2018-2019 Sports and Entertainment Articles

        This site is maintained by the students enrolled in the current Sports and Entertainment Journalism course at Jefferson Township High School. It serves as a publication outlet for articles written by students about the local sports and entertainment events at Jefferson Township High School and in the community. It also provides a venue for articles with a broader scope, such as college and professional sports.

Jefferson Wwrestling makes a quick recovery against Sparta after falling to Emerson Boro
By: Nicole Cuervo
      The Jefferson Township Falcons wrestling team only had about an hour to spare last Saturday morning before quickly recovering from a nine-point loss to Emerson Boro. On January 5th, JTHS hosted their first and only tri-match of the season at 9am, inviting a distant opponent along with their close-town rival, Sparta Township.
      The Falcons woke up on the wrong side of the mat, clearly noticed after winning just six bouts against Emerson, five of which were mostly first-period pins, however. The final outcome of their first matchup was 42-33, but Jefferson had very little time to hang their heads. Thanks to a home-team advantage, the Falcons were able to take a seat in their blue and gold bleachers for a moment and watch Emerson murder the Spartans 42 to 28, before taking the stage a second time. The Falcons though, were determined to sharpen their claws for round two.
      Beginning with heavy-weight, Jefferson failed at gaining the head start as Sparta snatched 6 points from Joey Liotta against Zach Stager within the first minute of the match. Jefferson’s vital Freshmen, Thomas Verrone, however, efficiently tied the scoreboard with a remarkable 21-second pin against Sophomore, Julian Couto (106 lbs).
      Despite the now even score, the Falcon’s head coach, Matthew Moscatello, understood the triple threat about to enter his gymnasium, ironically all in back-to-back-to-back weight classes. The three Stewart brothers, Garrett, Cooper, and Spencer, are considered large catalysts for the Sparta Spartans blatantly clear in their 143 combined career wins. Sophomore, Cooper, was first to show off their family name at Jefferson when pinning Blake Bartholomew at 5:18. Brothers must wrestle alike just as much as they look alike being that Sophomore, Spencer, and Junior, Garrett both snatched major decision-wins against Jefferson Sophomores, Luke Ciampa and Austin Jack.

      The Stewart boys dominated the board, now giving the Spartans a 14-point lead, 20-6. When mentioning the talented twins and state-qualifying Junior, Moscatello expressed eagerness for the Stewart’s high school departures (only three more years).

      Brotherly love for wrestling is an ongoing theme amongst Sparta, being that Freshmen, Nick Hwang and Senior, Chris Hwang also strapped on headgear subsequently. While Nick fell two points short of a win to Jefferson sophomore, Lawrence DiBiase, Chris battled an even tougher fight to Senior captain, Ryan Tripodi. Nick gained the first takedown within the 138 bout, however, Tripodi claimed victory after keeping a strong hold to Hwang before he had the chance to escape. Tripodi walked off the mat, winning 5-4.
      The most game changing bout of the morning was clearly in the hands of JTHS Senior, Robert Ferucci. The Falcons were trailing behind just two points (18-20) right before Ferucci slammed his opponent’s shoulders flat to the mat. At 160 pounds, Ferucci wasted no time taking down Sophomore, James Bates, in the first ten seconds after the whistle was blown. With a 1:21 pin, Ferucci finally gave the Falcons the lead for the first time. It was smooth sailing in the air for the mighty Falcons as they closed the last three matches with a tech fall from Michael Gould (170 lbs), forfeit for Justin Randzio (182 lbs) and an icing-on-the-cake-pin for Freshman, Dyland Patscher (220 lbs). The Falcons soared victorious over the beaten up Spartans who fell twice in one morning. The final team score of the match ended as 47-20 (an even worse loss than Sparta’s fall to Emerson). Just as Spartans were getting back on their feet, gaining their first two wins of the season prior to Saturday, Emerson and Jefferson had no problem shooting them back down. Needless to say, Jefferson was able to stop holding their breath and relax once the lighter classes were finished that morning.
      After interviewing Ferucci regarding his significant matchup against Bates, that ultimately decided his team’s win, he had nothing but a determined answer. Ferucci elaborated by stating, “This was a big match for me and as a team. We’re cross-town rivals with Sparta and I knew what I had to do to get the job done and give us the lead.” Tripodi also confidently discussed his match when explaining, “I knew Hwang was really tough and I knew I had to be on my best game to beat him. But moving forward, I think we should have a good showing against Hackettstown.” And just as Jefferson’s captain predicted, the Falcons kept the ball rolling as they demolished Hackettstown on the road, 60-18 on Tuesday, January 8th. The JTHS wrestling program continues to take high flights with a record of 9-3.   

Nets lose luck against streaking Celtics

By Matthew Cruz

    Nets run out of luck, end win streak against Celtics 95-116.

    The Boston Celtics roster was full of hot hands throughout the night, resulting in an relatively easy 116-95 win over an upstream squad. The Celtics were dishing and swishing with 38 assists and 8 players who scored double digits. The Nets were led by Rodion Kurucs, a promising rookie who has far been outshining his expectations. Kurucs was the leading scorer for the game with 24 points and Irving managed to notch 17 in his return from injury.

    The Nets this game had an astonishing 6 players out with injury, including Demarre Carroll and Rondae Hollis Jefferson who are both essential role players. Not to mention the Nets are missing NBA most improved player candidate Caris Levert, who at the time of his injury was averaging 20 points a game.  The Celtics Kyrie Irving returned this game after being out with injury.

    After the Celtics recording a miraculous 38 assists in Irving's return, he said after the game “It’s just moving the ball, moving the bodies, trying to create opportunities for one another...It’s good.” Horford also commented saying, “Coach challenged us before the game to be great in that regard and try to really move the ball... We did that tonight.”

    You can see from the players comments that Brad Stevens, the Celtics coach was really pushing the players to make  new strides, especially after the Celtics as of recent have been failing to meet their high expectations from last season. Also this shows that the Celtics may not have to trade players because they've been making things click as of recent.

    This was the Nets and Celtics first matchup of the season. They will play two more times this month.

The Clemson Tigers are not stopping here

By: Morgann Connolly

The Clemson Tigers kill their prey, the Alabama Crimson Tides for a NCAA Championship game win of 44-16 at Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara CA on January 7th, 2019.

It is very hard for teams like the Clemson Tigers and the Alabama Crimson Tides to have key players, but there are definitely players that stand out on the field. A few Clemson key football players are freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence, running back Travis Etienne, and wide receiver Justyn Ross. Freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence was nonstop making the exact plays needed to win this game. Lawrence has been watched by Clemson since he was in eighth grade. He claimed to have been making better throws at the time than high school quarterbacks. Lawrence was unstoppable and will continue to be in the upcoming two football season with the Clemson Tigers. Travis Etienne was a player to watch out for on the field for sure. Etienne made a killer three touchdowns in the first half of the game, really pushing up the score and lead against Alabama. How could you forget about Justyn Ross, the one who started off this game on the right foot. Ross not only made a pick six, 1 minute and 40 seconds into the game, but also put the first points up on the scoreboard. Ross finished off the game with the last touchdown of the game pushing the score up to 44. These Tigers really are talented.

The Alabama Crimson Tides may have just as good players as the Clemson Tigers. A few key players on the field for Alabama were quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, wide receiver Jerry Jeudy, and tight end Hale Hentges. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa threw a few long passes including his 62 yard pass to Justyn Jeudy in the first quarter which led to the first touchdown. Tagovailoa helped out Alabama crazy amounts this game, but Clemson just wasn’t letting them get through. Wide receiver Jerry Jeudy tried his best for Alabama to not lose hope in the game. Jeudy made the first touchdown for Alabama within the first 3 minutes of the first quarter. This touchdown helped tie up with Clemson. Last but not least, tight end Hale Hentges. Hentges completed a huge pass for a touchdown in the first quarter. This touchdown almost tied up the score against Clemson, but unluckily the extra point field goal kick was not good. Alabama for sure has some of the best players who could be NFL material.

ESPN official commentators that were present at this Championship game were very informational. The commentators claimed that this NCAA Championship game had the highest scoring first quarter, which was Clemson 14 and Alabama 13.

Clemson and Alabama both have strengths and weaknesses just like any other team, but they definitely have more strengths than some of the other teams. Clemson has had an undefeated season which says enough for their strengths. Clemson has not only a very strong offense, but they also do have a very motivated defense. The Clemson Tiger were not letting the Alabama Crimson Tides get through them, even on the 1 yard line. Clemson did have a rocky start to this game with Trevor Lawrence making some wacky throws, but they regained themselves after their first touchdown.

Alabama is just an overall outstanding team, that everyone wants to defeat. The Crimson Tides have a bunch of strengths that always make them a hard team to get through. The Crimson Tides really did have a rough game overall. They did not play the best to their abilities especially on the defensive line. Defense was not blocking the way it needed to be done to have won this game. This may have been not one the best games play by Alabama, but it definitely doesn’t take away the fact that they have some crazy talent like no other.

The number 2 ranked Clemson and the number 1 ranked Alabama have definitely met up a good amount of times in the past. Recently within the past 4 years, this is the third times the teams have played against each other in a NCAA Championship game. Clemson last beat Alabama in 2017 in a NCAA Championship game, but before then, that was their first time beating Alabama since 1905. This game helped keep the Clemson Tigers winning streak going with an undefeated score of 15-0. The Alabama Crimson Tides were undefeated until this game, so their record is 14-1. Another big accomplishment for the Tigers in their win was that Clemson is the first team in the Poll Era (which was started in 1936) to go 15-0 in a single season. Talk about some big accomplishments just from this one game.

These two teams are both talented and this is definitely not the last time they will meet up in a NCAA Championship game, for sure.

 Bolts charge further into the postseason after big win

 By: Ryan Clarkson      

         The Bolts charge further into the the postseason by defeating the Ravens 23-17 this Saturday in the AFC Wild Card Game at M&T Bank stadium.

         The Chargers rookie kicker put the Chargers over the top, converting 5 field goals, breaking the Chargers single game record for kicks made. While driving balls through the uprights, the Chargers defense shut down the Ravens and Lamar Jackson, sacking him 7 times, holding the Ravens to 229 total yards and forcing several fumbles.

         Down by 20 points, the Ravens scored 14 consecutive points while nearing the end of the game. With seconds left, the Ravens down by 6, Chargers linebacker Uchenna Nwosu forced Jackson to fumble and be recovered by defensive end Melvin Ingram to end the game.

         “They obviously made adjustments. They are the same football team they were a few weeks ago. They were a good football team ten, and they’re a good football team now. They just came out there and executed a little bit better than we did.” – OLB Matthew Judon.

         Field goals gave the Chargers the win, raking in 15 points on only field goals. Without the work of Badgley, the Chargers could have very well lost the game. Another key factor includes the dominance of the Charger defense, holding the Ravens offense to only 17 points in 4 quarters, which led to the outcome of this game.

         The Chargers have their biggest challenge ahead of them, facing the New England Patriots in the Divisional round of the playoffs. Coming in as the underdogs the Chargers look to defy the odds and defeat Tom Brady and The Pats, who are looking for their 5th super bowl appearance this decade.   

Colt Vs. Texans

By Joseph Cheevers     

    The Indianapolis Colts corral the Houston Texans at NRG stadium on Saturday of Wild Card Weekend.

    Marlon Mack rushed for 148 yards, the Colts single-game playoff record. Dontrelle Inman caught all four of his targets for 53 yards and 1 touchdown. Kenny Moore had 1 interception and 1 sack to seal the deal for the Colts.

    Two crucial third down penalties on Texans in first half led to two touchdowns for the Colts.
    According to Bill O’Brien on ESPN, “We need to be physical.”

    Both coaches were aggressive and Frank Reich came out on top. The Texans weakness was their secondary, which was taken advantage of. The Colts strength besides the obvious, offense, was their defense which almost came out with a shut-out.
    The Colts are 10-6 this season. The Texans are 11-5. The Texans won the Week 4 tilt and the Colts won the Week 14 tilt. The Colts lead series, between them and the Texans, 33-16. The highest remaining seed plays the Chiefs, the Colts are the sixth seed.

Colts win first postseason game

By: Matt Cappello

             The Houston Texans and the Indianapolis Colts have played each other 35 time, with the Colts winning the last 27 games. The Colts had a major advantage over the Texans coming into this year’s playoffs with Desean Watson having an average of 1803 yards  the last 7 games and Andrew Luck having an average of 1855. Overall they are close in yards in the past few games which means that this game should be close for passing yards.

  The Indianapolis Colts scored the first points in the first half, leaving the Texans scoreless. Marlon Mack in the last four games had 325 yards leading into this game. He had 148 yards and a touchdown in the first half but that wasn’t all for the Colts. Andrew Luck threw for 222 yards and two touchdowns all in the first half .

  On the other side of the Colts dominating first half, the Texans were brought to a scoring struggle. Even though Watson threw for 235 yards and had a touchdown pass, they just couldn’t get into the endzone.  For the first two quarters, Bill Obrien’s offense just couldn’t get any of the plays to work against the Colts defense.

    In the third quarter, the Texans scored by a touchdown pass from Watson. The Colts defense started to struggle against the Texans offense as they kept driving down the field. Eventually the Colts defense held them to a 21-7 score as the Colts were scoreless in the second half from the Texans outstanding defense keeping up in the last two quarters. Even with a good defense in the second half, the Texans still fell short by two touchdowns leading the Colts to a 21-7 win

Cowboys Lasso up and hogtie the Seahawks

By A.J. Cabrera

Ezekiel “Zeke” Elliott runs all over the Seattle Seahawks defense on January 15 as the Dallas Cowboys played the Seattle Seahawks for the NFC Wildcard game.

Zeke lassoed up 137 yards and one touchdown on 26 carries as the Cowboys held off the Seattle Seahawks 24-22. In what looked to be a big defensive battle kept it's word. The game started off with the Cowboys marching down the field and getting a field goal. Afterwards it was a defensive show...three and outs all over the place back and forth. The Seahawks Janikowski tied it up 3-3 in the 2nd quarter. After a missed field goal by Maher, Seahawks Janikowski had a chance to take the lead and that's what he did by making the score 6-3. On the Cowboys last possession of the second half Dak Prescott connected with Michael Gallup to take the lead 10-6.

Leaving too much time on the clock, Seahawks Russell Wilson got Janikowski a chance to make the score 9-10. Instead the kick was missed and Janikowski suffered an injury which would keep him out of the rest of the game. The 3rd quarter was another defensive battle until Russell Wilson ran a read option which fooled defensive lineman, Demarcus Lawrence, to jump the run and Wilson walked right into the endzone.  Then Mike Davis ran in to get the 2 point conversion to give the Seahawks a 14-10 lead.

Prescott knowing he had to step it up marched down the field to set up an Ezekiel Elliott touchdown. Maher tacked on the extra point to give Dallas a 17-14 lead. The Cowboys defense stayed strong and got them the ball back multiple times.  With around 2 minutes left Prescott ran for a 17 yard gain to set up a 1 yard QB sneak. With Maher making the extra point, it put the Cowboys up 24-14.

Russell Wilson took no time to march down the field . Facing a fourth and four from the seven yard line Wilson found Mckissic open for the touchdown. After a successful 2 point conversion the Seahawks were down by just 2 with the score being 22-24. The Seahawks needed an onside kick recovery to have a shot but the kick was unsuccessful. The Cowboys were able to knee it out and win the game.

Dak Prescott went 22/33 for 226 yard, one touchdown and one interception; he also tacked on 39 rushing yards and one touchdown. Elliot had 26 carries for 137 yard and one touchdown and 32 yards receiving. Amari cooper had 106 yards receiving with 7 receptions. Russell Wilson wend 18/27 with 233 yards and one touchdown he also got 14 yards rushing with one rushing touchdown. Tyler lockett had a great day with 120 yards receiving.

Eagles Soar

By Richard Botti


    The Philadelphia Eagles soar over the Chicago Bears in a close game at Soldier Field during the Wildcard game on January 6, 2019. The final score of the game was 16-15 with the Eagles on top.

    For the Bears, Mitch Trubisky had a good but not good enough performance with throwing 26 for 43 adding 303 yards with a big score of 1 touchdown. Also for the Bears on the offensive side, Allen Robinson had a big night being the main target for Trubisky having 10 receptions for 143 yards and scoring the only touchdown for the team. On the defensive end, Khalil Mack who was the watch out man for them had 5 tackles.

    Now for the winning side, the Eagles quarterback had an immense challenge coming in as a backup. Nick Foles taking over for Carson Wentz got the job done for the team. The poised Nick Foles, did not choke under pressure while throwing for 25 out of 40 for 266 yards and 2 touchdowns. The big time receiver being Golden Tate had 5 receptions for 46 yards and scoring 1 of the 2 touchdowns. The other touchdown was for Alshon Jeffrey who was the intended target with 6 receptions for 86 yards. Even with Nick Foles throwing 2 interceptions, Malcolm Jenkins and the defense held the Bears offense to secure the win.

    Some eye catching sudden injuries were Golden Tate coming off field for a couple plays after getting tackled. Also, Mitch Trubisky went to the tent to get an injury checked.

    One of the impact plays of the game was the go ahead touchdown caught by Golden Tate late in the fourth quarter. That was a huge intensity booster for the defense to come out. But the biggest impact play of the game was the 40 yard missed field goal by Cody Parkey to lose the game with no time left on the clock.

    The previous matchup between the teams was in 2017 when the Eagles topped the Bears 31-3.

Ohio State Buckeyes win the Rose Bowl

By: Briana Boone

   The Ohio State Buckeyes beat the Washington Huskies at the Rose Bowl Championship held in Pasadena, California on New Year's Day. This made OSU Coach Urban Meyer fill with pride as this was his last time coaching the team.

   Not only will the Buckeyes have to find a new Coach, they will also have to find someone to fill QB Dwayne Haskins shoes. Haskin announced on Instagram that he would be leaving OSU to pursue a career in the NFL. This is what he had to say to the team and OSU fans. “Buckeye Nation, I would like to thank you for everything. You have made this experience a blessing. As a young kid, I had dreams of playing at The Ohio State since the age of 10 years old. God has blessed me with an opportunity to go achieve another dream. The NFL. After many thoughts and prayers with family and close friends. I have decided to declare for the 2019 NFL draft.  To my coaches, teammates and friends that I’ve made at this prestigious university, THANK YOU! To Buckeye Nation, what an unbelievable experience. I love this university and will support it for the rest of my life.

Sincerely, Dwayne Haskins, Jr” (Haskins Instagram post)  

    There is no other way to leave the Buckeyes other than another win for Coach Urban Meyer.This is his eighth Rose Bowl win. This is what he had to say about leaving the team. “Buckeye Nation had our back the whole seven years we’ve been here," Meyer’s wife, Shelley, said tearfully after the win. "We’re so thankful for that. There’s sadness from them, too, but they’ve been very supportive and we’ve very thankful. Like Urban said, we have a love affair with Buckeye Nation, and we still do, and that’s not going to go anywhere.“But we appreciate everything that Buckeye Nation has given us. (Cleveland.com)    Although the Buckeyes won they still have things to work on, such as their defense as they didn’t make as many blocks as were expected. Sophomores Dwayne Haskins and Brendon White both won the MVP award. Now the Buckeyes can go back to Ohio eager for another football season and another Rose Bowl win.

Chargers struck lightning in Baltimore as they take down the Ravens 23-17 and advance to the Divisional Round

By: Brian Erdmann

The weather forecast didn’t call for a chance of lightning on Sunday, January 6th in Baltimore, however, the Chargers came into town and stunned the Baltimore Ravens, beating them 23-17 in the Wild Card round as the fifth seed in the AFC. They now move on to the Divisional round where they will take on Tom Brady and the Patriots.

This game was really all defense for both teams. Neither team scored a touchdown until the fourth quarter, Baltimore held Los Angeles to five field goals, there were two missed field goals(one by each team), a blocked punt, and four turnovers were committed. Safe to say it was not a pretty game for either offensive sides.

However, Baltimore’s offense showed less of an effort than Los Angeles did. With a dynamic rookie quarterback in Lamar Jackson, who was having a terrific year, it proved that the first year jitters were taking a toll on him. Jackson went 7-1 in the eight games he played when he took over in week nine, and he only had trailed for about 15% of the time during that span. However, when the Ravens got down early against Los Angeles, the pressure was too much for the young rookie in his first playoff game.

In the first eight snaps for the Ravens, they had fumbled the ball three times (1 lost). Jackson later threw an interception mid second quarter to safety, Adrian Phillips. Jackson was also sacked seven times throughout the game by that ferocious Charger defense. Jackson at halftime was 2-8 for 17 yards as Baltimore trailed 12-0 at the break. The Ravens then kept on continuously trying to run the ball throughout the game, but the Chargers defense didn’t budge holding the second best rushing offense to just 90 yards.

During the middle of the game, fans were booing Jackson and the offense because they were putting up a poor performance. In fact, fans were chanting to put the veteran quarterback Joe Flacco in, who had won a Super Bowl with the Ravens. According to Cincinnati.com, Flacco after the game said, “You can’t even go there, man. I thought Lamar did a great job of hanging in there and giving us a chance at the end.”

Baltimore’s defense did great, but with a poor offensive performance, the Raven’s defense just couldn’t do everything. Jackson did however throw two touchdowns in the late fourth quarter to Michael Crabtree, and did have a chance to win the game with about 40 second left. However, Jackson fumbled and lost the ball as that sealed the deal for the Chargers. Jackson finished the game with 194 yards passing.

The Chargers on the other hand also put up a terrific defensive performance. With help from Melvin Ingram and Adrian Phillips, the defense combined for seven sacks, two fumble recoveries, and one interception. The offense, led by veteran quarterback Philip Rivers, did have its struggles going against the number one ranked defense, but kept finding a way to put themselves in positions to score.

Running back, Melvin Gordon, scored the first touchdown of the game in the early fourth quarter on a one yard run and finished the game with 17 carries for 40 yards. Philip Rivers, meanwhile, played like a true veteran quarterback for his team, making crisp passes and had perfect ball position for the recievers to make a play.

Rivers, on a Los Angeles Chargers youtube post said, “This was a collective team win,” implying that there was no specific person or side of the ball that contributed more to this win than any other. Rivers finished the game 22-32 for 160 yards.

These two have previously met during the regular season in Week 16 when they faced off in Los Angeles. The Ravens came out on top that time winning 22-10 against the Chargers due to a terrific defensive performance from the Ravens defense and big explosive plays on their offense.

With the Chargers win, they now will head to Foxborough to face off against the five-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. Rivers is 0-7 against Brady all-time, however there could be no better time to get that first win than in the Divisional round of the playoffs.

Underdogs for another season?

By Larry DiBiase


    “FLY EAGLES FLY!” the Eagles fans are chanting after a stunning win at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois with a score of 16-15 on January 6th, 2019. Who else could’ve accomplished this win other the Nick Foles, arguably one of the greatest playoff situation quarterbacks in the league today. After being a backup to Carson Wentz all season last year, it was Foles’ time to step up after Wentz tore his ACL towards the end of the season going into the playoffs. Nobody in the world thought a backup quarterback could take his team anywhere in the playoff, they were referred to as the “underdogs”. But nonetheless, Nick Foles “clutched up” and won Super Bowl 52 against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.

       During the game Nick Foles went 25-40 in completions with 266 passing yards, 2 touchdown passes and 2 interceptions. One of the biggest plays of the game was on a 4th and goal on the two yard line with less than a minute left to play. The score was 10-15 with the Bears having the lead. Foles gets the snap, rolls out to his right and throws a perfectly placed touchdown pass to Golden Tate III giving them the lead by a point after missing the two point conversion with less than a minute left in the fourth quarter The Bears quarterback, Mitchell Trubisky, went 26-43 in completions with 303 passing yards, 1 touchdown pass and 0 interceptions.  

      The whole first half not a single touchdown was scored. The score going into halftime was 6-3 with the Bears having the lead by only three points.

       The first touchdown of the game was scored in the third quarter by the Eagles. The drive was about 4 and a half minutes and was scored by Dallas Goedert. What helped the Eagles a lot was a pass interference call down by the 5 yard line which gave them good field position to score, which is exactly what they did, giving them the lead by four points so a field goal by the Bears wouldn’t give them the lead which is what happened towards the beginning of the fourth quarter with Cody Parkey 3 for 3 on the day so far. Six minutes into the fourth, Trubisky throws to Allen Robinson II to give them the lead 15-10 after attempting a two point conversion and missing. As the game intensifies so does the pressure for both teams. The Eagles were confident in the playing environment after playing in the Super Bowl last year.

     With just a minute left to play in the fourth on 4th and Goal,  Foles rolls out to the right and throws a touchdown pass to Golden Tate III to give them the lead by just one point. They attempt to go for a 2-point conversion and just barely miss it as the ball did not cross the plane but was inches away.

     The Bears season on the line, have a minute to score or at least get a field goal and they move on to the divisional round. After a 23 yard kick return from Tarik Cohen the Bears had amazing field position and were in great shape. After gaining 22 yards with 10 seconds left the Bears hopes and the fans in Soldier Field were roaring. Cody Parkey steps on the field and after going 3 for 3 during the game so far the confidence level was very high. Right before the snap for the kick Eagles head coach Doug Pederson called a timeout which is considered “icing” the kicker. The official kick ended up being no good after hitting the upright and bouncing off the crossbar.

“It’s one of the worst feelings in the word to let your team down, so I feel terrible. It’s gonna sting for a few days,” says Cody Parkey when being interviewed by Sports Center. “It’s a scary calm. You wonder sometimes if he’s got a pulse…” says Doug Pederson when talking about Nick Foles in high-pressure situations.

  Will the Eagles be able to re-do what they accomplished last year and make it to Mercedes-Benz stadium on February 3rd? Let’s see if the Saints want anything to do with it.  

Drew Stafford scores in shootout, Devils beat Coyotes 3-2

By: Matt Alday

Drew Stafford picked up a big shootout goal in his 800th career game to push the Devils past the Coyotes Friday night, January 4. Keith Kinkaid, stepping in midway through the first period collected 15 saves.

The Devils started the scoring off early, with a referee reviewed play. Kyle Palmieri had taken away the puck for a two on one, where he passed it to Nico Hischier. Hischier then flipped the puck over goaltender Darcy Kuemper into the space where the goal would have been if Clayton Keller had not dislodged the net. The referees proceeded to review the play and ruled that the puck would have gone into the net if it was not dislodged, giving the Devils an early 1-0 lead.

The Coyotes would soon get their chance, as only a few minutes after the Devils goal they would earn a 5-on-3 power play. The man advantage was unsuccessful though.

Mackenzie Blackwood, who started the game for the Devils would have to leave late in the first with an injury while Keith Kinkaid stepped in to replace the injured goalie.

The Coyotes tied the game up less than a minute after Kinkaid got into net when Conor Garland stole the puck right in front of Kinkaid and deposited into the net for a 1-1 game.

The Devils had thought they had taken the lead when Blake Pietila, making his season debut, jammed at a puck in front of Darcy Kuemper and put it in the goal but the referees ruled that they had blown the play dead before the puck had entered the net.

Arizona would then take the lead on a 2-on-1 opportunity where Christian Fischer sniped one past Kinkaid. This would be answered later on in the period when Travis Zajac backhanded a pass to Blake Coleman who proceeded to tuck it right past Kuemper to tie the game back up.

The game would then stall as neither team was able to get the advantage.

Each team would have a number of chances in overtime, with Oliver Ekman-Larsson seemingly getting the winner for the Coyotes on a great single man effort but the attempt was stopped at the goal line at the very last second. The Devils would then comeback for a great chance of their own when Jesper Bratt got the puck to an open Nico Hischier in front of the net but Darcy Kuemper was able to poke it away before the puck entered the net.

The shootout would be the decided, when Keith Kinkaid was able to stop Alex Galchenyuk and Nick Cousins. Kyle Palmieri scored for the Devils and Drew Stafford ended it with a nifty move to get the puck past Kuemper.

“I thought it was a pretty thorough game for us. It was nice to see Keith(Kinkaid) come in relief and he was strong for us.” Devils coach John Hynes said in the postgame interview for MSG.

Arizona will host the Rangers on Sunday, looking to end their three game skid while the Devils will fly out to Las Vegas to play the Golden Knights on Sunday.

The Rangers go head to head against Columbus

By: Alexis Trapasso

    The fifth-place New York Rangers go head to head against the second place Columbus Blue Jackets in a regular season game on December 27, 2018 at Madison Square Garden.

    The New York Rangers key stars play a big part in how the Rangers perform as a whole. With Mika Zibanejad leading in points with 30 and assists with 19, Chris Kreider leads the New York Rangers with a total of fifteen goals. Not only are the players important, so is the goalie; Henrik Lundqvist helps the team out with a goals against average of 2.87. Along with the New York Rangers, the Columbus Blue Jackets also work in the same way. The Blue Jackets main key player is right wing Cam Atkinson who leads the team with 34 points and 19 goals. Also on Columbus is left wing Artemi Panarin who leads the team with 25 assists. The Blue Jackets goalie, Sergei Bobrovsky, leads their team with a gaa of 2.86. One strategy coming from the Rangers is the era of rebuilding. With the Rangers firing the last head coach Alain Vigneault, they hired new head coach David Quinn after not making it into the playoffs in the 2017-18 season.

    One of the Rangers strengths and weaknesses is their defense. The weakness within their defense is that they are not aggressive with the puck and the injury of Shattenkirk is a big weakness. One strength within the defense on the Rangers is the pairing of Tony DeAngelo and Brady Skjei. When paired together, they are a force to be reckoned with. The last time the Rangers and the Blue Jackets went head to head was on November 10, 2018. The game was a close one and ended up going into a shootout, but only one winner could be determined. The Rangers ended up coming out on top with Jimmy Vesey scoring the winning goal and won the game 5-4.

    The past record of the Rangers was a rough 34-39-9, with the Rangers only winning 34 out of the 82 games, while the Blue Jackets past record was 45-30-7 and winning 45 out of the 82 games. The present record of the Rangers is 15-13-5, while Columbus has a present record of 18-12-3. “Every Rangers player I spoke to today raved about the vibe around the team, the pace they practice with, the coaching they’re getting, the drills they’re running and how well conditioned they are. It’s September still, but as one player said, ‘We’ll be better than you think’,” said Dan Rosen on Twitter.

Falcons basketball expectations

By Dylan Jeffery


    The Falcon’s boys Varsity basketball team will play its first game of the season against Hackettstown on December 15th at Centenary College.

    The key players for the Falcons include Joe Batelli, Bam Johnson, Stefan Tisma, Buddy Jacobus, Richie Botti, and Matt Moran. Batelli is on his way to scoring 1000 points.

    Tisma is expected to dazzle the crowd with his jelly move. Batelli will be using his “Long Range Badge” which he has on Hall of Fame. In other words, Batelli will be shooting from deep.

    The strengths of the Falcon team include shooting, defending, speed, and passing, but the team lacks height which could be detrimental.Speed will be what changes the game pace in favor of the Falcons.

    There’s always tension when Jefferson plays Hackettstown. The Falcons played against them throughout middle school. Hackettstown beat Jefferson in the semi-finals, going in as the underdog in the series.

    Senior Pat Burns explains that the team goal is to win the conference this year.

Jefferson Vs. Northern Highlands

By John Liaci

The wrestling season is still beginning as the Jefferson Falcons look for another beat down on Thursday against Northern Highlands. The Falcons are currently 1-0 and very confident. The team is feeling good after Wednesday’s pin down against Ramapo. Luke Ciampa, Ryan Tripodi, Austin Jack, and John Bohn showed great athleticism in order to carry the Falcons to victory.

All of the Falcons are already thinking about their matches tonight. Captains Ryan Tripodi and Bobby Ferrucci are eager to lead the way for the Falcons. Austin Jack, who is 4-0, is a young stud who has to have another great match tonight. His streak and possibly a win is on the line tonight. Northern Highlands has a decent team, but the falcons believe that they have the upper hand this year.

All of the wrestlers know what they have to do tonight in order to win. Even though they aren’t going up against the best team in the state, this win will mean a lot towards the Falcons’ stats and individual records. The key to success tonight against Northern Highlands is to stay focused and to not underestimate the opponents. We will all be looking forward to seeing some action on the mats tonight.

The Titans plan to foil the The Giants playoff hopes

By Justin Randzio

The Tennessee Titans enter the big apple on December 16th at one o’clock on a cold windy afternoon in hopes to end the New York Giants chance of making the playoffs. The Giants enter this game winning three out of their last four games and plan a strong push to make the playoffs. The Titans had other plans, entering the game 7-6 they are currently in the race for the wild card spot for the playoffs.

The New York Giants star running back Saquon Barkley said, “ the o-line does it all, they give me my success to perform at a high level. If they continue to do what they do we will have success.” Barkley, a rookie, has been having one heck of a year and making a strong case for rookie of the year. I look to see him rush for over 100 yards and two touchdowns.

The Tennessee Titans have been having a shaky season but have had strong games all year long against a tough schedule. The Titans have had a steady defense and offense all season long and look to make their final push to make the playoffs.  They look to the leadership of star running back Derrick Henry who has been picking up production for the Titans offense.

The final score will be 24-17 titans, with Derrick Henry and Saquon Barkley both having two touchdowns a piece and over the 100 yards rushing.

Rams vs. Eagles

By Devin Hanna     

    The Rams look to batter the Eagles for four quarters this Sunday in Los Angeles. Todd Gurley, with 1251 rushing yards under his belt, is looking to do no different than what he does every game.

    Carson Wentz,  who may not be able to play Sunday and his Eagles look to run the ball down the Rams’ throat by playing hard nose football.

    The Eagles backup quarterback Nick Foles will have to step up to a bigger role and come together with his receivers Golden Tate and Alshon Jeffery and work on the run game with Josh Adams in order to come out on top over the Rams.

    In their previous game last year on December 10th, the Eagles took the win over the Rams 43-35. The Eagles 6-7 and the Rams 11-3 look to battle to the end for their fans and only one team will come out victorious this Sunday in Los Angeles

    Interestingly enough, Zach Taylor, the Ram’s quarterback coach and Press Taylor, the Eagle’s quarterback coach are brothers.

Titans @ Giants

By: Andrew Frank

Sunday, December 16th, 2018 the New York Giants are playing the Tennessee Titans at their home, Metlife Stadium.

This game is very important for the Giants because they need to win their last three games of the season to have a chance to make the playoffs. It’s a long shot the Giants make the playoffs considering even if they do win out, they also need The Carolina Panthers to lose twice, Philadelphia Eagles to lose twice, Minnesota Vikings to lose twice, and Green Bay Packers to lose once. But the Giants will hang on to the small chance they have, because Giants wide receiver, Odell Beckham Jr., even said they will do whatever to make the playoffs this season and they are not gonna tank for a good draft pick. Beckham also said, “It's really only crazy until you do it,” talking about the Giants chances of winning out.

Some key players that the Giants need to look out for in the game on Sunday is Marcus Mariota and they definitely need to look out for Derrick Henry.

Henry is coming off one of the most impressive rushing games in NFL history. Henry is coming off a 238 yard, 4 touchdown game against the Jacksonville Jaguars including a 99 yard touchdown run which ties Tony Dorsett’s record that he held by himself for decades. But what the Giants need to do to stop Henry is to send linebackers on blitz in the gaps and have the defensive line stacked up to avoid gaps being made.

The Giants need to also look out for Marcus Mariota. Mariota is a very officiant passer with a QBR of 91.9. Mariota is also a very mobile quarterback and will be able to move around the pocket and scramble out to avoid the sack until he finds a man open. What the Giants need to do to stop that is for the defensive-ends to go wide every play to contain Mariota in the pocket and force a quick pass he doesn’t want to throw.

The Giants will have problems moving the ball this week because of the loss of Odell Beckham this week due to a quad injury. So I think the Giants game plan is to pass to Sterling Shepard, a reliable WR2 who can make plays when we need him to a the new guy on the team, Corey Coleman, who the Giants got this season from the Patriots.

We all know though that the Giants have a beast in the backfield, Saquon Barkley, that they will run the hell out of this Sunday to get the yards they need to get the win. Saquon Barkley was the 2nd pick in the NFL Draft this year from Penn State where he showed the Giants that they need this guy who can run through a team with his 4.4 speed, and run over any guy you put in front of him with his massive quads.

Vikings vs. Dolphins

By Matthew Cappello      

Coming off of a loss and losing their offensive coordinator, the Vikings will face the Dolphins who are 1-5 away but have a two game win streak. Playing the Vikings on Sunday, the Dolphins come off of a win against the Patriots called “Miracle in Miami” showing their hook and ladder game winning play with 18 seconds left.  Since the year 2000, the Dolphins and Vikings have played each other six times and each of the teams are 3-3 in those years which makes the teams even.

         The Dolphins have a lot of confidence coming into the game but have to be careful because the record that they have at away games this year won’t slide to win in the playoffs. Note that they did win their game against the Patriots with 18 seconds left at their home field in Miami. The Vikings have won the majority of their games at home this season which could put Miami at a real disadvantage coming into Sunday’s game.

    After Mike Zimmer’s interview a few days before the upcoming game, he believes that it will be a tough one. Zimmer also explains how his team had a great practice and even though they’ve done a lot in practice and Ryan Tannehill might still be weak he believes that, “He can still take care of the football.” So Ryan still has capability of doing good things even though he is at a disadvantage of just coming back from an injury. Though the Dolphins have a lot of potential with Ryan Tannehill back, the Vikings are at home with Adam Theilen and Stefon Diggs running at the great wide receiver duo.

Dallas Back in the playoff?

By AJ Cabrera

The Dallas Cowboys look to lasso up the NFC East division by beating the Colts. The Cowboys are coming off an OT win against their rival, the Philadelphia Eagles, as the Indianapolis Colts come off of a win by beating one of the hottest teams in the NFL -  the Texans. If the Cowboys win this one, they will clinch their division and secure a spot in the playoff and if the Colts can win they will be tied for a wildcard spot with the Ravens. Key players to watch from the Cowboys in this game will be Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott and Amari Cooper. And for the Colts, it’s Andrew Luck, Marlon Mack, TY Hilton.

Dak Prescott has been on and off all season this year and he has had a lot of turnovers as well. As you may look and see that Dak has seven, you may think it's not a lot but if you check how many fumbles you will be shocked. Dak has 12 fumbles this year so seeing if he can control the ball against the hungry Colts defense will be something you need to watch. Ezekiel Elliott and Amari Cooper are coming off of a great game against the Eagles. Elliott had 113 rushing yards against a strong Eagles defensive line. Amari Cooper is coming off of a fantastic game where he had 10 receptions for 217 yards and 3 touchdowns including the ot touchdown. So you can assume these two will be coming in excited for another great game. I think Elliot will pound for over 100 yards and one touchdown. I can see Cooper getting 75 yards and a touchdown in this one.

Andrew luck has been slinging it around all season and he is coming off of a game where he threw one yard shy of 400 yards and tacked on two touchdowns. He is heading in against a very good Dallas defense so he is going to have to make some tight throws to have a chance in this game. Marlon Mack is coming off of a very shaky game against the Texans where he only put up 33 yards on 14 attempts. He has been on and off all year and he knows he is going to be going against a really good Dallas D-line. My guess in this is he will not do good in this one. TY Hilton is coming off of a fantastic game against the Texans although he had no touchdowns he was just one yard shy of 200 receiving yards. He looks to tear it up against a strong cornerback crew in Dallas but he knows if he can get behind the corners he will be in good shape as the Dallas safeties have struggled a lot all year. I see TY getting around 50 yards in this one with one touchdown.

The last time these two faced back in 2014 the Cowboys beat the Colts 42-7 but that was when it was the Romo and Murray era in Dallas. Since then a lot has changed but my prediction for this one has the Cowboys edging the Colts 17-10.

Who will win the Rose Bowl?

By: Briana Boone

The Washington Huskies and Ohio State Buckeyes will compete to win the Rose Bowl Championship. This will be the second time to two teams have played each other since 2007; the game will be held in the Rose Bowl Stadium located in Pasadena, California. Some key players for the Washington Huskies include quarterback Jake Browning, wide receiver Aaron Fuller, and wide receiver Ty Jones. Key players for Ohio State include quarterback Dwayne Haskins, running back J.K. Dobbins, and running back Mike Weber. This will be the first time the Huskies go to the Rose Bowl since 2000.  

Although the Buckeyes are 12-1-0 they have some things to work on. They need to kick the ball in bounds on the field goals, also their tight end position has weakened especially when the team lost Marcus Baugh to the Oakland Raiders. However, the Buckeyes do have the strongest defensive Line in college football. The Washington Huskies have some problems themselves such as their offensive line. When watching them play, it looks like their offensive line is totally unprepared. It seems like there is some miscommunication with the quarterback and the offense. However, the Buckeyes need to watch out for the Huskies defensive line. They can get through anyone. They can and will tackle the quarterback, so let's hope quarterback Dwayne Haskins makes his decisions wisely. If predicted correctly the Buckeyes should win, however, the Huskies could surprise everyone and win the Rose Bowl Championship.

Browns vs. Broncos

By: Kevin DenBleyker


The Cleveland Browns and Denver Broncos both come into this game with a team that is better than their records show.

    The Browns are starting off the season with a veteran quarterback at the realm. And the Broncos trust their run game in a undrafted rookie. But coming back to right now the Browns have stud rookie qb holding down the fort and giving hope to the city of Cleveland, and the Broncos undrafted rookie is proving people wrong.

    The last time these two faced off, the Broncos won in ot bringing their record against the Browns 23-5. New Browns head coach Greg Williams said in a recent interview, “You need to worry about their defense but always on top of the count but go offsides a lot.”

    With Von Miller and Rookie Bradley Chubb going all out, the offensive line for the Browns needs to step up, although they have only let up one sack in the last four games they have never experienced a duo like Miller and Chubb.  

Make or Break Week for the Vikings and Dolphins

By Jack Fitzpatrick

    The struggling Vikings look to bounce back against the Dolphins in Minnesota on December 16th in a game featuring two playoff contenders in the race for a wild card spot. The Vikings offense is led by the $84 million dollar man Kirk Cousins, who has been under fire in his first regular season campaign with the Vikes. Although he has been putting up solid numbers, the Vikings are yet to beat a time with a record above .500 on the year, which is surprising for a team who was one win away from a super bowl bid last season. However, Cousins has two star receivers to work with in Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen, who is third in the league in receiving yards and has the most receptions in the NFL. Despite two straight losses, the Vikings are still 6th in NFC and have a strong chance to return to the playoffs. Minnesota’s dominant defense led by 24 year old stud Danielle Hunter, who has totaled 12.5 sacks on the year, look to drown the Dolphins on Sunday.

     A Miami Miracle occurred last week, and the Dolphins are looking to keep this momentum going in a playoff push that continues in Minnesota. Their offense may be less star studded, but has proven to be effective this season looking at the 7-6 record of the Dolphins. Leading Miami receiver Kenny Stills has six touchdowns to his name this season and looks to haul in more this week. However, the motor that keeps the Dolphins offense “running” at a high speed is their dual threat backfield in Kenyan Drake and Frank Gore who have combined for over 1,000 yards on the season.

    Former Vikings offensive coordinator John DeFilippo was relieved of his coaching duties earlier this week due to an offense that found itself struggling to put up points throughout the season. The defensive line is looking to pressure Tannehill and keep up their success this season by getting to the quarterback quickly. Expect the Dolphins to continue to rely on their powerful ground game and to look to force some turnovers against the Minnesota offense.

    The Vikings possess one of the scariest defenses in the NFL, but the offense has not be putting up good numbers. In the four of the last five games, the offense has not been able to put up more than 300 total yards and they have only scored 17 points in the past two weeks combined.

    The Dolphins passing game has struggled as the rank 29th in the NFL, but have found more success on the ground. Also, Tannehill has been playing well and since week 12 leads the NFL with a passer rating of 129.9. He has also thrown for eight touchdowns in the past 3 weeks which is tied for the most in league. The Dolphins defense is also solid but is young and needs some work to be considered top tier.

   Although there is no true rivalry between the Fins and Vikings, the last game played between the two was an overtime win for the Dolphins on a safety.  The Dolphins lead the series with eight wins while the Vikings have four. The Vikings are currently sitting in sixth place of the NFC with a 6-6-1 and record and are in the playoff picture. Miami has earned a 7-6 record, but is currently outside looking in at the playoffs in the AFC. Both teams are in a must win scenario this Sunday.

    The Vikings are looking to prove themselves in a post-Defilippo era after Stefon Diggs expressed his emotions about the situation by saying, “It’s the same sh*t every week,” after the frustrating loss in Seattle. Minnesota has the playoffs in their sights and tight end Kyle Rudolph said, “We control our own destiny,” and is confident in their chances, but is aware how important week 16 is for the Vikings.

The Devils look to make ground in the standings

By: Sara Thomas


     The New Jersey Devils look for their 12th win of the season against the Toronto Maple Leafs, who are currently the 2nd best team in the NHL. The game will take place at the Prudential Center in New Jersey on Tuesday, December 18, at 7:00 p.m.

    The leader in points this season for the Devils is Taylor Hall, the Hart Trophy winner for the 2017 - 2018 season, with a total of 31 points, 8 goals and 23 assists. Mitch Marner on the Maple Leafs has the most points this season with 43 points, 8 goals and 35 assists.

     The Devils need to expect that the Maple Leafs are going to come of very strong and they are going to try and get in their head. All the Devils need to do is be smart with the puck, make good passes, and take a lot of shots on Anderson, the Maple Leafs goalie, in order to get pucks in the net. On a Maple Leafs powerplay, the most important thing that the Devils need to do is block up any open shooting lanes because when Marner, or Matthews have good and open shots, it is just going to be harder for Kinkaid, the Devils goalie to save them.

     The Maple Leafs have the 10th best power play in the league, so the Devils are really going to have to watch out for their top power play guys, Mitch Marner, John Tavares, and Auston Matthews. These guys can rip hard shots, and they have very good passing. The Devils have the 20th best power play in the NHL. Kyle Palmieri, Nico Hischier, and even the Devils defenseman Will Butcher can all rip hard shots. The Devils, however, just need to work on taking more shots because that is how they are going to top the Toronto Maple Leafs.

     This game does not really affect the Maple Leafs standings, but if the Devils want to get back in the win column, then this is a must win game for them.

     The Devils match up pretty well against the Maple leafs. Last season, they went 2-0-1 against them and they gained  playoff berth last year against this team. This year, they are 0-1 against the Maple Leafs, but they still have two games to play against them.

     The Devils should have no problem topping the Maple Leafs if they do all these things. After all, it is just a game of simple hockey. Damon Severson, a defensemen for the Devils said on their game against Vegas on Friday night that, “We want to play in the offensive zone to start. We know Vegas is a fast team, they are a good team, they are going to get some looks.” This is exactly what the Devils need to do against the Leafs on Tuesday night.

     The Devils however, have been known to fall when they have a lead or they always seem to be down a goal or two in the first ten minutes of the hockey game. Damon Severson also says, “But we want to keep those looks to the perimeter and not let them get inside, because for whatever reason, Schneids hasn’t had the best of luck in the first 10 minutes or so.”  

     The Devils last season, getting a playoff berth against this team for the first time since 2012, had a pretty good record last year. They went 44-29-9. The Maple Leafs had a good record last year going 49-26-7. The Devils this year are in a little slump with an overall record of 11-13-7 so far this year but it is still early on in the season where they could come back. The Maple Leafs this season have a very good record of 21-10-2 and they are one of the top teams in the NHL.

      So let's settle in at the Rock on Tuesday night and see if the New Jersey Devils can surpass one of the most elite teams in the NHL.

The Rams are set to charge the Eagles off of their turf

By: Lauren Sommers

      The 11-2 Los Angeles Rams will defeat the 6-7 Philadelphia Eagles at home on Sunday, December 16th to increase their regular season record to 12-2 by improving their running game after last week's loss against the Bears.  There are a few key players on the Rams that may make all the difference in their triumph over the Eagles. Running back, Todd Gurley, coming in as a rookie, tied for the record of most touchdowns within the first seven games and was just short of being named Most Valuable Player of the NFL last year.  The Rams quarterback, Jared Goff, is also a huge asset to the team, he broke the record for most yards ever by a quarterback on a Thursday night game. He also was the first player in NFL history with 400 yards and five touchdowns on three days of rest and tied the Rams record with five touchdown passes in a game.  The Philadelphia Eagles have star quarterback Carson Wentz, who broke the league and franchise record of most completions by a rookie, with 379 and set a franchise record for most touchdown passes in the season; he has a 101.9 passer rating in thirteen games. Eagles wide receiver, Alshon Jeffery broke the franchise record in the postseason for catching twelve passes in 219 yards and three touchdowns, averaging 18.3 yards per catch.

       The Rams overall philosophy about offense is simple; put the ball into the hands of your best playmakers in favorable situations, Rams coach Sean McVay commented in an interview with NFL.  For the Eagles they have a creative trick play that they run in specific situations. Quarterback, Nick Foles passes the ball to running back Corey Clement and from there he passes it to wide receiver Nelson Agholor.  The Rams have many strengths that make them a spectacular team, however their offense shines brightest on the field. They are equally good at their running and passing game, and it creates the perfect combination for victory.  Although their offense is one of the best in the league, their defense does not quite match the levels of the offensive line.
    The Eagles also have an extremely good offensive line and their backfield is strong and deep.  Their biggest weakness is also their defense. One of their key linebackers is just coming off a surgery and is not fully at 100 percent.

       On December 10th, 2017, a little over a year ago, these teams faced last.  The Eagles were able win 43-35, this game was played right after Carson Wentz’ eagles quarterback, season ending injury.  On October 5th, 2014 the two teams also faced. The Eagles won this game as well, with a close score 34-28. This season the Rams have made quite an improvement in their standings.  They are currently 11-2 and are standing second in the entire league. The Eagles have a decent standing, with a 6-7 record, but are not ranking anywhere near the Rams.. Last season, in 2017 the Rams record was 11-5 and the Eagles had an astonishing 13-3 final record and ended up winning the superbowl last season.  There have not been many comments regarding the game by players or coaches. However, the Rams are favored to win by many, because of their spectacular winning record.

Titans vs. Giants

By, Taylor Young

    The Tennessee Titans are coming to the Big Apple for a Sunday afternoon game against the New York Giants. Will the Giants take away the Titans chance of making it into the playoffs?

    The key players for the Giants are Eli Manning, Saquon Barkley, Odell Beckham Jr., and Landon Collins. At this point in the season, Manning has 3,460 passing yards. Along with the offense, Barkley has 1124 rushing yards and Beckham Jr. has 1052 receiving yards. On the defensive side, Collins has 96 tackles. When it comes to the Titans, their key players are Marcus Mariota, Derrick Henry, Corey Davis, and Wesley Woodyard. In regards to the offense, Mariota has 2,330 passing yards, Henry has 712 rushing yards, and Davis has 765 receiving yards. But on the defensive end, Woodyard has 85 tackles.  

    When comparing the two teams and their key players, the Giants trump the Titans in passing, rushing, and receiving yards, as well as, tackles. But when it comes to each team’s record, the Titans beat the Giants. Going into Week 15, the Giants could potentially be playing without their wide receiver, Odell Beckham Jr;. Beckham missed last week's game against the Redskins due to a quad injury, and it is unclear at the moment if he will able to play in Sunday’s game. Along with the Giants, the Titans are going tobe missing two key players this weekend. Their starting tight end Jonnu Smith and right tackle Jack Conklin are both out due to knee injuries. But the Titans are very focused on winning and they will not let two injuries hold them back from winning this game.

    Going into this game, the last time the Giants and the Titans played in each other was on December 7, 2014 in Tennessee and the Giants took the win with a final score of 36-7. Although in the last three games the Giants played the Titans, the Titans won two out of the three games with scores of 29-20 and 24-21.

    At the start of week 15 the Giants have a record of 5-8, which places them in 4th in the NFC East. The Giants are on a two-game winning streak and they have won four of their last five games versus the 49ers, Buccaneers, Bears, and Redskins. The Titans on the other hand have a record of 7-6 going into this week and they are placed 2nd in the AFC South. The Titans are also on a two game winning streak.They have won four of their past six games, beating the Cowboys, Patriots, Jets and Jaguars. On the road though, the Titans have a record of 2-5.

    In this week’s game, the Titans are only focused on what’s happening in that game, and nothing else. According to Fox Sports, Woodyard says, “The only way to survive is win this game here, and that’s the only game anybody should be worried about, not any kind of scenarios of what’s going to happen, what could happen.” Titans are only focused on this game because this could make or break their chances in the playoffs.

Chiefs vs Chargers

By Tyler Wagoner

    On Thursday, December 13th, the Chargers, and the Chiefs will go toe to toe to keep their amazing records. They will be facing off in the Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs and the Chargers are two teams that have had much success this season. They have five combined losses.  The game this Thursday is looking to be an all-out battle. The two teams have become accustomed to winning, and they are not going to let up for a second. The Chiefs defense has been paving the way to an 11-2 record. Their rivalry has been going on for many years.

Can the Boston Celtics win against the Philadelphia 76ers on Christmas day?

By: Tayler Soules

  The Philadelphia 76ers play against their old rivals, the Boston Celtics, on Christmas day at 5:30 pm at the Boston Garden.  The Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers have an old rivalry from playing against each other in 21 series with the Celtics winning 13 of them.  

   The Boston Celtics are coached by Brad Stevens.  He likes to make sure he gives each player a role on the court so everything balances out.  The Celtics have very good chemistry by having defensive motors, active hands, and high motors.  This could be a problem against the Philadelphia 76ers because they are the third youngest team in the league, so it is a big competition.  The Celtics lack size and are not the best shooters. This gives the 76ers a big advantage considering their height, and they can score great from the thLee-point line.

   The Philadelphia 76ers starting five are Furkan Korkmaz playing as a shooting guard, Joel Embiid as the center, Wilson Chandler as their small forward, Ben Simmons as the point guard, and J.J. Redick as the small forward.  With this line-up, they have a good chance against the Celtics.

   The Boston Celtics starting lineup are Kyrie Irving as the point guard,  Aron Baynes as their center, Marcus Morris as the power forward, Marcus Smart also as a point guard, and Jayson Tatum as a small forward.  The Celtics during the 2017-2018 season ranked as the second team in the Eastern Division, while the 76ers ranked third. In the previous game that was on October 16, 2018 the Celtics won 105-87 against the 76ers.  Having a high lead could definitely show again in this upcoming game.

   This upcoming game on Christmas day 2018, will definitely be a close one.  The Boston Celtics have more skill but the Philadelphia 76ers have better shooters.  The Celtics should be able to win this game if they all keep up the skills they have over the 76ers.

Saints look to clinch NFC South against Steelers

By: Tyler Ruban

The Saints vs. Steelers game will be led by key players. Drew Brees who has an astounding four interceptions on the year and 31 touchdowns. He also has a 75.7 completion percentage. Roethlisberger, on the other hand, does not have as good of stats as Brees does. Roethlisberger has 28 touchdowns, 13 interceptions, and a completes 67 percent of his passes. Antonio Brown is Ben’s main target and most talented receiver. Antonio 86 receptions for 1,063 yards and 12 touchdowns. Michael Thomas has 102 receptions, 1,218 yards and eight touchdowns on the season so far.

The Steelers should be going into this game with a very aggressive mindset because they have to win most likely two of the next three games of the season to make the playoffs. The Saints have a chance to clinch their division with a victory against Pittsburgh, and they also are trying to gain ground over the Los Angeles Rams for home-field advantage in the playoffs.

Both the Steelers and the Saints have crazy talented offenses. The Steelers defense has gone through its ups and downs while the Saints defense on the other hand has been red hot. Early in the year, the Saints defense was giving up points left and right but recently they have buckled down and showed that they could be a legitimate Super Bowl contender. This game will be very interesting to watch because the Steelers offense is hot but the tough veteran Saints defense has been hot of late. Antonio Brown and Juju Smith-Schuster can make it very difficult on the Saints secondary Sunday afternoon.

The all-time series of these two electrifying franchises is 8-7 with the Saints leading it. What is interesting is that the Steelers have outscored the Saints in those 15 games by a score of 327 to 289 points. This game is going to be one to remember because of the offenses that are participating. The Saints vs the Steelers is going to be a close game and come down to the end.

The Titans and Giants Battle for The Playoffs

    By: Daniel Pryce

 This Sunday, December 16th, the New York Giants and the Tennessee Titans play at Metlife Stadium. Giants hope to go 6-8 against the 7-6 Titans getting them one step closer to the playoffs.  Eli Manning and his offensive weapons will go head to head with Marcus Mariota and his offense with the franchise record-breaking running back Derrick Henry.

      The Giants and the Titans are both likely to keep a ground game with their star RBs. However, Giants carry along multiple weaknesses. Giants multi pro bowler Landon Collins is still in recovery from his shoulder injury that he sustained from a previous game. This gives Mariota and his receivers, Tajae sharpe, Cory Davis, and Taywan Taylor breathing room.

    Big Blue also suffers the questionable return of the star wide receiver  Odell Beckham Jr. However, the Giants have demonstrated they can function efficiently without Beckham last week against the Redskins when they put up 40 points, a record not set since 2015 in the franchise.

      The Titans hold a record of 7-6 with a straight path to make it towards the playoffs. As for the Giants, there is a chain of events that must be set in motion. Regardless of the odds, big blue fans have yet to lose hope in their team.

Cowboys vs Colts matchup

By: John McCloskey


    Ezekiel Elliott and the Cowboys hope to win a sixth straight game against Andrew Luck and the Colts on Sunday, December 12, at 1 pm. The Cowboys Defense has been playing very strong lately allowing the second least amount of points in the league at 18.9 and with star linebacker Sean Lee returning from injury you can only assume they will be better.

   However, the Colts defense has held their own this season but it is their offense that the Cowboys need to worry about. Andrew Luck and his arsenal of T.Y Hilton, Eric Ebron, and Marlon Mack look to catch the Cowboys defense off guard and come out with the win.

    The last time the two teams faced off, the Cowboys beat the Colts with a score of 42-7 on December 21, 2014. The Cowboys are currently leading their division with a record of 8-5 while the Colts are in second place in their division with a record of 7-6.

    The Cowboys offense has been thriving after trading a first-round pick for fourth-year wide receiver, Amari Cooper. Cooper is coming off a 217 yard, three touchdown game against division rivals, the Eagles off ten receptions.

    Marlon Mack is a key player the Cowboys need to watch. Although he is not coming off a good game, he is more angry and hungry to do well this week than ever before. The second-year running back is still looking to prove himself to the league and is a must watch player for the Cowboys defense.

   Prediction: Cowboys 24, Colts 16

Warriors and Lakers Face Off

By: Kris Mankin

     Lebron and the Lakers try to take on the defending champs, the Golden State Warriors, in a Christmas day showdown at Oracle Arena.

The Warriors powerhouse starting lineup consists of four former all-stars in Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, and Draymond Green. They also have a young promising center in Kevon Looney. The LA Lakers are more of a developing lineup with three players in the starting lineup under the age of 24 - Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, and Brandon Ingram. They are lead by veteran, Javale Mcgee and the three-time champ, Lebron James.

   The key player for the Warriors is their all-star point guard, Curry. The Warriors are always better with him on the floor because he can do it all - pass, shoot, and lead the team in huddles. The Warriors have had issues with team chemistry in the past and Curry is always there to gather them up and make sure they all have one thing in mind and that's to win another ring.

  The key player for the Lakers is Kyle Kuzma. The young forward is a big spark for the offense especially with his great shooting touch. He has the potential to be one of the best scorers and playmakers in the league. “Kuzma surprised many with an All-Rookie campaign that at times saw him become the Lakers' best scoring option, posting 16.1 PPG while shooting 36.6 percent from 3.” This was a report on Kuzma after being placed in top 75 players in the league. If his stuff is working for him during the game the Lakers will give the Warriors a run for their money.

  These teams have different playing styles with the Lakers being more of a high pace and high-intensity team while the Warriors can also do that they tend to take it slow and be more cerebral when they score. The problem for the Lakers is definitely their lack of defense, while having young talent is good but it also is not. They are not fully developed and at times don't understand that defense can make or break games. The key problem for the Warriors is their chemistry; stars Kevin Durant and Draymond Green had a few mean words for each other but later settled their differences.     

The Warriors and Lakers meet up four times this year and they are definitely going to be good games with the teams ranked to have good seasons. They faced off in preseason and Warriors beat them but not by much; we hope to see this tight of a game in these next four matchups. The Warriors are 19-10 on the season while the Lakers are just trailing with a 17-10 record.

Raptors vs. Nuggets
By Nicholas Juba

     The high flying Toronto Raptors look to land a win in the Rocky Mountains in Denver against the Nuggets. Both these teams are first in their respected divisions and look to face off on December 16, 2018.

         According to Denverstiffs, “Their trade this offseason for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green has worked out very well for them. At twenty-six points and eight rebounds, plus nearly two steals a game.” This is very important for the Raptors because it shows how they not only won the trade but they are looking for a championship this year and are willing to go against the best team in the west to do it.  

       Both teams are extremely beaten up and injured according to Sportsnet, “ The Toronto Raptors will be without the services of two key cogs in their rotation on Sunday, with point guard Kyle Lowry and forward Pascal Siakam listed as out against the Denver Nuggets. This has a huge impact because not only does Kyle Lowry have a huge impact on how the game will go, but he is also the starting point guard and debatable one of the best point guards in the league.

       According to the Raptorhq, “The last time these two teams played, the Joker tallied a massive triple-double, sinking the Raptors in a hard-fought matchup.” The Joker or Nikola Jokic had a huge impact last game and in the end was the reason the Nuggets won and he looks to do the same Sunday night.

       With the Raptors Kyle Lowry out, according to Raptorhq, “With multiple players out, the Raptors will have a chance to get certain other players going. Over the last few games, Fred VanVleethas looked more like the ‘17/’18 version of himself.” Since a big star with Lowry is out, look for Fred Vanvleet to come in and make a big impact against the surging Nuggets.

        Denver's offense has not been the king in their success. According to Nba.com, “Friday’s win over Oklahoma City was the fifth time in the last ten games that Denver has held an opponent to under 100 points. The Nuggets are 11-1 this season when they’ve kept their opponent under the century mark, a number that ties them with three other teams for the most in the league.” Look for the Nuggets defense to step up big tonight if the Nuggets are going to catch a win at home against the team with the best record in the NBA, the Toronto Raptors.

The battle at Bank of America

By Mike Gould

    In this divisional battle the Carolina Panthers will be hosting the New Orleans Saints on Monday, December 17th in this primetime thriller. The Panthers are trying to grasp onto hopes of gaining a playoff spot while the Saints are in a battle for the top spot in the NFC looking to maintain home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

    Saints look to pound the Panther's defense with their running game led by Alvin Kamara. They're going to rely on Mark Ingram to gain those tough yards, some call them the best running back tandem in the league with both of them having 1,000 yard seasons in the previous year. They're also going to look to have Drew Brees, former super bowl 44 MVP, air it out to Michael Thomas who already has 1,218 receiving yards and 8 touchdowns.

    Panthers are going to rely on their powerhouse of a running back, Christian McCaffrey, better known as CMC to carry their offense to victory. Only in his second season, he is already making a huge impact, with 13 touchdowns this season. McCaffery is also closing in on the single-season franchise rushing record for the Carolina Panthers so he's looking to have an explosive game on Monday night. Cam Newton is coming off of throwing five interceptions within the past two weeks and is looking to have a bounce back. However, he is struggling with an ongoing shoulder injury but is still expected to play. On the flip side of the ball, the Panthers are going to be relying on Luke Kuechly to lead the defensive charge for the Panthers. Panthers are currently 2nd in rushing yards allowed with 137.4 yards on average. They're going to have to step up if they want to have any chance of beating the Saints.

    This game is going to be one for the books; as of now the rivalry is 24-23 with the Panthers leading by one game. The Saints look to even this out on Monday night football. The Saints are currently on fire right now with a record of 11-2 looking to seal away their chances of obtaining home field advantage all throughout the playoffs. On the other hand, the Panthers are 6-7 but are currently on a five-game losing streak but they are hopeful of making the playoffs, coming out with a win on Monday night over one of their division rival.

Scarlet Knights v. Broncs wrestling takedown

By: Emma George

   Rider University takes on the Big Ten team, Rutgers this upcoming weekend in East New Brunswick after five years on Sunday, December 16, 2018.

    According to Brian Fonseca Youtube, Coach Scott Goodale says, “You know we train really hard we’re always fast starters you know all my years, they trained really hard and fought to prepare and we know we just gotta keep on it.”

     According to WrestleStat, Nick Suriano and Anthony Ashnault are “eleven to zero” this season. Suriano and Ashnault are both All-American wrestlers. In the last match Rutgers wrestled at, Cliff Keen Invitation, Ashnault and Suriano gained individual titles.

    Rutgers University is expected to sweep Rider University in this upcoming match, because in the past Suriano and Ashnault have been tough to beat on the mat. So far Rutgers University is 5-1 this season.

    Broncs have been “one to zero” this season according to their stats on the Broncs Rooster. Riders wrestler, Dean Sherry is currently six to four this season. Rider University should watch out for the Scarlet Knights sneak attacks.

     The last time Rider and Rutgers went head to head with each others, Rutgers took the win on the mat. Rutgers and Rider haven’t been against each other for five years, so there are many changes coming to the mat.

    Right now, the Scarlet Knights should be expected to take the win over Rider University. Suriano and Ashnault are expected to take down their opponents and there are expected to be many takedowns.

Eagles will soar over the Texans

By Ali Fuller

    December 23, 2018 the Philadelphia Eagles and the Houston Texans go to battle against one another for the first time since 2014. Eagles have won every game against the Texans since 2002.

    With key players such as JJ. Watt, Deshaun Watson, Carson Wentz, Brandon Weeden, and Michael Bennett the game should turn out to be a very strong fight so Texans can try and beat the Eagles for the first time in their team's history.

    Not many people have talked about the game yet as the two teams have been having a strong season and when they battle there's a promise of a good show to happen. Eagles are prepared to take on the Texans having home field advantage to win their fifth game against the Texans to bring life to Philly air.

The  Lakers vs. the Nets

By Amina Fuller

 The Lakers come to New York with a 18 wins of the season to face off the Brooklyn Nets at the Barclay Center.

       According to NBA.com, “The Los Angeles lakers are one of the hottest teams in the NBA right now. LeBron and Co. have now won 18 of their 30 last games.”

       In the Lakers’ recent game they won 128- 100 against the Charlotte Hornets. In this game, Lebron James and Lonzo Ball became the first pair of teammates to record a triple double in the same game since 2007. When talking to Dave McMenamin, Ball said “Ever since he got here, it's been a dream come true for me," Ball said after his first triple-double of the season and third of his career. "I watched him my whole life -- he was my idol growing up. Then we both get a triple-double in the same game. I don't even know if I dreamed of that before. It was a good day today." Ball and James are two great players already, so as a pair they are “the dream team.”

       The Nets also won their most recent game against the Atlanta Hawks 144-127, on December 16, 2018. D'Angelo Russell scored 32 points against the hawks in Sunday night’s game. Spencer Dinwiddie scored 27 points. After the Nets faced nine losses in a row, this was the Nets fifth win with Dinwiddie leading.  

        After Friday’s game Dinwiddie said, "Other than that, basketball-wise, we're not where we want to be, so we've got to continue to push and go forward...We're trying to make the playoffs and we're trying to win championships in the future. That's what I signed on to be a part of and I'm also trying to push my limits individually and hopefully that helps the ballclub as much as it possibly can."

      After taking the W in Sunday night’s game, Russell said, "I think just our commitment for wanting to see each other do better.”

       In the latest game that the Nets played the Lakers, the Lakers won 102-99. It was the defense that got the Lakers to take the win. Maybe history will repeat itself for Tuesday’s game, or the Nets will improve their offense.

        Some Laker fans believe that the Lakers are “such a perfect team”, and the Lakers have 16 championships but the Nets only having two, the Lakers have “an automatic W [win].” On the other hand, fans also believe that “The Nets might not be at the top, but they are on a winning streak so it’s anybody’s game”.

        The Nets and the Lakers don’t really have a rivalry. The Lakers beat the Nets in the 2002 NBA Championships and every other regular scheduled game. Will the Nets finally beat the Lakers?

         Right now, the Lakers are coming into the game 18-12 and the Nets 13-18. The prediction is for The Lakers to take the W, 113-110.

Bears vs. Packers
By Keith Ferguson

    With the young stud quarterback Mitch Trubisky leading the hot Chicago Bears into a key week 15 matchup with their division rival The Green Bay Packers, DA Bears hope to get a win at home in mid December to lock up a playoff spot for their first playoff appearance in eight years. Though with the Packers playoff hopes not dead yet, the gunslinger on the other side of the field, veteran Aaron Rodgers, is locked in crediting execution and preparation in their blowout win last week against the struggling Falcons; every win counts for Green Bay here on out! Chicago’s defense has been compared to the famous cold-blooded killers of the 85 Bears, living up to the hype, leading the NFL in takeaways this year by thirteen with 25 interceptions; Kyle Fuller has taken the league by surprise with seven of his own. Over on the away sideline stands a mean inside linebacker, who is ranked second in the league in tackles with 118, only behind Darius Leonard who has taken the league by surprise with 135 as a rookie.

    With such a successful season, the Bears have really been showboating the true talent of their team. When knocking on the door down in the red-zone, the Bears will sometimes call their big dog Akiem Hicks onto the field (Their 6’5 324 pound defensive lineman) who really likes to show off his talent at the fullback position, with plays like “Santa’s sleigh, where “the big man” grabs that ball from Trubisky’s hand and barrels into the endzone for six. For Green Bay, on the other hand, their mentality going into this game is just another day on the job. They cannot let the Bad news Bears get into their head. Establishing an early lead they said is also a key for them, and maintaining the momentum throughout all 60 minutes. Stopping the Bears offense will be one of the most important aspects of the game, because it won’t be that easy putting points up against the #1 defense in the NFL. Chicago should be on the lookout for the nasty fake punt play the Packers have, as it will keep Aaron Rodgers on the field for at least another three plays.

    Nobody at the beginning of the NFL season could have predicted this type of turnout for the Packers, sitting at 5-7-1 they unfortunately for them do not control their own destiny and will rely on the outcomes of a few other teams to help them out and continue their season into January. Rodgers has played this entire season with a knee injury suffered week one against the same team they are set to play this weekend. That's why they must defeat the Bears this weekend.

    This rivalry is one of the oldest in the history of football, including before the super bowl era. Both teams have an exact same record of 94-94-6, so the winner of this week's 1:00 PM matchup will have the edge over the others. Two of the most famous and historic NFL coaches in Mike Ditka and Vince Lombardi were originally the best of the best around, but today's matchup in the head coaches column involves a new interim head coach due to the firing of 13 year head coach Mike McCarthy for the Packers, and rookie HC Matt Nagy for Chicago who is off to an impressive season.

    The Bears currently have the biggest win margin over the Packers in a single game with the score of 62-7, beating their opponents by 55 points! In the past few years though, the Packers have always been considered super bowl contenders, and the Bears on the other hand, have just started their race, getting hot after drafting their guy under center two years ago. In the 2017 season, Green Bay took both matchups against their rival Chicago 30-27 and earlier in the season 26-10. Chicago looks to bite back and get their revenge.

    Being in the league the longest (99 years) Poppa Bears have dominated. They also have the most amount of championships including before the super bowl era. The Packers have been in the league for 98 years, only one less than the Bears, and have 13 championships won including before the super bowl era, as well as arguably one of the best quarterbacks of all time in Brett Favre.

Broncos vs Raiders week 16

Larry DiBiase

    On Monday, December 24th the Denver Broncos head west to California to face the Division rivals, Oakland Raiders, on Christmas Eve. Both teams are not having the season they expected to have this year, especially the Broncos with signing Case Keenum who, last season, brought the Minnesota Vikings to the NFC championship game; Broncos fans finally had hope. The Oakland Raiders hired a new head coach, Jon Gruden, in January 2018 after not making the playoffs that season. After Jon Gruden was hired, Raiders fans were rejoicing after finally getting a good head coach. The Raiders then traded away two of their best players, Amari Cooper, and Khalil Mack who are both having outstanding seasons on their new teams this season.  

   After getting rid of running back C.J. Anderson the Broncos then picked up an undrafted rookie named Phillip Lindsay. No one knew how to feel about this since he was undrafted and didn’t even get an invite to the NFL Combine. Now going into week 15, Phillip Lindsay is the #4 rushing leader with 927 yards.  The Broncos quarterback, Case Keenum, has passed for 3130 yards this season and has thrown 15 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Von Miller is the #3 sack leader with 13.5 sacks and is close to getting the Broncos franchise sack record.

   Even though the Raiders aren’t having such an amazing season, Derek Carr has still passed for over 3434 yards. Carr has thrown 18 touchdowns and eight interceptions this season. Marshawn Lynch, even though he got hurt early in the season, had only rushed for 376 yards.

   The Broncos have been suffering lately, especially with the loss to the 49ers because of the loss of Emmanuel Sanders with a torn achilles as well as the loss of starting cornerback Chris Harris Jr. with a broken fibula which he suffered during the game against the Bengals. Losing those two starters makes the Broncos in worse shape with already losing Demaryius Thomas, trading him to the Texans; now Keenum will have to adjust to the rookie's playstyle without having both veterans to throw to.

   Overal,l the Raiders have aten0 game lead over the Broncos with a record of 63-53-2 when played against each other. The two teams first played each other on October 2nd, 1960, with the Broncos scoring 31 points and the Raiders scoring only 14. The last meetup between the two teams was on September 16th, 2018, in a very close game with the Broncos winning by only one point. The final score was 20-19.

   After the Broncos loss to the 49ers on Sunday the radio show “Stokley and Zach” co-host Zach Bye called the loss the “worst-coached game this season for the Broncos.”

   “I know they’re battling serious injuries, but it felt like they had to overcome their own coaches as well, ” Bye says, when talking about what the Broncos were facing that week but also adding the effort that could cost Vance Joseph his coaching job at Denver.

Maple Leafs at Devils

By: Matt Alday

The struggling Devils host the high flying Maple Leafs at the Prudential Center this Tuesday. The Devils are headlined by the reigning Hart Trophy winner in Taylor Hall who is having another fine season. The number one overall draft pick in the 2017 draft, Nico Hischier, is improving rapidly in his sophomore season. Cory Schneider has struggled recently but is 9th all time in career save percentage. Kyle Palmieri is having a great start to the year with 17 goals already. The Leafs have some stars of their own. Their leader is Auston Matthews, a 20 year old stud with 27 points in only 19 games this year. The prized free agent signing last year of John Tavares has paid off, as he’s averaging over a point per game so far this year. Mitch Marner is having another incredible season, scoring 43 points in 33 games. The Leafs were finally able to end William Nylander’s at the beginning of the month and he looks to be a big part of a Leafs team that is aiming to go far in the playoffs this year.

The Maple Leafs are known for their high scoring offense and strong power play. Freddy Andersen is is able to mask the issues the Leafs have on defense. The Devils on the other hand have a strong offense that can go quiet at times. Blake Coleman leads a lethal penalty kill group capable of creating high danger chances. The Devils are less impressive in the defensive game, allowing 111 goals in only 31 games. Keith Kinkaid has helped keep the Devils in games this year. The man advantage has also plagued the Devils this year, as they rank 19th in the league on the power play.

At the beginning of the millenium, the Devils and the Maple Leafs met often in the playoffs, with the Devils winning in successive years. The rivalry seemed to reach a fever pitch in the early 2000s when Tie Domi of the Maple Leafs elbowed Scott Niedermayer in the head. Things have cooled off recently though as they haven’t met in the playoffs recently.

These two teams play three games a year. Last year in their first matchup, the Devils scored six goals including a rare three-on-five goal from then Devils player Brian Gibbons. Toronto got revenge a month later when William Nylander scored in the last minute of overtime to break the defensive fight. The Devils got the last laugh though, as they were 2-1 winners in the final meeting of these teams last year. That game clinched a playoff spot for the Devils, their first since going to the Stanley Cup finals in 2012.

Both teams are coming off playoff seasons, with the Devils making the big dance for the first time since 2012. The Maple Leafs are riding high after two straight playoff appearances. These two teams have taken off in different directions this year though. The Devils are currently 11-13-7, good for 29 points and 7th in the Metropolitan Division. The Maple Leafs are 21-10-1, good for 44 points and 3rd in the Atlantic Division.

This looks to be a high scoring affair from two good offenses looking to move up in the standings.

New Jersey Devils look to torch the Nashville Predators

By: Kyle Thomas

    The New Jersey Devils will look for their 12th win of the season when they travel to Nashville for a duel against the Predators on Saturday, December 15th.  Puck drops at 8:00 p.m. at Bridgestone Arena.

    The New Jersey Devils, who are coming off of a huge come from behind win against The Vegas Golden Knights in overtime 5-4 last night, are 11-13-6, and have struggled as of late going 2-4-4 are going up against a juggernaut in the Western Conference in the Nashville Predators who is 21-10-1 on the season. The Predators are 5-5 in their last 10 games and are coming off of their third straight win against the Vancouver Canucks 4-3 in overtime on Thursday.  The last time the Devils and Predators met, October 25th at The Prudential Center in Newark, the Devils fell to the Predators 4-3 in Overtime. All time the Devils are 15-9-4 against the Predators, this will be the 2nd and final meeting of the regular season between the two teams.

     Devils superstar left winger, former first overall pick, and reigning league MVP Taylor Hall, who leads the Devils in assists, 23, and points, 31 will be out of this game due to an undisclosed injury and will not make the trip down to Nashville with the team.  The Devils will look to rely on players such as their young center and former first overall pick Nico Hischier and right winger Kyle Palmieri, who leads the Devils in goals with 17 to push the Devils to victory over the Predators. The Devils will also be looking for a big performance from goaltender Keith Kinkaid who unexpectedly played last night after he replaced Cory Schneider in goal after letting up three goals in the first 9:23 of the first period versus the Vegas Golden Knights.  The Nashville Predators will be without forward and sniper Filip Forsberg and will rely on Center Ryan Johansen, Goaltender Juuse Saros, and their stellar defensive core of P.K. Subban, Mattias Ekholm, Roman Josi, and Ryan Ellis to steal a win from the Devils. Juuse Saros has had a tough year and will start in place of reigning Vezina trophy winner Pekka Rinne. Saros, is sporting a seemingly good 7-5 record, but with a lacking goals against average of 3.36 and a low save percentage of .885%, and coming off his last game where he gave up 4 goals on 24 shots, makes that record look less than what it is.

    Some strengths of the Devils include a strong penalty kill at 81.7% efficiency, good for 10th in the NHL, However, the Devils allow the fourth most goals against per game with 3.59 goals against and the Devils are playing the second game of a back to back and traveling to a well rested Nashville team who is dominant at home.  The Devils are are the weakest road team in the league only posting three wins away from The Rock (Prudential Center) this season. Some strengths on the Predators include having an excellent defensive core with a +18 goal differential on the year and have had solid goaltending as of late. Nashville’s defense allows the least amount of shots against per game in the whole NHL an are one of the best home teams in the NHL, and they are 9-0 versus the Eastern Conference this year.  When looking for weaknesses on this team, it is hard to find any, they are a Stanley Cup contender and went to the Stanley Cup final in 2017 but lost in six games against the Pittsburgh Penguins. They were the best regular season team last season, winning the President’s trophy and they went all the way to a game 7 in last spring’s playoffs but lost to the Winnipeg Jets, another Stanley Cup contender. It seems that the only weakness on the team is their injuries, but they have so much depth that they are able to make up for those injuries.  

    Both the Devils and the Predators will play with a 12 forward, six defenseman formation for the game.  Marcus Johansson will take Taylor Hall’s spot on the top line, just as he did last night with Nico Hischier centering and Kyle Palmieri across from him.  On the Predators side, Kyle Turris will be bumped up to second line center tonight in an attempt to balance out the scoring.

    When Devil’s head coach John Hynes was asked about the Devils power play that has really been struggling as of late, and without their star Taylor Hall manning the left side in today’s pregame interview, he responded with “It doesn’t necessarily matter, not in the sense that you don’t need Taylor, the powerplay is always the same, you want to try to be good on faceoffs, your entry plays have to be strong, you have to put the puck behind the Defense or can you get a possession entry and then when you get the puck into your setups it's really about as quick as we can and the smartest way that we can deliver the puck to the net.”

    When Predators head coach Peter Laviolette was asked what stands out the most with the Devils in today’s pregame interview, he responded with “Their work ethic, they never stop, they are fast and they are relentless on the play and the minute you don’t respect that, the minute you don’t do the work, you usually hate the results against them, that to me stands out the most.”

  This will be a tough game for a tired Devils team coming to play in the second half of a back to back.  The Devils have won their last 3 trips to Nashville and all of those have gone beyond regulation, but that is all in the past as we look forward to tonight’s matchup in the music city.

Dolphins Look to Sink Vikings’ Playoff Hopes

By Jason Taylor

          The Dolphins and the Vikings both look for a victory to punch their ticket into the playoffs. On Sunday at 1:00 pm the Miami Dolphins will travel to the cold weather of the Minnesota U.S Bank Stadium. After last week’s “ Miracle in Miami” when the Dolphins won on a last second play against the division leading Patriots, it gave them hope that they can be a playoff team. The Vikings are sitting pretty with a wild card spot, and after a loss last week, they will look to bounce back this week against the Dolphins at home.

         The key matchup in the game will be Dolphins cornerback, Xavien Howard,  currently tied for the top spot in the NFL with seven interceptions, covering Adam Thielen who is third in the NFL in receiving yards with 1,236. The expectation for the Vikings is to throw the ball against the Dolphins weak passing defense. Vikings Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs are two of the leagues top receivers. The Vikings have a decent offense averaging 21.7 points per game, but it has been inconsistent the past five weeks. In four of the five games they were held to less than 300 total yards, so it is unclear of what to expect of the Vikings offense against the Dolphins 29th ranked defense in the NFL. The Vikings will also be playing their first game with interim offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski. The Dolphins will most likely look to have a balanced run and pass attack behind quarterback Ryan Tannehill. “I think he is taking good care of the football, he has been throwing some really good deep balls. He’s been accurate,” head coach Mike Zimmer of the Vikings said earlier this week when asked about Tannehill according to the Dolphins Wire.  

         These two teams have a history. In 1974 when the teams met for just the second time ever, it was in the super bowl, and the Dolphins won 24-7.  It was their second super bowl win. Their first victory came in the season before. The Dolphins robbed the Vikings of a super bowl victory, and the team has still not one. The two teams have played a total of 12 times with the Dolphins winning eight of the matchups and the last three in a row. The last matchup was in 2014 when the Dolphins won 37-35 on Tannehill’s four touchdown passes. Tannehill will be looking for some of that same magic he had four years ago.

        The Dolphins head into the game with a record of 7-6 currently in a three way tie for an AFC wild card spot with the Colts and Ravens. The Vikings come in at 6-6-1 half a game ahead of the Panthers for an NFC wild card spot. The big thing to look at is the Dolphins terrible performance on the road with a record of 1-5 outside the comfort of Hard Rock Stadium, while the Vikings are 4-2 at home this year. The Vikings head into the game as 9.5 point favorites, but the last AFC East team to come into Minnesota as underdogs this season were the Buffalo Bills who blew out the Vikings 27-6. It should be a great showdown in Minnesota; a game that will likely decide the fate of both teams.

The Rams are set to charge the Eagles off of their turf

By: Lauren Sommers

    The 11-2 Los Angeles Rams will defeat the 6-7 Philadelphia Eagles at home on Sunday, December 16th to increase their regular season record to 12-2 by improving their running game after last week's loss against the Bears.  There are a few key players on the Rams, that may make all the difference in their triumph over the Eagles.

     Running back, Todd Gurley, coming in as a rookie, tied for the record of most touchdowns within the first seven games and was just short of being named Most Valuable Player of the NFL last year.  The Rams quarterback, Jared Goff, is also a huge asset to the team, he broke the record for most yards ever by a quarterback on a Thursday night game. He also was the first player in NFL history with 400 yards and five touchdowns on three days of rest and tied the Rams record with five touchdown passes in a game.  The Philadelphia Eagles have star quarterback Carson Wentz, who broke the league and franchise record of most completions by a rookie, with 379 and set a franchise record for most touchdown passes in the season, he has a 101.9 passer rating in thirteen games. Eagles wide receiver, Alshon Jeffery broke the franchise record in the postseason for catching twelve passes in 219 yards and three touchdowns, averaging 18.3 yards per catch.

       The Rams overall philosophy about offense is simple; put the ball into the hands of your best playmakers in favorable situations, Rams coach Sean McVay commented in an interview with NFL.  For the Eagles they have a creative trick play that they run in specific situations. Quarterback, Nick Foles passes the ball to running back Corey Clement and from there he passes it to wide receiver Nelson Agholor.  The Rams have many strengths that make them a spectacular team, however their offense shines brightest on the field. They are equally good at their running and passing game, and it creates the perfect combination for victory.  Although their offense is one of the best in the league, their defense does not quite match the levels of the offensive line.
    The Eagles also have an extremely good offensive line and their backfield is strong and deep.  Their biggest weakness is also their defense. One of their key linebackers is just coming off a surgery and is not fully at 100 percent.

       On December 10th, 2017, a little over a year ago, these teams faced last.  The Eagles were able win 43-35, this game was played right after Carson Wentz’ eagles quarterback, season ending injury.  On October 5th, 2014 the two teams also faced. The Eagles won this game as well, with a close score 34-28. This season the Rams have made quite an improvement in their standings.  They are currently 11-2 and are standing second in the entire league. The Eagles have a decent standing, with a 6-7 record, but are not ranking anywhere near the Rams. Last season, in 2017 the Rams record was 11-5 and the Eagles had an astonishing 13-3 final record and ended up winning the superbowl last season.  There have not been many comments regarding the game by players or coaches. However, the Rams are favored to win by many, because of their spectacular winning record.

Philadelphia’s woes continue

By: Michael Rovetto

The 6-7 Philadelphia Eagles may have a tough time this Sunday as they take on the 11-2 Los Angeles Rams on December 16th, in week 15 at LA Memorial Coliseum, in Los Angeles. They will especially struggle if Carson Wentz does not play. The Eagles franchise QB Carson Wentz could miss this Sunday’s game and possibly the rest of the 2018-2019 season due to a back injury. The Eagles and Rams both lost this past week and are looking to bounce back.

After a tough loss to the Dallas Cowboys this past week, Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Peterson said, “You’ve got to hate this feeling.” The Eagles were very successful in 2017 as they won their first Super Bowl in franchise history. But 2018 is a different story, as the Eagles fight for a playoff spot in what is one of the weakest divisions in football, the NFC East.

The Eagles may struggle to run the ball against the strong Rams front. It also does not help that the Birds lost two solid RBs to horrific injuries. Jay Ajayi tore his ACL back in week five against the Minnesota Vikings and Corey Clement injured his knee last week against the Cowboys. Both backs are now on IR.

The Eagles will be forced to throw the ball down the field to playmakers Zach Ertz, Golden Tate, and Alshon Jeffery. Since the Rams secondary is also very solid, Eagles QB Nick Foles (If Wentz does not play) will look to target the always reliable TE Ertz, who will be matched up with the Rams weak LBs. Zach Ertz has surpassed the 1,000 receiving mark this season and is chasing the all-time record for catches in a season by a TE.

The Rams however, will not have a problem attacking the Eagles injury plagued secondary. The Rams will look to get star RB Todd Gurley going early to set up the play action pass to speedsters Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods. Todd Gurley is second in rushing and WRs Cooks and Woods both have achieved 1,000 yards receiving this season.

Aaron Donald, who is arguably the best player in football, will draw many double teams because of his ability to rush the passer. Donald is leading the league with 16.5 sacks. In the secondary there is also many talented players that can take over a game on any given night. Although they have struggled as of late, and dealt with injuries, Lockdown DBs, Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib will match up against the talented Eagles receivers.

The Eagles and the Rams do not have that much of a rivalry but whenever these two teams match up it is usually a high scoring affair. The first time these two teams faced off was all the way back in 1937 where the Rams defeated the Eagles 21-3. Last time these two teams faced off was week 14 of 2017, where the Eagles flew to victory in what was a very exciting game that finished 43-35. Coincidently, this was the same game that Carson Wentz ended up tearing his acl. The Eagles lead what is a close series of 21-19-1 against the Rams.

As of right now the Philadelphia Eagles are 6-7 and have a very low chance of making the playoffs. On the other hand the Los Angeles Rams are 11-2 and have already clinched a playoff spot. Many people expect the Rams to come away with the win, but don't sleep on the Super Bowl 52 champions.

The Los Angeles Rams will ram the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday night

 By: Madison Recanati

         The 11-2 Rams and the 6-7 Eagles are going horns to talons, Sunday night at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, after both teams are coming off a rough loss from week 14.

         Going into this game, the Rams are one of the most feared teams in the NFL and have some notable players on their herd. The Rams have star running back Todd Gurley. Gurley has 15 touchdowns and 1,203 yards so far this season. The Rams also has Jared Goff who is a quarterback on the rise. Although Goff is coming off a tough loss where he threw four interceptions, he has 3,934 passing yards for the season whereas Carson Wentz, Philadelphia’s quarterback, has 3,074 passing yards.

         The total YPG ranks the Rams offense #3 in the NFL which will dominate the Eagles defense which is ranked #25 in the NFL. LA also has the home field advantage. Their only losses were on the road at New Orleans and Chicago. The only thing the Rams and their coach, Sean McVay, will have to worry about is double teaming on Gurley as he is their main source of energy.

         The past five times they played each other the Eagles dug their talons into the Rams and flew away with the win. The last time these teams collided was on December 10th, 2017 where Philadelphia took the win in LA, 43-35. This was the game where Carson Wentz finished his season as he tore his left ACL in his knee. He should be on his A game on Sunday because they took him away from the Superbowl last year. It should be interesting to see how Wentz will play as he is back and better than ever. The Eagles lead the series 21-19-1 against the Rams.

         With both teams coming off a loss, the game against the 11-2 Rams, is not looking promising for the Eagles. Goff is home where it is warm and he can make a comeback for himself after completing 20/44 last Sunday against the Bears. He is a force to be reckoned with as he will be coming after revenge that will make the Eagles go extinct.

         Philadelphia, Super Bowl LII champions, is 6-7 this year making them 2nd in the NFC East, 1st being the Dallas Cowboys who just beat them last Sunday, 29-23, after Amari Cooper scored the game winning touchdown in overtime. Last year the Eagles were 1st in their division with a 13-3 record. The Rams last year were also 1st in their division, NFC West, with an 11-5 record. This year they maintained 1st again with an 11-2 record.

         According to LA Times, “Goff handled questions about his recent play with typical aplomb. He did not make excuses. He said he was fine.” If he is “fine” then Rams fans should be expecting a successful win.

A Familiar Matchup

By Tommy Heslin

    Once again, the almost annual Patriots-Steelers matchup is upon us. This time, the New England Patriots are coming off arguably the most disappointing loss of the Tom Brady-Bill Belichick era. With seven seconds left in regulation this past Sunday, the New England Patriots led 33-28 with the Dolphins snapping the ball from about eighty yards away from the endzone. On top of that, Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill had a taped up ankle and a sore shoulder, the game could not have been less in doubt for New England. Three laterals, six points, and seven seconds later, the Patriots were 9-4.

      On the other hand, The Pittsburgh Steelers haven’t seen themselves on the top of the scoreboard at the end of regulation in almost a month. The last time the Steelers were seen on the field, their placekicker, Chris Boswell, was seen falling onto his back after slipping on the poor grassy surface at the Oakland Coliseum on what was a game-winning attempt as time expired in the Bay Area. However, that wasn’t the only eye-popping headline following the conclusion of the game. Controversy swirled over why future Hall of Fame quarterback Ben Roethlisberger missed so much of the 4th quarter after he felt he was ready to go back in. With rumors swirling that head coach Mike Tomlin’s exit from Pittsburgh could come after this year, Sunday’s 4:25 matchup against New England is more than just “another game”.

       This game tends to run on one constant; an almost definite New England victory. Quarterback Tom Brady is 11-2 in his career against Pittsburgh (2-0 in Pittsburgh during the postseason). This riveting matchup last year ended with a tipped ball interception thrown by Ben Roethlisberger in the end zone with less than 30 seconds on the clock. Once again, the Patriots crushed the hearts of Pittsburgh, in Pittsburgh, where the Patriots have won two AFC-Championship games with Brady at the helm and Belichick on the sidelines in a hoodie.

       That brings us to this week’s game. Each of these teams are coming off of crushing defeats, with the Steelers facing a potential 4th straight loss, and New England facing the potential of losing more than four games this season, something that they haven’t done since the 2009 NFL season. The Steelers are hanging onto their division lead by a thread, while New England is battling for the first seed in the AFC playoffs. Although Sunday’s outcome seems rather predictable, we are almost promised to witness an exciting game.

AFC West Showdown

By: AJ Figurelli

        The competitive AFC West is waiting for a winner between the 11-2 Kansas City Chiefs and the 10-3 Los Angeles Chargers. The outcome of this Thursday Night Showdown will most likely win the division. Both the Chiefs and the Chargers play each other twice a year because they are in the same division. Earlier this season the Chiefs did defeat the Chargers on Los Angeles territory. They beat them by a score of 38-28. The Chiefs are ahead of the Chargers in the standings by one game. If the Chiefs win Thursday night they will have clinched the AFC West. If the Chiefs win Thursday and the Texans and the Patriots lose on Sunday, then the Chiefs will clinch the top seed and home field advantage for the AFC side of the playoffs. If the Chargers are hoping to win the division they must win Thursday.

        To break down each team’s star players, it is obvious the Chiefs have more stars than the Chargers. The Chiefs have arguably the face of the NFL in Patrick Mahomes, who has a 66.8 comp %, 4,300 yds, 43 TD, 11 Int. Around him he has the star tight end, Travis Kelce, and the speed demon, Tyreek Hill. Mahomes has 66.8 comp %, 4,300 yds, 43 TD, 11 Int. Kelce has 86 Rec, 1,159 yds, 10 TD. And lastly, Hill has 74 Rec, 1,258 yds, 11 TD. On the Chargers sideline, they have Philip Rivers, who has a 69.4 comp %, 3,638 yds, 29 TD, 6 Int. Expect Hill and Kelce to have a big game for the Chiefs tonight since their running back, Spencer Ware, is out for the game. Expect this Thursday night war to be an offensive game of football. The Chiefs defense allows the most yards per play which will translate into points for LA, and the Chiefs have an explosive and high powered offense that no team has yet to stop.

        Can the Kansas City Chiefs lock up the AFC West division title? Can the Chargers hold off KC? The AFC West will have a winner claimed if the Chiefs win, if not then we might have to wait another week.

Packers vs. Bears at Soldier Feild

By: Rhianna Feiner

          The Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears will go head to head in an NFL football game on Sunday, December 16 at Soldier Field. The Bears-Packers rivalry is a National Football League rivalry. The two clubs have won a combined 22 NFL championships, including five Super Bowl championships and have 65 members in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In week 14, the Packers beat the Atlanta Falcons with a 34 - 20 end score. In week 14, the Bears won the game with an ending score of 15 - 6 against the Los Angeles Rams. Since the NFL-AFL merger and the Super Bowl becoming the championship game following the 1966 season, the Bears have won it only once in 1985 (a 46–10 blowout of the Patriots in S.B XX). They won the NFC championship in 2006 (beating the Saints 39–14 at Soldier Field), but then lost to Indianapolis 29–17 in S.B XLI. The Packers have won 13 league championships, the most in NFL history, with nine pre–Super Bowl NFL titles and four Super Bowl victories. The Packers won the first two Super Bowls in 1967 and 1968 and were the only NFL team to defeat the American Football League (AFL) prior to the AFL–NFL merger.

Can Brighton beat white hot Chelsea?

By: Thomas Edge

    Last week, N’golo Kante and David Luis scored big goals at Stamford Bridge to take down the reigning champions. Coming off of a big win against Man City, Chelsea looks to beat Brighton at Amex Stadium this Sunday, December 16.

    Brighton is rolling with Lewis Dunk and Leon Balogun at the center back position and Glenn Murray at striker. Chelsea has Eden Hazard and Pedro Rodríguez looking to work with Kante and Mateo Kovačić at central-midfielder.

    As for Chelsea’s manager, Maurizio Sarri, this will be his first time against Brighton. Chelsea fans hope that he will bring a look that Brighton has not seen before. Chris Hughton, the manager of Brighton, will have a tough job on his hands.

     Last Premier League season, the Blues beat Brighton 2-0 at home and 4-0 on the road. The 2017-2018 Premier League season was also Brighton’s first PL season since being relegated in 1983. Brighton are currently thirteenth in the Premier League with a 6-3-7 record. Chelsea are 10-4-2 and in fourth in the Premier League.

     Leading up to Sunday’s match, Hazard said, “It never became an obsession for me to score at all costs. I’ve always said that I’m not a big scorer, I’m a worker.” This is according to Brainy Quote.

    With the odds of winning leaning towards Chelsea, do Brighton have a chance of beating the former champions?

Will the Bears clinch the NFC division title against there long time rival the Packers?

By: Lexi Danyus

    After a one point game early in the season, the Green Bay Packers will once again challenge the Chicago Bears in a regular season NFL game this Sunday, December 16, at Soldier Field. The Packers offense has to be ready for the Bears defense; their defense has been on fire!

    The Packers aren’t coming in without a fight. Aaron Rodgers has more passing yards than Mitchell Trubisky - Aaron has 3,700 yards and Trubisky 2,579 yards. Aaron Jones has the top rushing yards and Rodgers is right behind them - Jones with 720 yards and Rodgers with 212 yards. It’s good for Rodgers because he injured his knee in the beginning of the season and also he missed a lot of last year's games because of a collarbone injury. Davante Adams leads the Packers with the most receiving yards with 1,196 yards. The Bears are going in as the underdog compared to the Packers stats. Mitchell Trubisky is looking to out due Rodgers with 2,579 passing yards. Jordan Howard is close to Jones but just a little bit under with 713 rushing yards. Tarik Cohen got to set up his game with only 679 yards in receiving compared to Adams.

  The Packers defense isn’t looking too bad; the most amount of tackles they have is 76 and that’s done by Blake Martinez. The most amount of sacks is eight byKyler Fackrell. The most is interceptions holder on the Packers is Bashaud  Breeland with two. The Packers better be ready as the Bears are going to be hungry and looking for their prey. The Packers have to watch out for Roquan Smith who has the most tackles for the Bears at 72. Rodgers has to watch out Khalil Mack with ten sacks. Kyle Fuller has the most interceptions for the Bears at seven.

   The Chicago Bears have been playing the Green Bay Packers since 1921. They've met up 192 times including the playoffs, and they are the most played match up in NFL history. The Bears and the Packers met only twice in the postseason play in 1941 and 2010 and each the winner went onto win a championship.

     The last couple of years the Packers have won against the Bears. On September 9, 2018 the Packers w;on it was a really close game at 24-23. When you go into the 1990’s, the Bears start to win. In 1992 on October 15, 1992 the Bears won over the Packer 30-10 and they won three straight after that game.

        The Packers record right now is 5-7 not too bad but the Bears are 9-4. In the Packers previous years like 2017, 2016, and 2015 they were looking great. In 2017 they had a 7-9 record and in 2016 and 2015 they had the record of 10-6. The Bears, on the other hand, in 2017, 2016, and 2015 weren’t too great. In 2017 they were 5-11 and 2016 they were 3-13 and in 2015 they were 6-10. They've been struggling the past couple of years. Will the Bears clinch the NFC division title or will the Packers stop that from happening?!!!!

An AFC rivalry makes it way to Heinz Field for a third consecutive year

By: Nicole Cuervo

      Only one team can bounce back after two shameful losses in week 14 and New England looks to “steel” that home turf advantage from Pittsburgh on Sunday, December 16th.

      As both AFC teams dominate first place in their respective divisions, the Steelers are facing a make-or-break-game for the playoffs. The Patriots, also in a crucial situation, will be bumped down to a number two seed spot and a first-round bye if they fall for another week. “Big Ben” missed a large quantity of the second half in the Oakland game last week due to a rib injury, however, he is looking to enter his home field fully ready for his rivals. New England has a successful offensive line to look out for considering Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster accumulated a combined total of 2,297 yards this season so far. Sony Michel and James White will be sturdy running backs for the Patriots just as much as Gronkowski is a reliable tight end (aside from the “Meltdown in Miami”). If the Steelers do not want Josh Gordon tying up another game just before the end of regulation again (but for a different team), then their black and yellow defense better keep their eye on the “Flash.”

      Coming home from a disgraceful loss in Oakland due to a slippery kick from Chris Boswell, Steelers head coach, Mike Tomlin spoke of his team with much understanding of their goal. In a post-game conference last week, Tomlin elaborated by stating, “We are going to continue to work. We’re going to absorb the negativity that comes with our current position, we understand that. We created it; it’s our job to fix it.” Also speaking on behalf of a tough game in week 14, New England’s head coach, Bill Belichick admitted, “There are a lot of things we could have done better. It came down to one play but there are a lot of things besides that.” When asked about his views for the Steelers game, Belichick acknowledged, “It’s always a great environment there [Pittsburgh], ...but does a lot of things well so a lot of respect for the Steelers.” Tom Brady, New England’s starting quarterback, in an interview confidently noted, “Their defense has evolved a little bit and we’re pretty much prepared for everything. They’ve got some new players but we know the scheme.”

      With James Connor officially declared out for this game, the Steelers will look to Jaylen Samuels and Stevan Ridley in the running game. For the first time since November 11th, tight end, Dwayne Allen will be a returning Patriot after missing three consecutive games due to a knee injury. Both offensive lines will have to make substantial plays in the red zone in order to prove themselves worthy of the playoffs. Derek Rivers has fluctuated on the inactive list this season, however, he will not be playing in this game which may hurt New England’s depth on the defensive front.

      Pittsburgh has one of the top wide receiver duos in the league: JuJu and Brown. Roethlisberger is close with Chiefs QB, Patrick Mahomes, for passing yards, however, he has had 13 interceptions amongst 13 games. The “Meltdown in Miami” was the fourth time the Patriots defense let their opponent score 30 or fewer points - three of those four games were losses for New England. They have had a solid defense in the second half of games this season despite a monumental turnover in South Florida on December 9th. Questions are now swirling in terms of their lack of pass rush and running game. The Patriots defense is now out of the top ten in points due to the Miami Miracle, in fact.

      This game will determine the Patriot’s declared freedom as they are fighting for their tenth succeeding AFC East title. This matchup will be a huge AFC rivalry in itself and only one first-place division team may come out on top.

      The Patriots have beat the Steelers for the past two seasons at Heinz Field and they are definitely looking for the third time this Sunday. The two faced one another in week 15 last year as well, with Pittsburgh not having Brown. New England defeated the black and yellow stripes in 2017 with a final score of 27-24 with a complete 413 yards. Both quarterbacks, Brady and Ben, each gave up one interception along with Steelers running back, Le’Veon Bell, collecting the most rushing yards (117). Without the utilization of Bell this season due to contract disputes, the Steelers will have to primarily depend on Samuels.

      The Pittsburgh Steelers will enter Heinz Field this Sunday with a record of 7-5-1, and carrying a heavy three-game losing streak on their back. New England’s overall record is 9-4, however, their home record is 6-0, therefore it will be interesting to see their skills on the road. Both AFC teams ended their 2017-2018 seasons in unison with 13-3 records. The expected outcome of this game is 24-17 Patriots.

Nets and Wizards face off in a battle of the East coast

By Matthew Cruz

    For the first time this season the Brooklyn Nets and Washington Wizards face off in what may be an early prediction for the playoffs.

    The Wizards are leading one disappointing season this year. The team has been swallowed into a ton of drama starting with how they've played this season and also off-court drama with Dwight Howard. Also, John Wall, whos supposed to have the NBA biggest contract this upcoming season, has been very underwhelming. Compared to past season Wallahs seemed slower and his stats all around have taken a hit.

    The Brooklyn Nets have been a bit of a surprise this season. They were 8-8 up until their best player Caris Levert had a gruesome injury against the Minnesota Timberwolves. After that, the Nets have been in a bit of a slump winning less than 35% of their games.

    Both of these teams look to resurge and get back into the playoff picture.

DC Snowboards looks to come back from their 2017 last-place finish in the Dew Tour team event          

By: Ryan Clarkson

The Dew Tour, a series of annual skiing and snowboarding events, takes place in Breckenridge, Colorado from Thursday, December 13th through Sunday, the 16th. This event features snowboard teams, made up of riders and their board sponsors. These include dominant teams such as team Burton, team Rome, team Nitro and more. These teams have prominent slashers such as Olympic winner Red Gerard, and one of the most decorated slopestyle snowboarders, Stale Sandbech.

Rails, jumps, and modified superpipe, each team will have one rider compete in each event.  Neck and neck, team Burton and team Rome battled for the team title, resulting in Rome on top with only a two-point lead in last year’s event.

This year, Sandbech will be looking to lead Rome, to defend their title in the team events. Although Rome has a strong squad, competing teams are sending mountains of talent.  Nitro, Burton and DC send some of their best riders, including Burton’s Olympic Gold Medalist Red Gerard.

Gerard will be looking to stay gold after his slopestyle gold medal in PyeongChang, where he became the youngest American to win gold. Gerard will be defending Burton snowboards with Ben Ferguson and Takeru Otsuka. After last year’s second place, Burton will be coming in firing to get their title back.

Mons Roisland, Sebbe De Buck and Toby Miller are looking to battle back for team DC, to make up for last year’s last-place finish.  These young riders have a good chance to take DC 0 to 100 and win in this year’s team event.

One of the biggest sponsorships, Nitro snowboards, face a major complication, losing their young phenom, Marcus Kleveland, breaking his kneecap in practice. Although Nitro is losing a big piece their lineup. They are filling his place with Sebastien Toutant, Olympic big air gold medalist. Backing him up is Sven Thorgren and Markus Keller, adding some flair to team Nitro.

We see underdog teams in team Salomon and team Capita. Capita is entering their first ever dew tour, with rider Nick Baden at the head of the pack. A similar team in Salomon, lead by Judd Henkes also has some rippers. Although these teams are packed in talent, they might not have the firepower to stack up against the stronger teams.

DC, Burton, and Nitro are the teams in favor of taking home the title this year. DC is putting out three of the strongest riders currently in the industry and have a good chance to win. Overall, the 2019 Dew Tour team event will put us on the edge of our seats and continue to leave many snowboards ‘Stoked’ to ride.

A game with names straight out of a history book

By Joseph Cheevers

    The Tennessee Titans are looking bring back the days of old and rule over the New York Giants at Metlife. The Titans grounded the Jaguars to the earth. But will they have to rule the air against the Giants? Will the Giants be too big? Or will the Titans once again rule the earth?

    Saquon Barkley is surely the strongest of the Giants; he has 13 touchdowns, the most by a rookie on the Giants. Eli Manning is the eldest of the Giants and a sure leader; he is closing in on 360 touchdowns for his career. The Giants stomped all over the Redskins last week with their impressive 40-16 win.

    Derrick Henry certainly made the Jaguars remember that the Titans ruled the earth before the football gods with his 238 rushing yards and 4 rushing touchdowns. The Titans ruled victoriously over the Jaguars with a 30-9 score. Marcus Mariota rules the red zone for the Titans with an impressive 116.3 passer rating, with 30 touchdown passes, no interceptions, a completion percentage of 65.4 and has taken just two sacks.

    Certainly, most plebes would agree both teams rely heavily on their run games, with is true. But the Giants are ranked 13th in passing to the Titans 28th.

    Barkley’s 129.7 scrimmages YPG is the 2nd-most of any rookie since 1970 (HOF Eric Dickerson had 138.3 YPG in 1983). He would be the 2nd Giants player in the last five years to win Offensive Rookie of the Year (Odell Beckham Jr. in 2014).

    The Titans certainly control their home turf with a “5-1 record at home,  +34 point differential, +2 turnover differential, and just 3 giveaways.” On the road where teams need to win the Titans aren’t as gifted as other teams blessed by the football gods with a 2-5 record, -37 point differential, -6 turnover differential, and 12 giveaways.” The Titans do have a “magic number, 21”. “They are 5-0 when scoring 21+ points this season and 2-6 when scoring 20 points or fewer”.

    The Titans and the Giants have no bad blood between, but we will see what happens this Sunday.

    The Giants really were too big for the Titans when they clobbered them over the head 36-7 on December 7, 2014.

    This season both teams middle of the pack with the Giants starting off pretty small or dwarf sized 1-7, but all the sudden they stood tall the past two months going 4-1. The Titans are better off a 7-6 but still behind in the playoff race to become World Champions which is in their grasp compared to the Giants who have some work to do.

    The Giants are without their most famous giant Odell Beckham Jr. who has been ruled out with a quad injury. This may hurt the Giants but don’t forget they trampled the Redskins without Odell and Landon Collins, their star safety. Can they run the table, make the playoffs, and become World Champions under Eli for the third time in his career? It's within the realm of possibility; first, they must clobber Henry and the run game into the ground, dethrone Mariota in the red zone, pound the rock with Barkley, and they must go vertical with Eli. Can there be another Miracle at the Meadowlands?

Charlotte vs. Hornets
By Richard Botti

    Lebron James takes flight into Spectrum Center to try to claim his throne in Charlotte against the Hornets. On the other side of the ball Kemba Walker, the star player for the Hornets, tries to take down the king's throne and protect his house in Charlotte.

    In order for the Hornets to pull the game out with the victory, they must contain Lebron James. The only problem is Lebron cannot be stopped. He always rises up against any adversity thrown his way. If the team buys in and works together to stop the king, the Hornets could pull out the win.

   The Charlotte Hornets will have the crowd on their side. The energy in the stadium will help the Hornets grind out for the attempt to win to not let down the home crowd. But Lebron James will not let them happen. The king does not get fazed by any extra noise. Lebron performs under any pressure.

  The two teams have yet to play this year but last season they have split the games they faced up against each other. But this year the Lakers roster has improved with the addition of Lebron James.

  The Los Angeles record this season is 17-10 and the Charlotte Hornets record this season is 13-13.

Villanova at Kansas

By Dilan Feti

The Villanova Wildcats take on the Kansas Jayhawks at Kansas. As two of the biggest names in college basketball face off, you might be wondering who will come out with the win. Both teams have many star players, but the Jayhawks ranked at number 1 in the NCAA really gives them the advantage and shows how much more talent they have over the Wildcats.

There are many star players on the Jayhawks. The starting five consists of Dedric Lawson, Lagerald Vick, Udoka Azubuike, Quentin Grimes and Devon Dotson. The entire starting five averages around 65 points all together. This team is filled with even more potential and height advantage.

The Villanova Wildcats are winners of last year's NCAA March Madness tournament. With Jay Wright as the head coach, the Wildcats have a great system that they run. The starting five of the Villanova Wildcats consists of Malik Allen, Dwayne Anderson, Ryan Arcidiacono, Paul Arizin and Isaiah Armwood.  The starting line-up for the Wildcats averages at about 55 points. The Wildcats thrive to defeat the Jayhawks as they make their way to potential back-to-back winning seasons.

Falcons ready for flight

By: Johnny Knox

Prepared and confident. That’s how Senior guard Joe Batelli and Junior forward Mattie Johnson spoke about their upcoming season. The two spoke in the quiet library, full of students looking for assistance, however, they were neither quiet nor needed help when speaking about their hopes for the season.

“The goal is to get back to where we were last year and win a state championship,” Johnson said. Referring to last year’s heartbreaking buzzer beater loss to Ramsey in the state finals.The team fought to the very end last year, but just came up one basket too short.

“Our goal this year is to make sure we finish the job,” Johnson said. Their hopes for this year are to finish the job and never give up on games.

Although they have the same aspirations as last year, the roster has changed. They lost Senior point forward, Steven Breeman, who was the team’s leading scorer and captain. “We have to move the ball around more and not be selfish at all,” Batelli said. Without Breeman, this seems to be their solution for the season. By that, Batelli means that they need to give everyone the ball and let everyone create opportunities and be patient for that opportunity.

“We have a lot of guys who are under the radar going into the year,” the two agree. “Just a few are Richie Botti, Paulie Monaco, David Hanna, Matthew Moran, and hype man three-point specialist, Pat Burns.” Johnson and Batelli added. With a lot of weapons and good chemistry, the upcoming season looks to be very promising for the Falcons.

All their hard work this offseason and prep in the last few weeks will come to show on Saturday, December 15, 2018, when they take on Hackettstown at Centenary College.

On the other side of the quiet library were two Varsity basketball girls, Olivia and Leah Demko. They are both Freshman Varsity letter winners and two of the most experienced girls on the young Lady Falcons squad. They had some words to add about their upcoming year as well.

“Our goal for this year is just to become more familiar with each other's play styles for the next few years,” Olivia said. “This team is young and for the next three years we will have mainly the same group of girls so it's important for that chemistry to grow now.”

It’s true, with the little Varsity experience that the Lady Falcons have, chemistry will be a very important aspect to this season. Although they are young, they do show promise. “Deanna Torsiello is very underrated because she is really strong defensively and can shoot the ball very `well for us. Also, Ivana Tisma, although she is a Freshman, she has great ball control, and knows the game of basketball very well,” Leah said. Another great asset who doesn’t get enough credit is Mackenzie Rock. She is also a Freshman, however, Olivia said, “In scrimmages and practices she has been playing well and works very hard defensively and uses her athleticism to her aadvantage.”

With many new weapons and a group of young and excited girls, it will become a must watch, in order to see the squad grow and become a unit more and more throughout the year.

The girls open up their season Friday, December 14, 2018, as they take on High Point at 4 o’clock in the Freedom Gym.

Cabrera’s got your back

By A.J. Cabrera 

If you are wondering who this is, you’re in for a treat. The Assistant Chief of Jefferson Fire Company 1, Raymond Cabrera, has been on the fire department for many years, 18 to be exact. Being a chief of a fire department sounds like hard thing to do and yet it's not the only thing Cabrera does. He also is a father of four children, he has a full-time job as an electrician for PSEG, and he is also a realtor for Champagne Reality.

Cabrera has always wanted to help others throughout his life, and he found a way by becoming a firefighter. He has been on many calls throughout his time and he has seen some stuff he wished he hadn't seen. Throughout his life he had to give CPR four times and two were saves. He has fought over 30 fires, some taking a couple of minutes and some taking a couple of days.  He has also cut cars open and pulled people out of them. And now he is the Assistant Chief of the Jefferson Co 1 fire department so he gets to command the fire scenes and lets people know where to go.

Cabrera will go to calls night or day; whenever those sirens go off Cabrera will be there for the families of Jefferson. He has done many great things in his life and he looks forward to continuing to help his community in many other ways. As he proceeds in his work life he loves to proceed in the fire department field as well. It's truly amazing that one single person can do all of this.

No. 4 Gonzaga look forward to a battle with the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill in a rematch of the 2017 National Championship

By: Brian Erdmann

The Gonzaga Bulldogs, who are ranked No. 4 in the country, look to continue their strong season as they travel to Chapel Hill Saturday, December 15th, to face a tough 12th ranked North Carolina team.

Gonzaga has one of the best offenses in the country averaging 94.1 points per game. Their stud 6-8 Junior, Rui Hachimura, is one of the best forwards in the country and leads the team with 22.2 points per game and their Senior guard, Josh Perkins, leads the team with 8.4 assists per game. According to 24/7sports.com, head coach, Mark Few, when asked if his players are ready for a challenge against North Carolina, says “teeing it up against someone like that will give us a great barometer for where we are at on that particular day, because if we are not good we'll get whacked.”

North Carolina, on the other hand, also has a very dangerous and fast offense. Cameron Johnson, who is a Senior for the Tar Heels, leads the team with averaging 15.7 points per game and Luke Maye who is also a Senior leads the team in rebounds averaging 9.3 a game. North Carolina also leads the country in average possessions a game which could become a factor against Gonzaga’s defense.

Gonzaga definitely has the strength of offense and height with their starting lineup average 6-6. However, North Carolina’s offense is fast and if they have more possession chances than Gonzaga, they might pull out with the win.

Also according to 24/7sports.com, Gonzaga is looking to use a lot of screens as they use screens “all over the floor to manipulate defenses into favorable spots for his offense to attack,” as Few describes it and they’ll try to exploit North Carolina’s big man and set themselves into favorable positions.

North Carolina will try to use its speed to catch Gonzaga’s big men off guard and to secure more possessions than they do.

These two teams have met only three times before. UNC leads the series 2-1. The first matchup was on November 22, 2006 with Gonzaga winning 82-74, but UNC won the next two including the latest and most famous being the 2016-17 National Championship winning 71-65.

Gonzaga last year finished 32-5 last year and are currently 9-1 and North Carolina finished 26-11 last year and are currently 7-2 going into this battle. North Carolina is favored to win by most people with given a 70% chance to win, but overall, this matchup going into Chapel Hill looks to be one to keep an eye on and as a National Championship rematch, both teams look to give it their all in what looks to be a game to remember between two respected opponents.

Jefferson Falcons field hockey team looks forward to some new changes

By: Alexis Trapasso

Kind, caring, compassionate, and hardworking are many ways to describe the new head coach of the Jefferson Falcons field hockey team, Katelyn Cannarozzi. When setting her mind to something that she wants to work hard on, Cannarozzi will make sure that it gets done. The Jefferson Falcons field hockey team looks forward to new changes in the future with Coach Cannarozzi.

“I plan on incorporating more sport specific conditioning to improve the girls' stamina as well as their skill,” Cannarozzi said. Last season, there were goals that the field hockey team accomplished by their hard-working nature. “Some goals we accomplished were improving our fitness which looked much better than the previous year, as well as executing our corners and creating many scoring opportunities,” Cannarozzi said. There are many ways that Cannarozzi gets her team pumped up before a game. “The girls and I call Dr. Gilbert, who is a motivational speaker from Montclair State University and listen to his message of positivity. I also memorized the speech from Miracle and the girls love that speech,” Cannarozzi said.

When her athletes are having an off day, she tries her best to help her athletes with what is on their mind. “If my athletes are having an off day, I usually tell them to let field hockey get in their mind off of it and we can talk it out. If it’s stress, I give them ideas of how to cope with their stress…,” Cannarozzi said. Her most valuable memory is when Nicole Cuervo scored a goal against Parsippany after her father passed away. She called a timeout and the entire team was hugging and crying and it showed her how much the girls care for each other. The examples and memories show just how caring and hardworking Coach Cannarozzi is when it comes to something she loves

Kofi Mensa, small-town boy with big city dreams

By Tyler Wagoner


Kofi Mensa is a tall, small-town boy who has lived in Jefferson for most of his life. He is an athlete who is a part of the school's football team, and a very devoted student. Everybody is familiar with the rap genre in some way, shape or form. Mensa is someone who greatly enjoys music, makes time for writing, and still manages to handle all of his responsibilities as a student

“ I just do this for fun, and that allows me to take my time with my songs, and most of the time I don’t even release the songs I write.” Mensa talks about how since it's for fun there is no pressure to release new songs. Mensa’s biggest inspiration is none other than Michael Jackson.“ I have liked his music ever since I was young.”

Mensa has a wide variety of songs on his SoundCloud account, King Cojo. The song that he is most proud of is ‘All Day.” Mensa says, “ I was going to take it down, but the people that listen to my music reacted in a way I did not expect.”

Mensa has written a song with another aspiring artist from Jefferson already. When asked if he was planning to write a song with David Graham his response was “We already did; check out his SoundCloud .” After listening to the song it is clear to see their combined talent.

Mensa’s parents are from Ghana, Africa. Throughout his songs, he mentions his heritage. He says that his parents are extremely supportive of his rap career. Mensa states,“ I like being able to talk about my heritage in my music.” It allows him to express himself through the lyrics of his songs in ways he normally would not.

Helping people is his middle name

By: Sara Thomas

It is a cold, muggy day at Jefferson Township High School, but Anthony Cabrera always comes in with a smile on his face as he walks into classroom D16. There is not a day that goes by where I do not see a grin on his face knowing that he did something to help his community tremendously. When you know that you're helping people out every day and constantly saving lives, it makes one's face always light up. Well that is the life of Anthony Cabrera, and that is the life of a part-time firefighter who is still enrolled in high school.

“I just love helping the people and the community,” Cabrera says. That is the main reason why he wanted to become a volunteer firefighter. Being a firefighter and a high school student at the same time takes up a lot of time. In order to help people as much as this kid does, he just gets all of his school work done whenever he has time because he says, “You never know when a call might go off.”

Anthony has always loved helping people. Ever since he was little he has wanted to become a nurse, so that he is there to help people whenever they need help. Even when he is a nurse he still would like to be a volunteer firefighter.

I asked Anthony what his favorite part about being a firefighter was. He answers with three simple words, “Everything is fun.” Those three words go to show that this kid loves what he does and he has a passion for it. The most memorable part of being a firefighter for him is that he once pulled someone out of a car and put him on a helicopter. Those are the scary moments about being a young firefighter, but once the job is done, it leaves a huge smile on his face, as I’m sure it would on anyone's face, hence why he always walks into room D16 with a smile. A smile that seems to brightens everyone’s day.

Catching up with the swim team: Casey Obaytek

By: Kyle Thomas

      Casey Obaytek, calm, cool, and collective walks into the cafeteria at Jefferson Township High School sporting his usual look of an American Eagle shirt, blue jeans, and a pair of Vans Sneakers on a cool Tuesday morning in late November.  

    As a key member of the Jefferson Township High School swim team, Obaytek talks about what he expects from the team for the upcoming season, “I think we will have an alright year, we are cut back on boys this season, but those who are there have the ability to put together a solid season.”  

    When Obaytek was asked about what it would mean to him be one of the team captains for his Senior year of high school, he responded with, “It would be nice to have captaincy and to lead our team to an hopefully successful season.”  It was also noted that he would like to share the captain role with some of his fellow Senior friends on the team.

    Obaytek further elaborated on personal goals that he has set for himself for the upcoming season which included earning a championship spot in the 50 Freestyle.  Obaytek was also asked what he wants to see out of the whole team this year. Obaytek responded, “General improvement, good sportsmanship, and seeing everyone hopefully enjoying the high school swim team experience.”  

As the bell began to ring and send us off to our next class, Obaytek left with that calm, cool, and collective attitude with which he came into the interview.  

Chris Brantley a Life in Football

By Jason Taylor

Chris Brantley loved to play with the kids in his neighborhood in Indianapolis when he was about four years old.  They played a type of street ball where they would have to try hard not to get tackled. He loved avoiding the tackles, and he did so all the way through his professional career.

From the streets of Indianapolis, Chicago, and New Jersey, to the bright lights of the Dome at America’s Center, Chris Brantley made a life out of his love for football. “I watched the draft on TV with my family.  I got a call from the Rams that they were about to pick me in the fourth round. My family saw it come across the TV screen while I was on the phone with the team,” Brantley said. With that his dream of playing football continued.

As an athlete, Chris watched many great players on TV, but none influenced him more than his own father.  His father taught him how to throw a football, and everything took off from there. As a Senior at Teaneck High School, Chris’s coach, Dennis Heck, made sure that the ball was always in Chris’s hands.  He gave him a chance at QB. When it was time to choose a school, Rutgers was an easy choice because of the proximity to home. Although life as a DI athlete was hard with practice every day and a full course load, his best memories come from that time. “College was the most fun.  We had a lot of great games and just being young and playing the sport I love, not much was better,” Brantley said.

Chris went from the NFL to the European Football League and then to Arena Football.  The transitions were smooth, but the level of competition wasn’t as high in those leagues.  He always enjoyed the camaraderie and he had great experiences traveling the world and experiencing different cultures and sights. “It was an exciting time after the NFL experience.  Playing overseas was more of a chance for me to be paid to see the world, so I enjoyed every minute of it,” Brantley said.

In college, Chris majored in communications and went on to a job in marketing.  He loved and missed the sports world and was thrilled to be able to return through the world of business.  The skills he learned as a college and professional athlete went a long way in the business world. He worked as a promotions director for a marketing company until joining a high school friend in a sports management venture. “Someone I went to high school with called me and was starting his own basketball management company, and that was 18 years ago,” Brantley said. Chris admits there was a learning process to getting involved in the business side of the sports game.  His first love was football, and basketball was only his third favorite sport, so getting used to working in the basketball world was literally a whole new ball game. He says that the journey has been interesting, and the greatest stand out along the way has been the birth of his daughter.

From avoiding the tackles at four years old to growing into the basketball management side of the sports industry, Chris Brantley has had an interesting life.

The Freshmen girls volleyball team through the lense of a player

By Lauren Sommers

          I waited patiently for Allison MacDonald of the Freshman girls' volleyball team to answer my facetime call. Wearing ripped jeans and a black under armour shirt, MacDonald happily answered.  I had a pen in my hand and my note-taking book in front of me on the table, ready to jot down notes and important information about her season. MacDonald is a determined first-year volleyball player.  She is extremely tall and has a natural ability for sports, volleyball is the perfect sport to encompass her height. The girls' Freshman volleyball team started off rocky; there were a lot of obstacles the team had to overcome. It was everyone’s first year playing and they all had to learn the fundamentals of the game.  The girls lacked the knowledge of the jobs and responsibilities of each of the positions, rotations and how to play well together.

        The Freshmen girls' volleyball team started off slowly, this fall, but quickly learned how to work together.  Once they learned the fundamentals and developed friendship on the court, they began to win more often. “By the end of the season, we knew what we were supposed to do, when we were supposed to do it and how to do it; especially during games,” MacDonald said contently.

         Even though some players were more noticeable on the court, they were all equally responsible for their different positions.  Everyone had to work as a team and contribute their part in order to create a well working machine. MacDonald played the middle, this is a very important position on the court.  The middle stands right in front of the net, in between the two players on the left and right. She strived to be involved in the blocking of the other team's hits and to not let it get over to her side.  “I believe my strongest asset on the court is my blocking and ability to get ready to pass the ball to the setter if needed,” MacDonald commented.

        Another issue quickly discovered on the court, was the team's lack of perseverance and determination.  At the beginning of the season, the team often got very discouraged. When they lost the first game or messed up, they felt they could not come back and win the match.  MacDonald feels if there were better attitudes, they would have been much more successful throughout the season. “I tried my best to improve the spirit on the court and get the rest of the team to understand, that we still could win,” MacDonald stated.

         MacDonald’s freshman year, she did not participate in a winter sport, however, she always had a love and interest for volleyball.  Her height would be an extreme advantage in the game and she would be a great asset to the team. MacDonald ultimately joined the sport to have fun.  However, there were a few other factors that went into her decision to play. She wanted to play a sport in the fall to get in shape before basketball season, she also wanted to make new friends and have something to do over summer.  “I loved playing volleyball in middle school gym, so I thought it might be fun to play in high school,” MacDonald said. She also stated that although the team had some issues at the beginning of the season, the one main challenge they had throughout was consistency.  The team would do extremely well one game and they would not do as great the next. Once they gained confidence and consistency they improved tremendously and were able to win individual games almost every match.

         By the very end of their season the team was performing better than ever and throughout each game, the obstacles they had to overcome became less and less.

The Falcons prepare to fly

By: Michael Rovetto

Coming off of a tough loss in the state sectional championship game, the 2018-2019 Jefferson Township High School boys varsity basketball team, plans to bounce back. The Jefferson Falcons had much success last year, finishing with a regular season record of 18-10. The Falcons are hungry and expect to win many games this upcoming season.

A big part of their success last season was Senior Guard, Joseph Batelli, and his scoring ability. Batelli believes that this team is very special and has the ability to repeat the success that they had this past season.

Batelli talks about the teams strengths by saying, “Our teams strengths are shooting, defense, speed, and we also have great chemistry, so passing the ball around will not be a problem.” Batelli then goes on to say “The key to winning many games this year is moving the ball around and everyone doing their job.”

Another key part to the Falcons success will be seniors Richie Botti and Paulie Monaco. Both players did not play much last year, but that will change this year as both players are valuable assets to the team.

Coach Digennaro is the most important part of the team. He is a great coach on and off the court. Batelli shows much respect by saying, “Coach D has not only made me a smarter and better basketball player, but he has also made me a better person.”

Basketball has taught Batelli to never give up, stay positive, work hard, and to try your best. And that is what the Jefferson Falcons will do to win games this year.

Falcons final moments and how they will fly high next year

By: Madison Recanati

The Jefferson Township High School Girls soccer Varsity team ended their season 5-12-1. The 8th seed Falcons lost to the 9th seed Lenape Valley Patriots in the first round of the North Jersey Section 1, Group 2 tournament at Jefferson Township High School. The last time they won the New Jersey Athletic Conference Freedom division was back in 2014.

It was a tough season with many injuries and the sad goodbyes of former head coach Melissa Hall who has been a Falcon since 2009. The sudden retreat of Hall left the Freshmen coach, Sean Quinn, to fill her shoes, or cleats in this case. His first year as head coach went well but the unfortunate injuries of Amber Brinck, Felicia Gall, and towards the end, Grace D’ Amato, left the team struggling. Madison Eisele, however, made a remarkable return to the field.

Quinn and assistant coach Sarah Magnuson has had lots of experience with soccer throughout their life. Quinn went to the College of New Jersey where he played defense in Division III Men's Soccer. Magnuson, also known as Mags, went to Penn State in Harrisburg and played two years as a midfielder in Division III Women’s soccer. “Soccer is a big part of my life, it's my stress reliever, it was the one thing I looked forward to during the day,” Mags says when asked why she wanted to coach girls soccer. “When I had the opportunity to start coaching, it was a dream come true.” Quinn said, “From my experience, it’s been a phenomenal group of individuals year after year, and it’s what I love, and it’s a group of girls who love the game too.”

This season wasn’t the best season the Falcons have had. “We struggled. I think we struggled, we have a lot of potential, we have a lot of talented girls, we’ve got a good group of girls, we struggled with injuries and we got down on ourselves and we didn’t meet the potential that we originally started thinking we had,” Mags states. Senior Captain Grace D’ Amato says, “Our team has the talent but things just didn’t go our way.”

The coaches are working on an off-season training plan. They would like to “implement a weight room and strength conditioning in the spring and possible camps,” Mags claims. “We have a really good chance next year… we’re going to give people a run for their money and if not take a Conference Division title,” Mags continued. Next year the team is stacked with returning starters Olivia Oberman, Kayla Barbosa, Madison Eisele, Alyssa Griswold, Erin Mallory, Julz Ciliento, Lindsay Mullin, Olivia Demko, and goalkeeper Leah Demko. If things go their way, the Falcons will take home the NJAC Freedom Division title for 2019.

The English teacher everyone loves, but does not know about

By Justin Randzio

Motivated to teach, always open to new ideas, and devoted to her students, Mrs Brueno began her career as a teacher on the right foot at Jefferson Township High School. Brueno sits tough at her desk in the back of room D16, never a day without a smile on her face. But this face is not just a happy and delightful one; it’s the face of determination, the face of a competitor, and the face that you know can just get it done no matter how great  the task. As periods roll on throughout her busy schedule at Jefferson High, Brueno is always locked in on what she has to do from grading annotations to putting grades in the gradebook. From the seat at her desk in the far back corner of the room she shared information with me that will keep you wondering what happens next?

We dug deep into the background of one Mrs Brueno and what we found will leave you in disbelief. There are plenty of teachers in this world today. We have history, English, math teachers and those are just to name a few. I asked Brueno what made her decide to lean towards the teaching profession as she could have been anything she wanted to be when she graduated high school and began her life at college. The answer was easy and swift. She said her high school teachers influenced her.

After receiving her major in teaching at Montclair State, she began her working ways becoming an educator at East Hanover High School in New Jersey. “ I loved it,” she explained, excited to begin her life yet wanting more. So Brueno decided to go back to school and get her special education certification in teaching to take the next steps into her life as a young adult. Receiving a job at Jefferson Township High School a few years back, she could not be happier than she is now.  

Growing up as a kid she did not only push others in the classroom to be better, but pushed others on the field as well. Brueno participated in dance, swim and soccer as young child and all throughout her years of middle school. As she reached high school, sports began to wear out and become an old thing for this soon to be educator of the world. Brueno participated in soccer and also cheerleading all throughout high school - who knew this woman had underlying athleticism that no one knew about?

Brueno currently resides in Whippany Park, New Jersey, although she is working towards purchasing her own condo and move away to another location. I asked Brueno the million dollar question of where she sees herself in the next ten years. Her response was “ I would see myself in some type of administration in the next ten years.”

With her work ethic and tenacity, we easily vision her life goal being accomplished. She always helps me and works hard everytime I see her; I do not see why she can’t accomplish something if she sets her mind to it. If she continues on the right path nothing will stop her from achieving what she dreamed about when she was younger.  

Liaci and the JTHS baseball team

By Thomas Heslin       

The Jefferson Township baseball team is coming off of a riveting season after making a deep run into the playoffs earlier this year. Generously, a member of that team, John Liaci, was willing to sit down with me and discuss last year’s season, as well as the upcoming 2019 baseball season. John, who has played baseball since elementary school, was very excited to discuss the upcoming season, as well as discuss the success of the past season.

      John strolled into the interview room and sat down comfortably at a table across from myself, with nothing but a pen, notepad, and a water bottle between the two of us. I opened up the conversational floor by asking him what his expectations are for the upcoming season.

      “The expectations are that we have older, more experienced players that will lead us to a winning season,” Liaci said. Considering that the team has lost a bevy of Seniors who have graduated since the conclusion of last season, one of them being star-pitcher Steven Breeman, the team will have to have younger players take on the leadership roles that have been vacated by those who have graduated. Liaci also gave us some insight on their head coach, Jason Kalish, and what makes him a good leader.

      “He is always very honest,” Licai said, “and straightforward when it comes to improvements that we can make as individuals and as a team.” Since there is going to be a lot of turnover in leadership within the team itself, Coach Kalish’s leadership will certainly be valuable to the team this season.

      Each year going into the season, each player prepares for the upcoming season in order to perform at their best once the winter snow of the northeast melts and the warm spring sun prevails. I asked Liaci what players do in order to be ready for baseball by the beginning of spring.

      “We do winter training with our club teams, other winter sports, or get private lessons, in order to prepare for the season,” Liaci said. “Since the winters can be very long in New Jersey, we all want to stay sharp for the start of the season.” New Jersey has a unique climate because we experience all four seasons, while high schools in the southern part of the country are able to play baseball all year long in some instances.

      I also asked Liaci what he believes the team’s most valuable asset is. “Our team’s most valuable asset is that everyone in our lineup can hit, leaving no weak spots for the opposing team or pitcher.” Assuming the team continues to hit well in this upcoming season, they should have another successful year.

      Lastly, I asked Liaci who his favorite baseball player is why they inspire him. “Definitely Bryce Harper,” Liaci said, “because of his work ethic and tough attitude; he has always inspired me.” Liaci hopes to continue his success on the field, as well as the success of the team going into the 2019 season.

Teacher and Songwriter Miss Dispenziere
By Devin Hanna

    A warm smile greeted me when I entered Miss. Dispinziere’s classroom in the D Wing at Jefferson Township High School. Ashley Dispinziere is a special education, but teaching is not her only talent.

    Soundcloud singer/songwriter, Dispinziere, has been playing instruments and singing songs her whole life. Her love of music was instilled in her by her father, Rich, a music teacher in Frankford, New Jersey.

    “With SoundCloud, you can upload, share, gain followers all with no payment,” Dispenziere said.

    Inspirations for her music making career came heavily from her father, Rich, who surrounded her with instruments and music influence while growing up, along with an injury in college which caused her to focus much more on music, giving her time away from sports.

    Her style of music is singer-songwriter. Dispinziere was inspired by Brittany Spears, Back Street Boys, Nysnc and the Jonas Brothers.

    Dispenziere said, “I get ideas for my songs by my own thoughts in the moment.”

“Inside Jefferson basketball”

By: Andrew Frank

After school everyday, I see Paulie Monaco on his way to basketball practice ecstatic to go to basketball practice and sharpen his tools. During the winter, Monaco says the court is like a “second home” to him because he always likes to try and turn his weaknesses into strengths everytime he throws on his basketball sneakers. Knowing this, I grabbed my opportunity to interview Monaco for the inside scoop on Jefferson Township High School basketball.

Monaco sat down at the interview table in his Jefferson basketball shirt and shorts and told me he loved the game of basketball because he made “friendships that will last a lifetime.” Being an athlete myself, I completely understand his feelings about the game.

When I started the interview with Monaco, I could tell he already had his thoughts together and was easily able to answer every question I shot at him. I asked the power forward Paulie Monaco to explain who their toughest opponent will be this season and he told me “There won’t be any tough opponents this season,” showing the confidence Monaco and the rest of the boys have for their game.

Then I asked Monaco how he felt about moving down a conference this year, and he responded with, “We will treat these games just as importantly as we did last year.” When I heard this, it just showed me how serious this season was to him, and how he will put everything on the line for the W. When I asked about his game plan for  a successful season, Monaco stated, “We need to, as a team, use our athleticism and shooting to win games.”

Throughout this whole interview what really stuck with me was when I asked Monaco, if basketball has affected his life forever and he just simply said, “It’s helped me make lifelong relationships,” without even thinking twice about it.

Mahomes magic

By: AJ Figurelli

       If you watch professional football, you probably know who the Kansas City Chiefs starting quarterback is. Patrick Mahomes II, the surprise quarterback who came off the bench from last year has been dominating every defense he has faced so far this season. The Chiefs are 10-2 currently mainly because of Mahomes. Last season the Chiefs finished the season at 10-6 led by Alex Smith behind the center. The Chiefs, arguably, have the most weapons on the offensive end of the line of scrimmage.

       For anyone who doesn’t know, his dad lived the life of a professional athlete too. He was a professional pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Minnesota Twins, Boston Red Sox, Yokohama BayStars, New York Mets, Texas Rangers, and the Chicago Cubs. His baseball career lasted from 1992-2003. But now his son is in the NFL. Mahomes was drafted by the Chiefs in the 2017 draft with the 10th overall pick. Kansas City moved up in the draft for the gunslinger for a reason. Mahomes was drafted out of Texas Tech University. He threw for 11,252 yards with 92 touchdown passes and 29 interceptions along with his 152.00 passer rating in his three years he played at Texas Tech. Mahomes was an obvious choice for the Chiefs as they were trying to find a quarterback to replace Smith.

       But did you know that Mahomes also had the option to play college baseball? Mahomes was a true athlete coming out of high school. A true football prodigy along with a baseball prospect. Reporters say that if Mahomes had chosen the sport with a bat and ball, he could’ve gone pro also. He was a pitcher out of Whitehouse High School in the state of Texas. In high school, Mahomes received full-ride scholarships to Texas Tech for baseball and football. But clearly, his passion was football and then became the starting quarterback of the technology school. When the Chiefs drafted Mahomes in 2017, the head coach, Andy Reid, had a decision to make whether he wanted a rookie to start over a veteran. He decided to start Smith only because he wanted Mahomes to study the way an NFL quarterback should react and behave in situations on the field, which could be a big part in Mahomes’s success in 2018. Mahomes is athletic enough to extend a play that most quarterbacks can’t do. The Chief kingdom and their fans are so excited about the way he has been playing this season. A local fan by the name of Dave Figurelli says, “He improvises. Like the time he scrambled out of the pocket and threw with his left hand. He is very creative.”

       Now to think back, Mahomes had come out of nowhere. Rode the bench last year spectating Alex Smith. Fast forward a year, he is at potential of winning the MVP. MVP is a big award. Most valuable player in the NFL. Mahomes is near breaking Peyton Manning’s record of most touchdowns in a single season of 55. Mahomes has 41 with four games left to play. If he does beat the record, in my opinion, he should win MVP unanimously.  

New York Jets continue their losing streak for the sixth game  

By Rhianna Feiner

     Originating in the New York/New Jersey area, the New York Jets are one of the most well-known teams in the NFL. Although they don’t have the best record or standings each season, they sure do have dedicated fans. Since 1968, the Jets have appeared in the playoffs 13 times.

In the 2000 season, Jets teammates Chad Pennington and Ray Lucas told a story about how Lucas messed with newcomer, Pennington. Lucas made rookie player Pennington wear his helmet for a full day. And he did, he wore it in meetings, in the shower and even while driving. He did end up getting pulled over and after refusing to take off the helmet, the officer then gave him a fine.

    The Jets Football team for the 2018 season continues their losing streak for six games in a row.

    “I have always been a fan of the Jets, they might not be the best team, but I feel that the players have fun on the field and that what really matters in a game. They don’t get overly mad when they lose, so I think that is an important quality for a whole team to have” Jade Meyers said.

    Meyers believes that being a team is one of the most important qualities for a team to have as a whole. Every team will always worry about where they stand compared to other teams. The Jets just have more fun working together to make the team better to ultimately make their record and standing better. “They ultimately work better together and have more fun and care less about their team standings,” Meyers said.

    The Jets have good players but their teamwork is lacking. They are all great individual players, but they need to learn to communicate better. “One of the most important key concepts of a team is their communication, they will be off balance if they are not fully working together,” Meyers stated while taking a moment to think before saying what she really thought about the situation.

    The last thing that leads the Jets to be the team they really are is that the Jets are one of the most popular teams and people think it gets to their head. “They have a lot of fans, which I think gets to their head sometimes; they know that their fans are committed to them, so they know that no matter how well they do the fans will always be there for them,” Meyers stated after taking a moment to gather her thoughts.

    The Jets are a widely known NFL team who, like all others, have much to work on while having fun as a team. They make friendships of a lifetime and nothing else compares to their experiences on their NFL football team.

Enes Kanter
By Thomas Edge

Standing at 6’11” and only 26 years old, Knicks backup center Enes Kanter makes 17.15 million dollars every year. Most fans think that he has the dream life, but do not realize his political struggle back in his home country of Turkey.

The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, is seeking to imprison New York Knicks center Enes Kanter for more than five years. Back in May and June of 2016, Kanter put out a set of Tweets that criticized the Turkish government.

“I feel bad for him. It’s messed up he can’t even go back to his own country,” said Knicks fan Matthew Cruz when asked about Kanter’s situation.

In May of 2017, Kanter was detained at an airport in Romania. He was on a tour for his foundation, the Enes Kanter Foundation, which gives out necessities worldwide. The United States government and Oklahoma representatives worked with Turkey to have him leave without any trouble.

Throughout the last few years, the Turkish government has been cracking down on people who speak out against the Turkish government. According to Knicks fan Michael Bara, “Just think, something that is taken for granted here in the United States is illegal over there.”

According to Dictionary.com, extradition is the procedure by which a state or nation, upon receipt of a formal request by another state or nation, turns over to that second jurisdiction an individual charged with or convicted of a crime in that jurisdiction. The United States government will not extradite Kanter for his actions because this can only occur if the action is illegal. “Under both the federal laws of the United States and the laws of Turkey,” per the Washington Post.

Kanter currently plays for the New York Knicks and is averaging 27.6 minutes per game with 15.3 points and 2.1 assists. The Knicks have a record of 7-16 and are 3-6 at Madison Square Garden, their home arena. For the Knicks, Kanter provides leadership coming off of the bench.

With all of these current problems surrounding himself and his family, does Enes Kanter really have the dream life?

Will Caris Levert Bounce back this season?

By Matthew Cruz

Caris Levert was a leader for the NBA most improved award this year. The 24-year-old is averaging just under 20 points a game and was having a breakout season.

On November 12, Levert was in a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center in Minnesota. Late in the first half the Wolves were on a fast break and Levert went up to contest a shot, when all of a sudden Levert obtained a gruesome leg injury. At the time of this injury, many suspected that Levert had torn a ligament or even his ACL because of how his leg looked. But later an official report on his injury was released and the only injury obtained was a dislocated right foot.

But should we really be saying “was” about this former Michigan Wolverines standout?

Levert has had his fair share of injuries, going back to even his collegiate days where he had three surgical procedures in less than 22 months. It's obvious to see that Levert had quite a nice bounce back.   Levert has been a great talent despite his load of injuries. Levert, when healthy, is one of the best young talents in the NBA this season. This season, the young phenom has averaged just under 20 points a game and has three assists as well. Not to mention Levert had two game winners, the most in the NBA at the time of his injury, and at the time of the writing of this article is tied for the most with NBA All-Star, Jimmy Butler.

Many people who I've asked also believe Levert can return this season. I recently questioned an NBA fan from Jefferson Township High School if Levert has a chance to make it back this season. The response was "Yes but I think it will be in the second half of the season. The same fan was also asked how they feel the about the Nets this season and he responded, "The Brooklyn Nets are starting to show signs of chemistry and I feel like they are on the right track.

So after all this young phenom has been through should we really be saying “was” about Caris Levert?

When to Call it Quits

By: Lexi Danyus

     Wearing khakis and a navy blue USAA work shirt, Jeffrey Danyus Sr. strolled into the interview with a smile on his face and a career-full of stories about the gridiron to share. Danyus is retiring after twenty-seven years of coaching high school and youth football in New Jersey. “It’s easy to be average but hard to be great,”  he would say to the players when he felt as if they weren’t working hard enough.

      Danyus has been in love with the game ever since he was a youngster.  Just by talking with him, one can feel his enthusiasm for the game. Danyus has been coaching football for a total of 27 years.  He has been coaching high school football for 22 years not just at Morris Hills High School but also at his hometown Cranford High School, Hopatcong High School, and Hanover Park High School. Danyus coached all three levels Freshman, Junior Varsity, and Varsity. “I believe it’s the greatest team sport because it takes 11 players working together on each play,” Danyus gives his opinion as to why football is a great sport for kids.

   Danyus is retiring this year, the last year he will be wearing his ripped khakis short which are his good luck shorts. Danyus is excited to watch his three children play their high school sports. Danyus loved coaching but he thought it was really time-consuming and he wants to be there to support his kids at their games. Danyus is going to miss coaching because he loved the kids and teaching them his favorite sport as well as teaching them many life lessons while helping kids handle adversity. Danyus is mostly going to miss stomping his rival which was Morris Knolls High School and he went 2-0 against his oldest son on the Junior Varsity level.  

   When the interview was winding down the last question was a personal question. I asked if he would go back to coaching when his own children went off to college. Danyus said, “It really depends where my kids go to college and if they play sports at the college.”  As you can see, Danyus is a big supporter of his kids and the sports they play and he wants to be there to watch them and cheer them on.

   Jeffrey Danyus Sr. went to Cranford High School and graduated in 1984 and got his Varsity letter in two sports, football and track. In football, he played fullback and linebacker and in track threw shot put, disc, and javelin. Danyus was defensive captain his Senior year and played Division 3 football at Juniata College. He has a family of five and is a 25 year resident of Jefferson.
“Effort is everything,” Danyus said during every football season.

Wresting for a D1 University

By Morgan Connolly

The whistle blows so loud that you can hear it from the other side of the gym. In his West Virginia University Wrestling singlet, headgear, and shoes, Shane Connolly picks up the phone heavily breathing, getting ready to answer a few questions about his wrestling season so far.

West Virginia University Division 1 wrestler, Shane Connolly, shares his day to day schedule for this 2018-2019 wrestling season and some of his future goals in a 5-minute phone call.

If you think that high school sports are hard, then listen to this. Connolly was very open to sharing his day to day wrestling practice schedule and he explained some of the conditioning he does. Connolly shares his exact time schedule to show what his college life is like. Connolly wakes up at 5:15 am every day to go to lift practice at 6:20 am. His practice lasts a little over an hour until he goes back to his dorm at 7:40 am. Connolly then heads to class until 1:20 pm. Connolly heads back to his dorm to get ready for his second practice at 2:45 pm. Connolly has practice until 5:00 pm to when he then starts his study hall. He repeats these exact steps every day. His coaches love their jobs and "want their wrestlers to always be wrestling at any free time they have," Connolly says.

Connolly has this schedule about 3-5 days a week. It doesn’t seem so bad until you hear just a few of the things his team does at these practices. Connolly and his wrestling team run a varied amount of miles a day. It is usually around 3-6 miles. It depends on the other parts of his workout routine. Connolly and his teammates then do sprints up some of West Virginia’s steepest mountains. They also do normal sprints on flat land as well. They do all of this on top of lifting. Connolly also has his wrestling practice where his team focuses only on wrestling. Talk about a busy and hardworking practice. I don’t know how Connolly and his teammates make it through their practices.

“It’s very hard. There is just so much to do in so little time in the day. It’s just an overall tight schedule.”

Connolly was a high school Varsity athlete and can easily explain some of the major differences from being a high school Varsity athlete to a Division 1 college athlete. Connolly explains to me that being a Division 1 athlete is definitely a lot more commitment and a much more serious than anyone could imagine. All athletes are good and there is not one person who isn’t. Division 1 athletes are all on another level and one thing every athlete will learn is that there will always be someone better than you. Being a high school athlete, you will have a lot of free time, but not as a Division 1 athlete. Connolly says that "there is no free time." Those are his exact words. He has two practices a day and having it almost every day of the week. You can’t compare the two types of athletes, division 1 college athletes have it all a lot harder.

“All athletes are good and are on another level.”

Being on the West Virginia University Wrestling team comes with many pros and cons. Connolly had a few to share. Some pros were that he can improve so much, so quickly. Since he conditions and wrestles a lot more challenging than he ever has, he increasingly improves. Connolly went to explain some of the best pros of being on that team. Those pros were free clothes, shoes, and food. Those are pros that are favorited by the whole wrestling team. A few more pros commented from Connolly was that you get priority class registration which also means that you get to choose your classes before any other students. This means that you can get some of your most wanted classes before anyone gets a chance to take your spot in class. All pros must eventually come with cons. Connolly only describes one con which that there was absolutely no free time. I mean I don’t blame him after trying to write down his day to day schedule. I guess you don’t realize how hard a college sport could be until you hear it from someone you really trust and has gone through it. “The only con is no free time. That’s it.”

For Connolly, wrestling isn’t going to be in his future since it is very hard to make a living out of this sport. Connolly seems himself eventually becoming a phys ed teacher. “I like sports and teaching kids how to live a healthy lifestyle.”

Becoming a phys ed teacher isn’t Connolly’s only dream he wants to accomplish. Connolly has some simple dreams including buying a house, getting married and having a family, and overall being happy. I think that to be happy is one of the best accomplishments and dreams everyone should achieve in the near future.

Connolly may have a crazy day to day schedule where he doesn’t have much free time, but that is not stopping him from finding the time to work towards his future goals and accomplishments.

Jefferson Falcons take flight in the Jets’ MetLife Stadium

By: Ryan Clarkson

Excited students, outgoing teachers, and an enthusiastic Jets staff filed into the Toyota Club at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ on November 27 to begin an insightful Jets Business Day.  

         The New York Jets sponsor an educational tour twice a year for high school students interested in a future sports career and the Jefferson Township High School Sports and Entertainment Journalism and Sports and Entertainment Marketing electives took full advantage of this opportunity.

          This field trip was organized by Ms.Clarizo, the Sports and Entertainment Journalism teacher, who says of the event, “It’s a great opportunity for student to get out of the classroom and learn about the various career opportunities available in the sports industry.” Kyle Venutolo, a student in Mrs. Kwiecinski’s Sports and Entertainment course, felt that “Connections and networking is a big part of getting a job with the Jets organization.”

         Once students were broken into groups, a walking tour of the stadium began, beginning with a presentation about the stadium suites. Students were left speechless when hearing prices and the breakdown of the various suites. “I was really shocked,” said student Morgann Connolly regarding the pricing.

Students went on to tour the Porsche Green Room where entry costs 800 dollars per person. Students then moved on to learn about other high-end seating options such as the Toyota Club, Commissioner’s Club, and the Hanger. Ranging in price, all of these high-end options meet customer expectations with luxurious architecture and quality food options. Students listened to presentations about ticket sales, merchandise, food and beverage sales, the press, and promotions.

Kaitlyn Hollar, a senior at JTHS said, “I am planning to major in Sports Marketing next year in college and this trip was very informative regarding available internships and job opportunities.”

The last stop inside the stadium was the away locker room where player relations and press releases were discussed.  Students were then treated to free reign of the professional football field for the last half hour of the trip. Balls were thrown, field goals were kicked and pictures were taken. According to Thomas Edge, “It was a once in a lifetime experience.”

New teams, new lineups, same tradition

By: Nicole Cuervo

When most people think about the most wonderful time of the year, a huge Thanksgiving meal, Christmas cookies, and a lot of rest might come to mind. As the holidays creep in and winter break approaches, the Jefferson Township High School wrestling team has anything but time off, and the holiday sweets are starting to dwindle down. Entering his fourteenth season as head coach at JTHS, Mr. Matthew Moscatello recently voiced his hope for this upcoming 2018 season. Interviewed by one of his very own Varsity statisticians, Moscatello was eager to give a concrete preview into the upcoming matches and tournaments.

As mats were rolled out and headgears were strapped on, the JTHS wrestling program did not hesitate to start off with high intensity in week one of practice. With much to cover before the season unravels, the team has already begun physically along with mentally straining conditioning, including a few six a.m. morning sessions thrown in before a whole school day. Excitement and enthusiasm always ignite the wrestling room in the first week, according to Coach Moscatello or “Musket” (how he is traditionally known). He notes his willingness to work with any inexperienced weight classes, specifically the upper weights, where guys are looking to improve their skills.  

Based on the fact that Jefferson had to say goodbye to over a dozen seniors last year, including powerhouse Shane Connolly (who now wrestles D1 for West Virginia University), JTHS wrestling has left themselves with many abandoned spots to fill, especially 285 lbs, deserted by Jake Carnevale. When it comes to making up the overall 50 pins and 300 team points that 2018 Seniors Bobby Ortense and Connolly left for Jefferson, Moscatello anticipates great things from his new class of Seniors.  

High Point Regional High School, known for their stupendous wrestling program, tends to always face Jefferson Township in sectional finals, evidently these past two years. Tables have now turned being that HPRHS is going to be making an early appearance in Jefferson’s regular season this year. The biggest twist? The two, the High Point Wildcats and the Jefferson Falcons will claw at it in “J-Town’s” home nest, a different setting for both teams. While this match will be a nail-biting competition to watch, both towns will have a lot to get done in terms of preparation. Moscatello admits that he is ecstatic for the opportunity for a home match because a different environment will hopefully lead to a better vibe for the boys. He elaborates by stating, “It will be nice to see how we can compete when the volume’s not turned up so high.”

This 2018-2019 season looks like it is going to be a fresh start for JTHS wrestling, considering their schedule is different from previous years, especially without their usual close rival, Pope John Regional High School. When asked about their anticipation to see some new faces including schools like Garfield and Old Tappan, Coach Moscatello went on to explain, “There are some new teams but ultimately we have a new league, new district, and new region. Basically, we are going into ‘unchartered waters’ during the most important part of the season.” Throughout the interview, Moscatello consistently highlights the fact that results will not show without the needed work ethic and with that, he abides by the “tradition of toughness and winning horsepower to get the job done.” With this being said, the Falcons are determined to devote hard hours into the wrestling room and aspire to achieve great things, hopefully even a district title, as Moscatello confidently hinted at.

While any wrestling match can be crucial to an overall team score, the middleweight classes such as 132, 145, 152, and even 160 are competitive weights with the most versatile wrestlers. Luckily, JTHS is secure in their spots, especially being that a majority of them are occupied by four-year starting Varsity Seniors. After inquiring about key wrestlers for this season, solely based on a coaching perspective, Moscatello shined positive spotlights on Seniors Bobby Ferucci and Ryan Tripodi, along with 2017 state-qualifier, Justin Randzio, who he believes will all do great things for his program before they depart high school. Fresh faces are always beneficial, and younger wrestlers such as Sophomore, Austin Jack and Freshman, Thomas Verrone are leaving an impressive mark on the coaching staff as they are seen “stepping up.” Though Thomas Verrone looks to permanently hold a Varsity position, Moscatello explains that there are a couple other Freshmen with weight classes that do not have a lot of depth. With that, he admits that he will not be surprised if they fill some Varsity weights by the end of the season.

It was noted that before last year’s 2017-2018 wrestling season, Coach Moscatello defined the boys as having an enormous amount of “potential” and based off of last season’s results, he made sure they carried that word on their back. After questioned about this year’s new word or phrase, Moscatello answered clearly when reiterating the term “uncharted waters” because of how unfamiliar the matchups will be.

Capping off the interview and justifying why it is he takes so much pride in his program, Moscatello notes, “It’s going to be new for everybody but as I said, us having the nine or ten Seniors that we do, it’s going to help. We wrestled in tough regions, tough sections and tough leagues in the past. So it’s not going to be any tougher, it’s just going to be different.” With the holidays just around the corner, the Jefferson Township wrestling program has a lot of hard to work to give in order to receive rewarding titles, especially by laying off on the cookies (at least before weigh-ins).

The Running Man

By Joseph Cheevers

        Owen ran before he could walk. Owen the "running man’ Cheevers is looking to be in good form running into the winter season off a good showing in the fall season. But what is making the difference for the winter season? Offseason training which Owen describes as "Rewarding and painful.”

        Cheevers trained in the offseason of cross country for winter track and that decision is making all the difference for him. “Base mileage to build off of….higher ceiling for the winter season,” Cheevers says.

        Cheevers did not run in the offseason for cross country and was struggling early on in the season. He took longer to catch up to everyone else which hurt his season a bit. “Hurts a lot jumping into the workouts without a base….harder to improve….having to catch up to everyone else.”

        Cheevers is excited for winter track because the boys are coming off a good cross country season and feeling good tying for first in their conference. He says he is “excited to see where the season takes the team…. a lot of people moved on and graduated….it's going to be exciting to see who steps up into what roles.” The boys cross country team tied for first in their conference this year.
The "running man" has a base to build off for the winter season; it's going to be exciting to see what he does with some extra mileage under his belt.

Jefferson Boys Varsity Lacrosse elevate into a higher division

By: Matt Cappello

Over the past few years, the Jefferson Township High School Varsity lacrosse team has won the Pooley Division, but were the teams too easy?  This year the Varsity lacrosse team was informed that they will be moving into a higher division meaning that they will play better teams in order to win the division. The Falcons have a lot of confidence heading into the next season, but there are doubts that the Falcons will earn another year on the banner because of the more talented teams they have to face. This draws my attention and convinces me to speak with the talented defender and captain, Jeff Felter.

Jeff has been a starting Varsity defender for two years and has been voted team captain last year as a sophomore which is a big deal for Varsity sports. He has 67 ground balls in his career and is looking to scoop more this year to add on to his Junior year of high school. Knowing he's competed against one of the toughest divisions he’s faced, I’ve decided to ask him a few questions about the upcoming season. I proceeded to ask him where he stands individually this year and how he will benefit the team. Jeff states, “I am a strong player and I believe that I will be a strong part of this defense to help win games.” A strong answer leads me to believe that the Falcons might have a chance this year winning another division title.  But that’s not all. I continue to ask a few more questions to really get an idea where they will be pushing to stand and be recognized this year. The next question I ask Jeff is how he will beat the first three teams on the schedule. His response is, “ I think we need to get on the field this year instead of practicing in the gym, we need real work and compete in real in-game situations, that will help us win this year.” With the interview almost over I conclude with one last question, and that is about his expectations this year. He responds with a simple, “ Win division, go to states.”

This concludes the interview and makes me believe that the Falcons lacrosse team will shock eyes and take flight to win the division this year.

Kyle Venutolo

By Richie Botti     

Kyle Venutolo is a Senior at Jefferson Township High School. During one of the school days, he strolled into D16 for our interview. The first thing I noticed was his Jefferson Falcon jersey, however, despite his athleticism, he can't play any of the sports he dreams about playing.

    Kyle Venutolo has had more than one freak injury throughout high school while playing the sports he loves. Venutolo says, “My first injury was a broken toe in the fifth grade.”

    Even though “Venu” can’t play, he will benefit in the long run from his injuries because he can find a career in sports, which he loves. Kyle says each injury took approximately 4-8 months of recovery. During that time, Venu stayed involved in games and kept a positive mindset. While not playing, he still benefited from the experience by motivating his teammates to do their absolute best.

    Venu says with a face of disbelief that he can no longer participate in sports until he is fully recovered and healthy, but that might be never. In conclusion, Venu will maintain a positive outlook during his senior year at Jefferson Township High School and begin preparing for college where he will earn a degree in a sports-related field.

Leah Demko: The Girl Within the Goal

By: Briana Boone

        Jefferson Township High School student, Leah Demko, plays for the JTHS girls Varsity soccer and basketball team. She has played Varsity with the soccer team since her Freshman year. As a goalkeeper, Leah has an amazing amount of saves both her Freshman and Sophomore year. She has done this with the support of her team and her coaches. Leah shows that some hard work and dedication to the team can go a long way.

        Demko was so good that she qualified for Top 25 GoalKeepers in the state of New Jersey her Freshman year. This year Coach Melissa Hall resigned as head coach because she was offered a better job.“I was sad because she taught me a lot last year and she really focused on us being one team.” This was Demko’s response when I asked her how she felt about Hall leaving. “I only got to experience her coaching for one year and I wish I got to have her as a coach longer.” So Coach Sean Quinn stepped up and took over as head coach. “It was a learning curve this year because we had to get used to him. I would say that his coaching style is different from hers.” Demko mentions that Coach Quinn wants fairness on his team and he wanted everyone to be involved and to work together.

        This definitely was an easy question for Demko to answer. I asked her what challenges she faces as a goalie. To this she replied, “I’m going to have to say when you get scored on, having the burden that like oh it was your fault. As a goalie I feel like most of the pressure is on me.” She mentions that communicating is the biggest challenge due to the fact that she is halfway across the field from most of her team.

        Demko plays basketball with her sister, Olivia Demko, and was on the JV team. However, both girls were swing players for the Varsity team. She is hoping to make the Varsity basketball team this upcoming season. She also plays year-round soccer with the World Class FC Club Team. She has received her Varsity letter in both soccer and basketball.

New leader Batelli for the Falcons

By Kris Parlej

March 5, 2018, Jefferson Township High School needs one stop to send the game into overtime; a win here would mean qualification for the group semi-final. Ramsey puts up a three and it hits the front rim. Next, there's an offensive rebound to Ramsey and a floater from the free throw line. The ball bounces on the rim for seemingly ten seconds. Finally, it drops in. Ramsey fans storm the court and there's disbelief for everyone in Jefferson.

Nearly ten months after that moment, the Jefferson Falcons look to do it all again this year but this time with a twist - a new team leader, Joseph Batelli. When Batelli was asked about how it felt that previous team leader Steven Breeman had now graduated and the team was fully in his hands, Batelli said, “Steve was a great team leader, and now I hope I can have the same impact on the guys as he did.” Batelli later said, “I can’t wait to push the teams to do great things.” When asked about what parts of the team had to step up, he said, “We are a much smaller team this year and we need to rebound the ball.” He later said, “We need our bench; if our second unit can outwork theirs we will be fine.”

As Batelli is a Senior this year, he will soon leave some of the guys he has played with since he first started playing basketball in first grade. As for colleges, he is looking. His top three options are Rutgers Newark, Montclair State, and Elmira.

The new team leader is currently at 767 points and is projected to get his 1000th point this season. Batelli is a very versatile player, he has the team three pointers made in one season recorder at 78 his sophomore year. He is an outstanding all-around player and is a great new leader for Jefferson.

The man with a pumpkin for a head

By: Kevin DenBleyker

The year was 2004 and the Cleveland Browns made another miraculous color change from regular orange to pumpkin orange (gasp). Out comes Gus Angeleno, also known as the infamous Pumpkin Head.

Angeleno says, “ It all started with a silly idea after the Browns changed their color.” What may have sparked the idea was one of his friends or a little blue bottle called Bud Light; we don't really know which. Angeleno is an ex-Marine and father to two sons who enjoy the Sunday tailgates with him. “It's up to them. Doing the tailgates is something I enjoy doing with my friends and family. If they enjoy it and want to continue it, it's up to them. I will support them with anything they do,” Gus said when asked about the future of his boys and the tailgate.

        When it comes to being a Browns fan a lot comes in contact with your feelings like do you have enough tears to cry or is your voice loud enough to scream. Angeleno says, “Prepare for a rollercoaster like no other, plenty of ups and downs. When we're down we’re down, but when we get up there it's a celebration like no other!!” and man it is a rollercoaster. When asked about what would happen if he got offered a job at the Browns organization, Angeleno said, “Sure I’m not gonna be able to do tailgates forever so I would like to take a position to handle the Browns social media accounts. Over the years I’ve mastered it and really enjoy the interactions with the fans.”

        His 29.6k followers can back him up on his mastery. Along with the pain comes a lot of thick skin and enjoyment when the Browns win and prove all the haters wrong. So if you're ever looking for a good time on a football Sunday, stop by the Barley House; Pumpkin Head is waiting.

Kolodny has high hopes for the lady Falcons

By: Taylor Young

While sitting with Kimberly Kolondy, the previous DI athlete, on Tuesday, she showed her enthusiasm for the upcoming 2019 lacrosse season. Kolodny is the Varsity girls lacrosse head coach at Jefferson Township High School and is going into her second season of coaching.

Going into the 2019 season, Kolodny has a lot of goals for her team to achieve this season. With last seasons record being 1-17 Kolodny says, “ One goal I have for this season is to have a winning season, and to make it fun.” After the end of the previous season, Kolodny took a lot of her player's advice which allowed her to set another goal of building on team chemistry. Kolodny hopes to achieve all these goals to make the 2019 season the best it can be.

             With the season approaching Kolodny has some expectations for her team. Kolodny says, “ I am expecting the Juniors from last year to step up as Seniors and lead the team.” Not only is Kolodny looking for leaders, she is looking for the team to come back in shape, and ready to work on building on their skills. Lastly, Kolodny is expecting the team to build upon their skills that they learned last year and put in extra work to produce results on the field.

             With the interview being over, Kolondy’s enthusiasm for the season is seen through her hopes and expectations for the Varsity team this season.

Jefferson boys Varsity basketball plans on sticking together this upcoming season

   By: Tayler Soules

   Intelligent, caring, and understanding are three words to describe the Varsity Boys Basketball Coach, Peter Joseph DiGennaro at Jefferson Township High School.  Being a great math teacher, he shows his intelligence on the basketball court everyday for his players. During the interview, Coach DiGennaro talked about the Boys Varsity basketball team this 2018-2019 Winter season.  He explains important players, his thoughts on how to win games, and how he looks for skills in tryouts he had a couple weeks ago.

   Coach DiGennaro explains how he got his players ready for tryouts during this past summer.  He scheduled Junior Varsity and Varsity team leagues and held a team camp. The JV league was played at Hopatcong High School and the Varsity league was at Roxbury High School and Morris Knolls High School.  DiGennaro said, “Kids put a lot of work in over the summer and that will help us get off to a good start this season.” DiGennaro believes in every single one of his players and fellow coaches.

   One of the most important things before a season, is carrying out tryouts for the players to show their skills off and be evaluated.  “The key for tryouts is to make sure we see all the fundamentals being used…” DiGennaro stated. During tryouts he had a very important job as to making sure he sees his players dribble, shoot, scrimmage, play defense, and rebound.  DiGennaro was very impressed from seeing everyone have such positive attitudes and energy.

   Digennaro talked about important players coming back this season.  Digennaro is very excited because he has two starters coming back, Joe Batelli and Matthew Johnson who were key to the previous season.  DiGennaro also is very excited because he has very strong seniors coming back, Stefan Tisma, Paulie Monaco, Richie Botti, and Pat Burns.

   In order to have a fun yet winning season, Digennaro believes that his players must stick together.  “Stick together, play as a team, trust one another and things will be good,” DiGennaro says. He believes as long as everyone can work hard together and root each other on that they could go far in States this season and even surprise a lot of people.

Kalish experienced team gets ready for the season

By: Tyler Ruban

Jason Kalish was interviewed in room D18 at Jefferson Township High School on Wednesday, November 21, 2018. Jason was very excited after his hard working, and talented players fought until the end and beat High Point High School's Varsity baseball team in the state quarterfinals by a score of 12-10 last season. Jefferson Township High School Varsity baseball coach, Kalish, is expecting big things from his older and experienced baseball team this upcoming season. Kalish says, “I am excited to see all the work pay off that our players have put in during the off-season.” The work that the players of Kalish’s team put in will pay off this spring when Jefferson Township High School’s Varsity baseball team goes up against a strong Wallkill Valley Varsity baseball team to start off the season.
Kalish’s goal for the 2019 spring season is the same as it has always been since he started coaching which is to hang a banner. Kalish’s teams over the past years have hung banners but not as many as he would like. Kalish says, “My goal is the same every year which is to hang a banner.” Hanging a banner means that you either won a state championship or won a league championship. Kalish would like to have more of both of these under his belt.
JTHS used to play a Group I schedule while being a Group II school. As you could imagine this was very hard on JTHS, and now they are playing a Group II schedule. Kalish believes that this is going to help them be competitive in every game this upcoming spring season. Kalish said, “Being group II will give us a chance to compete in every single game.” Kalish believes that JTHS will be able to compete in every single game due to playing a group II schedule.
Kalish learned from the previous season that your record doesn’t matter once you get into states. “Once you get into states anybody can win no matter what their record is.” This quote from Kalish is stating that if you make it to states and get on a little mini hot streak and get the bats alive then you will be able to do some damage during states.

JTHS Varsity baseball team ended with a record of 14-13 last year. The work that JTHS put in is going to pay off on April 1st when JTHS squares off at WVRHS. Wallkill will have the home field advantage but Jefferson will fight and compete until the very end and try to come away with their first win of the year.

           Riley Kandel with Junior Varsity basketball team

          By Daniel Pryce

Thoughtful, kind, and comical are few words to describe the JTHS Junior Varsity basketball player Riley Kandel, who hopes to eventually be wearing his Jefferson Varsity jacket in the near future of his high school career. On November 21, 2018 Riley talked about his career and where he thinks the team will be projected with recent factors in an interview conducted by a member of The Falcon's Nest Sports and Entertainment Page at Jefferson Township High School.

          The Jefferson basketball Junior Varsity basketball team has suffered a loss of multiple key star players in their line up. However, we asked Kandel how he feels and he says, “It’s gonna be harder with all sophomores as they’ll be smaller.”

         Kandel being a star on the JV basketball team hopes to continue his basketball career outside of just regular high school. When asked how far he plans on going with basketball aside from high school, he responded, “I plan to play through high school and try if possible to go to a D-2 or D-3 school.

        Kandel said, “Mainly my height growth in 5th grade and my dad is what made me pursue my career in basketball,” which shows his early motives to what is now his favorite sport. Riley is going to keep playing for JTHS despite the loss of multiple key players to the lineup.

A new approach

By John Liaci

The last matches are coming to an end, the mats are battered and sweaty, and the wrestling season is quickly coming to a close. But, second year Jefferson Township High School wrestler Luke Ciampa is already looking ahead to the next season. He is planning his diet and a new workout routine for the rigorous sport that requires much technicality and precision. He is reflecting on his game and how to improve after an average season. His record was 15-17, but that statistic does not show how much effort he puts into the sport.

Ciampa wrestled at a calculated 106 lbs last season. This season, Ciampa plans to wrestle at 120, but with a different approach. When asked about his goals for this upcoming season, Ciampa was excited to share, “This year I would like to have 30 wins and under 10 losses… I should qualify for states and hopefully place top 8.” But this year, Ciampa is up against a state champion rival for the second year in a row. Although a tough task, Ciampa seemed like he is going to take a different approach in order to outmatch his biggest rival. When asked about his rival, Ciampa stated, “I am facing the state champion Anthony Clark from Delbarton again, and I will have to beat him in the County Tournament Finals.”

Preparing for a match is mentally draining. Knowing that the difference from the team winning and losing could depend on your performance is hard to fathom. But, many wrestlers have superstitions in order to combat these tense thoughts. Although some superstitions are simple, others can be quite complex. Ciampa knows since he was young that in order to get the butterflies out, he needed to be distracted instead of anxious. When asked about his specific superstition, Ciampa relayed, “I’ve always eaten an orange exactly two hours before every match.” The superstition might seem crazy, but the process behind his individual superstition claims to work."

Ciampa speaks for the entire team when he says that training is tough. But personally, he states that the worst part is the off-season because he has to stay in shape in order to certify at his desired weight. “I’ve been practicing technique along with lifting everyday this off-season.” Ciampa was very eager to speak on this topic. Ciampa, along with the rest of the team, wakes up around 5:00 a.m. to attend morning practice. The team often runs a total of five miles each by the end of each day. When asked about the status of his team for this upcoming season, Ciampa stated, “The team this year is stronger than it was last year… since we did not meet our team goals last season, we have a lot more motivation. We are hungry and driven this year.” We are all rooting for the wrestling team to bring home titles this year.

JT and his inspirations

By: Nick Juba

Leadership, motivation, and kindness are three ways to describe Jefferson Township Falcon's volleyball captain Jt Wojcik. He is very motivated to not only try his very best at practice everyday, but he is also motivated to show people how to properly do something if they do not know how to do it in order to help the team. Wojcik, wearing a Falcons t-shirt during the interview, was showing a lot of Falcon pride and always puts the team first no matter what happens. He is an overall team player and never cares about his stats and only cares about how the team plays overall on a game to game basis. At an interview for the Falcons Nest, Wojcik talks about how the team will do overall this season and what inspired him to get into volleyball.

Wojcik’s parents and especially his mom had a huge impact on getting him to play volleyball for Jefferson Township High School. His mom had a huge impact by taking him to open gyms no matter what time they were and always encouraging him to accomplish anything he sent his mind to. Another person that influenced him to play volleyball would be Coach Gaydos. When talking about Gaydos, Wojcik said, “Coach Gaydos talked to me three days before before the start of the season and convinced me to play.”

Wojcik when talking about how the Falcons will do this season after losing last years seniors said, “Yes, we lost our whole front row, our setter, and have a lot of new players to fill these positions.” Wojcik seemed very optimistic about this season even though the team lost a lot of players.

Wojcik was also very optimistic when talking about what player will step up this season, saying that,  “ I believe that everyone will step up this year to fill all the holes left from the seniors, but in particular I think Shane Conley will have a breakout season.”

When Wojcik was asked if he would like to play volleyball in college he said, “ Absolutely, I’ve put so much time and effort into it, and I would love to play against harder competition.” His passion for this sport and his team shows how he will risk anything and everything to make sure everyone is doing their jobs to win the game, and this is what a true leader does.

The boxer that refused to lose
By Amina Fuller


By Dilan Feti

Nick Gencarelli is a very dedicated man to soccer. Gencarelli shows his dedication to the Jefferson Township soccer team by his leadership and his hard work ethic in order to bring the team to becoming freedom division champions. Gencarelli says, “Bryan Gavieria and Buddy Jacobus will lead the Falcons to victory in their next season.”

Gencarelli brought victories to the Falcons nest and was their most valuable player. Gencarelli believes Bryan Gavieria and Buddy Jacobus will lead the Falcons in their next season as Gencarelli graduates high school.

Gencarelli says, “I learned how valuable it is to work hard and dedication is key to becoming a successful athlete.” Gencarelli learned many valuable lessons from this season. He believes that hard work and dedication to the sport is what he will bring with him going into college and it will also help him in the real world.

I asked Gencarelli what he will do in college and his response was “I am playing soccer and will be pursuing a degree in business.” His top school is Rider University and is very interested in going there.

When Gencarelli graduates from college, his plan after is to “start a business with my father.” He believes that he can make a very successful business with his father.

Gencarelli’s biggest role model in his life is his father. Gencarelli says, “My father is my biggest role model because he taught me how to be a man and how to become successful in life.

His entire life, he practiced the sport almost everyday to strive and become better and better. Here he is getting scholarship offers from schools everywhere.

David Graham, an inspired young rapper from a small town looking to pursue a career in the rap industry

By: Brian Erdmann

Inspired, determined, and focused are three words that perfectly describe the 16 year old rapper, David Graham. Graham attends school at Jefferson Township High School in a small town of Oak Ridge, New Jersey. Graham, a soundcloud rapper, looks to keep making music to try to increase his fan population and possibly pursue a career into the rap industry.

“I believe I have the potential to compete, but to me, it’s more of a matter of getting my name out there, but I believe I have a long way to go,” Graham said. Graham has only released two songs out on soundcloud, those songs being “Run It”, and “Treason.”

Graham clearly loves being able to make incredible music and has a musically artistic ability, however, when asked what he thinks the next step for him is, Graham says “I would try to pursue a career in it, but most likely, I want to become an anesthesiologist. But if this thing takes off, then I guess I’m a rapper.” Graham confidently states he wants to be an anesthesiologist which shows his interest in giving medication to patients, however when going back to rapping, Graham explains he will “still continue to make music because I like doing it.”

Graham had an interest in music at a very young age and only started making music in the late months of 2018 and when asked where he gets his motivation and inspiration from, he says he gets it primarily from his family. Relating to his father, Graham says, “His music production and my family growing up being interested in music helped me to start on that, it just really interested me… every time my dad would try to make beats or something, I would go and shadow him, watch what he was doing.”

Graham not only gets his inspiration and motivation from his family, but from a very famous rapper by the name of Logic, who Graham has followed throughout the years. “I liked a lot of his old songs, I’m a big fan of his new songs, I learned about Logic at a very young age, I loved his music in general, and I loved his lyricism,” Graham says. Logic is very well known for his lyrical abilities and the quickness of his songs.

Despite being very popular in his hometown and having a lot of fans from his school, Graham isn’t the only rapper who is present in Jefferson Township High School. Another young artist by the name of Kofi Mensah or by his rap name, King Cojo, also has a great passion for rapping and is also very popular in the school. Mensah has gone on to publish songs such as “Late Hours,”, All-day,” and “Tough Lungs.” Graham and Mensah collaborated in a song, “Treason,” and Graham described his experience with Kofi as “an absolute blast!” The song was released late November of 2018.

When asked if he and Mensah would possibly plan on doing anymore music together in the future, Graham says “The night before we released the song (Treason), he called me, and said ‘We have to do another song together, because I know everybody is gonna go crazy about it.'” Graham goes on to say that he said, “Alright, I’m down, whenever you want to do the song, just let me know” to Mensah the night they called called each other.

It is still very interesting that other than the hobby of rapping, Graham still wants to pursue a career in anesthesiology. When asked where he sees himself in the next few years, Graham explains that “it’s entirely dependent on how popular my music is… if I can reach a point where I can sustain myself financially with my music, I might put a lot more time and dedication into the music.” However, when comparing that to the opposition, he says “if my music remains at such a low level that it wouldn’t make sense to try to pursue a career, then I would most likely stay with anesthesiology.” This expresses that Graham isn’t just focused on the career of rapping. Obviously it is something that he is passionate about and he loves doing, but when it comes to what he sees himself doing in the future and what his true passion is, he opens up about his love for the study of anesthesiology.

With the backstory of Graham now known, it is easy to see how inspired and determined this 16 year old artist is and the reasons for him wanting to pursue a career in rapping. Graham will be 17 in January, still so young in his early stages of his bright future.

Interview with Mr. Moscatello

By Larry DiBiase

Hard working, dedicated, and motivated are three words that would describe Mr Moscatello.

Moscatello is the Head Wrestling coach here at Jefferson Township High School as well as an assistant football coach. Moscatello has been a coach here at JTHS since the early 2000’s and has a lot to bring to the table each year.

I asked Moscatello how he felt this year's 18-19 wrestling team will compare to last year's 17-18 wrestling team. “We had much more experience in the upperweights last year, which I think could turn out to hurt us a little this year. That being said I think we have a little bit more experience in the lower, middle weights this year,” stated Moscatello. He also thinks based on who we lost last year might hurt us in the long run. “We lost three very good kids last year that recorded over 60 pins combined which is equal to 300 team points.”

Moscatello was also very focused on the preparation aspect of this season and will continue to prepare his team all the way towards the end of the season as hard as he can. “Making sure we get in all the technique as well as conditioning after practice and sometimes in the morning before school,” Moscatello said when speaking about some ways he would prepare his team this upcoming season.

Moscatello always has many goals for himself and the team every single year. Moscatello is set on winning the District title this season especially after losing in the finals for the past two years but now this year the chances of winning are higher after the JTHS wrestling team was moved to a new section this year with different, easier competition than last year's section.  He is also very excited to see how this season's postseason will turn out and wants to try to get kids to make it to Atlantic City for the High School States this year.

Moscatello is ready to take on the 2018-2019  season with what he has and will do his best to prepare and motivate these kids all the way until the end of this season.

What drives Bill Wilson?

By Matt Alday

Determined, driven and goal-oriented are three ways to describe Bill Wilson. During our sitdown, Bill was eager but anxious for the Friday night show of “See How They Run.” He says they have been rehearsing diligently since early September. He was ready to see his and his peer’s hard work come to fruition.

Bill was born May 30, 2001 and has lived in Jefferson all his live. He didn’t always have a passion for theater but joined due to a dare from a friend. His first show was “Willy Wonka” and he found theater fun. Bill credits his teacher, Mr. Wynn, as a big influence to continue with theater. Mr. Wynn was confident in Wilson’s abilities and talents as an actor and pushed him to succeed.

In “See How They Run,” Bill plays a Russian spy and is the villain of the show. Bill loves the role because he says “it involves a lot of physical comedy and incorporates Russian language into it.” This will be one of the last productions Bill will be a part of at the high school level as he graduates in the spring. Unsure of if he wants to pursue acting as a career, he says he definitely will keep acting as a hobby. Whatever he does decide to do, Bill will surely remain driven in any avenue he decides to take in life.

Gaviria and the future of the Falcons

By: John McCloskey

    Determined, competitive and driven are three words to describe Bryan Gaviria, the Freshman on the Jefferson Township High School Varsity soccer team. It took Gaviria one week to prove to the coaches what level he should be playing at and never looked back. From practicing the first week of the off-season with the Freshman team to ripping his shirt off in pure excitement after scoring the game winning goal in overtime against the team’s biggest rival, Newton High School to win a division championship, Gaviria always showed his good character and drive to be his best.

    A month after a crushing defeat to end the season I sat down with Gaviria to discuss his plans on the future and of course his goal against Newton. Gaviria said, “My speed and goal scoring ability helped define the game” when asked about his personal aspects and their effects on the team and how each game played out. So it was no surprise to hear that he has started his off-season training with his club team and continued to keep working out improving on all aspects of his game including his speed and goal scoring.

    Gaviria said, “I learned to study my opponents well before the game to beat them.” Gaviria proves his constant willingness to succeed and win. He is willing to do whatever it takes and knows the importance of watching film and studying his opponents. Gaviria is starting his grind to hopefully win another division championship and any other championship game if he is given the opportunity. When talking about next season Gaviria said, “I want to win the division championship again and go farther in the Morris County Tournament and States.” Although his goals are set high, I have full faith he is more than capable of achieving his goals if his work ethic and hunger to win stays with him.  

    No matter the outcome of Gaviria’s future seasons, he certainly has a moment to remember when he scored the overtime game winning goal to win the Freedom Division Championship. “It was emotional and a moment to remember,” Gaviria said. He scored with 4:51 left on the clock in the first overtime and never looked back. For Freshman Gaviria to be the one to score that goal shows just how mentally strong he is along with his physical talent. The future is bright for Gaviri.

2 Guys Catering Business
By Kris Mankin

        It all started when he owned an old UPS truck and wanted to make it a hot dog truck. The plan fell through and all that was left was that truck. Kyle Betar saw an opportunity of a lifetime and leaped towards it.

        Betar bought an old UPS truck five years ago at a Gulf Station in Oakridge, New Jersey, and began his dream of starting a food service.

Betar is the owner of 2 Guys Catering; he has been in business for about five years now and has only gone up. His mindset going into the start of this business was to make ¨2 Guys Catering a household name.¨ This motivation shows throughout the years. With Betar´s goals being broken each year, Betar says, ¨When people think food trucks, they think 2 Guys.¨

        Betar got into the catering industry because of his grandma; she owned a deli when he was younger and it was always an inspiration for him. He wanted to go to college for baseball but after a long list of injuries, the dream could not become a reality. But it all worked out because Betar always had a passion for the culinary arts. He then worked in multiple kitchens including restaurants in casinos like Borgata and Harrah's in Atlantic City, NJ. ¨I wanted to make food on my own terms and be my own boss,¨ Betar stated on why he got into the food truck industry.

        When asked about the preparation for an event, Betar said that it was “craziness” buying the food, prepping the food, cleaning the truck making sure all of the equipment worked. All of those things need to be a good factor in order for the truck to be successful at an event. Betar still loves cooking and the food truck industry even after all of the prep and long event hours just because “cooking is his passion.” His journey through life has all led up to this moment. He plans on expanding the business within the next few years but will never forget the first few years of the business that has shaped him into the owner he is today. Betar will always have a love for the culinary arts, the food truck industry, and most definitely the 2 Guys Catering business.

New or a comeback?

By: John Knox

New. New is the key word most would use to describe Anthony Vasile, former Jefferson Township High School athlete and new addition to the Jefferson teaching and coaching staff. In a quiet and calm library, Vasile spoke strong and with great confidence and hope. Although new special education teacher, Anthony Vasile is a new addition to the staff, he is not new to Jefferson schools. In his interview, Vasile spoke about how the experience has been as an alumni.

“So far so good,” Vasile described his new experience as a teacher in Jefferson schools. “I just love Jefferson and always have.” Vasile describes being a part of the Falcon family as, “indescribable,” and what he always planned on being.

After graduation day in 2011, Vasile said he always planned on returning to JTown, and planned on being a Falcon again. “I definitely went to school for teaching and when I went to school I knew I wanted to teach and coach and it’s just an extra bonus that that gets to happen at the town I love, Jefferson,” Vasile said. Jefferson was the past of Vasile and he plans on it being his future.

Vasile had a couple of mentors along the way to his journey to become a special education teacher at Jefferson. “Yeah, Coach DiGennaro was a big influence and had one of the biggest impacts as to why I wanted to come back here. He is also a special education teacher and that made me want to go into that field,” Vasile said. Coach DiGennaro, the Varsity basketball coach and special education teacher, is now inspiring alumni he never even coached.

Vasile also loves the ability he has in coaching for the high school. He helped out with the Freshman football team over the past season and is now starting to help with the wrestling team. “I felt super comfortable around them right away. They really let me get used to coaching and it’s been a great experience to be a part of.”  This is another aspect of Jefferson that Vasile is new to. He has never coached before for both wrestling and football.

Although Vasile attended Jefferson just a short seven years ago, there has still been changes to Jefferson. “Scheduling has changed a lot, now especially with the new block scheduling. Also, cell phones, which is a huge change that I have not gotten used to yet. Although, I definitely think that cellphones are a positive as are laptops for kids to have more access to the internet,” Vasile says.

“In the beginning it was a little awkward, but now I definitely feel more comfortable and I had a good relationship with most of the teachers so it’s nice to still have them around,” Vasile said about his new relationships with old teachers with whom he is now a peer. He now gets viewed and treated just as another teacher and not as a former student or a newer teacher.

Vasile definitely brings a new perspective to the table both as a coach and a teacher. Although he is a new teacher and coach to Jefferson, he really isn't new. I mean, Vasile has been a part of the Falcon family virtually his entire life. From a player and student to a coach and teacher, Vasile truly never really left the Falcon Family.

2018 Falcons wrestling with HC, Matthew Moscatello

By: Michael Gould

Hard working, victorious, and muscular are just a few adjectives that describe the brilliant man, Matthew Moscatello, the head wrestling coach at Jefferson Township High School. As a very creative high school physical education teacher he brings the same enthusiasm to the mat. Always showing Falcon pride, he was being specifically supportive by wearing a Jefferson Falcon wrestling polo and khakis. During the interview, Moscatello discussed the preparation for the upcoming wrestling season, season goals, comparison to last season, as well as the team's toughest opponents.   

Moscatello has been coaching the Jefferson Falcons for years. With such a successful previous season he is making sure his boys are well prepared for this swiftly approaching season. “Pretty much getting in all the technique and the conditioning is difficult so we do hold am practices and stay in late in the beginning, to get in peak condition and get in all the technique,” Moscatello said while speaking of preparation for the season. He has very high standards set for the upcoming season with a couple goals such as maintaining a winning record, qualifying for states, winning districts, as well as getting wrestlers down to Atlantic city for the states.

The team has suffered some loses from the previous graduating senior class and are looking for some new wrestlers to step up and take on a leadership role for the team. However, it should be smooth sailing considering the senior class this year has over ten wrestlers.

Moscatello says the hardest opponent that the Falcons will take on this year will be,  “probably High Point as they are returning some (wrestlers) and have a really good class coming in.” After a tough lose to the them in the state sectional finals last year, the Falcons are coming back with vengeance to take down the wildcats. However, the team should be perfectly fine considering the Falcon's team from last year to this year matches up better than expected.

“I think we probably had a little more experience in the upper weights last year which could hurt us this year, but with that being said I think we have more experience in the middle weights,” Moscatello said when talking about the team matching up with the previous year's team.

Moscatello is itching with excitement for the upcoming season and cannot wait any longer to see his wrestlers get back on the mat. The wrestlers as well are looking forward to the upcoming season in the search of a state title.

Ashley Struck strides towards Groups

By: Emma George


 Three words to describe Ashley Struck are passionate, hard working, and thoughtful. Struck first started her running career in middle school for the Jefferson Striders. Struck always wanted to run as many races as she could. Every race Struck would run, she would get the best times and the best title. No matter how difficult the races were, Struck gave them her all as she still does for the Jefferson Township High School Track and Field program.

   Falcon Varsity sprinter Struck trains hard for the upcoming JTHS indoor season as she pushes herself to make it to Groups and breaking the school record for the 400 meter event. “I’m aiming to get a personal record in every event I run and to be break the school record for the 400,” Struck says as she describes her goals for the upcoming season.

   Varsity sprinter Struck says “A better start will lead to better times,” in response to the changes she will make for the upcoming season. Struck will work on gaining a powerful start to push out the blocks. When a runner has a powerful start, the runner gets a better lead heading towards the finish line.

   “Perseverance and mental toughness,” is what Struck has learned through her years of running track. This quote shows that just one sport taught her to never give up and that her mental toughness helps her perform when the races are tough.

   Struck proudly runs the JTHS track as she did since middle school and strides towards Groups one step at a time.

The hitters that never stop

By Ali Fuller

On a cold November afternoon, loud bangs of tire flips were heard all through the G Wing of Jefferson Township High School as I waited for Coach Andrew Scalone, the lineman coach of the Jefferson Falcons football team. The Falcons this past season had a record of 3-7 as there were many challenges that the team faced this season. Scalone used the word “adversity” to describe this team, as there were many battles the team had to fight by sticking together and realizing they will fight with whatever team they had to get the job done.

Scalone has a background with football to a length of 17 years, five years as a player and 11 as a coach including two at college levels at Fairleigh Dickinson University and Madison University. Scalone went to Montville HIgh School and was a coach there for most of his coaching career as when the game against them comes up it brings up a feeling of wanting to demolish and achieve the goal of attaining the win.

Scalone states how every game, except for the last two, the starting line was different from injuries, people quitting, or not showing for practice. Scalone states that his line showed much adversity because though they were given these challenges they faced through and fought with whoever they could. A senior Joe D'Alia ,the team's center on the offensive line, had broken his hand during a game but continued to play as he believed he knew his team needed him and that he shouldn’t let the minor setback change the game “Joe.. broke his hand and finished out the game as the following week he was back and in another position that he never played and learned what he had to, so he could get the job done,” Salone said.

Two juniors who have never played Varsity before, Richard Raymond and Ali Fuller, both had to play new positions that they've never played in the middle of the season, both Juniors took this as an opportunity and took on the new task with a smile and continued to hit until their opponent were on the ground with a grand pancake. “Richie snapped a football for a first time and kept at it...Ali found out on a Tuesday that he was going to play offense for the first time in his life ever and went with it,” said Scalone stating how the boys just did what they were assigned no questions asked.

The lineman seniors Joe DAlia, Tyler Waggoner, Devin Hanna, AJ Frank, Brian Erdman, and TJ Shmolt all knew this was their last year and gave much dedication to make their last year the best as they know it will most likely be the last time they step on a field. Frank and Erdman weren't able to finish off their season as they got injured in preseason with leg injuries. Waggoner had to play different positions every other game. “T Wagz was tight end to tackle to tight end to tackle.” Waggoner made no complaints about where he had to go as he was just happy to be there and be on this team.

Scalone states that the preparations for next year started as soon as the season ended; the boys are already in the weight room gaining their strength to beat their opponents as the lowest/strongest man will always win. Some goals that Scalone has for next year are to develop some flexibility, build on cohesion, and to gain on discipline. Scalone is always doing new things to make his lineman better as he goes to clinics, talks to other coaches, and reads articles to make his men better in anyway he can.

Scalone is proud of how far his men had come and knows that next year if they keep hitting hard and being taught through whatever situation they are in they can accomplish anything and have an amazing season.

An inside look at the Pope John boy's soccer team

By: Jack Fitzpatrick

      With a bright Junior season on the horizon, a suspension and injury held back soccer star, James Guarda, on taking a leading role for Pope John’s soccer squad. However, when he returned from his concussion he still made an almost immediate impact by scoring an impressive goal against Hopatcong. Guarda is currently a Junior at Pope John High School in Sparta, New Jersey, and has high hopes for the 2019 season when he will be a Senior. He’s looking for a bounce-back season for himself and the team as a whole, and personally feels they have recently underperformed and believes that they can make some noise in the North Jersey Athletic Conference. Guarda feels that he has a lot of pressure on his shoulders to be a leader for the younger players on the squad.

      Pope John’s soccer team has not seen the success they desire in the last few years, but that does not mean they have gone to waste. When asked about what he learned from his high school experience so far Guarda said, “Although we haven’t had too much success, I’ve gotten better as a player and developed chemistry with my teammates.” Although the Junior is thankful for his first three seasons, he is not pleased with his results and expects to have a noticeable impact on the team next year. He’s only tallied a couple goals over his career but has made big strides and had a positive effect on his squad. However, he’s very hungry and has a vision of what his farewell season could look like. He claims that one of his personal goals is “to score goals in the double digits” in the 2019 season, which is very possible for a player of the caliber of Guarda.

     Besides being a talented player on the field, he is very aware of everything on and off the field. Guarda relies on better teamwork and lots of off-season grinding to find success in the upcoming season. He expects a lot but believes the wins will come from “working better as a unit and developing even more chemistry, as well as playing with a lot of heart and putting everything on the line.” He knows the potential the team and its players have and believes that their potential can be reached through hard work and playing well in big moments. Despite being focused on the Lion's future, he has big dreams for himself as well. Ever since Guarda was a young boy, he wanted to play soccer at the highest level, and he still is hoping to eventually play college soccer. When asked for his plans after high school, he said, “I hope to receive a D I offer to play college soccer,” and the future looks bright for the game-changing forward. Guarda has played for club teams throughout his life and feels like his competitive experience will take him and his team to the next level in the 2019 season. Although Guarda was only able to find the back of the net once this past season due to his limited number of appearances, he expects to put the ball past goalkeepers on a consistent basis next year.

Triple threat

By: Keith Ferguson

There's the great Bo Jackson, Deion Sanders, Jackie Robinson, and modern day Russell Wilson. In the small tight-knit town of Jefferson, NJ, lies a humble 16-year-old baller named Michael Studnick. Studnick is a sophomore at Jefferson Township High School who is currently crossing up his opponents in the sport of basketball, but he’s also a pretty busy guy off the court as well. He just wrapped up his second season with the town's football team, getting his first taste of Varsity playing time. He also stays in shape by playing baseball in the spring. Surprisingly, Studnick was not allowed to play the sport of football until his eighth-grade year, where he really showed he belonged on the field, playing the position of a lockdown corner, shutting down all receivers lining up across from him.

In a sit down interview with Studnick, I composed a few questions for the young phenom to answer. When asked what influenced him and made him choose the sports he plays today, he responded, “I’m a competitive guy, you know. I am not the type of guy to sit around and play Fortnite all day. So when I was younger, I played all sports, ranging from football to soccer, to basketball to wrestling, and baseball and lacrosse. I pretty much just chose my favorites and never stopped playing them because I love the game of football, basketball, and baseball.” He (Studnick) wants to make a name for himself, like no one will ever compete on the same level as him. He hopes to break at least one high school record in each of the three sports he plays.

He was also asked later on in his interview if he had to give up two of the three sports he plays, which ones he would drop and which he would keep and why. He responded with the least cliche answer he could have given. “I would never drop baseball from my life. I grew up playing baseball, I’ve been involved with the sport the longest out of the three. I currently play. Baseball is in my family's bloodline, dating back all the way to my great grandfather, who actually had played for the New York Yankees in 1915; baseball gives me my motivation and hopes of making it big one day.

Later on in the interview, I went a little more in depth and personal. When I asked him to describe his change from youth sports to high school sports, he gave a real personal answer, and how his life changed. “Back in my youth days, my dad was always involved with coaching, he couldn’t stand to watch from the sidelines as a parent, so to cope with his withdrawal of his past sports career he got into coaching. So to answer the question, the biggest transition for me would be not having my dad alongside of me when I’m on that field to give me motivation and guide me.”

Though his dreams of becoming big one day are far fetched, if he stays on his grind, anything is possible in his eyes. Before concluding the interview, I had a little something extra to ask him. “Cookie or Cream?” Studnick says he sides with the cookie!