The Day After

On March 16, 2012, the Dexter community quickly came together to overcome a natural disaster that affected many

By: Nick LeBlanc and Caden Koenig

The peace that preceded the tornado was followed by shock. Dexter’s bubble finally popped.  A community that once stood in silence came together. Adversity was a rare thing for the 4,127 citizens of Dexter to face, as nothing serious has ever happened in the small, peaceful town.

Before the sun rose that day, the streets of each neighborhood were packed with insurance companies, disaster relief companies, and newscasters getting prepared to deliver a story about  a village in southeast Michigan.  News about the tornado reached all over the nation reaching even to Hawaii.

Dexter exemplified a close knit community. Local businesses and restaurants donated food and other goods to the devastated areas. Busch’s played a key role in helping families by donating cases of water and having a cookout that night. To add to this, Mill Creek Middle School and Creekside Intermediate both combined with The Red Cross, and opened up their doors for people who needed a place to stay that night

Gloves, long pants, boots, protective eyewear, tools.  All were used to collectively gear up the people of Dexter.  Adults and kids alike came from all over the district to help the unfortunate families in Huron Farms, Horseshoe Bend, and numerous other businesses and households.  Kids ventured out into the neighborhood to help clean up the possessions of others like drywall, insulation, siding, furniture, roofing shingles, and, sadly, more.  Despite the chaos of the tornado, citizens of Dexter were at their friendliest.  People walked around with food and water for the affected and for the workers.  Businesses, like Busch’s by Huron Farms, opened their pantry to help feed families that lost their ability to fulfill the task of preparing something as basic as food.

The winds that the tornado produced equated to those consistent with an EF3 tornado; easily ripping through the seemingly insignificant village.  Over one hundred houses were hit and thirteen were completely totaled.  In total, the damage took a

In all, while the people may have had different opinions, goals, and lifestyles, in the end the community came together and put aside their differences.  This is because we’re all human and deserve love during times of grief.  By coming together during the tornado the people of Dexter shows why we live by one phrase: Dreadstong.

Rise Of The Real

Senior McKenna Sgroi focuses on individuality with unique lyrics to pursue his life-long dream of rapping

By: Marissa Rafail

Sitting next to McKenna Sgroi in class, you’d assume he’s like every other student at DHS. When he leaves school and stands in front of the microphone, the real McKenna shines through as he raps to his own music.
The senior dedicates most of his time working towards his long-term goal of becoming an artist and producing music. Recently having released his first studio-produced single “Rise of The Real,” Sgroi is already eagerly working on his next song with an underground artist from Ann Arbor, Eon Zero.
“Making music is a therapy for me,” Sgroi said. “It was the only thing able to shine a little light on a dark situation in my life. Music is what got me through it, and that’s why it means so much to me.”
His love for music dates back to his early childhood. From Eminem to Chris Webby to Dr. Dre, Sgroi grew up with a developing passion for music. At age thirteen, he got into rapping himself. His motive behind making his own music was to create a unique sound that shows who he is as an artist. After a few months of rapping and freestyling by himself, Sgroi took the second step towards making his music more official.
“Two years ago, my cousin said he knew about a studio I could visit, so I went with him and have been going back two-to-three times a month since,” Sgroi said.
Since Sgroi writes his own songs, his inspiration for his music and lyrics can come from anything, including his moods or the music itself. While writing, he makes sure the lyrics are different because he doesn’t want to sound like every other rapper. With the goal of individuality in mind, Sgroi lets the beat of the music help guide his songs.
“Anything can spark ideas for lyrics,” Sgroi said. “I’m always thinking about them, and if I’m in class and think of something, I’ll write it on my hand, paper, or in my notes so I won’t forget them.”
Throughout his journey in the music world, Sgroi met one of his favorite artists, Chris Webby, and talked to him about his passion for music on two different occasions. Meeting one of his idols and talking to him about music only strengthened his passion.
“He was surprised that I rapped at first, but he really just told me not to give up and that even if it’s not good now, it will be,” Sgroi said.
From showing friends his lyrics, to letting them get sneak peeks on upcoming music, Sgroi makes sure his friends know whats going on and leans on them for support.
“For where he is in life, his music is really good,” said Kyle Rook, Sgroi’s close friend. “His lyrics have a really good flow, and he puts a lot of time and thought into them.”
Sgroi plans on continuing to go to the studio in the future and to keep progressing with his lyrics and releasing new music. With long term goals of making money off his music and turning musical production into a profession, Sgroi’s determination and perseverance are helping guide him into the music world and achieve his lifelong dreams.

March Madness’s Sweet 16

Teams to watch out for in this year’s edition of March Madness

By: Nick LeBlanc and Alex Strang

Madness is in the air.  The sights and sounds of seasons being crushed, top seeds being overly confident in their ability to “win it all”, and lower seed hopefuls quickly ruining said hope is going to become all too familiar.

Before jumping into this year’s bracket, it’s important to first remember those whom have fallen in last years season of March Madness and learn from their mistakes.  In memoriam of No. 2 Michigan State, who lost in the first round to No. 15 Middle Tennessee; No. 4 California, who lost first round to No. 13 Hawaii; and No. 3 West Virginia, who lost to No. 14 Stephen F. Austin.  Bracketeers everywhere will never underestimate the power of an upset because of your mistakes.  Thank you.

“There will be more upsets this year than there has ever been before,” senior Brandon Wright said. “This year, there are no teams that are significantly better than others like there has been in the past with Duke or Kentucky.”

Jumping into this year’s bracket, here are some of the overly confident high seeds and hopeful low seeds to look out for.

Within the South region of the bracket, arguably the three top teams in the nation, No. 1 North Carolina; No. 2 Kentucky; and No. 3 UCLA, all have to fight for national championship glory within one region.  Having the most top heavy region shows as the top four seeds in the region all advanced to the Sweet Sixteen.  The only interesting upset came from No. 12 Middle Tennessee in the first round.  Other than that, expect either North Carolina, Kentucky, or UCLA to be representing the South region on April 1st in the Final Four.   

In terms of the south region, Sophomore Logan Eggleston thinks UCLA will come out on top: “UCLA is going all the way.”

On to the Midwest, the team to look out for is Michigan in the Sweet Sixteen.  They are red hot coming out of their conference championship victory and have something to prove as underdogs.  In terms of the Midwest No. 1 seed, Kansas, expect them to continue their trend of choking under the pressure of March Madness: they lose to Purdue in the Sweet 16.

“Michigan is hot right now, but not talented enough overall to win the whole thing,”  junior Janie Harshe, a Michigan fan, said.

In the West lies more uncertainty.  Teams like No. 12 Princeton and No. 14 Florida Gulf Coast had the potential to pull off their respective upsets against No. 5 Notre Dame and No. 3 Florida State, but fell short.  Now, after the round of 64, the only upset to take place in the West was No. 11 Xavier over No. 6 Maryland.  No. 1 Gonzaga, after coming off a 32-1 season, has the potential to not make the Final Four even after their tremendous season as the stout, No.4 West Virgina and No. 2 Arizona stands in their way.

After the defending champ, Villanova, was knocked out of the tournament by No. 8 Wisconsin, and No. 2 Duke was knocked out by No. 7 South Carolina, the East bracket is left wide open for the remaining teams participating in the Sweet Sixteen.  Expect No. 4 Florida to seize the opportunity and make it to the Final Four.

Before the tournament began, the Squall staff predicted Duke to be the winner of the biggest tournament of the year.  In a revised pick, the Squall is now taking Kansas to cut down the nets.  Personally, we believe UCLA will take home the trophy, but we also picked Michigan State to win it all last year, so take the advice with a grain of salt, because in reality, you have a better chance of winning the Powerball or getting struck by lightning than picking a perfect bracket, even from here on out.

Pizza, Nosebleeds, Chaos

Then seventh graders, two editors remember how a 5:15 greenish sky distruped the calm, forever impacting their lives

by Caden Koenig and Nick LeBlanc

Caden Koenig:

Remembering back, as a seventh grader all the days seem like a blur. As a seventh grader the experiences of the whole year feel like one memory. This is with the exception of March 15th and the few days that followed it.

The day started as an average Michigan day: 70 degrees and sunny… in March. All morning, the weather was celebrated with T-shirts and shorts. It was a fantastic surprise considering the prior days were 40 degrees at the most.

Now, like I said, most of my memories blur as just being an average day and so was the beginning of this day. In fact, I even remember walking home with friends.

It was about 3:30 pm and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. The day slowly progressed with my friends, and I was likely playing basketball or football outside.

Around 4:30 the clouds quickly started to roll in and the sky got darker and darker.  My parents had ordered Jets pizza for dinner.

We planned to eat on our patio in our backyard. By the time my dad went to get the pizza, 10 minutes later, the Severe Weather Warning Alert blared through the television. Immediately following, the tornado siren from the village started echoing.

At about 5:15, the sky was a green tint, the thunder was loud, the lightning lit up the sky with every strike, and my dad and I were eating Jet’s on the porch. However, this did not last long due to a mix of the uncomfortably high wind speeds, and my mom freaking out about us being outside. So, we rushed to the basement with our candles, flash lights, and pizza due to the power outage.

By 6:00, it was over. The shock set in almost instantly. The roads were flooded. Trees were uprooted. Clothes, rugs, and furniture lay throughout the neighborhood. My family and I sat on our porch for hours unsure what to do.

I had always looked up to my parents when I didn’t know what to do, but at this moment it seemed like nobody knew how to act.  It seemed surreal, not only that night but the days that followed as well.

Nick LeBlanc:

Calm. The sky, the temperature, the people.  All was calm. The birds chirped welcomingly till it became a normality to the ear. The pleasantly curious warm air tiptoed through the trees and reached as the breeze caressed human skin. Kids walked and played as the seductive nature lured kids to embrace the day.

I took my time on the walk home that day.  Fully indulging in the surprising beauty of the day. Even the sight of my colleague, Caden Koenig, leaking blood from his nasal cavity wasn’t enough to take away from the grace of the day. Besides the spontaneous nose bleed and the warm winter day (yes, March 15th is still considered winter), the day was normal.

After my arrival home, things settled down as I waited for my father to return home to take me to baseball practice. That’s when the peace of the day began to change. Seemingly out of nowhere, an overcast of distasteful clouds took to the sky.  The welcomingly chirp of the birds was halted.  Kids went back inside as a brigade of dark clouds approached from the distance.

Being a curious kid, I was constantly checking the sky behind my deck.  As per usual, when a storm was in sight, I made constant, annoying suggestions claiming there was a tornado.  As cliché as it sounds, I was actually right for once.

The wall of wind was in the distance, but since I knew the approximate travel of the storm, I felt the urgency to tell my brother and father. While my brother and I decided the best idea was to run into the basement, my father thought the best idea was to inspect the tornado from up close. After realizing that the cone of wind was indeed a tornado and in our neighborhood, he finally came to the conclusion that maybe he should be in the basement.

We looked out the windows in the basement and all we saw was the gray of the storm. We heard the wind rushing against the house and the hail bombarding the siding. Eventually a tree fell and blocked our view of everything, even the ominous gray color.

The sun came out. It seemed calm again, but after the shock dissipated, it was clear that nothing was calm. My friends and I decided to walk the neighborhood.  Police, people, and the remnants of destroyed houses were a common sight around evry block.

The calm scene that was set earlier was gone. The new scene had rolled in: chaos.

Spring Break Horoscopes

Predicting your spring break with the characteristics of your zodiac sign

By Julia Bell and Megan Sarns

Aries: Aries are spontaneous and love to take risks. You may find yourself packing your bags on Friday night and hitting the road on Saturday morning.  While spontaneous trips are often the most fun, it is important that you find yourself in good company. You tend to be impatient and short-tempered and hours in the car with the wrong people is a recipe for disaster.

Taurus: Tauruses are a grounded sign that prefer familiarity and routine, so this spring break, you’ll mostly likely enjoy spending time at home. But you don’t have to take a lavish holiday to have a great time! In fact, there a plenty of fun things you can do without leaving the comfort of your house: binge-watching a show on Netflix, spending quality time with your family, studying the Communist Manifesto, or doing arts and crafts projects. Get creative!

Gemini: Gemini are indecisive and struggle to make plans; we’ll help you out. As a social sign, you love crowds. Set your sights on the biggest party destinations. This break you’ll meet a lot of new people and return to Dexter with many new friends. Buy a new bathing suit, pack your sunscreen, and make this break one to…remember.

Cancer: Spring break is the perfect opportunity to channel your imaginative mind into a creative project. You’ve been putting your artistic pursuits on the back burner this month, and it’s about time you roll up your sleeves! Whether it’s dusting off that guitar you haven’t played since last summer or painting an impressionist portrait of the family pet, work on improving your talents. Do it now, for soon it may be too late…

Leo: You’re a natural leader and you don’t like following the crowds.  This break avoid Panama City and Daytona Beach and lead the way to an exciting new destination. Take the road less traveled and discover a place that nobody has thought to explore. Since Leos like to be the center of attention, it may seem like a good idea to update your Snapchat story every 10 minutes. It’s not.

Virgo: You’ve been studying hard all semester, and now it’s time to relax. Whether you indulge in a luxurious spa getaway or, just pamper yourself at home, you favor a calm spring break to a wild adventure. But beware: amidst all the rest and relaxation, a new challenge will arise this month that will put your reserved and cynical nature to the test. I mean, we can’t tell you what it is or anything, but just take our word for it.

Libra: Libras love the outdoors. Pull out your Eno, grab a good book, and spend your days in the shade of your favorite tree. When the weather doesn’t permit peaceful hammocking, head to Quality 16 to catch that movie you’ve been waiting to see, or make some popcorn and cozy up on the couch with your siblings.

Scorpio: Scorpio’s are a notoriously passionate sign, and your spring break is going to be all about the romance. The relationship between you and your significant other may have been tested last month, but this month, you’ll be stronger than ever. For the single Scorpios, keep your eyes peeled for a handsome stranger while you’re at the beach. Spoiler alert: their name starts with a letter.

Sagittarius: As a Sagittarius you have been looking forward to spring break since school started this fall. You can’t wait to pack your bags and leave Dexter behind. Sagittariuses love traveling, and you have big plans for the coming weeks.  Whether you’re heading to the beach to catch some rays or the mountains to catch hypothermia, this break is sure to be the best one yet!

Capricorn: Capricorns are a smart and studious sign, but unfortunately that means bad news for spring break. In the days before break, one of your teachers is going to assign a massive project that will ruin your plans of a relaxing week off. But don’t worry, all your hard work will pay off in the end when you’re rewarded with an A. Feel free to show this horoscope to your teacher as evidence.

Aquarius: Aquarians are a humanitarian sign and tend to love others. This spring break is full of opportunity to lend a hand to those in need. Volunteer at an animal shelter, carry groceries for your elderly neighbor, or clean out your closet and donate your clothes to Purple Heart. However, don’t become so involved in helping others that you forget to take care of yourself.

Pisces: This spring break has you feeling like a fish out of water. You’ve been lonely and ignored by your friends this month, which may make spring break a difficult time for you. But your compassionate and adaptable personality means new friendships are on the horizon. You won’t be feeling like a lone wolf for long.

Memories from Members of DHS

Five years after the Dexter Tornado, two students, a teacher, and an administrator reflect on the how the day has changed their lives

By Megan Sarns and Julia Bell

Having formerly lived in Florida, sophomore Kara Young and her family are used to ominous weather conditions.

“We had hurricane after hurricane near our house,” she said.

So, when a storm started rolling into Dexter on March 15, she didn’t think much of it. The family was actually getting ready to go to church for weekly “Thursday night dinners.”

Continue reading “Memories from Members of DHS”

BREAKING: Phil Jacobs Named DHS Football Coach

Jacobs comes to DHS from Siena Heights University

By Joe Ramey

With no usurp needed, Dexter’s former varsity football coach Garrett Chapel (who held the job for 22 days), resigned, calling for a new search to begin and a new spot to be filled.

Within a month of his resignation, the spot has been filled and it been filled heftily. Phil Jacobs, a former varsity coach at Adrian High School and current outside linebackers coach at Siena Heights, was named head coach on Thursday.

Jacobs plans to make an appearance next week to talk to student athletes about his decision to move to Dexter as both a coach and a teacher.

“I feel very privileged to be the head football coach at one of the top school districts in the state,” Jacobs said in a statement. “I am very eager to begin work at Dexter as soon as possible, to spend time with our student-athletes, and to get to work. We will work hard to bring a brand of football that the Dexter community will be proud of.”

His philosophy is one of strength and integrity. Literally. His plan has always been to better a program in the weight room and ensure his team is the “strongest pound for pound” in whatever league they play in.

With a career record of 67-45, Jacobs intends on bringing a winning record from his previous positions to Dexter. His former position included a head coach position at Adrian with five SEC titles and two district titles under his belt. Along with his head coaching position at Adrian was his involvement in the Siena Heights program, most recently as an outside linebackers coach. Of his 25 years of coaching, 11 came at the collegiate level, garnering praise nationwide.

His name was recognized as one of the top 20 turn around coaches in the state and in 2010, and he was recognized as the National Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year by American Football Monthly.

“We promised our kids we would find a successful coach and teacher to lead the program,” Superintendent Chris Timmis said in a statement. “Phil Jacobs was at the top of our list. Not only is he an incredible coach, but he is also a gifted teacher and tremendous role model for our student-athletes. We could not be more excited to have Coach Jacobs leading the DHS football program and teaching our students.”

The Warm Weather Problem

Winter temperatures reach record highs in Michigan, but residents should fear its implications of severe climate change

By Tessa Kipke

 

First things first: I hate winter. Truly, I do. In the dead of winter in Michigan, when the sun is a mere distant memory, and the cold is so deep, so complete, that it burrows into your fingertips, toes, and ears, threatening to numb them forever, I find solace in daydreaming about the beach, about green grass and leaves on trees and leaving the house without 20 layers on.
When the first hints of spring come after long months of ferocious cold, it’s like the world is finally waking up. It’s exhilarating and makes me remember that there are parts of Michigan weather that aren’t torturous. However, the winter of early 2017 was different. It was slightly anticlimactic, as though the world had tensed up for a hard blow that just never came.
In the fall, I had been dreading winter, as always, but then November rolled around and the weather barely shifted. In fact, the last two days of November 2016 reached nearly 60 degrees, which, for someone native to Michigan, barely warrants a light jacket. December and January got a bit cooler – we even got a few snow days – but the winter never reached the frigid magnitude of my memory. There was even a day in December that was over 50 degrees, which is practically unheard of. Now, in February and March, when winter traditionally begins fade away very, very slowly, spring seems to already have sprung. The high in February of 2017 was 45.2 degrees; the normal high is only 35.
All of this culminates in the fact that creeping shift of global climate change is starting to feel less sluggish. We can feel it, in the air and on our skin, and it feels real. But it’s also easy to be conflicted because, living in Michigan, where we’re accustomed to lengthy, brutal winters, this feels like a reprieve. The thought of warmer winters in coming years is welcome, even celebrated. Being able to go outside during the winter months and not want to immediately die is kind of great.
But the greater implications are far from positive. As the global climate increases, our polar ice caps melt, sea levels rise, and droughts, heat waves, hurricanes, and other natural disasters increase in frequency and intensity. In the past, these consequences seemed like a worrisome-but-distant threat, but now they hit a little too close to home. Ecosystems worldwide are shifting, unsure how to react to an unprecedented wave of heat, and humans are not excluded. We don’t quite know what to do with ourselves in a world transforming like never before.
A couple of weeks ago, a weekend in mid-February hit 68 degrees (the average normal temperature in February is 27 degrees) and scores of people fled outdoors to enjoy the warmth. Instagram pictures and Snapchat stories were filled with views from picnics and park benches, showing people gleefully donning sunglasses and short sleeves. It was wonderful and terrifying.
I love warm weather, but I don’t love the unnatural reality that’s been causing it lately. I don’t think we need to actively feel guilty about liking this early spring, but it’s imperative that we’re aware of the changing world around us. Though gentler weather is unbelievably nice, we must understand the underlying consequences of climate change.