May 2019








MAY 10, 2019

The Inside

Scoop on



volume 60, issue 9

Abigail Milovancevic + @mwwesterner

2 news/westerner

esteemed editors





Capturing two national awards, three state first places, and numerous

regional honors, Westerner editors have been honored for their work in

providing students with the latest information on not only school events,

but global issues as well.

From news articles to editorials to cartoons, the newspaper staff continues

to raise the bar.

“We reached out to many different sources so seeing all of our hard

work receive recognition makes me really proud of what I did for the

issue. Even without an award, I feel lucky to have worked with so many

awesome editors this year!” senior editor-in-chief Kara Dempsey said.

In a national writing competition sponsored by Quill and Scroll National

Honor Society, which has been supporting work done by student

journalists from around the world for 93 years, senior editor-in-chief

Amaan Siddiqui won a Gold Key, the national first place award, for his

outstanding writing investigating whether coaches using positive reinforcement

or harsh punishments works to motivate athletes.

Senior news editor Davis Parks also won a Gold Key award in news

writing for his reporting covering the widespread controversy over the

Warrior mascot at Maine West and the ultimate choice to end the tradition

of the dancing, costumed mascot. “The sleepless nights I spent researching

this topic helped me learn the value of journalism. It’s through

journalism that lots of injustices (intentional and not) are revealed. Now

obviously, I’m not Bob Woodward exposing the Watergate scandal,

but being able to shed light on the elements of the warrior controversy

taught me the importance of what we, journalists, do,” Parks said, who

won the award for his piece “Burial of the Warrior.¨

Siddiqui, who won for “Mind Games,” said “It was definitely one of

the more interesting articles I have ever written. I got into the minds of

coaches, players, and academia to see how they viewed different coaching

tactics. As with most things in life, it turns out that a balance is key to

be a good coach. You need to be firm, but remain positive to keep your

players both focused and happy.¨

At the National Scholastic Press Association’s national convention,

senior art editor Zac Abero was one of the top five finalists in the “Cartoon

of the Year” category for his cartoon “Overloaded.” Abero crafted

this cartoon to complement an article that focused on the overload students

received in terms of schoolwork.

From the Illinois Women’s Press Association statewide competition,

an organization that supports both men and women in the media, senior

opinions editor Monroe Torkelson, junior features editor Sarah Smail,

and senior assistant in-depth editor Ivonne Sanchez were recognized

with first place in their respective categories for articles this year. .

Torkelson wrote the editorial “Opinion not Heard,” Smail wrote

“Amplifying Noise,” and Sanchez wrote “Countries Promote a Bigger


In addition, senior in-depth editor Daniel Daood was recognized for

second place for design, and senior news editor Ashley Dwy received an

honorable mention.

At the Northern Illinois School Press Association’s competition, Blue

Ribbon awards went to Smail for feature writing, Torkelson for editorial

writing, and senior photo editor Nina Palmer for photography.

For team in-depth writing, the NISPA blue ribbon went to seniors

Dempsey, Siddiqui, Leo Galindo-Frias, Parks, Dwy, Abero, Sanchez,

Daood, Reilly Olson, Sarah Lane, Maraya Adams, Patrick Asztabski,

Palmer and Torkelson, juniors Malaika Zaidi, Abigail Milovancevic,

Suzy Linek, Alexis Huerta and Smail, and sophomore Hana Dempsey.

Abero and Daood also won an honorable mention for graphics.


Before being able to experience

the true freedom

of summer, students

must face one last trial to

wrap up the school year:

finals. Drowning with responsibilities

and a busy

schedule, seniors aren’t

required to take finals this

year, and AP students are

also allowed to opt out

of their AP course finals.

However, some teachers

are quietly making their

final summatives mandatory,

even if they aren’t

called “finals.”

Philip Sumida, AP

physics C teacher, takes a

positive stance on senior

finals, viewing them as

an opportunity for improvement.

Finals are “a

chance for students who


With the end of the school year in

sight, seniors are preparing for graduation

on May 19 at the Rosemont Theater at

11 a.m. In the past, seniors prepared for

graduation by choosing a walking partner

and creating a fun handshake to do on

stage, but this year these traditions have

been changed.

Seniors are now assigned their walking

partner alphabetically and are not allowed

to create a handshake. “We have

been advised to align the time frame of

our graduation ceremony with the other

two district high schools, which means

we must reduce the length of time the

ceremony typically runs,” read a letter

sent by the Maine West administration.

This change has caused mixed feelings,

as some seniors were looking forward

to sharing this big moment with

their friends. “Since freshman year, I

knew who I wanted to walk with. When

they announced that we couldn’t pick, I

was disappointed,” senior Vanessa Campos


On the other hand, some admire

how everyone will feel included in the

ceremony, as inclusivity was one of the

driving factors in the change. Although

senior Madison Kallio is “annoyed with

finally free

wanted one more shot at

improving their second

semester grade to do so,”

Sumida said. He does acknowledge,

though, that

senior finals prove to be

“a burden for students and

teachers. [Seniors] generally

have so many other

items to worry about at

that time that these exams

get very little attention.”

Seniors Pavani Jairam

and Ashna Thomas feel

similarly. Jairam believes

that AP exams prove to

be a “reflection of our

understanding of the material,”

making finals for

AP classes “redundant and

unnecessary.” Jairam, already

on a tight schedule

with graduation events

approaching, would like

May 10, 2019

to “enjoy [her] final days

in high school, with less


Thomas, too, likes that

senior finals are now optional,

seeing it as a “good

decision.” She also believes

that the senior class

“should be able to end

[their] high school career

with excitement, and not


With motivation and

the school year reaching

an end, both students

and teachers would like

to minimize stress and

craziness. Senior Madison

Kallio says that without

finals, seniors “have more

fun with the end of the

year [events]” such as the

senior BBQ, graduation,

and prom night.








how many changes there have been for

seniors this year,” she said, “someone that

I danced with a few years ago didn’t go to

her graduation because she didn’t have a

partner to walk with. Now, everyone will

get to experience graduation.”

The administrative staff also decided

to make room in the ceremony for more

seniors to give speeches, unlike in the past

when only Maine Scholars spoke. “There

are a lot of people who have valuable stories

to share with the graduating class,”

assistant principal John Aldworth said.

The graduation ceremony isn’t the

only thing being changed. The Senior

Honors Assembly—usually held during

the school day and attended by all students—will

now take place on May 15 at

7 p.m. in the auditorium.

Some students and families like how

more families will be able to attend without

having to miss work, but they also

feel their achievements aren’t getting the

school-wide recognition given to past

graduates. Although parents don’t have to

take time off of work to attend the assembly,

many students do. “I find it annoying

that I have to take time off of work to be

there and receive an award that I worked

for,” Campos said.

may 10, 2019 westerner/news 3

A Prom of

their Own






Next school year will mark the

third year in a row with a different

schedule at Maine West.

The 2019-2020 schedule has every

school day starting at 8:20 a.m and ending

at 3:19 p.m.

This means there will be no late arrival

days for students. Morning office

hours will be extended slightly, giving

teachers more time to help students.

The later start time allows students

to get more rest. “I’ll probably arrive a

little bit later,” said Ronin Nordheimer, a

freshman who hopes to get the most possible

sleep out of the later start.

Another change is that block days

will be moved to Wednesdays and Thursdays.

“This change is much better. I don’t

like having the block on Tuesday when

there’s no school on Monday,” sophomore

Emma Halverson said.

Block days will still be split into odd

and even periods like this year. However,

the periods will be rearranged so that the

lunch periods bookend the day: Wednesday’s

schedule will be ordered as 3, 1, 7

then 5; Thursday’s will be ordered as 4,

2, 8 then 6. Sophomores, juniors, and

seniors will have the option to arrive late

if the block day starts with their lunch

period or leave early if the block day ends

with their lunch period.

The most controversial part of the

schedule among students appears to be

the removal of late arrival. “It’s beneficial

for kids to catch up on sleep during late

Dancing with friends and singing along to today’s hits, students had the chance to celebrate

with their friends in a supportive environment at their own Life Skills Prom, held on April

26 in the cafeteria.

The prom was an “opportunity for the kids in the Life Skills program from throughout the entire

district to be able to have their own prom catered to them,” according to Shamoon Ebrahimi, the

Sophomore Class Council sponsor.

Selecting the theme “Masquerade,” the Sophomore Class Council was in charge of setting up and

hosting the dance, along with some help from the Freshman Class Council, which included getting

everyone out on the dance floor. “It’s a very fun atmosphere. If you’ve ever seen the kids walking

around, you can tell they have so much energy,” class council representative Marissa Parcell said.

Junior Taylor Anama was most excited for dancing and “having fun with all the special education

programs,” while hoping to hear “The Cha Cha Slide.” Another junior, Urvilkumar

Patel, said he also was excited for dancing and his favorite dance move: “hitting

the folks.”

The Life Skills Prom was a great chance for students

in Life Skills to enjoy prom with their

friends and any needed accommodations.


asst. news editor

Third time’s

the charm

arrivals,” said junior Rylan Turner, who

would prefer to keep one late arrival day

instead of every day starting 15 minutes

later than now.

The late arrival day was removed so

the school could have one consistent start

time throughout the week. That way,

parents don’t have to make exceptions

for dropping off on Thursday mornings.

The later start time will actually give

students an extra 35 minutes to sleep in

throughout the week. The idea is that

students will have the same amount of

sleep, if not more, but distributed evenly

between the days of the week instead of

on one late arrival day. Even with this

change, some kids will keep their routine.

“I’m still probably going to arrive at

the same time,” Turner said.

The latest revision of the schedule

means that District 207 will officially be

keeping the hybrid 8 period schedule for

2020-2021 instead of the possibility of

going back to the 9-period schedule West

had in 2017-18. “I was a big fan of the

9-period day,” English teacher Charles

Gray said, “because it allowed more flexibility

in students’ schedules to be TAs or

take electives. However, the 8 period day

does allow more class time. When you

look at it overall, it gives kids more time

to start homework in class,” said Gray.

Next year’s schedule is bound impact

nearly every aspect of the school’s learning

environment, and the adaptation will

not come overnight.








After a year’s worth of hard work and competitions, two

DECA members competed at nationals in Orlando,

April 27 to May 1. Sophomore Bailey Saunders was a

top 20 finalist in the Business Growth Plan Event.

Saunders was “not expecting to place mainly because I am

only a sophomore, rather than a DECA member with more

experience,” Saunders said.

To get to nationals, DECA members had to place in the

top three at the state competition. Senior Clara Cupuro qualified

for nationals for the second year in a row.

For Saunders to place in the top 20, “it is an amazing

accomplishment,” DECA sponsor Kristin Mazanowski said.

“Maine West has not had a national finalist since 2014-15

school year, so we’re very proud of her, and she’s only a sophomore.”

DECA is an international organization and businessbased

club that prepares students for different fields of business.

At regional, state, and national competitions, students

were asked to come up with and solve their own business

problems, such as marketing campaigns.

At state, students were presented with a scenario and had

10 minutes to determine what they might do to solve it. They

then presented their ideas to the judges. The members also

wrote a 20-30 page paper on a topic they chose from a variety

of options and created a powerpoint presentation about the

same topic.

Although DECA nationals is based around presenting and

competing at the actual competition, it is also about having

fun and meeting new people. The opening session on April

27, the first night at nationals, was a very fun experience for

the members. “There are about 10,000 to 15,000 students

who are there and they always have, for example, Blue Man

Group, as the opening performance,” Mazanowski said. Mazanowski,

Cupuro and Saunders also went to special events at

Disney World and Universal Studios as part of their convention


4 features/westerner


asst. features editor

pride prevails

May 10, 2019


fun in the sun




With many cultural and religious celebrations dating back

hundreds or thousands of years, there can be debate

about the origins of certain holidays. Saint Patrick’s

Day, originally a Catholic holiday, eventually became

a celebration of all things Irish, but many think it has

now turned into an excuse to get dye a river green and

drink alcohol. Some people think of Cinco de Mayo in

the same way, but perhaps they just don’t understand

the essence of the holiday.

Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of Mexican pride,

especially for Americans who trace their ancestors

back to Mexico. “It’s a celebration of the Mexican

victory at the Battle of Puebla,” junior George Espinoza

said. “Outnumbered and out matched, the

Mexican army managed a decisive victory, raising

morale and slowing the French advancement.”

The holiday is remembered mostly as a celebration

of Mexican honor, reminding us that even when

our backs are against the wall, anything is possible. “In

the present day, it has become more of a U.S. holiday in

which Mexican culture and heritage is honored, with many

Mexican restaurants decorating and hosting events to celebrate,”

junior Willy Vargas said.

But, with so many restaurants celebrating it without stating the history,

the true meaning is sometimes forgotten. However, this doesn’t

mean it’s completely gone. While not all people of

Mexican heritage celebrate this holiday, those who

celebrate do because of its importance. “Most don’t

celebrate, but my family chooses to because we think

it reminds us of a valuable life lesson: you can always

prevail, even when all seems lost,” sophomore Roberto

Villalobos said.

Everyone who celebrates it agrees on one thing:

spending time with family is key to remembering why

you’re there. “We invite family over and make our favorite

Hispanic dishes, like tamales, enchiladas, and

many more. It’s just a great time during the evening,

spending some time with my favorite people and

eating my favorite foods,” freshman Alexis Delgado


In essence, spending time with family reminds

people of where they come from, as well as who

will always have their backs in the end. “Those who

truly celebrate it know the entire history behind

the date and why it’s so important. These people tend

to be Mexicans who have heard the story passed down

from generation to generation, keeping the culture alive

KIRA PALMER through our family unity,” Vargas said.

Many students get through these last two weeks by keeping

their head above their pile of work and hoping for the light at the

end of the tunnel: summer break. In films and novels, summer vacation

represents two months of free time and endless adventures.

Most teens, however, face the obstacle of their limited budgets,

so they find ways to spend their time without emptying out their

wallets. Searching for activities requires creativity, but it can be

done, and the results are just as great.

Visiting Chicago is one way to maximize the time, and it can be

done with as little as a Ventra card for the Blue Line CTA and $20.

Many museums and attractions offer student discounts that can be

taken advantage of, such as the Chicago Art Institute, which offers

$16 admission for students. Ohio Street, Oak Street, and North

Avenue beaches fill the lakefront running north of Navy Pier, and

they are free of charge and equally as fun. Closer to Des Plaines,

straight down Touhy Avenue to where it ends at Lake Michigan,

Loyola Beach has a park and wide expanse of sand.

Simply walking around in Chicago can be a fun experience.

“Being able to get down there and explore is one of the best things

you can do for free,” senior Zac Abero said. “The street musicians,

cool architecture, and ease of navigation makes for a really interesting

adventure.” By downloading WTTW’s (PBS) “Chicago Loop

app,” you’ll get an audio guide and walking tour to the buildings,

architecture, art, history and notorious people of Chicago.

Chicago also has many parks to offer, such as the Pritzker Pavilion,

Millenium Park, and Maggie Daley Park, that are waiting

to be explored. “Millenium Park is a great place to enjoy a summer

afternoon,” teacher Gwynne Ryan said.

Chicago isn’t the only nearby city that offers interesting diversions.

Rosemont, for example, is home to Wolff’s Flea Market at

Allstate Arena. Admission is only $2 and shoppers can browse

through a multitude of interesting items. “It’s a really interesting

place to wander about, and there are some

gems hiding if you have the ability to haggle

for them,” Abero said.

If you have access to a skateboard

or bike, skating and biking are

also good summer activities

with relatively low costs. “My

favorite activity in the summer

is biking,” Ryan said. “It fills

time, gives you exercise, and it’s

fun!” River Trails is a one of the

many great local options for bike

enthusiasts, and Prairie Lakes has a

large entry level park for skateboard enthusiasts.

“There are a lot of small dirt jumps and

fun trails to ride on,” Abero said.

When you’re not occupied with

work or summer school, hanging

out with friends doesn’t cost you a

single dime. “One of my favorite

things to do over the summer is

take drives with my friends,” senior

Daniela Jaramillo said. “It’s

fun to just see where we end up

and hang out together.”

Another cheap way to

spend time with friends is

to have a bonfire. “You get to

connect with friends and eat s’mores,” sophomore

Haley Becker said. Many times, it’s not necessary to have

money to have fun. There are plenty of cheap, fun summer activities

waiting for students once they leave the school doors.


May 10, 2019 westerner/features 5






Though the process of searching

for a summer job can seem scary,

it’s actually a fairly straightforward


West’s college and career counselor

Kayla Hansen provided a step

by step list of what to do. First, look

online for openings if it’s a big company,

but if it’s a small one, then stop

by the location and ask for an application.

Then, complete the application

and return it to the company.

After that, it usually takes about 5-7







business days for the

company to reach out.

If by any chance you

don’t hear back from them, Hansen

recommends either stopping in or

calling the location, expressing interest,

and politely asking to speak with

the manager about the time line for


The next step is scheduling an

interview, for which Hansen advised

to dress professionally and arrive

15 minutes early. At the end of the

interview, Hansen suggested asking

questions relating to things like how

many people are on the team, what

the hours will look like, and when

you will hear back.

To prepare for an interview,

Hansen offers mock interview sessions.

“Students can come in during

a free period, and we just run

through the questions. I give a ton of

feedback, and we try it again. Sometimes,

students mock interview me



to hear what their answers should be

like,” Hansen said.

Sophomore Claudine Bellot,

who is applying at Oberweis said,

“the application is pretty simple.”

She went online and filled out the

application that asked for her basic

information, previous work experience,

and references. Since she was

familiar with the area, she was aware

of their opening, and although no

interview has been set up, Bellot

added there weren’t any specific requirements

to be hired.

Shelli Sarg, the facilities manager

of Prairie Lakes, explains another

way of obtaining a summer job. “We

have flyers with all of our positions,

and they’re listed on Applitrack. We

also have supervisors go to multiple

high schools and community colleges,”

she said. Available jobs range

from lifeguards to camp counselors

to working concessions.

Hansen talked about the other

One lifeguard, senior Simon Grimm, recounted a time when he was guarding the drop slides at Mystic Waters. “I had only

made like two or three saves beforehand, so I was still a new guard,” Grimm said. “This guy, he was older than I was, probably

18, and I was 16 at the time. I figured he probably knew what he was doing. He jumped off the smaller of the two diving

boards. He gets to the surface of the water and he was just splashing a ton. It was probably the most obvious save I’d made

yet. I blow my whistle, I jump in, and one of his friends decides it would be a good idea to try and save him. My friend lays

down and reaches his arm over the edge and grabs the guy from the pool. He was on solid ground and just holding the guy

there, and I think to myself: ‘where are you planning to go from here?’ I got my tube over and made my rescue.” Initially,

Grimm felt shocked and a little embarrassed for the young man he saved. The jump in the cool water also offered some relief

from the heat of the 80-degree day, but made for a cold evening as Grimm was still soaked for the rest of the shift.

ways Maine West can help students

looking for a job. “Students can meet

with me, and I have a list of employers

looking to hire. We also have a

lot of different events throughout

the year to get these jobs promoted

at school and have the companies

come to you.” These events included

the Job Fair, where approximately

28 companies came to Maine West

to talk to students about what they

have to offer. Hiring events also

happen throughout the year, where

companies come to Maine West and

students are interviewed on the spot

if they are interested.

Although applying for a job can

be nerve wracking, there’s nothing

to be afraid of. “Don’t be nervous;

employers want to talk to you. Even

if you’ve never had this experience

before, it’s important to put your

best face forward and try to be confident.

Be as professional as possible,

and try a little harder,” Hansen said.

Getting a flexible schedule, great tan, and the opportunity to work alongside friends

in the warm weather makes life guarding a popular summer gig. In the case of many

lifeguards, their training can be put to the ultimate test. From difficult saves to unpleasant

pool encounters, some lifeguards have stories that they’ll never forget.

Sophomore Darcy Buchaniec remembers the gruesome story of an unfortunate day at

Chippewa Pool last summer. A young girl had cut her foot on the side of the pool, leaving

a trail of blood across the entire pool deck. While she was getting bandaged in the manager’s

office, Buchaniec bleached the pool deck in order to clean up the blood. “You have

to pump [the bleach dispenser] while you’re spraying it, and I didn’t know how to do it.

The manager was kind of busy wrapping her foot, and I’m like ‘How do you work the

bleach’?” Buchaniec said. Along with one of her coworkers, Buchaniec had to bleach the

whole deck and pour water to rinse it. “There was just blood everywhere,” Buchaniec said.

Senior Jennifer Rocha also recalls a traumatizing experience from lifeguarding at Mystic Waters two years ago. About to go on

break, Rocha had heard a whistle. “It was my manager running towards the little kids’ play area. Seeing him run signaled me to do

the same,” Rocha said, “A child had cracked his forehead open and had blood gushing down his face.” As the boy’s mother ran

over, Rocha held gauze onto his head. “I could hear an ambulance in the background and a bunch of concerned parents,” Rocha

said. She tried to distract the child with a few questions, asking him his favorite color and his age. “He wouldn’t stop crying and

my arm was cramping up from holding the gauze down,” Rocha said. Finally, the ambulance arrived, and, to Rocha’s horror,

the paramedic peeled away the gauze and revealed blood and white bone. “After all that, I had to go back to lifeguarding, and

I was definitely traumatized,” Rocha said. After the incident, she felt uneasy and worried that something else could go wrong.

But the day left Rocha with a renewed sense of pride because she now knew how to handle an intense situation. “That day made

me extra cautious of checking the whole park for any people that might be hidden and hurt,” Rocha said.

Senior Claire Faust recalls a stressful time on a stormy day. On a hot evening during a double shift, a family had rented the

pool out for a party. With rain on the forecast, the guards were hoping that the storm would give them the chance to go home

early. “Our manager said that closures when there are rentals are very rare so [we] weren’t exactly expecting it after that,” Faust

said. Soon the clouds began to roll in, and the lifeguards were still hopeful despite their manager’s doubts. The pool filled

with joyful kids and their beach balls as the downpour of rain began. The sky grew nearly black in the thundering rain, but

without lightning the pool remained open. “The rain was really refreshing after seven hours in the hot sun, but it was still

stressful,” Faust said. She said watching the kids became even more strenuous when her “eyeballs were being assaulted by rainwater

and kids were throwing things”. Despite the eventful evening Faust kept an optimistic outlook: “A job’s a job, you know?”



6 in-depth/westerner


3 posts 2,300

Maine West Media




old neighborhoods, faraway cousins,

teammates from sports leagues,


or older friends and siblings away at college,

Instagram can help overcome the distance

Of the many online social media platforms,

and maintain those connections. “I’ve moved a

Instagram has become one of the most popular

lot, so I have made a lot of new friends,” junior

among teens. With the number of users on the

Jessica Steingard said. “Instagram helps me keep

site constantly growing, one might ask: What

in contact with a lot of people that I don’t talk to

kind of influence does Instagram have on teens?

much anymore.”

Just as teens have contributed to a vast body of

Instagram is also a great way for teens to keep

content on Instagram, Instagram is changing the

up with the constantly changing trends and news

way teens are seeing themselves and the world.

in our fast-paced society. “I really like an actress

It’s no wonder that so many people are choosing

to use Instagram. Users can post pictures,

named Barrett Wilbert Reed,” junior Lacey Argus

said. “I follow her because she posts a lot of things

videos, polls, and live stream in just a few simple

about politics, and it helps me understand more

taps. By doing so, many people have become almost

like celebrities, gaining thousands or even

and be more aware of politics, especially female


millions of followers.

However, for any users who are not interested

Junior Lauren

in posting pictures for all to see, it’s common for

Sobjack has gained a

students to create “Finsta” accounts. These are

sizeable following, “I

accounts for posting anything from selfies with

make a lot of posts,

your dog to rants about how hard that math test

keep my account updated,

and reach out

was, and the best thing about it is that the account

is only for friends to follow.

to different people,”

What is really special about Instagram is that

Sobjack said, who

it grants its users the ability to be whomever they

currently boasts over

want to be. In a world where bullying and putting

others down is fairly common, Instagram is

2,000 followers. It’s

not uncommon to

a place where anyone can show the side of themselves

they’re most proud of and find a commu-

see pictures of fun and exotic places on social media.

Instagram, which is known mostly for being

nity of people where they fit in best with a simple

a place for people to post aesthetic pictures, can

hashtag. While this means Instagram accounts

give some teens a nudge to see places they may

may not be completely truthful, it gives users a

not have otherwise visited, and it provides a great

chance to forget about any perceived shortcomings

and be who they want to be. “I feel like every

way to save vacation memories and share them

with your friends and family. “I like going to the

account is unique to the individual because it’s

beach, and when I go on vacation I take pictures

what they are putting out in the world and what

every day and then decide which ones I want to

they want to show,” Argus said.

post,” Sobjack said.

Whether to keep in touch with friends from





TikTok is a relatively new

social media app that lets users

post short videos of themselves

with an audio clip, that’s

up to 15 seconds long. Users

can make duets, adding on to

someone else’s original clip

with their own.

While hugely popular, TikTok has already generated

global controversy.

On April 3 of this year, a high court in India

banned TikTok from being downloaded in India

from the App Store and Google Play Store by new

users citing concerns that the app exposes children

to sexual predators and pornographic content. That

meant that 1.3 billion people -- or almost 20 percent

of the global population -- were banned from

accessing it. After promises of enhancing safety for

users, TikTok was reintroduced on April 24.

The app has been downloaded 80 million times

in the US alone and over 800 million times worldwide,

according to mobile app researcher Sensor

Tower. Helping grow this user count was the

merging with in August. This brought

over millions of new users to the app helping ush

its popularity.

A major part of TikToks’ appeal is that you can

work on a video with a friend. Particularly, senior

Daniel Daood films duets with his friends during

orchesis rehearsals, at practices, and while hanging

out, “They’re funny. I think the best part is seeing

your friends make these entertaining videos and it’s

y 10, 2019






1 following



not too serious,” Daood said. “As more people have

started to do it, people have seen that they’re

fun to make.”

Popular trends almost seem to reinvent

themselves once a video is featured. Numerous

other users remake it, usually with their own

twist. “Other people in the community influence

me; I see what’s trending and I try it out.

I go through old videos and see if I can add

funny music to it to make something cool out

of it,” Costa Paschos, a user with over 1,000

followers, said.

Michael Tran, an avid user who has amassed

over 42 thousand likes, shares his strategy: “I just

copy whatever trend is going on. It works all the

time; that’s basically what TikTok is. Coming up

with original ideas is very hard; not many people

have them.”

In a time where posts on Instagram or Snapchat

are expected to meet a certain standard of quality,

TikTok’s relaxed nature is a breath of fresh air. “[I

like that] it doesn’t take too much thought. You

don’t have to be super serious; most videos are 12

to 15 seconds long so it doesn’t take much effort

to come up with an idea. They’re simple and not

overcomplicated,” Daood said.

For others, the upside comes with the creative

freedom the app allows for. The option of music

and lip-syncing or acting out lyrics empowers users

to be inventive. “It’s not just a still picture, it’s a

video clip that you can edit, and there are thousands

of videos like it,” Paschos said.

Although the fun of creating them is enough

for most people, the result of seeing positive feedback

is gratifying for others. “If I put a smile on

one person’s face through a video, make someone’s

day better or give them laugh, I feel good,” Paschos




assist. editor

About 15 years ago, long-time friends Chad

Hurley and Steve Chen came across what they

believed to be a million dollar idea. The two

former PayPal employees dreamt of creating

a glorious online dating website where people

could upload videos to advertise themselves as

prospective lovers -- that concept of a dating

website would evolve into what is now known

as YouTube.

As it turns out, it wasn’t a million dollar idea

- it was deemed by Google to be a $1.65 billion

idea when they bought the website in November

2006. From humble beginnings showing a

video shot at the San Diego Zoo, YouTube has

developed from a failed dating site to become a

worldwide phenomenon where any assortment

of people can post videos about any assortment

of topics.

One of YouTube’s most significant marks

on the modern era is the way it has revolutionized

the spread of information. Do you want to

know what a black hole is? Watch a video on

Youtube. Do you want to hear about how the

Australians lost a war to emus? Watch a video

on YouTube.

As senior Samiha Ashraf puts it, “If you ever

need to learn something

or figure out

how it works, you

can always find what

you need on You-

Tube.” The availability

of this information

to the public is

magnified by people

ranging from college

professors at MIT posting lectures

to Michelin Star chefs posting cooking

tutorials for otherwise ramen-dependent

college kids. The fact that YouTube is only

a few keystrokes away serves to widen the sphere

of influence these sorts of videos have on people,

and despite being usually informative and helpful,

many of them perpetuate false conspiracies

and rumors. Thus, it’s essential to be mindful of

how and where information is gained.

From the lives of Casey Neistat and the infamous

Paul brothers, there is no denying that

the rise of YouTube coincides with the meteoric

rise of video blogs or “vlogs.” These vloggers post

videos of their daily lives for others to enjoy.

Senior Daniela Jaramillo, who regularly vlogs,

encapsulates one of the strongest reasons people

post on YouTube: “I want to remember all the

crazy stuff I do with my friends and then when

the time comes, I can show the videos to my kids

too.” Jaramillo goes on to elaborate. “The thing

about the internet, though, is that when you post

something on there, it stays there forever.”

Although the generally happy-go-lucky nature

of these videos helps preserve memories and

spread joy in other people’s lives, the availability

of these videos to the public has a compounding

effect on any slip-ups and mistakes. Senior Madison

Kallio articulates the struggles of being on

camera. “I have to try to watch what I’m saying

on camera, it’s easy to upset people, and I have

to try to avoid that.” The difficulty of maintaining

the balancing act between being entertaining

and offensive is something all three seniors

agreed upon, and Jaramillo pointed out: “There’s

always a dislike button.”

8 opinions/westerner


May 10, 2019

A Walk Down Memory Lane



Brotherly Love


Proposed by U.S. Congressmen

Frank Horton and

Norman Y. Mineta, the first

ten days of May have become

Asian-Pacific Islander heritage

month, commemorating both

the first Japanese-American

immigrants and the anniversary

of the transcontinental


In the years after President

Jimmy Carter officially signed

the resolution into effect

on October 5, 1978, Asian-

Americans have become the

fastest growing minority and

immigrant group in America,

with more than 20 million

people across the country.

Likewise, Maine West has

a considerable number of

Asian-American students,

who make up 11% of the

student population. As the

heritage month approaches,

it is important for us, the

Asian-Americans of Maine

West, to look back at our

heritage and culture.

Like many of you, my

parents immigrated from

Asia, specifically Vietnam,

to seek a better life and to escape

poverty and war. Many

of us have taken our lives for

granted, as we usually don’t

realize the hardships our

parents had gone through

to give us these better opportunities.

From overcoming

language barriers

This school year my life has been a living nightmare, and

only one person is to blame. My brother. Many would assume

that seeing a familiar face at school would be comforting.

However, you can only see a person so much before they

drive you insane. Having a sibling

at school may seem fun, but the feeling

quickly deteriorates into a never ending tugof-war.

It’s about as fun as getting slapped in the

face with a cactus. Now you’re stuck with someone

who knows everything about you. Someone who sees

you when your friends don’t. Someone who can ruin

your life with the smallest mention of embarrassing

stories or unknown secrets.

The best part is when conflicts from home spillover

to school. An angry glance in the hallway, a

silent car ride to and from school. Sibling relationships

are two-sided, so if one is upset, the other is



too. What’s worse is when friends

get involved in these sibling

rivalries, and things get ugly

fast. Soon, the whole junior class has my back and

the whole freshmen class has his.

Next thing you know, the conflict has become

larger than us; a turf war. It’s shoot or be

shot, ally or enemy—an all out civil war. Words

are exchanged, pictures are posted, the sky

darkens and smack talk is all that is heard in

the war-ridden hallways. People I have never

to combating


our generation of Asian-

Americans won’t have to face

many of the uphill battles our

parents went through, allowing

us to simply enjoy life’s

pleasures in ways that our parents

could not.

I remember the times

when my mother would make

Vietnamese food, or when

we celebrated Lunar New

Year. My heritage allowed me

to connect with some of my

life-long friends that I consider

family. Whether you are

Chinese, Vietnamese, or even

Indian, you can’t deny the impact

that your heritage has had

on your life.

Our history in this country

is old. Asian-Americans have

had to deal with discrimination

from the get-go when the

first Chinese

workers immigrated


to America.

From the 1871

San Francisco


Massacre, the


of Japanese-

Americans during

WWII, to

even the whitewashing



characters in

Hollywood. Even

now, in our era where social

inequality has lessened and we

have more freedoms, as with

many of you, I’ve faced discrimination,

racism, and overbloated

stereotypes that still

persist even after more

than almost two



nod at me

in passing, silently

pledging their allegiance

to my cause. My heart

races as I prepare for the inevitable

confrontation in the parking lot. Beads





in turn, may have led you at

a young age to distance from

your heritage and culture.

Despite these challenges,

we should never forget our

origins. To forget our heritage

is to give into centuriesold

prejudices and discrimination.

Embrace our culture.

The culture our parents grew

up in is ingrained in us and

will forever be a part of us.

Our heritage is our cultural

identity. It runs through our

veins and through our everyday

lives. It allows us to have

a collective identity as not

just Chinese or Korean, but

as Asian-Americans, and it’s

important to keep that identity,

especially when we are

minorities in this country.

To forsake one’s culture

is to forsake

one’s identity,

one’s self, one’s

heritage, and

one’s history.

Granted, we

are Americans.

This nation is

where we were

raised, where

we live, where

we made our

friends, where

we made our


where we will

likely raise our

families and where we will

likely be buried. But we are

special in the sense that we

are the bridge between two

worlds, one of Asian heritage

and one of American nationality.

We should embrace

both, never to forget one or

the other, as both make us

who we are. And while our

hearts may lie here in America,

our roots will forever be

ingrained in the lands of

the East.

of sweat form on my forehead as I watch the

clock ticking down to what could be a

valiant victory or a devastating defeat. The bell rings

and I gather my army, letting them know the task

at hand. They stare forward, stoic and determined. I

lead my gathering outside and lock eyes with the evil

force known as my brother. A teacher witnesses the

standoff and rushes over, desperate to keep everything

calm. My gaze never falters, piercing and undeterred.

It seems I forgot to mention what this whole conflict

was all about: he ate the last pop tart.


may 10, 2019 westerner/opinions 9


The student-produced newspaper of

Maine West High School, the Westerner,

is dedicated to maintaining the values of

truth, integrity, and courage in reporting.

The Westerner provides an open public

forum for free and responsible expression

of student opinion, as well as balanced

coverage of issues of student interest.

The staff encourages discussion and free

expression between all members of the

school and community and maintains its

responsibility to inform and educate the

student body.

Unsigned editorials represent the majority

viewpoint of the editorial board. Letters to

the editor, which are subject to editing for

length and clarity, must be signed by name

and may be published upon approval from

the editorial board. Opinions in letters are

not necessarily those of the Westerner,

nor should any opinion expressed in the

Westerner be construed as the opinion or

policy of the adviser, the Westerner staff

as a whole, the school staff, the school administration,

or District 207 school board.



Sarah Smail, Malaika Zaidi

Assotiate Chief Editor:

Suzy Linek

Chief of Digital Media:

Abigail Milovancevic

News Editors:

Jameson Beckman, Jenna Robbins

Features Editor:

Malaika Zaidi

In-Depth Editor:

Suzy Linek

Sports Editors:

Monyca Grimmer, Daniel Vicens

Opinions Editors:

Sarah Smail

Entertainment Editor:

Hana Dempsey

Photo Editor:

Greta Martin

Art Editor:

Xio Lin He

Graphics Editor:

Abigail Milovancevic

Digital Content Chief:

Nitin Nair

Assistant Editors:

Clare Olson, Jenna Daube, Alexis Huerta,

Aileen O’Connor, Sarosh Khan,

Monisa Yusra


Maha Zaidi, Katy Wilczynski, Natalie

Castellanos, Andrew Stutheit, Lucy

Ellsworth, Khushi Patel, Blazej

Ezlakowski, Lili Vaughn, Jake Thvedt,

Sariff Alviso, Niki Vujcic, Joanna Vogt,

Tej Parmar, Marc Rizkalla, Karim

Usman, Kevin Schill, Anahi Sosa,

Nabah Sultan, Dominika Szal, Johnny

Nguyen, Zaid Usman, Pratiksha Bhattacharyya,

Angelica Garin, Kira Palmer,

Lily Chen, Mia Reyes, Miguel Patino

ADVISER:Laurie McGowan

You’re scrolling through

social media, looking

through the random posts

that clog up your feed, until

you find something—or

should I say someone—that

makes you seethe in anger.

So what do

you do? You

vent about it

through Twitter

and proceed to

cancel the person.

Let’s analyze

what happened.

It all starts

with the internet.

This technological


has become

an important

means of communication

between people;

even more importantly, it

makes conversations between

the shining stars of

American society and the

average Joes more frequent

than ever before. These

friendly interactions are

facilitated with the simple


Testing our patience

Imagine circus performers balancing

plates on a long stick. All eyes

are on them as the audience holds its

breath and anticipates a spectacular

show. Bright lights flash in the performers’

eyes as beads of sweat form

on their brow: just keep smiling,

make yourself look good.

High school is the circus and we

are the performers. Balancing clubs,

good grades, and a social life, it’s hard

to keep the plates from falling. In

other words, it’s difficult to keep our

mental health intact. It’s no surprise

that students are sleep deprived and


Luckily, our school

tried to relieve some of

that pressure when

it made second

semester finals


optional for

seniors this year.

For those who may

have test anxiety or


don’t need

to take the

test have the

We’ve been Cancelled

click of a button. Unfortunately,

that simple click can

turn sour in an instant.

Recently, the idea of

“canceling” others has become

a prevalent part of

internet culture. For those

who aren’t


with internet


the term


is best described




option to opt out and focus on other

things, like after school jobs or AP

tests. Seniors have voiced their appreciation

for this change and believe it’s

something that should be continued

in the future. By providing options, it

lets students make their own choices

and even teaches accountability.

For those who take AP tests,

teachers aren’t allowed to give them

finals per district policy. Unfortunately,

many teachers try to bypass

this rule. Knowing they’re allowed to

give regular tests, they give students

a test that’s worth as much as a final,

possibly even more.

It’s frustrating when a rule is implemented

to provide some relief for

students, and yet teachers disregard

the positive effects it could have on

students and merely focus on giving

out assessments. How are we supposed

to focus on AP testing or our

own personal wellbeing when we

have to take a test that can make or

break our grade?

Next year, all teachers will no longer

be required to give a final exam.

In fact, it will depend completely


no longer



you feel is

immoral or



These people seem to

ooze racism, misogyny,

pedophilia, and crime.

Examples of internet exiling

include the response to

Kanye’s “slavery is a choice”

statement he made in an interview,

or the backlash to

Olivia Jade after her connection

to the college admission

scandal came to light.

Their actions deserve to

be condemned. “Canceling”

people enables our society to

hold them accountable for

their actions, whether past

or present. This is extremely

important if we want to

maintain a highly progressive

society because it’s not

every day we see influential

people forced to own up to

their mistakes.

However, what serves to

make people take responsibility

for their actions may

also take away their ability

to change. Often times

these questionable actions

have taken place many years

beforehand. It seems as if

any change the accused has

undergone in their personality

and outlook is diminished

in the amount of time

it takes to click “post.” Not

only that, but sometimes

whatever a celebrity or social

media star is accused

of doing or saying could be

cleared up with some simple

on the course; if all the teachers of

a course agree, they have the option

to assign a project or other learning

activity or make a final optional for

students who really want to take it.

For example, English 1 Accel could

opt out of a final exam, while English

II Accel could decide to give an

exam. We understand teachers want

to test our collective knowledge, but

we encourage teachers to be creative

about how they do so. Some courses

could completely opt out, others

could give a regular unit test, while

another course might choose to have

a final project for the class. Teachers

can even decide to have final conferences

with students, which could give

students a chance to reflect and set

goals for the semester ahead.

With all these options ahead, we

urge teachers to listen to their students

and factor in their opinions.

School should be more than just

tests, scores, and learning specifically

for those tests. Taking away the pressure

of a final exam might bring back

a student’s passion for learning, rather

than just passing the exam.

research. Sadly, not many

want to take the time to

actually validate any claims,

which unfortunately makes

the accused “canceled.”

Imagine if something

you did in elementary

school was brought up as an

attack against you; yet you

have matured and shown

that you are completely different

from your elementary

school self. Obviously,

you would be frustrated.

Can’t they see the changes

you have made in your life?

Can’t they see how you have

developed a different personality?

It’s the same issue


We definitely need to

hold people accountable for

their actions, but it’s time to

also keep in mind that people

can change. We can’t let

our emotions blindly guide

us, and we should take the

time to type a few words

into the search bar and look

at the full context of the

situation. Things are not always

what they seem.

10 entertainment/westerner







May 10, 2019



entertainment editor

We often limit ourselves with pre-made expectations

of what we can and can’t do. We miss opportunities

because of uncertainty in our own abilities.

Sometimes trying something you never thought you

would, or even could, can reorient the way you see


As a shy and quiet underclassman, senior Alishia

Hussain never would have expected that she would

later become a senior leader. Her sophomore PE

teacher Mr. York, however, convinced her to take

junior leaders. “He saw the potential in me and talked to me about it, and because

of Mr. York, I am a senior leader,” Hussain said. She didn’t regret taking

the opportunity. “The biggest thing I got from that class was confidence and

more appreciation for myself,” Hussain said.

Hussain also learned more about what it is that makes a good leader. “I

always assumed that a leader was someone who is strong and an athlete, and I

didn’t have those qualities. When I was given the chance to be a junior leader,

I was able to provide my own ways of helping my classmates,” Hussain said.

Hussain is now a senior leader for sophomore PE and does her best to be a

friend to the younger students she leads. “I may not be big and muscular, but

I am a good leader in terms of companionship. I’ll be there for you when fall,

when you need a friend, or when you cry,” Hussain said.

Spanish teacher Maggie Weaver never thought she’d travel to Spain by herself

until she did. She wanted to take the opportunity to travel while she could.

“I just thought if I don’t do this before I have children, I won’t do it until I’m

60. I was like ‘It’s now or never,’” Weaver said.

During her trip, Weaver was pushed far beyond what she thought she was

capable of. “It made me nervous to put myself out there and just do something

like that, but I just had to figure it out, and it was a good life lesson that taught

me a lot about myself. It helped me put myself in situations I was not comfortable

in and I figured it out,” Weaver said.


the limits

Weaver had the trip of a lifetime and suggests that

others take the opportunity to travel. “It was the best

thing I ever could have done for myself, not just because

I got to speak Spanish, which I love doing, but also just

that experience of being truly alone and not knowing one

single person in the entire country. It was so much fun,

and I would recommend it to anyone whether or not you

feel comfortable with doing it. Just put yourself out there

and do it. You would never regret it,” Weaver said.

Child development teacher Emma Brandt has always

been afraid of heights and didn’t plan to face that fear during a family trip. “My

family pressured me to zip line on a vacation in Maui when I was really young,”

Brandt said. For her, there was no backing out. “Once you go all the way up

the ladder, you kind of have to go,” Brandt said.

Despite her initial fear, Brandt had a great experience. “I thought it was

awesome after, and there were great views. I would do it again, but I haven’t

had the opportunity yet. My favorite part was seeing everything from above

the trees,” Brandt said.

Singing and acting on stage was something sophomore Carter Stephen

never saw himself doing, until this year. “A musical wasn’t something I had

ever thought about doing before, but a few of my friends pushed me to audition

after I did the play last year,” Stephen said.

This new experience didn’t come without stress and hard work though. “It

was overwhelming at first since everyone else had experience and it was my first

time, but they made me feel welcome. There were some nights where we were

at school until 8 p.m. and that was stressful, but the times where we had fun

together made it all worth it,” Stephen said.

Stephen enjoyed the bonds he formed and memories he made with all the

other students who worked on the musical. “My favorite part would be seeing

how everything came together when we performed, and getting to know everyone

in the cast better after spending so much time with them,” Stephen said.

Advising Applicants

Every step seniors have taken in the college

process was vitally important: where they go for

the next four years of their lives is nothing to neglect.

To ease this process for juniors and sophomores,

several seniors, staff, and alumni give their

best advice to underclassmen on how to start preparing

for college now.

The college process starts long before the first

applications are submitted; first, one must figure

out which colleges capture their interest. “Always

double-check that the college has what you want,”

Cody Dailey, the Career and College Admissions

Specialist at Maine West, said. It’s important to be

able to actually get the degree you’re interested in.

According to senior Sean Neiman, who will

studying Computer Science at DePaul next year,

another thing to consider when choosing a college

is whether the academic environment really fits

you. “You might end up in a college where they

teach 150 students in one classroom or one where

there are 13 students in your class,” Neiman said.

To really get a feel for the college, Dailey recommends

touring the campus. “Would you buy

a car that you’ve never seen or test driven? You

want to make sure that the college is what you

think it is,” Dailey said.

To get a jump-start this summer, sophomores

and juniors should start visiting and checking out

colleges while they have the time off. “People start

visiting colleges senior year, when you don’t have

much time, but you get three days every year to

visit, so you should get started early,” senior Leah

Kuhn, who is headed to Belmont University, said.

When it comes to actually applying to colleges,

seniors had tips, too. “Procrastination is a huge

problem. I waited until the last minute to fill out

my first college application and submitted it two

minutes before the deadline,” said Danica Roque,

a senior who will be studying chemical engineering

at the University of Minnesota next year. Instead,

make sure you leave yourself lots of time to check

over and revise your application before submitting.

The same goes for application essays. “I got my

essays revised by two English teachers,” Neiman


While everyone has to find their own path,

Roque says that working in isolation isn’t ideal. “I

really wish I reached out to and collaborated with

my friends,” Roque said.

There are also lots of ways to make yourself

more marketable to colleges, but they all require

you to develop your niche. “Get more involved in

high school because colleges want students that

do more than go to class,” Dailey said.

Roque, who is the president of Mu Alpha Theta

the math honor society, especially emphasizes





getting an officer position in clubs and organizations.

“Colleges really look for demanding leadership

roles, and the more you can get, the better,”

Roque said.

Once accepted, choosing the college to attend

usually requires consideration of costs, including

both the expenses and the possible aid or scholarships

available. For Roque and many seniors, finances

had the greatest influence on the decision.

“When I got accepted to University of Minnesota

and Georgia Tech and had to choose between

them, I realized that Georgia Tech was much more

expensive. Even after financial aid, I would have

had to pay $60k a year. So I stopped considering

Georgia,” Roque said.

Because saving money is so important, Dailey

believes more students should consider community

college as a viable option. “Some students

get turned off because they think it’s ‘just like high

school,’ but really it’s not. Community college

could be the difference between paying $3,500

and $55,000 a year,” Dailey said.

Another great way to save money is to apply

for scholarships. “I wish I was more aggressive

when pursuing scholarships, because I really only

focused on it in the spring, so I missed out on a

few scholarships that would have saved me some

money,” Kuhn said.

May 10, 2019 westerner/sports 11

3 girls earn conference titles


sports editor

As conference champions in four events,

three track and field girls -- senior Kara

Dempsey in both discus and shot put, senior

Dayanne Jacome in pole vault, and

sophomore Krysta Block in 100-meter

hurdles -- provided the highlights of last

Friday’s conference meet where the team

placed fifth.

“The girl seeded first was in first the

whole time, until my last throw. On my

last throw, I beat her,” Dempsey said about

the shot put. “Winning in shot put helped

me to do well in discus. Their disappointment

carried over into the discus, and they

weren’t as confident. I was feeling really excited

because I didn’t expect to do that well.

It gave me a lot of motivation to do just as

well so I could be a two-event conference


For the past two days, the varsity team

has competed in sectionals at Loyola Academy.

Many of the girls improved their running

times throughout the season and were

recently exceeding far beyond what they

did at the beginning. “The girls overall have

been improving and all their hard work will

show at sectionals,” coach Ray Pettenuzzo



Junior Kristen Aragon explodes overt the bar for pole vault, at left. At right,

sophomore Kamrin Hutt leaps over the hurdle during his meet.



Fresh out of the John Davis Titan Invite,

the boys track and field team is looking to

pull through with a stellar performance at

this year’s CSL conference meet at Maine

West today at 4:30 p.m.

“I am looking forward to conference

since I’ve been improving a lot this year as

I got a time of 4:49 for my 1600m,” sophomore

distance runner Adam Gorcyca said.

Although it has been a tough season with

injuries, team members are still managing to

compete at a high level. At the District 207

invite, the team put up exceptional numbers;

junior pole vaulter Kyler Polovchak placed

1st with 10’0” jump. Alongside this, distance

runners put up top times as sophomore Jesus

Vallejo got a 4:59 mile (1600m). Senior high

jumper Demon Street also placed first with a

6’0” high jump.

said. One example is Block in the 300 meter

low hurdles going from a 49.8 seconds to

a 47.9 seconds, just one second off a statequalifying

time for the event.

Even individual success is a team effort.

“Difficult practices, as well as support from

teammates, helped the team improve this

season. Practice hasn’t been easy with sometimes

running as much as four miles. When

our teammates cheer us on during the race,

it helps us push ourselves to go faster and

finish the race,” sophomore sprinter Maya

Gherman said.

With a long season that began indoors

back in February, one thing that has helped

many of the girls keep pushing forward was

their second place win at the Niles West invite

on April 11. “This invite was so significant

because it was the first meet where we

received a plaque, really boosting everyone’s

morale,” Block said.

Outside of the track, the throwers have

also been making many improvements and

are taking a leap to succeed at sectionals.

“We have been practicing really hard and

working on using the technique we learn in

practice when we compete. Our whole season

we have been working toward sectionals,

and we are looking forward to competing,”

Dempsey said.

Boys aim for conference wins tonight at home

“One senior who is having a very special

season would be Demon Street as he came

within one inch of the school’s high jump record,”

head coach Andrew Trotter said, making

street a Warrior to watch at today’s meet.

“Our school is only able to host this competition

every six years, so this year is pretty

special,” Trotter said.

They are looking to “secure more outstanding

placements and performances at

conference tonight,” Gorcyca said.

Trotter said some other runners to keep

an eye out for are sophomore Joe Langridge

and junior Bibin Biju as they have both been

showing much growth by improving their


Beyond the postseason, athletes are looking

to improve substantially over the summer.

“I am looking to put in a lot of work in

the off season to improve on my 100m and

200m dash,” sprinter Kristian Ly said.

Four fly to state


Girls badminton, in conference


games at New Trier, brought home fourth place titles

and sent six players to last weekend’s sectional matches.

Now, they will be sending two pairs of doubles to state today at

Eastern Illinois University.

After the conference games, double partners Jocelyn Jacobs

and junior Aliyah Bilotich were headed to the sectional games as

the first seed while senior Elisabeth McCrea and junior Katherine

Hudson went in as the second seed. Following them, seniors

Carolina Laureano, first seed, and Diane Nguyen, second seed,

played in the single sectional matches.

Their focus on endurance and agility helped out on the court

especially during fast paced tournaments this year. After taking

part in two invites, the girls left with many achievements including

Nguyen taking first place at Wheeling and Bilotich, and

Jacobs, taking first place at Maine West’s Warrior Invite. While

the Warriors ended up in third place at the Warrior Invite, it was

only because they lost a tiebreaker for second place. They won

three of eight events overall.

Coach Mike Murin, who is retiring after this year, has focused

on new ways of improving player performance and the

players have responded by pushing themselves constantly. “Our

coach had great new drills that really worked us during Saturday

practices,” said Nguyen. The results showed in the Rolling

Meadow match-up on April 15, when the Warriors won 9-6, and

nine of the 15 matches were three-game sets.

Singles dominate

tennis conference



sports editor

Each going 10-0 in conference, sophomore Kamil Kozerski

and freshman George Ciuca are thriving this season. With Kozerski

at 17-1 overall and Ciuca at 16-2, they are leading the way

for the boys tennis team into the CSL tournament tonight and


The CSL tournament is played by three singles players and

four doubles teams. The three singles will be Kozerski, Cuica, and

senior Daivik Patel.

With the season coming to an end, West played memorable

matches against Maine East, Glenbrook North, New Trier, and

Highland Park. Facing off against Glenbrook North, “I have some

friends who are on the tennis team there and I know that they

have some good players, so it’ll be a good test for us as a team,”

said Ciuca. “There is nothing more uplifting than to see a player

compete at a level that is as near to their potential as possible,

and then watch their elation after the match is complete,” said


Every day is a new day to improve on new skills and to have

challenging competitions against one another. “I have been practicing

way more since last year, my game has developed and overall

improved. I have worked on my serves, volleys, and backhand

slices. We do doubles drills that are fast paced, and we play singles

points/matches. They help develop our game senses to become

better players,” Kozerski said. A dominating player like Kozerski

can still have his challenges. “I versed Montini Catholic in the finals

of Willowbrook invite, and won in two sets, but it was a close

match. I won that match 7-5, 6-4. The one match that I lost was

against Jacobs High School, and I lost that match 6-7, 3-6. I’ve

played the same kid from Jacobs in the past and defeated him, but

he took the match this time,” Kozerski said.

For Ciuca, this year on varsity has been the culmination of

years of preparation. “I first got involved with tennis when I was

nine years old. I saw one of my good friends playing it very well

and I wanted to be just like him,” Ciuca said.

12 sports/westerner




Standing at 12-2-4, the girls soccer team looks to

build off of their recent 4-1 win over Leyden to

propel them into regionals on May 14.

Earlier this season, they crushed Wheeling 7-0,

followed by a 4-0 win against Rolling Meadows,

and another 7-0 sweep versus Ridgewood. Freshman

goalkeeper Leslee Ordonez said that the flawless

results “motivated us to want to keep it that way

for a long time.” After competing hard in the Pepsi

tournament against NCSD, Warren, Crystal Lake,

and Riverside Brookfield, the girls had a rough game

against Maine East, resulting in a 1-1 tie.

However, they didn’t let this discourage them,

and bounced back to earn a huge victory against

Deerfield. They then went on to tie for 1st place

in the Niles West Invite with a record of 2-0, not

letting in a single goal. “We’re beating tough teams,

and we’re not conceding a lot of goals,” coach Jeff

Bishop said. “I’m looking forward to seeing how we

finish in conference.”

Early in the season, the Warriors swept the Niles

West Wolves 3-0 despite having to endure a sloppy

situation due to inclement weather. As Bishop

described, “We had gotten rain that day. The field

Boys top the charts





With an 11-10-1 record, the

varsity baseball team is looking

to defeat cross-conference opponent

Niles West tomorrow and

beat rival school Maine East on

back-to-back games held on May

13 and May 15.

On Monday, the team beat

Glenbrook South 5-3 to tie for the

top spot in the CSL. Earlier, they

beat New Trier 5-2 for the first

time in 10 years. The boys also had

dominating wins against Highland

Park and Deerfield as they came

out with an 8-1 victory in each


The boys are on a run right now,

winning seven out of their last 10

games. With this type of play, they

are starting to get some confidence

going into the playoffs. “We have

good chemistry on the team. When

we play smart, we tend to play really

well together,” senior Costa

Paschos said. This just goes to show

that the warriors are ready for the

playoffs and are looking forward to

continue their hot streak and carry

that momentum with them. In the

last game of the season they will



was a mess; it was really

wet; it was muddy.

The footing was tough to come by, we were sliding

around everywhere, but we fought through.”

The soccer team then put up a rigorous fight

during the PepsiCo Showdown, hosted by Maine

West. Their first match against NCSD was a heartbreaking

one. They were up 2-1 in the second half

when the other team scored an equalizer late in the

game, forcing a penalty shootout. The result was a

loss for Maine West. “It was a good experience for

the girls because it was ‘playoff type soccer’ where it

comes down to penalties. It’s good to have that kind

of pressure early in the season, so come playoffs, it’s

not the first time,” Bishop said.

Because of the rarity of shoot-outs, “we don’t

practice PK’s a lot, so that’s probably one thing

we need to practice more, and getting used to the

nerves and pressure of making it. I personally don’t

feel that nervous during penalty kicks. I think I’ve

practiced them a lot. It’s more just like, making sure

that I’m sticking to a corner and executing. Sometimes

I’ll try to fake the goalie out by looking one

way and then shooting the other way,” sophomore

Greta Martin said. Following that game, the girls

lost in a close match against Warren. Fortunately,

they finished the tournament on a good note, shutting

out Crystal Lake and Riverside Brookfield to

take on Notre Dame. “They are

always good competition. Win or

lose, it will help us get ready for the

playoffs,” head coach Mike Randazzo

said. The team will be electrified

if they can knock off Notre

Dame, but even if they don’t, they

can learn from their mistakes and

get better.

To dive into the season, this

year the team took a trip to Arizona

over Spring break. They had the

opportunity to play there as well

as enjoy a relaxing team vacation.

“Everyone had a pretty good time.

One of the best highlights was hiking

Camelback Mountain. Once

we all made it to the top it was awesome,”

senior Justin Scholler said.

Adding onto this, Paschos said,

“It was one of the best experiences

of my life. It was cool to be with

my guys and do fun things like hiking

and going to the pool.”

“I think the team had a great

time down in Arizona. It’s really

nice to be able to go have fun with

your teammates as it helps with

team chemistry and makes the

season more enjoyable and memorable,”

Randazzo said.

May 10, 2019

end with a 2-2 record.

With regionals starting Tuesday the Warriors

aim to finish in the top half of the conference and

advance past the first round of regionals. “I think

with the way we’re playing those are both very possible,”

Bishop said.

hammering it home

Freshman goalkeeper Leslee Ordonez has

held the line through multiple shutout wins

for the Warriors this season.




Heading into the final games of the

regular season, varsity softball will take

on Schaumburg on the road tomorrow

before their last game at home on Monday

at 4:30 p.m. against Elmwood Park.

Looking at Elmwood Park’s 3-13

record, “it looks like they give up a lot

of runs,” said head coach Jim Dvorak.

Schaumburg has an overall record of

-13. “Schaumburg is very similar to us

in some of the games they’ve played,”

he said. “I think for both games, we just

need to play fundamental softball, pitch

consistently, and have good quality at

bats,” Dvorak added.

The Warriors played Deerfield last

week at home after beating them 3-2 in

April, as part of their early season conference


Going up against conference rival

Glenbrook North in April, junior

Brianna Migaczewski hit a three-run

home run as part of the Warriors’ 11-4

win over the Trojans. Migaczewski is “a

power hitter,” according to head coach

Jim Dvorak. “Her swing has improved

since last year, and I do use her to pitch

as well. She’s got one of the strongest

arms in our outfield.”

The GBN victory was especially

sweet, they are one of the Warriors’ top

foes. “In our conference GBN and Vernon

Hills are probably the better two

teams in our conference, and we have

to be able to defeat them,” sophomore

Abby Gawlinski said.

Senior Gabby Demma said the team

was nervous going into the GBN game

because of their team history. “It’s been

back and forth -- we win one game, they

win one game,” Demma said. These are

usually games “we have to work hard to

win,” making the 11-4 final score feel

validating for the Warriors.

Facing district rival Maine East, the

Warriors pummeled the Blue Demons

15-0, with junior pitcher Jessica Steingard

getting a homerun.

As the season winds down, the girls

have focused on some key aspects of the

game of softball to help them continue

their success as the final regular season

games and regionals approach. “We keep

on making errors, and those little things

need to be fixed to win games,” Gawlinski


Her team agrees, as sophomore Angeles

Beiza said, “We’re still getting there

and need to clean up some areas.” The

team, however, is hopeful that their success

will carry on until the end. “We’ve

got to get our heads in the game,” Steingard

said. “We have the potential; we

just have to focus. We’ve got to get our

defense down and we’ve got to be loud.

We’re very quiet.”

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