On Wednesday, April 13, South pride was not just evident, but it was palpable. The students donned more than just the mundane jeans and t-shirts; they sported the Lions’ blue and orange.It’s not that Denebola particularly likes the stereotypic perceptions of society about American high schools. It finds there is a lack of school spirit that shouldn’t exist.Newton South has only one pep rally a year, and a shame the majority of the South students cannot unite under one cause for one hour.Are mainstream athletics not engaging? Yet a high per centage of South students are involved in sports, at all levels, and the theater and arts productions are lively.Is the auditorium too small to house a significant audience? but that was never its intent, and its purpose is well served in that there are so many events held in it, lecture hall and black box, that each student could acquire a ticket to at least one.Are South students so overwhelmed by pressure-cooker Newton? Or is it that students don’t care anymore?Football games are played to half-filled stands, and students don’t even realize that there is an enthusiastic Girls’ Hockey team.Why does it take a remarkably concentrated display of talent – that conveniently gets students out of classes for the day – to arouse appreciation for Newton South’s overflowing well of genius on stage, at a desk, or on the court or playing fields?This Wednesday, the school bubbled with unmatched flair and enthusiasm. The convergence of the kickoff of spring sports, the performance of Tertulia, and the quick approach of spring break were required to arouse the student body to open its eyes and realize the spectacular feats accomplished daily.Smiles were pervasive, optimism apparent. Students were loud, active, involved – they enjoyed the day, whether it was because they spent time watching classmates sing, dance, and accomplish remarkable feats, or because they were enjoying all this with friends. It has always been the mission of any high school newspaper, including Denebola, to offer a source in which all elements of student life are found.With Advanced Placement tests, college admissions exams, and finals still looming large, the “window of opportunity” in which students can enjoy the high school experience within the walls of South wanes rapidly.]]>
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.]]>
By Nathan BaskinSeniors Brandon Caldwell and Alex Karys have been throwing shot put since last year and have enjoyed playing the sport. The sport was introduced in the original Olympic games in Athens, Greece, and is a growing sport. The shot is 12 pounds but Karys does not discourage anyone from participating in the event, due to fear of injury.Karys expects to attend Furman University in South Carolina, and wants to throw shot put during his college years.The main objective of the sport is simply to “throw” a lead ball farther than the other competitors. Each athlete has to throw the ball from a circle called the pit; crossing the pit results in a foul, which causes the athlete to lose his or her turn for the round. The shot putters have three turns to throw the shot put and the best score is kept, while the two worst are ignored.The average of Caldwell and Karys’s throws is approximately 40 feet. To train for shot put, Karys uses a very rigorous workout schedule.He also plays football for South and participates in high jump. According to Karys, shot put involves a lot of muscle, but also involves a lot of footwork and thought. He believes footwork is one of the most important qualities of premier shot putters.Caldwell and Karys are the oldest members of the team, but are also joined by six underclassmen consisting of both boys and girls. Shot putters at South have not had much support at their events. Not enough fans show up, but Karys enjoys the sport regardless, hoping that in the future shot will have a bigger fanbase then it has now.As the season gets under way, Karys has high expectations for the team and hopes they can make it to the State tournament.]]>
By Nathan BaskinWhen he was 15 years old, he could dunk: on a full-size basketball hoop When he was at the University of Massachusetts/Amherst he played under legendary National Collegiate Athletic Association coach John Calipari. And and when was a graduate student there he also helped coach an National Basketball Association NBA defensive player of the year, Marcus Camby. Matthew Anderson, a math teacher at South, grew up in Brewster, New York. At Brewster High School, Anderson played basketball and soccer and ran track. But his real gift was basketball. When he was six years old, he first picked up the game of basketball and at 15 years old, he was 6 feet 8 inches.He was a standout high school player and a top recruit during his high school career. Anderson’s grades off the court made him an interest to such elite Ivy League schools as Harvard and Cornell universities. His final decision was to come play for John Calipari, who was the Head Coach of the UMass Minutemen at the time. Anderson said that for him, the hardest transition was “switching from being a Yankees fan to a Red Sox fan.” Anderson had a extraordinary career in high school, averaging a double double per game, and even recording a rare basketball achievement and a quadruple double which consisted 12 points, 15 rebounds, ten assists and 12 blocks. Anderson received his high school diploma in 1987 and came to UMass early for the season. “Calipari was a great coach, and always stressed perfection,” Anderson said. Anderson and the Minutemen had to run a drill called “perfection” during practice, which consisted of simple pick and rolls, and give-and -goes. If it was not executed perfectly the players would need to start over. Calipari was a young coach, but a strict coach too, who had no tolerance for people who were late. “Calipari’s policy was if you were a minute late for practice, you had to come in the next morning at 4 AM and start running,” Anderson said. At UMass, Anderson was not the only tall player; the team had many. Anderson realized he was not the best player, but was a key member of the bench and contributed on the boards and with blocks. Anderson also did not mind not starting, being part of the team meant a lot. UMass got better every year, and with players like Anderson, reached the tournament level, losing in the Sweet 16 to Kentucky during the 1992 tournament. “The hardest thing to manage was the school work you missed when you were on the road,” Anderson said. To cope with this, he tried to take more classes over the summer before the basketball season began. The team provided many tutors when they were away and according to Anderson, “Calipari was very serious when it came to academics.”After realizing the NBA was not for him, Anderson left UMass after graduating and began working different jobs. He was a salesman and a Transportation Security Authority airport security officer, which Anderson says “was fun,” but what he finally realized after a time was that he wanted was to return to college studies. He wanted to go to graduate school, and also asked Calipari if he had a job for him at UMass. He did, and Anderson was given a tutoring job as a graduate student. He would help the players with schoolwork on the road, and would mentor them on the court.It was on this job that Anderson met Marcus Camby, who he described as a “7-foot monster that could run like a deer.” Camby was the best player that Calipari had coached at UMass and made everyone feel his presence when he was on the court. By the end of the 1996 season, everyone knew who Camby was; he was the train that led the Minutemen surge throughout the tournament. “The most amazing thing about Camby was that he never got into trouble off the court, and he always got good grades.” Anderson said he was not one of the kids you had to tell to do well in school; he did it himself without prompting. Anderson said his greatest achievement was getting the Minutemen to the NIT final Four. He said it was the greatest achievement ever. Anderson stopped playing basketball after a freak accident, when he fell off a roof while fixing it. He stopped playing the sport because of the injury, but he has now been helping his two-year-old learn the craft of the game. He is the coach of the Freshmen Basketball team and says that there are many people with talent on the team. Anderson is a great teacher at South, and one of the elite athletes that South has on its staff.]]>
Junior high jumper Nicole Kestenberg, who ranked third in the State Invitational tournament last season, is not affected by the team’s lack of South student support.
“The Track team is actually really supportive – it’s enough [for me],” Kestenberg said.
She is not disappointed that fans are not showing up, but does think it would be nice if the sport got more publicity. “Some sports, events, and people need more fans and support from students, but I personally don’t feel that [it is] necessary for high jump,” Kestenberg said. “I guess I wish more people knew what [high jumping] was.”
Kestenberg expects the team to do well this season because the team, which was successful last season, graduated two seniors yet still has six returning jumpers.
“A lot has changed since last year for the entire team – we have a new coach so it’s really hard to say [how good we’ll be],” she said. “We do pretty well.”
Experience in high jumping is crucial to a winning team. According to Kestenberg, the high jumpers practice longer than most of the Track and Field events, and they spend most of the time bonding and perfecting their technique.
One of the encouraging aspects of the team is the support the jumpers give to each other. “During indoor, all the girls of every team were really supportive to one another. We’d all clap after individual jumps even if they missed,” Kestenberg said. This support has helped the team prosper even though it does not have a lot of fans from the student body.]]>
By Joshua CarneyInjuries of all kinds have affected student athletes at South throughout this academic year.Athletes who are becoming focused primarily on a single sport are becoming injury prone. These athletes stress the same muscles daily without exercising their other muscles, which results in those muscles being overworked.Due to this, student-athletes suffer repetitive stress injuries with an above-average frequency.“When kids focus soley on one thing, they become injury prone,” Athletic Director Scott Perrin said. When looking at specific sports and the repetitive injuries that result, it is difficult for one to tell which sport has the most students with repetitive injuries,.However, according to Perrin, worst is Girls’ Soccer. “Girls’ Soccer has had issues with knee injuries over the years,” he said.When athletes play sports that require extreme stress of a specific bone or muscle, the consequences can be severe. “Knee tears are perfect examples of this,” Perrin said.With soccer stressing legs and knees, it is clear that repetitive stress is the reason as to why many athletes have, and currently are, struggling with the health of their knees. The main cause of many of these injuries is that athletes are stressing their bodies by over-excising certain muscles, while leaving others weak and injury prone. “Yes it’s all about repetitive stress on a kid’s body. You wear out the same parts of your body over and over again without building up other parts,” Perrin said.When being able to operate from a healthy position, it is easier to have a better performance throughout the competition or training session.One idea that would decrease how injury prone certain areas of a student-athlete’s body is having the athlete play additional sports or train in order to exercise muscles that lack strength.This would allow muscles that have not been excessively exercised the opportunity to build, while still maintaining the strength of muscles that are stressed through other sports.“We promote and advocate for kids to play different sports, but if the student only plays one, we support that student as we would any other in our department,” Perrin said.The idea of playing multiple sports that stress different muscles and bones throughout the body is positive for an athlete’s performance. Eventually the athlete’s endurance will build, thus increasing the athletic ability for the athlete’s primary sport.The Athletic department encourages students to play several other sports for additional reasons, other then to prevent injuries.When exploring different sports to play based on the athlete’s preference, he or she might want to be able to play a sport that increases their athleticism and skill in their primary sport. For example, a Basketball player that would like to increase his or her endurance and vertical jump may want to play Volleyball.In order to prevent repetitive stress injuries an athlete should play other sports to exercise muscles that are not used as frequently as others. By exercising muscles that are not used as frequently, an athlete may make him or herself less injury prone.]]>
The spring season has arrived. For some, sports become another item to add to their already full plate of schoolwork, extracurricular, SAT tutoring, and some form of instrumental practice. For others, they become a sense of organization and relief.I, for one, know that that when I am in season, my work ethic is entirely different. I go to Lacrosse or Soccer practice until around five, and then home to meditate. When home, I know I do not have time to play NHL 11 for an hour or so, and then go shoot hoops with my neighbors.I have to work efficiently with little procrastination or else the night will slowly turn to morning, and the chemistry homework sitting atop my desk will miraculously still be blank.During winter, my offseason is an entirely different story.I usually go to the gym to train, but when I get home it is still only four in the afternoon. What to do? Quandry.I want to get my homework done, but I know I have nothing else to do, so what is originally a 30-minute assignment can turn into an hour-plus extravaganza.Along with the new sense of urgency, the spring season also means spring weather.Finally, after a winter that lasted an eternity, the snow has melted and the sun is out, allowing me to flaunt my guns for all to see.The weather has turned and instead of sitting indoors watching Jersey Shore, we can spend some time outdoors.With the beginning of the third, and final, sports season of the year, another thought is in the back of everyone’s mind (besides the Lacrosse team going to the State tournament this year). Summer is just around the corner with only about two and one-half months left of school, we are in the final stretch.So what makes the spring season so enjoyable? I have searched long and hard for an answer to this question, and after years of searching, I found the answer in a small hut located 23 miles southwest of Kyoto, Japan. The spring season allows you to be outside in the warm weather and get that fresh air that we all crave. It’s trees budding, birds flying. The winter season consists mainly of indoor sports, and by the time you leave school, it is already dark.The fall season has to compete with kids organizing their schedules to ensure they can achieve an above C average along with the idea that an entire school year is looming ahead.So Spring is something entirely other, let’s embrace it, practice hard, play hard, go home do homework (unless you are a senior, so chill, bro), and if you are lucky, you can have an extra hour of daylight to spare.Enjoy spring while it lasts because soon enough it will be mid July and 90 degrees outside, and you will be looking back on the days when you could sit down without breaking a sweat.So enjoy the last season of the school year, and come support the Boys’ Lacrosse team.]]>
“It is a tremendous achievement as a high school athlete,” Athletic Director Scott Perrin said. “It’s just remarkable and speaks volumes to the commitment that those two and their other teammates put into the sport of basketball.”
Since they are the only teammates to have ever reached this highly recognized achievement, they are not the only ones to be excited. “Well the whole team was yelling and screaming for them,” junior Chloe Jackson-Unger said. “After it set in we realized how big of an accomplishment it was for both of them and you could just tell how proud the coach and parents were of them.”
They achieved it within a minute of each other, with both assists coming from senior Chloe Rothman. “Without Chloe, I don’t think either would have made it to their 1,000th point,” Head Coach Sam Doner said. “To be honest, I think Chloe really dictates the whole game and I don’t really see players like her being very unselfish.”
The event marked the first time in South history that two teammates have reached the 1,000 point mark in a season, let alone a game. “It’s very important to the South basketball program, as it’s finally being recognized and respected out there in this state,” Doner said.
These achievements are only a small part of the success the players, and the team as a whole, have had the last two years. Their accomplishment is much more than an important statistic; it is a symbol of Bikofsky’s and Burton’s work ethic. “It represents how hard they worked and how much our team had accomplished,” junior Ana Horowitz said.
Having so much success on the court does not only affect the team that currently surrounds them, but the teams that are yet to come. “It’s big because it motivates the youth program. They look up to these girls and realize that they want to be a part of it now,” Doner said.
The hard work that needs to be put into being successful as an individual and as a team have always been connected, but Bikofsky’s and Burton’s dedication has greatly impacted the team as a whole. This year, the hard work that these two have put has made not only themselves better, but also the team around them because it motivated the rest of the team.
Playing at a high level with consistency shows the impressive work ethic these two have possessed over the four seasons here at South.
“They tried to work harder then everybody else; they were the first to come to practice and the last girls to leave the court. They have certainly exceeded my expectations in a lot of different ways,” Doner said. “They were a lot more mentally tough then I thought they would be and proved me wrong on a lot of different occasions.”]]>
In the playoffs, the Lions defeated Brockton High School and Taunton High School in front of crowds that Head Coach Sam Doner believes have “a lot more respect [for the players] than I’ve ever seen.”
When South’s season ended on March 9, Doner was not as upset as many students assumed; he understood the value of this season to the South Basketball program. “It was a phenomenal season. The kids worked extremely hard. They achieved more than I ever thought they would,” he said.
During their stellar regular season, the Lions were dominant both offensively and defensively. They won their games by an average margin of 27.8 points and 12 of their 20 regular season games were won by 20 points or more.
In comparison, the 72-win Chicago Bulls team in 1995 only had an average winning margin of 15 points per game and only won 18 of their 72 games by 20 or more points, which is a 1:4 ratio compared to approximately a 2:3 ratio by the Lions.
It was only four years ago when the Varsity team went 2-17, and now it has transformed into a state powerhouse. Since Doner took over the team in 2007, the Lions went from a middle-of-the-pack squad to a team that can compete with the best in the region. This year’s senior class has seen the program rise from being at the bottom of the DCL to blowing through its DCL opponents and competing for a State title.
As magnificent as its season was, it is nearly impossible to go through an entire year without any adversity. As the players rolled into the closing games of the regular season, the Lions were thrown a curveball. Senior and starting center Julia Sloan-Cullen fractured her ankle after slipping on ice while taking a walk outside, and was forced to the sidelines for the remainder of the season.
This took away some of the season-long momentum the Lions had built up as they went into their game against Central Catholic High School, hoping to complete a perfect regular season. Unfortunately for South, it could not manage to pull through in overtime as Central Catholic defeated the Lions 73-70.
Nevertheless, the girls rebounded, pulling off back-to-back home playoff wins over Brockton and Taunton. Both games were very well attended and each included a raucous student section. The Girls’ team provided South with a team that was dominant and fun to root for, and they had a remarkable impact throughout the school.
Though the girls could not get past Mansfield and earn a trip to the TD Garden, this season will be remembered for the dominance South showed over the course of the season, the intense home playoff games that sparked huge school spirit, and certainly the 21 wins rather than the 2 losses.
“[This was] the most fun season of my life. The kids worked hard and were willing to go the extra mile and help other kids,” Doner said.
But what always will be remembered more than anything, are the camaraderie and the friendships built by this team that will last beyond the basketball season. “The chemistry and the atmosphere was outstanding between these kids,” Doner said.
After seeing three players get rewarded for their work with scholarships, a never-before-seen DCL title, and a strong run at the State championship, Doner is satisfied, if not ecstatic, about this past season. “I think this is a season we will never forget,” Doner said.