NFL Players Taking a Knee

Brevin Scullion, Parker Cote, and Kaleb McCloud

Staff Writers

Over the past couple of seasons in the NFL some players caused controversy by sitting or kneeling during the National Anthem to call attention to injustices people of color face in America today.  Many players have been participating in the protest but the figurehead in the NFL is former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick started sitting during the national anthem because he believed that what the anthem stood for is not true in today’s society as there is still racism. Then after a meeting with Army veteran and former Seattle Seahawks long snapper Nate Boyer, they came to a compromise to kneel instead of sit during the National Anthem. This has sparked important conversations about racism across the country among all age groups and even here at Jamesville-DeWitt High School.

In September, Donald Trump further popularized the controversy by saying the players who kneel should be fired and further tweeting his thoughts on the subject and how it was disrespectful to our country. He even trashed the NFL for not making a rule, where all players have to stand for the anthem.This sparked even more anger and protest in the NFL and in the country.

J-DHS students have strong opinions on whether athletes should be able to kneel or sit during the anthem. Some support the players using their First Amendment right. “It’s really important for people to use their freedom of expression to stand up for things they believe in,” said social studies teacher Donna Oppedisano, who believes that NFL players have the right to kneel if they would like to. “Anybody is entitled to voice their  opinion in a peaceful and productive way,” said social studies teacher Andrew Cottet who also thinks that it is okay for players to be kneeling. The First Amendment is a common reason people give on why they think it is in their rights to kneel. Senior Danielle Jaffe said, “I think it is a part of their free speech so they can do whatever they want.”

Sophomore Amirah Britt and many other students are glad that they are protesting.“Racism in our country needs to be stopped because things are getting out of hand,” said Britt. “Athletes are not disrespecting the soldiers, they are protesting racism in the U.S,” said Britt. “Soldiers are fighting for freedom in the United States and the NFL is taking away the athletes freedom,” said junior Mia Antonucci.

However, some students disagree with the idea of politics in sports. “I don’t agree that politics and sports should influence each other, they should just play,” said freshman Scott Reeves. “They are just causing unwanted attention,” said sophomore Brendan Coyle. Some students are angry with how politics are beginning to influence sports. “Athletes should just stick to playing their sport,” said Coyle.

Other students are frustrated with how the players are reacting. “Players are disrespecting soldiers who fight for our country every day,” said sophomore Josh Duby. “Soldiers are dying everyday to protect our freedom, the least players could do is show respect during the anthem,” said Duby.

This topic has sparked debates in the US and has brought up many important racial issues affecting the United States. “In the end, there is no right or wrong answer,” Reeves said.

FBI Looking Into Numerous NCAA Violations

Johnny Keib and Tanner Burns

Staff Writers

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On Sept. 26, 2017, the FBI officially brought charges against several NCAA basketball teams on recruiting violations. This has been an ongoing investigation since 2015. Teams affected were Arizona, Auburn, USC, Miami, Oklahoma State, and Louisville.

According to ESPN, the charges are that Adidas gave the teams money that they used  to bribe recruits to come to their school. Adidas would give the players money and gear if they promised they would sign with them when they make it to the NBA. Adidas would also make the players that took the money promise that when they make the NBA they would sign an endorsement contract with them.

All teams affected lost coaches, but Louisville is the only one that also fired their head coach, hall of famer Rick Pitino. “I really thought he was a good coach,” said senior Kasey Vaughan, member of the Jamesville-DeWitt High School Varsity Girls Basketball team. But his great coaching has been affected by negative actions within the program off the court. Just last year a Louisville coach got busted for hosting parties for their recruits, that included prostitutes. Despite those allegations last year they had a successful season.

With all of these players breaking the NCAA rules, it brings up the question of whether  players should be paid? Teachers and high school players had many different opinions about whether college players should be paid. We talked to students who play football, basketball, soccer, and lacrosse and most thought all college players should be paid. Two-time Varsity Girls Basketball New York State player of the year Meg Hair thinks yes. “It’s a full time job,” said Hair. Junior Pat Murad, a member of the Varsity Boys Basketball team, agrees with Hair. “100 percent they should be paid. If you are making the money for the school and the NCAA, you should have (part of the) profit.” Murad also said, “I think (the players are) smart really. If they’re coming from a poor family, poor environment, and need some money, it’s a quick easy way to use their talents, and they should be getting paid anyway.”

On the other hand senior basketball and soccer player Marcus Johnson does not think NCAA players should be paid. The teachers and coaches seemed to agree. Varsity Boys Lacrosse Head Coach Jamie Archer thinks they shouldn’t be paid, but deserve more than what they are already getting.“They deserve benefits. They deserve meals and everything to be paid for while they are there,” said Coach Archer. Guidance counselor and Freshman Basketball head coach, Denise Becher, who played DI women’s basketball at the University of Pittsburgh, also agrees with Coach Archer that they should be getting benefits, but not paid. “They should let some kids work if they come from a family with low income,” she said. Varsity Boys Basketball Head Coach Jeff Ike agrees with the rest of the teachers. “I don’t think players should be paid. I know they put a lot of time and effort in, but a lot of those kids get a free education, and that’s a big payment,” he said. Although Varsity Assistant Football Coach Andrew Cottet also agrees that they should not be paid, but should be able to turn pro whenever they want.

Adidas, a very popular brand on the rise in basketball, has been a big part of the investigation. People are shocked to hear about their part in the scandal. “I would expect bigger things from a big time corporation,” said senior varsity basketball player Taku Laclair. However, Sports Literature teacher Courtney Romeiser doesn’t think this scandal is going to affect their pro endorsements.

The FBI investigating the NCAA has affected all kinds of people. Whether it was the coaches being fired, Adidas breaking the rules, or players getting money, it has brought up a questions that involves ethics, money and, and the rights of a player. The right solution might not come in the near future, but hopefully there is an answer that will help both the NCAA and the players still to come.

Girls Swimmers Glide to Sectionals

Harland Kissel, Michael Bratslavsky, and Julian Galletta

Staff Writers

The Jamesville-DeWitt Girls Swim team is off the blocks, starting the season with a strong record of 7-1. Though the squad was unable to pull off a win against powerhouse swim program Fayetteville-Manlius, the Red Rams are thrilled with their performance thus far in the season. “We are right where we want to be,” says team captain Caelen Constantino.

The team has already faced two of Section III’s toughest opponents: Liverpool and Fayetteville-Manlius. Though J-D swept six out of the 12 events in the meet against F-M on Sept. 12, the girls were unable to overcome the extraordinary depth of the Hornet roster, and the Red Rams ended up losing by 18 points. Just two days later, the J-D girls went up against another section rival in Liverpool. This time, though, the meet went in favor of J-D, as the squad came out with a close 12 point victory.

J-D’s toughest battle of the season came during their meet against the New Hartford Spartans on Oct. 11. “We’ve always had a long history of rivalry with New Hartford. It’s a meet that I look forward to every year,” says senior captain Lexi Phillips. Throughout the night, the lead went back and forth between the two adversaries, but after a tight final race, the Red Rams edged out the Spartans by a single point.

Even after the loss of a powerful senior class last year, the team is right on track, says Constantino. Juniors Emma Galletta, Sloane Leach, and Sawyer Parker have stepped up and “filled the shoes” of last year’s key swimmers, says Phillips.

Sophomore Amelia Hesler has had a breakout performance this year, nearly beating Baldwinsville’s pool record in the 100 backstroke. Though Hesler has yet to qualify for states in an individual event, she joined  Phillips, Galetta, and sophomore Kenzie Moore in achieving the state time in the 200 Free Relay during the Salt City Athletic Conference meet on Oct. 16. “It’s really uncommon for us to qualify for states during the regular season. I’m excited to see what we can do during Sectionals,” says Phillips.

Over 25 swimmers have already made sectionals, and the rest of the team is not far behind. “Almost everybody has a chance at making sectionals, or even states.” says senior captain Rachel Setek. The team hopes to win the section championship as a “strong and powerful unit,” says Constantino.

The team bonds and prepares for meets by warming up and singing the campfire song from “Spongebob Squarepants.” After they all finish, they stand in a circle and focus on their goals for the meet. “Everybody always has great energy and are always prepared to swim their best,” said Constantino.  

Be sure to check in with the girls on Nov. 3 for the Section III Championship.

 

Syracuse Football Is On The Rise

Lucas Bort and Reinaldo Colon

Staff Writers

In the 70s, football was one of the first things to pop into people’s minds when they thought about Syracuse.  But that has long since faded.  “Syracuse football isn’t what it used to be. To win we have to play like we used to,” says freshman fan Matthew Alexander.  

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With Dino Babers returning for his second season as head coach, he hopes to turn the program around.  Student Counselor Will Hartley says he “likes Syracuse’s hurry up offense,” which Babers brought to Syracuse.  Freshman Nolen Brann suggests that Babers should work on improving the defense in order to win more games this season.  But with this season’s schedule, that could be tough.

This season, Syracuse plays five teams ranked in the top 25, including second ranked Clemson, the reigning champions. All five of these teams are in Syracuse’s conference, the ACC.  Most fans are not expecting these games to be pretty.  “Syracuse football needs to leave the ACC to get wins.  There are too many good teams in our conference,” says freshman Marshall Withers.   

Junior Eric Dungey, the starting quarterback for Syracuse, was a popular pick for most exciting player to watch this season. “He can not only pass but he can run as well.  Ever since he became the starting quarterback at Syracuse he’s done an outstanding job,” said freshman Gunther Schnorr.  Throughout the first five games of this season Dungey has completed 135 out of his 212 pass attempts for 1437 yards.  Against North Carolina State, he threw for 385 yards and one passing touchdown. He also had one rushing touchdown. “There's no one else on the team that stands out on the team like him.” said  Brann.

Many people are also delighted on how wide receivers Steve Ishmael and Ervin Philips have started the season.  Philips, a senior, has 420 receiving yards this season and is in second for receptions this season with 44.  Philips has just recently set the Syracuse and ACC record for most receptions in a game with 17 against NC State.  Ishmael, also a senior, has 51 receptions this season, first in the nation and slightly ahead of Philips.  Ishmael is also in second place for receiving yards this season with 632 yards and has had over 100 receiving yards in all five games. He most recently had 120 yards against NC State along with one touchdown.  “He is going to be very successful in his college career and the NFL.” says Schnorr.

With a third of the season complete and stuck at 2-3, Syracuse is preparing for the final seven games.  Freshman Audrey Norden predicts Syracuse will go 2-10 while junior Ameen Iraqi thinks Syracuse will finish this season at 5-7, which is a .42 win percentage.  Long time SU fan and sophomore Habe Conlon says to finish the season strong, Syracuse needs to “rely more on teamwork and less on a fraction of a team.”  He said he was referring to  how Eric Dungey and Steve Ishmael have made more of an impact than other players this year.  Conlon also said “Syracuse can’t think of these big name teams any differently, it’s just business as usual and the players should just try their hardest.”

Girls Tennis Finishes Another Successful Season

Steven Baker

Staff Writer

The Jamesville-DeWitt High School Varsity Girls Tennis team finished a strong season. In the regular season the girls tennis team had a very respectable conference record of 9-2 and were 14-3 overall. They landed second in the SCAC Empire conference among eight teams, with only two league losses, both to Auburn.

“I came into this season with tempered expectations,” said Head Coach Eugene Sul. “We have 11 starters and out of the 11, six of them are new. To finish 14-3 definitely exceeded my expectations,” said Head Coach Eugene Sul. The senior co-captains Sara Gow and Sonali Patel were also very pleased with the season they had. “We had a great group of girls and we proved that we could play with anybody,” said Patel.

Their biggest rival this year was the Auburn Maroons. In two tough meetings the Rams lost both by a just a point. “Each of them were barn burners,” said Coach Sul. The Maroons placed first in the SCAC Empire Conference with a record of 13-0 in the conference and 16-2 overall.    

One of the team's most impressive wins was against Indian River, and the Rams were the only team to defeat them in the regular season. “Indian River was a great team win,” said Gow; “they were a very good team, after that win it showed us that we could beat anybody.”

“We have definitely defied our expectations. We have not it made it this far in sectionals in two years,” said junior Shannon Beaudry. The Rams fell to the defending sectional champions, the Oneida Indians, in the sectional semifinals, 7-0. “We knew they were going to be a very tough team because of their talented seniors,” said Beaudry.

One of the team's biggest fans, senior Ben Fleet added, “I was really proud of my sister and the team this year, it was a great year for girls tennis.”    

Cross Country Runs Away with a Victory

Everly Kessler and Francesca Chirco

Staff Writers

 

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The Jamesville-DeWitt High School Varsity Boys and Girls Cross Country teams are working to surpass their achievements from last year, as both teams hope to compete in sectionals and ultimately, states. Currently, both the boys and girls teams are undefeated in their meets with a record of 6-0. This season, the boys team is ranked No. 12 in the state, and this is the first time in eight years that the boys have earned a state-level ranking. The girls team has been able to maintain a state ranking as well, holding down No. 8 for Class B. As the season proceeds, all runners must remain focused and continue to put forth their best efforts in order to have a chance at winning sectionals.

BOYS:

“This team is the strongest I’ve been on because the support that we have for each other is so overwhelming,” says sophomore Luke Hobika. Both on and off the course, the team has a very strong bond and there is chemistry among the runners. “The team chemistry is really good because any of the negative attitudes are stifled by the positive attitude that overwhelms it,” says junior captain Alan Gao. This bond is in part because of the strong leadership of the captains and also from Head Coach Emily Rowles. Coach Rowles said she motivates by the “use of positive reinforcement, motivational build up, and pointing out what they can do better so that they can believe in themselves.”

Coach Rowles motivated the team from the first day, by timing their first run on the first day of practice, to show them what the worst their time is, so they would have a basis to grow and improve throughout the season. Coach Rowles also gives the runners the individual goal to improve their times by at least 10% by the end of the season.

The boys team goes through a specific routine before each meet which includes walking the course, doing a stretching and dynamic workout, and finally doing a cheer and getting excited to go into the meet.  “We keep a positive mindset before races, think about what we have to do and get excited,” says freshman Jacob Cottet. The team practices an average of two hours per day with slightly shorter practices on the days before races. “Although the team is very young, they’re very hard working and motivated,” said Coach Rowles.

The team competed for the league championship on Oct. 18. “This team has a certain attitude that you don’t get very often. It’s an attitude of always working hard even when nobody's looking, and that’s an attitude that the J-DHS Cross Country team hasn’t seen in awhile,”  says Gao.

GIRLS:

The J-DHS Varsity Girls Cross Country team takes pride in not only their race accomplishments, but their bond and their ability to use one another for moral support and to thrive off of each other, in order to reach that next level. “We are all really close and we are all good friends, which is really great, and is one of the great things about being on the team,” says freshman Madeline Foss. The team has big aspirations for this season as they desire to take home the championship at sectionals and even advance to states. “We would like to win the overall sectional title for the Class B championship, that’s been our goal all season,” says Head Coach Jim Lawton. With a devoted team and a practice schedule that never rests, the girls really believe they have shot at bringing home some sectional titles for the J-DHS Cross Country program.

This season has been different from prior seasons because of the level of commitment and togetherness that this 2017-2018 team exhibits. “Even though it is a bigger team than usual, I feel like everyone gets along really well and everyone is really good friends,” says senior captain Abigail Leavitt. Leavitt, along with the rest of the team, knows that if they stay focused on their goal, continue to work hard, there is nothing that will stop them but the finish line.

The team undergoes rigorous practices everyday for about two hours. During practices, more experienced runners are expected to complete 6 miles and new runners have to complete at least 3 miles. Coach Lawton’s goal for the team is to have everyone running at least 5 miles by the end of the season. The practice before meets, the team does speed/tempo and ab workouts along with running for distance. Then, the team will come together for a pasta party in order to get excited and energized for an upcoming meet.

On Oct. 14, both the J-DHS Boys and Girls Cross Country teams traveled to Manhattan to compete in the Manhattan College invitational. Over 3,000 different programs attended this invitational, as it is one of the largest invitationals in the nation. The course is 2.5 miles long, with the first half of the course being very hilly, requiring the most exertion from the runners. Coach Rowles even believes that it was one of the hardest courses the boys team had to run all season.

From the boys team, sophomores Kaleel Boykins and Ahviere Reese, and senior Samuel Glisson, placed at the top of their groups. Glisson is the only runner who had already raced in the invitational as he has attended every year of his high school career. This trip he earned his best time for the course. From the girls team,  junior Sophia Vinciguerra and freshman Madeline Foss placed in the top of their groups. In addition to competing in the invitational, both the boys and girls teams went to the Manhattan Mall, Palisades, for shopping, dinner and team-bonding.  

Girls Soccer Comes Back Strong

Grace Paparo and Lily Loewenguth                                                                                                  Staff Writers

This season, Jamesville-DeWitt High School’s Varsity Girls and Boys Soccer teams have come very far in very little time. Both teams rank in the top three, with the girls team ranked first and the boys team ranked third in the Salt City Athletic Conference. Both teams have high hopes of making it to, and winning, sectionals this year despite their losses.

This year, the Lady Rams moved into the Salt City Athletic Conference and so are now playing teams who they wouldn't usually play. Despite this they started off strong with a record of 8-2, losing only to West Genesee and Fulton. Their biggest rivals this year are Fayetteville-Manlius, East Syracuse-Minoa and West Genesee. “Going into the season, the girls set goals and each player concluded they all want to communicate better and become better players as a team and individually,” said Head Coach Haley Nies.

Since they have set these goals, “there has been a lot team bonding,” says sophomore Grace Dimkopoulos. “Along with becoming better, the team also wants to make it to sectionals. In order to make it that far they want to continue to work as a team and use scoring opportunities wisely,” says sophomore Sydney Baker. Although past loses have had an impact on the team, they decided to not let it affect how they play. “We’ve decided to fight harder and become more competitive.” says senior captain Lainey Foti.

The experiencing of losing in states two years in a row has motivated them this year because they know what losing feels like after making it so far and they don’t want to feel like that again. In the face of losing many “contributing” seniors and last year's top scorer, Foti says the team had to do a lot of adjusting. But they are now “looking good” and have their eyes on winning a state championship. “This year we’re going to win,” said Dimkopoulos and Baker.

Boys Soccer Is At It Again

Staff Writers

Grace Paparo and Lily Loewenguth

 

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Boys soccer has welcomed many new players, which was needed this year after losing nine of eleven starters last year. Each player has gained a lot of valuable skills over these past couple weeks of their season. With the boys ranked third in their league, so their biggest rivals are the two teams ranked above them: East Syracuse-Minoa at 1, and Fulton at 2. They have to work hard to be able to defeat them. “In order to prepare for these big games the team discusses what worked and didn't work on the field and use that as guidance on how they should play in the following games,” says Head Coach Dan Law.

The season started out rocky, losing to two tough teams, Christan Brothers Academy and Fayetteville-Manlius in the first two games. Seniors and captains Nico Modesti and Kellen Mulvihill agree that the season started rough, but the team found their chemistry. Both players believe they will win the sectional championship this year. They have maintained a strong defense and the team is “pulling off some great games” such as Auburn and Central Square, said Mulvihill.

Coach Law says his goals for the team are to always have fun, work hard and get better. “My measurement of the team has always been that if they're working hard and having fun, wins and losses and goals don't really matter all that much to me, as long as the team is working hard and doing the best they and can leave it on the field,” He said.

A big success accomplished they had was on Sept. 23. The varsity and junior varsity boys soccer teams competed against Fulton in the eighth annual Sally A. Lock Coaches vs. Cancer charity game. The charity soccer game started in 2010 after Coach Paul Krause’s sister, Mrs. Lock was diagnosed with Stage Four ovarian cancer for the second time after defeating it in 2007. She died in the winter of 2010 after her long battle. The boys raised $2,552 the first charity game but each year the amount increases. This year they set the record by raising $5,450. Although both the junior varsity and varsity lost in the charity game this year JV Coach, Paul Krause was extremely happy with the amount of money that is going towards this organization this year.

 

Gymnastics Looks to Win Their 17th Consecutive Sectional Championship

Nick Mannion

Sports Editor

The Fayetteville-Manlius and Jamesville-DeWitt High School Varsity Girls Gymnastics team looks to cap off yet another successful season. The team entered into this season with an astounding record of 16 consecutive sectional championships, and expect nothing less this year. “Our goal every year is to win a sectional championship,” said junior gymnast Ana Dieroff. The team has a good chance of making that streak 17 consecutive years, with a record of 4-1 heading towards sectionals; their only loss coming to undefeated New Hartford.

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The girls go through an exhausting two hour practice every week day. During each practice the girls work on their routine, and condition. “We have to run a lot; we run around the track almost every practice,” said senior Allie Bergman. “Our practices are really hard because we know that we’re one of the best teams in New York,” added Dieroff.   

The girls have gone into this season in stride, losing only one senior from last year, and gaining two more freshmen. “The team is extremely strong this year. A lot of us, including me, were freshman last year and have gained a ton of experience,” said sophomore Rachel Wells. Wells also said that experience is the reason their team is better than previous year’s teams. Fellow sophomore Gweyn Botto agreed with Wells. “This year has definitely been easier than last year,” said Botto.

Despite the girls on the team coming from separate schools, the team’s chemistry is “amazing,” said Dieroff; “we bond really well with the F-M girls and have a great time together.” The girls bond by going to Tully's together and sleeping over at each others houses.

Sectionals is on Oct. 20 at CNY Gym Centre, located in ShoppingTown Mall, and for many of girls, states come after that. “We hope that people come and support us at sectionals,” said Bergman. “We know that most people only like going to the football or basketball games, but we encourage everyone to come watch us win sectionals,” added Dieroff.

Boys and Girls Volleyball: Gearing up for the Post-Season

Momo LaClair and Paige Stepanian

Staff Writers

September 28, 2017

Since August, Jamesville-DeWitt High School’s Varsity Boys and Girls Volleyball teams have been working hard to achieve their goals for the season. The girls are hoping to defend their title as sectional champions, while the boys are working towards winning a sectional title for the first time since 2014. In order to achieve their goals both teams have been putting in many hours of work in the gym.

As captains of the girls team, seniors Alex Payne and Amy Shen have been actively preparing their teammates for their sectionals run. They have been doing everything they can in order to win sectionals for the second year in a row. “We’re doing team lifts, and practicing really hard on Saturdays,” says Payne. Using their strong leadership skills, the two help run practices and give important pep talks before games.

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The team lost three senior starters and although the team chemistry wasn’t affected, the captains believe that the overall skill level of the team went down. To fill in these roles, underclassmen had to step up. “There’s a lot of teaching and learning,” says Shen. The team builds chemistry by enjoying eating together, and especially making runs to Wegmans. They also have pasta parties and refer to themselves as the “Penne Gang.” Everyone loves hanging out with each other even when they aren’t on the court; the team is “a lot of fun,” says Shen.

Even though the girls do have a lot of fun, they’re still working toward being the best team that they can possibly be. Their current record is 6-2, with losses coming from Cicero-North Syracuse and Oswego. Keeping their losses in mind, they are preparing for what is most likely going to be a sectional title game against Oswego. Knowing that they are their greatest competition, they have been structuring their practices around beating Oswego and targeting their weak points.

The Lady Rams aren’t the only team gearing up for sectionals. Captain of the Varsity Boys Volleyball team, senior Owen Farchione has also been preparing his team for a successful season. As captain, his role is to “ensure the volleyball players are doing the right thing and having great technique.”  Being the captain of a newer team, Farchione has a big role in carrying out practices and making sure that players improve throughout the season.

As a “tight knit and diverse group,” the boys  are 3-3 with their losses coming from Central Square, and CNS, who beat them twice. They are hoping to qualify for sectionals this year and maybe even win the sectional title. However, this won’t come easy. About half of the team is inexperienced, and many haven’t played volleyball prior to this season. Yet, the team “meshes well together” and has been putting in the time and effort to get them to where they want to be, says Farchione.

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There have been lots of long and grueling two hour practices so far this season, after school and early on Saturday mornings.  During these practices the boys prepare to play against some of their greatest competition such as Living Word and Central Square. Farchione hopes to have the boys ready to compete against these next level teams by the time sectionals rolls around. Playing these teams will help them prepare for their sectionals run.

Be sure to go out and support both teams throughout their journey to sectionals. The girl’s next home game is Tuesday, October 3rd and the boy’s next home game Thursday, October 5th. Be there!

Girl's Lacrosse Sticks Up to Cancer

The Jamesville-DeWitt Varsity Girl’s lacrosse team hosted the West Genesee Wildcats for a breast cancer awareness game on Wed. May 17. Although this is an out of league game, both teams have come together to raise money for this cause.

 

Each Red Rams player sold five pink t-shirts to their family and friends to show support for Breast Cancer. The players also bought themselves headbands and socks. Both the headbands and socks were bright pink to go with the theme for the night. Unfortunately, the girls couldn’t wear their white breast cancer t-shirts for the game, but they did wear the other apparel.

 

The design on the t-shirts was made to honor the Carol Baldwin Foundation. This is the Red Rams’ second year raising money for this foundation, so it is starting to become an annual tradition. This year the team raised around $4,000 for Breast Cancer Awareness from selling the t-shirts and from donations that were made at the game.

 

This game was special for the Red Rams because of the cause they are supporting, but also because of the seniors. “It was a really special night for the seniors even though it wasn’t senior night because it was their last regular season game on the J-D field,” said senior Lizzie O’Brien.  

 

The Red Rams lost to the Wildcats, who are the number one team in the state and are ranked 25th nationally in a 11-9 deficit. They then went on to defeat Whitesboro on Thursday May 25. and will face Carthage on Tuesday May 30. at 7 p.m.

 

Buddy Buckets: Son of Legendary Coach is Central New York's Best High School Hooper

Staff Writer

Scottie B.T. O'Bryan

Junior Buddy Boeheim of Jamesville-DeWitt High School has lived in the shadows of others’ spotlights his entire life. Buddy has grown up with a celebrity as his father, Syracuse University’s legendary Men’s Basketball coach Jim Boeheim. Last year, Buddy played a backup role to his older brother, Jimmy Boeheim, who in his senior season led the 2016 Red Rams Boys Varsity Basketball team. But, this basketball season was a breakout year for Buddy. The athletic 6-foot-5 inch guard took over the star role and shined on the court as he led the Red Rams all the way to the New York state semifinals. On top of that, through his success this season, Buddy earned the huge honor of All Central-New York large schools Player of the Year. Buddy Boeheim opened a lot of people's eyes this season and has finally made a name for himself. 

Buddy finished the 2017 season averaging 26.3 points (2.0 three-point shots made per game and 6.6 free throws made), 9.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.0 blocks.

He is 8 points away from another huge spectacle; 1,000 career points.

Buddy’s performance throughout this season brought back success that the Red Rams have not seen for years. With the spotlight on him this season, Buddy and the rest of the team created excitement which surged throughout the school and the community. “The last couple of years, J-D basketball hasn’t been what it used to be 5 years ago, or so, so that attention and atmosphere was something that I wanted to bring back to the school and to the community,” says Buddy.  

This season, with Buddy at the forefront as a team captain and team leader in scoring and rebounds, the Red Rams basketball team finished 21-4. In the preseason, before all of the accolades the boys earned, there was not a lot of faith in the team. “No one at all other than ourselves had high expectations for us coming into the season,” says Buddy. Being overlooked from the majority of people did not sit right with the team and it “pushed everyone to go harder in practice,” Buddy says, since they “wanted to prove all the haters wrong.”  And that is exactly what they did, winning both the sectional and regional championships, and making it all the way until the state semi-finals before losing to Irondequoit High School, who went on to win the Class A state championship. Not only did they shock the CNY area with their amazing season, Buddy himself was also surprised, saying that he knew the team had “a lot of potential,” but the fact that they got all the way to the state Final four was “unimaginable.”  “Honestly, my goal was getting a sectional championship, and together as a team we even surpassed my goal,” says Buddy, “Getting to the state Final Four was something I never imagined and it was an amazing experience.”

In fact, J-D has not reached that far in the playoffs since 2012, with a roster of three players who went on to play for a Division-I college basketball team. The most notable of the bunch was McDonald's All-American Dajuan Coleman, who was an ESPN ranked, top prospect in the country and went on to play collegiate ball in his backyard for Buddy’s father at SU.  The talent Buddy has shown this season has brought back basketball talk to the community which has not been discussed of since Coleman’s reign as a Red Ram during the J-D basketball Championship Era. Buddy is now being compared to players like Coleman, who are the greatest basketball players to have worn a Red Rams jersey. “It’s an unbelievable thing to think about, Dajuan was an All-American. To do something that those guys did and to be in that category of greatness is something that I’ll take pride in forever,” says Buddy.

The team chemistry was the x factor for the Red Rams who powered through Section III this season. “Our chemistry was really good, we played together as a team and no matter who was scoring the points, we were all happy as long as we were winning since that’s all that mattered. That was definitely the difference this year,” says Buddy. However, despite the amazing playoffs run, Buddy is not at all happy with losing to Irondequoit. He wants more: a state championship. “I really wish we could’ve came out on top in the state championship because you always want to do more and that’s definitely something that I’ve always wanted,” says Buddy. “But, what we did this has set the bar high for the future and we just gotta stay hungry and get better for next season in order to accomplish that goal.”

Buddy’s teammates had nothing but good things to say about their team captain. Juniors Taku LaClair and Luke Smith have been Buddy’s teammates since they all got moved up together for the J-D JV Basketball team as eighth graders in middle school, and they all played together even before that on travel teams and AAU. LaClair says that Buddy is a player with one of the best basketball I.Q.s that he has ever seen. “He knows how to run the floor and how to find the open shot...his court vision ability really gives him an edge,” says LaClair. Smith believes that Buddy is a very hard working individual. “He’s a great teammate. He’s hard working. He always puts in the time and effort. He’s passionate about the game of basketball,” says Smith. “Whenever we needed a bucket, we could count on him,” says LaClair.

Buddy had many phenomenal moments during his momentous season. For instance, in the regional championship game, Buddy came in clutch for J-D and dropped an insane 40-points against Lansingburgh, sniping threes from all over downtown. His exceptional performance led the team to the opportunity in the states tournament. “I do whatever it takes to win,” says Buddy, “I get my teammates involved as much as I can...I just keep playing as hard as I can, no matter what.”

The team’s outstanding success and Buddy’s insane statistics led to an outstanding accomplishment for the Red Rams baller: CNY’s large school Player of the Year. The award was voted on by the sports reporters and coaches around the area and is given to one athlete who is believed to be the MVP of the basketball season. It is a well-deserved achievement for the talented junior. “Being awarded Player of the Year proves how hard work pays off,” says Buddy, “I’m very thankful to have received it, it’s a huge honor.”

Buddy was named to the second-team for all-state selections, placing higher than any other Section III basketball player. Senior teammate Matt Carlin was named to the the ninth-team all-state. 

Buddy was also named to the All-CNY first team. He joins the first team with an elite group of the most recruited current basketball talent in the state including Bishop Ludden junior Mika Adams-Woods, New Hartford junior Frankie Policelli, Liverpool junior Charles Pride and Syracuse Academy of Science sophomore Symir Torrence among others. Buddy was not the only person sporting red and white in the picture of the first team as J-D’s head basketball coach, Jeff Ike, was named the CNY Coach of the Year for large schools.

So how did Buddy transform from an efficient behind-the-scenes, role player to one of the most lethal high school shooters in J-D history and in the talk of the top tier of players in all of New York state? “I practice every day,” says Buddy. Practice consists of shooting before school in the early morning, and after school into the late night, taking anywhere from 400-500 shots everyday (that is between practices for his school team, travel team, and other individual training workouts that he has scheduled daily). “I work on taking game shots so when I get the chance in an actual game it goes in,” says Buddy. Game shots include shots off the dribble, catch and shoots, fadeaways and a lot of contested shooting with a defender in his face. The translation from practice to game time is evident: what he is doing works...very well. Buddy’s vicious determination to be successful this season was something that was clearly visible in his work throughout the offseason. “During the offseason, I worked non-stop on ball handling, dribble moves, shooting, and really just improving my overall game,” says Buddy. He also spent a lot of time in the weight room to get stronger and faster. “Time in the weight room has made my body stronger than ever before,” says Buddy. Clearly, his addiction to winning is paying off. Naturally over the last couple of years, puberty has been on his side and he has grown taller and more athletic.  Buddy is a very tall guard who has learned to use his size to his advantage. His height leaves him towering over the average high school guards that he faces and also allows him to match up with the opposing, larger players. “The secret to my success is a lot of hard work,” says Buddy,  “Not many people realize the amount of time I put into basketball and how much I want to be better. Every aspect in every category has just progressed for me with a lot of practice.”

So, when Buddy is out on the court putting up 20, 30, even 40 points, what exactly is going on inside his mind? “I just forget about everything that can distract me and focus on improving myself and my game,” says Buddy. Instinct takes over for him on the court, the ability that you see when the ball is in his hands is not the product of deep thought before action, but instead refined muscle memory skills which have become second nature for J-D’s star baller. Buddy is willing to risk anything while playing in order to help his team and plays to do one thing: win. Period. “I do what I need to do on the court,” says Buddy.

So where was this talented phenom’s love for basketball born? In the same place he was born and bred, Syracuse, NY. More specifically, in the Syracuse Dome where his dad has coached Syracuse Men’s Basketball since 1976. Jim Boeheim’s 39 years at head coach for the Orange has not only made him a local legend, but a respected name within the world of sports who is among the greatest professional basketball coaches of all time. Buddy fondly remembers his very first trips to the Dome to watch his dad’s teams play. “I was around 4 or 5 when I first started going to SU games, says Buddy, “I always loved going (to the basketball games). Seeing my dad out there coaching these insanely talented players on the court was really fun to watch. And seeing how much the crowd got into the games and how the whole atmosphere was electric...it made me fall in love with the game of basketball,” says Buddy.

Coach Boeheim has also been the USA Basketball Team assistant coach since 2006. Buddy and his family have gone to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, the 2012 London Olympics and the 2016 Rio Olympics to  support his father and Team USA. “Going to the Olympics with my family are some of my favorite memories...each experience has been surreal,” says Buddy.

Having a world renowned basketball coach as a father has given Buddy an interesting perspective on life. “It is still weird to me that people come up to my dad in public and take pictures and ask for his signature,” Buddy says with a laugh, “Like I see him as my dad like everyone else sees their dad. But, other people really look up to him...I forget he’s famous.” Being the son of Jim Boeheim has given Buddy different types of attention too. “People associate my last name with basketball, so when people know my name and learn that I play (basketball), they expect to see a high level of basketball,” says Buddy, who says he loves having that kind of pressure on him. Being born with the status of having a famous last name also works in a more negative way for the young Boeheim. “Some people expect me to be kind of stuck up and think of me as being all of these bad things before they even ever meet me,” says Buddy. “In reality, I’m not any of that at all...they don’t ever realize the person I actually am.” The last name on his jersey also literally puts a huge target on his back. Buddy is accustomed to receiving a lot of trash talk from opposing teams and fans. “When I was younger it definitely affected me and got to my head, but, over the years, I’ve learned that it’s going to come and I have to play my best under any circumstance,” says Buddy.

Growing up, Buddy had a childhood that he describes of being “like any normal kid” for the most part. His family consists of his father, mother and two other siblings, Jimmy as previously mentioned and then his twin sister Jamie. Jimmy will be playing basketball at Cornell next year as he spent this year at a prep school. Jamie is a star player on the J-D Varsity Girls’ Basketball team who has been to the state championship the last three years and won the last two. Competitiveness must be in the Boeheim blood, because Buddy talks of sibling rivalry starting from a very early age. “There was a lot of competitiveness and playing sports early on,” says Buddy. Other than that, Buddy describes his childhood consisting of “family time, going on vacations, traveling for the Olympics, and cool stuff like that.” He says that having a twin has both its “good moments and bad moments.” “There’s sometimes a lot of fighting, but we can help each other out in a lot of different ways and have the same thoughts which is really cool,” says Buddy. He says that he is “blessed” to have the parents he does. “My mom is the best. Seeing how she handles my brother, my sister, and I and how she handles everything in such a nice manner. She’s friendly to everyone and I want to be a caring person like she is. I love my mom, she’s taught me so much about life, and I’m thankful for that,” says Buddy.

Despite the good and bad that comes with having ‘Boeheim’ as a last name, the experiences and lessons that have Buddy has learned through his father are something that he will forever be grateful for. “Watching what my dad does every day and his pride in the game has rubbed off on me. How he loves the game so much is the reason I love the game,” says Buddy. When the rest of the world sees a famous coach that is broadcasted nationally on television's, breaking news on the headlines of papers, and has coached some of the best basketball players who have ever graced the game, Buddy sees his loving father. “I’m very thankful for everything, having him as a father is amazing, I’m truly very lucky. I’ve learned not to take anything that he has given me for granted. He’s blessed me with many opportunities that I’m very fortunate to have had,” says Buddy, “I take great pride in being a Boeheim.”

When he is not sinking deep threes in defenders’ faces, Buddy enjoys hanging out with friends and playing video games. FIFA and NBA2k are some of his favorite games. “Outside of basketball,” Buddy says, “I focus on family, getting a good education in school, and having a strong relationship with my friends.” Juniors Ryan Evans, Nico Modesti, Spencer Schultz, and previously mentioned teammate Smith have been friends with Buddy (who they call Jack) since early childhood. “He has always been a very kind person,” says Modesti. “Jack is definitely one of the funniest people I’ve ever met,” says Evans, “He always makes everyone laugh.” Schultz who agrees with Evans that Buddy is one of the “funniest people that he knows” says that “Jack is truly a very kind and considerate person.” His friends shared a secret love that their good friend has: Spongebob. “He has a true passion for Spongebob,” says Modesti. “I love Spongebob, it’s always been my favorite TV show,” says Buddy laughing. If you step in his bedroom, it is almost like stepping into that pineapple under the sea, there is Spongebob memorabilia everywhere. In big games, Buddy rocks his favorite pair of Spongebob socks. “Off the court, Buddy is as great a friend as he is a teammate,” says Smith. Schultz also says that you can not mention Buddy without mentioning basketball too. “His devotion to basketball is in everything that he does in life,” says Schultz, “Whether it’s missing out on partying and junior prom to play in a basketball tournament or waking up at 5 AM to workout...his hard work ethic makes him a very dedicated person.” That is right ㅡ Buddy missed prom for basketball. He knows his priorities, that is true dedication.

Now, Buddy has caught the attention of college coaches around the country. He has received offers from Eastern Michigan and the University of Binghamton to name a few, and is in contact with other college programs. Every tournament that he plays in grabs the attention of even more recruiters. Throughout the summer, Buddy will travel with his team, the City Rocks, who attend Nike sponsored EYBL circuits, arguably the best high school basketball exposure tournaments in the country. His team includes the best of the best basketball talent in the Empire State, such as legendary rapper Jay-Z’s nephew Nahziah Carter. HOV’s nephew is ranked #2 for shooting guards in NY. The City Rocks play games against teams with players of high D-1 caliber, like Marvin Begley III who is ranked as the best basketball player in the country for the 2018 graduating class. That is right - the same athletic high school freaks of nature you see dunking and their flashy plays in trending videos all over YouTube, social media and ESPN is who Buddy will match up against on the hardwood this summer, the most recruited players in the country. Buddy dropped 23 points in the game against Begley, surprising all of the scouts in the gym with his shooting ability and pure mechanics. “I am extremely grateful for any college offer that I receive,” says Buddy, “it makes me want to get more offers and to continue to raise the bar for myself everytime I step on the court, which is what I will be doing at every tournament this summer.”

Buddy has a life motto that he abides to everyday: To be a great person and to always inspire others. He hopes that he will be able to positively impact many people's’ lives in the future in whatever he is doing. “In order to do what I want to do in the future, I just got to keep working hard and try to remain humble,” says Buddy “I got to make sure that I’m getting better every day and that’s the most important thing.”

Speaking of the future, Buddy and his family are juggling the idea of Buddy attending his senior year at a prep school instead of at J-DHS. His brother, Jimmy, had a very good experience at prep school which he attended after graduating from J-DHS. Prep schools offer extensive education and training with an extremely talented coaching staff and team. Even factors like nutrition are a major focus. Prep schools are becoming increasingly more popular destinations for the most elite athletes around the country like Buddy. Whatever decision he makes, his family, friends and the J-D community will fully support him and wish him the best of luck in his pursuit of greatness.

There is one word that can be used up to sum up Buddy’s basketball season this year: dominating. “This season, I thought I did really well overall. I think that I opened a lot of people’s eyes and showed that I can play at any stage, and a lot of that has to do with my teammates helping me...I couldn’t of done it without them,” says Buddy. The awards and attention have continued to rain in for Buddy after an extraordinary 2016-17 season. The future is full of potential for the Syracuse bred baller and the fun-loving kid, but it will most likely involve basketball in some way, shape, or form. “I definitely want to have basketball in my life,” says Buddy. “I want to play basketball for however long I possibly can and maybe even coach it in the future. That’s the career path I want to take.”

 

J-D F-M Day Takes a Hit from Weather

Ali Durkin and Jillian Risavi

Assistant Producers

Beginning the tradition in the spring of 2016, the Jamesville-DeWitt and Fayetteville-Manlius high school spring sports participate in a day-long competition for a championship cup. This year, the games were played at F-MHS, unlike the previous 2016 games, which were played at J-DHS on May 6.

Though the weather did cause a bit of a setback for the annual competition, the games did go on. In the previous year, the weather was bright and warm, setting up a perfect day for spectators to come watch their favorite spring sports. This 2017 year was less fortunate, as the weather was dark and gloomy. There were continuous rain showers throughout the day, however, the feeling of competition still was thriving on the field and in the stands. “Everyone was saying that it was going to be a really good game so my friends and I decided that it was worth it,” said junior Meg Hair, who went to the varsity lacrosse games despite the bad weather.

Every year the J-D F-M championship cup is awarded to the school who wins the most games throughout the day, including both varsity and junior varsity sports. The participating sports were lacrosse, baseball and softball, but unfortunately due to bad weather, both JV and varsity softball and baseball games were cancelled, so the winning of the cup fell on the lacrosse teams this year. Both the baseball teams and the softball teams were extremely disappointed after hearing their games were cancelled. “Last time we played them was really exciting since they had a lot of good talent on their team,” said senior baseball co-captain Matt Cappelletti, remembering their win from last season. “It really is too bad that the games aren’t being rescheduled,” said junior softball player Mary Austin, “We were ready to play.”

The J-D varsity boys lacrosse team finished with a win, 14-8, avenging last season’s J-D F-M Day, when they had a heartbreaking loss of 12-11. “F-M was overlooking us from the start, we came in prepared and focused,” said senior goalie Bennett Chirco. J-D Varsity Girls lacrosse fell to the F-M Hornets 16-9, as did the Junior Varsity Girls lacrosse team who lost 13-8. “F-M was a very solid team, but we definitely could have played better as a unit, and taken better shots,” said senior Bess Murad. The Junior Varsity Boys lacrosse team won against the F-M hornets 16-9 leaving both schools tied this year.

 

NBA Playoffs Come Down to the Wire

Ryan Vespi and Murphy Foss

Staff Writers

Will King James be overthrown this year? Last year, LeBron James and the Cleveland Caveliers won the NBA championship. This was the first time a major sports team in Cleveland won a championship in the last 52 years, and this year, their competition is looking tougher.

 

Last year’s Western Conference champions, the Golden State Warriors, are at full strength with the addition of future Hall of Famer Kevin Durant. In the East, the Boston Celtics, lead by Isaiah Thomas, signed All-Star Al Horford, making this year’s playoffs a spectacle to see.

 

Both the Warriors and Cavs have dominated the conference semi-finals, with the Cavs sweeping the Toronto Raptors and the Warriors sweeping the Utah Jazz. “I really hope we don’t have a repeat of last year’s finals with the Cavs versus the Warriors,” said freshman New York Knicks fan Nic Kemmis. “It’ll be boring.”

 

The other playoff matchups are between the Washington Wizards against the Celtics, and the Houston Rockets against the San Antonio Spurs. “It’s going to be Celtics versus Cavs and Spurs versus Warriors in the Conference Finals,” said sophomore and Celtics fan Eric Benaroch.

 

The Spurs have veterans like LaMarcus Aldridge, Pau Gasol, and Manu Ginobili, as well as one of the best players in the game, Kawhi Leonard. “Besides LeBron, he’s the best two-way player in the game, and in that aspect he’s not that far off from LeBron,” said freshman and Miami Heat fan Parker Cote.

 

The Rockets have MVP candidate James Harden, as well as young talent like Lou Williams and Patrick Beverly. Their series will come down to the wire this upcoming weekend. “James Harden is going to carry the team to the finals and no one will stop them,” said sophomore and Oklahoma City Thunder fan Max Chirco.

 

The Wizards have strong leaders like Markeef Morris, Marcin Gortat, and John Wall, who will look to tie the series at home this weekend and survive for a game 7 at TD Garden in Boston. However, Avery Bradley, Al Horford, and one of the top point guards in the East, Isaiah Thomas, will look to clinch a playoff berth in the Eastern Conference Finals. “Isaiah is the best player still left in the playoffs,” said Benaroch.


A big award given out at the end of every season is the league MVP award. “Russ [Russell Westbrook] is MVP. No question,” said sophomore and Lakers fan Tyson Echols. “James Harden over Russ any day,” said sophomore and Rockets/New York Knicks fan Jake Brang. However, every year there is always a possibility of the previous year’s MVP winning it again. “LeBron theoretically deserves it every year, they just can’t give it to him all the time, he’s been the best in the league for a long time,” said sophomore and Cavs fan Kaleb McCloud. No matter who wins the finals or the MVP, it will for sure be quite a show.

Coach Ike Earns CNY Coach of the Year

By Murphy Foss and Ryan Vespi

Staff Writers

This season the Jamesville-DeWitt boys basketball team made a phenomenal run, making it all the way to the New York State High School Boys Basketball Semifinals. Along the way, they

won both their sectional and regional championships, led by coach Jeff Ike.

After the season, Coach Ike was proud to be named CNY Boys Basketball Coach of the Year for Section III, and to hear that junior player Buddy Boeheim was named CNY Player of the Year

Behind every winning team is often a great coach; that was the case this year for the J-D boys basketball team and coach Ike. “It was definitely well deserved, he put in a lot of work day in and day out to help the team be successful,” said Junior Captain Buddy Boeheim.

Just last year, Ike became the head coach of the team after former head coach Bob McKenney left and took a job at Bishop Grimes. Over the past two seasons under Ike, the team has found a great deal of success. “His leadership and great coaching ability has lead them to their great record and nearly a state championship,” said sophomore Tyson Echols. “Two years in and he’s already got [Coach of the Year,] I think he’s doing a great job with the program,” said sophomore player Pat Murad.

“I thought it was a great honor, and I was very happy when I got the phone call,” said Ike. He was also thankful for his his team. “The players and the success we had this year, that’s the biggest thing, and it definitely made an impact.” Many students also agreed with coach Ike, “One of the main reasons they did so well was Buddy [Boeheim], Terrence [Echols], and Matt Carlin,” said sophomore Carter Kowalczyk. “Buddy Boeheim played a big part,” said Murad.

Among his players coach Ike is known as a guy whose goal is always to win, “It’s high school basketball, but he treats every game like it’s the NBA, he just wants to win,” said Boeheim, “I think that’s the best quality a coach can have.” He is also known for being very loud on and off the court, “his halftime speeches get you hype for sure,” said Murad.

After this season, one thing is for sure: J-D basketball is back on the rise with a strong leader at the helm. “Ike is an animal,” said sophomore Shane Wright. It is also safe to say that students and players are excited to see what the team will be capable of next year.

 

MLB: Baseball is Back

Ryan Vespi and Murphy Foss

Staff Writers

Spring was in the air as the first crack of the bat sounded on April 3, signaling Opening Day and Major League Baseball’s return. A day full of games stirred early season excitement in fans who hope that their teams would show signs of championship potential in their first day back. “I’m glad it’s back, the last game of the World Series left me wanting more baseball,” said freshman Harry McTernan.

Last season was very historic in baseball, as the Chicago Cubs broke a 108-year championship curse by winning the World Series. Many fans think that because of their young talent and strong leadership, they will be able to repeat their success. “Kris Bryant won MVP and Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta are great pitchers, they’ll be back,” said freshman and Yankees fan Riley LaTray. However, some fans think the Cubs were a on- hit wonder. “They won’t repeat, they got lucky last year and Kris Bryant got lucky too. The Indians should’ve won that series,” said sophomore and Red Sox fan Nolan Giblin.

Some fans think that if the Cubs make it back, they will face the early favorites, the Boston Red Sox, in the World Series. “[The Red Sox] have a good system with young talent,” said sophomore and Red Sox fan Mateo Santos; ”they’ll probably win a championship this year.” Some fans think the Red Sox pitching is what will push them over the edge as a championship caliber team. They acquired lefty Chris Sale to add to their already bolsterous rotation during the offseason. “Chris Sale will win the [American League] Cy Young,” predicted Giblin.

There will be a lot of interesting things to watch this season, including a potential National League Cy Young campaign from Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers, who is considered to be among the best pitchers ever. However, there is a void left in the NL after the tragic death of Miami Marlins’s young star pitcher Jose Fernandez, who looked to make a Cy Young run this year. Fernandez died in a boating accident in the fall.

The league is also filled with exciting rookies, such as Andrew Benintendi of the Boston Red Sox and Dansby Swanson of the Atlanta Braves. “Benintedi will win Rookie of the Year, (because) he’s a great fielder and hitter. He’s an all-around good player,” said Santos. Usually a handful of players have a breakout season in the league. Some players to watch will be Nolan Arenado of the Colorado Rockies and Christian Yelich of the Miami Marlins. “I’m a Red Sox fan but Arenado’s my favorite player,” said Giblin.

As always, there are many candidates for MVP, but in the AL the battle rages on between outfielders Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels and Mookie Betts. “Betts will win it this year,” said freshman and general baseball fan Bryan Fennell. “He’s one of the best in the league at both hitting and fielding, that’s rare,” said Santos. In the National League Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals looks to fend off Kris Bryant for his second MVP award.  
The start of the 2017 MLB season set high expectations as fans and their teams as they look forward to the upcoming season. With a lot of new talent and some old talent, many teams are expecting the opportunity to be crowned World Series champions, providing for an interesting season.

Boys and Girls Track and Boys Tennis are Ready to Move

Tracey Edson and Katie Cappelletti

Staff Writers

Boys Tennis and Track and Field

Track and Field:

The Jamesville-DeWitt High School Varsity Track and Field team is seeking another sectional title. The Red Rams have won the sectional title for eight consecutive years. Although it is a team goal to win sectionals and leagues, many runners and jumpers and throwers have individual goals in mind as well.

Seniors Hannah Butler and Patrick Dye have had a lot of success on the Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field teams over four years. Recently, Butler competed indoors for the J-D team in Staten Island, and finished in 19th place in the 3000-meter run. “My goal for this (outdoor) season is to come in the top five in the state meet and break the school record in the 1500 (meters),” said Butler, who will continue her running career at Brown University. Dye competes in the 3200, 1600, 800 and the 4 x 8 relay. He made it to state qualifiers as a part of the indoor team and ran in the 3200 there. “My goal this season is to make it to state qualifiers in the 3200,” said Dye on this outdoor season. After graduation, Dye will attend Johns Hopkins University and will continue running there.

While Butler and Dye are having success as seniors, Tasha Bazile, who participates in the high jump, is also finding it as an freshman.  On the Indoor Track and Field Team, Bazile make it to leagues, sectionals, and state qualifiers. “At leagues and sectionals I did pretty well, but at state quals I didn’t get very far,” said Bazile, who is trying to get back to states this outdoor season. Junior Alex Payne runs for the indoor and outdoor teams at J-D, and also does the high jump and long jump. She runs in the 100 and 200 meter runs as well as the 100 hurdles. “My goal is to break to the 100 school record,” said Payne.

The track team practices everyday on their individual events as well as working as a team to achieve their goals. “Like any other team we want to win as many meets as possible, win leagues, win sectionals, and send as many kids to state qualifiers and states as possible,” said Coach Emily Rowles. Their next meet is Wednesday, April 12. against Auburn.

Boys Tennis:

The Jamesville-DeWitt High School Varsity Boys Tennis Team is looking to be just as successful this season as they were in previous years. “We’re hoping to win our sixth consecutive Section III title for Class B, hoping to be league champions again and I know for two players in particular that they went to the state tournament as a doubles team and they’re hoping to be back,” said Head Coach Eugene Sul.  

The two individuals who went to the state tournament last year were junior Rob Dotterer and seventh grader Peter Hatton. This year they are hoping to do just as well as last season. “I hope that we make states again and win our class,” said Dotterer, now a senior, who has been on the team for six years.  
The 13 players on the varsity team have been preparing in the off season, as well as working hard during in-season training. “It’s really what they do in the months out of season and preparation for the season” that helps them find success, said Coach Sul


The tennis team is hoping to repeat the past and take home another sectional title. They have tough matches coming up against their rivals. “Our rivals this year are Cazenovia and Skaneatles,” said senior Ishan Gajra. Their next match is Monday, April 10 against Cazenovia and shortly after, they will face Skaneatles, on Tuesday, April 25.   

Baseball and Softball Look to Start the Season Swinging

By: Mariyana Van Arsdale and Katie Tzivanis

Staff Writers

Baseball

Jamesville-DeWitt High School’s Varsity Baseball Team is said to be a strong competitor this year. This may be because they’re the closest they’ve ever been, bonding through everything from outdoor basketball games to ping-pong tournaments. Another factor is the 13 returning players and the nine seniors on this year’s team. They think their chemistry is what will lead them to a good season. “We have the best comradery of any team in JD history,” said senior Matthew Cappelletti, captain and shortstop of the J-DHS baseball team.

Since the majority of the team is made up of seniors, they are extremely close due to the number of years they have played together. The team spends much of their time together and they often go out to eat as a team. “Taco Bell...we love Taco Bell,” said third baseman senior and pitcher Casey Kretsch. “We are looking for a sponsorship from Taco Bell, we actually called up their headquarters,” said first baseman and senior Andrew LeClair as he joked with other teammates.

With a 15-game winning streak last season, the team is confident they will go far this year. “We are ready to string together a 21-game regular season win streak and become state champions,” said Cappelletti. So far this season, the team has played Mexico and walked away with a 7-1 victory. One of their toughest competitors is Camden, who they lost to in the first round of sectional playoffs last year. On Thursday, April 13 they will face Camden at home.

Softball

The Jamesville-Dewitt High School Varisty Girls Softball team has won sectionals the past 11 years. This year, nine of the 11 players are returning to the team, giving room for many new members to make their mark. As the only senior on the team, shortstop Makenzie Keeler is excited for the season. “I have been on varisty for five years in a row and I am most excited for this year because of the new players and the leadership role of being captain,” said Keeler.

They credit past success to team chemistry and their ability to work fluidly on the field. The team bonds by spending 30 minutes every day after practice talking to each other, which they call “team time.” They also eat one meal per week together outside of practice. “I love team time, it gives our team the ability to bond on a more personal level,” said junior catcher Taylor Roadarmel.  

Jeff Cantor, who is in his second year as head coach, expects success even with a challenging schedule. “If we get better everyday, this could be a very special season,” said Coach Cantor. He forsees a 12th sectional win with his team this year. “I think there will be strong pitching between Amanda and I this year,” said sohpomore pitcher Shayna Myshrall. The team started out their season strong with two decisive wins, one against Homer 22-0 and another against Mexico 12-1. In Section III, there are few teams that pose a challenge for varisty girls softball. The team is so skilled that they schedule tournaments and games to play larger sections that will give them a challenge. On May 4 they play Auburn at home, which will be a tough opponent this season.

Off-season Work Leads to In-season Success at J-D

Tyra Carter

Staff Writer

Athletic success at Jamesville-DeWitt High School isn’t a result of just practicing in season. Teams like varsity boys basketball, varsity girls basketball,  varsity boys lacrosse, and varsity girls lacrosse, who have all ended their most recent seasons with success, hold non-mandatory offseason practices, or play in offseason leagues and tournaments so that they can hit the ground running when the season arrives.

 

The J-DHS Varsity Boys and Varsity Girls Basketball teams held optional practices and summer league games throughout the summer to prepare for the season in the November.  “I think it helps because we build our team chemistry early so at the beginning of the season we’re prepared,” says junior Cameron Daley. It seems to have paid off; this year the Varsity Boys Basketball team won the 2017 Section III Class A Champions and were runner up in the state championship. “During the off-season the team definitely built chemistry on both a personal level and in the game,” said junior Buddy Boeheim. Coach Ike said that the practices once a week and they do drill work along with 5v5 games in a summer league in August at the Boys and Girls Club and McChesney Park in Syracuse. “It was a harder league and put us in situations that challenged us and got us prepared for our tough season ahead,” said Coach Ike.

 

The Girls Varsity Basketball team is very committed and involved as a whole to keep up their reputation after winning both the 2016 and 2017 Class A State Champions.  Head Coach Rob Siechen held practices for the girls team two days a week in July at Bishop Grimes High School. “It gets us more comfortable playing with each other and gives us more confidence,” says junior Meg Hair. For some who participate in the AAU club team, including Hair, making practices over the summer was difficult. However, they were necessary; with many freshmen new to the team this year, these practices really helped them “feel welcome to the team and get a feel of how practice was going to run during season,” said freshman Sydney Baker. Junior Kasey Vaughan agrees, adding “the open gyms helped us get a feel for each other, especially with all of the freshmen on our team.”   

 

Both Varsity Girls and Varsity Boys Lacrosse practiced weekly from November until March at the Sports Center 481. The Varsity Boys team's success clearly showed when they won the Class B State Championship last season. Junior Griffin Cook said this success is due to their hard off-season work.  “The intense off-season practices definitely showed throughout the season last year, so hopefully we can do the same this year,” he said.  Assistant Coach Jeff Ike said that in off season practices they do a lot of team work and one-on-one defense drills.

 

The Varsity Girls Lacrosse team were runner-up in the 2016 Section III Class B championship.  Senior Emily Pomeroy thinks the practices have been helpful for the team. “I think it has really helped us prepare for the season,” says Pomeroy. Although many girls did participate in the pre-season practices, some, including senior Elena Haarer, found themselves too busy for the “tiresome practice” which took place weekly, on Sunday mornings. “I had a lot of homework so I was always busy,” said Haarer. With her absence from these practices, Haarer did feel a little behind going into the season. Senior Alyson Shapiro also thinks extra practice is beneficial for the team, adding, “We’ve been together for a really long time and I think that helps with chemistry in the long run,” says Shapiro.

 

The off season practices paid off for the basketball teams. In a Section III title for the boys team and state championship for the girls. Only time will tell if the off season work will pay off for the lacrosse teams.