PATRIOT SHAWNEE MISSION SOUTH HIGH SCHOOL • SEPTEMBER 2012 • VOLUME 47
, N I A R BR
U O Y G N I P ? L H T HE L EA H R YOU school may be more unhealthy than you think.
G N I M HAR
Unlike calorie-saturated french fries, education is good for you, but without modification it can become unhealthy. PHOTO BY JULIA LARBERG
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STAFF ALMA VELAZQUEZ Editor-in-Chief Design
CASEY LEE Managing editor Sports OLIVIA FEATHERS News CALVIN FREEMAN Opinions HANNAH STRADER Features RACHEL ROSENSTOCK A&E DEREK FUHRMANN Copy JULIA LARBERG Photography HUNTER YOUNG Web SHELBY JOHNSON Ads
Writers LUKE HOLLAND NATHAN THIMMESCH
MIGUEL PALOMINO GARRETT MOULD GRIFFIN ZELLER TRIVETTE KNOWLES AMBER FELKINS ADAM MATEOS Photographers ETHAN STONE HAYLEIGH CHUDIK SUSAN NGUYEN DEZARAE DUFFEY HANNAH HOLLANDER JULIE FALES Adviser
The Patriot is a newsmagazine
that aims to objectively present the facts concerning Shawnee Mission South High School, as well as connect with readers on issues affecting the student body. Staff members reserve the right to express their views in the Opinions section. These pieces are labeled and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the staff, except the Lead Editorial, which represents the views of editors. Under the First Amendment and Kansas Law, The Patriot staff is entitled to freedom of the press and neither the school nor district is responsible for any content or coverage. The staff encourages letters to the editor, but they will only be published if signed. The editor-in-chief reserves the right to refuse or edit any letters for reasons of grammar, length, and good taste.
While some players warm up for the Green and Gold Scrimmage, Thursday, Aug. 23 at the South stadium, others sit on the bench waiting for their turn. South’s football teams played each other in this long standing tradition. PHOTO BY ETHAN STONE
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Students’ summers are affected by lack of rain and extreme heat New science classes are now offered as electives Staff member investigates the quality of school lunches
Editor-in-Chief chastises improper bathroom behavior Do high school students need recess for health reasons? Editors express stance regarding school health Staff member shares his fantasy football experience
The negative and positive health effects school has on three important areas The truth behind dangerous backpack weight is revealed
WANT MORE? * cover story
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An investigation of the soothing powers of music Read about the latest music, movies, and other bits of pop culture See SMS’s best dressed in an elaborate photoshoot Both a look back and a look ahead at music and movie releases of 2012 Choir and theater students adjust to changes in faculty
Students make tough decisions between sports, academics, and other activities Staff member investigates the effects of strenuous practices The football team makes changes in the hopes of more wins A summary of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London
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SCIENCE DEPARTMENT INCREASES VARIETY
ORCoktoberfest oct. HES S TRA 05
BY GARRETT MOULD AND GRIFFIN ZELLER
homecoming football game
10 HOMECOMING 06 dance 12
CONCERT 04 NEWS
tudents who enjoy star-gazing and learning about animals now have the chance to pursue their interests by taking one of two new science courses offered here at South: zoology taught by Nicholas Deffer and meteorology taught by Joel Rios. These two classes are now available along with 21 other science classes. “We have made these classes based on student interest, and some colleges weren’t supporting our courses,” Associate Principal Ryan Flurry said. “Typically the classes are a pilot. A teacher develops a set of objectives and then the district will pilot that course before making it district wide. There are some art classes next year that are going to be piloted at West.” By giving students a wider variety of science classes besides the traditional physics and chemistry, Flurry thinks it will benefit the students. Deffer, who is in his second year of teaching at South, enjoys teaching zoology despite the learning curve that goes with teaching a new class. “The class is interesting to me, but it’s tough because it’s the first year. I have to figure out what I’m
doing along the way,” Deffer said. Senior Lisandra Souza, an exchange student from Brazil, is taking the class because she wants to be a veterinarian when she graduates. “I took the class because I can learn more about the organelles and how they coexist with each other,” Souza said. Souza is interested in learning about how the organs work together as well as how the human and animal bodies work. “I like learning about the animals and everything. I’m looking forward to the dissection of the shark,” Souza said. Other students, such as junior Zack Siddall have more general reasons for taking the course. “I took the class because it’s different from anything else,” Siddall said, “and you get to learn about interesting things like tigers.” Junior Charlie Stanton, who is in meteorology and zoology, is taking the class as an alternative to physics. “I didn’t really want to take physics,” Stanton said, “so I am glad the school has more science classes for me.”
PHOTOS BY SUSAN NGUYEN
Top: Science teacher Nicholas Deffer’s new class has students becoming entangled with each other as they learn about microorganisms and pretend to be multi-cellular organisms. Bottom: Not only is zoology class fun, it challenges seniors Sami Farrell, Charlie Snead and sophomore Celia Bergeron.
SMS IN THE PRESS BY NATHAN THIMMESCH
ational media such as US News, Washington Post, and Newsweek have recognized Shawnee Mission South the past two years for outstanding student and academic achievements. “I love the recognition of our students, and I’m proud of the school. I’m proud of this tradition and I’m proud of the teaching staff,” Principal Joe Gilhaus said. When ranked by US News, Shawnee Mission South was No. 7 in the state of Kansas and No. 1272 in the nation. Washington Post ranked South No.1949 in the nation. In Newsweek, South was ranked No. 1595 and was acknowledged alongside Shawnee Mission East and Shawnee Mission Northwest on their annual list. Only six high schools were mentioned from the Kansas City Metropolitan area, and three of these were from the Shawnee Mission School District. Schools are selected for the Newsweek list by a panel of experts from renowned national education institutions. They are selected based on six criteria: graduation rate, college matriculation rate, the number of Advanced Placement (AP) tests taken per graduate, average ACT/SAT scores, average AP/International Baccalaureate (IB) test scores, and number of AP courses offered. “I think [state/federal governments] are trying to look and see what’s taking place in our schools. I think they’re looking much more at AP tests, ACT scores, SAT scores, [and] looking at graduation rates,” Gilhaus said. South’s average ACT score is 24.1 and average SAT score is 1824. Of the students that attend the school for four years, 93.8 percent of them graduate. Forty-seven percent of students who graduate attend a fouryear college. South offers 18
[AP classes offered]
[our rank in Kansas] AP courses, and 30 percent of students take AP exams. Eighty-seven percent of them pass their AP exams. South has managed to keep the tradition of national recognition going for a few years now. Much of it can be attributed to the students as well as the faculty. Though it will still take some work to keep the tradition going, it does seem plausible. “I think when teachers continue to take the ownership and the pride in teaching and building relationships with kids that they do here at this school,” Gilhaus said, “In turn, I think that inspires kids to want to perform, to want to do well.”
DROUGHT IMPACTS REGION BY GRIFFIN ZELLER
espite the Labor Day weekend rain, over the summer, Kansas suffered one of the worst droughts in history. Fifty-nine days reached record high temperatures of 90 plus degrees. Accompanying the drought has been a burn ban and people have tried various ways to beat the heat. “I went to the pool, and just tried to chill,” junior Hunter Ahrens said. Senior Kevin Kochersperger went to a great extreme in trying to beat the heat this summer. “There was only one way to keep cool and that was just to drown my whole body in ice,” Kochersperger said. Junior Lily Johnson, who practiced soccer during the extreme heat this summer, didn’t find beating the heat very hard. “We were lucky enough to practice soccer in the morning, but at some points it was still very hot,” Johnson said. The drought has caused troubles for farmers across the country. The heat has affected the vegetation around school and may cause some
trouble during the winter. “The biggest problem is the trees aren’t going to produce as many seeds, nuts, and fruits so that animals will have a tougher time than anyone this winter. There’s probably not going to be enough food,” science teacher P.J. Born said. SMESL, South’s environmental lab, has not been affected by the heat. “The plants are all native. They are used to prolonged periods of not having water,” Born said. Because of the fire ban, Shawnee Mission Northwest was forced to cancel their annual bonfire early in the year. Currently, Pep Club sponsor Nicole Baker is checking to see if South’s traditional Spirit Week bonfire on Homecoming week is a go. The extreme drought and heat has not only affected the Shawnee Mission region, but also caused huge forest fires in Colorado, Arizona and Utah. Hopefully, with the recent rain this drought will not last much longer. “This rain we’ve had is sure to help us out,” Kochersperger said. “I don’t want this drought to last any longer.”
HELPS FOCUS ON PREVENTION
BY CASEY LEE AND AMBER FELKINS
oday marks the end of the 38th annual suicide prevention week. Suicide prevention week raises awareness on how frequent suicides are, suicide attempts and how they can be prevented. The actual world suicide prevention day falls on Sept. 10. To spread awareness, the purple and turquoise suicide prevention ribbon symbolizes suicide awareness and prevention. Unfortunately, South students, and many other schools in the district have experienced students taking their own lives. South has recently experienced the death of a fellow Raider, junior Shelby Jones. “[Shelby was] the funniest. She was good in bad situations, daring, loved attention and happy,” junior Destiny Long said. Suicide prevention week is also a way for the senior class to honor and remember a fellow classmate lost to suicide four years ago, Jacob Farney.
Suicide hotlines include the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-2738255, chat rooms, and websites to help those with thoughts of suicide. There are many different methods to help somebody who is considering suicide as well, one of the most well known is the acronym ACT, which stands for Acknowledge, show Concern, and Tell somebody. “In many cases, withdrawal in interest, social interest, in family, friends [are signs that a person needs help],” Shawnee Mission South Psychologist Kelli Wallace said. Suicide not only affects the person, but his or her family and friends as well. “They’re devastated. It’s difficult to find rational reasoning, why’d they do it,” Counselor Mike Heil said. Counselors stress that if a student is feeling overwhelmed, the best thing to do is seek help from a parent or counselor as soon as possible.
SCHOOL LUNCHES MAY HAVE HEALTH IMPLICATIONS BY AMBER FELKINS
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY HAYLEIGH CHUDIK
alty tortilla chips, dripping with yellow nacho cheese, and topped with a scoop of ground beef is a typical lunch for students. But what many may not realize is that entree of nachos by itself has 491 calories, 656 milligrams of saturated fat and 20 grams of total fat. One slice of the a la carte Cici’s cheese pizza has 150 calories and 330 mg of sodium. While many students complain about school lunches, few know the nutritional facts. None of these numbers include other toppings offered through the pizza line. Despite these high calorie intakes, students still enjoy the variety that the pizza line offers. “It provides variety, and it’s a popular choice, it’s different. The same with the subs,” Associate Principal Mike Rasmussen said of the SMS pizza line and its benefits. Different snacks and drinks are also served in the pizza line. A common choice from the pizza line or snack bar is the Otis Spunkmeyer cookies with two cookies per bag, 130 calories per chocolate chip cookie, and a C nutrition grade. One cookie a day can add up to 650 calories at the end of a school week.
The cafeteria rotates a different scheduled lunch every two weeks with new items such as scalloped potatoes, sweet potato coins, and new drinks to include in a basic lunch. The school provides basic food based on the pyramidsuggested requirements. The lack of or too much of a certain nutritional element can harm students’ health and energy at the end of the day. Skipping a meal can also add up to a higher calorie count at the end of the
IT’S NOT ENOUGH TIME AND THE LINES ARE TOO LONG —junior Kristina Smith
day because it can make the body believe it’s having a shortage of fuel and therefore starts saving calories to provide the body with energy later on, according to freedieting.com, which also suggests eating about every two to four hours or about six small meals a day. The school is trying to ensure a healthy lunch by now asking students to include a cup of fruit or vegetables with the lunch purchased in the cafeteria, but not all students
follow this, or just throw away the healthy cup they have gotten. Not all the students realize this new rule exists, since they can substitute a hot lunch or sandwich with something like a Snickers ice cream bar (180 calories) served at the snack bar. Rasmussen revealed the reason behind having smoothies on Monday. “It goes with the meals that are served on Mondays. It’s healthy, fruit based, a different path to get nutritional value, also [because of] our contract with Smoothie King,” Rasmussen said. A 20-ounce smoothie has 340 calories, 10 calories from fat, and 64 grams of sugar. Rasmussen said that he’s never dealt with parent complaints about school lunches. However, students frequently complain among themselves. “It’s not enough time, [and] the lines are too long,” junior Kristina Smith said about the 30 minute lunch time. She admitted that she hardly ever finishes her lunch, but Rasmussen thinks the allotted time is plenty. “[There is enough time] to eat lunch and socialize,” Rasmussen said. “I see people finish their lunch all the time, 30 minutes is adequate.”
SHOULD SCHOOLS REQUIRE HEALTHY LUNCHES? No, because people are going to eat what they want to eat anyway. It will waste food. —senior Amanda Schwabauer No, this is America and we have the freedom to choose what we eat. It should be available though, so people can be healthy. —senior Curtis Cline I think they should because it’s the only place that adults in charge can tell us to eat, but at home we eat junk that our parents buy us. —freshman Tricia Luancing Yes, because they are here every day and for a lot of kids, this is their only meal. It’s up to the school cafeteria to make sure that they have a full lunch which includes a fruit and a vegetable and an entree. —cafeteria worker Julie Doty
for Comfort BY ALMA VELAZQUEZ
senior expresses concern over appalling bathroom etiquette
don’t know about you, but when I have to go to the bathroom at school, I find myself weighing my options. Option 1: I could adhere to the calls of nature while undergoing an unpleasant experience. Option 2: I am forced to wait (sometimes a long time), but have the luxury of using a bathroom facility dignified for human use. Yeah, it sounds dramatic, but most of the time I end up choosing Option 2. Why? I’m going to try to keep this to a minimum level of grossness while illustrating what a typical encounter with the girls bathroom looks like. One of the first things you notice is the trash on the floor. Considering all problem areas, I’d say this is the most understandable. Maybe you went to the bathroom with only a one minute left until the bell, and your aim just wasn’t so great. All right. That’s fine. But even if you only had 2 seconds left....there is no excuse for this next mistake I see in at least one stall, once a day. It can be expressed in just one word: Flush! I don’t think I will ever comprehend the type of person who just forgets or decides not to flush the toilet. Now that we have advanced plumbing (that’s right, no more primitive outhouses), there is absolutely no reason the average person couldn’t push down a lever to keep a cleaner environment. It smells awful, it looks bad, and it makes everyone feel uncomfortable. In fact, one of the most annoying bathroom experiences happens when, upon entering the bathroom, I’m greeted by a long line of girls, but then see that there are one or two stalls open. Confused, I always walk up to these stalls (it’s always the same), only to discover they aren’t
in use because the previous user didn’t flush. Usually after that, an awkward, wrinkled-nose expression is shared with a few of the girls in line. Then, thoroughly disgusted, I saunter back to the end of the line. Do your parents let you get away with not flushing? Aren’t you embarrassed? I’m embarrassed for you. Keep in mind, these are girls, creatures who are known for their avid grooming and impeccable hygiene. I shudder to think how the boys maintain their bathrooms. Next, I see enough personal garbage on my Facebook newsfeed, on my Twitterfeed, and even in day-to-day gossip. Why do girls insist on making stall doors their personal ads? Here are a few I’ve seen: “I hate school” “Any bi/lez girls want to text?” Surely, with today’s technology, there must be a better medium to express yourself and your thoughts than in a bathroom stall. These could easily be Facebook statuses. Is it necessary to deface a part of our school just because you want people to read your personal messages? Lately, I’ve been pondering the question of health levels at school. Funnily enough, the condition of our bathrooms was one of the first things that came to mind. Bathrooms, germy enough in themselves, are frighteningly unhealthy at schools. In the mid-90s, a Georgia man named Tom Keating created a program called Project CLEAN (Citizens, Learners,
WHY DO GIRLS INSIST ON MAKING STALL DOORS THEIR PERSONAL ADS?— senior Alma Velazquez
Educators Against Neglect) in which he traveled across the country lecturing schools and, in the earlier years of his program, cleaning up bathrooms. According to him, nearly one third of over 900,000 American public school bathrooms are unclean, unhealthy, unsafe, or a combination. Seeing the state of our bathrooms every day brings me to the sad conclusion that we are a statistic in this count. On page 4 you can see, Newsweek ranked us No. 1,595 out of 24,348 in the nation. Clearly, no judges ever came to Shawnee Mission South after drinking a full bottle of water. Had they been forced to enter one of our pigsty bathrooms, I feel like they would have had to rescind their recognition. How can privileged Johnson County students with good manners and high test scores surround themselves with restrooms the likes of which I’ve never even seen in the third world? What does it say about us? Maybe you’ve already thought about this, but isn’t that why we have janitors? I don’t know. Do you want to hold someone else accountable for your inability to clean up after yourself? Janitors, who are there primarily to monitor things like plumbing, functionality and emptying trash cans should not have to deal with some of the things thrown at them, not from kids in our age group. We should have the common courtesy to consider the maintenance staff in our bathroom habits. On good days, I like to think that our student body is a mature, conscientious group of people. However, my bathroom encounters tend to inhibit this view. If we are proud of our school, why do we choose to treat it this way? I’m sure most would agree they would not want their home bathrooms to look like ours.
PHOTO BY SUSAN NGUYEN
: WORD T E E R T S E H T ON
BY TRIVETTE KNOWLES
ecess is possibly the greatest invention since the weekend. If high school had recess on a regular basis, individuals would not hate coming to school as much. High school brings different emotions for a lot of people. School offers an environment where you sit down for about an hour at a time and wait for the passing period, which is not meant for socializing (or long enough for) but to simply travel from class to class. When I think about elementary school I only can think about the good times it had to offer. Recess is responsible for most elementary school memories. Even if you didn’t like taking part in the kickball games or the 4-square battles, you were still able to enjoy
the playground or being outside with your friends spreading gossip. Being outside breathing in good fresh air helps relax our minds. In a study done on 11,000 students, it was proven that students with at least 15 minutes of free time, excluding lunch, were shown to behave significantly better than those who were not given any break at all. Teenagers would say the worst part of high school is the homework or the waking up early, but truly it’s the lack of recess that makes school so miserable. While it is assumed that each student should be responsible for his or her own body and health, how well has that been working for the USA, who now leads the world in obesity? School is still
earnings for a past life of blacktops, tether ball poles, kickball fields, and those colored rubber balls are echoed daily in high school every time a teenager whines, “Can we have class outside today?” Of course recess is missed. The refreshing combination of the outdoors, fun games and social interaction allows the restless to take a hearty, healthy breather. But eventually, there is no longer time in the rigorous academic school day for this type of break. Students are expected to remain focused for longer, and must learn to forego their playtime. Recess is used in primary schools to help develop a child’s social skills and to promote physical activity. At adolescence, the need to exercise these social
—SOPHOMORE JOCLYN SPIVEY
? S S ECE
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partly to blame. Until recently, school lunches have been proven to be fattening and overall unhealthy. In the schools defense, P.E. is required by the district for two semesters, but students can take both P.E. credits freshman year and not have any exercise for the rest of high school. Thirty-four percent of all Americans are obese and 68 percent are overweight according to Hive Health Media. Those who support the idea of robbing students of the opportunity get outside and socialize with their fellow classmates clearly must not see all the great things recess has to offer.
“We should have like a 20 minute break or so to run around and get all of our energy out before the next class.”
BY ALMA VELAZQUEZ
skills is no longer as great, and the opportunity might actually create peer pressure. Furthermore, students are already expected to be involved in some kind of physical activity throughout the day. It’s not fair to teachers, who have a lot of material to go through, to condense their teaching time to give students a dose of fresh air. The idea of having recess for overworked, stressed out high schoolers sounds healthy, but it could actually take away valuable time and create new, unhealthier pressures. From the health aspect, at this point in life, teens should already have healthy routines in place. They may be sitting for seven hours a day, but there is always time after school to pursue athletic interests. Recess promotes physical
activity and provides much needed exposure to sunlight, but is ultimately a hassle for teachers and administration. It might be an opening to bullying, and overall is unnecessary considering other natural and physical outlets most teens have. Imagine recesses with the added teenage dangers: hormones, peer pressure, drugs... recess at the high school age would just be another opportunity for these things to do further harm. Those 15 minutes outside were a fundamental part of childhood, but the fact is, they are no longer needed. We should use the foundations of recess to seek similar forms of social, natural, and physical interactions of a more appropriate and purposeful fashion as we near adulthood.
“It would give our minds a break, and it’s time to relax and think before our next class.” —FRESHMAN COOPER JETER
“No because we wouldn’t use it as recess. Everyone would just stand around and talk like people do at lunch.” —SENIOR ELIZABETH WHEELER
Helping Your Brain Harming Your Health H
ead throbbing, stomach churning and eyes drooping. A high schooler’s lifestyle is one that, if managed incorrectly, can be unforgivably grueling. Students go day by day repeating bad habits that have increasingly negative effects on their own personal health. Things like late night cramming for tests or pulling all nighters to finish projects are habits that we love to complain about, but is it really the school’s fault? Should we also take a part in making our day manageable? How much are students responsible for, how much is the school’s responsibility, and what can we control? Students often find themselves easily stuck in a rut and caught up in school’s exhausting environment. Sitting down for hours a day without any movement can be tiring, and after our fourth class in a row sitting at a desk, we can’t absorb information with the same enthusiasm anymore. A bleak room filled with silence as a teacher drones on and on about a subject many students truly do not care about may have more of an effect on us than we even realize. However, no matter how we feel about whether or not the school is doing a good or bad job taking care of us it is still our fault if we are unhealthy. We need to make sure that we are taking control of what is in our hands. For example, take the time to pick courses that will keep you interested throughout a semester. If we let the counselors pick our electives because we are too lazy to do it ourselves then we have no right to complain about it. Another constant problem when talking about student health is sleeping habits. We stay up late for whatever reason, may it be a big research paper put off until the night before or an extracurricular activity that ran late, and we wake up early in order to be at first hour before the bell rings. We need to take
care of ourselves and manage our time appropriately in order to get a healthy amount of sleep. Also, school seems to be getting more and more stressful as we get deeper into the year. Teachers are assigning more work because we are well past the “welcome back” part of the year. During the grind of a semester we get overwhelmed with work and sometimes our stress level can go overboard. No matter how freaked out we may or may not be we need to have a “power through it” approach. We
THE VOTE IS IN: NINE OUT OF NINE EDITORS AGREE WITH THE VIEWS EXPRESSED IN THIS EDITORIAL.
can’t control how much work a teacher assigns but we can control how we attack our work day in and day out. We’ve established that school is for the most part an unhealthy place, and we haven’t even brought up school lunches yet, but the point is we need to take care of ourselves. We’ll do what we can to keep ourselves going. Our health is ultimately our own responsibility.
WE VALUE YOUR VIEWS. if you wish to respond to this editorial, please submit it in the form of a letter to the editor. These may be submitted in person to Room 195 or e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Responses may or may not be printed in the next issue.
FANTASY FOOTBALL FRENZY BY ADAM MATEOS
PHOTO BY DEZARAE DUFFY
junior shares fantasy football experience T
he clock is ticking fast, faster than normal as I try to make the most important decision in recent memory: The first round pick of my Fantasy Football draft. I rack my brain for helpful knowledge. I force the thoughts, that a bad pick could affect my whole season negatively, out of my mind as I reflect on articles I have read and analyst shows I’ve seen on ESPN. I check the clock one more time, the second hand still moving at an astonishing rate, until I decide what my best option is. Putting responsibility, pressure, and a $10 bet on a man I will never meet. I call out “Ray Rice” and I stare with satisfaction as his name is scribbled onto the whiteboard for everyone to see. I’m still celebrating my conquest and my savvy football fantasy draft skills in my head when I’m informed that I have to pick again because I was last in the first round. I scramble for
the laptop to see who the best available players are and start the stressful process all over again. This goes on for two more hours until the board is full. And to those who don’t play FF or have no interest in it, they might say its ridiculous and a waste of time and money. But it’s not just a bunch of teenagers playing. Sports fans all across America, some 27 million, have started not only a brand new industry of businesses that feed off the obsession, but a whole cultural revolution that shows no signs of slowing down. All 27 million will experience the same mental distress and self doubt as me, all for the satisfaction of an artificial trophy. A trophy that is sought after because anyone can win it. You don’t have to run a 4.4 forty yard dash, or bench press 300 pounds, or be the size of a small
truck to win your league. I think this is why people are so attracted to the game, because they feel so more involved in a sport that they already love. I hate that I love Fantasy Football. I find myself cheering for the players on my team more than a specific team. I always feel like a nerd when I’m thinking about my lineup or anything really to do with Fantasy Football, but I don’t think the football season would be the same if I didn’t have that connection to the game. I’m definitely more of an all around football fan when I have players to cheer for on different teams and different positions. I can’t imagine football season without it.
I HATE THAT I LOVE FANTASY FOOTBALL— junior Adam Mateos
ADAM’S WEEK 1 LINEUP QB: PEYTON MANNING RB: RAY RICE RB: MICHAEL TURNER WR: RODDY WHITE WR: GREG JENNINGS TE: BRENT CELEK FLEX: DEZ BRYANT K: ROB BIRONAS DEF: BRONCOS DEFENSE BENCH: JOHNATHAN STEWART BENCH: ROBERT MEACHEM BENCH: PEYTON HILLIS BENCH: NATE WASHINGTON
hile school is healthy in terms of intelligence by educating, there are aspects of the school environment that can be unhealthy. Carrying heavy books, sitting for hours upon hours, and lack of overall movement can potentially cause health issues. Also, while school educates students with facts, lessons and information, the school environment can be damaging to students’ “individualized” methods of problem
soul solving and mental processing. Finally, the school environment can harm the psyche. With seven classes a day and work in all of them, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Students might have troubles with fitting in, bullying, or even a questioning of whether or not all of this work is worth anything. Whatever a student’s situation may be, it stands to reason that school can generate much stress in a teenager’s life.
PHOTO ILLUSTRATIONS BY HAYLEIGH CHUDIK AND ETHAN STONE
THE TRIPLE THREAT: BY NATHAN THIMMESCH
unior Chase Allison greets his day with the challenge of balancing Honors and AP classes, as well as extracurricular activities such as KSMS. Much like Allison, many students face these kinds of academic dilemmas. Between balancing classes and other aspects of their lives, high schoolers may feel overwhelmed. Students may feel this kind of stress when trying to balance all of the courses they take in high school. It may seem like too much to balance all of the coursework that comes with the classes, as well as the stress. These things can build up and put strains on a student’s mind. Much of this boils down to scheduling decisions when enrolling in the spring. “You have to watch [which classes you choose]
and what you can really do and maybe ask other people what they think,” Allison said. Another particular stress that besieges student’s minds is the amount of mental “conformity” in school, where they are forced to suppress their individuality and creativity and stick to the model that their teachers generally set for them; this often includes repetition. “[People] have a difficult time dealing with stress if a stressor hits out of nowhere. If you knew ‘Hey this is coming up, this is going to be bad,’ we can prepare for that a lot better. So if you know in [a] class ‘This is what you’re doing today,’ that’s a lot better than going into class and having no idea what’s going on,” Associate Principal Nicholas Platko said. However, the stress doesn’t stop there. This repetition, though potentially helpful in the short-term of high school, may backfire when beginning to attend college. A student may just be told once a few weeks in advance of when a test is or when a paper is due. While the repetitive practices are intended to carry into students’ college lives, there is no guarantee they will continue daily homework. “The idea behind it is that if you learn those repetitions now, when you get to college you will continue to do those repetitions. And even though the professor says ‘We’re going to have a test over chapter one in two weeks,’ you have developed those habits from before of ‘I can divide it up and I’m going to do chapter one today and I’m going to do the odds, then I’m going to do the evens,’ but it takes a little bit of self control to do that,” Platko said. With all the stress that builds up on students’ minds, it can become very difficult to deal with other things in life, such as extracurriculars and outside-of-school activities.
ot only does school pile on the stress, but it also affects students’ bodies. Most high schoolers spend almost all eight hours of their school day sitting, which can lead to circulatory issues. According to USA Today, there is a correlation between those who sit for hours at a time and heart disease. An Australian study discovered that, of 8,800 people, there was an 18 percent increase of death from heart disease and an 11 percent increase in overall deaths in those that sat for at least an hour watching TV. Students also carry around heavy bags and backpacks that contain copious amounts of textbooks, notebooks, and other school supplies that can really begin to weigh on
is school creating more problems than it’s solving? 003 SOUL their backs. Sleep deprivation can affect their bodily health because many students have to sacrifice sleep in order to get all of their homework done. “It’s somewhat unnatural for us to be sitting for that amount of time. Sleep deprivation is obviously going to be [a problem] because a lot of times we’re waking up before it gets light out and we’re going to sleep after it’s dark, which our bodies aren’t normally used to doing,” Platko said. Some students already have issues that relate to stresses put on their bodies by the school environment. Whether it is sitting all day, carrying heavy books, or sleep deprivation, these problems are prevalent in the high school setting. “I have back pain already, and carrying around three textbooks doesn’t help. Sitting in an uncomfortable desk chair doesn’t help either,” sophomore Abbey Loewen said. However, heavy backpacks could potentially be alleviated by scheduling time to get to one’s locker between classes to drop off textbooks and other items that may cause students to carry unnecessary weight. “For me, it didn’t work out great because I do have to carry a lot of books to my classes. So my back has kind of hurt, but it’s about organizing your time to get to your locker then get to your classes and to do other stuff like that,” Allison said. School can pose stress on the body, which can cause the environment to be an unhealthy one, not to mention the potential strains to the body that sports may create. In addition, bodily injury or strains from a sport or other activity may add to the overall stress from school.
trains from school may also affect a student’s ‘soul,’ or their psyche and overall attitude towards their schooling. Issues of whether or not their lessons are relevant to their lives and whether or not their work is worth anything can greatly affect how a student views their high school experience. Sometimes, the strains put on students’ psyches is too much to handle, and they then act out. “Most students that are acting out, whether it be a fight or getting in arguments with teachers, there’s something underlying it. There’s never a time where it’s just that issue. There’s
something else going on. Everything is rolled up inside of us and sometimes it explodes,” Platko said. Students also feel that there are problems when it comes to peer pressure and being accepted by other students. “There are issues with trying to fit in, [because] that’s what every kid wants,” Loewen said. However, stresses and strains that affect the ‘soul’ are much harder to deal with than those that plague the mind and body because they are simply less apparent. When someone is having a physical problem, it is fairly noticeable. When someone is struggling with classes, it can be evident, especially where grades are concerned. However, when someone is afflicted by something that is potentially damaging to their psyche, such as depression, a difficult homelife, or abuse in any form, it is not always easy to pinpoint that affliction, and harder yet to find the cause and attempt to help. While all cases may not be this extreme, it is still reasonable to keep these things in mind when another student seems pressured. “We all need to understand [stresses on the psyche]. If we all could, things would be a lot better. We could say, ‘You know what, maybe that person’s having a bad day’. It doesn’t excuse the behavior. We have to talk about the next time you’re in this situation and you feel all of this energy ready to explode, how to deal with that in a better way,” Platko said. While pressure that is put on a student’s soul is possibly the most difficult to notice and to deal with, it can add to an unhealthy experience in high school. Students have their own ways of dealing with the stress, but some suggested ways are better time management, better organization, creating good study habits and environments, and knowing your learning style and adjusting accordingly.
FINAL THOUGHTS High school years can be some of the best in a person’s life... and also the most stressful. Every day, students face potentially hazardous situations that may affect their health in one way or another at school. Some may believe that the situation is manageable, but could soon become out of hand, leaving them feeling helpless and overwhelmed. Whether that which ails them is physical, mental, or psychological, it can greatly affect one’s health as they progress through high school. From things that affect medical health, such as injury or illness, to things that cause students emotional or psychological damage, all are factors impacting high school performance. PHOTO ILLUSTRATIONS BY HAYLEIGH CHUDIK
FACT or FICTION backpacks
heavy backpacks may have harmful effects
BY LUKE HOLLAND inders. A few notebooks. Pencils and pens. Enough loose papers to sink a battleship. Textbooks, textbooks and more textbooks. These are just of few of the countless items that can be found in the average student’s arsenal of school junk. And where does all this junk end up to rot most of the time? The backpack. There are those few devout students who do choose to take a 5 mile stroll every day to organize their lives in their lockers, but honestly, isn’t it just easier to carry it all in a bag? It’s actually a bigger deal than most people believe; adults who have been done with school for several years still have back problems associated with backpack habits from their youth. The seemingly mundane choices that students make now, even such trivial matters as what they put in their backpacks, can alter their lives permanently. Freshman Nicolay Skvortsov has never been to a school as big as Shawnee Mission South. At Indian Woods, he always used his backpack for the majority of his school materials. He isn’t really concerned though; he feels like he can handle the weight. “I feel like I could maybe have back problems... when I’m like 80,” Skvortsov said. Skvortsov also noticed that he becomes unusually tired after climbing the staircases here at school. The added weight pulling back on
him forces him to lean forward more, and strain muscles that shouldn’t be overused. “I feel like I walk way too many steps,” Skvortsov said. “It really hurts my back.” His backpack weighs over 20 pounds, which, according to Dr. Michelle Robin, is not a healthy weight. Dr. Robin is a chiropractor in the area, and she has seen many backpack-related spine and neck problems in her patients. She has a strong opinion on the correlation between students’ school supplies and the condition of their spines. “Your backpack should weigh no more than 10 to 15 percent of your own body weight,” Robin said. “They absolutely affect your spine,” Robin said. “There are natural curves in our spine that can be distorted when heavy weight is placed on our back. It can cause poor posture, because we lean forward and arch our shoulders to make it easier and more comfortable when we carry the backpacks.” This can be a really serious problem. Hundreds of kids develop irreversible, permanent spine damage in their later years due to patterns like this from high school. Heavy weights can change the curvature and cause compression of the discs, poor posture, and damage muscles and ligaments in the back,” Robin said.
PHOTO BY HANNAH HOLLANDER Not all students make these poor choices, though. Sophomore Coy Gray learned last year that heavy backpacks really take a toll on your spine. After becoming accustomed to the work load and the weight that comes with it, this year his backpack is significantly lighter than last year. “Last year I had way too much stuff in my backpack,” Gray said. “This year my back feels so much better because it’s way lighter.” And there are some that have always made the most of their lockers to save themselves the pain. Senior Grant Jongerius carries hardly any supplies in his backpack, and he rarely experiences pain in his back other than the occasional pain from with wrestling. “I think that everyone should use their lockers,” Jongerius said. “There’s not really a reason not to.” Jongerius keeps all of his textbooks and some notebooks in his locker. He takes the time to go to his locker before classes to gather whatever he will need just for his next class, rather than carrying around everything he needs for the day. “I feel like backpacks could really weigh on your spine,” Jongerius said, “and it’s really not that big of a deal [to make the trip to your locker], so why would anyone not use their lockers?”
WHAT’S WEIGHING YOU DOWN BINDER
NOTEBOOK PENCIL CASE PLANNER
Music’s effect on the stressed-out mind
BY MIGUEL PALOMINO
t’s hard to deny that music can affect humans in interesting ways. It can help us chill, get hyped up, or concentrate. But have you ever wondered how music affects our mind or why we even like certain types of music? “Everyone has his or her own personal style and taste. It kind of reflects your personality and who you are,” senior Rachel Sutcliffe said. Music has been around since the beginning of time and since then it has been changing and shaping our lives. Many psychologists have wondered why humans have a special place for music in our minds. Ask typical teenagers what influences their lives and chances are they would say music. “Say when you’re an adolescent maybe music and your friends are your most powerful influences,” psychology teacher Heather Sheppard said. “So I think most adolescents would factor in music as an important piece of who they are whether they’re a musician, they sing or they play in a band or they just really like music. It helps them relax or focus or it’s an escape.” According to scientists, music
does have an effect on the brain, more specifically rhythms. Fast paced rhythms in music can create an increase in brain activity, that can also affect your heart rate and blood pressure making you more alert and focused. Slow paced rhythms can have the opposite effects. Scientists have proven that music that has around 60 beats per minute have a tendency
to slow your heart rate down, making you feel calmer. “Studies have shown something with a slower beat, something with a calming tone, something where you’re getting around 60 beats per minute, relaxes you more,” Sheppard said. “So they did a study recently and they listed the top ten most relaxing songs. A few pieces of
classical music were there, but also a recent Adele song was in there as well. ” This of course isn’t surprising when thinking about it, that’s why each person usually has a certain playlist for exercising and another for when you want to relax. “I think music can affect your mood, a sad song can bring back sad memories and make you sad,” junior Kelsey Walker said. “But an upbeat song can make you feel a lot happier.” There are a lot of things that influence our music choices, even if you realize it or not, it could be your parents or friends. Your culture and the environment you lived and grew up in usually has some impact in your music choices -- either negative or positive. “Your environment influences like your parents, friends, location and culture affect you just like your music choices. Some people do adopt the same musical preferences as their parents because they grew up around that type of music, maybe their parents were in a band, their parents might like specific artists or groups and you tend to like that because it was around you,” Sheppard said.
reviews of the latest in pop culture
BY MIGUEL PALOMINO If the Hangover and Bridesmaids were to make a baby and that baby was on drugs 80 percent of the time, then you’d get Bachelorette. I was surprised by how funny this movie was. I had my doubts at first but this dark comedy delivers. Regan [Kirsten Dunst] is less than happy when she finds out her big boned friend, Becky, [Rebel Wilson] aka “pig face” is getting married. A couple of months later, the big day is almost upon them and Regan is reunited with her friends Kate [Isla Fisher] and Gena [Lizzy Caplan]. Gena brought coke, so Katie and Gena are high during the rehearsal dinner. After an incident with a male stripper during the bachelorette party, Becky storms off to her room, leaving Regan, Gena and Katie alone with nothing to do but drink and do more coke. Things start going downhill when Regan and Katie accidentally rip the wedding dress, requiring an adventure across the city involving more drugs, strippers and sex. Definitely not the type of movie you should watch with your parents.
LAWLESS BY NATHAN THIMMESCH The rural South, shoot-outs and moonshine. What better way to end the summer? Lawless delivers this and more. Based on the novel, The Wettest County in the World by Matt Bondurant, grandson of one of the main characters, the film follows the story of Howard, Forrest and Jack Bondurant, three brothers living in Franklin County, Virginia. Lawless stars Tom Hardy as Forrest, Shia LaBeouf as Jack, and Jason Clarke as Howard. Guy Pearce plays Charlie Rakes, the film’s antagonist. Gary Oldman plays Floyd Banner, Franklin’s local mobster, Jessica Chastain as Maggie Beauford, Forrest’s love interest, and Mia Wasikowska as Bertha Minnix, Jack’s love interest. The cast isn’t too shabby. While I wouldn’t have been the one to cast a Brit, a Californian, and an Australian to play three brothers from Franklin County, Virginia, it wasn’t a bad decision: the three all do well with their roles. Pearce does a fantastic job as Rakes, a snide special agent from Chicago who does everything in his power (but not necessarily within his legal parameters) to stop bootlegging in the county. However, the plot revolves around these four, and makes the other characters seem somewhat irrelevant.
Eating at hole-in-the-wall restaurants is BY LUKE HOLLAND always a risk. There’s never really any middle ground; it’s either amazing or it’s a waste of time and money. Jerry’s Cafe, State Line and 103rd. is the epitome of quality food that can only be found outside of chains. The atmosphere at Jerry’s is great. It’s nothing fancy, just your typical diner-style restaurant with a friendly and laid back feeling. The service is phenomenal. The waitresses are kind and engaging, and the cooks, which include Jerry himself, even step out and check on the customers every once in awhile. Even I met Jerry, who regularly makes rounds to check on his customers. After retiring from his old restaurant, Jerry’s Woodswhether Cafe, decided to continue cooking in a different area. Since opening, they have gained quite
Oldman’s character hardly makes an entrance until the latter half of the film; even then, he really only has one major scene. Chastain’s character has a significant triumph in the first portion of the film (which we don’t find out about until the end of the movie), but is otherwise largely ignored. Wasikowska had little to do with the major plot of the film, and was simply a side plot that only involved LaBeouf’s character. Both women did fine in their roles, they just didn’t add much to the story. Aside from character irrelevance, the film did well in most areas. The beginning is rather bland, without much action to start out a movie packed with violence. Also, many of the male characters seem to be dressed both out of place and out of time. Hardy’s character is really only seen wearing cardigans and sweater vests, and LaBeouf’s character has some extremely nice, clean suits for the South in the 1920s. With a 116 minute run time, the movie is a perfect length, with a strong R rating. It may not be up for any awards, and may not be a box office smash, but it is definitely a movie worth seeing.
a reputation from Jerry’s old fans and many others. They won the title for “Best Breakfast in KC” by the Kansas City Breakfast Boys, a group that explores greasy spoons in the Kansas City area, and their star item on the menu is the Big John. The Big John is a mess, in a good way. It’s a plate full of hashbrowns, sausage, eggs, and American cheese smothered with gravy and put on top of Texasstyle toast. With all of the ingredients put together, it’s easily one of the most satisfying breakfasts I’ve ever had. It’s like eating a three-course breakfast in one entree. And I would recommend getting a half order for $4.99 rather than the full $8 meal. Trust me, I’m a big eater, and I was barely able to finish the half order. They also have some unusual desserts/sides. One in particular caught my eye, and I knew I had to try it: the cinnamon roll with bacon. Let me tell you right now, bacon DOES make everything better. Even cinnamon rolls.
WHAT YOU SEE: POLKA-DOT DRESS: MARSHALL’S
Polka-dots are timeless, and the dress with capped sleeves and buttons down the front, completes the girly look Breedlove was aiming for.
PHONE CASE: FRANCESCA’S
An ever-growing trend with the explosion of iPhone and smartphone owners, a quirky, fun case is easy to find. They’re easy to change-up whenever you want.
SENIOR TALLEY BREEDLOVE
SPARKLE FLATS: DELIA’S Metallic and sparkly flats can add to any outfit; add edge to florals or glitz to an otherwise plain look. Here, they play off the colors on the dress and bag.
Starting this month, The Patriot will be a holding a competition to find fashionable students around the school. On the 29th of every month, The Patriot photographers will be in the cafeteria during 1st and 2nd lunch to photograph anyone willing to enter the competition. The winner each month will be featured on this page, and the second and third place winners will be on SMSPATRIOT. ORG, along with other finalists. The competition is based on creativity, variety and individuality and anyone is able to enter.
photos @ PHOTO BY SUSAN NGUYEN
BY MIGUEL PALOMINO his was the summer of comic book heroes, warrior princesses, and stoner teddy bears. The Avengers was the king of the summer, making a billion dollars overseas. The Dark Knight Rises, arguably one of the most anticipated movies of the year came in strong making a billion dollars worldwide, even after the tragic shooting in Colorado. Disney and Pixar gave the world Brave making it their 13th hit in a row. Family Guy creator Seth
MacFarlane gave us one of the funniest movies of the year with Ted. Though the Olympics were showing almost 24/7, there were still other shows to be watched. Some good, some bad and some horrible (Honey Boo Boo) and Showtime’s Weeds’ eighth and final season (we’re gonna miss you Nancy Botwin). A new artist this summer, Frank Ocean released his first studio album Channel Orange, getting rave reviews.
AVENGERS $619.5 MILLION
PRETTY LITTLE LIARS SEASON 3 2.93 MILLION VIEWERS
USHER LOOKING 4 MYSELF
THE DARK KNIGHT RISES $431.2 MILLION THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN $260 MILLION BRAVE $231.7 MILLION TED $215.9 MILLION
AWKWARD SEASON 2 2.15 MILLION VIEWERS WORKAHOLICS SEASON 3 2.11 MILLION VIEWERS TEEN WOLF SEASON 2 2.11 MILLION VIEWERS WEEDS SEASON 8 1.19 MILLION VIEWERS
JUSTIN BIEBER BELIEVE MAROON 5 OVEREXPOSED FRANK OCEAN CHANNEL ORANGE ZAC BROWN BAND UNCAGED
FALL MOVIE PREVIEW SEP. 14
RESIDENT EVIL; RETRIBUTION FINDING NEMO 3D (Get ready for the nostalgic tears)
WRECK IT RALPH (Like every Disney movie, it’s good for all ages)
HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET (with Jennifer Lawrence) THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER
SKYFALL (James Bond is back and is badass as ever saving the world) LINCOLN
TAKEN 2 PITCH PERFECT FRANKENWEENIE
OCT. 19 PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4 (Great........another)
SEP. 28: LOOPER One of the most anticipated movies of the fall, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis and Emily Blunt, the film is another time-travel thriller that promises to leave us just as confused as Inception did. Hitman Joe (Gordon-Levitt) is assigned to kill his future self who was sent back in time 30 years, and must avoid “closing the loop.”
THE TWILIGHT SAGA; BREAKING DAWN (It’s the end...finally)
NOV. 21 RED DAWN RISE OF THE GUARDIANS
DRAMATIC CHANGES THIS YEAR performing arts students adjust to new faculty
BY HAYLEIGH CHUDIK hile watching any South show, the audience sees awesome props, great transitions and calm, collected actors, but behind the scenes can be a much different story. With actors frantically looking for misplaced props, too many people in cramped, dark spaces trying to be quiet, it can be hectic. Thankfully the performing arts department now has Mark Swezey and Elise Peterson who are seasoned professionals in the business. Peterson has taught choral music at three other schools, teaching kids of all ages from sixth graders to high schoolers. Swezey has taught theatre at South before and has experience working in the White Theater as well; he managed many shows in the seven years he worked there. Now, being back has given the theater department a fresh new start. He says being back at South is “Awesome.” Peterson, on the other hand, has big shoes to fill after choir teacher Dustin Cates left last year. Choir students adored him and seeing him go was hard. However, Peterson is doing her best to create a smooth transition for the students who are used to Cates. Her techniques are admittedly different and among the
changes are a focus on sight reading. “Well as of right now, I’m trying to maintain the things that are in place. I have this weird philosophy of ‘If its not broken, don’t fix it’,” Peterson said. “There are a lot of really awesome things that are in place, so as of right now it will stay the same until I find a need for something different.” Peterson is however making one major change. “I’m using what I call an SRO or a Student Run Organization in order to help in the process of the Cabaret and Raider Revue. The SRO will choose who performs in the events and will help with the organizational things,” Peterson said. Right now she is working on connecting with the students in hopes of creating a bond like they shared with Cates. Swezey is working on connecting too. He believes that theater is an art where students really need to feel comfortable
I HAVE THIS WEIRD PHILOSOPHY OF ‘IF IT’S NOT BROKEN DON’T FIX IT’.—choir teacher Elise Peterson
with each other. For example, all of the students got to help paint the theater workshop floor. Swezey is changing up how the classes are run; he is having classes spend more time in the auditorium and he really wants to focus on keeping the auditorium nice and clean. He’s also bringing in some new faces. Jason Chandley and Leslie Spindler will be joining Shawnee Mission South’s staff. Swezey has known both from the White Theater. Chandley is going to work with technical issues and Spindler is the new costume designer. But South students have no reason to fear. Raider Revue, Cabaret and the drama performances will still happen and stay relatively the same. This year’s theater line-up has several shows that Swezey has done in the past. including Godspell, which happens to be one of Swezey’s favorites and one of the plays he has experience directing. Swezey and Peterson have years of experience and are working on helping to maintain the performing arts department calibar. Theater students are responding well to these new teachers and it will only get better from here. PHOTOS BY ETHAN STONE
Juniors Kyle Fairfax and Remy Lierz look in the cluttered drawers and counters in the backstage area of the auditorium.
The new choir teacher, Elise Peterson, helps her women’s choir class through some vocal exercises.
Mark Swezey, the new theater teacher, backstage during his Rep Theater class.
Peterson shows her students hand motions that go along with their vocal exercises.
sacrificing for sports many athletes have to make life changing decisions BY LUKE HOLLAND
uitting. Giving up. Throwing in the towel. It’s never easy. It doesn’t matter what it is: giving up on something comes with consequences as well as benefits. There are never any black and white areas when it comes to why students would quit something they love. Whatever influences them, they alone are responsible for the decision to continue, or to quit. Everyone who plays a sport has to make sacrifices to stay with it, or else sacrifice the sport for something else. And there’s usually no going back. Senior David Leichty has made countless sacrifices to stick with the sport he loves. His life has had soccer at the core since he was four years old. He has had to give up countless opportunities in his social life, including time spent with friends and family, to play soccer. But he loves the responsibility it comes with. “It’s great because no matter what role you have, whether you’re team captain or on the bench, it comes with leadership,” Leichty said. “Leadership is contagious.” His love for soccer has not diminished in the 13 years he has been playing. “I wake up every day, and I still love it just as much,” Leichty said. And his dedication has paid off. Leichty plays for the Reserves on Sporting Kansas City. He has accepted this chance with one downside: he would have to quit playing high school soccer. And though it was the chance of a lifetime, and he has no regrets, leaving was without a doubt a bittersweet decision for Leichty, and though it was an amazing opportunity, there is a certain part of him that regrets missing out on the experience of finishing out a school sport in his senior year. “There’s just something about playing for your school, under the lights, that I’ll miss,” Leichty said. Others have been forced out of their sport by circumstances beyond their control. Seniors Andrew Siefken has been playing basketball ever since kindergarten. He developed knee problems in seventh grade, and from that point they just continually got worse. There was never a sudden game-changing injury, but the pain and severity gradually grew throughout middle school
and some of high school. He played for JV his freshman year, and started playing for varsity his junior year. He played three games before he had to get a serious knee surgery. “The doctor told me after the surgery that it would be best if I quit basketball,” Siefken said. Leaving the team after dedicating his whole life to basketball was incredibly hard, but there was no choice. It was either quit, or risk the high likelihood of severe knee problems a few years down the road. It was one of the hardest decisions he has had to make this far in his life. “We were pretty close,” Siefken said. “When you’re on a team, everyone becomes family over the season.” Life since then has been different. He has a lot more free time, which is a completely different experience after a life dedicated to sports. And those years were not spent in vain. “It helped me learn time management,” Siefken said. “You have to be dedicated to the team and show up for practice, or you can’t play.” Coach Travis Gatewood is not new to the trials that his players go through and the sacrifices they make. He has been coaching for 17 seasons, and every year he has a couple players who leave the team for one reason or another. “Sometimes it’s injury, sometimes it’s because they can specialize in another sport,” Gatewood said. “High school is a time for the kids to figure out their niche.” It’s hard to watch athletes walk away from a sport, but he understands that it’s never easy, and that whatever they decide is probably going to be the best choice for them in the long run. “It’s difficult, because we want to have the best team possible,” Gatewood said. “If their heart isn’t in it, though, they aren’t able to give everything they can for the team.” No matter what the situation, quitting anything signifies the end of something big in someone’s life. But it’s also the beginning of a new stage. The important part is that those who choose to leave something they love are confident about their decision, and are ready to take on the new challenges that life is bound to present.
WORTH IT? IS ALL OF THE TIME AND COMMITMENT THE RIGHT CHOICE?
3.1% OF HIGH SCHOOL PLAYERS ACTUALLY PLAY IN COLLEGE
LESS THAN ONE PERCENT OF COLLEGE ATHLETES ACTUALLY MAKE IT TO THE
44,000 NUMBER OF ATHLETES THAT WILL BE DRAFTED ONTO A PROFESSIONAL TEAM
highschool sports, TOO much tOO SOON?
PHOTOS BY JULIA LARBERG AND ETHAN STONE
a look at the long term effects of playing high school sports BY GARRETT MOULD
n recent years, sports have become more competitive. More athletes are playing on traveling teams than ever before. Many risks come along with the competitive nature of high school sports, including injuries, and being overworked. At what point is it too much? In recent years, sports injuries have become more and more common, and in some sports, are getting more severe. With football season in action, more light is being shed on head injuries. New studies are being conducted to determine the seriousness of head collisions, and the effects of concussions, both short term and long term. Although the majority of media attention has gone to football injuries, many other athletes experience them too, and they are just as severe. While traveling on competitive teams, athletes often have little time for school and friends. When is it considered too much? Out of the 854,200 student-athletes in the United States, only 44,000 will be drafted onto a professional team. Many of these teams are out of the United States, and thousands of these athletes will never get into a professional game. Is it worth the time, money, and dedication to work so hard for something that you may never use after high school? Many athletes could not imagine their life without practices every night, and tournaments each weekend. “I play sports for the love of the game,” captain of the varsity soccer team Will Skoog said. Not only does it take time, money, and dedication but, playing sports poses other risks such as Injuries. Recently, injuries have become more and more common. “I tore all the ligaments in my bicep,” senior
pitcher Lake Morgan said. In many cases, baseball injuries go by unnoticed. Unlike some other sports, baseball injuries are often caused by repetition. According to Driveline Baseball, single pitches do not rupture ligaments, instead, the UCL is torn microscopically over time by a flawed pitching delivering. For pitchers, mastering perfect mechanics is easier said than done. Even one the most elite pitchers in the game of baseball, Stephen Strasburg, tore his UCL in 2011, and needed Tommy John’s (former major league pitcher) surgery before returning to play. Another sport with a raising concern for injuries is football. More funding has gone into concussion and head trauma research than ever before. In recent years, professional football players have blamed the NFL for hiding knowledge of concussions. Multiple football players, including Pro Bowl linebacker Junior Seau have committed suicide by shooting themselves in the chest. After he died, it was discovered that he had Chronic Trauma Encephalopathy, more commonly known as CTE. He left a suicide note asking that his body would be researched in order to prevent brain damage in the future. “I don’t think injuries have become more severe. In football, all the rules have made it a much safer game. It has probably minimized the injuries. I don’t think they are getting worse necessarily, we are just becoming more aware of them,” Athletic Director John Johnson said. Football and baseball aren’t the only sports facing challenges. “I know the statistics, and they say cheerleading, girls soccer, and girls basketball are prone to the
most injuries,” Johnson said. This brings up another question. Are boys or girls more susceptible to injuries? One would think guys are getting injured more, most likely because the intensity of their sports, such as football and wrestling. According to one study though, girls are more prone to ACL tears, one of the most serious injuries in sports. ACL tears can take anywhere from 7 to 9 months to recover, and in severe cases, longer. Another serious injury is concussions. Last year, our school made athletes participate in a concussion test, which measures your reaction time and memory before you begin playing. If you happen to get a concussion, you will take the test again, and you won’t be cleared to play unless you have certain scores indicating you are ready to return. Football is the sport getting the most attention for concussions, and new helmets are being developed in order to stop concussion from ever occurring. In some cases, injuries are so severe that an athlete is forced to quit playing the sport that they love. One of the most famous cases of an athlete’s career ending injury occurred in the year 1985, on Monday Night Football. Joe Theismann, Pro Bowl quarterback for the Washington Redskins was sacked by Lawrence Taylor. Looking at the replay, you can see Theismann’s leg snap under Taylor. He never played another down of football again. In the end, it is up to the athlete to decide whether or not sports are worth the time, money and risk, of injury. If you ask any athlete, you would most likely hear they couldn’t imagine living without it.
Raiders Begin ‘Rise to the Top’ green machine, football team looks to institute a winning tradition BY DEREK FUHRMANN The lights are on, green helmets are shining, the crowd is rowdy and the boys of fall are back. Week one brought a loss at the hands of the Shawnee Mission East Lancers. Luck hasn’t been on the Raiders’ side against East, as the last two meetings have produced shutout victories for East. Senior Gabe Guild was the leading rusher in the game, running for 139 yards on 27 carries. Fumbles as well as a torrential downpour from Hurricane Isaac affected the Raiders however, and allowed East to escape with a comfortable 23-0 victory. Though the Raiders started off on the wrong foot, head coach Ryan Lonergan believes that one loss will not get under their skin. “We’ve put a whole year’s worth of work into this season and we’re taking it one game at a time. The most important game is the next one,” Lonergan said. Week two, however, brought a victory as the green machine steam rolled over Leavenworth 173. The opening drive yielded a 44-yard field goal at the end of the first quarter. Guild and senior Chaz Union contributed two more touchdowns, one being Union’s 45-yard fumble return. The team looks to use this win as motivation for the PHOTOS BY ETHAN STONE AND HANNAH HOLLANDER
future and a step in the right direction. Upon looking at the sidelines at the games, one will notice fresh faces as seven new coaches were brought on the staff, including Lonergan’s father, Pat, and head varsity baseball coach Mitch Wiles. These new additions to the team will bring a knowledge of what it takes to be a successful football team. Returning standout Guild, seniors John Eric Kelley, Jon Prueter, Evan O’Brien and Jeramie Fischer will provide the veteran leadership for a team that is becoming increasingly younger. After a lifetime of waiting, Prueter is now the starting quarterback. Filled with anxiety and excitement, Prueter describes how important this year will be. “What’s mainly going through my mind is excitement. It’s what I have been thinking about ever since I started playing football. For me personally, I’m using my mom as inspiration and playing for her,” Prueter said. Prueter’s mother, Kris Miner, was diagnosed with Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma (CTCL). Her fight against the cancer serves as inspiration for Prueter, as well as the entire South community. The student body has high expectations this year, expect to see sheer, raw emotion from the
team each and every time they take the field, as they strive to institute a new tradition of success on the gridiron based around their team motto. “The seniors chose the motto ‘Rise to the Top.’ They’ve put in the work, they want to be the cream that rises to the top and reach that point of excitement and satisfaction from achieving their goals,” Lonergan said. Do not forget how close the Raiders were to a playoff berth last season. Sunflower League rules stipulate that if a team wins two of the last three games, they clinch a playoff berth. Currently 1-1, the Raiders are showing signs of growth and maturity, leading fans to believe that they can become contenders. “As a team, we can do something that hasn’t been done at South in a long time and start a tradition for years to come. That is our inspiration,” Prueter said. Between having multiple state championship winning coaches on staff, a strong core of seniors, and support from the Raider faithful, expect the Green Machine to put themselves in contention and make a run towards the playoffs.
LEFT junior Ra’Keim Abdul quenches his thirst at the Green and Gold scrimmage Thursday, Aug. 23 at the South stadium. BOTTOM The Raiders huddle on the sideline during a very rainy, and cold game against Shawnee Mission East. TOP RIGHT junior Nick Oliver practices his catching and throwing skills with his teammate junior Tommy Pestano. MIDDLE sophomores Zach Gerber and Dalton LeWallen play during the scrimmage
looking back at
104 BY THE NUMBERS
LONDON FOUNDED: AD 43 COUNTRY: England HOSTED OLYMPICS: Three Times POPULATION: 8,174,100 MAIN ATTRACTIONS: Big Ben, Tower Bridge
BY CASEY LEE
Total number of medals won for the United States in London, at the 2012 Olympics
US, Michael Phelps makes Olympic History Michael Phelps has become the most decorated Olympian of all time. He currently has 22 Olympic medals, but thatâ€™s not the only record Phelps holds. He has the most gold medals won (18, double that of the next highest record holder). He holds the record for most gold medals in individual events (11), and Olympic medals in individual events for male (13). Phelps also has the record for the most first place finishes at any single Olympic games (8). His gold medal winnings make him stand out and have sealed his place in Olympic history. Some even argue that Phelps is the greatest Olympian of all time.
United States gold medals won in London 2012
2,652 All-time Olympic medal count for U.S.
1916, 1940, 1944 The first ever Olympics took place back in 1896. And since then, the summer and winter Olympic games have been held every four years. Did you ever think about the possibility of the games not being played? The games held in 1916 hosted in Berlin were canceled due to World War I because Germany was in the war. The games supposed to be held in 1940 and 1944 were also canceled, due to World War II. They were supposed to be held in Tokyo and London but couldnâ€™t because both countries were at war.
PHOTO BY ETHAN STONE
South’s beloved mascot, Rocky the Raider gives two small children a high-five by the bleachers. This cute scene happened during the Green and Gold Scrimmage on Thursday, Aug. 23.
[ROCKY] IS ONE CHILL DUDE...[HE IS] A MAN OF MYSTERY, I LIKE THAT. —junior Josh Harrell
Shawnee Misison South's monthly news magazine