The Finish Line Awaits
Adrenaline is pumping, heart is thumping; three, two, one - POP! Over 4,000 runners trampled the ground beneath their feet as cross country students near and far participated in the 37th Annual Culver Academies Cross Country Invitational on Saturday September 22nd.
Senior cross country runner Michael DeHaven has been a part of the Washington Township Middle/High School cross country team since the sixth grade.
DeHaven remarked, “My favorite course has got to be Culver Military Academy because of the great memories I have made in the seven years I have run there.”
Members of the cross country team have different reasons and purposes for running; whether it be to prove something to themselves, better themselves, or challenge themselves - each runner has a purpose.
Ethan Jones, senior XC runner stated, “My favorite part is suffering with my team, which leads to bonding and fond memories.”
Jones’ main reason for keeping up with training, running, and competing all these years is to improve and grow himself both mentally and physically.
At the Culver Invitational Saturday, Washington Township senior Matthew Sears came in at the front of the pack placing 23rd with the average pace of 5:49 and a finish time of 18:04.2. Senior Ethan Jones placed 37th with an average pace of 5:57 and as he crossed the finish line, the clock stopped at 18:29.4. Michael DeHaven came in 70th place running an average pace of 6:12; sprinting to the finish line his feet crossed at 19:15.2 two seconds faster and DeHaven would have broken his personal record of 19:13.
Running against 194 other runners in the Boys Varsity Closed category, these three runners have been an asset to the Washington Township Cross Country team since the first call out meeting they attended in middle school. They've represented the school with pride, courage, and determination.
Strong Alone, Unstoppable Together
Washington Township is a small, close knit school. However, when family bonds within a school are created by participating in a sport, that bond is stronger and closer.
Senior Meadow Meade said it is a mix of emotions playing her last few games. She's happy to be moving on to the next chapter of her life with graduation and college right around the corner, but sad because she is leaving her close underclassmen friends behind. She knows she'll soon be nostalgic for all the fond memories she made since joining the team freshman year. Meade is going to miss the team bonding on the bus rides as they laughed and made jokes to and from their away games the most.
Senior Nia Robinson has passionately been playing soccer for the past ten years as the sweeper and right striker. Robinson explained how it is crazy, and incomprehensible, that time has flown by so fast. But, she is excited to play in her last sectionals ever this coming Thursday.
Robinson admitted that although summer conditioning makes it hard to roll out of bed in the morning it is all worth it when fall rolls around.
“There is never a game that I am not proud to wear the red and black jersey on my back, I cannot wait to return to WT in a few years an see what the girls soccer program has become because we grow each and every year.”
Senior Captain Robinson loves the new environment that each year brings and gets through each practice because of the chocolate Reese's blizzard waiting for her at the end.
Don’t forget to come out and support Washington Townships Girls Soccer team on October 4th at Wheeler High School against Bishop Noll!
Class with a little Sass: Katelyn Majda
Katelyn Majda is a Washington Township senior that possesses a passion for sports, a heart for people, and determination for her future.
At a young age Majda became a Washington Township Senator after transferring out of Saint Pauls at the end of first grade. Majda plans on finishing the year and graduating Washington with both Academic and Technical Honors diploma.
IUPUI awaits Majda in the fall of 2019, where she plans on majoring in medical imaging. During her junior year of high school, Katelyn was a part of the Health Science vocational program at the Porter County Career Center. Upon researching occupations at vocational and listening to the recommendations of those around her, Majda decided that medical imaging was the right fit for her. After receiving her medical imaging technology bachelor's degree, Majda hopes to stay in Indiana and work in a clinical atmosphere. Majda wanted to experience college in a more traditional sense, so as a high school senior she quit vocational and is currently taking part-time college classes at Ivy Tech.
Majda has not only been a dedicated student to her school work, but is also involved in the community and sports. Since freshman year Majda has participated in Student Council where she spent her days volunteering within the school. Being a member of Key Club, Katelyn and her friends volunteered within the community to help various companies and organizations throughout Valparaiso. Katelyn has also been inducted into National Honor Society and has dedicated over half her life to sports.
Majda has been involved with the Washington Township softball team for the past thirteen years, stating that her favorite part of being on the softball team is, “Being able to make memories and friendships along with showing your talent after years of hard work and dedication.” Majda remarked that the best time throughout her whole softball career was winning the 2018 Sectional. Majda has been the pitcher of the WT team as soon as she was able thirteen years ago. She fell in love with the sport so much that she played travel softball for ten years as well. Majda didn’t stop there, ten years ago played forward and center on the basketball team, and then in 7th and 8th grade year she was the middle hitter for the volleyball team!
Majda is an amazing girl, with an unstoppable personality and determination for bettering herself.
Educator for Education: Gregory Simms
Mr. Gregory Simms has been teaching at Washington Township for the past nineteen years. During his years of being an educator at WT, Simms has taught Government, Economics, World Geography, U.S. History, Conspiracy Theory, Current Issues, Psychology, Sociology, and History of the Civil War.
On top of teaching, Simms has planned the Senior Trip to Washington D.C. year after year for the past ten years. The seniors take the Amtrak from South Bend to D.C. packing both their suitcases and bicycles to help them maneuver the city. After five days of touring the city and visiting Mount Vernon, the Capitol, Smithsonian museums, a Washington Nationals game, the White House, Newseum, Ford’s Theater, Arlington National Cemetery, Library of Congress, Memorials, the Rolling Thunder Parade, and the Supreme Court, the students head back home.
According to Simms, “Each year has its own unique experience,” but some of his fondest memories are getting a private tour of the White House, meeting Gary Sinise and Sarah Palin, or even when they biked the same trail that George Washington took to Mount Vernon.
As of now, Simms has plans to keep teaching. Simms is also currently running for the County Council District 3 Seat, and if all goes accordingly he will serve a term and continue to explore other elected positions. He hopes to eventually return to the state house where from 2007 - 2008 he was a State Representative for a brief period of time.
In the classroom, Simms teaches his students to take risks and challenge themselves by constantly asking questions to learn, and always at least consider an opportunity if it comes knocking.
“If someone where to tell me in high school that I was going to be a high school teacher, I would have said you're crazy. But here I am and I couldn’t see myself doing anything else.”