RHS Knight Writers Vol. 63 Issue 4 | April 2023

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What is the dress code at a pasta prom?… Bowtie.

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Volume 63

KnightWriters

Issue 4

Meet Taylor Swift at Midnight at

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The Eras Tour

She’s truly a mastermind.

ARE YOU READY FOR IT?

TIME FOR A LITTLE REVENGE

Celeste Lara (‘23) dresses up as “Speak Now” Taylor. The signature color for the album is purple. Photo Courtsey of C.

Kaly Mabe (‘25) dresses in all black as “Reputation” Taylor. Swift’s reputation era happened after her disappearance from the internet. Photo Courtsey of K. Mabe

YOU’RE MY LOVER Catie Powell (‘25) makes a heart with her fingers. Powell dresses in in a neon pink shirt and white pants to represent Swift’s “Lover” of C.

I AM A MIRRORBALL Lauren Yoakum (‘23) dresses up in a silver dress to represent “folklore” Taylor. Photo Courtsey of L. Yoakum

BEST BELIEVE I’M STILL BEJEWELED Maddie Llewellyn (‘23) dresses in a navy dress with silver fringe to portray “Midnights” Taylor. “Midnights” is Swift’s most recent release.

SWIFTSBOROUGH COUNTY Raymond James Stadium hosts Taylor Swift for three nights in a row. The stadium has over 75,000 seats. Photo Courtsey of Heather Melton

the show.

In addition to prom, there was one event many knights had been excitingly awaiting for: Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tours. From Thursday, April 13 to Saturday, April 15, Swift performed three sold-out shows at Raymond James Stadium here in Tampa, Fla. After five new releases and two re-re cordings, Swift was ready to show the world her journey through the different eras of her career.

The Eras Tour is Swift’s first tour since 2018. To no one’s surprise, seats sold out within minutes, leaving many ecstatic fans disappointed. As a result, Swift announced 26 additional shows, including two more to the original Tam pa show.

“Getting tickets was extremely difficult,” Heath Berman (’26) said. “In the original sale, I managed to get tickets to a show in Minneapolis. But for the show I went to in Tampa, I had to hunt for tickets on third-party resale apps.”

Thousands of fans filed into the stadium in their themed outfits for all three nights. The show lasted three hours with Swift performing 44 songs with no breaks in between. Long-time Swiftie Sabrina Gonzalez (’24) had the opportunity to experience Swift’s tour close and upfront in floor seats on her first night in Tampa.

“I loved Taylor since I was, like, in first grade, so I guess I love her for the nostalgia of her older popular music, but her recent stuff is just really good lyrically and also in composition,” Gonza-

FROM THE INSIDE

lez said. “I have never been to a concert, so I thought experiencing all the eras of Taylor in one long concert sounded pretty cool.”

With so many people coming to Tampa for the tour, one can imagine getting around to be a disaster. Although it could be beneficial for some businesses in the city, many are stuck in traffic for hours just trying to get home after a long day of work.

“We got there not super early, at 4 p.m.,” Gonzalez said. “The traffic was really bad, but we got dropped off so we wouldn’t have to scramble for a parking space. A lot of the roads were closed.”

Not to mention, a crucial component of any concert is the outfit. Ever since the announcement of the tour, Swifies have been flooding the internet with potential outfit concepts. All sorts have ideas have been thought of, from a champagne bottle to a refrigerator. Catie Powell (’25), a “Lover” stan, decided to attend the concert dressed in bright pink.

“This album is a great summer album and Taylor always seems to be having a lot of fun when she’s performing it. I also love the colors for the album,” Powell said.

No matter the number of challenges there were and the amount of preparations everyone did, it was all worth it in the end as these Robinson students gather with other Swifties to enjoy

— FEATURES — Ruyle the Stage: Maddy Ruyle Directs Her First Play

In a small office space at the Patel Conservatory, Maddy Ruyle (’23) and her co-director Francesca Werner (’23) ran rehearsal ...

Swift opened Miss Americana & the Heartbreak Prince” from her “Lover” album and ended the show with “Kar ma” from her most recent album, “Midnights.” All the eras except for her debut era were represented, with a heavier emphasis on her newer releases.

“My experience was absolute ly incredible. We were so close to the stage and could see every thing. There was even one point when Taylor’s dad handed us guitar picks. I loved the mix of old and new songs and the energy sur rounding the entire stadium. I honestly don’t think I will ever be able to top this concert,” Maya Tahiri (’23) said.

— NEWS — Robinson Students Reel in for a Prom Under the Stars Knights gathered at the Florida Aquarium for the annual Night of Knights. Take a look inside for highlights from the Starry Knight.

SHE HAD A MARVELOUS TIME RUINING EVERYTHING Swift gets emotional as she performs “my tears ricohet,” a fan favorite from “folklore,” Swift’s tenth studio album. Photo Courtsey of C. Powell

— SPORTS —

Boys’ Lacrosse Team Remain Positive Through

Tough Season

After a rough season, the boys’ lacrosse players are still trudging toward the end on a positive note despite their losses...

a

April 21, 2023 knightwriters.org
JUST ANOTHER
PICTURE TO BURN
Maya Tahari (‘23) dresses up as debut Taylor. Swift released her first album at the age of 16.
HEADLINES
3 4 7
Photo Courtsey of Photo Courtsey of M. Llewellyn

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MidKnight Snack: No Bake Spring Berry Pie

What’s Hot This Summer?

Your fashion essentials for the summer of 2023.

Unless you’ve been living un der a rock for the past couple of decades, you know there are two specific seasons that hold prime fashion potential: summer and fall. As sum mer swiftly approaches, it means it’s time to start picturing and putting together outfits. Topics such as color, style, aesthet ics and much more are all important factors in deter mining what to wear this coming season.

First and definitely (in my opinion) most im portant, is color. Bright and vibrant, as usual, this time of year, will undoubtedly be ide al to stay on trend this summer. Purples, pinks and blues are not a thing of the past and will be seen at every turn. Not only are bright and fun colors back and

better than ever, but so are more neutral colors for a

Neutral colors also go with what’s known as the “clean girl” look, which consists of soft and glowy makeup, slicked-back hair, dainty jewelry and simplistic clothing. This aesthetic gained popularity in the summer of 2022 but is certainly not going away any time soon; if anything, it’s growing.

As many of us have seen in recent months, it’s time to say goodbye to high rise as we welcome low rise back into our lives. I

Soaking Up the Sun With These Songs

The perfect songs for the summer.

With summer approaching, it’s time to get our sunblock out and get ready to go to the beach. We also need music to listen to while communing there and getting our tans. This playlist includes 26 different feel-good songs that give off the perfect beachy, oceanic vibes.

“Changes In Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes” by Jimmy Buffett and Alan Jackson: Growing up, my dad would always play Jimmy Buffett on the way to the beach and this song, in particular, is just one the whole car would sing.

“Soak Up The Sun” by Sheryl Crow: My sister and I would always blast this particular Sheryl Crow song while jamming out to music during the eight-week break.

“Where’d All the Time Go?” by Dr. Dog: This song has always given me “on the way to the beach” vibes. It also reminds me of the Netflix show, “Outer Banks,” when they played it in season two.

feel that low-rise pants are a bit of a touchy subject in many social circles, but paired with the right outfit, you can’t go wrong with them, which is why they are perfect for this summer.

With the welcome of low-rise, we also embrace the appearance of sheer and cutouts. A fun sheer top with a simple tank top underneath can make for the perfect combination to look cute and stay cool this coming season. Cutout pieces serve the same function. Along with being multifunctional, cutouts also add a little extra pizzazz.

Fashion has always been an amazing way for people to express their individuality in a beautiful and unique way. Summer and all of its wonderful opportunities make it a perfect time to find ways to express yourself and grow, especially before the new school year comes along.

“Did You Know There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Boulevard” is a Masterpiece

“Prom Pact” Is Packed Full of Surprises

“Prom Pact” is extremely cheesy, but in a good way.

“Prom Pact” definitely surprised me. I won’t lie, I went into this movie with very low expectations, but I was pleasantly surprised. Although it was very cheesy, it was cheesy in a heartwarming romcom way. I mean let’s be honest, is a rom-com even a rom-com if it’s not at least a little bit corny?

“Prom Pact” is the newest teenage rom-com to hit Disney Plus. This movie stars familiar Disney Channel stars, Peyton Elizabeth Lee, who plays Mandy Yang, and Milo Manheim, who plays Ben Plunkett. Yang and Plunkett are second-semester seniors who have made it through high school by avoiding high school culture at

all costs. Yang is clearly over high school and thinks that she is above it all while Plunkett is longing to get more involved.

Yang and Plunkett are pulled out of their normal routine of waffles and movies when Yang is waitlisted from her dream school, Harvard. In the midst of a scheme to get Yang into Harvard, she and Plunkett are pushed into new situations and forced to embrace the high school experience.

All in all, it was a really cute movie. I was expecting the main love story between Yang and the popular jock Graham Lansing (Blake Draper) to make me nauseous, but by the end of the film, I

was dying to see them get together.

Although I really enjoyed “Prom Pact, there were definitely many cringe-worthy moments. For example, obviously, the movie is about prom, so there were many very public and very embarrassing promposals that made me severely cringe. However, it’s all part of the movie’s appeal. And not all of the promposals were bad. One of my favorite moments of the movie was when Lansing asked Yang to prom. With it being prom season, this is the perfect movie to watch if you’re in the mood for a cute romcom. Just make sure that you are prepared to cringe a little.

A&E
Ben Plunkett (Milo Manheim) and Mandy Yang (Peyton Elizabeth Lee) sit in the movie theater eating popcorn in prom attire. Photo from Variety
Open your Spotify app and scan the code to listen to the playlist.
Jadyn Grayes (‘24) poses in a flowy purple floral dress with silver heels . Photo by C. Cheng Cecilia Cheng (‘24) and Chelsea Rodriguez (‘23) in neutral color dresses. Both also has light makeup on, achieving the “clean girl” aesthetic. Photo by K. McGoldrick Ally Steele (‘25) and Yesenia Rosario (‘25) laughs on a perfect afternoon. Steele is wearing a soft pink dress and Rosario is wearing a pastel blue dress with a little white cardigan. Photo Courtsey of A. Steele Rodriguez smiles in a clean girl look. Blush is an essential part of tying everything together. Photo by C. Rodriguez
2 / A&E

In a small office space at the Patel Conservatory, Maddy Ruyle (‘23) and her co-director Francesca Werner (‘23) ran rehearsal for their performance of “The Children’s Hour.” She kept her script in front of her on a stand, following along with the lines her actors spoke. She wrote a few notes—”little things, picky things” as Ruyle describes it—in the margins of the script to give once the scene was finished.

However, this run-through of the scene wasn’t as smooth as it could be. During this rehearsal, two of the lead actresses, Robinson’s Ingalls Witte (‘23) and Sickles High School’s Abby Turlington (‘26), couldn’t be in attendance.

“Conflicts come up all the time, whether be someone can’t get a ride or... some of the lead actors were sick. Obviously, this can set us back as we have [a] schedule set to run certain scenes each week, and with people missing; we think on our feet and adapt to work on other scenes...” Ruyle said.

So, to improvise, Ruyle worked on characterization with the actors for the majority of the time. She decided to make it fun, playing different games with the actors to pull out their characters’ personalities. The actors circled the room, walking around as if they were their characters. Then, Ruyle asked them about how their day went in three different ways (all crucial to the plot).

“[Ruyle and Werner] are... the coolest directors I’ve ever worked with. They’re not too strict but also not too laid back. We’ve only had a few rehearsals and we’ve already blocked the whole show and ran through everything. It’s going to be great,” actor, and Blake High School junior, Alex Rodriguez said.

For Ruyle, directing this play is a crucial part of achieving the certification from the conservatory.

Features

Ruyle the Stage: Maddy Ruyle Directs Her First Play

The curtain rises on Ruyle’s show April 21.

It’s called a senior capstone, which is the final project that the seniors experience. The seniors select and adapt pieces while being in charge of casting, the rehearsal process and all other elements necessary to make a successful play. Ruyle decided to work with Werner, another senior at the Patel.

“I have known Francesca [Werner] for many years and have been in many performances with her. I knew that working with her would be perfect because we both have different perspectives, but we both respect each other as artists. We knew we were taking on a big task by putting on a full-length play so being that we both are earning certifications, we decided to come together to direct the play with help from each other,” Ruyle said.

Together, they chose the play “The Children’s Hour” by Lillian Hellman, which follows two women, Karen Wright and Martha Dobie, who run a boarding school together. Mary Tilford, a mischievous girl who attends the school, tries to not return and twists the narrative that the women are having a secret lesbian affair to her grandmother, Amelia Tilford. The following events are caused by this rumor and the destruction of these two women’s reputations.

“Going into my capstone project, I really had no clue what to do, but, Francesca and I knew that we somehow wanted to showcase a story that featured in some way the LGBTQ+ community. We did... a bit of research, and once we came across “The Children’s Hour”, we were both instantly drawn to the storyline and how it is a classic dramatic play, based off a true story,” Ruyle said.

“We both wanted to do something that would bring an impact the audience and had the idea about something “contemporary” and something

Summer Job Searching

still on the fence in our society now, but it’s still talked about. We... came to the conclusion that being able to tell an LGBTQ story would be important to show how as a society we have grown since this play has come about,” she said.

A director can’t do a play without any actors, so Ruyle needed to find other teenage actors around Tampa to fill the roles for this play. To her, casting is “the most important decision in this whole process” and it all starts with the audition.

The audition process was an open call, which meant anyone, not just Patel Conservatory students, could audition. Ruyle reached out to others she performed with before but also had social media posts with information regarding the audition (the Patel also posted this information to their students as well). From there, she acted like any other director would, sitting in on auditions with the actors to see the potential for them to play any of the characters. She did callbacks the same night as auditions, having those read directly from the script. Throughout, she was finalizing decisions and helped actors with their portrayal of the characters.

“With some actors, after reading just once for a character, we could automatically make a decision as their choices in acting were spot on and drew us into their potential for a character. For others, we coached them or swapped them in and out to read for many characters to see where their talent would align the most. When making a very difficult decision of multiple actors up for one part, I think what makes my decision every time is the ability of the actor to deliver the emotion behind the words. it’s one thing to read the lines given to you, but it’s another to really go for it and show emotion through your gestures, tone of voice, your breathing, etc.” Ruyle said.

Continue reading on knightwriters.org....

With summer just around the corner, many RHS students are looking for ways to get extra spending money.

As many students start to become hiring age, they have started to look for an easy job to work for the summer.

Playgrounds on Dale Mabry is one such place where a lot of Robinson students have found work. A lot of teens worry that they won’t have enough time to work while meeting commitments for their other extra curricular activities. Kaelin Kurry (‘25) has not had this problem while working at Playgrounds.

“I would say it’s a pretty flexible job, if you really need to take time off for an event or for sports our manager will let you take off.” Kurry said.

Playgrounds is an indoor bounce-castle park, with a small coffee shop for parents at the front entrance. A lot of the job is watching and interacting with elementary-aged kids.

“We host birthday parties for little kids

and for some you can pay to have them after hours. During non-school days, breaks and summer we host camp for kids ages four and up. We take care of them from 8:30 am- 5:30 pm. You can also work the front of house position where you make coffees and check people in.” Kurry said.

They accept applications from anyone as young as 14 on their website, making $11.00 an hour. Plus, whatever tips you make at the counter will go directly to you.

Dominic Hernandez (‘24) is a life guard at the Tampa YMCA.  While life-guarding requires more training than many other first job options, It can also prove to be more rewarding. According to Hernandez, the worst part was getting approved for the job.

“It was a pain for me to wait until I received emails and text messages to get accepted,” said

Hernandez.

The hiring process has to be as intense as it is, because one may be put in the situation where you actually have to stop a person from drowning. Even if you never have to use all that training, it’s still important to consider that responsibility when applying, and the effect it may have on you mentally.

“It’s not draining. Just the thought of having to save someone is what keeps me active and such.” Hernandez said.

The YMCA also can offer flexible hours if any other priority should arise during your scheduled work days.

“I love my job and the crew I work with is amazing and I would recommend it to peo ple,” Hernandez said.

Ruyle marks down notes after the run through of a scene between Joe Cardin and Amelia Tilford. Photo by J. Le Werner and Ruyle react to a response by one of the actors in their characterization exercise. Photo by J. Le Alex Rodriguez (‘24) responds as his character, Dr. Joe Cardin. Photo by J. Le Amanda Whittlesey (‘23) making iced coffee at Playgrounds, where she works.
The yearbook is sold out! Scan the QR Code to sign up for the wait-list. Yearbooks arrive in Mid May. Putting your name on the waistline does not guarantee a yearbook. Any wait-list books are $100 cash after distribution day. FEATURES / 3
Photo by Z. Thaxton

STARRY KNIGHT

Robinson Students Reel in for a Prom Under the Stars

The annual Night of Knights, better known as Prom, gathers a TUNA fun for upperclassmen at the Florida Aquarium.

AND WE DANCE ALL NIGHT TO THE BEST SONG EVER. Robinson students and guests hit the dance floor and throw their arms up in the air as they dance to the music. The dance floor, this year, moved downstairs near the entrance. The reactions to the DJ for this dance were relatively more positive in comparison to those from the Homecoming dance back in October, but there was still a fair share of feedback. “It was alright, I just wanted older tunes or more Spanish songs to like traditionally dance,” Samantha Solis (‘23) said. Photo by J. Le GETTING UP CLOSE. Samara Washington (‘23) and Abrianna Lockwood (‘23) poke around the starfish touch tank, one of the few open exhibits where guests could get a feel of the underwater marine life. Access to the touch tank and other exhibits was available during the first half of the evening to attendees of the dance. Photo by J. Le

and Ashley

(‘23) dance together while holding hands. Prom wasn’t just about the aquarium. At its core, prom is a dance. “I loved the music and being able to see most of the exhibits,”

fishy, but recieved relatively positivie responses. “Ian? Oh. That was... that was the dirtiest smellin’, nastiest thing I ever seen,” Henderson said. Photo by J. Le

A NIGHT WITH THE FISH Eden Davidson (‘24) (left) and Kaylee Jacobs (‘24) sit and chat in the tunnel tank, the fish and marine life swimming above and around them. The venue, which appeared to be a success at last year’s Night of Knights, once again gave everyone a night to remember. “My favorite thing about prom was the location. I quite enjoy marine life, and it was a very pretty place. it was nicely decorated as well,” Davidson said. Photo by J. Le

THAT’LL LEAVE A MARK. Markers were left out for guests to write on the shark tank. While the various quotes, messgaes, doodles and names left behind on the tank’s glass were temporary, the exhibit was personalized just for Robinson students by Robinson students

4 / PROM
DANCING QUEENS. Sara Mansoor (‘23) (left) Bogran Borgan said. Photo by J. Le DIP INTO THE DOTS. (From left to right) Khwahish Jain (‘23), Kristina Nguyen (‘23) and Drew Zacharias (‘23) enjoy some of the free Dippin’ Dots. “Dippin dots were amazing and splendid. Though there weren’t as many flavors as last time, they were definitely the highlight of the night,” Nguyen said. Photo by J. Le DO DA STANKY LEGG (TELL ‘EM DO DA STANKY LEGG). Mia Reineke (‘23), Maddox Thomas (‘24), Amelia Kempton (‘24) and Jeremiah Henderson (‘23) watch Ian Ayres (‘23) do the “stanky legg” off-beat from the music playing. “The [DJ] was doing too much, lots of talking and not enough playing music. However, lots improvement from hoco,” Ayres said. Ayres’s stanky legg to some smelt a little for the night. Photo Courtesy of Robinson PTSA.
FOR MORE PHOTOS FROM PROM AT THE AQUARIUM, visit knightwriters.org.

All Hail the Royal Court

Introducing the 2023 Prom King and Prom Queen.

SOG Gets Into Spirit Ahead of Prom

A look at some of the ensembles every day of Prom Spirit Week.

Leading up to the big night, the Robinson Student Government organized five days of spirit in a Prom Spirit Week.

The first day took everyone back to 2020, when daily life moved to a Zoom call and everyday became a pajama day. On Tuesday, pairs or groups dressed up in outfits that rhymed but didn’t necessarily go together. Wednesday was all about Adam Sandler, with

recreations of his iconic baggy outfits.

Thursday, students chose whether they would be hitting the barn as country or the golf course as country club. Finally, Friday was the day for the seniors with the return of the classic Respect Your Elders Day, with senior students dressed up as old people, juniors dressed as middle-aged adults, sophomores as elementary schoolers and freshmen as babies.

With no pep rally beforehand, this year’s Prom King and Queen winners were announced at the dance. With everyone on the dance floor, the royal court of the Robinson High School Night of Knights was announced: George Daniels (‘23) as King and Kohana Pousson (‘23) as Queen.

Voting for prom court began on Canvas on Monday, April 10, with a total of six candidates.

Daniel won his campaign against the only other candidate for the title, Philip Dillard (‘23). Pousson on the other hand was in a pool against three other girls: Akaisha Angevin (‘23), Mia Reineke (‘23) and Tahra Greenidge (‘23).

Read along to get to know this year’s Prom Royal Court and their Night of Knights experiences.

Q: Why did you decide to run for Prom King/ Queen?

GD: Cause my best friend Kohana ran, so I just ran too.

KP:I just thought that it’s my senior year so why not? I also had a lot of people telling me and my best friend to run together so I ended up convincing my best friend to run with me for King and we just went through with it.

Q: How did you feel leading up to the prom court

announcement?

GD: I was kinda nervous... I guess... I dunno.

KP: I was just doing it for fun so I wasn’t too worried about winning or anything but I was excited and couldn’t wait to find out who won it.

Q: What was your favorite thing about prom?

GD: Favorite thing about prom was them announcing that me and Kohana won prom king and queen.

KP: The music... the DJ was extremely good especially compared to homecoming. I just loved being able to dance with all my friends to good music.

Q: Would you recommend running for prom court?

GD: Yes. Yes I will. It’s a cool thing to do

KP: Yes I would. It wasn’t too much at all and it wasn’t a worry or a stressor. It was actually laid back and super fun and plus you get a little bragging right.

MONDAY:

Jordyn

TUESDAY: Rhyme Without Reason

Abby

(‘24)

WEDNESDAY:

THURSDAY:

FRIDAY:

SCAN THIS

QR

CODE

TO LISTEN TO FAN-FAVORITE SONGS FROM PROM. (Songs gathered from Instagram Question Sticker)

PROM / 5
King George Daniel (‘23) and Queen Kohana Pousson (‘23) in their prom outfit. Photo Courtesy of G. Daniel Zoom In Real Life Johnson (‘24) poses with red flannel pajama pants and a Robinson flag football shirt. Photo by C. Cheng Gobel and Kayle Maybe (‘25) dressed up as Florist and Tourist. Photo by C. Rodriguez Adam Sandler Kelsi White (‘23) throws up a peace sign, a classic in Adam Sandler’s paparazzi photos. She sports a baggy t-shirt and stylish basketball shorts. Photo by J. Le Country vs. Country Club (From left to right) Michelle Pintur (‘25), A’mrah Edmund (‘24), Annika Carreiro (‘25), Anthony Edmonds (‘24), Blake Kahle (‘25)show off their country outfits. Photo by W. Bowden Respect Your Elders Myrakal Moore (‘23) (left) and Alexia De La Rosa (‘23) dressed as senior citizens for spirit week. Photo by W. Bowden

Sports

Girls’ LAX Plans to End Season Better Than They Expected

The girls’ lacrosse on collaboration and perseverance through their final games.

This year has been off to a rocky start for the girls’ lacrosse team. They’ve had to teach lacrosse basics to nearly half of the team due to the majority being made up of new players, nevertheless, the team has been working hard and is currently 6-7 after playing Alonso on Tuesday, April 4.

With a fairly new team of girls, captains Issa Allbritton (‘23), Madeleine Berg (‘24) and Sophia D’Amore (‘24) are all very proud of their team’s determination but do believe there are things to work on still.

“We’ve struggled a lot this year because almost half the team is new, but everyone has shown up,” Berg said. “I’m so proud of the progress. All of the new girls have made an astounding amount of progress during our season.”

The team runs through many drills to better their skills in many situations like reaction time, playing defense or offense, and speed. To name a few: Shuttle passing lines, Ground balls, Syracuse, and playing even scrimmages. The captains believe that these drills are helpful as these are all likely situations that could take place during a game.

“I think this drill really helps reinforce game time situations,” Berg said.“And teaches players how to react during specific situations.”

Catch Up With Baseball

As

The Knights baseball team started off hopeful coming off their ample season last year, however, so far, they have completed this season with a 6-10 record.

They surpassed a challenging period that entailed a four-game losing streak but was broken after a matchup against Wharton where they won 6-1. Since then, they have improved notably, a recent victory being an 11-1 home game against Brandon.

A big part of any sport is motivation and staying motivated even throughout the losses. Most underclassmen on the team attribute their resilience on the field to the upperclassmen.

“The seniors for me, you know, I want them to get one last good year in, I want us to go really far in the playoffs, just do something fun,” shortstop Ryan Sawdy (‘25) said.

It’s important to have a good, collaborative relationship with your teammates as it’s important to build trust and be on the same page with things as it benefits the team when playing. The girls’ team is an example of this and Allbritton seems to agree.

“The team is developing,” Allbritton said. “We are on the same page most of the time, but sometimes certain things take extra practice.”

One of their most memorable games this season was their second game against Durant High School. Scoring over double the points led them to their first victory of the season and ended their first home game 19-8. With brand new players, scoring this high and winning displays how much perseverance these girls have.

The whole team is putting in the work and playing to the best of their abilities to end this season. They all keep a positive mindset throughout the entire season. This year it’s goalie Ava Booker’s (‘25) first year playing lacrosse in general. She predicts the season will end on a positive note.

“There have been a lot of impressive games and some bad ones, but everyone has worked really hard to make this team better than it was at the start,” Booker said. “In my opinion, this season will end as a success regardless.”

Flag Football Making Their Way to a State Title

Track the highs and lows of Flag Football’s 2023 season.

This season is going well for the knights, so far they’ve held an impressive seven wins in a row and an overall record of 13-2. With the season at it’s mid-point, let’s review the highs and lows that the team has undergone and what to expect in the second half.

The Knights’ biggest goal this season is making it to state finals for their eleventh consecutive year. They’re working hard on and off the field, focusing their game prep and practice tactics around this.

“With states being the goal in mind we have prepared ourselves by practicing and watching film against our opponents... this means focusing on the fundamentals such as every pass, catch, and flag pull and improving on the little details,”captain Julia Guillermo (‘23) said.

By far, the most shocking game this season so far, has been their game against Lennard where Robinson was defeated for the first time at a home game in 11 years. The game was a close one that ended with a final score of 14-13.

While this was a disappointing game for the Knights, a great team is characterized by their ability to bounce back. Since their loss,

the team has been undefeated three games in a row.

“I think the loss reminded us that the teams that play us have the same goal as we do and use us as a way to determine if they could win the state championship because we have set the example of what it means to be the best team in the state. Lennard played an amazing game, and we took losing that game as an opportunity to prepare for those higher intensity games for states,” Tammy Jerson (‘24) said.

Nevertheless, this season has been filled with monumental wins, one of the best games being against our hometown rivals the Plant Panthers. The Knights came out on top and closed out the game with a final score of 51-0.

“The Plant v. Robinson game was by far one of the better games we’ve played this season. There was a lot of excitement and energy going into that game, which contributed to our successful performance. I believe we focused on the little things offensively and defensively, which resulted in another great win against our rivals,” Guillermo said.

While focusing on improving tactical skills like pulling flags and catching, the team has also been improving their mindset and fellowship.

“I think our learning process has gotten better. The way we take criticism from our coaches and try to apply them the minute we get it has improved and is still improving as the season continues,” Jerson said.

“I think that we’re doing okay. You know the wins and losses are not where any of us would prefer them,” Head Coach Alexander Barron said. “But I feel the work that we’re putting in with the team that we have now. We’re giving ourselves a chance to be as strong as possible with this group by the end of the season.”

During practices, the team runs drills often so everyone gets a chance to improve in certain areas they need to. Lately, they have been working the most on their consistency on the mound, defensive plays and batting.

“Overall we’re not playing to our full potential because I mean we have the talent, we have the pitching staff and for the most part, we have the defense we just got to work on finishing our games,” first baseman Alex DeLise (‘23) said. “Just making sure, we can hold off the other team from taking back the lead that we have.”

Although it hasn’t been off to the best start, this season isn’t over just yet. The players are continuously improving and have the drive to close out this season with at least a couple more wins.

“Just trying to make sure that we’re always loose, laughing, and having fun,” Barron said. “And a big challenge for me this year has been making sure that translates to games so these guys can stay loose and play to the best of their abilities.”

Boys’ Lacrosse Team Remain Positive Through a Tough Season

Knights maintain a positive mindset while bettering their skill as the season comes to a close.

After a rough season, the boys’ lacrosse players are still trudging toward the end on a positive note despite their losses.

Currently being 0-15 isn’t the best position to be in, but captains, Christian Noriega (‘24), Dominic DeMicco (‘24) and Liam Doyle (‘23) are very persistent and maintain a positive mindset whilst being in this position this season.

“I think our team is playing well despite our 0-12 record,” Doyle said. “We have shown tremendous growth since the beginning of the season that will translate to a much better record next season.”

To help them better their skill for the rest of the season and the future, they do drills that help them better their skills overall. A leadership favorite is the ground ball to shooting which DeMicco believes helps for an overall better game. This drill consists of picking up a ground ball on the run with a shot to finish. This helps improve both your speed and stick skills and your shot placement in a game-like scenario.

“A team favorite drill would have to be oneon-one ground ball battles,” DeMicco said. “This

is kind of lacrosse’s version of an Oklahoma drill, and it truly allows us to compete against each other, play physical yet still drill fundamentals.”

Chemistry with teammates is very important for a good game and losing 21 seniors while having a 25-man roster, in the span of two years may cause some difficulty with that. Most of the team is either new to the sport, a freshman or sophomore.

“Collaboration is still not perfect, but we have good overall team chemistry,” DeMicco said.“Once we iron out some kinks and get these new guys more experience, we’ll be a completely different team.”

While staying hopeful the boys understand there’s a lot of work to be done to perfect their game and believe they can end this season off on a win as both their defense and offense have improved.

“As a whole, we aren’t perfect, we definitely have to improve on collaboration and skill,” Noriega said. “But we’ve improved significantly since we’ve started, especially the offense.”

Tennis Wraps Up An Impressive Season

With the school year coming to an end, the tennis post season has begun. Just last week on April 10, both boys and girls tennis teams took place in a two-day tournament beginning their postseason by competing and advancing past the district level competition.

“We set our team goal at the beginning of the season to advance out of districts. I am excited to say we met that goal,” Girl’s Tennis Coach Michelle Verdasco said.

So far, this tennis season has been one full of great success, far exceeding initial expectations...

Isabella Allbritton (‘23) Photo by C. Rodriguez
baseball reaches its mid-point this 2022-23 season, players and coaches look back and reflect on the time so far..
Ryan Sawdy (‘25) Photo by C. Rodriguez Julia Guillermo (‘23) Photo by C. Rodriguez
With the tennis regular season ending, the teams take a look back on the 2023 spring season.
6 / SPORTS

Exclusivly on KnightWriters.org...

Head to Head: The Taylor Swift Era

Letter From the Editors

Red Doesn’t Belong at RHS

OPINION

Bye Bye Beaches

Beaches need to go.

When you think of summer, you may think of something along the lines of dirty, sweaty beaches that are filled with bloodthirsty seagulls. If you truly think about it, there are absolutely zero reasons why a person could make a conscientious decision to go to the beach.

“Chemists from the University of Hawaii recently learned that levels of fecal bacteria in beach sand can be up to 100 times higher than in the water nearby,” Correspondent Erin Blakemore of The Smithsonian Magazine said.

gets everywhere and in turn, that means the same bacteria is on everything you own for the next few days.

while listening to the sounds of the ocean or walking along the boardwalk browsing the shops there. But when you really think about it, the cons outweigh the pros.

Nine print issues. That’s how many we have produced in our time managing the Knight Writers staff together over the course of the last two years. So here’s a toast to our final one before we head off to IB exams, graduation and life beyond high school.

In this print issue, we allowed the new managing editors to take charge and get a feel of what it takes to lead a newspaper staff and observed from the sidelines what the new Print Managing Editor, Cecilia Cheng, had up her sleeve. While we’re sad to say goodbye, it is incredibly reassuring to know that Knight Writers is in good hands.

Last issue, the Knight Writers took a look at what’s to come for the spring season. In Issue 4, we’ve covered all things prom, caught up with some of the spring sports and took a look at the highly anticipated Taylor Swift Eras Tour. While it may seem like the year is quickly coming to an end, there’s still plenty happening around campus. And while this may be the final print issue of the school year, coverage of Robinson events and news will continue on knightwriters.org until the end of the school year.

We’re sad to let go of course. So we’ve signed off with our fellow senior staffers on the back page with a special goodbye. Thank you for reading the fourth issue of Knight Writers Vol. 63. Knight Writers will return next school year with Vol. 64 led by a new set of editors. Sayonara!

Obviously, there’s the fact that random people urinate in the ocean water, but if that isn’t reason enough to not visit the cesspool disguised as a nice place to vacation, think of the sand.

Disgusting bacteria everywhere is one thing, getting sand quite literally everywhere is another. You name it and sand is stuck there for the time being. On bags, shoes, hair, skin, everything. I mean connect the dots. There are bacteria in the sand, then the sand

Not to mention how hard it is to actually find an adequate beach to visit. Clearwater beach, for example, is ranked number 12 among the best beaches in Florida, but have you ever actually been there? If you have gotten the displeasure of attending, you’ll know it’s a crowded mess filled with either drunken college students or small children running everywhere.

In a way, I somewhat understand the hype about beaches. Being able to just lay and soak up the sun

A possible solution to this monstrosity would be to go to the pool. With a pool, especially a private one, they have chemicals that regulate and clean the water. Even with a public pool, although there still can be children and college students, there are still regulations to monitor what goes on there.

So next time you’re weighing out the options of places to go this summer, the obvious choice is definitely not the beach.

Why College Rejections are Happening More Than Past Years

Many above average students are getting the unfortunate news of college rejection. Why is this happening and how does it affect you?

It’s that time of year again. Seniors who plan on applying to universities have to brace for the impact. To up the anxiety, many students are finding that a suspiciously large number of universities are rejecting them despite their above-average scores and grades. Now, someone could say maybe they just aren’t good enough for the universities in question, but let’s look at the statistics.

“Duke’s ED acceptance rate dropped about 5%, and the University of Georgia’s early acceptance rate decreased by almost 10% compared to the 2021-22 application cycle,” Forbes said.

Taking the information that we have from this year’s early applicants so far, we can expect that after all results are out from schools, we will see a continuation of the trend of acceptance rates dropping.

There are a few reasons why this is happening. There has been a major increase in the number of early applicants from the previous year. For example, Brown University had an increase in applications this year by 10%. Since there are more people applying with more confidence, that could explain the increase in denials for these universities that are notoriously strict on their applicants.

I know people getting denied from major universities like Brown and Stanford isn’t at all out of the ordinary, but universities like the University of Florida and the University of South Flor-

ida which are much less prestige have also been denying many applicants for what seems like more than past years. Many people, including myself, were told these schools would be given more leniency since students of the graduating class of 2023 have had to deal with COVID-19 and the switch to online school, which was completely out of their control. It is upsetting to think that some schools don’t care about how coronavirus affected the 2023 graduating class’s most vital years of high school.

I think most people can agree that college acceptance rates dropping is one of the most

stressful things for a senior to witness. But I think it’s important to mention that in contrast, there have been universities that do take the pandemic into consideration. One school I applied to even asked me to elaborate on how my life and grades were impacted by the virus, which I appreciated. Therefore, the acceptance rates dropping shouldn’t dissuade you from applying to these schools. The overall message I’d provide to anyone applying to universities is to try your absolute best as well as take your time with your applications.

Knight Writers

This Knight Writers newspaper is produced by the Journalism II-V class at Robinson High School.

Editors-in-Chief

Juno Le

Zoe Thaxton

Print Managing Editor

Charlotte Stone

News & Features Editor

Vikram Sambasivan

Sports Editor Chelsea Rodriguez

Opinion Editor Keirra McGoldrick

A&E Editor Cecilia Cheng

Multimedia Editor Ingalls Witte

Fun Coordinator

Jadyn Grayes

Social Media Editor Allie Barton

Senior Staff Writers

Whittaley Bowden

Araya Stearns

JC Thaxton

Staff Writers

McKayle McGoldrick

Shayla McIntyre

Ashlyn Miller

Janiece Mitchner

Malia Rodriguez

Staff Writers (cont.)

Yesenia Rosario

Faith Rowland

Grace Shafer

Ariana Smith

Publications Adviser

Nancy Webster

Principal

David Brown

Mission Statement

The role and goal of the RHS News is to inform, interpret and entertain their viewers through accurate and factual reports, and be accurate, fair and impartial in its coverage of issues that affect the school community. The staff of RHS News will strive to report all issues in a legal, objective, accurate and ethical manner, according to the Canons of Professional Journalism developed by the Society for Professional Journalists.

Policies

For more information about the staff policies, follow this link https://knightwriters.org/about/ staff-policies/ Publication Memberships

Comic depicting a student getting rejected from colleges. Illustration by Janiece Mitchner
OPINION / 7
A sunset at a Tampa favorite, Davis Island Beach. Photo by A. Barton

Dear Knight Writers...

As the school year wraps up, that means it is time for some bitersweet goodbyes. Our senior editors and staff writers reflect on their time here in the senior letters below, saying one final thank you to the Knight Writers.

Dear Knight Writers,

Not to be dramatic but this feels like a letter of resignation. I have been with the staff for all four years of high school and picking Journalism as an elective was quite possibly one of the only rational decisions I made at Open House in eighth grade.

I have had a love-hate relationship with the RHS newspaper. While it became somewhat of a full-time job for me as soon as I became a managing editor my sophomore year, I still enjoyed making content and seeing the final product be published. I’ve become a huge team player and have met some of the best mentors and peers through the class and all other high school journalism-related events. I credit the remnants of my sanity to my Co-EIC Zoe Thaxton and adviser Mrs. Webster.

While I have been counting down the days until my last day of school, I am really sad to be leaving behind an intelligent, amusing and charming group of people and publication. Something a few of my teachers have told me in my multiple attempts to quit the staff was that newspaper is a big part of my identity. And as much as it sucks sometimes to only be seen as “the school photographer,” I still loved the work I produced. Being a member of this staff is what has driven me to pursue a major in Journalism. Thank you for having me, Knight Writers. Thank you for letting me be Editor-in-Chief. Farewell.

Dear Knight Writers,

Though my time on staff has been relatively short-lived compared to my fellow seniors, it’s surreal to see it come to an end. When I chose to join newspaper my junior year, I had never written an article or picked up a camera and still used the Oxford comma.

In such a minute amount of time, I’ve grown as a writer, a photographer, a “news anchor” and a Knight Mic host. But even more than that, I have grown as a person- and that is all thanks to the wonderful, talented individuals that have shown me an unwavering amount of support, joy and love.

Dear Knight Writers,

I never really thought I would ever have to say goodbye. Stupid, I know. You think you have all the time in the world, but one never realizes how fast time flies by until you’ve lived in that moment and are looking back. That’s what I’m doing, looking back.

And looking back, I can say with confidence that Knight Writers made me who I am today.

I joined the staff my sophomore year, really it should’ve been my freshmen year but I don’t control schedules. I was one of two sophomores on staff, but Juno was already a managing editor at the time. It was at that time I was still trying to figure out who I was. The small staff that year took me under their wing and guided me as best as they could. I’ve only grown since then, taking on higher leadership positions with each year, helping others just like I once was become accustomed to the staff.

I wrote about this in my college essay (Smithers can vouch), but this class, this staff, helped me. I found my niche, my friends and grew my love for writing... and for that, I can’t thank this program enough. I felt as if I belonged in a place. I was comfortable and happy, even with the occasional looming deadlines. I was scared to leave it behind, but I know I have hopefully left a good legacy with my staff to continue on for years to come. Thank you for everything, Knight Writers.

Dear Knight Writers,

Unlike my fellow senior editors, my high school journey did not start in RHS but rather a small private school in New Jersey and although short lived it set a precedent for the rest of my high school experience that in one word could be described as: boring.

So, when my mom had a career change and I was informed that I would be moving to Florida, I was hesitant but for the most part indifferent. I convinced myself I was going to be emo and mysterious and have no friends (by choice). Realistically, this did not happen because I am heavily extroverted.

It may be cliché to say, but I truly have found a family in the journalism classroom. From the moment I entered, I was encouraged by everyone around me to venture out of my comfort zone and find my voice, whether that be in front of the camera, on the sidelines of football games or in extremely opinionated political pieces. The confidence you all have granted me is something I will carry forever.

As I reflect on my experiences with this amazing group of people with misty eyes and a heavy heart, my sadness to move on is outweighed by the gratitude to have been allowed to be a part of such an incredible publication. Even if I had joined four years ago, it still wouldn’t have been enough time spent with you all. Thank you for everything Knight Writers.

Dear Knight Writers, My time here involving journalism hasn’t worked out completely in my favor. Starting with journalism my freshman year, to then having a weird schedule sophomore year and not getting into this class at all, to then being on the newspaper staff my junior year, and finally, a journalism class second period by myself in my thoughts while Mrs. Webster has ISS coverage.

I never seem to have all the stories I need for this class, but that doesn’t stop me for enjoying it. I would definitely say taking journalism is worth it. I met so many amazing people by taking this class. Being able to be with people you enjoy, makes writing a lot better. As I continue to write, I have learned to love things and not enjoy some things. I have started to enjoy writing opinions a lot; sports previews were interesting too. During my senior year, I finally wrote my first A&E story! It was interesting to do and Cecilia made it easier for me to be confident in that story piece. Last year was an amazing year being with some of my closest friends and the laughs we had made this class so good. Thank you to all the people who helped me with my writing, and you are all appreciated. Goodnight, Knight Writers.

Publications

2023 Gold Online Media, knightwriters.org

2023 Gold Newspaper, Knight Writers

NSPA 2023 Leadership Award in Student Journalism

Juno Le

Zoe Thaxton

FSPA Fall Digital Contests

Date Night Feature Page All-Florida and Best of the Best: Juno Le & Zoe Thaxton

Deadline Prose All-Florida: Zoe Thaxton

Deadline Written Review All-Florida: Cecilia Cheng

FSPA District 4 Workshop

First Place News Writing: Vikram Sambasivan

First Place On-Air-Reporter: Ingalls Witte

First Place Opinion Column Writing: Zoe Thaxton

Third Place Opinion Column Writing: Cecilia Cheng

First Place Poetry: Jadyn Grayes

Second Place Poetry: Ingalls Witte

Second Place Spot News Photography: Whittaley Bowden

I joined the Knight Writer’s staff just this year and not to be lame and corny but it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I also became an editor my first year on staff which, to me, is ‘that’ girl behavior. Mind you I don’t know anything about anything, especially sports, so how I pulled all this off is a mystery to me.

Regardless, I want to thank each and every single one of you especially my co-EICs and our wonderful teacher Mrs. Webster. You encourage everyone to do their best and are always rooting for them even when they don’t root for themselves. Although I thought my high school experience would have been dull and uneventful, every one of you have made it anything but. With that, all that’s left to say is: Sayonara Samara (You are all Samara).

Dear Knight Writers,

My journey with Robinson journalism started freshman year when I did TV production and I loved it, being able to be creative through filming and editing videos was so interesting every week.

Due to how much I enjoyed TV production freshman year I decided to join newspaper for my senior year because I missed being able to create new projects every week whether that be through writing stories or making entertaining videos. I am so glad that I made the decision to join this class. Mrs. Webster has been such a fun and understanding teacher throughout my time in newspaper and TV production.

I also appreciate all of my classmates, everyone has been so welcoming and supportive. I learned a lot during my time of being a staff writer/video maker, between the proper formats and process of making a newspaper as well as how to edit videos efficiently.

There has been a lot of trial and error but with the help of Mrs. Webster and my classmates, I have been able to overcome any challenges. Overall newspaper has been an amazing experience and I would highly recommend it to any and every student. Go Knights.

Awards and Honors for the 2022-23 School Year

FSPA Spring Digital Contests

Commentary-Off-Campus All-Florida: Zoe Thaxton

Computer-Drawn Illustration All-Florida: Janiece Mitchner

Quick Turn Fiction and Illustration All-Florida: Zoe Thaxton, Ingalls

Witte

Quick Turn Written Commentary All-Florida: Cecilia Cheng

Quick Turn Written Commentary All-Florida: Ingalls Witte

Review Writing All-Florida: Ashlyn Miller

Review Writing All-Florida: Grace Shafer

Sports News/Feature Story All-Florida: Juno Le

FSPA Spring Convention Contests

First Place Review Writing: Ashlyn Miller

Second Place Opinion Column: Ingalls Witte

Third Place Newsmagazine Team: Juno Le, Cecilia Cheng, Yesenia

Rosario & Ingalls Witte

Honorable Mention Spot News Photography: Chelsea Rodriguez

8 / SENIOR LETTERS
Juno Le Co-Editor-In-Chief
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