The Brantley Banner The student news site of Lake Brantley High School Fri, 06 Dec 2019 17:13:38 -0500 en-US hourly 1 Late Goal Boosts Boys Soccer Past Lyman, 1-0 Fri, 06 Dec 2019 17:13:38 +0000 As the winter months roll in and football season ends, soccer takes its place as the marquee sport  that plays on Tom Storey Field. On Wednesday, Nov. 20, the boys’ soccer team had a game against their cross-town rival, the Lyman Greyhounds. Despite both teams sharing chances at scoring throughout the game, junior Abraham Paim scored the first goal with two minutes to spare, securing a 1-0 victory.

The goal came from a chaotic few moments in the game, as both teams scrambled in front of the Greyhound net to make a play on the ball. As the ball finally landed at the feet of Paim, he capitalized on the moment and put his team on the scoreboard.

I really did not think much of the goal,” Paim said. “It was what I was prepared to do from practicing shooting in a normal basic training. But in this game, it takes a little bit of luck too. I was very lucky to have an opportunity that was given to me like that after Jacob Perez dribbled past the goalie and hit the post which set me up for the game winner.”

The game was marked by an uncharacteristically cold night for the team. As temperatures dropped, many teams, especially those unaccustomed to the cold, may have gotten stiff and not played as well. However, the team makes it a priority to be ready for any situation.

“In colder weather, my muscles become more stiff which takes me longer to warm up and get my body ready for either practice or a game,” senior Nathan Lach said. “When I’m on the field in a game, I don’t tend to think about the cold weather because I’m so into the game. It’s just one of the factors of playing soccer you have to push through.”

As the team marches on through their season, a big win like this can help keep the momentum going from day-to-day practices and drills, helping them further up the ranks. As bigger teams loom, such as the Lake Mary game, these wins at home can be crucial.

“I’m very happy with the team so far, we have a good record and had a big three games this past week where we showed we can finish games off strong also without conceding any goals,” junior and team captain Jacob Perez said. “It’ll help the team gain confidence for the tough games coming.”

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The Re-emergence of “America’s Pastime” Wed, 04 Dec 2019 16:36:43 +0000 When the final strikeout was thrown just 19 minutes before midnight, and the Washington Nationals were crowned baseball champions for the first time in their 50 year existence, many fans left ecstatic and reassured in the promising future of baseball. A sport that has been previously turning in lower and lower viewership numbers as well as ratings, finally delivered a championship event that reaffirms why baseball used to be considered “America’s pastime.”


The 2019 World Series appears generally unexciting on paper. Only two of the five games were decided by three runs or less. For the first time in the lengthy history of baseball, the home team never won, making for disappointed fans who spent their hard earned money to buy expensive seat tickets, only to see their team come away with a disheartening loss. However, individual performances and passion filled moments made the scores and statistics look deceiving and propelled the seven game battle between the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals to a high standing in the baseball world.


“The most exciting moments are close games against rivals,” sophomore Leah Schmutz said. “The aspects that makes those games so fun to watch is seeing how the teammates work together to make incredible plays.”


In most baseball games, causal fans tend to watch for the home runs and 100 mile per hour pitches, while the hardcore fans tend to notice the player interactions and moments. In this playoff series, every fan was tuned into these colorful players, nearly making the World Series a soap opera, rather than a sporting event. Alex Bregman, the Houston veteran, smashed a home run and then carried the bat tauntingly to first base before finally flipping it. Juan Soto, the cocky 20-year-old superstar, hit a home run and then brought the bat along for the trot to first base to copy Bregman and spite him four innings later. Daniel Hudson, the Nationals star pitcher, struck out the last batter to win the World Series, and then proceeded to scream.


“More people should watch modern baseball,” Schmutz said. “Very few people realize the skills and talent needed to win.”


Blistering fastballs, 400 foot home runs and diving catches have and always will be exciting, with the added bonus of being an integral part of the sport. With the added personalities and character that the new generation of baseball players showed in this World Series, baseball has reaffirmed itself as “America’s pastime,” and one that will be sticking around for years to come.

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The JOI of Vampire’s Night Out Tue, 19 Nov 2019 17:22:32 +0000 In true Halloween spirit, the Junior Optimist International (JOI) Club participated in their first Vampire’s Night Out event on Oct. 18 from 6-9 P.M. at the Eastmonte Civic Center. JOI clubs from four schools took part in a community scare event for young children and their families. 

JOI students worked alongside adult members of the Altamonte Springs South Seminole Optimist Club to make the event possible. Together they built props and filled tents with Halloween decorations. The idea for the event was suggested by a member of the South Seminole club as a way of giving back to the community. 

“She decided Vampire’s Night Out and each one of the JOI clubs had a tent,” club sponsor Susan Harvey said. “They made a theme for their tent in regards to vampires. We happened to do an escape room, which was very successful. We worked with the Milwee Junior Optimist Club, the Lyman Junior Optimist Club and the Winter Springs Junior Optimist Club.”

Taking the night to spend time with children and their families, JOI students dressed in vampire inspired costumes and attire to scare those walking through the tents. From the 15th century to a modern vampire lab, Dracula starred as the main feature throughout the afternoon.

“We get dressed up as vampire-ry things and show people a fun time, scare them a little bit, in our case, screaming our minds out,” JOI member freshman Anthony Quiles said. “It’s kind of fun to see other people and what they have planned, how we can help others and just give back.” 

In addition to making a family-fun event, Vampire’s Night Out was also a way to generate funds for future events. Through these funds, JOI will continue to follow their mission in making the community a better place through volunteer work and charity.

“It [Vampire’s Night Out] was to raise money and also have fun at the same time,” JOI Vice President senior Sadia Thakur said. “The money was raised so that we can do more events, especially when we do our Optimist Cheer, which is our canned food drive, and where we deliver turkeys and canned food to families who need it during Thanksgiving.” 

With help from the adult South Seminole Club, JOI hopes to continue to make events like Vampire’s Night Out possible by bringing in more participants for each upcoming project. By bringing fresh ideas and plans, members work together to give families a better experience for each future event.

“As long as you have a few passionate people who are willing to devote some of their time to just go out and help others, really what I find is a successful club and a lot of passionate people,” Quiles said. “It’s actually pretty fun and it gives me a good representation of what helping others and giving back can do for you.”

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Escape to paradise parade Tue, 19 Nov 2019 17:14:09 +0000 The theme for the 2019-2020 homecoming was Escape to Paradise. This theme was well displayed in the annual parade that was held on Sand Lake Rd on Thursday, October 10. Participants in the parade decorated their floats and signs with flowers and palm trees, while students wore Hawaiian style shirts and sunglasses to show school spirit.

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The battle over Building 5 Fri, 15 Nov 2019 17:25:51 +0000 Since the construction of our campus’ new building 5, many students have differing opinions on all it has to offer. Do the dynamic classroom styles outweigh the traffic problems caused to get there?

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A Night of Scenes Fri, 15 Nov 2019 16:46:13 +0000  

The Cynthia-Berry Ted Douce Performing Arts Center encompasses high tech equipment and passionate drama students who will showcase a Night of Scenes on Nov. 1 and 2. The drama production will feature scenes directed, choreographed and performed almost entirely by students and being led by the new drama teacher, Chase Cashion.

Despite the challenges of being hired only weeks before the start of the school year, Cashion aims to make a creative and successful experience that will bring more involvement to the theater program. The first production he initiated was a Night of Scenes, a showcase which merges students of all grade levels and allows them to branch out with their creative freedom and grow as performers.

“I really tried to give the students the creative freedom to work on whatever they wanted to,” Cashion said. “This is a showcase we haven’t done in years, but 10 years ago this was an annual tradition from Lake Brantley drama because it’s a step away from what we typically do.

As a Lake Brantley alumni and long term member of Troupe 2888, Cashion guides the cast and crew of Night of Scenes through the directing procedures. For many students, directing is a new environment which poses various challenges within itself. Although the process of picking a scene and bringing it to life from an avant garde perspective is uncharted territory for many of the students, the unfamiliarity is offsetted by the unique component it brings to the show.

“What’s challenging is getting everyone together to rehearse and making sure everyone knows their lines,” Student Director and Assistant Stage Manager sophomore Laney Rosenblatt said. “Also, just coordinating the whole thing and having the ideas for blocking in your head and making sure it will look good from an audience perspective.”

Aside from being a returning tradition, Night of Scenes will bring a mixture of scenes and musical dance routines from a number of famous shows, as well as including more underclassmen in the production, setting a trend for future shows. 

“You can expect a lot of variations within styles and productions,” Student Director and performer senior Isabel Henderson said. “You’ll have some comedic some dramatic. You’re gonna have some musical numbers that are just absolutely crazy with their choreography. There is just such a wide variation so you have to get yourself ready to bounce back and forth from all of these different styles which I think is super cool.

Taking a step back from the routine play from a famous show in the fall, the Drama Department is looking forward to being able to display their talents in other artistic and impressive ways through Night of Scenes. The show will consist of a variety of short scenes, musical dance numbers and a pantomime, amongst other dramatic and comedic pieces performed by drama students.

“The expectation is to be really good,” Cashion said. “It’s my first year, it’s their first year working with me, their first experience working with me. But we try to make sure that everything we put out on that stage is really high quality, and that’ll always be the expectation.”

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Opinion: Straight Pride Parades are unnecessary Thu, 14 Nov 2019 17:09:58 +0000 Hundreds of people paraded through the streets of Boston, Massachusetts, chanting and waving flags in the air. This enthusiastic and lively group was bonded through one shared trait: they were all straight.

Yes, you read that right. On Saturday, Aug. 31, Boston held the largest Straight Pride Parade in history, one week after a much smaller one in Modesto, California. They called their organization Super Happy Fun America, as if compensating for the lack of “Happy Fun” truly present. Before getting into why this parade is all kinds of wrong, let us gain some perspective by recognizing the history behind Pride Parades.

When homosexuality was illegal across the United States, the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, New York, served as an LGBTQ haven and refuge. On June 28, 1969, nine New York Police Department officers raided the building and, for the first time in history, thousands of patrons stood up for themselves with four days of violent and nonviolent protests against discriminatory laws. These became known as the Stonewall Riots. This caused a much needed scene that raised awareness and courage, ultimately sparking the present-day pride movement. On the one year anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, the first Gay Pride Parade took place and every year since then they are organized throughout the country.

Clearly, a Pride Parade is not an excuse to party or brag, but to celebrate those who paved the way before us. In many ways, the parade is still a riot, asking for equality and recognition. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, those in the LGBTQ community are more likely to be targets of hate crimes than any other minority group. Having a Pride Parade is a necessary reminder of the togetherness of the community.

Straight Pride Parades, however, make a mockery of the reasons behind having these celebrations in the first place. It is a complete disregard of the discrimination and threats that the LGBTQ community faces on a daily basis. It was not until 2015 that same-sex marriage was legalized nationwide and is still illegal in over 70 countries around the world. Many entitled straight people forget the privileges they receive all year round and they turn against the LGBTQ community for taking the attention away from them during Pride Parades. The Super Happy Fun America official website includes a list of companies who refused to sponsor their own parade and thus do not “support the straight community,” demonstrating the attention-seeking and uneducated viewpoints of the parade’s founders.

Not only do Straight Pride Parades undermine the oppression and history of the LGBTQ community, but many use it as an excuse to spread homophobic messages and demonstrate their disaproval of those who are different from themselves. They carried signs through the parade with negative connotations of minority issues, such as “Straight Lives Matter,” an immature play off of the “Black Lives Matter” movement, as well as phrases like “It’s Great to be Straight” that disregards the fact that many others do not have the ease of being a majority in a heteronormative society. The parade was not a meaningful contribution, but a way for participants to share their beliefs and opinions with the intention of bringing others down.

Many people claim that having a Straight Pride Parade is only fair since there is a Gay Pride Parade. They weaponize equality against those truly fighting for it, insisting that their own privileges are being taken away. This argument is uneducated and pains me to hear. The parade is a celebration of growth, a remembrance of the past, a promise for the future. If straight people wish to support the LGBTQ community and take part in a parade, there is room in Gay Pride Parades for allies to participate, as long as they recognize they are guests within a queer space.

Having a Straight Pride Parade is unnecessary. It is simply another example of a majority group taking the culture and history from a minority and making it their own. Hopefully, as we continue to spread awareness of the importance of the Pride Parade, the straight community will understand it is not theirs to claim.

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Favoritism’s Not Cool Thu, 14 Nov 2019 16:43:08 +0000 Throughout elementary school, parents, teachers and administrators promote equality among all students. Who knew that concept would be trampled by high school sports? Who knew football would trump every other sport on campus? Who knew almost every other activity would be demeaned by lack of funding? If anyone was not aware of this prior to attending high school, they were certainly up to date by the end of football season.

One of the most thought provoking aspects of being involved in an activity on campus is being blatantly ignored by administration. Whether it is a club or a sport, lack of school funding follows almost everyone. For this reason various clubs are forced to go through the painstaking process of fundraising. Some sports fund raise using Hudl, some may sell candy, band sells apples, chorus even sold mattresses last year, but I have yet to see a football player carrying a box of chocolates or conducting a car wash in hopes of maintaining a half decent budget. Every other activity on campus has no choice but to fund raise, since the only alternative is to cease to exist. The football team’s lack of monetary burden comes across as nothing other than favoritism. 

The year-round bias that is flagrantly demonstrated is not only noticeable in funding, but also in transportation. In the 2017-2018 school year Brantley’s former principal cut transportation funding for every sport besides football. While this regulatory rule allowed teams to take a bus to out of county games, it hung many athletes out to dry, especially those without their own automobiles. This forced student-athletes to carpool with teammates (which left many parents uncomfortable, as it was a student driver), drive themselves or ride with their parents. All these options leave open the possibility of being late, or even missing a game. Of course the football team did not have to deal with such strife, as they were provided with buses for every single one of their games. Even the band, cheerleaders and Sparklers were administered transportation for games, where their contribution has no effect on the final score. However, the overall outcome of the season has little to do with who is allotted special privileges, as the football team’s win to loss ratio is hardly spectacular, in fact it is quite sub-par.

While the football games do have the highest attendance and thus bring in the most profit, high schools should nourish the idea of impartiality. At the very least they should do a better job faking appreciation for other sports or clubs on campus. The fact of the matter is that football is not the only activity on campus, so we should not treat it as such.


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Seniors win Powderpuff for the fourth year Tue, 12 Nov 2019 16:17:40 +0000 The stands filled with enthusiastic crowds as the players prepared for the start of the Powderpuff game on Monday, Oct. 7. On the sidelines, the cheer team got in position to hype up the players and audience members. However, the roles were reversed. The girls were on the field with footballs under their arms and flags clipped across their waists, while the boys were in mini skirts and tutus, ready to chant their rehearsed cheers. 

Senior Beth Walls has played football since she was young, so her experience allowed her to take on a leadership role for the team and help the seniors defeat the juniors for the fourth year in a row. This is her second year playing Powderpuff and she returned for the friendships and excitement within the game.

“I met a lot of people that I otherwise wouldn’t have a chance to hang out with,” Walls said. “Overall, it was a lot of fun. This year, I think we were focused going into the game because we knew what to expect. Last year, we were confused on how it was going to all play out, but this year we really were ready to take down the juniors.”

Both teams had an all-male cheer squad supporting them who performed at halftime with a coordinated cheer routine. The seniors had a team dinner before the big game to increase team morale and the juniors went shopping together to ensure their outfits matched.

“I joined Powderpuff because it was something fun to do with a group of friends,” junior Niklas Edstrom said. “My team prepared for [the] halftime show by spending the first few practices brainstorming it, then it was all about getting repetitions. My favorite part about our halftime show was jousting in the beginning.”

The junior cheer team performed for more than just those in attendance, as their routine became widely viewed across the social media platform, Tik Tok. Their cheer coach, junior Molly MacAdam, filmed them during their practices and posted them to her Tik Tok account, @mollyyoooo, which quickly gained popularity. The videos of the team had over 200 thousand views within days, becoming viral across the platform.

“I saw a Tik Tok of another school’s Powderpuff team and thought that it would be cool to show off the juniors,” MacAdam said. “I didn’t expect them to go viral, I just thought it would be funny to post. Once it did go viral, that was pretty cool. I was freaking out when I saw how many views it got because I’ve had videos low key blow up before but not like these.”

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PIT Crew hosts first ever accessible Homecoming Dance Thu, 07 Nov 2019 16:40:24 +0000 Neon lights, top 40 hits, crows of teenagers and dark closed quarters. These elements are what make school dances, such as homecoming, memorable. However, for a faction of students, this environment is entirely inaccessible. The music is too loud, the crowds to rowdy, the strobe lights frightening. Students in PIT crews have taken notice of the lack of accessibility in these spaces and decided to undertake a massive project.

Pit Crew started just three years ago, spearheaded by Language Arts teacher and ESE specialist Peggy Leis. PIT stands for Patriot Inclusion Team, the class aims at creating an environment where special needs students become integrated with the traditional school environment. Senior Carrlee Crocker, has been a part of the class since it started. Crocker, along with her team members, took note of the lack of inclusion within homecoming. The often boisterous dance is the polar opposite of the controlled environment PIT Crew provides however students in the class are working hard on developing a new kind of dance. 

“We are starting by making sure the lights in the community room are fully lit, and the music is low volume to accommodate for the needs of all the kids we work with.” Crocker said, “The theme is the same as the overall school-wide dance to make sure it feels apart of the school.” 

Leis has put full trust in her students, even crediting both Crocker and senior, Claire Wisth for coming up with the idea to create an inclusive homecoming. With the help of volunteers and other team members in the class everything from playlist songs, Kidz Bop is a favorite, to food is being adjusted to fit the needs of all students. 

“With the PIT Crew I had two years ago we did some alternate parties before, a Halloween party, a Christmas party, it was all student driven,” Leis said. “There are teens out there who, if given a platform, give themselves to serve other people. I think if we can make better kids now, they will turn into better adults. I want other people to see that it is worthwhile to step out of your comfort zone and do things for other people.”

The dance took place October 19th, early into the evening for the comfort of all the dance goers. After all the planning and adjustments the dance was a success. Volunteers helped set up decorations and food, while students and their families danced and played games. All of the students in PIT want to reiterate that this dance is still a homecoming dance, one that has come a long way.

“Our goal is to always be fully inclusive,” Crocker said, “Many of them have never been to a homecoming, I would say that homecoming is part of the high school experience that everyone deserves to be apart of.”

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