Bingo Night at Centennial

Words and Photos: Madison Baltimore

On February 22, Centennial’s music department held their annual Bingo Night from 7 to 9:30pm. It was a night filled with excitement, different colored bingo dabbers and musical performances. Students and their families played bingo for a good cause.

“It has been a music department tradition long since my arrival at CHS,” David Matchim, band director at Centennial said. “It’s growing every year as we add musical performances. It’s a great opportunity to raise money and show community groups our great ensembles.”

In between bingo rounds, students from orchestra and Centennial’s Jazz Band played a variety of songs to showcase their talent.

“I think Bingo Night has continued to provide a tremendous opportunity for fundraising the music program and uniting our community and school by providing the opportunity to see some of our school’s ensembles perform,” expressed Jackson Rowles, a senior at Centennial and Lead Drummer in Jazz Band. “Bingo night also allows members of our community and school to gather together and share our appreciation of Centennial music through the always exhilarating game of bingo.”

“Music parents and students make donations to themed gift baskets and several business sponsor baskets, as well,” said Matchim, regarding the prize baskets bingo winners receive.

Bingo Night, which is hosted by Centennial’s Friends of Music, raises roughly $2,000 to $3,000 per year.

Students and their families come back every year to enjoy a fun game of bingo for a chance to win a themed basket.

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

Centennial Wrestling Shines at Regional Tournament

Words: Joey Sedlacko

This past weekend on February 22 and 23, five wrestlers placed in the top six of their
individual weight class for Centennial at the Regional Wrestling Tournament.

Senior Jason Kraisser placed first in the 152 division and is moving onto the state
tournament on March 1 and 2. Another senior, Zaid Narmouq, finished in fifth place in the 132
division. The Eagles had one more fifth place finisher, freshman Nick Shapiro, who wrestled in
the 120 division.

Sophomores Chris Lee and Matt Harris both finished in sixth place, with Lee in the 113
division and Harris in the 145 division.

Only the top four finishers in each weight class move on to the state tournament, but the
success from the underclassmen at the regional level proves to be a good sign for the wrestling
program as they look to continue to improve for future years.

For Kraisser, he will be looking to carry his momentum of first place
finishes in the county and regional tournament into the state tournament this upcoming
weekend.

Kraisser will be aiming to capture his fourth state championship in four years, a feat only
seven other wrestlers have accomplished in Maryland history.

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

Centennial Boys’ Basketball Dominates in Last Game of the Season

Words: Delanie Tucker

Photos: Jenna Marie Torres

On Monday, February 26, Centennials Boys’ Varsity basketball team played Wilde Lake High School in their last regular season game of the 2018-19 season.

To start off the game, the Eagles took an 8-point lead in the first quarter.

While the Wildcats were able to even that scoreline, Centennial managed to gain back a 2-point lead, ending the first quarter at 10-8.

The Eagles played a very defensively strong game in the second quarter, only conceding 5 points.

The score at halftime was 20-13.

After halftime, the Eagles returned to the court with a more offensive mindset, scoring 17 points in just the third quarter. To top off Centennial’s incredible performance, 4 of their players scored double-digits throughout the game.

These four players were Joey Sedlacko (10), Stafford Smith (10), Michael Kefyalew (13), and Ryan Hollwedel (12).

The final score was 60-46.

“It was a really good team effort,” Sedlacko, junior forward, commented.

The win against Wilde Lake, who is ranked second in county, will give the boys good momentum going into playoffs.

Their first playoff game will be on Monday, March 4, against Reservoir High School.

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

Spring Sports Tryouts Overview

Words: Sasha Allen

With tryouts for spring sports quickly approaching, students are finding different ways to prepare for the big day. No matter the sport, there is an enormous amount of preparation that has to be done to make it onto any team.

Patrick Correal-Winters is trying out for outdoor track, and he has a few different training techniques. Correal-Winters trains for tryouts by running, but he alternates between speed and stamina exercises, helping him become faster and allowing him to run for longer periods of time. Correal-Winters says that he enjoys track because of his teammates, and he is eager for the approaching season.

Sophomore Kiran Vepa is trying out for softball this spring. She says that the best way for her to prepare for tryouts is to exercise at the gym once a week and to go to physical therapy two times a week.

“I go to the gym to work on arms to build arm muscles to work on pitching,” said Vepa.

She also runs when she can to stay in shape during the winter. Vepa says that softball is not only a good sport to keep her in shape, but she also enjoys meeting new people from the team.

Sports can be a good release from the stress of the school day, and this prompts many students like Amaiya Brickhouse to try out. Brickhouse is trying out for outdoor track, and her training consists of workouts up to an hour and a half long that help her train for specific events like the 200, 400, and 800 meter-run. Her participation in indoor track this winter has helped her stay in shape for the upcoming season. Although she does work out by herself, Brickhouse says that “working out with other people from the team acts like a good motivator” and can help her stay more focused.

“The environment [of track] is really positive,” says Brickhouse. “[Track] is one of the best parts of my high school experience.”

Trying out for sports can be stressful, but hard work and a lot of preparation can help students feel more confident. Playing a sport has many benefits that many overlook, but preparing well can help raise a student’s chances of making the team.

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

Centennial beats Blair in Science Bowl Finals

Words: Thomas Hitt

Centennial’s Science Bowl team went undefeated this year, winning 11 games in a row. In the finals, Centennial defeated Montgomery Blair High School  74-58, resulting in Centennial’s first tournament win in history.

The Science Bowl consists of two eight-minute halves in which a moderator reads a question relating to physics, chemistry, biology, math and other fields.

An individual from one of the six teams can buzz in and answer the question, but they are not allowed to receive help from his or her peers. If a question is answered correctly, then they are given a bonus question, for which they can get help from other teammates. The team with the most points after the second half is declared the winner.

The team has put in countless hours to continue to improve themselves. “We meet every Monday. Outside of that, we practice online on Protobowl on top of our individual readings.”

Prior to the 2018-19 school year, Centennial’s Science Bowl team had placed in the top eight every year, going back to 2016.

Thomas Luo, a senior at Centennial High School and captain of the science bowl team, described this year’s victory as “absolute insanity.” Having lost to Blair in 2016 and 2017, Luo and the team were very impressed with the win.

Photo taken and contributed by C. Dillon.

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

Centennial Girls’ Varsity Basketball Complete Comeback over Hammond on Senior Night

Words: Shawn Kruhm

Photos: Rasa Welsh

Playing their final, guaranteed home game, Centennial’s seniors took the floor for a night to remember.

On Friday, February 22, the Centennial Girls’ Varsity basketball team defeated Hammond by a final score of 56-53.

Centennial’s starting lineup consisted of their three seniors, Ashley Molz, Jordan Dossett, and Madison Fowler, accompanied by junior Rasa Welsh and sophomore Tori Pearson.

The game was off to a quick start as both teams found themselves successful on offense. Neither team was able to hold onto a large lead due to various scoring runs from each side.

Despite Centennial’s aggressive offense, Hammond found themselves leading by a score of 29-25 at halftime.

Hammond continued to put on the pressure in the second half. Centennial struggled on both sides of the ball due to great defense and tremendous playmaking abilities from Hammond’s Imani Reid.

Reid scored her 1000th career point in the second half as she continued to dominate.

Although Reid was successful throughout the entire game, her efforts were not enough. In the final quarter of play Centennial went on a 16-9 run to give them the lead as they defeated Hammond by three points.

Welsh finished the game with 16 points, followed by Pearson with 12, and Brook Anderson with 9.

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

Delta Scholars Celebrates Black History Month

Words: Madison Baltimore

Photos: Wabii Doti

On February 15, Delta Scholars, an honor society for young girls, hosted their annual event in celebration of Black History Month. Food for the Soul, Words for the Heart is a night filled with soul food, music, poetry, and more. This year’s theme was “Unity: Loving Yourself and Others & Celebrating our Uniqueness.”

“The event was an idea that the Delta Scholars came up with five years ago,” said Shalonda Holt, Delta Scholars advisor and biology teacher at Centennial. “[They] are in charge of running it.”

Students from the honor society performed, featuring poems from Olumoroti Adewole, Nicole Attram, Kash Awosika, Cora Blount, Noni Grimes, Renee Ofori, Anita Osoh, and Savannah Pearson, as well as art from Shahd Alhadari and Victoria Pearson and music from Dalaysia Hammond and Madison O’Donoghue-Walcott.

“I love the event and have looked forward to it every year. It’s such an inviting environment and the food is so good,” said Attram, one of the three student co-presidents of Delta Scholars. “[The event also] gives girls of color a place of acceptance.”

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

Centennial’s Future Business Leaders of America Dominate at Regionals

Words: Shawn Kruhm

On January 19, the Future Business Leaders of America Club (FBLA) at Centennial competed in the Regionals Skills Competition. Four Centennial students placed first, four placed second, and 10 are advancing to the State Leadership Conference.

The FBLA is a club in which students compete in various events and attend workshops and field trips to strengthen their skills.

Students participate in conferences of all levels, challenging others in over 60 events. Competitive events include tests taken prior to the conference as well as live performances judged at the conference.

Kenneth Xue, Ryan Yu, Edward Du, Talia Andrews, Abhiram Metuku, Anudeep Metuku, Ashwin Iyer, Ana Cunningham, Anika Huang, and Kiran Vepa all qualified for the State Conference in Portland, Oregon, which will take place April 4-6.

If students perform well enough in the state competition, they will be invited to attend the National Leadership Conference in San Antonio, Texas from June 29 to July 2.

Ashwin Iyer was one of the few students that placed first in their event. Leading up to the test, he attended several workshops as he trained for his first regional competition.

“For those of us who have written an objective test, we attend workshops given by a large variety of business professionals,” said Iyer. “One of the most interesting workshops this year was given by the Secret Service.”

Iyer attended the regional competition to support his fellow teammates and listen to the results of the test.

As a whole, the team performed exceptionally well. Students of all different ages and skills placed higher than expected.

“I did not think I would get first place, especially in such a competitive category with many competitors,” said Iyer. “Upon hearing that I had indeed won first place, I was overjoyed.”

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

On Thin Ice: We Can Do Better

Words: Maddie Wirebach

To put it simply: last Tuesday, I, as well as my teachers and classmates, endured an unimaginably dangerous commute to school. What normally takes me at most, 15 minutes, to get to school, took me about 45.

Overnight, freezing rain and sleet covered the roads, trees and powerlines. I woke up to a two-hour delay, waiting for the tweet from Howard County that schools would be cancelled. I mean– closing schools was the logical thing considering the amount of ice and the condition of the roads. 7:30 came around and I was still refreshing the page. Once I had come to terms with the fact that I did have to get up, I started to get ready for the day.

Heeding my mother’s advice, I opted to take the bus rather than drive. All was going well on the bus ride– at first. On the radio, I heard bus drivers chatter about not being able to get up hills, trees sagging from the weight of last night’s ice, and roads that seemed virtually impassable.

I didn’t think much of it and put my headphones back in. It all started to go downhill- or, in this case, uphill- when the bus turned on to a street with a hill that’s hard to get up on a normal day.

I was convinced we were going to slide because no matter how hard he tried, the driver couldn’t make it up the hill. Eventually, we did, but not without a struggle. I let out a sigh of relief and hoped that was the end of the mayhem.

As I should’ve learned when I thought school would be cancelled, I was wrong. We had made it to Centennial Lane, right before the elementary school. Traffic was at a standstill. After about five minutes of stop-and-go traffic, blue and red lights came into vision. Police surrounded the scene of a downed tree that had fallen onto someone’s car. That’s when everything clicked for me: why on earth was I on my way to school?

According to an article from the Washington Post, at the peak of the icy conditions, there were around 15,000 power outages across the entire state of Maryland. Aside from the power outages, CBS Baltimore reported that the Maryland State Police acted on 226 accidents from Sunday, February 10, at midnight to Tuesday, February 12, at 5am.

I couldn’t believe the statistics. It’s baffling to me that so many people were put at risk, and at what cost? Just to save us from an extra day or two at the end of the year? What made all of this worse was the tweet from the Howard County Police Department advising people to be careful of the trees blocking the road and the ice covering the streets. Ironically, the tweet fell right around the same time that an announcement at school was made about ARL buses being sent out. So after all of these awful conditions were reported, they were going to send out more kids and buses? And afterwards go pick up middle school and elementary school kids?

Last week’s weather conditions combined with HCPSS’ poor judgement put thousands of children and staff at risk. The right call would’ve been to have the two-hour delay, take note of the terribly hazardous state of the roads, and then close schools.

These dangerous conditions may make a return. A winter storm warning has been issued by the National Weather Service from 1am to 7pm for tomorrow, Wednesday, February 20. Snow, ice, and sleet are all that can be expected from the storm, and predictions call for 4-6 inches of accumulation.

There’s no doubt that judging when schools should close is a tough call. There are lots of variables to take into account like snow on tree branches, ice on the roads, and power outages. My hope is that HCPSS learns from their previous decision last Tuesday to ensure the safety of the Howard County community tomorrow and always.

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