The Year In Sports

This school year saw some amazing and unbelievable things happen in the sports world. Curses were broken, redemption and dreams were realized, and we lost some sports icons who did great things for the game.

The Chicago Cubs Break A 108 Year Curse

An 108 year curse was lifted in October when the Chicago Cubs finally won the World Series. The Cubs won the 2016 World Series with the youngest roster in baseball, but it included some veterans such as David Ross and John Lester. Kyle Schwarber lead the team at the plate for this seven game series, batting .412 with a slugging percentage of .500. This series went to a winner-takes-all game seven, and game seven went into extra innings. Kyle Schwarber and Dexter Fowler both went 3-5 in the game, and the Cubs won 8-7. This baseball team is young and loves the game, and they are going to be good for a very long time.

The Chicago Cubs celebrate winning the 2016 World Series

The New England Patriots Complete Greatest Comeback In Super Bowl History

The Patriots were on top of the football world for the fifth time with an epic comeback to crush the Falcons’ dreams. The Patriots took home the 2017 Lombardi trophy with a 34-28 win in overtime. The Falcons were up 28-3 with 8:31 left in the third quarter after starting out the game hot with a dominant performance in the first half. Falcons players and fans could feel the trophy in their hands, but Tom Brady had other ideas. The Patriots rattled off 25 straight points in the third and fourth quarters, and  forced overtime with a ten play, 2:33 drive, capped off by a James White rushing touchdown. Then the Patriots won the coin toss in overtime and marched 75 yards in 3:58 to win the Super Bowl. Tom Brady won Super Bowl MVP by throwing for 466 yards and two touchdowns.

The New England Patriots completed the biggest Super Bowl comeback in history

Clemson Gets Revenge From The 2016 Heartbreak

Another title drought was broken in the past year with Clemson winning its first National Championship in 35 years. Clemson came into the season seeking revenge on Alabama from last season’s heartbreak in the championship. They got their wish when Deshaun Watson rolled to the right and made the easiest throw of the night with a 2-yard touchdown pass to Hunter Renfrow with one second remaining. Alabama had control of the game until Clemson came storming back in the fourth quarter with three touchdowns. Clemson got their first lead of the game with 4:38 left to play in the fourth quarter, which was short lived when Jalen Hurts weaved through defenders and scored with 2:08 to play. Deshaun Watson walked onto the field knowing this was likely his final drive as a Clemson Tiger, and he came to win. He drove down the field and ended the National Championship drought. Deshaun Watson and Ben Boulware took home CFP MVP honors.

The College Football Playoff National Championship Trophy now resides in Death Valley, SC

UNC Wins Championship After The 2016 Heartbreaker

The North Carolina  Tarheels were shocked in the 2016 NCAA title game when they lost in the final seconds to Villanova. They wanted redemption for their senior class in 2017 when they made the Final Four. Led by All-American Justin Jackson, the Tar Heels got through the NCAA tournament with almost no issues, and got to the Final Four for the second consecutive year. Joel Berry II took the Final Four by storm because he was on the floor when Chris Jenkins hit the game winning shot in 2016. UNC barely beat Oregon in their first game in the Final Four, while Gonzaga beat South Carolina by four points. The Tar Heels captured their sixth National Title in school history and third under Roy Williams. Joel Berry II was named Final Four MVP.

Crowds on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill celebrate UNC basketball’s sisxth national championship

UNC Takes Home The ACC Lacrosse Championship

UNC also grabbed another title this school year, but it was an ACC title, not a National Championship. The men’s lacrosse team went into the ACC tournament below .500, and they needed to win the whole thing to be eligible for the NCAA tournament. They had to face Syracuse in the first round, a team who they lost to in OT at home in the regular season. The Tar Heels won the postseason matchup 16-15, lead by Chris Cloutier’s 3 goals, including an insane, one handed, behind the back goal. They went on to face Notre Dame in the championship game. They won that game 14-10, led by Luke Goldstock’s 4 goal performance.

UNC lacrosse brings home another ACC title

Duke Becomes The First Team To Win Four Games In Four Days

Duke basketball had a rather disappointing season compared to their preseason projections, but a bright spot of the season was the ACC Tournament. Duke became the first team in ACC history to win four games in four days to become ACC Champions. Duke handled Clemson in a hard fought game and then squeaked out a win against Louisville. In the semifinals, Duke had to go through bitter rivals UNC, and in the first half, Duke looked fatigued, giving UNC the first half lead. Fueled by a big second half run, Duke moved on to the finals to take on Notre Dame. The finals featured two high powered offenses with neither team able to take control of the game. Each team had double digit leads but could not take advantage, and a big three at the end of the game from Matt Jones all but sealed the championship for Duke. Luke Kennard won tournament MVP.

Mike Krzyzewski led Duke to four straight wins to capture the ACC tournament title

Russell Westbrook Has Historic Season By Filling Up The Stat Sheet

Russell Westbrook broke many records this past season while having to take on a major leadership role because of Kevin Durant’s departure in free agency. With Durant’s decision came more responsibility for Westbrook, and the rest of the Oklahoma City team needed to step up. Westbrook came to prove everyone wrong about him, and he did by breaking Oscar Robertson’s triple-double record in a game against the Phoenix Suns. He is also the last player since Robertson to average a triple-double in a season with a final stat line of 31.6 Points, 10.4 Assists, and 10.7 Rebounds per game.

Russell Westbrook averaged a triple-double this season

Lonzo Ball Could Be Hurt By His Fatherś Actions

Lavar Ball is the best dad in sports. Everyone will love you when you go on ESPN and rant about your kid being the best ever. He is the father of former UCLA basketball player Lonzo Ball, a projected top two pick in the upcoming NBA draft. He claims his son is the best basketball player in the NBA. Keep in mind, Lonzo is not even in the NBA yet. Then Lavar came out with what could be considered the worst move a person can make in sports: he came out with a brand called the “Big Baller Brand,” which will sell his son’s shoes for $495 per pair. Despite some commentators’ remarks, Lonzo’s draft stock will likely get hurt because of his dad’s actions.

Lonzo Ball is a projected top 2 pick in the NBA Draft

 

The Detroit Red Wings Miss The Playoffs For The First Time In 25 Years

The Detroit Red Wings are considered one of the greatest franchises in the history of sports. They had one of the longest running streaks in sports until it was broken this year. They have not missed the playoffs in 25 years until they were officially knocked out of playoff contention by the Carolina Hurricanes. This was their last year in the famous Joe Louis Arena before they move into Little Caesar’s Arena next year. They sent the Joe out with a bang by going 33-36-13.

The storied franchise will miss its first NHL playoffs in nearly 3 decades

Many New Stadiums Will Be Opened In The Next Couple Of Years 

Many new stadiums are opening this year, and many other teams are starting to break ground on new stadiums. The Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta Braves, and Detroit Red Wings will all be moving into their stadiums for their upcoming seasons. The Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Rams and Chargers plan to move into their new stadiums in 2019, and the Buies Creek Astros plan to have their new stadium in Fayetteville opened for the 2019 season.

The Buies Creek Astros are the single A affiliate of the Houston Astros

Las Vegas Will Have Two Major Sports Teams Coming To Town

Las Vegas, Nevada, also known as Sin City, is not really known for its sports. When one thinks of Vegas, one thinks of casinos and gambling, but now Sin City has a couple of major professional sports teams to worry about. The NHL granted an expansion team to William P. Foley II, a West Point graduate who grew up for a brief time in Ottawa where he found a love for hockey. He decided to put his team in Las Vegas, and he named them the Vegas Golden Knights. They will play in the Western Conference starting in 2017. There will also be a football team moving to Vegas. The Oakland Raiders will be leaving the bay area for Sin City for the 2019 season.

The Las Vegas GOlden Knights will become the NHL’s latest expansion franchise

The Chargers Are Making The Move To Los Angeles

The San Diego Chargers are making the move to Los Angeles after 56 seasons in San Diego. The Chargers played in Los Angeles back in the 1960 season and moved to San Diego because they could not  draw a crowd in the same market as the Rams. San Diego fans are really disappointed and saddened by the decision of the owner to move the team back to Los Angeles. The Chargers will be sharing a stadium with the Los Angeles Rams when it is ready to open for the 2019 season.

The LA Chargers, formerly the san Diego Chargers, move south

Chelsea FC Take Home The Premier League Title

The Premier League had a big club come back to the top after a “Cinderella” took home the title last season. Chelsea won the title behind the leadership of first year manager Antonio Conte, a stout defense, a revitalized Eden Hazard and the PFA player of the year, N’golo Kante. Chelsea had a shocking 2016 season, and people were questioning how good they actually were coming into the season. This team came out of the gates running and never looked back on their way to their sixth Premier League title.  

Chelsea FC won the Premier League for the second time in 3 years

The MLS Is Starting To Expand With Many Cities Bidding For A  Team

Major League Soccer had two expansion teams join the league for the 2017 season. Atlanta United FC joined the Eastern Conference and Minnesota United FC joined the Western Conference. They are both currently in eighth place in their respective conferences and do not really have a chance of making the playoffs unless they make a great late season run.

Major League Soccer is looking to expand in the U.S.

The 2017 NFL Draft Featured Many Big Storylines

Every college football player has the hope of getting drafted and making it to the NFL. This year the draft took place on the famous Rocky steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The first overall pick belonged to the Cleveland Browns who selected Myles Garrett. However, the biggest story coming out of the draft was John Ross. He broke Chris Johnson’s 40 yard dash record at the combine by running a 4.22.

The Cleveland Browns used the first pick in the 2017 Draft on Myles Garrett

The Masters Features A First Time Winner

The best golfers in the world all come to Augusta, Georgia, every April to participate in the Masters tournament. The winner receives a green jacket from the previous year’s winner. The 2017 Masters Champion was Sergio Garcia. He was considered the best player on the PGA tour without a major until he won it this year.

Sergio Garcia won his first green jacket this year

Always Dreaming Wins The Kentucky Derby

This year’s Kentucky Derby was one of the most wide open fields in recent history coming into the race. The favorite to win was Always Dreaming at 9-2, and he did just that. The Jockey was John Velazquez, who also won the 2011 Derby with Animal Kingdom.

Always Dreaming won the 2017 Kentucky Derby

Cleveland High School Wins Conference In Many Sports

Cleveland High School athletics had a successful year in the Two Rivers 3A Conference. Football, Boys’ Soccer, Girls’ Indoor Track, Wrestling, Girls’ Basketball, Girls’ and Guys’ Spring Track, Tennis, Swimming, and Softball all won regular season conference championships.

The Cleveland Rams won more conference titles this year, carrying on lasting traditions
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