Category Archives: Sports

Sweet Sixteen Amongst the Madness

Jenner Anderson
andersonj2132@student.sanjuan.edu

As you may already know, March Madness is well underway. Last weekend, a total of 48 teams were knocked out of the prestigious tournament. Included in those 48 were favorites No. 2 Kansas and No. 1 Villanova, and both teams were upset in the round of 32. The overall number 1 Kentucky still has its dream of doing what no team has ever done before and go 40-0 in a season. At this point they are 36-0, and they need just 4 more wins to complete the perfect season, which is easier said than done. However, many fans and spectators have Kentucky as their team to win it all. Other notable favorites are Wisconsin, Duke, and Notre Dame. Wisconsin is led by Player of the Year candidate Frank Kaminsky, who leads the team with 18.4 points per game and 8.4 rebounds per game. Wisconsin will have to be at the top of their game if they want to win it all, as they play North Carolina on Thursday, and if they make it to the Final Four that could set up a potential classic between Wisconsin and Kentucky. Duke’s path to the Final is not as difficult, as it has a matchup with Utah in the Sweet Sixteen and a likely matchup with Notre Dame in the Elite Eight. Besides Notre Dame, Duke should be heavily favored to advance to the Title game. However, it is called March Madness for a reason. One can never be too sure about anything or any team. With that being said, watch out Kentucky.

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El Camino VB

Tressa Furry
Spotlight Editor
furryt7594@student.sanjuan.edu

“Ain’t nobody like El Camino!” This rally cry has resonated deeply this year with El Camino’s Girl’s Volleyball team. The team finished 10-0, only losing one game all year, to clinch the CAL League title against Vista Del Lago on November 4. Their road through the playoffs throughout November included the Division III section title game against Christian Brothers; El Camino won the section title in four matches at UC Davis. The journey ended in the second round of NorCal finals, being vanquished by San Francisco’s Sacred Heart Cathedral in 5 games.

The team was packed with hard-working and talented volleyball players, including three seniors, Libby Dahlberg, Kate Nicknig, and Mikaela Nocetti. They committed to their respective colleges on November 12 and will contribute their competitive spirit to their future teams.

Dahlberg began her volleyball career five years ago. Her freshman year was spent on EC’s junior varsity team and the rest spent on varsity. She admitted she had many wonderful memories, but she claims EC’s section win in 2012 was the best time of her high school career. “That game was exciting, especially being my first year as a varsity player,” she said.

Standing 6’2’’, Dahlberg committed to playing volleyball to use her height to her advantage and follow in her mother’s footsteps, who also played high school volleyball.

She was recruited by Westmont College in Santa Barbara and this is where she committed to play volleyball. “I actually showed an interest in the school and emailed the coach,” she recalled. “She then invited me to come practice with the team. About a month later she called me and made me an offer. It took me a couple months to make my final decision but in August I verbally committed to Westmont!” Her decision was driven by the small, faith-based atmosphere and its ideal location by the Pacific Ocean.

Like Dahlberg, Nicknig began playing organized volleyball her freshman year at El Camino and her club team. “My favorite year is definitely this year,” she says. “I feel like we have finally tied the loose ends as a team this year.” She had primarily played basketball before starting volleyball; her sights were playing basketball at the collegiate level. She balanced the two sports her freshman and sophomore year, however she discovered more opportunities with volleyball rather than basketball. From there on out, her connection to volleyball became stronger and more college attention was focused on her.

She decided to commit to San Jose State University; she was the one who reached out to colleges. “I would send out at least ten emails a week and over a year I probably sent 400 colleges emails,” she recollected. “Some got serious and would reply. San Jose State replied and she [the representative] said I had a great opportunity to be on the team based on the video I sent her. I met her at Junior Olympics over the summer and from there I made an unofficial visit to the campus and committed three days later.” Her reasons for her school were the love for the Bay Area and being “a gem of a school that not many people know about. It’s a big football school and it being athlete-oriented is something I want to be a part of.”

The longest-tenured volleyball player, Nocetti has played varsity volleyball since her freshman year. “Freshman year was a little scary because of all the seniors, but it got better this year,” she said. Her injury and illness during her junior year was a setback for her and she didn’t enjoy the mood of the team that year. Nevertheless, she has seized the day every day this season, playing volleyball with her close friends and staying healthy. Similarly to Dahlberg, Nocetti followed in her mother’s footsteps, the foundation of her volleyball career. She also idolizes EC 2013 alumnus Cassidy Denny; “she was really intense and I really liked playing with her sophomore year. She made me a better player and helped me develop a tougher skin,” she said.

Nocetti will play volleyball for the University of Portland. “They contacted me saying they were interested in me after a tournament. Portland was one of the last schools to contact me, so I went through the whole recruitment process and I chose the school I spent the least time with. I knew the school was right for me and that all this hard work would finally pay off,” she remembered. Her passion for Portland was rooted in her love for Oregon and family ties there. She admitted her excitement for the climate in Portland: “It actually snows!” She also committed to Portland to push herself out of her comfort zone and challenge her volleyball game.

Each volleyball player praised each other for the next chapters in their lives. Nocetti took the most pride in Dahlberg and Nicknig for landing letters of intent despite their short tenures as serious volleyball players. All three of them will miss the schoolwide support supplied by the Screaming Eagles and this special season. As they move on to college, they will always remain Eagles at heart.

Peyton Manning Shatters Passing Touchdown Record, Adds to Legacy

Theo DeRosa
Sports Editor
derosat5940@student.sanjuan.edu

The man, the myth, the legend. Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning has again done the seemingly impossible, having smashed former Packers and Vikings QB Brett Favre’s career total of passing touchdowns with 510 to Favre’s 509. Following another three-touchdown performance against the San Diego Chargers on Thursday October 23, Manning stands easy at 513 passing touchdowns.

Manning, who threw 3 touchdowns in a 42-10 rout of the San Francisco 49ers on October 19th, is widely heralded as one of the best signal-callers to ever play the game. Playing for the Indianapolis Colts for 14 seasons from 1998-2011 (he sat out the entirety of the 2011 season due to a neck injury), Manning garnered the NFL MVP award five times, winning Super Bowl XLI in 2007 and winning its MVP award. He was summarily released by the Colts after a dismal 2011 season, and signed by the Denver Broncos for the next season. After two disappointing playoff losses against the Baltimore Ravens (2012) and the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII, the Broncos once again appear to be the country’s premier team, with a 6-1 record and a singular loss to Seattle in overtime.

An arguably undeserved label of Manning as a great “regular season quarterback” has certainly followed him throughout his illustrious career. Dating from the 2000s Colts’ early playoff losses, this stereotype of sorts is not completely unfounded. However, it is unfair to define a quarterback solely by the performance of his supporting cast in the postseason. Manning certainly cannot be held responsible for what is beyond his control, and to question his skill due to playoff losses would be somewhat unreasonable.

Also a common occurrence, the definition of quarterbacks by their number of Super Bowl championships should soon go by the wayside. Proponents of such an idea would refer to Trent Dilfer, the forgettable signal-caller for the Super Bowl-winning Ravens in 1997, as a superior QB to Dan Marino, Fran Tarkenton, or Warren Moon (all Super Bowl ringless). Some of the most prolific passers in NFL history would be undermined thanks to an arbitrary team stat.

Peyton Manning holds the single-season NFL passing touchdowns record with a whopping 55, set last season with Denver and including a record-tying 7 passing touchdowns in ONE GAME against the Baltimore Ravens in that season’s opener. Manning leads his closest competitors in career touchdowns, Drew Brees and Tom Brady, by 136 (both stand at 377 as of this week).

Manning’s numbers alone speak for themselves in regards to being one of the best QBs to ever play the game. It’s about time his reputation reflects this.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/B0W6N2tCAAAdlRg.png   Credit: NFL.com

Royalty Approaches

By James Archer
Staff Writer
archerj9331@student.sanjuan.edu

It’s finally here. Two days until the start of the season for the Sacramento Kings. For some fans, expectations are high, with hope for a team the caliber of Sacramento in 2001. The current roster certainly shows some talent, such Demarcus Cousins and Ray McCallum. Another addition, Sim Bhullar standing at an astonishing 7-feet-5, is certainly capable of striking fear into the hearts of an opposing team. The Kings have not found much success in the past years; the last time they made the Playoffs was the 2006 season. Certainly Kings fans must be overdue for a Playoff appearance. The team also has the new Kings arena on the horizon, another draw for potential new fans.Their season opener is against the Golden State Warriors at Sleep Train Arena. Loyal fans will be out in force, sporting their purple – the color that symbolizes, appropriately enough, royalty.

The team has been in Sacramento since 1985, but the franchise as a whole has seen many changes. Their first incarnation as the Rochester Royals lasted from 1948 to 1957. The team had the name the Royals until becoming the Kansas City-Omaha Kings in 1972. Sleep Train Arena displays multiple retired jersey, including Oscar Robertson and Nate Archibald. But one jersey is commemorates the Sixth Man, a tribute to the loyal fans.

Some long time fans may remember the controversy of the 2002 Western Conference Finals, featuring the Sacramento Kings and the Los Angeles Lakers. Referees were accused of favoring the Los Angeles Lakers in a pivotal game, causing them to rally back and win the series.

In recent years under Maloof ownership, Sacramento fans nearly lost the beloved Kings to a host of other cities offering to build an arena; Seattle was a main competitor. But with the support of Mayor Kevin Johnson, the team came under new ownership and will remain in Sacramento, supported by a fan base that is more united than ever.

Varsity Football: Winning Games and Taking Names

EC Football Collage

By Jenner Anderson
Staff Writer
andersonj2132@student.sanjuan.edu

The Friday night lights are back on as El Camino’s 2014 football season is in full swing. The Eagles have started off with a winning record of 4-3 as of October 10th, where they beat Rio Americano by a comfortable lead. The final score: 47-7.

Much can be said about this team’s characteristics, such as their hard work and preparation. The majority of the team’s time during the hot summer was spent with countless hours working and grinding in the weight room and conditioning on the field. They do all of this in order to get ready for when the league season comes around. In fact, they start preparing for the season all the way back in March.

A starting wide receiver, Senior Chris Hernandez said, “We put so much work in from March all the way up until our first game. Nobody really understands how hard it is.” He went on to say that conditioning during the summer is the worst, but he strived to make “every practice count.” It takes a great amount of time and dedication, and he hope it will all pay off with each and every game.

This team is also resilient. El Camino demonstrated how well they can respond to adversity as they bounced back from a tough loss against Sacramento in their home opener with consecutive blowout victories.  It is notable that the home opener was played on the highly anticipated new turf field with a turnout of more than 2,000 people. All teams appreciate a large turnout, and EC football is no different, even in a loss.

When asked why it’s important for people to show up at football games, Senior Melody Dezaki responded, “I think it’s important to support at football games because not only does it show that you have school spirit, but just going to support your fellow Eagles can make a big difference.” Support definitely goes a long way.

The football team hopes to be flying high, improving as the rest of the season progresses. The players have lofty goals that they hope to accomplish.

According to Junior Colton Burns their goals include: “stay healthy, score some touchdowns and smack some fools. I expect that our team is gonna win a league championship.”

Winning a league championship is not easy by any means, but this group seems to believe that they can accomplish it. If anything, these particular varsity players are dedicated to winning and proving that they are elite athletes. Whether they can finish the season strong or not remains to be seen, but they certainly do have the right attitude, talent, and potential.

Kobe Bryant 100 Percent as Season Approaches

Over the past two seasons Kobe has suffered two different season ending injuries. Many questioned whether or not Kobe would be able to play the game of basketball again.
Over the past two seasons Kobe has suffered two different season ending injuries. Many questioned whether or not Kobe would be able to play the game of basketball again.

By Jenner Anderson
Staff Writer
andersonj2132@student.sanjuan.edu

Most every sports fan knows who Kobe Bryant is, especially if you live around Sacramento. Not many people around here particularly like his cocky demeanor, his arrogant persona, or even his scoring approach to the game. What one has to admit though, is that the guy has an unprecedented desire to win and has an unmatched work ethic.

Over the past two seasons Kobe has suffered two different season ending injuries. Many questioned whether or not Kobe would be able to play the game of basketball again. However, Bryant has worked and trained harder than ever before in order to return back to full form. In fact, over the summer while vacationing in Brazil during the World Cup, Kobe stated that he was “100 percent.”

But how much can 100 percent be if you have just had to overcome two devastating injuries? If recent reports are any indication, 100 percent is not bad; reporters who looked on as Kobe played five-on-five reported that Kobe looked “really good.”

If this is true, not only is it a testament to Bryant’s skill and ability, but also to his desire to return to the court as good as he has ever been. He has trained very hard to get back to the game. Now we just have to wait and see just how good #24 is as basketball season approaches.

Recent NFLer Dies Mysteriously

Former Titans kicker Rob Bironas, 36, was killed in a car accident  under mysterious circumstances  late Saturday night in Nashville, TN. Photo courtesy of cbssports.com.
Former Titans kicker Rob Bironas, 36, was killed in a car accident under mysterious circumstances late Saturday night in Nashville, TN. Photo courtesy of cbssports.com.

By Theo DeRosa
Sports Editor
derosat5940@student.sanjuan.edu

At around 11 p.m. Central Time, Bironas lost control of his SUV, which left the road, hitting several trees before landing upside-down. Alcohol was determined to have had no role whatsoever in the crash. Bironas was pronounced dead upon arrival at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

On the night of Monday, September 22, an unidentified woman spoke in a 911 call from the accident scene, saying that Bironas had tried to run her and her husband off the road. She described the driver of the white SUV (Bironas’) as “dangerous…drunk or something.” She stated that the SUV, after attempting to merge into her lane, fell in line behind her car, revving its engine at the stoplight of Franklin and Battery. She allowed the SUV to pass, and soon came upon the one-car accident scene.

The next day, Tuesday, allegations were raised that Bironas had told Belmont University students at a Franklin Road intersection that he would sideswipe their truck and kill them. Twenty-year-old Connor Fraley had noticed a burning smell emanating from Bironas’ SUV. Fraley, a passenger, warned Bironas through the open window that “something’s burning from your exhaust,” to which Bironas allegedly replied, “I’m going to kill everyone in your (expletive) vehicle,” something of a non sequitur. Fraley spent most of the incident on the phone with a 911 dispatcher.

Fraley’s driver, identified only as “Spencer,” sped up to get away from Bironas, who sped up in turn, attempting to sideswipe the vehicle and just narrowly missing. Following an apparent high-speed chase (Fraley claims up to 110 miles per hour) that continued through residential side streets, the students finally shook Bironas, who went on to crash a few minutes later. When Fraley’s roommate texted him a picture of Bironas, Fraley recognized the driver from the night before.

Rachel Bradshaw, the daughter of Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw, had married Bironas in June. She reported her husband missing when he suddenly left the house without explanation around 10:30, near the time Fraley reported his incident.

Released in March by the Titans after totaling 1,032 career points and a team-high 60-yard field goal in 2006 against Indianapolis, Bironas amassed 11 game-winning kicks over an illustrious nine-season career. Known for his charitable exploits, his Rob Bironas Fund aimed to raise support for children in central Tennessee.

The NFL mourns the loss of Bironas. “We are deeply saddened to hear the tragic news from last night about Rob Bironas….Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Rachel, and his family during this very difficult time,” said a spokesman for the Titans.

Bironas’ sudden passing is still shrouded in mystery. Hopefully some light can soon be shed on what truly transpired.