Thompson breaks block record

By Brennan Tomer

Mattoon High School senior and varsity volleyball player Sierra Thompson broke the record for most blocks in a season career.

“When I broke [the record], I didn’t even know that I did. It wasn’t until we had our volleyball banquet did I find out,” Thompson said.

Thompson is very optimistic about the rest of the season, and has high hopes for her career.

“I hope to possibly break the blocking record again, as well as have an amazing season and improve daily with my team and make it far in the season,” Thompson said.

Thompson reminisced about her favorite moments she had during this season with her teammates.

“My favorite parts would have to be the tournaments because we always made amazing improvement from the beginning to the end, as well as getting to spend time with my team and having fun,” Thompson said.

MHS volleyball head coach Mark Jackley knew Thompson was an important asset to their team, and this year was no exception.

“After last season, I knew that Sierra would set the school record for most career blocks.  She has been a consistent blocker the last three seasons,” Jackley said.

Jackley is full of praise for her, and appreciates the leader Thompson has become for the team.

“What I like about Sierra’s game is that she elevates her play against the better teams and she makes her teammates better with her leadership,” Jackley said.

Sisters perform mirror image duet

By Mary ZuHone

“Honestly, I think that ever since I was little I’ve been watching you dance…I look up to you when you dance because I would think you’re good,” Sydney said.
“Thank you,” Chandler said.
“You’re welcome. Now, say something about me,” Sydney said.
“She teaches me to get out of my comfort zone, encourages me to…do things I wouldn’t normally do because that’s the type of person she is. She’s really funny, that’s something I admire,” Chandler said.
“You’re funny too,” Sydney said.
“Thank you,” Chandler said.

Two blonde-haired, blue-eyed girls walk out to the middle of the Mattoon High School gym floor. Wearing identical dresses and the same hairstyle, one could easily mistake MHS senior Chandler Camfield and her sister MHS freshman Sydney Camfield as twins.

At the IDTA Start the Beat dance competition on Oct. 22, Chandler and Sydney performed to Madilyn Bailey’s cover of the song “Mirrors” by Justin Timberlake, placing second in the Junior Varsity Duet category. The idea for the dance was conceptualized at the end the 2015-2016 school year by MHS dance coach Malia Smith.

“I have known Chandler and Sydney since they were little kids, so I’ve always known I wanted to do a duet between them because they are so identical in the way they look, and the way that they dance. We started at the end of last year with the idea knowing that this was going to be Chandler’s senior year. This would be our last opportunity,” Smith said.

According to the sisters, their mom also wanted them to have the opportunity to dance together before Chandler graduates. Smith explains how she and the girls were able to collaborate in creating the choreography.

“We sat down together and picked out a song that we thought would work for the mirror concept, and then also for their sister connection. Then, from there, I came up with the choreography and the movement and gave it to them. Then, they were able to take it and adapt it and add their own quirky little touches to it,” Smith said.

Chandler explains how they adapted it by including more artistic elements where there were blank spots.

“We incorporated things that were more our strong suit, [things] that were more personal to our dancing abilities… Overall, the technical elements of the dance were the same,” Chandler said.

They were able to add their own personal touches to the original choreography, and they both enjoyed the experience and will look back with fondness when they reflect back on it in the future.

“You know how when we dance you look at me sometimes? I smile more,” Sydney said.

Chandler wholeheartedly agrees and gives insight on how dancing with her sister makes her feel.

“In that moment, when I could see her, even though I knew she was there, just seeing her dance with me, it made it me happy,” Chandler said.

Cheerleading: Team prepares for competition season

By Victoria Leitch
Design Editor

The Mattoon High School cheer team has been cheering on the sidelines of sporting events all year, but in December their competition season begins and they’re starting with high hopes.

“This year we have a new team and a new attitude. We have a lot of good skills in order to be successful and our goal is to go to state. We have to have a positive attitude and work hard and then I think it’ll be really easy for us to go,” said MHS senior Mercedes Bierman.

The team is fairly new this year due to a high amount of underclassmen on the team. Having young teammates as the flyers has caused a challenge to come up within the team, but they believe they can overcome it.

“Last year, we had Whitley who was a senior. Going from somebody that could be a really good example, we don’t really have that this year. Our flyers have had to train themselves and work hard. I think that reflects our whole team because even our younger girls have had to work hard and us upperclassmen have had to get new skills in order to accomplish our goal of going to state,” said Bierman.

The team has not gone to state in many years. But with the hard work and dedication that the girls have put into this season, they are expecting to finally pursue their goal of going.

“I think this team will go very far this season. I know they have the skills and talent to go far they just need to keep the drive and passion which I know they all have,” said Head Coach Lauren Haskins.

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