Tag Archives: 2014-2015

Thanksgiving Football Game Preview

It’s a cold, brisk fall day. The sun is out but the sky is still rather gray. You, a parent or two, and your siblings head over to the field. The orange leaves are still on the ground but fall is fading. You watch in awe as the high school plays against Norwell in front of a huge crowd. You fool around with friends on the grass, and you try to emulate the kids out on the field.  You see your neighbors and you see people who have moved away  back in town for this special event. You leave happy no matter the result, ready for an awaiting feast.

Those are the memories I have of the annual Thanksgiving football game. Thanksgiving football games are a unique tradition. Almost every school in Massachusetts plays a rival school on Thanksgiving morning. The tradition extends, in some form, to the rest of New England. Connecticut has at least 48 Thanksgiving games. Rhode Island is similar to Massachusetts in that every town has a rival. Maine only has one. Missouri has one, California has two and New Jersey has a fair amount. New York and Pennsylvania have a couple.  It’s an event for two communities that brings back alumni and former town member. The two schools create the biggest crowd some teams will play before all year. The atmosphere is very upbeat and supportive.

For the teams, it might be the biggest game all year. It’s the rivalry game, and it’s a game participants remember all their lives. Everyone wants to win the Thanksgiving game, and for most teams, it’s their seniors’ last game and eternal bragging rights are on the line. In Hanover and lot of other schools, it is the only time they play this rival all year and since most varsity careers are only 2-3 years, it’s a rare opportunity to play in a game of such magnitude.  Some schools have bitter rivalries and Thanksgiving is their chance to leave it all on the field.

The Hanover/Norwell rivalry isn’t all that bitter, though both sides want to win more than anything on that given Thursday. This year, Hanover goes to Norwell while on a 6 game win streak, and a lot of those wins came at Norwell, 4 out of 6 to be exact. That being said, both teams had solid regular seasons. Hanover made the playoffs but has lost 5 games in a row. Norwell played well this year, but did not make the playoffs. Hanover should be the favorite going in but Norwell will be a challenge for them as always. Seamus Boutin of Hanover and Dan Hilson of Norwell are the offensive weapons to watch in this game.

Recently, the aura surrounding Thanksgiving football has changed a little bit. Due to the new playoff system with the games occurring well before Thanksgiving,  things have changed. Thanksgiving  games don’t determine playoff spots anymore whereas in the past there was always a spot or two riding on the result of the game.  There are also a couple more teams who now know they have a game after Thanksgiving and strategically do not play their best players, which takes away the spirit from the game.

Also, because of the new system, for some teams the Thanksgiving game is no longer a once a year affair. For example, Cohasset and Hull will face each other for the second time this year on Turkey Day. They had to play a regular season game against each other in the South Shore Small Division and they could have played again if Hull made the playoffs. Central Catholic and Andover will face each other three times now in one season. First in league play, second in the opening round of the playoffs, and finally on Thanksgiving. The familiarity definitely takes away a little bit of excitement from the game for everyone involved. However, those are minors kinks that can maybe be worked out in the future. The system was implemented on a two year trial basis and will be up for review. Although the the likely decision will be to keep the system the same, it would be a good opportunity to address some of those issues.

Either way, Hanover and Norwell’s tradition looks to be going strong. The game will be at Norwell High School’s new field (which marks another end of an era for a lot of people who usually go, as both teams now have new turf fields) around 10 or 10:30 a.m. on Turkey Day.

HHS Teams Take Part in Special Olympics Bocce Day

The third annual “Bocce Day,” organized by the Massachusetts Association of Student Councils (MASC) and the Special Olympics, was held Nov. 15. The event once again proved to be a success in bringing together student leaders and special education students for a fun-filled and active afternoon.

As one of the newer events established by MASC, Bocce Day is designed to allow students from throughout Massachusetts to meet and compete against each other in a few fun and simple rounds of bocce. The game is like a combination of bowling and curling; players roll handheld balls down a dirt or gravel lane and try to get theirs to stop closest to the target, a smaller ball. In the process, you also try to knock opponents’ balls away from the target. High schools put together teams combined of special education and non-special education students.

This year, MASC was able to set up two regional tournaments: one held the 15th at Whitman-Hanson Regional High School and another to take place at Grafton High School on November 22. Hanover High sent two teams to Whitman-Hanson, where they spent the day dancing, meeting new friends, and playing some bocce. The first team, Hanover Pride #1, included Eric Iverson, Macy Hohenlightner, Callie Hoadley, Lauren Bilton and Emily Teidke. Hanover Pride #2 was led to victory by Jack Skordinski, Andrea Bilton, Emma Devine, Chrissy Greco and Emma Hardy. Both teams had an amazing time, and despite showing up to the event without much previous knowledge of bocce, were able to beat numerous other schools as the tournament went on.

Team member Emma Devine said it best when discussing her Bocce Day experience; “I loved how such a simple game could bring so many people together to support this awesome cause. Watching the kids’ faces light up and hearing the gratitude from the parents was immensely fulfilling”.

The event began with an opening ceremony, during which each school’s teams were announced and positive energy was spread through welcoming speeches and group energizers. During one of the most memorable moments of the day, a Special Olympic athlete carried the “torch,” a glowing flame crafted out of red and orange construction paper, down the stairs of the auditorium. This touch truly gave the event a genuine Olympian feel, and got the teams ready for the upcoming rounds of bocce.

Throughout the tournament, students cheered on their teammates from the bleachers, holding glittering signs and chanting the names of their classmates. As the teams played, a DJ shuffled through a variety of songs to get everybody pumped up, ranging from Frozen sing-a-longs to the latest pop hits. People danced and sang during the entire day, and nearly everybody was sporting a huge smile by the end of the event. It was overall a very fun and energetic environment, and by the time the last round of bocce was called to an end, nobody wanted the good times to stop.

Bocce Day finally concluded with a warm closing ceremony, during which each team was called up to receive medals. Photos were snapped, hugs were given, and finally the event was called to an official close. Bocce Day truly was a success for all involved, and left a greatly positive impact on anyone who participated. The Special Olympics athletes and their families could not have expressed more gratitude for those who took part, and judging by the endless smiles and laughter spread throughout the afternoon, the day proved to be an amazing and uplifting experience for all– even those who had no idea how to even play bocce in the first place!

Patriots Dominating After Rough Start

The New England Patriots are hoping to extend their winning streak to seven games this Sunday when they play the Detroit Lions at Gillette Stadium.  Game time is 1 pm.

The Lions have the best run defense in the league so the Patriots will not be able to use running back Jonas Gray, who played a big role in last week’s win against the Indianapolis Colts. Gray,  who made his first appearance on Oct. 16 because of an injury to running back Steven Ridley, had four rushing touchdowns and 199 rushing yards in the 42-20 victory.

The Pats will  have to rely on receivers Rob Gronkowski, Brandon LaFell and Julian Edelman when they take on the Lions. They’ve won their last 14 games at Gillette, so hopefully the home field advantage will be with them.

I expect the Pats to beat the Detroit Lions by at least 10 points by the way they have been man-handling opponents.

Eric’s Totally Boss Holiday Movie List

As the holiday season comes at us faster than reindeer jacked up on steroids and other controlled substances, I figured it was time to start naming off some of the movie classics and hidden gems of this jolly joyful season. Over the years I sadly have slacked off on my holiday viewership of anything  seasonally related, which makes me quite glum. Holiday movies bring spirit and a little life to our otherwise plain little town. There are the absolute classics like Rudolph, A Christmas Carol, and of course the family friendly, Die Hard. “Yippie Kai Yay mother fruitcake.” Such a classic line. There are also some lesser known films like Johnny Bravo Christmas and Christmas Oranges (that one sucks, don’t watch it).

So here’s Eric’s Totally Boss Christmas Movie list. Watch it or you’re as worthless as an elf who can’t make toys.

  • Die Hard – This movie is the perfect embodiment of Christmas spirit, blasting away at terrorists on the day Christ was born with Bruce Willis kicking all sorts of eastern European butt. If that wouldn’t put a tear in ol’ Kevin Perry’s eye, I don’t know what would.
  • Nightmare Before Christmas– More like “nightmare to animate,” amiright guyzz?? Ha ha ha. No, seriously, it’s a technical marvel and an incredible film as well. If you haven’t seen it, are you even human or?
  • Johnny Bravo Christmas– I love Johnny Bravo because we have quite a lot in common. We’re both super ripped, like c’mon. We both have incredible hair, and we are both completely inept with speaking to females. But watching Johnny bumble through various locations is super entertaining and I suggest giving it a watch.
  • Any South Park or Family Guy Christmas special- I don’t really need to explain why you should watch these. They’re inappropriate, brash, vulgar and amazing.
  • Trading Spaces– Really this is just a good movie with a Christmas background but it has Eddie Murphy yelling at things and partying, and Dan Aykroyd worrying about money and stuff so that’s cool I think. (I’m weird, shut up!)
  • Bad Santa– Billy Bob Thornton is a mall Santa who loves whiskey and keystones; let the comedy ensue.

HHS Competes in Quiz Show’s Super Sunday

WGBH has a TV Show called High School Quiz Show where students from across the entire state of Massachusetts compete in an academic trivia contest. About 120 high schools sent teams this year to the qualifying round held November 17 and dubbed by WGBH as “Super Sunday.”  This year was the first year that HHS has sent a team to this contest. Questions can be asked really on any topic, ranging from history to math and even including spelling. Each school that participates assembles a team of four students. Hanover’s team this year comprised of: David Raab (senior), Tom O’Connor (senior), Max Bruchowski (junior), and Nick O’Hara (freshman). The team coaches were Mrs. Nixon and Mrs. Boyle.

Super Sunday occurs at the WGBH main studios and headquarters in Boston. There, high school teams complete a 100-question oral quiz by themselves (meaning no direct competition with other schools). The quiz starts offIMG_20141116_111418 with 70 questions which can be just about anything. The last 30 questions are from categories given only when the questions are asked. There is no easy way to prepare  because the questions asked can be on literally any topic. That being said, it is recommended that teams have a wide range of general knowledge and trivia. I hate to say it, but paying attention in class is what makes the difference.

If a public school team scores in the top 14 of total scores, then they advance to a head-to-head competition amongst the other schools that made it.  At this point, Hanover does not know if they have made it to the taped competition. When we find out, this article will be updated. That competition occurs in February and will be aired on WGBH this spring.IMG_20141116_110217Overall, the team thought it was a good learning experience. Our weakest category would have to be the spelling questions. I do not think we got a single one of those right. Even if Hanover does not make it this year, the experience will be there to be able to make it next year. I certainly believe this a good tradition to start here at HHS, not the least because I was a part of it.

Class Assignment Leads to Project to Help Homeless

In AP English Language with Ms. Fay this year, a new book was introduced as part of the summer reading curriculum. Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, by Nick Flynn, is a beyond touching and eye-opening memoir of his family’s struggle and his father’s hardship due to homelessness and alcoholism. Students of the class were assigned to look into the causes of homelessness, and what someone who is struggling may suffer from. We looked into all the types of people who suffer from homelessness: teenagers, children, the elderly and veterans. The causes varied also, ranging from abusive homes to mental illness. Stemming from the research in this project, Ally Knight and I thought, what more can we do to help? Thus, the clothes drive was born.

Our clothing drive will run through Nov. 24. We are accepting any and all types of clothing! We would especially like to collect teen and adolescent clothing, but any kind and for any age or gender is still greatly appreciated and useful.

As part of our AP assignment, we looked at many types of homeless shelters and organizations that collected items for those in need. Ultimately, we chose St. Francis’ House and Mass Coalition of Boston to donate the items that we collect. It took up some time to think about publicizing and how we would go about this process, but Ms. Fay  was supportive as were other staff members of the school. Mass Coalition sent us information about a teen program they launched, so we decided to make that our focus. How convenient since we are in a high school, with teens always growing in and out of clothes and forever changing styles?

“The clothes line” drive is something we hope to repeat in another holiday season and in future years, and we are hoping for a great outcome! We thank everyone for their help and encourage you to donate anything you can until the 24. Anything is appreciated!

How the Election Results will affect YOU

On November 4, nationwide and in Massachusetts, democracy was put in action as elections were held and changes in our government were made. Here’s how those results are going to affect you.

Governor

Republican Charlie Baker defeated Democrat Martha Coakley to become the next governor of Massachusetts. He won with a 67.3 perent margin in Hanover and carried the rest of southeastern Mass. except for cities. No surprise there as Hanover and the South Shore are typically very conservative. I’m sure most of your parents are happy with his victory and he will enact policies that appease his core supporters while trying to appear moderate.

Secretary of State

Bill Galvin will remain in office after dominating his over-matched republican foe, he received 57.8 percent of the votes in Hanover but most places he won more than 60 percent of the vote. He has been in office for awhile so h’es nothing too new to this state and isn’t going to cause some big change.

Attorney General

Democrat Maura Healey won Martha Coakley’s spot as Attorney General of Massachusetts. Again, as a Democrat, she isn’t a candidate that is well-received by the South Shore and we’ll see how she does. Martha Coakley certainly had her fair share of botched cases. Healey will be somewhat similar to Coakley. She did not win Hanover, only geting 46.3 percent of the vote.

Auditor

Suzanne Bump won state auditor in a position that high schoolers will hear very little about. She did lose the to the republican candidate in Hanover, getting 43.6 percent of the vote. Honestly, this office is not as relevant an office compared to others. She’s the one who makes sure our government spends its money the right way.

Treasurer

Deb Goldberg won the treasurer position, taking over for Steve Grossman. She had a closer race than some of the others, and got beat badly in the South Shore. She only received 38.6 percent of the vote in Hanover. Recently, the treasurer position has been a jumping ground to other positions, as both Steve Grossman and Tim Cahill have made bids for governor from that position. We’ll see what her ambitions are and hope she does a good job. Since the treasurer oversees the state’s cash savings, debt and investments, it is an important position

U.S. Senate

In a quiet race, Ed Markey won the senate seat he took from John Kerry after Kerry was made secretary of state. Markey,  a liberal’s liberal, won Massachusetts with ease. He didn’t do as well in the South Shore, only gathering 44.6 percent of the vote in Hanover. He is a big Democrat and hardly represents the interest of the South Shore, but that’s nothing new in Massachusetts senate seats.

9th Congressional District

The 9th congressional district holds Hanover and a lot of the South Shore and Cape Cod. It is a region a Republican could and should win. But John Chapman didn’t run that hard of a campaign and Democrat Bill Keating won another term in office. Keating has done a decent job down in DC, and he still only got 47.2 percent of the vote in Hanover. It’s a republican-controlled house, so what he wants accomplished will not be easy for him.

Ballot Questions

Question 1 won with ease, meaning the gas tax cannot be indexed with inflation but rather must be set by real people. The Yes vote had 63.7 percent in Hanover.  Question 2, the bottle bill, was a massacre.  Hanover had a 83.4 percent No vote. The bottle tax will not be expanding and things will remain as they are right now.  I hope you like to gamble, because Question 3 was defeated by a decent margin. That means the casino act will not be repealed so casinos will be built in Springfield and Everett as well as a slot parlor in Plainville. In Hanover it was a 63.2 percent NO vote. For Question 4, earned sick time lost by a slim margin in Hanover, getting a 48.95 percent Yes vote. Statewide, it passed and will mandate changes in the way sick time is handled by companies, small and large.

Nationally

Tough time for the Democrats, as the Republicans kept control of the House of Representatives and won the Senate. Things are going to get prickly in Washington, and it is my personal opinion that the gridlock we’ve been seeing is going to continue as conservatives do their best to beat up Obama and Democrats filibuster their way to salvaging some of their accomplishments.

Locally

Hanover’s own Rhonda Nyman lost to Norwell native and Republican David DeCoste for the state representative seat. Since it was by a mere 45 votes and provisional ballots finally counted today, the margin may have gotten closer. She has until 5 o’clock on Nov. 13 to request a recount. In other races, Tom Kennedy retained his state senator spot and Marc Pacheco the other. Matt McDonough of Marshfield, a Democrat who had maybe the largest overall sign at HHS that Tuesday, won Plymouth Country Register of the Probate. Sandra Wright of Bridgewater, a Republican, won Plymouth Country Commissioner.