Senior ends tennis regular season, prepares for Air Force Academy

Ben Greller | Staff Writer

When senior Ellie Strube steps on the tennis court tonight for her Senior Night match against Bloomington South, it will be her final regular-season tennis competition since she’s decided not to play in college.

For the next four years, Strube, the Trojans No. 1 singles player, will be attending the United States Air Force Academy. She was recently admitted after passing an extreme physical test and showing high ability academically.

When Strube steps on campus in Colorado, she will be surrounded by mostly men. At The Air Force Academy, men make up 79 percent of the enrollment.

“I understand the difference because there is the stigma that men are more strong and they can fill more jobs,” Strube said. “I still feel like there are many things girls can do there and jobs they can fill.”

The Air Force Academy comes with many rules and structures that their cadets must adhere to. For example, cadets must wait until their first-class year to have a television in their room. They must wait until their second-class year to have most electrical appliances, but a third-class cadet may have a coffee pot.

“I guess I’ve always like a structured environment so I don’t mind knowing exactly what I am supposed to do and when I need to be places,” Strube said. “Like they tell you what to wear and I like that stuff so it won’t really bother me much because I know at the end it will be worth it.”

However, Strube has not always been interested in serving in the military.

“I would say my freshman year I didn’t want to serve in the military,” Strube said. “My dad has been in the army for 36 years and we kinda talked about it again my sophomore year and I started to think I could see myself doing that.”

After graduation from the academy, Strube will either owe five years of service or 10 years in total doing flight school. Strube is not positive which route she will go or what she will major in.

“I’ve considered serving until retirement, but we will just see how I like everything and I will decide then,” Strube said.

Strube will be graduating Center Grove as a member of the Top 20 for the class of 2019. She also played tennis at Center Grove, and if she didn’t get into The United States Air Force Academy, she would have gone on to play tennis at either Indiana Wesleyan or Wright State University.

Junior excels in improv, participates in ComedySportz

Graham Kanwit | Staff Writer

In many sports, one moment can mean the difference between victory and defeat. As junior Isaac Outland knows, this is also true of ComedySportz–one bad joke and the entire audience can turn against you. However, as one of the more experienced members of the team, Outland is always prepared to bring his best to ComedySportz matches.

  “I’ve been doing comedy sports camp for 5 years,” Outland said. “But, I’ve been to matches and had experience with comedy sports since I was five.”

  Since 6th grade, Outland’s schedule has been filled with ComedySportz camp and other theater ventures.

  “I come from a theater background,” Outland said. “Improv is just one of the many ways of theater. It helps me step out of my comfort zone and molt out of my shell, if you will.”

  Outland’s theater background comes from his mother, who inspired Outland to try the sport for himself.

  “I was looking up to my mom, who started it before me,” Outland said. We were sitting in Joe’s Diner, when she randomly asked me if I thought she should do comedy sports. She tried it and got in. Her experience inspired me. I wanted to try it, and to my surprise, I was actually okay at it.”

  While Outland’s comedy sports activities started out as just a hobby, it became much more when he got to high school.

  “The high school team blew my mind,” Outland said. “I was lucky enough to make varsity my sophomore year.”

  The varsity team has a rigorous schedule each year. During the first semester, they focus on building the team, and begin playing matches in the second semester. The team has 12-15 members who participate in matches that are an hour to an hour and a half long. These matches involve mini-games such as 4v4 matchups, improv, head to head games and team games. In some games, the ref awards points, while the audience awards points in others.

“The schedule is usually a head-to-head game, then each team does a game by themselves, then another head-to-head, and it repeats. Sometimes there’s also a pun game,” said Outland.

The head to head games typically involve the teams acting out various improv situations against each other, with the winning team being awarded higher points by the judge. There are several different varieties of head-to-head games in each match.

“My personal favorite game is advice panel because it lets you create a character,” said Outland. “You never know how you’re going to use it.”

Advice panel involves three panelists and a host. The host of the game asks the audience if they need any advice questions and the panelists have to answer the questions in character.

“Part of what I like about it is that pretty much every answer is wrong,” said Outland.

  Games like advice panel have become a part of Outland’s regular routine. However, these games are not the only opportunity for him to showcase his improv skills. He also participates in a week-long summer camp each year.

  “The camp is mostly about training your improv skills,” said Outland. “It’s four hours a day for a week. Then we showcase games at the end of the week.”

  Despite the demanding schedule of the sport, Outland is quick to point out the positives of participating.

  “It’s just a fun, open community,” said Outland. “We welcome all different types of people. Anyone can join.”

In a sport where one joke can mean the difference between a win and a loss for a team, an open community atmosphere may be exactly what the team needs.

 

Five Star Trayce Jackson-Davis named McDonald’s All-American

Ben Greller | Staff Writer

Yesterday Trayce Jackson-Davis was named a McDonald’s All-American, the first Center Grove student to earn this honor.

Each January a comittee of writers and media members come together and select the nation’s top 24 high school basketball players. The 24 players are divided into two teams and play in the McDonald’s All-American game on Wednesday, March 28 at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta.

The McDonald’s All-American game has a rich history as it has featured some of basketballs brightest stars since the game was first played in 1977. Jackson-Davis will join names such as Lebron James, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal and Kevin Garnett to have played in the game.

“Watching that game when I was little seeing Lebron dominate that game and now is one of the greatest in the NBA is actually pretty awesome to think about,” Jackson-Davis said. “It is such a high honor that took a lot of hard work that makes me want to work harder.”

With Jackson-Davis’ selection, Indiana has now produced at least one McDonald’s All-American in each of the last 10 years. Jackson-Davis is the 49th overall player from Indiana selected to play in the prestigious high school basketball event.

“Just to keep that streak alive I think is really cool. I feel as if some of the best players have played in that game and to be honored with that is just extremely humbling,” Jackson-Davis said.

Jackson-Davis is also committed to play basketball at Indiana University next fall. He is the 31st player in their history to be selected to play.

“Indiana has had a lot of great players, even Hall of Famers on that list. It makes you think of what you can get to with hard work, and I know that coaching staff will push me to that,” Jackson-Davis said.

Jackson-Davis has received an outpouring of support from the Center Grove community in wake of his selection. The community has watched him grow as a player, as well as help grow the basketball program.

“This is one of the highest honors you can receive as a high school basketball player,” basketball coach Zach Hahn said. “An unbelievable accomplishment. CG Basketball and the community have been fortunate to be a part of his fantastic high school career. It shows the growth and development of Trayce as well as the CG Basketball program. The volume in which he improved and matured over the last four years is a testament to his willingness to work.”

 

Junior looks to form new bowling club

Maggie Eley | Staff Writer

Junior Rowan Palmer took a family trip and ended up finding her passion for a new sport.

“When I was in Colorado we went out to go bowling just for fun,” Palmer said. “I saw people playing competitively and I thought that was interesting and became determined to get better at it.”

When she got back home, she began practicing and bowling more often.

“I would go out and bowl for fun, but then I began to get competitive about it,” Palmer said. “Then one day a guy at the bowling alley asked if I was interested in joining a league.”

Since then she’s been bowling for six years and competing in tournaments. Over the years she’s won first, second, and third place team awards and placed third in the 2016 Deloris M. Webb memorial Youth Tournament. She now wants to bring her passion and talent for the sport to CG.

“I want to start a bowling league here so I can introduce more people to the sport, and that bowling is more than just a fun activity to do on a Saturday,” Palmer said. “I am waiting to hear back from [Assistant Principal Tracy] McMahen, but I would love it if we could go out and practice once a week. ”

Indiana High School Bowling runs a competitive state-wide lead with conferences and a state tournament, with over 200 Indiana high schools fielding teams. Local schools such as Franklin Community, Greenwood, Whiteland and Perry Meridian already have teams competing. Center Grove used to have a team, but after 2006 they got rid of it. The previous members of the club had graduated and they could not find more people to make a team.

For Palmer, forming a bowling club just makes sense. In doing so, Palmer can create lifelong memories and new friendships.  

“The sport has connected me with so many new people and it’s something you can always get better at,” Palmer said. “I think it’s a club we should definitely start at Center Grove that students would benefit from.”

 

Freshman has ability to draw what she sees in her mind

Margaret Eley | Staff Writer

As a freshman, Nya Schank has the unique ability of being able to draw what she sees in her mind onto paper for other people to see.

“I love making art because it allows me to express myself in different ways, I like that I can show people what I see,” Schank said.

She first found her passion for art at a young age.

“I’ve been drawing as long as I can remember,” Schank said.  “But I think I truly started enjoying it during art class in elementary school and since then I still enjoy making different creations.”

Her foundational drawing teacher, Rick Jones, is surprised by the work that she creates in class.

“I’ve been teaching for 39 years, and I see many different skill sets. As a freshman she has many talents,” Jones said “She can draw what she sees and has a good eye. So when you combine her skills with her creativeness you’ve got this artistic ability that most students don’t have.”

Though many people enjoy and support Schank’s artwork, she feels that her biggest supporter was her middle school art teacher.

“My parents are obviously a major help and support me no matter what but, I would also say that Mr. Treece, my art teacher at North, helped me become the artist I am today,” Schank said.  “He really helped me find the type of art I want to create, and taught me the different ways that I could express myself through drawing.”

Even though Schank really enjoys making art, it’s not something she can see herself doing as a career in the future.

“Art is a de-stressing hobby for me and like an escape, but I feel like if I try turning that into more than just a hobby it will no longer be stress-free,” Schank said.

Schank’s favorite piece she’s created is her newest one of her favorite group Astro, which is a South Korean boy band that performs K-Pop. She was excited to combine her love for music and K-Pop with her art abilities for others to see.

C9 student pursues a career in fire fighting

Margaret Eley | Staff Writer

Junior C9 student Jamie Jackomis always wanted to be a paramedic, but a visit to Fire Station 13 in Downtown Indianapolis changed her mind.

“Since I was only fifteen I wasn’t allowed to job shadow a paramedic, so I thought going to a fire station would be as close as I could get,” Jackomis said.  “After going [to the fire station] I decided I wanted to become a firefighter. I had an experience there I will never forget.”

This experience for her was a turning point in deciding her future career.

“All of the firefighters were really close. It was like a brotherhood, and that’s something I really want,” Jackomis said. “After going on runs with all of them I realized how cool it would be to be a part of that.”

During her sophomore year, Jackomis went on a tour of Central Nine to look into their firefighter department. She fell in love and now attends C9 throughout the week to train for her dream job.

“For fire safety at C9, we do powerpoints or physical training,” Jackomis said. “We do a lot of bunker drills which is when we put on all the gear and do drills, we are always training for the worst.”

Since firefighting is a male dominant field, Jackomis works hard to prove to her classmates that she belongs there.

“I may be one of the only girls in the firefighter program at C9, but I dominate the boys,” Jackomis said. “I sometimes feel like people assume that since I am a girl I am weaker, but since I’ve always played sports I have no problem keeping up with the strength training.”

C9 has allowed Jackomis to become more advanced in her field and gain the certifications she needs before graduation. She is going to be ahead of other students who want to become firefighters that didn’t do C9.

“When I graduate I will already be certified in Fire Fighting One, Two, and EMS [Emergency Medical Service],” Jackomis said.

Once Jackomis graduates, she still plans to attend college to get a higher education to climb the rankings at the fire stations.  

“Even though I’ll already be certified I’m still going to continue my education,” Jackomis said. “I plan on getting a degree in fire science, I think by doing this it will help me stand out.”