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Boys volleyball prepares for districts

BY TORI REISER

The varsity boys volleyball team is off to a great start this season. On Thursday, March 31, the boys defeated Cooper City High School, winning in straight sets 25-13, 25-18, and 25-13. The win improved its record to 9-4.

Senior, libero, Zach Corliss, said the team competed well against Cooper City, but needs to work on some things in practice.us

“We need to work on not playing down to our competitors performance because it affects our level of play during the game,” Corliss said.

Corliss also said during the game the team scored a lot of the points by serving at the weakest players.

“Coach also makes us serve in practice to help us stay consistent and by using this strategy it helped us make a lot of easy points during the game,” Corliss said.

Junior and middle hitter, Joe Dehmer, said Copper City was a good match up for the team to prepare it for Districts.

“Even though Cooper City was an easier win for us, we are still competing hard because we have a lot of harder matches coming up soon so we have to be physically and mentally prepared,” Dehmer said.

Dehmer also said the team needs to pick up and have more energy on the court.

“When we’re playing weaker teams, we need to keep up our energy by celebrating after every point because during the game against Cooper City our energy level dropped,” Dehmer said.

Junior and setter, Nick Taylor, said the team is looking strong and practicing harder than ever.

“We have improved over these past couple weeks playing as a team because we communicate with each other better on and off the court and we are focusing on our weaknesses so we can come out strong for our next games,” Taylor said.

Coach Meyer said the team needs to make a few adjustments from this game.

“I believe the boys played excellent during this game, but I want to focus more on executing the point by processing more hitting and passing,” Coach Meyer said.

The team’s next game is against West Broward in the district semifinals on April 26 at Archbishop McCarthy.

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Boys Lacrosse starts season 4-2

BY DREW SISKIND

Six games into the season, the boys lacrosse team has already endured ups and downs.

The team started by winning its first three games each by double digits and by an average of 13 goals.DSC_0095

“We were simply unstoppable in those first three games,” junior goalie Justin Hochberg said. “Everyone on the team was playing well, and our chemistry was perfect.”

Hochberg gave up zero goals in the third win, a 17-0 shutout at South Plantation.

Powering the offense in that game was senior attackman Dylan Pulitano, who scored six goals and assisted on four.

Pulitano and fellow senior attackman Shane Kreutzer have been driving forces for the Lightning, combining for 40 goals and 39 assists so far this season. The duo has chemistry that Kreutzer credits to their experience of playing together for years.

“We have been playing together since fourth grade,” Kreutzer said, “It’s easy for us to connect and know where each other are at all times on the field.”

The team faced Belen Jesuit at home in its fourth game, and the team only led for the first quarter of the game. The Lightning were winning 4-2 at the end of one, but were dominated for the rest of the game, which ended in a 15-5 loss.

More of the same occurred in the team’s next game, a 14-10 loss to Cardinal Gibbons. The players did not meet their own expectations in terms of performance.

“We played two really good teams with skill that we have never seen before, but that’s not an excuse,” sophomore attackman Sam Chenoy said. “I think we beat ourselves more than they beat us.”

The team rebounded in its next game against rival Western, winning by a score of 13-4. Senior midfielder Anthony Turi scored five goals in the game, and he humbly credited his coaches for his performance.

“Because of how our coaching staff has pushed me and the rest of the team this year, I was able to perform well in a rivalry game,” Turi said. “As a team, we really let our passion carry us to that victory.”

With 10 games left, the team’s season is far from over. The Lightning will look to have a better ending to this season than last, which was a loss to St. Thomas in Regional Quarterfinals.

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Boys basketball competes in regional semifinals

BY ELI FUHRMANIMG_4366

The boys basketball team advanced to the regional semifinals this season. However, its journey to that point was nothing short of “fantastic” according to Head Coach Jason Looky.

“We went from a team that couldn’t win a game in the summer to a team that barely lost in the regional semifinals. It was a work in progress,” Coach Looky said.

After a season in which the team got to play a tournament in California and won a second consecutive district championship, it was able to host a regional quarterfinal game against JP Taravella High School on Feb. 11. The team had just received a brand new court and new Under Armour uniforms.

“We were excited when we learned that we would be able to play at home in front of our fans in our brand new uniforms,” senior Jake Londos said.

The Bay was projected to lose to Taravella, per RMF magazine, but pulled out an 80-46 win in the game.

“If people want to doubt us, then we will prove them wrong,” senior Brett Andjich said. “We know we can beat any team when we play to our full potential.”

Coach Looky was proud of his team and thought that it did everything it needed to do in the game.

“In that game, we displayed our best defensive effort of the year and the home support gave us a huge advantage,” Coach Looky said.

Five days later, on Feb. 16, the team would travel to Coral Springs High for the regional semifinals.

The Lightning were up by 10 points at one point in the game, but could not keep its lead for the rest of the way, losing by a score of 75-72. Coral Springs would eventually go on to win the Class 8A state championship.IMG_4361

“We did nothing wrong in that game,” Coach Looky said. “We played to the maximum of our ability and came up short. There is a reason why Coral Springs won the state championship.”

Londos agreed that the team could not do anything more than it did in that game.

“Both teams played extremely well in that game, but they just had a slight edge on us,” Londos said. “Being at home would’ve helped in that game, but we cannot blame the loss on something like that.”

The team had eight seniors on its roster this year, but Coach Looky is confident that the team will be just fine next year.

“We lose half of our team every year, but we will be ready,” Looky said. “Guys always find a way to step up.”

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Self-promotion leads to collegiate opportunities

BY ALEXIS SOBEL

MULT. FEATURES EDITORIMG_1501

Nearly 8 million students currently participate in high school athletics in the United States, according to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). However, only approximately 460,000 high school students continue to play their respective sports at a collegiate level.

Student athletes need the best exposure to colleges if they want to further their careers, due to the competitive field of athletes around the nation.  Athletes at the Bay use social media, highlight videos and coaches’ assistance to gain attention from schools.

Varsity Football Coach Mark Guandolo said high school athletes need to focus on the present instead of the future.

“Too many high school players are more worried about self-promotion and less about the daily grind of trying to improve themselves in the weight room, on the field and in the classroom. Again, college coaches will evaluate game film and transcripts,” he said.

In the past years, more than 85 student athletes at the Bay have been placed in college football programs of all levels. This year, there will be a total of 22 Lightning football players playing Division I football in the fall of 2016.

“We are very proud of these young men. Each one of these players has come back to say our program at Cypress Bay has prepared them for the next level,” he said.   “We are anxiously waiting for next years NFL draft because we are anticipating three lightning alumni getting drafted.”

Coach Guandolo said there are many recruiting services that try to make money off of high school players, but that is not the best form of self-promotion.

“There are a few reputable services that I use that don’t charge for their services, he said. “The best way is by texting their highlight link to the college coaches. Also, college coaches are tweeting more and more [to high school players].”

Although football skills are important, Coach Guandolo said academics are equally as important.

“They need to work hard every day on improving their strength, speed and football skills. There is no magic potion. They need to attack their academics and ACT/SAT the same way,” he said. “It will be your actual game film and transcripts that will help you or hinder you in your pursuit of collegiate football.”

Junior Jake Lichtenstein has received 16 Division I football offers as of March 9: Mississippi State, Marshall, Northern Illinois, Iowa State, Rutgers, Miami (OH), Syracuse, University of Central Florida, Temple University, West Virginia, South Carolina, Western Michigan, Kentucky, Buffalo and Florida Atlantic University.

“Without the help of my coaches and Hudl, I definitely do not think I would have received as many offers as I have so far,” Lichtenstein said. “Coach G has gotten in touch with the schools before they reach out to me, so he exposes me to college teams.”

Hudl is online software that provides coaches, athletes and recruiters the tools to observe footage from previous games.  This program allows athletes to easily make highlight reels of their season.

“Hudl has played a huge role in my success because it was a way for schools to see my abilities on the field without even having to physically be there,” Lichtenstein said.

Like Lichtenstein, Baker University commit Gavin Green uses Hudl to self-promote himself.

“It’s a great easy way for players to make a highlight and show any coach,” Green said. “The players make their own highlight, but Coach G guides us in picking the best plays to put in.”

However, Green said he got the majority of his exposure by getting in touch with coaches via Twitter.

“I put myself out there by going to football camps, but honestly, Twitter helped me a lot,” he said, “I followed and direct messaged plenty of coaches to receive the attention I wanted.”

Girls Varsity Soccer coach, Kate Dwyer, recommends emailing college coaches to inform them on upcoming showcases. She said this is a great avenue of self-promotion.

“Those who want to play in college need to start reaching out to colleges their freshman year,” she said. “Soccer is a bit different whereas it starts much earlier than other sports.  It also has nothing to do with high school; it has everything to do with club.”

Dwyer said her playing and coaching experience has helped her pave the way for her current players.

“Because I have coached college and played Division I soccer, I know a lot of the coaches and the process, so I will help with whatever my girls need,” she said.  “But as stated before, my girls all play club and that is where they get their exposure.  If they are struggling, I will help by reaching out as well.”

Binghamton tennis commit Michelle Eisenberg primarily relied on emailing coaches and showcases to broadcast her talents.

“I started by emailing the coaches of the schools I was interested at the beginning of last summer,” Eisenberg said. “Then, during the summer I played in a showcase tournament at Yale where a lot of coaches came and were able to watch me play.  I got to talk to some of the coaches and we stayed in contact over email.”

Eisenberg said the self-promotion process was arduous, yet rewarding after she finally committed.

“I was definitely nervous because I did not know if or when the coaches were going to respond. I knew I had to contact them first just so I could get on their radar,” Eisenberg said. “It was also a huge wake up call for me because I had always thought that college was such a long way off, but here I was starting the process of figuring out where I was going to end up for the next four years.”

Because tennis is an individual sport, Eisenberg said self-promotion is essential to play at a college level.

“Unless you are top in the nation, most colleges won’t know your name, so it is all about self-promotion,” she said. “You have to reach out to the coach so he/she knows you are interested and then can start following your process.  If you do not self-promote, then the coach will never know who you are.”

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Special needs cheer team participates in competitions

BY CAITY BURDASH IMG_8069

A handful of students at the Bay spend their Saturday mornings coaching a special needs competitive cheerleading team. The team competes in competitions across Florida including the Special Olympics and Contest of Champions. Sophomore Julia McLaughlin has been coaching the team for two years.

“When I first heard about this team I was ecstatic but really nervous,” McLaughlin said. “At my first practice I was very quiet, but with time, the other buddies made me feel a lot more comfortable.”

Head coach Melissa Jablonski and daughter Ashley Jablonski started the program in 2009.

“Hotshots started out as a simple dream,” Ashley Jablonski said. “We never expected it to be as sustainable as it’s become.”

Ashley Jablonski said she is so proud of the team and loves to see the smiles on the athletes because it shows hard work that has paid off.

“I enjoy watching the athletes and the buddies interact.   When they are all together, there is so much love in the air,” Melissa Jablonski said.

This will be the final year the Jablonskis will manage Hotshots because Ashley will be attending USF and Melissa is moving to Tampa. They are both overwhelmed with happiness and couldn’t be more proud of the buddies and athletes.

“I think that the coaches and the buddies are full of heart and dedication and often times I think they get more out of being buddies and watching the team be successful more than the athletes themselves,” Melissa Jablonski said.

Hotshots compete under the competitive cheerleading gym, Five Star Athletics, located in Plantation.

IMG_7751“Having the opportunity to be involved in this program has really made me more mindful,” McLaughlin said. “It teaches me not to judge anyone because you never know what’s going on in someone else’s life.”

There are about 15 special needs cheerleaders and six helping buddies on the team. They practice every Saturday for two hours.

“I really love that I am able to coach with all my best friends.” McLaughlin said.

Sophomore Ellie Sachs and Junior Katrina Woiski coach alongside McLaughlin as well as cheering on different teams at Five Star.

“I love helping others and it’s such an amazing feeling to watch a child’s face light up with happiness when they learn something new,” Sachs said. “All the athletes are very determined and are willing to do anything.”

Sachs said she feels very welcomed and loved by the special athletes and they never fail to make her smile.

“The biggest life lesson I’ve learned from coaching and being a buddy is definitely patience.” Sachs said. “You can’t rush cheerleading; it will take time to teach the special needs team and you must always respect that.”

Special athlete Victoria Jones, 15, has been cheering on Hotshots since the beginning.

“The coaches are my favorite part about the team,” Jones said. “They’re great and always teach me new skills like tumbling and stunts.”

Jones says she loves cheerleading and wants to continue on with it for years to come.

“I love performing for the big audiences,” Jones said. “Everyone is cheering for us and it makes me really happy when we hit our routine.”

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Boys volleyball gets their season started

BY TORI REISER

Last year, the varsity boys volleyball team made it to District finals, but lost in a close match against Archbishop McCarthy. This season the team is making crucial changes to its game by getting physically and mentally prepared.

Freshman, Mariano Robert, said he has a lot to work on this season especially as a libero.

“The position as libero can be hard, but I practice defense everyday and strive to work harder and harder for this coming season,” Robert said.

Robert said the biggest competition in the district is Archbishop McCarthy because it has the strongest players out of all the teams in the county.

“I really want to beat Archbishop McCarthy because they have won districts three times in a row and this year is our turn,” Robert said.

Senior, Austin Hanan, has very high expectations of the team for this season.

“I’m looking forward to the comradery we have as a team and also the high energy that we are going to use on the court,” Hanan said.

Hanan also said the team is working on different types of drills to mentally and physically prepare themselves this season.

“We are working on becoming a nice fundamentally gifted team by working on passing and running drills that help our level of volleyball,” Hanan said.

Senior, Jonathan Diedam, set personal goals this season and is trying to accomplish them.

“This season I am focusing more on taking each game one by one and challenging myself to master every position on the court,” Diedam said.

Diedam also said he wants to end his senior year on a good note.

“I want to end my three year career at Cypress Bay by taking a district trophy back home,” Diedam said.

Coach Meyer said she is excited for this season because she wants to finish with a winning record, and she feels they have the opportunity to improve from last year.

“The majority of the team is returning players so I am really working on using the team chemistry and incorporating the new players into the system in order to be highly competitive this season,” Coach Meyer said.

Coach Meyer also said she wants to work on both the team’s strengths and weaknesses by focusing on consistency.

“If we can find a system that is successful and consistently fine tune it throughout the season, then we shouldn’t have a problem accomplishing all of our goals this season,” Meyer said.

The team’s first home game is on March 10 against American Heritage.

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Panthers pride on display at the Bay

BY JEREMY JACKSON

SPORTS EDITOR

The Cypress Bay hockey team faced off with Miami­Dade High School Hockey Alliance on Jan. 22 at the BB&T Center, home of the Florida Panthers. The Lightning defeated Miami­Dade by a score of 9­-6. Just two hours after the Lightning win, the Florida Panthers took the ice in front of a sell-out crowd to play the Chicago Blackhawks. The Panthers went on to shutout the Blackhawks by a score of 4­-0 increasing their lead in the standings.Iq2U5CXw

“The Panthers, as of right now, are in a good position to make the playoffs,” Fox Sports Florida play-by-play commentator, Steve Goldstein said. “Making the playoffs would be huge for a franchise that has gone through so many years of disappointment.”

The closest professional sports team to Cypress Bay geographically, the Florida Panthers, continue to win games and its popularity among the South Florida community grows along with it. A team that was only notoriously known for their mediocrity and their empty arena, the Panthers have had one of the smallest fan bases in the NHL. New ownership, talented players (as young as 20 and as old as 44) and the backing of Broward County have made ‘The Cats” a hot commodity.

Cypress Bay students are wearing Panthers gear proudly for the first time in a while, as the Panthers shattered their previous franchise record of seven consecutive wins by reeling off 12 straight.

“Being a Panthers season ticket holder for six years, it’s great to see the Panthers finally getting the attention they deserve. It’s awesome to see other kids at school wearing Panthers gear,” sophomore Tara Zionts said. “I’m happy to that my classmates are finally noticing the Panthers and even wearing some of the team’s apparel.”

The main Panthers gear that has been seen around campus is the ‘Spacey In Space’ sweatshirt that came into the spotlight in late December, during the Panthers tear of 12 straight wins. After every victory, the players award the MVP of the game the ‘Spacey In Space’ sweatshirt for his performance and that player gets to wear the sweatshirt until the next game. No one outside the Panthers locker room knows the true meaning behind the sweatshirt other than actor Kevin Spacey but that hasn’t stopped students from buying it.

“I don’t know the true meaning behind the sweatshirt but it’s a cool design that my favorite players are wearing so I wanted one too,” senior Brandon Eason said.

The Panthers are having, what could be, the best season in their 22-year existence. Panther’s fans at the Bay aren’t the only people noticing the shift from disappointment to success as the BB&T Center continues to reach its capacity on a nightly basis.

“Success this season has been important this season and attendance has sky-rocketed because of it,” senior CJ Ure said. “The games used to be very dull and boring, but now everyone has a Panthers jersey on and are really starting to care about the on-ice product.”

The Panthers have exceeded everyone’s expectations and currently sit as the fifth best team in the entire NHL and the second best team in the Eastern Conference.

“The Panthers are good this year no doubt about it. I believe that this squad is the best we’ve had since the 1996 team that went to the Stanley Cup finals,” Goldstein said. “They are winning more often this season and winning teams draw bigger crowds.”

The Panthers also have tons of talent and were well represented in this year’s all-star game in Nashville. Goalie, Roberto Luongo, winger, Jaromir Jagr and defenseman, Aaron Ekblad, all took part in all-star weekend on Jan. 29­30.

“The Panthers have a great team and they’re playing great this season, after many years of not so great play, and people are starting to take notice,” Zionts said. “Seeing my friends starting to give the Panthers some attention and even come out to games is really exciting to see.”

The Panthers currently sit in first place in the Atlantic division and have built themselves a lead going into the final 20 games of the regular season but the way General Manager Dale Tallon has rebuilt this team has the fans excited about the team’s future too.

“They won’t be a one hit wonder. The Panthers have a good, young, core that will lead to success for years to come in players like [Aaron] Ekblad, [Jonathan] Huberdeau, and [Aleksander] Barkov to just name a few,” Goldstein said

Fans at the Bay are eager to see if the Panthers can make the playoffs for only the second time in 15 years and win a playoff series for the first time in 20 years.

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From my Perspective: Final high school basketball game causes nostalgia

BY EVAN TEICH

SPORTS COPY EDITOREVAN TEICH

The high school basketball playoffs eventually would come around; I knew that.  But, I never knew what it would feel like to compete in the playoffs as a high school senior. It was special. Every game felt like it was the most important basketball game I had ever played in.  As each game approached, I knew that realistically it could be my last time playing in a competitive basketball game, but I never knew what that would really feel like until the buzzer went off at Coral Springs High School and the scoreboard read 75-72 in favor of the Colts. It was a terrible feeling, but oh what a journey it was to get to this point.

We packed up our bags for our first playoff game against Western High school, and won for the third straight time. Moving into the district finals, we faced Piper in its gym and came away with another victory.  We earned a home game in the regional quarterfinals against an extremely offensively talented Taravella basketball team.

We game planned and strategized how to capitalize off of Taravella’s 1-3-1 zone.  Eventually, running out through those locker room doors, on my new home court, possibly for the last time, was a feeling I’ve never felt before.  The Lightning Lunatics were there in full force. We dominated and the bench was electric.

We celebrated our 34-point victory, but just briefly because we were trying to make Cypress Bay history. We were trying to be the first basketball team to win a Regional Semi-Final game on the road and advance to the regional finals with a possible chance to make the State Final Four.
A couple days later, the day came. This time we had even more momentum. We were at our best, more confident than ever. We believed in each other and in our coaching staff. We thought we had what it took to continue this playoff run.
Once again we were going in as the underdog, projected to lose by 10 points according to Jesse Nadelman, a high school sports analyst from RMF (Respect My Face) Magazine. We used that as motivation.  We showed heart, teamwork, passion and everything a fan, coach, or lover of the game would want to see.  We got to play in front of a full gym and over 100 of our fans who traveled via the fan bus.  From start to finish, it was emotional.  I was more excited than I ever had been to step on a basketball court, for this game. I had never played in a game with stakes like these in front of a full gym.

And then we tipped off.  Coral Springs vs. Cypress Bay.  It was a fight, way more than just a normal game, a game with a 20-point swing.  Springs led by 10 at one point in the second quarter, but we cut that deficit to five going into halftime.  We came out of halftime hungry, with a will to win, and a desire to do the unprecedented at our school.  We fought, which seemed to be a theme throughout this game and our special playoff run.  We fought for our school, for our fans, for our coaches, and most importantly, for each other.  We went on a crazy run, stunning their players, coaches and fans.  We had a 10 point lead with two minutes left in the third quarter, but this game was far from over. Springs pushed back, as most thought they would, but once again this was a fight.  We went back and forth.  With missed opportunities, we unfortunately lost the game, but we outplayed Springs.  We did what nobody though we could do: we competed with them and were very close to coming out victorious.

So when that final buzzer sounded, and the scoreboard read 75-72, we were heartbroken because we knew that we left everything out on that court, and we thought we did enough to win the game, but things can’t always fall our way.  After we shook hands we turned to our fans and we clapped for them and they clapped back at us.  This was one of the best moments I had as a basketball player.  That showcased true respect and love for one another and a sense of pride for our school.  We went back to the locker room and cried.  We knew we gave everything we had; we hugged and we embraced each other.  We listened to the praise from every single one of our coaches.  And we got on the bus for the last time and drove back to our home.  It was the last time, but we did it the right way.  We went out on a high.  Although we didn’t get the result we wanted, we gave ourselves the best chance we could’ve asked for.  I am proud to say I was a part of this team and this organization.

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Storify: Super Bowl 50 provides lively entertainment

BY RACHEL FRIEDMAN

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Storify: National Signing Day makes college decisions official

BY MORGAN COMITE

ARTS AND ENT. PHOTO EDITOR

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