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
The Coffee Shop is not all about coffee and smoothies. It’s about business. A lot of hard work goes into making the coffee shop run smoothly, and Mrs. Foutch put Junior Jacey Centola as a student manager to ensure that the whole process keeps running smoothly. The coffee shop provides students with a morning boost to their day, but the coffee shop also teaches the students about how hard it is to work at a job.
The shop offers a wide-variety of products that change often with the changing year. From seasonal drinks, beef sticks, cake pops and other items, the coffee shop has what you need to get your day started off right.
The coffee shop is managed by FBLA, but you do not have to be a part of FBLA to work in the coffee shop. That means that trust plays a significant role in making the dream work: trusting employees, customers, and reliable machinery.
Trust is a big part in owning any business and the coffee shop is no different from any other business. Mrs. Foutch explains, “ I used to worry about people stealing at first, that is why there are locks on everything and a security camera, but luckily we have had wonderful students who have been trustworthy and really stepped up to ensure that the coffee shop doesn’t lose products and that the register till is correct at the end of the day.”
But business aside, working in the coffee shop is a lot of fun. Manager Jacey Centola said, “I love working in the Coffee Shop. I’ve worked in the Coffee Shop since freshman year and now I get to work there as Manager. Helping Mrs. Foutch, getting new experiences, and teaching new members to work the coffee shop has been a great experience for me and I hope that more people take to it and help out when they can. It only works if we all work together as a school.”
Each year the coffee shop keeps improving. Last year, Mr. Meadows upgraded the electrical boxes to the shop, so we don’t have to keep resetting breakers and this year there are plans to install a new water line, so we don’t have to keep refilling bottles of water. They have also added a new restocking crew that Jacey and a few others help with to ensure that the coffee shop has everything that they need to make it happen.
If you haven’t stopped by the coffee shop, stop by and help support our school and programs. Feel free to make suggestions and participate in working in the shop to help improve the coffee shop. It only works if you work it.
Story by Jessica Born, The Bolt Online Writer
Lunch: the time to socialize, eat, and catch up on homework due next hour.
Each year brings about much change, and this year's school's lunches have been quite the change. Lunch food has always had its ups and downs, from the dark days of flat small cinnamon rolls to the glory days of Salisbury Steak, students have muscled through the line in search of nourishment and nutrition.
We polled several students around the lunchroom to ask what their favorite and least favorite lunch was. The results were interesting. Salisbury steak is the most popular lunch with Country Fried Steak in a close second and Pizza in third. The rest of the results were a mixed bag of different lunches including nachos and tacos.
This year also saw the introduction of fresh salads to the menu and a redesigned salad bar, which is quite delicious if you have not had a chance to grab one.
We also collected data from students for their least favorite lunches. As far as we an tell, the least favorite lunch goes to the hot ham and cheese. Second place was the popcorn chicken bowl, and third was hamburgers.
One thing that we did find out was that no matter what the lunch was, they had a positive experience at lunch time. Almost every student that was asked reported that they enjoyed going through the lunch line and being greeted by the amazing cooks who prepare our food on a daily basis. From Mr. Viele greeting students as they enter and leave the lunch room, to the cooks getting food out fast with a smile on their faces, to Mr. Myers greeting them at the lunch counter, students reported that they enjoyed the process of going through the line and getting around to their lunch tables.
Iversen takes Lancaster on the First Playoff Hole!
What an eventful day here at The Valley as the Frolf Tournament of Champions finally found decent weather to go outside and toss the frisbee around. What is Frolf you might ask? Frolf is short for Frisbee Golf, and it has taken SV by STORM.
This year in our Tournament of Champions section, we have added Frolf to the already popular Pickleball and Badminton sports. Each class competes for a few days in class to determine who gets to play in the Tournament of Champions during Advisory. Those champions from each class face off with other champions from other hours until one student is crowned the winner with the highest honor one could bestow to a high school student, bragging rights.
This year's action saw mixed reviews from the spectators. On the one hand, spectators enjoyed coming outside and getting some fresh air, some even racing each other on the track. But, others watched by as each Frisbee disk was thrown.
Throw after throw, students battled it out for the lowest score at the end of 9 holes. With a little bit of North, North-West wind creeping in, keeping the disk on line to the hole was quite challenging for the competitors.
The following students participated in Frolf:
In the end, Michael Iversen took home top honors as the Frolf Tournament Champion and gets all of the glory that surmounts the task of being a champion.
The Germans have arrived, and this year begins a new adventure for two schools. Over the course of the next 3 weeks, German students will shadow their American counterparts and attend classes with them here at the high school.
As students walked into the assembly to welcome the Germans into our home, the band played some great tunes to get the crowd pumped up. As they introduced themselves to the school and who their American counterparts were, students clapped and cheered them on to welcome them to The Valley.
After the assembly, students lined up to get their P.E. uniforms from Coach C. as they are expected to do all activities and all things that a normal student here would do. Friday, they are taking a trip to the elementary school to help teach the elementary students how to count in German and they are talking to the little kids about their homeland.
Over the weekends that the Germans are here, they will travel to surrounding towns to do a little sight seeing as well as follow their American counterparts to practices, games, and activities around the area to take in all of the sights.
On Sunday, they are going to Six Flags St. Louis to see the city and ride some awesome rides. But, hosting a German exchange student is not all fun and games. For some households, it is a full house. Take the Centola's for instance.
The Centola triplets make a full house to begin with, and add in three exchange partners and their house just got a lot smaller. They went through an entire loaf of bread for cheese toasties in one sitting. Sierra is hosting her German Nele Tinat, Brad is hosting his German Linda Stephany and Jaci is hosting her German Aylin Serbest. So far all is going well, and we wish them and all of our host families the best of luck in the coming weeks.
The Germans had a very easy trip down to The Valley. Much different from last year. Customs was a breeze and they had no accidents with the bus this year, so they arrived well on time and were greeted by a warm reception in the high school parking lot.
When asked if they knew what their Germans looked like, Sierra replied, "We kind of knew what they looked like through Snapchat and social media, but we had only seen a class picture of them from Scan, so we all made posters to welcome them, much like you would see at an air port."
If you see a German around the building, don't be afraid to introduce yourself to them and welcome them into our school. Ask them about their home and learn about the wonderful differences that school brings across different cultures.
This year's partners are as follows:
Charlotte Balzer hosted by Julie Abel
Kira Gutorski hosted by Garrett Brickey
Linda Stephany hosted by Bradley Centola
Aylin Serbest hosted by Jacey Centola
Nele Tinat hosted by Sierra Centola
Selma Langen hosted by Dylan Conroy
Sophia Schaefer hosted by Josh Ford
Saskia Godelmann hosted by Karina Forshee
Sophia Gehrlein hosted by Madison Kokal
Amrita Shinder hosted by Mackenzie Kokal
Joris Giesecke hosted by Michael Iversen
Niclas Krummel hosted by Alex Mann
Lara Kuntz hosted by Shayla Mills
Athina Vacirtzis hosted by Makayla Moran
Leonora Metaj hosted by Ashlyn Morlock
Yves Feucht hosted by Tanner Owens
Victoria Cosima Boltz hosted by Taylor Page
Linus Schneider hosted by Caleb Rutherford
Jana Boeringer hosted by Cara Smith
Katharina Neubauer hosted by Caitlin Slifer
Marius Malthaner hosted by Jachin Wiese
Benedikt Grill hosted by Ian Young