#1StudentNWI: Lowell High School’s extracurriculars continue to thrive through online learning

#1StudentNWI: Lowell High School’s extracurriculars continue to thrive through online learning

The beginning of November was successful for Lowell High School. Fall sports ended with very little delays, and Lowell had their first female cross country state champion, the Junior Karina James. Additionally, the Red Devil Football Team made it to the second round of sectionals. With fall sports finishing up, Lowell’s annual Fall Sports Awards was held virtually for each team. Many student athletes achieved first and second round all conference, which is an outstanding achievement.

With fall sports complete, winter sports, like boys and girls basketball, swimming, gymnastics, and cheer, began with no delays. However, on November 10, Lowell High School decided to close for three weeks due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the area. This led to very limited attendance for games, but the Red Devils were still able to continue competing.

Even with limited attendance at games, the support for Lowell’s winter sports could not be better. For boys and girls basketball, you can watch the games via live stream on YouTube. This gives fans the opportunity to support the Red Devils in a safe manner. Currently, both the boys and girls basketball teams are at an even win to lose ratio. Both teams have their heads up and continue to play hard knowing they have the potential to earn more wins as the season progresses. 

As for other extracurricular activities, a plethora for teachers banded together with roughly 14 students and decided to better Lowell High School. These students and teachers founded the Diversity Club for those who wish to continue making students of all kinds feel welcome. These students and teachers will work to make the school a safe environment for all and are starting to plan events for 2021.

In addition to the Diversity Club, Lowell High School’s spring musical is starting production soon. This year's musical is Aladdin, and the production begins on January 4th. Even with the extended quarantine until January 11th, theaters participants know the show must go on. They will continue to practice guidelines for COVID-19 during this musical; however, even with restrictions these students are determined to put this production on for the community.

Student Spotlight: Antonia Barraza

Antonia Barraza is a junior at Lowell High School. She competes in sports all year round, and is looked at as a role model in school. This year, Barraza has participated in fall and winter cheer, as well as gymnastics. Barraza’s fall cheer season ended successfully with a third place finish in state.

Next for Barraza came her winter cheer season. The winter cheer team is allowed to cheer for basketball teams; however, with no crowd, the games feel different. 

“It’s been hard trying to maintain a normal cheer season with a limited crowd at basketball games, it’s pretty quiet in there. Sometimes it feels pointless to cheer towards maybe 15 people,” said Barraza.

Even with multiple setbacks, Barraza is still extremely thankful to be given the opportunity to even have a cheer season. She continues to try and remain positive during her winter season because she knows her season could end at any moment. To show her gratitude, Barraza still puts in hard work in both of her varsity sports.

“COVID-19 can’t ever take away how much I enjoy my winter sports, teammates or coaches. It can’t take away the drive I have,” said Barraza.

In addition to her athletic career at Lowell High School, she has been extremely successful in her academic career. She was recently recognized as a Rising Star of Indiana, which is a huge accomplishment for those enrolled in honor programs. 

Barraza also received a recognition for student of the month by demonstrating drive during the month of December. She was extra excited about this because she has continued to find motivation throughout Lowell’s virtual learning. She was also glad to hear from some of the nominators who made her student of the month recognition possible.

“Toni has the drive to always be the best. She wants to learn as much as she can, but she has a fierce competitive attitude that serves her well. Every project and assignment that Toni touches shines like gold," said Joseph Gianotti, Barraza's English teacher.

Barraza continues to expand her academic career by joining Math Super Bowl this year. Most people would not dream of taking on math because it is such a challenging subject; however, she never backs down. Barraza is determined to excel in this subject, and believes that she can be a helpful part of the team. Over virtual learning, the Math Super Bowl coach has been sending out emails to get members ready for the upcoming competition, and Barraza says that she could not be more ready to show off her skills. 

Barraza also plans to join Lowell’s Diversity Club. She believes that this club is a great addition to Lowell. Like many others, Barraza believes that Lowell High School needs to be a safe environment for all, and everyone should feel included. She cannot wait to get back to school to help others’ embrace who they are.