Thursday, November 15, 2018

FIRST FLURRIES OF THE YEAR

By BROOKE HARTLEY

If you are reading this article from the comfort of your home, it could be because the long awaited first snow day of the school year is finally upon us. If that is the case, grab your cup of cocoa, sit by the fire, and read about how the day has impacted the student body and faculty of Washingtonville High School.

Mrs. Thirsk eagerly anticipates her first snow day.

While snow days, in the moment are magnificent, most people do not think about the repercussions that taking too many of them might bring.  In the 2017-18 school year, the Washingtonville Central School District used up all of their allotted snow days which, in turn, shortened spring break by one day.  Needless to say, students and faculty alike were not thrilled.

From students to faculty, members of the Washingtonville community are constantly refreshing their twitter feeds for an updated percentage on the delays, early dismissals, and closings of school from an alleged weather specialist: Ben Noll. Ben Noll is an intellect that sends out tweets on his account to inform people about the upcoming weather advisories and his opinion about the chance of closings and delays.  He has become somewhat of a celebrity in the neighboring communities because of his, usually pretty accurate, predictions.

This past week, Ben Noll tweeted that there would be a “40-50% (low-medium) chance for early dismissals Thursday” and this was all people needed to become extremely excited.  That same day, Ben sent out a tweet proclaiming that there was a “60-70% (medium-high) chance for school closures or delays Friday."  To add even more fuel to the fire, Ben updated his percentages which sky rocketed the excitement from his followers. He just recently tweeted, “With a late-week winter storm on deck, #HudsonValley impact %’s continue to slide up."  According to him, “Thursday 35% early dismissal, 90% activities cancelled” and on Friday “70% closing, 90% delay."

As these numbers continue to increase, students are getting more enthusiastic and plan ahead for how they will spend their day watching the snow fall. Vincent Martello, a senior at Washingtonville High School, expressed his favorite part of snow days are “waking up to the phone call from the school, or my mom letting me know there’s no school and then looking outside to see everything covered in white.” Vincent spends his snow days shoveling and snow blowing for two to three hours, followed by resting and watching movies.

BROOKE HARTLEY FOR THE WIZARD WEEKLY
Mrs. Thirsk, an English teacher at Washingtonville, exclaimed her eagerness for this snowy day off.  She expressed that she has as much excitement as the students do because, “What’s not to love?” Mrs. Thirsk spends her days reading books by the fire and enjoying her time off while she can.  

Students and faculty continue to buzz about this upcoming Thursday and Friday’s winter weather advisory. Put on your snow boots, Wizard Nation, and get ready for a crazy winter season. Hopefully you truly will be reading this article from the comfort of your home.  Stay warm Wizards!

THE LONG AWAITED FINAL CLASS TRIP

By DANIELLE IMPERATO

With the seniors' experiences at Washingtonville High School soon coming to an end, everyone has been looking forward to making memories one last time with the class of 2019, that one last trip to solidify the class as a whole and bring students closer than ever before.  Although June is a long way off, the final year at WHS for these students will be over in  the blink of an eye. Great Escape in Lake George will soon be getting a taste of how fun and energetic the class of 2019 really is. 

DANIELLE IMPERATO FOR THE WIZARD WEEKLY
On Friday June 7th, the seniors  of Washingtonville High School will be departing the school at 1:00 and heading up to Lake George for one of their last adventures together.  The list of activities during the trip goes on with exciting events planned out from 12:00pm all the way to 3:00 am. The exhilarating plans for the seniors include a foam dance party with a live DJ, the White Water Boy Indoor Water Park, a hypnotist, movies being shown, and an arcade! Don’t worry. Parents will feel at ease because there will be professional security at the hotel during all of these times to ensure everyone's safety. 

Class president, Ben Sorenson, is thrilled that there was enough money raised in the past three years of fundraising to make this trip possible. Ben expressed, “I think that the outcome of the trip will be fantastic.  Great Escape is an awesome amusement park and the park and hotel is restricted to only seniors for the night so it should be a lot of fun.  It will be a huge success and a great high school memory, as long as there are 80 people signed up in order to make it happen.” 

There were a few steps taken along the way to choose a perfect spot for this amazing adventure. The 2019 class advisor, Mrs. Krogslund, along with the class officers, narrowed the choices down of places to go then posted a survey on google classroom to allow the students to vote on which location they wanted visit.  Surely, Great Escape won and the students could not be happier!

Senior, Lindsey Tonkin, explained, “I am most looking forward to being able to bond with, not only my friends, but other classmates I don't normally get to talk to or hangout with. I also am very excited to be able to be there to celebrate my 18th birthday with all the fun activities they have planned.”

With the price of a mere $200 per student, which covers all expenses of the hotel and most food, the class is hoping that 80 people will sign up and hand in their $50 deposit by December 12th. Seniors, spread the word and help the class create amazing memories for one last time!

ALL THE WORLD’S A STAGE

By ELIZABETH ALLEGRO 

Although most are dreaming of snow days and Thanksgiving turkeys, some students of Washingtonville already have their minds on set on March: the Masque and Mime crew. Mask and Mime is Washingtonville High School’s drama program. They put on anywhere from three to five different productions that range from straight plays to musicals, as well as talent shows and a catered Cabaret Night throughout the year.

The spring musical is quickly approaching and, despite the fact that the casting board has not yet decided which show it will be, everyone is still very excited. This is the largest production Mask and Mime puts on each year. The full length show involves singing, dancing and acting. Thinking about auditioning? The auditions take place at the end of December, a week after the winter musical. Make sure to listen closely to the announcements and attend the informational meeting on Monday, December 12th. 

ELIZABETH  ALLEGRO FOR THE WIZARD WEEKLY
The process of auditioning is extremely intense.  In order to audition, students must memorize a monologue and song for the role they would like.  Along with that, students will learn some pieces of choreography that need to be perfected come audition day. Friday, December 14th will be the first day of the auditions, where students will sing their song selection, perform their monologue, and dance for the audition panel. On Saturday, some students may be invited to the school for "callbacks."  Callbacks are when certain students need to be more closely examined for what part they might be right for.  The Masque and Mime advisor, Ms. Denaro, ensures that “everyone who auditions has a part in the show, but callbacks help ensure that everyone is cast in the best possible spot for the show."  She went on to explain that the highly anticipated "cast list will then be posted on Monday, 12/17, and rehearsals will begin after winter break.”

What is great about Washingtonville's Masque & Mime Club is that everyone is accepted.  Ms. Denaro expressed, “I want students who audition to know that there is a place for everyone in Masque & Mime. We are a welcoming group that is eager for more fresh talent, so anyone who likes performing should come out to our spring musical auditions.  She also wants students to know that, "the entire casting board has been in those shoes before--myself and my co-director less than a decade ago.  We know how nerve-wracking putting yourself out there on stage can be. But all of that goes away once you start rehearsing, and the amazing feeling of putting on a show is something you can't top. So its all worth it!”

Alex Lombardo has been in many of the school’s productions and was Miss Dorothy Brown in last year's spring musical, “Thoroughly Modern Millie." Her advice to someone new is “Don’t be afraid to show who you are. Performing is an amazing way to do so and everyone in Mask and Mime is so accepting and friendly.  We are all there because we share the same love for the arts.  Never feel afraid to get involved!”

Mask and Mime pro, Richard DiVirgilio, has some good advice for new members. “Plan your time wisely, and savor every moment on stage. Being a part of the spring musical is very time consuming, but it is definitely worth it. It is about growing, learning and performing!”

If the auditorium is the one place in the school where you feel at home, do not miss out on the amazing opportunity to be a part of Washingtonville High School’s Mask and Mime! Also make sure to check out their winter production of Elf Junior on December 7th and 8th. 

BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE

By JADE CURTIS

Here at Washingtonville High School, an organization called "Safe Homes" has enacted the Mentors in Violence Prevention Program (MVP).  This is an evidence-based, age-appropriate and engaging bystander approach to preventing violence. The goals of MVP include raising awareness, challenging thinking, opening dialogue and inspiring leadership. 

Statistically speaking, roughly 1.5 million high school boys and girls in the United States alone admit to being intentionally hit or physically harmed in the last year by someone they are romantically involved with. Teens who suffer dating abuse are subject to long-term consequences like alcoholism, eating disorders, promiscuity, thoughts of suicide, and violent behavior.

Safe Homes of Orange County has played a very big role in contributing to the prevention of dating violence and educating teenagers on how to report their violence. The mission of Safe Homes is to work toward the elimination of intimate partner violence, teen dating violence, and trafficking by providing comprehensive support services to victims and their children, and by increasing public awareness about these issues. 

JADE CURITS FOR THE WIZARD WEEKLY
Through the implementation of workshops in high schools, students partner with trained mentors to talk about the importance of preventing and dealing with dating violence, as it is often overlooked in discussions. Workshops include an overview of warning signs, what teen dating violence is, and how to get support for someone who is experiencing abuse in a relationship. 

The advisor of the program, social worker Ms. O’Sullivan, plays a key role in instructing the program at the high school. She expressed, “In teen dating, it is very easy for the lines between what is healthy and unhealthy to become blurred, especially with technology--monitoring someone's social media accounts or going through their phone can be seen as normal behavior, when it is, in fact, very controlling and a red flag for an abusive relationship. MVP challenges students to think about this and to challenge their own beliefs.” In addition, MVP is used to promote setting boundaries, consent, and the knowledge of what keeps a healthy relationship together. 

Another active member of the program, social worker Mr. Saladino, stated, “MVP helps teens define what a healthy relationship looks like. I really like that the program focuses on the ‘bystander’ model, empowering participants to take on leadership roles in their schools and communities. He went on to say, “The ‘bystander’ approach focuses on individuals not as perpetrators or victims, but rather as empowered bystanders who can confront abusive peers and support abused ones.”  Safe Homes does an impeccable job educating teenagers on how to speak up for themselves, as well as aiding participants in finding the warning signs that may indicate they are in an abusive relationship. 

Safe Homes has not yet released the workshop dates, but it will likely begin in March. The eight week program will be held after school. Students who successfully complete the program get a certificate and community service hours.  Join the program and help make a change! 

SPECIAL SEASON BREWING ON THE MAT

By DILLON SULLIVAN

“I constantly push myself to do better than I did yesterday,” expressed Tom Maddox.  A senior at Washingtonville High School, Tom is one of the most accomplished athletes to grace the halls of WHS.  Some may even claim that he is one of the best athletes to ever come out of Washingtonville. This season, Tom has a chance to do something very special, something he has been working for his whole life: the chance to be a state champion. 

“My goal for this season is nothing short of a state title,” declared Maddox, a three time all-section wrestler. “Also, [I want] to get my 100th career win and, of course, be a great teammate who constantly pushes and supports my teammates to get better every day, so we can be one of the most improved teams in the section.”  Last season, Tom was one of the most dominant wrestlers in the section.  He had 21 pins, 4 tech falls and 4 majors.  For those unfamiliar with the sport, a pin is when a wrestler puts an opponent on his back ending the match early, while a tech fall is when a wrestler wins by 15 points.  A major is when one wins by 8 points.

DILLON SULLIVAN FOR THE WIZARD WEEKLY
One of the biggest parts of Tom’s success is his self motivation and unmatched work ethic.  Each morning he reads a Bible verse to prepare himself for the day: “The pain that you’ve been feeling, can’t compare to the joy that is coming.” Along with that, Tom sets reminders on his phone to show up on his lock screen at different points in the day to constantly remind him of his goals and what he needs to do in order to accomplish them. 

Brandon Bobe, Washingtonville’s most recent section champion, voices, “Honestly, Tom is one of the very few people I’ve seen with a high level work ethic...” Having graduated in the class of 2017, Bobe was teammates with Tom for the 2016-17 season. “...I’ve personally seen him grow from a little kid into one of the best wrestlers in New York State, and it’s all because of his drive and work ethic.”

Behind every successful person is a support system. Tom’s biggest support system are his coaches and parents, but especially his parents.  Maddox claimed, “Without my Mom and Dad I don’t think I could do it.  They buy me the right things to eat, help me meal plan, as well as drive me around the country for national tournaments, and they help me find ways to get better.” 

Tom also has two coaches that he especially looks up to, one being Coach Lee, the head coach of the Washingtonville Varsity Wrestling team, “Coach Lee has shown me the mental side of wrestling, how to push myself, and he has always been a great role model to look up to. He has given me the ‘dominate all’ mindset,” voices Maddox.  The other is Coach Ricky Scott, the coach of Tom’s club wrestling team based out of Newburgh.  “My club coach Ricky Scott is a great influence in my life, as well as one who will help me with the process of getting ready to compete at a D1 school next year,” revealed Maddox.  With Tom’s talent and attitude in wrestling, it is very fortunate he has found such great mentors and supporters.

So far, all of Tom’s hard work has paid off.  This past week he committed to wrestle at the University of Buffalo, making him the first ever Division 1 wrestler to come out of Washingtonville.  “Honestly, it gives me more confidence and motivation to do better heading into this season,”  explained Maddox, “...it has taken a lot of stress off my mind and given me time to strictly focus on the business I need to take care of on the mat this season.” UB has given Tom scholarship incentives, with the state championship being the grand prize,  giving him just another reason to accomplish his mission.

Even with all that Tom has accomplished so far, he is far from finished. His motivation to become a state champion is unmatched, and it shows no signs of slowing down.  With all that said, good luck to Tom and the rest of the Varsity Wrestling team this season!

Thursday, November 8, 2018

THE UNIQUE STYLES OF WHS

By BROOKE HARTLEY

As students walk through the crowded hallways of Washingtonville High School, they can’t help but notice all of the unique outfits people put together. Whether it is the attire of a self proclaimed fashionista or that of a student athlete, the student body in WHS is lucky enough to be allowed to choose how they would like to present and express themselves through clothing. 

BROOKE HARTLEY FOR THE WIZARD WEEKLY
High school is a place for students to find out who they are and while doing this, experimenting with expressing themselves through clothing might just be the key. Celine Lewandowski, often seen wearing dresses and tall boots, feels that “dressing nice is something I like because it’s a first impression. I’m just really into fashion in general.” 

First impressions are important when people want to express who they are to other people. As Celine walks the halls, she wants to be noticed and wants her peers to be aware of the time and effort she puts into looking nice everyday. Celine is usually dressed to her best ability, whether she wearing the latest shoes, or putting together an uncommon, but classy outfit. When Celine wakes up in the morning, her favorite part of the day is making her outfit better than the last. 

On that note, Joseph Isseks, a student athlete, represents himself a bit differently as he roams the hallways and feels “having the freedom to wear our own clothes allows us to express ourselves and show our individuality.” Joseph feels comfortable because he can, in fact, wear what he wants and be who he wants to be. At the time of his interview, Joseph was wearing athletic shorts and a comfortable long sleeve tee.

Like many students of WHS, Joseph is comfortable on an everyday basis because he is wearing what makes him happy. He is content with his choices and does not feel the need to wear something that will make others notice him. He is always wearing what he wants to and is very diverse; whether he is wearing his athletic clothing or he’s dressed up for the day, Joseph is confident and secure.  

Former student and current fashion teacher of Washingtonville High School, Mrs. Stringer, expressed her view on students' attire by explaining, “As students draw the clothing on their fashion figures, their own personal creativity and feelings about clothing shines through and it is evident what they find inspirational and interesting when it comes to clothing.” Mrs. Stringer consistently brings the creative aspect to children through clothing. She strives to find each and every child’s inner creativity. 

People do not realize the amount of freedom they really have until they witness people that are not so fortunate. Burke Catholic High School, for instance, is a place where students have to wear a uniform to school everyday.  These students never get the opportunity to wear what makes them unique. This is probably why ninety percent of students responded that they would rather wear what pleases them. Students have countered that the thought of school uniforms is less welcoming in a school environment.  

Hopefully, Washingtonville students realize how lucky they are to be able to have the freedom to choose what they wear.



FOOD FOR THOUGHTFULNESS

By DANIELLE IMPERATO

During the holiday season, many people look for ways to help those who are less fortunate as there are so many that do not have enough food or money to feed their families.  The Community Service Club at Washingtonville High School is no exception.  The members of this benevolent club are always looking for ways to better the community.  Each year, without fail, they hold a food drive that helps to make the season bright for so many members of Wizard Nation.

The Community Service Club was created in 2002 by Mrs. Wurster in an effort to introduce her students to Habitat For Humanity in Newburgh.  After this excursion, our Wizards wanted to get involved in making an impact, so they expanded the club.  Ms. Frey joined the club in 2007 as a second advisor as did Mrs. Angelillo.  

The idea to hold an annual food drive was derived in 2009 when many club members started volunteering at the local food pantry on a regular basis; they wanted to help the families that relied on the organization as much as possible, especially during the holidays.

This year’s food drive will begin on Tuesday, November 13th and will continue until Friday, November 16th. There will be drop boxes to collect food to give to the less fortunate. These boxes can be found at the high school in the main office, the athletic office, the library and the front desk. The club will be looking for non-perishable food items and also foods that are Thanksgiving related. 

Once the boxes are collected, the club members will be making full Thanksgiving meals in decorative baskets.  Our school’s social workers will then be delivering them to the families in the school district that need them most.  All donated items that are not used for the food baskets will be given to the County Kids Food Pantry. 

One of the club advisors, Ms. Frey, expressed the joy it brings her being able to help the school and community during these times. “It’s been really gratifying knowing that we are not only helping locally through the food pantry, but that we are helping really locally in the school.”  Mrs. Frey went on to say, “I don’t know who the specific students or families who get the food are, as it is all anonymous, but it is just nice to know that it is students helping students and staff helping students and their families during this time period.” 

Senior, Meaghan King, who is a part of the National Honor Society, is very excited to donate cans of food this upcoming week. Meaghan emphasized why she is so excited to donate. “I plan to donate because I know it’s for a good cause.  This is so important to me because there are so many families that need our help.  Without people stepping up and donating, these families during the holidays will be short of food and I always want to give people all that I can to help out their situations.” 

Another school that is participating in the food drive is Round Hill Elementary. They are collecting non-perishable foods as well during the week of November 5th. Their drive will be ending on November 16th.  To donate food to Round Hill, send food items in with students. 

It doesn’t take a tremendous amount of time to make a big difference in the lives of others.  Every donation counts.  Not only will donating help others and make you feel good, students can also obtain a community service hour for every five items of food donated. 

A TAIL WAGGIN’ GOOD TIME

By ELIZABETH ALLEGRO

This past Sunday, people strolling through the streets of Washingtonville may have been greeted with wagging tails, funky costumes and a ton of smiling faces from two legged and four legged friends alike. The cause of this happiness was Washingtonville’s  first annual dog parade known as “Woofingtonville.”

ELIZABETH ALLEGRO FOR THE WIZARD WEEKLY
Woofingtonville was a fundraising event that also helped to spread the word about the new dog park that will be coming to Washingtonville in the near future.  It was a parade where dogs and their owners could proudly march through town strutting their stuff. The event started at 11:00 am beginning at Firefighter’s Memorial Park, going east on Ahern Blvd. It ended at L.Vern Allen Park, the site of the future dog park where the fun pooch festivities continued!  The costume winners were announced as well as the 2018 Chewy gift basket winner.  The tickets’  proceeds went to the Blooming Grove Humane Society.

This event had many fun vendors and festivities. The vendors had a variety of services such as free dog ear cleaning and nail trimming as well as adorable face painting done by members of Washingtonville High School’s National Art Honor Society. It was a fantastic sight to see so many people with the same love for their furry friends in one place. There was even a costume contest held for Best Costume and Best Owner/Pet Duo.

A french bulldog waits patiently for the parade to begin.  
One of our very own dog owners, Madison Kaufman, a senior at WHS, was in attendance on Sunday as a vendor at the event. Her mother had a stand for her new business called “simply deLIGHTful” where she sold some doggy pieces to get some exposure. She explained that “the best part was definitely seeing all the dogs that showed up. They all walked to the park as a group and being able to see the different dogs in their costumes made my day.”

Another senior at WHS, Aryanna Maurya, and her dog, Aurora, won the Pet/Owner Duo contest. Aryanna explained that she picked their matching peacock costume because it “fit Aurora's personality to a tee and was just too cute to pass up.” Along with many others, Aryanna’s favorite part of the event was seeing all of the pups in Washingtonville come out in their costumes. 

Woofingtonville was a fun day for owners and dogs alike to mingle and share their love for our favorite four legged furry friends.  Join the festivities next year to see what all the bark was about!


ALWAYS A HELPING HAND

By JADE CURTIS

Struggling in class, not finishing homework, inability to concentrate. If these school concerns sound familiar, don't be alarmed. It is natural for all students to struggle at some point in school. After all, the goal is to learn. School work can seem overwhelming and stressful when students are unable to comprehend the material.  

JADE CURTIS FOR THE WIZARD WEEKLY
About five years ago, following the dismissal of The Compact for Learning Program, high school librarian, Mrs. Richardson, intended to start a Peer Tutoring program in the high school as a suggestion to keep study hall kids productive, and to provide them with a better use of their time. Since then, the program has expanded past study halls. WHS should be aware that there are sessions available before and after the school day. 

Mrs. Richardson is extremely proud of the progress this program has made. She expressed, “The Peer Tutoring Program is great. Students that find themselves struggling academically set up to meet with a peer tutor for tutoring sessions to concentrate one on one with the subject they are struggling in.”  She went on to say, “The sessions are constructed around the student and tutors availability. I am always looking for math and science tutors. To become a tutor, students can sign up any time on the high school library web page. Check there for more information.” 

Students who participate in the program as tutors are awarded with community service hours. Junior, Anna Freitas, has been involved with this program as a peer tutor for about two years now. She verbalized, “Overall, with this program, I've accumulated about 10 hours of community service. This year I plan to increase my hours by tutoring more during my study hall. I enjoy this program because it makes me feel good knowing I get to help my peers establish a better understanding of the material when they find themselves struggling. Everybody has their weaknesses.”

Students should not stray away from admitting that they are struggling in school  as it is natural, and nobody is perfect. There is an established sense of confidentiality between the student and the tutor. Students are encouraged to join the program, and will be welcomed with open arms. 

Sophomore Samantha Soehnlein just joined the program as a tutor this year. She noted, “What encouraged me to join the program was the fact that I'm good at math. I tutor students struggling in MMT and Algebra 1. I enjoy tutoring because it allows me to constitute a connection with my students while still helping them engage with the math, and learn more as an individual. There's a sense of satisfaction." Beyond academic improvement, students can really connect with their peer tutor.  Therefore, students are formulating a new friendship as they simultaneously receive the help they need. This program is extremely beneficial for all those involved. 

This program has vastly gained attention since its beginning, and will only continue to expand.  Thank you to all the peer tutors who volunteer their time on  a weekly basis.  Your helping hand does not go unappreciated. You make learning fun!

HERE COME THE WIZARDS

By DILLON SULLIVAN

The crisp and cool fall weather is starting to transition into a colder, drier climate in Washingtonville. For most people, this means it is time to get inside and stay warm with blankets and a movie. For the Washingtonville Varsity Boys Basketball team, however, this means it’s time to get to work.

At the end of last season, the clock hit zero in Kingston, and the boys basketball team walked off the court. It was a bitter ending to a what was a whirlwind of a season.  Starting off 12-5 and looking like a strong and dangerous team heading into the final stretch of the regular season, they dropped their last four games and ended the season 12-9. The talk about next season on the bus ride home was very promising, with eight returning players for the following year.  The season is here, and it is time for the boys to prove themselves. 

DILLON SULLIVAN FOR THE WIZARD WEEKLY
The hype around the school for this team is real, and the players feel it, too. “There’s a lot of high expectations for the team,” voiced junior point guard Ryan Hendricks. “I honestly believe that we are being taken for granted around Section IX and we will be top contenders for this year’s section.” Washingtonville has not won a division championship since 2013, and the last section title occurred all the way back in 1992.

This team is hungry to put another banner in their home gym and ignite fire within the school and community alike. “I think this team is capable of beating any team in the section this year, and my expectation is to go into every game with a winning mindset and not back down to anyone,” exclaimed senior forward Kareem Lubin. “I truly think the section is up for grabs this year and it’s ours for the taking.” 

Winning a section title, let alone a division title, requires hard work throughout the season and always carrying a winning attitude. This is one of the most exciting teams Washingtonville has had in a number of years, and everyone is ready for it. Grab your popcorn and Wizard's gear.  We'll see you in March!

Thursday, November 1, 2018

NOT YOUR AVERAGE GAME

By BROOKE HARTLEY

In 1965, three men changed the world of sports forever. This change came in the form of a game called pickleball which was established by Joel Pritchard, Barney McCallum, and Bill Bell, creating a game that has now become the number one fastest growing sport in the world. Wizard Nation, this is pickleball. 

Similar to other racquet sports, pickleball is a paddle sport that combines different elements from other sports known as badminton, tennis, and table tennis. Even though this sport is the number one fastest growing sport in the world, it is still very unknown to many.

In order to play pickleball, wooden paddles, just about twice the size of the ones used in ping-pong, are a necessity. Players will also need a ball that is similar to that of a wiffle ball and players play on a court that is the size of a badminton court. 

By now, readers may be wondering how to play this game they have never heard of. It is as simple as diagonally serving the ball underhand to the other side of the court. Each time a team is rewarded with a point, the server must switch back and forth from starting on the right side and alternating to the left. This is so that both players on the opposite team are given the chance to receive the serve. 

Once the ball is served, the opposing team must let the ball bounce one time before hitting it back over the net. If the first server’s team has, unfortunately, lost the point, the second server is given the chance to get points. A ball is only touched by one person, one time, on one side of the court. 

After the ball is hit over the net, the team that served must let that ball bounce one time before getting it back over the net again. When a player touches the ball underhand, this is called a “dink.” When a player has the opportunity to touch the ball and swing down overhand, this is known as a “smash.” After both of these steps have occurred, it is pretty much a free for all. Balls do not need to bounce before being hit back over the net. 

BROOKE HARTLEY FOR THE WIZARD WEEKLY
In the game of pickleball, there is something on the court known as the “no volley zone.”  This is located seven feet behind the net on either side of the court. The no volley zone is a place where one can stand at any point of the game. One thing players should know about this zone in the game is that they can not be standing in it when trying to smash the ball down on the other side of the court. In this game, athletes can only receive a point when their team is serving the ball. 

One of Washingtonville’s very well-known physical education teachers, Mrs. Halahan, began teaching this sport in her gym classes for the very first time this year and it has been a smashing success. 

Sean Walters, a senior at Washingtonville High School, exclaimed, “At first I was kind of annoyed that we were playing pickleball in gym, but as we started and kept playing, I was more intrigued by it and it became more fun.” Sean also mentioned, “I never realized how much skill is actually required to play.” Sean Walters is now in love with this underestimated game and can not wait to see how it changes people’s  lives the way it did his.


As pickleball slowly evolves and slowly makes its way to the top of the line in sports, people begin to wonder what it was like for other sports beginning in the same situation. As underrated as this sport has been in the past, there are now thousands of tournaments that go on throughout the world. So I ask Wizard Nation to get up and try something new and play some pickleball!

TOO OLD TO TRICK OR TREAT?

By DILLON SULLIVAN

Did you know that in some states it is illegal for a 13 year old to go trick-or-treating on Halloween? Many cities and towns in Virginia have outlawed this very popular Halloween activity. Although it is not strictly enforced, police officers patrolling the street on Halloween have the right to arrest a 13 year old if he or she is seen trick or treating that day, which seems a bit outlandish. 

DILLON SULLIVAN FOR THE WIZARD WEEKLY
The one state that seems to have the biggest problem with trick or treating is Virginia. Many different cities have many different laws, but the most common age for it to start being illegal to trick or treat is 13.  According to Chesapeake city code, “If any person over the age of 12 years shall engage in the activity commonly known as “trick or treat” or any other activity of similar character or nature under any name whatsoever, he or she shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of not less than $25.00 nor more than $100.00 or by confinement in jail for not more than six months or both.” Although this seems like a harsh punishment for kids that just want some free candy, the law is rarely enforced, yet the act is still illegal. 

Even though kids over 12 cannot go trick or treating in Virginia, they can still act as a chaperone to a little brother or sister.  Also in Chesapeake city code, “a thirteen year old safely trick or treating with a younger sibling is not going to have any issues,” which shows that there are exceptions to the rule. Some teens may do this on Halloween to help out their parents, or even to just relive some great childhood memories.

Another question to consider is, do teens still want to go trick or treating?  Abdo Shidid, a freshman at WHS, voiced, “I don’t dress up for Halloween; I haven’t even gone trick or treating in like two years.”  With Abdo being the youngest of six, this makes sense because he will probably not go out with his 20 year old siblings. 

On the other hand, some older kids might go and trick or treat with younger siblings. “I still go trick or treating because I really enjoy dressing up as my favorite artist and turtle, Raphael...” exclaimed Clark Pelkey, a senior at WHS.  “.. and also to help out my parents since they work and I can drive.”  Yes, he may dress up and go out on Halloween to help his parents, but who’s to say he just doesn’t love the holiday as well, and who could turn down free candy? 

But not all seniors are in the same situation as Clark. Another senior at WHS, who has older and younger siblings, Damian Cavaluzzi claimed, “I haven’t gone trick or treating since I was in eighth grade. Ever since high school came around, I’m reluctant to dress up for Halloween and knock on doors and ask for candy.” 

While it might not be the most popular thing to do for teens, it is a matter of choice.   Let’s face it: trick or treating will keep teens out of trouble on Halloween night, where other teens may fall into the pressure of drinking and drugs.  In addition, many older teens have special needs, and look forward to Halloween all year.  Adults  giving out candy and treats on this day need to be aware of this so as to not disappoint these enthusiastic teens.  Halloween is a special occasion for all teens to dress up in a costume and go get some free candy!