All posts by Jill Bernard

Profile: From cadet to full-time firefighter, Oleksy is on his way up

Photo Caption: Volunteer firefighter Tyler Oleksy helps to put out a fire in Greenfield. Photo by Emily Oleksy

Why would someone want to be a firefighter? This is a question that could be asked of Tyler Oleksy. A 2018 GC grad, Oleksy has been working his way up since he started out at the Greenfield Fire Department. He became a cadet and has been learning all the ways to be a firefighter. Currently a volunteer firefighter, he has started to the process to become full-time. 

Oleksy had very important reasons for wanting to become a firefighter.  “I got into the job because of my dad being a firefighter. I wanted to follow in those footsteps,” he said. He grew up around the department his whole life and loved hearing about the things that his dad did on the job.That is what made him so interested in it to have that job one day.

Olesky did discuss the toughest part of the job. He said, “Calling the time of death of a person that has passed after getting done working on them to save them and deciding the right time to call it. People can either be young or an older person; either way it isn’t the easiest saying that a person has passed on,” he said.

Olesky said he chose the job for the people he is around and for the mission he serves. “I picked it because of the rush you have when you either put a fire out or save someone’s life,” he said. Each time he saves someone or puts out a house fire he said he feels accomplished knowing that the fire is out or that someone has been saved from dying. He also said, “This job is pretty special to me with all the people that I have became close to.” The type of people that he works with have helped him so much throughout his life from his father passing and teaching him all about being a firefighter, he said. 

Greenfield firefighter Anthony Evans talked about Oleksy’s performance and growth in the department.  “Tyler is a very hard worker and great with people as he has been here. Everyone has grown a friendship with him”. He went on, “Tyler is the type of worker that won’t give up until he makes it. Me and him have become really close. I see him as another son. He is such a great person. He works so hard for everything that he has and he never gives up.”

Cougars Adjust to Football in a Different World

by Kyler Rhoades/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Lance McKee, 12, looks for an open man in the Homecoming game against Pendleton Heights. Photo by Kye Jocham

Throughout the United States, and the rest of the planet, high school football teams all over have had to adjust to the different world people are living in with the coronavirus pandemic; this is no different for the Greenfield-Central Cougars. The pandemic has brought many challenges and obstacles for the Cougars team, but Coach Nolting and staff are working to prepare the Cougars for success in the upcoming season.

Speaking with some of the players from the team, they discussed how well Nolting and the Cougars staff have done handling the situation. Running back Brayden Herrell, 10, said, “Coach Nolting and all of the staff have handled the pandemic situation better than we all thought it could be handled. Before school started, most people thought we had no chance of playing, but the coaches want to play, and are keeping us safe at the same time. They try their best to keep us all socially distanced on the sidelines and when we are not in drills. Our safety is their number one priority right now.” It’s not just Herrell who feels the Cougars staff has done a wonderful job dealing with the pandemic. Chris O’Connor, 12, said, “The coaches have done everything they possibly can to ensure that we play football. They have done a great job throughout the whole situation.”

When it comes to being on the field, Cougars players are optimistic in the progress they have made throughout the off-season, and their potential in the season ahead. Quarterback Lance McKee, 12, commented on the improvements made throughout the off-season, “The biggest improvements I have seen from our team this off-season is how much bigger, faster, and stronger we are now compared to last season. We have had multiple guys gain as much as 30 pounds of muscle.” Hearing the players talk about the off-season, and the areas in which they have made the biggest efforts in, you quickly get an understanding of just how much progress they feel the team has made from last year to this year.

With the strides they have made during the off-season, and the job the Cougars coaching staff has done to prepare them for the season, optimism among the players for potential success in the upcoming season is high. Brayden Herrell, 10, was among those with optimism going into the new year. “I think this team we have could shock a lot of people. Losing around only 5 seniors last year, we have only gotten bigger, faster, and stronger. Last year we were young and in a first-year offense, which really does make a big difference. We definitely have the potential; we just need to go out there and ball.” Hearing these comments, and other optimistic feedback, the Cougars seem to be in a good place mentally, and on the field going into the 2020-21 season.

It’s not just the players who trust the process the Cougars have gone through during these times. Head Coach Travis Nolting recapped some of the biggest challenges the team has faced due to the pandemic, and stated that he feels he and his staff have done a nice job of handling it. “We lost all of the spring session and most of the summer. Once back in school we were hit with a 14 day quarantine and missed practices as well. We have also had to add lifting into the practice times due to the hybrid schedule. Most players are only in my class 1 day per week on site, which we have had to address by lifting on Thursdays after school to fulfill that need. We have had to be ready and adapt to changes as they come. I think our staff has done a good job overall in handling the new challenges.” Along with this, Nolting is also happy with how his players have progressed over the off-season, saying he was proud of the commitment the players have shown, and that they get better every day.

Profile: Commissiong positively influences students in JAG

by Kalei Griffin/Staff Writer

JAG (Jobs for America’s Graduates) director and leader Mrs Cherie Commissiong has shared and taught in many different environments throughout her career. She first began to teach at IU Bloomington. After working years with college students, she decided that she would be “more valuable” working with high school students, preparing them for “what’s next” after graduation. She takes her teaching career very seriously and puts the maximum amount of effort into everything she does. So what makes Mrs. Commissiong stand out, and how does she influence so many people?

Commissiong graduated from Ben Davis High School. She furthered her education by attending Indiana University(IU). She earned both her undergraduate and graduate degrees. She has always been intrigued by teaching and career readiness. She then began to teach at IU Bloomington for several years. During that time, she realized that she and her skills, along with her knowledge, would better help high school students rather than college students. So, in 2018, she became a high school teacher. 

Within the two years Commissiong has been teaching here at Greenfield-Central, students have grown a strong liking for her and some students have grown a special bond with her that is indescribable. “I am able to connect with Mrs. C in a way that I can’t connect with any other teacher at GC. She is such a wonderful soul and her compassion is outstanding,” says Gracie VanderMeulen, 12. 

“We are able to have ‘real conversations’ about their futures- the fears, expectations, plans, etc,” says Commissiong. Mrs. Commissiong has the ability and opportunity to connect with her students in a meaningful way. Her students are one of her top main priorities and she takes pride in making sure her students are successful and healthy, mentally and physically she said.

Mrs. Commissiong’s goal is to better students, prepare them for the real world, and to leave an impact on her students and she does just that. “Before I started attending the JAG program, I had no clue what I wanted to do after high school nor did I know how to do really anything in the real world. I’ve only been in her class for about a month and I have learned more than I have ever learned,” says Jada Conn, 11. 

Mrs. Commissiong has come a long way and has made her time here valuable. Commissiong has many goals she plans to achieve that will all contribute to one main goal.  “It is my mission to make sure my students are confident about their skills and knowledge to navigate along their journey after graduation,” she says.

Profile: Anderson U. baseball players hope for spring season

Photo Caption: Clayton White, a senior at Anderson University, waits to throw a pitch against his opponent on April 21.

Corinne White/Staff Writer

Anderson University’s athletes have taken a harsh downfall for this season. The coronavirus has taken away lots of opportunities for players on the team. Most recently, the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference, of which Anderson is part,  postponed any conference-related contests and championships scheduled for the fall 2020 season. Clayton White, a senior who has played baseball all of his life, has been very doubtful about this coming season. “As a senior it’s really hard to let all of my hard work go to waste. Knowing I most likely won’t get my last season is truly heartbreaking,” White stated. 

The Anderson Ravens baseball season was cut short last season, and seniors from last year did decide to come back for this season. “I’m glad most of the guys are coming back this season. If our season gets canceled this year, I’m not sure I will continue my baseball career,” White explained. 

White, a graduate from Eastern Hancock, has played baseball since he was 5 years old. His drive is obvious,  as he set many records at Eastern Hancock and pitched the second perfect game in Eastern Hancock history as a sophomore. White then committed to Anderson University to further his baseball career. He has had lots of opportunities and has MLB scouts looking out for him. 

White explained that at first he didn’t think the coronavirus was such a big deal. “I didn’t know anyone that had it at first. I didn’t think it was possible for me to get it.” The Anderson baseball team has been restricted from practicing because 25% of the players tested positive, including White and his roommates. 

“I was the first one in the house to have it. I went to a party and a few days later I got sick, tested positive of course,” Tyler Burton, a Ravens baseball player stated. Soon after that all of the boys tested positive.

Burton graduated from Knightstown with a very good academic standing. Burton is one of the best hitters on the Ravens baseball team. As a freshman he was able to achieve his goal of 10 home runs in one season. “I felt extremely guilty when I tested positive for Covid. Not only to my roommates but for my whole team,” Burton explained. He knows that he will have at least one more season. Nonetheless he is still very upset and feels sorry for the seniors. 

When the coaches announced that practice and fall ball was pushed back the boys were devastated. Zach Lane, a senior baseball player, tried to uplifted the boys and be a leader.  His goal for this team is to not only be successful by winning, but also be a family. The boys on the team call Lane the “dad” of the team, because he is always taking care of people and being a leader. “I went to a very small high school and my team was not very good. There’s where I learned my leadership skills,” Lane said proudly.

He has also tested positive for coronavirus. “I think everything happens for a reason. God has a plan even if we don’t like it sometimes. Something good will eventually come out of this. We just have to wait and see,” Lane explained with a big smile on his face.”

The Anderson Ravens hope to have their season in the spring. White hopes to do something big for the end of his baseball career, maybe continuing into the minor league baseball league. The team has been looking forward to their season so they can give their seniors an experience to remember. 

Profile: Voigt balances many drama responsibilities with ease

by Audrey Roberts/Staff Writer

Mrs. Carolyn Voigt is a teacher at GC, going on three years now.  She is teaching Theater Arts, Speech, and Tech Communications.  On the side, Mrs. Voigt is in charge of the Drama Club and the Drama Club’s productions.  She strives to create an atmosphere that is perfect for learning and engaging her students’ creativity.

Having gone to school at GCHS when she was younger, then Ball State for her teaching career, Mrs. Voigt then came back to begin her teaching career.  At Ball State University, she took theatre classes and even joined the Alpha Omicron Pi and Theatre Education Club.  However, she didn’t see herself teaching Tech Communications until she came to GC.  Luckily, she says she loves it.

Having three years of productions she has directed for GC, she says her favorite was GC’s production of High School Musical.  In addition to directing plays and musicals with the Drama Club, she also starts workshops for the Drama Club members.  These workshops can vary from learning how to master the technology side to drama productions to dancing to singing, and so much more.

“She introduced me to a brand new perspective of acting.  The way she influences us by encouraging us and giving small tips is why she has been such a great teacher,” says junior student Leah Olin, 11.  Jeremy Turner, the music department secretary and assistant band director, backs that up when he mentions how he has only known her for a year but feels as if they’ve been friends for a long time or she could be his long lost sister from the way they laugh when together.

Mr. Turner also mentions her many wonderful qualities.  “I would describe Mrs. Voigt as helpful, compassionate, and understanding,” he says.  Mrs. Voigt thinks very highly of all her students, describing them as “…bright, funny, and energetic…”  She says their motivation to learn makes the experience all the more fun.

Getting ready for this year is hard, Mrs Voigt says, because of quarantining and the hybrid schedule.  However, she states she is taking it one stride at a time.  She is trying to include everyone in this new, trying circumstance, so as not to be “unfair” and leave students out when they can’t go to the school, she says.

Olin states, “She is very forgiving and doesn’t get frustrated even when everyone is misbehaving or not listening.”  She also says that Mrs. Voigt is creative, kind, has a big heart, and puts all her heart and effort into what she is doing.  Olin isn’t alone when she makes this statement.  Mr. Turner says, “She’s so stinking wonderful!”

Although Mr. Turner hasn’t seen Mrs. Voigt much when she was in directing mode, he does mention how the cast members always seem to be “itching” to get back to learning how best to put on the play under Mrs. Voigt’s guidance.  He says, “She has this way of giving each member their own responsibilities that they then take pride in completingor accomplishing to the best of their abilities.”  Not only does she put on productions with the Drama Club, she also teaches students how to better act and emote in her Theatre Arts class.

Mrs. Voigt enjoys her job and the students she teaches.  She says, “I love teaching…All of the students are so bright, funny, and energetic that I find myself laughing a lot and enjoying how much they want to learn about the subject and are motivated to do so.”

Profile: Powerhouse Ninestar producer discusses behind-the-scenes work

by Drew Smith/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: John Painter, producer of NineStar Sports as well as the creator of NineStar’s local TV channel, at a recent volleyball match between New Castle and Greenfield, just before filming begins on Sep. 10, 2020. 

In the absolute black of night, only illuminated by the obnoxious shine of automobile lights and the blast of the football field fluorescents, a man emerged from the sea of moving cars and wandering people in the parking lot to greet one man: John Painter. They talked briefly, speaking of the man’s newborn and his hopes to return to broadcasting. There was nothing awfully unique about this occasion; to a wandering eye it may seem as though it was just as simple as small talk. What was really significant about this occasion wasn’t that it happened, but that, in fact, it seemed to happen all the time. From country club bartending to tarring a factory roof, to being a computer technician at General Motors, and even a plant manager for NineStar, it seems as though Painter has been all over the world, and as though all the world knows him. 

“All my life, I have loved to create and have always spent time creating in all types of different forms,” elaborated Painter when asked about the best aspects of his job at NineStar. “The position NineStar has put me in is one that they give me the freedom to be creative in many forms.” While Painter has certainly shuffled around in his career, he now finds himself the producer of NineStar Sports as well as the creator of NineStar’s local TV channel. NineStar Connect is an energy and communications company based in East Central Indiana that provides a number of services including water, electric, and internet, and also as a result of Painter’s work in the company, a local TV channel. Painter has worked with the company for several years, and went onto explain the many positions he had held in the span of time, stating, “Again, I love to be creative. I have held many positions with NineStar, from a telephone lineman, to maintaining the digital headend, and even supervisory roles with outside plant.” 

In the early hours of the day, through sizzling heat and bitter rain, one can find Painter at one of the local high school football stadiums, basketball courts, baseball fields, or even wrestling rooms setting up for a rigorous night of recording. He can be seen running cables out to cameras, setting up laptops for editing and rendering, and more time-consuming, tiresome work. “Growing up on a farm, hard work has always been instilled in me by my upbringing,” he pondered in consideration of the tediousness of it all. “I do enjoy it because once we finish, there is a great sense of accomplishment and much satisfaction. I guess because I am just driven by sort of an obsession with those games that I do not feel any fatigue or pain until the next morning.” But even after all the arduous set-up and labor, when the game begins, whatever it is, Painter runs the show like a trainer runs a well-disciplined mustang on a dirt-ridden horse track. 

“I think John possesses a combination of mental fortitude and experience that is perfect for how stressful and nerve-wracking productions can be most of the time,” illustrated Dave Anderson, camera operator for NineStar Films, the team responsible for the filming of local county sports games. Anderson is an established and consistent member of the team, having worked there for nearly four years. “There have been many times over the years that have solidified my faith in John as a producer. Whenever there are technical difficulties with our equipment or there are outside factors beyond our control, John just deals with it or fixes the problem if he can,” elucidated Anderson, “He never gets mentally flustered or panicked, which is pretty remarkable considering some of the things we have had to deal with over the years.” Painter runs a consistently collected and calm ship and maintains a level of quality that is undeniable. 

As one could surmise, Painter seems to possess the work ethic of an ox, never failing his responsibilities and always moving forward. “John is different from others in that he is a one-man army,” Bill McKenna, Greenfield-Central Radio/TV teacher and director at NineStar Films, attempted to explain, stating, “He is producing, engineering, and doing all the production jobs himself, every other team is full, John has only himself. He teaches himself new technology, he finds a way, [he’s] self-reliant.” McKenna has been working with Painter for six years and even knew him as a child. “We both were kids during the blizzard of 1978, we both had adventures, mine in the city and his in the country,” McKenna mentioned. “[He] and his dad went out in the storm and worked; I just had an awesome snowball fight. He told me about what it was like to work with his Dad tending to the cows as this epic storm engulfed them. His youth made him who he is.” McKenna has worked in the industry for many years, even working under Channel 6 for some time, as well as ABC. Yet he notices something different in Painter as a producer, simply stating, “He stays with what is good in life. I’ve never worked with anybody as good as him.”

Unfortunately, no matter how fantastic a man like Painter is, especially in the industry, the reality is sports are on the decline. According to research firm Ampere Analysis, viewers aged 18 to 24 are the least interested in sports as a genre in broadcasting, and it seems that participation in sports is decreasing, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS). Talent and hard work can only do so much if the viewer doesn’t care. In considering this, Painter elaborated on his perspective of it: “I watch old sporting broadcasts on YouTube from the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. The broadcast was all about the players and the action, period. Total focus was with the game. And it was normally only positive commentary. There was not all the flashy motion graphics and such. It was simple and was all about the game, which is what people have tuned in for. That’s just me. I like the broadcast to be all positive and not overdone with flashy glitz and glamour.” 

Even with all the sweat, blood, and tears Painter puts into his work, he doesn’t complain much nor does he think much needs to change. When asked about changes he would like to make to his current job, he simply retorted, “Well, I guess I would like to see us be able to have permanent cabling at all of our stadiums and gyms, so that we wouldn’t have to set-up and break-down for every broadcast. That would be nice!” McKenna attested to Painter’s absolutely solid mentality, explaining, “He goes well beyond what he has to do in his work. He swings for the fences and never gives up. We have had games in tough weather I would have bailed on, but he stays with it and we get stuff done when it looks impossible.” 

What lies ahead for John could be an innumerable amount of situations, considering his career, but it seems as though for now Painter is planting his feet in broadcasting. Despite the painstaking labor and the decline in popularity, it is where he chooses to stay, even stating, “I hope to be doing pretty much what I am doing now with NineStar until I retire. However, retirement for me will probably be full of video production, photography, or graphic arts. Maybe as freelance even.” So, whatever Painter ends up doing or wherever he ends up working, he’ll keep it cool and work himself like a lawnmower, and plenty of people from all across his career will see him there and won’t be able to refuse saying hi. 

Phones in the classroom: Yay or nay?

by Austin Tserlentakis/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Jessica Harris, 9, uses her phone in the classroom to supplement her learning.

Phones in the classroom have their ups and downs. They can either benefit students or do the complete opposite. According to most people it does the opposite. Some students abuse their right to have a phone in class and use it when they shouldn’t. There are also kids who do use their phones appropriately for academic purposes. 

Phones can provide many benefits if used appropriately. Mrs. Laken Rosing stated, “I try to teach students how to use them in an adult way.” If students use phones in a way that doesn’t interrupt class or distract themselves. They can be used effectively and possibly even produce positive results. Jerimiah Edwards, 9, stated, “Phones can be used well if kids don’t have their iPads and their phones could replace it.”

There are times when phones are definitely a no go. Rosing stated, “There is no reason to have it out during presentations, tests, quizzes, and etc.” Then Ms. Jennifer Holzhausen also goes on to state, “My general expectation is for phones to be put away at all times.” These expectations are guidelines that are usually set in most classrooms, especially on tests and such because they are, of course, assessments. 

A common issue is deciding whether or not that there should be a wide school policy with phones. Right now GC does not have one in particular. Rosing and Holzhausen both thought that a blanket policy wouldn’t really work because it depends on maturity. Freshmen are more likely to use their phones more while juniors are more likely to understand that it isn’t appropriate. Dessy Taulman-Franklin, 12,  stated, “In the end it is really about maturity and how you as a person can handle yourself.” On the other hand Ms. Michelle Rennier stated, “There should be a policy that if they are caught using their phones inappropriately that they should be taken away.” 

Another thing Rennier touched on was how phones affect life outside of the classroom. Conflict is a big issue that most of the time happens on phones that then transfers to real life. This also affects the inside of the classroom because this drama that usually happens on the phone puts this student in a bad mood, making them subject to not doing their class work or not doing anything at all. 

According to Holzhausen, “Banning the phones in the classroom hasn’t shown great improvement, but it does decrease the amount of cheaters.” Cheating is another big reason why phones can be an issue in the classroom. Cheating is a prevalent issue that doesn’t show real improvement in a student. This also causes teachers to view the use of phones negatively.

One of the biggest problems for phones in the classroom is the issue with social media. Edwards believes that if social media wasn’t available, phones would be a lot less of a distraction. Taulman-Franklin also expresses her opinion on social media on phones being a distraction. She said, “Yes because it would be less of distraction and help more academically.”

 

Boys track anticipates season

by Ashton Gillam/Staff Writer

While the boys track and field season is upon us, so are the grueling workouts and dedication that come along with it. The team is in full swing and are already off to a great start which began on Saturday, March 7  against Hamilton Southeastern High School. Most of the meets held during the winter months are indoors and vary from 5 to 12 laps to the mile in size. Other activities include running, jumping for height and distance, pole vaulting, and throwing for distance.

Last season the team finished strong. Tate Helm, who graduated last year, won the county meet with a distance of 48’10’ in shot put and started the HHC Championships with his personal best of 53’. Helms crushed his record at Warren Central High School to 54’4 ¾” and it automatically sent him to the state finals. Helms placed ninth at state finals. He said he would have liked to have done better, but still feels good about leaving with hardware. Adam Lee, also a 2019 graduate, finished 10th in the pole vault at state.

For this season a new set of freshmen will come into this sport with a new set of skills and a competitive edge. Michael Runions, 9, stated he believes a good runner can classify himself as such not because of how well they do compared to others but more about how they tried their absolute best to push themselves to the max. “Whenever they are running, practice or not, and they can walk off the track saying ‘I ran my best,’ then I believe that, that is a good runner.”  Runions participates in the 400m and 4×400 practicing both indoors and out. Winning conference, county, and then going to state last season are his favorite memories because he was the first at the junior high to do this.

Adam Bright, 10, who also participates in cross country, runs in the 1600 and 3200 meter races. He runs track because he thought it would be great training for the XC season.  Bright had his own opinions on what makes a good runner. “Many things make up a ‘good’ runner,” he said. “Most may believe it is just about your time and place in the races, but it is also about your character and willingness to work and learn.” 

With the team encouraging Lucus Tutrow, 10, to keep pushing harder and harder through the tough moments while running his race, he sees them more as a family than as a team. Tutrow stated, “Coach Smith is hands down the best coach I’ve ever had and he helps us improve everyday. He works hard to give us a variety of workouts to help every aspect of our running.”  If this doesn’t prove to you that they feel closer as a family than a team then I don’t know what will.

 

The Academy offers support, opportunities for students to earn diplomas

by Hailee Martin/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Mr. Todd Grimes works with a student at the Academy. 

The Academy isn’t something that gets noticed as much as it should. People think of it as just another part of the school, but this place gives struggling students a one-on-one experience. 

Students from the Academy all had positive comments for the academy. Hailey Shively, 12,  stated, “I don’t really dislike anything about the academy. I love how helpful they are. I like the programs we get to be involved in with volunteering.” 

Sarah Morales, 12, stated, “I like that I can work at my speed, I can work extra one week and slack the next. I dislike that on two hour delays we have to stay an extra hour because I feel that it’s not our fault the weather is crappy and I have to pick up my daughter at certain times and it throws my day off.” 

Joseph Trusty, 11, stated, “I like that you can work at your own speed, and I only have to go Half days. I don’t really think  that I dislike anything about the Academy. It’s amazing.”

Last but not least, teacher Mr. Brent Oliver stated, “I think it is an excellent place for students to earn credits in a non-traditional setting—if they use it correctly and wisely.” 

The Academy helps teens with one-on-one attention and an alternative schedule. One important factor about the academy is students still get their diploma and they still get to walk across the stage with their class. 

Girls track and field train for upcoming season

by Meilyn Howe/Staff Writer

The girls’ track and field team has been preparing vigorously for the upcoming spring season. Last season was successful for many runners, such as returning runners Crystal Peterson and Audrey Brinkruff, who advanced to regionals last year.

Addison Hill, 11, is excited to run track this year alongside her friends she has made running track. She has important goals for the season. Hill said, “I would like to qualify for regionals as a part of the 4×4 and place there.” 

Hill’s goal this season is to focus on attaining her goal, even when times can be challenging. She said, “It’s important to always focus on the end goal and the big meets at the end of the season; especially when the workouts are tough.” 

Olivia Moss, grade 12, is also very excited to be running track. She is going to finish the season off strong as she is going to run at her future college. Moss said, “This season is my last one as a high school athlete. Considering this, it sets a tone for my future of running at Anderson University.” 

Moss is going to maintain her focus this season by constantly reminding herself that you can’t expect to get better if you don’t put in the work. Moss said, “This season I will maintain my focus by reminding myself that pain is part of reaching your goals.   You can’t expect to get stronger and faster if your mind isn’t in the right place to experience physical pain and soreness.”     

This season Hill says that their team has been doing a lot of conditioning as early as December and their official practices started in February. Moss added that her team usually bonds over conditioning. She said, “It’s when the workouts are the most difficult and if you don’t cheer each other through it, each set can feel like things are never ending. So my team will bond through pushing each other to get stronger.” 

Zuleny Calderon, grade 11, said that running track helps her in her other sport she plays too. Calderon said, “I’m excited to run because it means I get myself in better condition for soccer season, and I get to spend time with my friends at practice and meets.” 

She says that conditioning for track has helped her get better at her running and stamina. Calderon said, “What keeps me focused is when I play a game for travel soccer and I notice that I’m quicker and I’m not completely dying at the end of a sprint.” 

Reuben McCracken, the girls track and field head coach, had a couple of things to say about this season. He said he wants everybody to be working on getting themselves better. McCracken stated, “No matter where they start, as long as they have done all that they can to make themselves better, then I’m happy.” 

McCracken said that as a teacher, he wants to influence kids’ lives and that coaching track does that for him. McCracken said that his coaching philosophy is still something he is trying to nail down exactly, but here is some of it. McCracken said, “So my philosophy is based on being a coach they know they can rely on and guide them in a direction that improves their athletic ability, but can also guide them in some way to be a better person now and later in their lives.”