IHSPA has nominated Excalibur for the Hoosier Star Award, the Top Scholastic Journalism Award for yearbooks in all of Indiana!


2021 – Never Break the Chain

This year’s theme:

2020 was a year like no other. The year was a difficult time for everyone. Freshmen didn’t get to experience what high school is really like. They were thrown into a new school with the added stress of a pandemic. Sophomores had their ISTEP preparations halted, resulting in them having to take their tests a whole year later. Juniors struggled with their hardest year of high school being online and missing all of their ACTs and SATs. Seniors missed all their farewell activities such as prom. We faced life changing events that were unimaginable, but forever remembered. We started the year off with bushfires in Australia, the death of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Bryant, as well as killer wasps in the US. 

These events were followed by Covid-19, otherwise known as the CoronaVirus. It struck the world by storm, and took away many students’ proms and final senior activities. It took away people’s livelihood, and interfered with many families especially ones with health care providers and young kids. The world had come to a stand still, which had made things very difficult for all of us. 

Throughout the hardships, there were still so many things we were blessed with this year. The Space Force was created, Elon Musk launched the SpaceX Starship, finding water on the Moon as well as microbial life on Mars, and many of this year’s seniors participated in their first presidential election, as well as witnessing our first female Vice President.

This year brought people together like never before. In a time of desperate need, we all leaned on each other, and created bonds that will last a lifetime. We will never lose the connection, and we will never break the chain.

Story by: Abby Corman and Vincent Clawson


Ben Tufts – Rockin’ in a Free World

Ben Tufts (12) channels his love for music into preparing for his future and career

At the age of 17, Ben Tufts (12) has been playing the guitar for over ten years, is the lead singer and guitarist for his band, AntiSocial Protocol, and has recorded an EP.
When Tufts’ band had scheduled and played their first gig at the Hobart Art Theatre, they had only been a band for three months with a few songs and the turnout was over 100. By the second time they played at the Art Theatre, they had been perfecting the show aspect of their performance.
“For every show, we try to have a new song, so we spend a lot of time writing and planning our show. We try to make it better than the last,” Tufts said.
Tufts secured a recording studio session, and the band produced their Furniture EP. ASP released it through CD and streaming services like Sound Cloud and Apple Music.
“We are a completely self-funded, self-promoted band, and we cracked 100 streams on Sound Cloud in the first 12 hours. It shows that people will support new music and local bands, which is great,” Tufts said.
When Tufts isn’t singing and playing the guitar, he can be found at his internship where he works the sound board at live events. After working on live sound, Tufts planned on starting to produce music in hopes of being a sound engineer after college.
“I plan on going to college for Sound Engineering, which includes live sound board and producing, so this internship is really good for my career path,” Tufts said.

Story By: Zach Kaminsky

Ryan Hoffmann – Dancing her Heart Out

Ryan Hoffmann (11) dreams of being a part of the American Ballet Theatre and is taking the steps to get there

Walking onto the stage with her head held high, Ryan Hoffmann (11) sits in her starting position waiting for her music to play. Hoffmann has been dancing for the past ten years and enjoys dancing to get better, as well as to see improvement in herself. She also thinks it’s fun and a good way to express her emotions.
“I like my solo from last year called Catch Myself. I thought of it as there are a lot of things people go through and I go through, but you always rebound, and it gets better,” Hoffmann said.
Hoffmann dances for about 25 hours a week and enjoys ballet because it is her favorite style of dance.
“People think it is really cool that [dancing] is something I do. I like dancing [because it] makes me happy to know that I’m bringing joy to somebody else. I like making people react to dance. I love it more than anything,” Hoffmann said.
Hoffmann was a part of a three week intensive summer program at Arts Umbrella in Canada. At the end of the program, the students had a show to perform all of the dances they had learned.
“[If I could do it all over again], I would star dance in Chicago way sooner than I did because there are a lot more teachers and people with a lot more experience than Indiana,” Hoffmann said.
Hoffmann currently dances at Visceral Dance Center in Chicago and has been there for the past six years now.
Hoffmann aspires to become a part of Juilliard and the Arts Umbrella Company of Canada.

Story By: Brooke Lowe

Grace Kenda – Adding a Splash of Color

Grace Kenda (10) finds a creative way to express herself through artwork

Looking back on the past, Grace Kenda (10) reflects on when she started expressing herself through her artwork. Kenda realized her love for art when she was in elementary school.
“In fifth grade, one of my best friends at the time drew really cool cats, so she ended up teaching me one day. I immediately fell in love,” Kenda said.
While Kenda started art over five years ago, she is just figuring out why she loves to do it. The more and more she draws and paints, Kenda finds the real reason as to why she continues to do art.
“I’ve started to realize that I love art because there are no rules and there is no concrete answer as to what a piece means or how it should be made,” Kenda said.
While the word ‘art’ is very vague and can describe almost anything on the planet, Kenda likes to focus on certain pieces.
“One of the things I like to draw or paint the most is people. I think you can really reveal a lot to the audience about what is going on through the eyes of them. I also sometimes like to draw animals,” Kenda said.
Some artists are known for the way they create art or the colors they use to create a reaction from the audience. Kenda has created many pieces of art while using a specific and bright palette.
“I love fusing interesting and bright colors into my artwork to create an uplifting mood in the audience,” Kenda said.
While Kenda doesn’t plan on taking an art career path in the future, she hopes to continue doing art in her free time.

Story By: Zachary Jones

Amanda Lenting – Just Livin’ Life to the Fullest

Amanda Lenting (9) gives an inside take on having pet chickens

Having pet chickens is said to be a major task for most people, but Amanda Lenting (9) is one of the people who has accepted that challenge.
Coming to the high school as a freshman is definitely a big adjustment. Lenting has adapted to this change by making plenty of new friends and staying on track with all things Crown Point High School; things such as attending football games and cheering from the student section.
Balancing a high school social life and an academic career can be hard. Lenting exemplifies this by maintaining her grades, having in her words, an awesome boyfriend, Rickson Gonzales (11), and still manages to have pets that require a lot of care. Having a pet comes with its benefits, so the work you put in is going to be beneficial.
“A pro is that I always have fresh eggs,” Lenting said.
Lenting and her family appreciate the fact of having chickens, but there are struggles that come with having them.
“A con would be the fact that at night, I have to go out in the cold and put them away in the coop,” Lenting said.
Even if the chicken is not as common as other household pets, the bond between owner and pet can still grow and flourish just as it would with any other animal. In this sense, the chicken could be comparable to a cat or dog. Lenting’s sister, Sara Lenting (11), can expand on this fact.
“Chickens are unlike any pet you could have. In a way, I love them like my own children,” Lenting said.

Story by: Everett Bologna