Las Vegas massacre deadliest in U.S. history

On October 1, 2017, the United States of America witnessed the largest shooting massacre inflicted by an individual in the history of the nation. 58 people were killed with more than 500 injured. It occurred during a Jason Aldean concert right on the strip of Las Vegas, Nevada, during the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival. The shooter was identified as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock who was firing from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel.

At approximately 10:15 p.m., Paddock began firing from his room. A nearby hotel security guard was shot with one of the shots in his leg and notified the front desk. Meanwhile, spectators of the concert believed the gun shots to be fireworks or some kind of tech related effect to the music. Eventually, police began to urgently move citizens out of the area as the shooting continued. Law enforcement was confused as to how many shooters there were and where the shots were coming from. Meanwhile, the injured security guard was able to grab an officer’s attention and informed him of the shooter’s room.

SWAT immediately evacuated all hotel stayers and breached Paddock’s door with explosives, only to find him dead in his room. He is believed to have shot himself in the head before coming in contact with the law. Paddock accumulated, in total, 23 firearms in his apartment upon his arrival. All guns have been determined to have been legal and acquired in a justified manner. However, advances may have been placed on some of the weapons to increase their fire rates. Authorities also recovered scrap paper of Paddock’s calculating the distance and trajectories he would need to overcome or out-maneuver.

No one is sure of the motive yet. Paddock was a 65-year-old male who was married twice with no children and was an accountant. Authorities have not identified the action as domestic terrorism yet. Overall, the situation is beyond tragic.

Please keep those affected in mind during these times of sorrow and tribulations.




2017 Prep-Villa Homecoming review

This past weekend, Cathedral Prep and Villa Maria gathered to host their annual Homecoming dance, the second straight year it’s been in the PVEC. Approximately 700 people were in attendance and were looking sharp as always. The dance started at 8 p.m. and ended at 11 p.m. Many students thoroughly enjoyed themselves and made many memories Saturday night that they will cherish forever.

For the seniors, this will be their last homecoming dance of their high school lives. A large number of students made the most out of their night. Senior Nick Dinner said, “Homecoming for me was a delightful experience. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the dance, and the theme was extravagant while the atmosphere was excellent.”

The entire gym was packed from the front of the mob near the DJ, all the way to the bleachers where people went to rest and take a breather. The lights added a whole new element to the night as they flashed and changed colors in coordination with the songs. The live DJ also put on a show and provided some really cool, appropriate, upbeat songs that everyone was dancing their minds off to.

The thing everyone was awaiting eagerly all night for was the naming of Homecoming king and queen. The court was made up of Joe DeMarco, Anthony Bolden, Bobby Ek, Joe Campbell, Jacob Sorge, Olivia Heasley, Taniah Stephens, Catherine Chido, Phoebe Gromacki, and Katherine Innes. As the crowning these two individuals was drawing nearer, all the attention went to the front of the gym to the V.I.P. box. Joe Campbell was awarded Homecoming king while Taniah Stephens was crowned Homecoming queen.

Joe had this to say, “Winning king was a joyous surprise that is a great way to start off my senior year. I’d like to thank everyone for making it a great senior homecoming.”

Taniah, or “T” as she is most commonly known said, “It was an honor to be 2017 Prep and Villa Homecoming Queen and it was great to know that my Villa sisters picked me to be the Queen. A big thanks to everyone who did pick me.”

It was a very memorable night and everyone had a great time, especially those on the court. Thank you to everyone who made it possible and unifying the class of 2018 for one of the last times!




Co-Athlete(s) of the Week: Joe Mischler and Tyler Oedekoven

In a game where the Cathedral Prep offense recorded a school record 714 yards, there was much recognition to go around. Senior quarterback, Joe Mischler, set a school and District 10 record with 507 passing yards while senior wideout Tyler Oedekove, also shattered the school record for receiving yards in a single game with 279. Not only is this an incredible feat in and of itself, but it came against the #5 ranked Division II team in the state of Ohio, St. Benedictine. The final score was 62-28, and the Ramblers were firing on all cylinders in their home opener at Dollinger Field last Friday night.

Mischler was extremely efficient, going 21-26, throwing for 5 touchdowns and also rushing for 28 yards. He finished with a 145.0 QBR, only turning the ball over once. Pencil in his performance for the record books as he threw for the 5th most yards in a single game in state history. The Ohio commit humbly spoke on his achievement saying, “Breaking the school record is really a great honor. However, it’s not an individual accomplishment, rather an offensive unit accomplishment,” Joe said. “We have some really great skill players who have big play ability every time they touch the ball. They make my job extremely easy and are really fun to play with. They come in every week and work hard to be able to perform on Friday nights. More importantly, the big fellas up front played great as they always do. They are always in the shadows of all the touchdowns and scoring drives, but without them, we can’t do anything”.

Time after time, Mischler praised his teammates and talked of how vital each element of the offense is and how they come together as one collective unit to form something special.

“This is just a great honor to have [sur]passed the school record, especially after watching Billy Fessler and Damion Terry play as I was growing up,” Joe added. “It is something I will always remember, but I couldn’t have done it without the other 10 guys on the field. That’s what makes football so great; it’s a team game.”

Much is the same with wide receiver, Tyler Oedekoven. Despite only being at Prep for two seasons, Oedekoven has surely made his mark. He was an integral part of Prep’s state championship team last year, lining up wide and consistently beating teams with his speed. He is picking up right where he left off and looked good as ever last week. Similar to Mischler, Oedekoven stressed the importance of his teammates and the role they play in his individual success. “It is a great honor to be able to break those records,” Tyler said. “But it not me breaking those records; it’s the whole team.  I wouldn’t be anywhere without any of my teammates.”

Both teammates have made it very clear that there are many factors that apply in order for the game to go the way they intend it to. Tyler’s big game places him 8th in state history in single game receiving yards and second in D-10. Oedekoven concluded with, “It’s a great honor just to be on the list with some of those great names. I’m just going to keep having fun with my brothers on that field and enjoy every second of my senior year.”




Club Profile: Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD)

A year removed from the discontinuation of the club, SADD is back. SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) consists of over 20 students under the help and guidance of Mr. Corey Ferraro, a theology teacher at Cathedral Prep. The club works to find fun and contemporary activities to lead students away from bad decisions not only through high school but also the rest of their lives. It urges young men at Prep to step up and truly recognize the consequences of their actions as a teenager. Many students have realized the importance of this and have gotten involved. It is essential that we have people in our youth to help keep their peers out of trouble and away from conflicts that could greatly jeopardize even the most promising futures.

SADD is also a great way to unify students. Athletes, intellectuals, actors, and all alike come together as one to help notify people of the dangers of some of their decisions.

Student Government President John Hagerty says, “SADD may seem like something that many students aren’t involved in, but there are plenty of students who all feel similarly on issues that lead to harmful decisions.”

Mr. Ferraro also spoke on the importance of the club saying, “We bring in speakers and hold events that raise awareness about the dangers of drugs and alcohol. It is a student-led club that gives Prep guys a voice and allows them to help others.”

In class today, selected SADD members spoke to the freshmen and sophomore classes throughout the day, sharing their stories and encouraging the students that although there are many kids who make harmful decisions, there are also plenty that make the correct ones.

Cathedral Prep is an institution that fosters an environment of brotherhood, positively, respect, and awareness. This awareness should extend past politics, community happenings, academics, and physical fitness; however, through all this, it seems something has slipped and trickled through the cracks. It is something that drastically affects the world around us. That is the destructive decision making of today’s youth. It has been overlooked far too long, and it is extremely satisfying to see students finally taking actions against it.




CP football returns many players from 2016 state championship team

As players and fans alike were driving home from the dreaded 2015 PIAA 4A state championship football game, questions began to arise as to whether or not Cathedral Prep was nothing more than a big fish in a small pond, if they could compete with next-level talent, if they were overrated, and ultimately, if they were nothing but a fluke. Less than a year later, starting linebacker/fullback Ian Malesiewski suffered his devastating neck injury that left him paralyzed. No one can truly describe what had happened after that and what it unleashed of the team, but there was no denying the change of intensity, attitude, and results the following year.

The Ramblers returned to Hershey, but this time, it was just different. Saying they had a chip on their shoulder is extremely underwhelming, but something special had changed. Guys were playing for each other, had a tenacious mindset, had a little more hop in their step, got up a little bit quicker after each hit, and asked themselves, “What would Ian do if he had one more play?” It was an emotional, historic 4th quarter comeback victory that no one will soon forget.

Now, the Ramblers enter the 2017 season with something they didn’t have at the beginning of last, reassurance. Reassurance that they can get it done when it counts the most. Reassurance that they can put public criticisms aside and stay together and focused as a unit to accomplish their ultimate goal. Reassurance that Erie can produce big time players and compete with the best of them. Reassurance that the heart, soul, and identify of the team—Ian—will be on the sideline this year.

The Cathedral Prep football team has been the class of District 10 for quite some time now and judging off their impressive blowout victory to open the season against Pittsburgh powerhouse, Central Catholic, it doesn’t look like that’s going to change anytime soon. The Ramblers are loaded with returning talent and are preparing for another special season with the one goal in mind- hoisting the heralded PIAA 4A Championship trophy above their heads at Hershey Park- and believe me, they have every intention of doing so.

OFFENSE

The Ramblers return co-2016 Big School Player of the Year and Ohio commit, quarterback Joe Mischler. He is highly regarded for his intangibles and leadership qualities, along with obvious talent and an unmatched Football IQ. Mischler is the prototypical dual-threat QB, throwing for 2,924 yards and 38 touchdowns while also adding another 341 rushing yards along with 3 additional touchdowns on the ground in 2016. He can make every throw and is extremely mobile and elusive in the pocket.

Experience returns at virtually every position and that is no different at running back. Matt Lupo is back after finding the end zone 17 times as a junior. He offers elite lower body strength and is a hard worker, never backing down from the defense. Lupo has earned high praise and was said to have had an impressive offseason. The second part to the two-headed monster in the backfield will be rising junior Billy Lucas. Having already received an offer from Bowling Green, Lucas possesses the rare blend of speed and power that coaches covet. He offers supreme athleticism and if healthy, should greatly contribute to this high powered offense. Joe Campbell also is a tireless worker, getting the first nod at the fullback position, replacing former Allegheny commit, Kyle Mitchell. Mike Lupo also figures to be in the mix.

At wideout, Tyler Oedekoven is back. He was a sensation lining up on the outside and beating opposing defensive backs with his sub 4.5 speed and quickness at the line of scrimmage. Oedekoven has one standing offer from Albany. He and Mischler hooked up on 51 occasions with 17 of those going for scores last year. Their chemistry and timing should only improve in their second year. Prep also has some complementary pieces that carry major potential in the passing game at receiver (due to their lack of tight end usage) with Henry Fessler and Adam Malesiewski figuring to get consistent playing time as seniors this year. Fessler has had college buzz around him for quite a while and it’s only a matter of time before the offers come pouring in while Malesiewski also has an offer from Edinboro currently. Look for a breakout year for Fessler, as he embodies more of a typical receiver’s skill set while Malesiewski specializes in making plays in open space with the ball in his hands. Anthony Bolden also will be a reliable, possession receiver. Terry Roberts is also assumed to rotate into the mix, but the hope is that the first 3 can hold the position down, leaving Roberts and Bolden to focus on defense.

The largest feat to overcome will be the in the trenches with the losses of University of Pennsylvania-bound Cam Landis, college recruits Dave Nies and Ben Furhman, along with fill-in, Nick Carneval. However, there are still remnants of the dominant line and glimpses of hope that it could become the centerpiece of the team once more. Penn State commit, Juicy Scruggs, returns as the anchor at left tackle and also is ranked inside ESPN’s top 100 for the 2018 recruiting class (#99). Also returning is college prospect, Matt Carr. The young, big bodied Chris Oliver may get his first opportunity to start and has big time physical tools to work with. Junior Jordan Covatto could also find himself a starting spot. His attitude along with his grit-and-grind playing style overcomes his height deficiency. Will Burns, Chris Smith, Kawaun DeBoe, Andrew Samuels, and Adam Olszewski could also contribute.

DEFENSE

The Ramblers take pride in their defense and the havoc they cause for opposing offenses. The defensive line brings plenty of depth with Harvard recruit, Will Burns, along with the productive Chris Smith at defensive end. Burns needs to have a big year, as he has all the looks of becoming a breakout candidate. Juicy Scruggs is likely to man the interior of the defensive line also. This is a steady group that looks to stuff the run and be the first line of this ferocious defense. As a unit, they need to step up, however, having to deal with the graduation of Delaware commit, Dom Covatto.

Matty “Bo” Bauer is the motor that drives this team. The 6’3” 215-pound Notre Dame commit is just a complete monster. At times, it seems he is literally unstoppable. He blitzes routinely and offenses are aware he’s coming, but there’s simply nothing they can do sometimes. He is relentless in his pass rushes and finishes with power but also can get to the quarterback with his unique blend of lateral quickness, speed, and an opportunistic knowledge of the game. Coach Mike Mischler always finds different ways to get Bo involved in different blitz packages, coverage schemes, and even in the running game, making it nearly impossible to gameplay for him. Regardless of where he lines up, he is a player that needs to be accounted for at all times. Look for seniors Ryan Sargent, Joe Campbell, Hunter Orlando, Nick Maloney, and Dyjheir Norman, along with junior Billy Lucas, to get time alongside Bauer at LB this year, as it will take a collective effort to replace Bowling Green commit Jerry Roberts.

The Ramblers also have a star-studded secondary highlighted by Iowa commit Terry Roberts. Lining opposite Roberts will be Navy commit Anthony Bolden. Roberts is more of a speed, lockdown/ball hawk corner while Bolden is a big, physical, quality number 2. Look for senior Amory Coleman-Reeves to make an impact when healthy with his speed in the secondary and for Fessler to get some time covering the slot. Jaelen Carson offers additional depth. At safety, the Ramblers have plenty of options to choose from. Hunter Orlando shined down the stretch last season and looks to be off to a nice start while Matt Lupo is another capable, physical safety. Adam Malesiewski also should get time after starting some games there last year.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Anthony Lupo is still firmly entrenched as the placekicker while the strong-legged Junior, Colin Kelly, took over on kickoffs last year. Kelly will most likely handle punting duties as well. Terry Roberts and Oedekoven are the primary kick returners while Roberts and senior Robert Bannister handle the punt returning duties. Look for Adam Malesiewski to take over as the return specialist sometime this season. Senior John MacKenzie takes care of the long snaps while senior Nick Wisinski is a reliable holder.

Cathedral Prep has all the looks of a championship team. MaxPreps currently has them as a top-16 national squad as well as ranking them #1 in the state. The sky is the limit for this group of kids, and they know that. One thing that is also abundantly clear is the overwhelming support and excitement that surrounds this team, through their school, community, friends, and family.

The Ramblers are 1-0 on the season after defeating Pittsburgh Central Catholic 40-7 in the season opener last Friday night. With the longterm goal of winning back-to-back state championships in mind, the Ramblers focus their attention next on the brand new Erie High School Royals as the teams prepare for their inaugural game tonight at 7 p.m. at Veterans Stadium.




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.




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.




Prep plays host to two Erie mayoral candidate debates

On Wednesday, April 26 and Tuesday, May 2, Cathedral Prep hosted both the GOP and Democratic mayoral debates in the David H. Bowes Auditorium for the first time. Both candidates from the Republican side and all seven of the Democrats attended, drawing roughly 3,000 (total combined of both online viewers and actual people in attendance) spectators between the two events. It turned out to be a huge success and truly impacted the community, supplying the public with specific policies of each individual candidate.

Prep seniors Will Lewis, Doug Spizarny, and Peter Bloomstine acted as the catalysts for the whole planning process. They also served as moderators and provided the questions and topics that were covered in each debate. Questions ranged from posts on any of the candidate’s social media accounts to referring back to interviews that they were previously involved in. It forced the candidates to think on their feet and showcase their instinctual political expertise to those watching. The debates were split into three main categories: education, crime, and economics. Audience questions were also taken into consideration and answered. This was a great way to get involved with the Erie community and possibly impact the city for years to come.

Republican John Persinger reflected on what becoming the next mayor would mean to him: “Being the next mayor is a great opportunity to lead the city out of the decline.”

Debate team co-Captain Doug Spizarny spoke of the importance of these events saying, “Whoever is elected mayor of the city really influences the policies and procedures that happen in not only the city itself, but the surrounding townships/municipalities.” He later concluded with “So whatever happens in the city of Erie really matters to everyone who lives in Erie county.”

This sent a urgent message to the public of the importance and value of the upcoming election. It is vital that Cathedral Prep students and other young people in the community stay involved and knowledgeable on the happenings in the city of which they call home.

Both debates were streamed live on Facebook and can be viewed on the Prep-Villa Facebook page or embedded below:




Theater production of School of Rock a success

This past weekend, Cathedral Prep and Villa Maria put on yet another very successful theatrical performance. This time it was School of Rock based off of the 2003 film. No other school (or organized theater program of any kind) in the tri-state area has performed this show, as it was just released recently on Broadway. Additionally, it calls for advanced technical effects and for some of the characters to actually play instruments on stage. This show was very unique and much different than any other musical done by Prep and Villa. Described as being one of the best high school performances ever seen by many spectators, the cast and crew definitely knocked this one out of the park.

The movie is based on a failing musician (Dewey Finn) who lives with his best friend, Ned, and Ned’s overpowering girlfriend, Patty. Patty gives Dewey 30 days to pay the rent before she kicks him out. Despite his dire situation, Dewey maintains his passion for rock music. While left alone at the apartment, Dewey pretends to be Ned (a substitute teacher) on the phone as he receives a call from the prestigious prep school, Horace Green. Dewey accepts the offer of filling in for an injured teacher in hopes of being able to make enough money to pay for the rent. While at Horace Green, Dewey hears the children in music class and is astounded by how well they can play instruments. He creates a band among them and shifts their focus from classical music, grades, and sophistication, to being rock stars and performing in the Battle of the Bands, a large music contest where the winner takes home $20,000. After being busted for fraud, he sneaks the kids out to the concert where both the principal and parents of the children are in shock of what the kids have accomplished. They accept Dewey and appreciate what he brought out in the children.

Sophomore Elijah Lyons (playing Dewey Finn) was the highlight of the weekend, and it wasn’t just the audience who loved watching and listening to him. Prep senior Trey Deitrick said, “This was one of the most fun shows, and Elijah really rocked the role he was given as Dewey.” The show also starred Alex Welz as Ned and Petra Shearer as Patty, along with band members Race Nicolia, James Jackson, Valeria Camacho, Carolyn Wilcox, Ellie Pietras, Stella Przybylinski, Alexandra Karlinchak, and Nicolina Cuzzola. Kristina Tishchenko played Principal Mullins, the lead female role.

Being the last large show that the seniors will be a part of made this performance even more memorable for many. School of Rock gave a concert, live music, a story, acting, and most importantly, sent a message to the audience. This show will not be forgotten anytime soon due to the fact that many people have never seen this iconic movie performed on a stage before. School of Rock got rewarded with its own section in the newspaper along with an entire page dedicated to the performance on GoErie.com. It is a much more modern show and truly highlights the versatility of Prep-Villa theater and shows the bright future the program possesses.




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.