MCHS Powerlifting Team

By Chazz Jacks

The MCHS powerlifting team has been on a roll this season, for the boys side placing first at both meets so far this season (Joplin High School and Glendale) and the girls getting third (Joplin High School) and first (Glendale). I’m here to tell you what makes this team so dominant.

Meet the Team

Boys

On the boys side of this team there are 26 males (Kolton Blue, Sampson Boles, Arturo Morales,  Eric Munoz ,Jaw Soe, Michael Williams, Trent Alik Kaiden Campbell, Junior Eliam, Bailey Lewis, Jesus Mendoza, Orvill Pitts, Bradley Saylor, Mark Clements, Zach Hinton, Chazz Jacks, Jonathan Lingo, Jared Mora, Levi Neale, Jorge Ramirez, Alexis Sanchez, Nine Tu, Raider Blue, Jaxen Campbell, Jordan Saylor, Connor Yang) every one of these lifters are unique in there own way such as Connor Yang being able to pull a 325 dead lift at only 103 body weight as a freshman, Kaiden Campell squatting 600 pounds as a junior, Sampson Boles squat cleaning 260 at the 145 lb class, and Jesuz Mendoza benching 225 at 168 as a first year power lifter, which is insane.

Girls

On the girl’s side there are 7 (Jackie Grider,  Emily Thornton, Nicole Estrada, Ebenee Munoz, Zoe Thornton, Kylan Horton-Sherman, Reagan Myrick). Led by Grider, and Thorton (Thorton a multiple state champion). The girl’s side is small in numbers but big in heart and strength.

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2017-2018 squad takes 2nd at State

What Makes this Team Different

I spoke to the head coach of the power lifting team (Coach McCullough) about what makes this year’s team different and special from his past teams, and he said that this year’s team is very different. From lots of heavyweight lifters to more lightweight-middleweight athletes, McCullough is very impressed with the teams success with this new style and hopefully this team continues to impress.

Over the past 4 years of competing, the team has gotten 10 team awards with an average of 4 meets a season. But there is still something missing from the awards, a first place at state. They have gotten very close over the years, bu they haven’t had enough people. McCullough states, “It’s a numbers game.”

The team needs just a few more people to win state from 35-45 athletes. The closest was 2018 where they placed 2nd but fell short because they didn’t have enough athletes. Hopefully this years squad gets gold March 7th at Glendale with this new type of personal from lots of 200 lb-250 athletes to more 125-175 lifters.

2020 NBA All-Star Weekend

By Cayden Westgate

NBA All-Star weekend is right around the corner. Competitions like the three point contest, slam dunk contest, and the skills challenge, and following those events is the famous All-Star game. This year again, the two captains will be Lebron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

3-Point Contest Participants

  1. Davis Bertans, Washington Wizards power forward. Shooting 43.1% from three
  2. Devonte’ Graham, Charlotte Hornets point guard. Shooting 35.8% from three.
  3. Joe Harris, Brooklyn Nets small forward. Shooting 42.2% from three.
  4. Buddy Hield, Sacramento Kings shooting guard. Shooting 41% percent from three.
  5. Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls point guard/shooting guard. Shooting 37.6% from three.
  6. Damian Lillard, Portland Trailblazers point guard. Shooting 39.8% from three, but was replaced because of an injury by Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns shooting guard shooting 35% from three.
  7. Duncan Robinson, Miami Heats small forward/shooting guard. Shooting 43.9% from three.
  8. Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks point guard. Shooting 37.3% from three.

Buddy Hield won this contest but it was not very easy.

Slam Dunk Contest Participants

  1. Pat Connaughton, Milwakuee Bucks small forward/shooting guard.
  2. Aaron Gordon, Orlando Magics small forward/power forward.
  3. Dwight Howard, Los Angeles Lakers power forward/center.
  4. Derrick Jones Jr., Miami Heats Small Forward/Power forward.

The outcome of this contest was very debatable

Skills Challenge Participants

  1. Derrick Rose, Detroit Pistons point guard.
  2. Patrick Beverly, Los Angeles Clippers point guard.
  3. Bam Adebayo, Miami Heats power forward/center.
  4. Pascal Siakam, Toronto Raptors power forward.
  5. Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics small forward/powerforward.
  6. Domantas Sabonis, Indiana Pacers power forward/center.
  7. Spencer Dinwiddie, Broklyn Nets guard.
  8. Khris Middleton, Milwaukee Bucks guard.

All-Star Game

Team Lebron:

  • Lebron James- captain
  • Anthony Davis- forward-center
  • James Harden-guard
  • Kawhi Leonard-forward
  • Luka Doncic-forward-guard
  • Damian Lillard but replaced by Devin Booker-guard
  • Chris Paul-guard
  • Nikola Jokic-center
  • Ben Simmons-guard-forward
  • Jayson Tatum-forward-guard
  • Domantas Sabonis-forward-center
  • Russell Westbrook-guard

Team Giannis:

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo-forward
  • Joel Embiid-center-forward
  • Pascal Siakam-forward
  • Kemba Walker-guard
  • Trae Young-guard
  • Bam Adebayo-center-forward
  • Brandon Ingram-forward
  • Jimmy Butler-forward
  • Rudy Gobert-center
  • Donovan Mitchell-guard
  • Kyle Lowry-guard
  • Khris Middleton-forward

New Format to Honor Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gigi

Each of the four quarters will stand on their own and the fourth quarter won’t even have a clock. All to spice up the competition, add some intrigue, honor the memory of the late Kobe Bryant and most of all, get folks talking about it beyond the buzzer. The uniforms for Team LeBron and Team Giannis will be 24 and 2, representing the numbers that Kobe wore with the Lakers and his daughter Gigi wore for her travel team. The shot clock will illuminate when it hits 24 and 8, representing both jersey numbers worn by Kobe with the Lakers.

Our Improved Weight Room

By Chazz Jacks

Well, if you’re in weights here at MCHS, you’ve probably seen or heard  the new upgrades that have happened in our weight room. First from what I remember, the first major upgrade was the TV with the good speaker. Next was the stretch band and weight belt holders which was nice before that we just put them all in a locker. Then we got some Olympic bars, which I loved and other people who are good at clean. Then we went from old school clips to these Rogue Fitness Collars. More and more good upgrades kept happening freshman year.

Then we got three new squat racks, two on each on so six in total plus four pull up bars. Now we have nine squat racks and four pull up bars. Can’t wait to see what new improvements the weight room has in the upcoming future.

Students thoughts of the weight room upgrades

“My favorite weight room upgrade is probably the new clips or olympic bars because its not as time consuming as the old clips and old bars. The old clips were rusty and were very hard to get on. The olympic bars are nice for cleaning, with free bar rotation and doesn’t grind.”

Danny Grider (Sophomore)

“I like the room we have, more racks for more people, better equipment so we don’t get hurt”

Jacob Gordon (Freshman)

“Probably the squat racks we got, plus they came with more pull up bars. More space in there, easier to set up for squats just a newer and cleaner look.”

Arturo Morales (Senior)

“Squat racks, there’s so much more room, more racks, easier to lift, more people can lift… it’s beautiful.”

Jackson Clarkson (Junior)

High School Rodeo to Pro Rodeo

By Alexis Bishop and Ashlyn Shumate

Growing up in rodeo community meant the world to me. I got to meet some of the best cowboys/cowgirls in the world. Rodeo is a sport that got started by the practice of herding cattle in Spain, Mexico, later on in South America, the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the Philippines. Rodeo is the Spanish meaning for roundup. It is hard to find when the first rodeo in America was. Most of what’s in today’s rodeo came from Prescott’s rodeo in 1888.

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In the sport of rodeo there is one thing all cowboys/cowgirls wait for which is the NFR. The NFR is ten days of rodeo in Las Vegas. Most cowboys want to go from high school rodeo to the PRCA. To apply to be a member of the PRCA you must obtain a pro card. You also must have earned at least $1000 at a PRCA sanctioned rodeo. There is no time limit to “fill” your PRCA permit. Money won under a permit card will only go towards circuit standings. The money you earn in a season with your PRCA membership goes towards your world standings. Most cowboys in the PRCA make around $136,419 to $436,479. More than 43 million people are fans of the PRCA. 

Going from high school rodeo to pro is a big change. High school rodeo you normally stay in your state and compete against others in your state. In pro rodeo you compete against the best cowboys/cowgirls in the word. While you do have a finals in high school rodeo, they are nothing like going to the NFR. While the change from high school rodeo to pro rodeo might be difficult, it is also a good way to meet new people and make new friends. People come from all around the world to compete in pro rodeo. If you ask anyone in pro rodeo they would tell you that they love the community and that rodeo is something they love to do. That being said rodeo isn’t just a sport it’s a passion.

Untouchable NBA Records

By Cayden Westgate

Breaking records has always been an achievement players strive for in the NBA. Records like Wilts 100 points is more than likely going to remain untouchable. But the real question is, what is the greatest individual record ever recorded in the NBA?

Wilt Chamberlain’s 100 point game

In Wilt’s time, there was no such thing as a three point line, so all of his buckets were worth two points. If you do the math, he had to score 50 times. It may not seem like a lot, but when you have defenders guarding and no three point line, it seems impossible. Kobe Bryant was the closest to reach 100 with his 81 point performance. Then there were many 70 point games performed by Devin Booker,  David Robinson, David Thompson, and Elgin Baylor. I believe that the list of these players and the amount they have scored can prove that no one will be able to touch Wilts record. If there ever were to be a player to break that record, I believe that it would be James Harden. He has the ability to score on anyone and in almost every situation. Harden has had multiple 60 point games. Many say he is a ball hog, but if you can score over 50 points then I think that gives you the right to call an isolation play whenever you want.

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Russel Westbrook’s Triple Double Season

If you don’t know what a triple double is, it is a stat line of double digits through the stats of points, assists, and rebounds. Westbrook was the first player ever to to average a triple-double for an entire season, he holds the NBA’s career record for triple-double games (181) and previously held the single-season record of 41, which Russell Westbrook broke on April 9, 2017. To be able to acquire 10 plus in every category during a game is pretty hard, especially to be a point guard and get rebounds over big men is challenging. Westbrook also averaged a triple double for 2 seasons in a row. It is a shame he has not won a championship yet.

Klay Thompson’s 3-point Barrage

The Golden State Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson broke his teammate Stephen Curry’s record for the most made 3-pointers in a game. Stephen Curry’s record was 13 made 3-pointers made was broken October 29, 2019, on a Monday night against the Chicago Bulls. Klay Thompson managed to put up 14 3-pointers to go along with his 52 points. Being able to shoot and make 14 3-pointers in a game is extremely challenging and difficult. This record might be broken in the future as this league evolves into a shooting era. He may even break his own record in the future.

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Klay Thompson fired up after his amazing performance.

Scott Skiles’ 30 Assists Game

On December 30, 1990, Scott Skiles (point guard for the Orlando Magic) dished out 30 assists in a single game against the Denver Nuggets. The Orlando Magic beat the Nuggets 155-116. To get to 30 assists seems impossible, even 10 getting 10 assists is difficult. This record to me is one of the most impressive records to ever be recorded. 

Wilt Chamberlain’s 55 Rebounds

It is really impressive to hold the record for the most points, but to hold and additional record for the most rebounds in a game is insanely impressive. On November 24, 1960, Wilt snatched up 55 rebounds in a game against Bill Russell and the Boston Celtics. I think that this record will never be broken or even be close to being broken. Wilt Chamberlain was 7 foot 1 so it makes since that he would get a good amount of rebounds but no one would ever think it was possible to grab 55 rebounds. I believe that the centers in today’s league will never be able to break that record because of the way the centers are adding the 3-point to their arsenal, causing them to be out on the perimeter, restricting them from getting as much rebounds as they would if they weren’t playing at the 3-point line.

Elmore Smith and his 17 Blocks

On October 28, 1973, Elmore Smith rejected 17 shots in a game against the Portland Trail Blazers and his team (Los Angeles Lakers) managed to win the game 111-98. Smith was a center so that made it a slight bit easier to get 17 blocks, but to even get 10 blocks is insanely good. Along with Wilt Chamberlain’s rebound record, this record is also untouchable. In today’s league, players are more crafty, and smarter with their shot selection, so I definitely think it is harder to get blocked in this league than it was back in the day.

Larry Kenon and Kendall Gill and there Pick Pocketing Skills

Larry Kenon and Kendall Gill share the NBA record for the most steals in a game with 11 steals. To steal a ball from a player is harder than you think, especially if they are an elite ball handler or an elite passer. In today’s league, players like Kyrie Irving, Stephen Curry, James Harden, make it hard for a player to steal the ball from them because they are all elite ball handlers and passers. Back when Larry and Kendall played, players really didn’t know how to dribble as well as the elite ball handlers today know how to, and also there may have been a few rule changes with dribbling. 

Meet the Freshman Volleyball Coach

By Alexia Estrada

Some people have heard of her and some people know her. Coach Schooley is a Special Education teacher and the freshman volleyball coach at McDonald County High School. She went to high school in Pea Ridge and played softball, basketball, and volleyball there. She went to Crowder and got her associate in general studies, and dental assistant license.

Coach Schooley has always loved being in the classroom, but she was able to get her current job because of a little luck and because McDonald County had a good reputation for a school.

“I’ve just always heard good things about here, and I wanted to get out of Arkansas,” Schooley said. “When I moved here, the job popped open. It was perfect timing.”

According to Coach Schooley, working at this school also has a lot of perks.

“I get to inspire others just like my teacher did back in high school, that’s the best feeling.”


Should the NBA add a 4-point line?

By Cayden Westgate

The NBA has changed dramatically over the years, and at this point in time, it is almost mandatory that you are able to shoot a three point successfully. The league went from being post dominant to guards shooting from range to everyone being able to shoot from deep. Over the past few years, there has been controversy in the league over whether or not the NBA should add a 4-point shot. There are some pros and cons to this subject, but after you read this article, tell me your opinion about adding the 4-point line. 

This is where the four-point line will be if the NBA decides to add it to the game. 

Pros:

  1.  It would bring a lot more attention and fans to the NBA. Fans love seeing players knock down clutch deep shots, and if they add the four point line it will be even more dramatic and exciting for the fans. Players can pull up from the four-point line, if they are down by four, and bury it. Fans would go crazy to see a shot like that. This would benefit sharpshooters like Stephen Curry, Damian Lillard,  Kevin Durant, and others.
  2. If a team has lethal sharpshooters on the floor, they could really stretch out the defense and make them play out to the four-point line. Stretching out the defense can allow more time for players to shoot because it may take a little longer for the defender to run out to the four-point line and contest the shot, unless the coach has the defense playing tight on the four point line.
  3.  Along with number 2,  it also can allow for more players to drive and pass it out because a defender would be too worried about the four point being made that the player with the ball can just fake the shot, drive to the basket, make a defender come over to help defense, and then they can pass it to the open person out on the four point line.
  4. Making a deep shot like that can really boosts your teammates morale and encourage them to play better, because when a team is down by a lot, making a shot like that can fire them up and put a little hope in them to try to get back into the game.
  5. The last pro is that a player is able to rack up more points. I know some players care more about getting the win than they do about their points, but there are also a lot of players in the league that love to have a lot of points.
Damian Lillard shoots exceptionally well from behind the three point line.

Cons:

  1. The first con is a big deal because younger kids in the 5th and 6th grade will think that basketball is just all about shooting. When Stephen Curry blew up, it encouraged kids to start shooting from deep all the time. There is more to basketball than just shooting from deep. There is strategy. Adding the four-point line will encourage younger kids to shoot from deep even more when they need to be working on their free throws or their layups. It must drive the coaches crazy seeing their kids launch it from deep when they can be working on other things.
  2. In a way, adding the four-point line can slow the game down. It can stop the players from driving to the basket and getting a possible one, or even better, dunk the ball. A lot of fans love seeing fast-paced basketball and love seeing insane dunks instead of a lousy long distance shot that has a bigger percentage of missing. So for some fans, adding the four-point shot will just make the game boring to watch. 
  3.  This con may be questionable, but this change could make it easier for players to break records in the league. For example, Wilt Chamberlain’s 100 point game could be broken easily if they decide to add the four-point shot. It already isn’t fair that Wilt didn’t have a three point shot to get his 100 points so adding the four-point shot won’t make it any more fair. Wilt had to work hard for his 100 points, when all the baskets he made were only worth two points. Now, if there were a four point line and a player broke the 100 point record by using the four point shot, it would be too easy. 
  4. This could make the NBA look really bad. If commissioner Adam Silver decides to add the four-point shot, more players will attempt the shot and more than likely miss and their field goal percentage will decrease dramatically, and the NBA would look like a mess compared to all the other leagues around the world because the NBA players are throwing up ridiculous shots that are more than likely going to miss.   

This is all I have for the pros and cons, but don’t forget to let me know what you think about the four-point line potentially being added to the game!

Top 10 NBA Team Predictions

By Cayden Westgate and Chazz Jacks

A lot of crazy moves has happened this NBA offseason, a lot of history making moves, and questionable moves. These moves have made people wonder what teams will be dominant and what teams won’t be. We are here, (Chazz Jacks and Cayden Westgate), to tell you each of our predictions of the top 10 NBA teams and why we think they deserved a spot in our top 10. 

Chazz Jacks’ Top 10

Enes Kanter and Kemba Walker are happy to start a new chapter in their careers.

1. Clippers

They took the Warriors to 6 games in the first round of the playoffs. They have a strong bench, good overall chemistry, good coaching. Now, they have added Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. That makes them more dangerous defensively (Paul, Beverley, Kawhi) and better scoring (Paul, Lou) . 

2. Lakers

They did not have the season everyone thought they were going to have but I believe they are going to pull themselves together. They added Anthony Davis, Danny Green, Dwight Howard, and DeMarcus Cousins. (Yes, he got injured… again, but he could recover… again and play as a solid 6th man type player). They put Lebron at Point. He has size and athleticism, but he doesn’t have that energy and agility he had when he was with the Heat. Known for his perimeter defense and three-point shooting, Green has been a key contributor on both ends on the floor. Davis has been a top-five player in the NBA for years now, and everything about his game has improved this past season.  Dwight hasn’t been his Magic self for well since he left the Magic, but if he really wants to add NBA champion to his resume, he will cut the crap, swallow his ego and play like he knows he can. He is a double double maniac, dominate, and a solid shot blocker. 

3.  76ers

For the past two seasons, they have been a top 10 team and not to long ago, they were the laughing stock of the NBA, like the New York Knicks right now. They have Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, Al Horford, Tobias Harris, and other key players. I feel like since the main teams in the East are sort of high powered offensively, (besides Milwaukee) they have have some pretty good defense as well thanks to players such as Joel Embiid and Al Horford. And I believe that Joel and Al can work together to take down inside the paint power houses such as reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounpo, Anthony Davis, Blake Griffin, and many others. It’s going to be fun seeing how the 76ers play this year.

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Will the Bucks be the new face of the East?

4. Bucks

They have a good solid all around team that can rely on each other offensively and defensively. They have spot on shooters (Brook Lopez, Khris Middelton, Kyle Korver) Good defense (Brook Lopez, DPOY candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middelton) and plus they had the best record of the season. Reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo lead them to that amazing record and the Eastern Conference Finals, only falling short to the Toronto Raptors. They have lost Malcom Brodgon, but gained off the dribble and catch and shoot specialist Kyle Korver. And speaking of shooting, Giannis has shown tremendous improvement in his shooting. Not only that, they have 2019’s 3 point shooting contestant, and Brook Lopez who this past season made more three pointers than Kobe Bryant ever did in a single season.

5. Warriors

It seems like all is lost for this former high favored dynasty, but in my eyes not exactly. The departure of the 2x NBA finals MVP Kevin Durant is a big blow to the team and fans. Klay Thompson suffered a torn ACL late in Game 6 against Toronto. DeMarcus Cousins left the team to join back up with former teammates Anthony Davis and Rajon Rondo in lala land(Los Angeles Lakers). But this means we might see a little of 2015-2016 Steph Curry, which will be pretty scary. And now he will be paired up with D’angelo Russell, which is going to be a next level splash brother thing. And maybe Draymond Green will have another great season with KD gone. I wouldn’t call it quits on this team just yet.

6. Nets

They have been growing, and growing the past couple seasons. They were lead to a 6th seed spot by former Nets All-Star D’angelo Russell and put up a fight. Now they have acquired Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, and DeAndre Jordan. No one knows who will be the leader of this stacked New York team but hopefully Kevin Durant will come back (Most likely not till near or during playoffs). Kyrie will get along and DeAndre will tap into his potential. He should back in his Clipper days, and some players on the rest of the team will break out (Jarett Allen, Spencer Dinwidie etc). 

7. Celtics

Yes, Kyrie Irving, Al Horford, Terry Rozier, and other key players have departed this team, but all hope is not lost. Kemba Walker will now be the leader and in my opinion will be a better leader than Kyrie ever did for the Celtics. He put on a show last year for Buzz city, and now we can see what he can do with some high caliber players(Tatum, Jaylen, Kanter Hayward). I see Tatum having a breakout year, as in being an all-star, averaging over 22 points and etc. Kanter is a solid team player, and if Gordon Hayward can get back to his solid shooting days back in Utah and keeps out of injury, Boston is a team I see lasting to the second round being a 4th or 5th seed. 

8. Nuggets

They were the 2nd seed in a stacked Western Conference (54-28). They made it past the Spurs four games to three led by Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, and Gary Harris. They didn’t make it past the Blazers though, but didn’t go down without a fight, lost the semifinals 3 games to 4. Jamal Murray showed us all a sneak peek of his potential with his smooth handles, shot making and ability to drive and finish. I see them getting a 3rd or 4th seed in the Western Conference, but getting knocked out second round. 

9. Utah Jazz

They have shown tremendous growth to me. For everyone who’s a Jazz fan who got worried when Hayward left, now being lead by not one, not two, but three players(Mitchell, Gobert, Conely). In the 2018 NBA playoffs, they eliminated the Oklahoma City Thunder lead by at the time reigning MVP Russell Westbrookand Paul George. That caught my attention. Now we’re seeing Donavon Mitchell grow more each season, not just as a dunker but as a leader. Rudy Gobert has now won two consecutive DPOY, and have automatic Aussie Joe Ingles. They also have acquired Mike Conely, who is a Grizzlies legend. Now the young guys will be led by him and we can see how it goes.

10. The Portland Trailblazers

They have shown a lot of improvement in the playoffs, and there were a lot of odds against Rip City. Led by Damian Lillard, he took the Blazers all the way to the Western Conference Finals. And taking down some pretty good teams such as the Oklahoma City Thunder led by MVP candidate Paul George, where he made that cold blooded game 5 winning shot OVER Paul. Then they took on the highly favored Denver Nuggets and beat them in 7 games. But sadly this team doesn’t have a happy ending. Damian, and the Blazers were swept by the Golden State Warriors. Now they have acquired shot blocking specialist Hassan Whiteside, which gives them more defense and second shot opportunities. Now the Blazers have Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, and Hassan Whiteside. I wouldn’t sleep on this team.   

Cayden Westgate’s Top 10

Will these two be the best duo in the league?

1. The Clippers

The Clippers deserve my number one spot because they really impressed me with how they took the dangerous Warriors team to game 6 when everyone expected them to get swept by the Warriors. They already have good firepower of Lou Williams (14.2 ppg, 2.2 rebounds, 3.3 assists ), and Montrezl Harrell ( 11.2 ppg, 4.4 rebounds, 1.2 assists), and now the Clippers have added Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. So now the Clippers have a really good defensive team. George was qualified for both defensive player of the year and MVP. Kawhi also just won a championship with the Raptors and he was the Finals MVP. With the combination of George and Leonard. If they stay healthy, the Clippers will have amazing defense plus Patrick Beverly who can get under anyone’s skin. Since the Clippers added George and Leonard, the team has plenty of scorers, almost there whole team is able to score. The Clippers are a title contending team but they have a lot of competition ahead of them.

2. The Nets

I put the Nets at the number 2 spot because they don’t have a good defensive lineup like the Clippers but they good players that can score on anyone. Adding Durant, Irving, Jordan makes it so much easier for them to score. Adding all their scoring abilities will make them a threat in the league. Also the Nets bench is pretty good as well. Off the bench they have Spencer Dinwiddie, Jarret Allen, Joe Harris and other assets, but those three are lethal. Harris is an amazing shooter, Allen is a defensive monster, and Dinwiddie is a strong team player. If the Nets decide to start Harris, the floor will be spaced out really well. There potential starting lineup is Irving, Durant, Allen, Harris, and Jordan. This team is also tall, so they should be able to get a lot of rebounds. Other than that, the Nets have amazing scoring talent, but I am worried about their defense. 

3. The Lakers

The Lakers were hard to place in my top three because they really only have two amazing players, Lebron James and Anthony Davis. But they also have the young star, Kyle Kuzma. The Lakers can make so many lineups. They could put Lebron at power forward, Kuzma at small forward, move Davis to center, Avery Bradley or Danny Green at shooting guard, and keep Rondo at point. They could do so many more lineups and that’s why I think they deserve my number three spot. They can mess with teams head with there lineup switches. What is so convenient about the Lakers being able to mix the lineup is that when they see a possible mismatch they can make it happen easily. Alongside there versatility with the lineup they have good defense. Both Lebron and Anthony are extremely dangerous. Over Anthony Davis’s career, he averages 2.4 blocks a game. With him barely playing last season that is still pretty good. Lebron may have not averaged as many blocks as Davis did but he averaged 1.3 steals a game. He also does a lot of defensive things that don’t show up in the box score, like tipping passes or just contesting shots, and the person that is being guarded by Lebron is being pressured because Lebron is questionably the best player to ever play. Scoring is very questionable for the Lakers, yes they have Lebron and Anthony but they cant do it all. Spacing is also a big issue for the Lakers. If they start Dwight, Davis, and Lebron, the paint will be really crowded because all three of them or more dominant inside. Lebron and Davis can hit the three but not consistently. We will see what they do when the season starts.

4. The Warriors

We all know the Warriors lost the finals and lost one of their best players on the team, Kevin Durant. They are still in my top 5 because they still have Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson(injured but might return in time for the payoffs), but they also acquired D’Angelo Russell this offseason. So the Warriors still have a big three but without the firepower of Klay Thompson it will be rough season for them. Personally I think the Warriors should start Curry and Russell at point, or could switch off being point guard and shooting guard, Draymond can stay at power forward, and since they don’t really have another small forward other than Klay they could run two power forwards and put in Kevon Looney and have Willie Caulie-Stein at center. Now spacing may be an issue, but I honestly think this may be the best lineup they have unless they make some trades and acquire good assets for the team. If Klay makes a fast recovery and comes back like 25 games before the playoffs, they will be a title contending team. When Klay is healthy, I think there starting lineup should be Curry at point, Klay at shooting guard, Russell at small forward, Draymond at power forward, and Cauley-Stein at center. This team is pretty deadly if you ask me but again Klay is out for the majority of the season, and that’s a big hit for the Warriors but I still believe the Warriors can clinch a playoff spot. 

5. The Bucks

The Bucks had a spectacular season, they had the best record in the league with 60 wins and only 22 losses. There most important player on the team, Giannis Antetokounmpo, won MVP averaging 27.7 points, 12.5 rebounds and 5.9 assists. They are at my number 5 because they really don’t have the firepower besides Giannis. Yes they have quality players like Khris Middleton, Eric Bledsoe, Brook Lopez, and acquiring Kyle Korver over the offseason. Kyle Korver will be a perfect fit for them because they need players that can knock down the three consistently. I think the only thing the Bucks need are more superstars on there team. In the east I honestly think they can be the first seed but they have the 76ers, Nets, and the Celtics to worry about and the Detroit Pistons as well since they added Derrick Rose and they have a big three. I’m really curious if they can keep the same drive and mentality they had last season to bring over to this season and possibly bring home the title.

6. The Houston Rockets

The Houston Rockets have been having trouble these past few years in the playoffs trying to make it past the Warriors. I feel like they were just missing a small piece in there roster. Adding Westbrook is very questionable because both Harden and Westbrook are ball dominant guards but also Westbrook is pretty good at dishing out the ball and that’s why it is very questionable if adding Westbrook was a good move. If you remember, Harden and Westbrook were teammates on the Thunder for three years and got to the finals his third year with the help of Kevin Durant. Since they both have developed and got better over the years they should be a high caliber team but again sharing the ball might be a problem. The Rockets also have good quality players surrounding Harden Westbrook, they have Clint Capela, which is a defensive monster, Eric Gordon who can knock down the three consistently, and Kenneth Faried who can rebound and score a decent amount of points. But what I think is stopping them from being a top 3 seed is them being able to share the ball, I think they will make it to the playoffs but not get far.

7. The 76ers

Losing Jimmy Butler was a big hit for the 76ers, that’s why I don’t think they will be as good as they were last year. But they did add Al Horford. Adding him is a good move because he can be a backup center or he could start power forward and have Joel Embiid at center. They have one really big problem, and that is being able to shoot the three at a high percentage. I did see Ben Simmons (a big threat on both ends of the court) working on his three pointer this offseason, so hopefully he is able to knock them down. Also Tobias Harris can shoot the three a little bit as well. Joel Embiid is going to be the driving force of this team with Simmons by his side. This team will have really good defense. Embiid last season averaged about 2 blocks a game, so he has the paint locked down, he also managed to snatch up about 13 rebounds a game. And with Ben Simmons passing abilities, him and Joel could run really good pick and roll plays and pick and pop plays. They are definitely a playoff team but I really don’t think that they are championship quality.

8. Portland Trail Blazers

Like the Houston Rockets, the Portland Trail Blazers have been having trouble making it past the first two rounds of the playoffs. They added Hassan Whitside this offseason, which is a good move because in my opinion Jusuf Nurkic is way to soft and gets injured to much. Of course they have their two stars, Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, and they have Rodney Hood who is a decent player. If they want to make it far into the playoffs, they need more superstars on there team, or at least good quality players that can score the ball, pass the ball, and play defense. If Lillard has an amazing year like he did last year they will definitely put up a fight to make the playoffs. In my opinion CJ and Damian need more help because for the past few years it seems like they have been doing all the work. But now that Whiteside is on the team, their defense should be good. Last season Whiteside didn’t average many points but he did pull down 11.3 rebounds a game and about 2 blocks a game, so adding him was honestly a smart move, but the question is, can he stay healthy?  Like the 76ers, I just don’t think they are championship bound yet, maybe another year or two.

9. The Denver Nuggets

The Denver Nuggets had a breakout season this year. They finished the season 54-28, one of the best records in the NBA. The tandem of Nickola Jokic and Jamal Murray are a deadly duo. Jokic is dominant center who can also play like a guard, his passing is outstanding and his playmaking is outstanding as well. Jamal Murray also is an amazing point guard and hopefully next season he improves a lot more. In the playoffs the Nuggets came up short and lost in the 2 round to the Blazzers in a game 7. So I think if everyone on their roster improves on everything  they could possibly make it farther into the playoffs, but since they are in the west, it is going to be really hard for them to compete.

10. The Boston Celtics

Last but not least are the Boston Celtics. They lost Kyrie Irving and Al Horford this offseason which hurt them bad, but luckily the Boston Celtics acquired Kemba Walker so losing Irving and Horford isn’t that bad, and they also acquired Enes Kanter over the offseason to replace Horfords spot. The Celtics have a young team so I think it might take the team a while to fully develop into there primes, especially Jayson Tatum, in a couple years, if he stays healthy, he will be a dominant player in the league. Kemba will also do good for the teams scoring and dishing out assists to everyone on the team. If Kemba, Jayson, and Kanter have good chemistry they can potentially be a big three in the league. They also added Tacko Fall who is insanely tall and can rebound and defend the paint, but he needs to gain more strength so for now I think Enes Kanter will be the starting Center. I believe the Celtics can make it to the playoffs and possibly make it past the first round but they definitely are not a championship team.

Teacher Athletes

By Alexia Estrada

At the high school, you might not know that we have many teachers and coaches that were once athletes just like you. During their time as athletes in high school and in college, they learned a lot of valuable lessons that many of our students who aren’t sure whether to play sports should hear. Here is just some of what they learned from sports:

Coach Delatorre played soccer.

Coach Delatorre (Soccer) 

Sports give you relationship skills that are irreplaceable. Learning how to be a team player, learning how to communicate with authority figures, as well as teammates/colleagues is a skill set I am thankful to have learned through sports.

– Coach Delatorre
Coach Bergen played baseball and basketball.

Coach Bergen (Baseball, Basketball)

Sports have gotten me to where I am right now. I was fortunate enough to play in college, and I finished four years in college as well. It wasn’t always easy; there were a lot of times I wanted to quit, but my parents raised me to be a person that once you commit to something then you finish it out. If I had not finished and been committed to playing baseball my whole college career, I don’t think I would have been able to start coaching, and I definitely don’t think I would have been able to get into education and become an athletic director. The values that I learned through sports I take with me in everyday life. 

– Coach Bergen
Coach Grab played volleyball and also competed in rodeos.

Coach Grab (Volleyball, Rodeo)

Sports were how I learned how to deal with adversity, overcome struggle, and how to become a leader. I developed a lot of mental strength through sports. So whenever I have a tough situation whether it’s at work, home, or personal life, that’s something I can face because of sports. 

– Coach Grab
Mr. Gordon played football and baseball.

Mr. Gordon (Football, Baseball) 

The team side of things made me realize that there are things bigger than myself. Everyone is different, but we can all have the same goal. 

– Mr. Gordon
Mr. Brady was a three sport athlete.

Mr. Brady (Football, Track, Wrestling)

Working with teammates to try to achieve a common goal is really what you do in the workforce everyday. Even in the office, you’re working together and helping each other out and ultimately working towards the same goal. 

– Mr. Brady
Coach Burgi played football and baseball

Coach Burgi (football, baseball)

Well for me, sports did two things.  It taught me the value of work ethic and toughness. It also gave me more opportunities for education after high school.

– Coach Burgi

Coach Whitehead (Track, Cross Country)

Coach Whitehead ran track and cross country.

I learned discipline. When I was in high school, I had to wake up early and eat right. Now as an adult, I constantly lean on those experiences to make smart and healthy choices.

– Coach Whitehead