East vs Rockhurst Basketball Game
Our school has a long relationship with rivalries. One game per season, we pack students into bleachers, wearing all-out costumes to fit the theme and cheer against our deepest rivalries, hoping for the best outcome. After the annual East versus South game during the football season, students don’t have to wait long for the next rivalry game: the East vs Rockhurst basketball game.
On Jan. 29, the Lancers hosted the Rockhurst Hawklets. After the JV team fell short to Rockhurst, our Varsity team was able to pull out the win against Rockhurst, winning 64-49.
“The game was definitely a really awesome experience to get all dressed up and get riled up against Rockhurst and beat them on our court,” junior Jacob De Sett said.
Students showed up to the game hours before doors opened to get in and tailgated in the senior lot before lining up. Pep Club provided hot dogs and hamburgers for the students, while students brought chips, drinks and desserts. Music blared through loud speakers while students prepared for the biggest game of the basketball season.
Students were dressed in all different sports jerseys from sports ranging from basketball to soccer. Some even made signs jeering at the Hawklets, such as De Sett’s sign saying “Marry me Scotty Thompson.” Rockhurst junior Scotty Thompson shot a three quarter court shot to tie the JV game against East in 2015. The replay of his shot made it to number one on Sportscenter’s top 10 plays.
When the game finished after the Lancers dominated the fourth quarter, the student section stormed the court and came together to sing the school song.
This year, seminar has served more of a purpose than just a time to make up missed tests or catch up on homework. This semester, seminars have also served as a time for students to voice their opinions on local and national hot topics during mediated debates.
The idea came from students of social studies teacher David Muhammad. Students were curious on his views on the confederate flag and asked him to voice his opinions during an in-class discussion. Muhammad and students, such as senior Michael Kraske then thought other students probably had strong opinions on this topic too. They decided to make the discussion open to anyone and hosted it in Muhammad’s classroom during a seminar period.
“We thought is was just going to be a few students and then 100 or more showed up and it just kind of grew,” Muhammad said
After having a larger turnout than expected, Muhammad decided to host another debate, but this time in the auditorium for more space. Students chose gun rights as the next topic of discussion. With more publicity for this debate, students came and voiced their opinion than before.
“Kids like to talk,” Muhammad said. “But there aren’t many environments in the school day when they can just talk about topics that interest them.”
Muhammad hopes to continue these debates next year and cover topics dealing with social rights and human justice, such as women’s rights, police brutality and the direction of foreign policy.
“People don’t realize that these kids have opinions that are very relevant and in many cases very enlightening,” Muhammad said. “The emotions were inside, but they didn’t have anywhere to go let them out.”
Students raise over $20,000 for Pinky Swear Foundation
If a student walked into the Main Gym on Jan. 5 during the halftime of the varsity basketball game against Piper, they would hear silence instead of the usual halftime music or “Go Bananas” cheer. They wouldn’t see people laughing with their friends or players warming up their shots. All they would see was the room full of fans all holding up one pinky finger.
Holding up one pinky finger was the crowd’s way of promising to help out the Pinky Swear Foundation. The Pinky Swear Foundation is a foundation set up in 2003 that helps families with children who have cancer. They use their funds to help ease the financial and emotional stress that cancer puts on a family.
Varsity basketball coach Shawn Hair made an exciting announcement during the winter sports pep assembly. Hair promised to become “Coach No Hair” if $10,000 was raised for the Pinky Swear Foundation all before Jan. 29.
The incentive must have worked for students – $21,371.50 was raised for Pinky Swear in Tyler Regier’s name, East’s All-Star child for the year. Reiger was honored during a varsity basketball game against Piper and had the opportunity to run through the huddle during the starting line up with senior Alex Glazer.
“Tyler is awesome and I loved getting the opportunity to put a smile on his face,” freshman Anderson Maddox said.
Of course Hair lived up to his promise and students were invited to watch the transformation of Hair’s hair in the main gym during seminar. Hair’s varsity team got the honor of getting to shave his head first, shaping his hair into a mohawk. A professional barber was hired to bring supplies such as razors and scissors to fix up the cut.
Reiger and the other children who get help from Pinky Swear weren’t the only ones who benefitted from the proceeds collected from the East community. Hair’s team was able to realize through this process that there is more to life than just basketball.
Not having school for Royal’s Parade
On Nov. 3, the Shawnee Mission School District and many surrounding districts closed their schools for the day. There was no holiday or end of the quarter. No teacher work day or conferences. Instead, the schools decided to close their doors to allow their students to celebrate the Royals winning their first World Series in 30 years.
The day after the Royals clinched the World Series, many students who had watched the game came to school with one thought: Are we gonna have school on the day of the parade? Rumors flew around and by 1 p.m. the district had reached the verdict that schools would be closed on Nov. 3. Many students and teachers were a part of the 800,000 fans who attended the Royals day parade.
“The Royals hadn’t won the World Series in 30 years,” freshman Dane Erickson. “I couldn’t believe the district was even talking about having school on the day of the parade.”
The decision was based on the fact that many teachers would want to attend the parade and there would be a shortage of subs for the district. Many students would also already be skipping school to watch our Boys in Blue walk down the streets of Downtown Kansas City. An email was eventually sent out to students, parents and teachers announcing the news.
“Even if we had had school on Nov. 2, I wouldn’t have gone,” junior Susan Haenisch said. “Everyone has waited so long for the Royals to make their comeback and they finally did it.”
Football suffers their first loss in over a year in a half
Football season is always one of the most important times of the year for any Kansas 6A school. Here at East, some would say it’s the most important. Stadiums are full of student sections dressed up in their favorite themes, parents bundled in blankets and ear warmers, hot cocoa in one hand and stadium seat in the other, and of course the football players, all working to win the coveted state title.
In 2014, the Lancer Varsity Football team had a perfect 13-0 record, ending with winning the first ever state championship at East. Their winning streak continued into the 2015 season, until they fell to Lawrence Free State during the Homecoming game Oct. 2.
Students and fans all had high hopes for another state championship while their winning streak continued to 17-0. Fans watched in shock as the boys walked off the field after their first loss in over a year and a half.
“I was sad for the boys,” Leslie Kahle, parent of varsity player, junior Ryan Kahle, said. “Sometimes when you’re always on top of the game in first place you become complacent and forget that you are the biggest target to beat.”
While some might have lost hope, football players had a different view on the loss. Senior Charlie Jensen believed the loss couldn’t have come at a better time.
“I think it kind of was what we needed at the time,” Jensen said. “From then on we really picked it up and played better as a team. We just weren’t able to get it done at the end of the season.”
Even though the boys were not able to pull off another state title this past season, they still were able to win the regional championship and move on to the second round of the playoffs before being kicked out of the tournament by the Olathe North Eagles. Now the 2016 season is coming up with weights and conditioning starting this summer and players are already looking forward to what the season has to bring.