Author Archives: Powayiliad

Softball Season Starts off Strong: Samantha Needham Squares Up at the Plate to Swing for the Fences this Season

Courtesy of Steven Silva

MASON KERN/ Sports Editor

From the young age of seven, senior Samantha Needham knew that she wanted to be a softball player. She entered competitive league play at just 11 years old for TNL Athletics, and has not looked back since.

Her noteworthy career has led Needham to maintain a varsity starting spot as both an outfielder and first baseman for all four years of high school. When she was just starting high school as a freshman, Needham went to the varsity softball tryouts with understandable trepidation, unsure how the leap of faith would unfold. It is hard for a freshman to muster up the confidence to appear at a varsity level tryout in the first place, let alone with coaches and an organization at large that is unfamiliar with the player, or their track record.

Having hailed from the Mira Mesa softball program, Titans softball coaches were entirely unfamiliar with Needham prior to the tryout. However, her ability shone through and she successfully made the varsity team as a freshman, and continued to maintain that spot all four years of high school.

“It was nerve-racking at first because none of the coaches knew me, and being a freshman at my first varsity tryout… it was a scary thing,” Needham admits.

In her four year tenure with the team, she has been involved in an accumulated record of 68-25, including the team’s most recent 6-2 victory against San Pasqual High School.

In her game against Santana, in which the team won 6-1, Needham hit a homerun that scored two runs for the team. It was her first homerun since her freshman year.

Other highlights of her high school career include winning an Open Division CIF championship in the 2015 campaign, as well as the team making an appearance in the Open Division Championship the following year. Unfortunately they came just short in the final innings.

“I’m really grateful to have experienced so much success in such a great program,” Needham said. “I think the new talent will step up and we’ll have another great season this year.”

As with all high school sports, athletes come and go. As a result, teams need to compensate for yearly losses by adding new players developed from the junior varsity level, or in Needham’s case, those underclassman ready to jump straight to varsity.

As a payoff for her hard work and dedication, Needham has since committed to Santa Clara University where she will continue to play softball for the Lady Broncos, as well as pursue a career in the field of broadcast journalism.

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Dance Team Tops All Competition

Courtesy of Jade Coast Photography

Photo Courtesy: Jade Coast Photography

MASON KERN/ Sports Editor

As the sports seasons have shifted from football to winter athletics, the dance team has feverishly been preparing for its halftime routines, pep rallies and the critically important competitions that they participate in against other dance teams from across the nation.

The mixed-class team is composed of seniors: Lauren Trust, Alex Flies, Emily Wilson, Isabella Seebruch, and Lindsay Nasland; juniors: Devon Medeksiak, Jennifer Lux, Amber Hoffman, Keiki Koch, and Ashley Staley; sophomores: Megan Lynch, Mallory Jul, Audrey Olaes, Tevai Demello, Olivia Mann, Alina Scott; and freshman: Kodi Hightower, Mikayla Voorn, Alexa Workman, Emily Alcalay, Lexie Roche, Kendall Flies, and Skyler Hightower.

The PHS dance team has impressively earned three national championships in years past, and currently has its sights set on securing a fourth win at the national level. Quite notably, the team won its last dance competition across the board, in both their singles and group competitions.

“We really want to get back to the top level and win another national competition,” Wilson said. “I think we have the talent to do it again this year, and I’m excited for what the future holds.”

The students on campus love to support the team, as its success has garnered attention not only from its own school, but students throughout the district as a whole as well.

“Yea people at my school hear about Poway’s dance team, I mean they’re really good,” Mount Carmel senior Viraj Deshpande said. “I saw them perform when I went to the football game against Mount Carmel and I was kind of blown away.”

The level of talent extends throughout all grade levels, as each individual dancer has her own backstory and portfolio of success. For example, Jul was extended the opportunity to perform on NBC-TV’s “The Ellen Show” as a dancer to perform the popular song “JuJu on Dat Beat” by Zayion McCall.

“All of us are really talented in a variety of different aspects of dancing, so when we come together on the floor, we are virtually unstoppable,” Lynch said.

Additionally, the team competed in the USA Regionals competition over the weekend of Feb. 10-11 where they secured first place in three of their routines, and placed in the top three for the rest of their performances as well.

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Wrestling Wreaking Havoc on National Scale

MASON KERN/ Sports Editor

The wrestling program is notorious for highly athletic maneuvers resulting in quick pins and impressive victories. This notoriety has propelled them to become an elite-caliber wrestling program not only in San Diego, but also the nation at large. They have already gotten off to a fast start this school year, having claimed the first place overall team award in five out of their six tournaments.

The team has also won both of their non-tournament meets, the first being the Rancho Bernardo Duel by a score of 46-15 on Jan. 4; and the second being the Westview Dual by a score of 66-12 on Jan. 12.

Led by three seniors, University of Virginia commit Scotty Kiyono, Quentin Hovis, and Celso Silva, the team is poised for another championship run this season. They perennially achieved success, now very well-known across the U.S. for being a top high school wrestling contender.

“We work really hard in practice to meet our goals. We hold everyone accountable, and have high expectations for each and every guy on this team,” Kiyono said.

As of the last InterMat’s rankings update as of Jan. 18, PHS is ranked 16th in the nation, with Hovis earning the distinction as the number one ranked wrestler in the country for his weight class of 152 pounds.

As a testament to their skill, the team has won the California Interscholastic Federation Championship 35 times in total, 30 of those consecutively. Their last CIF loss came in 1986 and, since then, the team has maintained a dominant image in the national wrestling community.

“It’s a real honor to be recognized for all of the hard work I put in each and every day. I just have to keep my head down and grind harder to maintain this level of competition in the future,” Hovis said.

As to their near-term goals, the team will look to continue its success in their upcoming meet at the Mid Cals Classic this weekend, Jan. 27-28 at Gilroy High School.

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Broadway Performances Coming to San Diego

ALEX STEARNS/ Staff Writer

Theatre Locations: The Civic Center & The Balboa Theatre, Downtown San Diego

KEY: * = The Civic Theatre

         3 = The Balboa Theatre

Matilda*

  • February: 1st (7:00 p.m.), 2nd (7:30 p.m.), 3rd (7:30 p.m.), 4th (2:00 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.), 5th (1:00 p.m. & 6:30 p.m.)

Russian National Ballet: Sleeping Beauty3

  • February: 5th (1:00 p.m.)

Branford Marsalis Quartet3

  • February: 10th (8:00 p.m.)

Leonidas Kavakos & Yunja Wang3

  • February: 11th (8:00 p.m.)

Cinema @ The Balboa Theatre – Disney’s Little Mermaid3

  • February: 12th (1:00 p.m.)

Cinema @ The Balboa Theatre – Breakfast At Tiffany’s3

  • February: 12th (5:00 p.m.)

Scott Bradlee Postmodern Jukebox3

  • February: 16th (7:30 p.m.)

Shaolin Warriors3

  • February: 17th (8:00 p.m.)

Falstaff by Giuseppe Verdi*

  • February: 18th (7:00 p.m.), 21st (7:00 p.m.), 24th (7:00 p.m.), 26th (2:00 p.m.)

#IMomSoHard

  • February: 18th (8:00 p.m.)

Under the Streetlamp3

  • March: 8th (4:00 p.m.)

The Legendary Farhad Darya3

  • February: 26th (7:00 p.m.)

Peter Pan*

  • March: 4th (2:30 p.m.) & (7:00 p.m.), 5th (1:00 p.m.)

The Tragedy of Carmen by Peter Brook3

  • March: 10th (7:00 p.m.), 11th (7:00 p.m.), 12th (2:00 p.m.)

Kinky Boots*

  • March: 10th (8:00 p.m.), 11th (2:00 p.m.) & (8:00 p.m.), 12th (1:00 p.m.) & (6:00 p.m.)

Zucchero Black Cat Tour3

  • March: 14th (7:30 p.m.)

Jay and the Silent Bob Get Old3

  • March: 18th (8:00 p.m.)

Malandain Ballet Biarritz: Beauty and the Beast*

  • March: 18th (8:00 p.m.)

An Evening with Neil Gaiman*

  • March: 29th (8:00 p.m.)

Max Raabe and Palast Orchestra3

  • March: 31st (8:00 p.m.)
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Bye Bye Battery

KEIRA BARRY/ Feature Editor

First it was the Samsungs, and now the iPhones are struggling too? iPhone 6S owners have been reporting that their phones are unexpectedly powering down at high battery percentages, or rapidly losing battery. While they are not catching fire or exploding (cough, Samsung), a malfunctioning smartphone is a setback for any student.

“When it’s just on, the battery just starts draining,” freshman Lori Vildibill said of her iPhone 6S.

Some phones may be powering down or losing battery more quickly because they have a different A9 chip. There are two variants of this card, one made by TSMC and one made by Samsung. The Samsung chip supposedly has less battery life than the TSMC chip.

Most of the devices that are shutting down were manufactured between September and October 2016. However, Apple has noted that “a small number of customers outside of the affected range have also reported an unexpected shutdown.”

Still, many students are experiencing no difficulties with their devices. “No problems have occurred [with my device],” sophomore Nicole Manley said.

Students experiencing difficulties with the iPhone 6S can visit a local Apple store or authorized service provider to see if their device is eligible for a battery replacement, which is offered free of charge.

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Celebrating the holiday season in Poway

HANNAH WILLIAMS/ Pop-culture Editor–

Christmas is here, and what better way to spend the holidays than finding festive entertainment around the city. Whether you would like to gaze at bright lights, enjoy a play or two based on Christmas stories, or even go take a picture with the jolly man himself, now is the time to celebrate.

Here in Poway, many residents have dominated the Christmas decoration element. On Hickory Court/Hickory Street, Butterwood Court and Rockrose Court off of Twin Peaks road. and Silverset Street, locals cover their houses with stunning lights to create Candy Cane Courts. This year they are open from Dec. 10 to Jan. 2 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
If light sighting isn’t your favorite, then drive to the mountain town of Julian for a hot apple cider and a delicious piece of homemade apple pie. On Saturdays, you can stroll through the neighborhood streets and enjoy the sounds of wandering Christmas carolers and savor the sweater weather.
Down towards the coast, The Winter Wonderland at Del Mar Village celebrates the holidays with carolers strolling down the streets, a snow hill for children, meeting Santa Claus, a cake walk, seasonal treats to savor and holiday shopping at Del Mar Plaza.
If you take an interest in plays, then Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas is a great theatrical piece to see. It’s playing at The Old Globe from Nov. 5 to Dec. 26, and tickets start at $24.
There are many ways to spend the holidays, but the most important reason is that you spend it with the ones you love.

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Does football get more respect than other sports?

HANNAH WILLIAMS/Pop-Culture Editor–

Some athletes feel football players receive more opportunities than they do. Athletic director Damien Gonzalez says these perceptions are false.

“A lot of student athletes from other teams feel that because I’m the athletic director that our football program actually receives more benefits, which is not true. All athletes on campus are treated equally,” coach Gonzalez said.
Some point to how the football players receive extra benefits such as getting lunches every Friday or new uniforms. Everything that football has is because of fundraising. The money does not come from the athletic department, but from the football players spending time in the summer to fund-raise.
Furthermore,a chiropractor who volunteers on campus is not just for the football team. According to Gonzalez, he comes every Thursday to help out any student athlete for the entire year, not just during football season.
Another concern was during the lacrosse CIF finals last year. Some of the lights were dim, and lacrosse’s schedule was moved up because of opposing team complaints.
According to Gonzalez, the lights still aren’t fixed for football. They have to replace all of the bulbs in the summer when nobody’s around, because they have to shut down the cell towers, and were only able to replace some of the bulbs on the west side of the field.
The athletic department’s budget plan, is that football will bring in $50,000 during the year, basketball around $10,000, and wrestling around $2,000.
With the variety of different expenses, from athletic awards to CIF and State dues, the top expense is officials fees, which range anywhere from $30,000 to $40,000 a year.
So, looking at the income at about $78,000, where actual expenses last year were about $66,000, there is a projected budget.
If ASB/athletics gets extra money they use it for other things, such as purchasing hurdles for the track team, soccer goals for men’s and women’s soccer programs, wall pads for the gym, etc.
“So, I basically have the choice at the end of the year, where’s our needs and where are we going to put that money, and $0 has gone back to football” Gonzalez said.
“Last year with our extra money I decided to pay for boys and girls lacrosse and cheer’s transportation costs, since they’re not technically covered by the district, which was around $8,000 to $10,000,” coach Gonzalez added.
This year, the profits are slated to purchase gymnastic mats for Gymnastics.

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Students celebrate the season with spirit week

THE ILLIAD/ Kately Dali & Alex Stearns

 

Titans sparkle with spirit: Students throughout the week dressed in their best and most comfortable pajamas, their ugliest holiday sweaters, their warmest flannels, their decked out snow gear, and finally their most spirited green and gray and festive hats. All grades seem to be getting ready for the upcoming two week winter break. Many Titans will be spending their break with family, friends, and loved ones gathering by the fire, unwrapping presents, driving through candy cane lane, ice skating, or even shredding on the slopes in Big Bear.

 


From left to right: Justin Pulson, Natalie Marriot, Sarah Butikofer

 


From left to right: Carly Matz, Sarah Aragon, Grace Driver

 


From left to right: Megan Elias, Taylor Elias, Roya Ghaseminejad

 


From left to right: Ivy Garcia, Allison Grissen, Catalina Greaves, Alyssa Hamilton, Rachel Jones, Carley Perez

 


From left to right: Kayla Persley, Hampton Boyde, Ahn Le, Nick Stansbury, Rachel Johnson

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Jay Trousdale Retiring, but not from Coaching

MASON KERN/Sports Editor

Sadly, on June 8, the physical education program is going to lose one of its premier instructors. Jay Trousdale, who has worked at Poway High for three decades, is set to retire from his long and illustrious career that has included instructing the beginner through advanced basketball classes, as well as the standard physical education classes required for graduation.

With the 2016-17 girls’ varsity basketball season having commenced with a four game winning streak, the team hopes that Trousdale’s impending retirement from teaching will not adversely impact his influence on the basketball court for this season, or the next while he remains at the helm as head coach.

“Right now I plan on coaching the basketball girls next season. I love working with those ladies and as long as I have my energy and good health, I should be good to go,” Trousdale said.

As for the athletes he has coached throughout the years, they have continuously impressed throughout their seasons. In fact, Trousdale was recognized as the “winningest coach in the county” by achieving 600 wins during last year’s season.

“My favorite moment in my career was achieving the all-time wins mark in San Diego at 611,” notes Trousdale.  “The reason being that it meant all the girls in 29 years made that happen! The four CIF titles!” Trousdale stated that he also enjoys being able to attend many former players’ weddings, and just watching students mature into young adults.

At the sprite age of 60 years old, Trousdale is ready for retirement but, because he has been surrounded by the chatter of students for the last few decades of his life, it may be hard for him to stay away from the proverbial call of duty. Future Titans may have hope for the future, as a legend with as big a drive and dedication as Trousdale may be hard-pressed to break away from the student body completely.

This is evident as Trousdale waxes poetic about what he’ll do with his time during retirement. “I still love working with the kids!,” he says. “I will look forward to sleeping in. I have a lot of sleep to catch up on in 38 years! I don’t fish, hunt or play golf. For me, it will be to attend San Diego sporting events and of course a few rock concerts. I will want to see a few PHS sporting events too.”

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