Sprinting to Success: Hammond Cross Country Runs!

By Sydney Phillips and Ekene Ezeh

Staff Writers

The Hammond High School Cross Country team has had another strong season after lots of hard work and team effort over the summer. The team had run counties, and finished strong this season. 

One cross country meet that really stood out to Freshman Wayne Low was the Howard County Invitationals. The Howard County Invitational took place on Saturday, September 14th, and the cross country team started their season off strong. “It was my first meet, and I saw a lot of schools there,” he said.

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Photo Creds: Coach Kim Williams

As Coach Kim reflected on what impressed her about the team this season, she said, “The improvement. We have a really young team. We don’t actually have any seniors on our team. Most of the kids we have are ninth and tenth graders. This is the first time we have had four kids in the 18 minute range and one kid in the 17 minute range.” But what impressed her even more was her team and the hard work that the runners put in over the summer. 

“We had five kids over the summer run over 400 miles,” she said, “So I think that shows where we stand because they put in the work.” To discuss next year’s team, and reflecting on all of the work the team did over the summer, Coach Kim responded saying, “I think going into next year, I think we are going to be a totally different team. I think that [work] really shows where we stand.”

Within the impressive team, there were a few runners that really stood out this season. One of the runners was Marie Pejcic. The junior received very high praise from her Coach. “She is probably going to make it states,” Coach Kim stated, “and she has the second fastest time in Hammond records.” Pejicic was able to run an impressive 20:55. The only girl to have a faster time the Pejcic was Nicole Dawson at 20:32 back in 2008. But Pejcic wasn’t the only runner that stood out to Coach Kim during the season. Freshman Mackenna Hunter was a runner who caught Coach Kim’s eye as well. Hunter was one of the most improved runners on the team “She’s done really well,” Coach Kim spoke. Coach Kim also mentioned Wayne Low. Although Coach Kim did not have her running times available, she said that both of them have dropped 5-6 minutes off of their time. 

Low said that he really likes the cross country team. “It was really fun,” he said. He is looking forward to doing cross country again, running, and pushing himself. He stated that he would like to improve his time and his scores. 

For next year, Coach Kim believes that “the varsity squad is going to work together and get even faster.” She said that she feels as if they are at a place now where they’re going to see the amount of work they have put in this season. “If they run over the summer, they are going to be able to get into the seventeens and they will probably be able to put us in place on the result charts.”

Overall, the Hammond High School Cross Country Team has had a great season, and they are looking forward to their next season!

Green Team Creates A More Eco-Friendly Hammond

By: Isabel Berry

Staff Writer

At Hammond, there are many students that work hard to clean up our school and our environment. Hammond’s Green Team is composed of students from all grades, and they strive to educate people in the community on how to be environmentally friendly. 

Green Team is led by Ms. Niland and Ms. Cotton, as well as senior Katie Marshall. Green Team is one of Hammond’s lesser known clubs, so when asked to describe it, senior Olivia Reed stated, “It’s a fun way to make friends and help the environment.” Green Team, like many Hammond clubs, seems like a great place to meet new people and do something productive in the process.

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Photo Credits: Ms. Du Puis

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Creating a Safe Space for Everyone: Hammond’s New All-Gender Restroom

By Anna Taché

Editorials Editor

It’s a new year, and Hammond has undergone lots of changes. A large freshman class, new sports coaches, and more crowding in hallways. Hammond recently introduced another change that has piqued the attention of many: a new gender-neutral bathroom. Hammond’s new “all-gender” restroom, which now replaces the former boys’ bathroom situated near Mrs. Osborne’s room, has already created a bit of controversy within the time that school has been in session. Some people believe that a gender-neutral restroom could cause issues with both boys and girls using the bathroom at the same time, while others believe that it is a necessary accommodation for nonbinary and trans students. 

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Photo Courtesy of The Bear Press

The gender-neutral restroom was originally created for nonbinary and trans students who don’t feel comfortable using bathrooms for a gender they don’t identify with. 

But to some students, that meaning has become misconstrued. Some students feel uncomfortable using that restroom, due to the fact that different genders can use the bathroom at the same time. “I think that I wouldn’t be comfortable using the bathroom because both boys and girls can use it,” says Junior Han Le. “One of my family members here at school used it, and they said it was bad.” 

Although some students aren’t very comfortable with the gender-neutral bathroom, others are very supportive of the bathroom, like Junior Iman Tura. “We have a lot of nonbinary and non-gender conforming students that go to Hammond that should have access to a bathroom that they feel comfortable using.” Another supporter of the all-gender restroom is Senior Liya Kebede. “I feel that it’ll have a positive impact on those who have been waiting for a bathroom like this, or even a space like this, where they can feel safe, and that they don’t have to double-think about which bathroom they’re quote-unquote ‘supposed’ to use,” says Kebede. Although she is supportive of the bathroom, she still worries about the treatment and use of the bathroom, stating that she “think[s]that there are some people at Hammond who may take advantage of the fact that it’s an all-gender restroom.”

Overall, many students at Hammond are supportive of the new all-gender restroom, but they still have their worries. In order for the bathroom to be used in the way that it was originally intended to be, it should be publicized more as a restroom where nonbinary and trans people can feel safe. 

The Hate U Give: Movie Review

By: Chris Parris

Staff Writer

In the Fall of 2018, moviegoers flocked to theaters in order to watch The Hate U Give. The Hate U Give, adapted from the best-selling novel of the same name, is about Starr Carter, an African American teenager who witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood friend Khalil at the hands of a [white] policeman. Amandla Stenberg (Everything, Everything) leads an all-star cast that includes KJ Apa (Riverdale), Algee Smith (Detroit), Regina Hall (Girls Trip), Sabrina Carpenter (Girl Meets World), Anthony Mackie (The Avengers Series), and Grammy Award-winning rapper Common. 

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To Trade or Not to Trade

By Ekene Ezeh 

Staff Writer

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Anthony Davis during his introductory press conference for the Lakers after demanding a trade from the Pelicans

Photo credit: Forbes

Player trades are a big part of sports. From the Hershal Walker trade in 1989, to Kobe being traded to the Lakers in 1996. Every year, fans look forward to seeing who their team has traded for. They are anxious to see how much better or worse their team has gotten, and whether or not the trade will bring them closer to a championship. But what happens to a fanbase when a star player decides to demand a trade? Athletes like Jalen Ramesy, Paul George, Anthony Davis, Antonio Brown, and others have all demanded trades and gotten their wish, which has sprung up plenty of controversy amongst the fans and the media. Is it a problem that athletes are forcing their way off teams despite being under contract? Or is it a good thing that players are taking control of their careers and making decisions that are better for their future? There are always two sides to this argument, but I believe that athletes should be allowed to demand trades.

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Changing the Code: Dress Code Changes Allow Students to Have More Freedom of Expression

By: Jenna Kreh

Staff Writer

New this year at Hammond, the dress code has been altered to require only what many would call the bare minimum, allowing students to wear almost anything they would like. Hats and hoods are now permitted, as well as any size straps on shirts and tank tops (spaghetti straps) or no straps at all (sleeveless). This new dress code is beneficial to students, as it allows for a more personal self expression and less concerns for both students and staff as to what is acceptable to be worn in the school environment.

The new dress code asks only that students wear a shirt, pants, and shoes that cover their chest, midriff, pelvic/groin area, and buttocks. This change gives students much more freedom, and it takes the pressure off of students to think about whether their outfit is school-approved. It also allows the schools’ staff to focus on other matters in the school, since less students will need to be sent home or spoken to about their clothing.

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How Old is Too Old To Go Trick-or-Treating?

By Isabel Berry and Sarah Meklir

Staff Writers

It’s the season of Halloween! Before the highly-anticipated holiday comes to pass, some ground rules need to be set. Namely, how old is too old to go trick-or-treating? Should kids stop after elementary school, middle school, high school, or can they continue through college? After they have turned thirty? What is the standard? Should these older trick-or-treaters even be permitted to venture out in search of free candy, when they are old enough to buy it for themselves? Hammond students had strong opinions on the subject. 

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Photo Credit: History of Halloween

After surveying the student body, it seemed as though the popular opinion was that trick-or-treating should be allowed for high schoolers across the board. Some even believed college students were entitled to trick-or-treat, as long as they go with their friends. Out of the high schoolers interviewed,  ¾ are going trick-or-treating tomorrow night. When asked about trick-or-treating, senior Victoria Kerry said, “I went last year, but I’m not going this year. I feel like, once you are a full-on adult, there should be no more trick or treating. Eighteen is fine, I think.” 

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Who is the Real NFL MVP?

By: Ekene Ezeh and Caleb Angus

Staff Writers

Over the years, the NFL has seen its fair share of outstanding MVPs, from Patrick Mahomes throwing 50 touchdowns, to Tom Brady going 16-0, to Peyton Manning breaking the single season touchdown record with 55. This year there are plenty of reasonable candidates for MVP, but which one will end up on top by February? Here are this year’s top MVP Candidates and why they should all be considered.

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Arrested Development is the Best Show to Ever Grace American Television: Change My Mind (But You Won’t)

By Chinaza Ezeh

Staff Writer

On the second day of November, in the year of two thousand and three, the lives of thousands of Americans and their posterity changed forever. This is because, on this day, the very first episode of the American television sitcom Arrested Development aired nationwide.

The critically-acclaimed Fox show features an ensemble cast with big names: Jason Bateman, Jessica Walters, and David Cross, to name a few. But, the name that means the most among all of them is that of the Canadian, Michael Cera.

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Michael Cera (left) getting licked by a dog. Photo Credit: Encore NI

At this point, you may be asking yourself: the reason Arrested Development is the greatest show to ever grace American television is because Michael Cera was on it?” The answer would be, yes, yes it is… and here’s how.

As aforementioned, Michael Cera is Canadian by birth. Now, anyone familiar with the geography of the earth knows that the country of Canada resides directly above the country of the United States of America. Anyone familiar with any hierarchy system knows that anyone in a position above another is deemed greater than the other, in whatever capacity. Therefore, since Michael Cera is Canadian, and since Canada is above the United States, it can be concluded that Michael Cera is better than the United States of America. Now, what kind of power does one single man who is better than an entire country hold? Great power. And what comes with great power? Great responsibility. Since Michael Cera is a fine, upstanding Canadian citizen, it is not a surprise that he has accepted such responsibility with lanky, open arms… in the form of improving the quality of life for countless Americans using the always reliable medicine: laughter.

Most of Michael Cera’s career has been composed of comedic roles, some larger than others. In fact, Michael Cera’s first ever role with lines was in a Pillsbury commercial, in which he poked the Pillsbury Doughboy, causing him to laugh. So clearly, it can be seen that Cera, even at a young age, had accepted his responsibility.

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Michael Cera (left) poking the Pillsbury Doughboy. Photo Credit: YouTube

Of course, every single one of Michael Cera’s roles is a beautiful testament to his commitment to brightening people’s lives. But, naturally, not every single one of these roles can be the “greatest thing to ever grace American television.” The factor that gives Arrested Development this title has to do with the duration of time Michael Cera has spent on the project, as well as his overall impact on it. And when it all comes down to it, Arrested Development is the project that Michael Cera has spent the most time and had the greatest impact on, as he has appeared in 84 episodes in sixteen years since the show’s premiere.

Michael Cera’s impact on any given project can be measured using what is called a “Cera-meter,” a recent device created by the most renowned scientists and mathematicians in Canada. When the Cera-meter is held up to any device playing anything that Michael Cera has worked on, it in turn produces a mC level (not to be confused with pH level) reading, indicating how deeply involved Cera was on the project. The greater the reading on the Cera-meter, the more dopamine will be released by the viewer. When the device was used to measure the mC level of Arrested Development, the readings went off the charts. When asked to share reports of these readings, scientists respectfully declined, stating that the reports contained information that detailed the production and development of the Cera-meter, which is still patent-pending after being rejected by the patent office three times, due to “absolute absurdity.” Despite this setback, scientists are determined to secure a patent, and are more than willing to release the reports once this is achieved.

There you have it: irrefutable, science-based evidence as to why Arrested Development is a gift straight from heaven (AKA, Canada). The next time someone asks you what the best show to ever grace American television is, you’ll know exactly what to say.