The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

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Sports Stand Together

During the boys basketball game vs. Lake Forest Academy, the Cheer team wore “Maddy Strong” shirts to remember one of the recent students that had passed away.

Through the mourning of student losses over Thanksgiving break, there has been much support from LHS, including therapy dogs, the paper crane project and many more activities that have allowed for students to cope with all the grief they may have been overcome with. Winter sports teams showed their support by doing different activities to help them demonstrate how much they care about those in their community and to help those who were closely affected

Boys Basketball

The boys varsity basketball team took it into their own hands to come together. Senior Brandon Rule was a leader in organizing team activities, with some of the players’ moms being the ones who created the “Maddy Strong” shirts that they wore in pre-game warmups in their game against Lake Forest Academy on Nov. 30, five days after Maddy’s death.

I feel like the shirts weren’t as much for the team but the community. It was an act to show that this is bigger than basketball and bigger than the team,” commented Rule. “The guys really wanted to show that we are a community first and a team second.”

Varsity Head Coach Mr. Brent Mork added, “I think our whole team is a good collection of guys and this generation, it’s been proven that they think about others more than any other previous generation.

     From a coach’s perspective, seeing the team rallying together without any coach involvement demonstrated the amount of selflessness and togetherness the team holds.

“With situations like this, you can either come together or separate, and this team grew closer,” Mork emphasized.

In addition to wearing the shirts, the team also wrote the initials of all four students who passed away on wristbands, and they wore those in remembrance of them.

“We always try to play for the community, but in these circumstances, we got to play for the individuals who passed. I felt it was an honor to play for those students, and I’m sure the rest of the team felt the same,” said Rule over email. I believe [wearing the shirts] also brought the team closer in the sense that now we play for an even bigger purpose than before.”


Boys Swimming

The boys varsity swim team came together after a hard time as a fellow swimmer, Josh Church of Warren Township High School, who was on the Cats Aquatics team, passed away from undetermined natural causes. The team came together by having an event to remember Church, as well as making shirts, warm-ups and swim caps, to honor him on their senior night.

Senior night was an emotional night for everyone. There are some swimmers that knew Josh a little more [than others] but everyone supported each other at this difficult time,” said Ms. Amanda Pechauer, head coach of the boys swimming team. “The team has really come together at this time, showing their respects by making their senior night about showing respect for Josh.”

The swim team made swim caps and shirts to show their respect to Josh, as well as to wear at senior night and throughout the season.

     “They organized wearing blue t-shirts with ‘Josh Church’ on the front and ‘In Loving Memory’ on the back,” commented Coach Pechauer over email. “We had swim caps made to also wear that evening. [They had] Warren’s school colors with our paw print on it and ‘JC’ in it.”

     “It was great showing the Church family what Josh meant to the Wildcats, having the family there meant a lot to the boys,” wrote Coach Pechauer. “This was their way of celebrating Josh’s life and showing how many of them he has touched over the years.”


Girls Bowling

Maddy McInerney passed away in November from brain cancer at the age of 17. Maddy was on the bowling team last year, and many of this year’s players knew her personally.

“It was a very somber time, but I think once we got it out there, then we could really feel the energy and we could feel Maddy’s energy and everybody picked up on that. The team bonded and it helped us introduce some of the newer girls to the team as the older girls took them under their wings,” said Varsity Head Coach Ms. Lindsay Siegel.

The team remembered Maddy and came together before their match against Warren on Nov. 28. Bowlers who knew Maddy from the time she was on the team helped explain the magnitude of her death to newcomers to the team as well as how much she meant to them and the team . This explanation allowed for the team to come together and help each other out.

“We definitely spoke about her and [what] she meant to all us and the team, and took a moment of silence. We then huddled up together and everyone supported one another through it,” Siegel said.

Ally Doherty, a senior and captain on the team, added, “Our first match of the year was [home] against Warren, and Mr. [Briant] Kelly (the athletic director) came and talked to us, [with] one of the social workers, Mr. [Greg] Loika, and talked to us about how losing a friend is hard, and how there is a lot of support around us and [then] Mr. Kelly let us take a moment of silence, in honor of Maddy.”


The varsity girls cheerleading team wore their “Stand Together”  and “Maddy Brain Up” shirts in order to unite in remembrance of their former teammate Maddy McInerney. The cheer team wore their shirts during the boys basketball game against Lake Forest Academy on Nov. 30, and then had a private gathering for the McInerney family, which cheerleaders and friends attended.

The cheer coaches put together a video that was all about Maddy and her time on the cheer team. “It personally helped me to be with the other people who were also close to Maddy. I liked talking with them about the good times with her,” stated Chloe Latka via text message, a member of the cheer team and friend of Maddy’s.

Head varsity cheer coach Ms. Erin Vance, over email, added: Being together as a program is what has been most important for the cheerleaders.They support each other in every way possible, and they are just some of the most genuine and great kids I have ever worked with as a coach.”

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The student news publication of Libertyville High School
Sports Stand Together