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Published by The Chronicle, 2017-03-17 11:21:53

Edition 14.7

The Chronicle published on March 17, 2017.

Vol. 14, Issue 7 | William Mason High School | 6100 Mason Montgomery Road Mason, OH | 3.17.17

Photo by Jonathan McCollough

Noah Pedelty puts the exclamation
point on the win that put the

Comets in the District Championship
game, see story in SPORTS

Mason 44
Centerville 38

It’s a

Comets are District Champs

Finally claim elusive District Title, first since 1994


Race for CLASS OF 2017 BY THE NUMBERS “If I had the opportunity to go
valedictorian through high school again – I
comes to halt in Total Amount of Mason Seniors wouldn’t take it,” Zhang said. “But if
school districts I were absolutely forced to do it over,
nationwide 880 students I definitely wouldn’t have wanted
to become valedictorian. I regret
Students with a 4.0+ GPA spending the countless hours locked
up in my room doing homework,
35.2% enduring tireless nights of reading
an entire chapter from APUSH and
Ashton Nichols | Staff Writer Students with a 5.0+ GPA possibly, this speech. I truly wish
I could replace all that time with
Valedictorians be gone. 1.34% meeting more people and making
Starting in 2018, the Wake County new friends, doing more community
School Board of North Carolina will 4.5874Top 10% Cuto : GPA service, discovering passions, and
stop naming Valedictorians and basically doing anything that would
2 Salutatorians. The 25 high schools, 4.227Top 25% Cuto : GPA make me happier than studying just
varying in class size from 100 to for a better grade.”
3.17.17 600, will switch to the Magna Cum Statistics from the Mason High School guidance department. Infographic by Ryan D’Souza
Laude and the Summa Cum Laude Yan said that the competitive
honors. To receive cum laude, stu- if you can (take) a home economics courses, which will actually end up minds of Mason students prepared
dents would need a 3.75 to 4.0 GPA, class, a cooking class, a shop class, in stronger and better education.” her for Harvard, and she believes
for magna cum laude a 4.0 to 4.249 you’re going to learn about design success in a large school is crucial
GPA, and for summa cum laude a and how to use tools,” Martin said. Mason Class of 2015 co-Valedicto- despite the rigourous culture.
4.25 GPA or higher. “Which frankly I’m going to need rian Allison Yan is a sophomore at
Other schools across the nation (these skills) if you’re going to work Harvard University studying Human “The culture at Mason is ‘Do what
have forgone naming Valedicto- in my lab. That’s part of it being a Evolutionary Biology. Yan said that your friends are doing’,” Yan said.
rians, such as a cluster of schools well-rounded, educated person.” when she was in high school, pres- “The herd mentality and the collec-
in Arizona – Deer Valley Unified sure from her peers to take rigorous tive culture of ‘We have to suffer
School District, Glendale Union Martin said his ultimate goal in classes was evident. together’ is what is most dangerous
High School District, Mesa Public the decision to stop naming Valedic- to Mason right now. If the culture
Schools and more – along with the torians was to help create a better “My friend group really cared were still the same, I would have
Parkland School District in Pennsyl- education for the Wake County about (being at the top), and that’s done it again, but if they took away
vania. school district. why I cared,” Yan said. “But in retro- this ranking system, I would have
Wake County School Board mem- spect, I honestly feel like you should taken electives and enjoyed my life a
ber and policy chair Jim Martin said “What we’ve got is a system take classes that you want to spend little more.”
the reasoning behind the decision that rewards certain classes with time in, and do well in those, rather
to stop naming Valedictorians was higher weighted GPAs, and so you than trying to stack your GPA in the Assistant Principal Shanna Bumill-
because of many reasons, including get people taking four, five, six AP best way.” er said Mason names a valedictorian
students cheating the system, vary- classes in a year mainly to weight because of the tradition it holds. She
ing class sizes, and students not ful- and not because they’re really trying Class of 2016 Valedictorian Alvin said the administration recognizes
filling the true purpose of learning. to learn the material,” Martin said. Zhang is currently attending The the pressure placed on students to
“We see from many places that “It becomes a game to pass the test, Ohio State University studying do well and succeed.
there are a lot of people who play and a game to weight your GPA. By mathematics and computer science.
the system,” Martin said. “It’s not taking away the weighted GPA gain- Zhang said in his speech at gradu- “It certainly creates a lot of pres-
based just on your GPA; it’s based ing incentive, the goal is hopefully ation that he wishes he had taken sure, and at Mason High School,
on your weighted GPA. People try to more people will take a breath of more time to enjoy high school, and we want kids to be about learning,”
gain the system by taking the great- less to stress about academics. Bumiller said. “We don’t want to
est amount of AP classes they can to kids to be about a grade. We want
get the highest weighting. What an you to pursue learning opportuni-
educator cares about is learning, not ties not because it is weighted or
gaining.” unweighted.”
Martin has been a chemistry
professor at North Carolina State Bumiller said being a Valedicto-
University for 23 years, and he urges rian or Salutatorian is a way to rec-
his students to take a wide range of ognize and honor students who have
classes that will prepare them for the done tremendous work academi-
future, not just classes to stack up a cally, and regarding future conversa-
GPA. tions, the administration would like
“From an educational standpoint, to listen to everyone.
I want you to take AP classes, but
“We see it first hand,” Bumiller
said. “We see what you’re going
through. We want to help you
achieve all what you want to achieve
in high school. It is a large decision,
and it’s out there. We’re making
small strides.”

Child of immigrants wins Americanism award news

Kansakar earns “Freedom in America is not free. I 3
believe it is every American’s respon-
Mason’s first state sibility to know and understand our Photos contributed by Gerry White
Constitution and keep it alive. There Top: Junior Puran Kansakar poses at the World War II memorial at the Ohio marker.
championship in are many countries today where ba- Bottom: Kansakar and Taylor Lowmiller visit the World War II monument.
sic human rights are being trampled
20 years over and citizens are dying trying to
gain freedom.”
Jonathan McCollough | Staff Writer
Puran’s father, Rashmi Kansakar,
Americanism is not exclusive to who has been a US citizen for more
families born in America. than 20 years, said that his status as
an immigrant should not limit the
For the first time in 20 years, a Ma- freedoms he has in the country.
son student has been named a state
champion for the American Legion “The Constitution and the laws and
Americanism and Government Test. the freedoms in America are not just
Junior Puran Kansakar is one of 18 provided for one race or one group
state winners who have earned a of people,” Rashmi said. “It is to be
week-long trip to Washington, D.C, shared and appreciated by everyone.
and to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. It is something that everyone needs
to learn and give a priority in life to
The test was 50 questions long and be aware of what those laws and prac-
included a 300-word essay. It covers tices are that have been fought for by
a wide range of topics from the Con- so many veterans in our country to
stitution and Declaration of Indepen- keep alive.”
dence to the workings of the local,
state, and federal government. Rashmi said that the veterans
behind the American Legion deserve
Puran said the importance of more recognition for their sacrifices.
learning about government and the
Constitution is sometimes not recog- “Veteran sometimes aren’t getting
nized enough. enough recognition in the country
for all the sacrifices they’ve made,”
“Learning about American democ- Rashmi said. “By showing their con-
racy and (the) American Constitution tribution with this activity through
is sometimes not taken seriously,” high school kids, they’re trying to
Puran said. “I am a first generation show the need for (upholding) the
American. My Mom and Dad were American Constitution and the effort
born in Nepal and came to Cincin- that American veterans have done
nati (more than) 20 years ago.” and the sacrifices they’ve made so
that school children actually know
While he was born in the United what it means.”
States, Puran said that his trav-
els have opened his eyes to other Puran also wanted to extend his
cultures. This made him further thanks to the veterans in the Ameri-
appreciate the country he lives in and can Legion for the opportunity he
the freedoms to which Americans are received.
“I would like to thank America’s
“I have had an opportunity to trav- veterans for making (it) a priority for
el to (a) few foreign countries and see high school students to understand
there are many places in the world and test on American government
where women are not protected, mi- and Americanism,” Puran said. “I am
nority communities do not seem to so looking forward to the Washing-
have any rights, (and) being gay can ton DC and Gettysburg trip. (I am)
be punishable by death,” Puran said. glad to represent Mason as a first
State Winner in 20 years.”

The Chronicle’s Policy The Chronicle Staff Online Editor Luke Hutchinson Adviser
Editor-in-Chief Asia Porter Alexandra Lisa Dale Conner
The Chronicle is the official student The Chronicle is published monthly. The Chronicle is a member of The Jessica Sommerville Business Manager Charlie MacKenzie
newspaper of William Mason High Call 398-5025 ext. 33103 for infor- Columbia Scholastic Press Association, Managing Editor Ashton Nichols Duncan MacKenzie Connect with
School. mation regarding advertising in The The National Scholastic Press Asso- India Kirssin Staff Writers Isabel Marotta the Chronicle:
Chronicle. The Chronicle reserves the ciation, Quill and Scroll International Sports Editor Calista Busch Jonathan McCollough
The Chronicle promises to report the right to refuse advertising it deems in- Honorary Society for High School Jour- Eric Miller Arnav Damodhar Eric Michael @mhschronicle
truth and adhere to the journalistic appropriate for a high school publica- nalists and the Ohio Scholastic Media Visual Design Editor Joey Deaton Ria Parikh
code of ethics through online and print tion. Association. Ryan D’Souza Juliana Discher Meghan Pottle mhschronicle
mediums. Jacob Fulton Alekya Raghavan @mhschronicle
As an open forum for students, let- Contact Information Bryan Hudnell Lauren Thomas
The Chronicle is produced by students ters to the editor are welcome, but are The Chronicle Delaney Turner 3.17.17
enrolled in Journalism I, II and III. subject to be edited for length, libel, ob- William Mason High School Freddie Wilhelm
scenity, clarity and poor taste. Letters to 6100 S. Mason Montgomery Rd.
Editorials reflect the staff ’s opinion the editor may be dropped off in room Mason, Ohio 45040
but do not necessarily reflect the opin- C103 and must be signed. (513) 398-5025
ions of the school administration or the
Mason City School District.

news Comet Skippers share love for sport worldwide

4 Photos contributed by Melanie Crispin Calista Busch | Staff Writer did very well in the competition.”
(Left to right, top) Juniors Noelle Champagne, Ally Astles, (middle) Olivia Seiller Carroll said these new competitions
3.17.17 and (bottom) Kevin Morrissey work with attendees at Jump with the Stars. The Comet Skippers are swinging
into action around the globe. provide a change in the way the team
is preparing for World’s.
Through One World One Rope, an
organization that helps spread jump “We’re trying things where our
rope worldwide, several members of older kids don’t have to go to our
the Comet Skippers have been able to regional competitions which tend to
travel around the globe to attend and be on the easier side,” Carroll said.
host workshops that teach jump rope. “We’re trying to do different com-
petitions this year to better prepare
Sophomore Michelle Crispin said for World’s. The older kids and the
the organization has opened up many younger kids are more separated
opportunities around the world for as to which competition they go to,
hosting and attending workshops. depending on skill level.”
Crispin said every summer some
members of the team travel to Ger- Morrissey said that while the spring
many to host a workshop, as well as season is competition-driven, the
staff workshops in different states. program is more focused on spread-
ing the sport through travel and
From February 22 to 26, six high workshops.
school members of the Comet Skip-
pers traveled to Bermuda. Junior “It’s more (about) teaching others
Kevin Morrissey said the team has than competitions,” Morrissey said.
used its connection to a jump rope “A big part of our season is camps.
team based in Bermuda, the Bermie We go different places where we
Bouncers, to help staff a workshop for teach other jumpers or we are taught
the past seven years. ourselves. Our goal is to show people
what jump rope really is. To show the
“We traveled to Bermuda to teach world that jump rope is as much of a
several workshops and camps for the sport as football, basketball, baseball.
jump rope teams and schools in the There are teams all around the world.
country of Bermuda,” Morrissey said. A goal is to spread the sport and help
“We taught these children skills and create teams and organizations.”
showed them that jump rope is a re-
ally cool and fun sport.” Crispin said One World One Rope
has a focus of showing people the
The Skippers’ season is broken into sport with the hopes of it one day
sections. Crispin said in the fall, they becoming globally recognized.
attend workshops to learn new skills
and build a routine for competition “Eventually, we want to make it
season. This takes place in the spring, an Olympic sport, but now we’re in
culminating in the World Jump Rope the process of exposing it to people,”
Championship in July. Crispin said. “Every year we compete
worldwide, so it would be exciting if
“Throughout the year, we have we could make it an Olympic sport.”
different workshops and competitions
that prepare us, make our skills better The team also hosts workshops
and all that builds up to World’s,” in Mason to encourage younger
Crispin said. students to pick up the sport. Crispin
said in December they host Jump
Junior Hailey Carroll said that their With the Stars, an event that brings
competition season has changed this people from around the world.
year as the team joined USA Jump
Rope, a national competitive organi- “It’s a huge workshop; I think
zation they had not been a part of in one of the biggest workshops in the
several years. world,” Crispin said. “We have tons of
people fly in. We’ve had the Japanese,
“We’ve been trying different com- we’ve had the French (and) a bunch of
petitions this year than we normally teams travel together.”
do,” Carroll said. “Normally we go to
the same competitions all together as Morrissey said he has been do-
a group (but) this year we’re branch- ing jump rope for nine years, and
ing out into another organization.” been on the Comet Skippers for six.
Throughout this, he said he has trav-
The first competition of the season eled around the globe and gotten to
was the Michigan Invitational, a see a lot of the jump rope community.
competition in the USA Jump Rope
organization. Carroll said that while “The jump rope community is so
the team did well, there was a lack of friendly and never have I felt un-
competition in the older age groups. comfortable to meet someone from
another country,” Morrissey said. “I
“When we went to Michigan, our have friends all across the world. It
only competition was other groups in provides a lot of great opportunities
our own team,” Carroll said. “I only and one of those is the friendships
did one freestyle event, which could that I’ve made.”
have gone better, (but) other groups

Teens dig feature
through past
to uncover

family roots

Jacob Fulton | Staff Writer the Mayflower 5
Society. Anyone
Mason students are branching out to investigate who can trace their 3.17.17Graphic by Ryan D’Souza
their family trees. ancestry back to a May-
flower passenger is eligible
Though the past is a mystery to some, many to join.”
web services such as enable students
to look into their family histories through histori- Lindsay’s father, Reade Rogers,
cal documents and genetic tests. said his motivation for discovery came
from family heirlooms he owned.
Senior Tori Berry tested her DNA through 23an-, a website that provides information on “I have a number of items that have been passed
a student’s geographical ancestry and any genetic down in the family and I wanted to find
traits they may carry. Berry said that though the out more about their background,”
process was lengthy, it was well worth the wait. Reade said. “I have a pocket watch
from 1895 and Civil War discharge
“I ordered the test online, and they send you papers from an ancestor who
a kit in the mail,” Berry said. “You return a DNA served in a regiment from Ken-
sample. In about three months, they give you your tucky. I found out more about the
personalized results online. It was hard to wait for, owner of the pocket watch and the
but once I got my results, it didn’t matter.” battles my ancestor fought in.”

Berry said the results were not what she ex- Senior Maddie Wilson’s family
pected, which made them more interesting. has also looked into their heri-
tage, with surprising results.
“I found out that I have DNA from all over the
world,” Berry said. “I didn’t really know much “My mom’s second cousin,
about my dad’s side; based on looks, he appears to Linda, got really interested in our
be Spanish, but the test showed me he may (be) family history,” Wilson said. “She
partially Middle Eastern. I also found out I’m more was doing research (into) our family
Native American than I expected.” tree, and came upon the name Martha
Custis, who she found was actually the wife of
Berry said her drive to explore her family George Washington.”
history came from the mystery surrounding her
father’s heritage. Wilson’s grandfather kept a physical tree, and
she said both trees were researched using methods
“I’m naturally curious, and it’s always bothered aside from the websites many families use.
me that I didn’t know where my dad was from,”
Berry said. “I went to Spain this summer, and a lot “My grandfather used websites for some in-
of the guys there looked like my dad, which made formation, but for the majority of his research
me wonder whether that was where he was from. I it’s just been talking to relatives and looking
really wanted to know more about who I was, and into historical documents,” Wilson said. “Linda
it was awesome to find that out.” didn’t use a website. She talked to relatives
and looked into what they told her. Some days,
Freshman Lindsay Rogers’ family looked into she’d go to the library and spend the entire day
their history through The site en- researching. She’d read through history books,
ables people to look through historical records to records, anything she could find. It took her
trace family origins. Lindsay said her family found more than two years (to finish).”
out they were related to people involved in major
events in American history. Wilson said the research resulted in a drive
to go in depth when learning about the past.
“The first person we dug up was Cyrus Grit-
ten, who fought for the Union in the Civil War,” “Knowing this makes me more interested in
Lindsay said. “We couldn’t find much information history,” Wilson said. “Because I know I’m con-
about him. The next really exciting person was nected to these amazing events, I want to know
Thomas Rogers. He was born in England, traveled more.”
aboard the Mayflower, and was one of the signers
of the Mayflower Compact.” Berry said her research helped her feel more
connected to her family and the world around her.
Lindsay said the discoveries were exciting for
everyone, but her dad was the most intrigued. “Everyone comes from unique places,” Berry
said. “There are people all over the world, and
“My dad in particular was pretty amazed; he they’re all related somehow. None of us know all
majored in history so discovering our family was of our history, but when we look we can find out
a part of a monumental event in American history who we are.”
was exciting,” Lindsay said. “We also discovered

feature College auditions put pressure on musicians

Charlie MacKenzie | Staff Writer

The fate of some students’ college Photo by Jonathan McCollough
dreams lies within a fifteen minute Senior Jenna Montes practices her French Horn in preparation for the many college auditions she has.
time interval.
6 and Miami University. Similarly preparing for this moment and like they should look at your overall
Every year seniors are tasked with to auditioning for an instrument, that if you stress out, you’re going improvement as a musician and
perfecting their college applica- Stroud said that the theater audi- to mess up. It’s something that you how much you grow.”
tions, spending countless hours tions required a lot of preparation. can’t control. You do your thing,
working on essays, resumes, or the and it’s up to them after that. You Many symphonies hire perform-
Common Application. On top of all “I’ve been preparing for these for can’t worry about it.” ers based on a single audition.
of this, students looking to go to about a year, working on songs and While students applying for other
performing arts schools must pre- monologues,” Stroud said. “Each Senior Mei Yuan, who plans on majors are usually given a holistic
pare for one moment to sell them- school had their own criteria for majoring in music performance review, Montes said that the high-
selves – the audition. Auditioning is the audition, but most of it was two in upright bass at the Ohio State stakes environment of the audition
a defining moment in the admis- songs and one monologue. On top University or the New England process prepares musicians and
sions process for seniors applying to of that, I had to put together a col- Conservatory of Music, said that actors for jobs in the future.
performing arts schools. lection of songs just in case I had to students spend years preparing for
sing something else.” a single audition that could define “I think it’s a lot of pressure, but I
Senior Jenna Montes plans on their future. don’t think that it’s unfair,” Montes
majoring in music performance Stroud said that having a good said. “I know what I’m going into
for French Horn, and she has first impression is critical for a suc- “It’s a lot of pressure,” Yuan said. and I know that my academics
auditioned for Capital University, cessful audition. “It is very stressful. You prepare for will matter, but when I’m looking
University of Cincinnati’s College- years for one audition to see if you for jobs in the future, it’s going to
Conservatory of Music (CCM), “They can tell whether they get in, and if you mess up a little depend solely on how I play and me
University of Illinois, University of like you or not in a matter of five bit, it could mean the difference as a person, not my academics from
Michigan, Baldwin Wallace Univer- seconds,” Stroud said. “You just have between getting in and not. I feel high school.”
sity. She will be auditioning for In- to trust yourself that you’ve been
diana University. In some instances,
conservatories make students send
in a pre-screening, a recording of
their performance, and then decide
if the student is talented enough to
be invited for a live audition. As well
as the live audition, Montes said
that she had to take a music theory
and piano exam.

“They have a specific time for
your audition,” Montes said. “You
also have to do a theory exam. It’s
a placement thing; if you go there,
they (want to) know where to put
you in a class.”

Senior Kayla Stroud has been
acting since she was five years old.
She has auditioned for the theater
performance programs at Northern
Kentucky University, University of
Kentucky, Wright State University,



Photo contributed by Sierra Longmire
Longmire goes to the salon to get a relaxer,
a chemical that straightens and thins her
hair. This takes about two and a half hours.

3.17.17Photos by Juliana Discher


8 Photo by Jonathan McCollough

Can student sections go too far?

Juliana Discher | Staff Writer “During the game where students remember last year against Lakota “Sometimes, Mason students will
threw powder, there were a lot bad West, a kid fouled out and punched say things they shouldn’t, that are
3.17.17 Student sections in southwest words going on because kids threw the bleachers and hurt his hand, so inappropriate,” Spitzmueller said.
Ohio are known for getting pretty it in each other’s faces,” White said he was out the rest of the game. Any “Usually, I go to the Black Hole
close to the line, while others often “Teenagers just go a little crazy in time, we can get someone to commit leaders and say something to them.”
cross it. high school and college student sec- a foul or turn the ball over, it’s a win
tions, I think, because it’s unmoni- for us.” Oak Hills senior and varsity
Whether it’s swearing, destruction tored for the most part.” basketball player Ryan Batte has
of property, or insulting players, Comments can get personal noticed some of Mason’s behavior
many high school and college stu- Senior Michael Magness, an avid towards the opposing players. Senior is inappropriate at times during
dent sections can go from friendly Black Hole participant, said he Eric Thomas said he’s taken part games. Batte was on the basketball
cheering to outrageous acts of vul- believes student sections never cross in several occasions of what others court last year when Mason students
garity. The Black Hole is no stranger the line, and it’s purely for fun. may deem controversial behavior. stormed the court following a close
to this, often dancing on the line game won by a buzzer beater.
between cheering and inappropriate “I don’t think that there is a line “At a game versus Hamilton, this
behavior. Sophomore Alexis Hoehler at all,” Magness said. “You have to old guy came down because I was “As a team, we felt disrespected,”
said she usually refrains from taking have thick skin when you’re out yelling at his son,” Thomas said. “He Batte said. “The student section is
part in the Black Hole because she there playing sports. We recognize yelled at me, and I told him I would not distracting to us when we play,
feels their behavior is immature. the weak link, like Tate, a basketball fight him in the parking lot if he but doing all the extra stuff like
player from Sycamore; we called wanted. Another time, we looked up looking up players’ personal infor-
“Usually, they just trash talk him fat. His dad didn’t think it was this dude’s girlfriend and chanted mation is unnecessary sometimes.”
the other team,” Hoehler said. “It’s funny, but we all thought it was ‘ugly girlfriend’ when he made the
unsportsmanlike, so it makes me not funny. Parents get offended easily, so free throw. He made the first one, so Sycamore senior Nonso Okonji is
want to go. I don’t think the Black we are being censored a lot more.” we chanted ‘She’s still ugly’ and he a regular in Sycamore’s Ave Cave.
Hole is accepting of underclassmen, missed the second one.” Okonji said all student sections can
either.” Magness said members of the stu- get crazy in the heat of the game,
dent section will go to any extreme When behavior becomes too but no serious damage is ever done.
Sophomore Christian White said to help Mason succeed. inappropriate, Mason administra-
the heat of the game causes teenag- tion intervenes. Administrator Laura “It’s all for good fun, but it can get
ers to act in a way they normally “We try to get in player’s heads Spitzmueller said they monitor the personal at times,” Okonji said. “Ma-
would not. and make them make as many mis- behavior of students at games. son dances on the line when they
takes as possible,” Magness said. “I personally point out our players,



feature DIVING IN

Students dumpster tons of makeup products are. I can’t even name all
the specific products I got because I haven’t gone

dive for treasures through the pile yet.” The LOOT
Model & Talent Management Cincinnati model
Top: Freshmen Elizabeth
and sophomore Emma Davisson said she’s gone Mitan, Trinity Erickson,
and Sophia Palermo find
Luke Hutchinson | Staff Writer diving with Matthews and in other groups, but that expensive beauty items
Ulta’s dumpster is a popular dive site for students. from Urban Decay, Too
Faced, L’Oreal from the
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. “I went late at night because I think it’s kind of Ulta Dumpster.
Middle: Freshman Eliza-
Dumpster diving is when a person searches illegal, but since Ulta carries regular makeup and beth Mitan loves the Hello
Kitty dice she found in a
through someone else’s trash to find specific ob- drugstore makeup but doesn’t put testers out for dumpster.
Bottom: Mitan finds green
jects – the hobby existed even before the Supreme drugstore makeup, they end up throwing away tons tea detox facial wipes.
Left: Sophomore Bren-
Court’s 1988 case “California vs. Greenwood,” which of completely new, packaged makeup that is totally nan Murray’s favorite
sanitary to take,” Davisson said. “With hundreds of dumpster find is a black
stated that when a person throws something out, messenger bag.
dollars of stuff being tossed, dumpster diving is just
that item is now in the public domain.
like thrift shopping – except it’s free.”
Freshman Elizabeth Mitan said she used to
While there are not any specific city ordinances
ride her bike as a kid, but the discontent she felt
against dumpster diving, students still run the risk
towards the litter in her neighborhood started her
of trespassing through private property to access
experience as a diver.
“Once I put the litter in my neighbors’ trash cans, the dumpster.
Freshman Justin Rose said that the experience he
I actually started to sort through their trash, and
had searching inside a full-sized dumpster for his
if they hadn’t properly sorted their recyclables, I
would sort it for them,” Mitan said. “If I find some- homework that he accidentally threw away made
him realize that there is something positive to be
thing really cool while I’m going through their
said about real divers.
10 garbage, I kind of just think, ‘Why not?’“ “The trash my homework was in had already
Mitan said that as she continued to dive and
organize, she ended up getting friends to do it with been taken out to the big dumpster already, so I
her – but while it’s fun, it sometimes makes people was forced to go through it,” Rose said. “The dump-

upset. ster was actually easily accessible, and I found my

“Most people didn’t care, but I had one neigh- homework, which left me thinking about how most

bor who saw my friend and I sorting through her see dumpster diving as weird. People that do it are

garbage and she angrily chased us off her lawn,” definitely resourceful, but society doesn’t accept it

Mitan said. “She called me disgusting and said she because of their perception of the word trash.”

didn’t want me in her neighborhood. Here I was Sophomore Brennan Murray said he was in his

thinking I was just helping the environment.” friend’s neighborhood when they saw three empty

Sophomore Madison Matthews said the first time dumpsters near a construction site and decided to
she dumpster dived was with her brother, but it has take a risk out of boredom.
“We just said ‘Oh what the heck, let’s see if there’s
since become a regular type of entertainment.
something in there’ – I think the most fun was
“My brother and I went behind an Apple store,
jumping down into the dumpster,” Murray said.
and there were a whole bunch of phone chargers
“We went through tons of boxes of
that we got,” Matthews said. “The next few times, I
doorknobs, faucets, and nails that I
went with a group behind an Ulta dumpster where
didn’t take, but actually another

time at MECC, I was diving

and I found a really sick black

teacher’s bag that I still use.”

Murray said that he had

multiple adults that saw him

in public and would either

call out to him or stare

him down.

“A lady walking her

dog told us to stop

and think about what

we were doing, and

I’m pretty sure a guy

parked his car just

to watch us,” Murray

said. “A lot of people

would say we look like

lawbreakers when re-

Photos by Luke Hutchinson ally we are just using
our resources.”
3.17.17 Freshmen Elizabeth Mitan, Trinity Erickson, and Sophia Palermo
dumpster dive behind the cosmetics store Ulta.




Ryan D’Souza | Staff Writer life. It’s like an escape from what’s ing to risk a few things and get box and once you step out, you keep
happening.” out of your comfort zone,” Nelson wanting to do it because it’s really
Jonathan McCollough | Staff Writer said. “Especially me being a girl, fun to have that experience.”
Patel said that there are many I’m more putting myself out there
Places that were once visited by risks that go along with urban ex- because you never know who’s go- Nelson said that the uniqueness
thousands are now being explored ploring, especially in old buildings ing to be there. (At the abandoned of urban exploring, as well as the
by a few. that he with which he is not familiar. amusement park) we went in and we history of the places they go, makes
were just walking around looking it worth doing.
Urban exploring is the explora- “Sometimes the foundation isn’t at everything and taking pictures.
tion of man made-structures that are stable,” Patel said. “Sometimes Then some huge guy comes up and “I would definitely say it’s worth
typically abandoned. This includes there’s stuff in the air that you can’t I always carry mace around me so I it,” Nelson said. “Not only because
locations like old houses and de- breathe in. Sometimes there’s just had my hand on my mace because it’s a lot of stress relief but it’s going
serted amusement parks and subway dangerous stuff laying around like I didn’t know who they were, what and doing something that is out of
systems. The hobby is especially sharp metal sheets and (things) you they were going to do, what they the ordinary. People usually go to
popular among photographers and can trip over. It’s dark in the places wanted.” take pictures with flowers or colorful
documentary filmmakers. we go because the electricity is shut houses, but I like broken windows
off so you can’t see anything. ” Due to the uncertainty of what and dirty walls. It’s really cool to
Junior Yogesh Patel began urban they will encounter, Patel said that see how the building used to be, all
exploring to expand his photogra- Patel said that another danger of he must be prepared before explor- put together and clean, and now
phy skills. Patel said his passion for urban exploring is the location of ing an abandoned place. what has happened to them, the
photography is what drives him to the places that they go. destruction and how it wears off. It’s
go to abandoned places. “I usually pack a knife, a window something different.”
“In buildings like the Crosley breaker, flashlights, gloves, ban-
12 “What really motivated me to go building, the location is in Clifton,” dages and a medical kit,” Patel said.
out there and start looking at stuff Patel said. “Abandoned buildings “We also wear protective clothing
and going to places that people don’t usually aren’t located in the friendli- and cover all parts of our body so
usually go is it’s always the best est places. They’re located in places we don’t get tetanus from the rust
place to get the perfect shot,” Patel that are not that densely populated or anything we touch in there. We
said. “When you go to places that and people don’t go there, so it’s an usually get one person to go in first
have that history, that culture, that unsafe area to be in because there to check out the entire area, which is
context behind it, it’s usually the could be people looking to harm usually me. So I go in and check out
place to get the best photos.” you or there could be people doing the area, see if the foundation is safe,
stuff that isn’t legal.” and then we go in.”
Junior Lexy Nelson said that
urban exploring is a way for her to Nelson carries mace when she Patel says that while he has to be
escape the stress of everyday life. goes to abandoned places to protect careful of the many risks involved
her in case anything dangerous with urban exploring, the thrill of
“It’s to get away from everything,” happens. She said it takes a certain danger is a big part of the fun.
Nelson said. “People go through person to be willing to go out and
their own (trials) and I go to take explore abandoned places. “There are a bunch of surprises
pictures of things that can connect thrown your way but the fun part
to stuff that happens to me in my “It definitely takes some-
one who is is the danger,” Patel said. “You
will- get your blood pump-
ing and your heart
racing. That’s the
whole point of the
adventure, you do
something that’s
out of your boundar-
ies or out of your

Photos by Ryan D’Souza
Photos by Jonathan McCollough

Juniors Yogesh Patel and Lexy
Nelson, along with sophomore
Douglas Arthur-Mensah, explore an
abandoned building. They often visit
deserted locations to take pictures
and wander through the unknown.
All of the above pictures are from a
single site.






14 Asia Porter | Online Editor 1945 Hacksaw Ridge

Students are watching history unfold from the comfort of their theatre seats. Hacksaw Ridge was among the historically-adapted
Movie adaptations of true-stories have been flooding the box offices. Through films to receive Academy attention. The film followed
these films, viewers are being educated on social, economic and political issues while Desmond T. Doss, a World War II American veteran who
remaining bug-eyed at the site of Hollywood’s entertainment. served without firing a single shot. At the age of 23, Doss
enlisted as a medic and was given conscientious objector
1883 Split status after refusing to carry again. During the Battle of
Okinawa, Doss rescued 75 of his comrades who had been
While the plot line of Split is fictional, the basis of the film centers around stranded on a cliff (Hacksaw Ridge) by lowering them
Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), which was one of the first psychological into a rope-supported litter he had created.
disorders to be studied by scientists. One of the earliest case studies dates back
to 1883 when Frenchman Pierre Janet studied Léonie, a woman who had three Senior Todd Borgerson said the reality of these movies
distinct personalities. One theory surrounding DID is that anywhere from five makes their plotlines more appealing to the viewer.
to 16 alternate personalities develop after an individual experiences a trau-
matic event as a way to block out the tragedy. “It’s probably a movie that I wouldn’t have seen if it
wasn’t nominated for Best Picture or based off a true
AP Psychology teacher Angie Johnston said due to the scarcity of DID, there story, so the fact that it was a true story made it just a
are few case studies on the disorder; however, Split has done a good job of little bit more extraordinary and a little bit more inter-
resurfacing the discussion. esting,” Borgerson said. “Some of the war scenes and
seeing (Doss) running through and saving people and
“I think Split probably has brought this out more would be my understand-
ing,” Johnston said. “It’s been talked about, but I don’t think it’s nearly as talked getting shot at were pretty insane, just to watch
about as anxiety disorders or mood disorders or something like that. In our and imagine that being real, so I thought that

book, it says the prevalence can be anywhere from 0.4 percent of was really cool. I think there’s a lot of great
the population upwards to six percent of the population true stories that haven’t been told, and
could have it, but again, it’s not researched enough.“ movies are a really good way to see these
incredible stories.”

1958 Hidden Figures film’s discussion of these issues and that this discussion
has resonated with her.
Oscar-nominated film Hidden Figures addressed
1960’s controversies surrounding African Americans “It makes you think more about your country’s his-
and their struggle for civil rights, specifically Afri- tory,” Wade said. “It’s not just ‘Oh this happened this
happened, this happened; there were slaves and now
can American women and their fight to achieve there’s not.’ There’s so many little things in between
equality in the workforce. The plot centered that we don’t pay attention to. It’s got me thinking a lot
around the lives of NASA Human Computers more about issues, especially with race, in our society
Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughn and Mary today and how I don’t always pay attention to things
Jackson and their perseverance through segrega- like that but how those things that are uncomfortable
or controversial have shaped our society.”
tion, gender and racial issues in order to put John
Glenn and Alan Shepard into space.

Senior Sarah Wade said she appreciated the

1967 Loving 2012 Lion

The Supreme Court’s 1967 ruling to legalize interracial After getting lost navigating the trains in India,
Saroo Brierly was disconnected from his family
marriage was rooted in Richard and Mildred Loving’s relationship, and forced to fend for himself at only five years

which at the time was crime due to the couple being of different races. Loving old. After being adopted by an Australian fami-
ly, Brierly became determined to reconnect with
chronicles the famed Loving v. Virginia case and its impact on today’s society. his family in India, so he tracked his heritage
using the newest technology, Google Maps.
Wade said the fact that the film explored such an iconic yet sometimes overlooked
Sophomore Samantha Theisen said the film
fact of American history appealed to her. opened her eyes to a world outside of American
“I never knew that the couple in Loving was the first interracial couple to have the “Lion was nominated for a couple Oscars; I think
because it was such a powerful story,” Theisen said.
controversy with the government,” Wade said. “I (thought) ‘Whoa, like that is gonna “I couldn’t wrap my head around it because living
in the United States, it’s not like that at all, so I was
be a great movie, discussing that first milestone in our country,’ and then with Hid- surprised to see the numbers of in India how many
kids go missing and how in the United States you’re
den Figures, the same thing. They were both just really big events that I didn’t really kind of sheltered from that because our culture is
completely different.”
understand; they were all kind of like hidden things that I knew were important, but
Graphics by Ryan D’Souza
I didn’t really know much about, so that’s why I wanted to see it.”


sports HOW SWEET 16
Photo by Bryan Hudnell
David Neal becomes Photo by Jonathan McCollough

first State bowling Mason head basketball coach Greg Richards celebrates the district championship by cutting down the net.

qualifier Comets end 24 year District drought
with 44-38 win over Centerville
Bryan Hudnell | Staff Writer
Bryan Hudnell | Staff Writer sistant coaches, which have played “I’m so happy for him,” Lewis
Senior a prominent role in his life. said. “He has been the best coach
David Neal Put up the banner. that I’ve ever had. He makes every-
competed After a 44-38 victory against the “It’s more about the kids than it one great on and off the court. He
in the State Centerville Elks, the Mason Boys is for me,” Richards said. “I’m just deserved this win.”
Bowling Basketball team secured its first along for the ride to be honest. I’ve
Champion- District championship in 24 years been blessed, not just with the kids When asked what Mason Basket-
ships in and the program’s first title at the but with the coaches too. I got ev- ball meant to him, Richards teared
Columbus Senior David Neal Division I level. eryone of these guys as assistants up and put it just below his loved
on Saturday, March 11 and placed Head Coach Greg Richards has who were former players of mine ones.
56th with a pin total of 543. been coaching the Comets for and I think that’s pretty special.”
more than two decades and has “Expect for my family, (Mason
16 Neal is the first Mason bowler amassed more than 300 wins dur- After a loss to Princeton on Janu- Basketball means) pretty much
to qualify for State since bowling ing his tenure at Mason. His teams ary 31, the Comets have won eight everything,” Richards said.
became an official varsity sport of the past have had a difficult straight games, five of those games
almost two decades ago. Despite of time getting over the hump of se- by double digits. Richards credited The game was a tooth and nail,
this honor, Neal said the transition curing a District title. With the win the senior class for leading the wire to wire, all-out fight to the
to the State tournament was dif- against Centerville, Richards adds team throughout the season. end. The Comets headed into the
ficult without his teammates. another prestigious achievement to fourth quarter with only a 32-31
“Heading to state individually is his already impressive resume. “They’re pretty special kids,” lead. Junior Noah Pedelty stepped
a hard transition because bowling is After the Comets finished sec- Richards said. “The number of wins up big early in the quarter with
a team sport at high school and col- ond in the Greater Miami Confer- they put up doesn’t even measure five points and a key block on
lege levels,” Neal said. “That’s how ence, Richards pushed his team to what kind of kids they are. I’m not Centerville.
I’ve always looked at it.” still find a way to be immortalized ready to see them go just yet.”
Neal is the team’s captain, and he in school history, and a District With 4:30 remaining in the
wanted to be a calm presence and Championship accomplishes just Senior Eddie Pusis scored a game, Pusis found a lane to the
take a lead-by-example approach. that. game high 21 points on an efficient basket and converted a layup to
“My responsibilities were to just “It’s been a long time,” Richards 63 percent shooting. Pusis said give the Comets a 39-33 lead, their
make sure that everyone knew said. “We talked about putting up Richards has become a significant largest of the game at that point.
how to adjust and what to do when this year’s numbers up on the ban- role model in his life. To close the game, Pusis iced the
things weren’t going their way,” ner and we weren’t able to do that game with Mason’s last five points
Neal said. “Also I stayed calm all in our league, so we had to do it “He’s the best,” Pusis said. “He on free throws. After the game,
season, so by doing that I think it somewhere else. We choose today comes in here every day as mo- Puisis acknowledged the magni-
really helped my teammates when to do it.” tivated as we are to win the next tude of the victory.
it wasn’t going their way.” During his tenure at Mason, game. He’s taught me so much
Head coach Joe Riestenberg Richards built hundreds of rela- over the last four years so (this “It means so much,” Pusis said.
complimented Neal for guiding his tionships with his players and as- win) was all for him, and I can’t “Every year we come into practice
team throughout the season. thank him enough.” and this was our goal. (A district
“He was always level-headed,” championship) is really what we
Riestenberg said. “In a competitive Fellow senior Carlos Lewis wanted next and we came out and
atmosphere, it is difficult sometimes echoed Pusis and believes the achieved that.”
to keep your cool and not get frus- District win was long overdue for
trated. David never let it get to him.” Richards.
Neal was humbled to compete
with the best bowlers in Ohio and to
be the first from Mason to do it.
“It’s a huge accomplishment to be
one of the top 16 individuals in the
state to move on individually,” Neal
said. “To be the first from Mason
is really an honor because in the
past, we have had some outstanding
bowlers. I am very humbled to be
able to represent our school at the

3.17.17 state tournament.”


Junior swimmer Allison “I was rushing toward the net to
Bloebaum helped lead the get the puck, and he turns around
Comets to a state runner forcefully and kind of karate
up finish while individually chops me right in the throat. I
winning two state titles in basically had no air for three
the 200 yd freestyle and minutes until the paramedics got
the 500 yd freestyle. After there and they got me hooked
being named co-GMC swim- up to a ventilation system. What
mer of the year, Bloebaum they said was my trachea bent
also set a new district back and it started to swell up in
meet record in the 200 yd response to the stick hitting my
in 1:47.38. Bloebaum now throat. It was all good once we
holds three state titles af- got to the hospital and they gave
ter being a part of the girls’ me an Ibuprofen.”
400 yd relay which finished
first in 2016. -Senior Jack O’Loughlin


8 “When you have a curveball, the ball Sophomore Sammie Puisis reacts to a foul
is obviously spinning in the air, and as call against Lakota West on March 8.
The Mason it’s spinning, it’s creating friction with
wrestling team the air particles. The direction of the Photo by Tanner Pearson
sent eight spin matters because you have the
wrestlers to ball pushing against the air the way WHO’S HOT
the state that it’s spinning. So if it’s spinning
tourna- clockwise, it’s going to be pushing the
ment in air clockwise. The air that’s on top of
Columbus. Eight the ball going in the same direction
wrestlers was a pro- as the spin is moving faster, creating
gram record, and the Comets more air pressure, which would push
also had four placers: Jack the ball down whereas the air at the
Stein (8th), Zaid Hamdan (4th), bottom of the ball would be moving
Jaimen Hood (2nd) and Zack slower, creating less pressure so the
Donathan (1st). ball would curve down.”

– Megan Kappers
Physics Teacher describing how a
curveball moves as it goes through

the air

THEY SAID IT Senior Zack Donathan capped a 3.17.17
“My biggest takeaway from my four 52-0 season with a state cham-
years at Mason would definitely be the pionship at 132 pounds. Do-
relationships that I’ve built within the nathan defeated Lakewood St.
team and learning how to be the best Edward’s Allan Hart 7-4 in the
teammate that I can and being a part of championship match. Dona-
something that’s bigger than myself.” than placed second in 2016 and
- Senior swimmer Ashley Volpenhein reflects on sixth at 106 pounds in 2014.
her decorated career as a Mason swimmer Donathan was Ironman champ,
Dvorak champ, GMC, Sectional
Compiled by Bryan Hudnell and Joey Deaton and District champ.

Photos by Jonathan McCollough Bryan Hudnell

sports Girls swimming repeats
as State runner-up

Duncan Makenzie | Staff Writer

The girls’ swim team finished Photo by Lauren Thomas
their season as state runner-up
Photo by Tanner Pearson for the second consecutive year, Girls Swimming head
continuing their tradition since coach Mark Sullivan.
Sophomore Sammie Puisis (32) drives to the basket during the Comet’s 44-43 2013 as a top three state finalist.
Regional Semi-Final win over Lakota West on March 8. van said. “I never have put
The team earned 230 points myself above my swimmers.
Girls basketball tournament at the meet in Canton, Ohio, 16 Everything I have earned has
run cut short in Regional Final shy of champion Upper Arling- been because of my swimmers
ton. Junior Allison Bloebaum and their hard work and their
18 Eric Michael | Staff Writer how the girls wanted and expected it and senior Ashley Volpenhein outstanding performances. I
to. But a second consecutive trip to the paved the way for the Comets want those kids to know that
3.17.17 The girls basketball team’s playoff elite eight continued to demonstrate with powerful individual per- even though I have received an
run came to an end in a 41-35 loss in the winning tradition head coach Rob formances, taking a combined award, they have earned that
the Regional Final to Mount Notre Matula has established for his team. total of three state titles. Bloe- award for me.”
Dame on March 11. Matula said that while the loss will baum won the 200 and 500 yard
bite at first, his team played a great freestyles with times of 1:47.65 Volpenhein said the pro-
The Comets came out strong season and saw lots of success. and 4:50.15, while Volpenhein gram’s growth into a perennial
against the Cougars, taking an early won the 100 yard freestyle and powerhouse can be attributed
lead and maintaining it through the “I am extremely proud of what our finished runner-up in the 50 to Sullivan’s coaching styles
entire first half, which ended with team accomplished,” Matula said. yard freestyle with times of inside and outside of the pool.
a buzzer-beating three by freshman “Sharing the GMC title and making 50.24 and 23.21.
standout Megan Wagner. The Comets it to the Elite 8 should not be taken “I have never met a coach
entered halftime with a 17-12 lead. for granted. It’s hard to continually be The team’s relay squads were that really cares about some-
among the top programs in the state. second in three events: 200 yard body as a person rather than a
A defensive-led third quarter al- It takes a lot of hard work from every- medley, 200 yard freestyle, and swimmer like Sullivan does,”
lotted only five points for each team, one involved. 400 freestyle, with help from se- Volpenhein said. “He develops
tallying the score at 22-17 entering the nior Caroline Wolf, junior Lau- these relationships with his
final period. With five minutes left, GMC Player of the Year Sammie ren Thomas, and sophomores swimmers and really makes
Wagner zoomed by a defender and hit Puisis was a cornerstone of Mason’s Harna Minezawa, Leanna Wall, you feel special and a part of
a beautiful euro-step layup to put the success all season. She was disappoint- and Mckenzie Grau. the team. He pushes the team
Comets up 29-23. On the next posses- ed that the season finished the way it a lot and I think that’s really
sion, MND got the ball and converted did, but she was proud of her team’s Last year, Bloebaum finished huge.”
a conventional three-point play to accomplishments over the course of second in the 200 and 500 yard
make it 29-24. Then MND’s Gabbie the season. freestyles behind the same Sullivan’s three keys to
Marshall hit a three to climb within swimmer from Upper Arling- maintaining a dominant swim
two. Seconds later, Marshall was fouled “We fell short of our aspirations, but ton. This year, she bested that program are having a pool, a
and made two free throws. The game I am proud of this team,” Puisis said. very swimmer, Katie Trace, in local club team, and a depend-
was tied at 29 with four minutes to go. “They never complained; they just both of the events to take the able coaching staff. Add on a
asked what we had to do to win. We titles. She said it was proof that group of tenacious, goal-driven
The Comets quickly found some had different players step up at differ- hard work pays off. swimmers, and Sullivan said his
fire. Ti Fulton scored, then Anna ent times all year which enabled us to job becomes a lot easier.
Brinkmann stole the ball and scored to put together a very respectable season. “If you had told me last year
give the Comets a 33-29 lead with three Now everyone is focusing on what we at this point I would have two “I really have to feel very,
minutes to go. However, Marshall hit need to do to improve for next year.” state titles, I would laugh right very lucky,” Sullivan said.
another three to bring the Cougars in your face,” Bloebaum said. “I “When I came here 14 years
back within one point. With just under Making deep playoff runs is starting would not think that would be ago, we had nothing here. We
two minutes left in the game, MND to become tradition for the Comets. true. I would be like, ‘no, Katie just didn’t have the pool, we
took the lead. After a Comet foul put Matula said that the winning mental- Trace has it.’ Just to see how my had kids that were here but
MND on the free throw line, Wagner ity which is so present on his team is dedication to the sport made I joked about we used to go
scored to bring Mason within two with something he can see being passed on me improve so much was really to state in my van. Now we’re
only ten seconds left on the clock. from one class to another each year. amazing.” taking 14 to 18 kids a year up to
But successful free throw attempts by state. I’m just so fortunate that
Mount Notre Dame put the game out “Our deep run is a reflection of what Head coach Mark Sullivan Mason gave me a shot to come
of reach.The clock struck zero, ending our past players established,” Matula also left Canton with an award over here from Sycamore and
in a six point heartbreaking defeat to said. “We have had great leadership of his own: the Ohio High have the opportunity to coach
end the season for the Comets. from past players and our current School Swim Coaches Associa- and continue to grow the pro-
players realize the magnitude of that. tion Division One Girls Coach gram. All of my credit really
After a trip to the State Champion- Our players work extremely hard to of the Year. Sullivan began his goes to those types of kids and
ship last year, the season did not end carry on our tradition and we are look- coaching career at Mason 14 those types of swimmers that
ing forward to next year.” year ago, and for the last five want to have those goals. It’s
years, his girls team has placed really easy to coach when you
within the top three teams at have that.”
the state meet. Sullivan agreed
with Bloebaum that his team’s
success has largely been due
to his swimmers’ year-round
dedication to the sport.

“I think any coach would
say it’s a team award,” Sulli-

Comets send record sports
eight wrestlers to
state meet

Photo by Jonathan McCollough

Senior Phillip Krayterman practices at the Mason tennis complex on March 9.

Tennis team poised to knock off
bitter rival Aviators

Freddie Wilhelm | Staff Writer seniors and Sophomore Captain Niraj 19
After losing out at last year’s state Komatineni. Komatineni said that
he expects the seniors and himself to Photos contributed by Dan Hillen, Mason athletics Sports Information Director 3.17.17
tournament and conceding the last step up.
three Greater Miami Conference
(GMC) and state titles to the Avia- “I think losing the seniors will be
tors, Mason Men’s tennis is looking to a missing link, but I think Charlie
knock Sycamore off its perch. Coach (MacKenzie) and Phillip (Krayter-
Mike Reid said that Sycamore would man) will step up to the leadership
be a big obstacle in the upcoming roles they need to,” Komatineni said.
season. “I really try to push my teammates
to win a team state championship. I
“(Sycamore has) a terrific program think the effort during practice needs
and they’ve beaten us the past few to be higher than last year, in order to
years, but certainly we’re going to improve and get better every day.”
focus on beating them this year,”
Reid said. “Our number one goal is to This season sophomore Shashank
win the GMC, and secondly our boy’s Reddy and freshman Saiprakash Goli
team has never made the final four have joined the team, both highly
of states, but our long term goal is touted by colleges with Reddy being
obviously to win the state champion- a four-star recruit and Goli a five-
ship.” star. Reid said these pickups make
the team a stronger contender this
With Sycamore’s unbeaten record season.
in the GMC over the past three years,
the Comets are looking to put their “I think the new players give us
three consecutives 8-1 seasons in the depth and firepower in the singles po-
GMC, falling only to Sycamore, be- sition, so then it’s my job to develop
hind them. Junior Shashank Singuri the doubles teams. We’re going to
said that the team has been focusing have a really deep team, so deep that
on how to defeat their rivals. teams won’t be able to manipulate
lineups in hopes of beating us.”
“After losing to Sycamore last year,
we knew that we had to get better, The preseason rankings posted by
and we know it’s time for Mason to Ohio High School Athletic Associa-
beat Sycamore,” Singuri said. “We’ve tion have Mason ranked third in the
all worked very hard over the sum- state, which is ahead of Sycamore,
mer, and this is the deepest lineup who is ranked fifth. Krayterman said
that Mason has had in years, so I the team has high expectations this
think we have a chance to beat Syca- upcoming year.
more and win state.”
“I want us to definitely make the
With the team saying goodbye to final four and have a shot at win-
two seniors last year, they lost valu- ning team state,” Krayterman said. “I
able leadership. The team will work don’t care about individual states that
to find new leadership in the current much. We’re getting two new players
who are very good so I think we’re
definitely going to be competitive.”

opinion Staff Editorial

to the editor Sprint for valedictorian status

20 prioritizes grade over learning

3.17.17 They tell us to try our best, to have realistic rigor, but no matter what is
preached to us at our scheduling meetings, we are all stuck in a race with a
clear finish line. Your number matters, and only one contestant can emerge

Communities like Mason have been promising to mitigate stress for years,
but how can we when our stressors are what we refuse to give up? Having
trouble balancing 6 APs, three College Credit Plus courses, 852 hours of com-
munity service, and six leadership titles? Stop sleeping. Stop eating dinner with
your family. Stop living. But bypass Physics: Electricity & Magnetism? Not a

Never mind the skills we need in the workforce are not always physics com-
putations. Though Mason is a Googleplex, many businesses still prioritize the
Microsoft Office suite. An ability to use Microsoft Excel – and a real one, not
one we fudge on our resume because we know the program is the green icon
– is an asset, yet so many of us would rather take AP Chemistry than Honors
Microsoft Office.

We cursed our administrators for forcing Enhanced Communication Appli-
cations (ECA) upon us, wishing we had that crucial extra block to pack in just
one more honors course. But as we interview for that top school or dream job,
the extra .03 on our high school GPA may be forgotten when our interviewers
focus on our ability to coherently speak. When the W-2 arrived in the mail, we
complained that high school does not prepare you for the real world, yet we
credit-flexed financial literacy to meet a graduation requirement instead of
taking the time to learn.

Offering more than 20 AP classes, Mason is a homing beacon for the ambi-
tious. Our community demands greatness, accepting nothing less. What is the
harm, however, in taking advantage of Mason’s resources in our areas of inter-
est? Many rising seniors applying to be on the Chronicle staff tell us the reason
they waited to apply until now is because “I just couldn’t fit it in.” Our shared
priority is Honors Diploma requirements, not happiness requirements.

We do not think to take AP classes only in English and History, if those are
our passions, or chemistry and medical sciences, if those are what inspire us.
Never mind that balance, our “realistic rigor” mantra, may allow us six hours
of sleep per night, rather than per week. According to a report by Penn State
University’s Department for Undergraduate Studies, 20 to 50 percent of college
freshman enter undecided. Why? Perhaps because many students are too busy
packing in the AP classes that they never discover what they like.

Lately we have even passed on our toxic academic culture to the middle
school, where formerly high school courses such as Algebra I and Physical Sci-
ence have landed. Welcome to the race, we say, how fast are your shoes? That’s
not much of a high school tour, if we may say so ourselves. Are these classes to
get ahead, or to learn more in your high school career? The former, likely.

We are not the sore losers of a four-year sprint to the graduation podium,
quibbling about our losses and parroting that if we can not be the valedicto-
rian, no one should either. We respect the brilliance of our peers, and after
growing up in Mason, a community in which good is never good enough, we
know what it is like to try your hardest only to come up 52nd best. We recog-
nize, however, that brilliance does not always wear a 5.0+ GPA.

The University of Southern California rejected Steven Spielberg three times.
Michael Jordan said he missed “more than 9,000 shots in (his) career.” Thirty
publishers rejected Stephen King’s “Carrie.” A failure to immediately rise to
number one does not mean we can never do so, nor that we cannot channel
our passions into incredible careers.

We are not hammering the Valedictorians – they are important and high-
achieving students who help our school district grow. Enough is enough, how-
ever, when the stakes are high and students lose focus on what the true goal of
school: learning. Academics have been turned into a game to get the highest
grade, not to actually retain information.

So, to the valedictorians of Mason past, present, and future, we wish you well.
Conquer your elite universities and change the world. But to those of us who
lost the race, or perhaps did not even enter, we hope you find what you spend
all of high school looking for – that calling greater than any number.

America’s real Editorial Cartoon opinion
ban is on
communication #OscarsSoPolitical

Alexandra Lisa | Staff Writer

The American people have passed a self-made ban. It is not Paying for You may be asking yourself why any of
a ban on a specific demographic, but a ban on communication.
17 federal this is relevant. It’s because the Trump Ad-
Politics have made it impossible to communicate. When 21
someone brings up a topic, I cringe in anticipation, waiting programs at a ministration has planned to propose
for the engine room to blow, for the ship to go down. No one, dramatic budget cuts to the federal
including myself, feels confident sharing opinions for fear of Bengals game government that will seek to privatize
Jonathan McCollough | the CPB, cut funding for the OVAW,
I am ashamed to admit my fear to speak my mind. I used to Staff Writer
express my thoughts, but each time it was met with eyerolls, and eliminate The National Endow-
anger and self-righteousness; a handful of individuals have Last fall I went to see the Cincinnati
deliberately gotten up and left the lunch table or classroom. Bengals take on the Miami Dolphins at Paul ment for the Arts entirely, along with 14 other
After multiple failures to have an educated discussion, I gave Brown Stadium. Usually I would eat before
up. I am not proud of giving up my voice; I am ashamed I do going to a game to avoid the overpriced cost federal programs.
not know how to fight for my self-expression. of food, but this time I ate there.
Taylor Tepper from TIME Magazine did the
This situation is not limited to Mason. The New York Times I bought a Cheeseburger for $7.50, a cup
published an article about including standards like “Trump of fries for $5.50, a hot dog for $5.00, and a math and found out that all together these
supporters need not apply,” or “Hillary supporters are encour- bottled water for $4.50. My final bill came out
aged to look elsewhere” on lists of roommate requirements. to around $22.50, but when I looked at my re- federal programs cost $22.36 per American per
We are segregating ourselves based on our beliefs. I cannot see ceipt to confirm everything was rung up cor-
how anyone expects that to end positively. rectly, I realized that I had accidentally paid year, just a few cents less than what I paid for
for the equivalent of 17 federal programs.
Forbidding exposure to other experiences inhibits prog- my meal at the Bengals game.
ress. That’s why sexism and racism benefit no one; that’s That may not make a lot of sense, but let
why there’s such a movement to accept sexualities. We have me explain. Other programs on the chopping block
made huge steps in progress; of all things to send us spiraling
backwards, this election is where America falls to pieces? One The 2017 federal budget request for the include the National Endowment for the
clown sitting in the oval office versus another? That’s what Corporation of Public Broadcasting, which
sinks us? runs PBS, NPR, and over 1,400 local TV/radio Humanities, which funds research, education,
shows, is $445 million. Based on the latest cen-
This nation is not made of miniature Trumps and Clintons. sus information, that divides out to $1.37 per museums, and more, the Economic Develop-
It’s made of individuals with struggles and families. People American, or about one-fifth of the cheese-
breaking their backs to go to work, raise children, defend the burger I bought at the Bengals game. ment Administration, which supplies local
nation, people who are Democrats and Republicans, liberals
and conservatives; being one over the other does not exempt The National Endowment for the Arts businesses with the resources they need to
someone from the grueling process of life. asked for $150 million to help fund artists,
art exhibitions and art education all across compete globally, and the Office of Energy
I heard someone claim recently they could not talk to the country. This comes out to just $0.46 per
Trump supporters because they “don’t understand” who would American, or one-tenth of my bottled water. Efficiency and Renewable Energy, which aids
support a candidate that said such things.
The Office of Violence Against Women efforts to transition America to a clean energy
Here’s how. assists victims of sexual abuse and oversees
A family friend runs his family-owned restaurant to pay for programs across the country that help reduce economy.
his six-year-old daughter to live. Hillary wanted to implement domestic violence and sexual assault. Their
a $15 minimum wage, and he could not afford that. He would budget is $480 million or $1.48 per person. The total budget for all of these programs
not be able to pay every single one of his employees $15 an That’s the cost of one-fourth of my fries.
hour; his business would crumble. When he voted for Trump combined comes out to around $7.2 billion.
on on election day, I doubt he looked at his daughter and
thought “Voting for the blatantly and disgustingly sexist can- That’s less than one-fourth of one percent of
didate is the right choice.” I have a feeling he thought about
keeping a roof over her head. the total federal budget.
Understanding another’s perspective is not hard. The prob-
lem is, no one wants to listen to other perspectives. It’s easier Such a tiny drop in the bucket is essentially
to pretend the other person is bigoted than to accept they are
your neighbor. symbolic and will not really change much
Every issue is divided. Every opinion is “right” or “wrong”
despite the fact that an opinion can be neither. We have built of anything, especially given Trump’s new
walls that make every topic a question of “Are you on my side
or their side?” It’s a recipe for self-destruction. When we stop proposal to increase military spending by $54
seeing each other as peers, we lose our strength in unity. When
we start seeing each other as opponents, we take a sledgeham- billion.
mer to our foundation. Our country is weakening because we
are too arrogant to listen when people speak. If you believe in preserving and support-
Americans are all in the same boat. If we cut that boat in
half, we are idiots for not guessing what’s going to come next. ing the environment, civil rights protections,
I would rather struggle with someone on the “other side” than
drown separately. the safety and well-being of women, the arts,

minority-owned businesses, and public broad-

casting, and think all of these programs are

worth $22.36 a year, the same cost of a single

meal at a Bengals game, call your

Congressman. 3.17.17


You Tell Us Compiled by Alekya Raghavan

Good What’s your favorite Seroogy flavor? Senior Aditya Singh is the co-founder of the
app Counteract, which aims to create a safer
1. Help you grip your phone, Peanut environment in schools and other public places.
makes it more comfortable to
hold butter Q: What is your app and how does it
2. Tons of designs available work?
3. Trendy Full results:
4. You can customize your A: We take in data from Twitter and previ-
colors Results from the 311 voters on the Chronicle twitter poll. Follow ously tweeted things about events like shoot-
5. Fun to play with @mhschronicle to find out when our next poll will go live.
ings, and we look at patterns in the words. It’s
Not so Good
called semantics programming and using
1. Does not stick to all phone
cases and surfaces it, we are able to predict the risk factor in
2. Pricey (around $8 to $10)
3. Unnecessary a certain tweet that someone posts.
4. More female-oriented
5. People find them ugly Q: What is the process of
developing an app like this?
Compiled by Juliana Discher
A: We started off by making a
22 Word for Word team, so we have someone in New

“When we scrimmage, we’re always on separate York. Someone is San Francisco.
teams. I’m always guarding him and he’s always First we needed to get the
guarding me, so we’re constantly pushing each algorithm down. We started
other. That leads the competition at practice to off with one sentence from
increase, and everyone gets better because of it.” a tweet and using those
words, we’d say ‘Is this a
positive or negative word?’
and you base it off that and
you determine where it is
on a scale from 0 to 99.

Q: What are the
possible applications
of the app? Where do
you hope to take this
in the future?

– senior Axel Agami, A: You can sell it to a
school, and they can put it
on his competition with his brother Sion as members of the Ultimate Frisbee team on their server so that any
tweet that comes in and out
See our April 13 edition for coverage of Mason High School’s dynamic duos. of that server, if a student
is posting something with a
Photo Bomb high risk factor, (the app) will
give an indicator to someone,
3.17.17 Photo by Alekya Raghavan Aditya Singh, and they can make a differ-
senior ence. We don’t have anyone
Russel C. Mikkelson conducts The Ohio State University Wind Symphony on March using it right now, but we did
8 in the Mason High School auditorium. The band is practicing for the American Photo by Jacob Fulton get an investment from the
Bandmasters Association Convention. Visit for coverage. United Nations’ counterterror-
ism division.
We did the Hackathon,
which was sponsored by the
United Nations. There are
smaller genres that they
have, and ours was within the
counterterrorism genre. We got
first in our division. We caught
the U.N.’s attention, and they
gave us a grant. We’ve been
in contact with the people

from the U.N. We have to
get patents on our app,
and in addition, there’s
always app development.
We’re hiring people for



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