The Student News Site of Leominster High School

The Devil's Advocate

The Student News Site of Leominster High School

The Devil's Advocate

The Student News Site of Leominster High School

The Devil's Advocate

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2023 Year in Review

Kali Reed
The Blue Devils Take The Field Before Their Victory Over Wachusett on Senior Night

As 2023 comes to a close and the new year approaches, here are some of the most notable events that occurred in the year. 

2023 had many ups and downs, making for a turbulent year. 

Beginning at the end of January and the beginning of February a large balloon, originating in China flew over Alaska, parts of Canada and the northern United States before being shot down by the United States Air Force off the coast of South Carolina. 

On June 18, a submarine headed for the Titanic wreckage was lost. The Titan launched from St. John’s Newfoundland, but an hour and 45 minutes into the journey, the submarine lost all contact with the operator. An extensive search began for the five passengers and their submarine, but unfortunately, they were off the radar. The submarine eventually imploded and the wreckage is said to be at the bottom of the ocean floor.

In cinema news, the film “Everything Everywhere All at Once” won an Oscar. The lead actress, Michelle Yeoh won an Academy Award for Best Actress. She became the first Asian woman to ever win an the Best Actress award.

Writers and actors alike took to the streets in a strike that lasted for 146 days. The Writers Guild of America did not end their strike for five months, until hearing that the union leaders had finally come to an agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.

There were many deaths this year, but two notable ones from the acting world were Angus Cloud and Matthew Perry. Angus Cloud, Euphoria star, passed away at age 25 due to drugs. Matthew Perry, who acted as Chandler on Friends, passed away at age 54. He was found at his home in California and is said to have drowned in his pool.

The phenomenon  of “Barbenheimer” that flooded theaters and box offices in July, was a memorable part of the year. Barbie, featuring a live action version of Barbie and Ken’s adventures in Barbie Land and the real world was released the same day as Oppenheimer, a 3 hour film following scientists during World War 2 and their development of the atomic bomb.

photo courtesy of Barbie Movie press release

The movies were very popular and many fans were found attending a double feature.

A trend on TikTok came about when people showed their outfits for the movies. Many would dress in all black to watch  Oppenheimer, but secretly had pink on underneath so when they switched theaters for the next film, they could take off the black and be sporting a bright pink number for the Barbie movie.

While “Barbenheimer” shook up cinemas, the Grimace Shake made waves in fast food. The purple berry-flavored drink from McDonalds had tiktokers falling down appearing to be passed out after sipping the shake as a viral trend. 

Locally, in September floods rocked Leominster as parts of the city were under water and many homes and businesses were damaged in the wreckage. Dams were near the point of collapsing and Governor Maura Healey hailed a State of Emergency for Massachusetts.

Photo in Leominster courtesy of Brayden Bergeron.

Politics were also a large topic of discussion and debate in 2023 especially with the upcoming election in 2024. President Trump was under heavy investigation for a large portion of the year, but it has so far not had an impact on his polls. He is currently leading the GOP by 61% followed by Haley and DeSantis who are tied at 11%.

In addition, there were multiple outbreaks of violence across the globe.

With ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and Russia, Congress and the president are running out of funds to send in aid to Ukraine.

In addition, a somewhat recent attack between Israel and Hamas has caused an uproar around the world. Protests and hate crimes sprung up across the United States on college campuses, big cities, and small towns.

In  2023 there were multiple threats of government shut downs one of which resulting because the former Speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy, voted to keep the government open, and he was then removed by his GOP party.

There was then a period of three weeks when there was no Speaker of the House and no legislation could be passed. The current Speaker of the House is a member of the GOP, Mike Johnson.

Donald Trump became a significant face in pop culture as his mugshot was posted around after being indicted for charges of racketeering in Georgia. Many found the former President’s mugshot comical, as he shot a downward glare into the lens of the camera. 

The vote to expel of George Santos, a republican representative from the third district of New York, took place on Friday, December 1. Santos was accused of stealing money from campaign donors as well as a number of other financial wrongdoings. The vote resulted in a 311-114 decision to remove Santos from congress. All of the democrats and upwards of 100 republicans voted to have him removed.

In world news, Charles III and his wife Camilla were crowned as the King and Queen of England in May of 2023. After Queen Elizabeth’s death in September of 2022, Prince Charles immediately became king, but the celebration was not for a few months after.

In 2023, Leominster sports teams rocked the courts and fields as multiple teams brought back titles and championship wins to the school’s name. The football team was able to play the Thanksgiving Day Game at historic Fenway Park against rival Fitchburg High School. Leominster came home with a 59-7 win over the raiders, ending their season; and the seniors’ careers, with a bang.

Leominster Girls Flag football team at Gillette Stadium

Leominster High School created their first girls flag football team that played in the spring. The girls were unstoppable and earned the honor of playing at Gillette Stadium. There, the girls met with some of the Patriots players and played their championship game. The Leominster girls team won the championship, giving themselves quite the reputation as a first year team.

The boys basketball team had a fantastic season, making it all the way to the elite eight. The team had a record of 14-10 and senior Justin Dadah became a 1,000 point shooter. The year before the team went 15-5, making it to the sweet 16.

There was quite a lot of news in the music world. Multiple artists went on tour and there was even a new hit single released by the Beatles.

Taylor Swift went on her ERA’s Tour featuring 3.5 hours of music and a set list of 44 songs. The tour is broken into 10 sets for her albums and she always got fans excited with her surprise songs.

Photo courtesy Taylor Swift Press Release

Beyonce also announced her huge Renaissance Tour. The Renaissance Tour was Beyonce’s ninth concert tour and has been the highest grossing tour of her career. Not only did Beyonce make money for herself, but she is accredited for helping infiltrate $4.5 billion to the United States economy due to people purchasing hotel rooms and food in the areas of her tour locations.

The Beatles used AI to release “Now and Then”, a song written by John Lennon in 1978. Lennon recorded the song, but he was playing so loudly that when the Beatles tried to finish it after he passed away, they could not because his voice was not able to be heard. In 2023, they were able to use artificial intelligence to separate the music from the voice, and Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr were able to finally finish the song. It has been dubbed, the Final Beatles Song.

Rhianna rocked the halftime show at Super Bowl LVII. Dressed in all red, surrounded by white dancers, Rhianna performed 12 of her hit songs. This was the first time Rhianna had performed since the 2018 Grammy’s.

Leominster High Blue Devil and KC Chief Noah Gray (Courtesy Leominster Football and Rick Marchand)

Although the Patriots were not in the super bowl, it was still a big game for Leominster residence as Leominster High School alum Noah Gray played with the Kansas City Chiefs against the Philadelphia Eagles. The Chiefs pulled out a 38-35 win over the Eagles. Brothers Travis and Jason Kelce played against each other in this game, putting themselves on everyone’s radar whether they were interested in football or not. “Mama Kelce” sported a jacket that was half Eagles and half Chiefs, showing her support for both sons.

Late in the year, Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift were spotted together and publicly announced they were dating in December, but had been seeing each other long before that.

In other football news, Tom Brady announced his retirement, not shocking most fans. Brady was a 6th round pick in 2000 for the New England Patriots and went on to become the greatest quarter back of all time. He won seven super bowls with the Patriots, where he played for 20 years, and he finished the last 3 years of his career with Tampa Bay.

In February of 2023, Lebron James set a new record for the highest scored points in a players career with 38,390 points. The previous record was held by Abdul – Jabbar with 38,387 points. Lebron is continuing to play in the upcoming 2023-2024 season and will continue to reach an even higher point total.

North America suffered pretty heavily in an environmental way, as fires raged in Hawaii and Canada, causing extensive air pollution and sickness. A severe lightning storm in March set trees on fire. The fire quickly spread and burned over 44 million acres of land. The smoke from the Canadian fires traveled down into the United States, specifically New York, and turned the skies orange. The smoke caused the air quality to plummet and people were reduced to staying in their homes or wearing masks. The air quality caused many to become very sick and develop respiratory illnesses.

In August, a power line in Maui, Hawaii was blown down in strong winds, causing fields of dry grass to catch fire. The fire spread extensively and destroyed Lahaina Town. There were over 100 deaths caused by this fire.

Another destructive incident was the mass shooting that took place in Lewiston, Maine. The man, Robert Card, shot and killed 18 people, injuring 13 others.

Prom King Gavin Robillard and Queen Georgina Wilson celebrate their coronation at prom held at Wachusett Mountain. (Staff)

He was on the run from authorities for 2 days before ultimately passing away from a self inflicted gunshot wound.

In local news, the Leominster High School class of 2023 held their prom at Wachusett Mountain. They were the first class from Leominster High School to hold their prom there and it was a smashing success.

The Leominster High School Theater Company performed the Pajama Game, a silly show about love in a Pajama Factory. The show was incredibly lighthearted and the cast did an incredible job.

All in all, the year 2023 had many significant events locally and nationally, good and bad. Time will tell what 2024 will bring.

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About the Contributors
Sara Belinsky
Sara Belinsky, Reporter

Sara Belinsky is in the 12th grade at Leominster High school. She is in the G.I.V.E club at the school and participates in club activities. She is in journalism because she is passionate about reporting the news involving the school and outside world. Sara brings a quality to covering breaking news and the attentiveness while dealing with high-risk situations. Outside of school, Sara enjoys playing with her puppy in her free time and is a native of Leominster. 

Victoria Miele
Victoria Miele, Reporter
Hello, my name is Victoria Miele and I am a senior at LHS! This year I am in Journalism 2. This summer I attended the Washington Journalism and Media Conference in Washington D.C. where I was able to meet journalists working on Capitol Hill, as well as tour the Capitol Building, and sit in the National Press Club and listen to credited reporters speak about their jobs and day to day lives. Throughout the year I play volleyball, tennis and I snowboard, but I love to read and write. I also work as a Personal Care Assistant for a young girl with SMA and I am a member of student government for the class of 2024, NHS, and I am the Vice President of Best Buddies. My favorite places to be are the library, my church, or playing volleyball with my friends. I am thrilled to be participating in this class and I look forward to the work we will be doing this school year!
Kali Reed
Kali Reed, Reporter
Hi! My name is Kali Reed and I am a 17 year old senior at Leominster High School. Some hobbies of mine include flag football and lacrosse. I’ve always enjoyed writing and hope to major in journalism in college and then eventually become a sports reporter. 

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