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One team, one mission

Football prepares for spring game and fall season

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Junior lineman Corey Little works on blocking in practice.  The team will play its spring game against Pine Crest at 7 p.m. on May 23.

By Emily Powell, Asst. Web and Business Editor

With a new coaching staff comes a new mindset for the football team. Its goals include winning the annual spring game, which will be held at 7 p.m. on May 23 at Pine Crest.

“Exercises and practices for the spring game have been done differently this year,” head coach Melvin Jones said. “I’ve definitely let my assistant coaches take more of the lead, and we’re definitely doing a lot more running and a lot of weight training.”

The spring game has always played an essential part in preparing the team for the upcoming fall season, which starts with the kickoff classic game. The players believe that the outcomes for their seasons will be better this year due to the help of their new coaching staff.

“The new coaches will play a huge role in our success this season,” junior captain Corey Little said. “They’ve brought one thing that the football team has lacked for a long time, and that is consistent intensity.”

Little and the other captains help to choose the drills and training needed.

“As the offensive-line and defensive-line captain, I lead through drills helping the younger linemen with their technique and form along the way,” Little said.

Drills in practice include W-drills, agility drills and team scrimmages, all executed by the coaching staff and captains. Players believe that the training and continuous support from the new coaches will push them to do well, especially at the game.

“The training hauls the players to do better,” sophomore Jackson Pace said. “We have intense practices with great coaches leading them.”

Goals are persistently being made by this new team, and they not only want to win more but also work on their teamwork skills and brotherhood as a whole.

“We want to live as a family. We want to hold the rope,” Jones said. “If we stay together and build this bond as brothers, nothing can stop us. We’ll be strong in the end and it will definitely be seen on game night.”

Posted: May 14

Costello, Kniskern pitch into the MLB draft

 

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Senior shortstop Chase Costello throws the ball to first base as senior second baseman Trevor Kniskern hustles to the base to strike out the Pembroke Pines runner on April 23. Both Costello and Kniskern are being scouted by agents from teams like the Mets and Royals for the Major League Baseball draft, starting on June 4.

 

By Alexandra Griffin, Editor-in-Chief

Senior starting pitchers Chase Costello and Trevor Kniskern are being scouted by Major League Baseball teams and may be drafted in June.

Both Costello and Kniskern have already signed at Division I universities, Louisiana State and Pepperdine respectively, but may turn down those offers to play professionally.

“There’s definitely a lot of considerations I have to take note of,” Kniskern said. “It’s the opportunity of a lifetime and I don’t want to shy away from it.”

Kniskern and Costello are not required to play for the MLB if drafted until they sign with a team, but both have received interest from several teams.

“I have talked to the Royals. I’m still waiting on the Padres,” Kniskern said. “If I get drafted by the Padres, I will just say ‘you know what, I don’t really need college and take the 25 bucks’ and go play for the Padres instead.”

Costello is being looked at by several teams, including the New York Mets.

“There’s been a lot (of teams interested),” Costello said. “I’d say at least 15-17 have been to my house. The Mets want me a lot actually.”

The drafting process is long, and both have been juggling playing for the school team, a travel team, school work and meeting with scouts.

“(The draft process) so far has been pretty stressful, I’m not going to lie,” Costello said. “It’s pretty busy though because of my schedule and (scouts) want to come to the house and trying to meet face to face after games and during the week.”

Despite the stress, both have received support from their team, friends and coaches.

“I guess you could say with the help of my team, coaches, staff, family, I’ve held up well,” Kniskern said. “Without them, I’d probably be crying.”

Posted: May 11

Satire: Balls secured

 

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Junior Davis Major issues a bulletin on Snapchat with a photo of the sack of balls taken only hours before its disappearance. The dodgeball sack was found on April 26 in the gym, just in time for the dodgeball tournament on May 2.

 

By Alexis Schatten, Section Editor

With a four-star rating on GreatSchools.org, this school has always been seen as one of the best in the district, nay the country. No school on Fridays, having to go to math only twice a week and some of the best students in the state! However, is the school really as much of a safe haven as it’s said to be?

On April 25, a whole bag of dodgeballs was stolen from the gym, and this terrible act of rebellion has many students questioning how safe the school really is. If someone can steal these balls and feel no remorse, is nothing sacred?

“It’s really scary to me that something like this can happen in our school,” sophomore Hayley Charlebois said. “If the balls can be stolen that easily, what’s stopping my phone or my wallet from being taken?”

With new safety elements supposedly being implemented all around school, these concerns should be a thing of the past. As security tightens, it’s a travesty that this crime has gone unnoticed.

“(The balls) were nowhere to be found,” Coach Judd said. “The first thing I did, I tried to call the FBI, tried to determine a profile on who might’ve secured these balls and held onto them.”

The missing balls, while completely devastating on their own, are even more upsetting when it’s taken into consideration that the balls were snatched mere days before the National Honor Society dodgeball tournament on May 2.

“I cried when I found out. We need to find them because if not, we have to replace them with textbooks,” junior Julie Cox said.

Several students were accused of ball theft when the balls seemingly disappeared after the students’ practice for the tournament. This accusation could have very well destroyed not only their high school careers but their futures as upstanding members of society.

“I was told I was going to have to pay for the balls and the sack because they couldn’t find them,” an anonymous source said. “Luckily they found them RIGHT WHERE WE TOLD THEM THEY WERE!”

This disastrous event was ultimately solved when Judd checked the location the framed students had originally told him the balls had been put after practice.

“I jumped for joy. It’s hard to loose balls, and I felt like I was reunited with a long-lost sibling,” Judd said.

Posted: May 8

Nord hits grand slam

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Senior Jake Nord swings at a pitch during the April 23 varsity baseball game against Pembroke Pines Charter. Nord later hit a grand slam, his first of the season, leading the team to a 14-4 victory. Photo by Alexandra Griffin

Senior first baseman Jake Nord hit a grand slam in the seventh inning to lead the varsity baseball team to win against Pembroke Pines Charter 14-4 Monday night.

“I was looking for a fastball down the middle. I got the pitch I was looking for and put a good swing on it,” Nord said.

The hit was Nord’s fourth home run of the season and his first grand slam.

“When I hit it, I knew it was gone,” Nord said.

The team has a record of 15-5 (6-2 in district) and plays South Broward at home Wednesday night at 6:30 for senior night, the final regular season home game.

Flag football tackles 2018 season

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Senior Samantha Baron secures a catch in the game against Northeast on April 3. The flag football team won 20-0, improving its record to 4-5.

 

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Photos by Jamie Black

 

By Jamie Black, Section Editor

The flag football team beat Northeast High School 20-0 on April 3, its fourth win of the season.

“It feels pretty good because this year we did better than other years,” said senior Taylor Curry.

The team’s record of 4-5 at press time is an improvement from last season’s 3-8.

Curry credited new players.

“There are a lot of sophomores on the team this year,” Curry said.

Posted: Apr. 21

Spikers struggle

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Senior Captain Andrew Frasco (#1) sets up the ball for junior Eric Colman to spike against Deerfield on April 4. In spite of the point earned, the team lost 3-1.

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Freshman Kyle Zahn (#14) jumps to spike the ball against Deerfield on April 4. The team lost 3-1.

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Senior Captain Dennis Murphy prepares to serve an ace against Deerfield on April 4. The team lost 3-1.

By Jessica Buchanan, Managing Editor

The boys volleyball team’s record dropped to 1-8 with a 3-1 home loss against Deerfield Beach on April 4.

Although the season may be coming to a close with only four games left, the team still “works hard every practice,” according to senior captain Andrew Frasco.

“We’ve worked on passing the ball to the setter, and the setters have been working with the hitters to perfect their spike,” Frasco said.

They players are especially grateful to their coach, Luis Pico..

“He always knows how to tell you how to get better when you’re playing, and he knows exactly what to work on for us to improve,” junior Matthew Narkier said.

As upperclassmen who have been playing on the team for a few years, Narkier and Frasco frequently offer advice to their fellow team members.

“I help improve their game by teaching them new things,” Frasco said.

The team’s final home game was April 9 against Marjory Stoneman Douglas.

Posted: Apr 18

Goalie scores against Glades

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By Charlotte Hood, Section Editor

The boys lacrosse team beat Coral Glades 8-4 on April 3.. Senior goalie David Hugentugler raced across the field from his post to score one of the goals.

“David blocks a shot and next thing you know, he starts running,” junior Davis Major said. “He gets to about half-field… And he slips. Next thing you know, the ball pops out, but he picks it back up … and starts running again. I look over and the ball’s in the net.”

Because it was scored by the goalie, the goal was incredibly uncommon and difficult, leading to some spectacular reactions from the audience.

“Everyone just started running towards the goalie,” Major said. “Everyone in the stands… Just all stormed the field. I was surprised we didn’t get an excessive celebration-type penalty.”

Hugentugler’s play also evoked excited responses from his coaches and from other players (some of whom were from the other team).

“My coaches were jumping up and down while hugging me,”Hugentugler said. “My teammates charged me and even the players on Glades were congratulating me,” Hugentugler said.

After his jaw-dropping performance against the Jaguars, Hugentugler hopes to continue scoring, aiming for three goals in the game against Taravella on April 11.

Posted: Apr. 18

Girls lacrosse team on the ‘attack’

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By Jordan Brown, Section Editor

Lacrosse is new territory for the school, so eyes are on the teams to see if all the fuss was worth it. The girls’ lacrosse team won two of its first three games, and players are feeling pretty confident.

“I remember when everyone first showed up and we couldn’t even catch a ball, and now we’ve won two out of our three games, and we keep improving every day,” sophomore Isabella Zapata said.

The sport was introduced earlier this year, no experience or equipment needed.

“I wanted to try something new so I tried it and loved it. I’m very glad I went through with it,” sophomore Luanna De Melo said.

Players believe they’ve found their groove after some clashes learning the new sport.

“There are times where there needs to be more teamwork, but most of the time we work pretty good together,” Zapata said.

As for their hopes for the rest of the season, they hope to continue on the streak they’re on now.

“I hope we win as many games as possible and improve our skills by the end of the season so we can have an even better season next year,” De Melo said.

Posted: Apr. 17

Water polo begins season with a splash

 

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Junior Dante Hunter Poe grapples over the ball with his opponent from Coral Springs. The boys team lost 13-12 to Coral Springs on Feb 27, bringing their record to 2-1.

 

By Alexandra Griffin, Editor in Chief

The boys water polo team had its first match on Feb. 8 against South Broward. The team is working towards its goal of getting further in playoffs than it did last year.

The boys team has a record of 2-1 for the season so far, stopping their winning streak on Feb, 27 with a 13-12 loss to Coral Springs.

“The whole team is working for states,” junior Ronald Hache said. “The goal for the overall season is to advance farther than last year.”

The team as a whole, and as individuals, have been working on ball movement and other skills as well as minimizing fouls and the amount of players ejected.

“My personal goal is to be the best defense in Broward County,” said Hache said.

The next game will be on March 7 at Nova against St. Thomas.

Posted: Apr. 6

Tran makes racket on tennis court

 

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By Andra Danu, Asst. Section Editor

As the tennis season started back up in the middle of February, junior Isabella Tran was eager to get back onto the courts.

Tran has been playing tennis for about seven to eight years now, half of her lifetime.

“I first discovered my passion for tennis when I began watching my older sister play,” Tran said.

Tran decided to follow in her sister’s footsteps, crediting her as her most important inspiration for picking up a tennis racket and ball.

Being on the team since freshman year, Tran has remained consistent with her main goal for each season. This season is no different.

“I want to win one match at districts,” Tran said.

Her main strategy on the court is to stay calm and focused. The team’s friendly atmosphere as a whole helps create a healthy playing environment.

“In my opinion, the team’s best quality is how we are able to help each other,” Tran said. 

Although Tran has a lot of experience with tennis, she credited Coach Messano for always challenging her on how she can improve.

“Coach helped me learn how to become better at volleying,” Tran said.

Even though sports and academics don’t mix for all students, Tran feels no pressure as she succeeds in both.

“You have to know how to manage your time,” she said.

While Tran does not have any plans in the future after high school for tennis, she would not want to play any other sport.

“Tennis is a great way to cooperate and have fun with other people,” Tran said.

Posted: Apr. 6

Coaches floored by rebranded gym

 

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The logo is displayed in the middle of the new gym floor. The old tornado wasn’t even a sponsored logo, it was just a random tornado.

 

By Emily Powell, Web and Business Editor

The gym is open once again after renovations were initiated by athletic director Jason Frey, who felt the space needed a rebranding.

“The logo that was originally in the center wasn’t even our logo,” Frey said. “It was just a random tornado. So to drum up more excitement for the basketball and volleyball programs, we’ve decided to make it look cleaner and really update it to show us who we are.”

With renovations beginning Dec. 8, life shifted for the staff and students who depended on the gym for games and classes. Coach Judd, who teaches many classes like HOPE and team sports, uses the gym as one of his classrooms. Since the gym was being renovated, he had to hold class in locations other than the gym, making it hard for his students to change out (which is a part of how he grades his class).

“Long-term, it’s a really beautiful gym and it’s in good shape,” Judd said. “Short-term, it was temporarily difficult to manage because the locks were changed and it was a little unwieldy to get in and out, but all in all it was worth it.”

During the renovation, the basketball teams switched their home games to away, and practices had to be held either on the outside courts or at Crystal Lake Middle School.

Renovation finished Feb. 9, one month later than planned.

Posted: Apr. 6

Varsity tennis serves up hope for new season

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By Jessica Buchanan, Managing Editor

The 2018 varsity tennis team’s season is right around the corner with tryouts having just concluded and the team made official.

Nine of the 11 girls and four of the eight boys return from last year’s team.

Junior Rachel Raybuck thinks the “new talent” on both teams “holds promise.”

Last year, out of 13 matches, the girls team won eight and the boys team won six. They placed fifth out of seven at districts.

Members of this year’s team are hopeful for a better turnout.

“The tennis team is pretty laid back, and we accept our losses and celebrate our wins,” Megan Tirrell, third-year returning player, said. “I can’t wait for this season and I think we’re going to win a good amount of matches.”

Each player has been improving their game to better prepare for this year’s season.

“Since last year, I’ve been practicing and trying to increase my strength,” Raybuck said. “I’ve also been working on placement and angling my shots.”

The tennis team’s first match was against Coral Springs High on Feb. 15 at the Pompano Beach Tennis Center.

Posted: Apr. 6

Cunnen soars as captain

 

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Photo by Sam Rosser

 

By Sam Rosser, Asst. Section Editor

Q: As the captain, how did you get ready to lead the team each season?

A: I try to make connections with everyone before the season starts.

Q: You mentioned making connections with the players, what has the team done to strengthen those connections?

A: This year everyone on the team was very close. We all talked and got to know each other.

Q: Do the connections you have made with the team help?

A: The chemistry made people want to work and help each other get better on and off the field.

Q: What did you expect out of the season that just ended?

A: I expected to compete with all the teams in our district and make Pompano Beach High School a team people would remember.

Q: What is the team’s best quality?

A: Hard work.

Q: The season is over now, but how did you keep in shape during the previous off season?

A: I played travel soccer, and that helped keep me in shape.

Posted: Apr. 6

Hiott strikes out stereotypes

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Ryan Hiott stands at bat waiting for the pitch. Hiott, a senior outfielder, is the only black player on the varsity team.
Photo by Sam Rosser

By Charlotte Hood, Asst. Section Editor

In the world of sports, some are typically viewed as dominated by a certain race. Black baseball players were not allowed in the Major Leagues until 1947, and while the ratio of MLB players who are black peaked at 18.5 percent in 1975, it has since dropped to 6.7 percent, according to the Society for American Baseball Research.

“Baseball is white man’s sport,” said Adam Jones, an African-American outfielder for the Baltimore Orioles, who was heckled with racial slurs at a game in Boston last season, in an interview with USA Today.

While the school baseball team reflects this trend by having only one black player, senior outfielder Ryan Hiott, members say that race is insignificant in the field, with the only factor that matters being skill and the ability to secure a position.

It’s about one’s batting rather than background.

“(When) playing a sport, I don’t think race is a matter of concern,” senior teammate Alex Skirvin said.

Hiott, who has been playing on the team since freshman year, feels that his teammates are a part of his family and that their connections run deeper than outside appearances.

“We’re all brothers out there, so we don’t really see color,” Hiott said.

Senior pitcher Trevor Kniskern agreed.

“I only look at him (Hiott) as a friend, as a teammate,” he said.

Posted: Apr. 6

Boys turn over from last year

By Jamie Black, Section Editor

After starting the season off roughly, the boys basketball team has improved immensely from last year, when they did not win a game.

The team’s current record is 3-12, highlighted by a 60-56 victory on Jan. 10 over Cardinal Gibbons.

Coach Stone said that he was pleased since this is their first time beating Cardinal Gibbons and their coach, Coach Marty Seidlin since he took over the program 11 years ago, winning a state championship in 2015.

Their next game will be Feb. 6 at 6 P.M. against Taravella.

Posted: Feb. 6

Cheerleading team remains hopeful after regionals

By Alexis Schatten, Asst. Section Editor

The cheerleading team came in ninth place at regionals on Jan. 26 .

“We didn’t do as well as we should’ve so the placing wasn’t as good as we’re used to,” junior Paris Colber said. “I would love for the team to have smoother transitions and cleaner stunting. Flyers must trust their bases, and vice versa, in order for the routine to hit without any falls or deductions.”

Team members are confident that they’ll be able to improve upon their routines by their next competition if they work hard.

“We practice six out of seven days of the week with two to four hour practices,” junior Tatiana Johnson said. “Practice doesn’t make perfect but permanent.”

According to sophomore Krystian Thompson, with each practice, the team becomes more in sync, making learning routines easier over time.

“Being a cheerleader has taught me about teamwork and working together,” Thompson said. “As you work with these people everyday, you guys become more than a team. You become like a sisterhood and you see everyone as family.”

Despite the season coming to an end, the team is continuing to work hard to place well in the next season.

 

Final football game donates to valiant veterans

By Kayla Gayle, Staff Intern

Through the hard work and devotion of students and staff, the organization Paralyzed Veterans of America Florida Chapter will be given a check at the Veterans Appreciation football game, against Coral Glades High on Nov. 9, to aid soldiers that fought for the country.

“It’s just a way for us as a school to say thank you to the veterans,” JROTC instructor Lt. Col. Johnson said.

The game was rescheduled because of Hurricane Irma and will now be held on the same day as JROTC’s Fallen Heroes ceremony.

“(The Fallen Heroes Ceremony) is our tribute to Veterans Day, so it’s appropriate and makes it special,” Johnson said.

At the game, military veterans will be applauded by everyone in the stadium.

“They stand up in the crowd and ‘Thank you!,’” Johnson said while demonstrating the applause the crowd will give.

The organization has been invited to the Veterans Appreciation Game in previous years.

“We’ve done different things for (The Paralyzed Veterans of America),” Johnson said. “We have a relationship with them. They’ve provided some funds, we’ve provided some funds and services; it’s a partnership.”

JROTC has provided the organization with services such as Color Guard. The organization once provided funds for students to go on a trip to Poland. The students were able to explore multiple museums and memorials in order for them to experience and learn more about history.

“It’s important for everyone in the community to know about what veterans do, how they actually help,” JROTC cadet Ajani Garnes said. “(It’s also important to) promote patriotism.”

Donating to this cause impacts the institution and the students giving.

“The student body would have an eye-opening experience and understand how we kind of take things for granted and how we wake up like, ‘Oh we’re free!’ but we sometimes don’t realize that we are being fought for,” Garnes said.

Nicole Canino, a freshman, enthusiastically donated money when she first heard of this event from her personalization teacher. She was excited that she could help a foundation, such as this, in her first year and shared the information she knew about the cause to her classmates, in hope that they would also donate. She said that at her previous school, opportunities like this were very limited.

“Since I’m so young I feel like there are not a lot of ways to contribute to society, but I feel like this event gave me an opportunity to,” Canino said.

Canino and Garnes both fear that not enough students are aware of the game and the donation.

“I would like to go out again, when we get closer, to try and get more—make it a nicer donation,” Johnson said.

Posted: Nov. 9

Freshman golfer aims for flag

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Freshman James Kassis practices putting before the match on Oct.4. The match was cancelled due to strong winds and frequent lightning. Photo by Charlotte Hood

By Charlotte Hood, Assistant Editor

Freshmen are confronted immediately with immense academic pressures and a competitive environment. Golfer James Kassis has added the pressure of a competitive sport to his early high school experience.

Kassis fell in love with the sport after watching the Masters and President’s Cup last summer. From then on, he began striving to do his best in the sport and reveling in the feeling when it all pays off.

“When you hit the ball and it goes far, and it’s straight, and then you hit another ball and it’s straight and then you get it in the hole…mentally I say ‘yeah!’,” Kassis said.

Kassis is able to manage his schedules for both his academics and sports duties by dedicating any free time (not occupied by practice or class) to finish his work.

“I get all my homework done on Fridays,” Kassis said.For homework during the school week, “I get it done in my study hall and in my research class.”

Kassis has high hopes for his future with golf, wanting to compete in elite competitions where he’d go head to head with the best in the county. He is determined to achieve his goal through blood, sweat and tears. His low nine-hole score this season is 46.

“Hopefully I can make it to the BCAA (Broward County Athletics Association) tournament for Broward County,” Kassis said.

Until then, Kassis is continuing to practice hard and be inspired by his fellow teammates to do his best.

“I look up to them and try to be good just like them,” Kassis said. “Someday I’d like to be just like them.”

Kassis’ teammates respect him as well. He is known for improving the group’s mood.

“He always brings an energy to the team,” junior Thomas Christensen said.

Coach Hammond plans to work with Kassis throughout his high school career and expects his skills to develop greatly.

“James has a lot of raw ability,” Hammond said. “He’s a hard worker and I’m looking for him to improve quite a bit in the next couple years.”

Posted Oct. 19

Junior varsity volleyball takes a loss

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Junior Sarah Shea, #11, sets herself up for a spike. This spike was missed by Gibbons and Shea earned a point. Photo by Jessica Buchanan

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Junior Sierra Shaw and freshman Naja Taylor jump up together to block a spike. Shaw and Taylor failed to block the spike, but the ball was recovered by nearby junior Georgia Brown. Photo by Jessica Buchanan

By Jessica Buchanan, Managing Editor

The girls junior varsity volleyball team lost to Cardinal Gibbons in two sets, 27-25 and 25-16 at its last home game on Aug. 31.

Junior Georgia Brown tied up the first set with a score of 25-25.

The next home match will be against Western on Oct. 2..

Posted Sept. 20

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