Archive for September, 2011

Reflecting: A Decade Since 9/11

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

So here we are, 10 years on. So much continues on as it always has since before that fateful September morning, and yet at the same time so much has changed. We are still the United States of America, all 50 of us. However, a monumental shift occurred the moment those twin towers went down. It was by no means a physically detectable shift, but a drastic change in the American psyche.

Although these are the United States of America, being such a large and diverse country makes it difficult to have everyone genuinely in unity. It is unfortunate that such a tragic occurrence would be the source of a unifying force in the US, but it is what happened and we must embrace this change. To see an entire nation standing together in the wake of a disaster is to be expected, but to see that same nation continue to stand together after ten years is remarkable. As a country we have grown, healing and becoming even stronger than we were before in the process.

It is rare at MKA to see the whole school in any kind of uniform state. All of us have different things to do at all hours of the day; we don’t dress similarly, and we form a diverse community. At times it can seem that the only thing we all have in common is where we go to school; however, we have so much more that ties us together. We are all inhabitants of this community, and this country, and whether we like it or not, all of us were either directly or indirectly affected by 9/11. Every single student at this Upper School knows someone who was there that day by as little as two degrees of separation—the proximity of the attack makes connection unavoidable. So, it is only natural that every September we gather in the auditorium to remember the events of September 11, 2001, to reflect, to pray, or to cry.

This year, our community really did the event justice. For the entirety of the assembly the audience was silent, either completely focused on what was happening onstage or lost in quiet reflection. Dr. Flocco and Dean Paolucci read their moving speeches with conviction, Casey Musicant led a presentation on her personal experience with the remains of the twin towers, and Yanick Couture played a stirring piano piece.

As ten years come and go, we must remember, but move on; acknowledge, but heal. The day will never lose its hold on those who remember it, but at least we can rest assured that the United States is a stronger nation because of what happened. I hope that each year we continue to commemorate the date, paying our respects to those who fell victim to the attacks, and expressing our hopes for a more peaceful future.

Sophie Vandenbroucke ‘12 Staff Writer

Freshman Spotlight: Carrigan Miller

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

We all remember the feelings we had entering the Upper School as freshmen.  The anxiety, the fear of the unknown, the excitement for a fresh start and a new campus.  Reflecting on it now, one realizes how innocent we were to the stresses and demands of our school.  Currently dealing with these conflicting emotions is MKA’s own, Carrigan Miller.

What is it like going from being one of the oldest students at the middle school to the youngest here?

Well, it’s kind of weird because it’s like a flash back to 6th grade because I know a lot of the juniors from football in sixth grade.  So it just kind of feels like 6th grade all over again.

Are you worried about academics at all?

I am a little bit, but it doesn’t feel significantly harder than 8th grade.  I mean, it is harder and your teachers expect more, but right now I’m not too worried about that.

What kinds of things have you heard about freshman year before coming here?

I don’t know, I was kind of afraid of hazing, but as it turns out, it is completely awesome.  Like, it isn’t actually hazing, it’s just playful.  I ate nine brownies in two minutes at football and that’s really an accomplishment that I’m proud of!  But all of the traditionally “un-fun” things about the ninth grade have actually been pretty fun!  I mean like wacky teachers and stuff, it’s been fun.

And how has the upper school been so far?

I’m really liking it. I feel like the schedule, kind of, I don’t want to say encourages procrastination, but it allows it.  Because if there is some day where you really just want to go home and sleep, then you can do that, and do your homework for that night the next day.  I think that’s cool.

What do you expect from your freshman year?

I expect that I’m going to do well academically, better than I have in the past, and that I’m going to learn a lot.  This year more than other years I feel really excited to learn, to show up at school and to go to class, you know?  And it’s a weird feeling that I’ve never had before!  But when I’m in class I’m like, I want to be in this class learning things.

 Jake Kleinbaum ‘14 Issue Contributor

Point-Counterpoint: Obama’s Job Plans

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

A Step In The Right Direction

It’s time for the politicians in Washington to stop playing party games and start thinking about the American people.  On Thursday, September 8th President Obama released his American Jobs Act, a 447 billion-dollar plan to create jobs and to stimulate America’s still stagnant economy. The bill will repair schools, build infrastructure, and create job opportunities for teachers, construction workers, veterans, and many more. It will offer tax credit to businesses that hire veterans and those jobless for more than 6 months; it will also provide a tax cut for businesses that hire new employees or raise their current employees’ wages, as well as extend unemployment insurance for the 9.1% of Americans who do not have jobs. It also will repeal subsidiaries for oil companies and place a limit on tax deductions.

During his speech the President told Congress and the Senate to “pass this bill” twelve times. This may seem redundant, but the American people have suffered long enough at the whim of big business. Many politicians seem to think that taxing the wealthy will stop them from hiring employees but history says otherwise. The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993, passed by then-President Bill Clinton, raised taxes for corporations, eliminated the tax cap on Medicare, raised the fuel tax and the taxable portion of social security. The House at the time was a democratic majority, and not a single Republican voted for it; however, the unemployment rate fell from 6.8 percent to 3.9 percent by the end of Clinton’s second term and personal income increased to 7.5 percent a year from the 5.2 percent in years past. We must take history’s lesson and trust in the Jobs Act to boost America’s economy and to get hardworking citizens back to work. We have given millionaires, banks and corporations generous tax breaks so that they can (technically) hire more employees, but the wealthy will not create jobs until they feel as though their companies are safe and their products are being purchased, yet consumers will not consume until they have jobs. Perhaps it is time for the wealthy to sacrifice a little of their fortune, so that teachers can educate the future leaders, and families can afford the basic necessities.

However, just as no Republicans voted for Clinton’s bill in 1993, I would not be surprised if few Republicans support this job act and this time the Democrats do not have the majority.  And despite working in a system born from compromise, there will be no compromise by the Republican Party who has chosen to submit to its far right contingent rather than to its constituency. I believe it is the responsibility on Congress to stop blocking Obama and start working as a team: pass the jobs bill, and begin to respect the well being of the American people.

Alexa Bieler ‘13 Staff Writer

 

An Argument Against Obama’s New Jobs Act

On the night of Thursday, September 8, President Barack Obama delivered a speech to Congress in which he laid out detailed plans for his new “American Jobs Act.” This new jobs plan proposes to spend over $400 billion in an attempt to boost the slumping economy and rising unemployment rate in the U.S., two things that have risen so dramatically over the last few years that most Americans have become almost numb to them. While President Obama certainly has noble intentions with this new plan, there are simply too many flaws in it, suggesting that it is almost certainly destined for failure.

First and foremost, it should not be forgotten that our federal government has absolutely no resources. Obama, whose approval rates are currently at an all-time low, wants to fund huge construction projects, schools, and services, while also providing tax breaks to workers and small businesses. However, this money must all come from somewhere other than our government, as we are already $14.7 trillion in debt. Unfortunately, if this bill is passed, the U.S. will almost certainly be plunged substantially further into debt, an outcome that should be avoided at all costs. Yet this increased national deficit is not the only problem with Obama’s suggested method of spending: he also plans to pay for the jobs plan with reductions in Social Security and an increase in the age required for Medicare, from 65 to 67. These actions, if taken, would undoubtedly create serious hardship for an American population that already struggles financially.

Not only is Obama’s way of paying for his plan very questionable, there is no evidence that it will even succeed in creating more jobs. One of the ways in which he plans to add more jobs is by offering tax breaks to firms hiring new employees. While this may seem like a good idea, in reality it is unlikely to do much at all. For example, it is very doubtful that a company would be willing to take on a $50,000 a year salary just for the $3,500 in payroll taxes and $4,000 tax credit that come with it. While companies certainly welcome tax breaks associated with hiring, they do nothing to increase demand, the real catalyst for new jobs. This is just one of the many proposed “job boosters” in the bill, but it paints a clear image of the overall plan. While they may look good at first, many of the propositions have no hope of succeeding. There are a few gems hidden in the act, but in general it seems as if President Obama is making a desperate attempt at boosting his steadily declining approval ratings in preparation for next year’s election.

Nicholas Lokker ‘14 Staff Writer

 

Part 1 of 2: Meet some of MKA’s Newest Members

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

Billy Lennon ’12

Issue Contributor

Ms. Currie is a freshman biology teacher.  She attended MKA throughout high school, and continued to coach swimming and substitute teach after graduation.  When she heard a spot opened up in the science department, she figured she’d throw in an application and see how it went.  Though she applied to other schools, she knew she wanted to remain a Cougar when she got the job at MKA.  When asked about the comparison of attending and teaching, she said that Mr. Hrab will always be Mr. Hrab no matter how many times he asks her to call him George.  Misbehaving students should probably think twice in Ms. Currie’s classes; she has recently begun attending kick-boxing classes, and her stance on corporal punishment is currently unknown.

Dr. Krishan, a math teacher, has taught at the University of Michigan, business schools in Penn State, and spent time on Wall Street as a research analyst and an investing strategist.  While the excitement of Wall Street was nice, Dr Krishan’s true passion lies in teaching.  His favorite part of teaching is the moment where students no longer simply know the answer to a question, but the logical process in which they come to the answer as well.  He loves to travel.  His motto is: Be the best you can be, whatever that is.  Simply put, he asks students just take a risk and follow what you are passionate about, much like he did leaving Wall Street to return to teaching.

Dr. Holt joins us after teaching at Westfield high school, a much larger high school than MKA.  Dr Holt is well known for his field in chemical research, which includes the discovery of certain toxins in sea squirts and sea sponges that have made waves in the fields of cancer research, most notably his creation of a treatment for Ovarian Cancer.  Dr Holt loves to run and bicycle, and has a dream of biking from coast to coast and of biking the Appalachian Trail.  He has done research in France in Louie Pasteur’s own lab, and would love to return some day.  He asks that everyone live every moment, and to remember that every day, as mundane as it may seem, is in fact unique and should be enjoyed to the fullest.

Next issue: We’ll be interviewing more new faculty, administration, and staff!

Remebering Dr. Fossett

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

I’ve had a lot of time to reflect these past few weeks, and yet it is still just as hard for me to articulate how I felt about Dr. Fossett. Given more time to really think about what my time in Dr. Fossett’s classes meant, however, I’ve considered the knowledge I acquired, the friends I’ve made, and the experience that every student took away each day during class. I really do feel blessed to have gotten a chance to know Dr. Fossett, and though it still pains me every time I remember that he’s gone, I also take comfort in appreciating all he was able to give me.

A week ago, I was browsing through my email account when I found an old email from Dr. Fossett the week before my AP Chemistry exam during junior year. I remember being extremely scared for this test. Dr. Fossett had taught us during the first semester before having to take a leave of absence, but I felt unsure of my knowledge of the second half of the curriculum. I believe that this email serves to better illustrate Dr. Fossett’s deep level of care for his students than anything I could put into words:

“I’ve been thinking about each of you as May 11th approaches. I wanted to tell each of you that I believe in you and your chemistry ability. Think of how far you have come this year and how hard you have worked. Do not doubt yourself or your ability. “REMEMBER TO BE A CATION” Sure the Exam is hard, but I will let you in on a little secret: each quiz, test and problem set exam had problems from old AP Chem Exams on them, so you have been doing real AP Exam Problems all year.

Arrive at the testing center a few minutes early so you can take a few deep breathes before the exam starts. Then pass around a “Hi Boron” from me to everyone from me.

Good luck and believe in yourself and your ability to rise to the challenge.

Good luck on Tuesday,
Dr. Fossett”

Andrew Lokker, Class of 2011

 

Walking up the stairs of the subway in Shanghai, China-where I’m currently studying abroad, I check my email: I’m immediately drawn back to my first day of junior year at MKA. Dr. Fossett walks in with his usual smile and explains how AP Chem is going to challenge us and reward us. It did.
I send my condolences  to the Fossett family and hope that everyone in the MKA community and beyond will remember him for his fruitful life.

Andrew Stern, Class of ’09

 

Sitting in my Introduction to Chemistry lecture immediately after learning of Dr. Fossett’s passing, of course, all I could think of was Dr. Fossett. Though college level and high school Chemistry have their differences, some things remain the same. As soon as my professor began speaking of initial and equilibrium concentrations, Vanilla Ice’s “Ice, Ice Baby” began running through my head as I thought of Dr. Fossett and his performance of his interpretation of this song. Though I only was able to have Dr. Fossett for a semester, he definitely was a teacher who made an impact. By giving students “High Borons,” and being forgiving when my lab partner and I waited for half an hour for a reaction to happen and then realized that we forgot to plug in the hot plate, his kind spirit showed through, and we were able to see him as more than just a teacher. Though Dr. Fossett did teach me Chemistry, more importantly, he taught me to never give up on doing what you truly love in the face of the most difficult challenge of all.

Anna Glaessgen, Class of 2011

 

One day, early on in the year, we were learning about the movement of molecules in a gas. In order to visually and physically depict the kinetic molecular theory we were learning, he asked us all to get up, and walk in straight, short distances in an enclosed space. After around 20 seconds of this, people started hitting into each other, in which case he deemed it to be too violent. Now, it’s not like we were jamming our bodies into one another or anything, but he was so concerned of our well-being and safety that he made us stop, much to our surprise. He was such a caring and understanding teacher, taking the time to personally come up to me whenever he saw me to ask about how the class was going, or how my day was going, or just how life was in general, tossing in a terrible chemistry pun or high-boron in the process. Thanks Dr. Fossett, for believing in me.

Devika Patel, Class of 2012

 

An unforgettable teacher, mentor and friend, Dr. Fossett also served as the instructor for my junior year science research project. I wanted to design an experiment based upon my interest in systems-level neurobiology and, since using mice was not allowed, I chose German cockroaches instead.

One fine March afternoon, Dr. Fossett, Mrs. Bennett and I hovered over a five-gallon glass tank, watching in anticipation as I opened a sealed box of cockroaches within. We noticed immediately that many of the cockroaches, advertised as 2 cm long, were a mere 1 cm or shorter. We looked on, horrified, as the tiniest scaled the slippery Vaseline-coated tank walls and approached the grated top, unwavering in their mass effort to escape through the grating into the surrounding classroom.

As biologists, Mrs. Bennett and I had a splendid time fighting off the imminent outbreak, while Dr. Fossett, the chemist, was understandably frantic until every last cockroach was sealed away back inside the tank (or had been otherwise accounted for by several frenetic stomps of his shoe). Naturally, I suspected that this marked the end of my cockroach-experimenting dreams. However, to my happy surprise, Dr. Fossett generously allowed me to proceed with my experiment, using much larger Madagascar hissing cockroaches as replacements.

Now an undergraduate, I am challenged by asking systems-level neurobiology questions in a research lab that works with monkeys at Harvard Medical School. I will be forever grateful for having known Dr. Fossett and for his tireless support in helping my dreams come true.

Laura Polding, Class of 2010

 

Among the many other things Dr. Fossett and I had in common (besides teaching an AP-level science course, kids roughly the same age, and an interest in Star Wars) is a love of puns, the more horrifically bad the better.  One time several years ago I made some horrible joke in class – I don’t even remember what it was now – and one student piped up and said, “Man, that joke wasn’t even Fossett-worthy.”  Dr. Fossett and I speculated for quite some time about which one of us should actually have been more insulted by that statement.

I also always admired him for his grace under pressure.  I can look back on my twenty years of teaching and remember times when I got far more stressed about some petty little thing than I ever really should have done.  Marty put all of us to shame in that regard.  He faced far greater pressure on a daily basis than almost anyone else on campus, and with far greater equanimity.  I was, and am, inspired by that example.

Tim Lynch, Upper School Science Teacher

 

I did not know exactly why I was taking Chemistry 2 Honors. Maybe it was to get that extra honors class, maybe it was because I did not want to take a physics final; whatever the decision was, it turned out to be a great one. What I thought was going to be tedious problem solving turned out to be a great experience that I excelled in because of Dr. Fossett. From the first day, where he made jokes about cations, to making VODCASTS, Dr. Fossett put his life into teaching and helping me every step of the way. Now, when it comes down to chemistry I’m an annoying student who’s basically visiting her teacher every second of the day to ask all different types of questions, but Dr. Fossett never threw me out of his office. He would always stop what he was doing and help me with labs, homework, and even test corrections. Even when I got frustrated, he would tell me to be a cation (stay positive) and not an anion (negative) and keep pursuing on! All my understanding of chemistry is because of Dr. Fossett’s calm and caring teaching methods, which taught me to never give up and always be a cation!

Rebecca Strickland, Class of 2012

 

 


MKA Mourns Rudy Deetjen

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

Kelsey O’Connor ’14

Staff Writer

MKA mourns the loss of alum, friend and former faculty member, Rudolph H. Deetjen Jr., who passed away in August at the age of 79.

Mr. Deetjen graduated from Montclair Academy in 1950 as a member of the Cum Laude Society. He then went on to receive his BA from the University of Vermont. There he was a Distinguished Military Graduate of the ROTC program before becoming a Captain in the Army Reserve. After his service, he studied education administration at Columbia Teachers College.

In 1973 Mr. Deetjen returned to his roots at the Academy by serving as Headmaster of Brookside. During his time there, Mr. Deetjen played a crucial role in the 1974 merge of Montclair Academy and The Kimberley School. Mr. Deetjen’s “inspiration, encouragement and support,” as described in the MKA Review 1994, are what ultimately earned him the Distinguished Alumni Award that same year. The Upper School recognizes his contributions with our black box theater named in his honor.

Continuing on his chosen path of education, in 1977, Mr. Deetjen went on to become headmaster of the Peck School in Morristown, NJ. At the Peck School, he is notorious for expanding the curriculum and being instrumental in updating the school’s facilities. After a fulfilled, successful career, Mr. Deetjen retired to Maine with his wife, Patty.

Mr. Deetjen’s belief in consideration of others has left a mark on many communities. His encouragement of education beyond the classroom and individual pursuits of knowledge has certainly contributed to the high standards that MKA holds today. As you pass Deetjen theater, and look at the students around you, remember the man that helped to make MKA a better and more successful place for our community.

 

Emeka Leads the People

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

Emeka Uwakeneme ’12

Issue Contributor

My chem lab partner smells SO GOOD. I can’t stop smelling her. What should I do?

Can’t Stop Wafting

Okay, so this is such a dumb question that I won’t waste much time on it, but nonetheless I like dumb things and there’s a lot to be mined here.

Either you’re kidding or you’re freaky. If you’re kidding, then you just wasted three minutes of my precious article-writing time. If you’re freaky, then there are a few decent solutions. One is obvious. Get the guts to ask this girl what perfume she’s wearing and buy it. Buy lots of it. Spray the stuff all over your room every night for the rest of your odd life, and maybe you’ll satiate your hormonal desires. If you really have it in, spray it in your parents’ room (every night for the rest of your life) so that you have a safe outlet for your fantasies.

If you’re a chemist and likely to find these things attractive (no offense chemists) you could try and concoct your own good stuff and then switch partners so you won’t seem weird.

Just keep smelling. It’s okay because you’re a teenager and you can be weird. Maybe smell her while she’s walking through the halls too. Draft air is always the sweetest.

I want to amp up my school style. Do you have any suggestions?

Jordan Walters

Well Jordan, my best advice would be that tight is the new black, but you already know this all too well so I can’t say much, but of course I want to help as best I can. If you want to be stylish while staying within the Academy’s lenient code, you could replace off-limits jackets with a cute Gucci blazer. You could take a page out of Grillo’s book and wear unreasonably bright pants. Heck, you can even wear a pinkie ring. Possibilities are countable on two hands at MKA. I personally might create my own pair of (not open toe!) shoes out of handcuffs and shackles, painted in a stylish tie-dye. I guess my point is to do whatever you want; there will be no repercussions.

How do you manage to balance your schoolwork and your romantic life?

Confused

Fall in love with your work and then get to work on that special lovebird. Flip the script on the whole damn thing and watch your life flourish. Hope this helped.

Next Issue: I’ll be giving actual advice

A Few Words from Our President

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

J. Dean Paolucci II ’12

Student Body President

So, it is finally a new school year! For many, it seems as if you guys have adjusted to your new roles and responsibilities quite well; however, for others, acclamation hasn’t come so easily (freshmen I’m looking at you). Regardless, I apologize in advance for those of you at whom who I may or may not throw the odd stealthy elbow on my way to class. I think we will all eventually get over it.  When we do, I really think we can all have some fun this year… at least on my end. Although we have been forced to make the school shine like the top of the darn Chrysler building, like a bunch of orphans under the wisdom “keep it clean Cougars” (musical theater reference! I know, so cool), I still think we can have a great time this year. Just don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.

Your President,

J. Dean Paolucci II

Fall Sports: Hear it from the Captains

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

Lauren Martin ’12

Staff Writer

The fall has come once again, Cougars. As the weather gets a bit chillier, the trees turn a bit brighter, and the work becomes a bit harder, the MKA athletic teams embark on their newest campaigns to make their mark in the county, state, and independent school levels. Fall athletes who began their training in mid-August show a hunger for banners like no other group before. The season is underway with each team competing for chances to earn county, state, and prep division championships. All of the teams have begun the year with exciting success and the air is filled with anticipation as the Cougar teams begin to claw for their titles.

 

Football

Cougar football has turned over a new leaf. The days of 1-5 seasons seem to be a distant memory when watching the powerful 2011 squad in their first games of the season. Senior captain and quarterback Gabe DiMasi urges the MKA community to come out and support the newly successful team. “The first two games have been great; the team has come together, and we are playing great football.” The team is currently 2-0 with its first two wins coming rather easily against the Morristown-Beard team and the Emily Fisher Charter School.  However, DiMasi notes that the real challenges for the season are still to come. “The next three games will be very tough as we play the three big public schools.” Senior captains Gabe DiMasi, Blake Rhode, Greg Froelich, and Power Lawrence have all expressed their optimism for a successful football season and would like the MKA community to share in their coming success. The team returns the vast majority of its key players, having lost none of these positions with the last graduating class. This year, “support” is their message. “Our game against Cedar Grove will be a battle of wills because we beat them last year and they are looking for revenge. This is a new Cougar football team with familiar talent and unprecedented potential. Every student should try and come out and support us. The MKA football team is for real and legit.”

Football Captains: Greg Froelich, Black Rhode, Gabe DiMasi, Power Lawrence

 

Girls’ Soccer

The girls’ soccer team enters the 2011 season hopeful and ready for the challenges that lie ahead. Tess Meyer, four-year varsity starter and current captain is enthusiastic about her team and their potential. “This year we have a stellar crew, 16 players in total. The overall vibe of the team is that…we just want to spend all of our time together.” They are a close bunch for sure and hope that their tight-knit environment will foster success on the field. “With this strong family environment that we have created thus far, I believe that we can have a successful season this year. It is also great to see four freshmen on a varsity team, all of whom get a fair amount of playing time.”  Alex Kelly, Kim Kirnan, and Tess Meyer are in the midst of their fourth year on the varsity soccer squad. For them, this is the end of an important era and they hope to leave behind a legacy of success: “With myself, Alex, and Kim, we hope to have the best senior year possible” (Tess would like to acknowledge now that she realizes how cliché that last phrase was). “But it is true,” she says. “We have worked hard for the last three years and deserve to go out with a bang.” But the competition will be tough. In a conference with Verona, Millburn, Mount St. Dominic, and West Orange, every win will be hard-earned. “Any team could come out and win on any given day,” says Meyer. Tess has a parting message for all the Cougar fans: “COME SUPPORT.”

Girls' Soccer Captains: Alex Kelly, Tess Meyer

 

Volleyball

For Cougar volleyball, the aim is simple: win the Prep Tournament, take home the Essex County Tournament title, and in the words of Katie Goulder, senior captain, “Take the Super Essex Conference by storm.” The path towards this immense success has started off well for this blend of veterans and newcomers.  The girls’ volleyball team has started off their campaign for their titles with wins over Montclair, Science and East Side. Although the Cougar squad typically has success against the Mounties, “it is always a satisfying victory,” says Goulder. Those against Science High School and East Side High School were two exciting breakthrough games for the girls. They pulled through these victories to end a few years’ drought against these teams. Goulder notes that one of the most exciting games of their season is always the Dig Pink game against MHS that raises money for Break Cancer Awareness and Research. “Our goal is to raise $6,000 for research and win back possession of the pink volleyball for the upcoming year.” With a fantastic blend of ambition and talent, the girls’ volleyball team will surely go far this season and hopefully add to their impressive collection of banners in the Cougar gym.

Volleyball Captains: Jamie Buren, Allie Sweeney, Katie Goulder

Cross Country

With a talented group of veterans on both the boys’ and girls’ varsity teams, MKA cross-country hopes to make its mark this year. Going into his senior season, captain Billy Lennon is more excited about this fall than any other before. Their goal for the season is to come out on top in the Prep Tournament and prove that this is one of the best at the County Tournament, the most important race for Lennon. After a shocking 5th place finish last year, beating teams like Montclair and Columbia, they realize they are no longer the underdogs. “We aren’t going to sneak up on anyone this year, and instead we’re going to be targets, and that is completely fine by us.” After a grueling summer workout schedule that often added up to more than forty miles a week, the Cougars look to face very tough competition in the late season and prove how well a small school can run come October.

Cross Country Captains: Billy Lennon, Sarah Bradley

 

Girls’ Tennis

The varsity girls’ tennis team begins their season hoping to build on the success that the program has had in years

 

past. The team is an even blend of girls from every grade with talent deep into the lineup. Facing one of the most competitive conferences in the state, the Cougars face Millburn, Livingston, and Newark Academy, all top 15 teamsin the state.Julia Perlmutter, junior captain and the number one for the Cougars is excited to get the season underway with her team. “

We believe this team has a lot of potential. We have a lot of new faces and two freshman to add some freshness to our veteran regime.” The goal for the Cougars this season is to defend their Prep B Championship, compete well in the County tournament, and hopefully end a five-year Non-Public B drought. The girls are determined to make this season a great one and continue their shared dominance of Essex County tennis.

 

 

Boys’ Soccer

Arguably the most promising sports team this fall is the boys’ varsity soccer team. They’ve started out the season in outstanding form, garnering a 3-0-1 record with wins over Newark Academy, Belleville, and Glen Ridge and an exciting tie against Essex County powerhouse Millburn High School. The simultaneously fresh and experienced squad did not concede a goal until the fourth game tie against Millburn. But this great start should come as no surprise to those who have followed the boys’ soccer team over the past few years. In fact, their past success stories have earned the team a move into a higher division within the Super Essex Conference. Steve Piela, a four-year varsity starter and captain this year has high expectations for his final season on Van Brunt. “We have to come ready to play every game,” he says, and ready they have been. In terms of key players, Steve grants recognition to the talented forwards Miles Hackett and Malcolm Dixon who have earned their reputations on nationally ranked teams. “They’re both extremely talented and big-time scorers,” notes Piela. On the other end of the field, the team looks to senior captain Dominic Leone and junior Justin Gonsalves to anchor the defense. “Without them we would be in trouble. The reason why we have not conceded a goal is mainly because of them,” complemented Piela, going into their Millburn game. In the net is Matt Lane, stellar goalie. Although he hasn’t had to face many shots this year, “Everyone on the team trusts him…he has come up big for us in the past and I know he’ll come up big again when we need him.” With a crew this talented, the team’s goal is “to win a state championship. We all know we can do it, but it just comes down to execution. We have the talent, the coaching, and the heart to do it, without a doubt,” says Piela. To put it bluntly, he says, “If we don’t finish as state champions, the season will not be a success.” For now, we will enjoy the beginnings of what will surely be an amazing season for the Cougars.

Boys' Soccer Captains: Dominic Leone, Steve Piela

 

We wish the best of luck to each and every fall athlete and hope this fall season will bring both expected and surprising success across all disciplines. With every game, match, and race comes a new opportunity to defend the blue and green. There could not be a more capable group of captains and students charged with the responsibility to lead our school to victory. So it begins, Cougars.

Field Hockey Captains: Olivia Haddock-Carter, Rebecca Strickland