Robotics Team Reaches Out in the Community

“I really connected with one of the dogs that was there. His name was Ed, and he was adopted shortly after our visit,” Isaiah Vaught said.

“I really connected with one of the dogs that was there. His name was Ed, and he was adopted shortly after our visit,” Isaiah Vaught said.

Senior Emma Franco, chose to take J. Cole on a walk.

Senior Emma Franco, chose to take J. Cole on a walk.

By: Malaya Lee

Red Alert Robotics has started spending their Fridays with the cuddly creatures at the Humane Society of Johnson County. Seniors Emma Franco and Sarah Morrow brought this idea to the team three weeks ago and since then they have been bringing different groups of five to the Humane Society each  week. This outreach event helps the students assist their community and gives the cats and dogs attention and care.

“Being there with the animals was extremely fun because not only was I playing with cute dogs, but I could see what I was doing really helped to improve the conditions of the animals,” junior Isaiah Vaught said.

Typically the team volunteers only at robot related events, so this is a new way to show their dedication to their community. Also, it has really helped the individuals attending bond with each other.

“I really enjoyed being able to go and spend time with other members of the team, and being able to volunteer

Senior Max Newport takes George on a short walk. George was adopted while Red Alert was at the shelter.

Senior Max Newport takes George on a short walk. George was adopted while Red Alert was at the shelter.

and give back to my community,” Morrow said. “Also, cuddling with cute cats made it extra fun.”

Not everyone has been able to volunteer and help the animals. The shelter only allows people 16 and older to volunteer, so many of the freshmen and sophomores cannot yet attend.

“When I found out that I was not going to be able to go to the animal shelter, I was very disappointed,” freshman Veronica Strange said. “I was really looking forward to being able to be around the animals and to help the shelter in any way that I could.”

Some of the students are allergic to dogs and/or cats. However, these allergies didn’t stop junior Colin Scifres from trying to help at the shelter.

“I made sure to take allergy medicine beforehand, but it wasn’t very effective,” Scifres said. “I probably will not be going again.”

Junior Colin Scifres isn't able to cuddle up with the pets, due to his allergies.

Junior Colin Scifres isn’t able to cuddle up with the pets, due to his allergies.

The team is planning on continuing to help shelters weekly.

If you would like to volunteer at the Humane Society of Johnson County, you can get more information on their website at under the Get Involved section.

Students Receive Numerous Awards in Annual Scholastic Contest

Click the Picture Below to see all of the Gold/Silver Award Key Winners
Scholastic Key Awards

Honorable Mentions:

“Look Down”, Photography by Eston Baumer; “Golden Hour”, Photography by Eston Baumer; “Clock Tower”, Photography by Eston Baumer; “People Exploring”, Art Portfolio by Eston Baumer; “Easily Satisfied”, Digital Art by Max Parker; “Vinyl Water”, Photography by Maddie Weeks; “F*ck Cancer”, Photography by Maddie Weeks; “16”, Ceramics and Glass by William Brink; “Fade”, Ceramics and Glass by William Brink; “Chalky Vase”, Ceramics and Glass by Zane Gravens; “15 Inch Geometric Thrown Bottle”, Ceramics and Glass by Zane Gravens; “Fountain #3”, Ceramics and Glass by Zane Gravens; “Man Asleep”, Drawing and Illustration by Sarah Morrow; “Dad’s Mug”, Ceramics and Glass by Joseph Zollinger; “Thrown Functional Wares”, Art Portfolio by Joseph Zollinger; “White Vase”, Ceramics and Glass by Joseph Zollinger; “Pig Tail”, Ceramics and Glass by Joseph Zollinger; “Slim Cookie Jar”, Ceramics and Glass by Joseph Zollinger; “Lidded Jar”, Ceramics and Glass by Joseph Zollinger; “Orangutans”, Drawing and Illustration by Michelle Moon; “Untitled”, Drawing and Illustration by Laura Putman; “Summer Day”, Painting by Nicole Kissler; “Onions with Vase”, Drawing and Illustration by Parker Nunnelly; “Rainbow Fish”, Painting by Bailey Riddle; “Tyler”, Painting by Rachel Spenny; “Nacho Cheese as a Metaphor for Hell’s Scorching Lava”, Humor by Harrison Sutton; “Is This Going to Hurt?”, Humor by Ethan Marley

Junior Designs For School Clubs and Orchestra

By: Madison Schnurpel

Junior Zach Schneider works on developing different techniques to use to continuously improve his work.

Junior Zach Schneider works on developing different techniques to use to continuously improve his work.

Creativity has the power to inspire nations, change the way people see and encourage individuals to discover their own capabilities. Junior Zach Schneider has learned to harness his own creativity into his hobby, which he uses to benefit others as well as himself.


“As a hobby, I’ll find new ways to use Photoshop and Illustrator through experimentation. I’ll look through artwork other people have made and try new things,” Schneider said.


Schneider has been designing using Photoshop and Illustrator since the 6th grade. He has since learned how to use each program to its particular advantage.


“While Illustrator is primarily used for logos and posters and Photoshop is used for editing photos and creating artwork, you can combine the two to create anything your mind can think up,” Schneider said.


Both programs allow Schneider to use his skills and the tools he has developed to create anything he can imagine, as long as

Sophmore Veronica Strange and junior Madison Schnurpel pose for a photo before hanging the robotics battle standard designed by junior Zach Schneider.

Sophmore Veronica Strange and junior Madison Schnurpel pose for a photo before hanging the robotics battle standard designed by junior Zach Schneider.

he knows how to create it.


“Most of my experience comes from creating t-shirts, you can create anything under the sun with Illustrator and Photoshop,” Schneider said.


Schneider spends his time on these  programs designing and learning new methods; however he does not only design for his own benefit. He has contributed his skill to some school organizations.


“I have created four t-shirt designs for the Center Grove Orchestra (two for our final concert, two for spirit wear), and a battle standard for our robotics team,” Schneider said.


Pictured are some orchestra and robotics logos that junior Zach Schneider has designed.

Pictured are some orchestra and robotics logos that junior Zach Schneider has designed.

The spirit wear was sold to the students participating in these activities, but it is not only t-shirts that Schneider has designed for these groups.


“At robotics, I make flyers, posters, brochures, and videos for our team. Occasionally, I also have to make new logos,” Schneider said.


Schneider makes different products for many groups, and thus faces many different challenges as he works on these designs.


“The most challenging part of all is definitely the sketching part of my design process,” Schneider said. “While most think putting the art together may take the longest, deciding what you actually want to do in the first place is difficult.”


Sometimes Schneider runs into roadblocks in his design process. Once he moves past those, he is able to continue to the other steps that help produce a finished product.


“I start with sketches, then move on to finding colors,” Schneider said. “After that, I have to make sure my document is set up right so my design will look as high quality as possible. Then it’s just splitting the artwork into groups and working on it piece by piece, bringing it all together at the end.”


The many steps that are a part of this project can lead to confusion. Schneider has to have a main focus when designing in

Junior Zach Schneider works on a new design using the programs.

Junior Zach Schneider works on a new design using the programs.

order to get a satisfying product.


“I make sure my designs flow. When designing a t-shirt, I make sure the logo looks pleasing to the eye. This means text/object positioning is very important. I also make sure that the colors blend well,” Schneider said.


Even with all of the work that goes into the final product, Schneider enjoys designing for school programs


“I design because it’s a fun way to express myself. When I see people walking around in the t-shirts I designed or seeing our sponsor banners proudly hung above our pit at robotics competitions, it gives me a sense of accomplishment,” Schneider said.


Schneider continues to create new products. As time goes on, he will continue to learn and discover the wide range of possibilities offered by his computer software, and his own creativity.

Student Arranges Music For CG Choirs For First Time in CG History

By: Taylor Ward

Photography: Noah Barajas

Wilson Smith sings a solo at a choir competition. While Smith has not been able to perform at every show this year, he has found another way to make sure he is involved year-around in his passion.

Wilson Smith sings a solo at a choir show. Smith now works behind the scenes for choir productions to make them the best that they can be.

Many students involved in Center Grove’s performing arts program participate in behind-the-scenes preparation for productions, such as building sets, assembling risers and crafting costumes. But no student has ever helped with the actual creation of the show’s content, like writing scripts or arranging music…until now.


Wilson Smith, a junior, holds the distinction of being the first student at Center Grove to help arrange music for the choral program. Until this year, the sheet music for each song was put together by staff members. Now, Smith assists choir directors Jenn Dice and Jared Norman and the principle accompanist and arranger Greg Sanders with compositions.


“My job is to write the different voice parts for the choir,” Smith said. “I look at the melody line and try to figure out different harmony parts that support the melody line and create one really awesome sound.”


Smith helps arrange music for all of the high school choirs, including competition music, which is kept secret from choir members until the directors decide to reveal it. Despite this special knowledge, he is not involved in song selection.


“I just do what Mr. Sanders and/or Mrs. Dice tells me,” Smith said. 


The process of arranging music is multi-layered, and requires preparation before it can really begin.


“The first step in arranging or rearranging a song is to create a roadmap. Basically, a roadmap is to an arrangement as an outline is to an essay. I try to put all of my ideas onto a piece of paper, organize them, and work from there,” Smith said.


As involved as he is in the process, Smith says that much of the arranging is still done by staff member Greg Sanders.


“I sort of serve as his apprentice,” Smith said. “I still have a lot more to learn about music theory.”


Smith says that his favorite piece to help arrange is Sound System’s second competition number, “The World Turned Upside Down,” a medley of songs from the Tony award winning Best Musical Hamilton.


Smith also holds another special distinction in the choral music program at Center Grove; he is the only student with “perfect pitch.” This allows him to immediately know how each pitch sounds, so he can give starting notes to the choir.

“It definitely makes it easier to arrange, read, and understand music,” Smith said about his ability.


The gift is rare. Some studies show that only one out of every ten thousand people hold the ability to hear pitches without error. Smith uses his gifts to assist the choir directors as best he can.


Students Compete in Church League Basketball Program

By Parker Ferguson

Pictures by Alex Armstrong and Ellie Dunlop

Center Grove has multiple state worthy and highly competitive athletic programs. In 2015 alone the school won three athletic state championships: softball, boys soccer and football. However, among the students there is a non-school sport that is taken quite seriously. It is a church league basketball season at Mount Pleasant Community Church, better known as “CLC league,” but this is not the average church league.  


The church league offers students an opportunity to participate in competitive, organized leagues without the stress of balancing a full school sports season.

“Since I am not really good enough to be on the school team or anything, I don’t want to dedicate myself that much,” senior Jake Lindsey said. “School sports can be a lot. It is just fun to play an organized basketball game and still have it be competitive.”

Being an athlete at the CLC not only gives Lindsey the chance to compete but also have a good time with his friends.

“My friends and I made a team for soccer and played. [We play] soccer in the spring and fall. I like basketball more out of the two. It is more competitive and a lot of my friends play it,” Lindsey said. “I had played basketball since I was little and in middle school I played on the middle school team. I wanted to keep playing but I didn’t really want to play for the school so I started playing CLC.”

For senior Chris Foote, the CLC allows him to play basketball outside of the two sports he plays for the school.

“My life outside of school revolves mainly around sports,” Foote said. “I play two sports for the school, football and baseball. I also enjoy playing in the highly competitive Mount Pleasant Christian Church Basketball League (at the CLC).”


Nick Motsay guards Tommy Chick as he drives into the key

Nick Motsay and Tommy Chick, both seniors, made it through the single-elimination tournament and competed last week in the championship, on different teams and with different outcomes.

“The odds were definitely stacked against us; the crowd definitely wasn’t in our favor, but you know you gotta play through that stuff,” Motsay, who was on the losing team, said.

Chick, who was on the winning team, had a different view of the game and atmosphere surrounding it.

“The atmosphere was exciting. Many of the parents and players of other teams stayed to watch and it helped me play my best,” Chick said.

Views of the crowd and festivities surrounding the game may differ, but the on-court performance left little to interpretation.


Chick guards Motsay as his teammate goes up for the shot 

“It was a blowout,” Motsay said. “It was close until the last ten minutes, but what are you gonna do? Just move on and do other recreational things.”

Now the players must move on, but looking back Motsay is just happy his team got as far as they did.

“We just didn’t execute. Honestly, we didn’t have any business being there. It was a miracle we made it,” Motsay said.

While Motsay may not have thought his team had any business being there, Chick had his eye on the championship all year.

“I wasn’t too surprised to bring home the ‘ship. After two consecutive losses at the beginning of the season, our team really came together and figured out a good chemistry. We really picked it up in the postseason,” Chick said.


The victorious team poses after the game

Chick’s team peaked at the right time and the key to their victory all had to do with themselves.

“The key to victory was to continue to work as a team. We worked the ball around really well and were hard to contain,” Chick said.

Now that the season is over, Chick’s team was considering taking a celebratory trip to Disney World but opted to stay home and live as champions for a few weeks until the next CLC league, which is the winter league, starts up in a few weeks.

“The CLC league is always fun whether or not you get placed on a team with friends, although that makes it all the better. I haven’t decided whether or not to play (in) the winter league because my Sundays are unfortunately busy, but I would like to,” Chick said.

The CLC is not your average Church league basketball; it is very fun but also ultra competitive, something that the energy surrounding the championship clearly showed. The fall season has wrapped up and the winter season will be starting in a few weeks, with a mix of some new guys, all with the same hope in mind: a CLC championship.