What’s Wrong With Pro Athletes?

Professional athletes are some of the most athletically gifted people on the planet. They literally get paid millions of dollars to be really good at one thing in their respective sport.

They don’t have to worry about taxes or bills as they probably have financial advisors, and they don’t have to do any analysis or manage accounts. I’m not saying they don’t work hard, but they probably work their bodies more than their minds. 

Whenever there is a pro player getting in trouble with the law over something totally avoidable, it bothers me. I’m sorry, but if you’re getting paid over $30 million a year to catch a football, why are you even giving yourself the chance to get in trouble?

Josh Gordon, considered one of the best wide receivers in the league three years ago, hasn’t been able to play because of his continued failed drug tests for the use of marijuana. This last failed drug test may negate him from ever playing in the league again. 

Ray Rice, one of the league’s best running backs, made an almost career-ending mistake with the whole elevator incident. 

Johnny Manziel has had a plethora of off the field issues that have left him without an agent, sponsors, and a team. A great talent has gone to waste because of his distractions from partying, and now most recently, a domestic violence issue. 

Ravens’ cornerback Trey Walker and Bengals’ wide receiver Chris Henry both unfortunately died because of decisions they made off the field. Walker crashed on a motorbike without a helmet, and Henry fell out of the back of a pickup truck.  

Adrian Peterson beat his son with a switch, leading to a league suspension and a loss of reputation among the league. 

Ricky Williams hasn’t played well in the NFL for almost a decade. Once considered the best talent in the league, Williams chose marijuana over the celebrity life. In a 30 for 30, Williams claimed that his drug choices made him feel better and playing in the NFL wasn’t as important to him.

There is a 2% chance of a college athlete making it to the pros according to Pro Sport Odds. According to USA Today, over eight NFL players have been arrested in 2016, mostly for drug-related charges and abuse charges; eight players that will likely be disciplined by the team and the league due to their actions. All their hard work and overcoming 2% chances to make it may be coming to an end because of one mistake.

I’m not saying the life of a pro athlete is easy, but I think they should be smart enough to not do a small list of things that can potentially ruin their careers. It baffles me how someone can work so hard at something and throw it all away for one night of partying and one decision.

Senior Debaters Look to Continue Winning Trend

On April 25th, Boys’ Latin’s annual Junior-Senior Debate will take place. The topic of this year’s debate is cloning.  Cloning is the act of propagating genes or other cells.

The senior debate team, which includes Mark Gray, Logan Atkinson, and Joey Mallon, will be arguing against the prospect of cloning. The three members the seniors will be featuring are no longer rookies as all three of them participated in last year’s debate.

The junior debate team, which is comprised of Jamie Owens, Evan Elwanger, and Parker Hopkins, will be arguing for cloning. All three of these juniors are experienced members of the debate club, but this is their first experience debating on stage in front of the entire upper school.

History shows that the seniors will win. According to student Dylan Kowalewski, “The seniors will win. They always do.”

This seems to be the mindset of much of Boys’ Latin’s student body as no current upper school student has witnessed the juniors win. Over the course of the history of the Debate, only once have the juniors pulled off an upset.

The seniors this year aren’t paying attention to history. According to senior debater Logan Atkinson, “We can’t focus on history.  We need to prepare hard and earn the win because it won’t be given to us just because we are seniors.” This mindset is one that is shared by all three members of the senior team.

The seniors want to avoid gaining confidence just because of history, so instead they are gaining confidence through excessive amounts of preparation. According to senior Joey Mallon, “We have worked very hard so far and will continue to do so. I just hope I can graduate knowing I won.”

While the seniors aren’t allowing for history to get them overconfident, the juniors aren’t allowing for history to discourage them. Junior Evan Elwanger said, “We can’t pay attention to that. Every year is a new year, so we are going to continue to work hard and hope for the best.” This type of mindset will allow for the juniors to possibly give the seniors a run for their money.

This year’s debate will certainly be very interesting. Both teams are comprised of smart individuals who have been working hard to ensure success in this upcoming debate.

End in Sight for Seniors; Struck with Feelings

As the school year is coming to a close for the class of 2016, the seniors can’t help but reminisce about their time and memories at Boys’ Latin.

The class of 2016 has been a small class since the beginning, and that helped create a bond that is strong enough to resemble a brotherly bond amongst classmates.  Whether they are lifers (students that started in kindergarten, pre-first, or first grade) or students that started in high school, the friendships built over the years are very strong.  There are only a few lifers left in this class; they are Dylan Kowalewski, Mark Gray, M.J. Black, Brendan Mullally, Bennett Kauffman, Ryan Shaw, Noah Snyder, Thomas Murphy, Bo Dudley, and Josh Lurie.

“I feel regret/ scared to leave my second home,” senior Josh Lurie said. “I want to leave the best legacy possible before I leave.”

Excitement and fear are the two emotions that seem to be the strongest emotions the seniors are feeling. The reason for fear stems from many members of BL that haven’t had to adapt to a new environment, but instead continued to flourish in the comfortable environment set by Boys’ Latin.

The seniors have been reminiscing about their time at BL: “My favorite moments from BL have been all the memories I’ve created and the life-long friendships I’ve made.” Brendan Mullally said.  “I will miss the relationships with all the teachers and students that I’ve formed over the years here at BL.”The rare student-teacher friendships make the BL community such a hard place to leave.

The rare student-teacher friendships make the BL community such a hard place to leave.

“I’m getting excited for the next chapter of my life, but [I’m ] gonna miss BL a lot,” Jeremy Greenberg said.  Moving on is exciting, but the thought of seniors leaving their second home is very tough.

“The senior retreat was one of my favorite memories at BL. I’ll also miss the assemblies and student announcements,” senior Rich Rosario said.  The senior retreat was very memorable because the class of 2016 bonded and it really helped bring everyone together as more of a family than a class.

Senior Farewell is always an emotional and rememberable time for the seniors as they depart from BL early to do their senior internships.  “I am going to cry so much at Senior Farewell,” both Brendan Mullally and Dylan Kowalewski agreed.

For those who have been at BL for 13 or 14 years, they have seen the school grow and develop as they developed, and that’s why it’s so hard for students to leave.

Every senior from every year that has graduated has come back to see the teachers and the school they attended and love, and that shows how much this school means to the students.  The love and devotion from the students and faculty make BL special, and the feeling of sadness and regret from the seniors will continue for as long as the school is around.

Coach Farrell’s Presence Felt Throughout the Lake Show

Brian Ferrell, a 2006 Boys’ Latin alum, is a well-known individual who carries a legacy at Boys’ Latin as a player and now as a coach. He brings youth, energy, excitement, and enthusiasm to the sidelines and motivates all of his players.

“The positive attitude he brings to practice and to every game motivates the team to play better,” said senior Dylan Kowalewski. Players are enthusiastic to have a new face on the sideline, and all the players have the utmost respect for Coach Ferrell because of his lacrosse accolades and especially because he is a BL alum.

Jack Pezzulla, a senior captain for the Lakers, indicated, “Coach Ferrell brings positive energy and competition to practice every day. Not that Shriver didn’t, but it is just different and prepares us for the pace of the games. It is pretty refreshing having somebody who understands us only being 10 years out of our shoes.” 

Ms. Mullally, the head of the Boys’ Latin math department, knew Ferrell since his time as a student at BL. She was very excited when she heard he got the coaching position.

Ms. Mullally declared, “Coach Ferrell was a well-liked, outstanding athlete who won the Laker Core Award. The students who he mentored were in  pre-first then and now they’re sophomores. He gave them all fiddlesticks. He was someone who would hang out in my classroom. I went on the retreat with him and his class. I was really excited to have him back here. I was surprised they hired someone so young, but I was very excited for him.”

Coach Ferrell is excited and enthused to be coaching at his alma mater. “It’s fun. It’s a great experience. I have a great passion for BL, the school lacrosse program, and to see [how it’s progressed] in 10 years,” stated Ferrell. 

Coach Ferrell described the transition from high school, to college, to pro, and now to coaching.

“High school to college games [are] just faster. College to pro is even faster. Pro to coaching slows down completely. It’s just the speed of the game. One to two guys are the main guys [in high school], and in college good players are all over the place. Seeing the ball move is a lot faster. Pros are the most fun; you get to travel over the country. You’re partly in it for the money but the game is the most fun with the two-point line.

Coaching is what I’m passionate about…game planning and instilling it into our guys. Those friendships will last forever.”

Is the UK Leaving the European Union?

The United Kingdom is going to be voting on a referendum on whether or not to leave the European Union on June 23rd. This is a hot topic in global news because it is widely debated among the UK’s citizens.

The referendum ballot will look like this:

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This is the extent of the vote: yes or no. The country is pretty much divided 50/50 on this issue according to recent polling conducted by the Telegraph, a British news company. It is of the UK’s best interest to really think about their choice because either way it has some large ramifications.

If the UK decides to stay in the European Union it could render them more vulnerable to terrorist attacks. This is because of the EU’s open border policy. This policy basically states that members of the EU must allow citizens of the other members to pass through with minimal to no restriction.

This idea that everyone can come and go as they please leaves the EU  more susceptible to homegrown terrorists or other followers to wage an attack against them. This policy is simply irresponsible and doltish. People against the referendum do not seem to be able to support this in all of the recent articles by Time.com, The Telegraph, and the BBC.

Supporters of this referendum say that the vote is about letting the UK be able to make its own decisions. In a recent article written by the BBC, Peter Bone, founder of Grassroots Out (an organization dedicated to getting the UK out of the EU), said: “We look forward to working closely and productively with all those who want to see the UK set free to determine its own destiny.”

Bone’s point is in correlation with the pro-referendum constituency.  Besides the obvious security benefits, the ability to be independent is of great value to Brittan.

The UK would be free to set its own travel restrictions and trade agreements with each individual member of the EU. Also, since Brittian does not use the Euro, it would not even need to rely on the European Central Bank for currency. The UK could be completely free in no time.

Fake Extra Man Offense Plays Vital Role in Team’s Success

FEMO, fake extra man offense, is an elite group of six lacrosse players who do their best to make the defense better. This group consists of Dylan Kowalewski, Michael Peters, Rowan Bartell, Reagan Chasney, Dylan Pinsky, and McKenney Box.

Extra Man Offense is the group of players who go into the game whenever the other team gets a penalty. Usually, the EMO, Extra Man Offense, consists of the smartest and most talented shooters.

While the real EMO gets all of the credit in games, the FEMO squad puts in hard work behind the scenes. The players on the Fake Extra Man Offense aren’t the starters, but they are all good lacrosse players who are committed to the team and making the team better.

During practice, the FEMO runs the opposing team’s offense. This enables the defense to get used to the plays. It may seem meaningless, but it might be the key to the Lakers’ defense performing well and knowing what to do in games.

Dylan Kowalewski is one of the two senior members on the FEMO. He stands at 5’11”, weighs 160 lbs, and is known for his sneaky underhand shot.

Dylan said, “I want our team to be as well-prepared as we can, and I love the fact that I help them get better every time we play.” He’s a true team player who will do whatever it takes to make everyone better. 

Reagan Chasney is the second of the two seniors on the FEMO. He is a lanky 6′ player who is known for his downhill dodge. Chasney is a veteran on the squad, earning the honor of being a part of the FEMO for a second straight year.

Each year ending means that members of the squad are leaving, which means that some of the younger guys have to step up. Rowan Bartell is one of those guys that took a huge step.

Bartell is not the tallest of players but is capable of beating his defender and scoring from outside. As a newcomer to the FEMO, he said, “The FEMO gives a good representation of what our opponent’s offense is going to look like.”

Just like Bartell, Michael Peters is one of the newcomers to the FEMO who is not the tallest of players. Peters is known for his sneaky right-handed shot from the side.

McKenney Box is another one of the members of the Fake Extra Man Offense who is a pure lefty. He often receives passes on the left side and lets it release.

Finally, Dylan Pinsky is the last of the members. He often plays the most athletic player as Pinsky is very quick and agile.

Senior captain Andrew Murrow said, “they bring fun and energy and allow us to practice against the other team’s plays.”  

The FEMO embodies what every player on the team needs, and that is commitment. Commitment to the best and commitment to each other is what allows each player to get better every day.

Panama Papers Strike World Controversy

panamaThe Panama Papers have exposed some of the world’s most powerful and wealthy people that may have used offshore bank accounts to create shell oil companies in order to conceal their wealth and avoid taxes.

In the papers, there were millions of leaked confidential documents from the Mossack Fonseca law firm in Panama. The papers exposed international politicians, millionaires, billionaire business leaders and celebrities involved in webs of suspicious financial transactions. These revelations have raised questions about secrecy and corruption in the global financial system.

According to CNBC, Mossack Fonseca claimed, “If we detect suspicious activity or misconduct, we are quick to report it to the authorities. Similarly, when authorities approach us with evidence of possible misconduct, we always cooperate fully with them.”

Mossack Fonseca is a Panamanian law firm and corporate service provider that has over 40 offices worldwide.  It specializes in commercial law, trust services, investor advisory, and international business structures. The firm has allegedly helped foreign citizens circumvent their local tax laws and international sanctions.  

According to CNN, the Mossack Fonseca representative said, “Our industry is not particularly well understood by the public, and unfortunately this series of articles will only serve to deepen that confusion. The facts are these: while we may have been the victim of a data breach, nothing we’ve seen in this illegally obtained cache of documents suggests we’ve done anything illegal, and that’s very much in keeping with the global reputation we’ve built over the past 40 years of doing business the right way, right here in Panama.”

Some of the most high-profile names include the President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko; Prime Minister of Iceland, Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson; Ex-prime minister of Iraq, Ayad Allawi; and the former President of Sudan, Ahmad Ali al-Mirghani.

Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson resigned as Prime Minister of Iceland after the documents were released. Also, President Mauricio Macri of Argentina, and the soccer star Lionel Messi, one of the world’s wealthiest athletes, were listed in the papers. 

Other soccer players, FIFA officials, the sport’s world governing body, and UEFA, the governing body of European soccer, were also tied into the Panama Papers through the Panamanian firm.  

The FIFA officials can be tied back to the controversy of the decision for the location of Qatar for the next World Cup and the bribes and money laundering that came along with it.   

Almost all people incorporated in the document have denied their link to doing business in the offshore companies, according to Telegraph U.K. news. 

Those prominent names were among the hundreds of people that the papers tie to thousands of offshore shell companies. Such companies can be used to protect vast amounts of money from tax collectors, regulators, and creditors.

It is not clear if any of the documents were in violation or illegal. The protection of money in offshore companies is not illegal alone, but it may be done to hide illegal activity from certain scouting eyes, for example, by creating tax evasion or executing money laundering.

The Panama Papers is the biggest database leak of any corporation in history.