Despite 1-10 record, girls’ basketball team hopes for success in postseason

Unlike last season, the girls’ basketball team continues on in season with losing record of 1-10.

By Maura Driscoll

INDEPENDENT EDITOR

  Unlike last season, the girls’ basketball team continues on in season with losing record of 1-10. 

  “Our results don’t reflect our efforts, because we’re working hard,” senior Kaitlin McDonagh said.

  During a Jan. 25 game, Masconomet beat the girls 63-22, though coach Lauren Dubois was “pleased” with the team’s performance, as they were able to hold Masconomet’s leading scorer to just 8 points, despite her 21 points per game average.

  In a Jan. 28 game against Triton, juniors Jelisa O’Hara and Jess Crossen each had five points and four points, respectively, and led the team in the 47-23 loss.

  The team lost 51-25 to Pentucket on Jan. 31, with seniors Jesse Taylor and Grace Gillette leading offensively with six points apiece. On Feb. 4, Wilmington too beat the team 62-30.

  “Our record is frustrating because there are some games that we could have won and because in many games the problem wasn’t that the other team was better. We just didn’t play our best,” DuBois said.

  “It’s not so much that we are losing a lot of games, but it’s just we aren’t playing as well as we can,” senior captain Rebecca Lynch agreed.

  Regardless of the team’s unfavorable record, the girls still have a chance at qualifying for the tournament.

  “Because we are Div. 4 and play 70 percent of our games above our division, we have to win 50 percent of the Div. 4 games to qualify for the tournament, which is called the Sullivan rule,” DuBois said.

  Regardless of the team’s record, DuBois continues to have an optimistic outlook on the season, and still has goals to work on.

  “I want the team to continue to improve, especially on our rebounding every game. We also need to keep working toward qualifying for the tournament,” she said.

  Five regular season games remain before playoffs begin.

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Boys’ basketball qualifies for Cape Ann League tournament, finds success in ‘working as a team’

With an overall record of 11-4 and a Cape Ann record of 8-1, the varsity boys’ basketball team has qualified for the Cape Ann tournament, which starts the week after February break.

By Nabila Mahmud

INDEPENDENT EDITOR

  With an overall record of 11-4 and a Cape Ann record of 8-1, the varsity boys’ basketball team has qualified for the Cape Ann tournament, which starts the week after February break.

  Out of the first three games, the Hornets had lost two against Georgetown High School and St. Mary’s of Lynn. The Hornets won every consecutive game afterwards except against Masconomet.

  “We started out rough because we didn’t know how to move the ball, and we lost Porter,” said junior captain Sean Nally, referring to senior captain Alex Porter, who suffered a hand injury in late December and, until mid January, was unable to play. 

  “After watching the first game that I didn’t play in, it motivated me to work on my dribbling and agility. I wanted to be able to play at the same level right when I got back,” Porter said.

  According to Nally the team “needed to learn how to play without Porter.”

  “He’s just one of the best players in the league. When he came back, though, it was a huge boost for us again. We also learned how to play better as a team,” senior captain Alex Carr said.

  Coach Duane Sigsbury agreed. “Being a team is all about stepping up to the plate when one player is down. Junior Chris Bishop did a great job stepping up for Porter during his hand injury,” he said.

  “I can’t say there are players that stand out anymore because we are so focused on working as a team,” he added.

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Maintain moisturized skin amid cold weather

With the harsh, dry, winter air gusting about, maintaining moisturized skin can be difficult but still manageable if one takes advantage of a few tips.

By Hannah Daley

INDEPENDENT EDITOR

  With the harsh, dry, winter air gusting about, maintaining moisturized skin can be difficult but still manageable if one takes advantage of a few tips.

  Preventing dry skin begins in the shower.

  Washing the skin too much with hot water washes off its natural oils, making it dry; therefore, limiting the time spent in the shower to about seven minutes and using lukewarm instead of hot water is a preventative step.

  Shaving using lotion or hair conditioner instead of shaving foam also increases the likelihood of having moisturized skin because many shaving foam chemicals suck moisture out. 

  When drying after the shower, pat yourself dry instead of rubbing because rubbing can irritate skin and remove more moisture.

  Also, be sure to apply a rich skin moisturizer immediately after taking a shower because moisturizing while the skin is still damp helps seal in water and the body’s natural oils.

  Aside from taking steps for the showering process, protecting the skin outside of the house is also crucial.

  Suite101.com recommends wearing SPF 15 sunscreen, even in the winter because the sun can damage the skin just as the summer rays can.

  Vaseline should also be applied to feet in the morning before putting on socks and leaving in order to keep them from becoming dry throughout the day.

  Along with drinking at least eight cups of water daily, eating fish can also improve dry skin because fish contains omega 3 fatty acids, which help keep skin healthy by retaining moisture.

  While these are all helpful tips, one of the best ways is to apply moisturizing lotions to the dry skin patches a few times daily.

  One should look for products that contain ingredients such as oatmeal, ceramides, hyaluronic acids, and essential fatty acids such as shea butter, olive oil, almond oil, and avocado oil.

  Avoid products that contain ethyl alcohol, and other alcohols such as cetyl, stearyl, or cetearyl.

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8th grade travel team racks up another win

Manchester-Essex’s eighth grade Hornets Basketball team has been very successful this season. The Girls face teams from nearby towns and have won most of their games.

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Students deserve three vacations free of homework, assignments

With 180 school nights—not including weekends—piled with homework, and extra homework given in most classes that drop the next day, school vacations should be the period of time in which teachers shouldn’t administer homework.

By Hannah Daley

INDEPENDENT EDITOR

  With 180 school nights—not including weekends—piled with homework, and extra homework given in most classes that drop the next day, school vacations should be the period of time in which teachers shouldn’t administer homework.

  Dictionary.com defines “vacation” as “a period of suspension of work, study, or other activity, usually used for rest, recreation or travel,” and that is exactly what a school vacation should consist of.

  If a class is behind schedule, assigning homework over vacation is understandable, but giving homework merely to keep students’ minds functioning and focused on those particular subjects is irritating.

  Just as teachers probably are stressed, students are also stressed about balancing academics, sports, extracurricular activities, and college applications.

  Doing homework on the weekends is enough of a hassle. If students can’t have two days off weekly without studying, writing papers, or completing worksheets, they deserve at least a one-week period of relaxation and fun every so often.

  Excluding Thanksgiving recess, that would be only three weeks of absolutely no homework, which is entirely reasonable.

  Not only would the lack of vacation homework be beneficial for students, it would also benefit the teachers who would otherwise have to grade even more papers upon their return.

  Often, kids complain about having to do homework over vacation because school takes up significantly more time than it should as it is.

  Students spend about six hours in class during the day just to come home and do even more work, and then free time is limited thanks to homework assigned for the weekend.

  Are nine consecutive days of relaxation too much to ask?

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Graduate competes on ‘Worst Cooks in America’

Class of 2003 graduate Jeff Longcor recently finished filming for “The Worst Cooks in America” and was eliminated due to his inadequate pork and asparagus dish.

By Molly Friedman

INDEPENDENT EDITOR

  Class of 2003 graduate Jeff Longcor recently finished filming for “The Worst Cooks in America” and was eliminated due to his inadequate pork and asparagus dish.

  When not on television, Longcor works as a senior associate for Maxymillian Technologies that performs civil and environmental construction projects. 

  Longcor, who made it through two episodes, said he “never really found the spotlight but loved surprising old friends who would turn the channel on at the right time.”

  He learned that the Food Network was in search of chefs for the show when his roommate brought it to his attention.

  In order to apply for a position, he wrote to the producers of the show, explaining how he needed to save him from himself. The e-mail also served as an apology to his family and friends who have suffered through his cooking.  

  According to Longcor, he tried out for the show as a joke, not expecting to make it onto television. His roommate accompanied him to the interview to vouch for his lack of skill, and they both captured the producers’ attention with their laid back personalities and the disastrous Mexican dish Longcor made the night before.

  Once on the show, Longcor said he was portrayed at the “quiet” and “shy” member of the group. He said it didn’t take him long to forget about the cameras, which made it easier to focus on the task at hand.

  According to chemistry teacher Keith Gray, he believes Longcor being on the show fits his personality perfectly. “He was such a fun kid and to see him on TV was so cool.”

  In New York City Longcor met the group and was surprised with the “diverse group of smart, fun, and talented participants.” Rather than turning against each other, the group came together and still keeps touch, he said.  

  Before filming, the Food Network gave the members of the show a crash course on basic cooking techniques, which Longcor was “grateful” for.

  Longcor had some prior knowledge of the culinary arts from his mother, special education teaching assistant Ginny Kiefer, who described him as “a believer that it all goes in the same place so it doesn’t matter what it looks like or what things you pile and slop together.”

  When it came to his elimination, Longcor was “disappointed” in himself because he tried to “improvise while helping others out but wasn’t ready to do so much at once.”Recalling his elimination Longcor highlighted on the fact that he was trying very hard to impress judge Robert Irvine and lost focus. Irvine commented on his lack of attention to following directions which resulted in his failure.

  “The chef thought it was overcooked, but I thought it was the best thing I’d ever eaten,” he said.

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Eight singers qualify for districts

Out of 18 students from Manchester Essex that auditioned in the Junior District Competition, eight students were selected to perform in the Massachusetts Northeastern District Junior Music Festival.

By Rebecca Lynch

INDEPENDENT EDITOR

  Out of 18 students from Manchester Essex that auditioned in the Junior District Competition, eight students were selected to perform in the Massachusetts Northeastern District Junior Music Festival.

  Middle school students Frederick Spofford (6 grade), Sarah Rhuda (7 grade), and Ariana Jackson (8 grade) will join freshmen Sofia Del Valle, Elizabeth White, Neil Henry and Alexandra Valenti in representing Manchester Essex on March 19. Freshman Noah Gilbert also qualified instrumentally for drums.

  “Given the snow days and everything, [the results] were phenomenal,” choral director Donna O’Neill said.

According to O’Neill, Junior Districts is similar to Senior Districts, except there is no sight reading component.

  Coming from Brookwood, this was Del Valle’s first chance at auditioning for Junior Districts, and she thought the experience was “a little nerve-racking.”

  This year, Valenti also tried out for Senior Districts. This is her second year qualifying for Junior Districts.

  “Senior Districts was pretty similar scoring-wise, but the audition was definitely more challenging because of the sight reading,” she said.

  This is White’s third year in qualifying and Henry’s fourth. According to Henry, his first audition was as a soprano, his second year as a tenor, and he has auditioned for the bass section for the past two years.

  According to White, preparation involved practicing at home with a recording and rehearsing in front of O’Neill.

  “Everyone gets better because we go over [the piece] a lot and share comments on what can make it better. [O’Neill] makes sure everyone is prepared enough and knows the piece thoroughly when it’s time to audition,” she said.

  Not only does the process offer choral experience outside of school, it also benefits the chorus program overall, according to Del Valle.

  “We had to learn our line of music backwards and forwards and we’ll be able to apply that in class when we learn new music,” she said.

  “The students get to work with guest conductors, and they bring a lot of enthusiasm back along with new song ideas,” O’Neill said.

  Both Valenti and White are looking forward to preparing for and performing in the Music Festival.

   “As a singer, it’s really amazing to hear all of these people who are so outstanding and genuinely interested in music,” Valenti said.

   “The concert is my favorite part because we hear all of the pieces together, and performing them after working so hard feels really rewarding,” White said.

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Senior presents on summer internship, talks about leukemia research

Senior Laurel Edington is a member of Manchester Essex Regional High School’s Authentic Science Research (ASR) class. ASR is a two-year class taught by Science Teacher Maria Burgess where students learn about what is involved in scientific research. This ranges from reading and writing scientific papers to learning the ethics of scientific research. […]

                Senior Laurel Edington is a member of Manchester Essex Regional High School’s Authentic Science Research (ASR) class. ASR is a two-year class taught by Science Teacher Maria Burgess where students learn about what is involved in scientific research. This ranges from reading and writing scientific papers to learning the ethics of scientific research. The highlight of the ASR class takes place outside of the classroom over the summer between junior and senior years; students participate in a 4 to 6 week internship in a scientific field of their choice. After their internships, students are expected to write a paper on their experiences and their research.

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In pursuit of goal, swim team beats Ipswich in recent meet with hard work and determination

Carrying a record of 1-6-1, the swim team has achieved their goal of winning a meet, with their recent meet against Ipswich, head coach Katie Garvin said.

By Piper Browne

INDEPENDENT STAFF

  Carrying a record of 1-6-1, the swim team has achieved their goal of winning a meet, with their recent meet against Ipswich, head coach Katie Garvin said.

  “It was a really satisfying meet because we have lost to not only Ipswich in the past, but every other team for the last three years. Winning was an amazing feeling,” senior captain Nick Bouwer said.

  According to Bouwer, the key swimmers in their meet against Ipswich were senior captains Matt and Nick Bouwer and Maddy Huleatt and sophomore Dustin Ferzacca.

  According to Garvin, the meet against North Reading, which they tied, was one of their best meets this season. “The meet was back and forth the whole times in terms of the score, and our kids worked ridiculously hard from start to finish with amazing attitudes and support for each other,” she said.

  “We were really proud of the kids for the tie,” Garvin said.

  “Our tie against North Reading was huge, and our intensity and want for the win definitely came out in our meet against Ipswich,” Huleatt said.

  The key swimmers this year have been Ferzacca, sophomore Alex Walder, the Bouwers and Huleatt, according to Garvin.

  There have also been multiple swimmers who have really improved and stepped up their game this year including, freshman Michael Phelan, sophomores Ellie Mortillaro and Alex Shepard, and seventh-grader Nathaniel Rautio, Garvin said.

  “I’m really impressed with our team this season,” Huleatt said. “Katie and Reeve have been doing a tremendous job at improving our team and making us more competitive. Everyone’s been working really hard and contributing to the team effort.”

  According to Garvin, their toughest meet in terms of the competition was either Hamilton-Wenham or Lynnfield. “Both teams are very strong. Though Hamilton-Wenham has a stronger group of girls, they were both very tough to compete against,” Garvin said

  Last Sunday, February 6, the varsity team competed in the Cape Ann League championships.

  Although the team, as a whole, does not yet know how they finished, nearly everyone stepped up and beat their personal records, according to Huleatt. Walder also won the diving competition by a huge margin.

  “It was a great way to end the season, and we all look forward to seeing how Alex and the others perform in the upcoming sectionals and states,” Huleatt said.

  Along with the CAL championships, Ferzacca, Walder, and the Bouwers will be competing in the Boys’ Sectionals meet on February 12. at MIT. Walder will be diving in that meet along with the Boys’ North State meet the following weekend.

  “Our team has come a long way this year, and our coaches have been really good at pushing everybody to do their personal best. I was really happy when we tied, and even happier when we beat Ipswich,” Matt Bouwer said.

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Anatomy students explore structure, function of donated cow bones

Cow bones, recently donated from Henry’s Market, extended the learning of the combined honors and CP anatomy class, according to high school science teacher, Dr. Maria Burgess.

By Ellen Burgess

INDEPENDENT STAFF

  Cow bones, recently donated from Henry’s Market, extended the learning of the combined honors and CP anatomy class, according to high school science teacher, Dr. Maria Burgess.

  Henry’s Market, located in Beverly, has donated various animal parts regularly to the anatomy class for the past few years.

  According to Burgess, this year Henry’s Market donated two legs of a cow, including the hip, femur, and lower legs. Henry’s Market cut the parts a specific way in order for students to be able to see the inside of the bones.

  “It takes time to cut the parts like Henry’s Market cut them. It was very nice of them to do,” senior Danny Munn said.

  “They got to actually touch and see the fresh bone instead of looking at a picture in the book or using a plastic model. Students got to feel and touch fresh marrow, see the blood supply, observe the small passage ways that carry nerve and blood vessels into the bone. They also saw fresh cartilage and observed tendons and ligaments in the knee,” Burgess said.

  “[The cow legs had] very fresh tissue. That was key,” she said.

  Students enjoyed working with the cow legs for the first time.

  “We had a lot of fun with the bone marrow. It was really squishy. None of us were expecting it to feel like that,” senior Grace Gillette said.

  “We got the bones and were just allowed to go and do whatever we wanted with them. It was really fun,” she said.

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