Centennial’s New Turf

Words: Paul Drutch and Michael Merkey

Centennial’s stadium grass field has now been upgraded. On May of 2015, the construction of the new turf field began.

In a countywide decision in 2011, Howard County Recreation and Parks determined that all public schools should receive a turf field by 2016. Over the past four years, three schools a year have received turf, but this past summer just Mt. Hebron and Centennial were able to install the new field. As of right now, River Hill is the only school yet to replace their grass field.

The summer-long operation had multiple steps including, letting the field die out after spring season, tearing up the field, and then planting artificial grass and spreading turf pellets. Centennial also installed two new, posts functioning as both soccer goals and football field goals.

After the construction was complete, all athletes were allowed to start activities on the field. Varsity football player, senior David Phelps stated, “The turf leads to faster play, quicker cuts, and a more intense game.”

Multiple players from many of Centennial teams, including soccer, lacrosse, and football, have been very impressed with the construction of the new turf field.

Varsity soccer player, senior Megan Oliver, stated, “There aren’t as many bumps in the field so it makes for a much cleaner game.”

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Golf County Championships

Words: Michael Moore

On Tuesday, September 29, the Howard County Golf County Championships were held at Hobbits Glen Country Club. The Centennial boys played on the front nine, while the girls competed on the back nine.

On a day where conditions were less than favorable, players from both teams fought the elements and earned the result of Centennial being represented in both the Boys’ and Girls’ Top 10.

Sophomore Isabel Trojillo finished third overall for girls in the county, while junior Greg Sterenberg finished in eighth place for the boys.

Districts will be held on October 12 at 9 am at Fairways Hills golf course.

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Eagle Time- Study Hall or Social Hour?

Photos: Michael Merkey

Words: Melinda Gwanzura

Late last year, Centennial High School’s N.E.S.T. program collaborated with the school’s administration to create a program now known as “Eagle Time.” This program was seen as such  a success last year that the Centennial administration decided to implement Eagle Time to twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays instead of providing it once a week on Wednesdays between second and third period.

The idea was originally designed to offer a time period during school hours for students to meet teachers and discuss any concerns or questions regarding school. Eagle Time has significantly evolved from being just a study hall for teachers and students to a period where students and faculty members are able to re-energize.

Starting this school year, Eagle Time no longer just allows students to catch up academically but it also allows them to catch up socially, with students that may not have the same classes as them. Students are now no longer limited to wandering and socializing in the generic cafeteria, classrooms, auditorium and library but are now also encouraged to get active and physical in the gym and other areas of the school excluding the hallways, according to principal Claire Hafets.

When asked about Eagle Time, Moroti Adewole, a freshman, said, “I think that Eagle Time is good and I get to see and chill with my friends that I don’t have classes with!”

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Green Schools

Words: Madhu Lal

The Green Ribbon Award is an award created to help enforce and reward schools that support and implement sustainable living practices on a school wide basis. This award is given to schools by the U.S. Department of Education, and strives to inspire schools to become more environmentally aware and achieve “21st century wellness”.

The Green Ribbon Award is given to schools who reduce environmental impact and costs, improve the health and wellness of the school, students, and staff, and provide education regarding the environment. Schools who want to earn the Green Ribbon Award should also integrate environmental education with STEM, civic skills, and green career pathways. Schools who qualify for this award are those who follow guidelines created by the U.S. Department of Education and show a rigorous effort for sustainability.

Centennial was awarded the Green Ribbon in the spring of last year. Teachers and staff went to workshops where they learned about how to further conserve energy and implement environmental actions into their daily school lives and in their classrooms.

To further implement education on environmental issues, classes incorporated environmental topics into their lessons, for example in English classes, students were to focus on the theme of man and nature. In American Government, students studied different policies and laws regarding the preservation of the environment and in technology classes, students discussed the possible benefits and drawbacks of advancing technologies.

Many recycling initiatives were also implemented at Centennial. Within the school there has been an increase of recycling including paper products and batteries. The school has created an initiative to stop the excessive use of water bottles by selling reusable ones. The Gardening club planted trees around the campus in order to help create more of a habitat for animals.

Along with recycling efforts, Centennial also hosts a Know Your Planet Night, where students from Earth Science, Environmental Science, Government , English and Technology classes get together after school and showcase different environment related projects to the community.

Although Centennial is making large strides towards creating a more environmentally aware school there are still many steps which can be taken in order to further our positive impact on the environment. Lori Griffiths, one of Centennial’s science teachers says that she thinks the initiatives that the school is taking are great however, she wishes to see a larger number of students enroll in environmental sciences and earth sciences so that more kids can learn about “the world we live in.”

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Boys’ Soccer Takes A Triumphant Win Over River Hill

Photos: Hunter Hall

Words: Michael Moore

On Thursday, September 25, the Centennial Boys’ Soccer team took the field to play defending state champion River Hill in a battle of the top two teams in the county.

The game started off as a defensive battle as both teams were struggling to get good offensive movement. Senior goalie EJ Fowler along with defenders Tom Brown, a senior, and Ryan Maher, a junior, kept River Hill from getting many shooting opportunities.

On offense, senior Michael Merkey, and juniors Paul Drutch and Shawn Atmar moved the ball well, creating goal scoring opportunities. Seniors Savya Konkalmatt and Bobby Nasafi generated many long balls intended for Drutch and Merkey, but had trouble connecting.

With less than 10 minutes left in the first half, Merkey got on the end of a cross and rocketed the ball into the far side of the net.

The Eagles ended the half leading the Hawks 1-0.

As the second half progressed, the score was kept at 1-0. With time winding down, the Eagles held the Hawks in their defensive third with high pressure from the midfields and forwards. Atmar was able to get his head on a high ball and aimed at the goal. The impressive header slipped past the goalie and the score was 2-0 with five minutes left in the game.

Though down by two goals, River Hill’s offense pressured hard. The Centennial defense stepped up and stopped the Hawks’ relentless goal attempts. Fowler made countless saves, including a one on one opportunity from a River Hill striker. In addition to Fowler, senior Phillip Vea, along with Brown and Maher held the score at 2-0.

This is a huge win for the Eagles soccer team. Following this win, the team is undefeated in the county and is on track to make a run at the county title.

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Introducing Centennial’s New Teachers: Part 2

Words: Nicholas Klein

Ms. Cleveland (English 10 and English 11)

Q: Do you have any prior teaching experience?

A: “I spent the last two years teaching at River Hill.”


Q: What have you liked so far about our school?

A: “Since I went here as a student, it’s really neat to teach with the people that taught me.”


Q: What are you looking forward to this year?

A: “I feel like I’m more prepared now that I’m a third year teacher. Also being able to spread my wings, like an eagle, and teach multiple grades.”


Q: Interesting Facts?

A: “All throughout high school, I was on all the dance teams, and in college I was a Division 1 athlete for rowing.”


Mr. Moe (Special Services and Football Coach)

Q: Do you have any prior teaching experience?

A: “I taught at Guilford Elementary in Howard County for two years.”


Q: What have you liked so far about our school?

A: “I like being back at Centennial since I graduated from here. It’s nice to give back to the school.”


Q: What are you looking forward to this year?

A: “Looking forward to working with some fun students and great staff, and hoping to turn the football program around.”


Q: Interesting Facts?

A: “I played four years of Division 3 college football.”


Mrs. Holzman (Geometry, Math Analysis, and Trigonometry)

Q: Do you have any prior teaching experience?

A: “This is my 10th year teaching. The first eight years, I was in Carroll County at Francis Scott Key High. Last year I was at Hammond Middle.”


Q: What have you liked so far about our school?

A: “I love being in a high school again. I love my department. Students are really nice.”


Q: What are you looking forward to this year?

A: “Events. Little things like football games and homecoming. Looking forward to seeing how involved the students are.”


Q: Interesting Facts?

A: “I just had a baby on June 8th. I [also] own over 150 pairs of shoes.”

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How Centennial Students Can Manage Stress

Words: Jacob Mauer

Students are put through many levels of stress on a daily basis both at school and at home. Students find that learning to manage stress is the key to success.

The causes of stress vary from person to person and from situation to situation. One student could be worrying about college preparation while the next is frantically looking over notes for a test that they are ill prepared for.

Jae Hi Hebler, a guidance counselor at Centennial, says that finding the source of a student’s stress is key to relieving it. Some causes of stress are avoidable and should be avoided, but some are unavoidable, such as a test or a presentation.

When the cause of stress is avoidable, skills to manage stress are invaluable. Some techniques students use include listening to music, playing sports, playing games, exercising, spending alone time, and hanging out with friends.

While these techniques can work, Hebler also recommends talking about the stressful situation with someone, not specifically a counselor. Along with talking, breathing techniques can relieve stress as well.

Erin Fisher, a teacher and tennis coach at Centennial, says that while sports can help with stress, they don’t help everyone. Some people who don’t enjoy sports can dance or sing, but it is important that they find what helps them best. Though Fisher encourages her athletes to participate in sports, she also recommends they prioritize their school work.

If a student has schoolwork that needs to be done, it should take priority over playing outside. “A balance between relaxation and work should be established,” said Fisher.

She also stressed the importance of self-care. Sometimes, when people are overwhelmed and stressed, they neglect to care for themselves. Not caring for oneself can make a person feel even more overwhelmed than before, which is counterproductive.

Stress can occupy your mind whether you are stressing over a small or large thing. If someone finds themselves overwhelmed, they can always go to either a counselor, a friend, or family member.

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The Front Bottoms are “Back on Top”

Words: Meghan Moore

The wait is over; The Front Bottoms are back with a renewed but comforting sound. Back on Top is the New Jersey based band’s first album since signing with record label Fueled By Ramen. The new album was released on September 18, 2015.

With songs from the album such as “West Virginia” and “Cough It Out” being released as its own EP, it was no secret to fans that a new album was in the works. Finally, the time has come to hear the highly anticipated track.

The Front Bottoms have managed to improve upon their sound, while keeping in touch with the root of their original, acoustic sound. Tracks like “Laugh Till I Cry” or “ HELP” are a perfect homage to what The Front Bottoms are all about: unshakable choruses and upbeat tempos.

However, it wouldn’t be a true album of theirs without a handful of songs with touching lyrics accompanied by an upbeat tempo. Songs like “Historical Cemetery” or “Plastic Flowers,” emulate the darker yet more sensitive side of the band.

The album has been well received by both fans and critics, and gives a promising future to a new era of The Front Bottoms.

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Recommended Books

Words: Nicholas Klein

Ask any teacher, and they will confidently say that reading is fundamental. Reading teaches grammar, vocabulary, and helps people become better writers. There are some books, however, that accomplish this better than others. Boards and newsletters across the nation have produced hundreds of recommended reading lists that give students hints about what books to read.

These lists typically include books that would help the student develop essential reading and writing skills, to further them in their education and help them in their future. These books are usually aimed towards young adults or adult readers, which means that they are ideal for high school students.

Reading lists published by the Board or other sources are not the only places that recommend good novels. English teachers at Centennial have their own favorite books, as well as authors that they would recommend for Centennial students.

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros is a wonderful coming of age book,” said Mr. Sharbaugh, an English 9 teacher at Centennial High School. “It’s beautifully written, like a fusion of poem and prose. It’s an unconventional novella; snapshots of characters and events that the reader pieces together like a puzzle,” said Sharbaugh.

In addition to The House on Mango Street, Sharbaugh adds that he would recommend, “Anything by William Faulkner, but I would warn students not to read The Sound and the Fury first. He plays with point of view a lot.”

Ms. Cleveland, an English 10 and 11 teacher at Centennial, says that, “One of my favorites is One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey.” She also recommends, “Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe and Perks of Being a Wallflower.”

In addition to those recommendations, Mrs. McDonough says that, “My personal favorite is A Separate Peace by John Knowles. I think it is a book that’s applicable to life. It’s about jealousy between two best friends, and what happens when jealousy takes over. I think it’s relatable to a lot of teenagers.” McDonough also states that, “If students are really into science fiction, then Bradbury is a really good author.”

There are a lot of good books for students to read, whether it be fiction or nonfiction, sci-fi or historical. Just reading will help students learn and grow, and enjoy the experience of the telling of a story. If a student wants to figure out another book to read, they should ask their teachers – all teachers have suggestions about books, not just English teachers. There are also plenty of helpful lists in almost any media center or library that can give recommendations for all genres of literature.

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

Allied Soccer Faces Tough Defeat Against Reservoir

Words: Meghan Moore

On September 16, 2015, Centennial’s Allied Soccer team took the field in their home opener against the Reservoir Gators.

The first quarter started quickly with Reservoir asserting their offensive presence and scoring within the first two minutes. However, the Eagles retaliated with a determined defense manned by junior Dominic Roybal, freshman Ian Winters, and junior goalie Mike McCarthy. By the end of the first half, the Gators went into halftime with a 0-7 lead.

Having only a few short minutes to recharge, the players took the field and the Eagles looked like a new team. Shots were flying every which way, and senior Michael Havlik scored the first goal, setting the tone for the final half. Sophomore Mariam Kazmi made her home opener debut with a goal in the second half along with junior Jonathan Hanks.

After a long and hard fight, our Eagles closed the gap, but lost 7-5. Although this was a tough defeat, the Eagles fought to the finish, and have set the tone for the season ahead.

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.