Cameron's Reporter Blog

NFL Playoffs: Appreciate greatness

Sunday, January 22nd, 2017
Cameron Turner

So last week I was off in such a big way, going 2-2 on predictions. But what can you do when trying to predict a game against the high-powered Pittsburgh Steelers, or the unpredictable Green Bay Packers.

Last week I predicted correctly the games of Tom Brady and the New England Patriots defeating the Texans; and the Falcons beating the injury riddled Seattle Seahawks.

However, although I knew a great game was on the way with the Kansas City Chiefs and the Steelers, I never could have guessed that the Running Back Le’Veon Bell would have the day he did – leading the Steelers to a controversial holding call win at 18-16 over the Chiefs. I had mentioned star power, and although the Chiefs played a fantastic game, the Steelers showed just how hot their team can be.

With my correct prediction of the Patriots winning and the Steelers powering through this sets up an AFC Championship for the ages. In the last 14 seasons, it has been Tom Brady, Peyton Manning or Ben Roethlisberger taking the crown in all but one year – which was Joe Flacco in 2012.

Which brings me to my point of this piece – although I will officially give my prediction of the Patriots winning tonight 27-24 over the Steelers. I would implore people to watch the game because anything is possible. Although, the Patriots ‘never’ lose at home, the idea of a Roethlisberger – Brady matchup, this may never happen again. Tom Brady and Big Ben are getting up there in age and therefore these two great franchises may be looking to move on from these two first-ballot quarterbacks. One must truly appreciate the game, which is about to be played, with Peyton already retired; there may never again be such a matchup as Big Ben and Brady.

I would love to see Big Ben and the Steelers prevail over Brady – if they are not able to do so and Brady advances to another Super Bowl, the only thing that will be accomplished is Brady strengthening his case to be named the greatest quarterback of all time. Currently, this argument can be made but due to Joe Montana’s phenomenal Super Bowl record, and Brady having lost a few Super Bowls along the way this argument is still not solidified.

So in conclusion, lets wave those terrible towels, but lets sit back and watch two of the best quarterbacks on two of the best franchises go at it.

Last week I predicted the Cowboys would win – I was wrong in such a big way. I picked the Cowboys to win 27-21, but the real score in reality was 34-31 – as the Cowboys battled back in a huge way with kicker Dan Bailey tying the game up at 31-31 with: 35 seconds left. Looking like it was going to overtime, Aaron Rodgers pulled off his magic to drive down the field to set up a magical Mason Crosby field goal for the win as time expired. I was wrong, and I should not have betted against a hot Rodgers.

He has me convinced and I am jumping on the Aaron Rodgers train, therefore I am giving my prediction of the Packers winning 31-27. I do think the high-flying Falcons – who I correctly predicted to defeat the Seahawks – will put up a solid fight, possibly even taking the early lead. But I think we cant count out the Packers who have gone on a crazy run through the second half of the regular season and into the playoffs.

Rodgers will make it a game, Rodgers will come back from an early second half down, and Rodgers and the Packers will advance to take on Tom Brady and the Patriots in the Super Bowl.

Regardless of if I get my predictions correct or I am vastly wrong, I hope everyone is able to set aside some time to watch this week’s AFC and NFC championship games, as the four remaining teams and their quarterbacks have set the public up with some solid historical matchups.

We may never see matchups again between teams as good as we are getting this Sunday, enjoy watching history in the making. Do not take advantage of great moments in sports history.

Sports Editor’s note: This blog was written prior to the start of the Falcons vs. Packers game, but could not be posted due to computer and internet issues.

NFL playoffs: the best time of the sports year

Friday, January 13th, 2017
Cameron Turner

Playoffs in any sport are exponentially more exciting and enjoyable than the regular season. Oftentimes regular seasons in any sport can drag on and become monotonous. Add in the fact that sports with many games over the course of that time, subsequently then each game is ‘less important’ due to the sheer volume of games.

This brings me to why I feel the NFL Playoffs are truly better than any other in American sport. There are 16 games in the 17 week regular season. The playoff landscape of win or go home – one game matters and your whole 14-2 season is down the drain. This adds excitement to a sport that is already viewed as America’s most popular sport.

This is not a knock on Hockey, Baseball, or Basketball but I feel personally coming from playing sports in my past that sports are meant to teach a lesson. One such lesson to be taught is the importance of the here and now – every play counts, every game counts – and therefore even though watching Lebron James and the Cavaliers come back after a huge series deficit to win the NBA championship was fantastic – that mentality shows that it is okay to lose a few games here and there, because eventually you can pull off the big win. In reality, sporting events are a microcosm of the real world, and therefore, it is all about winning and the lessons you take away from the losses to win later on down the road.

In football, all too often you see a red hot young team go into the playoffs with high hopes, and just dissipate in the face of a more mature team. The bright lights can be too much for some, no matter how good they were during the regular season. Therefore, I enjoy watching teams go through this process of playoff football, everything is on the line, it is sink or swim.

For instance last week, The New York Giants lit up social media when their receiving group was photographed partying on a boat in Florida some time before their first playoff game against the Green Bay Packers. The Giants then went into their game against Green Bay and lost by a terrible score of 38-13, as the more veteran Packers were able to take control in the second half of the game. This lack of focus on the grand prize of a Superbowl championship shows the immaturity from the Giants, as receivers like Antonio Brown were notably home training vigorously before and after the Wild Card game– as his Steelers are now advancing further into the playoffs after defeating the Miami Dolphins last week 30-12.

I appreciate when I see teams win a game and instantly focus on the next game, this ‘we made the playoffs’ mentality needs to end as far too many teams – and people in life – are happy just making it to the big stage. This should never be the goal, the goal is to go all the way, reach your dreams and goals, and this cant be completed if you are celebrating a minor accomplishment.

Wild Card weekend was full of disappointing games as the many young up and coming teams fizzled out when faced with the veteran teams who have been in playoff situations in years prior.

Some may argue that the playoff series over just one game is a better aspect when it comes to the game itself and it allows a team to recover and persevere through for the win. However, just speaking logistically and even though the NFL’s ratings are hurting in 2017, the Superbowl will still have the most viewers when compared to other championship games. When speaking on a game or life level it is evident that games become more lax in a game one of a World Series, rather than the tension felt in a elimination game.

The mindset of having the Giants and the Packers – both highly successful in years past, and in the 2017 season – with everything they have worked for all year be on the line, all compact in one 60 minute game intrigues me.

Therefore, I will get to the part where I give my take on each of the upcoming Divisional round games of the NFL.

This week on Saturday, Jan. 14, we have the 11-5 Falcons hosting the 10-5-1 Seahawks at 4:35 p.m. and the 14-2 Patriots taking on the 9-7 Texans at 8:15 p.m.

The first matchup is quite intriguing, as the Falcons are a team with a potential MVP winner of a quarterback at Matt Ryan and hold the better overall record. As much as I would like to see the Falcons overcome the Seahawks I can see this game going down to the final minutes in order to be decided. The Seahawks have battled through injuries but hold the maturity level over the Falcons as they have made multiple playoff runs and even Superbowl runs in recent years. I am going to go against my better judgement and choose the Falcons to win this one by a close score of 27-24.

The later game on Saturday is cut and dry. Tom Brady and the New England Patriots will devour the young Texans led by below-average quarterback Brock Osweiler. This will not even be a matchup, as the Patriots and potential MVP Tom Brady win in a landslide at 30-7.

On Sunday, Jan. 15, is when the one and done scenarios get real exciting. The early game at 1:05 p.m. features the 12-4 Chiefs taking on the 11-5 Steelers. While the later game at 4:40 p.m. will have the 13-3 Dallas Cowboys hosting the 10-6 Green Bay Packers.

The Kansas City Chiefs and the Pittsburgh Steelers will come down to star power, and how these stars respond in a big playoff game. The Steelers are riding off of their quarterback Ben Roethlesberger’s arm as well as the talent of wide receiver Antonio Brown and running back Le’Veon Bell. If the star studded Chiefs defense is to overcome them – in what could possibly be their best chance at a Superbowl run – they will need to play with composure as they have all of 2017. I am calling it the Chiefs win over the Steelers in a nail-biter 20-17.

With the most recent news of Packers star wide receiver Jordy Nelson not being medically cleared to suit up for the Packers vs. Cowboys game on Sunday, I am unfortunately changing my prediction. Originally, I was going with the hot and more weathered team in the Packers – due to Dallas relying on too much inexperience with their rookie phenoms Dak and Zeke. However, as football is a team sport, it does come down to all the team being ready to play. Although, I think quarterback Arron Rodgers and the Packers will use the next man up mentality and it will suffice, making it interesting, I can not see them pulling off the win in Dallas. Dallas wins 27-21 at home.

With having the top seeds advancing to the Conference Championships in each the AFC and NFC leagues, I am looking forward to see if my predictions hold strong, or if I will be proved wrong.

With one last shot here I do appreciate the fans of all teams who can step back and recognize when their team is lousy or when their team loses. This rational approach to sports, while not being so infatuated in the love of their team, allows for a more complex look into whatever sport it may be. Let’s see if the fan-bases of the Packers, Cowboys and Patriots can hold up to this if a loss does occur and not simply slump into oblivion, grasping at every excuse they come across.

As for me, I will sit back and watch some solid football games this weekend, knowing my Indianapolis Colts had a very subpar season at 8-8. I am happy to say their terrible season is okay with me, as I know no excuse can change it and life goes on, no amount of me saying they’re the best can change the scores of 16 games.

Enjoy the weekend of playoff football and stay safe in the New York weather.

Evening Sun Football Contest comes to a close

Wednesday, November 16th, 2016
Cameron Turner

CHENANGO COUNTY – And so marks the completion of the 10 week contest that The Evening Sun offers each and every football season, for its avid readers, residents of Chenango County, and well over 500 contestants throughout the year.
Each week in the football contest 10 local individuals along with myself – our ‘experts’ – submit their choices on 20 football games ranging from the NFL, to the collegiate level all the way down to local high school games.
This year the employees at Snyder Communications and The Evening Sun would like to congratulate all 10 experts in their participation and cooperation throughout this past 10 week span. A special congratulations goes out to Todd Hall of Ye Olde Shanty, located at 44 South Canal Street in Oxford, as Todd was our 2016 champion of the experts. Todd finishes the 10 week span on a low note – only choosing eight out of 20 games correctly, however, the lead he had amassed allowed him to safely cruise to a three point win over second place Andy Lagoe of Gilligan’s, located at 64 North Main Street in Sherburne.
Marking the contest’s completion in week 10, there was a new winner of the 39 weekly contestants – other than the 11 experts. Thomas W. Fahy, of Norwich took home the final win of the 2016 season. Fahy, a regular contestant, earned the win on the final week with a weekly high of 15 games chosen correctly – effectively beating out even the experts – while also and more importantly edging out Polly Hopson of Norwich for the $25 weekly prize – Hopson guessed 14 games correctly.
The Evening Sun would like to thank all who help make this contest possible, all who advertise with us, and especially the Parker Walsh Team, Matthews Ford, Sherburne News, Gilligan’s, Greene Bowlodrome, Ye Olde Shanty, Nina’s, McCredy Motors, Inc., and The Stadium.
Expert standings after 10 weeks: 1) Todd Hall – 8-12 on the week – 136-64 (.680) on the year; 2) Andy Lagoe – 8-12 on the week – 133-67 (.665) on the year; 3) Kevin Walsh – 11-9 on the week – 132-68 (.660) on the year; 4) Sean Miller – 11-9 on the year – 130-70 (.650) on the year; 4) Gary Tackabury – 10-10 on the week – 130-70 (.650) on the year; 5) Cameron Turner – 13-7 on the week – 128-72 (.640) on the year; 6) Scott Seiler – 14-6 on the week – 125-75 (.625) on the year; Dave Shull – 11-9 on the week – 124-76 (.620) on the year; 8) James McDaniel – 13-7 on the week – 123-77 (.615) on the year; 9) Rebecca Walling – 12-8 on the week – 121-79 (.605) on the year; 10) Mike Grant – 7-13 on the week – 119-81 (.595) on the year.
Week 10 game results: 1. Georgia 2. Oklahoma 3. Ole Miss 4. West Virginia 5. Ohio State 6. Georgia Tech 7. Stanford 8. Miami 9. Notre Dame 10. UCLA 11. Chiefs 12. Broncos 13. Cowboys 14. Seahawks 15. Rams 16. Eagles 17. Texans 18. Buccaneers 19. Redskins 20. Dolphins.
Sports Editor’s Note: Due to slow delivery of on-time mail – on a semi-weekly basis – Fahy has been named the winner as of press time on Nov. 16. During week nine of the contest, Alan Ingerto was the winner of the 39 contestants, with his 17 games chosen correctly. Ingerto would win the fourway tie-breaker at 17, due to his closest score chosen in the Virginia vs. Wake Forest game for the tie-breaker game. Ingerto did have an on-time mailed in entry, however, his submission was delivered late.

Evening Sun’s Football Contest: Week seven and eight

Thursday, October 27th, 2016
Cameron Turner

With the change of season’s and the constant influx of local sporting events in Chenango County, my body finally gave in to the bombardment. This past weekend I got pretty rundown, so therefore this writeip is a little recap of last week’s Football Contest as well as this week’s.

Week 7: In week seven of The Evening Sun’s weekly contest, the winner was announced as Logan Smith of Norwich. Smith took the prize with his 15 correct games guess in a week where the majority of people managed around to guess only 12 or 13 games – 10 contestants and eight contestants respectively.

Smith guessed the winning number of 15 on the backs of three very pivitol games on the week – Greene over Harpursville-Afton, and Bainbridge-Guilford over Unatego-Franklin in the high school games, and in the college world Syracuse over Virginia Tech,

Greene upset then fifth in the state ranked Hapursville-Afton when they stripped the division title from the Hornets by shutting them out 23-0. Bainbridge-Guilford managed a huge upset as well on the week – which Smith predicted correctly – as they hosted then undefeated Unatego-Franklin, beating them 25-7. Syraucuse tacked on an underdog win over Virginia Tech by a score of 31-17 – marking only their third win of the season.

Therefore, of the 45 submissions on the week, Logan Smith landed the $25 winnings for week of many upsets.

Weekly game results: 1. Chenango Forks 2. Oxford 3. Greene 4. Holland-Patent 5. Bainbridge-Guilford 6. Walton 7. Alabama 8. North Carolina 9. Arkansas 10. Ohio State 11. Army 12. Syracuse 13. Stanford 14. Redskins 15. Patriots 16. Giants 17. Texans 18. Seahawks 19. Titans 20. Chiefs.

Week 8: In this most recent week’s competition – week 8 – another Norwich resident was the winner of the $25 prize.

Janice M. Coleman guessed the magic number when she predicted 15 total games correct for the week. For the second strait week 15 has been the winning number, as an abundance of upsets seems to happen more and more often as the season progess.

Notably for week 8 of The Evening Sun’s contest, this marked the first week with a reduced amount of high school games. The reason being that playoffs in the Section IV Class D schools had begun and therefore it is always uncertain if non-playoff teams will be afforded extra games.

However, with the only local game of the 20 contest games chosen being Norwich against Oneonta, an astounding number of contestents kept it local choosing Norwich for the win. Which in retrospect was a solid choice for the 43 contestants, as Norwich pulled off the comback win over Oneonta, winning by 35-34.

While the NFL world was a mess with upsets this past week – Eagles defeating the Vikings, Colts over the Titans, Chargers over the Falcons, just to name a few – what truly set Coleman ahead of the five individuals who guessed 14 games correct was her choice of North Texas defeating Army West Point.

As we move into the last few weeks of the weekly contest, I encourage all the readers of The Evening Sun to submit a contest form – it is free of charge and there is a weekly winner regardless.

Sports Editor’s Note: The game between the Seahawks and the Cardinals of the NFL, which ended in a 6-6 tie, resulted in every individual receiving a correct choice for the 13th place slot on the form.

Weekly game results: 1. Norwich 2. North Texas 3. Louisville 4. Syracuse 5. Auburn 6. Wisconsin 7. Alabama 8. Utah 9. Penn State 10. Washington State 11. LSU 12. Colts 13. Seahawks vs. Cardinals 6-6 tie 14. Patriots 15. Lions 16. Eagles 17. Giants 18. Jets 19. Dolphins 20. Chargers.

Football Contest: week six

Friday, October 14th, 2016
Cameron Turner

And with this week completed, we have another winner of The Evening Sun’s weekly Football Contest. This week’s winner is David L. Wentworth of South Otselic who won the three-way tie earning the top spot and $25 weekly winnings. Wentworth moved above the other 42 contestants for the week to claim the win.

Wentworth and the two individuals who matched his score for the tie, Alan Ingerto of Smyrna and Mike Eldred of Norwich, each guessing a total of 16 games correctly – earning the top spot, besting each of the ‘experts’ for the week as well.

The three-way tie was decided after Wentworth correctly chose the Bills to defeat the Rams in the NFL, while also choosing the closest total points to the actual score of the game. Wentworth guessed a 47 point game to which the actual game panned out to amount to 49 points. Wentworth ran away with his two point win in the overtime game, as Ingerto guessed the game correctly but only guessed a total of 41 points. Eldred finished in third as he chose the Rams to beat the Bills.

A college game which gave each of the three top contestants trouble this week was Penn State verses Maryland. Each – Wentworth, Ingerto, and Eldred – chose Maryland to win, which they did not in-fact.

On the NFL level each of the top three chose the Eagles and their rookie quaterback Carson Wentz to contnue their winning wasy, however, the unpredicatle Lions overthrow that notion with a win.

Impressively, all but one of the local games was chosen correctly by the top three contestants. The only missed local game was Harpursville-Afton at Chenango Valley, by Ingerto.

Harpursville- Afton did infact command that game remaining undefeated on the season, while also upping their New York State Ranking to fourth in Class D standings.

Leading the ‘experts’ on the week’s choices was Gary Tackabury of Matthews Ford, Sean Miller of the Greene Bowlodrome, and Todd Hall of Ye Olde Shanty. These three guessed 14 correct games to further their standings on the 10 week contest.

Through five weeks: Kevin Walsh leads the ‘experts’ with 77 correct, followed by Todd Hall with 72 correct, Sean Miller with 69 correct, Gary Tackabury with 68 correct, Andy Lagoe with 66 correct, Dave Shull with 65 correct, Cameron Turner with 64 correct, James McDaniel with 63 correct, Mike Grant with 62 correct, Scott Seiler with 61 correct, and Rebecca Walling with 57 correct.

Weekly game results: 1. Susquehanna Valley 2. Sidney 3. Greene 4. Canastota 5. Bainbridge-Guilford 6. Harpursville-Afton 7. Texas A&M 8. Alabama 9. Florida State 10. -postponed- 11. Washington 12. Oklahoma 13. Penn State 14. Cowboys 15. Packers 16. Titans 17. Raiders 18. Lions 19. Redskins 20. Colts.

Sports Editor’s Note: Due to Hurricane Matthew, the game between LSU and Florida was postponed and therefore everyone received a free correct game at that spot for this week. Notably, this previous week marks the last week that local football will be heavily included due to their seasons wrapping up.

Evening Sun Football Contest: week five

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016
Cameron Turner

With another weekend of football completed, comes another weekly winner of The Evening Sun’s Football contest.

After careful calculations of 43 entrees, Jean Tyler of New Berlin was named this week’s weekly winner of the $25 prize. Tyler was ultimately named the winner after an 11-way tie fell in her favor – with 14 correct games chosen being this week’s magic number.

Tyler edged out three individuals this week for the one-point win in the tie-breaker – Boston would win the game against Buffalo 35-3, making the total points scored 38 – to which Tyler guessed just three-points off the total score with 41-points guessed. Tyler was trailed by: Yvonne Steward, Kyle Berdua, and Betty Ann Conant – each had guessed 14 correct games and managed a four point guess off the correct 38, at 42-points, 34-points, and 34-points guessed.

One local game which gave many contestants trouble in week five was the match-up between Norwich and Chenango Valley. Coming into the game, Norwich was thought to be heavily favored, based off overall records, as CV held a 1-3 record to Norwich’s 3-1. However, what many did not know was the 1-3 CV Warriors had taken two losses at the hands of powerhouse teams such as Elmira-Notre Dame and Corning.

On the college level Florida State was upset in a big way when North Carolina managed to break FSU’s 22 game home win streak, despite a 21-point fourth quarter push by FSU.

With the Patriots losing in the NFL, being shutout for the first time ever at Gillette Stadium, the Buffalo Bills 16-0 win on Sunday sent many contestants another missed opportunity.

Leading the ‘experts’ on the week’s choices is Sean Miller of the Greene Bowlodrome who managed to lead all participants with 15 correct guesses. Leading overall for the ‘experts’ is still Kevin Walsh of the Parker Walsh Team with 63 correct guesses to just 17 misses, followed by Todd Hall of Ye Olde Shanty with 57 correct to 23 wrong.

Weekly game results: 1. Chenango Valley 2. Harpursville-Afton 3. General Brown 4. Greene 5. Walton 6. Newark Valley 7. Clemson 8. Air Force 9. Tennessee 10. Washington 11. Ohio State 12. Notre Dame 13. Oklahoma State 14. North Carolina 15. Saints 16. Vikings 17. Bills 18. Seahawks 19. Raiders 20. Steelers.

Sports Editor’s Note: A mistake was made in the Tuesday, Oct. 4, print edition of The Evening Sun. Sylvia Witchella was named the winner of the football contest, however, after a closer look Jean Tyler was the correct winner. Witchella was a part of the 11-way tie but failed to win the tie-breaker as she guessed 31-points, making her guess seven away from the correct 38-points.

Evening Sun Football Contest: week four

Monday, October 3rd, 2016
Cameron Turner

This past week’s Evening Sun football contest featured many more participants than previous week’s – with a total of 54 entries submitted.

Of the 54 entries, three lucky individuals managed to guess correctly 18 of the 20 games. The three-way tie came down to Daniel Eichler of Norwich, Janice Coleman of Norwich, and Sheldon Schuman of Earlville.

With the $25 weekly prize up for grabs, it was Eichler who won the prize due to his closest total points in the tie breaker game – Wisconsin at Michigan State, which ended with a Wisconsin loss at 30-6.

Closest to the 36 points scored in that game was Eichler with his 33-points guess, compared to Coleman with 41, and Schuman with 43.

The trend in games missed in week four – which saw an average score of 13 – was one local and one NFL game. The loss that Greene high school suffered to Owego, at 20-14, threw many people off as the Trojans were previously undefeated entering that game. The Vikings in the NFL impressed everyone, with another upset win, this time over the Panthers who were playing at home. These two games were a trend throughout most submissions, while each of the three who guessed 18 correct, missed these two games.

Leading the ‘experts’ after the week of games is Kevin Walsh who has an impressive 49-11 record in the contest. Following Walsh is Todd Hall with a 46-14 record, and in third is Dave Shull with 43-17 overall.

Check out Tuesday’s edition of The Evening Sun for how this most recent week’s results pan out for the ‘experts’, and so you can grab another entry form for this coming week of games, good luck!

Week four results:

1. Norwich 2. Oxford 3. Owego 4. Sherburne-Earlville 5. Deposit-Hancock 6. Unatego-Franklin 7. Harpursville-Afton 8. Ole Miss 9. Michigan 10. Tennessee 11. Baylor 12. Stanford 13. Texas A&M 14. Washington 15. Raiders 16. Ravens 17. Broncos 18. Colts 19. Chiefs 20. Vikings

Evening Sun Football Contest: week three

Friday, September 23rd, 2016
Cameron Turner

This marks the second week of The Evening Sun’s Football Contest, and what will mark my first week doing a brief recap of the week and what is to come.

If you haven’t checked out the The Football Contest, I encourage you to do so, as it is a fun way to get involved, stay up to-date on football games, and while you’re at it you get caught up on all your local news provided in The Evening Sun. Each week, I provide 20 picks ranging from high school varsity, college and even NFL. Choosing these picks has been something I look forward to as it is interesting to me to choose the most anticipated games, while also mixing in some good match-ups that not many people will have known about. This provides each contestant a fair chance as, they are required to submit their choices of the 20 games, free of charge and before 5 p.m. each Friday afternoon.

Following the weekend onslaught of football, Friday – high school, Saturday – collegiate, and Sunday – NFL, I tally up the the correct and wrong answers to find the winner. If there is a tie it goes down to the tie-breaker selection which you provide a total number and points for. The winner with the correct tie-breaker and closest number of points is deemed the winner.

Each week one contestant is rewarded for their football knowledge or lucky guessing with a $25 check from The Evening Sun. If however, a contestant guesses all 20 games correctly they are eligible for $100 that week. Check out any Evening Sun edition on a Tuesday for the full rundown of scores and picks for that week, as well a full writeup on the rules.

As for this week, out of the 38 total entries it was Sylvia Figary of Norwich who would earn the $25 weekly prize. Figary wouldn’t do so very easily however, as she would need to go down to the tie-breaker to decide the winner of the six-way tie at 15 correct games.

Figary would choose a final score in the tie breaker of 30-27 in favor of Ohio State over Oklahoma, giving her a total of 57-points in that game.

Her one point contest win would be over second place, Jeff Gezibowski of Norwich. Gezibowski would also guess 15 correct games, but would falter in the tie-breaker guessing a final score of 35-21, giving him a total of 56-points.

Needless to say the Ohio State vs. Oklahoma State game would see a final score of 45-24, making Figary’s 57-points the closest to the official grand total of 69-points scored in that game.

For anyone wondering the final outcome of scores for the rest of the contestant: six people would tie with 15 correct games, five people would tie at 14 correct games, eight people would tie with 12 correct games, four people would have 11 correct games, four people would have 10 correct games, three people would only choose nine correct, and one unlucky person would only select eight correct games.

This gave the week a median score of 12, which surprisingly for myself was one more than I guessed correctly.

While tallying up the scores I noticed some trends of games that many people missed, including myself.

To begin the Iowa against North Dakota State game would see North Dakota kick a field goal to take the lead as time expired for the 23-21 win. This was somewhat of a surprise to the contestants, as well as myself, as only four people chose North Dakota State over Iowa.

Another big surprise was the Michigan State and Notre Dame game. This would end in a 36-28 Michigan State win. This pick surprisingly wouldn’t be chosen by any of the people in the six-way tie. I would also miss the correct choice, choosing Notre Dame, as only seven contestants would pick Michigan State for the win.

In the NFL the Vikings vs. the Packers game gave people a lot of trouble. The injury riddled Vikings, despite losing Adrian Peterson, would pull off the win over the Packers. Only eight people in the contest would choose the Vikings over the Packers.

Leading the way this week for the ‘experts’ was Kevin Walsh of Parker Walsh Team, who had an impressive 17 correct games. Walsh would however miss each of the choices mentioned above, as those marked his only three misses this week.

After Walsh’s 17 correct this week, he has jumped up in the standings after two weeks, for a two-way tie in first at 31 correct games to nine misses.

Make sure to grab next Tuesday’s edition of The Evening Sun, Sept. 27, for results and the next 20 picks for week three of The Football Contest.

Good luck football fans.

Oh, Colin Kaepernick

Thursday, September 1st, 2016
Cameron Turner

Honestly I don’t even know where to start with my thoughts on Kaepernick. This is not a column to bash him or what he stands for by any means, but simply to call into question his morality when he is faced with adversity in his life, and his choice of timing in his protest of sitting during the playing of the national anthem.
I believe in The United States that freedom of speech is a right that all citizens should enjoy to the fullest. Simply put, the message Kaepernick has portrayed in the national media, and to the world is a relatively good message. We need change, and we need it now.
The war on terror is a sham, minorities are oppressed in today’s society, and most importantly our troops should always be praised for the sacrifices they have and are currently making, whether the war is believed to be just or not. And truly I believe that Colin Kaepernick can speak his mind however he sees fit, that right is his, due to the freedoms he has as a United States citizen.
However, when a former star and currently struggling athlete is known to be generally somewhat self-centered in their approach to life and the game of football, it calls into question the way Kaepernick proceeded to almost out of the blue care about the causes and struggles that do plague our once great country.
Colin Kaepernick was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to Heidi Russo, a 19-year-old single white woman. Kaepernick’s biological father was not present in his life from day one, therefore his biological mother put him up for adoption to which his adopted parents took over – Rick and Teresa Kaepernick.
Under their guidance as parents, Colin took off to begin what seemed to be a promising career in the sport of football. Kaepernick even was noted to write a letter to himself at a young age, where he predicted he would be a starting NFL quarterback for either the Packers or 49ers.
After a hugely successful four years attending college at Nevada, Colin was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the second round of the 2011 draft.
His career with the 49ers pointed toward even more success than he had already achieved at the college level. As just in his second year in the NFL, he took over the reigns for an injured Alex Smith in week 10, and became the starting quarterback for the 49ers, completing his childhood prediction.
That very same year, he finished the season with 1,814 passing yards, 10 passing TDs, 3 INT, 415 rushing yards, and 5 rushing TDs, en route to a Superbowl appearance, where he ultimately fell short to the Superbowl champion Ravens, losing 34-31.
Kaepernick continued his successes in 2013, playing his first full season in the NFL and posting a stat line of 3,197 passing yards, 21 passing TDs, 8 INT, 524 rushing yards, and 4 rushing TDs. The 49ers would lose in the NFC championship game to the Seahawks on an interception thrown by Kaepernick.
After the 2013 season it all went downhill for the 49ers and their young budding star of a quarterback. On June 4, 2014, Kaepernick signed a six year contact with the 49ers, worth up to $126 million, with $54 million in potential guarantees, and $13 million fully guaranteed. This contract has Kaepernick signed through 2020 season.
The 49ers failed to make playoffs after being early season favorites in 2014, and head coach and big Kaepernick supporter Jim Harbaugh, would elect to leave the 49ers to return to coaching at the college level once again.
Kaepernick would post a 2014 stat line of: 16 games played, 3,369 passing yards, 19 passing TDs, 10 INT, 639 rushing yards, and 1 rushing TD – missing the playoffs for an underwhelming 8-8 regular season record. This would be the last year Kaepernick would see any true successes at the quarterback position.
This past season, 2015, under the tutelage of first time head coach Jim Tomsula, Kaepernick seemed to be in a make or break year for his NFL career. In week 8 of the regular season, Kaepernick was benched in favor of Blaine Gabbert (10th overall pick of the 2011 draft and still currently the 49ers starting quarterback). The 49ers finished the season with a 5-11 regular season record, missing the playoffs for the second year in a row. Some speculated that the new offensive system was not a good fit for Kaepernick, as he struggled mightily.
Kaepernick would post a stat line last year of: 1,615 passing yards, 6 passing TDs, 5 INTs, 256 rushing yards, and only one rushing TD within his span of starts that season.
Fast forward to pre-season of the 2016 NFL season, currently under the six year contact that Kaepernick is signed to, he is scheduled to make roughly $19 million when all is said and done. This astronomical number of a cap hit has had insiders speculating for months over whether or not the 49ers would trade, or possibly cut Kaepernick before the start of the new season. And to make matters worse all reports have indicated that he would serve once again as a backup quarterback to Blaine Gabbert in 2016, due to dimishing physical ability.
If somehow you have escaped the onslaught of the Colin Kaepernick controversy this past week, it should be cleared up that Colin Kaepernick was noticed to be actively protesting the playing of the national anthem at each of the 49ers pre-season games thus far, as he has elected to sit during that time.
On August 26, following the pre-season game that day, Kaepernick was quoted explaining his actions, saying, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
Following the attention that Kaepernick’s actions and words have garnered, the 49ers did released a statement saying, “The national anthem is and always will be a special part of the pre-game ceremony. It is an opportunity to honor our country and reflect on the great liberties we are afforded as its citizens. In respecting such American principles as freedom of religion and freedom of expression, we recognize the right of an individual to choose and participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem.”
While peaceful protesting has done wonders for The United States, helping to slowly but surely chip away racial and sexual prejudices, as well as affording citizens many other rights, one can not help but wonder why Kaepernick, who has never been a huge voice in the activism world – instead opting for magazine shoots and headphone deals – chooses the 2016 pre-season as his platform to reach what he claims is a racially prejudice America.
One would wonder why a once thought to be up-and-coming star – who unseated a former first overall draft choice from their starting job (Alex Smith) – and was a play away from his second Superbowl appearance in that many years, would not simply put his nose to the grindstone and attempt to win his starting job back.
Would it not be more impactful if a starting quarterback making roughly $19 million dollars a year for an NFL team, spoke out against police brutality and the oppression of minorities? It would seem to be much harder to cut a star quarterback saying and doing these things, rather than a physically struggling, former star quarterback, making $19 million a year, who is just magically voicing his opinion the week before final roster cuts.
It would seem to many, that this is a desperation move by Kaepernick – possibly a smart one – as the deadline to have the final NFL 53-man roster looms this coming Saturday, September 3, at 4 p.m. Eastern Time.
The 49ers are now placed in a very tight situation, as Kaepernick assumedly planned. Under a once again new regime at head coach, Kaepernick has been reportedly struggling in the new offense of head coach Chip Kelly. Notably Kelly moved on from The Eagles after his short stay as their head coach. During that time, many NFL players spoke out, claiming Kelly was a racist coach. The Eagles have obviously since moved on, after Kelly posted regular season records of 10-6, 10-6, and 6-9. Do the allegations of Chip Kelly being a racist coach have anything to do with Kaepernick speaking out? I think not.
Not long ago, the problem of having a roster spot open for a player garnering as much money as Kaepernick, to simply sit bench, was a problem of waiting to see if Kaepernick would eventually catch on to the a new offensive system.
However, new systems on the football field have not been Kaepernick’s strong-point as he has not posted a ‘succesful’ campaign since the departure of Jim Harbaugh.
Kaepernick’s national anthem protest places the organization as a whole in a squeeze, as they must now balance their salary cap, while also taking into account the performance of a player who brings much controversy and off-field noise to a struggling organization.
Generally speaking, unless you are a superstar athlete, off field antics and political protests are put to bed relatively quickly in the sporting world. As they rightfully should be, it is a business after all, and there is always someone who can replace you.
There is an underlying truth that runs through most sporting organizations in the world. Front office management and coaching staffs do everything in their power to avoid drama on and off the field, however, as I said there are exceptions to this rule as players who consistently perform at a high rate are tolerated. Kaepernick is not currently one of those exceptional players, he is a fading backup quarterback in a league that needs production at his position in order to be successful.
So, while I highly respect Kaepernick for his words and his want to change a truly broken United States. I find it hard to believe he did not simply take advantage of the situation he was in, seeing as come this Saturday he may not have that stage to project his voice anymore, if roster cuts or a trade does in fact happen.

Lead by example

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016
Cameron Turner

Being able to say I am just two days short of having been employed for the past 10 months at The Evening Sun, is something that came in the blink of an eye. The adult world is still something of a marvel to myself, as I am slowly picking up on the ins and outs and how to truly ‘adult’ correctly. I now have a new appreciation for my parents, my teachers and my coaches for putting up with my three younger brothers and I, to say the least.

However, one thing I have really be focusing on, is forcing myself to step back and slow down, to really take in and observe what I am doing each day.

As my days generally revolve around what high school games I will be going to and which articles I have to write about for the next days paper, I find myself surrounded by student athletes and coaches almost everyday. Therefore, I have gotten to know many coaches and athletes thus far, and have been able to observe many different ways that coaches attempt to reach these young athletes.

The athletes have been amazing to observe, when I can still remember what was running through my head what feels like ages ago, but in reality was just a short years ago. As I knew back then and as I see evident even more so now, each person is different in their approach to their respective sport, their preparation, attitude, and it really is quite interesting to observe all these students from all across Chenango County perform, and at quite a high level I might add.

But the coaches and their many different styles has been what truly has caught my attention, when I find the time to focus on what I am constantly and endlessly writing about. Without singling anyone out, in a positive or negative light, I admire and enjoy working with all of the various coaches in Chenango County.

When I think back to my many coaches I had in various sports growing up, I most fondly remember the ones who helped inspire and shape me into the ‘adult’ I am today. But, nevertheless, I also remember the few coaches who seemed to be just placeholders and the even a couple of coaches who were utterly negative and not inspiring in the least.

Coaches essentially are an extension of teachers in our society, helping to mold and shape the young minds of our youth. I know personally I can think of many influential coaches in my life, and even today I maintain a friendship with many of them. However, these negative coaches still hold a place in ones mind as well, something to strive not to become.

As I deal with all of the varsity level coaches in Chenango County, I have come to see a small glimpse of each of their styles. So when I happen to run into coaches that openly seem to be coaching not for the betterment of our youth and the sport, but instead for their own praise and pride, it bothers me to a degree. To hear these coaches complain that their team ‘doesn’t play for them,’ or ‘they aren’t winning,’ is perplexing to me, as even within a losing season, I always understood a huge part coaching was to manage their team and help inspire a spark to want to win.

A great coach and man taught me that sports are essentially a prelude to life – you have to work as a team, you have to excel individually, you have to face constant adversity, and when you fail you have to learn from it and get back up– this coach remains a part of my life today, and people like this belong in the coaching realm, and can truly help mold our youth into positive human beings.

When an individual is coaching for simply a paycheck or to get their name on a plaque, I see it as a drain on our local sports, which already are fighting an uphill battle with dwindling enrollment in some sports and simply the fact that Chenango County does not have the large class A schools and their budgets that accompany to further their success. Despite all this, I see much promise for the future of Chenango County high school sports if pushed in the right direction.

These young student athletes will one day be ‘adults’, entering into everyday life. For some of these kids, school and sports is all they may have if their parents are absent or otherwise not raising them. Therefore, it is important to be there and set a strong example for them, so one day they can look back on their coaches with thanks for the lessons taught, rather than have another thing –their coaches – that my millennial generation can blame their shortcomings on.

That being said, these negative coaches are few and far between, and usually work their way out of the coaching staff on their own accord.

Now as The full-time Sports Editor at The Evening Sun, and with nearly two full varsity seasons under my belt, it has been a pleasure to work with each and every team thus far, and I look forward to finding out what future seasons have to bring.

Good luck to the many teams and athletes of Chenango County who are or will be heading into post-season play this week or in the coming week, and lets hope each team can get that win and advance to the next round. And to those athletes and coaches that have concluded their seasons or will be shortly, it was a hectic spring 2016 season, but a very engaging and fun time.