By Paul Jones
The Baltimore Ravens enter the 2015 season with high expectations. Under head coach John Harbaugh, the Ravens have only missed the playoffs one time since 2008.
After a very good 2014 season, the Ravens still did not meet their goal of a Super Bowl win. The team lost wide receiver Torrey Smith, linebacker Pernell McPhee, and defensive tackle Haloti Ngata who have all been staples in the Ravens organization.
But never fear, General Manager Ozzie Newsome is here. The Ravens bring in a very promising draft class with top picks wide receiver Breshad Perriman and tight end Maxx Williams.
Getting through the early part of the schedule will be tough for the Ravens but after that, the amount of good teams they play will lessen. Possible key games will be against the Chargers.
Saying the Eagles have had a busy off-season would be an understatement. Head coach Chip Kelly has drastically changed the Eagles’ roster to his liking.
The Eagles traded away their best running back LeSean McCoy for line backer Kiko Alonso who is known to be injury prone. G Evan Mathis departed as did wide receiver Jeremy Maclin who had been mainstays in the Eagles organization.
But there is a reason why they call Chip Kelly the “Mad Hatter”. With LeSean McCoy leaving, the Eagles signed Demarco Murray, who was the best runningback in the league last year.
They also added cornerback Byron Maxwell from Seattle and drafted WR Nelson Agholor with their first pick in the NFL draft. Quarterback Nick Foles was traded to the Rams in exchange for quarterback Sam Bradford, who is coming off of multiple knee injuries.
Some NFL analysts have doubts about the Eagles roster. Key games for this team may include the Cowboys, the Patriots, and the Giants.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are in prime position to have one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL with the trio of Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell, and Antonio Brown.
The Steelers will have a tough start to the season due to suspensions. Key players Le’Veon Bell and Martavis Bryant will both serving suspensions because of substance violations.
This season will also mark the end of an era in Steeler nation. Safety Troy Polamalu retired this offseason and rookie safety Shamarko Thomas will fill in for him.
While the offense will be prolific, the defense will not be the like past Steeler defenses. They did however draft linebacker Bud Dupree.
They will have tough games against the Ravens, against the Colts, and at the Patriots which can go either way.
By Helen Zeidman
Last year, the girls’ tennis team was a group of eight girls, most of whom were new to the team and the sport.
This year, they are aiming to make a racket with their larger team and more experienced players.
Ryan Small, the new coach of the team, has high hopes for the girls this year. “I think we have a good group of girls this season and our varsity players have more experience this year,” Small said. “Four out of the five on varsity were on varsity last year.”
Along with their more experienced players, the total number of players on the team jumped from eight to eleven. Considering the loss of three ladies from last year, the team has made a full recovery in numbers.
The top five players, who are considered varsity, are as follows: Kristina Snyder, a homeschooled sophomore entering her first year on the team, Alison Miller, a senior in her fourth year on the team, and three juniors, Tori Austin, Helen Zeidman, and Emily Zeidman.
With a new team to work with, Small has many goals for his team, including focusing on the basic singles play. “I want to improve our singles play and work on becoming the toughest team, mentally and physically,” Small said.
Doubles play is also an important part of any tennis match, and Coach Small aims to help the team with their doubles skills too. “I also really want to improve our doubles teams to make them more aggressive at the right times,” Small said. “Doubles is the key to a good many matches, so if we can control the net and be aggressive, we have a chance in any close matches.”
Ultimately, Small’s goal is to have a better season and post-season than last year. “I want our record to improve and I want more of our girls to get into the county tournament,” Small said.
By Molly Merson
Red Lion Area High School’s field hockey team is currently preparing for a memorable and successful year.
Several weeks before school started, the team’s practices had already began. They trained nearly every day of the week, including Saturday tournaments. The practices consisted of completing runs and drills to condition the team.
Coach Gillmen’s enthusiasm was evident as she described the team as being “well-disciplined” and “showing a good work ethic”.
So far, no major injuries have occurred, giving the team a fresh start. The official field hockey season begins September 4, as the team is already making preparations for this season.
This consists of scrimmages and daily practice exercises. A few noteworthy returning players are Jayla Godfrey, Jordyn Sleeth, and Jena Everette.
The team sets “day to day goals”, Gillmen said. This strategy helps the team prepare at it’s best and achieve what needs to be done. The motto of this year is “Be uncommon”. This motto represents doing your best and being unlike the rest. The team has kept this motto to help motivate them in preparation for the year.
A few upcoming games to watch out for consist of the varsity game against Dallastown High School on Monday, Sept. 21 and the game against Central York High School on Wednesday, Sept. 23.
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