Dalicandro takes the fee hikes one step further. “I trust the people above me, but I’m upset. It’s fair to say that the demographic of the football players is different. This will affect those players whose families don’t have as much income. And I hope it doesn’t stop people from playing but [chances are it will],” he said. “If the fee increase was for, say a sport like tennis then it may not be as heavy of an effect because the demographics are different. It’s a fact.”
Dalicandro also has a budget solution he’d like to propose. To help cover the gap for athletics, Dalicandro suggests cutting middle school sports as opposed to high school ones. He sees the middle school athletics program as just an expensive “babysitting program.” The practices “aren’t legitimate, and there are many leagues outside of school that are [cheaper and train the kids better],” he said.
Attacking high school sports instead of middle school sports with fee-hikes seems ludicrous in Dalicandro’s eyes. “High school is much more competitive, with more riding on the line. There are kids looking for scholarships, and overall changing middle school programs would be much smarter,” he said. “If anything, I see most of my best kids come from leagues outside of school as opposed to the middle schools.”
Dalicandro remembers what South’s football program was when he started. There were barely 30 kids on the team and that wasn’t sufficient. Due to illness and injuries the team needed more players and with hard work Dalicandro, gained 20 more. He doesn’t want to see it go back to previous conditions, especially because of something like a budget.
Volleyball player Ashan Singh had a slightly different opinion on the matter. “To be honest, ultimately, I don’t think the raised sports fees will have a significant effect on the overwhelming majority of South’s athletes, however, it’s sort of ridiculous that the fee never really seems to stop growing. How much is it going to be?” he said.
Hockey and baseball player Dan Fitzpatrick agrees with Singh, “I’ll play the sports because I love them, but the [increases] are pretty outrageous,” Fitzpatrick said.
“I hope other people will play despite the fees, otherwise, the school might miss out on some serious athletic talent,” Kee said.]]>
Reed May, who has been on the team since his freshman year, remembers how it was in the beginning. “At first, being on the team as a freshman was really awkward and sometimes I would feel a little bit intimidated by the older players, but after the first practice, it was fine because it didn’t matter how old people were, we were just there to play baseball, May said.
Now, both sophomores, the two players have been more than ready to take the next step up and play competitively with the Varsity team.
“Only being a sophomore, I can look up to the older [players] and learn from them. It’s an overall great experience, Jennings said. The two players, even though on a team full of older kids, have benefited greatly from each other’s presence. “Having another underclassman on the team [resulted in] a whole new comfort level, May said.
Another thing that the two underclassmen benefit from is their long friendship from playing together over the years. “Having Reed is a luxury because we are good friends on and off the field, Jennings said.
On the darker side of things, being a younger player on the team leads some to question their abilities. “In my opinion, my hard work and years of experience have made me good enough [to play with older kids]. My best skills would be my fielding along with my arm strength and contact at the plate, May said. May led the team in games played (20), lack of strikeouts (four), hit by pitches (four), sacrifices (five), and assists (49). May was also in the top three team leaders in triples (one).
Jennings is more of a hitting specialist. “My best skill would be hitting. This is what really makes me a good baseball player. During the offseason I try to hit at least three times a week, Jennings said. This season, he led the team in games played (20), singles (20), and fielding percentage (a perfect 1.000).
He also was in the top three team leaders in hits (second on the team), doubles (second on the team), homeruns (he was one of two players with a homerun), total bases (second on the team), strikeouts (second least on the team), defensive putouts (second on the team), batting average (second on the team), on base percentage (second on the team), slugging percentage (second on the team), and was the only player to play 15 or more games without making an error.
Some of the upperclassmen on the baseball team have also taken notice of their hard work. “They both work diligently on and off the field, senior Sam Hyun said. “Newton South is very lucky to have two players of their caliber on and off the field. The value of having young players playing at such high quality will be priceless to future Newton South teams along the road. “Reed’s defense at third base was invaluable. He made spectacular play after spectacular play. He was our most consistent fielder all season long and he saved my mistakes on more than one occasion, Hyun said. “Johnny hit over .400 and has a very strong chance at being a DCL All-Star. He has maturity at the plate, and in some cases, has more maturity than any other starter for any other team I have played for.
Even though May and Jennings were very talented, it hasn’t always been easy for upperclassmen to have the younger kids around.
“I find it humbling, being a senior on the team and [having] two sophomores on the team. Hyun said. However, now he enjoys having them around. “I can relate to them because we all started as sophomores on Newton South’s team. What is even more impressive is the fact that these two are starting on a tournament bound team, Hyun said.
When asked how they see the next two years playing out in terms of their baseball career at South, both sophomores remain optimistic and humble. “I anticipate that for the next two years at South, just like this one, we will make the tournament. I know that there are some seriously talented underclassmen that will be able to step up and make the adjustment to playing on Varsity, May said. “I see the next few years at South as a time to get better and to make it to the tournament. Jennings said.
These two sophomores show tremendous talent, and with that talent, they could do tremendous things when they step up to bat for South.]]>
“We have a really, really good defense, and our goalies are amazing, [but] sometimes we don’t get enough shots on net, freshman Kayla Kee said.
Sophomore Michaela O’Flaherty’s presence in net bolsters the team’s defense, as she makes multiple saves each game. While her play has influenced the outcome of games this season, O’Flaherty seems to be an integral piece of the team’s future.
“She’s only a sophomore, so we’re going to have her around for a little while, freshman Charlotte Levine said.
The defense playing in front of O’Flaherty has thrived from a new, more aggressive mentality. According to senior Karina Berenbaum, the style, combined with an emphasis on staying with the opposing offenders, has greatly affected the team’s defensive performance.
A strong defense has helped neutralize a struggling Lion’s offense. While the defense has been proving its worth by preventing goals, it has struggled to relay the ball back to the offenders. A smooth transition between the two phases is critical to the development of a dynamic offense.
Overall, the Lacrosse team has seen some improvements from the last few years. “We actually aren’t doing too badly this year, senior and captain Estie Martin said. “We’ve been working all season. The increase in success puts the program in the right direction, as the team has proven it can overcome the departure of last season’s graduates.
“The girls are definitely doing better than expected this year. They lost some good players to graduation, Athletic Director Scott Perrin said.
Much of the unexpected success comes from the progress and good performance of Kee, Levine, and classmate Emily Caggiano. These freshmen have proved themselves to be qualified replacements for the graduated lacrosse players of last year’s team.
The Lions must also address a lack of urgency on both sides of the ball in the first half. A tendency to falter early in games often puts the team in situations difficult to overcome. By elimnating the lack of readiness in the first half, the team would legitimately increase its chances of winning.
In a loss against Arlington High School, South surrendered six goals in early in the game. The Lions fought back in the second half, scoring four goals to make the margin respectable.
“A [big problem] is that we are a second half team, where it takes until the second half to warm up and really get into our A-game, Martin said.
A full, two-half performance could potentially be the difference between a sub-.500 winning percentage and a playoff contender.
Another way in which the Lacrosse team aims to improve will be by attempting to make a new reputation for itself this season and for years to come.
“We’re working to get rid of the kind of label that the Girls’ Lacrosse team usually carries. We work really, really hard in practice and we really care about the sport; I think we’d love for more people to come out and support [us], Martin said.
If the team can improve getting up the field, and getting shots and pressure on the opposing team’s goalie, they should be in good condition to compete with the best.
Already, these improvements seem to be presenting themselves and coming into place on the team.
The Girl’s Lacrosse team started off the season not really even knowing where they would be or how many games they could win, and have ended up with three wins.
“Yeah, we’re pretty good, Levine said.
The conscious effort to improve the defense and to make the first half of the game stronger should nicely supplement the already strong goalies and defensive skill that the team has brought to the table this season.
Overall, the Girls’ Lacrosse team looks like it could be a major competitive threat in the Dual County League with a suffocating defense and a will to compete.]]>
The Clash of The Titans employs almost everything needed to be a successful action movie: big set pieces, expensive looking animation, and of course, Sam Worthington’€hot off of his success from that obscure art house movie with blue people.
The story begins on a fishing boat with a mother, a father, and their newborn son who conveniently turns into Sam Worthington’€I mean Perseus.
In mere minutes, the parents are killed, and Worthington’€I mean Perseus’€is left by himself to travel to the city of Argos, where the citizens are fed up with the gods, and continually try to anger them by desecrating various statues.
Not surprisingly, this angers the gods on Mount Olympus, and they all confer about what to do. They aren’t able to decide until Hades pops up (not joking here, he literally pops up), and tells Zeus he would like to “be let loose on them.
The gods agree and send Hades to Argos. Once in Argos, Hades goes to the King’s palace, where Perseus is staying, and tells them that in ten days, Hades will release the Kraken on the city’€unless they sacrifice the Princess to the gods.
He also mentions that Perseus is the son of Zeus, making him the hottest commodity since silly putty.
The cities assemble a band of soldiers to get various weapons to kill the Kraken, and consequently set up the tension.
Sound good? I thought so, too! And it was, until the movie started.
The ridiculous sets and costumes made me wonder if one of the designers let his kid take the reigns on this project.
Zeus’ coat of armor was so shiny that the glint of the mettle permanently damaged my vision.
The inside of the palace at Argos is the most unconvincingly painted interior there ever was.
As if the movie couldn’t already be any worse, the action sequences and animation were also sub-par. Every action scene ended up turning into an incomprehensible blur.
The monsters employed throughout include giant scorpions, a Medusa and the Kraken.
Not one of these monsters was convincing’€let alone scary.
The only commendable elements of the movie were Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes.
Neeson has the right cockiness and charisma to be a convincing Zeus.
Fiennes hits all the right notes with his muffled and subdued rendering of the master of the Underworld.
What bothered me about these two actors, however, was this nagging question: after collaborating on Schindler’s List, why would these two choose to work together again on this film?
My final complaints involve Worthington. Ah, Worthington: the newly christened action king.
I did like him in Avatar, but Clash made me ask myself whether his role as a blue alien made him a better actor.
In Clash, he played a wooden and unconvincing Perseus, which makes me worry that Hollywood has accepted him as the “next big thing way too soon.
Rest assured, I did laugh a whole lot at this movie. By no means, however, is this a good film.
Was it a waste of the $11.50 that I spent on the ticket? Maybe, but it’s simply too ridiculously funny to pass up.
As a friend of mine put it, “This movie is just as funny as The Hangover, but The Hangover had better action scenes.]]>
After five Dual County League meets, the Ski team sent three skiers, two from the Boys’ team and one from the Girls’ team, to the State Meet on March 3.
In order to qualify for the State meet, a skier has to rank within the top 15 skiers in the league. Placing twelfth and thirteenth respectively, sophomore Jonah Seifer and freshmen Josh Sapers both qualified for the States.
This accomplishment is a very important milestone for a Ski program on the rise.
Last year, only two skiers, graduates Ben Seifer and Alex Waltz, qualified for States. Three members of the 2010 squad participated in the competition.
Freshman Suzy Landon, who had never skied for a scholastic team, will be a vital piece of the Ski program for the next four years.
If there is anything more remarkable than South sending three skiers to the State meet, it would be that out of those three, two of them are freshman.
Both freshmen, Landon and Sapers, have impressed many by qualifying in their freshmen year. Most will agree that this is not an easy feat for an athlete at any age.
Since they are both freshmen, they benefited from each other, by motiviating and inspiring each other while in preparation for the big meet.
“It helped when you had someone who was your age skiing and practicing with you, Landon said.
The effects of having underclassmen qualify for prestigious competitions such as States has changed the way the coaches focus on theirÂ skiers.
“Since the underclassmen have started to greatly achieve, the [coach's] focus is on the newer racers, freshman Ali Rozenswieg said.
However, just because the focus falls more heavily on the younger skiers does not mean that the upperclassmen skiers did not succeed.
The accomplishments of this year’s Ski team came as a surprise and showed unexpected growth in comparison to last year’s team.
The developments of Seifer, Landon and Saper should help the team experience continued success in the future.
As they get new skiers, these growing athletes will have the expertise to help them improve.
The Ski Team has created a new name for itself among the many competitive sports at the school.]]>