The lady Knights tennis team’s regular season is coming to an end this week with their final match on Thursday, and it’s been quite a run. While they’ve still got their postseason to come, the season has gone pretty well. While lacking any seniors, the team still has a strong varsity team with an 11-4 record and a JV record of 13-3. Included in the varsity team is sophomore Claire Renschler. If the last name sounds familiar it’s because a plaque adorns the CHS tennis courts with it.
Lanae Renschler, Claire’s aunt, is a legend when it comes to Castle High School tennis. Graduating in 1986, Lanae was Castle’s star player. Boasting a 100-0 win record and winning the state championship for Indiana all four years she was a student. Lanae went on to play for University of Texas with a full scholarship.
“It’s weird to be related to someone so influential to the team I play on, but it’s really cool,” said Claire when asked about her connection to Lanae. “It’s a lot to live up to, she’s something I aspire to be like in the sport and as a person.”
Lanae has a plaque dedicated in 2019 to her Castle career that sits right in front of the tennis court.
Claire also spoke on the season saying, “It’s been great, we’ve done well! These girls have been a great team and I’ve had great coaches. It's nice to be back out on the courts with a completely normal season after everything with Covid.”
Fellow tennis team member, Emma Naylor, also had lots to say on this season.
“I think I’ve really grown as a player and a teammate throughout the season,” said Naylor. “This year brought some new coaching staff and I think they really helped build up my confidence as a player.”
Coach Ally Johnson says “The season has been interesting, the long-term coach of twenty-six years retired which allowed me to really get to know the girls on a coach level. It’s a fun team, they’re very lively.”
Times are changing and the world is growing: a fact the Lancer staff realized at the beginning of this year. Now more than ever we as a society rely on technology as a form of communication and means of spreading news. The traditional newspaper did not go away (as is evident by this article), but we also decided to introduce a brand new platform: LancerLive. Over the course of this year, LancerLive granted us the opportunity to learn things about teachers we never would have before, share fascinating stories about the world and our community, and highlight the talents of our student body. Our achievements could not have been possible without one extremely important person, though. Mrs. Moore's holds the title of an English teacher, RDM director, and Lancer advisor. To us, however, she also holds the title of mentor, encourager, and someone we will always look up to. Thank you for your support throughout our years here at Castle, Mrs. Moore. They would not have been the same without you.
As a final video, our staff produced “LancerLive x Senior Year”. This video truly embodies the Class of 2022’s senior year: exhilarating and inclusive. Every aspect of our grade succeeded and supported each other, something that as Knights, we all owe to each other.
While the founding class is graduating (Lauren Matuscak, Gavin Wood, Lainey Browning, Justyce McCord, Jordan Coon, Colin Nugent, and Layla Wandel), LancerLive is just beginning.
Layla Leigh Wandel
When April rolls around and the weather gets warmer, you know it is baseball season. The Castle Knights kicked off their season with a scrimmage against South Spencer, and have since won four games against Linton-Stockton, Southridge, Terre Haute South, and North.
Last night, the Castle Knights took on the North Huskies for the first time of the season. Given North is a big competitor in the area and Castle beat them last season, the Huskies came out with something to prove. Without worry, Castle took them down 6-1. Caleb Niehaus led off the game with a homerun to left-field followed by a 2 out RBI single in the second inning that got the Knights started. Following that, Cameron Tilly hit a 3 RBI blast off the wall to put the Knights up 6-1. Furthermore, Tilly dominated while on the mound, only allowing 2 hits, 1 run and struck out 7.
This graduating class has proven to be incredibly talented in athletics, and baseball is no exception. This year there are 11 seniors, most of which have been playing all four years for the Knights. Senior pitcher, Eli Pillsbury, says that "the team this year is really a big family." Pillsbury goes on to explain that the boys' love for each other has proven helpful on the field.
Look out for the Knights' games this weekend as well as their big match-up next Tuesday, May 3, against Jasper.
Layla Leigh Wandel
The annual Academy Awards ceremony took place late on Sunday, March 27, 2022, as all of Hollywood came out to support themselves winning awards. In recent years, the viewership of the once prestigious awards show has dramatically declined as fewer people tune in to see the event. However, this year's show is maybe the most talked about ceremony in quite some time. As the night proceeded with its usual overdramatic and drawn out speeches, things took a turn for the worse when Will Smith got into an altercation with award presenter and comedian Chris Rock. After Rock made a joke regarding Smith’s wife Jade Pinkett Smith having a shaved head, Will Smith made his way up on stage and slapped Rock in the face and then proceeded to curse at him on live television. While it may seem like only a harmless joke, Smith seemed to take offense as Jada Pinkett suffers from a disease known as alopecia which causes her to experience hair loss. Nevertheless, his actions are inexcusable and not acceptable for anyone. Things were made even more awkward when Smith was awarded the Best Actor in a Leading Role award only a few minutes after the altercation.
Outside of the Will Smith debacle, the rest of the Academy Awards ceremony was pretty boring and dull. The Oscars have lost much of their prestige in recent years as audiences have turned away from watching Hollywood stars giving themselves praise and attention. Although it was nice to see multiple time nominees Jessica Chastain and Kenneth Branagh win for the first time, the night was still very uneventful.
Little of importance or interest happened during the ceremony, although it was inspiring to see the film Coda win numerous awards. Outside of this and the Will Smith debacle, the Academy Awards was another unexciting evening for Hollywood.
Gavin J. Wood
The Lilly Scholarship is awarded annually to one male and one female from each county in Indiana and covers all tuition and other select expenses at any Indiana college or university. The Warrick County winners this year were recently announced to be Logan Ellis and Jenny Donnelly, both seniors at Castle.
With this scholarship now in their hands, both Ellis and Donnelly have a variety of choices and decisions to make regarding their academic future. When asked about their college plans, Donnelly stated that she plans to attend “Ball State most likely, or possibly Notre Dame.” Donnelly also continued that she plans to study architecture, putting her Lilly Scholarship to good use. Meanwhile, Ellis has specified that he plans to attend either Purdue or Indiana University and hopes to begin medical school afterwards.
It is hard to comprehend how impressive it is for both of these talented students to come from Castle High School. Speaking on this topic, Donnelly stated that the Lilly Scholarship “isn’t something you can compete for in the process. It is mostly about what you’ve done leading up to the scholarship.” Ellis later added that “there are so many qualified and bright applicants who applied for the scholarship, which made it very stressful when I was waiting for the results.”
The Lilly Scholarship is one of the most prestigious scholarships in the state of Indiana and these students have continued to be grateful for their good fortune. This scholarship is only awarded to two people from each Indiana county and is filled with dozens of applicants, providing a tough competition for those who seek it.
“I am very honored to be selected for this scholarship,” said Donnelly. “Everyone who was a finalist should be proud.”
Donnelly has put in a lot of hard work over the course of their time in school and it has finally paid off. The same can be said for Ellis, as he also had the added challenge of completing his scholarship interview with a concussion. “At the time of the interview, I was still medically concussed from a cycling injury a few days prior,” says Ellis. “Somehow though I was able to make it through and do a good job.”
With their final semester of high school approaching its end, both Donnelly and Ellis have a lot of great things to look forward to. The two winners have excelled in numerous activities and clubs all around the school and have shown themselves to be great role models for future generations of Castle students. With the time to move forward into college rapidly approaching, Donnelly hopes to “represent both Castle and Warrick County well in the future!”
Gavin J. Wood
While many are just enjoying the day off this January 17, the holiday is a lot more than just a Monday away from school. Dr Martin Luther King passed away nearly fifty eight years ago, and the day was enacted as a federal holiday just thirty-three years ago. On January 17th the country celebrates the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King. Dr. King was a revolutionary in the civil rights movement. He protested for nonviolent change on issues of segregation and the treatment of African Americans and the betterness of society.
At thirty nine Dr. King was assassinated for his beliefs, but his fight for change and progress led us to society today. Celebrations of his life and legacy rang throughout the country yesterday. In California there were parades throughout the streets. There were marathons for reconciliation and celebrations of Dr. Kings life and legacy throughout the country.
Throughout Memphis this year, where Dr. King was killed, people gathered at the national civil rights museum. Speakers urged to stop the epidemic of violence that Memphis, and the country is facing. Something Dr. King fought so strongly against. Families of multiple victims of police gathered together and pleaded for the stop to the violence that has plagued the nation.
Society is progressing, evolving, and learning everyday. Dr. King was a visionary that dreamed of a world where everyone is treated equally. A world where the character of a person determines how they were treated. It’s hard to argue if what he dreamed of has manifested yet, but everyday that passes that dream comes closer and closer to being accomplished.
Castle High School’s annual Santa Switch Christmas dance took place on December 11th. Organized by Castle’s student council members, Santa Switch is looked forward to since the first day of school. After a year off due to Coronavirus limitations, the Knights return to the south gym for a night they will never forget.
The senior class was over the moon about being able to attend their final Christmas dance. Throughout the beginning of the year, rumors swarmed the halls about the dance being canceled or rescheduled because of increased levels of Covid-19.
Thinking ahead, the Castle High School administration made plans in advance to ensure their kids would have a safe night.
The school planned a date in January in case the December date was too premature. The members of Castle’s student council decided to prepare their big show anyway.
Luckily, students and staff continued to make safe decisions and keep health their number one priority.
Jenna Mesker, a senior at Castle High School, said that the line to get into the dance “wrapped all the way around the building.” There were over one thousand tickets sold.
The dance took place in the south gym, where several volunteers handed out water and checked jackets right outside. A specially hired DJ played music requested by the students and staff all night. Seniors naturally packed in the front, juniors behind them and so on. Lainey Browning, a senior student council member, says that she “found herself in the middle of a dance circle” at one point in the night.
Thank you to Castle High School’s student council, staff, and students for making Santa Switch 2021 a night to remember. We will see you at prom!
On December 31, 2021, “Cobra Kai” season 4 debuted on Netflix to mass success. The follow up series to the 1984 film “The Karate Kid” has quickly become one of the top shows on the streaming service and has been one of my personal favorite series as well.
Kicking off at the exact moment that season 3 ended, this season follows lead stars Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) and Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) as they unite their karate dojos in order to defeat the villainous Cobra Kai dojo led by sadistic sensei John Kreese. Keeping with the tradition of bringing back supporting characters from the original trilogy of “The Karate Kid” movies, season 4 reunites the cast with “The Karate Kid Part III” villain Terry Silver, an outrageously over the top karate instructor and friend of Kreese.
The main positive take-aways I have for season 4 of “Cobra Kai” include the relationships between the main characters and the toned down action. Characters such as Miguel Diaz (Xolo Maridueña) and Robby Keene (Tanner Buchanan) evolve over the course of the season in very interesting ways that always keep the viewer invested in the story. The relationship between Daniel and Johnny is also very fun, as both men have to deal with their clashing personalities and karate styles. The addition of new characters is another positive factor for the season. The new Cobra Kai student Kenny is immediately liked by the audience and you get attached to him quickly, wanting to see his storylines end in a good way.
I also enjoyed how the action in this season is toned down from season 3. There are no longer any crazy fights resulting in broken bones and near death injuries, something that really made season 3 feel cartoonish. Now, most of the action actually revolves around karate matches and is much more realistic.
The only negatives I could give this season of “Cobra Kai” are that the characters of Sam LaRusso (Mary Mouser) and Tory Nichols (Peyton List) are kind of annoying this year. Sam becomes almost antagonistic towards the others and it ruins the wholesome character she previously had. The series also tries to make Tory a more relatable and sympathetic character, even though she has done so much in previous years that she is virtually unsavable. It does not work very well to try and make someone who viciously attacks other students into a likeable star.
Overall, I really enjoyed this season of “Cobra Kai.” I think it works a lot better than the previous season and leaves me waiting for more. “Cobra Kai” is currently available on Netflix, so start streaming now!
Gavin J. Wood
The skilled group members of We the People made it to state this year. It took place in Indianapolis on December 8th. All units went to state but one that came out victorious was Unit 1. This unit is about Political Philosophy and the members in this unit are seniors Jenny Donnelly, Layla Wandel, and Carter Lynn. This diverse team all worked together to encourage each other to come out on top.
Jenny Donnelly, a senior, describes this class and experience as “eye-opening” and “thought provoking.”
The class was not able to go to regionals this year in person due to COVID-19, but it did still go on virtually. Luckily state was able to happen in person with masks being required. Although this is a class the students in it enjoy traveling and going to these meets because it allows them to show what they've been practicing and what they know.
Amanda Antey, sponsor and teacher of the class, elaborates on the foundations of the class and competition.
“We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution is the ultimate group project,” said Antey. ”It is sponsored by the Center for Civic Education, a yearly competition involving high school students from throughout the United States. The competition simulates a congressional hearing. The class is divided into six units, each composed of three to six students. Each unit focuses on a particular area of Constitutional interest - from the philosophical underpinnings and Constitutional Convention to the Bill of Rights and modern day implications. Students are judged on criteria such as their understanding, reasoning, responsiveness, and use of constitutional applications.”
While they are competing they are asked a series of complex questions about their certain topic or unit and they must answer with the help of their group members only. The units this year had many outstanding responses and never folded under the immense pressure.
Antey, as the teacher, has normal teacher responsibilities, but also gets to be involved with all the unit's group work and help them learn more about their government and politics. She enjoys politics and government and loves being able to watch as throughout the year the kids get better and more knowledgeable.
“I love politics, debate, and public speaking,“ said Antey. ”Civic Education is something very important to me and I enjoy seeing the students grow and learn over the course of the semester.”
Once again, Castle High School held their annual Mr. Castle Contest. Unfortunately, last year the event was cancelled; however, the school was in the clear to conduct it in 2021. This event is essentially a beauty pageant for the senior boys in order to raise money for the Castle High School Show Choirs and Teen Power. It is a great way to raise money while also increasing some school spirit.
Before the event was conducted, Rob DiComandrea, the head of the event and choreographer for the show choir, held many practices in order to prepare. At each practice, the boys worked hard to make the show go smoothly, mixed with much laughter.
The different sections conducted at the event included talent, swimsuit, and question & answer. All areas were age appropriate and kept very clean so that all ages could enjoy. During the show, the audience could use money to represent their vote for each senior guy. Each dollar equaled one vote, so it was very competitive.
Other sections of the show included the Junior Challenge in which five junior boys were selected from the audience and taken through three sections of challenges ending with one boy as the winner. Another section included the Prince Of Paradise, a new event this year! About ten freshman guys were selected to learn a dance and perform in front of the audience in hopes of gathering boys in younger grades to hopefully be involved in Mr. Castle as a senior.
After all of the sections were completed, the votes were tallied and the awards were distributed. Four girls who were called The Girls in Gold, helped Rob distribute each award to the men. The girls included Lauren Matuscak, Carli Stotlar, Addi Will, and Lainey Browning.
Some boys received awards including Jacob Adams who was recognized for best talent, Hayden Gorman who got a perfect attendance award and was second runner up, Dominik McCullagh who also had perfect attendance, and Evan Reff finished 3rd runner up. Various other awards were given away, too!
Senior, Evan Reff, said his favorite part of the show, “was seeing all of it come together and hearing the crowd enjoy the show.” Many boys said the same. That even though the practices were hard and long, it was all worth it. Many boys said their favorite part was hanging out with their friends at the practices, but the mass majority said it was the talent section, which was also reflected by the audience's applause and laughter as that took place.
Much thanks going to the light crew, backstage crew, and most importantly, Rob DiComandrea. This event was wonderful and so much fun for everyone involved and will be heavily anticipated next year!