Mike Vick retires from NFL

Mike Vick was the number one overall pick in the first round of the 2001 NFL Draft out of Virginia Tech. He brought a unique style to the game with insane speed and pinpoint throwing accuracy. His pro day combine speed in 2001 was 4.33 seconds in the 40-yard dash, which is a Madden speed rating of 97, in more understandable terms.

Picking the Falcons in any of the early 2000s Madden games meant an elite scrambling offense driven by the abilities of Vick. He threw for 22,464 yards and rushed for 6,109 yards in his career. He was selected to the Pro Bowl four times. Vick is also the only QB in NFL history to reach 1,000 rushing yards in a single season. Mike Vick made some spectacular plays that will go down in history.

Vick noticed his career coming to end after small talks with the Vikings to play QB fell through last season. At this point he was a 36-year-old 2nd string QB quickly approaching the end. Teddy Bridgewater, the starter, was injured and no call came. Instead the Vikings signed Sam Bradford. Vick saw this as a good point to retire from football after 15 years.

In my mind, Mike Vick revolutionized the mobile QB role in the modern NFL era. Thank you, Mike Vick for entertaining me on TV for many awesome years. You will be missed.

Lent brings more opportunities for students

Since the Ash Wednesday mass was celebrated in the Cathedral, and Catholics have made their promises to abstain from meat on Fridays, and, perhaps, have given up something they enjoy to honor Christ giving his life, this season’s meaning take us much deeper.

Since the start of this Lenten season, Campus Ministry, along with Father Jason, and the students and faculty of Prep, have embraced this holy season. As Easter approaches and we prepare to celebrate, many are taking time to reflect on what really matters. Prep junior Patrick Reim said, “I really enjoy the emphasis on getting to mass before school. It allows me a moment of calm in a hectic school day.”

Mass is held every morning in the chapel on the third floor. Confessions are offered after school and a school-wide confession session was offered last week to help prepare students’ minds and souls for the fast-approaching Holy Week ending on Easter Sunday.

Along with attending mass, daily prayers are becoming a lot more important to everyone as well. “I can definitely see a change in my students. Prayer before class is becoming much more of a focal point, and it’s nice to see that,” said junior English teacer Mrs. Vomero.

If group prayers aren’t your style, the chapel next to the lunch room is open all day for private prayer. Many students and faculty alike  go there to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet, a famous prayer seen in a vision by St. Faustina. It’s prayed on the holy rosary and is one of the most peaceful, powerful, and easy to learn prayers.”

“I love [the Divine Mercy Chaplet], said Spanish teacher Miss McElhinny. :It’s very repetitive, but while you’re saying it you are taken much deeper. It shows how God will never turn his back on us.”

So as we take this Lenten journey by ourselves and as a school remember in the busyness of our lives and the corruption of our world that the church and Cathedral Prep are a shining sanctuary of good and God.

Jerry Roberts 2016 Season Review

Senior linebacker Jerry Roberts was a key component on the Rambler defense during Cathedral Prep’s state championship run this season. Jerry plays with intense determination, and his passion for the game is unmatched. In my mind, he is an NFL bound player, but I’ll get into my reasons for that later. Here are the stats to prove his potential and current talent: 93 total tackles, 2 interceptions, 60 solo tackles, a spot on the 2017 team PA, 2x first team all state, 2 touchdowns, and 11 Division I offers.

Jerry has committed to play Division I football at Bowling Green State University in the fall of 2017. However, I believe his career won’t end after college. I say this because of his size, passion for the game, and coachability.

Jerry is 6″2′, 232 lbs and runs a 4.72 40-yard dash after running 5.0 during his junior year. This is exactly the type of kid that develops into a beast in college. After lifting, speed training and some minutes as an underclassman in college he could be one of the next best linebackers in the country. Secondly, he has passion for the game. The love Jerry has for football will forever give him the energy and hustle it takes to be great.

“I will do whatever it takes to make it to the next level,” he said. This determination is key to consistently getting better. Jerry explained to me that every successful football player at all levels of the sport has to be coachable. However, Jerry feels he stands out from a lot of other Division I recruits. He explained, “My passion drives me all the time, and I also get better from being able to improve from constructive criticism.”

Lastly, Jerry has a good head on his shoulders, which is a stat that can’t be recorded. A player having their priorities straight can make or break a football career. So often athletes go to college, party too hard, lose track of priorities or commitments, and are no longer able to play. Jerry credits his good behavior to his upbringing by his father. He also sees the greater picture of football.

“I see the future of myself and where I want to be in my head,” he said. “This drives me to act straight in the present to keep on improving.”

Jerry is a great football player and an even better person. I can say on behalf of myself that the The Rambler wishes Jerry the best of luck in college, and we expect great things.

SmokePurpp: A Key Component in the “New Wave”

Music is such a huge part of teen culture in America, and interests have peaked within the hip hop and rap community. SoundCloud, iTunes rap, and Hip Hip Plays are through the roof. Names like Lil Uzi, Famous Dex, and Lil Yachty are just a few of the young rappers making major impacts on the game. However, a slightly less known rapper from Broward County, Florida, has emerged onto the rap game. His name is SmokePurpp. SmokePurpp is a major rapper on the Florida underground trap scene. Other names coming from Florida in the recent past have been Denzel Curry, Kodak Black, XXXTENTACION and Lil Pump, who is good friends with SmokePurpp. Lil Pump is also from Broward County. Lil Pump and SmokePurpp form a rap group known as Gucci Gang. At such a young age their success has been very impressive and the years ahead are looking very bright.

SmokePurpp is on track to be on the 2017 Freshmen XL class, which is basically XXL Magazine picking out the rap game’s brightest new stars.  Every year they interview rappers, give them exposure, form alliances with other young rappers, and finally they have a freestyle that always goes viral.

This type of exposure is going to boost SmokePurpp’s career, and I believe he has the potential to be America’s next best thing.

I recommend checking his music out if you are really interested in this type of music. In my opinion, he is a great artist on the come up. Therefore, take a chance and check him out!

Cathedral Prep swimming comes up short in state title run

This past weekend in Lewisburg, Pa, at Bucknell University, the Cathedral Prep swim team took to the pool one last time in the 2016-2017 swim season. After months of hard work and dedication the D-10 champions were on the hunt for their first ever team state title in school history. After weather delays and closed highways the PIAA AA Boys State Meet was moved back a day and was now timed finals instead of a prelims finals format.

On the first day the Ramblers were looking strong after the first event, winning the boys 200-yard medley relay. A DQ by the winning team bumped the Ramblers up to the top of the podium where they were able to claim the gold.

In the 200 freestyle two different Prep swimmers madethe podium, Tony Squeglia finishing fourth and Alec Thomas seventh picking up valuable points.

In the 200 IM Ethan Neff, Calvin Behm, and JP Stark all failed to make the podium but picked up points with Behm’s 13th place finish and Ethan Neff’s 16th place swim.

In the 50 free the Ramblers picked up no points but Thomas Uht picked up a 24th place finish.

In the 100 fly, no points were picked up either. Matt Wegley and Robbie Maholic finished 25th and 29th, respectively.

In the 200 freestyle relay Prep came in second, losing to only a state record winning time with the team of Alec Thomas, Jake Schmidt, Thomas Uht, and Tony Squeglia.

Coming into the second day the Ramblers were down a whole handful of points put were still ready for a fight. Starting off on the second day Tony Squeglia highlighted the 100 free for Prep with a 13th place swim.

In the 500 free Alec Thomas came in touching tenth and picked up more valuable points for the team.

The 100 back was a great race with freshman Ethan Neff nabbing a fourth place finish and a spot on the podium.

In the 100 breast Calvin Behm and JP Stark both finished outside of the top 16 as Prep blanked for points in that event.

In the final relay, the 400 freestyle the D-10 record holding team finished in fourth place with Alec Thomas, Jake Schmidt, Thomas Uht, and Tony Squeglia.

The Prep swim team came up a few points shy of first and, without divers, the team would stay in second place.

“Although this is not what we wanted, I’m still proud of all the boys. It was a great season,” said head Coach Mike Doyle. The Ramblers will be hanging up their suits and goggles until next fall when they will start the journey all over

Fourth quarter of 2016-17 school year begins

It’s hard to believe, but the fourth and final quarter of the school year has begun. Most students can agree that this school year has gone by very fast. This year was full of success from the football state championship to the musical Footloose to the wrestling team overcoming odds to, most importantly, being a Rambler.

As the days of summer vacation inch closer, the seniors are getting their last taste of Cathedral Prep. Many seniors are excited to leave and go off to college, but they are guaranteed to miss their time at Prep after they are gone for awhile. Why does Prep leave such a huge impact on the students? The brotherhood at this school is unmatched. Although sometimes it is hard to notice it, it’s always there.

The junior class will be entering their final year at Prep. It’s a scary thought. In just over a year, juniors will be going off to college themselves. This year has been the toughest so far for many students. With the amount of homework, tests, and of course the SAT, this year has been stressful, but the year is almost done, so keep working hard this last quarter.

Sophomores will be the juniors next year. Two years down and two more to go. Sophomore year is definitely not one to take lightly. Next year will be even harder. Continue to work hard, get good grades, and do what you love. Encourage your younger classmates to reach nothing but their full potential.

Lastly, the freshman. Step up next year and set an example for the incoming freshman. You were freshman this year, and you know what it was like to be the new kids of the building. Make the freshmen feel welcome and motivate them to do great in everything.

Even though this year has been stressful with all of the work, tests, and SAT, it has been a great year so far. Our school has experienced so much success and will continue to do just that.

iPad App Review: Ultimate Tag

The new game everyone seems to be playing now is Ultimate Tag. This game is a very fun and playable with others. You have to be in-person to play with others, but it is well worth your shared time.

The game has the same rules as if it were actual tag in physical form. This game features up to four players and it only involves one finger. Every person has a joystick in their own corner, and that is also where their character starts out.

In the free version, you start out in the whereabouts of the woods. You can hide in the trees, but you have to be really sneaky about it. You can pick between classic or reverse. If you are playing with four people, classic would mean one person is “it,” chasing the others. If the game mode was turned to reverse then three people would be chasing the one person left out, and if you are one of the three people to tag him, then you become that person.

You can also adjust the minutes from 1-10. Another feature added in the game is the “It Assist,” which helps out the person who is “it” by running faster than the rest of the players so they are not it for long. This makes the game go by quicker because less than 10 seconds at least, you will be tagging someone different. Once you tag someone in this game, a shield/bubble will be around your character for a maximum of 2 seconds. No player can tag you when this bubble is up because it gives you a chance to get away from who you just tagged. I really like this feature because without it the game would be too easy when you get tagged.

The in-app purchases for the game includes freeze tag and many more maps, such as House, Park, and Farm. This purchase only costs $1.99. People at Cathedral Prep have bought the added features, and it is very fun as you can play a fast paced exciting game that will not get boring. I highly recommend this game if you and your friends are bored.

Sesame Street introduces its first autistic character

The famous television series Sesame Street is introducing a new character to its viewers. This character will be the closest to our hearts because they carry something in common with people in this world. This one character can easily put a smile on someone’s face just by knowing about them. For a TV series that has been around for a while, to add a character like this, means a lot.

The new character, Julia, is a 4-year-old Muppet with autism. Yes, Sesame Street has added a character with autism. It is heartwarming to have such a character with an impact in their lives that viewers can relate to and feel for. Many parents have already discussed this topic on social media about how this decision showed so much respect for families. The biggest impact was for the parents with autistic kids. They felt that it was about time for a children’s series like Sesame Street to include this in their show with respect instead of making fun of them.

“Bringing Julia to life as a Sesame Street Muppet is the centerpiece of all of our new materials to support families of children with autism,” said Sherrie Westin, Sesame Workshop’s exec VP of global impact and philanthropy. “The response from the autism community to ‘See Amazing in All Children’ has been extraordinary, and we are committed to continuing our efforts to promote understanding and acceptance of autism, as part of our mission of helping all children grow smarter, stronger, and kinder.”

Episodes including Julia will begin airing April 10 on both PBS and HBO. Stay tuned!

Is President Trump’s golf game affecting his presidency?

Golf is a sport very popular around the world and very popular for past Commanders in Chiefs to play often. Recently, President Donald Trump, owner of many golf and country clubs around the world, has spent much of his early presidency at his clubs and has been seen playing golf at least twelve times in his first few months in office.

The 45th president has gone through much scrutiny and media attention in his first two months of his presidency. From the Muslim travel ban to a proposed new health care plan, Trump has been in the spotlight. To escape all the attention, Trump has visited and spent full days at his Trump National golf clubs in Florida. According the Washington Post, Trump has spent around 1/3 of his early presidential term at his country clubs. Many have criticized Trump for his golfing habit, especially after his comments last August about President Obama’s golfing habit and how he “won’t have time to golf” during his presidency.

In Trump’s defense, he has used the game to talk business and to make deals before his presidency as a businessman. During his presidency he has also done this by bringing foreign leaders out to the course like Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and celebrities like professional golfer Rory McIlroy, who also received scrutiny for playing with the President. Press Secretary Sean Spicer was in defense of Trump and his golf game when he said, “You saw him utilize this as an opportunity with Prime Minister Abe to help foster deeper relationships … in Asia and have a growing relationship that’s going to help U.S. interests… How you use the game of golf is something that he’s talked about.”

The affect of Trump’s golf game on his presidency has yet to be truly seen, but it will be interesting to see if this can cause more controversy in the future of his term. One thing is for sure certain is that Trump will continue to golf and the media will continue to criticize him and is presidency from now to the foreseeable future.

2017 Final Four field features three unfamiliar teams and one mainstay

What a year it has been in college basketball. The month of April will begin with much excitement and anticipation surrounding it. The next two games will be taking place on April 1, as #7 South Carolina takes on #1 Gonzaga at 6:09 p.m. followed by the 8:49 p.m. game between #3 Oregon and #1 North Carolina. Here’s a look at this year’s Final Four.

South Carolina vs. Gonzaga

Where did all the pre-Tournament criticism go about Gonzaga not being able to keep up with power conference teams and weren’t deserving of a #1 seed in this year’s tournament? The Bulldogs have showed themselves worthy as one of the elite and most consistent programs in the country led by head coach Mark Few. Gonzaga has proven winners on their squad, headlined by 5th year senior, 7’1″ Przemek Karnowski, who holds the most wins by any individual player in college basketball.

Pair him with versatile Missouri transfer Johnathan Williams at the 4 and skilled, 7’0″ McDonald’s All-American Zach Collins off the bench and this is an NBA-caliber front court. This team is far from one dimensional, however. Bleacher Report All-American point guard and WCC player of the year Nigel Williams-Goss leads the Zag’s attack. Rising sophomore Josh Perkins and another 5th year senior, transfer Jordan Mathews, rounds out the starting five.

Silas Melson has been a key component off the bench as of late, contributing in bunches while Killian Tillie out of France will continue to be a part of the Zags frontcourt rotation. This team boasts perimeter shooting, an elite defense, unreal size, offensive balance and plenty of experience and should make for a tough out anywhere in the tournament.

The Gamecocks on the other hand lack the star power and elite size that Gonzaga possesses, but they do have a lot of momentum coming into this matchup. The hottest team in the nation brings defensive tenacity, hustle and an all-SEC first-teamer to every game. Senior Sindarius Thornwell has long been a handful on the offensive end but has been overlooked due to the irrelevance of South Carolina basketball over his career. He is now the focal point of a Final Four team. He’s not alone, however, as his back court mates are also very solid.

Duane Notice is a terrific outside shooter from the wing while former McDonald’s All-American P.J. Dozier can get it done from all over the court, most of the time acting as the team’s point guard despite being listed at 6’6″. Here’s where it gets tricky and potentially fatal for South Carolina as their forwards are still a big question mark. Outside of Chris Silva, the Gamecocks really struggle finding consistency from any of their bigs. They play within themselves, however, and compete as a team. It seems like someone new steps up every game and plays a key role for the Gamecocks that no one expects to, and adds to the true feel of thrill and shock that college basketball is all about. Overall, South Carolina is performing at an all time high right now and play the kind of frenetic defense that teams simply can’t prepare for and struggle mightily against.

Oregon vs. North Carolina

All year, Oregon looked as if they were poised for a run at the national championship. That was before a season ending injury to their starting center and leading shot blocker Chris Boucher deep in the Pac-12 tournament sidelined him the rest of the way. Then the doubts began to emerge. Oregon still had plenty of pieces to make a run and did just that though, making their first Final Four appearance since 1939. Jordan Bell stepped up big time and replaced Boucher while star forward Dillon Brooks shifted over to the 4 spot. The Ducks’ small-ball lineup has proved to be a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses. Perhaps the biggest reason the Ducks are where they are is because of sophomore guard Tyler Dorsey, who has come up clutch in big moments down the stretch and has been simply putting on a show.

Senior point guard Dylan Ennis brings experience along with a knack for scoring and the ability to facilitate. Both Payton Pritchard and Casey Benson have been playing increasingly valuable minutes due to the Boucher injury and will continue to get consistent playing time as the Ducks keep utilizing smaller lineups. Freshman Keith Smith also has seen the court since Boucher went down and will look to make more of an impact. With the way Oregon has torn teams up from the perimeter due to their adjusted lineup and Dorsey having been on fire, the Ducks don’t have their mind set on going home any time soon.

North Carolina brings everything you could possibly want from a national championship contender to the table- experience. Four key players return from their national championship appearance last year. The Tar Heels have size, continuity, chemistry, scoring ability, and defensive consistency. They are led by junior small forward Justin Jackson and point guard Joel Berry. Jackson is able to elevate over defenders to get his shot off with his long 6’8″ frame and an NBA ready jump shot that has really blossomed this season. Berry is exactly what you want in a point guard as he brings a coach like presence to the floor along with his leadership, outstanding court vision and the ability to also take over games scoring the ball as well.

Although those two will be getting the majority of the attention, the Tar Heels quietly have one of the best supporting casts in the country. Kennedy Meeks and Isiah Hicks cause havoc for opponents on the glass. Meeks is able to highlight his mobility that is rarely seen with players his size (260 lbs) to dominate the boards while Hicks is more of an athlete who gets by with his energy and savvy. Tony Bradley, a 5-star freshman, also is capable of running the floor and taking over games from the post. However, the x-factor in the frontcourt throughout the entire tournament has been sophomore Luke Maye. Although undersized at 6’7″ and lacking elite athleticism, Maye brings a great perimeter jump shot and very useful floor stretching abilities off the bench,  showcased by his game winning shot vs. Kentucky in the Elite Eight. Nate Britt provides depth and a veteran’s mentality while Theo Pinson adds athleticism. The Tar Heels are as good of a team as there is in college basketball and are a scary matchup.