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Maine South’s student voice since 1964 See page 2

December 20, 2013

1111 S. Dee Road • Park Ridge, Illinois 60068


, No. 4

What’s in your food?

The lack of labeling on genetically modified products leaves consumers in the dark.


See page 11

That’s a Wrap

IHSA limits student coverage of playoff games Page 5


Senior shares her love of yoga with the student body Page 7

On a Roll

Swim Champion

Local sushi restaurants are Francesca Figlioli places put to the ultimate taste test first at state competition Pages 8 & 9 Page 16


| December 20, 2013

years of


Southwords has had a running tradition of a holidaythemed flag since 1974. A flag featuring a snowman in the “O” has been a facet of the December issue since 1998.

Southwords ▼LEGENDARY LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Volume 14, Issues 7 & 13 ● 1977-1978

The outspoken attitudes that characterized the ‘60s had finally trickled down to the high school level by 1977. The result? A plethora of teen-angst ridden letters to the editor. Here are a couple of Southwords’ best:

▲SUNKEN TREASURE Volume 12 Issue 2 ● Oct. 3, 1975

The rumors are true-Maine South’s pond did, in fact, harbor a car in its depths back in 1975. The submerged vehicle was found by firefighters who were alerted by a dutiful custodian after he noticed tire tracks near the edge of the water. The Mercury Comet, stolen from Touhy Avenue Motors, was pulled out of the water containing no hidden treasures, much to the dismay of the crowd gathered around. The mystery culprit was never apprehended.

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December 20, 2013


New administrative position added for Teaching and Learning

John Zaris Staff Writer


n support of District 207’s focus on increasing student achievement, the Assistant Principal for Teaching and Learning position will soon be added to the Maine South administration. Although the position has not yet been filled, the responsibilities of the job have already been defined. This position, which will also be added at Maine East and Maine West, carries with it the responsibility for the improvement of education in District 207 through teacher assessment and development. “This [Assistant Principal for Teaching and Learning] position is designed to work specifically with teachers in the classroom, do professional development with the teaching staff, and coach teachers,” said Principal Shawn Messmer. The Assistant Principal for Teaching and Learning will mainly be interacting with Maine South instructors, unlike Mr. Berendt, the Assistant Principal of Students, who

often interacts with students. “They will not have a lot of student interaction at all,” said Mr. Messmer. The Assistant Principal for Teaching and Learning will work on both an individual and group basis with Maine South’s teachers to implement strategies for improving the classroom experience for students. The new administrator will observe and assess teachers and then offer them professional development opportunities outside of the classroom. Based on student performance records, the assistant principal will implement teaching strategies which are suited to the students. He or she will also participate in the recruiting and hiring of new teachers. New teachers will be placed in a mentor program, which will be overseen by the Assistant Principal for Teaching and Learning, in which they will be paired with a more experienced instructor. Finally, the assistant principal will work to retain Maine South’s teachers through a

teacher retention program. The ultimate goal of the person in this position will be to improve student education, and teacher development will play a significant role in accomplishing this. Mr. Messmer made it clear that the creation of this position is not meant to serve as a solution to any particular issue the administration is attempting to address, but rather to provide “one more resource for teachers.” The application deadline for the Assistant Principal position passed earlier this month, so there is no word yet on who the new administrator will be. However, the school’s current administrators know what kind of an impact they want this individual to have on Maine South. “[The new position] will help the MS community continually get a little bit better wherever we can so that students learn more,” said Mr. Messmer. “The impact, ultimately, is taking great teachers and helping them be

even better, and, therefore, having great students,” said Messmer. The pursuit of the very best academic environment for District 207 students on behalf of the administration led to the establishment of this new office. Applications for the job will be reviewed for administrative skills and experience in the field of staff improvement. “We [the administration] are looking for someone who knows how to work with adult learners,” said Messmer. Unlike many of the teaching jobs at Maine South, the Assistant Principal for Teaching and Learning is a 12 month position, meaning that it requires year-round work and does not offer a summer break. Instead, during the summer months, the Assistant Principal will also help to supervise the summer school program. Interviews with candidates are currently being conducted, and the new administrator will begin working on July 1st.

provides unique foods, free samples, and a welcoming atmosphere Meagan Sodaro Staff Writer


n Nov. 6, Park Ridge’s newest grocery store, Whole Foods, opened. The store, located on 225 W. Touhy Avenue, opened to much anticipation from the community. The new Whole Foods Market is an organic grocery store that specializes in its antibiotic-free meat and wide variety of healthy foods. After visiting the store, senior Jamie Riley was impressed with the selection. “They have more of a variety than other places,” said Riley, “You can build what you want to buy.” Customers can make their own nut butter by choosing from a wide selection of nuts and then grinding them up themselves. Some other unique amenities include a gelato station, a place for fresh, seasonal donuts, a juice bar, a cheese and wine bar, a restaurant, and 15 different coffee samples a day. “I love Whole Foods,” said senior Klaudia Rudny, “I believe in organic

food, even though it is expensive.” Many people are not willing to pay the inflated prices of organic foods and other products, but for those who are, Whole Foods Market is an organic superstore. “It has everything you possibly need grocery-wise, and you can also find interesting and different foods,” said junior Gilly Yildiz. According to the Whole Foods website, they are the first nationally certified organic grocer in the US. Their large organic selection can be attributed to not only their commitment to sell the best options to their customers, but also their commitment to the planet. “It’s not only about selling healthy food; it’s about selling organic supplies such as soups, Toms shoes, flower arrangements, and medicine,” said senior Stephanie Teresi, “It is about a healthy lifestyle. That’s why it’s so expensive.” Located at the intersection of Touhy and Washington, the store is the first Whole Foods in Park Ridge. “Whole Foods will bring revenue to Park Ridge as it will not only draw customers from Park Ridge, but neighboring areas as well. It should be a nice addition to have in up-


Whole Foods brings organic variety to Park Ridge Organic superstore

TALK OF THE TOWN Whole Foods on Touhy has attracted many customers since its opening on Nov. 6. The store has a restaurant and a juice bar.

town,” said junior Gracie Miller. Several Maine South students plan on going to Whole Foods for special organic products that they cannot buy elsewhere. However, Whole Foods is commonly known to be a specialty store, not the typical grocery store that students and their families would regularly shop at. “If I had a choice of buying the same product from either Whole Foods or another grocery store, I would most likely not choose Whole Foods because it’s so overpriced.” sophomore Julia Sirvinskas said.

“A lot of the products they sell can be made at home, like salads and smoothies.” Whole Foods has a lot to offer to those who are looking for a healthy alternative to not only some of their favorite foods, but also other favorites such as clothing items. Whole Foods Market is also in a partnership with The Global Animal. The Global Animal is a fivestep Animal Welfare rating program. This program ensures that at Whole Foods Market, the meat is fresh and follows the strict quality standards of Global Animal Welfare.

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| December 20, 2013

Christopher Brendza

Staff Writer aine South has recently posted new signs around campus to designate the school as a firearmfree zone. Metal signs outside entrances to the school and stickers attached to doors mark the area as off-limits to those carrying firearms. These signs were installed in accordance with new state law. The recent passage of Illinois’ concealed carry bill will allow residents to apply for a concealed carry weapons permit. The bill also designates specific areas in which concealed carry weapons are not allowed. Among these are day cares, jails, hospitals, libraries, airports, amusement parks, playgrounds, public transportation, casinos, stadiums, museums, and public buildings and establishments where over fifty percent of the sales made are derived from alcohol. In July, this Firearm Concealed Carry Act became law in Illinois, the


last state to pass such a law. When the state’s new law goes into effect in January, buildings in which concealed carry weapons are prohibited are required to post signs forbidding these weapons. Even the people who hold permits and licenses to carry a gun are required to not have it in designated areas. “Basically, the state passed this law which requires the signage in place,” Principal Shawn Messmer said, “And we are just complying with that new law.” The Attorney General’s office states that, “The Act identifies areas where the possession of firearms are prohibited, and requires 4” by 6” standardized signs approved by the Illinois State Police to be ‘clearly and conspicuously’ posted at the posted at the entrance of each ‘prohibited area,’ informing the public that firearm possession is not allowed.” These guidelines are tentative, and may be changed sometime this month. Only one sign at the entrance of the building is required, but Maine


Signs enforce rules mandated in concealed carry law

NO GUNS ALLOWED New signs around campus prohibit concealed

weapons at Maine South. Illinois recently passed a bill that will allow people to carry concealed weapons starting in January 2014.

South has posted multiple signs outside the school and stickers on the doors to clarify the prohibition of the weapons. These stickers can be seen posted on doors such as the entrance to the Spectator Gym foyer. Metal signs have also been posted at entrances to

school grounds from Dee and Talcott roads. These signs also reference Illinois Code 430 ILCS 66/1, the article that forbids conceal and carry weapons on school grounds, but also directly state that all weapons are prohibited on Maine South property.

this holiday season. Students interested in joining can e-mail the sponsor, Mr. McArthur, Berg, or Ryan. After a year-long break, the Polish Club has come back to Maine South. It aims to honor Polish heritage and culture, as well as educate people on the history of Poland. The club celebrates traditional as well as modern Polish customs.

“I’m glad someone brought back Polish club because I really love to celebrate my culture with my friends,” sophomore Patricia Smyrski said. The Polish Club is engaging in a variety of activities this year, including Wigilia, which is Polish Christmas, Polish Food day, and Easter egg painting. If this club appeals to you, contact sponsor Dean Hall.

Monica Bielawiec & Alex Paoletti

Staff Writers n addition to the plethora of clubs already at Maine South, multiple new clubs have been established this year. One of the new groups is Talking Without Borders, a club formed for the students who speak a foreign language at Maine South and who want to apply their skills outside of the classroom. Through Talking Without Borders, students are given the opportunity to communicate with kids in other countries via Skype. The club was started by junior Julia Samulak. One goal for Talking Without Borders is to fundraise money to provide gift packages to send to the foreign students who participate in the program. Talking Without Borders meets twice a month for anyone interested in strengthening their language skills. Contact Don Jose for more information. Another club created this year is Serving America, a charity club that was created by juniors Matthew Berg and Patrick Ryan. The club came about through


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their realization that the United States is always offering its help and support to other countries during times of difficulty. Berg and Ryan wanted to create a club in which members could aid foreign countries, but also help out our own country. The purpose of the club is to serve the American people, to give back to those in need and to better the lives of people in the community. “Our number one goal is to make the world a better place by providing as much assistance that we can,” Berg said. The club also aims to acquire members who will act with kindness towards one another and actively participate in the club. The Serving America club has already done many things to benefit the community. During the Halloween season, the club collected candy to be shipped overseas to soldiers. The club has also sold red, white, and blue bracelets to the students at Maine South. All proceeds went to the Pat Tillman Foundation, which grants scholarships to veterans and their families. Additionally, the members will be helping out at Misericordia


New clubs at Maine South introduce new opportunities

TALKING WITHOUT BORDERS In Talking Without Borders, Maine

South students have the opportunity to talk to other students in foreign countries via Skype. Junior Julia Samulak introduced the club this year.


IHSA shuts out broadcasting students Dora Bialy

Editor-in-Chief ecause of the IHSA’s decision to allow private companies to purchase exclusive broadcast rights, members of the student-run extracurricular Radio and TV station, WMTH, were prohibited from conducting their regular live stream during the games versus Oak Park River Forest and Loyola. The Illinois High School Association, which has these exclusive rights to postseason IHSA sports, signed a contract with an outside company, PlayON! Sports, that allowed them to pick and choose which games they would broadcast. “PlayON! Sports is the IHSA’s official broadcast partner and has the right to first refusal on all broadcasts,” IHSA Assistant Executive Director Matt Troha said. “If they choose not to, a company like High School Cube can purchase the rights to the game and have a school broadcast it. PlayON! chose not to broadcast the first round game, but exercised their contractual right in the second round.” Students, unaware of this decision, had begun gearing up for the next playoff game after the first round win against Niles West. Despite the game taking place at Oak Park, Advanced TV/Film teacher and WMTH sponsor, Mr. Strom, was able to work out an arrangement that would allow the students to broadcast an away game for the first time. “I know the teacher at Oak Park,” Mr. Strom said. “So I called him, and I asked if he wanted to do a joint broadcast with some of his kids. He was really into it, so we coordinated and began setting everything up.” Part of the IHSA’s agreement states that it would announce on Monday following a game where they will be sending their broadcast crew. “Monday morning came and went, and we didn’t hear what they wanted to cover,” Mr. Strom said, “So we went ahead with the planning and coordination between the two schools of our broadcast. Everything was all set up, ready to go. Then, Wednesday evening, at about four o’clock, I got an email from the Athletic Director at Oak Park. It was a forwarded message that had been sent a couple hours earlier from



December 20, 2013


Junior Max Henley (left) and senior Ryan Dysart (right) provide play-by-play commentary for Maine South’s first home game against Wheaton-Warrenville South on Sept. 6.

IHSA, and it pretty much just said, ‘Our exclusive stream provider is going to cover this game, so you can’t.’ Any emails or phone calls that I made or sent were not returned. We got shut out.” The students involved with the production of these broadcasts were upset upon hearing the news. “We all had the mindset that we were going to get to film the playoff games,” junior Jake Ritthamel said. “We had been working extremely hard each week to make each broadcast better than the last, and we were hoping that we were going to be able to put our skills to the test and make the best broadcast we had yet.”

BROADCASTING BLUES Students should have the same right to broadcast games during the playoffs as they do during the regular season. See editorial, page 13 “Everyone was really disappointed and we felt like our season just ended with a surprise loss,” junior Laney Krauss-Taddeo said. “I really didn’t appreciate IHSA’s choice to use an outside crew. I understand that IHSA may want a professional crew to broadcast the game, but they didn’t have to restrict the students that wanted to broadcast it, too.” “I think they took away an opportunity that most of us will never have

again,” senior Ryan Dysart said. The IHSA only grants students the right to broadcast if the stream is aired on a tape delay. However, due to the limited space available in the broadcasting booths at Oak Park and Loyola, there was no room left for anyone outside of the PlayON! Sports crew. Additional problems arose when the live broadcast was unavailable to a large portion of potential viewers. “When Maine South played Loyola, I checked IHSA’s site to stream the game,” Krauss-Taddeo said, “And it led me to another website where I thought I could watch it. But no, I had to pay $10 to see my own high school’s football game.” “When you pull up IHSA, and you try to go through to watch it live,” Mr. Strom explained, “You have to be a Comcast customer in order to access it. Even if you’re a Comcast customer, or your parents are the Comcast account holders, you have to have their login information.” The quality of PlayON! Sports’ broadcast also raised some concerns among the WMTH team. “[The IHSA] brought in two guys who didn’t know either team and didn’t show any signs of preparation,” Mr. Strom said. “They shot with one camera, which was crooked the entire time, so anytime you zoomed out, the horizon line was slanted.

Their effort was lackluster. There was a lot of dead air, and they really only talked between plays. There was no pre-game, and the second the game ended, they signed off.” “I feel that our group of kids from Maine South was more qualified to broadcast for our team,” freshman Sam Tinaglia said. “We’ve been broadcasting these guys the whole season, and we know who everyone is.” Every live WMTH broadcast features a team of eight to twelve students involved in shooting, editing, directing, and providing on screen commentary and interviews for the duration of the game. “What makes WMTH different from a lot of other high school programs is how true we try to be to a broadcast you’d see on ESPN,” Dysart said. “We usually switch between three or more camera angles, we have sideline reporters, and we even run in-game interviews. So many high schools just run one camera, shooting a single shot for the entire game, and throw one kid behind the mic to report on what’s happening. With so much going on, we need a big group of people, and the pressbox is a pretty busy place. From the minute the director yells action, our job continues non-stop until the post game show. It’s a really fun and exciting thing to be a part of.”

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| December 20, 2013

Richie Teresi cheers on Maine South one routine at a time Paige Prendergast & Adriana Sclafani Staff Writers

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MEGA-MAN Richie Teresi cheers at the Homecoming assembly in October. Before joining the cheerleading team this year, he was a member of the Maine South boys’ gymnastics team.

successful cheerleader. “He’s super nice and always has a positive attitude,” said Clara Dylewki, a sophomore and teammate of Teresi’s. “I’m glad he’s on the team.” Although the practices can be tough and the routines overwhelming, they pay off when it comes to game time. “ W h at I l ov e m o s t a b o u t cheerleading is the home games,” said Teresi. “To have a front row view of the game, turn around to see your friends cheering, and get the crowd pumped is the best feeling.” As the first male Maine South cheerleader, Teresi was nervous about how the school would feel about him. But since he has joined the team, he has received positive feedback. “I expected the school to either really support me or do the complete opposite,” said Teresi. “I was really happy to see that the students have been super supportive.” Teresi also had a great time at a Maine South cheerleading camp in Wisconsin this past summer where he enjoyed a college experience while also learning more about the sport of cheerleading. At this camp, the cheerleaders focused heavily on stunting and coming up with small routines to perform for their parents at the end of the week. “This camp gave me a glance into what cheerleading is all about,” said Teresi. “It led me to be successful when the season came around.” Teresi’s cheerleading experience

has been nothing but positive and he regrets not joining the team earlier. As Teresi finishes off his last year at Maine South, he’s trying to decide on his future college plans.   Competition season, which occurs in the winter, is prime time for college scouting. “I really hope to stay close to home, said Teresi. If I was offered some sort of cheerleading scholarship close by,

I would probably take it.” As for right now, Teresi is enjoying his involvement on the cheer team and hopes to inspire other boys to join. “I really hope more guys decide to join the cheerleading team,” said Teresi. “I want Maine South to become a place where people don’t think cheerleading is a girls’ sport.”

FLOAT ON Teresi and his teammate Maddy Schaul encourage the crowd at the Homecoming parade. In the future, Teresi would like to attend a college close to home that offers him a cheerleading scholarship.


enior Richie Teresi cartwheeled his way into Maine South history this year by becoming the first male cheerleader at Maine South. His involvement with sports at Maine South began freshman year when he joined the boys’ gymnastics team, which practices at Maine East. Maine East provided a different perspective for Teresi; he was at a different school with different kids, coaches, and surroundings. During gymnastics practice, Teresi noticed that the M.E. cheerleading team was a mixture of girls and boys. Seeing boys on the cheerleading team changed his assumptions about the sport; he realized that he wanted to bring this to Maine South. “I thought they needed a male representative on the team,” said Teresi. “The guys at Maine East really made me realize that it was possible. I also felt that since I was at Maine East most of the time, I didn’t get to interact with Maine South students as much as I should, so joining the cheerleading team was the perfect way to change this.” At the end of his junior year, Richie tried out for the 2013-2014 Maine South cheerleading team. After a two-week break, Teresi began preparing for the season with summer practices. “Cheerleading is very different from gymnastics,” said Teresi. “I never realized how hard it was when stunting to lift another person. I’ve lifted weights before, but lifting people is a completely different thing.” Though he enjoys being on the team, it has been somewhat of a struggle for Teresi to adjust to the cheerleading culture. Most of the other members of the team are juniors or seniors who have been on the team since freshman or sophomore year.   “Everyone is always a step ahead of me,” said Teresi. “I’m like the team’s puppy. I follow them around trying to learn.”   The team is very supportive of Teresi, especially when it comes to the dance aspect of cheerleading, which he had never been exposed to before. Teresi also had to adjust to the time-consuming schedule. However, with the help of his coaches and teammates, Teresi has become a



December 20, 2013


Yogi brings message of ‘namaste’ to MS Amanda Svachula Features Editor


▲CORE POWER Annie Paoletti practices her headstand (Salamba


Sirasana). This is one of her favorite poses because she is able to add different variations.


t the end of a typical yoga class, students bow to each other with a simple word: “namaste.” “Namaste,” derived from the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit, literally means “I bow to you.” It is a term of respect that yogis show to honor each other and themselves after their practice. Senior Annie Paoletti began her route to becoming a practiced yogi earlier this summer. She recently started a yoga club at Maine South in order to show students the wonderful benefits of yoga and its message of honor, acceptance, discovery, and “namaste.” “What I really love about yoga when I did start it, and started doing it really well, is that I just felt really good about myself and so confident,” said Paoletti. “I want to show [other students] that they can do this and feel the same way I do.” Yoga is a system of exercises designed to help both the human mind and body. Paoletti has done yoga sporadically, but became more involved with it in late August of this year. “This year I’m not doing lacrosse,” said Paoletti. “So basically all summer I wasn’t doing anything physical, so I decided to [try yoga]. I usually just do a Vinyasa, which is flowing through poses. I do whatever I feel like doing [each day].” By practicing yoga each day, Paoletti has been able to master very challenging poses. “When I learn a new pose, it becomes my favorite because I love doing it,” said Paoletti. “But my [true] favorite is probably the headstand because there are a lot of leg variations and ways you can go into it.” Paoletti has learned more about yoga through attending a multitude of yoga classes in Park Ridge at Corepower Yoga and Sun and Moon Yoga, and also several workshops in Chicago. At these workshops, Paoletti has met and talked to many of the famous yogis she follows on social media networks. “I follow so many different yogis on Instagram,” said Paoletti. “It’s really great to see other people do it, and it gives you the motivation to do it. My favorite yogi is this girl who lives in Seattle. Her name is Mackenzie


Paoletti works on perfecting her tree pose, which is also known as “vrksasana” in Sanskrit. Each yoga pose has a name in Sanskrit name and then a translated name. The names in Sanskrit always end in “-asana,” which specifies that it is a pose.

Miller.” Paoletti took one of Miller’s classes when she came to Chicago and has participated in several other workshops. “A week [after Miller’s class], I went to a class at DePaul,” said Paoletti. “The teacher was wearing a Buddhist rosary and had a little teapot next to him. The way he explained things was so different. He made us do an ‘om,’ where you make the sound, and you hold it, and everyone else does it. It’s the weirdest sound ever, and it’s almost like you feel it in your

body. The last workshop I went to was also downtown at this cute little yoga studio. It was taught by popular women from New Jersey.” Inspiration from workshops and other yogis has inspired Paoletti to lead yoga club, but surprisingly, starting the club at Maine South was originally not her idea. One of her friends encouraged her to start the club after she heard a few girls talking about how fun it would be to have one at Maine South. Paoletti decided to take on the challenge of organizing the group.

“Right now we’re only a group, not a legitimate club,” said Paoletti. “I just want people to come and try it out because I have big plans. If we can get it big, maybe someone can make it into an actual club next year.” Yoga club holds meetings every Friday in C101. There were about 20 students at the first meeting led by Ms. Sinclair. “The whole idea [of the club] is to let people who have never done yoga before get a taste of it and see that it doesn’t matter if you can’t do [certain poses],” said Paoletti. “You might not be able to do a headstand, but you might be able to do a crow because each pose uses two different muscle groups.” Paoletti hopes to eventually lead one of the classes and also bring in guest yoga teachers. She wants to expose students to a wide variety of yoga by holding meetings focused on specific types of poses. Paoletti’s main goal for the club is to introduce students to not only the practice of yoga, but the lifestyle as well. In the future, Paoletti aims to become a certified yoga teacher in order to teach at a studio in her free time. Meanwhile, she has combined her love of yoga with her love for art and has been selling painted yoga mats on Etsy, an online craft marketplace. “I opened an Etsy shop, BEFlow, to sell my paintings, [but wasn’t getting any buyers] because no one’s going to buy something for that much from a teenager,” said Paoletti. “Instead, I decided to paint yoga mats. I wanted to start painting on them, because they are just like canvases. On the original mat [I made] I painted a chakra symbol. I decided to put a picture of it on Etsy. Then I got someone from Colorado who wanted to buy one. I made a logo, E-Flow, because you flow through yoga and it fills you with energy.” Paoletti has immersed herself into the world of yoga-culture, and encourages other students to do the same. “[Yoga-culture] is so subtle, and it’s really nice,” said Paoletti. “It’s awesome. I’ve noticed many physical and mental differences. I guess anyone that is a beginner to yoga feels like people will see them fall and that they will care. But no, with yoga, nobody is going to judge you.”

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| December 20, 2013


Southwords fishes out the best sushi in town.

SH9W D9WN Yavor Todorov

Entertainment Editor

Maki Sushi

Umami Sushi

Not many positive things have been said about Maki Sushi’s sushi, and we’re not going to be the first to start. It’s mediocre, plain and simple—but what would you expect from a place with two six-page menus containing Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and even Thai dishes. People like variety, but that’s a little overwhelming for diners, not to mention the chefs. Because of this variety, it appears, the freshness of the ingredients suffers and Maki tends to be a hit or miss. For example, their salmon was rough and discolored from oxidation, when it should have been soft and velvety. Furthermore, the portions at Maki are very small and expensive. Their service is slow and not up to par, as the waiters never revisit your table after they bring your order. Maki is newly renovated, clean, and has pleasing decor. Unfortunately, you can’t eat the decor.

If you like sushi but can never be satisfied with just a few overpriced rolls, Umami Sushi is the place for you. Umami is an all-you-can-eat sushi buffet with an à la carte menu, and although the buffet is expensive at $15.99, Umami is the perfect place for sushi lovers with a big appetite. The à la carte menu is quite inexpensive compared to the buffet and other sushi restaurants in the area. Their signature Umami roll is $6.75, which is a steal considering you could end up paying $13 for a similar menu item at the miserable Sushi Express. Umami is fresh, tasty, filling, and a definite crowd pleaser. Umami’s fish is delivered fresh every single day, their rice is soft, their cucumbers are crispy, and they make their own sauces in house using a time-tested family recipe.

Must try: Crazy Crunch Maki Roll, King Crab Fried Rice, Spider Roll

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12 S. Northwest Hwy. Park Ridge, IL 60068 (847) 318-1920

Must try: Umami Roll, Dynamite Roll, Tiger Roll

4626 N. Cumberland Ave Chicago, IL 60656 (773) 589-9928


December 20, 2013 | ENTERTAINMENT

Sushi Express

Blu Fish Sushi

Sushi Express tastes cheap, looks cheap, and is cheap. You get what you pay for though: $4.50 for six spicy tuna rolls that are not spicy, have stale rice, are mostly cucumber, and are wrapped in a nori that is—like their wasabi—too green and obviously artificial. Overall, Sushi Express’s employees are unwelcoming and make guests eager to leave. You’d be more content buying pre-made sushi from Jewel Osco and eating it in your car. The best word to describe Sushi Express is “bland.” Just like their rolls and their staff, Sushi Express’s atmosphere is duller than the neighboring Subway’s, and it’s no surprise when you’re the only person in the place. That being said, what do you expect from a place that serves you sushi on a cafeteria tray? 35 S. Prospect Ave If you must try: Godzilla, Park Ridge, IL 60068 Dragon Roll, Miko Roll (847) 518-8580

Blu Fish is Park Ridge’s newest sushi restaurant. It seems the people of Park Ridge are really taking a liking to the new bistro, and rightfully so. Blu Fish is by far the best sushi restaurant in Uptown Park Ridge. The atmosphere is great, the furniture is new, and everything is clean. Blu Fish also has a very friendly staff that includes a few Maine South students. What’s more, Blu Fish has live entertainment and great sushi. What Blu Fish lacks in their bland spicy tuna roll, they make up for in their specialty rolls, most notably their Ocean Drive. Blu Fish’s rolls are made with fresh fish and quality ingredients, but they are expensive. Two servings of sushi can run you about $25.


i r i g i


Nigiri is a Japanese dish made from sushi and fresh fish. A cluster of steamed sushi rice is hand molded and fish is pressed on top of it. The fish topping, or “neta,” is usually tuna, eel, salmon, or shrimp.

Must try: Ocean Drive, Dirty Old Man, Sexy Lady




Maki is the most common, most traditional, and most widely identifiable type of sushi roll. Maki is seaweed (“nori”), wrapped around vinegar-flavored rice and various fillings like raw seafood and vegetables.


i m i ash


130 N. Northwest Hwy. Park Ridge, IL 60068 (847) 720-4479

Sashimi is an appetizer and an essential part of Japanese cuisine. Sashimi is a slice of fresh, raw, saltwater fish. Sashimi is technically not considered sushi, but neta, because sushi refers to rice and neta refers to fish.

i k a Tem

Temaki sushi, also known as a “hand roll,” is the easiest form of sushi to roll, Temaki is hand rolled and does not require a rolling mat. It is cone-like, wrapped with nori, and filled with almost any type of seafood.

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ENTERTAINMENT | December 20, 2013

Julia Koza & Isabelle Elderkin Staff Writers


his Thanksgiving break, seventysix band and choir students had the unique opportunity to travel to Disney World and perform at the famous amusement park. The band students participated in the Walt Disney World Thanksgiving Parade of Bands in Disney’s Hollywood Studios along with four other schools from across the country, and the choir students performed in the annual Candlelight Processional at the America Gardens Theatre in EPCOT. Both groups and the other participating schools were also treated to a private Thanksgiving dinner at EPCOT on Thanksgiving night and a private party in Disney’s Animal Kingdom the following Friday. “We found out about this opportunity through our travel agent, Bob Rogers Travel,” said Mr. Matter, Maine South’s band director. “They are the sponsor of the event.” After hearing about this opportunity, Mr. Hanes and Mr. Matter worked hard to make the trip possible. “We have not traveled in several years and thought that this would generate a lot of interest in students,” Mr. Matter said. “Also, we have not had the mass band experience before and this one is different than most. This allowed us to be part of an official Disney Performance, making the band students cast members for the day. We also performed with the

Boston Brass, an incredible professional brass quintet.” The band students had to prepare six different songs before they left, and while in Florida, they had two three-hour rehearsals before they performed, one of which was at 5:00 a.m. The choir students performed in the annual Candlelight Processional on opening night. “I had heard from several colleagues in the area about the Candlelight Processional and how much their students enjoyed it,” said Mr. Hanes, the director of choirs at Maine South. “For the choir, the performance factor was very strong; the choir was able to sing with other high school students as well as professional Disney performers and a live, professional orchestra—not something that is readily available.” The choir students who attended the trip had to learn and memorize seventy-two pages of holiday music that they would sing with several other guest choirs, the Disney Cast Choir, the Voices of Liberty, and a professional orchestra during the Candlelight Processional. In addition, American actor Gary Sinise was the celebrity guest narrator. The choir students had rehearsed the music beforehand, and had only a 20- to 30-minute rehearsal with the other choirs just before the performance. Both band and choir students had been perfecting their performances since the beginning of October.


Band and choir travel to Disney World


While taking a break from drumline, seniors Andrew Groenewold and Ben Carlson take a moment to play the congas. The students involved performed in the Walt Disney World Thanksgiving Parade of Bands in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Every person who went on the trip brought back a lifetime of memories. “Singing with people from all over the country was a really cool experience,” said junior Trevor Ross. “We even played a huge game of ninja with about 30 people.” Being on the performance side of Disney was a brand new experience for students. “We got to see a part of Disney that few people who visit get to see,” senior Sarah Householder said. “In both band and choir performances, we were on Disney’s stages with professional lights, audio, and effects. It was really cool to be on the other side.” “One thing I learned while we were in Orlando was that all the hard work really pays off,” said sophomore

Bonnie Millener. “We had to come in for extra rehearsals every Tuesday for quite a few weeks before we went to Disney, and we had to focus to pull it off. It was definitely worth it.” Both Mr. Matter and Mr. Hanes left Florida feeling extremely proud of their students. “They represented our community, school, and program with such professionalism that did not go unnoticed by the event staff,” said Mr. Matter. “From flight crews to directors, we received many compliments on how well behaved and polite our students were.” A broadcast of the band’s performance can be found at, as well as on the website’s YouTube channel. Highlights of the Candlelight Processional will be posted online in the near future.

Plot twists and character development propel ‘Allegiant’ Anastasia Dalianis Staff Writer


n the shocking conclusion to the Divergent trilogy, “Allegiant,” Veronica Roth continues to explore the complicated post-apocalyptic world of the factions and the Divergent. When Veronica Roth’s first novel, “Divergent,” was first released, it was one of many in a sea of books that depicted a bleak future for humanity, but it quickly rose to prominence for its skilled writing, unique subject matter, and ideals of hope and happiness in a world plagued by destruction. After revealing a secret that could unravel the twisted web of lies that encases her society, Tris

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Prior is looking for a way to escape the death, tyranny, and destruction within the city limits of the future Chicago. The action in this book starts almost immediately and doesn’t cease until the very last page. Unlike the other books in the Divergent trilogy, which are narrated only by Tris, this book alternates the point of view each chapter between Tris and her boyfriend Tobias. The alternating points of view make the already-tangled storyline much more difficult to follow, and seems a bit unnecessary; most of the action and revelations happen in the chapters where Tris was narrating. Tris’s relationships with the other main characters—especially Tobias and her brother, Caleb—grow increasingly strained throughout the course of the novel. The tense relationships keep the story interesting in times where it seems to lag. Veronica Roth’s writing style is significantly different from her style in the past two books.

The story contains much more description of every small detail about the characters, often to the point where it is a bit excessive. Sometimes, the way she writes creates a detachment between the reader and the characters, so instead of living the story with the characters, the reader is only watching it play out. As for the plot itself, the motives and backstory behind Tris’s society take a sharp turn from what the first two books had implied. Roth presents a slightly unconvincing reason for why the factions in Tris’s society had been established. However, the sudden plot twist provides opportunities for new character development. As the characters realize how large the world they live in really is, they begin to think less about themselves and more about their city and society as a whole. While “Allegiant” did not entirely live up to the standards set forth by the previous two books in the series, it is definitely a book worth reading.

December 20, 2013


Labeling necessary on Genetically Modified Food Marisa Sclafani

Commentary Editor


hances are, you have already eaten genetically modified food today. From granola bars to salads, a majority of American food products originate from an engineered seed. While the federal government does not mandate the labeling of genetically modified products, it should in order to allow consumers to make informed choices about their food and health. The biotech tomato was the first genetically modified food to subtly appear in grocery stores in 1994, and since then, more and more food products have been placed on the shelves without being labeled “genetically modified.” Genetically modified organisms, commonly known as GMO’s, are anything but natural. Creating a GMO relies on inserting a gene, or genes, of one organism into the DNA of another. This is performed to place a desired trait into the original organism. Take corn, for example. Along with soybeans and cotton, corn is one of the most commonly genetically modified foods in America. According to the US Department of Agriculture, as much as 88% of corn produced is modified. How? By inserting a bacterium known as “Bt” into the seeds of corn to make it resistant to certain pests and theoretically reduce the spraying of pesticides. Here is the irony: bugs and animals have grown accustomed to “Bt” in corn, so that more pesticide spraying


is necessary to keep them away and kill the “superweeds” that have developed. In this sense, GM foods may be no more pesticide-free than traditional foods. The seed supply, that was once managed by farmers, is now controlled by global GM seed companies, such as Monsanto. And since genetically modified plants cannot be reharvested like traditional crops, more GM seeds must be purchased to keep producing crops—increasing profits for these large companies. There is concern about the safety of consuming Bt corn, and other genetically modified products that have been tainted in the laboratory. In fact, no long-term study on the human health risks associated with eating GM foods has been published. However, smaller studies published in the journal of Food and Chemistry Toxicology have shown that rats fed Bt corn grew more slowly and suffered liver and kidney damage after three generations. More experimental testing like this should be performed on GM foods. Without labels, it is nearly impossible to remove GM foods from your diet. Wheat, red beets, tomatoes, papayas, and sugar are just a few examples of foods that have been genetically altered—and these foods are ingredients in a wide array of consumer products. The only way to know whether the food we eat has been genetically engineered is to see labels on each individual product stating “Made with GMOs” or “NON-GMO.” The word “natural” does not suffice, as this word is not clearly defined across America and can often be misleading. If nutrition labels are nationally mandated on food products, then why not GMO labels? We can see

Required labeling of genetically modified foods No required labeling of genetically modified foods

the grams of sodium in a 2,000 calorie diet, the percent of iron, or even the presence of an unpronounceable chemical on the ingredient list. These words may seem meaningless at times, but, in reality, they are extremely important. To people who are PHOTO BY MICHAEL DEVERMAN watching their sodium intake, have an iron FULL TRANSPARENCY Sunflower deficiency, or may be seed oils and canola oils are labeled as NON-GMOs allergic to gluten and at Whole Foods in Park Ridge. Whole Foods recently cannot eat foods with announced their five-year plan to label all products as a even traces of triticale, GMO or NON-GMO. these numbers are essential to their a five-year plan to label all of its food. This may seem like a long time, but eating habits and daily lives. GM foods should be no different to the thousands of Whole Foods in terms of labeling. As high school suppliers, this means labeling their students, most of us were born products and reconsidering whether around the time that GM food was or not they would like to be seen introduced into supermarkets. We on the shelves as GMOs. This is a are essentially the test-run for lab- positive adjustment, because the produced seeds. And currently, we suppliers will have to further consider have little control over whether we the experimentation on the safety of are eating genetically modified foods their crops. Even though most of our food because of the absence of labels. If food producers are confident is not currently labeled, students in their genetically modified crop, and adults alike can take action to there should be no hesitancy to make their eating more wholesome. label it accordingly. Sixty-four Looking for products distinguished countries worldwide require the as “GMO free” is a step towards a labeling of genetically modified healthier diet. The brand Silk, commonly known food, including China, Germany, and India, according to the Center for its soy milk and almond milk, is a rare example of a company that for Food Safety. More often than not, when GM labels all of its products. Soybeans foods were labeled in other countries, are a common genetically modified their sales declined. Most European food; however, Silk guarantees that countries have switched back to its products are included in the “Nontheir previous methods of food GMO Project.” Park Ridge is also fortunate to production. But in America and Canada, the two countries with the have a Farmers Market each Saturday, most GMO production, there is no and there’s no better way to learn federal requirement to label GMOs. about where the food you eat comes The debate to from than talking to the farmers label genetically that grow the food themselves. By modified foods purchasing products from a familyi s n o t a l o s t owned business that does not grow cause, and it has GM crops, you would be supporting i mp a c t e d t h e the movement towards traditionallydecision for some grown food. Plus, you would be food stores to helping out a business that may be take the initiative trying to fight against the tide of large, and label their corporate organizations that support specific items. genetically modified food. It’s promising to Until the safety of GM Food is hear that Whole guaranteed, the government should Foods, recently require food manufacturers to intro duced to label their products for American Park Ridge, is on consumers. It’s our right to know.

Source: The Center for Food Safety

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| December 20, 2013

When requirements aren’t right of students who need more time to concentrate on course work. Some students who participate in varsity athletics have taken this measure, but a majority of students do not have Mara Cameron the required credentials. In order to Staff Writer receive a P.E. exemption, a student he typical Maine South schedule must be either a junior or senior and is made up of required classes, on an athletic team for the season. with little room for electives. To “If you are in graduate, South students need three season on a schoolyears of Social Science, including sponsored sport, U.S. History and Government, you should not three years of math, three years be in gym,” said of science, two years of an art or Mr. Downing, the language, a semester of Health, varsity girls’ cross and a quarter each of Consumer country and track Ed, and Oral Comm. coach. “The people The only classes in these sports students must already get the take all four years conditioning are English needed to be fit. a n d p hy s i c a l The risk of injury education. from not getting Illinois is the proper rest is not only state that worth the time.” requires daily Extracurricular P.E. classes from athletics can be a solid kindergarten to the alternative to daily last day of senior year. physical education As you progress through classes. They instill your high school education, self-discipline, classes become more and responsibility, and more demanding. Having provide leadership the ability to opt out of gym training and ART BY CECILIA CORTTÉS could prove beneficial to a lot opportunity, much like

P.E. These activities are facilitated by Maine South educators, trained adults who, like P.E. teachers, want the best for students. Reducing the number of P.E. credits necessary for graduation would ultimately benefit students. Colleges are becoming increasingly selective, and in this competitive environment, having the flexibility to add more challenging classes in a day is invaluable. The school has allowed students to drop physical education for scheduling reasons, but only if a class is required for a specific college. Also, a class that is required for graduation can be taken in the place of P.E. if a student’s schedule can’t fit the course elsewhere. But students do not have the opportunity to drop P.E. in favor of another class that would better prepare them for their career path. P.E. is certainly an important part of school. Well-trained and knowledgable instructors set students on a path of lifelong fitness and teach them important life skills. However, the school must also realize that P.E. is not the only option for high school students to receive these benefits. Because of this, students should have the opportunity to use the period that is pre-determined for P.E. as a chance to explore educational opportunities that aren’t available at other times.

yet another designer perfume for Mom or a new golf shirt for Dad. But the real problem is that gifts are the priority of the season. People are too preoccupied about gift-giving or receiving. They’ve forgotten that the holidays are an irreplaceable opportunity to appreciate family. Instead of spending the holiday season with the people we love most, we spend it in crowded shopping malls fighting over the last magenta scarf. Black Friday only emphasizes this shopping craze. Thanksgiving has become a day in which you fight for the best deals, instead of a day of rest and reflection on what you are grateful for. Black Friday also exploits the workers employed by big corporations like Target and Best Buy, who should have the opportunity to celebrate the holiday. The misplaced time and money spent during the holiday season is

a problem that lies under the overarching theme of massive consumerism. It plagues our society, one which has slowly been losing it’s wholesome values of family, friends, charity, and the greater good. We should challenge ourselves and others to embrace the real reason for the season. It’s important to respect cultural and religious traditions that bring loved ones together, like decorating the tree and cooking together, for example. These things encompass the family aspect of the holiday in a far superior manner to exchanging gifts. Family lasts a lifetime, unlike the latest Apple product. More fulfilling is a Christmas spent volunteering at a soup kitchen, packing Christmas essentials for the homeless, or knitting a scarf for a soldier. The focus of the holiday season should be on building relationships and appreciating the ones you already have.


Santa Claus is coming to a materialistic town

Lindsey Acker Staff Writer


he buying season for Christmas gifts escalates the first day that there’s a nip in the air. Stores put out their holiday wares and advertisements as soon as possible in the hopes of inspiring the buying frenzy. The bombardment of superficial holiday material from the media is overwhelming. Gone are the days you picked up a magic marker and circled overpriced toys in catalogs that streamed through your mailbox, hoping that some of these items would appear carefully wrapped in festive paper and ribbon under the Christmas tree on Dec. 25. Now Christmas involves you spending your birthday money on

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Maine South High School 1111 South Dee Road Park Ridge, IL 60068

Signed letters to the editor should be delivered to LRC1, given to a member of the editorial staff, or e-mailed to southwords@maine207. org. Southwords reserves the right to edit material for clarity and brevity and to reject obscene/libelous submissions.

Scan this QR code to e-mail Southwords Editors-in-Chief

Hope Allchin Dora Bialy

Production Editors Michael Deverman Hannah Simpson News Editors

Chloe Bryniarski Jake Kay Lizzie Porter Kristyn Tarpey

Entertainment Editors Alex Korzynski Anna Laskaris Yavor Todorov Features Editors

Katie Krall Des Mustafa Amanda Svachula

Commentary Editors Annie Krall Marisa Sclafani Lauren Smith Sports Editors

Alex Ellyin Brendan Ploen Stephen Sakowicz Kay Thursby

Art/Production Team Basia Chruscinski-Ramos Cecelia Cortés Josh Larragoity Adviser

Mr. Stathakis

December 20, 2013



Ban on broadcasting limits student learning D

espite the IHSA’s mission to “enrich the educational experience...through equitable participation,” the organization has ignored a significant part of the game-day experience. Members of Maine’s South broadcasting station WMTH were forbidden from covering our final two football post-season games because of a contract that the IHSA signed with an outside broadcasting company for complete rights to filming the playoff games. This unfair decision is a slap in the face to the students who have put in consistent work to provide entertaining and wellproduced live broadcasts all season. By prohibiting students from covering the game, the IHSA is restricting learning experiences for the students. With a limited number of games, and an even more limited number of playoff opportunities, every game is an important opportunity for the broadcasters to gain real-world experience. Depriving students of these types of experiences hinders not only their ability to hone their skills, but also restricts the amount of outside-of-theclassroom-learning opportunities that are so vital in this field. Post-season games also often draw bigger audiences, which offers more exposure for the program. The students have put in the hard work it takes to produce broadcasts like these, and they deserve the opportunity to showcase their work alongside their peers. No one is prohibiting the football team from playing in the games they’ve

qualified for, or banning the theater kids from putting on the performances they’ve worked to assemble. The IHSA has essentially prevented these broadcasting students from covering the high-stakes games they have prepared for during the regular season. WMTH broadcast football games throughout the regular season, and the student broadcasters had become experts on Maine South players and ILLUSTRATION BY CECILIA CORTTÉS

past performances. This aspect alone is crucial to any sort of broadcast, and allows the announcers to make well-informed and insightful commentary alongside the typical play-by-play. It would have given them an edge that the IHSA’s broadcast team clearly lacked. Essentially, the live streams’ viewership comes mainly from the community. Nearly 12,000 parents, alumni, and fans all tuned in, not only to watch the game that their son, brother, cousin, or friend was playing in, but they sought out this stream to hear and see a quality product students themselves had produced. While we recognize that the IHSA is entitled to make its own contracts in order to improve high school athletics, the decision to shut out students from broadcasting was a major mistake. The IHSA should have the ability to hire a professional broadcast team, but it should not have the ability to give that team exclusive rights to post-season coverage. They should offer both professional and student coverage, which would maximize the playoff experience for everyone without inhibiting student learning. Football games are about more than just athletics—it’s the entire experience, which includes the athletes themselves, the band, the cheerleaders and Hawkettes, the fans, and the broadcasting team. To deprive these students of a valuable learning experience is unfair to both the broadcasters themselves and the entire Maine South community tunes in to watch and listen.

Employment is worth more than minimum wage Hope Allchin Editor-in-Chief


never wanted to have a job in high school. I always had reasons: I’m too busy, I’m already part of a summer tutoring program, I want to spend my free time building the perfect college application. A job just didn’t fit in my plans. But reality isn’t always ideal, and even the most perfect college application doesn’t come with an equally perfect scholarship. The parent of a friend offered me a job, a job my parents wouldn’t let me turn down, so into the workforce I went in the spring of my junior year. I’d always imagined myself in an internship-like environment, preferably related to journalism or law, a job that would prepare me professionally for my career, whatever

that would be. But working at the Pickwick Theater is a lot different than those employment scenarios. I wear t-shirts and leggings to work. My co-workers are mostly under the age of 20. And I make slightly above the minimum wage. After nine months at the Pickwick, I’ve realized the idiocy of idealism. T-shirts are comfortable. My coworkers are awesome. And I make enough to contribute to my college fund. Work experience, of any kind, is worth more than its monetary value and potential for career-specific preparation. Which is exactly why this job is perfect. It has reinforced skills I already possess, like quick mental math and a strong work ethic, while strengthening other necessary skill sets, like independence and fast decision making. Earning money is humbling, not only because it has increased my respect for my parents, but also because I realize what it’s like to have my own income, to be just a tiny

step closer to this often talked about independence seniors receive when they graduate. I also believe that everyone should have to suffer through a job involving customer service at some point in his or her life; it makes you a more patient person because, in case you didn’t know, people can be stubborn, angry, or bizarre. No matter what, you suck it up and smile through it. And if you do that, sometimes you’re rewarded. I’ll always remember a lovely woman who came up to me during a show after a very long day. She told me that I was the nicest employee she’d ever met in the 30 years she’d been coming there. I almost teared up right there at the counter. But working a ls o provides other rewards. There’s a sense of accomplishment in finally moving up the ranks, in impressing your manager when she’s actually looking, in being given harder shifts, longer hours, and added responsibilities. I recognize now that my reasons for not having a job were actually

excuses. I can work twice as hard during the summer. I’ll be done with college apps by the start of the new year. I can make time for activities that are truly important to me, and the 73 hours I worked in the last 15-day pay period are proof of that. Even on those hard days, like last weekend, when we played “It’s a Wonderful Life” for free admission for a completely filled theater, I wasn’t cursing my job and crying at the prospect of serving 900 hungry people. I was straightening my Santa hat and laughing with my fellow employees, knowing that I have the best candy girls beside me and a manager that I admire encouraging me. And in that moment, I wondered why I didn’t start this job sooner. Once again, as much I hate to admit it, my parents were right. The work experience I have gained is invaluable, and I wouldn’t trade these opportunities for anything. For me, whenever I’m at the Pickwick, it’s always a wonderful life.

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| December 20, 2013

Mary Grace Inserra & Alyssa Darlak

Staff Writers s the girls’ gymnastics team starts their 2013 season, they have high expectations, not only for their top gymnasts, but for the team as a whole. Though the team is only a few weeks into their season, they have already set challenging goals for their future. “One of our many goals is to have everyone on varsity make it to Sectionals and of course beat New Trier at conference,” junior Lauryn Rotonda said. Although last season varsity fell just short of qualifying for Sectionals as a team, the gymnasts believe that they will be able to collectively qualify as a strong unit. Rotonda notes that the gymnasts have a true passion for the sport, and everyone believes they can accomplish this goal. Senior Nicole Nieder, a four-year


varsity gymnast, is looking forward to her last season on the Maine South Gymnastics team. “I expect myself to be working harder than ever to hopefully get higher scores than last year,” Neider said. “This is an unbelievable team, as long as they can continue to push one another to challenge and land their skills.” Rotonda is the only junior on the varsity team and a second-year varsity gymnast. Due to her prior varsity experience she knows she has to work much harder in order to be successful. “One of my biggest goals is to make it to Sectionals and be all conference again,” says Rotonda. In order to achieve these goals, Lauryn is spending her time off due to injury working on her mental approach. Although the team graduated some of their best gymnasts, the returning girls do not believe this is a setback. Rotonda feels that the new


Sophomore Carly Berns performs her routine on the bars. The varsity team defeated Fenton in this meet on Dec. 10.

team members have heightened their skill level in order to replace the girls that they lost. “Every member excels in different ways,” Nieder said. “If we work as hard or even harder than we did last year, my team will definitely be able to go far.” As the oldest girls on the team this year, both Nieder and Rotonda are making a big effort to get to know each of their teammates. They want each girl to feel like they are a part

of a family. While they condition, both of them make sure that the girls never give up and push themselves to new levels. “We want all of the gymnasts to always be there for one another and I will be pushing them every day to be the very best they can be.” In the coming weeks, the team will travel to invites at Niles North and Niles West to battle CSL opponents while preparing for conference on Feb. 1, 2014.

champion, New Trier Green, as well as other competition that they normally do not play during the regular season. While Maine did not win the tournament, they put on a strong showing against some of the best teams in the state. Although the team has a strong senior presence, their young players are showing promise on the ice. For example, Maine East freshman, Joshua Labuda is in net as the goalie. So far, Labuda has delivered. In just his first year, Labuda is giving the team an edge on the defensive side; he has an 87 percent save percentage through ten games. Also notable is the other freshmen goalie Ryan

Dyball who has an 93 percent save percentage. “It gives us a lot of confidence knowing that they can make stops when we need them to,” senior forward Christian Witek said. “We have enough scoring to beat anyone, with all of our lines having the potential to score at any time.” “As l ong a s we pl ay s ol i d defensively and keep getting the goal tending we’ve been getting, we could go a long way,” Witek said. Maine has risen to the occasion through the first twenty games with the new coach and freshman presence in net. Players agree that it has been difficult at times, but this team has come together nicely. “Coach Greg is always looking for the best for our team and club,” Kasch said. “He wants us to do well and he is doing his best to create a strong Maine Hockey team for years to come.” “The team chemistry in our locker room is amazing,” Witek said. “Everyone sees each other as more of a brother than a teammate. That’s part of why we have such a good chance at being successful this year. When guys will give anything for each other on the ice, we’re tough to beat.” Over winter break, Maine is slotted to play at Glenbrook North, Fenwick, and Naperville Central.

Brendan Ploen


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deal when we beat them.” Maine is currently in third place behind Highland Park and BGHW. As Coach Mrofcza adjusts to the tough conference schedule, he still preaches one thing to his players. “I always try and tell them that if each player is working on every detail with intensity and focus, that means the entire team is intense and focused, and before you know it, you’ve kept that level of intensity and focus for an entire shift, then a period, then a game and eventually a season,” Coach Mrofcza said. The team recently played in Loyola Academy’s Thanksgiving tournament where they faced last year’s state


Junior Jimmy Kasch lines up for a faceoff against Glenbrook North. The team lost the game 7-3, but is still 13-6-1 under the new head coach.


New coach, same attitude for Maine Sports Editor ftentimes, it is difficult for players to adjust to new coaches; that has not been the case with the Maine varsity hockey team and their new coach Greg Mrofcza. The players have noticed a big difference in the coaching style and strategy, but have embraced the new approach. “I’ve been very excited to be a part of Maine because the team is very talented and consists of athletic players who also love to play with grit and toughness,” coach Mrofcza said. Maine is currently 13-6-1 and has played and defeated some of the best competition in state, such as New Trier Blue, New Trier White, Loyola Maroon, and Deerfield. Since hockey is not an official IHSA sport, the conferences consist of both private and public schools. Even though Maine does not play the usual CSL opponents, they still have managed to create and sustain a rivalry with the combined teams of Buffalo Grove, Hersey, and Wheeling (BGHW). “The BGHW is an intense series and we met up with them last year in the league championship,” senior forward Danny Kasch said. “It is always fast paced, very aggressive with big hits, and it’s a huge


Upperclassmen guide girls’ gymnastics to success

December 20, 2013 | SPORTS

Seniors taking on leadership roles

Austin Derrick


Staff Writer


s the final buzzer sounded on the 2013 season last February, some Hawks fans might have thought that a rebuilding year lay ahead for girls’ basketball. Three seniors, Regan Carmichael, Mackenzie Duffy, and Jacqui Grant, together accumulated 76% of the total offense scoring last year. However, Coach Smith is optimistic for what this year’s seniors provide to the team. With eight seniors on the varsity team this season, many of them have gone through the program together and understand the system. “This team is unique in that there are eight seniors,” said senior captain Kelly Kons. “Everyone has been through the program, and there is a lot of leadership present.” Kons thinks highly of the team’s great chemistry, and also noted that girls competing for starting spots in practice makes the team better.  “The whole team is competing in practice but also encouraging each other to do well,” stated Kons. Another senior captain, Hailey Schoneman, appreciates the amount of leadership that is present with this year’s seniors. “I think we have a lot of leadership on the team and that shows on the court,” said Schoneman. “Everyone works extremely well with each other and we all know what is being asked of us.” While acknowledging this as well,


Senior Olivia Cattau runs the offense from the top of the key in the Hawks’ game against Waukegan. The team went on to win this game 77-25.

Coach Smith indicated that the girls will have to change certain parts of their style of play from past years. “It is really tough to replace a player like Jacqui Grant after the success she had, so this team will have to rely on sound fundamentals and focus on defense,” said Coach Smith. “Last year’s team was able to take many risks because of the reliability of those star seniors, and the team will have to cut down on those risks, and create more chances as a team, not just individually.” Schoneman has been on the varsity team since her sophomore year, and has noticed how familiar this year’s team has become with one another over the course of this season.

Boys’ swim-

“I think we are starting to get used to each other a lot more now after being a few games into the season,” said Schoneman. “We understand everyone’s role on the team and we all work together so that those roles are fulfilled.” While this year’s team may not be perceived to be as strong as last year’s, Kons realizes how hard the team is working, and how intent they are on achieving their goals. “We are working just as hard as every year in the past, and we think we can be just as successful,” said Kons. “The team has set goals for this year, and they are to compete each and every game and to get as far as possible in the playoffs.”

The team has also been watching film of previous games in order to better prepare themselves for the next game. “This year we watch a lot of film on games from the previous games before and we go through the films and try to fix all the mistakes that we made so that it doesn’t happen again,” stated Schoneman. “This has been a big aspect in our success and failure. I think we have been doing a good job at correcting the mistakes that we have seen, and hopefully this will pay off at the end of the season.” At press time, the squad had an overall record of 6-4, and 1-2 in conference.




“Jingle Bells”

“Little Drummer Boy”

“Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree”

“All I Want for Christmas Is You”


Ham, lasagna, and desserts

A lot of every food possible

Taco Bell

What is your New Year’s resolution?

Decide on a college

To not get in trouble

Radiate positive energy

Enjoy the rest of my senior year

What is the best thing that you can make in the kitchen?

Peanut butter ball cookies

Homemade French fries

Homemade pesto sauce

Mac ‘n cheese

What is your favorite holiday song? Alex Ellyin Sports Editor

What is your ideal holiday meal?


SouthwordS 15


Alex Ellyin Sports Editor


rancesca Figlioli is not one to give up. She has cerebral palsy, a disease that can affect movement, hearing and vision. For Francesca, this disease affects mostly her left leg. But when Francesca, currently a sophomore, got to high school, she did not want to limit herself. She attempted to find a sport that would bring out her strengths. And swimming, a sport that uses a lot of upper body strength, would help. “I went through physical therapy starting in kindergarten and all the way until eighth grade,” she said. “There is no way I would have been able to do swimming without it.” Francesca always knew swimming was a sport she loved, but didn’t realize that the season started before school began. “I really wanted to do swimming and be a part of the team, so I talked to Mr. Harrier my freshman year and he talked to coach Dueball,” Figlioli said. “I then became a part of the team.” Francesca faces challenges in the water that other girls don’t experience. “The beginning of the season is the hardest because that is when everyone is out of shape,” she said. “Everyone is faster than me throughout the season, but that is okay because all my teammates are really supportive. “Sometimes I felt like I wasn’t improving or that I wasn’t good enough because everyone was faster than me.” Even through this, Figlioli likes to look at practices in a larger way, instead of getting down on herself because of the difficulty. “The practices are really hard, but they pay off, and you get to see your times drop,” she said. When she joined the team as a freshman, she had no clue about the

impact she would have on Maine South. Francesca joined elite company on Nov. 23 and became the first Maine South state champion in swimming since 1984. Francesca won the 50, 100, and 200 freestyle events in the B division for athletes with disabilities. “I didn’t really notice that I was ahead of anyone while I was swimming,” Figlioli said. “When I got done with my event, coach Dueball and coach Kura were like, ‘Francesca, you are a state champion.’” Figlioli could not have prepared herself for the environment state would bring. “It was really overwhelming and the atmosphere is so different,” she said. “There are so many people on the pool deck.” Joining Francesca at the state meet were her teammates who had competed in the preliminaries the day before and other teammates that were in the crowd supporting her, including junior Kalin Bender. “It really helped me to relax,” she said. “I needed to do the best for me and I couldn’t let my team down because they all wanted me to do well.” “I came to support Francesca in the finals, because I thought it would be amazing to watch Francesca become a state champion and she did,” Bender said. “I told her I would be at the meet screaming my head off for her. I felt so proud to see her get up on the block to receive her first place medal.” Also assisting Figlioli was varsity coach Mr. Kura and JV coach Ms. Dueball. “They told me to control only what I could control,” Figlioli said. “I couldn’t control what time I got, and I couldn’t control how the other people were going to swim. I couldn’t let all that get inside my head. I just had to stay focused.” “We tried to remind Francesca that it was just another swim meet,” coach

Kura said. “We also told her to have fun and enjoy the moment.” “I was anxious and ner vous, especially for the 200, because it was the longest I was swimming,” Francesca said. “Mentally preparing myself for it was the hardest part. I really wanted to do well, and I couldn’t let my nerves get the best of me. I just had to do my best.” Figlioli’s accomplishments have not sunk in yet. “I was just really shocked and happy and it was like a whirlwind of emotions,” she said. Francesca experienced success at the state meet, but she attributes the support of her teammates to leading to her success. After the JV team’s conference meet, there were two weeks left in the season for Francesca to get ready for Sectionals and State. A couple of the JV swimmers extended their season to stay and support Francesca at practice so she wouldn’t have to practice on her own. “That was really nice of them,” Francesca said. “They didn’t have to do that but they did. I think it really helped me prepare for Sectionals and State. I know we are a really good team and will be friends forever.” Figlioli likes to look at the bigger picture when it comes to participating in a sport. “The best part is having your teammates supporting you and you supporting your teammates, along with the friendships you develop. “Being a swimmer helped me to support other people too because everybody is going through their own challenges. It let me know that I need to support other people too because they support me.” “What is most inspiring about her is that she is never satisfied,” coach Kura said. “She always believes that she can be better. I think this serves as a real


Figlioli wins three state titles


Sophomore Francesca Figlioli stands with her three medals from the State swim meet. She competed in the B Division for Athletes with Disabilities and won the 50, 100, and 200 freestyle events.

inspiration to her teammates.” Her teammates have nothing but good things to say about their teammate. “Francesca has inspired me from day one,” Kalin Bender said. “I really got to know her during water polo and I came to learn that she was the hardest worker I have ever met. She inspires me every single day.” As for next season, Francesca plans to do off-season swimming and looks to go down in Maine South history again. “They had the records at the State meet set by the disabled swimmers and I really want to try and set a new record for them.” Bender put it best describing her friend and teammate. “Francesca always comes to practice with a smile on her face and is always cheering on her teammates. She is the definition of a hard worker and she never gives up.”

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Vol 50 Issue 4  

Southwords Vol 50 Issue 4

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