The Voice The student news site of Farmington High School Tue, 04 Feb 2020 16:47:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Companies prioritize Christmas over other holidays Mon, 03 Feb 2020 16:47:17 +0000 As December begins, holiday festivities have been underway for quite some time…more specifically: Christmas festivities. In the months leading up to Christmas, the holiday cheer cannot be avoided. However, instead of displaying a celebration of holidays, companies strongly put out Christmas themes, as opposed to the diverse range of holidays that occur in December.

For the most part, companies do not display the religious meanings behind the Christian holiday. Companies put out Christmas cheer by using trees, songs referencing Christmas, and other knick-knacks that relate to Christmas. Despite referring to their limited-time items or deals as holiday related, it is evident that the only holiday on their radar is Christmas.

The excess amount of Christmas in the media and public can be frustrating to those who do not participate in Christmas during December. The holiday season contains more than just Christmas, but the way that society frames it makes it appear as though all holidays other than Christmas are irrelevant or less-than normal.

When searching “December holidays” into the internet, the only day to show up is Christmas Day, even though Christmas is not the only holiday in December. With the ideas of Christmas being shoved into every aspect of the media and stores, celebrators of Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and other religious holidays do not see representation. All holidays deserve equal chance to be celebrated in a public setting.

Pew Research Center released that 46 percent of the United States population celebrates Christmas. More people celebrate Christmas than any other one holiday. However, that leaves 56 percent of people who don’t observe any holiday, or who observe a separate holiday. Society does not represent this, and it is clear that they are only using Christmas as an example of holiday festivities. 

It is not necessary for companies to display an excessive amount of Hanukkah dreidels or Kwanzaa candles, but more representation is needed in order to make holiday cheer more

inclusive for people of all cultures and religions. Companies need to divide their holiday themes among holidays in addition to Christmas and make an effort to support those celebrating other December holidays, allowing them to experience the public holiday cheers.

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‘New year, new you’ mentality is unrealistic, sets people up for potential failure Mon, 03 Feb 2020 16:40:14 +0000 The holiday season is a time for celebration and rejoicing, a time for family and friends to come together and celebrate whichever winter holiday they celebrate, and as Christmas fades, everyone gears up for New Year’s celebrations.

People waste the last month of the year eating whatever they want, avoiding the gym, ignoring their books, with promises of fixing their problem with a New Year’s resolution. These lofty and unrealistic goals cast a shadow on what is supposed to be a fresh new start, and in order for New Year’s resolutions to return to their former purpose people must learn how to be adaptable.

The first problem is that most people do not know how to set a realistic goal for the new  year. They set absolute goals such as “going to the gym three times a week” or “cutting out all bread.”

Due to these goals being so concrete and rigid, the second that people fail to meet them they are tossed out the window. If the point of making a new year’s resolution is to change yourself for the better, then people need to be persistent in their goals instead of ditching them the second their schedule changes.

Another underlying issue is the psychology behind the word “resolution”. According to US News, 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions are given up by the second week of February. This can partly be attested to the connotation behind the word “resolution”. This word implied a concrete goal, one that is unchangeable and unable to adapt to people’s ever changing schedules. The goal turns into a demand, and instead of it being more of an “I should” it becomes an “I must”. Once this happens, failure is pretty much inevitable. If one is to set a new years resolution, you must be able to roll with the punches and change your schedule as needed.

A flaw is the belief that setting a strict, aggressive goal will help us reach our goals faster. Numerous crash diets such as the juice cleanse, in which the participant drinks nothing but juice for a day to “cleanse the body”, or low carb diets, in which the goal is to cut out as many carbs as possible, have become popular trends. Yet when it comes to making a long term goal, less is always more. If someone rarely goes to the gym, a goal of working out five days a week is unrealistic. This goal risks becoming one of the 80 percent of failed goals. Instead, working out two days a week is a lot less intimidating when trying to make a lifestyle change. January 1 is the start of unfulfilling resolutions instead of the fresh new year. If the resolution is something that the maker really wants, then there is no reason to put it off until the new year. Picking a precise day to start a goal is like deciding to start your homework at 4:00,forgetting to start, and then deciding to start it at 5:00. If it is something you need to do, and most importantly something you want to do, then there is no reason to put it off.

Putting off a resolution until new years can actually be more harmful. There is so much pressure to make a drastic lifestyle change that it can do more harm than good.

A new year’s resolution is overrated. Goals are too strict, expectations are too high, and failure is common. One must learn to be adaptable when it comes to resolutions, and learning how to set a goal and the common traps to avoid can make all the difference.

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Remembering Kobe Bryant Fri, 31 Jan 2020 16:58:00 +0000  There are certain events that no matter how much you read about, how much you watch on television, and how much you see on social media, you still can not believe. Celebrity deaths bring a unique sense of widespread grief, and it is powerful. The death of basketball legend Kobe Bryant came as a shock to the entire world, and is something absolutely nobody saw coming or could have predicted. 

   The story became even more tragic when news broke that nine total passengers died in the horrific helicopter crash, including Bryants 13 year old daughter, Gianna. The unthinkable accident took place while the passengers were traveling to a youth basketball game, one that Gianna Bryant was supposed to play in. 

  Rather than fixating on the details of the inconceivable accident and just how tragic it is, it’s important to remember the legacy of Kobe Bryant, and what he meant to society. 

   The highlight tapes will certainly do justice to Kobe Bryant, and the legendary career he had. The clutch shots, the acrobatic dunks, and the championship wins; all things that will never be forgotten by fans of basketball. Perhaps what the world will miss most about Bryant is not who he was as a player, but the type of person he was, and the pure content of his character.

   Bryant demonstrated the traits that a true role model should possess. He had an innate ability to motivate, inspire, and uplift the spirits of people he encountered. Bryant had a clear vision for his life after basketball, and he intended on impacting as many lives as he could and using his platform to benefit others.

   Naturally, athletes are blessed with the ability to galvanize young people, and millions of young boys and girls across the world look up to professional athletes. Kobe Bryant was the epitome of what it means to be a great athlete and role model. An entire generation of fans admired him and respected who he was as a person just as much as a basketball player. 

  Saying goodbye to Kobe Bryant is something that will be hard, but if his legacy and influence on society are kept alive, the world will never truly say goodbye to Kobe Bryant. In order to preserve the legacy of Kobe Bryant, I encourage people to continue wearing his jersey, rocking his renowned sneakers, and always shouting his name before shooting a piece of garbage into the trash can.

Kobe and Gianna Bryant smile for the camera at a 2019 Los Angeles Lakers game. Bryant, a Lakers legend, attended many Lakers games with his daughter.

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Boys soccer season and tournament recap Fri, 31 Jan 2020 16:53:42 +0000    The boys’ soccer team, which last won the class LL State Championship in 2016, fell short of that title this year, battling numerous injuries and a tough schedule. The team was defeated by the Greenwich Cardinals in the semifinals by a score of 3-2, played at Naugatuck High School, the chosen neutral site. Greenwich went on to lose to Hall in the State Championship game, a team that the boys tied 2-2 in the regular season. 

   After losing in the quarterfinals last year to Pomperaug, the boys knew they needed a new approach to the tournament. Even with the dominating history of Farmington boys’ soccer, they needed to prepare the same way for each team, and not overlook any opponent. 

   “We took it one game at a time, acknowledged every opponent as worthy, and as a tough competitor. We understood our roles as players and knew if we all did our job, we would have the success we desired,” senior Grayson Herr said. 

   It is hard to judge the season a failure due to numerous obstacles the team had to overcome. They lost starting goalkeeper, sophomore Patrick Pietraszewski, to a broken jaw, and was replaced by first time goalkeeper, senior Tom Gibson, who returned to the team after a one year break. Starting center midfielder, junior Walter Scudder, broke his collarbone in an overtime victory over Glastonbury in the regular season. Juniors Logan Brennan, Finn Murphy, and David Coello battled injuries throughout the season as well. 

   The boys will say themselves that they overcame a lot of doubt and adversity this season.

   “The way we responded to failure. As an inexperienced team after losing 16 seniors, starting 4-3 with a new coach, I was most proud of our ability to overcome this rough start and not lose a game until the semifinals of the state tournament, beating nationally ranked Glastonbury in overtime, and how players stepped up after injuries,” Herr said. 

   The “new coach” is first year head coach Nicholas Boorman, a gym teacher at West Woods Upper Elementary School. After the retirement of long time head coach, Steve Waters, Boorman was hired to lead a new wave of Farmington soccer, especially after losing the 16 seniors. Boorman has been in the program for a few years now, coaching the freshman team three years ago, and coaching the junior varsity team the past two seasons. This made for something special for the senior players.

   “We have had coach Boorman coaching us since our freshman year, so we have gone through the entire program with him as our coach. He started our careers at the high school and coached us in the end.” senior TJ Erickson said.

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Winter athletes prepare for new sports season Tue, 28 Jan 2020 17:12:48 +0000 Boys ice hockey

With 12 of 16 players, returning this year for the boys ice hockey co-op team with Avon and Lewis Mills,
the hockey team will look to make another run in the postseason and capture another state championship. Senior captains Matt Arena and TJ Erickson will lead.

“Obviously we want to win the championship and get a ring but to get there we need to work together and have good team chemistry. Since kids are from different towns some people haven’t played together so team bonding and getting to know each other is key,” Erickson said.

The team’s first game will be Wednesday, December 18 against Simsbury, and their first home game will be Monday, December 23, against Conard at the Avon Old Farms rink.

Boys basketball

Boys basketball Coming off a championship win last year, head coach Duane Witter is approaching
with a tougher mindset. The team will be facing a different schedule, competing in a harder division, and will be
introducing three new starters to the lineup.

“We are talented and experienced enough to live up to our own high expectations for
this season. We know because of what we achieved last year, we will be challenged each and every night by the teams on our schedule. We look forward to that opportunity. That will be our legacy,” Witter said.

While winning another championship is the goal, maintaining the culture that makes boys basketball unique is important to senior Tyler Cortland; something  he says will be easy as the team has grown to love each other and the sport.

Indoor track

An increased enrollment will start the indoor track teams off on the right foot. Going into his first indoor track season, head coach
Patrick Skerker has placed a high emphasis on creating a welcoming environment.

“We’ve made progress. More students are coming out for the team. But even with increased numbers, it still has to feel like a family. Everyone is important. Everyone has something to contribute. That may take a little more time to establish this winter with potentially double or triple our numbers, but we’re still approaching this year with that same family vision. It’s just that family has gotten a little bigger this time around,” Skerker said.

Junior Charlie Driscoll participated in fall cross country and is looking forward to continuing. He hopes to set a few school records and transfer his hard work from the cross country season.


After a second place conference finish and a 5-1 record, the gymnastics team is looking to improve upon last year and capture the conference title. The team lost one key senior to graduation last year, but senior captain Anna Mihalek is confident in the team’s ability to step up and perform this coming season.

“The team is going to need to work really hard this year to replace our seniors, and we are going to have to work really hard to have a 6-0 season. The overall goal is to make states, of course, but with the returning gymnasts I am confident in our ability to qualify,” Mihalek said.

Key returning gymnasts, in addition to Mihalek, are seniors Lizzie Kot and Gabby Butler, juniors Lily Roy and Sophia Bottalico, and sophomore Noelle Ciravolo.


The wrestling team welcomes both the new season and new head coach Kia Gholampour as the winter season gets underway. Seniors Frank Miano, Lucas Salles, and Gio Andino will be the team captains this winter.
While a new head coach would make other teams nervous, Andino is not worried at all.

“Coming into this year for wrestling, I noticed that we never really had a solid foundation. So the main goal is to get more people to wrestle. Our new coach is actually a FHS alumni. I’m confident that [he] is up to the task of being the head coach of the team,” Andino said.

Boys swim and dive

Coming off of a successful season last year, the boys swim and dive team will be looking to progress as a team. Coach Scott Ferrigno will be looking to senior captains Jadyin Calin, Evan Adams, Timothy Stephenson, Luke Varghese and Paul Zambrzycki to lead.

“I hope to bring a lot of support to all members of the team and build good relations between everyone to form a more cohesive
unit. My mindset for the season is very optimistic, I am excited to see what the tam will look like this year,” Calin said. Ferrigno will also be counting on juniors Joe Harb and Parker Munro and sophomore Isaac Varghese. He is looking forward to seeing the new freshmans’ contributive skills.

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