By James Snedaker and Witshi Bienaime
Leicester City Football Club were on top of the world less than a year ago. Against all odds, the Foxes had beaten out the Premier League giants to become only the sixth team to win the competition. Pundits from around the world were stunned by the dedication and drive of the minnows from the East Midlands.
At the epicenter of this brilliant team was N’Golo Kante, a young Frenchman who had been acquired during the summer for a fee of €8 million from Ligue 1 new boys Caen. The midfielder was far from a world class signing, but he showed great potential, having made a league high 145 tackles in Ligue 1. Within a year, this potential could be fully realized. In just his first season, he topped the tackling charts again and was voted into the PFA Team of the Year. An excellent season and a superb title win provided Kante his fair share of plaudits and interest from top premier league clubs. Keen to secure long term success, he jumped ship in the summer of 2016 to London giants Chelsea.
Since his blockbuster move, Leicester have plummeted, currently languishing just 6 points from the drop zone while Chelsea sit comfortably in first. Kante, yet again nearing the summit of the tackling charts, is a mainstay in a Chelsea side that no one seems likely to catch. However, although the loss of their dynamic frenchman seems to have severely injured Leicester's side, they have other significant issues that could have been fixed over the summer.
The first of these is their ageing defense. In their expectation smashing season, the Foxes were anchored by experienced center backs in Robert Huth and Wes Morgan. Despite both being over 30, their experience overruled their lack of pace and both were key to the title win. But their age eventually caught up to them, with the foxes conceding the 7th most goals so far this season.
The second problem is the fall of their star man Riyad Mahrez. With the loss of Kante, Leicester's midfield has been overrun, forcing the Algerian to play a more defensive role. With the Frenchman in the team, Mahrez could focus on running forward to provide an attacking threat while the center of the park was controlled by the dynamic duo of Kante and Drinkwater. The winger’s production has dropped severely since the summer, falling from 17 goals last season to a meager 5 strikes this term.
The departure of Leicester’s excellent Frenchman has caused the team to plummet down the table. BMHS student Nick Medina was equally disappointed with the loss of the foxes’ star man, calling him a “complete midfielder.” “Leicester did so well last season because they had Kante and when they lost him the team fell apart,” he said. It is clear that Kante will grow into one of the best players in the world, and the midlands club will be sure to regret their decisions if one day Chelsea ship in out for a ridiculous sum.
By: Matt Saint-Louis
Over the last 10 years, the whole landscape of playing sports has changed, especially for kids. Today, sports have become more competitive and serious however, we see many less kids playing sports, but the question is why? Why is the number of kids playing sports decreasing and what effect does it have on our country?
Sports today has evolved to a more serious profession, even in high school. Many high school athletes find themselves under pressure to pursue sports at the next level. Because of the seriousness of continuing to play at the next level, high schools in America have lost a lot of their 3-sport athletes. ESPN broadcaster Roger Grossman says most athletic kids that you would want to be your 3-sport athletes are “playing to focus on one sport, to be good varsity players and to become college athletes.” With kids devoting all their time to one sport, treating it like a job at such a young age, it takes a toll on the kids who play leisurely and are forced to treat it like a job. A Brien McMahon athlete who wished to keep his name disclosed said, “That s**t was too serious,” when asked about why he quit the basketball program at the school. He didn’t share the same love for the game that others did and didn’t want to play so competitively.
But what effect does losing athletes have on America? With the rate of kids playing sports significantly dropping, the obesity and crime rate of kids has increased. With kids not participating in sports and not staying active, the rate of obesity is 1 out of every 3 children. The crime rate has increased as well with kids playing one sport and having too much time on their hands in the off-season. Many argue that the young desire to dedicate themselves to one sport and work hard towards it, and that kids that don’t plan to take the game seriously can play elsewhere. Others say that the seriousness of the game is chasing off young kids from wanting to play. Is this evolution of sports really best for our children?
Eric Day is the 23rd McMahon basketball player to be selected to first team All-FCIAC and the first ever, “Primetime Athlete of the Winter.” Day averaged 22 points and had a breakout game in which he scored the third most points in school history, 41.
Projected by Dave Ruden, a high school analyst of therudenreport.com, to be an honorable mention, Eric Day was not expected to make 1st team or 2nd team for All-FCIAC Honors.
Eric was not only selected to All-Fciac first team, he was also selected for the all defensive team where he averaged 2.4 steals per game according to hudl.com.
Eric used that as motivation by uploading the list to instagram and in emojis explained that he was slept on, he also had the list as his phone's screensaver so he could always look at it for motivation.
Even though being selected to an All FCIAC team is a mission that you win by yourself, Day owed his success and motivation to his teammates and coaches. “My inspiration this season was my teammates inspiring me to push myself, my teammates, and my coaches, put me in this situation to win this honor.”
McMahon basketball captain Aaron Mckeithan ‘17 described Eric as a guy you just want to see succeed. “Ej was a teammate that constantly hustled for every bucket he got, and he was someone you could get excited for when he did something good, seeing him struggle was something I did not like to see, that's why I went up to him to console him when he was on his knees after losing the state game.”
Having the pleasure of coaching Eric for 4 years, Coach Dustin described him as a player as dynamic.
Coach Dustin commented, “He enjoys playing both sides of the ball. He is a complete player and balls with the best of them. Having your hardest worker be your best player does a lot for the program.”
Defense was always his specialty. Known as an elite defender, Eric admitted he needed to step up on the offensive side. He described his mission for the season was to be a scorer, get his teammates involved while defending opposing team's best player while trying to be the best player on the court.
To summarize his season Eric explained “It means alot to win this honor because I wanted it since my freshman year, I always wanted to win something, even if it wasn’t a state championship I wanted to have the honor of 1st team or 2nd team.”
Written by: Matt Saint-Louis
It’s crazy to think that an NBA player averaging a triple-double, as rare as it is can lose the battle for MVP. In fact, only one other player in the history of the NBA has averaged a triple double for the duration of a whole NBA season, Oscar Robertson. Well Russell Westbrook is averaging 31.7 points, 10.3 assists, and 10.5 rebounds per game with 13 games left and has a 97% chance of ending the season with a triple double according to ESPN. But what are the chances of Westbrook actually winning MVP? With historic seasons from players James Harden and Lebron James, it is looking very difficult for Westbrook, with all his triple doubles, to win MVP this season.
Many argue that Westbrook is leading a sub par team on his back to a playoff seed, as the Thunder, just a year removed from Kevin Durant’s exit, are currently the 6th seed in the West. This is very impressive but may not be impressive enough to secure an MVP win.
His chances are very slim because even though he is carrying his team to the six seed, James Harden is carrying a similarly sub-par team to a two seed, while averaging near a triple double and Lebron James is the best player in the world, making history and leading his team to the best record in the East. “He’s not going to get it. What Lebron is doing in the East is crazy and there’s no way he doesn’t get it,” says Saheem Liburd.
After polling 50 people about the MVP race, the result was that 78% say that Russell Westbrook will win MVP. Sports analysts happen to have a split view on the topic. Professional analyst Max Kellerman says that, “if he touches a triple double it's going to be hard not to give it to him,” while Stephen A. Smith thinks that there is no way he wins MVP because his team isn't as successful as the Rockets, Cavaliers, or even the San Antonio Spurs with Kawhi Leonard. This last 13 games of the season should be interesting and it will be exciting to see who will win this historic race.
By: Justin Louis
It’s March, ladies and gentlemen. That can only mean one thing..NCAA Boy’s Basketball tournament is about to start. Let the madness begin. It’s the 78th anniversary of the tournament with the event being held in Glendale, Arizona. According to the NCAA, The history of the championship dates all the way back to 1939, with The University of Oregon beating The Ohio State University.
Ever since then, the “Final Four” has grew thanks to the popularity and size it. UCLA has had the most championships with the record being 11 by legendary coach John Wooden. Statistically speaking the conference named the ACC has the best percentage when it comes to winning the title. The conference itself has won 10 national championships. With Selection Sunday only days away, teams have been playing other teams to win their conference championships. By winning your conference, that then helps the seeding to a team to get into the NCAA Tournament.
Conference championship week is already in full swing as teams look to use this as an advantage to get into the bracket. Some of the powerhouse conferences are The Big East, ACC, Pac 12, SEC, Big 12. When thinking about the ACC teams such as North Carolina, Duke, Notre Dame, Syracuse, Virginia, Miami comes into mind. The quarterfinals of the ACC tournament starts tonight with the number one seed North Carolina will play the nine seed Miami. Other games will also take place such as No. 5 Duke vs No. 4 Louisville, No. 2 Florida State vs No. 7 Virginia Tech, and No. 3 Notre Dame vs No. 6 Virginia. According to www.landon 10, North Carolina is heavily favored to win the ACC tournament. Last year, North Carolina won the tournament against Virginia Tech, so they were picked again to win this following year. Winning the ACC gave the Tar Heels a lot momentum as they went all the way to the Final Four before falling to Villanova. The ACC has a great variety of teams that can go deep in the Big Dance With it being March, you never know what might actually happen, as the Tar Heels could lose.
In the Pac 12 conference teams that come into mind are the Arizona Wildcats, UCLA, Oregon Ducks, Utah, Arizona St. Devils, Washington. These teams are looking for some bragging rights when it comes to the Pac-12. Last year Oregon won the tournament as the number four seed. The quarter finals begin today with number one seed Oregon playing against the the number eight seed Arizona St. Following those games will be No. 4 Utah versus No. 5 California, No. 2 Arizona versus No. 7 Colorado, No. 3 UCLA versus No. 6 USC. According to cbssports, UCLA is picked to be the winner of this conference. March Madness is known for its upsets, so UCLA has the advantage, but you never know what could happen.
Thanks to pop culture March madness is widely recognized in the U.S. Selection Sunday is days away, as a committee picks and choses who’s in the tournament...and who’s out.
Let the madness begin.
Written by: Matt Saint-Louis
For the 2017 season, McMahon lacrosse sees a familiar face return to the team. Andy Stockfisch, teacher at McMahon who stepped down from his head coaching position in 2015, rejoins the boys as an assistant coach for the lacrosse team this season.
In his first stint as head coach at McMahon (2013-15), he lead the team to two state tournament appearances and an FCIAC appearance in 2014. He had an overall record of 19-18. However, before this he was already an established coach in the FCIAC, coaching at Ridgefield High School, where he led Ridgefield to the state championship game in his second year. He was also awarded FCIAC Coach of the Year.
After just 2 seasons, Stockfisch went out on a high note, coaching the Senators to a #20 seed and to the quarterfinals in the state tournament, including a major upset versus #4 seed Xavier. However, after losing in the quarterfinals, this would be the last time the team would see Stockfisch as their head coach. He came to a point where he had to put his family over his job. He had a child on the way and that and his wife was his main priority. His presence as head coach was certainly missed by his players. “Not having him around last season was a little difficult for the seniors and juniors because we were so used to having him around. It’s nice having someone you are comfortable with and know, someone you can talk to during school and someone you can go to whenever,” said player Brendan Quinlan-Huertas.
With that being said, he is the assistant coach and Coach Dana is still the head coach. The players are ecstatic to have Stock back but still have confidence in their head coach. Roman Fillyaw says, “ We were so used to having Stock that when he left, we had to learn to get comfortable with him (Coach Dana) and trust him. We still have to continue to trust him, but having a familiar face back will make that a little easier.”
The players and program are glad to have a familiar face back, one that happens to be very accomplished at every level, both playing and coaching. Stock and the Senators look to pick up where they left off, with a successful spring.