By Liam Day
Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Emmitt Smith, Roger Staubach. All of these greats have one thing in common, the prestigious award of the Hall of Fame enshrinement into Canton, Ohio. Most people wouldn't even know of these athletes if there wasn't a Pro Football Hall of Fame. This year, there will be multiple first ballot Hall of Famers to to take the final step to greatness. I will be naming the five greats that should be announced this coming August.
Among the final 15 players to be inducted, only five will be chosen this year. A few first ballot Hall of Fame defensive players should already have their spot reserved. These two are considered to be the scariest linebackers of all time. Ray Lewis played his whole career with the Baltimore Ravens, bringing them two Lombardi trophies, two Defensive Player of the Year awards, and 13 Pro Bowl appearances. He has been an inspiration in the league by his speeches, his most famous being, “Wins and losses come a dime a dozen. But effort, nobody can judge that...because effort is between you and you.” The other fearsome backer is Brian Urlacher. He was also a 13 year loyal team member for the Chicago Bears. He earned himself multiple awards including Defensive Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, eight Pro Bowls and has the Bears franchise record for all-time tackles.
The only offensive player in my opinion that should have a red carpet waiting for him in Canton is wide-receiver, Randy Moss. When it comes to greatness, Moss has everything you could possibly ask for. He has the third most 1,000 receiving yard seasons, the record for most touchdowns in a season, six Pro Bowls, and has implanted his name in the Minnesota Vikings’ Ring of Honor. New York Times Sports Writer, Victor Mather said, “New nominees always tend to have an edge, and Moss and Lewis look particularly compelling.” Not to mention he has established his own signature move called, “getting Mossed.” He now has his own segment on SportsCenter where he highlights the week's best “Mosses”. Glenelg High School Sophomore, Nate Swales pointed out, “People don't even realize that he was the one who created that term when they use it. He’s 100% a Hall of Famer.” Randy Moss deserves to be a first ballot Hall of Famer without a doubt, but there are a few players that aren't so sure they will take their final step this year.
Now that I’ve given my obvious picks for this years inductees, only two more spots remain and 12 other players to choose from. One of my picks is Eagles Safety, Brian Dawkins. Dawkins has made it to nine Pro Bowls in his 15 year career. Quarterback, Donovan Mcnabb was a long-time teammate of Dawkins and he simply stated, “Dawkins played during the same time period as Troy Polamalu, Ed Reed, and before Eric Berry, who’s only played five full seasons by the way, and is measurably better than all of them.” With almost 40 interceptions and over 1,000 tackles, Brian Dawkins statline alone should compare to those of a HOF safety. GHS Freshman, Greg D'Ascenzo, said, “Brian Dawkins is a top five all time Safety, he could literally do everything.” He is also the only safety in NFL history to have 25 or more interceptions, sacks, and fumble recoveries. Taking a look at the less glamorous positions, one of the more important aspects of a Hall of Famer that is overlooked is consistency over a long career. Offensive guard, Steve Hutchinson, did this over a 13 year career earning him seven trips to the Pro Bowl and being on the NFL All-Pro team five times. Although offensive lineman struggle to make in these inductions with not many stats to look at, Hutchinson was a top tier linemen for his whole career.
The Hall of Fame induction often has one pick that shocks the crowd. Assuming that doesn't happen this year, these five players should be enshrined this coming August.
By Philip Johnson
Was that a game or what? The Alabama Crimson Tide and the Georgia Bulldogs put on a performance for the ages in the College Football Championship. The two powerhouses did battle in Atlanta on January 8th, and what a spectacle it was. A 26-23 overtime victory for the Tide delivered head coach, Nick Saban, his sixth National Championship, this being his fifth with Alabama. Several players delivered critical plays in this iconic game. For two teams that heavily rely on the run, all the headlines after the game were about the quarterbacks. Two true freshmen led their teams and turned what many thought would be a boring slugfest into one of the most exciting games ever played. While a championship game is always the focal point of a season, what happened in Atlanta was a classic that no one saw coming.
For the Tide, it was their sixth trip to the National Championship in the last nine years. Winning made them the fastest any team has won five championships since 1936! The Tide were coming off a dominant 24-6 revenge win in the Sugar Bowl over the Clemson Tigers. The Tigers defeated the Tide in the last second of last year's championship. For Saban, he would be facing off against one of his former assistants in Georgia coach Kirby Smart. However, Smart brought a better team against the Tide than any of Saban's former assistants. Unfortunately for Smart, Saban was 11-0 against his former assistants and this victory made that 12-0.
The Bulldogs were coming off a thrilling 54-48 win over the Oklahoma Sooners in the Rose Bowl a week earlier, and were making their first Championship game appearance since 1980. Smart, in his second year as head coach, rode his two headed monster of a backfield in Sony Michel, and Nick Chubb to the tune of a 13-2 record. But coming into the game, Smart and the Bulldogs knew that with Alabama’s stout defense they would have to put the game on the shoulders of Freshman quarterback Jake Fromm; who delivered a solid performance throwing for 232 yards and a touchdown. However, an errant throw on 3rd and 3 late in the fourth quarter gave the Tide the ball back, which lead to their game tying touchdown. “The big stage that Fromm was on might have gotten into his head,” said Glenelg football player Cory Wilson. With the loss comes the ends of the careers for Sony Michel and Nick Chubb who were statistically the second best running back duo in college football history. But with very impressive performances from running back De’andre Swift, Jake Fromm, and receiver Riley Ridley, things are looking up for the Bulldogs future.
Trailing 13-0 at halftime, Saban made the bold move to switch quarterbacks. Jalen Hurts, a Sophomore who was the starter and has a 25-2 record as the Tide’s QB was playing poorly and his run first mentality played right into the hands of what Georgia wanted. Backup Tua Tagovailoa was handed the reigns and proceeded to put himself in the annals of college football history. Some already knew Tagovailoa would be great. Glenelg football player Chris Barlow said, “I watched him in the spring game and he was the best player on the field.It was just a matter of time before he showed the world what he could do”. The left handed gunslinger from Hawaii threw for 166 yards and three touchdowns including the game winner. Midway through the 3rd, Tagovailoa faced a 3rd and 8 with the Tide desperately needing a score. He pulled a Houdini act as he scrambled to his right, broke four tackles, reversed field and ran for the first down. All the effort paid off later in the drive when he hit another Freshman, receiver Henry Ruggs, for a 16 yard touchdown. Late in the fourth quarter, on 4th and 4, he found Junior receiver Calvin Ridley in the back of the end zone for the game tying score. Tagovailoa was an afterthought coming into Monday night in Atlanta. But there he was, in overtime, throwing a 41-yard walk-off touchdown to DeVonta Smith.
The win gave Nick Saban his 6th championship tying him with former Alabama coach Bear Bryant for the most all time. However, almost anyone will admit Saban has now surpassed Bryant. After a season riddled with injury at every position, and being down double digits in the championship with a Freshman at the helm. The Tide still pulled through. College football fans have been spoiled the last few years with dramatic championship games and storybook endings. But what the Tide and the Bulldogs did in Atlanta will be remembered forever.
By Alex Long
Pyeongchang, South Korea will be hosting the 2018 Winter Olympic games beginning on February 9 and ending February 25. The Winter Olympics began all the way in 1924 where they were first hosted in Chamonix, France. The first games only features twelve events spread across six sports. Of the three hundred athletes, only thirteen were women and they were all figure skaters. Needless to say, the olympics have come a long way to today.
Noteworthy this year is that Russia will not be participating in this year. The decision to bar Russia from the Winter games was made after the alleged state-sponsored cover up of doping up it’s athletes came to light. Although the International Olympic Committee’s reports said that they had not found any evidence that the Kremlin was aware of the coverup, the athletes are not allowed to compete under the nation’s symbols. Some of the Russian athletes will still be able to compete however, just under the neutral Olympic flag.
The International Olympic Committee has added some new events to the games this year. They have added big-air snowboarding, freestyle skiing, mass-start speed skating, and mixed doubles curling. Senior Jared Rezeppa says, “The new events are great, but I would still like to see Synchronized Skating added.” As it would add a cool element to skating that most people haven't seen before. This means that the 2018 Winter Olympics will have one hundred events in seven sports in total.
This year, the medals have been designed by Lee Suk-woo, a South Korean designer. The medals showcase a design based off of tree trunks, and 3D letters from the Korean alphabet. Junior Delaney Smith, an Art 4 AP student says that the medals are, “sleek and cool.” They are a minimalistic design that has never been done before. The mascot is a white tiger named Soohorang and has great value to Korean history and culture as a guardian. According to the Olympic Games website, “Sooho” means protection and symbolizes the protection offered to the athletes and other participants of the games. “Rang” comes from the Korean word for “tiger” and is also the last letter of a traditional folk song from the Gangwon Province, where the games are hosted. The website says, “Soohorang not only has a challenging spirit and passion, but is also a trustworthy friend who protects the athletes, spectators and all the participants of the Olympic Games.” Choosing a mascot with guardianship qualities was important as there are safety concerns regarding the fact that South Korea is so close to North Korea.
Many countries have threatened to withdraw from the games due to the concerns, in response to the threat, South Korea is stepping up their security before the games, and according to ABC News, has already deported at least 17 foreigners who could have posed a terrorist threat to the games. Overall, everyone is excited for a safe, challenging Winter Games.
By Garrett Athey
The 2017-2018 National Football League season has officially ended and it is now time for the playoffs. The top six teams from both the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC) will compete against each other. The teams from the National Football Conference include the Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings, Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers, and Atlanta Falcons. The American Football Conference teams are the New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, Tennessee Titans, and Buffalo Bills. Their ultimate goal is to reach the Super Bowl and win the championship.
The first game of the playoffs was the Tennessee Titans, a wildcard team, at the Kansas City Chiefs. Tennessee finished the season with a 9-7 record and second in the AFC South. The team was led by quarterback Marcus Mariota and running back DeMarco Murray. However, Murray was not be able to play against the Chiefs due to a knee injury he sustained. The Chiefs on the other hand clinched the AFC West title and got home field advantage for the first round. Quarterback Alex Smith had one of his best seasons this year and got help from rookie sensation Kareem Hunt who was dominant at running back. Kansas City also had a good season this year which helped them end with a record of 10-6. Tennessee ended up beating the Chiefs after coming back from an 18 point deficit. The Titans will go on to face the Patriots in New England for the second round.
The Atlanta Falcons, another wildcard team, were in Los Angeles against the Rams for the second game of the playoffs. Atlanta finished third in the NFC South behind the Saints and Panthers and had a 10-6 record. The Falcons are looking to return to the Super Bowl after losing last year to the New England Patriots. The team is led by last year’s MVP quarterback Matt Ryan and star receiver Julio Jones. On the other side of the field was the Rams who clinched the NFC West along with home field advantage for the first round. The Rams had star running back Todd Gurley, who had a MVP caliber season, lead them to the playoffs. On the defensive side, the Rams had defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who is almost impossible for anyone to stop. However, the Rams did not have enough to beat the Falcons and lost the game to Atlanta, who will go on to play the Eagles in Philadelphia for the second round.
The next game of the playoffs was the Buffalo Bills at Jacksonville to face off against the Jaguars. The Bills have not made the playoffs in seventeen years, but finished behind New England in the AFC East with a 9-7 record, clinching a playoff spot. The Bills have quarterback Tyrod Taylor and running back LeSean McCoy to thank for their success. The Jaguars are looking to beat Buffalo though as they face a similar playoff drought. Jacksonville has not been to the playoffs since 2007, but they won the AFC South title this season and finished with a record of 10-6. The Jaguars have an outstanding defense that shuts down their opponent, and a fantastic rookie running back in Leonard Fournette. Jacksonville earned a victory over the Bills and will travel to Pittsburgh in the next round to battle against the Steelers.
The final game of the first round of the playoffs included the Carolina Panthers at the New Orleans Saints. These two teams are division rivals, but New Orleans finished ahead of Carolina and clinched the NFC South title this season. Carolina took second place but finished the season with the same record as the Saints at 11-5. The Panthers are always relying on quarterback Cam Newton who was a previous MVP of the league and carries the team to victory more often than not. The Saints have their star quarterback, Drew Brees, to thank for their successes as well. Brees is always breaking records and winning games, but this year he had some help on offense with the team’s amazing rookie running back, Alvin Kamara. New Orleans was able to get the win against the Panthers and will face off against the Vikings in Minnesota for the second round of the playoffs.
As for Super Bowl favorites, decisions are split as to who will win the big game. Some feel that the AFC will win the championship, like Senior Austin Steckler who said, “The Patriots will win because Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback of all time and no one can stop him.” The Patriots are last year's Super Bowl champions and are favored to return this year because they kept a majority of the players from last year. Not to mention that the AFC is thought to be pretty weak this year in terms of the teams that are in contention. Others believe the NFC is destined to win the Super Bowl this year, like Senior Calvin Geisbert who said, “Minnesota will win the championship because of their great defense.” The Vikings have one of the best defenses in the NFL that constantly causes problems for opposing offenses. All in all, the Super Bowl will be a spectacular event for all to enjoy, whether it be for the game, or the always funny Super Bowl commercials.
By Liam Day
After one-and-a-half seasons as the New York Giants head coach, Ben McAdoo has been fired as of December 4th immediately following the Giants’ tenth loss of the season. The decision was foreshadowed by the Giants after McAdoo benched two-time Superbowl MVP Eli Manning. While most fans were upset by this, some believed that it needed to happen. Sophomore Justin Robertson said that “Eli’s career is over, he has been overrated as a starter for the last five years.” Along with McAdoo, general manager, Jerry Reese, was fired simultaneously as he has not drafted a truly successful player since Odell Beckham Jr in 2014. Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo will take over as head coach at least for the remainder of the season.
The obvious question being asked by fans is why not just wait until the end of the season? The decision wasn't made to alter the outcome of the disappointing season for the Giants, but more to appease fans infuriated with the direction the team was going and the benching of their franchise quarterback Eli Manning. John Mara told the media following the decision on Monday that, “We [Steve Tisch and Mara] agreed that wholesale changes needed to be made to this organization to get us back to the team that we expect to be. We also agreed that it was pointless to wait any longer to make these changes.” Waiting any longer would have resulted in empty stadiums for the remaining three home games.
McAdoo was successful and the Giants had no intention of finding a new coach after the Giants finished 11-5 in the previous season. Despite a first round loss, the drafting of speedy tight end, Evan Engram, and signing of Pro Bowl receiver, Brandon Marshall, the Giants had been projected to greatly improve on their lacking offense from 2016. They were even often mentioned as favorites to take a trip to the SuperBowl. Huge NFL fan, Nate Swales said, “The Giants and the Steelers were my Superbowl pick.” Giants fans along with the rest of the NFL were shocked to see the outcome of the 2017 season. Left with no excuses for such a disappointing season, McAdoo was obviously not getting the job done in New York. Stephen A. Smith, a reporter for ESPN, agreed with the firing, lashing out on Mcadoo in saying, “He has vacillated between incompetent, unprofessional, laughable and then some. The manner in which he has conducted himself and this franchise has been far less than stellar.” Many of Mcadoo's in-game decisions were poor as well. Running the ball countless times of third and long and giving up games when they went down early infuriated fans leading to surges of “BOOOS” throughout Metlife Stadium.
While the Giants’ season at this point is beyond over, the final few games will determine what direction the team will take entering the 2018 offseason.
By Mason Steinberg
If you ask the average NFL fan who the best team is in the AFC there is not much debate. Senior Ryan Davis said, “ It’s the Patriots or Steelers, no doubt.”The Patriots are the model of consistency for the NFL; they have won their division thirteen out of the last fiveteen seasons. They have also won two out of the last three Super Bowls, and the last three matchups with the Steelers. The Steelers have the most explosive offense in the league with the top running back Le'veon Bell and top receiver Antonio Brown. Senior Garrett Mills agreed with Davis, “Anyone can beat anyone, but I’d say the Steelers or Patriots have the best shot of winning it all”. However, neither team has been dominant with the Steelers barely squeaking by the lowly Indianapolis Colts and the Patriots losing to the Miami Dolphins. This opens the door for a surprise team to win the AFC. While the two favorites are established, there is much debate over who the most dangerous team is.
The hottest team in the league is the L.A Chargers, who have won four straight games. They have an elite quarterback in Phillip Rivers and a strong defense headlined by pass rusher Melvin Ingram and cornerback Casey Hayward. The Chargers look like they will win the AFC West and no team will want to face them in the playoffs. The Jacksonville Jaguars have the best secondary in the league, led by brash cornerback Jalen Ramsey who is rated the number two corner in the league by Pro Football Focus. While many insiders around the league continue to doubt them, they continue to defeat elite competition such as the Steelers and Seahawks.
The Baltimore Ravens have one of the elite defenses in the league, they have shutout their opponents three different times this year. Only four other teams in NFL history have accomplished this feat, and three of them have won the Superbowl. They also have inconsistent quarterback Joe Flacco, who when playing well, can lead his team to a championship like he did in 2012. The NFL playoffs are extremely unpredictable and the whole country will be on edge as they watch who will come out champion.
By Garrett Athey & Reagan Ahlquist
The college football season has come to an end, so bowl games are starting up. While the top four teams include Alabama, Oklahoma, Georgia, and Clemson battle which will play in the championship games, other outstanding teams will also compete in bowl games, which are held for teams that had an exceptional season to compete against each other in the postseason. Some of the most intriguing games this year include the Peach Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, Orange Bowl, and Cotton Bowl. These games will feature the teams that had great seasons, but were just short of reaching the playoffs.
The Peach Bowl has No. 7 Auburn competing against No. 12 Central Florida taking place in Atlanta, Georgia. Auburn had three losses all season, but one was in the Southeastern Conference Championship against Georgia. The loss to Georgia dropped them down below the top four teams and out of playoff contention. However, Auburn did defeat previously undefeated Alabama during the regular season, proving they are capable of defeating any team. On the other side, Central Florida finished off their undefeated season after winning the American Athletic Conference Championship against Memphis. Some fans feel that Central Florida was snubbed by the committee because they never lost a game this season, but were not selected to play in the playoffs. Although Central Florida was undefeated, they had a pretty easy schedule and never faced a top ten team all season. They also had some close wins against easy opponents which kept them out of the playoffs. Senior Connor Hughes said, “Auburn will win because they have more losses, but they played harder teams and had more quality wins.” Auburn will have a better chance at winning the game as long as their standout running back Kerryon Johnson who was the SEC Offensive Player of the Year.
The Fiesta Bowl features No. 9 Penn State against No. 11 Washington who will battle it out in Arizona. Penn State had a good season, only losing two games to Big Ten rivals Ohio State and Michigan State. They were led by star running back, Saquon Barkley, who had a breakout season and was considered to win the Heisman. On the other hand, Washington also lost two games to Pac-12 rivals Arizona State and Stanford. Quarterback Jake Browning has been the successful leader of this Washington team, leading them to a bowl game this year and the playoffs last year. As for who will win, Senior Brenden Rose said, “Penn State because Saquon Barkley is an absolute monster who will lead his team to victory.” Washington will put up a good fight for Penn State and the game will be a joy to watch.
No. 6 Wisconsin will be facing No. 10 Miami for this year’s Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. Wisconsin finished the regular season with a record of 11-1, and their only loss was to Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship game. Wisconsin was led by their defense, which was the best in total defense. Down South, the “U” is back, as for the first time since 2013, Miami is ranked again. Miami leads all of college football in turnovers, thanks to their new motivation with their turnover chain. Wisconsin is favored in this matchup by -5.5 odds according to OddsShark, but many analysis will not be surprised if Miami pulls off the upet.
No. 5 Ohio State will be facing off against No. 8 University of Southern California (USC) in this year’s Cotton Bowl taking place in Texas. The Ohio State Buckeyes were controversially not included in the college football playoffs after finishing the season 11-2, including a victory in the Big Ten Championship. USC finished with a record of 11-2, led by standout quarterback, Sam Darnold, who is a projected first round draft pick if he decides to leave. This game will be a tough matchup for both teams, but Ohio State should have the upper hand according to Glenelg Senior Austin Steckler who said, “Ohio State is the better team. They should have made the playoffs and were overall dominate all year.” This game will be an exhilarating match between two quality teams as they battle to take home the hardware for the Cotton Bowl.
When the college football season coming to an end, fans have some exciting bowl games to look forward to. These eight teams will be battling for their last game of the season, and for some players, the last game of their careers.
By Matt Lipp and Tyler Curtiss
Fans all over the country anticipated the selection of the four teams who would participate in the College Football Playoffs (CFB) after an exciting Week 14 full of high leverage conference championship games. Week 14’s contained a couple of great matchups that acted like quarter finals for the playoff scenario. The Clemson Tigers had a commanding win over the University of Miami to secure the top spot in the playoffs. Quarterback Kelly Bryant and the dominant front seven of Clemson’s defense once again showed teams that they were going to be tough to dethrone. The Oklahoma Sooners led by Heisman Trophy winner, Quarterback Baker Mayfield, made another statement with their potent offense. The “Boomer Sooners” earned the number two seed with a 12-1 record. The third spot in the playoffs was another easy pick after the Georgia Bulldogs pummeled the previously second seeded Auburn Tigers. Glenelg High School Senior Mike Wilson said “ Georgia is built for a postseason run. They can pound the ball down defenses throats.” The new look Bulldogs led by Freshman Quarterback Jake Fromm came out of nowhere this year and now have a chance to make the Championship with one more upset.
After the first three spots, controversy began to spring up when choosing between a handful of quality teams to finish out the final four. There were three teams with a solid case to play in the Sugar Bowl against the Clemson Tigers: the Alabama Crimson Tide, the Ohio State Buckeyes, and the UFC Knights. The dynasty of Alabama built by Coach Nick Saban finished the season 11-1 but did not make the SEC Championship Game. The Ohio State Buckeyes lost two games during the season but then dominated the undefeated Wisconsin Badgers in the Big Ten Championship. The third team that had a shot at the playoffs was a surprising UCF team that ran the table and finished 12-0. Senior Bill Creslin believes “After the season that UCF put together, they should be rewarded with a spot in the playoffs.” Two prestigious schools and a non power five underdog awaited their fate from the Playoff Selection Committee. The announcement finally came and Alabama was chosen as the fourth and final team. For Alabama, they got their chance to continue their recent string of dominance but for OSU and UCF, they will only get to play one more bowl game. Many fans around the world reacted to the announcement and argued that Ohio State had the better resume for the final four. There was plenty of high drama surrounding the selection of the CFP teams.
This could be a very special College Football Playoffs. Four elite teams will fight for the glory of a National Championship. Clemson will hope to defend last year’s National Title when they take on Alabama for a third year in a row, and Oklahoma will try and prove that they are the real deal when taking on the Georgia Bulldogs. All of the drama will unfold on December 31st. The College Football world can not wait for what should be a high energy fight between four great squads.
By Liam Day
On November 7th, three UCLA basketball players were arrested in China for shoplifting. One of these stars was once the face of Chino Hills basketball after his brother, Lonzo Ball, went on to be drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers. LiAngelo Ball and his teammates, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley, walked into not one, but three different stores and stole multiple pairs of Louis Vuitton sunglasses. They were then arrested and rather than being held in a prison, they were confined to their hotel room while the incident was further investigated.
After being held in China for almost a week, President Donald Trump happened to be on a trip to China originally to discuss trade with Chinese President Xi Jinping. After their meeting, he was able to convince President Jinping to allow the young players to return to the US and he apologized for their unacceptable actions. They returned home on November 14th and were swarmed by reporters with questions.
The incident intensified when the father of the well-known Ball Brothers, Lavar Ball, refused to give thanks or any credit to President Trump in saying, “Don't come in one time and think you did something for my son, I don't have to go around saying thank you to everybody.” He was ridiculed by reporters simply because without the help of the President, the three athletes would likely be sitting in a Chinese jail right now. His words quickly found their way to President Trump's attention and he responded harshly by tweeting, “Now that the three basketball players are out of China and saved from years in jail, LaVar Ball, the father of LiAngelo, is unaccepting of what I did for his son and that shoplifting is no big deal. I should have left them in jail!”
President Trump gave his advice to the three boys by saying, “Go out and give a big Thank You to President Xi Jinping of China who made your release possible and, HAVE A GREAT LIFE! Be careful, there are many pitfalls on the long and winding road of life!”
After the students came out to the public with long thoughtful apologies in saying that they “Apologize for the negative attention we have brought to our University and our Country.” Ball, Hill, and Riley were suspended from UCLA basketball indefinitely. They will have to earn their respect and trust back from the rest of UCLA and the country if they have hopes of playing again.
By Tyler Curtiss
Roger Goodell is now in his eleventh year as commissioner of the National Football League. This year could be his last. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is pushing for other team owners to join together and get Goodell out of his spot. Goodell's contract was extended in 2012, but Jones has found out that there is a term in his contract that states that all 32 NFL teams need to approve an extension for it to be valid.
Jones already has fifteen owners on board with him and he is not stopping there. Millions of fans want Goodell out of a job, considering the way he handled cases such as Ray Rice’s domestic violence, the Deflategate, and the Bountygate. Glenelg Senior Zach Odachowski had a strong opinion on Goodell’s actions, he exclaimed that “Roger Goodell is not fit to run the NFL!” The worst case was when he suspended Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady four games for having three footballs deflated during a playoff game in Indianapolis. Goodell suspended Brady with no evidence proving that he wanted the balls deflated. On the other end of the spectrum Goodell was criticized for not punishing the New Orleans Saints severely enough for the Bountygate. In that scandle, Saints coaches were offering rewards to players for hurting the opposing teams players. These are just two instances where Goodell infuriated people.
Jerry Jones in the one going after Goodell because he was shocked to find out that his star running back Ezekiel Elliott was suspended six games for alleged domestic violence. The punishment sounds fitting but it is not. The charges were dropped so there was no need for the NFL to take any action. Roger Goodell has made more enemies in his eleven years than he has made friends. It will not be a surprise if he doesn't have a job after the 2017-2018 NFL season.
By Matt Lipp
Coming off a huge upset win over River Hill, Glenelg was looking like a reborn team ready to make some noise in the postseason. A long trip to Thomas Stone High School was next for the Gladiators who looked to win their second straight Regional Title. Going into the game as underdogs again, Glenelg would have to pull off another upset to reach the game that only three Glenelg football teams have been before.
The game was pretty much dominated by Glenelg all night long by Glenelg in a 27-18 upset win. Huge turnovers by Seniors Tyler Curtiss and Seth Taylor set up the Gladiator offense with a short field in two of their four touchdown drives. Junior Quarterback Tyler Reiff found paydirt three times after being set up at the goal line each time from fellow Junior Wande Owens and Sophomore Kyle Dry. Owens was shaken up early in the game but little 120 pound Dry stepped up in a big way running the ball hard all night. The defense was the unit that really stepped up late in the season and once again they controlled the game.
Glenelg then had the ultimate test. They had to travel to Damascus High School to face a team that has won the last four Maryland 3A State Championships. They entered the game as 42 point underdogs and there was no surprises in this one. The Gladiators season was over after a 42-7 loss at the hands of the Hornets. After the tough loss, Senior Cory Willson said “We just faced an excellent team today. I definitely think we went as far as we could have. Nobody expected us to make it to this game.” It was a tough way to end a great season for Glenelg.
It really was a special season for a Glenelg team that was destroyed by injuries all year long. Before the season began, they lost Senior Garrett Mills who was a four year starter on Varsity. Mills eventually returned to action in Week 7 against Wilde Lake High School. “I’m definitely going to miss it a ton. It was 4 years of great memories that I will remember for a lifetime”, said Mills after his last career game. Junior Sam Alsheimer who could be a future D1 football player was lost for the season in the second quarter of the opening game against Howard High School. After losing their best player and being blown out in Week 1, it is remarkable that the Gladiators made it as far as they did.
By Garrett Athey
Recently audiences have been turned away from something that once united people all across the country. The NFL has recently been losing fans and is struggling to regain them. The ratings for games are low as fewer people are tuning into to watch them. Ticket sales have also taken a drop recently and fan attendance is low for all teams. NFL owners, as well as Commissioner Roger Goodell, are currently trying to find a solution to this rapidly growing problem.
The problem started to arise after the players’ on field protest during the national anthem. Many of the players decided to take a stand by taking a knee during the playing of the “Star Spangled Banner” instead of standing up like people are asked to. The athletes claim that they were fighting for equality in America by protesting the anthem. These acts of protests are still going on and many owners of NFL teams support the actions of the players. However, many others became very opposed to the antics of the players. President Donald Trump was one of the major individuals opposed to the protests and stated that the players who protest should be fired. Many fans felt similarly to the situation of the protests and felt the players were disgracing the flag and the soldiers who fought for it by not standing. To protest the protestors, fans stopped watching the games which has caused the NFL to decline in popularity and resulted in the league losing money.
The topic has people divided as to whether or not the NFL players are doing the right thing or if the NFL needs to make a change soon. Opinions against the protests are very strong as a lot of people feel like the players are dishonoring America. Senior Seth Taylor said, “If you cannot stand for the National Anthem and honor those that have fallen for your freedom, you should just leave.” Many believe not standing for the flag is disrespecting the soldiers who fought and died for the flag. This is the main reason why people are against the protests, as they feel their country is being hated on.
However, others have different feelings about the protests, Senior Jordan Taylor said, “They have the right to, but I do not think the players carried out the protests in the right way because it does seem like they are disrespecting the soldiers who fought.” The players do have the right to protest because of freedom of speech, therefore they can not be legally obligated to stand for the national anthem.
It is clear that the NFL has a problem on its hands and need to resolve the issue quickly before things get out of hand. If the NFL continues to carry on with these issues, there is no telling how much of a hole they will be in later on. For the business side part of the NFL, owners and the commissioner need to come together to find an answer.
By Mason Steinberg
Ninth graders committing to major division one Programs has become common place in this new era of lacrosse. This changed until last spring when the NCAA passed legislation to make it illegal to contact prospective lacrosse athletes until September 1st of their Junior year. Before this, many college coaches complained that they did not want to recruit kids so young. However, since all of the major programs were doing it, everyone had to as well so they did not fall behind. This became a vicious cycle because all of the coaches wanted to change the process, but they couldn’t be the first one to start the change.
This early recruitment caused many problems for both the colleges and the student athletes. Athletes were being pressured into committing to a college,where they will spend the four most important years of their life, before they had even finished one year of high school. The athletes also could have their scholarship offer rescinded if they did not develop into the type of player the college coaches wanted. Michael Doughty, a junior lacrosse player said, “ The change in the rules has made the recruiting process less stressful for me and I think it is great for the game of lacrosse”.
The problem for the college was if the early recruits didn’t develop then they were forced to look elsewhere, however most of the recruits were already committed to other places. The old process was causing hard working kids to lose their ability to fulfill their dreams and colleges with subpar players. All who were involved decided it was time for a change. “I’m pleasantly surprised,” Virginia men’s coach Lars Tiffany told US Lacrosse Magazine. “I didn’t think the NCAA would have the courage to pass a piece of legislation that is drastically different from the current state of affairs and is not easy to enforce.”
With the new recruiting rules, student athletes can focus on adjusting to high school and working on their game instead of having to worry about a decision that most people won’t have to make until they have almost finished high school. This will also allow the colleges to evaluate prospective athletes further and recruit the right players for their system. This will lead to an increase in the level of play which will attract more fans. Overall the changes will help lacrosse continue to be the fastest growing sport in America.
By Garrett Athey
The Heisman Trophy will be presented this year on December 9th to the best college football player. The award is given out every year since 1935 and can be given to an offensive or defensive player. Those who have won the award in the past typically go on to have great professional careers. Notable alumni of the trophy include O. J. Simpson, Bo Jackson, Barry Sanders, Charles Woodson, and Cam Newton. Last year, Sophomore Lamar Jackson from the University of Louisville won the trophy for his outstanding play. This year’s candidates include running back Saquon Barkley from Penn State, quarterback Baker Mayfield from Oklahoma, and running back Bryce Love from Stanford.
Saquon Barkley is an explosive player who has speed and is very strong for his position. He has helped Penn State become one of the best teams in the country with his play this year, leading to NFL teams taking a huge interest in him. As a running back, Barkley is arguably one of the best in the entire country. However, he is also a very talented receiving back, often making catches in the backfield for big plays. Additionally, Barkley is a good special teams returner who always is a threat to return kickoffs and punts for touchdowns. It is easy to see why Barkley is a favorite to win the Heisman after considering his play this season.
Another outstanding candidate, Baker Mayfield, is a dual threat quarterback that is always making big plays. Due to his play, Oklahoma is the number five team in the nation as they have only lost one game. Not only is Mayfield talented at throwing the ball, he is also a skilled runner with the ball and is not afraid to use his legs to make a play. This season he is second in the country in passing yards as well as total offense. This has led many professional teams to recruit Mayfield as he has become one of the top quarterbacks in the upcoming drafts. Mayfield has made a good case as to why he should win the Heisman this year.
Bryce Love is another fantastic running back who is well deserving of the Heisman honor. He currently leads all of college football in rushing yards this season. However, Love is an underrated candidate who is not being looked at seriously. Most of the reason for this lack of attention could be due to the fact that Stanford is not highly ranked. They currently have three losses but are still in second place in their conference. Love is just as deserving as both Barkley and Mayfield because of his play this season. He is a game changer in every game he has played in this season.
As for predictions of who the winner will be, Senior Brenden Rose said, “Saquon Barkley is [going to] win because of his ability to play multiple positions.” Barkley is big enough and skilled enough to play more than just a running back. He has proven to scouts that he is worthy of a first round pick in the draft. Barkley has also shown why he is deserving of the Heisman as he continues to dominate every opponent that faces him. However, others believe another candidate is more deserving of the award. Senior Aidan Sedlack said, “Baker Mayfield is [going to] win because he is putting up stats that no one can compete with.” Mayfield is putting up insane numbers this season, including a game against Oklahoma State in which he had 598 yards and five touchdowns. Any player with these statistics are worthy of winning the Heisman with ease. And as for Bryce Love, Senior Jordan Taylor said, “He has had the most consistent Heisman caliber season and is deserving of winning.” Leading the country in rushing will certainly help Love’s chances of winning it all.
The world will have to wait to see which candidate will come out victorious with the Heisman. This could possibly be one of the closest races in Heisman history. Whoever does win will have a great accomplishment to add to their resume and hopefully get the chance to play in the NFL. With each game, the players keep proving why the trophy should be theirs.
By Liam Day
Less than five minutes into the NBA season, it was a terrible time to be a Celtics fan. In fact, most NBA fans in general would have thought to erase the Celtics from their radar of teams that could stand in the way of Lebron in the Eastern Conference. An eventful offseason for Boston quickly lead to the signing of All-Star small forward Gordon Hayward. The entire Quicken Loans Arena was stunned after Hayward hit the floor awkwardly, immediately pointing to his ankle. As the replays begun showing on the jumbo-tron, fans placed their hands over their eyes, witnessing one of the most gruesome injuries in NBA history occur right at the peak of Hayward’s career. Despite the horrific loss, Boston has refused to let their season go.
Hayward immediately opened up to the fans about how he is feeling, "The Celtics organization has been just over the top in every aspect. They know I will not be back on the court at all this season, but they have been making sure I have every resource I need and are making me feel like I am a part of the team." (ESPN) Gordon Hayward made his first career All-Star game last year representing the Utah Jazz after he averaged a career-high 22 points per game. The Celtics signed him to a four-year 130 million dollar contract, and this wasn't even the highest offer he received. The Celtics believed with this addition, they had finally matched up with the Cavaliers, having traded former starter, and All Star guard Isaiah Thomas, for their superstar point guard, Kyrie Irving. Sophomore and NBA fan at Glenelg, Nathan Swales said, “Even without Hayward, the Cavs are too old to keep up with the Celtics young squad.” The starting five consisted of Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, Al Horford, Jaylen Brown, and Aron Baynes and average just 24 years old.
Two games into the season, Boston was 0-2 with losses to the one team they hoped to stop (the Cavaliers) and the Milwaukee Bucks. Only two games into the season and it seemed like the whole city of Boston had given up on the 2017 season. Sophomore and Boston Celtics fan Tristan Stepniak stated, “Now the Celtics are missing the one thing that is most important to stopping the Cavs, someone to slow down Lebron James.” However, Kyrie Irving took the initiative to lead his own team as he always wanted by leaving Cleveland. Averaging over 20 points per game he has sparked a 12-game winning streak with what seems like a team run by one big name. Boston looks to show the NBA that they better prepare themselves for a team to be the face of the NBA when Hayward returns healthy.
By Torin Alexander and Philip Johnson
Redundant. Jaded. Drawn out. Boring. The era of superteams has wholeheartedly taken over the NBA and because of it the NBA has become so predictable that even the most die-hard fans have a hard time watching the games. Dominance around the NBA is not a new topic. It's been dating back to the the late 70s, but in recent years it has affected the NBA so much that every team has to have at least three stars to contend. Whether its by trade or by a free agent signing, it seems inevitable to see a possible end to the madness. Especially after this offseason that included multiple huge names, like Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade, being traded or signing to a different team to possibly compete for a championship.
Now a superteam is where there are multiple All-Stars or superstars on one team. The most obvious example of this is the Golden State Warriors. They are the latest team in NBA history to have two MVPs on the same roster with both in their prime. Now the Warriors were already great, having won a championship in the 2014-2015 season and lost in game seven of the 2016 finals with the big three of Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson. However, when they got 2014 MVP Kevin Durant to sign with them in the 2015 offseason the whole dynamic of the NBA changed. The team people thought would destroy… did. Washington Wizards fan and Glenelg senior Eddie Leimbach confidently states, “They are killing the fun of watching basketball. I can tell you right now the Cavs and Warriors will be in the finals again. Some have compared this recent trend to another historic race for supremacy The Warriors had the best playoff record of any team ever when they only lost once en route to their second title in three years. They seemed unbeatable and were for most of the season. Well, it looks like everyone is following the same path because this season there’s been even more stacked rosters.
Whether it’s through trades or players signing on their own, the Warriors decimated the league many teams are taking the superteam route in hopes to compete with them. Although they made the playoffs last season and have the returning MVP, Russell Westbrook, the Oklahoma City Thunder knew they needed more firepower coming into this season. In the offseason the Thunder were able to acquire the amazing talent of Paul George. Adding the prolific scorer and solid defender was a great move in the right direction. But the even better move was trading for Carmelo Anthony later that summer. He brings veteran experience and the scoring needed that can take some of the load off Russell Westbrook's shoulders.
Around the NBA similar moves have been made. The Cleveland Cavaliers who felt the might of the super Warriors in the finals went out and picked up veterans Isaiah Thomas, Dwyane Wade, Jeff Green, and Derrick Rose in the offseason to try and match the weapons Golden State has. The Boston Celtics traded for Kyrie Irving and signed Gordon Hayward but lost Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder and Isaiah Thomas in the process. Thus proving the price to compete could cost you the core of your team. Many idolized athletes also have seen this new trend in forming superteams. In an interview, Michael Jordan states, “I think it’s going to hurt the overall aspect of the league from a competitive standpoint. You’re going to have one or two teams that are going to be great, and another 28 teams that are going to be garbage. Or they’re going to have a tough time surviving in the business environment.” Even though this superteam movement has put people's favorite players together, there are cons to every situation.
Though getting that report on your phone of some team acquiring another NBA talent is very enticing and entertaining, the NBA is going down a path that many fans are tired of. Many fans believe the suspense of the regular and postseason has completely vanished with so many great players all playing together, so much so it's easy to predict who will be in the NBA finals before the season even starts. . Glenelg senior and basketball player Mitchell Boswell shared a unique view on the situation when he said “the way teams are bringing superstars together it’s like the arms race in the cold war. Each team is trying to get bigger and better weapons to defeat the enemy”. Although it’s fresh and new to see multiple All-Stars playing on the same team, it’s fading fast and so is the people's interest.
Because both conferences are top heavy, meaning that there are about four powerhouse teams and the rest are adequate, it's really predictable of what is to happen once playoffs start. It’s even more predictable of what to see in the finals. Because of this never-ending saga of Cavs vs. Warriors in the finals, it's understandable why fans and critics alike feel like this new era of the superteam is just going to get worse and worse.
By Liam Day
The Chicago Cubs have once again found their way back to the National League Championship series in a rematch of from 2016 but is nowhere close to being identical. The Dodgers have established themselves as one of the most dominant teams to be assembled in a while, having won three more games than the defending champion Chicago Cubs won in 2016. However, with a lineup full of all the talent necessary to repeat, is it the Cubs fearing the Dodgers? Or the Dodgers fearing the Cubs?
The Cubs started off the season very slow with what was explained as a World Series hangover. Going into the All-Star game with a losing record and only one player on the All-Star roster. Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo were a no-show in comparison to last season. A Born Chicago Cubs fan, Tanner Malinowski said, “As long as Kris can find his stroke before playoff time, the Cubs will be fine.” However following the break, the Cubs went on a 7 game winning streak that set them right back on track. The second half of the season chicago went 49-25 to win the NL Central division by a longshot. Kris Bryant increased his average to batting nearly .300 along with 28 homers to lead the Cubs to the third seed in the National league.
Entering the playoffs, the Washington Nationals stood in the way of the defending champs with a better record of five games and home field advantage. The Cubs slowed up but relied on their pitchers to give them a 3-0 victory. Game 2 ended in a disappointing eighth inning after Carl Edwards gave up two homers that resulted in 5 runs giving up the lead. Game 3 was once again, an uneventful 2-1 win for the cubs that lead to a lack in bullpen depth in game 4 giving up 5 runs in a shutout loss to force game 5. Finally, the Cubs put together well rounded game in scoring 9 runs after going down 4-1 early in the second inning.
After four games of the NLCS, the Dodgers are up 3-1. Despite this deficit, the Dodgers have had their hands full. In each of the four games, the Cubs were leading going into the fifth inning. Chicago tribune reporter, David Haugh emphasized that “The Cubs will keep telling us that they were down 2-1 to the Dodgers in the NLCS last year and trailed the Indians 3-1 in the World Series and still rode in a championship parade down Michigan Avenue. It wouldn't be the first time the Cubs dug deep to come back from this deficit and its no doubt that they're thinking about repeating history against all odds.
By Garrett Athey
As the winter season approaches, the fall sports come to an end and the winter sports start up again. These sports include basketball, wrestling, hockey, indoor track, allied bowling, and winter cheer. The athletes who participate in these activities often have not played the sport since last winter season. Therefore, the question remains of how these athletes stay in shape throughout the long offseason.
It is easy for the athletes who participate in sports in the previous fall season to be ready as they have just come from a competitive sport. However, many of these athletes are not prepared for their upcoming sports, and they need to stay in shape to remain in the best condition to continue to be a contributing player to the team. Senior Varsity basketball player Jordan Taylor said, “Hydration is key. I drink lots of water and run a lot during the offseason to stay in shape.” The basketball team hopes to make a deep run into the playoffs and win the state championship this upcoming season. Not only that, players are expected to be in the best shape possible since the sport requires a high endurance and strength to beat the opponent. Coaches expect players to be in top shape and bring their all during the season so the team is the best it can be. Workouts held by coaches for winter sports also begin within the first couple weeks of school to help players prepare for the upcoming season. The workouts involve running for endurance and speed, as well as lifting in the weight room for strength.
Along with offseason workouts, many sports have summer leagues so that athletes can continue to compete in games during the offseason. Senior Varsity hockey player Dillon Skovron said, “There is a summer hockey league that a lot of players compete in. It keeps the players in shape while also keeping the team together through the offseason.” Summer is a good opportunity for athletes to stay in shape since school is no longer in session and they have more opportunity to work out. Some athletes even try to get bigger during the long offseason in order to better themselves for the upcoming season. Senior Varsity hockey player Calvin Geisbert said, “During the offseason I like to lift so I can get bigger for the hockey season.” Through lifting, athletes get stronger and put themselves in a better spot to be a better player next season. The hockey team hopes to win the Howard Cup again after being champions in 2015.
Physicality in not the only thing that matters when it comes to preparing for a sport, a lot for sports require a certain mentality to compete. Players must mentally prepare for the season, especially before games so they are in the right mindset. Geisbert said, “Before games I listen to a playlist I made of songs that will put me into the right state of mind. Then the team has stretches and warm ups to prepare for games.” Stretching, warm ups, and listening to music are all common practices among athletes when preparing mentally for games. With the right physical body and a right state of mind, all athletes will be ready to compete at a high level.
By using these methods, winter athletes stay in shape and continue to perform at a high level during their seasons. Coaches expect their athletes to be in the best shape possible for the season so the team can be ready to beat the competition. However, coaches also want to make sure that athletes do not get hurt during the offseason and discourage any players from participating in dangerous activities. Everyone is hoping for the Glenelg teams to do well, but only time will tell if their hard work paid off.
By Mason Steinberg
The 2017 World Series has featured some of the highest scoring games in World Series History. The two teams, the LA Dodgers and Houston Astros, are also hitting an unusual amount of home runs. The 24 home runs in six games has led to increased speculation about whether or not the World Series Baseballs have been altered so that more home runs would occur. Baseball has struggled tapping into the same audience that faster paced sports such as the NBA and the NFL have. The main complaints about the sport are that the games are too long and there is not enough scoring. This would give the MLB incentive to try to increase scoring and home runs.
Baseball had its largest audience in the 1990s which is called the Steroid Era because many players were using steroids to get stronger so they could hit more homeruns. After the MLB cracked down and increased testing for the drugs the home run numbers dropped, as did viewership. The MLB is aware that more Home Runs mean more fans, which caused speculation about the baseballs being altered during the World Series. Players from both teams in the World Series have added fuel to the fire by revealing in interviews that when doing a blindfold test where a blindfold is worn and a World Series Ball and a Regular Ball are placed in the player' hands. The purpose is to see if the player can actually feel a difference. “Lance McCullers took the blindfold test in the bullpen,” said Charlie Morton, Houston’s Game 4 starter, referring to another Astros pitcher. “He could tell which ball was which with his eyes closed. It’s that different.” The difference is the new baseballs are slicker and harder to grab on to. This makes it difficult for pitchers to throw the ball effectively and is especially affected pitchers who throw sliders. Pitchers such as Dodgers Ace Yu Darvish and Astros pitcher Lance McCullers have been extremely vocal in the criticism of the balls.The change in the balls has sparked debate over whether MLB intentionally changed them to increase offense. No matter which side of the debate you are on, everyone can agree this World Series has been a thriller.
By Zachary Kersh
With the 2017-18 NBA season almost upon us, across the country, the Eastern Conference has made historic and game changing moves this offseason, preparing to battle for the top spot and in hopes for the ultimate goal, a title. However, to win the war, teams must first win multiple battles. The offseason has been full of unexpected trades, shocking signings, and unmatchable performances.
According to ESPN’s website, these are the Eastern Conference's wins and seeding predictions:
Big time trades are not only exciting to follow, but allow teams to obtain whichever players they desire. On August 22nd, All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving was sent to the Celtics for fellow All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Anter Zizic, and the 2018 first-round pick from the Brooklyn Nets. In my opinion. The Celtics won this trade. Kyrie Irving is amazing scorer and is underrated in his abilities to lead a team. On September 24th, it was announced that, after multiple trade rumors, Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks had been sent to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott, and a 2018 second round pick via the Bulls. I believe the Thunder are the clear winners of this trade. They acquired a veteran player who is still a game changer. In addition, with the acquisition of Paul George, the Thunder will be one of my favorite teams to watch.
Draft trades can make a team much better, through youth, better players, or picks. The 1st pick of the draft belonged to Boston, until the 76ers traded their 3rd overall pick and either a 2018 or 2019 1st round pick (whichever is favorable) for the rights to whatever player they desired. With this trade, I can see the 76ers becoming one of the NBA powerhouses in the next few years. Another blockbuster trade that shocked the NBA was between the Timberwolves and Bulls. The bulls traded All-Star Jimmy Butler and the 16th overall pick, for the 7th pick, Zach Lavine, and Kris Dunn. Finally. Minnesota has formed a powerful core. I think with Jimmy Butler, a three-time all-star, the Timberwolves will shock many teams and fans alike. Following locker trouble with D’Angelo Russell, he was traded to the Nets for Brook Lopez and 27th pick.
In the draft, teams used their designated picks to select young players that they believed would be valuable to their team. With the 1st overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft, the 76ers selected point guard Markelle Fultz from Washington. An elite scorer from all parts of the floor, he could potentially be the last piece of the 76ers future core, along with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. I expected them to make this pick, since I believe they need a facilitator to help out all other positions. With the 3rd pick, the Celtics selected small forward Jayson Tatum from Duke. One of the best scorers in the class, Tatum’s tremendous 6’8” frame paired with his athleticism could be just what Boston needs to defeat the Cavaliers. With the 7th pick, the Bulls selected center Lauri Markkannen from Arizona State, a floor-spacing threat at 7’0” tall. He has the potential to become one of the best shooting centers in the NBA, but still has work to do around the post.
In free agency, J.J. Redick signed with the 76ers for one year, $23 million. Kyle Lowry returned to the Raptors on a three-year deal worth nearly $100 million. Finally, All-Star Gordon Hayward signed with the Celtics for four years, $128 million. The Celtics have once again risen to the top. I still do not think they have a chance of defeating the reigning NBA champions, the Golden State Warriors.
The biggest rivals are often between teams in the same conference, such as the Wizards and the Celtics, or the Cavs and Raptors. The Eastern Conference is no exception; therefore, the main focus is being the top seed in either the east or west. Last year, The Celtics earned the top position, followed by the Cavaliers, Raptors, Wizards, and Hawks. The Cavaliers won the Eastern Conference in the playoffs, though they lost to the Warriors in the Finals. This year, I expect the Wizards to obtain the third seed, and the Raptors to fall to fifth. I believe the Bucks will earn the third seed, with one of my favorite players, Giannas Antetokounmpo, posting career highs.
Though the Eastern Conference has 8 less average wins per team than the Western Conference, teams have an average of 1.49 wins in the difference of each seed, compared to the West’s 2.31. Glenelg ninth grader Niko Garbis feels, “That with the addition of many high-performance players, the Eastern Conference will become even more competitive and therefore even more entertaining and exciting.” Hopefully he is right. With many new faces, jerseys, and rivalries, this NBA season should be one to remember.