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.

 

Students attend annual Anime Crossroads convention

Claire Schultz | Staff Writer

Last weekend, the “Anime Crossroads” convention was held at the Wyndham Indianapolis East Hotel. There were panels, a dealers room, shopping opportunities, and guests such as J. Michael Tatum (Sebastian Michaelis from Black Butler, Teyna Iida from My Hero Academia), Lauren Landa (Nora from Noragami, Annie Leonhardt from Attack on Titan) and Brandon McInnis (Sohnosuke Izayoi from Danganropa, Samon Gokuu from Nanbaka).

Attendees, including several CG students, were able to play games, listen to guest speakers and talk about pop culture with other fans. There were a variety of different panels for fans to attend such as “Canines in Pop Culture”, “Name that Anime Tune” and “RWBY: BINGO”.

“Most of the panels I went to involved voice actors that I am familiar with compared to other panels that are run by random inexperienced people,” junior Leslie Luong said.

Though some panels were run by con attendees, several are run by special guests, like J. Michael Tatum, an anime voice actor, and “Lauren’s Disney Lip Sync with Guests” which featured a variety of different famous people in the Anime community.

The convention featured a shopping center that sold items that couldn’t be bought anywhere else, so buying merchandise and supporting local artists was a must for many of the attendees.

“At conventions, I love going through Artist’s Alley. This is where most of the artists sell prints, stickers, buttons and other creations, so I always want to go through that area to see what’s there,” senior Michelle Poe said.

Meeting voice actors is also a huge attraction at conventions, some lines to meet them being hours long.

“Going in, there wasn’t anyone in particular that I wanted to meet. I always enjoy meeting voice actors, but no one, in particular, had captured my attention for Anime Crossroads,” Poe said. “When I got there, however, I found out that Lauren Landa voiced Robin in ‘Fire Emblem Awakening’, and then I was very excited to meet her.”

Cosplay was also a large part of the convention. Cosplay is dressing up as a character from a movie, video game or TV show. Even if you don’t cosplay, as it is expensive and requires more preparation before a convention, you can always get your picture taken with cosplayers.

Although Anime Crossroads already happened, Indianapolis is hosting a variety of different pop culture conventions coming up this summer. IndyPopCon is happening June 8-10, and Indiana Comic Con is happening Aug. 30 to Sept. 1.

Trojan Update with Ben Greller

Each week sports writer Ben Greller will have updates on last week’s sporting events, as well as previewing this week’s matchups. Look for Greller’s update every week to get you ready for each week’s big games. This week includes perspective from sports writer Sebastian Martin.

Girls Basketball The girls basketball team concluded a great season this past Saturday, falling  to Bedford North Lawrence 51-33 in the regionals. The Trojans finished 22-4 overall, which was good for second place in the MIC. They were also county and sectional champions, as well as the Columbus North Holiday Tournament champions.

Wrestling At semi-state this past weekend, Center Grove had two wrestlers come out victorious and punch their ticket to Bankers Life Fieldhouse for the state wrestling finals. Brayden Littell and Peyton Pruett will wrestle in the first round of the state finals on Friday at 6 p.m. at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse.

Girls Swimming and Diving The girls swimming team also concluded their season as well this past weekend. The relay team of Gracie Marsh, Emma Pawlik, Jaden King and Devin Trammell swam a 3:39.59 to finish 22nd at the state meet, one spot better than their seed time. Diver Kenzie Mills, in her first state finals appearance, advanced to the state semi-finals, finishing 18th overall.

Boys Swimming The boys swimming and diving team will swim in sectional semi-finals this coming Thursday with finals on Saturday. Center Grove has had a great year and will go into Saturday with a chance to win the meet and can undoubtedly send multiple swimmers to the state finals.

Boys Basketball (Perspective from Sebastian Martin) The Trojans (13-7) are coming off a week that included a 85-41 win over Roncalli and an eleven point defeat to No. 4 Lawrence Central. This week the Trojans will look for victory at home against Mooresville (13-6) on Tuesday and on the road against North Central (5-14) on Friday. The Trojans will likely be the toughest competitor Mooresville faces until the tournament, and the Pioneers will be coming into the Vandermeer Gymnasium looking to pull off an upset. Assuming Center Grove can take care of business on Friday night, they should walk away with a road win in the conference.

Boys and Girls Track Both track teams will start their first official practice this week. It should be an amazing season as they are bringing in lots of young talent as well as returning a sprinkle of veterans such as Kiyah Yeast, Julia Riley, Makensie Kramer, Sebastian Martin, Gavin Matheson and Sam Hohlt to help compete in their first meet, Indoor MIC, on March 15.

“The Upside” Movie review

Nick Wilson | Staff Writer

Only five years after the global hit The Untouchables(2011), Director Neil Burger and screenwriter Jon Hartmere create an Americanized spinoff of the French film. The Upside entails a story of a wealthy billionaire, Phillip (Bryan Cranston), who was recently widowed and paralyzed from the waist down due to a paragliding accident. His need for a day-to-day caretaker leads him to hire an unlikely and unqualified candidate, Dell (Kevin Hart), an ex-convict attempting to stay out of jail, as an act of rebellion and fatalism. Despite their opposing lives and struggling differences, the two quickly come across an unlikely bond. Phil introduces Dell to opera, modern art, kumquat, a line of luxury cars, and other stereotypical billionaire things; Dell urges Phil to appreciate the humbler pleasures of his lower class life including hot dogs, weed, and Aretha Franklin. Almost as if two pieces in a puzzle, the pair unables each other to rediscover the upsides to life and live life to the fullest.

While majorly focuses on the comedy and drama aspects of their relationship, The Upside is able to stay similar to its popular predecessor. However, that means that it also brings the flaws from the earlier movie— reliance on stereotypes between white and black, rich and poor, and rotations from comedical irrelevance and longing scenes to dramatic sentimentality and heart-filling encounters. Two strong performances from both Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston, however, are able to keep a viewer intrigued in the story’s character development. The undeniable chemistry between Hart and Cranston accomplishes all it can to support the character developments of both Phillip and Dell and allows for the story to unveil toward a heart-warming ending.

It’s uplifting to see another side of Kevin Hart, known most commonly for his comedic talents displayed in his own stand-up series, along with Ride Along(2014), Central Intelligence(2016), and Jumanji(2017). Don’t be alarmed; The Upside is still filled with plenty of Hart’s comedic genius, possibly even too much. Burger attempted to utilize Hart’s talents to the fullest, allowing him to crack the audience up for essentially every scene from the movie, aside for the occasional plot-shifting heart-to-heart scenes that impact the lives of Dell and Phil. Comedy tends to be overused at some parts, however, included a scene that Dell must change a catheter that last for ages and an irrelevant foreign shower scene that just seems out of place and dried out(no pun intended). This overuse of comedy seems to direct the plot off the main topic of attempting to allow Phillip to live his life in joy and for Dell to reconnect with his struggling family who he was forced to leave to do his time in prison.

    The light and elegance of the plot line still somehow shines through across the comedy of the film and still fills the hearts of the audience. An undeniable bromance between Dell and Phil does no less than perfect to save them from their own internal problems, but also provides one of the first feel-good movies of the year with as many high and low moments that can fit into the 126 minutes. It would be hard to imagine The Upside won’t rack up views in the box office and plenty of positive audience reviews.

Foreign Language Honor Societies learn traditional folk dances

Aaron Toland | Staff Writer

Last Thursday, members of several foreign language clubs learned folk dances in the Media Center. Members of Spanish National Honor Society, French National Honor Society, French Club and German Club were all present.

Former eighth grade science teacher Mrs. Fohey instructed students in a variety of traditional dances from different countries. Fohey taught students the national dance of Venezuela, a fisherman’s dance from Japan and dances from Ireland, Jamaica, Bolivia and France.

Students went to the event for a variety of reasons.

“I went because it sounded like fun and the French teacher said we would have a good time,” said French National Honor Society and French Club member Kyleigh Miklos. Of all the dances, her favorite dance was a French dance in which students got into groups of three.

Freshman and French Club member Natalie Bender attended to spend time with friends. “ I went because I have some friends in foreign language classes, and I thought it’d be something fun to try,” said Bender. “The best part was everyone just working together and laughing at our mistakes doing the dancing and just having fun as a group.”

No matter what a student’s reason, the activity provided foreign language students the opportunity to broaden their cultural experiences while having fun.

 

 

AP Government becomes year-long class

Izzy Burks | Staff Writer

AP Government has always been a one-semester course, but next year it is changing to a year-long class. Due to its crammed, fast-paced schedule, teacher Cale Hoover and social studies department head Cindy Cullom decided to stretch it out.

“We’ve been discussing this for a few years because College Board has always recommended AP Government be a full year,” Hoover said. “The social studies classes have been going through redesigns, and in November, I went to an AP conference at Butler and started learning about how things had changed. That was kind of this fighting factor I needed to convince myself that I needed to come back and work to get this changed.”

Because of this change, the class’s schedule will be at a slower pace, giving students longer to learn and retain each lesson.

“In the past, we covered 17 chapters,” Hoover said. “The concern is that we were basically teaching the material in 13 or 14 weeks because in the last few weeks of school they’re taking the AP test. This gives us the chance to take a deeper look into things now; I think it will be a better course for the kids.”

Along with the slower pace, there will also be other changes, including a few standards that have been altered.

“The college board made the requirements more specific,” Hoover said. “Just as one example, we are now required to teach 10 specific primary sources, and in the past, I only taught about half of them. Some of them are really challenging, so it’s good that we get extra time. There are more requirements that are more specific, too. The other major change is that in the past, there were four FRQs on the AP test, all formatted the same. Now there are four different types of writing that we have to teach.”

Juniors who planned on taking AP Government for one semester now have to plan on it being all year. Hoover feels that the class being year round will attract more juniors because the pace will be less intimidating.

“I thought it was frustrating because now I have to adjust my schedule accordingly, but it’s also nice because the information will be delivered at a slower pace,” junior Athulya Nair said. “I was still determined to take the class, but I know of other people who chose to take the one-semester non-AP class instead because of it.”

Some juniors have chosen to drop the class, but many see it in a positive way.

“I think the class will definitely be less stressful since the material is more spread out,” Nair said. “We will probably be able to focus more on important topics which will be good.”

AP Government becoming year-long means more time to learn and a deeper focus, and it may show in the number of next year’s seniors who take the class.

Trojan Update with Ben Greller

Each week sports writer Ben Greller will have updates on last week’s sporting events, as well as previewing this week’s matchups. Look for Greller’s update every week to get you ready for each week’s big games. This week includes perspective from sports writer Sebastian Martin.

IMG_2259Girls Basketball The Lady Trojans claimed the sectional championship this past Saturday. It was a hard fought 45-36 win over a tough Franklin Community squad. The Trojans will now move onto the regional against Bedford North Lawrence (22-5). As a fan, I would expect to be attending the games Saturday and seeing the Lady Trojans come out on top of both. The second game will be at 7:30 Saturday night against the winner of the Castle (21-4) and Bloomington South (21-3) game. Throughout the entire season, the Lady Trojans have prided themselves on playing team basketball, bringing defensive intensity each game, and having great backcourt play from seniors Emma Utterback and Ella Thompson. Expect that to continue and for the Trojans to be crowned regional champions this Saturday.

Girls Swimming and Diving This past weekend at sectionals, the relay team of Jaden King, Emma Pawlik, Gracie Marsh and Devin Trammell moved themselves on to the state meet. They will be swimming at the IUPUI natatorium at 1:00 on Saturday. Kenzie Mills also advanced in the diving portion of the sectional meet this past weekend. She will be diving tonight at Bloomington North in the regional meet at 6:00 with a berth in the state finals on the line.

Wrestling Six CG wrestlers will be moving onto the semi-state round after this past weekend’s regional. Senior Peyton Pruett and junior Brayden Littell were regional champions and will look to continue their dominate seasons. Michael Tharpe, Hayden Watson, Drake Buchanan and Jordan Latham will also be moving on to Evansville this weekend where the top four wrestlers in each weight class will advance to the state finals.

IMG_3422Boys Basketball (Perspective from Sebastian Martin)- The boys basketball team will take on the Roncalli Rebels Tuesday night in a makeup game, as well as the Lawrence Central Bearcats on Friday. The Trojans are coming off of a 14-point loss to defending state champion Warren Central last Thursday and looking for a better outcome against a Roncalli team that has a losing record. Friday’s competition will be a bit tougher, as the Trojans take on a Lawrence Central team that lost to Warren Central by only four points.