Black Friday: How It’s Changed

Words: Jacob Mauer

Traditionally, Thanksgiving was a time for appreciating family, food, and all that we hold dear to us. This contrasts greatly with the Black Friday controlled Thanksgiving we celebrate today. Black Friday began as a time when stores would turn financial loss, in the “red,” into profit, “in the black”. Black Friday began in 1960, and is still with us due to it’s ability to generate massive amounts of profit in very little time. All stores have to do is set lower prices and watch as hordes of families mindlessly flow into their stores.

In the past, the two events have been held on the fourth Thursday and Friday of every November. However, stores have started to begin sales the night before the traditional date. Some states prohibit sales on Thanksgiving because of “blue laws”. These laws, which were put into effect in the 1600’s, prohibit sales on certain days. In the past, the laws prohibited sales on Sundays, but Thanksgiving is also protected in some states. Every year, more and more people are beginning to abandon Thanksgiving traditions in favor of waiting for Black Friday sales. Thanksgiving dinners are being cut short and family members are being sent home earlier and earlier as the years progress.

Over the course of just nine years, there have been seven deaths and ninety-eight injuries linked to Black Friday shopping. Although most of the incidents were due to negligent motorists, uncaring of pedestrians, a fair amount of the fatalities were linked to brawls between customers in stores and in parking lots.

On the night of Thanksgiving, 2012 the Tandel family lost two of their daughters in a car accident on their way home from Black Friday shopping. Arvind Tandel, the father, was driving his wife and four daughters back from shopping on Black Friday at 6:49am. Mr. Tandel,  having only had a few hours of sleep, drifted into traffic, causing a collision which resulted in his two daughters being killed.

There is no reason why Black Friday needs to be the day following Thanksgiving.  I am in favor of moving Black Friday to a different date, separate from Thanksgiving. It feels wrong to go from talking amongst family and friends about gratitude, to searching desperately for the best deal of the night. It isn’t just people breaking tradition, it is people jeopardizing their safety for sale items. If stores continue to compete for earlier opening times and bigger sales, then I predict that the same stores will set a precedent for other holidays to be infringed upon.

This year Recreational Equipment Incorporated (R.E.I), an outdoor equipment store, has released a statement saying they will be closing all of their 143 stores on BlackFriday. In lieu of promoting sales, R.E.I created their own campaign encouraging people to spend time outside instead of participating in Black Friday. R.E.I is using #OptOutside to encourage people to show how they are spending their Black Friday. Jerry Stritzke, C.E.O. and president of R.E.I. says, “We’re a different kind of company—and while the rest of the world is fighting it out in the aisles, we’ll be spending our day a little differently.”

Hopefully other Companies will follow R.E.I’s footsteps and refrain from having such sales so close to a national holiday.

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

A Fall Farewell

Words: Sandy Eichhorn

Though graduation may be a few months away, some Centennial seniors will be saying farewell before winter begins. For many athletes, the fall sports season ends in mid November, and resumes the following August. For these seniors, however, once the fall season ends, they won’t be returning next year. The end of the fall season means saying goodbye to a team, coach, sport, and program.

Senior Alana Morgante has played four years on the Centennial field hockey team. Over the course of her high school career, Morgante has made many memories and friends that she will carry with her entering college.

Going into this year, Morgante was excited for the season. “I’d played with all the girls before and knew that we connect well on and off the field so I knew the season was going to be a blast,” said Morgante. During her four years playing for Centennial, Morgante said she has learned how important communication is. “Good communication among teammates and coaches makes the difference in a functional, honest team,” Morgante said. Next fall, Morgante is looking to continue her field hockey career in college by playing on an intramural or recreational team.

During his four years at Centennial, Bobby Nasafi has been a part of the boys’ soccer team. Nasafi had high hopes going into his last year playing for Centennial. Nasafi said, “We felt confident going into the season because [the team] knew what our strengths and weaknesses were.” The team has had an extremely successful season, giving Nasafi a strong ending to his high school career.

Now that Nasafi’s time playing at Centennial has ended, he reflected on the memories and lessons he learned while wearing a Centennial uniform. “Playing a sport at Centennial has taught me that for a team to be successful, it has to be united and have players that trust each other,” said Nasafi. Even during hard practices, Nasafi appreciated the guys that surrounded him. Nasafi said his favorite part of playing for Centennial was “struggling with my teammates at every practice. The bonds formed when running hills or sprints will last a lifetime.” Though Nasafi hopes to continue playing soccer in college, he said he will miss the friendly banter between his Centennial teammates during practice and scrimmages.

As she entered into her senior year, Ally Rice prepared to play her first and last season on Centennial’s varsity volleyball team. With the potential of a great season, Rice wanted to meet the high expectations for this year’s team.

“‘Every Play Every Day’ is our team motto this year, it reminds us that every little thing we do is important to be successful as a team,” said Rice. During the season, Rice said, “I’ve had so many good memories at Centennial…it’s hard to pick a favorite.” The volleyball team has had an excellent run and beat rival Mt. Hebron during the regular season.

Next year, Rice is interested in playing volleyball as well as other sports at either the club or intramural level. Though excited about college, Rice said, “I’ve made some of my best friends through volleyball and I’m going to miss being on a team with them.”

Playing a sport at Centennial has allowed multiple athletes to learn many lessons that are important on and off the field, like communication and trust. The graduating seniors will carry their favorite memories from practices and games with them to college in the fall. Even though the seniors will not be returning to Centennial, they will always remember their time spent playing in a Centennial jersey.

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Poetry Out Loud

Words: Madhu Lal

Yesterday Thursday, November 18 the auditorium was filled with students waiting for their peers to recite poetry during the annual Poetry Out Loud competition.

Poetry Out Loud is a national competition aimed to encourage youth to explore the subject of poetry through selecting and memorizing a poem of their choosing. The organization also hopes to help individuals who participate in Poetry Out Loud, with strengthening their public speaking skills through recitation.   

Students first participated in class competitions, the winners moved on to the school competition. The contestants included Tara Laneheart, Chetana Jadhav, Tori Montanez, Anna Moorhead, Fayyaz Zaidi, Miguel Fernandez, Mackenzie Brandon and Megan Hromek.

After a series of impressive performances, the winners were named, the Poetry Out Loud winner was Miguel Fernandez, first runner up was Megan Hromeck and second runner up was Fayyaz Zaidi. These students will be moving on to the next stage of the competition, the regional competition which will be held at the College of Southern Maryland.

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It’s Academic at the History Bowl Tournament

Words: Caroline Chu

On Sunday, November 15, Centennial’s It’s Academic team sent seven teams to the History Bowl Tournament. The tournament was held at Saint Anselm College in the DC Metropolitan area. The Centennial A team, comprised of captain Gary Tse, Kevin Costello, Siri Neerchal and Jason Li, came in second place in the Varsity division, losing in the finals to Richard Montgomery High School.

The It’s Academic D team, comprised of captain Jakob Boeye, Steen Aime, Bryce Plunkett, and Balaji Kodali, tied for third place in the JV division. Both teams qualified for the National History tournament and received plaques. Boeye, a member of the It’s Academic D team, received a bronze medal for individual performance in the JV History Bee.

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

Dance Team Fundraiser

Words: Melinda Gwanzura

Photo: Izzie Chausse

The Centennial Dance Team is holding a fundraiser at the Chik-Fil-A on Executive Park Drive on Tuesday, November 17. To help get the message out, the dancers dressed as cows during school.

From the profit made tonight, our Centennial dance team will be receiving 20% of all the sales generated by Centennial High School families and friends when they present their slip. You will also be able to purchase a 2016 CFA Calendar, which the dance team will receive 50% of the sale profit.

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

Arsenic and Old Lace

Words: Diana Cagas

On November 12-15, Centennial’s Theatre Department showcased Joseph Ketterling’s Arsenic and Old Lace. The dark comedy involved many humorous and suspenseful scenes and captured the attention of a full audience, packed from the front of the auditorium to the back.

Set in the late 1930s, the play revolves around the Brewster family in Brooklyn, New York. Mortimer Brewster, played by junior Miguel Fernandez, is a drama critic, reviewing plays performed in the theatre. His two beloved aunts, Abby and Martha Brewster, played by junior Mevie Henderson and senior Stephanie Crispell, murder elderly men by poisoning them with a glass of elderberry wine.

As the play went on, the characters built more suspense through the use of irony. As through usual comedy, spit-takes were involved and the actors and actresses made many references to the Panama Canal, Boris Karloff, and the Bible.

The amazing talent of the cast, stage crew, sound crew, and directors truly impressed the audience through five wonderful productions.

Girls’ Cross Country Wins 3A State Championship

Words: Sandy Eichhorn

On Saturday, November 14, both boys’ and girls’ cross country teams traveled to Herford High School to compete in the 3A State Championships.

The girls took first place overall with 68 points, beating Northern High School and Howard County rival River Hill High School. Leading the team was senior Devin McIntyre who finished 10th overall, junior Kara Taylor followed in 13th, senior Jessica Jiang finished close behind in 14th, senior Ashley Mazer finished in 17th, and freshman Alison Betler finished in 19th. Centennial’s top five runners finished in the Top 20 of the race.

Centennial’s boys’ team finished in ninth place overall in the race. The boys were led by senior Andrew Frommer who finished in 44th place overall.

Both teams had excellent seasons and ended on high notes.

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

Mr. Zehe’s New Position

Words: Vaishnavi Mahalingam

One of Centennial’s Assistant Principals, Kevin Dorsey, has moved to Lake Elkhorn Middle School, effective Thursday, November 12. Social Studies teacher Jim Zehe has taken over Dorsey’s position temporarily, and is expected to remain as a substitute administrator until the end of the year. A long-term substitute teacher, Heather Witt, has been hired to teach Zehe’s government and psychology classes.

Zehe will have responsibility over the same student group as Dorsey: students with last names from A to I. Additionally, he will supervise the Social Studies and Business and Computer Management Systems departments. He will have lunch duty and will continue to sponsor the clubs that he supervised as a teacher.

“It’s a complete switch,” he commented, in regards to the changes in his responsibilities.

Zehe stated that in his new position, he is looking forward to interacting with a diverse group of Centennial students in settings outside of the classroom. He is also hoping to better understand how things work at the front office, student services, and perhaps even at the county level. “Then, when I return to teaching, I will have a broader perspective on the job,” said Zehe.

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

Volleyball Loses to River Hill in Regional Final

Words: Michael Moore

Photos: Izzie Chausse

On Wednesday, November 11, the Centennial Volleyball team traveled to River Hill to battle for the 3A East Regional Title.

After a valiant effort, the Eagles fell to the Hawks in 4 games, losing 3-1.

After a competitive first set, the Hawks powered through for a 25-23 victory over the Eagles.

The second set belonged to the Eagles. Behind senior captain Emily Allen, they were able to grind out a 26-24 win.

The Hawks would find a rhythm in the third set, coming out on top 25-17 and setting the stage for a do or die final game for the Eagles.

The Eagles came out on fire, racing out to an 11-3 lead behind senior Taylor Anderson and juniors Rachel Mathew and Camryn Allen.

Unfortunately for the Centennial team, it was the Hawks night to shine, as they came soaring back to take the final game, and the match, 25-20.

Although the season didn’t end the way the team had hoped, head coach Michael Bossom led the team to an impressive season.

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