Category Archives: Uncategorized

Beginning of the season for the top women’s swim team in the country

By: Mia David

A few weeks ago, the University of Virginia’s women’s swim team was ranked the top team in the nation. They have built up a strong team for the last few years and proved their speed in 2021 and 2022 when they won the NCAA championships.

The women’s team is stacked with Olympians and record-holders. However, Virginia is still one-step ahead and planning for the future. This fall, they have recruited five top-20 girls from the class of 2024—more recruits than their competitors, the University of Texas and Stanford.

Earlier this season, the Cavaliers took on the Florida Gators and shocked people with some insane times. The sophomore Gretchen Walsh was truly the star of the meet. She started the meet with a 21.91 50 fly in the medley relay, which out-splits her teammate Kate Douglas who had the fastest split in history.

Walsh wasn’t done there; she pulled out a 50.53 in the 100 fly, which became the fastest unsuited time in history. She whipped out some speedy 50 and 100 freestyles as well. Gretchen, Douglass, and their teammates Alex Walsh and Maxine Parker went a speedy 3:11.37 in the 400 free relay to finish off the meet.

On November 4th and 5th, the Cavaliers took on the second-ranked women’s team, the Texas Longhorns. Both women and men’s teams competed against each other down in Texas.

The Cavalier women won six events, according to Virginia Sports. Gretchen Walsh had a phenomenal meet, three times being the fastest in the country this season. Walsh also went the fastest time ever in 100-yard IM (the 100 IM is not an NCAA event, nor is it competed at any world championship meets, but it is sometimes added to meets as an extra fun event).

The meet was a fun showdown with music and a light show to add to the energy and excitement, according to Swim Swam News. This dual meet was unlike any other dual meet with the amount of technology and energy put into making it a fun and competitive environment.

Although the meet was exciting and full of great swims for the Cavaliers, they, unfortunately, lost to Texas with a final score of 95-91 for the women.

The team is not yet finished; they are heading to the Tennessee Invitational on November 17-19, and they still have an NCAA championship title to defend.

Fantasy football studs and duds – through week 7

By: Toby Martin-Kohls

Stud: Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants

Saquon came into the season coming off a poor 2021 season that saw him play in only 13 games while injuring his ankle and getting placed into the NFL’s COVID protocol. He averaged a career-low 3.7 yards per carry and only scored 2 touchdowns in 13 regular season games. He also lost his first NFL fumble.

This season he has looked like he’s back into his first two seasons’ form when he had back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons. So far, in 2022, he is averaging a career-best 5.1 ypc and 104 rushing yards per game.

His ADP (average draft position) on ESPN this season was 22, as the RB8 overall. Through 7 weeks he has scored 137 fantasy points, good for RB2 on the year, only trailing Chargers RB Austin Ekeler. According to oddsmakers, Barkley is the current favorite to take home the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year award.

Dud: Jonathan Taylor, RB, Indianapolis Colts

Jonathan Taylor was largely the consensus No.1 pick in most fantasy drafts this season. Coming off a monster year where he was the best player in fantasy, he has disappointed a lot of managers this year. Last year he played in all 17 regular season games, rushing for over 1,800 yards and 18 touchdowns. He scored 369 fantasy points on the year, good for an average of 21.7ppg.

Because of his scarce injury history, and the Colts’ willingness to run the ball, he was considered the consensus No. 1 pick this year. An ankle injury has forced him to miss two weeks this year, but even before that, he was underperforming. He currently sits with 62 fantasy points, as the overall RB31. 

Stud: Josh Jacobs, RB, Las Vegas Raiders

Josh Jacobs has certainly surprised owners this year, finally breaking out, as he is sitting at RB4 on the year. Throughout his 4-year NFL career, he has been a solid, but not an overly spectacular choice for fantasy managers. Coming into this season there were questions around a timeshare with backup running backs Kenyan Drake, Ameer Abdullah, and rookie Zamir White. Jacobs has proven that he is the superior back and the Raiders with continue to feed him the ball.

Jacobs has been red hot the past 3 weeks, averaging over 30 points per game. Jacobs just became the third player in Raiders franchise history to record 150 scrimmage yards and score a TD in three consecutive games, joining Marcus Allen from 1985, and Clem Daniels from 1966. Jacobs is a locked and loaded RB1 for the rest of the season.

Dud: Kyle Pitts, TE, Atlanta Falcons

I think the whole fantasy community can agree that Pitts is one of the biggest busts that hurts this fantasy season. Coming into the season, he was being thought of and drafted as the TE3 behind only Mark Andrews and Travis Kelce. On average, he was being drafted around the 3rd/4th round turn in 12-team PPR (point per reception) leagues.

After becoming only the second rookie TE ever in NFL history to have a 1,000-yard season, expectations were high. However, it is clear that the Falcons are a run-first team right now and that head coach Arthur Smith does not trust his starting QB, Marcus Mariota, to throw the ball many times per game.

The Falcons are currently 2nd to last in the league in passing yards per game with only 1,062 yards on the year for an average of 152 yards per game. Pitts is borderline droppable at this point except for perhaps deeper leagues, and only because of his uber talent and upside at the weak TE position. 

New hobbies to try over the summer

By: Abi and Thalia

Since school is coming to end, homework will no longer keep you occupied. There are many new hobbies to try this summer!

The first hobby to try is reading. Reading for pleasure can be very refreshing. According to Markham Public Library, some benefits to reading include exercise for the brain, concentration and focus ability, and general knowledge. While reading a book, we have to remember the details of the book and it is a workout for the brain that helps improve our memory. Books are filled with many interesting facts and by reading a variety of topics and genres, we gain more knowledge. The materials for this simple hobby are easy, you’ll just need a book. 

The second hobby to try this summer is scrapbooking. Scrapbooking is a way to preserve any memories. This is done by arraigning it in a certain way with different materials such as pictures, artwork, and construction paper. According to DigiDesign Resort the benefits to scrapbooking include relaxation, a sense of accomplishment, and it helps you communicate your feelings. Scrapbooking has been proven to reduce anxiety and lower stress levels. This activity can also be done with friends and family. A simple scrapbook accomplishment can help boost your self-esteem. Scrapbooking can help you remember all of your goals and accomplishments throughout the years. With scrapbooking, it helps you communicate feelings through pictures and drawings. 

The third hobby is making jewelry. Making handmade jewelry can hold an emotional significance to the one who creates it or the one who receives it. According to Marla Trudine, the benefits of hand making your own jewelry is that it will never be like any other jewelry you see at stores. Another benefit is that you won’t use machines, it adds more care, hardship, and attention to detail to each piece that you create.

The fourth hobby is journaling. Journaling is writing down your feelings, thoughts, goals, etc. Journaling is different for everybody. There are many benefits to journaling, which include reducing stress and anxiety, keeping track of your personal growth and goals, writing down memories so you’ll never forget them, and it can also strengthen your memory. Journaling can be entertaining, especially to those who like writing. It can be relaxing to others. The materials can range depending on the different styles of journaling, some prefer just a notebook and pen while others like to use colored pens/markers, stickers, colorful tape, etc. All journals are unique and there is no one specific way of journaling. 

The fifth hobby is painting. Painting is the act of adding paint or pigment to a solid surface such as a canvas, paper, wall, table, etc. There are benefits to painting such as reducing stress and anxiety by painting out your emotions, helps with muscle control, you can make a profit off of paintings, and you can create decorations for your walls. Many people find painting entertaining because it allows a person to release creativity onto a solid surface. The materials needed for painting are any solid surface such as paper, canvas, a wall, etc. Any solid surface that you are willing to paint on. You will also need paint; there’s all kinds of various paints such as oil paint, watercolor, acrylic, and gouache. Lastly, you’ll need paintbrushes and your creativity. 

The last hobby is gardening. Gardening is tending or cultivating a garden. The benefits of gardening are reduced stress, spending time outside which can boost health by boosting your Vitamin D, and can improve hand strength. Gardening can be entertaining to those who like taking care of things, especially plants. It can give someone motivation to get out of the house and go tend to their gardens. It can also be fun for someone to pick which plants or flowers they want to add to their garden, even vegetables. Some basic materials you need for gardening are soil, gardening tools (shovel, trowel, gloves, garden rake, etc.), and pick what you want to grow, which could include green plants, flowers (tulips, roses, lilies, etc.), or even vegetables. 

Spring celebrations: India and Europe

By: Ava Bleifuss

Spring is known for bringing in new life. It has the smell of fresh flowers and sounds of chirping birds. Spring can occur during different times of the year depending on the location of the country. There are many different ways that people celebrate spring. Two of the many festivals are Holi and May Day. 

Holi is a spring festival that is celebrated in India. In 2023, it will be celebrated on March 8. It is also known as the festival of color and is celebrated over two days. It is based on Hindu mythology, telling the story of Lord Vishnu and the triumph over the evil king.

Holi is a celebration of spring, family, and friendship. People gather in streets to splash colored powder on each other with colored water. Each color has its own meaning: red symbolizes love and fertility, yellow is the color for turmeric and is a natural remedy that is used in India, blue symbolizes the Hindu god Krishna, and green symbolizes new and fresh beginnings.

Families decorate their homes and share delicious treats with each other. Foods that are commonly eaten during Holi are: thandai, dahi bhalle, puran poli, malpua, rasmalai, badan phirni, coconut milk murukku, and bhang pakora. 

May Day is celebrated on May 1st, right before the beginning of summer. This holiday is a celebration of ancient origins. It started in Roman Britain where soldiers danced around decorated trees to celebrate the coming of spring while thanking their goddess, Flora. Flora is the goddess of flowering plants, and bringing in new life. She is often correlated with being the goddess of the budding of youth.

The Maypole dance is usually done during the celebration of May Day. There is a pole in the middle with colorful bright ribbons that people hold on to when they dance. When the dance is done correctly, the ribbons create a beautiful pattern around the pole. After they do the dance the other way, they undo the ribbons around the pole which symbolizes the longer days as summer approaches.

There are different ways to celebrate May Day. In Austria and Germany, the pole is painted with blue and white stripes and is put in the middle of a village. This is then followed by a procession. Another tradition is that people try to climb to the top of the Maypole. 

Spring connects the end of hibernation to the beginning of growth and summer. People around the world all celebrate this wonderful season in many different ways. Regardless of where people live, festivals and celebrations of spring are something that everyone has in common.

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson

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Justice Breyer has announced that he will be retiring from the Supreme Court and President Biden has nominated Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to replace him. In a statement, Biden said, “I select a nominee worthy of Justice Breyer’s legacy of excellence and decency someone extremely qualified, with a brilliant legal mind, with the utmost character and integrity, which are equally as important.”

Ketanji Brown Jackson was born in Washington D.C. but grew up in Miami. During her childhood her father attended law school and her mom was a teacher. Her love for the law traced back to when she sat next to her father in their apartment as he tackled his law school homework – reading cases and preparing for Socratic questioning.

In high school, she was a speech and debate star. When she told her guidance counselor that she wanted to attend Harvard law school, they told her not to set her “Sights so high.” Despite their warning, she went to Harvard University, and then later attended Harvard Law School, where she graduated Cum Laude and was an editor of the ‘Harvard Law Review’.

After law school she served as a Judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Then, President Obama nominated her to serve on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. She again was nominated by President Obama to serve as the Vice-Chair of the U.S. Sentencing Commission, and she also served as a public defender for those who couldn’t pay for a lawyer. She also was a Supreme Court clerk under Justice Breyer.

Her confirmation hearing lasted four days; she was asked questions from Republicans and Democrats about her qualifications. Most Republicans questioned her on critical race theory, cultural issues, and children’s books. Few Republicans brought up her intelligence and qualifications for the job. Democrats brought up how she is making history. At the end of the hearing, Judge Jackson said that “She hopes to inspire people to try to follow this path.”

The Senate will vote on her confirmation, on April 4, and after that, the full Senate will hold a vote.

Almost all the students here at Highland that I talked to, feel that Kentaji Brown Jackson is the most qualified out of all the Supreme Court judges because of her outstanding resume of being a public defender, serving as vice-chair, and serving on the District Court. They also feel it is time for the African American community to be more represented on the Supreme court, and that by her being confirmed she would be historical and inspire young girls around the world to be whatever they want to be.

Vikings 49ers

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By: Abby Altman

The Vikings and the 49ers faced off in a game with the playoffs on the line

The Vikings and 49ers both started week 12 with matching 5-5 records, both looking to sneak their way into a wildcard spot. 

The 49ers, with the win, have now won 3 in a row, putting their early season struggles behind them, for now. The Vikings, coming off a win from the 9-3 Packers, came up short in a highly entertaining game. 

49ers defensive end Nick Bosa said, “We’re all excited to be back in the mix and have the season in our control.” 

This matchup was fast moving, with 4 touchdowns in the 1st half, and 6 scores in the 3rd quarter alone, propelled by Kene Nwangwu’s 99 yard kickoff return. This is Nwangwu’s 2nd kickoff return for a touchdown this season. 

With 18 seconds left in the first half, the 49ers ended an 87 yard drive with a touchdown pass, tying the game. The Vikings are the team with the most points allowed, in the final 2 minutes, of the first half, since 2000. The Vikings have given up 66 points in the last 2 minutes, of the first half, this season. 

Late in the 3rd quarter, the 49ers were gifted a turnover in Vikings’ territory when Dalvin Cook fumbled the ball after going down with a shoulder injury. Cook left the game and had an MRI on Monday. Coach Zimmer is not stating what exactly the MRI showed. Cook has already been playing with a torn labrum, and he is now day to day, with his next week status unknown. Anthony Barr also left the game in the 3rd quarter with a hamstring injury. 

The 49ers did just enough to come away with a win over Minnesota, with a game saving 4th down stop on the goal line in the 4th quarter. 

The Vikings played short of what we’ve seen them do earlier this season. The defense allowed 208 yards rushing on 39 carries, allowing the 49ers run game to dominate the field. “They came with it,” said Vikings linebacker Erick Kendricks. “We knew that their run game was really good. Very complex, very confusing. They have a lot of people to block and open up for it. It was about eliminating that and we didn’t do it.”

The Vikings offense had only 67 rushing yards, and 262 receiving yards, with Cousins completing 20/32 with 238 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception, ending his streak of 212 straight passes without an interception. Thielen had 2 receiving touchdowns, and Mattison rushed for 1. 

The Vikings schedule is easing up for the next 3 weeks with matchups against Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Chicago. Hopefully, 3 wins straight will help the Vikings find their way into a wildcard spot, potentially alongside San Francisco. 

Note: Since the writing of this article, the Vikings lost to the winless Lions. It is this writer’s opinion that the Vikings tend to play down to their competition, and it showed against Detroit.

Vikings vs Packers recap

By: Musab Mohamud

In another nail biting affair the Minnesota Vikings have squeezed out another close victory. In true Vikings’ fashion it took a game ending rally to finally finish off the Aaron Rodgers led Packers.

Rodgers had another game where he continued to fuel his MVP candidacy, but his attempts proved futile and he was outshone by the budding superstar Justin Jefferson who hauled in 8 catches for 169 yards and 2 touchdowns. The young receiver was a scourge to the opposing secondary and continued to torch anyone who lined up across from him.

Jaire Alexander’s absence was sorely felt with Kirk Cousins seeming to complete passes at will. 

A long-standing rivalry between these 2 teams has resulted in some truly incredible games, and this one was no different. With both teams combining for 65 points and 911 yards, and another surprisingly good performance by a coaching staff who have been lackluster at times throughout the season.

During some games this season, the play calling has been downright pathetic, with many fans calling for Zimmer to be fired. His continued insistence on running the ball, even though he has such a star-studded receiver corps, has turned much of the fanbase on him. Continued last gasp wins are unsustainable, shown by the Vikings losing many close games throughout the season.

However, there are glimpses of hope within, with the emergence of many young stars and a multitude of draft picks in the coming draft, the Vikings are set up for success.

Continued success from last week’s impressive performance against the Los Angeles Chargers has some Vikings fans hoping for a deep playoff run. One hopeful Vikings fan says, “It’s very doable, Captain Kirk can take us to the promised land.”

Many others are hoping the inevitable close game losses are a thing of the past. With a hot and cold 49ers team on the horizon, the Vikings can hope to finally break the .500 mark. The 49ers hold the same record as the Vikings and are coming off a victory over the Super Bowl contending Rams, and the bottom of the barrel Jaguars. With a potent offense on both sides the game is shaping up to be another thriller. With a make or break attitude and a very volatile game plan, this game is supremely important to the Vikings. 

Should college be free?

By:Isaac Lund

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In one of America’s most heated debates right now, a definitive answer hasn’t been easy to come by. The price of college education, and whether tuition should disappear altogether, is an ongoing discussion amongst legislators.

Opposition to this idea is steadfast in its beliefs, and this conservatism doesn’t come without solid reasoning. Those against free college say that it will decrease effort and completion rates among students. With current tuition being so high, students need to put in effort to receive scholarships and then continue their hard work through college so as to not waste their time and money. With tuition being entirely free, and thus free retakes of any course, pressure to perform will go down, and overall effort will as well.

Another downside of free college is that, unavoidably, taxing will increase. Public education is paid for mainly by property taxes, meaning all property owners — including those without college-age kids, those who already paid a complete tuition before reform, and even those who never have and never will obtain a college education — will shoulder the burden of this “free college” system.

Additionally, free college would likely cause a drastic decrease in skilled workers coming from trade and vocational schools.

Looking past these roadblocks in the free college system, there continues to be myriad reasons for the plan to be a progressive step in American society. Obviously, free college would increase overall enrollment throughout the nation. Also, it would help mitigate race and class inequalities that ravage the paid education system today.

A more specific example of the free college plan’s success was the Degree Project: a demonstration program started by Douglas Harris, in 2009, that offered half a district’s worth of incoming Milwaukee high school freshman 12,000 dollars of college tuition, given they graduated high school. Using anonymous data collection, these students were tracked throughout their college careers.

The study found that among students who met the requirements, there was a 25% increase in 2-year degrees. This is all the more telling because the money supplied was only enough to reduce a 4-year tuition, while it completely covered 2 years worth; this increase in 2 year degrees showed that free college was more attractive than even price-reduced tuition.

So, what’s the right decision? Do we vie for immense collegiate reform or do we stick with the system put in place long before our time, even with its faults? Even if the answer was clear, action is never so easy—especially with the abysmally slow decision-making evident in our bipartisanship.

What happened at the YouTube town hall meeting concerning the COVID-19 vaccine

By: Hayat Osman

Image taken from: 2020/11/12/joe-biden-anthony-fauci-refugees-coro navirus

On May 24th, the President, Joe Biden, and Dr. Fauci, held a virtual town hall. The town hall meeting was held on YouTube. The town hall was with YouTube stars: Manny Mua, Brave Wilderness, and Jackie Aina. Joe Biden and Dr. Fauci addressed the concerns, about the COVID-19 vaccinations, brought to them by the YouTube stars.

With the help of the social media platform YouTube, the President, Joe Biden, was able to reach the target audience of those who are eligible to receive the vaccine, but were hesitant to take it. Biden used the chance to have trusted influencers help alleviate the concerns about the COVID-19 vaccinations.

In the first interview, Manny Mua asked Biden about rumors surrounding requirements for vaccine passports to travel to, or to go to, concerts. Biden responded saying “Federally, we are not going to mandate, and we don’t keep records, Federally, of people who have gotten the vaccine”. He also stated that rumors of vaccine passports would “Just play into paranoia in some people, in particular young people”.

To Peterson and Vins, who run the Brave Wilderness channel on YouTube, Biden talked of those who got the vaccine being able to travel with masks. Dr. Fauci added that “The gateway to safe travel is to be vaccinated”.

To Aina, YouTube beauty guru, who asked if the vaccines were safe and wanted to know about the science behind the vaccinations, Dr. Fauci emphasized the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine. Fauci claimed that the science that went into the vaccine was absolutely pristine.

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Highland Park Track 2021

By: McKenna Nutter

Image taken from: Instagram @hptrack

As we near the end of the school year, all of our classes and activities are starting to wind down, including HP Track.

One of our most recent wins was at Conference, with Morgan Jones, a 2021 senior, setting a new school record of 39’ in the shot put. She went on to win the conference championship!

In discus, Josiah Christopher set a new personal record by ten feet, an amazing feat, and went on to win the conference championship too.

Andrew Ali and Charlie Fragassi also went on to set new personal records. 

In the 3200m, first place went to Molly Moening, followed in second by 9th grader Luna Scorzelli, and in fourth by Chloe Koch! Both Molly Moening and Luna Scorzelli beat Molly’s previous record of 5.05.59, both making it within the 4 minute range for their incredibly fast miles. After working hard, it all seems to pay off in their amazingly fast performances. 

On Wednesday, May 12th, Highland Park went against Minneapolis Southwest, and Roosevelt. Highland Park brought home so many winners; it was incredible.

Vincent Langenbrunner took first in the 110HH and the 300HH.

In the 200m, Gospel Simon took the front, and as for the 400m, Spencer West-Hest and Ellie Moore both brought their A-game.

Luna Scorzelli may be a 9th grader, but so much more than thought, because Luna came in #1 for the 1600m.

Amelie Isom couldn’t seem to have put more strength and stamina into her run of the 3200m.

Congratulations to all of our runners, and don’t forget our relay runners: Tommy, Terez, Melvin, and Gospel in the 4×1; Clara, Athena, Ellie P., and Camille in the 4×2; and Ellie M., Delia, Luna, and Molly in the 4×8.

Let’s give a hand to all of our amazing track stars this year. 

The 2020-21 school year has been hard, and many people haven’t been able to participate in after school activities, but thankfully we’ve been lucky enough to have most of our sports teams this year. So many people who play sports rely on them, and we are so thankful that each and every single one of the runners got their chance to do what they enjoy.

This year has brought a lot of new talent to Highland Park Track, but sadly we have to say goodbye to many seniors as well. Fortunately, we were able to send them off with a great season!