Archive | May, 2015

A Day Without Shoes

By Sara Eldredge

In 2011, TOMS Shoe Company started a fundraiser to raise awareness for children around the world who cannot afford shoes. For this event, they ask people to Instagram a picture of their bare feet. Every time somebody put “#WithoutShoes” between May 5 and May 21, TOMS donated one pair of shoes to a child in need. According to the TOMS website, giving children school uniforms that include shoes can increase school attendance by 62%. As of Thursday, May 21,  they had donated 296,243 pairs of shoes.

This year, Waynesboro High School’s National Honor Society took part in this fight as well.

On Thursday, you may have noticed students at WHS walking around without shoes. Weird, right? On this day, NHS sponsored “A Day Without Shoes” fundraiser right here at WHS. Students gave a dollar to walk around school with no shoes. This allowed students to understand what it felt like to not have shoes while also raising money for a good cause.

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“It was eye opening to see what it feels like to not have shoes,” says Natalie Yuhasz, a senior in NHS, “it made me really sympathize with those who don’t.”

The money raised will be donated to TOMS to buy shoes for kids all over the world. Ellie Laliberte, NHS sponsor said the society raised $37, which is almost the cost of one pair of TOMS. Laliberte hopes to raise more in the years to come.

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TOMS fundraising doesn’t end there. Along with donating shoes, TOMS has other fundraisers to raise money for more issues. With each purchase of TOMS eyewear, the company donates money for people who need eye treatment, whether that be eyeglasses or surgery. TOMS Roasting Co. Coffee profits go towards finding access to clean water. TOMS Bags are sold to raise money for safe births. And finally, StandUp Backpacks profits go towards training school staff, teachers, and counselors to “help prevent and respond to instances of bullying.” These fundraisers have made an incredibly large impact on people all around the world.

To find more about how you can help, visit http://www.toms.com/improving-lives.

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Tennis In and Out of WHS

By Emily Kratzer, Classroom Manager of giantword.com

 

The WHS Men’s Tennis team excelled this year, being undefeated in conference, two particular students have stood out. Juniors Ben Toetz and Sonet Gandhi have devoted over 6 years to the sport, practicing everyday with coaches and even family.

 

How long have you been playing tennis? Do you play year round?

Gandhi: I’ve been playing the sport for over 6 years now and I certainly hope to keep playing for the years to come. During the season I usually practice everyday until November when the cold weather starts to hit. Even with the harsh conditions I still manage to practice indoors with my coaches. It all started with a fun summer camp that led me to quickly fall in love with the sport. I finished my sophomore year 10-2 in Conference 29 singles and this year I’m 12-3 in singles and counting overall. The best part about the sport isn’t about winning or losing against someone, but the fact that I get better every time I step out onto the court and for my love of Tennis.

Toetz: I do play year round. I try and play as much as I can over at AMC with Chad Reed. I play over there in the winter time and then play with my parents and practice with them all the time year round. I’ve been playing tennis since I was about 7 or 8.

 

How much time do you devote to tennis each week? How have you improved over the last year or so?

Gandhi: Many people think that tennis is not as aggressive and intense sport as other (sports) and they would be wrong. After 6 years of playing almost everyday I’m still not considered to be an amazing player. It’ll take years before I master every shot of the game. To play better in tournaments, I practice as hard as I play. After years of playing the sport I feel like I’m definitely advancing to a new level of the game, but not where I’m satisfied at.

 

Toetz: I try to practice as much as I can. Me and my mom will go out and practice as often as possible. And over the past year or so I have improved a lot with ground strokes! Much more than I usually do. It’s all because of practice and repetition.

What do you enjoy about tennis?

Gandhi: The thing that makes me keep going at this sport is my love of the game. If you play a sport that you don’t enjoy playing, you obviously shouldn’t be playing and practicing it.

 

Toetz: I enjoy the kind of people who play tennis. And how it’s a life long sport, so you never have to stop playing because of age.

 

What are your stats for the current season?

Gandhi: The WHS Men’s Tennis team put out an outstanding 12-4 regular season and undefeated in conference, going 10-0. My singles record was 12-3 and undefeated in doubles going 15-0.

 

Do you learn more from wins or losses?

Gandhi: Both. At the end of the day you judge yourself as if you don’t know what the results or the score was. That way, if you win, you have to ask yourself if you really played 100% that day or not. This is not something you can take into account in just tennis but almost every kind of sport.

 

Toetz: Both. When you win you know that what you were doing in that game is working and to keep doing that approach. When you lose, you want to learn from your mistakes and to practice on what you’ve lacked on.

 

Do you plan to continue with tennis after high school? How?

Gandhi: After my high school tennis career ends, I certainly hope it won’t be the end of my tennis career. After years of playing and practicing, I’ve decided that if I can receive the opportunity to play in college tennis, I will take that opportunity to enhance my game and take it to a new level with competition on my shoulders.  I’m not sure where tennis will take me from there, but I’m sure I’ll take tennis wherever I go.

 

Toetz: Yes! It would be a dream to play in college and to play outside of college in leagues and such.

 

Who is your tennis role model? Why?

Gandhi: My role model for tennis is 110% Rafael Nadal. One of the reasons I believed motivated me into this sport is because of him. I copy his ground strokes and try to do the same in a match.

 

Toetz: My parents. My mother was really good when she was my age, and she almost went professional. Both my parents are my best supporters. They always support me no matter If I won or lost. Then I would have to be Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.

 

Do you think playing tennis outside of school gives you an advantage when it comes to playing on the school team? How?

Gandhi: Playing high school tennis is the first step towards competitive tennis. It’s always a pleasure to be able to play with my teammates because they pick you up when you’re down. High school tennis leads into May, and June is when summer tennis begins for me all the way to November.

 

Toetz: Yes. You get so much more practice. It helps your game of tennis big time. Especially when it’s raining and blowing out and you can still go play.

What are your tennis plans for the summer?

Gandhi: Summer tennis is a time period that I usually improve the most because I’m not focused on school and dedicate myself fully in trying to improve my game. Off season is when you want to practice for the big tournaments you play in. Playing 2-3 times a week isn’t my thing. I usually try to get the boys from the team together throughout the whole week and practice 2-3 hours per day.

 

Toetz: Practice, keeping in shape, and just getting repetition in from practicing so much.

 

From Coach Dewitt

How have Ben and Sonet improved since you’ve been their coach?

They’ve worked on their game a lot. Sonet plays all summer and takes lessons. He’s a well rounded player. Ben has also improved and is doing a good job as a server.

 

How do Ben and Sonet contribute to the team?

We have a very close team. Ben’s quite while Sonet is rambunctious, it’s a fun team to be around.

 

What are Ben and Sonet’s strongest qualities as players and teammates?

Ben and Sonet are good friends. Sonet has developed his own game. He’s able to do ground-strokes from both sides. He’s become a very well rounded, good high school tennis player. Ben has gotten better at serving and volleying.

 

Where do you see their tennis career taking them?

I see that they both could potentially play tennis in college.

 

What are your predictions for their senior year?

This year has been our best season yet, and Ben and Sonet keep getting better and better each year. I’m optimistic for another good season next year.

 

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Waynesboro High’s Giant Pride

By Emily Kratzer, Classroom Manager of giantword.com

 

As you look at the packed stands on a  Friday night a particular section of the bleachers is quickly filling up with students, mostly student members of the Pep Club. This year, school spirit has been at an all time high as students have gotten more involved and supportive of their WHS athletes. Between fan buses and prizes at the games, Pep Club has been a key supporter of the students at WHS this year.

“Being able to go to the games with a large group of people, like being with the whole student body, is pretty cool. I like having everyone there,” said Thomas Hines, a senior at WHS.

“It’s so great to see these kids get together and have a fun conversation together on the bus and away at other schools,” said Matt Gordon, senior and Pep Club President.

Besides going to games and supporting students via Twitter, the club was able to join up with the Booster’s Club to get a new stereo system for the big gym. The club was also in charge of organizing spirit days, pep rallies, and the homecoming dance. The Pep Club was even able to take fan buses to at least one game or competition for every sporting event so far this year.

The efforts of the Pep Club have been noticed by the entire school and has even boosted the school spirit throughout Waynesboro. Several local businesses, like Kline’s and Days Inn,  had signs up towards the end of the football season, including words of encouragement like “thanks for making us believe again.”

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“It’s kind of like sometimes kids sit back and wait for a team to do well. I don’t think that happened this year,” said WHS principal Tim Teachey. “Even though their record didn’t show it, you could see they (the varsity football team) were improving. Kids didn’t wait to get excited, the excitement just increased as wins kept happening.”

With the encouragement of the Pep Club,   the WHS Little Giants came together this year to have a huge impact on the school. Student athletes have also responded positively to all the support.

“It feels good seeing people at my games, especially the other night (April 13th) when we got our first win,” said sophomore Zach Washburn, boys varsity soccer team player.

“I love seeing our stands filled with students. It’s almost like you want to play better for them. It makes you want to work harder because you don’t want to let the school down,” said freshman Mackenzie Coburn, varsity girls soccer team player.

Boy’s tennis team senior Seth Wood said, “It’s nice getting recognition and support of the club and school.”

With all their success and growth this year, the pep club has had a difficult time finding new leaders for next year. As of now, three students have been selected to lead the club, juniors Devante Robinson and Burke Bender will lead as presidents, and sophomore Zach Washburn will lead as vice president.

New presidents Devante Robinson and Burke Bender, current president Matt Gordon, and new vice president Zach Washburn.

 

“You have to be personable because you really have to go out and talk to people. You have to be organized, and you really have to keep a good standing with the school to be president. It’s important to have good connections with faculty and students,” said Gordon. “It’s been great (being president), I love it. I’m really sad to leave next year. I’ve invested a lot of time and money and I don’t want the club to fail.”

There are several benefits and challenges to being the leaders of the club. One significant benefit that Gordon mentioned is that, as a leader, you get to make a difference in the school and have a positive impact on students. A challenged mentioned by Gordon is  that when something does go wrong, the leader is usually held accountable. A challenge mentioned was that when something goes wrong, the leader is held accountable.

Next year’s president, Devante Robinson, thinks he will be a good leader because he likes supporting his fellow classmates and cheering on everyone at sporting events. He has exciting plans including rewarding students throughout the year for showing school spirit.

“I want more participation next year,” said Robinson. “We had a lot this year, but we have over 130 people in the club and only 30 or so coming to games, some of which are on their phones the whole time anyway. I wanna have good themes (for spirit days, football games, ect.)and more students cheering each other on,” said Robinson.

So look out WHS. Next year it’s time to go big, or go home. As a school, let’s continue to make a difference and support all our fellow classmates. Lets keep increasing that Giant Pride!

 

 

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