Tag Archives: oak hall eagles

Black History Month: How and Why we Celebrate

By Brody Beaupre

February 1 marks the first day of Black History Month nationwide. “Negro History Week” was first founded in 1926 by Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). Throughout the Civil Rights Movement, it evolved into Black History Month. This month was officially christened by President Gerald Ford in 1976. By celebrating this month, it has helped bring forth awareness to all the inequalities and discrimination Black people faced and continue to face in life and in history. Black History Month was put in place to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history,” Ford noted. The presidents have also given every Black History Month a theme. This year’s theme is “Black Resistance” because “African Americans have resisted historic and ongoing oppression, in all forms, especially the racial terrorism of lynching, racial pogroms and police killings,” according to the ASALH. These themes help us to make sure we know what we celebrate and why we celebrate it. 

How Oak Hall is celebrating Black History Month

Oak Hall is so thankful to have guest speaker Clint Clarke speak to the Upper School students on Feb. 2. about his personal life and his work at Walt Disney World. Clarke is the Senior Audio System Designer, Legacy Award Winner, and does Disney Live Entertainment. He has done so much work for Walt Disney World (Orlando), Disneyland Paris (France), The Disney Cruise Lines, and Shanghai Disney (China). He also has done lots of work for the Florida Gators both when he was a student and now with his company, Triple C Productions. Outside of all his amazing work in the audio world, he is also an all around great guy. He is always doing what he can to help others and is a bright spot in so many people’s lives (mine included). I am so excited for him to share his personal experiences and his insight/information on Black History Month. (Also shout out to Ms. Spencer and the Black Student Union for making this happen).

OHS Winter Sports Preview Season

By Tori Kitchens

As the end of January approaches, the athletes who play winter sports are gearing up for post season play. 

Girls’ Basketball

The girls’ basketball program finished their season 14-7 going an impressive 5-0 in district play. “This is definitely one of the better seasons we have had in several years playing basketball,” senior point guard Kate Pickens noted. Pickens admits that there are some games the team should have won, however, the team has done a remarkable job playing as one. “When we play together ‘as a hand and not five fingers,’ as Coach Ringdahl likes to say, there is no telling what we can accomplish.”

Leading the team in both points and assists, Pickens intends to make the most of her final playoff run. “As long as we put our best foot forward and give it our best shot, I will be more than happy with the results of my last season,” Pickens acknowledged, “but if we have the opportunity to keep winning, I absolutely want to take advantage of it.” 

The Lady Eagles are going into the post season off a senior night win at home against Eastside 32-27. The team begin their run with a bye and will play the winner of Countryside Christian and Redeemer Christian on Wednesday.

Boys’ Basketball

Oak Hall’s boys’ basketball team has had a very successful season. Finishing their regular season with one of the highest win percentages in program history, the team went 14-4 and 6-0 in district play. They have two more regular season games against Lafayette and Dixie County before beginning their post season run next week. “It truly means a lot to play together with my boys in the big moments and I just hope we can build up the chemistry to push us through this post season,” junior guard Ryan McKinney stated.

The records they broke and the successes they reached in the regular season has given the eagles a first-round bye in the post season. “I truly believe that we can make it far this year as this is the most united and connected team we’ve had in a while,” McKinney affirmed. 

The team is expected to make a great run this post season. “I’m expecting us to at least make it to the district championship for sure,” McKinney continued, “but if we end up winning, which I think we are capable of, then I believe we can make a solid run at states this year if we compete at our full potential.”

Girls’ Soccer

After a difficult regular season, the girls’ soccer team enters the post season with nothing but positivity. “It’s been a challenging season, but we have grown a lot as a team and have persevered through a lot,” senior midfield Zahra Sims described. 

The Lady Eagles opened their post season on Thursday, defeating St. Francis at Lafayette 4-1. “I think that that was one of the best games that we’ve played,” Sims added. “We had great communication, and it shows how far attitude and effort can go.” 

The team will travel back to Lafayette on Monday to compete against the Lady Hornets in their home stadium. “I am looking forward to finishing out the season on a good note and leaving OHS soccer with a positive legacy,” Sims stated.

Boys’ Soccer

At the start of their season, the boys’ soccer program welcomed OHS faculty member Andy Westfall as their head coach. “While I always want a winning season and want to build a better program, my daily goals are more about effective training sessions,” Coach Westfall noted. The eagles’ training strong practices paid off as the team started off 6-0 and finished their regular season 9-4. 

The boys will start their playoff run Tuesday against Lafayette. The eagles played the Hornets twice during the regular season and game up just short both times. Regardless, the team intends to make a significant showing this post season. “I think we are in a good place on all accounts, and I am proud of the effort the players have put in so far to put us in a good position to make it through District play,” Coach Westfall contended.

Traditional Competitive Cheerleading

For the first time in its 5-year history, the Competitive Cheerleading squad is competing in the Extra Large Non-Tumbling division. With 22 girls on the floor, most being rookies, the team has had to work even harder to fine tune and perfect their routine. 

The eagles made an impressive showing at their regional competition at West Nassau in Callahan on January 14. The team received their highest raw score ever and qualified for the state semi-finals. “It’s been a challenging season because we are putting a harder routine on the floor than we have ever attempted before and over half of our team has never cheered competitively before,” head Coach Kelley Thorp admitted, “so there has been a big learning curve to overcome.”

Going into state competition, the team hopes to hit a zero-deduction routine in order to take a spot in the final round. 

Gameday Competitive Cheerleading

Not only are the members of the cheer program preparing for state competition, but they are also working hard to prepare for Nationals! 

With a smaller squad of 15, the team has been very successful. At their Universal Cheer Association (UCA) regional competition in the beginning of December, the eagles shocked everyone by placing second with a very high score at their first ever Gameday-styled competition. “It’s been a fun and rewarding season,” head coach Kelley Thorp recounted. “With a small team made up [of] predominately veteran cheerleaders, it has been fun to put together a routine in a genre of cheer we have never done before.” 

The team will travel to Orlando next Thursday to compete at the ESPN Wide World of Sports. 

OHS Latin Program Hosts Regionals

By Amelia Chen

All students enrolled in Middle and Upper School Latin courses at Oak Hall School are participating in the Latin Regionals tournament hosted on campus Saturday, Jan. 28. 

All Latin students compete at regionals in the hopes to be chosen for the state tournament. This year, about 86 students from Oak Hall School will be competing. In total, there are usually around 150 students competing from all the schools in the tournament. This year those schools include Oak Hall, St. Francis, Cornerstone, and Forest High School.

“I’m excited for all of the new students who haven’t been to regionals to experience it and for some of the veterans to be able to kind of show the ropes to the new generation of Latin students,” said Zachary Mair, one of Oak Hall’s Latin teachers.

Students participate in academic testing, Certamen (a Jeopardy-style competition), racing events ala Olympics-style, wear costumes, and participate in art. Minus the testing and Certamen, OHS Latin Club officers organized the regional competition. 

Oak Hall’s Latin Program, the Junior Classical League (JCL), has been competing at regionals for decades and is considered one of the biggest classics programs in the region and quite possibly the state. 

Oak Hall regularly has success in the regionals, as Oak Hall is designed to prepare students on a national level. Mair also noted his hope for the turnout of the competition.

“I hope [this is] a starting line for looking toward states… I’m hoping that students [really] put in that effort and get the award that they deserve for the input that they gave,” he said.

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.