Black Panther Movie Review: Always Bet on Black

by Brandon Matzke

Rating: PG-13

Well, I finally saw a new movie in theaters this year! Yay! You see, I avoid the movies during January and February, due to the low-quality material usually put out. But the moment that a great new movie comes out (or at least a pretty good one), my film-going experience kicks off once again. But back on the subject, how was Black Panther? Well… Continue reading →

The Four: Battle To Stardom Finale Review

by Jake Fontaine

The Four: Battle to Stardom, Fox’s newest singing competition, ended its search for the world’s next superstar, revealing the winner on last Thursday’s two hour finale.

Drum roll please…congratulations to Evvie McKinney on winning the title of IHeartRadio’s “On The Verge Artist,” a record deal with Republic Records, and the opportunity to produce a song with icons, such as Sean “Diddy” Combs, DJ Khaled, and Meghan Trainor.

However, if the ultimate goal of the show was to truly find “the next superstar,” then Zhavia (pronounced Jhuh-VI-uh) should’ve been crowned the victor.

Plain and Simple.

I’m definitely one to give credit where credit is due, so I’ll begin with that before my emotions get the best me.

McKinney, a 20-year-old vocal powerhouse from Memphis, is exactly how I put it: a vocal powerhouse. She has a charismatic stage presence, an insane vocal range and pours her heart out during every performance. I love the fire in her eyes and I’m a genuine fan.

As the hardcore fanatic I am, I’ve watched my fair share of talent competitions, with the extensive list including shows like The Voice, American Idol, etc. You name it, I’ve probably watched it.

Now, I’m usually one to root for singers like McKinney: the ones who can belt the highest, loudest note and add some oomph–the vocal powerhouses. Yet, the point of The Four wasn’t to find the best singer, but rather discover a star in the making.

Sean “Diddy” Combs, a judge on the show, stressed since the The Four first aired that it “isn’t like other talent shows” and that he’s “here to find a superstar.”

I hate to break it to you, but there’s already a Jennifer Hudson.

Already a Kelly Clarkson.

Already a freaking Beyonce.

There’s no need in the music industry for another belting, female powerhouse. Moreover, there’s no room for one.

Which brings me to the one that got away: Zhavia, a 16-year-old artist from Orange County.

Like I said: an artist.

A potential superstar.


With her original tone and style, which she describes as a mix of R&B, reggae, hip-hop, and jazz, Zhavia brings to the table a uniqueness the music industry has yet to see–and fans love.

Since her first appearance on the show, Zhavia has gone from 2K followers to a staggering 1.3 million.

To put this into perspective, the Voice’s most beloved contestant and season 9 winner, Jordan Smith, currently has 153K followers on Instagram; therefore, Zhavia has nearly 10x the amount of followers.

Major key alert (as DJ Khaled would put it): Zhavia connects with the audience.

Sure, her range isn’t out this world and her vocals need some fine-tuning; but, a superstar doesn’t need to be the best singer, or the singer who can belt the highest note.

Selena Gomez isn’t. (Sorry, not sorry.)

Taylor Swift’s range is mediocre. (Sue me).

What is needed, however, is an immense fanbase–something Zhavia has obtained since she’s stepped into the spotlight.

So congrats to not only McKinney, but also the show itself.

You found the superstar you were longing to find, but you let her slip right through your hands.

Double Decker Movie Reviews: Jumanji and The Greatest Showman

By Brandon Matzke and Nevin Hooper

Hello there! It is I, Brandon, here with a new concept for film reviews (at least in this school blog): double decker movie reviews. See, Nevin and I had both seen movies that are currently in theaters: Nevin saw The Greatest Showman and I saw Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. And to prevent us wasting too much of your time, here’s our thoughts on the films in one article. Ready? Let’s go!

The Greatest Showman

by Nevin Hooper

I saw it. The Greatest Showman. I was Continue reading →

Dreams Series #1: Mike

by Christian Lubbers

Fast facts:

Age: 48

Childhood dream: State ranger

Current occupation: Shop helper at Lowe’s.

“My dream was to become a state ranger dressed in green, I pursued my dream and graduated college with a degree in forest health, my wife later had a child and i decided to stay instead of leaving my family. Later I roamed around where we lived at the time and found an apple orchard. I worked with them until sun up till sun down. After 7 years I decided to leave and later I worked with a church camp for 12 years. I was a helper there, but I quit because they did not agree with me and my political views. Finally I ended up here at Lowes, I originally was just helping out with the snow but they decided to keep me. Five years later I meet you.”

Groundhog Day Movie Review

By Brandon Matzke

Well, this week has the year’s first and only Groundhog Day. That special day when a particular rodent climbs out of the ground, and tries to avoid his shadow. But it’s also a special day to watch a classic Bill Murray movie: Groundhog Day. And to celebrate that, here’s my review of it.


Meet an egotistical weatherman, Phil (Bill Murray), covering the famous tradition of Groundhog Day: go to Puxatawny, record the groundhog, and get back home. But there is one catch. Somehow, Phil has become stuck in a time loop. No matter what he does he cannot stop reliving February 2nd due to mysterious circumstances. And he can’t even go wherever he wants due to a freak snowstorm. So, Phil is forced to do whatever he can to live the day right, and to hopefully get out of this time loop.


Usually, the problem with these “time loop” movies is that it becomes very annoying to deal with the same events over and over again. But this film never got dull, mostly because of it’s brilliant decision to have Phil’s actions change the events of the day. Also, Bill Murray in this movie is great; despite apparently having minimal direction for this film, he manages to give a hysterical yet heartfelt performance, convincingly playing a jerk who eventually turns into a decent guy. The supporting cast does great too, like Rita MacDowell as Phil’s co-worker Rita, and the rest of the townspeople come off as convincing and entertaining, despite the constant repetition of the film. And the direction from Harold Ramis (a comedian gone way too soon) is absolutely great as he works comedy, dread, drama, and basically everything into the story seamlessly.


I guess I would’ve liked a different song to come from Phil’s radio… but it is supposed to get annoying, so…. Uh… I don’t have any negatives…


Groundhog Day is a classic film, and one of the best the 90s had to offer. It deserves all the acclaim it’s received, from that 96% approval rating from Rotten Tomatoes to that 4/4 from Roger Ebert. It’s one of my favorites, and deserves an 11/10.

Bowling coaches speak on the challenges of the job

by Levi Houtman

Every coach experiences the major amount of difficulties that they experience as the season continues on. Each coach needs to motivate, support, and provide for each of their players needs.

This is easier said than done. Different types of players introduce different obstacles coaches need to overcome to keep the team on track. Coaching takes time, practice, motivation, determination, and careful planning so no mistake is costly. People overlook the barriers that coaches go through, and typically blame them for everything a team does incorrectly.

I spoke with Mike Eaton, who currently coaches Davenport University’s DII bowling team, and had coached for Grandville’s Varsity bowling team for the past few years, to get his insight on the difficulties that coaches go through each year.

Q: What are some difficulties you go experience when preparing for an upcoming season?
“From previous years, you gain experience on what you can expect. Trying to predict what types of players will be on the team.”

Q: What are some ways you’re able to keep your players healthy throughout the season? 

“Not overworking them. Bowling isn’t the most physically demanding sport, but regardless of sport, having your guys healthy is very important.

Q: What do you do if they’re having trouble in school?

A:  “If one of my players is struggling in school, I’d have them focus on their schoolwork because it’ll get them farther in life.”

Q: What are some of the barriers that you experience as the season progresses and how do you continue on past them?
“Players motivation sometimes begins to go on a downfall. Trying to keep them motivated, and constantly having them improving their shot.”

Q: As the season continues how do you keep your players on track? Having a major goal in mind?

“Tell them the importance of what they’re currently doing and how it could help them on later in life. You’d be surprised what bowling can do for you.”

To get more in depth on what others think about the difficulties coaches go through when overseeing a team, I spoke with Christian Lubbers who was on Grandville’s bowling team for the 2016-2017 season to get his thoughts on coaches barriers.

Q: What do you think is the most challenging thing coaches go through?

“Keeping all of their players on track throughout the season. Having a large number of players that you have to keep watch on and knowing on what areas they can improve on seems difficult to me.”

Q: Do you think coaches or overlooked or underlooked?

“I believe that most people today don’t see the difficulties that they go through so under looked. They don’t see the difficulties that they go through in order to operate a large team.”