Will the Pittsburgh Penguins say “hello” to Stanley again this Year?

Yes, they did win the cup last year.  But can they repeat those stellar playoff wins?  Putting up a total of 241 goals during the regular season, they had a great start.  Also when new coach Mike Sullivan over Christmas break stepped in, he had a large, positive, impact on the team.  His prior experience coaching Pittsburgh’s minor league team, the Wilkes-Barre Penguins, gave him the knowledge needed to bring up young players without taking too much money out of their salary cap.  Also the Penguins captain Sidney Crosby started to contribute after Christmas break, racking up an explosive 85 points on the season.


Personally, in my opinion, I believe that the Burgh can do it again this year.  With the new phenom Conor Sheary, winning star of the week, scoring 6 goals and 9 points in the past seven days, it is very much in their realm.  Furthermore, being in the top three of the metropolitan division for most of the season, it looks like we should make the playoffs with ease. Also, Sidney Crosby is having yet another great year, leading the NHL in goals right now with a very solid and consistent 28.  Plus, in a recent stadium series game against the Flyers, the Penguins had a demanding 4-2 win giving them nice confidence boost to play well in the last leg of the season.  The penguins as whole have only three losses at home this season right now, being a threat to the whole national hockey league.  As you can see, the Pittsburgh Penguins franchise have shown many promising results that could lead to yet another Stanley Cup win this year.

~Mark

Is it worth the headache?

Image result for football collisions blur

Over the years, the number of concussions in the NFL has increased massively.  Between 2014 and 2015, the concussion percent rose over 30%.  The most common reason for concussions in the NFL is head on head contact, which is why they banned “head slaps” for good.  The NFL continues to think of new rules and policies that could possibly decrease the amount of concussions.  For example, they’ve advanced the “roughing the passer” penalty to make it more strict and inclusive, as well as the “unnecessary roughness” penalty.  So the question is, what are more effective ways the NFL could further prevent concussions?

 
In my opinion, the only reason NFL players still occasionally “bump heads” intentionally is because the consequence is bearable and not intimidating. The highest penalty for “unsportsmanlike conduct” is 15 yards in the current game.  I think the consequence should be more lasting and punishing.  I believe if a player is clearly headbutting on purpose and continuously, there should be talk of a possible suspension.  The only thing 15 yards accomplishes is maybe a yell from the coach, but a short 1, maybe 2 game suspension will surely prevent players from making the same mistake.  Also, most players keep quiet if they notice double vision, blurriness, or other symptoms of a concussion.  They would rather play in the game and not miss any opportunity to compete.  If players told someone right away if they were experiencing any symptoms, it would prevent their concussion from getting even worse.  Even if this strategy won’t technically prevent concussions, it would stop the players from making the injury even worse.  If a player notices any concerning symptoms, they should tell their coach immediately.  Lastly, there are some ways players could prevent concussions by just being more aware on the field and knowing some strategies during play.  All in all, even though the NFL has managed to decrease concussion numbers over the years, I think with these strategies, they could really put NFL concussions in the past.

~Sarah

Boxer and Father Fight Together

In La Puente, California, a young boxer, Leo Santa Cruz, is preparing to win back his super featherweight boxing title. In July of 2016, Leo lost his first professional fight to undefeated Carl Frampton. During Leo’s training, he says he still can hear the ringing of his loss like a direct blow to the head which gives him a drive to avenge himself as one of the best. Leo’s father and trainer, Jose Santa Cruz Sr, is also fighting a hard fight. Except it’s a fight for his life. He has taken the ultimate body blow… cancer. However, Jose still manages to make it to the rink to watch his son fight. Leo’s fight will take place on January 28, 2017.

 

Leo Santa Cruz

My opinion on this topic is that it is a very sad for the boxer and his family. However, it made Leo desire the win in his championship fight even more because he wanted to win for his father and he was dedicating the fight to his ill dad. I think that this is a very dear thing that Leo Santa Cruz did for his father because it shows how much love and respect he has for Jose. Leo says that he was training the hardest he has ever trained in his life and his dad was with him through the whole thing. This shows that Leo and his father Jose have a very strong relationship with each other and how much Jose cares for Leo’s career even through his hardships.

~Jon

Meet The Mets of 2015

Coming off of a great year last year the New York Mets are seen as the “team to beat”. Last year’s record was 90-72. Pretty good. That 90-72 record got them National League East Champions. National League division series winners over the Los Angeles Dodgers. National League Championship series over the Chicago Cubs. But their run ended when they lost in the World Series to the Kansas City Royals. Previous to the 2015 run in the playoffs,  the last time the Mets made the playoffs was in 2006. This was a long time to wait and not to mention that Met fans were eager for another Postseason run, and my o’ my o’ my o’ my were they ready.
In my opinion the New York Mets are the best team in baseball. Why? Two reasons. Pitching staff and Rookies.The Mets pitching staff last year threw a total of 4,948 total pitches over 95 mph(miles per hour) the closest team to them was the Royals with 3,948 total pitches over 95 mph(miles per hour). You’re going to strike a lot of people out with 95+ fast balls. Also the Mets ranked 2nd in ERA among the WHOLE MLB. The Mets rookies were easily ranked one of the best among the MLB. During the Postseason the rookie Michael Conforto went deep twice in the World Series which helped the Mets win that game. This shows that many of the rookies are contributing to making this Mets club win. Will the Mets win it all in 2016, well we will have to wait and see.

~Ryan

Ballet in the Whole

One topic I am very passionate about is Ballet. Ballet has many types of styles inside of it, including Story Ballets, Classical Ballets, Neo-classical Ballets and Contemporary Ballets. One of the highest levels of Ballet is being a principal dancer of a professional Ballet company. Some of the best ballet schools and companies are the Royal Ballet, Joffrey Academy of Dance, American Ballet Theatre, The Juilliard School and Paris Opéra Ballet School. One interesting fact is that the first professional ballet dancers were De Lafontaine or Mademoiselle De Lafontaine. All in all Ballet has a lot of variety and is a very old concept.

My view on Ballet is that it is a traditionally a very classical art that has turn into more of a sport. Throughout the years ballet has become more athletic. In the beginning ballet was mainly for the royal and was used for parties and celebrations. Currently ballet has loads of variety. One day a dancer could be performing a contemporary ballet and the next day performing a classical ballet. One of the main reasons why ballet has become more athletic is that wearing pointe shoes has become more popular for female dancers. These shoes are used to put the dancer on the top of their toes, they are a satin shoe with a hard toe and a hard shank. In conclusion ballet went from a traditional dance for Royals to a athletic performance technique.

~Brianna

How to Become a Successful Coach

Coaching can be a very difficult thing, but to be a successful one you have to remember certain things. These things can help you along the way greatly and are very important. So, you might ask, what does it take to be a coach? Well, you will need college degrees, experience, certification, and key skills. These key skills can vary but the most important keys to becoming a successful coach are, listening, questioning, constructively challenging, and encouraging and supporting. You might also ask, to be a college basketball coach, does it help to be a former player? It certainly can have its benefits to be a former player, but it is not necessary to be a successful coach. It also does not matter your age either to become a coach. Some are even saying that it is becoming less important when hiring.

My view and opinions on how to become successful coach are very similar. I agree that you need to have certain key skills. Some other key skills that I think are important are to see different perspectives, trusting and using intuition, and keeping focus. I also believe that age should not matter and being a former player should not matter on being a successful coach. Experience should be very important for becoming a coach so you can know what to expect and understand how to be one. These reasons are how to become a successful coach.

~Caroline

Kobe Bryant: Leaving a Legacy

After this 2015-2016 NBA season, star shooting guard for the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team Kobe Bryant will be retiring. Bryant led the Lakers to 5 NBA championship victories and won just one MVP award. His incredible stats show how he can lead his team. In 2006, Kobe Bryant dropped 81 points to lead the Lakers to a win. This is the second highest single-game scoring record in NBA history. Although Kobe is a phenom basketball player, he is also a star off the court. The Kobe & Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation helps improve the lives of the youth and families in need. This shows how Kobe is also a success off the basketball court. However, at 37 years old Kobe Bryant has announced his retirement. His legacy remains, and he will be missed by basketball fans around the world.

Although Kobe Bryant is retiring after this 2016 season and leaving the sport he loves, it is the right time. The stars numbers have dropped over the past couple of years and the Lakers are not winning like they used to. It’s time to bring in some new, young talent and say goodbye to the old stars that had their time. Even though Kobe’s numbers are dropping he is still a top player in the league even at his age. He played in his 18th All Star game this 2015-2016 season. In my opinion, it is a good time for Kobe Bryant to retire because he is old, his numbers are dropping, and he is leaving on a good note. What I mean by this is Kobe is still having a good season for a man as old as him, and it’s a good time to leave before his numbers really start dropping.

~Charles

Jets Put Franchise Tag on Wilkerson over Revis

New York Jets v Buffalo Bills

The New York Jets have recently decided to “Franchise Tag” or in other words, claim Muhammad Wilkerson, a defensive lineman. Wilkerson is 6 foot 4 and attended Temple while playing defensive end. In addition, he was the 2010 captain of the Temple Owls as well as being elected the 2010 defensive player of the year. Muhammad was drafted in 2011 by the New York Jets in the first round and the 30th overall pick. He is arguably one of the most feared defensive players in the NFL as well as being an offensive lineman’s nightmare. Wilkerson has recorded a total of 185 tackles, 117 assists, 36.5 sacks, 1 safety, and 1 interception through 75 career game starts. He is currently 26 and was recently “Franchised tagged” by the New York Jets for 15 million dollars.

I think that the Jet’s should have franchise tagged Darrelle Revis. Revis is considered to be one of the top 5 cornerbacks in the league currently. The Jet’s defensive line is pretty powerful and intimidating as it is with rookie Leonard Williams, Veteran Demario Davis, the big man on the line, Sheldon Richardson. As you can see, the Jet’s have one of the or the best defensive lines in the game. The Jet’s depth in cornerback is not so appetizing especially with releasing 2 time defensive player of the year Antonio Cromartie. With this, the Jets leave Marcus Gilchrist, Calvin Pryor, and Marcus Williams as their defensive backs to prevent the pass. Clearly Darrelle Revis would be a better improvement for the team to have. One of the only positives that I can see out of the Jet’s deciding to tag Wilkerson over Revis is that Revis has age on Wilkerson. So if the Jet’s are looking for someone to have in the future to lean on for the defense, Wilkerson wouldn’t be a bad idea. Also, Revis is more well know hence the nickname, “Revis Island.” With this, Revis clearly will be asking for much more money that the Jet’s will be willing to give him rather than go with the emerging Wilkerson who is pretty good and will want more money. Another way to think why the Jet’s picked Wilkerson over Revis is that Revis will take up more cap space than Wilkerson. If the Jet’s are deciding on making a big signing in the off-season and picking up a decent defensive back, this would be ideal to save money, keep your rising star Wilkerson, and pick up a decent  corner in the off season.  Overall this could be a great move for the Jet’s if they plan on signing a cornerback in the off season or a bad move considering that they will be letting go one of the top 5 cornerbacks in the league.

~John

Concussions vs. Fun

A huge debate has taken over the media, with the question, “Should kids be allowed to play Youth Football?” With surprisingly high concussion rates, many say youth football should be banned, due to some long term effects on kids. Recent research found that when children who play football and other contact sports suffer repeated jolts to the head, it can cause lasting damage to the developing brain. However, some parents seem to think kids should be allowed to play contact sports like football. Those parents say that it gets them physical activity, or promotes teamwork and discipline. They also say kids should be allowed to play, just for the love of the game. Some of the kids live and breathe football, and would be absolutely devastated if that right was stripped away from them. However, is fun strong enough to fight off the thousands of concussions that happen in youth football yearly?

In my opinion, kids should not be able to play football. When 2.5 million kids get concussed in four years, I think it’s a wake up call that this sport is too dangerous for kids to play. Frankly, not all the teamwork and discipline in the world can bring back all the damaged brains. Kids are constantly being stripped away of their lives just so they can have fun isn’t necessarily a good thing. More and more parents are pulling their kids out of football every year, and more people should follow. Youth football is a hazard, and it needs to be stopped.

~Kevin

Golf is it a sport or does it fall short?

Golf is a game that can be traced back to the 1400’s. Truley a game that has been around for hundreds of years. Yet today there is a controversy weather golf is a sport or not. Golf is a game where you have a small white ball about the size of a donut hole. The ultimate goal of the sport is too get the ball in the hole in as few tries as possible. Yet as we said earlier is golf really a sport? Or is it just a game? It matches both definitions but what which one does it match best?

                                  golf ball

Golf in my opinion is definitely a sport. I personally believe it matches the definition of a sport more than a game. In the definition of sport it says that a sport must be physically exerting and it must take skill. If you had never played golf before than you’d probably think it was a game and does not take much skill because so many people of all ages play it. Well it does take skill because of the fact that you have to have the right technique to hit the ball. It it is physically exerting because it puts wear and tear on the muscles that you use to hit the ball. You also can’t forget about the fact that without a cart you are walking an extremely far distance and without a caddie you also have a giant bag you have to carry which is also physically exerting. Those are my thoughts on why golf is a sport rather than a game.

~Jack