The Homecoming Game was canceled last month due to the Coronavirus and the amount of cases in the school.
In the original game in December, NCLA was scheduled to play against Triad Math and Science. This game has since, has been rescheduled for Jan. 19 but it will not be deemed the “Homecoming Game.”
After interviewing the NCLA’s Athletic Director, Stephanie McCormick, it was determined that the Homecoming Game will not be rescheduled. Some players feel frustrated about the cancellation because of the dedication that many of our senior players have shown and now their hard work will not be recognized with a Homecoming ceremony.
Even though this cancellation may be frustrating, players must be able to consider other factors that are in play. One of the factors might be that Covid cases are very high in our school right now and administration would like to limit outside exposure from loved ones, including grandparents and other relatives coming into the school and watching the Homecoming Ceremony.
Stephanie McCormick, commonly referred to as Coach Mac, has been the Athletic Director at the NCLA for two years now. It has been tough to navigate through Covid; last year during the pandemic the basketball season, the Senior Night game was canceled. This not only saddened the team but also saddened Coach Mac.
You could see the commitment that Coach Mac had for both the Womens and Mens basketball team last year when she scheduled and ran a makeshift Senior Night that celebrated the teams and their seniors. This meant a lot to the players last year.
Cade Shoemaker, the starting Point Guard last year said, “I appreciated the effort they gave in such a difficult situation.”
Coach Mac was very passionate about this because of her past experiences with Covid. Before Coach Mac came to the NCLA, she was an assistant coach at Western Carolina. In her final year there, they were ranked number two in their conference and were expected to win the conference championship and advance to the NCAA tournament. Unfortunately two hours before they were to tip off in the Quarter-finals of the Conference tournament, all post season activities were canceled.
Coach Mac expressed to me that she was heartbroken to have to tell many of those girls that they could not play for a championship. This pain has carried over to her decision making regarding NCLA sports. Coach Mac takes the decision to cancel games and events seriously because she knows how much these events mean to students.
When I asked Coach Mac what she thought of athletics she answered, “Athletics are one of the most unique things in life, no matter what bad happens in the world you can come together and unite to achieve one common goal.”
This sentiment is true and is something that the student body of the NCLA can unite behind. We can all recognize that there are negatives about the NCLA but we are all on the same team. We all – administration, coaches, and players want what is best for the student body. In a world that is so set on tearing itself apart, I don’t think that it is a bad idea to put a little of it back together.
Semester 1: An Overview
Though it may seem as if the year just started, the North Carolina Leadership Academy is already halfway through the 2021-2022 school year. Semester one was full of fun activities and memorable moments. Student council assembled, our boys soccer team led us to conference victory for the first time ever, the battle of the classes favored the upperclassmen in powderpuff football, and so much more.
During the first weeks of school, the 2021-2022 student council ran for office. The council, by popular vote, became: Abigail Brannan as student body president and Etornam Agbemabiese as vice president. Will Swisher became secretary, Nora Wood parliamentarian, and Nick Swisher filled the role of treasurer. Katie Carpenter, Skylar Maness, myself, and Linnea West became our respective class presidents.
Senior representative Katie Carpenter said, “I thought that the election this year was super strong with many students wanting to get involved and participate! The run for vice president was super entertaining and heated which I thought was amazing, to see students get passionate about their student body and school!”
During fall, powder puff is a favorite activity of the NCLA’s high school students. This football game is one where traditional gender roles are switched- the boys cheer as the girls throw the football. The upperclassmen took the win for the game, and the underclassmen cheer team was crowned victorious.
Sophomore Dallin Tucker says, “Powderpuff was really fun. I got to learn some new tricks and stunts with friends and then show them off in support of my other friends.”
Carsyn Queen remarks, “The cheerleaders were the highlight of the game. The amount of effort they put in was evident in their routine.” This event was voted as the student body’s favorite.
In the week leading up to the big game, high schoolers could participate in spirit week. Some of the days included dressing up as the first letter of your name, pajama day, and dress as your top spotify artist.
Kaitlyn Parker said, “Powderpuff day was super fun because it united us with freshmen and people that we don’t normally talk to. Dress as your name day was fun too because we got to see everyone’s creativity.”
The boys soccer team had a record breaking season. Team captains David Truhe, Cade Shoemaker, Scott Stanley, and their fellow team members led the NCLA to conference victory. One specific soccer game remains a positive memory for high schoolers at the NCLA. The boys soccer team, on its way to winning their conference, had to beat its rival in order to claim the title: Bishop McGuinness.
David Truhe said, “It was an intense game that we needed to win to win the conference that day. Furthermore, the pressure of an undefeated record rested on the result of that game. With the encouragement of the crowd, coach, and players around us, the team was able to pull through and win the game in double overtime against one of our greatest rivals.”
Will Swisher describes the game as, “So much fun and such an intense game.” Students were encouraged to come decked out in their neon attire.”
NCLA celebrated the veterans of the United States military by its annual Drive of Honor, held on Veterans Day every year.
Linnea West says the day is, “Important because it honors our veterans.” As a leadership academy, this is a top priority.
Leading up to the homecoming game and dance, an all-high school pep rally raised spirits on Friday, December 10. The rally was full of fun games and school spirit.
Nora Wood, who helped plan the event, said, “One of my favorite parts of the pep rally was right at the beginning when lights went out and the basketball introduction videos were played. Whenever a new person popped up onto the screen, different sections of the bleachers would cheer loudly for their fellow classmates. It was so refreshing to see lots of school spirit even when most basketball players weren’t there to witness it.”
In order to minimize the spread of COVID-19, mandatory athletics weekly testing began for the winter seasons of sports. There was a sudden rise in cases less than two weeks before winter break, leading to a school-wide online midterm week and a canceled homecoming game and dance.
Abigail Brannan said, “It’s always hard to stay motivated…It all happened so quickly and I felt pretty stressed.”
This semester has been a memorable one. High schoolers were able to receive their first taste of semi-normality since the pandemic first hit in 2020. Throughout its ups and downs, students of the NCLA made memories and created meaningful experiences. Here’s to an even better second semester!
New Year, New Goals
The new year has rolled in and peoples resolutions have been put into effect. 2020 and 2021 were not the hottest years and it has had its fill of major lows and incredible highs. 2022 is many peoples hope to erase the past two years and make this year the best it can be.
People’s resolutions tend to revolve around the concept of being overall healthier, hitting the gym, focusing on true priorities, etc. People then give up after a couple months and the cycle starts over the next year.
In an instagram response, James Garmon said he wants to “drink more water.” Abigail Brannan said to “go outside more. Go hiking lots.”
Another main focus for many peoples New Year’s resolutions is focusing on their education and to better their knowledge.
This coming year, sophomore Alyssa Pickle said she wants to “read more. I want to read at least 20 books this year.”
The new year also is a great opportunity to get in tune with one’s religious beliefs again.
Skylar Maness said to “spend quality time with the lord daily!” Cade Shoemaker said he wants to “read the whole bible in a year.”
Getting a good income is also on many people’s New Years Resolutions lists to be able to ball out and make the year the best it can with money in the bank.
Abigail Brannan said wants to “save ten thousand dollars by the end of the year.”