page www.royalpage.org theROYAL Thursday, March 1, 2012 Volume 30 Issue 6 inside the RP Healthy living at HHS (P. 8) - C-Spread Minn. legislature ends seniority (P. 2) - News Pat calls for the end of PDA (P. 4) - Opinion A look inside the Varsity Theater (P. 6) - Variety Embretson faces pregnancy head on (P. 10) - Feature Star diver chooses to stay home (P. 13) - Sports Back in blue Zach Stahl is back from his suspension and ready to play. Zach Mekler Staff Reporter Zach Stahl, senior, has played in more than 80 varsity basketball games including three state championship victories, but none have meant more to him than the six games he could not play in. In mid-October, Stahl was suspended for six games due to a chemical violation. A few days later, he lost his division one basketball scholarship offer to Lehigh College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. “It was basically the worst week of my life,” Stahl said. Stahl, who had committed to play for Lehigh a few weeks earlier, received a call from their head coach telling him they had decided to pull the scholarship. The coach told him that because of his knee surgery earlier in the year, Lehigh did not want to take the injury risk he presented. His suspension had a big impact on the team, according to Demitrius Martin, senior and captain. “It was a little upsetting; it puts the team in a bind any time you lose a player like that,” Martin said. Stahl admitted that his suspension was a low point in his life. He felt that he let himself down, and even worse, his team as well. "Being out there practicing every day but knowing when game day comes that there is nothing I can do to help but watch; that was the hardest part," Stahl said. Top: Photo by Mike Newcomer Bottom: Photo courtesy of Mr. Jarrin Williams While serving his suspension, Stahl worked hard on his game in practice despite not being able to play. "I was just trying to get better so that I didn't miss a beat and I could contribute right away when I came back," he said. His teammates noticed Stahl’s extra effort while he served his suspension. "He seemed more hungry, more determined," Martin said. The team went 5-1 without Stahl, with the loss coming against Benilde St. Margaret's High School in a close game. Since Stahl’s return, the team is undefeated and is winning games by an average of more than 25 points. The team's improved play with Stahl back does not come as a surprise to his head coach. "Zach is a great player, well rounded, very unselfish, and he compliments other players very well," said Mr. Ken Novak, Social Studies, and head basketball coach. By this point in the season, almost all senior athletes know where they are headed. Stahl is still waiting to find out. "The whole Lehigh deal broke very late. It was a very bizarre situation,” Novak said. While Stahl quickly found his groove on the court after his return, getting another scholarship offer has proven more difficult. "It’s stressful for everyone involved,” Stahl said, referring to his recruiting process. “The hardest part is waiting.” While Stahl waits, there is not much he can do. "It’s pretty much just having the coaches send out tapes of my games and letting schools know I'm available again,” he said. So far he has received interest from University of San Diego, University of Hawaii, and Northeastern College. Stahl said that his chemical violation has not proved to be a roadblock in his renewed recruiting developments. "Most coaches tell me, 'Kids make mistakes; don't let it happen again.’” Despite his whirlwind senior season, Stahl refuses to let personal troubles interfere with his play. "I have to step up on the court, stay out of trouble off of the court, and prove everybody who doubted me wrong,” he said.