Month: May 2013

Outdoor Track and Field’s Successful Trip to the State Championship

Words: Michael Moore

On Saturday May 25, the Centennial outdoor track and field team traveled to Morgan State University to compete in the state championships. The boys’ team had a lot of success, with graduated senior Josh Poole taking third in the 200m, and first in the 400m. The relay team of Poole and also graduated seniors Eddie Krahe, Andrew Kutt, and Jordan Roberts took home a state title in the 4x400m relay. The girls’ team also enjoyed success with freshman Ally Driscoll earning second place in the 1600m, and graduated senior Catie Bernhardt taking third place the 800m. The girls also had success with a relay team. The 4x800m relay team of Driscoll, Bernhardt, junior Ilana Harris, and junior Alyssa Taylor took home fourth place.

Poole had an exceptional performance Saturday, winning a state title in the 400m and in the 4x400m relay. For Poole, the win in the 400m was very special, “I promised Coach Pauller that I was going to win the 400 after my freshman year, so to finally achieve that felt awesome, especially to know that my hard work paid off.” He is also very proud of his relay team for their performance in the meet. “The relay championship was a surprise, and I’m really proud of the team stepping up to run that. They did the work, and by the time I had gotten the handoff we were first in the heat and ready to win it,” said Poole. “I’m happy that I got to be able to run with them and that we were able to accomplish what we did.”

The season was very successful for the Eagles. With a ninth place finish in the state, Poole gives a lot of credit to his teammates. “I think that that we had people step up and perform when we needed them, and as a whole I think our ninth place in the state meet is evidence that we had a great season.” For Poole, this was the perfect end to his high school career, saying, “I couldn’t ask for a better way to end my high school track career.”

Caitlin Martin, Former Wingspan Photographer, Wins Awards at Both State and National Levels

Words: Corey Grable

Caitlin Martin, class of 2013 graduate, has always loved photography, but it wasn’t until 2011 that she really got into it. “I got my first camera, a DSLR, in 2011. I have always liked taking pictures, and I love to focus on equestrian sports, sports in general, and all kinds of animals as well.” She joined the Wingspan photography team last year, and her impact was immediate. Instantly, Martin was taking extremely high quality photographs at some of the most prestigious events such as the Friday night football games, the Volleyball State finals, and the winter musical.  Besides Martin’s supreme picture-taking abilities, she helped out the Wingspan in another key way.

Due to her seemingly limitless knowledge about photography, Martin presented her fellow classmates with a once in a lifetime opportunity to learn from a photographer of her caliber.  A photographer for the Wingspan this year, sophomore Montana Lowe, credits a lot of her success to Martin’s teachings. “Martin’s photos were super helpful, and changed the way I take pictures, and she has changed how the Wingspan photographers takes pictures,” said Lowe. “She was incredibly helpful with teaching me a lot of key points that I didn’t know before this year.”

However, Martin’s success was not only limited to the Wingspan. Martin, along with balancing school and the newspaper, also is a proficient personal photographer. She has been recognized at both the State and National level for pictures she has taken. A picture taken last February of 4-time state champion and Centennial graduate Nathan Kraisser won a state award from Towson University. This picture depicts Kraisser’s arm being raised by the referee after his fourth and final state championship victory.

Another one of Martin’s numerous out-of-school successes is one of the most well recognized photos of the year. In a PTA “Magic of the Moment” photo competition, Martin’s photograph, detailing a child tenderly touching a horse, won 1st place on the State level, after placing high in the county level.

At the national level of the competition, Martin’s picture won an outstanding 3rd place in her category, receiving an Award of Merit. This award is one of the highest honors a photographer can receive. Martin’s friends, family, and fellow Wingspan members are incredibly supportive of Martin and her impressive achievements.

Junior Kris Berry, a member of the Wingspan, said, “It’s awesome that someone from our paper made such an impact on a national level. I think Martin really deserves this award. She is always working hard, and looking for ways to improve herself and the others around her.” He added, “I know for a fact that the photography branch of the Wingspan has definitely improved with her on the staff.”

Martin is not staying for a second year with the Wingspan, as she has graduated a year early. She will attend Howard Community College in the fall, and then transfer to Johnson & Wales University.

Martin also runs her own website that showcases many more of her spectacular photos. Click Here to view some sports, theater, and other great shots, or Click Here to view her video production business website.

 

 

 

Class of 2013 Graduation

Photo: Paul Didwall

As the Class of 2013 walked across the stage this morning during their high school graduation, they began a new chapter in their lives – a chapter that will surely be filled with new memories, friends, and life-changing experiences.

Congratulations seniors on graduating from high school, you will be missed, but never forgotten, and we wish you the best luck in the future.

From the Print Edition – Eagle Scouts Increasing

Words: Zack Newman

“We all turned around and it looked like he was lying on the ice,” said Gary McNeil, a 48-year-old troop leader of Troop 361 in Columbia, Maryland. “And then he disappeared.”

The Eagle Scout snatched his hockey stick and sprinted across the partially frozen lake. He and his friends had been playing hockey when his friend fell through the ice.

“Because it was thin ice, you want to get down on the ice and crawl across it to distribute the weight across the ice,” Gary McNeil said. “So, I stuck my stick out, came over to the side of the ice and we hauled him up. I saved my friend’s life in high school and it was a direct result of Scouting. There’s no question in my mind.”

While one life was saved because of the unique skills Boy Scouting teaches participants, fewer people each year are getting the opportunity to learn them. However, the percentage of Eagle Scouts has actually doubled.

Since the Boy Scouts of America’s (BSA) most populous year in 1972, in which the organization accounted for almost 5 million members, membership has declined to almost 3 million active Scouts in 2011, according to the BSA’s national headquarters.

The organization does not break down its annual membership data by region, so it could not report the areas in which membership has declined specifically.

According to the BSA, the amount of Eagle Scouts has increased, from 29,089 in 1972 to 51,473 in 2011.  It is a growth of a one percent to two percent achievement rate.

Despite the membership decline, the objective of Scouting, to improve the lives of men around the globe, remains firmly intact.  The rise of Eagle Scouts verifies the theory that more and more students are finding it worthwhile to pursue Scouting to its summit.

“At a very early age Scouts began to help form my life,” Captain Keith Colburn, of Discovery’s television show Deadliest Catch, said in an email. “Scouts fostered a sense of adventure and independence, as well as self-reliance that gave me tools that in hindsight I never knew would stay with me my whole life. It taught me lifesaving CPR and first aid set an early acquisition of skills that have helped me respond to situations that I never knew I would encounter. Most of all, being a Scout helped mold self- assurance and confidence to help me maintain composure in tense and dangerous situations.”

Baseball Hall of Fame inductee and former Boy Scout Hank Aaron says Scouting changed his life for the better.

“Scouting instilled a strong sense of discipline in me, which followed me through the career I had in baseball,” he said via email. “This discipline enabled me to remain focused during very trying times.”

The BSA holds bonding opportunities at the Philmont Scout Ranch for its participants.

In it, partakers backpack or hike a portion of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in New Mexico. Scouts trek miles at a time across the rocky and rugged trails at elevations ranging from 6,500-12,441 feet.

“Scouting has helped me grow my relationship with my father,” senior Ryan McNeil, Eagle Scout from Troop 361 in Ellicott City, said. His father, Gary McNeil, was the leader of Ryan’s Cub Scout Pack and Boy Scout Troop.

In the summer of 2009, the McNeils traveled with their troop to partake in the Philmont Scout Ranch, but had found each other in disagreement on various topics.

“When we got out there we had to put all of our differences aside, and once we did I learned so much about him and myself,” Ryan McNeil said. “Since then, we have gotten along perfectly fine. I learned that he’ll do anything for anyone before himself.”

The steep terrain and high altitude drove many to consider quitting during the ascent of Mt. Baldy, among other peaks, throughout the trip. However, the perseverance Ryan McNeil learned through Scouting, gained from facing similar difficult situations, allowed him to push through.

“In the middle of [the climb] you want your legs to break in half, you don’t want to continue, Ryan McNeil said. “You just have to keep telling yourself that you need to continue, because you may not be able to do that again. You can’t give up.”

The memories created while at Philmont together will be fond ones for the McNeils.

“The entire trip was an amazing bonding experience,” Ryan McNeil said. “We had a big hug once we crossed back into base camp. We turned to each other and said, ‘We made it together, we did it!’”

Gary McNeil credits the BSA for strengthening his relationship with his sons.

“I have enjoyed every moment, of being able to enjoy Scouting with Ryan and Connor,” he said. “Because the time that we have with our sons and daughters are just so very fleeting, it’s a small piece of time in terms of their entire life. There’s a lifetime of memory from it between me and my sons.”

As an Eagle Scout myself, I wanted to see why the decline occurred, despite the rise in Eagle Scouts. This significant decline in BSA membership has been attributed to a variety of causes, the most notable of which is the progression of the television and other electronic entertainment.

“I think there’s a real concern of where our kids are spending their time and the social pressures of where they are spending their time,” 60-year-old East Texas Council Scout Executive and CEO Mike Ballew said. “In 1972 there was no Internet… and a computer filled a room. You can get an idea of the enormous changes that have occurred.”

According to a medical journal written by Dr. Hillary Burdette and Dr. Robert Whitaker, children spend half as much time outside as they did 20 years ago. The Kaiser Family Foundation reports that children ages 8-18 spend an average of seven hours in front of a screen throughout the duration of a typical day and the Children and Nature Network found that only six percent of children will venture outside on their own.

“There are so many things [an] individual’s time is being challenged for,” Steve Stone said. The local fire department chief chaplain had been involved with his Scouting for 34 years, including a stint as troop leader of his sons’ troop. He has seen participation drop because of the time commitment required of Boy Scouts.

“Every single group out there wants your time, and they are trying to get your time at even a younger age,” he said.

Renee Fairrer, Public Relations Manager at the National Headquarters of the BSA located in Irving, Texas, argues that the reason behind the decrease is a drop in birth rate.

“There’s no way we can generate more kids in the program if the birth rate is declining,” she said.

While there has been a decrease in birth rate since 1972, according to the Department of Health and Human Services and the National Center for Health Statistics, there has been over half a million less youth membership since 2000 and over 200,000 less since 2005, according to the BSA national headquarters. Also, the U.S. Census Bureau has reported that there has been an increase of over 40 million males born since 1980. In 1980, the Census reported a male population of 110,053,000, and in 2009 151,449,000.

One possible reason for the decline is the BSA’s ban of openly homosexual troop leaders and Scouts.

“That is something for the Executive Board to make a decision on,” Fairrer, said. “At this point in time, as I think you have seen all over the news, the program, as it stands, will continue as it stands.”

“Scouting believes that good people can personally disagree on this topic and still work together to achieve the life-changing benefits to youth through Scouting,” the BSA Executive Board said in a press release made public by the organization. “While not all Board members may personally agree with this policy, and may choose a different direction for their own organizations, BSA leadership agrees this is the best policy for the organization and supports it for the BSA.”

Many of the organizations that sponsor troops and allow them to use their space for meetings are churches, and might withdraw their support if the BSA allows gay youth and adults.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, a spokesman for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said that the church would “take the time needed to fully review the language and study the implications of this new proposal.”

The church is the largest chartering organization for the BSA.

The organization announced a potential solution that would allow gay Scouts but not gay leaders. This has drawn criticism from both sides, and the board has agreed to vote on the issue in May 2013.

Another issue that has brought negative attention upon the BSA is a comprehensive list known as the “perversion files.”  The 14,500 page document lists numerous sex abuse allegations against Scout leaders. Over 1,200 people have been named in these files that were a well-kept secret until the Oregon Supreme Court ordered them released to the public following the 2010 Kerry Lewis case, who was abused as a Scout by his scoutmaster. The Los Angeles Times found that many of the volunteers named in the list had never been reported to the authorities and were allowed to continue preying on children in other troops.

In an interview with CNN, BSA president Wayne Brady admitted that the actions of the organization’s actions against those accused of sexual abuse “were plainly insufficient, inappropriate or wrong.”

 

Congratulations to the Track and Field Team – State Qualifiers

Members from the Centennial Track and Field team will head to Morgan State University this upcoming weekend in hopes of winning a state title.

Boys

200m – Josh Poole, Jordan Roberts

400m – Josh Poole

1600m – Danny Schofield

4 X 200m relay – Eddie Krahe, Dakota Abernathy, Josh Poole, Jordan Roberts

4 X 400m relay – Eddie Krahe, Andrew Kutt, Josh Poole, Jordan Roberts

4 X 800m – Joe Pavao, Kyle Johnson, Danny Schofield, Eddie Krahe

Pole Vault – Allen Keimig, Richard Vook

Girls

800m – Catie Bernhardt

1600m – Ally Driscoll

3200m – Shreya Nalubola

4 X 400m relay – Catie Bernhardt, Ally Driscoll, Nika Krahe, Christi Casey

4 X 800m relay – Catie Bernhardt, Ally Driscoll, Ilana Harris, Alyssa Taylor

Discus – Ona Ichoku