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Boyhood Dreams, A Never-Ending Passion For The Game

In 2017, four years removed from their last playoff appearance, Rays’ manager Kevin Cash selected an ebullient former outfielder to fill the void left by the loss of first base coach Rocco Baldelli. Osborne “Ozzie” Timmons was called up from his coaching position with the Durham Bulls to serve, not only as a spirited coach, but as a friend and role model to the young team Cash had assembled.    

“I’m a coach-player,” said Timmons in an interview before his debut as a Major League coach. “I feel like I’m still one of the guys, but I know when to separate it. I can go play cards with you, but I can yell at you three hours from now when you do something stupid in the game. I can separate the two.”   

Before rejoining his former team as a coach, the 6’2 right fielder played five years in the Majors, from 1995-2000, but, like many big leaguers, his days in baseball began in the little leagues, where he played with Durant High School’s principal, Gary Graham.    

“[Playing with Timmons] was two things. Number one, it was a lot of fun because he was always a fun person to be around, both on the field and especially off the field. He is the same as he is now even when he was a teenager and even younger. People gravitated towards him. But, the second thing that was the reason he was fun to play with on the field, was that we won a lot, whether it was little league, high school, or college.”   

Both Graham and Timmons went to Brandon High School and the University of Tampa, playing on their schools’ respective baseball teams until their graduation from the University of Tampa in 1991. While Graham pursued a career in education, Timmons signed his first baseball contract after being drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the fifth round of the 1991 draft.   

The personable coach served four years in the Minors, refining his hitting and defense in right field until his Major League debut in April of 1995, when he was walked by Cincinnati Reds pitcher Chuck McElroy with the bases loaded, earning him his first RBI as a major league batter.    

Timmons would play four seasons in the Majors before finding his way back to his hometown in 2000 when he was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays. Timmons played in the outfield and pinch hit until his last game on October 1, 2000 with his final at bat coming in the tenth inning, resulting in a single that led to the Rays’ 3-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox.   

After a few years in the winter leagues, Timmons began his coaching career in Durham  before finally getting the call from Tropicana Field.   

“I’m excited for Ozzie to join our staff,” Cash had said. “He has a track record of connecting with hitters and providing high-quality coaching throughout his career.” 

Graham recalled Timmons’ optimism as early as little league, which has translated to his Major League coaching. Timmons says he keeps the Rays’ players positive throughout the game by “pump[ing] them up to keep them going” with his push up routine for example.   

It started on May 28, 2018, when the Rays were playing the Oakland Athletics and couldn’t knock in a run. Timmons jokingly said he would do pushups for each run the Rays scored. It wasn’t until the 13th inning of that game though that the Rays would score the first and only run of the game and Timmons would do his first set of ten pushups.    

Timmons said his greatest accomplishment as a coach has been watching the players he coached in the Rays’ farm system, such as Blake Snell and Kevin Kiermaier, move up the ranks from the Minors to the big leagues.   

“As a coach, [my goal is] just keeping the guys prepared. You try to learn all the new stuff that’s coming out, so you are always trying to study the other teams so that’s the main thing… My main goal [is] to, every year, get more knowledge, so I can have the guys prepared for when they step on the field.”   

During the offseason, he devotes his time to studying game strategies in order to relay the information to his players, but also uses the offseason to do yard work and ride his bike.  

Timmons is known to spend time in Tampa Bay schools, acting as a coach and mentor. Durant was fortunate enough to be part of his offseason stops last year. Durant students had the opportunity to meet Timmons, who offered advice for students, athletes, and major league hopefuls.  

The 50 year old amiable coach emphasizes the importance of staying healthy and in shape during the off season, something he reminds his players and young athletes of, saying, “Take care of your body, and your body will take care of you.”   

His genuine and lighthearted personality isn’t just reserved for the players on the field. Before games, he walks down the line of fans signing autographs and occasionally playing catch with young fans, proving his approachable and good nature. 

Timmons’ career as a ballplayer and coach is what brought him to his position with the Rays today, but his personality and dedication to the fans is what makes him one of the best and most memorable coaches the Rays have.    

Timmons will return to the diamond on February 27 as first base coach and assistant hitting coach when the Rays begin their Spring Training at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte to defend their American League Champion title.   

 

 

 

 

About the Writer
Photo of Lily Belcher
Lily Belcher, Editor in Chief

Lily Belcher is a junior at Durant High School and is the Editor in Chief for the PawPrint. She is freelancing for the Osprey Observer this year and hopes...

46th Inauguration To Welcome President Biden Is Looking A Little Different

On Wednesday, January 20th the United States of America hosted a traditional ceremony for the newly elected 46th president, Joe Biden.

 

While massive crowds usually attend the event due to the current Covid-19 conditions and the recent unauthorized entering of the Capitol by a group of rowdy pro-Trump supporters protesting the legitimacy of the election, this year’s audience was limited. However, several former presidents including Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama attended the event with their respective first ladies. The celebration was minimal compared to previous ceremonies. Americans and the rest of the world watched the inauguration in the comfort of their home on major news networks.

 

The inauguration began with Lady Gaga singing the National Anthem. Followed by Garth Brooks and Jennifer Lopez.

 

At the beginning of President Biden’s inaugural speech, he stated that his “…whole soul is in this, bringing America together, uniting our people, uniting our nation, and [he] asks every American to join [him] in this cause”. He further spoke about the current violence, destructiveness, and separation in the country. President Biden believes that when Americans are all united, they will be able to overcome Covid-19, make healthcare available to all, make the middle class stronger, and, finally, ensure racial justice. Overall, his speech focused on unity between all Americans. According to him, Americans have allowed themselves to become divided for our opinions and beliefs.

 

One other major event of the inauguration was Kamala Harris being sworn in as the first African American and Woman vice president of the United States of America.

 

A recent poll of 162 randomly selected Durant students showed 47% watched the Biden inauguration. “I think it’s incredibly exciting that we have our first female Vice President. It’s so important for young boys and girls to see the possibilities for their future reflected in their government,” said senior Laura Newman.

 

Others really felt like the new president’s message of unity was spot on. Freshman Destiny Dean said “I see the United States as one. I can say probably by the end of his term there won’t be as much hate in the United States as [there] was in the last four years. Everyone can love each other for who they are and respect each other’s opinions and racism wouldn’t be as big [of] a problem as it is today.”

 

Americans overall are looking for something to make 2021 a better year than 2020.

About the Writer
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Ayla Yebba, Staff Writer

Ayla Yebba is a sophomore at Durant High School. She enjoys writing political articles so she can share the truth and facts with her school and community....

Sabrina Carpenter Releases A Song, Seemingly In Response to Olivia Rodrigo

After Olivia Rodrigo’s debut song “Driver’s License” broke countless records in its first days of streaming, fans took to TikTok sharing their theories on who the song was about.

Singer, song writer, and actress Sabrina Carpenter has seemingly responded to Olivia Rodrigo’s accusations that Carpenter and Bassett are dating with her new song “Skin”

The clear and direct response is apparent in the first verse. Rodrigo had written about a blonde girl that had stolen Bassett’s heart in her song “Driver’s License”. In a teaser posted on her Instagram, Rodrigo originally said “you’re probably with that brunette girl,” but changed it to blonde before the formal song release.

In “Skin,” Carpenter addressed the lyric with one of her own: “maybe blonde was the only rhyme.” Later in the song, she claimed that “Skin” is her telling her side of the story.

Carpenter’s song is just shy of a confirmation that Rodrigo’s “Driver’s License” is about her and further confirms Carpenter’s and Bassett’s relationship.

“You can try/to get under my, under my, under my skin/while he’s on mine,” Carpenter sang.

Carpenter is clearly trying to show that she is taking the high road, singing, “I just hope that one day/We both can laugh about it,” even though she is taking the opportunity to present her side of the story that “some people will believe.”

Carpenter, who had only been in the news for Mean Girl’s performance on Broadway recently, had been out of the immediate pop culture spotlight. However, with Rodrigo’s new song, the actress’ name had been in an increasing number of headlines.

“You’re putting me in the spotlight/but I’ve been under it my whole life,” Carpenter sang referencing her early fame on Girl Meets World.

Since the song has not been followed by a direct confirmation about the Disney love triangle, Carpenter’s new song could simply be a reminder to block out inevitable hate.

About the Writer
Photo of Lily Belcher
Lily Belcher, Editor in Chief

Lily Belcher is a junior at Durant High School and is the Editor in Chief for the PawPrint. She is freelancing for the Osprey Observer this year and hopes...

Olivia Rodrigo Releases Debut Song “Drivers License”

Olivia Rodrigo Releases Debut Song

Seventeen-year-old song-writer, Olivia Rodrigo, broke the record for most single-day streams on her song Driver’s License released on Friday January 8, 2021.

Her debut single surpassed Ariana Grande’s “Thank u, next” as the highest single-day streams for a female artist in US Spotify history, after being streamed over 21 million times over the first couple days after the release.

Rodrigo starred on Disney+’s High School Musical: The Musical: The Series where she was rumored to be dating on screen boyfriend, Joshua Bassett.

Theories have been made of the song’s background story ,which has spread throughout social media platforms such as TikTok, Twitter, and Instagram, to what may be a Gen-Z version of a love triangle amongst Disney stars.

The lyrics of Rodrigo’s song displays her grief over an ex that has moved on. She is heartbroken and claims she still loves the person rumored to be Bassett.

In a social media video from LeBlanc Updates on YouTube, Rodrigo talks about her time practicing driving in Bassett’s car before she got her license.

“And so, he took me in his car, and we drove around the In-N-Out parking lot, and that was my first time driving,” said Rodrigo.

Bassett wrote a song for Rodrigo on an Instagram live in which he tells her that he can’t wait for his happily ever after and publicized his feelings for her. Rodrigo commented on the live “STOP” in a way which seemed that she knew he was talking about her, leading fans to believe they wrote songs about each other.

“Guess you didn’t mean what you wrote in that song about me, ‘cause you said forever now I drive alone past your street.”

In an earlier version of Rodrigo’s song, she posted on Instagram in July 2020, the lyrics reference a “brunette girl”, but fans speculated that the change alludes to Sabrina Carpenter.

Carpenter is 21 years old, four years older than Rodrigo, which is referenced in her lyric “she’s so much older than me, she’s everything I’m insecure about,”.

Fans think the change happened when Rodrigo found out about Bassett and Carpenter spending more time together.

Carpenter and Bassett were spotted at a BLM protest where a fan claimed that they kissed on a snapchat post. They were later spotted out for lunch to what seemed to be a date and wore matching costumes (Shark Boy and Lava Girl).

This 2021 love triangle is not yet confirmed by Rodrigo, Bassett, or Carpenter.

About the Writer
Photo of Adamari Jaimez
Adamari Jaimez, Staff Writer

Adamari Jaimez is a senior at Durant High School. She has been part of journalism since her freshman year, involved in both the yearbook and newspaper...

Cross Country Seniors And Their High School Success

Cross+Country+Seniors+And+Their+High+School+Success

After months of early mornings, long practices, and hard work, the Durant Cross Country Team’s work finally paid off as they came out victorious, clinching Durant’s first-ever district title in early November.

The team, composed of thirteen members, has worked together for months to achieve their goal.

“We all put in some really hard work over the summer with a lot of early morning runs at the Dover trails in preparation for the season,” junior Jacob Malinchak said.

After making regionals, the team then went on to districts for the first time in Durant history.

“My favorite thing about being on the team is that all of us are like one big family,” sophomore Jayda Reece said.

Composed of five seniors – Haydon Patrick, Quinton Almand, Dylan Lane, Raven Skousen, and Angelo Leiser – for many, districts were the last time they would ever run together again.

“If it was not for them [the seniors], then I wouldn’t be encouraged to run every year. I am really grateful for all of them,” Reece said. “They really brought the team together.”

Haydon Patrick 

Haydon Patrick joined the cross-country team his freshman year and played a pivotal role as one of the team’s leaders.

“I look up to Haydon specifically because he was a team player and one of our best runners,” Reece said. “He had encouraged me to try my best when I was the only girl running with them, and I think that is really important as a member of the team.”

Always motivating others during long runs or on the sidelines, Patrick has positively influenced the team during these past four years.

“Haydon has taught me a lot and is very inspirational and nice to me,” freshman Gehrig Graham said.

“He’s just one of those guys that everybody likes, and he has got everything figured out,” freshman Mason Ritenauer said.

During his high-school-career, Patrick held a personal best of 17:11. His consistent times and hard work allowed him to become one of the district winners at the last meet.

After high school, Patrick plans to commit to Nova Southeastern University to get his law degree.

Quinton Almand 

Like Patrick, Quinton Almand has been on the team since his freshmen year. Seen as one of the most grounded players, Almand has pushed himself to be the best he can both on and off the field.

“He’s honestly the most caring, genuinely good person I have ever met,” Riteanuer said. “Like no matter what you need, he has always got you, and he is always there to talk.”

“I look up to Quinton a lot because he is a teammate who always keeps a level head. He’s very humble when he wins and is a high-level student at the same time,” junior Aidan Maroney said.

Quinton finished his last year with a personal best of 18:50.

In the future, he plans to get his master’s degree in computer science at the University of Florida to pursue his interests in the research aspects of programs like augmented and virtual reality.

Dylan Lane 

Dylan Lane began running his sophomore year after motivation from his coach, Craig Shimkus, and friend Jordan McClellan. He quickly fell in love with the sport and works hard to motivate others and do his best.

“He is like the glue of the team, always friendly and good for a laugh,” Malinchak said.

“The thing that stands out about Dylan is that he is a jokester; the guy that keeps everything light,” Shimkus said.

Lane finished the season with a personal best of 19:06.

In the future, he wants to attend the University of Florida to become a nurse. He was also recently accepted into the University of South Florida’s medical school.

Raven Skousen 

Raven Skousen joined Durant during his junior year but has been running since he was a freshman.

With a personal best of 18:05, Skousen’s hard work and dedication towards the team have played a primary role in their journey to districts.

“He is the type of guy that goes without quit. Day in and day out, he is always doing his absolute best,” Malinchak said.

In the future, Skousen wants to get into the military academy to later join the United States armed forces.

“He has already been granted his recommendation for the military academy. I am sure he will be pursuing that either in Indianapolis or West Point,” Shimkus said.

Angelo Leiser  

Angelo Leiser started running with Durant his sophomore year. Over the past three years, Leiser has built strong bonds and relationships with his team, and considers them his cross-country family.

“Angelo is a talented student who balances the hustle and bustle of work, school, and running while fixing and decking out his car in only the best gear. He was a true inspiration and friend to me in my first year of high school, and I cannot imagine it without him,” freshman Keira Tabacco said.

“Angelo is someone who has faced adversity during his years of high school but has stuck with everything; he has stuck with everything he has put his mind too,” Shimkus said

Leiser continued to excel in his final year and ended the season with a record of 19:12.

After high school, Leiser wants to attend either the University of South Florida or the University of Florida for neuroscience or aerospace engineering. He also plans on continuing ROTC during college.

The Team

The heart and soul of the team is the coach Craig Shimkus, whose work and dedication guided the team in their victory.

“Our coach, Coach Shimkus, held many summer practices for us and continued to encourage and make sure we were ready for the races,” Malinchak said.

“He has helped me become faster and enjoy the sport; he also gives me workouts to do outside of practice,” Gehrig said.

Shimkus, seen as a mentor both on and off the field, has always encouraged everyone to do their best in all aspects of life.

“Shimkus has really been the rock for all of us. He is there when we need it, but also knows how to challenge us and push us to be better runners,” Reece said. “He is always here to help me out no matter how many times I get shin splints.”

“Mr. Shimkus has impacted my life in a major way. He is always looking out for me when I am having a bad day or a bad week, and he is always looking to help us improve and get better,” Maroney said.

“Coach is probably, secretly, one of the kindest and most caring guys you will ever meet,” Ritenauer said. “[In practice], we were always trying to give him [Shimkus] a hug as a joke, and he would always laugh and back up. Then, when we won districts, he gave me a big hug, and it said so many unspoken things about how much he cares and wants us to succeed not only in track but also in our own lives.”

As a coach, Shimkus has tried to instill a close dynamic between the team beyond just running.

“My favorite memory of the senior class is our trip to Tallahassee last year. Just getting the guys away from campus and seeing a different side of them. I wanted to get them to see some different things that they have not had a chance to see before,” Shimkus said.

The team is seen by its members as a family, with everyone ready to encourage and support each other.

“If it were not for them, I would not be encouraged to run every year. I am really grateful for that and all of them,” Reece said.

“It is not like any other team I have ever been on. It is more of a family,” Ritenauer said.

“We all like hanging out with each other. I have learned a lot, and our team is a really close-knit group. I would like to give props to our seniors as they have taught me a lot and put in a lot of hard work to achieve what we want,” Malinchak said.

From cheering on the sidelines during races, naming a rock as a mascot, and taking pictures on haybales to celebrate their record-breaking victory, the memories made by the team these past few years will never be forgotten.

As they graduate from Durant, if Shimkus could leave one piece of advice to the seniors, it would be consistency.

“Remember, life is about consistency. We talk about it every day in terms of running; you have to be consistent to make gains, and life is that way. You have to do things on a consistent basis. If you are not consistent, you are not reliable, and that is a hard way to be in life.”

About the Writer
Photo of Allie Sigl
Allie Sigl, Design and Social Media Editor

Allie Sigl is a junior at Durant High School and the Design and Social Media Editor for the PawPrint Newspaper. Around school, Allie is the community service...

This Is A Test by Durant Theatre Company

This+Is+A+Test+by+Durant+Theatre+Company

The dread and trepidations of test-taking are not one to be taken lightly, and the ability to accurately portray those feelings is commendable. Stephen Gregg’s one-act play, “This is a Test,” performed by Durant’s Theatre Company, illustrates the feelings of test anxiety close to the original.

The play starts with the main character, Ally, played by senior Lisiane DaCosta, talking to her friend Lois, played by Carissa Rodriguez, in the hallway about the upcoming test.

“I was really shocked and excited once I found out [I got the lead role], but I was also very nervous because I have never really ‘acted’ before,” DaCosta said.

Despite never acting, DaCosta had an outstanding performance throughout the play. Once her character, Ally, begins to take the test, she quickly realizes she does not remember anything from when she “studied” the night before – a feeling that might be familiar to the audience.

The play continues as Ally’s peers around her begin to cheat in obvious ways (flags, airplanes, posters, Morse code), unbeknownst to their teacher, played by Jackson Hamilton.

Hamilton is often seen with a baguette in hand as he berates Ally for not knowing any of the questions. He has several memorable one-liners throughout the production as he continually reminds the students of the tests’ gravity.

One of the most notable parts of the play is the Greek chorus inside Ally’s head, played by Natalie Doucette, Madison Tolley, and Bailey Zapata, which depicts her anxiety throughout the test.

“The Voice” inside Ally’s head is played by Josh Faircloth and is often heard reading the test’s questions.

The production continues as Ally attempts to make her way through the test, skipping all the questions she does not know; spoiler, it is all of them.

Because of Coronavirus restrictions, the Theater Company could not perform their play in front of a live audience. In place of this, Stephen Arment, the director, decided to produce Durant’s first recorded production.

Arment’s ability to record the play gave the cast more creative freedom, allowing the ability to add different camera angles, settings, and, of course, bloopers, which were seen in the end credits of the production.

The various camera angles helped portray the story as it allowed audiences to better grasp the cast’s emotions and actions throughout the play.

“The experience was very different in a good way and some in a blah way,” DaCosta said. “We did not get to do a live production, and at times, we would kind of lack motivation. In a way we were working for something but not like last year knowing we had this huge pressure of people watching.”

Despite these feelings, recording the production allowed the company to focus on the minor details and make sure everything was perfect, which was seen in the show’s final product.

“If we wanted something in particular for the audience to notice, [or] if anyone forgot a line, we could stop and go back and do it again. It gave us room to be detailed and creative,” DaCosta said.

Durant Theatre Company’s next production will be in spring. While many hope they will be back to a live audience, the future of the events are still being decided.

About the Writer
Photo of Allie Sigl
Allie Sigl, Design and Social Media Editor

Allie Sigl is a junior at Durant High School and the Design and Social Media Editor for the PawPrint Newspaper. Around school, Allie is the community service...

Things To Do Over Christmas Break

What’s Christmas without Christmas lights and holiday magic. Christmas is the time to enjoy and celebrate with family and friends.

Here are some activities and places to go to during the winter break.

Busch Gardens Christmas Town

This Tampa theme park event comes back to town this year from November 20 through January 3. The park includes millions of twinkling lights that display around the 335-acre park. They also have holiday shows, themed food and merchandise, and meet and greets with Santa Claus, not to mention their Christmas on ice show and all-new firework shows. Check out buschgardens.com for more information.

Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park

Located along the Tampa Riverwalk, guests can enjoy the holiday season with lights and activities for children and adult of all ages. There is an outdoor Ice Rink where families can experience holiday joy on ice which can be pre-booked. They also have more events listed on their website. Times vary due to COVID. Check out their website wintervillagetampa.com for more information.

Christmas Lights at Largo Central Park

Looking for something non-expensive? Lights at Largo does just that as the cost is free to stroll and park! The park features over a million sparkling LED lights that you can enjoy watching with family and friends. They have a ferris wheel and amusement rides that cost $5 per ride. It is a walking display and guests must follow COVID safety rules. The event takes place from November 26 through January 3. Time is from 5-10pm. Check out their website playlargo.com for more information.

Holiday Season at Disney Springs

Get into holiday spirit with family at Disney Springs in Orlando. They have decorated pontoon boats that bring the Christmas spirit to the park. They also have Christmas tree decorations displayed throughout every corner. Look for clues on Christmas trees to participate in the Holiday Scavenger Hunt. Also a perfect place to shop for gifts and explore. Check out their website disneysprings.com for more information.

Activities

  • Make Christmas cookies
  • Watch Christmas movies
  • Go bowling
  • Ice skating
  • Build a gingerbread house
  • Catch up on shows
  • Holiday cleaning
  • Make s’mores

 

 

 

 

About the Writer
Photo of Adamari Jaimez
Adamari Jaimez, Staff Writer

Adamari Jaimez is a senior at Durant High School. She has been part of journalism since her freshman year, involved in both the yearbook and newspaper...

The Quarantine Diaries 

Our design editor, Allie Sigl was quarantined on December 9 and has been at home since

The Quarantine Diaries 

12.10.20 

Getting quarantined from school is almost a double-edged sword. On one hand, you are relieved and almost excited to be away from the stress of classes, homework, and responsibilities; on the other, you secretly know that the minute you get back from school, you will be behind and confused (if not already).   

When I got called down to the office, I instantly knew the reason; everyone does. For me, getting quarantined meant I had to call my job and let them know I would not be able to come in for the next two weeks (which was met with slight resistance). I also had to cancel several plans and commitments, both at school and with friends.   

One of most scary parts for me was the possibility of infecting my loved ones if I did test positive. My dad has a weakened immune system and would most likely die if contagious. I remember first coming home, keeping my mask on with the off chance I did have it.  

On the first day of being quarantined from school, I had a mini heart-attack when I woke up. It was 8:20 am, and I thought I was going to be late for my first period. Luckily, my panic quickly dissipated as I realized not only was “school” three feet away from me, sitting on an empty desk, but my first period did not even have a zoom for me to attend.   

I then went back to sleep for a few before going about my day: eating food in front of my computer, secretly going on my phone during zoom classes, and trying to do what little work my teachers assigned.  

The most challenging task was to stay motivated.  

In my math class, despite my teacher having the zoom open and screen sharing our OneNote, I still did not understand the lesson. Maybe it is because I am a visual learner, and having a teacher helps, if only a little, for my brain to understand the material. Either way, it was a struggle to grasp the lesson.  

I continued to go about my classes in the same process. Only two of my seven classes bothered to have zoom classes, and three out of seven sent out assignments to do. Besides that, I was on my own to do whatever I please.  

On the bright sides of things, mentally, I was doing better; it felt like a weight lifted off my shoulders. I also had tons of free time to do things I otherwise would not have: deep leaning my room for the first time in months, working out, walking my dog, cooking a good lunch between classes. 

 12.11.20 

Today was an average day so far. I woke up not feeling the best. Last night, I was experiencing a lot of drainage, along with some coughing and a runny nose.  

Flash forward to this morning, my throat was sore all day. I probably refilled my large glass of water over four times today. I also began to look up Covid-19 symptoms.  

Again, one of my biggest fears is giving it to my parents. I stayed in my room most of the day, only going out when they were not around.  

As for my schoolwork, nothing too exciting happened. I felt more productive and began to finish up some assignments for the week. It is a struggle trying to understand material online, but I am doing better than yesterday.  

One of the downfalls, again, is procrastination. I took three hours to do an outline that I probably could have finished during a single class period – had I been in school. At least I could eat whenever I wanted though. 

12.12.20

This is one of the first weekends where I had nothing to do. Usually, I am always planning something with either my friends, or working, to keep me busy.

Unfortunately, I also had to miss my ACT testing today because of being quarantined.

Today I still had a sore throat, but it seemed other symptoms also decided to reveal themselves. I was not running a fever; despite the numerous times my mom went into my room to take my temperature.

My nose was kind of runny, and I had a slight headache throughout the day. The throat was the worst though.

In all honesty, it was not the worst day ever. I stayed in bed all day watching American Horror Society and catching up on some good television. I probably should have been doing the numerous school assignments I have but oh well.

12.13.20

I woke up and could already guess today was going to be the worst of it.

On the bright side, my sore throat decided to disappear; however, I had a massive headache the whole day, a stuffy nose, and was burning up. I honestly thought my thermometer was broken when it told me my temperature was 98.

For the second day in a row, I basically just watched television the whole time. Towardas the end of it I had to finish up some assignments that were due tomorrow

12.14.20

School was back in session, and I, unfortunately, was reminded of the many tests I would have in the up-and-coming week.

In the morning, I accidentally slept through my first three periods. Luckily, none of my teachers take attendance.

I felt a lot better overall, and I just had a dry cough throughout the day.

The only class I ended up actually attending was my AP Statistics course. Other than that, nothing exciting really happened. I did facetime with some friends who were also online throughout the day, which made my classes much more enjoyable.

 

12.15.20

Today I actually woke up on time for once. I had to get something for mother’s birthday the next day, so I woke up super early to go to the store – a luxury I would not have had in school.

Both my dad and I went, and I got to spend some time with him. This was the first time I have been outside my house since I was quarantined.

Being quarantined, I felt that I got to slow down and focus on other things besides work or school for the first time in a while. It was a relief to be off, although my bank account did not have the same mentality.

These past two days, I kind of been ignoring most of my assignments, but I did not worry about it too much. Usually, with tests, I cram the night before, which, I admit, is a bad habit, but it works.

To be completely honest, my teachers have been trying their hardest to make everything easier, despite the situation. I am thankful they have been so understanding throughout everything.

 

12.16.20

My Covid test results came in: I was negative!

It was honestly such a relief to me. I felt a lot better. Although what I had might not have been Covid, it definitely felt terrible either way.

Because today was my mother’s birthday, we bought a cake for both her and my dad’s friend who came in the morning. It was a super fun day, and we got take out later that night from our favorite Mexican restaurant.

Besides that, school was kind of boring. I actually had to work on many assignments though, and it was one of the first days I actually felt productive during school.

I got a lot done for most of my classes, and I also did a discussion-based assessment for my Florida Virtual class.

To prep for tomorrow’s tests, I ended up facetiming one of my friends to help me with math homework that I did not understand. Thankfully, she was a good teacher and was able to teach me a week’s worth of lessons in less than an hour.

I have to admit, I am a horrible study partner and am guilty of distracting people.

 

12.17.20

Today I had two tests to finish – both parts of AP Stats and my pre-calc test – and an essay for my AP Lang class.

Overall, the essay was not bad, and I actually thought the pre-calculus test was easy enough, considering the circumstances.

One of my other friends and I decided to study for our AP Statistics test together during lunch; safe to say, we were both freaking out about it. I found it easiest to learn by watching videos of people working on practice problems, as it helps me understand the material easier.

I found yet another reason to be grateful for being quarantined – the ability to study whenever I wanted.

We ended up taking the FRQ portion of the test over zoom, and then the multiple-choice was due later that night.

These were some of my final assignments from my teachers. A lot of more significant projects or worksheets I had to turn in after the break, so that was another day’s problem.

Other than that, I was extremely relieved to be done with some of my main tests. I ended up spending the rest of the day watching movies and face-timing friends.

 

12.18.20

This is the final day of my quarantine featuring online school.

Overall, it was definitely a much-needed break from reality. I found my mental health becoming a lot better.

I was able to find time for myself and others. For the first time in a while, I was able to enjoy myself and just relax.

Quarantine really reminded me that it is okay to take a step back sometimes to appreciate everything. It taught me that there is more to life than simply grades or working.

However, while I am thankful for the lessons, I am excited to go back in January. Although it was nice for the time being, quarantine was only a temporary break. I definitely could not properly learn online, nor did I feel like I was keeping up with the physical classes.

Nevertheless, I am grateful for this experience and am ecstatic that Christmas break is finally here.

I wish everyone the best over break, and I hope you could take a few pieces of something away from these Quarantine Diaries.

 

About the Writer
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Allie Sigl, Design and Social Media Editor

Allie Sigl is a junior at Durant High School and the Design and Social Media Editor for the PawPrint Newspaper. Around school, Allie is the community service...

Potential New Jeopardy Host

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The game show Jeopardy! is expected to be continued soon with an unknown set of potential new host(s).

The “Jeopardy!” theme song is probably forever ingrained in the minds of every American, as is the memory of long-time host Alex Trebek.  

The show has been on television since 1964, but after the death of former host Alex Trebek, the producers were faced with the decision of who would replace him. It was determined that a new host would be hired to honor Trebek’s wishes of keeping the show running.  

As such, directors have come up with a solution to include guest hosts before bringing in a permanent new host. The first of those guest hosts being, record holding contestant, Ken Jennings, who will be temporarily filling in as a guest host of “Jeopardy!”.  

“By bringing in familiar guest hosts for the foreseeable future, our goal is to create a sense of community and continuity for our viewers,” said Mike Richards, the show’s executive producer. 

The show has plans to bring in multiple guest hosts, featuring popular contestants, before choosing a permanent replacement for TrebekHowever, the rest of those hosts are yet to be announced as well as any potential permanent replacements. 

Fortunately for Trebek lovers, there are still episodes filmed of Trebek from before he died. Directors plan to show Trebek’s ten best episodes during the holiday weeks of December 21, 28, and January 4 and then air his last “Jeopardy!” episode on January 8. 

Jennings’ first official episode as guest host of “Jeopardy!” is scheduled to air on January 11. It is unclear yet as to how many episodes he will be hosting and how many guest hosts are going to come after him before a permanent host is announced.  

About the Writer
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Rachel Hesse, Managing Editor

Rachel Hesse is a senior at Durant High School and the Managing Editor for the PawPrint Newspaper. Although new to the PawPrint this year, Rachel has been...

Possible vaccine to the virus: COVID-19

The Soon to be Released COVID-19 Vaccine

The Soon to be Released COVID-19 Vaccine

As the pandemic continues to spread, scientists all over the world are working hard to find a vaccine to end the rapid spread of the virus.
Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that “Florida is preparing to receive two coronavirus vaccines that could arrive in the state as soon as three weeks from now.” That would drastically affect all of the world since everyone has been waiting so long for the vaccine to release. Officials say that it won’t get rid of the virus so people must continue to wear masks until further notice.
As everyone gathers for the holidays, cases have a high probability of rising a substantial amount due to a higher number of people in close contact with each other. However, the supply of vaccines to the public will be limited during December 2020.
Reporters say 60% of respondents would take the Covid-19 vaccine if it were available today. Just about 15% of all Americans have been affected by the illness. Once released, specific groups will be recommended to take the vaccine due to their high rise of contracting it.
As of now, vaccines are purchased with U.S. taxpayer dollars that will be given to the American people at no cost for insurance. The FDA is making sure all materials to make the vaccine legal are available to the public. The vaccine has been in development since the beginning of January of 2020 and it has come a long way since then. China predicts that once mass production of the vaccine is made, they will distribute over 600 million doses around the most infected areas and hotspots.
“There should be no supply shortage on the industrial chain of vaccine production in China,” added Tao Lina, a vaccine expert.
Without the vaccine releasing soon, the daily deaths are expected to peak at around 3,000 in mid January. With that interpretation, the U.S. Center of Disease control enforces the mask policy even harder everywhere. The world is patiently waiting for this vaccine so life can go back to normal.
About the Writer
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Mason Gourley, YouTube and Multimedia Editor

Mason is a Junior at Durant High School. He is the Design Editor for the PawPrint Newspaper. He is a fan of the Chicago Cubs baseball team. He writes about...

Sophomore Maggie Lauber Dominates On Durant’s Basketball Court

Two weeks ago, sophomore Maggie Lauber, starting point guard against Leto High School, dominated on the court with an impressive 24-point game and five steals. After being named player of the game by Coach Al Mitchell, Lauber approached her next game against Leonard High School hoping to continue her exceptional performance-and she did. In last week’s game, she scored 28 points with three steals earning her the title of player of the game in two consecutive weeks. 

Despite only being a sophomore, Lauber has become co-captain of the varsity team through her “dominant play,” according to Mitchell. While her stand out performance may have won her the title, her dedication and devotion to basketball is apparent by the level of skill she portrays on the court. 

Lauber has been playing basketball with her father since she was in first grade, but it was not until middle school that she became serious about her sport.  After playing three years in middle school at Boca Raton, Lauber and her family moved to Plant City, where she enrolled in Durant.  

Hoping to continue as an athlete and basketball point guard and shooting guard, Lauber tried out for Durant’s Lady Cougars’ basketball team and made the varsity team as a freshman. 

“it was really fun. I was really excited. At first, I was really nervous, but once I got to know the team and everything it felt really nice. It was like a second family, said Lauber  

Lauber’s athleticism and passion for the game immediately caught Coach Al Mitchell’s eye. 

“She is quick, she is explosive, she’s very athletic [and] a gifted basketball player because of her athleticism. She works hard [and] is very dedicated. And she is also very skilled, she has worked hard and you can tell in her level of skill that she is able to play at,” Mitchell said about Lauber. 

Since her freshman year, Lauber and Mitchell have developed a strong player-coach bond, which has allowed them to communicate with simple looks from Coach Mitchell directing Lauber during the game. The non-verbal understanding allows Mitchell to advise the best play from the sidelines and their mutual trust allows Mitchell to correct Lauber to make her a better player. 

“I trust anything that he tells me because he’s right about it…I know he is,” said Lauber. “I trust what he says because he’s a really good coach.” 

Lauber’s performance and success on the court is a testament to the importance of player-coach bonds. Through Mitchell’s coaching and dedication to his players, Lauber has developed and refined her skills as an athlete, making her an invaluable part of the Lady Cougar Basketball team. 

About the Writer
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Lily Belcher, Editor in Chief

Lily Belcher is a junior at Durant High School and is the Editor in Chief for the PawPrint. She is freelancing for the Osprey Observer this year and hopes...

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