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Football team strengthened through adversity

By Coach Daniel McDonald

The 2020 football season will go down in Providence history for a multitude of reasons.  Overshadowed by the COVID pandemic, our players found themselves dealing with adversity and less than ideal conditions before our season began. Coach McDonald was hired in March and able to have one introductory meeting with 17 returning players, and then the nation was quarantined. Unable to meet in person, this offseason will always be remembered as the Google Meet offseason. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from April until June, Coach McDonald and the rest of the staff met with the team to establish our culture, check in with players, and install our offensive and defensive systems. It was not ideal, but we made it work.

Unfortunately, we were not able to conduct any of our traditional preseason events to prepare ourselves for the season, such as team camp, 7 on 7, and interscholastic practices, nor were we able to conduct any summer team-building activities or service projects.  Our very first in-person meeting was on July 6, and due to COVID restrictions, we were unable to get much done; however, our players gave relentless effort throughout our preseason workouts, and we made it work as best we could.

Going into our first game against Floyd Central and our second game against Silver Creek, we still didn’t really know ourselves very well. The odds were already stacked against us, as our 2A roster did not match up very well with Floyd Central’s 5A depth, nor Silver Creek’s 4A depth.  Our team did not let our small size, in both stature and numbers, deter us from our mission of giving relentless effort, playing with character, and placing the team before ourselves. We continued to get better each week and come into our own offensively. 

After a fluke loss to Clarksville, our team hit its turning point in an underdog win against Charlestown. Senior quarterback Jaxon Murphy had his best passing game, throwing for 135 yards and a touchdown, and adding another 64 yards on the ground. Senior Jeremy Gettelfinger was solid in the running game, and freshman Brian Wall scored his first varsity touchdown. Defensively, senior Kole Krininger and sophomore Grayson Abel negated the Pirates’ run game, as they were able to contain the Pirates nationally ranked, five-star offensive tackle, in one of the gutsiest performances demonstrated by high school football players.  Junior Roy Shrout and Gettelfinger each had an interception, and senior Nathan Striby added a huge field goal to put the game away in the fourth quarter. 

The Pioneers next traveled across the river to battle the No. 3 ranked team in Kentucky 1A, Holy Cross. The Pioneers battled the Cougars to a one-touchdown game in which first-year player junior Devin Goodrow showed immense improvement as a center on the offensive line, and the Pioneers began to further develop their offensive identity. In this game, Krininger scored his first varsity touchdown, and receivers Wall and senior Carson Heldman made crucial plays in the passing game.  We are looking forward to continuing this small-school, cross-river Catholic rivalry with Holy Cross.

The Pioneers then won two of their next three games, with a physically dominating performance against Mitchell, in which the offense rushed for 405 yards, led by Gettelfinger’s 260-yard performance. The Pioneers then won their third game of the season against Milan, a top ten 1A program. Though they were severely undersized compared to the Indians, the Pioneers physically dominated the game. For the first time, the Pioneers had two 100-yard rushers, as Gettelfinger paced the rushing attack with 156 yards and Murphy added 122 yards. Gettelfinger also added a passing touchdown to his stat sheet on a halfback pass to senior Isaac Ohlmann, which gave the Pioneers the lead for good and propelled the Pioneers to victory on Homecoming Night.

The Pioneers opened their playoff run with a dominating performance at Union County. After a nearly three-hour bus ride, the Pioneers were forced to wait out a storm in Union County’s locker room, and the game was delayed until nearly 9:00 that evening. Not letting the adversity of the long bus ride and delay affect their performance, the Pioneer defense held Union County to only seven points, and the offense dominated on the ground, scoring 42 points, their highest point total of the season.

After Mitchell was forced to forfeit the second round game due to COVID, the Pioneers traveled to Triton Central High School for a sectional championship game against the 4th-ranked 2A Tigers. Unfortunately, the Pioneers were not able to pull out the victory, but Gettelfinger rushed for 118 yards on 13 carries.

The 2020 season was overshadowed by the constant presence of COVID-19. The team dealt with a barrage of quarantines, game cancellations, and schedule changes, but never allowed the virus to deter them from their goals of always giving relentless effort, demonstrating character first, and placing the team’s needs before their individual desires.

In the years to come, we will look back on these nine seniors:  Carson Heldman, Jaxon Murphy, Isaac Ohlmann, Weston Kaiser, Jeremy Gettelfinger, Kole Krininger, Nathan Striby, David Wall, and Michael Vaughn, as the class that laid the foundation for our future success. They could have allowed the adversity and uncertainty that encompassed the entire year as an excuse to go through the motions and not lead our young team in a positive manner, but they chose to give relentless effort and set the stage for future Pioneer Football players to enjoy much success (and we WILL enjoy a lot of success in the near future, and in the many years to follow). Coach McDonald will always be grateful to these nine young men for their resiliency and character through this season.

Some key stats from this season:

  • Jeremy Gettelfinger dominated on both offense and defense in what SHOULD be an “All-State worthy” individual performance. Jeremy rushed for 1,118 yards on 153 carries (7.3 yards per carry) and led the defense with 66 total tackles.
  • From our “nickel” position, Carson Heldman tallied 44 total tackles and five tackles for loss.
  • In addition to playing very well at quarterback, Jaxon Murphy had a streak of five consecutive games with a forced fumble at the cornerback position.
  • David Wall led the defense with five sacks and was a nightmare for most teams to block all season.
  • Between rushing, passing, and kick returns, Jaxon Murphy tallied more than 1,000 all-purpose yards and totaled 51 tackles.
  • Freshman Brian Wall started every game on offense and defense. He recorded 35 tackles and 121 receiving yards.
  • Numerous freshmen have earned a varsity letter: Brian Wall, Carter Lannan, Alex LaMaster, Connor Sad, Luke Kruer, and Jaesynn Davis.
  • Nathan Striby finished the season having only missed one extra point and hit several crucial field goals.
  • Several Pioneers were playing football for the first time this year: Devin Goodrow (starter on the offensive line), Brandon House, Luke French, and Weston Kaiser (starter at corner).

The future of Pioneer Football is bright. Upon the foundation we laid this season, we will build a state champion caliber program in the years to come.

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Sports Spotlight: Cheerleading

This issue, we spotlight two Cheerleaders, seniors Laura Strahm and Carissa Lancaster. The Cheer team completed its fall season, cheering at Football games. The team also competed in the ISPA Virtual State Cheer Championship by submitted a video of their performance. The team did not place in the top five but is glad to have been able to cheer and compete this season. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the team’s sideline cheering has been put on hold.

Laura has been cheering for nine years, including four for Providence. She got started when she was younger when she started taking gymnastics. Coach Christie Evanczyk ’09 said of Laura: “She is an excellent leader and displays excellent school spirit.”

Carissa began cheering in third grade at Holy Family School and cheered throughout her time there, having been inspired to start by her sister, Jessica Lancaster ’18. Carissa also cheered and competed for Southern Indiana Catholic in junior high. Of Carissa, Coach Evanczyk said, “She has a great work ethic and is a great friend to everyone on the team.”

Q&A with Carissa Lancaster, senior, fourth season, House of Faith, Student Ambassador, and National Honor Society
College plans: IU Bloomington to pursue a business degree

Question: What was highlight of your fall season?
Carissa Lancaster: The highlight of the fall season is being able to cheer at the Football games. With COVID, nothing is guaranteed, and we were very lucky to even have a season.

Q: What do you enjoy about cheerleading?
CL: I enjoy stunting and tumbling the most. It is fun and is something most people cannot do.

Q: What is your favorite part about being a Pioneer?
CL: My favorite part of being a Pioneer is the family feeling and close community. Everyone knows each other, and the teachers and students care about everyone.

Q: What is your favorite school subject?
CL: My favorite school subject is math. It comes very easily to me, and you just solve the problem and don’t have to memorize and know all the facts like in science.

Q: Who has been your mentor in developing your commitment to a great work ethic?
CL: My mentor has been my older sister and my coaches. I’ve always looked up to my sister in cheerleading because she was very dedicated and competitive. My coaches (mentored me) because they always believe in me and push me to do my best.

Q&A with Laura Strahm, senior, fourth season, House of Courage

Question: What was highlight of your fall season?
Laura Strahm: The highlight of my fall season was being able to cheer all the football games.

Q: What do you enjoy about cheerleading?
LS: I enjoy everything about cheer. I love doing game day cheers, tumbling, doing stunts, and participating in our competitive routines.

Q: What is your favorite part about being a Pioneer?
LS: My favorite part about being a Pioneer is being able to create such strong bonds with everyone in the building, my teachers, counselors, other grades, and even people in my own grade.

Q: What is your favorite school subject?
LS: My favorite subject in school is math because math makes the most sense to me and just comes naturally.

Q: Why is it important to you to help others share their school spirit?
LS: I want to share school spirit with everyone because when you have spirit about something and are passionate about spreading that spirit, you can bring everyone in the school together with that joy.

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November Scholars in PE & Health, Visual Arts, Theatre Arts

This month, students who have demonstrated leadership or excellence in the subjects of PE & Health, Visual Arts, and Theatre Arts are recognized as November Scholars. These students include:

  • P.E. & Health: freshman Mary Furnish, sophomore Lucas French, junior Grant Williams, and senior Nick Sexton
  • Visual Arts: freshman Jillian Hinton, sophomore Caelea Graf, junior Autumn Grantz, and senior Anna Coe
  • Theatre Arts: freshman Erin Popson, sophomore Aidan Singleton, junior Kayla Badon, and senior Victor Beeler

Read the Q&As with these students:

P.E. & Health

Mary Furnish, freshman, PE, Freshman Focus, House of Courage, Girls Soccer, Girls Tennis

Question: What do you like about PE/Health class?
Mary Furnish: The atmosphere in PE class is so lively and vibrant. It is the one class of the day where everyone knows they can relax and have fun.

Q: What is your favorite PE activity?
MCF: I am nowhere close to being a runner, but the running that we do during the first part of the block is one of my favorite activities. Everyone dreads running, including me. In the moment I don’t like the experience, but the feeling of accomplishment afterwards is incredible. This gives me the motivation I need to do it all over again next class.

Q: What does it take to excel in PE/Health class?
MCF: You don’t need to be a three sport athlete in order to do well in Physical Education. What especially helps me excel is keeping a good mental attitude towards every activity and everyone. You should always support your classmates and cheer for them, even if they are on the opposing team.

Q: How has what you’ve learned in PE/Health class helped you in other areas?
MCF: Freshmen PE has helped me gain a better understanding with athletics and my health. I feel more possessive over my health and body, knowing that I need to exercise, stretch, and take care of myself in order to live a longer, fuller life.

Lucas French, sophomore, Fitness, House of Faith, Football and Wrestling.

Question: What do you like about PE/Health class?
LF: The thing I like about P.E. Class is that I get to have a class where I don’t have to worry about homework and studying, and I can have fun with my friends.

Q: What does it take to excel in PE/Health class?
LF: To excel in P.E. class, you to need follow directions carefully and not goof off while participating in whatever activity you are doing.

Q: How has what you’ve learned in PE/Health class helped you in other areas?
LF: P.E. Class has helped me learn that being physically active is important in your lifestyle, and it has helped me take a break from school work and have fun with my friends.

Q: How are  you making the most of this school year?
LF: I’m getting involved in different sports and also giving relentless effort in the classroom to keep my grades up.

Grant Williams, junior, Advanced PE, House of Loyalty, Boys Basketball

Question: What do you like about PE/Health class?
GW: I like PE because it gives you a break from school work.

Q: How has what you’ve learned in PE/Health class helped you in other areas?
GW: PE has taught me that even on days that you have little motivation, you can still push through it.

Q: What is your favorite PE activity?
GF: My favorite activity would have to be dodgeball.

Q: How are you making the most of this school year?
GW: I’m making the most of this year by hanging out with my friends and having a positive look on things.

Nick Sexton, senior, Advanced PE, Advanced Weight Lifting, House of Courage, Boys Basketball

Question: What do you like about PE/Health class?
NS: I like the competitiveness in the class.

Q: What is your favorite PE activity?
NS: Flag football because it’s the best thing we’ve done so far.\

Q: What does it take to excel in PE/Health class?
NS: It takes effort and not slacking off.

Q: How are you making the most of this school year?
NS: I am trying to make this year as fun as possible with all the things going on in the world.

Visual Arts

Jillian Hinton, freshman, Introduction to Two-Dimensional Art, House of Spirit, Girls Soccer, club soccer

Question: What do you like about art class?
Jillian Hinton: I love the calm and fun environment of the class. There are times when everyone has to listen to instructions for our project, but there is also work time when the students can chat, relax, and sometimes listen to music as long as they are working efficiently.

Q: What does it take to excel in a visual arts class?
JH: It is very important to listen to all the instructions that the teacher gives you and give 110 percent effort into each project. Even if you aren’t the most skilled artist, having fun and doing your best are essential to excelling.

Q: What has been your favorite project in art class?
JH: I just completed my “Beyond the Border” project using watercolors and stippling. This is one of my favorite projects because I got to combine new techniques that I learned to make a very cool piece of artwork that I never knew I was capable of making.

Q: What is your favorite visual arts activity?
JH: My favorite visual arts activity is sketching because I like to experiment with different pressure and shading with my pencil. I am also excited to try out some sculpting or ceramics next semester in 3D Art.

Caelea Graf, sophomore, Digital Design, House of Humility, Drawing Club, Girls Soccer, and Net Surfers club soccer

Question: What do you like about art class?
Caelea Graf: I love both the art teachers because they’re really nice and make class a lot of fun.

Q: What has been your favorite project?
CG: My favorite project was printmaking in Ms. LeBrun’s Intro to 2-D Art class.

Q: How has what you’ve learned in art class helped you in other areas?
CG: Art class has taught me that there is never one way to do something and everyone has different perspectives.

Q: How are you making the most of this school year?
CG: I’ve been making the best out of this school year by hanging out and enjoying my time with my friends at school.

Autumn Grantz, junior, Jewelry, House of Justice

Question: What do you like about art class?
Autumn Grantz: I love art class because it’s always relaxing and a break from my difficult classes.

Q: What is your favorite visual arts activity?
AG: I love all of the classes I’ve taken for visual arts, but ceramics is always so fun to mold and shape clay. That is what relaxes me the most, and I can let my creativity flow.

Q: What does it take to excel in a visual arts class?
AG: Patience is a HUGE skill to have in visual arts. I used to get aggravated very quickly if I didn’t make something perfect the first time I did it, but now I’ve learned that I need to take time to slow down and redo anything I need to improve on.

Q: What has been your favorite assignment?
AG: My favorite assignment in my current art class, Jewelry, has been making rings. It takes time to do this, and when I finish, I always feel proud of myself. It’s not extremely challenging, but it also isn’t easy, which is what I love because I’m able to slowly improve my skills one step at a time.

Anna Coe, senior, Ceramics, Jewelry, House of Loyalty, Girls Tennis, Boys Tennis manager

Question: What do you like about art class?
Anna Coe: I like art class because it’s a time where I can use my creativity and have a break from the stress from school.

Q: What is your favorite visual arts activity?
AC: My favorite visual arts activity is jewelry because I can make pieces for my friends and incorporate their personality and preferences in the jewelry that I make.

Q: How has what you’ve learned in art class helped you in other areas?
AC: In art class, I’ve learned to have patience and to trust the process.

Q: What has been your favorite assignment?
AC: My favorite assignment in Jewelry class is wire wrapping because there isn’t a specific way it’s supposed to look. Everyone’s looks unique, and there isn’t a set of directions to follow.

Theatre Arts

Erin Popson, freshman, House of Courage, Theatre Arts I, Providence Singers, Children’s Show, Spring Musical, possibly Girls Tennis

Question: What do you like about theatre class?
Erin Popson: I just see theatre class as a way to open up and have fun. It’s helped me meet people and grow closer with the environment as a whole. I’m learning a lot and laughing the whole way through.

Q: What does it take to excel in a theatre arts class?
EP: You really need to be willing to go farther than anyone else. You have to do more than the person before you and set a standard that will challenge the others to go even farther than that.

Q: What has been your favorite assignment in theatre class?
EP: I’ve really enjoyed working with improv. Not only does it strengthen skills to work onstage, but it also leads to some very entertaining moments. We had students acting like gorillas and PE teachers and kids not wanting to eat vegetables just in the first few days of working on the spot. When you’re improvising, you can never know for sure what’s going to come from it . . . though, there’s usually quite a bit of yelling.

Q: How are you making the most of this school year?
EP: This school year has definitely been crazy, but I’ve just been holding onto prayer and thanking God for His blessings, even in this time of chaos. We are so fortunate to be receiving an education that will allow us to have weekly mass and help us grow in faith. It’s one of the things that we shouldn’t be taking for granted in this time.

Aidan Singleton, sophomore, Theatre Arts II, House of Justice, Providence Singers, Quick Recall, and ProLife Club.

Question: What is your favorite theatre arts activity?
Aidan Singleton: My favorite theatre arts activity is character building. It is a chance for me to understand, get in touch, and ultimately become the character I play.

Q: What has been your favorite project?
AS: My favorite theatre project was last year’s Christmas play in Theatre 1. We did “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and “Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown.” I was Linus and a Narrator. I loved being able to switch to a different show and become a totally different person.

Q: How has what you’ve learned in theatre class helped you in other areas?
AS: The things I’ve learned in Theatre have helped me to communicate better and understand myself better.

Q: How are you making the most of this school year?
AS: Even with COVID-19, I have been able to make this school year great. I was in the production of “Hairy Tale” and I’m involved with Singers this year. This has made me able to continue this year and finish it with my head high. Theatre has given me something to look forward to when the pandemic ends.

Kayla Badon, junior, House of Humility, Musical Theatre Production, Providence Singers

Question: What do you like about theatre class?
Kayla Badon:  The thing I like most about theater is the feeling of not being alone. Of course, everyone wants their moment to shine, but when the curtains finally close and there’s no audience to cheer you on, you have a family in the end to celebrate with. These people see you when there isn’t an audience and when your voice may crack once or twice. These people share moments of endless laughter and maybe sometimes tears. But most of all, these people share a family. Theater is my home.

Q: What is your favorite theatre arts activity?
KB: My favorite activity is singing and script writing, mostly because I love to sing but also writing because the script is the foundation of the show. And being able to put something like that together is the best feeling.

Q: How has what you’ve learned in theatre class helped you in other areas?
KB: Everything I have learned in theater so far has taught me so much. One big thing I’ve learned is to speak my mind and to really come into myself. When you’re on stage, you are you, even though you may be playing as someone else. It takes your imagination, creativity, and dedication to make that character stand out. So learning to be more of myself and to speak out helps me in my communication verbally. And it gives me a chance to really be seen as me.

Q: How are you making the most of this school year?
KB: I am making the most of this school year by not taking it for granted. I’m sure I could speak for most by saying this year has been a challenge, but I’m grateful to God I made it this far. This year I decided to step out of my comfort zone and take some harder classes and really push myself because who I decide to be now determines who I will be in the future.

Victor Beeler, senior, Advanced Theatre II, Musical Theatre Production, House of Courage, Boys Golf, theatre productions

Question: What do you like about theatre class?
Victor Beeler: What I like about theatre class in general is that I get some classes where I get to be myself and do what I love like singing and acting on stage, all the while doing it with some of my best friends.

Q: What does it take to excel in a visual arts class?
VB: What it takes to excel in a theatre arts class is determination and a positive attitude. It’s easy to just give up and sit around, but that’s when things can start crumbling. To excel, you have to show up every day ready to work.

Q: How are you making the most of this school year?
VB: I’m making the most out of this year by taking in all the little things. This is my last year to perform at Providence, so when I’m in rehearsals, or practicing at home, and when I’m performing, I just think this is one of the last times to do this, so give it everything you’ve got.

Q: How has what you’ve learned in theatre class helped you in other areas?
VB: Theatre class has helped in my other areas by teaching me to never give up. I’ve been through ups and downs, but it’s taught me that with a good attitude and determination, you can do anything.

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Volleyball player named All-American

Senior Ali Hornung had an exciting week last week. On the same day she signed her national letter of intent to accept a full ride scholarship from Purdue University in West Lafayette she learned she had achieved another goal: Under Armour All-American. She said she is thrilled to be named among the top 25 volleyball players in the country and is eager to play the sport at Purdue with her older sister Marissa ’18 next fall. Seeing her sister achieve the same honor two years ago was Ali’s inspiration for setting her own goal of receiving that recognition.

“This has been a goal of mine ever since Marissa received the same honor her senior year,” Ali said. “When I heard the news, I was so excited. It always feels good when you accomplish one of your goals, but especially when the accomplishment comes with such a high honor like this one.”

To achieve that goal, Ali focused on becoming the best volleyball player she could be, helping her team achieve four sectional championships and three regional titles over her four seasons as a varsity player. This year, the team lost at semi-state to eventual 4A state champion Yorktown. Not only did she put in the work and the time, but she chose to learn from setbacks and challenges.

“It has taken many obstacles that have only made me a better and stronger player, physically and mentally,” Ali said. “And most importantly, it has taken the constant encouragement and support from every amazing coach and teammate I have ever had.”

Ali credits her teams – Providence and club – for her success as a standout player.

“These accomplishments are only a reflection of the elite teams I have been a part of and of the amazing coaches I have had,” Ali said. “It makes it so much easier to constantly get better when you are being pushed by these kinds of teammates and coaches. It is also a reflection of my parents and sisters, who are my biggest supporters. This means everything to me because I know that I will always be encouraged and supported by these people.”

This season, her accolades also include being selected to the 2020 AVCA High School All Region Team for Region 5, IHSVCA 3A-4A Senior All-Star Team, IHSVCA Class 4A First Team All-State team for the second year, and IHSVCA 4A South All District team. She also was named to PrepVolleyball Defensive Dandies 2020, earned top-25 recognition on MaxPreps Player of the Year, and was ranked No. 63 in the nation and No. 6 in Indiana according to MaxPreps 2021 Recruiting Class rankings.

Ali’s stats as a Lady Pioneer are even more impressive. She tallied 446 kills over 97 sets during the 2020 season and defensively, had 368 digs and 45 total blocks. On average, she had a .349 hitting percentage and totaled nearly 1,300 digs over the last four seasons.

While Ali is excited at the prospect of being on the court once more with Marissa, she earned her place on the Purdue roster in her own right. Purdue Coach Dave Shondell said she will be an immediate asset to the team.

“Ali is as skilled of a recruit as Purdue has seen in a long time,” Coach Shondell said. “A multi-dimensional star in club and high school, the explosive six-rotation player will become a valuable weapon for the Boilermakers. Most likely to focus on serving, passing and defense, Ali is more than capable of slugging it out along the net as well. Ali plays years above her current age.”

For Ali, playing with a group of talented players who will help her grow even more in the sport she loves is something she looks forward to next fall.

“I can’t wait to be a part of the Purdue Volleyball family because it is a very strong and close one that I get to be a part of for life,” she said. “I know the people I will be with every day will push me to be the best version of myself. Getting to play with my sister for one more year is what I am looking forward to most. She is the best teammate I have ever had, but she is also my best friend, so it will be a fun time.”

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Class of ’86 grad opens heart, home to grow family

Kristy (MacCallum) Klaus ’86 has a heart for others. It comes from a place of gratitude and desire to pay it forward for how others have helped her. What she has found is that in helping others, she feels she receives more blessings than what she gives, whether it’s saving a stray cat who now serves as her medic alert animal or adopting a foster son who may have otherwise fallen through the cracks in the system.

“If I can make my little piece of the world better, then maybe others can do the same,” Klaus said.

Kristy (MacCallum) Klaus ’86, seated, is grateful to have added her adopted son, Clay, (standing at right) and his daughter, Ella, to her family. Her son Deklin (back left) is glad to be a “big brother.”

In August, Klaus adopted a 17-year-old who has been living in her home for more than a year. When she took him in, she wasn’t a certified foster parent, although she had thought about it. As a widow and single mom since 2011, she didn’t qualify, she said.

But Clay, then known as Billy, was in a hard spot. Then 15, he worked at McDonald’s with her son Deklin. His home life had become unbearable, and he called Child Protective Services to report his parents’ drug use. His younger sister was soon adopted, but he was sent to a foster home in Tulsa, Okla., and then later returned to Stillwater, where Klaus lives, to the youth shelter.

Deklin was worried about his friend, Klaus said, and came to her asking if she would be willing to take Clay in. After all, Deklin knew she had a propensity for taking in strays, and Clay needed a loving home. Previously, those stays had been animals, like Coca-Cola Cub (CC or short), a white cat Klaus rescued as a kitten in a parking lot a year after her husband, Patrick, passed away.

Bottle-feeding CC and watching her grow into a healthy cat gave Klaus a sense of purpose and was a salve for her grief. Then CC learned over time when Klaus needs a breathing treatment. If Klaus doesn’t hook herself up to the machine soon enough, CC will climb on top the machine to alert her. CC even woke up her sister, Kelley MacCallum ’82, with whom Klaus lives, one night when Klaus was in respiratory distress while she was sleeping, allowing Klaus to get to the hospital in time.

“When people say I blessed her by rescuing her, she’s blessed me in too many ways to count,” Klaus said.

Looking back, Klaus feels similarly blessed by fostering Clay, but at the time, the decision to take in a teenage boy who basically “grew up on the streets” and came from a challenging home life, wasn’t as easy as rescuing a kitten, she said.

Her health was one concern. She also has been unable to work since January 2016 due to multiple health issues, including COPD and diabetes. At the time she was considering fostering Clay, she was applying for disability, which finally came in a few months ago. She and Deklin share a home with her sister, so MacCallum also had to be on board.

Yet Klaus knew that like CC, who now is a beloved family member and her “lifesaver twice over,” Clay was more than just another street kid and wanted to help him.

“I saw the good in him,” Klaus said. “I knew there was the good kid in there. I wanted him to grow up to be a good man, not a gangster.”

Klaus underwent a month-long training to learn how to parent a child from a trauma-based home. The training helped, as did drawing on experience from raising her older son, Kendrick, age 29. She wasn’t emotionally ready to be a good parent during his childhood, she admits, but her late husband, whom she married when Deklin was 2, helped her rebuild her self-esteem and be a better parent to her younger son. Having Deklin and Kelley as support in the home with Clay also helped.

But there were challenges. Clay wasn’t used to having rules and rebelled against them. He was stressed about school, becoming a father at age 16, and fighting with his then-girlfriend. A few months after she took him in, he was upset with Klaus for not allowing his girlfriend to come to the house, so he made a false claim to CPS that Klaus was using drugs.

Klaus helped him deal with those stressors, and Deklin eagerly took on the role of big brother. What helped Clay the most, Klaus said, was the birth of his daughter, Ella, who recently turned 1. Clay was her primary caregiver during her first nine months, feeding her, changing her, and getting up in the night with her.

“He is the best father I’ve ever seen,” Klaus said. “I knew it was in there. It just had to come out.”

This past summer, Klaus decided to formally adopt Clay. The ceremony was in August, the same month when Clay as well as her two sons celebrate their birthdays. In fact, she took the proximity of Clay’s birthday to those of her sons as a sign he was meant to be part of her family. It was in making that decision that Klaus was able to realize how much Clay had helped her.

“I did it for him, but it made me feel … accomplished,” Klaus said.

It has been difficult being unable to work and being confined to her home because of her health, but in taking in and helping Clay, she said, she realized she was gifted with the same strength she admired in her late mother, who also became a single mom. Being a mother to now three sons and having a new granddaughter gives her a renewed sense of purpose.

Klaus said she and her sister have discussed taking in more foster children, but with Klaus’ health declining, they’ve decided to focus on Deklin, Clay, and Ella. Klaus does recommend foster care to others for the rewards it brings.

“Not everyone is able to take in a male teen, but it’s so rewarding to see that turn around,” Klaus said.

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Juniors able to bond on retreat despite distancing

Providence continues its student retreat programming albeit with safety protocols in place. The freshmen had their retreat days in late August, and the first senior retreat was earlier this month. Last week, the first group of juniors attended their retreat, and the students said they enjoyed the opportunity to experience an overnight retreat. Held at Mt. St. Francis, the retreat is a precursor to the seniors’ Christian Awakening Retreat, with witness talks, small group discussions, and prayer activities.

Junior Autumn Grantz said she got the most out of this retreat because the overnight stay gave the participants more time to bond and open up. She quickly overcame her initial reluctance to attend and found herself connecting with classmates with whom she previously had not. 

“Despite being six feet apart with masks on, we all still got to know each other and learn about one another,” Autumn said, adding that she also enjoyed being able to share her faith. “I loved being able to talk about how we can all get closer to God and spread His word.” 

Junior Zach Van Wie said this retreat was his favorite so far and he intends to put into practice many of the things he learned.

“On other retreats I often find that I come home feeling different, but nothing sticks with me after a while,” Zach said. “However, on this retreat there were some ideas and speeches that will stick with me for a very long time.”

Junior Kadie O’Bannon said she felt more comfortable on this retreat because she knew the senior leaders, and that helped her open up more readily. Because she opened up more, particularly in the small group sharing, she got more out of this retreat than her previous years.

“I feel that this retreat brought us closer as a class because we got to know things about each other we wouldn’t have known just from everyday conversations,” Kadie said. “I bonded with people I haven’t said more than 100 words to on a deeper level.”

Zach agrees.

“I definitely felt a sense of connectedness with my classmates in the small group activities because everyone shared personal experiences that they would normally be uncomfortable sharing.”

Autumn said being able to open up to the people in her small group allowed her to express her problems and worries – and felt a great sense of relief afterward. 

“I feel closer to my class than ever before, and I thoroughly enjoyed all of this retreat and all of its moments.”

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Sports Spotlight: Football

As the Football team prepares to face Triton Central in Friday’s sectional finals, our Sports Spotlight is on seniors Michael Vaughn and Isaac Ohlmann. Coach Daniel McDonald nominated Michael, an offensive lineman, because he has “battled and played through a shoulder injury for most of the season, while playing one of the most physically demanding positions on the field.” Coach McDonald said of Isaac, a wide receiver and safety, that he has been “a leader by example this season. He is a model student-athlete and represents Providence Football’s core values in his daily life: character first, team before self, and relentless effort. Read on for their Q&A.

Michael Vaughn, senior, offensive line, second season at PHS/fourth overall, House of Faith, Wrestling

Question: What has been the highlight of your season?
Michael Vaughn: The highlight of my season is when we almost beat Holy Cross this year, a team ranked the top 4 in Kentucky in their class.

Q: How did you get started playing football?
MV: I started by playing in Little League when I was very young, and then once I got into high school, I wanted to try it again. 

Q: What do you enjoy about football?
MV: I like football because it is a team sport, and it’s something that everyone on your team has to all succeed simultaneously to really be good and win a game, and when everyone on your team is doing good, together, to win the game, it is one of the best feelings.

Q: What is your favorite school subject?
MV: My favorite class is religion (History of the Catholic Church) because it is a very interesting class, and Mr. Makowsky is a very good teacher. He helps me learn about Catholicism.

Q: Having struggled with an injury this season, who has been your greatest encourager during this time?
MV: This season I tore my labrum in my shoulder and broke a piece of cartilage, and now have it floating loose in my body. It was almost season ending. My greatest encourager this season was the old trainer, Danny. Before he left, he helped me overcome many obstacles with my injury. At first when I hurt it, I could only move my arm about 3-4 inches, and he helped me get it back to almost full range. He was very knowledgeable about my injury and helped me get back on the field more than anybody.

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Isaac Ohlmann, senior, wide receiver and safety, fourth season/seventh overall, House of Humility, Track, team lead at Chick-Fil-A

Question: What has been the highlight of your season?
IO: The highlight of my football season has definitely been being one of the leaders on the team, during practices and during games. It’s been a tough season while trying to juggle senior things along with football under a new head coach all while during a pandemic, but being able to go out on the field and bring a new energy by calling out defenses and getting my teammates hyped up, especially during games, and getting amped up while doing my job, it’s a great feeling. I wouldn’t trade my group of seniors for any other guys on this planet and just the team as a whole, coaching staff and all has made the season the best of my football career.

Q: How did you get started playing football?
IO: I had always been huge into the NFL (Go Patriots), and my uncle just recommended I put that love onto the field, and it was one of the greatest choices of my life. 

Q: What do you enjoy about football?
IO: I definitely love the whole atmosphere and feeling of the games. Running out onto the field with my teammates while waving the American flag is just a feeling like no other. I love getting out there and putting on a show in front of the whole Providence family. Putting on the Providence blue and white is just an all-around great feeling. I also love seeing the hard work we put in every day really show up on the field. We are blessed with some great position coaches, such as Coach Stallard and Coach Purichia who really understand the sport and are hard on us because they know we can always improve.

Q: What is your favorite part about being a Pioneer?
IO:
My favorite part about being a Providence Pioneer is definitely just the supporting cast me and every student has within the building. I really feel that I’m cared about when I have teachers who are always there to help me succeed with whatever I’m trying to accomplish. I also like being able to have those people around me each and every day, I can always go to Mrs. Losey, who has been helping me with college applications, Coach Mac at lunch to help me with any questions about an upcoming game or scheme, or even Mrs. Knott, who hasn’t taught me since freshman year but is always there to help me with whatever.

Q: What is your favorite school subject?
IO:
My favorite school subject is religion. I have really enjoyed religion this year because Mr. Makowsky has made the class tie into our everyday lives and keeps the course fresh and lively. He is always on top of every sporting event and makes each and every student feel important in the classroom, in the lunch room, or on the field. I also have to give a shout out to Coach Mac’s subbing skills; he always gives relentless effort in any class he has to take over for.

Q: Coach McDonald said you lead by example. Who has been your mentor for this type of leadership and why?
IO: That question is pretty easy: Coach McDonald himself. Since Coach joined us over the summer and began coaching here, he has always shown us how important leadership is. Coach Mac was put into a whirlwind of a season with COVID and taking over a much smaller team than he was used to. I think just that alone shows his relentless effort and his passion to take a challenge on head first even with the odds stacked against him. This season he has made every senior step up and become a leader on and off the field and this has shown on and off the field. I treat my teammates like my brothers and am always there to help them in the classroom and on the field, like Coach Mac is there for each and every single one of us. I am really sad that I will only have Coach Mac as my head coach for one year, but the short amount of time I have had with him, he has greatly improved my skills on the field, and helped me become a better young man, and I will always greatly appreciate him for that. #BURNTHEBOATS

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October Scholars stand out in four subjects

This month’s Scholars represent the subjects of English, Math, Social Studies, and Theology. These students represent all four grades and have been nominated by teachers in those subjects by demonstrating at least one of the following:

  • Outstanding Performance on a test, presentation, quiz, homework
  • Participation and input in class discussion                        
  • Superb peer leadership: assisting classmates with homework, new concepts, etc.
  • Modeling Christian principles or living the Providence Mission

Read below for a Q&A from each student:

English

Kalena Martin, freshman, House of Integrity, involved in theatre and art

Q: What do you like about English class?
Kalena: I enjoy some of the short stories and writing.

Question: What is your favorite subject in English?
KM: I love writing fiction, and it’s actually one of my hobbies!

Q: How are you making the most of this school year?
KM: I’m making the most of this school year by studying and getting my work done as best as possible.

Q: How has what you’ve learned in English class helped you in other areas?
KM: English has helped me with vocabulary, terms, and usage of words, which helps me with my writing out of the classroom.

Ethan Richards, sophomore, House of Courage, Boys Soccer, Track

Question: What do you like about English class?
Ethan: I like that there isn’t one correct answer. I like that you can have a different answer from someone else and still both be correct.

Q: What is your favorite subject in English?
EDR: I like writing fiction the most, because in fiction you can write about anything that comes to your mind, and you can be creative and use your imagination.

Q: How has what you’ve learned in English class helped you in other areas?
EDR: I have learned how to answer critical thinking questions, such as taking information and answering a question that might not be directly stated in the text.

Q: How are you making the most of this school year?
EDR: I am making the most of this school year by doing all my homework the day it is assigned so I don’t fall behind. I’m also keeping in touch with my friends on days that we are having classes virtually.

Catherine Pfeiffer, junior, House of Spirit, Swim & Dive, Girls Golf

Question: What has been your favorite assignment/project in English class and why?
Catherine: My favorite assignment in English this year is the “I Believe” essay because I like writing essays

Q: What does it take to excel in English class?
CP: It takes actually reading what is supposed to be read to excel in English.

Q: What do you like about English class?
CP: The thing I like about English is that it’s pretty simple.

Q: How are you making the most of this school year?
CP: I am keeping good friendships with good people to make the most of this school year.

Sean Wetzel, senior, House of Courage
College plans:
considering University of Louisville or Purdue University in an area of engineering

Question: What do you like about English class?
Sean: One thing I like about English class in general is that it has greatly improved my writing skills.

Q: What does it take to excel in English class?
SW: One major thing I feel is necessary to excel in English classes is to be able to understand pieces of work, both what is on the surface and the more complex aspects. I also feel like understanding the basic structure of writing is incredibly important.

Q: How has what you’ve learned in English class helped you in other areas?
SW: I feel that English class has helped me in other areas by improving my ability to write out my thoughts in a clear manner, which is helpful in many other situations than simply writing a paragraph for class.

Q: How are you making the most of this school year?
SW: I am making the most of this year by doing whatever I can to stay active and participate in activities, even with there being more limits this year.

Math

Avery Drury, freshman, House of Spirit, Volleyball, Girls Basketball, Girls Track

Question: What is your favorite math activity?
Avery: Something that I like about math class in Mrs. Knott’s room is doing board work. For whatever reason I find that more enjoyable than doing a regular worksheet or taking notes.

Q: What does it take to excel in Math class?
AD: For me personally I am not great at math but I do try hard to keep a good grade.

Q: What has been your favorite math assignment?
AD: My favorite assignment in math would probably have to be anything with graphing.

Q: How are you making the most of this school year?
AD: I am making the most out of this school year by hanging out with some of the people I didn’t go to (grade) school with and by trying to go to the sporting events to hang out with people and make memories.

Taylor Bansbach, sophomore, House of Faith, Volleyball

Question: What do you like about Math class?
Taylor: The things I love about math class are the teachers and the classmates.

Q: How are you making the most of this school year?
TB: How I am making the most out of this year is to enjoy every moment because you never know if our school could get shut down like we did in the spring. 

Q: What does it take to excel in Math class?
TB: The thing that will help you excel in math class is practice.

Sophia Reisert, junior, House of Faith, Softball, Drawing Club

Question: What does it take to excel in Math?
Sophia: To excel in math, it takes hard work and dedication. When things get tough, you have to have these skills to do your best.

Q: How are you making the most of this school year?
SR: I have been doing the same routine I have done every year since freshman year: love life to the fullest. Although there have been setbacks, you shouldn’t let COVID-19 tear you down.

Q: How has math helped you in other areas?
SR: Math is a very used skill, and it has helped me in a lot of my science classes (ex. Chemistry).

Q: What do you like about math class?
SR: I like math because there is always a right answer to a problem.

Jackson Lorenz, senior,  House of Justice, Baseball
College Plans: Study exercise science

Question: What do you like about math class?
Jackson: In math class, I like that I can always get help very easily from my teachers.

Q: What is your favorite math subject?
JL: My favorite is Algebra because I understood that the most and knew how to solve the problems.

Q: What has been your favorite math assignment?
JL: My favorite assignment was the 1.1-1.4 Test in Pre Calculus because I did very well on it.

Q: How are you making the most of this school year?
JL: Taking in everything I learn and not taking time with my friends for granted.

Social Studies

Alcindor Smith Jr., sophomore, House of Truth, Drawing Club, Boys Track

Question: What does it take to excel in social studies?
Alcindor: It takes mainly commitment. In this class you’ll need to be able to take good notes, do your homework on time, and study for the tests as well as asking for help when you need it. If you can do all that, then you will do well in the class.

Q: What do you like about social studies in general?
AS: I like that it’s a class where you can freely speak your mind in subjects and give your opinion on most topics since (depending on the class/topic) it’s relevant to how we live in the world today. It’s also great that you can have frequent class discussions with your teacher and classmates.

Q: What is your favorite history subject?
AS: My favorite would be World History. I say this because I just feel that you learn even more about what happened before us in the whole world rather than just what happened in the United States.

Q: How are you making the most out of this year?
AS: This year (as I do every year) I’m trying to do better than I did the previous year. So that means do better with turning in assignments, consistently have good grades, etc.

Zachary Applewhite, junior, House of Justice, Boys Tennis, Quick Recall, Swim Team, Math Team, and Girls Tennis Manager

Question: What do you like about social studies?
Zach: Social studies has always been interesting to me because learning about how the past has affected how we live now and how even people from history that we idolize were just other people like us.

Q: Which is your favorite history subject?
ZA: I like world history because it covers people from everywhere and we see where a lot of today’s ideas and technology originated from.

Q: What does it take to excel in social studies class?
ZA: Paying attention in class and studying a few minutes every day.

Q: How are you making the most of this school year?
ZA: I’m taking four AP classes along with taking part in extracurricular activities.

Cai Celestin, senior, House of Spirit, Quick Recall, Theatre
College Plans: I have been accepted by Indiana State University and but I am still considering and applying to other schools. I am undecided on a major.

Question: What do you like about social studies?
Cai: I like social studies because it helps us understand why and how things became they way they are. The more you learn about history, the better you are at recognizing patterns and similarities.

Q: What is your favorite history subject?
CC: Personally, my favorite was American History. I found it very interesting just how much this country has changed in a relatively short time.

Q: What does it take to excel in social studies class?
CC:  I think to excel in Social Studies you have to have a good sense of understanding why and how things happen. You need to understand the sequence of events but also be able to provide context and explain what led to those events.

Q: What has been your favorite social studies project?
CC: My favorite was the Decade projects we did near the end of AP US History because they were really fun and it focused more on popular culture and society in those times.

Theology

Elizabeth Riddle, freshman, House of Integrity

Question: What do you like about Theology class?
Elizabeth: I like discovering how the natural meets the supernatural. It’s fun to learn about everything that couldn’t be created by itself, and how it was created by a higher being, God.

Q: Which Theology subject is your favorite?
ENR: My favorite is religious history. I like being able to read about big events in the Bible and then finding small details to put together why and how the event happened.

Q: What does it take to excel in Theology class?
ENR: I think you really have to believe what you’re being taught is true and look into historical evidence for it to make sense.

Q: What has been your favorite assignment/project in Theology class?
ENR: My favorite assignment in Theology so far has been the “Seeing God in Me.” This is my favorite because it made me think about all [the ways] I can and do think about my faith as well as think about those who support my faith.

Q: How has what you’ve learned in Theology class helped you in other areas?
ENR: Specifically in Biology, I have used specific detail from my Theology class to write better journals.

Mason McGuire, sophomore, House of Integrity, Volleyball manager, Girls Basketball manager, Tech Crew for theater.

Question: What do you like about Theology class?
Mason: What I like theology is learning about God and what he created.

Q: What does it take to excel in Theology class?
MM: It takes hard work and focus to get a decent grade.

Q: How has what you’ve learned in Theology class helped you in other areas?
MM: What has helped me in theology is by getting closer to my faith in God and learning what he wants from us.

Q: How are you making the most of this school year?
MM: I’m making the most of the year by trying new things and not worrying about the past.

Lauren McCombs, junior, House of Spirit, Girls Soccer

Question: What do you like about Theology class?
Lauren: I like that Theology class helps us strengthen our relationship with God and helps us better understand how to be a good Catholic.

Q: Which Theology subject is your favorite?
LM: I like religious history because it’s interesting to learn about how traditions in the Church originated.

Q: What does it take to excel in Theology class?
LM: To excel in Theology class it helps to pay attention and ask questions if you don’t understand something.

Q: What has been your favorite assignment in Theology class?
LM: My favorite assignment was doing a presentation on a pilgrimage site because it was interesting to get to learn about different customs in the Church around the world.

Emma Kaelin, senior, House of Integrity, Volleyball, Girls Tennis, and club volleyball
College plans: Play volleyball at Indiana State University and study speech pathology

Question: What do you like about Theology class?
Emma: One thing I like about Theology class in general is that I really enjoy being able to talk about my faith to others.

Q: Which Theology activity is your favorite?
EK: My favorite part of Theology is prayer because I love being able to talk to God about anything.

Q: What does it take to excel in Theology class?
EK: To excel in Theology class, you just have to listen and study. If you do these two things, you will be set for the class.

Q: What has been your favorite assignment in Theology class?
EK: My favorite assignment I have ever done in a theology class was the assignment in Miss VanderWoode’s Class. She read off a statement about a situation, and we had to decide if it was moral or immoral. This assignment was fun because it made us apply our knowledge of morality, but it also showed us what the Church says is moral.

Q: How are you making the most of this school year?
EK: I am making the most of this school year by trying to be involved in as much as possible. I am trying to volunteer to help out, go to games, and lead in new ways.

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Freshmen, sophomores put on fall children’s show

The freshman and sophomore Providence Players are preparing for this weekend’s children’s show, A Hairy Tale, a play by Charlie Lovett. The fast-paced comedy is a modern spin off of several well known fairy tales, including “Rapunzel,” “Jack and the Beanstalk,” and others, in which characters learn the meaning of true love and sacrifice. (For a cast list, click here.)

Freshman Margaret Gahagen plays Rapunzel, who is quite unlike the well known princess with very long hair. Instead, she is “a spoiled girl who is over dramatic,” she said. Her character screams a lot and can’t be taken seriously.

“She’s a lot of fun to play,” Margaret said. “She’s very lighthearted.”

Sophomore Jackson Bettler portrays Burt, the father of a peasant family. The “loud and disrespectful” character is fun to play because Jackson gets “to be somebody I’m not. He’s kind of the polar opposite of me.”

Freshman Sawyer Elias also is enjoying her role as Narrator 1. Her modern character is a foil to the Elizabethan Narrator 2, and the two characters are often at odds. Sawyer’s character is usually taking a phone call and has a sarcastic attitude.

For Sawyer, being on stage with each of the characters in their different scenes is the best part, she said.

“I like seeing how people play their characters and make it their own,” Sawyer said. “It’s always fun to see.”

Sophomore Aidan Singleton plays two characters, the old-fashioned King Edwin and the UPS delivery guy, Lou. He gets to have fun playing Lou, who “hides in bushes and delivers messages” and then make a quick character change into the more serious king.

Aidan said it’s been challenging to study so many lines and to switch quickly between characters, but he’s enjoyed it, especially playing Lou, who is “an alternate ego running around like a stalker.”

Because of social distancing restrictions, the show will be performed before limited audiences on Friday and Saturday evening only. Not having a full audience, especially the group of Deanery grade school students who typically come to watch the play during school, is disappointing, the cast said. Yet they were grateful to be able to put on the play at all.

“I’m glad we get to do it through all this,” Jackson said. “It’s a pick me up through hard times.”

For Margaret and Sawyer in their first play as high school students, it’s an opportunity they’ve looked forward to for years. Margaret has performed in the Deanery musicals at Providence since fifth grade, and Sawyer started her acting career as one of the Von Trapp children in Sound of Music when she was in second grade.

“I’ve wanted to do this since fifth grade,” Margaret said. “It kind of feels like home.”

Sawyer agreed.

“It’s like a small community,” Sawyer said. “I really like it.”

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Sports Spotlight: Cross Country and Volleyball

Due to having only one eVision issue in October, this month our Sports Spotlight focuses on two teams: Cross Country and Volleyball. For Cross Country, Coach Neal Masterson nominated sophomores Ben Kelly and Maci Hoskins, who will compete at semi-state on Saturday. (Tickets are $8 and must be purchased in advance.) It is the first trip for Ben and the second for Maci. Ben placed 23rd at last Saturday’s regional, and Maci finished seventh. The remaining team members also competed at regional, including junior Sarah Boehm, who placed 59th, and sophomore Erica Voelker, who placed 66th. For the boys — all juniors — Garrett Huber placed 42nd, Kaden Connin 52nd (with a personal record), Akhil Long 67th, and Will Harper 75th.

For Volleyball, Coach Terri (Blunk) Purichia ’90 nominated seniors Anna Purichia and Ali Hornung, Anna for her the leadership role she has taken on this season and Ali for her success on the court and serving as a role model to younger players. Also of note, Ali is one of 25 finalists for MaxPreps National Player of the Year.

The Volleyball team defeated Seymour and Floyd Central in three sets each last weekend to win its 10th sectional in as many years. The team will play in the sold out 4A Bloomington North Regional at 11 a.m. on Saturday, with finals at 7:00 p.m. Games will be livestreamed on the team’s Facebook page.

Read below for Q&As with the players.

Anna Purichia, senior, Volleyball, outside hitter, fourth season PHS, playing since age 6, House of Integrity, club volleyball
College plans: Playing volleyball at Eastern Kentucky University, considering majoring in pre-dental

From Coach Purichia: Anna has taken on a big leadership role with our team this season.  The seniors had several zoom meetings with me in the off season designing what they would like the season to look like.  Anna did a lot of research on her own and talked to vendors on her own to make sure that every detail possible was taken care of in the way the senior class wanted it to be. She communicates messages to the team, and helps to keep everyone well informed.  She has really done a great job helping the younger players get acclimated to our program through her guidance!

Question: What has been the highlight of your senior season?
Anna: The highlight of my season has definitely been having a season! We weren’t sure what it was going to look like during the summer, and we were all worried that the possibly we may not even have a season was going to become reality! I am so thankful for each and every game and practice I have had with my amazing teammates!

Q: How did you get started playing volleyball?
AP: I have played volleyball since I was 6 years old. I got started (obviously) because my mom lives and breathes volleyball, and I grew up around the sport, so it is something that has always been and will always be a huge part of my life.

Q: What do you enjoy about volleyball?
AP: I love the intensity of the sport! It is the best feeling when you are in a close match, and your physical and mental capabilities are being tested! That feeling of energy and adrenaline is the best! And it is a bonus that I get to play the sport with my best friends, and have met some of the most important people in my life through volleyball!

Q: What is your favorite part about being a Pioneer?
AP: My favorite part about begin a Pioneer is the image that comes with the title! I love how being a Pioneer means you are known for your dignity, strong academics and athletics, and faith! Being a Pioneer to me is wearing the name Providence on my back and having pride in doing so!

Q: How are you making the most of your senior year?
AP: I am making the most of senior year by putting as much effort into my academics as I do into my sports and extracurricular activities, to really prepare myself for college, as well as trying to go to as many sports events as possible and support my fellow Pioneers!

Q: What is your favorite school subject?
AP: My favorite school subject is either science or art. I love science, mainly anatomy (which her father, Jeff Purichia teaches), because I love learning about all the different ways that our bodies work, and art because I love to be creative and I find it very relaxing and a great pass time!

Q: Coach Purichia mentioned you took on a big leadership role this year, researching items to get the team’s requests fulfilled and bringing the freshmen on board. What have you enjoyed about being a leader?
AP: I have waited four years to finally be able to be considered a “big dog” on the team. Having that title may be intimidating at first, because of the status and image that Providence Volleyball upholds, but I was definitely excited to face the challenge head on. Of course, my teammates make it easy being a leader because they are always listening and observing, wanting to get better each and every day, and I have loved being able to get to know each and every one of them, not just as my teammates, but as some of my closest friends!

Q: What is it like having your mom as your coach?
AP: My mom being my coach is not a new thing, as I have played for her for the majority of my life, and while it does present some challenges, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I feel as if volleyball is one of our biggest ways to bond, and I know that no matter who I am playing, how I am paying, who I am playing with, she will always have my back, and that is a luxury that not many players get to have! I will definitely miss seeing her at practice every day once I graduate, but it truly has been the best four years!

Ali Hornung, senior, Volleyball, outside hitter, fourth season, playing since age 7, House of Integrity, Student Ambassador, Lector, Eucharistic Minister, and National Honor Society.
College Plans: Playing volleyball at Purdue University where she will get to play one last year with her sister Marissa.

From Coach Puriciah: Ali has had an absolutely amazing career at Providence! She is a top-notch athlete, student, and young lady! She is an outstanding role model for younger players to one day dream of being!

Question: What has been the highlight of your senior season?
Ali: The highlight of my senior season has just been being able to play the full season without missing a game. I know so many people who haven’t been able to play their full season because of COVID-19. I am grateful that I have been able to have a senior season, and I am even more grateful that I have been able to spend it with this particular group of teammates and coaches.

Q: How did you get started playing volleyball?
AH: I have been playing volleyball for 12 years. My mom (Kelly Quinkert-Hornung ’87) played volleyball at Providence and Indiana University, and both of my sisters played, so I was destined to play too!

Q: What do you enjoy about volleyball?
AH: The thing I enjoy most about volleyball is how fast paced and competitive it is. There are not many times when I am just standing around because there is always something going on. Volleyball in Indiana is super competitive because there is a ton of talent, and I have loved every minute of competing against that talent.

Q: What is your favorite part about being a Pioneer?
AH: My favorite part about being a Pioneer is the relationships I have made with friends, teachers, coaches, etc. Everyone at Providence genuinely cares about one another and will always be there for support. It is a very close community, and I am so grateful for that.

Q: How are you making the most of your senior year?
AH: I am making the most of my senior year by trying to stay as involved as possible. I try to participate in as much as I can and attend as many events as I can because it is my last year as a student, and it will go by so quick.

Q: What is your favorite school subject?
AH: My favorite subject in school is art because I love to be creative. There is not just one way to do things in art, you can pretty much do the things you like the way you want. Our art teachers are pretty great too!

Q: Coach mentioned you are a role model for younger players. Who has been your role model during your volleyball career?
AH: My sisters have been my role models during my volleyball career. I grew up watching them play pretty much every week. Even though they were so different on the court, they were both amazing, so I always have looked up to them.

Q: What does the sport of volleyball mean to your family?
AH: Volleyball has meant so much to my family. It is something we all enjoy doing and watching, and it has taken us to so many amazing places. It is something that makes us closer as a family because we all love it so much, and it is something we always support one another in.

Benjamin Kelly, sophomore, Cross Country, second season, running since fifth grade, House of Integrity, Math Team, Boys Track, and basketball.

Question: What was the highlight of your regular season?
Ben: The highlight of my season was running 17:11 for the 5K at the Trinity/Valkyrie Invitational.

Q: How did you get started running?
BK: I started running in fifth grade for Southern Indiana Catholic because my younger brother wanted to run, and I wanted to try it out too. I liked it and decided keep running in high school.

Q: What do you enjoy about running?
BK: I enjoy running because if I want to improve in the sport, I can just work harder. In running you just rely on yourself and how hard you’ve worked.

Q: What is your favorite part about being a Pioneer?
BK: My favorite part of being a Pioneer is having support in everything I do from the school community.

Q: What is your favorite school subjec
BK: My favorite subject is math because there are always a lot of different ways to get the answer.

Maci Hoskins, sophomore, Cross Country, second season, running for nine years, House of Courage, Girls Soccer, Girls Basketball, Girls Track.
Question: What was the highlight of your regular season?
Maci: The highlight of my season was my race at CERAland Park near Columbus. I ran my personal record of 19:20 and set a new school record.

Q: How did you get started running?
MH: I started cross country because I was looking for another fall sport and was originally going to play softball but I decided to try running and loved it.

Q: What do you enjoy about running?
MH: I love the individuality of running. I also love to compete, whether it’s friendly bets with the boys or racing down the stretch. The competition of cross country makes me love it even more. Cross country also challenges my mind and body, and I love being able to improve and reach goals, knowing that my physical and mental strength gets stronger and stronger.

Q: What is your favorite part about being a Pioneer?
MH: I love the closeness of the PHS students, especially at sporting events when everyone is excited and cheering.

Q: What is your favorite school subject?
MH: I love my Weightlifting class! Weightlifting is super fun and improves my athletic ability.

Q: What are the challenges and rewards of playing two sports at once?
MH: The main challenges are time management, strain on my body, and finding time to do school work. However, the rewards of playing two sports that I absolutely love are getting to be teammates with all the soccer girls and the Cross Country team. Those friendships and bonds are my favorite and keep me motivated to continue to do both sports.

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