Lila Young and Frankie Greco
Senior cornerback and running back, Donyae Shavers picked apart Bridgeport Central in McMahon’s homecoming game. He picked the ball off at McMahon’s 30 yard line and ran it back for a 70 yard pick 6. Also adding to McMahon’s 35-0 massacre of Bridgeport, Shavers ran for a 28 yard touchdown, thus making him responsible for 12 of McMahon’s points alone.
Claire Ripperger, senior captain of the girls volleyball team, was nominated MVP in the game against rival Norwalk High School. She had 10 service points, five kills, five blocks, and an ace to help bring the team to a victory.
Elias Pardo, Senior captain and stud of McMahon’s soccer team, had 5 goals within the span of 2 games against Wilton and St. Joseph's.
As a freshman on the Varsity girls field hockey team, Autumn Bartush, scored two goals this week, one against Trumbull and another against Greenwich.
WINNER: AUTUMN BARTUSH
With a hard fought match the McMahon Boys Varsity team took their 7th win of the season on October 20th beating the Fairfield Warde Mustangs 3-2.
McMahon is on track for one of the best seasons in years with a record of 7-4-4 and qualifying for the states after their 4-1 win against St. Joseph's Cadets on October 15th.
“Being a coach now I see how hard it is, the FCIAC is such a high conference that you don’t get any points from anybody, so you have to fight and make sure that the team believes that they could do it and that’s what happened, the team believed that they could do anything. So we are one step away from making two of our goals” head coach Rodrigo Guzman said after the game.
After their 3-1 loss to Warde last season McMahon came looking for revenge. McMahon’s record going into the game was 6-4-4 while Warde’s was 9-3-2.
McMahon was able to get an early jump after a cross from Elias Pardo found its way to Maycon Bueso Flores (14) for an easy tipin 4:12 into the game. With a 1-0 lead Warde came back fighting hard at McMahon and with 21:05 left in the first half center back Emmet Towey (15) made a very important goal line save. On this same play goalkeeper Norberto Santiago IV’s (1) leg was injured and backup keeper Kyle Root (30) entered the game.
Throughout the rest of the first half it was equal play between both teams until 9:49 left and a long ball over the top by Christopher Ocampo (16) was flicked over the keepers head by Elias Pardo. McMahon took a dominating 2-0 lead. Kyle Root finished with two saves after Norberto Santiago IV re entered the game with 8:26 left in the first half.
At half time, Coach Rodrigo Guzman gave a pep talk to the team where he said “Stay focused, all we have is 40 minutes, in those 40 minutes you have to work. To get to where we want to get it shouldn’t be easy. 40 minutes of your life and paying attention to detail. Guys, believe that you guys can get out of this on high note. That’s all we should focus on, go get it for yourselves”.
At the start of the second half Warde came out ready, scoring two goals and tying the game with a goal off of a corner within 4:16 and free kick within 7:53. Throughout the second half it was an all out battle with both teams having opportunities. Warde came close to taking the lead with 12:18 left in the second half but with another goal line save, this time by Owen Mendez, it stayed even.
3:26 to go in the second half, a header by Elias Pardo off a cross from Jorge Garcia (6), buried Warde and gave McMahon a bigger chance at securing a spot in the top eight seed for FCIAC play.
“I was big gassed. I’m shaking still. I was big hype though I had to run to the fan section to talk some smack” said Elias Pardo.
McMahon took a total of five shots on target and finished three of them while captain Norberto Santiago IV held it down in goal with a total of 17 saves, despite his injury.
If McMahon wins on Tuesday, October 23nd, against Bridgeport Central, they clinch a spot in the FCIAC playoffs.
After ending the 2017 season with only 3 wins, McMahon field hockey is “all in” this year.
The girls and their coaches are determined to make this season one to remember. Even with three hour practices consisting of lifting, running, and weight room sessions, the field hockey team still manages to make time for team bonding.
Senior captain Julia Curtin says, “I think we have better leadership and a stronger bond as a team. We communicate a lot more about what we do well and what we don’t between the players and the coaches.” Curtin went on to say, “We are honest with each other when we play poorly or have a bad practice and strive to change that.”
More than halfway through the season, the girls have won as many games as they did last year, and tied two.
With Greenwich and St. Joseph’s in their future, the bright eyed team is putting in just as much effort off the field as they are on.
“There was a lot of distance between everyone last year” notes Curtin. “This year we made sure to decorate lockers and give everyone sisters so we can be more like a family.”
In her third year as head coach, Dani Brown makes sure to stick to her motto, “all in.” After their recent win over Trumbull, making their record 4-9-2, the field hockey team remains driven for their upcoming games.
While Darien and New Canaan have their team bonding activities spending money, many sports at McMahon are bonding while making money. The girl’s volleyball team loves to have car washes which are tons of fun and draws in lots of cash. From Snap-Raise to advertisements McMahon has found the perfect way fundraise. After digging into the logistics of different types of fundraising and uncovering the real truth, now you will know how to draw in the most funds for your team.
Our number one way of fundraising at McMahon is through an online organization called Snap-Raise. Snap-Raise, while it may seem like the best option, it takes a huge part of the funds, 33%, and puts it in their pocket.
“At Snap! our goal is to allow you to spend more time with your team and give your players more time to compete – not selling candy bars.”
They incentivize raising money with new gear, but they usually never give it to the recipients and claim that it was given to the coach, when it usually never was.
“I was supposed to receive Beats headphones from Snap-Raise after I raised the most money for my team, adding up to over $1000...they never came. This wasn’t the only time Snap-Raise didn’t send me one of their ‘guaranteed’ prizes.” (Charlotte Hussey ‘19)
This past month, volleyball raised over $2,200 from their car wash/bake sale. Pete Georgiou, McMahon volleyball coach for six seasons, shared some of his tips for successful fundraisers. He feels that the best way to fundraise is to do something that can bond the team and draw in the community.
“It’s a better social, emotional atmosphere,” Georgiou says.
His interpretation on Snap-Raise and email fundraising is impersonal and won’t benefit the girls.
“The girls are working towards something versus just sitting behind a desk and sending out emails.”
Compared to the other coaches, his aspect of fundraising stands out in McMahon and shows lots of character. After speaking with a Snap-Raise representative the truth behind their motives shone through.
“We use technology, social media and email to connect with your teams most likely donors that are outside of your typical supporters.”
Coach Angelo Tsingerliotis has been coaching girls soccer for some time now and he has decided to indeed stick with Snap-Raise as their main way to fundraise. Occasionally, a concession stand will be open during games, but it has been, unfortunately, very inactive this year.
“A lot of it [the money] goes to the banquet as well as buying gear for the teams. We use it for pasta parties at the school and any equipment needed as well.”
The team likes the simplicity of Snap-Raise and the consistency of the great outcome each year of the funds. This year the girls raised over $8,000 compared to last year’s whopping $10,400.
Chloe started off playing soccer when she was 4, never knowing that she can get this far in soccer. Now she holds one of McMahon’s most impressive records. On Tuesday October 2nd, 2018, McMahon history was made on Trinity Catholic’s Gaglio Field when senior Chloe Ortolano set McMahon’s girls soccer all time scoring record, passing Kiki Koroshetz who's held the record of 37 goals for 14 years.
“It was a great accomplishment. Since I was young I’ve been working very had to where I am now” Ortolano said. She went on to say her first goal of her high school career was her 2nd game as a freshman.
Ortolano also played lacrosse and track. Why did she pick soccer as her main sport though? Ortolano explained that it's because “my dad was a coach for soccer so it gave me a better connection to the sport.”
Ortolano plays CAM, which is a midfield player who is positioned in an attacking midfield position. This position is for people who have good passing abilities, vision, & the ability to make long range shots, while still also possessing solid dribbling skills. Ortolano also plays CDM, which is a more defensive midfielder.
Last year, Ortolano verbally committed to Providence College, ensuring that she will continue the game she has played her whole life for another four years. This year Ortolano has been a main leader for the McMahon girls soccer team as a captain with eight goals to her name. McMahon has already claimed a spot in the state tournament and with a tie Saturday afternoon against Fairfield Ward, clinched their spot in the FCIAC tournament.
on the field at the Stamford game, the game he got injured, he had his teammates that helped him through his injury.
“They rallied around me, told me it was going to be okay, they tried to keep me positive.”
Junior Captain, Stephanie Skidmore, has her long blonde hair in a ponytail and shuffles around talking to her team while keeping an eye on the opposing team’s warm up. She continues to tug on her jersey and anxiously drinks water, and in between smiles, she hopes hide her nerves.
The gym at Staples is cold because of the air conditioner, but you can see the beads of anxiety running down the heads of most of McMahon’s volleyball team. Tension is high for this game especially since this is Skidmore’s first game back since her injury at practice two weeks ago.
At practice two weeks ago, Skidmore went up to block next to Anissa Borno and when she was jumping up, she hit Anissa’s elbow and fell to the floor. After that she went to see Ashley the Trainer and she recommended seeing a doctor. After practice, she went to the doctor to end up being diagnosed with a concussion.
Never having a concussion before, Skidmore had to adjust her daily routine. She had to limit her time driving and wasn’t allowed to drive at night because of the lights. She also couldn’t stare at screens for too long because they gave her headaches.
During her five games off, she sat the bench and she was frustrated at the fact that she couldn’t just get up and play. She wanted to help on the court because maybe she could’ve done something to change the way the games turned out.
Skidmore finally got to come back last Friday, October 5th, after almost two weeks on the bench and played one of her better games statistics wise. Skidmore said, “There was a little pressure coming back after being gone for so long because I hadn’t practiced a lot and I just didn’t want to get in the game and not be as good as I was before my concussion.”
On Friday, McMahon went point for point with Staples for the first game and ended up winning, and then went on to win the second game basically blowing out Staples, but lost the last three games so Staples took the win right from under McMahon’s nose.
Skidmore wasn’t disappointed at the fact that the team lost because McMahon took Staples to five games and gave their best effort. Coming back off the bench, Skidmore had a 2.5 passing rate out of 3 meaning that on a scale of 1-3 with 3 being the best, her passing score averaged out to be a 2.5. She also had a few blocks at the net and served aggressively at Staples.
“I knew Staples was a good team going into the game and I’m just really happy and proud that we didn’t give up and played our hearts out to the best of our ability, and that I didn’t suck.”
Since the game Friday, Skidmore has slowly begun playing just like she did before her injury a few weeks ago.
Stephanie claimed “The part of having a concussion was that I could leave class and take walks because my head hurt, so I didn’t have to sit there for 90 minutes.”
Having a concussion was annoying for Stephanie because she felt like she wasn’t doing everything that she could. She was meet with constant headaches and feeling as if “her brain wasn’t working properly.”
She also was restless all the time because there were so many restrictions. She was unable to drive a lot and had to find other ways to occupy her time other than using her phone and playing volleyball.
McMahon Volleyball has been one of the top teams in the FCIAC in recent years. They have got off to a slow start and have been struggling this season, dropping from 12-8 last year to 4-11 so far this season.
The team's attitude has been a big problem compared to last year.
“I think when we’re down on ourselves or arguing with others we don't play as well. Communication is a big part of volleyball so if we have bad attitudes it usually results in bad communication leading to bad games.” Said Claire Ripperger (‘19.)
McMahon’s only wins have come against Kolbe, Bunnell, Immaculate, and Trinity. Their next game is against town rival Norwalk High which should be an even matchup, with our record being 4-11 and the Bears 5-10.
The next four games are St. Joes, Wilton, Fairfield Warde, and Central. All of those games are fairly winnable for the Lady Senators. Hopefully, they could pull it together and get back to their winning ways.
They could still make states if they win all 5 of their remaining games which seems out of range but, if they eliminate the mistakes they could make a statement.
Winning, said by Andrew Trujillo, was what the football team was focused on, and that’s exactly how they started the game against Stamford High.
Not even two minutes into the game, a punt is blocked by Malik Goethe and returned by Jonathan Davila, leading to the first touchdown of the night on the Black Knights home field and a great day on the turf for McMahon.
After that, Jermayne Daniels, later on in the first quarter ran in a touchdown to make the game 14-0.
The next score would come from Donyae Shavers on a ninety four yard kickoff return with a missed PAT, as well as six points put up by the Knights makes the game 20-6 at the end of the third quarter.
Lastly, senior captain Mike Macari would run another touchdown in, with Stamford scoring 6 more in the last quarter, ending the game with a two possession lead, 27-12.
McMahon’s head coach was planning his goals before he was even hired for the job.
“Every New Year’s Eve, or New Year's Day I write down 10 goals I want accomplished throughout the year, and one of my goals was to get my first win as head coach, and at that point I wasn’t even hired as the head coach yet,” said Coach Q.
McMahon’s new head coach, Jeffery Queiroga, better known as Coach Q, had accomplished one of the goals he had set out before he had even become head coach, achieving his first win of the season and as head coach in their fifth game of the season.
“The referees came up to me and they explained it to me as, it was a two score game, because we were up 15 with a minute and a half left… they (the referees) just felt that, two score game, minute and a half left, they didn’t think Stamford was going to come back and they decided to end it.” Coach Q said about the game ending early due to a fight breaking out between the two teams in the fourth quarter.
“One of their players ripped off Connor Barton’s helmet … and kind of threw a punch at him, kind of swung, one of those sort of things… about four seconds went by and they (the referees) didn’t call it, so then I got angry and I started yelling at the ref… if they had called the personal foul, minute and a half left, it would’ve been automatic first down for us, we could’ve just taken a knee and we would’ve won the game.” Said Coach Q.
After this, a flag was thrown, and an unnamed player came over to Coach Q and got in his face, which prompted the rest of the McMahon team to back up their coach, leading to the fight.
Coach Q stated that three Stamford players may be suspended and possibly one McMahon student, who is also unnamed due to possibly not being suspended.“Our players learned how to win,” said Coach Q.
McMahon is looking to continue their success going against Bridgeport Central for the homecoming game, and with the momentum they gained from Stamford’s game, they have a great chance to get their second win of the season.
NORWALK- Host defending FCIAC volleyball champions Brien McMahon defeated Immaculate High 3-1 Tuesday night in the Mary Kehoe Gymnasium to secure their third overall win of the season.
The Senators have had a slow start to the season after finishing as top dog last year. “We definitely are having a harder time playing as a team than we did last year, but I think we are slowing getting better as we progress through the season,” said senior A'Niaya Nieves after Tuesday’s win.
Throughout the game, there were points where it looked like the McMahon players haven’t ever played together. On multiple occasions, a lack of communication resulted in the ball just dropping between two players that thought the other had it. “We don’t communicate well, but it’s something that we are trying to work on,” Nieves went on to say.
With a fairly light schedule, only facing two top five placed teams, McMahon is looking to turn things around and get back to their winning ways before it's too late. The Senators take on Trinity Catholic Wednesday, October 10th at McMahon followed by another home game, Friday the 12th, against New Canaan.
Kelete Sherald & Tsai Zoe
We know him as a top-notch athlete, but his sister knows him as a brother who makes her cereal every morning.
Justin Forde (‘19) is a three-sport athlete who plays football, basketball, and jumps for track and field. Alongside that, he is also ranked nationally for track and field. Most student-athletes just have to worry about school and sports, but Forde has home responsibilities that he has attend to. Everyday, after practice, he has to take care of his sister.
He has built a bond with his 9 year old sister Maliyah that can’t be broken. “It’s more of me being strict with her trying to raise her to be a nice girl because I'm her big brother, but it’s always been like I'm her dad because of how much I’ve been there,” said Forde.
Typically, Forde has 9 hours each day of the week to himself and the rest are for his sister. He tries to set an example for her so that she grows up right. “I try to have fun but also show her the right way to do things,” said Forde. Being the second parent to her, Forde helps with showing her how to carry herself in life. He makes sure to teach her how to properly act in the house and in public.
Being an athlete requires a lot of practice and sometimes he can’t manage to go home early and often spends hours after school. Due to this, Forde had to find a solution to that problem. “I’ve had to bring her to football practices and have her sit on the sidelines. I’ve had to bring her to basketball practices,” explained Forde. Because he has to divide his attention on his sister and practice, he is often distracted.
Justin and Maliyah live with their mom with both of them having different dads. Justin’s dad lives in Florida and Maliyah’s lives in Kansas. His mom has to work a lot, so she is not home all the time. Justin has to dress her, make her breakfast, and take her to the bus stop, all that while focusing on himself and on his study and sports.
Justin Forde is a very gifted athlete. Forde explained how he only trusted a few people in his life because they’ve always been there through thick and thin. “My grandma and grandpa support me with anything I want to do.”
Fordes grandparents have always been there for him, he explained. They always told him to always keep his head up when times get rough because everything is gonna pay off in the end. You can catch his grandpa in the stands for football and basketball cheering on his grandson. His dad is also one of the people that made him the person he is today. “My dad is a big part of my life because I don’t talk to my mom about things I talk to my dad about even though he’s miles away.”
His whole family is supportive and is loud at games, embarrassing him at times. His sister is also there to cheer him on. Through everything, she will always be his number one fan.