From green to red:

The Philadelphia Eagles made big changes this offseason. Running back Brian Westbrook, right guard Shawn Andrews and cornerback Sheldon Brown are not wearing green this time around.

But the most noticeable absence is undoubtedly that of the Eagles’ quarterback of the lasts eleven seasons, Donovan McNabb.

The Eagles made a bold move in trading McNabb to a division rival, Washington Redskins team.

During McNabb’s tenure with the Eagles, he led them to four NFC East Division championships, five NFC Championship Games, and one Super Bowl appearance.

McNabb was the face of the Eagles for eleven seasons, and it’s easy to forget how the young Syracuse prospect began his career. In 2000, he set the record for rushing yards by a quarterback in a season with 629. McNabb slowly morphed into a pocket passer, declining in yards rushed in each of his next five seasons.

The veteran quarterback will be remembered for leading the Eagles to the playoffs year after year but, sadly, never getting them a Super Bowl victory.

This season, the Eagles have the relatively inexperienced Kevin Kolb at quarterback. His back-up, the dangerously athletic Michael Vick, has proven himself. Also on offense are three very young but scary players: Running back LeSean McCoy and wide receivers Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson.

Each of these players help make up the quick strike dynamic of the Eagles’ offense.

The Philadelphia Eagles (1-1) have a promising season ahead of them. This year, winning any division game will be a dogfight (Sorry Vick, I know you’re finished with that).

The Cowboys (0-2), Redskins (1-1) and Giants (1-1) all are expecting playoff spots, while a maximum of two of the four teams will be in this December. With the combination of a steady quarterback, and a few play makers rising to their full potential, the Eagles are quietly in the hunt for an NFC East Division championship.

Lacrosse for a cause

On October 10, men’s lacrosse is playing for more than just a victory at the Cabrini game.

All the tournament proceeds will be given to an organization dedicated to helping the fight against blood cancer.

Sophomore Aaron Benz, Eastern’s goalie, is a Hodgkins lymphoma survivor. This time last year, Benz was undergoing chemotherapy, so there is no doubt that this cause is close to the lacrosse team’s heart.

The Nick Colleuori Classic is named in the memory of the Ridley High School student who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. All the proceeds of the event go to the HEADstrong Foundation.

According the HEADstrong Foundation’s mission statement, HEADstrong is dedicated to raising money for cancer research, to give grants and help to cancer survivors and to financially assist those looking to enter the medical field.

The HEADstrong Foundation was envisioned by the late Colleuori. He drew the HEADstrong logo – a lacrosse stick on the inside and a cancer ribbon around the head – while waiting to enter the operating room. On November 28, 2006, Colleuori lost his life at the age of 21.

The Nick Colleuori Classic honors both his memory of an undersized but tough lacrosse player, and his vision to help those who continue to fight against blood cancer.

Source: http://www.headstrongfoundation.org/

Women’s Soccer Player Profile

Junior Tess Beckwith has been a huge offensive force for the Lady Eagles in her three years as a player. Beckwith earned All-Conference honors as a sophomore as she scored 9 goals and tallied 20 points. This season Beckwith has scored three goals and recorded two assists. Beckwith sits down with The Waltonian for an exclusive video player profile.

Waltonian Sports Rewind: #6 Eastern falls to #2 Juniata

The Lady Eagles put up a fight against #2 Juniata on Friday evening, but could not finish late in the three sets that the teams played. Junior Maria Horning finished the evening with 29 assists. Check out the highlights in this week’s Waltonian Sports Rewind.

NFL season and what to watch for

Football season is back. An interesting off-season with big trades, suspensions, and rematches, the next four months are sure to be filled with excitement and upsets. Some Eagles fans are still a little sore about the trade of their quarterback, Donavan McNabb, for a pair of draft picks.

Donavan’s new team, the Washington Redskins, will square off with the Dallas Cowboys at home in week one. The first game of the year is to be a rematch of last years NFC championship held in the Super Dome.

The New Orleans Saints, winner of super bowl XLIV, are one of the toughest teams to beat with a grungy defense, and a heavily powered offense guided by Drew Brees, one of the best quarterbacks in the league. 

One of the major topics of the off-season was “Big” Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers. At a nightclub in Milledgeville, Ga., Ben was accused of sexually assaulting a twenty year old college student. Ben was subject to a six game suspension that has been reduced to four.

Shut down corner Darrelle Revis has finally signed with the New York Jets. We will see if Revis’ highly publicized holdout affects his performance on the field this year. With little time until the start of the season, this one is amping up to be something special.

MLB Playoffs nearing

The American League has the same story lines that it has had for the past decade.

The American League East teams dominated pretty much all season long, and the World Series representative for the American League will most likely come from this division once again.

But this comes as no surprise, seeing how in the past decade AL East teams have represented the American League in the World Series seven out of ten times: New York Yankees (4), Boston Red Sox (2) and the Tampa Bay Rays (1). If, surprisingly, a team in this division does not make it to the World Series, the Texas Rangers in the AL West or the Minnesota Twins in the AL Central could be the AL representative.

The Rangers have lead the AL West all season long and currently are 8.5 games ahead of the Oakland Athletics. 

This is the largest division lead in the entire Major League.

 The Rangers have a legitimate chance of making it all the way to the World Series, especially if they can win a series against the Yankees or the Rays of the AL East.

The Minnesota Twins are the other team set to make a playoff run.

They might not have as strong a roster as the other teams in the AL, but with all star players such as catcher Joe Mauer and Designated Hitter Jim Thome, don’t be surprised if this team wins a playoff series.

The only team that may not have a chance of making it to the post season in the AL is the Chicago White Sox. 

They are four games back in their division and ten games back in the Wild Card, so they have some serious work to do. But they are hoping that the addition of all star outfielder Manny Ramirez is just the thing they need to get them into the playoffs.

The National League is a little different then the AL in the sense that there is no dominate division. There are at least two teams in East division that still have a legitimate chance at making the playoffs.

In the National League Central, the Cincinnati Reds are currently in first place. They have been in a tight race with the St Louis Cardinals all season long, but recently the Cardinals have been going down-hill and the Reds have an eight game lead in their division and should easily make the playoffs.

In the NL West, the San Diego Padres lead the division by three games over the San Francisco Giants, and in the NL East the Atlanta Braves hold a three game lead over the Philadelphia Phillies.

 So the question is, which of these four teams is left out of the playoffs? I say it will be the San Diego Padres.

No matter what, I’m sure this fall will be one to watch.

Field Hockey Player Profile

Senior captain Hope Donnelly currently has three goals and seven points which is good for second on the team. Donnelly sits down with the Waltonian fresh off defeating Messiah 1-0.

Eagles pull off key upsets

The Eagles remain undefeated, and perhaps the most impressive win of the season occurred September 10 when Eastern’s volleyball defeated #5 Colorado College.

The upset victory occurred on the Tigers’ home court in Colorado Springs, where altitude was a significant factor.

“It was crazy. One hit and you are out of breath,” sophomore Rachel Wenger said.

The Eagles lost the first set, but went on to adjust to the altitude and their own errors. 

They went on to one of their most impressive wins, second only to their victory a day later when they played Colorado again in the championship game of the Molton Colorado College invitational. 

The Eagles, who are now 9-0, are sure to move up in the rankings, in what is shaping up to be an impressive season.

This Wednesday they take on their first MAC conference challenger DeSales at home at 7 p.m.