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Coginchaug Regional High School Student News

February 9, 2018

Volume 24, Issue 3

Working Towards Confederate Flag: Heritage or Hate? Thayer Acceptance in Coginchaug A recent controversy has didBythisCamryn provoke deep expect. By Robert Griffin

There is a difference between tolerance and acceptance. “Tolerance is basically not bothering anyone for any reason... not supporting--but not bothering,” said Mrs. Kate Germond, Helping Educate Regarding Orientation (HERO) adviser. “As for acceptance, you truly care; you care about that person and their thoughts and why they feel the way they do. You aren’t just ignoring the person or the said issue.” The biggest goal of LGBTQ+ communities around the world is to end the discrimination and push towards acceptance-not tolerance--for who they are. The LGBTQ+ community, especially at Coginchaug Regional High School, has grown and prospered along with

Inside This Issue...

national acceptance rates, but we still have a long way to go before we end the discrimination against people who don’t conform to society’s standards of identifying as straight, male or female. Society has definitely progressed in the last few decades. According to the Pew Research Center, 51 percent of Americans in 2006 said that homosexuality should be accepted in society while the percentage rose to 63 percent in 2016. “About nine-in-ten (92%) said in a 2013 Pew Research Center survey of adults identifying as LGBT that society had become more accepting of them in the previous decade,” the center reports. However, for trans men and women, acceptance has been sluggish and difficult to achieve. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) states, “More than 70 percent of victims of LGBTQ or HIV-motivated hate violence homicides in 2013 were transgender women.” The HRC also reports, “Out of a survey of 10,000 LGBT youth, only 27 percent of transgender

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Fashion Marketing --------------------------------------School Club Updates -------------------------------------Solutions Journalism -------------------------------------Solutions Journalism -------------------------------------Profile on Dr. Veronesi -----------------------------------Sports Coverage -------------------------------------------Sports Coverage --------------------------------------------

struck Coginchaug, and the Durham/Middlefield community, regarding one of America’s most disputed symbols: the Confederate flag. In a recent incident occurring at Middletown High, a white, male student received a monsoon of criticism and backlash for publicly displaying the flag. Fellow students said they witnessed him in the parking lot, waving the Confederate flag and yelling obscenities. Photos and Snapchat videos were taken, inciting police to get involved, though no arrest was made. Not only

rooted emotions about the flag and its history, but it also started a longoverdue conversation on racism and hate in our community. “It was racism. And there was hate behind it,” said Middletown High Superintendent Dr. Michael Connor. Connor was vocal about this situation, referring to it in a letter as “disturbing” and “inflammatory”. The wider school community responded to the display of hate by being vocal about their opinions and demanding the respect the students and faculty deserve and

The issue spread to Coginchaug, inciting a school-wide assembly on Tuesday, Jan. 16. The assembly ended with an invitation for all students to voice whatever questions or concerns they had. Students showed a variety of opinions on the subject, ranging from disgust for the flag to defending it and questioning if those who were disgusted knew the meaning of it. Contrary to popular belief, the Confederate flag wasn’t actually the exact same flag wielded by Confederate soldiers.

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CRHS Predicts 2018 Fashion Trends

Alexa Catania, Demarie Del Vecchio and Tyra Hultrgen model for their pre-fashion show video for the Coginchaug Fashion Marketing project. Photo by Kate Annecchino

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Upcoming Events Feb. 12 Feb. 14 Feb. 16 Feb. 19 Feb. 20 Feb. 23 Feb. 24

CRHS Girls Basketball Senior Night Valentine’s Day CRHS Boys Basketball and Cheer Senior Night President’s Day - District Closed Winter Break - District Closed Swimming Senior Night Boys Hockey Senior Night


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LGBTQ+ Acceptance

of 10,000 LGBT youth, only 27 percent of transgender youth reported having accepting families.” A November 2017 Newsweek headline reads, “A Third of Americans Say Society Has ‘Gone Too Far’ in Accepting Transgender People.” This headline reflects the Pew study, also saying, “Some people don’t even think [transgender] struggles are real.” This shows a lack of tolerance for trans men and women; however, trans rights have been improving in Durham and Middlefield. Coginchaug was a much different place a few years ago. We didn’t have HERO or safe space stickers on classroom doors. And in the broader community, same-sex marriage wasn’t legalized nationwide until around three years ago. Even though many members of the LGBTQ+ community have been dealing with discrimination for the past centuries, gay marriage and trans acceptance is still a newer topic to some. “When I came out,” said Ms. Clare McCarthy, a teacher at the high school, “people [at Coginchaug]... have been supportive and wonderful, and I know enough coming out horror stories that I know how lucky I have been.” McCarthy came out to faculty and students about her identity as a transgender woman. She continues to say, “The job that I did when I was presenting as male is the same job-- and I’m actually going to be in a much better headspace...

I’m still McCarthy.” “The hardest part is… walking around in a constant state of fear, and a lot of it is not rational… There were times in my life where I would present as female,” she says before taking a moment to collect her thoughts. “There was one time I stood there with my hand on the door [thinking] just go to the car, and I was living in a town that wasn’t going to be [very accepting towards transgender people]. ‘All we are going to do is just go to the car, drive to the bank, get money out of the ATM, come back home. That’s it.’ I stood there for more than an hour.” Later on, McCarthy admitted that she couldn’t open the door. When you’re in the closet “you feel like that all the time.” “I think that our society right now is so dependent on social media and technology that people can easily hide behind screens… It makes it easy for bullying to occur,” said Germond. “And the constant pressures of society in general can hurt people whether they are LGBTQ or straight. It makes people intimidated, and it makes people feel like they can’t shed their own opinions.” She compares it to the last election, talking about how many people feared to talk about who they were going to vote for because it was so controversial. Society is only one of the many difficult obstacles that the LGBTQ+ community deals with. McCarthy explains her social hardships while she was still

February 9, 2018

Fashion Marketing Predicts 2018 Trends By Charlotte Planeta

On Jan. 10, Coginchaug’s fashion marketing class held its third-annual fashion show. Students in the class were tasked with forecasting a fashion trend for 2018-2019 fall/winter. “The students researched and predicted these trends based on news releases, fashion websites and other publications,” said business and marketing teacher Mr. Ryan Donecker. They had to do market research, based on market segmentation. This includes a person’s geographic location, demographics, psychographics and behavior. All requirements matched those of the 2018 DECA FIDM design challenge. “We had a great turnout this year!” said Senior Demarie DelVecchio who was a student in the class last year. “It was cool to see

how much the program was able to grow after only a year!” Once their research was completed, they made a video explaining their trend, and why they think it will be popular next year, as well as displaying their outfits. The video

also had to contain an explanation of how they researched and decided on their trend. “Making the video was my favorite part,” said Alexa Catania who was a model in the show. “We got to be creative when it

came to how we wanted to film.” Each group named their trend and came up with three outfits that can be included in that trend. The group was then tasked with finding three of their friends to model their designs at the fashion show. The names of each Wild Garden, Street Royal, Urban Ice, Winter Birds and a Night in Paris. The fashion show was a success; there was a packed house, and all of the designs looked great on the runway. “The fashion show is a culminating project that the students do that encompases the student’s skills and knowledge that they gain over the course of this class,” said Mr. Donecker.

in the closet saying, “Any time anybody would say anything nice to me or about me like ‘I love you,’ or ‘You’re really good at your job,’ I would immediately reject that.” Complimentary phrases like those never resonated with her because she felt that people didn’t really know who she was. “That just sabotages relationships and friendships, and it’s not a healthy place to be. I am so grateful that all of that finally gets to change,” said McCarthy.

“[I] spent so much time pretending to be something else that you reject everything coming at you as insincere when it was really me being insecure.” Germond shares what she believes is lacking: “As a community overall here, there is a lack of understanding. As for the school… we are lacking some education and a way to educate the general population.” Germond believes that most people are and could be accepting, but there is fear of

the unknown. “We need to find a way to reach the general population of the school without preaching or lecturing. I think that having an open conversation and having an open door where people can ask questions would be great, but it takes someone to be that first person to ask the question or start the conversation.” “Once a conversation begins,” said McCarthy, “then [things become] easier… instead of sitting there afraid.”

2017-2018 Devil’s Advocate Staff Nikki Ahern Mattina Benedetto Jamie Breton Alexa Catania

Anthony Curry Demarie Del Vecchio Julia Filiault Robert Griffin

Volume 24, Issue 3

Ashleigh Halligan Patrick Kearney Carly Lane Sarah LeMere

Sarah Locascio Josh Martinez Andrew Morro Dan Munro

Contact Us Cam Nielsen Charlotte Planeta Cam Thayer Justin vanEyndhoven Jackson Volenec

The Devil’s Advocate is the official student newspaper of Coginchaug Regional High School, located in Durham, CT, representing the towns of Durham, Middlefield, and Rockfall. The DA is a proud representative of Regional School District 13; however, this publication is student-run and does not assume to reflect the views of RSD13 administration or staff.

Email: Twitter: @crhsdevilsadv Facebook: Devil’s Advocate Coginchaug Phone: 860-349-7215 Adviser: Ms. Rebecca Suchy

February 9, 2018


Crafts Make Comeback at High School Level

ECO Club: More Than Recycling

By Jamie Breton

By Nikki Ahern

As kids growing up, art and crafts was always the most memorable part of camp, school, or even at-home projects. From macaroni necklaces to twisting pipe cleaners, crafts captivated young minds and unleashed the inner artist. While many of these duct tape wallets and homemade tye-dye shirts have disappeared, Coginchaug Regional High School is bringing back the magic. A ‘crafts class’ has been introduced into the art department by Mr. Ryan Bothamley. Crafts is a half-year course that is led by Mr. Bothamley. From clay bead jewelry to knitting, his class provides a relaxing environment for students to get in touch with their creative sides. A common mentality of art classes is that they require some level of artistic ability but not in crafts class. Any and all students can excel at the projects created in class whether they have an artistic background or not. “This class exceeded my expectations; it was every-

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We’re told to keep the Secret Santa gifts around planet clean because it’s Christmas time, memthe only place we have bers looked at the bigger to live. But people don’t picture. Senior co-captain realize that it’s their Mary Mitchard announced individual impact that that this year, they would matters. You can’t be sure collect donations for the the person behind you will Meriden Humane Socipick up that plastic bottle ety. The list consisted of you saw left on the side desperate needs involving on the road. Well, you can cleaning materials like be certain if that person is garbage bags and sponges Mrs. Susan Michael, or any and general needs for the of her ECO Club enthusianimals such as chow, asts. treats, collars, toys, towels, Photo provided by Ryan Bothamley ECO Club at CRHS kicked blankets and more. The off the school year by getgroup went above and bething I thought it would mentioned that her favorting tangled in the removal yond, overfilling the trunk be and more!” said senior ite project was the knitting of Japanese barberry bush, of Mary’s car. Overall, they Kaitlin Gossart. “It was unit because they had the a project led by member collected over $100 in so relaxing. I loved going choice to make whatever Garret Basiel, and by setdonations for the animals to Crafts at the end of a they wanted. ting up compost buckets at the shelter. stressful school day.” Another favorite menand recycling bins for the “The Meriden Humane The students were oftioned among the students Durham Fair. The group Society was overwhelmfered a wide variety of is the availability to use also recently dedicated ingly thankful,” said available projects to comtheir own creative mindtheir time to picking up Mitchard. “It feels good to plete, and were allowed to set. While there are some trash along Brick Ln. and help the animals always, choose their own design. restrictions, the students Maiden Ln., Durham as but especially with cold Senior Ginny Benbow said, are allowed to create well. weather approaching.” “Although I love everywhatever they want with “We collected several ECO Club’s annual Hunthing we do in the class, the proper method and bags of trash from just ger Awareness Banquet is my favorite project has materials. one road,” says senior on March 2 in the CRHS to be the second mirror “My favorite part is the member Justin van Eyndcafeteria. It’s filled with I made.” The students freedom within the class,” hoven. “We filled the back soup, socializing and of used pieces of glass and said Farnsworth. “It’s reof the CRHS van to the course, giving back to soldered them together to ally calm and therapeutic top with trash and recynot just the community create multiple projects. just working at your own clables.” but the planet as a whole. Senior Emily Farnsworth pace.” The ECO Club is built Admission will be between on a foundation of pure $5-10, but doing your part effort to make the comto make our community a munity not just a greener greener and better place place but a better place. In is “priceless,” said van fact, rather than exchange Eyndhoven. its resurrection was more symbols in line with defending have no racist ideologies and white place in supremacy. The flag was, a society and still is, symbolic of that aims the KKK and other white to move supremacist hate groups forward who proudly sport it. and cerThe Confederate flag tainly no is an indisputable repreplace in sentation of hate, racism, the Durand an ugly American ham/Midhistory that should be dlefield remembered, but not commupraised. Those who argue, nity which “heritage not hate” should aspires for consider taking a closer equallook at what their ancesity and tors were defending, and inclusiv- Protesters wield signs of opposition of the Confederate flag at the South if those ideals are worth ity for all Carolina Statehouse on June 20, 2015. remembering fondly. Hate citizens. Rainier Ehrhardt/Associated Press

Confederate Flag: Heritage or Hate?

Many variations of the flag were symbolic of the Confederate army; however, none were the one that is found at the focal point of modern day discussion. In fact, the flag wasn’t a prominent symbol in the South, only appearing occasionally at Confederate memorials. The appearance of this flag started happening more frequently as the Civil Rights Movement gained more ground and desegregation progressed. Although it is now synonymous with the Confederate States Army, which fought to preserve the institution of slavery,

4 - Solutions Journalism

February 9, 2018

Volume 24, Issue 3

Durham Family Creates Organization in Daughter’s Name, Advocates for Children with Cancer By Alexa Catania & Julia Filiault

The Zettergren family of Durham has created an organization called Bean’s Craft Corner to raise money and to collect crafts for local children who are battling cancer in the hospital. The family understands what it’s like to go through this tough time, as they experienced it with their daughter Brenna, who passed away from cancer in 2012 at the age of five. People drop off crafts and games to the Zettergrens’ house to be delivered to Yale. Children who are waiting for treatment get to spend their time playing with their families. “Collecting these crafts gives us a purpose and converts our grief into something that helps oth-

ers,” said Mrs. Jennifer Zettergren. “This foundation does allow us to speak more publicly about [Brenna], which is a mixed blessing because it is still hard to talk about her,” said Mrs. Zettergren. “Despite it being hard, it would be harder not to talk about her.” In addition to honoring Brenna’s memory, the Zettergrens hope to support families who are experiencing the difficult process of cancer treatment. “The goal is to help families get through the time spent in the hospital by providing things to do, and sometimes those works of art will become cherished keepsakes,”

said Mrs. Zettergren. “Kids with cancer spend a lot of time hooked up to chemotherapy or waiting for test results. Finger painting, using glue and glitter, or even just coloring can help pass the time and allow parents to do something meaningful with their kids. Our goal is to help people and honor Brenna’s memory at the same time. She loved to do crafts and make things, so we thought this was a positive way to honor her.” Families who are affected and the children that get to use these gifts respond to the Zettergren family with gratefulness and appreciation. Additionally, children feel like they are not alone going through this hard time by hearing

Photo by Jen Zettergren

about Brenna’s story. To inspire young people who want to help others, the family also awards an annual scholarship to two Coginchaug seniors; the Zettergrens “receive ongoing monetary donations” that help with the scholar-

ships given in Brenna’s name. “I have received beautiful letters from the kids who received our scholarships, and they all say they are proud to receive the money in Brenna’s name

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Unifying the Community, One Class at a Time By Nikki Ahern Sports teams in high school lack diversity due to their pure efforts to win rather than unify. When the Unified Sports program, a Special Olympic initiative, was introduced to high schools nearby, the athletic director pitched the idea for RSD 13, and health teacher Robb Bajoros felt it was his calling to take on this task: to unify all types of people. Middletown High School installed a Unified Sports team, and it was time for CRHS to step up. “I think there was maybe one kid with an actual intellectual disability competing in track. It was really [former RSD 13 Athletic Director] Nick Barbieri’s idea to begin with, but with my schedule and experience coaching over the last 15 years, I felt it was perfect timing for me to take this on, ” said Bajoros. “The Board of Ed, the whole administration really, was very supportive.” It didn’t take long for the

idea to popularize. Plenty of students were interested in signing up for the class. “It really went very smoothly,” said Bajoros. “I knew what I was doing; I had coached three varsity sports, and I was familiar with athletic procedure.” By the fall of 2015, Unified Sports had become an official full-year class with a three-season agenda including soccer, basketball and outdoor track and field. The class would allow students to earn one full credit to either play, mentor or, in most cases, both. Within a 70-minute block, athletes warmed up, played against one another and occasionally had games versus other high schools as well, like Middletown and Guilford. Not only was this an inschool activity but athletes also attended games after school and starred at events like CRHS boys basketball games and pep rallies.

This past October, CRHS Unified hosted their nowannual soccer invitational tournament against Valley Regional, Guilford and Middletown. Not only did the Coginchaug cheerleaders come to support but the volleyball, boys and girls cross country and girls and boys soccer teams, along with some football players, joined their warm-up. “It’s this positive environment everyone wants to be a part of,” said Bajoros. “As cliche as it sounds, it really is all about bringing people together to have a sports-based good time; it’s not about winning or losing.” Middletown school psychologist and coach of their Unified team Jennie Broomfield confirmed that this isn’t just a positive environment for the school but for the community as a whole. “Parents, teachers, friends, even the Board of Ed watches our games,” she said. Also a

past varsity coach, Broomfield stated that “there are no bad days. It’s impossible - you can’t have a bad day when you walk into an atmosphere with this much love and support.” Broomfield continued, “Students like these who have difficulty in class become a totally different person on the court.” Essence, a junior at Middletown High, said, “This is definitely a very

good program. I get to meet new people; I get to help people, and people help me too.” “[Unified Sports] gives students opportunities they typically wouldn’t have, with or without special needs,” said Bajoros. “It also gives the community an understanding that there are activities based around fun and inclusion, rather than wins and losses.”

Middletown and Coginchaug Unified huddle up to celebrate at the end of their game. Photo by Jackson Volenec

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February 9, 2018


Durham Family Creates Organization...

and have that connection to her,” said Mrs. Zettergren. “It is more important to us that people know how thankful we are for all the love and kindness Brenna received and that we continue to feel as we learn to live a life without

her.” Although minor obstacles make the task a little difficult, the Zettergren family makes it work. “The logistical barriers include storing the crafts for so long because Yale isn’t ready for us until late

January or February,” said Mrs. Zettergren. “Once all the religious celebrations are over, then they are ready for our delivery. Our crafts are meant to sustain the Child Life Specialists and volunteers so they have activities to provide for the kids all year long.” Ultimately, the Zettergren family took their difficult, life-changing experience and are using it to change other people’s lives, creating a positive solution to handling a traumatic experience. “I think Bean’s Craft Corner helps us because

Zettergren daughters Maura and Bailey donate crafts to Yale. Photo by Jen Zettergren

we are honoring Brenna’s memory. When you lose your child, you don’t want anyone to forget about

her,” said Mrs. Zettergren. “This is just one way we make sure she is remembered.”

Photo of Brenna by Jen Zettergren

Feral Cat Overpopulation: A Nationwide Epidemic By Jamie Breton

The Middlefield and Durham communities are home to a variety of people and animals. Cows, sheep, goats, horses, dogs and especially cats live alongside the residents. Among them, feral cats roam the farms and cities of Connecticut and stay mostly in the shadows. For those who enjoy the silent company of these felines, they pose no problem, but hidden in the shadows lays an underlying issue that throws off the balance of our ecosystem. Overpopulation of feral cats is a nationwide epidemic that encompasses more countries than just the United States. According to the Humane Society of the United States, around 50 million strays and feral cats call the States home, and the number continues to grow. To many, the cat is a cute, cuddly, housepet with a desire for sleeping and head scratches. While many cats have a place to call home, feral and stray cats live wherever they can find food and shelter. As more cats become feral, they form groups and take over specific areas. In Durham and Middlefield, feral cats can be

found living in or near farms due to the surplus of mice and other small rodents that live in the barns. For some, this aids in the reduction of the rodent population, but others view feral cats as, “stealthy predators [that] decimate bird populations and threaten public health,” according to National Geographic. As an attempt to solve these issues, many residents resort to capturing and killing as many cats as they can. Some felines are brought to shelters where they have little room and typically end up euthanizing most of the cats. For a while, this appeared to be the most effective way to stop overpopulation, but as the numbers grew, it was time for a new solution. TNR stands for Trap, Neuter, Return. This program is in place in states nationwide in order to prevent overpopulation without killing the innocent felines. Humane traps are baited in areas where feral cats are found and are then taken to the vet to be spayed or neutered. After receiving a dose of needed medications such as distemper and rabies, the cats are then ear

tipped and brought back to where they were caught. Many shelters such as the Meriden Humane Society and Cat Tales in Middletown participate in this program. Becky Czlapinski, the feral coordinator at Cat Tales, explained how the feral cats thrive in local communities but with a significant risk. Many people trap, hurt or kill any cat that they seen near their property. The local cats that have been neutered are marked with an ear tip and often become a part of a colony. These local colonies are protected from people who don’t agree with letting the feral cats live. “A lot of people see them as a nuisance and not as the domestic house cat,” Czlapinski stated. “Feral cats are released back out, but at least they are not reproducing.” For the cats who are released back into the wild, colonies are founded to give them food and shelter. By grouping the cats together, it protects them from stepping foot onto private property where inhumane baited traps are lurking. “When colonies are set up, the cats stop rummaging around

in garbages,” said Czlapinski. “They won’t search for food when it is being provided for them.” While many of the felines trapped are too old to be socialized, not all of the feral cats are returned to nature. “We can take the kittens that are young enough and adopt them out into homes.” Czlapinski explained how when young kittens are caught, they are socialized with humans and then fostered into homes. While TNR programs have certainly aided in reducing the feral cat population, cats are still breeding like wildfire. Another way to prevent overpopulation is for pet owners to be responsible. “People need to spay and

neuter their pets so that they aren’t reproducing,” she said. “Vets do it because they know they have to, not just for the money.” Low-cost spay or neuter clinics can be found anywhere in the country and will often provide a package deal containing important vaccinations alongside the surgery. Cat Tales, along with many other shelters, has information regarding feral cats on their website. Czlapinski said their goal is to provide education and resources to people to try to prevent homeowners from killing or harming the cats. “We need more people to advocate for feral cats,” she said. “It’s not a cat problem; it’s a human problem.”

Photo from Cat Tales in Middletown

6 - Sports

February 9, 2018

Kathryn Veronesi: Face of RSD13

By Charlotte Planeta, Sarah Locascio, Mattina Benedetto and Camryn Thayer A motivated and creative problem solver, Dr. Kathryn Veronesi, the superintendent of Regional School District 13, strives to strengthen her communication skills, as well as come up with new and inventive ways to improve our district. Born in Ohio, Veronesi grew up in Plainville, Connecticut and spent time in Ghana at an international school, as her parents were in the Peace Corps. Veronesi is one of seven siblings, and both of her parents are involved in education. Her parents, who were both college teachers, showed her the leadership it required to be in education at an early age. “I was a part of, and witnessed, the impact of educational leadership,” says Veronesi. “A lot of people become accidental leaders. You go into teaching because you want to teach and then, often times, you will start to observe someone who is a principle and think, ‘I think I might want to do that, and I might do it a little differently.’” A positive school ex-

perience furthered her interest in education and her aspiration to make schools better for other people. “Socially, emotionally, academically, it was empowering,” she said. “I felt empowered being at school and being a part of a school community.” She says she felt most empowered at school when she was allowed to have a voice and be a part of decision making, which wasn’t a focal point in her schooling. A friend, and fellow superintendent, suggested that the job would be a good fit for her. “There were skills and potential that someone saw in me before I saw it in myself,” Veronesi reflected. As the leader of RSD13, Veronesi loves to be an active part of the community by attending many events including the annual Community Round-Up. Veronesi also admires the district’s Core Ethical values and how they are used outside of the classroom in daily life. In the regular school day, she stresses the importance of being confident in yourself and what you do.

Eighteen-year-old Coginchaug graduate Sydona Tregoning has her goals set for the future. As she entered her first year of college at Southern Connecticut State University this past fall, she explained how hard it can be to find a balance between school and the gym, but she manages to make it work. “I’m studying Human Performance/Exercise Science,” Tregoning explained. “I already have my NASM certification, so it’s kind of adding another qualification to be a personal trainer. Also, I thought about taking a nutrition course because you have to be certified to give people advice.”

At such a young age, Tregoning decided to get her certification in personal training because of her endless passion for the gym. Tregoning mentioned how her interest in fitness started with social media icons and professional bikini competitors online. “I saw so many girls competing, but I never saw any 16-year-olds or 17-yearolds on stage,” she said. When asked about her experience with competitions, her smile appeared. “Oh gosh, I could go on forever about this,” she laughed. “It’s one of those things where you have to want it, and it takes a certain kind of person to be able to do it. I mean, it’s a

Dr. Veronesi serves dessert to teachers at a staff event. Photo submitted by Veronesi

Veronesi is not only a leader in the Durham/ Middlefield community but is also a mom of two daughters; one is a teacher, and one is studying to be a family therapist. She enjoys being outside, yoga, entertaining/cooking for guests and spending time with her black lab. Although she was a painfully shy girl through her early childhood, Veronesi came into her own as she grew up and developed a strong sense of creativity, problem-solving and collaboration with others. Now, she puts these skills to use as a superintendent as she works to keep Regional School District 13 at its very best.

Sydona Tregoning: Passion for Fitness

Volume 24, Issue 3

Athletes of the Month By Justin van Eyndhoven

Senior Ashley Dana received the title December Athlete of the Month because she has dedicated a part of her life to running. Dana says, “I like racing and the competition but also the team aspect and how we all do workouts every day and have fun together.” She began running when she joined her seventh grade cross country team, and she has stuck with it all through high school and plans to continue running in college. Dana is on the outdoor track and cross country teams, of which she was the captain for the 2017 season. For indoor, Dana currently runs the 1600M and the 800M, and she also likes to run the 4x4 relay. Dana works year round and continues to strive for her best. While Dana got injured and was unable to compete in the last two track meets, she continues to train in all the ways she can and can’t wait to compete in Shorelines. She also says she is looking forward to the outdoor season this spring.

Junior Kyle Roberts received Athlete of the Month because of his dedication to sports, including hockey, soccer and golf. His favorite part of sports is “being able to be a part of great teams and always having something to be a part of and do after school.” Roberts works year round to improve himself. Roberts says, “I, and my team, have been working very hard in order to be successful, and I believe that as a leader and a player, I have been excelling even more than I could have imagined and am very proud of my success.” While Roberts works hard, he relies on his team to win: “The best part of being on a team is being able to rely on a big group of great friends and being able to have such great groups of people to hang out with.” Roberts adds, “What makes me work so hard is the competition and the thought of winning because it puts me in the mentality that I can do anything.”

By Julia Filiault struggle. It’s not even that you don’t want to do cardio; it’s like your body is fighting you to do it. Daily movements like walking through the grocery store, doing homework, even thinking is exhausting. So, fighting through that is really hard... mentally because you have to be so strict and have to plan everything.” Tregoning explains herself as “Type A,” so she likes structure. “Working out, you’re constantly seeing results and seeing your body change. There is so much information that goes along with it, so you’re constantly learning. It’s so addicting and leaves you wanting to know more.”

Photo by Jen Schulten

With the goal of opening her own gym some day, Tregoning is just “taking it as it goes” and is working through school. Being a new employee at GNC and getting school work done has stretched her schedule a bit, but with her time management skills, she makes it all work. Fitness is applied to her everyday life. She emphasized how important it is to her and the impact it made on her life. It showed her determination,

time management, discipline, and a good worth ethic. Tregoning said, “I focus my energy into things that are productive. It has made me a lot happier, and in turn, made me a nicer person. I make better choices. Like I said, I’m more driven now, and it has given me knowledge because I’m so interested in it and am constantly learning. I found my passion, so I know I want to be in the fitness industry.”

February 9, 2018

Lady Devils Basketball Takes On Cromwell Panthers By Ashleigh Halligan

On Friday, Jan. 12, girls basketball played the number-one seed in the Shoreline, the Cromwell Panthers. The Coginchaug girls team has not beaten Cromwell since 2012, so winning this game would be a huge upset in the Cromwell community. In the first quarter, the Devils played great defense and ran through their plays on offense. With 5:40 left in the first, the Devils were leading 4-0. Due to many turnovers in a matter of minutes, Cromwell was able to come back and score seven points; however, with 2:00 left in the quar-

ter, Benbow nailed a three, tying the score 11-11. In the second quarter, the Devils were not able to get many offensive or defensive rebounds, leaving them at a disadvantage because they were giving the Panthers more opportunities. By the end of the first half, the Panthers were leading by seven, leaving the score 18-25. Starting the second half, the Devils knew they had to start playing their game--not Cromwell’s. As the intensity picked up, the Devils had some good fast breaks and open shots. With 7:16 left in the third, Benbow hit a

We have had many successes in the winter season for all sports, and RSD13 Athletic Director Kory Kevorkian is happy with how the season has progressed. “We have had a lot of success across all the programs we have,” Kevorkian said. He talked about the girls basketball team, who are are 12-5 and are sure to make a run in States and Shorelines. He also talked about the off-site teams including our successful boys and girls ice hockey co-ops. The boys team is 11-3, and the girls team is 10-6-1. The boys team is also in the top five in Division III. He elaborated about the players on the hockey teams saying, “They are leading their respective teams in points, goals scored.” When asked about the student sections this winter, Kevorkian said, “I

have been very pleased with the turnout.” He also talked about how he has been very flexible with our student section. “As long as students are following the expectations we have and the Class Act Initiative, then I’m happy.” He was also very surprised with the turnout at all the games saying, “Every game that I have gone to has had students show up.” One of the biggest moments of the winter season for him was the Lyman Hall/Coginchaug/HK hockey game versus Sheehan. The boys won in overtime against their rival Sheehan, who was undefeated at the time. He talked about Coginchaug athletes who played a big factor including Andrew Sacco and Kyle Roberts. He also talked about sophomore Carolyn Cumello beating her own school record.

three, making the score 23-25. Throughout the rest of the third, both teams’ shots were falling, leaving the score 34-37 with 1:22 left. Carly Lane had many rebounds and gave the Devils a few more points. Ending the third quarter, Jessi King hit a three with 1.2 seconds left, tying the score 41-41. At the start of the fourth, the girls were very excited and ready to beat Cromwell. Unfortunately, the Devils’ shots were not falling, but the Panthers’ were, allowing Cromwell to take the lead and win the game with a final score of 48-58.

AD’s Corner: Co-ops Thrive, Student Section Supports Athletes By Dan Munro

Kevorkian also wants to make changes to his leadership team saying, “I have a leadership team that is in place that was carried over from Mr. Barbieri; I want to strengthen this group and make them have a bigger role in the student body.” He continued, “Their job is to improve the culture of athletic events and make more people come out to the games.” When asked about pep rallies for this school year, he agreed that we should have more: “I want to have seasonal pep rallies for fall, winter and spring.” He also talked about the big events coming up for the rest of the winter season. He brought up the swim team Senior Night match on Feb. 23 against Sheehan. Also, the cheerleading team is competing very soon, including Shorelines and States.

Coginchaug Project Graduation Fundraiser March Calendar Raffle - $20 per ticket

*If you win one of the daily prizes, your ticket will be put BACK INTO the drawing. Contact or for order forms.

Sports - 7

Indoor Track Continues to Run On By Justin van Eyndhoven

As indoor track continues, the players run on. Coaches Michael Ford, David Bellemare, Lavinia Vigue and Peter Ladas want to make the team better than ever before. Coach Ford, the sprinting/boys coach, said, “I am expecting everyone to do really well.” Many athletes are living up to his expectations by running, throwing and jumping their best. Ford and Bellemare also remain optimistic for the girls and their historic record. Coach Bellemare, the jumping/girls coach, works with all the jumpers. Junior Tim Arcari jumped better than ever with a new high jump PR of 5’10” compared to his last year’s PR of 5’6”. Caroline Cumello continues to work on pole vault and, as of last year, still holds the

school record of 9’6”. Throwing had some major breakthroughs this season. Stefan Marczuk, Justin van Eyndhoven and Joseph Venables all throw a minimum of 30 feet and qualified for Shorelines. Preston Wagner threw an astonishing 38 feet and qualified for both Shorelines and States. The boys and girls captains, Stefan Marczuk, Tyra Hultgren and Colleen Coogan, are continuing to push the team forward so they can hopefully win the last few meets they have in the season. “We’ve definitely shown the rest of the conference what we can do and how well we can compete,” Marczuk said. “Now it’s just up to the few practices left to help us rack up all the points we can at Shorelines.”

The Devils boys basketball team had a decent start in their first half of the season. They started up the season with a very exhilarating finish as they won in OT versus Valley. Senior captain Ryan Cross dropped a career-high 27 points and scored the game-winning layup. On Dec. 21, they played Hale Ray, and the boys won 47-34 with junior Thomas Vallone leading the scoring with 11 points. The next game against Windsor Locks was a tough loss on a buzzerbeater shot; however, the Blue Devils played very well with senior MacGuire O’Sullivan having 17 points and going 5 for 8 from the three-point line. At the next game against Westbrook, the boys bounced back from the

last game and won 54-37. Ryan Cross led the scoring with 19 points. After this, the Devils lost the next three games against Creed, Old Saybrook and Cromwell. But after these three losses, they battled back against Haddam-Killingworth and got the win. Ryan Cross dropped another 26 points, and Thomas Vallone had 16. They boys rounded out January with another three losses (twice to Portland and once to East Hampton) but secured a 53-48 win over Morgan on Jan. 23. February is off to a rough start with a 30-34 loss to North Branford on Feb. 1 and a 43-47 loss to Old Saybrook on Feb. 3. The boys will face Morgan on their Senior Night on Friday, Feb. 16 at 7 p.m.

Boys BBall Falls to 5-10 Record Heading into LastByFive Games Dan Munro


February 9, 2018

Boys Hockey Beats Undefeated Sheehan in Overtime By Anthony Curry

The biggest game of the season for the Lyman Hall/H-K/Coginchaug boys hockey team is always against their rival, Sheehan. With a huge turnout in the student section, the Trojans took the ice with confidence, defeating the 7-0 Titans in overtime on Jan. 13. In the beginning of first period, the explosive offensive play was too much for the Trojans, which gave Sheehan two quick

goals. After a timeout by the Trojans, they quickly adjusted and answered back with a goal to end the period 2-1. Halfway through the second period, the Trojans scored another goal to tie the game 2-2. With outstanding saves by both goalies, they went into the third period still tied. By the end of the third period, neither team could score a goal because both teams played very tough

By Demarie Del Vecchio

Senior Carly Lane goes for a lay-up against Old Lyme. Photo by Demarie Del Vecchio

the first 49 seconds. During this quarter, the Devils kept the upper hand, and East Lyme trailed behind. The score at the end of the third quarter was 41-34, the Devils remaining in the lead. The pressure was on in the fourth quarter. With 4 minutes and 19 seconds left in the game, the score was 45-40 and the Devils only had a five-point lead. At this point, the game could have gone either

CRHS Unified Sports vs. MHS Unified By Nikki Ahern

defense and were extremely physical. Captain Josh Martinez said, “Going into overtime, everyone was hyped up and ready to win another game.” Junior Matt Petit scored the game-winning goal for the Trojans and ended Sheehan’s undefeated season. The Trojans hope to continue their undefeated streak against D3 teams and are excited for the rest of the season.

Lady Devils Basketball Goes Into OT Against Old Lyme On Jan. 3, the Lady Devils played East Lyme, starting the game with a record of 4-1 versus East Lyme’s 6-2. The game started in the Devils’ favor with the jump ball going to them. The Devils scored the first two points, but East Lyme was quick to retaliate with a three-pointer. From there, the first quarter was competitive, as the teams were very evenly matched. The quarter ended with a score of 18-14 with East Lyme four points ahead. After battling for over six minutes, the Devils made a comeback, tying the game 18-18. Throughout the second quarter, the teams were neck and neck, but the Devils were the stronger team offensively. The score at the end of the half was 30-23, with the Devils in the lead. The Devils started the third quarter hot and scored five points within

Volume 24, Issue 3

way. The fourth quarter ended with a tied score of 48-48, pushing the game into overtime. Both teams gave it their all during overtime. The Devils started with a lead but fell behind at the end of the four minutes. East Lyme won the game by making some lastminute three-pointers and having a strong defense. East Lyme won the game, with a final score of 60-56.

Middletown and Coginchuag Unified Sports are joined by fans for a group photo at the end of the game. Photo by Jackson Volenec

On Jan 18, the unified sports team, pep band, cheerleaders, and other students and teachers gathered in CRHS gym for a memorial basketball game versus Middletown High School, dedicated to the late Wilda Castro, a former assistant coach and teacher at CRHS in previous years. The game began around 11:15 and consisted of four quarters. Though the game took place in the middle of the school day, plenty of fans managed to get out of class to spectate. Seniors Peter Onofrio and Eric DeBrum led both teams in warm ups across the floor, finishing it off with a team cheer and a quick pep-talk from Coach, Robb Bajoros and MHS Coach, Jennie Broomfield. The clock started running and contestants took the court. MHS started off with a bang, and athletes like Nico and Essence are the reason Middletown took lead for most of

the first quarter. With an overwhelming amount of enthusiasm from the bleachers, both teams couldn’t help but shine. As the clock approached halftime, the score became closer and closer. MHS remained in the lead with 18 points and CRHS followed closely with 12. By the second half, Kenny of CRHS quickly became MVP when he shot and made multiple threepointers. Additionally, Maurice of MHS kept the scores close; However, not too close. John of CRHS made defense the one man show when he aggressively and successfully blocked plenty of point attempts by MHS, and within no time, CRHS took control of the court. The game ended with a buzzer shot made by Kenny and the crowd went wild. Catch CRHS Unified Sports at their basketball game at Guilford High School on Tuesday, Feb. 13.

Devil's Advocate: February Edition, 2018  

Volume 24, Issue 3

Devil's Advocate: February Edition, 2018  

Volume 24, Issue 3