All posts by Mary Kondash

Would you do this to your Kid?

Have you ever been at a middle school or high school sports game where the parents are reliving their glory days, by yelling and critiquing their children from the sidelines? You know those parents. There are some at every school, the ones that make me laugh the most are the parents of the students who don’t get the most playing time or the ones who play maybe once every few games.
There is a Netflix sports documentary called Trophy Kids; the movie goes into the lives of a few student-athletes that their parents have lost sight of what truly matters in the game, and have pushed the kid to their ends making them excel.
The documentary starts off with a look at the training some of the kids go through. It is intense stuff, and from their training, they look like they could play their respective sport well. It was shocking to see that they weren’t as good at their sports as you would think they should be of course their yelling and screaming parent probably also didn’t help.
I was a two-sports lettering varsity athlete in high school, for three years. I could never have imagined my parents forcing me to practice continually, or even be on the sidelines trying to “coach” me. My parents were very relaxed and respectful parents, now of course when I won a heat, or I had a good hit, they would be as excited if not more excited than anyone else in the stands.
After every game or meet, I would always be able to count on them to highlight what I did well and what they were proud of me for, and not the opposite; they would never ridicule me or say that I could have done better. The only time they would say anything negative is if I made a foolish mistake, like missing an easy outfield catch or flipping to turn in a heat early resulting in a lost kick off.
Throughout the documentary, you hear the parents say so many defamatory things to their children, in one part a dad tells his son, who plays basketball, he is so stupid, and that he should not even try anymore if he isn’t going to do it perfect. Another father, whose daughter is a golf player, can’t control the complete environment that he wants his daughter to be in, he loses it and starts to scream at his daughter.
Being a high school athlete like these other kids, I feel so sorry for them and would not wish that upon anyone. The saddest part is most of these student athletes won’t make it to the pro’s; they are going to burn out before that will ever happen. The athletes who make it to the pro’s, work hard, have natural talent, and actually, want to succeed in their sport. Not just to please their parent.

How to help a college student get to Football Sunday

As a college student, I know a thing or two about both being unorganized… and organized. Some background on me as a college student, I am a Corporate Communications major, freshman year I was working two jobs, and starting the sophomore year I was working three, all this while going to school full time. I would rather watch Netflix or hang out with friends rather than do homework (which college kid doesn’t.) Going into Junior year, I cut back on jobs but overloaded my schedule to try and get more credits out of the way. Now here we are, fall semester senior year, I work two on-campus jobs, and have a regular school schedule.

Freshman year, I never thought that you would need to plan out the majority of your day and even your evening, boy was I wrong. I quickly being a hot mess and started to stress about things that I did not need to stress over. I also forgot assignments… thus not having the best GPA at the end of freshman year.

Going into sophomore year, I had to change how I approached school and becoming organized; I started with the planner that the school gives you… that lasted, two weeks if I was lucky. Fall semester of sophomore year I feel back into my old ways of just trying to remember what is due not being too successful I might add.

Spring semester I talked to a bunch of my friends and asked how they deal with it all, and how they keep things straight in their minds and keep everything organized. They said the same things I have tried… planners, but one of my friends told me about a company that you can make a personalized planner. I decided to try it… couldn’t hurt, right?

Junior year came with a newly personalized planner in hand; I was ready to take on what would be my busiest year yet. I promised myself that I would try longer than a few weeks, and what did you know, it worked! I stopped missing assignments, and I have a weekend to do the things I love to do! Like friends on Saturday and football on Sunday, there wasn’t nearly as much running around last minute trying to get everything crammed in.

Throughout the rest of the year, I was on top of myself to write in my planner for every class. My grades went up, and my stress level went down. It was great!

I continued to use my planner making a new one every semester, and I have also added a to-do list notebook to my daily organizational routine. Helping me stay on top of school and work, and extra-circulars. I have now been able to keep all Sundays during football season open, and available for me to enjoy with my family.

Now let’s get to what really matters… THE FOOD!

Don’t be afraid
I am not going to sit here and say that you need to hand make everything that you are going to feed to your guests. Use what helpful tools you have around you, pre-pared food like rotisserie chickens, specific frozen items, and also your store’s bakery. I promise you no one is going to call you out on it! And if they do, own it! Everyone needs a little help bringing things together sometimes!

What to serve
Decisions… decisions, what kind of party you are going to hold, are you going to be the underachieving host/hostess whom just has chips and pretzels, or are you going to be the host/hostess that puts out a five-course meal. How about we be the host/hostess that has a happy medium between the two? Along with our happy medium, you are going to have to think about your guests, does anyone have food allergies, how about vegetation’s or vegan’s, or a plain just picky eater (this is especially true if you invite kids). You want to be an excellent host/hostess so have at least one option for everyone to enjoy.

Dips and Chips
We are going to start with the thing that always goes the fastest, and is the standard thread at every party, dips, and chips! I still do at least three different kinds of dip (and this does not include veggies or fruit with dip). My #1 go to is a spinach and artichoke dip, super easy only five ingredients, and it also does double dotty to help with any vegetarians. Next, I do a heartier dip, like a buffalo chicken, beer cheese, or a queso. All super simple and all can be made with bought premade grocery store items. Pro Tip: have a crockpot handy, and use crockpot sleeves and a foil divider to keep more than one dip warm at once.

More Substance
I have one word for you… Sandwiches, yes you heard me right. Making sandwiches is a lot easier than you think it is. Don’t go and make individual ones for every person invited. At the grocery store, go and find Hawaiian rolls, they will allow you to make 12 sandwiches all at once! This will enable you to create a variety of sandwiches. Pro Tip: buy frozen dinner meatballs, cook them prior in sauce, and then cut the rolls in half and one meatball to eat roll… add cheese, and garlic parsley butter to the top of the roll, then melt in the oven.

There is nothing wrong with saying you aren’t a baker… there are professionals for that! Go to your bakery section, buy a few different kinds of cookies and put them on a platter (no one will know you didn’t slave over the stove). Also, buy premade brownies, and white icing, cut the brownies out to look like a football use the white frosting for the laces on the ball.

Extra Munchies
I am always in the boat of having more food than not enough, grab a few bags of party size chips or popcorn. This way if the game goes into overtime, or if your food just gets eaten within the first half of the game. You can also buy frozen pizza’s, or your favorite easy munchies.

Just remember… You got this! And no one needs to know!

The Overtime Miracle

MOUNT JOY, Pa — Donegal boys’ varsity soccer team goes into overtime in their sixth league game of the season against Lancaster Catholic on September 16.  With the final score, 3-2, and a win for Donegal.

Within the first ten minutes of the game, the first yellow card was called, senior Aaron Smith, resulting in a five-minute penalty. The yellow card was a result of Smith talking back to the referee.

“looking back now I should have probably just kept my mouth shut, but at the moment, I didn’t think the ref was doing a good job,” Smith said.

Going into the half, the parents in the stands had a displeased look to them, with Lancaster Catholic obtaining and holding an early lead against Donegal, the score 1-0. As the players leave the field, their parents were commenting on how they were playing, and that they were letting Catholic take the lead.

After coming back from the half, you could tell the team had a new outlook on the game;

“We went into the locker room at the half, and I could tell the boys were down on themselves. I am a firm believer that whatever attitude you go into a game with, is usually how the game is going to end. If you go into the half with a crappy attitude, or with the idea that we are already behind, so there is not a chance we will come back then that is exactly how the game will turn out. I asked the boys why they thought we were losing” Wagner said

“Some of them said we are being outplayed; others stated that they are just better. When I heard them say that I knew we had to change how we thought of the game. With only a few minutes left in the halftime, we completely changed how we thought and played this game. We went back out there more confident than we had been earlier.”

Donegal did just that; they walked back on the field with their heads held high, and ready to give it a fight. It took the team most of the second half to get on the board, but with nine minutes left in the game, sophomore Austin Heim scored the first goal. And four minutes later, junior Zachary Runkle scores their second to tie up the game resulting in overtime.

After a short five minutes break the teams take the field for the last time that night. The Donegal goalie, junior Gavin Murren gave an inspirational speech to his team, after the game.

“we all needed something,” Murren said “at that point, we were all hot and tired, someone had to make us believe in ourselves! And I was the one to do it.”

And with that inspirational speech, Donegal scored their 3rd and final goal of the game to win with 8:13 left in their overtime.

Homegating… instead of Tailgating

Last week we talked about how to set up your party area, and some last-minute things you will need to think. This week we are going to talk about, setting the mood and preparing for food.  Please keep in mind that there is no reason for you to slave over a hot oven all day to help feed your guests! With these simple and easy tricks and treats, I promise there will be no headaches, or stress when it comes to feeding your guests.


How much food

Now that we have our happy medium, the next question is how much food you are going to need to feed your hungry football lovers! Now, this can get a little confusing so bear with me the amount of food all depends on WHAT you are going to serve. But lucky for you, we have a chart to help us through this!


How to serve

Don’t pull out your grandmother’s china for this! Go to your local party supply store (or online) and invest in reusable plastic serving trays, if you buy one or two new ones every time you throw a party, within a year you will have an amazing surplus, and will never need to dirty your nice glass serving dishes. Also, remember disposable tin pans are your friend, they are extremely versatile and can go from oven to table, to fridge with leftovers, no need to dirty Tupperware.



Keep one thing in mind when you are putting together this party… it is not a child’s birthday party! You do not need to decorate your whole house with footballs and field goals! I would suggest the most you do is put the color of your favorite team as your plastic tablecloths, and yes, I recommend covering any table that will be used with tablecloths. Spills and dropped foot are a lot easier to deal with then you just have to wipe it up, and not clean it up.


Paper or plastic?

I suggest when it comes to any plates, utensils, or napkins go out and spend the money on either paper or plastic ones. You will thank yourself at the end of the night when you just throw it all away and don’t have to run the dishwasher multiple times, with things to still clean up. You don’t want to be thinking about this party days after it has ended! Make it simple, get plates that are the primary color of your team, and the utensils of their secondary color, white napkins to finish it off. You don’t want to go overboard, and color code everything.


Clean up help

Some would say that this is the worst part of the night… cleaning up after your guests leave. Here is a crazy idea… have your guests help! Put out multiple trash cans; I suggest outside or in the garage if your house or weather allows it. If your guests know where to put their trash, they are more likely to just do it for you, leaving less of a headache for you at the end. If you are a household that recycles, convey that to your guests. To make this easier have a big can or place for everyone to put their cans or bottles (its football there will be a lot). Pro Tip: people are going to ask to help clean up… let them! It will go a lot faster if everyone just grabs a plate or two, that way you are not stuck doing it yourself.

Next week we will get into some argue the most important part of football… The food!