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Remembering Jim Brown: NFL Legend's Impact Beyond Sports, from Athletics to Activism

by Katina Maclin, age 17

Jim Brown, two-time NFL champion and four-time league MVP, recently passed away. Although he was well-known for his achievements in the NFL, his impact reached far beyond the world of sports.

Jim Brown was born in 1936 in St. Simons Island, Georgia. Growing up, he was an athletic and versatile young man. He attended the University of Syracuse in New York, where he was a star football and lacrosse athlete. He shined both on the field and in the classroom, as he was deemed an excellent student.

Drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the first round, Brown prospered in the NFL, quickly becoming a Star. He gained many awards and was named All-Pro eight times. He made himself a well-known name in pro football. [Read More]

Packers Legend LeRoy Butler Inducted in Hall of Fame

by Owen Ayite-Atayi, age 15

The Green Bay Packers are a National Football League (NFL) team in the National Football Conference (NFC). Wisconsin, home of the Packers, has had a great amount of talent come through the state throughout the years, with athletic players like LeRoy Butler.

In 1990, the Packers drafted a safety named LeRoy Butler who was born in Jacksonville, Florida on July 19, 1968. Butler would continue his football journey and attend Florida State University in 1986. In 1990, he went second overall in the NFL Draft, being drafted by the Packers.

Butler played 12 healthy seasons in the NFL, being selected by fans and coaches to play in the Pro Bowl four times. The Pro Bowl is an annual NFL All-Star game with the best players in the league competing against each other. Butler was voted All-Pro four times by sportswriters and analytics. With the help of Butler, the Green Bay Packers would win their third Super Bowl championship in 1997 against the New England Patriots by a final score of 35-21 in a thrilling game. [Read More]

Olympic Speedskater Returns to Milwaukee for Training Camp

by Jules Da Costa, age 14

Erin Jackson is a skater for the U.S. national team. Her feats are incredible and she continues to impress many more with her skills on the ice.

Jackson, a 30-year-old speedskater from Ocala, Florida, returns to Milwaukee, Wisconsin for the U.S. Championships. The U.S. team had previously gone to Milwaukee for a training camp in September 2022. Jackson has represented the U.S. on their national team in Olympic inline speedskating, roller derby, and long-track speedskating. Upon returning to Milwaukee, Jackson said she enjoyed being back, this time with a very different experience from the last due to the lack of COVID-19 restrictions.

During the Olympic trials, Jackson made a mistake that cost her a spot in the 2022 Winter Olympic Games. Thankfully, her friend Brittany Bowe gave up her spot so that Jackson could compete in the Olympics. This gave Jackson the opportunity to make Bowe proud by winning gold in the 2022 Beijing Olympic Games. However, this was not Jackson’s first time participating in the Olympic games. Two years after her graduation from the University of Florida Honors Program in 2015, she switched from inline speedskating to speedskating on ice. Shortly after this switch, she qualified for the 2018 Winter Olympics. [Read More]

The End of Brazil's Soccer "Golden Age"

by Moore Vang, age 14

Brazil’s national team has had many achievements, beginning with winning their first-ever World Cup in 1958. Illustrator John Mulliken from Sports Illustrated wrote about their win saying, “Brazil itself went wild.” Brazil may have looked impressive, but in some people's eyes that was not the case. The French leader by the name of Charles de Gaulle in 1963 stated, “Brazil, that is not a serious country.” During this time many people doubted Brazil, but Brazil was very ambitious about soccer.

The sport first came to Brazil in 1894. The game originally came from Britain but spread to people of the lower class. A breakthrough came in 1923, when a club founded by Portuguese bankers in 1898 allowed poor black players to join their club. They went on to win a city championship that same year.

From 1938 to the 1990’s, Brazil experienced a golden era of soccer. In that time, it strengthened Brazil’s national identity. It even hosted the 1950 World Cup at the Rio Stadium, which was the world’s largest at the time. Even with the team’s great soccer skills, the country was still criticized as an underdeveloped nation. The sport of soccer elevated Brazil to a high level in the second half of the 20th century. [Read More]

More than Just a Basketball Star, Bill Russell Helped Change America

by Makya Rodriguez, age 17

Bill Russell was a huge representation of the Black community, a good friend of Martin Luther King Jr., and a great leader in basketball. Russell was able to show respect for the sport in and out of the court. At a young age, he was able to outshine others in basketball.

Bill Russell was tall, fast, and smart. He played basketball in high school, and college and even led his team in the Olympics of 1956, right before he joined the NBA to play with the Boston Celtics. Bill Russell attended and played at the University of San Francisco during his time there. He didn't stand out at first until his senior year when scouts were looking to draft him. Before that, Bill Russell had one initial goal in mind: to play for the U.S. Olympics in basketball. Russell played in the summer of 1956 in Australia for the U.S team, going 8-0 winning the Gold Medal.

To many, Russel stood out mostly due to his unique playing style. Russell played a central position in the sport. He was not as big and strong as other centers, but his success came from his teamwork, rebounding, and other skills. He also learned to have a different defensive play style than other centers. Instead of focusing on defending the other team's centers, he would utilize his speed advantage and height to defend the other team's forwards and block their shots. [Read More]

WNBA Basketball Might be Coming to Milwaukee

by Owen Ayite-Atayi, age 15

LeRoy Butler is a former Green Bay Packers player and is very well known in Wisconsin. Butler played for the Packers for 12 years and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was a phenomenal player and helped the Packers win the Super Bowl in 1996.

After Butler finished his football career, he wanted to make a leading effort to try to establish a Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) team in Wisconsin. The WNBA currently has 12 teams and is looking to add on more as seasons continue. The league was established on April 14, 1996, by David Stern, the commissioner of the National Basketball Association (NBA). According to The Athletic, Milwaukee is one of many cities that is in consideration to add to the WNBA.

A group that is controlled by Butler is trying to raise 100 million to prove to the WNBA that Milwaukee is dedicated to starting a new and healthy WNBA franchise. [Read More]

Inside the NFL Turf Debate for Player Safety and Finances

By Jacob Dunn, age 14

The ongoing debate surrounding whether football players should compete on turf or real grass has sparked arguments from various perspectives, encompassing players' health and cost considerations.

In the NFL, only 14 fields boast natural grass, with 18 utilizing turf, and a single hybrid field, belonging to the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Players mostly prefer real grass over turf because many think their cleats perform better on natural grass. They say it does not put as much pressure on their legs and ankles. Due to this, and many other reasons, players strongly agree with replacing all turf fields with real grass.

Most data from recent years points toward slightly more injuries occurring on turf, but there is plenty of real grass as well, according to the NFL and NFL Players Association (NFLPA). Perhaps a greater factor of why the NFL leans towards having turf is the cost of maintenance. "However, moving all stadium fields to high-quality natural grass surfaces is the easiest decision the NFL can make," NFLPA executive director Lloyd Howell said in a statement. [Read More]

Team USA's Quest for Redemption: Building the 2024 Olympic Basketball Roster

by Owen Ayite-Atayi, 16

The unexpected loss of the USA men’s basketball team in the 2023 Federal International Basketball Association(FIBA) semifinals set the stage for building the 2024 USA Men’s Olympic Basketball Team.

The 2023 USA men’s basketball team had a devastating loss in the semifinals against Germany on Sept. 8, 2023. The 2023 USA team consisted of veteran NBA players such as Anthony Edwards, Jalen Brunson, Tyrese Haliburton, Austin Reaves, and Mikal Bridges. The final score for the semifinal game was 113-111. The loss would knock Team USA out of the FIBA playoffs and into the third-place consolation game. Unfortunately, Team USA fell short against Canada with a final score of 127-118.

Noah Lyles, an Olympic athlete, stirred up controversy when he said in a press conference, “The thing that hurts me the most is that I have to watch the NBA Finals and they have the world champion on their head. World champion of what? The United States?” NBA players flooded social media with confusion once they heard about his comments. After Lyles shared his opinion on the NBA finals, momentum began to build for the future 2024 Olympic roster. [Read More]

NBA's Stricter Player Participation Policy Spurs Concerns Among Teams

by Jules Da Costa, age 15

NBA teams are expressing their concerns about the new rules established by the NBA's board of governors, which pertain to the Player Participation Policy (PPP). This policy penalizes teams for resting star players during nationally televised games.

The previous Player Resting Policy was initially introduced in the 2017-18 season, preventing NBA teams from resting high-profile players during nationally televised games and imposing a minimum fine of $100,000 for violations. However, for the upcoming 2023-24 season, the NBA is taking a stricter stance with the introduction of a new policy called the Player Participation Policy. Under this policy, any violation will incur a first-offense fine of $100,000, a second-offense fine of $250,000, and an additional fine of $1 million for each subsequent violation.

Teams must ensure that no more than one-star player is unavailable for the same game, emphasizing that star players should be available for all games, particularly on national television and during in-season tournaments. Teams such as the Golden State Warriors must make sure Steph Curry or Chris Paul is available for each game, particularly on national television and during in-season tournaments. [Read More]

The Green Bay Packers, From Bankruptcy to Community-Owned NFL Legacy

by Kaleab Afeworki, age 11

You may have heard of the Green Bay Packers, but did you know that this successful NFL team once faced bankruptcy? It's true!

Back in the early days, Green Bay, the smallest city in Wisconsin to join the NFL, had a relatively small fan base and limited financial resources. This situation left the Packers in precarious financial shape during the 1920s. In 1935, they hit a critical point, ultimately going bankrupt. To navigate this financial crisis, they established a new company known as Green Bay Packers Inc. and raised $15,000 by selling stock shares of the team to the public.

The team's founding fathers, Ed "Curly" Lambeau, after whom the stadium was named, and George Calhoun, played pivotal roles in the Packers' history. The name "Packers" itself has an interesting historical connection. It was inspired by Lambeau's affiliation with the Indian Packing Corporation, a meatpacking company. This choice resonated with the working-class residents who made up the core of the Green Bay community during that era. [Read More]

Lionel Messi Leads Inter Miami to Historic Victory

by Moore Vang, age 14

Lionel Messi has made his presence known in Major League Soccer since joining Inter Miami in July. He has scored 11 goals and has played in 11 games in which his team has won them all. Due to these wins, they advanced to the Leagues Cup tournament finals on Aug 20 and defeated Nashville.

The Leagues Cup tournament is a month-long competition between the 47 clubs of MLS (29) and Liga MX (18). The competition is hosted in the U.S. and Canada and is a World Cup-style tournament that pauses seasonal games for a month from mid-July to mid-August. The top three teams in the Leagues Cup advance to the Concacaf Champions League in 2024. This league consists of 27 teams competing in a five-round knockout phase which takes place in North America. The winner will advance to the 2025 FIFA Club World Cup in the U.S., along with the winners from 2021 to 2023.

Messi has changed the landscape of Inter Miami by scoring the club’s first ever trophy-the Leagues Cup title. In their match against Nashville, Messi scored the first goal in the 23rd minute. However, Nashville scored in the 57th minute, tying the game 1-1. The match went into penalties with each player taking a shot. In the end, Inter Miami won 10-9 on penalties, earning them the Leagues Cup title. [Read More]

Kylian Mbappé, A Rising Star in World Soccer

by Iliyan Hoskins, age 10

At the young age of 24, Kylian Mbappé is one of the best soccer players in the world.

Mbappé was born in Paris, France, and raised in Bondy. Growing up his idols were Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo Nazario, and Cristiano Ronaldo. He wanted to play for Real Madrid when he was young.

On August 31, 2017, Paris Saint Germain (PSG) announced the signing of Mbappé from Monaco on loan. In July 2018, Mbappé was given the number seven jersey for the upcoming season. He became the highest paid teenager earning €145 million plus €35 million in add-ons and endorsements. In May, he was called up to the 2018 World Cup. He led France to the finals against Croatia with a 4-2 win. [Read More]

BIG3 Basketball League Faces NBA Obstacles but Thrives in Its Own Right

by Jules Da Costa, age 15

The BIG3 basketball league has been facing challenges due to the NBA’s influence. Despite this, the league is still thriving.

The BIG3 three-on-three basketball league was founded by Ice Cube and Jeff Kwatinetz in 2017. The BIG3 league takes place during the NBA’s off-season. It consists of retired NBA players and players who didn’t make the NBA. They are currently a 12-team league with three-player lineups and five-player rosters.

Ice Cube, a well-known actor and hip-hop artist, claims that the NBA has been blocking this league from wider exposure. He is accusing them of gatekeeping sponsorships and network deals they could use. In an interview with podcaster Joe Rogan, he said that the NBA has been “...encouraging people not to sponsor us…” and “...encouraging networks not to play us.” He clarified that they are not in any way trying to compete with the NBA. He then explained how having the NBA viewing his league as competition prevents it from expanding. “Labeling us as competition prevents other NBA owners from investing,“ he said, adding they are also going to sponsors and telling them not to work with the BIG3. [Read More]

Aaron Rodgers Injured, Zach Wilson Takes Over as Jets Quarterback

by Jacob Dunn, age 14

In a tragic event for Jets fans, Aaron Rodgers was injured and carried out of the stadium during the team’s first regular-season game on Sept. 11. Now, he will be replaced by 2021 number two overall pick, Zach Wilson. Wilson will be the new QB1, with a 14-21 record, averaging only 168 yards per game in the 2022 season. To compare his average passing yards, Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes almost doubled that in last year's season with 303 passing yards per game. When signing Rodgers, the Jets had a 60% chance of reaching the playoffs, according to SportsLine. Now with Wilson, the Jets only have a staggering 0.2 % chance of making the playoffs.

The injury occurred on the fourth play of the game. The Jets were attempting a drive and pass rusher Leonard Floyd got through the offensive line and sacked Rodgers. Once Rodgers got up, he stood for a moment before going back to the ground and holding his leg in pain. After Rodgers was carried out by medics, Wilson had to step in to replace him. Wilson ended up taking the Jets to victory against the Buffalo Bills 22-16. He threw for more than 50% while completing 14 for 21 on passing, ending the night with 140 passing yards.

After the game, there was a press conference where Jets coach, Robert Saleh, said that Rodgers' injury did not look good and that they were putting their faith in Wilson. The following morning Rodgers got X-rays and it was ruled that he had torn his left ACL and would not be able to return until the 2024-25 season. [Read More]

Jordan Love: Green Bay Packers' Rising Star and First African-American Starting Quarterback

by Owen Ayite-Atayi, age 15

Jordan Love is currently the starting NFL quarterback for the Green Bay Packers, stepping in for Aaron Rodgers. He holds the distinction of being the first African-American quarterback to start for the Packers.

Born on November 2, 1998, in Bakersfield, California, Love faced a significant loss at the age of 14 when his father, Orbin Love, passed away. He attended Liberty High School in Bakersfield, where he made a mark in high school football. Love led the Liberty Lions to their first-ever Central Section Division I title, showcasing his skills by completing 114 of 224 passes, accumulating 2,148 passing yards, and scoring 24 touchdowns. He also demonstrated his versatility by rushing for 806 yards.

During his high school career, Jordan Love received multiple college offers from institutions such as Eastern Michigan, Northern Arizona, Northern Colorado, Sacramento State, and Utah State. He ultimately committed to the Utah State Aggies, signing with them on December 16, 2015. Love completed four years of college and earned a degree in human movement science. In 2017, he took a redshirt year after his freshman season to focus on improving his physical condition and overall performance. Love graduated from college with the distinction of ranking second in Aggies history in passing yards, having thrown an impressive total of 8,600 yards during his college football career. [Read More]

Johnny Davis: A Rising Star's Journey from La Crosse to the NBA

by Jules Da Costa, age 15

Wisconsin basketball standout, Johnny Davis, recently finished his rookie season and it has been a rollercoaster.

Johnny Davis was born on February 27, 2002, in La Crosse, Wisconsin to Sarah and Mark Giles Davis. Davis’ father was also an NBA player. He was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers as the 79th overall pick in the 1985 NBA draft. He played professionally for 13 seasons and retired in 1999. Like his father, Johnny Davis plays as a small forward and shows a lot of potential in the position.

Davis attended La Crosse Central High School. During his high school career, he played both football and basketball. In his first basketball season as a freshman, he earned a Division Two State title. In his junior year, he averaged 23 points and nine rebounds per game which led him to win the La Crosse Tribune Player of the Year award. By the time he had graduated, Davis also held the title of La Crosse Central’s highest scorer with 2,158 career points. [Read More]

Rising Star: The Journey and Achievements of NBA Player Tyrese Haliburton

by Owen Atayi, age 15

Tyrese Haliburton is a National Basketball Association (NBA) player who is currently playing for the Indiana Pacers. He is northeast Wisconsin’s first NBA All-Star.

Tyrese John Haliburton was born February 29, 2000, in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Haliburton wasn’t your average kid who played video games all day. At just six years old, Haliburton was already playing basketball and improving. Haliburton knew at a young age that it was time for him to separate himself from the pack and do what he loved. He would often run through drills with his father John Haliburton so he could elevate his game.

He had a phenomenal high school basketball career. During this time, Haliburton was a 6’5” point guard and attended Oshkosh North High School. He finished his high school career averaging 22.9 points per game (PPG), 6.2 assists (AST), and 5.1 rebounds per game (REB). He was a 3-star recruit on all recruiting platforms. After high school, he received a basketball scholarship to play for the Iowa State Cyclones. [Read More]

Milwaukee Bucks' New Head Coach, Adrian Griffin

by Owen Ayite-Atayi , age 15

Adrian Griffin, the new NBA head coach for the Milwaukee Bucks, went through many ups and downs in his basketball career and coaching career.

Griffin was born July 4, 1974, in Wichita, Kansas. He grew up loving the game of basketball and had dreams of making it to the NBA, continuing to work at it every day. In his college career, Griffin attended Seton Hall University to join the Seton Hall Pirates men’s basketball team. From there, Griffin’s basketball career skyrocketed. Griffin was six feet and five inches tall, a small forward, and a two-time All-Big East player. Throughout his college career, he averaged 11.5 points per game and 2.2 assists while shooting 50.6% from the field goal range.

After Griffin’s college career, he entered the 1996 NBA Draft. Unfortunately, Griffin went undrafted. Griffin knew that many paths existed to become a part of the NBA. He knew that there was no giving up, so he started to play professionally in lower American leagues. He played for the Continental Basketball Association where he was named the league's Most Valuable Player in 1999. Griffin averaged an outstanding 17.5 PPG, 7.0 rebounds, and 3.1 AST. Griffin’s extraordinary performance in the CBA led to him signing an NBA contract with the Boston Celtics the same year as a free agent. [Read More]

Lionel Messi's Journey to Inter Miami: A Decision Beyond Soccer

by Moore Vang, age 14

One of the greatest soccer players in the world, Lionel Messi, has signed a deal with Major League Soccer club Inter Miami.

By going to Inter Miami, Messi decided to leave his previous club, Paris Saint-Germain. His exit was confirmed by PSG hours before their last game in June, during which Messi lost his final match with the club. After the match, he sent a message to the club saying, “I wish you all the best for the future.” PSG thanked Messi for his service to the group, but fans felt otherwise. They booed his name relentlessly in warm-ups, during the game, and continued to show their frustration during a celebration for the club’s recent French championship victory. Messi went on to state that PSG did not give him the happiness he once had when he played with the Barcelona team, where he won many championships.

When looking to sign a new deal, Messi received many offers from different teams. One of the teams that reached out was his first professional team, Barcelona, which is where he made his debut at the age of 17. He left the team in 2021 for PSG, after Barcelona was financially unable to sign him under a new contract, due to the Spanish League rules. Initially, Messi seemed eager to return to Barcelona, and he even discussed the idea with the club’s manager, Xavi Hernandez, and president, Joan Laporta. However, the club’s continued financial crisis caused him to not sign a deal with Barcelona. He did not want to be responsible for the team having to eliminate current players or lower the team members’ salaries to accommodate him. [Read More]

From Wisconsin to NBA Stardom, Devin Harris' Remarkable Journey as a Basketball Sensation

by Jules Da Costa, age 15

Wisconsin has produced many basketball players throughout the years and Devin Harris is definitely among the best. Harris is a former National Basketball Association (NBA) player. He played for 15 years professionally and ran a pretty impressive career in college and the NBA.

Devin Harris started playing basketball as a toddler. As he grew, he took a liking to volleyball as well. He attended Wauwatosa East High School in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. There, he played both basketball and volleyball until his sophomore year when he dropped volleyball to fully invest his time in basketball. Unfortunately, he suffered an injury which made him unable to play ball for the season. He came back junior year stronger than ever, and as a senior Harris became Wauwatosa’s highest scorer and also won Wisconsin’s Mr. Basketball.

Due to injuries, Harris missed many offers but was eventually recruited by UW-Madison’s coach Dick Bennett. Bennett, however, retired before Harris joined the team so he played under new head coach Bo Ryan instead. During his college career, Harris started all seasonal games as a freshman, helping the Badgers win the Big Ten Championship. During his sophomore year, Harris led his team to another championship win. In his last season with the Badgers, Harris averaged 19.5 points, [Read More]

Tony Bennett's Remarkable Basketball Journey from Player to NCAA Championship Coach

by Owen Atayi, age 15

Tony Bennett is currently a National College Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball head coach for the Virginia Cavaliers. However, Bennett isn’t simply just a coach; he was first a great basketball player.

Anthony Guy Bennett was born June 1, 1969, in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Growing up, Bennett enjoyed playing the game of basketball. In high school, Bennett was a six-foot point guard who attended Green Bay Preble High School. After high school, Bennett made a big jump to college basketball where he represented his father, Dick Bennett on the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Phoenix men’s basketball team.

In college, Bennett averaged 21.5 points per game as a junior and 20.2 points per game as a senior. Bennett wasn’t just your ordinary basketball player. He shot a whopping 51 percent from the three-point range. Bennett finished off his college career in 1992 and was named Mid-Continent Conference’s all-time leader, along with many other NCAA accolades. [Read More]

Olympic Medalist, Ralph Metcalfe, Left his Mark on Wisconsin and the World

by Owen Ayite-Atayi, age 15

The Summer Olympics, also known as the Games of the Olympiad, are a series of multi-sport events that are usually held every four years. The Olympics include track and field, archery, gymnastics, and swimming , among other events.

The late Olympic African-American athlete Ralph Metcalfe left his mark on Wisconsin, nearly winning a gold medal in the 1932 Olympics. Metcalfe was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on May 29, 1910, and moved to Chicago, Illinois, with his family at a young age. He attended Tilden High School in Chicago, where his interest in track and field erupted. He later pursued a collegiate track and field career at Marquette University as a sprinter.

During Metcalfe’s career at Marquette University, he was America’s leading sprinter from 1932 to 1934. In his sophomore year, he ran a 10.3 in the 100-meter dash and a 20.6 in the 200-meter dash, tying world-record times in both events. In 1932, Metcalfe won three of the first National College Athletic Association (NCAA) championships. [Read More]

Exploring the Global Phenomenon of Soccer

by Bruno Torres, age 7

Soccer is played all over the world, but depending on where you are, this game might have different names like football or futbol.

The soccer field is in the shape of a big rectangle and teams of 11 players compete with one another. To win, players must kick the ball into the opponent’s net and score a goal.

Players can headbutt the ball or control it with their chest or feet, however, they are not allowed to touch it with their hands. The only exception goes to the goalie, who usually stays in the goal box. There are various formations soccer coaches may use to best set up their players to optimize their skills. [Read More]

Former Badger Troy Vincent Selected to College Football Hall of Fame

by Zayn Khalid, age 13

Former defensive back Troy Vincent was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2023. He is the 12th Wisconsin Badger to win this award.

Vincent was a former defensive back for the Wisconsin Badgers. He had 192 tackles, four interceptions, and 31 defended passes. Additionally, he was a punt returner, with 66 punt returns for 773 yards. He holds the record for the longest punt return in Badger history.

Once his college career ended, Vincent was selected as the seventh pick in the 1992 draft by the Miami Dolphins. He played 207 games in 15 seasons for four different teams: the Miami Dolphins, the Philadelphia Eagles, the Buffalo Bills, and the Washington Redskins. After retiring, he became president of the NFL Player Association from 2004 to 2008. Now, he is serving as the executive vice president of football operations for the NFL. [Read More]

Neymar Jr. and His Rise to a Becoming a Soccer Legend

by Moore Vang, age 14

Neymar Jr. is one of the most famous athletes in the world and one of the greatest soccer players in Brazilian history. He is famously known for playing as a forward for Paris Saint-Germain and Brazil. Although when he first started playing, he mainly played as a winger. Neymar is also known for his quick agility, dribbling, and shooting accuracy. His skills on the field have even been compared to some of the greatest soccer and Brazilian players of all time such as Pele and Ronaldinho, Neymar Da Silva Santos Junior, famously known as Neymar Jr. was born in

Mogi das Cruzes, Brazil on February 5, 1992. He began playing soccer at a young age in the streets of Brazil where he was in a youth soccer team called Sao Vicente. He was mentored by his dad, Neymar Santos Sr., who was a professional soccer player at the time. His dad, along with playing in the streets, was a huge influence on Neymar’s professional soccer career later on.

During his youth, he began to develop many of his own techniques that mixed speed, dribbling, and shooting while playing with the youth club Portuguesa Santista. His talent quickly caught the attention of Brazilian club Santos. He began to play for Santos youth ranks in 2003 and was seen as the next big star in world soccer. Neymar would go on to receive a contract from Santos which paid him $2,000 a month at the age of 15. By the age of 16, Santos signed him to a bigger contract that was long term which gave him $23,000 a month before becoming pro. When he turned 17, he was earning more than the average professional soccer player in South America and was promoted to his first team where he would make his professional debut with Santos on March 7, 2009. In that match, Santos won 2-1 against the team Oeste. This would officially begin one of the greatest careers in Brazilian soccer since the likes of Pele and Ronaldinho years prior. [Read More]

Women’s Volleyball: Wisconsin and Marquette to Meet at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee

by Owen Ayite-Atayi, age 15

The Fiserv Forum is the NBA (National Basketball Association) stadium for the Milwaukee Bucks. Although a vast majority of games at this stadium have been basketball, college volleyball will be making their debut at the Fiserv Forum.

At a basketball game against the University of Wisconsin (UW) Badgers, the Marquette Golden Eagles announced that the Badgers women’s volleyball team will be facing off against the Golden Eagles at the state's largest arena, the Fiserv Forum. The game is set to be played on September 13th, 2023. Ryan Thesis, the Golden Eagles coach, has dreamed for many years of holding the match at the Fiserv Forum and it is looking like it will be a reality.

The Badgers and the Golden Eagles are two of the best women’s volleyball teams in the country. In the 2022 volleyball season, the Badgers finished off a strong season going 28-4 as their overall record with Kelly Sheffield as their coach. The Golden Eagles also ended off on a strong winning season going 27-3 overall with Ryan Theis as their coach. [Read More]

The Last Championship of the Homestead Grays

by Jules Da Costa, age 14

The Homestead Grays were one of the most popular and triumphant teams in the Negro League Baseball. It cultivated the best and most well-known Black baseball players, such as Josh Gibson and Buck Leonard.

The Homestead Grays formed in 1912 in a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with many steel manufacturers. They started as a little-known team and lasted less than 50 years but left a huge legacy on the history of Negro League Baseball. They went into business after Major League Baseball (MLB) quit signing Black players. The Homestead Grays played in the Negro Leagues for 38 seasons until 1948. Homestead Grays players Buck Leonard and Josh Gibson were both inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame even though neither had played in the MLB.

Many people were drawn in to see this team play. In 1948, which was their final season under a league, they defeated the Baltimore Elite Giant in the Championship Series to win their ninth league pennant. In the 1948 Negro League World Series they beat the Birmingham Black Barons to win their third World Series title. [Read More]

Innovative Coach “Air Coryell” Changed the Way Football Is Played in the Modern NFL

by Giovanni Tecuatl Lopez, age 17

When you think of the greatest football coaches of all time, Donald David Coryell might not make your list. However, as former coach of the St. Louis Cardinals and San Diego Chargers, his legendary “Air Coryell” offense has made its way into every team's playbook. Donald David Coryell’s wide range of offensive plays greatly influenced the sport and changed how the modern NFL stands today.

Coryell first started gaining recognition during his time at San Diego State University (SDSU) from 1961-72. Here, he led the Aztecs to a 104-12-2 record using a then-rare pass-heavy offense. The Aztecs had three undefeated seasons, making them well-known and placing them into Division I. Working alongside Coryell were famous individuals like John Madden and Joe Gibbs, who served as assistants at SDSU.

Coryell developed his unique style while studying the philosophies of head football coach Dutch Meyer who developed Spread Formation Football, a technique where the defenders are spread horizontally. In addition, Coryell analyzed Sid Gillman, head coach of the Rams and Chargers, who innovated the downfield vertical attack. With this information, Coryell was bold enough to transition his efficient I-formation, a formation that leaves a balance between passing and running plays, into a new playing style, changing the way of the game for his future career. [Read More]

La Follette eSports Team Wins the High School State Championship

by Amare Smith, age 19

Similar to traditional sports, eSport involves players who like to compete and play games – except, eSport involves video games! The La Follette eSports team has been at the school for a little over two years. The Lancers eSports team competed in the high school state championship and recently won the competition. The game played was Super Smash Bros, a video game where players pick a character and fight against each other. Matthew Wright, the team captain, made a last-minute decision to choose a character other than his favorite, Captain Falcon, for the sudden death battle.

The CapTimes had a discussion with Wright on the State Championship and how he got involved with the team. Wright first heard about the group from word of mouth from his classmates and eventually met the coach, Mr. Pellien. Super Smash Bros was an addictive game and Wright progressively improved his skills with different characters as he played the game. Wright enjoyed attending practice and telling his teachers about it. He was an excellent student and didn’t fall behind in any of his subjects in school. To Wright, eSports was like a dream come true.

Competing in the state championship at Madison College was very special to Wright. The year before it happened, he went solo and was happy he made it to the top 16, but the team didn’t win first place. Either way, it was a great learning experience. He was happy to see the community and watch other people compete. Most importantly, Wright enjoyed his first time participating in a competition. This year, his second time around, he enjoyed how his team worked together and was able to secure first place. What Wright learned from his experience was the importance of teamwork and how it helps everyone improve their skills and communication. [Read More]

Participation in Girl's High School Basketball Declines

by Owen Ayite-Atayi, age 15

Enthusiasm for girls' high school basketball peaked two decades ago. Almost all seats were filled with families and students. All the girls’ basketball teams had full freshman, junior varsity and varsity players.

Now, participation in girls basketball has dropped to 19 percent while girls’ track and field has increased by 10 percent. Soccer and volleyball are also sports that have increased in girl’s participation. Overall, participation for both boys and girls high school sports have decreased by four percent. The majority of female athletes are focusing on an individual sport nearly year-round like cross country. Many girls see basketball as a difficult and not “cute” sport to play, coaches say. Natalia Bryant, the daughter of Kobe Bryant, told Teen Vogue that she preferred volleyball over basketball because she does not like to run.

Erica Delley, a first-year head coach at Dallas’s Kimball High School says, “Its sad. That's why I came back, to make a difference and try to encourage kids to play.” Not only has participation decreased in girls basketball at Dallas Kimball High School, but other schools are experiencing the same issue, such as Nebraska. [Read More]

Lessons From a Soccer Superstar

by Shalmat Shalom, age 14

Ronaldinho is known as one of the greatest fútbol or soccer players of all time.

Growing up in Brazil, Ronaldinho was always surrounded with soccer players: his father, brother, and uncles all played the game. Like all professional players, he had both achievements and challenges.

Ronaldinho’s father was Joao Moreira, a welder in a shipyard who had previously been a professional soccer player. His mother Minguelina de Assis, worked as a cosmetic saleswoman and later became a nurse. Ronaldinho looked up to his father who sadly suffered a fatal heart attack when Ronaldinho was only eight years old. [Read More]

The Greatness of Hank Aaron

by Owen Ayite-Atayi, age 14

Hank Louis Aaron was one of the greatest African-American Major League Baseball (MLB) players. Hank was known for breaking Babe Ruth’s Hall Of Fame and Most Valuable Player (MVP) home run record. He hit 755 career home runs, to Ruth who racked up 714 hits for the Boston Red Sox.

Hank Aaron was a phenomenal MLB player, who went on with his MLB career to have 2,297 runs batted and 3,000 hits. In the 1970 season, Hank became the first player to hit 500 home runs and top it off with 3,000 hits in a single career. He won 3 Golden Glove awards for his outstanding out-fielding. In Hank’s 1957 season, he led the Milwaukee Braves to a World Series and took the victory in a thrilling game against the New York Yankees. Hank won the MLB’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) award in 1957 and was an outstanding player for the following seasons.

After Hank’s Milwaukee Braves' 1965 MLB season, he switched teams to play for the Atlanta Braves located in Atlanta, Georgia. Hank was having an outstanding season as usual, but once he relocated, many people began to hate Hank because he broke so many all-time records in the MLB. Racist people began to threaten Hank with harmful letters. Hank overcame all the hate and pressure and broke a record to end off his season by hitting 755 home runs. [Read More]

How the Milwaukee Bucks Won Their First Championship

by Owen Ayite-Atayi, age 14

The National Basketball Association, informally known as the NBA, has featured lots of fascinating teams and players over the years. Most people know about the Milwaukee Bucks because they won the championship in 2021. But many of the team’s current fans are not familiar with the team’s rich basketball history.

The Milwaukee Bucks started as an expansion franchise in 1968. Like most first-year teams, they were not very good. Then, in 1969, the team drafted a player named Kareem Abdul Jabbar. [Read More]

Badger Basketball to Host Games at American Family Field in Milwaukee — by Jules Da Costa, age 14

For the first time in Wisconsin, college basketball will be played on a baseball field. The University of Wisconsin men’s and women’s basketball games will be played at American Family Field, (formerly known as Miller Park) home to the Milwaukee Brewers. [Read More]

The Life and Career of the Great Bill Russell — by Owen Ayite-Atayi, age 15

Bill Russell was the pillar of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played for the Boston Celtics. Russell was not just a once-in-a-lifetime player, he was also an activist and spoke about racial injustice [Read More]

UW Field House, a Madison Landmark — by Owen Ayite-Atayi, age 14

The UW Field House is a landmark building initially built in 1930. It serves as the home to the UW volleyball and wrestling teams. Other UW teams are included as a part of the Field House family, such as the basketball, boxing, and track and field teams. [Read More]

Play Ball! New Youth Baseball League Launches in Madison — by Josepha Da Costa, age 17

On a sunny Saturday in early July, several Simpson Street reporters headed to Elver Park to watch a baseball game. It wasn’t just any game though; it was a little league game played by kids from all over Madison, including one of our own staff writers, Max Moreno! [Read More]

From Seattle Pilots to Milwaukee Brewers — by Julian Medina, age 14

Where did the present-day Milwaukee Brewers originate? The Milwaukee Brewers baseball team, formerly known as the Seattle Pilots, was established in Seattle, Washington, in the 1960s. [Read More]

Lisa Byington Makes History as Basketball's First Female Play-by-Play Announcer — by Josepha Da Costa, age 17

While the Milwaukee Bucks came up short in this year’s playoffs, it was still a great season. The team won its division, defeated the Chicago Bulls in a five-game playoff series, and once again excited Wisconsin basketball fans. [Read More]

The Rich Basketball History of Madison La Follette High School — by Josepha Da Costa, age 16

The 2021-22 Madison La Follette High School basketball team had a very successful season. But this isn’t the first time La Follette has had an excellent team. In fact, the school has a rich basketball history and the Lancers have won three state championships. Many La Follette players have gone on to play college basketball for major programs like the University of Wisconsin and Creighton University. [Read More]

Michael Jordan's 1995 Return is One of the Greatest Comebacks in Sports History — by Zayn Khalid, age 12

Michael Jordan stands as one of the greatest athletes of all time, and is considered basketball's most renowned players. Jordan is one of the fastest players to adjust from different sports. [Read More]

El largo camino de los Milwaukee Bucks hacia el campeonato — por Zayn Khalid, 11 años de edad; traducido por Yoanna Hoskins, 17 años de edad

Durante los 50 años anteriores a la temporada 2020-21, los Milwaukee Bucks no habían ganado un campeonato de NBA. Los playoffs de los Bucks en 2021 y la victoria en el campeonato fue uno de los años más emocionantes de la NBA. [Read More]

Oscar Robertson: the Milwaukee Bucks' Superstar — by Amare Smith, age 18

Oscar Robertson grew up in a poor family. By the age of two, he and his family had moved to Indiana, a state where basketball was beloved as a very popular and growing sport in the 1950s. Oscar made tennis balls and rags into basketballs and used peach baskets as basketball hoops to practice. [Read More]

Greatest Game in Football History? The 1967 Ice Bowl! — by Jacob Dunn, age 12

The “Ice Bowl” was a Green Bay Packers football game that forever left its imprint on NFL history. It is also one of the most important sporting events in Wisconsin history. [Read More]

New Baseball Stadium Opens in Wisconsin — by Max Moreno, age 10

A new baseball stadium built for the Lake Country DockHounds opened this summer in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. [Read More]