Lady Bears Back to Bat

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Jennifer Furones
Staff Writer

The Lady Bears Softball Team is back in season and better than ever. After a victorious season last school year, the softball team has made some changes, starting with the coaches.

Coaching the varsity team is Nick Wydra, health science teacher, and Jay Brady, father of team captain Jessica Brady. Coach Lauren Badia oversees the JV team.

At the end of the last season, several members left the team and there was a sense of disunity and a fear for what was to come of the Lady Bears. With the guidance of three new coaches and new team members, they are hoping to become undefeatable this season.

Coach Brady said, “We hope to win districts and beat our district rivals, Pace and St. Brendan. We are working really hard and we have a great team.”

Senior Mariah Hernandez said, “I feel like the team is really pulling together and is working hard and playing really well.”

The Lady Bears played their first pre-game on February 7th against Ronald Reagan High School, bringing their first victory of the season at 13-4.

Jessica Brady, senior and team captain, hopes to instill qualities in each member that they can use in and out of the field.

She said, “I hope I can teach them to be reasonable and try my best to set an example. I encourage them to do well in school and focus on their grades alongside their career in softball.”

 

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New Beginnings for MLA Baseball

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By Ruddy Gomez
Contributing Writer

Out of the nine players in the starting lineup, there are only two seniors on this year’s baseball team.

“With almost no seniors, this is a young group, but we are a strong team with even better chemistry,” said co-captain Brandon Quinones, senior. Quinones believes that this is one of the better teams the school has had in the past couple of years, and is optimistic for the future. And he’s not the only one.

According to Ceasar Temes Jr, head coach, this team’s chemistry and potential is nothing to mess with. “I am very excited about this group,” said Temes Jr., “Everyone gets along with each other and helps each other out.”

Unfortunately, the Bears seem to be off to a rough start, losing key district games and other rivalry games.. However, this hasn’t affected the team much, as they still believe they have the potential to be a great team. “Right now we’re in a slump, but it is better to lose in the beginning of the season rather than at the end of the season,”said Coach Temes Jr.

Along with the coach, co-captain Jose Rojas, senior, believes that this team can make a change. “We’re a great group of guys who love each other and have fun. I’m confident that we can turn this season around.”

In March, the Bears had two district games and a game at Marlins’ Stadium.

 

Lady Bears: A Team with Heart

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By Natalie Martinez
Staff Writer

Nearly every day of the week from 4 pm- 6pm, the Lady Bears Basketball Team can be seen on the court working hard and even sacrificing their weekends to dedicate themselves to the sport.

They are girls dedicated to playing ball, girls that don’t mind a little dirt, or even some scratches and bruises. These are girls that are confident; they walk into a game with a smile on their faces and hope for the best as they try their hardest.

We can’t forget the vital figures, the people that teach them the steps to succeed in the sport, Coach CC Bovee and Coach Thalia Jimenez. They work hard as well by being there at practice every day to ensure that they can lead and guide their young players.

Coach Bovee stated, “This year’s basketball season has been like previous years, making strides towards building a competitive program. With hard work and consistent dedication, anything can be accomplished.”

Being part of a team means a lot for the Lady Bears. When asked about the relationship of the team members, junior Daniela Llanes stated, “This team has turned into a family; we all have each others back and look out for one another.”

The team won one game out of the 12 this season, but no matter the outcome of the season, the girls are always going to remain united. Even though some of the players will begin a new journey, their time spent shooting hoops for the Lady Bears will not be forgotten.

When asked about her time spent with the team, senior Renee Rodriguez said, “Being a part of this team will forever be one of my favorite high school memories.”

 

Boys’ Basketball: District Champs

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By Rafael Llamas
Sports Editor

Our Boys’ Varsity Basketball Team has made history at MLA on the night of February 10th when they faced off against Booker T. Washington and became District Champions.

When asked about his overall thoughts on the season, Coach Juan Urbina said, “It has been the biggest honor to coach this team; through all the adversity we have built a tremendous program with our future brighter than our past. Now through the team’s discipline, dedication, and determination we are champions on and off the court.”

Unfortunately, on Tuesday February 21st the playoff run came to an end at the hands of Gulliver Prep. But even though our team lost that game, the players will continue to strive harder and hopefully make history once more  next season.

Team member and senior Giano Stringfellow said, “It was a good season and we made history, which was great. But even though we didn’t live up to our potential, the future will always be bigger than our past.”

Senior and team captain Jurik Morales said, “It was a great season. We worked hard throughout the offseason and I’m very proud of that.”

 

Montrell on the Rise

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By Rafael Llamas
Sports Editor

Montrell Newton is a junior at Mater Lakes Academy, but when he’s not studying for his SATs, he is making big strides on the field for the new A6 State Champions, the Miami Carol City High School Varsity football team.

Newton has been playing football since the early age of five, all while maintaining a healthy balance of sports and education. When asked how he does it, Newton said, “It is a very difficult process at first but once you gaet the hang of it, it is smooth sailing because you understand how to balance both.”

Even though Newton faces more responsibilities than the average teen, he still says the hardest part about school is “waking up in the morning.” But he explains that he will never let any obstacle stop him from playing the sport he loves. He stated, “It is an escape from reality, it puts me in my happy place.”

Newton has been lucky to have so much support throughout his journey both on and off the field. He said, “My biggest supporters are my family; my dad is there every game, every play; he is the one that introduced me to the sport back when I was five.” Aside from being his father, Montrell Newton Sr. is also one of his coaches.

When asked about the impact that football has had on his son’s life coach Newton stated, “My son has been playing football since the age of five and it changed his life dramatically. Certain aspects you need to play football can transfer into real life situations such as discipline and it has made him into a better person.”

Last December Montrell and his team, led by coach Aubrey Hill, won the A6 State Championship football game against Lake Gibson. Newton has been playing with Coach Hill since freshman year, and he has grown a lot since then. When asked about Newton, coach Hill said, “I have known Montrell since he was a freshman and to see him grow as an athlete is an honor. Montrell is the type of player every coach dreams of. He is intelligent when it comes to reading certain techniques and just a hardworking player.”

Becoming a champion was a big step in Newton’s life. “After winning the championship game emotions were running high for everyone, as soon as the timer hit zero I ran looking for my dad and gave him the biggest hug ever and cried tears of joy,” he said.

As for the future, Newton has a big one planned. He is currently being recruited by Harvard University, Yale, Princeton and other D1and D2 colleges.

 

A Successful Division

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By Kristy Gonzalez
Staff Writer

The spring pep rally, which took place on January 20, was the first event in the school’s history to be divided into middle school and high school groups.

The sprint pep rally is the last of the year, since testing kicks off soon after. The activities director, Melissa Stonestreet, decided to hold separate pep rallies to make it less crowded and enjoyable for students.

Stonestreet, who is also the fine arts department chair, was very happy with the results of the pep rally. She said, “The pep rally was a success because the middle schoolers got to participate in all the fun games and activities rather than just standing on the second floor and watching.”

Some age groups thought this idea was more organized and successful. Maria Reyes, junior, said, “It was way more organized than before and people were more engaged.” Adriana Sela, a sophomore, agreed, “It was easier to see everything and I got to enjoy the pep-rally.”

 

Get to know Ms. Itayem

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By Leslie Betancourt
Staff Writer

Xierra Itayem, drama and art teacher at Mater Lakes, encourages students to be passionate in the subjects while promoting improvement in works.

Itayem began teaching during the 2015-2016 school year. “I do enjoy teaching here. The kids are great, and it gives me an amazing opportunity to practice my craft and share what I love to do,” she said after being asked if she enjoys teaching at the school.

The 25-year old has always had a love for the arts, “I started painting when I was twelve and I started getting involved with theater in high school. They’re my passions,” she said.

This love later encouraged her to become a teacher. Itayem’s inspiration for the arts was encouraged at a young age. “When I was twelve, I spent my summers at my dad’s restaurant and it was incredibly boring. One of his cooks introduced me to painting to make the time go by faster, and the next day my dad got me my first set of paints. That’s how I got into art,” she stated when asked what her favorite childhood memory was.

Itayem is motivated by many factors, such as her students, “My favorite part about teaching is getting my students to create amazing work!” Itayem spends her days encouraging students to do their best and improve in their works while getting to do the things she loves .