UEFA Champions League

The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Champions League is now down to the final four teams in the tournament. Spanish rivals Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid will be facing off, while AS Monaco of France tries to earn a spot in the championship against Juventus of Italy.

Real Madrid will be looking for the 12th Champions League title this year, the most among any club in Europe. They will be looking for their main man, Cristiano Ronaldo, to continue his hot form for the rest of the tournament. Ronaldo, who is now 32 years old, is Real Madrid’s leading goal scorer, with 7 goals in the tournament. Real’s speed in their attacking play and the solid back line with Sergio Ramos will help propel them through their games, but they will first have to get past their rivals if they want to earn a spot in the championship.

Atletico Madrid will be looking for only their second ever Champions League title. After a heartbreaking defeat last year in the final to Real Madrid, they will be locking their eyes on the ultimate prize, revenge for last year’s upset and the trophy. Antoine Griezmann, Fernando Torres, and Yannick Carrasco are helping provide a strong attacking force to the team along with a strong defensive force and a strong goalkeeper in Jan Oblak. After the club just finished celebrating its 114th birthday, the fans will be hoping for the team to earn a spot in the final.

AS Monaco has had a very impressive season, being on top of the French Ligue 1 and now semi-finalists in the champions league. They will be looking for their first ever UEFA Champions League title in their club’s history. They will be expecting a lot from their players, especially their attackers like Radamel Falcao and Kylian Mbappe. Their defensive strength will prove to be a valuable part in the tournament, especially if Monaco wants to lift the trophy in the end.

Juventus will be looking for their first title since 1993, which could be their fourth total Champions League trophy. They will be looking for many goals from their attacking players, mostly from Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala. The Juventus defense will be looking for extra help with the goalkeeping talent of 39 year old Gianluigi “Gigi” Buffon, who is also the captain of the team. If Juventus is able to keep their cool and maintain a solid formation then they could be able to lift the trophy at the end of the tournament.

The championship for the UEFA Champions League will take place at the National Stadium of Wales in Cardiff on Saturday, June 3. All of the teams have shown why they deserve to win, but it all depends on what happens on the pitch.

Golf

With the Astoria high School golf season in full swing, the origin of Golf itself is an interesting story to preface their progress.

Golf originated from the eastern side of Scotland where players hit pebbles around a natural course of sand dunes, rabbit runs, and tracks using a stick or primitive club. Some historians believe that Kolvan of Holland and Chloe of Belgium influenced the game. The latter was introduced into Scotland in 1421. However these were still stick and ball games, which were still missing a vital component that makes golf special—the hole.

During the mid 15th century, Scotland was preparing to defend itself against the English invasion. The population's enthusiasm for golf, and soccer neglected the military, causing the Scottish parliament of King James II to ban both soccer and golf in 1457. The ban was reaffirmed in 1470 and 1491, but most people ignored the rule. Only in 1503 the Treaty Of Glasgow was adopted and the ban lifted. Golf’s status and popularity grew in the 16th century due to its royal endorsement by King Charles I. King Charles I popularised the game in England and Mary Queen of the Scots, who was French, introduced the game to France while she studied there. The premier golf course of the time was Leith, near Edinburgh. Indeed King Charles I was on the course when given the news of the Irish rebellion of 1641.

Closer to home, this year’s boys golf team got a new head coach, Faalaeo Poyer. There are 10 members on the boys golf team, and eight members on the girls golf team. There is one girl’s member that is doing golf and track at the same time.

The schedule for the boys golf is as follow—March 21st they will play at Scappoose. April 3rd they will play in Astoria. April 6th they will play Seaside at home. April 10th and 13th they will play at Banks and Valley Catholic. On April 17th, 24th, 27th, 28th there will all be home games against Tillamook, Seaside, Banks, and an Astoria invite. On May 8th-9th Astoria will hold regionals.

As the golf season starts senior Sergai Davis is really optimistic about this year's golf team. He says that this year will be a good year. They recently golfed at Astoria golf and Country Club against Seaside.With Kirk Fausett leading the way for Astoria with a score of 96. While the boys golf team was held at the Astorias country club, the ladies were playing at Meriwether National Golf Club, which was held in Hillsboro.

NBA Finals

NBA finals- google images.png

The time of year approaches, the time of year where champions are made. We are nearing the end of the NBA regular season, an exciting time of year for sport fans. A time of year filled with hope, doubt, and disappointment as we watch our favorite teams clash head to head, and the power houses take on the underdogs. Only one question remains, who will come out on top?

At the beginning of the season a majority of NBA fans would have said the exact same thing—“the finals are just going to be a repeat of the past two years, Golden State and Cleveland.” Of course both of these two teams play on another level, but nearing the end of the regular season we see something that may be a bit of a concern for people who made this proclamation. Both the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors are looking to end out their seasons on a losing streak.

During the month of March, Lebron James clocked in 10 losses, which marks only the second time in his entire 13 year career where his team had double digit losses in one month. Could Lebron be on the decline of his career, or will the King continue to reign?

After their newly added player Kevin Durant went out with a knee injury, the Warriors immediately lost five of their next seven games. Like the saying, “don’t put all of your eggs in one basket” the Warriors should have considered keeping the depth of their bench, instead of investing all that they had in a player who isn’t in the best physical condition (a bit of time in the weight room would have prevented that hyperextended knee). The Warriors also lack a true clutch player, with Klay Thompson being their most reliable asset late in playoff runs. Now such a big statement can’t be said without reason behind it. As for the case for the two time MVP, Curry has a reputation of being virtually nonexistent in a conference finals, and more importantly, the championship. Curry was carried to the finals on the coattails of Kay Thompsons record breaking 11 3-point shots in game six of last years Western conference finals. Durant on the flip side, has only made one finals appearance but overall ended up giving Lebron his first ring. Since then, he has never returned. Klay Thompson is the heart of the team when it truly matters.

Unpredictable things happen in sports. This is overall what keeps us fans coming back for more. Because of this, we can only speculate on what might be, until it turns to history.

AHS Track and Field

The Astoria High School Track and Field team has officially started their season, with both boys and girls teams competing at the highest standard possible. There are many new faces to the track program, along with many returning athletes. This year’s girls team is striving for the greatest possible outcome—their third state title in a row.

A returning athlete is junior Andrew Schauerman, who competes in the high jump, long jump, and triple jump events. His goals this year include, “getting better in my events while also trying to get more than one male athlete from AHS to state this season.” When asked about his biggest competition, he responded with, “I hope my teammates are my biggest competitors because it’ll push me harder.” He added, “I am striving to be the very best I can be and get as many points possible for my team.”

Another returning member of the team is senior Shrida Sharma, who competes in the pole vault, 400 meter race, triple jump, and 4x4 relay. Her personal goals are, “to PR in most of my events and make it again to state this year.” When asked about her biggest challenge for the season she answered with, “I would have to say it would be getting past the nerves and anxiety I get before a race, and not getting in my head as much as I do.” As she finishes her final season, Sharma said, “I am really going to miss the whole track family we have. Everyone cares so much about each other and the support system is what I am going to miss the most.”

The Astoria High School Track and Field teams are gearing towards the long stretch of the season. They are keeping their heads held high as they go towards victory.

 

AHS Golf

This year’s golf season is about to be in full swing, with multiple athletes returning to the course. The teams are preparing to follow a good campaign. Kevin Goin is returning as head coach. Their team will be prepared to succeed in any way possible.

Sadie Wooldridge, a junior at Astoria High, is returning to golf this season. She wants to improve her scores for the season and “make the new players feel welcome.” When she was asked about who will be the hardest to compete against, she responded with, “everyone in our league has really good skills so it is going to be hard to say until the season starts.” Wooldridge stated that her favorite part about golf is “everything; going out to the range every day, the road trips to and from matches, all the time spent bonding with the team and simply just going out and playing golf.” She wants the word to get spread around because, “golf rocks and more people should join.”

Connor Long is a returning sophomore to golf this year. He stated that he “wants the team to go to state this year and to become closer to the team through bonding.” He also, when talking about competition in the league, said that the hardest teams are “either Seaside or Valley Catholic because they are usually pretty good. Don’t count Banks out either because their course is tough for me.” Long finished up the interview by stating that, “golf is fun and you get to meet new people and bond with the team.”

The golf team this year lost multiple seniors, but they are willing to try and overcome any obstacle on the course while the team gets together to build up a family-like bond. The Astoria High School golf team is looking forward to this season, as should the fans and supporters.

AHS Track and Field

The Astoria High School Track and Field team is about to start off a brand new season, with the girls track team coming back from winning state for the second consecutive year. Garrett Parks will return once again to be the head coach. The team has many athletes returning, and also many new athletes joining the team.

One of the returning athletes is Darian Hageman, who became the OSAA 2016 athlete of the year. She holds the school records for long jump, high jump, pole vault, and triple jump events. When asked about her goals for this season, she responded with, “Well we lost a couple of high scorers for state this year but if we get some new girls out there, which we have, I think we’ll overcome the challenge.”  When talking about who is going to be the toughest competitors will be this year, she stated, “I am not sure about this year but in the past Marshfield has been a competitor, but they mainly have girls in the sprints while we have all around athletes. Suislaw has also been a competitor. They took second to us last year but we had 110 points and they had 72.” Hageman finished the interview by talking about why she loves the sport so much. She stated that she “loves the diversity of people we get to come out. My favorite thing about track is that no matter who you are there’s most likely something for you to do, and our team is like a giant family with little families which are our respective events. Everyone can feel like they belong there.” Hageman will be looking forward to this season to try and get a third-straight state championship title.

A returning senior on the boys side of the team is Lucas Caruana. Lucas placed third in state last year in the 800 meter race. When asked about what the biggest challenge is going to be this season, Caruana stated, “as far as the team goes, we lost a lot of quality athletes last year and some of the new girls are going to have to step up and excel for us, the team, to keep competing for the title. For me specifically, my biggest challenge will be getting used to the 1500 meter race. I am doubling up this year in the 800 meter and 1500 for state, with the title in the 1500 in my mind. So mastering the tactics of the new race is going to be difficult since this will be my last season.” When talking about the hardest schools to compete against will be, Lucas responded with, “As far as the boys go, it is pretty spread. We have a lot of very talented individuals in our league, but no dominant team. The girls however are much different. Despite recent losses, the girls team is still dominant, [with] all of the competition is coming from out of league. There are many strong teams but it is too early to tell who will be contending with the girls for the state title, and the Astoria girls will definitely be contending for the title once again. Go Fish!”

The upcoming track schedule will be released when the season officially starts. However, Astoria High School’s Track and Field program will be getting ready to accomplish every task they will face.

Make Football Great Again

 

Following the NFL’s recent rating drop, several people have set out to find the reason behind the disinterest in this year’s season. According to the reigning NFL MVP, Cam Newton, the league needs to understand that the players need to express themselves. Although we may think of them as role models for children, they’re just regular people like us.

“I really can’t talk on their ratings,” Newton said, according to ESPN, preparing for his primetime game. “In some way, shape, form or fashion, we are entertainers. Our influence ranks second-to-none at this time of year,” he said, in response to the league stating that it was “for the children.” Newton also reportedly wants the league to allow more celebration after big plays on the field. “You’re asking a person who celebrates,” he said, with a smile wide across his face.

Antonio Brown is a major victim of the league’s strict policy on what they consider “excessive celebration.” After two bouts of penalties and fines, being $9,115 and $6,076 respectively, Antonio Brown shows no sign of slowing his celebration antics. He is one of many players that have been fined thanks to this year’s newly revamped guidelines.

There have been many fairly controversial celebrations this year, such as the Jacksonville Jaguars’ quarterback Blake Bortles punting the ball into the crowd at London’s Wembley Stadium. Surprisingly, this act did not receive any sort of penalty, as it did not break any of the league’s “guidelines.” On the other hand is Cleveland Browns’ receiver Terrelle Pryor, who after a touchdown, ran to the sideline referee, attempted to toss the ball over, but hit an opposing player by accident. This play warranted a 15 yard penalty enforced on the kickoff, leaving Pryor shocked at the call.

The NFL is cracking down on what players can and cannot do as a celebration, but at the same time this may be potentially harmful to them. Not only are players unhappy with their lack of freedom, but in some way, this may even tie back into the unexpected rating drop.

Highschool Coaches

Coaches are always seen during the game, but what of their lives off the playing court or field? Many of Astoria High School’s athletic coaches serve double time motivating and teaching their student-athletes in and out of the classroom.

Jessica Todd, Astoria High School’s geometry and applied math teacher, is also doubling as AHS’s volleyball head coach. Coach Todd played through high school, and in college, took classes and played intramural volleyball. She has been coaching for 10 plus years, with the earliest being in college. Deciding to take on the huge task of coaching a team can be difficult. When asked why she decided to coach, she said, “I love the game, and I love teaching kids about the game.”

Emily Delay, our athletic secretary and assistant secretary, is currently one of the outstanding coaches on the girls basketball team. Coach Delay has been coaching for two years, with one year at Astoria High School. She played basketball throughout her high school career. Coaching is a very large task and difficult to manage, to work hard and improve someone must have motivation and a reason behind all of the effort. What motivates Delay to coach despite this difficulties are the “kids who want to work hard and be there.”

Aside from teaching AHS’s Honors Integrated Science, Integrated Science, Fisheries Technology, and Marine Biology, Lee Cain is also the boys soccer coach. He has been a coach for 12 years and coached at Astoria High School for three years. Although he did not play soccer in high school due to the lack of a team, he later joined a men's league and played for a couple of years. Cain then continued playing in a men's league in Clatsop County as an adult. When asked about why he decided to coach, he said “I love teaching and I love the game of soccer, and working with kids and getting them to become better players and understanding their own athletic abilities.”

All coaches face tough decisions, whether it’s deciding playing time or having to make cuts. Theres also perks of coaching such as being able to teach and being able to have a positive influence on student-athletes. Through sports student-athlete gain life lessons and positive memories that last. Being able to teach students a game that not only carries a deep meaning to with the coach but one in which the student shares, in it’s own can create lasting memories .

 

Marching Band

The 2016 Astoria High School Marching Band ended their season with a sense of overall improvement and camaraderie despite their small size. Their last competition was on November 6th.

    Kegan Rascoe is a returning Marching Band and Concert Band member who has been playing for four years and has been in Marching Band for two years. Isabel Talley has been in band for five years, but this was her first year in marching band. She plays the tenor saxophone.

    When asked about their favorite thing about Marching Band, Rascoe replied, “There is both the marching aspect, and the people aspect… overall the closeness is one of my favorites.” When asked the same question, Talley stated that “You get to interact with a lot of other people, and become a family and spending so much time with each other.”

Rascoe’s advice for someone who is interested in joining Marching Band is to “just do it, and start small.” Talley further encourages joining by saying, “it's a very fun way to get to know new people, it's a lot of work but in the end it pays off.”

    When reflecting on their season, Rascoe stated “It was a really good season, although our scores were not very good, we focused a lot on the music.” Talley said, “a lot of the directors said that this was one of the best seasons that the band has done. We learned everything a lot faster.”

Commenting on their last competition, Rascoe said, “We got the highest score all season, but we’ve had better shows in the past. The judges didn’t agree with each other which resulted in poor scoring”. Talley added that, “...we beat a couple bands, but we went in with the mindset that we could make it to finals. We didn't make it to finals but we were still happy with the result we had gotten.”

With the close of every season, there is always hope for the next. Rascoe concluded with saying “we always need more people”, especially for next season. Talley added, “specifically a larger hornline, we only had eight people which is just a fraction of what most other schools have. The next smallest horn line is about 25 people.”

    Although the close of a season is sad, it gives the opportunity for all groups like the Astoria Marching Band to work towards improvement for the upcoming season.  

MLS Cup

The Major League Soccer season has officially ended with one of the most dramatic finishes in their history. After an intense playoff race, the Seattle Sounders of the Western Conference won the MLS Cup. This is the eighth season in a row in which a Western Conference team has won.

    The Western and Eastern Conference finals had an intense finish, with the Seattle Sounders beating the Colorado Rapids on an aggregate score of 3-1 in the Western Conference. In the Eastern Conference final, Toronto FC bested the Montreal Impact 7-5 on the aggregate score, which broke an MLS Cup playoff record.

    The MLS Cup match was on December 10, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. The game went into penalties when neither side managed to score a goal in the regular 90 minutes or in extra time. The Seattle Sounders did not have one shot on target during the entire match while Toronto FC managed to get 19 total shots. Seven of them were saved by Sounders goalkeeper and MLS Cup MVP Stefan Frei. At the end of the shootout, the Seattle Sounders won 5-4 on penalties to be crowned the 2016 MLS Cup Champions.

    The Seattle Sounders won the Cup for the first time in the club’s nine years in Major League Soccer. Toronto FC has still not yet won the Cup in their 12 years as a Major League Soccer franchise. Next season will be exciting, whether the Sounders can win the MLS Cup again, or if another team will come in and take the trophy.

Top Ten

    Throughout my years at Astoria I have developed a trend of making top ten lists, whether it be of my favorite athletes, teams, foods, or even super heroes, a top ten always seems to clearly map out my favorites. In following this pattern, I decided to make a top ten list of my favorite experiences at Astoria High School. While there are many more that I could list I decided to keep the list to ten and focus on those that will stick with me for years to come

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