North Pointe Now The student news site of Grosse Pointe North High School. 707 Vernier Rd., Grosse Pointe Woods, MI 48236 Tue, 16 Apr 2019 17:36:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Lightning Thief: The Musical thunders into Detroit Wed, 06 Mar 2019 18:31:52 +0000 ‘The Lightning Thief,” a musical adaptation of Rick Riordan’s book series “Percy Jackson and the Olympians,” has begun touring through major cities in America. The musical is set in the era of the first book, “Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief.” With its energetic cast, well-produced music and clever humor, it is not a stretch to say that the play will be widely loved by its audiences. The tour is staying in Detroit’s Fisher Theater till March 9.

The play revolves around a 12-year-old Percy Jackson (Chris McCarrell), who finds out he is a demigod half mortal, half god after running into a monster at the beach. The story explores his search for his father, who he discovers is Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea. The musical often references Greek mythology, but in a comprehensive way so it is easy to understand and remember as the story continues. Jackson is sent to ‘Half-Blood Camp’ to be in company of other demigods like himself. He quickly befriends Annabeth Chase (Kristin Stokes) and they embark on a quest along with their satyr half human, half goat best friend, Grover Underwood (Jorrel Javier).

The production overall is outstanding there isn’t a boring moment with the music being catchy, fitting each scene perfectly. The work put into the musical is apparent. Both cast and crew are obviously talented, and the show as a whole deserves recognition. The sets are exactly how a reader of the book would imagine them which is a success to celebrate, especially because the movie adaptation was very different from the books, and frankly, inaccurate. Unlike the movie, however, the musical is entertaining from start to finish and does a fantastic job of keeping the story condense and precise. With an intended demographic of young teenagers, it does exceedingly well when it comes to making the show entertaining, even for those outside of that age group.

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The problem with the new park passes Fri, 08 Feb 2019 18:27:42 +0000 Sitting by the pool and having fun with friends was just one of the few things that I enjoyed doing during the summer when I was younger, and doing it with my friends from Harper Woods made it all the more fun.

But, with the newly implemented policy going into effect this spring, children above 8 years old have to get a photo on their park ID. With this revisioned policy, residents of Grosse Pointe Woods will no longer be able to enjoy the facilities at the Grosse Pointe Woods Public Park with their friends from Harper Woods as often, because the act of sharing park passes will no longer be possible.

I don’t like this new park pass policy. Let me tell you why.

The creation of the new policy was put into motion after incidents were reported at the Grosse Pointe Woods Park. Many non-residents were using park passes to gain entry, and also caused property damage and assaulted park employees. It is important to note, however, that there have been equally unsettling incidents involving property damage from residents who have their own park passes.

My concern stretches beyond the basic summer get-together. It worries me that children from Harper Woods that are in the Grosse Pointe Public Schools would not be able to hang out with their friends from Grosse Pointe as regularly. This could result in children from Harper Woods that are in GPPSS feeling left out of activities with their friends all summer long.

A solution to the problem would be to allow homeowners in Harper Woods that live within GPPSS boundaries to buy park passes for a set amount, or for the average amount that Grosse Pointe Woods taxpayers pay in taxes to the park.

This would allow for people in Harper Woods that live within the GPPSS and pay taxes for the GPPSS to fairly purchase park passes and assure that their children will not be excluded from activities in Grosse Pointe city parks.

Also, it is important to note the alarming privacy concerns that could arise once the city of Grosse Pointe Woods has photographs of almost every citizen in the area. People’s pictures and personal information could be used for different purposes, or even be stolen. The city could use the pictures in conjunction with a photo identification software and security cameras to identify citizens movements in Grosse Pointe Woods without their consent. Or, if the photographs were left in an unsecured database, hackers could potentially access and sell them on the dark web resulting in the creation of fake IDs.

Although these security threats may seem like a stretch, similar incidents have happened in our own backyard.

During the Summer of 2016, hackers accessed personal information such as pictures, telephone numbers and full names through the Archdiocese of Detroit’s database of teachers who taught at Catholic schools in the area. The stolen information was believed to have been sold on the dark web.

While these incidents occur around us, it is important that we don’t minimize the possible threats photo ID’s raise. These are factors that need to be taken into consideration, especially before stripping citizens from their recreational freedoms.

The next step for the Grosse Pointe Woods City Council should be to find a solution that addresses the security concerns of the city, while only keeping necessary information and allowing non-residents into the park. Totally excluding Harper Woods residents, who attend the same schools as Grosse Pointers, from the park is the wrong solution to a minor problem, and the proposed solution has more issues than it solves.

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Meta-analysis study finds correlation between mood disorders and creativity Tue, 05 Feb 2019 19:05:08 +0000 For as long as she can remember, junior Presley Powder has spent her days with a marker, pencil and paintbrush at hand, scribbling away on a canvas. While many interpret her love of art as simple creativity, she attributes her relationship with art to her struggles with communication and being understood by those around her.

“Before I could really write because children (process) pictures more quickly than words I had all of these ideas and I couldn’t really express them through words,” she said. “So I just express them through the images that were coming together in my mind. I have always had an easier time expressing my ideas through pictures and more abstract ideas.”

According to a Meta-Analysis on Sage Journals, people diagnosed with a mood disorder such as depression or bipolar disorder are more likely to be creative and involved in the arts than those who are not. However, this does not imply that those diagnosed with mood disorders are inherently more creative.

Powder, who struggles with a mood disorder, said she believes that people facing mental illness’ struggle to be understood by those around them, which is why they turn to creative outlets such as painting, music or writing.

“People who aren’t mentally ill fit in better with other people and their thought processes are very normal and mainstream. I would think those people tend to be less creative just because they fit in with people so well and they have such an easy time  conforming,” Powder said. “People who experience mental disorders (and/or) mood disorders are, even if they don’t express the outwardly, they’re inwardly separated from society. That forced separation kind of brings in this creativity, you have to think about your own ideas.”

Freshman Garrett Vanmarter said that not many people openly talk about their mental illness in school due to social constructs. He believes that the correlation between mood disorders and whether one is involved with art can be seen most distinctly in famous performers and artists.

According to an article published on The Ascent in 2018, 80 percent of writers have some form of mood disorder, and are more likely to abuse substances such as drugs and alcohol than non-artists. Artists such as Walt Disney and Vincent Van Gogh put faces to this trend as they struggled with their mental health during their careers.

Freshman Cassidy Alex who has been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder said she uses art as a form of coping with her mental illness. She often plays guitar, writes in her journal or paints whenever it “gets bad” for her.

Alex said she thinks utilizing creative outlets are healthy ways of dealing with personal problems. She thinks that it is why many who struggle with their mental health turn towards art as a way of managing it.

“Whenever I start to drift off, I bring myself back and I draw. Sometimes I draw what I see, I draw what I hear and I write about it. I think that really helps seeing it on the paper and knowing “Okay, it’s not real it’s just in my head,” but I got to figure out what’s going on,” Alex said. “I think that you need to find what works for you, find what you can do to distract yourself from the thoughts… you don’t want to sit there (with) your (negative) thoughts because that’s never good.”

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5 Minutes with: Kelly Maisel Tue, 05 Feb 2019 03:18:05 +0000 Math teacher Kelly Maisel has only ever wanted to make her family proud. Graduating in the top tenth percentile of her high school class, Maisel became the first in her family to go to college. To her, attending college was what would make her family the proudest.

“I wanted to make sure I was able to do that for (my mom),” Maisel said. “She probably doesn’t remember that, but that was so long ago.”

Maisel decided to apply for a job at this school after noticing an opening, and is more than happy with her decision.

“I live pretty close by, and I actually had a few friends that went here when they were in high school. A few of my coworkers were actually friends of mine when I was in college,” Maisel said. “They always talked about how great it was here and after I interviewed, I was like, “oh my goodness, I can’t believe I would want to pick anywhere else that wasn’t here.” I just felt very welcomed and felt good coming here.”

Maisel’s dad never got the chance to go to college. When he was a senior in high school, he was drafted into the Vietnam war. When he came back, he did what most people did for a living at the time. He became a factory worker. Maisel knew that being a factory worker was not what she wanted to do with her life, and knew that she wanted to pursue a career in teaching.

       “I’ve always wanted to teach. I’m going to tell you I didn’t know what I wanted to teach until I got to college,” Maisel said. “When I got to college, I actually talked to my high school math teacher and she was like “I think you should consider doing something different” so I was like “what?” I decided to pick math because, I figured, I had some math teachers that weren’t the best when I was in high school, and I wanted to be the opposite of that, I wanted my students to actually understand and get math because I had to teach it myself when I was in high school for a lot of the year, so it was kind of tough.”

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Shutdown Fri, 01 Feb 2019 19:10:57 +0000 Tensions are rising across the nation as the government shutdown, beginning on December 22, has become the longest running in the America’s history, defeating President Clinton’s 21 full-day record in 1996 by over ten days.

Because of this, 9 out of 15 federal departments and dozens of agencies are closed. 800,000 government employees have been working without pay, resulting in mass amounts of workers calling in sick or quitting, causing delays in tax returns and safety concerns for the country’s homeland security and food quality.

Although government teacher Dan Gilleran admits the shutdown is beneficial to his class by sparking interest in students, he expresses concern for more than just federal employees. Gilleran worries for American citizens experiencing the indirect effects of the shutdown, such as businesses with high federal employee populations.

“They’re losing that business and they will never make that up,” Gilleran said. “They’re not going to get back pay like federal employees, all these businesses are affected by it. So it’s a huge deal.”

However one of the more concerning agency shutdowns remains in the Transportation Security Administration. TSA oversees public travel within the U.S., including that of international countries with incoming transportation. As employees approach their fourth week without pay, head of TSA Council on the American Federation of Government Employees, Hydrick Thomas, reports daily resignation calls from employees due to their extreme financial hardships.

Detroit Police Department Officer Monae Carter is very frustrated with the lack of support for TSA workers going without paychecks and healthcare. Carter sympathizes with those who must also provide for their family on a tightened budget. She said she can attest to the frustrations of working understaffed.

“I’ve experienced when there is more officers than needed, which is great, and when there weren’t enough officers,” Carter said. “Having less is almost like having to be two places at once. Although we make things work, it’s just added stress to make sure the night runs as smooth and ensures the safety of the public and ourselves to make it home-safe.”

The current government shutdown began due to disagreements between President Trump and the Republican Senate against the Democratic led House. When drawing up the 2019 spending budget, which is projected to spend around $4.4 trillion, the House’s budget proposal only allocated $1.6 billion towards erecting a wall along the Mexican-American border despite Trump’s demand for $5.7 billion.

Junior Michael Kehrig finds the shutdown pointless and no more than a political move made by both sides to make a statement. He worries that at the rate this government is moving, the shutdown will begin to have more negative effects on the economy and the country’s image.

“It’s just interesting to see because Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, a lot of the big name Democrats are against the wall funding or funding border security,” Kehrig said. “(But) five, six years ago, (they) were in support of more money for border security or against illegal immigration, but their entire ideology has changed.”

No matter their side of the spectrum, Gilleran hopes for politicians to stop demonizing each other in order to foster understanding conversations.

“You can’t make the other side out as evil,” Gilleran said. “They want their family to be healthy, they want a good country, they want clean air, they want this stuff. So the overall goals are the same, you just have to figure out how to get there and when we do, (the goal) is to listen and respect the other opinion.”

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Review: On the Basis of Sex Thu, 24 Jan 2019 03:12:58 +0000 “On the Basis of Sex” opened in the way any movie about female empowerment might: a hopeful and determined young woman marching towards her future as her heels click against the pavement.

That young woman was Supreme Court Justice and women’s rights advocate Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Felicity Jones). She was on her way to her welcoming ceremony at Harvard Law School in 1955. Ginsburg looked around, realizing she was one of nine women in her class, solidifying her isolation as a woman at Harvard Law.

This, among other incidences of thinly veiled and blatantly put gender discrimination, defined Ginsburg’s struggle throughout the movie. She is questioned, criticized and patronized during nearly every move she tries to make in the film, just as the real Ginsburg is in her own life and career.

The climax of the film appeared after her time at Harvard with the case of Moritz v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue. In the case, a man was denied tax provisions to support the costs of hiring an in-home nurse for his sick mother simply because he was unmarried. Ginsburg saw this opportunity to show how gender discrimination could impact men and took on the case alongside her husband, Marty (Armie Hammer), now a tax attorney, and the American Civil Liberties Union.

Here, the movie did the best job of making an entertaining story out of the life of an attorney. Despite the weight and symbolism behind this case, most would have been bored by the legal formalities of court proceedings themselves. To counter this, the movie picked up on the drama, and included a few typical tropes to keep viewers going. These ranged from “evil lawyers plot someone else’s demise in a dark room filled with cigar smoke” to “protagonist endearingly practices speech in front of a mirror before big events,” and showed us the magnitude of the variety of challenges she faced.

What Ginsburg did for women across America was give the persona of justice in a two hour film. Ginsburg’s work is ongoing, and it was a much better move to show the American people where the story of one of their role models began, which this movie did beautifully.

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Review: Ink Mountains and Mystery Thu, 24 Jan 2019 02:38:21 +0000 Story game “Ink Mountains and Mystery” (IMM) opens with beautiful music laced with heavy Asian influence and a delicate, well drawn scene of a grassy mountain surrounded by big trees swaying in wind. It looks extremely peaceful and the first impression of this game is that it will be relaxing.

IMM takes the player through a continuous story surrounding two main characters as they journey through paintings to find different colors. The game goes through chapters as the player progresses, and each chapter features a central theme with included examples such as kindness, friendship and religion.

The story of the game is pure and features what seems to be genuine love for the arts. The main characters are amazed at different paintings and are in amazement of various painters throughout the game.

IMM is also filled with excellent animation. The artists who worked on the game clearly spent an excruciating amount of time designing every aspect of the visuals. There isn’t a single scene that doesn’t look like it took a while to design. The whole game is entirely breathtaking when it comes to the visual aspect. The style is very delicate and pretty with soft colors and light, feathery strokes, thus mirroring it’s content. It seems like every scene is a part of a painting, because of the style, deliberately showing brush strokes and paint dribbles in the title sequences and cut scenes.

Aside from IMM’s beauty, there are some problems with the game. The first one is the constant mention of religion. The main characters constantly mention “Buddha” and send prayers to him. In the description, it should be written that the player is not getting just an art game, they’re also getting a lesson in Buddhism. This might not be a huge problem, but it is an important part of the game and if not expected, it could get repetitive and annoying.

The game can also get a bit redundant at times. The challenges are similar throughout the game and grow boring. IMM isn’t very dynamic as there is no thrill or excitement. Despite its purpose, there are other ways to project a message in a game, and this was a weak spot in IMM.

Another problem with the game is the constant bugs. The game glitches quite frequently and develops lagging issues. The beginning scenes of the game lagged quite a bit and as the game progressed, and the screen froze and crashed multiple times. On the fifth time the software crashed, the game reset progress and started from the beginning again.

Although IMM is beautiful, you must have a lot of patience to continue playing this game amid all the bugs. It seems like the creators of this game would be better suited to make breathtaking artwork rather than spending time developing a game such as this one.

However, the game might appeal to some players who prefer simpler, slower games to help with anxiety or to put them to sleep. It would be very good in that sense, being that the music is calming and the colors are soft. Although the stories and situations can be repetitive, they do take a bit of thinking and analytical problem solving. If looking to escape the stresses of a long day, this game can definitely work to achieve that sense of serenity.

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The modern truth Fri, 18 Jan 2019 02:50:25 +0000 We are Generation Z. Old enough to know what VHS tapes are, and young enough to never have needed them. With this worldwide boom of technology, anyone can share their voice, resulting in feelings bleeding into facts. It’s okay to develop feelings that support facts, but it is never okay to support your feelings by developing false facts.

Fake news is an epidemic in today’s society. Despite being an ancient parasite, it’s thriving in 2019 due to the rise of the internet. Never before in history until today has a random person been able to voice their opinions for millions to see with the click of a few buttons. Misinformation can spread like wildfire, causing hysteria. It’s simply a chain of people who refuse to do research on a headline or article before sharing it to their wall so another 200 people can see it. The only way to stop fake news is to break the chain.

Ponder before you post, think: “Is this a fact or a feeling?” Fake news can ruin lives and influence elections. It can destroy the beliefs of one group and develop the beliefs of another. It is up to the reader to differentiate between fact and fiction, but with the emerging culture of mandatory immediacy in the western world, no one bothers to do more than read the headline of a Facebook post, get offended and share. This toxic behavior leads to lies spreading like the Obama birther scandal, a conspiracy to get President Obama out of office by claiming he was born in Africa instead of America.

As Americans, it is also our civic duty to participate in elections. The truth is non-partisan. No matter where on the spectrum we may lie, we need to fight for it. The truth doesn’t wait for people’s approval or recognition.  The truth is precious and worthy of protection. It is the only concrete thing in this world, and when used properly, it can be the most powerful. We are coming of age in a world where you can’t readily trust everything we see or hear, and that’s just the reality of our plight. It’s on us as Americans to do our due diligence because if we won’t, then who will? If we don’t know what’s really happening in the world around us, then how are we supposed to make educated and informed decisions?

Too many adolescents feel that since they are under 18, politics and the government are things that only ail the middle-aged, instead of something that affects every aspect of their daily lives. The only way to change this is to change the way politics are taught in school. Children should be taught at a young age that their voices always matter, instead only being valuable when asked for. Children aren’t taught that their opinions are valuable, and those children grow up to be teenagers that don’t care about forming their own beliefs and they grow into adults that aren’t capable of making educated votes or generating independent thought.

All of these aforementioned problems are rooted in a single thing: lack of valuable and reliable information. To progress as a people, we need to learn and improve on ourselves as well as help others improve, and tearing rivals down with lies and alternative facts has not, will not and can not do that. The truth must prevail over all.

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Positives of athletic trainers Wed, 02 Jan 2019 18:50:04 +0000 As a coach for both girls ice and field hockey, english teacher Emma Huellmantel greatly appreciates the provision of athletic trainers.

“It’s nice to have that reassurance that (an injury is) not a larger problem, because there are cases when you could be pushed,” Huellmantel said. “It’s helpful to have somebody who’s experienced and knowledgeable able to tell you, “Hey, you need to be resting,” or “you need to be icing” or “you can play.” That is something that we can’t always do as coaches.”

The athletic training room offers a large space for athletes to stretch, with posters of step-by-step examples of different positions to target certain muscles. There is an ice machine and an ice bath to help athletes with muscle inflammation, along with the athletic trainers who help diagnose injuries, provide supportive taping and exercises and refer athletes to doctors for more serious injuries.

If not for services such as pre-taping, Huellmantel believes many of her players would be injured more often and would have to stick to the bench.

“I also think that the trainers do a lot as far as education for athletes. They help the athletes figure out how to better play in the game in a way that doesn’t exacerbate their injuries,” Huellmantel said. “So I have been relying on the trainers as a coach for the past however many seasons. They are very important to us.”

The current athletic trainer, Sam Viola, insists that the importance of having one on staff is “unequivocally” important, having experienced a situation at a school where she worked before, where if not for her presence, a student could have lost his life to a brain injury he got in the weight room. Viola attributes her importance to her extra background in sports medicine, with a bachelors in athletic training as well as a master’s degree in sports medicine.

“(Coaches) don’t take classes related to diagnosis, evaluation with upper body and lower body or lower extremity injuries,” Viola said. “So we actually go to school for it.”

A recent study performed by the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago found that schools that don’t provide athletic trainers as a basic part of their staff found “recurrent injury rates were six times higher in girls’ soccer and nearly three times higher in girls’ basketball” because of the lack of ability to apply evidence-based injury prevention strategies. Despite this, only one-third of high schools currently offer their students an athletic trainer.

To help students interested in treating sport-related injuries, a program is offered for students to spend time with the athletic trainers after school, working in the athletic training office or following teams during practices and games. Junior Darby Pickford enrolled in the program this fall and has found the experience very educative, working up to three times a week learning how to help students.

Viola first teaches the students how to wrap ankles through examples, moving on to supervising the students as they wrapped peers’ ankles until she is confident they’ve gotten the hang of it.

“If we weren’t doing it right she’d help guide us through it,” Pickford said. “Then after the football games we’d always go into the athletic training room and we’d talk about one thing that we learned. Then, we expand on that and then she’d turn it into a lesson.”

With student athletes who spend a lot of time in physically extraneous activities, if a student is noticing a problem while playing or exercising, Viola advises them to head the training room right away.

“That way we can decipher if it’s something that we can push through or if it’s something that is a little more serious and might need a referral.”

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Teacher Diane Montgomery named 2018 Regional Coach of the Year Sat, 24 Nov 2018 02:46:40 +0000 Well into her first year as an English teacher in Georgia, track and cross country coach Diane Montgomery has helped to rebuild the two teams, kicking off her career as a both a teacher and coach. After her first year teaching in 2002, she immediately began coaching, and became the boys and girls head coach in 2009 and 2017. At the end of this cross country season, Montgomery has been named 2018 Regional Coach of the Year by the Michigan High School Athletic Association.

“It was pretty special,” Montgomery said. “I was excited. It’s nice to feel validated for your hard work.”

While Montgomery may have been surprised with the honor, junior Michael Kehrig said that her dedication, involvement and passion for both the track and cross country teams made the choice obvious. Through his three years on the boys cross country team, Kehrig said he has noticed how much Montgomery looks out for every student on each team.

“(I think she was named coach of the year because of) her commitment to the team and how much passion and energy she brings to the table,” Kehrig said. “That’s seen in the success that the runners have had.”

Throughout her years of coaching, Montgomery said she strives to focus on motivating cross country runners to run all year, and to get as much mileage as they can. Over time, Montgomery said she has noticed more runners dedicating themselves to this attitude towards training while inspiring other student runners to do so along the way.

“We’ve just had more and more kids buy into that philosophy of dedicating yourself year round. We’ve also tweaked our training programs over the years,” Montgomery said. “I feel like this year was finally the best combination of training for the athletes that we had.”

To Montgomery, individualized attention to the runners is what made this year stand out as a great training season. With the varsity team’s small size added to the number of athletes who had been running for three to four years, Montgomery found it easier to provide the attention to each runner and to get the feedback she believed they needed to succeed.

For example, Montgomery said that while two runners may have very similar times, one may be more adept to distance running, while the other may be better suited to running for speed, like in track. This makes it easier to evaluate how individuals are performing in their events.

“(It’s about) really knowing the runners as individuals and trying to meet their needs, because you can’t treat them all the same,” Montgomery said. “We kind of tried to doctor it so we’re not overtraining some of the kids, but also that we’re helping them to reach their full potential, so we’re not undertraining.”

This year was senior Michaela Cosgrove’s last season with the cross country team. She agrees with Montgomery, and said she believes that during her time on the team, Montgomery played a key role in their success.

Like Kehrig, Cosgrove said that Montgomery’s overall dedication to the team shows through both the team’s practices and their meets. Whether it be planning workouts, getting split times, or just being supportive, Cosgrove said Montgomery is consistent in her devotion to both teams.

“She’s an awesome coach,” Cosgrove said. “She always has the team’s best interests in mind and she knows our goals. You can always go to her and ask her for advice, and she definitely knows what she’s talking about.”

To Montgomery however, the honor is a reflection of the work that she and all of the track and cross country teams have done to have a successful year, especially since a large part of winning is based on overall performance throughout the season.

It’s nice to feel like the programs that I’ve been working on are finally reaching their pinnacle of success,” Montgomery said. “For me, it’s like a secondary reflection on me because I’ve built the program.”

As for next year, Montgomery said she has high hopes for the next varsity lineup. Five seniors will have graduated by the start of next season, and Montgomery is eager to see where this leaves the rest of the team. With the new influx of runners who have never been on varsity before, she is expecting things within scheduling and overall training to be adjusted and she is enthusiastic to see how next season’s teams end up.

“Next year I think (it) will be interesting to see who rises to the challenge, and is ready to fill in those spots,” Montgomery said. “That’s going to be exciting.”

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