Middle School Volleypalooza

Jackson Faenza

The North Carolina Leadership Academy Volleyball team was preparing for a great season, but unfortunately it was cancelled.

“Coach Mac worked very hard to schedule games for us and did, but the closer we got to the season, other schools/teams cancelled on us. So we had to cancel our regular season as well,” said Head Coach Richardson.

The middle school volleyball team was scheduled to have games beginning in Nov. and that would have lasted till the end of Dec. Unfortunately due to the pandemic, teams have cancelled their seasons leaving NCLA no  teams to play.  

In response to the middle school season being cancelled, the Volleypalooza was created so the players can have a chance to play this year. The big match, which will be two teams divided amongst the players who participated in Volleypalooza, will be held on Dec. 1, in the middle school gym.

The Volleypalooza featured four days of practicing of specific skill and then four days getting ready for the “big match.”

“The goal of Volleypalooza is to still allow the MS girls that were interested in playing this season the opportunity to learn, play, and have fun,” said Richardson.

Falcons run Hard to Open Season

Laura Richie

The HS cross country team officially started their season on Nov. 5, 2020 with their first official practice of the season, preparing themselves for their first meet on Nov. 17, 2020.

This years HS Cross Country Roaster concludes of:


  • Will Swisher (9th grade)
  • Andrew Ellis (9th grade)
  • Delaney Georgeff (9th grade)
  • Will Martin (9th grade)
  • Brandon Mendoza (10th grade)
  • Will Kauffman ( 10th grade)
  • Chris Hungerford (10th grade)


  • Kamree Anderson (9th grade)
  • Jaydn dewald (11th grade)
  • Emily Vroom (12th grade)
  • Brooke Bandy (12th grade)
  • Mary Dehart (12th grade)

Captains: Emily Vroom, Brooke Bandy, and Mary Dehart

Due to the pandemic, the season will be cut short with only six meets scheduled. Some of the teams that NCLA will be running against will be Millenium, Bishop McGuinness, Northwest Guilford, North Stokes, and the Ragsdale. Hopefully in Jan. there will a regional conference meet.

As we move forward into this year, Coach Rickert says, “I expect Will Swisher and Will Kauffman to do very well this season”, as they are our strongest runners on the team, as well as Jaydn dewald.

On Tuesday November 17, 2020 NCLA competed in their first meet of the season against Northwest Guilford High School.

Amongst the boys, Will Kaufman, sophomore, came in second place overall with a time of 20:44, with Will Swisher, freshman, coming in at fourth place with a time of 21:01. The girls race, Jaydn

Dewald, junior, came in third place overall with a time of 24:40 and Kamree Anderson, freshman, coming in at fifth place with a time of 25:25.

Coach Rickert says,”As always I feel like we will have fun this year, we always do. Hopefully we will be faster because of our extra time to train and the cooler weather this season should help.”

High School Volleyball Wins First Game

Ellie Gibhardt

On Tuesday Nov. 17, our high school volleyball team won their first game against South Stokes. They won three to one and did a great job, despite all of the new rules that come with sports this season.       

“Selah Smith had six kills and Maura Perkins added five. Jenna Clayton had 17 assists and Emma Ware added 16 digs. The main thing that is different about playing right now is that everyone is wearing masks at all times. The girls are doing a great job adjusting to playing with a mask on,” said Coach Hilliard.

Players agree that one of the biggest adjustments so far this season has been wearing masks. They are required to wear them at all times.

HS Volleyball
First High School Volleyball Game Pic Creds: Ellie Gibhart

“When we got there and started moving it started to get really warm and the mask made it a lot harder to catch our breath,” Jenna Clayton said. “We have been practicing with our masks on, but the added adrenaline made it worse. When we got into the game and started playing, I honestly forgot I had it on (except for having to constantly pull it up) and it ended up being fine.”

One of the freshmen on the team, Ariana Elliott, also made a statement about what it’s like wearing masks while playing.

“During volleyball we have to wear masks in games and in practice. It’s not as bad as you think it is. It just gets really damp in the masks from breathing hard and it’s very unpleasant,” Elliott said.

The coaches this year are Mrs. Hilliard and Mrs. Orenstein. Their support and encouragement has made games and practices easier, according to junior Nora Wood.

“It’s hard to see what’s coming or how the competition will be, but Coach O and Coach Hilliard are the best. They’re constantly reminding us to play our game and encouraging us to do our best. I think that is very important,” Wood said.

Lastly, another thing different this year is how teams end the game. Handshakes are no longer the norm.

“At the end of the game when both teams usually gather at the net and give each other a hand shake, we couldn’t do that this year. So what we did is we lined up on the ten foot line and we waved at the other team. It was kind of funny,” Wood said.

Overall, players enjoyed getting back into the game and are excited for the season to come.

“We were a little bit intimidated by the other team during warm ups, but we got out there and killed it,” Clayton said. “We played four matches, winning the first two and the fourth. It was a really good game, and lots of fun. Everyone played really well, including our new freshman players.”

You can rewatch the game at

Gyms Might Close Again

Emily Viers

COVID-19 is a worldwide virus that has made a huge impact on America. This has affected many big corporations and numerous small businesses. This has left people still trying to figure out is it safe to go to gyms.

Gyms had been closed for more than five months due to the pandemic. Governor Roy Cooper announced that on Sept. 4, phase three would take place.

This allowed gyms to reopen safely so many could get back to doing what they love. Gyms are proceeding to take extra precautions and modify the regulations for the wellbeing of all concerned. 

 “The gyms require masks when not doing a workout and everyone must wipe down all equipment after using it along with social distancing when possible,” said Jaydn Dewald, junior. 

Some precautions being taken by gyms include required masks, social distancing, disinfecting all equipment after use, the limit of specific equipment, and temperature checking at the door.

Why is it not safe to go to gyms?
Pic Creds: Jaydn Dewald

The main way the virus spreads is through the respiratory system whether it is coughing, sneezing, or even talking. This has left some gyms at a standstill, they are also having to close down some cardio machines to help prevent the occurrence. 

There are many alternatives that can take the place of going to the gym if necessary. This can include fun at-home workouts, yoga, and maybe even taking a quick stroll or bike ride around the neighborhood. 

The Gym is a safe place or a much needed stress reliever for some people. It leaves people feeling better and stronger at the end of the day. So it is important to have that option available if at all possible.

“If you do not have any underlying conditions I do suggest going to the gym. It helps me to feel accomplished even though other things such as school may not be going well. It takes my mind off of things,” Dewald stated. 

Is it safe to go to gyms? It’s all up to you, they are doing their best to help ensure the protection and safety of each and every individual that walks in their door. As we know if you do not feel comfortable there are many alternatives at your fingertips.

College Basketball is Back

Tyler Haynes

NCAA Basketball is coming back next week for the first time since the abrupt cancellation of the season due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, and here is what to expect.

The season kicks off on Wednesday, Nov. 25 with many big matchups.

NCAA Basketball Notable Games

  • 1 Gonzaga @ 6 Kansas 11/26
  • 2 Baylor @ 18 Arizona State 11/25
  • Charleston @ 16 UNC 11/25
  • Maine @ 4 Virginia 11/25
  • Gardner Webb @ 9 Duke 11/25
  • 15 West Virginia @ Texas A&M 11/25
  • Morehead State @ 10 Kentucky 11/25 
  • 3 Villanova @ Boston College 11/25

These teams have been waiting to play for almost nine months to play basketball again. The energy in these games will be unmatched.

Gonzaga will be a force to be reckoned with, with their season being cut short in the 19-20 season, they have an even better roster this year. Led by Jalen Suggs at point guard. Suggs is the highest star recruit to play for Gonzaga and all eyes will be on him this season.

Another team to watch will be UNC. After having a rough season last year, this year they are looking to bounce back with a much stronger roster. Their uptempo offense plays very well off fast breaks even with the two big man setups, they will be a team to keep an eye on this season.

“I can’t wait to have college basketball back. We are slowly getting back to normal can’t wait to see the rivalry game between UNC and Duke,” junior Nick Hurst said.

The last team to watch is Kentucky, in the offseason Kentucky had the number one recruiting class. They gained two new five star recruits that are going to make a difference in Lexington.

Due to Covid, the NCAA said that many games will be played on a Neutral Court and depending on the league there will be fewer games played in their seasons, for example, some conferences are only playing 18 games compared to the normal 30 to 32 game schedule which could be more depending on if the team makes the NCAA tournament.

“I think it will be interesting about how they will deal with fans and if they are going to regulate that or if each university will be able to control if fans come or not and how many,” sophomore Troy Shoemaker said.

March Madness may change too. The tournament games would be played all over one state, it was even talked about playing in the large high school gyms of Indiana.

There is talk of the players using the NBA model and having all the teams in a “Bubble” or a place where the players will Quarantine before entering and after being cleared for Coronavirus. Teams would not be able to leave “the bubble” until their team loses or is out of the tournament.

This model worked very well for the NBA to finish their season after being canceled. Other sports have not done this and are paying the price, many cancellations in College and professional football are happening due to Covid-19.

“The sport known as basketball has many different sections, but the one that I am currently focusing on is college basketball because of how it helps train the athletes involved to better themselves at basketball and prepare themselves for a professional level while still being very competitive, which also means that the students have to be good at their school subjects to be able to maintain their sport with a healthy balance,” junior Calvin Zoelinger said.

Bishop McGuinness vsNCLA game score: 

                           S1           S2            S3                  wins 
NCLA                  11             27            24                    0 
B.G.                    25            29             26                   3
In the first game, the team was nervous and needed the support of fans to help calm their nerves. In the second and third game, NCLA came alive with some crucial Kills by Emma Ware, Selah Smith, Maura Perkins, Megan Queen, and Julianna Peters. Also, Maura Perkins assisted by Jenna Clayton and Julianna Peters had three blocks against Bishop McGuinness player’s attacks,” said Coach Orenstein.

Upcoming High School Sports update:


Nov. 23: @ Reidsville

Cross Country:

Nov. 19: Millennium meet @ Dobson, NC

2 comments on “Sports

  1. James Wilson

    Emma Ware is the undisputed GOAT.


  2. James Wilson

    Great paper guys! Although I don’t think it is news that Tina Parker likes Starbucks. She could probably keep them afloat by herself.


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