By: Grace McGaughey, Abby Sides, and Jenn Thorpe
The 2016-2017 school year marked many firsts for the RHHS Wildcats. Excellence and success pervaded the community, classroom, field, court, and track.
With school starting earlier than normal this year, Richmond Hill High School had many new changes coming their way. The band room was the first to be upgraded. Sophie Giorgianni, a member of both the marching and concert band, explained that it was vital to the success of both bands’ seasons as the room provided better acoustics for practice and a larger area that fit the band.
Homecoming came early as well this year. Celebrating the spirit week in late September, many looked forward to the grandparent-themed football game on Friday night. Students claimed that game was “the most hype” as our Wildcats came back to steal the victory over Grovetown. As per tradition, the student section cheered on a freshmen after each touchdown to do as many pushups as our team scores in points. Freshmen Joe Belfield was this year’s push-up go-to, who commented, “The best part about being a freshman in the student section was the push-ups. It felt good to be a part of the school community when everything about high school was so new to me.”
As fall sports came to an end, RHHS Cross Country once again showed up and left a mark at states in November. The boys team, specifically, did exceedingly well, placing fourth overall. Cooper Williams and Jacob Collins, lead runners, explained that the hype that came off the cross country season was essential for their successful track season this spring. The state meet made them “realize that we had more potential than we thought we had,” said Collins.
December rolled around bringing both RHHS Basketball and Winter Formal. Sara Kate Garrett, a junior, claims that winter formal was the best because “I get to be able to hang out with all my girlfriends and not have to worry about dates. You only get to do high school once, so I think that Winter Formal is part of the checklist to make sure that you get the most out of your experience.” Seun Oguntunmibi explained that the lessons learned from this successful basketball season will transfer over to their success next year, which is being highly anticipated by players and the student section alike.
The new year continued the success that clubs and sports exemplified. The RHHS Math team went to Georgia Southern in February to begin their competition season. Competing against teams from Atlanta and all over Georgia did not allow the team to place as a team but allowed the club to anticipate their top competitors for the rest of their season, explained junior Vicky Yang. The math team continued to succeed throughout the rest of their season.
The very first day of April marked one of the most anticipated weekends of the school year--prom. Juniors, seniors, and their dates gathered at the Savannah Trade and Convention Center for a night of dancing “Above the Clouds.”
Many seniors also chose to participate in Grad Bash, an event that takes place at the Universal Studios park in Orlando, Florida. Leaving after school, the park was open to Seniors from high schools across the country from 7pm to 2am. Senior Makayla Nudo recalled the park being “packed, but it was not as many people as it usually has.”
Another participant, Braden Chapman felt “like a zombie by the end of the night because it was 2am and I had been riding rides all day.” Regardless of the long night, Grad Bash again proved to be a great memory for Seniors.
Just like Grad Bash for seniors, spring sports proved there is a first time for everything; the RHHS Tennis Team competed in the Sweet Sixteen bracket in the state championship, both RHHS Girls and Boys Soccer Teams played in the Elite Eight, and RHHS Baseball reached the Final Four. Despite the Boys Soccer Team losing 0-7 and Girls 0-2, all players and coaches ended the season on a positive note, choosing to focus on the progress made throughout the season. Junior, Madeline Martinson explained that the team “went through a rough patch in the middle of the season,” but after the team worked through the difficulties, “we really started building team spirit and a little bit of cohesiveness.”
Senior, Andrew Crawford, reflected on his last season at RH, “Although we didn’t win our game, we were the Region Champs over our rival, Glynn Academy, and we were able to establish the foundations for next season’s team, which will have a large amount of underclassmen.” Crawford concluded by saying, “Elite Eight is nothing to be ashamed of.”
The Wildcats have continued to exceed the standards in this final month of may. Baseball and Track finished out their seasons by both making it to state-level competition. The baseball team made it to the elite eight. Senior, Wesley Daniels noted how special it was for the team to make it that far, “It’s really a testament to how hard our team worked this year.” The track team also made it to state and brought home multiple wins.
In addition to extracurricular success, AP students were winning while they endured the strenuous weeks of AP testing. Senior, Xzavior Goeman commented that, in addition to taking AP exams for the chance to gain college credit, he takes them because “It is nice to see how much knowledge you have gained from the course.”
With the school year is coming to an end, that means graduation for another large group of Richmond Hill seniors. They expressed how exciting and bittersweet the moment can be. One graduating senior remarked that she is “excited to expand [her] horizons,” but she continued on truthfully by saying that, “It’s hard knowing I won’t see half of these people again once I leave.”
Beginning with the construction of a new band room and ending with the baseball team in the Elite 8 of the state championship, Richmond Hill continues to perform well above the standard, setting the bar even higher for the next school year, proving that WeAreRH and that we strive for “excellence and success in ALL we do.”