Top School Events of the Year: From Baseball to Battle of the Bard

Delaney Appelhans, Centerspread Editor











The year of 2016 has been filled with lots of unique, even unusual, events in the world. This includes everything from the historical election between Hillary Clinton and now President-elect Donald Trump to the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series in the 10th inning of game 7. Outside of a newsworthy year in the world, MHS has had an eventful year as well. These events span from the conclusion of the 2015-2016 school year to the first half of the 2016-2017 school year:


  1. Alec Riportella places sixth at state (Feb. 18): Alec Riportella, 2016 MHS graduate, represented the Mustangs wrestling program at IHSA state after qualifying in the sectionals individual tournament. Riportella ended up placing sixth in the state tournament. “Knowing that someone I worked with every day is able to make it as far as he did, knowing how he worked, pushes me to want to work harder,” said Jake Goeke, junior, “And it’s easier to follow in his footsteps.”
  2. Newspaper wins national award (May 2): For the first time, the school newspaper, The Mustang, and its staff earned an award with the American Scholastic Press Association. The award was for First Place with Special Merit in the 2015-2016 Most Outstanding High School Newspapers in the Senior High Schools Enrollment 1701-2500 category. Out of the 1000 possible points, the publication earned 970. “I think this award gave us the confidence to know that we’re doing well with the newspaper even when we thought we were stressed and worried that our quality was lower than it should be,” said Melissa Burgett, senior and print editor-in-chief of The Mustang.
  3. Boys baseball makes it all the way down to state finals (June 11):After months of hard work and weeks of post-season baseball, the boys baseball team advanced to the state finals for the first time in school history. The last time the team made it to the “Final Four” of IHSA baseball was in 2001. Though the team lost the championship game 10-3 to Providence Catholic, the team still received the honor of being the runners-up for the Class 4A division. “[Making it to the state finals] was rewarding because we all knew the coaches wanted it as bad as the players did, so to see our coaches proud of us was the best feeling,” said Will Michalski, senior and player on the baseball team.
  4. School opens with new addition (Aug. 8): The 2016-2017 school year began with excitement from students and staff members alike after waiting since the end of the 2014-2015 school year for construction to result in a long-awaited final product. The new building includes many new features, including the STEM lab, a balcony and newly designed meeting rooms.
  5. Senior Nichole Babiez, Senior Nicole Casler, Junior James Rector, Freshman Emma Jamison receive art awards (Sept. 11): Four art students at MHS earned $500 scholarships through the Mundelein Arts Festival, an annual event which showcases the work of artists and craftsmen around town. Each student won for different types of art: drawing (Jamison), painting (Babiez), 3D (Rector) and photography (Casler). “[The scholarship] really helps because [it’s] focused on art in the first place, so when I start college, I want to put that [money] for helping me buy the supplies I need to be an artist,” explained Babiez. “When I actually won something from [art], it made me realize what I want to do for the rest of my life.”
  6. MHS National Merit Scholarship semifinalists include Alex Frumkin, Josh Larson (Sept. 15): Seniors Alex Frumkin and Josh Larson both qualified as semi-finalists of the 62nd annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Out of 16,000 semi-finalists in the nation, these two students were chosen and will now continue in the process by completing an application to become a finalist. Winners will be announced nationwide in the spring. “I hope that I’ll become a National Merit Scholar so that I can get a scholarship for college,” said Frumkin. “I like the general recognition because only the top percent of people on the PSAT get the recognition, and that’s not an easy task by any means.”
  7. Band competition at Robert Morris results in best drum majors, second place overall recognitions (Oct. 9): This October, the Marching Mustangs placed second overall and earned the honor of having the best drum majors at this year’s Robert Morris University Marching Band Festival. “Over the years, we’ve been trying to improve, and we’ve always been pushing ourselves more. Toward the end of the season, we kept working and added choreography to the show. We competed at Robert Morris University against teams from around the state, and to come in second against a lot of bands, including a band [from Wisconsin] that came in second in the nation [was rewarding],” stated Ricky Rodriguez, junior and drum major. “We just want to do our best, and it really motivates us to do better every year.” The band performed a variety of songs composed by John Williams, who is known for music from “Star Wars”, “Harry Potter”, and “E.T.”.
  8. Boys golf heads to state (Oct. 14-15): After winning sectionals as a team, the boys golf team advanced to the state tournament for the first time, taking place in Bloomington. The sectionals win was also a first in MHS history. “The state golf tournament was great,” stated Tyler White, senior and golf team member. “Even though we didn’t do the best at the tournament, it was still a really great experience.”
  9. Boys soccer wins regionals (Oct. 24): For the first time since 2006, the boys soccer team won regionals to defeat #2 Wheeling after seven shootout kicks. Though the team fell to Barrington in the sectionals semi-final, the team put up a fight in the game with an ending score of 1-2. “Winning a regional has been a goal for the program every year,” explained Eric Muniz, senior and team member. “Last year when we lost to Waukegan 4-0 at home, [it] was a terrible way to end the season, and we knew we had a special team that could have success this year. To have all the fans rush the field and celebrate after beating Wheeling was surreal.”
  10. Theatre wins first round of Battle of the Bard (Nov. 14): The Mundelein Theatre program was selected to advance to the Battle of the Bard finals, which includes 40 different high schools competing with mash-up scenes from Shakespeare. The program competed in the finals at the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre at Navy Pier. Kayla Raye, junior and member of the theatre program, said, “The opportunity of being able to perform on the Chicago Shakespeare stage was the coolest thing I have ever done. Battle of the Bard has by far been the most educational experience I have ever had with theatre and made me become even more obsessed with Shakespeare. [Theater Teacher Jonathan] Meier already said that he would do it [again] next year, so I highly encourage everyone to do it!”