Thursday, February 27, 2014

Mount Michael Sixth Man

A 4 minute video put together by Mr. Joe Mixan that captures the spirit of Mount Michael Basketball. A tribute to the "Sixth Man" that helps inspire the team every game.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Academic Decathlon State Champions

The Mount Michael Knights reign as the 2014 small school Academic Decathlon State Champions. The competition was held at the University of Nebraska Omaha campus.  The topic this year was World War I. Schools of all sizes competed simultaneously.  The final event was the Super Quiz.  Mount Michael won the Small School division and placed 3rd among all schools.  When the points were totaled for the entire event Mount Michael placed 2nd among all schools large or small.  Congratulation Knights!
L to R: Back row Dave Cormier, John Collins, Alex Hotovy,  Cameron Engel, Rowan Gruber, Caleb Pflug
Front row: Adam Terasinski, Jacob Ramaekers, Zach Frevert, Collin Donahue, Andy Johannes, Ben Connealy, Thomas Kalil.
The competition features students in 3 academic levels based on their Grade Point Average. A-Honors B-Scholastic, C-Varsity

Mount Michael Medal Winners

Cameron Engel:  gold in economics, science, and essay; bronze in art and interview; 2nd highest overall honors; team high score.
Jonathan Collins:  gold in language/literature; silver in art and science; bronze in music; 3rd highestoverall honors.
Rowan Gruber:   silver in economics.

Zach Frevert:  gold in math and science; silver in economics, language/literature, and music; 1st in overall scholastic.
Alex Hotovy:  gold in economics, math, and language/literature; silver in art; 2nd highest overall scholastic.
Collin Donahue:  silver in language/literature and interview; bronze in art and math.

Adam Terasinski:  gold in art, economics, and essay; silver in language/literature; bronze in math; 1st in overall varsity.
Ben Connealy:  gold in language/literature and science; silver in economics; bronze in speech; 2nd highest overall varsity.
Jacob Ramaekers:  silver in science.

For alternates, art and music are paired up as humanities; economics and language/literature are paired up as soft science; and math and science are paired up as hard science.

Alternate honors:
Thomas Kalil:  gold in humanities, soft science, and hard science.

Alternate scholastic:
Andy Johannes:  gold in humanities, soft science, and hard science.

Alternate varsity:
Caleb Pflug:  gold in humanities, soft science, and hard science.

1st place for the super quiz:  Jonathan Collins, Rowan Gruber, Alex Hotovy, Collin Donahue, Adam Terasinski, and Ben Connealy.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Knights' Robotics Season Success

Mount Michael Robotics teams have had an outstanding season of competition placing high at many tournaments and good success at the recent 60 team State Robotics Competition.

Team “Knight Shift” recently qualified for the 2014 VEX Robotics World Championship Tournament in Anaheim California April 23-26.  They also qualified for the U.S. Open Robotics Championship to be held in Omaha April 3-4.

Complete Team Summaries: More Photos

Sleepless Knights: Kalle Haines, Michael Kim, Matt Amao, Matt Coghill
1st place: Brownell-Talbot Tournament
State Division Semifinalist (4-4)

Knights of the Round: Drew Goddard, Reilly Jackson
Semifinalist Omaha North Tournament
2nd Place Gross Invitational
2nd Place in League
State Division Quarterfinalist (7-1)

Talladega Knights: Chase Goddard, John Beckman, Leo McGrath
Quarterfinalist Brownell-Talbot Tournament
1st  Place Gross Tournament
Quarterfinalist League Tournament
State Division Semifinalist (5-3)

Knight Shift: Nick Huetter, Michael Ford, Aaron Meyer
Quarterfinalist Benson Invitational
1st place Brownell-Talbot Tournament
Quarter Finalist Omaha North Tournament
2nd Place Gross Invitational
1st Place League Regular Season – U.S. Open Qualification
2nd Place League Tournament
State Division Semifinalist (6-2)
Robotic Skills World Championships Qualifier

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Conference Runner-up

Jackson Thompson (Sophomore) and Andrew Ahn (Freshmen) pose with Runner-up Plaque

The Mount Michael/Skutt Boys Swimming and Diving team recently won Runner-up in the River Cities Conference meet. 

Jackson Thompson: 2nd place 100 Butterfly, 3rd place 100 Backstroke, 3rd place 200 Medley Relay, 3rd place 400 Freestyle Relay, 

Andrew Ahn: 13th place 50 Freestyle, 13th place 100 Freestyle, also swam in the 200 & 400 Freestyle relays.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Athletic Facilities Developments

Meeting Outlines Athletics’ Future
Harrison Hohman –  News Editor

January 29, Athletic Director, Jon Borer held a meeting which made the department’s long term plans public and enlightened the attendees regarding the future of Mount Michael football, soccer and athletics as a whole. Several members of the Project Home Field Advantage committee were in attendance including facilities director Jim Lewis, head soccer coach Kevin Grey and head of school Dr. David Peters. Borer described the plans for advancing the school’s athletic facilities to roughly 25 interested parents, coaches and benefactors.

After welcoming the attendees, Borer began the presentation with a video he made of students and administration giving their reasons for why they wanted a new sports field. Many of the students’ responses echoed one another, each claiming that the new field would be a massive boost to the players morale, all of whom have never played a game at “home,” or “under the lights.” Administrators, meanwhile, spoke about the recruiting advantage a new stadium would bring: nicer facilities, more people visiting the campus, and a sense of growth, potentially bringing more students to Mount Michael.

Following the movie, Borer then went through each of the four planned phases, giving a price, timeline, and explanation for each. Phase 1, Borer explained, has already been completed, at a cost of $61,900. This step involved widening the soccer field, which had previously used illegal dimensions, moving the jumping pits for track, and building the new storage press box.

Phase II, which has yet to be completed, will allow Mount Michael to play host to varsity football games by adding sidewalks, bleachers, fencing, a scoreboard and a new sound system. This phase will cost roughly $136,000, although over $31,000 of this has already been raised.

Phase III will allow Mount Michael’s teams to play home games at night by adding a new lighting system, estimates for which have been around $74,500.

The first three of the four total phases could be completed in the next few years. However, the fourth and final phase may take decades to be realized.

This final step, also the final part of the capital campaign, involves building an entirely new football stadium east of the current school, returning the soccer field to its original purpose.

One audience member was curious why the plan didn’t include artificial turf, and why money was being spent on two fields. Borer explained that the costs of turf ruled out an artificial field, and due to wear and tear, it would be impossible to permanently host both football and soccer on the same grass field.

To conclude the meeting, Borer issued an ultimatum: if enough money can be raised for phase II by March 1, Mount Michael will host its first ever home football games next fall, While night games ‘under the lights’ won’t be a reality next fall, making Phase II happen would be a step forward for a school that has never played a varsity football game at its true “home.”

Mount Michael Initiates Upgrade of Athletic Facilities
Oliver Jarosik – Staff Writer

Picture this: You’ve been practicing for months. Through the two-a-days, hours of lifting, and rigorous studying of the playbook day in and day out, you’ve endured. It’s finally game day and you’re ready to make your school proud. After a good pep talk from the coach, you hit the field. And it’s at this moment, as the Friday night lights hit your face, you realize that it’s great to be a Knight.

It’s a feeling that some Knights have dreamt of for a long time, running on to their own home fi eld. Mount Michael has never been able to hold their own home football games at the school due to the lack of stands and lighting. For the past three decades, the home games have been played at Elkhorn Middle School. Also, the Mount has to pay a fee every season in order to play there. It’s nice that the middle school is decently close to the school, but it’s still an inconvenience.

However, recently there have been rumors going around about the athletic department getting money to have lights and stands installed at the field on campus. On January 10, Athletic Director and football coach, Jon Borer, met with the booster club to explore the idea of putting in lights on the football and soccer field. According to Borer the idea was well received and there is a possibility that Mount Michael will be able to host its own first home game next year.

“There are many benefits to having your own field,” says Borer. “We won’t have to pay rent to Elkhorn Middle School, concessions will bring in a ton of revenue, and overall there’s nothing like playing on your own home field.” Many other students and faculty believe that bringing the home games home will increase popularity for the school and increase moral for the football team. “Anytime we improve our athletic facilities it will benefit the school and the students,” says assistant football coach Matt Luettel.

In addition to improving the field, the athletic department is already underway on a new weight room facility.

This past fall, construction crews began work on a new garage for the monastic community so that the older garage could be converted into a bigger weight room. As of right now, the new garage is completed and the new weight room is filled with unassembled new equipment. “We have a ton of new machines that are laying in pieces in the new weight room. There’s about $200,000 of equipment that was donated.” The new weight room will be open to students when the weather starts getting warmer. Open times are still being discussed by the deans and coaches.

Overall, this year can be summed up as the ‘Year of Athletics.’ The many advancements that have been done should help the Knights improve athletically. Perhaps in a few short years Mount Michael athletics will match its academic achievements.

The Unsung Hero

Kevin Jewell – Head Staff Writer

When I first tried to interview Mary Ann Maier, she was actually too busy coordinating the Elkhorn Textbook Loan Program. This one instance is a perfect example of the crazy work ethic and numerous tasks that Maier is in charge of. The number of tasks that she coordinates is in the double digits, and though her official title is Student Advocate/Activities Coordinator, Maier is much more than that.

Maier, the former assistant to Dr. David Peters, first came to Mount Michael in 2011. She was anxious to begin her role from day one and, thankfully, the transition was smooth. “I felt comfortable from the moment I walked on campus,” Maier said.

Since arriving on campus, her role has expanded, making her a well-known face around the Mount. Nearly every student has stopped in the bookstore at one point or another to get a treat. Beyond that, Maier coordinates a majority of the student events like Mom Prom, the picnic and retreats. She also helps with the school directory, book fees and the Advanced Placement tests for juniors and seniors.

Maier isn’t all work though. She has been happily married to her husband Jeff for 34 years, raised three children and recently became a grandmother of two (with two more on the way). Though her work load sometimes drives her crazy, Maier is always able to relax. “I have learned when it starts getting on overload, to pause and pray,” said Maier.

Mount Michael is a brighter place thanks to Maier, and she thinks she has found her niche. “The monks have welcomed me into their home, and for this I am so grateful.”

Uwinganji Emerges as Wrestling Star

Cooper Wilson - Staff Writer 
He never would have guessed it. “I saw how hard wrestling was and I wanted to challenge myself,” senior David Uwinganji said. Throughout the past two years, Uwinganji has emerged as a leader for the Mount Michael wrestling team. Uwinganji now believes wrestling was the right fit all along.

When Uwinganji attended his fi rst wrestling meet, he was introduced to its aggressive nature while watching his best friend, senior Austin Ramaekers. “I saw Austin struggling on the mats. It made me feel so bad that I wanted to run down the bleachers and go help him out,” Uwinganji said.

Although he’d never thought about joining the team before, something about wrestling made his curiosity grow. “It seemed really unfamiliar to me at first, but I decided to give it a shot,” he said. Uwinganji’s interest was solidified during a conversation with Ramaeker’s grandmother. “Austin’s grandmother was a big motivator in my decision. She urged me to help out the team, and I am so happy with my decision,” Uwinganji said.

A few days after his decision to join the team, he began to feel more confident about his choice. “I learned martial arts back when I lived in Rwanda which gave me the basic concepts to wrestling. I just needed to learn how to use my size, flexibility and strength in a different way,” Uwinganji said.

However, success on the mats did not come immediately. He found himself doubling his work ethic in order to prepare for the season. “I would wrestle Connor Spiegel, a senior at the time, in order to push myself to become a better wrestler,” Uwinganji said. With the extra effort, Uwingaji soon found himself winning matches and becoming a threat to opponents.

His fellow wrestlers appreciate his hard work. Senior teammate Austin Ramaekers says, “Wrestling with Uwinganji you know that he will never quit and he has a great work ethic. He always sets the tone at practice,” Ramaekers said.

 Unfortunately, Uwinganji suffered a setback in his first season. During districts he injured his knee and was unable to complete the season. This only made him more motivated for next season. “After the injury,
I was disappointed. I wanted to finish the year strong but the injury made me want to come back as an overall better wrestler,” Uwinganji said. After a few months of rehab, he was ready to hit the weight room to regain his strength. ~ continuation from page 6

As a result of his love for wrestling, Uwinganji has become a leader and shares his passion to those who are new to the sport. “Being a leader and a captain means a lot to me. It shows that kids who are new to something can make it one of their best skills. Sure, I’m not perfect, but I love to help the team in any way I can,” Uwinganji said.

Since the start of his third and final season, Uwinganji’s main goal is making it to state. “With coach and others pushing me to do my best, I have state on my mind every time I step onto the mats,” he said.

Currently, Uwinganji is working hard to try and pursue his goal of becoming a state wrestler. He is confident that his hard work will pay off, “There is no doubt that I have what it takes to compete with the best wrestlers in Nebraska.” As he enters his finals months of wrestling, Uwinganji looks back at where his passion and love for the sport began. “It’s one of those sports that when you set your mind to it, you’re hooked.”

Zohner In Her Element

Sung Han Yoon – Staff Writer

Forensic Science is the study of evidence from crimes using various aspects of the scene. This ‘familiar’ subject has been made famous through television shows such as CSI, Law & Order, and Bones. Thanks to chemistry teacher Leah Zohner, forensic science has become a subject that Mount Michael’s students can learn. It has been well received. “It really helps a lot because it covers all three science subjects: physics, chemistry, and biology,” senior Blake Batten said.

In the spring of 2012, Zohner planned to develop the class after she met Greg Cooper who is currently teaching at Lincoln South West high school. Through her experiences helping Cooper, Zohner knew she wanted to teach this course someday.

According to senior Chanyong Jeong, analyzing hypothetical crime scenes and acting out the scenes are the fun parts of the class. The blood splatter experiment, which is a simulation of a murder scene, is a typical example of some unusual class experiences.

 Along with forensic science, Zohner has also wanted to teach organic chemistry which she has a Masters Degree in. “When I interviewed for Mount Michael I brought this idea to Dr. Peters, and he was very supportive in implementing this as an elective,” Zohner said.

She is now developing an Organic Chemistry class for next year. The class will be an honors class and will replace
A.P. Chemistry for the year due to limits in Zohner’s schedule. This elective will be offered to juniors and seniors. Organic Chemistry and A.P. Chemistry will then be offered on alternate years so that juniors and seniors have the opportunity to take both.

Zohner is excited to bring this opportunity to Mount Michael. She previously taught the course at the University of Nebraska Lincoln as a graduate assistant and as a temporary lecturer. “The class will be taught for students who are interested in pursuing pre-med,” Zohner said.