Friday, January 27, 2012

Walter Displays Leadership Through Work-Out Routine

Graham Jewell  | Staff Writer  for “The Mount” 

The lackluster weather of this winter has left many students feeling apathetic and impatient for spring to arrive. However, for senior Tom Walter, the conditions are perfect for off-season baseball training. He has been lifting each day after school.

Tom WalterWith the help of baseball coach Brent Suing and strength and conditioning coach Tim Struckman, Walter is following a six-day workout plan specifically designed to give him an edge in building strength and endurance for the up­coming baseball seasons.

While some others may crowd the weight room to look good for their girlfriends or check in the mirror to see how their “six pack abs in six months” workout is go­ing, Walter is in there to work like it’s his job. “I am lifting to get stronger, because I know strength is key to having good performances in the spring. I don’t want to come up short of my best because of a lack of focus in the weight room, so I’m always ready to go when I’m in there,” said Walter.

Although practices don’t start until March, Walter says it seems like the lifting is part of the season itself. “The lifting program is great for team chemistry. Guys are getting in the weight room and working together,” said Walter.

Senior baseball player Evan Murray is also lifting everyday in prepara­tion for the season, and noted Walter’s leadership. “He is usually one of the first guys in and the last guy out. Other guys see him working hard and do the same, which is leadership that is really going to help us this year,” said Mur­ray.

Throughout the long winter, it can often be easy to slip up, but Walter has a goal system that keeps him on track to achieve. “I always write down how much I lift and how many repetitions I do, so I can keep track of my progress. Each person has their own lifting and strength goals, but as a team we are devel­oping a sense of hard work and accountability, which is really important,” said Walter.

Walter has started lifting in the winter to help himself perform better in the spring, but more importantly he is setting an example and leading the younger players, who are still finding their way around this emerging baseball program. “I have felt myself step into the po­sition of a leader and I just want to teach the younger guys to work hard and show them what Mount Michael baseball is all about,” said Walter. So keep an eye out for No. 17 this spring. With of all his hard work, you just might not recognize him. 

Robots Rumble at 2012 Heartland Vex Tournament

Eliot Prusa | Staff Writer  for “The Mount” 

 On Saturday, Jan. 7, hundreds of high school students and fans packed into the Mount Michael gymnasium for an intense competition. This competition wasn’t a sport of physical strength or speed. It was the 2012 Heartland Vex Robot­ics Tournament, and teams from across the state had built robots to compete in this year’s game, called “Gateway.”

“Gateway” is played with two alliances, one “red” and one “blue,” each with two teams. The alliances compete in matches consisting of one twenty-second “autono­mous period,” followed by two minutes of driver-controlled play. Essentially, the ob­ject of the game is to attain a higher score than the other alliance by scoring barrels and putting balls in goals. Teams can also earn bonus points by doubling or negating goals.

This year, the leading Mount Mi­chael team was entitled “The Sleepless Knights.” The team consists of juniors Josh Bloomquist, Tony Gao, Paul Kujawa, and Yun Sik Oh, as well as senior Ned McNal­ly. “We have a great mix of personalities on the team this year. Everyone has their opinions on what direction we should take when building the robot, and definitely it keeps things interesting,” said McNally.

On Saturday, the Sleepless Knights faired quite well. They finished the quali­fying rounds in seventh place out of 43 teams, and moved on to the eight alli­ance elimination bracket. “We were up against the number two seed. We won the first of three matches, then we thought we won the second match, but it was ac­tually a tie,” said Kujawa. “Then we lost the next match. It was 1-1, so we had to win the next one, then we tied again, than we came up short in the last match.”

Despite the disappointing loss, the Sleep­less Knights chose to look at the positive side of things. “All things considered, it went pretty well. Obviously, our goal is to win every tournament we com­pete in, but seventh place is nothing to hang our heads about,” said Bloomquist.

And when it comes to robotics, winning isn’t everything. “The Robotics program’s number one priority has always been teaching students about teamwork, dedi­cation, and technology, with a good mix of intense competition,” said McNally. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Knights win speech tournament for 2nd week in a row

Three weeks ago the Mount Michael speech team won their 1st ever team trophy with a 2nd place finish at the Ashland Tournament.  Since then they have finished in 1st place at the Concordia University tournament and the Lincoln Lutheran tournament.  Congratulations Knights.  See detailed results via the link in the right column.