There were so many wonderful things that happened in 2018 and the students of Hanover High School were eager to share their fondest memories. For me, it was in May when my friends and I finally figured out to get the jukebox in my friend’s basement working. We had such a fun night playing around and discovering new songs that we had never heard before.
From beautiful vacations, new additions to the family, and fun with their friends, here is what students recalled as the highlights of the past year:
Juli C: Boston with Tim S.
Meghan C: Seeing Mamma Mia 2
Ainsley K: Driving around Scituate with friends and playing games
Alyssa M: Going to a Boston Bruins game and seeing them win
Jill P: Team dinner for Volleyball, when Callie A. broke a lamp
Brenna F: Getting our second dog, Bauer, in May
Caleigh M: Vacation to Europe with family
Bella M: New Year’s Eve
Hope B: A trip to Boston for a friend’s birthday
Meg D: Meg C getting on the wrong train and waving from the back window
Lauren C: Meg D locking her keys in her car on senior day and having to call AAA
Caroline Z: Swimming in the Mediterranean Sea when visiting the Amalfi coast
Tim S: June 22, the last day of school, when we had the whole summer ahead of us
Beth M: Band Camp
Jake Ma: Getting a new puppy
Katie D: Going to Maine with friends
Sam H: Going to New York with two best friends
Abby C: Going to the 5 Seconds of Summer concert with her best friends
Linnea S: Going to California
Emily T: Beating Pembroke in a volleyball match
Rachel A: Summer
Hailey M: Going to California
Eileen B: Visiting Maine with her family
Brooke M: Softball season
Alexa C: Driving around with friends and listening to music
Sawliha K: Marshfield Fair with best friends and driving around in a convertible
Julia D: New Hampshire with friends
Brendan H: Going to Ireland with family
Caleb P: Hanging out with new friends and making a Varsity soccer goal.
Hope T: Becoming friends with new classmates
Sophie P: Going to a beach on the Cape with friends for a day
Azalea M: Meeting her new boyfriend
Bridget M: Summer
James S: New Hampshire over the summer
Sarah G: Vacation to Germany
Cory W: Fourth of July in the vineyard
Alex B: Tubing with friends over the summer
Sammy S: Vacation in Aruba
Paige L: Going to the beach in Rhode Island with a friend
Alex M:Hanging out with friends and his girlfriend
Rory J: Climbing Mt. Rainier in Washington with her sister
Ellie H: Getting her license and going to a Drake concert
Nick P: January 1 and spending time with his friends
Abi L: Going to Greece
Lily L: Going to the Cape over the summer
John S: The debut of his play “A Day in the Garden”
Una D: Band Camp
Hannah M: Going to senior prom
Jack R: Attending a Patriots game
Lauren B: Tailgating party with cousins in Alabama
Charlie C: Playing knee hockey with friends
Carter Z: The song Bottoms Up
Lily H: Going skiing with friends
Meghan M: The graduation of her two sisters, including one in Alabama
In a year that featured plenty of draft day studs like Todd Gurley and waiver wire gods like Phillip Lindsay, it’s safe to say that the 2018 fantasy football season was like no other. The one interesting element about fantasy football is that you really only gain confidence from your weekly projections, which often don’t mean a lot. What it really comes down to is an owner’s ability to use their gut and make the right call. This past season left many owners forced to take gambles due to the shortage of reliable tight ends in the league. With the injury plague early on with players like Delanie Walker and Greg Olsen, and bust draft picks like Jimmy Graham, many were left scavenging the waiver wire. On the other hand, those who took a gamble on George Kittle (led TE in receiving yards) or Eric Ebron met with a pleasant surprise as they both enjoyed breakout campaigns this year.
Another interesting element this season was the holdout of Le’veon Bell. Many owners, myself included, were left without our first round pick for the entire season. While some see this as the fall of Bell, others see it as the rise of James Conner. This past season featured other running backs breaking out such as favored rookie of the year candidate Saquon Barkley, Nick Chubb, Phillip Lindsay, Sony Michel, and Gus Johnson. While these young players made a big splash in the league, some veterans continued their dominance. Gurley had an immaculate campaign, as did Alvin Kamara, Melvin Gordon, Christian McCaffrey, Ezekiel Elliott, and even Super Bowl LI hero James White. It was also interesting to see backs like Adrian Peterson turn back Father Time to have a 1,000-yard campaign even at age 33. One of the most frustrating players to watch this year was Derrick Henry, who was just horrid for the the first 13 weeks of the season, only to average 33.6 points per game in the fantasy football playoffs.
As we make our way over to the wide receiver category, it would be a sin not to mention the greatness of Tyreek Hill this season. The speedy receiver led all wideouts in fantasy points this season, finishing with 346.26 points. When it comes to receivers in the NFL, there is always a strong consistency among the top dogs. That was no different this year, as Deandre Hopkins, Antonio Brown, Davante Adams, Julio Jones, Michael Thomas, Adam Thielen, and JuJu Smith-Schuster all had dominant seasons at the position. As far as breakouts go, Tyler Boyd, rookie receiver Calvin Ridley, and Mike Williams all played huge roles for fantasy teams down the stretch. It was also nice to see Larry Fitzgerald turn his season around after a tough start in what may have been his last season in the NFL.
Moving on to the quarterbacks, there is simply one name that needs to be said: Patrick Mahomes. The stud player, in just his second year, led all of fantasy football in scoring with an absurd 434.08 points. To put that into perspective, the next highest point total of the season was 390.8 points scored by Saquon Barkley. While it’s obvious that Mahomes has locked up MVP this season, other play callers that really thrived this year in fantasy included Matt Ryan, Ben Roethlisberger, Andrew Luck, Jared Goff, Drew Brees, and Deshaun Watson. I know most of the readers must be wondering “where’s Tom Brady?” but in reality he did not have an outstanding fantasy football season. We still love you, Tom! This season featured several breakout rookies playing at an elite level, including Baker Mayfield, Lamar Jackson, and Josh Allen. As some players soared this season, we also saw some who bombed, with Ryan Fitzpatrick as a prime example. “Fitzmagic” was the leading scorer in fantasy points for the first three weeks of the season, only to get benched for Jameis Winston and virtually lose all value. Another quarterback who suffered from a benching this year was Joe Flacco, a stable QB2 for most of the season before Lamar Jackson was handed the reigns. The quarterbacks certainly did their part for owners this year, with 28 finishing inside the top 100 in season point totals.
As far as next year goes, my advice to owners is to go after running backs early and often in your fantasy drafts. Running backs have become a huge part of the passing offense in the NFL in recent years. I also recommend owners draft a TE early on because, in today’s NFL, there is the elite tight ends, then 80 feet of pure mediocrity at best, followed by inconsistency at its finest. Overall, if your fantasy season didn’t go your way, don’t get down on yourself, get smarter. While injuries are unpredictable, you still should be able to get a general feel for what a solid playoff contender team should look like. Just always remember, you’re only as good as your next team, not your last.
2018 was a fantastic year for gaming. A variety of releases from both new and old franchises hit the gaming community by storm. Whether it was for their story, multiplayer capability, or their art, many games received praise from both critics and players alike. While there were so many fantastic releases this year, there were a few that rose above the rest. Here is my list of the top 10 games released in 2018:
#10 Call of Duty Black Ops 4
Black Ops 4 is a new and interesting take on the Call of Duty Black Ops series. This installment of Call of Duty is more focused on multiplayer, as Black Ops 4 contains no formal campaign, and instead focuses on its zombie mode and multiplayer battles. While the lack of a formal campaign was a bit surprising to some, Black Ops 4’s variety of multiplayer modes, its zombie mode, and new battle royale mode more then make up for the absence of a campaign. The game also supports split screen, allowing you and friend to play online or offline together on the same console. Overall, Call of Duty Black Ops 4 is a solid multiplayer game with immense variety that definitely deserves a spot on this list.
#9 Assassins Creed Odyssey
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is an open world stealth action game that takes place during the Peloponnesian War. The player takes the role of either Alexios or Kassandra, mercenary warriors whose personalities vary depending on how you play the game. While the game does have a story to it, the player is given a large amount of freedom, allowing you to explore the large and fascinating world around you. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey also has a fantastic combat system that lets you customize your character’s weapons, armor, and abilities to suit your playstyle. Overall, Assassins Creed Odyssey’s fantastic graphics, interesting story, and great combat system make it a game to remember in 2018.
#8 Monster Hunter World
Monster Hunter World is an action role playing game that allows you to hunt and slay ferocious monsters. As a monster hunter, you’re tasked with going to the New World, a recently discovered land that is crowded with powerful monsters. While in the New World, you can battle a variety of beasts and monsters, each with different looks, abilities, and difficulties. After defeating a monster, you can harvest it and use the monster’s materials to craft stronger weapons and armor for yourself, allowing you to face greater challenges. Monster Hunter World also has a variety of weapons to choose from, each with a unique and interesting play style. My one critique of the game would be an underdeveloped story, which took away from the fun gameplay.
#7 Far Cry Five
Far Cry Five is open world action shooter that takes place in fictional Hope County, Montana. You play as the Deputy, a member of the Hope County sheriff’s department who tries to liberate the county from Eden’s Gate, a large and violent cult that is preparing for Judgement Day. As the Deputy, you roam around Hope County’s massive open world, freeing civilians, completing missions, and destabilizing Eden’s Gate wherever you go. The game has a large number of fun side quests to complete, which can reward the player with money. The game also has a unique group of characters, each with their own interesting personalities and backstories. The fun that comes with Far Cry Five does not end with the story, as the game’s arcade mode lets you play on custom player-generated maps, allowing for almost infinite replayability.
Celeste is an indie platformer game that is being celebrated for its pixel art style and engaging story. In Celeste, you play as Madeline, a young woman struggling with depression as she tries to climb Celeste Mountain. Along the way she encounters numerous platforming challenges, which require you to jump and dash with speed and precision. These challenges begin to grow more difficult as you continue through the game, and the levels gain more and more hazards that can spell certain death for your character if you’re not fast enough. These levels are also accompanied by Madeline’s development as a character, as she encounters new friends and faces her own dark reflection. Overall, Celeste’s interesting and emotional narrative, fun but difficult gameplay, and beautiful pixel art style make it a game to remember.
#5 Forza Horizon 4
Forza Horizon 4 is the eleventh installment in the series, an open world racing game with a variety of cars, races and multiplayer options. With over 400 cars to choose from and the ability to create your own races with your friends, Forza Horizon 4 gives you countless play options. On top of that, Forza Horizon 4 also includes changing seasons and weather conditions, which make no race or play session exactly alike. The sheer amount of variety and replayability makes the game a fun and memorable experience.
#4 Super Smash Bros Ultimate
Super Smash Bros Ultimate is a crossover fighting game featuring characters from different Nintendo series, along with a few from other companies. With 76 playable fighters and echo fighters with more downloadable content on the way, Super Smash Bros Ultimate has the biggest roster of the entire Super Smash Bros series. This large and unique roster is paired with 103 stages to play on, along with a variety of different game modes and activities. Super Smash Bros Ultimate also includes a new story mode, which challenges the player with unique and difficult battles. Overall, Super Smash Bros Ultimate is a fantastic fighting game with tons of replayability and a fun story mode.
#3 Marvel’s Spider-Man
Marvel’s Spider-Man is an action adventure game that allows players to swing through the streets of New York as the one and only Spider-Man. Set eight years after Peter Parker became the famed crime fighter, the game focuses on trying to reclaim New York City from a variety of classic foes such as Mr. Negative, Electro, Rhino, Scorpion, Doctor Octopus. Along the way, Spider-Man can participate in side quests for rewards and gain new combat skills and suit abilities, which can give you the edge in later battles. The game is also accompanied by a fluent and responsive combat system that makes the game even more of a blast to play.
#2 God of War 4
In God of War 4, you play as Kratos, the former Greek god of war, as he travels to ancient Norway and battles against monsters and gods from Norse mythology. In this installment of God of War, Kratos is accompanied by his son Arteus as the two embark to spread the ashes of Kratos’ wife on the highest peak of the Nine Realms. Along the way, the pair encounter numerous beasts from Norse mythology such as Wulvers and Draugurs, along with Norse gods such as Baldur, Modi, and Magni. God of War 4 also includes a variety of side quests and puzzles. This story is coupled with a fluent combat system that focuses on Kratos using his Leviathan Axe and Guardian Shield in a variety of combos and deadly abilities. Overall, God of War 4’s excellent story, combat system, and puzzles make it one of the greatest games of 2018.
#1 Red Dead Redemption 2
Red Dead Redemption 2 is an open world action shooter developed by Rockstar Games. You play as Arthur Morgan, a sharpshooting outlaw that rides with Dutch Van Der Linde and his gang. After a failed robbery in the town of Blackwater, Dutch’s gang suffers huge losses, and is forced to flee to avoid incarceration. The game then focuses on Arthur and his fellow allies trying to rebuild the gang’s funds so they can head West and escape the law. While on this mission, Arthur is involved in train robberies, old scores, lost loves, feuding families, and an ever-changing America that wishes to destroy his way of life. As you go through the game, you get to interact with your fellow gang members and learn about their pasts and personalities, each different and interesting in their own way. Along with the game’s intriguing story, Red Dead Redemption 2 also includes a large open world and a number of side quests and activities that can give you money and special rewards. The game also includes a fast-paced combat system that focuses on swift and steady aim and using the environment as cover. Overall, Red Dead Redemption 2’s fantastic story, interesting characters, numerous side quests, and gritty combat system make it the best game of 2018.
The field for Super Bowl LIII has been narrowed down to just four teams. In both the AFC and the NFC, the top two teams will battle for the coveted trip to the title game, set to take place Feb. 3 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
In the AFC, the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Indianapolis Colts, 31-13, in the Divisional round and the Patriots took down the Los Angeles Chargers, 41-28. The victors will meet again at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City for the AFC championship. This matchup is highly anticipated because, while the Chiefs are often able to score points in bunches, the Patriots will try and slow them down with their run attack. At a meeting back in October in Foxboro, Tom Brady and the Patriots outdueled the Chiefs, 43-40. But this game will be different, and with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line, I believe the Patriots will shut down the Chiefs’ high-powered offense. Yes, Kansas City has Patrick Mahomes and Tyreek Hill and a great tight end in Travis Kelce. But New England has established a run game this season and they are continuing to dominate opposing defensive lines. Brady and Belichick have reached eight straight AFC championship games, a feat that’s practically absurd in the NFL. That’s why I am picking the Patriots to win the AFC title and head to Atlanta for their third straight Super Bowl appearance.
In the NFC, the Los Angeles Rams will travel to New Orleans to play the Saints. This will be the second time these two teams will play each other, with the Saints winning a November matchup, 45-35, in a shootout. This game will be highlighted by the play of the two quarterbacks, Jared Goff of the Rams and Drew Brees of the Saints. The Saints will have home field advantage, but ff the Rams can control the game with Todd Gurley running the ball, they will have a chance. Their secondary will have to contain Michel Thomas of the Saints in the passing game. If Drew Brees has time in the pocket, I believe he will eat up this defense like he did in November and the Saints will defeat the Rams in another shootout.
As Hanover High School prepared for the long-awaited holiday break, Student Council tried to bring some holiday cheer into the building with fun dress up days to give everyone a final push! Since Christmas was on a Tuesday this year, we had a full week before we were released for the break. Five whole days. This was the first year in a long time where Student Council had to come up with five different spirit days. This year, the themes were:
Monday: Holiday Accessory Day
Tuesday: Christmas in July (Hawaiian Theme)
Wednesday: Winter Wonderland (All White)
Thursday: Ugly Sweater Day
Friday: Christmas Pajama Day
Everyone seemed to get into the spirit, especially when it came to the chance to wear pajamas to school. Hope everyone had a wonderful break!
This article was originally printed in November 2014.
I’m someone who always reads the last page of a book first, and the spoilers before I watch the next episode of The Walking Dead. For me, the ending is interesting, but how we get to that ending is the real payoff. So it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that when I was 10 or 11, I begged my older brother to tell me the truth about Santa. When he did, I wasn’t crushed; I didn’t feel fooled or lied to. I felt that a new world had opened, one of getting to play Santa while my younger sister still believed, staying up late on Christmas Eve to wrap presents with my mom and older siblings, being trusted with secrets. I had become, if just for a few hours one night a year, one of the grownups.
My daughter, Amelia, is 10½ and she still believes. A recreation of the royal gown she saw on TV? Santa can make that. A life-sized stuffed rhino that sells for $900. Santa can make that. She’s pretty good at understanding the value of money in everyday situations, that we can’t always afford to buy everything we want at the very moment we want it. But where Santa is concerned, all bets are off. He’s Santa, after all. He can make reindeer fly! He can do anything!
A week before Thanksgiving, she’s already written a letter to Santa for her Elf on the Shelf to deliver. Nicknamed Derek, the elf lives year round with her Barbie dolls but in the weeks before Christmas, he’s supposed to travel nightly to see Santa. (I know this goes against the Elf on the Shelf tradition, but that’s what she decided and who am I to fight it?) It’s not enough for Derek to deliver the notes that Amelia writes, he has to bring one back from Santa too. Imagine how hard it is for me to disguise my handwriting so my pre-teen doesn’t suspect it’s me writing the notes, or forging the hoof-print signature of Rudolph. And beware the wrath when I forget to “deliver” Derek’s letter. I sometimes wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, groggily scribble a note from Santa, and then tiptoe into Amelia’s room to leave it with the elf. It makes for a very nerve-wracking holiday season.
I don’t want to ruin the magic and mystery for her, so I try to tweak it a little. I tell her, “Santa brings what he thinks you need. He’s got to spread his toy-making time and elf labor force’s efforts among all the children in the world.” Or “maybe Derek was too tired to travel to the North Pole last night; he didn’t want to leave his girlfriend Barbie.” But there are already plot holes in the story. Last year, I tried to convince her that Santa leaves gift receipts when she got a pile of clothes (from Grandma Santa) that were too small. And she almost lost faith in him when he brought her the wrong action figure from The Hunger Games (She’s team Peeta, not Gale, jeez, EVERYONE knows that).
If Santa disappoints her again this year, this may be the end of the whole deal. On one hand, I know it’s an inevitable part of growing up, but on the other hand, it signals the end of a chapter in her life, when Santa, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny were real and holidays were magical times. Will she be okay with the truth, like I was, or will she be upset that the magic isn’t real? My hope is that she will understand the reason behind the story of Santa, the idea of giving to others without expecting anything in return, that the magic that made reindeer fly can exist in real life when we do good things for other people.
That may be a lofty idea for a 10½ year old to grasp, so just in case, I’ll spend the next few weeks scouring the malls for an affordable recreation of a royal gown and the biggest stuffed animal that I can fit in my car.
It’s been some time since I was a Christmas punk. I was a whiner and a complete brat in my formative years, a true tinsel-time terror. I wanted this, that or whatever cheap plastic toy made in China. My list was filled with toys I’d end up breaking within a week (I played hard, don’t judge) and I always wanted more. Luckily, I have matured over the years and I’m no longer a whiny brat. (If I saw “kid” me, I would full force dropkick little me in the face). Thus with being a big boy now, my list has decreased to, like, some boots and a new phone. But in truth, it’s all I need. When we were kids, more equaled better, definitely quantity over quality.
When I was 14 or 15, I wanted video games and a couple of toys but most certainly not the absurd amount I once clamored for as a tiny loser. As the years went on, I mostly wanted clothes and adult stuff. Now that I’m a young strapping 18-year-old, I want very little. Which is good; I have enough things in my life that asking my parents for lots of things seems completely juvenile (I cannot stress enough how fast I would uppercut lil’ Eric) I feel the list evolves with everyone because as we are, unfortunately, destined to age, and as we do, our tastes and wants mature.
As per usual, I asked some of the fellow souls trapped in educational purgatory known as HHS what their favorite all-time holiday gifts were. Junior Sarah Powers had an interesting fave in that it was only part of the whole gift. “There was a cow toy on a bike, and I saw the cow toy and went, ‘AHHH, A COW TOY!’ and my parents wanted me to be happy about the bike but I wasn’t.” (I then led her to a padded room with her cow toy.)
Senior Nick Ricciarelli’s favorite gift was his Xbox when he was a young lad. “Yeah, I went pretty crazy for that.”
Senior Maya Collins’ favorite was the stuffed Minnie Mouse doll she got when she was three. She said she carried around for years and I suspect it’s still in her backpack.
My favorite response came from the mad chemist himself, Kenneth Decie. As I barged into the classroom to ask him this question, I saw that nothing had changed since I was in his class last year. The familiar smell of sulfuric acid, lithium, and red phosphorus wafted through the air. Anyway, when I asked him what gift stuck out in his mind, Mr. Decie said it was when he received the ultrasound of his son. It took me a while to mop up all the tears from the floor because that was a beautiful response. Well played, Ken, well played.