Mock Trial Update 2/28 (Cecilia Lu)

On Tuesday, February 28, 2011, Centennial’s Mock Trial team faced off against Atholton at 5PM in District Court. The prosecution was slated to argue the fictional case of the State of Maryland v. Drew Hunter, in which it charged the defendent with three counts of reckless endangerment and one count of second-degree child abuse. The trial lasted almost two hours, and the judge found the defendant guilty of all counts of reckless endangerment, but not guilty of child abuse. CHS’s stellar performance earned it 51 total points over Atholton, which received 42 points. The team has emerged strong from its hiatus last year due to a lack of teacher sponsorship. It now boasts a 4-1 record and is ranked among the top three Mock Trial teams in Howard County.

How Long Will Our Eagle Pride Last? (Carolyn Eichhorn)

On Tuesday February 21, the student body at Centennial was shown a video that addressed the issue of trash being left behind throughout the lunch shifts. When Mrs. Kristen McManus’s second period students noticed this disturbing display of Centennial students’ behavior, they decided to take action. The “Eagle Pride” video was their way of showing their concerns to their classmates as well as the rest of the staff. It encouraged students to clean up after themselves when they finished lunch so the cafeteria stayed clean.
To reiterate the message in the video, posters were hung around the lunchroom promoting the idea. Mrs. McManus’s second period also went around lunch shifts on that Tuesday with trashcans to help students keep the tables clean.
Since the video was shown, the cafeteria has been cleaner, but not necessarily trash free. Some students have taken the message into account and kept the tables clean for the next lunch shifts, but not everyone is participating. One person cannot do all the work. The people at the table have to come together and make an effort to keep their area clean.


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Eagles top Hammond in Long Awaited Rematch (Carolyn Eichhorn)

After the upsetting loss to the Hammond Golden Bears on January 6th, the Centennial Eagles were looking to come up big when they met again back on the court Thursday night. After winning their two previous games against River Hill and Howard, the Eagles had high hopes for the rematch against Hammond.

The game started with the opening tip off between Timi Tinuoye (CHS) and James Turner (HHS) from the Bears. Turner got his hand on the ball but the tip intended for his teammate was immediately intercepted by Chris Peterson (CHS) and the Eagles drove down the court. Hammond, however, was the first to get points on the board though the Eagles soon followed. Both teams had limited scoring opportunities. When the first quarter came to an end, both teams were struggling to put points on the board and were tied 10-10.

In the second quarter, the game remained even as both teams stepped up their game. Centennial’s intensity rose as they began to connect more passes and move the ball around the court. Still, the Eagles had yet to take a lead over Hammond and had difficulty finishing their shots and scoring. Combined with the ongoing battle to stop the Hammond players from getting fast breaks as well a large number of turnovers, the Eagles found themselves down at the half 26-25.

When Centennial came back on the court for the second half of the game, the whole demeanor of the team had changed. The Eagles began doing what had worked for them earlier in the season: quick and efficient passing while maintaining a strong defense. Points began to appear on the board for the Eagles as they began to take control of the game. Hammond made a brief attempt at a late comeback but the quarter ended with the Eagles on top, 45-35.

Still going strong, the Eagles continued to dominate over Hammond. Centennial also maintained possession for most of the fourth quarter, moving the ball smoothly around the court. The game ended with the Eagles defeating Hammond 64-46. Keonte Potts and Omari Ringgold lead the team scoring 20 and 23 points, respectively, while several others managed to contribute to the 64 points against Hammond.

Disastrous D-Lunch (Jordan Kudisch)

Feeling hungry and can’t wait to sink your teeth into that piled-high, mouthwatering sandwich? Yet as soon as you walk into that repugnant cafeteria you hastily lose your appetite?  Unfortunately, that seems to be the case most the time when these famished high schoolers hope to devour their lunches. When arriving at a table filled with half-eaten sandwiches and spilled juice that sandwich is no longer appetizing.
“Today I came into lunch and there were pretzels and french fries all over the table, and we tried pushing them off the table to eat but no one wanted to touch it!” exclaimed, Caroline Lawrence, a student at Centennial.
That’s only one, of many opinions that have to be said about this disturbing scene.

What else do students have to say?
“It’s disgusting and when you walk in and have to clean up everybody else’s mess it’s gross. Kids need manners, it’s not their home…it’s school,” Carly Cokas angrily stated.
Walking into a gross environment gives Centennial a bad appearance and keeps the students’ heads turned away. I know when I sit down for lunch the first thing I want to do after a long morning of work is eat — not do more work by cleaning up the lunch before mine. And we all know many people say,” It’s the janitor’s job, I shouldn’t have to do anything!” Well here’s a newsflash: it’s not. The janitors don’t enjoy picking up after you, just remember they’re not your maids.

How can we help?

We can change all that with a little team effort! If each student picked up his or her trash and perhaps another piece before leaving the cafeteria, we’d already be making a difference!  Taking part in small actions would be making a better change for our school and make lunch even tastier!
So the next time you walk into the cafeteria, grab some trash. Would that really be so bad? Let’s make a difference! Project Clean the Centennial Cafeteria!

Bill Passed to legalize Same-sex Marriage (Miranda Mason)

On February 17th, 2012, the Maryland House of Delegates passed a bill that will legalize same-sex marriage. The Senate also passed the bill on February 23rd, 2012.

The Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee voted seven to four in favor of the bill. There were 72 votes in favor of the bill, 67 against it, with two people absent when it was voted in the House. The bill was voted on 25-22 in the Senate. If passed, the law will not be able to take effect until January 2013.

The Gay/Straight Alliance, a club at Centennial High School that works to provide a support group for LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender) students in Centennial, has kept its members up to date on current issues. The same-sex marriage bill was mentioned during one of their recent meetings, eliciting enthusiastic responses from some of the members.

“It’s freaking amazing!” said Blair Dettmer, a junior at CHS and member in GSA. “I hope it will get us marriage. I’m looking forward to tolerance and us being equal.”

Last year Maryland tried to pass a bill similar to the one that was recently voted on. The bill was passed in the Senate, but was vetoed in the House. If Governor O’Malley passes the bill this time around, Maryland will be the eighth state to legalize gay marriage. Before the law takes place, Maryland residents will have the opportunity to petition the bill in a referendum in November.

Similar bills have been made into laws in seven other states: Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont. Washington Governor Christine Gregoire signed a bill on February 13th, making Washington the seventh state. Washington D.C. and the District of Columbia have also legalized same sex-marriage.

In New Jersey both houses passed a gay marriage bill, but Governor Chris Christie vetoed it. Christie also called for the civil rights of gays to be put up to popular vote. The state legislature has until January 2014 to override the veto.

Kraisser Punches Ticket to Comcast (Salman Hashmi and Zack Newman)

Nathan wins 126 pound weight class, continues on to States

Senior Nathan Kraisser won the 126-pound weight class at the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association 4A/3A Regional Championship on February 25, 2012 at Wilde Lake High School. Nathan dominated his opponent, 13-1, and continued on his road to Comcast Center with another impressive victory.

Nathan felt as though he had to keep working hard against his opponent until the very end. “It was a tough match, he pushed me the whole time and it ended up going the whole 6 minutes of the match. I had to work the whole time to rack up some points,” Kraisser explained. Before advancing to the finals, Nathan pinned both of his opponents. Overall, Nathan was pleased with his performance. He expounded that “I did what I wanted, I came out and wrestled tough in each match.”

Varsity Head Coach David Roogow and Jayvee Head Coach Cliff Kraisser thought Nathan had a great run at the Regional Tournament. Roogow believed that Nathan Kraisser did what was expected of him in the finals. “The kid [from South River High School] was tough…and Nathan kept attacking. He took every opportunity to score,” said Roogow. Cliff advised Nathan to prepare for the state tournament similar to his preparation for any of his matches. Cliff instructed his son to “prepare hard this week, be ready to wrestle everyone the same and give it all he’s got.”

Nathan’s quest for his fourth state championship will conclude March 2-3 at Comcast Center, located on the University of Maryland campus.

#4: Nathan Kraisser’s Championship Conquest Continues (Zack Newman)

Subconsciously, senior varsity wrestler Nathan Kraisser began to tap his fingers against his thigh ever so slightly and look nervously around the coaches’ office, occasionally glancing at his father, Cliff Kraisser, the head coach of Centennial’s junior varsity wrestling team. This anxious movement was the result of a rare occurrence for the three-time state champion: he was missing practice.
At an overall high school record of 146-6, Nathan is on the hunt for state championship number four. If he succeeds, he will be the first in Centennial history, and the fifth in the history of the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association, to win the state title for every year of his high school career.
The closest any Centennial wrestler has come to the elusive record is Dave Nakasone, the 2002 and 2003 state champion (at 140 and 152 pounds, respectively); Ted Lewis, a state champion in 1980 and 1981 (at 105 and 119 pounds, respectively) and a former teammate of Cliff. Remarkably, Cliff worked tirelessly to his own championship in 1983 on the same mats that both of his sons have shed blood, sweat, and tears. The tradition will continue when yet another Kraisser, Austin; will don a Centennial singlet in his freshman year next season.
Nathan’s indisputable success understandably stems from his Olympian work ethic, as well as his insatiable thirst for victory and competitive nature. Nathan feels as though he owes his success to the number of hours he logs practicing. “I spend a lot of time in the practice room,” he explains. “[Even on] Friday nights when a lot of people are out having fun, I’m in the practice room. It’s not just about the amount of hours I put in, but how hard I’m working in those hours.” Indeed, in the words of varsity head coach David Roogow, “Nathan’s work ethic sets him apart from every wrestler in the state.” Cliff agrees with Roogow, owing Nathan’s success to his work habits. “He pays attention…he gets it the first time, he pays attention to the small details, and he works hard,” expounds Cliff.

A Competitive Drive

As we were talking, Nathan did not hesitate to rattle off his losses, but he had to pause and gaze into the cavernous depths of his brain to conjure what he believed to be the amount of tallies in his win column. Nathan questioned his father on the accuracy of his own math, and Cliff interjected with the correct number. “I hate losing… and I think of my losses… [they] motivate me to work even harder so I don’t lose again,” Nathan proclaimed.
For every Michael Phelps, there is an Ian Thorpe, the long-time foe who gives the protagonist matches that are etched into his memory for a lifetime. Nathan’s “Thorpe” is Dominick Malone. The two have crossed paths in various national tournaments throughout the duo’s high school career. Malone will graduate from Wyoming Seminary High School, an independent college preparatory school located ironically in Northeastern Pennsylvania in the spring, and attend Northwestern University next fall. “He beat me my sophomore and freshman year. That has kept driving me to beat and avenge my losses,” Nathan explained. Malone is the only person to have beat Nathan more than a single time throughout Nathan’s entire high school career and leads the series between the pair 2-3 (one of these victories includes an overtime win).
Through videos posted on various websites dedicated to wrestling, the matches between the duo are captivating, similar to a pair of king cobras fighting for dominance. Throughout the matches they circle each other, carefully calculating one another’s movements. Suddenly without warning, there is a blur of multicolored singlet as the two wrestlers tangle in such blinding speed that slow motion would not give justice. The unfortunate soul that finds himself on the ground claws his way onto his feet, ready for more. This weary process repeats itself for the entirety of the match until the referee mercifully thrusts one of the wrestlers’ hands in the air in victory.
Armed with a resume chock full of wrestling accolades, Nathan will undoubtedly be assigned the role of Goliath for the upcoming playoffs. These accolades include the title of eleventh best high school wrestler in the 126 weight division nationwide by and Centennial’s record for career wins (he surpassed his older brother, Brian, who previously held the record at 126 wins).
However, instead of being cocky or overconfident, Nathan is remarkably humble, fully aware that any opponent he may face may have that stone in his arsenal that could possibly down the heavy favorite. He explained that, “whoever steps on the mat, I’ll wrestle. I take everyone the same, everyone’s a state champ, [and] I take everyone seriously. To me, it doesn’t matter who I wrestle, I am going to treat everyone the same.”

A Family Affair

Later in the week, I stopped by the Kraisser abode to complete the series of interviews I had conducted with the family. I was welcomed in with open arms (Kerri, Nathan’s mother, even offered me a ride home at the conclusion of the interview), and I immediately noticed dozens of pictures of the seven kids in their various endeavors populating the walls. The children, ages 6 to 20, were unsurprisingly well-behaved, and one of the youngest, Jason, could be seen curiously peeking around the wall into the living room during the interview.
The immediate members of the Kraisser clan have always been a source of competition, support and guidance. In particular, Cliff has been a source of authority and assistance in wrestling. “Especially when I was younger, he taught me a lot of the [wrestling] techniques… and how to work hard, how to drive through the pain. Now, it’s not as much about techniques anymore. He analyzes the mistakes I make [during] my match that I can’t see when I’m wrestling. He’s a constant push to help me get better,” Nathan explained.
As a child, Nathan would work hard because he would “see my dad working hard, and I wanted to be just like him.” He exclaimed that being part of a large family helps him succeed by constantly sparking a competitive nature, but they could not be more supporting of his various endeavors. Nathan cracked a slight smile and got a tiny glint in his eyes, as if he was running through all of the memories of various family competitions that had taken place over the years.
He said, “I want to be the best on the wrestling mat [similar] to how I want to be the best at everything in my family. They are also very encouraging and supportive.” While he works towards the same goals both his father and older sibling did, he still aims to maintain a sense of individuality, to have a place among the textbook of Kraisser accomplishments but be remembered for his individual accomplishments as well. “I want to be in the same category as them, but at the same time I am going to do my thing… wrestle the way I wrestle. I want to be known not just as a Kraisser, but Nathan Kraisser,” declared Nathan.
Motivated to follow in the footsteps of fellow state champion father, and two-time county champion older brother, Brian, Nathan has carried the epithet of “wrestler” since he began in the first grade.
While he participated in other sports as a child, such as soccer, football, baseball, and lacrosse, Nathan was drawn to wrestling early on in his athletic career. His father, Cliff illustrated that “I wanted him to try [wrestling] because I wrestled, and I think first grade is a good [year] to start.” “He didn’t force me into it or anything, he started me in it, and I liked it, so I just kept on doing it,” interjected Nathan. Arguably the toughest high school sport available, wrestling, with its tenacity and lone-wolf mentality of the game, draws Nathan in time and time again. Nathan expounded that “it’s one on one, it’s only me out there, [and] I can’t blame [my] mistakes on anyone else. I want to be the toughest out there, and wrestling is the toughest sport, so I want to be the toughest wrestler.”

While most mothers would do everything humanly possible to prevent their son from placing a foot on the wrestling mat, Kerri Kraisser is the best fit to be mother for the family of Kraisser wrestlers, who unsurprisingly has a genuine understanding of the trials and tribulations of the sport and a love for the game. “It has been a sport for all of our kids [wrestling] that has helped teach them about perseverance…and build a lot of character. They can learn about perseverance, self-discipline, sticking through something when it’s painful,” enlightened Kerri.  Kerri is also a Centennial alum and former athlete (gymnastics and volleyball), and Cliff’s high school sweetheart.

Mentor Connection

Al Dodds has been an integral member of the Centennial physical education staff for 35 years, ever since its founding in 1977. He has taught a variety of classes and coached a hodgepodge of sports, including Lifetime Fitness, Strength and Conditioning (I, II, and Advanced), Boys’ Cross Country, Boys’ Outdoor Track, and Wrestling. Throughout his teaching career, Dodds has interacted with every Kraisser that has passed in and out of the Centennial doors in one medium or another. He was the wrestling coach during Cliff’s freshman year, the cross-country coach for Brian’s senior year, and the Strength and Conditioning mentor for Cliff, Kerri, Brian, Nathan, and Brandi.
Dodds explained that the Kraisser work ethic is one that is hard to come by, and easily recognizable. “If I were to walk into a wrestling practice room, and observe a particular individual working pretty darn hard a 100% of the time, I might surmise if I knew there was a Kraisser in the room without knowing what he looked like, I might be able to pick him out just by how he was conducting himself at practice,” expounded Dodds.

Pick of the Lot

Nathan will attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill next fall on a full athletic scholarship to wrestle for Head Coach C.D. Mock, and Assistant Coaches Cary Kolat, A.J. Grant, and Trevor Chinn. Kolat has known Nathan and the Kraisser family for 8 years while coaching an off-season wrestling club. According to Nathan, Kolat is a main contributor to his enrollment at North Carolina. UNC won Nathan’s pick over Maryland and Virginia Tech. “I liked the coaching staff at UNC better and felt more comfortable there,” Nathan expressed. Kolat could not comment due to NCAA recruitment regulations.

The Legacy Continues

Although Centennial will lose a major cog in the team’s wrestling machine, there is not a void. The seemingly endless wrestling talent pool that is the Kraisser family continues with current eighth grader Austin Kraisser,and is followed by fifth grader Jason, and kindergartener Calvin who will begin to wrestle next season. However, the Kraisser expectations and limelight will shift to Austin next year. As Cliff explains, “Austin looks up to Nathan, and wants to accomplish what Nathan did.” When comparing wrestling styles, “Nathan uses more technique, and Austin is more physical; Nathan will out-slick or out-technique you while Austin will just overpower you,” continued Cliff.
Austin looks forward to the challenge of following in his brother’s footsteps.  “There’s a chip on my shoulder. I have to work hard, I can’t let anyone down, Nathan is really good because of how hard he works. I want to work just as hard to get to the same level he is,” he illustrated. He joked that “[Nathan] might only have those records for four more years!”

The Quest Unfolds

Nathan took a step in the right direction on February 18, when Nathan’s talent and hard work elevated him above the rest of his competitors to take the 2012 Howard County Championship in the 126 pound division by a 16-1 tech fall. “I wrestled well, I was able to do what I wanted, and just wrestle tough. I don’t want to look too far ahead, I want to take it one match at a time, because if I start looking ahead that’s when people come up,” Nathan commented. He continued to explain that “I’ll go to regional’s, see who I have first match wrestle him, see who I have next and keep on wrestling one by one.”

Follow Nathan’s quest for number four. The postseason will continue at the regional tournament at Wilde Lake High School on February 24-25, and will conclude at the state tournament on March 2-3 at University of Maryland, College Park.

A Madrigal Experience (Amy Myers)

The Centennial High School Madrigals are warming up their voices for February 13, the day of the Madrigals Festival. Across the county, Madrigal groups from different high schools come together to perform what they have rehearsed. Unfortunately for Centennial students, this event occurs during the school day, so it is not possible to support the musically dedicated members of our school in person.

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