Photos by Sophia Perigo and Grace Allen
By JD McKay
Just before 7 a.m. the boys’ and girls’ cross country teams wake up from their night of restless sleep in the humid, unairconditioned cabin. After throwing on their running gear they are ready to go for the first run of the day.
After one week of cross country camp, each runner put in between 40 and 60 miles, but it was all for the goal of going deeper into the state tournament than the team did last year.
“Having the success we had last year was very encouraging,” said junior Sydney Liddle. “This year we want to repeat winning sectionals and regionals and win semi-state.”
Last year the girls had a successful season, winning conference, sectionals, and regionals. That success was led by two senior runners — Faith Barba, who finished third in sectionals, and regional champion Kyley Sorg — but the team said they can carry on the success.
“I think it will be tough to hang to conference, sectionals, and regionals championships, but we have some pretty solid freshmen and new girls, so I think we will be fine,” said junior Kyleigh Leslie-Holt.
Last year’s boys’ team was did not win conference or sectionals like the girls, but it was a young group.
“We did not have any important runners graduate last year, so we are fairly loaded,” said boys’ head coach Tim Korte.
However, they did lose one team leader that will be hard to replace.
“Conrad Hauser — he didn’t have a big varsity role, but he was always around, always worked hard, and pushed everyone to work as hard as they could,” said senior Ross Ellis.
The boys’ team was not able to win conference last year, so this year, that is one of their goals.
“We had a really good summer,” said junior Luke Heinemann. “So we just need to keep pushing, so I think we are in a good spot.”
By Ahna Cobb
The voices of cheering teammates fill the gym with excited players ready to take on their competition. The ball crosses the plane of the net and senior Kamryn Plaiss positions herself to set it up perfectly to her teammate. In one swift motion the ball is hit into the air and senior Riley Woodruff puts it away, scoring the first point of the season for the volleyball team.
“My goals for this season are to grow as a team and constantly get better everyday and work hard all the time. I’m looking to get as many wins as possible but as long as we are growing we are taking a step in the right direction,” said Plaiss.
The journey to a state championship is certainly a long one. The girls want to focus this season on winning the Hoosier Hills Conference tournament and the sectional title so they can make their way to state.
Head volleyball coach Bart Powell said the first two months of the season are crucial because that is when he sees how good the team can become. He gets to mold, shape, and facilitate knowledge to players.
“Last year we had a much taller team and less ball control, and now we’ve got a shorter team with a lot better ball control, so it’s going to be a completely different team from what I’ve ever had at Floyd Central because I’ve always had tall kids,” said Powell.
The change from last year to this year has altered the dynamic on the team and the seniors have already stepped into their role as leaders.
“Since I’m injured right now it’s important for me to be loud and supportive. When I come back, I am going to give the team all that I have,” said senior Cassie Thomerson.
Each senior has spent three years in the program and they understand what is expected of them from their coach. They keep the underclassmen in line and lead by example.
“The best part of the season is secret buddies. We all get each other gifts on game days and we get to eat our snacks throughout the day,” said Woodruff.
Woodruff also said she also loves when they travel to Carmel and stay the night because everyone stays in rooms together and there are many opportunities to bond. The more comfortable and close the girls are, the stronger the team will be for the state tournament.
“My favorite part is when it’s sectional time because we play a lot of games and it’s a positive atmosphere,” said senior Sara Sans.
Plaiss agreed and said she likes the end of the season because it is when they get closer to what they have worked for all season long in sectionals. There is nothing more rewarding than hard work paying off to finish strong.
“I expect us to be that team that won’t go away and always works hard. The end of the season is when we need to be at our peak and really winning. I love winning, that’s always really nice. I also like spending time with the girls and going to dinners— getting to know them off of the court,” said assistant volleyball coach Melanie Hussung.
The volleyball team hustles at every practice to be the best they can be. The teammates are dependent upon one another to make each other better than they were the day before. When they are in the gym day in and day out, it is all leading up to the end of the season so that they come out on top.
“I’m really excited to see how we grow and develop,” said Sans. I want to start off with a lot of passion and carry it throughout the season.”
By JD McKay
The tennis team wakes up early to get a full day of work in and makes their way to FC to practice. When they arrive, the sun has roasted the courts, creating waves off heat coming off the concrete and through the rubber soles of their shoes.
“We have been on the courts for four or five hours a day just hitting this summer,” said junior Connor Mason.
That kind of hard work has shown. The team has a tradition of winning sectionals, having won 33 consecutively, but have been just short of going deeper into state recently.
“We definitely want to win regionals,” said head coach Robert Kleeman. “We haven’t won it since I have been a coach. We have lost in the regional finals the last three years.”
Junior Alex Poe played past regionals last year. Poe played doubles with Noah Neuhauser and eventually finished second in state, losing to Park Tudor’s team.
Losing Neuhauser is a challenge. Adding to the challenge is the lack of seniors, so some of the team’s leadership will fall to the juniors.
“We have two seniors, so I will count on leadership from my juniors, but I still expect my seniors to lead. The seniors kind of lead by example, they are the most outgoing, but they are very hardworking and will set a good example for the younger kids,” said Kleeman.
The talent of this year’s team should lead to a successful season.
“Last season we were ranked about 10, now we are all a little older and more talented. We lost two seniors last year, Noah Neuhauser and Kyle Poe, who were both really good and helped us,” said Kleeman. “But I think the younger boys have passed them up. It is just a really, really talented team.”
By Eleni Pappas
Imagine being a kid again, collecting toys and playing pretend like many children do.
In a child’s head, toys are given names and consciousness, and worlds are created where all is fair and just. Kids make some of their most cherished friends within their own minds. For some, many grow up and leave behind such memories for more adult pursuits. For others, as one grows up to become an adult, upon looking back, it is easy to miss those early years of playing, creativity, and innocence. Try to picture what that would be like if it all returned, and that world created by imagination came back, and all of it was real.
Childhood comes alive in Christopher Robin, where the film’s titular character from the Winnie the Pooh stories is now an adult. The movie came out Aug. 3, directed by Marc Forster, director of Finding Neverland, as a family-friendly drama/fantasy. The film features an intriguing cast, including Ewan McGregor (Moulin Rouge, Star Wars prequels), Hayley Atwell (Agent Carter), Brad Garrett (Everybody Loves Raymond), and Peter Capaldi (Dr.Who). Jim Cummings will also be returning to voice act the beloved Winnie the Pooh. The plot, of course, centers around the much older Christopher Robin, far from the boy many once knew, who is now a workaholic with a wife and child. His life soon gets much more complicated when he is reunited with old friends thought to have been imaginary.
The story opens up with a young Christopher Robin saying goodbye to his friends at the Hundred Acre Wood. Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, Tigger, Rabbit, Kanga, Roo, and Owl have all gathered for a festive send-off as the boy is going off to boarding school. The audience then gets to watch as he is sent to school, grows up, meets his wife, goes to war, has a daughter, and reaches full adulthood with an overworking job at a briefcase company. The older Christopher Robin (McGregor) has since forgotten his pals of the Wood, and when Pooh finally shows again out of the blue, he thinks he has lost his mind. Soon enough, he is pulled into an adventure helping Pooh find his lost friends.
One of the best parts of the film was that it made one feel like a kid again. There were plenty of hilarious moments due to Pooh and his gang’s antics, but also heartfelt, teaching moments about the importance of family. Pooh’s classic clumsiness and Eeyore’s somber commentary are some favorite moments. There is also an interesting parallel between Robin and his daughter, Madeline. She works tirelessly to impress her father, as she was raised similarly to how he was, with an emphasis on education over fun and creativity. When he literally reconnects with his inner child, and learns there is more to life than work, it gives him perspective on his daughter. The parallel comes full circle when Madeline meets Pooh and friends, and goes on a wild adventure just like her father.
Christopher Robin is overall a heartwarming family film, full of life lessons, hilarity, and nostalgia for a simpler time. It is about a man who was once a kid like everyone else was, and who grew up, like everyone will. This movie is a favorite because it stresses the value of keeping a relationship with not only one’s inner child, but loved ones as well. It is a story many can relate to because sometimes it can be difficult to keep in mind what is most important.
Whatever the ages of the viewership may be, Christopher Robin is a film anyone can enjoy, however young or old.