Category Archives: Features

Just Because: March Madness Has Truly Gone Mad

By Ryan McKinney 

The time has come and madness here for us all, bringing many new matchups and many teams awaiting the big dance. The tournament contains 68 teams total including four buy-in games to create a bracket of 64 total teams. 

 Through the first weekend of games nothing has changed as the tournament featured a total of seven upsets in the round of 64, and five upsets in the Round of 32. This is nothing usual though as anything can happen in March. Highlighting the biggest upset this past week comes from the 16 seed Fairleigh Dickinson (FDU…a school in New Jersey) beating Number 1 seed Purdue in a wire-to-wire game in the first round. FDU coach Tobin Anderson spoke in the locker room after winning their buy-in game saying, “The more I watch Purdue, the more I think we can beat them.” This revealed the true underdogs confidence and how they can compete with any team in the tournament despite losing in a close game in the second round of the tournament. Other big moments in the tournament so far come from the Ivy League school Princeton as they shocked the world beating Number 2 seed Arizona in the first round, then went on to beat Missouri to advance to the Sweet Sixteen. Besides these big upsets, many top ranked teams still remain as the Houston Cougars and Alabama Crimson Tide pose as big threats moving on in this tournament. Furthermore, there are also what I like to call “Dark Horse” teams in which the players are very talented, but the team itself isn’t ranked amongst the best. These teams consist of Miami, Kansas State, Creighton, and UCLA. 

Other big games consisted of Arkansas pulling off the upset against 1 Seed Kansas in the second round propelling them to the Sweet Sixteen. Along with this big win from Arkansas, Miami routed a very talented Indiana team who many thought could get to the Final Four. Miami showed last year that they could make a run and I see it happening again this year as they are led by young star Isaiah Wong. 

The matchups of the teams remaining in the Sweet Sixteen are listed below:

South Region:

March 24
#1 Alabama vs. #5 San Diego State @ 6:30pm 
#6 Creighton vs. #15 Princeton @ 9:00pm 

East Region:

March 23
#9 Florida Atlantic vs. #4 Tennessee @ 9:00pm 
#3 Kansas State vs. #7 Michigan State @ 6:30pm 

Midwest Region:

March 24
#1 Houston vs. #5 Miami @ 7:15pm

#3 Xavier vs. #2 Texas @ 9:45pm

West Region:

March 23
#8 Arkansas vs. #4 UConn @ 7:15pm

#3 Gonzaga vs. #2 UCLA @ 9:45


Although everybody’s bracket is broken, ESPN still offers a challenge to predict the Sweet Sixteen and I’d like to share who I believe is going to win and why. Coming out of the South Region games, I have Alabama cruising past the Aztecs as the Tide are just too efficient on offense; and then Creighton ending the Cinderella run in a close match though against Princeton. Between these two teams, I believe Alabama will barely edge out Creighton to advance to the Final Four. Moving on to the East Region, I have Florida Atlantic (FAU) continuing their hot streak and advancing to the Elite Eight in a matchup against Kansas State. Kansas State will beat Michigan State easily as they just perform at a way faster pace and score too many points for the Spartans to keep up. Anyways, I have Kansas State led by Florida Gator alumni Keyontae Johnson ending the streak of FAU and advancing to the Final Four. Next, is the Midwest Region which contains, in my opinion, the toughest pair of games to predict. Both games have teams that have displayed a series of proficient basketball in the past, and I don’t expect anything to change. I believe Houston will slightly edge out the Canes due to their big size in the paint containing two seven footers in the starting line up. Facing up against Houston in the Elite Eight will be Texas as they’ve been hot since beating Kansas twice by more than 20 points during the end of the regular season. This will be the game of the tournament likely either ending on a buzzer beater or going to overtime, but with my winner comes size so I’m taking the Cougars. Lastly, the games in the West Region have one of my personal favorites to win the tournament in UCLA. I’ve watched this team the past three years and not only do they have athleticism and size, but also tournament experience as this is their third Sweet Sixteen in three years. So, I will be taking UConn in a very close game against Arkansas who just beat Kansas, but then UConn losing to UCLA in the Elite Eight by at least double digits. 

This brings me to my Final Four in which I believe will be some of the greatest college basketball games in a few years. To start off, I have Alabama standing their ground and barely skipping by a tough Kansas State team to advance to the championship. In this next game come my two favorite teams coming into the tournament, where Houston has the advantage because the entire Final Four is hosted in Houston. Nevertheless, I still believe UCLA can outscore the Cougars in their hometown so I’m taking the Tyger Campbell-led Bruins. Finally comes the championship where the two most talented teams sacrifice their season in engaging their last-ditch effort to win the title. Without a doubt, I’m taking the team I’ve been riding with all month long and that’s the UCLA Bruins. This is because of their offensive efficiency as well as their way to play such good defense while still putting up a bunch of points. 

Senior Spotlight: Julia Gordan

By Tori Kitchens

Senior Julia Gordan has been part of the Oak Hall (OHS) community from the very beginning of her schooling experience. Known for her academic prowess, she has excelled in most areas including STEM and Global Affairs. 

As an AP scholar with many hobbies, Gordan has committed a lot of her spare time to the benefit of others within the school. Her involvement in clubs like Future Medical Professionals Club (FMPC), National Honor Society, and Environmental Club has helped her reach her goal of leaving a positive impact at OHS. Gordan has continued to follow her passions in OHS clubs by stepping into leadership positions in each of these clubs her senior year.

Wanting to pursue a career in medicine and global health, she has taken the role of president of FMPC. “FMPC introduced me to the concept of using medicine to serve the community – whether it be through blood drives or public health – and redefined my perspective towards STEM,” Gordan acknowledged. “My unending passion and academic success in STEM classes furthered my curiosity for the biological sciences and were key in encouraging me to explore extracurriculars related to STEM.”

Gordan wanted to further her participation in National Honor Society this year by becoming Vice President. “Alongside wanting [to] organize the annual NHS food drive, I became the NHS Vice President as I wanted to invest myself more into service as a whole and make it a priority in my extracurriculars,” Gordan stated.

Looking back at her time at OHS, Gordan credits teachers like Mrs. Christine Gutierrez (math) and Ms. Kristin Wilson (science) for further building her love of STEM and helping others alongside her own competitive spirit. “I began to enjoy the challenge and craved advanced classes not just for the competition but for challenge of comprehending college-level material. Gordan will continue this competitive edge as she will be attending the University of Chicago in the fall and will study biological sciences and global health.

A – Advice you’d give your freshman-self? Enjoy the ride, but always keep working hard.
B – Best meal? Anything from Brazil.
C – Teacher’s best words of advice? Just any type of encouragement I heard last year.
D – Favorite dessert? This dessert called brigadeiro from Brazil.
E – Most entertaining class? AP Bio last year.
F – Favorite high school moment? Walks with Christina (Sarantos) in the morning. 
G – Goals for your senior year? Have fun and get into a good college. 
H – Hoping to attend which college? MIT or UChicago. (Filmed before committing to UChicago)
I – Interesting thing you do? Horseback riding. 
J – Favorite joke? Why’d the chicken cross the road? To get to the other side.
K – Keys to maintaining homework? Keep an agenda and just do the work.
L – Least favorite subject? History. 
M – Music you listen to? Chill pop, Steve Lacy.
N – Netflix or Hulu? Netflix. 
O – What sport would you like to try that you haven’t already? Volleyball. 
P – Preparations for a big test include? Listening to music, zoning out, and WebAssign.
Q – Question you would ask your future self? How am I helping the world?
R – Most relaxing part of your day? Playing with my dog when I get home.
S – What would your senior superlative be? Probably “Most Likely to get a Nobel Peace Prize”.
T – Favorite TV show? The Office or Modern FamilyModern Family!!
U – Most underrated pet? Cats. 
V – Favorite vacation spot? Paris is pretty cool. 
W – What does it mean to you to be an Eagle? I think it means being supportive and always trying to be the best version of yourself for everyone else. 
X – How many x-rays have you had? Oh God, probably like 20 at this point. 20. 
Y – Your impact to younger students? I hope I can just be an inspiration to the younger kids and try and teach them to be nice to other people. 
Z – What is your zodiac sign? Capricorn.

Senior Spotlight: Dylan Provencher

By Tori Kitchens

Senior and student-athlete Dylan Provencher has been very successful both on and off the playing field during his time at Oak Hall School (OHS). He joined the OHS community in fourth grade after moving to Gainesville. Since his enrollment, Provencher has played a major role in athletics and academics, becoming a leader of his peers.

Having started tackle football in sixth grade, Provencher has further developed his skills and passion for the sport. As starting tight end of the OHS varsity football team, he has been essential to the team’s success, playing nearly every snap. “He has been a true leader in the classroom, on the field and in the Oak Hall community,” OHS Football Head Coach RJ Fuhr stated. “We will miss him dearly, but we are so excited for his future.”

Provencher has received many Division 3 offers. His success in the classroom has contributed to these offers coming through, as each school has a high level of academic prowess. Provencher has committed to spend the next four years playing football at Carnegie Mellon University. “He has worked so hard and to get the opportunity to attend one of the top engineering schools in the country and to play football at the collegiate level is amazing and so well deserved for Dylan,” Fuhr stressed.

Provencher continued his love of being active by joining the basketball program in sixth grade. Provencher began his basketball career in the Community Sports League in his first year at OHS. When he entered middle school, he played travel basketball. “That was a super competitive atmosphere, but I’ve enjoyed it,” Provencher explained. 

Although he only joined the OHS Track and Field program last year, Provencher became a strong member of the team quite quickly. He joined the team to increase his speed for football and became an important specialist in the shot put and 100-meter dash. “It’s good to be a multi-sport athlete because you train different muscles, which is just good for you,” Provencher added.

Provencher has been determined to maintain his excellent achievement in the classroom on top of being a three-sport athlete. “You don’t necessarily have to sacrifice something greatly,” Provencher noted. After several years of immersing himself in numerous clubs, honor societies, and AP-level courses, Provencher’s hard work has paid off. We look forward to seeing all he accomplishes at Carnegie Mellon!

A – Advice you’d give your freshman-self? Stay in school. 
B – Best pre-game meal? Chick-Fil-A.
C – Coach’s best words of advice? Catch the ball. 
D – Favorite dessert? Ice cream. 
E – Most entertaining class? Westfall. 
F – Favorite high school moment? Probably a class trip or something. 
G – Goals for your senior year? Get into a good college. ::side note: which he did! The interview was recorded before he was accepted into Carnegie Mellon::
H – Hoping to attend which college? Dartmouth. [Filmed before decision announcement]
I – Interesting thing you do besides sports? Chess. 
J – Favorite joke? I have no idea! 
K – Keys to maintaining homework? Just know that it will be worth it in the end if you do your homework.
L – Least favorite practice drill? Probably like up-downs.
M – Music you listen to? Hip Hop. 
N – Netflix or Hulu? Netflix.
O – What other sport would you like to try? Rugby. 
P – Preparations for a big game include? Focusing mentally. 
Q – Question you would ask your future self? What should I be doing differently now?
R – Most relaxing part of your day? When I get home at night. 
S – What would your senior superlative be? I have no idea. 
T – Favorite TV show? There’s this show called Shooter.
U – Most underrated pet? Sea otter. 
V – Favorite vacation spot? The beach? I don’t know.
W – What does it mean to you to be an Eagle? It means you gotta push yourself and work hard.
X – How many x-rays have you had? I think 4, 3.
Y – Your impact to younger athletes on the team? I think my impact has been trying to let people know that you can focus academically and athletically. 
Z – What is your zodiac sign? Aquarius. 

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

By Brody Beaupre

While some people think of Martin Luther King Day, they might just think about a day off of school or work, but there is so much more to this holiday. 

We celebrate MLK day to honor the life and work of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King was an American Baptist minister and, more importantly, a civil rights activist during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960’s, who promoted peaceful disobedience and led protests to take a stand against segregation, some of which got violent toward the protestors. One of his greatest accomplishments was the bus boycott. Lasting 382 days, African Americans did not ride busses until the Supreme Court declared segregation on busses unconstitutional on December 21, 1956. According to, “During these days of boycott, King was arrested, his home was bombed, he was subjected to personal abuse, but at the same time he emerged as a Negro leader of the first rank.”

Dr. King was an excellent public speaker and inspired so many people then and now with his speeches. His most famous speech is his “I Have A Dream” speech, which he gave on the footsteps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963 in front of 250,000 people. 

You can find the full speech here.

As a school, Oak Hall celebrates the life and legacy of Dr. King by taking the day off from school, but also held a special assembly for the Upper School students to remind us about the sacrifices that were made. This year Oak Hall was lucky to have Mrs. Caronne Rush talk to us about the great work of Dr. King, allowing all of us to coexist in peace. 

As we have the day off from school and work, I hope that we can take some time to appreciate and reflect on how far we have come thanks to Dr. King and see that there is still more that we can be doing to make this country and the world a better, safer place for people of all ages, sexualities, ethnicities, and races. 

Just Because: Rating Cereals

By Ryan McKinney

Today, I will be ranking the top 10 cereals as there is a wide variety of different choices to debate, and yes there is only one correct list: this one. I am basing my list off of three factors: how good it is dry, with normal milk, and with almond milk. Some options are featured higher on the list though due to its delicious taste when mixed with chocolate milk. 

Coming at the 10 spot is the second-best cinnamon tasting cereal, Apple Jacks. This is a delicious cereal that tastes unlike the name, but is rated at a solid 7 out of 10. Apple Jacks were invented by William Thilly in 1965 but the name wasn’t originally used until 1971. Apple Jacks received the rating based off a good dry and with normal milk score but tastes a little odd with almond milk and/or chocolate milk. 

Apple Jacks: 7/10

Taking the number nine spot is Captain Crunch Berries. The berry explosion is what brings this cereal so high as there is a burst of flavor when the amazing cereal hits your tongue. With almond milk especially, this cereal receives a rating of 7.4. This average comes from a good score in all three categories. 

Captain Crunch Berries: 7.4/10

Moving on to number eight comes the original brand of cereal, Honey Nut Cheerios. This cereal is dynamic as it tastes delicious mixed with any milk, and many consider it the “OG” cereal. Although this cereal is vintage, along with good tasting, there are top contenders that simply outlast Cheerios due to its lack of complete flavor. This brings the cereal up to a score of 7.7 as it is a striking competitor but just can’t make the top five due to its blandness in flavor.  

Honey Nut Cheerios: 7.7/10

Coming in the lucky number seven slot is Frosted Mini Wheats. Frosted Mini Wheats is a dynamic cereal as well as a blessing to the taste buds with all types of milk. The reason this cereal lands in the seven spot is also due to its blandness of flavor when eaten dry, but slightly beat out the Honey Nut Cheerios due to the frosting adding a little bit extra taste. The total score for the Mini Wheats rounds out to a 7.9, slightly edging out its previous competitor. 

Frosted Mini Wheats: 7.9/10

Barely missing the top five is Fruity Pebbles but make a major jump in the scoring system. Fruity Pebbles sum up to a total score of 8.5. This cereal is near perfect as it has an extreme amount of flavor along with versatility with various types of milk. The only issue is that it gets difficult to finish as most of the tiny pebbles sink to the bottom. This is why this amazing cereal barely misses being part of the fantastic five. 

Fruity Pebbles: 8.5/10

Entering the top five comes the only cereal on this list filled with chocolate and peanut butter. Reese’s Puffs exhibit a strong tasting cereal especially with chocolate milk. The total score on the scale reveals a solid 8.9. This is due to its elaborate ingenuity and its wild mixture of flavor. This cereal clearly resembles a look alike taste along with fan favorite candy Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. 

Reese’s Puffs: 8.9/10

A shining contender coming in at the four spot is the “magically delicious” cereal, Lucky Charms. This cereal combines both bland flavors along with bursting marshmallows to form a delicious cereal. The total scale score comes out to the first “A” at 9.2. This score is basically carried by the taste of the marshmallows as they are the heart and soul of this cereal brand. The slight blandness on the other side of the cereal, however, is what slightly carries this brand outside of medal contention. 

Lucky Charms: 9.2/10

Barely entering the leaderboard is the Tony the Tiger led, Frosted Flakes. Tony the Tiger is really the king of this brand as its total score comes to a 9.4. The sugar in this cereal portrays the perfect recipe for frosting as it is 10 times better than the frost on Mini Wheats. This cereal is also very compatible with all types of milk, including a strong push of extravagant taste with almond milk.

Frosted Flakes: 9.4/10

Froot Loops are not worthy of making this list at all, but taking the silver medal is Froot Loops WITH Marshmallows. The marshmallows are a complete gamechanger as the cereal itself tastes good, but every color tastes the same. This cereal displays a strong explosion of flavor coming from both the melting marshmallows and the tasty loops. Out of 10, this cereal comes in at a solid 9.8 as it is near perfect, but barely misses out on being crowned champion. 

Froot Loops with Marshmallows: 9.8/10

The greatest and clear-cut champion in this competition comes the ideal breakfast of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. The diverse and unique cereal portrays many positives, as it is flawless with a score of a perfect 10. This cereal is seen in my pantry at all times, as it is dynamic with many amazing milk-to-cereal combos that you can make. Overall, Cinnamon Toast Crunch undoubtably takes the title and will hold onto this title for the rest of my lifetime. 

Cinnamon Toast Crunch: 10/10