Sangamon Valley Publications Club is excited to welcome Mr. Elliott and Miss Jones to our school. Both new staff members will be taking on big roles this year. We were lucky enough to get to chat with both of the new employees to learn more about them.
Mr. Elliott will be taking over the roles of the Dean of Students and Activities Director for our district. One of his job duties entails planning school events, like concerts and sporting events. He also considers himself to be a hall monitor, and he runs eligibility reports. Prior to coming to SVHS, he's worked in Rantoul, Champaign, and Monticello. He also has experience coaching, as he has coached various sports. In our interview, Mr. Elliott said that he has attended Mason Community College Arizona, Parkland, University of Illinois, and Eastern Illinois University. We would also like to congratulate Mr. Elliott, as he and his wife are expecting a baby girl!
Another new face at our school is English teacher and Publications Advisor, Miss Jones. Miss Jones is a recent graduate of Eastern Illinois University, and this is her first teaching position after graduating. In 2014, she graduated from Argenta-Oreana, and she still lives in that area. Miss Jones is also the JV volleyball coach and the head middle school volleyball coach. In our interview, Miss Jones said, “I am excited to be joining the Sangamon Valley High School staff. All of the students are great and I am thankful for the opportunity to teach here.”
Welcome to our district, Mr. Elliott and Miss Jones!
Zoi is a freshman at SVHS.
There have been some recent changes to Sangamon Valley this year. One of those changes includes our lunch. We used to not have a company that we got our lunch through, and now we have Aramark. They have given us more options to choose from, like our everyday pizza, fries, and chicken nuggets. We also get more than one option when it comes to the main dish. We have more than just the same kind of salad everyday, as well. Mr Field stated: “Before, we weren’t getting the bank for our buck.” Everyone seems to be very satisfied with our new lunch this year and we hope that it keeps getting better and better.
We also have a lunch director, Kelly Rice. She came from Taylorville and is enjoying Sangamon Valley so far, except for the heat. Kelly said that being a lunch director is new to her this year. We haven’t seen ale cart this year, but are hoping to soon. Last year, we had strawberry milk and Mr. Field loved it. He said that it was pretty darn good and he hasn’t seen it this year, but hopes to. Mr. Field said, “I’m going to ask Miss Rice if we can get some strawberry milk up in this joint.” Maybe we will see some strawberry milk shortly, especially for Mr. Field. Our hope is that everyone is enjoying the new lunch this year!
Remi Mendenhall & Jalynn Ethington
Remi is a sophomore at SVHS. Jalynn is a freshman at SVHS.
Stay tuned for a new edition of The Bolt coming at you soon! Until then, check out this new picture of our new Publications editor staff. Logan Brisch will be taking over our News Department. Beth Stacey will be our new Editor and Chief. Ashlyn Brickey will be our Sports Editor this year. Katelyn Blok will be rocking it as our Student Life Editor.
Despite last night's regional loss, the TCSV Girls Basketball team had a lot to celebrate this year. For the past few years, the girls basketball team outperforms the competition and has taken first place in many tournaments.
The girls basketball team had an excellent tournament season this year, getting first place in the TCSV Holiday Tournament, Macon County Tournament, and the Clinton Turkey Tussle. It's impressive to win one of those tournaments, but even more so to win 3 tournaments.
The Macon County Tournament brought high intensity theatrics to the court as the game against St. Teresa was sent into overtime by a buzzer beating 3 point shot from Ashlyn Sturdy. After coming back from a 10 point deficit, a shot by Ashlyn Sturdy at the final buzzer tied the game and brought it into a tension-filled overtime. The four minute overtime was filled with close calls and ended with another victory under the TCSV team’s belt
Words with Coach Nika
We reached out to Tony Nika, the coach for the girls basketball team, for his thoughts on the season and his expectations for next year.
Q: How did you expect the team to do this season?
A: I thought we would be very competitive, but I was unsure of how much success we would actually have. If you would have told me that we were going to win 3 of our 4 tournaments I probably would have had trouble believing it. I thought we could be a 20 win team but I did not expect to have as much success in terms of winning tournaments. Luckily for our sake, the girls have taken what we have taught them to heart and given perfect effort to succeed.
Q: What was your biggest fear in the tournament?
A: My biggest fear was the element of the unknown and fatigue. It was hard to gauge how good we could be with just two weeks of practice and summer in which not everyone could attend our practices and games at the same time. But the girls showed some grit and beat some really good teams and became champions in our first year, beating 3A Clinton by 19 on their own court in the title game. With the other 3 tournaments, playing 3 competitive tournaments in 3 and a half weeks is a real drain on the girls and even myself.
Q:What are your expectations for next year?
A: Next year we hope to be continuing to do what we do. We will be losing two great senior leaders, Grace Honeyman and Anna Sagle, but we think we can still be competitive with All-Staters like Ashlyn Sturdy and a great group of players coming back. We know we will have to have a good summer of hard work, but like this year, if the girls buy into what the coaching staff is preaching to them, we can be very successful. It will come down to one thing: are they willing to put in Perfect Effort. If they are willing to do that, we can be right back where we are now, and maybe even better.
Goodbye Grace Honeyman :(
In the final home game against Mt. Pulaski, Senior Grace Honeyman was honored for her time with the program. If you did not know Grace, Coach Nika wants you to know that
"she is the epitome of a team player. She always did whatever I asked of her for the good of the team and she did it to the best of her ability. As a freshman, she was asked to come up to the varsity and try and provide an offensive spark. As a sophomore, she was asked to be a defensive stopper and feeder to the posts. As a junior, she was asked to play some power forward and guard all 5 positions. And as a senior, she was asked to play center, even though she was the 2nd shortest starter on our team. Grace is one of those kids who provides attributes beyond the traditional stats. She's an amazingly hard worker, brings a great attitude, and is the best teammate you can have. I cannot put into words how honored I am to have coached her. She is what we look for in a TCSV player: someone who gives perfect effort and someone who accepts their role and does it to the best of their abilities. I'm forever grateful for what Grace Honeyman has done for our program."
The team’s senior night game was close, but in the end we came out victorious. The match was close, ending with a score of 56-52, increasing our win count to 22 after the tournament. The game went down to the wire. We were down by 11 as the 3rd quarter started to come to a close, but we came back by scoring 9 points in a row before the game entered the 4th quarter. In the 4th quarter we went back and forth before Ashlyn Sturdy scored a 3 pointer only a few minutes before the buzzer to seal the deal for another win.
Every year the TCSV Girls Basketball team outperforms expectations and this year they carried on that tradition by getting first in 3 out of the 4 tournaments they entered. Their current record is 24-6 and although their season is over for this year, they have a lot of celebrate.
Story by Caleb Incarnato
When students leave for break, many of them enjoy time off and a few weeks of sleeping until noon. All except the Basketball Boys. All through break, STORM Basketball hit the court to work on their game, and their hard work has not gone unnoticed. (Also, did you guys see the new lights in the gym?)
On January 8, STORM Basketball took on Mt. Pulaski at home. Although the final buzzer signaled the end of the game, another loss for us, the players were more upbeat than usual as they have been reflecting on their progress throughout the year. We got a chance to talk to Coach Viele to get some of his words on the JV game.
"We lost, but I felt that we should have done a little better because we had played them the night before and did way better. These back to back games are taking their toll on our boys, but they keep fighting."
It's tough to watch a losing season. It's even tougher to get up every day and practice knowing that it's a losing season. But, losing has made some of our players better. Our season has given us the drive and motivation to get better. We have been hitting the weight room to gain a little weight to help us with defense and we have been hard at work trying to improve our communication when we make drives down the lane.
People have to remember that we have a really young team with no seniors on the team and a team composed mostly of freshmen and sophomores. Regardless of the way the games go, it's always nice to see the stands packed with friends and parents coming on out to support our boys.
We caught up with Stanley Smith, sophomore on the varsity team, to talk about his performance and the team's progress through the season.
“It has been a rough season and there has been a lot of games we could have won.” "We start off strong and we finish strong, but the middle seems to be where we lag behind. It's a work in progress, but we keep looking towards the future as we can see ourselves getting better."
One of the major areas of improvement that is evidence when watching a game is chemistry when making a break away. Too many times, especially in the middle of the game, our ball movement was thwarted by the opposing team or we just threw the ball way beyond someone. It takes time to get the ball moving and sometimes it's hard to anticipate a teammates moves, but it's tough to watch a break away down the court only to throw the ball away out of bounds because someone broke right when the other player thought it was going to break left.
We caught up with Coach Myers, varsity coach, to ask him for his thoughts on the season. He reported that "we've gotten a lot better on defense and offense. Unfortunately, it does not show up on wins and losses, but I am seeing these boys get more focused and locked in to make those plays. We have a lot of miscommunication on break aways, but I also see our leaders in the team stepping up to try and fix those in a positive way, so we should start seeing more wins in the next couple of years."
All in all, we are looking forward to wrapping up the last few games by celebrating our progress this year and our continued efforts moving forward. Just like Coach Myers says, "I look forward to February because it is by then that you will see us playing our best game."
Don't forget to catch Senior Night for the boys on Tuesday, February 12, 2019 here at home.
Story by Madison Goodwin and Kaden Emerson
SV boys and TCSV girls are back in action.
Down by 10, 2 minutes remaining. Full court press from the defense making it tough to even get the ball in play.
These are the moments that we need you the most. Yelling for the home team, cheering us on. Rooting for an upset or a break away. These moments give us strength to overcome our opponents and send us to victory. Those are the moments that we need more students coming out to games showing their school spirit.
The pep band is back with their crowd favorites pumping up the crowd and performing a fun halftime show and the cheerleaders reaching for the stars, literally, as they perform aerial stunts.
If you haven't made it out to a game, catch the next few before break. We want to see you out there cheering on the home team and packing the place. If not for the thrill of the game, at least come out to hang out with friends and create memories. Besides, what else do you have to do?
TCSV Girls Basketball Off to an Electric Start
TCSV Tornado Girls Basketball rocked the Clinton Turkey Tussle Tournament. Over the past few days, the girls have been hard at work opening the season in style.
On Monday, we played Riverton and won 48-35. We got off to a slow start but quickly turned it up in the 2nd quarter. Ashlyn Sturdy led all scorers with 27 points and 9 rebounds. Anna Sagle added 15 points. Rebecca Moxley had 8 rebounds and 4 blocks and Jordan Closs added 2 points. This momentum pushed us into game 2 when we played Porta.
The second game against Ports ended in a win 41-36. This game was close all the way until the end with it being tied at 30 going into the 4th, but TCSV outscored PORTA 11-6 in the 4th quarter to pull out another win. It was a knock out drag out brawl of a game with little fouls being called and bodies flying everywhere. Sagle led all scorers with 19 points, including 5 3's. Sturdy added 17 points, 11 rebounds, and 6 assists. Moxley contributed 8 rebounds and 5 blocks.
This brought us to game 3 vs. Mt. Pulaski on Thursday. We won 55-36 despite TCSV trailing 17-21 going into the half and as much as 7 in the 3rd. But, we didn't lose sight of the end game. Towards the middle of the 3rd quarter, the girls started a push that led us straight to the championship round. Ashlyn Sturdy scored a career high 32 points, not missing a single field goal or free throw in the 2nd half. Anna Sagle tallied 20 points, including 6 3's which sets a TCSV record for 3's in a game.
The championship game was played Saturday vs. the Clinton Maroons. We pulled off a huge win that evening with a 57-39 score. TCSV got off to a hot start, outscoring the Maroons 24-8 in the first quarter, including 16 first quarter points from Sturdy. The Tornadoes would coast the rest of the game on the way to the title in their first year in the tournament. Sturdy led all scorers with 32 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, and 6 steals. Sagle netted 11 points and Allison Campbell scored 8.
Ashlyn Sturdy and Anna Sagle received All-Tournament Team Honors for their performances. Ashlyn Sturdy set a tournament record for points by scoring 108 points and dominating the games. Anna Sagle had an incredible tournaments, making 16 3's during the 4 game tournament. Great work girls! Let's keep it up as the season gets underway.
If you haven’t had a chance to meet Mr. Higby in class, here’s your shot. We want to welcome Mr. Higby to SVHS as our new math teacher coming to us from Riverton High School.
You may be thinking, huhm. Higby sounds awfully familiar. You're right. Mr. Higby is the husband of Mrs. Higby from our very own middle school.
Mr. Higby grew up in Bloomington, IL and attended Bloomington High School. After high school, He went to Eastern Illinois University where he earned his Bachelors in Math Education. While teaching, he earned his Masters in Teacher Leadership from University of Illinois at Springfield. Mr. Higby also taught Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, Geometry, Precalculus and AP Calculus AB at Riverton High School and we are glad to have him as our newest member of our community.
When asked about how his year and new school was going, he replied "SVHS has been great. The staff has been extremely welcoming and someone is always around to see if they can help me.”
Welcome to the Valley Mr. Higby. We are glad to have you around.
Article by Logan Brisch
How one classroom tackled Banned Books Week in the heat of reading Fahrenheit 451.
In this day and age of heightened rhetoric, toxic political discourse, and living in constant fear of this or that, the American public wrestles with the idea of "how do we prevent these evils in our society?" Our nation was founded on the principle of freedom: freedom of speech, religion, press etc. But, at what point has freedom go too far?
Every year in late September, the country celebrates Banned Books Week to highlight the great literature and voices of those who have been silenced, both currently and in years past. In Mr. Brian Hansbrough's English classroom, reading the novel Fahrenheit 451 during Banned Books Week struck an interesting accord with our students. For Mr. Hansbrough's class, students were motivated to make Banned Book Posters that highlighted some of the books that are banned or deemed wildly inappropriate for students.
Below are some examples of the creative talents that his students put forward and their passion for the visual arts, but we think it's even more surprising that some of these books are even on the list, especially the ones that are taught in school curriculums across the country.
Some states have state-wide banned book lists and other lists are more community/school specific. It can be hard to believe that in this age of information and free press, books are still banned and highly recommended not to read because of their content, despite the fact that many classics that have shaped our national ethos and moral fabric of how we as Americans run our society are now listed on the banned books list.
As a society developed around the concept of free will, Rene Descartes would be rolling around in his grave if he knew that a modern society has returned to the dark ages in hopes of limiting free thinking and independent ideas (in the name of safety of course). Much like the storyline in Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, dangerous consequence arise when a governmental body dictates what is and is not an acceptable idea for the people to consume, in print form or out loud. The only true way a modern society can continue to adapt and learn is to actually adapt and learn. Even though we have replaced a paperback book with a computer screen, the only true way to make real progress is to consume and contemplate. That ability should be the cornerstone of any democracy and citizens should have the innate ability to "think" and "therefore be."