“Deflategate” discussion dominates lead up to the Super Bowl

Every devout NFL fan knows about the controversial coaching styles of Bill Belichick.  Even with his controversial style and illegal videotaping allegations, he is one of the most successful coaches in NFL history. However, it has recently been brought to light that the footballs used by the Patriots in the AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts were under-inflated, opening up yet another scandal in the Brady-Belichick era in New England.

The 2015 AFC championship game included two of the games’ hottest quarterbacks, Andrew Luck and Tom Brady. The Colts had been rolling, shocking the Broncos the week before in Denver, and were looking for their first Super Bowl berth in the Luck era. Everyone was hoping for a battle between both teams, but the Patriots quickly doused the Colts’ flame to the tune of a 45-7 victory.

After the game, however, it came to light that some of the Colts players began complaining that the footballs hadn’t been fully inflated. Mike Adams, who had picked off Brady during the game called it to the NFL’s attention. Most footballs are inflated to between 12.5 psi and 13.5 psi. Of the balls used during the first half of the game, 11 of the 12 were originally thought to be 2 psi lower than legal, but the league confirmed 10 of them were closer to 11.5 psi, not as low as originally expected.  In the second half the replacement balls were used, which were all tested to be good on psi.

On Jan. 22, Belichick and Brady both addressed the issue with the media. Belichick claims he had nothing to do with the balls, and said he knows nothing about how footballs feel as it is compared to the players. Then Brady came to the podium. Brady called the allegations “ridiculous” and denied any involvement in tampering with the balls.

A week ahead of the Super Bowl, this was not the type of publicity the Patriots wanted to be receiving. After it’s all said and done, I don’t believe the Patriots tampered with the balls and gained any huge advantage from it. Sure, quarterbacks have preferences to ball inflation, but even after the balls were switched out in the second half the Patriots outscored the Colts 28-0.




Super Bowl XLIX Preview

Super Bowl XLIX will be held this Sunday, Feb. 1., and it will be played at the University Of Phoenix stadium, home of the Arizona Cardinals. The Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots will be the two teams playing. These are the best two teams in the NFL, and it’s going to be a hard fought game.

The Seahawks have a great running back, Marshawn Lynch, and a great quarterback, Russell Wilson, who can run and stay in the pocket and pass. They also have some shifty wide receivers who can make plays after the catch. They also have a great secondary that can defend very well when the ball is in the air and who also can come up and lay the lumber on any ball carrier. They also have some defensive linemen who are quick for their size and can get to the quarterback or stop the run if needed. They also have some key linebackers who are a little bit underrated, but they seem to always make a play in the backfield.

In order for the Seahawks to put the game out of reach, their defense must find ways to get the ball out of Tom Brady’s hands quick. They can’t let him sit in the pocket and have all day to throw because if he has time to scan the field and find open receivers he will pick the Seattle defense apart. The Patriots defense does have star cornerback Darrelle Revis who can make plays if a quarterback  makes a bad throw. The Patriots don’t have a lot of key factors on defense. They just have some guys who play together and play for each other every play. The media is saying this is one of the best Super Bowl matchups in a long time, and everybody is waiting to see who the winner of Super Bowl XLIX will be.




CYO Game of the Week and Updated Power Rankings

This week’s Game of the Week features Saint Jude’s (OLC) and Blessed Sacrament (BS). OLC is coming off a rebounding win against a sub-par but hardworking Harborcreek Youth Services team. OLC dominated the game from tip-off to final buzzer. OLC was able to clear their bench in the game, but preseason All-CYO first-teamer, Sam Sweny, was still able to get up his shots and end the game with 27 points.

BS, on the other hand, is coming off two very close loses to OLP and OLMC. BS has been playing team basketball as of late, and has really cleaned up their turnover margin since their first game at Saint George’s. BS’s potential 6th-Man of the Year candidate, Sean Reed, has stepped up lately in scoring. He had 11 points in his game against OLP and 22 points against OLMC. BS also has been playing well lately because of the high energy and effort by the duo of Dominic and Nick Frisina. Look for the matchup between these two old rivals to be a good one, but OLC should be able to pull away by the end of the game.

Updated Power Rankings

  1. Our Lady of Peace (OLP) – (4-0, trending up) OLP has been dominating the CYO circuit from the start. They have had some impressive wins against OLMC, OLC, and the Dukes. BS was the team that came closest to upsetting OLP, but BS got off to a slow start and eventually lost by six in the end.
  2. Saint Jude’s (OLC) – (3-2, trending down) Despite the number one ranking in the CYO preseason rankings, OLC hasn’t looked as dominant as most expected. OLC, however, has played well lately. They did lose to a hot-shooting Duke’s team, but they overcame the loss, and rallied to beat SGS in overtime.
  3. Saint George (SGS) – (3-1, trending up) SGS has been a dark horse from the start of the season. They blew out BS by 30 points in their first game, and they haven’t stopped playing well ever since. SGS’s only lose has been a close game against OLC, which went into overtime.
  4. Mount Carmel (OLMC) – (2-2, trending down) OLMC has really surprised everyone, and not in a good way. OLMC lost to OLP and OLC early on in the season, but they did beat HYS by a large margin. OLMC went into overtime last game against BS, and they eventually pulled out a big win on the road.
  5. Saint Peter’s (Dukes) – (1-2, trending up) The Dukes haven’t had that bad of a year so far. They lost close games to OLP and SGS. Surprisingly, the Dukes did upset OLC on the road by shooting well and scoring a lot of points in the game.
  6. Blessed Sacrament (BS) – (1-3, trending down) BS hasn’t had the best start to their season, but they are starting to play better together. BS was blown out in their season opener by SGS, but they did come back and beat HYS by a fairly good amount. BS was the closest team to upsetting the top-seeded OLP, and they almost beat OLMC in overtime.
  7. Harborcreek Youth Services (HYS) – (0-4, steady) HYS really hasn’t looked that terrible this season. They haven’t won a game yet, but they have come close in some games. HYS hasn’t been blown out of games like they were in the past couple of seasons.



55 people donate during NHS-sponsored blood drive

image2 (1)Last Tuesday, Jan. 20, Cathedral Prep’s National Honors Society hosted their annual blood drive. Those who generously decided to volunteer to donate offered up a pint of blood, roughly 10 percent of their total blood volume. Many students scheduled to donate, but some had to back out. Those who stuck with it received both the satisfaction of charity and an opportunity to eat snacks during the school day.

image3Cathedral Prep students showed great courage as 55 people donated blood, including 47 students and 8 faculty and staff members. Representatives from the drive said the amount of blood that Prep donated will help in the treatment of over 165 patients.

image4There are many reasons a student would decide to make this contribution. Hunter Emerson chose donate because he believed he would make a difference. Pat Steele donated because he saw an opportunity to help people, and he wants to take those opportunities every chance he gets.

The overwhelming consensus is that Cathedral Prep students want to save lives. As a Catholic school, it is instilled in our backbones to always try to do the thing that is beneficial for the most human lives.

The blood was collected by the Community Blood Bank, and it will be used in various ways. Some of the most common uses of donor blood are in transplant surgeries, car accident victims, and heart surgeries.




The Scarlet Pimpernel premieres Thursday at the H. David Bowes Auditorium

scarletpimpernelOn Thursday, Jan. 29, the Prep and Villa Theater Program will present its second show of its 2014-2015 season: The Scarlet Pimpernel. This extraordinary show features a large and talented cast, over-the-top costumes, and unique music. It is a show that is sure to please all audiences.

The story is set in both England and France. As France descends into the guillotine-induced chaos of the Reign of Terror, the Englishman Sir Percy Blakeney (Sam Sweny) decides to take a stand against the tyranny of Robespierre (John Oehling) and Citizen Chauvelin (Bryan Welsh) by sailing over to France with his friends and fighting under the pseudonym “The Scarlet Pimpernel.” As Blakeney and his men gain popularity, Chauvelin strains to find the identity of the Scarlet Pimpernel, who seems to always be out of his reach. In a brilliant and entertaining sequence of song and dance, this show portrays the pursuit of the elusive Pimpernel and his men, as they fight to save innocent lives from the guillotine.

KristyThe Rambler was fortunate enough to catch up with Percy Blakeney’s wife, Marguerite St. Just (Kristy Tishchenko), and ask her about the show. “Playing the role of Marguerite was really a needed wake-up call,” Tishchenko said. “Previous years, playing multiple characters that surprisingly always were married or engaged was just fun and had no real deep meaning to it. And this year, when I received my script for The Scarlet Pimpernel, read through it, and watched both movies, I realized something. The movies portray Marguerite as a pure Disney kind of damsel in distress, but she really is, as Percy states, ‘My wife’s not the fainting sort… She’ll hold up and spit them in the eye til her last… breath.’ She handles on-going stress daily and still manages to pull off a smile. During these past months, my life has almost reflected Marguerite’s, though not as extreme. To juggle school, play, out-of and in-school activities, family, social life, etc., does put a lot of mental stress on a person, and it helped me understand Marguerite more in depth. I am deeply honored to be able to portray her true character.”

The Scarlet Pimpernel is a show worth seeing. It is powerful yet comic, serious yet whimsical. It will make you gasp in awe and burst with laughter, and it is a masterpiece enjoyable for any audience.

Come and see The Scarlet Pimpernel. You won’t regret it!




*Spoiler Alert* The Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies movie review

The-Hobbit-Battle-of-the-Five-ArmiesWarning! This review contains spoilers, so if you have not yet seen The Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies and don’t want to know what happens, stop reading now.

The movie was two hours and thirty minutes of pure excitement. For The Lord of the Rings fans, this movie is the perfect end to the trilogy, and to the whole series. It is also the one movie that puts everything into place for the first movie of the trilogy, The Fellowship of the Ring.

One of the things that did not go in favor with the movie is how it focused too much on Thorin, the Dwarf king. From the first movie, we are able to tell that he will have a struggle with the treasures in the castle, as well as the King’s Jewel. They did not need to spend so much time on it, just because we expected it and wanted more wicked fight scenes.

Another aspect that the movie lacked is how it did not show how all of those events directly added up to the first three movies. It shows how Legolas will follow a strider, which if you have not already guessed, it’s Aragon. It also reveals how Bilbo Baggins is brought back to the Shire with the ring, and the first time Gandalf visited him from the first movie. As a true Lord of the Rings fan, I am not completely satisfied with how all those unsolved mysteries add up in the movie series.

On a positive note, you would have to admit that the movie directors have done well with the special effects and the animations. One of my favorite scenes of the movie is when Legolas takes on about a dozen enemies alongside the leader’s right hand. It shows how strong he is and how much the fate of everyone else would be doomed without him.

The sad thing is now we are not expecting another movie in this amazing movie series. It is the end of it. Our only choice now is to own all of the movies and watch them all in one day.




Prep basketball team prepares to take on arch-rival McDowell

PrepBasketball2015In one of the most anticipated sporting events in the yearly Prep athletic year and undoubtedly the most looked forward to in the winter months, the Cathedral Prep Ramblers face the McDowell Trojans on the road tonight, Thursday, Jan. 22. The Ramblers look to bounce back after their first two losses of the season to a pair of top tier teams at the Burger King Classic this past weekend. Senior Matt Colpoys has led the team so far this year and is expected to continue leading the team in the first of two games against their rival this year.

MattColpoys2015Prep finished with a 2-1 record against McDowell last year. They were victorious in the two regular season match ups, but they came up short in the D10 Championship. This year will be slightly different. Both teams lost their star player to graduation so both are in need of a replacement. Matt Colpoys looks to be the Rambler answer to fill in for UMass-Lowell player Matty Harris and Andrew Stromenger is set to replace Mike Beck of Edinboro.

The Ramblers have had an excellent season hitherto, and their 11-2 record is proof of that. Having won out in the Bahamas earlier this season and having only lost their first games of the season at the BK Classic, Prep is in an excellent position for the upcoming match up. They are led by seniors Matt Colpoys, Joe Fustine, and Jack Lindenberger, as well as junior Carter Cross. These players lead a generous offense that can be fruitful if ran correctly. Their pass-first mentality is what has proved to be so successful. Rather than acting selfishly and taking the first shot available, they like to work the ball around for the best shot possible.

JoeFustineJack Lindenberger is a forward for the Ramblers who has high hopes for the team. “Prep versus McDowell is always an exciting game to be a part of, and I am very excited to play in a rowdy environment tonight,” he said. “These are the games that we really want to win, the tough crazy games where the gym is full. It’s a big game and I cannot wait for it later tonight.”

Tickets for the game have already sold out at both Prep and McDowell so fans looking to catch a glimpse of the game in person are out of luck. Unfortunately, those who weren’t lucky enough to get tickets will miss a classic Prep-McDowell basketball game. The McDowell gym will surly be tightly packed and will undoubtedly be a thunderous one with two loud and rowdy crowds. The varsity game starts at 7:30 p.m. and JV starts at 6. So if you have tickets, get out and support the Ramblers tonight in the first of two basketball match ups against their rival planned for this basketball season.




Rambler hockey team comes up just short in Meadville Invitational

This past weekend, the varsity Rambler hockey team took part in the Meadville Invitational hockey tournament. The Ramblers are looking great this year with an outstanding 16-3 record on the year, including wins over powerhouse teams like Bethel park and culver academy.

Senior Richard Vicary with the puck

Senior Richard Vicary with the puck

The first game of the tournament was rivalry night: Prep vs. Meadville. The hometown Meadville Bulldogs came out with fire, but they were quickly extinguished by the Ramblers. Prep cruised to a 8-1 victory to get the ball rolling for the tournament. The Ramblers then had Friday off but had a doubleheader slated for Saturday.

Bright and early, the Ramblers took on Upper St. Claire at 7:15 a.m. Both teams came out hot, but the Ramblers found themselves down 3-2 going into intermission. A quick goal in the third tied the game up, and Ben Eliason scored the game winner with little time left to seal a playoff birth on Sunday.

The team had some time to kill in between games so they went to see the highly acclaimed movie American Sniper as a team. This was a great bonding experience for the team, and it helped them prepare for their next game. At 2:45, Prep rolled over the Dublin Coffman Rocks 8-0, led by 3 goals from Ben Eliason and 2 from Richard Vicary. They showed they were ready for their playoff game against Bethel Park, a team they already had beaten earlier in the year, at 10 a.m. Sunday.

The Ramblers were in high spirits as they came to the rink that Sunday, ready to take on Bethel Park. They came out hot, taking an early 2-0 lead middle of the second. Bethel scored 3 quick goals to take a lead going into intermission. Unfortunately it just wasn’t the Ramblers’ day as Bethel held on to win the game 3-2. Even after the loss the Ramblers are still primed to have a great season, holding on to first in the PIHL.




Winners & Losers of the Asia Cup and Africa Cup of Nations

The new calendar year has just gotten under way, and the schedule for soccer tournaments throughout the year looks very enticing. Two of those tournaments, the Asia Cup and the Africa Cup of Nations, got underway in the past few weeks. Both have had surprising results, and with the champions still being determined at both, they both are likely to have even more shockers.

Asia Cup

The Asia Cup is a 16-team tournament consisting of teams from all across Asia. A large majority are West Asian teams are from the Middle East, although the success teams have had is spread across the continent. While there were clearly some well-defined favorites and some minnows in the tournament, some teams rose to the expectations and some fell flat. The group stages just wrapped up, and the top two teams in each group progressed onto the quarterfinals. The top 8 teams were South Korea, Australia, China, Uzbekistan, Iran, United Arab Emirates, Japan, and Iraq.

Winners: China

China was a shock to many as they went through their group without dropping any points and notching 3 wins, 2 of those against very good Uzbekistan and Saudi Arabia teams. While other teams won all their group stage games, those teams being South Korea, Iran, and Japan, they were expected to do well, as all three competed in the World Cup last year. China was a surprise team since they don’t have much history of being good at soccer. So far in the tournament they have gotten 3 goals from Sun Ke. In the knockout rounds, they will face the second place team from Group A, Australia, who are hosting the tournament.

 

Winners: United Arab Emirates

Although they didn’t win their group, the United Arab Emirates team turned heads with how well they played, and nearly won their group over Iran, who scored a goal that may have been offsides in stoppage time to edge out UAE. Ali Mabkhout leads the team with 3 goals, but the standout player from the Emiratis is their attacking midfielder Omar Abdulrahman, whose pinpoint passing and stellar ball control make the UAE a team to look out for in the future, as many of their players are under 26 years old.

 

Losers: Qatar

While there were other teams that lost all 3 of their games in the Asia Cup, the most shocking of them was Qatar. While they weren’t expected to hoist the trophy, fans definitely expected more from the Qataris, who won the 2014 Gulf Cup of Nations over Saudi Arabia and will host the 2022 World Cup. Maybe getting annihilated 4-1 in their opening game to UAE was too much to recover from, but losing to Iran and then to Bahrain made them flop out of the tournament without notching a win, in stark contrast to their Gulf Cup championship. Qasem Burhan was disappointing in goal, and the defense was also lacking in the three games, leading to their early exit.

 

Losers: Saudi Arabia

The runners-up in the Gulf Cup of Nations were the other disappointing team of the Asia Cup. Although they easily won 4-1 over North Korea, much more was expected from the Saudis, who lost in a win-or-go-home game against Uzbekistan 3-1. Saudi Arabia was playing without perhaps their best player, however, striker Nasser Al-Shamrani, so they do get cut some slack. However, better performances against China and Uzbekistan could have propelled them into the quarterfinals, and instead Saudi Arabia leaves early, although it was better than their 2011 performance when they lost all 3 games.

 

In the knockout stage, the first match is South Korea against Uzbekistan, which the Koreans should most likely win, maybe in another 1-0 game. They’ll play the winner of the Iran – Iraq game that should swing towards the Iranians due to their better play and World Cup experience. On the opposite side of the bracket, China takes on Australia which is the most intriguing game this round. China won all their games but none of them were against big-time teams like Australia, whom I think will defeat the Chinese and move on to the semifinals. And that leaves Japan versus the UAE, whom Japan should beat, but given their quality of play thus far, it may be a closer match than meets the eye. In the semis, I see South Korea beating Iran due to better overall play, and Japan overcoming Australia and the fan base they have from hosting the tournament. That pits South Korea against Japan in the final, which is incredibly intriguing and could see either team come out on top. It’s pretty tough to call, but I believe South Korea will take down Japan and be crowned the champions of the 2015 Asia Cup.

 

While that is going on, if one crosses over the Indian Ocean, another soccer tournament is underway in Equatorial Guinea, the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations. This year the field is wide open after the 2013 winners Nigeria failed to qualify. After one round of games, three of the eight games ended in 1-1 draws, leaving Group B, composed of Cape Verde, DR Congo, Tunisia, and Zambia, and Group D, which holds Cameroon, Guinea, Ivory Coast, and Mali, all in a joint tie for first with 1 point. Some of the star teams that are expected to go all the way shone brightly, others seemed to fizzle out and not show up. Underdog teams have proven themselves against stronger competition, so this year’s tournament is really open to all 16 teams to go for the gold.

 

Winners: Senegal

Of the three teams that won a game, the most shocking, considering their opposition, was Senegal. Not many had them picked to win against Ghana, especially after going down 1-0 early to a penalty kick converted by André Ayew. But the Senegalese came back thanks to a goal from Stoke City player Mame Biram Diouf, and then in the dying seconds a goal from substitute Moussa Sow that gave Senegal all three points in their opening game. Considering they got drawn into the so called “Group of Death,” and were seen by many as the bottom dwellers along with South Africa, a win over powerhouse Ghana should get the team excited and give them a shot to get into the quarterfinals.

 

Winners: Gabon

It isn’t often that a singular player is the standout star that will single-handedly make his team with, but in Gabon’s case, they have a player like that in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The Borussia Dortmund player is blazing fast, actually faster than Usain Bolt over 30 meters, and is great with his feet and his head. So it is no surprise that he opened the scoring for Gabon against Burkina Faso, the runners-up in the 2013 tournament. Gabon controlled the game and added another goal via forward Malick Evouna’s head. The win puts Gabon in sole possession of first place and gives them a huge chance to make it into the knockout stage, as long as Aubameyang continues to play well.

 

Winners: Algeria

Might as well count all three teams that won as winners. Despite being many people’s favorites to win the entire tournament due to their success in the World Cup, Algeria faced a scare as South Africa went in front in their game. However; they got back into it due to an own goal from South Africa’s Thulani Hlutshwayo. After the game was tied up again, the Algerians put the pressure on and showed why they are the favorites, adding another goal from Faouzi Ghoulam just five minutes after the own goal, and one more to top it off from Islam Slimani. Despite the stumble, Algeria showed why they are picked to win when they came back to reclaim the lead and win. They are in the “Group of Death,” but being the strongest team in it and winning the opening game should give Algeria a very good chance of making it into the next round.

 

Losers: Mali & Guinea

Both teams from Group D faced a steep challenge as they took on powerhouse teams in Ivory Coast and Cameroon. Both were probably stunned when they scored first against their better competition, giving them a chance in their tough group. Each are probably also kicking themselves for allowing their opponents to get a goal back to salvage a point from the game. Mali especially, who were up a goal and had a man advantage when Seydou Doumbia scored the equalizer for Ivory Coast. So now instead of both of these two teams being top of the group with impressive wins, they sit in a dead-lock with all the other teams in the group with 1 point, and make it tougher for all four of them to advance into the next round.

 

Losers: Zambia

After shocking the world and winning the Cup of Nations in 2012, Zambia are always looked at as a team to be reckoned with. DR Congo may not have got that message when they allowed the Zambians to score within just about 60 seconds in their game. Zambia, however, was the team that really lost the game. Although they did manage to secure a point, DR Congo equalized through their talisman Yannick Bolasie and made the teams share the points, while Zambia could have taken all three. Zambia also lost one of their starting midfielders, Nathan Sinkala, to an injury that will bench him for the remainder of the tournament. Their Cup of Nations started with such a bright start, but it is a tough hill to climb if Zambia wants to get out of their group, who contains the strong Tunisians and surprisingly good islanders from Cape Verde.

 

African soccer is incredibly tough to predict, as many of the teams expected to blow by their competition, like Ghana, Ivory Coast, and Tunisia, didn’t really show much fight, while smaller countries like Gabon rose to the challenge. After the first round of games, it is tough to predict the remainder of the tournament, especially being an African tournament, but I’ll do my best.

 

In Group A, Gabon will win the group on the back of Aubameyang, and despite losing their first game, Burkina Faso should be capable of winning against Equatorial Guinea and Congo to punch their ticket into the last 8. Group B is completely deadlocked, making it even tougher to predict, but if Tunisia play their best, they should win the group. Cape Verde may be able to steal their top spot, but will likely be the second place team in the group, ahead of DR Congo and Zambia. Group C was the only group with 2 winners, making the selection a bit easier. Algeria should win the group outright, and Senegal should snatch the second spot, although South Africa may be able to after already playing the toughest team in the group, Algeria. Ghana looked flat in their game, and will have to be incredible to have a chance to make it to the next round. And for Group D, Ivory Coast should come out on top. It’s a tough call between Cameroon and Mali, the latter having come in third in the past two tournaments. Because of their success in recent Cup of Nations, I’ll take Mali as the second place team in Group D.

 

In the quarterfinals, the first matchup is Gabon versus the island nation of Cape Verde, who are making their second ever showing at a Cup of Nations. Aubameyang and Gabon are better on paper, and should likely win, but the attack force of Héldon and Ryan Mendes on Cape Verde may give them some trouble. Next up would be Ivory Coast against Senegal, which would be an incredibly good game to watch. The Ivorians would be the more popular pick, and I am going to pick them as well, because of their incredible forward Wilfried Bony, as well as Seydou Doumbia off the bench. The third quarterfinal would be the favorites Algeria versus Mali. Algeria will win this matchup, although Mali are not a team to be taken lightly. The attacking prowess from all angles of Algeria will ultimately be too much for Mali, however, and Algeria will be victorious. The final quarterfinal would be Tunisia against Burkina Faso. One of the Burkina Faso players said their tournament will be like Spain’s 2010 World Cup, in which they lost their first game and went on to win. I’m not sure Burkina Faso will get that far, but I can see them taking down Tunisia, who have not played up to their standards in many Cup of Nations tournaments.

 

The semis would be matchups between Gabon and Ivory Coast and between Algeria and Burkina Faso. The Cinderella story of the tournament in my eyes will be Gabon, who will take down the powerhouse Ivory Coast and their captain Yaya Toure to make their way to the finals. This, like Gabon’s other games, will depend on the play of Aubameyang. I think he will rise to the challenge and propel Gabon into the final, making them a surprise team to be there. In the other matchup, I see no way Burkina Faso will shut down Algeria. They were the best African team at the World Cup, and they will show just how good they are when they best Burkina Faso to make it to the Cup of Nations final thanks to star players Islam Slimani and Yacine Brahimi. In the finals, the Cinderella story of Gabon will finally end as Algeria rightfully take their place as kings of African soccer. Gabon will no doubt give it a good fight, but the Algerians are undeniably the best team in Africa and will be on top of the podium as champions once the Cup of Nations is over.




An interview with Ahmad Gilbert of Constitution High School in preparation for the 2015 Burker King Classic

The Rambler had the opportunity to ask Constitution’s 6’6″ senior small forward Ahmad Gilbert some questions about the Burger King Classic, which tips off tonight at Gannon’s Hammermill Center.

Gilbert had a slew of Division I offers, and he chose to take his talents to George Mason University next year.

BKinterviewQ: How do you feel about being apart of the best four team tournament in America?
A: It feels good. A lot of good players have come through, Chris Webber and a lot of other NBA guys so it is a good opportunity for our group and hopefully we win it and get invited back.

Q: How do you feel you match up against the speed and athleticism of Cathedral Prep?
A: I think it’s going to be a good one. They slow the ball down to take time off the clock and force you to play defense. I think it’s going to be a good game.

Q: Do you like Burger King or McDonald’s more?
A: Burger King.

Q: Do you know who Matt Colpoys is?
A: No.

Q: What do you think about Erie?
A: It is really cold.

Q: How will you handle the hometown crowd?
A: Block them out.

Gilbert’s Constitution team, out of Philadelphia, will face the Ramblers tonight in the second game of the double header at 8:30 p.m. The opening game is between Pope John XXIII from New Jersey and St. Edward’s from Cleveland at 7 p.m.

Constitution is the defending PIAA AA state champions and will face a test against Cathedral Prep who is looking to start 12-0, which would tie the best start in school history. The first game tonight will feature Pope John XXIII from New Jersey and with St. Edward’s out of Cleveland.