations by scientists at Boston University.
 The examination of his brain found that the damage inflicted by CTE was similar to the damage found in a person in there 60’s, while Hernandez was only 27. The Hernandez-family attorney made the announcements that the scientists involved had declared Hernandez was “the most severe case” they’d seen in someone so young.
 As an increasing number of players are diagnosed with CTE, the NFL continues to face backlash, facing accusations of hiding the truth of the dangers of the sport from the players, fans and public alike. Mr. Hernandez’s estate has filed a lawsuit against the league on the grounds that the NFL, as well as his former team the Patriots, knew about the correlation between inflicted head trauma and brain disease, but choose not to supply enough protection or information. The lawsuit filed seeks to compensate Hernandez’s daughter for the loss of her father.

 Hernandez had just been acquitted for the 2012 murder of two men, making his shocking suicide only days later, all the more confusing. However, suicide is not uncommon among those who have CTE, which further calls Hernandez’s behavior and actions into question. Multiple former NFL players who were diagnosed with CTE have committed suicide, making this a fairly familiar public relations issue for the league. This is not the only controversy the NFL has had to shoulder in the past few weeks, as outraged and supportive fans alike, loudly express their opinions toward the support, and lack thereof, from the league during the National Anthem at football games across the country on Sunday, Sept. 24.

Elliott the Goat: Rookie Kicker Saves the Day!

Frank Spadavecchia, Devin Bock and Isaac Zucker
Staff Writers

The Philadelphia Eagles beat the New York Giants on a last second 61-yard field goal kicked by rookie Jake Elliott. Elliott, who missed a 31-yard field goal the week before, had  missed a less challenging 52-yard field goal earlier that day. Despite this, he remained calm and was able to hit the game winning kick from 9 yards farther.
 With thousands of anxious fans waiting to see if the rookie would miss yet another field goal and send the Eagles season into a downward spiral, Elliott was able to put all emotions aside and simply win the game. According to, he received some help from a rather large and respected figure in the Eagles’ locker room. Seconds before Elliott went out to attempt the game winning kick that would possibly give the Eagles a 2-0 start in their division, 6-foot-4, 328 pound Left Tackle Jason Peters said, “Hey. No more misses bro.” This struck fear into Elliott, who didn’t want to know what would happen if he missed. Some more motivation was given by Quarterback Carson Wentz, who said he’d write a game check to Elliott if he made the field goal.

 Since the game, Elliott has been named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week, interviewed by Hall of Famer Deion Sanders, and talked about by everyone in the Philadelphia area. Carson Wentz followed through with his promise, but instead they chose to send the money to a charity of Elliott’s choice. After a busy and exciting week, Elliott and the Eagles took on the Chargers in Los Angeles, barely securing another tight victory 26-24 to go 3-1 on the season.

New Hope-Solebury Field Hockey pulls out a triumphant shutout season so far

Sydney Garvin and Rachel Saxton
Staff Writers

The New Hope-Solebury Girls Field Hockey Team, whose starting lineup consists of only three seniors and the rest underclassmen, have proven their small but mighty mentality with nine shutout wins.
  Under the coaching of Gwen Smith, the Lions team has a total of 76 goals throughout their nine game season so far. With a roster of four seniors, eight sophomores, and 11 freshmen, the girls went into the season uncertainly.
“With losing the people we did last year, it was obvious that the team dynamic would be different. But honestly, the freshman and sophomores have exceeded expectations,” senior captain Claudia Koeppen stated.
It is always intimidating as a freshman starting preseason, but the Field Hockey team makes sure that no one feels less than others.
“It’s a lot of fun because you don’t feel any different from everyone else. The older girls don’t treat you any differently and are very supportive. I also think that no matter what grade you’re in you are a part of the team,” stated freshman Erin Firth, who earned a starting spot on defense.
The Lions team was voted game of the week against Christopher Dock, who has been the team’s Bicentennial Athletic League rivalry for years by Philafieldhockey, whose website is used to promote collegiate, high school, middle school, youth, and club field hockey in the greater Philadelphia area. The two teams shared the BAL title in 2014 and Dock surpassed NHS during the 2015 and 2016 seasons. The girls were ready to reclaim their title this year. With an 8-0 win, the Lions conquered their mission and received their well-deserved headline.
The Lions also proceeded to win the PhilaFH team of the week out of over one hundred teams in the high school and collegiate level.
“You’ve got to take every day, day by day and every game, game by game. That’s why you compete. Any team on any given day can beat you. That’s how I see it and that’s how I prepare my team,” said Coach Gwen Smith according to the PhilaFH article.
The Lady Lions have seen everyone in their league once and are excited to play them in round two in order to hang their BAL Championship banner in the school gym.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Boys’ Lacrosse celebrate Senior Night

Sam Lombardi, Lear Asplundh, Jack McKenna
Staff Writers

The Boys Lacrosse team faced off against Valley Forge Military Academy for the second time this season on May 1st for senior night. The senior players included Nolan Curran and Matt Firth on attack, Ryan Stephens on midfield and taking faceoffs, and  Matt Kilgariff, Sam Lombardi, and Mikey Summerson on defense.
  The ceremony during half-time commemorated each of the seniors and detailed where they planned on going after high school. Nolan Curran and Sam Lombardi will both be attending the Smeal School of Business at Penn State University, Matt Firth will be attending the University of Maryland, Ryan Stephens will be attending Kutztown University, Mikey Summerson will be attending Liberty University, and Matt Kilgariff will be attending Johns Hopkins University.
  The last meeting between New Hope and Valley Forge resulted in a 13-9 win for the Lions. The senior night game mirrored it almost exactly, resulting in a 13-10 win for New Hope. New Hope took an early lead as they tore through Valley Forge’s defense. The team was not able to throw anything at New Hope that they had not already prepared for The second half of the game became more competitive as the teams came within one point of each other; however, a penalty for an illegal hit took Valley Forge’s strongest shooter out of the game during the last quarter, which allowed New Hope to turn over the ball and score three more goals and widen the gap.
  With a fairly even record this year, the lacrosse team is looking to finish out the year strong by winning their upcoming games against George School, Springfield, Neshaminy, and Church Farm.

Track and Field start off strong and perform well at the 2017 BAL meet

Joshua House
Staff Writer

The New Hope Track and Field started the year off strong. The team participated in the Haverford Invitational on April 1. This meet, held at Haverford High School, featured many strong performances from the New Hope Team.
  In Field Events, Matt Jopling in Triple Jump posted a jump of 33’½”. Amelia Wurster got a distance of 14’11” in Long Jump to earn ninth place. In Javelin, Nico Marino was able to throw for 111’, and in High jump, Max Chuma got over the height of 5’8”in with sister Maryna Chuma reaching 4’8”.
  In relays the New Hope boys 4x800 team took second place with the use of new American flag arm sleeves on all members right arms. The girls 4x400 ran a solid time of 4:26.85, and their 4x100 ran 55.11 for fourteenth  place.
  In individual events Kate Hunt got ninth place with a time of 28.14 in her 200m race; Ryan Smith clocked a 12.64 in his 100m race. In the 400m Andrew Purdy ran a 53.73 and freshman Christian Kruse ran a 55.37. Eric Cammarata clocked a 5:25 in his mile and Eric Wanat got a personal best in the 800m with a 2:49. Finally, to end the day Sam Czupich clocked in an 11:35 in his 3200m race for thirty-third place.
  Overall, it was a great start for the beginning of the season for the track and field team with their new spring track coaches: Scott Kunkel and Erin Moss.
  On May 10 and 11 at Holy Ghost Preparatory School, New Hope Solebury participated at BAL’s ( Bicentennial Athletic Leagues) track meet and it was one of the top performances in recent memory for the team. First off for the girls team there were pr’s and strong performances all around. In field events Maryna Chuma took 1st in high jump with a personal best of 5’2’’. In long jump Amelia Wurster secured 2nd with a jump of 15’5’’ and 3rd in triple jump with a 31’10’’. Samantha Renson beat out almost 20 girls for a clutch 3rd place medal for Javelin 95’10’’. In the mile, Julia Mycek nabbed first place with a time of 5:29 and a season best. Savannah Herring took 2nd place in the 400m with a 1:01.46. In relays the girls took third in the 4x100, second in the 4x400, and third in the 4x800. The girls had a great meet finishing 3rd out of 9 overall and have many strong runners ready for the upcoming districts meet.
  On the boys side there were some clutch performances and some last minute qualifying for districts. In the field events Max Chuma took 5th in high jump with a height of 5’8’’ and Nico Marino took 7th out of 28 in Javelin with a throw of 131’6’’. Freshman Grant Harm jumped an impressive 16’ 5’’ in long jump. In running events Ryan Smith ran a strong 100m with a 12.26 and Andrew Purdy got a 53.81 in his 400m good for 8th out of 30. Matt Peshek finally beat Greg House’s 1600 pr with a 4:29.76 good enough for first place out of 46 runners and bragging rights with Greg. Joshua House came out of nowhere in the last 100m of the 800 to nab a 3rd place medal out of 48 runners getting a time of 2:06.27. In relays the New Hope boys finally qualified for the district in the 4x400 getting a 3:39, the boys 4x100 got a 46.36 good enough for third place, and the boys 4x800 took 3rd place with a nice time of 8:27.80. The guys are ready to compete for districts having over 15 runners sent to it.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Lady Lions Prepare for Softball Senior Night

Amanda Horak & Liz Donahue
Staff Writers

Senior night is scheduled to be on May 8, where the girls will play a home game against Lower Moreland. The team consists of 7 seniors, along with Bella Devito as team manager. So far this season, Natalie Borys has pitched numerous strikes, allowing the Lady Lions to have an advantage over other teams. Sam Renson has hit 3 inside the park homeruns. Shaelyn Parker has a batting average of .429 after successfully bunting for base hits. Cameron Wallace has worked behind the base as catcher, blocking balls to help defend during games.
 Currently, the team is 6-4, falling to Dock, Bristol, Faith Christian, and Calvary Christian, while winning against Lower Moreland, Delaware County Christian, Morrisville, The Christian Academy, Philmont Christian, and Plumstead Christian. The team still has three more weeks until they play their final conference game on May 16.
 During the team’s senior night, everyone from the team and most of everyone’s parents show up to see the seniors the team will be sending off this year. Just before the game is about to begin, each team lines up along the foul lines on each side. The senior’s parents will also be invited out onto the field where Coach Marchok will call each of the senior’s names to give them a handshake and a flower, which is bought by their teammates. After each senior has been called, the game begins. After the game is finished, the entire team gathers around behind the dugout to enjoy great food and listen to speeches, which are created by their teammates. The rest of the team wanted to say thank you to all of the seniors on the team and it is going to be extremely hard without them next year. Come out and support the seniors on May 8th!

Boys Varsity Tennis wins Districts

Adrian Roji, Charlie Stadler, Neftali Jimenez-Castro, Matt Cabelus
Staff Writers

The NHS Boys Varsity tennis team is in the middle of another successful season in the BAL conference. With its only conference loss to Lower Moreland, they will be the number two seed heading into the district tournament. If they manage to win the district tournament, the team will head to the state tournament at Hershey later in May. This feat is completely possible for the guys because they lost a heart breaker to Lower Moreland where they should have won the deciding match, as the third doubles court lead 6-2 and 4-2.  
 Individually, two Lions, Adrian Roji, and Caleb Burrows, have had plenty of success. Caleb Burrows placed second in the BAL and District tournaments. Adrian Roji won both the BAL and District tournaments for the third time in his high school career--sophomore year is the only year he did not win. He will head to the state tournament in Hershey for a third time. Both players have not lost a match all season, with Adrian playing first singles and Caleb playing second singles.  
Senior Day was May 1, with the match starting at 3 p.m. The Lions beat Jenkintown six matches to one. The last conference match was Wednesday, May 3, away at Christopher Dock, resulting in yet another win.
On Thursday, May 4, the Lions played the district final against Lower Moreland, with the winner heading to the state tournament in Hershey, PA. For the first time in school history, New Hope won the district title in a nail biting match up. With a final scoreboard of 3-2, meaning three matches won for New Hope and 2 for Lower Moreland, the Lions advanced to play in the state tournament. Adrian Roji won at first singles 6-0 and 6-0, Clay Asplundh and Oliver Colvin won at second doubles 6-1 and 7-5, and Caleb Burrows won the deciding match 2-6, 6-3, and 6-4 at second singles to clinch the win. Emotions ran high.
The most successful season in New Hope tennis history continues as the Lions will hope to make a splash in Hershey. Wish them luck.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Special Olympics Baseball is on the rise

David Shonis and Kyle Lynch
Staff Writers

Located in the small town of Lawrenceville, NJ, the New Jersey Special Olympic facility is the home to many athletes that are granted opportunities to play the sports that they love. Over the years, the Special Olympics have taken place across the nation in every state providing adults and kids the resources to allow them to play sports. 
  A few years ago, Special Olympics in New Jersey established the first-ever baseball team. For many participants, it is the first time they can live out their dreams of playing our nation’s pastime. 
  Tony Vlahovic organized the sport for the Special Olympic athletes and continues to promote the game. Vlahovic is the current head baseball coach for the New Hope-Solebury Lions team and many team members have put in endless hours to support these special athletes. Students not only help them develop a great knowledge about the game, but also want them to take great pride and joy.
  “I’ve become friends with many of the guys there and the entire program allows many of the New Hope players to give back,” Danny Doherty, senior Lion’s baseball player said.
  Special Olympics in New Jersey teamed up recently with New Hope-Solebury High School and Solebury School to have a unified baseball game in which the Special Olympic athletes could play a short 4-inning baseball game alongside both high school baseball teams and also against the teams too. This is the second straight year that this event has taken place and it has been a tremendous success. The opportunity for these athletes to play baseball with high school players and to learn off of them is something that they will cherish for a long time. 
  “I love their passion for the game. They have rejuvenated my love for the game being around them.” Head Coach Tony Vlahovic explianed 
  Special Olympics Baseball in New Jersey has been growing the past few years. They even took home gold a few years ago in the USA Games. 
  Many companies and organizations that are proud partners of Special Olympics New Jersey and some include: Wawa, ShopRite, United Airlines, TD Bank and the New York Giants. With the help of people volunteering and working with these athletes to teach them the game of baseball, anything is possible for them. 
  The Princeton University baseball team also trains the athletes and holds clinics at their complex to teach players more about baseball. The Somerset Patriots recently gave an athlete from the Special Olympics baseball team the chance to fulfill his dream of playing baseball for a semi-pro baseball club. 
  Without all the contributions from high school baseball teams, colleges, organizations, parents, kids and coaches, none of this would be possible. 
  Coach Vlahovic explained what sparked his interest in coaching and he said, “The reason why I got involved in coaching Special Olympics Baseball was I felt that these people can play baseball, but; we’re never given the opportunity to play.” 
  This baseball team that has been put together by Special Olympics in New Jersey deserves recognition for the effort and hard work that they put in to make these athletes happy and to open more doors for opportunities to play baseball.

2017 NBA draft is right around the corner

Will Kelley, Parker Cane, Justin Horak, Connor Fitzgerald
Staff Writers

The 2017 NBA draft is one to look forward to. There are many prospects that have showcased their skills during this years NCAA March Madness tournament. With UNC winning the title, their top 2 players Joel Berry II and Justin Jackson look like they could be solid late first-round picks. The 2016 draft class has not impressed many people, but rookies Jaylen Brown and Dario Saric have been very solid players for their respective teams, the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers. With the Brooklyn Nets trading away three future first-round picks to the Boston Celtics, the Nets terrible record has rewarded the Celtics with the first-overall pick, which they will most likely use to take Point Guard Markelle Fultz from Washington State. Other teams that look like they will receive a top 5 pick are the Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns, Orlando Magic and Philadelphia 76ers. The top 5 projected picks are all backcourt players, meaning a Point Guard or Shooting Guard. The most exciting prospect is Point Guard Lonzo Ball from UCLA, the Ball family consists of three boys who are all basketball superstars. Ball showcases beautiful court vision, shooting perfection and can occasionally throw down vicious dunks.

 Some notable players worthy of attention are Malik Monk, a guard from Kentucky University who can bring prestigious shooting and quick defense that can transition into offense. Monk proved what he could do while playing for Kentucky in this year’s NCAA tournament. Kentucky went to the Elite 8, but fell short to tournament champions UNC. Monk hit two clutch three-pointers in the closing minutes to keep the game close. De'aaron Fox another guard from Kentucky looks to be a top 10 pick as he showcased his skills along with Malik Monk in the tournament, most people would probably give Monk the edge over Fox because of his shooting. Other prospects that look to go in the top 10 are Josh Jackson, Forward from Kansas, Dennis Smith Jr., Guard from NC State and Jayson Tatum, Forward from Duke University. Overall, this year's draft is one to look forward to as many of these prospects are capable of reaching their full potential in the NBA.

Barcelona wins El Clasico on Messi’s game-winner

Thomas Muzekari
Staff Writer

FC Barcelona defeated Real Madrid 3-2 in Madrid on Apr. 23 in the biggest rivalry in world soccer thanks largely in part to another astonishing performance from Lionel Messi who netted two goals that included a game-winner on the last play of the game. That goal was also the 500th that Messi has scored in his career with the Spanish club.
 Barcelona, down three points in the standings coming into this match, needed a win to give themselves a decent chance at still being able to grasp the league title.
 The game started off fast, and both teams were going at the other. In the first half Messi took a nasty elbow from Marcelo in the mouth which caused him to start bleeding severely. Messi would then play the rest of the first half with gauze in his mouth.
 The first goal of the match came from Casemiro for Real Madrid in the 28th minute, but then Messi, with some of his magic, scored just moments later to equalize in the 33rd minute. The score at halftime would be 1-1 after an exciting 45 minutes of the much anticipated Spanish clash.
 The second half provided many opportunities for both teams, and both goalkeepers were tested and had to make some difficult saves. In the 73rd minute though, Barcelona found the back of the net with a brilliant strike by Ivan Rakitic to put his side ahead 2-1.
 Four minutes later, Messi was taken down by a vicious sliding tackle from Sergio Ramos which earned the center back a red card. So, Madrid was now down to 10 men. Even so, they were able to tie the game 2-2 on a goal by James Rodriguez in the 87th minute.
 But it wasn’t over yet. Barcelona provided a magical moment on the last play of the game. Sergi Roberto surged forward for Barcelona and eventually played a ball to Andre Gomes who was to the left of the top of the box. Gomes then found Jordi Alba on the overlap, who then played a ball back across the center to the arriving Messi, who struck it first-time with that magical left foot of his and into the goal for the 92nd minute winner.
 It was the last kick of the game, and the Argentine went to the corner to celebrate by taking off his jersey and holding it up in front of the crowd. The referee gave him a yellow card, but Messi took it undeniably as he did not care at that point. He just had an unbelievable performance that included two goals, the second of which won El Clasico for Barcelona in dramatic fashion.
 It was a memorable night for Barcelona and the fans of the club, and it was one of--if not the greatest--rivalry games between these two sides ever. It had everything, saves, goals, great plays, controversy, and of course the dramatic ending.

 The 3-2 win put Barcelona tied with Real Madrid atop La Liga standings with five games remaining. Barcelona still needs a Real Madrid stumble since Madrid has a game in hand, but nonetheless, Barcelona is in position to make a run at another league title due to a great team effort and a heroic performance by--as head coach Luis Enrique put it-- “the best player in the history of the game.”

Thursday, April 6, 2017

The process has stalled

Lear Asplundh
Staff Writer

After many believed Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid would team up post All-Star break, bad news seemed to swarm the Sixers. After a Feb. 23 scan on Ben Simmons broken foot showed a setback, many Sixers fans grew unhappy. During a Jan. 27 game vs the Houston Rockets, Joel Embiid suffered a knee injury. Bryan Colangelo, President of the Philadelphia 76ers, reported false information that Embiid would be day to day following his injury scare vs the Rockets. A report came out that Embiid will likely have knee surgery during the offseason. Embiid will once again be sidelined the rest of the season.

 During Embiid’s time playing he did look promising, averaging 20 points and 7 rebounds per game. Many were hopeful that he would potentially lead the Sixers to the playoffs, but after minute restrictions and injuries Embiid only got to play in around 20 games the whole season. While on the court, Sixers fans were as loud as during the team’s 2012 run to the playoffs. Sixers fans are furious after the false news by Colangelo that Embiid was day-to-day. Colangelo has lied to the fans many times and fans seem to be done with it. Although it may seem Sixers fans are losing hope, they are still confident in the upcoming draft and offseason to form a championship caliber team.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Girls’ Lax hopeful about 2017 season

Shayna Berman
Stella Kelley
Laura Nagg
Staff Writers

The girls’ lacrosse season is one of the most anticipated times of the school year; players look forward to it from the beginning of the year. With a new JV coach, Rory Yerkes, and several new students joining the team, this year is guaranteed to be exciting and fun, and hopefully successful.
 The girls’ first game of the season, scheduled for March 21, was canceled due to field conditions after the snow storm. While some girls were upset about this, it gave new players some more time to practice and figure out where they belong on the field. Their next game took place at the end of that week, on Friday the 24. Unfortunately, the girls could not pull out a win with a tough loss against Upper Moreland, but it will definitely give the girls motivation to work hard and be prepared for the next game.
 Junior player Riley Brennan claims that she is “really excited for the rest of the season and cannot wait to get outside to play on the actual field.” Along with most of the other junior and senior players, she has been part of the team with Coach Dougherty since freshman year, and a strong bond is definitely present.
 Senior captain Victoria Kalinovich took a break from lacrosse for a few years, but last year she decided to dive right back in. She proves to be a strong leader and uplifts the team, as voted captain by the team last May. This spring will be her final sports season at New Hope, and she reflected on her career by saying: “I love it! I really do love it! I love the people, the sport, the bus rides, the coach, the family-feeling! It’s a great environment to be part of and I’m so glad I get to finish my career in high school sports on this team. I love everything!”
 Betsy Dougherty, the team’s fearless and passionate coach, who played on the Penn State Women's Lacrosse Team, and on the World Cup team for three consecutive years, has been the head coach for the past three seasons and assistant for the year prior. In anticipation of the season and team, Dougherty states: “I definitely see a lot of potential for this team. It is a rebuilding year with our strong seniors from last year gone, but everyone this year is pretty much at the same level and we can grow and advance together. Although there are no real shining stars on our team there’s plenty of skill that can be built upon.”

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

NBA Draft Preview

Kyle Lynch and David Shonis
Staff Writers

The 2017 NBA Draft is three months away and the biggest news surrounding the draft is who will be selected 1st overall. Notable 1st overall selections in the past drafts were: Blake Griffin, Kyrie Irving, Derrick Rose, Anthony Davis, Patrick Ewing, LeBron James, Tim Duncan, and the great Hakeem Olajuwon. There were some players though who did not live up to the expectations of performing at a high level who were drafted #1, but there is always excitement surrounding the draft. With the 2017 NBA Draft rapidly approaching, some notable top players in the upcoming draft include Markelle Fultz from Washington, Lonzo Ball from UCLA, Jayson Tatum from Duke, Jonathan Isaac from Florida State, Josh Jackson from Kansas, Malik Monk from Kentucky and Dennis Smith from NC State. Many of these top prospects happen to be freshman, and getting drafted into the NBA at the age of 18 as a freshman is a pretty big deal. Throughout the season these highly-skilled freshmen players continue to thrive.
Every month there seems to be another upperclassman player breaking out each month. With the 2017 NBA draft nearing, NBA teams looking to acquire first round picks include the Portland Trail Blazers, Brooklyn Nets and the Los Angeles Lakers after acquiring them at this past trade deadline. The NBA Mock Draft suggests that the Boston Celtics should pick up Markelle Fultz, freshman PG from Washington. Fultz offers more firepower as well as a potential future all star. Fultz would fit in well with the team and would be able to give Boston’s general manager more options. The Phoenix Suns could benefit tremendously from UCLA PG Lonzo Ball. This season they stand at 18 wins with no definite identity. Ball would be a crucial addition to the team and would promote ball movement and quick decisions.
As we look later on in the draft, teams such as Atlanta, San Antonio and Toronto will be looking to add to their arsenal of star players in an attempt to have more depth for when the playoffs roll around. Isaiah Hartenstein from Germany is getting many looks because of his big 6’ 11” frame, and he can be a threat down low. Atlanta is in desperate need of a big man to pair up with Dwight Howard so Hartenstein would be the ideal fit for the Hawks. Toronto may look to add some shooters to surround their star point guard, Kyle Lowry. Luke Kennard from Duke looks to be a great asset to the Raptors in an attempt to compete with the higher shooting teams in the league like Cleveland and Boston. San Antonio is in the hunt every year for a title and ranks usually at the top of the Western Conference but lack big men in the backcourt with rebounding and has costed them big games down the stretch of the playoffs. The Spurs will have their eyes on Johnathan Motley from Baylor, Cam Oliver from Nevada, and Tony Bradley from North Carolina. All of these men bring height and aggressiveness to the court and may get the Spurs deeper in the playoffs. The NBA Draft is almost here and questions will be answered as to what teams will draft the best and worst and most importantly, who will be #1?

Barcelona pulls off improbable Champions League comeback vs. PSG

Thomas Muzekari
Staff Writer

They were down and out. They needed to do something special. FC Barcelona needed to come back from four goals down after losing 4-0 to PSG in Paris in the first leg of the round of 16 back on Feb. 14. On Mar. 8 in the second leg, Barcelona dug themselves out of the hole in incredible fashion, winning at home 6-1, giving the squad a 6-5 win on aggregate and completing the greatest comeback in Champions League history.
 Barcelona stayed calm, both head coach Luis Enrique and the players. Before the second leg, Enrique said: “We have to be optimistic and we are.” Andres Iniesta said the team “must believe” and that they could cause the French side problems in the second leg. The team remained positive and didn’t lose their composure.
 Barcelona started the game off brilliantly as Luis Suarez scored a goal in just the 3rd minute. Then, near the end of the first half, in the 40th minute, Iniesta got a touch on a ball from Suarez in a dangerous area, sending it across the face of goal. The ball then deflected off PSG defender Layvin Kurzawa and into the goal for an own goal. With a 2-0 halftime lead, Barcelona was still down 4-2 on aggregate. In the 50th minute, Neymar was taken down in the box by a tumbling PSG defender, and then Lionel Messi buried the penalty kick, putting Barcelona up 3-0 and within a goal on aggregate.
 However, the Spanish club suffered a setback in their comeback quest when Edinson Cavani struck for PSG in the 62nd minute. This was vital, because it gave PSG an away goal, so a tie on aggregate would put PSG through to the next round. Barca went from needing one goal to tie it to needing three goals to avoid being knocked out of the competition.
 Time kept ticking and seemingly running out on Barcelona until Neymar’s free kick goal in the 88th minute gave the team another glimmer of hope. The match reached the 90th minute and the signal went up for five added minutes of stoppage time. Another penalty was given for Barcelona in the 91st minute after Suarez went to ground in the box, and things got really interesting as Neymar finished.
 At this point with a 5-5 tie on aggregate, PSG would have gone through with the away goal. So Barcelona, in a tense last few minutes, kept pushing, trying to provide one more touch of brilliance. Desperate, they pushed everyone forward, sending goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen upfield for a free-kick. On the free-kick the ball was headed out of the box but right back to Neymar, who chipped another floating ball that Sergi Roberto got on the end of and volleyed home with the outside of the foot. This 95th minute goal put Barcelona up 6-1 in the game and 6-5 on aggregate, and it sent the Camp Nou into a frenzy. Fans went wild, the players celebrated, and Luis Enrique ran around in joy.

 Just seconds after PSG resumed play, the referee blew his whistle. Four goals down. Then needing three goals in seven minutes. Barcelona did it. It was the end to a euphoric, historic comeback on a magical night at the Camp Nou.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Dissecting the UNC-Duke Rivalry

Thomas Muzekari
Staff Writer

The North Carolina and Duke rivalry is arguably the best rivalry in basketball. The two schools are just ten miles down what is known as Tobacco Road from each other. Both the Tar Heels and the Blue Devils obviously have great history, both being among the top five winningest programs in men’s college basketball history, and the two schools have had many exciting games against each other. Every time they play, the anticipation is immense, because of the great players, great coaches, and the overall historic significance of the programs and the rivalry itself.
 Roy Williams’ Tar Heels are 25-5 overall and have a 13-3 record and the lead in the ACC standings. The scoring for Carolina is led by Justin Jackson, who averages 18.8 points a game and Joel Berry II, who averages 14.8 points a game. Inside, Carolina is stout with their size, athleticism, and rebounding, led by Kennedy Meeks and Isaiah Hicks.
 Meanwhile, Coach Krzyzewski’s Blue Devils are 22-7 overall and tied for fifth place in the league with a 10-6 record in ACC play. Duke is led by guards Luke Kennard and Grayson Allen, as well as Jayson Tatum. Kennard leads the team in points per game with 19.9, Allen averages 15.0, and Tatum 16.1.

 Duke and UNC already met once this year back on Feb. 9 at Cameron Indoor Stadium when the Blue Devils won 86-78 in front of their home fans. The two schools will meet again for their last game of the regular season on Mar. 4 at UNC. These games are always intense. Right now, Carolina currently holds a two game lead over the next spot in the standings, and Duke can’t catch them with just two games left. However, the rivalry game could alter seeding for the ACC tournament and could be significant leading up to Selection Sunday on Mar. 12.