Category Archives: Sports

Philadelphia summer sports before and after covid-19. How does the break effect each team’s chances?

The diminished crowd at the Wells Fargo Center in South Philly erupted as fan-favorite 76ers power forward Mike Scott turned a corner and threw down a vicious dunk over Detroit Pistons shooting guard Khyri Thomas. The highlight play got the crowd into the game and swung the momentum in the 76ers favor. The underachieving team went on to play one of its best games of a disappointing season and demolish the lowly Pistons 124-106. There was optimism after a Sixers game for the first time in weeks following a disastrous West Coast trip that saw the team drop a game to the worst club in the league, the Golden State Warriors. Star player Joel Embiid had fully healed from a shoulder injury and had scored 30 points in his return to action. The team seemed like it could use this victory as a springboard and catapult themselves up the eastern conference standings, especially with quite an easy schedule from there on out. But as is often the case with Philadelphia sorts teams; disaster struck.

Not even an hour after the Sixers won their first game in weeks, the National Basketball Association decided to suspend all operations including games indefinitely following a positive COVID-19 test from Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert. All other professional sports leagues in America quickly followed suit, with the NHL, MLB, XFL, MLS, and all NCAA sports suspending operations within the next 2 days. This was bad news for the 76ers who seemed to finally be turning a corner in their season but it was even worse news for almost all the major sports teams in Philadelphia. Here’s where all the teams stood before the shutdown and how they may look coming out of it.

Philadephia Phillies

The Phillies were primed to seriously contend in 2020. They had concerns about the consistency of their pitching staff and addressed them by forking over $118 million to sign Zack Wheeler away from the New York Mets. Team president Andy McPhail’s decision to spend big money on another starter may have been influenced by the fact that ace Aaron Nola was actually one of the main reasons the team underachieved in 2019. This year he’s certainly looking to bounce-back after a disappointing end to his 2019 campaign where he went 0-3 with an ERA of 6.51 in the month of September.

The batting side of the team did take a step forward in 2019, and was expected to take another one in 2020 following the return of starting LF Andrew McCutchen to the lineup after a torn ACL kept him out for over 100 games in 2019. In the other corner of the outfield, 300 million dollar man Bryce Harper had an encouraging season in 2019, he lead the team in runs batted in (114) and batting average with runners in scoring position (.357). Harper had a chance to be a genuine contender for the NL MVP award in 2020 before the season was postponed, as did catcher JT Realmuto. Realmuto is considered by many to be the best catcher in baseball, and the stats certainly back it up; he led all other catchers in hits, doubles, triples, runs batted in, and stolen bases. He also won the gold glove award, an award given to the best fielding catcher in the MLB.

All that being said, it would really surprise me if the MLB at all returned in 2020. The owners and the players association are at odds with each other about salaries, formatting, and safety. There have been numerous offers on both sides and yet neither corner can reach an agreement. IF the season ever resumes, the Phillies could be a contender, but that’s a big if considering the relationship between the players and the owners.

Philadelphia 76ers

As I detailed in the introduction paragraph, the sixers were on a high note before the country went on lockdown, they blew out a back Pistons team and Joel Embiid was back and fully healthy for the first time in weeks. It wasn’t all sunshine and roses however, star PG Ben Simmons was still suffering from a back injury that could have potentially kept him out until the playoffs.

Despite the fact that it may have killed some important momentum for the team, the stoppage wasn’t the worst thing in the world for the 76ers. It gave them an opportunity to get players like Embiid, Simmons, Matisse Thybulle, Josh Richardson, and Al Horford, who had been battling injuries all season, back to full fitness ahead of a condensed return schedule starting in late July. The break also gives players like Horford and Mike Scott a chance to regain the success they were having earlier in the season following poor starts to 2020.

With a tight schedule against good teams and without the energy of the Wells Fargo Center crowd behind them, the 76ers won’t likely make up many places in the standings when the NBA restarts. The roster is still built for the playoffs, and the team matches up favorably with teams like Boston and Milwaukee so a deep playoff run isn’t completely out of the question. There are still doubts about the team however, the offensive spacing and defensive effort both need to improve and it’ll be up to coach Brett Brown to see that they do, and if they don’t, his job is certainly on the ropes.

Philadelphia Flyers

Without a doubt, the shutdown of the NHL season could not have come at a worse time for the Flyers. They had just had lost just 1 of their last 10 games and trailed the division-leading Washington Capitals by only 1 point. Their recent 9 game winning steak had not only seen them take care of lowly foes, but also manage significant victories over contending teams such as Carolina, Washington, and Winnipeg. Because of their high powered offense lead by breakout star Travis Konecny the Flyers had scored 3 or more goals in every game dating back until late February. That, plus their stout defense lead by talented young goalie Carter Hart and Selke Trophy contender Sean Couturier saw them boast the 4th best goal differential in the entire league.

Carter Hart makes a save against the Boston Bruins in January. The Flyers would go on to win the game in a shootout. Via Yong Kim/ Philadelphia Inquirer

It’s not all gloom and doom for the Flyer however, the NHL has already announced the format for its to return and plans to come back in August. The break should also give wunderkind Nolan Patrick a chance to fully recover from a migraine disorder that has plagued him all season. The Flyers have seriously flipped a switch this year under head coach Alain Vigneault, and lifting the Stanley Cup this summer isn’t too far fetched.

Mix-Up Mix Dance

The Middle School Mix dance course is designed to provide students with opportunities to explore different forms of dance through class research, discussion, and physical movement,” says Sloan Kearney, the instructor for the dance section of Middle School Mix. Middle School. This new offering in the GFS Middle School was meant to give students art education that most had not been receiving before, but is it working?

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Tyrod Taylor- The Greatest of All Time?

Have you ever heard of Tyrod Taylor? Probably not. Eight out of the ten people I interviewed did not know who Tyrod is. If you watch football you might have an idea. That scrappy quarterback for the Bills. Or the quarterback who only completed 46% of his passes in a playoff game against Jacksonville. The guy who got outdueled by Blake Bortles, of all people. But I believe that Tyrod is better than you may think, even the greatest player of all time. To do this I will compare him head to head with who many think of as the GOAT, Tom Brady. Continue reading Tyrod Taylor- The Greatest of All Time?

The Best and Worst of Super Bowl LI

Every February, American television is taken over by the Super Bowl frenzy. Some people get swept up by the game: they criticize the referees, yell at the tv, and go crazy when their team scores a touchdown.  I interviewed Middle Schoolers and asked them, “Did you enjoy the game, or not?”
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So You Want To Be An Olympian? – The Real Lives of Kid Athletes

Chances are if you’ve sat down to watch even a few minutes of the Olympics, you’ve seen the “inspiring” ads. You know the ones.  A little kid is shown falling down on their skies or slipping along the ice in fake home-video quality scenes. 20 seconds later a montage fills the screen with clips of this clumsy youth growing into an Olympic athlete and standing on a podium. But we all know that it isn’t that easy. Kids in the GFS in Middle School tell the truth about what it’s really like being a sport-loving-and-pursuing kid in 2018.

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Take a Stand by Sitting Down

By Luke L and Addison A

In August of 2016 Colin Kaepernick did something that surprised America. He stood up by sitting down.  A preseason football game, a song, a flag, a bench, and a man who sat down. 

The first time Kaepernick protested (what he is now so infamous for doing), there was an uproar. People in the crowd were calling him a “coward,”  “someone who should be banned,” “not a true American,” but then Kaepernick explained why he knelt: to show more respect to the flag. Continue reading Take a Stand by Sitting Down

GFS and Sports

As many of you know, middle schoolers are required to do two seasons of sports each year. GFS’s website says that sports are an important part of the curriculum and help “develop fundamental skills and and game strategies in an engaging and challenging atmosphere”. However, while GFS makes quite a convincing argument, there are still kids who don’t enjoy sports, who view having to go to sports as the worst part of their day. So, where is the right place to draw the line so that children are happy and get a good amount of exercise?

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5 Obscure Controversies of 2016

2016. What is the first thing it makes you think of? Harambe? The Dab? The Election? Whichever it is, most were important. The dab shaped American society. Harambe caused a major meme. The election changed the future. But what other, more obscure controversial events were influential last year?

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