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Rough Cut Film Fest Awards Gala- Mon, 6/20 Suzanne Roberts 7-930pm

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Morning Everyone, 

somehow we made it to the 8th and final day of this action-packed week of films, workshops, panels and socials! Quick reminder that tonight is our Awards Gala, and we have an amazing evening of performances and films to honor.

Students and Teachers are FREE, so talk this up to your streams at Field Day. 


Join us for an evening to celebrate the amazing work of the next generation transforming Philadelphia into a bonafide Arts and Entertainment hub. The Future of Philly is now!

The entire Rough Cut Team hopes to see you tonight!

Suzanne Roberts Theatre
480 S Broad St (at Lombard)
Red Carpet 6pm
Awards Show 7-930pm
After Party 10-? (around corner on South St. at Cambridge & Rex)

Live Performances:
-School of Rock House Band
-PYP (Philly Young Playwrights)
-PYPM (Philly Youth Poetry Movement)
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4th Annual Rough Cut Photo Exhibition- URBN Annex- Pearstein Gallery, Drexel Univ

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Join us for another amazing FREE exhibition of original photographs, both print and digital display.

All prints are available for purchase (print to order) to sustain and expand our photography program. 

Rough Cut Photolab
"I'm Not The Same Anymore"
URBN Center Gallery, Drexel University
3501 Market St
Phila, PA 19104
Thurs, 6/16
730-930pm


#whenwetrustkids






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ROUGH CUT FILM FEST IS LIVE!!!

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We received over 250 submissions and will screen nearly 100 films at PFS Roxy, UArts and Drexel.

We're also offering Workshops/Panels led by Industry professionals, showcasing our 4th PhotoLab Exhibition at Drexel, hosting nightly social events AND we're holding a massive Awards Gala at Suzanne Roberts Theatre on Mon, June 20th. We'd love to ensure the SLA community is aware that it is FREE for all high school students. 

Hoping you can all be part of this amazing, action-packed week! O
ur major events are listed below with links to sign up. 

You can direct people to our profiles on social media:
FB- Rough Cut Media
TW- @roughcutmedia
www.roughcutfilmfest.com

Here are a few of the larger events we'd love for you to be our guest:

Would love for students to be a part of our Workshops & Panels
(professionals are literally flying in from LA to run these)
Workshops- (25pp per workshop- register here)
-Cinematography (almost sold out)
-Directing
-Auditioning
-Sound Design for Film 

Panels- (60pp per panel- register here)
-Inequity in the industry
-Power of Youth Media
-Making an Independent Feature
-Distribution 

FILM FESTIVAL KICK OFF (Mon, 6/13 7-930pm)
Planetarium at The Franklin Institute
-select films projected on dome
-live band scoring the films
-original poems by 2014 Philly Poet Laureate- Soledad Alfaro (one of my graduating seniors)
-cash bar
Reserve FREE Tickets Here
 
ROUGHCUTphotolab EXHIBITION (Thurs, 6/16 730-930pm)
"I am not the same anymore"
URBN Annex Gallery, Drexel University
-hundreds of original photographs, print and digital display
-all prints on display available for purchase (Print to Order basis)
-FREE and open to the public, just come on down!


AWARDS GALA (Mon, 6/20 6-930pm)
Suzanne Roberts Theatre
Red Carpet 6-7
Awards Show 7-930
Red Carpet 930-1030

Live Performances

-School of Rock
-PYP- Philly Young Playwrights
-PYPM- Philly Youth Poetry Movement
-Other Special Guests

STUDENTS ARE FREE, ADULTS ARE $15
Reserve Your $15 Tickets Here 
-free drinks included, compliments of Cambridge
After Party (1030-1am)
Cambridge, 1508 South St.

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Finney and Co. Shut Out King; Advance to Sweet Sixteen, Face Central on Mon, 5/23

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​For the past seven seasons the Rockets have been fighting to reach the level where real Baseball takes place every day. After finally earning a win in their 9th attempt (2010), the program has never looked back. Having only lost four regular season games in the past four seasons, SLA's overall record has surged to 66-19, and a 25-game regular season winning streak has secured consecutive undefeated seasons and back-to-back DivisionTitles.

The climb out of the cellars of D and C has been hard fought, and so their seat at the A-Table next season is well-deserved. SLA's magical run to the 2015 Final Four has been backed up by another outstanding season, and a chip has resided squarely on their collective shoulder after politics got in the way of their push to become the first unranked team to ever win a City Title. Earning a Bye and hosting a 2nd Round Playoff game was a perfect way to start another run. But the entire house of royal blue dreams built off blood, sweat and tears nearly came crashing down upon them.  

In standard fashion The Rockets got off to a quick start against their rival King, a team SLA had bested 12-2 early in the season. Sophomore Tony Brown had a patient at-bat, and worked for a pitch he could smack into left field for a lead off single. He quickly stole 2nd and easily scored a heartbeat later after Leon Finney ripped a Triple into the Left Center gap. Finney scored three pitches later on a passed ball as King's starter Johnson tried to stay away from hard-hitting senior Kevin Courtney. 

Both sides expected the lead to grow exponentially each inning as it did back in March, but there it stood for the next five innings- Rockets 2, King 0. Serious chances to change that evaporated each inning as both sides bent, but neither broke.

While King discussed what could have been and reluctantly celebrated the end of a solid season, the Rockets reflected on how they had the skills, passion and collective mind to never step this close to the edge again. 

For the 2nd consecutive season SLA advances to the Sweet Sixteen and faces 4th-seeded, perennial contender Central High. If their 2015 run is any indicator, the Rockets are right where they want to be. 

2016 PIAA Public League Sweet Sixteen
B1 SLA Rockets vs A4 Central Lancers
Monday, 5/23 Central High School
15th & Somerville- 1st pitch, 315pm 



 





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Finney & Co. Shut Out King 2-0; Advance to Sweet 16 vs Central on Mon, 5/23

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​For the past seven seasons the Rockets have been fighting to reach the level where real Baseball takes place every day. After finally earning a win in their 9th attempt (2010), the program has never looked back. Having only lost four regular season games in the past four seasons, SLA's overall record has surged to 66-19, and a 25-game regular season winning streak has secured consecutive undefeated seasons and back-to-back DivisionTitles.

The climb out of the cellars of D and C has been hard fought, and so their seat at the A-Table next season is well-deserved. SLA's magical run to the 2015 Final Four has been backed up by another outstanding season, and a chip has resided squarely on their collective shoulder after politics got in the way of their push to become the first unranked team to ever win a City Title. Earning a Bye and hosting a 2nd Round Playoff game was a perfect way to start another run. But the entire house of royal blue dreams built off blood, sweat and tears nearly came crashing down upon them.  

In standard fashion The Rockets got off to a quick start against their rival King, a team SLA had bested 12-2 early in the season. Sophomore Tony Brown had a patient at-bat, and worked for a pitch he could smack into left field for a lead off single. He quickly stole 2nd and easily scored a heartbeat later after Leon Finney ripped a Triple into the Left Center gap. Finney scored three pitches later on a passed ball as King's starter Johnson tried to stay away from hard-hitting senior Kevin Courtney. 

Both sides expected the lead to grow exponentially each inning as it did back in March, but there it stood for the next five innings- Rockets 2, King 0. Serious chances to change that evaporated each inning as both sides bent, but neither broke.

While Johnson kept SLA's bats oddly silent, Leon Finney and Lukas Supovitz-Aznar held it down by combining for 9 Strikeouts over 5 shutout innings of two-hit ball, setting up Ben Simon for the save. But King's best chance came in the 6th when they loaded the bases on a walk, fielder's choice, walk and error. Simon kept his composure and worked out of the jam by recording back-to-back Strikeouts. The Rockets had a chance in their half of the 6th but couldn't tack on any insurance, setting up a dramatic finish.

With the top of the order on deck, King's DH worked a lead-off walk and reached 2nd on a passed ball. Simon struck out King's lead-off (Johnson), but then walked two to load the bases. As the intensity ratcheted up the Rockets and their fan base grew nervous for the first time all year. This was certainly the kind of Baseball they had always craved, but they simply didn't expect it this early in the playoffs. 

And so the stage was set for a storybook come-from-behind upset win, only this time it would be SLA that could be "shocked and awed". How quickly the tides can turn. 

King's clean-up hitter Ellison stepped in, worked the count full but Simon froze him with a fast ball on the outside corner. With two down, Simon reached inside and found something last seen (nearly a year ago to the date) when he dealt against the heart of the order to upset #1 Frankford. In an eerily similar spot, King's 5-hitter Willburn battled the count even at 2-2. Simon attacked and the crowd erupted when Willburn struck out on a check-swing. Players started to move, but home plate umpire Derrick Seagers said Willburn held up, making the count full again. Simon was beside himself.

For a moment Mt. Airy fell dead silent. Ben looked down, both inside himself and for a sign from freshman Catcher Avi Cantor. No one was breathing as he delivered. It's cliche, but time slowed down to 960 frames per second with SLA's season hanging on the pitch. Simon's fastball snapped hard. Cantor's glove remained perfectly framed on the outside corner. Seagers called third strike ended King's season. 

As the crowd screamed in relief the Rockets slowly came off the field and lined up to shake hands. But the tension wouldn't leave them. The tension couldn't leave them. They knew how close they had come to putting their dream on hold for another entire season. Words weren't needed, but junior Lukas Supovitz-Aznar and their coaches tried anyway.

While King discussed what could have been and reluctantly celebrated the end of a solid season, the Rockets reflected on how they had the skills, passion and collective mind to never step this close to the edge again. 

For the 2nd consecutive season SLA advances to the Sweet Sixteen and faces 4th-seeded, perennial contender Central High. If their 2015 run is any indicator, the Rockets are right where they want to be. 

2016 PIAA Public League Sweet Sixteen
B1 SLA Rockets vs A4 Central Lancers
Monday, 5/23 Central High School
15th & Somerville- 1st pitch, 315pm 



 






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Rockets Finish 2nd Straight Undefeated Reg Season; Earn 1st Rd Bye, Host Rd 2 Game on Fri, 5/20

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The past two weeks have been rough for the Rockets. Multiple rainouts, shuffled games and a shortage of officials led to seemingly interminable breaks in action before the final three regular season games could be played. The waiting was certainly frustrating, but when it came time to play the Rockets outscored their last three opponents 35-6. Freshman Kristian Ramos had his Varsity debut, going 5IP with 9Ks, no walks and gave up just 1 ER. SLA starters racked up another 32 Strike Outs to just 5 Walks, and while pitching has been dominant all season, the offense had it going on too. With each opponent suffering through at least one dreaded inning when every Rocket would bat, sometimes twice, before the defense could record 3 outs. 

Kensington dropped a late season game to Edison, which handed the B-Division title to the Rockets on a day they didn't even take the field. Even though they had won their 2nd straight Division title, which signified the team moving up to the top division of competition, the general energy on the team was, "so what's next!?" They knew they had won the B Division two entire weeks before it became official, but the hunger for something greater tempered the celebrations. The same held true when the final out of the regular season was caught by Senior Shaion Denny out in Left. The team gathered and lightly celebrated another undefeated regular season, but the true goal of a City Title was still five games away. 

More waiting would unfold as The Rockets wondered aloud who they would face in the 2nd round after a well-earned Bye in the first round. 2016 will mark the first time in team history they earned a Bye and will get to host the winner of MLK (B6) and Maritime (C6) from a lower Division. SLA knows a little bit about what it means to be underestimated, so they aren't taking anyone lightly once the tournament starts. 

And they'll channel that "we can beat anyone" energy on Friday in Mt. Airy just as they did against Germantown Friends a few weeks ago. Lots of games and Divisions are still on the line, but one thing is certain. Whomever wins on Wednesday, will have to deal with a Rocket team that outscored their opponents by 111 runs on the season and a starting rotation that posted an unheard of combined 0.58 ERA. A win on Friday will set the wheels in motion for another serious run at a City Title. 

NEXT UP: Either B6 MLK or C6 Maritime. Regardless, come out and support The Rocket on Friday, May 20th and you'll get to say you were there when the Title Run started. 

Home Playoff 1 (Rd 2)
Mt. Airy Playground
7001 Germantown Ave 
(btwn Sedgwick and Mt. Pleasant)
Game Time: TBD

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Rocket Soars Past GFS 9-6, Remains Unblemished (10-0)

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​Photograph by Rough Cut Artist Ari Haven

It has been consistently overheard that "The Pub" is a joke. People in and around the sport, especially the Old Heads, question why a player with talent would bother playing for a program in the Public League. They claim it simply isn't what it used to be, and if a player wants to develop they need to go anywhere but a public school.

Although he's not old, Tim Gunn (Head Coach of Germantown Friends) could be considered an Old Head by this point. The S. Philly native had an illustrious career as a Top Ten power hitter for St. Joe's, a legitimate crack at the Pros and coached a Championship team in the American Legion World Series, a 5,400 team national tourney. Suffice (it) to say, Gunner knows this game. And now he also knows that "The Pub" has some teams worth paying attention to. FULL STORY

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Rocket Soars Past GFS 9-6, Remains Umblemished (10-0)

Screen Shot 2016-05-01 at 10.24.54 PM
​Photograph by Rough Cut Artist Ari Haven

It has been consistently overheard that "The Pub" is a joke. People in and around the sport, especially the Old Heads, question why a player with talent would bother playing for a program in the Public League. They claim it simply isn't what it used to be, and if a player wants to develop they need to go anywhere but a public school.

Although he's not old, Tim Gunn (Head Coach of Germantown Friends) could be considered an Old Head by this point. The S. Philly native had an illustrious career as a Top Ten power hitter for St. Joe's, a legitimate crack at the Pros and coached a Championship team in the American Legion World Series, a 5,400 team national tourney. Suffice (it) to say, Gunner knows this game. And now he also knows that "The Pub" has some teams worth paying attention to.

The day after last season ended with SLA reaching the City Final Four, Tim invited SLA to a friendly vs GFS. He also helped out as a hitting coach for The Rockets over the winter, so he was definitely not a stranger to the potential this group had. He'd heard a lot of buzz about SLA so far this season, but the friendly was the first time he had seen them play a game. He threw his ace at the Rockets, and immediately knew he had a real game on his hands when Tony Brown smoked a triple to the opposite field to lead off the game. It would be the first of two "oppo tacos" for Brown who went a perfect 5-5 on the day with 2 Triples, a Double, 2 RBIs and 3 Runs scored. 

Ijustice Avery scored Tony on a sacrifice to give SLA an early 1-0 lead, but then disaster struck. Leon Finney doesn't like the cold much less the rain, but both dominated the day. GFS was patient and Finney couldn't find his normal groove, which normally hold his opponents scoreless and only yields a few scattered hits. But by the end of the 1st GFS had scored 5 runs on just one hit, and it seemed that the Old Heads knew what they were talking about.

And yet, there was a flash of something great about to unfold. Finney worked through it and struck out the last two batters, both top of the order hitters. SLA then quickly communicated they would not go down quietly. This wasn't the first time this team had been down early on in a game against a dangerous opponent. Last year they were down by the exact same score to #1 Frankford, but came back to steal that one 6-5 in a thriller of an elimination playoff game. 

A walk, a hit batter and a near-perfect sacrifice bunt by Jason Greene put two runners in scoring position just in time for Tony Brown's 2nd opposite field blast to make it 5-3. He'd score moments later on a hard single by Kevin Courtney to quickly erase the hole and make it a 1-run game. Finney was sharp in the next two frames, and a beautiful strike out-throw out combo at 3rd by Finney, Avi Cantor and Ben Simon ended a scoreless 3rd.

SLA tied it up at 5 in the 4th when Kevin Courtney turned on the first pitch he saw. But a walk, stolen base and a throwing error allowed GFS to take the lead back in the bottom half. For just a millisecond the energy swayed toward GFS. Meanwhile, The Rocket was ready to open it up. As was the case in that now infamous upset of Frankford, it was Lukas Supovitz-Aznar who got this come back started by blasting a lead off Double to center. Aznar would score to tie it at 6 after a productive out and a fielder's choice. Ben Simon who reached on that FC, would also score on a Sacrifice by Aaron Watson-Sharer to give SLA a 7-6 lead. 

Lukas had come in to relieve Finney in the 4th, and held GFS at bay for 3 innings while SLA's bats did some more talking. Two insurance runs came across in the 6th after Tony Brown roped his 2nd Triple of the game down the left field line. Ijustice Avery plated him with a monster 350ft shot to dead center that would have been a Home Run in any park with a wall and Lukas would score another with a shot past Short to make it 9-6. They threatened to score two more in the 7th, but a shot by Leon Finney was caught in deep Right field. "Stop hitting the ball" was whispered by a GFS player as Tony Brown came off the bases. Meanwhile, the same could be said to Freshman Kristian Ramos, who is showing signs of the future Rocket by smacking a would-be Double almost exactly where Brown launched his 2nd Triple. 

In another Frankford deja vu moment, Ben Simon came in and closed the door on a dead silent GFS bench. After their Catcher couldn't keep up with Simon's fastball and struck out to end the game, Tim and his Asst Coach immediately acknowledged how impressed they were. Both had worked with SLA over the winter, but seeing them come together and work past that first inning was something special. No bad blood between these two teams, just some solidified respect and tangible evidence that the Old Heads don't always know what they're talking about. 

Next Up: SLA hosts Fels (Mon, 5/2). 1st Pitch 315pm 

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Rocket Rolls 15-0 Over E&S; 8-0 on Season

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Much like the game vs Carver E&S, this article will be quick. 

Tony Brown led off the game after working a patient Walk and scored two pitches later on Leon Finney's Double in deep Center. That would technically be enough as Lukas Supovitz-Aznar and Kevin Courtney would hold E&S hitless in a 4-inning 15-0 win. The hitless streak for opponents has now reached 13 consecutive innings, and no team has tallied more than 4 hits in a game on the season vs Rocket pitching. 

In his 2nd at-bat in the 1st, Brown hit a hard single up the middle to score two and make it 8-0. Triples by Kristian Ramos, Kevin Courtney and a Double by Kenny Carroll would factor into a 12-hits attack that simply overwhelmed E&S pitching.

Courtney, who would take the mound in relief for the first time since recovering from Tommy John surgery, would finish the day 3-3 with 4RBIs and score the 15th run by tagging up on Ben Simon's deep shot to Center. 

With the win The Rocket is 8-0 on the season and comfortably in first place. With just 4 league games left before the playoffs start in mid-May, the Rockets are poised to move up to A-Division for the 2016-17 season. Next game is a make up vs Ben Franklin on Thurs, 4/28. Come out and support The Rocket. First pitch, 315pm (29th & Chalmers). 


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Rough Cut Sets Records at 10-Day Film Awards w/ 4 Films, 13 Nominations, 3 Wins, and 3 Top Ten Films

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​Rough Cut was prolific today in their sophomore showing of the 10-Day Film Challenge Awards.

Just like last year when 5 Rough Cut films (most ever) took home some hardware, 20% of the films eligible for 2016 awards were Rough Cut originals and all were nominated for multiple awards.

When the dust settled, Rough Cut picked up 13 Nominations, and took home 3 Top Prizes for Best Screenplay "Depression. The Man"; Best Editing "Don't Question It"; Best Performances for "Les Be Friends".

3 Rough Cut Originals also placed in the Top Ten, a feat never accomplished in 10-Day Film Challenge history. 

With these wins, all four films are automatically Official Selections in the 4th Annual Rough Cut Film Festival (June 13-20) hosted by Philadelphia Film Society, University of the Arts and The Greater Philadelphia Film Office. 

Congratulations to the teams behind these amazing films. So very proud of the calibre of films they produced for this! 
 
"Surveillance" 
Tiarra Bell, Tenzin Chemi, Felix D'Hermillon, Dylan McKeon
Nominations (2)- Best Editing, Best Film Poster Design

"Depression. The Man" (Overall 8th Place Finish)
Felix Schafrothdoty, Mark Gucciardi-Kriegh, Juliana Concepcion, Daouda Njie, Joaquin Thomas
Nominations (3)- Best Screenplay, Best Sound Editing, Best Film Poster Design
Winner (1)- Best Screenplay
Top Ten Finish- 8th Place


"Les Be Friends" (Overall 3rd Place Finish)
Indee Phillpotts, Xavier Carroll, Zoe Andersson, Cacy Thomas, Anastasia Petropoulos
Nominations (3)- Best Performances, Best Use of Dialogue, Superior Technical Merit
Winner (1)- Best Performances
Top Ten Finish- 3rd Place


"Don't Question It"- (Overall 2nd Place Finish)
Eamon Kelly, Mitchell Berven-Stotz, Javier Peraza, Tamira Bell, Sean Morris
Nominations (5)- Audience Award, Best Musical Score, Best Film Editing, Best Use of Prop and Superior Technical Merit
Winner (1)- Best Editing
Top Ten Finish- 2nd Place


#roughcut4life


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Ben Simon Throws NO HITTER, Strikes Out 17 in 8-0 Win Over Roxborough; SLA 7-0 on Season

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Benny was a beast today. 

But unlike what you see in the majors when everyone loses their mind, Ben Simon and his fellow Rockets simply lined up to shake hands after a fitting strike out ended a game without a single Indian reaching base by a hit. Simon was humble about it, and hours later still seemed less than moved by what he accomplished. But his performance today was better than anything HBO could have offered up on a Wed afternoon. Much like their perfect undefeated season, the unthinkable playoff upset of #1 Frankford, and a berth in the Final Four in 2015, this too is something Simon and this team will have forever. A bona fide NO-HITTER!

Lukas Supovitz-Aznar took a No-Hitter into the last at-bat on Opening Day in a 13-0 win over Mastbaum. Leon Finney had a 2-hitter against King in his first start in Rocket Blue, and now it was Simon's turn to shine by setting a new team record for Strike Outs in a game with seventeen. It's crazy to think that this only bested Finney by one K who had 16 in their most recent outing vs Kensington on Monday. This makes 33 Ks in the last 14 innings for Rocket Starters. In fact, no team has gotten more than four hits in a single game off SLA pitching in 2016. That, plus the bats, has been a serious recipe for disaster if you're anybody but the Rockets. 

In similar fashion to the methodical 3-0 win over Kensington on Monday, The Rocket played small ball by adding a run in each inning to build a 4-0 lead into the 6th after Kevin Courtney smashed a 300ft home run to dead center. They'd add four more in the 6th and 7th, but by that point Simon was locked in. After the 3rd, "Benny Buckets" struck out 10 of 14 batters faced, and the only contact made were two weak tappers back to the mound that Ben easily ran down to first himself. 

As far as Rocket offense went, Senior 1st Basemen Kevin Courtney was back at it, going 3-5 with the Home Run and 3RBIs. Freshman Catcher Avi Cantor also had 3 RBIs of his own, going 2-2, drawing 2 Walks and a Sac Bunt to move a runner that would score on a single by Sophomore Outfielder Tony Brown. 

It may take some cool dreams tonight for the reality to truly sink in for Simon. However, April 20, 2016 will forever be engrained in Royal Blue lore as the first Complete Game No-Hitter in Rockets Baseball history.

Congratulations Buckets, you're truly a Beast!

Next Up - The Rockets return to their home field in Mt. Airy after a perfect 4-0 road trip to take on E&S this Fri, 4/22.
 
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Kristian Ramos Dominant; Rocket Bats Rip Apart Edison Pitching for 14-2 Win

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Kristian Ramos was utterly dominant, striking out 13 and only giving up 1 earned run on 2 hits over 5 innings. Meanwhile, the Rocket bats were on fire from the first at bat when Shaion Denny hit a solo homer to the right center gap. Arsenio Gomez singled in the next at bat and moments later off Kristian's opposite field single. 

The mantra of the game was "Win The Inning", and the Rockets did just that. In the first it was simply responding to an early run by Edison to make it 2-1. But then the Rocket exploded for 7 in the 2nd and 5 more in the 3rd to blow it open. Those additional 12 runs included lots of extra base hits including
 a 3-run homer by Leo Cassel-Siskind, who went 2-3 with 5RBI on the day. After the 3-run blast Leo's next trip to the plate brought in two more with another rip into the gap. 


Arsenio "Pepe" Gomez was en fuego, going 4-4 with a triple and 3RBIs. Kristian Ramos did it on the other side of the ball as well, also perfect at the plate (3-3 3RBI). Alex Torres got into the action by smacking a triple into the gap in left center in the same inning as his brother, and Jaime Vaquero-Garcia ripped a double in his last at bat of the day to add to the pain. 

Honestly, Edison didn't know what hit them. The confident swagger they had taking the field after scoring just one run in the first quickly disappeared and may never return after this literal drubbing. SLA JV is in 1st place and 5-1 on the season. Next up, a showdown with natural rival Central on Thurs, 4/21. 

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Battle of Undefeated Leaves SLA (6-0) Alone in 1st After 3-0 Win Over Kensington

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A true pitcher's duel unfolded in a scorcher on Monday with two undefeated teams battling for sole possession of first place in B-Division. The game only saw seven hits in total between the two teams thanks to dominant pitching from both aces. While Kensington's Matos held the Rocket's bats in check for most of the game it was Leon Finney at his most dominant to date that truly sealed the deal. 

Leon hates the cold, so this was his kind of game. He pitched very well in that freezing, windy showdown with previously undefeated Edison last week, but this was a different experience. Finney's fastball was blazing, his off-speed had good hitters looking silly and some seriously nasty movement along with excellent framing by freshmen Avi Cantor behind the plate led to 16 strikeouts on a hot one devoid of wind.

Leon would also get the first (and winning) run of the game in the 3rd when he worked a 2-out walk, stole 2nd, moved on to 3rd on a pitch in the dirt and then scored easily when a ball scooted past their catcher. Technically this was all SLA would need to win the game, but Lukas Supovitz-Aznar has other plans in the 4th when he crushed a fastball roughly 325ft deep to center over the cinder block wall to make it 2-0. He came through again in the 6th with some insurance by singling to the opposite field, plating ijustice Avery who had singled and stole into scoring position. 

The Rocket is used to scoring more than three runs in a game, but you don't need more than that when only the same number of balls actually finds a way to crawl out of the infield. In the fifth Kensington fans and players started to ask "Who's Your Daddy?" after a couple of walks and a weak single loaded the bases in a 2-0 game. When no one else reached base the rest of the way the answer was clear that Finney was theirs.

Next Up: The Rocket continues their road trip and visits Roxborough on Wed, 4/20. First Pitch 315pm






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Rocket Stages 2 Late-Inning Comebacks; Brave Extreme Cold to Take Down Edison 6-4, Stay in 1st

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Public League Baseball is a lot like NCAA College Football. Drop a game early on in the year and the ghost of that loss haunts and taunts you while all you can do is hope your closest competitor drops their guard and a game somewhere along the way. Your dreams of a Division Title remain close, yet just out of reach, especially if your loss was to your rival. An utterly dominant season, and the chance of moving up in Division, could be overshadowed by a solitary miscue way back in April, leading to that shadowy loss. Unlike real Baseball, you only get one crack at each of your opponents, so the tension in these games are high, every mistake magnified and every hit paramount. FULL STORY
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Rocket Stages 2 Late-Inning Comebacks; Braves Extreme Cold to Takes Down Edison 6-4, Stay in 1st.

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Public League Baseball is a lot like NCAA College Football. Drop a game early on in the year and the ghost of that loss haunts and taunts you while all you can do is hope your closest competitor drops their guard and a game somewhere along the way. Your dreams of a Division Title remain close, yet just out of reach, especially if your loss was to your rival. An utterly dominant season, and the chance of moving up in Division, could be overshadowed by a solitary miscue way back in April, leading to that shadowy loss. Unlike real Baseball, you only get one crack at each of your opponents, so the tension in these games are high, every mistake magnified and every hit paramount. 

Three years ago University City took it down to a play at the plate in their final game to preserve a perfect season, their final as a school and program. As a result SLA (11-1), who dominated with the best offense and pitching rotation of the season, finished 2nd and missed the playoffs. SLA would move up to C-Division due to a realignment after multiple schools were shuttered, but it was an early season loss to UC that sealed their fate. The following season would see SLA destroy King in their lone head-to-head meeting. But King, who inherited a very good B-Division team when Germantown closed, ran the rest of the table finishing 11-1 to take the Division. SLA would make the playoffs, but they were stuck in C. 

Last year it was The Rocket who completely ran the table undefeated, won the Division and made a magical run to the Public League Final Four, finally moving up to B. That team was defensively sound, had great pitching and just smashed the ball game in, game out. Yet, everyone on the squad recognized they were misplaced in C and weren’t getting to play real baseball every day. They desperately wanted to play against better competition, and their run in the playoffs proved they belonged by knocking off three A-Division powerhouses- Esperanza, #1 Frankford and Lincoln- to reach that Final Four where they fell just shy of the City Title.

Five games into Season 7 for SLA Baseball, and the expectations have changed. No longer are The Rockets overlooked, underestimated or considered irrelevant. Every team feels compelled to throw their ace to have a fighting chance, and Edison was no different. Having been in A-Division for most of a storied history, Edison found itself relegated to B after a dismal 2015 season where half their starting nine was ineligible. Not the case in 2016, and they most assuredly expected their stay in B to be short-lived. SLA had other ideas, and after the weirdest and arguably worst officiating ever experienced, The Rocket finds itself in the Divisional driver's seat after a 6-4 come-from-behind win.

Granted it is only early April, but both sides recognized this game as the equivalent of a Division Title game. Both threw top pitchers who dueled in the worst of conditions. Gale force winds upwards of 35mph made it nearly impossible to hit a ball in the air outside of the infield, yet neither pitcher sacrificed much in the first three bone-cold innings. 

Leon Finney, in his 2nd start for SLA, struck out the side his first time through the Edison lineup. Yet, Edison's Maddox held SLA's potent offense at bay for the first half as well. Eventually Edison would break the tie with two runs in the 4th. They manufactured a run off of an error, walk and single to center, the only ball to leave the infield against Finney all day, and would get another off another error that prolonged the inning. The Rocket looked poised to respond, but a 4-6-3 Double Play squashed the power of a lead-off walk in the 5th. Finney would come back to strike out the side in his half of the frame, setting the stage for an emotional roller coaster. 

After 83 pitches, 11K, 2BB, 3H and only 1 earned run, Finney's day on the mound was done. But Leon led off the 6th by beating out an infield hit to 3rd. He'd steal and advance to third on Courtney's tapper back to the mound. Ijustice Avery drew a walk, then immediately stole 2nd. A first pitch swing and Lukas Supovitz-Aznar erased Edison's 2-0 lead with a double to Center. Then with two outs Benny "Buckets" Simon scorched his own RBI Double out to Center to give SLA the lead 3-2. 

Lukas would come in relief and struck out the first two batters on nine pitches, and it seemed that all the momentum had officially shifted. Then disaster struck as SLA's normally rock-solid defense imploded a bit, committing 3 errors that lead to two more runs, putting Edison back on top 4-3 heading into the 7th. 

Moments before the 6th, Lukas rallied the troops and said, "all we need is three runs. Just three runs and this game is ours!". They got just that to take the lead but now found themselves down to their last at-bats down now trailing by 1. But The Rocket wasn't done. With one out Tony Brown slapped an opposite field single and quickly stole 2nd. After Leon Finney drew a critical walk, Brown nearly got caught in a rundown, yet ended up safe after Edison dropped the ball on an aggressive slide into third. Finney would make it to 2nd in the confusion. Down to their last out, IJustice Avery lashed out and served a hard hit ball to the left side. A solid throw came across the diamond with drama in tow as the bases umpire called Avery out, ending the game.

As Edison jumped for joy and celebrated what they truly believed was a ticket back to A-Division, SLA's coaches lost their minds over how badly that call could have been blown as Avery was safe by an entire body length. This wasn't the first time this particular umpire blew a call in a game with SLA, and their coaching staff wasn't having any of it.  

After the third instance in the game where officials needed to conference, the Plate umpire reversed the call. Justice was safe, Tony Brown had scored to tie the game 4-4, and Leon Finney was now 90ft away from giving SLA the lead. Justice took second with the catcher conceded the base since he was more worried about the go-ahead run just down the baseline. With two in scoring position for The Rocket, Lukas Supovitz-Aznar confidently stepped to the plate and drove a first pitch fast ball into the gap to plate Finney and Avery, making it 6-4. Edison's coach was overheard saying, "it was inevitable...just a matter of time" as he lamented a game-ending call being reversed.

The 7th started off like another potential nightmare inning for SLA defense when Edison got the first runner on after an error. Yet Lukas kept his composure and attacked batters. After a battle of an at-bat, Edison's Moronta hit a hot grounder to Avery at SS, flipped to Jason Greene who then turned a beautiful 6-4-3 Double Play to a fully extended Kevin Courtney to wipe the bases clean. No one else from Edison would reach base and SLA held onto the weirdest 6-4 win in their history. 

These two late-inning gritty comebacks to steal this one was very reminiscent of The Rocket's slow and steady comeback over #1 seed Frankford in the 2015 Playoffs. They just keep battling, and much like in the Frankford game it was Lukas Supovitz-Aznar who rose to challenge and got it done when needed most. Against Edison, he'd finish the day 3-4 with 2 Doubles, 4 RBIs and a run scored. He would shut it down on the mound too, not allowing a single ball to leave the infield in two innings of relief. 

And so now it is Edison who will be chased by the ghost of the 6th and 7th on Friday the 8th of April 2016. They'll keep battling for positioning and will make the playoffs for sure. However, Edison's expectation of a short-lived stint in B-Division now requires a whole lot of help from a Rocket team happy to leave them wallowing in the swirling winds of lost opportunity.

Next Up for The Rocket- Ben Franklin on Tues, 4/12, Kensington on Mon, 4/18, Roxborough on Wed, 4/20 and E&S on Fri, 4/22.

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"They're Overrated, Last Year was a Fluke"- Keep Talking Bracetti- Rocket Tees off in Dominant 12-3 Win

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Leon Finney (3-5, 2B, 3B, 2RBI, 3R) Photo by Rough Cut Photographer Crystal Taylor

"They're overrated. Last year was a fluke. Look at them, they are soooooo beatable. They're nothing. We got this. Come on guys, this game is ours!" 

These and other statements not fit to print were overheard prior to a major showdown between undefeated teams on Wednesday out in Mt. Airy. Marianna Bracetti, a mainstay program always in contention for the Division Title, had every reason to come into the game with confidence. Yet, The Rocket made them eat their words by working over their two best pitchers and forcing them to surrender 12 runs on 14 hits. FULL STORY


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"They're Overrated, Last Year was a Fluke"- Keep Talking Bracetti- Rocket Tees off in Dominant 12-3 Win

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Leon Finney (3-5, 2B, 3B, 2RBI, 3R) Photo by Rough Cut Photographer Crystal Taylor

"They're overrated. Last year was a fluke. Look at them, they are soooooo beatable. They're nothing. We got this. Come on guys, this game is ours!"

These and other statements not fit to print were overheard prior to a major showdown between undefeated teams on Wednesday out in Mt. Airy. Marianna Bracetti, a mainstay program always in contention for the Division Title, had every reason to come into the game with confidence. Yet, The Rocket made them eat their words by working over their two best pitchers and forcing them to surrender 12 runs on 14 hits.

After Rocket Starter Ben Simon took efficient care of their top 4 hitters in the 1st, Leon Finney got the hit parade started with a laser beam into the gap in right center and easily came into third standing up. He would score moments later when Kevin Courtney hit a towering shot to the warning track in left. Had it not been for 20mph gusting winds, his blast would have been a sure-fire home run onto Sedgwick St. SLA continued to win each inning with at least one run while Simon was spitting fire at the best Bracetti had to offer. Later in the 2nd, Jason Greene plated a patient Avi Cantor who led off the inning with a walk to make it 2-0 and win the inning.

Benny Buckets took fast care of the top of their order the 2nd time around to keep it 2-0. Courtney walked to lead off the 3rd and eventually would score when Aaron Watson-Sharer drew a bases-loaded walk to make it 3-0. Simon shut them down again on 11 pitches and a bizarre heads up P1, 1-3 Double Play to end the inning in the 4th. In their half of the frame The Rocket added two more to make it 5-0 when Leon Finney beat out an infield single, stole 2nd and 3rd, and raced home behind a snoozing defense when Courtney drew another walk. 

Some mental and physical errors by SLA in the 5th opened the door for Bracetti as they plated 3 unearned runs, giving them enough confidence to start chirping about an inevitable comeback. For an inning it seemed this was the case when SLA was finally held with out a run in the 5th. However, momentum shifted back to SLA for good when they responded with a 7-run 6th inning. 12 batters would tee off on arguably Bracetti's hardest throwing lefty ace- Cintron. Back-to-Back doubles by Tony Brown and Leon Finney followed by another Courtney walk led to Justice Avery's second Double, erasing those 3 unearned runs. That would have been enough the way Simon and Supovitz-Aznar were dealing, but then the bottom half of the order kept churning butter, adding another 4 runs to make it 12-3 after 6. Ben Simon struck out 10, walked 2 and only yielded 2 hits to set up Lukas Supovitz-Aznar for the "save". Over his three innings of relief Lukas didn't surrender a hit, and shut them down to seal a huge 12-3 victory.

More words were exchanged by Bracetti in those final frames, but just as before the game words simply don't sting very much after you put up 12 runs on 14 hits. Next Up: The Rocket hits the road for 3 straight vs Edison (Fri, 4/8), Franklin (4/12), Kensington (4/18). 


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3 Doubles, 2 Triples and a bomb of a 2-Run Homer: JV Rocket Blitzes Lincoln 14-2 for 2nd Win of Season

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The JV Rocket offense was hotter than ever, keeping the royal blue crowd toasty on a chilly, windy day that felt more like November than it did April. Leo Cassel-Siskind, who earned his second win in as many starts, struck out the side before every Rocket batted in the first. Shaion Denny ripped the first pitch to third base, beat the throw, then quickly stole 2nd and 3rd. Denny called out "just like old times" to Arsenio Gomez moments before he ripped a shot into the gap that saw him sliding in safely at third. Two batters later Kristian Ramos hit a monster triple of his own into deep right center, scoring Gomez. Husain Kegler made it look easy with a bomb to deep center plating Ramos making it 3-0, and Lincoln's starter barely escaped the first inning.

He wouldn't be so lucky in the 2nd when every Rocket batted again and he was yanked after 1.2 innings of assault. In his 2nd at bat of the inning, Denny switched to the left side and drilled a double into the gap bringing in 2 more moments after Ramos brought did the same on another monster double. Luke Watson-Sharer laid down a perfect bunt to extend the inning long enough for Denny's shot scored Colin Pierce and Brian Torres to make it 9-0 after the 2nd.

Leo Cassell-Siskind, who struck out 10, walked none and only gave up one run on two hits over four innings, also reached base in all four at bats, going 2-2 with 2 walks. Arsenio Gomez, who like Denny went 3-4, hit a double in a stretch of seven straight hits started by Shaion Denny's 2-run Home Run to right center. Kenny Carroll brought in Gomez, Ramos, who went 3-3 on the day, brought in Carroll and the merry-go-round continued. Five more runs were plated, including an RBI from Freshman Eric "Chip" Gorski in the 4th when he snuck a slow roller in between 3rd and Short.

Kristian Ramos came in to close it out, powerfully striking out two and forcing a ground ball to 2nd Basemen Brian Torres for the final out. Next up: The JV Rocket travels up to the North East to take on Washington this Thurs, 4/6.
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Rough Cut Represent, Represent!!!! 4 More Originals Named Finalists in 10-Day Film Challenge

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10 DAY FILM CHALLENGE FINALISTS
Last year five of our original shorts made the regional cut, all coming home with hardware! 
Expecting similar results in 2016, with four more up on the big screen at United Artists Riverview Theater in S Philly on 4/21.

By placing, all four are also Official Selections in the 2016 Rough Cut Film Festival (6/13-6/20)

Congratulations to not only these four films, but to the sixteen original shorts produced within two weeks.
So very proud of you all!

"Surveillance"
by Tiarra Bell, Tenzin Chemi and Felix D'Hermillon

"Don't Question it"
by Eamon Kelly, Tamira Bell, Mitchell Berven-Stotz, Sean Morris and Javier Peraza

"Depression. The Man"
by Jules Concepcion, Felix Shafroth Doty, Mark Gucciardi-Kriegh, Daouda Njie and Joaquin Thomas 

"Les Be Friends"
by Zoe Andersson, Xavier Carroll, 
Anastasia Petropoulos, Indee Phillpotts and Cacy Thomas 

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Courtney Smashes 3-Run Triple; Rocket Holds Bodine to 2 Hits, Win 15-1 in Rain

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"Calm Before the Storm" by Rough Cut Photographers Crystal Taylor & Ari Haven

For the 3rd consecutive game, Rocket pitchers were downright stingy allowing opponents no more than 2 hits in a game. Lukas Supovitz- Aznar started it off by striking out the side on 10 pitches. He'd eventually strike out 7 in 3 innings of work and only allowed 1 run on 2 singles. Ben Simon, who gets his first start of the year on Wed vs Bracetti, came in for an inning to get loose and struck out the side. Tony Brown made his relief debut in the 5th and literally blew past Bodine hitters with 9 straight strikes, recording two strike outs and forcing a weak tapper back to the mound to end a very soggy afternoon.

Kevin Courtney led the team with 5RBIs, going 3-4 for the 3rd straight game, upping his league-leading total to 13RBIs on the young season with a bases-loaded triple in the 4th to knock Bodine's starter from the game. Lukas Supovitz-Aznar had 3RBIs and Tony Brown, Leon Finney and Aaron Watson-Sharer all had 2RBIs each. Avi Cantor and Alex Torres both laid down perfect bunts for singles and both came around to score in an 8-run third inning. Cleanup hitter- Ijustice Avery- drew three walks, as did Jason Greene and Kristian Ramos in their lone at bats, plus Freshman Kenny Carroll hit a run-scoring pinch hit double to ice the game. 

Next Up: The Rocket is home out in Mt. Airy against Mariana Bracetti Charter on Wed, 4/6. First Pitch 315pm. Come support.

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Finney Dazzles in Debut; Strikes out 12 in another 1-Hitter for The Rocket as they knock off King 12-2

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In his debut as a Rocket, Leon Finney was in total command striking out 12 and only surrendering one earned run to an overmatched squad from King. For the 2nd game in a row a Rocket Ace held the opponent to just 1 hit over five innings and let the offense beat up their counterpart. 

Tony Brown got it started off by smashing a double down the right field line and he would score off a classic Kevin Courtney rip single. It was 6-0 when Courtney came up for a 2nd time in the 1st with the bases loaded, but another hot shot was barely snagged by King's SS to temporarily stop the bleeding.

Leon got in on the action too with 4RBis of his own to add to Courtney's 3 and Brown's 2. Freshman Catcher Avi Cantor, who fearlessly caught Finney's heat and dealt with his last second movement, also had a great day at the plate going 3 for 3 and reaching base in all his plate appearances. Yet for all that offense, Finney was simply dealing, making their better hitters look silly swatting at balls ducking out of the zone or scaring them back by 80+mph laser beams in on the hands. Couldn't ask for a better debut in Rocket blue. 

SLA (2-0) faces Bodine on Mon, 4/4 in Mt. Airy. Come out and support a Rocket run at a City Title.
 
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SLA JV- "Real DeaLEO" Cassel-Siskind Shuts Down Boys Latin 6-1, Fans 14 in Debut

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For years Boys Latin would best SLA each Spring in a scrimmage. The team their own coach claimed "wasn't very good" had always been a step ahead of their CC rivals, but times have officially changed. SLA has consistently had the upper hand for both Varsity and JV contests, and today was no different as SLA JV opened their season with a convincing 6-1 win for their 2nd year coach and former Rocket Ace Brandon Williams. 

Shaion Denny got it started off by driving the first pitch Latin Ace E. Coates had to offer deep into the left center gap for a ground-ruled double. Moments prior to the at-bat he asked the umpire "what happens if the ball rolls onto the concrete in deep center?" Smiling from 2nd, Denny had his answer and remained hot the rest of the way going 3-3 with 3RBIs to fuel the Rocket offense.

Then Lefty "The Real DeaLEO" Cassel-Siskind made his debut in Rocket Blue and totally dominated with a 14-Strike Out, Complete Game performance. Scattering just 3 hits over 5 innings, the Warriors couldn't phase him even when they had runners in scoring position. A feisty side of the freshmen came out when it mattered most, and timely hits by fellow freshmen Kristian Ramos and Kenny Carroll ensured he had a comfortable cushion.

Next up for SLA JV is their home opener in Mt. Airy vs North East on Fri, 4/1. Come out in support and be able to say you were there way back when the next star Rocket players took their home field for the first time. #rocketsbaseball4life

Photo by Rough Cut Photographer- Ijustice Avery



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New Season, Same Results- "Rocket" Beats Mastbaum 13-0; Lukas Supovitz-Aznar throws 1-hitter

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This time last year it was snowing and no one thought an unknown team from a small startup school like SLA would do much against the traditional "big boys" of Philly Baseball. Most minds have been forever changed after an undefeated season, Division Title, trip to the Final Four and just one hit away from the Championship game. 

There's a chip on their collective shoulder after the way the season ended just short of the ultimate prize, and it showed on Opening Day 2016. Lukas Supovitz-Aznar's curve was down right dirty and the Rockets' defense was stellar turning two beautiful double plays, one on a bullet back to 1st by Left Fielder Tony Brown to catch an aggressive runner. 

The boys did it with the stick as well as the glove. Doubles by Lukas S-Aznar, Tony Brown and Aaron Watson-Sharer led an offense that relentlessly put the ball in play and took advantage of errors by Mastbaum's nervous defense to score 13 runs on 12 hits. Kevin Courtney went 3-4 with 5RBIs, Aaron Watson-Sharer went 2-3 with 3RBIs and Tony Brown also went 2-3 with 2 RBIs and stole home on a passed ball. 

But all that offense wasn't even needed because Lukas held Mastbaum's entire line up in check and took a no-hitter all the way up to the final out before a single finally left the infield. Lukas retired the next batter to finish a gem of a Complete Game 1-Hitter over 5 innings, striking out 6 and walking 3. 

Clearly a fun way to start the season, but everyone in royal blue knows there is more work to do and no time to rest. Up next, King on Thursday for the Mt. Airy home opener. Come out and support The Rocket's campaign for a City Title in 2016.

Photo by Rough Cut Photographer- Micah Henry




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New Crew, Same Result. "REVERB"- Rough Cut's latest Short- Wins TSA Film Competition

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A feverish two weeks of filmmaking yielded excellent results. With "REVERB" winning the top award on Saturday, we qualify to represent Philadelphia at the State conference for the 2nd year in a row. 

Back-to-Back Champs, and the 10th award for a Rough Cut Film in 2015-16!

Here's a link to "REVERB" on the Director's Youtube Channel 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFMuGXiuL0I
 
Congratulations to Soledad Alfaro-Allah, Tamira Bell, Tiarra Bell, Addy Gonzalez, Cacy Thomas, Eamon Kelly, Declan Zisser and Mitchell "Des" Berven-Stotz. I'm so proud of this new crew!

#roughcut4life #roughcutfilmfest2016
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Tamira Bell qualified in Photography too, and big shout outs to Saamir Baker and Lyle Seitz for some amazing photography. Can't wait to print your work for our exhibition in June during the Rough Cut Film Festival (6/13-6/20) 

#roughcut4life #roughcutfilmfrest2016
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Help "The Rocket" Win a City Title! https://www.gofundme.com/k38k3n24

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SLA Rockets Baseball Family and Bandwagon,

We shocked the Philly Public League last year by going undefeated in the regular season and upsetting the top seeds en route to the Final Four. 

Yet, we fell ever so short of fulfilling our mission of bringing home a City Title. Now the target is squarely on our backs as a team to beat, and every game we play this spring will be against the very best around.

Since the first week of September we've been building on the strong foundation of our recent success, but we're still up against teams and a system that favors the established and the fully staffed. We'll always be that scrappy, royal blue Rocket that believes and defies the odds but we need your help.

To this end, we're starting this GoFundMe campaign to ensure that our team is ready to compete against the very best the city has to offer in 2016. 

Your support will help us in the following ways:
-Professional Hitting and Pitching Coaches
-Indoor Facility Rentals
-New baseball equipment
-New Uniforms 
-Spring Training Tournaments down South

Help support the continued growth of the hottest team in the City Public League. 

City Title on 3, Family on 6!!!

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"EVAN" Official Selection- All-American High School Film Festival (https://www.gofundme.com/2z56pa6j)

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With nine of our films winning awards at various regional film festivals, 2015 was a break out year for Rough Cut Productions 

Perhaps most impressive is "EVAN", which we recently learned is an Official Selection for the 2015 All-American High School Film Festival, the most prestigious of its kind, from Oct 9-11th. Literally thousands of films produced by young filmmakers from around the world were submitted and we made the Cut!

We've set up this GoFundMe to help subsidize the unfortunately high costs associated with our film team attending this amazing weekend. 

"EVAN" will be officially screened at the AMC25 in Times Square on Sat, Oct 10th, all attendees will benefit from a full weekend of workshops led by industry professionals, and the Festival rounds out with an Awards Gala at Kings Theater in Brooklyn. 

Your support will help cover the following costs:
-All-Access Passes for our film team ($275 per)
-2 Nights in a Hotel ($250 per)
-Transportation to/from NY ($50 per)

Help Jenny, Sieanna, Brian and Marshall be present as months of their creativity, professionalism and passion is celebrated on the big screen!


https://www.gofundme.com/2z56pa6j


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SLAphotolab "I am not the same any more" Exhibition (Tues, 6/16 630-830p)

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Another 75 students have completed an entire year of photographic studies. Come see their amazing work!

Join us for our 3rd Major Show since we formed in 2014.


All images are available (print to order) to help support the growth of our programming at Science Leadership Academy for the 2015-16 school year.

Help us
spread the word far and wide so we pack the house.

https://www.facebook.com/events/612268388875619/ (Links to an external site.)

for more info visit our site- roughcutproductions.org

Hope to see you all there,
SLAphotolab
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3rd Annual Rough Cut Film Festival- Tues, 6/9 630-830p

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Rough Cut Productions proudly presents our 3rd annual Film Festival to showcase another year of original content production. Come Join us for an evening of amazingly funny, thought-provoking, exciting and award-winning films, as well as a few blasts from the past. 

For the first time, RCFF was open to submissions from other video production programs in the city in an effort to unify our growing film community. Amazing films from CAPA, Edison, Roxborough, North East, Kensington CAPA and W Philly will be in the lineup. 

This event is free, but seating in Franklin Theater at TFI is limited to 250, so book your ticket here
Doors at 6p, Show at 630p. Note: Direct access to Franklin Theater via Winter St. entrance.  
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Political Double-Header and Nail-Biter Leaves Rockets 1 Inning Shy of City Final. Oh, But What a Season!!!

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The Rockets tasted something bitter and foreign on Friday. For the first time in over a calendar year they did not walk off the field with a win. Their bid for a 17th consecutive win, "AA" Championship and entry into the City Final was denied in the 7th inning of a razor-close game with former champion Franklin Towne. There initially weren’t words to describe the feeling around 3rd base as the Rockets gathered one final time in 2015. 

Their coach struggled to find the right ones, but centered on how rare it is for an athlete, at any level, to walk off the field for the final time winning it all. While they all dream of it as kids, the rarity of that possibility is not what truly drives them to take the field in the first place. It is to compete and to give the game everything they individually and collectively have within themselves. And in this mission they most assuredly did succeed. 

We are so very proud of our SLA ROCKETS!!! Here's to a magical run in '15, and a City Title in '16!!! FULL STORY

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Nick Clark Takes 1-Hitter into 7th; Ben Simon Shuts Door on Lincoln; SLA Reaches City Final Four

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Every Rocket that stepped to the plate got at least 1 hit (nearly everyone got 2) in a convincing win over tough A-Division Lincoln. A huge bunt by Ben Simon moved a runner to third after Kevin Williams smacked a double down the third base line, and David Baker tied the game 1-1 with an RBI single. In an epic at bat, Ben Simon struck again in the 5th with a critical 2-run single to give SLA a 3-1 lead. Kevin Courtney crushed a shot to left center to plate 2 more making it 5-1 in the 6th. Ijustice Avery and Lukas Supovitz-Aznar made ESPN-worthy defensive stops to help Nick Clark take a 1-hitter into the final inning, and Ben Simon came in to end Lincoln's season.

The Rockets continue to prove doubters wrong with their 16th straight win, the last 3 over A-Division powerhouses Esperanza, Frankford and Lincoln. SLA advances to their first Public League Final Four, and will play MaST Charter to reach the City Final. (Video of Final Out)
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Down 5-1, Rocket Wills Way to 6-5 Upset over #1 Frankford; Makes History, Advances to Elite Eight

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In perhaps the grittiest game ever played in SLA Baseball history, The Rockets simply REFUSED to stay down after Frankford struck early to take a 5-1 lead. "The Comeback", which made Public League history as the first time a #1 seed lost to a C-Division school, extends the Rockets' unbeaten streak to 15 and propels them into the Elite Eight.

Next up, the winner of Lincoln/Northeast on Wed, 5/20. First Pitch 315pm. FULL STORY. 
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RoughCutProductions Honored by Mayor's Office at TFI ; May 16th Official "Students Make a Difference" Day

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Congratulations to the current and former student-leaders of Rough Cut Productions. The Mayor's Office officially declared May 16, 2015 "Students Make a Difference" Day. It is an honor to work with you all over the past six years. 

BIG Shout outs to all of the other programs honored today, most especially all of our SLA students from Project SPACE, STEM Scholars, WINS (Women in Natural Science) and PACTS. 

YOU ARE ALL AMAZING!!!

  
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Rockets Unleash and Upset Toros 13-7 to Stay Unbeaten; Advance to “True Power” Tournament

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When Jason Greene woke up on Wednesday morning the last two things he wanted to do were take a standardized test and check into a hospital. All he wanted to do was play some baseball and help his team prove they are worth respecting, and perhaps even fearing. Unfortunately the first two came to pass, and the latter was something that literally unfolded across the street from where Jason needed to be rushed after taking a hard chopper to the mouth in warm ups. He ended up needing stitches, and was so groggy that he didn’t even realize he hit the ground in the first place.


After the haze of the warmup started to clear, Jason willed himself to his feet, and his energy and passion unified the squad. Players huddled up, grabbed their autographed “perfect regular season” ball and collectively dedicated the game to Jason Greene.

What unfolded on Lighthouse Field will forever clarify what happens when you play as one, no matter the odds.
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Rocket Continues Flight; Ben Simon 1-hits Bodine for 7-1 Playoff Win to Advance to 2nd Round

Ben Simon was nearly perfect, striking out 11 batters and surrendering just 1 hit over 7 innings of efficient work. Lukas Supovitz-Aznar did it with his bat this time, going 2-4 with 3 runs batted in, and Nick Clark continued to produce with 2 rbis of his own. 

Aaron Watson-Sharer won the battle with his brother Dessler by gunning a runner out at the plate. He also reaching base and scored in both of his at bats. Now 13-0 on the season, The Rocket has outscored their opponents 179-23 on the year.

With the win SLA moves onto Round 2 of the PIAA single-elimination "True" Playoff bracket.
Their game will be played on Wed, 5/13 at an opponent TBD by games later today. 

#rockets4life


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4 More Rough Cut Films Win Awards at 10-Day Film Fest!

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Over 120 short films were submitted this year to the 10-Day Film Challenge in the Tri-Sate Area. Only 30 were selected as finalists and 4 from Rough Cut made it to the Awards round. All were nominated for multiple categories and each won at least 1 major award!!!

FULL STORY and Links to Films

I'm so very proud of all our amazing filmmakers for their achievements!


#roughcut4life






 
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"EVAN" WINS 1st Place at T.S.A. Regionals, Advances to State in April

CU - Brian's Eyes
Brian, Jenny, Sieanna and Marshall DID IT!


The 5-minute cut of their Genre Study film "EVAN" blew away the judges to take 1st Place today in Quakertown!!! 

Never had a doubt this would move the ground beneath their feet, but the judges unanimously agreed this film was ready for the next level of competition. Next up, T.S.A. States in April, then Nationals in June.

Ideas are swirling on how far this project can truly go. Considering "Writer's Block" barely missed scoring the Grand Prize at WHYY Youth Media Awards, a 7-minute version of "EVAN" is sure to earn a nomination for Film of the Year. 

I am so very proud of the effort, dedication and creativity they all put into this film. That goes for everyone else who participated in front and behind the camera on this project. This is a true team win!!!

#roughcut4life

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"What We See is What We Are" SLAphotolab: The Six-Week Run at MetropolitanGallery250 Starts 12/5, 6-8pm

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Seasons Greetings,

SLAphotolab has been busy!

Fresh off the success of our summer indiegogo campaign, we've been cranking out work all semester and are ready to show some of it off. Thanks to the continued support of our generous sponsors, our students have the unique opportunity of setting up camp at Metropolitan Gallery 250 in Rittenhouse Square from December 5th until January 18th. 

Our show centers on a truly piercing quote by legendary Magnum photographer Ernst Haas, 

"There is only you and your camera. The only limitations in your photography 

are within you, for what we see is what we are." 

We've taken this to heart, explored his work and have interpreted this as a challenge to continue our push forward. 75 new students are embracing the medium, and those who pioneered the program last year have continued exploring via independent study. Their work is UNBELIEVABLE!!!

Come join us on First Friday, Dec 5th from 6-8pm for Opening Night, and learn more about the ground-breaking public photography workshops our students will lead throughout Dec/Jan.

Gallery Hours: Sat/Sun from 11-4pm from Dec 5th until Jan 18th. 
(250 18th St. Rittenhouse Sq, directly across from the Art Alliance). 

Student work is available for sale to the public throughout our stay to continue to fund the growth of our dynamic program. For more info on the show check out BreadHead Blogand get in touch if interested in volunteering/participating in our weekend workshops (promoted on the blog).

Hope to see you on the 5th and beyond! 
SLAphotolab

Douglas Herman
dherman@scienceleadership.org

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"What We See is What We Are" SLAphotolab: First Friday Dec 5th (6-8pm) Metropolitan Gallery

WhatWeSeeFrontOpt
WhatWeAreBackOpt
Seasons Greetings,

SLAphotolab has been busy!
Fresh off the success of our summer indiegogo campaign, we've been cranking out work all semester and are ready to show some of it off. Thanks to the continued support of our generous sponsors, our students have the unique opportunity of setting up camp at Metropolitan Gallery 250 in Rittenhouse Square from December 5th until January 18th. 

Our show centers on a truly piercing quote by legendary Magnum photographer Ernst Haas, 

"There is only you and your camera. The only limitations in your photography
are within you, for what we see is what we are."
 

We've taken this to heart, explored his work and have interpreted this as a challenge to continue our push forward. 75 new students are embracing the medium, and those who pioneered the program last year have continued exploring via independent study. Their work is UNBELIEVABLE!!!

Come join us on First Friday, Dec 5th from 6-8pm for Opening Night, and learn more about the ground-breaking public photography workshops our students will lead throughout Dec/Jan.

Gallery Hours: Sat/Sun from 11-4pm from Dec 5th until Jan 18th. 
(250 18th St. Rittenhouse Sq, directly across from the Art Alliance). 

Student work is available for sale to the public throughout our stay to continue to fund the growth of our dynamic program. For more info on the show check out BreadHead Blogand get in touch if interested in volunteering/participating in our weekend workshops. 

Hope to see you on the 5th and beyond! 
SLAphotolab

Douglas Herman
dherman@scienceleadership.org
 
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"Hanging by a Shoestring" SLA Photo Show Top Pick for First Friday

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Despite financial chaos in Philadelphia public schools, SLA managed to launch its first full-year high school photography program. Come join us on FIRST FRIDAY  (June 6th) at The Neighborhood House in Old City​ to celebrate 75 gifted student artists who won't take NO for an answer. 

Meet and mingle with the artists themselves, and learn how to support their upcoming $10,000 capital campaign to finance the future of the program via INDIEGOGO. (igg.me/at/SLAphotolab).

Philadelphia photographic and art luminaries Zoe Strauss and Paul Cava are acting as official judges for the show, and there will also be opportunities to sit for professional portraits by the students in their Great Hall Studio as well as purchase prints.

This is a Free Event.

The Neighborhood House
20 N. American St., Old CIty



 



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"The Rocket" Blasts Off, Wins 1st Playoff Game 16-1; Plays Prep Charter Thurs, 5/15

The explosive offense which scored 162 Runs this season (109 more than they allowed), and nearly earned the Rockets a Division title this season, continued by pounding out 16 runs on 14 hits. SLA easily beat an overmatched Freire team with consistent hits and great base running. Senior Ethan Reese was strong in his first playoff start (4-1 on season), striking out 4, walking none and holding Freire hitless over two innings of work. 12 runs on 9 hits in the first inning alone, including 3 extra-base hits- a double and triple by Senior Jeff Schwartz and a double by Freshman Kevin Williams- was clearly enough. "The Rocket" advances to a showdown with Prep Charter down in the shadow of Citizens Bank Park on Thursday, May 15th. 
GO HERE FOR FULL STORY.


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ROCKETS IN 1ST AFTER TAKING DOWN "THE KING", AND SHOCKING DEL VAL WITH 10 IN THE 6TH!!!

The Rockets have kept to their winning ways in impressive fashion with games that straddled this past weekend. First was a Friday showdown with undefeated Martin Luther King, which absorbed the entirety of a highly competitive B-Division Germantown team and have dominated everyone they faced. With respect to playoff seeding, the latter game against the former Division Champ Del Val was even more critical. SLA not only won both to take over First Place, but did so in ways that prove how versatile and dangerous this Rockets squad truly is. 

Prior to the showdown with SLA (5-1) on Friday, King had yielded just 13 runs in 5 games and blasted their opponents with 72 of their own. In light of the litany of upper-league players they inherited, King swaggered into the game with a level of confidence and arrogance that communicated a belief that they were unbeatable. Then the Rockets, who stormed back to steal one from King in the season opener last year, blasted King's "unhittable" pitcher- Clinton Hickson- for 17 runs on 21 hits en-route to a 17-10 win. 

The key to the offensive assault by the Rockets was the back-end of the order, led by Senior Jhonas Dunakin, which constantly got on base. This gave Senior Starting Pitcher and Leadoff Hitter- Ethan Reese- the unique opportunity of notching 6 RBIs (Runs Batted In) by going 4-6 with a clutch Double. Junior Stephen Eager-White kept his bat hot, going 3-5 with yet another Triple (3) and 2 RBIs. Sophomore Kevin Courtney, who earned Rookie of the Year honors in 2013,  continued his literal perfection at the plate in Divisional games by going 4-4 with 2 Doubles and 3 RBIs. Senior and Team Captain- Jeff Schwartz- followed up hitting for the Cycle (Home Run, Triple, Double and Single) in the previous 19-3 blowout of rival Randolph, with a 5-6 performance that included a Double and 3 RBIs. Freshman Kevin Williams made stellar stops at Third when King mounted a potential comeback, and he also hit a monster Triple of his own, finishing the day 2-4 with a Walk and an RBI. 

Hard throwing Courtney, who pitched 4 solid innings in relief, struck out the side in a critical 4th inning, and the Rockets pushed it out of reach against a King team that consistently lacked sportsmanship and respect for the game. Undefeated no more, dominant no more, confident no more, King followed up their first loss of the season by squeaking out a 12-10 win over Saul after blowing three separate multi-run leads to a team the Rockets had dismantled 18-3 earlier in the season. 

With respect to playoff seeding, the Rocket's come-from-behind win over a tough and disciplined Del-Val squad on Monday proved even more impressive. Freshman Lukas Supovitz-Aznar was sterling in his first Varsity start of the season, fanning 12 batters over five innings. His nasty curve and off-speed pitches reduced their best hitters to the likes of Little Leaguers swatting at flies. However, the Rocket's defense has some lapses and quickly found themselves far from the mountain top of toppling King 72 hours earlier. While SLA's hitters were patient and consistent, loading  the bases twice with no outs in the middle frames, in each instance they were only able to plate one run. Del Val's Starter- Conway- wasn't dominant, but his defense was outstanding and they contained the Rocket's aggressive base-running with the help of a few questionable calls, like a play at the plate that punched out Jeff Schwartz on a perfect slide, ending a major Rockets rally. Del Val's offense played great "Small Ball" and piled up 6 runs through the 5th.

Kevin Courtney came in for Aznar in relief in the 6th to shut down the heart of their order with a weak grounder to 2nd and back-to-back strike outs. And then the inning that will forever define the depth of this team unfolded in dramatic fashion. 

Bottom of the Sixth, down 6-2, Jhonas Dunakin comes to the plate and works a masterful walk to get it started. Aznar rips a hard single and Freshman Dave Baker follows with his first hit for Varsity. Again, bases loaded, no outs. Freshman Aaron Watson-Sharer hits a bomb to center, but their Center Fielder- Khalil Williams- made a sick grab and blasted a laser beam home, just like the one that caught Schwartz in the 3rd, to hold Dunakin on base. As the order turned over and Ethan Reese came to bat the feeling was creeping in that this was their last shot at a comeback. Three times with the bases loaded and no outs has to net more than 3 total runs, and net runs did they ever. 

Reese ripped an RBI single past a diving Short Stop, but those heavy arms in the Outfield forced them to hold the runner at third. 6-3, bases still loaded, just one out. Stephen Eager-White, who has been stinging balls all season, just missed one. However, the contact he did make mimicked a 'Suicide Squeeze Bunt' and the throw to get him at first, which he beat out, allowed Aznar to score. Bases still loaded, just one out, down 6-4 and Jeff Schwartz stepped to the plate. 

Del Val's Outfield had been playing him back all day. They knew what he was capable of, but he is so hard to defend against and Schwartz proved it again with a 2-run bomb over their heads to deep, deep center that tied the game at 6. Kevin Courtney followed suit with a two-run Triple in the Left Center gap that gave the Rockets an 8-6 lead. Del Val was standing around perplexed as their Coach came out signaling the end of Conway's day, but the Rockets onslaught was far from over and Del Val's Bullpen couldn't stop the bleeding. With two outs Jhonas Dunakin, who led off the inning, worked another deep count and was eventually hit by a pitch. Moments later he simply walked to 2nd on a signature "Mt. Airy" play that took advantage of the defense needing to protect against the runner on third. Aznar worked another walk and Baker ripped another hot shot single, which scored Courtney. Then Aaron Watson-Sharer, who hit a monster Home Run in his first At Bat of the season against Dobbins in a 28-0 win, blasted one to Right that knocked in another two. Reese drew another walk and "Mt Airyed" his way to 2nd. 

There was seemingly no end in sight as the Rockets lineup just kept finding ways to get on base. 45 minutes after Eager-White scored the 2nd run to make it 6-4 the inning finally came to a close when he flew out deep to Right. 10 Runs, 8 Hits, 3 BB, and 1 HBP later and the Rockets had a commanding 12-6 lead moving into the final inning in which Courtney shut the door with 2 Strike Outs. 

The epic come-from-behind win kept SLA perfect in "AA" Classification play (3-0), gave them a Tie-Breaker over the top two teams in their Division, and a loss by FLC across town put the Rockets alone in 1st Place for the first time this deep in a season since the program started in 2010. The 'never-say-die' attitude of this Rockets club and their potent offense, which can be temporarily contained but never wholly denied, continues to strike legitimate fear into their opponents. Scoring 95 runs in 7 games can have that effect. 

Next up, FLC on Mon, 5/5 and S Philly on Wed, 5/7. 

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2nd Annual Rough Cut Film Fest 2013 @ TFI 6/13 630-830pm

​Come join us in Franklin Hall at The Franklin Institute for an evening 
of thought provoking, entertaining and hilarious films. 

Thursday, June 13th. Doors open at 630pm and the show starts at 7. 

Enter Franklin Hall at TFI from Winter Street 

Go to roughcutfilmfest2013.eventbrite.com to reserve your free tickets. 

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"THE ROCKET" BRINGS HOME THE BLING

FRANKFORD, PA
The PIAA held their annual banquet to honor the ALL PUBLIC players and Coaches for their tremendous accomplishments throughout the 2013 season at Rosewood Caterers, Frankford, PA. 

Among the players honored were four members of SLA's near perfect Rocket team that finished a magical season at 11-1, and will move up in Divisional play for the 2014 season. 

Senior Pitcher and Infielder Nick Manton finished the season with a 1.125 ERA, 0.4375 WHIP, struck out 21 batters, issued only 1 Walk and surrendered just 2 Earned Runs all season. Nick was also awarded SLA's Cy Young Award for Pitcher of the Year. Great way to end his play and start his Coaching career with the team.

Junior Center fielder and Pitcher Jeff Schwartz, who led the team in nearly every offensive category and was runner-up for league M.V.P, also achieved the near impossible by winning the Division's Triple Crown- Most RBIs (32) Runs Batted In, Most Home Runs (4) and Best Batting Average (.857). Jeff also blew away Divisional players with a .912 OBP (On Base Percentage), 1.856 SLG (Slugging Percentage) and 2.77 OPS (On Base Plus Slugging). 

Junior Pitcher and Infielder Ethan Reese, who was an outrageously effective Lead-Off hitter, won the 2013 Silver Slugger Award. Ethan led the team in hits (21), was 2nd with a .657 Batting Average, 2nd in Runs (20) and 3rd with a .695 OBP (On Base Percentage). 

Freshman Catcher and Pitcher Kevin Courtney, garnered Rookie of the Year honors for his defense and consistent offensive production in the Clean-Up Spot (Batting 4th). Kevin was 2nd on the team in RBIs (19) Runs Batted In, scored 14 Runs; was 3rd with 16 Hits- 7 of which were for Extra-Bases, and led the team with 5 Doubles. Kevin finished his first season as a Rocket with a .640 Batting Average, .735 OBP, 1.000 SLG, and a 1.74 OPS. 

Senior Pitcher and Short Stop Jordan McLaughlin, who just today ran into a collapsed building and saved two women in Center City Philadelphia, received the Roberto Clemente Award for his tireless and consistent effort in building Rockets Baseball at SLA. Just like Mr. Clemente, who lost his life in a plane crash personally ensuring that relief supplies reached earthquake victims in Nicaragua ('72), Jordan "best exemplifies the game of Baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and an individual's contribution to his team." Compassionate and selfless way to end play and start his Coaching career with the team.
NYTimes reported that Mr. McLuaghlin refused credit for saving two women and stated, "I just went to try to help people because it was the right thing to do."  

Rockets Head Coach Douglas Herman accepted the honor of reading out the awards for the D-Division All-Public League Players, and was all smiles as he read out the names of his very own Rockets. 





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2013 ROCKET BASEBALL FINAL SEASON REPORT

It was well below freezing when an 'Army of the Interested' pressed hard into the whipping winds swirling about the Schuylkill in January. While the immediate goal of reaching a new practice field was a mere two miles away, their true destination was waiting patiently four months down the road in the form of a division championship and playoff berth. That initial group, numbering over fifty on the daily, commanded the attention of tourists who had simply come for a pic of the famous Rocky Statue after running the steps in pseudo-mocking fashion. While they would get their picture after struggling up and down the steps in designer boots, they would also leave the Museum witnessing some dedicated, never-say-die young "Rocks" in the making.  

As was expected, the "interested" dwindled when the sessions increased in intensity and frequency. However, those who kept coming back for more formed the core of a dominating "Army of One" set to do battle from beginning to end. While their heroes and role models worked out in the golden sun of Florida and Arizona, this Army did so in defiance of the elements. When both started their respective seasons on April 1st, it was as if the roles had been reversed and the professionals paled in comparison to the amateurs. 

"There were three main goals when we started out this season", said SLA Varsity Baseball Coach Doug Herman before the team took the field vs. Sankofa in their final regular season game. "We set out to establish a J.V. squad to expand our program, finally secure a home field, and we looked to command our own destiny with solid, fundamental performances to earn the right to move up in the Varsity ranks. We obviously achieved the first two, thanks to the addition of Coach Dan Winterstein, but a solid win today will help us accomplish all three." While having the Umpires officially deem the field unplayable on the final day of the Regular Season was not how this team wanted to earn a trip to C, they'll take it. 

That Army, formed through the dark days of painful practices in swirling winds and bone-cold temps behind the ominous towers of Lee Park, never took their eyes off the prize. That Army, which would become known simply as "The Rocket", would weather all sorts of storms and suffer through hours of daily public transit to attend practices. That Army, which never let anything ruffle their feathers, had something to prove and constantly put their all on display. It was clear to anyone who glimpsed at the standings or box scores during this 2013 Season that this Army walked the talk and clobbered most who they faced. 

From the very first game, when King's most Dedicated forgot he wasn't coaching football, and chose to incessantly bark his orders instead of sending signs, to the very end when Sankofa's coach didn't lift a finger to prepare their field for battle, "The Rocket" maintained composure and completed a near-perfect season, finishing 11-1. But these warriors were gentlemen too. They dominated but never forgot where they came from. Remembering what it was like to be on the receiving end of mismatched beat downs, they moved toward their goal with class and earned the respect of everyone along the way.

"Started from the bottom, now the whole team here."

If all things were fair and equitable "The Rocket" would not yet be the material for an end-of-season article such as this. For in no sport, on any level, does a team with only 1 loss over an entire season NOT make the playoffs. Outside of their own circle of fans and divisional opponents the "The Rocket" will merely serve as a poster-child for what happens when your best IS good enough but it still doesn't get you to "The Show". So exactly how does a team that goes 11-1, leads the league in Runs Scored, and establishes the best overall Run Differential NOT make the playoffs?  

The answer is surprisingly rooted in an attempt to ensure all things were fair and equitable. Somehow this best laid plan has led to massive inequity, inconsistency and the continuation of smaller inner-city schools being further stripped of opportunities to fairly compete. In theory, the structure of the Public League for High School Baseball- four Divisions based off skill and four Classifications based off of school population- is supposed to ensure fair competition takes place. But the functional reality of this structure unfolds more like a Caste System with extremely limited upward mobility and consistent obstacles imposed upon under-funded and under-supported programs across the city. 

SLA, classified as a "AA" school based off the number of eligible boys in their student body, has been in the D-Division since joining the Public League in 2010. After fighting through a rough start (notching zero wins in its first eight games is certainly rough), "The Rocket" has surged with 29 wins for an overall program record of 29-17. During this stretch they made the playoffs twice and yet remained in D since the only way out was to win the Division. The system, which works a little bit like the English Premiere Football League, only promotes 1 and demotes another each season to ensure competition in each Division is "fair and equitable". 

While this seems to make sense, the reality is that regardless of Classification a team literally needs to be perfect to get out of D. Teams who make just one mistake along the way, like SLA this season, are doomed to dwell in D forever and suffer as a result. Fields are not maintained, if they exist at all, permanently installed equipment is regularly stolen, major transportation issues are a daily reality, many games are only afforded one umpire instead of at least two, and the level of competition is inconsistent at best. 

Every team that has escaped the dungeon of D- Boys Latin ('10), Ben Franklin ('11), Del-Val Charter ('12) and now University City ('13)- have all accomplished the necessary feat of perfection. This leaves younger teams like SLA on the outside looking in when a C-Division team drops down and then goes undefeated. This was the case with Ben Franklin and Del Val in previous seasons. While SLA had their eyes squarely and legitimately set on a Divisional Championship this season, their coach knew that an early season loss to University City would come back to haunt them. In response, he started wearing number 11 on his jersey to signify the number of wins they would NEED to have for a legitimate shot at the top spot. SLA won their final 9 games, and over that stretch remained perfect at home, tossed 2 "no-hitters" (Nick Manton and Jeff Schwartz), outscored their opponents 97-13, and further clarified they belonged in a higher Division all along.

The unfortunate reality is that D is a "one-and-done" league. Unlike the higher Divisions, where teams can actually make mistakes, lose games and still make the playoffs, D-teams MUST be perfect to move up. This unfortunately motivates coaches to abuse their best and brightest players in their attempts at perfection. On more than one occasion this season SLA opponents had their best starters throw well over 100 pitches in a single game. In three cases they hurled over 200. Coaches were inclined to repeatedly throw their best starter in every game instead of develop a full rotation of pitchers. Seeing the potential for long-term injury, many are talking about implementing pitch count limits on players as they do for International Little League World Series players. 

Aside from their offensive prowess, SLA impressed by consistently using multiple pitchers, none ever throwing over 100, which ensured all were legally available for every game and healthy enough to do so. It also opened up more opportunities for everyone to contribute to the team's success. While the results speak for themselves it was uncertain what would happen by the end of the season. In hindsight, SLA wishes it had all their starters for that game vs. University City. Perhaps they are the ones who end up undefeated, but the point here is that one loss shouldn't have been the death knell for a shot at post-season play. SLA was forced to remain perfect and hope for Univ. City to slip up and they almost did. But with come-from-behind-wins against Sankofa, West Philly and Randolph U.C. pulled it off to finish undefeated, win the Division, face Nueva Esperanza in the AA Classification Playoffs, and give the school something to be proud of in its final season of operation.  

But what about SLA? Shouldn't finishing just 1 game behind an undefeated team get them to "The Show"? The answer is yes. Well, that is if it was still 2012. 

However, this year an out-of-nowhere and unexplained new development unfairly snapped SLA's streak of consecutive playoff berths at a time when they clearly had built a team to go deep in the Tournament. Only 1 AA team would qualify for the Tournament so that a school- Mast Charter- that doesn't even play in District XII could compete. As a result, SLA which beat everyone but U.C. doesn't get in at 11-1. No clarification for this decision was ever provided, but it should have been seen on the horizon since District XII leadership has slowly but surely been limiting the number of D-Division teams that qualify for the tournament. 

In 2010 and '11 three teams from AA got in, in 2012 just 2 made it, and now only 1 would earn a berth. The rationale behind the shift was that it had been a long time since a D-Division team won a playoff game. According to the current League leadership a D team has never beaten an A or B-Division school and the latter automatically make the tournament regardless of record. With the focus squarely put on the Public League having the best possible team to represent the City in State competitions, no mind was paid to any of the Little Engines That Might-Could compete on that level. But anyone paying attention to the growth and performance of specific AA-Class D-Division programs, while higher class-programs dropped significantly in quality, would have seen this coming well before the first pitch on Opening Day. So the result is as follows: A-Class (Rush 6-5), which lost to SLA 12-1 gets in. AAA-Class (King 6-6), which blew a 4-0 lead to SLA and lost 8-5, gets in. And AAAA-Class Bartram (9-3), which blatantly ducked SLA in the final week to ensure they had their best pitcher available for the playoffs, gets in. This leaves SLA on the outside looking in on account of that one loss to U.C. which represents AA-Class. 

While SLA's near perfect season isn't for naught- they will move up to C since Univ. City is closing- a plan is in the works for a D-Division Tournament of Champions at SLA's home field at Mt. Airy Park. Invitations will be sent out to the top 4 teams in D in an effort to provide these forgotten programs with some high-stakes games. For Seniors, this will be all they get in terms of meaningful games as their High School Baseball careers come to a close. SLA would be the #2 Seed, right behind undefeated University City, and would face the squad from Bartram that ducked them. Univ. City would face Randolph (9-3). The winners would play for the Championship and the losers in a Consolation game. The Tournament is expected to take place after the official PIAA Playoff brackets unfold prior to Memorial Day Weekend.  

As the sun starts to set on a magical season, and SLA Varsity Baseball says farewell to Nick Manton, Abe Musselman, Jordan McLaughlin, Mike Sanders and Matt Rinaldi, at least they stayed true to their mascot. Much like an actual rocket engine, which thrusts forward by rapidly throwing back its exhaust, "The Rocket" will continue to surge with the contributions of all who weather the storm to be a part of this "Army of One". 

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Rocket Finishes Near Perfect (11-1), Moves up to C for '14


 It was well below freezing when an 'Army of the Interested' pressed hard into the whipping winds swirling about the Schuylkill in January. While the immediate goal of reaching a new practice field was a mere two miles away, their true destination was waiting patiently four months down the road in the form of a division championship and playoff berth. That initial group, numbering over fifty on the daily, commanded the attention of tourists who had simply come for a pic of the famous Rocky Statue after running the steps in pseudo-mocking fashion. While they would get their picture after struggling up and down the steps in designer boots, they would also leave the Museum witnessing some dedicated, never-say-die young "Rocks" in the making.  

As was expected, the "interested" dwindled when the sessions increased in intensity and frequency. However, those who kept coming back for more formed the core of a dominating "Army of One" set to do battle from beginning to end. While their heroes and role models worked out in the golden sun of Florida and Arizona, this Army did so in defiance of the elements. When both started their respective seasons on April 1st, it was as if the roles had been reversed and the professionals paled in comparison to the amateurs. 

"There were three main goals when we started out this season", said SLA Varsity Baseball Coach Doug Herman before the team took the field vs. Sankofa in their final regular season game. "We set out to establish a J.V. squad to expand our program, finally secure a home field, and we looked to command our own destiny with solid, fundamental performances to earn the right to move up in the Varsity ranks. We obviously achieved the first two, thanks to the addition of Coach Dan Winterstein, but a solid win today will help us accomplish all three." While having the Umpires officially deem the field unplayable on the final day of the Regular Season was not how this team wanted to earn a trip to C, they'll take it. 

That Army, formed through the dark days of painful practices in swirling winds and bone-cold temps behind the ominous towers of Lee Park, never took their eyes off the prize. That Army, which would become known simply as "The Rocket", would weather all sorts of storms and suffer through hours of daily public transit to attend practices. That Army, which never let anything ruffle their feathers, had something to prove and constantly put their all on display. It was clear to anyone who glimpsed at the standings or box scores during this 2013 Season that this Army walked the talk and clobbered most who they faced. 

From the very first game, when King's most Dedicated forgot he wasn't coaching football, and chose to incessantly bark his orders instead of sending signs, to the very end when Sankofa's coach didn't lift a finger to prepare their field for battle, "The Rocket" maintained composure and completed a near-perfect season, finishing 11-1. But these warriors were gentlemen too. They dominated but never forgot where they came from. Remembering what it was like to be on the receiving end of mismatched beat downs, they moved toward their goal with class and earned the respect of everyone along the way.

"Started from the bottom, now the whole team here."




2013SLARocketOpt
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Rush Underestimates, Pays Price; Rocket Wins 7th Straight




Before the first pitch was thrown, Rush's Short Stop nonchalantly asked his teammates where they were going to celebrate after beating up SLA. Four inning innings later he was chirping at SLA's 3rd Base Coach claiming they weren't showing class by running hard on the base paths to build a 10-run lead. The innings in between his two comments were a textbook example of how psychological the game of Baseball can be, why Rush fell out of C division last year and how the Rockets continue to surge. 

After striking out the first two batters he faced, Rush's starter- Anthony Moore- walked Jeff Schwartz on four pitches, became visibly frustrated when he stole second, and seemed to lose his composure when called for a Balk. Schwartz was awarded third and easily scored on the next pitch when Kevin Courtney ripped one through that same Short Stop to make it 1-0. 

The psychological impact of a run scoring without a hit continued to unnerve Moore who was called for a total of three Balks in the game. The second put Mike Sanders in scoring position and Moore uncorked a wild pitch allowing him to reach 3rd. Although Sanders didn't score, the scene was foreshadowing for what would unfold in the third and fourth innings where the Rockets would score 11 times.

Moore threw hard, but the Rockets were patient the second time around the order. Ethan Reese fought off a bunch of pitches, eventually ripping a single up the middle and Abe Musselman was hit squarely in the back to reach 1st. With the runners moving, Jeff Schwartz notched his 31st and 32nd RBIs of the season on a rip into Center. Schwartz advanced to 2nd when Rush's defense tried to throw out Musselman at the plate. Kevin Courtney continued his hot hitting with an RBI (19) single to Center, making it 4-0. Mike Sanders came back in to pinch run, stole 2nd and 3rd and then scored on Nick Manton's groundout to the right side to make it 5-0. 

Rush got 1 run back off 3 consecutive singles, but Nick Manton, who remained perfect on the season in 4 appearances by striking out 7 and only issuing 1 Walk, got some great defense from Mike Sanders whose catch in Right stranded runners on 2nd and 3rd. The Rockets continued to prove they can play Small Ball as well as mash it up by scoring 7 more runs off just 1 extra-base hit in the 4th to put it out of reach. The win moved SLA just 1/2 game out of first place behind University City who was in action against Gratz. 

Kevin Courtney led The Rocket attack, reaching base in all 3 plate appearances, going 2-2 with a Double, 4RBIs and 2 Runs-scored (by Mike Sanders). SLA finished their 3-game road trip a perfect 3-0 and rides a 7-game win streak back home to Mt. Airy where they have outscored their opponents 82-9 in 5 games. Their next game is on May 6th vs. Bartram (7-2). 

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SLA To Open Second Campus at Beeber Middle School Site

Due to the overwhelming demand from the students and families of Philadelphia, the Science Leadership Academy and The Franklin Institute are proud to announce the opening of the Science Leadership Academy - Beeber Campus. Science Leadership Academy – Beeber (SLA-B) will open with 125 9th graders at the Beeber Middle School complex in the fall. SLA-B is being generously supported by a $1.9 million grant from Philadelphia School Partnership. 

The students of the inaugural class of SLA-B will be chosen from the students who interviewed for SLA in the fall. Students who are still on the waiting list for SLA can email their interest toadmissions@scienceleadership.org; teachers interested in working at SLA-B should send copies of their resume and a cover letter to teaching@scienceleadership.org.  

For the full story, check Jenn Wright's story at SLAMedia.org.

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Michael Dell Visits SLA

Michael Dell will be touring SLA and speaking to the 11th and 12th grade on Thursday, April 25th at 1:30 at SLA. We ask that all SLA students dress professionally and wear their lab coats. Michael Dell is the founder of Dell Computers, and he is being honored with an award at The Franklin Institute Thursday night. 

This is an incredible honor for SLA, and it continues the wonderful partnership between SLA and TFI that has brought speakers such as Dr. Stephen Squyres and Bill Gates to the school. 

-- Mr. Lehmann

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Rockets Prove They Belong; Mercy-Rule Randolph 16-5


The big showdown between SLA and Randolph had loomed all season long. Aside from Randolph being SLA's most historically heated rival, the recent success of both programs made it a foregone conclusion that the winner of their head-to-head would be in line for a playoff berth. Both teams came into the showdown 6-1, tied for 2nd, and in need of a win to keep pace with University City who remains undefeated. 

SLA followed the normal formula of putting their 1 and 2-hitters on base for Jeff Schwartz and Kevin Courtney, the hard-throwing freshman, to drive them in. This time around Randolph's defense held them to 2 runs and got them right back when Courtney struggled with his location in the first. 

Justo Rodriguez, the hard-throwing All-Public League pitcher for Randolph, and Courtney settled down in the 2nd, both striking out the side, but SLA was back at it in the 3rd. Abe Musselman got it started off with a roaring double to the gap in Left Center and Kevin Courtney drove him and Jeff Schwartz in with a double of his own. Courtney would score a batter later when Nick Manton sliced one down the first base line to make it 5-2. 

Courtney's command issues resurfaced when he hit the first two batters he faced in the 3rd, putting himself in a quick jam. However, Randolph's hitters crowded the plate and the Umpire didn't grant Courtney the inside of the plate all game. They eventually squeezed a run in when a dropped third strike forced a calculated throw to first to ensure the out was recorded. Both sides seemed destined for a see-saw war of attrition, but Courtney induced two groundouts to end the frame and hold the lead at 5-3.

The energy was high for Randolph when Rodriguez took the mound in the 4th, but The Rocket used this third time around to prove they can play at the next level. SLA batted around in the 4th, scored ten runs off 10 hits (three of them doubles by Schwartz, Courtney and Mike Ostrowski) and Mike Sanders laid down a beautiful squeeze bunt to transform a one-time nail-biter into a commanding mercy-rule win.

Courtney closed out a 3-hit complete game performance in the 5th. He finished the day with 11 Strikeouts, and The Rocket provided plenty of fire power with 16 runs on 14 hits. With the win, SLA improves to 7-1 and moved into sole possession of 2nd place. Their next game is Tues, 4/30 vs. upstart Rush. 

 
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Gratz Challenges But The Rocket Proves Resilient




Heading into their 7th game of the season news of University City and Randolph's wins were common knowledge. The Rocket, with just one loss, knew they need to be perfect the rest of the way to ensure a fighting chance for a playoff birth in what has turned out to be the most competitive season in recent years. 

Ethan Reese, fresh off his commanding performance over W Philly, got the start and proved he was more than capable of pitching on short rest notching 11 strikeouts and only surrendering 4 hits over 4 innings. After striking out the first two batters he faced, Reese got The Rocket off to a fast start by ripping a lead-off double. Shockingly SLA stranded the bases loaded and entered the 2nd still scoreless. Reese struck out the side on 21 pitches and then the bottom of SLA's order turned it back over en route to building a 6-run lead. Jhonas Dunakin smacked a shot into the gap in Right Center that seemingly was deep enough for a Home Run, but officials reversed their initial call ruling it a ground-ruled double. No harm no foul as Dunakin would later score when Jeff Schwartz smashed a monster 3-run Home Run to dead Centerfield. 

Gratz scratched back into the game with 3 runs in the 3rd off some uncharacteristic defensive miscues, but SLA got 2 of the 3 back in the 3rd and 4th, proving they can play small-ball as well by moving runners and taking advantage of Gratz's inconsistent defense. Gratz was far from giving up though and scored 2 on a couple of extra base hits off Jeff Schwartz, who came on in relief in the 5th. Schwartz eventually settled down, quieted Gratz's bats and squashed a potential rally. The Rocket was cool, calm and collected as they weathered the late rally by Gratz. And then they opened it up with 7 runs over the next two frames to close the game out in 6. 

The 15-5 win sets up a huge showdown with Randolph riddled with playoff implications as both teams stand at 6-1 and a game behind University City. The showdown on 4/24 will be the start of a 5-game road swing for The Rocket, but no one seems even slightly phased. The program's historical success on the road, on account of playing without a home field for the past three seasons, has set up a "no excuses" mentality, and an ability to perform as a unit even when the opponent's fan base gets loud. Calls of "Bird...Bird....Bird..." tend to be met with gutsy strikeouts, solid defense, and a heck of a lot of runs for The Rocket. 

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Reese Leads Way Over W Philly for Lopsided 19-1 Win

Ethan Reese dominated the normally lively W Philly bats, and got it done on at the plate as well in the lead-off role. After surrendering a couple of singles and walking in a run, thanks to a super-stingy strike zone, Reese shut the door on W Philly and limited the damage to 1 run.

Reese followed with a scorching single after a battle of an at bat and The Rocket erased the brief deficit with 12 runs in the 1st. He would finish up the day going 3-3 with 4 runs scored and 1 RBI. The usual suspects were at it again mashing anything close to the strike zone. Abe Musselman continues to impress in the 2-spot going 2-2 with 3 runs scored and a pair of RBIs in 4 plate appearances. Captain Jeff Schwartz, who continues to lead the team in nearly every offensive category, went 3-3 with a triple and notched 7 more RBIs in 4 trips to the plate. While nearly every team in the league has a top 5 that can inflict damage, SLA stands out with a lineup that consistently bats around. Nearly half of the runs scored for The Rocket came from the 6-9 hitters who showed W Philly hurlers no mercy. 

SLA moved to 5-1 on the season with the lopsided win, and is geared up for a showdown with undefeated Randolph. But first thing is first, as The Rocket looks to remain perfect at home against a rejuvenated Simon Gratz squad on 4/22. 


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Schwartz hurls "No-No"; Rocket Stays Perfect at Home

The bats were alive as ever for The Rocket as SLA continued to clarify that they should be considered as a candidate for moving up to C Division at seasons end. An upstart Dobbins team that started strong was at a loss for how to handle The Rocket offensive onslaught which hammered twelve hits, forced five errors and knocked in fifteen runs in just two innings. 

Fifteen seems to be the magic number for SLA as they continue to mercy-rule their opponents in their new home digs at Mt. Airy Park. So far this season The Rocket has outscored their opponents 48-3 and only yielded 1 measly hit in 3 home games, none getting past the third inning. 

Jeff Schwartz, who leads the team in nearly every offensive category, also got it done on the mound hurling three perfect innings of work. Only 1 Dobbins batter reached base on an error to lead off the 2nd frame. After he stole 2nd, Schwartz dominated the heart of their order to strand the runner. Schwartz was dominant, striking out 6 batters, en route to his first career no-hitter in a Rocket uniform. 

As has been the case in Mt. Airy, The Rocket had a huge inning with 18 batters coming to the plate, 12 scoring, in the 2nd. Sophomore Stephen "Staxx" Eager-White nearly batted 3 times in the frame as SLA batted around twice. He reached base both times with laser beam shots to the left side, both driving in runs. He scored seemingly moments later both times as the top of the order didn't let Dobbins' pitchers off the hook. 

All contributed to the offensive barrage as every player drove in runs and crossed the plate at least once, further proving there aren't any holes in this line up. Mike Sanders laid down a sweet bunt for an RBI with the bases loaded on a suicide squeeze, and scored two batters later when Abe Musselman drove in two on a hot shot to the left side.

With the win The Rocket keeps pace with red-hot University City and Randolph, both undefeated, as they push past the mid-point of a hectic season. SLA is home again on Thurs, 4/18 hosting W Philly. 

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Deja Vu- Rocket Wins by 15; Beats Up Lamberton 17-2

The Rocket got off to another hot start notching 11 runs in the first inning and cruising the rest of the way to a 17-2 victory over rival Lamberton. Nick Manton, who keeps getting sick run support, had another strong outing holding them to just 1 hit and claimed his third win of the season. 

Team Captain Jeff Schwartz went 4-4 alternating between doubles and Home Runs, the 2nd a Grand Slam- and finished the day with 8 RBIs. Freshman Mike Ostrowski continues to terrorize Left Fielders with scorching shots down the line and in the gap, both turning into triples. Abe Musselman also hit a Home Run in the gap and Kevin Courtney ripped 2 doubles, going 3-4 with 3 Runs scored.

Ethan Reese also continued his hot hitting, belting his team-leading 12th hit of the season and scoring 3Runs. Nick did it on both sides of the ball again by whacking 2 doubles and driving in 2, while Stephen Eager-White consistently turned the lineup back over with a 2-3 day including a 2-RBI double in the first. Seemingly terrified to leave it over the plate for SLA's big man to swat it out of the park, Lamberton's pitcher ended up plunking Raekwon Smith twice. He scored both times, and Mike Sanders was lightening on the base paths as a courtesy runner for the Catcher. Jordan McLaughlin and Antonio Reveron, both called up from J.V. for their hot bats and solid defense, instilled confidence and allowed Nick to challenge batters in his 2nd start of the season. The domination of a normally formidable opponent helped The Rocket (3-1) keep pace with red-hot Randolph (5-0) and University City (4-0). 

Heavy rains washed out Sankofa's field in Frankford, so Friday's game will take place on Fri, 4/26. SLA starts a 3-game homestand vs. Dobbins (Tues, 4/16) and W. Philly (Thurs, 4/18). The Rocket is undefeated at Mt. Airy Park where they have outscored their opponents 33-3. 

The J.V. Squad will look to get even on the season with more stellar plays in the field like a fully extended diving snare at Short by Jordan McLaughlin. He has also been swinging the bat and delivering solidly from the mound. J.V. hits the road vs. Tacony Academy (Tues, 4/16) and will then look to push back into the black against Maritime Academy (Thurs, 4/18).  

  
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Nick Manton Throws No-Hitter; Rocket Rolls Over Freire 16-1

In some respects the game was over before the Rocket's high-powered offense even stepped to the plate. In their first official home game at their new field in Mt. Airy Park, their defense helped Nick Manton retire the first 3 batters he faced on a measly 8 pitches, hinting at what would develop into a dominating performance. 14 batters came to the plate in the bottom of the first for SLA and 10 crossed home, which confused the manual scorekeepers on the freshly-minted Science Leadership Academy Scoreboard. The best they could do was leave a 0 in the 1st frame and report the official score on the far side as they entered the 2nd inning. 

Manton's dominance continued as he struck out the next two batters he faced and got out of a jam as two reached base on errors. The Rocket was back at it again in the bottom of the 2nd when Stephen Eager-White turned the order over again with a screamer down the line to score one and move another Rocket to 3rd. Ethan Reese brought in two more by forcing a quick throw on an infield single that got past their First Basemen. Jeff Schwartz, who had already tripled and doubled in the first inning alone, put down a sacrifice bunt to move a runner but ended up reaching on a low throw. 

Freire finally stopped the bleeding and kept the game alive when their Shortstop turned a beautiful unassisted double play by grabbing a hot shot from Kevin Courtney, tagging Schwartz and shooting a laser to first in time to catch Kevin racing down the line. Nick took back the mound in the 3rd, struck out two more and also fielded the 3rd out to keep his "No-No" intact. 

Recognizing that Freire wasn't going to mount a comeback The Rocket took their foot off the gas and played the remainder of the game as respectfully as possible. Freire finally got on the board in the 4th after they reached base on a communication error in the infield. That baserunner successfully stole 2nd, moved to 3rd on a Balk (the only blemish on Manton's stellar performance on the mound), and eventually scored on a passed ball that skipped to the backstop. 

Jeff Schwartz, who finished the game 3-3 with 3RBI, 3Runs, and just shy of hitting for the Cycle, reached on a walk in his 4th plate appearance. Kevin Courtney followed with a solid shot that was hard to handle in right which scored Schwartz. Kevin ended up at third a pitch later and easily scored on Manton's single to center to ice the game. 

The 16-run Rocket attack was also fueled by Abe Musselman who went 3-3 and racked up 3RBIs in the 2 spot; Freshman Mike Ostrowski who reached base on all 3 plate appearances and ripped an RBI-double in the 1st; Mike Sanders who worked a walk and later scored on a single by Ethan Reese; and an RBI-single by the Rocket's Big Man Raekwon Smith. While Freire's defense consistently stopped themselves from making it a competitive game, SLA's attack was a fine balance of power-hitting and small-ball efficiency. Nick Manton, who earned his 2nd win of the season for SLA had a final line of 4IP, 0ER, 0H, 7K, 0BB, producing the 2nd unconventional "No-Hitter" in team history. 

SLA looks to ride this energizing wave into a 3-game road trip next week against University City (Mon, 4/8), Lamberton (Wed, 4/10) and Sankofa Freedom Academy (Fri, 4/12). Shortly after the game ended, Varsity got word that their J.V. counterpart also had their way with a 12-4 road win over Mastbaum. Diamond Blenman pitched lights out for the second straight game, Jordan McLaughlin hit a triple and also struck out every batter he faced in relief. J.V. has their Home Opener at Mt. Airy Park against Olney on Tues, 4/9. 

Rockets on 3, 1…2…3, ROCKETS!!!

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SLA Baseball Storms Back to Beat King 8-5 on Opening Day

Great Opening Day for SLA as they got revenge with 3 huge runs in the bottom of the sixth for a come-from-behind win over MLK. Shout outs to Nick Manton for knocking in the winning runs with a huge 2-run HR, and then closing out the final inning to secure the win. 

Freshman upstart Kevin Courtney ripped a clutch triple in the gap, and threw 3 scoreless innings to keep the game knotted at 5. Jeffrey Schwartz crushed a 3-0 pitch for an Utley-esque triple to help the Rockets erase a 3-0 deficit in the 2nd, and made solid plays in Center and at Short. 

Freshman Mike Ostrowski made 2 key defensive plays out in Left to keep the game close in the middle frames, and reached base repeatedly. Ethan Reese struck out 6 in 3 innings, threw out 2 guys trying to steal at 2nd once he went behind the plate to catch Kevin in the 4th and also hit 2 doubles.

Of course the players mentioned aren't the only ones responsible for the win. Abe Musselman used his bare hand to knock down a hot shot down the 3rd-base line, keeping it to a single, and SLA got out of the inning without any further damage. Mike Sanders sped down the line on a hard hit infield single and eventually scored the tying run. Stephen Eager-White played a solid 2nd Base and was a nightmare on the bases. 

Raekwon Smith was a rock at first, and hit a monster shot but King's Center Fielder tracked it down. Varsity Coach Douglas Herman kept his cool and didn't let the loud and "Dedicated Coach" from King get under his skin, and made solid moves managing his pitchers to ensure all would be eligible to pitch again this week. Major respect goes to Lulu Nhan for braving the whipping wind and bone-cold conditions throughout the game to keep score and manage the spirit of the team. 

SLA's baseball program is off to a strong start, and will have their Home opener against Freire at their new field in Mt. Airy on Thursday. 

Come on out to support. Rockets on 3- 1...2...3, ROCKETS!!! 

as reported by Ethan Reese and Coach Herman
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Rough Cut Film Fest 2012

​JUST ONE WEEK UNTIL OUR FIRST ANNUAL 
Rough Cut Film Festival 2012
at The Franklin Institute (Philadelphia, PA)
Tues, June 5, 2012 (6-8:30 PM)

Rough Cut Productions proudly presents its first annual film festival showcasing student work from the past academic season. Varying in length and content, all of the films in the showcase make it abundantly clear that age is not pre-requisite for professional filmmaking.

The films included in this inaugural show run the gamut of storytelling via content, style and format, but all come back to skills honed through our video production courses.

Come to The Franklin for an evening of films that will entertain, provoke thought, inspire and most importantly celebrate the amazing work of these young artists.

A Q&A session with the filmmakers along with a reception will follow the film screenings. This event is free, and open to the SLA community and their guests. The Musser Theater has a 250 person capacity, so reserve your ticket early.

Go to our event page on EVENTBRITE to reserve your free ticket
RCutFilmFest2012
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"Collapse" of American Dream (animated)

"Collapse" of American Dream (animated). While this cartoon is highly biased in its approach, it does a good job of explaining the relationship between the FED (Federal Reserve Bank), the US Govt and the taxpayer. It approaches the age-old debate between regulation and deregulation, state vs federal authority, and private vs. public control of our markets. Lots of questions should follow.
The Collapse of The American Dream Explained in Animation
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Rough Cut Film Fest 2012

​JUST ONE WEEK UNTIL OUR FIRST ANNUAL 
Rough Cut Film Festival 2012
at The Franklin Institute (Philadelphia, PA)
Tues, June 5, 2012 (6-8:30 PM)

Rough Cut Productions proudly presents its first annual film festival showcasing student work from the past academic season. Varying in length and content, all of the films in the showcase make it abundantly clear that age is not pre-requisite for professional filmmaking.

The films included in this inaugural show run the gamut of storytelling via content, style and format, but all come back to skills honed through our video production courses.

Come to The Franklin for an evening of films that will entertain, provoke thought, inspire and most importantly celebrate the amazing work of these young artists.

A Q&A session with the filmmakers along with a reception will follow the film screenings. This event is free, and open to the SLA community and their guests. The Musser Theater has a 250 person capacity, so reserve your ticket early.

Go to our event page on EVENTBRITE to reserve your free ticket


RCutFilmFest2012
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The Story of Stuff: Critiqued

This is a point-by-point refutation of the Annie Leonard piece. I offer this up not to say that what was initially presented to you is incorrect, but rather to provide you with the opposite end of the spectrum of thought in these issues. Somewhere, in between the two perhaps, the truth resides, and it is up to each of us to come to our own personal conclusions as to what that is. Watch both sides of the argument, and then think about the ways each use data and specific points to argue their case. 

This is only part 1 of 4 for the critique. The rest can be found on Youtube linked to this one. (There is a link for all of this on the Moodle assignment). 
Story of Stuff, The Critique Part 1 of 4
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The Story of Stuff: Critiqued

This is a point-by-point refutation of the Annie Leonard piece. I offer this up not to say that what was initially presented to you is incorrect, but rather to provide you with the opposite end of the spectrum of thought in these issues. Somewhere, in between the two perhaps, the truth resides, and it is up to each of us to come to our own personal conclusions as to what that is. Watch both sides of the argument, and then think about the ways each use data and specific points to argue their case. 

This is only part 1 of 4 for the critique. The rest can be found on Youtube linked to this one. (There is a link for all of this on the Moodle assignment). 
Story of Stuff, The Critique Part 1 of 4
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As The Rocket Goes, So Go The Flyers

The Rockets are back at it again with another memorable performance on what has become hallowed ground at 35th and Oxford. Interesting development considering it was the last official home game for SLA, but it was taking place against their rival Strawberry Mansion on "their" field. Considering recent history, and  Ethan Reese pitching a complete game 10-0 shutout, striking out 14 batters along the way, it is pretty clear who now owns 35th and Oxford. 

rocketsflyersfreezeframe
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As The Rocket Goes, So Go The Flyers!

The Rockets are back at it again with another memorable performance on what has become hallowed ground at 35th and Oxford. Interesting development considering it was the last official home game for SLA, but it was taking place against their rival Strawberry Mansion on "their" field. Considering recent history, and  Ethan Reese pitching a complete game 10-0 shutout, striking out 14 batters along the way, it is pretty clear who now owns 35th and Oxford.

After a devastating loss to Del Val, which is doing a great impersonation of a buzz saw as they cut through the entire division en route to a 7-0 record, SLA needed a big win like this to bounce back into playoff contention. Also, it seems that the Flyers needed the Rockets to win again as well. After the 10-3 drubbing they took last night while trying to clinch the series, the Flyers look like they need a little help from their friends. It's kind of eerie how these two teams are intricately linked. Stretching back to the 2010 playoff run, which found the Flyers down 0-3 to the hated Boston Bruins, anytime the Rockets win a game so do the Flyers. After dropping their first 8 contests in embarrassing fashion, never getting closer than a six-run loss, SLA Coach Herman had enough of losing. His pre-game speech against Comm Tech, which beat them 13-5 in their first game of the season, was curt and to the point. "Look, I am so tired of losing and I know you are too. I got tickets for the Flyers tonight and I'll be damned if getting mercy ruled again by a team we can beat is going to make me miss the start of the greatest comeback sports has ever seen. Let's just do the things we work on in practice and beat these guys. We are better than this. Start playing for one another and it will start to click". And click did it ever. With several starters missing the game, SLA stomped all over Comm Tech 25-10 for their first win in team history. Later that night the Flyers won in overtime 4-3 and started what has become exactly what Coach Herman predicted. 

The rest of that series against the Bruins found the Flyers battling back from deficits and shutting down the high-octane Bruins to even the series at 3-3. Funny thing was that the then 1-8 Rockets has also won two more games of their own, and each game happened on the same day the Flyers were slated to do battle. So it came down to the final game of the season for the Rockets, while the Flyers and Bruins set to duke it out in Boston for Game 7 on the same day. Just like the Flyers, the Rockets fell behind 3-0 to University City, but then all hell broke loose when several players threatened and actually tripped a Rocket on the base paths. Coach Herman called a timeout, and much like the magical time out called by Flyers coach Peter Laviolette at the end of the first period that led to a critical goal, the Rockets responded with cooler heads and hotter bats. SLA went on to score 13 unanswered runs to crush University City 13-3, all the while the SLA bench chant of "Let's Go Flyers" grew louder as each run crossed the plate. The Flyers completed the most epic and improbable comeback in sports history later that night with a 4-3 win over Boston to advance to the Eastern Conference Championship and eventually the Stanley Cup Finals. 

But the connection continued in the 2011 season as well. Whenever the Rockets won so did the Flyers, and while both made the playoffs, the Rockets for the first time in school history and the Flyers with high expectations to return to the Finals, both were bounced early on. This brings us to 2012 and the "one for the ages" Keystone State matchup of Flyers-Penguins. Save for the now most infamous modern hockey game this past Sunday at Wells Fargo Center, which the Flyers won 8-4, the link between the Rockets and Flyers is very much intact. Last week the Rockets beat their nemesis and playoff rival Randolph 14-4, and the Flyers came back to win Game 1 4-3 in overtime. The Rockets had that 400ft Walk-Off 10-8 win over University City on Friday when Raekwon Smith crushed a major league home run in the bottom of the 7th, which was followed by the Flyers trouncing the Pens 8-5 to take a 2-0 series lead. The 189 penalty minute game on Sunday happened with SLA idle, but then the wheels came off both teams. Short an impressive comeback to stave off the Mercy Rule for a few innings when they were down 13-1 in the 4th, the Rockets couldn't claw back to truly make it a game against the Del Val juggernaut, and the Flyers also got thumped by Pittsburgh 10-3. So while today's matchup between the Rockets and Strawberry Mansion was what their Coach considered the beginning of a playoff mentality to ensure the playoff were still a reality, SLA players and Coach all felt that the game had much greater implications.

SLA got it started early with Ethan Reese's lead off triple. Stephen White walked and Jeff Schwartz brought them both home with a rip shot to Mansion's Short Stop who took too long to throw to first. Ethan was running on contact, and Stephen went for home once the throw was off line to first. By the time the top of the SLA order was up again, Ethan Reese had already struck out 7 including the side in the 3rd. Reese got another single to lead off the third. He would finish the day 4-4 with the triple, 2 runs scored, 2 RBIs and 5 stolen bases. Stephen hustled hard down the line and reached on an error when Mansion's first basemen couldn't handle the throw. Reese scored and two quick steals later Stephen was on third for a heartbeat before Jeff Schwartz brought him in to make it 4-0. 

In the 4th TJ Nicolella, who was hit by a pitch, would scored to make it 5-0 on Reese's third hit of the game, and SLA broke it open in the 5th with four more runs. Ian McClendon got it started by working a lead-off walk and then stole second. Abe Musselman ripped a shot at the short stop who bobbled the ball and Ian scored when the throw to first was off-line. Abe stole second a moment later, but it didn't matter because Raekwon Smith smacked another monster shot, this time to right center for a triple and the RBI. It seemed as if Rae was going to be stranded at third after Vernon Holt struck out back-to-back Flyers I mean Rockets, but Jhonas Dunakin came through batting in the 9th slot with a hot-shot double down the line just past a diving third basemen to make it 8-0. Ethan Reese brought him home with his team-leading 4th hit of the game to stay perfect at the plate and quickly stole 2nd and 3rd. Coach Herman whispered in his ear, "you are the winning run, so get a move on the second there is contact", as he made it to third. Stephen White, who went 2-4 with 2 runs scored, an RBI and 3 stolen bases on the day ripped a shot to left, but it was right at their fielder. lose to walking off with the mercy rule victory then and there, SLA had to settle for a 9-0 lead going into the 6th. 

But this added some drama and some extra Ks for Reese as he struck out Mansion's deadly hitter Bynum for the third time in the game. Their other huge threat, starting pitcher Vernon Holt, worked a walk and then stole second and third. Trying to do it all on his own, Holt got greedy and tried to steal home, but Reese fired in time for Schwartz to apply a hard tag to Holt's face as he slid in to preserve the shutout. Rees struck out their cleanup hitter Croxtin for the second time on the day, and SLA moved to the bottom of the sixth looking for just one run to wrap it up. 

Jeff Schwartz got the party started with a roaring double down the third base line, and then stole 3rd on the next pitch. 90 feet away from victory, no outs. Holt walked McClendon who worked the count and quickly moved to second on catcher's indifference. That brought up Abe Musselman, who had a double and a triple in the game against Del Val, and continued the hot bat with a single to win the game and finish 3-4 with 2 RBIs and 1 run scored. Shortly after the teams lined up to shake hands Allen Harmon walked over to their coach and engaged him in conversation to distract him long enough to ensure he got the full brunt of the water bucket, a ritual that has carried over since that first win back in 2010. Soaking wet, Coach Herman passed out game balls and "pickles for triples" as he shouted "second place boys, we're in second place!"

So after the 10-0 methodical dismantling of Strawberry Mansion, Flyers fans should feel a bit more at ease going into tomorrow's Game 5 in Pittsburgh. After all, as the Rocket goes so go the Flyers. Perhaps the Rockets should start wearing Orange to clarify their affiliation, and perhaps Ed Snider can pay for the uniforms. Season tickets also seem to be in order. Just sayin'!   

rocketsflyersfreezeframe
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Raekwon's Monster Blast Powers SLA to Walk-Off Victory

Fresh off handily beating their arch rival and divisional nemesis Randolph for the first time last week by a final count of 14-4, SLA Baseball stepped foot onto some unlikely hallowed ground at  35th and Oxford  Fairmount Park. In the final game of the 2011 season the Rockets were heavy underdogs against a strong Strawberry Mansion team. But SLA was surging as well in recent "must win" games, and crushing Freire 16-1 in just 3 innings of no-hit ball by All-Star senior Brandon Williams helped set up the "win and you're in" contest. In the end, that game- a nail-biting, see-saw, war of attrition- ended in dramatic fashion with Williams forcing Mansion's best hitter to pop up with the based loaded to secure the 14-12 victory. The win gave SLA an 8-4 overall record, completing a lightning-quick turnaround from the previous 4-8 inaugural campaign, and shockingly propelled SLA into the city playoffs for the first time in school history. Had they lost the game they would have been knocked out by way of head-to-head tie breaker with their bitter rival Randolph, but in beating Mansion they leap frogged them and secured the #2 seed in the playoffs. That team would go onto hold toe-to-toe with the Philadelphia Charter Academy, a B Division powerhouse with a stacked lineup- for five innings before finally relenting. The season ended, but the magic was just beginning. While SLA lost a talented core of seniors- namely John Desalis, Marshall Johnston, Anthony Seeley and Brandon Williams- the team retained it's young core of underclassmen who played pivotal roles in creating a team that believed in itself.  CLICK HERE FOR FULL STORY


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Raekwon's MONSTER Blast Powers SLA to Walk-Off Victory!

Fresh off handily beating their arch rival and divisional nemesis Randolph for the first time last week by a final count of 14-4, SLA Baseball stepped foot onto some unlikely hallowed ground at  35th and Oxford in Fairmount Park. In the final game of the 2011 season the Rockets were heavy underdogsagainst a strong Strawberry Mansion team. But SLA was surging as well in recent "must win" games, and crushing Freire 16-1 in just 3 innings of no-hit ball by All-Star senior Brandon Williams helped set up the "win and you're in" contest. In the end, that game- a nail-biting, see saw, war of attrition- ended in dramatic fashion with Williams forcing Mansion's best hitter to pop up with the based loaded to secure the 14-12 victory. The win gave SLA an 8-4 overall record, completing a lightning-quick turnaround from the previous 4-8 inaugural campaign, and shockingly propelled SLA into the city playoffs for the first time in school history. Had they lost the game they would have been knocked out by way of head-to-head tie breaker with their bitter rival Randolph, but in beating Mansion they leap frogged them and secured the #2 seed in the playoffs. That team would go onto hold toe-to-toe with the Philadelphia Charter Academy, a B Division powerhouse with a stacked lineup- for five innings before finally relenting. The season ended, but the magic was just beginning. While SLA lost a talented core of seniors- namely John Desalis, Marshall Johnston, Anthony Seeley and Brandon Williams- the team retained it's young core of underclassmen who played pivotal roles in creating a team that believed in itself. 

While the seniors are gone, some now playing in college, the spirit and heart of the team is very much intact, and as the team stepped onto the fresh dirt of their greatest triumph the veterans of that war felt something in the air. The weather was almost exactly the same, the field seemingly untouched since they danced around Brandon on the mound and ritualistically drenched their coach with the water bucket. The implications were also nearly identical. SLA is 2-2 this year, but their record does not reflect the calibre of a team that should be 4-0. More importantly this game, against a very different opponent in University City, was still seen as a "must win" for SLA considering the difficulty of their remaining schedule. 

SLA finds itself in the opposite end of the equation having beaten University City in each of its previous three meetings. While the games themselves have never been close, the air most assuredly has. On numerous occasions the players for UC have verbally and physically threatened SLA players, deliberately thrown at our batters' heads, and have tripped us on the base paths. SLA was expecting the game to be ugly, but their coach made it clear that the ugliness must be one-sided. "They are going to try to get into your heads because they know you are better than them. It is a tactic of compensation. Do not give into them. Do not let them get us into a position where we beat ourselves. Remember that this is a very mental game. Think of their insults like clouds and let them float by".

From the outset it was clear this game would be tense, but SLA is used to that especially on this field. The see saw would swing back and forth, but SLA stayed true to the team mantra of "win the inning", and every time University City would put a run on the board, in fact never more than two in an inning, SLA responded to take the frame. SLA did remarkably well with two outs, and proved to be a very difficult team to put away. For instance, with two outs in the bottom of the first Ian McClendon ripped a shot to third that was too hot to handle. Jeff Schwartz followed suit and quickly SLA had runners on the corners in time for Nick Manton's rip to center to drive them both home and tie the game. SLA scored two more to take a 4-3 lead in the second in similar fashion. After TJ Nicolella led off with a single and reached second on a throwing error, Ethan Reese bunted him over and beat out the throw to first. Nicolella would score on the ensuing throwing error by U.C.'s pitcher and Reese would come around to score on Jhonas Dunakin's rip down the first-base line. Two outs, no problem. 

While this speaks volumes of SLA's composure and how quick they can manufacture runs seemingly out of nowhere, the most impressive aspect of their game has been their defense. Setting a record in a Public League game, SLA recorded six put outs on the base paths including a double play where Ethan Reese faked a throw to second long enough to bait the runner on third to try and go home. Reese spun around and shot a laser beam home in enough time to nail a sliding runner and for Jeff Schwartz to match Reese's throw to third to Raekwon Smith who applied the tag on U.C.'s dumbfounded clutch hitter. While U.C. was most definitely not disciplined on the base paths, which undid a couple of monster triples by their better hitters, SLA displayed the opposite type of presence on the bases. Tallying nine steals, including Jeff Schwartz's swipe of home in the third, SLA also simply worked the bases like professionals and turned every miscue U.C.'s defense made into runs. 

However, for all their mistakes on both sides of the ball, University City tied the game at 5 in the 4th. However, once again SLA responded and won the inning to take a 7-5 lead off with three consecutive singles and another 2 two-out double by Ian McClendon. It seemed the see saw would never stop tilting back and forth though as U.C. tied it back up at 7 and eventually took an 8-7 lead going into the 6th. It could have been much worse considering U.C. had the bases loaded off of walks in the 5th, but once again SLA's defense rose to the occasion catching an undisciplined runner on his way home and another in a run down at second. With the game tied and the bases loaded U.C.'s best hitter was up. He had already ripped a triple to left, but was caught at home on the double put-out in the 2nd. Ian McClendon came in as the closer and did just that by striking him out on a mixture of pitches, the last of which was smoked right by Rivers. 

SLA tied it up in the 6th after Stephen Smith ripped one too hot for their center fielder to hold. Smith came around to tie the game when Reese's hot bat struck for the third time with another bullet right back at center. 8-8 after six with just one inning of regulation to go. McClendon confidently took the mound knowing that holding them here would mean SLA could "win the inning" and walk off with a victory. After a battle of an at-bat, U.C.'s Griffin worked a lead-off walk and then quickly stole second to represent the go-ahead run. What followed was yet another example of the professional composure SLA displayed all day. McClendon struck out the next two batters looking, and when he was in a jam with their number 2 hitter Rivers, he made the ultimate pick-off spin back to second and caught Griffin for the record setting 6th put out. Still 8-8. With the middle of the order coming up, SLA could just smell the win. 

Coach's orders were simple, "just get into scoring position", but Morel, who was still on the mound for U.C. had other ideas. The advantage seemed to swing to U.C. after Morel got Schwartz to pop up to short and lightning-quick Henry Poeng, who had come in to replace an injured Nick Manton, fell behind in the count. Henry owned the box though and got plunked on the wrist when Morel tried to motor one in on the hands. Seconds later Poeng was on third representing the winning run when Raekwon Smith stepped to the plate. Rae had struggled with timing throughout the game, and it seemed the same was unfolding as he quickly fell behind 0-2 in the count. Morel, who had struck him out three times prior in the game, smiled and went for the kill by powering a fastball right down the pipe, but Rae loaded his hands and stepped into the ball with ease. The ball simply disappeared into the crystal blue sky. As SLA's bench cleared to mob Henry as he crossed the plate, Rae simply stared off at his majestic shot wondering if it would ever arc back down to earth. 

Some silly drama ensued when the bench collectively snapped Raekwon out of his self-induced day dream in time to get him to actually run to first base to make it official. Although he robbed himself of his own Home Run trot, the soft, endearing smile on his face merely hinted at how pleased he was with himself. While players joked about how bad they felt for the outfielder having to go all the way to New Jersey to retrieve the ball, it most definitely went over 350ft and therefore would have been a Home Run in Citizens Bank Park. Impressive for a freshman's first extra-base hit of the season. Perhaps Jeff Schwartz, who was a pivotal rookie in the 2011 playoff run, said it best after the team had doused their coach with the water bucket. As he gathered his catcher's gear and helped clean up the dugout, he was overheard satisfyingly mumbling to himself, "something magical always happens on this field." Magical indeed.

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Multiclip Editing in Final Cut Pro

LOOK TO VIDEO TUTORIAL BELOW FOR MULTICLIP EDIT IN FINAL CUT PRO. 

FOLLOW THESE STEPS FOR SAME RESULTS OF MULTICLIP EDIT IN FINAL CUT EXPRESS

1. Load all video.

2. In the canvas, resize each video track to 1/4 screen. Cam 1 - upper right. Cam 2 - upper left. Cam 3 - lower left. Cam 1 is the "base video track, i.e., video track 1... usually the wide angle, but whatever makes sense to your project.

3. Sync, or position, the three video tracks. I usually do this via audio tracks, but video works as well. Just remember that the process is tedious, and accuracy is limited to the frame rate of the video. That is not necessarily the same timerframe of the audio, but close enough, ... most of the time.

4. You can now see all of your video in the canvas. Mute the audio you do not want to listen to while editing, but do not delete yet! With the razor tool you can cut and trim, from the top clip down, to your heart's desire.

5. When editing the sequence is done you should revisit and do two things. First, resize each camera angle to full screen. A tedious process. Second, begin to trim any video on lower numbered tracks that will not be part of the full screen display. I believe this will reduce the file size of your final export.

6. Review video. If you are satisfied with the look, it is time to address audio.

7. Eliminate the audio you do not need.

8. Save your project frequently throughout the entire process.

9. Review, review, review, until you are either satisfied or sick of the whole project. Refine, refine, refine, until you are sick of the project.

10. Once you are satisfied, follow the guidelines on Moodle for MAKING VIDEO INTERNET READY

Final Cut Pro Tutorial How to Muticlip edit
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State of the Union

 STATE OF THE UNION 

 While we watch Obama deliver his State of the Union Address comment in this chat to express your opinion(s) on the topics he discusses, and the plans he lays out for the country.

-Post Questions if you are unsure of what he is talking about
-Clarify the questions others have if you understand
-Express your opinion on what Obama discusses
-Express your opinion on comments your peers make
-Comment on the data visualization to the right of the video clip
-Direct your comments at specific peers to clarify your posts

LINK FOR ENHANCED VIDEO OF ADDRESS 

LINK FOR TRANSCRIPT OF ADDRESS 

2012 State Of The Union Address Enhanced Version (1)
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State of the Union

 STATE OF THE UNION 

 While we watch Obama deliver his State of the Union Address comment in this chat to express your opinion(s) on the topics he discusses, and the plans he lays out for the country.

-Post Questions if you are unsure of what he is talking about
-Clarify the questions others have if you understand
-Express your opinion on what Obama discusses
-Express your opinion on comments your peers make
-Comment on the data visualization to the right of the video clip
-Direct your comments at specific peers to clarify your posts

LINK FOR ENHANCED VIDEO OF ADDRESS 

LINK FOR TRANSCRIPT OF ADDRESS 

2012 State Of The Union Address Enhanced Version (1)
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Gaming and Growth

SEI Center for Advanced Studies in Management at the Wharton School of Business (University of Pennsylvania) hired Rough Cut to produce a film about the pervasive impact and potential of gaming and social media on the marketplace.  


Joe Parisi-Main Editor, Jobe Naff- Defacto Director, Briana Stroman- Lead Interviewer, Fangda Luo- Sound Editor, and Joshua Martin-Corrales- Co-Writer, were the centerpiece of a panel discussion at SEI's annual board meeting at UPENN on Thursday, Oct 27th. Everyone stuck around for some really interesting group discussions on the vitality of gaming elements and thematics and how they can inspire exponential growth in the Board's respective business projects. Simply put, they killed it!!!

When you see this crew congratulate them for an amazing job. Many other students collaborated on this and deserve high praise, namely- Matthew Scuderi (narration), Robert Broadwater (interviewing and editing), Nathan Kamal (Original Musical Score "The Sounds of Our Generation") Amaris Romero (audio mixing) and special guest interviewees- Kabbour Rizq, Rashaun Williams and Henry Yam. This project was a truly amazing team effort and I am so very proud of their collective efforts. Once again, our students have proven to the outside public that teenagers can in fact be professional if given the opportunity. 

Check out our Rough Cut Production VIMEO PAGE for a higher quality version of this project. Enjoy- Mr. H
UPENNFinalDraft
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SLA Short Promo Video

While still in progress, here is a sneak peak at the upcoming SLA Promo video. Many of the full-time Dig Vid students have been working on this project, but big props go out to Jason Davis, Anna Roman, Markia Johnson for editing and Nate Kamal for his musical score.A final version of this film will be up on our Vimeo page by the end of the quarter. 
SLAPromoShort
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BREAKING NEWS- Congress Defies Charge of Treason, Declares Independence!

​After a long and heated battle in Philadelphia, the Continental Congress finally came to accept what the northern colonies had already known for quite some time. War with England now deemed unavoidable, and a Declaration of Independence inked, the focus of the newly united colonies now shifts to New York as General Howe's forces moves in to capture the critical port.
FIRECongressDebate2011
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SLA Baseball Holds onto 2nd Place w/ 8-5 Win Over King

Jeff Schwartz pitched strong to start the game, holding King to just one run and striking out five in three innings. The "Schwartzenegger's" efficiency on the mound normally would have meant he could have gone deeper into the game, but with three to play this week he was pulled to ensure his availability for critical match ups on Wednesday and Friday.

The transition to Ethan "Beiber" Reese was seamless as he also went three strong innings striking out three and yielding just one run. In the meantime, SLA's offense consistently put runners on base with sharp singles and a slew of doubles by T.J. Nicolella, Ian McClendon and Marshall Johnston. Five different pitchers were used, as well as two catchers who came in for Brandon Williams and John Desalis, both of which were on the DL for the game. Ethan Reese and Marshall Johnston played solid behind the plate and kept King's runners honest on the bases. Considering neither had regularly played the position prior, their performance displayed the depth of SLA, which has attributed their success to an all around team effort game-in, game-out. For the second game in a row, Ian McClendon made gorgeous diving stops at short stop to rob the opponent of sure fire extra bases, and T.J Nicolella was as solid as ever at first base.

SLA broke it open in the 5th with 5 runs when Blase Biello chopped a bases loaded single up the middle and drove in 2 runs. most notably marked by Andre Serrano's much anticipated return to the team. Serrano went 3-4, stole 3 bases, and scored 2 runs. Heading into the seventh and final inning SLA needed to switch pitchers again even though Reese had only thrown 34 pitches due to PIAA rules that determine a pitcher's eligibility based off number of innings they appear in. King scrapped together a few runs to make it a game, but with runners on second and third and one out Ian McClendon took the mound with the task of throwing gas to save the game. After smoking two pitches past their #5 hitter his third offering was ripped back to the mound and he quickly tossed to Jhonas Dunakin at third for the force out and Jhonas chased down a confused runner who was already out on the force and tossed to Isaac Adlowitz for the final out at second.

Standout Stars of the Game honors go to Blase Biello for his bases-loaded 2RBI single to break it open, and to pitchers Jeff Schwartz and Ethan Reese for 6 strong innings in which they held King to 2 runs on 5 hits and struck out a combined 8 batters. Of further mention is the much anticipated return of Andre Serrano, who received All-Public Honors in SLA's inaugural season in 2010. In his first start back, Serrano went 3-4 with 3 singles, 3 stolen bases, 2 runs scored, and 1 RBI.

With the win, SLA remains goes to 5-2 on the season, and remains in a tie for 2nd place with Strawberry Mansion. Their next game in a battle for one of three playoff spots in a division of 12 teams is on Wednesday vs Del-Val Charter (4-1).

By Innings: 1  2  3  4  5  6  7   R   H  E 
SLA (5-2)      0  1  1  1  5  0  0    8   12  3
King (1-5)     1  0  0  0  1  0  3    5    9  0

Click HERE for a full look at the PIAA Divisional Standings for 2011 Season
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SLA Baseball Opens Season w/25-8 win vs. Comm Tech

Just as the umpires arrived in the lead up to the first pitch of the 2011 baseball season the sun disappeared, the wind picked up and the sky was blanketed by ominous clouds. None of these things seemed to impact the energy as SLA ignored the elements and kept their side of the field warm by posting six runs in the first. Aggressive on the base paths and focused at the plate, the Rockets were patient, fundamental and took advantage of Comm Tech's starting pitcher who struggled to find the strike zone early on. After Jeff Schwartz lined a run-scoring single, Brandon Williams really opened it up with a bases loaded single to right, which scored two to make it 4-0. He would eventually add three more RBIs on two hits in a fourteen-run third inning to cap off his day with five ribbies. Read the full story.

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SLA Baseball Improves to 2-0 with 16-5 Win Over Gratz

Given the bizarre start to the day, SLA squared off against Gratz in what turned into a classic tit-for-tat grudge match. SLA scratched out three runs in the first off of timely hitting and heads-up base running, but Gratz responded with two of their own against Jeff Schwartz, who got the start after an impressive relief appearance against Comm Tech. When Gratz's pitcher, Lopez, ripped a double and stole third it seemed as if they would tie it up and potentially take the lead, but Schwartz induced their six-hitter to pop up and strand the runner. Read the full story
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SLA Baseball Improves to 2-0 with 16-5 Win Over Gratz

Weirdness marked the beginning of today's game between SLA and Simon Gratz. There wasn't a field at the address listed for Gratz. Once the closest one was found, eyes fell upon an infield as hard as rock and completely devoid of anything remotely resembling grass. Gratz showed up shortly after SLA arrived and their coach Zip informed that someone stole the rubber from the mound. Moments later an umpire who thought Gratz was Strawberry Mansion realized that he was at the wrong slab of concrete a.k.a. baseball field, but couldn't leave because he unfortunately was stranded with a flat tire, didn't have a spare or a jack, and it's questionable as to whether Strawberry played today as a result.

Given the bizarre start to the day, SLA squared off against Gratz in what turned into a classic tit-for-tat grudge match. SLA scratched out three runs in the first off of timely hitting and heads-up base running, but Gratz responded with two of their own against Jeff Schwartz, who got the start after an impressive relief appearance against Comm Tech. When Gratz's pitcher, Lopez, ripped a double and stole third it seemed as if they would tie it up and potentially take the lead, but Schwartz induced their six-hitter to pop up and strand the runner.

Schwartz and Lopez squared off and held their respective opponents scoreless in the second, and each gave up solitary runs in the third to keep it tight. SLA put Brandon Williams, who started against Comm Tech, back out to face the top of the order in the fourth after they had extended the lead to 6-3 on back-to-back run-scoring singles by Schwartz and John Desalis. The second half of the inning proved to be the most tense of the match as Williams maintained SLA's lead when Ian McClendon turned an unassisted double play, and Desalis threw out Gratz's lead off hitter trying to steal third.

Heading into the fifth it seemed that this contest would go the distance, and the only thing that seemed certain was the game would turn on the last team to score a single run. However, Gratz's coach decided to stay with Lopez for a fifth inning and SLA made him pay for the gamble. Jhonas Dunakin, who came in to play second after Williams took the mound, ripped a shot into the gap for a strong single, which was followed by Ethan Reese's single, and both came home minutes later when Anthony Seeley's lengthy at bat ended with a shot up the middle. Marshall Johnston crushed the next pitch into left center and Seeley ended up on third. Ian McClendon, who had been a standout star against Comm Tech, erased his early struggles at the plate by crushing a ball over the left fielder's head. By the time the relay had reached the infield, McClendon had already crossed home for SLA's first home run and McClendon's 5th,6th and 7th RBIs of the young season.

Suddenly a nail-biter had transformed into a blow out. Gratz couldn't stop the bleeding as SLA extended their 11-5 lead on consecutive singles by Schwartz, Desalis, Williams, Dunakin, Reese and Seeley, which bumped it up to 14-5. For Gratz, the unthinkable was unfolding as McClendon, who cracked the 3-run homer in the very same inning, came up with the bases loaded. After falling behind in the count Lopez floated one high in the zone and McClendon sent it up the middle and added two more to his 5RBI total for the inning. Schwartz popped up to end the inning and place SLA just three outs away from a win by account of the 10-run rule.

Williams took the mound to lock it down by keeping Gratz from scoring more than one run to earn the most unlikeliest of saves. Gratz's hottest hitter ripped a grounder to the left side just past Seeley, but McClendon backed him up and made a perfect throw to catch him by a step. Williams struck out the next batter and was one out away from a 1-2-3 inning and SLA's second win in two tries. After a feisty at bat, Williams induced a weak grounder to second that Ethan Reese easily tossed to TJ Nicolella for the final out.

Sandwiched somewhere in between the initial weirdness of concrete infields, missing pitching rubbers, absent-minded umpires with flat tires and a final inning that resembled a a football game, was a tremendously exciting and competitive game of baseball between two teams that most definitely wish they would face off again before the season ends. With an impressive win SLA goes to 2-0 on the season, while Gratz falls in their first contest of 2011. SLA's next game is away on Thursday vs. host Delaware Valley Charter.

SCORE CARD BY INNING:
TEAMS:  1  2 3 4  5    R    H  E
SLA         3  0 1 2 10    16 14  2
Gratz       2  0 1 2  0      5   5  1

PITCHING:                     
SLA                                 IP   K BB H R ER
Schwartz, Jeff  WP (2-0)    3   4    3  2 3  2
Williams, Brandon SV (1)   2   2    2  2 2  1

GRATZ                            IP   K BB H  R  ER
Peialla, P  LP (0-1)           4.1  9   7  12 16 13      
Brown, B                        0.2  1   3    2   0  0                          

OFFENSIVE STARS OF GAME: (ALL SLA)
McClendon, Ian   2-5, 3HR(1), 5RBI, 3R
Seeley, Anthony  2-3, 3RBI, 2R, 2BB, 3SB
Desalis, John      2-2, 2RBI, 1R, 2BB, 5SB
Schwartz, Jeff     4-5, 2RBI, 4R, 6SB
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SLA Baseball Notches 1st Win in Opener, 25-8!

Just as the umpires arrived in the lead up to the first pitch of the 2011 baseball season the sun disappeared, the wind picked up and the sky was blanketed by ominous clouds. None of these things seemed to impact the energy as SLA ignored the elements and kept their side of the field warm by posting six runs in the first. Aggressive on the base paths and focused at the plate, the Rockets were patient, fundamental and took advantage of Comm Tech's starting pitcher who struggled to find the strike zone early on. After Jeff Schwartz lined a run-scoring single, Brandon Williams really opened it up with a bases loaded single to right, which scored two to make it 4-0. He would eventually add three more RBIs on two hits in a fourteen-run third inning to cap off his day with five ribbies.
 
Comm Tech eventually erased the 6-0 deficit on timely plays of their own in the 1st and 2nd, but Brandon Williams struck out four, the last looking with a runner on third, to preserved the tie. When they came back to the dugout SLA's coach shouted "now get it back!", and boy did they ever. Sixteen "SLAyers" came to the plate in the 3rd, and fourteen crossed home in what seemed like a never-ending cycle of walks, stolen bases, and clutch hits. Comm Tech's pitcher was forced deep in the count on every batter, and when he needed to throw a strike SLA was ready to take it for a ride. This included  solid rip into the gap by Ian McClendon, who finished off the play with a picture-perfect head first slide into second. Ian, who was really seeing the ball all game and barely missed a home run off in the first, was one of three standout stars for the game for SLA by going 2-3 with a double, 4 RBI and 3 Runs scored in five plate appearances.

After the nightmare of a third inning finally came to an end for Comm Tech, Jeff Schwartz took the mound and Brandon Williams went behind the plate. Schwartz matched Williams's solid performance on the mound (2IP, 4K, 2BB, 2H, 6R, 0ER), with two frames of his own in which he struck out four, walked one, surrendered just one hit and gave up two runs with only one earned.  His solid performance on the mound was only beaten by his consistency at the plate. Schwartz went 4-4, notched 3RBIs, and crossed home four times, which earned him star of the game honors along with McClendon and Williams.

An all-around team effort, supported by really strong coaching on the corners by Blase Biello (3B) and Isaac Adlowitz (1B), put SLA in position to end the game in the third, but Comm Tech was able to scratch a few runs across to keep within the fifteen run rule. The ripping wind really started to pick up, but that was nothing compared to the frustrations felt by Comm Tech's bullpen, which surrendered another five runs in the fourth. Schwartz came back out to shut it down, and the game ended on an unassisted ground out to T.J. Nicolella at first. Final score, SLA 25-8. Solid, strong and focused. SLA executed the fundamentals right through to the freezing conclusion by dousing their coach with the water bucket. Now that's brisk baby! SLA's next game is on Tuesday against Simon Gratz.

Congrats to the SLA girls as well, who routed their opponent 41-0 (not a typo or a football score). Apparently Bria Wimberly's home run, would have been enough, but Melissa Buchanico's Grand Slam didn't hurt the cause.

SCORECARD BY INNING:
                  1  2   3  4     R   H   E 
SLA             6  0  14  5    25  14 10
Comm Tech  3  3    1  1     8    4  2

PITCHING:
SLA:                     IP K  BB  H  R  ER

Williams, Brandon  2   4    2   2   6   0
Schwartz, Jeff        2   4    1   1   2   1

STARS OF THE GAME: (For SLA)
Williams, Brandon 3-5, 5RBI, 2R, 1SB
Schwartz, Jeff       4-4, 3RBI, 4R, 4SB
McClendon, Ian     2-3, 2B(1), 4RBI, 3R, 2SB
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Stanford Thompson Jams w/ SLA Musicians

 Check out this quick slideshow of production stills from a Rough Cut documentary about a renaissance for Philadelphia's identity, which profiles Stanford's "Tune-Up Philly" project.

More photos and video sequences to follow, but for more info about the film project speak with the Rough Cut crew: Tyrone Kidd, John DeSalis, Brenda Chhin and Chris Cassise.


Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.
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SweetHomePhiladelphiaBENCHMARK1

  Our Benchmark will live here on our Class Blog

  -Post a link to your iWEB (it should live in Public Dropbox via Local Folder)

-Attach VIDEO (add content below as MULTIMEDIA)
 You will need to convert to FLV format via Adobe Flash Encoder.
 (All laptops have it)

-Post a link to your BLOGSPOT (it should live in Public Dropbox)

-Attach PREZI (PUBLISH and SHARE in your personal Prezi acct),
 Then post the EMBED CODE here.

-Attach KEYNOTE/POWERPOINT (add content below as MULTIMEDIA)
 You will need to EXPORT into Quicktime Movie and then convert to FLV format
 via Adobe Flash Encoder. (All laptops have it)

Here is an example of what a video (in FLV format) will look like on our class Blog

 
DisplacedTeaserII
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SweetHomePhiladelphiaBMARK1

 Our Benchmark will live here on our Class Blog

-Post a link to your iWEB (it should live in Public Dropbox via Local Folder)

-Attach VIDEO (add content below as MULTIMEDIA)
 You will need to convert to FLV format via Adobe Flash Encoder.
 (All laptops have it)

-Post a link to your BLOGSPOT (it should live in Public Dropbox)

-Attach PREZI (PUBLISH and SHARE in your personal Prezi acct),
 Then post the EMBED CODE here.

-Attach KEYNOTE/POWERPOINT (add content below as MULTIMEDIA)
 You will need to EXPORT into Quicktime Movie and then convert to FLV format
 via Adobe Flash Encoder. (All laptops have it)

Here is an example of what a video (in FLV format) will look like on our class Blog

DisplacedTeaserII
Be the first to comment
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