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The first ever printed edition of Mason in the Middle. Published on April 22, 2016.

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Published by The Chronicle, 2016-04-22 12:45:45

Edition 1.3

The first ever printed edition of Mason in the Middle. Published on April 22, 2016.

April 22, 2016 Why no baseball
at MMS?
Tonkin cookie
Mason in the Middle [See page 8] business soars

powered by The Chronicle [See page 7]


the Paranormal

Seventh grader goes in search
of ghosts and things that go
bump in the night for his book

[See story on page 7]

Mason in the Middle is brought to you by a partnership between journalists at Mason Middle School and staff members of The Chronicle from Mason High School.

M2 April 22, 2016

Our Policy Pasta for Pennies campaign
yields record-breaking funds
Mason in the Middle is an affiliate of The
Chronicle, the official student newspaper of
William Mason High School.

Mason in the Middle promises to report
the truth and adhere to the journalistic
code of ethics through online and print

Mason in the Middle is produced by high
school students enrolled in Journalism I, II
and III in collaboration with middle school
writers and editors.

Editorials reflect the staff ’s opinion but do
not necessarily reflect the opinions of the
school administration or the Mason City
School District.

Mason in the Middle does not yet have
a publishing schedule. Call 398-5025 ext.
33103 for information regarding advertis-
ing in Mason in the Middle. Mason in the
Middle reserves the right to refuse adver-
tising it deems inappropriate for a middle
school publication.

As an open forum for students, letters to
the editor are welcome, but are subject to
be edited for length, libel, obscenity, clar-
ity and poor taste. Letters to the editor may
be dropped off in room 444 and must be

The Chronicle is a member of The Co-
lumbia Scholastic Press Association, The
National Scholastic Press Association, Quill
and Scroll International Honorary Society
for High School Journalists and the Ohio
Scholastic Media Association.

Contact Information Students donate to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society fundraiser outside of the 400 wing. Photo by Shriya Penmetsa
The Chronicle
William Mason High School Shriya Penmetsa | Staff Editor NJHS co-president and eighth grader Anna Mullinger
6100 S. Mason Montgomery Rd. Middle schoolers have proven that every penny does said it’s the community’s duty to give back to causes like
Mason, Ohio 45040 Pasta for Pennies.
(513) 398-5025 count.
Mason in the Middle Staff National Junior Honor Society raises money every year “(It is especially important) since we live in Mason and
High School Editors it’s a very nice area and we’re so lucky to be born (here)
Arnav Damodhar for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society through a fun- or move to this area,” Mullinger said. “Helping people
India Kirssin draiser called Pasta for Pennies. The money funds cancer out is our duty because we have so many things we take
Jessica Sommerville research and aids families affected by blood cancer. for granted. Not helping somebody else out would be a
High School Sports Editor waste.”
Eric Miller Eighth grade Spanish teacher and NJHS co-advisor
Staff Editors Lauren Richardson said this year has been the all-time Olegnowicz said we should always make sure to think
Laalitya Acharya high for money raised. of the struggles many others are going through.
Riley Johansen
Lauren Keister “It’s over $22,000,” Richardson said. “It used to just be “We’re so blessed to be in (this) community that we of-
Jessie Kong something on the side and last year we pushed harder ten forget that some people are going through tremen-
Shriya Penmetsa than in years past, but this year it was just unbelievable.” dous struggles,” Olegnowicz said. “Loved ones are being
Grace Zhang lost, battling it out against terrible illnesses. By donating
Staff Writers Richardson said the passion that was put into the fund- and being passionate with a small interface, we can make
Erika Buhrer Eller raiser year is what made it different from past years. a huge difference. The best part about it is how much
Ally Guo you can enjoy (it) knowing that you’re changing lives
Nandini Likki “I think the ideas that NJHS came up with; from the an- through the cause that you’re helping.”
Tony Liu nouncement ideas to the incentive ideas and our promo
Abby Miller was much better than it has been in years past,” Richard- Richardson said NJHS owes its success of the campaign
Kaelyn Rodrigues son said. “We just went into it with a big heart.” to all of Mason Middle School’s students and staff.
Yamha Sami
Advisers Eighth grader and co-president of NJHS Aron Olegno- “I think that the biggest thing that we can do is contin-
Dale Conner (Mason High School) wicz said that any goal is accomplishable with the right ue to educate ourselves about how our money can go and
Rachel Young (Mason Middle School) attitude. back up research and how that research saves lives,” Rich-
ardson said. “It really was an MMS family effort. I think
“You think that it’s going to take years (to raise money), that if we all wouldn’t have put the heart and energy into
but here we were at it for less than two weeks,” Olegnow- it that it wouldn’t have been as successful as it was.”
icz said. “With hearts and commitments and passions, we
were able to slug out our goal and kill it.”

April 22, 2016 M3

Fundraisers provide Modern fashion swipes
needed funds to
support Mason Middle trends from past eras
School initiatives

Yamha Sami | Staff Writer Laalitya Acharya | Staff Editor

Mason schools hold a lot of fundraisers In the 2000s, halter tops, mom jeans, combat boots, scrunchies with messy
buns and hoop earrings were the biggest fashion don’t. Now they’re starting
throughout the year, giving back to many dif- to become a fashion do.
ferent charities and causes. With all of the dif-
ferent events and donations, some students These two generations were polar opposites in fashion. The 2000s
were full of bright colors, while now students are leaning more to-
are curious about where the money really wards pale neutral tones. The 2000s were full
goes and how it is used. Seventh grader Kiera
Doran said she is one of these students. of peace signs, while now students embrace
a grungy look.
“I want to know where the money goes Some trends, however, are coming back
because I want to make sure that the money
that I’m giving is used correctly, and for a into style, which provides fun opportu-
nities for fashion, according to seventh
good cause,” Doran said. grader Skye Singleton.
Doran also said she believes the school
should get a small amount of money from “I am really excited that high buns
and combat boots are in,” Singleton said.
the fundraisers to make sure all students “It’s really funny to see the style that
have what they need.
“​If we had a say in where​the fundraiser my mom was in when she was young
is coming back again.”
money goes to, I think that a small portion of According to Spanish teacher Hei-
the money should go to our school but then
a bigger portion goes to charities that need it di Morrissey, old-new trends are excit-
a little more than we “I think it’s fun when old fashion
do,” Doran said.
“We give full Tonya McCall, the trends come back,” Morrissey said. “It
disclosure if makes me giggle to see kids doing
building principal, and wearing things that were
found out that some
money is going kids were feeling Mason High popular a long time ago. I’m ex-
to places other this way and said the School junior pre- cited for big hair to come back.”
fers a modern look,
than Mason school does set aside of which a striped, Morrissey, however, said she
Middle School.” money to help Ma- loose-fitting tee, wants to make sure that teachers
son Middle School dark skinny jeans, and students focus on school and
students in need. and patterned not just fashion.
“MMS has funds
- Tonya McCall set aside in the build- “I think that it’s important that
MMS Principal ing budget to address Birkenstocks are our focus be on education and not
trademarks. Jew- fashion,” Morrissey said. “We, teach-
elry and light green ers and students, can be distracted
some of the needs accents top off the by lots of new and flashy fashion
students and their families may have here at
MMS,” McCall said. “We try to address those look. trends such as customized Jordan
shoes or the latest Vineyard Vines
students’ needs in the most sensitive and con- color.”
fidential way as possible.”
McCall then said the money is used for Seventh grader Raghav Raj said new times should
equal new allowances.
many purposes. “There are a lot of rules that the middle school that I
“The walk-a-thon held at the beginning of
the school year raised funds to help finance don’t agree with,” Raj said. “They don’t affect me a lot.
But when I talk to my friends who are girls, they really
our House System,” McCall said. “Part of the want to wear the new styles which the school won’t allow.
money went to the Mason Schools Founda-
tion, who then funded grants to MMS teach- Clothes are creativity and the school is kind of stunting the
ers such as the Coding and Robotics Lab. We Singleton said she believes that as society changes, so
will use the money to pay for the activities we
sponsor such as The Cone, an organization to do schools.
“I really want to wear old-new trends but the school
come out and lead students through team doesn’t allow it. I want to fit in with what’s ‘in,’ ” Sin-
building activities, a guest speaker, materials
for House activities like the Minute-to-Win-It gleton said “School is where your peers see you, and
that kind of determines how people will remember you
games.” in high school. I don’t want to be re-
The school tries to earmark several funds
for specific reasons, and not just one. membered in a bad way. Hopefully the
“Money donated is almost always for Ma- school will change the rules soon; I Mason High School sophomore likes to combine trendy
son Middle School,” McCall said. “We give just want to be able to wear these ris- styles from the past with today’s latest look. Tattered but
full disclosure if money is going to places ing fashion trends.” tapered jeans harken to the 2000’s, yet the oversized
flanel gives the look a modern, grunge edge. (Photos by The
other than Mason Middle School.”
Chronicle photographer Alyssa Brooks, Mason High School.)

M4 April 22, 2016

Teen insecurities on the rise as pressure builds

Grace Zhang | Staff Editor

Selfies are taking over the world. But do these pictures accurately Statistics from Graphic by the Chronicle Graphic Designer Ryan D’Souza
portray how a person feels?

Nearly 95 percent of all teens have felt inferior at some point in
their lives, usually due to intelligence, ability to perform well in a
certain area, and appearance, according to Stage of Life’s website.

Eighth grader Anwesa Basa said that this type of insecurity is re-
lated to the pressure put on individuals to belong to one group.

“Insecurity comes from the moment you realize that you should fit
a certain stereotype society lays out for you,” Basa said.

Stereotypes, once enforced, can create a barrier between doing what
you want to do and doing what others think you should do, according
to Everyday Sociology. This is commonly known as peer pressure.

Eighth grader Alekhya Kondragunta said peer pressure is only one
of the many forms of pressure facing teenagers today.

“Ultimately, I think insecurity comes from many forms of pres-
sure,” Kondragunta said. “It could be peer pressure, or pressure from
trying to be as good as an older sibling or family member, or being
compared to something or someone else.”

This high pressure can lead to constant disappointment from fail-
ing to achieve expectations that are already very high in the first

Many self-awareness projects have been established in the 2015-16
Mason Middle School year, such as You Matter. Students learned that
they could make a difference by helping others through their talents.

Despite all the campaigns on improving self-esteem, some teens
just aren’t getting it.

Eighth grader Emily Yu said phrases like ‘I have no friends’ or ‘I
suck at everything’ are spreading like wildfire.

“Most people think that having 10 friends qualifies as having ‘no
friends’,” Yu said. “(Having) 10 friends who are really close to you is
better than having 30 friends who (aren’t).”

These seemingly harmless “jokes” affect everyone differently, from
bringing down students self-esteem level to eventually believing the

“I think teens joke about these issues because they want to seem
like they are on top of everything,” Kondragunta said. “That by being
sarcastic, they don’t have insecurity. Or they try to make themselves
feel superior or above someone else that maybe does feel insecure.”

Having self-confidence does not mean that you never rely on oth-
ers, according to Uncommon Knowledge. Even some of the most se-
cure people have insecure moments.

Sophomore Jonathan Fan said the constant judging and watchful-
ness from his peers made him uncomfortable in school.

“One of the most vivid things I still remember about middle school
was that everyone was judging everyone, all the time, about every-
thing,” Fan said. “It made me feel uncomfortable because I could
never do anything without being evaluated.”

Now a sophomore in high school taking courses such as AP Cal-
culus and arts electives, Fan said he has greatly improved his self-es-
teem. However, there are still some moments of insecurity in his life.

“That’s okay though,” Fan said. “Those moments are what helps us
grow in life.”

Not caring what other people think about you and just being your-
self are two important aspects of self esteem, according to Commu-
nity Counseling Services.

“Sometimes it is better to listen to what others have to say,” Basa
said. “But at other times it is better for you to do what you think is

Most people eventually get over their insecurity, according to Psych

“You just have to move on, accept yourself, and be alright for some-
thing you’re not and allow yourself to be proud of something you
already are,” Yu said.

April 22, 2016 M 5

Middle school students feel ‘A’s
are the only acceptable grade

Ally Guo | Staff Writer and be like all frantic about it,” Rajan said. “So
Although an ‘A’ represents excellence on the I’m kinda just gradually getting into that being
serious. I feel like that’s what middle school is
standard grading scale, some students feel that for, slowly becoming more serious, so that way
it is just average to receive. you don’t have to go from ‘I don’t care’ to ‘I’m
super frantic; I don’t know what to do now.’”
Seventh grader Sankhya Rajan said that, an
‘A’ is the expected grade to earn. Seventh grader Manwinder Singh said that
a major reason why he cares about his grades
“Well, I feel like a ‘B’ is a bad grade for me is the fact that they may influence his future.
because my parents put a lot of pressure on
me,” Rajan said. “And I feel the need that I “I think that if I can get good grades then I
have to hold up to at least an ‘A’.” can get a decent job in life,” Singh said. “That’s
basically what I think of it, if I can get to a
According to seventh grader Leah Herbert, good college and I can get a really good job. So
‘B’s and above are good grades to receive. I think more of the future than I do of what’s
really happening right now. Some people just
“I don’t think a ‘C’ is a bad grade, but I feel don’t care about that. They think of what’s hap-
like an ‘A’ or a ‘B’ are pretty good grades,” Her- pening right now and don’t care about their
bert said. “But a ‘C’ isn’t terrible; it’s like in the grades; they think they’ll fix it later.”
middle. And then a ‘F’ is terrible.”
Singh also said he believes that not enough
Seventh grader Audrey Gill said that a ‘C’ is emphasis is put on the importance of grades.
not what she would consider acceptable, espe-
cially if it was in one of her strong subjects. “Sometimes (teachers) don’t take off points
for little tiny mistakes,” Singh said. “They
“I would be really upset (if I got a ‘C’),” Gill should be not too strict but not too lenient.”
said. “I would not be happy.”
Rajan said she agrees that not enough em-
Herbert said her grade expectations for her- phasis is placed on earning good grades.
self developed as she grew older.
“I really don’t think enough emphasis is put
“As I grew up and started to see my stan- on grades – well, it really depends on your par-
dards and where I was as a student, that’s how ents, like my parents, they put a lot of empha-
I could determine what was a good grade for sis on grades,” Rajan said. “But teachers, they
me,” Herbert said. don’t really put that much emphasis on grades.
I mean, they do with test grades, but home-
Gill said that her parents influenced her ex- work grades, especially if your teacher grades
pectations for grades. all of the homework that you do, it really does
add up, and I don’t feel that enough emphasis
“My parents (influenced me), because they is put on that.”
always like me to get good grades and every-
thing,” Gill said. Herbert said that her and her parents have
a mutual expectation from her when it comes
Rajan also said that she would not be sure to grades.
whether or not she understood a topic if she
received a ‘C’ on it. “My parents know what I’m capable of,” Her-
bert said. “You don’t want to put it into terms of
“A ‘C’ is pretty much barely passing and that everyone else. If I get like an A- in a class, (my
would kind of scare me,” Rajan said. “Because I parents) are fine about it because they know –
want to make sure that if I pass I’m (at a level I mean they know I could always try (harder),
where I meet my standards). Otherwise, you you can always put more work into something
would never be sure if you actually got the – but they know that I tried my best, and that’s
concept or whether it was just pure luck.” okay.”

Herbert said that right now, she does not Students should care about their grades, but
care extremely much about her grades be- not be overly concerned about getting a per-
cause they are not very important. fect score, Rajan said.

“Yes (I do care about my grades), but seventh “I feel like you should care to a certain
grade grades are really not that important, and point,” Rajan said. “I mean, you don’t have to
colleges don’t look into those grades, but I still get that 100 percent A+ that some people are
care,” Herbert said. “I mean, because I’m an av- aiming for, but you shouldn’t be aiming for
erage student. I do still try and I do still study, like a 72 percent. Everybody should be at that
but it’s not as important as when you get into medium point, but it’s really whatever suits
eighth grade and high school because colleges you in the end. If you’re obsessed with getting
don’t look at your grades in seventh grade.” an 100 percent, but you end up with a 95 per-
cent and you’re okay with it, then that’s really
Rajan said that she believes middle school what matters.”
to be the zone in between where grades don’t
matter and where grades do matter.

“It’s going to be kinda scary to go from
like an ‘I don’t care’ mode and then suddenly
eighth and ninth grade and you have to care

Eighth grader Evan Hancock finds academic pressure stressful.

Photo by Asia Porter

M6 April 22, 2016

Eighth grade students work on Physical Science assignment in Middle School teacher Laura Tonkin’s class. Photo by Asia Porter

Sprint Science provides students fast paced alternative

Jessie Kong | Staff Writer ence. (Sprint) Science is an accelerated version of time management skills,” Daubenmerkl said.
To all seventh graders taking physical science the normal eighth grade course. This means that Physical Science students will be more success-
they will cover the same concepts that are learned
next year, may the force be with you. in the other eighth grade classes, but they will do ful if they have some distinctive traits too, Little
Eighth grade course options were upgraded it faster than all of the other classes.” said.

three years ago when Physical Science, equipped According to Sprint Science teacher Audrey “They should have a strong math background,”
with Sprint Science, became an available selection. Daubenmerkl, eighth graders taking the class will Little said. “The first part of the year is really dif-
According to Physical Science teacher Dan Little, learn about Earth and life sciences. ficult to understand if you struggle in math class.
the opportunity allows middle schoolers to get a The other qualities that are necessary would be a
push ahead in their high school science path. “For Earth science, we study the theory of plate love for science. You should be curious about our
tectonics and other forces that shape the land such world and universe and you should have an inter-
“The school district is always looking for ways as weathering, erosion, and deposition as well as est in digging deeper into chemistry and physics
to offer more learning experiences to students,” geologic history,” Daubenmerkl said. “In life sci- concepts. People in the class who refuse to give
Little said. “Physical Science is a class that all ence, we learn about the fossil record and how up on themselves will always have the chance
(freshmen) at the high school are required to take. species have changed over time. We also study the to master each objective. So being a hard worker
In order to give some middle school students a different types of reproduction and how traits are who values their own success is also a great trait
head start in their progression through the high passed from parent to offspring.” to have.”
school science courses, the middle school decided
to offer this option. By offering this to students According to eighth grader Claire Hu, Sprint The physical science course will cover multiple
who have met the math prerequisites, (the school Science goes hand-in-hand with Physical Science. topics that help explain how the world operates,
gives) science-minded students the chance to dig Little said.
into topics early.” “I had to (take Sprint Science in order to) take
Physical Science,” Hu said. “I wanted it to bring me “As a general summary, we cover concepts re-
Sprint is a quick run-down of the standard further in the science courses.” lated to motion, force, energy, electricity, waves,
eighth grade course so that students are ready to classification of matter, atomic structure and the
take Physical Science, Little said. Sprint is a simple class, Hu said. periodic table, and astronomy,” Little said. “Kids
“I think (Sprint Science is) pretty easy because taking this class will learn an insane amount
“Students taking Physical Science are still re- we get to do readings,” Hu said. about their world and universe and why things be-
quired to learn the eighth grade course materi- There are a few qualities that students taking have the way they do. It is a higher level course for
al,” Little said. “This is why all students who take Sprint Science should have, Daubenmerkl said. eighth grade students that lays a science founda-
Physical Science are also enrolled in Sprint Sci- “A person taking Sprint Science should have a tion that will help them.”
strong work ethic and good organizational and

Want to read more Mason in the Middle stories?


April 22, 2016 M7

[Cover Story] Mason science teacher stepping
into new realm of cookie baking
Seventh grader
Riley Johansen | Staff Editor
puts ghostly findings
Twelve parts Carbon, 22 parts Hydrogen, and 11 parts
in new book
Oxygen. This is the scientific formula for sucrose, other-
Erika Buhrer Eller | Staff Writer
wise known as sugar. When sugar, flour, eggs, milk, and
Who ya gonna call? Seventh grader Evan Pon-
stingle, of course. butter mix, a cookie is created. When science and sugar

Not only only does this student volunteer mix, it creates eighth grade physical science teacher
to do historical tours at Heritage Village, and
to present his own performance every Friday, Laura Tonkin’s passion.
but he has also written his own book about the
hauntings that take place in Kings Island, and is Tonkin, a full-time teacher at Mason Middle School
currently trying to get it published.
and a part-time baker at home, is the owner of Sugar
Ponstingle said his obsessions with ghosts
started around elementary school. Creative Cookies. What was once a fun hobby is now a

“In second grade, I was at this bookfair, and blossoming business.
they had this book there called Octavius Grim-
wood’s Graveyard Guide,” Ponstingle said. “I “I took a class with my neighbor who did cookie deco-
bought it because it looked kind of interesting;
they had a page or two I think about ghost sto- rating to learn how to do some Christmas cookies, and Tonkin’s cookie designs include an array of emoji icons.
ries. I looked through it and I thought ‘Oh, that’s I didn’t really think anything of it,” Tonkin said. “But
kind of interesting,’ and then somehow I just got
into them. I used to go through a lot of weird Mrs. Mills (a seventh grade science teacher) was having but her business has really flourished through
obsessions when I was a little kid and I think her baby, and we were going to do cookies for her baby word of mouth.
that was one of them, but it stayed.” shower and my neighbor was going on vacation and she
“Her cookies not only look amazing; they taste amaz-
Ponstingle has aspired to write a book ever said, ‘You should do it yourself!’ So she taught me how ing,” Shaffer said. “She’s an awesome woman. I highly
since he witnessed a fellow student do it in third to do it, and I did it for the baby shower. It was really recommend her if you ever need a special snack or treat
grade. It wasn’t until last year, however, that he fun, and I kind of just fell in love with it.”
started working toward what he calls his ‘final for an event.”
copy’. Four months ago, Sugar Creative Cookies was born,
Tonkin said
“The idea came up in January of last year,” and soon afterwards
Ponstingle said. “I started interviewing people baking requires
in February and March, then I started writing Tonkin had her first
my book, and getting photos at the park, and order. She created “I get to create art, responsibility and
sort of doing more research, and fine-tuning the football themed cook- edible art,I get to give it commitment, and
details; and I finally finished up what I consider ies for eighth grade away, and that makes me she is willing to
the final copy of it.” put in the time
health teacher Kim
After collecting stories, traveling to different Shaffer. According to so happy.” and work it needs
states, researching, and speaking with different Shaffer, they were a as well.
ghost experts and a psychic, Ponstingle is send- touchdown. - Laura Tonkin
ing it in to get published. So far at least one pub- “I bake one day,
lishing company is considering publishing his Mason Middle School teacher and I create icing
“I asked if she could another day, and
Besides writing a book, Ponstingle also volun-
teers as a tour guide at Heritage Village, a his- do Bengals cookies then it takes at
torical site in Sharon Woods where houses dat-
ing back to the 1800’s have been relocated. for my son’s flag foot- least two days to decorate,” Tonkin said. “Usually ten to

“I’ve been working at Heritage Village since ball team’s after school snack,” Shaffer said. “They were twenty hours from start to finish. Also learning how to
2013,” Ponstingle said. “I hear all the stories. I so amazing. I loved them, and the kids loved them. I operate a small business, like how to guard yourself fi-
might have had some things happen to me; I told anybody and everybody who would listen (about nancially and legally (takes time), and the biggest thing
wouldn’t say that they were ghosts, but I would her cookies).”
say that I can’t explain them.” for me is how to make your customers happy.”
Eighth grade science teacher Jay Reutter said his golf
Some of Ponstingle’s other ghostly activities Although the process is quite lengthy, for Tonkin it
include a show he performs every Friday in his outing cookies were a ‘hole in one.’
Speak Up Write Now class, called Evan’s Ghost- all comes back to the joy of baking. Tonkin sells her
ly Greats. In this show, he covers ghost stories, “She did golf cookies where she made golf clubs, smallest cookies for 50 cents per cookie and sells a dozen
urban legends and hauntings from all over the golf balls, and greens as well as fairways,” Reutter cookies for $35. Tonkin continues to enjoy baking today,
place, including none other than Heritage Vil- said. “They were ridiculously impressive. I have recom- making designs from emojis to Teenage Mutant Ninja
lage. mended them to anybody who wants to have cookies for Turtles to Easter cookies and even cookies celebrating a
something, and I’m a little annoyed that she’s so good friends 50th birthday. Tonkin even created U.S. Marine
at what she does.”
themed cookies
Tonkin has the teachers talking, but students are for a boot camp
aware of her graduation cel-
business as well. ebration. Tonkin
“(The students said baking and
have) seen pic- selling cookies is a
tures, and they great way to share
say they want to her talent and a
order them for grat experience
their birthdays,” overall.
Tonkin said.
“I get to create
Tonkin uses art, edible art,”
Facebook as her Tonkin said. “I get
online platform, to give it away,
where she takes and that makes
orders from An- Tonkin can also pull off cookies that
All photos contributed derson to Mason, me so happy.” will make any Bengal fan yell “Who
Golf cookies are a popular choice. Dey.”

M8 April 22, 2016

Baseball team one of few sports missing from athletic repertoire

Abby Miller | Staff Writer The Mason varsity baseball team prepares for its April 15 contest with the Lakota West Firebirds at Prasco Park
At Mason Middle School there is a sport or as part of the Reds High School Showcase. The Comets came from behind to win the game 7-5.

club for every student, no matter his or her in- Senior infielder Vince Vannelle awaits the delivery of a
terests. Yet there is one major team sport miss- pitch while playing shortstop.
ing from the MMS collection of sports: baseball.
According to MMS athletic director, Stephanie Photos by the Chronicle Staff Writer Blake Nissen Senior infielder Ronnie Engelmen follows through on
Hyatt, boys have more of an opportunity in club his swing early on in the Comets 7-5 win over the La-
baseball, rather than school baseball. Mason senior pitcher Ben Speer prepares to deliver kota West.
a pitch to a Lakota West batter during the April 15
“The OHSAA limits junior high baseball teams matchup.
to 17 games per season whereas a club baseball
team may schedule upwards of 50-60 games,”
Hyatt said. “In addition, keep in mind that the
OHSAA does not allow players to play on both
a school team and a club team at the same time.
So club teams are preferred for the increased
number of games.”

Hyatt said she has never gotten a complaint
about not having a baseball team, but she has
been asked the question numerous times.

“I haven’t gotten complaints, but I have got-
ten requests to add a baseball team,” Hyatt said.
“When I explain why we don’t have one everyone
has seemingly understood.”

Also, Hyatt said for the amount of work re-
quired, it wouldn’t be worth it for just 17 games.

“(For a team to be field it would take) money
to hire coaches, buy uniforms, pay for transporta-
tion, pay for umpires, fields to play on, and other
schools to play against,” Hyatt said. “Currently
there is no additional funding in the district to
add new programs, nor do we have the facilities
to support another baseball team.”

Former Mason High School baseball coach
Kyle Peters said that sometimes he does wish
there was a baseball team at MMS.

“Sometimes I do (wish there was a baseball
team), because I feel like it’s good for kids to rep-
resent their school,” Peters said. “There’s a lot of
pride representing your school and playing for
your school, but I understand that with the logis-
tics, it’s very tough to do at the junior high level.
So therefore I understand it, but sometimes I do
wish there was (a team).”

Hyatt said that even if there was a school team,
there would be no one to play.

“To my knowledge, only about two other GMC
schools have a middle school baseball team,” Hy-
att said.

Peters said he agreed with Hyatt about the fu-
ture of baseball at MMS.

“I think, I could see (a team) but not for a little
while,” Peters said. “The only way I would really
see that happening is if there’s a push from the
varsity coaches at the high school level to create
one. If they push for it and feel like it’s valuable,
then I think there would be one, but I don’t see
that happening for a little while. I think if one
school in the league does it, then I think other
schools will.”

There is no need to worry about opportunities
when it comes to baseball, according to Peters.

“There’s so many opportunities for boys at this
age to play summer baseball; I don’t feel like the
school needs to provide (a team) because there
are so many opportunities to play,” Peters said.

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