Football Season is Upon Us

Your Primer for Pro, College, and Raptor Football

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Football Season is Upon Us

Raptor Cheer Squad Pumps Up the Crowd

Raptor Cheer Squad Pumps Up the Crowd

Raptor Cheer Squad Pumps Up the Crowd

Raptor Cheer Squad Pumps Up the Crowd

Big news, it’s football season! While some may dread America’s unofficial fall pastime, it’s a special time of year here at Magnet. The Raptor football squad is two games into their 2019 season, comprised of nine games total, with a matchup against Military Magnet upcoming. On the national stage, college football kicked off a few weeks ago while the NFL season is just getting underway.

Raptor SZN

Your Academic Magnet football squad is back to near full strength this year to face a tough slate of AAA games. The squad is led by seniors Will Jordan, Cade Bitting, David Roddey, Kory Singleton, and Jack Dillard with other fourth-year participants Will Schnell and Jack Patterson sidelined with knee injuries.

The season kicked off with a disappointing loss at the hands of Northwoods Academy by a score of 34-0. The Raptors had taken one from the very same Chargers last year 35-7, suggesting a balance between the two programs.

The peak of the season thus far, however, came one week later at home against the Charleston Math and Science Riptide. After dominating the Tide last year, the home squad came out a little quiet only to come alive near the close of each half. With under five minutes to go in the contest, Raptor QB Will Jordan steadied a botched play and took the ball down the Raptor sideline eighty yards for the touchdown to give AMHS its first lead of the night by a score of 14-12. The stellar defense held serve and crushed the Riptide’s hopes to seize their first win of the year.

After Hurrican Dorian knocked out a contest with Military Magnet, the Raptors will return home to Danny Jones this week against Baptist Hill looking to avenge a tough defeat from last season. For the Bird Cage, the big date on the calendar will be October 18th, when the rival Bishop England Battling Bishops return to this side of I-526 for the first time since 2016.

College Kidz

College Football is just past its second week. The season started much the way the last ended; Clemson, Alabama, Georgia, and Oklahoma resumed their spots in the top five in the preseason polls while Ohio State parlayed a Rose Bowl win and a new QB into the number five spot.

The big story of the offseason was quarterback transfers. The aforementioned Ohio State added Justin Fields from Georgia, where he was the backup QB until leaving due to incidents of racial discrimination on campus. Fields, the top recruit in 2018, used the incidents as a basis to obtain a waiver that allows him to avoid a mandated one year of inactivity typical for undergraduate transfers. His move to Ohio State caused Tate Martell to depart for greener pastures at Miami, though he did not assume their starting quarterback spot, instead splitting time at WR. Likewise, Alabama backup and former SEC Offensive Player of the Year Jalen Hurts moved to the University of Oklahoma, home to the past two Heisman Trophy winners. Hurts was quickly named the starter while their former backup Austin Kendall moved to West Virginia to work with new coach Neal Brown. Two former Clemson signal callers have found new homes as well with Kelly Bryant moving to Missouri as a graduate transfer, and Hunter Johnson getting his turn at Northwestern after sitting out a year. However, the transfer market extends beyond QBs with former Clemson tailback Tavien Feaster switching over to South Carolina, and South Carolina back Ty’Son Williams moving to his third career college, BYU.

With week 3 on the horizon, fans on the Bonds-Wilson campus are focused on the big Alabama @ South Carolina and Clemson @ Syracuse matchups.

NFL Ballin’

As we bask in the glory of high school and college football, one league continues to take the spotlight. The NFL season kicked off last week with the Bears losing to the Packers and ended with the Raider’s triumphant victory over the Broncos. Though the Patriots continue to carry momentum from their big Super Bowl LIII win, contenders continue to line up to take their best shot at the New England dynasty.

Perhaps the greatest threat to Brady domination is the team that topped them in the standings last year. Patrick Mahomes enters just his second season as the full-time starting quarterback for the Chiefs with both an MVP and an Offensive Player of the Year award under his belt. However, the Chiefs are not without their fair share of controversy, having WR Tyreek Hill still engulfed in legal trouble and letting go of RB Kareem Hunt after his own legal troubles.

Contenders from the rest of the AFC include the Browns, who are loaded with tons of offensive talent, and the Chargers, though the may need to capture their own city first. The Browns acquired former Giants WR Odell Beckham, Jr., to pair with his best friend Jarvis Landry as well as PFWA Rookie of the Year Baker Mayfield to create a dangerous offense. Just two years removed from the NFL’s second 0-16 season ever, the Browns finished 7-8-1 last year and are trending towards the playoffs. On the flip side, the Chargers have finished both of their seasons back in LA over .500 with 12 wins last year despite finishing second in the AFC West to Kansas City.

In the NFC, the main players from last year remain atop the conference. After a controversial ending to the Rams/Saints NFC championship game, LA and New Orleans are leading the pack again this year. The Rams, led by fourth-year QB Jared Goff and RB Todd Gurley, have averaged twelve wins per season since Goff took over full-time. However, their mere presence in Super Bowl VIII prompted NFL rule changes after Nickell Robey-Coleman illegally interfered on a pass that could’ve set up the Saints to go to the Super Bowl. The Saints, on the other hand, are led by legend Drew Brees, holder of an astounding eight career NFL records with a lot left in the tank. They also return WR Michael Thomas and RB Alvin Kamara despite losing Mark Ingram to the Ravens.

With many predicting a rematch of the Rams vs. the Patriots with the Saints and Chiefs also contending, big dates to watch are September 15th and December 8th. The former sees a location flip from the controversial NFC title game and a regular season matchup while the latter is a second trip to New England for the Chiefs in as many years with the Patriots win in Kansas City sandwiched in-between. It’s sure to be an interesting season once the smoke of preseason predictions clear and the real championship picture takes shape.

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