“An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us”

By Greg Bintz, Aviator staff writer 

In the Wednesday morning hours in Alexandria, Virginia, Republican congressmen were enjoying a baseball practice when at 7:09 (E.T.), they heard BANG BANG BANG. Shots broke out and all heck broke loose. The shooter, identified as 66-year-old James T. Hodgkinson, shot for nearly 10 straight minutes (ABC News). The shooter has deceased from his injuries.

The victim, identified as Republican House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., is still alive but in very critical condition after having surgery early in the afternoon. Scalise was shot while standing near second base.

Once again, it’s time to reflect and unify for the U.S.

First, the shooter is deceased because of his injuries and has been found to have problems against specifically Republican movements, events, etc. Now, I don’t really care about his motive. The point is this: Even though the Republicans wear red and the Democrats wear blue, guess what? They represent the colors of the United States of America. In shorter terms: two teams, one congressional team.

After all, it is perfectly fine for Democrats to have different opinions from Republicans; that’s why there’s two political parties. In the end, though, the listeners of the person speaking their opinion need to respect the opinion. Otherwise, tension grows (ex: presidential debates).

Second, our leaders in Washington came up to the plate and smashed a grand slam of support and hope. Not long after the shooting, President Trump and VP Pence were “notified of the situation”, according to a statement from Sean Spicer. A couple hours after the notification, Mr. Trump went on television and delivered a message that included an update on the situation, but also a message of why the U.S. needs to be unified. 

In the early afternoon hours, House Speaker Paul Ryan spoke to Congress about how a tragic event not only affects one person, but how it effects everyone, maybe an entire country. In his speech, Speaker Ryan is quoted by this statement: “An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us” (CNN.com).

And couldn’t that sentence be truer? Didn’t we as a country learn that from events like the Ground Zero bombing and the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center? What about the Sandy Hook shooting? I mean, there are millions of people who look at the thousands of names on those memorials. Unification is the most important thing right now for this country, and tons of people claim that. Yet, what do events like these do? Absolutely. NOTHING.

As Robert Kraft says, “We are all Patriots”. And it’s not just because his football franchise’s team name is the Patriots. There’s a meaning behind it. That meaning is we are one nation, we all share the colors that are on the flag that we should all be prideful of, and we are one group of people who work and play in the same force.

In conclusion, it says it right in our Pledge of Allegiance: “One Nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

 

NBA Finals will be historic, no matter who wins

By Greg Bintz, Aviator staff writer

“Curry back to Igoudala. Igoudala goes up for the layup, BLOCKED BY JAMES! OH OH, WHAT HUGE BLOCK ON ANDRE IGOUDALA!”

Less than thirty seconds later:

“Irving goes up. It’s good, KYRIE IRVING WITH A DAGGER THREE TO GIVE THE CAVS THE LEAD!”

Mike Breen’s voice sent chills down my spine as the ever-so famous “LeBlock” (even created a hamburger called the “LeBlock”) went down in the history books, and Kyrie Irving’s dagger over “MVP” Steph Curry (real MVP was LeBron; way outplayed Curry when it mattered most) sent the Cavs back to Cleveland with the city’s first trophy in 52 years (my parents aren’t even that old).

The famous 3-1 comeback by Cleveland sent James into such a wave of emotion that he started crying and said “CLEVELAAAND, this is for YOU!” while being interviewed by Doris Burke.

This will be the greatest NBA Finals I’ll see in my life. After all, seeing the same teams in the Finals three years in a row is as proportional a dynasty as the New England Patriots. In a way, the Finals just turned into a best-of-three match-up, and history will be made, whether Golden State or the Cavs win.

Now, being that said, because we’ve seen appearances by the same two teams three years in a row, I also think this is the last trilogy we’ll see in a long time.

I mean, when will the next three-point sharp-shooting Steph Curry come (and please don’t answer Lonzo Ball or I’ll start dunking on a Little Tikes 2-foot basketball hoop)? When will the next LeBron show up? And the biggest reason is that there is absolutely no possible way that we’ll see Cavs-Warriors four years in a row. At that point, then the NBA is just rigged because that doesn’t happen in any other sport.

When it comes to previewing what will be an epic showdown at Oracle Arena to start, the seven combined All-Stars we’ll see in this Finals has hardly ever been seen before. Each team has a fantastic defensive, and especially, offensive unit. For Golden State, the Splash Brothers in Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Kevin Durant, and Curry. For Cleveland? Kyle Korver, J.R. Smith, Irving, James, Kevin Love, and Channing Frye (pretty tasty lineup there).

Whatever goes down will be history.

It’s just a matter if the King will get his throne taken away (while not blowing that 3-1 lead).

How does one actually measure school spirit, anyway?

By Mr. Guyette, Aviator adviser 

School spirit is tough to define and even harder to measure.

Is it how many De Pere High School students attend athletic events, plays or concerts? Is it how many people join sports or clubs? Is it how many people participate in dress-up days, lunch activities, spirit weeks or Redbird Rally booths?

Over the years, I have listened to students who love to discuss whether or not we have school spirit at De Pere, but I’m not sure if even they know what the criteria are.

Furthermore, is it possible to get everyone to have it?

Sure, our school looked great at the WIAA girls state basketball tournament, when our crowd size and enthusiasm clearly outshone other student bodies. But did that show that we have tremendous school spirit, or does it just mean that we all really love sports?

Jace Milligan of our Student Council has had a hand in many ideas over the years, trying to generate enthusiasm among the students with a variety of engaging activities.

Most recently, he headed the What-to-Wear-Wednesday, encouraging unique dress-up ideas for an otherwise monotonous school day.

“It wasn’t the most successful project, but it gives people a common ground,” Milligan, a senior headed to UW-Madison next year, said. “School spirit thrives when people are together and participating in the same thing, even if they really don’t know each other.”

Ah, yes. When a school has 1,300-plus students, finding commonality is no easy task. Each class has its own pockets of groups and cliques, and getting them to care about and support one another is nearly impossible.

Sports attendance is one way to measure school spirit, but only a fool would say that it’s the only way.

If students don’t attend the art show, the orchestra concert, or the school musical, does that mean we don’t have school spirit? If no one dresses up for a theme or tries to eat a Klondike bar at lunch, is all the cheering at the sporting events for naught?

I give credit to Milligan, the Student Council in general, and other groups that try to bring people together. It’s a never-ending battle because we will never have 100 percent participation and buy-in.

We can always do better.

Kind of like teaching.

“School spirit is more of how unified you feel about your school, how close you feel to each other, and how much students participate in a variety of things,” Milligan said. “It’s the overall feel of the school, more than just the attendance at a football game.”

It’s a great day to be a Redbird. Right?

Expect I/E changes next year

By Emma Jo Hirschy, Aviator editor-in-chief

Currently, the intervention and enrichment (I/E) period at De Pere High School offers time for both academic help and for students to explore different interests.

Now, after months of discussion, DPHS has made the decision to change the current I/E system to further benefit both students and staff starting in the 2017-18 school year.

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction had originally declared back in 2010 that every school in the state must offer interventions to struggling students but had proposed a replacement for the current I/E.  

According to Mr. Allen, DPHS assistant principal, every student in Wisconsin will be required to have an academic career plan, or otherwise described as a pathway, as of next year.   

“One of the biggest driving forces for this is that the DPI again is asking all schools to set up ACPs, academic career plans, for every student,” said Allen.

Although Allen acknowledged that the current I/E system has numerous positive aspects, he said that the school is looking for a more focused approach.

“It will be something that gets to what the freshmen specifically deal with, the sophomores have to deal with, the juniors have to deal with, and transitioning the seniors out,” he said.

As of now, Allen confirms that selections will be drastically different. The offered pathways will be dependent on the type of student. Some of the factors that will play a role into the selection process will include grade and after high school plans.

“It is meant to get you thinking about post-secondary education or post-high school and what classes you are going to have,” said Allen.

Just recently, DPHS created a committee consisting of counselors, interventionists in the building, and teachers to plan the new I/E.

Allen also assured that following the 2017-18 school year, students could potentially see a change in their schedules as well. “It may start earlier in school year,” mentioned Allen. “Following years could also have different flex schedules.”

In regards to staff, the new plan for I/E will provide teachers an easier way to get their I/E started.

“It will definitely be a change,” said Allen. “The idea hopefully is that it is going to be a little easier for providing lesson plans for them instead of them taking the time to plan it themselves.”

Not only did Allen mention the benefits of the new upcoming I.E. system, but he also expressed his hope for students to be enthusiastic for the new opportunities brought with it.

“I hope students will be excited. Since it is connected to ACPs, it won’t take time away from their other classes and it is a more focused approach. With the seniors especially, we talked about doing enrichments related to something they are interested in, maybe for their plans after high school.”

 

Letting star players go isn’t helping Brewers

By Greg Bintz, Aviator contributor

“He’s ready, and delivers. Morgan a smash up the middle, A BASE HIT! Here comes Gomez! Around third, the throw, AND THE BREWERS WIN! THE BREWERS ARE MOVING ON BY A BASE HIT BY NYJER MORGAN! What a scene!”

Ah, if only 2011 could come back. Hearing the shouting, raspy voice of Mr. Baseball Bob Uecker gave me chills down my back.

That year was the last time the Brewers made the postseason, and it was awesome. Even though they (sadly) lost in the NLCS, making it that far was amazing. In fact, that’s when I first started getting interested in America’s pastime.

Back in 2014, the Brewers had a hot start with a record of 19-7. After the All-Star Game, though, a collapse (simply because of inconsistent lineups) sent the Brewers home much earlier than wanted.

And now, every Brewers fan is sitting in what is still a rebuilding period. How in the world did this happen?

First of all, the Brewers trade every single good player away. Jonathan Lucroy, Gerrado Parra, Jeremy Jeffress, Will Smith, and Carlos Gomez are just a couple guys who were shipped off somewhere else. If they would just keep their players instead of trading them away, I’d bet that the Brewers would’ve made the playoffs well by now. After all, guys like Gomez and Lucroy were insanely valuable to the team.

On the other hand, imagine if the Brewers would spend some money and resign guys like Chris Carter, who homered 41 times last year, and Zack Greinke to keep that dynamic duo with Yovani Gallardo alive, teams would be scared to come play at Miller Park. Then again, the Brewers are a .500 ballclub and have 0 star players.

Second of all, inconsistent lineups are another reason. In 2014 especially, I found that whenever the Brewers started their lineup with Gomez, Jean Segura, and Ryan Braun, they would kick butt. Any time they didn’t, they fell short of a win.

In a season hype video posted on Instagram, manager Craig Counsell, who was on the 2011 NLCS team, said that the Brewers are “not taking the easy road”. And I hope he means that. Why?

Because I want to see the Brewers hosting a World Series. I want to see more fill-your-pants type playoff games. I want to see more walk-offs. I want to see fireworks explode in wild celebration. I want to see a team that competes year in and year out for a championship. I want to hear more screaming from Bob Uecker before he has to retire to enjoy what’s left of his life. I want to get the chills. Why?

Because I want to be able to say that #ThisIsMyCrew.

 

Senior’s love of horses turns into college scholarship

By Emma Jo Hirschy, Aviator editor-in-chief

While every little girl goes through their “I love horses phase,” Taylor Kellam admits she never outgrew it.

Kellam, a De Pere High School senior, will be off to the University of South Carolina to partake in their equestrian program. Not only has Kellam been offered a partial scholarship to the university, but she will also be competing under the horsemanship category during competitions which primarily focus on how a horse rides and looks.

Being raised in a home where horseback riding was very common, Kellam’s mother sparked her love for horses. “My mom rode horses and that interested me,” Kellam explained. “I grew up loving horses so I just started riding.”

Since age seven, Kellam has been putting countless hours of training with her horses at a stable in Denmark. Roughly two to three days of her week involve training and bonding with her horse. According to Kellam, she has had three horses in the years of competing.

Reflecting over her years of competing, Kellam enumerated that her favorite memory involved a horse that has since passed away.

“She was younger when we got her so she wasn’t as trained,” Kellam said. “We went to a big state show and we ended up getting 7th out of 40 other horses. It was really relieving to me that all of my hard work had paid off.”

Since equestrian is out of the mainstream, Kellam says that she feels that it’s an opportunity for her to educate others that basketball and football are not the only sports out there.

“I have had people even ask me if it is a NCAA sport,” Kellam commented. “It is interesting to know that I am educating other people on it.”

Most of all, Kellam said her favorite part of competing is where she gets to form a bond with the horse.

“You two work together as a team and you both put out your best efforts,” she said.

In the end, Kellam gave all of her credit to both her parents and trainers.

“My parents gave me the opportunity to ride and they supported it and without my past trainers, I wouldn’t be anywhere,” she said.

Kellam plans on majoring in nursing while a student at the University of South Carolina.

 

Editorial: Syria strike might not be worth irritating Russia

By Emma Jo Hirschy, Aviator editor-in-chief

For a while it looked like the United States would restore better relations with Russia; unfortunately, it doesn’t look that way anymore.

With Russia having the world’s second largest military, right behind us, we should know the dangers of instigating a war with them. Ultimately, Russia is not someone we should be provoking.

For once, Democrats have been primarily supporting President Trump’s decision to launch an airstrike against a key airbase in the town of Idlib, Syria. Daughter of Trump, Ivanka, encouraged the attack after a deadly gas was subjected onto the Syrians of Idlib, killing 72 people which included 20 children.

Syria’s ongoing civil war has been brought to our attention numerous times while the Obama administration was in office. Assad, Syria’s leader, has repeatedly attacked helpless civilians, making claims that those people were rebels. Most people who are even the slightest bit sensitive for the well-being of the rebels labels them as rebels too.

Notably, Russia is a huge ally of Syria.

During the campaign stages of the presidential election, President Trump had repeatedly confessed his wanting to restore better United States relations with Russia. Our immediate hopes to regaining better relations were for the reviving of non-proliferation projects and closer anti-terrorism cooperation.

After launching the missiles at Syria in response to their deadly chemical attack (using deadly chemicals is illegal according to international law), Russia was provoked. Just like Putin had said, the trust between the US and Russia has deteriorated.

Deploying the missiles has spiraled into Putin being unlikely to work with the US and even North Korea threatening to start a nuclear war.

What have we done?

Rex Tillerson, the U.S. Secretary of State, has even flown to Moscow to try to convince Russia to turn on Assad. In reality, the likelihood of Russia breaking its ties with Syria is at an all time low.

Even now, the balance of power in the Syrian civil war is the same as before our attack. Still gaining more territory in Idlib and gaining more control on the corridor that stretches from Damascus to the Mediterranean coast, the US has only slightly slowed them down. Russia still sees Assad to be winning this fight, so they have no reason to turn on Assad.

In the long run, the power status of Russia is very dependent on the outcome of Syria’s war. In the Obama administration’s hesitancy to intervene against Assad, Russia took advantage of becoming the main power broker in Syria. Undoubtedly, the survival of Assad’s ruling in Syria gas become the biggest measure of Putin’s influence in the world.

Not only does Russia’s power play a role into why they are connected to Syria to the extent they are, but also the Russian Orthodox church. The interest in Syria for Russia in regards to religion predates the Soviet Union. The Russian Orthodox has relatively close ties to the Syrian Orthodox Church. By having Syria as an ally, it gives them access to the eastern Mediterranean through one of Syria’s naval bases.

Syria is ground zero to Russia. It’s important to note that Putin and Assad both share the concern with the proliferation of Islamic extremism. Is Russia’s eyes, keeping close ties on Syria will make their friendship a bulwark against the extremism. Because of that, he has embraced Assad’s ruling.

So here America is, intervening against Assad at a limitation of just enforcing the redlines.

The missile attack has been claimed to have been a punishment to Syria but it has been more of a punishment for us. As a result of attacking Syria, US-Russian relations are very unlikely to be restored.

While the chemical attacks were both horrifying and illegal, the United States’s reaction could have been handled in a different manor. Ultimately, the fundamental balance of power in Syria will remain in both Assad and Russia’s favor.

Unless the United States presents Russia with a better reason for them to side with us than Assad, better relations will not be restored after the attack on Syria. Not to mention, Russia has already told Tillerson while during his meeting in Moscow to not attack Syria again or we could be facing more issues.

 

Football controversy inspires senior pair to write play, “A Piece of Mime”

By Emma Jo Hirschy, Aviator editor-in-chief

Through hard-work and commitment, De Pere High School seniors Jack Timmer and Sam Runge will be watching the play they had written unfold on the DPHS stage.

Recently, they announced to the DPHS student body and staff that they will be presenting, “A Piece of Mime,” a play that features the struggle for freedom of speech.

Starring a mime who is tired of criticism, the play includes a scene where the mime decides to speak publicly for the first time, which is highly frowned upon.

“Mimes aren’t allowed to do that, so it sparked a lot of controversy,” said Timmer. “The clowns didn’t want the mime to talk because the spotlight gets taken from them.”

A “big race war” then occurs between the clowns and the mime in a fight for the spotlight both of them long for.

Asked about their inspirations for the play, Timmer and Runge drew connections to the Colin Kaepernick controversy, where the pro football player sat for the national anthem and was highly criticized.

“It was initially taken from the Colin Kaepernick controversy, and then it expanded into this big calamity,” said Runge. The two seniors also mentioned that the play also shows the impact the First Amendment has in society.

After spending relatively three months on writing and editing the script, Timmer and Runge are excited to be able to hear and watch their play come to life.

“Hearing the things you write and spend hours of your own time drafting and eventually printing it out to give to someone else, seek their approval, and have others perform that is pretty surreal,” said Runge. “We just wanted to do something really cool for our senior year.”

Timmer confirmed that the play is planned to be performed on April 27, 28, and 29.

 

Overtime win puts girls into state title game tonight

By Greg Bintz, Aviator contributor

With 1.8 seconds left in regulation and the score tied at 41 on Friday night, Middleton’s Autumn Delaney tossed up an open 12-foot shot. The 1.8 seconds felt like 1.8 million years for De Pere fans.

Thankfully, Delaney missed, and the game headed to overtime.

The team who battled the best in OT was the Redbirds (25-2), who, led by seniors Liz Nies and Olivia DeCleene, went on to post a 49-47 win over the Middleton Cardinals (23-3) and advance to tonight’s WIAA Division 1 state title game.

Down 45-41 with just a couple minutes left, Nies drew consecutive fouls and had four free throw attempts.

The only thing I heard was swish, swish, swish, and swish.

Tie ballgame. After that, three more free throws made it 48-45, Birds. But a basket by Carlee Lemirande made it a one point game. DeCleene then drew a foul with just 40 seconds left. Missing her first free throw, the crowd grew silent. It was make and force Middleton to make a bucket to tie or win, or miss and all Middleton would have to do is make a 2-point bucket to win.

Seconds later, swish. Game. Over. Middleton missed two shots in the final 10 seconds. 

Annie Schneider added 13 for the Redbirds, hitting a dagger three-pointer from the corner that put DePere up 16-7. Olivia DeCleene played all 40 minutes of the game, finishing strong with 11 points.

With Appleton North defeating Milwaukee King in surprising fashion (75-52), De Pere plays the Lightning tonight at the Resch Center scheduled for an approximate 8:15 p.m. start.