• The Inkspot's next livestream will be Feb. 21, we will be covering the boys basketball regionals -- Community v. Minooka @ 6 p.m. and West v. Rock Island @ 7:30 p.m.
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Whatever you are interested in, we've got it covered.

Inkspot

Whatever you are interested in, we've got it covered.

Inkspot

Whatever you are interested in, we've got it covered.

Inkspot

Brayden Blackwell

Brayden Blackwell, Senior Staff Reporter

Brayden is a junior at Normal Community; he is involved in the boxing club and Best Buddies organization. This is Brayden's second year on the Inkspot.

I am inspired by people lifting each other up because "iron sharpens iron."

My all-time dream is to own my own business in Colorado Springs.

A book that moved me was "Breath" by Rickson Gracie.

All content by Brayden Blackwell
The Up-Beat – Ep. 2 – Lumber, leprechauns and the lottery

The Up-Beat – Ep. 2 – Lumber, leprechauns and the lottery

Welcome to "The Up-Beat," where each week a group of Inkspot reporters take a break from breaking news to share what's been making them smile this week. Abigail Ziemer, Brayden Blackwell, Anysia Russell and Lucas Drengwitz share what is making them happy this week.  

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Digital Illustration // Mr. Brad Bovenkerk

Ironmen trio returns to IHSA 3A State Wrestling Championship looking to improve on last season’s results

Inkspot Staff and Brayden Blackwell Feb 15, 2024

Three members of the boys wrestling team return to the IHSA 3A State Wrestling competition in Champaign on Feb. 15, looking to build on last season's results, after earning top-three finishes in last weekend’s Quincy Sectional. Cooper Caraway will make his third consecutive appearance at the State...

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Wrestling head coach Mr. Trevor Kaufman took over the program ahead of the 2015-16 season. 
In the years since he has established the Ironmen as a premiere program locally.

Q&A with Ironmen wrestling head coach Mr. Trevor Kaufman

Brayden Blackwell, Senior Staff Reporter Feb 8, 2024

Advancing six wrestlers to sectional competition is just one of the wrestling program’s many accomplishments this season under head coach Mr. Trevor Kaufman. The team won a second-consecutive Big 12 Conference title and second-straight Intercity championship. They went 18-2 as a team at dual meets,...

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Ali Ince capped her senior cross country season with a third straight State appearance. Junior Joey Yaros made his debut after setting a school record at Sectionals.
Photo Courtesy of: Mr. Jeff Christopherson

Track star Ali Ince closes cross country career at IHSA State Finals, Joey Yaros makes State debut

Brayden Blackwell, Senior Staff Reporter Nov 13, 2023

Three-time IHSA State cross country qualifier Ali Ince (’24) and Joey Yaros (’25) closed out the season with appearances at the 3A State Finals in Peoria Nov. 4.  Ince finished her senior State race in 19:16.00, less than five seconds off her pace the year prior (19:10.62). Battling an illness...

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Photo Illustration: Brad Bovenkerk

Ali Ince, Joey Yaros secure spots at IHSA 3A State Cross Country meet with historic performances

Ali Ince and Joey Yaros advance to Saturday’s IHSA 3A State Cross Country meet at Peoria’s Detweiller Park after historic Sectional performances on Oct. 28. Joey Yaros advances to his first State meet after a recorded setting performance at IHSA 3A Granite City Sectional. Yaros posted a time...

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Girls swim takes 2nd in Big 12 Conference; Sets sights on IHSA Sectionals

Girls swim takes 2nd in Big 12 Conference; Sets sights on IHSA Sectionals

Kirsten Santana and Brayden Blackwell Oct 31, 2023

Girls swim claimed second in the Big 12 Conference Oct. 21, scoring 210 points between its two second-place relays and seven individual top three finishes.  The team trailed Champaign Central by 93 points and finished 14 points ahead of Normal West thanks to junior Kenna Malinowski’s two first-place...

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On the Spot: Barbie Brainiacs? [video]

Ken Community answer the Inkspot's Barbie trivia?
The Inkspot staff quizzed members of Community's student body, putting their brains to the test on all things Barbie. Check out the video.
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The ability for freshman or first time actors to audition for Communitys Theatre program, Director Ms. Kevin Yale Vernon said, says something about the ability of students to trust our program. We dont have a star culture... it is all about the audition. 
Photo Courtesy of: Brad Bovenkerk

Underclassmen take center stage in Theatre program’s fall production ‘The Diviners’

Brayden Blackwell and Inkspot Staff Oct 5, 2023

When the Theatre department’s fall production of “The Diviners” premieres this weekend, a new generation of performers will take center stage.  Set in a rural Indiana town during the Great Depression, the story revolves around the intertwining lives of the townspeople as they grapple with faith,...

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New Faces of Normal

New Faces of Normal

A Q & A with 2023's new instructional, administrative and support staff members

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Watch 10 Fast and Furious films, earn $1K

Watch 10 Fast and Furious films, earn $1K

Brayden Blackwell and Libby Price May 12, 2023

$55 an hour?  Without having to leave the comfort of your couch?  That summer job could be yours courtesy of Finance Buzz, a website that provides financial tips, advice and recommendations. With May 19’s release of “Fast X,” the newest installment in the blockbuster Fast and Furious...

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Sophia Feeney helped lead the Iron girls basketball team to a State Farm Holiday Classic Title this season. 
Now, she is being recognized as Holiday Classic Scholarship award winner for her on- and off-the-court excellence.

Iron basketball’s Sophia Feeney wins Holiday Classic Scholarship

Brayden Blackwell and Libby Price May 12, 2023

Sophia Feeney was announced as a 2023 Holiday Classic Scholarship award recipient on May 4. The scholarship, which recognizes seniors who participated in the 2022 State Farm Holiday Classic basketball tournament, awards Feeney $1,500 towards her college tuition next year.  The tournament, Feeney...

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The boys track and field team avenged its second place finish to the West Wildcats last season, defeating the defending champs by three points to claim Communitys first Intercity title in over a decade.

Intercity champs: Girls win third straight crosstown title; Boys secure first win in over a decade

Community’s boys and girls track and field teams can both boast the title “Intercity champs” after winning the annual crosstown competition at Bloomington High School on April 25.   Girls Track & Field The girls team, led by Ali Ince, defended their title for the third consecutive...

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Several Community seniors were eligible to vote for the first time in Aprils election, helping pass  the Unit 5 tax referendum.

Community seniors turn out in support of Unit 5 tax referendum

Libby Price and Brayden Blackwell May 1, 2023

The Unit 5 tax referendum drew several Community seniors to the polls on April 4, the second time the issue was on the ballot. More than 53% of voters rejected the referendum in November’s midterm elections when the majority of the Class of 2023 was ineligible to vote. In April, the referendum...

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Asian-American & Pacific Islander Culture Clubs Diwali attendees group photo in room 36 on October 28.

Asian American Pacific Islander Culture Club celebrates Asian cultures, Diwali

Kirsten Santana and Brayden Blackwell Nov 29, 2022

The Asian American Pacific Islander Culture Club (AAPI) hosted its first official event celebrating Diwali on Oct. 28.  Each month, Pranavi Chaganti, the club’s board chair, said, the organization plans to recognize, celebrate and teach about Asian cultures. The AAPI's purpose, Chaganti said,...

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Cross country teams take 2nd at Intercity

Cross country teams take 2nd at Intercity

For the second straight year, Community’s boys and girls varsity cross country teams finished 2nd at the Intercity meet at Maxwell Park, Thursday, Sep. 22.   Girls Varsity  Normal West won the girl’s race, with the Wildcats finishing 7 points ahead of Community. Four Community runners...

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