BY Louisa Benatovich, ECS Student Reporter

Though Punxsutawney Phil predicted six more weeks of winter, ECS is on a hot streak that might just melt the snow. On Jan. 30, the varsity boys’ basketball team played at home against Franklinville. Matching each other point for point, our boys closed the gap and beat the Panthers 59 to 58. Dave McCann, the coach, was very proud. “The boys showed a great deal of effort and energy in the game against Franklinville….They showed a lot of toughness and heart in the victory,” he said when asked how he felt about coaching this successful team. “At the end of the game, Griffin [Chudy] made two unbelievable plays to win us the game. He has been one of our most consistent players this season, and he showed that in this game.”

In addition, senior Elliot Bowen passed the 1,000 rebound milestone for his career. “This is an outstanding accomplishment for a high school player,” said McCann. “‘Rebound is about hustle and heart’ is a message we preach to kids. Yes, Elliot is tall, but he puts himself in a great position both offensively and defensively. He also currently has 1,529 points for Ellicottville. Elliot is one of the most coachable and likable players on the team. It has been a pleasure to be on the sideline and watch his growth and development. He is very deserving of all the accolades he receives.”

When asked how he felt about decimating another record, Elliot didn’t forget to be a team player. “It feels good because of all the hard work I put in,” said the 6’6” senior, “but I couldn’t have done it without buddies finding me on the court.” The team’s sense of drive, unity, and hustle pushed it to have one of Ellicottville’s most successful seasons yet.

On a more academic note, the ECS Quiz Bowl team participated in Portville’s Scholastic Challenge on Feb. 3. Undefeated for the first three events, they met their match with West Valley, losing by 20 points —a single question. Said question is memorable in its hilarity: “Who is the chef in the movie ‘Ratatouille’?” Because of its ambiguity—there are, of course, multiple chefs in the movie—West Valley was returned the lost points. “We’re going to boycott the movie,” joked Parker Rieman, after the event. “None of us can watch it again.” The team, comprised of Alex Hunt (9th gr.), Madisyn Kilby (10th gr.), Louisa Benatovich (11th gr.), Kirklind Kaleta (12th gr.), and Parker Rieman (12th gr.), is in good spirits and ready for their next competition at JCC on Feb. 15.

That evening, the junior class put on its annual Winter Weekend dance. After weeks of planning, all the details melded into one magnificent event. Along with the timeless winter wonderland theme, the music and dancing made it truly memorable. “I felt that the dance was a success,” said junior class president, Meganne Chapman. “It seemed like everyone had a good time. We had balloon arches along the ceiling that looked really cool. We overcame an obstacle of the music not working. Overall, the dance was fun.” Those who stayed until the end even got to take home some of the balloon arches skillfully made by class advisor, Mr. Matt Finn.

On Feb. 7, the PTO hosted the “2018 Lip Sync and Talent Show.” Open to elementary-aged students in grades 4-8, the show hosted a variety of original acts. Ranging from singing, lip syncing and rapping to piano-playing and a lovely clarinet-percussion duet, this event showcased the best of ECS upcoming talent. Abby Sundeen, junior and sister to Sophia Sundeen, who performed “Stone Cold” by Demi Lovato, thoroughly enjoyed the show. “It was really great to see the kids going out there to do the things they loved,” she said. “There was a great sort of support for the performers that came from the parents and each other, and the whole atmosphere of it was really warm and welcoming.”

Ellicottville students’ drive, determination, hustle, talent, knowledge, and capacity for fun are what makes ECS the small oasis that it is!