Peter, Omar, Channel, Quanisha
One of the most exciting and previewed events in college sports is the College football playoff. The playoff started in 2016 and with many exciting games played in this format, there is lots of hype for this year's playoff. The Playoff kicks off on December 29th with one game at 4 PM ET and one game at 8 PM ET. The winners of the two games will face off In the National Championship on January 7th at 9 PM ET.
The teams participating in this year's bracket are NO 1. Alabama, NO 2. Clemson,
NO 3. Notre Dame, and NO 4.Oklahoma.
The two teams participating in the first matchup of the day are NO.3 Notre Dame and NO.2 Clemson. With both teams coming into the game with undefeated records, with Clemson coming in at (13-0) and Notre Dame coming in at (12-0). Clemson is considered 11.5 point favorites in this game. Notre Dame doesn't get the same respect as Clemson because it does not participate in a conference championship game. Clemson has the upper hand on offense averaging 45 points per game while Notre Dame only averages 33 points per games. Clemson also has the upper hand on defense only giving up 275 yards per game, while Notre Dame gives up 331 yards per game.
Peter- Notre Dame
Omar- Notre Dame
The second matchup in the playoff is NO.4 Oklahoma versus NO.1 Alabama. Oklahoma comes into the game with a (12-1) record and Alabama comes in with a (13-0) record. Both teams won their respective conferences, Oklahoma Big 12, and Alabama SEC. Alabama comes into the game a 14 point favorite. Both teams quarterbacks were Heisman candidates but Oklahoma's quarterback Kyler Murray came out with the trophy. These two teams sit atop the Points per game list with Oklahoma being number one with 49 PPG and Bama being number two with 47 PPG. The defensive side of the ball is a whole different story, Alabama is number 4 only giving up 14 points per game, while Oklahoma is number 94 giving up 32 points per game. The stats do say a lot but you have to remember the conferences they play in, The Big 12 tends to play no defense, The SEC is all about defense.
Julianne Tejada and others.
As Christmas break approaches and the weather comes to a freezing point, some people enjoy the snow or baking cookies. But for those who enjoy watching movies, there is a variety of holiday classics to choose from. So put on your favorite festive socks and warm up your hot chocolate as you figure out which of these five holiday movies to watch to get you in the spirit.
The first high school concert ever for me as a freshman, Poinsettia, was unforgettable. Sitting in the pit surrounded by hundreds of other performers, I have never felt so small. From September to December, I had practiced for this one performance, along with the other students and teachers working diligently to put together the best show they could for the rest of the student body and faculty to enjoy, but it wasn’t until the final product that I realized how important it was.
According to orchestra teacher Scott Benson, almost 350 students participate in the performance. That is about 20% of the school. “All socioeconomic backgrounds, all different academic levels, athletes, drama kids, artists, musicians, the whole gamut,” said Benson.
A group of students of this magnitude have not dedicated their time to be background music. These are musicians who are here to be up front and center to share with others what they have worked so hard on. I know from experience that it’s difficult to do so when your audience is sleeping, texting, and having conversations as you perform. This behavior doesn’t go unnoticed by audience members either.
Michelle Menard (‘19) said of dozing audience members, “I don’t sleep, I watch. If you’re in a jolly mood, go to the concert. If not, don’t be rude and stay home.”
Like everything in life, Poinsettia isn’t perfect. It has its flaws; rough transitions between songs and spotty audio, for example, but these are considered minor things.
However, some people, like Fransheli Ventura (‘19), believe that changes can be made to improve their enjoyment of the performance. “I don’t like that the performers all wear black, it’s too formal. They should wear antlers and Santa hats. They could also hang some lights and put up a Christmas tree to make it more festive,” Ventura suggested.
When it comes to Poinsettia, Seixas Aldrich (‘19) had different things in mind. Instead he suggested, “Maybe more cultural representation from different countries and different holidays, like Kwanza, for example.” He also thought that more oriental music should be included in the show and said, “We are a CGS school and we should be able to represent that in our music."
Be that as it may, Poinsettia means a lot to the many performers who put much of their time and effort into creating an experience that is meant to bring joy to all.
Senior Emily Luo, a violinist in Principal Orchestra, said, “When you're really involved in music, you need to practice consistently and really work hard. I think any true musician makes sacrifices in order to prioritize their music and ensemble, whether that be in the form of time, energy, or even recognition when people fail to realize how much time they put into preparation."
In order to increase the level of enjoyment all around, Luo pointed out that, “It’s really important as an audience member to be respectful, listen, enjoy getting a break from class and just appreciate the hard work that other people have put into it because it does take a lot to put on these performances.”
On November 1st, 2018, Hanna Felber(20’) walked onto the Jack Casagrande field, along with her parents and her coach Dani Brown, to receive an award dedicated to her courage. The young field hockey starter had never expected to be given an award that highlighted the trauma she experienced as a child.
“It felt good. It's weird because I've never really been recognized, it's like you don’t really see a trauma as a positive thing, but it's nice to kinda turn it around and make it something that is more of an accomplishment than a flaw in your life,” said Felber.
The junior at Brien McMahon has been living her life dedicated to not letting others know she had once been in a life-changing accident. Felber is a burn survivor and a person who is able to use her weaknesses to her advantage. In fact, she is a leader in society and constantly finds different ways to embrace her circumstances.
“She is a leader on the field by example, she may not be the loudest person whose making demands on her teammates, but you know she constantly leads by working hard and pushing herself to the limits and doing everything she possibly can that's for the best of her team,” said Brown.
Every summer Felber leaves the comfort of her home to go to the Arthur C Luf Children's Burn Camp, which is dedicated to burn survivors. Even though her accident happened over 10 years ago, she still likes to go to camp to see the people who have become her friends and to see how much everyone is changing and healing from their stories.
“I've known them like my whole life. Camp is just like really special because when you are around people who have kind of been through the same kind of thing, it creates a really strong bond that's really unique. Going back every year, it's exciting to see all the friends that you would want to see,” said Felber.
Many people around Felber have learned about the strength she possesses and are amazed by how unaffected she seems by it. This is why her coach, Dani Brown, nominated her for the Courage Award when it was brought up in an FCIAC meeting.
“The Greenwich coach is the one who started it a few years ago because they had a player who had cancer that was playing. The league looks to give an award to somebody who is a part of the field hockey community every year, especially this year. You know, Hanna couldn't play a game this year as a result of an infection that is due to that childhood injury. So it is something that she still struggles with overcoming and is an intricate part of our team, so they gave it to her,” said Brown.
Now Felber is confidently walking onto the field with her parents by her side, ready to accept the award for her story. Although she might not feel that she exhibits a lot of courage, the people around her do. Felber has learned to use her weakness as a strength and lives life as if nothing can affect her, with courage.
“...Life is bigger than the game and it's times like these where we get to congratulate and honor people for doing and working above and exceeding what expectations were and clearly having endured what she did endure when she was little. She's definitely surpassed those expectations, I would say,” said Brown.
By: Bryanna Perez
Pridetime Senior Editor
Hallelujah! And congratulations to Bella Bardos (‘19) and Tyler Mitchell Johnson (‘19) on winning the 2018 McMahon's Got Talent.
“I was so ecstatic and it made me emotional because I have always wanted McMahon to recognize what I do, it was amazing!” Bardos said.
The two talented seniors decided to pair up together and create a duet that would not have gone unnoticed.
“Tyler came up to me one day and asked me if I wanted to sing with him,” Bardos explained.
With Christmas time approaching, the two singers wanted to create a Holiday Ballad that would bring everyone together.
“I sang Hallelujah with Bella because it is one of my favorite songs to sing,” Johnson mentioned.
However, time ran short for the two as they almost decided to exclude themselves from the show.
Bardos explained, “We only practiced the day of for about an hour or two.”
Luckily, both performers were very familiar with the song and were able to pull off an amazing show for the audience to enjoy.
“I was really happy when I heard the results that we won because I did not expect it at all. We actually almost dropped out of the talent show because we thought we were not prepared enough,” Johnson said.
Overall the talent show was filled with a bunch of amazing and courageous individuals who truly gave it their all.
Until next time!
Dayanara & Yanira Matute
tells everyone to find their friends. In the beginning of the school year, students were paired off into four different groups. Peckham states that she tries to stray away from the term ‘group’ due to the fact that friends has more meaning to it.
“One of the misconceptions is that the special needs children can’t hear you and don’t know what you’re talking about. They actually hear everything we’re talking about and saying. I didn’t want them to feel like they were different. I wanted them to feel like regular education students.”
Farm to Table, along with a selected art class, are part of a program that is currently still under development. With plans to expand the program to PE and health, Kelsey LaPrad, a functional academics teacher, was nominated for the Nellie Mae Fund and received a $15,000 grant entirely for peer assisted learning which provides development of classes, supplies for the classes, and training for teachers.
LaPrad states that, “Peer assistance learning is a program that has been developed so that students with disabilities are able to spend a certain amount of time outside the classroom in a regular education environment.”
A peer assisted model would provide the student with disabilities an opportunity to follow the same schedule as their peers. They would be going to an art class, or a gym class, and doing their own things with the help of a paraprofessional, a hired adult responsible for watching their student with disabilities throughout the school day.
The reason behind this program is that they want students with disabilities to get out of their comfort zone and feel more like they’re a part of the McMahon community. With the help of regular education peers, they are learning to communicate with others around them which has helped create many friendships. They assist them with different projects and communicate with each and every one of them inside and outside of their peer assisted classes.
Nelly Baritz, a paraprofessional, believes that the lessons her students learn go beyond the school environment. Outside the peer assisted class, LaPrad teaches students with disabilities daily living skills such as cooking, cleaning, stocking, and even building, and once they are old enough to work, they go into the workforce.
“On Thursdays, when two of our students aren’t here, they are at work. Some of them work at Tj Maxx, Homegoods, ShopRite, and they stock shelves and they really like it. That’s part of the daily living skills,” says Peckham.
However the program isn’t just beneficial for just students with disabilities. It helps students sees a person for who they are and not how they’re labeled.
Cami Minier (‘19), a student in a peer assisted Farm to Table class, says that this is very beneficial for us and them. “They are going to learn to be in an environment that accepts them. For us, we are going to learn to be around people that are different and that’s important.”
McMahon promotes respectful and supportive relationships in its community. The peer assistance program has helped with positive peer-to-peer interactions and has made every one of its students feel included.
According to Simpson, “The best part of this is making them feel more a part of this school.”