Phantoms men’s basketball falls short in season opener

By Caroline Sweeney

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DCCC forward Ketquan Gatewood jukes Thaddeus Stevens guard Marqel Wansley to line up for a three-point shot. Photo by Caroline Sweeney
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DCCC forward Nazir Gossette misses his only three- point shot of the game before scoring 10 points. Photo by Caroline Sweeney

DCCC Phantoms men’s basketball team lost their season opener 98-90 against the Thaddeus Stevens Tech Bulldogs on Nov 3. The Phantoms have begun their season 0-1 overall.

All five starters scored in the game along with three other players.

Top scorers of the game were starting guard Justin Gans who led the Phantoms with 27 points. Following Gans, guard Mike Mallon scored 18 points and forward Ketquan Gatewood scored 13 points.

Both De’Andray Covert and Nazar Gosssette scored 10 points; Shaquell Stokes scored seven points; Shadiniah Lino scored three points and Shannon Burnett-Pullium scored two points.

“We didn’t do what I expected to do as far as winning, but I do think my guys went out and competed and gave it their all”, said Larry Yarbray, Sr, Phantoms head coach. “We have to execute better and come out with a sense of urgency next time.”

The Phantoms and the Bulldogs were evenly matched in the first half, going back and forth with scoring. But Thaddeus Stevens was consistently ahead by a few points throughout the game.

With the first half coming to an end the momentum shifted in favor of Thaddeus Stevens. The Bulldogs went on a run to outscore the Phantoms, but the Phantoms fought back with several three-pointers to bring them within four points of the Bulldogs.

The halftime score was 46- 42, Thaddeus Stevens.

“We kind of waited till halftime to start playing the right way, but by then they were up 16 points,” Yarbray said. “By then we were stuck in a hole trying to dig ourselves out.”

At the beginning of the second half, the Phantoms came out stronger than the first, but they were slightly behind Thaddeus Stevens.

The Phantoms fought to keep the pace with the Bulldogs and eventually, after a series of mistakes by the Bulldogs, the momentum of the game began to shift in favor of DCCC.

With 6:32 left in the second half, the score was tied for the first time at 79 all. And once again the two teams were running up and down the court, keeping within several points of one another.

Coaches and players were animated about the new tone of the game and the crowd was on edge. Both teams were using up their remaining time-ups to give their players breaks and draw up plays.

After several fouls against DCCC and missing key shots in the last two minutes of the game, Thaddeus Stevens started to pull away. With a final score of 98-90 Thaddeus Stevens.

“Myself and my team played well, but we could have played better,” said Ketquan Gatewood, a sophomore business major. “I want to work on my defense, being less aggressive so I don’t get called for so many fouls, but I know we will be better down the stretch.”

The Phantoms were strong in free throw percentage at 70 percent at the line. They also made 50 percent of their three-point shots and made 43 percent of their field-goals.

“It is a learning experience and we are all looking forward to next week’s game,” Yarbray said.

The Phantoms next game will be on Nov. 10 against Harrisburg Area at Harrisburg.

The next home game will be on Nov. 15 against Del Tech Stanton.

Contact Caroline Sweeney at communitarian@mail.dccc. edu

Philadelphia Eagles 2018-19 season expectations

By Caroline Sweeney

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Philadelphia Eagles. Photo courtesy of Tribune News Service staff/ TNS
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With City Hall in the background, the Philadelphia Eagles’ Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles, left, passes the Vince Lombardi Trophy to teammate Carson Wentz, right, during the team’s victory parade on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018. Photo courtesy of Michael Bryant/Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS
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Philadelphia Eagles free safety Rodney McLeod (23) is about to stop a leaping New England Patriots wide receiver Brandin Cooks (14) during Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on February 4, 2018. Photo courtesy of David Maialetti/ Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

The reigning Super Bowl champions, the Philadelphia Eagles, kicked off the NFL season on Thursday Night Football against the Atlanta Falcons.

Going into the season opener, the Eagles were only favored by three points; however, once the Eagles announced they would be starting Nick Foles, they instantly became four-point underdogs.

The Super Bowl champions started the Super Bowl MVP and were calculated to be underdogs.

National media outlets like ESPN and the NFL Network seem not to be treating the Eagles like the Super Bowl champions. Nevertheless, Eagles fans and football analysts agree on the idea that the Eagles will win the National Football Conference East, the NFC East.

After that, the predictions begin to differ.

In the offseason, NFL teams are making roaster moves, trading, signing and releasing players to improve their team.

Certain moves by NFC East rivals, the Washington Redskins, were expected to push them to the top of the division

The Redskins, acquired Quarterback Alex Smith from the Kansas City Chiefs and brought in veteran Running back Adrian Peterson. The Redskins also toughened up their defense, led by Cornerback Josh Norman.

By their week one win against the Arizona Cardinals, these moves seem to be paying off. The Washington Redskins look to be the biggest threat to the Eagles in the NFC East.

Looking at the NFC as a whole, the Washington Redskins are not the only team that made some changes to improve their team. The Eagles are also facing threats from the Los Angeles Rams, Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saint and even the Atlanta Falcons despite already losing to the Eagles in week one.

Those from outside of Philadelphia think that the Eagles winning the Super Bowl was a fluke. Commentators and analyst spent the 2017-18 season picking out different aspects of the Eagles they thought would not compare to their opponents.

The Eagles should not be discredited so soon. In past seasons when teams win the Super Bowl, they are considered a top tear team even if they do not compete to the level that they once did.

Consider the New Orleans Saints. The Saints won the Super Bowl in 2010, and even though they have not always had a winning record between then and now the media still speaks well of the team, always referring to them as a contender.

It is understandable that there is a little doubt in the Eagles. The Eagles did lose several players from the Super Bowl roaster like Mychal Kendricks, Trey Burton, Vinny Curry, and Brent Celek just to name a few.

But many of their franchise players returned to the Eagles, some with new big contracts.

Super Bowl MVP, Nick Foles, signed a two-year $11 million contract with the Eagles, guaranteeing his place in Philadelphia until 2020. Along with Foles, Eagles head coach, Doug Pederson is also staying in Philadelphia through the 2020 season, the Eagles used the fifth-year option on Pederson’s contract.

The national sports media has never liked the Eagles or any Philadelphia team, for that matter. So, it is no surprise that the media is not giving the Eagles the credit they deserve.

The Eagles may not be the same as they were last year, but neither is any other team in the NFL.

Still, the Eagles are a good team. According to ESPN statistics, they have ranked number one in power rankings going into week two.

Eagles still have a top of the line defense and that defense kept them in the game against Atlanta. Their offense is rusty, but that does not define an entire season. The Eagles spent all of last season proving the critics wrong, and they will do it again this season.

The Eagles will make another run at the Super Bowl.

Contact Caroline Sweeney at communitarian@mail.dccc.edu

Phantoms fall short at their first home game against Middlesex

By Caroline Sweeney

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DCCC head coach Paul Motta and Middlesex head coach Cj Mooney discuss boundaries before the Phantoms home opener on March 19. Photo by Caroline Sweeney

DCCC Phantoms men’s baseball team lost their home opener 17-12 against Middlesex County College’s Blue Colts on March 19. The Phantoms have begun their season with an under .500 record of 2-3, and in regional play, the men are 1-1.

Right fielder Corey Woodcock led the Phantoms with three runs scored and four at-bats. Following Woodcock, third baseman Thomas Donahue and shortstop Jorge Rodriguez scored two runs. Gabriel Frigiola, Kevin Finn, Brian O’Neill, Tyler Butz and Nathaniel Scottung all scored one run.

The game was pretty good until a couple of mishaps in the field,” said Dominic Ervin, Phantoms starting pitcher. “We bounced back and came back to a close loss. If we had the same mindset we started within the first inning through the rest of the game, we would’ve won.”

Ervin began the game strong by only giving up one run to Middlesex. “It felt pretty good getting back on the field,” said Dominic Ervin, a second-year early childhood education major. “My arm felt strong, but there is always room for improvement for myself.”

The Phantoms came back in their half of the first inning, scoring two runs to take the lead early 2-1.

Both teams had a quiet offensive in the second and third inning, with no scoring for either side; however, the team’s defense kept the game tight.

Middlesex dominated the game with a commanding fourth inning. The Blue Colts racked up the hit and surged into the lead. Eight base hits and eight RBI’s gave Middlesex a 9-2 lead at the end of the fourth inning.

Middlesex went through their batting rotation twice before the Phantoms put an end to the surge with two pitching changes.

Ervin was replaced by Carl Lanholm, who allowed one walk and one RBI before he was re-placed by Brian O’Neill. Middlesex’s half of the inning was ended with two fly outs and an out at first base.

The Phantoms struggled offensively with fourth and fifth inning. Middlesex continued to score, lengthening their lead. So Middlesex was up 14-2 at the end of the fifth.

The Phantoms then put together an impressive effort to come back from their 10 runs deficit, scoring seven unanswered runs in their half of the sixth, bringing the score to 14-9 Middlesex.

Middlesex held on to their dominant lead by tacking on three more runs. DCCC added on three more runs of their own in the final two innings.

The final score for the Phantoms opener was 17-12 Middlesex.

“I felt good about my performance,” said Corey Woodcock, a first-year machine tool and technology major. “I gave my team everything I had and was able to contribute to the game.”

Both Woodcock and Ervin agreed that the team fell flat during the March 9 game.Yet they both share the same hopes to keep a positive attitude throughout the season.

“My goals, along with my teammates’ goals, are to win as many games as we can and get a spot in playoffs,” Woodcock said.

The Phantoms next home game will be a double header on April 14 at 12 p.m..

Contact Caroline Sweeney at communitarian@mail.dccc.edu

Risk versus reward

By Caroline Sweeney

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Source: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Graphic by Paul Trap

An estimated 11,000 college athletes are diagnosed with concussions every year and about 350,000 athletes die from sudden cardiac arrest per year, according to the American Physical Therapy Association.

This could be why former NFL Quarterback and Hall of Famer Brett Favre says he is “afraid” for his grandkids to play football.

In an interview with CNN, Favre explains that he knows the consequences of playing football, and he knows that these consequences can be life-threatening. However, Farve is still not entirely discouraging his grandkids from playing football.

According to the University of Missouri Health Care, physical activity and athletics offer many benefits for young people. These benefits include student athletes at any level doing better academically. Sports provide an outlet for students to get away from the stress and pressure of academics; participating in sports teaches teamwork; and the obvious health benefits athletics impart.

“It is a good experience to be involved in a sport, especially in college,” said Sarah Deangelo, Wellness Coordinator for DCCC. “Sports offers not only health benefits, but also allows students to be involved with the college. They are a part of a team and a community.”

However, with the recent extensive research into sports injuries, specifically concussions, many are wondering if the positive aspects of sports outweigh the chance of life-changing injuries.

“I believe that when you are competing in a sport, injuries are bound to happen,” said Suni Blackwell, director of Wellness, Athletics and Recreation via email. “Athletes don’t go into a sport thinking about getting injured. If this is the case, most athletes will not work hard due to being cautious.”

Deangelo explained how important it is to keep athletes safe. She added that the college is constantly tending to fields, making sure the ground is ready. Also, maintenance is conducted on sports facilities to make sure all equipment and floors are in shape for the athletes.

There are also DCCC trainers at every home sporting event, who treat the student on the spot and continue to follow up with the student after the injury, Deangelo added.

Despite these precautions, severe injuries can occur.

In 2002 Dr. Bennet Omalu discovered the degenerative brain disease of chronic traumatic encephalopathy or CTE, in NFL players.

The condition occurs when someone has had multiple hits to the head. According to experts, that does not mean just concussions; however, any head impact could lead to CTE.

The NFL has been at the center of ongoing controversy surrounding concussions, CTE, and how the league handles athletes’ post injuries.

The NFL has finally acknowledged the connection between football and concussions.

According to the NCAA, if athletes start a contact sport at a younger age, they are more likely to be diagnosed with CTE because of the constant impact.

The younger the athletes are, the longer it takes for them to recover from a concussion because their brains are not fully developed, according to the Concussion and Brain Injury Clinic.

Blackwell and Deangelo both agree that concussion protocol is so important for any sport. “We have to do a better job at the youth sport level educating offering trainings for coaches, parents and players on how to treat and/or avoid concussions and sport injury,” Blackwell said.

According to the Journal of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse, minor injuries also have the potential to become a life-changing event. Painkillers for injuries have become “the dirty little secret” of the sports world, the journal notes.

Athletes, even at the college level, have easier access to pain-killing medication because these athletes do not always need a prescription by a doctor to obtain them. Especially in a contact sport like football, trainers have the access to these medications and hand them out freely to athletes who feel they need them.

It is common that athletes take the pills to stop the pain without allowing their bodies to recover, making even a small ankle sprain more dangerous, reported the American Addiction Center.According to the American Psychiatric Association, despite all of the facts and figures on the risks of sports, the majority of athletes, both college and professional, will take that risk.

In an interview with the American Psychiatric Association, Ronald Kamm, director of Sports Psychiatry Association in Oakhurst, N.J., said, “[Sports] have become a religious experience for many participants.”

Kamm explained that sports are an important part of people’s identity. He describes sports as providing athletes and fans a sense of belonging, that leads to why athletics are so beloved to some.

“Passion psychologically drives people, in both athletes and fans,” Kamm said. “To win and be the best is intoxicating. It is a driving force that cannot be stopped.”

Contact Caroline Sweeney at communitarian@mail.dccc.edu