#1StudentNWI: A brand new gym at Washington Township

#1StudentNWI: A brand new gym at Washington Township
By: Zoe Brickner Last Updated: January 29, 2020

What’s Happened: New Gym Reveal

On January 14, Washington Township High School’s brand new gym was revealed to the public. The girls varsity basketball team was scheduled to play the Morgan Cherokees on opening night. Although the Lady Senators lost a tough game, the atmosphere was incredible.

“It was very exciting. There were lots of people there cheering, and they helped make the game fun,” Sophomore Olivia Martinez said.

Mr. Thompson also conducted the pep band as they tested out the acoustics for the first time. With their own section and drum stand, the band was eager to showcase their talent.

“The sound in the new gym is very good, especially from afar. Also, it’s nice being by the band room so we can tune. That always makes everyone sound better as well,” he said. “Before, the pep band students would have to carry their instruments, music, and stands across the parking lot, so this gym is very convenient for them.”

The boys basketball team had their first game in the new gym on January 28 against Covenant Christian. In honor of their coach, the pep block called the night, “Bowersock Night.”

Students came dressed in Coach Bowersock’s signature dress shirt and pants or sweats and a red hoodie. 

Both the JV and varsity teams beat Covenant Christian. Senior Drake Joiner enjoyed the night in the new gym. 

“It’s great to be able to play in a new environment. It brings about this new sense of community,” Joiner said. “We came together as a team and as a family to get a win.”

Student Spotlight: Megan Boby

Photo Provided by David Centifanto

For senior Megan Boby, June 11 of 2019 proved to be a horrendous day. During a basketball open gym, she landed on her leg wrong and heard a crack and pop. Boby later found out she tore her ACL. A couple of weeks later, she had surgery and the road to recovery began. With her last season of Senator basketball ahead of her and college offers in front of her, Boby worked harder than ever to get back on the court.

Surrounded by her team and her friends, the simple mantra, “Better for yourself, better for your team,” was her motto. From hitting the weights after surgery to finally being able to put some shots up in the gym, this phrase circled through Boby’s head. 

“For this phrase to be printed on the back of our senior year shooting shirts really was something special,” Boby said.

Boby’s recovery inspired her teammates to push themselves in practice and during games to be their absolute best. This phrase is just a simple reminder that individual work, both on and off the court, impacts the team and contributes to their success.

Boby’s dedication to her recovery paid off, and she was released to play her first game on January 14. It was the first game to ever be played in Washington’s brand new high school gym. Boby was awarded the opportunity to score the first varsity points. 

“It was a night straight out of a movie,” Boby said. “I’m so thankful for everyone that came out and supported us because the feeling of being on the court was something I missed.”

With only a few games left, Boby’s comeback season is going strong. The next game against Lake Station, she scored 21 points. Her success, however, will not stop at the end of this season but will continue in college at the University of Dubuque in Iowa, where she will be working toward a double major in business administration and sports management.

Teacher Spotlight: Mr. Bowersock

Mr. Scott Bowersock dedicates his life to the students in and out of the classroom at Washington Township. Bowersock came to Washington 10 years ago and has since doubled as a social studies teacher and boys varsity basketball head coach. He teaches basic history classes, as well as AP US history and AP psychology. He loves teaching AP classes because he has the opportunity to dive into things even deeper than he can in the normal classes.

“My favorite thing about teaching is that each class has its own personality. It’s fun teaching them and finding out what works and what doesn’t for a certain group of students,” he said.

Bowersock’s positive influence continues on the court. 

When asked what draws him to coaching, he answered simply, “The kids.”

Bowersock views coaching as an opportunity to build a family among a group of high school boys. As a teacher, he has seen his players grow into young men on the court and in the classroom.

This particular season, he noted how this group of boys is extremely close on and off the court. Their comradery helps them in both their high school experiences and during games.

“Each year I look for guys that want to work hard and off the court,” Bowersock said. “Kids who will make the right choices for themselves and their team.”

What’s Coming Up: End of basketball season

January is a month packed with basketball at Washington, but February isn’t any less exciting.

The girls varsity team played their last game in the new gym on senior night. They beat Calumet Christian on January 27. The girls play Griffith on January 29, and then go on to play Covenant Christian in the first round of sectionals. The girls are ready to play hard and are preparing for the rematch after they lost to them early in the season.

“I’m excited for sectionals because we really have a chance to make some noise. I think if we play hard as a team, we can make something happen in this tournament,” said four-year varsity girls basketball coach Michael DeHaven.

Senior Olivia Klinger also elaborated on her hopes for the end of the season.

“I think we can come out and surprise people. Regardless, I’m happy I get to go into my last sectional with my favorite team ever,” Klinger said.

The girls play next week and will have practices dedicated to preparing a game plan for the rest of the season. 

The boys varsity team goes still has a handful of games upcoming in the new gym.

The pep block is a huge aspect of Washington culture as students come out to home and away games decked out in crazy outfits. Previous themes have included VSCO girl night, pajama night, and their PCC theme, circus. 

Layne Matson, Washington Township junior, goes all out for the themes and has a blast doing so. 

“I mean it’s high school,” he said. “You just gotta have fun. Everyone laughs and has a good time, and if I make a fool of myself, oh well.”

Many other students share Matson’s mentality and anticipate the pep block ideas just as much as the actual games. The boys’ next home game is on February 6 versus Hebron.