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“To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” Series Comes to an End

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Since it was first realized in the summer of 2018, the To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before series has proved to be a success, now considered one of Netflix’s “most viewed original films ever.”

Based on Jenny Han’s bestselling book series, many consider the movie, along with the acclaimed Kissing Booth, a revival of the romantic comedy (rom-com) genre for the new generation.  

The series follows high schoolers Lara Jean Covey (Lana Condor) and Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo) as they enter into a fake relationship and (big surprise) eventually develop feelings for each other.  

Following a sub-par second movie that focused on the love triangle between Lara, Peter, and childhood friend John Ambrose (Jordan Fisher), the third and final installment in the series Always and Forever takes us with the couple as they attempt to navigate graduation and their future together.  

While I love the relationship and chemistry between Lara and Peter, it was not easy to forget about John Ambrose, who proved to be the sweet and thoughtful guy whose standards Peter struggled to reach in the second movie. Unfortunately, as these films typically go, nice guys finish last, and, sorry, Ambrose, you are no exception.

Despite his rocky personality in the previous movies, Kavinsky stepped up to the plate in the latest film. Overall, his character was (debatably) more mature and understanding in their relationship as he was always there to support Lara Jean in her decisions (most of the time).  

At the beginning of the movie, Lara Jean discovers she is not accepted to Stanford, the college where Peter had received a lacrosse scholarship. In a text meant for her sister, Peter believes that she has gotten in, initiating an awkward celebration dinner where Lara tries (and fails) to tell him the truth.  

I have to admit, in the beginning, I thought her “secret” would take up the entire movie, and I would have to sit through two hours of Lara Jean trying to figure out how to tell Peter they will not be going to the same school.  

Luckily, this was not the case. Eventually, Lara lets Peter know of her rejection letter, and she begins to consider other options for colleges, including the University of New York across the country.  

The rest of the movie then focuses on Lara Jean’s decision to either stay close and go to Berkeley (only an hour away from Peter) or travel across the country to her dream college. Spoiler: she chooses the latter.

In all honestly, I enjoyed the movie. Was it one of my favorites? Not by a long shot, but it was just what one wants in a rom-com.

My only real complaints about the movie were the times I felt they rushed certain plot points, as they were trying to cram several events into one film. Between Lara Jean’s family going to Seoul, the trip to New York, prom, graduation, and even a wedding, it felt like a lot was going on at once. There were also times I wished some of the side characters, specifically her best friend Chris (Madeline Arthur) and Trevor (Ross Butler), got more screen time, but I have to admit the movie did well in developing its characters throughout the series.

Looking at the film’s face value, the To All The Boys series was a great rom-com trilogy. It is nothing revolutionary by any means, but it is just what someone might need. Sure, there might be clichés and predictable endings, but with a pretty good soundtrack, compelling storyline, and decent acting, the To All The Boy’s I’ve Loved Before series ended in the best way possible.

 

 

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...

Durant Hockey Team Sweeps The Competition

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The Durant hockey team began its journey only four years ago, making it one of the youngest leagues in the Lightning High School Hockey League (LHSHL). After building up the program, the team has slowly grown in both numbers and strength to become what it is today. 

“We used to be a younger team,” senior at Durant and alternate captain Michael Romeo said. “But now that we are all seniors, we have a lot more dominance with our experience and size.” 

Romeo is part of the original team that started four years ago. In building the team, he accredits a lot to the players that were with them in 2019.  

“In building our program, we got lucky and had a really good core group of guys, especially two years ago with the class of 2019,” Romeo said. 

The current team is led by senior captain Jordan Putnam from Strawberry Crest High School; however, there are over ten seniors on the team who have built up the group together. 

Over the past few years, Durant has slowly made a name for itself in the LHSHL with three playoff appearances and one thirty-point season.  

One notable duo on the team is goaltenders Ryan Putnam, a sophomore at Strawberry Crest High School, and Will Chablowski, a junior with Florida Virtual School. Together, they make one of the best goaltending tandems in the league. 

Jordan Putnam also leads the team in scoring, with an average of over three points per contest, while seven other skaters average more than one point per game.  

“It’s been a ton of fun playing with this group all year both on and off the ice. We have grown a crazy bond, one that I know I won’t soon forget,” Putnam said.  

Looking back on this past season, Durant junior Dante Denny considers their first playoff game against Newsome as a defining moment for the team. 

“We went into overtime and then a shootout,” Denny said. “We barely won, but it was definitely the most stressful game I have ever played.”  

Following their 2-6 victory over Manatee High School in the playoffs this past week, the Durant team was awarded the Eastern Conference Champions title. They will now face Seminole High School in the finals to compete for the prized Lightning Cup. 

Cheer on Durant at Amalie Arena this Wednesday, February 17th, at 7:00 PM EST for the Lightning Cup Finals against the Seminole Sharks.  

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...

Durant Student Ricky Lin Becomes TikTok Famous

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First created in 2016 by Chinese company ByteDance, TikTok has become one of the most downloaded social media platforms in the United States with over a hundred million downloads.

One of the most notable qualities of TikTok is its ability for anyone to become famous through the usage of the “For You” page, an algorithm designed to give its viewer catered videos based on their past behaviors on the app.

Ricky Lin, a junior at Durant High School, first joined TikTok as a joke in 2019 to pass the time. Despite occasionally uploading videos in school last year, Lin saw heavy traffic on his account during quarantine.

“It was weird at first because people would recognize me more often online, but I enjoy the interaction since everyone I have met are all culturally diverse and of different backgrounds,” Lin said.

When he first joined, Lin started recreating videos on his For You page as inspiration. As he began to post more, Lin soon saw his follower and viewer rates increase.

“I like to try different videos to reach out to a broader audience,” Lin said. “I would not say I have a specific type of video, more so, of what I see on my For You page.”

Now posting almost daily, Lin has amassed fifty thousand followers with over a million likes on his platform as of January 2021.

Along with just gaining new followers, Lin has had the chance to meet new people and friends worldwide.

“[My platform] lets me meet more people throughout the world and new friends as well,” Lin said. “I’ve met a lot of people from all over the states, mainly from California and New York.”

Because of his following, Lin has also been given the opportunity to work with various clothing brands and companies, such as The Coldest Water Bottle. In the future, he would like to continue working with more clothing companies and other brands.

“As of right now, it [TikTok] is just something I do in my free time, but you never know [what might happen],” Lin said.

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...

Cross Country Seniors And Their High School Success

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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

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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...

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
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...

Florida’s First Snow Park, SnowCat Ridge, Opens to Public

With the opening of Florida’s first snow park, Snowcat Ridge, Floridians will no longer have to travel up north to experience a snow day.

Stationed in Dade City, Snowcat Ridge features a 60-foot-tall, 400-foot-long snow tubing hill for single, tandem, and family-style tubing, as well as a 1000-square-foot snow dome called the Arctic Igloo.

As Florida’s first and only outdoor snow park, Snowcat Ridge produces enough snow to fill over 10,000 square feet, despite the warm Florida fall and winter weather.

While the snowy slopes are one of the main attractions, the park also has a 10000 square foot snow dome called the Arctic Igloo. Inside is a giant snow play area where visitors can build snowmen and make snowballs out of real snow. The igloo also has a bunny slope for younger riders, designed especially for children three years and younger.

Because the igloo temperature is around 30-degrees Fahrenheit, park administrators suggest guests wear appropriate, warm, water-resistant clothes, including gloves and boots. Because Florida’s normal climate does not offer many days for heavy weather, guests who do not own any winter clothing are able to purchase basic snow gear like hats, gloves, and jackets at the park.

After spending time in the snow, guests can relax in the Alpine Village, which features a holiday market with various local vendors offering food, drinks, shopping, and more. Nearby is also a campfire to roast s’mores in the viewing area, where visitors can watch the nightly snowy slopes music and light show, which starts at sunset, alongside the fire.

Regarding COVID-19, before entering, guests and staff must pass a temperature check. Additionally, the capacity of several attractions is limited to maximize social distancing.

The park is requiring guests to wear a face-covering at all times during the Snowy Slopes and inside the Arctic Igloo. Visitors are not mandated to wear a covering in the Alpine Village if they are socially distancing.

Due to popularity and limited capacity, owners recommend purchasing passes ahead of time to guarantee access to the park.

General admission tickets include a designated two-hour snow tubing session on Snowy Slopes and all-day access to the Arctic Igloo and Alpine Village until closing.

For those wanting to spend more time tubing, there are also unlimited admission passes, allowing guests endless hours on the Snowy Slopes from the moment the park opens.

Depending on the date, general admission tickets start at $24.99 online – five dollars more at the gate –, while unlimited passes start at $59.95. There is also a $14 entry fee per vehicle.

Snowcat Ridge is open on select days at 27839 Saint Joe Road in Dade City, FL 33525. While the park is typically open from three to ten, hours vary by date. For more information and tickets, visit snowcatridge.com.

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...

Ava Hasting Wins Class at the Hillsborough County Fair

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Ava Hasting

Durant sophomore Ava Hasting and her steer Stanley

The Hillsborough County Fair is an annual community event held in October attended by over 25,000 people. The fair was created in 1990 to become a “celebration of community, agriculture, education, and exhibits.”

During the fair, one of the most popular events is the livestock showcase, where participants show their animals in front of an audience and judges.

Ava Hasting, a sophomore at Durant High School, won first place in her class at the fair with her steer Stanley.

“The classes at the fair are based off the steer’s age,” Hasting said. “The judge judges the bone structure [and other aspects], based on [the] desirable qualities wanted in a steer.”

After being judged, the steers are then positioned from first to last place. Each class’s winners are then entered in the final drive, where the judges choose an overall grand champion and overall reserve champion steer.

To prepare for the show, Hasting has worked with Stanley since June, spending thirty to forty minutes with him every day.

“Normally you want to feed, groom – by groom I mean brush his hair forward with a comb to train [it]-, wash it, and walk them,” Hasting said.

Before the festival, Hasting admits she gets a little nervous, but once she is in the ring, “it all goes away, and I automatically focus on showing.”

After a long day of showing, Hasting was declared the winner of her class.

“I felt so relieved to accomplish my goal,” Hasting said once she won.

At Durant, Hasting is a part of the National Future Farmers of America (FFA) Organization, whose goal is to “develop competent and assertive agricultural leadership.”

“I love the organization,” Hasting said. “The people make it such an amazing organization.”

One of Hasting’s favorite things about working with the animals is the responsibility and skills obtained.

Although Hasting plans on becoming a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer in the future, she still plans to continue participating in shows.

“I plan on doing a steer [for the show] every year until I graduate,” Hasting said.

 

 

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...

Durant Students Host A Rally In The Student Parking Lot Before Administration Shuts It Down

Durant+students+host+truck+rally+in+student+parking+lot

Annabelle Salveson

Durant students host truck rally in student parking lot

After voting officially closed Tuesday night, rallies and protests erupted nationwide as both sides experienced backlash from the results. Locally, Durant High School experienced its own rallies as students advocated for their preferred candidate.

On the morning of Election Day, a group of students planned to meet before school to drive their trucks, which featured both American flags and flags supporting Republican incumbent, Donald Trump.

“It was pretty fun,” participant Michael Jones, said. “Me and all my buddies got together [with our flags and trucks]. We all met up at 39 & Keysville and got our Trump train together so we could pull into school in a line.”

The goal of the event, explained attendee Trinton Gibson, was to “show our overall support for America and President Trump and to practice our freedom[s] and rights as Americans.”

“We wanted to support our President [in hopes] he wins again,” said Dylan Coughlin, another participant.

In the student parking lot, trucks with flags lined up together in parking spots as students stood by, either by their vehicles or on their own trucks, taking pictures and videos of the participants. Besides loud music playing, event spectator Delaney Page described the event as “very peaceful.”

“It was a blast out there seeing all our trucks in a line with our Trump and American flags,” Jones said. “We were definitely drawing a lot of attention.”

Shortly after being outside, the gathering received attention from administrators around 8:15 am. Vice-principal, Andrew Holzbog, was first to notice the event after coming out for morning duty to watch over the student parking lot.

“As I walked out, I obviously heard the music playing and a lot of students migrating towards the music,” Holzbog said.

After finding out about the event, Holzbog and Gary Graham addressed the situation.

“The biggest thing was [the] congregating in times of COVID,” Holzbog explained. “We also felt that it [the event] could potentially take away from the academics of the day, and so we just wanted to remove any distractions while in the building.”

Holzbog said that he asked the participants to “shut [the music and flags] down. Not necessarily [because of] their support but just the way it was being handled at the time.”

“Even [if it were] for the best reasons, which I am sure they had very good intentions, if it causes that much of a distraction, then we will probably address that,” he said.

Following his instructions, the participants turned down the music and removed their flags; however, some left the American flags on their trucks.

“We all left our American flags up because we did not think it was a big deal [because] everyone at our school lives in America, no matter what political side,” Gibson explained.

Even so, once school started, those with American flags still up were called to remove them from their vehicles for distraction purposes.

“For consistency, when we went out there, we asked them to remove all flags,” Holzbog said. “If one person flies one flag and another person flies another, and we ask one person to take it down and not both, that is not very consistent as far as expectations go.”

Nevertheless, what might have started as an intentionally harmless student event soon developed and provoked those beyond Durant’s walls to respond.

“We did not want to start nothing,” Coughlin addressed. “We just did it to have a good time and show love for Trump and [the] American flag.”

Virtually, several parents and students took to social media to express their dissatisfaction with the administration and their actions.

“I had so much respect for Durant High School until today,” one person commented on Durant’s Facebook page. “How are you going to sit here and tell us to take down our flags? You tell us to take down the American flag, but yet in every classroom [and in front of the school], there is an American flag…you are taking away our freedom of speech. You are belittling us as the younger generation and trying to make us side and stand for what you believe.”

Other parents and students also left remarks about the event, claiming the school was “suppressing the views of students they don’t agree with” and limiting the “students’ first amendment rights.”

“We have the right to show our patriotism no matter what others’ opinions may be,” Page said.

Former student, Zoey Ward, also expressed her view of the event and how it was addressed.

“Yes, we all have different views and are entitled to them; however, telling students to take down the American flag, the symbol of our country, is downright wrong,” Ward said. “Those students had a right to free speech. I do not think any steps should have been taken unless something got out of hand.”

In response to the social media backlash, Holzbog has addressed his concern and understanding towards the students and parents.

“I get the folks who are upset about the American flag. We very much support the American flag and never want to downplay that at all,” Holzbog said. “But yesterday morning that consistency piece was going to be very important, and if we were not consistent, I think that would have caused some more issues.”

In response to the comments on free speech, Holzbog addressed his priority to create a productive and safe environment at Durant.

“When it comes to the events on campus taking away from learning, we are always going to step in,” Holzbog said. “If free speech starts a fight here in the cafeteria, we are going to step in.”

He also mentioned the administration’s concern towards the feelings of other students as well.

“It caused a bit of attention and that is never what we want. We want people to feel comfortable, [and] we want this to be a comfortable learning environment for everybody,” Holzbog said.

And while there are still many that disagree with these ideals, other students and participants understood the importance and ideology behind the administration’s initial decision.

“I believe that the administration handled it the right way because they did not want conflict starting in the student parking lot, which I agree with,” Jones said.

Coughlin had a similar response, stating his desire to avoid conflict in school and the decision that “[the participants], are probably not going to do it again.”

The next day after the gathering, students noticed a sheriff in the student parking lot near where the event took place. Despite the close concurrence, the administration claimed the primary purpose was to “keep a safe environment” for students.

“We try to keep an ear to the ground as far as what our students are facing each day, and sometimes that mirrors what people are facing in society,” Holzbog said. “Just his [the sheriff’s] presence sometimes discourages any events from taking place.”

Following this event, the administration is looking for clarification and guidance from district leaders on handling future situations to “represent Durant and Hillsborough county in a good light.”

About the Contributor
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...

Overcoming Obstacles with Karlie Lefor

Karlie+Lefor+uses+her+planner+to+manage+stress.+

Allie Sigl

Karlie Lefor uses her planner to manage stress.

With the first quarter ending, stress and anxiety have skyrocketed as students try to balance both academics and social life. Senior, Karlie Lefor, especially feels pressure from her rigorous course load and responsibilities.

Taking five Advanced Placement classes and three dual-enrollment, Lefor is both the Student Government Association secretary and an officer for the Spanish National Honor Society.

“I wake up at 5 am to work out before school and do homework, essentially from the time I get home until 10 or 11 pm,” Lefor said.

Despite her busy schedule, Lefor still manages to get everything done and balance her commitments.

“I use my calendar religiously,” she explained. “I write down what work for which classes I am going to do every day and make sure I finish them well before the due date if I can.”

Although this sometimes means sacrificing personal activities, Lefor still makes time to relax and have fun with her friends. “My schedule does not slow [down] long enough to give me true free time, but I relax by watching movies or hanging out with a friend or two,” Lefor said.

If she does have extra time, Lefor’s favorite activities include reading in the pool and painting.

On top of her academic responsibilities, Lefor also struggles with migraines, resulting in multiple doctor appointments.

“Migraines stress me out the most as it is a neurological disorder, which nobody realizes, so it feels lonely and impossible to deal with,” Lefor admitted.

During eLearning especially, Lefor’s migraines increased, preventing her from doing work for days at a time.

To help combat her migraines, Lefor practices biofeedback training, which involves being connected by electrodes to a machine that provides feedback in real-time. The biofeedback process, explained Lefor, gives her manual control of her “temperature, sweat gland activity, heart rate, and muscle tension, as opposed to these measures being mostly automatic features of the nervous system.” Biofeedback can also be used to reduce anxiety, making it an integral part of Lefor’s routine.

In addition, Lefor uses other combative strategies, such as strictly controlling her diet, to prevent migraines.

“Meats with added preservatives, caffeine, certain fruits such as raspberries or pomegranates, and many other foods contribute to migraines more than one would think,” Lefor revealed. “I have learned over the years, and through many failures, that avoiding combinations are key… and that preventing migraines is all about balance and keen awareness.”

Lefor continues to apply her experiences with migraines to her future and academic career. In her Junior Year, Lefor wrote a research paper for AP Seminar featuring migraines and investigating potential solutions surrounding them. Although Lefor originally had doubts about the project’s feasibility, she remained confident in her choice, eventually leading her to receive the AP Capstone Diamond Award from her teachers, Holly Kimble and Chip Martin.

“I am so appreciative that Mrs. Martin believed in me as much as she did,” Lefor said. “The moment they announced my name, I knew I chose the perfect topic. I felt so fulfilled.”

After high school, Lefor plans to complete her undergraduate and doctoral degrees in neuroscience at either the University of Florida or Miami, then plans to complete her medical school residency.

“I have not yet decided between neurosurgery or neurobiological research, but my heart undoubtedly lies in the brain,” Lefor explained. More importantly, Lefor’s biggest goal is to make a positive impact on others, whether through a medical discovery or by simply raising a family of compassionate people.

Despite the unpredictability of this year, Lefor is still hopeful for the future. “There has been a lot of changes in almost every aspect of my life,” Lefor said. “The most difficult to accept is that our senior year is the most different than any other senior year will ever be.”

With events such as Grad Bash, pep rallies, STEM fair, and others up on the brink of cancellation, Lefor is worried she will not be able to experience as many memories with friends before going to university.

When looking back on the past four years, if Lefor could leave any advice that she learned, it would be to remember that “the only person whose opinion should affect you is you. The goal should not be to impress others but to be able to confidently say you are content with who you are,” Lefor explained.

The only person whose opinion should affect you is you. The goal should not be to impress others but to be able to confidently say you are content with who you are,”

— Karlie Lefor

“You have the power to dictate almost everything you do. It is about taking advantage of this and using these four years to maximize growth.”

About the Contributor
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...

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