Ravens Alone Atop AFC North After Week 10

Many people never thought the Baltimore Ravens could stand alone atop the AFC North this season. However, at the end of week 10, that’s where the team stands.

The Ravens topped their arch rival the Pittsburgh Steelers 21-14 on November 6 after holding off a fourth quarter run by the Steelers.

When the game concluded, the Ravens found themselves holding the top spot in the division. Next up was a Thursday night game on November 10 against the Cleveland Browns, another conference foe.

Many predicted the Ravens would come out victorious due to the fact the Browns were coming to Charm City bolstering a 0-9 record.

When the final whistle blew, the Ravens had coasted to a 28-7 victory. Led by a strong defensive effort, the Ravens held the Browns scoreless in the second half.

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Joe Flacco celebrates a touchdown against the Browns courtesy of USAToday.com

After competing on Thursday night, Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun reported that the Ravens got the weekend off and would return to practice on Tuesday, November 15.

Having already completed their week 10 contest, Ravens’ players and coaches alike were able to sit back and watch some football. What the Ravens saw surely brought a smile to their faces. The Ravens were able to relax and watch the Steelers and the Cincinnati Bengals each fall in week 10.

Not only are the Ravens the lone wolf at the top of the AFC North with the only record above .500, but the Ravens also have one of “the best defenses in the league,” CBS Baltimore reported.

The Ravens, who started the year 3-0, fell to 3-4 heading into their bye week. Since then, the Ravens have regrouped and have won two big conference games back-to-back earning a 3-0 record in conference play.

Ravens’ head coach John Harbaugh was asked what it means to be in charge at the top of the conference.

“‘That’s something that’s really important to us…Whether it’s in a game or in a season, you want to get the lead. When you get the lead, you want to keep the lead. When you keep the lead, you want to expand the lead. That’s what we aim to do in every game, not always successfully, but that’s our goal. Certainly, that’s going to be our objective during the course of the season,'” Harbaugh told Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun.

The Ravens’ winning record is on the line this weekend. The team travels to Texas to take on the Dallas Cowboys, a team that has one of the best offenses in the league. This will be one of the hardest tests the Ravens have faced so far this season as one of the best defenses goes head-to-head against one of the best offenses.

Tune into CBS on November 20, at 1:00 p.m. to watch the Ravens take on the Cowboys.

Feature image courtesy of avatarys.com.

Seniors Relay Opinions on College Process

The time when college applications are due is a time when you feel you have almost no time at all. It is a time when the stress levels increase and the organization decreases. For me, it is a time when I juggle homework and applications to the point of my detriment.

At this point of my senior year, I have only applied to one college and am on the verge of beginning applying (regularly) to the others. Still, I feel the stress of the college process, increasing my SAT score, writing my essays, filling out the Common Application, and asking teachers for recommendations while still trying to deal with school work. An excessive amount of work does tend to make me concentrate less in some areas.

For me, college applications have sometimes brought that attribute out for me. I am conflicted between the constant homework and expectations to fill out college applications and meet deadlines. It has made me become better at managing my time.

For some seniors, they are in a more enjoyable place. “I feel comfortable about my applications at this point. I feel like I have everything managed since I have a plan,” senior Alec Blume said.

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Senior Alec Blume sits in the quiet room with a cup of coffee as he works diligently on his college applications.

“The applications themselves take a lot of time, but when you’re through with those, you’re basically done,” he later went on to say.

This is something that I’ve heard throughout the senior class and college counseling team at BL. It worries me that other students are as comfortable as they are while I still have some work to do with my applications.

“The most stressful part of the college process is the uncertainty of where you want to go. What also makes it stressful is whether or not the college you want to go to will accept you,” senior Theodore Thomas mentioned.

This is a shared feeling in my opinion. I feel like nearly every senior at some point worries whether or not the college he applied to will accept him.

Since there are a lot of people who are in different places in their college process, it draws the question if there should be required checkpoints for the college application process.

“I think that there should be required checkpoints so that people won’t fall behind. But I think it depends on the person,” Thomas said. “But for those who are on top of their work, I don’t think that they will need the checkpoints.”

“We do not need a required checkpoint,” Jalen Milton agrees. “A lot of people are procrastinators and they’ll be left with colleges that are not the kid’s first choices.”

“I do not think we need a required checkpoint.  It’s kind of our responsibility,” Blume disagrees.

In my opinion, I agree with Alec Blume in the fact that we as seniors should learn how to manage our time and take responsibility for our own work. There are of course college counselors and teachers who can help us along with the process.

Overall, I feel as though the college process, despite the stressful labe it is given, is going well right now for BL students.

Mannequin Challenge Becomes Newest Trend

Many social media trends sweep the nation, and the mannequin challenge is the newest one. People love watching all the different challenges because of their uniqueness and entertaining qualities.

The mannequin challenge is when a group of people stand still, posing. The different poses and facial expressions show a wide variety of emotion, making no mannequin challenge the same. “Some popular poses are dabbing, flexing, or acting like you are on your phone,” senior Evan Ellwanger said.

Music also enhances the challenge. Most of the time, the song that is playing in the background is “Black Beatles” by Rae Sremmurd. “The song makes the video more intense and it gives the mannequin challenge an identity,” senior Nate King said.

The song fits the challenge well because it has a fast tempo to it that hypes the video up. The mannequin challenge gets even more hyped when the group of people start dancing when the beat drops. Dancing when the beat drops usually only happens when there is a big group of people.

Most of the time, viewers will see the participants start dancing when the beat drops at a concert. Rae Sremmurd did a mannequin challenge at one of his concerts with the crowd. When the beat dropped, the whole audience went crazy and started dancing.

The poses are another aspect that makes the mannequin challenge so appealing. The poses that the individuals do show some attributes about themselves and can allow them to be seen in a different way than usual. “It is fun to watch mannequin challenges with your friends in them,” senior Gideon Endalkachew said.

The BL varsity football team did a mannequin challenge one day after practice. The Boys’ Latin community got to see a mannequin challenge, below. Video courtesy of junior Devon Brewer.

In the BL varsity football team’s mannequin challenge, everyone did a different pose from one another. For example, senior Victor Dimukeje was flexing, junior Jack Morton was acting like he was throwing a football, and senior Desmond Banks was doing the free Kodak sign.

The mannequin challenge is so popular because anyone can do it. There are no certain skills that are needed to partake in this challenge, so it makes it enjoyable for everyone. “Anyone can do the mannequin challenge, and it is fun to see all these different people make them,” King said.

Even though anyone can do the mannequin challenge, it is mostly done by the younger generation. Most of the videos include children, teenagers, and middle-aged adults.

Along with anyone being able to do this challenge, it can also be done in any location. There is no specific place where this challenge needs to be done, making the options of the setting endless. “The mannequin challenge can be done anywhere, but you need to have a good amount of people to make it good,” senior Cooper Nalley said.

People are getting creative as to where they do their mannequin challenges. The settings range from classrooms, locker rooms, gyms, concerts, pools, sporting events, etc. The settings have varied more since this challenge became more popular.

Along with friends doing the mannequin challenge, sports teams doing them are fun to watch as well. “I enjoy watching sports teams do mannequin challenges, especially our football team, because they are funny and cool to see the athletes’ approach to this challenge,” senior Evan Gaines said.

Sports teams have been partaking in this challenge recently. For example, football teams at Penn State and Clemson and in Baltimore and Pittsburgh team have all made a mannequin challenge.

NBA’s Reigning MVP Breaks Another Record

Steph Curry, the back-to-back reigning NBA MVP, broke another NBA record for most three pointers in a game last week.

In a home game against the New Orleans Pelicans on November 7th, Curry made history. Curry made 13 three pointers in the game. The previous record of 12 threes in a single game was completely destroyed Monday night.

“Curry’s final 3-pointer put the Warriors up 109 to 97 with 2:23 remaining in regulation on a pass by Draymond Green from the top of the key,” reported Eric Freeman in a Yahoo Sports article. Curry finished with 46 points and shot 13-17 from the three point range, his career high and record setting number. The final score was 116-106 with the Warriors inching out a narrow victory.

“I wasn’t surprised he broke another record because it was definitely going to happen considering how good of a player he is,” said Trey Burrell, a Boys’ Latin senior and Golden State fanatic.

The Warriors had just come off an embarrassing performance against the Los Angeles Lakers on November 4th. This was the game in which the Warriors had lost by 20 and Curry went 5-for-17 from the field for a mediocre 10 total points.

“‘I was hard on myself in practice the last two days. I had pretty good shooting sessions,'” Steph Curry responded after that game according to USA TODAY. “‘I don’t overreact to games like that whether I go 0-for-10 or 2-for-12 or whatever it is. My process is the same, but I had another level of focus the last two days trying to get my rhythm back and see the ball go in,'” Curry later said.   

Steph Curry was the unanimous MVP winner last season and the year prior had also won the MVP award. Curry seems to break records almost every year as just last year he broke the single season three pointers made record with 402. Curry continues to lead the charge of the Golden State Warriors.

Yet, the Warriors have been quite disappointing to broadcasters and Warriors fans around the world. The Warriors have of late corrected their poor playing, but they started the season with a near 30 point blowout to the San Antonio Spurs on October 25th. Then, the loss by 20 points to the Lakers this year has not quite aligned with expectations.

“The fact that they have so many superstars and all-stars on the team is crazy. It is so sad to see that they are losing,” said Burrell. “They will definitely win the finals. Especially since they added KD, there isn’t anybody stopping them.”

The Warriors are currently sitting at 8-2 having won their last four games. After last year’s debacle of blowing a 3-1 lead in the Finals to the Cleveland Cavaliers, they are more determined than ever.

President Trump: How Did This Happen?

Heading into last Tuesday, anyone who thought Donald Trump still had a chance to stop Hillary Clinton from becoming the first female president of the United States would have been thought of as crazy. Almost every poll leading up to election day had Clinton up anywhere from 1 to 5 points. In-fact, just two weeks before election day, polls were showing Clinton with a seemingly insurmountable lead.

According to CNN, “Hillary Clinton has a 12-point lead over Donald Trump and has reached 50% support nationally among likely voters, a new ABC News tracking poll shows.”

Despite these polls showing Clinton with an undeniable lead, Trump took an expected early lead on November 8th after the first few polls closed quickly, securing Kentucky and Indiana but losing three electoral votes in Vermont to Clinton. The night swayed back and forth showing states leaning one way one minute and switching the next minute.

The night started to look a lot better for Trump when he took a huge swing state. According to  usmagazine.com at 11/8 7:21 p.m. ET, ”One major swing state is just about locked up. CNN projects Trump to win Florida, with 51 percent to Clinton’s 46.6.”

This was only the first of an avalanche of swing states and electoral votes that went to Mr. Trump. He took Ohio and North Carolina, and he also picked up the heavily republican state of Texas to acquire massive amounts of electoral votes.

At this point, it seemed like this was anybody’s game with Trump doing better than expected in many of the swing states. After crunching some numbers, it showed that if Clinton could hold the proverbial blue wall of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and the entire northeast of America, she would still be the winner with over the needed 270 electoral votes to win.

Trump, however, held out his slim lead in Wisconsin which broke the blue wall. Now the election looked like a Trump presidency was imminent.

The election was far from over, but Trump now had the lead going into the final few hours of the night. He only had to win one or two more states to clinch the win and move on to the White House in January.

Then at 1:36 AM on November 9th, @AP reported on twitter that Trump had won Pennsylvania giving Trump more than the 270 electoral votes needed to secure the presidency.

Clinton called Trump early in the morning on the 9th to privately concede the election. Trump then delivered his acceptance speech early that morning after the call from Clinton.

World Leaders React to New President-elect Donald Trump

Tuesday, November 8th, Donald J. Trump was voted the President-elect for the United States of America. Along with domestic reactions in the U.S., world leaders shared their opinions on the soon-to-be 45th president.

Like in the U.S., opinions from the world leaders were either very for or very against the election of Donald Trump.

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Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (wikimedia.org)

Trump’s victory sparked a surprisingly positive response from an unlikely world leader. According to The Guardian, the Prime Minister of Russia Vladimir Putin sent Donald Trump a telegram about the future of the Russia-USA relationship: “Russia wants and is ready to restore full-fledged relations with the United States…I repeat we understand that this will be difficult, but we are ready to play our part, and do everything to return Russian-American relations to stable and sustainable development track.”

This certainly caught many off guard and hopefully spells a peaceful future between the U.S. and Russia.

Israel also posed a positive reaction to Trump’s win. Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, stated that Trump is a “true friend to the state of Israel”, as reported by The Guardian.

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Prime Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier (wikimedia.org)

With the hopefulness of Russia and Israel backing up Trump, future relations with these countries looks bright for the United States.

However, negative responses arose from some European countries about the new President-elect. According to Time Magazine, Prime Minister of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier called Trump a “Preacher of Hate” back in August. A poll by Infratest Dimap showed that only 4% of Germans would vote for Trump and 86% would vote for Hillary.

According to Vox, France’s ambassador to the United States took to twitter to express her opinion about Trump. “A world is crumbling before our eyes,” she tweeted. Some of the countries in Europe don’t seem to be as cheerful about the new President-elect as much as Russia or Israel.

Time Magazine stated that if Europeans were able to vote in the Presidential Election, Hillary Clinton would win by a landslide. It seems as though the European countries would rather cooperate with Clinton than Trump.

The bordering countries of the United States, Canada and Mexico, are very optimistic to work with Trump to enhance their current relationships.

According to The Guardian, the Prime Minister of Canada congratulated Trump on his election and expressed his feelings for the future of the U.S.-Canada relationship: “We look forward to working very closely with President-elect Trump, his administration, and with the United States Congress in the years ahead, including on issues such as trade, investment, and international peace and security,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated.

Also, President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico also expressed that he looks forward to tightening the bonds between the U.S. and Mexico and help with bilateral relations.

Night, Day Matches Yield Different Results for Varsity Soccer

The Boys’ Latin varsity soccer team played St. Paul’s on Friday night, October 14, and then Severn the following Saturday morning—both games, given their short time difference, produced two very different outcomes.

Several BL students and parents as well as St. Paul’s students and parents came out to cheer on their teams under the lights Friday.

On the following day, the BL varsity soccer team played Severn. This game occurred nearly 11 hours later in the early morning after BL had beaten St. Paul’s in a 3-2 victory going into overtime. Boys’ Latin lost to Severn 7-0.

What was it about the Severn game that caused such a different score? Many players from the team pointed to the fact that the short difference in time between the games and the indifference in playing were the main reasons the team lost so severely.

“We could not have tried as hard against St. Paul’s and put everything into the Severn game, but the St. Paul’s game was more important to us and everyone was exhausted from the St. Paul’s game we had the previous night,” senior defensive player Zach Grace said.

“We could always do better in games but we were just tired from the night before and not all the players were at the game,” senior goalie Jordan Douglas mentioned.

The St. Paul’s game was very heated from start to finish. Both sides played extremely hard, and the rivalry factor contributed to the morale of both teams.

“The turnout was amazing because there was both a lot of people and energy in the crowd,” senior Brandon Bradsher said who was at the St. Paul’s game. “Everybody was screaming, and the game-winning goal scored by Garrett Glaesar got everybody excited. It was the highest amount of excitement that I’ve ever experienced from a Boys’ Latin game.”

It was clear that the atmosphere of the two games as well as the time in between affected the playing style of BL in many ways. Grace and Douglas both stated that the goals were one of the high points of the Friday night game.

“The rivalry of the St. Paul’s game made us go in feeling more confident and energetic about playing,” said Douglas. “The atmosphere under the lights, and also the fact that families and a lot of students from our school were there, made us play better. St. Paul’s wasn’t a good team going into it so there was a chance of winning.”

“The loud crowd was a high point of the game. It was the biggest student section for a soccer game that we’ve ever had. Also, it was fun to see the St. Paul’s’ student section break their fence,” Grace said with humor as he revisited the game.

It seevarsity-soccer-bl-v-st-pauls-jack-goddin-picms as though the main contributing factor of the Saturday morning loss was the tiredness of the whole team compared to how energized they were on Friday night.