New Era

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Nate McLain focuses during the varsity match against Whiteland last year.

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Trayce Jackson-Davis plays in last year’s varsity game against Whiteland

Written by Parker Ferguson

Fall sports have ended their seasons, there is a chill in the air and it’s dark at 6 pm. Here in Indiana that means one thing: basketball season.

The Center Grove men’s basketball team is hopeful that this will be the year to set the tone for the program. Last season’s campaign ended with a 10-16 record and a loss in the sectional semi-finals. However, with a slew of returning talent and starters, the team is confident that in Coach Zach Hahn’s third year they will implement a different style of play, which they believe will lead to wins. “New Era” is the team’s motto.

“We have way more options now on offense,” returning starter Trayce Jackson-Davis said. “Our team can put up points in a hurry. Our defense has length and size that will get steals and help us run in transition.”

There are many returning difference-makers for the team, but this year provides a different senior class, which provides a new opportunity for team leadership.

“We have a lot of young guys who played varsity basketball last year, so it’s good to have that experience and chemistry carry over,” senior Travis Roehling said. “As a senior this year I have to be more of a leader on the court because communication is a huge thing for our team.”

With this new leadership, the feel and make up of the team has been totally changed.

“The mindset is different; we are more focused,” senior Kas Oganowski said. “I’m more of a leader as a senior, so I have to be even more vocal on the court and off.”

Senior leadership is crucial this season, as is the role of 6’9” power forward Jackson-Davis. Jackson-Davis averaged 9.5 ppg and 6.1 rpg in his freshman campaign, and he has been improving all off-season. Another returning starter, junior Nate McLain, averaged 8.2 points last year and will play as a solid shooting guard. Roehling, an occasional starter last year, exploded for 21 off the bench in the last game of the season last year. Now a senior starter, he will provide an excited mix of athleticism, scoring and rebounding.  

Excitement is surrounding the Center Grove basketball program, and Hahn is confident that in his third year, the team will really take off.

“The group has a great upside,” Hahn said. “Returning seven varsity players from last season and having six football players on our varsity and JV rosters should be beneficial for our program. We see our strengths as being longer, more athletic, highly skilled and versatile in many positions. We have a couple of strong low post presences and several shooters around the perimeter. Transition offense should be a great addition to this team.”

Tip off for the first game is tonight at 7 p.m. against Southport in the Vandy Gym.

Trojan Tickets

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Trojan Tickets give students new incentive

There is a new incentive this semester for students to do good deeds and treat others with respect.

“Hey, Sydney, do you know what these little pink tickets are? I just got one for picking up the trash,” Parker Ferguson ‘17 said.

“Yeah, that’s a Trojan Ticket!” Sydney Smith ’15 said.

Instead of just punishing students for bad behavior, the administration wants to encourage people to have good behavior.

“Well we wanted to help continue to create a positive environment here at the high school. A lot of people are doing great things, and we want to reward kids for doing all the right things.” said Tracy McMahen, the dean of students.

“There are different levels of rewards,” McMahen said. “We have small rewards which would be candy, gum, maybe a free drink somewhere. Then you could get bigger prizes, which could be earbud holders, a movie ticket; we have some ten-dollar gift cards for that. Then we move on to even bigger prizes, where we actually have phone battery packs, head phones, Starbucks gift cards, and water bottles. So we have all different kinds of things so that way you get to choose what you like as you get the prizes.”

After the prizes were chosen, the next step was figuring out how to get the prizes to the students.

“There are four ways to earn prizes with Trojan Tickets,” said Smith. “The first one is going to the Sweet Shoppe and exchange one for Kettle Corn. The second way is turning one into Mrs. Bellian’s office, and every Monday morning, eight tickets will be drawn for small, medium, and large prizes.”

“I also heard that on Friday during lunches, there is going to be a big wheel in the cafeteria that for just two of these Trojan Tickets, we can spin and win any sort of prizes, from small prizes to big prizes,” says Ferguson.

“The last way to get your prizes is to save two Tickets in exchange for a small prize, 5 for a medium prize, and 10 to get a big prize,” Smith said.

The ways of getting a Trojan Ticket are on posters in almost every teacher’s room.

“Well, if we saw anybody being responsible, being respectful, or being safe, then we are supposed to go ahead and give those kids a ticket, and hopefully they can win something on the prize wheel!” Wes Dodson, math teacher, said.

With this new reward system in place, students now have more reason to be better people, to make a better school.