Story by Ava Carter
Girls basketball tryouts started on November 26, 2018 and continued through November 29 at Clay Middle School. There were 21 girls trying out for the 7th grade team. The 7th grade coaches are Jeff Carter, Clay Spanish teacher and Stephanie Stacy, CHS Spanish teacher.
There is a variety of people trying out with many different backgrounds in basketball. Jamie Elliott, 7th grader, is trying out for the basketball team. "I have been playing basketball for around seven or eight years," said Elliott. Julia Click, however, has only been playing basketball for 3 years.
With so many people trying out, there is close competition to see who will make the team.
Also, many of the girls have some reasons why they like to play basketball. "Getting to meet new people and see how others play the game that I like," said Keaton Gatlin. Many other girls would also like to meet new people and like to play basketball in general.
Many of the girls were nervous going into tryouts, but everyone said they were just going to do their best. "I will be nervous but I think the excitement will overcome the nerves. When I get a ball in my hands on Monday they will go away," said Click.
Girls also had many ways to prepare for tryouts. While some girls just did the practices for other teams that they do, some didn't do anything to prepare. Most girls prepared by coming to the 2 open gyms that occurred before tryouts and others practiced basic skills like shooting and dribbling.
Girls who tried out, also said they would have tried out as a 6th grader if they had the opportunity. They also said if they didn't make the team, they would keep working and tryout in 8th grade. "Yes, I would tryout again next year because it is another opportunity to play at a middle school level." said Keaton Gatlin, 7th grader, who is trying out.
Some leagues that girls trying out had played in the past were: Carmel Pups, Carmel Dads Club, Primetime, First Baptist Church Leagues and many others. The girls were encouraged by their parents, coaches and friends to try out for the team. Coach Carter was looking forward to seeing all the talent of the 7th graders.
The girls will find out if they made the team on November 29, 2018 at 8:00pm through a number system. Each girl got a number and if their number appeared on the text, they made the team. Good luck to all the girls trying out.
Story By Siri Surapaneni
Orchestra students from Clay Middle School and conductor Mr. Jeff Frizzi will compete in ISSMA on March 16th, 2018.
ISSMA is a competition for students to show their talent on their instruments. Students will perform for a panel of judges who will rank them in 4 categories. There are going to be opportunities for students to compete playing solo or in ensembles.
Clay Middle School orchestra students put in a lot of hard work and determination to prepare for ISSMA. Even with all the practice, once competition day arrives students have many intense feelings.
“I feel that performing in a big competition like ISSMA is nerve-wracking at the beginning but when you start playing you get in the rhythm and get relaxed,” said 7th grader, Arriya Arif.
" I feel that performing in a big competition like ISSMA is exciting because of the crowd and judges,” said 7th grader, Nora Perkins.
“When I am performing in a big competition like ISSMA, I feel nervous before I start performing, but after a while into the music, I feel more confident,” said 7th grader Christine Kim. Kim is a member of both Orchestra and Advanced String Ensemble.
Clay Middle School has been performing in ISSMA for many years and has ranked many times. When the seventh grade students participated in ISSMA last year they got gold with distinction. As you can see, Clay Middle School has a legacy and the orchestra students this year are destined to do great. Students practice for hours to master Blue Mountain and other songs. Students also have opportunities to perform in solos and place.
By Adam Buczkowski
The crowd roars with excitement as the ball flies through the net. The Clay basketball team is ahead. Then the last buzzer sounds and Clay wins the first game of the season. This is a big moment for the team because it is their first game together.
The Clay basketball team is very important to the students of Clay and the players. “Playing with my friends and having fun” is the favorite part for Drew Seelig, point guard and shooting guard for the seventh grade basketball team.
Three weeks in and the team’s record is 1-5, but they know that they could bounce back.
Andrew Jones, point guard, said that they have to fix the small things in order to win more, but Seelig said, “I think I need to shoot better and as a team we need to play better defense.”
The team thinks that if they are able to limit the points that the other team can score then they will win more. They also believe that they will end up with a record above .500 (.500 means to win just as much as you lose). If they can get above .500 after a rough start after losing 5 games in a row it would change their season.
Quinn Murphy is a center on the team and is 5’9”. He and Andrew Jones claim to be the dynamic duo. With Murphy getting many assists in the first game and Jones scoring 12 points and leading the team to their first win. When asked about the experience Murphy answered, “It is a lot different because of the environment that we play in.”
Jones and Seelig both played for pups, a travel basketball team for Carmel, before Clay. The differences Andrew said, “The team and game environment is different and the competition is harder.” Then Seelig said, “A little more nerve wracking because there are more people coming to our games.”
Seelig said there is nothing he doesn’t like about basketball at Clay, but Quinn has one major issue. The home games are at 5:00 or 5:30. Students and Staff should come out and support your Clay Trojans.
Story by Emmaline Colvin
Mrs. Susie tries to weave her way through a sea of cast and crew members on a busy stage. It’s the week of the musical, and she is getting ready to talk with Mr. Snyder and Mr. Lowe to finalize the last few details.
There are three teachers involved in Clay’s musical- Mrs. Susie, Mr. Snyder and Mr. Lowe. Mrs. Susie is like a superhero. She directs and musical directs the musical, oversees the whole show, is a choir teacher, and is a mom to a young boy! She put over a hundred hours into this year’s musical, Willy Wonka Jr.
“I love musicals and I wanted to share that love by giving the students at Clay the opportunity to be involved in a musical,” said Mrs. Susie.
Mrs. Susie has been in several musicals, on stage and off. She was Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz at Glendale High School, Little Red Riding Hood in Little Red Riding Hood at Springfield Regional Opera in Missouri, and Thumbelina in Tiny Thumbelina, at MSU Opera Workshop. She also music directed A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum at Glendale High School, and was Stage Manager for a play called The Nerd.
Mr. Snyder, the Auditorium Director of this year’s musical has also had prior experience. This was his 5th year helping out with musicals at Clay.
“I have played clarinet in the pit orchestra in my high school musical - we had live music during the show and it was an excellent experience. I forget the show, unfortunately,” Mr. Snyder said.
As far as Mr. Lowe goes with theatre experience, he definitely has some. He was Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in high school, and directed a play when he taught in high school. He even helped with elementary musicals when he was a media specialist. In the musicals at Clay, he assistant directs.
It takes a lot of time to pull off a school musical. Each teacher puts in countless hours, especially during tech week, the week of the musical.
“Tech week is very long but productive!” Mr. Lowe said. Mr. Snyder said it is simply stressful, and Mrs. Susie said it was fun, exciting, and exhausting.
The teachers involved in the musical also meet all throughout the process.
“Mr. Lowe and I meet a couple times during the summer to plan the sets. Then, we also meet throughout the musical process as needed. Mr. Snyder and I meet the week before tech week to go through the cues,” Mrs. Susie said.
Though the musical is a lot of work, all the teachers agree that it is rewarding. They also agree that the school musical is both exciting and exhausting!
“There is a lot of moving parts that go on with the musical. Coordinating set and scene changes with music, lights, and mics is always difficult to do, but we get always get it done with the hard work of students participating on and off stage,” Mr. Snyder said.
Story by Arjun Purohit
Students love DECA JR because they can collaborate on projects with their friends, and they can talk with each other. Another reason students love DECA JR is that it has a creative aspect when students are coming up with their ideas.
“I think that students should join DECA, Jr. to learn about themselves, to learn about how a business works, how to work with others, and how to help the community around them,” Michelle Janson, Clay Middle School Counselor and DECA JR sponsor, said. DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America) JR Business Club is an after-school club where students learn the basics of business and entrepreneurship. DECA is held in room 115 at Clay Middle School. It started at the end of September and is held every two or three weeks.
Srikrishna Ganeshan, seventh grade, said DECA helps students succeed in the future. “It helps students improve their public speaking skills which can benefit things such as presentational skills,” he said.
In DECA, students need a business idea (similar to the high school version of DECA). This business idea is a product or idea that is supposed to help the community.
An example might be a portable phone charging cart. Students present their idea to judges who pick the best idea and give the students money to make the product. On an average day in DECA, students have the day’s lesson about business, marketing, or entrepreneurship. These lessons are usually taught by high school DECA students or occasionally by guest speakers.
Then students split into groups to work on their business idea presentations. Finally the club ends and students either take the late bus home or get picked up.
See Janson in Student Services if you have any questions.
Story by Keaton Bennett
As the school year at Clay progresses, more and more exciting things are happening. This year’s school musical production of Willy Wonka Jr., the story of Charlie Bucket, a boy who has a dream of visiting Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, is one of them. Director of Choirs, Mrs. Miranda Susie, will be leading the cast and crew in this world of pure imagination.
“I thought that it would be fun," she said. “I’ve always wanted to do Willy Wonka.”
The Clay musical has a huge number of relatable characters, great songs and amazing acting by our Clay students. The play will follow the original Willy Wonka movie (from the 70s) very closely, so it will be familiar to audiences that have seen the movie in the past.
In order to be in the show, students had to try out for the musical. According to Susie, around 150. "Twenty percent of the 300 choir students try out each year," she said.
With 70 acting roles, many students will get to be in the musical. While it's important for the cast to be on the stage, the musical can’t run smoothly without the crew, who help set up the scenes, manage the lighting and set up props.
“I’m excited to act it out," Maximus Abrams, seventh grade, said. “I like to act out the parts I’m given in a musical. I think everyone should do at least one play because it is a great experience and it is fun!”
The many characters featured in the play are Willy Wonka, Charlie Bucket, Grandpa Joe and many more! The Oompa Loompas are also exciting characters, as they will appeal to younger audiences with their funny appearance, songs and acting.
Ticket sales start in November and the production will be live on November 15th, 16th and 17th at 7:00 p.m.
Story by Isiah Gourgue
The Cross Country season of the 2018/19 school year has started and many students are participating in this sport this year.
“During cross country practice we run road runs, around the track, around badger field, or at Northview church’s course,” Andrew Cebalo says. “Practices are usually everyday of the school week except for Friday and sometimes on Saturday.
The practices are usually an hour to an hour and a half long,” Julien Gourgue mentions. Cross country practices have been going on since the end of the summer and runners have been going to summer runs to practice for this season. They ran two days out of the week and ran for about and hour to an hour and a half just like practices.
Spikes are shoes used during cross country meets to help grip the grass while runners are running. Not all spikes are the same though, runnersworld.com mentions that there are spikes for distance, sprints, and field events.
“I use spikes every time I run in a meet and they help with grip on the grass so I run more smoothly,” Charlie explains. The website runnersworld.com also says spikes aren’t always going to wear like normal training shoes, some runners like having ones that are one size smaller while others like it the same size, it all depends on the runner.
Andrew Cebalo has been running since sixth grade and is yet to still make the school’s varsity team for cross country. He said, ”My PR (personal record) has been getting lower and lower and soon I will make varsity for sure.” Julien Gourgue also said that this season he has dropped times greatly and it’s only his first year running!
Story by Margaret Cannon
At 3:05 the last bell of the day rings. The Lady Trojans head to their lockers, fill their
backpacks, grab their volleyball bags and head down to the gym. Expected to be ready by 3:25,
they'll have to hustle to get ready, set up nets and grab the volleyballs.
Coach Giles and coach Far also have to do their part as well. Both teachers have to head down to the gym, and get ready to coach another tough practice. As both 7th and 8th graders have never been coached by either coach Giles and Far, none of the girls knew what to expect coming in. It seems like
everything has changed for trojan volleyball since last year. New coaches, players and a new “theme” to focus on. Coaches and players have said that the “theme” for this season is about being a team on and off the court. Always being supportive and encouraging each other to to their best.
Eighth grade player Carly Christy said, “My knowledge of the game has changed since the beginning of the season. I have learned to play smarter, not harder.” Christy goes on to say, “We have been focused on conditioning a lot, and we get stronger each practice. Each practice helps us prepare for games, and each games helps us prepare for the Hamilton County Tournament at the end of the season.”
The lady trojans have added 3 new players to the team this year and they seem to be adjusting to the
competitive environment well.
Another eighth grade player Darcy Davis said, “So far we need to focus on our serve receive. Based on our previous games you can tell we are not as strong in that area.” Davis goes on to say, “When we prepare for county, we need to have a strongmental and physical toughness. Practices will be more difficult and conditioning will be harder. Based on our record last year, many teams will be out for revenge during the tournament”.
The Lady Trojans will continue to work hard in practice, and grow their knowledge of the game
Story by Jamie Elliott
"Go, go, go!" coaches shouted as student athletes were about to cross the finish line. Have you ever wondered how cross country runners prepared for their meets? Let's back up 30 minutes and find out.
Cara Naas, seventh grade, Thomas Biltimier, seventh grade, and Greta Heyl, eighth grade, are varsity cross country runners.
Practice is a big part of preparing for a race.
"We'll run three to four miles and it helps me build up endurance," said runner Greta Heyl.
Cross country has one and a half hour practices Monday through Thursday, and sometimes Saturday as well.
According to coach Jeff Carter, practice is useful, but it is also good to run outside of school.
Biltimier said he runs about three times a week (outside of practice) for extra conditioning.
Being prepared physically is important, and another way to be prepared is to stretch. All the runners take time to stretch during practice, as well as during a meet.
Naas said that stretches are helpful because they get your blood running, and they get you loose before the race. You won't be as tight while running in a meet if you stretch before you start.
The runners emphasized that along with stretching, it's important to drink water throughout the day of a meet.
Your running performance can be negatively affected by dehydration, slowing down your ability to recover from competition and be ready for the next day's workout.
Biltimier said he drinks water all day long so that he is hydrated and doesn't get overheated.
Drinking water matters just as much as what you eat before a race does, but eating can be based on your personal experiences and likings.
Naas usually eats crackers or a sandwich, while Greta Heyl usually eats something light like pretzels. However, Thomas Biltimier said he eats, "a banana so I don't get cramps."
These are all things that cross country runners do so that they can be fully prepared before, during, and after a meet.
Story by Julien Gourgue
Summer can be a relaxing break away from school, but when you have to go back, it can be exciting or scary -- especially for new students.
“I was kind of nervous about the first day of school because my locker and my binder were unorganized, so I didn’t know what to do and my classes were very far apart," Jackson Bui, sixth grade, said.
Lena Orahood, sixth grade, said that she was anxious about the first day of school because of all the classes, the people, and the teachers.
After a month, Orahood is getting used to school. “I think I’ve kind of mapped out the school in my head as much as I need to right now so that definitely helps on getting to class on time,” she said.
“At first I was scared and stuff, like about my locker, but then I figured out everything and it went really well," Nava Navarete, sixth grade, said. Isabelle Simmons, sixth grade, said she's adjusting, but it's starting to become more fun.
"I made some new friends," she also said.
Some sixth graders are already in sports which is a good way to start off the school year and to be involved in something.
Bui, Luke Ross, Amory Spence, and Orahood all joined the Cross Country team this year. “I’m feeling really comfortable about the sport so far, especially since the coaches are very nice, and I’ve made some new friends," Spence said.
Romic Cansino, seventh grade, returned to Clay Middle School and said, “I feel that I stay organized in school by remembering my classes and having a daily routine. This has helped me stay even more focused in class.”
Isiaah Gourgue, eighth grade, isn’t a rookie either. This will be his second year at Clay. “I feel better this year about the school than what I felt last year because I have adjusted even more," he said.
All stories, photos and video footage by the seventh and eighth grade newspaper students.