Month: October 2019

Connor Carpenter: Civil Servant for Centennial and Beyond

Words: Jeramy Stavlas

For the past three winter and spring sports seasons at Centennial High School, senior Connor Carpenter has been seen on either the court or the field, playing big roles for the school’s basketball and lacrosse teams. His impact on Centennial’s sports teams goes far beyond his play on the field though, as his help with Centennial’s Allied Soccer team is much more meaningful to him than any goal he could ever score.

After playing for the JV Soccer team his first two years at Centennial, Carpenter was cut from the team his junior year. With nothing to do that fall, Carpenter contacted Allied Soccer coach John Spaide, Carpenter’s former JV lacrosse coach, and asked to start helping out with the team. Since then, Carpenter has spent his time working with the team and giving the players a more comfortable school experience. 

Serving as an assistant coach, Carpenter directs the players on the field, sets up the goals, and helps out with water.

“He’s been a great asset to the team,” said Spaide, who will miss him after he graduates. According to Spaide, Carpenter has exceeded all expectations set when he started to volunteer.

When Carpenter first started to help out, he didn’t think too much of it.

“As I was a part of it more, it was less about helping them, and more so just becoming friends,” Carpenter said. 

From greeting the players and giving them high fives in the hallway to staying after school every day for their practices and games, Carpenter has developed a closer friendship with the players than he ever thought he would. “I enjoy it, you know? I do it because I enjoy it.”

Carpenter takes tremendous pride in his friendship with the players, and it’s evident to the people around them that they share a special connection. “I definitely can tell his relationship with the students has grown tremendously over the last two years,” said Spaide.

As the players search for somebody to look up to in their lives, Carpenter fits a mentor role perfectly. His positive influence on the team goes far beyond soccer, and affects the way they act in their everyday lives.

Carpenter’s help with the team has shaped him as a person and created an experience so valuable to him that it will live on with him for a long time. “I help them, but really they help me. They give me more friends and make me happier, so it’s been more impactful on me than I feel like I’ve impacted them,” Carpenter said.

Along with his volunteer work for the Allied Soccer team, Carpenter volunteers at Grassroots Crisis Intervention once a week. At Grassroots, he plays outside with homeless kids and children of families with drug addictions and financial needs that live in the center.

Carpenter also serves as an intern in West Baltimore two to three times a week at a non-profit organization called Harlem Lacrosse, which focuses on developing children’s character and helping them stay in school. Carpenter’s work with Harlem Lacrosse is part of the Intern/Mentor program here at Centennial.

His experience at Grassroots and Harlem Lacrosse has been very different than his service within the school as it shows him more aspects of life than he had previously been exposed to. It’s reshaped his morals and helped him realize that he finds true joy in helping less fortunate people.

”It means so little to us because my life is very different, but for them it can mean everything. Just appreciating the little things from another person’s perspective,” he commented.

In his free time, Carpenter is almost always volunteering at the programs if he is not doing schoolwork or working on his college applications. The commitment and dedication he puts into his volunteering make it evident that he truly does care about the people he helps. 

According to Carpenter, his main focus in his volunteer work is purpose: doing his best to benefit other people, knowing he won’t gain anything out of it himself besides a good feeling in his heart. 

“I don’t do any of this [with] the expectation that something is going to be given back to me,” Carpenter said. 

In the future, Carpenter plans to continue volunteering for different organizations and charities throughout his life. He would like to attend college near a city so that he is able to stay active in volunteer work, and continue to help whatever community he is near.

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Centennial Cross Country Teams Look to Capture State Titles

Words: Jeramy Stavlas

Photo: Ellie Zoller-Gritz

Starting the season ranked as the 40th best cross country team in Milesplit Maryland’s annual pre-season rankings, Centennial’s boys’ team had clearly taken a step back from last year. With six of seven Varsity runners graduating, the 2018 division 3A state champion Eagles were supposed to have a rebuilding year. Coaches Kevin McCoy and Robert Slopek had a different mindset, however. Along with their competitive nature, they found a way to shape the team into a real contender for a back-to-back 3A state title.

The Eagles placed second at the county championship, with only River Hill High School beating them. River Hill is favored to win the state title according to season statistics and Milesplit Maryland’s current rankings, but Centennial’s scores have been closing in on River Hill every race this season as they look to capture a second straight state title.

Led by juniors Jake Cole and Andrew Bank, along with freshman Antonio Camacho, the Eagles have exceeded all expectations through hard work and dedication, according to Bank. Through an intense training plan, the Varsity team’s race times have improved by an average of 58 seconds since early September. 

Bank, who missed the majority of last season with an injury, was overlooked in team and individual rankings and has helped turn Centennial into a serious threat for the state championship.

“I’m coming in and running times that no one expected. It’s really great to have that happen to us and I’m looking forward to a nice and bright future for our team,” Bank said.

Cole finished third overall in the county championship, with Camacho and Bank placing 10th and 11th, respectively.

The girls’ team is also looking to bring home another state title, recently placing second in the county championship behind Howard High School. 

The boys’ and girls’ teams will go on to race in the regional championship on Thursday, October 31 at Centennial High School. The girls will race at 2:30 followed by the boys’ race at 3:30. 

Coach McCoy and Slopek have high expectations for the team in their last two races.

“We’re going to run as hard and best as we can and if we do that, everything else takes care of itself,” said McCoy. 

With the team reaching their fastest point with the season on the line, Slopek added, “I think we’re peaking at the right time.” 

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Ellicott City Turns Into Harry Potter World

Words and Photos: Alexandra Valerio

On October 5-6, the Old Ellicott City Partnership held a Harry Potter-themed day for helping the National Federation of the Blind. Many people came for a spectacular time and brought their wands, brooms, and costumes into the heart of Old Ellicott City.

Costumes were welcomed by both children and adults. Many owners participated in the event and stores provided some Harry Potter exclusive themed items and events.

Stores such as Main Street Yoga provided sorcerers’ stones, Manor Hill provided a Pizza Wizard Theme, and Macha Time Cafe had butterbeer, cookies and collective cards. Moorenko’s Ice Cream cooked up some special unique flavors, and Reclaimed by You! had a tournament for competing for the House Cup.

More than ten stores participated in the Harry Potter theme; some also offered discounts to people who were decked out in Harry Potter themed wardrobes.

Julio Algeria, the owner of Gamer Corps, provided Harry Potter wardrobes and ties. Algeria says he “loves to read Harry Potter- genres and loved the scavenger hunt idea that Old Ellicott City created.”

The Old Ellicott City Partnership also provided selfie stops to allow visitors to travel into the Harry Potter World.

The Flower Barn Owners, Teresa Graham and Stephanie Wells, decided to create the Harry Potter theme for Teresa Graham’s daughter, Naudia Graham. She is a big fan of Harry Potter.

Naudia Graham decided to give back to the National Federation of the Blind and their community. Their plans for next year are “much bigger and much better” due to the strong response with the first one.

They give their thanks for people who came to the event and who are from Centennial High School, since Naudia Graham’s sister, Tiana, recently graduated from Centennial.

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Interviews With Centennial’s Newest Staff Members

Podcast by: Casper Ambrose, Julia Stitely, Noelle Deal, Keith Hitzelberger, Camryn Desai

The Wingspan media team interviews the newest additions to Centennial’s staff.

Jessica Stockham | Paraeducator 

 

Jacob Traver | Theatre Teacher

 

Darryl Thompson | Security Officer

 

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

Centennial Volleyball Suffers Tough Loss on Senior Night

Words: Shawn Kruhm

Photos: Noorie Kazmi

On Thursday, October 24, the Centennial Varsity Volleyball team hosted Marriotts Ridge in their final game of the season. Despite the team’s valiant effort, Centennial was defeated by a final score of 3-1. 

Seniors Sarah Allen, Gabriella Dipasquale, and Kayla Kellner were celebrated prior to the Senior Night match. 

“It was not the outcome we necessarily wanted, but we played really well together as a team,” said Allen. “We have a chance to face them again in playoffs this year and we plan on coming back stronger.” 

The seeding for the 3A East playoffs will be announced on October 28.

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Centennial Allied Soccer Wins County Championship

Words: Joey Sedlacko

Photos: Melissa Notti

On Thursday, October 24, the Centennial Allied Soccer team defeated Oakland Mills High School 4-0 to win the Howard County Championship and complete their undefeated season.

Both teams came into the championship game with their undefeated season on the line. It was a great all-around performance for the Eagles. JJ Howser-Doty led the way for Centennial’s offense with two goals. Additionally, Matthew Na and Marcie Cohen each scored a goal.

Centennial’s defense dominated and goalie Mike McCarthy held the Scorpions to zero goals.

With the championship victory, the Eagles finished the season with a 7-0 record.

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The Streak is Over: Centennial Football Captures Their First Win Since 2016

Words: Joey Sedlacko

Photos Contributed by: Kelli McDonough-Schlehr

On Saturday, October 19, the Centennial Varsity football team ended a 25-game losing streak after defeating rival Mount Hebron High School 41-26.

It has been a rollercoaster for the Centennial Football program the past few years. Their last victory came during week one of the 2016 season; the Varsity team was disbanded for the 2017 season, and in 2018 the Eagles were unable to score a single point.

“[The win] meant a lot to the kids because they put in a lot of hard work,” said head coach Billy Martin. “There were so many reasons they could have given up but they decided to keep working hard throughout the season.”

The Eagles were able to defeat Mount Hebron for the first time since 2013, thanks to the team’s 28 points in the fourth quarter and crucial plays by both the offense and defense.

“It felt like a dream come true,” said senior Anthony Matthews. “From the opening kickoff, I could feel the energy in the stadium and I live for moments like that. Me and my teammates told ourselves we were going to win this game for the school and for ourselves and that’s what we did.”

The game started as a defensive battle. It wasn’t until the second quarter when junior Khalil Conteh scored a rushing touchdown for the Eagles to give Centennial the 7-0 lead. However, Mount Hebron tied up the half with 16 seconds left after a long touchdown pass, and the two teams went into halftime tied at 7-7.

In the third quarter, the Eagles’ offense started to find their rhythm. Centennial drove down the field and senior quarterback Malik Chester gave the Eagles a 13-7 lead after scoring a rushing touchdown with 7:08 remaining.

Mount Hebron responded late in the third quarter with a touchdown of their own, but the Eagles stopped the Vikings on the two-point conversion to keep the game knotted at 13-13. The fourth quarter was a back-and-forth game with five lead changes and 41 total points scored.

In the beginning of the final quarter, senior Muchiri Mbugua made a pivotal defensive play and intercepted a pass from the Mount Hebron quarterback, then returned it for a touchdown to give Centennial a 19-13 lead.

The Vikings regained a 20-19 lead minutes later after a passing touchdown. Centennial and Mount Hebron showed no signs of giving up as each team scored another rushing touchdown. The Eagles found themselves down 26-25 with around four minutes remaining in the game.

“We knew this was going to be a close game and we had to stay focused no matter what. Every time it seemed like we had the momentum, they would come back, do their job, and shift the momentum again. We reminded ourselves why we came here and that helped us stay unfazed,” said senior Mbugua.

Chester guided the Eagles downfield and converted a crucial fourth down play. A 23-yard rushing touchdown by running back Conteh followed by a successful two-point conversion gave the Eagles a 33-26 lead.

“We kept our composure and stayed focused on each play to get the job done. We stayed the course and kept executing offensively,” said Martin.

The Centennial defense needed to stop the Vikings one last time and they did exactly that. Matthews’ interception return for a touchdown with 33 seconds left sealed the 41-26 victory.

“We had a winning mindset going into this game and we did a really good job of blocking out all the noise and just focusing on our jobs and coming out with a win,” Matthews stated.

The football team will take on Poolesville High School for their next game on October 25.

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Fall Concert Recap

Words: Thomas Hitt

Band

On Monday, October 14, Centennial kicked off the fall concert cycle with their four band ensembles. 

The jazz band opened the night, performing two upbeat songs that were filled with solos. The first song was Barnburner by Les Hooper and the second song was LaFiesta by Chick Corea. 

After the jazz band finished, Symphonic Band filed onto the stage and played Coast Guards March by Karl King, under the direction of James Kranz, the new addition to the band program. When the first song came to a close, Kranz introduced himself to the audience. He then continued directing Mark Lortz’s The Heart of Madness and Richard Saucedo’s Fanfare for Justice.

The Symphonic Winds took the stage next, playing El Capitan, a John Phillip Sousa march directed by David Matchim, followed by Journey Through Orion by Julie Giroux directed by Kranz. For the last song, Rakes of Mallow by Leroy Anderson, Matchim returned to the podium to conduct.

When the Symphonic Winds exited the stage, the Wind Ensemble entered. They performed three movements of Julie Giroux’s Symphony No. IV: Bookmarks of Japan. The first movement was Fuji-San meaning “Mt. Fuji,” the second was Nihonbashi meaning “Bridge Market,” and the third was Kinryu-zan Sensoji meaning “Thunder Gate.” In addition to normal percussion instruments, the ensemble played taiko drums, a Japanese percussion instrument. 

Words: Emily Hollwedel

Photos: Noorie Kazmi

Orchestra

On the night of Tuesday, October 15, parents and students alike arrived at Centennial to view the fall orchestra concert. It was conducted by orchestra teacher Allen Leung. 

Centennial’s orchestra played a selection comprised of two works: Symphony No. 14 by Robert Schuzman and Symphony No. 21 by Mozart. The concert was well-recieved by both the audience and the students participating. 

“I think the concert went really well,” said violist Praagna Kashyap.

Words: Sasha Allen

Photos: Noorie Kazmi

Choir

On Wednesday, October 16, Centennial’s choir department performed at their annual fall concert. The Chamber Choir sang If Ye Love Me and In His Care-O, Belle Voce sang Down in the River to Pray and Si Me Vers Avaient des Ailes, and Concert Choir sang Festival Cantate and Tunggare.

Rebecca Vanover, the director of the choir department, decided to resume this fall concert tradition this year. Kai Daley, a junior and member of both Belle Voce and Chamber Choir, says that this new concert date took some adjustment.

“I personally felt kind of thrown,” Daley said. “I’m not used to performing fresh out of the gate.” 

Along with a new concert schedule, Daley also had to get used to the new voices around her. 

“It was especially strange for me in Chamber Choir to stand in the same place as last year but to hear some completely different voices around me. The concert did give me a really good feeling about the freshmen and anyone else new to the choir.” 

Despite these new changes, the choir still kept old traditions alive.

“After every concert, we also write post-its of encouragement and what we thought went well, so you always feel like you’re doing a good job,” she said.

Daley is looking forward to the upcoming concert season, and she is already seeing improvement.

“We had a really good sound, and that’s only a month into the school year, so I am really excited to see how the new groups, but particularly Concert Choir, which has the bulk of the new voices, improves.”

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Principal Dillon Comes Out on Top in Centennial’s Annual Dancing With the Staff

Words: Shawn Kruhm

Photos: Noorie Kazmi

On Thursday, October 17, members of the Senior Dance Company partnered with a teacher of their choice to compete in Centennial’s annual Dancing With the Staff performance. 

From Ghostbusters to Despicable Me, students and staff incorporated numerous popular movies and themes into their entertaining dance numbers. 

Once all student and dancer duos had finished their routine, the panel of judges, made up of teachers and school officials, voted on the best dance duo. Although Divya Proper and choir teacher Rebecca Vanover won the judge’s vote, the audience voted for Principal Cynthia Dillon and Lexie Fang to win the first place trophy. Juliet Pantoulis and computer science teacher Michael Hobson received an honorable mention for their Back to the Future performance. 

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