Wrestlers sign with college teams

Around noon on May 24, two Carrboro High School students committed to colleges on wrestling scholarships. The two seniors, Taylor Day and Otto Wolin, signed in the presence of parents, teammates and Dewitt Driscoll, CHS wrestling coach.

Day and Wolin look forward to their future roles on teams at UNC Chapel Hill and Coker College, a liberal arts college in South Carolina, respectively.

Senior Taylor Day (left) commits to UNC Chapel Hill for wrestling. Photo by Olivia Weigle

“I’m looking forward to competing on a whole new level in college,” said Day. “It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while.”

Both athletes credit their coaches and teammates as key factors in their successful careers.

“[My coaches and teammates] helped me with my character, and they’ve made me a better person,” said Wolin.

 

Ernest Appiah’s graduation is bittersweet

Ernest Appiah, known affectionately as the “Mayor of Carrboro,” will be graduating from CHS this year.

Appiah’s nickname stems from his compassionate personality.

“He is one of the few individuals in life that truly brings happiness wherever he goes,” said System Level teacher Melissa Barry. “And it makes you smile.”

When Appiah first started at CHS he was unable to speak.

“I have in my notes the day that he spoke three words and the day that he spoke four words,” said Barry. “We had cards with topics of conversation to try to get him to communicate. He can now springboard his own topics of communication.”

Appiah, who turned 21 this year, has aged out of his free public education and will start working at OE Enterprises this summer. OE is a supported work environment where Appiah will perform contracted work such as delivering mail and packaging soil kits.

“I’m excited,” said Appiah “But I’m going to miss my teachers.”

Barry and Appiah began their Carrboro careers on the same day six years ago. And, over the years, Barry and others have seen Appiah grow tremendously.

“When he first started communicating, he would only communicate within the classroom,” said Barry. “It has been one of the most miraculous things to see his community grow, to see his confidence grow and now we refer to him as the ‘Mayor of Carrboro.’’’

Many CHS students share fond memories with Appiah.

“This one time I walked around with Ernie to deliver cupcakes to the faculty, and he walked so fast I could not keep up with him,” said junior Millie McGuire. “It was so funny. He was on a mission to deliver those cupcakes!”

The hardest part of Appiah’s transition will be leaving his Carrboro family behind.

“Leaving is never a pretty thing,” said Barry. “It is an emotional process that the students go through for months.”

Barry described her students as family.

“When someone graduates, it’s really hard for the rest of us,” she said. “We feel it for a whole year afterwards, at least.”

For the next month, in preparation for Appiah’s new job, Barry and her colleagues will be working with Appiah to make the transition as smooth as possible.

“I do social stories with him so he can see what’s going to happen,” said Barry.

On June 7, students and staff will hold a graduation party and ceremony for all students graduating from Ms.Barry’s class.

“I’m going to bring my graduation cake with my name on it,” said Appiah. “And my mom’s going to make chicken wings and fried rice.”

Even though Appiah will be graduating, he will leave a lasting impression on faculty and students.

“Ernest is my ray of sunshine,” said Barry. “When he smiles I can’t help but smile, and I think that is an incredible gift.”

Ernest Appiah with his teacher, Melissa Barry. Photo by Mireille Leone

Dear Jagwire Judy…

“I’m a graduating senior and I’ve always despised having to write in yearbooks at the end of the year.“HAGS” is not my thing, and long letters are forced and time consuming. What should I write in my peers’ yearbooks? Should I reveal the truth about how little or much I love them? Or should I just sign my name in hopes that my autograph will eventually hold more value than a rushed sentimental message?”

– “Sentimental” Senior

Dear “Sentimental,”

Dumplin,’ don’t feel guilty for not writing something that doesn’t mirror how you really feel. You’ve known your classmates for four years now, maybe even longer! More than likely, they’ll be able to tell if you write something forced without true, emotional meaning. 

However, I know I wouldn’t be the happiest gal on the block if I saw a simple signature in my yearbook. The key is to find your balance; don’t pretend to be someone you’re not, but don’t forget to make that last impression a good one. If they’re truly just an acquaintance whom you see as a grain of sand on the beach, a simple, “I hope you have an amazing next four years!” should suffice. 

Don’t stress too much, darlin;’ the year is coming to an end, and you have a whole new chapter of your life unfolding before you!

Enjoy yourself, sweetie,

Jagwire Judy

 

“I’m about to start junior year next year and all anyone talks about is how junior year is the hardest year of high school. I want to enjoy being an upperclassman, but I can’t help but be super nervous. If I don’t do well now, am I going to get into a good college? How do I balance grades, standardized testing and my sanity? Am I thinking into this too much?”

– Scared Sophomore

Dear Scared, 

Pumpkin, you need to relax. Do what I do: When you feel overwhelmed, sit back, turn on some music, get yourself a cup of tea and take a deep breath. Don’t make any rash decisions or scare yourself before the year even starts! 

Discuss your concerns with your friends, your guidance counselor or any- one else you think can help. Give yourself the time to research and think about what colleges you hope to apply to. Set goals for SAT/ACT scores and what you hope to establish by the end of the year. 

However, most importantly, know that it’s not wrong to let yourself go every now and then to just lie down and take a nap. As life gets hectic and the world seems to never stop spinning, the best thing to do is to find ways to ground yourself, hon. It’s okay to feel stressed out, because I can assure you that every Junior before you has felt the same way. However, enjoy your newfound seniority, and don’t let school bring you down, darlin’: you decide how next year plays out, not anyone else.

Good luck, honey,

Jagwire Judy

New Faces of SGA

Niya Fearrington – Student Body President

Carrboro’s first African-American Student Body President Niya Fearrington described her victory as “monumental.” She hopes her success will help others follow in her footsteps.

“I hope that I’ve set a precedent for other minorities to become more involved in student affairs and even run for student government, because that diversity was very much lacking,” said Fearrington.

Fearrington’s first priority next year will be making sure every student feels involved in the school. She plans on reducing language barriers by hiring students to translate student-government flyers.

Fearrington appreciates student government for giving her an opportunity to become more involved in the Carrboro community, something she felt she lacked her freshman year before joining.

 

Mackenzie Cox – Vice President

Mackenzie Cox, next year’s Vice President, is excited to be a part of a new phase of SGA. She has an optimistic message to students.

“Be ready for student government. Be ready because it’s not going to be a student government you’ve seen before,” said Cox.

Cox is ready to push for more SGA engagement with everyday students. She envisions a school where representatives regularly check in with students at their lunch tables and ask if there’s anything they need.

It was an example of this friendliness that inspired Cox to join SGA. When she came to Carrboro, Cox didn’t know many of her freshman classmates. Encouragement from an SGA member quelled her nerves and inspired her to try to make others feel the same sense of welcome she did.

Cameron Farrar – Treasurer

Cameron Farrar explained that though she was happy to win her race for Treasurer, she felt more excited at the time about Fearrington’s presidential victory.

“I think this is a really big turning point for Carrboro,” said Farrar.

Farrar chose to become involved in SGA because of its voice.

“When you bring together the class senators and the four elected officers you have a megaphone to tell students about what’s going on at Carrboro,” said Farrar.

One way Farrar plans to use SGA’s influence is to fundraise in conjunction with the Junior Class Council in order to offset the cost of prom tickets.

Currently a Junior Senator, next year will be Farrar’s second year in SGA. She wishes people knew that they don’t have to be in SGA all their life to run for an elected position.

 

Tommy Holt – Secretary

Tommy Holt, Carrboro’s 2017-18 Secretary, joined SGA because he had friends he looked up to in the program. He also recognizes the benefits SGA events bring to Carrboro and hopes to increase participation.

“If you go to the events there are the same students at every one and you want different people to go,” said Holt.

Holt’s message is that SGA should be a place where everyone feels included and welcome.

“Student government is for everyone,” said Holt.

Creating an environment where everyone feels included requires collaboration between student representatives and SGA advisor Jamie Schendt. Holt appreciates everything Schendt does for SGA. He described the advisor as some-
one who works tirelessly for the school but is also really approachable.

Feature Image: Niya Fearrington.  Photos by Levi Hencke and Mireille Leone

 

Where is CHS Hall of Fame Now?

Kristina Witcher, class of 2009

Where do you go to school now, and what major are you pursuing?

I am starting my 5th year in the MD/PhD program at Ohio State University in Columbus, OH. I am working towards a PhD in neuroscience. My project focuses on immune responses to traumatic brain injury. Prior to coming to Columbus, I attended Oberlin College (Oberlin, OH) and graduated in 2013 with biochemistry and neuroscience majors.

What sport did you play in high school, and what were your biggest athletic accomplishments as a Jaguar?

At Carrboro, I ran cross country and outdoor track and also swam. This isn’t quite an athletic accomplishment, but being able to help start the cross country and track programs from scratch was a very special experience and a lot of fun. We came a long way in the first two years, and the teams have won multiple state championships since then, so it is cool to see how far the program has come.

Have you continued to pursue your sport in college? If so, how? What is the most major difference between sports in college versus high school?

I did! I ran varsity cross country and track all four years at Oberlin, which is a Division III program. College sports are a much bigger commitment. Practices and traveling to competitions take up more time, but you also have to make more sacrifices in terms of social time and breaks. Despite putting a lot of time into college sports, it was absolutely worth it. My college teammates are still my closest friends and we share so many special memories and accomplishments with each other.

What is one of your favorite sports memories from your time at Carrboro?

My first year at Carrboro, I was the only cross country runner from our team who ran in the state meet. The following year, we had a full team qualify to run. After having run alone, running with the team was that much more special. We also always had a blast at summer cross country camp in Brevard, NC and I have a lot of great memories from camp.

Luke Knowles, class of 2016

Where do you go to school now, and what major are you pursuing?

I attend the University of Michigan—Ann Arbor where I am going into my sophomore year studying civil engineering.

What sport did you play in high school, and what were your biggest athletic accomplishments as a Jaguar?

I played lacrosse at Carrboro. My biggest athletic accomplishments include Regional Champion, Academic All-American, 2-year Captain, East All-Region in 2016, HM All-State in 2016, All-Conference in 2016, and 2016 Conference-6 MVP.

Have you continued to pursue your sport in college? If so, how? What is the most major difference between sports in college versus high school?

I am not playing lacrosse in college but I am an intramural flag football champion at UofM!

What is one of your favorite sports memories from your time at Carrboro?

Beating Chapel Hill to win the regional championship my senior year was awesome. The stands were as filled as I had ever seen them and it was a defensive battle (we won 4-2). I played defense so that game was especially fun for me. Not to mention Chapel Hill is a huge rival of ours.

Maddie Smith, class of 2014

Where do you go to school now, and what major are you pursuing?

I am a rising senior at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. I am an Anthropology/Sociology major. I am pursuing a career in pediatric oncology nursing after I graduate from Rhodes in 2018.

What sport did you play in high school, and what were your biggest athletic accomplishments as a Jaguar?

In High School I played three sports: field hockey, swimming and lacrosse. I pursued field hockey ultimately and am still playing at Rhodes College on their varsity team. My greatest accomplishments during my time at Carrboro was I was named the Impact Player for the 2013 field hockey season. I was a captain my senior year (2013) and was a recipient of the Iron Jaguar award for the year 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Have you continued to pursue your sport in college? If so, how? What is the most major difference between sports in college versus high school?

I have continued to pursue my field hockey career in college. I have been a starter for the Rhodes College Field hockey team since I was a freshman.The major difference between high school sports and college sports is in high school I was playing field hockey constantly. I played around 80 games a year and now in college I can play at most 30 games. For me every game is special because I know they are limited. I have gained such a respect for myself as an athlete and my teammates and coaches because we put so much time and effort off the field for our games that I did not do near as much in high school.

What is one of your favorite sports memories from your time at Carrboro?

My favorite memory from Carrboro Field Hockey was watching my best friend, Katie Wilson, take a stroke during double overtime with East Chapel Hill High School. Katie was at the time injured with an ACL tear and watching her make the stroke and helping us win the game was such an amazing moment. It also was so sweet to beat East at Carrboro for the first time in school history.

Seniors lead lacrosse to strong season

A successful season, and a heartbreaking postseason result. With a regular season win over rival East Chapel Hill, and an early postseason exit, that is the story of the CHS women’s lacrosse team this year.

With plenty of senior talent, as well as up-and-coming underclassmen to fill in the gaps, this was a special year for Carrboro’s women’s lacrosse team.

Thanks to eight seniors, Carrboro beat rival East Chapel Hill’s team for the first time in CHS history, on March 21 of this year. “Beating East was the best part of the year,” said senior captain Abby Seagroves Reflecting on the season, Seagroves described the historic win over ECHHS—her favorite moment of the season—saying, “We were playing East, and we were up by five and then East came back and scored three goals and we were only up by two. We had two minutes left, and we just had to wind the clock down.”

Success doesn’t come from purely talent, as freshman Charlotte Ellis described the importance of team chemistry. She said, “I really liked the environment the team created. When I joined the team I felt like I had played lacrosse with them my whole life.”

With an 8-4 record, and ranked 25th in the state by MaxPreps, the success Carrboro had this year is undeniable. However, thanks to post-season scheduling that pitted them against a tough team in the second round, the Jaguars made an early tournament exit in their second-round game against Weddington.

Looking forward, Ellis says, “I am looking forward learning more about lacrosse, and I’m excited for the incoming freshmen to be part of the team.”

Seniors Abby Seagroves, Sarah Seagroves, Katie Fesperman, Katy Strong, Issy Chung, Emine Arcasoy, Flora Devonport and Taylor Gosk are graduating, but the team still has great talent. Strong junior talents of Mackenzie Cox—who led the team with 46 goals this season—and Sydney Mosteller, who was second on the team with 43 ground balls, hope to propel the team to success in the future.

Photo courtesy Sydney Mosteller. 

Hot activities this summer

In the heat of summer, it can be difficult to to stay active. If you hate the gym or prefer organized exercise, here’s how you can work out over break.

Pick up sports with friends (i.e. basketball)

Playing a pickup sport with your friends is fun, even in the summer. If you like competition in sports, motivating yourself to go the gym can be impossible — what’s the point if you’re not going to win? By playing a sport with your friends, you can be as competitive as you want, have a lot of fun and burn a ton of calories in the heat.

Running

Running in the heat is brutal, but it rips the “I need to exercise” band-aid off faster than any other exercise. Running is high intensity, which means however long you decide to run you’ll feel refreshed and accomplished after.

The gym (yoga, crossfit, zumba classes)

Escaping the heat is essential when you’re trying to exercise in the summer. If you’re someone who likes going to the gym, you can take yoga, zumba or pilates classes. If you don’t like classes, getting a gym membership would keep you active with the machines and equipment they have.

Non-competitive activities (swimming, biking)

There is nothing like cooling off in the pool during the summer. The relief of jumping in a pool in 100 degree weather should be enough motivation to start swimming laps. There are many pools in the Chapel Hill, including The Chapel Hill Tennis Club. In order to use the pool, you must have a membership or pay $5. Another pool you can go to is located at Hargraves Community Center, which offers different passes depending on age and the amount of time the pass will be used. You’ll feel cool, relaxed and already have exercise for the day! Similar to swimming, biking is self-rewarding. The faster you go and the harder you work, the more wind that blows in your face to cool you off.

Where CHS watches sports

For the students of Carrboro High School, sports are a huge part of life. Whether they’re watching their local Tar Heels perform at the college level, or cheering on the various favorite professional teams of many students; CHS loves to watch sports.

And in Chapel Hill, where sports are an integral piece of society, it comes as no surprise that Jaguars have favorite spots to watch their teams duke it out on the big stage.

“Me and some friends like watching soccer over at IP3, on Franklin,” said senior That Htoo. “It’s been especially fun to watch this season since my favorite club Chelsea is top of the league!”

Pizza places are sport-viewing havens for many CHS sports fans. “I remember during March Madness some of the Landgate boys and I would watch the UNC games over at Old Chicago,” said senior Alex Hoffman.

For many of the CHS students who wanted to cheer on their favorite college basketball team, however, they found refuge in somewhere other than a restaurant.

The Dean Smith Center provided a venue with only one purpose: to support the Heels. On the night of the national championship game, many CHS faithful could be spotted there. “The atmosphere of the Dean Dome was really intense, really stressful and really great. Also, after the win in the national championship the walk to Franklin Street was really quick,” said sophomore Serhat Calikoglu.

The “walk” is a UNC tradition, where all fans rush to Franklin Street in celebration of a National Championship win or win over rival Duke. Thousands stormed Franklin after the victory including CHS students.

For the Duke fans at CHS, going to see the Blue Devils play live is an experience unlike any other. “I saw Duke play basketball at home last season, and it was an awesome experience to actually be there,” said Ben Lu.

And of course, nothing beats watching a big game at your own home. “It’s just easier to watch games at home sometimes,” said sophomore Julia Sistachs.

Regardless of location, it’s undeniable that the Jaguars love to go all out for their favorite sports teams.

Photo courtesy unc.edu

David and Goliath: when sports get left behind

At the end of the NCAA basketball season, some Chapel Hill residents feel like there aren’t any sports left to watch. College football isn’t until August, and the college basketball season is on its break. So, until the fall, it seems professional sports and post-season reviews are the only sources of sports entertainment. But this isn’t actually the case.

At UNC, there are 28 women’s and men’s Division I varsity sports, which means there are sports going on all season long that receive little attention. Although the school year is over, the UNC baseball, softball, lacrosse, tennis and track and field teams are still competing. Despite this, many UNC fans are already looking ahead to future basketball and football seasons.

While UNC basketball’s six national championship wins are still an accomplishment, the university’s women’s soccer team holds 22 championships; the team won titles every year but two from 1982 to 2000. The other teams, regardless of their success, usually have low attendance and little recognition when compared to the basketball teams.

Carrboro senior Miah Araba attributes the difference to the trends in U.S. history over a long period of time. “It just goes back to the development of sports in general in the United States. American football and basketball have predominantly been key sports,” said Araba, adding, “[At UNC,] women’s soccer is definitely a dynasty. It just goes back to the fact that women’s soccer just isn’t as well known as basketball and football.”

The players of other sports also don’t get celebrity status. While each athlete commits to a D1 school for a varsity sport, usually only the basketball and football players get national media attention.

When UNC baseball won the ACC Championship, many news outlets chose to write about it, but for every baseball article, there are probably ten concerning UNC basketball draft picks, coaching changes, recruits, retiring jerseys and every single aspect of the sport.

In addition to the attention that football and basketball garner, they also bring in more revenue. In 2015, Forbes reported that the average price for the year’s UNC-Duke basketball game was $1,930. That’s nearly two thousand dollars for a single basketball game. In contrast, you can attend this season’s UNC-Duke rivalry baseball games (May 18-20) for as low as $13.50, less than the price of a Silverspot movie.

While the divide isn’t quite as clear in high school, similar trends still appear. At Carrboro, most of the attention goes to the football team. The games are more expensive, there’s a theme for each game and there’s an entire C-Town section. Almost every Friday night the bleachers are full and the crowds cheer.

Most other sports at Carrboro gain attention from only the most devoted fans, and then parents and siblings. Only when a team makes it to the playoffs does it garner the attention that the football team has all season long.

This trend extends beyond North Carolina. Similar to UNC, the UCLA basketball program holds an impressive 11 national championship wins, including a reign in the 1960s and 1970s. But UCLA’s Men’s Tennis and Volleyball have 16 and 19 respectively, and Softball also has 11.

It’s difficult to determine why this happens. It might be because of the money devoted to each team and how it’s spent. Some people believe that this change is a result of the media coverage that each team gets. The problem still persists today and while there have been many proposed solutions, there will be many more until the problem is resolved.

Photo courtesy unc.edu

Coffee the Documentary: an interview with Diamond Blue, creator of Coffee

Below is an interview with junior Diamond Blue. The JagWire has edited the interview for content and brevity. 

JagWire: What inspired you to make Coffee?

Diamond Blue: Well, to be honest when I was 13 years old Trayvon Martin was killed. That impacted me really tremendously because I have cousins who are black males and I have people in my family that are black males that I care about a lot. And, that was like the first event that took place and I was like, “I gotta really make something that’ll show people that there are too many unjust things going on.” To be honest, that is what really inspired me to start this documentary, or not even just the documentary but just to start something that’ll stick with people. I’m the only person in my family, or I’m the first person in my family, to really get involved in activism and the first person in my family to be ‘woke.’ My mom, obviously, she knew it’s not right, the things the black community has been experiencing for hundreds of years, and minorities in general. But I was the first person in my family to get heavily involved in activism and pro-minority rights, and I would say that Trayvon Martin’s death is what inspired me to get into it.

JW: What started Coffee?

DB: My freshman year, I wanted to write a book about what it’s like to be a black student in high school or what it’s like to go to a middle school and all that as a black girl, and the things that I’ve experienced. I was like, “If I, as a 16 year old girl, wrote a book, it’s only going to target a certain audience.” There’s not going to be a 40 year old white man who’s going to be like “I’m going to read this book” about this experience. That’s what I thought; I didn’t think it would get out there so I turned to the idea of making a documentary. And at first, it was a little bogus like where would I get the resources to do this? I don’t have the equipment, the money. I don’t have the investments to do it, so what I did was I went to Walmart and I spent $14 on 12 notebooks and a pack of pens and said, “okay, I’m just going to start writing.” So the entire summer, going into sophomore year, I wrote and I wrote and I wrote, and I talked to people, and it was like low-key interviews. I talked to people, and they thought it was just casual conversation. Some people were like, “why are you asking all these questions,” but I was really trying to broaden my horizons. Me wanting to write a book when I was in ninth grade turned into a documentary because I know that a documentary that’s not revolving around myself and showcases the life of so many other people could definitely capture the attention of not just one specific group. That’s where Coffee came from.

JW: Whom are you working with?

DB: I have a lot of people in high school who I’m working with. I’ve also started working with students form UNC. I’ve interviewed former student athletes from Duke, but I recently met Tim Tyson, who is the author book, The Blood of Emmett Till. He gave me truth and put his input in on it and exchanged emails. I’m currently working with the filmmaking program at Duke University and exchanging emails with the assistant of the head of the program. I’ve been working really hard in getting in touch with J Cole’s manager, but I think it’s safe to say I’m a lot closer than when I was before to getting his songs approved for use because they are copyrighted.

JW: Why the name Coffee?

DB: Coffee is a substance that can be changed or adjusted to someone’s liking. You can take coffee, and you can add cream, add sugar, add milk—anything you want to, creating a totally different beverage or drink anyway you want to. A lot of people have the misconception that you can adjust a person or a person’s culture to your liking. What I’m trying to showcase is that the American school system tries to get this unrealistic image and unrealistic expectation out of students, particularly of color, and that needs to stop. There needs to be an end put to that. Also, the things that have become normal in so many of our schools are almost disgusting. Some of the words that have been a normal thing to say, that’s an issue. My overview would be, my ‘thesis,’ would be that although everyone is different, adjusting someone, particularly students of color, to fit your liking and unrealistic expectations or your perfect image of a model student is inappropriate.

JW: What audience are you trying to reach?

DB: Everyone. I don’t want this to be something that just the Hispanic and Latino community, or just the Asian community, or just the black or white community can see. This is for everyone because I feel like there’s something that we all can do to fix this. There’s something that our country was built off on that it’s really in the soil, because really we’re all just a tree. This country is really just a tree, but the soil and dirt that we use has so many things that we don’t need. The curriculum is ridiculous, history classes are whitewashed, which is a term I use very loosely because people don’t realize the significance of it anymore. Kids not knowing about their culture, and if you go to a history class in our school you don’t really hear anything positive about black leaders other than MLK, Rosa Parks, you know? Positive things about Latino, Asian, Hispanic, or Caribbean leaders—there hasn’t been a time where we really talk about the Carib- bean other than Haiti and Christopher Columbus. But there’s so many things that we just don’t talk about that impacts us tremendously and plays a major role.

JW: What is your end goal for this project?

DB: I do want as many as people as possible worldwide to be impacted by this. When I do showcase this, and people who know me know I’m not the type of person to just scratch the surface. It’s us experiencing the life of others everyday and we don’t know they experience these things. But my end goal is for the documentary to be seen by so many people and not because it’s my work, or my project, but because I feel like this could really change someone’s life. This could really impact someone in a positive way.