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Filed under Cobra Life, Sports

Special Olympics Volleyball win 2nd!

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Our Unified Special Olympics Volleyball team played their hearts out on Saturday at the Area competition!!  They tied it up in 4 games and then lost their last one. It was most definitely a nail-biter!!
They earned 2nd place, and we are very proud of how hard these kids have worked all season long.Their determination and commitment to our team is truly inspirational. 
 

Please congratulate the following athletes and Unified Partners when you see them!
Brandon Casanova
Josh and Jonathan Burgos
Christian Hernandez
Alexis Guajardo
Esmeralda Castro
Abby Paz
Marlee Guinan
Anthony Savoia
Claudio Desa-Filho
 
Thank you,
Steph Gilbert and Randi Meshongnek
Special Olympics Coaches
Filed under Sports

Special Olympics Volleyball- County Champs!

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Our Special Olympic Unified Volleyball Team competed in the County Competition this past Saturday, here at Park Vista High School! 

They won 3 out of 5 in their first game, and then 2 out of 3 in their second game, making them County Champs! 
Their next competition will take place on April 7th at Dwyer H.S., where they will compete in the AREA competition

(5 counties involved).
Please congratulate our athletes and Unified Partners when you see them!
Thanks to everyone who came out to support!! 
Steph Gilbert and Randi Meshongnek
Special Olympics Coaches
Filed under Sports

U(CF)ndefeated football

After+defeating+the+USF+Bulls%2C+the+UCF+Knights+couldn%E2%80%99t+be+more+thrilled+with+another+victory+to+cap+off+their+perfect+season.
After defeating the USF Bulls, the UCF Knights couldn’t be more thrilled with another victory to cap off their perfect season.

After defeating the USF Bulls, the UCF Knights couldn’t be more thrilled with another victory to cap off their perfect season.

orlandosentinal.com

orlandosentinal.com

After defeating the USF Bulls, the UCF Knights couldn’t be more thrilled with another victory to cap off their perfect season.

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Imagine going undefeated in a football season. The feeling would be pretty good right? Now imagine not going to a national championship game because the team one plays for is in the American Athletic Conference of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and not the Atlantic Coast or Big 12 Conferences. Since the University of Central Florida (UCF) Knights football team did not play teams in higher-ranked conferences, they did not get the opportunity to compete in the playoffs or the National Championship for college football. However, UCF did go undefeated.

In Division I NCAA Football Bowl subdivision, there are 11 conferences. Within each conference, college football teams are placed based on region the team is in. The UCF football team is placed in the American Athletic Conference among schools such as: University of South Florida (USF), University of Memphis and East Carolina University. In the 2017-2018 football season, UCF played thirteen games and won all thirteen. The last conference game they played was against the USF Bulls, on November 24, 2017. It can be considered the best game of the Knights’ season. UCF capped off the perfect regular season with a 49-42 win when wide receiver Mike Hughes had a 95-yard kickoff return with 1:28 remaining in the fourth quarter.

At the end of the season, the Knights played Auburn University (Southeastern Conference) in the Peach Bowl and won 34-27. By beating Auburn, UCF’s ranking went up to an overall sixth for the season. Due to the fact UCF played teams in their not-so-high ranked conference, they could not bring up their ranking and play in the playoffs or the National Championship. Each team in the Football Bowl Subdivision, gets about two or three non-Power 5 games in which the Athletic Director or Coach can choose who they play. This past season, if UCF chose to play harder teams such as the University of Oklahoma Sooners (12-2) or University of Miami Hurricanes (10-3) and won, the Knights would have won outside of their conference and possibly had the chance of making the playoffs. However, if they played a Power 5 team such as Vanderbilt (5-7) or Kansas (1-11) it would not have benefited the Knights because those teams are poorly ranked inside of their conference. Their fate is determined by the strength of the schedule (who they play, their competitors).

Junior Andrew Klotz said, “I believe the rankings were pretty fair overall because they generally went by the difficulty of the teams they were facing.”

The UCF Knights 2017 football team consisted of roughly 125 players and 25 coaches, the head coach being Scott Frost. Frost graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and was the defensive graduate assistant for the 2002 Nebraska Cornhuskers team. In 2015, after finishing the season 0-12, Frost became the Knights’ Head Coach.

According to huskers.com, “UCF was led by its high-powered offense and improved defense under Frost. The Knights led the nation in scoring at 48.2 points per game and were the only FBS team to score at least 30 points in every game. Defensively, UCF improved its scoring defense by 65 spots in Frost’s two seasons.”

Unfortunately, after just two short seasons, Frost decided to return to his alma mater (Nebraska) and for the ‘Huskers 2018 football season, as Head Coach.

UCF’s new coach, Josh Heupel, said, “I’m going to build this program from where it’s at and take it to higher heights.”

“Personally I believe the 2018 season could go either way. It depends on how many seniors left, but UCF has a young team. However, Coach Frost brought some sort of ‘spark’ to the team and the Knights went on to be undefeated,” said junior Tyler Thomas.

Along with having a great football program and academic system, UCF offers a Team Camp for high school football teams. The best teams from Florida and Georgia come and play either in 7 vs 7 two hand touch against one another or 11 vs 11 full contact. Going to this camp gives high school athletes the opportunity to get a feel for playing college ball and it is good exposure for prospective college scouts. The Park Vista Cobras varsity football team has attended the camp for the past two years. After attending in 2016 for the first time, the Cobras went undefeated in the regular season and won the district championship.

Thomas, Cobras varsity quarterback, believes going to the UCF football camp is “a great bonding experience for the team. We spend those three days doing everything together, from eating to sleeping in dorms. I feel like we found ourselves at camp and it was a huge reason to our success for the past two seasons.”

What makes a winning team? How did UCF pull off the “impossible?” Is UCF simply a one-hit wonder? According to championshipcoachesnetwork.com, Jeff Janssen’s Seven “C’s” of Championship Team Building are factors which distinguish a winning team. The Seven “C’s” include: Common goal, Commitment, Complementary Roles, Clear Communication, Constructive Conflict, Cohesion and Credible Coaching.

Janssen said, “Without teamwork, there is trouble.”

Junior, David Kellier, believes a winning team is made from “…the amount of effort, dedication and determination everyone puts forth. That all starts with the weight room. If you work your butt off in there, then it will show on the field.”

Under Frost, the Knights thrived. Whether they will be able to achieve equal or greater goals under Heupel is unknown, but the last time UCF went undefeated before 2017 was, well, never. Some compare UCF to Boise State. In 2006, the Boise State University Broncos had a perfect season. However, they too had a “soft” schedule. Both teams play in mediocre conferences and play “easy” teams.

“To be honest, I feel that the rankings were off and UCF should have been in the top 5 and should’ve went to the national championship and also given a shot to prove themselves,” said junior and Cobra varsity running back, Nick King.

Even though UCF plays in a mediocre conference, despite all odds, the Knights had a perfect regular season and hold the title for champions of the Peach Bowl. Hopefully, college football playoff rankings take into account the heart and strength of a team, not just the schedule, so the Knights can soon get a shot at the National title.

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Dangers of Performance Enhancing Drugs

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Performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) lure in athletes looking to improve their ability to play, but lead them onto a dangerous path. PEDs have adverse effects on the body as well as providing an unfair advantage to players as they breech the moral integrity of sports and damage sportsmanship.

PEDs cause, acne, damage to the heart and cardiovascular system, male pattern baldness, liver damage and premature closure of the growth centers of long bones (in adolescents), which may result in stunted growth and disruption of puberty in children, according to the United States Drug Administration (USADA). Once the user stops, their body deflates like a balloon, causing new health problems such as impotence, and mental health problems such as depression, mood swings and aggressiveness, according to www.USADA.org.

PEDs allow the user to have an unfair advantage over the other players. The player can gain more muscle or water mass allowing them to weigh more, thus have more power behind their moves and plays. PEDs also supercharge muscle gained from a single workout. An example of this phenomenon is Barry Bonds, a retired baseball player, who used PEDs to set the home run record for Major League Baseball (MLB). Other people who worked hard to achieve that goal never could surpass him because he cheated.

“I’m not a big believer in them [PEDs]. They should not be allowed or encouraged,” said baseball coach Larry Greenstein.

Many players and coaches have negative views on PED use because they believe, other than an unfair advantage, it is morally incorrect.

“Taking anything to cheat and win does not make a true athlete,” said weightlifting coach Thadd Pokabla.

There is an expectation that players will play fair, and athletes that use PEDs are gaining an unfair advantage through cheating. The Florida High School Athletic Association adopted an official bylaw in 2014 to completely ban the use of any steroids, narcotics or anabolic agents of any type by student athletes, according to www.FHSAA.org.

There is no excuse for PED use, they are harmful and against the rules. Players have to make the conscious decision on if they should use them or not, but the consequences are dire for their health and well-being, and they have to live with them.

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NCAA Informational Nights / Orange Bowl Showcase

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Attention all student-athletes who are hoping to attend college on an athletic scholarship.  The school district will be hosting three informational meetings about NCAA eligibility.  Please attend one of these meetings to better understand how you can receive an NCAA Athletic Scholarship.  
 
Meetings will be held on the following dates at the following schools:
 
Thursday, Nov 9 @ Wellington HS in the Lecture Hall.  Presentation begins at 6pm.
 
Wed, Nov 15 @ Atlantic HS in the Auditorium.  Presentation begins at 6pm.
 
Thurs, Nov 16 @ Palm Beach Gardens HS in the Auditorium.  Presentation begins at 6pm.
 
If you are a football player – Please know that an Orange Bowl Showcase Committee member will be presenting at the NCAA informational night about a showcase opportunity for you to be seen by NCAA Division II & III schools.
 
Any student-athletes who have questions may see their Athletic Director for more information.
Filed under Sports, Uncategorized

PV golf team wins big at district tournament

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District champion Anthony Ruggierio, shot a fantastic game with a score of 74

From left to right: Peter Caufield, Nate Livingston, Tristan Bottiglia, Coach Harnie Rich, Anthony Ruggiero, Drew Vigilante, Coach Ira Hubschman

From left to right: Danielle Castile, Tamsyn Butler, Captain Hali Carrabis, Margie Lee, Camryn Hudson

Congratulations to senior, Hali Carrabis for earning the title of District Champion.

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John Smith awarded Player of the Week by Miami Dolphins

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Park Vista’s senior quarterback, John Smith, was awarded with Player of the Week by the Miami Dolphins.  Troy Drayton, former Miami Dolphin’s tight end, came to Park Vista on Tue, Oct 10 to present Smith with the award.  He will be honored at the Dolphin game on October 22 during a ceremony on the field. Congratulations John Smith!

Head coach Brian Dodds, Richard O’Connor, John Smith and Troy Drayton

Head coach Brian Dodds, John Smith, Principal Reginald Myers and Troy Drayton

Richard O’Connor (our on campus officer), John Smith and Troy Drayton

Filed under Sports

Weekly football game preview

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10/6/17 PV vs. Boca

Ivan Johnson 

This week the Cobra Football team will be taking on district rival, Boca Raton Community High School in the Snake Pit. Senior, Ivan Johnson, says running sprints and lifting weights everyday are only some of the things our football team is doing to prepare. The Cobras are also studying Boca’s plays and utilizing scout offense and defense, which is running plays tailored to the opposing teams plays. This weeks game is also senior night, which puts a spotlight on our seniors. Johnson is proud he has made it this far in football and is glad to “see all my fellow, senior Cobras together.”

Kenny Demosthene

Our Cobra Varsity team is taking on the Boca Raton Community High School Bobcats in this week’s game. Senior, Kenny Demosthene says the team is preparing by running many practice drills and going in the weight room everyday. Demosthene hopes the team can take down the Bobcats and “hype each other up the whole game.” Coming off of a 70-0 win over the Lake Worth Community High School Trojans, Demosthene is hoping the team can “listen to the plays coaches call and make the right decisions. With this game being senior night, Demosthene says he is “sad because high school football is coming to an end.”

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Football game Park Vista vs. West Boca

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Girls’ flag football team kicks off stellar season

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On March 14, Park Vista’s girls’ flag football team, lead by captains Diana Dorzeme, Julia Lips and Haley Brownell, officially began their 2017 season. Now, holding a currently undefeated record, the team is looking forward to a successful year.

Tryouts for girls’ flag football began in February; however, conditioning has been active since January. This allowed for the team to achieve its full potential by racking up hours and hours of practice before the team was ever officially assembled.

Their first pre-season game took place on March 7 (at home) where they played against Oxbridge Academy- and won. They went on to play Royal Palm Beach High School for their second pre-season game, where won again. A few days later, they played their first official game against Lake Worth High School.

In addition to gaining working hard during pre-season and official season, the flag football girls also created an amazing team bond that has been instrumental in their success throughout their trails and tribulations within the sport.

“We are a family, and our captains are really great before games and everything to help us come together and win,” said senior Kiana Barbieri (starting rusher on defense for the varsity girl’s flag football team).

In the end, the main goal of the girl’s flag football team is to make it to states and grow stronger as a team. Last year, they lost a playoff game against Seminole Ridge High School by one point (13-12); therefore, this year, the team has a greater drive to make it to states where they hope to win it all.

“We feel like we should have won last year, so we really want it bad this year,” said Barbieri.

As they continue to progress throughout the season, the girl’s flag football team will keep working as hard as they can to be the best at their sport and raise each other up, as a team, to ensure that they make it to states this year.

 

 

 

Filed under Sports

Year of the Cobras

Preparing+for+a+hike+-+Photo+by+Marsha+Morakis
Preparing for a hike - Photo by Marsha Morakis

Preparing for a hike - Photo by Marsha Morakis

Preparing for a hike - Photo by Marsha Morakis

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Park Vista Cobra football, a team built on hard work, dedication, teamwork and family. A unit of hardworking players and coaches has led to the team’s best record ever, a perfect 10-0. Steamrolling over teams such as Lake Worth (40-8), John I Leonard (35-0) and rival Santaluces (53-7) has become a common occurrence in Cobra Country. The team outscored opponents this season by a total of 208 points.

“They’ve found ways to win, they’ve played with a lot of heart and sometimes heart and smarts can elevate a team to greatness. They’ve also learned how to close out games and that is responsible for their great season,” said Park Vista football announcer and AP U.S. History teacher Mr. Strackman.

Throughout the flawless season, the Cobras put in massive amounts of effort in practices, as well as their games. With such a unified team, success was inevitable. Okay we get it, Park Vista’s football team puts in tremendous work every year, but what makes this year’s record season different? Park Vista has never gone undefeated in a season before, and they clinched the division championship after their 35-10 win against Spanish River. The Cobras also hold the longest regular season win record in Palm Beach County of 13 wins stretching back to the final three games of the 2015 season.

“We have put in so much work and we haven’t stopped working for almost a year. I knew if we stuck together, the season we strived towards would become a reality,” said senior and wide receiver/strong safety Matt Mohler.

“Last season’s ending motivated us all to work harder,” said junior Corey Cola.

The Cobras’ tremendous work ethic shows in their perfect regular season record. Such success usually draws envy from teams who seek to tarnish a perfect season. Trash talk, or in most cases just common competitive spirits, were dispelled by the focused team.

“I just walk away and laugh, I think it’s funny, I love it,” said Cola.

Family and brotherhood have also been vital to the team’s triumphs as a sense of unity among all players led to a team that looks like they have been playing together for years.

“A big brotherhood on the team is what makes us a family. Seeing your brothers out there makes you want to do the best for them. I’m a leader and I help push everyone to be the best they can be. Playing as a family definitely attributes to most of our success,” said senior and wide receiver/free safety Jordan Jackson.

The Cobras played a tremendous season and were riding high into the playoffs. However, in a tough game filled will competitive spirits and athletic integrity, the Cobras fell to Palm Beach Gardens, 38-28. Emotions ran high post- game with players disappointed in the game’s outcome. However, many players remained positive at what the team accomplished. Not only making school history (the first Cobra football team to go 10-0), but also becoming a larger part of the campus by taking part in Spirit in Motion.

With Spirit in Motion, Cobra football players spent quality time with ESE students; eating lunch together and playing video games. And during halftime of Park Vista’s Rivalry Week game against Santaluces, the Cobras participated in a special Spirit in Motion event. Players, with their participant by their side, made their way to the sideline of the field to be met with a roaring applause. The ESE students who were paired with players loved the experience as much as the players did.

“It’s not that I’m the only influence, they’re the influence in our lives. We affect them as much as they do to us, it’s 50/50,” said senior and tackle Marshall Morakis.

Even after Spirit in Motion and the ending of the football season, for some players, their season does not end. Such as The Florida vs. Georgia All-Star Game and the North vs. South All-Star
Game are approaching in late December and early January.

“It’s a great honor being selected for the North vs. South Game. I worked extremely hard this season and I am just very fortunate enough to be noticed for my efforts,” said senior
Julian Polo.

The Cobras had a phenomenal season on and off the field, making waves in the rankings as well as the Cobra community. With a stellar coaching staff, strong team leaders, and a familiar team that felt connected beyond logos on their jerseys, Park Vista Football made their community proud to be called Cobras.

Filed under Sports

NFL = No Fun League?

Cobras on the sideline - Photo by Marsha Morakis

Cobras on the sideline - Photo by Marsha Morakis

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American football is easily one of the most popular sports in the United States, generating billions of dollars each year. However, controversy has arisen lately regarding the official stated rulebook of the National Football League (NFL). As stated in the official rulebook, the definition of excessive celebration is “using baiting or taunting acts or words that engender ill will between teams” resulting in a penalty and a charge of yardage against the offending player’s team. Officials now seem to be throwing flags for touchdown celebrations that do not appear to spark and “ill will” such as spinning the ball, dancing, military salutes directed at the opposing team, spiking the ball and other harmless acts.

These rules do not just apply to NFL professionals, but college athletes as well. In 2010, Kansas State’s Adrian Hillburn scored a 30-yard touchdown with only a minute left in a game against Syracuse to put the team down only 34-36.He was then penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct after performing a military-style salute to the crowd. This caused their two-point conversion attempt to be pushed back 15 yards. They failed to convert, leading to a Syracuse victory.

“Football is the ultimate team sport. The best way to celebrate is to thank the other ten players who made your success possible,” said Mr. Lott, retired football coach and player.

NFL crackdown

To avoid excessive celebration and the rising theory that it has an actual effect on the play of the game, the NFL has cracked down on this behavior with much harsher rules during the 2016 season. The NFL reinforced their stance on excessive celebration, warning teams that players would be subject to penalties when taunting opponents by spinning the ball, according to NBC Sports. The rule-book was modified once again so that a pair of unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, including excessive celebrations and taunts, would result in an ejection. This means a game could not only be tremendously affected by the 15-yard penalty, but a team could lose an important player because he celebrated inappropriately twice.

Violations count

The past few seasons have only accelerated the crackdown with 24 in 2014 and 22 taunting penalties accepted in 2015, while in the first four weeks of the 2016 season, there have already been 14 violations. Major NFL players who have fallen prey to the harsh enforcement of the excessive celebration penalty include Allen Robinson of the Jacksonville Jaguars, who was drilled in the head by a player from the Indianapolis Colts before recovering and spinning the ball on the field, and Washington Redskins’ Josh Norman for pretending to shoot a bow and arrow, as it models a violent celebration like “throat slashing” or a “machine-gun salute.”

Junior Jake Collins, varsity football player, recently experienced the excessive celebration play call first-hand in a game against Santaluces High School. “I agree that some calls are necessary, but some referees take the call a bit too seriously,” said Collins. “I did a flip in the end zone, and I know I should have controlled myself, but it was unplanned. It just kind of happened. I got another penalty for going and celebrating with some of the children who have special needs, and I feel like that penalty should not have been called.”

No Fun League

The taunting of excessive play calling is not the only issue that the NFL has to worry about. The NFL has been proclaimed the “No Fun League” by many players, coaches and fans. Many do not understand why the league cares so much about the celebrations of the players. Torrey Smith, a wide receiver for the San Francisco 49ers, shared his opinion on Twitter regarding Josh Brown, a former NFL kicker, after he publicly admitted to abusing his former wife when they were still married. “Celebrating a TD will get you fined, but being an abuser can keep the checks coming in,” Smith wrote on Twitter. “Gotta start taking the things that are important serious….and be consistent with the investigation and punishment.”

This tweet raises many questions. Who determines the extent of excessive celebration? Since when does being excited or happy at a positive outcome in a game become an offensive penalty? Why is excessive celebrating considered worse than abuse?

“It’s hard to keep control of yourself on the field sometimes. When players taunt or make fun of the other team, I think the penalty should be called. I feel officials have got out of hand with the celebration penalties however,” said senior Austin Wanecski, a varsity
football player.

Senior Andrew Scully, another varsity football player agrees. “I feel excessive celebration calls are too excessive because the rush of emotion and pride you feel when you score a massive play or a game winning score is literally indescribable. It just floods out of you and you have to excitedly celebrate or spin the ball or whatever you need to do,” he said.

Although the rulebook must be seriously enforced to suppress offensive commentary and actions, some insist that the league has indeed gone too far. Is it not somewhat subjective to determine what “could be construed as being in poor judgment” or what is “excessive celebration” vs. “harmless celebrations”? Not all actions are always “ill will.”

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