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