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The GH Falcon

The GH Falcon

The GH Falcon

The next time the cicadas will emerge like this won’t take place until the year 2245. Photo used with permission from Sagar Vasnani via Unsplash.
Rare cicada emergence event occurs across the U.S.
Max Spiegel, Staff Writer • May 31, 2024
2024: Summer playlist
2024: Summer playlist
Valentina Garcia and Mason ClineMay 31, 2024
Concerts are a central part of a night out upon which other events should be based off of.
Summer concerts to look forward to
Armaan Minhas, Staff Writer • May 31, 2024
Top five moments from Green Hope Athletics 2023-24
Top five moments from Green Hope Athletics 2023-24
Mason Dean, Staff Writer • May 31, 2024
Team photo of the men’s varsity baseball team after a tough game against Cary High, ultimately winning with the final score of 12-10. Photo taken with permission from Roshan Shoukat (25).
Bringing it home
Zoe Westerlund, Staff Writer • May 22, 2024
Follow this link to purchase tickets for Green Hope Athletic events
The next time the cicadas will emerge like this won’t take place until the year 2245. Photo used with permission from Sagar Vasnani via Unsplash.
Rare cicada emergence event occurs across the U.S.
Max Spiegel, Staff Writer • May 31, 2024
2024: Summer playlist
2024: Summer playlist
Valentina Garcia and Mason ClineMay 31, 2024
Concerts are a central part of a night out upon which other events should be based off of.
Summer concerts to look forward to
Armaan Minhas, Staff Writer • May 31, 2024
Top five moments from Green Hope Athletics 2023-24
Top five moments from Green Hope Athletics 2023-24
Mason Dean, Staff Writer • May 31, 2024
Team photo of the men’s varsity baseball team after a tough game against Cary High, ultimately winning with the final score of 12-10. Photo taken with permission from Roshan Shoukat (25).
Bringing it home
Zoe Westerlund, Staff Writer • May 22, 2024
Follow this link to purchase tickets for Green Hope Athletic events
Top five moments from Green Hope Athletics 2023-24
Top five moments from Green Hope Athletics 2023-24
Mason Dean, Staff Writer • May 31, 2024
Team photo of the men’s varsity baseball team after a tough game against Cary High, ultimately winning with the final score of 12-10. Photo taken with permission from Roshan Shoukat (25).
Bringing it home
Zoe Westerlund, Staff Writer • May 22, 2024
Follow this link to purchase tickets for Green Hope Athletic events
The next time the cicadas will emerge like this won’t take place until the year 2245. Photo used with permission from Sagar Vasnani via Unsplash.
Rare cicada emergence event occurs across the U.S.
Max Spiegel, Staff Writer • May 31, 2024
2024: Summer playlist
2024: Summer playlist
Valentina Garcia and Mason ClineMay 31, 2024
Concerts are a central part of a night out upon which other events should be based off of.
Summer concerts to look forward to
Armaan Minhas, Staff Writer • May 31, 2024
Top five moments from Green Hope Athletics 2023-24
Top five moments from Green Hope Athletics 2023-24
Mason Dean, Staff Writer • May 31, 2024
Team photo of the men’s varsity baseball team after a tough game against Cary High, ultimately winning with the final score of 12-10. Photo taken with permission from Roshan Shoukat (25).
Bringing it home
Zoe Westerlund, Staff Writer • May 22, 2024
Follow this link to purchase tickets for Green Hope Athletic events
Top five moments from Green Hope Athletics 2023-24
Top five moments from Green Hope Athletics 2023-24
Mason Dean, Staff Writer • May 31, 2024
Team photo of the men’s varsity baseball team after a tough game against Cary High, ultimately winning with the final score of 12-10. Photo taken with permission from Roshan Shoukat (25).
Bringing it home
Zoe Westerlund, Staff Writer • May 22, 2024
Follow this link to purchase tickets for Green Hope Athletic events
The next time the cicadas will emerge like this won’t take place until the year 2245. Photo used with permission from Sagar Vasnani via Unsplash.
Rare cicada emergence event occurs across the U.S.
Max Spiegel, Staff Writer • May 31, 2024
2024: Summer playlist
2024: Summer playlist
Valentina Garcia and Mason ClineMay 31, 2024
Concerts are a central part of a night out upon which other events should be based off of.
Summer concerts to look forward to
Armaan Minhas, Staff Writer • May 31, 2024
Top five moments from Green Hope Athletics 2023-24
Top five moments from Green Hope Athletics 2023-24
Mason Dean, Staff Writer • May 31, 2024
Team photo of the men’s varsity baseball team after a tough game against Cary High, ultimately winning with the final score of 12-10. Photo taken with permission from Roshan Shoukat (25).
Bringing it home
Zoe Westerlund, Staff Writer • May 22, 2024
Follow this link to purchase tickets for Green Hope Athletic events

Underclassmen on top: Women’s basketball

Rachel+Baldyga%E2%80%99s+%28right%29+favorite+part+of+being+on+the+basketball+team+is+the+many+close+friends+she+has+made+including+Renee+McClernon+%2825%29+pictured+with+her+on+the+left.
Valentina Garcia
Rachel Baldyga’s (right) favorite part of being on the basketball team is the many close friends she has made including Renee McClernon (’25) pictured with her on the left.

The clock ticks away in the final seconds of the fourth quarter as the shot goes up. It hangs in the air until the buzzer sounds and the ball swishes through the net. For Rachael Baldyga (‘26), this feeling is quite familiar, as she has surpassed expectations as an underclassmen on varsity. 

Baldyga sat down with the GH Falcon and answered some questions about her basketball journey, and the realities of varsity basketball for underclassmen.

What prompted an interest in basketball?

Like most young athletes, Baldyga’s father provided inspiration for initiating her career. “When I was about ten years old I became interested in playing. I immediately enjoyed basketball, especially because of the team aspect and because my dad used to play,” she explained. Baldyga’s father has consistently aided her throughout her endeavors within basketball, which created many memories between the two.

What were some early steps toward a high school basketball career?

“I played basketball at Davis Drive Middle School, which helped get me ready for the high school season with lots of practice and game time. I’ve also played AAU basketball for multiple teams during the past few years, which gave me more competition and preparation for high school.” Most AAU teams instill skills that translate to fast paced play, especially against teams that might be faster, stronger or bigger, which has helped Baldyga excel as an underclassmen playing against older competition.

As one of the most talented athletes in middle school, Baldyga received a lot of playing time at Davis Drive to prepare her for Green Hope basketball. Photo used with permission from Rachel Baldyga.

What were some expectations when entering high school in terms of athletics?

Baldyga had high expectations for the Green Hope basketball team, especially because it was headed by a new face representing the team. Baldyga’s freshman year, ex WNBA player Chasity Melvin became the head women’s basketball coach. She expressed, “I was glad that everyone was passionate about basketball because I knew it was going to be different from my AAU teams. Everyone was welcoming and interested in getting better which I enjoyed.” 

How was it being on JV?

Baldyga had quite the experience for Green Hope her freshman year, “I was like a floater; I was on JV and played a majority of my games with the JV team, but I would frequently get called up to play varsity games after my JV games if there was an injury or just whenever the coach needed me.” JV games are typically held a couple hours before varsity games, so Baldyga was able to bounce between the two on game days. Transitioning back and forth between levels proved to be challenging for her, especially because “the size difference and just overall skill difference between girls on each level made the transition nerve wracking.” Despite these nerves, Baldyga appreciated the challenge.

What’s the best part about being on varsity as an underclassmen?

Similar to most underclassmen, “the older players” are the best part for Baldyga. She reveals, “Looking up to all the girls is the best part. Since they are older and have more experience I’ve learned a lot from them and they are all amazing. Also the coaching staff has helped me tremendously with my transition into varsity basketball and Coach Melvin has been a great role model for me.”

What adversity is commonly faced as an underclassmen on varsity?

“Since I got to split time last year, there hasn’t been too much adversity, but the biggest problems are having to constantly prove myself every day in practice since I’m a younger player and Coach Melvin is the type of coach to make underclassmen work more than upperclassmen in order to earn playing time and respect.” While most coaches act this way, Baldyga knows this motivation will ensure she is a better athlete at the end of each season.

What should be anticipated for the next few years in Green Hope women’s basketball?

Baldyga is definitely aware of the future for the team. “We have seven seniors this year, so we’ll be losing a lot of both good players and role models, next year I’ll have to step up as a role model, but I think we can be successful both this year and for the next couple years to come.”

Rachael Baldyga has already made a big impact in the team’s first two wins, scoring three points per game and racking up roughly four rebounds in each contest. Her role will continue to grow as she blossoms into a key varsity contributor, which is quite the accomplishment for a sophomore.

 

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About the Contributors
Justin Jackson
Justin Jackson, Staff Writer
Justin is a senior at Green Hope, and this is his first year as a Staff Writer. Being in the Math Honors Society, he enjoys tutoring other students struggling with the subject and with SAT prep. Justin hopes to continue his studies outside of high school, wanting to get an MBA in Business with a concentration in Finance. Additionally, Justin is a big part of the Green Hope community as he is a part of many organizations like Student Council, Falcon Frenzy, and on the board of Green Hope's DECA chapter. On top of that, he's also a player on the Men's Soccer and Basketball team at school. If you ever want to grab a bite, you can often find Justin working at a popular Italian restaurant, Lugano's, over the weekend. He is passionate about helping others as well as being true to his interests. Besides school and work, Justin enjoys spending his time listening to music, lifting weights, and hanging out with friends.
Valentina Garcia
Valentina Garcia, Staff Writer
Valentina Garcia is a senior at Green Hope, and this is her first year on the GH Falcon staff. Her interest in writing began in elementary school and continued into high school with classes such as AP Lang and Creative Writing. These classes helped her to realize she enjoyed incorporating creativity into her writing. She is currently the president of the Skills USA club here at Green Hope. Her hobbies include film and working out at the gym. She is the youngest of three, with two older brothers. She hopes to go to Depaul University after an exciting senior year with the GH Falcon.
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