CHS Mock Trial Wins Over Mount Hebron

Words: Paul Didwall

On Tuesday, January 29, 2013, Centennial’s Mock Trial team took on Mount Hebron. The team worked together to win their first match by six points, and received high praise from the Judge at the event. Clarissa Santori, Mihir Majumdar, Jake Balcom, Seiam Salehi, Abby Kim, and Ben Goldstein all competed in Tuesday’s winning match. The Mock Trial team will compete again on Thursday, February 7.

Hoops for Change

Photos: Caitlin Martin

Ellicott City, MD – On Monday, January 28, Centennial Boys Varsity Basketball played against Mt. Hebron in the Hoops for Change game. The Hoops for Change game is part of the Howard County-wide “Change Matters” Campaign. Proceeds from the event went to Grassroots.

Centennial took the victory in this game with a final score of 58-43.

The game had initially been planned for Friday, January 25, 2013, but was re-scheduled for Monday due to inclement weather.

Rattling the Handle: A First Person Account of Realizing the Importance of Drills


Words: Miranda Mason

Photos: Caroline Oppenheimer

As a writer, I have always struggled with an overactive imagination, which is why I was one of the few people in my class who didn’t continue to laugh and chat as Dr. Perkins came onto the PA system to announce that a lockdown drill was now taking place.

Most of my peers treated this drill as time away from classwork, or as a boring nuisance that made them sit on the floor in the dark for no apparent reason. They moved sluggishly getting to the corner of the room, and their giggles didn’t die down even as our teacher gave them a whispered lecture.

I got up silently, my mind already visualizing what this situation would be like if this wasn’t a drill, if there actually was someone roving through our school looking to kill. I realized that this drill was more than what my classmates thought it to be, that it was a time to practice what to do if exactly what I was imagining occurred. With that thought in mind, I treated this lockdown as I would have if Dr. Perkins hadn’t added onto his speech, “this is a drill.”

There are many things to consider during something as terrifying as a school shooting, but what I focused on most while we practiced the lockdown was how I was going to react and what I would do to keep myself and my classmates safe.

DSC_0066I’ve been able to receive some instruction on what to do in the exact situation this drill was preparing me for, and during that instruction a question was directed to me: What are you willing to do to stay safe in a dangerous situation?

Having had time to think over my answer to that question, I did not hesitate to position myself close to the door when the lockdown took place—I had already decided that if hiding didn’t work I was willing to fight for both my life and my classmates’ lives.

Despite having the mechanical knowledge to defend against a shooter and the will to do so if it came to it, I was far from relaxed as I participated in the drill. Even with the knowledge that it was a drill, even with the knowledge on what to do if it wasn’t, there is something unnerving about sitting in the dark waiting for something to happen.


The room wasn’t completely silent, the noise of kids shifting around and a pencil snapping prevented that, but the school as a whole was much quieter than usual. This lack of noise brought to attention how easy it is to hear someone moving through the school: the footsteps of the administration roaming the halls, a faint crackle of a radio, and most disturbing of all, the rattle of locked doors trying to be opened was audible.

My overactive imagination paired with my decision to treat the drill as if it was a real lockdown meant it wasn’t hard to imagine that those footsteps didn’t belong to an administrator but a shooter, and that the rattling of door handles meant thirty or so lives depended on a teacher remembering what to do during a lockdown and not whether that teacher would get a slap on the wrist for not following procedure.

This lockdown brought into sharp focus for me exactly what was on the line if someone dangerous was loose in our school, and it made me realize how important it is to practice for something we all hope will never happen. I was able to take this lockdown seriously, just as I was able to see the value in practicing it. I just hope that my classmates who didn’t realize the same thing will discover the importance of practicing locking the door when another drill takes place and not when it is someone besides an administrator who is rattling the handle.

2-Hour Delay



All Howard County public schools will open 2 hours late, with no half-day morning programs, Monday, January 28, 2013.

All morning programs, sponsored by the Columbia Association and the Department of Recreation & Parks in Howard County public schools, will be delayed 2 hours.

Superstitions & This Isn’t Reed’s Last Ride

Words: Kyle Simpson

There are quite a few headlines coming out of the Ravens’ facility this week. Here’s a quick rundown of the news in Owings Mills:

The Ravens began practicing yesterday for the Big Dance on February 3rd. The Super Bowl patches have been placed on the jerseys and the camera crews from CBS have arrived at the facility to take headshots and interview video of the Ravens. With them, they brought a few props such as footballs, helmets and one other prop that had everybody talking. That prop was a genuine, un-engraved Vince Lombardi Trophy. The greatest prize in the NFL was within reach. And that is the exact reason Ray Lewis demanded it was put away. What he said was essentially that they had not earned the real trophy yet, so they do not deserve it. The CBS Associate Director said few teams actually have an issue with taking shots with the Lombari trophy, but the Ravens do not want to leave anything to chance. “I don’t want to jinx it. That seems like a jinx,” said cornerback Jimmy Smith to

The other major story developing at the Under Armour Performance Center was Ed Reed’s announcement that he was indeed playing next year; no matter if February 3rd is a win or loss, or if he is in a Ravens’ uniform next year. The 11-year saftey’s six-year contract ends this year and he is worth a pretty penny; a pretty penny that the Ravens might not be able to afford with the salary cap. Danelle Ellerbe, Carrey Willams and Paul Kruger all have contracts that need renewal. And all three might not be able to come back depending on how well contract negotiations go with Joe Flacco. My ideal situation is that the Ravens win the Super Bowl and Reed walks away with Ray Lewis after winning in his hometown and we see them in Canton this time in five years. But nobody really knows with Reed, he has marched to his own drum for years, flipping back and forth between retirement and staying. As he put it his press conference, “this isn’t my last ride, I just got a bike.” I sincerely hope he will not be riding that bike in New England. Really, he could ride anywhere but New England and I would be okay.

One more week to the big day!

Early Dismissal


Due to predicted severe weather conditions, all Howard County Public Schools will close 1.5 hours early today, January 25.

All aftercare programs, sponsored by the Columbia Association and the Department of Recreation & Parks in Howard County public schools, are canceled. All school-sponsored and community-sponsored events, including high school athletic practices and games scheduled for this evening, are canceled.

Obama Reigns in 2nd Term: Presidential Inauguration


Words: Charles Regnante, Political Correspondent

On January 21st, President Barack Obama took the ceremonial oath office to begin his second term as the United States President. January 21st also happened to be Martin Luther King Day. The inauguration went as planned with a number of singers such as Kelly Clarkson and Beyoncé performing traditional American songs. Afterwards, the crowds went wild as the president stepped out of his vehicle lined up on Pennsylvania Avenue and waved to the public for a short period of the inaugural parade. The parade didn’t exactly attract the same amount of viewers as it did when Obama was first inaugurated but there was a decent amount. The highlight of the day was the President’s inaugural address, which focused mostly on themes of unity and progress.

President Obama began by reverting back to the nation’s founding, saying that what binds the nation together is not the “colors of our skin or the tenets of our faith or the origin of our names,” but instead the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Coming back to the theme of unity, Obama said that “together” the country has modernized its economy and educational system. He then rearticulated that “together” we discovered that the free market only works when there are “rules to ensure competition and fair play.”

At the end of his speech, Obama stated what he believes is needed to further America’s journey towards its highest ideals. The President stressed equal pay for women, gay rights, voting rights, immigration reform, and higher employment as the keys to the country’s progress. Remarking on the Newtown shootings, Obama stated that, “Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for, and cherished, and always safe from harm.” The president pledged to further the American journey as part of his oath, and urged all Americans to strive to fulfill the same oath to the flag that is “not so different” from the oath he just took.

2-Hour Delay



All Howard County public schools will open 2 hours late, with no half-day morning programs, Thursday, January 24, 2013.

All morning programs, sponsored by the Columbia Association and the Department of Recreation & Parks in Howard County public schools, will be delayed 2 hours.