Tag Archives: Mack

Why McClymonds needs a mascot

Great tradition: in 1950, Bill Russell tried out for team mascot at McClymonds

(photograph from Oakland Museum collection)

by Anique Gichanga

We need more spirit, pep, and cheer at Mack. And a mascot — a warrior with paint on face, spear in hand and ready to go to war — would hype  up the crowd and encourage more cheering at games.

As we head towards state playoffs, with our boys’ team undefeated with a recent, big win against Fremont, and our girls with the BIG WIN against Skyline, it seems ridiculous not to have a mascot to represent our school’s fighting tradition.

We have a venerable history: Bill Russell tried out for mascot (instead, he made the team) and when an undefeated McClymonds won the state basketball championship in 2008 under Coach Dwight Nathaniel, we had a mascot.

So why is not there one now?

It’s not as though we’d be the only school in the league with a mascot. Oakland Tech has a tacky purple bulldog and its team is 11-14, fourth in the OAL. Fremont has an ugly tiger instead of 10 cheerleaders because they don’t have any.

Mascots can be more amusing than cheerleaders: they get laughs, try stunts that cheerleaders are far too graceful and athletic to try (such as doing push ups, lifting barbells, bizarre dunking  or crazy tumbling). They’ve thrown dollar bills or t-shirts  in audience and have caught on fire.

As for mascot selection, let’s not leave it to the school administration.  Like homecoming queen and king, we should vote for our mascot. It should be a freshman, so they could lead the Warriors to victory over four years.

For vegetarians: school lunch is just fries and an orange

lunch1 Standard school lunch: burger and fries, with one-third ounce packages of sauce to eat your food with.

Opinion piece and photos by Anthony Beron

It’s worse than what’s served at McDonald’s. How can fries be soggy and cold? School lunch at McClymonds —hamburgers and French fries “keeps me away from the cafeteria,” said vegetarian Mickey Sola, a sophomore.

The menu consists of cooked meats, occasionally expired milk, and roughly grated fries that taste gritty and old, and overly salted. If you choose to eschew from the “hot foods,” you then typically get a choice of a salad, or one of three types of sandwiches: turkey, tuna, or salami.

For vegetarians, there is nothing to eat during lunch, save a piece of fruit and a paltry amount of greens.

IMG_20140211_130410 Freshman Eric Coleman collects ketchup for his lunch.

Even omnivore Lucky Lovette, a senior, called school school lunch  “distasteful.”

“I’m the first person to get in line for the food; some of it isn’t good at all and other things are okay. I don’t like the combination of chicken and waffles with syrup, which is something they serve sometimes,” continued Lovette.

If students are concerned about the quality of school lunches, so are California voters, according to the most recent Field Poll released Wednesday. The poll found that 59 percent of California voters listed kids’ eating and exercise habits as their top concern — more than drug use or sex.

At McClymonds, most students feel that their lunch is not that healthy.

“Only people who are hella starved would consider eating the school lunch: the pepperoni tastes like it’s straight from a Lunchables kit, and the cheese is as hard as a rock. ‘Roaches and mice seem to flourish in the building,” said freshman Jerrell Alberty.

In the cafeteria’s kitchen stand a commercial oven and fridge, where food is made to be served to students and faculty. New refrigerators were put into service in 2010 for storing cold sandwiches and salads, about three years before a large rodent problem arose on campus, which put its kitchen out of service for several months.

“The vegetarian menu only has salad and fries in it. The salad is just a lot of ranch dressing, cheese and croutons, with a chunk of lettuce. I rarely ever eat lunch either because I’m not hungry or there’s nothing to eat,” said Sola. She then declared with levity, “I really need to start bringing my own lunch!”

Ironically, just a few feet away from the cafeteria behind a fence that is opened a few times a month, lies a vegetable and fruit garden planted two years ago and maintained by Planting Justice, a Bay Area group dedicated to making freshly-grown food more available to local neighborhoods.

Until two years ago, teachers gave food to students to aid their ability to focus in class and to help keep them from leaving campus during school, says Patricia Calloway, a teacher at McClymonds.

No longer (except for snacks distributed by the Peacemakers and occasionally by teachers) is this practiced.

Students say they survive by runs to corner store a block away on 26th Street and Market, where food ranges from fried chicken to canned soda. “I usually go by the store to buy brownies, honey-buns, juice and chips and eat it for breakfast because I’m usually late to the school, and don’t eat breakfast at home,” said freshman Nicole Funes. “Each visit costs me around two to three dollars.”

“Sometimes I buy stuff from the corner store and save it for lunch, because I don’t like the food here and there’s no off-campus lunch allowed,” stated Funes.

“There’s more variety at the fried chicken store, and everything for sale just tastes better,” said senior Quadrey Wesley. “Everyday there are people who go to the store to get lunch and get back to school hecka late, even though it’s against school rules.”

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Triple hoops action against rival Oakland Tech: girls lose 66-55; boys win

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photos by Danenicole Williams

Story to come

For the girls, it was a hard-fought battle against arch-rival Oakland Tech. After a promising first quarter (leading 16-9), the Lady Warriors just could not maintain the lead, falling to Tech 66-55.

JV Boys edged Oakland tech 51-45.

In a fast-paced offensive game, the varsity boys beat Tech 92-88.

In a small school like McClymonds, love takes different forms

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Stories, photos and illustrations by students in Journalism 1

Not everyone has a “love” on campus at McClymonds, a school of 270.

People have different passions, too: sports, video games, rap music, flowers, art, fashion, food and chocolate.

Here are the stories and photos we collected:

“‘You’re over my head…I’m out of my mind..’ Every time I hear Classic by MTKO, I just snap my fingers, sing along. That song makes me really happy and brightens up my whole day. I listened to it after I had fallen down the stairs at school, hit my head, and then went to track practice in pain.”

Jaden Nixon

For Rayana Delaney, her first love was lit inside her during a balmy, summer day, at McClymonds High.  At first sight, he seemed like the “one”: charming, funny, caring, loving and overwhelmingly attractive all described him well. Fortunately, for both, they were coincidently students at the same summer school.  Delaney recalls a latent excitement after smiling at him and a requited love-struck stare, immediately prior to an exchange of introductions.

“We became friends right away,” said Delaney. “He was really cute, and he showed a lot of interest in me.  After around two months of being friends and a quick spread of my attraction toward him through my friends, we finally had our first kiss, at school; it was magical.”

Since then, they have both been in an intimate relationship, and are planning on having their first date soon—at a local movie theater.

Delaney’s Valentine’s Day gift to her boyfriend is a card with hearts on it and some chocolate.  His match: a card with a picture of a teddybear on it and pink balloon.

Rayana Delaney, as told by Anthony Beron

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“Jessie was walking around her new high school and lost her way. A senior named Chris noticed her immediately and offered to help her. He walked around and around, and was so hooked he wouldn’t let her go home. There was a click between them. “We’ve been together ever since.'”

as told to Jasmine Vilchis

“My grandma makes us feel special: she brings us all together, we all sit on her bed and she’ll tell us a story. We’ll laugh and feel a special bond. We are family.”

J’Mya Gray-Martinez

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 “I love hamburgers because they are always there for me, whenever I need food, hamburgers are always there with melted cheese, a juicy patty, crisp buns, and delicious pickles. Every time I’m down and out, I have a hamburger.”

Parrish Kendricks

Valentine’s Day: cupcakes and kisses

valentinesby Nicole Funes, photo by Anthony Beron

When Genesis Johnson and Walter Nathaniel, two McClymonds 10th graders, celebrate Valentine’s Day on Friday, they won’t be exchanging balloons bought at school or hearing singing telegrams. They may just kiss quickly in the hallway. Or buy each other $1 homemade cupcakes.

By Monday afternoon, about 10 students had already filled out forms to deliver cupcakes to their valentines at school on Friday, said Colleen Piper, Spanish teacher who advises the student council and is baking cupcakes for Friday.

Daishawn Shannon, 11th grade, sent himself a message with the cupcake he bought. “I wasn’t going to buy any for anybody at this school. Nobody.” In his note, he wrote “I love myself.”

“We may have gotten a late start,” says Alexis Hill,11th grader and a member of the student council that organized the event. “But it’ll be a success.”

The money raised will be donated toward school events; for instance, for prom tickets and college T-shirts for students who work hard, said Piper.

“I’m glad that we’re doing something for school spirit,” said Johnson. Piper added, “Valentine’s offers us a day to make someone smile and share appreciation for others.”

McClymonds rookies place in BAUDL debate

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Debate practice at McClymonds with coach Joseph Flores

Story photo by Anthony Beron

It was a day to cheer on debaters.

Two McClymonds High School freshmen and a senior placed in the top 10 of the rookie division speakers at the Bay Area Urban Debate League New Year’s Classic debate tournament at UC Berkeley Saturday.

Freshman Hailey King placed 3rd, freshman Parrish Kendricks 8th and senior Anastasia Walton 9th in their first debate. King and partner Kendicks also placed 4th as a team.

The Warriors’ debate team is fledgling, being formed in the fall of 2013.

“They’re getting much better,” said Pamela Tapia, a Mack graduate (and former BAUDL debater) who coaches the team. “We’re trying to become a powerhouse like athletics, but it’s tough to compete for after-school time with our successful sports teams.”

The team meets twice a week near the school library, to cover debate tactics and review sources for arguments.

Tapia said that the team has benefitted from the recent addition of mentor coach Joseph Flores (nicknamed “J-Flo”), a UC Berkeley student who debated for the Los Angeles Urban Debate League.

Placing in the top 20 as speakers were Nicole Funes, 13th, Anique Gichanga, 14th and Jaden Nixon, 16th.

In the novice division, freshmen J’Mya Gray-Martinez and Danenicole Williams placed 13th as a team.

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

mack2014basketballteam

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. “