Category Archives: PE

Lady Warriors may be contender in OAL — beat Fremont 52-23


by Danenicole Williams

When McClymonds Lady Warriors (8-7) edged American Canyon 53-50  in the Winter Wolf Classic tournament, the team got some attention. But it led to a streak of losses as well as some wins. Although its young team — with five freshmen —  beat Fremont  52-23  in its first OAL season game Wednesday, it faces stiff competition.

“It’s a different team because we’re stronger in a couple of places… but we have five ninth graders,” says coach Dennis Flannery.

Its main rivals in the OAL are Oakland High and Skyline.

Returning player Daisy Powell, a 6’3″ junior ranked #2 in leaders  in the OAL, says she enjoys “the hype” and the tight-knit camaraderie between freshmen and returning players. “We may be weaker because we lost a lot of good players,” she said. “We’re developing as a team.”

For many of the freshmen, losing is a new experience.”It’s more intense for us than it’s  ever been.” The other frustration is not getting much playing time,” said J’Mya Gray-Martinez, freshman, “It’s an adjustment and we know we have to work even harder to get where we want to be. “

Hipster or Hoopster?

opinion piece

by Kardel Howard

When the alarm rings at 6:30 AM, it’s a struggle to get up if you’re exhausted from last night’s practice. Another 300 push-ups, 20 50-yard sprints, 30 bench presses of 180 pounds, after seven classes, including a quiz in geometry, an AP world history debate and a 16-page English paper to revise.

What’s a harder road at McClymonds? Being an athlete or just a regular student?

Being an athlete means always being sore until you’re conditioned. But then, you can’t miss a day. No sick days at all. If you go to practice all week and miss one day, when you go to practice the next day, you feel like a wimp, dizzy, out of shape, out of breath. It’s a commitment, day in and day out. No dabbling in sports.

There’s also the social pressure and stigma attached to being cool.   Although athletes are admired as the reigning kings and queens of the social oligarchy, that power only comes from looking and acting cool.

There is fear attached to power.  Once a person has had a tiny taste of what it means to rule a school, they will do anything to ensure that power, even if it means sacrificing one’s interests. Camping out for the next Hunger Games movie or Black Ops game is out of the question.  We mustn’t do that.

I feel that a non-athlete has more time to experiment. He or she can join different programs like YOLO and Culture Keepers, even if it isn’t “cool,”  and meet new people. Non-athletes also have more time to finish their homework and talk to their teachers after school.

An athlete like me has practice every day for two hours and only has study hall for an hour.

After practice, you’re  tired. You have to catch the bus home and when you shuffle into the house, all smelly and sweaty, at 10:00, you collapse. You’re lucky if you get into the shower. No time for extra homework.

Since athletes ALWAYS have practice, they do not have time for extra activities like journalism, Student Government, and any other after school programs. This probably limits their chances of being well rounded.

” It is easier being a non-athlete because you don’t have to worry about games, practice and homework,” says Danny Sola, a senior. ” So it’s better to focus on just one thing.”

Her sister, Mickey Sola, a freshman, agrees.” I feel it’s harder to be an athlete because you have to work on sports, project, and daily homework that you get from teachers. The work you get from teacher is already too much.”

As non-athletes, Danny and Mickey believe that athletes do not have it easy and struggle through tests and papers, like everyone else. But they also believe that athletes are graded more easily than others.

I disagree, and I know from experience.  In AP World History, my first essay about imperialism earned a D. No second chance to do it over again. So I had to work harder on the next essay, which was on Modern India and Gandhi.

The proof is also in the athletes’ records: Mercedes Latu, a sophomore and girls’ basketball star and discus thrower,  and Kelton Runnels,  a sophomore and football player, have maintained a 4.0 GPA all year.

As Runnels sees it, “Being an student athlete is difficult. My teachers didn’t just give me a grade because I’m an athlete. I had to earn all my grades.”

But he admits the free tutoring for athletes helps. “Receiving tutoring after school has helped,” he says.  “For example, I was doing poorly in geometry and now I have a B+ in the class.”

That kind of help creates jealousy among non-athletes. Alas, there will always be tension and suspicion between the two groups.

Mack Earns Home-Field Advantage But Has To Play At Its Rival’s Gym


by Anthony Beron

The victory dance should have taken place HERE last Thursday. The championship game should have been in the McClymonds gym.

Yes, the McClymonds Lady Warriors made history by winning the Oakland Athletic League for the first time in 38 years. And the boys team, the Warriors won and were undefeated in the OAL.

So what is the pay-off for their hard work and higher seeding in the CIF playoffs: WE HAVE TO PLAY AT OAKLAND TECH, our rival school, instead of playing in our OWN GYM.

And the school is abuzz with that sad reality. “If I had an option,” said boys’ basketball coach Brandon Brooks, “I’d definitely have our team play here because of our strong, enthusiastic fan base.” He thought it was moved to Oakland Tech because of the smaller size of our gym.

Colleen  Piper, Spanish teacher, called the move to have McClymonds play at its rival’s gym “unfair” and “uncool.”

Teacher Relonda McGhee, who favored playing at Laney College, where the Silver Bowl was played, said that “Playing at Tech is risky, because it’s our rival.”

Most students agreed. “We should play here, on our home field,  because we are the champions,” said Danny Sola, a senior.

But some expressed caution. “Playing here can be dangerous,” said Luckie Lovette, a junior. “In the past, the fans have caused a lot of problems.”

While McClymonds students mentioned the unfairness of the situation, the athletes just practiced for the game.

“As long as we have a court and a hoop,” said Lady Warrior Romanalyn Inocencio, “I’m cool.”

32 Minutes of Chaos

copyright photo of sophomore guard Gabby Gaines (out for several games now) by  Eric Taylor 1st String Magazine

stats provided by Max Preps

by Eric Gant and Stephen Vance

It’s the shortest in height, but also the scrappiest team in the OAL (Oakland Athletic League).

“Lady Warriors’ basketball is 32 minutes of chaos,” says head coach Dennis Flannery.

Despite its current slide, the McClymonds girls’ varsity basketball team “has a bunch of confidence,” says Flannery, a veteran coach with 26 years of experience who suffered a heart attack four weeks ago, but is back. “Our young players just need to step up.”

Its tallest player is only 5-foot-11, with 6-foot-plus players from rival teams towering over her. The other players are even shorter, much shorter.

Off to a promising pre-season start, the Lady Warriors (14-4) hit a snag, losing its two last games to #1 Skyline and Castlemont.  The team’s slide in standing to 4th place in the OAL is due mainly to the loss of two key players, sophomore guard Gabby Gaines (who hasn’t played since Jan. 6 and averaged 17.3 points a game)  and injured senior Therica McCord, as well as the absence of  Flannery at five key games. He was cleared to coach a few weeks ago.

In the first 14 games, Mack averaged 60.3 points a game. In the last four games, it averaged 39.5 points a game.

“It’s a challenge,” adds Flannery. “This team (if everyone is healthy and plays) could go deep into the playoffs.”  This team surpasses last year’s team in speed and shooting ability, he says.

The Lady Warriors  made sectional playoffs for four years in a row –quite a feat given McClymonds’ size of under 250 students. In the last two years, the team’s GPA was 3,1 of which Flannery is most proud.

The players don’t consider themselves Warriors or Lady Warriors, says Flannery. In fact, they end the game, shouting, “We’re family.”

“Coaching at Mack is like I had died and gone to heaven,” Flannery told macksmack in an interview in early December.  Just stay healthy, coach.

Dancing Without the Stars: I’d Rather Spike a Volleyball

dancer dancing clip artBy Silvia Cardona-Tapia


Attitude, attitude, attitude. Just take me.  I’m being forced into a class that I don’t like. And it’s not even math or physics. It’s dance and I’m no dancer. In  truth, I’d rather spike a volleyball.This fall, McClymonds created a new policy to place the majority of the girls in a dance class instead of physical education (PE).   A class filled with 15 girls  — some of whom don’t want to dance –can be suffocating.

“The deal was trying to build unity, sisterhood and telling a young lady what they need to know” said Lakeisha Golden, math and dance instructor.

The administration might have made a serious mistake.  Corralling “drama girls” into a small class might not have been the smartest decision.

“They are lucky to be in a class with 15 people instead in a class of 35-40 with me yelling at them,” said Jeremy Namkung, P.E. instructor and vice principal.

But then, who really had a choice? Certainly not I.

The tensions inside the dance class run higher than they would in normal PE.  Drama is in the air.  Past rivals in the same room create a hostile environment. No guys to insert humor in the situation – it’s downright catty.

“We wanted to make it an all-girl class so they would feel more comfortable” said Namkung.

Instead, shouting matches break out between teacher and student, and one student screams at another the words “bitch” “hoe”, “shut the f**k up”, as every curse word in the book flies across the room, faster than a pirouette. And more lethal.

“It’s on them being in the dance class. Those are the same girls that complained and even failed my class,” said Namkung.

For those of us who didn’t complain or fail PE ,this seems a harsh punishment.  Dealing with endless backtalk, shouting matches, and disrespectful comments in the room discourages girls to remain in the class.

However, girls who enjoy dancing just ignore the drama.

“I just like dancing,” said Nia Bell, a junior.

Students face the problem of  an indifferent administation  that discourages the  idea  of transferring out of dance (especially since the vice principal  teaches P.E.).  It became extremely difficult and time consuming for a girl to attempt to switch dance class to PE.

“It depends on the time of the year.  But some manage to switch.  It’s really based on time,” said Golden.

Until I can switch back into P.E., I’ll feel like I’m in a telenovela.