Anthony Muñoz Leadsership Seminar

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Last friday I got the honor of attending the Anthony Muñoz Leadership Seminar along with 19 other athletes from Mason High School. Before I even got off the bus, I know I would be in for an eventful day as nearly a dozen Chick-fil-a cows surrounded us as we unloaded off of the bus, dancing and chest bumping. As we walked into the Sintas Center we were greeted by KJ-52, a middle aged rapper who clearly wrote his own songs and loved the art of the fist pump.

The theme of the day was trending. At first I thought they were just trying to be modern with the hashtag #NTCINCY15 but it was much more than that. Speakers such as Santa J. Ono, the President of the University of Cincinnati, spoke to us about the current trends in our society. This included problems such as racism, bullying, and divorce. We were taught that these trends must be broken but also new trends need to be made. To finish off the night, Lauren Hill’s mother spoke to us. It was an emotional presentation that had the crowd in need of a few tissues but her goal was ultimately to persuade us to start trends. Just as Lauren Hill started the trend of taking her disease and turning it into a way to help children who may be diagnosed with it in the future, we need to start a trend in our on community.

Before we were dismissed, Anthony Muñoz came out and showed us a video of Moeller, a school that accepted the challenge to help. They went down to a small mountain town in Peru and after raising money for supplies, they built an irrigation system for the people. This idea sparked a year ago for these boys and it actually turned into something extraordinary.

For some schools, this day was just a free lunch and a free t-shirt but I believe that Mason has the capability to make a difference. We talked about going to the poorest city per capita in America, Jackson, KY and building them facilities to play sports such as a baseball field or a soccer field. Regardless of the mission we decide, the challenge is accepted and leadership will be shown at Mason High School thanks to Anthony Muñoz and his mission.

  • Mason High School Leadership team accompanied by Anthony Moñez a former NFL player and founder of the seminar.

    Mason High School Leadership team accompanied by Anthony Munoz a former NFL player and founder of the seminar.

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The Chronicle is Lucky

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Similar to the order that the Chronicle maps each issue, ads come first.

According to the Chicago Tribune, some high schools lack the funding to produce a newspaper. They may seem like they have the complete package with a group of hard working staff writers, ambitious editors, eye-catching visuals and a surplus of story ideas, but without the ads that pay for the paper all their talents are put to waste. I’m so thankful the Chronicle doesn’t have this issue.

This credit can only be given to business managers Ashton Nichols and Emily Culberson. Emily is only physically in the Chronicle room for one lunch period yet her presence is so valued. Her hardworking personality and organization has kept the Chronicle distributing just as scheduled every month. With Emily as a mentor, I have no doubt that Ashton will successfully follow in her footsteps. In the April 17th issue, Ashton has definitely proved that she is capable of taking over next year.

After reading about the nightmare some high schools are experiencing as they are being forced to cut their journalism classes, I began to imagine my life without the Chronicle as my fifth bell. I began to imagine a schedule without the people that brighten my day the most. I began to imagine actually going to lunch and the emptiness I would feel going to a sporting event without my trusty camera around my neck. I began to imagine no food Fridays and no avenue to share my burning passion for journalism.

Thank you Ashton and Emily for keeping this nightmare separate from my reality. The whole staff greatly appreciates you both!

Appreciation Post to a Piece of Paper

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It’s ironic that I’m one of the most unorganized people I know yet I use the power of the pen and pencil as a mighty weapon through the poster child of organization; the good old pro and con chart. It’s like a figure eight ball but better. The answers don’t get stuck between yes and no so you’re in the same dilemma you were in 5 seconds before you shook the shiny black sphere.

I hear constant compliments about how students don’t learn real applicable skills in school. But they do stand corrected. One time back in the fifth grade as I sat in my assigned seat wearing either Aeropostal or Justice depending on which stage I was in, I remember learning a task that I still use today. It wasn’t something irrelevant like a haiku although we did learn those, it was the skill of drawling two words and placing a simple line in between them. Mrs.Hill, where ever you are out there,I  thank you for this.

Decisions. Personally, I cringe at the word. But just as everyone else we all make them daily. Some simple like what to eat for breakfast and others as extreme as what job you choose to take, what house you pick to buy and the one that haunts every student whose old enough for a driver’s license, what college they want to attend. Who knows, if you fall under the category of extremely indecisive this fancy little list may even help you choose what type of cereal to eat in the morning. Frosted Flakes or Captain Crunch? That’s a hard one. Pros and cons lists have shaped some of the biggest aspects of my life, especially as I get older I find it ironic that I let a paper tell me yes or no but I guess as long as it’s leading me in the right direction, I would follow obediently. An article by the New York Time’s writer Kelly Dunham shows the benefits of pros and cons charts when dealing with college decisions.

http://thechoice.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/13/cherry-creek-dunham-2/?_r=0

In all, pros and con charts can relate to more than life decisions. A very relevant example being March Madness. Last week’s bracket making frenzy I’m sure had people whipping out their paper and pens. Recently, on Jimmy Fallon, he did a pros and cons section on not just who to pick for March Madness, but instead he discusses other things but more in-depth.

Fallon maybe right, maybe Zayn used it too when deciding whether to leave One Direction. I imagine his chart looked like this:

Pros: A “normal life” (yeah right Zayn Malik)

Cons: We will be going in two directions.

Or maybe if he actually made one he would still be in the band while Fallon would boast about his bracket that was not yet wrecked. The world may never know so my advice to you; trust the paper and pen- it knows.

Tales of the Zip-Up Robe

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18 dollars. Knocked down from $30 and worth every penny.

It was a robe but not just a robe; a zip-up robe. It wasn’t cliché like the others I had previously owned with their long strings that would either creep under my feet as I sleepily lumbered from my room in the morning  or they would meet their doom buried in the mounds of laundry that lay across my laundry room floor. This special piece of clothing had a blue zipper that went up from the bottom which fell slightly below my knees, and continued all the way to the top, finishing with a small tassel of string.

It caught my eye last December as my sister and I were wondering around Kohl’s, my mom’s credit card in one hand and a list of possible dirty Santa gifts in the latter. We had one job; buy the gifts so mom wouldn’t have to. With me being a borderline shopaholic and Lindsay being a quick and easy push-over, staying on task would be out of the question. I pulled her to the women’s sleepwear department or what I more commonly addressed it as “the grandma nightgown section”. My hand felt the fuzzy blue fur with white flowers on it and I was instantly sold. Unfortunately, Lindsay wasn’t.

“Come on Lindsay!” I pleaded. “Put it on the credit card.”

Reluctantly, she agreed but only after I assured her that it actually wouldn’t be for me but the dirty Santa I was participating in for my rec basketball team and if I wanted another then I would have to come back myself and buy it. This way “no rules would be broken” according to Lindsay.

Little did I know the dirty santa that I was participating in had a price limit; random worthless objects that littered ones house. My beloved zip-ip robe surely didn’t fall into this category. Another problem was imposed; what to do with the robe. Considering that I had worn it around the house multiple times already, taking it back to the store was not an option. The problem was resolved when my mom slyly took the robe and wrapped it up for me as a christmas present. Atlas, it was mine.

Reflecting on this story from last year, the anger that crept up on me when my sister came downstairs last week in an robe that was nearly identical was excused. What fed my temper even more was when she said in her falsely innocent voice, “What you had this?” although I had worn it so much it could be part of my skin. Being the cool, calm and collected older sister that I am, I dealt with it in the way I saw fit to punish for the the sin of copying my clothes and even worse not owning up to it.

Silent sabotage.

One does not go through the trouble of obtaining an $18 piece of nightmare to be copied and such a fashion. She wanted the robe, she should earn it.

For the next few days, every time I walked past her in that mocking robe of hers, I dropped silent comments hinting on her unoriginality. But eventually the brand new robe aged and faded along with my anger. Copying is a form of flattery and in this case I began to realize that I should be lauded at the fact that my younger sister copied something from me as absurd as a zip up robe. Copying a prom dress would be an understandable fuss, but with a piece of sleepwear I really was just being a protective owner and sister overreacting.

 

Marching On

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Senioritis may be contagious, but it can’t be caught by everyone.

Seniors Jenelle Lee and Maya Hall are already preparing to walk off the graduation stage and march into their military futures. Lee plans to go to a civilian college and do Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) and eventually become an officer in the army while Hall wants to attend either West Point or the United States Air Force Academy and become an officer in the army or airforce.

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Jenelle Lee and Maya Hall in uniform (left to right) Photo by Madison Krell

According to Army Recruitment Officer, Sergeant First Class, Matthew A. Velazco, the process of being recruited is similar to the college process and students like Lee and Hall will have to take their senior year very seriously.

“We are looking for a high GPA, a higher level of intelligence, and that’s all done via transcript,” Velazco said. “A lot of people get into their senior year and they get that senioritis, but we’re not looking for the minimum — they have to keep their studies up.”

To prepare for the military, Lee and Hall are part of Mason High School’s Corps of Cadets. Lee serves as the Cadet Platoon Lieutenant and Hall is the Platoon Sergeant.

“(Corps of Cadets) engrains in your bones how real it is,” Lee said. “I’ve learned that although the military is beautiful there are also a lot of hardships. It has taught me where to go and what I’m interested in.”

The college application process for a university or a state school is complex but according to Hall there are regulations that must be fulfilled before one could be considered enlisted in the military or attending an academy.

“(The Academies) are seen as more competitive than getting into an Ivy League,” Hall said. “You have to get a nomination from a congressman or senator which is especially competitive in this district. Your physical assessment is important, as well as the leadership roles that they would like to see.”

Being a senior, Hall says she understands why she must be so disciplined and show maturity as she prepares for her future.

“(I’m) avoiding parties and drugs and things like that,” Hall said. “These scholarships and these programs, if they see any history of that, even something as small as a speeding ticket could cause issues.”

A lot of work goes along with enlisting and applying for military academies. According to sophomore at the Naval Academy and 2013 Mason alumni, Gus Uecker, although it’s a time consuming process the military offers rewards that can’t be passed up.

“I’m getting a free education and you’re able to get the type of training that is applicable outside the military,” Uecker said. “It’s really not about the partying. You are throwing away a great opportunity when you want to go out and party as opposed to studying and being a part of a great organization.”

The military gives a surplus of benefits but it also gives students such as Lee a drive to succeed. Lee says that she is able to avoid senioritis because the military gives her a future and a focus.

“Since I know where I’m going and where I’m headed, I don’t have a lot of distractions that other kids do,” Lee said. “…I have no interest in having some of those experiences because I know in the end I will get where I want to be.”

Girls cross country team wins GMC title, boys place second

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Mason cross country tore up the GMC with girls taking first in the varsity race with a score of 25 and the boys falling just short of Lakota East, claiming second in their varsity race with a score of 47.

Junior Maegan Murphy finished first in the girls varsity race and became the GMC champion with a time of 18:15. Other scorers included sophomore Ellie Brush, sophomore Ailee Henderson, senior Bethany Angstadt and senior Delaney McDowell. According to Murphy, she’s thankful that she could run this year and help her team earn one of the best scores they have earned in the GMC race.

“It feels great,” Murphy said. “It’s a big improvement from last year when I was anemic and then I had an upset stomach and couldn’t even run this race. I’m very encouraged by how our team did; we all did so well. 25 points, that’s the highest we’ve scored in a while.”

The girls not only won first in the GMC but the most points they earned was only eight (McDowell finished in eighth place). According to Murphy, after all their hard workouts and effort put into the season, it’s great to see that it’s all worth it.

“We’ve been running fast the whole season, we’ve been doing about 50 miles for a couple of consecutive weeks,” Murphy said. “Last Saturday we did 11 miles on the bike trail, five that were sub-seven (minute pace) so just all of the hard work is really starting to pay off.”

Head coach of the girls cross country team, Chip Dobson, says that his captains have had a huge part in motivating the team to earn first in GMC and will continue to motivate as they fight to win state for the third year in a row.

“We just have to run tight and together and work as hard as we have all season,” Dobson said. “We have had great leadership from our captains Erin Brush and Delaney McDowell; their work ethic is very motivating.”

The Mason girls beat the second place team, Lakota West, by 41 points. The boys’ varsity team lost to Lakota East by only 9 points. Senior Nick Grismer took first place in the GMC race for the second year in a row with a time of 15:30. Other Mason runners that scored were senior Tommy Stewart, junior Alan Gordillo, junior Jacob Bauer and junior Justin Koehler. Head coach of the boy’s team, Tom Rapp, says his boys did well but Lakota East simply just had a better day.

“In the varsity race we were good but not good enough,” Rapp said. “Lakota East, they ran five great races, we ran about three and a half good races and that wasn’t quite enough. We’re disappointed we didn’t win but they were a really good team that had a really good day.”

According to Grismer, he agrees that he could have raced better and hopes that this loss will eventually lead to a state championship like in years past.

“I didn’t run as fast as I would’ve hoped but you really can’t take winning with any grain of salt,” Grismer said. “Our team didn’t do as well as we would have hoped but the last time we had a bad day like this we won state.”

Although the boys team didn’t gain a GMC championship, Rapp says that he thinks his team gained motivation and will be driven to repeat history, getting first in the state instead of fifth like they received last year.

“I don’t know that I need to motivate them,” Rapp said. “This was motivation today. We have a history of occasionally not running this week and then running really good the next couple of weeks. I hope history repeats itself.”

Comets destroy Middies in Homecoming game, 22-6

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14 seconds.

That’s the time it took for the Mason High School football team to put eight points on the board, and gain enough momentum to win their Homecoming game, destroying the Middletown Middies 22-6.

Junior Nick Pearson started the game off with a bang scoring a touchdown with a 90 yard kickoff return. The touchdown was followed by a two point conversion by junior Jake Sewell, beginning the game with Mason up 8-0. According to head coach Brian Castner, scoring eight points with less than a minute into the first quarter provided a strong start to help fuel the win for the Comets.

“It’s pretty electric when you go and knife them right in the middle of their kickoff and on top of that you get a two point conversion so it’s a pretty good way to start a game,” Castner said. “I think if anyone tells me I’m going to get eight points in the first 15 seconds, I’d take that start.”

Mason kept the lead throughout the first half with the Middies fumbling the ball forced by senior Brandon Barnes, and recovered by senior Cameron Pitts. The Comets continued this solid streak with a five yard touchdown from junior, Bryson White, closing the second half with a score of 16-0, Mason. The offense was a strong force this game but overall Castner says the defense lead the team again.

“Strengths are obviously again the defense,” Castner said. “It was the offense that had the issue and the special teams. We did enough to get us to where we needed to be but it was mostly the defense.”

Third quarter, the defense continued to keep Middletown off the board as Mason scored their last seven points with a four yard touchdown by junior Jeron Besecker.

According to Pearson, the defense remained a huge strength but with three touchdowns and one conversion for Mason, he believes the offense and special teams carried their weight.

“I thought strengths were our special teams, offense and defense,” Pearson said. We played well and our defense had a shutout. We played a great game this year.”

Besecker fumbled the ball in the last quarter allowing Middletown senior Kyle Junior to secure the ball and score a 77 yard touchdown. The Middies then missed their two point conversion, making the final score 22-6. Middletown finally got on the board but according to Pearson, his team wasn’t worried.

“It didn’t faze us,” Pearson said. “We just came back and played our game.”

Mason hasn’t won the homecoming game in the past two years but according to Castner, they aren’t stopping too long to celebrate as his team is already preparing for their next opponent, Lakota West.

“We try to really anchor ourselves in the focus mode and focus on what’s important,” Castner said. “Each week is a different dot. This week is a purple dot; next week is going to be a red dot. We are going to just focus on getting better.”

Picture by Madison Krell