Samantha Nowak: 13-year-old, seventh grader at Dodd, Cheshire resident, and competitor for American Gymnastics in Southington. This past Sunday, she competed and excelled in a gymnastics meet at the University of Bridgeport.

Her success occurred at Holiday Costume Cup gymnastics meet; she competed in the Excel Gold Senior A division. Samantha’s greatest achievement was receiving a perfect 10 to win the beam. She was told by meet officials that she was the first to achieve a score of 10 in an event in the history of the Holiday Costume Cup meet.  Unbelievable!

Samantha also won the vault with a 9.45, won the floor exercise with a 9.75, and placed second in bars with a score of 9.1. She also won the all-around with a score of 38.30, and it was the highest all-around score of the meet in all divisions combined.There were 45 divisions overall in the three-day meet from Friday-Sunday.

American Gymnastics, Samantha’s team, finished second in the Excel Gold team event with 113.6 points and missed out on first place by 1/10th of a point. CGA Gymnastics won the team title with 113.7 points.  What a close finish!

Published 3/11/2015



 The Truth About The Track

By Callie Godfrey and Toni Wetmore

Fast and strong, these race horses aren't your average trail pony.  They are supposed to be the fittest of the fit, the strongest of the strong, and yet most come to unfortunate ends. It was a good race... for bidders, that is. The winning horse is a star, and the formally winning horse is shipped away to a slaughterhouse. That sounds fair, doesn’t it? What would you rather do: earn money and abuse a horse, or save a life by trying to help these horses?

Many of these horses are found starving with their ribs poking out. Accordion, a thoroughbred who was once a winner, was found in a field laying down. He was too weak to stand or walk. There was an attempt to save him, but it was too late. He was a victim of too much inhumane treatment.

How would you like it if someone implanted batteries under your skin? Not good, I know. Owners would do this so that the horse would get an electric shock anytime they try to slow down.  A slow horse is a dead horse.  If they can’t win races, they are pointless for the owner to keep.  

Even if the horse isn’t treated poorly, there are always injuries on the track.  Studies show that in 1992 about 3,566 horses couldn’t finish the race because of their injuries such as broken legs and exhaustion.  Now with selective breeding horses, legs are becoming frail and fragile.  If they do get injured, most of the owners don’t own the horse other than for money, and once the money stops, they don’t feel bad for sending them to a slaughterhouse, or as the slaughterhouse owners are called, “the kill buyer.”

    Slaughterhouses can be just as bad as animal abuse, in fact it is.  This is where animals are killed for food and other materials.  And the horses that usually end up here are usually top of the line horses, who should be loved and cared for.  In most cases, the horses are healthy and could survive for a longer amount of time.

    There are three types of people in horse racing.  You have the people who drug their horses, or agents who force abuse and other terrible things.  Then there are the people who think horse racing is fair, and then force hard labor onto the horses.  Finally, you have the people who know the truth about horse racing, but don’t do everything they can to make it better.

    There is a fine line between a happy show horse and a sickly race horse.  It is horrible how these strong and powerful are treated in unfair ways.  The real question is what would you do?  Save a life or save a quick buck?  Sadly too many people chose money over horses

Published 1/21/15


    This week, students were surveyed to see which NFL team is the most popular here at Dodd. I had a clipboard with all of the teams listed for students to choose from. There were 23 students asked and the most favorable was the New England Patriots with a total of 6 votes. The New York Giants came close with 5 votes. The New York Jets, Washington Redskins, and San Francisco 49ers came in last with a total of 1 vote each.

    After learning that the “Pats” were the most liked, I decided to read up on the team’s quarterback, Tom Brady. He was born on August 3rd, 1977, in San Mateo, CA. Brady was drafted in 2000 by the Patriots. He has been on the team since, and has led them to many victories. In his second season (2001) the starting QB (Drew Bledsoe) went out for an injury, and it was up to Brady to help the team quickly recover. Currently, Brady has led the Patriots to 3 Super Bowl victories. The New England Patriots are currently having a pretty good season, with 7 wins and 2 losses (1st in the AFC East Division).

Written by Toni Wetmore

Published on 11/19/14


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