September 2010

Feature Team of the Week

Cousins and varsity tennis teammates Cassie Zehenny, '11, and Carmen Brooks, '11, were thankful their team could be spotlighted as the Team of the Week before their feature match at home Tuesday.

Both girls are co-captains for the Lady Eagles tennis team (11-4) in 2010 after growing up playing the game together and at CJ for four years. The team has been celebrating this week by sharing cupcakes at lunch, making locker signs for each other, and wearing spirit shirts to school Tuesday before their game against Oakwood.

“It’s a really great chance for each team to be recognized,” Zehenny said.

Every member of last year’s squad—including 2009 Coach of the Year Jim Brooks—was recognized with the distinction of all-league honors and the girls have been working hard this season to recruit new players to keep the winning tradition alive in the GGCL Grey North division.

“We’re all really good friends,” Carmen Brooks said. The team hosted a dinner before try-outs for players and their families in order to introduce newcomers to the program. The varsity girls have also each chosen a junior varsity player to personally support throughout the season.

CJ defeated Beavercreek 4-1 Wednesday to earn their eleventh victory of the season. The Eagles are preparing for the singles and doubles state sectional tournament which kicks-off next week.

Performing Arts Adds Pop A Cappella

Along with the 2010 additions of two athletic facilities on campus at Chaminade Julienne, the Performing Arts department also made a new addition of its own in the form of a pop a cappella septet called Vega.

Under the direction of Mr. Joe Whatley, Vega will make its debut singing the Star Spangled Banner on the field Friday, Oct. 15 at the Homecoming football game versus Carroll High School. The group will then let their talent shine Tuesday, Oct. 19 at the fall concert, Autumn Overtures, alongside the concert choir, concert band and pep band in the auditorium.

“It’s great to be a founding member,” senior Kayla Hayes said. “I’m very excited for where we’re going this year and where this group will be in the future at CJ.”

Auditions for the pop a cappella group were held last school year and seven students—three seniors, three juniors and one sophomore—were invited to sing during this, Vega’s inaugural first season. Members began practicing over the summer with a three day camp and they have continued to meet every Monday after school this fall from 6 to 9 p.m. to hone their harmony.

Although each student hails from either Holy Angels Parish or St. Rita of Cascia Parish, the group owes its namesake to the solar system, borrowing the title from the brightest star in the Lyra constellation, Vega, which is also considered by some to be “the second most important star in the sky after the Sun.”

“I wanted to be in this group to sing the fun, poppy songs,” junior Mackenzie Aughe said. Throughout the year, you can expect to hear songs from hit artists including The Beach Boys, The Beatles, and Lee Ann Womack, as well as the song “Seasons of Love,” from the Broadway musical Rent. The seven also plan to record a CD featuring songs performed this year.

Besides only performing, Vega will also be attending Fairmont High School’s A Cappella Festival Saturday, Nov. 13 to listen and learn from other area groups. According to the Contemporary A Cappella Society’s Web site, 15 to 20 schools are expected to be represented at this year’s festival. Activities will include “masterclasses during the daytime with visiting schools” and evening performances by guest groups which, in past years, has featured Rockapella, m-pact, The Fault Line, and 4th Avenue.

CJ Cuts Ribbon on Conditioning Center

Chaminade Julienne held its ribbon cutting and dedication for the school's new Student Conditioning Center and Blue Green Field Wednesday evening as part of the President’s Leadership Dinner festivities.

Dr. Michael Ervin, co-chair of Greater Downtown Dayton Plan, and vice-chair of the Downtown Dayton Partnership, and Dan McCabe, Dayton Power & Light (DP&L) senior vice president and chief administrative officer, were opening ceremony guest speakers.

"With the dedication of these facilities today you are seeing the culmination of much great work,” said Ervin. “But it really represents only the beginning of a renaissance of our city that CJ is helping to lead."

Opened in spring of this year, Blue Green Field expands CJ’s outdoor sports conditioning areas to two practice fields, making it possible to keep student athletes on campus for after school practices. The field surrounded by Longworth, Eaker and Perry Streets was originally home to a steam plant operated by DP&L.

In 2005, DP&L gifted the property valued at approximately $1 million to CJ. The plant was demolished the same year. With the help of Kokosing Construction as well as CJ parent volunteers, the field was graded, irrigated and seeded into an area now used for practices and outdoor events.

“DP&L has a long tradition of supporting education in the Miami Valley,” said McCabe. “We feel fortunate to provide the sports field for Chaminade Julienne to continue their outreach to their students, and help provide a brighter future for our next generation.”

Renovation on the Student Conditioning Center began in February of this year and the center was opened to student use at the end of August. The 25,000 sq. ft. center contains an indoor turf area, multi-sports area, multi-purpose room and, its crowning jewel, a fully-equipped weight and conditioning center.

The $1.6 million project makes it possible for CJ to expand health and fitness opportunities to all students, and allows coaches to grow their cross-training and conditioning programs. The center also accommodates a wide variety of needs by the school including hosting events, meetings, student retreats and alumni gatherings.

“CJ has been at this location in Dayton for 125 years, and our founding orders have been part of this community for 160 years,” said Daniel Meixner, CJ president.

“At this point in time, we want to create more spaces where the Chaminade Julienne community can gather on campus, and provide places where our students can have the opportunity to excel in various ways,” Meixner said. “Blue Green Field and the Student Conditioning Center accomplish these goals beautifully.

“The CJ community is not only committed to the development of our campus, but also to our city. We’ll always be looking for opportunities around us to help the campus and the southern edge of downtown to really come alive.”

Feature Teams of the Week

After coming off tough competitions at the GCL and GGCL tournaments respectively, both Men's and Women's golf are being dually honored as CJ's Feature Teams of the Week.

The Eagles (1-3) finished third in the GCL North behind Alter and Fenwick and lost a tough match to Bulter High School at Miami Valley Golf Course Tuesday in the co-feature game of the week, but the team is hopeful they can make a return visit to the district tournament this postseason.

Dan Wolff, the team’s only senior, said it was important for him to return this season after graduating two top golfers.  Wolff began playing golf for CJ his junior year after working at Moraine Country Club for four years.

“I knew we were going to be young so I felt like we’d improve a lot more as a team if we had a lot of guys come back,” he said. The team—which won the Division II state title in 2008—consists of five freshman, two sophomores, and lone junior Jon Besecker who earned second team all-conference honors last season.

In his second year as head coach, Bill York said his team has started to gel this season. “These guys are all pretty evenly matched,” he said, “and it’s much more of a team effort.”

The Lady Eagles (10-3) have had to overcome adversity this year after head coach George Menker was hospitalized in early September.

With the support of the community, parents and those close to the team, the girls have rallied back and performed admirably on the course, finishing second in the GGCL Grey tournament and placing fourth out of 16 Division I and II schools in the Skyhawk Invitational at Greene Country Club Monday evening (taking second amongst all D-II programs).

Perhaps the team’s biggest source of inspiration comes from coach Menker himself, who continues to back his team, said senior captain Riviere Duffy. “We got to visit him in the hospital after GGCL’s and the nurse told us that every time someone comes into the room he points to our team poster and says, ‘Those are my girls!’”

The girl’s feature game is Thursday at Meadowbrook Country Club in a quad match against area rivals Northmont, Troy, and Butler. The team has been practicing nearly every day in preparation for the state tournament.

Golf, however, is not the only thing keeping Duffy busy these days. As president of the Spirit Committee, she has also been making sure each feature team is recognized properly. The committee has honored five teams so far this fall and members have responsibilities each week.

“It takes all of us to make one week happen,” she said. Tasks include making locker signs and small gifts for each individual player, announcing games, updating the second floor spirit board, informing each team of their day to wear spirit t-shirts, and choosing a theme for the week.  "Neon Night" is the theme for September 19-25, so wear bright colors and anything that glows when supporting CJ athletes this week!

Junior Service Fair

The Office of Ministry and Service provided juniors a valuable venue to receive information about service-learning opportunities within their community Friday, Sept. 17 at the annual Junior Service Fair.

Representatives from 20 local service agencies descended upon CJ to meet and talk with juniors in the gym during homeroom periods about completing their required 25 hours of service.  As a component of religion class, students are challenged to fulfill a different service-learning goal each year of high school.

David Lobo representing East End Community Services informed those interested of chances to tutor kindergarten through second grade students at Ruskin Elementary, a Dayton Public School. “This is a unique opportunity to get dependable volunteers,” he said. According to its Web site, East End Community Services is a nonprofit organization serving residents of east Dayton with housing development, educational initiatives, and services for teens, parents, adults, and seniors.

Students also heard from Jen Dean who discussed opportunities to build houses in Dayton through Habitat for Humanity. Presenting for her third year, Dean said the Junior Service Fair helps students realize just how many ways they can get involved locally. “I don’t think they’d know about these kinds of opportunities otherwise.”

As part of its mission, the Office of Ministry and Service provides service-learning opportunities and faith development experiences for the Chaminade Julienne community. Junior service projects incorporate justice issues such as aging, disabilities, disadvantaged youth, environment, animal welfare, pro-life, poverty, homelessness and hunger. In addition to required service, CJ also offers programs including REACH (Recreating Earth as Christ Hopes), BigBrothers/BigSisters, Join Hands Miami Valley, and mission trips to students wanting to live their faith in action.

“They are really reliable and they really commit themselves to getting involved,” Dean said of CJ students. “We continually have CJ students come back to us even after high school.”

Juniors Nick Flannery, Brian Beall and Dan Perez were in attendance Friday to find service activities which fit into their busy schedules. “It gives you a good feeling to give back to the community,” Flannery stated. All three are athletes and each said they don’t mind the requirement. “I feel like I have a moral obligation to serve,” Beall added.

Felicia Graham First STEMM Speaker

Environmental Compliance Coordinator for the City of Dayton Water Department and CJ alumna Felicia Graham, ’86, presented to students about the importance of keeping our water clean in the CIL Tuesday as part of the CJ STEMM Idol Speaker Series.

Graham, who oversees compliance with the city’s Storm Water Permit, discussed things including how a large underground aquifer provides citizens of the city and Montgomery County drinking water. She also discussed how littering and dumping of hazardous material can result in polluting rivers due to the catch basins which send storm water to drain into natural bodies of water including Wolf Creek and the Great Miami, Mad and Stillwater Rivers.

Additionally, Graham handed out plastic drinking cups to students for use in place of disposable plastic bottles in support of the city’s Take Back the Tap Campaign. The campaign is aimed at encouraging people to drink more tap water thereby decreasing the number of plastic bottles in landfills.

“Tap water is less than a penny per gallon and we have excellent tap water here in Dayton,” Graham said.  Not only is tap water less expensive than bottled, she also pointed out that about 24 percent of bottled water comes from the tap. “It is a cheaper and more environmentally friendly way to get your water.”

Campaigns like Take Back the Tap are just some of the ways in which the Water Department informs the public of environmentally safe water pracitces.  Graham also posts signs on catch basins prohibiting dumping, hangs informational flyers on doors, and coordinates the Children's Water Festival in May.  The festival, held at the University of Dayton, consists of a science workshop hosting 1,500 fourth graders from Greene and Montgomery counties.  Over 500 volunteers from the city and community support the one-day event.

Feature Team of the Week

The varsity volleyball team takes on rival GGCL opponent Carroll High School tonight, 7 p.m. at home in CJ’s Feature Game of the Week.

The Eagles (0-1 GGCL, 5-3 overall) are looking to follow-up their postseason appearance in the regional tournament last year with a successful 2010 season by beating fellow Grey North Division opponents  the Carroll Patriots and the Alter Knights, away on Thursday.

The team is coming off a loss in their league-opener September 9 to Fenwick, but the girls are confident that they can get two big wins as the Feature Team of the Week. “We’ve got some big games this week so we’ll need lots of support,” senior Chelsea Voelkl said.

CJ finished last season in third place but went 3-1 in four games against the Patriots and the Knights.  Senior Lyndsey Diggs said each game will truly test the team. “If we can get both victories this week we’ll be serious contenders for the GGCL title this season.”

The team appreciates the support from the community as they get ready for their matches said senior Lindsay Richard, but they also are grateful for the fans in the student section who do things such as hold up “K” signs for each kill during games. She added that as the feature team, all of the girls have had a chance to get recognized—not just individuals—and she believes that advertising games is a good way to spread the word about all athletic competitions this fall.

Richard said it was also important for her teammates to partake in bonding activities away from the volleyball court in order to foster friendships and good team chemistry. “When you know your teammates personally it is easier to know just how to get them motivated.”

Before the season began, Richard hosted a team dinner at her house and all of the girls attended at CJ football scrimmage against Oakwood together.  “Sometimes practice can be intense,” said fellow senior Diggs, “so doing things like this helps take the pressure off a bit.”

Each of the three seniors agreed that the highlight of this season will come Tuesday, Oct. 12 in the team’s final game against Alter on Senior Night.

CJ Kicks-Off Its 160/125 Year Anniversary

With the opening Mass of the new school year, Chaminade Julienne enters into a joyful year of celebration commemorating its 160/125 anniversary year today, Wednesday, Sept. 8.

CJ celebrates 160 years of private Catholic secondary education in Dayton in the traditions of the Marianists, Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, and Sisters of Charity; and 125 years at its current location on Franklin and Ludlow Streets—demonstrating the school’s strong commitment to serving students from all areas of the Miami Valley.

“During this anniversary year, Chaminade Julienne is privileged to reflect on a Catholic educational tradition that reaches back over six generations—and one that is intrinsically woven into the fabric of Dayton. We remember and honor those priests, sisters and brothers who followed the mission of their religious orders to bring Catholic secondary education to families who had chosen this area to raise their families,” said Dan Meixner, CJ president.

“We also remember those who strengthened this mission through the years, and had the foresight to offer the best education of the time to students with changing needs over the decades. We take this occasion to rededicate ourselves to forging a bold future for our school, and continuing a tradition that is excellent in its educational experience, and one that supports students in discovering God’s calling in their lives,” he said.

In addition today’s kick-off, CJ is planning other celebratory events including an all-community open house on November 6; outreach and history awareness activities highlighted during Catholic Schools Week; and “Chaminade and Julie” days when students will have the opportunity to attend as an all girls’ school, and then an all boys’ school for one day. The school will also incorporate its tradition of service into its activities.

“In thanksgiving for the many blessings that our community has received, we ask our parents, alumni, faculty and staff members, and friends to join with our students in dedicating their volunteer hours this year in honor of this anniversary,” said Meixner. “The gifts of time and service is a natural extension of what we already do, and will be an exciting community offering at the conclusion of our celebratory year.”

Chaminade Julienne Catholic High School is jointly owned and sponsored by the Society of Mary and the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. The school draws families, from more than 50 zip codes, who seek an excellent Catholic education experience. Chaminade Julienne is located at 505 S. Ludlow St., Dayton, Ohio, three minutes north of the University of Dayton.

Feature Team of the Week

The Lady Eagles varsity soccer team will not be flying far from the nest Saturday, Sept. 11 and they hope CJ fans will follow as the girls travel to Kettering to battle backyard foe Fairmont High School at 6:45 p.m. in this week's feature game.

Along with this year’s new spirit shirt, which can be worn to school by all members of the feature team the day of or before their sponsored match, the Eagles (1-3 overall) will also be showing solidarity by sporting black socks—a team tradition carried out each game day. The team also joins in cheer and song on the bus to get pumped up while traveling to games.

“We’re probably the loudest team you’ll ever hear,” said senior captain Angela Emery.  Emery and fellow captains Lynsay Strahorn and Molly Weckesser make up the only senior presence on the team; however, they say it is traditions such as these that have helped the team come together both on and off the field during their four years at CJ.

Ten juniors, three sophomores, and four freshmen round out the rest of the 2010 roster. “All of us are friends on the team so that helps, but we’re very young this year and we’ve had to go through a lot of transitions,” Strahorn said. Besides youth, the team has also had to deal with injuries, something Weckesser knows all too well. She had to have major knee surgery following an indoor soccer mishap, but said she expects to return to the playing field in October.

“We play as a team, we don’t play as individuals,” Weckesser said.  Among the challenges the team has faced this year, the three seniors have had to overcome playing for four different coaches in four consecutive years.  This season the girls reunited with Coach Doug Lehman who formerly headed up the varsity team when they were freshman playing JV.

Despite all the changes, the team has been able to build morale through the formation of small “families” in which juniors and seniors support freshman and sophomore players by hanging signs on their lockers and giving them small gifts including candy on days of big games. The Lady Eagles also garner support from the men’s team, who arrive at games as the Bucket Boys, tooting horns and drumming on buckets to cheer on their CJ soccer counterparts.

After tying Fairmont 1-1 in the 2009 season, the girls are confident that by being the team of the week they will have an edge on their competition. “I think when you know your friends are going to come out and support you, it makes you push yourself harder both in practice and in games,” Strahorn said.

Before Saturday’s match, the team must first play their GGCL opponents, the Rams, on the road at Badin High School—their first conference game of the year.  While she is excited for the feature game, Emery stressed the fact that they must take it one step at a time. “Our focus is always on the next game, we try not to look too far ahead.”