As the winter pushes away and the spring begins to slowly sneak in, we wanted to take a few moments and catch you all up on some of the cool things that our students have been doing in the background.
Join the 1,000 Point Club
Ashlyn Sturdy was added to our list of girls that have made past 1,000 career points before their high school basketball seasons are complete. Ashlyn has worked so hard to get to this point in her life; she never gave up and just kept working on it. Ashlyn was also nominated for Ms. Basketball in the State of Illinois by the Chicago Tribune, which is a huge accomplishment as only 20 of the top players are on the ballot for the whole state. Ashlyn answered some questions that we had for here and some of them were, do you have a goal on how many points you want to get too before the end of your high school career? Ashlyn said, “It would be super cool to get to 2,000 points, but I am focused on our team winning as many games as possible next season." Ashlyn said getting her 1,000 points was a really exciting experience, especially because she had lots of family and friends there that came to support her, and she was really happy that she could complete this before her senior year in high school.
- Story by Skyler Shugart
Leap into Faith
Little may be known about junior Mikayla Jackson, but her impact on our school, inside and out, must not go unnoticed. Inside of school, she is a huge part of our FCA program by taking on the Presidency of the organization. She is a hard working student and goes out of her way to be a part of FCA. When asked about her involvement in school, she replied, "I am thankful for the willingness and help that our faculty and school gives to our FCA group to support the things that we do." Through out the year, FCA has been more active in fundraising and leading the charge for raising money for various causes. “FCA is a great group to be part of, and it’s a lot of fun doing fundraisers and participating in global week of prayer along with see you at the pole. It’s great seeing the students in the school come together as fellow Christians."
Mikayla Jackson is also a part of a youth group in one of our towns that we have. She is overwhelmed by the amount of love, mercy, and grace God shows her and she does not want nothing more than to do his work that he calls her to go and do. After high school Mikayla is going to extend this and go to school for ministry. She got involved with the youth group because she loves to lead in areas that she can and gain experience in ministry because it is what she wants to do for the rest of her life. We all can not wait to see all the things that Mikayla can get done and go do, so stay after it!
- Story by Skyler Shugart
Dance Machine with Paige Coss
If you didn't know, Paige Coss is a wonderful dancer. She started dance at the age of 3, but started competition dance at age 8. Dancing can be a very difficult thing to do. You have to be flexible, in shape, and coordinated. Dancing gives you a lot of muscle so that you can be able to lift yourself up as if doing a handstand.
We asked Paige, “what’s your favorite thing about dance?”. Her response was “My favorite part about dance is that you can never be perfect at it. There is always something to improve on. I also love the memories that I get to share and all the bonds I get to make with my friends at dance.” It looks like she is having a fun time doing what she’s doing.
Paige practices 4-5 days a week depending on the week. She may also practice at home a lot if the dance is difficult. Sometimes dancing can be hard, but other times it might be easy. It just depends on how good of a learner you are, and how much you practice. It also depends on how coordinated you are.
Managing dance, school, and work all at the same time? Most people who are teens would think “Wow that would be hard and stressful.” But Paige actually said “Yes, it is very difficult to balance school, dance, and work all at the same time. But it’s not too bad because I am used to being a busy person so I’d say I do a pretty decent job doing so.” Like most of our students, Paige balances a lot of her time between many extra-curricular activities and she is doing a great job at it.
- Story by Jessica Born
IC Cheer with Alexis Jackson Next year
Hardworking, positive attitude, confidence and strength. All these words describe a great cheerleader and that is just what Alexis Jackson is. Now a few months away from graduation, she will be signing for competitive cheer at Illinois College in Jacksonville, IL. She is very excited for the next step in cheerleading and life.
We sat down with Alexis to ask her a few questions. Alexis has been cheerleading for Sangamon Valley since 8th grade through her senior year for both basketball and football. Being the only senior participant this year, her leadership and experience became a valuable asset to the team in making it all come together.
We asked about the tryout process and how this all came about. Alexis replied, “The tryout process for Illinois College was that their coach contacted me and wanted me to send her videos throughout my senior season. In February we sent in a “tryout video” of certain things she wanted to see and if we got in, that gave us a spot on the team.”
With choosing colleges you need to know the right one for you and we asked Alexis why did she think Illinois college was right for her? “I knew IC was the right pick for me as soon as I stepped on campus. everything was so beautiful; it wasn’t too big and it’s not too small at the same time and I knew I could feel at home here.” Going from high school cheer to competitive college cheer is going to be a big step. “I think IC will be different cheering wise aside from Sangamon Valley because I’ll be competing there which consists of extra comps and nationals included. Being a collegiate athlete in any sport is, I'm sure, a HUGE difference from any high school. I also think it will be different because I have more resources at Illinois College and I will be taught more skills and also tumbling which is a big part of IC cheer.”
We wish you the best of luck!
- Story by Maddison Bournias
The Real March Madness
Many of our students only have to worry about their school work and just sports or having a job. That is not the case with senior Taylor Page. Taylor Page goes to her morning classes here at Sangamon Valley and then goes to her transfer classes at Richland Community College while working part time at Khols and gearing up for the softball season.
We sat down with Taylor Page and asked her how the transition from high school to college was and she told us “It was hard! Being in a new place with new teachers and not knowing your classmates is very different especially after spending so many years at Sangamon Valley with the same students and faculty. It didn’t take long to adjust though. I really enjoy taking classes and love the flexibility Richland has to offer. It has been a nice stepping stone into the college atmosphere before I begin my journey at Millikin this fall.”
The Transfer Academy is a great opportunity Richland offers to high school students to be able to get college credit while still attending high school. While still going to school and college, Taylor still has to stay up on her high school assignments and college work too. “Time management and planning ahead has been the best way for me to balance everything! I take advantage of my times at the high school in the morning to get as much work done as I can so I don’t have to worry about it during the evenings when I have sports or have to be at work. I often use my off days on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons when I don’t have college classes to do any work I might need to get done. Staying on top of studying and homework is always my focus so I take advantage of any time I have to do so.” Great to hear everything is going good for you Taylor! Keep up the good work!
- Story by Maddison Bournias
For many people video games are just a means of passing the time or to get away from their troubles. But to the serious competitive players, video games contribute a lot more to their daily life.
Video games such as Counter Strike Global Offensive can be a domain for team building and having fun with friends. We interviewed Will Bryan to find out somethings about his gaming experience on the platform. Will actively plays with Avery Pearson, Mike Porter, Everett Swift, and Spencer Rice. Any time they log onto the game, they are playing with each other. We asked him who his team was and how they performed as a team
Will told us “Normally if we are playing CS, they added a two vs two game so I will play with Avery. But if we are trying to win really hard it will be me, Mike, Everett, and Spencer.”
“We are all decent players. Everett kinda likes to do his own thing and so even if we are trying to play organized he kinda goes off and does stuff by himself. In CS there are roles, in game leader, lurker and support players. We don’t have super amount of structure, though I tried to lead and develop strats.”
A gamer can be a profession for anyone who wants to put in the time and effort to make it into the professional gaming community. You may even be able to find a team in college.
“I would love to play professionally and play against other professionals. With how Esports is growing now a days, there are a lot of college level Esports teams too. When I am looking for colleges I am looking for that as well, if they have an Esports program. Because if I am good enough to be in that Esports program then that can propel me as a player, to be closer to be a professional.”
- Story by Logan Brisch
Being an Eagle Scout is more important than most people think. There is a lot of time and effort to get to be an Eagle Scout. In Boy Scouts being an Eagle Scout is the highest rank you can be. Boys Scouts is not just about getting badges and stuff like that. You get to go camping in different places, go on adventures, and learn skills that you will need in the real world. Being in Boy Scouts give you a chance to learn different skills like CPR and First Aid. There are many more that you can learn like how to be a Firefighter and people skills.
There are three Eagle Scouts in our school Tanner Owens, Seth Barr, and Brad Centola. We caught up with them and they gave us some insider information on what is means to be an Eagle Scout. The first Eagle Scout we interviewed was Brad Centola. “I started scouts in cub scouts. Lori Owens came to the school and gave her presentation on cub scouts and I loved it. I just really wanted to do it and all of my friends were doing it and my parents really wanted me to do it. I was super eager to do it. As I went through cub scouts, I loved it and realized it was for me and I was really good at it, and I made sure to get the highest award in cub scouts."
Brad worked hard as a boy scout and eventually reached the Eagle Scouts, the highest honor within the organization. "At first I never thought I would get it. But I wanted to get it so bad and I strived to get it. I worked so hard and that’s what kept me going. I wanted to excel in it and get the highest rank because very few scouts actually get it. My favorite part of scouts is the challenge and spending time with your best friends on campouts and other activities.”
The next (soon to be) Eagle Scout I interviewed was Seth Barr, a freshman at SV where he gave us some insights on the process he took on his journey to becoming an Eagle Scout. “I started when I was a cub scout in 4th grade. Mrs. Owens went to my school and I figure it would be worth a try. It was fun so I then went to Boy scouts and it only got tougher as the years went on." Boy Scouts teaches teamwork and communication skills to work together with different people. Merit badges are fun to obtain, and some of them are very difficult to obtain, but Seth reported that "my favorite part is meeting new scouts and getting more objective complete by working together to accomplish a common goal." Seth goes up for review very soon and should become the newest Eagle Scout addition to Sangamon Valley (fingered crossed)
Both of these scouts got their inspiration from older scouts ahead of them, such as senior Tanner Owens. His involvement in scouts has been a notable one with many projects that he has contributed to the community personally to take pride in giving back.
We are proud of our scouts and we hope to have more to talk about in the future.
- Story by Madison Goodwin
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."
We came, we saw, we conquered. Saturday's competition was a fierce one with one close game after the next. The JV Scholastic Bowl team played in the CISL (Central Illinois Scholastic Bowl League) Junior Varsity Tournament over the past weekend, and they put on a quite a show with a 3rd place finish.
Schools represented in the CISL include Maroa-Forsyth, St. Teresa, Taylorville, Springfield SouthEast, Argenta-Oreana, MacArthur, Eisenhower and Mt. Zion. Each of these schools wouldn't normally compete against each other, but the CISL is organized by location instead of IHSA competition classes.
The JV team finished the day with a 6-2 record with Mt. Zion and Maroa-Forsyth being the only losses of the day. In the match with Mt. Zion, the score was tied going into the final tossup, but unfortunately, Mt. Zion took the final tossup and they had a really easy bonus that forced a loss by 30 points.
In the match against Maroa-Forsyth, down by 40 pts. at half time, the JV team fought back and forced and overtime round. In the end, Maroa took us in the final bonus question to win by 20 points.
Every other match was a blow out except for the final round: St. Teresa vs. Sangamon Valley. As St. Teresa's football game began, the distractions from the announcer were in full blast. That didn't stop us from focusing on the task at hand. The final round of play came down to the final question. With St. Teresa buzzing in and getting a wrong answer, our team won by 10 points, essentially sealing 3rd place for the tournament.
At the end of the tournament during awards, JV Captain Spencer Rice accepted the 3rd place trophy on the team's behalf and Sophomore Caleb Incarnato was recognized for placing in the top 5 students of the tournament for tossup questions answered in gameplay.
That is a huge honor for Caleb and Sangamon Valley and we are proud of his growth in Scholastic Bowl.
The CISL Varsity Tournament will be played this Saturday, November 3 @ MacArthur High School, so stay tuned for an update and cross your fingers. We are looking pretty good going into the tournament, coming off of a 3 way tie for 2nd place during regular season play, but a little bit of good luck doesn't hurt.
Story by Mr. Patrick
Every year homecoming gets bigger and better and this year was jam packed with a lot of action. For most students, HOCO is about coming up with the most school spirit they can throughout the week. With Columbus Day falling on Monday, we only had 4 dress up days as opposed to the usual 5 that we normally had, so the week flew by quickly to say the least.
Everyone looks forward to Homecoming as we look back and welcome alumni from years past and usher in a new era of Seniors dressing up for their final dress up days, their final bonfire, their final home football game and their final HOCO dance.
Read more about the individual days and events that occurred during the week by clicking the "Read More" link below. We have worked hard to put together a full and comprehensive publication to cover the week. Enjoy.
Hoco Dress Up Days
Dress Up Day 1: Mathlete vs. Athlete
Homecoming week includes some interesting dress up days. This year's first dress up day was Mathlete vs. Athlete, and there were definitely more Mathletes than Athletes. One of the reason why there were way more Mathletes is because many students were not counted as Athletes because many of our students wear athletic clothing every day.
Interesting observation? OR, Freshmen conspiracy orchestrated by the Junior class and Student Council to ensure that the Freshmen never win?
Conspiracy theories aside, students were really creative in supporting their team. The Mathletes, dressed in casual suspenders and black horn rimmed glasses, and the Athletes, team/sporting apparel and full court gear all had fun dressing up to start the HOCO week of activities. Students thought it was fun to dress up and do something different than the norm, and since HOCO occurred so late in the quarter, it was a nice break to ease out of 1st quarter and into 2nd quarter.
If it were up to us, we vote to keep this dress up day for years to come (but maybe let's clarify what an Athlete should wear to count as an athlete).
Story by Abel Noguez
Dress Up Day 2: Wacky Tacky
Day two of homecoming week was wacky tacky day and it was as wacky as it was tacky. There were many students throughout the day that dressed up, but there were some that did not dress up. As a whole wacky tacky day is a confusing day that is ill-defined. On the one hand, it has historically been called "gender bender," but we no longer endorse the day as gender bender and instead instruct students to dress up whacky and tacky. With most classes, participation for this day was well under 1/2 of the students in the class participating for the day. Of all of the day for HOCO, this day was the least participated day.
We reached out to the Senior Student Council Members for some comments about the day and here's what they had to say. When asked how they decided upon the day, Julie Abel said that "we have always used this day as it was part of our traditional days from years past, but this year, the seniors were split on whether or not to have this day or do something different."
Other students were asked about their thoughts about the day, and Kayla Binkley, a Freshmen, thought "it was really fun. (she) liked seeing everyone's ideas of whacky tacky and it gave her more ideas for the next years."
All in all, students enjoyed participating in the day, but with the day being the least participated day, it makes us wonder what will happen next year? Do we continue the "tradition" or do we change with the times and find something more engaging that more students will participate in? Nobody knows. Time will tell on that one.
Story by Skyler Shugart
Dress Up Day 3: Dynamic Duo / Character Day
Character day has probably been the most interesting theme for Homecoming week yet. Students had some creative group costumes this year as The Valley was graced with the presence of The Village People, Religious Clergy, and the larges of the groups, The Koopa Troop raced down the halls for Dynamic Duo/Character Day.
The Village People consisted of Garret Brickey, a Native American, Hunter Dale, a construction worker, Kyle Parish, a soldier, Luke Stacey, a biker, Jacobe Clem, a cop, and Maddie Livingston, a cowgirl. The Religious Clergy Consisted of Angel Fuentez, Jesse Hamilton, and Russ Mendenhall with their costumes consisting of a nun, Jesus, and a priest. The Koopa Troop consisted of 9 people that dressed up as various characters from Mario, which was very creative.
We had a chance to catch up with Garret from The Village People to see what he thought about the day and the themes this year. He commented saying that “I only really cared for the last two days, wacky tacky day and character day.” He also said how long they had planned to do this, “My buddies and I had this planned for like a month before. It was hard to not spill the beans and keep it under wraps.”
Character day has shown the immense cooperation some groups go through to find a theme, find a costume, make sure they match, and trust each other to follow through with the whole thing. This year saw a much larger turnout of larger group costumes, but there were still a few pairs in there as we had a pair of SIMS, Coach Lee and Coach Viele impersonators, and even a visit from Mr. Incredible himself.
Story by Caleb Incarnato
Pack the Place Volleyball Game
This year's home volleyball game put the Storm vs. the Okaw Valley Timberwolves. The JV started out strong, but they let the second game get away from them with a 25-14 defeat to end the series and pave way for the Varsity team.
For Pack the Place night, students and staff packed the house to show support for our girls. As the Varsity members took the court, they threw little volleyballs out to the crowd to pump them up. They played the first match and ended up with a loss, and played an electric second match. At one point, we were up by 8 and the momentum shifted the wrong direction as the Timberwolves battled their way to a 22-25 win to seal the deal for us.
It was a tough loss to watch, but it was a theme that has plagued our season. We would get some momentum and them make some mistakes. Mistakes happen, but when your team cannot shake off the mistakes and get back in the game, momentum quickly changes to the opposing team.
The girls worked hard and gave it their all, but in the end, we were defeated in a tough game. We caught up with Grace Honeyman, Senior player, to discuss the loss. She said "this was a tough one because at one point it seemed like we had the game in the bag, and then we just made a few silly mistakes that we couldn't shake. These girls give it their all, and we lay it all out on the court. Sometimes we win; sometimes we come up short." When asked what advice she would give to the JV team, she replied "Work hard and show up to everything. Winning is an attitude and it's a team effort."
Grace, like many of our volleyball girls, is currently preparing for basketball season with volleyball season coming to a close. Most of the same players also play basketball, so stay tuned for TCSV Tornado Basketball coming up just around the corner.
Story by Maddison Bournias
Bonfire and Coronation
After the volleyball game, everyone moved outside to watch the coronation and the answer everyone had been waiting to hear, who won King and Queen?
The coronation started out with our attendants walking out in their pairs. Tri-City goes first and then Sangamon Valley walks down the line. This year's Freshmen attendants were Parker Milligan & Vanessa Templeton. The Sophomore attendants were Braden Wickline & Autumn Gordon. The Junior attendants were Nick Finley & Paige Coss and the Senior attendants were as follows: Tanner Owens & Victoria Binkley, Josie McElroy & Josh Ford, Makayla Moran & Isaac Fleck, Jace Pocklington & Skyler Shugart. After announcing last year's Queen, we finally found out that this year's Homecoming King and Queen was Tanner Owens and Josie McElroy.
We sat down with Homecoming queen Josie McElroy and found out what other activities she is involved with in the school. Josie is an active member of the Band and Valley Voices. She was excited to win Homecoming Queen as "it was so cool! It was very sweet because I don't usually go for something like this.”
Like most Seniors, Josie's joy and celebration is taken back quickly with the thought of it being their senior year. At least the last year was the best year! After a short dance performance with the Cheerleaders and Football Boys, the students then went out to the bonfire to watch it burn.
Story by Maddison Bournias
Scholastic Bowl Updates
Scholastic Bowl hosted round 2 of CISL (Central Illinois Scholastic Bowl League) play when they hosted MacArthur and Taylorville for a triad. The varsity team took home two wins and the JV split the night with a win against MacArthur and a loss against Taylorville. Alex Mann led the night in individual tossups. After round 2 of play, Sangamon Valley is tied for 2nd place with other schools. The schools that participate in CISL are St. Teresa, Maroa-Forsyth, Taylorville, MacArthur, Eisenhower, Mt. Zion, Springfield South East, and Argenta-Oreana. Currently, the Scholastic Bowl team is 3-1 going into round 3 as they prepare to play Springfield South East (4-0) and Maroa-Forsyth (3-1).
Story by Mr. Patrick
The good ol’ Homecoming games were full of competitive, fun-filled activities with a variety of people playing each game. This year's big winners were the Junior Class of 2020. They brought their "A" game this year taking first place for the 2nd time in their career as students at our school.
The day is a great way to kick off the Homecoming festivities for the day as students go to their first hour for attendance, rally the troops, and march to the gym to battle it out with some fun competitions.
As students battle it out on the court, DJ JP (Mr. Patrick) blazes the air waves and pumps up the crowd. Mrs. Acree, Math Department, said that the music "provided the students some entertainment throughout the games and seemed to go over well with them.” Caleb Rutherford, Junior, said "that there was a great selection of music.” When students play in the HOCO games, it seems to boost their school spirit and set the tone for the HOCO FB game and Parade to follow.
Jessica Born was asked if she thought that the games boosted school spirit. She replied saying “Absolutely, the more games you play the more you show how much school spirit you have.” she also said that “The students wear their school shirts, and they play in games; and they pump everyone up.” This year was one of the first years that we had what looked like everyone dressed up in school colors and we did not have to take down any inappropriate signs.
For many students, the HOCO games are the best times of the year, but for staff, especially those who graduated from SV and are now teaching, HOCO games bring a rich tradition that all students look forward to.
Mrs. Acree said it is the “best time of the year! As someone who used to participate in them, I know I looked forward to it and now I do as a teacher as well. I think it really brings the classes together to work towards the common goal of winning the games. We often times find ourselves veering away from our classes to hang out with peers from the same sports groups, classes, or clubs, and this is a great way to bring them back together to hang out and interact with each other for one day a year at least.”
All in all, it was a great year for another great round of games. Although the Juniors won this year, we look forward to next year's competitions to see if the Juniors can win their final year under the gym lights.
Story by Logan Brisch
With the impending forecast of rain and colder temperatures, the parade was a canceled and not rescheduled. For some students, this was an awesome call as they didn't want to get sick and stand out in the cold rain during the parade. For others, mostly seniors, they were a little bummed out that their last homecoming parade was canceled.
Better luck next year!
Senior Night - Varsity Football
404 NOT FOUND - AKA this student did not do his/her homework :(
At the end of the week, the big dance is what most students look forward to. For girls, the HOCO dance is an all-day extravaganza. Between hair appointments, nail appointments, getting dressed and somehow eating before the dance starts, getting ready to the dance is almost as cumbersome as actually going to the dance.
When I walked into the dance, I thought it would be boring and something that I wouldn't want to be at. As I walked into the gym, that feeling quickly disappeared. The music was good, people were dancing, and everything was fun. Students had a lot of fun and the night went off without any major problems.
I didn't get a lot of pictures from the night, mostly because I was dancing or people kept covering their faces, but we had some great couples and groups come out to dance the night away. Mr. Scanavino also did a good job making sure that there was plenty of snacks and water for everyone and Chad Mitchell Photography had a great setup for pictures for the evening.
Story by Destiney Lynch
For many of our students, going to school is not the only priority that they have. Many of our students are active in extracurriculars and a lot of them have jobs that take them well into the night hours. Sometimes, balancing work, school, and extracurriculars is quite the task and we had the opportunity to sit down with Seniors Morgan Shields and Josie McElroy to talk to them about how they balance their busy schedules.
Morgan is a member of the Color Guard and is also currently employed at Olive Garden in Decatur. When having a part time job while going to high school, students have to schedule their time wisely. Morgan said, “Arranging school with work was hard at first because even when you have to work until 10 at night, you know you have homework due the next morning, so you have to do it which makes working dreadful.”
If working and balancing school work is so dreadful, why would one do it? Morgan’s motivation for her hard work comes from her “want to have a job and have her own money and the ability to spend it on what she wanted.” She takes great pride in not having to rely on her parents as much, and as a Senior in high school, these steps are preparing her to be a more well-rounded individual.
Another Senior, Josie, works at Von Maur in the Hickory Point Mall in Forsyth. She plays as a member of The Marching STORM and Valley Voices. Josie told us, “The hardest thing about getting a job is the process. Applying and applying and then going through the interviews are a real pain, going to the job and learning on the job is easy.”
The job search process is a difficult one, especially with every kid trying to get the same jobs with the same skills. It makes one wonder, should every student have a job? Josie responded, “I don’t think every student should have a job but I think it’s a great idea. Some people want to put all their time into studies and extra sports or activities and simply don’t have the time. But it does teach you time management and definitely prepares you for what’s coming in your life.” When applying for a job you need to think if you will be available for this job and will you be able to work.
During the summer, many kids go out and get jobs. Most kids keep those jobs through the school year, and as several students keep those jobs, they have to balance practice schedules and work schedules.
Sometimes, students have to call off work to attend important events. Senior Maddison Bournias reports, “yes, recently I had to call off of work to be able to go to band practice.” The dedication of our students is amazing (hopefully you don’t call off too often and get fired). Junior Piper Hill, an accomplished Spaghetti and Sandwich Artisan, works at La Gondola in Decatur reported that “Balancing school and work is hard I don’t get home until late and still have to study and do my homework.”
Our school may not be the biggest in size, but it is the biggest in heart. These students, and many others, give their time and big portions of their lives to this school, and they do it while exceeding expectations and proudly representing our school as great role models for our students.
Story by Maddison Bournias and Skyler Shugart