It’s Not March Madness, It’s Mulch Madness!

By Brian Storey

At first, Mulch Madness started as just a lacrosse fundraiser, but it quickly became a fundraiser for all the Oak Hall School sports teams. “Teams are awarded money from the fundraiser and donations according to how many volunteers they had and how long they worked for,” said Upper School Dean and head football coach RJ Fuhr when asked about the fundraiser. In past years, there was a barbecue and sport-specific games on the Friday before the mulch delivery. It was a great way to introduce younger kids to different sports as each sport had a game or drill run by current Oak Hall athletes. This year, however, there won’t be a barbecue and games. Instead, according to Oak Hall Athletic Director Edwin McTureous, “there will be an online game tournament. We don’t know what games, but it might last the whole weekend. But there definitely won’t be a barbecue because of safety precautions.”

The second half of the fundraiser is the mulch delivery, which is free within the Gainesville area on orders of 10 or more bags. Customers can order certain amounts of mulch and either come to campus to pick up their order, or have it delivered by parents and athletes. This is always a popular part for the students, which is very important because each year more and more mulch gets ordered. As far as the technical aspects of the mulch delivery, McTureous stated “We haven’t worked out all of the safety precautions yet because it is heavy work and we will be outside just like a football or soccer practice and kids don’t wear masks during those practices so, I think it would be about the same exposure.” 

Families can order mulch until Feb. 12 by visiting the Mulch Madness website, with pick-up and delivery on Feb. 20.

Senior Spotlight: Madeline Paquette

In an effort to make this year special for Oak Hall’s senior athletes, we created A-Z questions for them to answer. We hope you enjoy!

Madeline Paquette is a member of Oak Hall’s varsity girls soccer team and varsity girls lacrosse team.

By Shailey Klein

A – Advice you would give your freshman-self? Transfer to Oak Hall sooner.
B – Best pre-game meal? Anything.
C – Coach Murphy’s best words of advice? Put your knee on the ground.
D – Dessert? Anything chocolate.
E – Entertaining practice? I feel like we don’t have those.
F – Favorite high school soccer moment? Just playing the games with my friends is really fun.
G – Goals for your senior season? To win regionals.
H – Happiest day of your life? I don’t know that one.
I – Interesting thing about you away from soccer? I love to draw.
J – Joker on the team? Kelly [Gill].
K – Keys to balancing school and sports workload? Don’t go to sleep until you get your homework done.
L – Least favorite part of practice? All the running.
M – Music you listen to? Pretty much anything. Mostly country.
N – Netflix or Hulu? I like both. Both are my favorite.
O – Other sports? Lacrosse.
P – Preparation for a big game includes? Make sure I get the same warm-up every game.
Q – Question you would ask your future self? If I succeeded in life.
R – Relaxing part of your day? Going to bed.
S – Superstitions? If I don’t have the same warm-up every game, I’m going to play bad.
T – TV Show? Grey’s Anatomy.
U – Underrated pet? Pig.
V – Vacation spot? North Carolina.
W – What does it mean to you to be an Eagle? To work hard and don’t give up.
X – X-rays? I’ve had ankle, foot, and hip, like five or six.
Y – Your impact on younger players on the team? Hopefully I’m a good leader to them.
Z – Zoo animal? Hippo, or elephants, or a llama. I don’t know if llamas are in zoos though.

Senior Spotlight: Ayesha Khuddus

In an effort to make this year special for Oak Hall’s senior athletes, we created A-Z questions for them to answer. We hope you enjoy!

Ayesha Khuddus plays for Oak Hall’s girls varsity soccer team!

By Sarah Rosenberg

A – Advice youd give your freshman-self? Keep working hard because it pays off in the end.
B – Best pre-game meal? Some fruit and a granola bar.
C – Coachs best words of advice? The best players are the ones who leave their heart on the field.
D – Favorite dessert? Pazookie. 
E – Most entertaining practice? Optional ones.
F – Favorite high school athletic moment? Probably winning district last year.
G – Goals for your senior season? Just to be the best player I can be.
– Hoping to attend (which college)? No idea.
I – Interesting thing about you away from soccer? I’ve played piano for 11 years now.
J – Jersey number? 21
K – Keys to maintaining homework? Do it as soon as you have time because you’re going to be way too tired after practice.
L – Least favorite practice drill? Figure 8s. 
M – Music you listen to? Literally anything.
N – Netflix or Hulu? Netflix. 
– Outside hobbies (other than soccer)? I really like to travel and experience new cultures.
P – Preparations for a big game include? Just to get into the right headspace and usually listen to music.
Q – Question you would ask your future self? What college did I go to?
– Most relaxing part of your day? Laying on my bedroom floor after practice.
S – What would your senior superlative be? “Most likely to fall on the field”.
T – Favorite TV show? Criminal Minds.
U – Most underrated pet? I don’t know I don’t have any.
V – Favorite vacation spot? The Maldives.
W – What does it mean to you to be an Eagle? To never give up.
– Any X-rays? Yes two. One on my elbow when I broke it and one on my quad to make sure I didn’t break anything. 
– Your impact to the younger athletes on the team? I hope I taught them to be a leader.
Z – Favorite zoo animal? Giraffe.

Senior Spotlight: Victor Chiu

In an effort to make this year special for Oak Hall’s senior athletes, we created A-Z questions for them to answer. We hope you enjoy!

Victor Chiu is a member of Oak Hall’s varsity boys soccer team!

By Jenna Poppell

A – Advice you’d give your freshman-self? Do your homework on time.
B – Best pre-game meal? 
A sandwich. 
C – Coach’s best words of advice? 
Don’t be bad.
D – Favorite dessert? 
E – Most entertaining practice? 
Film with Adam. 
F – Favorite high school athletic moment? 
I don’t know, I play defense!
G – Goals for your senior season? 
To win a game.
H – Hoping to attend (which college)? 
UPenn (University of Pennsylvania).
I – Interesting thing about you away from soccer?  
I did fencing for a few years.
J – Favorite joke?
K – Keys to maintaining homework? Just do it when you get home.
L – Least favorite practice drill? 
Four-line drill. Everyone stands in a square and you just pass [the ball] in circles.
M – Music you listen to? 
N – Netflix or Hulu? 
O – Outside hobbies (other than soccer)? 
P – Preparations for a big game include? 
Drinking water.
Q – Question you would ask your future-self? 
Was [soccer] worth it? Like, time-wise.
R – Most relaxing part of your day? 
S – What would your senior superlative be? 
“Least likely to get dress coded”. 
T – Favorite TV show? 
Criminal Minds.
U – Most underrated pet? A fish.
V – Favorite vacation spot? 
W – What does it mean to you to be an Eagle? Go to Oak Hall.
X – Any X-rays? 
No.Y – Your impact to the younger athletes on the team? I tell them what to do!  
Z – Favorite zoo animal? A wolf, I don’t know if that’s in a zoo.

Column: Life on Earth

This week’s topic: Household cleaners

By Elle Storoe

Most of us clean our house by using cleaning products. But do we know what is in those cleaning products? We like to assume that the cleaners we use for our home are safe, however most are not. Inhaling, ingesting, and touching some of these toxic chemicals can cause severe injury, and even death. When choosing cleaning products for your home, we can look for these toxic chemicals on the packages of cleaning products. Chemicals such as bleach, ethylene glycol, ammonia, Phthalates, Sodium Hydroxide, phosphorous, and others, can be extremely toxic. 

Knowing what chemicals to look for can help us avoid harmful cleaning products. Not only are toxic chemicals in the cleaning products bad for us as humans, but they are even worse for our pets. Chemicals such as bleach, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, chemical compounds with the word “phenol”, and products with strong odors, are toxic to your pets. 

What is even worse is that all these toxic chemicals can end up in the ocean. We use chemicals to clean toilets, sinks, and other appliances, and the chemicals are eventually washed down the drain and, not all, but some end up in our oceans. This can be harmful to marine life, and even affect our beaches. 

The plastic bottles that the cleaning products are packaged in are also bad for the environment. Once the bottle is empty, it gets thrown away. We then buy another plastic bottle, to once again throw away when it’s empty; it’s a vicious cycle. Even though companies that create the cleaners designed some of the bottles to be disposable and recyclable, most are just thrown away.

We all probably know that the cleaning products we use are made by major manufacturers. The chemical plants could be thousands of miles away from our nearest grocery store. Just getting your household cleaning products to our nearest grocery store can impact the environment greatly. The transportation methods used, such as boats, plains and trains, can greatly affect the environment. (Check out my other column entry on travel, which can be found here

How to help:

Now that we know what the toxic chemicals are, we can avoid it when choosing our next cleaning products. When we are done with the bottle, instead of just throwing it away we can put it in the recycle bin. We can also look for cleaning solutions in better packaging that is biodegradable, or more easily recycled. We can also choose to create our own cleaning products, without using all the toxic chemicals.