All posts by Nick Kollar

Current culture nulls excitement of voting

I used to be excited to vote. Just the idea of “having a voice” in my country’s government made me feel grown up. Studying politics–no matter how insubstantial–gave me some sort of pseudo-sophistication that made me seem competent for dinner table discussions. I turned eighteen and could already picture slapping on the “I Voted” sticker while strutting the most patriotic walk home before a bald eagle swept me off of my feet and thanked me for my participation in the democratic process. To me, elections seemed fun; however, I’ve come to realize that quite the opposite is true.

Coming home from school one day I found myself scuffling through some recently delivered mail. Of course, the past months have filled my mailbox to the brim with political advertisements, but one letter in particular caught my eye this day. It read, “Don’t Vote for a Candidate That Has No Chance to Win.” and featured pictures of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump with open boxes ( [ ] ) next to their names. Disappointment came as I noticed the crossed-off boxes ( [X] ) for the following candidates of: Jill Stein, Gary Johnson, Deez Nuts, and #SMOD2016 (Sweet Meteor of Death).

Now take a second to let that soak in. Staring at this ad marked the exact moment in time that my excitement to vote was decimated. I could not find myself able to reconcile any good in a country where an internet meme and/or a celestial projectile of mass extinction would ever need to be printed on actual paper to advise citizens not to actually vote for these “candidates” as the actual president of the United States. My mind turned to scrambled eggs. It’s not as if the ad took a partisan side to say, “Hey, don’t waste your vote here! Vote for Clinton/Trump 2016!” but was instead informative to the fact that these absurd candidates were even less insignificant than Johnson or Stein and voters should beware of their illegitimacy.

However, it’s hard to deny the ironic redundancy of having both an apocalyptic meteor and a sexual innuendo on the same piece of paper as Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

The election has been all too much for me to handle. As us young voters tried to build a solid foundation for our political beliefs and aspirations, we were dealt the card of a woman who lies easier than I breath, and a man who makes Putin seem like a godsend.

Scandals perpetually worked their way through the campaign process, with more focus being allocated on rhetoric rather than policy. But you’ve heard these complaints all too often. “Clinton’s a criminal liar” and “Trump’s a bigoted racist” have essentially become the slogans of the Democratic and Republican parties.

With just days to go before Election Day, Clinton’s emails have been opened back up for FBI investigation and ties to Anthony Weiner make speculation ever the more interesting. I have high hopes that the former-congressman-turned-pedafile also recieved one of those, “Make Your Voice Count” ads and will make the wise decision to restrain from voting for, “Deez Nuts.”

If the Mayan calendar was redone, I’m sure the days would end at Nov. 8, 2016. Weeks leading up to Election Day would surely be filled with National Geographic documentaries and a Roland Emmerich movie. I just want it all to be over already.

Follow this link for more election coverage.

Lady Bulldogs to advance to regional semifinals

The beauty of playoff basketball lies in the rise of the underdog, so in the case of the Lady Bulldogs, Thursday night’s game was drop-dead gorgeous.

The fourth-seed Stow Bulldogs toppled the top-seed Canfield Cardinals in the St. Vincent-St. Mary Division I district championship game on Feb. 25. 

Stow came off an overtime thriller against rival Kent Roosevelt to earn a spot in the district final against a Canfield team holding a very similar record.

Freshmen Lizzie Stefanov and Lexie Petit got things rolling for the Bulldogs early in the first quarter, with consecutive layups to pull Stow ahead 4-0. Difficulties on the offensive end for Stow were amplified by missed opportunities, as they were given good looks but failed to finish around the rim. Fortunately, the first quarter ended with a tie at 10-10. The Cardinals kept Stow’s defense honest with success behind the arc.

With substitutions for Stow to the start the second quarter, the defensive intensity was revved up, as junior Kelly Fenwick swiped the ball from a Canfield guard and laid it in to pull the Dogs ahead 12-10. A fire was lit under the Bulldogs and defensive pressure forced steals that were in turn converted into points for Stow. Sophomore Teresa Parr came up big, contributing three consecutive strong takes to the basket to bring Stow ahead 22-14 wit 3:37 to go in the half. First half play concluded with Stow holding a 26-19 lead over Canfield.  

The second half was dominated by the Bulldogs as the Cardinals never came within five points for the rest of play. Canfield attempted to press late in the third, but Stefanov was able to knock down a pair of three balls forcing the defense to pull off the pressure.

Stow went on to defeat the Canfield Cardinals 56-40. Senior Jessie Stout led the Bulldogs with 12 points, followed by Parr with 11, and Petit and Stefanov each adding 10 of their own for the team. With the win, Stow earned its first district title since 2007.

 The Bulldogs will now move on to take on Canton McKinley in the Division I regional semifinal. The game will take place March 1 at the Canton Memorial Civic Center starting at 6:15.

Lady Bulldogs set to play Youngstown in playoffs

Valentine’s Day and the Super Bowl seem to control the major chunk of attention for the month of February, but when that is all said and done, all eyes will be focused in on the Lady Bulldogs basketball team as they steamroll into the playoffs.

The Bulldogs held on to a 7-10 record going into the official drawing for playoff seeds and scheduling. With a substantial record, Stow was able to grab a fourth seed in the OHSAA Division I bracket. Canfield clinched the first seed, followed by Austintown Fitch and Boardman with the second and third seeds respectively.

Bracket play filled out to have the Bulldogs square up against Youngstown East at home on Feb. 13. If all goes as planned, and they come out with a victory, Akron East will be next in line, also at home on Feb. 18.

Stow’s season has been highlighted with wins over Twinsburg and Hudson, along with leadership and strength on the court from captains senior Jessie Stout and juniors Kelly Fenwick and Chrissy DeMarino.

With a seemingly easy path to the championship due to a fortunate draw, it is a very real possibility for the Bulldogs to seize a district title. With that said, all pistons must be firing, and the discipline to take the path one game at a time must be strong.