Dreads Joining the Military

These seniors are doing more than going to college classes next year; they’ll be representing Dexter in the armed forces

By Alex Strang

 

The majority of students at DHS upon graduation will attend a four-year college and then either go get further education or enter the civilian workforce. A few seniors from the class of 2017 feel a greater calling. Whether they want free college, a more exciting job, or to serve their country, these three seniors felt a calling to join the military. Continue reading “Dreads Joining the Military”

BREAKING: Head Football Coach Garrett Chapel Resigns

By Nick LeBlanc, Mason Monroe & Alex Strang

Dexter’s new head varsity football coach, Garrett Chapel, resigned Wednesday, 22 days after being hired.

In addition to being hired as a football coach, Chapel was also hired as a physical education teacher to fill a vacancy created by Eric Santor when he resigned earlier in the year.

“He got our hopes up and crushed our dreams,” sophomore football player Khalid Dimo said. “In his speech to the team he said that we can win here and we won’t quit. And then he quits.”

According to Superintendent Dr. Chris Timmis, Chapel stated that the cause of his resignation was due to immediate family business.  Despite the resignation, Chapel was devoted to the students and players at DHS.

“Mr. Chapel actively pursued this opportunity and showed extreme interest in DHS and our kids,” Timmis said in a statement.  “Every indication we had was that Mr. Chapel was fully invested in our players and Dexter.  It is unfortunate that we have this sudden change in direction.”

After losing their new coach so swiftly, a multitude of emotions were shown by past and current Dexter football players.

“It’s disappointing that the football program keeps suffering setbacks as it’s trying to move forward,” sophomore varsity football player Alex Mills said. “I’m playing tennis [next year].”

“It’s unfortunate,” junior quarterback George Deljevic said, adding he is still planning to play football next year.

“I saw him recruiting a lot of kids so he seemed really committed to turning the program around, so I was surprised when I heard the news,” senior football player Joey Hiser said.

After hearing the sudden news, the administration at DHS plans on re-starting the process of hiring a new coach immediately.

“We will find a high-quality and committed leader for our football program and our students,” Timmis said. “We firmly believe that everything happens for a reason and this opportunity will lead to a greater future for DCS and our students.”

Chapel had been hired to replace former Head Coach Ken Koenig who was asked to resign in late November.

Dear Mr. President

Dear Mr. President,

Congratulations on being elected as the leader of the United States of America. You are now the most powerful man in the world, and with that power comes much responsibility. You truly do have the ability to do good things if you choose.

My name is Alex Strang. I am from Dexter, Michigan, a small town seven miles outside of Ann Arbor. I have moderate conservative views, but I try to remain unbiased. I think for myself and believe that it’s best to not let a political party influence my views. I am only an 18-year old senior in high school, and nowhere near an expert on politics.

Your focus on national security will benefit Americans by making this country safer. The safety of every American citizen is important no matter race or gender. I support you to continue to improve the national security of this country, just as President Obama did. I come from a law enforcement and military family, so I agree with your strong support of them. At a time like this, it is important that the public and law enforcement work together to create healthier relationships. I believe people need to realize the police are not bad the guys and they are just doing their job.

Your “America First” ideology has the potential to benefit our country with trade deals and a foreign policy that puts our country first.

But, Mr. President, a true “America First” policy means protecting all Americans, especially at a time like this where millions feel threatened, specifically women. They are equally as important as the men in this country. This is the United States of America, not the Middle East.

You say you want to eliminate ISIS, which I am all for, but by attempting to take away a woman’s reproductive rights, aren’t we beginning to stoop to their level? A level where schools are blown up to scare women from attending them to get an education equal to men. A level where people are killed to keep women from voting.

We are better than that. This country does not follow Sharia Law. In this country, women are recognized as just as faithful and intelligent as males, constitutionally they share equal rights with males, every girl goes to school here. This is not the case in every country. So, why threaten their rights when those rights in question do not have any effect on you or any other male politician?

A true America First policy means standing up for women, supporting their rights, and protecting them, not putting them down or trying to take away their reproductive rights. If you or other people are pro-life, then I respect that. I also respect the woman’s decision to make that choice herself. As a man, I cannot make that choice, nor should any male politician regardless of government position or political affiliation. You, and others with the same belief, can exercise that belief simply by not having an abortion.

Today in America, a woman can serve in most jobs in the military, while in the Middle East, they are put down, beaten, and sexually assaulted with no punishment for the men who commit these acts. These are the same countries where we send American troops. We cannot stoop to this level especially with how far we have come in this nation. A nation where a woman has equal say in elections, government positions, and marriage, as she should.

Women in this country are afraid. That should not be a problem. Ever. No matter what. Every American citizen should be proud to call the United States home, just as I am. They should not have to worry about already established rights being taken away because of an administration’s beliefs.

I know the media takes many things out of context and blows things out of proportion, but this is not something that is being made up by the media. Threatening to defund Planned Parenthood or attempting to take away a woman’s right to have a child is threatening the rights of a woman.

Mr. President, if an “America First” policy means stricter border control, then it also has to mean stricter environmental regulations. Why regulate our borders when the environment all around us is changing for the worse? No matter what political party you associate with, you have to recognize climate change is real.

We cannot afford to hurt this earth anymore. Just like all of our American citizens, we have to protect and stand up for planet earth. Further destroying the earth for monetary gain may seem worth it for big businesses on the short term level, but those CEOs and executives who want fewer EPA restrictions will one day have children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren who have to live in a world where the climate is worsened because of their greed.

When I graduate from college, I want to one day serve my country and lead soldiers in the Army for this nation. I am willing to serve this country with everything I have and protect the freedoms that have been set forth by our founding fathers. What I do not want to see is our country fall apart due to a division of race, gender, sexual orientation, or political affiliation.

I do not want my future wife to be worrying about attempts to revoke a right that was ruled constitutional in 1973 by the U.S. Supreme Court. I do not want my future wife to feel put down by the words and actions of the President. I don’t want her to feel threatened by a man or a congress whom she has never met, the same way I don’t want her to feel threatened by terrorists or criminals. I don’t want my future daughter to feel as though her rights are threatened. I want my future kids to be able to play outside in air that is fresh and free of pollution. I want my future family to be able to experience the activities of all four seasons from skiing in the winter to swimming in clean water in the summer.

If we are going to have a true “America First” policy, we need to be committed, not just part way, not just the parts that one political party wants, but fully committed. That includes protecting women’s rights and protecting this planet we call home.

You will not see me in the streets protesting, but if so many people feel threatened that they need to take such a strong stance, then something needs to change. Nor will you hear me saying “not my president,” because I understand, Sir, you are the President. You are the Commander’ n Chief of the free world.

You have the power to do many things. This country needs more than ever to come together, which will take effort and compromise from all political parties and people from all walks of life.

All Americans, every single one, need to come together to truly make a country that is currently more divided than ever, “Great Again,” and it begins with you, Mr. President.

Let’s begin the process of uniting this country, and truly putting all Americans first before yourself.

Respectfully,

Alexander Strang

Sport Specialization

Playing only one sport might not give you the athletic performance you are hoping to have

By Alex Strang

Many athletes only play one sport in their later years of high school, but if they want to take their athletics to the next level, that might not be the best option. It also causes overuse injuries because your body is not supposed to do the same movements all year long.

There are many reasons athletes choose to specialize. Some athletes feel pressured to excel at one sport and to put all of their effort into it. Others think that if they practice one sport all year they will have an edge over somebody who plays two or three sports and does not focus on only that sport. Athletes who have aspirations of playing at the next level might think that college coaches want them to play that sport as much as they can, leading them to specialize.

Dexter Athletic Director and Varsity Women’s Basketball Coach Mike Bavineau says that he has seen an increase in specialization. The decrease in two sport athletes has not been too dramatic, but there is a large drop off in three sport athletes: he said only three kids in the entire class of 2016 played three sports.

“You want kids to be in as many pressure situations as possible,” Bavineau said.

When winter rolls around, he wants his players to be used to that pressure of the game being on the line. He says there are many benefits to playing another sport: leadership skills, making them a better teammate, giving the body a rest from one sport, exposing the athlete to competition with different people.

Dexter Athletic Trainer Trevor O’Brien believes that the body needs a break and athletes should not play one sport year round.

“Statistics show that if you play more than one sport you’re less likely to get injured,” O’Brien said. “This is because overuse injuries are more common in one sport athletes. “Your body will adapt to multidirectional movement if you play multiple sports instead of just one movement year round like throwing a baseball.”

All you have to do to give your body a break from the same repetitive movements is to play another sport. Many sports complement each other and improve skills in the other sport. For example, cross country and soccer both have a focus on cardiovascular endurance. Since women’s soccer is in the spring and cross country is in the fall, these sports go hand in hand. Field hockey and ice hockey work similar skills as in lacrosse.

Many female athletes at DHS play field hockey and lacrosse while many male athletes on the ice hockey team also play lacrosse. Lacrosse and hockey are similar sports, but at the same time different enough where they work different movement patterns and planes that will prevent overuse injuries.

Junior Daniel Higgins believes it is a good idea to play two sports that compliment each other and he proves it works. In the fall, Higgins is a starter on the varsity soccer team. In the spring he runs varsity track. He is one of the fastest athletes on both teams.

Last spring he went to states and nationals as a member of the 4×800 meter relay team.

“Both sports improve my cardiovascular endurance and speed, so the two complement each other well,” he said. Soccer helps me with track and the track workouts help me for soccer.”

Most pro athletes played at least two sports in high school, and some even in college. Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Charles, Chris Johnson, Robert Griffin III, Jabrill Peppers, and Bo Jackson are all common names in football, but they all have something else in common, too. They all ran track. They are some of the fastest players in the game. If you could pick one athletic trait that separates Division I bound athletes from the average high school athlete, it is unquestionably speed. Speed is one of the most important skills for so many sports other than football, including soccer, field hockey, basketball, and hockey.

It’s no secret that the football program at Dexter has struggled in past years. Reasons for the lack of success are widely debated. But no matter what you think the program needs for success, one major skill that would help is speed. It puts the team at a disadvantage when they compete against teams like Chelsea, Saline, and Ypsilanti that have many of their skill players running track in the spring. The Dexter track team has lacked football players in recent years.

Former Dexter football defensive coordinator George Michos said if there is a good track coach, he would definitely want his skill players to run track.

“It teaches you the proper way to run and gets you fast. You can either pay somebody to coach you the proper way to run or you can just run track,” Michos said.

He believes the program will be more successful if more players run track because it will make the team faster overall.

There are always college recruiters at track and field invitational meets, but they are not only track recruiters. There are often college football recruiters and coaches talking to kids at meets in the spring. There are recruiters from a variety of sports watching kids that compete in track and field as a second sport.

If you only play one sport but want to be the best athlete you can be or have aspirations to continue a sport in college, the evidence suggests playing another sport too. If you can find a sport that complements one that you already play, your athletic performance can improve, and your risk of injury should decrease.

A Comeback for Coming Home?

The DHS Student Council is making a push to bring back a winter dance; 68 percent of students are in favor of the proposal

By Alex Strang

The last time Dexter High School hosted a winter dance, the class of 2017 were freshmen. The dance was the same night as the Coming Home basketball game, and students paid five dollars for admission to both the dance and the game. “Less than one hundred kids showed up, and student council ended up losing money with the cost of the DJ,” student council adviser Al Snider said.

Coming Home used to be run in a similar fashion to Homecoming: game on Friday, dance on Saturday. However, when students began to not show up to the dance, Snider switched the system three years ago.

The profits gained from each school dance are split five ways to student council and to each graduation class for their senior trip. The problem with the winter dance three years ago was that only half of the money collected was split this way. The other half of the five dollars went to the athletic department for the basketball game. This made it twice as hard to gain a profit.

Having a dance on a Friday night after the basketball game presented multiple problems. Students didn’t have enough time to go to the game, get ready for the dance, and come back to the high school. If the dance were to be on another weekend besides the week of coming home, during the night of an away basketball game, then students that go to the game would not be able to attend the dance either.

A recent survey showed that a majority of the student body is interested in a winter dance. Of 187 students, 68 percent said they would go to a winter dance if the school hosted one. “I would go to a winter dance because it gives me a reason to dress up and hang out with my friends,” senior Meg Bellottie said.

Others want a winter dance because a similar event exists at neighboring high schools. “We should have a winter dance because our school only has homecoming and prom while other schools have more dances,” junior Madi Hofe said.

To have a successful winter dance, “at least 250 students need to show up to cover the cost of the DJ and to make a profit,” Snider said. If student council can figure out a date for a winter dance, then it is possible to bring it back this winter. This could permanently bring back a winter dance if a few hundred students attend.

Stand Up

Instead of attempting to make a real difference in the world, many professional athletes are protesting during the National Anthem

There are certain things that you sit down for: watching television, eating dinner, doing homework, driving a car, but the national anthem shouldn’t be one of them. Usually the announcer will say something along the lines of “please rise as we honor our country with the playing of the national anthem, gentlemen please remove your caps,” and most Americans will stand and act accordingly.

In August, San Francisco 49ers back-up quarterback Colin Kaepernick sat for the national anthem during their preseason games.  Kaepernick has “improved” to kneeling every week since his initial protests.

Kaepernick’s protest has sparked more players to sit down during the national anthem. Recently players on the Seahawks, Broncos, and Dolphins, have also been sitting and kneeling in protest.

The purpose of the National anthem is to honor our country and those who have fought and died protecting your right to make millions of dollars each year playing football, Mr. Kaepernick. There are many disabled veterans who are still alive today who cannot even stand for the national anthem because they were hurt serving the same flag that you are protesting. From the Revolutionary War, to the two World Wars, to the current war on terrosism, hundreds of thousands of Americans have died for this country.

When important public figures, such as professional athletes, decide to sit for the National anthem, their wide reaching influence might impact the kids who idolize them.

At the Homecoming pep assembly in our own school, multiple students were spotted sitting while their classmates all around them stood up and showed support for their country. If it weren’t for the famous athletes doing it first then teenagers would not be following them.

Instead of just sitting on your ass in front of thousands of people, why don’t you go out in the world and make a real difference, and not just draw attention to yourself during the time everybody else in the stadium is giving their full attention to the flag, Mr. Kaepernick? It’s your right to protest, but don’t excercise it during a time to honor our country.

Lex Williams: Hometown Hero

Boys Cross Country Coach and 2005 DHS Graduate Represents Dexter at the 2016 Olympic Trials

By Alex Strang

Many athletes only dream of competing in the Olympics, but Dexter alum Lex Williams actually got a shot to compete for his spot on Team USA.

Williams is a long distance runner and ran in the 1500-meter run in Eugene, Oregon, in July in an attempt to qualify for Team USA.

Although he did not make the final cut – only the top 3 Americans in each event qualify – he got the experience of a lifetime. Only the top 30 runners in the U.S. were able to compete in this event.

High School and Childhood 

Williams established himself as a star early on at the age of 10 when he won the AAU 1500m. This success continued into his high school career when he finished first in the 3200m at the state meet and third place in the 1600m at indoor nationals.  He also left a piece of himself at Dexter by setting and retaining two school records in the 800m and the 1600m.

Despite all of these individual accomplishments, Williams’s favorite moments in high school are with his team: “I did some cool things as an individual, but those [three state titles] are probably my best memories,” Williams said.

Running at Michigan

After graduating from DHS, Williams ran at the University of Michigan.  While there he was an All-American and was first in the Big Ten in the 5,000-meter run.

From Michigan he continued to start his professional career.  Williams signed as a professional athlete with the running brand, Saucony, and the sports drink, SOS Rehydrate.

During his professional career Williams has one memory that stands out.

“Breaking four in the mile is my favorite memory I have of running,” Williams said.

The four-minute-mile barrier is the benchmark for elite milers.

Olympic Trials

After his olympic trial, he described his experience in Eugene with a smile on his face: “It was awesome. I thought I ran a great race, and just didn’t have it the last 30 meters. I got passed by three guys.”

He was one of the leaders for most of the race until the last stretch when everyone picked up the pace to cross the finish line to qualify for the next round.

“It ended quicker than I wanted to. I placed 28th, 28th in the country,” Williams said laughing. “I can walk away and be happy with that.

“The accomplishment of making it there was my personal olympic medal.”