Through the Quarterback’s Eyes

By Marcus Jones

Being a quarterback is no walk in the park. There’s more that goes into being a leader on a team than what it looks from the outside. You have to be willing to put in more time than anybody else on the team. You also have to be committed not only to the school but also to every individual on the team. A quarterback knows he has to show up to practice everyday and give his absolute best, keeping in mind all eyes are on him. As a leader on the team and being a senior, you have to know that everyone looks to you for guidance on what to do and how to do it. So, this is a little look into football through my eyes.
We will start off with a typical pass play. Just a simple two read pass. First of all, you have to tell everybody on offense the play before they leave the huddle. In this, a quarterback is responsible for speaking loud and clear and making sure everyone understands what to do and where to line up. When approaching the line of scrimmage, it is necessary to check to make sure everyone is there. Next, I check to see how many safeties the defense decided to line up. Typically, safeties line up ten to twelve yards deep, so they are pretty easy to spot. Next, I call out the cadence loud enough for our wide receivers to hear. When the ball is snapped and caught, I immediately take my eyes to the first read. If the read allows, I throw the first ball. However, if that read shows that he won’t be open, my eyes move to the second read. From there it’s pretty simple. If the read allows, throw the ball. If the read does not allow, throw the “check down” route. This may sound very simple but all this happens very fast.
The last play is the running play. Most of the actions are the same for running and pass plays but run plays are a lot simpler. After the ball is snapped, I turn the proper way to give the running back the ball. All the hard stuff happens before the ball is snapped. If the play needs to be flipped over, then I make the call and everyone knows that the play is going the other way.
That was a small look at what it’s like being a quarterback. There’s a lot more to it than what I can fit into this article. Overall the eyes of a quarterback are no different than anyone else’s. The only difference is that we recognize little things that other people don’t.

College Football Preview

By: Bradley Tullar
Well, after a very long offseason, college football is finally starting back up. After only one week, we have already had many thrilling games. From Louisville’s quarterback scoring 8 touchdowns in the first half to a top 10 team in Tennessee going into overtime on their home field against Appalachian State, there are already 6 top 25 teams that have lost a game.
When I think about college football, I think about the SEC. They’re easily the dominant conference in college football. An SEC team has won the National Championship 8 of the last 10 years. Will they make it 11? There’s a chance. I thought LSU could compete, but not after their loss in week one to Wisconsin. As of now, Alabama is looking very promising. In week one, they defeated USC, who was ranked 20th, 52-6. I believe that Alabama will go undefeated and be this year’s National Champions.
Game Of The Week: Notre Dame vs Texas
Notre Dame, a top 10 team, traveled down to face Texas, in week 1. The game was very close throughout the 4 quarters, and needed 2 overtimes to decide a winner. Texas ended up upsetting the Fighting-Irish 50-47.
Player To Watch: Eddy Pinerio
Many of you all won’t know who this is, but he is the best kicker in college football. He became famous over this past summer for hitting a 77 yard field goal. A kicker with this big of a leg does not come around often. Many games have come down to a field goal and, unfortunately, many teams don’t have a reliable kicker. In week one he went 3/3 hitting from 40, 48, and 49.

O Say, Colin, Can’t You See?

By Colton Williams

This August, in a preseason game against the Green Bay Packers, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sat down during the National Anthem, saying of his protest, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” referring to recent police shootings. Kaepernick was also criticized for wearing socks adorned with images of pigs dressed as police officers. Now, other athletes have participated in Kaepernick’s protest. Megan Rapinoe, a midfielder for Seattle Reign FC and U.S. Women’s Soccer, kneeled during the National Anthem in solidarity with Kaepernick.
For some reason, Kaepernick sitting has become one of the biggest news stories in recent months. Why does anyone care? Why do we care about the opinion of a mediocre backup quarterback? It seems odd to me that people are getting so worked up about this – either convulsing in fits of patriotism or acting as if Kaepernick is Ghandi reincarnate. Kaepernick’s actual influence on anything of importance, while not nonzero, is certainly negligible when discussing issues on the national scale. The only purpose his actions serve is to anger and divide people even further on an already divisive issue. One argument is that Kaepernick is using his celebrity to bring attention to the issue. Do we really think the issue of police brutality needs help getting attention from a backup quarterback? If you’ve watched the news, viewed social media, or talked to a person in the past year, you have undoubtedly heard the issue of police violence discussed.
Kaepernick is completely within his rights to refuse to stand for the national anthem. Everyone else is also perfectly within their rights to think he is a moron. The late Justice Antonin Scalia said, “If it were up to me, I would put in jail every sandal-wearing, scruffy-bearded weirdo who burns the American flag. But I am not king.” In Texas v. Johnson (1989), the Supreme Court invalidated laws against the burning, or general desecration, of the American flag. Scalia ruled with the majority in that case. It’s perfectly legal for Kaepernick to refuse to stand. It’s also perfectly reasonable to conclude that Kaepernick is a “scruffy-bearded weirdo.”
Kaepernick seems to misunderstand the very meaning of the flag. It isn’t a symbol of everything the government does — good or bad — it’s a symbol of everything this country can be. It’s a symbol of the principles that make this country wonderful. It’s a symbol of a willingness and ability to change, just as Kaepernick wants. It’s a symbol of the only nation in the world in which you can make millions of dollars by throwing a football.
As for Kaepernick’s claims of ‘oppression,’ no one is truly oppressed in this country. For oppressive governments, try Saudi Arabia, where women can’t drive cars. Try North Korea, where you are essentially mandated to love your miserable life littered with human rights violations. Try Syria, a country in the midst of a civil war in which ISIS is a belligerent. Try Iran, a state-sponsor of terrorism with a theocratic dictatorship. Try any of the other number of countries that are truly oppressive, like Cuba, Zimbabwe, Myanmar, Libya, Tunisia, Egypt… and the list goes on.
Who is oppressed in this country? And how? An African-American is President of the United States. Everyone is guaranteed equal justice under the law. Everyone is guaranteed an education. The poor are afforded representation in court. You have the freedom of speech. You have the freedom of association. You can practice whatever religion you choose. You are protected against unlawful searches. You get to choose your representatives. You get to own a gun. You have the right to a trial by jury. You have a right to protest. You can even refuse to stand for the National Anthem. But it doesn’t mean you should.

Athlete of the Month: Quinn Endicott

By Spencer Riley

September’s Athlete of the Month is senior, cross country runner, Quinn Endicott.

Endicott has been actively running for the past 7 years. He was team captain for cross country and track during his middle school years and it has definitely paid off. He has even beaten the school’s record in the 3,000 meter steeplechase.

When asked who inspired him to start running Quinn revealed both his parents ran track and he aspired to do the same. A Steve Prefontaine quote that always motivates Quinn to keep going is “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.”

After high school, Endicott plans to take a break from running and focus on his studies at Asbury University. However, Endicott is planning to train and win many ultra marathons and Ironman races. He also claimed he wanted to run some sort of race in every state and get top 10 in school history for the 5k.

As of now, Quinn plans for this year’s team to make it to state and win regionals for both guys and girls. While maintaining his 4.0 GPA and being involved in many school clubs such as BETA, NHS, FCA, Y-Club, and the Student Voice Team, it is safe to say Endicott is definitely running in the right direction and nothing is slowing him down.

Rio Olympics Recap

By Colton Williams

The 31st Olympic games were held this summer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Despite several controversies clouding the beginning (and ending) of the games, it was, as always, a way for the world to come together and focus on the outstanding achievement of athletes from all over the globe. Here’s a recap of all the things you need to know – good and bad – from the 2016 Olympic Games.

• An outbreak of the Zika virus raised fears for athletes and visitors, and some athletes chose not to attend due to the virus.
• On May 12, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was stripped of her power for 180 days, after being impeached. Vice President Michel Temer served as Acting President during the Olympics.
• Due to a doping scandal, 111 Russian athletes were removed from participation in the games.
• U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps broke the Olympic gold medal record, with 23, and overall medal record, with 28.
• U.S. gymnast Simone Biles set a U.S. record for most gymnastic gold medals at a single Olympic games.
• Brianna Rollins, Nia Ali, and Kristi Castlin after sweeping the 100-meter hurdle. Photo by Jonathan Newton, The Washington Post.
Brianna Rollins, Nia Ali, and Kristi Castlin after sweeping the 100-meter hurdle. Photo by Jonathan Newton, The Washington Post.
• In a unique move, the Bahamas’ Shaunae Miller fell over the finish line to win gold in the women’s 400-m.
• U.S. swimmer Katie Ledecky set world records in the 400-m and 800-m freestyles, clocking in at 3:56:46 and 8:04:79, respectively.
• Monica Puig of Puerto Rico won the women’s singles tennis competition, winning the first Olympic gold for her country.
• Kim Rhode, a U.S. shooter, became the first woman to win an individual medal in six consecutive Olympic games, when she earned bronze in the skeet shooting competition.
• Basketball star Carmelo Anthony passed LeBron James as Team U.S.A.’s all-time leading scorer, dropping in the historic basket in a game against Australia.
• Fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad became the first American woman to wear a hijab while competing in the Olympics.
• In an odd occurrence, the olympic diving pool turned green, leading many question its safety. However, as the Royal Society of Chemistry confirmed, the green color was due to an excess of hydrogen peroxide, which “inactivated” the chlorine and allowed for the growth of algae.
• U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte, a twelve-time Olympic medalist, claimed to have been robbed at gunpoint along with three other U.S. swimmers. He later altered his story, and then he was once again contradicted by Rio police, who say that the swimmers were involved in a fight at a gas station and fabricated the robbery story to cover it up. Lochte returned to the U.S., while the other swimmers were detained in Rio to be questioned by police. Lochte has now admitted to exaggerating the story and has lost several endorsements.

Football Time in the Bluegrass

By Marcus Jones

The West Jessamine High School Football team has struggled the past couple of years to find its place in their division. With back-to-back one win seasons, the Colts struggle to keep confidence alive within the young group. But heading into the 2016 season, a new spark of confidence has found its way into the team. From the freshman class to the senior class, it’s hard to find one person who isn’t confident in this season.
In an interview with returning starting center, sophomore Eli Cox, he was asked how confident he was in this year after seeing the growth from last year. Cox responded with, “Extremely. I feel like this year’s group is a lot closer and there’s more trust between us. So confidence has increased exponentially.”
The Colts are feeling really good about their season after coming off a win against the Harrison County Thorobreds. This was the first opening win for the Colts since 2010. The Colts beat Harrison County 27-8. Eighteen of those point came from junior running back Allen Horne. Horne scored on one touchdown reception and two rushing, earning him the well deserved Most Valuable Player award.
Another thing West has found confidence in is their defense. The defense started off by forcing the Thorobreds to punt six times in the first half alone. When asked about the defense, started defensive lineman Chance Coffman responded, “I feel like the defense held up to the potential that we knew we had. It felt good to know what we were doing and being able to execute how we knew we could.”
So, officially the Colts start off the 2016 season 1-0. Heading into week two, West faces an 0-1 Woodford County team. The Colts play at home in week two and look to keep the momentum rolling throughout the whole season.

Athlete of the Month: Anna Lee

By: Kaylee Porch

Senior Anna Lee has been playing soccer for the Colts since sixth grade. Her seventh grade year, Lee was asked to play both middle and high school teams to prepare her for varsity. Lee’s sophomore year the Colts went 30-2 losing only two games entire season, this lead them to the sweet 16. Last season the girls made it even farther to the elite 8.
When asked what her goals were for her senior year, Lee said, “personally to be an allstater again and to win state of course. Last year I made 1st team all state and plan to do it again to finish my high school career.”
Lee plans to continue her soccer career at UK as she verbally committed after her sophomore year. She will officially sign this Spring and begin preseason in July. This past year Lee has been to three UK camps to meet and scrimmage with her future team.
“Soccer is my passion, being on the field is how I relieve my stress.” Lee stated. Anna’s success will continue throughout her senior year and as the Colts cheer her on at the University of Kentucky doing what she loves.

The 142nd Kentucky Derby

Colton Williams

Louisvillian Hunter S. Thompson famously declared that the “Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved,” in the seminal article that launched his career and altered the course of American journalism. Thompson became known for (among other things) the keen eye and sharp pen with which he wrote about the world. However, as entertaining as Thompson’s Derby piece is, in typical Thompson style, it’s more fiction than fact.

The Kentucky Derby is one of the premier events in sports, right up there with the Super Bowl and the NCAA Tournament. Celebrities and important people from all over the world come to the Derby – athletes, writers, actors, musicians and politicians are all regulars at Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May. Richard Nixon was the first, and only, sitting President ever to attend the Derby in 1969. While it is an event known for its glamour and pomp, the majority of the 167,227 people in attendance were just regular folks, and that’s what makes the Derby, and horse racing in general, unique. Everyone, whether Richard Nixon or Hunter Thompson, has the same field of horses to look at and bet on.

It’s also unique in that the main competitors are animals, not people. Of course, the trainers, owners and jockeys are people, but no matter how good the human element is, it still takes a special horse in order to win the big race.

Perhaps we’re a little biased here, but where else could the Kentucky Derby be held other than Louisville? It’s the crossroads of North and South. Both President Abraham Lincoln and President Jefferson Davis were born in our great state. What could be more symbolic of our American commonality than that? The two men had irreparable differences and polar opposite ideologies, yet were born within the same walls of land that would become so vital in the war that split the country. The Derby is an event that connects people all over the country and all over the world, and Kentucky seems as good a place as any to host such a race.

Recently, a sorority at Dartmouth College canceled its annual Derby party in response to protesters who said the race is “related to pre-war Southern culture,” and the “Derby was a party that had the power to upset a lot of our classmates.” Cutting a hole into this pristine logic is the fact that the first Derby was held in 1875, which, as Dartmouth students should know, is a decade after the civil war ended. Despite attacks on the Derby and ‘Derby culture,’ in our increasingly offended world, it’s still popular, and this year was no different.

Nyquist, the bluegrass-bred 2-1 favorite to win the race, ended up draped in the rose blanket at the race’s close, making it the second Derby win for trainer Doug O’Neill, owner J. Paul Reddam, and jockey Mario Gutierrez. Nyquist is now a perfect 8-for-8 in his career, with some of his notable wins being in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and the Florida Derby. Now, he and his team will be looking toward the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes, as they try to complete the Triple Crown.

And who better to win it than a Kentuckian?

Athlete of the Month: Tucker Greer

Evan Cook

Senior, Tucker Greer, has benefitted the varsity baseball team since his freshman year of high school. Over the past three years he’s played a total of 66 games. Within those games he holds a .339 batting average, .443 on base percentage, 58 hits, 31 RBIs, and 56 runs. He plans to attend Lincoln College, a junior college in Illinois, and major in special education. Greer was a valued member of both the junior varsity and varsity teams and helped lead the team to the state championship in 2015 with his dynamic pitching abilities and powerhouse hitting.

Are You Smarter than an NCAA Athlete?

Colton Williams 

Villanova University won the 2016 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, clinching their first national title in 31 years by nailing a buzzer-beating three pointer to defeat North Carolina 77-74. While these last-second heroics had Villanova fans on the edge of their seats, perhaps those breathing the biggest sigh of relief were the officials and executives at the NCAA.

Half of the teams in this year’s Final Four were sanctioned or under investigation by the NCAA. Syracuse University was hit hard for infractions and violations ranging from academic fraud, drug abuse, and payment for ‘volunteer’ work. Head Coach Jim Boeheim was suspended for nine ACC conference games and 108 of his wins were vacated. The basketball program lost 12 scholarships over four years, must pay a fine of $500 for every game they played in which ineligible students participated, has a reduced number of off-campus recruiters, and must return money to the NCAA that it received from the Big East Conference revenue sharing for the 2011, 2012 and 2013 tournaments. This could cost the school over $1 million (Syracuse.com). But, nevertheless, the Orange and their Hall of Fame coach made it to the tournament this season and ran all the way to the Final Four as an 11 seed. Who did they face? The University of North Carolina, which has its own share of problems.

North Carolina admitted that for several years players in multiple sports took fake classes in order to maintain their eligibility. In North Carolina – much like our great state of Kentucky – basketball is king. They have been to 19 Final Fours (more than any other school) and have won five National Championships. This is why the timing of UNC’s response to the NCAA’s official Notice of Allegations seems a little fishy. In August, four days before the deadline to turn in their response, UNC uncovered additional violations in women’s basketball and men’s soccer. Because of this, the NCAA had to amend its charges against UNC, which, when completed, restarted the 90-day period North Carolina had to respond to the new, amended allegations (usatoday.com). This meant that the 2015-16 men’s basketball season would be over before they had to confront the NCAA. While the men’s basketball program hasn’t been specifically cited for violations, men’s basketball players have been enrolled in the questionable classes.

Suspiciously, athletes at UNC were pushed toward taking classes in African American Studies. In a video released by ESPN, of which a screenshot was captured by Bryan Graham of Sports Illustrated, you can see a final term paper on Rosa Parks written by a UNC athlete. The paper was 146 words long.

The student received an A-minus for the class.

Mary Willingham, a former academic counselor at UNC, did research at the university and determined that nearly 60% of the student-athletes were reading at a fourth-to-eighth grade reading level (sportingnews.com). That suggests that at least some percentage of UNC athletes have trouble reading “James and the Giant Peach” and “Freckle Juice.” At first, UNC denied Willingham’s claims of fraudulent classes and academic corruption. In 2015, however, UNC settled Willingham’s lawsuit against the university to the tune of $335,000.

“It’s about the students and not about me,” Willingham said. “I got an education, but those students left without one, and we still have a system that doesn’t work.” (cnn.com)

The problem is that the system actually does work – for the schools. UNC is far from the only school to violate NCAA rules, particularly those pertaining to academic integrity. In 2015, the NCAA said they were investigating 20 schools for academic fraud (deadspin.com). But does it really matter? Sports are big moneymakers for colleges and communities, especially at high profile schools like UNC and Syracuse. Other big-time programs are under fire for different violations. Louisville, UConn, Miami, Ohio State, USC, and others have all had major rules violations in the recent past. What’s the common thread between UConn and Louisville basketball and Ohio State and USC football? They win.

It’s hard to be surprised anymore when ESPN breaks news on a college sports scandal. It’s a regular occurrence, and it pretty much always has been. Money is intertwined into the fabric of the collegiate athletic culture, and as long as North Carolina and Syracuse are playing on the polished floor of a 70,000-seat stadium, while tickets go for $500 and pro scouts look eagerly on, it always will be.