#1StudentNWI: Wheeler Runs Into the Fall

#1StudentNWI: Wheeler Runs Into the Fall
By: Emma Santos Last Updated: October 18, 2018

Homecoming

The 2018 ‘A Night in the Secret Garden’ Homecoming was a major success, with students enjoying every minute of the event.

At the pep rally on Friday afternoon, the senior class reigned victorious, winning the 2018 spirit stick. After teachers judged different activities such as the class chant contest, the scavenger hunt, class banner decorating, and a tug-of-war, the seniors collected the most points.

During the parade, all of the fall sports teams rode atop fire trucks from the Union Township Fire Department. Participants threw candy out to community members who stood alongside the road while the trucks traveled from Union Center Elementary to the high school. All of the Homecoming court nominees rode in vehicles, also.

After the parade, families attended the fish and chicken fry put on by the Student Council. At the football game, the bearcats played hard and outscored the South Central satellites. During halftime, the court was introduced with a short bio, and the king and queen were crowned. The King was Jonah Lucido and the Queen was Lyric Green.

On Saturday night, students came to the school dressed in their best wear. The dance was decorated with flowers and garden lights to fit the secret garden theme.

Prior to homecoming, a surprise was promised by student council sponsors, Ms. Mak and Ms. Eveland. Students waited for 10 p.m. to arrive, the set time of the surprise. Finally, students looked to the sky to see an impressive fireworks display.

Overall, the 2018 Homecoming couldn’t have gone any better.

Student Highlight

Sophomore Hailey Orosz may still be considered an underclassman, but she has shown true leadership and maturity on the cross country team. Last year, Orosz individually qualified for the IHSAA State Meet. She was the first female from Wheeler to qualify for state since 2009.

Orosz began running in 6th grade and has enjoyed it ever since.

“I enjoy getting to meet new people because of running and I like to push myself and see what I’m capable of,” Orosz said.

This year, Hailey and her team have been working and pushing to achieve more. The girls’ varsity team is very young, composed of mostly sophomores, but this hasn’t stopped them. The team has made school history by advancing to both the regional and semi-state meets.

“The coaches see potential in us, and we still have time to grow as a team,” explained Orosz. “We all suffer together when they give us hard workout times, but, in the end, we all push each other and get it done.”

Orosz described that each girl on the team takes responsibility of themselves in regards to workouts and races. However, she shared that she enjoys talking with her teammates before and after the races.

“I like to talk with the girls about how we feel before and after our races,” told Orosz, “ We try to calm each other down and stop stressing.”

In her free time, Orosz finds herself watching Netflix or stalking the team’s times and rankings online. She also enjoys hanging out with her friends and taking pictures.

Teacher Highlight

Benjamin Kosal has been at Wheeler since 2009 when he began teaching immediately after he graduated college. Kosal received a major in mathematics and a minor in history at Alma College in Michigan, and he went on to earn a Masters Degree in Secondary Education from University of Indiana.

Kosal has taught Algebra 1, Algebra Enrichment, Geometry, Trigonometry, and Pre-Calculus at Wheeler. He has wanted to be a math teacher since the sixth grade. Kosal shared that, as a sixth grader, he thought that being a teacher was the only profession you could pursue for math. However, as he grew older, he realized that his passion really did lay in teaching.

“I never knew it would be so rewarding and impactful,” stated Kosal, “Falling into the profession... I’m glad I did.”

Kosal has had the opportunity to help coach the cross country teams since his start at the school. He began running as a freshman in high school, where he ran all four years. He continued to run for another four years in college. He felt coaching was a no-brainer because of his love for running and helping others.

As a head coach of the team, he has been able to closely examine the team’s chemistry and talent.

“They work really well together and make eachother better teammates and people,” explained Kosal. “The comradery is just very great.”

Being a coach has been a tremendous experience for Kosal. He shared that he loves experiencing athletes realize they are stronger than they know. Kosal described that the perseverance the students learn from the sport will travel with them throughout their lives.

Kosal shared, “I get the satisfaction of knowing that kids can do things that other people can’t.”

After being at Wheeler for multiple years, it has grown to be a very special place for Kosal.

“We push the kids hard,” said Kosal. “We push them towards success because we want the best for them.”

In Kosal’s limited free time, he enjoys running on his own, gardening, woodworking, and spending time with his wife, an English teacher at Wheeler whom he met at the school. On top of all that, Kosal will be a new dad in April, so he is excited for all the new experiences he will face.

Fall Postseason

The bearcats may be finishing their regular seasons for sports, but there is still much to come. The students are focused on making it far.

The girls’ soccer team has been nothing short of successful this season. The team is currently 21-0, achieving GSSC conference, sectional, and regional champions. The team will play on October 20th in Kokomo against Lafayette Central Catholic for the semi-state title.

Alongside the soccer success, the cross country team has much to celebrate as well. The boys team placed second at the conference meet. At the sectional meet at New Prairie High School, three boys advanced to the regional meet: Hudson Hall, Stevie Franczek, and Jacob Demuth. Hall and Franczek went on to qualify for semi-state. The girls’ team were conference champions and placed third as a team at both the sectional and regional meets. Sophomore Hailey Orosz led the team, placing third as an individual at sectionals and regionals. The other six to advance are as follows: Amaya Turner, Emma Hellwege, Emily Gaylord, Dottie Heuring, Sarah Gerbick, and Shelby Stephens. Before this year, the girls’ team had never advanced past sectionals as a team.

The girls’ volleyball team started their sectional play on October 13th. The team advanced to the sectional championship after defeating Hanover in an exciting five sets, and won the sectional title after defeating Kankakee Valley. This is the first title the team has received since 2012.