Annual Zaching Against Cancer Tournament Championship

Words and Photos: Zach Grable

Thursday, March 29, was the final day of the Zaching Against Cancer March Madness Basketball Tournament, when the championship game was held.

The Steezmen battled Vyatautus for the title. This was a very close game, with both teams scoring back and forth. By the end of regulation, it was tied 8-8.

Overtime began with a quick two points from The Steezmen, but with clutch 3s from senior Sean Taylor, Vyatautus stayed within reach. Vyatautus took advantage of its second opportunity to win and hit the ground running. A nice lay-up from senior Michael Pellegrini and deep two-pointer from freshman Shane Taylor put Vyatautus up 12-10. Both teams scored only one other point. The game finished with Vyatautus on top, 13-11.

This year’s ZAC Tournament was yet again a well attended and meaningful Centennial event.

For the first article click here: https://chswingspan.com/2018/03/07/week-one-of-zaching-against-cancer-march-madness-basketball-tournament/ 

For the second article click here: https://chswingspan.com/2018/03/14/week-two-of-zaching-against-cancer-march-madness-basketball-tournament/

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

Centennial Brightens Up Hallways with Inspire Murals [VIDEO]

Words: Maggie Ju/ Photos: Zach Grable/ Video: Julia Stitely

In the few days preceding spring break, clusters of New Forms art students could be seen painting colorful murals on the walls. Bearing inspiring messages, their work brightens the high-stress environment Centennial students are accustomed to.

The project had been scheduled to begin on March 22, but due to school cancellations, it was postponed until March 27.

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

Academic All-State Basketball Team Inductees

Words: Delanie Tucker

Photos: Sydney Beck

Many of Centennial’s athletes have recently earned Academic All-State Team recognition in basketball, with all of them coming from Centennial’s varsity teams. From the girls’ varsity team, seniors Mary Grace Lambert and Gracie Rockefeller were recognized. The others recognized, from the boys’ varsity team, were juniors Cameron Berkeley, Ryan Hollwedel, Matt Merkey, and Michael Kefyalew, along with seniors Kaleb Addisu and Sean Taylor.

All eight students have worked very hard to reach this point, taking three to four of their high school years to accomplish this goal.

Despite the eight of them achieving the same goal, each player boasted of different aspects that contributed to improving their athletic performance and educational integrity.

Lambert, one of the captains for girls’ varsity basketball, exclaims how grateful she is for others who have helped her along the way.

“I would just like to say thank you to my teachers, parents and coaches for supporting me and helping me, and the school for always supporting student athletes,” Lambert disclosed.

Rockefeller, the other captain for girls’ varsity, was more focused on her recent improvement and her ability to prove herself worthy of her position as captain, even though she was not given much playing time last year.

“I feel proud that I was able to make a bigger impact on the court this year.”

The girls were not the only ones who were proud of their achievements. Robert Slopek, their varsity coach, spoke highly of his captains.

“They were committed to making our program the best both on and off the court. They are both great examples of student-athletes. They complete their work and do a great job balancing their time,” Slopek praised.

Beyond the incredible accomplishments from girls’ basketball, several varsity basketball players from the boys team feel just as proficient in reaching the All-State level and express the commitment and hard work required to become successful student athletes.

Sean Taylor, a common name in the starting five for Centennial varsity, openly shared the challenges he faced to obtain the elite achievement.

“Playing basketball is what I love to do but doing well in school and getting good grades is something I pride myself on,” Taylor revealed. “To reach this level took hard work and some afternoons or nights that were homework filled and time-consuming.”

While Taylor described his struggles as a student athlete, his fellow player, Cameron Berkeley, divulged his belief that the accomplishments of the selected players were due to the effort and endurance of the entire team, whether it be on the court or in the classroom.

“It is incredible to be recognized for any accomplishments and as a team it was important that we took care of the academic side of being a student athlete in order to focus on our performance on the court,” Berkeley commented.

Centennial High School students and staff are very proud of the achievements of the school’s student athletes, and hope to see many more students emerge as leaders in their own sports.

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

The Impact of March for Our Lives and the Students of Parkland

Words: Maddie Wirebach

I don’t think I can adequately express the sheer power and passion that radiated through every single inch of Pennsylvania Avenue. There are just no words to describe the feelings I felt as I stood in solidarity with hundreds of thousands of people, proudly and peacefully demonstrating our desire for change. I felt empowered, yet enraged standing in the shadow of the Capitol building, the very building in which so little action is being taken to end this senseless violence. I was so happy to be a part of the march, but my heart sank every time the cause of the movement crossed my mind.

I watched as performers I love took the stage and sang beautiful songs. It was hard to fight back tears as I listened to the heartbreaking stories of kids who have been directly affected by gun violence.

The most powerful moment for me was when Parkland survivor Emma Gonzalez stepped onto the stage. Her statements echoed down the avenue, the crowd totally enamored and hanging on her every last word. And she left us hanging: in utter silence for minutes. The stillness lingered as the crowd watched and waited for Gonzalez’s next word. But she just stood, eyes burning into the lens of the camera, her face stone cold, yet filled with passion, rage, and unrest.

Gonzalez’s silence, in retrospect, is quite symbolic of my lack of words. In some cases, there are moments that simply cannot be recreated with words.

For me, her silence said more than anything words could say. Those minutes of silence allowed my mind to be flooded with a million thoughts, but at the same time, none. In that time, I genuinely understood why I was at the march. I knew I was there because I am tired of seeing kids like me being senselessly killed. I was there because not a day goes by where I don’t think “Am I next? Is Centennial next?”

If you think about it, our school is no different than Marjory Stoneman Douglas. In fact, we are extremely similar, right down to the exact same mascot. We are as much the home of the eagles as MSD is, making this even closer to home. The impact and courage of our fellow eagles has spread and inspired students at Centennial, including juniors Jen Solan and Matt Sorak.

Solan applauds the students for displaying the strength our generation holds.

“The actions of the students are a demonstration of the power and potential of our generation,” Solan noted.

“[They] are actively sharing their voices in a mature and effective way that emphasizes the validity and importance of their opinion,” continued Solan.

Sorak admired the opportunity the MSD students have created for our voices to be heard.

“I think high schoolers across the country finally feel like there’s a chance to change; that maybe we won’t have to be scared anymore.”

The march is something I will never forget, especially Gonzalez’s parting words: “Fight for your life before it’s someone else’s job.”

That’s why it is so important to do all that you can right now. Register to vote, write to your representatives, because something needs to change.

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

Centennial Girls Lacrosse Looking to Continue Their Crusade As Top-Tier Team

Words: Sydney Beck

The Lady Eagles Head Varsity Coach, Bethany Cunha’s motto for the 2017 season was “redemption”. Cunha wanted the girls to forget about the prior season, and come out strong as a new team. This was the beginning of redemption.

The Lady Eagles caused heads to turn going into their 2016-2017 season. The Eagles started off the season with a loss of 14-7 to Marriotts Ridge High School. They quickly regained speed and won two games back to back before meeting their defeat against Glenelg High School. Although the loss against Mount Hebron High School was nearly heart wrenching, due to such an intense game, the Eagles did not slow down.

All eyes were on the Eagles when they won their first game, against Howard High (15-12), in three years. Centennial girls varsity did not stop there.

The girls pushed through the next game against River Hill winning 15-1. Winning against River Hill put the girls in the first round of playoffs against team rival, Mount Hebron. The Eagles came for revenge, and left with just that. Breaking the never ending tie of 7-7, Marissa Lagera won the game in over time with an unbelievable eight-meter foul shot.

Unfortunately, the Lady Eagles met their demise in the second round of playoffs against Glenelg, losing the game 4-16.

Redemption was what it was.

“I couldn’t be prouder with how the season ended last year as we exceeded all expectations and set out to redeem ourselves within the county.” Cunha stated.

Going into the 2018 season, the Lady Eagles have been preparing both mentally and physically. According to Cunha, it’s all about the foundation.

“So far we have been preparing by making sure we are solid in game basics like offensive sets, midfield transition, defensive movement and clears. Once the foundation is set, we can build off those pieces.”

The 2018 season will be more challenging for the Lady Eagles, as they have been moved up into the upper tier. However, just like last year, the Eagles will rise to occasion and demand redemption, but this time, as the ‘Dark Horse’.

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

Centennial Theatre Department Takes the Stage With 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Words: Natalie Keane

During the weekend of March 23, the Centennial High School Theatre Department presented the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee in Centennial’s auditorium.

The musical, packed with fast-paced wit and humor, follows six middle schoolers as they compete to become Putnam County’s next spelling bee champion. As they progress through each round, with each filled with words that sound suspiciously fake, they also come to address their own adolescent insecurities. While the mood of the show remains playful, some moments highlight more serious and heartfelt undertones of the students’ personal lives.

Speller Olive Ostrovsky wants nothing more than validation from her parents, who are too busy to attend the competition to watch her perform. Leaf Coneybear, clad in a bright red cape, is plagued with self-doubt. Despite the constant mockery he hears from his own family, he manages to develop some much-needed self confidence throughout the play.

Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre has two overbearing moms, who are likely more invested in her own victory in the competition than she is. William Barfee is burdened with a chronic sinus condition and a last name that often provokes mispronunciation. Marcy Park describes the struggles of being simply too good at everything, and Chip Tolentino, a boy scout and last year’s spelling bee champion, is forced to come to terms with his own eventual failure in this year’s bee.

To the surprise of many, the show included audience participation. Four members from the audience were invited to be “guest spellers” in the bee, and did their best to spell through the competition on stage alongside the actors and actresses, contributing even more to the humor of the show. Audience participation highlights the uniqueness of the production, because no two performances can be exactly the same.

The true relatability of every character makes the show all the more wonderful to watch. It becomes easy to cheer on the six misfits as they navigate their way through the competition and their own personal struggles.

Altogether, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,  featuring drastically different characters who light up the stage, truly highlights what makes each of us one of a kind. It teaches a much-needed lesson that little victories, even if not intended to be found, can sometimes be worth more than the ones for which we’re really looking.

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

New Forms Art Students Create Inspiring Murals

Words: Maggie Ju

Nineteen students in the New Forms art class will be participating in the Inspire Mural Project, scheduled for Thursday, March 22, but is postponed due to inclement weather closings.

Instructed by art teacher Mark Hanssen, these upperclassmen are creating murals based on Centennial’s values to display uplifting messages to students.

“Mr. Hanssen inspired us to reach within ourselves and create something beautiful while being meaningful,” senior Isabel Trojillo explained. She and other students are working on a design by senior Sophie Lovering, which features the words “Be Kind” in sign language.

“The most important aspect to me is allowing students to see the process so that they can fully appreciate the effort and the values we are reminded of on a daily basis,” Trojillo said, “I cannot wait for our murals to be finished!”

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

Pre-Medicine Club Hosts Annual Medical Seminar

Words and photos: Reem Hashmi

This past Saturday, March 17, 2018, Centennial’s Pre-Medicine Club hosted their second annual medical seminar.

The group works hard each year to provide an enriching experience for all Howard County high school students interested in the field of medicine by inviting doctors to be guest speakers.

The revered guest speakers included: Dr. Kavita Hegde (Associate Professor of Biology at Coppin State University), Dr. Judy Huang (Neurosurgeon at John Hopkins), Dr. Nader Hanna (Professor of Surgery at the UMD School of Medicine), Dr. Carla Easter (Chief, Education and Community Involvement Branch; National Human Genome Research Institute).

Each speaker showcased their research and medical journey with presentations in order to educate the students. Many attended with family and friends for the sole purpose to be informed and to ask the speakers questions on their experience.

Co-President Deanna Yi said, “We are always aiming to provide a welcoming and nourishing environment as we hope to help other students start their path on the pre-medicine track! We had another successful seminar this year thanks to our members and the board: Supraja Kanipakam, Co-President; Danny Hemani Vice President; Christopher Chen, Event Coordinator; Jocelyn Mathew, Fundraiser; Mallika Kadabha, Secretary; and Reem Hashmi, Member at Large.”

In addition to the guest speakers, Mathew arranged an AP book sale, selling gently used or new books for the proceeds to go to the Prem Sewa organization, which helps underprivileged children.

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

Centennial Girls Track and Field Complete a Record-Breaking Journey Towards the State Title

Words: Shawn Kruhm

Photos contributed by: Kirsten Wikner

Centennial girls track and field ended a successful winter season in the best way possible: seniors Claudia Pilcher and Kirsten Wikner, and juniors Cora Blount and Alison Betler won the 4×800 meter relay state title. This marks the first time in Centennial history that a girls indoor track and field team won the 4×800 meter relay at the state level.

The four girls started their record-breaking run in counties where they won the 4×800 relay. They moved up to the next level and competed at regionals, where they won the 4×800 relay in record time, finishing the race with a time of 9:53, the quickest 4×800 time in Centennial history, for both indoor and outdoor track and field.

Pilcher, Wikner, Blount, and Betler then took their talents to the track and field state championship. Pilcher began the race, followed by Wikner, Blount, and Betler. It was a tough race, but the girls fought through it and came out on top, finishing with a time of 9:59.

We had a pretty big lead in the beginning of the race but at times it was close and there was a lot of really good other teams,” said Pilcher. “I knew that Alison, Cora and Kirsten are all incredible runners and as soon as Alison pulled ahead in the last 2 laps, we realized we were about to win states.”

The girls have created a special bond and will remember their journey forever. They had so much support from each other as well as family and friends attending the event.

“Crossing the line in first place was an unbelievable feeling. M

y teammates did a great job of positioning us in the lead so all I had to do was maintain that. I had a lot of people cheering me on which really motivated me to make my move into first,” said Betler. “Winning a state title is something that every runner dreams of, so being able to make that dream into a reality was incredible and definitely a moment I’ll never forget.”

Wikner added, “It is very special to win a state title especially since it was with this relay team. I’m so happy we could win it together.”

While they all have tremendous talent and drive, the girls acknowledged their coach, Kevin Mccoy, for playing a huge role in their success.

“I always knew Coach McCoy was standing on the sidelines for each race, cheering us on and pushing me to go 110% every time,” said Pilcher.

“It was like a rush of happiness,” said Blount. “I cried because I was so happy that all our hard work paid off.”

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

Maryland Welcomes the Lanternfly

Words: Eliza Andrew

This spring, Marylanders have a new bug they expect to take over their state. Every year, as temperatures rise and winter comes to a close, the outbreak of the brown, odorous stink bug, which has occurred since 2006, hits Maryland at enormous levels. The harmless bug is nothing compared to the tree-eating gypsy moth that hit the state in the 1980s, yet the new alien to hit Maryland is expected to be even worse than the previous two. The spotted lanternfly, a four-winged bright bug, originated from parts of Asia including China, Vietnam, and several areas of India. It’s expected to travel down from southeast Pennsylvania this spring.

The bug was first introduced to America when a shipment of stone was brought to Berks County, PA, where the lanternfly eggs attached to the crates. Although these bugs aren’t directly harmful to people, they have infested the area and have left dozens of hardwood decks, furniture, and many fruit gardens covered in the lanternfly’s goo. The goo, otherwise known as honeydoo, can be left by the bug either while on the ground or flying above the item, dropping the honeydoo from above. Since this fly is not native to the area, and has a quick reproduction time, there are no known predators or remedies to regulate the population.

This brainy bug has tendency to latch onto different modes of transportation, including cars, trucks, and trains, making the lanternfly’s location spread even wider to unknown parts of the country. Although the bug has four, strong wings, the lanternfly is known to travel by hopping more than flying. Starting from a young age, the baby lanternfly or nymph has to learn to move around until it finally grows its wings later on in its development. Which means lots of bugs on the ground as well as in the air. They make their way inside of homes and buildings, similar to the stink bug.

There is no exact date on which we are to expect the spotted lanternfly, but since its first appearance in 2014 in Pennsylvania, the bug has turned up in parts of Delaware. Therefore, the bug is expected to make its timely appearance in Maryland this spring into summer. Residents of Maryland are cautioned to be on the lookout for the lanternfly’s egg sacks, which could be mistaken for unusual colored fungus on tree bark. If any sacks are found, the resident who spotted them is highly urged to alert Maryland wildlife control immediately to limit and prevent the infestation of the environmentally-harmful spotted lanternfly.