veritas exquirere


veritas exquirere


veritas exquirere


2nd Annual Sport Showdown’s success

Interviews with the top three winners of the night and more

The adrenaline was running high in the gym on Oct. 6. The audience outnumbered the seats, and people had to sit on the floor to watch. Parents weren’t sure what to expect, and high school competitors were going through each step of their dance in their heads one more time. The tension between the performers and the crowd dissipated as the announcer spoke on the microphone, marking the commencement of the 2nd Annual Sports Showdown at Oak Park High School.

This year, nine teams competed against each other. Each group had a unique theme that they connected with their choreography and music choice. After just weeks of practice, all teams had to show off their dance to three judges. The judges would then eliminate six teams, and with three teams remaining, the audience elected their favorite as the winner. 

Girls’ Basketball ranked 3rd place with a bold performance. Their red, white and blue matching shirts, phenomenal music choices- notably “America has a problem” by Beyonce- and their eye-grabbing prop of Nicki Minaj’s American Flag enhanced their “U.S.A.” theme. 

Sophomore Kelsey Frieborn, OPHS cheerleader and a Girls’ Basketball team dancer, expressed her thoughts on their ranking and determination for next year.

“I feel good, we worked really hard. We practiced about 5 times in a week,” Frieborn said. “Next time we’re gonna get first.”

Sophomore Delaney White, varsity captain for Girls’ Basketball, triumphs in the team’s success and explains the reason behind their iconic prop.

“It was so much fun, we never did anything like this before…and we [will] definitely do this next year. We just got to be ourselves, be free, just have fun in everything,” White said. “We were thinking we had to do something between the stunts so everyones not looking at us, so we [decided] we need a flag…so everyone can be like distracted, if we fall or anything. We thought of like an American flag but we didn’t have one, so we got Nicki Minaj.”

Ranking in 2nd place was the Medea Creek Middle School Cheer Team. The theme was “Spooky” as Halloween is nearing the corner. The team wore matching black uniforms and played Micheal Jackson’s “Thriller” and “Ghostbusters” for the crowd to go crazy.

Freshman Savannah Amaro, an OPHS cheerleader, decided to participate in Medea Creek’s team and revealed her thoughts after the event.

“I feel kinda freaked out, this is my first time this year. We practiced 3 times a week, I’m kinda happy [with the outcome]…I’m definitely planning on doing this next year.”

Setting a new standard for the next showdowns to come, Boys’ Basketball won first place. Confidence, synchronized dance moves and the authentic theme of “Magic Mike” brought praise, laughter and smiles from the crowd. 

Junior Mateo Nicholas, a Varsity Boys’ Basketball player, expressed his thoughts after the win.

“In this moment I’m just feeling really blessed to be part of such a great program and apart of this event,” Nicholas said. 

Dance member of Boys’ Basketball and a junior at OPHS, Nick Molchanov, reveals the perseverance Boys’ Basketball had to put in to get the win.

“We put a lot of time and effort, and it feels great to take home this humble victory,” Molchanov said. “We started off with the whole team and then people were too weak for it.”

Junior Kamdilinna Umejiego, a dance member of Boys’ Basketball, backs up Molchanov’s words and states that even when people leave their team, it makes them stronger and more determined to win. 

“I just don’t know how we came out with this, cause a lot of our teammates left us. In the practice we started with 12 now we only have six,” Umejiego said.

Seniors Aimee LaTorra and Makenzi Martinell, both members of the OPHS Cheer team and dance members for the Boys’ Basketball Team, expressed their gratitude for tonight’s results.

“All the nominees, everybody in Media, you guys did great. I’m so proud of our boys,” LaTorra said. “They really pulled through in the end…I can’t believe we won.” 

“[We’re] very excited, our boys worked really hard for this,” Martinell said. “We’re coming next year for another win.”

Sophomore Audrey Wu, a member of the Cheer Team at OPHS, remarks regardless of the rankings teams got from the judges, everyone who performed gave their best effort and made the most of the night.

“I think all the teams did super great. I think the judging went really well. I feel like everyone was pretty excited about this and I feel like [Cheer] should definitely do it again next year. Go team!” Wu said.

Mat McClenahan, OPHS principal and a proud member of the Administrators Team since the first annual showdown, believes the true purpose of the showdown is to bring the sports teams of OPHS closer and gear them towards a common goal, which can only be achieved by teamwork, hard work and creativity.

“This was a great night for our community. I think anything that helps get kids out, that shows kids that no matter your age, no matter your physical ability, you can get out and do stuff and have fun,” McClenahan said. 

The showdown has proven once more that anyone who comes, whether to watch or perform, leaves with a smile.

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Justine Picard
Justine Picard, Senior Staff Writer

Class of 2026

Justine has been part of the Talon staff for 2 years. She has previously served as a Senior Staff Writer and enjoys writing news and graphic design pieces.

Jessica Qi
Jessica Qi, Sports Editor
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