Cathedral Prep Year in Review

With finals in the books, there are only a few events left before seniors walk across the stage at graduation. On Sunday, June 5, Cathedral Prep will graduate one of its biggest classes in recent years. The Class of 2016 accomplished a lot in and out of the classroom. In addition to earning acceptance into many fine colleges and universities, Prep students continue to compete as part of one of the best athletic programs in the state.

Athletics are always a huge part of Cathedral Prep’s school year. This year, especially, Prep has impressed and surprised many people within the Erie community and even the state. In fall sports, Cathedral Prep football finished second in the state after an impressive playoff run. They produced a number of athletes who will be playing in college next year for schools like Gannon, Edinboro, Case Western, and John Carrol University. Meanwhile, freshman Pat Kelly also had a shot at the state golf title earlier in the season.

In the winter, Cathedral Prep hockey also had a stellar season, finishing second in the state after moving up a division from last year. They lost a heartbreaker in the final, but they were the first team in 10 years to move up a division and win the Pens Cup. Additionally, the tennis, lacrosse, and baseball teams all look to continue their success in postseason.

Within the school, a lot has changed for students over the past few years. There are a number of different parts of the school that have been adapted this school year. The lunchroom is perhaps one of the biggest changes with Metz taking over. After a rocky start, the students are overall pleased with the lunch change. On top of that, televisions were added to the lunchroom for the students’ entertainment.

There have been negative moments for students and faculty alike during the 2015-16 school year, highlighted by the hockey team sendoff gone wrong. Poor decision making by some students led to negative press that caused the infamous bus chase to be covered not only locally, but find its way to the USA Today. In spite of that day, this school year has overall still been successful on a number of fronts.

This groups of seniors is one of Prep’s largest in recent history. Although the school has gotten some scrutiny, overall the school has experienced a successful year. Good luck to all of the graduating and incoming Ramblers.

Seniors reflect on school memories before graduation

Before graduating, the senior staff writers for The Rambler reflected on some of the memories from their time spent at Cathedral Prep.

“My favorite Prep memory was freshman year when Prep football went to the Pennsylvania State Championship in Hershey and won. I remember chasing after the bus and running past the Frontier neighborhood chasing it before I got tired out. I also remember the excitement of winning the game and when the entire school broke through a steel railing cemented into the ground trying to get onto the field. It was a good time.” -Dan Anthony

“My most favorite memory of my career at Prep is in English Class of sophomore year. We were assigned to do an iMovie project, and my group poorly chose the location of our video. After we decided on the plot of the story, we went ahead to enact it. In clumsy manner, Joe Hickin ran into Joe Spiegel. That caused him to barely hit the glass on the trophy hallway, yet it was enough contact to knock it down and break it. The expression of everyone’s face was the most memorable thing, which is why it has stuck with me until my last days at Prep.” -Dan Basheer

“Although this might be a somewhat overlooked or underappreciated moment now that the Class of 2016’s time at Prep is coming to an end, one of my favorite memories in my last four years at Prep was attending the party at Presque Isle for incoming Prep and Villa freshmen. It is not that I necessarily had the time of my life at that party. What was so monumental about the moment, however, was the fact that that party was the very first opportunity I had to meet many of the young men that I now consider to be my brothers. At the time of the party, I was an excited, although admittedly apprehensive/nervous 14-year-old. Now, four inexplicably amazing years later, I know some of these men practically as well as I know myself, and even if the relationships I have made don’t persist into my adult years, the absolute abundance of memories I have made will surely live on, motivating and impacting the decisions I will make for the rest of my life. I will eternally be gratfeul for that party. If it weren’t for an early introduction to the awesome peers I have had over the past four years, I wouldn’t have been as excited as I was to attend such a great school, nor would I be as thankful as I currently am for the entirety of my time at Prep.” -Tim Evans

“My favorite memory from my time at Prep has to be the senior banquet and the subsequent events occurring afterwards. It was the first time I felt like I actually had brotherhood with the rest of my senior class. The dinner was pretty good, too.” -Joe Hickin

“My two favorite school memories are from my senior year of football. The first was against McDowell, as a thrilling late minute drive set up the game-winning field goal. I was on the field for the field goal, and the resulting jubilation from defeating our rival like that is something I will never forget. The next was in the State Semifinal game against Bishop McDevitt. Many people thought we were outmatched, and at times the score depicted as much. However, we made a spirited comeback, won, and earned a trip to the State Championship game in Hershey. The storming of the field, the Hershey’s Kisses flying around, and embracing my teammates and classmates from the stands was probably the most fun I’ve ever had.” -Brendan Jubulis

“My favorite school memories lie in all of the sports teams’ sendoffs in my past four years. As a freshman, not knowing what to expect, we ended up blocks away from Prep. This year, as a senior, the hockey and football sendoffs will always remain in my mind. For the football sendoff I will always remember the day I spent biking around Erie with many others. The hockey team sendoff also provided many interesting events that perhaps the whole city of Erie will remember. Prep has made many lasting impacts on me which have helped shape me into the man I am today and the man I will become in the coming years.” -Josh Kurczewski

“My favorite Prep memory came during my freshman year. It’s a year and memory that I will never forget. It was all because of the great work on the football field and the road to the state championship. It added to the enjoyment when the Ramblers came out and won their final game. It’s something that has been engraved in my mind and I will remember forever.” -David Rahner

“I remember my mom telling me freshman year to get involved in more school activities and start looking into more clubs to join. I saw Journalism as a chance to do something I might enjoy and also earn some credentials. When I went into Mr. Hubert’s room to ask to write an article I was overwhelmed with the number of upperclassmen in journalism, but I still snuck through to talk to Mr. Hubert. When I asked him to write an article, he was baffled that an underclassman was interested in trying to write for the newspaper. Three years later and I’m graduating as the Senior Editor-in-Chief with the publication still growing.” -Joe Sala

“As I’ve spent a lot of time with the theater program throughout my years here, I’ve had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with a group of close friends which also participated in aiding with the more technical sides of theater. My favorite and best moments through Prep, I admit, was probably during these shows. We all managed to do our jobs to the best of our ability and have fun in the process. The stories we were told, the little shenanigans we were able to get away with during shows, it showed me what a brotherhood of people is supposed to be like. Perhaps my favorite memory, in specific, would be during the show West Side Story. As stage crew, we always needed to stay as quiet as we could be, though during this production, there was a loud fight scene where the actors were able to get very loud. We all started yelling stuff and making noises, earning looks from plenty of actors from the corners of their eyes, though we all felt very proud of ourselves afterwards.” -Conrad Weiser

“I have many wonderful memories from my time at Prep. Winning D10 in lacrosse during my junior and senior years, faith talks in Mr. Wahlmark’s class, talking about video games and basketball in Journalism. But honestly looking back my favorite memories aren’t specific. The times that I enjoyed most were the ones with uncontrollable laughter. The class I was in didn’t matter, the people I was I with, I can’t remember them all. All that mattered were the discussions I remember that had everyone cracking up. Whether it was in school with classmates, on the field with teammates and coaches, or at events with faculty. Though they are the fuzziest of memories they are my favorites; they are the ones I’ll cherish. Roll Ramblers.” -Tanner Ziacik

The case for Melee as the best Super Smash Bros. game

In the past year I have found myself getting deeper and deeper into the Super Smash Bros. scene. I haven’t been playing Smash 4, the newest iteration, but rather its ancestor Super Smash Bros. Melee (SSBM or Melee for short).

Melee is one of the most consistent eSports. As a mainstay at Evo with many tournaments dedicated exclusively to its play, it has an impressive roster of players, many of whom have made thousands of dollars playing the game professionally. From the almighty Ken to the ever popular Mew2King to the spontaneous Mang0, Melee has been an important game in Electronic Sports history.

Melee was released by Nintendo in America on November 21, 2001, to critical praise. The game was initially conceived as a new iteration of the ever-popular party game, Super Smash Bros. 64 for the Nintendo 64. Melee was released for the Nintendo GameCube and the popularity of the game led to the eventual beginning of tournament play. Melee began to be competitive roughly a year later without any major tournaments appearing until 2003. From that point everything originates. Breakout stars like Ken “Ken” Hoang rose through the ranks and became known as “the King of Smash,” a title that until 2006 was unshakable. At MLG New York, a major tournament and season opener for the MLG (Major League Gaming) Melee circuit of that year, Ken lost to PC Chris, a relatively unknown kid from New York. Many note that this was the beginning of the dark times for Melee as after the 2006 season ended, MLG was bought and many of the games were cut out of their professional circuit, with Melee among them.

For a period of time Melee’s place was uncertain in the world of professional gaming, until Melee was added to the Evo circuit in 2013. The game had underwent massive shifts during the nearly six years the game was out of the spotlight. New top players rose. Dubbed “the Five Gods of Smash” these players replaced Ken as the best in the world. Among them were Kevin “PPMD” Nanney, Jason “Mew2King” Zimmerman, Joseph “Mango” Marquez, Juan Manuel “Hungrybox” Debiedma, and Adam “Armada” Lindgren. It was these five players who stand at the summit as players to beat in the modern Melee scene.

Melee still thrives, and I hope to see new players trying to pick up the game. It has a high skill ceiling and demanding executional standards, but will always stand in my heart and in the heart of many others as the best Smash Bros. Game of all time.

Many students honored at year-end awards ceremony

This past Monday, May 23, was the 2016 Cathedral Prep Awards Ceremony. A large number of students were recognized for their achievements in academics, athletics, and extracurricular activities. A Prep record-high 80 seniors earned the President’s Education Award for finishing high school with an A average. Each award had a signature from President Obama and the acting U.S. Secretary of Education.

Seniors Mitchell Slubowski and Grayson Hill were recognized for their appointment for the United States Military Academy at West Point, and senior Daniel Anthony was recognized for his appointment to the Naval Academy.

Daniel and fellow senior Brendan Jubulis both earned awards in the Edinboro Journalism Competition. Dan won first place in the opinion category and Brendan placed fifth in the sports category. These are the first two members of The Rambler to win individual awards.

Brendan Flanagan was recognized for his full-tuition-and-housing caddying scholarship that he will use at Penn State University. Wegmans, Erie Bank, and other organizations presented scholarships as well.

Ten students earned the Monsignor John Hagerty Triathlete Award for getting a varsity letter in three different sports. Additionally, memorial awards were presented to the most valuable players of each varsity sport. Senior TaNauz Gregory won the football award, senior Carter Cross won the basketball and baseball awards, senior Rex Riley won the swimming award, sophomore Calvin Behm won the water polo award, and seniors John Orlando and Dominic Frisina shared the track award. Senior Joseph Kelly earned the hockey award, brother Patrick Kelly won the golf award, and brothers Joseph and Matt Demarco shared the tennis award. Senior Blaise Konzel won the lacrosse award, sophomore Matthew Zupan won the soccer award, senior Phil Selker won the wrestling award, and senior Evan Fritzke won the cross country award. TaNauz also took the honor of the Ma Kaiser Award, given to the most outstanding athlete of the year for athletic achievement and sportsmanship. Rex Riley and Pat Kelly won the Edward Milhohl Memorial award for outstanding sportsmanship.

This celebration of so many achievements of Cathedral Prep students made for a wonderful ceremony. As Fr. Jabo mentioned, even though not every good thing that students have done this year was recognized, nothing goes unnoticed. The ceremony was a perfect display in how this school can develop men of vision in spirit, mind, and body. All memorial award winners will go down in history, and every achievement of students continues to make Prep a greater institution.

First Energy helps emerging technologies class

On Monday, May 16, a representative from First Energy visited Cathedral Prep’s emerging technologies class to evaluate how their contribution to the class has helped their learning. First Energy was generous enough to fund the class in a small experiment to understand clean energy sources, which has been a success.

The class was given the equipment, which ranged from wheels to batteries to solar panels in an effort to help the students expand on their knowledge and hands-on learning for cleaner energy sources. The demonstration involved three trials for each type of energy source: battery, plug-in, and solar panel, which was rather experimental due to circumstance. The plug-in cars were limited in terms of testing them because the extension cords were not long enough for the cars to get enough momentum. That caused limited space for the cars to travel since it was not long enough to get to maximum speed.

On the other hand, the battery cars did really well in their trials. Some students were creative with their projects and had more than one motor on a car, which gave it more power. Cars were able to travel across the gym with no problems, other than determining the course the car will take.

Since the trials were done indoors, the students who built the solar panel cars went outside with the representative to demonstrate the solar panel car. It did surprisingly well for a first time trial but nowhere near as good as the battery car.

Mr. Bhatti oversaw the whole process and helped students with what they needed. He hopes that First Energy has seen what the student body is capable of and continues to fund more projects to expand on their knowledge in the future.

What should the top 3 teams do in the 2016 NBA Draft?

The 2016 NBA Draft Lottery was held on May 17. The draft lottery is used to determine the top of the draft order. All teams who missed the playoffs were given proportional odds based on their winning percentage. Then, number combinations are drawn for the top three selections. Spots 4-14 are then filled in based on reverse order of winning percentage. Though the lottery is crucial for all lottery picks, it often is most important for the top three teams.

As fate would have it, this year’s lottery fell in line exactly according to the percentages. The Philadelphia 76ers, who are trying to build towards relevance, will pick first. The Los Angeles Lakers, who are trying to fill the Kobe Bryant void, will pick second. Finally, the Boston Celtics, who owned the rights to the Brooklyn Nets pick, will pick third and try to add talent to a playoff roster.

Here is what I feel the teams with the top three picks in the 2016 NBA Draft, which will take place on June 23.

#1 Philadelphia 76ers: Ben Simmons, LSU
Ben Simmons has the highest ceiling of anyone in the draft. He projects to be a superstar with his combination of size, instincts, and skill. The 76ers should draft him number one overall for several reasons. First, he’s the best prospect available and, second, the team has yet to find a direction. With Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid, and Dario Saric the team has yet to find a direction for its front court. By bringing in Ben Simmons they will increase the competition and hopefully figure out who they believe to be their front court of the future.

#2 Los Angeles Lakers: Brandon Ingram, Duke
With Kobe Bryant’s retirement the Los Angeles Lakers lack a go-to wing for the first time in 20 years. Brandon Ingram can try to fill that void. Ingram provides length and defensive versatility on the wing with the ability to guard multiple positions. This two-way stud can score, too. With his rail thin body, however, he will have to prove he can bang with the pros.

#3 Boston Celtics – Buddy Hield, Oklahoma
The Boston Celtics have managed to get better every season under Brad Stevens without having that true “superstar.” They haven’t needed it though with the likes of Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, and Jae Crowder all elevating their games. The Celtics may never draft that true superstar they want. However, they could chase one in free agency. With this pick though they should look to fill a need. Buddy Hield provides dead-eye perimeter scoring, which is something the Celtics lack. With four years of college basketball under his belt Hield knows how to score and will carry that over into the NBA as a go-to wing scorer for the Celtics.

Seniors claim victory at 2016 Spirit, Mind, and Body Day

The fifth annual Spirit, Mind, and Body Day was held last Friday, May 20 at the PVEC. The final results were close, but the seniors edged out the other classes to claim victory. The final point tallies were as follows: Seniors (3,730), Sophomores (3,610),  Juniors (3,000), and Freshmen (2,400).

Spirit, Mind, and Body Day is always an exciting day to look forward to during the year, and the weather for this year’s event could not have been much better. The event was held at the PVEC, and for the first time ever, some of the competitions were held in the Joann Mullen Gymnasium.

SMBDay2016aThe day started with a lovely mass from Father Jason in the gymnasium. The students all sat with their classes in the bleachers during mass. After mass ended, the students all went outside and waited for the activities to begin.

Each student has his own different schedule of activities and different times to play throughout the day as well as down time to watch friends or grab a bite to eat. Students represent their class to win the events and accumulate more points to win the whole day.

This year, the process for paying for food was different. Ms. Oldach, special events manager, exchanged money for tickets that were used to purchase food items at the PVEC. A “meal deal,” was one main food with a side and a drink.

SMB Day is a very competitive day every year, and it is always fun. This day will always be fun, especially when the weather cooperates. The last couple of years, the weather has not been that nice, but this year, we finally got a nice day. The sun was out, and students were having lots of fun. The events started around 10 a.m., and the final events wrapped up around 1:40 p.m.

Activities for 2016 Spirit, Mind, and Body Day included the following: 3-point contest, cage ball, video games, volleyball, flag football, soccer, can jam, Ultimate Frisbee, track events (400-meter dash, 100-meter dash, 4×100-meter dash, long jump, etc.), hockey, corn hole, rock wall, Texas Hold’em, badminton, chess, 4-Square, dodgeball, and kickball.

Dagorhir demonstration highlights Erie Library Comic-Con

photo credit: Jason Kili Kane

photo credit: Jason Kili Kane

This past weekend on May 21 was the Erie Library Comic-Con, a free event open to the public based out of the Blasco Library. The event had a small vendor’s hall, one single room for panels, a small retro arcade room, and a select few small booths open for demos of games like Warhammer 40k and Magic the Gathering.

photo credit: Jason Kili Kane

photo credit: Jason Kili Kane

Outside in the open field in front of the library was something unlike anything many people have ever experienced before, the Dagorhir demo. The booth was an easy-up with one table run by a few people clad in black-and-red medieval garb. These were the Blood Horde, a unit based out of Illinois, whose members spread all over the United States. They demonstrated the wonders of LARP, which stands for Live Action Role Play.

photo credit: Jason Kili Kane

photo credit: Jason Kili Kane

Dagorhir doesn’t exactly fit that mold. The game is more along the lines of a medieval combat sport as there is no magic outside of healing poems. The game is played with foam-padded weapons. While that sounds rather tame and childish, it is far from it. The cores of most weapons are PVC piping or fiberglass poles, and they are subsequently padded with layers of foam and then covered with cloth. These weapons have heft. When swung, they sting and have the capacity to leave bruises and welts.

photo credit: Jason Kili Kane

photo credit: Jason Kili Kane

The game has rigid rules but every rule centers back to three core tenants: safety, playability, and honor. Safety is obvious. People aren’t allowed to aim for the head as well as following the guidelines from the rules online. Playability is not so simple to explain. It refers to guidelines regarding garb or dress as well as making a cohesive play experience for yourself and other players. Honor is following the code of conduct and being honorable in defeat and humble in victory. The game is fun and really unique as well as being the longest running of all battle games.

Anyone interested can attend a practice. Practices take place on Sundays in Frontier Park on West 8th street, across the street from Country Fair.

Behind the Mike: Senior pursues passion for rap music

Cathedral Prep is home to some underground rappers that are trying to get their careers started. Prep senior Mike Carrara, who performs as Truth 814, started with an inspiration from his friends. He stated that some friends and him used to hangout and freestyle rap outside of his mom’s house. After awhile, they suggested he make a song, and from there he realized how much he enjoyed making music.

Truth’s love of music has fueled his career. He says he spends countless nights working on his sound and perfecting his beats. Besides his friends, he has many other inspirations, including Jimi Hendrix, Tupac Shakur, Wiz Khalifa, and A$AP Rocky. The music that they made first began his love for music and showed him how music is actually an art.

Truth pours his heart into every minute he puts in the studio. When asked about the time he has put into his career, he had no answer. He stated that he has honestly spent countless hours working on his music. He has posted many songs and has recently dropped a mixtape called “Hardly the Beginning” in April. This mixtape takes you through his life and the inspirations he has met through this walk of life. If you want to listen to some of his music, you can check him out on SoundCloud, ReverbNation, or his own website

Truth wants to take rapping from a “hobby” to the next level and make it his profession. He is the happiest while in the studio perfecting and making new music. He is looking forward to the future and wants to be able to perform concerts in the near future. He also plans to release a new mixtape “Psyche” coming out in the summer of 2016.

Six Tips for Senior Year

Before they graduate as members of the Cathedral Prep Class of 2016, staff writer Tim Evans and managing editor Josh Kurczewski offered some friendly advice for the incoming senior class.

  1. Take your SATs / ACTs early and more than once.
    There is no limit to how many times one can take the SAT or ACT, nor is there an age requirement besides simply having to be in high school. Both tests are offered quite frequently (more than four times per year), and it is also painless to sign up online. You probably don’t want to start taking these tests too young, since your results will more than likely improve as you progress through your high school career. However, you also don’t want to wait until the colleges you’ve applied to ask for your scores, since practice naturally makes perfect. In addition, paying the extra few dollars for taking these tests more than once is easily worth the investment of possibly getting a higher score, and therefore opening up more college opportunities than you otherwise would’ve had.
  2. Don’t overload your schedule for senior year.
    School is obviously meant for learning, and senior year should be no exception to that. However, that is not to say that you should hold the same exact mindset for senior year as you did for your past three years. You’ll be taking the SATs and ACTs, applying to and visiting colleges, participating in sports and/or extracurricular activities, and involved with a plethora of senior year activities. Amid all of this you will also want to spend time with your friends, cherishing your last high school moments. The last thing you want to be doing is unnecessarily loading your schedule with tons of AP classes that you won’t be able to manage.
  3. Get involved in student cheering sections.
    I get that cheering sections aren’t for everyone, and if you’re not already a part of the Rally Crew, it’d be decently easy to not make the effort of getting out and supporting the school’s sports teams. However, even if you aren’t the intense, screaming-your-head-off type of person, attending senior year sporting events will be something you’ll look back on and remember for the rest of your life. You’ll be in the front of the section anyway, and you can yell pretty much whatever you want (within reason, of course), so why not get rowdy, chirp the other team, and cheer your classmates on to victory.
  4. Try (especially during the first semester of) your senior year.
    Even though some schools will accept you before your first semester grades come in, they still check when they beck official. Being able to fend off senioritis for the first semester is a hassle, but if you are trying to get into a good college, it is a must. Some colleges won’t check second semester grades, although the most prestigious colleges and universities will. So, if you are going to let the senioritis slowly take over your school work, at least hold off until when the third quarter starts.
  5. If you find an app that’s not blocked don’t tell anyone.
    I’ve seen too many games and web browsers fall to the mass popularity they gain quickly, causing teachers and in turn the technology office to promptly block access. If you find an entertaining app that isn’t yet on the list of blocked apps and websites, keep it on the down low! Most of the time in the matter of a week it’ll be blocked if everybody finds out about it.
  6. Only park at EBC if you’re the only one.
    Many students found it very easy to park in the empty EBC lot across the street from the main office. But just like the unblocked apps and websites, when too many people find out, it gets busted. So if you are ever in a rush, park at EBC at your own risk, but once too many people start finding it easy to park there, bail quickly.