Taylor Tackles New Year, New Diet

Written By: Taylor Politi

Becoming healthy is the most common New Year’s Resolution for a good reason. It is a core resolution which other resolutions depend on. Without health and wellness, how can we begin to really live and enjoy life to its fullest?

We have become exposed to an increasing number of chemicals in our food supply, the air we breathe, and through many daily-use items including cosmetics and household cleaners. Among their potentially dangerous effects, these chemicals can build up in our system and stall weight loss and simply degrade your overall health. While many other factors often contribute, researchers find that environmental toxins play a role in being overweight or obese. That is where a well-thought-out detoxification plan can help. Besides helping eliminate the wrong foods that can contribute to weight gain, the right program can give your liver and overall health a helping hand eliminating those excess toxins.

All around school, people have heard of many students that have been on detoxes and diets since the new year or were starting it as school resumed after the break. One student here at MAST, senior Gaby Malavenda, has been promoting Dre Medici’s workouts and diets and has recently inspired a few of her friends to experience the results with her. Detox diets range from total fasts to juice fasts to food modification approaches and can involve the use of laxatives, diuretics, vitamins, minerals, and cleansing foods. This group of girls are doing a food modification approach combined with workouts provided by Medici but adjusted to their personal goals like toning up or losing weight. They are drinking a gallon of water every day, sticking to 8 hours of sleep per night, eating only small portions of food, making fruits and vegetables their go-to snacks and are working out almost every day. They also believe that even though the detox is hard, it is better to do it as a group and it has been improving mental health all around.

“As a soccer player I have to be conscious of what I eat and use to fuel my body so I decided to start eating better, found a lifestyle mentor to help me gain lean muscle and follow a certain regimen, and got together a group of girls so we could all do the detox and inspire each other” Malavenda said.

Some people do not believe in detoxes and think they do more harm than good, but detoxes and diets in moderation are good for cleansing your body of toxins and can make people happier with their health and happier in general because a big part of health is all mental. If you are motivated to tone up, lose weight or just change your eating habits and really make an effort it can happen and these students definitely have the right approach to their detox by motivating each other.


You go, Zoe Coco: The life of an equestrian

Written By: Diego Garcia

Q: When did you start riding horses?

A: I started riding when I was about seven years old. Since then horseback riding has become my life and my passion.

Q: What is your favorite thing about horseback riding?


A: I have to say my favorite things about horseback riding has to be the partnership/ bond  that I create with each horse I ride and the feeling I get when I sit in the saddle. Horseback riding is one of the most dangerous sports because you are dealing with an unpredictable animal with its own agenda. It’s not like other sports where a person is able to control the situation.

Q: What does it mean to be an equestrian?

A: To me, being an equestrian means that you work hard for what you want and that you do not give up no matter what. In the nine years I have been an equestrian I had to work for everything because I was unable to afford the sport at the beginning. I did not let this deter me from riding and I pushed through it. 

Q: Why did you start riding?

A: I started riding because of my love for animals.

Q: Where do you usually ride, and how often do you do it?

A:  I ride at a barn in Horse Country/ Kendall. Since I do own a horse, it is my responsibility to to go ride and exercise him as much as I can. I go to the barn six days a week because all the horses do get a day off to rest. I can stay at the barn forever, it is my home away from home.







Get on track with these fitness apps

Written By: Kaylee Rodriguez

With the new year comes an influx of new gym memberships. For students, making it to the gym can be inconvenient and unaffordable. Luckily, exercise does not have to be limited to gym classes and expensive machines. Here are a couple of fitness apps and devices that will help you get active in any environment.


Physical Education teacher Christopher Rossin uses the Strava app to track his runs and bike rides. Strava allows runners and cyclists to track their routes via GPS. It also serves as a fitness social media network where users can upload pictures, follow friends and share details from their exercise activities.

MyFitness Pal:

The MyFitnessPal app combines nutrition with exercise routines to optimize results. The app allows its user to track their daily caloric intake and create personalized diet profiles depending on their goals.

Apple Watch:

The Apple Watch does far more than accessorize your wrist. It has settings to monitor heart rate and daily activities. The watch monitors exercise in three rings: Stand, Exercise, and Move. If all three rings are complete, then you have reached your daily goes. It also features its own health and workout apps

FIT Radio:

A great playlist can greatly enhance a workout. To get into the the rhythm, check out FIT Radio. Voted as the App Store’s number 1 music app, it features continuous music mixes engineered by DJ’s. Users can find music by genre, workout type, and BPM.



Taylor Tackles: Kicking off the soccer season

Written By: Taylor Politi

Team dynamics are the driving force for behavior and performance. This year the boys and girls soccer teams have improved their cohesion compared to previous years.

After losing several seniors last year, both teams seemed nervous going into the season even with months of extensive training under their belts. In all sports, losing integral, dedicated players due to their graduating takes a major toll on overall confidence. The soccer teams, however, have managed to overcome this issue, kicking off the season to a great start.

The girls team has won all but one game thus far and their stellar performances are a result of the new team dynamic this year. Many new members, such as Camila Menendez, Rebecca Ormo and Isabella Abad, are proving their worth to the team, contributing to the winning games this year.

“The team this year is filled with many new players who each have their own skills. When the season first started we got off to a rough start bonding with each other but now there is a connection. Many of the girls have helped us become a better team and improve our dynamic as a whole which has so far led to success,” Team Captain Gaby Malevenda said.

The boys team seems to be working together better this year too. Players used to focus on honing their individual skills instead of what was best for the team. Everything is functioning better, as can be seen in their near perfect record so far.

“This year there have been many players who have stepped up to the plate to replace last year’s seniors. One of these players being Eduardo Ruiz, despite having just recovered from a hamstring injury. This year we have become a lot closer as a team which definitely gives us an advantage in the game against other schools” Mateo Spencer said.

The players have worked tirelessly on teamwork and are making an effort to have team dinners together and hang out outside of the soccer field. Captains and seniors are also making sure that they set good examples for the younger players, especially the ones brand new to the team. Leadership is very important in soccer, and in all sports, to make sure the team dynamic gets to where it needs to be.


Beatrice Rodriguez becomes the first female on the basketball team

Written By: Skye Herves-Jones

Beatrice Rodriguez, better known as Bea, is an inspiration. She is the creator of tie Friday, designer of her own bear hoodie, known for being an hilarious punster and is also the first girl to ever make it on MAST Academy’s basketball team.

Bea has always been an exceptional athlete, playing a variety of sports throughout her life such as volleyball, softball, soccer, fencing, cross country, basketball and rowing.

She is currently juggling rowing with Miami Rowing Club as well as playing basketball for MAST. Having to handle one sport is already a hardship, but after talking to Bea her love for both teams shone through, her passion and drive was undeniable.

She described basketball and the feeling of being on the court as, “The rush, the action, the euphoria; its incomparable.”

One would expect that being the first girl on the basketball team, much less any male sports team would come with its struggles. However, Bea had no horrific stories saying how the guys were “normally pretty chill” and spoke on a positive note.

 “I love playing for MAST so far. Everyone is really funny and enthusiastic which makes every practice extremely fun. Coach is also really fair and composed which I really respect. It is a bit tough having to handle two sports since both are extremely physical but it is completely worth it as I get to play two sports I love,” Rodriguez said.

She initially did not expect to get on the team explaining, “while I have good defense, my offense is lacking. When I saw the posted list on the locker doors I was elated. Basketball is my passion and I’m so happy to be able to play for my school.”

Through it all she had both the support of her friends and family cheering her on every day of tryouts. When I asked if she was happy she responded with a resounding “YESS!!” She is able to play her favorite sports, be a part of an incredible group of people and also have the title of the first girl on MAST Academy’s basketball team, and for that she will go down in history.


Booster club scholarships give scholar student athletes recognition

Written By: Sofia Marin

The Athletic Booster Club is offering a new scholarship to athletes. Students who have been active athletes throughout their high school careers will be eligible to apply. There is certain criteria that must be met in order to qualify. The students who are nominated for the scholarship must be seniors who uphold an unweighted GPA of at least a 3.0, they must have a parent who is part of the Athletic Booster Club, and they must be recommended by the Athletic Director. The $500 reward will be given to three winning boys and three winning girls at the Athletic Awards Ceremony in May of 2019. “I think it is really nice that the Athletic Club is doing this for athletes because it will help kids who need money for college”  senior Reid Banciella said. Good luck to all athletes who qualify!


Dwyane Wade could not handle the Heat

Written by: Kasia Grant

“When you first enter the league, the vets tell you they say, ‘Young fellow, it’s gonna go by fast.’ You think at that time, ‘I’m just getting started.’ As I stand here today on Sept. 16th at roughly 1:15pm, I’m here to tell you, it goes by fast.” These were the first words spoken by  Dwyane Wade in a recent Youtube video announcing his retirement. In his video, he says, “I feel it’s right to ask you guys to ask you to join me for one last dance, for one last season. I’ve given this game everything that I’ve had, and I’m happy about that. And I’m gonna give it for one last season, everything I have.” In July 2016, Wade left the Heat to join the Chicago Bulls and in September 2017, Wade was signed to the Cleveland Cavaliers. A year later, Wade has returned back to the Heat for his final season.  

Unfortunately for many Dwyane Wade fans, this will be their last opportunity to see him play for the Heat. Senior Valentina Suarez said, “I’ve been a huge fan of Dwayne Wade ever since I was born. I went to a Miami Heat game last year and I had front row seats but unfortunately, Dwayne Wade was with the Cavaliers. I’ll be devastated if I can’t go this year to a Heat game with front row seats so I can see him play one last time.”

Dwyane Wade’s legacy has left an impact on several students here at MAST. Junior Matthew Galego said, “I’m excited that he’s back this season but I’m sad that this is his last year playing. He’s an amazing player that brought the Heat three championships so I’m sad to see him go.” Back in 2003, Dwayne Wade was drafted to the Miami Heat as a shooting guard. Throughout his 16-season career, he won three NBA Championships for the Miami Heat in 2006, 2012, and 2013, and has been named the 2006 NBA Final MVP and the 2010 NBA All-Star Game MVP.

Luckily, one of our very own members of MAST was able to meet Dwyane Wade. Coach Rossin said, “I got a chance to meet D Wade when I was a kid and he’s as great of a guy as he is a player. I went to his first game back in Miami and the excitement that filled the arena, for what was otherwise a subpar game was incredible. He means so much to Miami and to the Heat, I’m glad we have him for one last ride.”

The time has come for Wade’s retirement, and without him, the Miami Heat will no longer be the same. Junior Samantha Michel said, “He’s a really dedicated player and he’s like the rock of the Miami Heat and it’s going to be different without him.”

Taylor Tackles: The Football Team

Written by: Taylor Politi

Homecoming started on college campuses as a fall commemoration for the first football game of the season, for which alumni would return to their alma maters. The massive crowds would rally and parades would be lively. Homecoming was intended to unite students and alumni and to create a stronger sense of school pride.

However, times have changed, alumni is no longer involved in most homecoming celebrations, more students attend the homecoming parties than the actual dance, and at MAST we do not even have a homecoming football game.

“Only around 250 people are attending homecoming this year and and it definitely shows the diminishing enthusiasm occuring in the school but if everyone makes an effort we can get the school spirit back to where it should be.” Secretary of Class 2020, Alexa Venereo said.

Many students wonder where the lack of spirit comes from when we have spirit week with the pep rally and other upbeat events but not everyone participates in the dressing up for spirit week or the pep rally and where our major lack of effort lies is in our school sports. The absence of support at our sport events is disheartening our athletes and coaches. Although some people are making a difference to increase school spirit, especially with our school sports. For example, teachers give extra credit to students to attend games. The major lack in the homecoming essence is the fact that we do not have the football game.

Our football field has sat relatively empty since it was made in 2014 and continues to be unused other than some sport practices and P.E classes. The school claims the population is not big enough to have a football team here or that students would not be interested in competing for a football team but I believe having a football team here would increase school spirit and add more of a high school experience.

When talking to parents or adults they often speak of their greatest high school memories like watching and participating in football games, including the homecoming game. We should be making more of an effort to assure we will be talking in the future about our great experiences and amazing school spirit back when we were in high school. It is not as fun going to other schools’ football games and feeling so out of place so we should be seriously researching the situation with the football team as it could make huge improvements to our lack of passion.

I have confidence our school can get our spirit groove back but everyone needs to make an effort. Dress up for all the spirit days, go to the school events like homecoming, offer to decorate your classes’ hallway, and show up to sport games.Take it among yourself to research how we can get a football team or talk to administration because sometimes it feels like we are the only school in South Florida without a football team and we should at least try to make that change because our lost school spirit is worth fighting for.

Taylor Tackles… the split swim team

Written By: Taylor Politi

Our swim team used to be all about training and competing to show off the skills we work so hard to perfect throughout the fall. For the previous years most of the swimmers competed at many dual meets, GMACS, districts, regional, and states. This year a new group has been added that trains with the swim team, but does not compete.

“Just training with the school is a great experience. Not only are you able to practice swimming without going under the pressure of competing, you are getting fit for other sports too,” swim team captain Penelope Roca said.

This conditioning group consists mostly of water polo players getting ready to play in the spring. Water polo player Andrea Gomez believes “…being able to condition with the swim team in preparation for water polo season helps create a stronger water polo team.”

Although competing creates goals and develops resilience and determination, this conditioning group is looking like a positive option for those water polo players just trying to stay in shape or those swimmers that do not have the confidence to compete against other schools yet.

“I think it is a great opportunity for other students to earn and get a bit of exercise and maybe with a bit of motivation get them to compete for the school,” girls swimming Coach Carlos Couzo said.

Space is sometimes a problem at the pool and swimmers may have to share lanes with others to make room for the conditioning lanes. This may cause conflict, but overall the benefits outweigh the problems.  It brings all types of swimmers together and gives them an amazing opportunity to work on social skills, and stay active. Even if the pool may be crowded, it is not fazing the girls swim team who have won every swim meet so far.


Students rush in to the FIFA World Cup

Written By: Zara Campbell

The world’s most famous sporting event took place this summer in Russia, with some of the greatest soccer (or football as it’s called by 99% of the world) players and fans from across the globe  gathered to celebrate their diverse cultures, passion for sport, and national pride. Despite the US missing out on the prestigious competition, some of our MAST students still made the lengthy trip to Russia.

Junior, Lucas Virgil enjoyed this one-of-a-kind experience of the world cup. “[It was] definitely…memorable…because of the games and the fans, but also getting to travel around Russia and getting to talk to some [of] the people and see all the different sites” Lucas said. When asked how it was like to be exposed to such an environment, surrounded by so many fans from all over the world Lucas replied,  “The atmosphere amongst the fans from South America and Africa was jubilant and they were always chanting even if their team wasn’t even winning…fans that I saw from Europe were less active…the Senegal fans also stayed after the game to clean up garbage from their section” Here his words stand as a testament to what the World Cup is all about; it is a celebration of the diverse cultures of the different peoples of the world, from the passionate South Americans, to the more subdued Europeans, to the respectful Africans.

The World Cup is a sporting event that really transcends sport, and is more about  human nature, culture, and customs. It’s about togetherness passion and all the things that make our world so great; Let’s apply all these ideals to our daily life, here at school, and wherever we venture, to spread the joys of what makes the earth, and the peoples of it, so great.