Friday, February 28, 2014

Day 105 - Placing at DECA State in 2013

Editor's note: The MWHS DECA Chapter will be competing at DECA State this weekend. The MWHS Pride team is excited to present their Project. The blog may look different for a couple days, but will return to it's regular state next week

Today's post is from senior Mark Randklev

My name is Mark Randklev, I am a senior at Mound Westonka High School. When asked to write about a specific moment that I am proud of in my high school career, there’s one main event that comes to my mind. Last year as a junior I qualified for the International Career Development Conference in DECA. It was my first year in DECA, and I had no clue what to expect. After qualifying for the State competition in my role play, I was so excited. Nobody, including myself thought I would get there. My advisors Mrs. Lolich, Mrs. Simonson, and Mr. Lee gave me so much confidence going into the competition after being very scared at districts. When the list of people qualifying for State Finals was posted, I was sitting in my room. I got a text saying congratulations for making it, and then I realized that I had advanced to finals at State!

At this point, I realized that all the business classes I had taken, all the studying I had done, and the praise my advisors had given me were actually legitimate. I went into the role play with lots of confidence. I had nothing to lose, it was my first year in an individual event and I knew I would be fine. Once I presented, I thought I knocked it out of the park. I walked out of the room with my head held high, and the first person I saw was Mrs. Simonson. She asked me how I did, and I told her that I felt very good about my role play. She told me she knew I could do it as I headed back to my hotel room.

Next came the Awards Ceremony. The kids who hadn’t made finals had already left and gone home to Mound. The whole place was still packed with 2000 kids, and as I looked around I pictured being up on that stage, but told myself not to get my hopes up too high. As Paige Beyer and her fellow state officers presented trophies and medals to the events before mine, my heartbeat rose. I watched Willie Maahs, Joey Leenay, Kelsea and Abe, and others go up on the stage and win! Next up was Business Services individual role play -- my event. In the top 8 were Adam Abrams, Katy Wetherille, Tony Christopolus, and myself. Once we were up on stage they announced the top three that would receive a trophy and a ticket to compete at ICDC in Anaheim, CA! 

Third place was the first to be called, and it was a girl from Edina. I thought that 3rd place was my only chance at advancing, so I clapped and looked around at the others. I was positive that Adam and Katy would be 1st and 2nd place. Then the announcer said, “2nd place… from Mound Westonka, Mark Randklev!” I did it! I was so excited! Katy took 1st place next, and as we walked off I was met by a huge High-5 with Mrs. Simonson, a fistbump from Mr. Lee, and a bear hug from Mrs. Lolich.  We had done it...we had advanced to ICDC in Atlanta!

Mark and Katy

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Day 104 - Golden Head White Hawk Hockey Players

Today's post is from senior hockey player Jack Leschisin

As a senior on the hockey team this year, I was given another first hand look at what MWHS pride is all about. Looking back on the season, it was a privilege to play with a group of guys that worked hard and pushed themselves to improve all winter. Through the ups and downs that come with any sport, our team was able to bond. With each pasta feed and day at the rink, our team grew closer and closer together. As we look at other teams around the state, it is obvious that this type of camaraderie is beginning to fade. Many private and/or larger schools build their teams with kids from all over the region. Here at Mound-Westonka, we get to experience a bond with our teammates that other schools just can't replicate.

Our team was extremely fortunate to receive great fan support throughout the year. Whether they were adorned in blaze orange or participating in a "red out", our fans definitely gave us a home-ice advantage. Some dedicated students even made trips as far as Little Falls to show their support. The team is very appreciative!

After we capped off the regular season with a memorable victory over the Orono Spartans, it was time for the section playoffs. As in past years, this came with some new hairstyles for the boys. The fact that every guy was willing to bleach his hair showed me just how dedicated we are to our team. Those golden heads showed everyone that we are proud to call ourselves White Hawk hockey players.

Although our quarterfinal loss came with a lot of grief, it allowed me to reflect on just how great my experience as a White Hawk hockey player has been. I wouldn't have wanted to spend my career with any other group of guys, and I will never forget the memories that were made along the way.  Playing my last game in front of so many of my classmates, friends, and teachers was an amazing feeling. Even with the roads covered in snow, so many of you made the trek out to Parade Stadium to cheer us on. Once again, this proved just how special the Westonka community is. I am proud to be a White Hawk.

Jack, Hunter, Jude, Mark, Ross and Chase

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Day 103 - Proud Brothers of the MWHS Wrestling Squad

Today's post is from MWHS Wrestling Coach John Wardlow

“The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life.”  --Unknown

Now that we are at the end of the wrestling season, and the state tournament is quickly approaching, I feel compelled to write about the fine young men who walk the halls of Mound Westonka and come together in the spirit of competition in the wrestling room every day.

All year long the wrestling team has adapted the motto of “brothers.” The word ‘brothers’ is not taken lightly by these fine young athletes. They truly believe in what the word means, and they embrace the responsibility the word carries while they meet every day to get better as young men and as wrestlers. The relationships these men have formed with one another have been out of blood, sweat, and tears---but more importantly---out of respect for one another. When they meet for practice every day, it’s not just about improving their own abilities; it’s about getting the team better. To have a winning team, it takes all members to have a role, and to fulfill that role to the best of their abilities. Our wrestlers recognize that and hold each other accountable. They work to improve each other through every practice…every drill…every aspect of the sport. 

Their hard work and commitment to the sport does not go unnoticed in the wrestling room, and I know it carries over to other aspects in their life. I notice it as they walk the halls. I notice it in the classroom. These fine young men spread the habits of hard work, commitment, and character to other students in the school. They help to create a positive atmosphere at MWHS. They work to better everyone in the school by holding each other accountable—wrestler or not. 

The idea of ‘Brothers’ from the wrestling team transforms into an idea of ‘Family’ when I look at the entire school population. When we work as one unit…as a Family…we all help each other to become better models of hard work, commitment, and character-- and that creates an environment of success in the halls of Mound Westonka High School. I am so proud of our wrestlers in what they have done, and what they continue to do. They give us something to take pride in: their achievements as athletes, their achievements as students, and their achievements as men. They have made their mark in our school, and I am so proud and honored to be part of the positive environment they have helped create here at Mound Westonka High School.

Mr. Wardlow and the MWHS Wrestling Team

If you have a story that you would like to share, please email for more information! We would love to hear from you!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Day 102 - 100 days of 8th grade

Today's post is from 8th grader Zach Riffle

Hey this is Zach just letting you know I'm still alive surprisingly, and have made it through the first half of my 8th grade year. I’ve come a long way since my first post on the second day of school. I’ve gone through the good and bad of high school. I have had good days where I have received extra fries at lunch from the lunch ladies. I’ve also had bad days where I lost the only pencil I had. Overall my first months here at the high school have gone well with only a few rough days.

I’m especially excited about this year because it is my first year in the high school. Even though I have 4 long years ahead of me, I’m looking forward to the memories I will make here. I have already made memories at the high school such as falling down too many stairs to count, managing to break a tuba, and having five day weeks not be the norm. But the most important memories come from my learning experiences. I have learned so much here at the high school, and I have got so much support.

I'm convinced you won’t meet one person that won’t help you at the high school. Even though classes are tough I know it can only get better from here. I'm proud to be a White Hawk not only because of the things I learn and the classes I'm in, but I'm also proud of our other activities offered at the high school. I have witnessed a lot of remarkable events that happen that make me proud to be a part of this when the White Hawks football team beat the Waconia football team in the fall. I also think it's cool to have a chromebook to use every day. I am more than proud to be a White Hawk and I'm looking forward for my memories to come. 

Soccer Season
Zach and the 8th grade boys soccer team

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Monday, February 24, 2014

Day 101 - Senior Perspective of Boys Basketball

Today's post is from senior basketball player Billy Legeros

My name is Billy Legeros and I am a senior at MWHS. I’m proud to go to Mound-Westonka High School and to be a part of the basketball program. I have great pride in the fan support that we had this season for our basketball games. Playing in front of a big crowd with loud students is an unbelievable feeling. The student sections those first couple of games meant everything to me and my teammates. Playing in front of fans that are loud and cheer for you and getting into the game make it that much more enjoyable for the players.

The fans make us play better as well as give us a ton of energy and make us play our best. Even things like sportsmanship on twitter with our fans and opposing players really matters to us because it shows that they care about the basketball program. I have a lot of pride in being part of a change here at Mound especially for the basketball program. Increasing student sections and fan support is a bigger part of winning than people might think. I am proud that I am a part of the change of our culture within our team. Playing unselfish basketball and working hard is what we are trying to become and I wouldn't want to do it anywhere else but here with my teammates.

I seriously cannot thank the dedicated fans enough for supporting our team every game through the long winter season. I also thank all the students who made those first few games an unforgettable experience and for some of the most fun I have ever had in my years of basketball. I am proud to be a part of this school and this program and I cannot thank the students enough.

Mark, Ryan Derek, David, Tynan, Billy, Sam & Mitch

If you have a story that you would like to share, please email for more information! We would love to hear from you!