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.

ks/pb/dt

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

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.” 

nk/dt/pb/th/ks

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

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.

dt/pb/th/ks

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

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

 

dt/pb/th/ks

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.

ks/th/nk/dt/pb

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

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.

dt/ks/th/nk/pb

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