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.
All stories, photos and video footage by the seventh and eighth grade newspaper students.