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Fantasy football is a great competition between ultimate football teams that clash in a fun game against friend or foe.

People should play fantasy football because it is an extremely fun game that can be played with friends or foes. It is a test of ability to make the best team possible and try to win the league. Fantasy football is great way to kill time when waiting in a doctor’s office.

Fantasy football involves imaginary football teams picked by people that face off to see who has the best team in a league. People can play by first drafting a team, then setting their best line-up from week to week. Fantasy football leagues can be done on the internet or on paper, it’s all preference. If too many players are on a bye week at the same time, a few of them will need to be dropped to create space to pick-up other players.

In the first round of the draft, people should always draft a high scoring running back like Eddie Lacy, Adrian Peterson, or Jamal Charles. During the second round, there is a choice: either pick-up another high scoring running back or a high scoring wide receiver like Jordy Nelson, Odell Beckham, or Calvin Johnson. In round three if there are two running backs on the team being drafted, this is the round to prioritize picking a wide receiver before all of the high scoring wide receivers are taken. Round four would be the perfect round to pick up a tight end. If Rob Gronkowski and/or Jimmy Graham are still not picked by this round pick them.

Round five is by far one of the trickiest rounds of the whole draft because of the amount of choices one has. Round five is generally where a quarterback like Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, or Peyton Manning is picked. Almost every round after round five is just preference on who to pick for one’s team. If Stephen Gotskowski has still not been picked by the eighth, he should be a priority pick. Generally with any other kickers, they should be picked up in a later round such as the tenth round. The round where a defense is picked should be fairly late. A defense round should be the round after a kicker.


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Schoolbus (Pixabay)

Of course, fútbol (soccer) and football are very different sports, but these differences go further than the field. At Statesboro High School, the trips to away games are practically opposites of each other.

Coach Pennington of the football team confirmed this. “It is expected that there will be no talking on the bus,” he said. “But we do allow players to listen to their music.”

Coach Thomas of the girls’ soccer team, however, said the exact opposite about their bus ride. “There is a lot of talking and laughter,” he explained.

Another strict rule on the football bus is the seating chart: each player and each coach has an assigned seat. With the soccer team, however, the only seating arrangement is the separation of players and coaches. This allows the coaches to talk to each other and individual players about game plans, which rarely ever happens on the football bus because the coaches hardly ever discuss plans among themselves and the athletes.

The biggest difference is not on the bus, but rather the actual travel itself. The football team, due to the fact that there are four buses, has a police escort to their away games, while the soccer team does not.

Though these two bus procedures aren’t similar at all, the behavioral outcome is always the same.

“There is never a problem,” both coaches agree.


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Statesboro High School Football faces off against Effingham High School for the last game of the season. (SHS Criterion Photo/Tess Newton)

The boys in blue took their last stance for the 2014 season facing the Effingham County Rebels at Womack Field on November 7.

Senior Night, an annual sports tradition, took place before kick-off. Parents escorted all senior band members, football players and cheerleaders onto the field for recognition. Dr. LeCain and Mr. Prosser shake each senior’s hand to commemorate the individual effort displayed while at Statesboro High.

The Blue Devils took the first touchdown, but ultimately fell behind one solitary point with a final score of 14-13 (Effingham). Junior running back, Mahlon Williams, has been a driving factor on the team since his freshman year. Throughout this difficult season, he has continually encouraged the team to never stop trying – even down to the last seconds.

“We played our hearts out. That’s all anyone could ask for,” Williams said.

Senior tight end, Landon Haralson, suffered a high ankle sprain earlier this semester but has been cheering his team on from the bleachers wholeheartedly.

“You know, it really killed me since I grew up playing on Friday nights. Missing four games my senior year was almost devastating, but I had to stay strong for my team,” Haralson said.

On the other hand, the student section spirit reached new heights for the last game. With a final theme of “blue out” the students represented their school pride in an over-the-top flamboyant fashion. Baby powder, confetti guns and flour were thrown into the air toward the beginning of the game to saturate the students with persistence to cheer through the fourth quarter.

“The student section was even crazier than normal, but the game was a real heartbreaker. I really thought in the first half we might have pulled that one off,” senior Hannah Sikes said.

With football season ending here at Statesboro High, the students have to say goodbye to Friday night tailgates, war paint, theme costumes and football dinners.

Senior Allie NeSmith delivers a heartfelt addition to this bittersweet football season. “Being a part of SHS student section will forever be my fondest memory of high school. It’s my favorite time of year because we all come together as one to support our boys in blue. Although this season wasn’t the best, I still believe it is important to be supportive and encouraging of the players. November 7, 2014, was the date of my very last football game as a Blue Devil. Since it was our last game, some of us made a decision to make it our biggest night in the student section. Flour, baby powder, confetti, cowbells and air horns… all of the things used to make it the best game yet. Fourth quarter rolled around and even though we had a chance to come back for the win, it was still upsetting knowing it would be our last time sitting in the student section. In the past four years of being in the student section, I’ve made some great friends and even greater memories. I encourage you, if you’re not on the football team or part of the cheerleading team, become part of the student section and do it big! It’s something fun to look forward to and where you’ll meet some your best friends. Oh, and don’t forget, HAIL DEVILS!”

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Image via and the North Cascade Youth Football League

The decision to play sports may seem insignificant to some, but to professional athletes like Michael Oher, DeAngelo Tyson, Adrian Peterson, and Ray Rice the choice was life-changing.

Perhaps one of the most well known stories about sports having a great impact on a person’s life is that of Michael Oher. Throughout his childhood he was in and out of foster homes and frequently homeless, until the Tuohy family took him in. His junior year of high school Oher excelled on the football field and showed great potential. During his senior year, he accepted a scholarship to play at the University of Mississippi. After college Oher went on to play professionally and was the 23rd-overall-pick by the Baltimore Ravens in the 2009 NFL Draft. “I just love football.” says Oher to reporter Ryan Mink “Football is what got me here. That’s the reason I’m here. Everything else is second.”

One of Statesboro’s own has a story similar to that of Michael Oher’s. DeAngelo Tyson grew up with no father figure and an abusive mother. At the age of ten Tyson was placed into the care of the Joseph’s Home for Boys. Kim Lamb was Tyson’s teacher in the seventh grade; she was aware of his home life situation and made it her mission to help. In the eighth grade he played football and his potential was noticed by, high school football coach, Steve Pennington, who encouraged Tyson to play for Statesboro High School. At the end of his high school career, he accepted a scholarship to play for the University of Georgia. In 2012 the Baltimore Raven chose Tyson for their 236th-overall-pick in the draft. He has since started the Tyson Foundation to help support young athletes and single mothers.

The stories of Michael Oher and DeAngelo Tyson are a stark contrast to those of Adrian Peterson and Ray Rice. Adrian Peterson was the 7-overall pick by the Minnesota Vikings in the 2007 Draft. Peterson is facing child-abuse charges after “disciplining” his son with a switch. TMZ has released photos of the injuries sustained by the child. After charges were filed, Peterson turned himself into the East Texas authorities, and he is due in court October 8. The Minnesota Vikings have released Peterson.

Fellow NFL player Ray Rice is also facing criminal charges after a physical altercation with his then fiance. Rice played for the Baltimore Ravens, but was released following the third degree aggravated assault charges he was indicted for. On February 15, 2014, Rice and his fiance fought in an elevator in the Revel Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey. After the surveillance footage of the altercation was released, the NFL suspended Rice indefinitely.

Athletes, no matter what the level of play, are under a constant watchful eye. The choice to participate in sports does not set them above the law but, instead, gives them to opportunity to either let it have a positive or negative impact on their lives and the lives of others.



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   Haley Padgett    For many years, Statesboro High students have participated in the excitement of dressing up for Friday night football games according...