Boys Tennis Rallies for an Exciting Season

Henry Wehmann ’22 punches a volley back to the opponent during a recent doubles match at PA.

With the spring season rapidly turning into summer, most PA sports teams are coming to an end.  One sports team, which has surpassed all expectations and is going strong into the summer is the PA boys’ tennis team. Why are they doing so well? Senior captain Brendan Mclaughlin ‘19  thinks this is because “We have a really strong group of core guys, and we really want to do well together.  There is nothing better than playing well and having fun with some friends.”

Exciting tennis action that took place earlier this tennis season was an exhilarating battle between doubles partners Mark Richelsen ‘19 and Daniel Caballero ‘19 taking on the top doubles duo in the section from Mound Westonka.  In a nail-biting  turn of events, Richelsen and Caballero defeated the best doubles duo in the sections, a huge win considering the PA pair would have to defeat the Mound Westonka pair to go to state in the future.

Looking back on the match, Richelson commented, “It was a really big win for us.  Daniel and I had to battle them, but it was a huge confidence boost that made the chance to go to state a more realistic possibility.”

The fans at Providence have definitely been feeling the changing in the tides for the tennis team.  The typically quiet tennis courts have really been coming alive during matches this year.  Daniel Caballero said “We have definitely been seeing more and more fans as the season has gone on.”

Mark Richelsen ’19 serves it up during an early season match.

While it is obvious that this season looks like a great year to get a player into the state tournament, the tennis team also looks like it has an outstanding future.  The team has a plethora of impactful, talented underclassman including Will Landwehr ‘21, Peyton Menzel ‘22, Henry Wehmann ‘22 and Ronan Flanigan ‘22.  This wave of talent will without a doubt continue the high level of success brought about by the team this year.  Perhaps you never gave much of a thought to the tennis team before this season, but this season the PA boys tennis team has turned a lot of heads.  This team looks like it is around to stay not only this year but also for years to come.


C’mon now, Step It Up!

May is the month of movement.  It is the moving from spring to summer, and it is the moving of all students to their next grade.  Something that goes along very well with all this movement is the Step It Up challenge.  The challenge is an ongoing incentive to get moving during May by teaming with friends and community members to keep track of steps and earn prizes.

This challenge is run by Hennepin County Public Health.

Schools, communities or other organizations can group up and work together to be more active.  Step It Up participant and PA Middle School Latin teacher, Mrs. Kaitlin Pfiffner commented, “It’s a fun to way to compete with and against people in our PA community and Hennepin county.”  Along with 12 other members of the Providence faculty and staff joining in this year’s team, Pfiffner beamed, “as of Wednesday afternoon, May 8, we had already racked up 610,271 steps!”

Depending on stride length, that’s a combined total of roughly 300 miles!  With that crazy high number just 8 days into the new month, there is no telling what kind of huge number PA could put up especially if a few more fresh legs join in.

Step It Up also caught the attention of our beloved Physical Education teacher Mr. Chris Fussy, who joined the team earlier this month.  Fussy said, “Even though I already keep track of my steps, I still love working and being a part of a community of people.”

Also to add more of an incentive to stop binge watching Game of Thrones and get moving, possible rewards for the highest steps accumulated are apparel and even Twins Tickets.  What makes this challenge even more appealing is that it is totally free to take part in.

So what are you waiting for?  Lace up those running shoes, and get moving!  See this website for details and join the PA team at


Battle of the Beards

Robbinsdale Women’s Center in Minneapolis–the beneficiary of Beards for Babies–offers free, compassionate care and support for women and their unborn children.

Ladies and gentlemen, spring break is upon us.  After months of hard work and dedication, our two week of respite are about to commence.  Whether catching up on some sleep, sitting on the beach or just hanging out, spring break is a time of freedom.  While it may be depressing to think of the end of spring break, we do have one thing to look forward to about the end of break, and no, it is not the weather.  After spring break, everyone at PA will get to see beards of all those who participated in Beards for Babies.

So, what is Beards for Babies?  Beards for Babies is an annual competition a select few high school students partake in to support the pro-life movement.  While Providence Academy typically holds a strict no beards policy, administration makes an exception for all participating  in this event.

The five dollar entry fee is a small price to pay for the freedom to come to school after break with an unshaven face, and all proceeds benefit the Robbinsdale Women’s Center.  This center gives free pregnancy tests to women and gives pregnant woman information and options so they do not feel pressured into an abortion.  Not only does this contest get money for the women’s center and provide a gift card to the winner, it also is one of the favorite events held by PA.

Many students flock around the upper school office to view the before and after pictures of the contestants and can pay money to support their favorite beard.  The winner gets a 25 dollar gift card to Buffalo Wild Wings, as well as an additional gift certificate from Mrs. Harrington.

Now the 25 dollar question: Who is favored to win?  Last year’s winner Nicholas Simmons has graduated, so there is an opening on the beard throne.  Who will become immortalized in PA beard history?  In talking to many PA students, the runaway favorite is Jacob Clipperton ‘19.  Clipperton, also known as the Ginga Ninja, is famed for his full ginger mane which he believes closely resembles that of his idol, Arthur Morgan.

Giesler’s mustache lookalike, Freddie Mercury.
Zach Giesler ’19 with his stunning mustache.

The biggest threat to Mr. Clipperton comes from his close friend and beard competitor Sam Young ‘19.  Young is known for his curly and unruly summer beards.  He is often seen sporting this beard on the Lacrosse fields, but the pressure will be on him to prove that he can grow a thick enough beard in a short two weeks.

A dark horse candidate for this competition could be none other than PA hockey legend Zachary Giesler ‘19.  Giesler knows he is not likely to grow a fuller beard than his competitors, but the clever senior may have a few tricks up his sleeve.  Giesler stated, “While I obviously cannot grow the best beard, I do believe I can grow the best mustache”.  This infamous mustache has been likened to the late Freddie Mercury’s mustache before.

Regardless of who wins, however, the most important thing is obviously the money being raised for Robbinsdale Women’s center.  It is quite remarkable that Providence has turned something like donating money to a good cause into such a competition that really helps turn attention to the big issue and pique interest.  Be sure to check out the upper school office after break for pictures and vote on your favorite beard!

Springing Ahead: A Jump Start on the College Search

It has finally arrived – the time teachers, parents and especially the students have been looking forward to. It is spring break.  From sitting on a beach to reading a good book there are tons of things to do.   However, it is not simply relaxing on the beach and hanging out with friends over the break.  The break marks a new stage in the college search for both seniors and juniors.

Only a month away from selecting a school, this is a crucial time for undecided seniors who face a lot of mounting pressure to not only get accepted to schools, but also declare which school they’ll attend this fall.  While some have chosen their perspective school, there are still plenty still waiting to hear back from schools or still weighing the options available.

Sam Ferreira ‘19, who recently decided to attend the University of Minnesota stated “I am actually really relieved to finally have decided on a college, I can  just focus on having fun over spring break and come back refreshed going into my final quarter at PA”.

A page well known by PA seniors, soon to become a familiar sight to juniors preparing for college applications and decisions.

Meanwhile, Logan Desmet ‘19, who has narrowed down his search to just a few schools, admitted “I wish I knew exactly where I was going to go right now so I wouldn’t have to think about it during spring break, but I’m not too worried about it.”

Naviance can help juniors who are looking ahead think through which colleges might be a good fit.

It is not just seniors who have to worry about colleges though.  While college may seem ages away for juniors, spring break actually serves as a sort of bridge to commence college searches.  Juniors are beginning to have college counseling meetings, and spring break can be the perfect time to check out a school or two for juniors who are just becoming serious in their college search.  Among those already thinking about which school is Jacob Halek ‘20 who said, “I think spring break is going to be the time I begin to really look seriously at some colleges.”

Even if you are on the beach this spring break you can still go on Naviance to check in on some schools.  Just make sure you enjoy and relax during this spring break, but maybe looking at some college information or checking out a college could be beneficial.


The Feast of Football

Thanksgiving is all about the three F’s: Family, Food and arguably most important, Football.  Well, perhaps that list is a bit out of order, but watching football is undoubtedly one of the most popular Thanksgiving activities. On the off-chance that you mixed up your priorities and were busy with family or entering into a food coma, now that the gatherings have dispersed and the food is all digested, you may be wondering how your favored teams fared while you enjoyed the festivities.  You are in luck: the PAW has got you covered. Below is a complete summary of all three of the Thanksgiving NFL football games.

Game One: Chicago Bears vs Detroit Lions

Thanksgiving football started early this year, as  NFC North rivals Chicago and Detroit kicked off at 11:30 in the morning.  On paper, this game looked like it would be over before it even started. The Bears have the top-ranked defense in the NFL and are led by their excellent linebacker and possible MVP candidate Khalil Mack.  On top of that, the Lions had allowed six sacks in their earlier meeting against the Bears.  However, there was a small ray of hope: the Bear’s franchise  quarterback –

Quarterback Chase Daniels avoiding the Lions pressure

rising star Mitchell Trubisky – was ruled out of the game due to a shoulder injury.  It was up to  unproven journeyman  Chase Daniel, a nine year veteran and career backup, to get the job done for Chicago.

The game started out slow, with both teams struggling on offense out of the gate.  The Lions struck first  with a 4 yard touchdown run and led the Bears 13 to 9 heading  into the fourth quarter behind two rushing scores from running back LeGarrette Blount.  The dangerous Bears finally decided to awake from their hibernation to slash the Lions, thanks to a touchdown pass from Daniel and a defensive score.  Matthew Stafford did little to help the sluggish Lions attack, throwing a costly pick six to Chicago safety Eddie Jackson that ultimately cost the Lions the game.  Final Score: Bears 23 Lions 16

Game Two: Washington Redskins vs Dallas Cowboys  

Game two featured a battle between the top two teams in the  NFC East.  This game had major implications as the winner would grab hold of first place in the division and the inside track to the playoffs  The Redskins were in a tough spot, as their starting quarterback, Alex Smith, had suffered a gruesome leg injury a few weeks before.  It was up to backup Colt McCoy to carry their team.  The Redskins tried to ride their future Hall of Fame running back Adrian Peterson, but he injured his shoulder early on and was unable to run effectively.

The Cowboys took full advantage of Washington’s injuries, combining them with an offensive explosion.  Led by newcomer Amari Cooper ( 8 receptions, 180 yards, 2 touchdowns) and Pro Bowl running back Ezekiel Elliott ( 26 rushes, 121 yards and 1 touchdown) the Cowboys dominated the second half walking away with both the win and the division lead.  Final Score: Cowboys 31 Redskins 23

Wide Receiver Amari Cooper avoiding a Redskins defender

Game Three: New Orleans Saints vs Atlanta Falcons:

The third and final game on Thanksgiving pitted two NFC South division foes against each other.  Both teams made the playoffs last year, so before the season this looked like a game to circle on the calendar.  Unfortunately, the Falcons haven’t

Quarterbacks Drew Brees and Matt Ryan

taken off yet this year, and are struggling to live up to high expectations.   On the other hand, the Saints are enjoying a 9 game win streak and appear to be  legitimate Super Bowl contenders.  Red-hot quarterback Drew Brees put up impressive numbers while throwing to mostly unheralded receivers, making up for a quiet game by star wide receiver Michael Thomas.  Brees finished with four touchdowns while running back Alvin Kamara finished with 89 yards on  a mere 14 carries.  In the end, the Falcon’s were doomed by their lack of a run game.  The Atlanta’s  leading rusher had only 16 yards, not nearly enough to hang with the prolific offense of New Orleans.  Final Score: Saints 31 Falcons 17

For the most part, this year’s Thanksgiving football lived up to the hype. Two of the three games were determined by one score, and each contest was a tough division battle. Just like the customary meal, there was a little something for everyone – offensive outbursts, defensive slugfests, and a reason to check on your fantasy football team.  If you feel like this year’s menu was missing a little pigskin, it’s not too early to plan next year’s festivities allotting plenty of time to tune in to exciting round of Thanksgiving football.