Giving Tree and Flick on the Field spread holiday cheer

Giving Tree and Flick on the Field spread holiday cheer

Photo Credit: Matty Fox

There is still time to help a needy child with an ornament from SGA's Giving Tree.

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December 9, 2011

Matty Fox, Advertising Manager

The winter holidays have finally come around once again.  This time of year is all about giving back and that is exactly what East Lake’s Student Government plans on doing.  The Giving Tree is one way they do this.  It officially went up Wednesday, December, 8 in the Media Center.  The Giving Tree is a great way to give back to those in need.  This annual tradition and fundraiser helps students here at East Lake who are in need and do not have much to begin with.  Ornaments are hung throughout the tree, representing each student along with any siblings they have.  It is normal for a student to care more about their younger siblings and want them to have the better gifts.  SGA finds out what each student and their siblings may want for Christmas and strive get them what they desire.  “Most people don’t realize it, but there are people right here at our school that need help.  We figure why not assist those at our school?” states senior Raquel Moya, who is the government’s vice president.  The tree has been put up in the media center and will operate until Tuesday, December 13, when all gifts must be turned in.  The gifts vary on the person, due to the fact that their ages are all different. “The giving tree is a great thing.  It is really sad when kids aren’t able to receive what they want on Christmas and this gives them that opportunity.  I have given since I was a sophomore and definitely recommend it to those who haven’t done it yet,” states senior Rachel Reed. 

 

Another event that Student Government is hosting before school lets out for Winter Break is The Flick on the Field.  Next Thursday, students will have the opportunity to watch a movie with their friends on the football field.  The choice for a movie was between Elf, The Grinch, or A Christmas CarolElf won the vote and will be playing this year on the big screen.  “I’m definitely gonna try to go.  Elf is hilarious and I love popcorn so it should be a good time,” says junior Joe Dickson.  This movie was chosen by students that voted in the media center amongst other classic Christmas movies.  Students not only are able to attend this movie for free, but they receive free popcorn and hot chocolate.  “We hope there is a good turnout this year.  It hasn’t really been successful in years past, but we picked a good Christmas movie and want everyone to participate” says senior board president Marisa Palumbo. This year is the first Christmas themed Flick on The Field and should be a good time.   Plan on bringing chairs or blankets and plan on it being cool outside! 

 

If you are looking to give back or participate in some of SGA’s annual winter events, definitely do so.  Flick On The Field begins at 7 PM on Thursday, and the Giving Tree is still running through this last week.  It is really important to give back, especially to kids that you go to school with on a daily basis.  Come out and get involved in the fun!

 

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La Russa retires with a World Series victory

La Russa retires with a World Series victory

La Russa ends his illustrious career on a high note.

December 9, 2011

Chris Noble, Staff Writer

Anthony “Tony” La Russa Jr. was born on October 4, 1944 in Tampa, Florida.  He started out for the Kansas City Royals as a middle infielder in 1963 at the age of 18, playing in 34 games going 11-44. He had a .250 batting average with one double and one triple.  He earned seven walks and struck out 12 times.  His on base % (OBP) was .346.  He then hurt his shoulder in the off-season while playing softball with some friends and that shoulder kept on bothering him throughout the remaining years of his playing career.  He didn’t return until the 1968 season but this time with the Oakland Athletics (A’s), where he played for three years, appearing in only 65 games and then spent most of the next six seasons in the minors.  He finally made it back to the majors, making the roster for the 1968 and 1969 seasons.  Then he spent the entire next season in the Majors, but then the A’s shipped him off to the Atlanta Braves late in the season.  His final time in the big leagues was with the Chicago Cubs as he appeared as a pinch runner in one game, on April 6, 1973.  He also spent time in the farm system of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago White Sox, and then the St. Louis Cardinals. With his time spent in the big leagues, he played in 132 games (40 of them in the starting lineup) as he went 35-176, therefore hitting .199.He finished his career with zero home runs, and seven RBIs, and 15 runs.   He walked 23 times, boosting his OBP to .292.  His fielding percentage was .960 out of .1000 in 249 chances and accounted in on 34 double plays.  He made 63 appearances at second base, 18 at shortstop, and two at third base. 

                La Russa earned his Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from Florida State University College of Law in 1978.  He practiced law at a Sarasota law firm and decided that he’d rather ride the minor league bus than study law for the remainder of his life.  The Chicago White Sox gave his first opportunity as a manager; they made him the manager for their Double-A affiliate the Knoxville Sox of the Southern League.  He spent only half of the season there as he was promoted to the White Sox as a part of the coaching staff when owner Bob Veeck changed managers from Bob Lemon to Larry Doby.   Doby had his struggles as the skipper and he was fired by the end of the season; then Don Kessinger was announced as the player-manager for the Sox as he was a star Cubs shortstop.  That meant La Russa was demoted to the Sox Triple-A Iowa Hawks of the American Association for the 1979 season.  Kessinger didn’t work out as the Sox manager with a 46-60 record was fired, promoting Tony La Russa to the manager.  He then led the Sox to a .500 record for the 1979 season.  He was named AL Manager of the year for the 1983 season as they lost to the Baltimore Orioles in the American League Championship Series (ALCS).  Then in the 1986 season the Sox started at just a 26-38 start and the GM Ken “The Hawk” Harrelson fired La Russa.  He was in the White Sox system as a manager and coach from 1979-1986.

                Less than three weeks after being fired by the White Sox, his former team the Oakland A’s called him up and asked him if he would want to manage the A’s and he accepted.  He then led the ball club to three consecutive World Series from 1988-1990.  He earned two more AL Manager of the Year awards in 1988 and 1992, again winning the Western Division in the later part of the season.  After the 1995 season came to an end the A’s finished 67-77.  The Haas family, which La Russa had a close personal relationship with, sold the team after the death of patriarch Walter A. Haas, Jr.  La Russa left to take over the St. Louis Cardinals from Joe Torre after managing the A’s from 1986-1995.

                In his first season as a manager in 1996 with the Cards he clinched the National League Central Division whereas they went on to finish National League runner-up.  The team won their division in 2000, 2001, and 2002 (when he earned his fourth manager of the year award).  He won the division again in 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2009.  He became the first manager to win the award four times.  La Russa led the Cardinals to the National League Championship Series (NLCS) as they lost to the San Francisco Giants in five games that came during a year of losing Hall of Fame Broadcaster Jack Buck and 33 year-old pitcher Darryl Kile just four days later.  In the 2004 season the Cardinals won the NL Pennant as they had an overall record of 105-57.  They beat the Los Angeles Dodgers three games to one, then the Houston Astros four games to three and finally they lost in their first World Series appearance since 1987 to the Boston Red Sox, four games to zero.  The team barely made it in to the Postseason in the year of 2006 as their record was 83-78, which is the worst ever by a World Series Champion team.  La Russa then became only the second manager to win a World Series in both the American League and National League.  They beat the Detroit Tigers for their 10th World Series four games to one!  Then in his last year of managing before retiring, he won the 2011 World Series.   They won the NL Wild Card from the Atlanta Braves, who on August 25, 2011 the led the St. Louis Cardinals by 10.5 games headed into the final month of regular season play.  The Cardinals won 23 of their final 31 games whereas the Braves lost 18 of their last 27, but the last playoff spot came down to the final game of the 2011 season.  The Cards eased over the Houston Astros in Houston 8-0 and then the Braves lost to the Philadelphia Phillies 4-3 in 13 innings.  The Cards played the Philadelphia Phillies (best team in baseball at the time) in the NLDS and beat them three games to two.  Then they beat the Milwaukee Brewers in the NLCS four games to two.  Then they were set up to face the Texas Rangers and won Game 6 with the heroics from the hometown kid David Freese with a game tying two run triple in the bottom of the 9th inning with two outs and two strikes, then in the bottom of the 11th he hit a walk off solo home run to deep center sending the series into one final game in St. Louis.  The Cards won that game 6-2, becoming the 2011 World Series Champions.  La Russa went on and announced that he was retiring and he went out on a great note, as in his entire managing career he won 2,728 of 5,097 games which is amazing!  He has the most wins in Cardinals history with a record of 1,408 wins-1,182 losses (.544) and one tie as their manager of the St. Louis Cardinals from 1996-2011.He leaves a great legacy behind for new manager and former Cardinals four time Gold Glove Catcher Mike Matheny who played for the Cardinals from 2000-2004 but we feel for him losing his good friend and pitcher, Darryl Kile.  Matheny, who was the Cardinals catcher for Darryl Kile, is now set to take over for the Cardinals immediately and is going to make his managing debut in the 2012 season.

 

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NCAA basketball season off and running

December 9, 2011

Thomas Iacobucci, Staff Writer

Last year at the end of March was the championship game and the winner was the UCONN Huskies, but that was nine long months ago and many things have changed With the 2011-2012 NCAA Basketball season starting, it’s a whole new game.

            Many teams lost their stars last year either due to their four years being up or being drafted into the NBA. Stars like Kemba Walker of the champion UCONN Huskies, Kyrie Irving of the Duke Blue Devils, and Jimmer Fredette of the BYU Cougars are just some to name a few. The impact these players had their teams was pivotal. Without Jimmer this year, BYU will be lucky to win half as many games as last year.

 

            There are quite a few teams to look for this year. Projected number one, but soon dropped to number six with a loss to Kentucky, the North Carolina Tar Heels are a young, agile team that could go all the way. They are led by their stud forward Harrison Barnes, averaging 17.0 points per game along with five rebounds per game. Also a key aspect to the team is Tyler Zeller, their 7-foot senior who offers a strong presence under the hoop. He averages 18.0 points and seven rebounds per game. Another team to keep your eye on is the Ohio State Buckeyes. Returning as a sophomore, Jared Sullinger is one of the best players out there. Averaging 19.0 points, one assists and nine rebounds, he is one player teams should fear. Ranked second this year they are a force to be reckoned with. Even though George Mason cut their tourney run short last year they do have potential to go all the way. “I was so angry last year,” said huge Ohio State fan Natalie Castine “I love Ohio State and hope they win it all this year.” Number 12 Florida also has high aspirations for this season. Led by their 5-8 point guard Erving Walker, who averages 10.0 points, four assists, and four rebounds, they look to do some damage in the upcoming season. Gator fan Mark Salem said, “Florida is hands down the best team in college basketball. I’m feeling we go all the way this year.” Number one Kentucky is like no other team out there. John Calipari has outdone himself with coaching and recruiting so far. Freshman Anthony Davis has been the foundation of their defense, averaging 12.3 points, nine rebounds and one assists per game not to mention all of the shots he has blocked, including a game winning shot attempt by North Carolina’s John Henson. The SEC is shining in basketball just like they do in football. Also ranked and in the SEC is number 15 Alabama. They are 7-1, but look to make moves up the polls.  Number three Syracuse finally looks like a powerhouse again. With a 9-0, start they might be just as good as Kentucky. Number 10 Missouri looks like the best team in the Big 12, although their rival Kansas is just behind, ranked thirteenth. “Who would have thought Mizzou would be ranked ahead of Kansas,” said expert college basketball analyst Cody Carlisle. For the first time in the school’s history Harvard is ranked 24th, also being the first Ivy League school to be ranked since Cornell in the 2010 season. If they keep it up, who knows what could happen.

 

 

Many teams are already looking ahead to March. The regular season is important, this is true enough, but it all comes down to the tournament. March Madness. You lose once you’re done. All the work you put forth in that season can be wiped away with a last second layup.  But as Dick Vitale would say, “It’s gonna be awesome, Baby!”

 

 

 

ESPN Top 25 Coaches Poll

 

1 Kentucky (19)

8-0

763

2 Ohio State (11)

8-0

754

3 Syracuse (1)

8-0

713

4 Louisville

7-0

654

5 Duke

7-1

611

6 North Carolina

6-2

594

7 Baylor

7-0

582

8 Xavier

6-0

538

9 Connecticut

7-1

533

10 Missouri

7-0

511

11 Marquette

7-0

468

12 Florida

5-2

419

13 Kansas

5-2

385

14 Pittsburgh

7-1

359

15 Alabama

7-1

326

16 Wisconsin

6-2

306

17 Creighton

7-0

222

18 Mississippi State

8-1

208

19 Michigan

6-2

164

20 Memphis

4-2

154

21 Georgetown

7-1

136

22 Gonzaga

5-1

96

22 Illinois

8-0

96

24 Harvard

8-0

95

25 Texas A&M

6-1

79

 

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Five ways to enjoy two too short weeks

Five ways to enjoy two too short weeks

Photo Credit: freechristmaswallpapers.net

An illustration of a snowy winter scene, at the center of which is a beautiful Christmas tree

December 9, 2011

Dakota Jackson, Web Editor

With every holiday season comes festivities, decorations, good food, and most importantly to some two weeks off of school as a winter break. The problem many face is finding a way to spend those two weeks other than sleeping and participating in other planned family functions. Here are some tips to make the holiday break everything you want it to be:

 

5.) Set the radio to holiday music… and leave it there!

Tune the radio to your favorite radio station that plays holiday music and leave it there for the entire holiday season! Channels such as 94.9 FM play holiday music throughout the season. This is a great way to get you in the holiday spirit while driving, doing homework, or just lying around the house.

 

4.) Tour the lights of the city

Many people decorate the exterior of their homes with festive lights and other decorations during the holiday season. One relaxing and enjoyable thing to do is to drive around and see all of the different decorated houses and chose a favorite with family or friends. There is also a glorious spectacle of holiday lights at some theme parks and special attractions such as Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park.

 

3.) Watch holiday programs and movies

There are a few T.V. stations that dedicate the entire month of December to playing different holiday shows and movies. ABC Family has a T.V. event called the 25 Days of Christmas where they play Christmas shows and movies leading up to the big day. Even if you aren’t watching these shows and movies with family or friends, you can still enjoy them just by watching them alone for an interruption free night of movies.

 

2.) Visit ol’ Saint Nick

Parents often bring their children to see Santa at the mall and other locations to help build upon the holiday spirit and to see the sparkle in their children’s eyes when they see the jolly Christmas icon and tell him everything they want for Christmas. You may not think about visiting Santa as a teenager, but it could be fun to bring on a sense of nostalgia by going through the line to see him with a young child or sibling.

 

1.) Start a tradition

If your family doesn’t have a tradition that you celebrate every year during the holiday months, a great way to bring in the holiday season could be to start one. Traditions can be as simple as decorating the house as a family or even as festive as choosing a different theme each year and celebrating that theme. Who knows what crazy, celebratory tradition you could come up with!

 

While you may choose to take the traditional approach of a student to the holiday break by sleeping and doing only what is required of you to keep the family happy, maybe you will decide to implement some of these suggestions into your holiday plans!

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NBA Free Agents

NBA Free Agents

NeNe

December 9, 2011

Peter Drulias, Staff Writer

All focus was on the NBA lockout this past offseason, making everything else look insignificant between players moving to new European leagues or coaching changes. Now since the lockout is over and the season will be under way with a season opener on Christmas day, it is now time to look at the “smaller” things going on. It’s time to start talking about the new 2011 free agents and watch where they could possibly land.  While for the most part there will be no major team changes, there are a couple who are looking to explore and see what deals are left on the table for them.

 

   First the starting center for the Denver Nuggets, Nene the 6’11 monster who as of the last couple years really made a name for himself with his play. Being more of a defensive player, Nene averages about ten rebounds a game and at least two blocks a game. Even though he has averaged 14 points a game throughout his nine year career, his presence in the paint is crucial and teams like what he has to give to the defensive side of the ball. Nene, who is an unrestricted free agent, is looking to leave Denver and join another team. So far the only team that has showed interest in him at the moment is the Houston Rockets. While it seems evident the Rockets will pick him up, there are other teams like the Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks who also might be interested.

 

 

    Another player who might make a splash is another center and defending world champion Tyson Chandler of the Mavericks. Chandler, who is as big as they get at 7’1, just played a crucial role for the Mavericks in the 2010-2011 season, helping them win the franchise’s first NBA championship against the Miami Heat.  Chandler, who has career average ten points per game and ten rebounds a game, brings the intensity a championship team needed. With his physical play, he dominated in the playoffs but now that the season is over, he is not expecting to rejoin the Mavericks. He himself even made it clear he will not return and will travel to another team. The only problem is that no teams as of right now show interest in the big guy or even talked to him. With the season coming up in next two weeks, he has some big decisions to make.

 

 

    Chris Paul, who is not a free agent as of right now, is stealing all the spotlight for free agents since there is a good chance he gets traded during the offseason. Paul, a young point guard for the New Orleans Hornets, ranks as one of the best in the NBA at his position. You can make an argument that the Hornets are literally nothing without him and maybe that’s why he wants out. Paul has stated that he wants to get traded and see what teams would do so. Averaging 18.7 points a game and 9.9 assists a game makes him a good fit for any team. As the Miami Heat make it clear they would trade for him, Paul would like to take his talents to the Big Apple, and play for the New York Knicks with Amare Stoudemire.

 

 

    With only two weeks left in the offseason these free agents have a lot of decisions to make before the season kicks back up. Even though this year’s offseason acquisitions might not be as exciting as LeBron James going to Miami, seeing where these players will land will be quite interesting.

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