October issue

Page 1

Volume 91, Issue 2 October 24, 2017


2017-2018 Staff Listing Hannah Hutchins, Editor-in-Chief Maria Thames, Editor-in-Chief Savanna Winiecki, Online Editor Lola Akinlade, Features Editor Rachel Benner, Features Editor Maggie Burnetti, Sports Editor Matt Smith, Sports Editor Sam Nelson, Photo Editor Olivia Griffith, Layout Editor Maddie Wasser, Social Media Editor Paula Baworska Anya Belomoina Amanda Black Molly Boufford Ariella Bucio Jenna Carnazzola Ian Cox Olivia Devin Rachel Dudley Moira Duffy Maggie Evers Megan Fahey Katie Felsl Lizzie Foley Zachary Ford OIivia Gauvin Demi Glusic Jenna Grayson Kath Haidvogel Emily Hamilton Dylan Heimert Abbey Humbert Maggie Hutchins Ben Kanches Jacob Kemp Corey Kuchler Allie Kuhlman Anna Legutki Stephanie Luce Elizabeth Manley Ella Marsden Colleen Mullins Kylie Rodriguez Claire Salemi Bulat Schamiloglu Kelly Shinnick Brandon Simberg Lanie Storiz Nate Sweitzer Dylan Trott Megan Wolter Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Contact us at doi@lhswildcats.org

To stay updated on the latest LHS news, follow our social media accounts. Also, check out our website at www.lhsdoi.com


Libertyville High School Drops of Ink


Michael Gluskin, Faculty Adviser

October 24, 2017


Drops of Ink




News 4


Diversification vs. Specialization


Competitive Clubs

Many students’ lives revolve around athletics, but there is a debate about whether it is better to specialize in only one sport or play multiple.

LHS hires two interim athletic directors

After Briant Kelly left the athletic director position, John Fischl and Randy Oberembt were hired to serve as interim athletic directors.


LHS offers a few IHSA-sponsored, competitive activities that are not considered sports, including Bass Fishing Club, Debate Team and Scholastic Bowl.

Wildcat Stats

With fall sports well underway, see how teams are doing by glancing at some individual accomplishments.



Feature Keeping Track of Ethan


Ethan Burkhardt, a sophomore, has reached achievements both on and off of the track, and has learned lessons through his experience in the sport.


The Drops of Ink staff examines LHS’s Code of Conduct, reflecting on how effective it is and how it can be written for the better.


Endurance On and Off the Course


Frosh With a Future

The Class of 2021 has many promising freshmen athletes, four of whom are featured in this article.


Leaping to Conclusions Though dance is not considered a sport, dancers work and train equally as hard as athletes, which is not seen by the common eye.

Seniors Alex Tam and Melissa Manetsch both have been improving as runners since elementary school, and reflect on how running affects their lives now and in the future.


The Inconsistent Code

One Goal

Free the Nips A new rule in place, where all LHS athletes must wear shirts during practice despite potential health risks and other drawbacks, has been deemed unfair by many athletes, including DOI staffer and runner Matt Smith.


The nationally ranked LHS boys soccer team has aspirations for another State title despite adjusting to a change of coaches and team members.

Face-off: Athletes and prestigious colleges

DOI staffers Brandon Simberg and Lola Akinlade go head to head on whether athletes should be able to be admitted into prestigious schools or not primarily based on their athleticism.

Contents by Demi Glusic Cover photo and design by Maria Thames Contents


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LHS hires two interim athletic directors By Stephanie Luce

Photos by Katie Felsl Mr. John Fischl and Mr. Randy Oberembt work to split up the job of an athletic director. Retired former athletic administrators Mr. John Fischl and Mr. Randy Oberembt are serving as Libertyville High School’s interim athletic directors this school year. Last spring, LHS’s former athletic director, Mr. Briant Kelly, took the position of associate superintendent with District 128, leaving the athletic director position open. Although the administration went through an extensive interview process to hire a new athletic director, the final four candidates for the job ended up being unavailable for various reasons, according to Mr. Fischl. In June, the administration thought it would be too difficult to find a new pool of candidates to replace Mr. Kelly in such a short amount of time, Mr. Fischl said. Consequently, they decided to use a model that has been used in the past at LHS, which is to bring in an interim athletic director. This meant that someone would fill the role of athletic director for a temporary period of time. Mr. Fischl added that the current plan is to restart the interview process after the holidays to hire a permanent athletic director for next school year, who will remain at LHS for years to come. Since both Mr. Fischl and Mr. Oberembt are retired, the state of Illinois will not allow them to work more than 100 days on the interim job, which is why the position is being split between the two. “We are doing a job share where we each work 100 days. So, the school gets 200 days of an athletic director out of the two of us,” said Mr. Fischl. Prior to retirement, Mr. Fischl had worked at LHS for 22 years as a teacher, boys swim coach and assistant athletic director. Mr. Oberembt had been working at New Trier High School as the athletic director for nine years. Mr. Kelly had a vision for how to make the interim position work. According to Mr. Fischl, “[Mr. Kelly] left this position 100 percent committed to the success of this interim and to the future athletic directors. He left it in great shape and did not want to see the students or the community suffer [from the interim].” Mr. Kelly divided up the entire job description, including sport supervision and other everyday duties of an athletic director, into two different lists. Mr. Fischl and Mr. Oberembt then chose who would be the best fit


for each list and how to split it up. Mr. Fischl’s responsibilities are scheduling and payment of contest workers, off-campus facilities, awards nights, the coaching contracts and handbook and picture days. Mr. Oberembt’s include the budget, facility schedules (includes practice schedules and rentals), freshmen athletic orientation, eighth grade orientation and summer camps. They also share responsibility over North Suburban Conference Meetings, IHSA meetings and responsibilities, as well as any other duties as needed. Mr. Fischl and Mr. Oberembt are also both in charge of different sports. For example, during the fall season, Mr. Fischl works with swimming, tennis, volleyball, cheer and poms. Meanwhile, Mr. Oberembt works with football, cross country, soccer and golf. Although they are technically in charge of these specific sports, “[Mr. Fischl and I] have a lot of contact with almost every fall program, so it isn’t delineated to exclude our contact from any sport. It really depends on what the day of the week it is, who is playing, what coaches and students need that day,” said Mr. Oberembt. Although they both oversee different sports and, for the most part, have different duties, they are often required to communicate and work with each other every day. They said they talk on the phone two to three times each day, and every email that is sent out is sent to the other director so they do not duplicate their efforts. Usually, Mr. Fischl works Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, while Mr. Oberembt works Tuesdays and Thursdays. Mr. Fischl and Mr. Oberembt both emphasized how they work very well together and are grateful to be paired with each other: “I am so fortunate to be working with Mr. Oberembt and his wealth of knowledge. I have learned so much about his style and approach based on every conversation that he is in that I get to be a part of,” said Mr. Fischl. Additionally, Oberembt stated how “Mr. Fischl is a tremendous asset to Libertyville because he served the district for 22 years…Mr. Fischl’s knowledge of what goes on in Libertyville High School is exceptional.”


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He’s been a positive influence on the team through who he is as a person and also athletically by how well he does. -Coach Jason Schroeder

Tracking ethan’s successes

By Rachel Dudley

Burkhardt, in his LHS track uniform, wears medals from his competition in Prague, Czech Republic, in 2016. He won a bronze medal in the 100-meter race and silver medals in the 200-, 400- and 800-meter races.


he gun goes off; the race has begun! It’s last summer in Wisconsin, and Ethan Burkhardt speeds down the track in his race wheelchair, leading the pack. The wheels of his race chair cross the finish line -- he’s beaten his best time. Burkhardt gets second place with 2:01 in the 800-meter race. Burkhardt, a sophomore, is LHS’s only wheelchair track athlete. About five years ago, Burkhardt first started running track. He began track because he was looking for an additional sport; his first was sled hockey. Although he still plays sled hockey, track became his favorite sport due to the high-paced races and constant competition. “I’m really competitive. I like to win.” Burkhardt explained. His love for winning pushes him to practice almost every day during the school year, either on the track or in the weight room. Mr. Jason Schroeder, who is the pole vaulting coach at LHS, also works one-on-one with Burkhardt indoors when it is too cold outside for his race chair. Mr. Schroeder described Burkhardt as incredibly hard working and a very committed athlete. Burkhardt’s dedication to track is obvious to his teammates and coaches. According to Mr. Schroeder, he is always ready to work hard and is constantly trying to improve. “When he does well, he looks at what he could do better and when he doesn’t do so well, he tries to grow from it,” Mr. Schroeder said. Burkhardt participates in the 100-, 200-, 400-, 800- and 1500-meter races; the 400 and 800 are his favorite. Last year,



he went to State with the track team. Although he didn’t beat his personal record, he hopes to return this year and do better. Burkhardt said he feels an incredible amount of support from his family, friends and teammates. At LHS, Burkhardt has been welcomed and celebrated by the whole LHS track team. According to Burkhardt, many members of the team are surprised by his success at track. “A lot of people on the track team are amazed with it, just watching me and seeing me compete against other track athletes from other schools,” Burkhardt said. The track team has made Burkhardt feel confident in his athletic abilities and also allowed him to create many new and stable friendships. The team has not only supported Burkhardt, but he has also helped improve the team. “He’s been a positive influence on the team through who he is as a person and also athletically by how well he does. He raises our level of competition,” Mr. Schroeder explained. In addition to track at LHS, Burkhardt runs for the Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association, GLASA, which is an organization that allows children with physical disabilities to compete in adapted sports. Burkhardt competes in tournaments and meets in the surrounding areas with GLASA. Some of the competitions include meets in Wisconsin and the Great Lake Regional Games, which are held annually in Lake Forest. Burkhardt has had an incredible amount of success with track locally, regionally and even worldwide. “My biggest achievement would be in eighth grade; I made the American World Junior team and we went to Prague, Czech Republic,” Burkhardt said.

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Burkhardt was selected along with five other teenagers to be part of the World Junior team, who competed at the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports under-23 World Games. The games occur every two years in different cities around the world. The games are a multi-sport event for athletes under the age of 23 to participate at a highly competitive level. To be selected for the team, some IWAS scouts came to several of Burkhardt’s track meets and practices to watch him perform. Burkhardt was ecstatic when he was given the opportunity to join the World Junior team and compete in Prague. At the tournament, he won three silver medals in the 200-meter, 400-meter and 800-meter races, as well as a bronze in the 100-meter. His favorite part of the trip was being able to compete in such a highly competitive tournament in front of so many people. “There were 20 to 30 countries there and being able to compete against so many athletes from all over the world was amazing,” Burkhardt explained. Not only was he able to compete in such a high-level tournament, he was also able to explore the city. This was Burkhardt’s first time leaving the country; he said he loved to learn about Prague’s culture. His favorite place was Old Town, a village in Prague known for its historic architecture. Burkhardt hopes to qualify for the American World Juniors team again this year; they will compete this summer in Vila Real de Santo António,

Portugal. He said he wants to be able to compete against more international athletes and wander around new places. Burkhardt’s biggest challenge is trying to improve his times. Although it has gotten easier through his constant hard work and practice, it can still be hard to beat his best times, he said. Beyond track, Burkhardt is a member of the marching band at LHS; he plays the clarinet. He has been playing clarinet since fifth grade. He originally was just looking for another fun and interesting way to spend his time. His mom also pushed him to join because she thought it would help with his sports performance. “Band has helped with my breathing, having to blow through the instrument has made my lungs stronger,” Burkhardt explained. With all of Burkhard’s extracurricular activities, he has become incredibly busy. During the spring when Burkhardt has to balance track, band and school, he has events every day. Being so busy, Burkhardt has to try very hard to stay on top of everything. “I personally need a schedule to write down when to do everything to make sure I stay organized,” Burkhardt explained. Track has offered Burkhardt many exciting experiences. It has allowed Burkhardt the opportunity to travel, compete on highly competitive levels and make new friends. “I definitely have so many more friends and have met so many more people than I would’ve if I hadn’t joined track,” he stated.

Photo courtesy of Ethan Burkhardt Burkhardt waits for the start gun of the 800-meter race, where he placed third, in the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports World Games competition held in Prague, Czech Republic, in 2016.



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Endurance On and Off the Course By Olivia Devin

Photos by Bulat Schamiloglu

Layout by Olivia Griffith

n the near distance, cheers become more distinguishable, and as they round the final flag, they gasp for air in between the pain of their feet pounding increasingly faster into the ground. The finish line finds its way into their field of vision and with the crowd’s cheers fueling their last ounce of energy, they sprint until they reach the end. This is the moment Melissa Manetsch and Alex Tam, both seniors, have been training for throughout their cross country careers. This year alone, Manetsch has won every race except for one and Tam has won all except for two big invitationals. Participating on both the cross country and track teams, both athletes have excelled greatly in their sports as well as in their academics.



age and runs 8-12 miles most days. Tam does similar workouts to the ones during the season to keep in shape. Their training has led to many improvements and impressive results. Last year at the State cross country meet, Tam placed 40th and ran a 14:57. Currently he runs a 14:47. This season, Tam aspires to be in the top five for State and qualify for nationals. Manetsch currently runs a 17:08 for three miles. Additionally, she went to State for track sophomore year and placed 10th in the 3200-meter race with a time of 10:52 and placed 21st in the 1600-meter run with a time of 5:11. Junior year she qualified for the 3200m and 1600m, but decided to run only the 3200m, where she placed sixth with a time of 10:46. Even though there are a lot of external factors that impact race times, Manetsch regularly aims to work on her “mental posture towards running” as well as positively influencing her team.

Tam started running in fifth grade, but his career sparked in middle school as he looked up to runner Max Roberts (LHS graduate of the Class of 2015). At the beginning of his career, Tam was nowhere close to his capabilities today. “When I first started I actually kind of sucked… I could barely run a half mile,” Tam explained. However, Tam continued to work on his endurance and would run before school, at recess and after school at practice. Manetsch had a similar experience. Coming from a family of runners, it seemed natural for Manetsch to start running in elementary school. Her dad had been a runner and her sister, Hannah, participated on varsity cross country and track for four years at LHS. However, at the beginning of her career, Manetsch had trouble pacing herself and would have to walk throughout races.



Cross country and track are both very taxing sports that take a lot of physical and mental strength. Both athletes agree that suffering through the pain that accompanies workouts and long runs has helped build unexpected friendships. Manetsch, who favors cross country because of the beautiful courses and the less intense crowds, likes the team camaraderie and bonding that allows her to “get to know [my teammates] on a different level.” Similarly, Tam’s favorite part is the team chemistry: “All the guys get along really well and it’s like a big friend group, pretty much.”

In order to improve their times, both Manetsch and Tam dedicate lots of time and energy into their varying practices. Some common workouts include tempo runs (where athletes push themselves 30 seconds slower than their race pace but go further so that a race seems easier), 400-meter track repeats and long runs that can range anywhere from 8-14 miles. Aside from training during the season, both athletes put in immense work during their offseasons. Manetsch continues to increase her mile-



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Both athletes also enjoy the feeling of “runner’s high,” a sense of euphoria after strenuous activity that is associated with the release of endorphins in the brain. After a long run or a track workout, Tam claimed he’s “super happy” and “bouncing of the walls.” “I really like the feeling after a run… though you’re exhausted and you can barely move your limbs, it just feels like everything is peaceful and you just find your zen, I guess,” Tam explained. Similarly, Manetsch experiences this feeling typically when she runs farther than six miles. “You just feel a sense of well being and you are satisfied with everything you’ve done,” she said. “Everything is great and everything is wonderful. You’re just really happy.”

SUPPORTERS Both athletes have a wide range of supporters who encourage them to become better as runners and people. Since Manetsch’s older sister was also a runner at LHS, Manetsch explained how having her just a phone call away is extremely helpful because her sister has endured everything Manetsch is going through. In addition, two of Manetsch’s close friends run with her among the team’s top five performers and provide lots of support during practice and races. “She does everything with passion and she does everything the best that she can, so she’s a good person or a good teammate to look up to and respect,” stated cross country and track coach William Etnyre. Additionally, teammate Nora Tucker described how Manetsch always cheers on and watches the rest of the team finish races even if she has already been done for 10 minutes. “She might not always be the most vocal leader, but she leads by example, and her hard work at practice every single day certainly inspires the rest of the team to keep pushing,” Tucker said. Likewise, Tam’s teammates and family have been consistent with their encouragement and support throughout his career. “My parents are definitely my really big supporters; they’re there at every single meet and they’re always cheering me on and helping me accomplish my goals, and inspiring me to go faster,” Tam stated. Furthermore, even though Tam’s teammates aren’t always running with him, he knows that they’re looking up to him, encouraging him to be the best he can be. Eddie Moy, one of Tam’s closest teammates who joined him at State as a fan last year, looks up to Tam because “he has a really good work ethic and he never does anything wrong… It’s such a taxing sport to always do what you’re supposed to do and be dedicated


to running, but he manages to do it all the time.” Tam’s coach, Stuart Mendelson, acknowledged Tam’s leadership and described him as a “team captain.” Mendelson added, “His athleticism since freshman year indicates a strong work ethic, commitment and dedication.”

BALANCING ACADEMICS Aside from athletics, both Manetsch and Tam are extremely passionate about academics. Finding enough time to train as well as challenge themselves in rigorous courses is hard to balance, but both athletes have made sacrifices to keep up with school and their sports. When it comes to sleep for school and sports, Manetsch stated: “I feel like they kind of actually go hand in hand… so the sleep I’m getting for running also helps me focus better in school.” Currently, Manetsch is leaning more towards a college because of academics and is looking at Washington University in St. Louis and John Hopkins University. She hopes to study biomedical engineering and possibly go to medical school. Ultimately, she feels like if she does continue her running career, it will be at the University of Illinois. “I’d love to run Division III, but they don’t give scholarships and Division I gives scholarships,” Manetsch said. This past year, Manetsch, in her free time, has been researching a way to determine lactose concentration in food. She realized she was lactose intolerant and found it difficult to keep it out of her diet because of the insufficient nutritional data on food labels and at restaurants. She looked for a product that could help determine the concentration but couldn’t find anything. After researching the topic, Manetsch came up with the lactose assay (a kit used to detect lactose) that she uses today. On the other hand, Tam is interested in engineering because of the applications to the real world. He likes the idea that engineers can help shape the future. Tam intends to run in college and has been looking at the University of Iowa and the University of Notre Dame, and he wants to major in engineering and is interested in a pre-med track as well. Despite the sacrifices made to excel academically and in their sports, both athletes have learned through experience how to make time for the activities they are passionate about. With the State cross country meet approaching on Nov. 4, both runners have one last chance to give everything they have in the final weeks of their high school distance running careers.


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By Ella Marsden and Savanna Winiecki

Photos by Ben Kanches

Layout by Hannah Hutchins

Frosh with a Future

Charlie McBride

Charlie McBride was a starting middle linebacker for the freshman A football team this fall. McBride moved to Libertyville in eighth grade from Georgia. During his first year in Libertyville, he played for Libertyville Boys Club and has been playing football since he was in second grade. “[Football] was something I grew up with. It’s big in the South, so it was all around, so I decided to try it out,” said McBride. He also played basketball but quit so he could wrestle, which he plans to do at LHS in the winter season. The freshman A team practices every day after school for three hours. The day after games, they will typically be in the weight room for an hour along with practices. “[McBride is] somebody who comes to practice everyday and legitimately puts in the work … he’s a hard-hitting, fast-running, strong physical player who knows the game well enough to use his athleticism clearly but also uses intuition about what’s happening out on the

field,” said freshman A football coach Mr. Casey Aubin. McBride has had to sacrifice a lot of his own time for football. “I handle it by working my hardest at school and football to try to do both. I don’t get a lot of time to hang out with friends. [I] wake up, go to school, [play] football, do homework, repeat,” stated McBride. McBride believes football has helped with his discipline and work ethic. He hopes to be able to start for varsity as he progresses through his LHS athletic career. McBride would also want to play football in college if he got the opportunity. “I don’t know exactly what [McBride’s] athletic career will amount to, but who he is as a person, he’s going to be successful because in addition to his work ethic and discipline, he’s a very empathetic kid,” said Mr. Aubin. “He’s made the right choices and he’s showed a level of maturity and a certain understanding of the world around him most kids his age just do not.”

Peyton O’Brien Peyton O’Brien was a member of the varsity volleyball team this fall as the starting setter. O’Brien took up volleyball in fourth grade and has continued competing since then. She also participates for Sky High Volleyball Club, which practices three days a week for three hours each. The LHS girls varsity volleyball team practices every day after school for three hours as well. “[O’Brien has] been playing volleyball a long time, and so I think she’s got the physical skills and stature to compete with the upper level girls and some of the volleyball IQ prerequisites. I think she fits into the role and speed that varsity volleyball is conducted,” said Mr. Greg Loika, the girls varsity volleyball coach. While she loves playing volleyball, it’s tough to incorporate other things into her daily life: “[I’ve missed] time hanging out with my friends… I had to come back a few days early



from spring break and stuff to go to a tournament, too.” Although keeping up with her schedule is challenging at times, O’Brien has really benefitted from being a part of these teams. “Before I started playing, I was more of the shy type and through volleyball, you’re taught to be really loud on the court and so through being on a new team, I just started over again and was more outgoing and that transformed off the court too, so I’m more outgoing at school and with my friends,” she said. In addition to her exceptional volleyball skills, Mr. Loika shared that O’Brien is also an excellent teammate: “She brings youthful energy … a lot of enthusiasm [and is] not super nervous yet about being an upperclassman and get[ting] psyched out from the contest and the gravity of what you’re doing,” explained Mr. Loika. Kellie Hopper is the other freshman on varsity volleyball.

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Alexandra Eastmond Alexandra Eastmond is a freshman who is on LHS’s varsity swim team. She has been swimming for six years after her parents signed her up for swimming when she was 8 years old because her friend was signed up for swim too. However, according to Eastmond, “[she] wanted to quit on the first day. Over time, [she] fell in love with [swimming].” Eastmond swims for Patriot Aquatic Club along with the high school team. She is also a part of USA Swimming Futures Champions, a swimming team that is a step higher than state and a step lower than junior nationals ran by USA Swimming. During the high school season, Eastmond’s swim life consists of two hours of swimming after school, weightlifting two days a week and practice on Saturdays, along with meets. “[Eastmond] has a great work ethic that has been contagious for our team. She always pushes herself at every practice. She always believes she can go faster,” said varsity swim coach, Mr. Erik Rogers, over email. Over the summer, Eastmond’s club team would sometimes

practice in the morning and at night. Due to this commitment, swimming often conflicts with some other things she wants to do. For example, over the summer, she wasn’t able to make her biannual trip to visit her family in Canada due to her swimming; Eastmond moved from Montreal, Canada a little more than four years ago. On varsity, she has competed in every event except for the 100-yard butterfly. On her club team, she has the fastest 200 yard backstroke out of all ages. This summer, she placed second in the state for the 200y backstroke with a time of 2:23.56. “I love being in the water. If we don’t have practice that day, I feel upset, and I just love my teammates; they’re basically my second family,” said Eastmond. She wants to compete in college, specifically at Stanford University, if it is compatible with her major. Along with Eastmond, there are two other freshmen on varsity swim this year: Caitlin McCarty and Angela Becker.

Lily VanDixhorn Lily VanDixhorn competed on varsity tennis this past fall season. She comes from a family who plays tennis and owns their own tennis club, College Park Athletic Club in Deerfield. She started her athletic career young but didn’t begin competing until she was in fourth grade, where she focused only on tennis, no longer soccer and basketball. “I like the challenge of tennis because it is just you against your opponent. It was also fun to be on a team for the first time, where you are playing your opponent but also cheering for your teammates at the same time to win their matches,” expressed VanDixhorn over email. She spends two to three hours a day playing tennis, whether that be practice, matches, lessons or going to the tennis club. Her commitment doesn’t end after the high school season, though. When she’s not competing for LHS, she’s working on her game every day of the week and playing in tournaments every other weekend. “During the weekdays, I need to really use all my free time to do homework. On the weekends when I have tournaments, I really don’t have time to hang out with my friends,” said VanDixhorn over email.


On varsity, she competed at court one singles, which means she was the top singles player. “[VanDixhorn] likes to hang back and kind of outlast [the competitor]. We call it grinding, she likes to grind. Her hustle is amazing. She gets every ball back. She really wins the big points in the big games because of her tenacity,” said varsity tennis coach Dan Kiernan. Her major achievements in this past season include finishing second at the Fremd Invite, third at the Buffalo Grove Invite and fifth in the North Suburban Conference tournament for court one singles. “Other than her tennis skills, her energy level is extremely high. She brings kind of a competitiveness to the group which certainly helps with her leadership skills,” stated Kiernan. In the future, VanDixhorn hopes to compete in Division I tennis in college. Lily was one of two freshmen on the varsity tennis team this year, including Amanda Black, a staff member on DOI. Vandixhorn qualified for State as a double team with Amanda Black.


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Wildcat Stats By Katie Felsl Layout by Jenna Carnazzola

Girls Volleyball Girls Tennis

Senior Anna Valente had six kills in the match against Mundelein on Oct. 4.

Junior Maddy Jacobs won her Sept. 27 match against Vernon Hills by a score of 6-4, 6-0.

Boys Soccer Junior Parker Jackim scored a goal for the Wildcats on Oct. 3 in the win 6-3 against Zion-Benton.



Senior Alex Stanulis threw for 136 yards in the 42-0 win against Mundelein on Oct. 6. Hockey

Girls XC Senior Jenna Ocheltree ran a time of 19:32 at the Wheeling Invitational on Oct. 7.

Boys XC Sophomore Will Gordon came in 14th place at the Wheeling Invitational on Oct. 7, running a time of 16:10.

Freshman Christopher Mulligan scored his first goal for the Icecats on Sept. 27, in the loss to PREP.

Boys Golf Girls Golf Senior Lauren Kavathas shot a 93 at the North Suburban Conference championship on Sept. 27, helping the team to a second-place finish.


Girls Swimming Sophomore Emma Gleason set a new pool record in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 57.78 seconds in the meet against Mundelein on Oct. 5. 13

Sophomore Carson Darnall shot a 78 at the North Suburban Conference championship on Sept. 26, putting him at 16th place.

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BITTA’S RETIREMENT Ranked as one of the best teams in the nation by Max Preps, Libertyville boys varsity soccer ended their regular season with a record of 14-0-2. This success, however, has not come without challenges or hard work. The players practice day in and day out and are faced with pressure to perform to their best abilities. However, despite the pressure and all the work it takes to perform at such a high level, they compare their bonds to that of a family.

Note: This story was last edited on Monday, Oct. 16, and will be updated on our website (www.lhsdoi.com) with postseason scores.


Last year, the team had a major change. Former coach Andy Bitta, after 32 years of coaching boys soccer and 23 years of coaching girls soccer, retired after the fall season was over, due to his diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. Bitta cares not only about the game, but about what the game has given to his players, as he sees soccer as much more than learning and successfully executing plays. “It’s not so much about the game. It’s more being disciplined, teaching yourself discipline . . . being punctual [and the] responsibility that you have for your teammates on and off the field,” he said. “You don’t learn that in regular life. If you’re a good coach, it should go past [the program]. And I hope I was a good coach to these kids.”And from what his former players had to say, he certainly was a good coach. According to senior forward Ryan Wittenbrink, Coach Bitta shaped him as a player:



Every day someone is looking at us as a target. We’ve got a bullseye on our jerseys every game... It’s fun [being a nationally ranked team], we’re embracing it, but it is a little nerve wracking. COACH KEVIN THUNHOLM


“He instilled a lot of confidence in me because I played [on varsity] as a sophomore. He made me a big part of the team at a younger age . . . He was very easy to get along with---he got along with [all] the players really well. [He was] really personable and understanding of [the players’] perspective and our side of things, but at the same time, he definitely held us accountable.”



Bitta left a large impact on Thunholm as both a player and a coach: “He’s taught me a lot . . . a lot of patience, not necessarily x’s and o’s of the game, but just how to handle adversity with the players, families, parents, what’s going on with school, all different aspects of not necessarily on the field, but how to do things around the community, how to be a leader, and how to be a mentor,” Thunholm explained.

Going into the 2015 playoffs, Wittenbrink felt opposing teams viewed the Wildcats as an underdog, but all of their hard work from the season quickly prevailed. They defeated Evanston in the super-sectional by a score of 1-0, which marked the soccer team’s first time making it down state since they placed second in the 2010 IHSA State Championship. Coach Bitta continued to push the team going into their state playoff game, knowing that they had worked all season for this moment. Coming out of a close elimination game against Evanston, the team refused to let up, keeping their winning streak of 19 wins alive when they won against Quincy in the state finals with a score of 2-1. “Obviously it wasn’t a straight and easy road. [We had] a lot of ups and downs, but obviously you have to have luck on your side and I think we had that,” Wittenbrink said. “We had a really good, talented team that play[ed] well during the playoffs.”

After Coach Bitta retired, the team had to find a replacement. The new head coach, Mr. Kevin Thunholm, was coached by Bitta when he played soccer at LHS and has been coaching soccer for 10 years: four years at Vernon Hills High School and the past six at LHS.

With both his knowledge as a past player and what he learned from Bitta, Thunholm implemented notable changes to the team from the day he started coaching. Giving the boys only a week of true summer vacation, Thunholm began their preseason practices on June 1 and as a result, the team has already seen a difference in their performance. Not only did the team’s preseason change, but their new playing tactics have become more aggressive: “We’re much more athletic, we can run for longer, [we have] more endurance and we get quicker goals and score a lot more with the high press,” junior center forward Evan Rasmussen said.




they’re kind of like a big family. They know who the leaders are or they know who to look [to] for strength and guidance on and off the FIeld. COACH KEVIN THUNHOLM


This new tactic of a higher press is something many other teams don’t typically do. When the opposing team’s defenders have the ball on the backline, most teams would sit back and allow for them to keep the ball, as it doesn’t pose a direct threat to them. Instead of allowing the other team’s defenders to keep the ball, Coach Thunholm makes his players take a more aggressive approach. He sends his outside midfielders forward, which doesn’t allow the opponents to maintain defensive possession of the ball and in turn, can make them nervous. This nervousness potentially allows for the Wildcats to quickly counterattack and have more scoring opportunities.

TEAM UNDER PRESSURE More so than in past years, it seems that there is a common friendship that unifies the team, according to both the players and Coach Thunholm. “They all seem to get along very well. They like to hang out. Honestly, I know you hear [it] a lot, but they’re kind of like a big family. They know who the leaders are or they know who to look for strength and guidance on and off the field,” Thumholm said. “We had some adversity in [a] game, and no one was bickering or anything. They were all supportive. So I think that’s the number one thing -- it’s the way they jell. If [anything], they support each other instead of trying to one-up each other.” With all of the success the team has had and all of the recognition that has resulted from it, there is pressure for them to constantly perform at their best. “We just try and stay calm and do what we’ve been doing all season, and just try not to think anything of it really,” explained Rasmussen. Not only is this pressure felt by the players, but it is also put upon the coaches. “Every day someone is looking at us as a target. We’ve got a bullseye on our jerseys every game...It’s fun [being a nationally ranked team], we’re embracing it, but it is a little nerve wracking,” Thumholm said. “It’s a lot of pressure and I’m trying to take [it] off of those guys over there and put it on my shoulders so that they can just go out and play.”

is keeping the players fit by conditioning them a healthy amount. He intends to simplify his practices while still maintaining a competitive aspect to things. Instead of practicing at their typical time of 3:30 right after school, once postseason begins, the team will practice in the evening; this way, they will practice at the same time their games would be at. “I think we need to focus more on finishing the chances that we get . . . because especially in the postseason, we’re gonna get less chances than [during the regular season], so they’re gonna be more valuable,” said junior center and defender Grant Herbek, explaining what the team needs to do in order to perform well in the postseason. The team, ranked No. 1 in its regional, started the playoffs on Tuesday, Oct. 17. The State semifinals and final games are Nov. 3-4 at Hoffman Estates High School. “I think we definitely have the potential to make it [to State] . . . but obviously it depends on how we’re playing during the playoffs. Hopefully we can keep on the upward trend of the quality we’re playing and keep working hard to get there,” Wittenbrink said. “We’re working hard to try and have that happen again.”





SEEKING STATE Before he became head coach, Thunholm coached many of the current varsity players during their freshman years. As he has seen these players progress over the past few years, he doesn’t plan to change much tactically as they enter the postseason, but he wants to make sure he


*AS OF OCT. 16

Diversification vs Specialization B y

M a g g i e E v e r s a n d A l l i e K u h l m a n G r a p h i c b y N a t e S w e i t z e r L a y o u t b y P a u l a B a w o r s k a


pproximately 35 million children between the ages of 5 and 18 participate in organized sports each year; 3.5 million of them receive medical treatment for sports-induced injuries, according to the University of California Davis. With concern growing about the increase in injuries, a debate has grown between athletes, parents, coaches and doctors on whether it is better for an athlete to specialize in one sport or to diversify their skills by competing in multiple sports.

Athlete’s Action

Sports specialization is defined as intense, year-round training in a single sport with the exclusion of other sports. The goal is to optimize the opportunities of developing athletic skills in one sport to enhance the chances of competing at a higher level. While some athletes are able to take part and excel in many sports, others have chosen to forfeit their multiple jerseys to solely focus on one. Josh Steinhaus, a junior at LHS, was a two-sport athlete playing soccer and basketball up until sixth grade, when he decided to hang up his shin guards and cleats for good. “I felt like I was kind of wasting my time playing soccer because I didn’t really enjoy it as much as basketball and I have goals for basketball. I want to play in college,” shared Steinhaus. Influenced by his older brother’s similar decision, Steinhaus joined All-In Future Elite, an advanced basketball travel program that trains and competes all year. Steinhaus described his fellow teammates in his travel program as “no one [being] just half on-board.” He believes “that specializing in one sport helps [the athletes with] their commitment” to not only the team, but to the sport as a whole. A study published in 2013 by the National Center for Biotechnology Information exhibited that in high school athletes, there is a direct correlation between increased exposure and risk of injury, especially when training has exceeded 16 hours per week. Senior track runner Avryl Johnson has first-hand experience with this, as she suffered from overuse injuries in cross country and track her freshman year with shin splints. Johnson decided to quit cross country in order to pursue her true passion of track; she specializes in the 800-meter and 400-meter races. Starting club track in the summer of 2014, she began pursuing her goal of running at a Division I college.

“I think [playing sports] is important for socialization, for motor development, and if you start young and play multiple sports, that just opens doors for you later if you want to continue playing one sport.” Dr. Mark Smyth



Drops of Ink

“It’s really nice with my club team (Track My Speed) because we travel to [colleges like] the University of Kentucky, Texas A&M, and all these other schools and we get to talk to the coaches,” explained Johnson. She stressed the fact that even though she travels long distances for their “nationally-ranked meets,” it is still worth it in the end. By cutting cross country out of her schedule, Johnson is able to train year-round for track. “My main focus is track and it means the world to me because it is my future, so I have just been open to such good experiences around the country training and competing,” she stated. While LHS is filled with many talented one-sport athletes, it also

“I like doing a variety [of sports], trying different things out every season instead of getting bored with [one sport], ” he said; Kratcoski is currently a part of cross country, swimming and water polo. One of the main concerns of only focusing on one sport is that the athlete will lose their desire to play and burn out. However, Kratcoski credits playing multiple sports to him always having an interest in what he’s doing.

Coach’s Call

During the three-month season, the coaching staff of a sport becomes more than just figures with a whistle. In some ways, they become an athlete’s parents, as they spend hours with the team every day, overseeing the training, helping with individual and team development and, most importantly, looking out for their best interest. That includes being supportive of the athlete’s choices and advocating for injury prevention. As the varsity girls basketball and golf coaches, Mr. Greg Pedersen understands the many pros and cons of playing multiple sports. “There is good and bad to focusing on the one sport because you do get extra time to train in your chosen sport, but you’re missing out on some unique experiences that high school has to offer,” stated Mr. Pedersen. Another coach in support of having two types of athletes on a team is Mrs. Jenny Smith, the assistant varsity coach for girls volleyball and the head varsity coach for boys volleyball. When talking about the boys team last spring to the Daily Herald, she discussed how “we have the kids that have outstanding volleyball IQ, but we also have the (multi-sport) athletes that have a vast array of coaching philosophies that they deal with, and they give that to us.” Both coaches discussed how it’s important for their athletes to stay in shape and continue training no matter what sport it is. This helps prevent injuries as the players are constantly using their muscles and getting stronger, ultimately making them better athletes overall.

Doctor’s Prescription

On the sidelines of almost every LHS sporting event are not only the coaches yelling plays, but the trainers and doctors patiently waiting, hoping they don’t have to help a player in distress. Working day in and day out with the athletes, the medical staff has seen, treated and tried to prevent it all. Ms. Sarah Pettit, an assistant athletic trainer at LHS, has not only noticed a trend in injuries, but also believes it to be related to the number of sports an athlete plays. “I actually have seen more kids less injured when they do multiple sports, just because as a multi-sport athlete, you end up…activating more muscles when you’re working [out],” stated Pettit. An orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine at Greenleaf Orthopedics in Libertyville and a member of the LHS team physicians, Dr. Mark Smyth has noticed an increase in the overuse injuries with high school athletes, some of which used to only be seen in professional sports leagues. He sees athletes suffering from “these specialized injuries that have to do with [a particular] motion” and suggests that there are certain sports more prone to the repetition of the same movements, such as baseball, volleyball, and swimming. “I think [playing sports] is important for socialization, for motor development, and if you start young and play multiple sports, that just opens doors for you later if you want to continue playing one sport,” shared Dr. Smyth.

has a large number of three-sport athletes like junior Madeline Spaulding. She plays volleyball, basketball and lacrosse. For athletes who play three sports, there is limited time for a social life outside of athletics, so sometimes their teammates become their closest friends. Spaulding has experienced this, saying that “playing multiple sports has a lot of benefits because you can switch from team to team and you get to meet so many more people than if you were just on one team.” Senior Max Kratcoski is also not a stranger to the three-sport life:



Drops of Ink

Competitive Clubs

Story and photos by Maggie Hutchins

Layout by Colleen Mullins


hen students hear the acronym “IHSA,” they may think of the concussion video or new rules and referees that affect high school sports. However, the Illinois High School Asso-

ciation does much more than regulate sports; according to its website, they provide guidelines, rules and competitions for many other activities, all of which help students participate and excel in their passions.

Bass Fishing

One club at Libertyville High School that the IHSA sponsors is bass fishing. The team competes in IHSA tournaments under strict rules that the IHSA has outlined to ensure that competitions are fair, while also helping participants practice timeliness and preparedness. Another area that bass fishing touches on is ecology and pollution; because the club spends so much time outdoors, they get to “see the implications of pollution, littering, invasive species… and how it affects ecology,” according to one of the team’s coaches, Mr. Bill Reichert, who teaches in the career and technical department at LHS. The team starts to practice and compete the moment school starts and goes until fall kicks in and weather conditions are no longer ideal for fishing. Once winter arrives and the ice is thick enough, the team begins to practice and compete in ice fishing. The team then waits for the ice to thaw, and in early April they begin open-water bass fishing again. The IHSA sectional tournament occurs the first weekend of May. From there, the team can qualify for the IHSA State Tournament, which normally is held on the first weekend of June. The winner of a competition has the highest total fish weight, while still only having a maximum of five largemouth bass. In addition to Mr. Bill Reichert, Officer Robert Uliks (the head of security at Libertyville High School) coaches the team. Years ago, the two competed against each other in bass fishing tournaments and when they met here at the high school, the pair decided to coach the team together. Mr. Reichert finds that the club provides a social platform for kids who have a common interest in fishing to meet each other and improve their skills on something they really enjoy doing. The current captain of the team is senior Ryan Muller. Muller joined freshman year with some friends because the group had “always liked to fish and heard there’s

Focus Feature

tournaments and stuff so [they] decided to try it freshman year.” Muller stuck in the club for four years and is now one of their top competitive players. According to Mr. Reichert, fishing is not simply luck: “There’s skill and what’s cool about it is there’s strategy, there’s science, there’s weather, there’s all these factors that play that you need to consider.” Preparedness, timeliness and how to adhere to rules are all taught through the club as well. Reichert explains that players “are in a boat for eight hours -- it is against the rules to get out of the boat -- so you have to have everything with you, Photo courtesy of Coach Bill Reichert everything organized and sure Senior Ryan Muller had a big catch at Diamond enough, if something goes Lake. However, the fish did not count towards his wrong, even if it’s just the smallest detail, it could just de- final score because it was not a largemouth bass. rail your entire success because you need every fish.”


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While some students may be familiar with the Libertyville High School Debate Team, what few people know is just how competitive the team is. Debate is demanding of its members but is also extremely rewarding. Sarah Greenswag, a social studies teacher, and Nicholas Gerjol, a substitute teacher for the math department, are the team’s coaches and approximately 40 students make up the body of the team. Debate is divided into four different sections: Lincoln-Douglas, Public-Forum, Congressional and Policy. The LHS Debate Team has a Lincoln-Douglas team and a Public-Forum team, and they have added a Congressional team this year. Members of the Lincoln-Douglas team compete as singles and the captains of this team are Emily Regan and Claire Mills. The Public-Forum team is led by Olivia Gauvin and Matthew Huang and this group competes in partners. The Congressional team is run by the coaches, as this is the first year it has been in action. The congressional team focuses on legislative processes. All of these groups are competitive, require vigorous effort and dedication and focus on improving similar skills. The debate coaches are passionate about how debate prepares students for the real world that lies ready ahead in students’ futures. Over email, Ms. Greenswag shared some of the key skills debate directly develops: “the Debate Team provides opportunities for students to develop research, critical thinking and public speaking skills in a way no other activity allows.” Four-year debate member and current co-captain of the Lincoln-Douglas team Claire Mills has experienced debate’s skill sharpening herself. She joined debate her freshman year “as soon as [she] could.” “I knew I wanted to do clubs at LHS, not sports, and debate is a really

Debate members prepare their cases for an upcoming tournament at one of their weekly after-school team meetings earlier this month. good blend because it is a club, but it is one of the more intense clubs where we still compete. I liked that it was still a club that I was interested in -- and it was sort of political -- but it was going to fill up more of my time.” Mills recalled that debate not only improved her public speaking but also her ability to conduct research and to organize and execute writing assignments. One of the reasons she loves debate is because she “feel[s] like it actually develops skills that you need to know in the real world in a super direct way.” The opportunities that debate provides for students at LHS would not be as vast without the IHSA. The IHSA hosts the State Tournament at the University of Illinois-Springfield every year. The organization also sets guidelines and rules for how competitions are run and how winners are selected.

Scholastic Bowl

Scholastic Bowl is a competitive, IHSA sponsored, team activity here at Libertyville High School. The team competes with both conference and non-conference schools in the area. The purpose of Scholastic Bowl is “to provide students an opportunity to develop and showcase their knowledge in a variety of scholastic areas, as well as topics like sports, pop culture and current events,” according to Karen LeMaistre (an English teacher), who coaches Scholastic Bowl along with Laura Guiard (a French teacher) Members of the club practice about once a week and compete a few times a month with local schools. There is a junior varsity and varsity level in the club. Both levels compete, but for varsity, the “focus shifts from participation to performance in the North Suburban Conference tournament and IHSA State Series,” Mrs. LeMaistre stated over email. In competition, five members sit as a team to answer the questions asked. Four-year member Suraj Rajendran explained the process: “It’s basically like ‘Jeopardy!’ except you are on a team, but you’re not allowed to discuss.” Each member has a buzzer and once they have individually come up with an answer, they press the big red button and answer for their team. The competition is fierce between teams and there is pressure put on competitors to perform. “There is pressure from a team, since there is individual effort and a team effort. If the individual fails, the team doesn’t

Focus Feature

necessarily do well, so there is that individual pressure,” said Rajendran. This competitive environment can help members improve skills such as: critical thinking, responding quickly, and working as a team. The IHSA has a large role in the function of Scholastic Bowl. The association has created Two teams of five sit facing each other, with buzzers in a set of rules and guidehand, as the team practices in a competition-like setup. lines for all schools competing in the activity and also organizes and helps fund the State Series. They also create many of the questions for the regional and sectional contests. The IHSA also hosts and runs the Illinois State Championship. Many schools also are part of the Illinois High School Scholastic Bowl Coaches Association (or IHSSBCA). The IHSSBCA helps schedule competitions and tournaments throughout the season, Mrs. LeMaistre explained.


Drops of Ink

The Inconsistent Code Staff Editorial

Libertyville High School’s extracurricular opportunities uphold leaders and members to numerous expectations and responsibilities. Yet there’s one expectation that holds an inconsistent precedence over the rest: The District 128 Code of Conduct. In Drops of Ink’s September issue, our staff expressed its views on how student leaders should act both in and out of school settings and especially with their liabilities pertaining to the Code of Conduct. In this Staff Editorial, we want to express our views on inconsistencies in the Code itself, and changes that it could benefit from. Everyone in LHS knows the basic responsibilities of the Code: if you’re in an activity, you’re expected to remain alcohol- and drug-free, and promote the same to your peers. Even students who aren’t actively participating in extracurriculars feel those responsibilities. As written, students participating in any extracurriculars are directed to abstain from any illegal drug use, alcohol use and unlawful or inappropriate behavior. It’s a morally sound code, shining light on how students should act, especially when holding influential leadership positions. There are unwritten social expectations on how each student, especially each student leader, should present themselves. It makes sense that the students who choose to participate in the diverse and privileged opportunities offered at LHS are then held to a higher example with higher consequences. Yet, as our staff read through the Code, we realized that the gray areas are more muddled than expected. The rules and regulations are not as clear as they need to be. The Code contains vague wording, which allows for each misconduct to “depend on the situation,” thus creating differing interpretations. As our staff expressed, this leads to irregular or possibly contradictory punishments that are often not applied equally among students who have been coded. In a Code that applies to thousands of D128 students every day,


these unequal coding standards need to be fixed to properly enforce the regulations of the Code itself. It would be more effective if it held each punishment in each extracurricular activity to the same specified standard, such as equal suspension time in athletics as in theater for the same act of misconduct. The majority of our staff agreed this could still allow for open interpretation but more consistency between the departments and their applied punishments. However, some of our staff members pointed out that punishments specified within the Code are mainly centered around suspension, which may not be most beneficial. It was argued that suspension could discourage healthy participation in any exGraphic by Olivia Gauvin tracurriculars, or even negatively affect other members who are a part of the activity — such as team sports. The idea of reparative justice was then mentioned by staff members — a concept that allows for the administrators, advisors and, most importantly, fellow members of the extracurriculars to determine if the misconduct of the student is forgivable. If the group as a whole decides that the actions are forgivable, they accept the student to continue in the activities at the discretion of the administrators. Some argued this would be a healthier and more productive alternative to suspension. Nevertheless, when taking a step back from the general punishments in the Code of Conduct, the question of when and where the Code itself applies still remains. As the current D128 Code states: “These rules apply to the school-related conduct of all students involved in extracurricular activities, on or off campus, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, throughout the entire calendar year, including weekends and summer.” According to D128’s definition of school-related conduct, this policy means that any action of a D128 student who has signed the Code is legally held to the standards of the Code from the moment they sign it until the moment they graduate or discontinue their enrollment within District 128’s education system.


Drops of Ink

If that policy in the Code is going to be addressed, it needs to be advisors and administrators of the extracurriculars must go over the truly imposed. This is where our staff noticed the most disparity — Code and have members sign it no later than the first meeting. students getting in trouble with law enforcement outside of school Yet, our staff members agreed that they had hardly ever even seen settings or off school property are not being held accountable with the Code, let alone been directed to sign it for every club and activity what the Code states. If we they had attended. Our whole fail to fairly enforce all of staff read through the Code the policies of the Code, of Conduct, which not many how can we properly ensure students have ever read, let that administrators, advisors alone even been offered the and students themselves are chance to. It’s well-known that following all of the expectathe Code is on the district’s tions to begin with? website, but with expectations These aren’t the only that hold students to such exceptions that are glossed important standards, it needs over. The activity the student to be fairly presented through is participating in when they all of the extracurriculars our commit the misconduct is district has to offer. Being too often prioritized over the presented and directed to sign misconduct itself. For examthe Code should not depend ple, if a star player is caught on if the advisor in charge of smoking a week before their the extracurricular thinks it’s sport’s state match, they are important or not. However, not always held to the conthis is the case today, and thus sequences of their actions. allows for the Code to easily It’s as though with great become less concrete and power comes great responnotably inconsistent. sibility — except when their At the end of the day, great power is pertinent to the purpose of the Code of their upcoming game. Conduct is to hold all involved Of course, not all coaches students to specific and and administrators turn a respectable standards. The blind eye to a misconduct Code, of course, does not go on their team, and not all against any aspects of Illinois team members break the School Law nor rights granted Code either. But the fact this by the U.S. Constitution. happens at all is what needs With the hundreds of different to change. The moment a activities running in and out misconduct is justified so the of LHS doors every day, the student can perform their star Code is designed to maintain role in the extracurricular is the proper safety and procethe moment that extracurricdure of our school. And as our ulars are then held over the staff expressed, the vagueness responsibilities of everyone of the Code has always been in District 128. there and has always been With responsibilities that something most students don’t follow students throughout entirely understand. Photo by Lanie Storiz However, just because it has their entire high school path, The DOI staff feels that the Code needs to be revised so that the consequences are equal among always been that way does not the Code itself needs to be presented more often and all organizations and sports at LHS. As there is currently vague wording, there is more room for mean it should always stay that made clearer to the students way. Fair and just punishment in D128. It distinctly states in discrepencies related to punishments implemented by the Code. cannot be established one vague the Code of Conduct that all word at a time.

Note: As this piece is a staff editorial, it is representative of the opinions of Drops of Ink staff as a whole. The staff is comprised of LHS students from each grade level and spans a wide range of opinions from two class periods, with 51 students total. The autor(s) of this piece did not place their personal opinion in the story: they merely reflect the staff’s thoughts.



Drops of Ink

Leaping to Conclusions

By Sam Nelson

Photo by Emily Hamilton Though dancers are extremely dedicated to their art, they are often unfairly mocked and disregarded by those in conventional sports. Just to clear the air -- I am not here to argue that dance is a sport. Technically, it’s not. I acknowledge that it’s an art. What I am here to argue against is the criticism that dance receives because it is not considered a sport. Time and time again during my 13 years of dancing, I’ve been told that “dance is so easy, anyone can do it” and “dance isn’t even a sport, so why does it matter?” Dancers are taught to make performances look easy, but everything is not as it seems. Deeming dance irrelevant because it is not a sport aggravates me, along with other dancers as well. Just because practices don’t consist of sprints, long runs or conditioning, doesn’t mean that dancers are not physically fit or lack high stamina. While on stage, besides leaping and turning, we are constantly maintaining our posture, straightening and bending our legs, having to remember the dance and spotting and pointing our feet. Dancing on stage is anything but easy. And, no matter how much time we spend rehearsing, for some, dances can be forgotten in an instant because of stage fright. There are so many aspects to dance that can only be viewed from behind the scenes, which is why it is unfair for people to judge dance solely based on viewing one or two performances. Most classes consist of a warm-up, across the floor or working on the latest combination. Across the floor is when we start on one side of the studio and travel to the other side, building up from single turns and six-steps to triple turns and leaps. Combinations are what we do before we learn our piece for the show -- our teacher makes up a different dance that we can work on from time to time so we are not solely working on the fundamentals, but practicing to put all of them together into a full-length dance. Each class requires just as much effort as any sports practice does. By the end of the class, everyone’s hair is out of place, their faces are red,


they’re dripping sweat and can barely catch their breath. Lastly, the practices are tedious and time-consuming, which many non-dancers do not realize. I was involved in a dance company that practiced a minimum of two and a half hours a night, with some even lasting five hours. On weekends and over the summer, we had six-to-nine hours of practice in preparation for our show every Sunday, and four-to-five hours on Friday. Not only are the practices in the months prior to the show time-consuming, there is also dress rehearsal, which can either last a day or two. How long the dancer spends rehearsing is dependent on how many dances they are in. When I was in the company, I had to spend a majority of the two days practicing, spacing and running through dances. Dancers spend exorbitant amounts of time practicing just to showcase a three-to-four minute dance. Considering all this time spent on one dance, imagine how dancers feel when all their hard work is dismissed in a second by someone naive to the way dance works. When people make comments like the aforementioned ones, it’s irritating. If someone loves what they’re doing and does indeed get exercise out of it, it doesn’t make sense for others to hate on it just because it’s different than what they like to do in their free time. Now that you have learned more about what goes into a dance, try to be mindful of what you say to dancers. Demeaning dance is the equivalent of degrading a sport. If someone were to say that football is easy and it’s irrelevant, don’t you think a football player would be offended? It goes the same for dancers. Although it is not a sport, it still deserves the same amount of respect as any other after-school activity. Not many realize it, but dance requires just as much dedication as any sport. When someone’s passion is put on the backburner, it’s one of the worst feelings in the world. Knowing that others don’t appreciate what you spend so much time doing is devastating.


Drops of Ink

Free the Nips By Matt Smith

Graphic by Kelly Shinnick According to school policy, athletes are required to wear shirts at all times, and articles of clothing such as sports bras or crop tops are prohibited. It’s 90 degrees outside, you’re running or conditioning for your sport, you’re dripping with sweat and your shirt is mostly see-through. As a cross country runner, I know this feeling. You want to take your shirt off but you can’t, due to district and school policies. The official shirt policy is that the shirt needs to overlap with the shorts and be the same type of apparel that you compete in. According to interim Athletic Director John Fischl, the new shirt policy, which applies to all sports was put in place over the summer due to the need to be “Title IX compliant, that since the girls cannot run shirtless, and they need to be dressed in more than a sports bra, the boys need to be dressed in a shirt.” I’m on the cross country team, and I run in all weather, including the heat. But even when it’s not hot, a shirt is a pain to lug around -- so, boys should be able to run shirtless and girls should be able to run in their sports bras. When it is beyond hot outside in Midwest humidity and sweat is spilling from athletes’ faces because of the heat, they should be able to take their shirt off. Even if athletes are wearing a regular dri-fit t-shirt, which is designed to be more comfortable while working out, it’s still hot. Plus, not every athlete can afford a running tank top or other quality dri-fit shirts. In addition, running shirtless is a good way to cool off in the heat. Less clothing means more evaporation, keeping athletes cooler. To cool off, you need that sweat to evaporate. It’s evaporation that drains the heat from your body. To help the sweat evaporate, you want air to flow over your skin — as much of your skin as possible, according to National Public Radio. I think we’re all on the same page in respect to shorts – when it is too hot for pants, you wear shorts or capris. When it is too hot to wear high-ankle socks, you wear low-cut socks. So, when it is too hot to run with a shirt on, you take it off. Even when it’s not 90 degrees outside, there are benefits to running shirtless. In a 2017 study done by the University of Utah, your basal metabolic rate (i.e. the number of calories needed to simply exist without spending any extra energy) increases slightly in colder climates. So, in


colder temperatures, with your shirt off, your body is working harder in order to keep warm. Therefore, the body is burning more calories. This is important because calories are energy and burning more leads to a better workout. Running shirtless can also prevent from chafing. Trust me -- that’s a pain no one wants to deal with. It can cause a workout to end in a matter of minutes and could be a setback during the season. The shirt policy directly affects and is enforced by both the boys and girls cross country teams. On the other hand, the boys basketball team always plays shirts versus skins while scrimmaging early in the morning. So if the basketball team isn’t told to put their shirts on, why can’t the cross country team, the soccer team, the football team or the cheer team be allowed to take their shirts off? Mr. Fischl said that if he saw them with their shirts off he’d tell them to put them back on, but I still see them do it all the time. He later went on to say, “as you walk on to pool decks around the world, competitive swimming males have a requirement for the area to be covered by their swimsuit. We follow those requirements.” At swim meets in the Olympics and at LHS, I have seen males walking around with their shirt off, whether they are swimming or not. I don’t understand why that is okay. Many attempts have been taken to get around the policy. During last year’s cross country season, the boys cross country teams began to cut up their shirts, like crop tops, so that all you could see was their stomach. The girls team later joined in during the track season. That was not allowed either. What’s wrong with that? In boys swimming, you can see a lot more than just their stomach. Many sports want the ability to practice shirtless or in their sports bras, so why isn’t it allowed? Other school districts allow it; I see Mundelein running the trails shirtless, and other teams at meets are shirtless. Besides, people see a lot more on the beach than they do while watching people work out shirtless. If swimmers are able to do it, amidst a big crowd, why can’t runners, baseball players, soccer players, lacrosse players or cheerleaders? So, in the words of the cross country team, “free the nips.”


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Column Face-off: Should Athletes Give Student-Athletes the Benefit Photos by Matt Smith Layout by Jenna Carnazzola Becoming a Division I athlete, or an athlete at any collegiate level, is not easy, just like getting into a school academically is not easy. Both take a lot of time, dedication and hard work. So, if an athlete is able to earn a Division I offer, they should be able to get into that school, even if they academically fall below the admission standards for non-athletes. Last year, only 3.3 percent of male high school seniors, of the 546,428 senior athletes that played basketball nationwide, continued on to play in college at Division I, II or III, according to CBS and the NCAA. The odds were similar for other sports like soccer, football and baseball. Compare that with the odds of getting into Stanford last year: they had a 4.8 percent acceptance rate for all prospective students. That means that it can be harder to play a sport in college than it is to get into Stanford University, Harvard University (5.4 percent) or Yale University (6.3 percent). If a student-athlete can put the time and hard work into their craft to play in college, which is more unlikely than a student getting into Harvard, then they should be allowed to not meet the exact academic standards that those schools have for regularly admitted students. While Ivy League schools may play slight favorites in terms of

By Brandon Simberg academics and athletics, they don’t give out scholarship money. If a student-athlete gets offered a spot on a roster, they have to pay full admission, unless they qualify for financial aid, so it’s not like student-athletes are getting a full ride to any school they want. Also, these prestigious schools don’t let student-athletes slack off. Most of these schools still require good grades and test scores from athletes; they just might be a little lower than the typical standards. A great example of this is Northwestern University. They are a prestigious academic school with an average ACT score ranging from 31-34. For a student-athlete to get in there, they don’t have to score exactly that, but at least have a minimum of 27, according to senior Charlie Schmidt, an LHS offensive lineman who is verbally committed to Northwestern University to play football. A 27 on the ACT is lower than the average score of non-student-athletes at Northwestern but is still not easy. That score is still way above the national average of 20.8, which shows that these student-athletes are still required to be better than average in order to get into these prestigious schools. Another factor is money. It is no secret that sports are a massive way that colleges get funds. For example, last year, Texas A&M produced $192.6 million in revenue from sports and 23 other schools made more than $100 million, according to Business Insider. If schools started rejecting student-athletes because their grades and test scores might be a little below the non-athletes, then the school would take a huge financial hit. If the sports programs were not as strong, then less people would spend money on tickets and apparel, for example. The reality of it is that athletics help non-athletic students too. They help provide money for academic scholarships and facilities around campuses. Even though athletics make it harder for some non-athlete students to get admitted to universities, the revenue produced helps the students that get in have a more enjoyable experience. Accepting applicants based on athletics also helps underprivileged athletes that use athletics as a way to better their life. Oftentimes, student-athletes who go to schools without as much funding as a school like LHS can struggle to keep up with students from this area academically. But if those student-athletes are admitted into a prestigious school based on athletics and if they have grades and test scores somewhat close to the school’s average, then it could change their life forever. Obviously allowing student-athletes to get admitted hurts the admission odds for some regular students, but there are more positives to letting student athletes in than negatives.


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get into Prestigious schools? Academics > Athletics By Lola Akinlade I just want to start out by saying that I am not an athlete. However, I do appreciate all the immense effort that athletes put into their sports, and I find their dedication incredibly admirable. While I am not an athlete, I am a student: a student who is applying to college. And it is not fair when an athlete who may have gotten a 20 on the ACT, has a 3.0 GPA and does no other extracurriculars gets into a prestigious school. Getting accepted into highly prestigious schools solely based on athletic abilities is nonsensical. It not only hurts the athlete’s academic performance because they will most likely not succeed well in an academically rigorous environment, but it also tells students that academics are less important than sports. I want to clarify that I’m in no way targeting the athletes for their craft because it’s not their fault. If I was accepted into Yale because of my athletic abilities, there would be no doubt that I would call myself a Bulldog and be decked out in blue and white the next day, who wouldn’t jump on such an amazing opportunity?! So athletes aren’t the ones to blame here; there is only one source to blame for this: the college system. College is a game. It’s a business. So, one of the ways that colleges try to brand themselves is by being good — at everything, including their sports teams. According to The New York Times, up to 20 percent of the spots at most top universities are reserved for recruited athletes. For a school that has an acceptance rate of 15 percent, New York Times reported that recruited athletes’ acceptance rate boosts to around 80 to 90 percent. They are more than five times as likely to get into a prestigious school because of the sport they play. In addition, of that 20 percent of athletes accepted, many of them come in well below the standard of the school. Sports are very important, but 20 percent seems like an excessive amount of spots that are lost to athletes. Academic qualifications should be taken into greater consideration when recruiting athletes for prestigious universities (these are the most selective colleges in the U.S.!). College sports recruiters should look at potential student candidates not just as someone who can better their sports teams, but also at how their minds can better the academic component of the institution. An athlete needs to be viewed more holistically. The brain is arguably the most important organ in the human body and should be valued highly when considering potential student admits for prestigious institutions. When it is more likely to be accepted into a prestigious school based on athletics, the incentives for doing well academically are diminished. I cannot stress how important academics are in our modern society.


Everything in life is shaped around learning. Being a good learner, or just having the drive to learn in general, should be an essential characteristic when considering potential admits to prestigious colleges. If an athlete can successfully balance an academically rigorous curriculum (they don’t have to be Einstein, but at least smart enough for an Ivy) and excel in athletics as well, then they should be accepted into prestigious colleges. Some may argue that students excel in all different arenas, and athletics may just be an area where a student thrives and therefore, they should be commended by getting accepted into a prestigious school because of this. To that, I would say, yes, that is a valid thought. However, a student who thrives in athletics and not so much in academics should not be getting admitted into a school that is so academically rigorous. There are more than 1,400 colleges in the U.S., and I’m positive that there is a better fit than Harvard or Yale or Princeton or Brown for a student gifted athletically but not academically.


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