The Sentinel The Student News Site of Centennial High School Sun, 22 Mar 2020 03:57:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 COVID-19: My Thoughts after Week One Sun, 22 Mar 2020 03:57:15 +0000 Although Coronavirus began taking over the media and populations around the world, I didn’t expect to have school closed for three weeks. Colleges and universities across the nation had already suspended classes and even semesters, but I couldn’t believe it when, during the beginning of lacrosse practice last Thursday, March 12, one of my coaches said that we might have to stay home due to the rapid spread of the virus. I highly doubted that we would have school off, and so I carried on practicing with my teammates and waited for further instruction regarding the day’s practice.

The intensity of the situation became more clear when our coaches gathered the team towards the end of practice and told us that we would not hold practice the next day due to Governor DeWine’s decision to close schools. With the confirmation of the closure came the painful question of whether or not we could continue to practice at school. According to Columbus City Schools, “any type of optional practice or team function is not authorized and should not be attended” and school facilities and fields would be “closed and not permitted for use”. All spring sports, theatre performances, dances, field trips and many more activities were thus cancelled from March 13 through Friday, April 3. At the time of this announcement last Thursday, there were no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ohio. As of Friday, March 20, there were 247 confirmed cases of the virus within Ohio along with three deaths.

At the end of Week One of “Quarantine”, I can say without a doubt that I am not sure what the remainder of the school year looks like. As of now, classes are scheduled to begin on Monday, April 6, but even Governor DeWine stated that schools could be closed for the rest of the year if the virus does not peak until April or May. The importance of self-isolation and social distancing is evident in the fight to control COVID-19’s spread, but cancelling school and staying indoors brings about questions concerning how learning will continue outside the classroom as well as whether families who are dependent on free school breakfast and lunch will be able to find healthy alternatives during this time. Fortunately, CCS decided to offer meals at select schools and buildings for all children 18 and under during the weekdays. On March 19, COTA announced that transportation would be free for adults and children. A few local cafes and food services have additionally aided in suppling food to children in need. In regards to lessons outside of the classroom, many teachers across the nation have promoted online classes through apps like “Zoom” or have continued to use other platforms like Google Classroom. All in all, hundreds upon thousands of students are trying to become more familiar with life outside of school even if it means adapting to online courses and homework assignments. The Collage Board, an organization that provides college entrance assessments, has been working on free, live and online AP courses for test review, and the organization has additionally stated that it is working on developing at-home testing options for AP tests that would normally be taken at the end of the school year, typically in May.

While the virus’s exponential growth prompted drastic yet necessary precautions for our own safety and health, life for us high school seniors has been twisted in a way that we never saw coming.

I understand that it is in fact selfish to be upset about sports, performances, and other events being cancelled due to schools closing for indefinite periods. It is pertinent that we take everyone’s wellbeing into consideration when following through with social distancing and dooms-day shopping. However, I’m okay with being called selfish for the time if it means that I can admit that I’m at a loss for words and maybe even heartbroken at the potential loss of my last lacrosse season, my prom, my graduation, and my final days with the people I’ve grown with for the past 4, 7, or 12 years. Those periods were essential to our development as students and citizens, and this most fulfilling time of our development and growth was halted and thrown into a dimension of unknowns. I find myself with tears in the corners of my eyes for the track players, the baseball players, the softball players, the lacrosse players, and all the other student athletes who haven’t been able to find relief in their passions. My heart hurts for the thespians who’ve auditioned and practiced and waited to star in their final spring production and the artists who’ve created breathtaking scenes and props; their skills have strengthened over years for this moment. All of us who can’t wait for prom and the festivities that follow graduation, all of us who just want to see our friends again and those we can confide in at school unlike we can at home. The entire situation is gut wrenching and impacts us all in different ways. For those of us who are hurting, we should use this time for self-reflection in order to build ourselves up rather than tear ourselves down due to events out of our control. We were born at the turn of the century, a time of fear and division among the United States as it had never encountered before. I can only hope that we will come out stronger after this experience as we continue to live through political milestones and controversial decisions which we will have to make in the near future.

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Quitting A Sport From A Student’s Perspective Wed, 22 Jan 2020 16:39:36 +0000 Since freshman year I’ve played volleyball. Sophomore year I became varsity setter, and in the midst of my junior season my feelings about the sport became conflicted. Why did I wait until the third to last week of my senior year of volleyball to quit?

Everyone has their own reasons for becoming a student athlete; I appreciated having a strict schedule that forced me to manage my time due to the combination of schoolwork and sports. I always knew I wanted to play sports in high school, and in my underclassmen years I even thought of playing “professionally” in college. Other students have concrete hopes of becoming college or even professional stars, but few make it to such levels of athleticism. I was never the athlete pushing themselves in hopes of making it to a professional level, but that didn’t mean I lacked a passion for my sport that other athletes or teammates had. 

It wasn’t until senior year that I realized that playing volleyball was excruciating: I looked forward to a seven hour school day, but spending three hours in a gym being pushed to physical and emotional limits dismantled my good school days or made my bad school days worse. Of course there were days when working out was rewarding; that’s the main reason I play sports. To start off, even before the season truly began, I devoted my summer coming into senior year to the gym and weight room. I was one of the two to three players who showed up the most to summer conditioning, yet I would soon learn that my devotion wasn’t enough during the fall. As the summer months that should have been spent relaxing passed, the season kicked off and so did the underlying tension accompanying it.

Some of you may be thinking: why didn’t she just quit before she made the team again? The one thing that kept me coming back was my teammates. Volleyball tends to get slack for drama, but, while there may be arguing from time to time, I love my teammates unconditionally. I had been playing on a team with them since freshman year; how was I going to leave them my senior year? Also, being the main setter wasn’t a position I felt like I could just let go. I viewed quitting as leaving my team in the dark, so I stuck through it, eventually digging myself a hole so deep I lost sense of what it meant to be a student athlete.

After weeks of growing more and more tired of tense practices, my finger became infected which, as a setter, prevented me from playing my position. I missed a game or two, but the time I took off due to the infection made me realize how relieved I felt not to be in the gym all afternoon. As my finger healed I grew anxious; I didn’t want to go back to volleyball. All the tears I shed in each season were incomparable to the difficulty of leaving the team weeks prior to the end of the season. But that was just it – I knew I wasn’t going to endure another evening of exhaustion and frustration.

People close to me asked why I continued playing if I found myself more upset than happy. I always felt tied to the sport due to playing for consecutive seasons, and I eventually felt like I had to come back. I put how I thought my team would feel if I quit above how I truly felt. This mental decision created a negative playing attitude as well as a hope for the season to end as fast as possible. I didn’t want to be a student athlete if it meant sitting in my car crying after a tense practice. I didn’t want to be a student athlete if it meant pushing my body to limits that it shouldn’t be pushed to so often. I didn’t want to be a student athlete if it meant hating a sport I used to love.

There are articles mentioning when to quit a sport, but the message typically comes from the perspective of a coach, an adult. I would search and search for answers on the internet that could give me insight to something I had been struggling to figure out, yet I was addressed by coach upon coach just as I had been trying to avoid as a student athlete. While the title “coach” may establish credibility as a potential youth leader, I continued to read about varying ways to approach athletes that were struggling which further cemented my belief that there are few coaches who can actually be called leaders. A coach isn’t a leader when they recognize points won or lost over the mental and physical welfare of their athletes, and a coach isn’t a coach when they let their emotions, no matter how insignificant or bold, creep out in front of their team.

While I could go into how certain individuals, who should have been leaders, contributed to my departure from the team, the point I am trying to make is that you have to know when to stand up in the presence of authority and give yourself a break. The world will not crumble if you quit. Yes, teammates will always have something to say about your decision, but the most important thing is that you feel like you finally have the respect you deserve even if you have to give it to yourself. Don’t wait weeks into the season if you’re already dreading the toxic environment you’ll be playing in. There are other ways to stay active, and I wish I would’ve made that hard decision earlier rather than later. 

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Recap: Homecoming Fri, 15 Nov 2019 16:29:12 +0000 Tuesday, October 8

As the end of the first quarter quickly approached and students settled into high school, life slowed down with Spirit Week and the festivities of Football Friday Nights.

The Royal Assembly on Tuesday morning commenced with the Jazz Band’s beats accompanying the student body’s filling of the bleachers. Before class representatives were announced, students who took an Advanced Placement (AP) course during the 2018-2019 and 2017-2018 school years were recognized if they scored a passing 3, 4, or 5 on the tests. A reception third period continued the celebration with a large marble cake with the words “Congratulations AP Scholars!” in red piping. 

After Ms. Porta took the podium, the representatives were announced by Mr. Smith and senior representative Areebah Khan. Once all of the underclassmen were announced, the ten senior representatives voted Top 5 for homecoming Queen or King were called to the mic. Everyone contributed convincing, while subjective, points as to why they deserve to be voted Queen or King, but it was also obvious that certain nominees dominated the gymnasium with their presence. All in all, the Royal Assembly was a successful start to the week’s events. 


Friday, October 11

Homecoming Weekend gained momentum as the marching band stormed the hallways during eighth period, gathering crowds of students that followed the parade to the gym. While the Pep Rally was eventful, it didn’t compare to the Homecoming Game that took place later in the afternoon. Not only did the Centennial Star’s football team take home another big win versus Linden McKinley, but the 2019 Homecoming Queen and King were announced at halftime after a phenomenal performance by Linden McKinley’s marching band and drill team. While they may not compare in number to Centennial’s marching band, they were just as or more engaging. 

After the performing and dancing, Centennial’s Queen and King were announced. Lucy B. and Jalen R. were voted in as 2019 Queen and King, and the cheers from the stands said it all. The Stars carried on the celebrations on the field as our football team continued to beat McKinley 37 to nothing at the beginning of the second half. At the end of the night, the students were ready for a fun evening on Saturday at the dance and the pre and post affairs that come with it. 

Congratulations to all who ran, and Happy Homecoming!

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Girls Soccer City Championship Fri, 15 Nov 2019 16:28:09 +0000
Goalie Sarah Clifton (28; yellow jersey) made some great saves for the Stars, and she walked off the field smiling with one of her coaches.

       On October 15, the Lady Stars and the Lady Braves battled it out once again for the City Championships at Mapfre Stadium. The first half started off strong for both teams, and neither scored during the initial forty minutes. Though uneventful in terms of scoring, both student sections cheered and screamed in the bleachers, anxious for their teams to bring home the trophy. As the clock ticked down to zero in the first half, both teams made more attempts at the goal in hopes of scoring; but, the half ended 0-0, and both teams headed to opposite sides of the field for halftime. 

       During the second half, Sophia Pizzuro (2) continued to provide a strong, defensive front for the Stars, and the Star students erupted with cheers as we scored on the Braves’ goalie. However, the goal was taken back due to the Stars being off-sides at the time of the shot. If it wasn’t for this call, we may have took home another trophy. Later in the second half, the Braves scored against the Stars which brought the score to 0-1. Shutte and Pizzuro both sustained minor injuries pains during the second half, and it was at the second time that Shutte collapsed onto the field that she had to be escorted onto the sidelines for the remainder of the half. Pizzuro remained on defense, and the Stars didn’t lose hope despite the loss of Shutte for the remainder of the game.

From left to right: Players Zoey and Yana walking off the playing field for their halftime team chat.

       All in all, the Lady Stars played a tremendous last game for the season despite not taking home a City-Champ trophy. Many underclassmen players emerged as promising leaders for the future of the team; Zoey (8), Naa Shidaa (18), and Rachel (23) gave their all in the illuminated stadium that night. Senior captains Yana Napier (19) and Nina Zimmerman (22) commanded the field, showing the Braves what the Class of 2020 is all about. Congratulations to both teams, but a bigger congrats to the Lady Stars on playing a fantastic last game of the 2019 soccer season.

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Discrimination In Schools Wed, 08 May 2019 15:16:17 +0000 If you ever participated in a school activity against the suburban schools, you may be able to relate to the feeling that you are being watched and judged by the expectations they have for your behavior. Whether it be racial or regarding difference in school circumstances. When you think of suburban schools you think of big schools full of windows and new high quality equipment. From the experiences I have been exposed to through being in softball and STEM club, I have noticed that there is a drastic difference between us and them, despite that we’re all equal in terms of schooling.

One example of this was during an egg drop competition for STEM Club. We were 1 of the 2 ethnically diverse teams in the whole event and were one of the few inner city school teams. All of the other groups came from better developed suburban schools. When we won 1st place it wasn’t surprising to find them shocked. It was almost as if they were baffled that diverse city school kids could even compete with them.

It was disappointing but not surprising. To this day people still believe that we are equal and that there is very little racism and discrimination based on color, religion, orientation, and schooling. The fact of the matter is that they just don’t pay attention enough to see that the actions of others or even themselves are discriminatory. Instead of using kindness as a mask people should change in order to be genuine to their inner feelings or learn how to treat others with respect no matter the difference.

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The Importance of Voting In the US, Why You Should Register to Vote When You Turn 18 Wed, 08 May 2019 15:13:35 +0000 In the United States, voting remains one of the biggest ways to stay involved in the shaping of our government. It gives us the opportunity to choose who we want to represent us and is one of the main ideals of this country; to have a government by the people, for the people.

Many people in the United States, especially younger adults, don’t really understand politics, or even government in general. Because of this, a lot of people choose not to vote and partake in federal elections. However, they don’t realize how much of an impact one vote could make. Understanding and knowing the people who are running is important, because those are the people that are representing us and our political beliefs. We vote for them so they can vote on public policies that affect us.

Because of the Electoral College (a system in which 538 electors from 48 states vote for the President and Vice President based on votes in their congressional district), many people feel as if their vote doesn’t count. They usually think “Why should I vote when a bunch of old state electors are voting for me?” What people don’t realize is that their vote does make a difference. When you vote, you contribute to the percentage of votes for your chosen candidate in your district. If that candidate has the highest number, than the elector that represents your district will cast a vote in favor of that candidate in the Electoral College election. Your vote may seem like just a small percentage, but a lack of voting could bring about many effects, including the opposite party candidate winning.

Voting in the United States does make a difference in our government. Without it, we wouldn’t have a say in the shaping of our government, a right that we are all given as citizens of this country. If you’re 18, be sure to register in time for the upcoming election, and if you aren’t yet, hang in there! You’ll have the opportunity to make decisions for the future of this nation.

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The History of Prom Wed, 08 May 2019 15:11:26 +0000 It’s Prom Season! Families spend hundreds on attire, makeup, transportation, and more so gorgeous gowns and pressed suits can flow and glide effortlessly around the dance floor. This event is a crucial moment for most teenagers approaching the end of their high school career, and it is important for their night to be as magical as possible.

Movies like Pretty in Pink, Footloose, Grease and even Stephen King’s Carrie throw viewers into a groovy ambiance of giddy teens, and for more mature generations, these movies inspire nostalgia for a past, blissful youth. Yet, despite the air of enchantment that prom is often infused with, the history of this event is nothing like movies make it to be.

A Debutante Ball, or a Coming Out Ball to introduce young women into society

Prom, short for promenade, originated among the late 1800’s with the intent to introduce young collegiate women to suitable young men. These affairs were formally known as debutante balls, and much of prom’s past is rooted in the traditions of these parties. It wasn’t until the 1920’s that prom began transforming into what it embodies presently. Still, the event was meant to teach respectfulness among girls and boys. However, the stems of racism yet again managed to usurp a milestone event for young people of color – hundreds of proms were racially segregated up and down the North and South.

Even with the ruling of Brown v. Board of Education (1954) that made segregation of public schools unconstitutional, there were usually two separate proms held, one for white people and another for people of color. Wilcox County in Georgia held its first racially integrated prom in 2013, and controversy continues to weigh prom down for other school districts in Georgia as well.

Source: Maria Izaurralde
Two students at Wilcox County’s First Integrated Prom in 2013

Evidently, prom wasn’t always as marvelous as it is today. Discriminatory mindsets infringing on generations of people of color persist, but the best way to combat this hatred is through education. While prom had a significantly rocky past, celebrate youthfulness today by becoming familiar with its history, and better yet, enjoying it with the people around you no matter the color of their skin.

Centennial High School is hosting their prom at the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens on Friday, May 10.


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Stephanie Porta, Principal Mon, 29 Apr 2019 15:25:01 +0000

Ms. Porta

Birth Place: Montgomery, Alabama

Position: Principle (4yrs)

Highschool: Beaver Creek

College: Wright State, Masters at Ashland

Subject(s) Taught: PE at Mifflin (8 yrs)

Favorite Subject: History

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Stars Vs. Braves: Special Olympics Basketball Mon, 15 Apr 2019 15:20:56 +0000 On Friday, April 5, the Centennial Stars and Whetstone Braves Special Olympics teams played a fantastic game of basketball. The event kicked off strong with players cheering their teammates on during warm-ups before the game started.

Devin White, a senior at Centennial, had a great turn over to take the Stars to 14, Braves 8. When talking with him during first period the following Monday, he mentioned that his favorite part was “stealing balls” and being able to help his team score points.

Both teams played their hearts out in the end, and the student section supported both teams in their competition. It was gratifying to witness Centennial students step aside from the rivalry aspect of the game and truly support the players in their achievements.

Even though the Stars won, congratulations to both teams on a well played game. It’s not always about winning or losing, after all, but the love and respect for the sport and the players.

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Student Involvement is Imperative Yet Remains Apathetic Fri, 29 Mar 2019 15:17:29 +0000 Too many students nowadays seem not to realize the importance in getting involved in extracurricular activities and after school programs. Although Centennial might not offer as many activities as some wealthier suburban schools, it still has programs such as Green Team, Stem Club, Mock Trial, Academic Team, Newspaper and Chess Club. Not only this but sports including Lacrosse, Football, Basketball, Baseball, Bowling, Softball, Volleyball, Golf, Wrestling, and Track and Field. Nevertheless, primarily due to lack of funding,Centennial can not provide activities to support everyone’s areas of interest; however, there are still a plethora of extracurricular activities provided here and that are provided for by religious groups, rec centers, volunteer organizations, and many more.

Now, today’s society is more technologically advanced than it has ever been before; however, these technological advancements come with both positive and negative impacts. Many individuals opt out of participation in these activities because they would rather stay at home and watch Netflix or YouTube, or simply be on their technological devices. While it is imperative to take time out of your day to de-stress, certain individuals seem to “de-stress” a little too much. Others may find involvement difficult because of other priorities;however, involvement should be a priority.

But what exactly is the point in being involved in extracurriculars as a student? Well, for starters being involved in any community can have a positive impact because it allows students the creation of another home and allows them to have a safe space where personal growth plausible. Also, certain programs, like National Honor Society, require extracurricular activities in the application process.

Another reason why, is because colleges and universities do not solely look at gpas and test scores, they also look at student involvement. If two individuals have the same GPA and the same standardized test scores on their application for college/university, the student that has more in-school and out-of-school involvement will most likely be the candidate that receives the letter of acceptance. Not only this, but being involved also provides insight to colleges on how an individual is and their interests. For example, if one is involved in sports, it can show to colleges how one is athletic, how one cares about their health, or how one wishes to continue sports into their college experience. Another example could be that if a student is involved in mock trial, they may want to go into law. These activities show colleges and universities one’s interests as well as how driven of an individual one is.

In addition to this, involvement also allows one the chance to improve or strengthen their leadership skills. These types of skills are imperative not only in colleges but also in the real world. Plus, they allow one to be in a better mental and physical state.

So why do so many students simply opt out of participating in extracurricular activities? The reasons range from laziness, ignorance, lack of initiative, issues in schedules, technology, and a lack of variation in the programs that best suit their interests. Many do not understand the importance and lack the drive to be involved, and sometimes the ones that do, find it difficult because of other priorities. All in all, extracurriculars are imperative to today’s young and although Centennial and its staff should strive to be more inclusive in terms of the extracurricular activities provided, students should still try and join the what is being provided, for it may create new interests.

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