Category Archives: spring

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.”

Why Mack Students Should Care About Climate Change


by Anthony Beron

High asthma rates, diesel fumes from the Port of Oakland, pollution from four freeways near McClymonds High School. Add another environmental concern for students: climate change.

A March 23 workshop organized by Oakland Climate Action Coalition — which hopes to lure McClymonds students and other youths — will address the preparation and survival skills needed to address climate change for West Oakland residents.

“We don’t want to label ourselves as victims,” says Myesha Williams of the Rose Foundation, one of the event’s organizers. “We want to prepare ourselves as a community, to use our resilience, and share our resources.”

Several McClymonds students expressed interest in the issue and the day-long workshop. “Global warming impacts my future and my health,” said Brandon Von Der Werth, a junior. “I know that people suffer from asthma and we need to improve air quality.”

Lee Benson, also a junior, agreed that education and preparation were central to dealing with the environmental inequalities in West Oakland. “I want to stay healthy and help others,” he said.

Global warming’s consequences are prevalent in our biome, including West Oakland.

West Oakland is OCAC’s current main concern, because of its susceptibility to flooding.

“West Oakland is below sea-level, and is extremely prone to flooding,” said Williams.

That, combined with poor air quality have inspired Mack students to speak out. This would not be the first time McClymonds students were involved in environmental activism. When McClymonds was divided into small schools, its Law Academy explored pollution in West Oakland.  Its students testified about diesel fumes before state and federal boards.  The testimony helped change the rules about retrofitting trucks running on diesel fuel.

A four-year project by students in the Law Academy at McClymonds found that metal particles were present in the air surrounding the school community.  They took their findings to local media and eventually, they got the attention of Nancy Nadel, West Oakland’s City Council Representative.  With her support, a number of city agencies, including Police, Fire, Code Enforcement and City Attorney came together and conducted investigations regarding Custom Alloy Scrap Sales compliance with environmental regulations.   Their findings determined that CASS was in violation of a number of regulations.  Although CASS has taken steps to correct a number of the violations, they are actively seeking to move their location away from the residential neighborhood, where they have conducted business for more than 25 years.

After pressure by local groups, CASS was trying to relocate to vacant industrial land next to the former Oakland Army Base.

Some of the same issues — injustice, public health, equity and lack of  resources —  are in play in the battle against global warming as in the community fight against pollutants from a smelter, said Williams. “It’s time to start to take care of our community and its future.”

Trendsetter: Friendship bracelets that spell something

Spell it out: love, date, special person

Photo by Gerureka Price

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.

Taylor Made: Why I’m Going to Prom


by Taylor Murray

I promised my mom I’d attend prom. That’s the only reason I’m going.

She said, “You WILL regret it if you don’t go.” She also said, “Prom’s a memorable moment.”

But why get all dressed up for one night? The ‘oohhss’ and ‘aaaahhhs.’ The pictures and the lights. It sounds pretty fancy though. I was convinced. But now that prom’s on my mind, what about school?

School vs. social life is a big issue. How can you balance the two? What if I tell you that sometimes you have to choose between the two, between writing note cards on teachers’ salaries and looking for a little black dress.

It seems like everything has a deadline, 40-50 note cards (for my senior project) due by Friday, prom next Friday, and selection of  the college I will attend next year by May 1st. As for my own preference,  I just want to pause my life.

With so little time left at Mack, I want prom to be just right. My hair is a major issue and I don’t know where to start.

As for my senior project, I’ve been procrastinating. I only have TWO note cards done so far! It is amazing how well I work under pressure, so everything I do, will be done the week of.

The one certainty is my college decision. I’ll be going to Saint Augustine’s College, all the way in North Carolina.

Now there’s last minute dress shopping to do. I just hope that my prom night will be all that I expect it to be. Fun with plenty of activity, fast dancing to Wayne’s music, romancing with my date, and eating shrimp and garlic bread. I will take loads of pictures of embarrassing moments so I can post them on my Facebook.

Much Ado about Prom: From Gown Talk to Metrosexual Chatter

By Pamela Tapia

“What color are you going to wear?” “Who are you going with?”

The fuss over prom has hit McClymonds. HARD. With just a week to prom, talk about dress color and prom dates has been spreading through Mack like wildfire.

That tradition of one night, dressed up in a gown with high heels, with a new, different, fancy hairstyle and make up, and dancing all night with friends and  a date is causing more excitement than spring break or even graduation.

And the guys aren’t left out. Metrosexuality is the big trend now with most guys wondering about the perfect shade of white for their prom suit and the ideal pair of “Air Force One” shoes and practicing their picture-perfect smile in front of windows and mirrors.

It may seem odd that GUYS care more about their appearance than GIRLS. Imagine.  The enthusiasm over prom will be over a week later, only to be re-sparked by prom souvenir pictures, arriving at school,  inevitably resulting in the never-ending facebook posts with more exchanges and criticism.