By Kenzie Raub '24
Mortiz Mittendorfer, also known as “Lil Mo” by his peers, is an Austrian prodigy football player, showing off his skills on the field as a Raiders team member.
“I feel very proud and very h onored to be able to wear a uniform and play for North Cross, because I think it’s a really rich history, it’s a really great opportunity for everybody who gets a chance to play at North Cross,” says Mittendorfer.
Mittendorfer plays wide receiver position and led the team in receptions this season. In Austria, he has even made it to the national team a couple of times. Here in America, he was second team all conference as a receiver and punt returner.
“I’ve played football for six to seven years,” says Mittendorfer, “It’s my main sport.”
Mittendorfer plans on playing football here at NCS while he finishes his schooling, graduate with good grades and try to get a scholarship to University of Washington so he can continue his football career.
“I came here from Austria last year, played sports there, went to school there, normal stuff,” Mittendorfer said. “Then, I got mail from Coach Ed and he asked me if I wanted to come to North Cross School, and I thought it was a great idea for my academic and athletic career.”
The football team started out as kids who didn’t know each other, but now they have gotten incredibly close throughout the season and consider each other family. Mittendorfer expresses how proud he is to be a part of the team and how proud of himself he is for his achievements.
“He [Mittendorfer] and Iver are roommates and we put an 8th grader with them because we knew they would take care of a younger student and be a good influence on a younger student,” says Coach Stephen Alexander, who coaches the football team. “I mean he’s just a great person. He’s very reliable and trustworthy, and I would trust him in a lot of ways, not just coaching him football.”
By Kenzie Raub '24
Denzel Marufu 23’ is an artist and a soccer player and an international student from Zimbabwe.
“It’s [American school] not more difficult than Zimbabwe,” Marufu said. “Zimbabwe is much more difficult than here—but it’s not just easy as I thought it would be.”
Marufu explains that in Zimbabwe, students have an extra year of school than in America. They also don’t use the same grade system as we do. Instead, Zimbabwean schools have “forms” of schooling levels. For example, grades eight through 18 are known as form one to six.
While in America at NCS, Marufu has been able to expand on his passion for art. His interest in drawing began somewhere around fifth grade, and he’s continued to draw and create art ever since. He has drawn several works that have been posted online and are hung in different places around the school.
“I’ve never even taken any art classes, so it’s just a thing,” Marufu said.
Along with building his artistic ability, Marufu has also been able to be a part of the NCS soccer team, continuing to grow his love for the sport. He began playing soccer in sixth grade, upholding the goalie position for his entire soccer career to this day. He was also able to be a part of the state championship recently played.
“It was good, you know,” he said. “Like, my first year here, winning the championship. It was something else.”
Marufu was named first-team all-state.
“Denzel was a wall in the goal,” Coach James Brown said, “and always there when called upon to make the big save.”
Marufu plans on continuing to play soccer and eventually make a career out of it. He isn’t sure about becoming an artist, but he still appreciates it as a hobby. He says his talent is creating art, but he enjoys playing soccer more, preferring to make a living out of it rather than drawing.
Marufu has one piece of advice to up and coming artists; references are very important.
“I just take a picture, I put it there, I just copy what’s on the picture,” said Marufu.
by Helen Hertz
Kenzie Raub, ‘24, has had an interest in developing her writing skills since age 8.
“I think I first started writing around fourth grade,” Raub said “I would write short stories, or things I thought would turn into books.”
Raub, a 15-year-old, now in grade 10, and hasn’t stopped writing. Surprisingly, her passion for writing does not originate from a love for reading.
“To be honest I’ve never really been a big fan of reading,” she said, “I’ve just always loved writing.”
While Raub may not spend as much time reading as writing, she still has an appreciation for all things horror, particularly short horror stories.
“I love scaring myself,” Raub said, “I try to write stuff like that to provoke emotion.”
Raub recently read “Scythe,” a futuristic sci-fi novel, which she feels is very similar to her own writing style. She also extolled Neal Shusterman, the author of “Scythe”.
“I love Neal Shusterman,” Raub said, “I feel like his writing felt so much like mine, the way he describes things and makes his characters interact.”
The vast majority of Raub’s writing has been centered around her own love of horror.
“I like to write murder mysteries and horror,” Raub said, “Maybe slip some romance and fluffy stuff in there.”
She admits it's a bit of a “weird combination” but enjoys writing it nonetheless.
Along with writing, Raub is also passionate about drama.
“I’ve been in drama club since sixth grade,” Raub said, “but I've always been in little musicals since about third grade.”
Raub has been consistent in her acting since. Last school year she was cast as Mary Debenham in North Cross’s production of “Murder on the Orient Express,” which was an all virtual production. Raub hopes to get back out on the stage this coming year.
Though Raub enjoys acting and performing, she sees it as less of an option for a career.
“I wanted to be an actress for a long time, along with being a writer,” she said, “But now I think I’m more focused on the author side.”
She might not be as focused on acting anymore, but Raub still is entertaining the idea of voice-acting.
“I really like the idea of voicing characters on TV shows,” Raub said, “Like on Spongebob one day my voice just pops up.”
Spongebob is a fairly popular show, Raub has certainly set her eyes on the prize.
The question of “Is writing a hobby or a future career?” seems to have a definite answer in Raub’s mind.
“I’m hoping to go to college to do something with creative writing,” Raub said, “I do intend on becoming an author when I’m older.”
She has already started scouting out colleges known for their writing programs. Raub has mentioned the possibility of attending the University of Virginia for their creative writing programs.
Raub recently joined the Willis Hall Herald staff and is hopeful her writing skills will come in handy.
“I feel like one of my strong points is description,” Raub said, “whether it be places, people, really anything.”
Raub also hopes to write creatively in the Willis Hall Herald, whether it be her short stories or simply a few lines.
Journalism is truly very dependent on descriptive writing, so Raub will no doubt be a fast learner.
“I’ve always loved writing,” Raub says, “I don’t really know where it came from, it just started one day and I just ran with it.”