Super Bowl LII Preview

Super Bowl LII is set to kick off on Sunday, Feb. 4, at 6:30 p.m. The New England Patriots look to win back-to-back Super Bowls and capture their sixth overall title. The Philadelphia Eagles are still looking for their first Super Bowl win.

Both Philadelphia and New England finished at the top of their conference with a record of 13-3. The Eagles were heavy favorites midway through the season until quarterback Carson Wentz suffered a left knee injury, causing him to be out for the season. Philadelphia was then was considered an underdog heading into the playoffs despite being the top seed in the NFC. The Super Bowl is nothing new to the Patriots. This is Tom Brady’s 8th time competing in the Super Bowl.

The Eagles have really embraced the underdog role, as the majority of people expected them to get knocked out early in the playoffs after losing Wentz. The Eagles’ backup QB Nick Foles really has stepped up his game this postseason. In the divisional round vs. the Falcons, Foles didn’t win the game on his own, but he played well enough for them to advance. In the championship game vs. the Vikings, Foles looked great as they routed Minnesota 38-7.

The Patriots defeated the Titans in the AFC divisional game pretty easily by a score of 35-14. New England faced the Jaguars in the AFC championship and scored a late touchdown to win. The last time the Eagles played in the Super Bowl they faced Tom Brady and the Patriots in 2005. The Eagles lost 24-21. The rosters are much different, but this game could serve as revenge for Eagles fans as they get another shot at Brady, Belichick, and New England.

Mother Nature takes toll on parking lot

The Cathedral Prep parking lot may seem like an ordinary slab of pavement placed on the corner of West 11th and Chestnut Street, but it is so much more than that. This parking lot has been home to Rambler folklore since the time of its existence. Epic tailgates, the annual cigar celebration following the senior banquet, last day of school festivities, and many other events with own their own place in Cathedral Prep history have taken place in the parking lot. Its legacy seems to precede us, but we need to do our part to retain its existence.

The Erie weather has played its role in the partial destruction of our parking lot. Years of snow, ice, sleet, hail, rain, and every other form of weathering has taken it well past its former glory. Numerous cracks, dips, and potholes create a minefield for parking. “It’s tough swinging into the parking lot,” said senior Max Bloomstine. “I have to be careful when trying to find a spot.” Not only has Mother Nature played its role, but the student body and outside forces have littered the parking lot with debris.

“I’ve seen cans, broken headlights, wrappers, and even a broken shovel there,” recalls senior Calvin Behm. Not only does this diminish the overall presentation of the property, but it creates a safety hazard for drivers and pedestrians alike.

This year’s nation leading snowfall totals have also caused even more havoc. The large amount of snow accumulation in Downtown Erie has created problems for most private, and state run snow clearing businesses. With no place to put the snow, many have resorted to only selected clearing, which is very evident in the Prep parking lot.

“It’s hard parking here; it really is,” said junior Nathan Lutz. “People park wherever they can, and it blocks so many people out.”

This has been the an ongoing issue, as covered parking lines and inexperienced drivers lead to cluster parking, leaving many to guess whether one location is better than another. The main entrance to the Prep parking lot located on Chestnut Street has also caused major issues. Larger piles of snow have promoted multiple cars to be stuck in its grasp. Prep junior Skyler Neely and Prep senior Joe Mischler were both pushed from the snow’s grasp during this time, jamming many drivers coming in and out of the back entrances.

The parking lot’s location, which resides a good walk from Cathedral Prep, brings its normal gripes from the teenagers roaming Cathedral Prep’s halls, but it also brings new challenges. While many students have learned to live with the annual commute to 9th and Mrytle, at least once or twice a year, Prep students are alerted of theft in or around the student parking lot. No one knows this better than current Prep senior Ian Steff. During his junior year, his car was robbed of change and other various items when his windshield was smashed during a robbery. “It’s frustrating having to deal with the whole situation, but the lack of security still concerns me.”

Students are reminded to leave valuables out of site and to lock their cars each day. As the Prep parking lot will see many more years to come, as different members of the Prep community continue to park on 11th and Chestnut, the lore of this place will continue to grow. So for now, we remind you to lock up your valuables, and to use caution and proper driver’s edict in the parking lot of champions.

MaxPreps honors Rambler championship football team

Early last week, Cathedral Prep students heard word of an assembly that would take place in the auditorium immediately following 2nd period. As moans and sighs radiated through the halls (as the assumption was that the student body would be reprimanded for behavior, dress code, or something else), faces of shock and excitement were put on full display when they finally arrived.

The leading American high school sports website, MaxPreps, was prepared to offer the Rambler football team with high honors. While on their national Tour of Champions, they decided to stop by 225 West 9th Street last Monday. The event was sponsored by the Army National Guard and is only awarded to the top 50 football schools in the United States of America according to their rankings. It was truly a special ceremony for a very special group of people that none will soon forget.

“This team exemplifies courage, hard work, and character,” said Sergeant First Class Ryan Bisson. “Values the Army National Guard promotes and encourages.”

Cathedral Prep also finished the season ranked in 3rd nationally in the Catholic Athletes for Christ rankings, and head coach Mike Mischler earned the Catholic Athletes For Christ Top 25 Coach of the Year honors.

This all, of course, tops off perfect back-to-back seasons for the Ramblers, winning the Pennsylvania 4A state championship both times. Mischler has five current seniors committed to playing Division I football, including the likes of Penn State, Notre Dame, Iowa, Navy, and Ohio. Many more national letters of intent will possibly be signed by fellow members of this special senior class as Mischler has made that a staple of his program.

“This speaks to the accomplishments of not only our players and my staff, but to the whole community,” said Mischler. Cathedral Prep feels truly honored with the awards and recognition given to them by MaxPreps and the Army National Guard, and their gratitude reigns within each and every one of the player’s hearts.

Star wide receiver Tyler Oedekoven said, “Only 50 schools in the country get this, so it’s a tremendous honor just to be one of those names.”

Should the Supreme Court be televised?

In the Debate section of Jan. 29, 2018, issue of Upfront magazine, two professors gave their opposing views regarding the question: Should the Supreme Court be televised? After reading the pro argument from Georgia State University professor Eric J. Segall, and the con argument from Chicago-Kent College of Law professor Nancy S. Marder, the staff of The Rambler weighed in with their opinion. Our opinion was unanimous arguing that the Supreme Court should not be televised. Read the individual responses below. 

I don’t think the Supreme Court should be televised. They made an argument that it would help inform the public on how the Supreme Court operated were to be televised. I don’t think that’s that good of a reason because if you wanted to be informed on it, you could still read the transcripts of the oral arguments or even listen to the audio. I think it is also a possibility that if the oral arguments were to be televised they could become a form of entertainment. The judges do have to get their questions answered without them having to think about whether or not the audience is being entertained. The [Supreme] Court has a lot to deal with alone, and bringing cameras would not make their jobs any easier.
Ryan Rzepecki

I believe that the Supreme Court should remain out of the public eye. Many people have a false understanding of what a court room actually is and of the proceedings which take place inside. We have a delusion that TV shows like Law and Order, or Judge Judy accurately display a real court room with topics that are highly sensitive. Televising the Supreme Court cases would only benefit an extremely small portion of the American people who would actually tune in or feel strongly on the topic. On the contrary, it gives advocated ammunition to pull certain quotes, or behaviors, from inside the court room to create even more unrest and could undo the Supreme Court altogether. As of now, we receive audio recordings of the judges. These are easily understandable, and we don’t need them to be exposed to a system completely foreign to them, and allow others to twist our minds, and their words around a completely false idea of what justice is taking place behind closed doors.
Alec Thomas

In my opinion, the Supreme Court should not be televised to the public. Very important decisions and arguments are held in the Supreme Court, and having extra media there could distract the judges from doing their jobs correctly. People that support televised Supreme Court cases argue that they want to see what is going on visually, allowing them to be more entertained and intrigued by the cases. This argument could be valid if the Supreme Court didn’t publish any of the cases, but they do. You can listen to the audio of arguments or read the transcripts online at the Court’s website. Therefore, adding cameras and other television equipment to the Supreme Court would be unnecessary and could honestly be detrimental to a productive Supreme Court hearing.
Keegan Welka

I do not think that the U.S. Supreme Court debates should be televised. Although it would be interesting and truly capture the attention of many Americans, I believe that televising the aforementioned debates would not bode well for the nation as a whole. People have a tendency to act different with the cameras on and millions of people watching them. The increased pressure that would be placed on the judges would be overwhelming and are not necessary. The people should be more concerned with whether or not the court makes the correct ruling, not if they reached it in an entertaining fashion worthy of being shown on television. Additionally, a ruling’s transcripts can be read on the court’s website along with audio clips always being at the public’s dispense. There is no need to implement such a dramatic change in how the Supreme Court operates.
Alex Welz

Prep students react to finals

This year, Cathedral Prep took a big step forward to becoming even more of a college prep institution. This year, Prep changed its curriculum to give students the college style finals period they would receive when earning a degree at an institution beyond twelfth grade. This added a semester final and an end of the year final for all core classes, honors, or advanced placement honors programs, and would actively reflect that of students taking Gannon classes. Another change that was made is the chance for end of the year exemptions. No matter the grades or performance in the classroom may be, all students will be taking finals. This is just another way the Prep student body can show not only the community but also colleges, how prepared its students are.

Though this change in policy was met with different reactions from the student body, the decision was final, and this past week Prep students honed in on their skills to help them pass.

“For me personally, I believe that this was a great move by the Prep administration,” said senior Dominic Montefiori. We are now doing what many other schools do, and I know this type of practice will help me in college.”

While many students tended to resist the initial change, it was met with a glass-half-full type approach. Freshman Joe Armanini gave his thoughts on the process. “I never had any years without a final, but I believe this is preparing me well for the future. While I don’t really want to take some of these finals, I know that it will help me in the end.”

As Prep enters a new age of competitive college placement, and higher education becomes even more vital, they are taking positive steps to create a learning environment tailored to the students success not only now but many years into the future.

Prep community remembers the life of Coach Bomba

After Jeff Bomba’s sudden and severely premature death on Jan. 13, the whole Cathedral Prep community holds his remembrance in their hearts. Bomba, a former player and assistant coach for the Rambler football team, was a tough, stern, and deep down loving human being. His death came as a shock to many, including junior Prep lineman Andy Samuels.

“As a player, Coach Bomba taught me so much about how to better my technique and footwork. Every step in every play was very crucial to him and his perfectionism couldn’t be ignored.” Andy continued, “And as for life lessons, Coach Bomba’s determination, grit, passion, and work ethic were all things that I will hold on to for a very, very long time.”

On Friday, Coach Bomba’s funeral was held at Saint Patrick’s Church. Starting at 10 a.m. people were asked to show their support for the Bomba family and their friends while they experienced terrible grief. Besides the football players, other students were invited to the service. One of the students that chose to join the team at the funeral was junior Luke Bongiorno.

“He had a big impact not just on the football team, but also on a lot of people in the Prep community,” Luke continued, “I never met him personally, but I can just tell that he was an amazing person through the way people responded to his passing.”

The funeral service included three phenomenal speeches. Coach Mischler recalled times when he would prank and joke with Coach Bomba. When Jim Bomba, Jeff’s father, told the story of when his son nearly quit football during childhood, the attendants were moved to tears. After the final rites were said by the priest and the coffin was solemnly taken out of the church, everyone kept silent and attempted to hold back their sobs. The attending players and students were then dismissed to go back to class once the coffin was driven away.

One thing everyone can take away from this tragedy is the value of life. Coach Bomba died at the very young age of 36 years old in front of his two parents last Saturday. What they witnessed happen to their son is something no parent should ever have to endure. Hopefully after this loss, people will begin or will continue cherishing the moments shared with friends and family. Because at any moment, those that you love could be taken from you in the blink of an eye.

Disagreement regarding repeal of DACA, immigration reform

Since his campaign, President Trump‘s focal point of his presidency has been making changes to the immigration system in the United States. His first action has been to get rid of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) enacted by President Obama. The most precise definition of DACA is a policy for immigrant children who come to the United States and meet certain guidelines to be considered for deferred action from deportation and even electively for work permits (USCIS). The people who benefit from this program are often referred to as “dreamers.” According to more than 800,000 people have been saved from deportation under this federal act.

While campaigning, Trump made it clear that he hated the immigration system and specifically outlined those coming from Latin American countries as part of the problem. In one of his earlier speeches, Trump resorted to calling Mexicans “criminals and rapists.” As a result, many found getting rid of this program as a specific attack on these illegal immigrants as opposed to making changes to the system itself. Trump’s main criticism of the policy follows that initial sentiment, saying it helped spark a “massive surge” of immigrants from Central America, some of whom went on to become members of violent gangs like MS-13.

According to an article by, this seemed like a fairly rushed decision. They outline that Trump’s motives were primarily based on pressure from conservative attorneys that threatened to sue the White House unless the program was ended. Since them, the repealing of DACA is a part of a broader effort to “fix” the immigration system; these include increased security at the southern border with a wall, ending chain migration, and ending the visa lottery system.

This has possibly been the clearest that Trump has been on immigration, but there are still many unanswered questions on the solvency of any of these proposals. Therefore, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell is holding off from any vote concerning immigration. Various proposals are being thrown around Congress that represent the opposite of what Trump wants. On this issue Congress/Senate are on battlegrounds with the White House. Based on this the chances for an immigration deal passing right now are close to slim.

Erie buzzing in reaction to proposed ordinance

As of Wednesday, Jan. 17, Erie City Council voted to make 30 grams or less of marijuana a summary offense rather than a misdemeanor. As the marijuana legalization train continues to sweep its way through the Eastern front of the country, Erie is already following in the footsteps of other major cities in Pennsylvania with the implication of this law. The decriminalization of marijuana possession continues, and this newly agreed-upon ordinance furthers that notion…to an extent.

The ordinance stipulates that this law is not in effect in all cases. For example, if an individual also is tied to a felony or multiple misdemeanors, the court also could tack on a possession charge if found to be the case, regardless of the amount. There are also strict stipulations pertaining to this highly publicized legislation that many are unaware it contains. Possession of marijuana will now result in a $25 fine while any smoking usage of it in public will result in a $100 fine. Again, keep in mind that every case could fluctuate and be viewed as subjective in a court of law.

The primary goal in mind with the implementation of this is that it will allow for police forces to garner more attention to critical issues while also allowing nonviolent offenders an opportunity to move forward with their lives. A summary offense will not affect employment, federal financial aid for college, or military admittance, unlike a misdemeanor offense otherwise would. It will most likely be treated like a traffic violation more or less moving forward.

This brand new law has gained the approval of Mayor Joe Schember as well as many city representatives including Councilman Bob Merski, who said, “Decriminalization does not mean that it’s a free-for-all. It is still a crime.” He explained how he feels this is an improvement from previous legislation in place saying, “What it means is that it’s become a civil offense instead of a criminal offense. What ends up happening is something you did at 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 [years old], ends up affecting you for the rest of your life. What we want is for these people to pay their debt to society, and move on with their lives.”

False missile warning sent to Hawaii

Hawaii residents were left in panic after a missile warning appeared early Saturday morning. The message read:  “Ballistic missile inbound to Hawaii. Seek shelter immediately. This is not a drill.” The message felt very real for anyone in Hawaii at that moment with all the talk about the nuclear bombs being made in North Korea. Hawaii is also one of the closest places to North Korea that that is a part of the United States. It was reported that it took officials about 38 minutes to clarify that it was an accident. They claimed it was human error and that an employee had hit the wrong button.

Janel Hauk, a former Erie resident moved to Hawaii 17 years ago. The first thing she saw when she woke up in the morning was a warning message on her phone saying there was a missile. She said she was inside with her 5-year-old daughter and that her 3-year-old son was outside with his dad. Her husband and her 3-year-old came inside where they immediately started closing windows as soon as they got the alert. Hauk stated, “I looked down at my children playing at my feet and thought how glad I was we were all home. I would’ve been in hysterics if it was a school day.” The family soon found out it was a false alarm when Tulsi Gabbard (U.S. representative for Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district) tweeted that it was a false alarm. Hauk said there was not much you could really do in the case of a 15 minute warning with a missile heading straight towards you.” She moved here after 9/11 and felt safer but now with the growing threat of nuclear war with North Korea she feels helpless. Hauk feels there needs to be a better safety plan in the case of a real missile crisis.

Harsh statement from President Trump leaves millions offended

Donald Trump has been surrounded by controversy ever since he announced his campaign for the position of president. However, Trump reportedly made a very disparaging comment on immigrants coming from Africa and Haiti on Thursday during a private White House meeting.

“Why do we want all these people from s—hole countries coming here?”

Of course, this comment was leaked and made public. Many citizens are deeply offended by the statement made by the president. Prep junior Steven Abogunde, whose parents both lived and grew up in Nigeria, felt strongly about this topic.

“He honestly doesn’t know what he’s saying,” Steven said, “There’s a lot of Africans out there that are employed and are good people. He is just making a fool of himself.”

In Africa, government officials are just as outraged by the president’s remarks if not more than Steven is. The African Union made a statement on the matter, vehemently opposing Trump’s harsh words.

“The African Union wishes to express it’s infuriation, disappointment and outrage over the unfortunate comment made by Donald Trump, the President of the United States of America, which remarks dishonor the celebrated American creed and respect for diversity and human dignity.”

Not much else can be said about the statement besides the fact it was completely unnecessary and crude. While Trump has been able to dodge many controversial bullets during his time in office without having to fully address them, this comment is something that will not go away. So far, Trump has denied the statement he made, even though there is substantial evidence of him saying these words. Hopefully he will come to senses and apologize for what he said, but as more and more issues that surround him are often swept under the rug by his administration, it is reasonable to doubt an apology from Donald Trump.