Tuscan’s path to GHS

by Jake Fontaine

There’s a new face here at GHS.

You know, that bald, middle-aged man with the barrel-chested physique who comfortably struts around the halls with his sweatpants, sweatshirt, sweat-everything attire and a whistle hanging around his neck? Well, that’s him: John (Coach) Tuscan, the new Physical Education teacher at Grandville High School.

When Tuscan’s wife was offered a corporate position at the Walker Meijer, Tuscan and his family moved up here from their previous home in Charlotte, North Carolina. After several job offers, he decided that the position at Grandville was the perfect fit.

“I narrowed it down between Grandville and Jenison. I could’ve been the Dean of Students at Jenison, but I really wanted to teach PE,” says Tuscan. “Here, I get to teach gym and weight lifting classes, as well as coach on the side. It’s a great gig.” image

Tuscan currently helps coach all levels of the football and baseball teams, primarily working with running backs and hitters. While in North Carolina, he served as the head varsity baseball coach for 9 years at South Mecklenburg high school, even winning a state title in 2013.

Despite 2013 being a year of triumph for Tuscan, he was also faced with the biggest obstacle in his life thus far: testicular cancer.

In the spring of that year, Tuscan’s dog, Mick, a hound mix, jumped on his lap while he was watching television. He instantly felt a sharp pain and fell to floor.

“I felt like someone kneed me in the groin,” Tuscan recalls.

The pain continued for the next week. After seeing four different doctors, Tuscan was eventually diagnosed with testicular cancer and would need surgery and aggressive treatment immediately.

“As a 29 year old sitting in a room from 8 in the morning until 3 in the afternoon with a needle in your arm going through chemo treatment and witnessing people who aren’t going to make, it really puts things into perspective,” says Tuscan.

He is currently cancer free and is in great health, giving gratitude to his dog for this.

“If Mick wouldn’t have jumped on my lap that night, who knows when the tumor would’ve been found. He saved my life.”

Tuscan’s goal as weight-lifting teacher and coach is to provide the best athlete possible through strength training, speed training, and putting athletes in difficult situations that will replicate adversity in a big game.

Spencer Notenbaum, one of the students Tuscan has in class as well as coaches after school, praises Tuscan and his coaching ability.

“He definitely pushes me in the weightroom and on the field,” Notenbaum says. “He’s one of the funniest coaches I’ve ever had, but when it’s time to work we get down to it.”

Eric Stiegel, the head varsity football coach at GHS, has similar praise regarding Tuscan and his coaching mentality.

“I love the jobs he’s doing here,” Stiegel acclaims. “He’s definitely one of–if not the most–important assets to the [football] team’s success next year and for years to come.”

Tuscan has one piece of advice for the students of Grandville:

“Don’t take things for granted, especially at Grandville. You never know when things will change. We have great coaches and a great facility here. Kids all around America would do anything to have the things we do here, so don’t take advantage of it.”

7 a.m. Never Felt So Good

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by Simone Krabbe

As you walk in the room you see the desks, chairs and the stale white walls. The bulldog posters hanging in every corner and the book filled shelves. It looks like an ordinary classroom, except every Wednesday morning at 7 a.m., this classroom is turned into a workout place. Two GHS students, Alex Morales and Celesta Van Wyk, decided to create a yoga club this year, and it has been a success so far. The only thing you need to bring is your own mat and a good morning attitude!

Yoga can be traced back to around 5000 years ago when the indus sarasvati civilization first starting exercising yoga, and now we continue to exercise yoga here at Grandville. However, the yoga we do today has changed a little bit since then. Unlike 5000 years ago where technology didn’t exist, it does today and we use it for almost everything, including for yoga.

“We have a team stretch for like 5 to 10 minutes, where usually I lead it, where we all just count together,” said co-founder Morales. “Then we watch the video of the yoga lesson.” image

The use of video for yoga has apparently also made for some good laughs, as the yoga director in the video makes some funny but awkward comments when showing the poses. As Ariana Star a member of yoga club confirms:

“The person we watch makes really weird comments sometimes and we just kind of look at each other and laugh,” club member Ariana Star said.

Currently the yoga club is doing a 30 day yoga challenge where they watch the YouTuber Yoga With Adriene” and her thirty minute long videos.

Instead of doing a video a day they watch one once a week over the course of 30 weeks. They are currently on episode 10 meaning they have been doing the challenge for the past 10 weeks and they only have 20 more to go.

A lot of people find it embarrassing or nerve racking having to try to do yoga for the first time in front of classmates and friends, but co-founder Van Wyk reassures fellow students that it is a open and welcoming space.

“It’s a good environment and a good way to start your mornings,” Van Wyk said. “It’s really relaxing.”

Not only is yoga a good way to start your morning it also has multiple health benefits. In yoga one of the main things that is focused on is breathing and meditation. Yoga focuses on the body getting to a state of relaxation.

“ I makes mornings a lot easier because you’re finally wide awake and you feel more relaxed and it helps decrease the stress that you have,” Morales said. “So for me I like it because it relaxes my body and my mind.”

Hopefully after having read this article you are interested in learning more about yoga and experiencing the relaxing sensation that yoga is. If this is the case you should try stopping by room 117 every Wednesday morning at 7 a.m. where I am positive you will be welcomed with open arms.

Humans of GHS

taylor 008.JPGby Miguel Guzman

Mr. Lubbers

Q: What is one of your favorite memories with your parents?

A: “Vacations. My dad was a teacher and he took us out west and out east, and long camping vacations in the summertime, so like for a month. That was awesome.”

Q: What was your favorite place/city you visited?

A: “They took us to the Bahamas when my brothers and I were in highschool, and we drove to Florida, but then flew over to the Bahamas in one of those little boat planes that lands in the harbor.”

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Israel Morales

Q: What is one the craziest moments in your life?”

A: “One of the craziest moments is when I moved to Mexico. I completely left everything behind and started a brand new life in a brand new country. That was pretty crazy. Not a lot of people get to do that and then it’s more crazy when you get to come back to your old and start again. So it’s a fresh start, and I can’t complain. Both of them are really awesome.”

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Mr. Blevins

Q: What do you think the future is going to be like?

A: “I think that we’re going to be forced to go back to nature, a little more than we use to.”

Q: What is one of your favorite memories with your father?

“Fishing, stream fishing. We did it every year, once a month during the summer, until about five year ago when he couldn’t do it anymore.”

Q: What do you think life should be about?”

“Life should be about the connections you have with others and with yourself.”


Q: What is your favorite memory with your mother?

A: “It was this road trip that we took going to Idaho, ironically to go visit my aunt, and it was just fun. We ended up stopping in Chicago along the way, and it was just kind of nice being with her and my sister too, and it was just the three of us being able to connect and talk and go along and have fun.”

The Path to an Eagle Scout

by Pat Clark

The Boy Scouts of America is a group “you usually join in elementary school that does certain projects and by completing those projects you can earn badges and earn your way up the ranks” explained senior Nick Weigle .

Nick Weigle has done just that by earning the highest rank, Eagle Scout.  

Becoming an eagle scout takes numerous years and a lot of time.

“It sure does take a lot of time, but you get used to it,” Weigle said. “It becomes part of your life.”

Weigle said you need 21 merit badges and also. need to complete a “final project” which takes a long time.

Being in Boy Scouts in high school can be embarrassing for some as it can be “childish” or “lame,” but Wiegle said that most of his friends didn’t know he was still in Boy Scouts until a MLive article was published honoring him as the rank.

“My friends didn’t really know I was a Boy Scout and I liked keeping it that way,” Weigle said as he started to smile. “When the article on MLive came out I was surprised in that my friends didn’t make fun of me or hardly talk about it…I even got a few congratulations.”

Wiegle expressed gratitude for his Boy Scout experience.

“It definitely has helped shape me as a kid growing up because it was a way for me to give back to the community in a way I enjoyed doing.”

Nicks dad, Matt, also commented on the subject saying “I’ve seen Nick grow in his leadership abilities and his critical thinking skills as he has gone along his path to Eagle.”

Overall, Nick is glad he kept with Boy Scouts and called it “a cool experience.”

Giving during the Holidays

by Alyssa Potyraj

Have you ever donated to charity ? Now have you ever donated to a charity not during the holiday season? Why is it that we are more willing to donate during the Holidays when the need is prevalent throughout the entire year? This trend has become so powerful it has created a global movement of giving back referred to as “Giving Tuesday” following Thanksgiving. This movement is meant to join everyone together in order to do good and help people focus on others while they are in the giving spirit.

As the holiday season begins to ramp up, the opportunities for donating seem to increase exponentially. From Thanksgiving food drives to Toys for Tots and Salvation Army donations. According to the San Diego Foundation “38 percent of those who donate to charity said that they are more likely to do so during the holiday season.”

Jen Timmer who works at a local shelter downtown said that her shelter is impacted by this trend.

“We generally get the bulk of our donations between Thanksgiving and January 1st,” Timmer said. “We also have a couple of major fundraisers that bring in a large portion of our monetary donations. The fundraisers are held in March and November.”


Many people donate during the holidays because it is convenient and encouraged throughout the “season of giving.” Sophomore Cici Lowe said that she donated to the school wide food drive because her teacher encouraged their class and she also has seen the good in donating to the less fortunate. Cici has also helped at local soup kitchens with her church mostly around Christmas time.

Although donating is highly encouraged around the holidays, it is important to donate year round. Timmer states that it is important to do so because “the shelter often run low on important items which we then have to purchase it which negatively affects our budget. The needs do not go away outside the season of giving yet the donations seem to slowly fade away leaving shelves of shelters bare and empty throughout the remainder of the year.”

Many people donate because it makes them feel good inside but they don’t always realize the impacts of the donations. Timmer explains a time when she felt that the shelter greatly impacted people in need through the kindness of others.

“A huge donation which took a few years to produce is our side yard. It is a safe play yard that gets a ton of use by our families. This donation came from Junior League who came to us as volunteers and really became passionate about our cause. They took on the side yard as Signature Project and designed an awesome play space for our kids. The kids are able to play with their moms, other children and with staff. They feel safe in the environment and enjoy it very much!” Timmer said.

Many people who have received donations in the past feel as they need to give back or donate later in life to help others in the same way they have been helped. A local kettle bell ringer in Grandville shared her story of why she gives back during the holiday season.

“When I was unemployed, Salvation Army helped my children to have a Christmas by providing them with gifts, so now I give back to help others,” she said.

Donating is beneficial all year round so it is important to continue giving outside of the holiday season. It not only helps the less fortunate but it also makes you feel good doing something for the greater good.

Leaders in women’s athletics seek change

by Chloe Deckrow

The goal of the Women’s Athletic Leadership Club at Grandville high school is to bring more awareness to female athletics and female issues. There tends to be a big concern that female athletes don’t get the same treatment, all the props, and the fans as do boys sports.

Club co-advisor Mrs. Peterson said, “It has everything to do with the inequities of boys sports verses girl sports.”

She went on to say it’s not just Grandville High school, it’s the society and culture that girls sports are not as valued as boys sports. Girls are just as guilty of not giving the support to girl’s sports, too.

Woman athlete and club member Kaitlyn Orme started her career in the sports world young.

“I’ve always wanted to play softball and my parents kind of pushed me into it, so I started T-ball and instantly fell in love with the sport,” Orme said. “I started playing basketball through one of my friends who convinced me to play and loved that sport also.” Orme is also now committed to play softball at Ferris State University. Kaitlyn felt like the WALC was a perfect fit for her because of her passion for sports.

Girls in the club are going to girl’s event and bringing slips provided by the club that they fill out and give feedback on how they felt about the sport and what they liked that they saw during the game. These slips are then given to the coaches of the sport and they read it to the team. null

According to Mrs. Peterson they have gotten really good responses from the teams that they have done it with so far.

The club is also not only just focusing on the women athletes but also on women rights and issues in general.

Something they plan to do is make some kind of drive for women who are out on the streets going through the hardships of having to deal with their menstrual cycles and not being able to afford things like tampons and pads . They’re still working on the details, but they think it is gonna be after the holidays where everyone in the club brings money or pads that they will then donate.

Julia Veenkamp says, “Yes, you have to be an athlete and a girl to join the club but you don’t have to be involved with specifically Grandville sports,” and Emily Anglim said, “ It is not too late to join!”