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The Chronicle published on February 16, 2017.

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Published by The Chronicle, 2017-02-16 11:44:17

Edition 14.6

The Chronicle published on February 16, 2017.

Vol. 14, Issue 6 | William Mason High School | 6100 Mason Montgomery Road Mason, OH | 2.16.17


Photo by Ryan D’Souza

news Petrov has
outing on
world stage

Duncan MacKenzie | Staff Writer

Over the mud and through the

woods, to the finish line he goes.

On January 29 in Bieles, Luxem-

bourg, senior Spencer Petrov raced

in the Cyclo-cross World Champion-


Cyclo-cross is a bike race that

combines road and off-road courses

with maneuvering or running

through obstacles into a sprint

to the finish. Petrov was one of

five cyclists selected to represent

the United States in the under 23

division. He biked and ran his way

through mud and freezing tempera-

tures to earn 18th place, becoming

2 the youngest rider among the top Photo contributed by Wil Matthews
20 finishers and the highest placing Senior Spencer Petrov rides through mud at the Cyclo-cross World Championships in Bieles, Luxembourg.
2.16.17 American. It was Petrov’s first year
Petrov recently made the jump
competing in the World Champion- Petrov said the day before his race he has gotten older, the pressure has

ships, and he said he was proud of the conditions changed in his favor. from racing at the junior level to built to make a living in the sport.

his results. “The day before I raced, it was all racing professionally. He said that “The goal for me is definitely to

“It’s a one day thing, so one mis- ice because it had snowed and the his early success as a professional make this a career,” Petrov said. “I’m

take can ruin everything no matter rain had frozen,” Petrov said. “That rider has given him confidence. almost there with my results in the

how fit you are at the time,” Petrov night, the temperature went up and “In the U.S. I race all pro races pro circuit here. I’ve won one pro

said. “I didn’t make a lot of mis- everything started to melt. It didn’t so that was another jump to make,” race so far, and I think with another
Petrov said. “It was kind of a learn-
takes, but I think I had some little freeze again, so everything turned good season, I’ll be able to really

ones that compounded in the end. I to mud. I really excel in the mud, ing curve, (but) I went into it not start making money. It’s all about

had fun. If you have a good season, and (in) the races I’ve done, I’ve stressed knowing that the rest of my making money to a point. I race

you come to Worlds and you don’t seen a lot of mud so it’s something career is ahead. There were no ex- because I love it, but then there’s

screw (up) completely, you can be I’ve learned to ride really well in. pectations that I had to get results, a point where you’re an adult and

pretty happy with how you did.” (I)t makes the racing more fun too. but they came with fitness and a lot you’ve got to make money through
of hard work. In the first few big pro your sponsors, teams, and race win-
While traditional road bike races It’s more interesting for people to
races, I had really good results and
are held on pavement, cyclo-cross is watch, and it makes it more hectic nings. I really have to start doing

off-road and only holds races in the and crazy. That’s what I excel at I realized I could push myself to do that, but for me I love racing. If you

fall and winter. The course condi- while everyone else gets stressed better, so with this coming year I didn’t love it, you wouldn’t be able

tions can change on a dime, and out.” definitely want to try to start mak- to do it because it’s too hard.”

ing pro wins and head back over Petrov said his love for cyclo-cross

to Europe for the World Cups and was inspired by his mother.

Championships to break the top five “When I was really little I raced

and get some podiums.” motorcycles, but my mom thought

As an 18-year-old high school stu- it was too dangerous,” Petrov said.

dent racing professionally, Petrov “She was always super fit and she

said that his competition is typically was a cycling instructor. I needed

much older than him. something to do, so she got me into

“I got 18th at Worlds but none of racing with some of her friends. I

those guys in front of me are going really liked it and went to nationals

to school and half of them are mak- in Oregon and got third and was

ing a lot of money racing their bikes like, ‘This is something I could be

already,” Petrov said. “It’s difficult good at.’”

in the sense where here, every day He said that despite the sport’s

school is a priority, but for them it’s grueling physicality, it has taken

like ‘I wake up, I race bikes, I work him places he never imagined.

out three times a day, I go to sleep’. “Five hours of training every

It’s a lifestyle choice.” day for 12 months sucks at times,”

Photo contributed by Phil Gale and Emmie Collinge Petrov said that he has his sights Petrov said. “But I love riding my
Senior Spencer Petrov (left) competes in the under 23 division at the Cyclo-cross set on a career in cyclo-cross, and as bike. It’s been a journey.”

World Championships in Bieles, Luxembourg.

Local developer news
partners with
area schools
to pilot student
friendly app

Calista Busch | Staff Writer

Bullying, self-harm, drug abuse —

there’s an app for that.

StudentSuite is a new app tailored

specifically to high schools. Its com-

ponents range from a digital student

ID to educational content referred to

as the Lifeline Button. This provides

students with education about depres-

sion, anxiety, bullying, drugs and

alcohol along with guidance to help

students make informed decisions,

said co-founder Kevin Kidd.

“We hope students struggling with (Back row, left to right) Sophomore Alberto Morales, Dane Doebereiner, Maliyah Gaines, junior Asia Porter (front row, left to right)
thoughts of suicide will find encour- Paris Johnson, and sophomore Kara Coffey film the bullying section for the Lifeline Button.

agement and help,” Kidd said. “If Included in the educational over the app about anxiety and spring of 2017 for schools interested.

a student is confronted with drugs, content are videos to guide users depression.” Reyes said Mason is still considering

they have this information to help through the information. Sophomore Sophomore Maliyah Gaines at- implementing it.

them understand the risks.” Kara Coffey was selected for the tends Lakota West and is also in the “I think we’ve got to see where the

Several companies around Mason project and said the actors were given educational videos. While she isn’t final product lies and if it fits what 3

have jumped aboard the project, and scripts to welcome users to each sure if her school is planning on our student body has told us they

provided students with incentives for section and describe what they will implementing the app, she said it need,” Reyes said. “There are other

completing the education. Assistant learn. could help students at her school. things to consider when you’re look-

Principal Dion Reyes said the com- “I did the bullying section, which “I think (the app) can really make a ing at implementation of something

munity has been very supportive. talked about how bullying is a prob- change in peoples’ lives,” Gaines said. this large and personal.”

“The community is excited,” Reyes lem and ways they can fix it,” Coffey “I think it would impact students at While Mason has not signed up to

said. “(They are) wrapping their arms said. “It’s a help center, so students my school because bullying, drugs implement the app, it is being piloted

around this concept to help students.” can reach out and talk to someone and alcohol comes into play.” in the high school. The pilot program

Kidd said he saw a need for Stu- includes a group of 30 students who

dentSuite because of the problems test it before it is released. Junior

his children and other high school Shannon McCalmont pilots the app

students face. He said the high statis- and said they help with decisions

tics for bullying, self-harm and drug about content appeal.

abuse compelled his team to create “It’s our job to provide feedback

the Lifeline Button to impact stu- if we didn’t like some of the videos

dents’ lives. According to Stopullying. (or) if it didn’t connect with us,” Mc-

gov, “70.6% of young people say they Calmont said.

have seen bullying in their schools.” Coffey said she is excited for the

“We recognized this app could re- impact the app can have on the

ally serve a much more meaningful school and hopes students utilize the

purpose,” Kidd said. “It will impact help offered.

the student culture and help students “I hope it affects Mason,” Coffey

to understand more about what said. “I hope students take it seriously

they’re going through. Ultimately, and use it because it’s really benefi-

Photos by Jacob Fulton we hope we’ll be able to save lives.” cial. I hope they realize that, use it
(Left to right) Dirk Doebereiner, Steve Osborne and Casey Ryan direct and film on the Kidd said he hopes for the app and get help because a lot of students
set of StudentSuite. need help.”
to be released nationwide in the

The Chronicle’s Policy The Chronicle Staff Juliana Discher Lauren Thomas
Editor-in-Chief Jacob Fulton Delaney Turner
The Chronicle is the official student The Chronicle is published monthly. The Chronicle is a member of The Jessica Sommerville Online Editor Bryan Hudnell Freddie Wilhelm
newspaper of William Mason High Call 398-5025 ext. 33103 for infor- Columbia Scholastic Press Association, Managing Editor Asia Porter Luke Hutchinson Adviser
School. mation regarding advertising in The The National Scholastic Press Asso- India Kirssin Business Manager Alexandra Lisa Dale Conner
Chronicle. The Chronicle reserves the ciation, Quill and Scroll International Associate Editor Ashton Nichols Charlie MacKenzie
The Chronicle promises to report the right to refuse advertising it deems in- Honorary Society for High School Jour- Arnav Damodhar Graphic Designer Duncan MacKenzie 2.16.17
truth and adhere to the journalistic appropriate for a high school publica- nalists and the Ohio Scholastic Media Sports Editor Ryan D’Souza Isabel Marotta
code of ethics through online and print tion. Association. Eric Miller Staff Writers Jonathan McCollough
mediums. Calista Busch Eric Michael
As an open forum for students, let- Contact Information Joey Deaton Ria Parikh
The Chronicle is produced by students ters to the editor are welcome, but are The Chronicle Meghan Pottle
enrolled in Journalism I, II and III. subject to be edited for length, libel, ob- William Mason High School Alekya Raghavan
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.


Luke Hutchinson | Staff Writer Photo by Luke Hutchinson influence them when they’re so
young because that’s a major part
Boys and girls raise their hands to Junior Kevin Morrissey helps Erica Minner’s students with classwork. of everyone’s life – your dad builds
your character.”
ask questions in class, but the odds MEN AND WOMEN IN THE
are a woman is there to answer. EDUCATION FIELD Senior Nathan David said once
more male teachers fill the educa-
Of the 70 students in Teacher’s tion void, kids will see themselves
Academy, only nine are male. represented in the classroom and
become interested in the profession.
Teacher’s Academy instructor Mar- MECC
“I joined Teacher’s Academy
cie Blamer said she is quite familiar to make a difference because my
favorite teachers – which happen
4 with this gender gap in teaching. to all be guys – have all made
huge impacts on me,” David said.
2.16.17 “There is no doubt that there are “Specific teachers are kind of like
extra father figures to me, and they
more females than males teaching 151 teachers total propel me to join things like teach-
in education – one quick glance 97% female ing and track.”
around any school will reveal that
Blamer said she struggles clos-
to be true,” Blamer said. “When I ing the gap due to her inability to
specifically target male students, a
first came to Mason, there were four WESTERN ROW AND problem that Miami University has
come to her for help overcoming
to five boys total in Teacher’s Acad- MASON INTERMEDIATE as well.
emy. Now I’m seeing double those
“I don’t have a way to find the
numbers, which is encouraging.” guys that want to be in Teacher’s
Academy – it’s like throwing a fish-
Blamer said under certain circum- 288 teachers total ing line in and seeing what I catch,”
stances, she would prioritize a male 89% female Blamer said. “Miami has actually
application to Teacher’s Academy asked me to send the names of guys
that are interested in teaching so
over a female’s to close the gap. that they can gather scholarship
money because they want to grasp
“If I was out of space in my pro- MASON MIDDLE these people.”
gram, and I had to make decisions SCHOOL
between candidates, gender would According to a study by the
Center for Practitioner Research
not be the first factor,” Blamer said. at National-Louis University, male
teachers of younger students are
“However, if candidates were equal 138 teachers total seen as feminine. The stereotype is
based in the belief that because men
in all other aspects, I would priori- are supposed to be firm with disci-
pline, male teachers are not mascu-
tize the male student. The shortage 78% female line for wanting to teach children
of males in education, specifically in who are not often well-behaved.

(a child’s) earlier years, is critical for WILLIAM MASON Sophomore Allen Albezargan
so much of the (national) popula- HIGH SCHOOL said he only sees female teachers
tion.” on television and thinks people
would stereotype him if he were in
Senior Madison Geissler, who has Teacher’s Academy.

been in Teacher’s Academy since ju- “Some people would think it’s
weird that a guy is teaching a bunch
nior year, said the lack of male role 213 teachers total of little kids and probably consider
models during many children’s de- 70% female him to be effeminate,” Albezargan
veloping stages leaves young boys said.

with a false perception of teaching. Upset with the power of the
gender gap, senior Dillon Davis said
“At MECC, there is only like teachers in the high school.” Graphic by Ryan D’Souza he takes pride in being a part of
one male teacher, so I think young Senior Kit Kresky works with kids Teacher’s Academy as a male and
boys don’t really see as many males “There are so many young kids encourages others to do the same.
teaching, and then, they think of it in the district through Teacher’s that either don’t have a father that’s
as a female-only job,” Geissler said. Academy and said the demand for around or their father isn’t good – “It’s not that there should be less
“Females tend to be more nurturing male role models, such as teachers, like right now I’m tutoring a little girls, but there should be more guys
and caring, which is why as you go needs to be fulfilled, for it is the girl who’s dad is in prison because to step up and become involved in
up in grades, you see more male only way to raise a healthy kid. he’s a thief,” Kresky said. “I think teaching, because there is obviously
it’s really important that males a crucial demand for them,” Davis

TAKING AIM feature

Gun users look to break stigma associated with firearms

Alexandra Lisa | Staff Writer rebuild anything in other


High school students at Mason Moser said if people saw

are exercising the freedom to bear shooting as a sport, they

arms as guaranteed to them in the would be less afraid of guns.

Second Amendment to the United “I tackle in football,” Moser

States Constitution. However, these said. “But I don’t go through

kids are doing so with a focus on the school tackling people.

respect for their weapon. Just because I enjoy shooting

Gun ranges allow students to doesn’t mean I go around

gain that respect by learning to shooting everything.”

handle a gun correctly. Junior Senior Ian Coombe shoots

Rebecca Kociba has been shoot- competitively, and said it

ing for years, but said she was not requires control.

comfortable until she shot her first “Everything is safety, prac-

12-gauge. tice, and precision,” Coombe

“It’s intimidating the first time said. “Bullseye shooting,

you fire a gun,” Kociba said. “That where people aim for the cen-

feeling didn’t go away for me until ter of a target between 500-

after I shot my 12-gauge. Once I 1,000 yards away, demands at-

could take the rebound, I felt I tention to detail. The people

could handle any gun that came who compete in that event 5

my way.” wait to shoot for five minutes

Kociba said gun safety was an while they adjust their aim. It

important part of her training takes so much skill.”

and her family sressed it from the As shooters practice more

beginning. often, Coombe said, their

“My uncle is big on gun safety,” Photo by Jonathan McCollough ideas regarding guns change.
Kociba said. “His best friend is ex- Junior Rebecca Kociba shoots her 12-gauge at Point Blank Gun Range in Blue Ash. “You take it more seriously,

police force, so I was introduced because you think it’s fun. If you respect it as a and respect it as a sport,”

with a lot of coaching on regula- dangerous tool and not a toy, it won’t hurt you.” Coombe said. “A friend who

tions (like) being conscious of where the gun is hated guns agreed to go with me once, and I
Sophomore Emerik Moser has been surround- never heard another negative word. You just
pointed and knowing what’s around you.” ed by guns all his life, as much of his family is

Regulations promote safety with rules like don’t know until you’ve fired a gun. People have
in the military. He said someone who works with this idea that only criminals or hillbilly men
refraining from loading the gun until it’s in the guns must also take care of them.

stall, or requiring goggles and headphones in “I learned how to take the slide off the pistol, shoot, but any person can enjoy it.”

the range. Guns also include new features like take the barrel out, and break it down before Kociba said she encounters that stigma when

the “safety,” a small switch preventing it from people are surprised she uses a shotgun.
being able to fire until flipped off. These precau- cleaning it,” Moser said. “Then you have to
“People assume a girl can’t shoot,” Kociba
grease it, and know your gun well enough to put said. “I’ve been asked what I use before. Like
tions have made the activity less unpredictable. it back together. That’s what’s different, because

“Remember this is a weapon,” Kociba said. I don’t have to know how to break down and they expect me to say a slingshot. When I say I

“You should not jump straight to a big gun shoot, that means I pull the trigger and shoot.”


feature Teens flood streets to make voices heard

6 Jacob Fulton | Staff Writer Geiger said her convition in her Photo contributed by Hannah Geiger
cause made dealing with dissenters From left to right: Seniors Katherine Geiger, Hannah Geiger and Kate Leathers
2.16.17 Students at Mason High School easier. attend the March For Life in Washington D.C.
want to be heard, and they’re
willing to travel great distances to “It’s always difficult to see Photo contributed by Lexie Wenzel
make their voices known. someone who disagrees with your Senior Lexie Wenzel and her friend Karmi White participate in the Women’s March in
beliefs, and I think it can be easy Washington D.C.
Senior Hannah Geiger can’t vote, to cave to that,” Geiger said. “But I
but she can influence voters. On felt strongly that what I stood for
January 27, 2017, Geiger traveled to was right, and I was secure enough
Washington D.C. to participate in in my views to be able to defend
the March for Life, a gathering of myself.”
anti-abortion advocates.
Wenzel said that involvement in
Geiger said attending the march marches has grown due to recent
gave her insight into her role as a political events.
“This election, protests have
“There are a lot of young people become a really big way for people
who wait (to) get involved, but it to participate,” Wenzel said. “It’s
was an issue that’s important to me, important to show what you believe
and I really saw the importance of in, and make it so the elected of-
my voice,” Geiger said. “You don’t ficials can see that there are people
have to wait – these marches are being impacted by what they
a way to make a difference before choose.”
you can vote.”
Junior Almas Malik attended a
Senior Lexie Wenzel went to the march at the Mason Community
Women’s March in Washington Center on January 29, where mem-
D.C. on January 21. Wenzel said that bers of the town rallied together in
making the trip to the Capitol set it support of a local Muslim woman.
apart from other experiences. Malik said that an event so close
to home has changed the way she
“We saw going to D.C. as a really views the community.
exciting opportunity,” Wenzel said.
“There were a bunch of fantastic “The Mason community really
speakers, and the size was so drasti- rallied at this protest,” Malik said.
cally different from anything close “We saw the support of the city and
to us. D.C. is the heart of where all that was amazing.”
the decision-making is happen-
ing, so it’s really surreal to see the Pre-calculus and Algebra I
White House and (other) symbols teacher Bonnie White also attended
of democracy when you’re march- the protest in Mason. White said
ing.” that she hoped her attendance at
the protest would spread a message
Wenzel said that though the of acceptance.
march was positive, the differing
views resulted in the potential for “We’re all the same–everybody
conflict. has a right to good treatment and
education,” White said. “For me, I
“We walked into one restaurant, just wanted to show my students
and it was completely divided,” that everyone is welcome in my
Wenzel said. “It’s D.C., so it’s a po- classroom and in the community
litical place. But there, most of the of Mason. Their voices are being
customers either had a sign (for the heard.”
Women’s March) or were wearing a
Trump hat. There was always a fear Geiger said that attending a
in the back of my mind–there could march can help foster conversa-
have been an attack on a massive tions about critical topics.
“I think that going to marches
Geiger said that marchers may and sharing with others really
face opposition, which can make it opens up discussions,” Geiger said.
difficult. “People start to talk about im-
portant issues in a peaceful way.
“There’s always a lot of pro- They’re genuinely interested about
choice people outside the Supreme it; they don’t just want to fight
Court, and there was this one in- about politics.”
stance where some protesters were
in the crowd shouting anti-Catholic Malik said that the ability to
things,” Geiger said. “With any make change isn’t something
march, it’s kind of nerve wracking. Americans should fear.
You know you’re going to be the
bigger number, but it’s scary to see “If your government isn’t listen-
people who disagree there because ing to you, they should be,” Malik
you aren’t sure of their intentions.” said. “It’s a democracy. It’s your
right and your duty to say some-

Students take extreme measures to prevent online stalking feature

Juliana Discher | Staff Writer Senior Robin Eads shares similar counts than game on Saturday, do you have
fears as Ponkshe and works to lay enough Gatorade?’ I’m thinking it’s
When some students stare at low online. phones.” some omnipotent, God-like voice.
the computer screen, they feel like How do they know these things?
someone is staring back. “I take online privacy very seri- While It’s because they track your buying
ously; I think it’s a human right, habits.”
Sophomore Karishma Ponkshe and it deserves to be protected,” these stu-
takes precautions in her everyday Eads said. “I protect myself from Kummer said the true danger lies
life to stay anonymous online. anyone who is watching–social dents feel not in the government watching its
Ponkshe said she became paranoid media corporations, and the NSA citizens, but large corporations hav-
about the government stalking is the big, scary one. I try to stay threatened by ing free range of user information.
her after learning about privacy anonymous whenever I can. I avoid
infringements and how the system social media. Typically, I’ll browse their technol- “Big businesses are a lot worse
operates. the Internet with the Onion Router than Big Brother,” Kummer said.
which scrambles your IP address. ogy being Photo by Juliana Discher “The government has the Constitu-
“I always turn off any sort of I use a smartphone, but I turn off monitored, Senior Robin Eads tion to worry about following–big
website or phone tracking, I have location services.” businesses don’t. When the satel-
multiple email addresses that I use Computer Programming teacher lites are looking down on you, who
for different purposes, and I also use Eads said he is paranoid about would you rather have it be? The
a search engine called DuckDuck- the government’s lack of regulation Greg Kummer said the safety ben- FBI, CIA, and the NSA or Macy’s,, which doesn’t track you,” when it comes to collecting data Kohl’s, Verizon or T-Mobile? The
Ponkshe said. “I have this thing about citizens. efits are more important than the government has parameters on
about cameras, and I feel like the what they can view; big businesses
government is watching me even “Mass surveillance is unjustifi- invasion of privacy that may result. are free.”
when the camera is not on. I always able, and with targeted surveillance,
cover up my laptop camera with a there needs to be a heck of lot more “When it comes to a matter of With the increase in tracking,
post-it note or a small folded piece oversight,” Eads said. “The fact that Eads said he considers disconnect-
of paper. I also cover up my phone the government is able to get in- national security, I believe our gov- ing from the online world entirely.
camera whenever I’m using my formation from corporations about
phone by placing my index finger their consumers is bad. I’m more ernment should be allowed to view “There is an upward trend of sur-
over it.” concerned about the government veillance in general,” Eads said. “I’ve
getting access to people’s email ac- everyone’s phone,” Kummer said. thought about going off the grid.”

“Since 9/11, America made a decision

to keep people safe, so they created

Homeland Security. People gave

government the right to monitor to

keep them safe.”

Even so, Kummer said he is faced

the unsettling feeling of being

‘stalked’ through his smartphone.

“Your smart phone has a locater,”

Kummer said. “I go to get gas from

Kroger, and I get a notification that

says, ‘Your son Jacob has a soccer


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.

2.16.17Photos by Juliana Discher


people. It puts things is like a fill-in-the-blank almost.”
in perspective and Effat said his biggest inspiration is Meek
makes you appreci-
ate life more.” Mill, whom he actually contacted.
Senior Dante “On his Snapchat, he was like ‘Artists,
Shaw-Williams writes
raps of his own and contact me,’ so I did and he responded,” Ef-
said he aspires to pur- fat said. “He said, ‘Oh, you’re not bad.’ I am
sue a future career actually making a mixtape right now that I
in rap. am going to send to him. It is one of those
“I started rapping things that I can build off of now and if I can
and and writing my make something that is better than my pre-
own stuff when I got vious work, I can actually go somewhere.”
into high school,”
Shaw-Williams said. Though rap music has risen in popularity,
“A really good friend many people believe rap is simply explicit
8 of mine, Anthony music without a deeper meaning.
Scoburgh, and I con-
2.16.17 Photo by Meghan Pottle nected really deeply Junior Julia Morris said she can under-
stand the viewpoint that rap music is shal-
“My rhyming tech’ll over music, so he would low in some aspects, but specific artists do
disconnect your neck make beats and I would discuss social issues that give them meaning.
start rapping and freestyl-
ing over them. We took “There a ton of rappers that just talk about
and make your spinal that a lot further and now women and drugs,” Morris said. “I think
column hit the deck he is working with stuff at there are two different sides to rap, like that
faster than any type of the Conservatory of Music side and then there is the side where the
vicious threat” (CCM) and I have my own songs have real meaning or are just interest-
Soundcloud, so we just put ing with a bunch of cool rhymes and lyrics.
Senior Dante Shaw-Williams writes and records his own raps from his studio. our stuff out there.” Mostly, in today’s society, it is the Black
Check out for video of Shaw-Williams rapping. Shaw-Williams said his Lives Matter type of thing that they are
style is influenced by lyri- talking about, like the injustices happening
cists, like Chance the Rapper and Jay-Z, but in society and the prejudices that so many
Meghan Pottle | Staff Writer his content is based on his own experiences. people face. It is not all shallow and awful,
which I think a lot of people don’t realize.”
“Lose yourself in the music” is what Emi- “A lot of times because I am sitting in
class not usually paying attention, and I Prusinski said that rap not ony allows
nem sang in 2002 to inspire listeners and have an idea or theme in my head, I will him to escape, but music, like J. Cole’s, has
aspiring rappers. taught him important life lessons.
Rap music originated in the Bronx in the take the idea and expand on it,” Shaw-
1970s and was influenced by hip-hop culture. Williams said. “Say I wanted to write a song “If you put all your emphasis on money,
Since then, rap music has grown immensely about school and how school is affecting there is never enough money that will make
in popularity. According to the Recording my life, I would go with that idea and from you happy,” Prusinski said. “(J. Cole) says
there, make a bulleted list and then I pull if you put your emphasis on appreciation,
Industry Association of America 10-year there is enough of that in everyone’s life
consumer poll (from 1998-2008), 10.7 percent raps and rhymes from that. Once I have the where they can look around and look at ev-
of Americans bought at least one album ideas, raps, and basic structure of the music erything they have and be happy. Whenever
and song I want, I go look for the music that I am feeling stressed about anything, like
or recording of rap music in 2008, making I think will fit that theme.” school or baseball, I can zone out and realize
it the second most popular genre of music that we are truly blessed with where we live
behind rock. Sophomore Adam Effat also writes his and everything around us, like the school we
Senior Zach Prusinski said he began listen- own raps and especially enjoys freestyling. go to and the friends we have.”
ing to rap in middle school and enjoys the “I can cook and I flame people; that is
my speciality,” Effat said. “For freestyling, I Shaw-Williams said that rap gives him a
deeper meaning behind songs. always have a couple of hooks and punches way to express himself similarly to how oth-
“Specifically, for J. Cole, a lot of his music ers use writing and art.
puts things in perspective because he talks in my mind because usually, if there is a
freestyle rap battle, it is set up a lot of the “My favorite thing about rap is that it is
about a lot of issues and backgrounds that time. I always have a few things in my mind, an outlet,” Shaw-Williams said. “Rap gives
he has gone through,” Prusinski said. “A lot a voice to things and to people that maybe
of his music is about appreciating what you like some words I want to use and some once before didn’t have a voice. It is a way to
bars. You just have to weave around that; it express things that may be difficult to talk
have and it’s about family and just loving about to people, so you can put it out in a
different light and they can see it that way.”

Aspiring filmmakers take
production to next level

Delaney Turner | Staff Writer look serious,” Krell said. “For the challenge, it was 9
trying to get people to let us film in their businesses
A local George Lucas and Steven Spielberg duo where they make money. If they let us film there, we
has entered into the filmmaking industry. would show respect and show a professionalism, so
we could film there again.”
In August of 2016, seniors Cole Marvin and Peyton
Krell partnered, creating Highly Caffeinated Produc- The group utilizes social media in order to have a
tions to showcase their filmmaking skills in a 48- broader platform for potential group members.
hour Teen Film Challenge. They were given two days
to write, film and edit a two to seven minute short “Filmmaking has evolved over the past 70 years
film and send it to a panel of judges. While they did in such a great way,” Marvin said. “Now with social
not place for short film, they won the online vote. media, it is very easy to go over Twitter or Facebook
or Instagram to try and reach out.”
Marvin said his love for directing resulted after his
first taste of film. Marvin said the connections he has made in
filmmaking is one of the many benefits of Highly
“My long time mentor, Ryan Hartsock, a producer Caffeinated Productions, along with the relationships
of 11 films and short films, invited me to be an extra that have been established through the experience.
on one of his movies back in 2012,” Marvin said. “The
day I stepped on the set, I realized the film industry “Over the past couple of years, I have gotten con-
was a completely different realm of storytelling nections with people in casting companies, theater
where one man’s imagination can physically come to production companies, and other friends I have
life on the silver screen. The emotion of each person, made that love the film business,” Marvin said. “It
the beautiful set designs and the compelling story isn’t always about what you know; it’s especially
led me to wonder what else could be done.” about who you know.”

Marvin and Krell have fused their strengths in Marvin said through this experience, the group has
filmmaking to create a successful team of young gained valuable experience.
cinematographers. Marvin said the group works dili-
gently to ensure they have a diverse set of perform- “Through (the film challenge) we realized we
ers with varying levels of expertise. absolutely loved filmmaking,” Marvin said. “It’s very
collaborative (and) a huge learning experience. (Our
“At the base of it, I do the writing and the direct- short film) wasn’t anything to boast about, it wasn’t
ing, and then Peyton does our cinematography and a great story, it was put together in less than three
our editing,” Marvin said. “Outside of that, it’s usually days (and) it was very shaky, but from that, we took a
different per film. If we need people to assist us with lot of ideas of how to collaborate on set, how to write
lighting or other crew positions, we’ll recruit them stories, and how to put something on the screen that
based on their knowledge, and we also do a lot of people will enjoy.”
casting based on what we need for the characters. We
try to go around this whole Cincinnati area, not just Marvin has expanded his passion beyond directing,
restrict (ourselves) to Mason High School.” using professional films to increase his knowledge of
cinematography and creativity in film.
Krell said earning the respect of businesses has
proven to be a challenge for the group of young “I now watch every blu-ray’s behind the scenes
filmmakers., particularly convincing owners of film that I can find in order to understand all the effort
locations that they will remain professional. that goes into iconic films like ‘The Godfather’,
‘Schindler’s List’, or ‘The Empire Strikes Back’,”
“Being taken seriously is a major setback. We have Marvin said. “Filmmaking is no small hobby, and
to film at locations and we have to get approval to that small glimpse of what it means to make a film
film there and being kids it’s really hard to make us is what has driven my new hunger to create movies,
and more important, to create stories that will last.”

Photos by Delaney Turner

2.16.17Photos contributed by Cole Marvin
Graphic by Ryan D’Souza

a&e ! Trending Now

10 Freddie Wilhelm | Staff Writer “My favorite strategy is winning. It’s pretty
intense. It’s really fascinating how you look
Students are sinking themselves into the at your shot, line it up at eye level, 0 and
hottest new app. win. I love winning and getting the D1 of-
fers to play 8 ball.”
8 Ball Pool is an app which allows any-
one to spend virtual coins in order to play
pool with people across the world. -Junior Will Franzoni

Whether users play through iMessages “(People) may underestimate me as a fresh-
or the app, 8 ball is 12th amongst free man, but I’m still pretty good. If they plan to
games in the App Store. The goal of each underestimate me, I plan to win multiple time
game of 8 Ball Pool is to sink all seven of against them no matter what to prove myself.”
the striped or solid balls into one of the
six pockets lining the table, as well as the -Freshman Josh Srendisky
8 ball before the opponent does. The win-
ner receives a reward based on how many
coins were put into each match. The coins
will help players reach the next location in
the game based off of famous cities around
the globe, each demanding a certain entry

This popular game has sparked compe-
tition amongst students at MHS.

“I started my 8 ball pool (drive) when it “I always want to play it during class
first came out on Miniclip before it came when I’m not supposed to, and since
out on the iPhone, and I was a big fan. it’s on iMessage you can tell when
Now my drive is trying to be the best, other people play you so you can
beat my friends get that competitive play them back really fast.”
edge over them.”
-Junior Arjan Karla -Sophomore Leah Markvan

Photos and quotes compiled by Freddie Wilhelm


cover story

Transgender teens share struggle to find peace

Jessica Sommerville | Editor in Chief in the women’s choir, his inner voice could no Words to Know
longer be silenced and Alexis gave way to Alex.
Lauren Thomas | Staff Writer Gender
Finding his voice
n high school, the struggle to fit in has Behavioral, cultural, social 11
always been one of the biggest challenges He started by talking to his choir director, Jason traits typically associated with
students face. For most kids, identifying with McKee, who reached out to Alex’s counselor. They either men or women
a group can be very easy. Some are jocks, decided to tell the class of twenty-five girls that
gamers, geeks or goths. one of their own would now be referred to as a Sex
For the transgender teen, the typical rites of pas- male, in the hopes that the girls would accept their
sage for a high school student can be a nightmare. classmate’s transition. Based on chromosomes,
Their search for acceptance is compounded by the reproductive organs. Assigned
internal struggle to become comfortable in their “Alex felt that of all the places in his schedule at birth.
own skin. The transgender teen has to watch this that he could come out and be accepted, it was in
struggle play out on television, political maneu- choir,” McKee said. “As a teacher, that was a really Transgender
vering and public debate. cool moment because I thought that’s the kind of
While they are forced to deal with the desire to classroom environment I’m trying to create.” A person who identifies with
shed their skin and live a life they believe they a gender different from their
were meant to live, they must also deal with a so- Alex “was a shaking mess” when he came out, birth sex
ciety which is apprehensive to accept them. They but afterward, he was relieved to be himself. From
don’t want to be judged or ridiculed, they don’t a young age, Alex felt male. He even had a fake Cisgender
want to be political advocates, they simply want name that he went by at age six, and it felt good
others to accept them and just listen. This is the when strangers perceived him as a cisgender boy.
story of three courageous students at Mason High
School who are on a journey to discover them- Though he was now a man in a women’s choir,
his singing voice was still feminine, so he chose to
selves as they shed one skin remain in that choir instead of joining the men’s.
for another. They simply McKee, however, ordered Alex a black button
have one request. Just down and green bowtie for their seasonal concerts.
“Since I’m in a women’s choir, I had to wear
Listen to a dress, and last year was a skirt which kinda A person whose gender
sophomore sucked,” Alex said. “This year I just did the first identity corresponds with their
Alex concert in a dress, so we had time to organize an- birth sex
Roberts’ other uniform. My teacher was really supportive,
and he didn’t want me not to be in choir because Gender dysphoria
story of it. He said he would do what he could to keep
me in choir and that he wanted me to be comfort- Distress or discomfort felt
Alexis Rob- able. He got me tuxedo pants and a dress shirt because of a mismatch
erts was and a bow tie for the December concert. That felt between gender identity and
born in really nice.” biological sex
Mason, Ohio on June
5, 2001, but in October The Journey to Self-Acceptance Source: Merriam-Webster
2016, after a year of sit-
Graphics by ting among female singers While Alex likes his suit, he also takes ad- Editor’s Note: The letter excerpts featured in this spread 2.16.17
Ryan D’Souza ditional steps to feel more at home in his body, are from Ben Waas’ coming out letter and subsequent let-
including purchasing a chest binder which flattens
breast tissue and creates a more masculine chest. ters to his parents. Letters contributed by the Waas family.

[Continued, page 12]

cover story Fight for gender identity

[Continued from page 11]

12 Alex said he may consider hormone therapy in shouldn’t have meant anything, but it did.” emerged with a name that finally sounded
the future but that he feels “starting with simple When Katie became Wrynn, the bullying right.
2.16.17 things that make you happy with yourself is first.”
reached such devastating heights he became Reconciling with religion
Alex also found solidarity and comfort in the cold and distant, even bullying others in sixth
Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA), a group bridging the grade, which he now said he hates about him- Even after his darkest period brightened,
gap between the LGBT community and the rest of self. He felt nothing would get better, not for Wrynn still faced an internal struggle that
Mason High School. He said he feels at home amid years, and freshman year, he had finally had pitted his religion, as a nondenominational
the members’ shared experience and open minds. enough. Christian, and his identity, as a transgender boy,
Embarking on the journey to understand who you against one another.
are does not have to be lonely and should not be, When we almost lost him
Alex said. “Church is where I feel at home,” Wrynn
Wrynn boarded the school bus planning to said. “Once I started feeling like ‘Oh, I like
“The most important thing is not to try to deal kill himself that day at Mason High School. more than just one gender,’ then it just spiraled
with it by yourself, because I tried to do that for His decision is one transgender students make for me because I didn’t know what to believe
a long time, and it makes it a lot harder to accept nationwide – the American Foundation for Sui- anymore. I tried to change myself back to being
yourself,” Alex said. “I think if you talk to some- cide Prevention and the Williams Institute said a straight girl, but I can’t. That’s just not who I
one, they can help you understand what you’re 41 percent of transgender individuals will try to am.”
going through. Of course, no one knows your situ- kill themselves at some point in their lives as
ation better than you do, but other people, they get opposed to 4.6 percent of the general public. Though Wrynn said his church is neither
that. Try talking to someone that has been there. openly for nor against the LGBT community, it
I did that; I talked to another Trans person and “I felt like nothing could stop me,” Wrynn did hold a service after the passage of gay mar-
someone in the LGBT community. Even if you talk said. “Even knowing how terrible my mom riage that focused on welcoming all members
to someone that hasn’t been down that road, they would feel, it didn’t matter to me at that point. as God’s brothers and sisters. Some services,
can still help you figure things out. Just hang in It was just complete selfishness of just wanting however, are still uncomfortable for Wrynn.
there because it’s worth it.” to not feel anything again.”
When a guest pastor held a service, he remi-
Above all, Alex said that a person’s value is not While Wrynn wanted to die, he did not nisced about when he ran track in high school
determined by sex or gender identity. want to traumatize his peers. He sat next to and aspired to be Olympian Bruce Jenner. The
the window on the third floor and planned to pastor said Bruce was all he wanted to be when
“Just because you’re different, that doesn’t make jump, thinking maybe his peers would not see he grew up, and he continued to build to his
you less important than any other person,” Alex it, maybe his pain would end without inflicting punchline: “I always say use what God gave
said. “You have a voice; you matter. You may not pain on anyone else. you.” For Wrynn, this was over the line, but
feel like it sometimes, but you’re just as impor- laughter echoed around the church.
tant as any other cisgender person out there. Just He also considered taking a belt and hanging
because you’re trans doesn’t make you less valid of himself in the hallway, but before Wrynn could Wrynn, however, still feels his future lies in
a person.” see either plan all the way through, a close ministry, even though not all churches may
friend convinced him to talk to his counselor, accept him. He aspires to alter society’s per-
Listen to though the prospect terrified him. ceptions of Christianity as conservative and
sophomore exclusive.
Following his suicidal thoughts, Wrynn
Wrynn spent two weeks at the Lindner Center of Hope “I always wanted to help people realize
Boucher’s learning coping techniques to move beyond his they’re loved no matter what,” Wrynn said.
depression. He met other patients in the LGBT “This is a realization that I had before I really
story community, which he said helped more than thought, ‘Oh, yeah I have a crush on a girl.’ I
anything. It was at the Lindner Center where felt called to it.”
K atie the then-Katie created the name “Wrynn” and
was born
in Mason, OH on
May 17, 2001, but
in 2015, after 14
years of living as a
girl, Katie became
Wrynn was subject
to bullying from a
young age, even when he
still identified as Katie. After his
father was murdered when Wrynn was
eight years old, his peers taunted him for
not having a dad, claiming it was an act
of God and drawing pictures of his father
in a casket.
“It destroyed me,” Wrynn said. “It

y pits body against heart cover story

The gender spectrum 13

While church remains a safe space for Aging in the wrong body room,’” Ben said. “I would sit in the middle
Wrynn, he now finds that the same school of the room, or between the groups, because
hallways once filled with bullying and “For me, that turning point was in middle I didn’t know which group to go to. I knew I
depression can also provide a reprieve. His school when I was going through female should be going to the girls’ group, but that’s
teachers have been key to helping him feel puberty,” Ben said. “I was uncomfortable with just not right. I wanted to go to the boys’ group,
safe, especially those who have the Comet the changes that were happening to my body. but everyone would be like ‘No, go away’ and
, Conversations icons on their doors. For The clothes became more feminine as puberty it was just so conflicting because I wanted to
Wrynn, even the smallest details, such as the would progress, and I just became more and do what was best for me, but there were other
language used in class, can make a differ- more uncomfortable. Because when I was a kid, people that wouldn’t let me do that.”
ence. I could just wear a t-shirt and shorts, and no
one would care because I was a kid. But now, Coming out
“My biology teacher was talking about ge- when you’re growing up into a woman, you
netics, and he was saying biological male and have to wear woman clothes. And I (thought) ‘I A girl on the outside but a boy on the inside,
biological female, not males and females,” don’t want to do that.’” Ben initially came out to his closest middle
Wrynn said. “I thanked him for it, and he school friends, who called him “Ben” as a nick-
said, ‘Oh yeah, it’s no problem. I always want Though Ben tried to freeze himself in child- name and became the first individuals to accept
to show that sex and gender are completely hood, when he could wear what he wanted and him as someone other than Katie, his name
different,’ and it just made my day.” no one would mind, his struggle with gender from birth. He then talked to his history teacher
identity only increased as an eighth grade stu- Melinda Corradi, as well as some of his other
Rather than identify gender solely by dent. In gym class, he entered the girls’ locker teachers, who then told his parents. In 2012, Ben
biology, Wrynn likened gender to colors, in room, which felt “wrong” and “taboo.” Simi- wrote the letter that would forever change his
which pink and blue are the two binaries, larly, the classroom became an increasingly family and slipped it under his parents’ door.
yellow is both, and white is neither. These difficult place for him to be a boy. At the time, Ben’s parents did not know what
colors mix to create a spectrum, where he transgender meant, but they read these words
said gender lies. Wrynn envisions a future in “Sometimes we would have gender-separated from their son.
which this spectrum is more accepted – that activities, like ‘All the boys go to this side of
one day he will be able to be himself without the room. All the girls go to this side of the [Continued, page 14]
hate, without torment, and without question.
“It’s possible to get through it no matter
what, even with dysphoria,” Wrynn said. “I’ve
been bullied about it, but it doesn’t matter. It’s
possible to get through it as long as you just
stay strong and know that one day you will be
able to change what you need to be them.”

Listen to junior
Ben Waas’ story

K atie Waas was
born in Los
Angeles, CA
on February
21, 2000, but in 2012, after
13 years as a male trapped
in a female body, Katie
became Ben.
“As you grow up, you
become more aware of
these gender roles,” Ben
said. “‘Girls should like
pink and dresses, and
boys should like blue
and trucks.’ As you grow
up, that becomes more
clear to you, and then you
start to fit yourself into what
you feel is more natural.”
Ben identified himself the way
he always had – as a boy – yet his body did
not age like a boy’s. The older he became, the
more out of place he felt in his own skin.


Photos by Jonathan McCollough

Mason vs. Sycamore

The Mason Comets Senior Jamien Hood wrestles against Nolan Wochna from Sophomore Christopher Donathan battles against
travel to take rival Brecksville. Hood won the match in a 12-5 decision. Brecksville’s Jason Bronstrup.
Sycamore in their
regular season Comet wrestlers advance to state final
finale. The Comets four, fall to nation’s third ranked St. Ed’s
thrashed the Avia-
tors, 74-38 in their Charlie Mackenzie | Staff Writer Brecksville junior Andrew Perelka, a Comets with another victory over
first meeting back match that he won 4-1. Senior Jaimen senior Alan Hart. Christopher Do-
on January 10. The The Mason wrestling team Hood and sophomore Sam Glassco nathan met sophomore Sam Dover
Comets have won achieved what the program had followed suit, racking up more on the mat in a battle of two 138
the last five match- never done before – they sealed a points on the board for the Comets pounders. After taking down Dover
ups and haven’t lost spot in the state team final four. with 12-5 and 6-0 wins, respectively. to level the score with a second left
to Sycamore since in the match, Donathan arm was
January 10, 2014. On February 12, Mason competed Senior Zach Donathan and sopho- raised after Dover illegally held him.
The Comets will as one of final eight teams in the more Christopher Donathan capped The Comets took their first lead of
open postseason dual team tournament in Columbus, off Mason’s win streak. Additional the match with an 11-9 advantage.
Ohio. The Comets defeated Butler victories from sophomore Kamal Root said that Christopher Donathan
16 play on Wednesday, in the final of region 7 to get a spot Adewumi, junior Eric Vermillion, always has the opportunity to win
March 1 at 8:00 PM in the tournament and entered as and seniors Jack Stein and Alex against any opponent.
at Lakota West High the fourth seed. In the first round, Dominguez gave the Comets a 39-21
School against the Mason took the mat to square off edge over the Bees. Next on the “That was a really good kid,” Root
winner of Lakota against the fifth seeded Brecksville- Comet’s docket was the St. Edward said. “Zach Donathan, Christopher’s
West and St. Xavier Broadview Heights Bees. Eagles, the one seed and defending brother, wrestled the same kid last
with the winner team state champions. Root said that year in the quarterfinals, and it was
moving to the Dis- In uncharacteristic fashion, the St. Edward was one of the most chal- a one point match there. We knew it
trict Semi-Finals. Comets quickly found themselves lenging matches they’ve had all year. was going to be a battle the whole
fighting an uphill battle. After way, and at the same time, Christo-
Tanner Knue freshman Pacey Najdusak fell 16-5 to “I believe this was the first time pher is one of the more dangerous
Brecksville freshman Julian Tagg by St. Edward has been healthy since kids in the state to wrestle. He’s
FAST FACTS Jr., Guard major decision and sophomore Mar- the Ironman,” Root said. “They are never out of a match and from a
cus Najdusak was beaten out 16-0 by a good team; they’re ranked third in team standpoint, that put us right
Match Up: Mason Comets 16-2, Sycamore 7-13 Brecksville sophomore Gabriel Tagg the country. We really felt like we back in it.”
Mason Key Players: Eddie Puisis (17.3 PPG, 39.8 3P%, by tech fall in the 106 and 113 weight could wrestle with these guys but
87.7 FT%) Matt King (12.2 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 1.8 APG), class, Mason went down 9-0. Head some things are going to have to go Senior Cameron Schweitzer gave
Tanner Knue (8.8 PPG, 1.4 APG, 39.7 FG%) coach Ryan Root said that the Tagg our way. For the most part, we’ve had the Comets another win, but their
brothers were the biggest threats in the same attitude all year. We’ve told lead was short lived. St. Edward went
Sycamore Key Players: Jayden Sales (12.7 PPG, 5.4 Brecksville’s lineup. the kids to go out there and have fun on to win the next four out of five
RPG, 54.3 FG%), Christian Kelly (9.3 PPG, 2.0 APG, 70.5 and wrestle for the team.” matches, with only Stein record-
FT%), Ben Yuskewich (6.2 PPG, 38.0 3P%, 38.8 FG%) “Those kids from Brecksville both ing a win for the Comets between
won Ironman and are both ranked The Eagles took a quick 8-0 lead the 152-220 weight class. Junior Zaid
SHOUTOUT nationally, and we knew that was after the Najdusak brothers both lost Hamdan ended the match with a
going to be a tough task,” Root said. by major decisions. Shuster went pin against St. Edward junior Omar
GIRLS BASKETBALL “We also knew that once we got past head to head against sophomore Fattah, but Mason’s post-season team
EARNS SHARE OF GMC TITLE those guys, we get to the heart of and defending state champion Bryce run ended with a 35-24 loss. Stein said
our lineup. I thought our kids did a Andonian in the 120 pound weight that although they played one of the
For the first time since 2013, the Mason girls good job staying off their backs and class. The two battled down to the best teams in the country close, he
basketball team has earned a share of the Greater saving us some points here and there wire with Shuster leading 10-7 with was not satisfied with the result.
Miami Conference (GMC). The Comets finished for the team. It’s a team effort at this the third round coming to an end.
the regular season with a record of 19-3 (15-1 point.” Andonian pinned Shuster down hard “I was a little disappointed,” Stein
GMC). The Comets outscored their opponents in against the mat, but time ran out said. “I really wanted to be in the
league play by an average of 65.2-36.6. Mason didn’t seem to be fazed by just as the pin was about to count. finals. Because Perry won, we would
the early losses; the Comets thwart- have won in the finals. It’s just little
The Comets share the title with the Lakota West ed the Bees in the next five rounds. After a loss by Hood put the mistakes that we need to pick up on
Firebirds. The Comets and Firebirds split their Senior Colin Shuster sparked the win Eagles up 11-3, Zachary Donathan and work on.”
season series, with each team winning on the streak with a quick takedown against continued to rack up wins for the
road. The Comets beat West 44-42 at West, and
the Firebirds countered with a 64-61 win in Mason.

As of the February 8 AP poll, the Comets were
ranked sixth in the state in Division I. The Comets
will open postseason play agaisnt the winner of
Amelia and Mount Healthy in a sectional semi-final
at Lakota East on February 23.


DIGITS Senior wrestler Zack
Donathan helped lead the “My mom didn’t want me to go
228.4 Comets to the State Dual school, but I had to go to school
Quarterfinals while because it was gameday. Dur-
As of February compiling a record of 36-0. ing the game it was really cold,
10, junior Evan Donathan’s career record I would get chills and if some-
Haas leads the over the past four years is body touched me, chills would go
GMC in average 167-16. Of Donathan’s 36 through my body. I threw up the
score with 228.4 wins, 21 of them are by pin day after. When I went home, I
pins per game. and he is the only wrestler had a 101.8 fever.”
Haas’ high game in the GMC without a loss.
was 290 against Donathan has won GMC
Sycamore on championships
January 9 and in three weight classes:
has led the team 106 pounds, 113 pounds
in average pins and twice at 126 pounds.
for the past two
seasons. (Photo courtesy Mason Comets Wrestling boosters) -Junior basketball player Noah 17
“Once you’re in the water, friction becomes
a big part and that’s called Senior Eddie Puisis drives to the basket against Lakota East on February 7
water drag. The swimsuits
themselves are extremely Photo by Jonathan McCullough
tight to the body which helps
decrease the drag force. The WHO’S HOT
ironic part about drag force is
that it increases the faster you
move and since you want to
complete the race in a short
amount of time, there will be
more drag force that’s actually
acting on your body as you

Brian Thomas,
AP Physics Teacher describ-
ing how drag affects a swim-
mer during a race.

THEY SAID IT “We have been striving to be the
best. And obviously to be the best
you have to beat the best. So if The wrestling team captured
we get that opportunity, we wel- its eighth consecutive Greater
come that. That’s the way I look Miami Conference on Febru-
at it.” ary 1. The Comets scored 242
points, 79.5 points ahead of
- Head boys basketball coach Greg Rich- second place Fairfield. The
ards on the possibilty of playing undefeat- Comets captured six individ-
ed #1 seed Moeller in postseason. ual titles, three more than any
other school. The Comets also
finished in the Final Four of the
team dual tournament.

2.16.17Photos by Jonathan McCollough and Joey Deaton



Joey Deaton | Staff Writer

In the past three seasons, the Mason Comets

and Lakota West Firebirds girls basketball teams

have reigned unchallenged by the rest of the

Greater Miami Conference (GMC).

As of February 11, the Comets and Firebirds

had combined for 90 straight wins against the

other eight GMC schools. The last school to beat

Mason or Lakota West was the 2013-2014 Princeton

Vikings. Those Vikings were headlined by Kelsey

Mitchell, who now averages 22.8 points per game

for the Ohio State Buckeyes.

Those ‘13-14 Vikings defeated Lakota West on

March 8, 2014 in the regional final of the postsea-

son tournament. The same team defeated Mason

on February 1, 2014. Since those dates, both the

Comets and Firebirds have an undefeated record

(combined 90-0) against the rest of the GMC.

Lakota West head coach Andy Fishman said the

sustained dominance of the two schools over the

rest of the league is due in large part to his and

Mason head coach Rob Matula’s length of career

at their respective schools.

“If you look at it from a program perspective, Photo by India Kirssin
Senior Samari Mowbray prepares to shoot a free throw as sophomore Sammie Puisis and Lakota West junior
18 you’re talking about two programs that have Madisyn Oxley prepare to rebound.
had the most coaching continuity,” Fishman said.

“Sycamore was good for many years in the GMC same boat, to have not only talented players but the same enrollment, with East now slightly
when Paula Hayden was the head coach for 10-15 depth of talent. I think that’s probably what is larger, and the same even-handed philosophy
years running, and she was the most tenured separating these two schools right now. That’s not regarding various sports and boys versus girls.
coach in the GMC. I think that coaching continu- saying there isn’t talent at other schools. That’s The most glaring difference between our two
ity and leadership has a lot to do with it. You have not saying coaches at other schools aren’t good Lakota schools is that East has had four head
to have that, and you have to have families that coaches and aren’t trying to hone the skills of coaches during this West 10 game win streak and
are willing to commit to the way you do things in those players. It’s just right now West and Mason has had seven different head coaches to West’s
your program. It’s a combination of that leader- seem to have a deep talent pool compared to one over the last 20 years that these two schools
ship and also the players and parents and every- some of the other schools.” have existed.”
body buying into what you’re doing.”
GMC historian and Lakota West co-Sports Infor- This dominance is not only tallied by the win
Fishman is currently the longest tenured girls mation Director Bob Ashby points out that Mason streaks, but often by the margin of victory. The
basketball head coach in the GMC at 20 years. and Lakota West are both blessed with large Comets and Firebirds are the only two teams in
Matula is not far behind as he is currently in his schools, and thus a larger pool of girls basketball the league averaging a margin of victory greater
12th year with Mason. Matula believes the key to players, but the success has resulted from more than five points per game in conference games,
the success of his and Fishman’s programs is the than having a slight advantage in size. with Mason coming in at 31.8 ppg and West lead-
level of talent that has come through the schools. ing the way with an average win of 39.2 ppg.
“It is instructional to note that Lakota West has
“I think it takes a lot of talented players number a 10 game win streak going over Lakota East and In both matchups against their Lakota counter-
one,” Matula said. “With talented players, you have has a series record of 30 wins to only three losses parts this season, the Firebirds have obliterated
the opportunity as coaches to really hone their versus East,” Ashby said. “This disparity exists the Thunderhawks in the first half, heading into
skills and hopefully take them to the next level. even though both schools have always had about the break leading by a combined 69-3 score.
We’ve been very blessed here, and West (is) in the
[Continued, page 19]


COMETS, FIREBIRDS: Continued from page 18 OPINION sports

Fishman said the team tries to maintain GMC schedule hampers
their standards needed in order to improve league’s elite teams
from each game, regardless of the score-
board. Eric Miller | Sports Editor

“I think it’s important from a program To say Mason and Lakota West have dominated Great-
perspective (that) we have standards,” Fish-
man said. “There are certain things we’re try- er Miami Conference (GMC) girls basketball three plus
ing to accomplish every game. It’s not based
upon who we’re playing, but it’s based upon seasons would be an incredible understatement. They
our pillars of what we’re trying to do. In a
game (against Mason), it’s a great environ- have utterly decimated a league that many consider “the
ment where that bottom line is ‘We have to
do these four things.’ And whatever the out- best public league in Ohio.” All you need to do is look
come is, if we can do those four things, then
we come out getting better. It’s always what at the numbers to see how dominant the Comets and
we’re doing to get better. It is a challenge;
I’m not going to tell you that doesn’t present Firebirds have been since the end of the 2013-14.
any challenges. We would prefer to play in
more competitive games.” Combined, the Comets and Firebirds have won a

Matula said he always wants his team to staggering 90 consecutive regular season games against
focus on what they worked on in practice,
but that he doesn’t believe in running up the GMC competition. Since the beginning of 2014-15, the
Comets and Firebirds have combined for 27 wins of 40
“You’ve got to continue to maintain that
you’re going to get better,” Matula said. “You points or more points. The rest of the GMC has seven.
have to really focus in on the details of what
you had practiced during the week and to The Comets’ average margin of victory in GMC contests
truly try to develop that muscle memory of
those things that you really want to get bet- since 2014-15 is 30.2 points per game and the Firebirds are
ter at. With that being said, I do believe that
it makes it difficult at times to get your team winning their games by an average of 36.0 points. A vast
entirely game-ready, and again that’s no
disrespect to the other schools, but I know Photo by India Kirssin majority of games in the GMC are not even remotely
that I don’t personally want to take a 20 or 25
point lead and make it a 40 or 45 point lead. I Comet head coach Rob Matula gives instruc- competitve. It’s quite clear that something needs to
just don’t believe in that. I don’t think that’s tions to the Comets in their Saturday, January
classy or being a very good sport. Yet you 28 game against Lakota West. The Comets change when it comes to scheduling in the GMC because
have to juggle: are you getting your team lost to the Firebirds 64-61 despite 29 points
ready for big games when they do happen?” from sophomore Sammie Puisis. Since the current alignment does not provide competitive
joining the Greater Miami Conference with
Lakota West won the regional champion- Matula at the helm, the Comets have won matchups, and isn’t competition the point of high school
ship, and ultimately the state championship, 190 games. Mason and Lakota West finished
in 2015. Mason was crowned regional cham- the season tied for the GMC title. The two athletics?.
pions in 2016 after defeating the defending- teams will begin tournament play next week
champ Firebirds in the regional final. as the #1 (Lakota West) and #2 (Mason) The OHSAA caps scheduling at a maximum of 22
seeded teams.
In order to gear up for these postseason games for a girls basketball season. The GMC schedule 19
runs, teams often try to schedule tough than me or our athletic directors.” is composed of 16 games, leaving limited flexibility.
teams at the end of the season. The GMC The Comets and Firebirds split their Instead of possibly being able to play state ranked
conference schedule, however, requires each teams like Solon, the Comets slogged through an 88-38
school to play 16 conference games, many of regular season matchups this year, with
which come at the end of the year. Mason taking a 44-42 victory on December blowout against Hamilton, a team they beat previously
3, and Lakota West taking a 64-61 advantage
When asked what could be done to give in a game on January 29. Matula said the 63-37. Against the same Big Blue team, the Firebirds won
the Comets better competition leading into matchup is enjoyable because he knows they
the tournament, Matula admits it would be will get a back-and-forth nail-biter. their two matchups by scores of 75-40 and 85-36. What is
beneficial to have some tough out-of-confer-
ence games at the end of the year. “It’s kind of cyclical, right now it’s West learned from a 85-36 and 88-38 blowouts? You could ar-
and Mason (at the top of the GMC),” Matula
“I don’t know what can be done except said. “You’ll see other teams will build that gue, “losing builds character,” and I agree it does, but the
that it would be nice to be able to have a depth of talent. But right now, it’s fun. When
little bit of leeway in the number of non- we get to go head to head with them, and Big Blue already suffered two blowout losses. So what
league games, abilities to go to different know that it’s going to be a great game,
parts of the state, out of state,” Matula said. and know that people are going to be in the can be done to change this pattern of lopsided affairs?
“To maybe upscale the non-league games stands, and the crowd’s going to be really
so that you can increase the number of jacked up for it, it makes it very exciting.” The change may be something simple like slashing
games that are tight and give you the abil-
ity to really get ready for tournament-type Fishman suggested that although the the number of non-conference games from 16 to 12,
atmosphere games. Any point (in the season teams in the GMC won’t change, they could
helps), but if you can backload that and get modify which way games are scheduled which would allow up to 10 non-conference games. It
yourself ready, that would be nice. I don’t within the league.
know specifically how to do that. I think that is a model the worked well for Huber Heights Wayne.
would be up to somebody either smarter “The league is the league, and that’s
not going to change just because of girls The Warriors played 11 conference games in the Greater
basketball,” Fishman said. “Perhaps we can
get more creative with scheduling. Maybe, Western Ohio Conference (GWOC) and were also sched-
and Rob (Matula) and I have spoken about
this, perhaps doing something where we uled games against, Indiana power Homestead, Ohio Di-
can modify the schedule to where you only
play your league opponents once and then vision III titan Columbus Africentric, perennial Tennes-
perhaps splitting it from that point and tak-
ing your top tier and your next level tier and see competitor White Station among many others. The
having separate scheduling to block those
with more of a competitive balance.” increased flexibility gave the young Warriors team an

ability to test themselves against both state and national

competition while still playing a heavy dose of GWOC

competition. Or it could be something like a flex sched-

uling proposal mentioned by Lakota West coach Andy

Fishman, where after one round of GMC play, teams are

re-assessed and the second half of the schedule is deter-

mined from the results of the first round of games.

Personally? I see the solution as a cutback on the GMC

schedule to either 14 or 12 games. A reduced league

schedule would still allow at least one game against

every team in the GMC and it would allow Mason and

West to test their mettle against some of the best in the

state and the country. The GMC is a league steeped in

tradition and would most likely be reluctant to change

its scheduling ways for just one sport, but this is a special

circumstance. Rarely are there two teams as consistently

good as Mason and West in the same city, let alone the

same conference. Something has to change to prevent us
from seeing so many lopsided scores in league competi- 2.16.17


You Tell Us Compiled by Jacob Fulton

Good What genre of movie Sophomore Jennifer Ashleman is an artist
is your life? who is designing the artwork for an upcoming
1. Exciting hype songs video game.
2. Shows progression in Migos’ Full results:
style Q: You’re an artist, but what exactly
3. Hit single “Bad & Boujee” Results from the 179 voters on the Chronicle twitter poll. Follow do you do?
headlines album @mhschronicle to find out when our next poll will go live.
4. Strong feature verses from A: I make commissions. People ask me to
Travis Scott, Gucci Mane, 2 draw something for them, and for a certain fee,
Chainz and more I can do that–I get them about once a week. I’m
5. Concise and well-produced
also involved in making the art of a video
Not so Good game. I draw character portraits, and
I’ve been working on them for a few
1. Lacks depth in topic and months.
2. Lots of album lacks variation Q: How did you get
in sound involved with it?
3. Strays a bit from classic “Mi-
gos” flow A: I saw the developer advertis-
4. One-dimensional ing her game on social media,
5. Appeals mainly only to rap and I noticed that she didn’t
fans really have an artist. So I
got in contact with her to
Compiled by Eric Michael volunteer to do the art.

22 Word for Word Q: What has it
been like working
“I usually pack a knife, a window on the game?
breaker, flashlights, gloves, bandages
and a medical kit. I go in and check out A: I’ve been work-
the area, see if the foundation is safe, ing on the portraits for a
and then we go in.” couple months; they defi-
nitely keep me busy. I design
– junior Yogesh Patel, her characters, and she gives
me feedback. She tells me
on Urban Exploring, or the exploration of abandoned, man-made structures what she likes and what she
wants changed, and I make
See our March 17 edition for coverage of this dangerous activity. changes and she gives me
feedback–it goes back and
Photo Bomb forth. It usually takes me a
couple weeks to draw a por-
trait and get it all finished.

Q: How long do you
think the game will take
and what might it be like
when it’s done?

A: The game is a visual novel; it’s
a story that players can follow along
and be a part of. Right now there are
five characters and there’s probably
going to be even more. Just for my
side of things, based on the speed
we’re going at now, I’d expect to be
working on this for maybe another

Q: Where do you want to take
your skills in the future?

Photo by Ria Parikh Jennifer Ashleman, A: I’ve been doing it as
sophomore just a way to make a little bit
Juniors Meghan McAneny, Salma Soliman, Lorayne Perez, and Kayla Williams gear up
of money. I could see myself
2.16.17 for Nerf Madness on February 10. Visit for coverage.
potentially doing some more

games, but who knows?



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