Pierce Pioneer

Woman’s Softball

Womans+Softball

2017 was an interesting season to say the least for the Pierce College Raiders women’s softball team. It was a season that saw the Raiders go to .500 in conference play and fall just short of the postseason. The Raiders ended the season the season struggling managing only three wins in the last ten games. May 14 marked the end of the season with Pierce in triumph over Everett in the highest scoring game of the season that totaled 28 runs between the rivals.

Bailee Bradley was the winning pitcher on the afternoon with Olivia Berkan struggling for Everett. Both offenses abused each pitcher with Berkan giving up 18 runs and ten from Bradley. Pierce did not have a single strikeout in the matchup. Bradley had quite a productive day on offense leading the Raiders in hits (four) and RBIs (seven). Tavian Taketa for Pierce was the scoring machine in the game with five runs. The Raiders finished the season with a bang defeating Everett 18-10.

Emily Bishop led the Raiders in 2017 with 48 hits in conference play and was tied with Taketa with 35 runs. Holiday Riback was the leader in RBIs with 36. As a team, the Raiders amassed 219 runs and 310 hits.

This was a season full of hard fought battles and struggles for the Raiders. If this core group of players sticks together, the Raiders have a good chance to make a run at the postseason in 2018.

On to the Post-Season

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The 2017 NWAC Men’s baseball regular season has come to an end. Fortunately, the Raiders have stormed their way to a playoff berth in hopes of claiming the title of champions. After a dismal performance in the middle of the season, Pierce caught fire in their last ten games winning nine of them with an eight-game streak to end the regular season.

The Western division produced four teams for the postseason this year with Pierce finishing in third place behind cross town rival TCC and division champion Lower Columbia. Pierce ended with a better overall record (29-12) than TCC (27-15) but was edged out in conference play by two games. This results in Pierce being third in the west and TCC second. Pierce had the sixth best winning percentage overall in the NWAC with .707.

Pierce had their premier scoring day on May 7 against the division rival Grays Harbor Chokers. David Smallwood was the winning pitcher in the matchup was Tyson Johnson was on the losing end. Both pitchers struggled mightily throughout the game. Smallwood gave up five runs on eight hits to the Chokers offense. The Raiders offense was able to amass 22 hits with ten coming off Johnson throws. Josh Swanson had the hot bat for the Raiders with six hits, at six at bats.

After a scoreless first inning, Pierce followed with five straight innings scoring. The sixth inning was explosive in every sense of the word. The Chokers put up all their runs in the top of the inning with the Raiders adding five to their lead. Pierce finished off the night with four more runs in the bottom of the eighth. The final score was 16-6. The most points scored by the Raiders

Intramurals

Intramurals

Pierce College athletics has put together intramural sports ever year for the past eight years. Doug Carlson set up a few different sports for students to participate in this season. Some of the sports include flag football, kickball, dodge ball, soccer, and basketball.

Soccer and basketball have been the two most popular activities. Carlson said, “We see a lot of the international students playing.” Carlson explained more about the point of these games. “They are a great chance for students to play together. They’re designed for players who aren’t good enough to make the actual team or play anywhere else collegiately, workout, and enjoy playing with players their own age.”

Intramurals started in October and continues through May. The basketball players meet up on Mondays and Wednesdays from 12-2 pm. Players interested in soccer meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The times have been scheduled to work with students so the students can play while attending their classes, work, and other obligations. The basketball teams play first team to 15. If a player can’t commit to the whole time allotted, the games are designed for someone to take the vacancy so there are equal teams and the games can be played out in full.

These sports are great opportunities for students to play the games they love, interact with each other, and get a general workout.

Gaining Speed and Momentum

Raiders Softball finds a winning edge through the midway point of the season

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The Raiders have had a solid start to the season but have begun to catch fire during the midway point. In the past ten games the Raiders have an 8-2 record. Pierce had an eight-game winning streak come to an end against Edmonds in heartbreaking fashion with a 19-1 loss. Despite their recent success with the eight-game winning streak, Pierce is still 15 games out of first place Douglas who are undefeated at 24-0.

Pierce had one of their better performances during this streak on April 25 against Shoreline. The Raiders more than double Shoreline in hits with 15 to six. Emily Bishop and Tavian Taketa were the leading scorers for the Raiders on the day with three runs apiece. The Raiders pitching staff was dominant giving up only a single RBI the entire game while the Raiders offense enjoyed different results putting up 13 RBIs on the board. Taketa was perfect offensively with four hits on all four of her at bats. The second inning featured Pierce at its most deadly with eight bigtime runs adding to their 2-0 lead from the first. The Raiders prevailed with a 14-1 beatdown of their Northern division foe.

The Raiders hopes of winning the division has all been eliminated with their back-to-back losses to Edmonds. In the first match-up, Edmonds was nearly unstoppable on offense. Edmonds had their best inning during the second putting up 11 runs. The game lasted only five innings due to their massive 19-1 lead over the Raiders. The Raiders struggled to produce any kind of success offensively only putting up two hits on the day. Each team struck-out four batters. The second game gave fans more of a competitive edge. Pierce gained confidence early entering the second inning tied 2-2. Momentum was shot down when Edmonds put up a quick three runs in the third inning. Edmonds continued to add to their lead entering the final inning up 7-2. The Raiders tried to complete the comeback but fell short only earning two more runs.

With nine games remaining in the regular season, everyone is crucial in the hopes on a postseason berth.  

Battle for the West Rages On

Raiders deal with mid season struggles

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After starting strong for the 2017 season, the Raiders have hit a midseason wall. In the past ten games Pierce has won only three of their matchups. Despite having a record of 3-7, the Raiders have outscored their opponents 68 to 57. The Raiders best performance in this stretch was on April 15 at home against Green River.

The game was short lived due to the barrage of runs from the Raiders. Pierce came out of the gates swinging with eight runs scored in the first two innings. Tyler Fujimoto was the winning pitcher on the afternoon. Fujimoto was impressive with eight strikeouts and giving up a mere three hits. Matt Scheffler lead the Raiders with three hits in the game. Four Raiders each put up two runs. Pierce won the game handily 12-0 in one of their bigger shutouts of the season.

The good fortunes for the Raiders were short lived. Pierce battled cross town rival TCC in one of their worst performances of the season. TCC doubled the Raiders total for the game in hits with 12 vs six. Pierce had only one RBI compared to TCC’s ten. TCC again doubled Pierce in another statistic with eight strikeouts over four. Pierce jumped to an early 1-0 lead for the first two innings. After that it was a TCC spectacle. TCC outscored the Raiders 10-0 in the final seven innings with four coming in the eighth to put the dagger in the match.

Currently the Raiders are in third place of the Western division with a 9-8 conference record and a 21-12 overall. The Raiders have their work cut-out for them having to compete and overtake TCC and Lower Columbia who both have 15-2 records.   

New Season, New Possibilities

Raiders softball starts strong

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The road to a championship is a challenge each team accepts at the beginning of each season. This year, the Raiders face the difficult task of winning the competitive Northern division and taking down Edmonds (21-3) and division leader Douglas (15-2).

Since the start of the season, the Raiders have claimed the third spot in the North with a 5-2 conference record. Emily Bishop has been an enforcer on offense leading Pierce with 12 hits. She is tied with Tavian Taketa as the top scoring Raiders with nine runs. The Raiders pitching as struggled early on with the bullpen averaging a 5.73 era.

Pierce has been an up and down team this season. From losing 13-3 against Edmonds to blowing out Olympic 13-1, the Raiders must find stability if they want to have any hopes of advancing to the postseason in 2017.

One of Pierce’s best performances this season came in a shootout against Highline on April 8. Bailee Bradley and Annelies Dahman gave Highline’s pitcher problems each had three hits on the day to put runners in scoring position. The first inning was a frenzy of scoring with Highline outdoing Pierce four to three. After that, the Raiders defense found their stride and shutout Highline for three straight innings until giving up four runs in the fifth. Down three entering the final inning, the Raiders exploded with a flurry of scores racking up five more to take a 11 to nine lead and win a primetime conference game.

Pierce faces Edmonds four more times this season with more pressure building up in each matchup. The Raiders have given up double digit scores in two of the last three games. Momentum is huge in sports and the Raiders look to continue their winning streak and earn a spot in the playoffs in May. 

Reflection on Raider Baseball

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Baseball season is underway and the Raiders have been one of the more consistent teams this season. After losing to Lower Columbia 6-5 in week two, Pierce has rattled off four wins in a row. The Raiders offense has been explosive this season with double digit scores in four games this season. Pierce opened the season with a bang defeating Green River 6-2. The game started scoreless until the Raiders took a two nothing lead in the bottom of the second. Green River answered back in the third and fourth innings with two runs to tie it up. After another score to reclaim the lead in the fifth, the Raiders caught fire in the bottom of the eighth with three runs to win the regular season opener.

Catcher Matt Scheffler has the best average on the team hitting .500. Scheffler leads the team with ten hits in conference play while first baseman Rylan Cratsenberg has 28 total. Cratsenberg has four homeruns to his name as well leading Pierce. He is tied with Mac McCarty as the team leader with seven RBIs in the regular season. Ty Swanson has been a scoring machine for the Raiders with eight runs scored.

The Raiders most dominant appearance was again against the Green River Crocodiles on April 14. Pierce scored a season high 14 runs. Pierce student and fan Sean Phillips talked about the game. “It was just a slugfest. They knew it was over before it started.” Offense was on full display for the Raiders scoring in every inning but one featuring two innings with four runs apiece. The defense kept the Crocs in check allowing a mere four runs on the afternoon.

Pierce begins a string of battles on the road against cross town rival TCC on April 29.

A Game to be Remembered

The Raiders win their first game of the season in their last home game of the year

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The 2016-17 has been a tough up and down season for the Raiders women’s team. Although the record may not say so, the Raiders have given the best of teams a run for their money. Pierce had come so close earlier in the season and had been battered and bruised in other contests. Against Highline, Pierce’s fortunes changed.

Coming into the game, the Raiders were still searching for their first win of season. Pierce began the game with a flurry of passing in the lanes and back out for a quick 13 points in the first quarter. Victoria Mukisa was fantastic on the night totaling 33 points out of the Raiders total of 49.

The Raiders capitalized on Highline’s missed shots and their own rebounding 49 shots. Pierce’s passing attack had one of their better performances with 11 assists in the game. Denisha Navarro was clutch recording seven of eight from the line. Both Highline and Pierce’s defenses stood strong throughout with Highline edging the lead 58-56 in defensive stops.

Consistency was key for the Raiders. The Raiders had 0.90 points per possession. Each quarter, Pierce put up double digit points with the most coming in the fourth quarter with 14 points. Pierce’s bench produced 13 points with most coming late in the game.

Lily Martin was a force on defense with three defensive rebounds and six steals with one late in the fourth to put an end to the dry streak.

Raiders men’s basketball player Ronnie Robertson reacted to the women’s victory. “We were so hyped for the girls. Unbelievable win.”

When the final buzzer sounded, the court erupted with cheers and applause. For the first time this season, the Raiders women were winners. The final score was 49-42. Winners at last.

Raiders Fastpitch prepares for the 2017 season

The team builds a new group in hopes of a postseason appearance

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2016 was a tough, yet rewarding, year for the Raiders fastpitch team. At the end of the season, Pierce had a winning record of 12-8 in conference play, yet still missed the playoffs.

The Raiders ended the season on a four-game losing streak that fell short of second place in the Western Division. The four-game losing streak came after the best stretch of the season where the team rattled off six straight wins.

Their best performance of the season was on April 9 against Grays Harbor. The offense and defense played spectacular. While the Raiders offense put up 20 runs, the defense flexed its muscles and shutout the opposing offense for the game.

Pierce’s pitching was near flawless, giving up a mere two hits on the afternoon. Jessilyn Enlow shut down Grays Harbor, holding them scoreless during her five innings of work. Sabrina Collins for Grays Harbor was the losing pitcher. Collins gave up eight runs in one-third of an inning, walked none and struck out none.

The Raiders offense was explosive in the first inning, scoring 13 runs. Pierce was dominant with seven batters combining for 16 hits, 17 RBIs and 20 runs scored. Emily Bishop led the team with 43 runs and 74 hits on the year. Anna Lennox came up big in clutch moments, hitting a team-high seven homeruns.

The 2017 season starts on March 3 against Wenatchee Valley on the road with a doubleheader. Another doubleheader follows on March 10 against Clackamas and Mount Hood.

On to the playoffs for men’s hoops

The Raiders clinch a playoff spot with a 10-3 record

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On to the playoffs for men’s hoops

The Raiders clinch a playoff spot with a 10-3 record

After narrowly losing at home to South Puget Sound, the Raiders have dominated their opponents by an average of 19.6 points.

The men travelled to play Grays Harbor on Feb. 18. Pierce gave one of their more outstanding performances in the first half.

The Raiders outscored the Chokers, 45-17, while hitting 46.2 percent of their field goals. Michael Hannan was the hot hand of the night, shooting 6-of-12 from inside the arc and nailing two 3-pointers from downtown.

Ball movement was a crucial part of the game plan as the Raiders had 21 assists for the contest. Pierce dominated Grays Harbor in rebounds, 56-33. Hussayn Ford and Marshaun Williams were stars in the paint, snagging 10 rebounds apiece on the night.

Grays Harbor fought back in the second half, outscoring Pierce, 43-38. The Raiders played a clock-management second half which proved to be beneficial. Pierce won the game, 83-60.

The Raiders next matchup was at home against crosstown rival, Tacoma Community College. In their last matchup, Pierce edged out a three-point victory on Jan. 25. The Raiders defense was on full display, shutting down TCC’s best shooter in Khalil Thompson. Pierce ran roughshod over the defense in the first half, putting up 45 points for the second straight week.

The Raiders had one of their best performances on the season from downtown. Pierce completed 8- of-13 with five coming in the first half. TCC was beat down from 3-point land, completing a lone 3-on-11 attempts. Chris Drake ran the show with 21 points and four late assists. The Raiders again had 20-plus assists on the night. Pierce scored 22 points off 21 turnovers.

Later in the game, TCC began to foul Pierce. The Raiders kept their composure in clutch situations, hitting 12-15 from the line. Pierce outscored TCC in the second half, 39-36, leading to an 84-61 domination of their closest rival.

After winning an emotional game against TCC, Pierce’s momentum steamrolled them over Highline the next week. Hannan was unstoppable, leading the Raiders’ onslaught with 31 points. Hannan completed 70-plus percent in every aspect of the shooting game. On top of scoring, Hannan also lead the team with eight assists.

The Raiders played an outstanding second half with 50 points. Pierce won their third straight game, beating Highline, 97-64.

With the playoffs on the horizon, postseason fever is enveloping the Northwest Athletic Conference. Pierce looks to continue their winning streak and complete their chase for a championship. 

On to the playoffs for men’s hoops

The Raiders clinch a playoff spot with a 10-3 record

After narrowly losing at home to South Puget Sound, the Raiders have dominated their opponents by an average of 19.6 points.

The men travelled to play Grays Harbor on Feb. 18. Pierce gave one of their more outstanding performances in the first half.

The Raiders outscored the Chokers, 45-17, while hitting 46.2 percent of their field goals. Michael Hannan was the hot hand of the night, shooting 6-of-12 from inside the arc and nailing two 3-pointers from downtown.

Ball movement was a crucial part of the game plan as the Raiders had 21 assists for the contest. Pierce dominated Grays Harbor in rebounds, 56-33. Hussayn Ford and Marshaun Williams were stars in the paint, snagging 10 rebounds apiece on the night.

Grays Harbor fought back in the second half, outscoring Pierce, 43-38. The Raiders played a clock-management second half which proved to be beneficial. Pierce won the game, 83-60.

The Raiders next matchup was at home against crosstown rival, Tacoma Community College. In their last matchup, Pierce edged out a three-point victory on Jan. 25. The Raiders defense was on full display, shutting down TCC’s best shooter in Khalil Thompson. Pierce ran roughshod over the defense in the first half, putting up 45 points for the second straight week.

The Raiders had one of their best performances on the season from downtown. Pierce completed 8- of-13 with five coming in the first half. TCC was beat down from 3-point land, completing a lone 3-on-11 attempts. Chris Drake ran the show with 21 points and four late assists. The Raiders again had 20-plus assists on the night. Pierce scored 22 points off 21 turnovers.

Later in the game, TCC began to foul Pierce. The Raiders kept their composure in clutch situations, hitting 12-15 from the line. Pierce outscored TCC in the second half, 39-36, leading to an 84-61 domination of their closest rival.

After winning an emotional game against TCC, Pierce’s momentum steamrolled them over Highline the next week. Hannan was unstoppable, leading the Raiders’ onslaught with 31 points. Hannan completed 70-plus percent in every aspect of the shooting game. On top of scoring, Hannan also lead the team with eight assists.

The Raiders played an outstanding second half with 50 points. Pierce won their third straight game, beating Highline, 97-64.

With the playoffs on the horizon, postseason fever is enveloping the Northwest Athletic Conference. Pierce looks to continue their winning streak and complete their chase for a championship. 

 

Spotlight on black athletes that shaped sports history

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For years, sports have had a multitude of characters from all walks of life. The early years weren’t always fair to each person. Segregation played a huge role in sports and American in the early 1900s. 1947 was the year that changed professional sports forever.

Marion Motley was a fullback and linebacker in high school and college. After serving in the Navy during World War II, Cleveland Browns head coach Paul Brown offered Motley a contract to be the starting running back for the 1947 season. Along with fellow Browns defensive tackle Bill Willis, who joined the team in 1946, Motley said they dealt with a barrage of racism throughout their careers. 

"They found out that while they were calling us (racial slur) and alligator bait, I was running for touchdowns and Willis was knocking the s--- out of them," Motley once said. "So, they stopped calling us names and started trying to catch up with us." 

Motley was inducted into the Pro-Football Hall of Fame in 1968. 

Fellow Hall of Fame running back Joe Perry gave his thoughts on Motley."The greatest all-around football player there ever was."

The Los Angeles Rams were the only other team in the NFL to have black players in Kenny Washington and Woody Strode. All four of these men broke the race barrier in professional sports seven months before Jackie Robinson was signed to the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Robinson broke the baseball race barrier when the Dodgers started him at first base on April 15, 1947, wearing number 42. The Dodgers' signing of Robinson brought an end to the Negro Leagues that had been around since the 1880s. Robinson won the MLB Rookie of the Year Award in ’47. From 1949-54, the Dodgers first baseman was an All-Star each year and the National League Most Valuable Player Award in 1949. 

Robinson appeared in six World Series, winning a title in 1955. In 1997, MLB decided that, in honor of Robinson, the number 42 would be retired for every team in the league. Robinson is the first professional athlete to ever have that honor. 

Violence was never an answer for him when he dealt with racism. Robinson used his talent to prove his critics wrong. 

“I'm not concerned with your liking or disliking me ... All I ask is that you respect me as a human being,” Robinson said. 

Along with his talent and attitude, Robinson’s breakthrough into America’s pastime was a major contributor to the civil rights movement. In 1999, Time magazine made Jackie Robinson one of the Top 100 most influential people of the 20th century. In honor of Jackie Robinson Day, the MLB in 2007 began letting players wear the number 42 on April 15.

On March 26, 1984, President Ronald Reagan awarded Robinson the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Two decades later, on March 2, 2005, President George W. Bush gave Robinson's widow the highest civilian award bestowed by Congress ‑- the Congressional Gold Medal. Robinson was only the second baseball player to receive this award. 

Other influential black athletes include all-time great, professional boxer Muhammad Ali. 

In 1964, Ali won the WBA, WBC and lineal heavyweight titles from Sonny Liston in one of the biggest upsets in recent memory. 

After defeating Liston, Ali legally changed his name from Cassius Clay -- a birth name he considered to be his “slave name” -- and converted to Islam. During the civil rights movement of the 1960s, Ali set examples of pride for African Americans and resistance to white domination that had taken place in prior years. 

Ali defied the establishment in 1966, refusing to enlist into the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War because of his religious beliefs and disapproval of America’s involvement in the war. 

To this day, Ali remains the only three-time lineal heavyweight champion, having won the title in 1964, ’74 and ’78. Sports Illustrated named Ali as the greatest athlete of the 20th century. 

Ali said, “I hated every minute of training, but I said, 'Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion. 

“I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was.” 

After retiring from boxing in 1981, Ali devoted his life to religious and charitable works. In 1984, he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, attributed by doctors from boxing-related head trauma. 

In 1996, Ali had the honor of lighting the flame at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. This was one of the most heartwarming and emotional moments in sports and television history. 

Throughout sports history, there have been millions of moments that will live on forever. These athletes proved that   --  no matter your race --  heart and determination will never be diminished. They will always be heroes that changed the face and future of sports and culture in America.    

Consistency is the name of the game

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The Raiders have been one of the more consistent teams this season. Pierce is on a six-game winning streak featuring a beat down of division foe Lower Columbia.

Pierce dominated the turnover battle with 18 steals to Lower Columbia’s three. Raiders' Hussayn Ford delivered another great performance, leading the team in field goals with 10. Robert Rucker also flourished on the court, hitting seven field goals and three from downtown. 

Free throws were inconsistent for both teams. Pierce shot 63.2 percent while Lower Columbia shot better, hitting 71.4 percent. The Raiders seemed to struggle early in the first half with only a three-point lead going into halftime. 

Raider fan Manuel Cuadrado attended the game. 

“Pierce needs to get the ball to everyone. Let the players play and use their instincts.” 

The Raiders played one of its best second halfs of the season, outscoring Lower Columbia, 42-29. 

The defense never gave Lower Columbia a chance with 68.4 percent defensive rebounding. Pierce’s offense scored .99 points per possession. A key to this was the offensive rebounds, grabbing 45.1 percent. The Raiders defeated Lower Columbia, 76-59, earning a second place in the competitive Western Division behind South Puget Sound.

After the win against Lower Columbia, Pierce battled another division rival in Centralia. 

The Raiders kept Centralia at bay in the first half, 45-35. Centralia kept fighting and scored 27 points off turnovers in clutch moments. Makaleb McInnis lead Pierce in scoring, hitting five field goals, two 3-pointers, and nailing a perfect 10-for-10 on free throws.

The Raiders struggled in the second half but kept its composure to again outscore Centralia, 40-39. Pierce won by double digits again, 85-74. 

The Raiders play crosstown rival Tacoma Community College on Feb. 22 at 8 p.m. With the playoffs on the horizon, the Raiders look to continue their winning streak and clinch a spot in the Western Division playoffs.  

Hawks season ends short of Another Super Bowl

Seahawks get ready for offseason earlier than hoped

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The NFL season has been up and down for every franchise including the AFC Champion New England Patriots and the NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons. The Seattle Seahawks have been one of the more “hot and cold” teams this year.

According to Footballocks.com, the Seahawks, at the beginning of the season, were tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Patriots with eight to one odds to win Super Bowl 51. Even with their odds topping the NFL, the Seahawks chance at a fourth Super Bowl appearance in their history ended in the divisional playoffs against the NFC second-seeded Atlanta Falcons, 36-20.

Seattle has been a part of the NFL for 40 seasons winning 10 division titles, three conference championships, and a victory in Super Bowl 48.

Since the realignment in 2002, the Seahawks have had their most successful run in their tenure. The Seahawks earned a playoff spot in 10 seasons going 13-10. Consistency has been a trait of Seattle’s with a regular season record of 137-102-1.

In 2005, the Seahawks finished with a team best 13-3 record earning them homefield advantage throughout the playoffs. After a dominant performance in the NFC championship against the Panthers, the Seahawks next opponent was the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl 40.

Hype surrounded the 40th anniversary of the Super Bowl. The game is considered one of the worst Super Bowls in history due to its officiating controversy (ranked 39th on NFL.com). Pittsburgh won the game, 21-10, with many fans and analysts blaming the referees for Seattle’s loss.

Bill Levy was the head ref for the game. In 2010, Levy spoke about the game and how he has handled the criticism.

“It was tough for me. I kicked two calls in the fourth quarter and I impacted the game and as an official you never want to do that. It left me with a lot of sleepless nights and I think about it constantly. I’ll go to my grave wishing that I’d been better.”

Seattle’s struggles continued until 2010 when USC head coach Pete Carroll was hired to be the next coach of the Seahawks. Carroll brought a defensive mindset to Seattle and began creating what would be one of the most dominate defenses in NFL history.

Carroll’s defense made history in 2013 becoming the first team since the ’85 Bears to lead the league in yards, points, and turnovers. Along with second year quarterback Russell Wilson and All-Pro running back Marshawn Lynch, the Seahawks ran rough shot over the NFL to earn an appearance in Super Bowl XLVIII. Their opponent would be the Denver Broncos whose offense in 2013 scored more points than any team in NFL history.

The first play of the Super Bowl was a bad snap by Broncos center Manny Ramirez that flew past Peyton Manning into the end zone, resulting in a safety for the Seahawks. It took 12 seconds for Seattle to get the lead and they never gave it up. Seattle’s defense gave a performance for the ages forcing four turnovers and holding the NFL’s No. 1 offense to a measly eight points.

ESPN reporter and analyst Stephen A. Smith gave his take on the game.

“I was dead wrong because I thought somehow someway Peyton Manning would be able to figure them out. They got punked. Seattle’s defense is lethal.”

The Seahawks dominated Super Bowl 48, 43-8, earning the first world championship in Seahawks history.

Coming into the 2014 season, the question surrounding Seattle was if the Seahawks can repeat as champions.

Early season struggles slowed the Seahawks chances of the playoffs. Seattle fixed their issues quickly getting them back on top of the NFC with a record of 12-4 and for the second season in the row, homefield advantage.

Seattle defeated the Green Bay Packers in one of the greatest comeback performances in championship history, 28-22 in overtime. Seattle was going back to the Super Bowl for back-to-back seasons.

Super Bowl 49 featured the two most successful teams since 2012, the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots. Super Bowl 49 (ranked the third best on NFL.com) was a slugfest for all four quarters.

The Seahawks jumped ahead to a 10-point lead entering the fourth quarter. Seattle’s offense stalled for most of the fourth whereas New England’s offense had their best quarter of the season. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady completed 13 of 15 passes for 124 yards and two touchdowns featuring a three-yard completion to Julian Edelman with 2:06 remaining.

Down four with two minutes to go, Seattle’s offense regained their rhythm from earlier in the game. The Seahawks drove all the way down to the Patriots five to have a first and goal with a minute to go. Running back Marshawn Lynch was near unstoppable for the game with 102 yards on 24 carries and a touchdown. On first and goal, Lynch ran the ball down to the one yard line.

All that stood between the Seahawks and a second Super Bowl victory in a row was one yard. With 24 seconds remaining, Russell Wilson threw an interception at the goal line to Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler to lose the game, 28-24. Color commentator, Cris Collinsworth, was stunned.

“I’m sorry but I can’t believe the call. You’ve got Marshawn Lynch in your backfield. You’ve got a guy that’s boarder line unstoppable in this part of the field. I can’t believe the call.”

In their three Super Bowl appearances, Seattle has proven that to be champions, everything must fall into place exactly right. Sports analysts can look at the Seahawks as the team that was one yard short of back-to-back titles, or the team that gave the most dominant performance in Super Bowl history in 2013. The Seahawks represent the city of Seattle well. Bold, young, and destined to be on top again.

‘Yu-Gi-Oh: The Dark Side of Dimensions’ Revitalizes its television counterpart

Old characters make a valiant return with a deck full of new cards

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As the years go by, Seto Kaiba (Eric Stuart) still struggles with his dethroning as the world’s greatest duelist. KaibaCorp has developed a new a new headquarters in space in hopes that Kaiba can complete his chase back to the top. There is one missing piece. The Pharaoh and the millennium puzzle are gone.

Time has passed since Yugi (Dan Green) won the ceremonial duel against Atem to send his spirit back to the spirit world. Along with his friends Joey (Wayne Grayson), Tristan (Greg Abbey), Tea (Amy Birbaum), and Bakura (Ted Lewis), Yugi prepares for life after high school and what they are going to do with their lives. While they finish their education, Kaiba commissions an excavation of the millennium items to find the puzzle so he can bring the pharaoh back to reality.

While the overall story of the movie was enjoyable, it seemed cluttered. The plot of the story could have easily been a whole other season to the television show.

As a fan of the show and the card game, the movie was quite disappointing when it came to the logic of the duel itself. The movie introduced dimension summoning which sounded like a great idea. One problem is they only grazed the surface of how to play the style of dimensions which left people lost as they kept track of the duels and points.

Bringing back the original voices for the characters was brilliant, especially for longtime fans of the franchise. Each actor succeeded in bringing back the life of the characters from the show.

New character Aigami (Daniel J. Edwards) brings an aspect back to Yu-Gi-Oh that hasn’t been prevalent since the Battle City tournament and finals when the pharaoh fought Marik Ishtar. Aigami’s tone was set very early in the movie and kept developing all the way until the final credits.

Overall, Yu-Gi-Oh: The Dark Side of Dimensions is a good movie to watch if you’re a causal fan of the show. For the card game fanatics, this is an average picture. This film is definitely worth watching if you enjoy the great conversations and connection between the original characters.      

Men keep pace in high-powered Western Division

Raiders keep winning streak alive

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The Raiders men’s basketball team has been in the top three of the western division for the season. Pierce sits at 4-2 behind S. Puget Sound (6-0) and division leader Lower Columbia (6-0).

Pierce student Manuel Cuadrado said, “Defense wins championships. These guys are finding ways to get the ball out and capitalize.”

The men have forced 297 turnovers this season.

“Just play your game and you’ll be number one. They looked fantastic against TCC.”

The Raiders played their cross-town rival TCC on Jan. 25 on the road. This game featured one of the league’s best scorers in Khalil Thompson, who is averaging 22.84 points per game, going up against one of the stingiest defenses in Pierce, who allowed the third fewest points per game with 72.6. In a Western Division showdown, the Raiders started strong, taking a 37-27 halftime lead.

TCC fought back in the second half, winning the defensive stops battle. Pierce struggled at the line all night, shooting 56.3 percent to TCC’s 62.5 percent. Hussayn Ford was the hot hand for Pierce taking 24 shots on the night. The Raiders offense kept their composure in the fourth quarter to prevent a comeback from the Titans. The final was 72-69.   

The Raiders kept their momentum from the division win entering a matchup against Highline. Pierce crushed Highline in each quarter. Brilan Kelly led the Raiders, hitting 10 of 15 field goals on the night. Pierce cruised to a 93-52 victory.

The Raiders play first place Lower Columbia on Feb. 8. Each division game is crucial, especially when you enter the midway point of the season. Two of the league’s best defenses squaring off promise to be a key component to the tightly contested playoff race.

Rough Start Lands Pierce in Last Place of the West

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Coming into the 2016-17 season, there was a lot of hype for the Raiders women’s basketball team. Pierce started the preseason struggling but began to develop a rhythm on defense. The Raiders end the preseason with a record of 0-12.

Pierce’s offense has not had much success the last six weeks with their best score being 49 in a 40-point loss to Whatcom. The Raiders top performance of the season to this point was a battle against Linn-Benton where they put up a season high 60 points but couldn’t get the win. Fellow student Sean Phillips had a positive vibe for the group. “They are doing a great job of spreading ball around the court. It will serve them well in the future.” The offense is second to last in the NWAC averaging 47.6 points per game.

The Raiders had their first game of the regular season on Jan. 12th against the Red Devils of Lower Columbia. Lower Columbia outscored Pierce in the first half 45-16 and continued their dominance until the clock hit 0:00. With a final score of 92-42, the Raiders lost by more points than they scored.

Manuel Cuadrado has one question for the team “How bad do you really want that first win and how do you want to be remembered.”

The Raiders play their cross-town rival TCC Titans on Jan. 25th at home with a 6 pm tip off. This is a match-up both teams look forward to each year. With most of their games left on the schedule the Raiders still have a chance to earn a playoff berth.

Men reclaim the lead of the Western Division

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With the pre-season ending, the Raiders men’s basketball has taken lead of the competitive western division. Pierce has a record of 10-3 coming off a three-game winning streak. Coach Mendelson was very enthusiastic about his returning players.

“Makeleb McInnis a returning All-League player, along with Michael Hannon, Chris Drake, and Robert Rucker make a formidable backcourt.” Raider forward Hussayn Ford, the teams premier scoring big man, is the leader in total rebounds with 139 in the NWAC.

Ford’s best performance of the young season was against Big Bend on Dec. 03. It was his second-best game scoring wise with 27 pts while shooting 92 percent (11-12) from the field. Ford is the Raiders leading scorer in points per game averaging 15.92.

The Raiders are number two in the league with 1284 total points. Pierce’s offense follows the style of the Showtime Lakers; “The Raiders play an up-tempo style that results in a fast-paced fun game to watch” Mendelson said. They are in the top three in the league with 264 total assists. Their offense is one of the better groups when shooting at the line averaging 73 percent for the first 13 games.

Although Pierce has yet to break 100 points in a game this season, their offense is scoring consistently on defensive turnovers in late game situations. The defense has been able to make plays when the game matters, which is evident in the fact that they have 142 turnovers which is second best in the league.

The Raiders have been looking like a playoff team in recent games. They beat the Clackamas Cougars, quite convincingly by 23 points on the road. The Raiders dominated the Cougars in the rebounding category by nearly 13 percent both offensively and defensively.

In the first half, the Raiders seemed to struggle from downtown in 3-point territory. Later in the second half, Pierce regrouped and decided to play more in the paint which forced the defense to play more aggressive opening spots for the Raiders sharpshooters on the perimeter.

Pierce enters the regular season with a record of 12-3. “Returning 8 players has helped the Raiders off to a great start this season at 12-3 and ranked 3rd in the NWAC” Mendelson said. The first game of the regular season for the Raiders is Jan. 11th at home against western division rival Lower Columbia. The matchup is early in the season but could be a key component to who will go to the playoffs and the overall postseason seeding’s.

The Reprecautions of Drug Enhancements in College Athletics are still a concern

The+Reprecautions+of+Drug+Enhancements+in+College+Athletics+are+still+a+concern

For years in sports, whether it be professional or collegiate, steroids and drug use have plagued many great careers and have ruined many great moments. Some sports have driven more attention to the issue of steroids than others. Baseball has had a reputation over the past 20 years as a steroid filled nightmare especially on the professional level.

Many famous athletes have slandered their name because of steroids. One of the more famous cases involves Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez. A-Rod was considered by many a slam dunk hall of fame player in the MLB for his prolific style of hitting. In 2014 the commissioner of the MLB suspended Rodriguez for a failed drug test in 2003. It was later revealed that he had been taking PEDs from the year 2001 to 03.

In an interview with ESPN Rodriguez said “I just feel that, you know, I’m just sorry. I’m sorry for that time. I’m sorry to my fans. I couldn’t feel more regret and feel more sorry because I have so much respect for this game, and, you know, the people that follow me and respect me.” Many professional analysts now believe that he will not be inducted into the baseball hall of fame because he is considered a cheater with “fake” stats.

Colleges are very strict with their penalties for performance enhancing drugs. If an athlete were to test positive for steroids, they automatically lose 1 year of eligibility for their individual sport. They are not allowed to complete for 365 days after the date of the failed test. If the player were to fail a second test they would lose all eligibility in the sport. If a player were to tamper with the results of the first PED test they would be suspended from any participation for a full two-year period.

The NCAA and the schools test their athletes for drug use and they work on educating the players on avoiding them. It was reported that the NCAA spent over six million dollars on drug tests and the education on banning these substances.

PEDs have not been an issue for Pierce College fortunately. The Raiders have proven that teams can win championships without the use of these harmful drugs. 

Mother’s Dog Tags & Basketball Collide with this Basketball Players Journey

Max+Bond+%28left%29+and+History+Professor+John+Simpson+%28right%29+survey+the+court+after+the+end+of+a+grueling+basketball+practice.

Marina Chetverikov/Staff Photo

Max Bond (left) and History Professor John Simpson (right) survey the court after the end of a grueling basketball practice.

Max Bond is a freshman at Pierce College, and a new Raiders basketball player.

His height and knowledge of the game and its strategies give him all the traits of a solid athlete. One day after another practice, he noticeably kissed a set of dog tags that hung around his neck.

           In his 7th and 8th grade years, he fought through physically tough times. His mom continually tried to get him to stop playing and to rest, but Max kept working harder and harder.

After seeing the fire of determination and effort in her son, his mom gave him her dog tags she earned in the military as a symbol of his hard work. This is when his mom called and labeled him as a “True Warrior.”

His mom saw how hard her son worked and played and so as a reward, she took him to his favorite restaurant, Panda Express.

Max explained that if he struggles during any game he can hear his mom, even if she isn’t physically present at the game, say to him, “get your ass on the court and kick some ass.”

          Max started his basketball career at a young age and aspires of playing in the NBA, and he said, “Basketball is all I know.”

Max’s biggest goal is to represent the United States in the Olympics playing the sport he loves. “It’s a good way to serve your country.”

Max spoke about how he felt the team is heading into this upcoming season. He noted that the Raiders are a strong team and with the right players, would make a championship run.

The team gained some ambitiously tall players to anchor the defense after barely missing the playoffs last year. The question is, “what is the biggest difference on this team?” Max answered with one word: showmanship.

“We’ve got players that can put on a show,” he said. “This is a group of guys who play for each other, which is a great championship mindset.”

Tough practices have been great for this team as they prepare for the start of the season. Although Max admits to enduring some pain, he explains that he will always perform the best he can for the team.

          “Max is young player, who represents the saying in sports that when the chips are down you fight till the very end.”

Dog tags and all, Max Bond says he is ready to help bring a winning attitude to Pierce. He represents his Raiders team; young, talented, and ready to win it all.

New Director and New Music

Oscar Thorp is the new music director for the Pierce College Concert Band

Oscar+Thorp+introduced+himself+and+the+band+at+last+year%E2%80%99s+final+concert%2C+while+serving+as+a+part-time+director.+Now+he+takes+on+the+challenge+of+full-time+director.

Oscar Thorp/Courtesy Photo

Oscar Thorp introduced himself and the band at last year’s final concert, while serving as a part-time director. Now he takes on the challenge of full-time director.

This school year for Pierce’s band has started near flawlessly. The music has been top-notch quality and the transition in directors has been very smooth.

Oscar Thorp is the new music director for the Pierce College Concert Band. Thorp worked with Pierce last year as a half player half director for the final concert. Having some experience with this band has proven to be immensely helpful for both him as well as returning musicians.

For the first concert of the year on December 2nd, the band has constructed a nautical themed set with features like ‘Shenandoah’ and ‘Of Sailors and Whales’. Every song brings an individual style and musical swagger. The songs and styles flow well together, similarly to how the musicians in the band blend their talents together.

Last year, the percussion section of the band was lacking in mere numbers. During the last rehearsal, the percussion section number jumped from 2 players to 5. The brass section returned almost everyone from the previous quarter, while adding a few great players to bolster the powerful foundation that had already been developed. New woodwinds have given the “lighter” sections of the band a wonderful harmony and richness.

The concerts this year will feature not only the band as a whole, but also some small ensembles playing pieces before the concerts start.  

            The lead trumpet player was quoted as saying “All together, this is a band that can deliver power and blow the roof off the house, but can also feel the moments in the pieces to bring the music to life with grace and elegance.”

 The band is hoping to create a jazz band for the college soon. The band will also be working with the choir at different time throughout the year. This is an exciting time for the music program at Pierce.

            For more information about the concert dates and times, please visit http://www.pierce.ctc.edu/dept/music/.

3-1 Looking like 2013

Hawks look like their old selves when they won the Super Bowl

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The 2016 NFL season has been a roller coaster of emotion for the Seattle Seahawks and their fans. The Seahawks 2015 campaign ended in disappointment at the hands of the NFC champion Carolina Panthers in the divisional round of the playoffs. Over the offseason the Seahawks lost their 5-time pro bowl running back Marshawn Lynch to retirement. Seattle did sign and draft new offensive linemen to reconstruct what was considered one of the worst lines in the league and the primary reason they didn’t reach Super Bowl 50.

          The Seahawks first game of the 2016 regular season was a defensive brawl at home versus the Miami Dolphins. The game started at a fast pace offensively for both teams until Miami Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills dropped a 70 plus yard touchdown. Later in the game Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson suffered an ankle injury putting Seattle’s offense in neutral. Miami had the lead late in the 4th quarter until Russell Wilson threw a touchdown to his favorite target Doug Baldwin with less than a minute to go propelling the Hawks to a 1-0 start.

          The Seahawks week 1 magic seemed to have run out in week 2 as they travelled to Los Angeles to play the division rival Rams. Once again the Seahawks found themselves in a low scoring defensive battle. Seattle fought valiantly on defense but was unable to generate enough offense to get the win.

          Week 3 reminded fans of the 2013 team that dominated all year long and won Super Bowl 48 in tremendous fashion. Seattle played their arch rival 49ers at home and racked up 37 points while giving up a mere 3 points in the first 3 quarters. Russell Wilson suffered another ankle injury in the 3rd quarter, which prevented him from finishing the game. Even without Wilson the Seahawks cruised to a 37-18 victory.

          Coming into week 4 the headline for the Hawks and Jets game was All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman vs. All-Pro receiver Brandon Marshall. That matchup did not disappoint. Through the whole first half Marshall seemed to have had the upper hand on Sherman putting up over 70 yards and a touchdown. The second half was a different story. Sherman demolished Marshall in the second half forcing 2 crucial interceptions. Marshall was targeted against Sherman 11 times and Sherman allowed a measly 4 completions. Seattle’s offense cruised all game long racking up over 350 total yards and 27 points. The defense was dominant as usual forcing 3 turnovers and holding the Jets to 54 yards on the ground.

          With a week 5-bye the Seahawks finish the first quarter of the season with a 3-1 record and a lot of confidence. They have the number 2 defense in the league and look very much like their historic defense from the 2013 season. The reemergence of tight end Jimmy Graham gives Seattle a big time red zone threat that can’t be left in single coverage. Christine Michael Sr. has rejuvenated his career as the Hawks starting running back pounding defenses for crucial yards. The Hawks next game is on October 16th at home against the 3-1 Atlanta Falcons who put up 48 points in week 4. It should be a great matchup between 2 of the NFL’s best teams. 

Raiders Fight Hard for a Division Title

The Raiders volleyball team starts the season with a record of 3-2 in division play.

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The Raiders season started off to a tough start including a 5 game losing streak. Overall the Raiders have a record of 10-16 with a 4-2 record in conference matchups. Pierce has won 5 of their last 8 games featuring a homecoming thriller at home versus their arch rival TCC. The Raiders came into to their crucial battle versus TCC with a lot of confidence after a dominant 3-0 performance against Green River in their 5th conference game of the season. TCC came into the game with a conference mark of 2-2 after coming off a nail biter against S. Puget Sound. TCC started strong taking the first set 25-18. The Titans continued their hot start winning the second set 25-24. The matchup seemed to be a mismatch.

Down 2 sets, the Raiders came together as they have all year and fought back winning a match saving 3rd set 21-17. The Raiders defense was fierce in the 4th set holding the Titan’s offense that had been in sync all night long to 17 points. The teams battled back and forth the whole night and never letting down which accumulated into a match winning 5th set. 

The Raiders and Titans went in to the 5th set having very different ways of getting there. The Titans came out of the gates swinging opening a 2-0 lead, whereas the Raiders shifted the momentum and dominated TCC in the final 2 sets. The 5th set was an epic battle between division rivals. Both defenses stood strong until the very end with Pierce’s coming out on top. The Raiders offense scored 20 while their defense allowed a mere 18 points.

The Raiders comeback was their second straight conference win giving them a record of 5-2. The next game for Pierce was against another conference rival in Centralia (1-6).

The Raiders came into the matchup with a lot of confidence and swagger from their big comeback victory. Centralia on the other hand came into this matchup on a 5 game conference losing streak.

The 1st set was a duel of offenses with Pierce eking out a win 27-25. The next two sets were anything but competitive. The Raider annihilated Centralia by scores of 25-14 and 25-11 giving Pierce a playoff convincing 6-2 conference record.

The next big game for the Raiders is on October 26th as they take on a power house S. Puget Sound team.      

Raiders have a Championship on the Mind

Pierce gains new talent to make a title run in 2016

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The offseason is coming to an end for the Pierce College Raiders basketball teams. November 18th is the date all of the fans await as the Raiders take on the Clark College Penguins in Portland Oregon at 7:00pm. This is the 50th year for Pierce College and the Raiders have a chance to make the 50th a championship year.

            Last year was a tough year for the Raiders as they barely missed the playoffs. The Raiders finished the season with an overall record of 11-17 with a conference record of 6-8. The Raiders offense averaged 74.3 points per game with the defense allowing 76.4 points per game.

            Guard Robert Rucker led the Raiders in 28 games shooting 43 percent from 3 point land while also posting 41 percent from 2 point. Forward Casey Gearhart and guard Robert Knox Jr. shared the best 2 point percentage for the season with 49.  Cameron McKissic who played 12 games shot 81percent from the foul line. Guard Makaleb McInnis led the team in point per game with 14.00. Pierce had 5 players average double-digit points per game in 2015-16.

            As a team, the Raiders were tied in the NWAC shooting 42 percent of their 2 point shots, a slight decline from last year by 4 percent. The Raiders completed 36 percent of their shots from 3 point land, 5 percent higher than last season. Pierce would like to clean up their 3 point attempts and get their average up to 40+ percent. The Raiders offense had a 5 percent increase from last season scoring on 70 percent of their free throw attempts. Pierce was 2nd from last in the NWAC with most points in a game scoring 90. The offense was solid putting up 462 assists on the season. The Raiders were solid on defense when it came to allowing points and were good at stealing the ball. The defense was average on the season when it came to blocked shots on the stat sheet. Overall it was a good season statistically for the Raiders that unfortunately did not result in a playoff berth for Pierce College.

            This season hopes to be a promising one for the players, coaches, and fans of the Raiders. The team is acquiring new young talent to bolster the returning cast of players. Coach Mendelson and Pierce athletic director Duncan Stevenson both noted that the new roster for the basketball team is not set yet. Mr. Stevenson said that there are 20 young players practicing at Pierce fighting for a roster spot with only 14 to 15 positions available. The roster hopes to be set within a month. Can the young talent bring a championship to Pierce? The Raiders schedule can be found on at www.nwacsports.org. If chemistry can form between returning and new players, the Raiders look to be a dominant force this year on the hardwood.

THE DEAL HAS BEEN STRUCK

NWAC and Under Armour agree to multi-year deal

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The Northwest Athletic Conference’s (NWAC) office made it official Thursday September 15th that they have agreed to a multi-year partnership making Under Armour the apparel of all of the teams. Since being founded in 1996, Under Armour has been a top sports clothing and accessory company and brand.

                Under Armour will be working hand in hand with their supplier Prostock Athletics to deliver new gear and accessories to the teams in the NWAC. Eric Ericsson of Prostock Athletics said “Prostock Athletics has been servicing the athletic industry in the Pacific Northwest and Canada since 1982 with experienced and service oriented staff.”

                During each week of the year Under Armour will present awards for NWAC Player of the week and a NWAC Coach’s Poll. The NWAC executive director Marco Azurdia was quoted as saying “The NWAC is thrilled about this partnership with Under Armour and it is something that we have been dreaming about for years.” With this sponsorship all of the athletic programs with benefit greatly in publicity and financially.

Under Armour’s gear is designed to feel and work comfortably in all sports. Many athletes use Under Armour products not just for in game use but for training and everyday exercise. A question that arises is how will Under Armour fairly give out their “Player of the Week” award when you have sports that contrast in style of play such as basketball compared to baseball?

                Another question that should be asked is whether this deal helps fund the athletic programs or if they are supplying equipment in exchange for sponsorship. Either way this is an exciting change for the NWAC and all of the schools.

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