The Power of Pep

It’s Friday night at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse.  People cheer, take videos and dance.  Music fills the air.  But there is no announcer, no cheerleaders, no basketball team or court.  This is the concourse area, where the Center Grove Pep Band is having the time of their lives.


On February 26, band director Joseph Lapka took fourteen musicians from the Center Grove Pep Band to perform for an hour at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse before the basketball game between the Indiana Pacers and the Charlotte Hornets.  The Pep Band had never performed at a Pacer’s game before.


“The reason we did it this year, specifically, was because it was in association with the Center Grove Education Foundation Night,” Lapka said.


The night was put on by the Center Grove Education Foundation in an effort to raise money for the scholarships the foundation provides to students. The fourteen students that performed, however, were only a small portion of the Pep Band.


“We’re taking a smaller group so that the logistics are not quite so big of a deal,” Lapka said.


Sophomore Tim Grotzer and Junior Joseph Ward were two of the fourteen musicians in attendance. Their feedback on the night was positive.


“It was a good experience for the Pep Band,” Grotzer said.  “My favorite part was how close the game got towards the end.”


After their performance, the members of the Pep Band were able to watch the Pacers’ game.  The game ended with a win for the Hornets, 96-95 over the Pacers.


The Pep Band was received well by the game attendees, and the musicians are thankful for that.


“The reception we got when we were playing was nice,” Ward said.


Aside from the halftime show by the Pep Band, elementary school students were also selling tickets for the game and were allowed to make free throws at the end of the game. The Center Grove Education Foundation made the Pacers game a “Center Grove Night,” and the Pep Band was the center of it.


“Do You See Me Now?”: Student Writes Book

By: Dex Keizers

“I will myself to talk, to beg him not to tell anyone, but I can’t. So my eyes say what my mouth can’t.


There is understanding on his face and he loosens his grip. He points to his wrist and I see the faint outlines of faded scars. I gasp and look up to him with tears in my eyes. This boy, the boy I wanted to disappear, knows my pain.”

“Do You See Me Now?”


The book “Do you see me now?” written by Abby Fortune, a CGHS junior, is the story about a teenage girl named Dakota Jackson. The book is a first-person perspective on Dakota’s life and how she deals with her problems.


“Dakota lost everything when she was 14,” Fortune said. “She is now 16, and her life is beginning to change. While carrying the burden of two dark secrets, she struggles to live as normal as a life as possible. One day, she meets the person that will help her become herself again. James. She discovers that he shares one of her secrets, and together they face the terror that is always behind her.”


Fortune wrote the book because of her love for reading. She has always had a passion for writing and decided to start writing this book in the eighth-grade.


“I have personal experience with depression and problems that can come out of it, so I used that as inspiration,” Fortune said. “Mental illness is often overlooked in society and not taken seriously, so I wanted to write something that actually shows how it works and how it can eat away at a person, and I feel that since I have experience with it and know how it feels that my book is more accurate in how depression actually is and that it can be deadly to whoever has it.”


Despite Fortune’s decision to go to college and major in English and minor in teaching, she plans to continue her progress and aspirations as a writer.


“I have a second book already written that is the same story but from a different point of view,” Fortune said. “I also plan to write a small novella that contains a scene in which we don’t really know what happens because Dakota wasn’t there, only James was. So that will be my third to write, and I plan on writing more after that and I have a notebook full of ideas.”


Fortune’s book can be purchased online as an eBook for $5.99 at

No Boundaries: Using Technology from Robotics to Music

Since his arrival at Center Grove High School during his sophomore year, Jiawei Chen has been involved in many unique activities.


“I find something I like to do and try to do it as well as I can,” Chen said.


Chen was previously a part of the Robotics Team and has been involved in both Quiz Bowl and Academic Super Bowl. He picked up two new activities his senior year, Marching Band and Indoor Percussion.


“Lapka kept asking me to come,” Chen said.  “There was an opening for the synth position, and it turned out to be a really amazing experience.”


As a synth player, Chen also has control of the soundboard, which balances the entire pit and the wind soloists.  Needing to be two places at once, Chen wrote a program that allowed him to do just that.


“I was able to directly control the soundboard using the buttons on my keyboard,” Chen said.  “It required a bit of hacking to get it to work.”


Because of Chen’s previous commitment to Robotics, he was not able to be a part of Marching Band and Indoor Percussion for longer than a year.  However, Chen is not regretful.


“If I had started earlier, it probably wouldn’t have made me the person I am today, and I feel like I really enjoyed that year more,” Chen said.  


Chen has also created his own club, Coders with Class.


“The idea started back in sophomore year,” Chen said.  “I had some help from some friends, and we started a programming group.”


The club initially did not gain much popularity, due to not many students knowing how to code.  Chen then decided to broaden the club’s horizons.


“We settled on making a club that not only focused on programming, but also on the artistic aspects of software development,” Chen said.


Since Coders with Class’s founding, Chen and his team have been busy working on a variety of projects.


“We’ve been working hard on a game that will be released online,” Chen said.  “And we’re also working on getting a website published.”


Chen plans on making his passion for technology his career, and he wants to study computer science. With a broad start in so many activities, the groundwork has been laid.

CG Choirs Dominate Edgewood Competition

Photos and Story provided by CG Choir Publicity Department

Center Grove Debtones and Sound System named Grand Champions


Ellettsville, IN February 6, 2016 – The Center Grove varsity show choirs swept the awards at the 23rd Annual Contest of Champions at Edgewood High School in Ellettsville, Indiana on Saturday, February 6th.  Congratulations to The Debtones for winning Grand Champion in the Unisex Division and Sound System on winning Grand Champion in the Mixed Division.


The group’s brand new shows thoroughly entertained the packed gymnasium. The Debtones collected caption awards for Outstanding Visual, Outstanding Vocals, and Senior, Nicki Meyer was named Outstanding Performer.  Sound System received awards for Outstanding Vocals.  Sophomore, Sarah Anderson won Best Female Soloist in the mixed show and Senior, Katie Swaney was named Outstanding Performer.


The Center Grove choirs are directed by Jennifer Dice and Jared Norman, choreographed by Andy Haines, and accompanied by Greg Sanders.  All Center Grove Junior Varsity and Varsity Show Choirs will perform at the Franklin Community Showfest this Friday, February 12th and Saturday February 13th at Franklin High School.  Please visit for more information on upcoming competitions and shows.


The Debtones

Sound System2

Sound System


Winter Guard

By: Jessica Richardson

For some students, winter is the downbeat of the school year. For some, though, it is the most intense season. One group whose work is ramping up is winter guard.


The winter guard teams practice 3-5 days a week for 2-8 hours.


“We start training in late November [in order] to compete throughout February and March,” senior Allison Hunt said.


Winter Guard is a way for color guard to have their own competitions without a band. Winter Guard is a indoor color guard sport derived from military ceremonies that uses their own music. Winter Guard is divided into two guards, JV and World. JV Winter Guard is not as intense as World Guard.


Mikaelyn Tharpe transitioned from JV guard to World Guard this season.


“It was very hard. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into,” sophomore Mikaelyn Tharpe said.  “We went from doing basics to being just on flag, to during fall guard I spun rifle and sabre. I spent very long hours getting ready for this winter season.”


Tharpe has worked hard almost every day. She fractured her hand practicing with her rifle, but she is content to start practicing again and get better by the first competition.


“It is a great feeling to be in guard but it is very time consuming and harder than it looks,” Tharpe says.


The JV guard is made up mostly of middle-schoolers and some high-schoolers. Both the JV and World Guard use different styles of dancing that is just for color guard.


“We use tarp and spin inside and compete in a gym,” sophomore Sierra Heavrin said. “Instead of using a band we dance and spin as a team to music.”

Tarp covers the floor and that’s what they do everything on. Spinning is doing different dances with a rifle, sabre or flag. When they performed on Friday nights with band during halftime of the football games, they only used spinning. During Winter Guard they use both tarp and spinning. During competitions using these two styles of dancing makes World Guard more difficult.


“World Guard is really intense,” senior Hope Cullers said.


They have already started performing for Winter Guard and they will continue to perform at seven different competitions throughout the season, including one this Saturday at Greenfield Central.


“Performing and being a part of something great is what I like about guard,” Heavrin said. “I also like going to big competitions like WGI and meeting a lot of new people from other guards.”


WGI or Winter Guard International, is a visual performing arts organization that hosts regional and national competitions for color guard and indoor percussion ensembles. It’s a big competition and people come from all over the world to compete. There are three contests: prelims, semi finals and finals.


“You want to make it through all three contests because it means you’re one of the 15 best guards in the world,” Heavrin said. “Aimachi came last year and they’re from Japan.”


WGI is held at WGI headquarters in Dayton, Ohio. WGI is the last competition of the year for Winter Guard.


“The Dayton trip can be exhausting, but it’s so much fun,” Cullers said. “Hopefully we will make it to WGI finals.”


Many guard girls say they have definitely raised this season and they say that their show is way more detailed than it was ever been before.


“There’s a lot of interesting tricks we have never done before,” Hunt said.


As winter drags on for some, members of the winter guard are adding hours and intensity to fill the promise of a show that raises the bar.

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School Mourns Death of Student

At about 2:30 a.m. on January 27, the CG community was shocked by the loss of one of its own, as Kara Haynes, 17, died unexpectedly.

Haynes was a member of Early College and a copy editor for the CG Publications staff. Her love of writing is evident in her self-written staff biography, posted on the website at

Haynes was also founder of Center Grove’s Project Hope, a nonprofit organization with a mission to raise awareness about and prevent suicide, especially in young adults.

Counselors and members of the local clergy are available to students throughout the day in the Guidance Office.