Baseball world mourns the deaths of Ventura, Marte

This past Sunday, the Major League’s and the world of baseball lost two more stars. Kansas City Royals right-handed pitcher, Yordano Ventura, and former third baseman for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Andy Marte, both passed away in separate car accidents.

According to sources, there was no alcohol or drugs involved. Ventura was ejected from his car, as he was not secured by a seat belt. After being ejected from the car, Ventura was allegedly robbed by a man in his hometown Dominican Republic and then left to die in the street. Ventura, over the course of four seasons in the majors, pitched a record of 38-31, held a 3.89 ERA, pitched over 500 innings, and struck out 470 batters.

Andy Marte was driving in his hometown in the Dominican Republic as well. His car had veered off of the road and crashed into the side of a home. Marte was currently playing in the Dominican Winter League. Ranked in Baseball America’s top ten prospects prior to the 2005 season, many knew Marte had potential as a big leaguer. Although he didn’t reach his full potential in the big league’s, Marte hit .218 in 308 career games.

On Tuesday, a funeral was held for Ventura. Family, friends, fans, and the world of baseball are mourning the loss of both of these stars. Ventura was laid to rest in the beautiful Dominican Republic early Tuesday morning. Royals fans in Kansas City, Missouri also gathered at Kauffman Stadium to remember their young star who had given such a promising future to the franchise.

Andy Marte has not had his funeral yet, but the world of baseball still mourns his loss. He played for three different professional organizations including the Boston Red Sox, Atlanta Braves, and the Arizona Diamondbacks. Both of these young stars will forever be remembered.

This past year alone has been tough for the baseball world.  The league has lost four promising young men. Oscar Taveras of the St. Louis Cardinals, Jose Fernandez of the Miami Marlins, Yordano Ventura of the Kansas City Royals, and Andy Marte of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Seniors celebrate Taco Friday

Mike displaying his beef

Over the past few months, Mrs. Lopez, aka Señora, has not been in her classroom due to being on maternity leave. After welcoming a healthy baby boy into the world, Señora Lopez has come back to Prep and resumed teaching her Spanish classes.

Javi in a food coma.

Last Friday, Jan. 20, Señora Lopez’s seventh period Spanish IV class celebrated her return and the end of their semester with a fiesta. For those unfamiliar with basic Spanish, “fiesta” is Spanish for “party.” For their purposes, the fiesta consisted of chicken and beef tacos, made with both hard and soft shells, and cupcakes.

But where did this food come from? Well, Michael Ruff, employee at Larry’s Central Market was in charge of the beef. “I made the beef,” Mike stated when asked the origin of the beef. He then continued to say, “So I started from scratch. I took your standard sirloin tip, put it in the meat grinder, then bagged it up, took it home, seasoned it with taco seasoning, and I cooked it up.”

The taco bar in use

The chicken, as it turns out, is another story, and some people preferred it over the beef. In fact, senior Jacob Labonte said, “I got beef with Larry’s beef.” According to Mrs. Lopez “I made the pollo (chicken).”

Andrew Haverly (left) and Daniel Scutella (right) enjoying some cupcakes

However, no taco can be complete without toppings. Senior Jacob Labonte was in charge of bringing in toppings, but he encountered some difficulty with acquiring them.

“I kinda forgot my toppings, so at lunch I had Metz help me out; James Wrigley is my hero.” Apparently, Mr. Wrigley was more than willing to provides the lettuce, cheese, and other necessary toppings for a proper taco. Smiles appeared on the student’s faces as they munched down on their delicious tacos of varying meats. Smelling the Spanish aroma, Dr. B. walked into the room to see if he could get his hands on a tasty soft taco. Some students, however, did not partake. When asked why he wasn’t consuming a taco, senior Daniel Scutella stated “I’m in season,” referring to his CYO basketball career.

After having satisfied their hunger, conversation began to drift to the discussion of other foods. Some students began to delve into taco salad. Javier Mirazek stated, “I’d eat that.” All in all, taco Friday seemed like a fun and delicious end to a great Spanish IV semester.

Opinion: Buffalo Chicken Is Awesome

I consider myself a fairly healthy person. I exercise and I try to consume all food groups in moderation. Sure, from time to time I treat myself to some McDonalds, but what overworked, jaded high school senior doesn’t? In general, I eat a well-rounded diet of pasta, meat, salad, and many other relatively healthy foods. I consciously try to shake up my food intake. However, lately I have been failing in this regard. One specific food that has been giving me trouble is Buffalo Chicken. Any kind of Buffalo Chicken.

My dedication to the wonderful food has blossomed into a rewarding addiction. In truth, it is a tragic love affair. I give the Buffalo Chicken my hard earned dollar and the Buffalo Chicken gives me a head start on my freshman fifteen.

As an American, I know that I am the last person to blame for what I eat. It seems that in the last month or so, Buffalo Chicken has become increasingly available to me. Recently, Arby’s has started serving Buffalo Chicken sandwiches. I first heard about this new addition to the menu from a close friend of mine, and we proceeded to exchange pleasant conversation over Arby’s Buffalo Chicken sandwiches the very next day. Let me tell you, when you bite into that scrumptious creation, you know for certain that you have spent your money wisely. The buttermilk Chicken has a slight crunch, and then you are instantly hit with that sweet sweet Buffalo sauce flavor. For those who have not had Buffalo sauce, it’s spicy but not too spicy, especially when accompanied by shredded lettuce and ranch dressing, as the Arby’s take on the classic sandwich is. If you’re looking for a less heavy meal, Arby’s also offers the Buffalo Chicken sandwich in slider form, with a chicken tender on the little bun, which is so so so yummy. Rest assured, Arby’s does indeed “Have the Meats.”

Also new to my life is Cathedral Prep’s “loaded fry day” in the cafeteria. Metz chef James Wrigley recently introduced this new special to Prep’s menu, in which students are given a bowl full of the frenchiest fries, topped with whatever topping was decided on for that day. They can then go to the toppings bar and fill their bowl with ranch, banana peppers, or anything else that is available. Coincidentally, the first loaded fry day featured fries loaded with, you guessed it, Buffalo Chicken. The small chicken nuggets covered in that sweet orange nectar paired well with ranch dressing, and filled my belly quite sufficiently.

It was that day that I realized I had let my eating habits get the best of me. Whenever I heard the words “Buffalo Chicken,” I jumped at the opportunity to consume the wonderful concoction. I made a pact with myself to try to eat less of the food, but just like many other goals in my life, I failed. Later that night, I went to the Public House on 26th Street for a late dinner with my immediate family. I arrived there later than my siblings and parents, so I was in a rush to order. My eyes immediately found the words “Buffalo Chicken Pizza,” and I practically subconsciously delivered my order to the waitress. I was a bit disappointed in myself having realized I just broke a promise I had made with myself earlier that day, but once I bit into that Americanized pizza I was reminded of the Maroon Five lyric, “Feels so good to be bad.” The pizza is coated in Buffalo sauce, with chicken all over the pie. Ranch is stylistically drizzled at the Goldilocks level (not too much, not too little but just right). I appreciate the Public House chef’s decision to sprinkle celery and carrot bits on the pizza. It’s especially nice because the Buffalo sauce and ranch make the flavor of the vegetables almost undetectable, but I still feel that I am eating healthy. Also, the crust that the pizza was on was absolutely phenomenal. It was crunchy and flaky and delicious. So, so, so good. Like, oh my gosh. Wow. So good. I loved it. Yum.

Also, shout out to Buffalo Chicken dip. What a great appetizer. I could eat that stuff forever.

To summarize, if you’re ever wondering whether or not you should order the Buffalo Chicken option wherever you are, I suggest you do it. In short, Buffalo Chicken is awesome. It’s an adaptable food that can be served on a sandwich, over fries, on a pizza, and surely on many future cuisines that have yet to be invented. Though you may put on a bit of weight if you over indulge in it, life is simply too short to not eat Buffalo Chicken.

Prep grad Matt Harris performing well at D1 level

Matt Harris is regarded at Cathedral Prep in recent history as a straight up baller and his high school and college résumé shows just that. He is part of the 1,000-point club at Prep and is in second place all-time in single game points with 40.

While attending Prep he averaged 30 minutes, 22.3 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game and was awarded team MVP and 3rd team all-state honors. He was the man within the walls of Prep, looked upon by small freshmen. After graduating from Prep in 2014, Matt chose to fulfill his dream of playing Division 1 college ball at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell.

At the university he studies business administration. Everyone knows that with great talent comes great responsibility, which is why Harris averaged 20.5 minutes freshman year coming off the bench. Also as a freshman, Harris recorded 13 double-figure scoring games and led the team in scoring in 6 different games.

These are fantastic stats for a freshman in college at any program. His two season college career stat totals are 512 points, 55 assists, while shooting 43.5 percent from the field and 83.9 percent from the free throw line, which is third all-time at UMass Lowell.

It is safe to say that Matt Harris has a bright future in basketball and in the classroom. The Rambler News, the
Cathedral Prep student body and staff all wish nothing but the best and are proud to have a Prep baller making a difference at the Division I level.

CYO: OLC sees mixed results without Matt Fessler

So far it’s been an average start to the season by the “Jude’s Dudes” of OLC, who have started the CYO season with the record of 2-2. The wins that they have had were great team wins, but when they lost, they truly looked out of sorts.

The team was already hurt going into the season because star player Matt Fessler suffered a torn ACL, which occurred in gym class. However, senior leadership was provided by Colin Williams who has been a major scoring lift to the team. Colin is a dangerous 3-point shooter known for raising a fist high in the air only before knocking down a deep 3.

Teammate and friend Evan Presta exclaimed, “Nothing is better than when Colin puts up the signature fist and hits a great shot! It pumps the team up and really gets us going.”

During the game against St. George game Colin rolled his ankle and was unable to play for the greater portion of the rest of the game. St. Jude’s suffered their second loss of the season. He was back the following week against OLP, but many speculated if his ankle would hold up. Colin had 12 points and an excellent defensive showing in the win over OLP.

Coach Matt Squeglia loves the way Colin plays and was quoted in a huddle saying, “Colin, I like the shooting out there and how you’re distributing the ball.” He also said after the game, “I love how [Colin] works hard on the court but still has tons of fun. This is what CYO is all about!”

I have to agree with Coach Matt. CYO is should definitely be more about fun and building friendships than sheer competition.

New Year, New New Year’s Resolutions

Working out, becoming organized, treating people nicer, eating healthy. These sayings are heard around this time of the new year by many people who are trying change for the better. A few weeks or so into 2017, most people probably have given up and abandoned their New Year’s resolution, while some are still keeping their promise and are making their resolutions reality. Throughout the halls of Cathedral Prep, many students and faculty made some of their own resolutions they would like to accomplish in this new year, take a look and see what people are trying to change about themselves this new year and the progress each person has made in striving to achieve their resolutions.

Kyle Burger, senior
Resolution: Drink less pop and soda because of the sugar.
Progress: “I have given up on my resolution because pop tastes great, and I couldn’t take not drinking it.”

Ryan Misko, senior
Resolution: Treat people with more respect.
Progress: “It’s been going all right. I feel like I have respected people’s opinions and what they believe in more. Also, I think my listening skills have increased and became better because of my resolution.”

Adam Ebach, junior
Resolution: Treat everyone equally.
Progress: “It’s coming along really well. People I know have seen a change in my attitude, and it is overall making me feel happier as a whole.”

Trey Dietrick, senior
Resolution: Go work out at the YMCA everyday.
Progress: “I’ve been going four or five days a week, which is pretty solid for the start. Hopefully I keep up in my efforts.”

After talking to the students around the school, there was a realization that was made. The overall consensus of the Prep community is that most of the students do not really want to have a resolution or do not believe in a New Year’s resolution specifically. “I do not believe that a person should change just because there is a new year coming about,” said senior Jarod Wallen.

This is why there weren’t many responses from the students because there were plainly not many students who had a resolution. Hopefully as the year progress more and more students and people as a whole will start anew in this new year and make their own New Year’s resolution.

NFL Super Bowl matchup to be determined on Sunday

The end of the 2016-17 NFL season is nearing an end with only four teams remaining for the chance to play in the biggest game in sports, the Super Bowl. Despite all the noise happening off the field, (the Chargers moving to Los Angeles, the Raiders moving to Las Vegas, etc.) the most exciting football is yet to be played. Let’s dive a little deeper into each matchup going into the conference championships and even ahead to the Super Bowl.

The Green Bay Packers and Atlanta Falcons will square off in the NFC Championship Sunday afternoon. The Packers are easily the hottest team in football, led by a quarterback in Aaron Rodgers, who is playing out of his mind right now. He is playing at a historic pace and looks to continue that this weekend. He also some help though as the offensive line is also one of the best in the business anchored by tackles David Bahktiari and Bryan Bulaga along with guard T.J. Lang. With Rodgers’ elite playmaking and scrambling skills paired with an overpowering offensive line, it will be nearly impossible to contain the Packers through the air. Ty Montgomery is also solid at running back and gives them some balance. The defense still needs some work, especially in the secondary, but the pass rush continues to improve. With a lot of veterans a that side of the ball, there is plenty of playoff experience.

The Packers will struggle on defense but will still run up the scoreboard on anyone. The Atlanta Falcons are no different. Matt Ryan is the front runner in the MVP race and has one of the best receivers in the game at his disposal in Julio Jones. They also have a two-headed monster in the backfield with Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. The offensive line is very balanced and has improved drastically from last year. The defense is led by second year Clemson product Vic Beasley Jr. He is one of the best edge pass rushers in the game with former Pro Bowler lining up opposite of him in Dwight Freeney. The secondary needs some help, but if the pass rush remains effective, the Falcons will be in good shape. This will be an absolute shootout in Atlanta come Sunday. Whoever can contain the opposing offense just enough will be making a trip to the Super Bowl.

In the AFC, the Patriots and Steelers will face off. This is a battle of two of the best quarterbacks who have ever played the game. Tom Brady looks to lead his team to another Super Bowl without his star tight end Rob Gronkowski. Brady looks better than ever however and it seems like there are no concerns in the New England locker room. Danny Amendola, Julian Edelman, Michael Floyd and Martellus Bennett are all available as well. The offensive line is the biggest concern for the AFC East powerhouse as they have struggled throughout this entire season. The defense is borderline elite and the secondary is as good as they come. Nobody prepares schemes quite like Bill Belichick and you can count on them being ready in every facet.

This is a very scary Steelers team. Big Ben is healthy and ready to go paired with Antonio Brown in the passing game. The offensive line is clicking on all cylinders right now to. However, the X factor in this one will be the running game. Le’Veon Bell. He has looked like a man among men thus far and will look to control the game on the ground. The defense is the big story with the Steelers as of late though as the pass rush has truly emerged and young defensive backs have stepped up. The Steelers have been a very streaky team and ride the momentum they have accumulated over past weeks.

It will be very interesting to see what happens over the next two weeks in preparation for the Super Bowl.

Donald J. Trump becomes 45th President of the United States of America

Amid all the pomp and circumstance, controversy, and discord surrounding it, history is indeed in the making. Earlier today, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, at approximately noon on the West Lawn of the United States Capitol Building, Donald John Trump recited the historical Oath of Office for the highest office in the land to officially become the 45th President of the United States of America.

In a presidential election that saw extreme name-calling, questioning of ability, heated debates on character and political prowess, not to mention widespread media hype and attention, Republican nominee, Donald Trump, defeated Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. It was only the fifth time in U.S. history when the winner in the electoral college lost the popular vote. Trump’s victory was solidified on election night, November 8, 2016. Now, two months later, his president-elect status changes to title of Mr. President around a flurry of inaugural festivities attended by both Trump supporters and protesters alike.

“Dream Big” and “Looking Forward” serve as the themes earmarked for the week-long activities attended by the 72-year-old Trump and his Vice President-elect, Republican Congressman, Michael Pence of Indiana.

The Chairman’s Global Dinner, a black-tie event set for Tuesday evening kicked off the week where Mr. Trump was formally introduced to foreign diplomats. On Thursday afternoon, Mr. Trump and Mr. Pence attended a solemn wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery followed by a welcoming celebration on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. It is here that Mr. Trump delivered his “Make America Great Again!” speech. Musical performances by various artists including country western star Toby Keith, soul singer Sam Moore, and rock band 3 Doors Down took place, finishing with a fireworks finale. These events were followed by the Liberty Ball on Thursday evening attended by Mr. Trump and his wife, Melania.

On Friday morning there was a prayer service at Saint John’s Episcopal Church, then a breakfast tea at the White House hosted by President and Mrs. Obama to start an Inauguration Day that predicted to be mild, overcast, and damp. The two couples then motorcaded to the platformed steps of the Capitol Building where the 58th inauguration commenced.

Following invocations and introductions of past presidents and congressional leaders, Vice President-elect Pence was sworn in by Associate Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Then, Donald J. Trump placed his hand on President Abraham Lincoln’s Bible along with a cherished family Bible and recited the oath administered by Chief Supreme Court Justice John Roberts to uphold the Office of the President of the United States of America. A brief first speech by the new President followed. The day also includes musical performances by the U.S. Marine Band, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and the singing of the national anthem by 16-year-old Jackie Evancho.

President Trump, Vice President Pence, and their spouses will then attend a Congressional Luncheon along with invited members of Congress, Supreme Court Justices, and Diplomats where toasts, speeches, and gifts will be exchanged. A parade from the Capitol  to the White House along Pennsylvania Avenue follows with the day ending with the President and First Lady making appearances at three inaugural balls scheduled throughout the evening. Saturday morning prayer services at the National Cathedral in Washington DC begins the day for President Trump. This is followed by his stepping into the Oval Office for the first time to assume the duties of President.

The festivities and events surrounding the Presidential Inauguration come with a hefty price tag. An expected $200 million of both taxpayers’ money and private donations is anticipated to be spent with the largest chunk earmarked for security throughout the week. With the work of more than 28,000 service personnel from various agencies, the closing of miles of streets, air space restrictions along with spectator checks and official inspections, security alone is expected to surpass $100 million. While always at a high-level, security for the 2017 Inauguration is especially strict riding on the heels of the number of planned protests, boycotts, and ever-seeming controversy surrounding Donald Trump’s election.

According to an ABC News and Washington Post poll, Trump is the most unpopular president-elect in forty years. His approval rating of only 40% is the lowest of the last seven incoming presidents. And, it is not only the public sector that is showing their disapproval for Mr. Trump. At least sixty Democratic lawmakers intend to boycott Friday’s inauguration following the lead of Georgia Congressman and Civil Rights activist Joe Louis. Louis and Trump have a heated past with Louis calling Trump an “illegitimate president” and Trump countering by describing Louis as “all talk and no action.” Entertainers such as Elton John, Katy Perry, and Celine Dion, along with various designers and left-wing activists are also on the boycott/protest bandwagon by either refusing to perform, declining requests, or joining in demonstrations showing their opposition for everything Trump. One million protesters are expected not only in Washington DC but in all 50 states and in 32 countries across the globe.

Regardless if there are more jeers than cheers or cheers than jeers, the fact remains that history is indeed in the making. Donald J. Trump is now the 45th President of the United States of America and takes his place among the iconic names of past presidents such as George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, John Adams, John F. Kennedy, and Richard Nixon to name just a few. Trump’s reign begins January 20, 2017 under Article II, Section I of the Constitution with the words of not only an oath but of a promise…

“I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of United States.”

Bagwell, Raines, Rodríguez named to Hall of Fame

On Wednesday, the Baseball Hall of Fame’s Class of 2017 was announced. This year the induction will feature three highly regarded stars of Major League Baseball: Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, and Ivan “Pudge” Rodriquez. The trio will be walking down the sidewalks of Cooperstown this coming July.

Bagwell, former first baseman of the Houston Astros, holds a career .292 batting average, 449 home runs, and 1,529 RBI. Along with Bagwell’s towering numbers as a slugger, he was fifth to reach 300 home runs, 1,000 RBI and 1,000 runs scored in his first ten seasons in the Major Leagues. Bagwell was voted the National League Rookie of the Year in 1991. He then won the National League’s Most Valuable Player in 1994. Bagwell was a four-time MLB All-Star, claimed a Silver Slugger three times, and holds a Gold Glove.

Tim Raines, who is known for the 13 seasons he spent with the Montreal Expos, was a left fielder. Raines had a success-filled career, as his biggest number known was the amount of bases Raines stole. Raines carries 808 career stolen bases with him entering Cooperstown, putting him fifth on the list of all-time stolen base leaders. Not only did Raines steal bases, but he squared the ball up well, with a lifetime .294 average, 170 home runs, and 980 RBI.

Ivan Rodríguez won 13 Gold Gloves as a catcher. He played 21 Major League seasons for the Texas Rangers, Florida Marlins, Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees, Houston Astros, and Washington Nationals.  Along with 13 Gold Gloves in his trophy case, Rodríguez also won the 2003 World Series when he was with the Florida Marlins. Rodríguez was also awarded the American League MVP award in 1999. One of the best defensive catchers in the history of the game, Ivan Rodríguez is going to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Theses three players had outstanding careers that cannot be taken away. Three well-known former stars of the Major Leagues, Bagwell, Raines, and Rodríguez will be inducted into the best group of players ever known in the game of baseball. The induction takes place on July 28-31, 2017.

NHS Blood Drive a success

On Thursday, Jan. 12, some students decided to put their own comfort and well-being aside by donating blood to help the Community Blood Bank. Run by NHS (National Honor Society) students were given the chance to help the community and save lives.

“I think it’s an incredible opportunity for these young men to help and learn the importance and impact this event has,” said Mrs. Slaby who helped organize this event. “That’s why we always try to hold these multiple times per year.” Although 78% of the schools population was involved in a winter sport, 28 students were able to donate blood at this year’s drive.

Students who may have gotten queasy or can’t give blood at the time of the blood drive were happily invited to help work the sign-up sheets and front table. Rob Harris, an NHS member who helped run the lunch sign-up table with fellow classmate and member Nick Gavio talked about his experience. “Although I wasn’t able to give blood this time around, I’m glad I was still able to participate, while also feeling like I helped make a difference.”

This blood drive was critically important for the Community Blood Bank as they are running on a large shortage of blood at this time. The blood bank, which serves over 21 different hospitals, is a key lifeline for patients who enter through their doors. The blood is used for routine surgeries, as well as patients who have been involved in more critical accidents that require a life-saving procedure.

As vital as a resource as this is for hospitals and patients around the country, many haven’t given donating blood into consideration. Only a dismal 2% of the American population has given blood at some point in their lives. “I don’t think many people understand how much of a necessity this is for the general health of the public,” said Dr. Steve Oljeski.

Many are detoured from donating because of fear or anxiety that comes with the procedure. On average the procedure takes only 6-8 minutes and patients are made as comfortable as possible. The chairs can be reclined as well as food, drink, and ice cold towels are provided to keep them comfortable.

“It wasn’t as bad as I thought I was going to be,” said Sam Purchase. “I made sure to look away and it was over before I knew it.”

The Community Blood Banks visits over 40 high schools in the Erie area as well down into Cambridge Springs district to get donors to try to keep up with the demand. So if you ever have a chance to donate blood, or when the Blood Bank comes back to Prep, take a moment to think about the impact you could make on others for less than 10 minutes of your time.