Drops of Ink -- April 2019 issue

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April 18, 2019 Volume 91, Issue 6




What’s Trending: Sports Habits


Best Sports Photos of the Year


Athletic Department plans to restructure logos and core values


A Look Behind the Lens

Explore how Athletic Director John Woods is inspecting the numerous logos representing LHS athletics and working to create a unified mission statement.


Lifelong teammates, lifelong friends

IHSA proposes changes for future years


She’s got game


Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes


Bring It On


A look into students who are athletes outside of LHS


Discover some of the common pregame and postgame rituals among LHS student-athletes.

Recent policy changes made by the IHSA will affect football and potentially other sports, too.




Are sports too big of a deal?

In this edition’s staff editorial, we examine whether sports are too dominant in the American and high school cultures.

Play Like a Girl

Sports Editor Maggie Evers speaks to why females deserve just as much respect, credit and opportunities in the sports world as males.

Wildcat Productions is the club that films and edits clips of LHS sports games and fine arts performances. Michael Gunther and Danny Pucino are both committed to the University of Illinois for wrestling. Some female coaches at LHS have faced challenges, but they feel our school’s atmosphere is supportive when it comes to female coaches. Find out about students who have recovered from sports-related injuries, as well as how they’ve recovered and the possible long-term effects. Get a glimpse into the dance and cheer teams’ seasons and strengths.

Check out profiles of four different students who participate in sports that are unaffiliated with LHS.

Cockiness vs. Confidence

Matt Smith investigates the difference between the two traits and forms an opinion on which is more important when it comes to sports.

Take in some of the best athletic shots captured this year by Drops of Ink photographers.


Top Sports Moments of the Year

Read the highlights of LHS athletics so far this year.

Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Contact us at doi@lhswildcats.org @lhsdoi


Libertyville High School

Visit us at lhsdoi.com

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Drops of Ink

Contents by Kirsten Townander Photo and Cover design by Ally McLean

STAFF LISTING Editors-In-Chief Maggie Burnetti Savanna Winiecki Matt Smith, Online Editor Molly Boufford, News Editor Olivia Gauvin, Features Editor Jacob Kemp, Features Editor Rachel Benner, Opinion Editor Maggie Evers, Sports Editor Ian Cox, Layout Editor Claire Salemi, Social Media Editor Faculty Adviser Michael Gluskin Anya Belomoina Andrew Benoit Olivia Bertaud Annika Bjorklund Amanda Black Ariella Bucio Sayre DeBruler Moira Duffy Thomas Evans Kate Felsl Jade Foo John Freberg Stephanie Gay Aliya Haddon George Hayek Grant Herbek Rowan Hornsey Benjamin Kanches Ella Marsden Benjamin Mayo Allison McLean Charlotte Pulte Kirsten Townander Carly Wagner

16-17 22-23



ONLINE STORIES Diversity Week being reconceptualized to better align with D128’s mission

Hey everyone! As Sports Editor, I’m beyond excited to present to you this month’s issue of Drops of Ink: The Sports Issue. Last year we published a sports issue in the fall, but we felt there were even more stories we could present to you, especially being that sports are a constant part of all of our magazines. With the popularity of athletics here at LHS, the Drops of Ink staff wanted to highlight some of the behind-the-scenes and lesser-known topics, as well as showcase the top sports photos taken this year by our staff. In addition, we also wanted to highlight some of the spectacular moments achieved this year by our athletic teams. Our cover photo showcases an individual from a majority of the stories within our magazine as well. As a publication, we strive to cover news and events in a timely manner. We have made an extra effort this year to vary our sports event coverage as a way to give credit to more than just the popular sports. Every staff member is required to do at least one event coverage every semester to uphold our value of covering a variety of content and to expose the staff to producing different styles of work. These assignments give reporters flexibility in how they wish to cover an event. Slideshows accompanied by a small summary are most common, but we have also published stories and occasionally videos. Due to our issue cycle time frame, the information from event coverages would be irrelevant by the time the magazine is published and therefore, it is always posted online. My favorite game that I’ve covered during my time on staff was this year’s boy soccer state semifinal game. It was the first time that I wrote both a story and had a slideshow go along with it. While talking to one of the other photographers there, who works for a professional publication, he not only gave me tips for taking fast-action photos, but also an extra pair of gloves to save my fingers from the numbness of the frigid night. It was such a surreal experience down on the field, and it’s something I won’t forget. Thank you so much for taking the time to read our issue! I can’t emphasize enough how much work and time our staff members put into creating this platform to share people’s stories. Finally, as this is my second-to-last Drops of Ink issue, I just want to thank everyone in DOI and all of our readers for making these past two years on staff so special for me. Enjoy our 2019 Sports Issue! Go Wildcats!

Maggie Evers Sports Editor


Drops of Ink | Letter to the Reader

BeWell Fitness Trains Teams, Students

LHS celebrates creativity at Writers Week

Scan the QR code below to check out more stories and pictures like these on our website!

W h a t ’s s T r e n d ii n ng g WRITING AND PHOTOS BY JADE FOO

Layout by Liv Bertaud

Chowing Down 16.9 percent of the athletes said that they eat a certain food or have a certain drink before their game. Others said they have to eat at a specific time before the game or skip a certain meal the day of the game. A popular drink for athletes to have before a game is Gatorade; they claim that it helps them feel more energized and prepared.

Clap, Snap, Snap Another common response was doing a special handshake before or after teammates compete. Students who responded that they did a handshake said they always do it with their best friends or their teammates to get excited and ready for their game. Audrey Stephenson, a member of the varsity dance team, said in an interview over the phone that, “before competing, all of us, including our coaches, stand in a circle and hold hands and we each ‘pass the squeeze’ around the circle. We never go without doing it because it’s something we all know to do before competing, and it makes us hyped up and ready.”



A recent survey was sent to the students of LHS via email, addressed specifically to athletes, asking about their pregame and/or postgame rituals. The vast majority of the student-athletes who responded said they have some sort of ritual or habit that they do before each game, meet, race or competition. Here are a few common rituals and habits that athletes responded with.

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One Foot Two Foot Some of the athletes who responded said they have to put either their left or their right shoe on first as part of their pregame routine. Others said they do this with their shin guards or other athletic accessories. Soccer and lacrosse player Colin Watson said that, for him, “it’s just sort of natural by now. I always put one sock, then the other and then one shoe before the other. I’ve tried going without doing it a few times, and I feel like it affected me at first but eventually, I forgot about it.”

The Right Tune 20.8 percent of the athletes who responded said they listen to music while they are getting ready, warming up or on the way home from a competition; many said they listen to rock music or specific songs to get hyped up. According to Costas Karageorghis, author of the book “Applying Music and Exercise in Sport,” music can be a stimulant or a sedative. It can enhance mood, improve muscle control and help the brain build key muscle memories.

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Athletic Department plans to restructure logos and core values By Charlotte Pulte


he LHS Athletic Department is in the process of creating a set of mission statements based on the school’s values, while also condensing the amount of Libertyville logos used to represent the school. By working with LHS coaches and students, the athletic department hopes to unify and empower the student body. Libertyville’s new Athletic Director, Mr. John Woods, has begun meeting with a group of LHS coaches on his Core Values Development Team to determine what the athletic program’s core values should be, and then defining those values. Mr. Woods has also met with a student group in order to collect student input. “When we talk about who we are as a school, the more input we have from the people it’s going to directly impact, the greater accountability we’ll have, and the greater level of belief in [those values] we’ll have,” said Mr. Woods, adding that his goal is to “create a culture that everybody wants to be a part of.” LHS currently has 31 sports and 92 teams, plus many other extracurricular activities for students to participate in. The number of LHS logos being used by teams and other activities could be upwards of one hundred, said Mr. Woods. “Are we 31 sports, 92 teams, or one school?” asked Mr. Woods. According to lifelong Wildcat and retired LHS teacher and current wrestling coach Mr. Dale Eggert, during LHS’s first 10 years as a school, there was not a school mascot. It wasn’t until the fall of 1927 when the football coach told his players that they “played like a group of Wildcats” that the Libertyville Wildcats nickname came about, Mr. Eggert said. The school colors at that point had been maroon and white, but after the “Wildcat” nickname stuck, the school colors changed to orange and black for the 1927-1928 boys basketball season. “Ultimately, the question boils down to: who are we, and do we need to unify or align our logos and what we live by? And if the answer is no, and we’re satisfied with having 37 different logos, then let’s have 37 different logos! But I can promise you that we’re not going to act 37 different ways,” stated Mr. Woods. The athletic department’s hope is to create one unified mission that aligns with the district’s DARING mission in order to empower and educate kids, and then address the logo situation afterwards. However, Mr. Woods added that it’s still open to the students and coaches to determine if the amount of logos should be cut down. Senior Erin McCane, a track and field athlete, feels that having multiple logos isn’t a bad thing because it “takes something that represents the whole school and it makes it individualized to the different sports.” McCane feels the logos don’t cause any issues with unity because “our school already does a really good job of supporting every sport.” She added that she believes it would be beneficial


Drops of Ink | News

Graphic by Katie Felsl With dozens of different logos at LHS, Athletic Director John Woods is making an effort to lower them down to a modest number.

Are we 31 sports, 92 teams, or one school?” - Mr. John Woods

to have one overarching logo but continue to let individual sports personalize their own logo. The longest-standing Libertyville logo is the varsity letter, the “L,” but the orange paw has also remained steadfast. According to Mr. Eggert, the “L” was popularly worn on sweaters to show Wildcat pride throughout the 1960s. “When people see the ‘L,’ they should know who we are, they shouldn’t have to ask,” stated Mr. Woods. Mr. Woods has also noticed during his research about the Libertyville logos that the one that always seems to change is the Wildcat. Different variations of the cat have been used throughout the years, and even today, different cats are used by the football team, basketball team and the standard front-facing one. “Our logo should be recognizable. When we show up, you should know who we are by what we wear, how we behave, how we perform and how we leave your place,” expressed Mr. Woods. On the other hand, McCane expressed how she feels that our school is represented through every Wildcat and every paw seen around school, and shouldn’t be cut down to just one. “I’m not on the football team, so I shouldn’t have to have the same logo as the football team,” she explained. McCane also mentioned that the girls track and field team did a similar project this year where the team members were asked to submit one word that they felt represented their team, and coaches and team captains picked the top four words and definitions. McCane feels that Mr. Woods’s idea to implement a project like this to develop stronger core values would be very helpful to the Athletic Department, as she has already seen the benefits within her teammates’ sense of unity and passion. “I don’t think this issue has ever been addressed because I think programs were allowed to go off and make their own logo as long as they coach properly and always do what’s right,” commented Mr. Eggert. “Our coaches know that if they do it right, even if they don’t win, but they’ve done it right, they’ve got the support of the Athletic Department.”

IHSA proposes changes for future years By Moira Duffy








Varsity Football Game

JV Football Game

Graphics by John Freberg The Illinois High School Association has recently initiated several changes in football and enforced pre-existing rules regarding sports uniforms; the organization has also proposed changes including a basketball shot clock. A major change for the 2019-20 school year for football is player limitation. According to a new IHSA rule stemming from the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee under the National Federation, football players cannot play in more than two games per week and cannot play on consecutive days; even one play counts as playing in a game. The policy stemmed from discussions amongst doctors, coaches and others to find the best course of action in preventing concussions in football on a high school level. While the policy is intended to prevent injuries and overall benefit high school football programs statewide, there are many possible consequences football coaches and athletic directors have foreseen. “The problem is, if a player plays one play on a Friday night, he can’t play the next day for a JV game. So, it’s really kind of handcuffed us in terms of [scheduling] games for players that maybe don’t see a whole lot of time on Friday night,” stated LHS head football coach and math teacher Mr. Mike Jones. Mr. Jones acknowledged the positive intent of the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee to prevent injuries but argued player limitation will not make any difference in keeping players safe. “Right now, they’re saying you can’t play back-to-back days. Well, we practice Tuesday [and] Wednesday with contact back-to-back days,” he said. “Back in the day, it was full contact every day five days a week. We just don’t do that [anymore].” In cases with a running clock, there are other anticipated difficulties. “In an effort to not run up the score,

[coaches] get guys playing time at the varsity level and make sure that [they’re] demonstrating positive sportsmanship. That may go away because [coaches] don’t want to jeopardize those kids being able to play in a full game in meaningful minutes the next day,” expressed Athletic Director Mr. John Woods. He mentioned that while the goal is to keep players safe, he predicts challenges in playing time. Another IHSA-mandated rule, which will officially begin in the 2020-21 school year, will eliminate football conferences in favor of districts. Districts will be heavily based on geographic location and enrollment. “We would still be a member of the North Suburban Conference for every sport except football,” clarified Mr. Woods. “The goal is to place you in 10team districts where you are competing against schools your own size in close proximity to your school.” Both Mr. Woods and Mr. Jones agree that the forming of districts for football will not have a significant effect on the teams themselves, considering teams are already switching conferences often based on enrollment and wanting to play different schools. While football is the only IHSA sport with set changes in place for the upcoming school years, basketball and track and field have proposed changes that were argued against by athletic directors and coaches across the state. Shot clocks were a possibility for boys and girls high school basketball, but the proposal for this was turned down primarily due to cost. According to Mr. Woods, the payment of the installation, someone to work the clock and maintenance was too high for the shot clock to be IHSA-mandated. Some coaches and athletic directors, however, believe a shot clock would be beneficial to the game. “From a Libertyville perspective, we

would love to see the shot clock because we like playing an exciting brand of basketball already, and it would encourage coaches to have more options for the kids as the shot clock winds down, which adds a whole new strategic element to basketball for high school, which would be really interesting,” expressed head girls basketball coach Mr. Greg Pedersen For track and field, there was a proposed rule that would place track under the newly formed High School Interscholastic Association Commission under IHSA, which would be governed by five appointees selected by high-ranking state politicians. The proposal was turned down by immediate criticisms from the Illinois Athletic Directors Association. According to Mr. Woods, this is not the first time an Illinois state representative has mentioned placing track and field into a new organization. “Somebody at the state level for ISBE, the Illinois State Board of Education, gets this idea that the IHSA is a money-making machine. And the reality is their budget is on IHSA.org, and there is very little revenue generated at the IHSA; in fact, they do all they can to cover their expenses,” emphasized Mr. Woods. In addition to possible policies initiated by the IHSA, there are nationally mandated rules about sports uniforms that affect the selection of soccer and volleyball teams’ uniforms. This school year, the National Federation of State High School Associations, NFHS, mandated that for high school soccer, home teams must wear dark jerseys and socks, and away teams must wear solid white jerseys and solid white socks. At LHS, Mr. Woods and the vendors for soccer and volleyball jerseys were diligent in ordering uniforms. He emphasized that if uniforms do not meet the strict requirement, a team can be banned from wearing them. Drops of Ink | News




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Best Sports Photos of the Year

Layou t by J acob Kemp Drops of Ink | Feature


Photo by Grant Herbek

M A R C H 5

Sophomore Cate McCarty goes for the ball on Deerfield’s side of the pool.

Photo by Ally McLean

A P R I L 3

Sophomore Jalen Pitts attempts to clear his personal high jump record at a track meet.

Photo by Grant Herbek

J A N 2 5

Surrounded, senior Josh Steinhaus kicks the ball out to a teammate.

Photo by Maggie Burnetti

S E P T 8

Senior Derek Calamari lines up his putt for birdie on the fifth hole.

Photo by Maggie Burnetti

N O V 3

Boys soccer reacts to their only loss of the season, at the State title game.

Photo by Ariella Bucio

J A N 2 4

Senior Kylie Skie prepares to land a vault at a girls gymnastics meet.

Photo by Ally McLean

D E C 6

The JV 1 boys swim team launches into the pool in the 100m butterfly event.

Photo by Ally McLean

A P R I L 3

Sophomore Charlotte Lynch slides into home plate and narrowly avoids an out.

A Look Behind The Lens By Carly Wagner. Photos by Anya Belomoina. Layout by Ian Cox.


amera two, zoom in,” the director requests from behind his table in the cafeteria, sheltered from the rush of the basketball game. He communicates with his team from behind a computer screen and through headphones, in order to capture footage of the game. The student operating the camera zooms in, narrowing the focus of the camera on the three-point line, just before the Wildcats score. Wildcat Productions is a club at LHS, composed of a group of students who record and edit footage for sports teams, fine arts performances and various other school events. The Wildcat Productions studio is located at the top of a staircase in the athletic storage room between the Field House and West Gym. Students meet there for club meetings, which take place about once a week on Tuesdays after school. The club is led by Mr. Daniel Treptow, who is also a video engineer at LHS. Currently, Wildcat Productions has 31 members, the vast majority of which are male. At the moment, there are five girls in the club. More students show up for the club meetings in the fall, compared to in the spring, where usually 10-15 students show up, according to Mr. Treptow. In addition to the work Wildcat Productions creates for LHS events, the club also participates in a festival at Neuqua Valley High School in Naperville. This year, the club submitted a Band Jam highlight reel by Connor Pseja; three clips of basketball broadcasts (one directed by Chase Pulaski and two directed by Pseja); a girls basketball promotion video by Eli McEwan; a basketball “Silent Seven” promotion by Jack Holland; as well as a music video by Luke Neimann. In addition, the club submitted a commercial made by Pseja for Milkcow, an ice cream shop located in Vernon Hills. However, the majority of their time is spent on the filming and editing of athletics and fine arts at LHS. As an executive member of Wildcat Productions, Pulaski, a sophomore, enjoys


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these events and being a part of the club. He said he enjoys doing the broadcasts because they are fun and relaxed. He also likes spending time with the other members in the club. At some events, such as the football and basketball games, the students work multiple cameras, collaborate to capture different angles and combine their footage to create a final product. “[One of my favorite parts of leading the club is] giving students the chance to work together as a team, and then seeing it all come One of the recent additions to their equipment was a drone; together at the end of the day. Sometimes the club has plans for its use in the future. you have 25 kids at film the games and get the correct camera once...It works the same as any other angles, but the students also collaborate team or any other sport, where they just to learn and teach one another. It is not try to make the best possible production possible for Mr. Treptow to be at every at the end of the day,” noted Mr. Treptow. camera at once, so students shadow other The club members use headsets and students. microphones to communicate with one Pseja, a junior and executive memanother. “We have headsets…that have ber of the club, explained: “A lot of the a button that allows them to be silenced [now-graduated] upperclassmen have from the actual stream. They can talk spe- taught me because I came in not knowing cifically to the director of the broadcast,” very much. Slowly, through the broadcasts said Holland, a freshman. “For basketand doing all of the fine arts events, I just ball, the director is in the cafeteria, and learned all of the stuff. [Mr. Treptow] has for football, we are near the activity pass taught me a lot and he teaches everyone entrance. [The director usually] manages but we...rely on each other to teach. So the cameras, like they will tell camera one [this year], we taught a lot of the freshmen to ‘get this side of the field, get the kick and new sophomores how to use everyoff,’ camera two to ‘get [closer],’ cameras thing. It’s a bit of a learning curve, but we three and four are in-between shots mostall help out.” ly. [The director will also] tell the techWhen the students are unable to answer nical director what to do.” The technical a question for one another, Mr. Treptow, director is the one who physically changes who went to Columbia College of Chicago which camera view is being shown. and studied television directing producNot only is communication necessary to tions, is their go-to person.

The club has access to a wide variety of equipment, such as numerous video cameras, computers, a green screen, lighting and a drone.

The club provides students with the opportunity to get to know Adobe software programs such as Adobe Premiere Pro and Audio Audition, which are used for video editing and sound mixing.

Through The Years Although the club has had a presence at LHS for a long period of time, there have been various changes with it along the way. For example, the club has been run by various leaders other than Mr. Treptow, including by Mr. Don Johnson, a current security guard. Mr. Treptow acquired the position as the club leader approximately four years ago, and even then, the club was very different from today. “About four years ago, it used to be called Cat TV,” noted Mr. Treptow. “We needed to come up with a new name, something more relevant... I feel [with] what we do now for YouTube…. TV didn’t make sense anymore. Nothing we did was TV. It hasn’t been that way in 15 years.” After deciding to rename the club Wildcat Productions, Mr. Treptow realized the name was not the only outdated thing about the club; the equipment was as well.

“When I [first got to LHS], the equipment they were using was really dated. I’m sure it was awesome at one point in time… but it was eye-opening, like, ‘Why were they still using this?’” stated Mr. Treptow. He was not the only one who remembers the outdated equipment. “We upgrade our setup and resources every so often. When I was a freshman, some of our broadcasting equipment was older and we’ve upgraded it so there’s more options [now],” Pseja explained. “[For example,] there are more options for graphics in the broadcasts and there’s more ease of access with doing things.” All of the students in the club share a common interest for technology and filmography. Some students, like sophomore Jake Neumann, knew of the club even before he went to LHS because of an older sibling, and decided that he

wanted to partake in the activity as well. Other students, like Pseja, joined the club because they see themselves in a future career related to the club. “I’ve known since probably fifth or sixth grade that I’ve wanted to do something media-related and somewhere in film. When I was in eighth grade orientation, I saw the booth that was set up and I saw all of the cool equipment, and I knew I wanted to join it,” reminisced Pseja. Regardless of what motivated students to get involved, there is a strong bond between the students, and frequently students meet in the studio just to hang out with one another. “I used to go every day [to hang out after school], but I have lacrosse now so [I go] pretty much whenever I don’t have lacrosse,” stated Neumann. “We mostly just do Photoshop. It’s really fun, actually.” Drops of Ink | Feature

17 12

Lifelong teammates, Lifelong friends ncredible as it may seem, not one, but two LHS wrestlers are committed to continue competing at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign — double the number of previous LHS wrestlers who have made this commitment. Ever since they were in kindergarten, senior Michael Gunther and junior Danny Pucino have wrestled together. After a slew of achievements in their high school, the two athletes have both recently committed to pursue their passion for wrestling at the collegiate level. As wrestling head coach Dale Eggert said over email, “They will both do whatever work is needed to prepare themselves for competition, both in season and out of season… Everything about their work ethic is top notch.”

Danny pucino Danny Pucino’s life is dedicated to wrestling. With an LHS career record of 12911, it comes as no surprise that that he is truly faithful to the sport; on top of his record, Pucino has placed twice at state and was a state finalist earlier this year. As Pucino explained, outside of daily practice at school, he gives extra effort, up to an additional 10-12 hours a week during the season. He trains at Poeta Training Center in Lake Forest (a large wrestling facility) before school and after practice nearly every day. At Poeta, he gets more individualized coaching and gains more outside experience. “We wrestle a lot of coaches and kids from other schools, which helps a lot,” Pucino explained. Competing at such a high level can sometimes takes a major toll on one’s physical health. “My body, at the end of the week on that one Sunday that we get off, [is] pretty sore, obviously,” Pucino commented. His attitude on recovery is very firm, since he is adamant about getting his homework done during the day 18

Drops of Ink | Feature

so that he can sleep at least eight hours at night. Pucino further mentioned how wrestlers often need to watch their food intake during the season. Since wrestling matches are based on weight class, wrestlers must stay within a finite range of weight. And because the sport is so physical, eating right is crucial. For example, after a grapefruit for breakfast, Pucino will often eat a chicken salad for lunch, and by dinner, he’s mustered up an appetite for more protein or pasta. When it comes down to the weekly weigh-in, he takes extra caution saying, “I won’t cut down on [the foods I eat], just the portions, but I always have energy.” With a significant amount of hours spent on the wrestling mat each day, it takes away from time and focus on school. His devotion to the sport also inhibits time spent in other areas of life, such as friends and family. “It’s hard waking up every day, and I don’t really hang out with my friends during the wrestling season,” he said. But despite this, Pucino has no trouble staying motivated. To help inspire him this season, he wrote “2019 State Champion” on his bedroom door. “Every time I look at [the message], I just want to push myself,” Pucino ex-

plained. Although he took second in state this past season, he plans on leaving the message up on his door to motivate him for the 2020 state competition. The University of Illinois wasn’t the only school to take him into consideration. The University of Oklahoma, Brown University, Princeton University and the University of Maryland started looking at him by the end of his freshman year. Pucino expressed his admiration for the coaching staff at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign: “I got to get to know [the coaching staff] better than any other school’s coaching staff... I know I’ll fit in great.” Senior year is still in store for the energetic wrestler as he looks forward to another successful season before heading off to college. Pucino chose the University of Illinois so he won’t be far from his family. His father, one of his most avid supporters, leased a farm in the area so he could watch his son during the collegiate wrestling season. One reason why Pucino loves wrestling is because it’s an individual sport. “I love that I’m by myself … If I win, it’s because I did what I had to do,” he stated. Competition holds a special place in his heart and will continue to be part of him for a long time to come: “It takes hard work and it’s

By Ben Mayo

Photos by Aliya Haddon

taught me a lot of life lessons,” he said, sincerely.

Michael Gunther

Layout by Maggie Burnetti

though the nerves he feels the night before a competition makes sleeping “hard.” Gunther, like many wrestlers, is attracted to the individuality and personal responsibility surrounding wrestling. “There is no one to blame when you mess up, and it keeps you accountable,” he said. Next year, the wrestling mats at the University of Illinois await him. Although he gained attention from other schools, such as the University of Minnesota, Illinois was his top choice. Gunther reasoned, “I just thought that with the coaches and the guys on the team at Illinois that I could really succeed in wrestling and also school.”

we go at it [in practice], it’s tough; we don’t like each other at practice. But after practice, we’re good buddies … I want him to win; I want him to get first and do his best. Because he’s my teammate, I want the best for him,” Pucino said. Added Coach Eggert: “Watching those two go at it in practice was a real treat.” Having a close peer to compete with for years allowed for great learning opportunities. “I feed off him since he wrestles right before me usually,” said Gunther. The two driven wrestlers have a lot to look forward to. “[Illinois is] a top 10 program in the country for wrestling,” Pucino said proudly. Coach Eggert believes that wrestling will serve both Gunther and Pucino well later in life. “The intense fortitude needed to be successful in wrestling is off the charts,” he said, explaining that this fortitude includes weight management, individual competition, conditioning and strength. “Willingly taking on this challenge offers so much in personal development.

Michael Gunther, a year older than Pucino, has also raked in an astounding amount of stats throughout his LHS career. With a record of 115-26 and 38 pins, three years being named All-Conference, and three years as a state qualifier, Gunther is a well-established wrestler. Like Pucino, Gunther also trains at Poeta. He works out, lifts weight and does cardio exercises in the facility about fourto-six days a week. Mike Poeta, the owner and head coach of the training center, is Their Friendship also an assistant coach for the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign wrestling Although being a year apart, Gunther team. “It was natural for Coach Poeta to and Pucino are very good friends. They’ve want [Gunther and Pucino] on their team,” been wrestling together since they were said Coach Eggert. 6 and 5 years old, respectively, and help Michael’s older brother, Joey Gunther, bring out the best in each other. also an established wrestler, transferred “We always compare ourselves, but from the University of Iowa to the Univerwe’re partners in practice. Obviously when sity of Illinois Urbana-Champaign last summer. With two brothers competing on the Division I level, wrestling is a major component of Gunther’s family atmosphere. “It doesn’t really take a toll on me or my family because I’ve been doing it for so long … We kind of revolve around wrestling,” Gunther commented over email. Motivation comes naturally to Gunther as well. “I love doing it and always want to get better,” he said. As for staying healthy, Gunther is serious about his well-being. “Wrestling can take a toll physically,” he admitted. According to a 2015 article from the National Federation of State High School Associations, “few high school seasons deal with the mental and physical strain as much as wrestling.” For example, Gunther needed surgery on his shoulder during his freshman Left photo courtesy of Danny Pucino year. Junior Danny Pucino and senior Michael Gunther have been wrestling together ever since they And as far as sleep goes, eight were young. These seasoned athletes will continue their sports careers together wrestling for the hours is a firm standard for him, alDivision I team at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Drops of Ink | Feature


She’s Got Game LHS female coaches manning the sidelines

By Ella Marsden Photos by Stephanie Gay Layout by Savanna Winiecki


t’s game day. You’re a female head coach and your team is warming up while you talk strategy on the sideline with your assistant coach. As the head coach, you’re prepared to greet the official. The official, however, turns to your male assistant coach under the assumption that he’s the head coach. Once again, you’re forced to assert yourself as the head coach and once again, you hear the surprise underlying their apology. You shake it off as you do every game and prepare yourself to face this again next game. This was the reality for boys water polo coach Ms. Kara Bosman. She said that she experienced this situation in what felt like every game in her first two years of coaching. Now in her third year, most of the officials recognize her as the head coach, and she hardly ever faces this situation.

Challenges of Being a Female Coach Only 28 percent of youth sport coaches are female, said the Aspen Institute. That number holds true to Libertyville High School, as only 42 of 151 (28 percent) of coaching positions at the school are held by women. One possible explanation for the lack of female coaches is society’s expectations for men and women within families. Mrs. Tiffany Owens, a gymnastics coach and biology teacher, explained that it’s difficult to be a working mom, especially when working two jobs. Mrs. Owens has been coaching gymnastics for 30 years, but she noted that when she had young kids, it was hard to balance teaching, coaching and raising her kids. This already difficult task was made harder by the fact that she was a single mom raising young kids on her own. “Not only was I a female coach, but for a long period, I was a single-mom female coach. In multiple schools, my administrators were very, very supportive and they would let me bring my children to prac20

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tice. I’ve had different bosses and coworkers who were supportive and then I’ve had some that were not; it just depends,” she shared. Mrs. Judi Neuberger, badminton coach and counselor, backed up these claims: “I can totally devote the time required to being an effective coach to this sport [now], whereas there were probably 15 years where I don’t think I could have been a head coach when I was raising kids.” Mrs. Alison Reifenberg, who is an English teacher and coaches both cross country and track at LHS, is not yet at a point in her life where she has personal experiMs. Kara Bosman has been coaching boys water polo at LHS for ence in balancing teaching, coaching three years. She often faced discrimination towards the beginning and raising chilof her coaching career by officials, who would mistake her male dren. She shared, assistant coach as being the head coach instead. however, that she doesn’t know of a Mrs. Owens has noticed that in her female head coach in the distance comfriends’ families, it has become more munity who is also raising children. common for her to see men stay home When she does have children, she’s with children while the women continue to unsure what will happen with her coaching work. In the past, she explained, it hasn’t job. socially been the norm for dads to stay “Even though I absolutely love coaching at home, but Mrs. Owens is encouraged — it’s one of the most important parts of by this new trend, sharing that it shows my day — I have no idea what will happen the importance of communication within when I have a kid; I honestly don’t. I want families. The Pew Research Center found to say that I’m going to do both; I’m defithat between 1989 and 2012, the number nitely going to try,” Mrs. Reifenberg said. of stay-at-home dads in the United States

“There’s a lot of commonality that gender doesn’t matter for. I think that a coach is just someone who should be there for you, whether you’re having a good day or a bad day. It doesn’t matter the sex of the individual.” -Ms. Kara Bosman doubled from one to two million. Ms. Bosman thinks the lack of female coaches may be due to the lack of openings: “I think that coaching is one of the greatest jobs in the world. So, when people get a coaching job, they don’t leave a lot of the time. In water polo, there’s so many other teams we go up against where the coach has been in that position for decades.” So, when coaches stay in their position for years, they not only gain experience to help them attain future jobs but they also prevent other — maybe female — coaches from holding that position.

Within Libertyville Most coaches interviewed for this story shared that they feel welcome and supported in the Libertyville community. Mrs. Neuberger shared that she’s never felt disadvantaged because of her gender. She explained that before badminton was an IHSA sport, she felt like they were at the bottom of a totem pole but any inequality faced wasn’t due to her gender and instead the connotations that came along with badminton. Ms. Bosman said that she has never once felt that the athletes respected her less than her male counterparts and hasn’t experienced any gender-related issues within the Libertyville community. “In terms of Libertyville students, Libertyville parents and Libertyville admin… I think they see value in someone who wants the best for their children. I’m a girl who coaches boys, but I know water polo, and I know what hard work is,” said Ms. Bosman. She continued: “There’s a lot of commonality that gender doesn’t matter for. I think that a coach is just someone who should be there for you, whether you’re having a good day or a bad day. It doesn’t matter the sex of the individual, and I think parents really realize that, as well as the athletes.”

More Than a Job Despite some challenges that come with being a female coach, all of the coaches interviewed shared that their favorite thing about coaching is the relationships they form with students outside of the classroom. Mrs. Reifenberg thinks that “it’s a nice reminder that students are more than what we see for [45] minutes in our classroom. They have lives outside of school and passions that are not necessarily things that you would see in the classroom.” Senior Alex Houser is on the soccer and cross country team at LHS. She’s had the experience of having both male and female coaches, and shared that she finds it easier to connect with a female coach. “There’s always going to be a little bit of a stronger connection between a girl team and a girl coach, and I think that kind of displays across the way they communicate,” she said. For example, the strong connection formed between a coach and her players may allow athletes to feel comfortable sharing personal issues. Houser has had experience with this: “I’ve never felt com-

fortable talking to the guy coach, where, if it was a girl coach, you always feel a little more comfortable.” Mrs. Reifenberg made a point to hire a solely female coaching staff. She emphasized that this decision wasn’t to spite men but instead to show her athletes that women are capable of being in leadership positions. “I want the girls on the team to understand that they can do things. They can be in leadership roles; they can coach; they can do all different types of things — whatever they really set their mind to and are passionate about.” She continued: “I think that the way we communicate with each other is really important because it’s honestly mostly been women in my life, and the most important women who usually support me in everything I do, they’re really the ones who are saying that [balancing teaching, coaching and motherhood] isn’t going to be possible for me, which is kind of hurtful,” she shared. Mrs. Owens supported this and recommended that women should “speak up when there are any issues that arise. Speak up to your peers and whoever you work for, and make sure that you advocate for yourself.”

Mrs. Judi Neuberger, the head badminton coach, expressed that although she has never faced personal hardships being a female coach, it can often be more difficult for females in leadership positions who are raising children as well. Drops of Ink | Feature



By Olivia Gauvin Photo by Grant Herbek Layout by Ian Cox

Sports Injuries Among Student-Athletes


ive it your all. Athletes of all ages are often encouraged to dedicate the majority of their time and passion to their sports. But with sports injuries becoming a sobering reality for many young students-athletes, giving it all can sometimes even include your arms, legs and head. And, as many of the athletes explained through interviews conducted for this article, injuries are a well-known consequence of playing your passion, whether it be on the volleyball court or the soccer field, and many explained that sports injuries are almost “inevitable.” Yet beyond the crutches, the physical therapy, the signed casts or the sideline seating, what does it mean to be injured? Are there student-athletes who will experience long-term consequences due to their injuries? Do injuries cause more than just physical consequences? Are injuries truly “inevitable” for athletes? These questions arise especially as participation numbers rise. For the 27th consecutive year, the National Federation of State High School Associations reported an increase in high school sports participation in 2016 (the most recent year for which data was available). In fact, the number of high school athletes in the United States has nearly doubled since 1972, to an estimated 7.9 million participants during the 2015-2016 academic year. And with more total student-athletes in recent years, the NFSHSA reported an increase in athletic injuries as well, citing approximately “1.2 million sports-related injuries” in the 2015-2016 academic year alone. According to junior athletes Sami Burkett and Abby Parkerson, these injuries are as prevalent among athletes in Libertyville High School as they seem to be on the national level. In fact, both Burkett and Parkerson agreed that they almost always know someone who is injured. “Just today, I saw like five people [at LHS] on crutches or in a cast, just walking in the halls. I know another kid who has a concussion right now from sports,” Burkett explained. The injuries among students vary in severity and recovery, many of the athletes interviewed noticed. Burkett suffered three concussions between the fall of 2016 and winter of 2018 due to injuries throughout her soccer career. Other athletes, such as senior Justin Miller, a baseball player, and Parkerson, a basketball player, suffered from injuries to the anterior cruciate ligaments, also known as the ACL, in their knee. Both injuries are recognized as “severe” according to the U.S. Centers for Disease and Control, though they impact vastly different regions of the body. 22

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So are these injuries quite common, particularly among young athletes? What are the core causes of many of these injuries? Stanford's Children Health reported that “more than 3.5 million children ages 14 and younger get hurt annually playing sports or participating in recreational activities” in the United States. That’s about a 10 percent reported injury rate among all children alone. Due to an increase in athletic participation among high school athletes, Stanford’s Children Health, among other journals, projects increases in injuries for older athletes. For most of the individuals interviewed, injuries are commonplace. In fact, Ms. Taylor Meyers, an athletic trainer at Libertyville High School, explained that the majority of students who visit the trainers don’t know why they’re feeling pain. She noted this is likely because injuries are “just part of the sport. Sometimes our bodies need rest but we don’t always get it when we need it. We really recommend students visit the trainer for any problem. If you are feeling sore, the sooner you can come into the athletic training room for the problem, the sooner you can go onto the field,” she said. In fact, every single individual interviewed noted that injuries are bound to happen if you’re an athlete. Burkett felt almost normalized by the injuries among LHS’s student-athletes. “I definitely see injuries as more common. Now that I think about it, if someone in my parents’ offices came in with a cast, they’d probably be like, ‘Oh my god, that’s crazy,’ but now we see someone with a cast or on crutches [at LHS] and [students] think ‘Oh, that happens a lot, that must be normal,’” she explained. Dr. Gregory Caronis, an orthopedic surgeon who often treats bone and joint injuries for LHS athletes, explained that “overworking and specialization” are some of the key triggers for sports injuries. He emphasized that athletes who focus more heavily on one specific sport oftentimes overwork the muscles required for those sports, thus making them more prone to injuries. Junior Ellie Weick, a year-round volleyball player, found that overworking her muscles and joints were direct factors that led to her knee injuries. “This past year I’ve had tendonitis in my knees and I’m getting surgery [soon]...Because I was playing volleyball with the tendonitis, it got worse,” she explained. Specialization is not always the cause of injuries; Parkerson, an avid basketball player, injured her ACL while practicing volleyball, a sport she played on the side, at a summer program.

In today’s sporting world, injuries seem to be almost inescapable. From basketball to soccer to volleyball and more, LHS and the United States as a whole have no shortage of athletic injuries, with their prevalence increasing every year.

It is, however, a likely cause to the weakening of athletes’ muscles. Mrs. Bridget Watson, a physical therapist for the Illinois Bone and Joint Institute, treats many young athletes and emphasized how physically weak many can be if they don’t work to strengthen their body as a whole. She explained that many athletes, female athletes in particular, can be far more prone to ACL tears due to “strength deficits. Athletes don’t have enough conditioning or strengthening, and they can be really weak.” Mrs. Watson further noted that “some athletes will come in [for physical therapy] and they’ll be great athletes at their high school and at their sport, but then you’ll find that these kids are extremely weak or muscularly imbalanced.” Dr. Caronis and Mrs. Watson both advised student-athletes to try diversifying their sports, or, at the very least, their workouts. However, physical pain or damage is not the only thing sports-related injuries can cause. For every one of the individuals interviewed, their sports injuries had much deeper impacts than merely the physical damage. Parkerson in particular emphasized her struggle coping with the inability to play while she was injured. “Watching my [basketball] team play and compete while just having to sit there and watch everyone do something that I have done since I was 3 was just really hard… There were times when I would come home crying from games and I would tell my parents, ‘I just want to play, I’m so done with being injured,’” Parkerson explained. “That was probably the hardest, like after a game that was so emotional, and everyone was there and the crowd was roaring and it was so close. I would just come home and be so sad that all I could do is sit there and watch.” And Parkerson is not alone in this. Miller, Burkett and Weick all expressed their individual struggles in recovering from injuries. Regardless of the similarities in the athletes’ injuries, their internal conflicts and even coping mechanisms were not necessarily the same. “When you have that long of an injury, I wanted to get back to sports as soon as possible, and I had to take [my recovery] week by week instead of a quicker process,” Miller, who tore his ACL, described. “You go from doing so much to not being able to do anything. I went from playing baseball every day and practicing with my friends to not being able to play any sport.” Weick, who has yet to undergo surgery for her tendonitis, has similar concerns in feeling held back compared to her volleyball teammates. “Since I’m not playing right now, obviously I’m not going to be as good as others when I come back [from recovery],” she explained. Weick even emphasized that not being as good as her teammates is “just fact. I know when I go back [to playing] I’m going to have to work harder because I was out for so long.” Parkerson, in the end, reiterated how one cannot truly understand the recovery process if they’ve never been injured. She not only underlined how long of a process it can be, but added that “anyone with a serious injury can understand the mental process, but if you haven’t really had to go through that, it’s hard to look at someone [injured] and understand what is going on. Once you go through it, it’s a whole different perspective.”

"Just today, I saw like five people [at LHS] on crutches or in a cast, just walking in the halls. I know another kid who has a concussion right now from sports." - Sami Burkett

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Bring it on:

a glimpse into the LHS cheer and dance squads By Claire Salemi Photos by Olivia Gauvin Layout by Jade Foo


or 10 months, spanning across two different sports seasons plus the summer, and for six days a week, the LHS varsity cheerleading and dance teams practice their routines. On average, the teams work more than 600 hours a year, excluding external open gyms and tumbling and dance classes. This year, their work concluded with both teams advancing to their respective state championship competitions. The teams both have a football season and competition season. During the fall, the teams support the varsity and junior varsity football teams. In the winter, the teams perform their routines at competitions against other schools while also performing during the boys and girls

To enhance their strength and flexibility, the LHS cheerleaders are required to attend tumbling classes once a week as well as practice daily on hard mats; as they explained, this not only improves their performance but also better prepares them for their competitions. basketball games. Each team’s seasons officially begin in the spring with open gyms just before tryouts. After four days of tryouts, the teams work over the summer, at least three times a week.. “[The summer is] almost like a third season...we work on both competition and football season routines and have conditioning,” stated four-year dance team member Kelly Higgason. Both the cheer and dance teams also attend a summer camp to build upon their knowledge as well as to help connect the teams before school starts. The dance team attends a camp at Northern Illinois University while the cheer team goes to Carthage College. Once August comes around, the teams start their football season. This spans 24

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until the end of October or beginning of November. During this season, the dance team works on sideline as well as halftime routines. The cheerleaders also polish their sideline routines and continue to practice their tumbling. Cheer also runs a mile every day during football season because of the high energy levels needed to perform a routine. Both cheer and dance demand a large amount of endurance and strength. For cheer, the students need to use upper body and core strength to hoist and hold the fliers, while the fliers need to have strong leg muscles and flexibility. “You not only have to lift [fliers], but you have to throw them while using the right muscles,” noted sophomore cheerleader Ella Bach. When November comes around, the

dance and cheer teams prepare for their respective competitions. Typically, this includes longer practices, anywhere from two-and-a-half to three-and-a-half hours with high-intensity levels and continuous rehearsal of the dances or routines. “Some people like the football season better because it’s less repetitive and less serious, but I like the seriousness of competition season,” shared sophomore dancer Fernanda Vega. The dance team practices in the cafeteria for both seasons due to the lack of available gym space, although this may change due to the possibility of a dance studio being installed to replace the old pool. “Typically, our longer practices happen when we get gym space because we want to maximize our time in that space,” said varsity coach Ms. Casey Dugan over email. The teams also get a chance to perform in front of audiences to practice their moves during the boys and girls basketball games in the winter. While the cheer team doesn’t practice their whole routines in front of the crowd, the dancers display their dances at many of the games. The boys basketball head coach, Mr. Brian Zyrkowski, reflected that the cheer and dance teams bring a lot of energy into the stands, which creates a more exciting atmosphere for the game; varsity football coach Mr. Mike Jones expressed a similar sentiment. Many teams, like boys soccer, football and boys and girls basketball, have come to support the cheer and dance teams at their practices and to provide an audience for their routines. Other LHS teams have supported the dance team by giving them “social media ‘shoutouts,’” according to

Coach Dugan. Although the teams have to prepare for their various seasons, many of the dancers and cheerleaders interviewed expressed how time consuming it is, affecting both their social and academic lives. “Because we have practices every day and then competitions all day over the weekend, my friends during winter season don’t invite me to anything because they know that I’ll just be at cheer,” junior cheerleader Erin Custod joked. Annalise Bossler, another junior cheerleader, also spoke about how the extended period of time spent on cheer has impacted her: “I definitely have a hard time

Since the LHS poms dancers spend about 15 hours a week practicing, they emphasized the bond they’ve developed with one another, explaining how they feel like they are part of a large family.

with keeping up with my homework.” In addition, it is often debated whether or not the cheer and dance teams qualify as sports (according to the IHSA, they are). When interviewed, many of the cheer team members explained that they are told that cheer isn’t a sport almost daily. For both teams, judges determine whether they win or lose based on the execution of their routine. It is common for the people who don’t believe cheer and dance are sports to think that, because the teams are cheering and dancing on the sidelines, as well as winning or losing based on a judge’s opinion. However, cheer head coach Mrs. Erin Vance, who argues that cheer is a sport, counters that “it’s still a ref’s opinion whether that’s a foul or not when you’re playing a game, and that can make a huge difference in your game.” Dance is also not always considered a sport since it is commonly recognized as an art form. Vega expressed that not only are the dance team performances art forms, but they also possess the same amount of skill and work ethic as any other sport. Coach Dugan explained when competitive dance first became an IHSA sport in 2012, it was criticized, but she emphasized how supportive the school administration was, which helped make the team feel respected. Not only has the school been supportive of the dance and cheer teams, but the cheer and dance team have teammates that support each other. All of the students interviewed reiterated the strong bond that their teams had due to the tremendous amount of time spent together. Sophomore Kaylee Sherman stressed this about the cheer team’s bond: “You basically have 24 built-in best friends that you spend a lot of time with.”

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By Sayre DeBruler Photos by Amanda Black Layout and Illustration by Annika Bjorklund LHS’s own sports teams have won many titles, plaques, medals, awards and trophies, priding the Libertyville sports community with the accomplishment of so many feats. However, there are several students who have achieved many things in their own sports not affiliated with LHS. Here are four of these students.

Charlotte Bossler

Freshman Charlotte Bossler has been dancing since she was in sixth grade. Her classes take place at the Dance Academy of Libertyville, where she dances four times a week, totalling five hours. Her favorite form of dance is ballet, however, she also participates in jazz, contemporary and hip-hop. One of Bossler’s favorite parts about dancing is how reliable and dependable it is: “I go to [dance classes nearly] every day. And it’s just something I do.” Dance is also a great way for her to “explore different forms of self-expression,” and it is Bossler’s way to keep herself in shape. She also enjoys her friends that dance with her; in fact, Bossler started to dance because her friend and her were on a running team, which they both thought was boring. So, Bossler’s friend asked if she would like to come to one of her classes, and ever since then, Bossler has loved to dance. Of course, there are also a few challenges that come with her dance life. For one, Bossler stated that the most challenging part of dance was the persistence needed. Another challenge is balancing her school and social lives with her dance life. Bossler said that she “prioritizes her dance and friends,” which, in some cases, comes at “the expense of rest and sleep.” Bossler said she doesn’t have the time to be on the school’s dance team because of her AP and honors classes, along with maintaining her social life. However, she plans on taking dance as a gym class next year.

Freshman Charlotte Bossler currently participates in three different styles of dance: contemporary, ballet, and jazz. Pictured here, she is dancing contemporary.

Julia Hasler

Photos courtesy by Julia Hasler. Sophomore Julia Hasler rides horses at Country Ridge Stables six days a week. In these photos, she is riding one of her two horses, Harry.


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Julia Hasler, a sophomore, has been riding horses since she was 3 years old. Her interest in riding sparked from her mom, who rode horses when she was younger, as did her mom’s two sisters. Hasler currently owns two horses: a Belgian Warmblood named Harry (his show name is Harrison) and a Holsteiner named Dory (her show name is Doreen MH). Hasler rides at Laura Stern Country Ridge Stables in Mundelein, where she typically spends six days a week; she’s at the stables roughly two hours each day from Tuesday to Friday. On the weekends, she spends anywhere between two to four hours riding per day. Monday is the only day that she does not go to the stable, but that’s because her stable is closed on Mondays. Hasler has competed in shows that have occurred in multiple states, including Ohio, Kentucky and Michigan. Last month, Hasler was with both of her horses in Ohio competing in a show, where she received several different placings, including first place in the WIHS hunter phase, which is typically judged on a fews different skills, including fence jumping.. Since then, Hasler has been back in Illinois, resting for her show at the end of April. Hasler has not come to a decision concerning whether or not she will join a collegiate riding team or not, but she knows that she will continue riding, whether it’s on her own time or with a local team in the future.

Emily Detlaff

Emily Detlaff, a senior, started Taekwondo in April 2012. Typically, she spends three to five days a week at her dojo, Dragon K Martial Arts, but a few times, she’s been there every day of the week. Her training sessions can also range from as little as one hour a day up to five hours a day; the timing depends on what she is training for that week, including, but not limited to, speed breaking and form, which “are just a series of movements, and you have to do it as nicely and as cleanly as you can. It’s kind of like a slow dance, in essence,” said Detlaff. In her latest speed-breaking competition, where a contestant rapidly breaks boards with their feet and hands, Detlaff broke 45 boards in 30 seconds. “It’s a strange thing. You’re just going back and forth kicking as many [boards] as you can as fast as you can until you can’t do any more,” Detlaff explained. She competes in many different tournaments each year. The largest one takes place each November: the Northern Illinois Regional Tournament. Typically, it’s in a different high school gym each year and contains multiple different stations. Stations are split up by belt level and are meant to make the tournament go by quicker. Detlaff is also very passionate about LHS not having martial arts as a sport. She is frustrated that she can’t exempt from gym class since she does martial arts nearly every day. “As a senior, I don’t really have to worry about this anymore, but I have always resented this, and if I could go back, I would have made an effort to change that,” said Detlaff.

Senior Emily Detlaff trains at Dragon K Martial Arts in Lake Bluff three to five days a week. She began martial arts seven years ago, and now she is a second-degree black belt.

Dane Whitney

Junior Dane Whitney started playing rugby when he was 11 years old. His older brother, senior Bennett Whitney, played rugby for a year before Dane started. Since his brother had introduced him to the game, Whitney decided to play because he wanted a spring sport, and he liked the idea of the game. Currently, Whitney and his brother play on the same team. Previously, they played for the Lake Forest Harriers, but this year the club isn’t around due to lack of numbers. They now play with the Arlington Stallions. One of his favorite parts about playing rugby is the team aspect and he loves “knowing everyone and how they play and then making it all work together to win games,” said Whitney. He mentioned that one of the hardest parts of the sport is the conditioning, which includes a lot of running. “A typical practice [starts] with passing drills, [and] then [splits] up into forwards and back, which are two groups of positions played. We finish off with a live game and a sprint session,” said Whitney. LHS does not have a rugby team connected to the school, which is why Whitney plays for a club team. “It’d be nice if [LHS] had [a rugby team], but since there’s so many clubs nearby, it’s not really that important,” said Whitney. Whitney plans on continuing to play rugby all four years of college, whether it’s at the school or with a club.

Photos courtesy by Dane Whitney. Junior Dane Whitney began rugby when he was 11 years old. He plans to continue to play in college.

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Are sports too big of a deal? (it's complicated)

Staff Editorial

photo by rowan hornsey


ut of the 19 most-viewed television broadcasts in U.S. history, the top 18 have been Super Bowls, according to Nielsen Holdings, an information and data company. Athletes are some of the highest-paid individuals in the world; according to Forbes, boxer Floyd Mayweather once made $275 million for one night of fighting. Out of the seven issues Drops of Ink will publish this school year, one of them is entirely dedicated to sports. It’s hardly a debate. Sports are deeply embedded in American culture. They are a “big deal.” This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; playing such a big role in culture has its benefits. Sometimes it’s fun to watch grown men punch each other on an ice rink. It’s fun to get together with some buddies and draft your fantasy football teams or set up your March Madness brackets. It’s fun to pledge loyalty to a team — wear their jersey around, go to their games, celebrate their victories and mourn their defeats. Sports culture is fun! But is it over-glorified? First, let’s talk about it on a national level. The sports world is problematic, no doubt. It’s a multi-billion dollar industry that comes with overpaid athletes, steroid problems, a gender wage gap, cheating and plenty of corruption. What should be friendly competition can occasionally turn into unhealthy encouragement and toxic rivalry, causing riots after a lost game or a stunning upset. Despite all this, the general consensus is no, they aren’t too popular in America. The camaraderie athletics establish and the memories they can create far outweigh the cons. As long as fans are respectful and after-game rallies don’t get out of hand, the predominance of sports should not change. But what about on a youth level? Walk into any class in the school and ask how many students played recreational soccer as a kid. If the class is similar to Drops of Ink, more than half of the kids will say they have. Even at a young age, there’s a big emphasis to play a sport. Think about athletics at LHS. Are they too dominant in our school setting? Do they put too much pressure on the athletes?

layout by rachel benner

This isn’t to say there is anything wrong with playing sports; they build character, form relationships, gets kids outside and active, and teach them about the importance of exercise. It’s only when they do more harm than good to an athlete’s well-being that sports can become detrimental. This can be physically, like pushing through the stomach flu to play at state, or mentally, like causing athletes to have anxiety attacks on the field from the stress of trying to win a game. The popularity of sports in high school is all fun and games (literally) until it comes at a cost. Everyday practices and weekend games are demanding, leaving hardly any time for a break in an athlete’s schedule or room for other activities; athletes play in fear of injury, scared that they will let people down or ruin the chance to play the sport they have devoted their lives to. Parents and coaches can play a significant role in creating or adding to the pressure by taking the game too far. If student-athletes have a bad game, coaches or parents might express disappointment with their performance — as if the student doesn’t feel bad enough. They might add stress to a child’s performance by pushing the idea of playing a sport in college for scholarships. Some parents even use their child’s sport as an outlet for their frustration or as an avenue to live through them. Their frustration might set a bad example for their kids if they yell at referees or argue with coaches. In spite of some of these extreme cases, not all parents are to blame. A lot of parents are positively supportive of their kid’s athletic career, and sports can be a great bonding opportunity between the child and parent. And slowly as a society, we’ve become better at not putting as much value on a kid’s athletic ability and focusing more on their effort instead. So, are sports too big of a deal? It’s a gray area, and there’s no clear answer. But despite the ambiguity, it’s important to take a step back and review our societal emphasis on them. In our opinion, considering all the draws and drawbacks, sports haven’t become “too popular” in America, but maybe go a little easier on the kids.

Note: As this piece is a staff editorial, it is representative of the opinions of the Drops of Ink staff as a whole. This staff is comprised of LHS students from each grade level and spans a wide range of opinions from our class, with 34 students total. The author(s) of this piece did not place their personal opinions in this story; they merely reflect the staff’s thoughts.

Drops of Ink | Opinion


By Maggie Evers Photo by Grant Herbek Layout by Annika Bjorklund

For the past 14 years, almost every one of my Saturdays has been spent in either a uniform or in the stands. I started playing sports when I was younger as a way to keep up with my older brother, but athletics soon became my passion, sparking my constant motivation to get better. After recently watching the well-known Nike campaign of “Dream Crazier” — which challenges stereotypes and provides a platform to showcase strong female athletes — I realized that what the video highlights rings true for the atmosphere that has been created around girls playing sports. The video states: “If we show emotion, we’re called dramatic. If we want to play against men, we’re nuts … and if we get angry, we’re hysterical or irrational or just being crazy.” It’s these views that have the potential to hold females back from striving for greatness. The questions people ask you — even at a young age — of why you would rather join the guys playing basketball at recess instead of sitting in a circle and talking. The side-looks a girl receives when she enters the weight room. The pressure to still look good even while you are sweating and grinding during practice. Along with this, it has become the common belief that males are the overall better athletes compared to females due to their physical build. To say that guys are stronger than girls is mostly a true statement, as the American Physiological Society says that “male skeletal muscles are generally faster and have higher maximum power output than female muscles,” but to explicitly state that females are lesser of athletes compared to men is unreasonable. Athletes are athletes. The ones dedicated to their craft put in the same amount of hours and have the same end goal in mind: to be the best at their sport. I have lost count of the times that someone has said, “Girls’ sports aren’t as hard.” It was just a few weeks ago when I sat in class while a guy discussed how he views softball “to be easy” and “no comparison to the level of baseball.” Not only is it unfair to compare sports’ unique skill levels and challenges to each other when they are drastically different, but it also amplifies the inferior feelings that girls embrace about their own hard work. It’s time that we as a society move towards accepting the idea that girls train just as hard as guys to reach success. Not only should we acknowledge girls playing sports, but we should also encourage it as research shows multiple benefits for female athletes. According to ESPN, “a news report that surveyed

more than 10,000 girls across the country has found a positive correlation between playing sports and increased confidence, body image, academic performance and personal relationships.” I can personally attest to this as my identity has been molded by playing sports. My confidence, relationships, mental toughness, adaptiveness, social skills, the list goes on of what sports have taught me besides how to do a reverse lay-up and field a backhand ground ball. I have been able to overcome the insecurities projected on me after realizing that sports are my passion and bring me happiness. Females deserve just as much respect, credit and opportunities within the sports world as men, whether that means playing, coaching or supporting. The headlines scream of women making history by becoming the first female referee in the NFL or first female on an NBA coaching staff, but it’s time that these instances don’t need breaking news stories and instead become the new norm. The gender gap doesn’t seem to exist just on the playing field, though, as the same is true about jobs held in the sports world. According to the 2018 Associated Press Sports Editors Racial and Gender Report Card, “90 percent of the sports editors … [and] 88.5 percent of the reporters … were men.” Sports are not just a man’s game. Women can have intelligent insight and provide creative viewpoints on sports, but many aren’t given the chance to showcase their knowledge. As a female hoping to go into the sports journalism field, I will admit it is intimidating, but it’s also a two-way street. As females, we must recognize the ample amount of work that is required to be successful yet also not be content and strive for the positions we desire. We can by no means expect to be handed anything, but we also need to be given chances and not overlooked for positions solely based on our gender. For all the guys reading this, please hold us female athletes to the same standards you would a fellow male teammate. Take a step to change the current stigma that girls’ athletic success is of lesser value by acknowledging our efforts and dedication, which are just like yours. For all the girls, whether you are an athlete or not, take a stance to demand the credit you deserve for all your hard work. No matter what you set out to accomplish, do it like a girl. Strong. Passionate. Motivated. Ambitious.

LHS athletics wouldn’t be the same without its female athletes. These female spring sport athletes are a few of many strong, passionate, motivated and ambitious athletes here at LHS in Maggie Evers’s eyes.


Drops of Ink | Opinion

Cockiness Confidence

The importance of By Matt Smith

caption by Ben Kanches Layout by liv Bertaud

having a parasite in the locker room. In addition, there are teams that can be cocky as well. We see it all of the time; the teams come in overconfident and end up playing down to their competition. How could a number-one seed lose to a number-sixteen seed if that wasn’t true? My apologies to all of the Virginia fans who

ver since I was a kid, I was told by my parents to believe in myself. My cross country coach has always told me that, in order to achieve something, it all starts with having “the mentality.” But does mentality mean knowing you can or letting people know you can? As a kid during the summers, I always attended the LHS summer basketball camps. It was there one of the LHS athletes first said to me, “you got to be cocky to be good.” That quote has always made me think: What’s the difference? And what’s better? According to LHS AP Psychology teacher Ms. Kara Bosman, cockiness has a sense of arrogance and some insecurity; there’s a lot of bravado. You have trust in your training, preparation and abilities, in order to be confident. The cocky athlete always seems to be a bad teammate and is very selfish. It is like

You need to find that median because one cocky person on the team can destroy those levels

against a really good team, you still can make mistakes. “You need to find that median because one cocky person on the team can destroy those levels,” stated Ms. Bosman. It happens in professional sports as well; there are teams that feel like practice isn’t that big of a deal because of who their upcoming opponent is and get cocky about it, but the other team -- who has been working their butt off -- comes into the game confident. It is better to be confident in yourself. You need to believe in your ability but not over believe. When you become overconfident, it becomes cockiness. As far as not becoming overconfident, it is about trusting yourself while being humble at the same time. For those who aren’t truly into sports, in TV shows, when the guy is trying to get a girl’s number, she always goes with the guy who is genuine and confident in himself, not the cocky guy who would rather check himself out in the mirror than her. As an athlete myself, I have seen and been the cocky athlete. They always lose. They come in telling everyone that they can, and they don’t. They’ll start the first couple minutes of the game, meet or match too strong or too slow and don’t come back from it.

are still mad about that. The Yerkes-Dodson curve states that we want moderate amounts of stress, so if we are truly unstressed (cocky), we are going to underperform and make silly mistakes. On the other end, if you’re overstressed

The Yerkes-Dodson Law is the relationship between both arousal and performance. This shows that an athlete’s performance increases with mental arousal up to a certain limit. Drops of Ink | Opinion


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