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 Positive outlook: Chicago sports
Melissa Burgett
Sports Editor
December 12, 2014

     With the month of November,  Chicago sports reach the shift between seasons. The MLB season has finished, the Bears and Fire season has reached its midpoint, and hockey season has kicked off. The outlook for some is better than others, yet pride and heart are strong among Chicago sports fans.

Fire- With all eyes on retiring star Landon Donovan, the Fire has been lost in Major League Soccer’s push for the playoffs and the less than stellar season has resulted in the squad positioned low on the playoff totem, currently in the ninth position out of 10 in the MLS Eastern Conference. Luckily, a diamond in the rough has been young goalkeeper Sean Johnson, a possible back up keeper on the United States Men’s National Team. “I really like Sean Johnson; he’s a great player,” said Junior Chris Gutierrez. “His energy is great on the field.” The club aims for a strong offseason of training to become a true contender next season.

Bulls- The team is coming off of a successful offseason, highlighted by the signing of Pau Gasol, four-time National Basketball Association All-Star and 2002 Rookie of the Year. Gasol is known to be a very quick power forward and will compliment the healthy Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah well. “My favorite player would have to be Joakim Noah; I love watching him on the court,” said Sophomore Stephan Hatchett, who has been following the Bulls his whole life. Noah is coming off an offseason knee surgery and has been average to kick off the NBA preseason, but fans know he will kick it up during the season. Fans have also been eagerly awaiting the return of Derrick Rose, who sprained  both ankles and then later agitated the injuries from returning to play too early.

White Sox- The early stages of a rebuild seem to fall upon Chicago’s Southsiders; the loss of longtime captain and first basemen Paul Konerko certainly doesn’t bode well for a continuation of tradition in the bullpen. Arguably the biggest need revolves around a better pitching rotation, which the Sox have the expendable income to find. “No one in Chicago baseball has bragging rights, but thankfully we’re not as bad as the Cubs,” said Sophomore Shannon Heiberger.

Bears- A season-long struggle during the second half of games has plagued the Bears, ruining the facade of a strong NFC North contending team. A perennial issue surrounding the team is the lack of offensive skill in comparison to the already-ailing defensive line. Yet, future stars are arising in Martellus Bennett and Brandon Marshall, who add an energetic force to the offensive line. “It’s getting pretty bad; I’m nervous.” said Freshman Nicolina Bottiglieri. The team is coming apart at the seams, symbolized by the embarrassment of a loss coming from Green Bay on November 9th, the final score 55-14.

Cubs- Lucky for Cubs fans, shortstop superstar Starlin Castro and first baseman Anthony Rizzo are locked down until 2019, but the “veteran presence” has not been the squad’s strong suit following yet another losing season. It seems the waiting game will become key to later success, as you can’t teach experience. “I’m not sure how long it will take to fix things; I’m worried they can’t fix much,” said Sophomore Daniel Brokamp. The offseason so far has been highlighted by the addition of former Boston Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester.



 
Male cheerleaders: Double the effort

Ashley Wolfe
Editor-In-Chief
December 10, 2014


 Undoubtedly, football is one of--if not the top--most recognized high school sports. When looking forward to high school, many envision a spot on the team and the reputation of the most popular and physically-capable athlete.

  Few imagine being a football player and also part of the cheerleading team.

 Junior Isac Banuelos is one of three who takes part in these two sports. He was recruited by a group of friends, and with an open mind, decided to join.

  “[I enjoy that] all the cheerleaders know [me], so they cheer really loud for [me during the football season],” he said. “You feel really cool when the cheerleaders are calling your name.”

  In addition to football and cheer, Banuelos participates in track, explaining that it is to help him “get faster for football.”

   Much to his luck, the three sports aren’t at the same time, but occur one after the other with football at the beginning of the year, cheer afterwards and finally track in the spring.

  “[I think] football [is more difficult than cheer],” He said of the two sports. “It’s more physically demanding [while] cheer is more mental. You have to think about things.”

  Like Banuelos, Sophomore Chris Washington is a part of the cheerleading team, too. He also was encouraged to join by friends.

  “It’s a fun experience, and I like it,” he said. “And it’s a lot harder than throwing a football.”

  While many may find male involvement in these completely opposing sports to be quite an achievement and a great way to challenge gender roles, others hold a different view. 
   “Some people say it’s cool, and others think it’s weird,” Washington said.

   In addition, Senior Chris Hamilton also enjoys being a member of the cheer and football team. Besides being able to stay active, it provides for social benefits. 
   “[Being in both has improved my high school experience by] building relationships and [allowing me to] meet new people… [and] it’s led to new friendships.”

   

Photo by Caitlin Ryan.

   The cheer squad pumps up the crowd during the boys basketball     game against Stevenson.


   When comparing the two, some find that the two sports share very few traits. Football requires significant strength and fierce--sometimes brutal--attacks, while cheer is a bit less severe but with its own challenges.

   “In football, they have hours.  We have three minutes to show what we’ve got.  If we mess up, we’re done.  If [they] mess up, they [can still keep playing],” said Cheerleader Kayla Norris, junior.   

  For some, this is the challenge that cheerleading presents.

  “There’s a lot of competitiveness in both,” Hamilton said. “Competitive cheerleading is a sport. That’s the part most people don’t see.”

   Norris said that having guys on the team helps others to “open their eyes, so they can see it’s actually a sport.”

  Because of the tremendous gender affiliations in cheer and football, most don’t see past the idea that cheer is done by girls and football done by guys. But when comparing both, one could see that each requires vigorous physical training and tests one’s mental and physical limits.

  Therefore, in this constantly evolving society, having an open mind and daring to test traditional gender roles appears to be advancing with the new generation. Cheer isn’t just a sport for girls.

   In fact, Norris said, having the guys on the team is “really helpful.  They’re very strong… and dedicated.”

 

What's it like to skate with boys?
Marybeth Stone
Staff Reporter
December 10, 2014


 “OHHHHHHHHHH. WHAT ARE YOU DOING? WHAT THE- OH MY…”

   I am sitting in the girls’ locker room at Glacier Ice Arena before practice on a Wednesday night. Obviously, my teammates are out of the locker room goofing off because I can hear them. Loud and clear.

   “GET HIM!

   I can’t help but laugh and wonder what they’re doing now. I get up and walk over to the door, open it and stick my head out. I can hear them even better now--they’re above me on the bleachers. One of my teammates is standing in the hallway, laughing to himself and seemingly watching whatever’s going on up there. He turns to face me.

   “What are you looking at?” he says.

   “I can hear you guys from inside!” I say.

   “So?” he replies.

   “What is going on?” I say with a laugh as I retreat back into my room, and the teammate takes off toward the yelling boys. I know there is no way I will ever know.

   Such situations are fairly normal.

   Being on boys’ team means the three girl members don’t get to bond as much with our teammates.  

   For one, we don’t share a locker room, and therefore, we don’t participate in some of the jokes and funny stories the other 14 teammates do while they’re all together in the other locker room before practices or games. We don’t talk with them as much as they talk amongst themselves.

   In addition, when we play an away game, the ice rinks don’t always have a girls’ locker room, so we have to resort to bargaining for our own locker room. Occasionally, we end up in a bathroom or closet without even the luxury of space.

   Because of the separation, last year the guys would often begin pre-game warm-ups without thinking to see where we were, so we could join. This year we do a better job of advocating for ourselves, so we don’t miss out.  

   As a result, playing boys’ hockey can be a lot of things, but mostly it’s entertaining and motivating.

   Our team inadvertently makes having fun a top priority. Sometimes that fact annoys our coaches, but we couldn’t be happier. Practice nights are filled with hard work, yet they also include shooting pucks at each other, pulling each other’s feet out from under one another and teasing anyone who does something stupid-- all in good fun.
  
The guys treat the girls like anyone else on the team, which means they joke around with us, too. Even though we don’t spend as much time together, we see each other enough so that we’re all comfortable and friendly. 
   And we are a team that likes to laugh.

   

   

Photo by VIP.
The team circles up during a timeout to draw up a play. 

 

  Last Saturday I couldn’t stop laughing as our goalie sunk his head in and out of his gear like a turtle in its shell.

   Additionally, the team is motivating because skating with the guys is always a challenge. The majority of them are better than me, which makes me want to outdo them.

   Also, we don’t always get treated the same. It might be different if we were star players, but there’s a drive for equality that pushes me to do better. Personally, I’m constantly trying to improve my speed. Playing with the guys is a great way to challenge myself because most, if not all of them, are faster.

   Playing boys’ hockey also has some advantages for us girls.

   “We never get called for penalties,” said LZHS Senior Giselle Medina.

   I might have gotten called for tripping once in my entire high school hockey career even though I’ve probably deserved more, but I think the referees take pity on us.  Due to our size, there’s no easy way to go against an opponent that’s a possible whole foot taller than you and packing about an extra hundred pounds-- which is also the case for the few other girls in our league.

   “He was number 22,” I hear one of the defensemen say to the rest of the guys after I’d been crushed against the boards during a game a few weeks ago, basically telling everybody who their target should be.

   This shows that the boys and girls on LZM are a team. The guys are protective and have become really great friends to have. There may be times when playing boys’ hockey is a pain, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

   Through hockey I’ve learned that even though I’m a girl, I’m just as tough as a guy. I may not be able to knock everyone out on the ice, but it doesn’t stop me from trying. Size can be a challenge going up against players several inches taller than me, but it’s no excuse not to try my hardest.

   I’ve learned that no matter how difficult something is, I’ll always be able to give it my best shot.

 
Dance team takes over Blockbuster
Natale Fiocchi
Staff Reporter
December 8, 2014


     Recently the MHS Dance Team built a studio in the old Blockbuster, one minute from the school if driven or seven minutes if walked.

   The team didn’t have a space to practice in the school because other teams would be in the way, forcing them to practice in the halls or cafeteria.

   They took control of the situation and did something about it.

   “We rented out the space, and our parents all came together to bring in couches, chairs and trash cans. We had purchased Marley floors and bars last year, so we brought them with and duct taped them to the carpet,” said Junior Captain Erica Peterson. “We also put up curtains in the window, so we don’t have any distractions when people walk by. It makes the space more private.”

   For many, it was a huge change going from dancing around beams in the cafeteria to having more space than needed.

   At the new studio, they now have one large open space with a safer floor on which to practice when compared to the hard cafeteria floor.  

   The girls also now have fewer distractions since they are not in the school to practice.

   In their view, it was hard to take a practice seriously in the middle of a hallway with faculty, staff and students constantly walking by. With the new facility, this isn’t a problem.

   The studio won’t only help with distractions but will be a big help to the team during competition season.

   “We can see ourselves now with the mirrors that are in there. It gives us a chance to see what our formations look like,” Peterson said. “New tricks that we practice will also be safer on the floor compared to the tile floor in the cafeteria.”
    Sophomore Kenzie Toland also mentioned that they have a circle formation-- lines that help them know where they're going-- on the floor. 

   

Photo by Kate Siltman.
The Mustang dance team performs during half time of the boys basketball game against Stevenson High School.

    
   This is the same circle shape that is in the gym, so when it comes time for them to perform in there, they will already know where to go.
   “It will help us so much when competitions come up. We won’t be as worried as before since we have an idea of where we need to be,” Toland said.

   The only problem that may have been added with the new practice location is the drive there. It is not very far--maybe five minutes at the most--but the after school traffic can add a good 15 minutes to the travel time.

   “The thing I [least] like about the new studio is the drive,” Senior Captain Melanie Arango said. “We are rushed after school to make it in time, which makes most of us have to change in the car when we get there.”

   Being rushed on time, though, seems to be the only problem the girls have with the new location.  They see more positives instead.

   Peterson said, “We now have a space to call our own.”

 

Bad news Bears can turn it around

Sam Osisek
Staff Reporter
November 25, 2014


 
 Entering the 2014 season, the Chicago Bears were predicted to be a strong playoff contender with an unstoppable offensive threat.  

   In a preseason news article, the Chicago Tribune said that Bears’ quarterback Jay Cutler “has it all,” referring to the new and improved offensive line, along with the high level talent of running back Matt Forte, and receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffrey.  

   Bears fans were ecstatic, for maybe this would finally be the year that the team and second-year Head Coach Marc Trestman would put the pieces together.

   So far, the results have been anything but satisfying.

   The team started off on the wrong foot, losing the season opener to the Buffalo Bills in overtime by a score of 23-20.

   "You guys are going to be as negative as possible," Cutler said in a press conference after the loss. "But we've got a lot of games left; we did a lot of good things. Obviously we made mistakes today, and we've got to clean them up and got to keep it going."

   Cutler backed this up by having two consecutive outstanding performances in wins against the San Francisco 49ers and the New York Jets.  The Bears were 2-1 and seemed to be moving in the right direction to a possible NFC North title.

   Unfortunately, the season took a U-turn from then on.

   Since the week three win against the Jets, the Bears have lost five of their last eight games, and now sit near the bottom of the NFC North division, just above the Minnesota Vikings, with a record of 5-6.  

   The most embarrassing moment of the season so far for this Bears team came in week 10 against their rivals, the Green Bay Packers.

   The Bears struggled early, and Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers picked apart Chicago’s defense by throwing six touchdown passes in the first half, establishing a commanding 42-0 lead going into the second half.  The Packers cruised to a 55-14 win, leaving Bears’ fans in complete shock.

   "I'll just open by saying what I told our football team at halftime and after the game, that we're not a very good football team right now obviously,” said Head Coach Marc Trestman in a press conference after the loss. "We've descended over the last three weeks, and we didn't make any changes or any positive movement after the bye. That starts with me, and I'll leave it at that.”

   Bears’ quarterback Jay Cutler finished the game with 272 passing yards and a touchdown, along with two interceptions and a fumble.

   "We're all looking for answers right now, and we don't really have a lot,” Cutler said about the season after that game.

   Since then, some answers have been found. 
   After the tough loss, Chicago was able to regroup against their division rivals, the Minnesota Vikings.  

   The Bears were trailing 10-0 after the first quarter but managed to battle back and score 21 unanswered points until late in the game when Minnesota kicked a field goal.

   This past week, the Bears were visited by their old Head Coach, Lovie Smith, and his Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  

   After a rough first half, the Bears were able to force a few turnovers in the second half, where they took advantage of field position and defeated Tampa Bay by a score of 21-13.

   Now riding a two-game winning streak, the Bears will head to Detroit to face off against an NFC North division rival, the Lions, to try to get back to a 6-6 record.  

   Mathematically, the Chicago Bears have not been eliminated from playoff contention, though it looks to be that they will need to win their last five games to have a legitimate chance at it.  Beating Detroit will keep the Bears’ slim playoff hopes alive, but a loss will basically seal their fate for the season.

   Offensively, the Bears have been in the middle of the pack, ranked 18th, with an average of 21.5 points per game. The biggest struggles have been with the defense, which is ranked 31 out of 32 teams, allowing an average of 27.5 points per game.

   The Chicago Bears have performed below expectations but have a chance to do the unimaginable if they are able to finish this season and advance into the playoffs.  

   Optimism will be their biggest asset, and with Jay Cutler leading the way, we know that anything is possible.

   “I think we’re well on our way.  We’ve won two in a row; we’re back within striking distance,” Jay Cutler said on ESPN Chicago Radio.  “I think all the guys feel good about where we’re at; obviously we need to play better later on down the road.  But, right now, I think we’re just focused on this (game) Thursday.”


 Lady Mustangs ready to tip off
Karlee Busscher
Staff Reporter
November 25, 2014


   The weather says December, and the calendar says November; that is the sign that it is time for basketball season to begin.

   Hopes are high for the Lady Mustangs who want to continue to build on last year’s impressive showing.

   This season the varsity girls’ basketball team is looking to accomplish many goals.

   “To win a conference title, regional title, and both of our tournaments would be amazing, and a great way to end my high school basketball career,” said Natalie Busscher, senior.

   Along with each player's personal goals, there are also team goals that they want to achieve.

   Last season the Lady Mustangs’ record was 20-9. They also came in third place at the Thanksgiving tournament and won the holiday tournament.

   This year they are looking to go home with a first place trophy from both tournaments along with 20-plus wins.

   “We are all really pumped for this season. We get along so well and have been putting in a lot of hard work. We have a really good chance to do well in our conference this year,” said Maggie Mahar, senior.

   The team returns with seven players from last year’s varsity squad and now has four first-year varsity players.

 

  “We have a strong team this year, and each player brings a key component to the court,” said Caity Pieklo, junior.

   But despite the strength, the Mustangs will have some challenges to overcome. 
   “For me, the biggest obstacle I will face is having to change my pace of the game and going against bigger and stronger competition,” said Pieklo. “But I know my teammates and coaches will be there for me and teach me a lot”.

   The North Suburban Conference is always one of the toughest conferences in the area.

   Head Coach, Brian Evans, said, “Stevenson and Zion will be extremely good teams this year.”

   Stevenson and Zion are loaded with strong, determined players who are fully committed to winning.

   Also, one team trait that might hold the team back this year, said Evans, is a sense of apathy or feeling of complacency.  

   Therefore, a strategy for the team is to maintain a high level of enthusiasm and motivation for each and every game in order to achieve the high standards they have set for themselves this season.

   *The reporter is related to the player (sister) interviewed for this article.



 
 Boys basketball team expects turnaround
Sam Osisek
Staff Reporter
November 20, 2014

   There’s no doubt that the MHS boys’ basketball team is coming off of a very disappointing season.  

   But, there has been a change in culture and attitude that is already having a positive effect on the program.  The players, coaches and fans all believe that things are moving in the right direction toward a more successful, winning season.

   The Mustangs’ final record at the end of last season was 2-26, which was a significant drop off from the past few years when the team won three straight Regional Championships.  

   “It was not a lack of effort,” said Head Coach Corey Knigge. “I really think that we didn’t really learn how to win.  The whole group wasn’t used to success, so they never had a positive reference point for when things went bad.”  

   Last year’s team lost all five starters from two years ago, and there was only one player still on the team who received significant playing time.

   “One of the biggest problems we had last year was our confidence,” said Senior Tyler Olson. “Some of the guys last year believed we couldn’t compete with some of our opponents, so we lost some games before they even started.”

   The off season has been a time for change in culture for the team, and both the players and coaches seem to have bought in to this change.

   “I was really happy with some of the guys who came to me during the spring asking what we need to do to be successful,” said Knigge. “We need leadership to keep spirits up.  We want our best players to be our leaders this year.  If your best player isn’t your best leader, then you’re in trouble.” 
   The team spent the summer building leadership and technique skills through camps and summer league games.
 
   "We have improved a lot on defense and are creating more turnovers,” said Senior Kevin Marcotte, “And a part of my game that I’ve worked on is my athleticism.  I’ve been working hard on getting in better shape in order to compete at a high level, and I know that the rest of our guys could say the same.  

         
Photo by Kate Siltman.
The Mustangs attack on an offensive push in their game against Stevenson.

  

   We have also worked a lot on sharing the ball.  Nobody on the team is selfish, and we all work together well.”
   The team’s level of improvement can be quantified by their wins during their summer league games and tournaments, which ended with a win percentage around .500.

   The team competed in the Stevenson and Wauconda summer leagues that played on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  They also attended a camp at the University of Northern Iowa, where they played against teams from all over the country, mostly from the Midwest. They finished the camp with a record of three wins and three losses.

   “I definitely expect us to be better than last year,” said Marcotte. “We have worked a lot harder as a unit in the off season, and everyone is committed to being successful this season.”

   The team has a new wave of confidence that they believe can push them past some of the best teams in the heavily-talented North-Suburban Lake Conference.

   Olson said, “Knowing that we have been in the gym every day working hard and knowing that we have the ability to compete with any team helps this year’s team stay positive, and our expectation is to beat every team we step on the court with.”


Girls volleyball appreciates MHS teachers 
Hannah Koehler
Staff Reporter
November 19, 2014


Now that the volleyball season is over, the varsity girls have reflected on one memorable themed game that they hosted against Lakes Community High School. On Mon., Sept. 29, the girls’ varsity volleyball team had their annual teacher appreciation game, which provided a special opportunity to honor the staff of MHS.

   Each member on the varsity team selected a staff member of her choosing to invite to the game. At the event, each teacher’s name was called, and the teachers received a coffee mug with candy, balloons and a certificate.

   One of the girls on the team, Senior Trina Neukam, chose Beginning TV Teacher Kent Meister to honor because she’s had a close relationship with him throughout her high school career.

   “He’s shown me how teachers and students can have a close bond,” Neukam said.  “Last year I would go to his room every day during lunch to help him with errands or anything else he needed.”

   Neukam explained that events such as these are extremely important.

   “Although we’re athletes, we’re still students, and the teachers are a big part of our high school experience, and our ability to do well in school allows us to play, so we have to thank our teachers.”

   Senior Kayla Denson agreed, saying that it’s important to acknowledge how these teachers’ teaching styles and personalities have influenced the way that they learn.

   Denson chose Matt Farmer, physics teacher, because of his great teaching styles as a former band director and as a physics teacher. Denson said that he always thoroughly covered material and made it more interesting.

   She also explained that he had a great impact on her academic career because “he’s been really supportive about women engineering, which is what [she] really want[s] to go into for a major.”

   Farmer said he felt privileged to be a part of such a great event.

   

   

Photo by Hannah Koehler.
The Lady Mustangs remain in positive spirits even after being

defeated by Lakes Community High School at the teacher appreciation game.


"It was wonderful to be recognized by one of my students, but I also appreciated the opportunity to show support for all of my students on the team,” he said. “I didn't realize I had so many of them!”

   The game resulted in a loss for the Mustangs. The girls started the first set with powerful energy but lost that set 20-25 and lost the second set 13-25.

   “We could have played a lot better. Lakes was a very beatable team in my opinion. We had some really nice offensive and defensive plays, but in the end, we weren’t able to pull out the win we wanted,” said Senior Yasmeen Johnson who chose to honor Stephen Douglas, security guard, that night because of how well they get along and for his sense of humor.

   She also chose Kate Janoyev, the athletic trainer, because of her ability to always find a way to assist injured athletes.

   Despite the ups and downs of the season, the varsity girls agree that they love being a part of the team together and have an extremely close bond with one another.

   Johnson said, “I think I can speak for the team that we all love being on a team with each other. I haven’t been on a team this close in a long time.”



 

Toland debuts Triathlon club
Tyler Olson
Staff Reporter

October 21, 2014   
   
 
 Triathlon Club, new to the school as of the end of last year, challenges students to participate in a triathlon, which is an athletic event that consists of swimming, biking and running.  

   “Swimming is my favorite leg of the race,” said Senior Kelsey Toland. “Biking tends to be the one I struggle the most at, and the Wauconda hill that we did [during a triathlon] was really steep.”

   Many wonder how people who participate in triathlons are able to motivate themselves through fatigue or such obstacles as a steep hill.  

   “As a varsity basketball player, I feel like I’m in pretty good shape,” said Senior Kevin Marcotte.  “When I see people participate in triathlons, I know that there’s no way I could even get halfway through one.  Their endurance level is incredible.”

   Those who participate in these events have strategies for achieving a goal others might not even want to attempt.

   One way Senior Justin Fernandez trains is by competing in mini-triathlons to prepare for the longer ones while also using a few other tricks.

   “What’s most important to be successful is to have a healthy diet and be mentally prepared for the race,” he said.

   Kelsey Toland focuses on the beneficial outcomes. 

   “I just focus on the end and know that the feeling after I complete the whole thing will be satisfying and make it all worth it,” said Toland.  “My mom is a great motivator, and I’ve learned a lot from her.”

   P.E. Teacher Nancy Toland, Kelsey Toland’s mother and an adviser of the club, has been helping others get in shape for years.  She has a specific way of training members of the club.
   “I teach them to set small goals and to add to 

  
  

them until the ultimate goal is reached,” said Nancy Toland.   “I break down the training into smaller sets and build from there.”
 Many people are aware of Nancy Toland’s workout ethic and her determination to stay in shape. She pushes her students to work hard during school as well.

   “I had Mrs. Toland last year for gym class, and we did ten times more running than I have in any other gym class,” said Senior Shawn Garrett.  “While it was tough, I shed a minute off of my mile time and felt like I was in much better shape.”

   Not only does Nancy Toland encourage working out as a whole, she gives advice on how to achieve any goal that a person may want to accomplish.

   “The best way to reach a goal is to have a friend help you and work out with you,” said Nancy Toland.  “Having someone to keep you accountable is probably the best way to stay on task and keep focused.”

   Because of her reputation and advice, some triathlon club members said she’s a good fit for club adviser.

   “My mom is the best person I can think of to lead this club” said Kelsey Toland.  “She’s always working out, and we feed off of her drive to remain in great shape.”

   Nancy Toland doesn’t just watch and encourage members of the club during the workouts; she participates as well.

   “I think the kids can see my enthusiasm because I try to keep up and do workouts with them,” said Nancy Toland.  “Being a strong believer is what I teach and coach; it’s easy to be excited about something that I love.  I love seeing the passion from the club; that’s what really makes me feel like I’m doing the right thing.”


Seniors stay tough enough for Powder Puff

The senior girls huddle as they get ready for their game against the juniors.
Photo by Natalie Stuckslager
Tyler Olson
Staff Reporter
October 17, 2014 

  The Junior vs. Senior Powder Puff game is one of the biggest events of the year.  It’s a chance for the two classes to show their class pride, and it’s an exciting game for many, as both teams come to win

   “The seniors think that they run the school,” said Junior Karlee Busscher.  “It’s our job to play hard and make the game as competitive as we can.  If we can do that, we have a chance.”

   This isn’t the first time these two classes have played against each other.  Two years ago, when they were only sophomores and freshmen, the sophomores, now seniors, won 46-0.

   “We remember the game two years ago very well,” said Senior Jamie Hemmer. “That was a fun game to play in; we’ve been looking forward to the rematch ever since.”  

   Not only do the girl participants see the event as a way to build class pride, so do many Red Rage members. 

   “It’s important for us to not only have school pride but also to have class pride,” said Senior Red Rage Leader Malik Doby.  “It’s a fun way to have some friendly competition within the school.”

   Senior Maria DeVito started the game off with a long touchdown run that electrified the senior crowd.  

  The senior girls ran  “Scoring that first touchdown was awesome because it pumped up the team and the fans.  We knew we wanted to get off to a good start,” said DeVito.many “trick plays” to try to confuse the defense.  The majority of the play selection consisted of fake hand-offs and reverses.
  “It was challenging to see who had the ball most of the time,” said Busscher.  “They really used trick plays to their advantage, and it worked out well for them.  It was clear that they had practiced those plays a lot.”                    
  The seniors ultimately defeated the juniors by a score of 38-16, despite the cold and rainy weather.   

   “It was a tough game.  Both teams played really hard,” said Busscher, who scored both touchdowns for the juniors. “The senior girls play really well together.”

   The senior girls ended their Powder Puff careers on a high note.  It was a bitter-sweet night for the girls as they walked off the field for the last time after their victory.

   “Knowing that it would be our last Powder Puff game, we made sure that we went all out and did everything we could do to win,” said Senior Quarterback Maddie Zazas. “Everything we worked on went as planned, which made it that much more exciting and a great way to go out for our last game.”


Red, Rowdy, Raging: Red Rage supports school sports

Alex Loding
Staff Reporter
October 2, 2014

   Are you loud and rowdy? Do you bleed red and white school spirit? If you answered yes to these questions, then Red Rage might be the perfect club for you.   

   Red Rage is MHS’s student section that supports all of the school’s sporting events. It has been “unofficially” supporting MHS for the past three to four years, but officially for the past two years. Members show up to all of the football, basketball, baseball games and anything in between.    

   Kevin Marcotte, a senior Red Rage leader, said, “Red Rage has been around since my freshman year, and it’s been a great supporter of MHS since then.”

   Red Rage aims to be present all over the school, to be full of school spirit and to be open to anybody at MHS.

   The steps to becoming involved include showing up to as many events as possible, finding friends in Red Rage to go with to the events and going with the flow of the school spirit once at the event.  

   “It’s easy to join Red Rage. Show up to the events and always dress according to the themes. Remember to have a great time,” said Dominic Foreman, sophomore.

   For the events that Red Rage supports, participants dress up in various theme-related clothing to make the games fun. Their themes are red out, black out, white out, neon, beach gear, camouflage and others. For the color outs, like red out and black out, everyone dresses in all red, black, or whatever the theme color is.

   To find out what the themes are for a particular event, see Red Rage’s Twitter or Facebook page titled Red Rage 5.  
“Red out is my favorite theme because we paint our bodies red, and we usually do red out for the biggest events,” Marcotte said. “Also, I love beach day because I can get swagged out in my beach gear!”

   In addition to the themes, Red Rage rallies the crowd with what are meant to be energetic and fun chants. Their chants range from basic sports chants, such as “Let’s go defense!” and “I believe”, to chants and cheers that they have made up.  
“My favorite cheer has to be the rollercoaster chant,” said Steven Hirst, sophomore.

   Created by Red Rage members and claimed as the most famous cheer at MHS, the roller coaster chant looks like the audience is on a rollercoaster. All of the fans put their hands in the air and then they follow the leader’s motions. At the end, the fans jump up and go crazy.

   Red Rage does not only attend home games.
   For Friday night football games, big basketball games, and other huge events, Red Rage will travel to the other towns in which MHS is playing.

  

Photo by Melissa Burgett.
The Red Rage student section cheers on the Mustangs during their game against Warren.


   “Red Rage will travel as far as necessary to support our teams,” Marcotte said.   
While Red Rage will travel, members cannot guarantee that they will attend all sporting events, particularly those that occur during the week, such as golf matches, tennis matches and soccer games.
   Red Rage does not only attend home games.  For Friday night football games, big basketball games, and other huge events, Red Rage will travel to the other towns in which MHS is playing.

   “Red Rage will travel as far as necessary to support our teams,” Marcotte said.

   While Red Rage will travel, members cannot guarantee that they will attend all sporting events, particularly those that occur during the week, such as golf matches, tennis matches and soccer games.
   “It is tough to get people to go to events that occur during the week because of homework and other stuff going on, so weekend events are bigger and better,” Marcotte explained.

   Additionally, Marcotte added that golf and tennis matches don’t have a lot of seating, which is a concern for Red Rage members since the group typically draws huge crowds.

   Also, sporting events, such as golf and tennis matches, are typically smaller events in which the players need to concentrate.  Red Rage’s presence, then, might end up being a distraction.

   Even though Red Rage doesn’t physically support these smaller events, they still attempt to represent these teams at school because the mission of Red Rage is to build school spirit no matter what.

   “Rain or shine, Red Rage will do anything to support MHS!” said Marcotte.

   No matter the event or the theme, the goal for Red Rage is to increase student involvement with the school.

   Hirst said, “I think Red Rage is a great thing. It’s a great way to have fun and meet new people.”



 
 
 
Football team, fans change attitude about program

Melissa Burgett

Sports Editor

October 1, 2014

   This August started off with a change in attitude for the Mundelein football development program, a change for the better. The new mantra taking players, coaches and fans by storm is one of perseverance and optimism for a team that has not had the success it would like in the past several seasons.  

   The varsity squad has a beginning record of 0-4 going into week five, with losses to Wheeling, Highland Park, Zion-Benton and Warren, a record they would like to improve in the next few weeks.

   The persistence of the players is admirable, and their hard work is not going unnoticed by the coaching staff.

   “I am most proud of the commitment these players have made,” said Head Coach George Kaider in an email.  “I have placed a huge demand on them, and they have responded to the challenge.”
     
Athletic Director Perry Wilhelm saw a lot of promise during the Week 1 Wheeling game that set the tone for how Mundelein wanted to play for the season, even if the result was not a win.
     “They’ve played hard on both sides of the ball,” Wilhelm said, praising the team’s offensive and defensive abilities, also noting the toughness
and determination in the players and their drive to answer the score when necessary.

       

Photo by Melissa Burgett.
Senior Robert Hamilton runs the ball for a Mundelein touchdown against Warren.


   The team morale has increased, and the brotherhood has grown tighter in the locker room because of these vast improvements on the offensive and defensive line
   “No one gives up here; everyone keeps playing,” said Shane Kosmach, a versatile wide receiver for the sophomore team, speaking for the program as a whole.

   The varsity team has improved in the departments of strength, speed and competitive drive.

   “We are much bigger, stronger and faster than in years past and feel like we can physically compete with any other team,” said Kaider. “They want to win for our school and our community.”

 
 Boys swim team competes in fast lane

Jimmy Corbin

Features Editor

   The Mundelein boys swim and dive team looked to accomplish their goals by finishing the season strong. They were close to State qualifying times on three relay events, and one individual, junior Mike Ward, earned a trip to State.

   Although the team performed well, they knew throughout the season that there was always room for improvement.

  Head Varsity Coach Rahul Sethna acknowledged that the team was young this year, so there was not as much experience as in the past. On the other hand, there were many athletes on the team this year, which resulted in more competition for spots.

  The standards have been set high by past swimmers. In recent years, the Mustangs have had multiple top five swimmers in State and numerous previous swimmers are currently on college teams.

   Connor Black, who graduated in 2013, was the Illinois Senior Swimmer of the Year, three-time first team all-state, 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials qualifier, and 12-time All-American. He holds the Illinois record in the 50-yard freestyle and is the National Public High School record holder in the 100-yard butterfly. Currently swimming at Stanford, he is also on the U.S. Junior National Team.

  To meet the high expectations for the team, members usually practiced six days a week since the end of November, displaying their dedication and determination.  

  “We have been training very hard, and we are hoping that we can taper and rest well, so we can achieve our end of the season goals,” sophomore swimmer Ryan Magee said mid-season.

  Their goals were to win the Conant Invite, which would have been the first time in school history, and to win their remaining dual meets.

  Because the team was young, teammates have said they rely on a close relationship between swimmers and divers to achieve the high standards they have set for themselves.

  “I admire our team’s ability to get along with each other and [our] team chemistry.  We are all good friends in and out of the pool,” said Magee.

 During practices and in all team activities, there is no separation between varsity and junior varsity. They all come together as one, continuing to build trust as a whole team.

  “It’s the little things that strengthen the team, like our team breakfast and the pasta parties we have. The big things help, too, though. Some of those things are the team hair bleaching and hair shaving. My teammates got to pick what we did to each person’s hair, which shows how much we trust each other,” freshman diver Kyle Ehemann said.

  The hard work paid off since the team did indeed meet their goals. The Mustangs beat Libertyville and tied Warren in their final dual meets of the season. 


 

Photo by VIP.
The boys swim and dive team finished the season strong, going beyond what was expected of them. 

   Even better, they were crowned champions of the Conant Invitational, and the team finished fourth place in conference. They also performed well at sectionals.
   Ward qualified for State in the 100-yard backstroke. Some relays were very close to State times, sometimes within half a second of qualifying. The same went for a couple individuals, including juniors Duncan Black and Eric Kozokar.

  The young diving squad looked to feed off of the swimmers’ successes.

   Ehemann explained that there are five categories of dives: front, back, reverse, inward and twister. One category of dive is required per competition, and each diver must use four out of the five categories after the required dive. The dual meets during the week require six dives, while the weekend invites require 11 dives.

  “Although diving can be scary, once you come out of the water, it’s a huge thrill of exhilaration,” said sophomore diver Kevin Reedy.

  Many of the swimmers and divers credit their accomplishments to head coach Sethna.

 “He is a great coach and cares about the growth and improvement of everybody on the team,” said Magee.

  Sethna had been named the boys’ and girls’ coach of the year by the Illinois Swimming Association in 2013.

  Further keys to their success can be attributed to the Mustangs’ feeder system, the Mundelein Mustang Swim Club. Kids, ages 6 through high school, can participate. The club allows for consistent practice and constant advice to help furnish swimmers’ skills in order to take them to the next level.

  “The future is very bright for Mundelein Swimming and Diving,” said Magee.

   The team is only losing four seniors next year and is returning with a load of talent.

   Magee explained that they have some freshmen coming up who are likely to make an impact on varsity. He expects the team to be competing for State in multiple relays and individual events.

  Coach Sethna said, “[The swimmers and divers] are committed and care about the team and want to see themselves be successful.”

 
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