*The last MALE Senior Survivor will be announced on Friday, March 8th.
Maddie May Kroll
Led by senior captain, Casey O’Doherty, the Howell hockey team played one of its most action-packed games of the season so far on Thursday, Jan 10.
Hundreds of Howell and Milford fans showed up at the Hartland Ice Center, home to the Milford Mavericks’ hockey team, to watch a KLAA West battle.
This game started off slow, with a Milford roughing penalty and Howell keeping puck control. Milford’s Alex Anderson scored with about nine minutes remaining in the first period. Within a span of two minutes, Milford scored again on a slick play by All-State captain Evan Wilson, and the Mavericks raced out to a 2-0 lead. Just before the first period came to a close, Connor O’Doherty scored to cut the Mavericks’ lead in half, his brother, Casey, assisted him on the goal. Score at the end of the first period: 2-1 Milford.
Howell started off the second period with a bang. Sophomore Nick Pratt, assisted by Casey O’Doherty, scored to tie the game at two. Pratt stunned the Milford crowd by scoring another time in a span of three minutes, giving Howell the lead, 3-2. It appeared that the Highlanders were beginning to run away with the game when Nick Stanko scored putting Howell up 4-2.
Milford was having none of it, less than a minute later, Anderson scored for a second time, making the score 4-3. The Mavericks scored yet again tying the game up. For the third time in one period, Pratt scored to break the tie and put the Highlanders in the lead. He was assisted by, guess who, Casey O’Doherty. On a magnificent pass from Casey O’Doherty, junior Keifer Roth scored to put the Highlanders up 6-4. Fans were preparing to go to the concession stand as the second period was ending when, Howell scored again to pad their lead at 7-4.
Now, if you’re counting, Casey was involved in four of the seven Highlander scoring plays; pretty impressive considering there was still one more period to play.
The third period was uneventful up until Connor O’Doherty scored and was assisted by his brother. This gave Howell a four-goal lead, 8-4. To cap off a great night for the senior, Casey O’Doherty scored to give Howell the 9-4 lead, and this proved to be the final score.
At the end of the night, Howell hockey played well as a team and came out with a big win. The Milford crowd was silenced as they witnessed the show that Casey put on. It was one of the best games of his season and Howell hockey fans sure hope he continues to play at this level for the rest of the year.
While P.J. Krystyniak may not be the loudest guy on and off the ice, he makes sure that people listen to him in crucial moments.
“I’m mostly a quiet, soft-spoken person, but I usually get my point across when it needs to get across,” Krystyniak says.
The Howell senior, who is playing in his second season on the varsity team, is looking to continue the success the team has had the previous two seasons. Krystyniak’s goal is simple this year though: win it all.
“Our goal for this season as a team is to win the state championship,” Krystyniak says with a slight smile on his face. “We’ve been working all summer to work up to that goal and hopefully achieve it,” he adds.
His coach, Randy Montrose has high hopes for Krystyniak this season to help the team succeed.
“PJ is going to be a catalyst, [and] he’s going to be instrumental on our power play,” Montrose says. “We think that he’s going to be one of the guys that really help our team.”
Montrose also acknowledges the quiet manner in which Krystyniak leads the team. “We’re expecting him to lead quietly again,” Montrose says. “He’s not real loud when he talks but when he does speak people listen to him. He leads more by example,” he adds.
Even though Krystyniak has become a major leader and productive player for Howell, he used to not like hockey.
“I first started playing hockey when I was about five [years old], and to tell the truth, I hated it at first,” Krystyniak says chuckling. “My dad kept on pushing me though, and I finally began to love the sport.”
Though he still has a full season still left of high school hockey, Krystyniak’s greatest moment in hockey was his first high school game.
“We played against CC [Catholic Central] and there was a full stadium on hand. It was kind of a scary moment but it was also my favorite moment,” he says.
His inspiration throughout his life has been Steve Yzerman. Krystyniak is influnced by the way Yzerman carried himself and how he pushed through adversity. He tries to model those same characteristics during hockey and even in life situations as well.
Darek Kalisz, a junior on the hockey team, looks up to Krystyniak as a leader and admires how his presence alone has helped the team.
“His work ethic stands out the most to me,” Kalisz says. “He’s always positive and optimistic to many things on and off the ice.”
While hockey is one of the more important activities in his life right now, especially with the season just beginning, Krystyniak also enjoys some other sports.
“I enjoy hunting and fishing a lot. I used to play baseball competitively when I was younger, but hunting and fishing is what I like to do in my free time,” Krystyniak says.
Most people want to be remembered in some shape or form when they graduate from high school. Krystyniak wants to be recognized as the type of player he is on the ice.
“I want to be remembered as a silent leader on the hockey team; someone who always did what was needed to be done and was one of the hardest working players to play.”
He is already begun to make that impression, quietly.
“I know what I want and I will not let anyone get in my way,” Holly Lawson says with a slight smile. Lawson aspires one day to sing in the competitive business of country music. Yet unlike most, Lawson possesses the drive to reach for even the highest of her goals.
Lawson counts on her dedication and supportive family to help reach her goals. As a young child, Lawson’s parents separated and she currently lives with her father, David Lawson, who is a district manager of Barnes and Noble book stores. Lawson’s mother, Kristi, taught in the Howell Public School district as a sixth grade social studies teacher and just recently moved to Tennessee and works as an art teacher.
“We definitely have a close-knit family,” Lawson says proudly. She spends a significant amount of time with her father’s parents, Mary and Roger Lawson.
“My grandmother has been a mother figure to me my entire life and they’re the best grandparents anyone could ask for.”
Lawson is a senior here at Howell High School and has a younger brother, Hunter, who plays junior varsity football and basketball. Unlike her brother in the sports world, Lawson’s passion lies within theatre and singing. She has been in countless choirs through school and is currently a member of the A Cappella choir.
Lawson’s drive takes her outside the walls of the school with her own separate Facebook page dedicated exclusively to her music career. If this wasn’t enough, Lawson put the time in to create a channel on YouTube for her music where she just recently hit 180,000 views. Lawson’s music also made it to a college radio station this past summer.
For her seventeenth birthday, Lawson’s parents bought her a guitar. Unlike most who get a guitar in their hands, Lawson taught herself to play and played a song named “Stay” by Sugarland for her parents that same night. Though these events improved her ability, the best was yet to come for the country star hopeful.
In March, Lawson travelled to Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan to see her favorite country group, Sugarland, on tour for their new album, “The Incredible Machine.” For a birthday present, her grandmother had purchased Lawson a “VIP” package which consisted of a meet and greet with Sugarland and a seat in their sound check before the concert. Having a hard time finding words for what was happening, Sugarland’s main vocal artist, Jennifer Nettles, had to calm Lawson before they could talk during the meet and greet session.
“I was so nervous,” Lawson added while shaking her head.
All Lawson could do was express to Nettles how much she appreciated her music and how she has been waiting to meet her since the age of nine. Little did Lawson know, this was not the last encounter she would have with her beloved country duo.
On July 9, Lawson traveled to DTE Music Theatre in Clarkston, Michigan to see Sugarland on the second leg of their, “Incredible Machine” tour. With the second meet and greet session, Lawson and Nettles had a much more relaxed conversation. Lawson once again expressed to Nettles how much inspiration she gave Lawson and how she had given Lawson a female role model to look up to. Unexpectedly, Nettles began to cry, appreciating one of her truly devoted fans.
As the concert went on later that night, Sugarland began to play one of their hit songs, “Baby Girl.” Lawson called her mom so she could hear the song, and without warning, Nettles had stopped singing. Pointing to
Lawson, she asked her if that was her mom on the phone. In awe, Lawson nodded and Nettles took the phone and spoke to Lawson’s mom. What turned into the best night of Lawson’s life, the pausing in the concert was eventually posted on Sugarland’s official website, further adding to Lawson’s astonishing night.
Later in the summer, another Sugarland fan published a book titled, “The Little Miss Book,” combining a menagerie of letters from fans to Sugarland, showing their appreciation to the country group. Lawson’s surreal stories were featured in this paperback alongside the entire Sugarland fan base. Sugarland caught wind of the “Little Miss Project” before the book and were interviewed on County Music TV about their response to it. Holly’s picture appeared in that interview.
These experiences encourage Lawson to continue pursuing her dream. After high school, Lawson looks to attend Western Michigan University and major in musical theatre and minor in recording industry business. Whether she makes it big as a singer or comes up short, Lawson will surely be successful in whatever industry she walks into.
“With the dreams I have, there are a lot of people who doubt me and don’t believe in me. All it does is give me motivation to work harder.”
The sky is the limit for Howell High School senior Kaytlin Stroinski. Stroinski’s “never give up” mentality has driven her to success in athletics and academics.
Stroinski’s parents Mariah and Steve were nothing short of supportive throughout her childhood.
“My parents pushed me to be the best I can be,” said Stroinski with a smile. Stroinski also has two siblings: fifteen year old brother Bryan, who is also on the swim team, and older sister Lauren who previously played volleyball for Howell. Stroinski’s father coached her throughout her childhood on various travel teams and always persisted she push herself and attempt to get better every practice.
As a child, Stroinski played for softball travel teams such as the Michigan Outlaws and Michigan Breeze.
In fact, when she first began softball, Stroinski attended a Dot Richardson instructional camp and immediately idolized Richardson. Richardson was a softball player for the 1996 and 2000 United States Olympic teams. Stroinski’s goal was to play for the Olympic team one day until the Olympics omitted softball from its schedule.
During her youth years she also played travel basketball for the Hoopsters.
“She is a really hard worker. Even when our team was down she’d always find a way to make it work,” fellow senior basketball teammate Bre’Ana Strong said. Along with softball and basketball, Stroinski also currently plays volleyball.
This spring, Stroinski and the Lady Highlanders are having an outstanding softball season, standing at 9-2 with Stroinski currently batting a .577 average and an exceptional .960 fielding percentage. Her stellar defensive skills and solid bat have landed her an athletic scholarship to play for Tusculum College in Tennessee. Along with her softball scholarship Stroinski is attending Tusculum on an academic scholarship as well.
Once in college, Stroinski plans to major in sports management. Following her degree she wants to land a job as an athletic director or team manager at the collegiate level.
“The will to win,” Stroinski said when asked about what sets great athletes apart from the average.
“No matter what the score is, going out there and giving it your all to try and win every moment of the game.”
Stroinski has had phenomenal athletic seasons in Howell since she was a freshman. Her successes in the classroom and on the playing fields have qualified her for the next level of career preparation and play.
Horses are a thing of beauty, and no one can testify to that notion more than Emilie Lind. There’s the long, sandy blond mane that flows to the side of the face; the fierce concentration in the eyes; the prideful way of standing tall…and no, I’m not talking about the horse. She is Howell High School’s own country-lovin’ senior who ironically wraps her whole life around the one thing she resembles most: horses.
“I have eight horses, and I ride every day,” says Lind.
This equestrian grew up born and bred in the safety net of Fowlerville, Michigan, with property just along the border of Howell. At the tender age of eight-years-old, Lind was encouraged by her mother to pursue her passion of horse riding. Of course, their ten acres of land provided ample room needed for horse activity, so naturally, Lind agreed.
“I don’t really have time for anything else,” she says of her schedule now. “I actually train and show [horses]. It’s intense.”
The complexity of Lind’s job in the competitive field of horses is an understatement. First, there are the types of horses that you can own. For Lind, the eight horses she owns falls under these categories: Arabian, English, Saddle Seat, and Hatter. English horses, she says, are “warm bloods”; this means that they are calmer and typically faster than other horses.
But her all-time favorite horse is her 19-year-old Arabian, St. Pine. St. Pine just retired last spring at age 18 and has had a tough run, since the majority of competitive Arabian horses retreat at age 10. St. Pine is not only favored because of her drive, but she has also produced Lind with a filly, Miss St. Pine.
Purchasing her horses came with a hefty price tag, Lind notes. “I’ve spent about $70,000 in seven horses that I’ve owned.”
Besides breeds of horses and their high cost, another key aspect of the horse riding world is the four events in which can be competed. The first event, Cutting, entails a horse and its competitor herding a group of twenty to thirty cows in certain directions for three minutes, while all the animals travel at about 40 mph. The second event, Reining, requires the competing horse to lead cows so that they eventually experience spinning, sliding, and stopping under the horse’s discretion. The third event, Reined Cow, combines both activities of Cutting and Reining. The fourth and final event, Roping, involves the horse rider to “dally” a cow, or to prevent a cow from going into its herd, by using a rope.
Lind is a little picky about which horses she chooses to show for these events. “I won’t ride the same horse more than two years in a row,” she states firmly.
Grand prizes are expected to be offered for winning such events. What the average person may not know, however, is just how grand the prizes can really be. Non-pro and amateur shows’ prizes alone can range from $500 to $5,000 depending on the place and how great the winners had ranked. An Ohio derby, for example, can charge $600 to $1,000 for a derby entry, but the first place winner would receive the pot, sometimes worth up to $5,000. There’s also the State Derby, which can have the top ranking person win up to $30,000 to $40,000.
The most impressive show, though, is located in Nevada, where the World Show takes place. That is where thousands of talented riders gather to compete to ultimately win the exciting reward of $100,000.
Lind herself has been awarded many notable prizes. With the non-stop competitions throughout the last two years (there were only seven weekends she didn’t show in 2010), she has won $12,000, 12 belt buckles, two trophies, and three plaques. She has showed her horses at the Great Lakes Michigan Reined Cow event, the Ohio Derby Mare, the State Derby, and many other places in Kentucky, Tennessee, Texas, Michigan, and Ohio. Lind also won the Reserve National Championship Title, second place in the National Reined Cow Horse Association.
She occupies the remainder of her horse-showing time with the task of training horses. More often than not, Lind will usually “buy three and sell three.” Her main objective is the horses with problems so she can fix them up and sell them for a higher price. This technique is another avenue for big money. But more than wealth, Lind enjoys seeing her results of the better-trained horses. Still, her other contenders undermine this achievement.
“It’s [training horses is] hard to explain to people that ride and show, let alone to people who know nothing about them.”
Whether or not the understanding of horses is clear by others, Lind will continue to follow her dreams and pursue working with animals. In addition to her profits from horse training and showing, she has received $4,000 in scholarships from Great Lakes Michigan Reined Cow Association and Ohio Reined Cow Horse Association. Lind has been accepted into Michigan State University and plans to attend college to receive a master’s degree in animal science.
Beyond MSU you may find her presence at a local veterinarian office during the weekdays, though a piece of her heart will always reside in the farmhouse horse stables.
Put her against any basketball player and see her opponent leave with newfound respect for her, because when it comes to basketball, Bre’Ana Strong isn’t just playing around. She means business.
“I love playing it [basketball]. It gets my anger out,” Strong says.
Since her freshman year Strong has been on Howell High School’s girls varsity basketball team, and now as a senior she’s preparing to take advantage of her skills. Just months away from graduation, Strong will be the only girl basketball player from HHS who will go to college for basketball this year.
“It [basketball] gave me something to do, and I knew I had a chance to get into college,” Strong says.
Confidence sure is the key for Strong, because she was recently awarded $88,000 worth of grants from Milwaukee School of Engineering. She plans to divide up the grants as tuition money for four years of college. MSOE has offered Strong an instant spot into their nursing program, instead of putting her on a waiting list.
“They have a really good nursing program,” she says. “I like helping people. As of now I’d rather work in the cancer ward where kids are at.”
Strong’s life didn’t always revolve around basketball, however. Originally as a young child she participated in ballet due to her mom’s encouraging push in participation. But ballet got old fast, and her dad quickly stepped up to teach her the ropes of shooting hoops.
“I wanted to do a more physical sport so I got into basketball,” she says after squirming at the girly nature of ballet.
Strong “got into basketball” as soon as she could: second grade. From then on she has continued into various basketball programs. Officially starting the sport in sixth grade, Strong joined Amateur Athletic Union (travel basketball) and worked her way up in rank as the years passed. The best opportunity arrived in high school when she became a member of HHS’s girls varsity basketball team, an amazing feat. But her basketball honors didn’t come without a price: several injuries such as a broken thumb, torn meniscus and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), and strained muscles in the shoulders have interfered with her schedule many times.
Besides basketball and nursing, Strong has other activities that she enjoys. As a fellow staff member on HHS’s student newspaper, the Main Four, she involves herself in designing and editing the weekly page. She is also currently enrolled in a digital imaging class.
“I like newspaper and digital imaging because I love being creative. I don’t really consider it work because I love designing so much!”
Though Strong doesn’t look forward to school, she will look towards the light at the end of the tunnel: nursing. Then ideally, Strong will find her dream man and be swept off her feet into a marriage directly after college.
Whether she’s healing wounds of others or dominating on the basketball court, Bre’Ana Strong will continue to embrace the life of the game. Along with skills that were acquired after many years into basketball, priceless gifts such as insight and perspective on the sport will channel into the ideal lifestyle of nursing.
“When you’re younger it’s [basketball] fun, but when you get older it’s so much different. It’s much more than a game.”
When the rest of Howell High School walks out, senior Drew Bremer walks in. At least that’s what he did on Friday, September 17 when students fed up with the new closed campus policy tried to put together a “Walk Out” protest, during which students would skip school, sit outside, and refuse to buy lunch. The attempt was made complete with a misspelled Facebook group page.
Bremer retaliated with a “Walk In” page, correctly spelled, of course. Overall he said he would consider the “Walk In” a success, with “pretty darn close to 100 percent school participation.”
Rebelling against the teenage rebel stereotype is typical of Bremer. With laid-back hobbies and interests like movies, sharks, robots, and jumping, Bremer is a far cry from the typecast teenager.
His perfect Saturday includes no alcohol, no drugs, and no illegalities…just fun.
“Let’s see, I’d wake up, take a nap, wake up again, bargain hunt at Lady Foot Locker, then pick up chicks at the arcade, then top it all off with an Air Bud movie. Every Saturday is perfect but different because there are so many Air Bud movies to choose from,” Bremer said.
Bargain hunting and Air Bud movies aren’t all Bremer enjoys, however, especially on certain Saturdays. Bremer has been a driving force behind the ever-growing Capture the Flag games that take place at Thompson Lake.
When Bremer’s not planning CTF games or picking up chicks, he is an avid watcher of the popular television shows The Office, Stella, and 30 Rock. His favorite musicians include Vampire Weekend, Bon Iver, and The Tallest Man on Earth. Bremer’s favorite place in the world is Howell Western Wear and the teacher dearest to his heart is Ms. Dana Ritenour.
Bremer, who wears things like a Connect the Dots glow-in-the-dark robot T-shirt but would never be caught in jeans, is not easily typecast. He can be serious, sarcastic, funny, and everything in between, yet he rarely gets legitimately angry. He’s easy going and always up for an adventure. He’s the kind of boy one would call to go explore an abandoned prison together.
In fact, that’s just what one friend of Bremer’s did.
“I don’t know,” Bremer said. “One night, Jacob Bair [a fellow senior] calls me and asks if I want to go explore this abandoned prison. So we get Ryan [Grabijas], Shane [Dzierwa], Scott [Robinson], and Zach [Campbell] and drove out in the middle of the country to this place. [There were] huge red gates, barbed wire, broken glass, everything. It was real. We went into old cells… [All of this was] at night. It was so scary.”
Spontaneous adventures like this have become part of Bremer’s routine. He also considers maintaining a C-average in his classes, watering his fern, ghost riding the whip, and doing a barrel roll into bed part of his everyday life.
As Bremer tiptoes out of Uptown Coffee House (literally, he has walked on his toes for as long as he can remember), I am left bewildered. This 18-year-old boy in the Connect the Dots glow-in-the-dark robot t-shirt, organizer of seven Capture the Flag events and who asked me right when he sat down if his answers had to be real or if jokes were okay…I am left asking: who is Drew Bremer?
Senior Ryan Rozek, one of Intro to Engineering’s stars, smiles as students take turns trying out his new invention.
“People were chopping up desks for their projects [last year] and I wanted to build a vehicle around its original frame, so I made a bike.”
It is made with a spin cycle, like a three wheel bicycle, with casters that turn freely. Though he has had the bike at his home for a while, Rozek brought it back to school because of the current interest in it.
Rozek is constantly challenging himself with new projects and ideas. “I just build things for the challenge,” he stated. Some of his projects have included model airplanes and boats.
In the fall of 2009, Rozek started production of a hovercraft that he hopes to have completed by this spring. Building a hovercraft is no easy feat. It requires welding skills, fiber glassing, and thinking skills. When asked why he decided to start this project Rozek replied, “It’s just something no one else would.”
Rozek’s teacher, Mr. Randy Schafer, is extremely proud of the progress that he has made. “Ryan is the type of student we want in technical education: hard working, trustworthy, good problem solving. A student we strive for,” Mr. Schafer stated with a smile. Mr. Schafer told how Intro to Engineering has inspired Rozek to be more involved in school and how he blossomed to become one of the most talented students he has ever had.
“Ryan keeps life interesting because you never know what he’s going to come up with,” continued Mr. Schafer. Rozek hopes to continue engineering after high school by building movie set props. He told how usually movie props are something that no one else has built before, so it would be continually challenging and progressive.
Engineering is a growing field with many new job opportunities. With Rozek’s talent continuing to develop, who knows what he will come up with next.
In high school, it’s typical for most teenage girls to be obsessed with trivial matters like popularity, fashion, makeup, or boys. Most of them only have a vague idea of what they’re going to do in college, and an even foggier concept of their future after that. It’s rare to find one who has their mind on more important things. That’s why Sarah Trevor is so unique.
Trevor is a member of the Howell Varsity Equestrian team, a hobby which was probably influenced by her mother, who owns the Howell Western Wear downtown. In addition to this, she also enjoys snowboarding and is the Student Council president for her class.
“I’m really involved in my church,” adds Trevor. Two years ago, she went on a mission trip to help with Hurricane Katrina victims, and she also contributes to can drives through her work on the Student Council.
This year, the Philip Livingston Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution bestowed the Good Citizen Award on Trevor. The seniors, who were selected from each participating high school in the district, were selected based on traits such as exceptional leadership skills, dependability, and patriotism, all of which are qualities that Trevor possesses. Each winner was invited to participate in the DAR Good Citizens Essay Contest.
Even though she didn’t win, Trevor is satisfied with her accomplishments. “I’m honored and blessed to have gotten this award,” she said. “The shout-out goes to my family, my friends, my boyfriend, and God.
Those people are very important to Trevor. “I have such a wonderful family,” she reaffirms, beaming. She goes on to talk about each of them, saying that her mother is “like my rock” and that her little brother, Matthew, is very supportive as well.
Trevor’s future is shaping up to be very bright. She recently got accepted to James Madison College at Michigan State University, where she plans on studying criminal law. “It’s always been my dream,” she said.