Tag: Giana Han

2015 Graduates’ Advice to Rising Seniors

Words: Ashley Berry

For most people, senior year is a last “hoorah;” a year to celebrate your time at Centennial. It is also a time to plan for the future: sending in college applications, applying for jobs, enlisting in the military, etc. Although it is an important year, many seniors develop a condition know as “Senioritis.” The graduated class of 2015 has been through it all. Together, they walked the halls of Centennial through freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior year. To the class of 2016 from the class of 2015, here is some wise advice:

 

“In general, just treasure your time with everyone around you. I know I said I couldn’t wait until senior year ended, but honestly, when it ends you will wish everything got to stay the same.”

-Amanda Ali

 

“For senior year, just enjoy being a kid one last [time]. Nail whatever you put your mind to, try new things, and if you’re given an opportunity, take it! Live it up!”

-Daniel Giangrandi

 

“The best advice I could offer is to never lose focus on your priorities, even though [during] senior year it becomes easy to. Try to maintain good habits because the year flies by, and the next thing you know you’ll be preparing to be a freshman in college. Also make the most of senior year and take advantage of the time you have with your friends because you’ll blink and it’ll be over with.”

-Anna Mitchell

 

“The start of senior year is rough, and you can’t go into it slacking off immediately because you still have to get into college.”

-Jordan Burk

 

“My advice is to have fun and remember these last few months of high school. I wish I knew how fast the year flew by.”

-Corey Grable

 

“My advice would be to get your college applications done early and to cherish the fun moments because the school year goes by so fast!”

-Kimmy Eads

 

“Start working on college applications in the summer. There’s a lot of tedious work that you can get out of the way beforehand because those deadlines come up fast. Also, enjoy every moment of senior year. Don’t skip the activities because you think you’re too cool or that no one’s going – these are moments you will never be able to get back. I wish I would have known how quickly the year goes by.”
-Giana Han

 

“I would say to keep an open mind and try as many new things as you can before you graduate. I’ve had some great experiences this year and they wouldn’t have been possible without an open minded attitude and my closest friends near by.”

-Meghan Kelley

 

“Don’t get caught up in any unnecessary drama. Just enjoy your last year at home and make the most of it.”

-Monika Buczak

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

A Final Farewell

Words: Giana Han

Photos: Contributions from The Wingspan team

On May 21, 2015, the Class of 2015 will leave the building for the last time as students.

It is also the day that I, Giana Han, will be officially handing over the role of Online Editor-in-Chief to Sandy Eichhorn for good. Luckily, I’m leaving it in capable hands.

This year has been an incredibly amazing year for the school, and thus for The Wingspan.  With the job of running the daily online website, the crazy schedule of school activities kept me busy, but I would say that I, and my team, profited from the experience.

From covering It’s Academic to theater productions to the State Championship, the team of Wingspan reporters have been there to connect the different parts of the community together. With all the online articles and photos passing through me, I have gotten to know the school pretty well, and I have to say, it is a school to take pride in.

So, thank you, Centennial, for putting up with typos where an “e” slipped out of Ms. Hafets’ name, for coming to us for breaking news, and for supporting us all.  I have put together photos that celebrate our final year at Centennial, and now I am signing off as caretaker of the website for the last time.

Thank you Centennial.

A Night of History for Howard County Sports (and OMHS Game Photos)

Photos and words: Giana Han

On March 14, 2015, the Centennial boys’ basketball team won the 3A boys basketball state title.  Less than three hours later, Oakland Mills, Centennial’s rival for the county title and ally as the only other Howard County team to make it to state semifinals, took the 2A boys’ basketball state title.

There were Centennial fans in the Oakland Mills crowd who stayed to support the other representative of Howard County, and the Centennial basketball team had stated before leaving that they wished Oakland Mills the best.  The fans that stuck around got to witness a night that made history.

The Oakland Mills team had not won a boys basketball state title since 1990.

The Centennial team had never won a boys basketball state title.

And, on top of that, never before have two Howard County teams brought home a boys basketball state championship victory in the same season.

While the two teams may have battled on the court against each other earlier in the season, it took both teams to mark this night down in history for Howard County.

For coverage of the Centennial game, see Mike Moore’s article here.

For photos of the Centennial game, click here.

Photos from the Oakland Mills game:

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

Photos from the 3A Championship Game

Game Photos: Izzie Chausse

Post-Game Photos: Giana Han

For coverage of the game, see Mike Moore’s article https://chswingspan.wordpress.com/2015/03/14/the-boys-basketball-team-brings-home-the-state-title/ .

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

The Eagles are Headed to States

Words: Giana Han

Photos: Izzie Chausse

Contributions from Mike Moore

On March 12, 2015, the Eagles finished what they had started three years ago when the team won the state semifinal against the C. Milton Wright Mustangs, 75-61.

From the moment the team stepped onto the floor for warm-ups, they were sinking shots, and the crowd was going wild.  The game was set at Xfinity Center, creating a very different feel than the one of the comfortable high school gym at Centennial.

“The perception of the shots were different.  We’re used to having a wall there,” said senior Isaiah White.  “When we came out, we had our school, our community behind us, so that helped relieve the pressure.”

The fans quieted down for a moment when the Mustangs won the tip-off and quickly converted it into points with a basket from CMW’s Corey Bays.

However, a minute and 15 seconds into the game, a basket by junior Tom Brown tied the game, and 30 seconds later, a three from senior Chad Strothers put Centennial in the lead.  I. White put another two on the board, and senior Connor Clemens followed that with another three, putting the Eagles up 10-4.  The Eagles were off and running, and they never looked back.

Supported by Centennial’s strong defense, Strothers took advantage of the steals and defensive rebounds his teammates passed to him and scored several lay-ups, making tough shots look easy.  The Eagles were playing a fast game that was different than their usual methodical offense, yet very effective.

Head Coach Chad Hollwedel said, “It starts for us on the defensive end.  We play with the defensive energy and we get stops, it leads to run outs and it gets us started.  We have worked very hard at creating tempo in the half court set to get the shots we want.”

The Eagles were up 18-11 when senior Eli Geist and sophomore Elijah White checked into the game. Seconds after stepping onto the floor, Geist put a rebound back up, scoring the final points of the quarter.

Entering the second, CMW’s Christopher Lorenzo cut the Eagles 20-11 lead to seven points with a three point shot.  Seniors I. White and Strothers responded immediately.  A tipped rebound to I. White led to a fast break where he crossed out a defender for an easy lay-up.  Strothers converted a steal into a lay-up and then drove to the basket, laying the ball up nice and easy over two defenders on the next play.  Less than four minutes into the second quarter, Strothers was already in double digits for points.

The rest of the team helped to solidify the lead with strong defensive rebounds from Brown and blocks from Geist and I. White.  Junior Michael Merkey, Brown, and E. White put points on the board, and the Eagles finished the half up 36-24.

Baskets from I. White, Clemens, and Strothers quickly extended the Centennial lead to 18 points in the second quarter.  However, CMW’s Bays was putting up a fight and cut the lead to 15.

Even with Bays’ effort, the Eagles continued to dominate the third.  E. White and Geist came in to score points while Brown (10 rebounds) dominated the boards, eliminating second chance shots for the Mustangs.  With a 19 point cushion, the Eagles had set themselves up for a promising final quarter.

The opening play of the fourth was a put back from Mustang Kyle Harkins, and the Mustangs quickly set up a press.  Bays, Harkins, and Seth Walker sank their shots, and the Eagle’s lead was cut down to 13.

However, the Eagles followed their normal philosophy of when a team goes on a run, they just need to respond with a bigger run.

“Coach talked about making sure we closed out on their shooters because they started to knock down their shots,” said E. White.  “Just closing out and forcing their quick shots.  Then they started missing a couple.”

“You know they were a good team, knew they would make a run,” said Hollwedel.  “We weathered that storm and made a little run, just trying to minimize their runs and maximize ours.”

With lay-ups from Strothers, E. White, and senior Kevin Wilson, and strong rebounds from Brown, the Eagles established that they weren’t ready to go home.

This was confirmed when a fast break led to a spectacular dunk by E. White followed minutes later by one from his brother.  With a strong lead created by Strothers (19 points), I. White (19), Clemens (10), E. White (10), Geist (6), and Brown (6), the starters were retired, and the Eagles were able to clear their bench.

With a final free throw from Min An, the game ended 75-61, and the crowd went wild.  The program had made it past the obstacle the state semi-final to game had presented to the team of 2011-2012.

“When I was a freshman, I remember watching the varsity team go through the halls and we were all clapping for them, I just thought, man, that would be awesome to have that opportunity someday,” said Strothers.  “We worked really hard to get here.”

Some of the team who had made it to the 2012 state semi-finals last were in the crowd cheering on the kids who were once J.V. players looking up to them.

“It kinda was awesome, having them see us because we were out there watching them, and to have them come see us, it’s like [being] in their shadow almost.  And now we have the chance to gain the state title, and we want to make them proud,” said Strothers.

The entire team was able to contribute to the win.  According to Hollwedel, their amazing teamwork stems from the fact that they are a great group who truly like each other and are willing to put in the work.

“I’m fortunate, with the staff, to be able to try and cultivate that a little bit more.  From a basketball perspective, there are things they can work on, but if they weren’t the kids they were, it wouldn’t matter,” said Hollwedel.

“We all play together, so it’s not only one player,” added E. White.  “It’s the whole team, and when we’re all working together, it works.”

The next game will be at Xfinity Center on March 14 at 3 p.m.

“Every day we talk with the kids about just finding a way to be 1-0 at the end of the day.  We’re going to have a fight in for us with a very good basketball team on Saturday, and we’re going to go home and start preparing for the next game,” said Hollwedel.  “It’s been a great group all year, they deserve to play one more time.”

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

The Eagles Win a Double Victory- A State Title and a Regional Championship

Words: Giana Han

Contributions from Mike Moore

Generally people hate Mondays, but Monday Mar. 9 was a day of triumphs and victories for Centennial High School.

The Eagles celebrated not one, but two wins today when Austin Kraisser won the wrestling state championship and the boys’ basketball team pulled out a win over River Hill for the regional title.

From the moment the teams walked onto the court for warm-ups, the competition was fierce.  The Centennial fans started counting the number of missed shots the Hawks had, and the River Hill fans soon picked it up on the other side.  The names were announced , and both sides tried to yell over the players names,

When the national anthem would not play, the River Hill fans started to sing it themselves.  The rest of the gym quickly picked up the tune.  However, after the Eagles shouted “RED!”, the Hawks started to race to the finish line while the Eagles attempted to keep the song slow.

At tip off, the gym was rocking, and River Hill’s Charles Thomas IV tipped the ball to his teammate, starting the game.  The ball changed possession several times before Thomas IV scored the first points of the game.

Thomas IV continued to dominate the floor. The Eagles hung behind, Isaiah White helping to keep the team in the game with nine points for the quarter. In the last 0:00.8 seconds of the first quarter, Thomas IV dunked the ball, pushing the Hawks ahead, but, luckily for the Eagles, a technical was called, and the quarter ended with the Hawks up only two, 18-16.

In the second quarter, the Hawks played without Thomas IV, but they still kept their level of play up.  Chad Strothers found himself in foul trouble, and Michael Merkey stepped in and hit a foul shot and scored a field goal.  According to Connor Clemens, the foul trouble got the team down at first, but it ended up helping because the team was able “to get a bunch of contributions from a bunch of different guys.”

Clemens and Tom Brown hit a few key shots, but at the end of the half, the Eagles were still behind by two, 27-29.

“We were down two last time we played them at the half.  I just told them we were getting out hustled,” said Head Coach Chad Hollwedel.

“We’d been down before,” said White, “so it wasn’t anything new, but it was definitely a little bit of pressure.  Coach just told us to stick to what we do.”

The Eagles came out of half time strong, but so did the Hawks- and they had Thomas IV back on the floor.  However, Kevin Wilson kept up strong defense while Tom Brown played help defense.

“We did such a good job with Charlie last time with Kevin.  Charlie came and was completely ready to play and absolutely destroyed us in the first [quarter] to the basket.  He played like he wanted to win a championship,” said Hollwedel.  “We just kept fighting, trying to keep him off the boards with help and being up and fronting him with Kevin.”

With the Eagles working hard on both offense and defense, the third ended in a tie, 38-38.

At the start of the fourth, the five starters were back on the floor for Centennial.  However, the Hawks were playing an effective zone, shutting down the Eagles’ inside game.

“We knew we had to push and beat their zone because their zone killed us last game.  Once we started to get the ball going in transition, we were getting easy buckets,” said Brown.

Jump shots from White and put backs from Brown put points on the board for the Eagles.

However, in the last minutes, the Hawks pulled ahead.  A time-out was called by the Hawks when they received possession of the ball with a minute left.  They were clearly playing keep away to maintain their one point lead with players passing up wide opens shots created by the Eagles scramble for the ball.

The Eagles had to foul to stop the clock until they reached seven fouls, and the Hawks were shooting one and one.  River Hill missed their first foul shot, but the Eagles missed their chance and had to foul again.

Once again, River Hill missed the foul shot, and the Eagles did not capitalize on the turn over.

With seconds left in the game, River Hill missed a third foul shot and the Eagles got the rebound.  A pass to Clemens on the wing led to a jump shot with less than a second left in the game.

The gym was silent as both sides waited.  When the ball fell through hitting nothing but net, the Eagles stormed down into the court.  With Clemens’ shot, the Eagles became the 2015 3A Regional Champions, winning the game by just one point, 49-48.

“The kids did it,” said Hollwedel.  “The kids that went out, hit shots, and made plays.  I really have no idea how it happened down the stretch other than that that ball came off and Connor hit the shot to win the game.”

“Connor, he hit those base-line shots all season long.  It was natural for him, he just got it, called the shot.  I don’t know how he did it, but he did it,” said White.

“We were only down one, we only needed two.  We didn’t need any crazy shots.  Chad went to the basket, lost it, but he managed to get it to me in time, and I hit the shot,” explained Clemens, the hero of the hour.

White finished with 22 points and six rebounds, and Brown contributed 10 points and five rebounds.  Clemens had nine points (including the game winning shot) and five rebounds.

“As seniors, as anybody in the program, we’ve never been this deep before, so it was new to us, but we believed in each other, and we knew that if we played hard, as we always did, we would come out on top,” said White who led the team in both points and rebounds.

Meanwhile, over at the University of Maryland, Austin Kraisser was competing for a state title.  Unlike the basketball game, the outcome was not in question for even a split second.

Kraisser emerged the victor with a resounding score of 21-4.

A lot of work went into this title.  Kraisser said, “ I had to put in a lot of work to get here and had to push myself in every practice this year to make myself better each and every day.”

His hard work paid off, and Kraisser won his second state title in two years.

“It means a lot to me to win my second state title, and it is a great accomplishment,” said Kraisser.  “It feels good to be able to relax after having a lot of pressure on me to win.”

Come out and support the Eagles at the Xfinity Center at University of Maryland for the state semi-finals on Mar. 12 at 5 p.m. against Milton Wright.

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

One More Step Down the Road to States

Words: Mike Moore

Contributions from Giana Han

In front of a rowdy, packed gym on Saturday, Mar. 7, the Centennial basketball team continued down the road to College Park by defeating City College High School 65-56.

The first quarter started out as pure domination for the Eagles. Starting the game on a 6-0 run, the Eagles would only give up seven points in the first, while scoring 18 themselves.

Seniors Chad Strothers and Isaiah White along with junior Tom Brown ignited the Eagle’s offense by getting to the rim and finishing their shots, giving them a double-digit lead after one quarter.

“The way we started showed that we were 100% ready to go,” Cetennial coach Chad Hollwedel said of the fast start the Eagles had.

The second quarter was much of the same. The Eagles continued to penetrate the paint well and they got easy buckets. Centennial maintained a double-digit lead throughout the quarter.

Junior Michael Merkey and sophomore Elijah White made some big shots to keep the offense rolling while Brown, Strothers and Isaiah White continued their stellar performance. When the buzzer sounder at the end of the quarter, the Eagles took a 34-22 lead into the locker room

I. White explained that in the locker room, coach Hollwedel thought that they could give more effort, and in the second half, it was clear that his message was received by the Eagles.

After the break, the Eagles picked right back up from where they left off by scoring the first two baskets of the second half and forcing City to call an early timeout.

The offense went on a huge run, and it seemed like nothing could stop them. Brown was playing very well, and Strothers continued to make big plays.

The defense led by seniors Kevin Wilson and Eli Giest helped the offense build the lead by forcing City to settle for unwanted and difficult shots. After three, the Eagles were up 51-38, and the crowd, who had been wild all day, began to taste the win.

In the fourth, City began to play with more urgency and made some runs. But each time they made a run, Centennial answered with a bigger one.

“Coach always says that if they make a run, make a bigger run. So once they started making their run we strapped up, got the ball, and went and got a basket”, Brown said of the fourth quarter runs by City. Combined with hitting everything from jump shots to free throws, the offense was running smooth, and the defense was continuing its high level of play, never allowing City to get closer than six points of the Eagles.

Once that final buzzer sounded, the crowd and players rejoiced. The defeat at the hands of City from a year ago had been avenged, and the Eagles would be moving on to step three on their road to College Park.

“They beat us down pretty hard last year in the play-offs, and we know they’re a transition first team, so we just wanted to slow them down,” said Strothers who played them last year as a junior.

“It was more emotional, more than a game this time,” added I. White, who shared last year’s loss with Strothers.

Strothers led the Eagles with 18 points, with Brown had 13, Isaiah White had 10, and senior Connor Clemens also had 10. Merkey and E. White had five points apiece, while Wilson finished with four.

The Eagles will play the winner of River Hill and Reservoir on Monday night at Centennial.

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