Month: March 2013

Welcoming The Newest Ravens

Ravens-4.27Kyle Simpson, Ravens Corespondent

“The rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”

This quote has pretty much summed up the week of Ravens news. After losing nine starters (six of which were on the defensive side of the ball), they make a huge play in free agency. After being cut by the Broncos after a contract faxing went awry, the Ravens swooped in and signed Elvis Dumervil to a five-year contract for $35 million.

The veteran pass rusher has been brought in to replace Paul Kruger, and he will do a bang up job of it too. Dumervil has 65.5 sacks in his nine seasons, while Kruger has 15.5 in four years.

Dumervil will be added to a pass rushing corps featuring the likes of Terrell Suggs and Haloti Ngata, along with the new additions of Chris Canty and Marcus Spears who were picked up earlier in the free agency blitz.

While the front seven is getting major upgrades, the Ravens still have a few needs in other places. For starters, the need major depth at linebacker with Ray Lewis and Dannell Ellerbe departing, and they will need replacements at safety with Ed Reed’s signing in Houston. And with 12 draft picks, the Ravens can easily fill the holes they have.

To say that they will not make the playoffs while it is still MARCH is a little bit brash. Expect the Ravens to be competitive.

In other news: The Ravens will NOT be opening the NFL season at home (unlike the last ten Super Bowl victors). The NFL, MLB, Ravens, White Sox, and Orioles where unable to come to an agreement on how to fit both Birds in Baltimore on September 5th. So instead, the Ravens will make their opener on the road, which will most likely be in Denver.

And just as a “for the record” type thing, this situation is NOT the Orioles fault. They had the parking lot first, and I am really glad they did not let themselves get bullied by the NFL.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Words: Paul Didwall

Photos: Caitlin Maritn

It seems that one of the worst insults to give a production of any type is to comment on how good it was – and then say “for a high school performance.” Fortunately, the Centennial Theater’s production of The Wizard of Oz did not appear as a high school production. The cast alone gave the spring musical a professional appearance, and the intelligently designed sets added the finishing touches.

Of the five public showings of The Wizard of Oz – March 21-23 at 7 PM, March 23 at 2 PM, and March 24 at 3 PM – three were sold out completely.

Upon entering the packed auditorium, the guest were greeted by the incredibly talented pit orchestra. Then when seven o’clock finally arrived, the main lights dimmed once, and the auditorium went dark just a few moments later.

Centennial’s Theatre Department took a different approach to backdrops this time around. In all the previous plays, musicals, and other performances I have seen at CHS, the scenes were decorated by a few generic backdrops that changed a few times throughout the performance. In many cases, these backgrounds were fine, as they applied to the various scenes. The Wizard of Oz had many frequent scene changes, which were dealt with by projecting various backdrops at the back of the stage, as needed. What really set this method over the top was the ability to include a degree of animation in the scenes. A twister actually appeared on the screen, and Dorothy – played by Anne Marie Demme – had the thoughts that occurred during her trip to Munchkinland spiral on the backdrop.

A slightly unexpected addition to the musical was the participation of an actual dog. Honest expectations for Toto were a stuffed animal, so the actual terrier was a nice surprise, and really set the show apart.

Flight has been a theme in previous CHS productions, yet has never appeared to the same caliber as it did in The Wizard of Oz. It is widely known that The Wizard of Oz involves lots of flight, so the theatre department incorporated it. When Glinda, played by Jillian Loeffler, arrived on stage, she was flying – as witches do. The same was true for Sarika Reddy, the West Witch, when she appeared to learn of her sister’s death. The flying entrance of the two witches became the norm through the play, but another flight addition was added later. The flying monkeys also flew on to stage when trying to capture Dorothy.

Overall, the 2013 Spring Musical was possibly one of the best performances I have seen at CHS to date. It is wonderful that the entire theatre department – actors, stage crew, flight crew, a/v crew – always excite and impress the audience with their performances.

Junior Interviews – Class of 2014

Words: Emma Harring

This week the halls were filled with hundreds of juniors ready to impress. It was that time of year again: junior interviews.

Working diligently in English classes in the last few weeks to prepare our resumes and practice interviewing led up to just ten minutes, for some even less. I waited as people in front of me were called and directed to the various tables set up in the media center. I watched them talking with the interviewers, wondering what my experience would be like, wondering which interviewer I would be paired with.

As other students started finishing, I was told to go begin my own. I walked over and said with confidence, “Hello, my name is Emma Harring,” knowing that was at least one thing I was not going to mess up.

My interviewer asked me multiple questions about my resume and I described my volunteering experiences and school activities one-by-one. I thought in my head, “This isn’t so bad.” My nerves calmed down as it turned into a relaxed conversation rather than a tense meeting.

The interview felt like it lasted forever, but when I glanced at the clock I found it had only been five minutes. My interviewer wrapped up and began writing comments and checking off boxes. Appearance, check. Eye contact, check. As soon as it began, it was over.

Now, as I will receive my third quarter report card, it will no longer have the world of work requirement missing. Another high school requirement completed, and I am one step closer to graduation.

Spring Sports Preview 2013 – Girls Lacrosse

Spring Sports Preview 2013

Girls Lacrosse

Words: Salman Hashmi

Ellicott City, MD – “I am very excited about the upcoming season for Centennial Lacrosse. We have a young team with great skill and speed. All the girls are really ready to learn and grow as lacrosse players so from here forward we will just get better,” said varsity girls lacrosse coach Rachel Lenzo.

Entering her first season as girls lacrosse coach, Lenzo feels that this year’s team will be competitive and will give it their best effort. “I am looking to raise the expectations of the team for our county play. To be competitive in every single game and give 100% win or lose, and in all situations show our character through sportsmanship to our opponents,” said Lenzo.

She also feels that in order to be competitive, she has to push every one of her lacrosse players. “We condition daily, as well as, working on fundamental lacrosse skills (catching, throwing, shooting, ground balls and draw controls). We practice our offensive sets and plays, defensive options and man up/man down plays,” said Lenzo.

Lenzo believes she has a solid team offensively and defensively. “We have a group of girls who are fast and that will benefit us in the transition. We also have some incredibly skilled defenders who I am looking to step up vocally and lead our team, as well as, attackers who can capitalize on scoring opportunities,” said Lenzo.

Ed Reed Becomes A Texan

Kyle Simpson, Ravens Corespondent

We, as fans, get so emotionally attached to our teams and its members that we forget that football is, at its core, a business. And I am extremely guilty of this. Last night I got on Twitter to be greeted by multiple tweets from multiple sources saying that Ed Reed was no longer a member of the Baltimore Ravens. I could not believe my eyes. The Ravens had lost another core member of the defense, and one of my favorite players of all time.

After many days of apparent deliberation, Reed had decided that he would take the money that Houston was offering, and join the Texans.

I expected Reed to leave, but at the same time, it just breaks my heart. I remember ordering my first Ravens jersey of my own, and the player I picked was Ed Reed. I always liked how the crowd would always drone “REEED” whenever he made a play. And now, there will me no more of those moments – at least not from Ravens fans. It just tugs at your heartstrings as a fan. (I guess I am a football dork.)

But what does Reed’s departure mean for the Ravens in general? There are a few things it does and does not mean. First, it does mean that Ozzie Newsome means serious business about not over paying players. It also means that he is pushing the reset button on the defense. He is getting younger, faster, and cheaper at whatever cost. What it does not mean, is that the Ravens will not regret letting Reed go. They will. Maybe not on the field, but they have no leaders in the locker room or film room to lead their new onslaught of rookies coming in this year. I do not see the advantage in letting Reed walk, especially after Ray Lewis’ retirement. And with the numbers I have been seeing thrown around with Reeds offer from the Texans (2-3 years for $16 million), in my eyes the Ravens could have easily matched. Why did the Ravens not push for the Hall of Famer? And now I see reports that Micheal Huff of the Raiders (who is 30, Reed is 34) is visiting? And you want HIM over Ed Reed? How does that make sense?

I trust Ozzie one-hundred percent. But this move makes me scratch my head. I understand that the NFL is a business, but how could you purely judge Reed’s value off of his on-field presence? Why, with Ray Lewis gone, do you let Reed go?

There are many reasons why I am not General Manager of the Baltimore Ravens, instead I write about them. So there probably is some logical reasoning behind this move, but I just do not get it.

At any rate, a huge thanks to Ed Reed for his time in Baltimore. He will always be one of my favorite players and he will be sorely missed. Best of luck to him at the Texans.

And I feel like doing this one last time, for old times sake:
REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED.