Warriors, Cavs set to meet in third straight NBA Finals

History will be made this Thursday as the Cleveland Cavaliers will take the court against the Golden State Warriors for the third consecutive year in the NBA Finals. This is arguably the most anticipated championship series that the league has ever witnessed. It features the reigning world champions, led by the best player of this generation (and perhaps of all-time) in LeBron James. Golden State on the other hand has four All-Stars (including two-time MVP, Stephen Curry), the best regular season record (which was accomplished last season), the greatest 3-point arsenal ever, and the addition of another former MVP, Kevin Durant. The Warriors are the heavy favorites heading into Game 1.

Amid all the criticism of LeBron James throughout his career (not loyal, complains too much to officials, lack of production in clutch moments, etc.), he has proven to be a consistent threat to the legacy of Michael Jordan. This will be his 7th straight NBA Finals appearance, and he looks to add a fourth ring to his collection. After his decision to return home to Northeast Ohio, James promised to take the city of Cleveland back to the promise land. After losing to the Warriors in the Finals in 2015, Lebron came through and delivered the Cavaliers their first title, defeating the Warriors last year in 7 games. LeBron put on a dazzling show in the Finals last year averaging 29.7 points, 11.3 rebounds, 8.9 assists, 2.6 steals, and 2.3 blocks per game while shooting 49.4 percent from the floor, 37.1 percent from 3-point range, and 72.1 percent from the free throw line. He has the ability to completely take over games on both ends of the floor and overfill every stat column possible. As long as LeBron is on the floor, it is hard to imagine anyone else being considered a favorite.

Despite LeBron James’s sheer greatness, he needs some help, right? Thankfully for him, Kyrie Irving is still right by his side along with Kevin Love, who happens to be having the best year of his career. Kyrie has shown time and time again that he is the best ball handler that this league may have ever seen. He can get to the rim at will due to his sublime quickness while also shooting .401 from 3-point range. He is a handful to say the least. Love will be asked to be a physical presence along with bringing his valuable floor-spreading ability. Complementary players such as J.R. Smith, Kyle Korver, and Channing Frye will be depended on to stroke the 3, and veterans Deron Williams and Richard Jefferson also bring experience off the bench. Lastly, Tristan Thompson is the classic glue guy on this roster. He brings tenacious rebounding and defensive versatility to a frontcourt that is in dire need of both those skills. Iman Shumpert will be asked to contribute defensively.

The Warriors carry a potent attack on both ends of the floor. Many overlook Golden State on defense, but that is in fact where they do the most damage. They finished second overall on defense this season and were first last year. They have the personnel to match up with literally anybody…on any team…on any court…under any conditions. The defense is anchored by Draymond Green. Standing only 6’7″ tall, Green has the toughness and grit to bang with NBA bigs. He can shoot the ball, put it on the ground and attack the rim, and pass. He is virtually another guard out on the floor for Golden State that allows them to employ virtually any lineup they feel gives them the greatest edge. Klay Thompson is a fellow All-Star that is an assassin from behind the arc. He is another player in this series that is capable of catching fire and can flip the game in his team’s direction. Being the high volume shooter that he is, he still is a terrific defender who also stands at 6’7″ and causes matchup problems for his opposition.

The NBA is a league of stars. If a team lacks star power, chances are, they probably won’t get to far, especially when it comes to the playoffs. The Warriors won’t have to worry about that anytime soon as they show up to each game knowing they have two MVPs at their disposal. Stephen Curry was the league’s first unanimous MVP last season. He is one of the most deadly shooters that has ever played in the league. He brings swagger, confidence, and lots of points to every contest. His partner in crime is Kevin Durant. Durant left Oklahoma City surrounded by many questions and criticisms, but he has nonetheless made a new home in the bay area. He unquestionably fits with what the Warriors want to do and that is score…a lot. Andre Iguodala comes off the bench as a great role player, and although he may have lost a step and is often injured, he is still an elite perimeter defender. The Warriors are incredibly deep as Zaza Pachulia, Javale McGee, David West, and James Michael McAdoo all can rotate in on the block. Additionally, Shaun Livingston brings extreme height and experience to the point guard position countered by Ian Clark’s 3-point shooting. Lastly, Matt Barnes brings plenty of playoff experience along with great perimeter defense and versatility to the small forward position.

Look for this year’s NBA Finals to be crazy and more unique then in the past. Not only have both teams had their eyes on each other from the word go, but there is some bad blood and unfinished business to be dealt with more than ever before this season as these teams face each other for the third straight season to determine the champion.

DeMarco Brothers win 2nd straight State Title

Brothers Joe DeMarco and Matt DeMarco along with Alec Thomas took the five-hour drive down to Herhsey Thursday afternoon to compete in the PIAA Tennis Tournament, held at the Herhsey Racquet Club, which hosted the PIAA Team Tennis Tournament just the week before. Joe and Matt DeMarco made their way into the state draw by dropping only a handful of games at the District 10 Championship against McDowell’s number one team. Alec Thomas advanced to Hershey by defeating Sebastian Carrillo 6-1, 6-1 in the D-10 final.

The opening round pitted Dylan Tull of Cedar Crest High School versus Alec Thomas. In doubles the DeMarco brothers faced Dante Falcucci and JT Mullins from Hershey. The brothers made quick work of the hometown team, dispatching then in straight sets 6-1, 6-3. Alec Thomas made the most of his court time as he jumped to a quick 4-0 lead over Tull before losing 6 straight to lose the first set. A quick comeback during the two-hour match left Alec Thomas on top 4-6, 6-2, 6-1.

In the second round, the DeMarco’s cruised to an even easier victory defeating Greg Zlobinsky and Isaac Rockower from Abington 6-1, 6-0. Alec Thomas fell to senior and college commit Matt Chen 6-1, 6-4. Chen would go on to win the bronze.

In the semifinals Joe and Matt battled hard against Xandy Hammitt and Clay Gaieski who represented Strath Haven 6-1, 6-3. They now had only one more match to claim the gold. Coaches, parents, teammates, and friends gathered to watch the duo make history. Bryan Szyana and Danny Katz from Upper Dublin felt the full wrath of the speed and shot-making the DeMarco brothers could so easily produce. They cruised on service games and frequently broke the UD Team.

A 6-1, 6-2 victory on a service forced error gave the DeMarco brothers their second PIAA Gold in two years. “We played great, and we worked together well. It was important because we played as one,” said Matt DeMarco shortly after their win. Joe, a rising senior, and Matt a rising junior look to be back at the state tournament in coming years.

Miami Hurricanes baseball team defeats Georgia Tech

This past Tuesday, two highly regarded college baseball programs took the field in Louisville, Kentucky to compete for the ACC Championship.  The Hurricanes of Miami and the Yellow Jackets of Georgia Tech played 13 innings of nail-biting baseball.

The drama all started in the first inning when Miami outfielder Michael Burns hit a solo home run to left field to give the Canes an early 1-0 lead.  The Yellow Jackets had some sugar in their back pockets.  Answering right back in the top of the third inning, the Jackets scored two runs of their own.

That all changed though when junior Hunter Tackett stepped to the plate. With the bases loaded, Tackett hammered the ball to left center field for a grand slam, putting the Canes up 5-4. The fifth inning rolled around, and Georgia Tech added another run to tie the game up at five apiece. Andrew Cabezas came on in relief in the seventh inning.

The game went back and forth with neither team scoring throughout extra innings. That was until the bottom of the thirteenth inning came around. Senior third baseman Edgar Michelangeli walked, and senior first baseman Chris Barr singled up the middle, which brought catcher Joe Gomez to the plate.  With one out and runners on first and second, Gomez laced a single through the right side of the field to give Miami the 6-5 victory. Andrew Cabezas struck out 10 Georgia Tech hitters while earning the victory to move him to a record of 5-3.

The University of Miami baseball program has made the NCAA Tournament 44 consecutive years. They need two wins, and most likely three, to receive a berth into the tournament, but the Canes aren’t giving up. With the big win Tuesday afternoon, the Canes must carry their energy over into Friday morning, where they will face off against 16th-ranked Wake Forest at Slugger Field in Louisville, Kentucky.

Class of 2017 closes out year with senior retreat

The Class of 2017 senior retreat took place at the Peek n’ Peak Resort this year on May 23. This senior retreat was focused on bringing brothers closer and closer as a class. Students first started off by playing corn hole with each other while others were writing appreciation cards to teachers of their choice. While this was going on, students were available to go to confessions. Students were split into four groups by last names, which made it an even better event since they don’t always hang out with people in the same last name categories.

The Peak is known for many things, but during the spring/summer time, the ropes course is open. This ropes course was taken on by the senior class. There were plenty of instructors to help us out in the gear and instruct us on how to perform well on the course. Obviously, there are daredevils in this senior class that are taken on the hardest course in the trees. I myself went on the easy one and was freaking out. I thought I was going to die numerous times since I’m scared of heights. But, this was a day I can’t get in the future, so I decided to be bold and face a couple fears that most people did that day.

The senior class were all over the ropes course, flying on a zip line and everything. After a couple hours of the course, the senior class went to lunch. This lunch consisted of pasta, pizza, pop, and one cookie of your choice. The meal was pretty good. Then leaving the lunch area, students could do whatever they wanted for some time.

My friends and I, started a football game on the concrete. No one got hurt, and it was a very fun game. After that students just sat around, played frisbee, threw the football, or played some more cornhole. Some people even went back up on the ropes course. Shortly after this, mass was the last step. A very well-organized mass in the gazebo performed by Prep’s campus minister Father Jason. For as loud and crazy as the students were during the day, it was a very respectful time at mass. I don’t know if it was just because everyone was tired, but we were quiet for once.

This was one of the last times we have with our senior class and the day went better than planned.

Senior’s wish to bring dog to school granted

After a long wait, senior Brian Buseck was finally able to bring his dog into school. A long while back, during Catholic Schools Week, Prep was granting wishes that students made. Many wishes have been granted since, such as Collin Irwin getting a big hug from legendary math teacher and assistant football coach Mr. Czytuck. The one wish everyone was waiting for though was for Brian to bring in his dog to school. His dog Tucker is a very cute golden doodle.

Ever since Brian was little he has been a huge fan of dogs. He says that they are “very cute” and “put him in a happy mood.” Sometimes he even just looks up pictures on google to put himself in a good mood. I think this is how everybody felt May 22, 2017, when Brian brought his dog in.

All day Tucker has just been going from class to class with Brian as if he were a student at Cathedral Prep. Because Tucker is 11 years old and a dog, he sadly he cannot attend Prep full time. Maybe in a couple of years Prep will open a school for dogs or at least allow more dogs to visit.

Many students agree the presence of more dogs would make them more comfortable and happy. Tucker, or “The Tuckster,” as he is affectionately know, has been a really good boy all day. He usually just sits next to Brian and gets petted by a few people. He also has been able to go outside a couple of times to go to the bathroom.

All in all, Tucker was well-liked at Prep and made the students he encountered happy with a few exceptions, such as fellow senior Roman Zegarelli, who said he wanted to “throw hands with this dog.”

Brian responded, “Please do not hit my dog.”

Thankfully, no one did, and Tucker finished out his day at Cathedral Prep peacefully after having made one of the seniors’ final days a little brighter.

Three moments to remember from the 2016-2017 school year

1. The Cathedral Prep Football Team wins their third state championship in comeback style. Nothing more could be said but “wow!” for what the Cathedral Prep football team did to beat the state power and huge favorite Imhotep Charter 27-20. After being down the whole game, going into the third quarter things looked bleak for the Ramblers. They were down 20-6 until an interception for a touchdown by Terry Roberts and a touchdown pass by State Player of the Year Joe Mischler to Tyler Odekoven gave the Ramblers the lead and the win. In one of the biggest moments and greatest football games in all of Cathedral Prep’s long history, the football team’s upset win is this school year’s biggest moment.

2. The rise of #BeADog and Ian Malesiewski and James Conner’s connection highlighted the year. The Cathedral Prep community and the whole Erie community was rocked and shaken when junior Ian Malesiewski injured his spinal cord and became paralyzed during a wrestling meet. During this saddening time, the Cathedral Prep community rose to the occasion by helping his family in many ways but also by spreading awareness via the #BeADog that was spread throughout all outlets of social media. This hashtag gained the attention of Pitt football player and local star James Conner who during this time was fighting cancer. Conner, who recently was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers, visited Ian in the hospital and during his recovery to help and just be there for him. While Ian has made many strides, the Community of Erie and everyone is rooting for him to get well soon and to #BeADog.

3. The first ever mayoral debate held at Cathedral Prep was hosted by a group of Cathedral Prep students. Members of Prep’s debate team organized two debates for the Mayoral Candidates for the Republican and Democratic parties. Held in early May, the candidates went through rigorous and tough questions that were focused on the education, economy, crime and the overall well-being of the city where not only our school is located but many students and their families live. It was great to get to know the candidates and their stances better thanks to our own Cathedral Prep brothers.

Class of 2017 enjoys Senior Breakfast

The Senior Breakfast at Cathedral Prep has been a tradition for quite some time now. On Wednesday, May 17, the seniors had their Senior Breakfast. This breakfast was a time of gathering together over some solid foods to socialize, as well as a brief talk from Advancement and Father Jabo.

The seniors got to eat eggs, potatoes, sausage, fruit, a muffin, and a drink. The fruit bowls were a nice assortment of summer melons as well as pineapple and grapes. The potatoes were nicely browned with some chopped onions. The food seemed to be well-regarded. In fact, when asked what he thought of the Senior Breakfast food, senior Jaryn Simpson said, “I feel as though it was scrumptious and very well planned. It filled me up.” Senior Mark Majewski also appreciated the meal and said, “It was good. Nice way to celebrate the seniors.”

After everyone started finishing up their food, Father Jabo and the Advancement Office addressed the seniors. They both talked about the importance of donating as the years go on. They mentioned how we are lucky to have had such an opportunity and that the seniors should try to let future students have the same opportunities that they had.

On a sadder note, Father Jabo mentioned to the seniors that our time at Prep is now very limited. He said that the seniors should try to talk to everyone that they can now, considering they only have one week left. This message hit the seniors fairly hard, as they started looking around the room at some of their classmates that they might not know as well as they would like. All in all, however, the Senior Breakfast was a big success and was greatly appreciated by the senior class.

Fidget spinners showing up in Prep classrooms

All throughout the school day at Cathedral Prep, many take notice to student’s iPads, their stylish ties, and lately, fidget spinners. Fidget spinners are by definition a “stress-reliving” toy that can be held in one hand and is just simply spun. They are becoming increasingly popular in schools as kids are being drawn to them for various reasons. These spinners come in all different colors and patterns that appeal to younger people. But it’s not just young, grade school children who are putting use to these small plastic spinners. We are talking about juniors and seniors in high school who can’t keep their hands off these. So the question becomes, are fidget spinners actually helping people get through stressful situations or are they just causing more distraction in the classroom?

Many students have a very blunt, truthful opinion on the usage of their spinners. Junior Connor Finazzo simply states, “[It] keeps me awake in class.”

Similarly, fellow junior Ethan Sacco explains, “It helps [me] concentrate during boring lectures or long periods of notes.” Despite the positive presence that many students believe it to have, there is also another side that believes the spinners are a negative presence in the classroom.

English teacher Mr. Hubert has said he thinks they are a distraction to class. “I read an article on NPR, which said there is basically no scientific evidence showing that the spinners actually help young people with ADHD,” Hubert said. “In my personal experience, I have only seen the fidget spinners causing students to get off task and lose focus rather than helping students maintain focus.”

Overall, these spinners have made an impact throughout the Prep hallways one way or another. There are many who believe fidget spinners are a way to lower anxiety and ADHD/ADD impulses while others find it to be an unnecessary toy and a distraction from learning.

Feud of the Fountains update

Feud of the Fountains,”an article written by Tim Evans in 2016, reviewed the quality of the various fountains around Cathedral Prep. This year, however, some of the fountains have changed. For example, the third floor fountain by the theology department is out of service, and the second floor fountain by the math wing had its water pressure adjusted. With such changes made, an update on the quality of the fountains is necessary.

The fourth floor only has one water fountain. Therefore, it’s the best fountain on the fourth floor. However, the convenience of the fountain is about the only positive thing that it has going for it besides the half-decent water pressure. The fountain starts out very warm, but slowly transitions to a more reasonable temperature. There is a significant amount of splash up, resulting in water droplets on the pants. And if the splash up isn’t bad enough, the fountain also tricks you by frequently changing water pressure and heights, causing water to splash in your face. Finally, the fountain has a very slight metallic aftertaste, leaving both an unpleasant start, and an unpleasant end.

Thirsty during theology class? Hope you’re ready for a walk. The third floor theology water fountain has now been out of commission for the entire year. There are wires and various fountain parts exposed. However, many people remember this water fountain for its quality water pressure and cool waters.

The third floor fountain by the art rooms is a fair quality fountain with only a few drawbacks. The water isn’t too cold or warm, the pressure isn’t too high or low, and the taste isn’t particularly bad or good. The only things that aren’t average about this fountain are its height and cleanliness. Maybe the fact that this fountain is located by the freshman lockers explains such a short height and dirtiness. All things aside though, this fountain only has one major shortcoming: its height.

The second floor fountain by the math department is an interesting fountain: that is if you ever get a turn. There always seems to be a line in front of this fountain due to the fact that everyone has math. It is surprising how many people wait in front of this fountain considering the fact that it’s very short and the water is room temperature. However, the worst part about this fountain is the fact that it tastes slightly like sea water. Once you make this realization, you can’t taste anything else every time you drink it.

The second floor water fountain near the history teachers is a fair quality fountain. The fountain is a good height and has an aesthetic metallic outlet. However, there is a little bit of calcium buildup. The side buttons are much easier to press than the front buttons, which is a little odd but not a big deal. The water is nice and cool, and the water pressure is a little low but not bad. The only really big downside about this fountain is its location next to the bathroom. In fact, you can genuinely smell the bathroom from the water fountain, which is less than ideal.

The fountain outside of Father Jabo’s room is the best by far. This fountain is “blessed” with perfectly cold waters, great height, good water pressure, ideal cleanliness, and a delightful taste. Father Jabo must’ve picked this fountain to be by his office on purpose, because it genuinely is the ideal fountain. This fountain is also great because not many people go to it. Due to the fact that there are no classes near that area, there aren’t many students passing by. This explains the cleanliness, but the other qualities are just by coincidence I guess. Fantastic fountain. 9.5/10.

Everyone has seen the high tech fountain outside of Mrs. Lopez’s room and the finance office. It has a fancy water bottle fill-up station, but we weren’t impressed. First off, the water pressure in the regular fountain outlet is truly awful, especially if the fill-up station is running at the same time. You feel like you are kissing the water outlet the entire time you are drinking it. To make matters worse, the water temperature is also subpar. It’s not room temperature, but it’s also not cold. It’s just uncomfortable. Physics teacher, Mr. Biebel is not impressed by the fountain. In fact, in an interview he said, “The one by Lopez is too high tech. I like simple. I like the fountain of disappointment on the second floor.”

The first floor science wing water fountain is a great fountain. That is if you like when your pants get wet. The splash that comes off of this fountain is a huge drawback to this water fountain. There are a couple good things about this fountain though, such as the very cool and refreshing temperature of the fountain. Another thing that makes students at Cathedral Prep very happy is the water fountain is quite clean compared to others. There is very little calcium buildup, which definitely cannot be said about some of the other water fountains in the building. Although this isn’t too much of a negative, it’s very odd that there are no side buttons on this fountain. And lastly we discovered that unless you want water all over your face, you must press the button, then put your face to the fountain. All in all, this is a quality fountain with only a few complaints.

Onto the second floor science wing water fountain, which is almost a forgotten water fountain. This fountain is secluded and lonely for the most part. So if you are looking for a time to get away while quenching your thirst, this is the fountain to be at. This fountain is fairly clean with a decent temperature. The water pressure is great but not as great as its height. The height is not too low nor too high. There is only some splash up, which is good because a solid amount of the other ones have plenty splash up. This fountain is not too sturdy though. It is very wobbly, and if you press the right button the water will keep flowing even if you take your hand off the button. The fountain itself is pretty loud and annoying. This isn’t a social fountain, and there usually isn’t a line. This is not a top fountain, but it isn’t one of the worst either.

Much like the weight room itself, the water fountain down in the wrestling room is completely out of commission. The room is usually locked; therefore, it isn’t open to the general public. From what we recall it was similar to the fourth floor in that it started off very warm then transitioned to very cold. It’s very dirty and sweaty. If his fountain were open to the public, we still would not suggest that you use it.

This next fountain is probably one of the worst fountains that I have ever seen. The water fountain in the Prep Gym, is by far the worst water fountain in the school. First off, it even looks gross. The fountain is exposed and you can see all of the parts and rust. Then, you have to lean into the wall, which is quite weird. The button is way too hard to push and when you do push it, the warmest water is what hits you. Maybe they made it hard to push because they wanted to save you from that gross warm water. The drain barely works as you can see the water pools built up after use of it. All in all, this fountain is not a good one, and wouldn’t you think you would want a good fountain to cool you down after a steamy game of handball with Coach G?

Don’t want to pay for an overpriced drink in the Prep cafeteria? There is a decent water fountain right when you walk into the cafeteria. This water fountain is a little confusing. The temperature isn’t too warm or too cold. The height is very good and easy to get at. Speaking of easy to get at, you can get at this fountain from any angle that you would like! This is a decent water fountain, and you shouldn’t be afraid to use it.

The water fountain in the gym locker room is definitely one of the top. This water fountain is very cold and refreshing for after gym class. This has a very unique handle and is pleasantly different than the rest of the fountains. The only negative is the fact that it does have a slight metallic aftertaste. But who cares when you just got done with a very sweaty game of Ultimate Frisbee with Coach G? This has a great height as well. Now this is what I want after a steamy gym class.

All in all, there are only a few good fountains around this school. Senior David Tullio agreed, saying, “There are two very good water fountains in this school. An exceptional water fountain with superb water pressure and Antarctica temperatures is the one on the fourth floor. Another great fountain is the second floor science wing. All around great machine. I appreciate how well they work and how spread out they are. It’s comforting.” The one outside Jabo’s room also has to be mentioned, as it is our personal favorite.

Theater season comes to a close with The Outsiders

The Cathedral Prep and Villa Maria Academy theater program is putting on a spring festival to round off this year’s plays.

“[The Outsiders] is my all-time favorite novel, and I cannot wait to put it on in front of a real crowd,” said junior Alex Welz. “I really hope the audience enjoys themselves and that it truly conveys the same emotions and general theme that the book and movie did so well.”

The story is about a group of friends or “greasers” and their lives. They often have fights with the “Socs,” who are the rich snobby kids at the time. The story takes place back in the late 50s/early 60s. The two main characters get themselves into some trouble and have to run away. Then they end up being heroes and coming back home.

“I’m looking forward to seeing The Outsiders because it will be fun to see my fellow Prep brothers take on these iconic roles,” said senior Brian Buseck. “After having been involved in a comedy for weeks, it will be refreshing to see such a quality drama.”

This show has a stellar cast, which includes star Dillon Elliott as Ponyboy. This is Dillon’s first play, but he is sure to show that he is ready to fulfill his role. Ponyboy is the youngest of the group and also very shy. He loves books and movies. He hates the whole Greaser/Soc rivalry. Johnny, who is played by Lucian Cuzzola, is Ponyboy’s best friend. He is 16 years old and a very shy kid as well. He is often abused at home and even gets the worst of it from the rich snobs. He is very jumpy and scared. This is Lucian’s first play as well, and he is sure to not disappoint with this role.

Two Bit, played by Trey Deitrick, is the jokester of the show. He is often not taken seriously and is known to put his two cents into everything, hence the name Two Bit. This is Trey’s 4th show here at Prep, and he is very excited for this role. Darry, played by Nicholas Carneval, is the oldest of the group. He has taken the role as the dad of the family after his parents died. He yells at Pony a lot and Pony does not like that. Carneval stole the show in Footloose and will play this role very well.

SodaPop, who is Pony and Darry’s brother, is played by Alex Welz. He is soft spoken, a dropout, and Pony’s favorite brother. Then there is Dallas, who is the bad guy of the group. This character is played by Garrett Fritz and is sure to be interesting. He is known to get into trouble a lot and is the big guy on campus. Everyone respects him.

This show is sure to be a hit, especially with its director Fr. Mike and his co-director Max Lorei. Come out and see this show, May 19-21.