Students in the Hanover High School Outreach Club worked with first graders at Cedar School on Monday, Nov. 7, to create crafts in honor of Veterans Day. The finished projects were handed out to veterans at the holiday lunch at the Hanover Council on Aging on Nov. 11.
The Outreach Club was created last year by students including Ashley Stracco and Brody Liebfarth as a way to support local seniors, veterans and families in need. Among its projects are “Cards for Kindness,” where handmade cards are collected for seniors, and gift baskets created and distributed at Christmas and Easter. For more info or to support the club, contact Ashley Stracco or advisor Mrs. McHugh.
Special thanks to Mrs. Johnson, Mrs. Caulfield and Ms. Pollock at Cedar for inviting the high schoolers into their classrooms.
Hanover High’s school spirit was on full display in the week celebrating Homecoming. From Oct. 24-28, students rocked red, white and blue and their brightest neon, most comfortable jammies, favorite jerseys and coolest tropical gear for four days of themed dress-up. They then busted ear drums at the Friday pep rally before coming together to watch the football team trounce North Quincy 42-0. Homecoming included senior night for football and cheer, and the crowning of Jimmy Godin and Sophia Marshall-Pelayo as king and queen.
To kick off this school year for the music and drama departments, Hanover High School transformed the cafeteria into a Cabaret. The October 20 showcase featured 19 acts and was a great way to put the performing arts on center stage. The Cabaret included the HHS Band, Vox choral group and Jazz Ensemble as well as many acts proposed by the students themselves to show off their talents of singing, dancing, acting, comedy and playing instruments.
“From beginning to end, they showed individual initiative — especially through their creativity,” said Mr. Matt Harden, the chair of Hanover Schools’ Fine and Performing Arts who also leads instrumental music at HHS. Mr. Harden orchestrated the production, along with choral director Mr. Michael Wade and drama teacher Mr. Collin Fahey.
The event made an impact on the large audience as well as the performers and crew members who worked backstage. “I loved seeing how talented everyone was, especially people that I don’t usually get to see performing,” said junior Ella Nadeau, who sang “Girl Crush” by L. McKenna, H.Lindsey and L. Rose.
After performing a dance routine, senior Owen Forrand said the reaction from the audience was the highlight of the night. “My favorite part was probably hearing how much people enjoyed my dance and how they thought I did well,” he said. “It was nice to hear that people didn’t notice the mistake I made and that the dance was fun to watch.”
The Cabaret, which began last year as a way to continue live performances amid COVID-19 precautions, was also a great way for the new members of Hanover High School to be introduced to its impressive world of the arts. The schedule this year includes 13: The Musical in November, a drama fest and another play in the spring, and seasonal concerts by choral and instrumental performers. A districtwide festival showcasing fine and performing arts from students in grades k-12 debuted last year and is planned for the spring.
“The arts seem like such an amazing program,” said freshman Alana Cole, who sang “Don’t Rain on my Parade” by B. Merrill and J. Styne at the Cabaret. “It got me very excited to get involved in more activities!”
HHS performing arts students are looking forward to their next production, 13: the Musical. As it grows closer to opening night on Nov. 18, word has been buzzing about this show, the only Broadway musical ever to feature a cast entirely of teens.
Created by Jason Robert Brown, Dan Elish and Robert Horn, 13 tells the story of a teen who moves from New York City to a small Midwestern town. In addition to having to make new friends, Evan Goldman must deal with his parents’ divorce and his upcoming Bar Mitzvah. The musical premiered on Broadway in 2008, and introduced the world to the young actress who would become pop star Ariana Grande. It also recently debuted as a movie on Netflix.
“This show is about growing up and using a little guess and check, maybe failing once in a while, to figure out who you are and where you fit in,” said HHS drama teacher Collin Fahey. “We all feel that at the age of 13, you think you know everything, but ultimately we all need a little more studying, a little more self-discovery and a little more homework.”
The show features contemporary music, humor and relatable characters — all of whom are about to turn 13, Mr. Fahey added. “I think it will be interesting for students to investigate what their middle school experience was like and how it can influence them.”
The musical stars Ella Nadeau as Evan Goldman, Ashley Stracco as Patrice, Baylor Speckmann as Brett, Addy Potter as Archie, Peyton Szymczak as Lucy, and Norah Kelley as Kendra. Mr. Matt Harden, who chairs the district’s Fine and Performing Arts department and leads instrumental music at HHS, will help shape the production, along with choral director Mr. Michael Wade.
Last summer, the Drama Department had chosen for its fall musical Little Women, based on the book by Louisa May Alcott and the Broadway show that debuted on Broadway in 2005. But because another company had already purchased the rights, HHS had to make a different choice, Mr. Fahey said. Mr. Harden suggested they try 13.
“It’s fun to work with because everyone’s been 13,” Mr. Fahey said. “I’ve been 13 and everyone involved has been 13. … It is a really upbeat, fun, hilarious show that I think people are really going to enjoy.”
13: The Musical, will come to life on the auditorium stage Nov. 18-20. Information on ticket sales will be posted on Hanover Schools’ social media soon. I personally think that everyone should give this show a shot, and support the performing arts. As you watch the characters in 13 grow, help nurture the HHS performing arts program as well.
“I am incredibly proud to be part of such a nurturing artistic community here,” Mr. Fahey said, “and I can’t wait to keep creating and keep succeeding.”
Our fall sports teams have showcased their talent and determination this tournament season. Girls soccer won the program’s first state title in 20 years, while competitive cheer and a first-time cross country runner qualified for states. Football made it to the state semifinals, and boys soccer and field hockey reached playoffs as well. Crowds that have come out for the numerous home games have been treated to plenty of action and heart.
Girls Soccer – The Hawks (#4) won their first state title in 20 years after beating Dedham (#12) 1-0 in the title game at Walpole High School on Nov. 19. Sophia Foley scored the winning goal on a pass by Eva Kelleher, and the team survived a penalty kick in the final minutes. Led by senior captains Mary Carven, Cailyn McCarthy and goalie Mia Pongratz, the game was a fitting end to an amazing season!
Flying high from their Patriot League Fisher Division championship, the team kicked off the post-season by edging Martha’s Vineyard (#29) at home Nov. 6 by a score of 2-1. Goals were netted by Foley, a league MVP, and Sophie Schiller. The team next hosted Pentucket Regional (#13) in the round of 16 on Nov. 9, winning by a score of 2-0. Foley and Schiller combined for scoring once again. The Hawks beat North Reading 1-0 in double overtime in the round of 8 on Nov. 12 to secure a spot in the Final Four. Ayla McDermod scored the winning goal and Pongratz continued her outstanding work in goal. They qualified for the state championship after topping Dover-Sherborn (#8) in the Final Four. The game, played Nov. 16 at Weymouth High School, was scoreless through two overtimes before Hanover won on penalty kicks. Natalie Mutchler defended the goal and Callie Baldwin sank the winning shot.
The last time the team made it to the title game was 2000, when they beat Gateway 1-0.
Football: The Hawks (#4) made it to the state semifinals after a season where they often dominated the competition. Led by quarterback Ben Scalzi, their tourney run was nothing but thrills. In the round of 16 on Nov. 4, they defeated Westwood (#13) 42-7. Nick Freel made it to the end zone three times in front of the home crowd, with additional TDs by Joe Curran, Vinny Mancini and Aidan Boutin. In the quarterfinals on Nov. 10, Hanover hosted Walpole (#5) in a nail-biter of a matchup. The lead changed several times in the second half, with Hanover sealing a 40-37 win in the final minutes of the game. The team faced top-seeded Milton in the Final Four on Nov. 18 at Weymouth High School. Down 20-8 at halftime, the Hawks soared back to a 30-26 lead in the second half. A Milton interception in the fourth quarter led to a touchdown and the Hawks lost 32-30. They finished their impressive season by winnig the annual Thanksgiving Day game against Norwell. Scalzi, Curran, Freel, Ben Hickey and David Quinlan were named Patriot League All Stars. Colin Kilgoar won the league academic achievement award and Shane Coleman was honored for sportsmanship.
Competitive Cheer: The team headed to the MSAA State Championships at Worcester State University on Nov. 20 vying for its first-ever state title. With another strong performance full of energy and skills, the team fell short of its goal but finished with a solid fifth place. During the season, the team won two cheer invitationals before winning the Patriot League Fisher Division title on Nov. 5. The league championship event, hosted at Whitman-Hanson Regional High School, also saw the squad named Grand Champions with the highest score of any team. They next took home first place at the South Sectional competition at Duxbury High School on Nov. 13, earning a spot in the state competition.
Boys Soccer: Hanover (#11) made it to the round of 8 before their strong season came to an end. They fell to Belchertown (#3) 3-2 on Nov. 12; goals were scored by A.J. Leone and Ryan Butzbach. The Hawks began the tournament by beating Tantasqua (#22), 2-1, in a round of 32 match on Nov. 4. Goals were scored by Tyler Richards and Ned McCann, with solid work in the goal by James Solari. In the round of 16 on Nov. 9, the Hawks topped Greater New Bedford Vocational Technical High School (#27), 4-0. Goals were scored by James McDermod, Dan Bevilacqua, Aidan Richards and Ben Elliott, with Solari earning the shutout.
Field Hockey: Hanover (#10) extended its Patriot League Fisher Division championship season by topping Auburn (#23) Nov. 5 in the round of 32. The Hawks won on the home field 4-1, with three goals by Katie Radzik, league MVP and All Star, and one by Mae Buchanan. For the round of 16, they traveled to Swampscott (#7) on Nov. 8 but lost 2-1. In addition to Radzik, five other players were named leage All Stars: Ava Toglia, Mary Kate Vermette, Merrie DeCoste, Sam Burke, and Kenzie Foley. Coach Bostwick helmed the league all-star game on Nov. 15. Congratulations on a great season!
Cross Country: Sophomore Cam Bradford had a solid debut season for the team, earning Patriot League MVP, finishing 27th at the Divisional championships and qualifying for states. She finished 50th out of 180 runners at the state meet, held at Fort Devens on Nov. 19. The team sent six girls and six boys to the Divisional Championships, held at Stanley Park in Worcester on Nov. 12. The team also competed in the league championship at Hingham High School on Oct. 29. Jack Douglas and Anna Mahoney earned league sportsmanship honors for the season, and Tom Perkins and Jillian Farrell were named scholar-athletes.
Golf: Junior captain Chris Doherty competed in the Division 2 state championship on Oct. 25 at Maplegate Country Club in Bellingham.
Horror is one of the most popular genres in film. Most companies have a new addition this Halloween season to the somewhat declining, yet still recognizable franchises such as Halloween, Child’s Play and Saw. But while Lawrence Gordon’s Predator franchiseis considered by many to be science fiction, its title monster provides enough thrills and chills to qualify as horror. Below is my evaluation of the franchise, from the original made 35 years ago to the most recent released earlier this year.
Predator (1987): The first installment of the franchise has a simple premise as an alien hunter stalks humans in a rainforest. The only recognizable actor in the movie is Arnold Schwarzenegger as Dutch. Predator is a classic for a line like “Get to the Chopper.” Predator is an interesting movie about warfare in Latin America and adapting to your surroundings. On the movie ranking website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a score of 80 percent. And I think that this score is justified. It’s a cult classic, with many memorable and meme-worthy scenes.
Predator 2 (1990): Now the hunt moves to Los Angeles, with the alien killing gang members, drug lords and the occasional cop. It stars Danny Glover as Lieutenant Mike Harrigan and Gary Busey as Special Agent Peter Keyes. Many fans of the series don’t really like this movie because it shows that the Predator has morals, refusing to kill children or pregnant women. Very cool to me that the Predator has morals. He also shows off his voice mimicry and swearing. According to Rotten Tomatoes, the movie earns a score of 32 percent, but I think it deserves at least 52 percent. It wasn’t a bad movie, but some of the dialogue doesn’t make any sense. Also, in one scene, the Predator starts killing random unarmed people on a train even though it’s been established that he will only kill people who have a weapon.
Alien vs. Predator (2004): In a shocking turn of events, this and the 2007 sequel aren’t considered to be in the Predator franchise, even though the movies side more with the Predator than the Alien. The movie is okay; if you remove the bad CGI and unjustified character decisions, you would be left with a good 40 minutes of a decent film. The plot is that an alien hunter stalks humans and aliens, in a temple dedicated to the hunters under some ice in Antarctica. There is almost no one recognizable in this movie except for the old guy from Detroit: Become Human, Lance Henriksen as Bishop. The only things we learn is the Predators hunted the Aliens for sport on Earth and were worshipped as gods. Oh, and the Predator doesn’t kill people who are sick. The script was badly written, nothing that the characters do makes any sense and some of the characters are dumber than bricks. On Rotten Tomatoes, it’s scored 22 percent, and I completely agree.
Alien vs. Predator: Requiem(2007): This movie was worse than the 2004 version. The CGI is horrendous. They throw us into this miserable town and expect us to remember everyone’s sub-plots before they all meet up. The only actor of any significance is David Hornsby, from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. There are tons of clichés that make the movie longer than it has to be. The concept of an Alien-Predator hybrid is admittedly cool but not enough to balance out the rest of the movie. The Predator in this movie is portrayed as the hero because the only things it kills are a lot of Aliens, skinning one human and killing a teenage girl by accident. Rotten Tomatoes gives it a score of 12 percent, which I think is generous. I believe it should be 7 percent or lower since this one hour and 42 minutes of screenplay drags like a 3-hour special.
Predators (2010): This movie follows a group of dangerous individuals on a completely different planet, which is basically a giant hunting ground for the Predators to stalk humans stolen from Earth for sport and meat. The recognizable actors in this are Danny Trejo as Cuchillo and Laurence Fishburne as Ronald Noland. This movie was just okay. The plot was good, I was invested in the story, and there were a few twists at the end, but that was about it. The mechanics of the planet are confusing. One character tells the new group of humans that he killed 2-3 Predators in a 10-year span, but the group kills the same amount in one day which doesn’t make a lot of sense. The characters have as much depth as a piece of cardboard. But the character’s design is okay. According to Rotten Tomatoes, the score this movie was given was a 65 percent.
The Predator (2018): To be frank, since I have a Hulu subscription, I could watch all of these movies one at a time, one per day. Then I found out that I would need to buy a $6 add-on subscription for this movie or pay $3.99 to watch it once on YouTube. This movie is atrocious in every way, shape and form. Even though there are some exciting elements, the movie just felt boring. Even though I went onto Youtube and watched a pirated version that cost me nothing except for my time, I felt like I needed a refund. According to Rotten Tomatoes, this movie earns a score of 33 percent, which perfectly encapsulates how I and many other people felt when watching.
Prey (2022): Now we have finally reached the newest entry in the franchise, and what a movie to end this with: Prey. Prey is a prequel, set in 1719 where we follow a Native American woman named Naru. And after careful consideration, to me, this is the best movie of all of them. The movie is well written and the characters feel like they have their own feelings and conflicts. It kind of ties into Predator 2, it feels raw and unsettling and I felt like I was actually rooting for the main character to stay alive instead of dying. This was the most interesting addition to the Predator franchise. The Predator itself was done with nearly all practical effects instead of CGI, which is cool. Rotten Tomatoes gave it 93 percent. I completely agree with this decision, as this movie is my absolute favorite, I’m not sure if it is just my love for history or if it is actually that good. I highly recommend it after watching Predator and Predator 2.
This past September, I took a trip down to Pennsylvania with the main purpose of touring different colleges in and around the Philadelphia area. Initially, I was not very excited as it was a very, very long drive from Hanover and I’ve never been too fond of the hustle and bustle of life in the city. I now stand corrected. After spending a couple of days exploring Philly, I discovered that I’m actually quite fond of the city and its diversity as well as the hundreds of restaurants, shops, and historical sights it holds. It only took a small trip for my opinions to completely change, and if you’re not fond of urban life like I was, I definitely recommend giving this city, at least, a chance.
Walking through one of the main drags of Philadelphia, Benjamin Franklin Parkway, was definitely a highlight of the trip. Although it’s a little hectic crossing the double lanes of traffic and rotary exits, the views and atmosphere are unmatched. Lined up and down the street are graceful and vibrantly-colored flags that pay respects to the hundreds of nations of our world, which I found to complement the already welcoming atmosphere. I think this stretch of the city epitomizes one of the more famous nicknames of Philadelphia: the City of Brotherly Love. These feelings only grew stronger as I approached the Philadelphia Museum of Art at the end of the parkway and, of course, the all-mighty state of Rocky Balboa from the Rocky movies, which took place in Philadelphia. The fact that the people of Philadelphia loved the Rocky movies so much that they erected a statue in their honor makes me laugh, but I also appreciate this sense of “brotherly love” that comes through in the people’s love for their city. I’ve come to realize that this love for one’s home is present in not only Philadelphia, but in many cities of our nation — especially Boston. Urban life is hectic but it definitely promotes a sense of family and community amidst such a diverse group of Americans.
A huge benefit of living on the East Coast is that its ties to American history run deep in the foundations of cities and towns which have been around since before the Revolutionary War. Examples of these cities are Boston, New York, and Philadelphia. After going on this trip, I think Philadelphia is possibly the most historically rich area of the entire country, aside from Washington D.C. I traversed many blocks in order to see the Liberty Bell as well as Independence Hall, which is considered the birthplace of America after the Declaration of Independence was signed there in 1776, almost 250 years ago. The fact that such large metropolises, now modernized and changing every day, are hundreds of years old and hold such historical significance to our nation really illustrates how much America has developed and achieved over the years. Cities like Philadelphia and Boston are representations of America’s accomplishments and the community-fueled foundations in which it was built upon, which I have grown to love.
As much as I did enjoy Philadelphia, don’t worry, I’ll always be a Bostonian at heart. My exposure to the chaotic yet welcoming atmosphere of this city has changed my views on urban life in general; there is so much to offer, from local restaurants to historical landmarks. While our cities are certainly not paradises, and have socio-economic problems different from suburbs like Hanover, they are important to American identity and history. After this trip, I definitely see myself going into the city more often and, if you’ve been nervous of the hustle and bustle, maybe you can give it a chance too.
The US Open is a hardcourt tennis tournament that is held every August in Queens, New York, serving as the final Grand Slam event of the year. It follows the Australian Open in January, the French Open in May, and Wimbledon in June. While each tournament is packed full of excitement for tennis fans, the 2022 Women’s US Open was a rollercoaster of emotions. Serena Williams played her last tournament, with the crowd roaring in support and honoring her incredible career. In addition, Ons Jabeur received a much higher ranking in the world of professional tennis players despite a tough loss, and Iga Swiatek set history as the first Polish woman to win the US Open.
Anticipation for the US Open was high when Serena announced in early August that the tournament would be her last before retiring. Serena, 41, began her career at age 14, winning her first US Open in 1999 when she was just 17. Since then, she has won the US Open another five times and claimed 17 other Grand Slam titles. She also won four Olympic gold medals. Talk about an amazing career! The crowds roared for Serena as she stepped on the court, expecting to be finished in the first round due to age and injuries; however, Serena made it to the third round of the tournament, playing well but unable to defeat Aija Tomljanovic from Australia. The world of tennis lost an amazing player, a number 1-ranked professional for 319 weeks who, with her sister Venus, has transformed the game. But it will be exciting to see what Serena has in store for her future.
While Serena was making history, Ons Jabeur also had quite the tournament. Ons is one of the greatest tennis players to come out of Africa, specifically Tunisia, and without a doubt she will continue to make her country proud with her amazing play. Jabeur made it all the way to the finals of the US Open, but fell short of the title. Despite her loss, Ons increased her professional ranking from number 5 at the start of the tournament to number two after the final. She is loved around the world for her varied game and dropshots as well as her attitude, being very open to the fans, the media, and other players.
The player who ended Jabeur’s title hopes and was crowned champion of the US Open was Iga Swiatek of Poland. At just 21 years old, Iga has won three other Grand Slam titles. This tournament was not easy for Iga. She had a lot of tough games leading up to the final, but was able to persevere and take the trophy home. The number one player also made history for her nation as the first Polish tennis player to ever win the US Open. Iga is only getting started on her tennis career, and the next few years of tennis will be greatly impacted by her amazing performance.
As a junior, I have been part of many different clubs and activities at Hanover High School. It has been fun to try out everything that I can, including writing for the newspaper and acting with the Drama Club, but the most influential part of my high school experience has been Unified Sports and Friendship Connection. These connected clubs promote the interaction of peer students with those in POST and RISE, the district’s special education programs for teens with severe disabilities.
RISE, or Reaching Independence through Support and Education, helps enrolled students build independence in academics, life skills and communications. Some students work with their teacher and paraprofessionals in a substantially separate classroom while attending elective classes with their peers. Others attend General Education classes for part of the day. POST partners with Bridgewater State University to serve students 18-22 years old, focusing on skills to help with the transition from high school to adult life.
Since 7th grade, I have been a part of Unified Sports at Hanover High School. Being a peer in this club has been an amazing experience because all the students involved are wonderful people, always willing and excited to play. Three Thursdays a month, the group has practice for the sport of the season, which is soccer in the fall, basketball in the winter, and kickball in the spring. These practices prepare us for games against Unified Teams from other schools or games against the HHS staff. On the remaining Thursday of each month, most of the Unified teammates gather for Friendship Connection, where we play games indoors and do crafts. Many of the crafts are presents for staff in the school or put on display for students and visitors to see.
Our first soccer game of the season will be on Oct. 20 on the Hanover Middle School soccer field. Fans are welcome to watch, and students are always encouraged to come play with us! The joy on players’ faces when they make a pass or score a goal is sure to bring a smile to all who watch.
To me, Unified has built so many meaningful relationships and connections with other students in our school. I feel like I have made a connection with all the students involved that has grown each time I come to practice. I am always so happy whenever I see anyone involved with this club, either in the halls at school or at our practices and meetings, and I can tell that the students, peers and teachers are always happy to see me. I’m so grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of it for so many years. It’s the thing that I look forward to the most. No matter what has happened throughout the week, I always know that Unified and Friendship Connection will put me in an amazing mood.
Unified and Friendship Connection are always welcoming new peer members and would love to have more people join these clubs. If you are interested, practices are Thursdays from 2:30-3:30 pm, and we meet near the HHS media room. You can also contact HHS Spanish teacher Allyson Gately, who advises the clubs with Mrs. Janet Mann. The clubs hold a special place in her heart, Mrs. Gately says, “because “lifelong friendships are made.”
“The POST and RISE students bring the peer students so much joy, and vice versa,” Mrs. Gately adds. “It’s a beautiful thing to experience.”