The Lighthouse Vol. XXX, No. 3
Lyndhurst High School: 400 Weart Avenue, Lyndhurst, NJ 07071
Emotion ﬁlls the air at Winter Poetry Slam By Zully Arias Staff Writer
A record number of students gathered in the LHS library on Dec. 23 for the Seventh Annual Winter Poetry Slam. It consisted of performances by 52 students who presented their original poetry. The competitive event was followed by a performance by chorale members and concluded with Public Speaking Teacher Mr. Snyder’s announcement of the winning poets. With the departure of LHS Graduate Kislande Joseph, who garnered six total first place poetry slam wins throughout her high school career, participants anxiously awaited to learn who would snag the desired title. Ultimately, Senior Stef Cilento earned first place for “I’m sorry we’re feeling this way,” a poem that addresses the topic of depression. Junior Kelly Weckstein and Sophomore Susane Morozewicz captured second and third place respectively. Senior Christian Campana, Junior Juan Ruiz and Freshman Brianna Petersen all earned honorable mention. Snyder, who was one of four judges at the slam, said each faculty judge evaluates individual poets differently. He said he focused on performance. “It’s a slam. You’re not reciting poetry. You’re slamming poetry,” Snyder said. “It should be memorized, it should be emotional, it should be power-packed and it should have this dynamic to it.” Snyder was approached by English Department Supervisor Mrs. Klein to judge the poetry slam because of his role as a public speaking teacher. Snyder said he encouraged his students to par-
Photos by Jessie Bolton Junior Kelly Weckstein, Senior Stef Cilento and Freshman Brianna Petersen (clockwise from top left) all earned recognition for their performances at the Seventh Annual Winter Poetry Slam in the library on Dec. 23.
take in the poetry slam. “I saw a lot of talent in kids that really were able to nail the speeches. You could see they just had a lot of energy underneath and a lot of potential,” Snyder said. Morozewicz, who took Snyder’s public speaking class last year, was inspired to put a comedic twist on a common concern among high school students. In
“Quick, Easy, and Stress-free Recipe: Ivy League,” Morozewicz outlined the “ingredients” in an ideal college application. “A bunch of people were talking about college, and it stressed me out. So, I decided to write a poem in a way that was mocking what the so-called perfect application would look like,” Morozewicz said.
She said she gained a passion for poetry after participating in last year’s Winter Poetry Slam. “I entered the Winter Slam for extra credit points, but the atmosphere at the slam gave me a new perspective on poetry,” Morozewicz said. “The emotion that was exuded through some poems really inspired me.” Campana said his interest in po-
etry was established prior to his participation in a poetry slam. “I gained a passion for poetry when I was younger and read poetry by Shel Silverstein and Edgar Allan Poe,” Campana said. “Just the way of turning any emotion into words was amazing.” Petersen said she was inspired to take part in the event after hearing about it from Cilento. She said she was intrigued by what other poets had to offer. “Hearing how different and unique every poem was was my favorite part. It was a different story with each poem,” Petersen said. Ruiz said he was inspired by his personal experiences with bullying and by a vignette he wrote in his creative writing class. His poem, “That Kid at School,” draws upon the harassment he encountered for having a certain haircut. Ruiz said he was eager to participate in the poetry slam as soon as he heard about it. “Of course, I was a bit nervous, but poetry is where nobody’s a stranger,” Ruiz said. “I joined because I wanted to hear other people’s ideas and experiences put into writing as well as share mine.” Campana, Morozewicz, Petersen and Ruiz all agreed that students interested in participating in the semi-annual poetry slam should not be deterred by fear or intimidation. “Poetry is where everybody is right. It’s embraced to be different. Show something that’s not normal,” Ruiz said. “Everybody can do it, and we all come with open minds and ears. So, don’t be afraid to share your poetry with your fellow students because we would be more than happy to have you there.”
Graduate Golden Bears return to talk about their journeys By Alexa Barreiros Staff Writer
Students got a glimpse of life after LHS when Alumni Brian Chung and Sean McChesney spoke at a Lunch & Learn event in the library on Dec. 20. Chung, who graduated from LHS in 2011, completed his bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University in 2016. To help finance college, he enrolled in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, which prepares college students for positions in the United States Armed Forces. “I signed up for the U.S. military just for one reason. Not for
being patriotic, not for any of that. It’s ‘cause I did not have any money to go to college,” Chung said when speaking to Business & Technology classes. Chung’s tuition and books were both paid for because of his participation in the ROTC. Additionally, he received a $5,000 stipend each semester. As part of the ROTC program, while at Rutgers, Chung took one class a week in addition to exercising and training on weekdays from 6:30 to 7:30 a.m. Having graduated as an information technology major and communication minor, Chung is commissioned as a second lieu-
Check Us Out
ON THE WEB
tenant in the army. “I made sure my civilian and military career were aligned,” Chung said, explaining that his military training in information technology can help him get a job in the private sector. McChesney’s college experiences could not be more different than Chung’s. After graduating from LHS in 2014, McChesney commenced his undergraduate studies at Montclair State University, where he is currently a junior majoring in Television and Digital Media. McChesney said coursework should be a college student’s
CONTINUED ON PAGE 3
Games and fun for all | 2
Students welcome winter at the annual pep rally.
Photo by Zully Arias LHS Graduate Sean McChesney is a junior at Montclair State University. He spoke at a Lunch & Learn event in the library on Dec. 20.
Big dreams, big debt | 6
Students are stressed about paying for college.
Growing strong | 12
Young team works toward a winning season.
NEWS & FEATURES
school events to look foward to during 2017
By Jared Gabriel Staff Writer
As 2017 gets underway and the school year reaches the halfway point, students at LHS are provided with an abundance of events to anticipate. These school functions give students an opportunity to take a study break, prepare for life after high school and create lasting memories. School Musical, Feb. 16 to 18 from 7 to 9:30 p.m. This year, students will be performing “Little Shop of Horrors” by Howard Ashman. This horror comedy rock musical will star Danielle Andronaco, Louis Dell’Aquila, Francesca DiPisa, Matthew Madonna, Sarah Madonna, Kara Mueller, Gaetano Ricciardi, Gabrielle Sammarone and Emma Wisniewski. Tickets are $10 and will be available as the performance dates near. The musical will be presented in the auditorium. College Fair, March 23 during Blocks 1 and 2 LHS’s annual college fair, which will be held in the gym, is open to all ninth, tenth and eleventh grade students. Between 70 and 80 colleges will be in attendance at this event. With the opportunity to meet faceto-face with representatives from various colleges and universities, it can be a pivotal opportunity to plan for the future. Spring Poetry Slam, April 7 during Blocks 4 and 5 This year marks the Spring Poetry Slam’s fifteenth anniversary. Held in the library, the event draws between 50 and 60 student poets as well as chorale members. To attend, students must submit a poem to Ms. Pastor by March 17. Black and white artwork and photos will also be accepted.
Prom, April 27 from 6 to 11 p.m. One of the most anticipated high school events is prom, which is open to junior students and their dates. Attendees will dress to impress and dance the night away at the Ridgefield Regency. One hour longer than previous proms, each bid will cost approximately $140. Academic Awards Dinner, May 5 from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Lyndhurst will honor academic excellence at this annual event at the Fiesta in Wood-Ridge. The top ten percent of each class and their families will be invited to attend. Students who are being recognized attend for free, and guests pay $25. Students will receive plaques honoring their accomplishments and a keynote speech will be given by the 2017 Academic Hall of Fame inductee, who is an LHS graduate. Senior Banquet, June 1 from 7 to 11 p.m. The beginning of the end comes to seniors at the senior banquet. One of their last school events, seniors sport semi-formal attire to eat, dance and celebrate with their classmates at the Liberty House in Jersey City. Senior banquet is exclusive to members of the senior class, offering a special opportunity for seniors to spend time with peers they have known for years. Graduation, June 21 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. One hundred eighty-two seniors, their families and educators will gather on the Joe Cipolla Field to celebrate the accomplishment of the graduating class. Each graduate is permitted to bring four guests to this momentous occasion. Both the band and choir will be in attendance to perform at this event.
Photos by Jessie Bolton and Joana Kapaj
Sports and celebration at Annual Winter Pep Rally By Joana Kapaj Staff Writer
Students showed their LHS pride at the Fifth Annual Winter Pep Rally in the gym on Dec. 23. The event included classic competitive games—the half court shot, whipped cream pie eating contest and hula hoop contest—as well as some new ones. Making its debut was Don’t Pop it, Don’t Drop It, in which partners lined up back-to-back with a balloon resting between them. The first team to travel from one side of the gym to the other without
dropping the balloon won. Additionally, there was Life-Size Bowling, in which students knocked down life-size inflatable bowling pins with inflatable bowling balls. A third game that premiered at this season’s pep rally was Score-O, in which contestants used small balls and sticks to score a hockey goal. However, there was a catch: only a small section of the net was open. With a performance by the cheer/dance team and recognition of all of LHS’s winter sports teams, the pep rally previewed upcoming sporting events and ushered in a joyous winter break.
Say ‘Benvenuti’ to the Italian Club By Gabriella Sarracino Staff Writer
Students were greeted with a salute of “Buone Feste” (Happy Holidays) as they entered Room 118 for the first annual Italian Club holiday party on Dec. 19. The room was filled with the sound of Italian music and the smell of fresh Italian sweets while students wrote cards to patients at the Audrey Hepburn Children’s House at Hackensack University Medical Center. Italian Teacher Mr. Raguseo said he had the idea of starting an Italian Club for a while, and with the help of Italian Teacher Mrs. Clatworthy, they finally achieved this goal. “Starting the club was fairly simple in the sense that Mrs. Clatworthy and I wrote a proposal, sent it to the principal and then it made its way to the Board [of Education]. And then once it was approved, we called our first meeting,” Raguseo said. The club has had three meetings so far. Its approximately 30
members meet on the final Monday of each month. Clatworthy said she has wanted to advise an Italian Club ever since she decided to become an Italian teacher. “We would love to take a group of students who will be responsible for writing a skit and perform the skit in the Italian Language
and Culture Day competition at Montclair State University,” Clatworthy said. She and Raguseo also decided to organize a toy drive for the holiday season in which unwrapped toys, clothing and books for children of ages 4-18 were collected. The Italian Club chose to donate the bags of compiled toys they
gathered to the Audrey Hepburn Children’s House. “I love helping people, and I want our students to see how much you get out of the experience of doing that … and also witness how much need there is in the community,” Clatworthy said. Clatworthy said the holiday sea-
Photos by Jillian Cancela Junior Amy Mehboob (left), Sophomore Ariana Lombardi (top right) and Sophomore Konrad Skwara (bottom right) create holiday cards for patients at the Audrey Hepburn Children’s House at Hackensack University Medical Center on Dec. 19 at the Italian Club’s holiday party.
son is not the only time when the Italian Club will be leading a toy drive. She said they plan on doing another one later this year, considering the positive outcome of the gifts received. Junior Alessia Lombardi, who serves as the club’s secretary and is of Italian heritage, said she is excited for what is to come for the Italian Club. “My favorite thing about this club is simply meeting once a month and connecting with people who appreciate Italian culture. Considering Italian III was not an option for the 2016-2017 school year, this club definitely fills the void I have in my Italian education,” Lombardi said. Lombardi said Italian will always be in her life, especially coming from a large Italian family. So, for her, the Italian Club is different from other extracurricular clubs. “It is a new club... but I can tell that Mr. Raguseo and Mrs. Clatworthy have many great ideas and see potential for the club to grow,” said Lombardi.
NEWS & FEATURES
Finstas bring fun and fakery
Runners sprint to smartphone apps
By Robert Caamaño Staff Writer
What was once a gadget used only to talk or text has emerged as a powerful device that can be helpful before, during and after a run. Sophomore Matt Sales, who runs cross country and track, said he recommends Nike+ Run Club and MapMyRun since they have multiple features and are both free. MapMyRun helps runners plan their routes and achieve good completion times. During their runs, users can check their progress and determine if they need to pick up or slow down their pace. After a run, users can check their speed and number of calories they burned. They are invited to share runs with friends and set goals for improving their time. Similarly, Nike+ Run Club uses GPS to track runners’ distances when they feel like running off course. Using the app’s coaching plans, users can reach their goals by following instructions that are customized for their running styles. “Exercise apps can help motivate you to start working out because they offer everything one might need to get started,” Sales said. “There are many features to them such as competitions against friends, diets and workout plans made by others.” For those who do not work out because they are not sure where to start, exercise apps provide premade workouts that have been tested by others. This reduces some uncertainty and the structure can benefit non-experts. Dietary apps such as Under Armour’s MyFitnessPal and Endomondo can track one’s calorie intake as well as those that have been burned off during a workout. MyFitnessPal is compatible with many fitness trackers. Therefore, it can automatically deliver this information to a user while he or she is exercising. Apple’s Health app not only has a whole category dedicated to nutrition, but it also chronicles sleep and other daily activities that impact a healthy lifestyle. The app measures one’s daily intake of caffeine, carbs and vitamins to offer precise feedback. Apple’s Health is broken up into activity and nutrition categories. Additionally, it suggests other apps so users can locate the resources they need to reach their goals. Cross Country Coach Mr. Tessalone said he understands the usefulness of fitness apps and the importance of their social media components.
By Lea Torppey Staff Writer
Illustration by Lauren Siedlecki
“The social media aspect of it is huge. I feel like the idea of a community is great. A lot of the running I did was individual and I was alone, but when using social media like MapMyRun, people can track their run, post it and later receive motivation from others,” Tessalone said. When he runs, Tessalone said he generally prefers not to use any apps, though he does use Pace Calculator to keep track of his pace. “I feel like technology is important and can really help with working out, but at the same time, I think it’s a nice thing to have those moments to be free from technology,” Tessalone said. Junior Andrew Ellis, who runs cross country, said his workouts have been positively impacted by his use of apps because they help him keep track of his physical activity and motivate him to improve. “The fitness app that I use is called TomTom Mysports, which connects to my running watch. I use this app after I run because it breaks down the run into mileage, milesplits, elevation and average speed,” Ellis said. He said the only disadvantage of TomTom Mysports is that the watch it pairs with costs about $90. Nonetheless, Ellis said it is a worthwhile investment because the app is a powerful tool, particularly because it allows him to review his previous runs, measure his progress and make the most out of every run.
Blast from the past at Lunch & Learn CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
primary concern, but it is also important to get involved in extracurricular activities and campus opportunities. During his time at Montclair, he has worked at the university’s radio station, 90.3 WMSC-FM, and has written for the student newspaper, The Montclarion. “Get involved. Don’t be afraid to try new things,” McChesney said. McChesney said this past semester, he achieved the goal he first set for himself at the age of 11. Landing an internship at SiriusXM as an intern for sports programming, McChesney commuted to Rockefeller Center in New York City for Mad Dog Sports Radio on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. He said he felt welcomed at the station because he got to do real work, which included using audio production software called Adobe Audition, assisting the producer and
running the soundboard for radio segments. McChesney got his start in journalism at The Lighthouse, where he served as a written content editor. He said he would urge LHS students to get involved in high school organizations that reflect the fields they want to pursue in college and beyond. “Colleges are going to see how involved you get,” McChesney said. He said university life presents a new set of challenges for students. “I would definitely say time management is a big thing,” McChesney said. “You’re balancing classes and the amount of homework that you guys are going to get for [general education classes], and your social life and a job if you’re going to have one…. There’s a lot that goes into college.”
What are Finstagrams, and why are so many people creating them? Finstagrams, better known as Finstas, are personal accounts in which users post pictures without feeling restricted. Unlike a standard Instagram account, Finstas—which use Instagram’s social media platform—usually display clever or funny usernames relating to their owners. Senior Mackenzie Fletcher said she uses her Finsta to post what comes to mind. “I created a Finsta because it allows me to express my quirky self, go on rants and post whatever I want since my main account is mainly high-quality photos,” Fletcher said. Finsta posts are only shared with a small number of people, usually close friends and family. While personal Instagram accounts can also be privatized, users with Finstas
created a Finsta because “it Iallows me to express my quirky self, go on rants and post whatever I want since my main account is mainly high-quality photos.
find the need to use privatization features because their Finstas contain material some would never imagine posting on their main accounts. Most Finsta accounts consist of humorous photos, rants and inside jokes between friends. Unlike typical Instagram accounts, users are generally not concerned with the amount of likes their Finsta posts receive. Freshman Kenneth Bautista said he utilizes his Finsta for entertainment. “Normally, I post embarrassing, funny and random pictures of my friends and I,” Bautista said. “It’s my private account. I only accept the followers that I trust…. The amount of likes never phase[s] me.” It’s not all fun and games with Finsta, though. Finsta accounts can be a danger to the user if he or she posts inappropriate pictures, messages or symbols. Employers have found inappropriate Finstas and have decided to fire or not hire an employee based on the content of that account. Freshman Angelena Barcia, who uses her Finsta when she wants to be funny and post about friends, said Finsta accounts are never truly private. “If you post something inappropriate, someone who follows [your account] can show a teacher or a boss…. I’ve seen somebody get in trouble and they almost got kicked off of a sports team,” Barcia said. “The point of owning a Finsta is to be yourself, but you must still remain cautious.” Sophomore Donika Daci said Finstas serve no purpose. Therefore, she has chosen not to create one. “They are something you do not need,” Daci said. “I don’t understand why people feel the need to make a new account dedicated to posting embarrassing pictures of themselves.... This is just a fad that will die out by 2017.”
Snapchat streaks are taking over By Jamie Connors Staff Writer
You are checking your phone after a long day of school, and you look at your notifications. A small, white ghost appears surrounded by a bright yellow background. This signifies that you have received a Snapchat. This prominent ghost trademark is now an icon recognized by the majority of today’s teens. Snapchat provides an easy way to communicate with others by sending ten-second pictures and videos. If the same person receives a Snapchat for three consecutive days, a number will appear to the right of his or her username along with a fire emoji.
This is known as a streak. Sophomore Jay Lauria, who has 23 streaks, said while streaks are entertaining, they are also troubling. “I do enjoy having streaks, but it isn’t my main source of communication. So, it’s irritating having to make sure that you answer everyone every day,” Lauria said. Sophomore Alyssa Engels, who has 53 streaks, said it can be difficult keeping up with the activity on her account. “They aren’t that important to me, but it’s irritating when I’m Snapchatted multiple times if I forget or simply choose not to answer people,” Engels said. Since a streak is a measure of the number of days one routinely Snapchats a specif-
ic person, it will disappear after 24 hours without contact. Engels said she has lost several streaks. “My highest one is only 190 days, but if I were to lose it, I wouldn’t act as if it were the end of the world,” Engels said. Sophomore Marisa Matarazzo, who has 61 streaks, said they are both annoying and entertaining. “Most of my streaks are important to me, but normally, if I lose a streak, it isn’t a big deal because I can always start it again. My reaction really depends on the person I lost the streak with,” Matarazzo said. Recently, Snapchat released a new product to help users take photos and videos more efficiently. Spectacles, as they are
called, are a pair of sunglasses with a large LED camera in the corner that illuminates when recording. When connected to a phone through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, it displays recorded content on Snapchat. Spectacles are only available at Snapchat’s yellow vending machines, Snapbots, for $130. Buyers are limited to purchasing two at a time. So far, there is one in New York and one in California. Lauria said he was unaware of Snapchat’s new product but feels it could be useful. “It could have its advantages and disadvantages depending on how they are used. I would not go out of my way to buy them, but I would use them if I were to get them for free,” said Lauria.
The Lighthouse 4
NEWS & FEATURES
Chills and thrills at Polar Bear Plunge By Stef Cilento Staff Writer
Illustration by Sebastian Cabrera
Longtime Cuban leader dies at 90 By Sebastian Cabrera Staff Writer As head of the communist country Cuba, Fidel Castro was one of the most controversial leaders of all time. Castro died at the age of 90 on Nov. 25. In the wake of his death, many of Cuba’s citizens are in mourning. They believe Castro tried to make Cuba a safe, happy and fair country, but not everyone feels this way. Some citizens believe Castro might have been well-intentioned but made a lot of bad decisions. Relieved, they feel his death may bring positive change to their country. “He was a bad leader. Most people in Cuba are suffering due to
his government and leadership,” said Sophomore Adam Herabi, whose family immigrated from Cuba in the 1960s. “My mom’s side of the family had to move here because of the situation there. My grandma didn’t want my mom growing up in a place like that.” Herabi said he does not think Castro’s death will affect Cuba in a meaningful way because their customs and quality of life are unlikely to change. Junior Nicole Jimenez lived in Cuba up until 2009 when she moved to the United States. Since then, she has visited Cuba every year. “We immigrated to this country because it was a better future for me education-wise, and we also
had family here,” Jimenez said. She said she has mixed feelings about Castro’s leadership. “I believe he did good and bad things for the country…. He made sure that no one had to pay a penny for healthcare and that every kid could go to school for free,” Jimenez said. “But on the negative side, you were not able to speak up for your beliefs. You couldn’t say anything bad about the government.” History Teacher Mr. Clifford said Castro was an amazing leader because he was able to stay in power for so long and maintain strong authority over his citizens. However, he disagrees with many of Castro’s decisions. “The fact that Cuba had a relationship with the Soviet Union
during the Cold War created the [trade] embargo. The embargo has really hurt Cuba,” Clifford said. “If you go into Cuba, it’s like going into 1950s United States…. I think his intentions were good. However, as the saying goes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Clifford said Cuba’s trade embargo with the U.S., which was made official in 1962, led to suffering for Cubans because the U.S. is the strongest and wealthiest country in the Western Hemisphere. “Now, with the death of Fidel Castro and the opening of an economic relationship with the United States, I think the embargo will be absolved and trade will slowly open up,” said Clifford.
Where they lead, fans will follow
‘Gilmore Girls’ By Sarah Almeida Staff Writer
Fans of the TV series “Gilmore Girls” were welcomed back to the storybook town of Stars Hollow, Connecticut on Nov. 25 when Netflix released a four-part revival. The original “Gilmore Girls” aired in the early 2000s and followed Lorelai and her daughter Rory through school, boy drama and the shenanigans of the strange citizens of their small town. The revival follows up with the iconic mother/daughter duo a decade after the series’ original finale, which aired in 2007. Titled “A Year in the Life,” each 90 minute episode is set during a different season. Considering the success and popularity of the original, many fans such as Sophomore Susane Morozewicz had high hopes for “A Year in the Life.” “I certainly expected the revival to clear up some of the questions left unanswered after the conclusion of the original show,” Morozewicz said. For a considerably small town, there are quite a few legendary characters that bring Stars Hollow to life. Aside from the central characters Rory and Lorelai,
there were 37 additional character returns, which included ex-boyfriends, old friends and even Lorelai’s dog. The revival has been the topic of great controversy; many fans were disappointed with the portrayal of Rory and the ending. “I would have preferred a few extra episodes in the revival,” Morozewicz said. “Not to mention, the show concluded with a cliffhanger, which I was not too thrilled about.” Despite her frustrations, Morozewicz said she still thinks highly of the original program and its revival. “I have not met a single person who has not liked the show. I definitely recommend the original ‘Gilmore Girls’ and the revival to all,” Morozewicz said. Senior Melanie Ferreira—who has been hooked on the program for years—also enjoyed the revival and said the creator, Amy Sherman-Palladino, nailed it overall. “She really made it seem like the original Stars Hollow. I don’t think anything could have been done differently that would have made me love it more than I did,” Ferreira said. “I didn’t have any insane expectations. I was just hoping for the same actors to come back, the quick, funny wit
Screenshot by Jessie Bolton Lorelai and Rory sit at the Stars Hollow pool during the “Summer” episode of the “Gilmore Girls” revival.
and the obsession with coffee to continue.” English Teacher Ms. Coppola said she has appreciated the simplicity of “Gilmore Girls.” “It was just about people living their lives,” Coppola said. “I really liked all the references to books and music.” There were a total of 339 books mentioned in the original series. Some memorable ones were “The Bell Jar” by Sylvia Plath and “Don Quixote” by Miguel de Cervantes. Music artists who were mentioned include Paul Anka (whom Lorelai’s dog is named after) and The Bangles. Coppola said she feels a kinship with Lorelai and likes the picturesque setting of Stars Hollow. “It was a pretty show to look at. Stars Hollow is this charming little town with a little diner. Everyone likes coffee [and] desserts.
Sounds like me,” Coppola said. Regardless of her love of the original show, Coppola said the reboot was a failure. She said the show’s creator, Amy Sherman-Palladino, did it not because she wanted to bring the characters back to life, but because she was in it for the money. “Honestly, I really just thought it was a money making venture,” Coppola said. “I really wasn’t thinking that I needed to know about what happened to Lorelai and Rory.” Coppola said the portrayal of the once strong and independent characters was disappointing in the revival. “I hope they don’t do anymore reboots in the future. None of these people are worth watching,” Coppola said. “I was so happy to get through the last episode but not in a good way.”
For most New Jersey residents, Jan. 14 will be a normal Saturday. However, for those participating in the Polar Bear Plunge fundraiser in Wildwood, the day will be far from ordinary. The Polar Bear Plunge is a wintertime event in which participants enter a body of water despite low temperatures. In the U.S., people generally participate in the Polar Bear Plunge to raise money for a charity, whereas in Canada they tend to do it for fun and to celebrate the new year. Each member who takes the pledge to plunge in Wildwood must raise at least $100. The proceeds will go towards Special Olympics New Jersey, a nonprofit organization that provides free year-round sports training and athletic competitions in 24 Olympic-type sports. Their services reach more than 25,000 people ranging from children to adults. Freshman Angelena Barcia said she heard of the Polar Bear Plunge from Ms. Marmora, who was her third grade teacher at Columbus School. Barcia said when participating in an event like this, it is important to weigh the benefits and drawbacks. “The pro is that it’s a different experience. Not many people get to experience it ‘cause they’re either scared, or they don’t live near the place that it’s done,” Barcia said. “The con is that you can get sick if you stay in there too long.” Science Teacher Mrs. DeCarlo said it is important not to stay in the water for longer than a couple of minutes because doing so can be dangerous. “The blood vessels tend to constrict to hold in the heat,” DeCarlo said. She said those who intend to participate in the Polar Bear Plunge should make sure to warm up quickly after exiting the water. She also recommends they bring a companion to hold their clothing and lukewarm fluids to drink. Freshman Raven Ortiz said although she has never participated in the Polar Bear Plunge, she has gone swimming in December. “I was at the beach with my cousins and a bunch of people were running towards the water. So, we decided to run with them,” Ortiz said. She said swimming outside in the winter was fun and provides an easy way for people to step outside of their comfort zones. “The risk factor involved makes someone want to do it more,” Ortiz said. Sophomore Konrad Skwara, who is on the swim team, said the Polar Bear Plunge is a crazy idea, but he would participate if given the opportunity. He appreciates that it is for a good cause. “Some people do this challenge, [but] they forget about the true reason,” Skwara said. “They do raise awareness, but it does tend to get carried away.”
NEWS & FEATURES The good, the bad and the memorable
Students reﬂect upon the most talked about trends and events of 2016
The taco ring is a flavorful treat that can be served to guests on Super Bowl Sunday.
Photo courtesy of Nick Zaino
The ring your taste buds are chasing
The taco ring By Nick Zaino Staff Writer
When Super Bowl LI takes place on Feb. 5, football fans will be tuning in to watch the two best teams in the National Football League chase the most coveted ring. Now, you can be chasing a ring too… the taco ring. With an appearance similar to a pizza pie, the taco ring is a delectable and photogenic treat. Post photos of this dish on social media. Then, devour it with friends. Ingredients: 1 pound uncooked ground beef 4 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 packages of crescent roll dough Bag of lettuce Sliced cherry tomatoes Can of salsa Bag of taco seasoning ¾ cup water
Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 2. Cook ground beef on low to medium heat. 3. Drain grease from beef. Then, place beef back in pan. 4. Add taco seasoning and water.
5. Heat for five more minutes. 6. Add shredded sharp cheddar cheese and cook until melted. 7. On a pizza stone, arrange crescent roll dough so it resembles a sun. 8. Spread meat mixture around within the inner part of the dough. 9. Pull over dough and cut excess with pizza cutter. 10. Tuck edges of dough tightly and fill open areas with remaining dough. 11. Cook in the oven according to crescent roll directions. 12. Remove taco roll and cool. 13. Fill center with shredded lettuce, sliced cherry tomatoes and salsa. 14. Serve to guests and enjoy!
or any caffeine, I’ll just be a lot more sluggish and tired,” Campana said. “It definitely wakes me up a lot more quick[ly] when I really need to.” A survey conducted by The Lighthouse revealed that coffee is more popular among older students at LHS. Of 25 freshmen surveyed, only four said they enjoy the taste of coffee. Meanwhile, 17 of the 25 seniors surveyed said they enjoy the taste of coffee. Freshman Alicia Henrichsen said she does not drink coffee be-
cause she dislikes the taste. “I have tasted coffee before. I just feel it is very bland,” Henrichsen said. “I never really feel too tired unless I stay up late.” History Teacher Mr. Tessalone said he has noticed the popularity of coffee among his students. However, he said it wasn’t his cup of tea when he was their age. “I did not like the taste of coffee until I was way older,” Tessalone said. “I admire their mature tastebuds. I just hated coffee as a kid.”
Supplies: Pan Pizza stone Meat drainer Pizza cutter
Coffee craze brews throughout halls By Alexis Prieto Staff Writer Your alarm rings, and panic sets in. You scramble to prepare for the stressful school day that lies ahead. As you wipe the sleep from your eyes, the only thing on your mind is the coffee that is brewing in the kitchen. Coffee is the saving grace for many students including Junior Kristina DeRobertis. She can be spotted every morning walking the halls of LHS with a travel mug in her hand. “I feel as if I cannot keep my eyes open if I do not get my cup of coffee in before I start school,” DeRobertis said. “I believe it is an everyday necessity to have my daily cup to get my day going.” However, her coffee obsession does not end when homeroom begins. She often grabs a second cup during lunch. “It puts me in a better mood,” DeRobertis said. “It makes me feel more awake and able to be social with my fellow classmates.” Senior Christian Campana is another student who drinks coffee daily. “I don’t need it, but it definitely helps. If I don’t drink coffee
Pie Chart by Alexis Prieto Out of 100 students surveyed, over 50 percent said they drink coffee.
Adam Herabi sophomore
Alyssa Mezzina senior
Top Grossing Movie: “Finding Dory” Source: The-Numbers.com “Is anyone surprised by its popularity? It was the critically acclaimed sequel to a masterpiece of a movie. No one should be surprised.”
Most Popular Halloween Costume: Harley Quinn, comic book character Source: Frightgeist.com “I dressed up as her for Halloween because she’s amazing, and it was such a cute but simple costume. I especially loved doing her eye makeup.”
Dictionary.com’s Word of the Year: Xenophobia Source: Dictionary.com “The word itself shouldn’t be celebrated. Xenophobia was so popular because paranoia and hate was embedded into some people’s minds. Second of all, why are people celebrating the word of the year in the first place?”
Most Googled Show: “Stranger Things” Source: EW.com “The show was so good. Winona Ryder is a great actress, and the cast overall is just so amazing. The storyline had me hooked, and I can’t wait for Season Two.”
Gabriella Borgono sophomore
Jeremiah Miragliotta senior
Most Streamed Song on Spotify: “One Dance” by Drake Source: Billboard.com “I mean, come on, everybody loves Drake. It just makes sense that ‘One Dance’ is so popular. Not to mention that it’s really catchy and just an overall good song, especially for dancing.”
Most Used Emoji: The Laughing Emoji Source: Kika Tech “I use the laughing emoji all the time. I think it’s a good emoji because it makes any conversation less serious and more fun. If I don’t know how to end a sentence, I use ‘lol’ or the laughing emoji.”
Most Tweeted Event Globally: The Rio Olympics Source: Twitter.com “I watched the Olympics, and I was definitely a fan. I remember watching track and cheering on some of the athletes like Emma Coburn. The Final Five just totally killed it. It’s all just really exciting and super-entertaining to watch.” Compiled by Zully Arias Staff Writer
Most Discussed Facebook Topic: The Presidential Election Source: Facebook.com “I wasn’t interested in election coverage, and I didn’t plan on following news about the election, but it was everywhere, even on social media where I usually go for lighthearted content. I would look through the Discover Stories on Snapchat, and all of them would have articles about the election.... Just about everyone had something to say.”
NEWS & FE
Digging your way out of debt
By Joana Kapaj Staff Writer Senior Lizeth Chicas has big dreams. She intends to become a physician. This requires 12 years of schooling after high school with the completion of a bachelor’s and medical degree. While Chicas’ goals are infinite, her budget is not. “I’ve always wanted to go to college. That’s my destination,” said Chicas, who considered attending New York University in Manhattan. She rethought that plan after learning how much it would cost to attend. Yearly tuition is $46,170, but when you add housing, meals and other fees, the annual price comes to at least $63,472. “[To] spend so much on the first four years does not seem rational to me,” Chicas said. “With all due respect, it seems a little ridiculous.” To avoid falling into deep debt, Chicas has applied for scholarships and is focusing her attention on more affordable undergraduate options like Rutgers University, to which she has already been accepted. “I am going to Rutgers. I might go to
Bergen [Community College] for the first year to save money since I can go for free, but that depends on how much scholarship money I earn,” Chicas said. “I plan on going to a graduate school no matter what the debt is. Unfortunately, in society, to find success… you need to spend.” Statistics indicate that it is getting harder to graduate college without taking on debt. According to marketwatch.com, a website published by Dow Jones & Co., the United States has over $1.4 trillion in student-loan debt. This number is growing at a rate of $2,726 per second. Guidance Counselor Miss Truncellito said to avoid student-loan debt, she encourages students to sign up for as many grant offers as possible because that money does not need to be paid back. She also urges students to use Naviance, a program available to all LHS students that assists them in identifying their strengths, interests and postsecondary goals. This is useful for students because it helps them plan for their academic careers with their professional goals in mind. Truncellito also suggests students visit the raise.me website. Students who input their grades, extracurricular activities and
volunteer involvements on this website become eligible for scholarships offered by over 200 college partners. Local partners include Felician, Rutgers and Seton Hall Universiy as well as Bloomfield College. Truncellito said students should make decisions about college with their financial capability in mind. “The mantra today is still go to college, college, college,” Truncellito said, explaining that students do not consider the effect debt may have on them years down the line. “Once your credit is shot, you cannot receive life’s necessities such as a house, a car, etcetera.” She said students should consider their career’s return on investment by asking themselves, “Is it a field that’s going to give back the dividends you’re going to put into [it]?” Not everyone graduates college with debt. Mrs. Huntington, who teaches personal finance, graduated from Bergen Community College and Montclair State University debt free. “Throughout my college career, I went to school part-time and worked full-time, then went to school full-time and worked part-time,” Huntington said. “I was lucky
enough to attain transferable skills such as typing and stenography in high school, which provided opportunities to work in companies and make good money while attending college.” Huntington said it does not make sense to go to a college because of its reputation without considering the tuition. She said she wants students to realize that by starting their adult life in heavy debt, they will find themselves unhappy and unable to afford basic necessities. “College is not a guaranteed job, and getting a job after college is stressful,” Huntington said. “Nothing in life is free.”
The powers of power napping For students, taking a quick snooze during the day pays off By Paul Cimicata Staff Writer Do you feel yourself falling into a daydream? Are you struggling to keep your eyes open? A power nap might be just what you need. A power nap ranges from ten to 30 minutes in length and is meant to restore one’s energy. “I find my power naps effective, and they give me energy and a little extra boost to help me accomplish what I need to,” said
Sophomore Giulia Pezzolla, who describes herself as a frequent napper. “A good power nap to me is when I have a short nap with no distractions and wake up fully re-energized.” Pezzolla said she tries to power nap but sometimes sleeps too long, which affects her negatively. “When I get stuck in long naps, they keep me up at night and mess up my sleeping schedule,” Pezzolla said. She said a good power nap helps her get through her day. On the other hand, Senior
percent of LHS students say they take power naps during the day
Issy Pimenta, who has a job at Jefferson School taking care of students in aftercare, said she is not a fan of power naps because they are too brief. “I take most of my naps during my early dismissal so I am not tired for work,” Pimenta said. If she had her choice, however, she would prefer to take long naps. “I do not think power naps are effective. I would rather take a longer nap because I feel it makes up for the sleep that I may have missed and restores my energy,” Pimenta said. She said her favorite place to take naps is on her couch or bed because those are the most comfortable places in her house, and her room is very quiet. Therefore, she knows she will not be disturbed there. Physical Education Teacher Mr. Offitto said finding the right place to power nap is essential. “A short nap provides significant benefit for improved alertness and performance. You reset your system and get a quick jolt
of alertness and increased motor performance,” Offitto said. He said long naps can have negative effects by leaving one feeling groggy or disoriented, affecting nighttime sleep and interrupting one’s sleep cycle. Offitto advises power nappers to set their alarms so they do not wind up sleeping for too long.
A quick 20-minute “ power nap can be great
if you are having a tough day or feel stressed and overwhelmed.
“Try and keep your naps for the daytime when the sun is still out,” Offitto said. “A quick 20-minute power nap can be great if you are having a tough day or feel stressed and overwhelmed.”
Does studying drain your mind, or is it a good use of time?
Spotlight on homework By Sebastian Cabrera Staff Writer
Almost every classroom includes students who are fatigued. Some try to pick their heads up while others fall into a daze. They try to stay focused but struggle, having stayed up all night completing an assignment after spending hours at their job or playing a sport. While teachers’ intentions may not be to burden their students with stress or anxiety, many say those results are inevitable because homework tends to be too difficult, time-consuming or simply functions as busy work.
“I understand school and homework is a priority and needs to be completed in order to succeed, but it can sometimes be stressful going right from school to soccer, then going straight to work and coming home at 9:30 [or] 10 p.m. and trying to finish homework,” Sophomore Gabriella Borgono said. She said her life would be easier if she did not get so much homework. “Don’t get me wrong, homework is good in some aspects, but getting drowned in it isn’t always controllable,” Borgono said. History Teacher Mr. Clifford said despite the stress it may cause, homework is essential for success because it teaches life skills that extend past high school. “You’re preparing students for jobs, deadlines, being a productive member of society and having kids,” Clifford said. “It’s important that a school tries to instill some sort of work ethic in students, and being responsible and finding time to do homework is an important tool people need to understand.” He said students can manage their workload by taking advantage of resources at
LHS that include the media center and Homework Club, which meets on Wednesdays during lunch in Room 225. English Teacher Mrs. Paluzzi, who co-ad-
Don’t get me wrong, “homework is good in
some aspects, but getting drowned in it isn’t always controllable.
vises the Homework Club, said she sees the benefits of attending the club’s weekly meetings. “Kids that attend Homework Club do not voice stress to myself or [Co-Advisor Mrs. Falcicchio], but we both see a sense of accomplishment when they come, whether it’s with our help or on their own,” Paluzzi said. Like Clifford, Paluzzi said she sees the value in assigning homework because it reinforces what students learn in class.
Sophomore Adam Herabi, who is taking five honors classes, said homework can be both problematic and beneficial. “Too much homework is quite stressful depending on the amount and the assignment,” Herabi said. “It takes away from my free time.” He said it is not the quantity of homework he receives that exhausts him but the pressure of knowing a teacher may take off points. “Homework should be graded as completed. Errors on the homework should be cleared up in class by the student asking a question and/or by the teacher going over the homework. This system leaves some responsibility for the student to clear something that was misunderstood and is quite common in an honors setting,” Herabi said. He suggests students use the block system—which provides at least two days to complete an assignment—to their advantage. “Do your homework the day it is assigned, not in homeroom or at lunch. Pace yourself,” said Herabi.
ration by Alyssa Capasso, Julie Pacillo and Alexis Prieto
Insomniacs sing the blue light blues By Robert Caamaño Staff Writer For some, smartphones are merely tools to call or text. For others, they dominate their lives and consume their hours. A multitude of studies by Harvard Health Publications and the National Academy of Sciences from 2015 reveal that smartphones lead to fewer sleeping hours for people of all ages, especially teenagers. Since phones play such an important role in the social lives of teens, most are glued to their screens at all times throughout the day and night. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the hormone that the body creates to signal that it is bedtime is called melatonin. Because of the blue light in LED screens, the body slows or even completely stops the production of this hormone, keeping a person awake. Blue light can also damage the retina due to its short wavelength which, in turn, gives off more energy. “My phone definitely keeps me up because instead of falling asleep normally, I could be on my phone for hours a night,” Junior Kevin Mikos said. Mikos said he checks his phone every few minutes and uses it for a minimum of
four to five hours per day. “If I get off it for even a couple of minutes, I could fall asleep almost instantly,” Mikos said. To help combat blue light’s harmful effects, Apple created a feature called Night Shift, which changes the screen to a warm orange filter. Orange light has a much longer wavelength than blue light, which makes it easier for the eye to absorb. Night Shift can even be programmed to turn on at certain times such as the early morning or late at night. While televisions and phones both emit blue light, smartphones have greater consequences on sleep habits, according to Natural News, a science-based natural health advocacy organization. This is because people sit at least a few feet away from their TVs, whereas phones are held close to the face. Also, people watching TV tend to look away more often from the screen than those on phones who keep their eyes fixated on them. Junior Michael Stevens said he can fall asleep after watching TV without a problem. That is not the case if he is using his smartphone. “If I use my phone, I can stay up for
hours,” Stevens said. “I definitely feel more tired than usual the next morning, and it’s sometimes hard to focus in classes because of it.” Sophomore Eli Fitzsimons does not notice any effects from blue light. However, he said his phone does impact his energy level. “I wake up tired after using my phone
all night, [but] I’m still able to focus like normal,” Fitzsimons said. “I know I could probably fall asleep pretty quickly if I stop using my phone, but I lose track of time and end up spending hours on it.” There is a simple fix to improving sleep quality and quantity: put the phone away. But in today’s world, that is often easier said than done.
Illustration by Kelly Weckstein
Relaxation Glitter Jar
Photo courtesy of Danielle Anthony Senior Danielle Anthony has spent the past six holiday seasons collecting toys and other gifts for children in need. All of the items go directly to an anti-poverty nonprofit organization in Paterson called Eva’s Village.
By Francesca DiPisa Staff Writer
Step 4: Stir mixture, then let set for five minutes.
The holiday season has come to an end and the long haul to President’s Day Recess is upon us. Side effects may include the occasional winter blues, stress and the feeling of being stuck in a never-ending school year. To treat these symptoms, try creating a relaxation glitter jar. This simple and creative container of color is sure to bring serenity to any circumstance.
Step 5: Squeeze two globs of clear gel glue into the jar and stir.
Materials Needed: Jar (or large empty water bottle), teapot, stovetop, warm water, glitter glue (4 fluid ounces), ultra fine glitter (0.5 ounces), clear gel glue (4 fluid ounces), ribbon (not exceeding one inch in width), scissors, stirring stick
Step 7: Seal the jar by gluing on its lid with hot glue and let dry for five minutes.
Danielle Anthony By Carina Paserchia Staff Writer For the month of January, The Lighthouse turns the spotlight over to Senior Danielle Anthony, who has spent the past six holiday seasons collecting toys and other items for children in need. These gifts range from teething toys for infants to makeup for teenagers. Anthony works with Eva’s Village, an anti-poverty nonprofit organization in Paterson. This year, she has collected approximately 200 toys. When she receives the items, Anthony brings them to Eva’s Village and helps wrap them. “My mom’s old company collected toys for the same organization, and she requested I do it,” Anthony said. Anthony became involved in Eva’s Village when she was 11 years old. Since then, she has col-
lected between 50 and 200 presents annually from family members and close family friends. Now, Anthony said she gets the word out about the toy drive by talking to her classmates. Meanwhile, her mom posts on social media, such as Facebook, to raise awareness of the cause. “Danielle is one of the nicest people I know. She’s always willing to help anyone in need of it. She also never hesitates [to bring] in snacks for our AP Statistics class, which never fails to make the whole class happy,” said Senior Marissa Hackett, one of Anthony’s close friends. Mrs. Granieri, who taught Anthony in algebra and precalculus class, said this volunteer activity suits Anthony’s personality. “In school, Danielle is always smiling and is very generous. She likes being a team player both in the classroom and on the field,”
Granieri said. “This story warms my heart, especially during the holiday season. It is great to hear that Danielle and her family have a great sense of community.” Anthony said she hopes to continue this tradition for years to come. Although she will be attending college next year, she does not believe it will affect her ability to gather donations. Anthony said she hopes to collect toys on campus as well as from friends and family back in Lyndhurst. “I like participating in Eva’s Village because after I’ve collected all of the toys, I go into the room where they hold all of the toys. And it makes me happy because it’s full, and there’s about 180 kids this year and they all are allowed four gifts each,” Anthony said. “It gives me the time to realize that not everyone has the same Christmas I do.”
Step 6 (optional): Add more clear gel glue for slower movement or more water for faster movement.
Step 8: Tie a ribbon at the point where the jar and lid meet. Step 1: Fill three quarters of the jar with boiling water. Step 2: Squeeze a whole bottle of glitter glue into the jar.
Step 3: Add a whole container of ultra fine glitter to the mixture.
Step 9: Shake the jar and watch the stream of shimmering magic soothe your nerves.
Photos by Francesca DiPisa
Two Girls Turn the Page: Literature Review
Kick off 2017 with a ‘different’ book By Emma Chloe Caamaño Staff Writer
Photo by Emma Chloe Caamaño “Today Will Be Different” was published by Little, Brown and Company in October 2016.
Today will be different. Today you will not zone out during class but take detailed notes. Today you will do your homework right after school. Today you will be the best version of yourself. Today you will start anew. In “Today Will Be Different” by Maria Semple, protagonist Eleanor Flood begins and ends her novel by listing the ways in which today will be different. Putting on a dress and making breakfast for her family, the day commences perfectly. She is meeting all of her goals. Nevertheless, her husband Joe’s gloomy disposition foreshadows problems ahead. As her day continues, Eleanor is faced with hardships she nev-
er even imagined. Her son Timby suddenly becomes ill and Joe is nowhere to be found. Furthermore, she realizes how inflammatory controversial topics such as gender equality and religion can be when they begin to affect her marriage. Eleanor begins asking herself a series of important questions. Is Timby’s sudden obsession with makeup just a phase? Since when is there something to believe in besides atheism? Do we really live in a benevolent universe? With flashbacks to problems with her sister Ivy, Eleanor is faced with the harsh realization that those conflicts remain unresolved. Ivy and Eleanor’s not-so-delightful childhood comes back to haunt Eleanor’s professional life. Once a successful animator of
the comedic TV series “Looper Wash,” she is now unemployed and struggling to decide what to do next with her illustrated memoir inspired by a childhood conflict. Growing up with no mother and an alcoholic father, Eleanor was faced with the responsibility of raising her younger sister by herself. This has weighed on her heavily. Printed in the novel itself, “Flood Girls” is Eleanor’s 16page memoir, which she hoped would receive immediate success. However, it turns out to be her biggest disappointment. Her publisher has lost interest, and she feels like a failure. Semple’s strength lies in her ability to communicate her ideas to readers. Making allusions—which include references to Charlotte Brontë’s “Jane
Eyre”—Semple clarifies Eleanor’s problems by comparing her memoir to the classic novel commonly read in high school English classes. Realizing that her objectives were impractical, Eleanor makes the best out of the rest of her day in hopes of making tomorrow realistically better. You, the reader, must now realize that, by setting practical goals, tomorrow can be different for you too. This year will be different. This year, you will do your homework right after school, or at least try to. This year, you will only zone out in one of your classes. This year, you will try to be a better version of the person you were last year. This year, you will start anew. This year, you will follow Eleanor’s lead and believe in benevolence.
What would Newman do? Mr. Newman Faculty Columnist
If you could be any teacher at LHS, who would it be and why? Compiled by Julie Pacillo Editor-in-Chief Fantastic. Ruthless. Educational. Wizard. I bet you didn’t know that’s what Frew stands for! When I first saw this question, I did not want to answer it. I’m my own person. I don’t want to be anyone else. Heck, I doubt people want to be me. I mean, beyond the desire to harness my natural beauty, that’s just weird to be me. However, when talking to the sage of the unobtrusive downstairs teacher’s room, Math Teacher Mr. Falcicchio, the guru of taciturnity, advised me that whom else could this be about than Science and Swim Teacher Mr. Sean Michael Frew? So everyone... THIS FREW IS FOR YOU! It has often been said that Mr. Frew and I have a lovehate relationship. I love him, and he hates me. On the surface, and in front of the general public 95 percent of the time, Mr. Frew keeps up this smokescreen to prevent people from seeing our true friendship. Yes, I’m sure he’s preparing to “let me have it later” or he’s going to “get me back,” but this is not about me mocking him or our standard witty banter towards each other. This is a tribute to the man, the legend and, dare I say, Greek God Poseidon that is Mr. Frew. I’ve had so much fun over the past eight years with Mr. Frew that I can’t help but have a smile on my face and even laugh out loud (lolling) while I type this. There was the time that Mr. Frew was wished a “happy 40th birthday” during school announcements on the PA when it was only his 30th birthday because of me. Now that it’s been five years, I’m sure he’s forgiven me, especially when he had the same student wish me a “happy 50th birthday” on my 30th two weeks after his. I’ve helped Mr. Frew with every single swim meet there has ever been at LHS. That’s eight years of him and me being at every single meet together. When something with our timing and scoring system goes wrong, Mr. Frew takes pleasure in fixing it in three seconds when it has taken me 15 or so minutes. Yes, then he has himself a dastardly laugh. It’s worth it, though, because I have been able to witness how he has built a fantastic swim program. I know a truly dedicated and hardworking coach when I see one. Mr. Frew is all that and so much more. But I know you faithful readers don’t want to read about that. You want hilarity. Well, I remember one winter pep rally when Mr. Frew was so sick that after he gave his quick speech about the upcoming swim season, he immediately sprinted to the bathroom and the sickness overcame him. That trooper Mr. Frew literally gave his team his all, only to suffer horribly afterwards. He’s takin’ grenades for y’all! Now, I have also had the pleasure and been fortunate enough to travel pretty extensively with Mr. Frew. We’ve conquered the Jersey Shore, Nashville and New York City as well as London and Oxford, England together. He’s had my back, and I’ve had his, whether its been on this side or the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. I can’t possibly write many stories because I don’t really know what the statute of limitations are in the United Kingdom, but I can tell you Mr. Frew is definitely more of the superior “punter” than I am, and boy can he punt and punt and punt. English slang—look it up! So, there you have it. The LHS community is very lucky to have someone like Mr. Frew in our school. A man who is the longest tenured winter season coach, the second longest tenured head LHS coach after the legendary Coach Shoebridge, one of the two organizers of the touching 15th anniversary 9/11 Memorial Tribute, student government co-advisor, science teacher, swim class teacher, proficient auger, great communicator, stopwatch wearin’, impeccably dressed-up stylin’, limousine ridin’, international jet flyin’, kiss stealin’, wheelin’, dealin’ son of a gun. That, of course, is Mr. Sean Michael Frew. Of course, I’d never want to be him, but damn do I love him!
The Electoral College: an honored tradition By Bernie Consalvo Editor The Electoral College is critical to American democracy because it gives all states a fair say in presidential elections. Liberty and justice for all cannot triumph without this integral and longstanding system. During the Constitutional Convention of 1787 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the delegates discussed methods for electing a president. The idea of forming an Electoral College was met with widespread approval because it allocated two delegates to each state plus additional representatives based on population. The Electoral College as we know it today was ratified as part of the Twelfth Amendment in 1804. The most important reason the Electoral College is necessary is because it helps preserve the balance of power between individual states and the federal government. While the president leads the entire nation, he or she comes to that position because of the support granted by America’s 50 states. The Electoral College is particularly important to large states that have relatively small populations. States like
in states such as Pennsylvania and Michigan, which have large working class populations and lead the nation in industry. A third reason to preserve the Electoral College is that it clearly delivers a leader. In a popular vote, every vote can be challenged, but the Electoral College creates a more immediate path to a winner. The U.S. needs this type of clarity. Another firm argument for the Electoral College is that the popular vote winner rarely loses the election. Out of 58 presidential elections, only five have resulted in the popular vote candidate losing. Generally, the popular vote and the Electoral College align. This is proof that the system may be imperfect, but no system is perfect. Fundamentally, democracy is an experiment and the U.S. Constitution lays out a framework for a “more perfect Union.” It is through the great tradition of the Electoral College that the U.S. will continue to be a beacon of freedom and opportunity for all.
In a popular vote, every vote can be challenged, but the Electoral College creates a more immediate path to a winner. The U.S. needs this type of clarity.
Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming are crucial to American identity. These states within the Great Plains may not have many residents compared to coastal states, but they are the breadbasket of America. The four most populous states are California, Florida, New York and Texas. Their combined population is approximately 100 million, which is about one-third of the United States population. If the U.S. were to move to a popular vote election where each citizen gets one vote, people in these four states would singlehandedly decide who would be president. This is not fair to those living
Illustration by Lauren Siedlecki
One person, one vote makes more sense By Nazli Tiyaloglu Staff Writer The 2016 presidential election was one of the most bizarre elections in American history. It sparked both unnecessary hatred and violence, in part because Hillary Clinton earned the popular vote whereas President-elect Donald Trump won the Electoral College. The Electoral College is the system by which the United States elects its president. Created during the early stages of the country, it is old-fashioned and no longer reflects America. Therefore, elections should be restructured so that every person’s vote matters.
Illustration by Lauren Siedlecki
First off, a vast majority of Americans do not understand the Electoral College. This is because it is a complex system that only comes into play during a presidential election. This is a problem. People should know how their president is elected without any confusion. The Founding Fathers created the Electoral College because they believed a commoner lacked the intelligence to vote logically. They feared the small town farmer and uneducated civilian. An Electoral College was meant to assure that an informed public would play a major role in deciding the president. This reasoning makes no sense today. Not only is free public education available, but the public also has easy access to the media. Newspapers, magazines and especially the internet are among the many resources citizens have for obtaining credible information. Furthermore, electoral votes are not distributed fairly. The fact that every state gets one electoral vote for each representative in the House of Representatives and two more to represent the senators leads to significant overrepresentation for rural states. For example, a single electoral vote in a small state like Wyoming has more weight per voter in electoral votes than an electoral vote in a more populated state like California. This is particularly problematic since U.S. populations have grown in urban areas during recent decades. As it stands, the Electoral College is a winner-take-all system. Contrary to popular belief, this process is not how the Founding Fathers originally envisioned the election of a president. Rather, the Electoral College that exists today is a result of changes in state laws by party leaders to increase support for their candidates of choice. The country would benefit from replacing the winnertake-all design that is reflected in most states’ Electoral College delegates with a popular vote system. This would make every voter feel that his or her vote counts. Additionally, it would ensure a simpler system by which every voter would understand how the president is elected. It is never too late to change history, and now is the time to begin forging that change.
Lyndhurst High School 400 Weart Avenue Lyndhurst, NJ 07071 201-896-2100
Follow us on Social Media @LHSLighthouse
Adviser: Ms. Pastor Editors-in-Chief: Jessie Bolton Julie Pacillo Staff Director: Jennifer Wartel Public Relations Director: Gina Minervini Editors: Jillian Cancela Bernie Consalvo Staff Wrtiers: Sarah Almeida Zully Arias Alexa Barreiros Emma Chloe Caamaño Robert Caamaño Sebastian Cabrera Stef Cilento Paul Cimicata Jamie Connors Francesca DiPisa Campbell Donovan Alyssa Ferrara Jared Gabriel Alexis Gerbasio Joana Kapaj Sean Leonard Carina Paserchia Alexis Prieto Mike Renna Kayla Sanchez Gabriella Sarracino Lauren Siedlecki Nazli Tiyaloglu Lea Torppey Frankie Venezia Nick Zaino Contributing Artist: Alyssa Capasso Kelly Weckstein
Opinion articles do not reflect the opinions of the entire staff, only the writers themselves. The staff reserves the right to edit material and reject any content not suitable for publication.
The Lighthouse is a free forum that accepts letters to the editors. Letters can be submitted to Ms. Pastor in Room 234. However, they must be signed with your ﬁrst and last name in order to be considered for publication.
#MakeTwitterGreatAgain President-elect Donald Trump’s duties are certainly difficult to manage. Besides preparing to command an expansive nuclear arsenal and an unparalleled military, one of his top priorities is handling a Twitter account with over 17 million followers. Trump should be using Twitter to engage citizens with politics, but instead, he is angering them. The platform has become a bullying pulpit for his ill-mannered opinions. For instance, Trump celebrated one of Mexico’s most honored holidays with a discourteous and mildly racist tweet about his meal. On May 5, Trump tweeted, “Happy #CincoDeMayo! The best taco bowls are made in Trump Tower Grill. I love Hispanics!” Besides advertising his own business, Trump made a very broad statement that insults various ethnicities. Although tacos originated in Mexico, any nationality, Hispanic or not, has the ability to cook and enjoy this meal. It is this type of generalization that makes Trump’s Twitter
account seem more like a teenager’s thoughtless stream of consciousness than a leader’s direct address to the world. In recent months, Comedian
Night Live - unwatchable! Totally biased, not funny and the Baldwin impersonation just can’t get any worse. Sad,” Trump tweeted on Dec. 4.
“I love ya, bird. You’re a great bird. Good bird.” Illustration by Alyssa Capasso
Alec Baldwin has turned to satire, impersonating the president-elect on “Saturday Night Live.” The plot of a sketch that aired on Dec. 3 made fun of Trump’s overuse of Twitter and the immaturity of his tweets. Unironically, Trump responded to the parody on social media. “Just tried watching Saturday
As a government official, being mocked is unavoidable. Trump should be able to handle criticism without engaging in backlash, and he should focus on issues of national importance instead. Utilizing social media for irrelevant ranting makes the president-elect appear less authoritative. No politician should be using
Twitter to express disrespectful views or complain about personal issues. When Trump does so, he loses credibility. Furthermore, while Twitter is certainly a popular form of media in today’s culture, Trump must remember it does not reach everyone. According to statista.com, a website designated to statistical studies, 36 percent of United States Twitter users are 18 through 29 years old. Only ten percent of users are over 64 years old. Therefore, most senior citizens miss all of Trump’s tweets. It may be an effective way to communicate, but Trump cannot rely on tweets alone to reach an entire nation. His most important information should be shared verbally and with mainstream media instead of being typed on a phone with a 140 character limit. As Trump moves forward as president, he must not lose sight of his critical role and the weight his opinions carry. Written by Julie Pacillo
Letters to the Editor Dear Editors, This month’s newspaper covered a wide variety of categories. There was sports, movies, books, plays, poetry, technology, etc. There was something everyone can enjoy. There wasn’t an article I disliked. If I had to choose my favorite though, it would be “Six seconds of fame finished for Vine” by Jamie Connors. It was very funny and entertaining, and when I just needed a little laugh, I would watch. With Instagram and Snapchat increasing in popularity, I can see why Twitter decided to discontinue the app. Another article I liked was “Saying goodbye to sign language” by Gabriella Sarracino. I wanted to
take it this year, but before I chose it in eighth grade, I heard rumors the high school would get rid of it for good. Therefore, I stuck with Spanish, which I studied throughout middle school. The newspaper this month was a good one. From, Joseph Sandomenico, Class of 2020 Dear Kayla Sanchez, In the December issue of The Lighthouse, your article “The Bowery Mission lends helping hand during the holidays” stood out to me. This article made me very happy knowing that there are programs like the Bowery Mis-
sion that help the less fortunate and transform their lives for the better. Reading about the Bowery Mission inspired me to volunteer more in school and in the community. In the future, I would like to be a part of a beneficial program like the Bowery Mission, helping others and making the world a better place. Sincerely, Victoria Niedbal, Class of 2020 Dear Editors, In “Ugly sweaters bring joy to the holidays,” Alexis Prieto discusses how LHS teachers have the tradition of wearing ugly Christmas Sweaters to work.
This makes me think about how all those cute Christmas shows on TV and all the movies on TV show the fun times families have together on Christmas. It demonstrates life can always be fun if you make it to be. This article shows that teachers do have a fun side to them. It isn’t always books and papers. They like to have fun just like the rest of us! I like the jolliness in the text. It gets me excited for Christmas and the Christmas spirit that comes along with it. I will definitely be purchasing an ugly sweater. I have been inspired. Thank you, Meghan Garcia, Class of 2018
Pro Sports Column
NBA season is full of surprises Campbell Donovan Sports Commentator
The National Basketball Association season is off to a crazy start. The offseason kept fans on their toes as big name players went to different teams. Dwayne Wade, who played for the Miami Heat, signed with his hometown team, the Chicago Bulls. Derrick Rose was traded from the Chicago Bulls to the New York Knicks. Kevin Durant, who was previously with the Oklahoma City Thunder, signed a two-year con-
tract with the heavily favored Golden State Warriors. Another thing making this season different is that Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett are absent. All of them announced their retirement last season. Ben Simmons was the first overall pick in the NBA draft. Drafted number one by the Philadelphia 76ers, the Australia native attended Montverde Academy in Florida and played his freshman year at Louisiana State University. Simmons injured his ankle before the season started and is expected to miss four months of games and practices. When he returns from his injury, he is sure to make a positive impact on the 76ers’ performance because he is a good player and tries his best every day.
My prediction is that the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors will be the two teams to make it to the NBA Finals, with the Warriors emerging as the winners. The Cavaliers are the defending champs. They look great this year, and they are atop their division and the Eastern Conference. Look out for the Cavaliers’ LeBron James, the three-time NBA champion who has his sights set on another ring to add to his many achievements and accomplishments. James was born in Akron, Ohio and played high school basketball for St. Vincent-St. Mary’s High School in Akron. He forwent his freshman year of college to be the first overall pick in the 2003 NBA draft. He plays
alongside two exceptional New Jersey natives, Kyrie Irving and J.R. Smith. Despite the Cavaliers’ strengths, the Warriors are the best team in the West and they are likely to win it all. Coming off a heartbreaking defeat to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Warriors blew a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals last year. The performance of Most Valuable Player Stephen Curry was particularly disappointing to watch. So much was riding on him, and he didn’t play with the talent he exhibited throughout the regular season. This year, the Warriors traded half of their team to make cap space after they signed Durant. All this change will shake up the team and, if my prediction is correct, lead the Warriors to victory.
Bowlers continue winning tradition
By Sean Leonard Staff Writer
Practice and hard work has payed off for the bowling team. Led by Senior Captain Ryan Donohue with support from Seniors Tyla D’Andrea, James Podolski and Naomi Ramos, the bowlers started off their season undefeated by dominating their first five opponents. As of Jan. 8, the team’s historic winning streak stayed alive at 92 games. Donohue, who has contributed to the varsity winning streak for the past three years, said reaching
have a ton “of We great bowlers who can be the best in the state at any time.
a 100-game milestone would be a reward for the team’s dedication. “It would literally mean everything to me. All the hard work and practice could bring us there,” Donohue said. Although the winning streak is important to Donohue, he said winning the Tournament of Champions in February would top every achievement. “While winning 100 straight is astounding, nothing can compete with winning the Tournament of Champions and getting another ring,” Donohue said. Head Coach Balkin, who has led the team for four years, knows the team’s skill level and said they are underrated. Despite falling short in the Tournament of Champions last year, Balkin said she still believes Lyndhurst has some of New Jersey’s most talented bowlers. “We have a ton of great bowlers who can be the best in the state at any time. I think everyone expected a big drop off after the state championship season, and my team defied all expectations,” Balkin said. Balkin said she had an advantage creating her current lineup because no players graduated in 2016. “Some players are great but can’t be in a pressure spot in the lineup. Other players aren’t as good but are great under pressure. Luckily this year, I have mostly returning players. So, I already know where they should go,” Balkin said. Senior Bowler Naomi Ramos said she expects the team to compete at states again with the possibility of winning their group. She said the bowlers have grown together because no players were lost coming into the season. “Since last year, it’s basically the same team. So, we’re like family now and have become good friends. We’ve all gotten closer,” said Ramos.
Photo by Jennifer Wartel Senior Captain Conor Yunis wrestles an opponent from Ocean Township at the Kearny Tournament at Kearny High School on Dec. 17.
LHS graduate goes from mats to mentor By Jennifer Wartel Staff Director The gym is packed, the Bear Cave is roaring and the 182 pound weight class is up. It feels just like last season, except this year, the crowd no longer hears World Wrestling Entertainment star Stone Cold Steve Austin’s theme song “I Won’t Do What You Tell Me.” They also no longer see Matt DeMarco running out on the mat to wrestle. Instead, they spot DeMarco on the edge of the mat. DeMarco, who graduated from LHS last year, has returned to the wrestling team as a volunteer coach. “I just love the sport and wanted to be around it any possible [way] I could be. So, when Coach Collins asked [me] to come around, I jumped right on that invitation,” DeMarco said. He said he wants to start getting
experience now so after college he can get a job as a coach. DeMarco said he loves being with the team every day and wants the wrestlers to stay hungry. “Nothing is going to come easy at all this season. They need to be fully committed and motivated to work their absolute hardest each and every day,” DeMarco said. He said he expects the team to compete and put up a fight at every match, which is exactly what the wrestlers did on Dec. 17 when they participated in the Kearny High School Holiday Tournament. During the tournament, LHS took second place overall and eight wrestlers received medals. Junior Matt Daub and Sophomore Derin Stitzer finished first in their brackets. Senior Captain Conor Yunis and Junior Jordan DeAbreu achieved
second place finishes. Junior Nick Fernandez (North Arlington High School), Junior Tyler Partyka, Sophomore Victor Jorge and Freshman Jarrett Weber all placed third. While Senior Captain Christian Campana said he was impressed by his teammates’ performance during the tournament, he said a challenge this season has been the team’s assignment to a new district. The group has been wrestling teams they have never wrestled before. “One thing I learned last season is that our wrestling program responds very well to adversity. Last season, it was the last-minute coaching change, which we soon discovered wasn’t a challenge for us at all,” Campana said. “This year, it will be the new district. But if we’re the team I know we are, we’ll overcome this just as easy as anything else.”
Campana said the team must stay focused and positive. “There are always people when things change that want to doubt, but what’s important is that we simply get out there and do what we’ve prepared to do and just wrestle,” Campana said. Collins is in his second season with the team and said the wrestlers practice and compete six or seven days per week. A typical 90-minute practice consists of a brief warm-up, some technique instruction, skill development, live wrestling matches and drills as well as strength and conditioning. “We have a tough schedule but aim to be competitive every time we step on the mat,” Collins said. The wrestlers kicked off their dual match season on Dec. 21 against Queen of Peace High School. As of Jan. 8, the team was 2-4.
Hopeful and determined, hockey players look to make a comeback By Alexis Gerbasio Staff Writer
With a record of 2-8-1 as of Jan. 9, the hockey players have set goals of improving their performance on the ice and growing closer as a team. Junior Captain Matt Tomko, who has been on the team since his freshman year, said this season has been particularly difficult because it is unlike previous seasons. “This year, we are a lot younger and do not have as much depth as last year’s team, which gives the top players and the team less rest between shifts,” Tomko said. He said he tries to stay positive for his teammates, even during difficult times. “My goal as the captain is to make sure that everything is go-
ing well throughout the season,” Tomko said. Tomko and Sophomore Kyle Bouteloupt said, despite a rough beginning, they are hopeful for a possible state playoff berth. “The team can improve on shooting pucks on net ‘cause we aren’t a fancy team. So, we just have to focus on shooting and hitting the net,” said Bouteloupt, a second year player. Bouteloupt said the team has a strong camaraderie and can benefit from strong teamwork. Junior Timothy Meglio, who joined the team last year, said the players are hungry and determined for more wins. “We are always hoping for more opportunities to be the best that we can be, and when we accomplish a goal as a team, it is a great feeling,” said Meglio.
Photo by Emma Chloe Caamaño Junior Captain Matt Tomko checks a player from Northern Valley Regional High School-Old Tappan to get the puck at the Ice House in Hackensack on Jan. 8.
Swimmers heat up the cold season By Jillian Cancela Editor
Photo by Jillian Cancela Sophomore Angela Downey prepares to pass the ball to Junior Grace Cappiello at a home game against Bergen Charter High School on Dec. 20.
Girls basketball strides toward better season By Joana Kapaj Staff Writer
Girls basketball started off the season strong with a 49-13 win at an away game against Leonia High School on Dec. 16. The team won 53-20 at its home opener against Bergen Charter High School on Dec. 20. During the Leonia game, Junior Grace Cappiello, who has been on varsity since freshman year, was a key player. She scored 19 points with an additional five steals that brought LHS to victory. Keeping her winning streak going during the Bergen Charter game, she scored 13 points, three assists and four rebounds. Additionally, Sophomore Angela Downey, a second year varsity player, added seven points and three assists. As of Jan. 8, the team’s record was 5-3. After finishing last season with a 10-14 record, the players’ effort and teamwork this season is paying off. “They’re always rooting and supporting
for each other, and not [as] an individual thing where one person has to get all the glory,” Head Coach Cousins said. “They appreciate that they don’t have to get all the glory and that everyone together can have success.” Sophomore Angelina DeCoro, a new varsity player, said the team’s bond contributes to the players’ success.
“You don’t want to
tear them down… but boost their confidence so they can believe in themselves more.
“No particular moment can beat being a part of the team and having successes together,” DeCoro said. Sophomore Gabriela Schnur, who started on varsity last year, said, “I think the best
quality to have as a basketball player and a teammate is to be a hard worker and to strive for higher goals.” Schnur said she has been inspired by her mother, who finds the sport very exciting. She said her family is a source of love and support. “My family are probably my biggest fans because they support me with everything I do,” Schnur said. “They pick me up when I have a bad game but also build me up when I do good.” Senior Captains Alyssa Mezzina and Uxia Parada said they want the team to view them as approachable friends. “People look up to you. They trust in what you are doing,” Parada said. Mezzina agreed, saying, “We try to do a lot of positive encouragement. You don’t want to tear them down… but boost their confidence so they can believe in themselves more.” Mezzina said she hopes this feeling of unity leads to further success as the girls continue their season.
Boys basketball starts season with a win By Frankie Venezia Staff Writer The boys basketball team tipped off its season on Dec. 16 at home against Leonia High School. In the first half, the boys were losing by double digits and looking for someone to step up and lead the team. With great play from Senior Captain Eddie Albuquerque and Junior Center Kyle Logan, the team mounted an impressive comeback to win the game 42-38. “In the first half, we didn’t play bad, but we didn’t finish the plays we needed to,” said Coach McGuire, who is in his second season as head coach after coming over from Queen of Peace High School in North Arlington. “When we were down 30-23, we changed to a full court press and the pressure got them out of rhythm. We turned strong defense into quick offense,” McGuire said. The star of the night was Captain Eddie Albuquerque. Due to off-the-court issues,
Alburquerque did not start in the team’s first game. This setback motivated him during the game. “I let my team down, and I knew I had to show them I’m here to play and win,” Albuquerque said. Coming off the bench late in the first quarter, Albuquerque had 11 points, five steals, four assists and one block. Even though
When I hit my first “shot, I was fired up. At that moment, I knew we were going to win the game.
the win was most important to him, the highlight of his night was scoring his first points of his senior year.
“When I hit my first shot, I was fired up. At that moment, I knew we were going to win the game,” Albuquerque said. Adding to the win was Sophomore Guard Brian Podolski. This game was his debut on the varsity basketball team. “At first, I was nervous to be playing in my first varsity game, but as the game went on, I felt more comfortable playing,” Podolski said. With the end of the game approaching, Podolski was sent to the free throw line and tied up the game. “Once I hit the free throw, I knew the game was ours. I knew that we were going to come together to win this game,” Podolski said. After the win against Leonia High School, the boys suffered eight losses against Bergen Charter, Dwight Englewood, Emerson Boro, Hasbrouck Heights, Kinnelon, Lakeland, Palisades Park and Queen of Peace High Schools. The team’s next game will be on Jan. 14 at Paramus High School.
This year’s swim team is pushing off with a strong lead. As of Jan. 9, the girls record was 4-1 and the boys were 2-2. On Dec. 8, the teams faced a tough loss against Rutherford High School. During the girls 4x100 freestyle relay, the referee disqualified LHS’s lane three for leaving the board too early. Had it not been for the disqualification, which LHS felt was unjust, the swimmers would have won that relay by ten seconds. “It still bothers us because we would have been 4-0 compared to 3-1,” Senior Captain Cierra Wartel said. Wartel has been on the varsity team since her freshman year. She was convinced by her brother Sal, who was a captain at the time, to try out and join the team. Now, Wartel’s brother, along with her whole family, comes to support her at swim meets. “They love cheering me on and are always proud of me when my race is over,” said Wartel, explaining that her family is her biggest fan. Similar to Wartel, Senior Captain Zach Dembowski receives familial support from his father. “He is the only person who consistently comes to see me swim,” Dembowski said. “He goes out of his way to mark my times and give me advice so that I will succeed in the sport.” During high school, Dembowski’s father swam on his high school team at Hudson Catholic Regional High School in Jersey City. Dembowski said he was inspired to follow in his dad’s footsteps. Now, his father gives him pointers on technique, which Dembowski said is a common problem among the team members. “One of the team’s biggest issues is our starts and turns,” Dembowski said. “Once we have the technique down, our team can be near flawless.” Freshman Kiara Acta said, rather than technique, the team’s major weakness is a lack of support for one another. “I think the team just needs to motivate and push each other to do their best,” Acta said. Acta, who was on a club swim team before coming to LHS, said she is proud of her 50 meter freestyle time of 27:26 seconds. Sophomore Matt Sales joined the team as a freshman. Even though it was only his first year on the team, he beat the school’s record for the breaststroke. “I was really happy and thought I was the best but realized I still needed a lot of improvement,” Sales said. This year, he beat the record he set last season when he completed the 100 meter breaststroke in one minute and 14.47 seconds. Sales said despite the losses the team has faced, they can still have a good year. “I expect us to do well this season and feel that we can do well at leagues,” Sales said. “We need to… really focus on getting better this year where we have our best swimmers.” Dembowski said even though the team’s momentum was thrown off by a loss against Harrison High School on Dec. 16, he still expects the team to fight for a spot in the championship this year. “[Harrison High School] got us by a few points, and all we can do is push ourselves harder every day,” Dembowski said. “None of the seniors want to end their swim career without a swim championship sign hanging in the gym.”