Categories
Arts and Entertainment

Klara and the Sun Review

By Thomas Faulhaber

[ Minor spoilers. Nothing that would ruin the book.] 

Klara and the Sun is Kazuo Ishiguro’s latest novel, just being published this past March. You may know Ishiguro from his earlier hits The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go. I first encountered his work when I read Never Let Me Go a few years ago. Never Let Me Go is about the lives of human clones raised so that their organs may be harvested once they mature and deals with how they view themselves and how they choose to spend their lives knowing that they will die young to save others. It takes a simple but fascinating sci-fi premise and then makes it entirely about the people most deeply involved in that premise, never taking a more macro view and only giving us glimpses of the world beyond them through their interactions with other characters. 

Klara and the Sun is the same way. It is about the life and spiritual journey of a robotic “Artificial Friend,” or “AF,” named Klara, whose purpose is to keep her owner, Josie, from getting lonely. The book is laser-focused on painting an emotional picture of each scene, and sensory details are mostly left up to the reader’s imagination. Many key details are left ambiguous or saved until it is necessary to reveal them. For example, throughout the book it is mentioned that Josie’s boyfriend, Rick, can’t get into a good school because most schools don’t accept applicants who haven’t been “lifted.” Only at the end of the book is it revealed that “lifting” refers to gene editing, and that it can sometimes be dangerous, but no further detail is given. 

Another example I like is how the AFs themselves are never given clear physical descriptions. We know that they have expressive faces, that they have humanoid bodies with limbs and fingers, and that they are similar in size to the teenagers they keep company, but we know they aren’t indistinguishable from people because everyone Klara encounters is instantly able to recognize her as an AF just by looking at her. We never know what the giveaway is, or even if they look like people at all. Perhaps they wear shirts that say “AF” on them, or perhaps they have shiny metallic skin. We never find out, and I think it’s better that way. Because the book is a story about a non-human observer learning about the human psyche by observing people’s interpersonal and internal conflicts, it is purer and more succinct when it focuses on the psychological aspects of each scene. 

Klara and the Sun is a book about spirituality in two different ways. First, like Never Let Me Go, it explores the life of a conscious person with a single known purpose, separating them from people in general. The difference is that the clones in Never Let Me Go passively await their fate, which will eventually be imposed on them by forces outside of their control, while Klara seeks by her nature to achieve her purpose. At the end of the book, Klara feels she has achieved her purpose, and is content to do nothing but sit alone and think indefinitely without even considering her ultimate fate. This is emblematic of the difference between AFs and humans in Klara’s world, since a human would never feel at peace doing nothing with no one, day-in-day-out, just patiently waiting for death. Klara values nothing other than keeping Josie from being lonely, and her life inherently has meaning in this way. The central question of spirituality is that of purpose, so Klara is a story about a conscious being with a singular and concrete purpose in life, which she can reach before death and then feel completed, and how she views us humans who have no such luxury. 

The other important spiritual conflict in the story is far more unclear. The AFs believe that the Sun is a higher power. Klara prays to it directly twice in the book, and she receives visions when she does so. Whether or not the Sun is actually supernatural in this book is a question which is kept in the reader’s mind throughout the whole story and never clearly answered. I was confused about this when I finished the book and it’s the main reason the story left an impression on me. I’m not totally convinced this is truly a mark of skill because leaving an important question open-ended isn’t difficult and can appear lazy, but I’m still thinking about it, so I think it was at least a good choice for that reason. 

The one complaint I have about Klara is that the dialogue is very awkward. You’d expect a robot to talk in an awkward, overly formal way, but so do all of the human characters. The characters use vulgar language a couple of times in the book and it feels very forced and out-of-place, like Ishiguro knew how stiff it all sounded and included occasional swearing just to mitigate that. Other than that, I really enjoyed the book. Wikipedia says Sony is going to adapt it into a movie which, as you can probably guess based on what I’ve praised about the book, I don’t think is a great idea, but I could see it working with a bit of creativity.

Categories
Avalanche Creative Writing Magazine

The Sphinx, and the Boy with no Fear

By Sophia Flamoe

There was a boy they said had no fear. He was scared of nothing and no one, and thus, he believed himself a god amongst humans.  

His name was Cygnus Bane, and unlike the legend, he wasn’t always so fearless. Cygnus Bane came from the worst sort of family for a boy like him; the seventh son of a seventh son, of a poor farmer, Cygnus was all but guaranteed a life of no acclaim and no fortune. But Cygnus wanted more from his lot. He had heard whispers of a witch in his village, a woman said to be able to do unexplainable magic, and grant any wish the heart could desire.  

Cygnus had long watched his village be assailed by the ferocious sphinx that lived in the nearby mountain range, and came down to block their only trade route. Many a hero had risen up to best it, but they could not, for this sphinx, besides having the strength of ten strongmen, was sly, he could not be caught, and he could not be tamed. Cygnus’ own brothers had lost their lives to the wild beast a few years before, and though his brothers had been strong, and cunning, and wise, they had been no match for the sphinx.  

Cygnus believed himself wise, and from that wisdom, he had decided that the reason the sphinx had not been bested was because each of his foe’s had been too scared to be a real threat. That if they had even the slightest bit of courage, they would have been rid of the cursed sphinx years ago. And though the loss had taken its toll on his family, Cygnus did not shy away from pointing out his brothers’ cowardice when facing the sphinx, that each one had died because they were no match in valor to himself or the sphinx, stating that, despite the fact he was barely a man, only just entering adulthood, he was brave enough to face the sphinx. Finally, having had enough, his mother cried that if he were so brave as he claimed, he should face the sphinx himself, and not come back home until he had vanquished the beast. Scorned, and embarrassed, Cygnus left his childhood home, unaware that this truly would be the last time he ever set foot inside it.  

The sphinx sat on the outskirts of the village, in the middle of The Traders Path, looking for an unwitting traveler, or stupid villager for its next meal. When Cygnus approached, the sphinx was picking something out of her teeth with one long, curled talon, and though Cyngus tried, everytime he got within 100 feet of the beast, he could not move any farther. His fear had rooted him to the ground, unable to do the very thing he so believed himself capable of. Cygnus tried all night, and in the early morning, when he had managed a scarce few feet more, the sphinx finally noticed him  

“Oh great hero!” The sphinx crooned, slinking closer to the not so great hero. “Have you come to vanquish the terrible blight? The sphinx who has no match, and no equal?” 

Cygnus stammered, mouth hanging open, and then snapping closed with every passing second, “I-I’m not afraid of you!” he managed, accentuating his words with one tiny step towards the sphinx. 

The sphinx’s smile only grew, “Tell you what, boy-hero, I have grown weary of my games, each foe your village has sent has been dismal in comparison to me, and I find no pleasure in their demise. I wish to leave and find a smarter village to conquer, but someone must solve my riddle! If you, weak minded as you are, can solve my great riddle I vow to leave your village and never return. If not…” The sphinx’s eyes narrowed into slits, and she slunk closer to Cygnus, lips pulling back to reveal three rows of razor sharp teeth, “I will take you and your cowardly little town, and eat you all in one bite!” At this, she snapped her teeth together in a mime bite, sending Cygnus tumbling back over his feet, and then running back into the village to escape the horrors he had seen. As he ran, the sphinx called after him, “My riddle is this; ‘What is something all men have, but all men deny. Man created it, but no man can hold it?’ find me, boy-hero, and give me your answer, you have one year!” Cygnus felt as though the sphinx’s voice followed him all the way through the village.  

Cygnus, having not bested the sphinx, and feeling even more ashamed, found he could not return home, and with no where else to go, and nothing else to think, Cygnus found himself remembering the whispers of the Witch in the Wood, who could grant him any wish his heart desired. And Cygnus wished to be afraid of nothing, and no one. 

When he arrived, the witch looked at Cygnus, and did not seem surprised. 

“The fates have told me of your arrival.” She said, her voice like honey on glass.  

“I wish to be fearless.” Cygnus said, trying to stand up straighter over the hunched witch, chest heaving with every breath.  

“Bah!” the witch guffawed. “Everyone wants something, but no one wants to pay the price. Child, do you know what comes with your asking?” 

“I’ll do anything! I’ll pay you anything!” Cygnus said, trying to muster the courage he wanted so badly. 

“Not for me, you insolent boy! For you!” she cried, throwing her hands wide. 

Cygnus felt his fear taking over, “How do you mean? 

“You will learn. All in due time.” She laughed, jagged and hoarse, and pointed a bent finger at him. “Do you accept your fate?” 

By now, Cygnus had grown tired of her games, he thought her a mad old crone, and was reassured in his righteousness, “Yes!” he cried, overjoyed at the ease with which he was achieving his wish. “I accept my fate, and any cost that comes with it!” Cygnus would become fearless, he would face the sphinx and return victorious, and his family would be sorry they ever doubted him.  

At this, the witch lit up, a faint green glow surrounding her like a halo, and Cygnus felt the hair on his arms stand on end. From her shriveled finger a blast of light shot out, and hit Cygnus straight in the chest, knocking him backwards into a shelf of herbs and vials of liquid.  

When he stood he found he no longer feared the witch, she was just an old woman, too eager to flaunt her magic to be any real threat. He found he no longer trembled at the memory of the sphinx, and knew that should he face her, he would win by courage alone.  

“Now hear this, boy,” the witch called, as he walked towards her door. “You are not yet strong enough to best the sphinx. Go, fight the beasts terrorizing the villages over the world. Make a name for yourself, get stronger, but do not be hasty, do not be brash. Have courage, but do not insult. If you do this, then, and only then, will your fight against the sphinx yield you a victory.” 

Cygnus, who had always been partial to impatience, thought her warning presumptuous, and tiresome, he was strong from a life spent working the fields with his father, and now that he could feel no fear, how could he lose. But he did find some truth in her words, many had fought and lost against the sphinx, and the thought that he could gather some fame before returning home- that his family would hear of his bravery and valor- was too enticing an idea to pass up. So with a brief nod in the witches direction, Cygnus left her hut.  

Cygnus did travel, he fought monster after monster, saved village after village, and not once did he lose a fight. He took his time to think over the sphinx’s riddle, and after a year, he found he had the answer. He was so thrilled at his success; against the monsters, and against the riddle, that though his ego had swelled beyond measure, he believed himself capable of fighting and winning against the Sphinx, for how could he not? He had won every fight he’d since started! 

And even if he weren’t strong enough, he’d solved the riddle! So what would it matter! 

When Cygnus returned to his village the people called out to him, overjoyed, for the boy-hero had come to vanquish the terrible sphinx.  

Cygnus passed right by his home, and his family, without even a glance; they would see, and they would be sorry. 

By the time Cygnus had reached the edge of town where the sphinx lay, a crowd had gathered behind him. Somehow by his not being afraid, they didn’t seem to be so scared either. 

“Oh great sphinx.” Cygnus called, raising a bronze sword in the direction of the beast. “I have come to finish what I started a year ago!” 

The sphinx squinted at him for a moment, then her face lit up, “Ah! The famous boy-hero! Come to finish me off have you? Have you solved my riddle or are you relying only on your… strength.” At the word strength, the sphinx flashed her three rows of teeth, but Cygnus only smiled. 

“I’m not afraid of you, beast, I have something all the rest didn’t; courage. And an answer. To your riddle. 

An Idea!” Cygnus pronounced with a swell of his chest. “An Idea is the answer to your great riddle! 

You see, your riddle was rather easy really. Any fool could have solved it. And to think, I’d heard of your mastery over the spoken word and riddle, and all this time it was just talk. It hardly took any time at all for me to solve, and it is quite dull I have to say. I would make a better master of riddles than you.” Cygnus had begun to gloat, his ego having swelled so large in his travels and victories that he had begun to believe himself invincible, incapable of any wrong or misstep.  

At this, the growing crowd around him gasped, for no one had ever spoken to the sphinx in such a way, and Cygnus turned towards them, raising his arms in a symbol of victory. 

The sphinx-who had never been spoken to like this- had started to become angry, this boy-hero had grown to think himself greater than the sphinx, wiser, more cunning, stronger. And because Cygnus could no longer feel fear, when he saw the sphinx approach, he did not see it for the danger it was. 

“You’re wrong.” The sphinx said, now right beside Cygnus, who’s attention still remained on the crowd. 

“About what?” Cygnus asked, turning, finally, back towards the sphinx. 

“The answer to my riddle is not ‘an idea’” the sphinx said, advancing on Cygnus, a smile curling her mouth. 

 Cygnus again pointed his sword at the sphinx, but it was no use, in one clean bite, the sphinx swallowed him whole.  

For the boy with no fear did not know when he was fighting a losing battle, and a boy with too big an ego wouldn’t back out even if he knew the price.  

True to her word, the sphinx ate and destroyed the remainder of Cygnus’ village, and then flew to find a new, smarter village to toy with. 

With the death of his town, came the death of the legend of the great boy-hero; Cygnus Bane, who was afraid of nothing and no one. The world had forgotten the would-be slayer of monsters. All, except, I suppose, for the sphinx, who thought back on the boy-hero ever so often.  

And of the true answer to his riddle; fear.

Categories
Sports

The Football Penguin

Pictured: Freshman Cheerleader, Julia, holding the cheer dinosaur, and freshman football player, Sam, holding the football penguin. 

By Sophia Flamoe

If you’re smart -and have school spirit- you’ve probably been to an Ingraham football game (go Rams!) and if you’re paying attention, you have probably noticed a stuffed penguin that the team has brought out to games. That is the football turnover penguin, and he is a symbol of fun and perseverance for the team.

When interviewed, Logan Lorber, a player for the team said, “Our turnover penguin represents the fun we can have with our program. You may see other teams with a turnover chain of some sort, but with our penguin, our coach decided to choose it as the highest rank, highest power of all, to the point when you hold it you will feel its power surging from it. Only people that are worthy of getting a turnover in the game are able to hold it, or else you will fall apart from its power.” Riveting stuff!  

Also interviewed was Coach Cook, who wrote, “Ah yes, the turnover penguin. A few years ago at Bellevue I watched an EC game on TV, and whenever they got a turnover they would take a sledgehammer and smash blocks. Then a chain and a dance or something. I thought it was ridiculous. So my daughter and I tried to come up with something absurd, and she decided on the penguin. Thus, it was born! The Power of the Penguin compels you! I asked the Rams if they wanted to do it; they liked the idea. One of the players is elected each week to take care of her and present her, and we worship her power.” 

Now you know the story of the football penguin! 

Coincidentally, in a show of solidarity, Ingraham Cheer had adopted the tradition with their own Cheer Dinosaur, lovingly named for their coach, Vanessa! 
 

Categories
Arts and Entertainment

They Both Die at the End: A book about seizing the day that ultimately didn’t.

By Kalli Dahlberg

*SPOILERS AHEAD, OBVIOUSLY* 

They Both Die at the End is a popular young adult novel written by Adam Silvera. Silvera is an up-and-coming YA author. They Both Die at the End is Silvera’s third and most popular book.  

Silvera’s third novel focuses on two teenage boys, Mateo and Rufus, who receive calls from Death-Cast, a company that accurately predicts death. Rufus and Mateo suddenly have something in common: They both have less than 24 hours to live. Mateo and Rufus are strangers, but through an app called Last Friend they find each other to make the most of the rest of their lives.  

Silvera uses an interesting concept rooted in tragedy that helped the book become a New York times bestseller. The Idea of Death Cast was compelling and the romance between two Latino men supplied more representation in a predominantly white and straight genre, especially since the book is written by a Gay Latino man.   

The inevitability of Rufus and Mateo’s demise added emotional elements to the book that resonated with a lot of people (judging by its 4/5-star review on Goodreads). I expected a book that is so widely praised for its emotional end and depth to leave me reeling, so either I’m heartless or this book is not as good as everyone says it is.  

Silvera’s writing choices do more harm than good. Random POV’s from other characters make the novel appear disorganized and remove focus from Rufus and Mateo. The whole point of the book is that Mateo and Rufus have a limited amount of time left, so why distract from it with other characters who serve little importance to the plot? The worldbuilding is also woefully underdeveloped. The backstory and motives of Death Cast are left up to the imagination of the reader, no one in the novel questions or explains how or why a mysterious corporation can correctly predict your death. The pacing of the book also leaves much to the imagination, Rufus and Mateo are perfectly likeable characters, but we simply don’t have enough time to get to know them, the books’ fast pace makes the emotional conclusion feel unearned. Rufus and Mateo’s love (and their deaths) are quick and leave you confused. Thanks to Silvera’s rush to kill them, both Mateo and Rufus die in very careless and lazy ways, making the reader question the whole point of the book. 

Above all Silvera’s biggest mistake is relying too heavily on the emotional elements of the story, the main example of this is the book’s title, its attention grabbing and curiosity evoking, but it reveals the end, making it hard to form emotional attachments to characters that you know are going to die. Silvera’s writing relies on a non-existent emotional attachment to make the end sad and deep but reading the book you have time to prepare yourself for the tragic conclusion, the “plot twist” is spoiled the second you read the title. While Silvera attempts to kill off his characters in a shocking and unexpected way that will elicit emotion, the only emotion you feel is relief that it’s over. 

 However, it cannot be ignored that many people will see themselves represented in Silvera’s writing. Books written by people of color and or LGBTQ+ people are not common, the white and straight saviorism in YA novels is insidious. Silvera did something important with this book. However, for me, the negatives far outweigh the positives. 

Categories
Student Life

Clubs at Ingraham

By Kalli Dahlberg, edited by Maggie Sill 

Recently at the Cascade, we’ve noticed that while Ingraham has many amazing clubs to offer, there’s a distinct lack of information on what is available or how to sign up. The club fair was helpful, but students (some of our staff included) didn’t know it was going on until it was too late.  

Here’s a highlight of some clubs you otherwise might not have heard of, as well as how to contact them. However, you can learn about all the clubs Ingraham has to offer on Instagram @ihsclubs or at https://ingrahamhs.seattleschools.org/student-life/clubs/ 

Jewish Club 

  • Run by co-president sophomores Rowan Foster and Vita Ionis, Ingraham Jewish club creates a safe place for Jewish-identified youth and allies. It explores Jewish holidays, values, politics, and more. Ingraham Jewish club meets on the first Thursday of each month. Find more information on Instagram, @ingrahamjewishclub. 

Girls in Science Club 

  • GSG is for women and non-binary students passionate about science. They learn about scientific fields and support women and non-binary people in STEM, everyone is welcome. Girls in Science club meets on Tuesdays at lunch in room 207. Find more on Instagram @ihsgirlsinscience 

Film Club 

  • Film club’s goal is to create a film while learning about the elements of film through watching influential movies and discussing them. Meetings are on Tuesdays in room 123. Find more information on Instagram @ihs.film.club 

Asian Student Union  

  • ASU focuses on Asian culture and issues facing Asian youth today, everyone is welcome. Meetings are held every Monday during lunch in room 64. Find more @asu_ingraham on Instagram. 

Joining clubs has many advantages; they help you socialize with like-minded people; they educate you; and they can look good when applying to colleges. Once again, find more about Ingraham Clubs on Instagram @ihsclubs or at https://ingrahamhs.seattleschools.org/student-life/clubs/ . 

Categories
Student Life

Homecoming Week

By Claire Banasky

Welcome to Homecoming Week! Ingraham High School has many events that encapsulate our homecoming traditions. When students think of homecoming, they think of the game, the dance and hallway decorating.  

Hallway decorating is a fun way to get to know your classmates and other students at school! It begins a few weeks before the actual week of homecoming. ASB comes up with a theme. This year, the theme is Netflix. Then, they pick a topic for each grade that falls under the main theme. The topic for freshmen is Cocomelon, sophomores got Squid Game, juniors got Outer Banks and seniors got Stranger Things. Each grade has met and planned what they want their hallway to look like. The freshman hall is in front of room 116. Sophomores are in front of room 102. Juniors are in front of the library. Seniors are in front of the Activities Center (AC). 

On the night of October 21, the school will be open from 4pm to 10pm. All grades come to school and decorate their halls. In some years, people have stayed until one in the morning to decorate. On Friday, October 22, everyone shows up to school with the hallways completely decorated. There’s music and costumes, and it’s crazy to see what each grade comes up with. Most of the competition is between the seniors and juniors. Sometimes, it’s very close. 

During first period, judges will go around and evaluate the hallways. In non-COVID times, the winner would be announced at the pep rally later that day. ASB plans to have another virtual pep-assembly on Wednesday the 20th, so make sure you keep your eyes and ears open!  

Good luck and have fun Rams! 

Map of the School
Senior Hallway
Junior Hallway
Sophomore Hallway
Freshman Hallway
Categories
About

About The Cascade

The Ingraham Cascade

The Cascade is a non-profit, student-run newspaper publication produced by and for the Ingraham High School community in Seattle, WA. The Cascade is designed and written by students of Ingraham High School in the journalism extracurricular club, dedicated to offer a platform for a discussion of ideas and to inform and express their unique perspective with the community. We at The Cascade believe no story is too small to be heard, and all stories are worth sharing. If you have a story, art piece, poem, video, or anything at all you wish to share with the Ingraham community, feel free to reach out. You can contact us at the.ingraham.cascade@gmail.com.

Categories
About

Staff

Thomas Faulhaber: Managing Editor, The Cascade

Sophia Flamoe: Managing Editor, The Avalanche

Claire Banasky: Social Media Editor

Maggie Sill: Copy Editor

Anja Webster: Arts & Entertainment Editor

Zev Fort: Student Life Editor

Isabelle Ball: Art Editor

Shane Dudash: Art Editor

Gabe Dillian: Director of Outreach

Alex Tischler: Staff Writer

Annisa Dabhi: Staff Writer

Daisy Van Zeyl: Staff Writer

Kalli Dahlberg: Staff Writer

Mr. Martinez-Simmons: Advisor to The Cascade

Mr. Ferguson: Advisor to The Avalanche

Categories
Archived

Laptops for Freshman

A look into Ingraham’s newest technological program

By Alex Childer

In the past two weeks at Ingraham High School, every freshman student was given a school-sanctioned laptop to bring between home and school for classwork/homework. Every freshman completed an application form including a twenty-five dollar fee for future possible repairs. 

The whole process of getting computers was very quickly hurled at the freshman class. While we may have heard of it earlier in the year as a possibility, it wasn’t solidified for many until we were given forms about a week before getting the laptops. That said, why did freshmen even get laptops? Why freshmen over the other classes? Are freshmen required to have laptops? Do the freshmen want laptops?

The consensus among the freshmen was one of mixed feelings. While many surveyed students said they would support the laptop program, each had some sort of alteration that they would like to see to solidify their position. One explained that it was because “personal laptops should be allowed” or “[the laptops]… shouldn’t be forced, but provided.” Students are required to take a laptop, and required to bring it to school everyday. Teachers explain it’s because “personal laptops could not have some of the programs needed in class” and therefore could hinder that student’s learning.

There was also a fee required when getting a laptop. If you did not bring money or a check with your signed application, it was logged onto your PowerSchool account as a negative. Note that you cannot graduate high school if you have unpaid debts on PowerSchool. Scholarships were an option for students on the free-and-reduced lunch program. For students who already have personal laptops, this fee seems like a waste of money, on top of money already spent on a laptop. 

All of this unhackneyed news about laptops seems very random, but Seattle Schools has had this plan in the works for a while. It is officially titled the “Student 1:1 Laptop Program” whose goal was “[to help] unlock the potential of students… through digital access.” It is the phased deployment of laptops to all schools, prioritizing high schools that “are in the most need of technical support.” All Ingraham freshmen over the next four years will get laptops, and when this years’ freshmen become seniors, the laptops are cycled back through. There is no mention nor indication that current sophomores, juniors, or seniors will get laptops.

Freshmen are getting laptops because it would be easiest to begin cycling though laptops with a freshman class, rather than having upperclassmen have laptops and then too many laptops being cycled through. Freshmen are also widely known as “the guinea pigs” of high school, because changing something for them will not deter them too far off their high school path. Since they are the first year, it is easiest to see what the laptop experience will be for all four years of their high school career. 

However, laptops can be an easy distraction. Unlike phones, students are expected to have laptops out during class, so they can open anything they want without being too conspicuous. It is difficult for teachers to accuse students of misusing the laptop unless they catch them directly playing a game or being off task; tab switching is fast, so it is easy to pretend to be doing school work. Although the Seattle Schools filter system blocks most of the popular game sites, there are many pirated or “unblocked” game websites that are accessible to students. 

Although the current plan with laptops is not perfect through and through, it is ultimately helping students. Those who didn’t have computers at home to type and had to rely on in class work time with computers now have the necessity of being able to work at home. 

Categories
Archived

Back to The Dome

Ingraham’s quest to get back to district playoffs

By Ronan Axtell

The Ingraham boys’ basketball team had a historic season last year, go ing to State competition for the first time in 67 years. Expectations were riding  high coming into this year, with the return of the core players who propelled the  team to State last year: Mitchell Saxen, Coz Collins and Latrell Jones. A few lucky  transfers have also helped make a state title within reach. Of the transfers, junior  guard Charlie Puetz said, “They are a talented group of people for sure.” He was  also unequivocal about the goal for the year. When the team sat down in the locker  room before the season to talk about what they wanted to accomplish, every single  player said a variation of the same thing. State Championship.  

The Rams started off this year on the right track, with dominating wins  over Npire and Franklin. The Rams also beat Seattle Prep, now ranked 7th in  the state. This was an especially impressive series of wins considering that St.  Mary’s-commited Mitchell Saxen was out with a back injury. Senior forward  Tyrell Moore, however, stepped up, especially against Prep—scoring 26 points  with five assists. “We shot the ball very well throughout the course of those games,  and we did a solid job defending,” said senior guard Maui Sze on what helped the  Rams to be successful early in the year. The Rams, however, were unable to carry  that momentum into their fourth game of the year, against top-ranked Eastside  Catholic, which turned into a 30-point blowout. The Rams struggled to guard the  elite backcourt combo of 4-star guards Shane Nowell and Nolan Hickman. The  Rams then departed to San Diego to play in the Torrey Pines Holiday Classic. This  showcase brought together some of the top teams in the country, but the Rams  failed to bring their A-game, going 0-4. After falling to a record of 3-5, the Rams  were able to right the ship with wins over Blanchet and Lincoln back in Seattle.  Everything appeared to be going right for the Rams as they started out their game  against Roosevelt with a 16-3 lead. Roosevelt came back and ended up winning in  a stunning upset. Friday 1/17, the Rams tied their record again when they played a  nail-biter as the finale of a quad against West Seattle, emerging victorious in the fi nal thrilling seconds. At the next quad on February 7th, the boys played an equally  tense game against Nathan Hale and again came out on top. 

Despite the early season setbacks, the Rams believe they have a good  chance to make some noise in the Tacoma Dome. Puetz said a state title was “definitely” still the goal. The prospects are looking up, with 1st Team All-Metro center,  and reigning Defensive Player of the Year set to come back soon from his back injury. To improve, the Rams need to “Play more team basketball,” Puetz said. ‘We over  me’ is the team motto, and with that mindset, the Rams are ready to get ringed up.