Small Town at State
At a school of around 500 students, it's not expected for there to be much success in sports. However, Wheeler High School has proven itself on numerous occasions.
The girls’ soccer team made it all the way to the Class A State Championship at IUPUI against Evansville Mater Dei this year. They were the first girls’ soccer team in school history to make it this far and one of only three teams at Wheeler to compete for a state title.
The bearcats were up bright and early on Saturday, October 28th. The stands were filled with fans who traveled two and a half hours to support their team. After the end of regulation, neither team had scored, so the game went into overtime. The opposing team scored with a few minutes left in the end of overtime. The bearcats did not give up, though. Junior Lyric Green immediately responded, heading a ball into the goal. However, the goal was not counted because of an offsides call. The bearcats fell short, but the school could not be more proud of the girls.
The bearcats finished their season with a 21-1 record.
The program this year, consisting of only 18 players, has proved that you don't have to be big to make it big.
Cross Country runner, freshman Hailey Orosz, placed 14th at semistate to advance to state. She was the top placing freshman at the New Prairie semistate, and was the first to advance to state from Wheeler since 2009.
Orosz placed 58th at the state meet in Terre Haute, running a 19:09.2. She was the 7th freshman girl in Indiana.
Wheeler could not be more proud of its students.
Fine Arts at Wheeler
Although the holiday season is just beginning for most, Wheeler’s choir students have been recognizing the special season since the first week of school.
The students began practicing and running through Christmas songs in August for their Madrigal performance taking place at the beginning of December.
This year marks the twentieth year of the choir’s Madrigal performances. Madrigal is a medieval themed performance that celebrates the holiday season.
Madrigal involves all of Wheeler’s choir members from the 6th graders to the 12th graders. Guests are served dinner by the 6th-8th graders. The Concert Choir is the Royal Court of Morthland. They serenade guests and tell them of their story. The Advanced Choir are the gypsies who are ‘visiting’ the Royal Court. They join in singing and dancing.
The performance is held in the school’s cafeteria, however, it is unrecognizable after it is decorated by the choir department. Curtains line the pillars and walls, a Christmas tree is lit at the end of the hallway, medieval banners hang from the walls, and the dining area is lit by candlelight. The transformation of the cafeteria takes you back in time and sets the mood.
The performances will take place on December 2nd and 3rd. There will be a 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. performance on Saturday, December 2nd and a 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. performance on Sunday, December 3rd.
Tickets are $20 per person. This $20 will pay for dinner and viewing of the performance. Staff and students at Wheeler are $15, and choir alumni are $10.
Madrigal is a wonderful way to start off the Christmas season and spend a few hours away.
Teacher Highlight: Mary Jarosz
Mary Jarosz has been teaching at Union Township for over 30 years. Since her start she has taught kindergarten through 7th grade and currently teaches 6th grade language arts. Jarosz describes Wheeler as “a big family.”
Besides teaching, Jarosz sponsors the high school Key Club, coaches bowling, and sponsors the 7th and 8th grade trip to Disney World on Fall Break every year.
Jarosz’s favorite part of teaching is watching the students learn.
“I enjoy just interacting with the kids and watching the light bulbs go off when they realize it,” shared Jarosz.
Jarosz describes herself as a “Disney fanatic.” She enjoys sharing her love with the students and watching some students experience their first time at Disney World. She feels the trip teaches them how to be independent and responsible for themselves.
While in Florida, students attend classes every morning to learn about the roller coasters, animation, or the wildlife. After classes, students are free to explore the park. Each day, the group goes to a different park.
While sponsoring Key Club, Jarosz loves to witness students see how much of an impact they can make.
“I enjoy watching students realize how helpful they can be to the community, and the excitement they get from being helpful,” tells Jarosz.
The Key Club helps in the community through volunteering. Students handed out water and cheered on runners at the Popcorn Panic, volunteered at Opportunity Enterprise’s pack-a-thon, and are currently packing boxes to send to kids in third-world countries.
Jarosz has been coaching bowling since 2000. She was, in fact, the first coach for the program. She felt it was a good fit for Wheeler, and feels it’s important to help students be involved.
“At Wheeler High School the staff and students are willing to lend you a hand when you need it, which allows people the opportunity to succeed,” said Francesca Zeitler.
Senior Francesca Zeitler has been in the Union Township School Corporation since she entered kindergarten.
Zeitler is involved in student council, Key Club, National Honor Society, and was a captain of the girls’ soccer team at Wheeler. When she isn’t at the school, Zeitler enjoys trying out new recipes and reading articles and books.
Zeitler was a part of the historic girls’ soccer team at Wheeler this year. Soccer has consistently been a very important part of her life.
“Soccer has been a constant aspect of my life throughout high school,” shares Zeitler, “Being a part of soccer has shown me what supporting each other is like on and off the field.”
Zeitler’s involvement in the soccer program at Wheeler has not only helped her as a player, but has also taught her skills she can use throughout her life.
“It has taught me about working with others, striving to work harder and selflessly, adjusting to new environments, creating friendships, having confidence, and being a leader,” explains Zeitler, “Soccer has taught me that you make mistakes, but you never give up, no matter what happens.”
Zeitler’s favorite memories from the season are winning semistate, playing in a state championship game, and a pun by teammate Elena Giorgi.
At the state championship game, Zeitler won the Girls’ Soccer Class A Mental Attitude Award.
After high school, Zeitler plans to attend college, work, and volunteer in the community.