Tag: The Wingspan

Centennial Girls’ Basketball Struggles in Season Opener

Words: Shawn Kruhm

Photos: Noorie Kazmi

On Friday, December 6, the Centennial girls’ basketball team hosted Marriotts Ridge to kick off the regular season. Unfortunately, the Eagles were defeated by a final score of 51-28. 

The offensive struggles began during the beginning of the second and third quarters when Centennial only scored a combined five points.

Despite being down 18 points at the start of the fourth quarter, the girls fought until the end. Senior Brook Anderson was the only Centennial player to score in the fourth quarter with three three-pointers. She finished the game with 15 points.

Centennial will look to capture their first win on Wednesday, December 11, where they take on top-rival Mount Hebron.

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Centennial Varsity Boys’ Basketball Starts the Season Strong

Words: Jeramy Slavlas

Centennial High School’s Varsity basketball team has entered a new era after the departure of 12-year head coach Chad Hollwedel. Now, under the hands of coach Chris Sanders, the team looks to continue their legacy of a team built from integrity and winning nature. 

On Friday, December 6, Centennial fell to Marriotts Ridge 60-55, starting their season with a loss.  

Coming off a 13-11 season, the players, all coached by former JV coach Sanders in past years, plan to start their new beginning stronger than ever despite this initial loss. Sanders believes the team will be competing right away, as the players already know the team dynamics from their time on JV.

“There’s familiarity and comfort… and there’s some pressure to succeed,” Sanders said. 

The majority of the Varsity team has been together since their freshman year, building a strong team chemistry between the players. Senior Jeong Hwang, who has been a key part of the group, said, “we’ve had the same group of people for four years so you can treat us like family at this point.” 

Junior Bryson Baker, who played a large role on last year’s JV team, also believes the players’ close bond will lead them to success. “I think all that chemistry will lead us to a state championship,” Baker said. 

After a lackluster 2018-19 season in the players’ eyes, they look to get their revenge over their competitors this season. “We have a really bitter taste in our mouth, and we want to go win states this year,” Hwang said.

Baker believes “it’ll be a really smooth transition” between head coaches this season. 

Despite the loss of state champion coach Hollwedel, the team will continue to do things the “Centennial way,” according to Sanders. “I would be foolish to completely change the blueprint that coach Hollwedel developed. It was a winning blueprint.”

Not only does Sanders’ idea of the Centennial way include winning basketball games, it also means that the players perform their best off the court. From strong academics to help in the community, Centennial’s basketball program has developed a behavior over the last decade that Sanders has no intention to change.

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Climate Change Action Continues at Centennial

Words: Emily Hollwedel

Photo Contributed by: Austin Roch

On Friday, December 6, numerous Centennial students stood up from the warmth of their third period classes and exited the building to promote a worldwide climate change operation. The intent of this walkout was to promote awareness of the crisis posed by global warming and climate change around the globe. 

The protest was conducted by the Young Socialist Movement (YSM), who promoted saving the Earth from distressing altercations within the environment. Students attended the walkout at Centennial’s stadium for fifteen minutes, and advocated their message. 

Later the same day, another walkout took place in Old Ellicott City concerning the same topic. This walkout was conducted not only by the YSM, but also by the Sunrise Movement. In front of the George Howard Building, several students gave speeches about the impact of climate change, including Kayla Moore, a Centennial senior and member of the Lumbee Tribe in North Dakota. Her powerful words discussed the negative impacts climate change would have on Native Americans throughout the country and the world. 

Ali Abrahim, another senior who participated in both walkouts, said that he was very happy with the turnout for those in support of climate justice. “I’m proud to be a student at a school with such a strong sense of justice and the willingness to bring it about.” 

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Centennial Wrestling Starts New Chapter

Words: Joey Sedlacko

Photos: Sara Ferrara

    The 2019-20 season marks a new beginning for the Centennial Wrestling program. The Eagles start their season this year without four-time state champion Jason Kraisser. It will be the  first season in 14 years that a Kraisser will not be wrestling for Centennial.

However, the team still has valuable Varsity experience. Top wrestlers senior Yusuf Mehboob, juniors Chris Lee, Ibaad Shaikh, and Matt Harris, and sophomore Nick Shapiro all return to the team this season.

On Thursday, December 5, the wrestling team lost their home opener match against Oakland Mills High School by a score of 45-28.

Junior Charlie Schmitt and sophomore Moiz Subir won their match. Also, Mehboob, Shapiro, and Lee were all victorious.

The Eagles had to forfeit a match in three different weight classes which is part of the reason Centennial lost the match.

The wrestling team continues their season on Tuesday, December 10 when they face Long Reach High School and Atholton High School.

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Centennial Student Attends EAS Conference

Words: Emily Hollwedel

On November 18, junior Masha Samokhvalova travelled to Plainsboro, New Jersey to participate in the Eastern Analytical Symposium (EAS), centered around analytical chemistry and other related sciences. Among the attendees of the annual conference were various university staff, students, and professionals in several fields within various industries. EAS does not take any submissions or summaries of a researcher’s findings, meaning Samokhvalova had to compete for the opportunity to present. 

Samokhvalova’s presentation, titled “New Forensic Application of Smartphone: Facile Spectral Analysis of Fluorescent Security Threads of United States Banknotes,” was well received by both the private sector and government. 

“Many of those I spoke with seemed interested in my research,” Samokhvalova said. Interested in what other presenters had to share at the conference, Samokhvalova learned a lot from such a unique experience.

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HCPSS’ New Color Code Notification System

Words: Sarah Paz

The Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) is instituting a new color code notification system for school closings. Designed to standardize how the school alerts parents, students, and teachers on emergency and scheduled closings, the system uses five colors to indicate whether HCPSS schools and administrative offices are operational. 

While green represents normal operations, red represents a total shutdown of schools and offices. Orange indicates only the closing of the schools, while administrative offices remain open with liberal leave for employees who can’t report in. Blue indicates schools open two hours late, and yellow means that schools dismiss early. The notification posted will always state the code color and the corresponding message, eliminating memorization of the codes. 

The new color system was put into place on December 1. The emergency notification sources remain the same with the exception of the discontinuation of notifications on HCPSS cable TV. HCPSS will post all status updates concerning whether its schools and offices are operative on a new website, where the new color code system will be used. The new website is https://status.hcpss.org/.

The site updates every day so any stakeholder can easily see if there has been a change in that day’s operating status,” remarked Emily Bahhar, HCPSS Coordinator of Multimedia Communications. 

The new color code system and website are intended to simplify communication of the operational status of HCPSS schools and administrative offices. Bahhar stated that “an analysis of the last five years of emergency notifications found 19 variations of operating statuses. The new system standardizes HCPSS operational status to five possibilities, helping to ensure staff, students, and families understand what a possible closure might entail.” 

Although the purpose of the color coding notification system is intended to clarify all operational statuses, some teachers, parents, and students believe that the development of it was unnecessary for informing the HCPSS community. 

Chad Hollwedel, Centennial physics teacher and a parent to a child who attends an HCPSS school, believes “that the new system does nothing to help… [him] understand beyond the words of the old system.” He believes that “the old system was sufficient.” 

While many students were unaware of the changes being made by Howard County, there are students who believe that the new color-coding system answers an unimportant problem in the communication of HCPSS.

Grace Chan, a Centennial junior, believes that “the color-code system is unnecessary for students.”

Despite these sentiments, the system is beneficial for employees at the HCPSS administrative offices. Holly Pascuillo, a Centennial English teacher, stated that even though “it is superfluous for me [as a teacher] because I receive text alerts, I believe the new coding system is necessary for members in the central office, for whom the situation is more unclear.” 

The previous system often sent obscure messages to administrative workers, so the new system aims to improve communication within the school system. 

Bahhar clarified, “in prior years, messaging to staff included only information for employees with union bargaining agreements and [created] a great deal of confusion for the remaining staff. The new system includes all employee groups, providing consistency and a clear direction for all staff. The language also was edited to be more clear and concise, and adheres to the negotiated bargaining agreements, where relevant.”

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