Tag: MD

Spring Sports Preview 2013 – Girls Lacrosse

Spring Sports Preview 2013

Girls Lacrosse

Words: Salman Hashmi

Ellicott City, MD – “I am very excited about the upcoming season for Centennial Lacrosse. We have a young team with great skill and speed. All the girls are really ready to learn and grow as lacrosse players so from here forward we will just get better,” said varsity girls lacrosse coach Rachel Lenzo.

Entering her first season as girls lacrosse coach, Lenzo feels that this year’s team will be competitive and will give it their best effort. “I am looking to raise the expectations of the team for our county play. To be competitive in every single game and give 100% win or lose, and in all situations show our character through sportsmanship to our opponents,” said Lenzo.

She also feels that in order to be competitive, she has to push every one of her lacrosse players. “We condition daily, as well as, working on fundamental lacrosse skills (catching, throwing, shooting, ground balls and draw controls). We practice our offensive sets and plays, defensive options and man up/man down plays,” said Lenzo.

Lenzo believes she has a solid team offensively and defensively. “We have a group of girls who are fast and that will benefit us in the transition. We also have some incredibly skilled defenders who I am looking to step up vocally and lead our team, as well as, attackers who can capitalize on scoring opportunities,” said Lenzo.

Spring Sports Preview 2013 – Varsity Baseball

Spring Sports Preview 2013

Varsity Baseball

Words: Salman Hashmi

Ellicott City, MD – The 2013 Centennial Eagles baseball team looks to build upon last year even though the team lost key players to graduation. Coach Dennis Ahearn feels that this year will be a year to grow for the team. “[I am] Excited—-we have a young and relatively inexperienced team. I am curious to see what we can make of it all,” said Ahearn.

Ahearn feels that each of his players should try to be the best at their position and be motivated to win every game. “We expect compete to win every game and to grow throughout the season. Everyone is motivated and we have a lot of competition for starting roles,” said Ahearn.

Ahearn believes that Centennial has some good competition in Howard County. “Hebron is always a rivalry—so is River Hill. It would nice to beat teams like Glenelg and Reservoir who have very strong teams,” said Ahearn.

CHS Eagles Basketball Defeats River Hill

Words: Anna Mitchell

Clarksville, MD – On Thursday, February 28, 2013, the Centennial Eagles boys’ basketball team traveled to River Hill for the second round of playoffs. The Eagles, coming off of a win on Tuesday, would face the 20-5 Hawks who had a first round bye.

The Eagles’ sixth-man student section began arriving thirty minutes before the game, set to begin at 6 PM. They were decked out in red and cheering and chanting as soon as the team ran out onto the court for warm-ups. The turnout of Centennial fans huddled together behind the Eagles’ bench easily outnumbered the River Hill students, even though they were visitors in the Hawks’ home gym. The energy in the arena was unbelievable before the match even began. Neither section had the slightest bit of idea as to what kind of match they were getting themselves into.

Following the National Anthem and player introductions, both teams were ready to play, with outstanding support from their fans. After tip-off, it was hard to predict the night’s outcome. The Hawks would take the lead first, but be silenced by almost each offensive possession by the Eagles. At the end of the first quarter, the Hawks lead by five points.

The back-and-forth play continued throughout the second period. The loud cheers from both sixth-man groups also progressed, making it nearly impossible to hear the person sitting next to you speak. Approaching halftime, the Hawks had settled a consistent lead, settling between eight to ten points each possession.

In the third quarter, the Hawks continued scoring while the Eagles struggled to convert their offensive breaks. When the Hawks reached their greatest lead of the match, twelve points, the Eagles knew they needed to make a change. After a crucial timeout, the squad came out with intensive defense and pressure that forced turnovers and allowed easy layups. The Eagles weren’t going home without a fight.

With three minutes remaining in the match, the Eagles finally achieved a tie at 48-48, the first time in the entire game that the Hawks weren’t winning. The fans stood on their respective sides, watching the nail biting final moments unravel. With the last minute running down on the clock, the Eagles had to resort to fouling in order to stop time.

With six seconds left on the clock, Centennial was down by four points. Sophomore Chad Strothers of the Eagles drove hard through the lane, and was fouled on his way to the hoop. He was given two free-throws. On the line, he sunk the first one, and a sigh of relieve resonated throughout the Eagles’ fans.

Then Strothers missed his second free-throw, the rebound landing in the hands of River Hill. Believing that this error sealed the deal and confirmed the Eagles’ loss, the Hawks’ student section chanted the general cheer to make Centennial feel bad: “It’s all over,” “Start the buses,” and the song excerpt “Hey, hey, hey, goodbye.” In retaliation, the Eagles’ fans replied with “It’s not over,” but it was hard for many to believe there was a chance for a comeback with such little time on the clock, no possession of the ball, and a three point deficit.

Suddenly, the Eagles players on the floor swarmed the River Hill player with possession of the rebound. After getting their hands on the ball, a jump-ball was called. The eyes of every fan in the arena turned to the scoreboard to see which team would have possession. Cheers erupted from the Eagles’ side of the gym when they saw the arrow illuminated, pointing to the Visitor’s side, giving Centennial a second chance to score.

The Eagles set up an inbounds play that needed to result in a three-pointer to tie the game. With 2 seconds remaining, senior Omari Ringgold caught the ball outside of the arch, and with two River Hill players guarding him, took one dribble and the crowd watched the game’s most crucial shot travel through the air.

When the ball swished through the basket, chaos erupted. River Hill fans silenced in disbelief, and Eagles fans screaming, high-fiving each other, and jumping in complete awe. The game had been tied with virtually no time remaining in regulation. The Eagles had been given a second opportunity to win. With the final siren buzzing, the energy from Centennial’s side of the gym was incredible.

In the first overtime, the game was very back-and-forth. The Eagles would score a field goal, and then be returned by a River Hill lay-up or quick jump shot. At the end of the five-minute period, the score was tied 63-63. This meant the match would have to continue into a second overtime.

In the second overtime, the nerve-wracking play continued. There were hardly any advancements made by either team that gave them a lead that could be difficult to overcome. However, River Hill’s lineup began taking a toll. Charles Thomas, the second leading scorer during the game for the Hawks, fouled out after committing an offensive foul. He was replaced with a back-up player, although it was easy to see the Hawks were getting worn out. The Eagles, mostly staying out of foul trouble, carried on and fought to the best of their ability. At the end of this period, the score was 68-68; another tie, and another overtime period on the way.

In the third overtime, there was finally an awaited three-pointer hit by Centennial’s Ringgold. Although River Hill came back with a layup, they could not compete with the Eagles’ energetic hustle and breakaway plays. With 40 seconds remaining, the score was 78-74, Centennial. The Hawks had to succumb to fouling to stop the clock. However, with the converting of their free throws, the final score was 81-76, Eagles. As Ringgold sunk his final free throws and ended his night with an outstanding 42 points and confirmed their win, the River Hill student section exited the gym at once, disappointed.

The Eagles fans, still with the same pride they arrived in the gym before the game even began (but maybe a little exhausted), huddled at the edge of the bleachers, waiting to greet their beloved players and add to the bittersweet ending—storm River Hill’s court.

Centennial continues their playoff journey and will face off against the Reservoir Gators on Tuesday, March 5 at 5 PM for the regional semi-finals.

In Memoriam of Stephen Rane

Our deepest condolences, thoughts, and prayers are with the Centennial community, alumni, University of Maryland students, and the family and friends of Stephan Rane. Stephen was killed in a senseless act of violence at his off-campus apartment during the morning hours of February 12, 2013. He was Copy Editor of a Wingspan publication, The Wall, in 2008 and 2009, and the recipient of The English Department award upon graduation in 2009. Stephen’s wit, humor, and personality will be missed.

Howard County Times Writer, Sara Toth, wrote a wonderful article which celebrates Stephen’s life. That article can be found by clicking here.

Pep Rally Rescheduled

The Centennial High School Administration has rescheduled the Winter Pep Rally for Friday, February 22, 2013. The Pep Rally was initially scheduled for Friday, February 8, but was cancelled due to a two-hour school delay.

The planned schedule for the day of the Pep Rally is:

Period 1: 7:25 – 8:15

Period 2: 8:20 – 9:05

Period 3: 9:10 – 9:55

Period 4: 10:00 – 12:00

There will NOT be a two minute break between lunches.

Period 5: 12:05 – 12:50

Period 6: 12:55 – 2:10

Students will leave backpacks in their sixth period class.

Hoops for Change

Photos: Caitlin Martin

Ellicott City, MD – On Monday, January 28, Centennial Boys Varsity Basketball played against Mt. Hebron in the Hoops for Change game. The Hoops for Change game is part of the Howard County-wide “Change Matters” Campaign. Proceeds from the event went to Grassroots.

Centennial took the victory in this game with a final score of 58-43.

The game had initially been planned for Friday, January 25, 2013, but was re-scheduled for Monday due to inclement weather.

Rattling the Handle: A First Person Account of Realizing the Importance of Drills


Words: Miranda Mason

Photos: Caroline Oppenheimer

As a writer, I have always struggled with an overactive imagination, which is why I was one of the few people in my class who didn’t continue to laugh and chat as Dr. Perkins came onto the PA system to announce that a lockdown drill was now taking place.

Most of my peers treated this drill as time away from classwork, or as a boring nuisance that made them sit on the floor in the dark for no apparent reason. They moved sluggishly getting to the corner of the room, and their giggles didn’t die down even as our teacher gave them a whispered lecture.

I got up silently, my mind already visualizing what this situation would be like if this wasn’t a drill, if there actually was someone roving through our school looking to kill. I realized that this drill was more than what my classmates thought it to be, that it was a time to practice what to do if exactly what I was imagining occurred. With that thought in mind, I treated this lockdown as I would have if Dr. Perkins hadn’t added onto his speech, “this is a drill.”

There are many things to consider during something as terrifying as a school shooting, but what I focused on most while we practiced the lockdown was how I was going to react and what I would do to keep myself and my classmates safe.

DSC_0066I’ve been able to receive some instruction on what to do in the exact situation this drill was preparing me for, and during that instruction a question was directed to me: What are you willing to do to stay safe in a dangerous situation?

Having had time to think over my answer to that question, I did not hesitate to position myself close to the door when the lockdown took place—I had already decided that if hiding didn’t work I was willing to fight for both my life and my classmates’ lives.

Despite having the mechanical knowledge to defend against a shooter and the will to do so if it came to it, I was far from relaxed as I participated in the drill. Even with the knowledge that it was a drill, even with the knowledge on what to do if it wasn’t, there is something unnerving about sitting in the dark waiting for something to happen.


The room wasn’t completely silent, the noise of kids shifting around and a pencil snapping prevented that, but the school as a whole was much quieter than usual. This lack of noise brought to attention how easy it is to hear someone moving through the school: the footsteps of the administration roaming the halls, a faint crackle of a radio, and most disturbing of all, the rattle of locked doors trying to be opened was audible.

My overactive imagination paired with my decision to treat the drill as if it was a real lockdown meant it wasn’t hard to imagine that those footsteps didn’t belong to an administrator but a shooter, and that the rattling of door handles meant thirty or so lives depended on a teacher remembering what to do during a lockdown and not whether that teacher would get a slap on the wrist for not following procedure.

This lockdown brought into sharp focus for me exactly what was on the line if someone dangerous was loose in our school, and it made me realize how important it is to practice for something we all hope will never happen. I was able to take this lockdown seriously, just as I was able to see the value in practicing it. I just hope that my classmates who didn’t realize the same thing will discover the importance of practicing locking the door when another drill takes place and not when it is someone besides an administrator who is rattling the handle.

Sugar Rush

Words: Amy Myers

Coke or Pepsi?

Soon this question will not be relevant on county-owned property due to the soda ban signed by Howard County executive, Ken Ulman. This means that at locations like Centennial Park or the Miller Branch Library, a water vender will replace the soda machine’s spot next to the sodium-and-fat-filled snack machine. While the motive may be to create a healthier Howard County, the efforts may seem slightly frivolous.

With the ban based solely on sugary drinks, the county seems to pick out soda as the culprit to poor nutritional habits. Instead, according to myfitnesspal.com, a 12 ounce Coke bottle with 140 calories and 39 grams of sugar can be traded for a Hostess Honey Bun with 410 calories and 28 grams of sugar. The total fat of a Honey Bun? 22 grams. These delectable treats are commonly found in vending machines, just like the sugary drinks being banned.

With these statistics, it is plain to the eye that sodas are being blamed for much more than a 12 ounce bottle can hold accountable for. Does that mean we should rid the county of the snack machines as well?

Sure, if the county is willing to replace Cheetos with carrots in vending machines.

The problem is that we are concerned more about the unhealthy snacks being provided, rather than the mental attitude that should be changed. Focusing on hiding the cookie jar from the public only helps until they find a different treat to satisfy their sweet-tooth. Instead, gym memberships could be endorsed by lowering prices, encouraging free seminars, and offering a vending machine with healthier choices available. Most importantly, the county needs to let the people choose their own dietary decisions.

It is not the job of the county to smack the back of our hands with a ruler each time we reach for a soda. It is fair to enlighten us with an alternate route that would lead us to a more wholesome lifestyle, but our rights are threatened when they limit even small choices like availability of soda machines. With a restriction like the soda ban, we limit the ability of people to choose healthy lifestyles for themselves. After all, what would you choose? Coke, Pepsi, or Dasani?

The Spectacular Winter Spectacular

Article: Paul Didwall

Photos: Caitlin Martin

Ellicott City, MD – If The Winter Spectacular were a movie, and you were to watch a trailer for it, quotes would sequentially appear on the screen with sayings such as, “10 out of 10,” “Five Stars,” “Centennial Amazes Again,” “There is a reason it is called The Winter SPECTACULAR.” The annual Centennial High School event was held on November 29 and 30 this year, at 7:00 PM in the CHS auditorium. Tickets were $10 a piece and could be purchased at the door or in advance.

Prior to the 7:00 start time, the Madrigals sang the audience in to the room with songs from their repertoire. The show then started off with Santa’s journey to CHS, featuring a comical video of him driving in to the Centennial parking lot blaring holiday music, and then running in to the school getting each performing group ready for the show. Santa, played by Benjamin Evans, and two of his reindeer, Jillian Loeffler and Sarika Reddy, got the performances stared by welcoming the entire cast on stage to perform There’s No Business Like SNOW Business! Santa and his reindeer continued to keep the audience entertained throughout the night with the story of their trip around the globe.

Madrigals then took to the stage to perform Deck the Halls!, and returned at various intervals to wow the audience with more holiday tunes. The Centennial Dance Academy – an after school program for younger dances that was introduced last year – was the second group to take the stage and had a considerable number of performances throughout the night. Each Musical Theater performance was very enthusiastic and well put-together, making it easy to enjoy.

Junior and Senior Dance companies wowed the audience on many occasions including a detailed group performance of The Nutcracker Suite, featuring a solo by senior Madison Croxson. After a few more dances, a phenomenal iteration of Sleigh Ride was performed by the Strings. The show continued on with more dances, musical theater performances, and singing from the Madrigals, as well as more details of the story being told by Santa and the Reindeer.

By this point of The Winter Spectacular, it was time for Jazz Band to take the stage. The Jazz band performed Santa Claus is Coming to Town and Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas, with flawless vocal accompaniment by Anne Marie Demme. Strings played another great song between the execution of the two Jazz band songs. After the various performances by the various performing arts groups, the entire cast was again brought back in to the auditorium to collectively perform Feliz Navidad. The Band provided the instrumental music, Madrigals and Music Theater sang the lyrics, and dancers filled the auditorium aisles to dance and pass out festive candy canes. The Jazz Band then returned to play the crowd out of the auditorium, with a drum solo from Kevin Lehr.

The night should be considered a success by all involved. Congratulations to the cast and crew of The 2012 Winter Spectacular on a fantastic job.

If you missed the chance to visit this event on Thursday, I would urge you to attend tonight’s (11/30/12) performance at 7:00 PM in the CHS auditorium.