NFL Profile: Aaron Rodgers

Caleb White, Online Editor

Voted league MVP by the Associated Press for the 2011, 2014, 2020 and 2021 NFL seasons, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is commonly held to be one of the greatest football players of all time. Maybe even the greatest. 

 

In a battle between Rodgers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady last Sunday, Rodgers came out on top, with the Packers defeating the Buccaneers 14-12 at Raymond James Stadium on Sept. 25. Fans were quick to debate his potential GOAT status on social media following the win. 

 

“AR12 > TB12,” read a Twitter caption from Bleacher Report, referring to both Aaron Rodgers’ and Tom Brady’s numbers.

 

His fellow teammates also gave him well-deserved praise. 

 

“He’s amazing, how he controls the ball,” Green Bay Packers receiver Sammy Watkins said in an NFL report. “How he puts everyone in place. I’ve been with a lot of quarterbacks, and I’ve never seen them carry themselves like Aaron Rodgers.”

 

After 38-year-old Rodgers was awarded the AP MVP in 2021, he became just the second player in NFL history to win MVP four times. Rodgers led Green Bay to its third consecutive 13-win season with 4,115 yards passing for 37 touchdowns to just four interceptions, the third-highest TD-INT ratio in NFL history. 

 

Rodgers also had comebacks during the 2021 season, having a 71.8 completion percentage, a 14:2 TD-INT ratio and a 126.1 passer rating. Commonly seen within the top 20 of the Top 100 report since it began, Rodgers became the highest-paid player in NFL history annually after his 17th season.

 

Mac Jones Injured

Adam Ide

Sports Editor

 

New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones went down in the final plays on Sunday, Sept 25, in the 37-26 home loss to the Baltimore Ravens. The starting quarterback was in considerable pain as he hopped off of the field and was carried into the locker room.

 

Jones has been diagnosed with a severe high ankle sprain. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, this type of injury would cause many to have surgery. 

 

“I’m just going to take it day by day, get my treatment and do what I do. Just see how I feel, if you have any more of those type questions, talk to Coach [Bill] Belichick. I think he likes those questions.” said Jones in a postgame interview.

 

Veteran Brian Hoyer is the Patriots’ top backup, and fourth-round draft pick Bailey Zappe out of Western Kentucky has been the No. 3 option. The Patriots (1-2) visit the Green Bay Packers (2-1) on Sunday, Oct 2, and Belichick said early Monday he wouldn’t speculate if Jones might be placed on injured reserve.

Men’s Cross Country Sprinting Into a Great Season

Matt Willar Staff Writer

 

The Assumption Men’s Cross Country Team has gotten off to a great start this season. 

Last season, Captain Claudio Rocha was able to lead the team to great success and is already continuing to this year. 

 

The team is led by Director of Track and Field and Cross Country Whitney Cyr, and Assistant Coach Kate Moulton. Cyr recently came from Franklin Pierce University, where she oversaw the program’s throwers. Cyr has posted six NCAA Championships provisional qualifying marks, tallied six All-Northeast-10 Conference awards, and collected 14 USTFCCCA All-East Region accolades.

 

Captain Rocha, and seniors Christian Surette and Anthony Farago, are the player leaders for the team as well as their backbone. The team has had three meets so far this season. Rocha finished 1st at the Keene State Invitational on September 3, with a time of 15:25.9. Another runner to watch this season, Junior Evan Clark, finished in 3rd, propelling the team to an overall 2nd place finish. 

 

The rest of the team was not far behind with Surette finishing in 13th place and Farago finishing in 21st. Two freshmen, Colby Mederios and Matthew Nofri, finished in 19th and 22nd, respectively, while Junior Daniel Nimiroski finished in 15th.

 

The team had their second-best finish this season at the Bryant Invitational on Sept 10, finishing in 5th place.

 

Clark is coming off an impressive sophomore season last year and is one of the team’s fastest runners. Meanwhile, Rocha has three Top-10 finishes so far this season, with his most recent being at the UMass Dartmouth Invitational on Sept 17. The team finished in 12th place. 

 

The team’s next meet is Oct 8 at the New England Championships. For more updates, follow @assumptionxctf on Instagram. 

 

*** All info from the Assumption Athletics page

The Exciting Evolution of Esports

Adam Ide, Sports Editor & Caleb White, Online Editor

Nearly every student has seen the state-of-the-art esports lounge in the middle of the Hagan Campus Center. Unfortunately, it is rare to see anyone utilizing the space, and if it is in use, then it is usually by a lone gamer. This year the esports team has high hopes for revamping the esports lounge and being a more competitive athletic team on campus.

 

“I had Eric Gobiel, the director of athletics, reach out to me and say, ‘Hey… we’re looking to revamp this esports program, are you interested?’ And I said, ‘Wow, this could be something,’” said Kadin deRuijter, resident director on campus and the new director of the Assumption esports program. 

 

Under deRuijter, the esports program has already made significant progress. DeRuijter’s new approach to building the team’s infrastructure has proven to be immensely successful thus far.

 

“This semester will be spent restructuring and making sure we have a community on campus,” he said. “[We want to be] having an engaged community where people actually come down and get to know people here.”

 

In order to establish the esports team on campus, deRuijter hopes to open up the esports lounge to the student body. He hopes this will create a sense of community around the team that can be built off of.

 

“It’s going to make the program much more visible. It’s going to be an outlet for a specific community on campus that can provide for [students] that makes them feel comfortable here at Assumption

 

By making the program community-centered and then building athletics out of that instead of … [to] make the athletic team and then try to get a community to support those athletic teams encourages people who are just casual gamers who just want to enjoy their evening with friends.” replied deRuijter when asked about the benefits of having the esports lounge open to the public.

 

Community building will be a staple of deRuijter’s team this year.

 

“A lesson I’ve learned is that our game is not an individual sport. Even if our matches are played alone, we can all help each other get better. I hope this year, we can form a real sense of community with the esports team, and I think we can achieve it in our new [director]. The creative ideas he comes up with have me looking forward to the rest of the year.” said sophomore team member Joe Mitchell when asked about deRuijter’s focus on community.

 

DeRuijter hopes he can cut through the bureaucratic red tape to institute the changes to the esports lounge as soon as possible. Once deRuijter’s transformation of the lounge is complete, the space will be reorganized to be a welcoming environment for students. The door will be propped open with live games streaming to large TVs inside and members of the esports team waiting to welcome and play with any student who is looking to get into video games.

 

As far as athletics go, deRuijter has already made some advancements working on behalf of the team in order to get competitions back up and running.

 

“We are no longer part of the ECAC, which was our prior conference, we are part of the NECC. Much better competition, much more competition, better rules, the entire conference is way better.” said deRuijter on the advancements the team has made athletically.

However, the divide between the esports athletes and the athletics department is still a little too wide for deRuijter’s liking.

 

“Unfortunately, [we] are not as close [with the athletic department] as I’d like to be. Now the whole esports industry is relatively new, and there is a stigma that they are not real athletes. My goal is that with this program … is that esports athletes are viewed in the exact same light as your conventional football athlete.”

 

The esports team has made leaps and bounds already this semester, with many more advancements on the horizon. If you have any interest in joining the team, feel free to contact travis.robie@assumption.edu and kayke.batista@assumption.edu for more information.

What’s the Deal with Blue and White Sports?

Adam Ide, Sports Editor

The Assumption University Greyhounds compete in the Division II New England 10 conference. A large number of varsity sports teams on campus play with some of the best competitors that Division II has to offer. Assumption University is also famous for its many club sports that allow students to compete against their fellow classmates and participate for fun. Starting in the 2019-2020 academic year, however, Assumption University introduced Blue and White Sports that do not count as varsity sports but do compete against other schools in the area.

 

The first three-sport offerings that were introduced in 2019 were men’s swimming, women’s ice hockey, and esports. This opened up a great option for students interested in these sports to compete against other schools.

 

“My freshman year was the first year the program existed. It’s been really cool to watch it grow.” said senior assistant captain of the women’s ice hockey team, Caroline McDonough.

 

Unfortunately, this great opportunity that arose in 2019 seems to have faltered since its creation. Assumption’s athletics website has all but forgotten these three sports. While all of the varsity sports feature countdown clocks preparing fans for the season openers, the Blue and White Sports have not been updated since their creation in 2019. 

 

This lack in maintenance to the schools athletics site and the lack of attention to the Blue and White Sports program in general may have COVID-19 to blame.

 

“I actually think the reason why the program needs to be revamped came down to sustainability and organization. I think that because of the fact that COVID made everything online … did disorganize a lot of people. That I think is one of the contributing factors.” said new esports program director Kadin deRuijter when asked about how COVID-19 affected the Blue and White Sports program.

 

It is clear that the deciding factor of whether or not each individual Blue and White Sport was greatly effected or not by COVID-19 was their relationship with the athletics program.

 

“We’re overseen by athletics. … Our paperwork all goes through athletics so we are involved with athletics. … During the COVID lock down year athletics did let us practice … twice a week.” said McDonough when asked about the women’s club hockey team’s relationship with the athletic department and how COVID-19 played a role in the team’s progression.

 

Meanwhile, the esports team has had a very different experience when dealing with the athletic department.

 

“Unfortunately, [we] are not as close [with the athletic department] as I’d like to be.” said deRuijter.

 

It seems as though the athletics department and the Blue and White Sports program do not have any guidelines in place as to what their relationship should be. This is a large issue when it comes to the management of the team and also the Blue and White Sports’ community outreach.

 

Recently, men’s swimming and women’s ice hockey have announced that they will be varsity sports, with recruitment starting in 2023. Although these are big steps forward for the athletics programs and the school, they are not being treated as important as the other sports on the school’s athletics page.

 

At the very least, the men’s swimming and diving team has been moved to the varsity sports section of the athletics page. The women’s hockey team still sits in the Blue and Withe sports section along with the only other remaining Blue and White Sport, the esports team.

 

The women’s hockey team has played two games so far this season, both played against UMass resulting in a 1-1 record according to McDonough. However, you will not be able to find this information of the athletics page due to the lack of updates for Blue and White Sports.

 

The esports team is currently in a rebuilding phase although there has been no news shared with the student body through the athletics department about when or if the esports team plans to compete again soon. 

 

Since the athletics website has not been providing updates on these teams keep your eyes peeled for informational fliers or members of the Blue and White Sports teams to find out more. 

Assumption Football from an Insider’s Perspective

Kailey Bisbee, Staff Writer

The Assumption football team has always been a force to be reckoned with. Every season, they have a whole team of students and staff that help make games possible. 

Students have an opportunity to be a part of the team through the work studies program. This allows students to gain experience in sport management and health studies as well as support the Greyhounds. This is helpful in preparing both business and science majors for their future careers. It truly is one of the best opportunities Assumption offers. 

A lot goes on behind the scenes. The players endure workouts, 6 am practices, meetings, walkthroughs, and a whole lot more. Students working for the team help support the players in all aspects. This includes helping with physical therapy, restocking the first aid kit, filling water bottles, driving materials from the training center to the field, and most importantly, helping with emotional support. Players need] support from both fans and staff members.  

“They have become like family to me I have never seen such a healthy sports environment,” one student staff member stated. 

The football team is always growing. As players and coaches come through the program, new ideas are brought to the team. Fresh minds help to set up success for the new season. 

“New coaches have brought different ideas that have been implemented for the benefit of the team overall. The defense has made tremendous improvements and is stronger than ever. Overall the team is working really hard, it has been an amazing season so far!” said the staff member when asked about this year’s team. 

Though change can often be scary, it only means big things for the Assumption football team. 

Assumption plays in New Haven at Southern Connecticut State Saturday, Oct. 1, and their next home game against Franklin Pierce on Oct. 9. 

Ghostly Goonies Shipwreck Origins

Maureen Lynch, Editor in Chief

For years, a treasure trove of beeswax and Chinese porcelain has been washing up on the Oregon coast, according to NPR. This led to abounding in the area, with locals telling stories of pirates and treasure, which is said to have inspired Steven Spielberg’s 1985 movie, “The Goonies.” In June, archaeologists uncovered the source behind these mysterious findings!

Over the summer, archaeologists from the Maritime Archaeological Society found shards of timber from a shipwreck of a Spanish galleon called the Santo Cristo de Burgos. Scott Williams, president of the archaeological society and member of the dig told CNN, the ship likely capsized in 1693, and locals have been finding pieces of cargo ever since. 

Researchers, according to Williams, believe that the ship capsized near Astoria, Oregon while on-route from the Philippines to Mexico. Explorers and settlers wrote about the wreck and Williams believes that these first pieces of timber are connected to the Santo Cristo de Burgos. 

Even though the ship wasn’t carrying thousands of pounds of gold from pirates, the ship was carrying valuable items. According to the Met Museum, porcelain in the 1600s was extremely popular, and expensive. So, to 1600s settlers, porcelain would have been considered treasure. 

The pieces of hull are currently being analyzed at the Columbia River Maritime Museum in Astoria, according to CNN. As to whether or not Spielberg was inspired by this local legend, who knows? They declined a comment to CNN about the new discovery. 

Farewell Queen Elizabeth The Second

Kailey Bisbee, Staff Writer

Sadly, one of the longest-reigning monarchs has recently passed. Queen Elizabeth II has passed on Sept. 8, 2022 due to severe health complications.

She was born on April 21, 1926. She lived a full life enduring World War 2 and taking several world tours. Queen Elizabeth was heavily educated in both language and arts.

The queen was skilled at using her piano. Several people including Malcolm Williamson and Sir Arthur Bliss wrote music dedicated to her according to Britannica.

Queen Elizabeth traveled quite often and visited places like Kenya, Australia, and New Zealand. She was close with her sister Princess Margaret Rose. They met up with each other frequently and kept close contact according to Britannica.

She married the former Prince of Greece and distant cousin Prince Phillip Duke of Edinburgh. Together they had four kids, three princes and one princess. The most famous one is Prince Charles III.

The Queen valued family more than anything supporting them through all the pressure and hardship they endured.

According to Britannica, Elizabeth took the throne at the age of 25 on Feb 6, 1952. She accomplished a great deal in reaching places the royal family had never even thought to voyage to.

Queen Elizabeth went to both India and South Africa several times while reigning. She was a well-known figure being a role model and celebrity to most of Europe.

Queen Elizabeth was well respected and friendly to her people. She frequently made appearances outside of Buckingham Palace and let her spirit motivate the faith of her country.

Queen Elizabeth impressively held power for seventy years and two hundred and fourteen days. However, the exact cause of death has still not been revealed to the public.

According to the Royal Family website, the Commonwealth now mourns the loss of their beloved queen. Several memorials, dedications, and a funeral have been used to celebrate her prosperous life.

In terms of success, Queen Elizabeth II is a shining example of a woman in power.

New Doherty High School in Flames

Adam Ide, Sports Editor

The new Doherty High School construction site caught fire on Monday, Sep. 12, while workers were operating welding equipment. The fire was put out quickly, and the Worcester Public School District leaders are optimistic that the fire has not caused major damage.

The City of Worcester recently hired Fontaine Bros. Inc. and Dimeo Construction, in a joint venture, to serve as their construction management for the largest project in the city’s history, Doherty Memorial High School. This is the most recent addition to the City of Worcester’s “Investing in Education” program. This program is part of the city’s goal of improving public schools’ infrastructure to help students achieve academic excellence.

The new school is planned to be a 422,000 square feet state-of-the-art high school with a projected construction budget of $240 million. The project’s proposed completion was estimated to be in the fall of 2024 before the welding incident.

According to the Worcester Fire Department, the fire was caused by a welding incident that ignited a pile of roofing material. The construction crew was operating under an expired hot work permit, putting them in violation of the Worcester Fire Department’s guidelines.

“The Worcester Fire Department will not issue another hot work permit until an acceptable construction safety plan is presented and approved,” the fire department said in a news release Tuesday evening.

The city’s Department of Inspectional Services was sent out to the construction site to assess the damage and determine whether the building’s structural integrity has been compromised. 

“Updates from the  structural engineers and construction companies … shows no structural damage with minimal impact on timeline costs …,” Worcester Public Schools Superintendent Rachel Monárrez tweeted Thursday morning. 

Worcester Public School officials are hoping that the construction will be able to continue on schedule and still finish in the fall of 2024. While the Department of Inspectional Services has not reported any structural damage, Fontaine Bros. Inc. and Dimeo Construction will need to obtain a new hot work permit from the Worcester Fire Department in order to continue. It is unclear how long it will take to develop an acceptable construction safety plan in order to reclaim their permit.

The Trial of Alex Jones

Caroline Branch, Staff Writer

On Sept. 13, Alex Jones, a far-right pundit and host of Infowars began his second trial in the defamation case against the families of those who lost their lives in the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre. Jones has claimed, since April 2013, that the Sandy Hook shooting was a “government operation” with “inside job written all over it” during an Infowars broadcast. He recently admitted that he believes the tragedy to be a real event, but has not accepted his role in the continued harassment of the families. 

This trial, which takes place in Waterbury, CT, is to finally hold Mr. Jones responsible for the harm his claims have had on the lives of those connected to the event. According to NPR, Jones has already been found liable for his lies after a Texas lawsuit ordered him to pay $49.3 million dollars to the parents of 6 year-old victim Jesse Lewis. The Connecticut case is expected to cost Jones more because it includes three lawsuits representing fifteen plaintiffs. Jones’s defense is that his actions are covered under the First Amendment freedom of Speech. 

Since the trial started on Sept. 13, several witnesses have taken the stand against the Infowars host for his involvement in spreading misinformation and causing harm to the plaintiffs, says The Washington Post. Several relatives of the victims and an FBI agent who was a part of the response team that day have opened up about the effects Jones and his followers have inflicted upon them.

The first to take the stand was Carlee Soto Parisi, the sister of Vicki Soto, a first grade teacher killed at Sandy Hook. Soto Parisi testimony included the widely circulated photograph of her devastation at the news of her sister’s death that ignited fake claims that Carlee Soto Parisi was an actor hired for this ‘government conspiracy.’ She also described her ruins with those who continue to believe this conspiracy. At a 5k organized in her sisters honor in 2015, Matthew Mills of Brooklyn accosted Ms. Soto Parisi and her family claimed that the tragedy didn’t happen. Mr. Mills was arrested and charged with breach of peace. 

“It’s hurtful, it’s devastating, it’s crippling,” Ms. Soto Parisi said in an NPR article about the trial. “You can’t breathe properly, because you’re constantly defending yourself and your family.” 

After Ms. Soto Parisi testified, William Aldenberg of the FBI took the stand. Mr. Aldenberg, a first responder to the tragedy, struggled with emotion as he described his horror when he entered the school. Mr. Aldenberg, according to The Washington Post, was also believed to be a ‘crisis actor’ due to his resemblance to David Wheeler, whose son Ben was a victim. This theory brought much harassment and threats to both Mr. Wheeler and Mr. Aldenberg. 

Mr. Aldenberg was seen to be weeping as he spoke about this case of mistaken identity while Mr. Wheeler stood in the gallery. Mr. Aldenberg said that even though he does not know how this theory started, he ‘“felt responsible” for Mr. Wheeler’s pain.