Month: March 2018

Annual Zaching Against Cancer Tournament Championship

Words and Photos: Zach Grable

Thursday, March 29, was the final day of the Zaching Against Cancer March Madness Basketball Tournament, when the championship game was held.

The Steezmen battled Vyatautus for the title. This was a very close game, with both teams scoring back and forth. By the end of regulation, it was tied 8-8.

Overtime began with a quick two points from The Steezmen, but with clutch 3s from senior Sean Taylor, Vyatautus stayed within reach. Vyatautus took advantage of its second opportunity to win and hit the ground running. A nice lay-up from senior Michael Pellegrini and deep two-pointer from freshman Shane Taylor put Vyatautus up 12-10. Both teams scored only one other point. The game finished with Vyatautus on top, 13-11.

This year’s ZAC Tournament was yet again a well attended and meaningful Centennial event.

For the first article click here: https://chswingspan.com/2018/03/07/week-one-of-zaching-against-cancer-march-madness-basketball-tournament/ 

For the second article click here: https://chswingspan.com/2018/03/14/week-two-of-zaching-against-cancer-march-madness-basketball-tournament/

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

Centennial Brightens Up Hallways with Inspire Murals [VIDEO]

Words: Maggie Ju/ Photos: Zach Grable/ Video: Julia Stitely

In the few days preceding spring break, clusters of New Forms art students could be seen painting colorful murals on the walls. Bearing inspiring messages, their work brightens the high-stress environment Centennial students are accustomed to.

The project had been scheduled to begin on March 22, but due to school cancellations, it was postponed until March 27.

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

Academic All-State Basketball Team Inductees

Words: Delanie Tucker

Photos: Sydney Beck

Many of Centennial’s athletes have recently earned Academic All-State Team recognition in basketball, with all of them coming from Centennial’s varsity teams. From the girls’ varsity team, seniors Mary Grace Lambert and Gracie Rockefeller were recognized. The others recognized, from the boys’ varsity team, were juniors Cameron Berkeley, Ryan Hollwedel, Matt Merkey, and Michael Kefyalew, along with seniors Kaleb Addisu and Sean Taylor.

All eight students have worked very hard to reach this point, taking three to four of their high school years to accomplish this goal.

Despite the eight of them achieving the same goal, each player boasted of different aspects that contributed to improving their athletic performance and educational integrity.

Lambert, one of the captains for girls’ varsity basketball, exclaims how grateful she is for others who have helped her along the way.

“I would just like to say thank you to my teachers, parents and coaches for supporting me and helping me, and the school for always supporting student athletes,” Lambert disclosed.

Rockefeller, the other captain for girls’ varsity, was more focused on her recent improvement and her ability to prove herself worthy of her position as captain, even though she was not given much playing time last year.

“I feel proud that I was able to make a bigger impact on the court this year.”

The girls were not the only ones who were proud of their achievements. Robert Slopek, their varsity coach, spoke highly of his captains.

“They were committed to making our program the best both on and off the court. They are both great examples of student-athletes. They complete their work and do a great job balancing their time,” Slopek praised.

Beyond the incredible accomplishments from girls’ basketball, several varsity basketball players from the boys team feel just as proficient in reaching the All-State level and express the commitment and hard work required to become successful student athletes.

Sean Taylor, a common name in the starting five for Centennial varsity, openly shared the challenges he faced to obtain the elite achievement.

“Playing basketball is what I love to do but doing well in school and getting good grades is something I pride myself on,” Taylor revealed. “To reach this level took hard work and some afternoons or nights that were homework filled and time-consuming.”

While Taylor described his struggles as a student athlete, his fellow player, Cameron Berkeley, divulged his belief that the accomplishments of the selected players were due to the effort and endurance of the entire team, whether it be on the court or in the classroom.

“It is incredible to be recognized for any accomplishments and as a team it was important that we took care of the academic side of being a student athlete in order to focus on our performance on the court,” Berkeley commented.

Centennial High School students and staff are very proud of the achievements of the school’s student athletes, and hope to see many more students emerge as leaders in their own sports.

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

The Impact of March for Our Lives and the Students of Parkland

Words: Maddie Wirebach

I don’t think I can adequately express the sheer power and passion that radiated through every single inch of Pennsylvania Avenue. There are just no words to describe the feelings I felt as I stood in solidarity with hundreds of thousands of people, proudly and peacefully demonstrating our desire for change. I felt empowered, yet enraged standing in the shadow of the Capitol building, the very building in which so little action is being taken to end this senseless violence. I was so happy to be a part of the march, but my heart sank every time the cause of the movement crossed my mind.

I watched as performers I love took the stage and sang beautiful songs. It was hard to fight back tears as I listened to the heartbreaking stories of kids who have been directly affected by gun violence.

The most powerful moment for me was when Parkland survivor Emma Gonzalez stepped onto the stage. Her statements echoed down the avenue, the crowd totally enamored and hanging on her every last word. And she left us hanging: in utter silence for minutes. The stillness lingered as the crowd watched and waited for Gonzalez’s next word. But she just stood, eyes burning into the lens of the camera, her face stone cold, yet filled with passion, rage, and unrest.

Gonzalez’s silence, in retrospect, is quite symbolic of my lack of words. In some cases, there are moments that simply cannot be recreated with words.

For me, her silence said more than anything words could say. Those minutes of silence allowed my mind to be flooded with a million thoughts, but at the same time, none. In that time, I genuinely understood why I was at the march. I knew I was there because I am tired of seeing kids like me being senselessly killed. I was there because not a day goes by where I don’t think “Am I next? Is Centennial next?”

If you think about it, our school is no different than Marjory Stoneman Douglas. In fact, we are extremely similar, right down to the exact same mascot. We are as much the home of the eagles as MSD is, making this even closer to home. The impact and courage of our fellow eagles has spread and inspired students at Centennial, including juniors Jen Solan and Matt Sorak.

Solan applauds the students for displaying the strength our generation holds.

“The actions of the students are a demonstration of the power and potential of our generation,” Solan noted.

“[They] are actively sharing their voices in a mature and effective way that emphasizes the validity and importance of their opinion,” continued Solan.

Sorak admired the opportunity the MSD students have created for our voices to be heard.

“I think high schoolers across the country finally feel like there’s a chance to change; that maybe we won’t have to be scared anymore.”

The march is something I will never forget, especially Gonzalez’s parting words: “Fight for your life before it’s someone else’s job.”

That’s why it is so important to do all that you can right now. Register to vote, write to your representatives, because something needs to change.

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

Centennial Girls Lacrosse Looking to Continue Their Crusade As Top-Tier Team

Words: Sydney Beck

The Lady Eagles Head Varsity Coach, Bethany Cunha’s motto for the 2017 season was “redemption”. Cunha wanted the girls to forget about the prior season, and come out strong as a new team. This was the beginning of redemption.

The Lady Eagles caused heads to turn going into their 2016-2017 season. The Eagles started off the season with a loss of 14-7 to Marriotts Ridge High School. They quickly regained speed and won two games back to back before meeting their defeat against Glenelg High School. Although the loss against Mount Hebron High School was nearly heart wrenching, due to such an intense game, the Eagles did not slow down.

All eyes were on the Eagles when they won their first game, against Howard High (15-12), in three years. Centennial girls varsity did not stop there.

The girls pushed through the next game against River Hill winning 15-1. Winning against River Hill put the girls in the first round of playoffs against team rival, Mount Hebron. The Eagles came for revenge, and left with just that. Breaking the never ending tie of 7-7, Marissa Lagera won the game in over time with an unbelievable eight-meter foul shot.

Unfortunately, the Lady Eagles met their demise in the second round of playoffs against Glenelg, losing the game 4-16.

Redemption was what it was.

“I couldn’t be prouder with how the season ended last year as we exceeded all expectations and set out to redeem ourselves within the county.” Cunha stated.

Going into the 2018 season, the Lady Eagles have been preparing both mentally and physically. According to Cunha, it’s all about the foundation.

“So far we have been preparing by making sure we are solid in game basics like offensive sets, midfield transition, defensive movement and clears. Once the foundation is set, we can build off those pieces.”

The 2018 season will be more challenging for the Lady Eagles, as they have been moved up into the upper tier. However, just like last year, the Eagles will rise to occasion and demand redemption, but this time, as the ‘Dark Horse’.

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

Centennial Theatre Department Takes the Stage With 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Words: Natalie Keane

During the weekend of March 23, the Centennial High School Theatre Department presented the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee in Centennial’s auditorium.

The musical, packed with fast-paced wit and humor, follows six middle schoolers as they compete to become Putnam County’s next spelling bee champion. As they progress through each round, with each filled with words that sound suspiciously fake, they also come to address their own adolescent insecurities. While the mood of the show remains playful, some moments highlight more serious and heartfelt undertones of the students’ personal lives.

Speller Olive Ostrovsky wants nothing more than validation from her parents, who are too busy to attend the competition to watch her perform. Leaf Coneybear, clad in a bright red cape, is plagued with self-doubt. Despite the constant mockery he hears from his own family, he manages to develop some much-needed self confidence throughout the play.

Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre has two overbearing moms, who are likely more invested in her own victory in the competition than she is. William Barfee is burdened with a chronic sinus condition and a last name that often provokes mispronunciation. Marcy Park describes the struggles of being simply too good at everything, and Chip Tolentino, a boy scout and last year’s spelling bee champion, is forced to come to terms with his own eventual failure in this year’s bee.

To the surprise of many, the show included audience participation. Four members from the audience were invited to be “guest spellers” in the bee, and did their best to spell through the competition on stage alongside the actors and actresses, contributing even more to the humor of the show. Audience participation highlights the uniqueness of the production, because no two performances can be exactly the same.

The true relatability of every character makes the show all the more wonderful to watch. It becomes easy to cheer on the six misfits as they navigate their way through the competition and their own personal struggles.

Altogether, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,  featuring drastically different characters who light up the stage, truly highlights what makes each of us one of a kind. It teaches a much-needed lesson that little victories, even if not intended to be found, can sometimes be worth more than the ones for which we’re really looking.

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

New Forms Art Students Create Inspiring Murals

Words: Maggie Ju

Nineteen students in the New Forms art class will be participating in the Inspire Mural Project, scheduled for Thursday, March 22, but is postponed due to inclement weather closings.

Instructed by art teacher Mark Hanssen, these upperclassmen are creating murals based on Centennial’s values to display uplifting messages to students.

“Mr. Hanssen inspired us to reach within ourselves and create something beautiful while being meaningful,” senior Isabel Trojillo explained. She and other students are working on a design by senior Sophie Lovering, which features the words “Be Kind” in sign language.

“The most important aspect to me is allowing students to see the process so that they can fully appreciate the effort and the values we are reminded of on a daily basis,” Trojillo said, “I cannot wait for our murals to be finished!”

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.