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The Tragic passing of Otis Anderson Jr.

by Anthony Vasseur

In news broken on Tuesday 12/1, it was reported that former Los Angeles Rams running back Otis Anderson Jr. was shot and killed in his parents’ home in Jacksonville, Florida. The incident took place on Monday evening, 12/1. His father, Otis Anderson Sr. has been charged with the murder, shocking former teammates and coaches from UCF.

On Tuesday, a police report was released by Jacksonville’s Sheriff’s Department. They were told by Denise Anderson, Otis’ mother, that an altercation had started between the father and son and escalated to the point that they had to be separated. It was then that the father would retrieve a handgun and shoot his own son in the chest. By the time Anderson Jr. arrived at the hospital, he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Anderson Sr. would later be arrested and charged with first degree murder and attempted first degree murder. He is currently being held without bond and will make another appearance in front of judges on December 22nd. 

Otis Anderson Jr. nicknamed “Juice” for the initials OJ, played for UCF from 2017 to 2020 with over 2000 career rushing yards and 26 touchdowns. He was remembered by teammates for his uplifting smile and personality. Anderson´s jersey and flowers were placed on the UCF practice field over the last couple of days. Pictures were being presented in the UCF video boards in the school. The school issued a statement regarding the news: “We have now confirmed and are devastated to hear of the passing of Otis Anderson Jr. He was revered by his teammates, our fans, and everyone within Knight Nation. Our deepest condolences go out to everyone who loved Otis. He was taken too soon and will truly be missed.”

His former coach Josh Heupel posted a statement on Twitter saying, “Saddened and stunned by the passing of Otis Anderson Jr. Tough and gritty, fun and full of laughter, he made such a positive impact on our university, community, and our locker room. He was an unbelievable teammate. My condolences go out to the entire UCF family.”

 

 

Hemric Melts the Ice in the Desert

By Anthony Vasseur

This weekend was Championship weekend in Phoenix for the NASCAR Truck, Xfinity, and Cup series. On Saturday Night it would be the Xfinity series’ turn to crown a champion. In the Championship 4 was the 22 of Austin Cindric, the 16 of Aj Allmendinger, 18 of Daniel Hemric, and the 9 of Noah Gragson. Cindric was coming off the championship last year. He had 5 wins coming into the weekend and pointed his way into the final four with all top 5 finishes in the round of eight. Next would be the 16 of AJ Allmendinger. Allmendinger had 5 wins on the season too along with being the most experienced driver out of the four. The 18 of Daniel Hemric seemed to be the underdog heading into Phoenix. Hemric hadn’t won a race yet in any of the top three top NASCAR series but had been in the final four before. And finally rounding out the four would be the 9 of Noah Gragson. Gragson would be the only driver to win and lock himself into the final four with a big win at Martinsville, though he has been the most inconsistent of the four.

 

The weekend would throw a loop for the 18 team as their hauler would hit a deer in Texas en route to the race track. Surprisingly the driver would be able to save the hauler from veering off the road and saving most of the equipment inside, the team would have the car barely arrive in time for first practice and it would be an uphill climb from there.

 

In qualifying it would be defending champion Austin Cindric setting the pace with a pole time of 27.293. The rest of the final four would line up as Hemric in 4th, Gragson in 7th and Allmendinger in 12th.

 

Then on Saturday night at around 8:30 the green flag would drop and John Hunter Nemecheck would take off and lead the first 20 laps in his number 54 Supra. Afterwards Austin Cindric would lead the next 27 laps and would win stage one. After that Daniel Hemric would lead until there was a caution for a pileup on the backstretch involving Jeffery Earnhardt, Joe Graf Jr., and Kyle Weatherman leaving Graf and Earnhardt done for the day. After the caution Nemecheck would take back the lead for another 20 laps before Daniel Hemric would sneak by for the stage two victory. When they got back to speed Hemric and Cindric would trade the lead on restarts throughout the last stage until a late race caution on lap 195 would lead to NASCAR Overtime. Hemric would line up on the inside and Cindric would line up on the outside with the championship between them. Cindric would drive deep into turn one on the outside and would nose out Hemric down the backstretch where they would make slight contact with each other. Coming into the white flag, Cindric would clear Hemric out of turn two. Hemric would send it into turn 3 and got to the rear bumper of the 22 and moved him slightly up the track. The two would beat and bang to the line and Hemric would nose out Cindric for not only his first career win but his first ever NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship.

Hemric would say in his post race interview, Unbelievable. These guys asked me all year how bad I wanted it. I’ve given up a lot. People doubted me. I’ll do it all over again for a night like this.” Along with this, Austin Cindric would say:”He’s over there,” pointing towards victory lane,“I’m over here. He’s the champion… If everyone in the stands enjoyed it, it’s good racing.”For Cindric it will be his last race in the xfinity series full time as he moves up into the 2 car for Team Penske in the cup series. Hemric will be leaving Joe Gibbs Racing at the end of the year to move over to Kaulig Racing for a chance to repeat as Xfinity Champion.

 

 

Behind the Scares at the Haunted House!

Click on the video for a behind the scenes look at the haunted house.

By Dylan Hernandez

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