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Wrestling Is Family For Durant Grad Hendon Haley

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Hendon Haley

Hendon Haley is a senior at Durant High School. His passion for wrestling started about 12 years ago when his oldest brother, who was a freshman at Durant at the time, introduced the sport to Haley. Haley, along with his three older brothers, has wrestled ever since.

In the wrestling season of 2019, he was Hillsborough county champion, regional champion, and placed fourth in the state of Florida. Haley is most proud of his success at the state tournaments.

“It’s the biggest thing that I’ve gotten out of all my hard work,” said Haley. “That is something I’ll never forget and something very important to me, it was really everything I wanted.”

This past year, Haley was again a Hillsborough County champion, but he also was district champion, placed third in regionals, and was a state qualifier.

“Something that motivates me would definitely be my brothers because they have always been there for me in the practice room and they’ve done very well themselves in high school,” said Haley.”

— Hendon Haley

“The hardest part about wrestling is that it is an individual sport. It is one hundred percent up to you and how you perform as a wrestler,” said Haley.

Haley has been able to progress over the years and create a positive mindset going into his matches. He strives to be the best he can be and is supported by the motivation from his brothers.

“Something that motivates me would definitely be my brothers because they have always been there for me in the practice room and they’ve done very well themselves in high school,” said Haley.

Haley came into high school naturally motivated to either match or top his brothers in wrestling. He says that it is good to look up to people who are the best at what you do and learn from them. Haley also looks up to Jordan Burroughs, Olympic athlete and four-time world champion freestyle wrestler.

He has wrestled for Durant wrestling since his freshman year and was the captain for the 2019-2020 wrestling season. All four of his brothers were also captain of the Durant team. He takes the role of being a captain seriously and works hard to make sure the team strives for success.

“It’s a very important job and that’s how you build teams, you got to start with good leadership,” said Haley.

Haley has plans to attend Florida college, a Christian college in Temple Terrace. He doesn’t plan on continuing wrestling in college, but he wants a role in the wrestling community as either a coach, referee, or as someone who helps individuals with wrestling techniques.

Haley will miss his wrestling family after high school. He plans to keep in touch with teammates and attend Durant wrestling tournaments.

“We have one of the longest seasons of any other high school sport, so to be together with guys like that every day in the room for so long I’m going to miss that family aspect of just being there and grinding through hard times,” said Haley.

About the Writer
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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...

Christopher Dello Russo Wins Gold Key at 2020 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

Christopher+Dello+Russo+Wins+Gold+Key+at+2020+Scholastic+Art+%26+Writing+Awards

The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards are given to young artists and writers who are enrolled in high school that have exceptional artistic skills and literary talents. Students across North America can submit to any of the 29 categories; and, in 2019, over 320,000 works were submitted to the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards contest. Students from public schools, private schools, and students who are homeschooled are all welcome to submit something to any of the 29 categories. About 300,000 dollars is given out every year for scholarships to the winners.

Winners are recognized at a local ceremony near the student’s school district. However, top placers, titled Gold Key winners, move on from this ceremony to a national contest. If selected nationally, these students are honored with an award presentation in New York City at Carnegie Hall.

Durant High School student Christopher Dello Russo, a 2020 Gold Key winner for poetry and short stories, said he likes to write about horror and comedy. Dello Russo said he writes because he enjoys writing. Dello Russo began writing in fifth grade after reading the Percy Jackson book series, which encouraged him to read more fiction books.

Dello Russo said his English teachers inspired him to write more and so he submitted to the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Dello Russo also said “I thought I had a good chance at winning a Gold Key and when I won, it was a pleasant surprise.” Now that Dello Russo has won a Gold Key, it makes him proud that he has been recognized as a winner.

Dello Russo said “writing as a job is a perfect way of making me stop enjoying it, so I’ll keep it as a hobby.” Dello Russo does not plan to go to New York City where all of the winners are honored, but is satisfied with his level of recognition.

About the Writer
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Jordan Dabbour, Business Manager

Jordan Dabbour is a junior at Durant High School and is Advertising Business Manager for the PawPrint newspaper. He is an avid sports fan, and loves to...

Camryn Drummond Inspires Others

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Camryn Drummond

Camryn Drummond is a senior at Durant who is not afraid to explore new activities. In her years attending Durant, Drummond has joined clubs close to her heart. Outside of school she participates in activities that support causes important to her.

Five years ago, when Drummond’s family lived in Hawaii, she suffered from a lack of self-confidence as a result of being one of two African American students, the other being her younger sister.

After realizing that she was not the only person feeling less than, Drummond founded Sisters Changing the World, an organization to build self-esteem and confidence in girls.

“I realized so many girls were going through the same thing, so why not create an environment where girls can feel like their authentic selves.”

Drummond has grown since starting this organization, stating, “I want people to know that I am constantly chasing happiness and I won’t stop expressing myself and searching for that.”

As a junior, Drummond competed in Miss Teenage Tampa for the African American sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha and won the title. The opportunity was given to Drummond by Assistant Principal Culpepper, who informed Drummond about the competition.

“Growth is a choice.””

— Camryn Drummond

The goal of the pageant is to create a sense of proactivity and success in young African American women by building their self-esteem. The sorority also teaches tools to help these women become positive impacts on the community.

Both activities allow Drummond to spread a message of a positivity among the young women of her community. Helping others recognize their beauty and self-worth is an important part of who Drummond is, as helping others change the way they see themselves is a cause that Drummond deeply cares about.

Beyond sharing that message in her community, Drummond is able to spread that message to young African American students on Durant’s campus as the President of Junior Rattlers. The club is meant to prepare young African American students for the next step in furthering their education or their future. Drummond has been President of the club for two years.

Fellow senior Shamari Buckley is one of many Drummond has inspired during her time as President.

“She drives me to do things I am unsure about. She will tell people to do what they want to do and support them in their endeavors.”

As president of the Junior Rattlers, Drummond played a large role in planning the 2020 Black History Month activities alongside African American Durant faculty members and with help from members of Junior Rattlers and SGA.

Drummond created the event Coliloquy in Color, an event where African American students could perform a song, poem, short story or display artwork. The event was the grand finale to Durant’s Back History Month celebration.

In addition to Junior Rattlers, Drummond has also been a member of National English Honor Society for two years. She joined the club to improve her writing skills, which is one of her favorite hobbies. As a senior she won an honorable mention for her personal memoir “I Am Her.”

She is also a member of the Alpha Cougar Omega Step team; this is her first year on the team. She joined the team to get out of her comfort zone and to have fun.

For her future, Drummond plans to extend her motivational speaking to start her own platform where she can continue to inspire others.

Her advice to her fellow students is, “Do not close yourself off to avoid being hurt, be open to feeling the waves of life to make yourself a better person. Growth is a choice.”

About the Writer
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Angelique Robinson, Web Editor

Angelique Robinson is a senior at Durant and is Web Editor for the PawPrint newspaper. She loves writing creative pieces, as well as more serious articles...

Lorentzen Graduates in Top Ten

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Durant Yearbook

Rebekah Lorentzen

Rebekah Lorentzen, a senior at Durant High School, is in this year’s graduating class. Lorentzen boasts an impressive 6.94 GPA.

Throughout her high school career at Durant, Lorentzen has participated in many clubs and activities, and she has maintained leadership positions in several of these clubs. As a member of the student council, Lorentzen has served as secretary, Vice President of Community Service, and Historian. During her senior year, Lorentzen took a step back from her leadership roles on council as she was appointed President of National Honor Society (NHS), after serving as NHS Historian the previous year. Lorentzen is also this year’s Social Media Coordinator of National English Honor Society (NEHS), a member of Spanish National Honor Society (SNHS), and a member of Students All Connected (SAC).

Lorentzen is also a valuable asset on the field. She has been on Durant’s varsity lacrosse team for the past four years, serving as team captain for the past two years. She is also currently the Editor in Chief of the Durant yearbook, and she has served the yearbook staff as Business Editor in prior years.

Outside of Durant, Lorentzen is also very active in her church, New Hope United Methodist Church, where she is currently a youth leader and regular volunteer. With her church, Lorentzen has gone on mission trips to the Dominican Republic for the past six years.

Lorentzen is also a prolific dancer. She has been a dancer at Judy’s Dance Academy for the past sixteen years and now volunteers her free time to teach dance classes for young children.

Lorentzen plans to attend University of Florida in the fall. She is planning on majoring in Health Sciences with a specialization in Physical Therapy. She plans to obtain a doctorate in Physical Therapy and eventually open her own practice.

About the Contributor
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Jennifer Dages, Editor-in-Chief of Writing

Jennifer Dages is a senior at Durant High School and is the Editor-in-Chief of Writing for PawPrint newspaper. In her free time, she practices Brazilian...

Emma Henry in Top Ten of 2020 DHS Class

Emma+Henry

Durant Yearbook

Emma Henry

Emma Henry is a hard working student who set high goals for herself which were the ways she led herself to success and earned a spot in the Durant top ten senior graduating class of 2020.

She explained that her secret to success was due to the support of her family as well as her strong commitment to a routine. “My family was really supportive so that helped me and I have a fairly efficient study routine.”

Henry’s goal is to go to college and earn a degree in one of her passions. She is unsure of the career that she wants to do, but that won’t stop her from putting 110% towards her studies.

In order for Henry to reach her goals, she took some difficult classes this year. She explained some of her hardest and favorite classes were AP Calculus, AP European History, and a biology class that she took at HCC.

From Henry’s final months at Durant, the things she enjoyed most included “friends, family, and teachers.”

About the Contributor
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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...

Congrats Durant GSA Seniors!

Congrats GSA 2020!

Durant Theatre Company Steals the Show

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Durant Theater Company

The Durant Theatre Company is filled with many talented directors, producers, singers, dancers, and, of course, actors and actresses. This group of remarkable students has put in so much hard work into their productions, kicking off the 2019 – 2020 school year with their play Brainstorm: A Journey Inside the Teenage Mind. While everyone in this organization has a very important role no matter what it is, Durant’s theatre productions would not be possible without the approach of backstage crew.

The backstage crew, also known as stagehands, works to ensure that shows operate and run smoothly. Stagehands do everything from taking care of the props all the way to controlling the lights and sounds, and through all that the backstage crew does; they create the charm of theatre.  Destiny Kyer, a senior at Durant who has done both acting and stagehand work, spoke to the importance of this kind of work.

“The backstage crew is incredibly important. Without tech, we would not have our sounds and lights; without stage, our scenes would not be ready in a timely manner, and nothing would flow together.”

“The backstage crew is incredibly important. Without tech, we would not have our sounds and lights; without stage, our scenes would not be ready in a timely manner, and nothing would flow together.””

With many seniors leaving the Durant Theatre Company as they graduate this year, they have to pass down their traditions to the underclassmen to keep the spirit of Durant theatre alive. Destiny Kyer remarked about their traditions that the Durant Theatre Company upholds.

“We do have a tradition, but it’s meant to be secret so when we have newbies they can get excited when it happens. It does happen before every show though.”

It is not just the traditions that are being passed down by the seniors, but also their knowledge. Jordan Maddock is a freshman at Durant and has been involved in only one Durant theatre production so far as a stagehand, but plans to be in more in the future; she spoke about learning the ins and outs of learning from the seniors.

“Our amazing tech, Gage Torgerson, has taught me everything I know as far as sound board, lighting, repairs, and how important it is to getting our shows running smoothly.”

It looks like the future of the Durant Theatre Company is in good hands thanks to the seniors.

The last show of the 2019 – 2020 school year was going to be Godspell, but, unfortunately, the Coronavirus outbreak caused a cancellation in a lot of school functions and field trips, including this play. While this was a huge disappointment for the Durant Theatre Company, they decided to look on the bright side of their situation by participating in The Coronavirus Time Capsule. This non-profit organization called Company Three is located in London, England and is all about teenagers expressing themselves through theater. Company Three has created a new mission for teens all over the world who are involved in theatre to create a time capsule filled with all the different ways these creative teenagers decided to do while in quarantine. Morgan Manigold is a senior at Durant and an active member of the Durant Theatre Company.

Manigold stated, “It is a great project to really document what this time was like for highly social and creative people like theatre kids … and how they dealt with it, and it is really cool to see how differently it is dealt with around the world.”

Morgan Manigold went on to explain that every week there is a new theme that everyone documents and submits to keep adding to the time capsule. To see the Durant Theatre Company’s weekly submissions for their time capsule, go to www.companythree.co.uk and check them out.

Overall, it has been a successful school year for the Durant Theatre Company. They had a fantastic production at the beginning of the year that not only was a big hit for the students at Durant, but also went on to win a “Superior” title at the District 9 One-Act Festival at USF; and while everything did not go as planned for the theater company as the end of the year drew closer, they closed it off by turning a negative situation into a positive one with their amazing time capsule project. The 2019 – 2020 year for the Durant Theatre Company is definitely one for the books.

Brianna Thompson Graduates in Top Ten of 2020 Class

Senior+Brianna+Thompson

Durant Yearbook

Senior Brianna Thompson

Durant senior Brianna Thompson is a hard-working student who earned a spot in the top ten of Durant’s 2020 graduating class.

Thompson’s goal is to pursue medicine in college. “I want to become a pediatrician or pediatric surgeon,” Thompson said.

In order to reach this goal, Thompson took some very difficult classes at Durant, such as AP Physics. Thompson said the class concepts were “challenging,” but she was able to master them with practice. Thompson said she studied every night, kept up with her work and grades, and made sure to be timely with turning in assignments. She said her favorite class was AP Calculus, although she also enjoyed chorus.

In addition to her study routine, Thompson also shared that the support of family was key to her success at Durant. “My mother has helped me and supported me in doing things like dual enrollment and AP classes,” said Thompson. “Even though school was sometimes challenging, my mother kept me upbeat.”

Thompson plans to attend University of South Florida in Tampa this fall, where she hopes to earn a degree in pre-medicine.

About the Contributor
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Nick Travis, Social Media Coordinator

Nick Travis is a Junior at Durant High School and the Social Media Coordinator for the PawPrint. He has an outgoing and creative personality. When isn't...

Senior is Living the Chick-Fil-A Dream

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Senior Kyle Thomas

Chick-Fil-A, the fast food place that serves people and sells chicken, is also the place Durant senior, Kyle Thomas, goes every day. Thomas has been going there ever since he was a kid, when he remembers getting the chicken nugget kids meal. He fell in love with the food.

“The food at Chick-Fil-A is amazing,” said Thomas. “And the people that work there have good customer service.”

Thomas goes to Chick-Fil-A everyday and orders an eight-count nugget meal, with a large fry, and a large coke with no ice and four ketchups. He likes his Coke with no ice because he just wants soda. “It comes out of the machine cold, so I just get more drink if I don’t get ice with it,” said Thomas.

Thomas doesn’t eat all the ketchup, but rather he saves them, so he doesn’t have to buy ketchup. With all the money he spends on Chick-Fil-A, every little bit to save helps.

Thomas has the Chick-Fil-A app; and, after one month, he was a red member, which is the highest tier on the app. He loves the app because even if he doesn’t have money to buy food, he can redeem his rewards so he can get his meal for free.

Thomas goes every day because he says sometimes school can be too much for him if he’s hungry or stressed, so he goes over to Chick-Fil-A to relax. “I watch Desperate Housewives while eating Chick-Fil-A and that’s my cool down.”

Thomas even mentioned Chick-Fil-A in his senior quote: “Now that I’m done can someone please just get me some Chick-Fil-A?”

About the Writer
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Jayleen Nunez, Staff Writer

Jayleen Nunez is a junior at Durant High School and is a Staff Writer for the PawPrint. When she isn't writing for the PawPrint, she participates in Mindfulness...

N.C.A.A. Extends Eligibility for College Seniors

Amidst COVID-19 pandemic, all spring sports seasons were suspended due to public health concerns.

Courtesy of AP News

Amidst COVID-19 pandemic, all spring sports seasons were suspended due to public health concerns.

On March 12 many college spring sports teams were devastated to find out that the rest of their senior season was canceled and had come to an end. However, this feeling was partially lifted Monday, March 30, when the N.C.A.A. Division 1 Council announced that seniors athletes of all spring sports would have another year of eligibility due to their seasons being cut short. 

Even with this exciting news, there are still many restrictions on athlete eligibility. Individual universities and conferences will make the decision on whether to welcome athletes back or not. The Ivy League conference announced on Thursday, April 2 that extended eligibility went against the league’s current policies. 

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, the League made the following statement regarding the decision. “Existing eligibility policies will remain in place, including its longstanding practice that athletic opportunities are for undergraduates.”

Even with the given opportunity, some seniors have decided that they do not want to return, regardless of whether their college allows it or not. According to the New York Times, Molly Milligan, a senior rower undergraduate at Penn State, decided she will not return if given the opportunity. 

She plans to be a graduate assistant coach at the University of Wisconsin while earning her master’s degree. She made the following statement regarding this decision. “The trauma of the past two weeks was really challenging to deal with. It is hard now going back to change that mind-set”

Some restrictions on whether the athletes will return are strictly financial. Schools only have a limited number of scholarships they can give out among the teams, and with the combination of incoming freshmen, transfer students, and seniors staying behind, it might be more than the school can handle. 

According to the New York Times, each team has a limited number of scholarships they can give out. Andy Fee, the athletic director at Long Beach State, made a statement regarding this saying that he feels that in today’s current world, its money [universities] just don’t have. Each school only has a certain amount of scholarships that it can give out to players.

But there is still hope for current athletes. Colleges along with the N.C.A.A. have announced that they plan to extend the rosters to make room for both the incoming recruits and seniors staying behind, this way the coaches of the teams will not have to worry about making cuts on recruits already designated to join the team. 

Time will tell how each college will respond to these announcements. During times like this it is important to hang on to as much normalcy as possible. This opportunity will allow seniors the chance to complete their senior seasons in the way they have always hoped for.

About the Writer
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Faith Miller, Staff Writer

Faith Miller is a senior at Durant High School and is a Staff Writer for the Durant PawPrint. This year will be her fourth season on the varsity Durant...

Senioritis Hits Hard

Senioritis Hits Hard

As senior year in high school, the feeling of apathy creeps toward you like arms coming out of the shadows. When teachers assign homework and projects, now more than ever before, your laziness overpowers you and you have no motivation to complete it. This is the condition known as “senioritis”.

This could be dangerous however, for a multitude of reasons, including your GPA dropping, colleges could look at your last semester grades and decide to retract your admission for poor performance, and it could develop bad habits for whatever you choose to do after high school.

Most scholarships have a GPA requirement, and if senioritis kicks in, it could end up severely dropping your grade point average. This could be because of not doing assignments, or even not studying for big tests.

I have a theory on why seniors suddenly develop this lack of care, most notably in the last semester of their high school career. It could possibly be because they think if they already got accepted into college, their future is in the metaphorical bag. This isn’t the case however because it is known that some students admissions from universities have been revoked after poor performance in the last semester.

I urge students not to give in to senioritis, because it’ll develop bad habits in your future. finish strong seniors!

 

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