Many moons ago (no, not Kevin Moons), I made an announcement in Chapel about The S.T.C. Tribune. I’ll be the first to admit that I doubted the success of the newspaper. However, with a great turnout at our first meeting, we were able to successfully come out with several issues of The S.T.C. Tribune. Until recently, my fellow writers and editors were under the impression that our newspapers were being delivered.
When we returned to school from winter break, Mr. Cox, with that “I-told-you-so” face that he always does, says, “How bout that Tribune Pete? I told you you’d never get it going.” When I asked him what he was talking about, he said that not one issue of the Tribune had been released. Something fishy was going on in the halls of Poly...
We somehow had to get to the bottom of this mess. Never before had we faced such a challenge, and never before had we had to use our secret weapon: Harshel “The Hindu Hammer” Aggarwal. Agent Aggarwal does all of his work under the radar. When I asked Aggarwal to do some investigating, he did not answer me with one word. He pierced through my soul with his big brown eyes, telepathically assuring me that the Tribune would be saved.
Fast forward to May 1, 2011. The big man on campus, Joe Fusaro, approached me in the locker room and asked to talk to me. He said Harshel had shown him something that would be of interest to me. We began to walk deep into bowels of Poly, and, led by Fusaro’s lit torch, popped up in an old storage room. He nudged his head to the right, signaling to me to look over to the other side of the room. Lo and behold, it was all of the previous issues of the Tribune! Standing behind them, was none other than Kevin Moon! I ran towards Kevin to give him a piece of my mind, but in the blink of an eye, he was gone. So were the copies of the Tribune.
Just goes to show you how fierce the competition is at Poly. Enjoy our “first” issue.
Junior Matt Silberman is sitting in Commons Hall, longing for a bite of the “chicken ridick’s” and egg-n-cheeses he sees just a table away. The Snapple bottles and the Nathan’s french fries are calling to him. But he knows it is not his time yet.
The long standing tradition of the “Allowed off-campus” Senior privilege is one that is looked forward to for years by underclassmen. To be able to leave during the middle of the day and satisfy that craving, instead of sitting in Commons, again, is truly a privilege that all would love to have. But this fall, that hope will become a reality.
Back when Poly’s Bay Ridge campus was being built, a few students who were snooping around the construction site, happened upon a tunnel underneath the location currently occupied by the Marks Science Building. When the campus construction was complete, the boys made sure that the tunnel’s entrance remained a secret. The entrance was below the large oak tree that stands in the Back Parking Lot.
The information about the tunnel was shared with all the students and soon, it became particularly useful for underclassmen. The tunnel stretched quite far, with the other side ending near the Dyker Park Golf Course club house. Because of this layout, the underclassmen could use this tunnel to easily sneak off-campus. So even though the Seniors could go off campus, so could everyone else, thanks to the tunnel.
But when the Marks Science Building was put up, a certain section of the tunnel caved in (unbeknownst to the construction workers, who had caved in the section while digging the foundation of the building). So even though the entrance was fine and the first 200 feet of the tunnel still intact, there was no way to get to the other side of the tunnel.
Due to the caving in of the tunnel, traffic stopped, and underclassmen were stuck on campus. The students at the time decided it was best to leave the tunnel alone, and stopped sharing the tunnel’s whereabouts with new students. Essentially, the tunnel had ceased to exist.
Five years ago, a few Seniors happened upon the entrance under the oak tree and discovered the piece of the tunnel that was still accessible. They noticed all sorts of names carved into the sides of the walls, and figured that previous students had once used this tunnel. At the place where the tunnel had caved in, they noticed a note, neatly folded, as if waiting for them to pick it up. The note explained the fact that the tunnel did not end at the cave-in.
This group of students who had rediscovered the tunnel decided that they should try to reopen the tunnel—if they could. This meant that they would have to create a new entrance. They decided upon trying to build an entrance in between the back of the Science Building and the fence of the tennis courts. This location would be easy to get to, but allow for cover when going into the tunnel.
The students tried to break through to the tunnel below, but they were not sure of it’s exact location. As the year was coming to a close, they knew they had to pass on the information to younger students, who could continue the project for them. They decided to ask a group of freshmen, who would now have fours years to complete the reopening of the tunnel.
It has come to our attention that the tunnel project was a success and that by the Fall 2011 semester, the tunnel will be functional once again. So even though Matt Silberman will have the Senior privilege next year and won’t need the tunnel, those younger than him will be able to enjoy the secret that was once enjoyed by past Poly students that came before him.
"Could this Wednesday get any worse?", I think as I slowly walk past Joe Cal’s ceramic Camaro, with my Sun Chips and Gatorade in hand. I make a right turn and begin to dawdle my way down the history hallway, gazing out into the quad. The sky seems to darken with every step, the closer I get to my final, dreaded destination. An enormous, gray cloud looms dangerously, blocking any light trying to make its way in and save me from my grim fate. All that separates me from this horrifying weekly ritual is one windowless door. To top it all off, I’m three whole minutes late. I inhale one last breath of freedom, and turn the squeaky doorknob. There’s no turning back now.
I feel the heat of the flames shooting out of Sivin’s eyes as he furiously inspects me, searching for the reason behind my tardiness. He’s found it. My Gatorade starts to boil and I can feel the Sun Chip bag beginning to melt. What was I thinking, walking into Student Government with evidence of an escapade to Commons blatantly out in public view? I try and hide my massive mistake as I creep my way around the classroom desperately searching for an empty seat, but I keep tripping over backpacks and knocking into chairs and desks. The noise made by each collision results in more angry fire from Sivin. Is that smoke coming out of his nostrils now?
“So on today’s agenda we have: shutting down the girls’ locker room, banning all after-school snack sales as well as all bake sales, permanently canceling Field Day, and imposing a five-dollar charge on all school computer use. Oh, and closing the Student Center and turning it into the Environmental Club Office. Any questions?” As usual, not a single person dares to challenge the authority of the fear-inspiring leader. A satisfied smirk on his face, he continues onto his next display of omnipotence. “We’re going to break up by grade now even though fundraising is somewhat pointless now that I’m eliminating Prom. Oh, did I forget to mention that before?” There are blank looks all around the room. This meeting is going even more unfavorably than usual. I raise my hand in what I think is a brave attempt at salvaging the situation. My audacity, however, is nothing more than stupidity. I feel my skin begin to singe as soon as my palm leaves the desk. The flames are back. I shrink back into my seat and silently wait as the clocks ticks its way to 2:45.
After witnessing the Poly Prep golf team’s horrible display on the putting greens this past week in their match against Riverdale, Athletic Director, Billy McNally, has seen enough. He was especially disgusted by the putting of Senior Drew Becker, who managed to six-putt on the last hole at Dyker. Speaking of Dyker’s greens, Freshman Will Rearick said, “All you really have to do is put it near the hole and it goes in.” McNally is baffled that these troubles occur on such an easy course. He commented earlier this year that, “Being the Athletic Director at Poly is great because all of our teams are very successful.”
Poly Golf continues to defy this statement, having lost 12 of their 13 matches this season. In an attempt to salvage whatever respect remains for the Golf team, McNally has decided to invest in an on-campus practice facility. As if having a golf course across the street wasn’t enough, Poly has decided to purchase its own Mini-Golf course to enhance the team’s poor putting ability. After hearing that the course had been purchased, Coach Stone said, “I’m really excited about the new facility, you know, the kids have had a lot of trouble putting this season, but, I mean, so have I. I’m looking forward to coming out and practicing with the team to hopefully get better together.” The 18-hole facility features holes with windmills, clowns, and castles along with many other typical putting distractions. The course will also offer hockey stick shaped putters, which McNally hopes all of the team members will purchase. “I mean, they really worked for Happy Gilmore, so why not us?” Hockey team captain and Golf co-captain Tom Carswell is greatly in favor of the new putters. “It’s just like I’m taking a slap shot, it just feels more natural.” Sophomore Sean Ryan hopes that the facility will attract new talented players to the team. “After this group of seniors graduate, we won’t have that many players, so hopefully kids will join because they will get to play mini-golf at least three days a week.”
One player that the current team looks forward to having next year is five-year-old sensation Lion Forest, who has been practicing his stroke since he first started walking. “I like golf. It makes me real happy because—” Poor kid lost his train of thought because the ice cream truck drove by. Just goes to show you the type of recruiting that goes into the golf program.
Poly golf has a bright future, anchored by a young star who will play with them for the next thirteen years. Said Coach Stone, “Who knows what next year has in store for us? Hopefully we’ll get on a roll and win more than one match. But hey, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.”
As the 6’1 Freshman Phenom Matthew Zapata walks through the halls of Poly Prep, he meets a sea of high-fives congratulating his performance from the previous game before sprinting to the Science Building for his Biology class. For the hard-throwing pitching ace, it’s sometimes hard to escape the hype.
“There’s a lot of media coverage swirling around Matt, but he’s done a great job of not listening to that hype, and continuing to pitch,” said Poly Baseball Head Coach Matt Roventini. “He’s very poised, whether it’s the seventh inning of a close game, or answering question after question for the The New York Post.”
Coming into the season, many questions surrounded the Poly Prep Varsity Baseball team on whether the young pitching staff could fill the shoes left by last year’s seniors JJ Franco and Richie Carbone. Matt Zapata, as a freshman, has lived up to the harsh expectations and anchors the staff that looks to remain dominant in the NYSAISAA playoffs.
“Matt has done a great job all year,” said senior captain Marcus Hernandez. “He’s unhittable when he steps on the rubber. He's in control of all of his pitches, and keeps his nerves in tact in even the toughest situations.”
On May 10, he tossed his fifth complete-game shutout in a 1-0 win over George Washington – one of the top teams in the city. Zapata said he felt better than he had all year during his two-hit and 10-strikeout performance. According to Roventini, now the pitcher has only surrendered three runs over 40 1/3 innings.
“He’s one of the elite pitchers in the city, and that’s scary to think that he’s only a freshman,” said Roventini. “He has a phenomenal work-ethic and is going to look to improve every single year.”
Matt Zapata has blanked private school power Berkeley Carroll, thrown six scoreless frames against defending NYSAISAA champion Collegiate, shutout Catholic school dynamo Xaverian, silenced Riverdale, and fooled George Washington’s hitters all game.
“Beating George Washington was amazing,” said Zapata, who rubs his Mickey Mouse shaped ears before every inning. “But the ultimate goal is winning a championship. You don’t think about the past, you just go out there and do what you do, and hopefully it leads to great results.”
Matt’s older brother, Andrew Zapata, has been supportive each step of the way since they played Duck, Duck, Goose as young little boys. Always seen cheering on the bench, Andrew has watched Matt grow to become the ace of the pitching staff, and looks up to his younger brother.
“His stuff is filthy,” said sophomore Andrew Zapata. “But he also remains so poised on the mound. He doesn’t let a three run double affect him, he just keeps pitching. He doesn’t worry about the hype he’s been receiving and instead, focuses on pitching and getting the job done.”
Two weeks ago, Andrew’s favorite pitcher Roy Halladay paid a special visit to the Zapata household in Staten Island, New York. Ironically enough, the Phillies’ ace revealed his idol was Matt Zapata, and has followed him closely through New York Post articles and highlights on MSG Varsity.
“I look at him and he’s so composed, every at-bat he has the same exact mentality: Just get this guy out,” Halladay said after Zapata’s impressive performance against George Washington. “He gives up a hit, a home run he just gets back on the mound and gets ready for the next hitter. I think if you do that, not only will it give you great success, but limits the damage if you’re having an off day. I wish one day I could pitch like Matt Zapata”.
Matt Zapata and the Poly Baseball team is ranked number one in the city by the New York Post, as well as ranked 28th in the nation by MAXPreps.com. Roventini credits the entire team, but understands that Zapata is the workhorse behind this successful ballclub.
“Matt Zapata is an animal,” said Roventini. “He is the reason why we win games.”
Late last week, sources informed The S.T.C Tribune that Max Watson was not the soccer star everyone thought he was. Mr. Watson was spotted leaving his club team soccer practice in Manhattan with a person who looked to be identical to him. Someone familiar with the matter has confirmed the information from our sources and added that this person is in fact Max’s identical twin brother.
Max Watson was the captain of his Varsity soccer team this past fall and was voted best player in Brooklyn by The New York Post shortly after the end of their season. With Max almost always surrounded by a friend or two, it is amazing that it took four years to figure out the truth about Mr. Watson. When asked about the situation, friend Eduardo d’Aquino said, “I just can’t believe it’s true. I’ve known Max since sixth grade and I’ve always looked up to him as a player. Now I just feel cheated.”
The Watson brothers would switch positions right before games and practices when Max asked to “use the bathroom.” Max would then hand off his equipment to his brother. Even though the brothers were successful for so long, it was puzzling as to why they carried out the switches in the first place. In an interview Max said, “my brother just wanted to help me. He knew that I loved soccer and came up with this plan to make that happen—at least in the eyes of everyone else.”
Friends, family, and teachers are still confused as to why Max Watson felt the need to fake his soccer abilities and expressed concern for him. Someone who asked not to be named in the article said, “I wish Max had just talked to me, I would have helped him out. I hope he decides to play soccer on his own now.”
Max is off to play soccer at Franklin and Marshall college next year and it is unclear as to how that season will unfold. It is doubtful that the brothers will continue to switch positions at the new school, but we will have to wait and see how things play out.
It's 6:30 on a Friday night. One hour before showtime. All of the actors are preparing themselves for the night's performance. Some are making last minute adjustments to their costumes, others are touching up their make-up. But it's the sound crew that needs to be on their game. They are the ones who make sure that the microphones are at the right levels, that the sound effects happen on time, and that the pre-recorded vocal tracks match up with the actors' singing. That's right––up until now, we always thought that the performers were gracing us with their singing. But it has come to our attention thatthis is not true. Lip-syncing, the act of mouthing the words to a song, while a pre-recorded track plays along with you, is most commonly used for popular musicians during live performance concerts. However, it has also been used by Poly Prep students during musical performances.
During this past winter, Poly students put on a production of the musical Finian's Rainbow. After some investigation, it is now clear that the Broadway Recording soundtrack was altered in an audio-editing program so that the voices of the professional actors sounded more like the Poly performers. After one performance, the character Woody Mahoney (the actor asked to not be named in this article) admitted to lip-syncing during the performance. He said, "We all knew about the lip-syncing from the beginning of the process. It's the first thing they tell you at the audition. For me, I actually prefer it. It allows me to focus on my acting and dancing and not have to worry about singing a wrong note."
Now that the community is aware of the lip-syncing, it is unclear as to what will happen in the future. With enough pressure from the public, the department's practice might change. Yet at the same time, the fakery could be viewed as a new form of performance. All we can do now is wait and see what will unfold at the next performance.
Whether you are at the end of your first year at Poly or your last, there is no doubt that you have had the word “change” drilled into your head until it hurts. Heck, even the Senior Plan topic this year was, you guessed it, “Change.” However, change is something that every society, whether it be a country or a high school, needs. We’ve changed the food in commons. We’ve changed the dress code. We’ve started new clubs and new teams. We’ve fired many a teacher (say goodbye to Gerry Stone), and hired many a teacher. For the most part, all ofthe changes that Poly has made over the past few years have had positive effects and will continue to affect Poly in a good way for years to come.
But what is with the infinite amount of napkin dispensers that we have at this school? Some have been obnoxiously tall, making conversations difficult, while others have contained napkins that were horrifically uncomfortable. I’ve counted forty-eight different types of dispensers over the last two years. Where are all these dispensers coming from? And where do the old ones go?
Here are some statistics for you to chew on. Eight years ago, Poly’s tuition was a high but reasonably sane $14,000; Poly also had one set of napkin dispensers. Today, Poly’s tuition is at a robust $33,000. And so it would appear that approximately fifty-eight percent of your tuition is going towards these dispensers. Said a concerned mother, “Members of my family have been attending Poly for three generations. But if they can’t lower their spending on napkin dispensers, then I’ll have to pull my children out.”
Now, let us go back to this whole “change” business. Instead of breaking the bank on these napkin dispensers, why not spend money on something more useful, like giant plasma-screen televisions that are only on during lunch and display news from two months earlier? But please, enough with the napkin dispensers!