Diving Into New Horizons

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By Rafael Llamas

Sports Editor

On Saturday, October 29th, our swimming team headed to Gulliver Preparatory School to participate in this years districts.

The swimming team has come a long way since their debut two years ago. This year their coach, Pedro Mesa, has prepared his team for victory.

“Best swim team I have ever seen. We are looking to finish top three boys and top four in girls during districts” stated Coach Mesa.

Coach Mesa was right to aim high— the team did not disappoint. The boys placed 2nd and the girls placed 3rd with over 20 swimmers heading to regionals.

Happy with his team’s achievement, Senior and team captain Paolo Pierri said, “I’m proud of my team. They give 100 percent effort in and out of the pool.” He added, “The team Coach Mesa put together is one of the best teams I have ever seen. We are truly a family—hopefully a family that continues to grow throughout the years to come. “

When asked about the future, junior Steven Altamirano said, “I feel like we have a really strong team with a lot of new beginners that can be great in the near future.”

As the future approaches, Coach Mesa plans to work even harder with his team and hopefully the Bears will continue their winning streak at regionals.

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Mater Lakes Runs On Drennan

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Coach Drennan

By Charis Pineda

Staff Writer

Most people do not understand the elements that make-up a cross country team. Cross country is not just about showing up and running, it is also about encouraging fellow team mates to count on one another for support.

Junior Alejandro Perez stated, “Being part of a team is not much different from being among friends. We push and encourage each other to do better and it works.”

The sport takes dedication to maintain speed and begin testing limits as runners progress in their experience. A cross country team reflects the coach’s input, “Every coach is different on how they train, Drennan has been so patient and helpful with us,” Perez said.

Kevin Drennan, social studies teacher, is the current coach of the cross country team, many students mentioned how dedicated he is when it comes to the sport. When asked about how good of a coach he is, Perez answered, “Well Drennan’s the best, having us test our limits and become better over time with his support.”

Drennan was asked what made him love the sport and his response expressed great details, “Everyone thinks cross country is not a real sport because there are no plays or a ball involved. But cross country is one of the most intense sports to participate in and for one to witness. The competitions are so intense, which is why I love the sport. At our meets there are kids crying, passing out, screaming, yelling, and throwing up as they finish their 5 kilometer (3.1 mile) run.”

Senior Anaeli Aguilera was a runner for two years with the previous coaches, later she became the manager before having to put aside her passion for running due to certain health conditions. “At first I was not so good but after a summer of conditioning I became better, at one point I became the captain.”

“ I expect my runners to always run their hardest at every practice and competition we have. I expect my team to be present at all of our practices because running is not a sport where someone can take a day or two off and expect to continue to improve. My runners have to push themselves because while I make the workouts, I can’t make someone push themselves to their limit. Each runner has to do that on their own,” said Drennan.

Bear Bowl, Our Yearly Tradition

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By Sofia Ponce

Staff Writer

The sun was shining and the fields of Lakes on the Green park were filled with Mater Lakes students, alumni and staff taking part in the annual Bear Bowl, held September 29.

The purpose of our yearly flag football tournament is for teams to go head-to-head competing, with two teams, middle and high school respectively, declared the winners.

At the middle school level, the overall winners were The Backyardigans. Antony Lavado, a member of the team, shared some words with us regarding their success, “This wasn’t our first win, and it won’t be our last.” He also mentioned that he and his team had a lot of fun and played at their best. The Bombsquad was the winning high school team.

Assistant Athletics Director Rogelio Franco, Coach J.C. Gil and Darryl Bryant served as referees at the game.

Bear Bowl was also a chance for clubs and sports to fundraise. In total there were nine groups fundraising at the event, including the PTSO.

When asked about what his favorite thing about the annual event, Principal Rene Rovirosa said, “We all come together as a family.”

New Year, New Changes in Athletics at MLA

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By Victoria Gayarre

Editor-in-Chief

As each year begins, changes must be made in order to allow the school to develop into everything the founders once dreamed it to be. As the 2016 school year takes off, changes are made to our athletics department as geometry teacher Rogelio Franco is named assistant athletics director.

This year, Franco has made this change in order to experience a new setting and eventually move out of the classroom. He is currently working under David Rovirosa but hopes to ultimately take his place and become the head of the Athletics Department. He states, “They asked me to do this, but at the same time, I have always been involved in sports. I am one of the original basketball coaches.”

He explained how it is a big change with a lot of responsibilities but that he enjoys the new environment. Currently, Franco’s role is to back up Rovirosa, double check schedules, and handle the money at the games. He nods his head in reflection before describing his experience, “It is stressful to make sure everyone is doing what they are supposed to. I have to make sure the referees show up to the games and that the crowd remains controlled.”

Senior Jurik Morales, a basketball player, had this to say about the change, “Mr. Franco is great. He is well organized and put together.”

MLA is currently preparing for soccer and basketball (Franco’s favorite sport) by making sure the facilities are ready when it is their time to play. He hopes that the sports program will continue to expand and develop while maintaining organization.

To sum up the excitement of the change, varsity soccer player senior Victoria Garcia said, “I think it will be really good for the athletics department because Franco really loves sports and I think he will try to help all the teams succeed.”

In addition to Franco’s new role, he also has begun working on a project titled “The Bears 100 Club” which is an MLA fan club for the basketball team. He smiles and chuckles, “we want to get the games rowdy as hell.”

Bears Pick Up Golf Clubs

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Jay and Jessica Brady

Jennifer Furones

Staff Writer

For the first time in MLA’s history, the school has formed a golf team. The team consists of siblings senior Jessica Brady and junior Jay Brady. They are lead by coach Eddie Escribano.

Escribano’s experience with golf includes being a part of amateur tournaments and one professional tournament. The team officially ended their season on October 5th , playing a total of five matches.

“The main goal was to have fun and I think we managed to achieve that,” said Escribano.

Senior Brady explains that her favorite part about being on the golf team was learning more about the game and meeting new people from all different places in Florida at the tournaments.

The golf team hopes to continue their season next year and introduce new members to the team.

Bittersweet Defeat for Girls Volleyball

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Photo Credit: Tiffany  Carrazana

By Amanda Milian

Staff Writer

The Girls Varsity Volleyball Team suffered a tough four-set defeat, 15-25, 25- 22, 20-25, 20-25, to Monsignor Edward Pace High School on Monday October 3rd, Senior Night, at Dade Christian.

The game was filled with ups, downs, and very tense moments, and left the Lady Bears on the losing end to Pace for the second time in district plays this season.

“Even though we did not walk away with that W, our game was much better tonight,” said MLA Volleyball Coach Melissa Lopez.

Junior Natalie Lopez led with 15 digs and three service aces; junior Alexa Villamizar and seventh grader Elaisa Villar added three kills, while junior Sam Fernandez contributed two blocks.

After losing the first set, the Lady Bears fought back with the stellar play of freshman Juliett Colome to take the second set, 25-22.

The Spartans then took command in the third set, leading by seven points, before winning, 25-20. Midway through that third set, freshman Megan Velazquez suffered an ankle injury that sidelined her for the remainder of the match.

The Lady Bears’ bad fortune continued in the fourth set, falling behind at one to 1-11. Lopez called a timeout. “You’re at home…It’s just a matter of pride. It’s a matter of heart. So just go out there and play hard,” she told them.

Seniors Thaleia Patraki, Christine Diaz and Janina Morejon were recognized before their final game for their contributions to the team.

“I’m going to miss the friendships and the family that I’ve made,” said Diaz about Senior Night and what she will miss most about the team

Senior Promotes Love for Nature

By Melany Freytes
Features Editor

Senior Samantha Hernandez plans on being one of the founders of Mater Lakes Academy’s first in-school garden project. In order to bring change required to improve and maintain the environment, Hernandez hopes to gain the cooperation of the entire school in order clean the world around her.

samantha-hernandezSenior Samantha Hernandez

The garden project began mid October and is anticipated to continue growing throughout the school year. The addition of many new plants each year is expected as the garden continues to grow. Any student willing to participate will be given the opportunity to help sow the seeds for this emerging garden.

Currently the gardeners consist of a few seniors who will work on “planting, clearing weeds, and replacing the soil which will amount to at least two hours weekly on the garden for upkeep.” MLA senior Victoria Garcia, one of the volunteers, believes “this project is amazing and it’s great to be able to get the chance to give back to the environment.”

The garden plans to be initially only located in the inner lake area near the enormous tree, but it is then predicted to grow around the entire circumference of the lake. Hernandez smiled and said, “Hopefully we can eventually upgrade to a greenhouse.”

The native plants will attract butterflies and bees to bring a lively atmosphere to the entire school and to help welcome all those who enter. Hernandez believes that students will be able to admire from afar and truly appreciate the beauty of nature. Hernandez stated, “the garden will be used more as a propaganda platform to spread the word and get people interested in planting in their own homes.”

Hernandez began this project with the help of John Branas, the sponsor and a physical science teacher, who inspired her to start a “cute, non-threatening and non-overbearing way of spreading the word about climate change.” To help fund the garden, Hernandez is starting “an e waste recycling program and some of that money is also being used to buy plants. We are also planning on applying for many grants.”

Branas stated, “I want to show what people can do with recycling. We are very excited to work on this garden.”

Hernandez hopes that this garden will not only inspire other students to care about the future of their earth and to grow a garden with a variety of plants that will catch the eye of any passersby.

Hernandez’s own admiration for the state of the environment goes beyond the garden; she intends on studying environmental engineering with a minor in environmental health policy.

She hopes to pass down to another student interested in environmentalism. Hernandez aspires to impress and enlighten students on the importance of the environment, starting with a simple garden.