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Meet the Senior Homecoming Court

Winter Homecoming will be celebrated Friday, Jan. 21, with the crowning of the senior king and queen at halftime of the Boys Basketball game. Profiles of the senior court members are below:

Senior Queen Candidates

Cassandra Fetz, who is a senior leader for the House of Loyalty and on the Swim and Softball teams. She plans to attend the University of Cincinnati to major in physical therapy. She said she was surprised and pleased to be voted by her classmates to be on the homecoming court and is happy to be among her friends on the court. As a senior, she understands that she is a role model in showing the underclassmen how fun it is to be a senior “and give them something to look forward to in the future.”

Catherine Pfeiffer, who is the senior executive delegate for the House of Spirit, on the Swim and Girls Golf teams, and in the Drawling Club. She is unsure of her college plans but wants to study speech pathology. She enjoys being a senior her goals is to “just live in the moment and enjoy my last semester of high school … and taking in those special memories.”

Taylor Sanders, who is in the House of Courage and hopes to attend the University of Kentucky in the fall. She said she excited to be on the homecoming court and feels honored that her classmates voted for her. She is looking forward to Senior Assistance Day on April 28 because her brother, Jackson Sanders ’21, had so much fun last year. She enjoys being a senior because she can be a leader and set an example for the underclassmen.

Abby Shavers, who is the senior executive delegate for the House of Courage, a Student Ambassador, and a member of the National Honor Society. She is deciding which Indiana University to attend to study media advertising. As a senior, she takes seriously her role as a senior leader of the student body and an example of Blue Pride. As a member of the homecoming court, she recognizes that she has made an impact on her classmates in order for them to select her to the court. She is looking forward to the next few months to be able to spend time “with my friends and classmates before we start a new chapter of our lives.”

Senior King Candidates 

Zach Applewhite, who is Swim team captain and a member of the House of Justice, Quick Recall, Math Team, and Boys Tennis. He plans to attend Rose-Holman Institute of Technology and study mechanical engineering. He said he is looking forward to graduation because it means he can start the next chapter in his life. In the meantime, he realizes as a senior he is a leader because the younger classes do watch the example the seniors set. Being on the senior homecoming court is evidence of “the valued connections and friends that I have made during my four years at Providence.”

Max Beatty, who is in the House of Integrity and on the Boys Basketball and Baseball teams. He plans to attend IU Bloomington and study business administration. He said he is happy to represent the senior class on the homecoming court, especially since his brother, Trey Beatty ’18, didn’t have the opportunity. He is grateful to be a leader in school and on his sports teams this year because next year he’ll start over as a freshman. He is looking forward to Guerin Day this spring and the competition between the top four houses since the House of Integrity is already in it.

Tyrone Davis, who is a senior delegate for the House of Faith, played Football all four years and runs Track. He plans to attend IU Bloomington and earn a degree in business law. He said being selected by his friends to represent the senior class at homecoming means a lot to him. It also is meaningful to him to be a senior because “being top dog in the school is really awesome, being able to lead and interact with the underclassmen on the daily, and making some lasting friendships with a lot of the people here.” He is looking forward to Track & Field season because he gets to compete one last time with the long jump crew.

Grant Williams, who is a member of the House of Loyalty, National Honor Society, and Boys Basketball team. He plans to attend Indiana University and is “looking forward to winning a basketball sectional with my brothers.”

 
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Non-school sports meet students’ interests

Providence offers a wide variety of extracurricular activities to meet its students’ interests and talents, from athletics and theatre to Math Team and Pinterest Club. Some students have interests they pursue outside of school, whether in addition to school activities or as a solo pursuit. This profile includes two seniors who qualified for the High School eSports League Championship in Texas, siblings who enjoy their family ski tradition, and a freshman making her own way in the sport of bouldering.

Siblings love to ski with family

Skiing is family tradition for junior Ella Unruh and her brother, Cade, a sophomore. Their extended family takes a ski trip around Christmas every year, and they learned to ski when they were young. With a life of experience, they can now ski black diamond trails, which offer the highest level of difficulty. This Christmas break, they traveled with their dad’s family to Big Sky Montana for an eight-day trip that included five days of skiing.

The siblings said they love to ski, especially with their family. Cade said he most enjoyed the challenge of the black diamond trails as well as the terrain parks, recreation areas where skiers, snowboarders, and snowbikers can do tricks. But he also made time to ski on the easier slopes in order to spend time with more family members. For him, part of the enjoyment is the scenery.

“It’s amazing to be around the mountains and witness God’s creation,” Cade said.

Ella agrees.

“My favorite part of the trip is how absolutely beautiful the mountains are and that I was blessed with the ability to spend time with the people I love most,” she said.

Ella said she was especially grateful that this trip, the group of 17 was able to stay in a “’ski and ski out’ house, which basically means you can put your ski gear on from the back porch and ski back to the porch effortlessly.”

Being able to put on her gear right from the house was especially helpful because of the extremely cold temperatures this trip, with the temperature -10 degrees at the top of the mountain and 0 degrees at the bottom where the lifts are, Ella said, adding that “layers are very important!” With the proper gear, the temperatures didn’t stop their enjoyment since it provides enough exercise to stay warm.

“What I love about skiing is how you get a good workout while getting to ski the mountain tops and witness the most perfect view with every few feet you travel,” Ella said.

Seniors advance to national esports competition

Seniors Kaden Connin and Zach Van Wie have each qualified as individuals for the High School eSports League Championship in Arlington, Texas, in May. Zach helped found the Providence eSports Club last year, but this year the club doesn’t have a faculty sponsor, so he and Kaden continued to compete as individuals.

Kaden placed third in Minecraft, and Zach placed third in Chess based on their individual scores. The league will pay $250 of their travel expenses, and they will compete in the eSports Stadium for college scholarships totaling $150,000.

Kaden said he has been interested in esports since he was young because he enjoys the competition inherent to video games. His interest increased as he watched esports competitions online and decided to join the PHS club last year to play Minecraft, which he has been playing for fun since 2013 and competitively since early 2021.

He usually plays the game a couple hours a day, but if he’s preparing for a tournament – through the eSports League or other online tournaments – he may play as long as five hours.

Playing Minecraft competitively isn’t too much different than playing casually, Kaden said. The game is the same but the level of skill is usually higher, however. That makes the game even more fun and the pleasure of winning even greater.

Zach also likes the competitive aspect of esports. Like Kaden, he was already playing chess online, and “being able to play them (esports) in a very competitive environment makes the experience extremely rewarding,” he said. He qualified for the chess nationals by placing third place in the Fall Major Chess Tournament.

Zach grew interested playing chess a couple years ago after watching a livestream of someone playing. It took him a few months to play the game himself, but ever since, it has been his favorite hobby.

“I enjoy playing chess because no matter how talented or untalented you are, you can always work to get better,” Zach said, adding that he spends about 45 minutes every day playing chees. “I have watched videos, reviewed top level games, and worked with computers to try to increase my performance.”

His practice is paying off. He ranks in the 95th percentile of all players who play on chess.com.

Zach said winning is fun, but he would play to improve even if he weren’t playing esports.

“For me, there is not a very big difference between playing chess for fun and playing it in eSports tournaments,” Zach said. “I always try to win and get better, so I treat all of my games the same.

Freshman climbs for sport

Freshman Emme Harris keeps climbing and strength training for the day she can once again compete with her former team at Climb Nulu. She trains in the sport of bouldering, a type of rock climbing but with shorter walls and no lead rope. Before the pandemic, she was on a team of Louisville-area teenagers and had developed her skills to a somewhat advanced level, placing as high as second in competitions.

She got started in the sport several years ago when her older sister took her with her. Her sister had been bouldering for several years and was happy to introduce Emme to it. Emme took to it right away and continued learning the basics and joined the team at Climb Nulu even after her sister quit the sport.

Emme said she enjoys bouldering because it’s a year-round sport she can enjoy regardless of the weather. When she was competing, the competition aspect was seasonal, but the team continued to meet and train all year. She also enjoyed all the friends she made.

“They are just so accepting,” she said. “It doesn’t matter your age or anything. I love it.”

She misses meeting and training with her friends on a regular basis. They used to climb three to four times a week as well as do activities together, including a team lock-in at the gym. She still climbs two or three days a week for two hours at a time. Most of those times the coaches from her old team are also climbing, so they continue to give her tips. Emme also does strength training five to six days a week at home.

In the four years Emme has been bouldering, she has advanced from the V0, or beginner level, to the V6 or 7 level, which is considered advanced. The top level is V17 and rarely achieved, and most people climb at the V4 level, she said.

Emme said the team hopes to regroup in the summer and start competing again, something she is eager to happen. In the meantime, she keeps training for the simple enjoyment of climbing – and because her sister keeps cheering her on.

“I just love it, and she likes how good I’m doing especially since she can’t do it anymore,” Emme said. “She wants me to keep doing it and keeps telling me how good I’m doing. It’s just fun.”

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Sports Spotlight: Wrestling

This issue’s Sports Spotlight is on Wrestling. Coach Brad Davidson ’03 nominated junior Henry Lovan and sophomore Kalob Manning, who placed in the top three in their weight class in the Zaxbys Pioneer Invitational last weekend. Read more for a Q&A with these players:

Henry Lovan, junior, 120-pound weight class, third season; House of Faith

Coach Davidson said: “Henry is our Most Outstanding Wrestler award winner from last season. He spent a lot of time in the offseason working on technique and strength so he can advance in state tournament.”

Question: How did you get started wrestling?
Henry Lovan: To be honest, I was bad at every other sport and decided to give wrestling a try (in junior high), and I’ve never looked back after that.

Q: What do you enjoy about PHS Wrestling?
HL: What I enjoy about Providence Wrestling is how the team feels like a family and it is always a good time.

Q: What do you enjoy about wrestling in general?
HL: What I enjoy about wrestling is the rush of winning a match and how good it feels to know your hard work has paid off.

Q: What has been the highlight of your season so far?
HL: Going 5-0 at Henderson County.

Kalob Manning, sophomore, 106-pound weight class, first season; House of Courage, Boys Soccer

Coach Davidson said: “Kalob is a first-year wrestler who has embraced the sport and what it takes to be successful. He competes with relentless effort and has a great attitude every day.”

Question: How did you get started wrestling?
Kalob Manning: I got started by some of the wrestlers coming up to me and suggesting I should wrestle. I joined wrestling, to stay active in the (soccer) off season and get stronger and faster.

Q: What do you enjoy about PHS Wrestling?
KM: I enjoy the team camaraderie as well as the coaching staff that continues to push you to get better and better.

Q: What has been the highlight of your season so far?
KM: The highlight of my season so far is my very first match against Charlestown where I would go on to win in the 3rd period by points.

Q: What is a fun tradition the Wrestling Team does that you look forward to?
KM: I look forward to the Zaxbys Pioneer Invitational where I plan to place 1st. 

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Business lessons inspire ’68 grad’s book

The greatest teacher is experience, it is said, and Carl Koetter ’68 is hoping others will learn from his experience as a business manager and training consultant. He has self-published the book The Game Changer, a Cautionary Tale. Written in a business novel format, it follows the lessons learned by “Mike” as he strives to achieve work-life balance as well as offering a summary of personal and professional leadership skills.

While the name of the main character is different, the book is really Koetter’s story of how he had to nearly lose everything before he really learned how to be an effective manager. It also shares many of the skills he has taught for more than 20 years as a consultant offering training workshops to develop communication, leadership, and empowerment tools.

It was a tale he had been wanting to share for many years, but work, family, and his continued education kept him busy. When the pandemic slowed his consulting business, he realized he finally had the time.

“The book was a labor of love,” Koetter said. “I’d been considering it for about 20 years, and thanks to COVID, I had an opportunity to do this.”

Koetter, who owns Koetter Training Resources, started his career as a first-line supervisor at the former Philip Morris International plant in Louisville following earning his bachelor’s degree in business management from Indiana University. When the company opened its own training center a decade or so later, Koetter decided to apply for the technical trainer job. A year later, he was promoted to director of job development leadership skills.

In his 20 years developing training workshops for Philip Morris, Koetter implemented the methods he learned while earning his MBA from Bellarmine University and later his doctorate in occupational training and development from the University of Louisville. When Philip Morris moved its cigarette plant to North Carolina, Koetter decided to share his expertise with more companies via a consulting firm.

He has developed multiple workshops, assessments and tools in his work training several thousand Louisville-area employees from various corporations. At many of those workshops, he told the story he now shares in The Game Changer. Participants would come up afterward and share how they were undergoing similar struggles, and Koetter would often become their executive coach. His book offers the same kind of help but in print format.

“It’s an opportunity for me to share a story I’m not proud of because it’s about my mistakes, but it’s a story I think others can benefit from,” Koetter said.

He will soon be working on a sequel since this book is about half that of his first draft – but the perfect length for a business novel, since it can by read in one sitting.

For now, he is selling multiple copies of the hardcover book to the businesses where he offered his training workshops and to individuals by email. In the spring, a paperback version will be sold on Amazon.

Koetter said the publishing process was a learning experience, but now that he can share the book with others, he hopes he can help others as they face the same challenges he did in business management.

“It’s most rewarding to get a chance to see a finished version of my life, basically, and to give others this to be a legacy for leaders who have the same problems and hopefully can overcome before it becomes as diff as it had been for me at times,” Koetter said.

Carl Koetter ’68 is married to his wife, Sandy. They have a daughter, Tara (Koetter) Reed ’71 (Kevin Reed ’72), and one grandson, Landon Reed. His book The Game Changer, a Cautionary Tale is available for $19.95 by emailing c.koetter@twc.com

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Advent Angels collection helps children in need

For several years now, Providence students have adopted needy families in the New Albany Deanery to provide Christmas gifts. Initially, the Advent Angels project was a competition among the Houses to see which House could get the highest percentage of participation and raise the most donations. Students in the House shopped for, wrapped, and delivered the gifts.

This year, the event shifted focus to providing a Merry Christmas to families in need and removing the competitive element. Instead, all students and families were encouraged to donate, and each House was assigned a family for whom to shop and wrap gifts. The response has been strong with the deadline to donate coming up at the end of the week.

More than $3,800 was raised to provide gifts for 16 children. Each House received its share of the funds and has shopped and begun wrapping the gifts. In additionally, faculty and staff collect nearly $600 to provide grocery gift cards to the four families.

The project is important to the students for many reasons, especially because it helps others in need. Junior Savanna Gohmann, a leader in the House of Integrity, has helped plan and coordinate the shopping and wrapping of the gifts for her House. She said she likes the tradition because its similar to how her own family adopts a family from the Salvation Army Angel Tree every year.

“The Advent Angel project is important to me because I think it’s so important to give back to the less fortunate,” Savanna said. “I’m very blessed with the life God gave me and I want to help others have a good and plentiful life like me.”

House of Integrity senior leader Grace Purichia also is helping plan and organize shopping and wrapping for their House. She also said that helping others in need is a special part of the project.

“It brings these people so much joy and allows them to enjoy the holidays,” Grace said.

House of Truth senior leader Dallas Bonnet helped coordinate her House’s efforts and said she also likes that the project helps others have a happy Christmas.

“The Advent Angels project is important to me because I am happy to help those in my community, and I am proud to be part of a school that takes the time and effort to help those in our community,” Dallas said. “I feel it is truly in alignment with what Christmas really represents and means to us as a Catholic school.”

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Students give back by performing for schools

The Popcorn Players and Providence Singers have wrapped up another season. Their performances included visits to all Deanery schools last week as well as the Christmas Show on Sunday. Additionally, the Popcorn Players performed at the Breakfast with Santa on Saturday. Continuing the holiday tradition is important to students in both performance groups.

Junior Lily Isler is a member of Popcorn Players, an acting troupe open to juniors and seniors. She said she enjoyed the chance to perform the “fun Christmas skits, wear crazy clothes, and do all of it with my friends. It feels great to express yourself and make close friends along the way.”

Senior Brayden Gronotte said he also enjoys the comedic aspect of the show because it fits his personality, and his favorite skit was “Crash Bang Christmas” for its high energy and physical movements. Doing so with his friends makes the performances even more enjoyable, and he likes that “everybody comes together to make the show happen.”

Senior Kayla Badon’s eyes light up when she talks about performing with the Providence Singers, a holiday singing group open to students of any grade.

“I love the feeling of singing and the unified voices when they sing together,” Kayla said.

Freshman Stella Huber said she loves singing and dancing, and Providence Singers gives her the chance to do both.

“I love doing Christmas songs, and getting to (rehearse) twice a week brings joy to me,” Stella said.

Freshman Preston Kist said he is glad for the chance to get to know upperclassmen in Providence Singers with him – and get some experience singing and dancing before the spring musical.

Preston and the others all said their favorite part of being in Popcorn Players and Providence Singers is the chance to perform at the Deanery schools. They remember seeing the shows when they were in grade school and how much they looked up to the high school students.

Kayla said her dream as a St. Anthony student was to be in Providence Singers, so she is glad to have the chance to be the same sort of inspiration for the younger students today.

“Seeing the little kids, it’s a nice heartwarming feeling being an ex-student there,” Kayla said.

Stella said she enjoyed seeing her former schoolmates, especially her younger cousins when she performed at her former school, St. Mary of the Knobs.

“I liked catching up with them and getting to go back to my former school,” Stella said.

Preston said he was grateful for the chance to give back to the students who cheered him on when he was in theatre at St. John Paul II.

“Now I got to show them what I learned, and it’s a moment you can proud of all you’ve accomplished,” Preston said.

Like Kayla, Lily remembers how excited she was to see the performing troupes when they came to visit her school, St. Anthony, and how it inspired her to want to be a Popcorn Player one day. Now, she is happy to spread that same feeling.

“I like performing for the Deanery schools because of the kids,” Lily said. “When they get involved, it makes the experience that much better because they’re not only enjoying our performance, but they’re enjoying themselves too.”

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Sports Spotlight: Girls Swim

This issue’s Sports Spotlight is on Girls Swim. Coach Jim Pfeiffer has nominated three swimmers: new swimmer and senior Sophia Reisert, who has been a leader in welcoming the freshmen, and senior Sarah Boehm and sophomore Maycy Scroggins for their dedication to practice, even if it means before-school sessions.

Sophia Reisert, senior, first season, primary event: freestyle; House of Faith, Softball, Spanish Club, Art Club, and National Honor Society.
College plans: Hanover College, hopes to softball and swim

From Coach Jim Pfeiffer: “As a senior and new to the team, Sophia provides outstanding leadership by mentoring and welcoming into our team the freshmen. She has been incredible.”

Question: How did you get started swimming?
Sophia Reisert: I joined Swim this school year after hearing how exciting it was from my friends.

Q: Coach Pfeiffer said that even though you are new to the team, you provide “outstanding leadership by mentoring and welcoming” the freshmen. Why is it important to you to provide this leadership, especially as a new team member?
SR: It is important to provide this leadership to me because I understand what the new girls are going through and want them to have fun and enjoy the sport.

Q: What are you looking forward to this season?
SR: This season I am looking forward to competing in more meets with my team.

Q: What do you enjoy about the PHS Girls Swim?
SR: What I enjoy most about PHS Girls Swim is how chill it is. It is very entertaining, especially when playing sharks and minnows.

From Coach Pfeiffer: “Sarah Boehm and Maycy Scroggins. These two young ladies will do anything to get in their practices. These two young ladies agree on their own and literally tell me, “Coach, I am coming in for early a.m. swimming.  That is dedication.”

Sarah Boehm, swimming, third season, primary event: freestyle; House of Faith, Track, Cross Country, Popcorn Players, Providence Singers, Theater, and Pinterest Club
College Plans:
Considering University of Louisville Speed School or Purdue University for mechanical engineering or Hanover College to run hurdles for women’s track.

Question: How did you get started swimming?
Sarah Boehm: I got started swimming my sophomore year because the Swim Team needed more people, and I was convinced to try it.

Q: Coach Pfeiffer nominated you because you are dedicated to getting your swim time in, even meeting Coach Pfeiffer for early morning swim time. Why is getting your swim time in so important to you?
SB: Getting practice in even if I have to do it in the morning is important so I keep consistent practice so I don’t lose my technique and endurance. I have committed to several activities at Providence, and I believe it is my responsibility to fulfill that commitment and make it to all of my activities, so morning practices is one way I am able to do that.

Q: What is a fun tradition the Swim Team does that you look forward to continuing?
SB: A fun tradition the  Swim Team has is saying a prayer before our meets and screaming a cheer at a deafening level so the whole room looks over.

Q: What do you enjoy about swimming in general?
SB: I enjoy swimming because it is great, low-impact conditioning for Track in the spring.

Q:  What do you enjoy about the PHS Girls Swim?
SB: I enjoy PHS Girls Swim because it is a super fun and positive team!

Maycy Scroggins, sophomore, second season, primary event: freestyle; House of Integrity, Volleyball, and Track; club volleyball for Union

Question: How did you get started swimming?
Maycy Scroggins: I had done swimming in the past (when I was younger) and missed it and also saw it as a good opportunity for exercise and conditioning for the other sports that I do as well.

Q: Why is getting your swim time in — even in the morning — important to you?
MS: If I am going to sign up for a team, then I need to be a full attribute to that team and work towards my goals in that sport. Morning swim helps me have little distractions and gets a good workout in before my day even starts, which I enjoy and I think that it is important to always try to get a practice in in a day even when I can’t make it to afternoon practices due to other interferences with my other sport practices.

Q: What do you enjoy about PHS Girls Swim?
MS: It is a very fun and low-stress environment. Coach makes us all feel like we are doing our best even when we fail and does a great job of motivating us to keep trying. I am happy that we have a coach that can make this sport so enjoyable!

Q: What do you enjoy about swimming in general?
MS: Swimming is sort of relaxing and gives you time to think when you are constantly stressed. When you get in the water all of the sounds kind of just disappear, and it gives you time to focus and be in a good mental space, which I enjoy.

Q: What are you looking forward to this season?
SB: I am looking forward to bonding with my Swim Team and making closer friends with everyone. Our Swim Team has a wide variety of personalities, but that is what makes it fun, and I’m excited to be a part of it. I am also looking forward to improving my times on my events.

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Three Volleyball alumnae in NCAA Sweet 16

Three Volleyball alumnae will represent their colleges in the NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Tournament regional round starting tomorrow. Ceci Rush ‘20, a sophomore libero and defensive specialist for the University of Louisville Cardinals, helped the team to a perfect season and an ACC Championship title. It is her second year playing in the NCAA Tournament. The team earned the No. 1 seed in the tournament and defeated the University of Illinois—Chicago and Ball State University in the opening round. The team plays No. 16 Florida at 1:00 p.m. tomorrow at Freedom Hall, and the match will be broadcast on ESPNU.

Sisters Marissa Hornung ‘18, and Ali Hornung ‘21 helped Purdue University earn a 25-6 record and the No. 6 seed in the tournament bracket. Ali, a freshman, and Marissa, a senior, are both defensive specialists, and Marissa is third in total digs for the season at 261 and seventh in program history with more than 1,300. This is Marissa’s fourth season advancing to the second round with the team, and Ali’s first. Additionally, Kathy Jewell ‘94 is a Purdue Volleyball assistant coach. Purdue defeated Illinois State and came back from a 2-0 deficit to defeat unseeded Dayton University in the opening round. Purdue faces BYU tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. in Pittsburgh. The game will be broadcast on ESPNU.

Rush credits the UofL coaches’ scouting efforts and the team’s efforts to “out prep, out team, and out work” all its opponents for the team’s success this season, which includes defeating most of its opponents in only three sets.

“Our team takes each challenge ahead of us with a positive mindset and a day-by-day mentality,” Rush said. “We keep a level head on our shoulders and focus on the point ahead of us, not so much the end victory in mind. The things we do on the court have seemed to be successful so far, but our team has so much fun and gets along with each other better than any other team I have been on.”

Rush said it was thrilling and surreal to see the team’s name in the No. 1 spot for the tournament, even though the team expected to be near the top this season. It was the first top selection for the UofL volleyball program, and motivated the team to work even harder to maintain its supremacy.

She also is grateful to be part of the UofL volleyball program and looks forward to seeing her teammates and coaches every day and is eager for the season to continue to the championship.

“Obviously being a part of a history-making team is such a blessing,” Rush said..”Regardless of our record or success, I would still feel the same way I do. I am beyond thankful to have made the decision I did to go to Louisville.”

Marissa said it is special to be able to play in the NCAA Tournament her senior year and credits the hard work she and her teammates have invested – as well as others in the program before them. But above all, playing in the tournament means one more day to “play the sport I love and to make my university proud.”

Earning the All-Big10 Sportsmanship award again this season also is special to her as it affirms her build relationships with her teammates and coaches – and the influence of her parents, Scott Hornung ‘81 and Kelly Quinkert-Hornung ‘87.

“Throughout the course of my volleyball career, I have always valued the relationships I have made with my teammates and coaches more than wins and losses,” Marissa said. “It’s easy to be a great teammate when you are surrounded by great people. I also believe that award is a testament to the type of person my parents raised me to be. I was always taught to be humble and put my coaches and teammates first. I am lucky to have grown up with parents who instilled such important values in my life”

Sharing her last season with her little sister also has been a blessing, Marissa said.

“To have her here with me, on and off the court, has only enhanced the bond we share.,” Marissa said. “To watch her grow, as both a player and person, is something I will never forget. I think I will miss the random texts when she asks to hang out with me the most. We are so blessed that we were able to share a collegiate season together.”

Even though the team will continue its season in the next round of the tournament, Marissa has played her last game in Holloway Gymnasium at Purdue – and she is already nostalgic.

“I will miss that feeling I have with my teammates when we are about to run out of the tunnel into a packed Holloway Gymnasium,” Marissa said. “If you’ve been to a Purdue volleyball game, you know what I’m talking about. If not, you’re missing out. I, without question, played in front of the most loyal and supportive fans in the country. It’s an experience only Purdue Volleyball players can understand.”

4 alumni in Mackey Arena on game day

In an interesting aside, four Providence alumni were represented earlier this season in Purdue’s Mackey Arena, home to men’s basketball games, when Bellarmine University played Purdue in the men’s season opener. Bellarmine grad student Juston Betz ‘17 was a starter on the men’s team. His cousin Marissa was honored at halftime for being Purdue Student-Athlete of the Game. Bryce Hutchins ’20 is a Bellarmine sophomore student manager for the men’s basketball team, and Hayden Burke ‘19 was on the Purdue sideline support crew that game.

Additional alumni with notable fall college athletic seasons include:

  • Emma Kaelin ’21, a freshman setter for the Indiana State Volleyball women’s volleyball team, leads the team in assists this season with 578. She helped the team to an 18-13 record and a bid to the National Invitational Volleyball Tournament. The team lost in the first round to Toledo last week.
  • Lexie Libs ‘17, a fifth-year senior setter for Jacksonville State University, was named ASUN Setter of the Year for the third time after leading the league in assists with nearly 1200. In addition, she was named to the All-Conference Second Team. Along with sophomore outside hitter Courtney Glotzbach ’20 (who was injured early in the season), Libs helped the team to its 25-7 season and the ASUN Tournament finals.
  • Eastern Kentucky University freshman outside hitter Anna Purichia ‘21 was selected to the ASUN Conference All-Freshmen Team. She ranked 11th in the ASUN with a total of 261 kills, 20th in kills per set, and 12th in the conference in points with 161.
  • Maggie Purchia ’20, a freshman middle blocker for the Indiana University Southeast women’s volleyball team, helped the team to an 18-12 record and the RSC Tournament semifinals.
  • Junior setter Lilly Bivens ‘19 led the Nicholls State University women’s volleyball team in assists this season with 774 and helped the team to the second round of the Southland Conference Tournament.
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Sophomores deepen faith through class retreat

Last week, the sophomores joined together in a class retreat led by NET Ministries. The day included games, small group discussions, witness testimonies, dramas, and time for reflection and prayer. The students enjoyed the opportunity to deepen their faith life and draw closer together as a class.

Sophomore Erin Popson said she enjoyed how the ministry team started the day off by sharing their “heightened energy” and quickly helped everyone feel comfortable sharing about their faith.

“My fellow students shared stories of their religious struggles without hesitation, and this was especially apparent when we were granted the chance to give special petitions to the NET members,” Erin said. “The doorway was flooded with people my age wanting to pray in mere minutes. It was truly an experience that brought us all closer together.”

Sophomore Kyle Netter said he most enjoyed the small group faith discussions and the opportunity to speak with each other about faith experiences.

“This really helped everyone in the group deepen their faith,” Kyle said. “I think that is because the information is not just coming from a leader that they do not know, but they can hear it from classmates and can converse about everything they are learning from the day.”

Sophomore Margaret Gahagen said her favorite part of the retreat was visiting the prayer stations.
“It was so powerful, and I feel like I was really close to God during that,” Margaret said. “It was a really special feeling.”

Margaret added that she feels grateful to be able to attend a school where faith experiences like their class retreat can take place. She also is glad for the experience to boost her personal faith life.

“The thing I will take away most from retreat is to just always trust that things will work out for the best if we trust in God’s plan for us,” Margaret said. “Before retreat, I felt a little shaky in whether I was doing the right thing or not, but I already feel so much stronger. I am very grateful for retreat. It realigned me with God.”

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November Scholars named in 4 subjects

This month, 15 students have been recognized for their outstanding work in the classroom and have been named November Scholars. These students demonstrated a noteworthy performance on a test, presentation, quiz, or homework; exemplary participation and input in class discussion; superb peer leadership by assisting classmates with homework, new concepts, and so on; modeling Christian principles, or living the Providence Mission. The students recognized this month include:

  • English: freshman Leah Stapp, sophomore Erin Popson, junior Ainsley Wilt, senior Carley Wright
  • Math: freshman Osvaldo Flores, sophomore Iza Smith, junior Alex Kemp, and senior Allison Mercer
  • Social Studies: sophomore Sawyer Elias, junior Abby Adams, and senior David Wade
  • Theology: freshman Michelle Landeros-Mendez, sophomore Connor Sad, junior Ben Kelly, and senior Autumn Grantz

Read on for a Q&A with these students:

Leah Stapp, freshman, English 9, House of Faith, Girls Basketball manager

Question: What do you like about your English class?
Leah Stapp: I like my English class because Mrs. Beyl is very organized and put together to the point we always know what to do when we get into the classroom.

Q: Which is your favorite: nonfiction, fiction, reading, writing, speech, or creative writing?
LS: My favorite is reading because I’ve always been a big reader, and I love the books and short stories Mrs. Beyl has picked out for us so far.

Q: What has been your favorite English assignment so far?
LS: My favorite English assignment so far has been our personal narrative short story. We were given the assignment to write about something really important in our life, and I love to free write about anything.

Q: What have you learned in your English class(es) that you have used outside of school?
LS: Something I have learned in English class that I used outside of school would be our vocabulary words. My mom was talking to me and described something with one of our vocab words we learned a while before and I didn’t have to ask what it meant.

Erin Popson, sophomore, Honors English 10, House of Courage Sophomore Delegate, Honor Council, Pro-Life Club, Providence Singers, and Theatre

Question: What do you like about your English class?
Erin Popson: I really enjoy the environment. My teacher, Mrs. Bentley, is always open to discussion, and she truly has a passion for every lesson she teaches. She especially is strong in her faith, praying at the beginning of every class and allowing us to speak freely about personal morals when deeper subjects come up in our reading and writing. Overall, we are always pushed to do better in everything we do—inside and outside of the classroom.

Q: Which is your favorite and why: nonfiction, fiction, reading, writing, speech, creative writing?
EP: Reading-wise I love discovering new worlds through fiction. It’s as if with a single story, a whole new way of thinking can be incorporated into my life. I also enjoy the writing aspect of my English classes, though, because it allows me to do the same thing that these writers do and inspire readers with new knowledge.

Q: What has been your favorite English assignment so far?
EP: When our class read Frankenstein freshman year, we did a project to review the book before our test. The assignment was to create news articles that would cover the entire book, but my group asked for permission to make it into a news cast. It was so fun to add a modern twist to a classic novel!

Q: What have you learned in your English class that you have used outside of school?
EP: We have covered a lot of topics in my English class. Most of them pertain to not only literature and language but to the real world. Many great lessons have come from this way of studying, including 1) respect of others’ opinions and 2) clear communication and discussion. With these ideas in mind, our class has been able to choose opposing sides of arguments about modern problems that come up in our reading and writing without forceful debate. It’s really helped me grow in my own opinions and openness to those that my fellow students—and people outside of school—may have, even if it means we are contradicting

Ainsley Wilt, junior, English 11, House of Spirit, Theatre. Outside of school: actor, film creator, and model

Question: What do you like about your English class?
Ainsley Wilt: My favorite thing about my English class is the engagement Mrs. Miller provides. She keeps the class involved and gives us activities to help us grasp each topic.

Q: Which is your favorite: nonfiction, fiction, reading, writing, speech, creative writing?
AW: Reading is my favorite activity because it allows me to learn as much as possible. Books contain knowledge from those before us. Reading is not only something I enjoy, but it also allows me to take advantage of that knowledge and apply it to my life.

Q: What has been your favorite English assignment so far?
AW: My favorite English assignment so far is the creative writing project. I got to talk about something I was really interested in, and it was very enjoyable for me.

Q: What have you learned in your English class that you have used outside of school?
AW: A lesson I have learned in English is from The Crucible — that is to stay true to yourself no matter what and to take ownership of your mistakes.

Carley Wright, senior, English 12, Communications, House of Courage

Question: What do you like about your English classes?
Carley Wright: In my English class I like how the teacher let us pick the genre of our independent reading. It is really difficult for me to pay attention to something I’m not interested in, so being able to choose what I want to read lets me be more attentive and excited to read. Also, I enjoy what we are reading in class at the moment, which is the Canterbury Tales. It’s different from what I usually read and keeps me wanting to learn more about the other tales of each person. 

Q: Which is your favorite: nonfiction, fiction, reading, writing, speech, or creative writing?
CW: My favorite genre to read is fiction because it allows authors to be creative and clever with their writing and to be able to explore their mind and try to find new ways to entertain their readers.

Q: What has been your favorite English assignment so far?
CW: My favorite assignment so far is to read one of the Canterbury Tales: The Pardoner’s Tale. It’s a story about three rioters looking for Death due to the plague taking the life of their friend. Instead of death they find gold, which leads to the moral of the story that greed is the root to all evil. I liked this assignment because it was an ironic story and a fun read.  

Q: What have you learned in your English classes that you have used outside of school?
CW: I have used critical thinking and using my own opinion to analyze readings and come to my own conclusions, to be able to think for myself and observe.

Math

Osvaldo Flores, freshman, Honors Geometry, House of Truth, Spanish Club

Question: What do you like about your math class?
Osvaldo Flores: I like the atmosphere of the class and the subjects that we learn.

Q: What has been your favorite math class so far?
OF: My favorite math class is geometry because it has been challenging me to do my best.

Q: What has been your favorite math assignment so far?
OF: Probably my favorite assignments have to be angles and parallel lines worksheets just because of how great it felt solving for x, especially the questions with a bunch of angles.

Q: What have you learned in your math class that you have used outside of school?
OF: I have been able to use everything that I have learned in my math class to help with my siblings’ homework

Q: Have any of your math classes influenced your future career?
OF: My math class has opened a lot more career choices for me to consider, like engineering.

Iza Smith, sophomore, Honors Geometry, Honors Algebra II, House of Loyalty sophomore delegate, Girls Golf, Tech Theatre

Question: What do you like about your math classes?
Iza Smith: The thing I like most about my math classes are the fun teachers and helpful classmates.

Q: What has been your favorite math class so far?
IS: My favorite math class has been Honors Algebra II because Mr. Book is a great teacher, and I prefer algebra over geometry.

Q: What has been your favorite math assignment so far?
IS: My favorite math assignments are when we get into groups and do scavenger hunts and puzzles.

Q: What have you learned in your math class(es) that you have used outside of school?
IS: In my math classes I’ve learned how to better work with others and problem solve, not just with math, but with real-life problems.

Q: Have any of your math classes influenced your future career goals
IS: Yes, I want to be an optometrist, but after my math classes I’ve thought about being an algebra teacher.

Alex Kemp, junior, Honors PreCalculus & Trigonometry, House of Humility, Boys Tennis, Student Ambassador

Question: What do you like about your math classes?
Alex Kemp: I enjoy the sense of problem solving in math. Being able to use everything you’ve learned and be able to work out a problem and get the correct answer is very enjoyable and makes you feel accomplished.

Q: What has been your favorite math class so far?
AK: My favorite math class has been Honors Algebra II. I really enjoyed this class, and Mr. Book was able to teach it in a very engaging and fun way, that made it easy to pay attention and learn. I enjoyed the satisfying math that came along with Algebra, also.

Q: What has been your favorite math assignment so far?
AK: My favorite math assignment has been factoring projects in Algebra. These projects were always fun and were able to make math fun. Factoring is satisfying and calming to be able to solve and figure out.

Q: What have you learned in your math class(es) that you have used outside of school?
AK: I have learned how important it is to pay attention to even the smallest of details, and that they can have a large impact, both in real life and in math.

Q: Have any of your math classes influenced your future career goals?
AK: Yes, due to these classes I have pushed myself to want to advance in the math field and am considering majoring in business or engineering.

Allison Mercer, senior, Honors PreCalculus & Trigonometry, House of Courage senior leader, Student Ambassador, National Honor Society tutor, and Senior Executive Advisory Council

Question: What do you like about your math classes?
Allison Mercer: I like the fact that math classes require me to work with numbers because working with numbers just makes sense to me.

Q: What has been your favorite math class so far?
AM: My favorite math class so far has been pre-cal, because it’s new material that I get to learn. It also helps me a lot in physics.

Q: What has been your favorite math assignment so far?
AM: My favorite math assignments are Khan Academy lessons because they’re typically pretty easy but still help me learn the topic.

Q: What have you learned in your math class(es) that you have used outside of school?
AM: Math classes have taught me how to tip, estimate money in the bank, and much more. These skills will stay with me for the rest of my life.

Q: Have any of your math classes influenced your future career goals?
AM: My math classes, specifically pre-cal, will help me for my college math classes that I need to take. I want to be a doctor and the prerequisites for medical school include calculus, physics, and chemistry, which all require high level math skills.

Social Studies

Sawyer Elias, sophomore, AP U.S. History, House of Justice, Theatre

Question: What do you like about your Social Studies class?
Sawyer Elias: I like that we often work together to understand a topic. Mrs. Harritt is really good at explaining things in different ways, such as games and group debates.

Q: What do you enjoy about taking challenging AP social studies classes?
SE: I like the challenge of an AP class. It helps me get credits for college. I really like the setup of an AP class, since I often get lost if we stay on one topic for too long.

Q: What has been your favorite social studies class so far?
SE: My favorite social studies class so far has been the class where we played a game where one person was facing the board and the other facing away. We had to give the person facing away clues to help them guess the keyword on the board.

Q: What have you learned in your social studies class(es) that you have used outside of school?
SE: In my social studies class, I’ve learned how to answer questions better. Mrs. Harritt is really good at teaching different techniques for test taking and how to thoroughly answer a question.

Abigail Adams, junior, AP World History, House of Faith, Art Club, Drawing Club, Theatre, and Student Ambassador

Question: What do you like about your Social Studies class(es)?
Abigail Adams: For one, I love my teacher, Mrs. Harritt, and I love her teaching style. She teaches in a way that is easy for me to understand the subject better.

Q: What do you enjoy about taking challenging AP social studies classes?
AA: I have taken AP US History, and I’m currently taking AP World History. I enjoy taking the AP classes because they’re able to challenge my pre-existing understanding of history.

Q: What has been your favorite social studies class so far?
AA: My favorite social studies class so far has probably been AP World. I really enjoy learning about how the world grew together and how each country created history in our world.

Q: What has been your favorite social studies project so far?
AA: My favorite project so far in AP World was a project where we had to do an Autopsy of an Empire and really learn about the empire and how it thrived.

Q: What have you learned in your social studies class(es) that you have used outside of school?
AA: Just general knowledge of history has allowed me to be able to realize what we need to do to be better to not repeat the bad events in history.

Q: Have any of your social studies classes influenced your future career goals?
AA: My history classes since being at Providence have made me consider becoming a history teacher in the future.

David Wade, senior, AP Government, Ivy Tech Psychology, House of Integrity, Boys Soccer, National Honor Society

Question: What do you like about your Social Studies class(es)?
David Wade: I like how we learn to apply what has happened in the past to what is happening currently. You’d be surprised at the amount of things that are similar between the past and present.

Q: What do you enjoy about taking challenging AP social studies classes?
DW: I have taken all AP social studies classes. I believe that it has helped me become a better student by challenging me to be better than what I had been previously.

Q: What has been your favorite social studies class so far?
DW: My favorite social studies class so far has been AP Gov. This is because I really like what we’re learning about, and I really like the way we’ve been going about learning it.

Q: What has been your favorite social studies project so far?
DW: My favorite project is the fantasy Congress project we’ve been doing currently. It’s a good mix between fun and learning about congressional representatives, plus the winners get extra credit.

Q: What have you learned in your social studies class(es) that you have used outside of school?
DW: I have learned how to write many essays until time limitations, and that has greatly helped me speed up my essay writing progress. This helps with essay-based assignments, so I can finish them quickly.

Theology

Connor Sad, sophomore, Paschal Mystery, House of Courage, Football, Wrestling

Question: What do you like about Theology class?
Connor Sad: What I like most about theology class is Mr. Loner’s teaching approach, and I enjoy the way he tries to keep everyone in the class involved in the lesson.

Q: What does it take to excel in Theology class?
CS: To excel in theology class, you have to pay attention and take notes to understand what is going on.

Q: How has what you’ve learned in Theology class helped you in other areas?
CS: What I have learned in theology class that has helped me in other areas is to have detailed note taking.

Q: What has been your favorite assignment/project in Theology class and why?
CS: My favorite assignment in theology class so far has been the archangels assignment. It really helped me gain a better understanding of the roles and what the angels are known for.

Autumn Grantz, senior, History of the Catholic Church, House of Spirit, National Honor Society, Green Dot Club

Question: What do you like about Theology class?
Autumn Grantz: What I like about Theology class is being able to more deeply understand the religion I’ve grown up with my entire life. Being able to learn about the history, how other religions connect to Catholicism, and the blessings that God gives us every day is something I truly love learning about.

Q: Which is your favorite: prayer, social justice, service, religious history, Catholic teachings, general theology?
AG: My favorite aspect of theology is prayer because it is how we communicate with God. We can share our thoughts and feeling with him, our fears and successes, our hopes and desires, and our thankfulness for God’s love, miracles, and sacrifices.

Q: What does it take to excel in Theology class?
AG: To excel in Theology class, one needs to think about why we have this class at Providence in the first place. We are able to learn about our God and all that He has done for us. Looking into one’s own life and how God is present has helped me more easily understand the lessons we learn in theology.

Q: How has what you’ve learned in Theology class helped you in other areas?
AG: Learning about God’s support and encouragement for me to do what is right, put in maximum effort into all my activities, and to turn to Him in times of stress has been extremely helpful. If I’m worried about a test in another class, I know I can turn to God because my religion teachers have taught me the importance of laying our stress at God’s feet. He takes care of us and wants what is best for us!

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