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Another Upset: Varsity Basketball defeats ANC

The Tigers were not supposed to win this game. It was what everyone in attendance was thinking, and has been a common theme for the varsity basketball team during this magical year.

The Academy of the New Church Lions are deep, athletic, and talented. They have three potential DI recruits: 6’6” senior forward Carnel Harley, point guard Vince Jackson, and 6’8” freshman Marcus Little. While none have definite offers, all three have interest. The Lions are an intimidating team, to put it lightly. When they strolled into the gym, there was no mistaking the definite stares from the home crowd. This team had confidence. However, the Tigers, as they have done all season, stared this team in the face and were not intimidated in the slightest.

In the first half, seniors Jamil Pines-Elliot and Ray Leon both got into foul trouble, and had to be taken out of the game. Senior Andrew Aldridge had three big buckets to keep the scrappy Tigers in the game, but things were still looking bleak. However, this allowed for freshman Isaac Myran and sophomore Thomas Primosch (AKA Smoove) to step into the spotlight in one of the biggest games of the season. They delivered.

Myran played lockdown defense on Jackson, not allowing him to even touch the ball for most of the second quarter. His constant motor and toughness allowed the Tigers to keep it close despite not having two of the team’s best players. Smoove knocked down a big jumper as well.

In the second half, Leon was back, but Jamil was not. He picked up an early foul in the third quarter, and Myran stumbled back onto the court. It was his job again to defend Jackson, and defend he did. 

In the third quarter, things were looking bleak again. At the worst point in the third quarter, the Tigers trailed by seventeen. But this team does not know how to quit. Shots began to fall, the Lions’ shots began to miss, and Leon came up with some big rebounds down the stretch. The gap began to close. The lead was cut to seven at the start of the fourth quarter, and the Tigers never looked back.

Down two, a perfect play call by coach Shawn Werdt gave Ray the ball and a driving lane. He drove left, elevated, finished a tough layup and got fouled. He made the foul shot, and the tigers lead by one. However, the lead was short-lived. Senior Jalil Pines-Elliot, who had played excellent defense the entire game, fouled Vince Jackson to put him on the line, where he made both shots. The tigers were down once more, with 5.2 seconds remaining. They inbounded the ball to Ray, where he was immediately fouled by Carnel Harley. He made the foul shots to put the Tigers up by one. But there were still 4.3 seconds left, enough time to get a good shot off. The ball was inbounded to Vince Jackson where he was swarmed by twins Jamil and Jalil Pines-Elliot, he coughed up the ball, and the Tigers won another.

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Manolo Sanchez ’10 selected in MLS SuperDraft

On Tuesday, January 20th, GFS’ vaunted athletic class of 2010 was able to put yet another large feather in their hat. The New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer made Manolo Sanchez ’10 the 78th pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft.

Sanchez joins classmate Jesse Biddle, who was the 27th pick of the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2010 Major League Baseball Draft, as the second member of the class of 2010 to be drafted by a professional sports team. These two are in fact the only athletes in GFS’ history to have accomplished the incredible feat. Sanchez played varsity soccer at GFS from 2006-09 under coach Matt Zipin.

During his illustrious high school career, Sanchez led the team in goals and earned all-Friends School League honors in all four of his years, earned a place on the all-State team in his junior and senior seasons, broke school records for both goals (59) and assists (38) over his career as a Tiger, and helped bring home the 2007 FSL championship.

“He was fast, powerful, and skilled,” says Henry Bushnell ’13, a teammate of Sanchez’ for two years. “He was a man among boys and there was really nobody like him on the field at the high school level. Off the field, however, he was just one of the guys and never gave off the aura that he was special.”

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Sanchez’ exploits at GFS earned him a scholarship to play soccer at University of Louisville, the defending national champions at the time. After not playing much in his freshman year, Sanchez transferred to Clemson University for more of an opportunity on the field.

After sitting out his sophomore academic year to gain NCAA eligibility after transferring, Sanchez went on to become an integral part of his new school’s success.

By the end of his senior season, Sanchez was regarded as one of the best collegiate wide players in the nation and led his team in goals and assists en route to an Atlantic Coast Conference championship.

It was his senior season which got him noticed by MLS scouts, and a solid performance at the annual MLS combine for professional prospects caught the eye of the team with the league’s best record, the New York Red Bulls, who selected him in the fourth round.

As for the road ahead for Sanchez, he now starts pre-season training with his new team and will be hoping to win himself a spot on New York’s roster for the start of the MLS season in March.

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Editorial: 5 Things We Want to See in the New Upper School Principal

The search committee has completed their interviews of candidates for the position of the Head of Upper School Principal, and a decision will be announced soon. The Earthquake Editorial Board wants to weigh in. Here are five things we would like to see in our new Upper School Principal:

1. Increase Student-Administration Communication

Students, currently, have minimal involvement in influencing curriculum decisions. We want a principal who develops relationships with students and encourages communication between the student body and the administration. Students are rarely in the principal’s office except for disciplinary action. We want a principal who encourages more student input like the J-Term survey, who meets with student groups and takes their opinions into consideration. Of course the new principal should be wary of simply pandering to every desire of the students, but still develop a strong relationship with the student body.

2. Challenge Students Academically

The responsibilities of the Upper School Principal include “evaluating current curricula and pedagogical practices to ensure that these are innovative, academically sound, creative, and based on current research in teaching and learning.” Our new principal should be someone who recognizes GFS’s status as an academic institution. With every worthwhile endeavor comes hard work, and our principal must appreciate this. Classes should be evaluated to make sure they are being taught in a thoughtful, purposeful and creative manner, but there should not be a push to make classes “easier” or a stress upon teachers to run classes that do not put students out of their comfort zones. We want someone who is not afraid to look at our curriculum to ensure GFS is indeed an academically challenging institution.

3. Modify, but Keep J-Term

January Term was an example of a fresh idea coming to life in the GFS community. Like any new proposal, the first year is bound to be rocky, and J-Term was no exception. Some inevitable flaws were unearthed, while many positive aspects of the month have been celebrated. This is not to say that J-Term should be eradicated, rather it should be modified and changed in certain ways. We noticed that the most obvious flaw was, for some, an unfortunate lack of student motivation. We would be interested in seeing the principal help in changing the perception of J-Term as a “slacking” month to something fully educational and in line with the mission of our academic and Quaker institution.

4. Be an Eloquent Speaker

For years we have enjoyed the privilege of hearing Principal Rita Goldman speak at assemblies and special events. Goldman brought energy to meetings with her enthusiasm, and her knack for public speaking has become expected of our principal. It is important that we continue to have a leader who is able to communicate effectively with the student body, faculty, and parents. The new principal will be a recognizable figure that represents the school; she or he needs to be an eloquent and a powerful speaker.

5. Be in Sync with Quaker Philosophy

Because Quaker values permeate all aspects of our school life, the new principal needs a working knowledge of these tenets and should be prepared to use them in all decision-making processes. A strong leader of our Upper School will be faced with many difficult choices in molding the division, and a principal who is in accordance and agreement with the most essential beliefs of our institution is crucial. Yes, we are a prep school, but we will not and cannot do the same things as non-Quaker prep schools, and a principal who is simply experienced at leading prep schools may not be able to understand our culture or find his or her niche within it easily. Every question that similar schools face today will need to be examined with a Quakerly lens, so the principal truly needs to be able to live a professional life in the manner of Friends.

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Inherent Vice: ghostly good

There’s neither the need nor the room to properly explain the plot of Inherent Vice. However, to give some preliminary background, it focuses on dope-addled detective Doc Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix) as he tries to unravel multiple linked cases involving mysterious boats, violent cops, drug cartels, cults, brothels, the Aryan brotherhood, and everything else director Paul Thomas Anderson could fit. Understanding the plot isn’t required, even though it all make sense if you’re paying very close attention,. The film is just as sublime on an emotional level and it is easy to just go with the ebb and flow of the film’s narrative.

Anderson is one of the greatest filmmakers working today, and Inherent Vice feels like a culmination of everything he’s been working towards his entire career. It’s an epic and surreal film.  The cast is enormous (Josh Brolin, Mel Brooks, Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson, and so many more) and the paranoia of the 1960s is vibrant, seductive, unnerving and profound.

At the heart of the film, there’s Doc and Shasta (Kate Waterson). She turns up several times throughout the film, but even when Shasta isn’t present, her ghost seems to loom over everything he does. To Doc, she represents a simpler time. There are many scenes in the film where the audience is simply lost in the world put on screen: the opening and closing scenes, a secret meeting in a foggy back alley, and a romantic dash through the rain at the orders of a ouija board. The film manages to evoke a transcendent atmosphere that makes the film feel like it’s slipping away even as you watch it, and that the characters are all scrambling to retain a moment of clarity, whether it be through drugs or sex or violence or love.

Inherent Vice is the best movie of year. It’s one of the best movies of the century so far. It is the reason why people go to the movies in the first place. It’s a swooning romance, a twisty detective noir, a delirious comedy, and a recapturing of a time long gone. It is a film that is completely alive, about nothing less than what it’s like to exist in an ever-changing, ever-fading space and time. It’s magical.

 

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Photo Essay: Ferguson+ Teach In Starts a Dialogue

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GFS Boys Basketball off to a historic start

The boys varsity basketball team this year is off to a historic start. They opened with a win over Penn Charter, 59-39, a game in which senior twins Jamil and Jalil Pines-Elliot played some of their signature lockdown defense, stymieing the Quaker guards.

This game marked the first time since 1989 that the Germantown Friends has defeated their neighborhood rivals. That’s right: the year Taylor Swift was born was the last time GFS had beaten Penn Charter.

They continued their success with two more wins in the Germantown Community Tournament. They breezed through a game with Bodine to move on to the championship the next day against a very tough opponent: Cardinal O’Hara. Lead by Tip Swartz, the Lions had easily bested Indian Creek High school the day before, 67-37. But the Tigers were not intimidated. Sophomore Michael Buckmire played lockdown defense on Swartz, Seniors Andrew Aldridge and Ray Leon had 18 and 19 points, respectively, and the Tigers won yet again, 58-39.

Their success continued against Mercy Vocational and Collegium Charter, pulling out two scrappy wins, 60-34 and 64-49. Then came the next big test, away against Abington Friends. The game had very serious playoff implications even though it was in December.  The Tigers were not deterred by the pressure. After the first quarter, the game looked like it would be a thriller. However, in the second quarter, the Tigers snatched the lead and never looked back, ultimately winning 52-36. The game was not a total victory, as freshman Pietro Berghella broke two bones in his forearm and will be out for about eight weeks.