Monthly Archives: November 2012

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Graphic By Matthew Riashi '13

Sam Kuhna & Mikey Sullivan ’13 | Staff Writer & Photo Editor

Neighborhood Club Basketball will return to high school students, on Saturday, Dec. 1.

For 20 years, the neighborhood club, has been in charge of putting together this league, said Jim Troyer, the recreation supervisor.

“I am very excited about this year,” said Troyer. “We have 20 teams spanning from the freshman class all the way up to the senior class.”

This year’s teams will be divided up into two leagues, one league will be strictly for sophomores and freshmen and the other will be for juniors and seniors, Troyer said.  Along with South and North, teams from U of D Jesuit and De La Salle will be playing in the league as well.

Neighborhood Club offers high school students the chance to play at a level that is fun yet still competitive. Kids who do not want the commitment of playing high school sports are able to play in structured games without worry.

Alex Peters ’13 was a member of the 2012 championship Kings team he said his team is looking for a repeat of its championship year.

“We lost some key players this year,” said Peters of his team. “We went from a size based team to more of a fast break squad.”

The defending champs are looking to dominate teams around South as they went undefeated against all South teams last year, losing only to a Grosse Pointe North team, Peters said.

Not only is assembling the team part of the fun, but creating unique jersey is important as well, Meade Maxwell ’13 said. Players have the opportunity to buy and design their own jerseys, shorts, socks, and warm-ups to their liking.

“Three different jerseys, custom socks and official NBA Knicks warm-ups,” said Maxwell of the team’s apparel. “We went all out this year.”

This year is one of the largest in the 20 year history of the Neighborhood Club High School league, Troyer said. Kids are looking forward to getting the opportunity to play a variety of teams from all around the Pointes.

“I am most excited to play the North teams,” said Bennett Jackson ’14 of the Wizards. “We want revenge from last year; they beat us pretty bad.”

This year Troyer said he had to add Brownell to the list of venues to accommodate the large league. The games are played on Saturdays and Sundays in December, January and February only taking a break during Winter Break.

Hawks (Seniors)

Key players: Zach VanElslander, Jacob Yglesias

Biggest rival: Kings

The Hawks might be the biggest team in the league, but lack the ability to play as a team. Although loaded with new talent, two new starters and limited practice time isn’t the best mix. Expect early struggles.

Starting Lineup:

  • Evan Enders, point guard
  • Sam Kuhna, shooting guard
  • Marcus Maniscalco, small forward
  • Jack Doyle, power forward
  • Zach VanElslander, center

Bench: Deuce Rodriguez(IR), Mikey Sullivan, Grant Livingston, Alex Detwiler, Alex Wilson, Jacob Yglesias, Max Warren

Knicks (Seniors)

Key players: Kalen Kennedy, Dylan Demkowicz

Biggest Rival: Raptors

The Knicks lost key defender Liam Mcilroy to wrist surgery before the season started and this changed the identity of the team. They will now live and die by the three pointer led by sharpshooting center Meade Maxwell.

Starting Lineup:

  • James Counsman, point guard (Liggett)
  • Dylan Demkowicz, shooting guard (UofD)
  • CJ Elliott, small forward
  • Will Green, power forward
  • Meade Maxwell, center

Bench: Josh Carolan, Kalen Kennedy (UofD), Nick Crandall, Phillip Pierce (Ligget), Josh Gall

Kings (Seniors)

Key player: Rob Baldwin

Biggest Rival: Hawks

The defending champs have gone through the biggest overhaul of any team in the off-season. With a total makeover in the backcourt, the Kings will now run a small lineup at all times. Being one of the smallest teams in the league, they may be the best rebounding team in the league as well. The bench must produce for the Kings to have a chance to repeat.

Starting Lineup:

  • Steve Brengman, point guard
  • James Pye, shooting guard
  • Rob Baldwin, small forward
  • Alex Peters, power forward
  • Andy Hartz, center

Bench: Noah Stenhouse, Mike Messina (GPN), Steven Zak (GPN), Mike Stavale, Nate Jones

Raptors (Juniors)

Key Players: Patrick Jackman, Anthony Simon

Biggest Rival: Wizards

A new team in the league, player/owner Wade Penman left the Wizards (formerly Hornets) to create what he hopes to be a powerhouse for the next two years. Adding three former South JV players to the mix, the Raptors are loaded with talent. However, a weak bench may prevent them from contending this year.

  • Anthony Simon, point guard
  • Robbie Bracci, shooting guard
  • Jack Bracci, small forward
  • Patrick Jackman, power forward
  • Hugh Whitney, center

Bench: Wade Penman, Andrew Hyde, Andrew Wright, TJ Stevenson

Wizards (Juniors)

Key players: Richie Kish, Clay Kreisler

Biggest Rival: Raptors

With a slimmed down roster, it looks like the Wizards may be in for a long season. They struggle to shoot from the outside with the exception of Clay Kreisler. Outside of Kreisler and Kish the team will struggle to find a third scorer. With a thin bench, the team must avoid fast break style play to stay in games. The fewer possessions, the better the chance the Wizards will have to walk away with a win.

Starting Lineup:

  • Jimmy Menchl, point guard
  • Clay Kreisler, shooting guard
  • Cole Semansion, small forward
  • Richie Kish, power forward
  • Jack Martin, center

Bench: Bennett Jackson, Connor Fox

Nuggets (Seniors)

Key players: Brad Sanford, Matt Geist

Biggest Rival: Hawks

The Nuggets return their full team from a year ago including the dynamic backcourt of Sanford and Geist. The biggest problem for the Nuggets will be their bench play. The team made up virtually all cross country athletes won’t have any problems running with teams, but shooting will be a major concern.

Starting lineup:

  • Matt Geist, point guard
  • Brad Sanford, shooting guard
  • Alex Knuth, small forward
  • Brad Kohut, power forward
  • Christian Mackey, center

Bench: Michael Fennell, Bailey Labadie, Hans Breiden, Kyle Matheson, Zach Montgomery

Super Sonics (Juniors)

Biggest Rival: Knicks

Key Players: Victor Flynn, Robbie Triano

The second new team in the league, the Supersonics lack experience. With only one former south player, the team will try to rally behind the talent of center Victor Flynn. Despite a ton of depth, it’s not ridiculous to think that this team could go defeated (Yes, that’s right defeated).

Starting Lineup:

  • Jackson Yezback, point guard
  • Bennett Aretakis, shooting guard
  • Khaled Elbadawi, small forward
  • Tighe Rzankowski, power forward
  • Victor Flynn, center

Bench: Matt Manardo, Connor Murphy, Chaz Bilderbeck, Eric Posada, Jake Esmacher, Daniel Bukacel, Archer Hauck, Robbie Triano


Jimmy Menchl ‘14 | Staff WriterPhoto courtesy of Jimmy Menchl '14

We all just have a good time.

Last year was my first year being involved in Neighborhood Club basketball, and it was unbelievable.  Two months before the official start of the season, friends of mine had recruited me to be on their team, which then made way for the numerous tasks that were required to prepare for the upcoming games.

Most importantly, we needed to choose a NBA team that would represent us. The success of the NBA teams never came into consideration when searching, as we only looked for the team that could potentially create the most unique jerseys. After constant bickering, we decided on the Hornets. Unfortunately, the jerseys we made were pretty lame.

To some players, there is only one downside in playing Neighborhood Club Basketball: The $1,050 start up fee.  However, this cost accounts for several different necessities during the season, such as referees and Championship Game apparel. Also, the $1,050 can be divided between each of the members on the team, ultimately ranging in price from $100-150 per person

Pitching in money was also a big debacle. Each team needs to pay a grand total of $1,050 for their team to be eligible to compete, but determining how the money would be divided was the tricky part. Not only that, but we had to pay for our jerseys and basketball shorts.  Luckily, I wasn’t in charge of collecting money.

After completing these necessary tasks, the fun began.

Once a week we would schedule practices at the Windmill Pointe Park gym to scrimmage against each other for one to two hours.  Every time we lost focus, though, and ended up playing a game of dodge ball with the few basketballs we had.

Until the first game began, I never knew how much fun I would have playing basketball in a middle school gym. After losing by 15 to a team formed from South students at the end of the first quarter, I expected an angry rant from our student coach, Jack Strachan ‘14. Much to my amazement, everyone just started laughing, as if it was not a big deal. The student coach doesn’t actually coach; he stands on the sidelines, usually with his team colored suit and clip board in hand sarcastically yelling out orders.

Even though we lost that game, I remember how much fun we had just playing together. It’s not as much about “winning it all” than it is playing with and competing against friends.

Every year I am fired up for the start of Neighborhood Club basketball. It is one of the only times you can play a sport where you are judged, not by one’s skill, but by how much fun you have.

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Photo by Margaret Fikany '13.
Photo by Margaret Fikany '13.

By Margaret Fikany ’13 | Staff Writer

With her experience as a Norseman and Michigan State University (MSU) hockey player, South’s girls varsity hockey coach and World History teacher Elizabeth Rabidoux is bringing diverse opportunities to South both on and off the ice.

For four years, from 2006 to 2010, Rabidoux played club hockey at MSU, she said. Her final year, Rabidoux started a new club team for players who wanted a less strenuous travel schedule.

After playing college hockey, Rabidoux said she student taught at Henry Ford II High School, receiving her teaching certificate afterwards. Rabidoux was also an Admissions Counselor at the Honors College at MSU.

Although Rabidoux coached Girls hockey both the Mount Clemens for two years and MSU for a year, this year will be her first season coaching South’s girls varsity hockey team.

Photo by Margaret Fikany ' 13. Elizabeth Rabidoux.
Photo by Margaret Fikany ‘ 13. Elizabeth Rabidoux.

Because the majority of the players this year are new to the sport, Rabidoux said experience so far as the coach is fun, but different, she said.

“Usually, everyone I play with has played before,” said Rabidoux. “But this year, I’m teaching some of these girls how to skate.”

With a group of first-timer’s on the ice, such as Alex Golden ’13, it was an experience learning how the game is played, Golden said.

“My coach made me feel comfortable going onto the ice and motivated me to keep getting better and better as I was learning how to play,” said Golden.

Being a coach as well as a teacher can be quite stressful at certain times, Rabidoux said. But she has become used to it.

“For me, it’s about doing what I need to do, when I need to do it,” said Rabidoux. “I make sure all of my work is finished at school, so I can make time for coaching. Once that is finished, I go home, and relax.”

Some students, such as Elizabeth Sullivan ’16, experience Rabidoux both as a teacher as well as a coach, Sullivan said.

Working with students that are also her players give them a more “informal” relationship, Rabidoux said.

“They see me in a different way,” said Rabidoux. “I’d say I can joke with them more.”

Sullivan said that Rabidoux can bring both seriousness and humor to the class as well as the rink.

“In both environments she both is fun and professional,” said Sullivan “She’s serious when needed, and always makes sure she is entertaining us at the same time.”

Her experience, enthusiasm and humor is what Rabidoux said she brings to the team that makes her a good coach.

“I think that because I have played women’s hockey, I can give my players a different experience and a wide variety of strategies some other coaches can’t provide,” said Rabidoux.

Winning the State Championship is something that is most hoped this season, Rabidoux said. Also, playing with North and competing against coaches she used to play with in her previous hockey career are looked forward to.

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By Kelly Cullen ’13 | Social Media Editor

On Monday Nov. 26, Annalise Bissa ’13 won the first Poetry Slam of the school year.  The slam was held at the Ewald Library, with an audience of about 40 people, said Creative Writing teacher Harry Campion.  Campion was very impressed with the attendance, but hoped for a few more poets to perform.

Starting off the Poetry Slam, there is an Open Mic for anyone to come up to the front and share their poetry or someone else’s, Campion said.

After the Open Mic, there were two different rounds where six people competed against each other reading their poems, Campion said.  Students in the crowd were picked to judge each person ranking them a 1 to 10.  After the rounds were completed, Campion calculated the score and announced the places starting from sixth to first.

“My favorite part in general is the final round,” said Campion.  “This part is exciting as we see who made it to the final round and how the crowd thought everyone did.”

Marie Monarch ’13 who attended the Poetry Slam was very impressed by those who had the nerve to read their poem in front of a roomful of people.

“It takes a lot for someone to go up to the front of the room and share a piece they’ve been working on for quite some time,” said Monarch.  “It was really cool to hear people’s poems and watch them perform it so passionately.”

Every Monday at Caribou, Campion holds a poetry workshop.  Bissa attends the workshop every Monday and credits her success to the help she receives when attending.  The work that is done at the workshop is editing, writing, practicing, and discussing their poems to one another.

For Bissa, the hardest part is preparing to perform her poem and editing it, said Bissa.  “My poem did not take long at all to write; that’s the easy part.”

Her winning poem that received the highest scores amongst the crowd was something she wrote to make people laugh, Bissa said.

“My poem was about the first person I thought I was in love with, at age four, and plays off the ridiculousness of that,” said Bissa.  “One of the best parts of slam is making people laugh; I’m absolutely addicted to that feeling!”


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Photo by Mikey Sullivan '13 | Photo Editor

Emily Mlynarek ’14 | Staff Writer

After an increased amount of physical altercations this school year, administration is taking steps to prevent future conflicts.

The administration did not want to go into the exact number of fights, but it did confirm there has been an increase since last year, Principal Dr. Matt Outlaw said.

“This (number of altercations) is still dramatically less than most schools, but it is still unacceptable for South,” said Outlaw. “At South, our goal is to have zero fights.”

During the previous school year, the total number was  58 percent lower than the 2010-2011 school year. This dramatic decrease was credited to a presence in the hallways, proactive communication and an overall positive attitude in school, Outlaw said.

“This school year, we are doing a variety of things to prevent students from fighting,” said Outlaw.

The administration plans on continuing last year’s policies but is also focusing on other ways to prevent conflict between students, such as the student-initiated committee “Concerned Students”, Outlaw said.

“I’ve noticed not so much physical or face-to-face fighting but more of a negative attitude over the web,” said Concerned Students member Jordan Kavanaugh ’14. “This eventually works its way into the way people feel and act at school.”

Concerned Students, headed by Assistant Principal Terry Flint, is focusing on students taking ownership of the school and its atmosphere, Outlaw said.

“Fights break out once in a blue moon,” said Alex Lagrou ‘13. “But I did not realize that fighting had become an issue at South.”

Any students involved in physical conflict are subject to consequences, regardless of who initiated the fight, Outlaw said.

“We are going to have very strong consequences for any student who chooses to resort to physical conflict,” said Outlaw. “Consequences for physical fighting are a 10-day suspension up through expulsion.”

Too many students have chosen to resolve conflict in a physical manner, Outlaw said.

“This is a small speed bump, but one we need to be mindful of,” said Outlaw.


[info]To prevent fights:

1) Students need to resolve conflict quickly; don’t let things get out of hand.

2) Seek adult assistance if needed. Any adult in the building is here to help students.

3) Understand that failure to resolve conflict quickly will result in severe consequences.

4) Remember that we do not fight at Grosse Pointe South under any circumstances. [/info]