Keyser Brings New Perspective to Ocean City Girls Swimming

When the Ocean City girls swimming team experienced a two-point loss to Egg Harbor Township on Dec. 20, the Red Raiders took it as a hard loss. It was their first of the season, and the girls have a long history of winning. After all, expectations are always high for these swimmers.
However, new head coach Ian Keyser was there to lend the girls some perspective.
“It wasn’t the outcome we wanted, but we are going to stay focused on bigger goals,” Keyser said. “We are going to take that as a learning experience. To be in that environment — where its packed, where the lead goes back and forth — lets use that to benefit us come the real playoffs.”

Keyser Brings New Perspective to Ocean City Girls Swimming

Freelancing for Glory Days Sports Magazine, I’m now reporting on local high school athletes and local sports in the Atlantic City, New Jersey area. My writing in January 10th’s issue features this profile on Ocean City High School’s newest swim coach, and an exploration of the Atlantic Institute of Technology’s bowling team. Read about these programs in the links above. (Bowling link coming soon)

Glory Days Magazine is the newest multi-media platform covering high school sports in the greater Atlantic City, New Jersey area. Feature stories on current high school players and coaches, as well as former athletes, Q&As, photo galleries and much more are included. 17760043_731134100402074_2432246703134298696_nns-monogram1

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The Forgotten Family Member

“I dare you to write from the point of view of a forgotten family member”

Straightening my bowtie in the mirror, I gave a smirk at my reflection. Sleeves were tucked taut, my brown hair up in a ponytail… everything on my uniform looked orderly.  I was ready for the night ahead, personally. I smiled at myself, excited for the night, and for what to come. Visions danced in my head of the rush of dinner, of whom would be in the dining room. Faceless people throughout the night, most of them, but there were a few faces I could picture clearly. I smiled to myself and left the bathroom, ready for the night to bring in the rush.

Heading out into the dining room, I took a tour around the tables, making sure the busboys had taken care to set up them up proper. Silverware was straightened, yes, one or two wine glasses needed a quick polish, but otherwise, everything was satisfactory to my eye. I exhaled, completely ready for the night.

“What does your cousin like to eat?” asked Jose as I walked through the kitchen. “I want them to get the finest here tonight. Finest food for the familia of the finest waitress.”

“He’s only nine, he doesn’t have a ‘refined palate’,” I giggled, appreciating the cook’s charm. “He’ll eat whatever you put in front of him. He does love mac and cheese, so if that is on the special for tonight…”

“As a matter of fact, it is,” he winked at me, tapping the lid a small container at the end of the night’s prep food. “And the cake Eddie made up for him? Girl, is he going to love it.” I smiled at the cook in appreciation, before heading upstairs to the boss’s office.

I was doodling a balloon in my checkbook when John came in, ready to start the meeting for the evening. Although he came from his office, he had a towel draped over his shoulder as he did when he was working in the kitchen. A small sweat stained the towel, and the sight of his notepad meant he’d been crunching numbers all day. The seating chart was underneath the numbers sheet, and he pulled it to the front as all of us closed our books.

“Busy night tonight ladies, busy night,” he started. “We have a lot going on tonight. It’s Friday, so the out of towners will be coming in. At least 30 reservations downstairs, a few of them pretty big.” I blinked in surprise, not realizing there were so many reservations as he went down the list of the biggest parties. “Be. on. your. game. tonight. I also don’t want any broken glasses tonight. We need those for tomorrow. Anything broken, and it comes out of your check.”

I hoped my bangs hid my eyebrows raising. What was he so panicked about tonight? I could sense that the other staff were becoming tense as well.

“As soon as we are halfway through the night, I want you to start pulling. Start setting up for tomorrow. That graduation eighteen top will be up here around 7:30, but as soon as they’re done, this place needs to start getting set up for the wedding brunch. I’ll be tapping a few of you individually to set up. As you can see it’s a mess, so this place needs to be spotless before anyone even thinks of closing out.

Composure tonight. It’s going to feel like you’re running around with your heads cut off, but I need you to stay composed.” He checked his watch, then scanned the reservation list. “First table should be here in five to ten. Get ready for insanity.”

As we dissipated, my heart sunk. I’d forgotten about the wedding tomorrow. Of course it collided with my big night. I exhaled—I hoped not too loudly— and began to head downstairs.

At the top of the steps I stopped, and turned back to the office. Letting the other waitresses and a few hostesses pass by, I nervously approached the doorway to John’s office. Feeling someone waiting from him, he turned to greet her.

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Protect By Principle (BZPower Fanfic Exchange Project)

The Dark Hunter ducked under the jet of water, a look of absolute disgust on his face as he retreated behind a hut. Toa Dume looked at his partner, nodding, and together they charged either side of the building. He could not get away, they would not let him this time. Hefting his Kanoka fire hammer, Dume charged left, ready to bash the Dark Hunter from here to Stelt.

What the Toa of Fire met, however, was a jet of water to the face, his partner relentlessly firing on him. The Dark Hunter was not behind the building. He was not anywhere at all.

“Kiv-od-a!” he choked as he found a pocket of air.

Upon realizing whom she was firing at, Toa Kivoda’s stream died, leaving two confused Toa. 

“Where did he go?” asked the Toa of Water, looking all around.

“Must have teleported away,” Dume replied, picking himself off of the soaked ground. With a dismayed look on his mask, he looked over the aftermath of their battle. The village had suffered a considerable amount of damage. But at least nobody was killed this time, Dume thought. “Any signs of his partner?”

Kivoda pointed toward the path of rubble leading out of the village, not a dozen huts further from where they had been battling this Dark Hunter. “Looks like he made the retreat as well. Are you injured, brother?”

“As long as the Turaga is still here, I am fine,” Dume said, coughing up some water. “Go check up on the others… I will start repairs to the village.” His Toa sister nodded, addressing some Matoran nearby waving for their help

The Kanohi Kiril required concentration to use for such a large amount of repairs at hand, but Dume looked around with a troubled look on his mask. Was this a win or a loss against the Dark Hunters? He wanted to call it a success, but he was not sure whether chalking it up in that category would be right. Some huts had their roofs totally blown off. Others were disintegrated to dust. Half of the paths of the village were torn up, imprints dotted everywhere where Toa and Dark Hunter alike had been slammed into the ground. The village was a mess— a repairable one, but nevertheless, this fight had been a disaster.

“There is a fine line between protecting and fighting, indeed,” said a voice behind him. Dume looked to see Turaga Narmoto walking up behind him, his Kanohi Suletu grim as he surveyed the scene. The Turaga looked physically fine, but the Toa of Fire could tell he had been unsettled by this attack. “But you fought valiantly, Dume, and for the umpteenth time, thank you for that.”

“No village should have to pay this price for protection,” Dume insisted, gesturing to all of the destruction around him.

“If the Hunters get what they came for, there is no reassembling the village from that,” said the Turaga. “You can put this place back together. You are here, and thank Mata Nui for you and your mask.”

The Turaga gazed up to the peak of the volcano far above. Dume followed his eyes, but squinted at where he thought the Lava Crystal Temple was. The crystals, for some odd reason, or to at least what Narmoto and his predecessors believed, kept the fury of the volcanos in check. IF the crystals were taken, the lava would pour out of the volcano, traveling in all directions until it took what had been taken from it.

However the Dark Hunters believed in principle of profit, not mythology. The composition of the lava crystals was apparently a powerful source for a weapon the Dark Hunters had, and the Shadowed One was bent on obtaining these crystals. This had been at least the fourth team of Hunters that Dume and his team had faced in the last several months.

“If they get a hold of any of the lava gems, then that’ll be it for us,” Narmoto said.

“Asking for permission doesn’t come to me as a standard Dark Hunter procedure. They’ll be back again until they get what they want,” Dume replied. He looked at the Turaga grimly.

“Hopefully the Great Spirit smiles on your team then,” Narmoto said, as he watched the Kanohi Kiril mend the street back together.

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Glory Days Magazine– November 10 Edition

No matter what happened on the court during her final few matches as a Raider, senior top singles player Elizabeth Trofa maintained a calm, collected manner on the court. All she can do is get ready for the next set coming her way— there’s no use worrying about what’s in the past now.

Senior Spotlight: Trofa Made Big Impact for Ocean City Tennis

Freelancing for Glory Days Sports Magazine, I’m now reporting on local high school athletes and local sports in the Atlantic City, New Jersey. “Senior Spotlight” is a column in Glory Days highlighting exceptional high school senior athletes. Elizabeth Trofa, a remarkable senior tennis player at Ocean City, was this edition’s subject.

(This is being posted so late because I believed that the December 22nd edition would have another story I wrote and this could be a two for one post, but it will be featured in the January 5th edition)

Glory Days Magazine is the newest multi-media platform covering high school sports in the greater Atlantic City, New Jersey area. Feature stories on current high school players and coaches, as well as former athletes, Q&As, photo galleries and much more are included. 

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Ocean City Magazine– November/December Holiday Issue

Everyone has a favorite memory of Ocean City. With that memory comes some way of referencing it. Whether that be a favorite tee shirt, or a family photo taken in front of the Music Pier, there is always an object to remind someone of their memorable times here. For some, that object is a dedicated bench, with their memory preserved on it thanks to the Bench Dedication program.

The Ocean City Bench Dedications are part of a larger program that helps keep memories alive in Ocean City. By placing plaques on benches, the goal is to memorialize the small moments that residents and visitors have experienced in their time in the town. The program was originally an individual request in 1996 from someone who wanted a bench in their family’s name. The city gladly granted the individual their wish, placing a single bench with a memorial plaque on the boardwalk. Many quickly saw an appeal to it and called into City Hall, asking for the possibility of getting their own bench.

“People started calling in nonstop, wanting a bench of their own,” says Carol Longo, one of the original members of the Bench Dedication Program. “Whether it be where they had their first kiss, where someone met their future husband, people wanted to memorialize their memories of Ocean City.”

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In the final edition of Ocean City Magazine’s 2017 run, I freelance wrote 3 articles. The above is the intro to my big freelance article, “Have A Seat: Ocean City’s Bench Dedication Memorial Program”, a research piece on the beloved boardwalk benches in Ocean City, New Jersey. You can read the article in its entirety in the Issu PDF reader featured at the bottom of this post.

  • The Interview with Bill Scheible, Ocean City Pops Maestro (page 20)
  • Have A Seat: Ocean City’s Bench Dedication Memorial Program (page 48)
  • Good Karma “Kookie Kids” (page 54)

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Ocean City Magazine– September/October 2017

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Freelancing for Ocean City Magazine, I wrote two articles. The content can be read in the Issu PDF reader featured at the bottom of this post.

  • The Interview with Fred Miller (page 20)
  • Good Karma “Saint Damian’s Thrift Shop” (page 50)

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GutterBall

Meredith studied the pool table, studying the ways she could make a shot. She was stripes tonight. She had a slight lead, and felt like she could increase the gap, but that stupid blue ball over in the corner… it was too close to call. But if somehow she could avoid it, it would get two of her pieces in the pocket. She didn’t want to, but maybe it was a necessary sacrifice. She lined up her pool cue, slowly eyeing up the pocket….

Only for a paper plate of greasy, shiny pizza to come smacking down right next to her. She looked up to see John giving her a small smile. He folded his own slice by the crust and took a small bite out of it. She had not heard him approach, the continuous sound of bowling balls thundering down their lanes covering up any footsteps he may have made.

She gave him a love tap on the side with the end of her cue, then moved her paper plate to the table so she could make her shot.

“Classic, coming in to save your own ass,” she laughed. He snickered and placed his own pizza down, shooting that bothersome solid ball into the pocket.

“You just didn’t make your move fast enough,” John’s reply was. She gave him a sour face, and went to look at the table for another shot.

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