The Spartanite The official student news site of Oak Lawn Community High School Wed, 23 Oct 2019 20:56:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Spartans Defeat Argonauts 40-22 Tue, 22 Oct 2019 01:22:50 +0000 A small crowd gathered on the morning of Saturday the 28th to watch the Spartans take on the Argonauts. The homecoming game couldn’t have ended any better for the Spartans, with the team coming up victorious 40-22. The 18 point victory over Argo also marked the first win for coach Harold Blackmon with the varsity squad.

After a scoreless 1st, the Spartans opened up the scoring with a 40 yard fumble recovery touchdown from Kevin Swatek. They added to their lead with a 6 yard touchdown run from quarterback Chris Gallagher. At halftime, the score stood 12-0 Spartans.

The Spartans put up 28 points in the 2nd half, while only allowing 22. The scoring was highlighted by 3 more touchdown runs from Chris Gallagher and another from Antony Uriarte. 

The Spartans ended up with 322 yards on the day, 259 of them rushing. The defense only allowed 279 yards. The Spartans went 5-for-9 on 3rd downs, while Argo only went 4-for-11.

Although the team was ready to play the game on Friday, severe storms pushed the game back to Saturday. The team was clearly not fazed by the late schedule change. 

With this win, the Spartans moved to 1-4 on the season, and 1-1 within the conference.  


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Video Game Club Advances Level of Competition Tue, 22 Oct 2019 01:20:09 +0000 Tons of students walk the halls of Oak Lawn Community High School who play video games, and many of them are interested in coming together to have a place where they can all enjoy this shared hobby. Video Game Club is the ideal club for them. It has been in existence for four years.

Meetings are held Tuesdays from 3-4 p.m., and open gaming sessions are on Wednesday mornings from 8:00-9:15 a.m. All meetings take place in the media center. 

More than 60 students come regularly to play their favorite games, learn about new ones, and experience the world of gaming with their friends and fellow peers. The club owns a Wii U, an Xbox 360, and 30 computers (12 updated to gaming computers), but members are allowed to bring in their own devices and consoles as well (Nintendo Switches, Wii U’s, PS4’s, etc.) as long as the games played are rated T. 

Popular games that are played include famous titles such as Overwatch, Minecraft, Roblox, Halo, and of course, the classic Super Smash Bros. 

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a game that I enjoy playing against other gamers even though I am not good at the game,” Oak Lawn Community High School freshman Timothy Weber said. “It’s a game I saw other gamers playing so I decided to join them.”

Weber has been playing games since he was four years old. Although many of the members have been playing games for years, if students are a beginner that is interested in gaming, they can always stop by to check it out. 

This club mostly plays games recreationally, but occasionally it plays competitively against other members. They have also started exploring playing in tournaments this year against other schools. 

Mrs. Meyers, the supervisor of the club states, “We recently joined the North America Scholastic ESports Federation. We will compete in the Overwatch Community Play-In tournament starting October 16th. We will have a team of 9 students for this competition (6 players with 3 substitutes).”  


Mrs. Meyers

Timothy Weber

Scott Hyland

Ariel Bedolla


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Oak Lawn’s Got Talent! Tue, 22 Oct 2019 01:11:51 +0000 The Senior and Junior Class Advisory Boards are proud to announce that they will be sponsoring the next big upcoming event, Oak Lawn’s Got Talent! This talent show will be taking place on Thursday, November 14 at 7PM in the Performing Arts Center and is an event that anyone can enjoy. Acts that have auditioned and have been chosen by the Audition Committee will be eligible to compete in the show. Those who are interested in auditioning can scan QR codes that are printed out on flyers that are posted all throughout the school. Auditions will take place on Wednesday, October 23rd at 8:30AM and 4PM in the Performing Arts Center. Those who want to submit an audition video can send their video by email( Each act is limited to a maximum of 3 minutes to perform and must be school appropriate. The winners of the talent show win a monetary prize chosen by the advisory boards. A mandatory dress rehearsal will be taking place before the talent show. The judges and prices of tickets are yet to be determined, but JCAB and SCAB are looking forward to hosting this event and hope their audience will enjoy.

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Spartist of the Month: Tatiana Fernandez Tue, 22 Oct 2019 01:09:20 +0000 The Spartist of the Month for October 2019 is Tatiana Fernandez. She has always been a creative person, even as a little kid. For Christmas, she would ask for colored pencils or sketchbooks for her projects. Tatiana started to develop her artistic style throughout middle school and high school. She specializes in many mediums, including colored pencil, charcoal, and ink. She started with a realistic style and, as time went on, she started to incorporate symbolism in her pieces to make them hyper realistic. She started freshman year in Introduction to Art, but by second semester she was moved up to a higher level art class, Painting. From there, she continued to take art classes throughout high school. Her junior year she took AP Studio Art. She developed her portfolio over the school year. The theme of her portfolio was about looking behind the curtains and putting yourself into someone else’s shoes. She received a 5 for her portfolio, which is the highest score that someone can receive. She is currently taking AP Studio Art again and is developing a new portfolio. Tatiana continues her art outside of school hours. She participates in art extracurricular activities, including Photojournalism Club and Visual Art Clubs. She has also received multiple awards for artwork. She has been featured in the Moraine Valley Art Show many times. She has received second place for her work in ink and has received multiple honorable mentions. Tatiana was also awarded a scholarship through the Academy of Art for a summer program. Her favorite artwork is a drawing she titled Barricade. She wanted to show that even if life gets tough and you begin to struggle, you have the strength to move forward. She drew this piece in red ink in order to make it stand out and to move away from the typical black ink. After high school, she plans to go to an art school to continue her education in art.

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OLCHS Homecoming Happenings Tue, 22 Oct 2019 01:07:57 +0000 Every year OLCHS hosts one of their phenomenal homecoming events, and this year was no different, with the theme of “No Place Like Homecoming!”. Spanning over the period of one week, students both new and old were able to attend events that never cease to entertain, and this year was no different.

Window painting, homecoming rally, tons of sports game, and the traditional homecoming dance (with the inclusion of an all female one), all took place during this 2019 homecoming.

This years homecoming held several events, old and new. They held a window painting event, where the victor, (the one with the most exquisite window), would be acknowledged. The event was a opportunity for students to show their creativity, and likely will be showcased next year as well.

There was also a set of victors for the acclaimed pep rally parade, where the award winning OLCHS band played a show, and clubs were able to advertise themself through creative and artistic designed floats. Also, floats were selected on which ones were the best. This years best float highlights, were as follows:  “Best Walking Float”: OLCHS band. “Best Vehicle Float”: Journalism Team. “Best Use of Theme”: Visual Arts Club.  And finally, “Most Spirited”: Senior Class Advisory Board

And finally, the most popular and generally anticipated award of homecoming: The Homecoming King and Queen. Those who claimed the royal title this year, was none other than King Tomas Walsh, and Queen Kendallyn Julkowski.

The general goal of homecoming appears to always be focused on sports, but this year, and the years after, seem to go beyond just sports. Assistant Principal Mr. Marcus Wargin says that, “There are so many events, and so many opportunities to get involved. People should be able to find something to get involved.”

This year’s homecoming had a goal of gaining student participation, and as to Mr. Wargin’s request, they would like more students to get involved in the events they   hold. After all, who wouldn’t want to go to such amazing events anyways? So remember for next year, don’t forget to attend these events, and stay tuned!

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Recent Success of the OLCHS Golf Team Tue, 22 Oct 2019 01:05:08 +0000 This year the Oak Lawn Community High School JV Golf Team started the season with a six game winning streak. Along with the incredible start to the season, Kate Mellone was named the JV conference Coach of the Year. While the streak ended it wasn’t for long as they went on another three game winning streak.

This season was a historic year for OLCHS as it was the first year the school had a girls team. The girls team participated in the state playoffs for the first time in school history. This group of girls will have a chance to stay part of the schools history by doing the best they can. Lauren Burke, who is a member of the girls golf team said “we always have fun.”

As the head coach Mr. Mayer said “our team improved as the year went on” which is a great example of the success of certain players. Particularly Tadgh Spillane, who was an All Regional player and will participate in the state playoffs, which will take place in Pekin. Each and every player improved their game even though not every player was recognized for it.

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Red ribbon week Tue, 22 Oct 2019 01:03:50 +0000 Many things have been happening with teens and drugs in recent years. Teens have consumed these drugs and some have actually died in our Oak Lawn Community. 

OLCHS wants to spread this awareness to help stop the usage of drugs. This year for red ribbon week will take place Oct. 21-25.

According to Mr. Robert Brida, the sponsor of the club, Students Against Destructive Decisions, during every lunch period there will be many raffles going on to win cool prizes. During the announcements, they will share information about alcohol and drug awareness spreading it through our community. 

Everyday of the week will be a theme. On Monday, wear your sweats to sweat away the drugs. Tuesday, we wear neon to kick the drugs to outer space. Wednesday, we are going to shade away the drugs by wearing our sun glasses. Thursday, wear a dear/ edge shirt. Friday is going to be a fun day wear all your VSCO girl gear for VSCo Day.

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Pro-democracy Movement Against Extradition Bill Tue, 22 Oct 2019 01:02:21 +0000 Hong Kong citizens are furious and protesting against the government about the extradition bill. This bill is supposed to allow Hong Kong to apprehend and bring people in who are wanted in countries and territories including Taiwan and mainland China. This plan applies to thirty-seven crimes. When citizens heard that the government might approve the plan they decided to protest because they are against the government proposal of allowing extraditions to mainland China and citizens believe that they won’t be concerned about their safety. Citizens have been protesting for 4 months so far.

Based on the unfair treatment of China’s judicial system, Hong Kong citizens are frightened that the government might legalize the extradition and apply this to the politics. Hong Kong citizens who have jobs that deal with speaking, telling, or acting that is unsuitable for the government, might be put under arrest for certain periods of time, and be put into an unfair trial. Since the people in Hong Kong don’t have any political freedom, they want to make sure that this plan won’t pass, so that they won’t have to worry about being unsafe or detained.

They‘re currently having an “Umbrella Revolution.” This is when protestors open their umbrellas to defend themselves from pepper spray and tear gas. Some have even gotten tattoos with the shape of an umbrella for massive protests. The revolution goes back to what happened and ended on September 26, 2014, it is also what the citizens are doing today. Thousands to millions of Hong Kong citizens also flash their lights from their phones for the pro-democracy movement. Protestors also decided to form a human chain last week that went along three subway lines to form the “Hong Kong Way.” In addition, they decided to sing and chant pro-democracy slogans for the pro-democracy movement.

For now, Chief Hong Kong Executive, Carrie Lam, put a suspension on this bill only for a short amount of time. So, how will this movement end? Will Hong Kong citizens achieve their goal or feel more miserable and unsafe? Check any world news website to be updated.

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Remembering 9/11: America’s Worst Tragedy Wed, 02 Oct 2019 20:54:20 +0000 September 11, 2001 was one of the most tragic attacks in our nation’s history. A terrorist group named Al-Qaeda flew planes into the twin towers of The World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and one into a field at Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Almost 3,000 lives were lost and several thousand more injured.

We, as a nation, still remember those who were lost on September 11, 2001, and this event has been implanted in United States history forever. This year, on the anniversary of the attacks, several teachers at Oak Lawn High School spent their days teaching about September 11, and sharing their own personal experiences of what they were doing on that day.
One of those teachers was our very own Mr. Patrick DiFilippo.
“I was in my second year teaching at the time,” Mr. DiFilippo said. He recalled that he was teaching when a plane hit the first tower. “Mr.McGee came and told me about it. I thought it was a horrible tragedy, that there had maybe been fog.”
However, when a plane hit the second tower, Mr. DiFilippo knew that something was wrong.

“Mr.McGee came and told me again, and that’s when I realized it wasn’t an accident,” he said.

The North tower was hit at 8:46 AM by the hijacked American Airlines Flight 11. Twenty minutes later, United Airlines Flight 175 hit the South tower at 9:03 AM. American Airlines Flight 77 flew into the western face of the Pentagon at 9:37 AM. A fourth and final flight, United Airlines Flight 93, crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania at 10:03 AM.
Both of the towers eventually collapsed, killing nearly everyone trapped inside. Emergency personnel risked their lives to help others, running through the toxic dust to search for survivors.

The entire country was affected that day, with many remembering the event like it was yesterday. Several Americans lost loved ones in the attack, and more than 200 children lost a parent. Even nowadays, former police officers and firefighters are suffering from 9/11 related illnesses.

When asked how it impacted his life, Mr.DiFilippo stated, “I think it got rid of an idea that we’re always safe. I guess I was pretty naive up until this day, that a tragedy like that can happen, whether it be terrorism or these horrible school shootings. Now, I pay attention to my surroundings and am more aware.”

Observing September 11th is crucial to preserving our nation’s history. Now, every year, the entire country stands as Americans, united as one, as we remember those who lost their lives and those who risked their own to save others.

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Teens Take Over at The Field Wed, 02 Oct 2019 20:42:43 +0000

Over the summer, the Field Museum of Natural History had a very special program; several dozen local (and a few not so local) teenagers were brought in to help bring a more interactive experience to museum patrons. This was the summer Teen Volunteer Program, of which I was a part of.

The program was under the jurisdiction of Aimee Davis, the Public Learning Experience Manager and was led by this summer’s mentors, Mark and Josh, two incoming college freshmen who participated in the program in the past. The program seeks to use local teens to enrich the experiences of patrons and inspire others to eventually pursue the sciences, both physical and social. Using a rotation of carts and stations, many different experiences are provided by these Teen Volunteers.

Starting on the lower floor there are two stations in the children’s playlab, the Art Studio, in which volunteers help children and parents with a special craft, and the Dino Dig, where children can “excavate” casts of the bones of SUE, and the volunteers help them clean up for the next explorer. Outside the playlab there is the earth timeline, where guests guess where events should be placed on earth’s 4.5 billion year timeline, the shoes cart, where shoes from many different cultures and contexts are explained to passersby, and the mummy cart, where the teens go through a sped up version of the entire Egyptian process of mummification.

Upstairs there are three stations with two carts: the camouflage cart, which showcases the variety of camouflage and its uses in nature using real specimens of camouflaged animals, and the prehistoric life cart, which uses casts of fossils (and a couple real ones) to illustrate the diversity of life in earth’s past. The standalone station is the fossils in the floor, where teens go on their own to introduce guests to the museums most interesting and least known feature, the floor; embedded in the limestone tiles of the Stanley Field Hall are the remains of thousands of prehistoric invertebrates of multiple phyla, right under the feet of all the patrons.

This program runs from June to August, and each volunteer must devote at least ten days out of the summer for completion, though most do more than that. Overall, the Teen Volunteer Program is one of the best experiences one can have in Chicago, and I would absolutely recommend interested High Schoolers (from current freshmen to outgoing seniors) apply when applications open in January. If they get in, they may even have the opportunity to continue year round in a more limited version of the summer program.

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