Phantoms suffer fourth loss in a row

By Caroline Sweeney

Guard Mike Mallon shoots a free throw shot in the first half of the game against Northampton on Nov. 17. Photo by Caroline Sweeney
Forward Nazir Gossette catches a pass and resets the DCCC offense for a scoring play. Photo by Caroline Sweeney

By Caroline Sweeney

The men’s basketball team lost their fourth game of the season 74-50 against the Northampton Spartans at home on Nov. 17 at the Community College of Philadelphia (CCP). The Phantoms are now 0-4 on the season.

Starting guard Justin Grans led the Phantoms offensively, scoring 15 points. Following Grans, forward Nazir Gossette scored 11 points and forward Ketquan Gatewood scored eight points.

Three other Phantoms contributed offensively. Guards Mike Mallon and De’Andray Covert scored seven points and forward Jack Yost scored two points.

“I think my team played well today,” said Larry Yarbray, Sr. Phantoms head coach. “We played the best team in the league and the defending champs. We competed at a good level. At times we struggled on offense, but our defense did a really good job.”

Both teams had a slow start to the game, neither team scoring until about halfway through the first half. The Spartans opened with a basket. Northampton had a strong offensive game while the Phantoms struggled to keep up with the scoring power of the Spartans.

Despite being consistently behind in the first half, the Phantoms did not give up. The Phantoms ran a quick offensive and capitalized on the fouling of Northampton by shooting well at the free throw line.

The Phantoms fell behind early in the first half and struggled with their offensive rebounding. Northampton had 16 offensive rebounds as opposed to DCCC’s eight.

At halftime, the Spartans were leading, 19-35 Northampton.

The Phantoms excelled in defense, keeping a team that would normally score 90+ points to 74 points.

At the beginning of the second half, the Phantoms came out faster and with a sense of urgency that they did not seem to have in the first half.

The Phantoms, with their better ball movement, slowed down the game to a steady pace. They scored 31 more points in their second half than in the first. But it was not enough to curve the Spartans offense, who scored 39 points in the second half.

Despite the improvement in the Phantoms game, they still struggled against Northampton.

As the second half progressed, the Phantoms started to rush, only taking jump shots.

“We moved away from the type of game that we normally play,” Yarbray said. “We settled for some jump shots instead of baskets inside that paint or any kind of inside presence.”

After several turnovers by the Phantoms, Northampton continued to extend their lead significantly.

With a final score of 74- 50 Northampton, the Spartans handed the Phantoms their fourth loss of the season.

The lack of offense took a toll on the team’s statistics as well. The Phantoms made about 29 percent of their field goals, only 15 percent of their three-point shots and 52 percent of their free throws.

These stats have dropped since their last game, a 97-79 loss against CCP.

“Total team effort, everyone gave what they had,” Yarbray said. “But hopefully we learned something. [The team is] starting to believe in one another.”

The Phantoms next game will be away on Nov. 29 against Burlington County. The next home game will be at Widener University’s gym on Dec. 1 against Montgomery County.

Contact Caroline Sweeney at communitarian@mail.dccc. edu

Phantoms fall short at their first home game against Middlesex

By Caroline Sweeney

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

Risk versus reward

By Caroline Sweeney

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

Phantoms stay focused towards season’s end

By David Schwartz

Phantoms forward Alvin Davis attempts to kick the ball past MCCC’s defense on Oct. 14 at Montgomery County Community College. Photo by David Schwartz

The men’s soccer team’s season came to a close with a 2-1 road loss to Bucks County Community College in the opening round of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division III Region XIX Playoffs Oct. 21.

The Phantoms final regular season record of 7-6 led to an 11 seed in the playoffs. Bucks County ended their regular season with an 11-5-1 record and a 6 seed.

Bucks County midfielder Howard Haas scored the first goal in the 27th minute, which gave them a 1-0 lead. They extended the lead to 2-0 in the 85th minute with a goal scored by forward Ilia Borisov.

DCCC avoided the shutout with a penalty kick by forward Luke Maruca in the 89th minute to cut the deficit to 2-1. Goalie Joseph Messina ended the game with six saves out of eight shots on goal.

The loss left the Phantoms with a 7-7 record for the season in what had been a “fantastic, growing experience,” according to head coach Ryan Griffith, who just finished his 14th season.

“It’s not about perfection, it’s about progression,” Griffith said. “Once the boys progress from a day-to-day basis and focus on the student athletic portion [of the season], then they will be successful on the field.”

The Phantoms faced adversity a week prior when they suffered an 8-2 loss on the road to Montgomery County Community College. After MCCC led 2-1 at halftime, they broke away and outscored DCCC 6-1 in the second half due to multiple defensive breakdowns.

Phantoms forward Abu Bangura scored the only goal. The team’s other goal was scored due to a deflection by MCCC into their own net. Messina saw plenty of action by recording eight saves out of 16 shots on goal.

“It is what it is at this point,” Griffith said as he addressed his team after the loss. “It’s over and done with.”

Griffith knew the team needed to keep their composure and stick to the “keys of success” to win the team’s final regular season home game 4-2 Oct. 17 against Harrisburg Area Community College.

“We have about six keys every game,” Griffith said. “One of [those keys] is 90 plus minutes of defensive intensity and we didn’t do that.”

The team stuck to that key against Harrisburg to finish the regular season. Messina had five saves out of seven shots on goal while forward Juan Saravia led the scoring with two goals, along with a goal by Maruca and Bangura each.

Phantoms Coach Ryan Griffith talks to his team during an injury timeout on Oct. 14 at Montgomery County Community College Photo by David Schwartz

As the season came to a close, the Phantoms earned accolades with Maruca and forward Shamour Young earning spots on the Eastern Pennsylvania Athletic Conference (EPAC) All-Conference First Team. Young also made the Region XIX Division III All-Region Third Team.

Maruca finished the season with three goals and three assists, while Young finished with five goals and two assists. Messina closed his season stat line with 83 saves out of 131 shots on goal and one shutout.

“I was really shocked and excited,” Young said on making All-Conference and All-Region. “My goal is to get a scholarship so it’s another step towards that goal.”

Contact David Schwartz at