Wildcat Tracks http://wildcattracks.weston.org The Student News Site of Weston High School Fri, 31 Jan 2020 15:18:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3.2 Senior plans to play baseball at Harvard http://wildcattracks.weston.org/2491/features/senior-plans-to-play-baseball-at-harvard-2/ http://wildcattracks.weston.org/2491/features/senior-plans-to-play-baseball-at-harvard-2/#respond Fri, 31 Jan 2020 15:18:53 +0000 http://wildcattracks.weston.org/?p=2491 The crack of the bat, a base hit, reaching base, then doing it again. This has become a common trend for the Weston Wildcats senior center fielder and pitcher Peter Messervy. After his final season at WHS, Messervy will be attending Harvard University to play baseball in the Ivy League.

After four years at WHS, Messervy expressed excitement for playing at Harvard and explained how he was drawn to the aspect of teamwork that the sport fosters.

“I’ve always loved being a part of a team and feeling like I could contribute to something bigger than myself,” Messervy said. “Baseball has also been something I’ve been good at, so that has helped me enjoy it.”

While Messervy was recruited after by many schools, he ultimately chose Harvard for the connections he felt he shared with the coaching staff.

“The last few colleges I visited were Duke, BC, Yale and Columbia,” Messervy said. “Harvard, however, was set apart because of the coaching staff; I felt like I had a good connection with them, and I could definitely see myself with them for four years.”

The division one schools Messervy was recruited by require a high level of talent for student athletes. Varsity baseball head coach John Danchik commented on Messervy’s talent and how he has improved throughout the years.

“Peter was one of the two people since I’ve been here who was on [the] varsity [baseball team since] freshman year,” Danchik stated. “Every year, I’ve noticed his athletic ability improve. Peter is, if not the most coachable player, one of the most coachable players I have ever coached.”

Along with his talent, Messervy’s fellow teammate and senior captain Michael Rodgers commented on his leadership and character.

“Peter is a good captain and leader,” Rodgers explained. “Whether you need someone for advice to improve your game or simply just a person to play catch with, he’s always there.”

Furthermore, Rodgers conveyed his appreciation for Messervy’s work ethic.

“He works hard all the time, whether it is working out, getting in the batting cages, or getting coaching from individual coaches. He also plays year-round to improve his game,” Rodgers said.

In addition to Messervy’s work ethic and leadership, junior Marc Schulman expressed how Messervy has been a role model for many of his younger teammates.

“He’s always been someone I have looked up to. More importantly, he’s been a role model for me as a teammate,” Schulman explained. “He’s been someone I’ve been able to turn to when I’m struggling. I also look up to the way he keeps the team together in games and have admired his leadership qualities.”

Messervy attributed his great work ethic, skill, leadership, and success to the important role models who have guided him throughout the years.

“Both of my parents have been extremely influential for me,” Messervy stated. “While neither of my parents actually played baseball, they’ve each been supportive in the years I’ve played.”

After his collegiate career, Messervy expressed his aspiration to potentially play at the next level after college.

“I’ve definitely thought about playing in the minor leagues, and it’s something I would be interested in, provided it doesn’t affect my future career,” Messery said.

As Messervy finishes his final season with WHS, he stated that he is looking forward to the challenge of collegiate baseball.

“I understand that college baseball is at a whole other level compared to high school baseball, but I’m up for the challenge,” Messervy explained. “I’m a very hard worker, so I am willing to do whatever I need to succeed at the next level.”

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Diving into a new season with coach Mikaela Thompson http://wildcattracks.weston.org/2742/features/diving-into-a-new-season-with-coach-mikaela-thompson/ http://wildcattracks.weston.org/2742/features/diving-into-a-new-season-with-coach-mikaela-thompson/#respond Tue, 28 Jan 2020 15:48:03 +0000 http://wildcattracks.weston.org/?p=2742 The Red Tide is diving into the season with a new yet familiar coach. Taking a gap year before attending medical school, Mikaela Thompson is returning to WHS as a decorated collegiate diver to coach the next generation.

“Coming into my first year coaching at Weston, my goal for the season is to support my divers to the best of my ability and to help motivate and develop them to be better divers, athletes, and teammates,” Thompson said. “Although our practice times don’t always line up with the swimmers, I  want to be as involved with the swimmers as possible, cheering them on at meets and getting to know them, so that they can look to me as an additional resource.”

With the encouragement of co-head coach Claude Valle, Thompson began diving her freshman year of high school with an extensive gymnastics background. 

“All throughout middle school, I would run into [Valle] in the hallways. He knew that I was a competitive gymnast, so each time he would encourage me to try diving,” Thompson said. “When I stopped gymnastics at the end of 8th grade, I was looking for new sports to try, and decided to give diving a shot.”

Part of what makes Thompson an appropriate fit for coaching high school divers is how recently she experienced the life of a high school athlete.

“She is different because she is so young and just came out of Harvard diving,” freshman Elle Sumsion said. “She understands the struggles of learning new skills and the pressure of school.”

Having graduated from WHS in 2015, Thompson is well acquainted with the ways of the diving team. 

“It is nice to have a coach who dove for the same program because she understands the environment and expectations of the team,” junior Phoebe Phol said. “I really like having Mikeala as a coach.”

With diving being both a test of physical and mental strength, Thompson recognized the challenges and lessons that student-athletes face.

“I think one of the most important things being a student-athlete has taught me is how to fail and be resilient. In diving you fail every day, whether it’s a bad meet, or smacking on a dive,” Thompson said. “You have to be able to get back up on the board after that and say ‘let’s try that again, and this time I’m going to get it right’  regardless of whether or not you believe that to be true.”

Bringing a supportive and sunny disposition to the pool deck,  Thompson stands out compared to the other coaches. 

“Mikaela is different from other coaches because her coaching style is based on encouragement and not only telling us what we are doing wrong, but how to fix it,” Phol said. 

Looking ahead, senior Andrew Aggouras anticipates this ability to achieve his goals with the help of Thompson. 

“I hope I can be able to learn how to better my dives and be able to keep them and not get a mental block. I also hope to go to states this year. I have yet to get that far,” Aggouras said. “I know this is possible because I have Mikaela right by my side coaching me.”

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Angad Jasuja’s Work and His Accomplishment http://wildcattracks.weston.org/2730/features/angad-jasujas-work-and-his-accomplishment/ http://wildcattracks.weston.org/2730/features/angad-jasujas-work-and-his-accomplishment/#respond Mon, 27 Jan 2020 16:46:54 +0000 http://wildcattracks.weston.org/?p=2730 In late November, senior Angad Jasuja represented Weston High School when he attended and won the 2019 IEEE Healthcare Innovations and Point of Care Technologies Conference in Maryland.

In order to win this competition, Jasuja worked for an extensive period of time to create his final project. 

“I developed a functional electrical stimulation device for personal stroke rehabilitation,” Jasuja stated. “It introduced a novel method of individualized rehabilitation for stroke patients that exhibit weakness in one side of their body.”

In addition, AP Biology teacher Mary Liu expanded on his work that led to this accomplishment. 

He needed perseverance to really develop the idea, do research, and learn new skills necessary for making a prototype. He went through many iterations of both the programming and device component, but also in his written paper and oral presentations,” Liu said.

Jasuja started this project sophomore year in Honors Biology, and was able to work with outside of school sources to elaborate on his project, and eventually he became nominated based on his work.

“I submitted a four page paper for a peer reviewed publication describing the device and how it functions,” Jasuja stated. “I submitted for the NIH/IEEE Healthcare Innovations and Point of Care Technologies conference where I was selected out of PhDs and Post docs globally to give an oral presentation in the ‘Rising Stars in Healthcare Innovations session.’”

Besides this scientific accomplishment, Jasuja demonstrated qualities that show the type of person that he is today.

“Angad is not only a bright, hardworking student, but he is one of the most persistent people I have ever encountered,” Liu stated. “Whether it’s a question he is trying to answer or a project he is working on he is determined to get to the bottom of the matter devoting whatever time and energy it takes to figure it out.”

Finally, Liu reflected on where Jasuja’s qualities will take him in his future work.

“This type of resiliency, to continue despite failures, rejections, and mistakes has allowed him to accomplish great things and will enable him to take on even greater challenges,” Liu stated.

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Fall play shines at Weston High School http://wildcattracks.weston.org/2721/arts-entertainment/fall-play-shines-at-weston-high-school/ http://wildcattracks.weston.org/2721/arts-entertainment/fall-play-shines-at-weston-high-school/#respond Mon, 27 Jan 2020 03:30:33 +0000 http://wildcattracks.weston.org/?p=2721 Comedy and Shakespeare took over the Weston High School auditorium in the Theatre Company’s rendition of the classic Twelfth Night. Running from November 21-23, students took a different interpretation of this Shakespearian show.

“The cast did a really good job of making it funny and understandable to the audience, and it seemed like the actors all had a fun time doing it” senior Ezra Gordon said.  

The Theatre Company, otherwise known as T. Co, worked hard since the second week of school to put this play together. One of the biggest challenges with the production and performance of Twelfth Night was interpreting the Shakesphearian Language.

 “Shakespearian lines are really just not English at all. I think everybody really struggled to have any idea what they were saying,” senior Eric Sakkas, who played the male lead Duke Orsino, said. 

Through many practices and hours spent in rehearsals, the cast was able to overcome a difficult script. 

“[When] it started, people came in twice or three times a week, and then for the past month and a half I’d say, people have been coming in basically every day,” senior Helen Townsend, who played the role of Maria, said. 

The stage crew worked hard designing and practicing moving the set in preparation for opening night. The setting and costumes also contributed to bringing the story to the stage.   

“I also like how they moved the setting of the play to the Prohibition Era during the 1920’s, so they could just put alcohol everywhere in the scene. As actor Helen Townsend explained, any and all the plot inconsistencies can be blamed on the characters being drunk,” senior Joanne Lee said. 

As well as changing the setting as the play to the prohibition era, Slotnick described how she made changes to the play to make it easier to digest. 

“I cut the piece down… to cut out some of the most obscure references… and also to make it a run-time that I think is more appropriate for a high school show,” Slotnick said.

The actors noted that repeating performances can be a challenging part of the fall play.

“Usually there’s a show that we have that doesn’t go well, but all three went pretty well,” Sakkas said. 

Throughout all the shows and practices, the actors improved in many different areas. 

“I was particularly pleased with how smoothly  the show ran — the scene changes were tight, the characterization was clear, and the actors relaxed into their performances from night to night,” Slotnick said. 

T. Co. is now looking forward to the Winter One Act Play, Radium Girls on February 27, 28, 29, and March 14.

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Varsity boys hockey team looks forward to a great season http://wildcattracks.weston.org/2735/sports/varsity-boys-hockey-team-looks-forward-to-a-great-season/ http://wildcattracks.weston.org/2735/sports/varsity-boys-hockey-team-looks-forward-to-a-great-season/#respond Mon, 27 Jan 2020 03:10:05 +0000 http://wildcattracks.weston.org/?p=2735 The dedicated Weston and Dover-Sherborn boys varsity hockey team consists of players from two different towns.They do a good job managing the difficult practice times and bonding all the players. 

My favorite thing about the team is the level of dedication,” head coach Tom Bourque said. “Unlike most high school sports, we do not practice after school. Most of our practices are at night at two different locations, so it’s tough on the players’ schedules.”

Even though the team consists of players from both Dover-Sherborn and Weston, the team is working on developing a strong bond between both towns. 

“We hope to grow as a team and establish a great bond between the players.  We want 

to grow a tradition of community service and winning with class,” Bourque said. “We feel good about the bond and the strides we took last year in bringing the two schools together.”

Despite the experience and skill on the team, the team needs to work on their motivation to start winning more games. 

“We have the skill to beat any team, we just don’t have the determination that the teams we are playing have,” freshman Finn Maher said. “If we want to win, we have to change that.”

After the team missed last year’s tournament, they are working hard to make it this year. 

“We play 22 games and only need 10 wins to make states,” freshman Thomas Sacco said. “We can easily still make it and be successful.”

The team’s record is 3-7. Their next game is on Wednesday, January 22 vs. Norton High School at Natick Chase Arena. 

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Parking Committee finalizes solution plan for parking at WHS http://wildcattracks.weston.org/2714/news/parking-committee-finalizes-solution-plan-for-parking-at-whs/ http://wildcattracks.weston.org/2714/news/parking-committee-finalizes-solution-plan-for-parking-at-whs/#respond Tue, 07 Jan 2020 15:14:29 +0000 http://wildcattracks.weston.org/?p=2714 After receiving and reviewing a total of 202 parking applications from juniors and seniors, the WHS Parking Committee finalized its solutions for the overcrowded parking lot at WHS. The committee handed out assigned spots to all 124 senior applicants on December 7, while 14 junior applicants were given spots via a lottery on December 10. 

“The committee thought that whatever we did, we had to have effective enforcement,” committee member and WHS principal Anthony Parker said. “Having assigned spots is easier for enforcement. We’ll know whose car is in the right spot, and whose car is not.” 

The decision to prioritize seniors was based on a near 60% approval from a school-wide survey sent out in early October. 

“I felt that [seniors should be prioritized] from the beginning. We all did, but the survey confirmed it,” Parker said. “The committee was happy with this decision, and the superintendent was happy with it [as well].” 

With 124 assigned senior spaces, as well as two-dozen faculty who would need to move from the grass to the parking lot in the winter, no parking spots are available to the majority of the 78 junior applicants. Although parking on the berm on the sidewalk of the east side of Wellesley street was available earlier this year, the onset of snow in early December eliminated this option. 

In a letter sent out to the school community on November 22, the Parking Committee recommended that juniors should start to seek other methods of transportation such as buses and carpools.

“Certainly, as the weather clears in the spring, we may be able to return to the temporary grass spaces and will amend our parking protocols accordingly,” the committee said in the aforementioned letter. 

A parked car without a permit will be subject to ticketing or towing for both faculty and students. However, the entire lot will be open for any driver after 3:15 p.m. to compensate for student athletes who want to bring their vehicle to the school for late practices. Students may also obtain a parking pass for a day by having their guardian contact Lori Reid in the attendance office beforehand.

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Boys Varsity Basketball team hopes to win state championship http://wildcattracks.weston.org/2716/features/boys-varsity-basketball-team-hopes-to-win-state-championship/ http://wildcattracks.weston.org/2716/features/boys-varsity-basketball-team-hopes-to-win-state-championship/#respond Thu, 02 Jan 2020 15:09:17 +0000 http://wildcattracks.weston.org/?p=2716 The Weston Wildcats Boys Varsity Basketball team enters the 2019-20 season looking to improve on last season’s success. The team ended with a 13-11 record last year, finishing one win away from the final four and losing in the MIAA North Regional Final to Dracut. The Wildcats currently have a 3-1 record as they prepare to host Waltham on January 3.

After last season’s disappointment, senior Noah Igel-Dunn explained how the team is moving forward. 

“We are all very excited to get going. It was a tough way to end the season last year, so we are motivated to put that behind us and begin a new season,” Igel-Dunn said. 

In an effort to succeed in the state tournament again, many members of the roster have been working to improve for this season.

“The work started in the offseason, and not just with preseason games, but with team workouts, getting together for food, team bonding and things like that,” junior Alton Jenkins said. “We were making the effort to improve as a team from September, so it’s not even something we worry about now.”

Despite nine seniors graduating from the team and last season’s starting point guard Dana Williams transferring to St. Sebastian’s, the team’s confidence has not wavered.

“We feel like we have the talent to continue to be successful. I expect a lot of guys who didn’t get a lot of playing time last year to be major contributors to a winning team this season,” Igel-Dunn said. “Our team also may need to adapt to the new players spreading the floor more.”

With a new team mainly composed of new players, junior Will Van Houten explained the added role he will be taking on as an upperclassmen.

“I’m just attempting to maintain a good culture and setting a good example for the underclassmen to follow,” Van Houten said. 

The winning culture Weston has created over the past few seasons gives the team a specific goal going into the season. 

“The expectation is the same it’s been the last couple years, which is to win a state championship,” Van Houten said. “It will be a challenge for sure, if we put in the work it is definitely attainable.” 

The Wildcats have a difficult schedule this season, including the renewal of various rivalry games. 

“We as always are looking forward to renewing our rivalries with Bedford and Wayland as those games are always filled with excitement,” Igel-Dunn said.

One of Weston’s games grants an unusual opportunity as the team will face Waltham at the TD Garden in Boston.

“Playing at the TD Garden this year is a great honor and opportunity that our team has this year, and being able to showcase our game on that court will be electrifying,” Jenkins said. “But no matter the court we play on, our game will speak for itself, no matter the location.”

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WHS Students look for success at the 61 annual DECA Regional Conference http://wildcattracks.weston.org/2712/news/whs-students-look-for-success-at-the-61-annual-deca-regional-conference/ http://wildcattracks.weston.org/2712/news/whs-students-look-for-success-at-the-61-annual-deca-regional-conference/#respond Wed, 11 Dec 2019 18:46:25 +0000 http://wildcattracks.weston.org/?p=2712 Every year for the past 8 years, WHS students have competed in the Regional Conference for Distributive Education Clubs of America, or DECA, in hopes of reaching the States and then the International Conference.

This year, Corey Guerra, the head of DECA at WHS, is taking advantage of a new method to try and help the DECA team.

“There’s a company called Competition University that we are starting with for the first time and I think it’s going to do very well. It’s a lot more structured, in terms of practice role plays and practice exams,” Guerra said. “I think this Competition University will be able to streamline things a little bit easier for students, and they can also go at their own pace.”

Students don’t only participate in role plays, but also participate in different types of business presentations, like seniors and executive board members Nikki Liu, Daniel Lydon, and Joseph Lydon.

“Basically, you talk about a business plan that you have,” Liu said. “[My partners and I] are thinking of using drones as a transportation for undeveloped countries to transport medication and blood to them. We can apply it to the U.S. when we have natural disasters, like what happened in New Orleans. We make a presentation for it, whether it’s in a powerpoint or on a board.”

Other events that WHS students are competing in are ones that raise awareness for issues that they care about.

“I am competing in the Community Awareness Project, where my partner and I will raise awareness for an issue that we feel strongly about: animal abuse,” senior and executive board member Preston Wong said. “As of right now, we are planning to run many different events to promote awareness, and we are beginning to contact different organizations for help.”

Some students join DECA because they want to challenge themselves outside of the classroom, like sophomore Gregoire Marsot.

“I wanted to challenge myself in a way that school doesn’t offer. Although business courses are offered at WHS, they do not tend to have you apply the much needed skills of the business world,” Marsot said. “I find the research and the physical project to be quite difficult. DECA is not easy, you have to push through the work. Not everyone can do that.”

Like previous years, Guerra feels confident in the team’s ability to make it far.

“I think that we have a good strong team. We have a lot of returning people, we do have a lot of new people. It’s hard to gauge as early as we are, but I feel confident in the new students that are coming in,” Guerra said. “I have a really strong executive board, so I think that they have taken on a really good, strong leadership role.”

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Student Government Officials work to make improvements for the class of 2023 http://wildcattracks.weston.org/2706/news/student-government-officials-work-to-make-improvements-for-the-class-of-2023/ http://wildcattracks.weston.org/2706/news/student-government-officials-work-to-make-improvements-for-the-class-of-2023/#respond Fri, 06 Dec 2019 14:08:04 +0000 http://wildcattracks.weston.org/?p=2706 On October 26, the class of 2023 voted for their student government representatives for the 2019-2020 academic year. Freshman Theo Luu was elected for president, Grace Kirk was voted vice president, Haven Trodden was voted secretary, Matthew Korbin was elected treasurer, and Coco Kouyoumjian was elected student council representative. 

“I was really surprised and excited when I found out I got elected because I couldn’t wait to start making improvements to our grade,” Kirk said in reaction to the election results. 

The election this year was different than past years, due to the fact that there is no student activities director this year. 

“I wasn’t ever as involved as I was this year,” faculty advisor Thea Ruggiano said. “Nobody was doing it because there was no activities director. It took a lot of work. But overall, it wasn’t hard.”

Despite this setback, the student government members have already begun their work on events and fundraising for their class.

“We just did the class breakfast, but Special Olympics is coming up and I think we are working with the seniors at our next meeting and they are going to teach us how it goes. We are also trying to start a Google Classroom [page] for our grade,” Trodden stated.  

This year, the freshman class is running the Special Olympics event that takes place on February 2. This event was previously managed by the senior student government members for the past four years. 

“We had a meeting regarding Special Olympics, so this is our community service project [that] we will do for the next four years. One freshman class takes it on for four years,” Ruggiano said. “It’s a huge deal and we will need a lot of volunteers.” 

Along with these events, student government is also working to make clothes and merchandise for the class. 

  “We’re trying to find wholesale vendors for class merchandise so we can reach our quota for the end of the year,” Kouyoumjian said. 

While there are the standard fundraisers that are done every year, the student government members are working together to come up with new ideas for events. 

“We want the officers to put their heads together and think of some new creative ideas we can do,” Ruggiano said. 

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Winter Festival to bring festivities to Weston community http://wildcattracks.weston.org/2667/news/winter-festival-to-bring-festivities-to-weston-community/ http://wildcattracks.weston.org/2667/news/winter-festival-to-bring-festivities-to-weston-community/#respond Wed, 27 Nov 2019 14:28:47 +0000 http://wildcattracks.weston.org/?p=2667

The Winter Festival, sponsored by the Women’s Community League of Weston, or the WCL, will host a variety of activities on the Town Green on December 8. From 2:30 p.m. to 5:15 p.m., the whole town will be invited to participate in an afternoon of winter festivities to celebrate the WCL’s Centennial.

This year, the festival will host various entertainment groups from the Weston Public Schools and the community. Having run a booth at the Winter Festival last year, senior Aidan Chen explained what can be expected at the festival.

“It’s different than things like Spring Fling a

nd Pumpkin Festival because it is a bit colder, but there’s definitely a variety of activities to be had,” he said. “Last year, there were activities for people of every age, like music performances in the Town Hall and snack booths.”

Planning for WCL’s Centennial event began last year when the first Winter Festival was organized and held on the Town Green. WCL president Regina Hajjar spoke about the various events planned for the community to enjoy at this year’s festival. 

“We’re going to have the Polar Express Train, balloon animals, face paintings, and cookie decorating stations. We’re also going to have more games and activities for older kids, such as bean toss and a skating rink,” Hajjar said. “And we’re trying to add more firepits, which are fun for any age.”  

In Weston’s history, the WCL has fostered social, educational and philanthropic opportunities for the entire community.  The Winter Festival is one of their most recent ideas. 

“We wanted to do a community-building event, and we came up with the Winter Festival,” Hajjar said. “We didn’t know how it was going to go last year because it was the first time we partnered with the Boy and Girl Scouts, the Rotary Club, Land’s Sake, the Art & Innovation Center, Weston Dads, Weston Child Community Association and other various groups.” 

Last year’s Winter Festival had a total turnout of almost 2000 guests, and Hajjar spoke on what she hopes the event will achieve this year.

 “We’re really trying to create a venue where organizations and the community can come together and celebrate,” she said. “Even though the Women’s Community League is sponsoring the event, this is really an event where many organizations can come together for the community. All of these events are open to the whole community free of charge.”

WHS students will also be participating by running booths or performing in the Town Hall. 

“I will be performing with the [WHS] chorus and with my acapella group, Team AC,” senior Helen Townshend said. “We have been working really hard, and we have a self-arranged Christmas medley for the festival.”

WHS student volunteers are invited to sign up for the event on the WCL website wclweston.clubexpress.com under the volunteer tab. For more questions, email Regina Hajjar at president@WCLweston.org.


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