Author Archives: Noah Nei

Fantasy Geopolitics

North Lakes Academy teacher Eric Nelson has taken off with his Fantasy Geopolitics project and is taking it to new levels. It started off as a small idea he created to get his students to become active in world issues. This competition forced students to get involved and discover what was going on in the world, and they really enjoyed it.

“It was very competitive, for someone who isn’t all that engaged in school, it caused me enjoy school more and I put in a lot more effort” said Colton Thell (12). Fantasy Geopolitics changed his perspective on work ethic, classes, and school.

Fantasy Geopolitics is essentially about running the world. First, you create teams of countries that you draft. Once you’ve drafted enough countries, which usually consists of one to five per student, you gain points depending on how many times those countries are mentioned in three different news sources: The New York Times, Al Jazeera and Reuters. Once your country is mentioned in one of these sites, you gain points. The goal is to score as many points as you can, and is very similar to the popular Fantasy Football game many NFL fans use.

“It’s a social learning game that follows countries and world leaders as they compete for news headlines, it’s Fantasy Football for history standards,” Nelson said.

NLA will be implementing this throughout the school. Christopher Stewart, the other social studies teacher at NLA, is already using this creation in his 9th grade Civics classroom. Nelson will be taking Fantasy Geopolitics to another level by making it an elective for the second semester of the school year. Fantasy Geopolitics is exploding at NLA, and it’s even being taken further beyond the classrooms.

Three months ago, Nelson took a trip to New Orleans to get Fantasy Geopolitics on its feet with a start up organization. This organization helped take Fantasy Geopolitics further than Nelson had ever thought he could. He worked on his project, and how others could benefit from it.

In order to have taken this idea further, he needed to find and prove why Fantasy Geopolitics was solving a problem for students.

“I did a lot of testing of my assumptions, so I assumed Fantasy Geopolitics is solving a problem, which is students were disengaged in learning about the world they live, in an era which global competence matters more than ever,” Nelson said, explaining why Fantasy Geopolitics will make a difference for students across the nation.

Nelson made an impression in New Orleans when he pitched his idea. After all the work, it had finally taken off.

“It was awesome… the hardest thing I’ve ever done, the most fun, and the most rewarding.” Nelson said.

Nelson is using what teenagers use most to his advantage: FaceBook. Fantasy Geopolitics has a FaceBook page that students and adults can access to learn more about the project. Currently, Fantasy Geopolitics is in its pilot stage, and is only being used in three different schools currently. Although that is pretty minimal, it is available here at NLA. Make sure you check out the Fantasy Geopolitics FaceBook page, and get active in the world we live in.

This has spurred another competition between Nelson and Stewart, as evidenced in the following exchange during the interview:

Stewart: “My posts in [the] Fantasy Geopolitics facebook page is 95% more successful than anything [Nelson] has posted so far.”

Nelson: “True story. No one reads it because it’s above one hundred and forty characters.”

Stewart: “It’s okay, it’s 95% more successful.”

Nelson: “That’s true, statistics. Nazis also used those, to kill Jews.”

Stewart: “Propaganda sometimes is what you need to rule the world.”

[Dean of Students Cam Stottler walks by]

Nelson (jokingly, staring after him): Stottler’s a tool.

NLA Basketball: Season Intro

Although North Lakes Academy as a school is not known for its athletics, basketball has been on the rise and is continuing to pose a threat in the Eastern Minnesota Athletic Conference.

The team started in 2009 with zero wins and a fresh, young team that hadn’t become accustomed to the sport quite yet. Last year in the 2011-12 season, NLA, with Judd Yaeger as Head Coach, blew through the EMAC Conference maintaining a record of fourteen wins and only two losses.

The Huskies still pose a huge threat to the EMAC Conference coming off of their record from last year, and now with all five starters being seniors, they’ll be looking to dominate the conference once again.

“I always expect to compete. I expect to be in the top three of the conference every year. I believe we have the talent and dedication to compete for the EMAC title this year. If we give our best effort, I cannot ask or expect more,” said Judd Yeager, Head Coach for the NLA Huskies Basketball Team, regarding the expectations for the 2013 season.

Last year the team came close, but wasn’t able to make it all the way and did not win the EMAC title for 2011-12 season. With the starting five all in their graduating year, it is their time to shine. Although having the fantastic five starting this year, the Huskie team is suffering a tough loss this year. Last year, Senior Brandon Flom, graduated leaving the team behind, this put a significant dent in how the Huskies play defensively.

“Our defense is key to our success. We don’t have a lot of post presence to advance far, so we will utilize our depth at guard and wings. We will defend the ball wherever it is on the court, all game long.”

Defense is always something the Huskies team has had to emphasize on, particularly because it’s something they struggle with as a team. Losing Flom as a strong defensive player was and will be tough for the team. Now new players are going to have to step up defensively, like Dylan Beatty(12) and Kyle Spillman(10).   Beatty and Spillman are going to be a huge part of the defense this year, and have stepped up to the demands Yeager has made to his team.

Although defense is something the team tends to struggle with, offense is its strong suit. Christopher Rosencrantz (12), who plays the role of point guard, is one of the fantastic starting five and plays a huge role in this year’s offense. Although the Huskies offense is completely team based, Rosencrantz plays debatably the most critical role on the court for the Huskies.He’s the shooter; wherever he is on the court, the ball is in his hands, ready to fire.

NLA is in its prime time year for Basketball this 2013 season. Games will start to be played soon, and the season is just around the corner. This is NLA’s year to dominate, make sure you come support the team as often as you can.


NFL Predictions Week 10: Lions vs. Bears

The National Football League is now on to week ten and things are starting to take shape into a close. This week the top game that the teachers here at North Lakes Academy have been looking over will be played in Chicago against the Bears and Lions. Again Eric Nelson and Christopher Stewart face off against  each other to see who knows the game more. Both with an impressive knowledge of football, but who has the superior mind?

Stewart seems to side with logic yet again. Although Stewart isn’t quite sure about the Bears taking a win away from the Lions, it’s definitely a tough decision. Because both teams play so well offensively, it’s going to have to narrow down to their defense.

“I think the biggest issue between these two teams is that they both have high power offenses, so its really going to be about their defense.”

Although Stewart realizes that the Bears running game is constantly getting better and they do have the home field advantage, it still could swing either way. The Lions are a great team, with weapons like Calvin Johnson who quarterback Joe Stafford uses to his advantage. With advantages in their offensive passing game like this, the Lions loom over the Bears in this aspect. With a guy like Stafford and Johnson, who constantly are setting eachother up for points, it can be tough to beat.

“With a guy like Calvin Johnson and Stafford, it’s really just like they’re playing catch, and its just like backyard football with your buddies. if they can’t get to Stafford or they can’t guard against Johnson, yeah its going to be tough (for the Bears)”

Nelson seems to have different opinions. Although Stewart tends to sway toward his logical opinions, Nelson on the other hand keeps his predictions to his gut feeling. Nelson has a tremendous amount of respect for the Bears, and he’s thinking they’re going to step all over the Lions on game day.

“Going to pick Bears by three, with the final score twenty four to twenty one, if Cutler is back. The Lions defense  is excellent, but the Bears offensive line and Trestman’s offense has really excelled this year. The Bears seem to be legit and this will be the ultimate test! If the Bears can contain Megatron and the defensive line can protect Cutler, I’ll be right!”

Needless to say Nelson sides with his good old Bears team. Never the less, even he knows the game will be so very close.

With this week’s predictions there can only be one victor between the two teachers here at NLA, who do you think will win?

Stewart stated that “It’s the NFC North, its almost impossible to predict” and he definitely is right about that one.

It’s definitely going to be a close game needless to say.


NFL Week Nine Sports Predictions with Mr. Stewart

Eric Nelson and Christopher Stewart, teachers at NLA, have a passion for football. They like to compete by predicting the outcomes of National Football League games. Week Nine is just around the corner, and both find the Green Bay Packers a dominant threat in the league. Luckily this week they face a competitive matchup against the Chicago Bears and the outcome is in the air.

Gustavus Football Alum Stewart states the Bears are a good team, but in the end, are suffering too many injuries and losses. They don’t have the weapons to take out the Packers. Along with the injuries the Bears are suffering, they’re facing a team whose running game has been taken to a whole new level. The Packers have decent offense men and Packers QB Aaron Rodgers makes them even better.

“The Packers run offense is getting there. In just eight weeks, with Eddie Lacy from Alabama, it’s gone kind of crazy. Rodgers is kind of like that Tom Brady type, where if he’s got that little talent around him, he can make them into superstars,” Stewart stated. “The x-factor will be who can control the clock,” he said. “I honestly think the Packers have a better chance and most likely will take the game.”

Nelson is currently out of state doing work with his Geopolitics project, but is still active on ESPN and keeps a close eye on the games. Though a dedicated Bears fan, Nelson’s vote still swings to the Packers on this one. His enthusiasm for this week’s matchup was uncontainable.

“This is one of the greatest rivalries in sports! I’m going to have to go with the Packers winning 35-34, since Cutler’s out and I’m sure Eddie Lacy will be out dominating. I hope it’s a close one!”

Tune in Sunday to see if these teachers truly know what they’re talking about.

NLA Huskies Volleyball Season Overview

At North Lakes Academy, the girls’ volleyball team is something that brings out school spirit in many, and for good reason.

NLA is unlike regular public schools; it doesn’t have football teams, hockey teams or any real contact sports. Without sports like these and lacking a big homecoming game, NLA students turn their attention to the sports the school does have and takes pride in them. For North Lakes, volleyball games are a place to cheer, see friends, and share their pride for the school they attend and for the Huskies team. This year, NLA put itself on the board for volleyball and became a dominant team in the conference. It was a great year to watch and the girls loved playing even more.

“This year, the girls really met our expectations as a coaching staff” Assistant Coach Chris Stewart stated.

Now that the 2013 is finished, the coaches and players are able to look back and see the incredible advances in team chemistry, playing ability and skill that was gained over the season. This incredible advancement in playing ability resulted in a great season and countless wins.

“This year we had more wins and a better record than we ever had done before” said Jeff Beimert, the team’s head coach, in reference to the team’s 7-4 conference record.

The team played incredibly well this season, leading the Huskies to become a threat in and outside of its conference.  The 2014 season has even higher hopes.  At this rate, NLA will continue to be a dominant presence not only in its conference, but statewide.

Huskies Volleyball Continues to Blow Through Competition

Here at North Lakes Academy we’ve always been known for our school pride. We may not be one of the biggest schools, but we sure care and support one another like one. On Thursday, September 12, our very own Huskies took on Spectrum at Crossroads for one of our first home games. That night, the Huskies showed who they really were and demonstrated how a small, proud school can overcome the odds.

Spectrum is a higher class A school, with many more students than NLA.When teams faced off, it was a true triumph of teamwork and school spirit for all of us here at North Lakes. This game proved to the many NLA supporters and fans that we have a shot of making it big time, and this is how it happened.

There was a series of four games that took place that night and the first was bitter. North Lakes struggled very much throughout the majority of the first game. It looked quite close for most of the game.  When the score reached 16-22 with the Huskies down, everyone knew the first round was over. It was hard to look at from the stands and even harder for the girls on the court, but they didn’t count themselves out yet. There were still plenty of games to play, and the girls still had plenty to prove as well.

After a tough first match up against Spectrum, the Huskies put on their game faces and went into the second game with spirit and pride. Spectrum scored the first point but after that, the Huskies had a run of points with some important plays made by Miranda McGlade (12). After a nice run by the Huskies, Spectrum closed the gap, leaving the score at 11-9 with the Huskies still up and playing. After a lot of  back and forth across the scoreboard, the Huskies took back their dignity and beat Spectrum 25-19 in the second game. If they continued to play like they did that second match up, they’d have been in the clear. But the night wasn’t over, and there were plenty more of surprises.

With the third game starting, Huskies fans were all over the place cheering and shouting for this ferocious team. The Huskies again gained an early lead starting out above Spectrum 11-2, which led to a timeout. After that short break, Spectrum began to close the gap. Only after that did the Huskies take advantage of their offense, leading the game 18-13.  Another timeout was called by Spectrum. Again after another short break, Spectrum managed to exploit their offense and yet again evened up the score 22-22 with only three points to go. The next three points were nail biters for both sides of the bleachers, but the Huskies clutched the third game 25-23.

One more game was all the Huskies needed to wrap the night up. The final game started off slowly with scores flying back and forth across the scoreboard until Rayna Yeager (10) stepped up to serve. She led her team well, putting them on a huge point streak that benefitted them throughout the entire game. By the time she was done, the score was 15-4.  After that incredible streak, Spectrum began to close the gap. Although Spectrum started to improve, they were no match for the game the Huskies played. With some incredible plays in the fourth game by Sophomores Liv Dufour and Katie Alamo, the Huskies easily finished the last game winning 25-18 leaving the fans going wild!

Yet again the Huskies showed a dominant performance. Come join the fun next time and cheer on your very own Huskies Volleyball Ladies!


NLA Huskies Volleyball Season Begins!

With the new school year just starting, school sports are right around the corner!

Jumping right into the school year, the Huskies have volleyball coming right at us, and this year’s team is competitive! Last year, volleyball provided a lot of excitement for students and many others who enjoyed going to watch, just as much as the girls enjoyed to play the game.  With this year’s team, things are looking really well; fans can definitely expect a lot more excitement and pumped up games.  NLA will definitely be standing out in our conference and possibly state volleyball.

The coaches for this year have a lot of confidence in the girls. Head Coach Jeff Beimert is definitely looking into the season with excitement and has well rounded expectations.  He’s very happy with what this year’s team has provided him. He’s gained a lot of new players; twelve girls are dressing for Varsity this year.

“I have full confidence that they will compete well is, our philosophy here is a win or loss is just a result, but that doesn’t measure us as a team,” Beimert said. He knows his team will compete well this year.  Hopefully, they’ll climb up to the top as they have these last couple of years. “Everyone this year is a key player, whether you’re our seniors like Brooke (Unze) or Miranda (McGlade) or the underclassmen we’ll be dressing for Varsity,” Biemert said continuing off of his coaching philosophies. With the team he has this season, there’s no doubt they will be a contender.

Here at North Lakes we’re all about the pride of our school! The girls have really stepped it up and it’s only the beginning of the season. Grab a friend and head down to one of their games to support the team.


Oh, the Teachers at NLA!

At North Lakes Academy there are all  kinds of teachers. You have the nerdy ones, the bookworms, the movie fanatics, the crazy young college kids and many more! There are many types of wild and rambunctious teachers that dwell in all corners of NLA, but the two that attract the most attention is no surprise! The two famous teachers of NLA are the young college graduates  Christopher Stewart and Eric Nelson. Thing One and Thing Two is what they are usually referred to by the public. These two teachers have an awkwardly close bond, and always know how to frighten the young children at NLA!

Christopher Stewart, the Patriot of NLA, teaches Civics as well as History. He is known for his extreme patriotism for his homeland America, and will do absolutely anything to preserve its rights and ways. He loves his country almost as much as  he loves his students!

Rapper Nelson on the other hand is a little further out there. He’s a fun-loving regular young college graduate teaching TLC and American History, at least that’s what everyone thinks when they first meet him. In reality, he’s a crazy teacher who will do anything to frighten students or make the situation as awkward as possible. One of his TLC students told me that, in attempts to make things awkward, he rubbed his head on the student’s shoulder back and forth like a dog. He was trying to explain to the student how his dog gives him affection. “He was just standing there, rubbing his head all over my shoulder… I still have nightmares,” said the petrified student.

Truth be told, not all the teachers ta NLA are normal, in fact, none of them are! In the end, all students have a great time and even enjoy the awkwardness displayed by all the teachers. “It’s just something you get used to, and enjoy after time,” said Brooke Unze (11). Once you’ve experienced NLA, you won’t find anything like it!

NLA Softball Comes To A Close

On May 18th the Legacy Christian Academy Lions took on our own North Lakes Academy Huskies for our first sectionals game this year for Girls Softball. They Huskies had been placed at the 12th seed for the tournament and the Lions at the 4th. With Judd Yeager now coaching the girls’ softball season, it looked good from the beginning. The NLA Girls Softball team had a great season, starting it off with seven wins and only three loses coming into the playoffs. How they would do in sectionals was difficult to predict. They were playing a top team, but they definitely had the capabilities to beat the Lions and advance.

Once the game started it already looked in favor of the Lions. They scored five runs in the first inning, and then it was the Huskies turn to hit at the ball. For the majority of the game, the Huskies had a hard time making runs, but eventually they had the moment of glory. Junior at NLA Miranda McGlade hit a single and then had freshman Zoe Deal run for her afterward. Zoe later stole for second giving the next hitter a better chance at getting her home. Another freshman Liv Dufour, who is a big time athlete at NLA, stepped up next to bat. She swung and hit it out far enough for Zoe to run from third all the way to home plate! It was a close call, but freshman Zoe Deal slid home for a nice run with the help of Liv Dufour. After that moment the game eventually started to come to a close. The Huskies had lost and were eliminated.

All in all it was a great year for Huskie’s Softball and the girls really played well. Coach Yeager adored his team, and really put his heart and soul into the team, just like he does with all his teams. So in the end, the Huskie’s Softball team ended the year 7-4, a satisfying feeling of triumph and victory for the whole school.

NBA Finals Moving Along


The NBA Finals are really heating up. We have the top teams all playing against one another and by far some of the best games of the year have been played. With everything that’s been going on in the NBA and with all the games that have been played it’s difficult to keep up with all the scores, games and news. To catch you up with all the games and details, here’s what’s been going on in the NBA today.

Lately, dominant teams have been taking over the finals. The Miami Heat has obviously been looking very good throughout the finals. They continue to beat teams down one by one. The Chicago Bulls just advanced to the next round of games, but now they have to play a rested and hungry Heat team. So far it continues to look like the Heat will yet again make it to the championship.

Another threat that continues to prove themselves is the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers have been an overlooked team for many years, but this is their year. They came out of the dark and surprised us all, and Indiana fans are pleased. A lot of professional sports journalists and NBA players feel very confidently about the Pacers taking a title this year. They are a team to be feared, but do they have what it takes to play in a championship game under such pressure and against another top team?

Lastly, one of the biggest NBA shooting teams has been paving their way through the finals. The Oklahoma City Thunder with star shooter Kevin Durant and Shooting Guard Martin have been a huge threat throughout the playoffs, and every team wants to knock them off the boards. They rain supreme compared to every other team beyond the three point mark, but the competition they have to go up against is also well played. They are playing the Grizzlies, and the games have been close. If the Thunder falls, it will be in this round of games. They’re shooting has been off, and Russell Westbrook is now out on an injury. Without Westbrook, not only does the next point guard Jackson need to step up, but the entire team as a whole. If they can’t play in the paint and are only relying on their shooters, they will lose.

So now that you have the lowdown, who do you think will win? Whoever it is, it’s always a great time to watch the finals. Besides March Madness basketball, this is the most anticipated basketball event of the year. Only time will tell who comes out on top.