Category Archives: Sports

BMX at AHS

 

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Biker Allen, before he does a back flip off a ramp over Mr. Runey      Photo By: Ashley Liriano

By: Delaney Nisbet

On May 6, Attleboro High School (AHS) held an assembly that was supported by the National Guard. It featured a BMX group called “Bring Your A Game,” which showed students the five core “As” that all students should follow throughout their day.”

Alliance, Attitude, Authentic, Ability, Active, Anti-Bullying and Achieve.

The National Guard believes that these five As will be able to make students successful with things they hope to accomplish. “I want them to come back to AHS, they did the coolest tricks I have ever seen,” said sophomore Emma Humphrey.

To show a core A, the BMX group asked volunteers from the crowd to help one of the bikers perform a trick. Four students lay on the floor while Allan, one of the members, jumped over them. “I thought it was very cool and dangerous. That’s something I would never do,” said sophomore Julia Hayes about the stunts the group performed.

The National Guard members explained that they were able to help to pay for college in the future. They offer many assistance programs that help pay for college tuition. “I would definitely join the National Guard as long as they help me pay for college,” said sophomore Arianna Susi.

“I wish that seniors were allowed the opportunity to go to the assembly because I heard it was super cool” said senior Angelia Littig who wasn’t able to attend the event. Some  seniors said that they wished they were able to go to the assembly because some students like to feel involved with the school as well.

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Attleboro Area Special Olympics to kick off Thursday at AHS

 

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2015 Special Olympics

By: Abigail DesVergnes

Hundreds will attend the 28th annual School Day Games Thursday at Attleboro High School.

The Attleboro School Day Games is the largest Special Olympics event in the state.

AHS will host about 670 athletes and more than 300 volunteers from 35 schools in 15 local communities.

A total of $18,000 has been raised from programs such as Project Unite, which consists of students at Attleboro, North Attleboro and Bishop Feehan high schools.

AHS teacher and Project Unite leader Rebecca Halsey is coordinating the event and is excited to see everything come together -considering the event has been in the making since the beginning of September.

The day will start with an opening ceremony and continue on to track and field and the games for younger athletes.

Athletes and volunteers will receive lunch provided by the Attleboro Elks Club. Spectators will be offered breakfast and lunch options from food stands and a healthy food truck.

For the first time, the games will be going green, and visitors are encouraged to bring their own refillable water bottles.

 

Budget Crisis Strikes Attleboro

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Attleboro City Hall  (Photo by: Mark Stockwell of The Sun Chronicle)

By: Meghan Lancaster and Amanda Lindley

The public schools in the district of Attleboro have recently received word that the city’s budget for school funding will be reduced for the upcoming 2017 school year. The budget cuts include the possibility of faculty and staff layoffs, non-essential course elimination, an increase in class sizes, and raised fees for transportation and after-school activity programs, among other possibilities.

Although nothing has been confirmed as to what stays and what goes, the School Department has made it clear that making these budget cuts is one of the only options available to close the current $2.6 million General Government budget gap.

Mayor Kevin J. Dumas recently visited several schools in the district to inform concerned residents, one of which was Thursday May 5, at Thacher Elementary School.

This is something we need to keep talking about because this is a huge problem,” said Dumas at Thacher. He said that the City’s process to solve the problem was “thwarted by the massive numbers of untruths and misinformation which have truly divided the people.”

Initially, it was thought that the School Committee would have to cut $3-$4 million, but Dumas was able to redirect funds from elsewhere to the school system following the outrage of city residents. Now, the Committee is preparing for up to $2 million in cuts, which totals to 64 teacher layoffs, among other staff members.

Before official news of the budget cuts broke out, city residents gathered in City Hall on Tuesday, April 26 to convince the School Committee to pass a law allowing them to use funds from other departments.

“In order to get to the point where we even had this $800,000 to allocate towards the city, we already had a $2 million shortfall in all of the other 23 departments citywide,” says Mayor Dumas.

Students at Attleboro High School (AHS) immediately expressed their concern with the budget cuts and planned to take action with an in-school walkout, but the plan was shot down once AHS Principal Mr. Bill Runey and some of the students decided that it would be counterproductive.

Instead, the school held two question-and-answer forums open to any student that wanted to receive official information about the budget crisis. Runey led the meetings, along with School Committee Chairman Mr. Stephen K. Withers, Superintendent-elect Mr. David A. Sawyer, School Committee Representative Mr. David Quinn.. They discussed the main causes of the City’s debt and the reasons for which the budget cuts are the only possible resolution at this time.

The forums made it clear to students that the budget crisis is the effect of debts in both the City and Massachusetts as a whole.  

The “2014 Chapter 70 Foundation Budget and Net School Spending” (Ch. 70) document establishes the minimum amount of money that the City is required to spend on its schools annually. If they spend less than 5% below that budget, fiscal penalties are put in place.

The Superintendent’s recommendation to the School Committee included an increase to the school budget by $6.8 million, but the School Committee decided to vote for a level-service budget and an increase of only $4.2 million, which resulted in a $2.6 million General Government budget gap to create a balanced city budget. Usually, in order to reduce this gap, the City would increase property taxation. Right now, however, the city is unable to do so because Proposition 2 ½ limits the amount that the city can tax its residents.

Even though the City has funded $1 million above the minimum spending requirements, an increase of only $344,135 (0.5%) in State funding is simply not enough to sustain services in the Attleboro Public Schools in the upcoming year. Under the limits of Proposition 2 ½, the City may only raise new tax revenue of $1.6 million to cover the expenses for the entire City. Thus, a $4.2 million shortfall in any department cannot be made up solely within the limits of Proposition 2 ½.

The City is considering overriding Proposition 2 ½ so that they can tax more and avoid having to make budget cuts in the future, but there is no clear indication whether or not this plan will be put into place, or how long it will take if it is put into action.

Along with the news of budget cuts in the school system came a spread of misinformation. In order to separate fact from fiction, a joint letter from Dumas, Quinn, and Sawyer was published April 30 regarding Ch. 70 as well as some of the common misunderstandings surrounding the issue.

The letter made it clear that the other projects around the City, including the renovations at AHS, are not payed for through tax dollars and therefore are not affecting the school budget crisis.

For people who wish to contribute to the City’s efforts toward helping the crisis, Bill Runey suggests that they donate materials – not money – to teachers. He says that this will cause the City to channel their funding from the cost of materials and instead put it towards teacher’s salaries.

Runey also mentioned that he is in the process of planning a potential festival on June 16 to raise money for the High School, although no plans have been made definite yet.

Right Balance

 

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River Wright (Photo by: Kaitlyn Johnson)

By: Kaitlyn Johnson

Conditioning and training the body for a sport can be very difficult due to the heavy load that students face. Freshman River Wright of Attleboro High School (AHS) is one of these young athletes. He pushes himself to decrease his swim competitive times but still keep up his grades.

Wright started swimming at the age of ten. Owen Wright, River’s older brother, was the reason he started. His older brother, who has cystic fibrosis, has been competitively swimming throughout his high school career, which influenced River’s decision to start the sport after moving from Helena, Mont. to Attleboro, Mass. in 2008.

River is part of the AHS 6-2 Boys Swim Team and also belongs to a local swim team, the Bluefish Swim Team. He helped AHS’s team go from eighth in the league, last year, to second in the league by last Feb. 7.

“I value academics more though,” said Wright as he spoke about his future career. For college, Wright plans to go to Stanford University in Calif. He knows getting into this school will be challenging, but is willing to work hard toward his acceptance.

When he isn’t focused on dropping times and putting in work at the pool, Wright is focused on everyday teen activities. Balancing his academic, social and athletic life can be very challenging, but he has his priorities. Wright said, “I put homework before swimming and skip [practice] if I have to.” If he is behind in a class or has a lot of homework, he sits out, always putting school before swim.

Even though he practices on the weekends, they’re more often in the morning, which gives him time to hang out with friends. Also, he has good relationships with the other swimmers, and some of his friends are a part of the team as well. Practices are a time for Wright to see his friends but also a time for hard work.

Although where he goes in his swimming career isn’t the most important, he still has done very well. Wright was Agonswim’s weekly wonder in his age group on December 18-20, 2015.

Wright’s favorite stroke is the butterfly. According to Swim Outlet, “To some people this stroke seems downright impossible,” but for Wright it isn’t.

“Self satisfaction after a race,” is Wright’s favorite thing about swimming; his least favorite thing is how much time it takes up and how time consuming it is. Having two practices every day takes up most of his time, but being proud of his times after a race is worth it. He is most proud of his 200 Individual Medley (IM), a time of (1:52.37), at the New England Senior Championships presented by Greenwood Swimming.

Outstanding Swim Coach and Physics teacher

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Attleboro High School’s Natatotium (Photo by: Kaitlyn Johnson)

By: Kaitlyn Johnson

Attleboro High School’s natatorium was named after William F. Dentch, a teacher and coach, who was committed to swimming. The natatorium was originally dedicated on June 19, 2002, with a plaque donated by the class of 2000.

Retired physical education teacher Mrs. Wendy DaSilva said, “Bill Dentch was one of the most loved and highly honored coaches in Attleboro High School history.”

Dentch devoted more than 20 years of his life to coaching the school’s swim team. He also taught physics for 34 years. Physics teacher Mr. Peter Tarsi, who had Dentch as a mentor, said, “His death was quite devastating; he was a soft spoken and devoted man, not only towards teaching but also swimming.”

Dentch formed the school’s first girl’s team in 1974, and coached until 1988.

Forming a girl’s team allowed girls at AHS to have the same swimming opportunities the boys had. His team had many victories. October 23, 1987 was Dentch’s 100th victory with his girl’s team, only 13 years after starting. There are only about 10 meets each season, so over those 13 years (100/130), left the team almost or fully undefeated. Even after retirement, Dentch helped with the girls’ technique when volunteering at the school.

The pool gave schools and clubs around the area a place to swim. Other than AHS’s swim team using the pool, Bishop Feehan’s team and the Attleboro Blue Fish, use the pool.

Dentch was the founder of the Attleboro Blue Fish, a very well known local swim club. This team is known for pushing their athletes to be the best, and the best is exactly what they become, according to their website.

“Bill was a talented teacher, a valued colleague, who was never unwilling to share what he knew, a consummate professional, and a friend,” said former AHS teacher Mr. Peter Schoonmaker, who now teaches physics at Sharon High School.

 

Opinion: ’96 Bulls vs. ’16 Warriors

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Basketball (from: Clipartpanda.com)

By: Jonathan Kermah

The 2015-16 Golden State Warriors located in the Bay Area of California are already having a historically great season. They hold the record for the best start to a season of all time with a 24-0 start. Currently with a record of 60-6, the Warriors are on pace to possibly beat the record of the ’95-’96 Chicago Bulls’ regular season record of 72-10. The Warriors are very talented but what many question is how they would stack up against the Bulls.

Many former NBA players have weighed in on this debate, and often side with the Bulls without hesitation. From Hall of Famers like Charles Barkley on TNT to former members of the Bulls like starting guard Ron Harper, there seems to be a consensus that the current Warriors would not stand a chance against the Bulls.

Rosters

 Position   Warriors  Bulls
Point Guard Stephen Curry Ron Harper
Shooting Guard Klay Thompson Michael Jordan
Small Forward Harrison Barnes Scottie Pippen
Power Forward Draymond Green Dennis Rodman
Center Andrew Bogut Luc Longley
Bench Andre Iguodala, Leandro Barbosa, Festus Ezili, Shaun Livingston, Brandon Rush, Jason Thompson, Ian Clark, Kevon Looney, Marreese Speights Toni Kukoc, Steve Kerr, Jud Buechler, Randy Brown, Jason Caffey, James Edwards, Jack Haley, John Salley, Dickey Simpkins, Bell Wennington

 

The Case for the Warriors

The Warriors have a much greater chance than people realize. Some of the statistics of this team are astonishing. Currently the Warriors hold an all-time record for consecutive home wins with 46 and counting.

As a team, the Warriors shoot 41 percent from behind the three point line. That is normally the percentage of an astonishing individual three point shooter, but they are doing that as a team. They also lead the league in total assists. The combination of shooting and passing makes them very hard to guard, which is the reason the team averages a league high 115.5 points per game.

The reigning MVP and leader of the Warriors, Stephen Curry, is having a transcendent season on his own. He currently averages 30.5 points per game (ppg), 5.4 rebounds per game (rpg), 6.5 assists per game (apg), 5.1 three pointers per game (3pg), and has a firm spot in the 50-40-90 club with a field goal percentage of 51 percent, a three point percentage of 46 percent, and a free throw percentage of 90.4 percent. While that’s impressive, it’s not the biggest highlight of his statistically great season.

At this point in the season Curry is on pace to hold the all time record Player Efficiency Rating (PER), with a PER of 32.2. That edges out Michael Jordan’s personal best PER of 31.71 during the ’87-’88 season; during the ‘96 Bull’s season Jordan’s PER was 29.35.

Alongside Curry, is the other half of the “Splash Brothers,” elite sharpshooter Klay Thompson. Averaging 22 points per game and shooting 41 percent from deep, he isn’t someone to be overlooked. Defensively he may even be able to challenge Pippen with his size and athleticism.

Throw in the “Swiss army knife” in Draymond Green and this team becomes unstoppable. Green averages 13.7 ppg, 9.6 rpg and 7.4 apg, and his passing ability from the forward position is only matched by that of Cleveland’s LeBron James and Boston’s Larry Bird.

That elite passing comes into pick and roll combinations between Curry and Green. Teams often elect to double Curry off of a pick, allowing Green to run the offense from the top of the key with a four on three advantage. Throw in an elite bench and capable veterans in Harrison Barnes and Andrew Bogut and this becomes the standout offense of this generation.

The offense is one of the most beautiful ever seen, but defensively the Warriors are also elite. While they lead the league in pace, the Warriors are still top 10 in points allowed per 100 possessions with 103.7.

What makes the team so special defensively is its versatility. Yes, they have standard defensive center types in Bogut and Festus Ezili who protect the rim, but what takes them over the edge are players like Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, and even Thompson to a certain extent.

These four players, especially Green can guard multiple positions. Green can guard just about anyone in this league from, Chris Paul (6’0”) to Deandre Jordan (6’11”). The others are not too far behind in their versatility, allowing the Warriors to continuously switch on pick and rolls without much risk.

They would have plenty of options to throw at Jordan defensively, similar to the finals last year against James, but stopping Jordan is easier said than done.

The Case for the Bulls

Yes, the Warriors Defense is great, but Michael Jordan is considered the greatest of all time for a reason. The closest level of talent in an individual the Warriors have faced would be King James, who in the NBA finals last year averaged 35.8 ppg, 13.3 rpg and 8.8 apg.

In the Finals, what made the Cavaliers able to compete with the Warriors was their ability to slow the tempo against the face paced Warriors by running meticulously slow isolation plays for James. This lead the Cavaliers to win two games with an injury depleted roster.

Jordan is a whole different beast than James. In the ‘95-‘96 regular season, Jordan averaged 30.4 ppg, 6.6 rpg, and 4.3 apg. With the talented Bulls’ roster around him, he would be deadly against the Warriors.

Jordan built much of his career around isolation scoring. James had a field goal percentage of 40 percent in the Finals against the Warriors. Jordan would most likely be more efficient scoring on isolation plays because that is something he did for the majority of his career.

The Bulls revolved around Jordan, but there was a very strong roster around him as well. Rodman and Pippen, and even Harper could cause serious problems for the Warriors as well.

Curry might not seem guardable this season but the ‘96 Bulls were known for their defense especially on the perimeter. Jordan, Harper and Pippen could make it real tough for Curry to score and might make Thompson look nonexistent.

Rodman is often looked at as the greatest rebounder of all time, which may be a problem for the Warriors’ deadly small ball lineup where Green, a 6’7” power forward, is placed at center. Rodman averaged 14.9 rpg in the ‘95-‘96 season and 5.6 offensive boards specifically.

He would be the perfect piece to combat the small ball Warriors. Like Green, Rodman is extremely versatile defensively and could guard wing players as well as big men. Rodman could easily be placed at center when Green is at center, and has the versatility to switch onto Curry on pick and roles for brief moments.

Pippen could possibly take any player on the Warriors out of the equation offensively. He was that great defensively. In 1991, he even caused trouble for the 6’9” Magic Johnson in the finals, so imagine what he could do against Green or Thompson. His 6’8” height would also cause problems for Curry and make it tough for him to get shots off that he is accustomed to.

On the offensive end, Pippen functions as the team’s playmaker. In ‘96 he averaged a team high of 5.9 apg. He was also a capable scorer with 16.9 ppg.

Harper would be a major key in defeating the Warriors. With his 6’6” height, he is automatically a mismatch for Curry. There is nowhere to hide Curry defensively against the starting lineup. Harper could post up Curry, and Jordan would demolish Curry.

The Verdict

This series would be unbelievable to watch, but by the end of it, the Bulls would come out on top. Home court advantage would have a serious effect on the series but the 96’ Bulls hold the best road record of all time, so if any team could go into the Oracle Arena and pull out the win, it would definitely be the Bulls.

For Curry, this would be the hardest match-up of his career. Defensively there would be no one he could guard in the starting lineup and the combination of Jordan, Pippen and Harper would cause him to throw fits offensively. Would he score? Yes, but it would be harder than ever dealing with the physicality of the trio.

The opposite could be said for Jordan; defensively there may be no match for him. Yes, Iguodola and maybe even Green would cause him problems but he would still have a dominant series similar to James last year and unlike James, he has all-stars on his team as well.

Rodman would have a field day on the boards and Scottie might make Thompson a shell of himself. The Bulls might just have the ideal players to counteract the Warriors’ “small ball of death lineup” with Harper, Jordan, Pippen, Kukoc and Rodman at the center to destroy the boards.

With that being said, the series would at least go to six games. Losing to what is considered the greatest ever does not mean the Warriors themselves are not a historically great team. This is the best team of the 21st century, but the ‘96 Bulls would be of the select few to have their number.

 

 

 

 

 

Special Olympics

By: Noman Khan

The following pictures were taken at Attleboro High School’s annual Special Olympics. This event took place on June 10, 2015. Pictures were taken by Attleboro studnets in the journalism class.