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Mustang Athlete Spotlight

by William Tien

 

Senior Kenneth Ko enters his final year at Abraham Lincoln High as the new captain of the Lincoln boys dragonboat team. KennethKo.jpgKo has been on the team since the summer of his incoming year as a sophomore at Lincoln. Constant practices showing hard work, dedication and leadership over the years have gained him the respect of his fellow paddlers and the esteemed title of Captain.

            When Ko joined the team as an incoming sophomore, he never would have thought that he would one day become the commanding officer of his boat.

“I joined dragonboat because I really just wanted to join any club at Lincoln,” stated Ko. “I didn’t expect to be so close with everyone in the community, and I am surprised at how welcoming and friendly everybody is. It’s really great.” He stayed season after season always wanting to improve and accomplish more goals and always encouraged others to do the same.

            The annual San Francisco Dragonboat Festival was held in mid-September at Treasure Island. Lincoln competed with many other high schools in the district in front of a massive crowd. Although Ko and his boat did not place high enough to be wrewarded with medals, their efforts were valiant. “We started off a little rocky this year,” Ko stated. “But we have another season coming up in January and I’m sure we will be able to pull off something great then.”

            Fellow paddlers have described Ko as very positive, inspiring and a great sport. Giving constant motivation and setting team goals during practices is how Ko brings the team together as a whole. Ko’s main goal is to get everyone to feel like one big happy family.

            “Kenneth always comes to practice with an attitude to win and makes us work harder each practice. His attitude rubs off on us, seeing our captain encouraging us and being a great leader,” expressed senior Nick Yung, a fellow paddler.

Besides dragonboat, Ko is also a member of the Green Academy at Lincoln. He balances academics, sports, and an extracurricular academy with ease. His most recent semester GPA was a 3.67, with his current average being 3.5 throughout his high school career. After high school, Ko hopes to continue his passion in paddling. He plans to join various teams, and be involved in the dragonboat community.

Neurologists are conceded about teenagers playing football

by Andrew Tang

 

The violence of American Football is the thrill of the sport. IMG_1431.jpgThe players know the risks of injuries in broken bones, blows to the knee, foot and leg, but what about blows to the brain?

             Concussions, common in the sport, are becoming a concerning issue. There has been a significant increase of high school sport related injuries in the past decade. Tens of thousands a year had a concussion. A lot of neurologists and programs about health care are speaking about it. According to the Federal Center of Disease Control, there has been a 60% jump in emergency room patients from high school sports since the last decade. According to the National Center of Catstrophic Sports Research, there are 1.1 million high school football players and 62,000 concussions every year in the sport. American football is the largest sport for concussions. Once a person has a concussion, it will be four times more likely to have another. Concussions occur when violent shaking causes the brain cells to become depolarized and allow the brain to be flooded with chemicals that affect receptors linked to learning or memory. Multiple concussions lead to serious memory problems and could also affect speech and lead to mental diseases like Alzheimer’s disease that slowly destroys memory. An autopsy revealed that NFL player Andre Waters, committed suicide because of depression from Chronic traumatic 

encephalopathy, which was thought to only affect boxers. When people are young, they need brain development and need a lot of blood flow to the brain. Teachers, social workers and neurologists wonder if high school teenagers should be playing the sport.

America’s National Football League had a lot of problems, but it is another matter in high school. Lincoln's school's nurse, Stuart Dick, has been a nurse for high schools for seven years, and has only seen two concussions. Only multiple concussions can result in serious damage. The  coaches who have been here for three to ten years say they have also  seen very few injuries and concussions in the sport. Dick says, "I  think that the coaches do a great job keeping the athletes safe, by  making them wear their protective gear...I've seen two concussions in all the school's  I've worked in. Normally after a concussion you can't really tell if there's a difference. Normally after multiple, multiple concussions, those changes happen. I haven't seen any. I've been at other schools. It's better here. I've seen lunch time practices without a helmet before...That's it. Mostly that. I've been a nurse for seven years."

                America’s National Football League had a lot of problems, but it is another matter in high school. Lincoln's school's nurse, Stuart Dick, has been a nurse for high schools for seven years, and has only seen two concussions. Only multiple concussions can result in serious damage. The  coaches who have been here for three to ten years say they have also  seen very few injuries and concussions in the sport. Dick says, "I  think that the coaches do a great job keeping the athletes safe, by  making them wear their protective gear...I've seen two concussions in all the school's  I've worked in. Normally after a concussion you can't really tell if there's a difference. Normally after multiple, multiple concussions, those changes happen. I haven't seen any. I've been at other schools. It's better here. I've seen lunch time practices without a helmet before...That's it. Mostly that. I've been a nurse for seven years."

                               The collisions during practice are very mild according to the staff. Coach Greg Foote, who coaches the JV says that he never saw any serious injuries or problems with brain damage.  Foote says that all he remembered about injuries his three years was one broken collar bone, a smashed thumb and a torn ligament of a leg. 

                               Doherty says that the atheletes' conditions have not been getting worse and that the only changes he has seen were positive. He says, "I think we do an excellent job. We have doctors at all our games. All our coaches had first aid, concussion training, CPR, performance enhancement drug training, so our staff's pretty good. And we have three teachers at school who coach. Awareness has increased. They are telling us way more about when they are not feeling right. Communication has been improving. I think it's very safe."

                               High school football students are required to wear a mouth guard. Lincoln students get a penalty for not wearing a mouth piece. Mouth guards have been scientifically proven to reduce the risk of concussions severely. Smashing teeth together rocks the skull and leads to concussions. Hall of Fame Mike Haynes wrote Maher, a dentist who designs mouth pieces, a note that read in part: "Thanks to the mouthpiece, I can't remember when I had my last concussion, and I have had plenty of situations where I could have had one.” According to ESPN Magazine, Matt Chatham, Patriots linebacker says,“The best thing it does for you is that you know when the blow comes, it's going to be there. With other mouthpieces, there's a mental process you go through where you have to figure out whether to bite down or hold it in place. This just clicks right onto your teeth." Koppen, Lawyer Milloy and Asante Samuel are other Patriots who gave similar testimonies. Many say that they never experienced a concussion after they started wearing Maher's mouth guard. It is a special mouth guard, but is still a mouth piece. According to The Boston Glove, there are students who highly recommend head gear or wished that they had worn them when they had concussions. Once someone had a concussion it will be four times more likely to have another, according to the L.A. Times. Only 40% of NFL players wear mouth guards

One concerned Lincoln high school teacher, Paul Massi Cameli says, “I have major concerns shared by many people about football being a suitable sport for teenagers. Many neurologists, social workers are speaking out about it. You could make the best helmet in the world, but when the players get in contact with each other the motion stops, but the brains keep moving and smashes into their skulls. We’re talking about whether or not it is suitable at any high school. When people have multiple concussions they develop serious learning disabilities, memory problems and communication problems. It is like boxing. It should not be for teenager."

               There are other sports that are close to as damageable as football. Coach Kevin Doherty believes that there are other dangerous sports that cause a lot of injuries too. He says, “I would say that football is one of the least dangerous sports in head injuries. Sports like gymnastics and soccer have no helmet, so they are much more prone to head injuries.” 55,000 concussions a year occur in high school female’s soccer, opposed to the 62,000 in high school football. There are 1,693 players in the NFL and There were 150-270 concussions in the past few years, about one concussion every 5-8 people. Around one out of 17 people in highschool had a concussion for the 1.1 million players. Numbers are totally different, so there can be many concussions all across the nation.

               Clearly there aren’t as many issues in high school football as there are in the NFL. Coach Greg Foote says, 'NFL cannot be compared to highschool football. People need to get very far to get to the NFL."

             Football is such a dangerous sport that two thousand former football players are suing the NFL for brain damage. The league says concussion rates have stayed at a level of about 0.4 incidents per game. In 2011, there were 100-150 concussions in the first 8 weeks of practice. Famous football players and former NFL players like the Hall of Fame quarterback, Terry Bradshaw believed that other sports like soccer, will take football’s place. 

              The sport may be an issue in the country, but people enjoy it and it is staying. Lincoln high school English teacher Sarra Falls, believes that it is fine to have football here. She says, “I think that high school football gives kids a sense of community, teamwork and is probably true for most high school teams. I think a lot of things people do are dangerous. Kids skateboard, ride bikes, wrestle, do martial arts..It’s incredibly dangerous to drive a car. I can’t imagine it going away. The press hopefully is around for education on the dangers, and make more safety measures.”

Steven Robinson takes coaching golf to another level

by Bobo Giang

 

Golf is a game where one uses 90 percent of their mental ability and the other 10 of their physical. CoachRobinson2.jpgPlayers can hit a golf ball multiple times, but they’ll never be as consistent in scoring as Steve Robinson, the golf coach at Abraham Lincoln High School. 

At the age of 11, Robinson took golf lesson but gave it up for baseball and basketball. After 30 years, he decided it lay golf again and fell in love with the sport, He took lessons to help on his techniques. With lots of practices Robinson is now more precise on his swings.

            Golf is not a game of perfection because there’s no such matter. Golf is meticulous in many ways because the smallest mistake can cause the ball to go on the wrong path. Robinson likes to share his passion for golf with his students because he wants to pass the excitement of the sport to show the youth how fun the sport is. Robinson expresses, "I like golf because it's a lot like life, you are always facing new challenges and you have to persevere and learn to move on."

             The golf team at Abraham Lincoln High School is an after school program and he has been coaching it for a total of seven years. The students practice four times a week at the TPC Harding Park located near Lake Merced for two to three hour, while playing competitively once a week. The girls team started their season in early fall while the boys golf team will start in the spring. First they start out in the driving range practicing their technique then they move on to chipping and putting. The goal of chipping and putting is to get the golf ball to travel in the least amount of distance in the green area of the putting green.

Kristi Wong, the Golf Champion in All City says, "I like Mr. Robinson as a coach because no matter what skill level you are, he has the patience to help you with your golf swing and the fundamentals of the game of golf. He is very motivating and he is always trying to help. If you hit a bad shot, he will tell you it's okay and give you helpful tips on how to improve for the next one.”

Don't give in, Mustangs let's win!

by Albina Protich

 

The football season of Abraham Lincoln High School has officially started, kicking off with the first game of the year against the Balboa Bucs.IMG_4305.JPG

The Mustang football team had spent hours preparing for this season and it all came down to the first game of the year. The crowd on September 28th went wild when the first touchdown of the game was score not nearly ten minutes into the game by a sophomore, Justus Smith #20. Not soon after, another touchdown was scored by a senior Demetrius Williams, #6. The next thing we knew, the score was Lincoln:47 and Balboa:14

            This was the first night game in five years according to coach Kevin Doherty. The reason it was at Kezar was because it was Balboas turn for a home game, and they decided they wanted the game at Kezar since it was available.

            “This was a good way to get students involved, knowing that they were probably excited to have gone to this game, and the players excited to have played in the game,” said Kevin Grayson, the athletic department director.

            “I think the team played very well. They all gave it their best, and the outcome shows that. I couldn’t have asked for a better game.” says a junior Nick Le,  number 69 on the team.   

            “It was definitely a win after win kind of game.” says Saba Gebrezghi, a junior, when referring to the numerous amounts of touchdowns.