By: Liam Stec
Jeffrey Sanborn, the Wethersfield High School boys cross country, indoor track, and girls outdoor track and field coach at Wethersfield High School, has been coaching for over twenty years, and is a coach well-liked and respected by athletes and students alike.
Starting his running career at Wayland Academy and advancing to the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse as a collegiate athlete, Coach Sanborn is a highly qualified coach. He also happens to be the only openly gay coach at Wethersfield High School.
However, Coach Sanborn has not always been an openly gay coach at Wethersfield High School, having only come out within the past 10 years. When asked about how he came out and what prompted him to come out 10 years ago, he said, “I actually first did it because there was a bunch of bullying issues at the time”, even noting that, at one point, a student was beaten up for his sexuality.
After this, it became clear to Coach Sanborn that allies were needed, and somebody to look to, as well as someone who could be used as a resource for any questions and further education was needed, and Coach Sanborn decided to take on this role.
When asking Coach Sanborn what his number one piece of advice was to those who are coming out, his first piece of advice was “go find allies.” To be an ally of the LGBTQ+ community means to be a person who has a genuine, strong concern for the well-being of LGBTQ+ people, supports accepts LGBTQ+ people, and advocates for equal rights and fair treatment.
There are numerous sites out there to help educate others in finding allies and a common ground, and one of the number one sites for this is The Trevor Project.
The Trevor Project is an LGBTQ+ supporting site that explores topics that others may be uncomfortable to talk about, discussing topics of suicide, sexual orientation, gender identity, mental health, and community. It’s a place many have found as extremely educational and helpful, even having a built in feature where if you press the escape button three times it will be deleted from your search history.
Educating yourself as well as others is one of the most important ways to fight the adversities and inequalities still present in the fight for complete equality. This even means correcting peers, friends, family, and anyone else when you hear or see something inappropriate, however there’s a way to go about it and do it right.
As said by Coach Sanborn “Tell them it’s not cool and tell them why.” The most basic thing you can do is educate people, tell them why it’s not okay, but make sure to not attack them; if you attack them aggressively they’ll attack you right back.
One important thing for people to realize is that often it’s simple word choices that need corrections. “I’ve never heard anyone say anything in a negative tone, it’s just a language choice they’re not consciously aware of,” said Coach Sanborn. Their language is a product of the culture they’ve been brought up in.
Coach Sanborn said it makes you think, “How many times have you heard someone say ‘That’s so straight?’ Nobody ever has. So why is it okay to say ‘That’s so gay?’”
Unfortunately, this is present in everyday life in varying degrees all over as seen in the news this week with Jon Gruden and his emails. Jon Gruden was an NFL coach of the Oakland Raiders, who had several emails released calling NFL commissioner several derogatory names and homophobic slurs. It is the actions of figures as large as these that can hurt others the most and cause some of the largest and lasting damage.
This is one of the biggest contrasts between coaches and highlights the effects of coaches on people: Some like Sanborn can help others and encourage people to be who they are, while others such as Gruden tear people down for something as simple as being themself.
This isn’t to say that people are completely alone though, according to a new study conducted by Outsports, the University of Winchester and the Sports Equality Foundation, 95% of athletes surveyed said their teammates’ responses to them coming out were overall “neutral” to “perfect”. This means 19 out of 20 times, there will be a positive response amongst athletes, and even then a team never consists of only 2 people, there will statistically be those who support and embrace you for who you are.
Here are some sites for additional information or personal research
by: Michael LaPerriere
Thursday, September 30th was senior night for the boys soccer team, with 20 seniors and one junior on the rostor it was sure to be an exciting night, truly inspirational for many.
The boys faced off against the Simsbury Trojans, coming off a tie with the Farmington River Hawks, the Trojans were hungry for a win. A hard fought battle between the Trojans and Eagles led to an Eagles win with a late goal by lone Junior of the team, Thomas Brodowicz.
I interviewed Brodowicz regarding the goal, this is what he had to say, “I was trying to make it to the corner to celebrate but I was swarmed by the team, other than that the goal was great for the team, and helped us keep our undefeated streak”. The junior was more happy for the team rather than the individualism that came out of the game.
The seniors struggled to put the ball in the back of the net, with many chances from headers to low shots, none found the net. Both defensive ends of the games were strong, the two captain center backs Owen Ahmetovic and (AJ) Antonio Contreras both played strong games, putting in great tackles and clearances while playing a large leadership role to the team. Goaltenders Chris Daley and Ricky Torres both played very strong games, shutouts for both.
Brodowicz is a prime example of never giving up, continually pushing, and fighting until the last second. He scored with 36.6 seconds left in the game, hardwork and determination led to this victory.I spoke with midfielder Willam McCarter who delivered the beautiful cross that led to the goal, this is what he had to say “I honestly thought they missed, then I saw him crash the net and everyone going crazy. I kinda stood there in awe for a second, then I bursted to Thomas and the team and went crazy.”
With the late goal, it pushed the Eagles to a six-game win streak, this will lead them closer to being the top team in their league. The goal will be one to remember and will live on in Wethersfield soccer history, his actions that night will not go unnoticed and made it truly a night to remember. Make sure you support the Eagles in the rest of their season, you can find their schedule here.
By: Joe Calafiore, and Savier Paige
The Wethersfield football team has been through some challenges these past years. Last year, they were going into a big season with a lot of big name seniors, but due to COVID, the season was canceled. This year, the team is ready to bounce back and try to show how they are still a good team.
So far this season, the team's record is 2-2. They started off the season with two big wins vs Platt, and Berlin and they seemed like they were on a good pace for this season, but they evened out their record with two straight losses against Bristol Central and Windsor. Most recently against Windsor they had their toughest loss yet, with a score of 21-0 at home.
The team is ready to switch up the momentum and get a big win against Conard for senior night. The players will be put in front of a big crowd as they will be honoring the school's seniors and the highlights of their careers. The team will look to feed off that energy of the crowd.
“Look for the win, nothing else matters to me on senior night,” said senior T.J Smith, the starting running back and defensive player for the Wethersfield Eagles. We took the time to talk to T.J to get his perspective on the current season.
Smith is focused on one main thing “WIN” and he will do whatever is needed to achieve it. With their last win against Berlin, T.J made a clutch last-minute interception to seal the game.
“We're gonna play our game, with our strength being defensive.” The Eagles have good faith in their defensive performance and feel that they can utilize it to push through and get that win that they are looking for.
Be ready to see your Wethersfield Eagles take the field against Conard this Friday night!
by: Sarah Karwic
Many people are familiar with the boys hockey team at Wethersfield High, but are unaware that there is also a girls hockey team. The team is a collective of 18 players from Avon, Southington, Newington, Litchfield, RHAM, and Wethersfield, 5 of which come from Wethersfield.
Wethersfield became involved in this team through current WHS senior Paige Muscillo. Muscillo states that when she was a sophomore, she received an email asking if she would be interested in joining the Avon-Southington co-op team. Since joining, she has loved being a member of the team and bringing in other Wethersfield players.
The team has not been immune to the changes brought by COVID-19. In their practices and games, they have had to make adjustments to comply with new regulations. According to Muscillo they “went from regular practice with masks, to only four players and a coach on the ice with masks.” In their games they have made accommodations to playing with masks, Muscillo stated, “One of the biggest differences from years before is wearing a mask on the ice, with mask breaks every 10 minutes. Due to this, it really slows down the game which can either work in our favor or the opposite.”
Off the ice they have had to make adjustments in the locker rooms. According to Muscllo they are still allowed to use them, but depending on the rink they are at and the size of the locker room there are limits to how many people are allowed in it. At the Newington arena they are only allowed to have 15 people at a time.
Spectatorship has changed too. Each player is allowed two guests, but only at home games.
Despite all of the added troubles caused by COVID-19, the team is going strong. The team is currently ranked second for their conference and fifth in the state. They have also only lost three out of fifteen games this season, so they are not letting COVID-19 ruin their season.
By: Owen Gagne
It has been over a year since Wethersfield Public Schools closed due to COVID-19 and the CIAC (Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference) has officially allowed us to have races. Coach Jeff Sanborn, head coach of girls and the boys distance squad, is going to speak on the topic and tell us more.
There has been lots of speculation about the upcoming outdoor track season, but as of March 1, the CIAC has allowed for races and sent out schedules. Coach Sanborn said, “We are going to have dual meets only, no invitationals, and 6 of the 7 meets will be at home.”
This is great news for all track athletes, especially considering last year's season was cancelled entirely.
This outdoor season will be a lot different than the indoor season WHS just had. Coach Sanborn told us that some guidelines have changed, for example the team does not need to wear masks during races. Also, unlike the indoor season, there is a set schedule for the team to follow and WHS can race other schools rather than just intersquad.
Training in the outdoor season will also dramatically change for athletes in field events from what it was like in the indoor season. For those training for the field events (javelin, discus, high jump, etc.), there are facilities outdoors that become useful to them and there are dedicated coaches for each event rather than just a head coach.
Distance and sprint training will stay similar, but with some minor adjustments because the track is now available for workouts instead of the parking lot.
Compared to previous outdoor track seasons, WHS has significantly less people on the team. “Our numbers are down, we got the rosters this morning and we have 30-40 kids on each side fewer than what we expected to see,” says Coach Sanborn. This puts pressure on certain athletes because WHS does not have the depth that they are used to having when put in competition.
Although the team has no invitational meets this year, the state and state open meets will still be held normally, but there will not be a New England meet. This changes up how the coaches will set up meets because rather than having one athlete focus on qualifying for New Englands, they will focus on helping the team win a state championship. For example, instead of that athlete focusing on only the mile, they will run the 4x8, mile, and 3200m events.
For this outdoor season, Coach Sanborn plans on focusing more on training in the first three weeks because, unlike previous years, there is a week and a half break between indoor and outdoor rather than 6-9 weeks. With this change, he expects athletes to perform a lot better early on in the season than usual. Also, with the young team that WHS has, he expects a lot of improvement from his athletes throughout the season.
This outdoor season is an interesting one, but every athlete is looking forward to it. You can click here to find the team schedule and results as the season progresses. Nothing has been said about spectators yet, but since 6/7 of the meets are home, show up and support if allowed!
By: Chase Millen
Wethersfield High School offers several spring sports including baseball, lacrosse, volleyball, tennis, track and field, softball, and a few other extracurricular activities. A lot of the restrictions have changed in the past few months, and they will continue to change, so we must adapt.
In order to play any sport this spring, a waiver must be read and signed by the student as well as their parent or legal guardian to ensure that they are aware of the possible risks involving the virus and extracurricular activities.
It is always uncertain what might happen during the season. A team could get completely shut down for two weeks, or a team might get lucky and have nothing holding them back for the entire season. All sports will still be required to wear masks when they aren’t actively competing.
However, volleyball players are required to wear a mask even during competition because it is indoors, while every other sport is played outdoors and they don’t require a mask during active competition. Most sports will have a 16-20 game season along with a state tournament.
Each sport has a specific set of guidelines that must be followed. For example, in baseball, each team will use their own balls while on defense as well as disinfecting them regularly. Masks will also be required during close contact, so in the dugout or at a pitcher's mound visit. There will be no pre or post-game handshakes between teams, no sharing water bottles, a few obvious rules during the pandemic.
According to the Athletic Director at Wethersfield High School, Mr. Maltese, none of the spring sports should be impacted by the virus any more or less than any other sport. As long as all athletes follow the correct protocol, it should be a successful season.
Practices and games will be affected the same as the winter sports. If any player or coach tests positive, contact tracing will be done to determine whether the athlete or the entire team will be temporarily shut down to quarantine.
Maltese believes that if all sports follow guidelines, then they should be just fine, however, golf has the lowest chance due to the fact that it is easier to stay six feet away from teammates and opponents. Also, due to the fact that ten out of the eleven sports teams will play outside, spring sports will hopefully not be impacted too much. After the basketball teams and wrestling were ended prematurely this winter, we all are hoping that no other team has to go through what those teams had to go through.
By: Aaron Cholewa and Aaron Guay
With spring sports right around the corner, many people are wondering how the Wethersfield High School baseball team will do or if they will even get to play. Given the success they’ve had in recent years, many are expecting another successful season, if. Seniors Eamon Coggins and Brendan Zaleski, as well as Head Coach Bagdasarian were able to provide their insight on the year.
Both ball players were in agreement that they just want to play baseball in the spring. “We’ve been robbed of that [varsity baseball experience]. I just want to play baseball, any sort of baseball,” said Zaleski. Coggins was very vocal that he too wanted the senior experience to play any form of baseball.
Coggins made it clear that he wanted to play a normal schedule with no travel restrictions. Brendan was able to provide some hope to Eamon, saying that the CIAC is predicting no geographical restrictions. He also added that this year’s schedule might be identical to last year's unused schedule.
The Zaleski and Coggins duo stated that pitchers and catchers can begin throwing on March 20-22. Then, the official tryouts will begin on March 29. With the season approaching quickly, some could be concerned about the team’s success. Coggins and Zaleski however, were not.
by: Andrew Labbe
Over the past year, there is no doubt that COVID changed our world, and especially the lives of high schoolers. With classes interrupted and activities often cancelled, so many still have the question, “Will there be a tennis season this spring?”
It may just be a hobby for some, but for others, it’s a possible career. There are some teenagers who spend countless hours every week practicing for tennis, hoping to improve themselves for the high school season. Due to the cancelation of last year’s season, Seniors this year are worried about missing their last tennis season.
According to WHS Tennis Coach Jeffery Roets, there will be a season, it will just look different, he said, “We will have a season (as of now)... The tournament will be the most different - no open class tournament like we've had in the past; boys will follow the girls' tournament model of head to head playoffs.”
While maintaining safety by limiting contact via removing the previous state tournament style, it will make it harder for individual team members to progress through the bracket to possibly become seeded.
When he was asked how the safety of the team members could be ensured, he said,“Ensure is probably a stretch - but tennis is one of the lowest risk sports and has been so defined since April of last year.”
His statement is proven to be true, since tennis is a low contact sport. Whether playing singles or doubles, there is a great deal of distance between the players.
The CIAC is positive that there will be a tennis season. In fact, they have already confirmed the first practice to be March 20 and the first contest to be April 3. If things go according to plan, the highschool might yet see another successful tennis season.
Although, if this year has taught us anything it is to expect the unexpected. Though the tennis season has already been scheduled to start, covid still has a chance to interfere. If cases start to spike in the US again, possibly due to the ever popular upcoming superbowl, the tennis season might possibly be canceled another year.
by: Tyler Burgos
The year of 2020 was wild, especially for the class of 2021. During the start of the school year, most seniors were looking forward to an outstanding sports season. For WHS, two standout student-athletes, Marcus Nieves and Nick Thompson, were both highly impacted for multiple seasons worth of sports, most notably the cancelled 2020 football season.
Before the cancellation of football, students held on to hope as the Department of Public Health went back and forth between decisions for months. By Dec. 25, the DPH said they would push football to spring and have practices and games then. When spring finally came around, they cancelled the season altogether.
When talking with Nick Thompson and Marcus Nieves about how he felt, Thompson said,“I was angry, sad and mad on why they would push it back.”
Nieves then said, “It was pretty upsetting to see that it’s senior year and just knowing it's my last year. I know this year I could have projected more of my skills and talent so I can get more offers for college.”
Throughout the tough time, both athletes handled their emotions with help from Coach Matthew McKinnon, friends, and, most importantly, family. With all this help they stayed positive going into another season with the same problem of it being cancelled.
Even with the cancellation of wrestling, they both push not only themselves, but their teammates at practices to become better athletes. With them being outstanding teammates and athletes, they both felt and said, “ I wish I could’ve pushed a little bit harder at every practice, meet, and game. Just to show I'm more than what I showed previously.”
With the year coming to an end I asked whether they would pursue sports in college and where. Thompson said, “ I won't be continuing sports at a higher level but, I will be going to trade school and become an electrician.”
Nieves said,“ I will be continuing my sports career but, I am still undecided as of where I want to go.”
by: Michael Schneider and Gustavo Reyes
The CIAC has announced that the winter season is back on. We are now two weeks into this winter season and teams have been practicing and even having scrimmages.
Due to the pandemic, teams have shortened their seasons and there will be no state tournament. The teams started tryouts and practices on January 19, with games as early as February 1.
The CIAC assessed each sport’s risk level for COVID-19 transmission. The only sport categorized as low-risk is swimming, all the sports considered as moderate-risk are basketball, ice hockey, gymnastics, and indoor track, and the ones considered as high-risk are wrestling, competitive cheer, and competitive dance.
Even if indoor track is considered as a moderate-risk sport CIAC recommends not holding large, multi school meets throughout the season. Even if it's not clear for an alternative option for the meets, at WHS there will be intrasquad competitions and time trials instead.
Senior captain of the hockey team Kevin Avery says, “We are all pretty excited about this upcoming season even though it’s not a normal one, at least we get one last season to remember.”
How sports have changed
This season is definitely one to remember for everyone. Practices have everyone wearing a mask and there are no scrimmages during practice till after the 1st of February.
The Central Connecticut Conference is going to be different as well. Teams will only play other teams that are close to each other geographically.
The high-risk considered sports have to be limited to have small group conditioning and non-contact skill building activities for the entire season.
After last season's abrupt end to the post season tournament, the CIAC have announced that there will not be a postseason tournament this year due to pandemic.
However, there will be some postseason experience with an inter-conference tournament. It will be a 2 game playoff between the 4 best teams so that their season still goes on.
Although this isn’t your traditional season, it at least gives students a chance to have some sort of a season.
By: Cristin Blake
Cheerleading is a fall and winter sport at Wethersfield High School, offered to any freshman, sophomore, junior or senior, and is coached by Ali Cormier.
During the seasons, athletes train their body and enhance their skills in stunting, tumbling, jumps, and remembering sideline chants and routines for halftimes at games and competitions. However, this cheer season was unlike any other due to the long lasting effects of COVID-19.
As a member of the Wethersfield High School cheer team, I have seen the challenges this fall and incoming winter season have brought due to the limitations the virus has brought to the team.
Coach Ali Cormier and senior captains Dynasty Ellis, Madeleine Day, and Julia Ward have all been working together to try and make these seasons as normal as possible. With all the new restrictions and limitations put in place throughout the season, many of things that were allowed before the virus came, are labeled as high risk now. The commitment to cheerleading has affected the girls, too.
“The pandemic did affect the girls trying out because we really truly only had two days to tryout,” says senior captain Dynasty Ellis.
Dynasty and her other fellow captains Madeleine and Julia have been trying to find easier ways to teach everything, like sideline chants, proper jump and motion technique, and the function of games for the upcoming basketball season.
by: Annie Klementon
The Covid-19 situation is ever changing, which means the guidelines for a safe and enjoyable high school soccer season are flexible. The WHS girls soccer program is complying with the strict precautions at every practice and game to ensure that their sport season will not be interrupted by preventable obstacles.
Masks are a necessity for all members of the WHS community, but the girls soccer program is rarely seen without them. These masks are worn upon arrival to practice or games and kept on until the event actually begins, on the bench, sideline, or bus, and as soon as the event ends.
A single player at any level is allowed two fans to home games, but no opposing fans are permitted. Low attendance at the games is not something that has impacted the level of play, but some players feel less motivated when all of their desired guests are not watching.
The beginning weeks of the season were difficult because nothing was the same as the players remembered, but over time, they learned to focus solely on the important things, like being able to have a season at all.
In regards to the sometimes annoying protocols, junior player Cindy Biraci said, “I don’t mind the extreme measures because I know that everything is just to keep us safe and playing, which is something we all want”.
The competition is not as steep as it has been in the past for this WHS team because a small league has been composed of local towns, meaning that skill level has not been taken into account. There are three games (Middletown, Maloney, and Rocky Hill) that are pretty much guaranteed wins for Wethersfield, but two other games (Berlin and Newington) are not predetermined.
Junior Varsity coach Amanda Pace said, “All of these games are opportunities for every player to get better. They are also distracting these girls from the crazy life they are currently living and allowing them to focus on something they are good at. No game is truly easy, but the less competitive games are another way to prepare for the tougher ones coming”.
At this point in the season, the girls varsity team has completed more than half of their season, with a record of seven wins and one tie. The players and staff will continue to follow the rules for the remaining four games and any tournament that is composed for the final weeks.
By: Matthew Fletcher and Bobby Schiavone
With the Wethersfield basketball season right around the corner, starting shooting guard and senior captain Luke Latina gets ready for an exciting yet different season, he prepares to get locked into a game…with a catch.
He won’t see anyone’s full face and will enter the game with no fans in the building due to Covid-19 protocols. We asked him some questions to get his feel for what this season has to bring.
When asked about the new potential safety protocols in place, Latina said, “The CIAC is doing a great job in what they have prepared for us and making sure our season goes on as scheduled.”
He also believes that they will play every scheduled game on time with these protocols put in place.
Latina is concerned but hopeful for the culture of the locker room without fans and with masks, saying, “It will be different, I think everyone will be thankful that everyone will be able to play since they know they have a better opportunity to play.”
When he asked about not having fans, Latina said, “I think it will be a bummer to not see fans in the stands but I feel confident the other captains and I are good enough leaders to get our team where we want them, mentally and physically, the whole game and in big moments.”
Latina believes these protocols will give his team an advantage, saying, “With no outside noise and background antics, kids can have a less stressful experience on the court.”
He thinks that kids will ease into the offense and defense easier with just his team and nobody else around them.
At the end of the day, no one knows how the season will end up, but this senior captain believes in everything the CIAC has to offer for their senior season and can't wait to start playing.
By: Erica Christie
The entire world has been turned upside down, so it is no surprise that things at Wethersfield High School have changed. One of the things that has specifically changed is the new COVID-19 guidelines for the girls volleyball team.
This is my fourth and final year as a member of the program and it is definitely a season that I , and everyone else have never experienced before. And although I am sure that other participants in high school fall sports feel the same, the major thing that separates volleyball from the crowd is that coaches and players are required to wear face masks during all games and practices.
According to the CIAC (Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference), “ Masks must be worn by coaches at all times…When practicing indoors masks should be worn by students if they feel they can play without distraction and are able to continue adequate respiration.”
Why does only volleyball have to wear masks but field hockey and soccer players get tonplay face covering free?
As claimed by CIAC, “Although there is infrequent close contact between opposing players involved with this sport, the fact that activities for this sport are occurring indoors and involve significant physical exertion and forceful communication with teammates, the risk for person‐to‐person spread of infectious droplets is elevated for this specific sport.”
Even though these conditions are less than ideal, when compared to not having a season at all, most of the girls on the team will happily pull the straps around their ears and get on the court.
When asked if she would rather wear a mask than not have a season, senior captain Kathleen Sullivan answered, “I would definitely rather play with a mask on then not have a season at all. I still like playing and it’s really not that much different with the mask on.”
Other players also share the same mindset towards the masks. Senior captain Gabriella Amoddio said, ”It took some time to adjust and I definitely still struggle during long rallies but overall it’s really not that bad.”
With the mask guidelines and overall risk of contracting COVID- 19, participating in this 2020 season was a tough decision for some, but the temptation to be back on the court was too strong to pass up.
Varsity head coach Katie Stanley said, “ After talking with my family and the athletic department about the safety measures set in place, I felt comfortable and safe to coach. I was approached with a unique opportunity to coach the varsity team this year and have had a great experience so far!”
All in all, WHS girls volleyball isn’t letting the masks stop them and the girls and I are excited to play the rest of this season.
It’s no secret that Connecticut and the CIAC have canceled their football season and moved it to the Spring due to COVID-19. As a senior on the Wethersfield High School football team, I decided to interview my teammates and a coach to see what they think about it.
I ran into senior starting quarterback Vasilios Tsipouras and asked how he felt about Connecticut’s football season getting postponed, he said ,“It’s tough for the whole program. Mentally, kids are getting more depressed and more anxious because they can’t play with their football family until the spring. Hopefully it's a safer environment, with less COVID. But for now we are going to get stronger and build as a family.”
The CIAC has claimed to follow through with having a spring season with a maximum of 5 games and no playoff extension. Although, if COVID rates drop significantly then there may be a chance of having a small playoff extension.
Head Coach of the WHS football program, Coach McKinnon, was asked how he felt about the postponing of the fall season to the spring. He said, “It was hard to take in at first. I understand, with the metrics, and the safety that goes with it, but the big thing that I don't understand is every other sport is playing, but football is being singled out. We never got a specific answer to that question from DPH or from CIAC which made all the football coaches in the state upset. We are hoping now that February is a go.”
To gain more information about what my teammates thought, I knew I had to ask someone who I know that absolutely loves football and secretly gives every second of his day to getting better at what he does, just like me. I asked junior linebacker, Tyler Burgos, what he thought about the season getting canceled. He said, “I was kinda hoping to go into fall to start practicing with the team, having games, and then bringing home a championship with my boys. But now with the season being moved to the spring, it just gives us more time to get a lot stronger, faster, and more elite to dominate the season no matter how many games we get.
After interviewing Coach McKinnon and my teammates on the Wethersfield Football Team, I realized that at the end of the day, we were all on the same page. Everyone on the team really wants to start playing games again. As Coach McKinnon said during his interview, it isn’t fair how the CIAC isn’t giving anyone an answer as to why the football season is canceled and the other sports get to conduct their normal season. Whatever happens, I know the coaching staff and my teammates on the WHS football team are ready to get back to work and completely dominate the spring season.
Although WHS football players and coaching staff are disappointed with the decision of the CIAC to move the football season to the spring, all of us are still very happy the season wasn’t canceled fully. We are one hundred percent ready to get back to playing games and playing some football with our brothers.
By: Tyler Wolf, WHS Eagles mascot
People ask me all the time, is it hot in that suit? Listen really carefully to the answer I am about to give to you, the answer is YES, all mascots get hot. No matter how many times people ask, the answer is always YES!
Thank goodness I got that straightened out!
Let me first introduce myself, my name is Tyler Wolf and for the past three years, I have been very privileged to dress up in an eagle suit, serving as the mascot at basketball and football games.
Before me, there was a person that did the mascot for one day after realizing they do not want to sweat profusely or hated the smell, either way! Believe it or not, I used to hate mascots, but now I am proud to be one!
After going to my first hockey game, meeting mascots Sonar and Pucky, I came to the realization that I love mascots! I wanted to be a mascot from that point on because you can make people happy, nobody knows who you are, you can be yourself, and have a barrier by which to hide behind.
But as I got to the fourth grade after meeting mascots for the first time I was hooked! I was Hanmer School’s mascot Hootie the Owl. I did that up until sixth grade.
At the end of sophomore year I finally felt well adjusted to the school. I asked Mr. Maltese and got the opportunity! They needed a regular person to do all the varsity boys football and basketball games. I decided I wanted to not only give it my own touch-ups to the suit itself, develop a personality for the character that was full of energy and that appealed to people young and old. It was the best experience I ever had at Wethersfield High School.
It was really fun to see the student section pumped up to see the eagle at the games, and when the rare time he was not people were disappointed. I feed off of the crowd's energy. That gave me an adrenaline rush to keep going and have the energy to love what I do best. It feels good to know that I’ve made an impression on the school.
I hope the next person to take over will do as good, if not better than me. I will truly miss this AMAZING OPPORTUNITY! It has had an impact on my life in terms of getting out of my shell , it helped me in more ways than I ever imagined it would!
The reason why I became a mascot is because you can not only bring joy to others, but also the fact that you can express yourself behind a mask. Generally you do not know who is inside the suit, therefore making it more fun for people to guess or enjoy the magic a mascot brings.
Thank You to Mr. Maltese for believing in me, as well as giving me the chance to create a character, that is now a part of who I am in real life. The mascot experience has taught me to not be afraid to be yourself, go out there and have fun no matter what others think. I truly thank you for this experience I will never forget.
By Bryce Arnold
The New England Patriots are coming off a disappointing season from their standards. They lost their first round home game in the playoffs to the Tennessee Titans, a team they were favored to beat. The defense was solid as always, but the offense struggled to put points on the board.
This is a cause for concern for the Patriots, who could score on any team at will. Lots of things seemed off, especially Tom Brady. He wasn’t making throws he normally makes, he wasn’t moving well in the pocket, and he didn’t look like himself at all. Now the question has to be asked, will he return to the NFL next season? I asked students around Wethersfield High School what they thought about it.
“No, [I think] he’s going to go to the Raiders,” said Junior Michael Sargis, a Detroit Lions fan.
Let’s face it: Brady just isn’t the same anymore. He was put into the spotlight almost by accident, and he was tearing up the league from the start. He’s won 6 super bowls, the most by any NFL quarterback, and is looking to win one more before retirement.
Does he have it in him, though? He started out this season strong, and finished out the season sort of flat. During the playoff game against the Titans, Brady went 20/37 for 209 yards, no touchdowns, and an interception. Not exactly the stats of a 6-time world champion.
This is the opposite of what people are used to seeing with Brady. He and the Patriots usually lose a few games early, win out, lock up the #1 seed in the AFC playoffs, and win the super bowl. This year, with an early exit from the playoffs, also arose question marks about an early exit to Brady’s career.
I asked Brendan Martin, a New York Giants fan from my Computer Animation class, about whether or not he thought Brady would return or not, and he said, “Yes. He said he wasn’t going anywhere [in the commercial], so I think he’s staying.”
There seems to be a common theme in the opinions of Wethersfield High School students, and that opinion is that he’s not returning to the Patriots. Whether Brady decides to return to New England, go to another team, or retire, there’s no doubt that the upcoming NFL Season will be much different for him. He hasn’t been faced this much adversity before, so it will be fun to see how he responds to it.
By: Zane Tinker and Gianluca Scata
As video games rise in popularity, Wethersfield High School keeps up with the times by banding together and creating our very own ESports club. Led by club president Jack O’Leary and Advised by Mr. Bowles, the ESports club is looking to compete at the state level and potentially even at the national level through the PlayVS Competition.
The Esports team will be playing in the PlayVS Competition, which, according to their official website, is run through CIAC (Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference), who also manage all other high school sports programs. This makes ESports an official sports team for the school.
This was an important fact that advisor Mr. Bowles spoke on, saying, “Instead of being a club environment, this is a legitimized sport through the state, and you get to see groups of kids who may not be the biggest athletes going and being a part of a team, a part of the school, and get to represent the school.”
ESports is different than the other competitive teams in WHS, as it is all encompassing. It doesn't matter who wants to join the ESports club, there will always be a space for whoever is willing to participate.
ESports club has already taken up a place in the hearts of many of the members, as said by advisor Mr. Bowles “The group is very student driven.” The free play events that the club hosts, where everybody from the school is welcome to enjoy playing a variety of fun, more casual games that anybody can enjoy.
ESports is a genre of entertainment has been exploding with popularity as of late, and there are both college and professional leagues looking for players to compete in.
These leagues give a chance for students to gain scholarships to big schools, as many schools have been handing out money to the select few who are able to play above the rest of the competition.
Serf Piedrasanta, the club's vice president, said that though there are those options for future scholarships and careers, the group isn’t driven by those things, and instead derives from the members passions for the games they play.
Though the Esport club is new to the sport team roster, it seems that it intends to make a lasting impact and in time hopefully will come to find a place in the heart of this WHS family.
By: Matthew Stearns and Connor Stahl
This upcoming spring season will be the first time in Wethersfield High School history that lacrosse is a varsity sport. In recent years, lacrosse at Wethersfield High School has only been a club and JV team.
For many of the students and faculty at Wethersfield High School, this news resulted in positive reactions to finally be recognized as a true varsity team.
With all the buzz circling the question of why all of a sudden is lacrosse being recognized as a varsity sport, Athletic Director Michael Maltese said, “This definitely wasn't all of a sudden, this has been really something over a number of years. Started with a group of individuals, concerned parents and, townspeople who love the sport of lacrosse. Certainly, Wethersfield was one of the larger high schools in the area without the sport or team in town.”
Tryouts take place in March. Junior Spencer Bartone said, “I’m excited for what's going to come.” With only a month away until the season starts, WHS is getting amped.
Physical education teacher Richard Scoppetto said, “It’s great, I love the game, I have been teaching lacrosse for 40 years in this town from the Dean when it was junior high all the way up to the high school.”
With all this excitement, how do players feel about this change? Senior Logan Lichatz says, “It feels good that a sport with a lot of potential for the school is actually being taken seriously, which is a good thing.”
In the spring we can officially say we have a varsity team for lacrosse with an exciting season coming. WHS met the requirements of the CIAC, with the many years awaiting finally over for the journey from a tiny club team to a high school club team to finally becoming varsity sport.
All we can do now is wish them good luck on their season this spring.
by: Kyle Edman and Nick McGrath
After a Super Bowl between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers, the Chiefs pulled out an amazing comeback win with a final score of 31-20. This was a fantastic game to watch, even if you aren’t a fan of those teams it was most definitely a thriller.
With this nationwide event, we went around and asked some teachers in our school who they wanted to win and why they picked that team. With that being said, let’s see what some of our favorite teachers said.
Out of all the teachers we interviewed, only one teacher, history teacher Mr Sand, went for the 49’ers.
He said, “[I’m] mildly rooting for the 49ers. Not a fan but as a Vikings fan, I was going with the NFC team.” When we asked him how he felt about the niners blowing the lead he responded with “I don’t think they blew the lead. Mahomes and company are just really good. I thought they needed to outscore the Chiefs, not hold them to a low scoring output.”
The other six teachers had the Chiefs winning the Super Bowl, science wiz Mr. Walsh had this to say about the Super Bowl, “I wanted the Chiefs to win the Super Bowl, because I prefer the AFC teams and I like Patrick Mahomes.”
Another history teacher, Mr Ferrett agreed with Walsh saying, “[I wanted the] Kansas City Chiefs. They had not won in 50 years and half a century is a long time.”
Earth Science teacher, Ms. Alexopoulus had an interesting and detailed response when asked why she wanted the Chiefs to win. “I know the coach wanted to be able to say he won the Super Bowl as a head coach, so given how dedicated and caring he is to his players, I just wanted him to get that win.”
She also followed up with, “[Andy Reid] also wanted to win for his son who passed away a few years ago, and that makes the win that much more special for him.”
All seven teachers we interviewed gave a similar response when asked why the 49ers blew the lead and it basically came down to the fact that they didn’t necessarily blow the lead, the Chiefs offense was just way more aggressive and ready to play.
Long time teacher and Patriots fan Mr.Gallivan said, “I think it was less about the 49ers blowing the lead and more about Patrick Mahomes just switching to another gear in the fourth quarter. Great quarterbacks can do that - as Tom Brady has demonstrated many times.”
Mr. Sikora added, “I had read and heard the coach was the winningest coach in NFL history without a ring, so I was hoping he could get one. Every game with Mahomes was pretty impressive too.”
As other teachers have told us about their thoughts on the Super Bowl, Andy Reid seemed to be a big motive as to why they wanted the Chiefs to win.
What were your thoughts on this exciting Super Bowl? Comment below!
Written, edited, and produced by Wethersfield High School students, covering all news and events.