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JANUARY 13,23, 2011 / VOLUME 7777 / ISSUE 3 2 NOVEMBER JANUARY 13, 2010 2011 / VOLUME / ISSUE 3



Clubs engage in charitable activities PAGE 3

HOMECOMING RETURNS Avon celebrates school pride during Winter Spirit Week


FUN OUT OF THE SUN Soccer players play their sport indoors during the off-season


NOT JUST CHRISTMAS Avon families celebrate wide variety of winter holidays


LOSING BUTTONS Gaming companies release new motion control, 3D games




Penny Wars motivates competitive fundraising at Avon World language classes raise money for families in need

The teacher and class that accumulates the most points wins Penny Wars. Change adds to the points, but paper money counts as “bombs.” When paper money BY RACHEL FISCHER is put in another class’ jar, that class is “bombed” and receives negative points. Delta Epsilon Phi (DEP), the German honor society, “My favorite part of Penny Wars is when [German created Penny Wars last year. Penny Wars was made class] forces the French class into [giving up] after to help raise money for a family DEP adopted for we bomb them with a bunch of dollars,” German club Christmas. All foreign language classes that participated president, junior Daniel Eccles, said. in the fund-raiser collected change to boost their points Freshman Hannah Baute likes that the competition in the competition. The fund-raiser this year raised helps raise more money and bring the school closer. about $1,950, surpassing last year’s $1,900. “I like that it gives the classes a chance to compete,” “I love the excitement that it brings out in everyone,” Baute said. “With the competition, somebody is always secretary of French club, junior Katie Kirkham, said. “Penny Wars brings everyone together in a way, whether trying to get the most, but, in the end, the competition adds up to giving for good, and people can bond they win or lose.” over this.” This year, the Penny Wars were held from Nov. 29 until Dec. 3. The winner of the competition was Japanese teacher Amanda Ramirez. Ramirez’s class raised $623.55. Ramirez held a food party for her class as a reward for winning Penny Wars. “The best part is giving back to the community,” Ramirez said, “but the student involvement was great to see. My students in particular are very proud of the language they are taking, so they had a good time competing against the other language classrooms.” “We’re just trying to help out a family and give them a good Christmas experience,” Eccles said. Baute believes that the best part about the Penny Wars is being able to help a family in need. The money raised was used to buy presents for a family of four children. A few of the gifts that were purchased were clothes, DVDs, Regal and Wal-Mart TASHA ROLLINGS gift cards, games and toys. French and geography teacher Tamara Condon counts change “We’re just trying to help out a family and give donated to her team on Nov. 30. The money raised from Penny Wars went toward buying Christmas gifts for families in Hendricks them a good Christmas experience,” Eccles said. Baute believes that the best part about the Penny County. “Penny Wars was a fun way to involve all the world language classes in supporting a great cause,” Condon said. Wars is being able to help a family in need.


Freshman Jodi Ringham counts change after school on Nov. 30. All students were allowed to stay after school on any “C” day in order to count coins for community service hours. “I wanted to help out and be a part of the experience,” Ringham said. “It is really competitive to see who can get the most.”

“The biggest satisfaction of the wars is knowing that the money we put into it is going to help other people be happy this season,” Baute said. “I am very glad to be a part of the overall experience; I’m happy to know that the money I’ve donated is making someone else happy while helping my class try and win the competition.” DEP sponsor, and last year’s Penny Wars winner, Lisa Richardson, believes this experience gives students a “great” learning opportunity. “The best thing about the Penny Wars is the ability to say ‘yes, we can help,’” Richardson said. “When a need arises at other times throughout the year, not just at Christmastime (though that is also a joy), we are able to help. It’s a real ‘feel good’ project.” DEP plans on holding another Penny Wars next year, with hopes of raising the same amount, if not more, that they did in the past two years, according to DEP vice president, junior Maria Fey. Kirkham said the tradition should continue and that students enjoy Spanish Penny Wars. “It takes the monotony out of the normal school day,” Kirkham said. “The cause is really the most important thing, and I feel as if students love having the opportunity to get out of the normal foreign language class day. They get to plan to bring in more change for their class, they get to plot ‘bombing’ other classes, and everyone comes together to help those in need. This is the biggest reward.” KENTON HIPSHER

PENNY WAR COMPETITION RESULTS Top three world languages









NEWS In Loving Memory of

Luke Joseph Whitson

November 22, 1993 - October 12, 2010 You guys know that question, “If you could have dinner with Sjust one person, who would it be?” I will forever know the answer to that question. Although it would be unimaginably painful to have him leave yet again, my answer will always be Luke. To talk one more time, to have one more hug would be worth it. We love you more than the moon and the stars. Junior Kendyll Holsinger shops with Youth Encouraging Junior Karen Coniff runs a station at the carnival for Active Luke was born on November Philanthropy (YEP) for their holiday family they adopted Water, organized by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes 22, 1993, to his birthparents and brought home by his Dad through Starting Point on Dec. 11. “I wanted to give back (FCA) on Dec. 11. Active Water is an organization that and I on November 24, 1993. We lovingly referred to this as to someone in need and let them have a good Christmas,” supplies clean water to Third World countries. “I just wanted ‘Gotcha Day’ at our house, and celebrated it, along with his Holsinger said. to help out and raise money for Active Water,” Coniff said. birthday every year. We always honored their brave decision to make an adoption plan. Luke leaves behind his parents, Brian & Anne Whitson, Grandmother, Ellen Whitson, his Aunts and Uncles, Fritz, Philip & Laura Klinkose, Angie & Steve Kidwell & Tim & Junior Caleb Rice, who worked one of the bounce Laura Whitson, Cousins Morgan, Gavin & Madison Klinkose, houses, agreed with Aguilar that Americans have a lot Seth & Ethan Kidwell & Hunter Whitson, many friends, for which they can be thankful. He participated in the members of his extended family and his girlfriend of over a year, Kyrstin Hall. carnival “to get many [people] to give to Active Water Luke loved to play soccer, listen to music, write poetry, and to give glory to God.” see movies, especially scary movies, and hang out with BY MIRIAM THOMAS The event raised about $1,100 dollars for Active his friends. He was loving, loyal and could always make us As the season of giving came to a close, Avon students Water and awareness for the organization through smile. He would’ve given me his last Oreo. reflected on the importance of giving throughout the the carnival. We can’t thank the students and staff at Avon High year and on the various philanthropic activities they Another club at Avon engaged in philanthropy to School enough for everything they’ve done during this very painful time in our lives. The memory book made by you participated in. benefit a cause closer to home. Avon Center Stage will be treasured always. Don’t hesitate to keep those fun On Dec. 11, Avon High School’s Fellowship of Christian Performers’ (ACSP) Holiday Connection found groups memories coming. We are always happy to hear the great Athletes (FCA) held a carnival to raise funds for Active and families in the school and community to provide things you remember about Luke, and it helps us so much. Water, an organization that provides water to people who Christmas presents for families in the community who We would especially like to thank the members of Luke’s rec live in countries that lack safe drinking water. Sophomore would otherwise not be able to afford presents. On soccer team, The Fusion Beasts. He loved playing with you Meghan Gamble organized the carnival to “get people’s Saturday, Dec. 11, ACSP members collected presents guys. Your support has been amazing. Mrs. Pecar, who truly attention for the crisis going on, not just in Africa, but from families that sponsored other families and caroled loves what she does and is quite good at it. Mr. Bischof, who Luke really enjoyed working with. There are so many other around the world.” at their houses. teachers, students & staff members who have spent time At the carnival, tickets were sold for 50 cents apiece, and Teachers Amy Keller’s and Erin Garland’s classes and given us support in various ways. We appreciate each most of the activities took between one and four tickets. decided to support a local family for Christmas through of you as well. Thank you to Mr. Adcock & Mrs. Rodkey, who These included a cake walk, bounce houses, ring toss and a Holliday Connection. Through the two classes’ combined came to the funeral home to bring us the memory book. We would also like to thank Brandon Miciek, Zachary Hughes, dunk tank, where students paid two tickets to throw three efforts, they were able to collect almost $1,400 to buy Wade Custis, Brian Carson, Ed Carson, & Fritz Klinkose, softballs at a teacher. The staff members in the tank were presents for six children in the community. who served as pallbearers. Dylan Lawson, who made an Kellie Rodkey, David Ball, Rick Belcher, Kyle Beimfohr, Kelly “I think it’s important for us to see the benefit of amazing speech at Luke’s funeral service. Thank you. Your Gamble and Colin Altevogt. Rodkey said that the dunkings helping others, especially during the holidays,” Keller words will never be forgotten and were absolutely perfect. were worth it, and she was happy to be able to participate. said. “I think of good memories I have of holidays, and Always remember how “I would like to support any activities that clubs [at it’s important for others to experience them.” many people love and care about each and every one of Avon] do,” Rodkey said. “The kids in FCA worked really The students collected money in class for two you. Always remember that hard, and I would like to help them in their efforts.” weeks and then went shopping on Dec. 9. The classes tomorrow will be a better day. Several students said they participated because they were able to buy new coats and presents for all of the You all have so much to give recognized the need of the less fortunate in Africa. children, who included a six-month-old girl, a tenand to live for. One of Luke’s “A lot of people take [our easy access to clean water] for year-old girl, and four boys who are four, six, 12 and 15 favorite quotes was, “To the granted here, while some people walk three miles just to years old. world you might just be one person, but to one person, get polluted water,” sophomore Eduardo Aguilar. “Whatever people can give: 25 cents or $2—every you might just be the world.” Aguilar participated in the sponge throw. He covered his bit helps,” Keller said. “Some people think that if Always remember Luke.

Avon students lend a hand during holidays Students raise money for less fortunate through Active Water carnival, Holiday Connection

shirt with a plastic trashbag, while carnival attendees paid to throw sponges at his face. ECHO · JANUARY 2011

they only give a dollar, they’re not helping, but that’s not true.”




S NEW Avon hosts new Winter Spirit Week Avon’s Student Government to host spirit week, pep rally during winter to elevate school spirit

BY OLIVIA OBER Avon’s Student Government made a decision to have a Winter Spirit Week to recognize the achievements of the fall and winter sports and activities, complete with a full school week of dress-up days, a pep rally and a Homecoming basketball game against the Hamilton Southeastern Royals. The spirit week is scheduled to begin on Jan. 17. “I love all the events that are included in Winter Spirit Week,” Student Government President, senior Caroline Bennett, said. “We had such a great turn-out for Fall Homecoming that I am really excited to bring that school spirit back for Winter Spirit Week. I am also excited to have a pep rally that the entire school can come together for.” Assistant Principal Kellie Rodkey said when she first approached the Executive Board about having a Winter Homecoming, they decided not to have it. However, they later came to her saying they would like to have a revamped “Winter Spirit Week” that would celebrate more than just basketball. “They were very happy with the idea of a pep rally and spirit days,” Rodkey said. “Their hope was that it would spur a lot of spirit and enthusiasm because Fall Homecoming was so successful [this year].” The goal of Winter Spirit Week, according to Rodkey, is to celebrate as many winter activities and sports as possible and to recognize the achievements of different fall activities. The Executive Board did not want to “focus on any one thing.” For this reason, the week will

not be centered on basketball alone, and there will be no Homecoming King and Queen crowned at the game like a typical Homecoming. “It’s a good thing that not just basketball players get the credit for [their achievements],” freshman Presley Stewart said. “It’s good that everyone gets some credit, and everyone can come and have fun.” Winter Spirit Week was planned by the Student Government and overseen by Bennett. Seniors Mike Etienne and Danny Russello oversaw planning of specific events. “During Fall Homecoming, we were forced to move at a very fast pace,” Bennett said. “There was very little time for discussion, but we have really been able to spend some time planning Winter Spirit Week. Everyone is happy to have the time for debate; we believe this is going to be a great event.” Winter Spirit Week will start with “Sports Day” on Jan. 18, followed by “July in January” and “Time Machine Day” and will finish with “Go Orioles Day.” “It will bring life to the school while it’s cold outside,” Stewart said. “It’s fun to dress up wacky for a week.” After reviewing the pep rally from the fall, Rodkey and the Executive Board decided to include a pep rally during school that will last half an hour, with 20 minutes traveling time for the students to get seated. At this pep rally, African Diaspora and AB²CI will perform as well as the cheerleading and dance teams. Accomplishments of fall sports and the Avon Marching Black and Gold will be recognized. Various games and competitions will be held in the gym.

Russello hopes the school, especially the students, will “really enjoy” the planned events. “I’m here to focus on the students at our school,” Russello said. “I see myself as someone who thinks practically and wants it to be fun for our peers specifically. I hope that this becomes part of Avon’s tradition for years to come. I want the students to look forward to this cold, dull part of the year.” Winter Spirit Week will finish with a basketball game against Hamilton Southeastern on Jan. 21 at 6 p.m. Students are encouraged to wear their black and gold to support the Orioles as they face the Royals. Overall, Rodkey hopes to see “even more success” in future Winter Homecomings or Spirit Weeks and commends the effort of the Student Government in their planning for the week. “I hope that we can top the school spirit we saw in the fall,” Rodkey said. “I hope we incorporate as many events and sports as possible. I am very proud of the Student Government and [its ability to] be the voice of the school.” Bennett also shares Rodkey’s goal of furthering school spirit. “It would be great to have everyone participate and get excited about Homecoming and Winter Spirit Week!” Bennett said. “School spirit has definitely been lacking at Avon over the past couple of years, but I really believe that this year our lacking school spirit is beginning to turn. I hope that school and community pride can be further reestablished at Avon High School.”










New music venue opens doors to musicians Avon attracts local musicians, concertgoers with new venue BY MANDY PACKNETT

In past years, whenever Avon students wanted to attend a concert, they had to travel out of town to venues such as the Emerson Theater, the Murat, the Indiana University Auditorium or others. However, there has been an addition to this family of Indiana music venues. There is a new music hall available to Avon residents, as well as other Indy concertgoers. This music venue is hosted by the Eagle Church campus, located on 10070 US 36, in Avon. On Nov. 26, this new location opened for the first time to host a show featuring bands from around the state. This lineup of musicians included bands such as Ironsides, Forevermore and Red Morning Voyage. Senior Derek Justin went to the first show in the new Avon venue. Justin is a self-proclaimed “music enthusiast” who had attended multiple local concerts before the show on Nov. 26. “The new venue is really big and clean,” Justin said. “The stage is set up really nicely, and the best thing about it is they let you mosh, as long as it doesn’t get out of control.” This music venue will be available to the local and Indiana-based bands, consisting of acoustic and alternative rock bands. Justin believes this new location could increase interest in music throughout Avon. “[Now that this venue is open], I think more kids will become more interested in [alternative and acoustic] music,” Justin said. “[As] long as the headliner can bring in good bands, it will sell. I won’t have to go to the Emerson Theater downtown, where I see a lot of underground music, and it will allow me to experience new music. A lot of churches are doing this.”


Music artists from the local Indianapolis area have played at the available venue. Some concertgoers, such as senior Abby Wagoner, will not have to commute the same distance as they would have before. “I won’t have to travel outside of Avon to go to shows,” Wagoner said. “Hopefully, more well-known artists will come to the venue.”

Other Avon students voiced their opinion on the new music venue. Sophomore Michael Beresky considers himself a music enthusiast and plays multiple instruments, including guitar. He is familiar with music, as well as the musical artists around Avon and Indianapolis. “I think [the new music venue] will definitely make room for a music scene,” Beresky said. “I think a lot of people will go to shows there.” The large venue has multiple tables and chairs. The main room of the venue is finished and carpeted. The stage is raised, and stage lighting is installed as well. Senior Abby Wagoner goes to concerts around the area and plans to go into the music business in the future as a band manager. Wagoner has attended shows at venues in the surrounding area of downtown Indianapolis, some of which she feels can be “dangerous.” She said that the new music hall will be safer than some of the nearby stages.

“It would be a lot closer and safer than other surrounding venues,” Wagoner said. “I think that with this new place opening, it will allow more students to go to shows because their parents will feel better about it.” Wagoner plans on attending events featuring local bands at the new music venue and hopes that it will increase participation in music events. “It’ll get more people involved and give people more of a chance to support local music artists and groups,” Wagoner said. “It would be awesome to get more widely known musicians to play there as well.” Freshman Tyler Habig plays guitar at his youth group and is a member of the Avon Marching Black and Gold. He foresees positive feedback on the new music venue in that it will increase the amount and type of music to which Avon is exposed. “I don’t really think Avon has a music scene right now,” Habig said. “I think more bands outside of Avon will have concerts there.”

Come to


at the AHS Theater February 10-12 Thursday through Saturday 6:30 p.m.



A new music venue is inside of the Eagle Church of Avon. The church campus housed the alternative rock concert on Nov. 26, but it is anticipated to be used for future shows as well. Freshman Tyler Habig believes that other music artists will use the venue. “I think more artists will definitely use the new venue in the future,” Habig said.

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Located at the corner of Stafford Rd. and 267





Fantasy sports leagues attract additional players

Sports marketing students participate in fantasy football league, promote teams for assignment


American Online (AOL), with eight friends. Kugelman and his fellow competitors prefer not to play for prizes. “[My friends and I] play [fantasy football] just for the fun of it,” Kugelman said. Kugelman thinks playing fantasy football is “fun” because of his ability to track National Football League (NFL) players leaguewide. “[Fantasy football] is fun because you can play with friends and keep track of what players are doing around the [NFL],” Kugelman said. Sophomore Zack Kaufman, who plays in the same online fantasy football league as Kugelman, “enjoys” fantasy football’s competitive nature. “[Fantasy football] is another thing to be competitive in,” Kaufman said. “It gets you into the game of the NFL, and you can do it with friends.” Online fantasy football players such as Kaufman and Kugelman form a large part of the fantasy sports market. In fact, “Business Week” Online found that 92 percent of fantasy sports players compete in fantasy football leagues, and, according to “CNN Money” Online, 85 percent of fantasy sports participants play online. This trend has led to the formation of a billion-dollar market mainly comprised of the top three fantasy Web sites – in terms of their number of players: “CBS SportsLine,” “ESPN” and “Yahoo!” Fantasy Sports. In September 2006, 10 million people played fantasy sports on these three sites, according to “CNN Money” Online. Kaufman prefers playing fantasy football over other fantasy sports because of his interest in the game of football.

According to an August 2007 demographic survey commissioned by the Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA), there are 19.4 million active fantasy sports players in the United States and Canada. The survey also disclosed that there are 34.5 million people who have at one time played fantasy sports in the United States and Canada. As a result, television networks, such as CBS and ESPN, are incorporating more fantasy storylines and themes into their coverage of sporting events. Sociology teacher Stephanie Chenoweth, whose husband is a fantasy football “fanatic,” believes that the increased popularity of fantasy sports, specifically fantasy football, can be explained by a fan’s ability to root for his or her fantasy team in conjunction with his or her preferred football team. “[Fantasy football] makes the whole football season more interesting because you are not only watching and rooting for your own team; you’re rooting for the players on your fantasy [football] team,” Chenoweth said. According to Fortune magazine, fantasy sports enable sports fans to draft and manage teams of professional athletes in sports such as baseball and football. The fans compete with their teams in leagues formed by friends or coworkers and earn points based on their selected athletes’ in-game performances. Prizes awarded at the end of a season typically range from a T-shirt and virtual trophy to $25,000 cash, according to “Business Week” Online. Junior Joel Kugelman plays fantasy football using “Fleaflicker,” a free fantasy sports website owned by


1 Join a fantasy sports website


Pick the players that will play on your team



Once the season begins, follow players’ progress




As the season continues, trade players with other teams


At the end of the season, whoever’s team accumulates the most points is the winner

T R O P S Y AS uide to T N g t A FA y-step spor sy -b Step g a fanta in play


“[I prefer to play fantasy football because] football is my favorite sport,” Kaufman said, “and I like to watch [football] more than other sports.” Fantasy football is having an impact not only on society outside of the classroom but is being used as an outlet for students to apply marketing principles in business teacher Troy Drosche’s sports marketing course. As a class assignment, Drosche requires his sports marketing students to “select a team [during] a live draft in class and create a video of the team to market.” The students select a team using “Yahoo! Fantasy Sports” Online and create a video via Animoto. Drosche feels the assignment helps his students to become better marketers by enabling them to further their interest in football while applying marketing concepts and skills. “[The assignment] takes something [the students] are already very interested in, which is football, and lets them look at it on a daily basis,” Drosche said. “We put together different documents and explore Excel, PowerPoint and Word.” Drosche, a fantasy baseball and fantasy football player, enjoys playing fantasy sports because they permit him to follow sports at an advanced level. “Being a sports enthusiast, [fantasy sports] allow me to engage in sports even more,” Drosche said. “They also allow me to focus on all games and players, even ones I wouldn’t normally focus on.”



Drosche’s vote






SPORTS “ Indoor soccer is the best part of winter.


The Avon Yetis prepare for their game at the 10th Street Sports Center on Nov. 3. Avon Yeti player, junior Brendon Widau, said he enjoys the competition between teams. “Indoor soccer is so much fun,” Widau said. “You get to mess around with friends and compete against teams.”


Senior Sam Pollock blocks the ball from senior Nate Hutson at a game on Nov. 10. Indoor soccer provides an activity for the winter season. “I’m glad that we had a perfect, defeated season,” Pollock said. “It doesn’t matter about winning; it’s about having fun.”

Indoor soccer league gains popularity Avon students participate in, support locally hosted indoor soccer league


A local indoor soccer league featuring teams such as Avon Yetis, Got Milk, Mike Hawk’s Trojans and the Hairy Purple Vikings has emerged in Avon. Now that this year’s fall sports have come to an end, some of the school’s athletes, including soccer, cross country and tennis players, have found a way to bridge the gap between seasons. Indoor soccer has become “the new favorite sport of the school,” according to senior Cody Hunter. The indoor soccer teams from Avon High School are student-operated teams of 14 players whose captains arrange competitive matches against other Avon teams, along with teams from Brownsburg and Plainfield, at 10th Street Sports Center. “10th Street Sports Center set up the indoor soccer league a few years ago,” senior Nate Martin said. “A lot of people seemed to enjoy it, so I finally decided to start my own team.” Any students wishing to create a new team for the indoor soccer league are allowed, but they must follow the rules and regulations formed by 10th Street Sports Center. 10th Street Sports Center provides an indoor facility where the games are held but requires any team wanting to participate to pay $600 and limit team members to 14 players. “The facility where we play sets up the league for us and also provides referees for all the games,” junior Brad Klemmensen, player for the Avon Yetis, said. While many of the indoor soccer league’s players are on the high school team as well, anyone ECHO · JANUARY 2011

interested in participating in indoor soccer is allowed to join. “A lot of the school’s soccer players participate,” Martin said, “but the league is really for whoever wants to play.” Although the two sports share a name, there are differences in how indoor and outdoor soccer are played. “The main differences between indoor and outdoor soccer are the way substitutions are made and the fact that indoor soccer allows you to use walls in game play,” Klemmensen said. “In indoor soccer, you aren’t allowed to stop the clock, so substitutions are made on the fly. Also, in indoor soccer, you’re allowed to use the walls to bounce the ball off of and to get around other players.” Another difference between the two sports is the use of a net surrounding the field in indoor soccer. “In indoor soccer, the entire field is surrounded by a net in order to protect the fans,” Hunter said. “That also affects some of the aspects of the game. Throw-ins aren’t allowed in indoor soccer, and ‘out-of-bounds’ is determined by how high the ball travels. Sometimes, it’s hard to follow, but I still really enjoy watching.” 10th Street Sports Center’s indoor soccer facilities include a spectator area, where Avon students go to support the soccer teams. Students such as Hunter attend the indoor soccer games and participate in the student-led cheers for the athletes. “The student sections at the soccer games are always pretty large,” Hunter said. “Students really get into it, and the support for the games is never lacking. I think that’s why the sport has had such success at our school.”




O S S P RT Avon basketball sets goals Basketball team shoots for team unity, successful season


Following the Avon varsity football team’s quarterfinal run in the 2010 Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) Football State Tournament, Avon sports fans are hoping for exciting seasons from their boys’ and girls’ basketball teams. One of these fans includes junior Sam Persanyi, who is expecting “great” things from this year’s edition of Avon basketball. “I think [Avon’s basketball teams] can do great things with their returning starters and hopefully go to state,” Persanyi said. Under the guidance of head coach Jason Young, the Avon boys’ varsity basketball team is looking to improve from last year’s 12-8 regular season record and doubleovertime loss to Ben Davis in sectionals. “[We hope to improve from last season’s performance] with the experience we returned, [consisting of] eight seniors,” Young said. According to junior varsity (JV) center, junior Brian Decker, the Avon boys’ JV basketball team is hoping to improve from last season by “playing better as a team [rather than individually].”

Decker and the rest of the boys’ JV basketball team are “aiming high” in their goals for this season. “[Our team] is hoping to go undefeated at home and win all of our conference games,” Decker said. On the girls’ side, varsity head coach Steve Drabyn is going “back to the basics” with his team in order to bounce back from last year’s record of 7-15. “We have been working a lot on fundamentals, such as passing, shooting and rebounding,” Drabyn said. Drabyn also recognizes the importance of experience on a team’s roster. “Our four seniors, [Haley Austin, Jackie Kurbursky, Dominique Small and Alex Van Wanzeele], are very instrumental to the success of this team,” Drabyn said. JV guard, junior Ashlee Gerig, said her team’s familiarity with each other helps them to “thrive.” “[Our team] has lots of returning starters, which helps [my teammates and me] to get along better,” Gerig said. Gerig said Matt Craig, coach of the girls’ JV basketball team, values teamwork over individual performances. Gerig recognizes her team’s friendships with each other. “There’s no drama at all,” Gerig said. “[My teammates and me] are all friends outside of the [JV girls’ basketball] team. Often times we will hang out together, like going to the boys’ [basketball] games.”

Avon cheerleading mans up

Cheerleading team conditions for competition, adds boys to team BY MEGAN MEDELLIN


Senior Gretchen Lowery is held up by fellow cheerleaders on Nov. 30 at the Avon v. Southport girls basketball game. “It’s great to be captain this year and get to know all the guys and girls on the team,” Lowery said. “We have a lot of fun, and I have made a lot of new friends. It’s definitely our best year of cheerleading.”



Freshman Rachel Griffin dribbles the ball to the net in Avon’s game against Southport on Nov. 30. Griffin is the only freshman to play for the varsity team this year. “It was a big jump from eighth grade basketball to varsity,” Griffin said, “but I love the girls on the team and the competition.”

Avon High School’s cheerleading squad consists of 44 students, and 12 of those are boys. New to the cheerleading squad this year, boys are now being used to help cheer on the Orioles. “We want to give it more of a collegiate feel,” head coach Ashley Burelison said. “[The girls] need variety, and they get burned out just working with themselves, but we want to give them a little bit more and give them something they can work harder for.” Burelison feels that the boys come to practice to work. “When they have been here, they have been working very hard,” Burelison said. “They push each other. I think they’re having a lot of fun.” Senior Anthony Myers, who is one of the boys on the cheerleading squad, feels that more boys should try out with other cheerleaders and join the squad next year. For him, it is a way of “self-expression.” “I think other boys should join cheerleading next year and not be afraid of what people think,” Myers said. “You are who you are, and boys cheerlead too, so go out there and do what you’ve got to do.” On a squad, there are different roles for every cheerleader. A cheerleader can either be a base or

a flyer. The bases support the flyers, who are thrown into the air to execute stunts. The boys on the squad are used as bases, and their job is to hold girls up or catch them. “It’s interesting; [the boys] are a lot of fun,” junior Haley Priest said, “and they’re catching on pretty quickly. I think they are a good asset for us.” Practice consists of rehearsing cheers, tumbling and conditioning. Freshman Brennan Hadley feels that “some days can be more difficult than others.” “[Cheerleading] can be the worst experience of your life if you’re not in shape,” Myers said. “[Practices] are hard. You have to be focused. You have to be ready to work and cry a little, sweat a little and maybe even bleed a little if you are unfortunate.” Senior Chris Beall said that through cheerleading, he has gotten in “better shape in cheerleading than he has been in other things.” “Practices are tough. Conditioning is a lot harder than most people think,” Beall said. “With all the ab work and throwing the girls up, it isn’t very easy.” There are three different squads: a football, basketball and competition squad. To join the competition squad, a cheerleader has to join the football or basketball squad. “Being on the team is really rewarding because you feel accomplished when you get out there,” Myers said. “It’s great when people are cheering and you get the crowd hyped.” ECHO · JANUARY 2011





Boys’ Basketball


Boys’ Swimming


Girls’ Basketball





Girls’ Swimming


UPCOMING HOME GAMES Jan. 13: Girls’ Basketball v. Pike Jan. 15: Girls’ Basketball v. Noblesville Jan. 18: Boys’ and Girls’ Swimming v. Chatard Jan . 20: Boys’ Wrestling v. Plainfield Jan. 21: Boys’ Basketball v. Hamilton SE Jan. 22: Girls’ Basketball v. Harrison Jan. 25: Boys’ and Girls’ Swimming v. Cascade - Senior Night Jan. 28: Boys’ Basketball v. Zionsville Jan. 29: Boys’ Wrestling at Sectionals





Why did you decide to start diving? [I started diving] because I like wearing Speedos, and I can’t do anything else. What is your favorite part of diving? Being able to jump in the air. What was your favorite meet this year? The Brownsburg meet because all of our divers beat their divers.


Heidi Klotz, 11

How long have you been a part of color guard? This is my third year of high school guard. What made you join color guard? Seeing the 2006 world guard perform for us in sixth grade at AIS. What is your favorite part about color guard? My favorite part is doing something I love with my friends.





Class rankings affect seniors’ future academic careers Avon High School seniors focus on their GPA, testing scores for future college plans Recommendations, community service, essay, GPA and difficulty of high school courses are taken into consideration when selecting participants for the Lilly Endowment Scholarship. Senior Rachel Troutman, who is interested in some Ivy League schools, also said that class rank is important when getting into college. “Having a high class rank, and especially having a high GPA, helps immensely with getting into a good college,” Troutman said. Etienne took the weighting of Advanced Placement (AP) and weighted classes’ role in boosting his GPA into consideration when deciding his schedule. “It’s hard to find time to lift without Advanced Physical Conditioning,” Etienne said, “and team sports sounds pretty fun, but I don’t have the space.” Senior Zack McCormack did not consider his GPA much when choosing classes. “I haven’t taken a class I didn’t want to take because of wanting a higher GPA,” McCormack said, “though I might have taken an AP version of that class instead of a regular version.” Troutman also said that weighting has not affected her class decisions. “Class rank hasn’t really been a factor in choosing classes,” Troutman said. “The AP classes I am interested in just take priority Zack McCormack Katelyn Doering Mike Etienne over electives.” “[Class rank] gives me a With the five AP “I just prioritize everything reason to stay focused on classes Troutman “I just focus on doing the and get done what I have to the grades, especially when is currently best I can in all my classes.” first, and the rest follows.” school is the last thing I’m taking, she interested in.” emphasized the importance Future plans: Future plans: Future plans: Undecided, possibly Study political science Undecided, either biomedical of time management biological engineering engineering or biomedical sales in order to maintain Favorite class taken: good grades. Favorite class taken: AP Spanish and Favorite class taken: “This year, I Ceramics I and II AP Government AP Computer Science am taking AP Favorite Extracurricular: Favorite Extracurricular: Favorite Extracurricular: Psychology, AP Intramural Basketball Student Government Basketball Spanish, AP Biology, AP Calculus BC Hours of Sleep Per Night: Hours of Sleep Per Night: Hours of Sleep Per Night: and AP Literature,” 6 to 7 7 About 9 Troutman said. MIRIAM THOMAS SOURCE: INTERVIEWS, DECEMBER 2010


As the first semester draws to a close, so will the opportunity for seniors to change their class rank. Colleges take class rank, grade point average (GPA) and testing scores into consideration when deciding upon admission and automatic scholarships. “The scholarship opportunities for a valedictorian are endless,” senior Mike Etienne said. Etienne plans on attending Purdue University for biomedical engineering, where his GPA and test scores have qualified him to receive $8,000 annually through the Trustees Scholarship. According to “Purdue University” Online, the Trustees Scholarship is given to those that display academic achievement and demonstrate leadership or service. Etienne also plans to apply for other scholarships. “I applied for the Lilly Scholarship,” Etienne said. “I focused a lot of efforts into that.”


Contenders for senior top spots share secrets to success


“Outside of school, I am involved in show choir, Spanish Honor Society, Avon School and Community Ambassadors Program, National Honor Society and National English Honor Society. It is very difficult to balance classes with extracurriculars, but it basically involves a lot of time management and loss of sleep.” Senior Tyler Lasky also said that time management is critical for managing his schedule. He balances three AP classes and sports while maintaining high grades. “I have balanced my classes and extracurriculars through a lot of time management,” Lasky said. Students like Troutman said that their parents have also played a role in their success. “My parents have always encouraged me to do the very best job I am capable of doing,” Troutman said. “With them, it has never been about having a high class rank or perfect grades, but rather about making the most of my education and fulfilling my potential.” Troutman’s class rank has given her many college options to consider. “I am interested especially in Yale University and Northwestern University because they are schools with rigorous academics and intellectual atmospheres,” Troutman said. Lasky said his parents have played a similar role in his academic choices. “My parents simply push me to do my best,” Lasky said. “[They] put me on the right track early on in my school career.” Senior Katelyn Doering, who is taking seven AP classes and is involved in extracurriculars like Student Government, tennis, Key Club and National Honor Society, emphasized the importance of organization in studying and of schedule juggling in balancing extracurriculars and academics. “I make a list of assignments that are due so that I don’t forget anything,” Doering said. “It’s important to have good time management.” Doering has applied to Notre Dame, Harvard, Princeton and Miami (in Ohio), competitive schools that admit many students with high class rank. Junior Ian McDowell believes that class rank serves as a positive motivation for students to focus on grades. “I think the use of class ranking is beneficial in getting students to challenge themselves and each other,” McDowell said. “If class rankings were removed, it would decrease interest in grades.” Class rank will be calculated after the first semester ends. A dinner for the top 25 is held in the spring, during which the top students and teachers they choose to honor are recognized. Additionally, the top two ranked seniors will be named the valedictorian and salutatorian and will give speeches during the graduation ceremony at the Indiana Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis in May. ECHO · JANUARY 2011


Avon makes money in alternative ways

Students find ways to earn money without traditional job through babysitting, web design BY KRYSTAL ANDRY

According to “USA Today” Online, the number of teenagers working has dropped in the last two decades. However, some teens are finding different ways to make money. Online store owner Tracy LeBeau has been selling merchandise on eBay for eight years, and her high school daughters help her run and advertise her business. “[Our family] started out just selling things that we didn’t want anymore,” LeBeau said. “Now, we also sell things for friends and family, as well as things we find at thrift shops.” LeBeau said she ships roughly 100 items per week, with most of the items being toys or books. “With the economy the way it is, more people than ever are doing their Christmas shopping on eBay,” LeBeau said. LeBeau said one of the biggest complications when selling through eBay is the feedback system. “It can be challenging when you have to deal with picky customers,” LeBeau said. “Sadly, sometimes it seems like no matter what you do, it’s impossible to make some people happy. Still, even if a customer is rude, you have to be professional and do your best to make the transactions smooth for everyone.” A website that gives advice on making money, “Moolonamy” Online, suggests writing resumés, tutoring or designing online websites. Senior Anthony DiPalmo has created five websites. DiPalmo explained why he began making websites for money. “When I was younger, I met friends online who made money through websites they created,” DiPalmo said, “and I wanted to do that, too.” DiPalmo offered advice for others who are seeking ways to make money through websites.

“Don’t try to go for the main prize,” DiPalmo said. “Figure Business teacher Stan Malless offered advice on ways out what you’re good at [and] know programming. Get students can make money. an education first and take classes [on programming and “Students can make money by trying to find a partrunning websites].” time job, do chores at home for a pay reward, make or Junior Taylor Lambson makes money babysitting and produce something and sell it, or perform services,” began babysitting at age 11. She babysits for family and also Malless said. “Some more opportunities [for students for close family friends. to make money] are cutting people’s lawns, shoveling “I usually only babysit two kids at a time,” Lambson said. snow off driveways, babysitting, delivering newspapers, “I always hope they won’t be in a hyper mood.” watching pets or house sitting.” Lambson now babysits one or two times a week. She said According to Malless, making money is not the only the part she looks forward to the least is bedtime. benefit to holding a job. He said experience is “I don’t look forward to getting the kids to sleep,” also important. Lambson said. “That’s usually a struggle. The kids I watch “Even if [students] don’t need money, this gives them really don’t want to go to bed at night.” some experience that may help them in the future or Professional bloggers, such as Peter Anderson on “Bible that they can use on their resumé,” Malless said. Money Matters” Online, suggest that teens start writing a blog as a way to earn money. “I started writing this blog a little over two years ago,” Anderson said in of one of his blogs, “and in that time, Create bracelets, t-shirts Turn talents, skills or hobbies, it has gotten to the point where it or purses and sell them on such as dog walking, baby sitting now earns more than my wife’s full “Etsy” Online. or tutoring, into services. time day job.” Avon students also have regular, part-time jobs. Panda Express Buy a domain and begin Start an online store by worker, senior Britney Butterfield, blogging for money or review selling used clothing, toys explained the benefits of having a movies and books by blogging and books. job rather than earning about them. money a different way. Find a few friends and run a “[Having a job] is nice because Cater for parties. small car wash. it’s a good way to save up for college and not ask your parents sources: “PT MONEY” oNLINE, “HELIUM” ONLINE, “ASSOCIATED CONTENT” ONLINE KRYSTAL ANDRY for money,” Butterfield said.

Money and no job Ways to earn money without working regularly


Colin Altevogt, Spanish and English Teacher

What do you want to be when you grow up?

What is the most abnormal thing you have done?

I want to have my own daycare when I grow up.

By far, the most abnormal thing I have ever done is being an assistant coach on the girls’ cross country team.

What is your favorite childhood memory? When I first went to Disney World, it was tight. I got to meet my favorite character, Mickey Mouse.

If you could be in any movie, what would it be? I would be in “Back to the Future” so that I could time travel. GRACE KELLY





Students celebrate international winter holidays Avon students partake in Diwali, Chinese New Year, Ramadan

forward to every Diwali holiday season. Some of her family’s traditions are burning crackers, lighting up lamps and candles and making Rangolis. Rangolis are BY GRACE KELLY decorative patterns used to decorate the courtyard and walls of Indian houses. Various cultures have different holiday traditions “All my family gets together,” Khanna said, “and we that they practice each year. All around the world, eat traditional and different foods. It is just like the people celebrate holidays specific to their different Thanksgiving holiday here [in America].” backgrounds. Each background results in various Unlike the traditional calendar used in the United holidays like Chinese New Year, Kwanzaa or Diwali. States, where New Year’s Day can be expected to be on In Diwali, otherwise known as the “Festival of the same day every year, the Chinese New Year, or Lunar Lights,” people of the Hindu, Jainism and Sikhism faiths New Year, falls on a different day each year. This year, participate in the lighting of small clay lamps to signify it comes on Feb. 3, and the festivities can last for more the triumph of good over evil. than 15 days. The reason to celebrate the holiday is the “It is the beginning of a new year and a time for coming of spring. me to set goals,” junior Kishan Sangani, who celebrates Junior Rui Xiao “enjoys” the different activities Diwali, said. associated with Chinese New Year, such as fireworks, Like New Year’s in America, Diwali occurs at the dragon dancing shows, a holiday concert and a family beginning of the year, and “to start every year off right,” dinner. Every year, she and her family get together and Sangani and his family get together for a family feast to give gifts. tell stories and make resolutions. “Every Chinese New Year, we try and visit as many Sophomore Anmol Khanna agreed that getting family members as possible,” Xiao said. “Because every together with family and friends is a great event to look kid under the age of 18 would get a gift or money, we call this ‘red pocket.’” Muslims participate in Ramadan, during which they reflect and celebrate during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. Once Ramadan ends, Muslims celebrate Eid ul-Fitr, or Eid, a three day celebration marking an end to fasting. It is the first day of the tenth month of the Islamic calendar. This month is called “Shawwal.” “I wake up extra early, around 7 a.m., I “I celebrate Hanukkah. wear really fancy clothes and jewelry, and we My family and I light the pray,” sophomore Maryam Nasir said. “Then, I menorah, hide presents enjoy time with my family.” and read from the Torah.” After Nasir’s family prays, the women of the household cook the family dinner, usually MITCHELL NEHAMKIN, 10 cow, goat or camel that has been slaughtered.


Students talk about non-traditional ways they celebrate the holidays

“[My family] celebrates Diwali. We make tons of food, visit other people and light tons of fireworks.”

CHANDNI PATEL, 10 “Our Christmas tradition is to go to a family member’s house, eat and talk. We don’t unwrap gifts like the ‘normal’ American family.”





Sophomore Maryam Nasir and her mother, Mahwash Nasir, spend time with family during the Muslim holiday, Eid, on Nov. 16. Eid celebrates Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son to Allah and the provision of a goat for him to sacrifice instead. “I like celebrating Eid because it is a time where the whole family... can remember what our prophet did and try to do the same,” Maryam said.

“You are supposed to slaughter a goat, cow or camel,” Nasir said, “and [you] give one portion of meat to the poor, keep one portion and give another portion to a relative.” According to Nasir, Muslims slaughter animals as a sacrifice to their God, Allah. Their prophet Muhammad had a dream that Allah told him to sacrifice his most beloved thing, so he slaughtered goats and cows, but he found that his son was the most beloved thing to him. Allah put a goat in the son’s place instead. “To me, Eid means remembering what our prophet did for God, and the happiness of our family,” Nasir said.

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Abigail Matthews

trains to become professional ballerina


Matthews asked to perform in world ballet competition, auditions for professional company BY ELLIE PRICE

Currently in the highest level of ballet, senior Abigail Matthews is preparing to audition for a professional ballet company in January 2011. “It has been my dream for all of my life,” Matthews said, “and I don’t want to give up on that. I don’t want to regret anything. I believe that if it is what you want to do, you shouldn’t give up on yourself.” Due to her family’s involvement in dance and arts, Matthews began ballet when she was three years old. “My parents and family have been so supportive,” Matthews said, “and I honestly would not be where I am without them. The art world is hard to be in, as there aren’t many people who support the arts. To have family back me up is awesome.” Matthews trains at the Indiana Ballet Conservatory (IBC) in Carmel, Ind., under the Vaganova Method of training, also known as the Russian Method. The IBC is one of few studios in the United States with accredited, degreed instructors of the Vaganova Method. “The Vaganova Method provides students with a structured, scientific dance methodology and ECHO · JANUARY 2011

encompasses a holistic pedagogical approach that goes beyond basic technique,” academy director Hailey Agran said. “Our mission is to fuse the finest ballet instruction in the world with the very best in modern and contemporary training and to make this instruction available wherever talent, potential and enthusiasm exist.” Matthews’ schedule includes training six days a week for five hours each night at the IBC. “I’ve done it my whole life,” Matthews said, “so it’s just something that I do. It’s a part of daily routine.” As she became more committed to ballet, her mother homeschooled her in seventh and eighth grades, but she then returned to Avon for high school. “The hours [of ballet training] started to become more intense,” Matthews said. “It was so hard to get homework finished. Now, it is still hard to balance everything, but it is definitely worth it.” As a senior this year, Matthews attends Avon High School for government and photography but takes English and psychology through Indiana University Purdue University – Indianapolis (IUPUI)’s Special Programs for Academic Nurturing (SPAN) program. “Even though I am in the SPAN program, I still can take and be in the same classes as college students at IUPUI,” Matthews said. “This schedule allows me to have more time for ballet, as well.”

In Orlando, Fla., in June 2010, Matthews and other dancers from the IBC competed in the World Ballet Competition. Contemporary ballet teacher Sergey Sergiev choreographed their contemporary dance. “She was the leader of the group with her good working habits and the way in which she strives for perfection,” Sergiev said. “This helped the rest of the girls in the ensemble to win the gold medal.” Ballerinas from different leading ballet companies in the world, including Matthews, were invited to perform in the Gala of the World Ballet Competition. “It was absolutely incredible to be a part of that,” Matthews said. “We got to dance in the same performance as our idols.” Matthews was accepted to Indiana University’s contemporary dance program with a talent scholarship. In January 2011, she plans to audition to the Julliard School, New York University’s Tisch School of Dance, and professional ballet companies. “Abigail’s training has provided her with a sound dance education that will allow her to adapt to a multitude of choreographers, styles and professional companies,” IBC artistic director Alyona Yakovleva said. “With her dedication, work ethic and strong technical and artistic abilities, she will no doubt be fully prepared for whatever she wishes to do in the future, and I wish her the very best upon her graduation.” PAGE DESIGNERS: OLIVIA OBER & TASHA ROLLINGS



Student Art Gallery


Digital photography teacher Dustin Allison nominated sophomore Ashley Romack, who photographed a leaf for her abstract photography project. “I really like the bright, vivid color and interesting lines in the picture,” Allison said.


Freshman Doriean Smith, junior Dan Habig and senior Nick Disher practice Christmas music for the band department’s Christmas concert on Dec. 14. Disher has played the violin for six years. “I’m glad they finally have an orchestra program at the school,” Disher said.

Teacher Dean Westman instructs Avon High School’s first orchestra class

Orchestra was first offered at the intermediate schools during the 2007-2008 school year. “I took [orchestra] because I thought it would be fun to be able to be part of the newest [performing arts] program [in the Avon School Corporation],” Johnson said. Johnson believes that the music is the most rewarding part of the class. “[I play the] violin mainly because it’s nice and has a pretty sound,” Johnson said. “[The most rewarding part of orchestra] is the sound I create at the end.” Westman said the class is just as rewarding for him as it is for his students since he has such a “unique opportunity” to be an integral part of his new students’ lives. “My favorite part [of teaching orchestra] is working with the students,” Westman said. “I will be working with those same 40 kids that [enrolled in the class] in the sixth grade for seven years. How many teachers can say that they had the opportunity to be a part of their students’ lives from ages 11 to 18? It’s a pretty special thing.” Westman also said that orchestra will provide students with “life lessons.” “I want the students who go through our program to learn the life lessons and value of really putting the time and effort into achieving a goal,” Westman said. “To me, the value of performing music is the patience and discipline that it teaches young musicians. You can’t just click a button and download a Beethoven symphony into your cello; it takes months to learn and a lifetime to understand. More and more, we are learning that colleges and businesses are looking for creative thinkers, and music makes you think outside of the box. It’s not an accident that Einstein played the violin.”

Orchestra comes to Avon BY BEN BROWN


Ceramics teacher Sarah Fowler nominated senior Tabby Reyes’ birdhouse project. “Tabby is a very conscientious ceramics student,” Fowler said. “Every project that Tabby creates in ceramics is very neat, clean and creative.”


Sophomore Lara Hunt was nominated by art teacher Lindsay Frey for her Drawing I class. “Lara is always prepared and comes up with creative ideas for each project that she then draws beautifully,” Frey said. “Her range of value makes the picture realistic.” STUDENTS WERE NOMINATED FOR EXCEPTIONAL ART PROJECTS




Freshman Franz Magnaye warms up before orchestra class on Dec. 8. Magnaye is the concert master for the orchestra and tunes the strings before performances. “I like being able to play with others,” Magnaye said. “Playing as an ensemble is much more rewarding.”

This year, Avon High School has a brand new class in the performing arts department, orchestra. Dean Westman teaches the orchestra class. Though it is similar to regular band classes, it still has some differences, according to junior Dan Habig. “Orchestra’s music is, for the most part, similar to the wind ensemble’s,” Habig said, “but the music is mostly string, and therefore, the overall sound is very different.” Many schools do not have orchestras, and Avon has just recently added the class to its performing arts curriculum this year. “I believe that every school should have an orchestra because of the rewarding feeling it gives to the students involved,” Johnson said. Westman agreed that all schools should have orchestras as they are “a vital part of any well-rounded music program.” “For me, it’s all about opportunity,” Westman said. “Hundreds of students at Avon now have the opportunity to be part of an orchestra. I believe that every student should have the opportunity to ‘belong,’ whether it’s sports, academics, clubs or music. All schools should strive to provide a diverse body of opportunities for their students.” Junior Michele Pinkins enrolled in orchestra class to continue learning how to play the violin. She previously played the violin at another school but wanted to continue playing at Avon. “I took orchestra because I wanted to play violin again and learn more about it,” Pinkins said. Most of the orchestra students are freshmen that enrolled in orchestra when they were in sixth grade.


& A E Motion control shapes new video games Avon students give opinions on competing video game consoles

BY JORDAN COFFMAN On Sept. 17, Sony Entertainment released the PlayStation Move, a motion-sensitive, wand-shaped, glowing controller for the PlayStation 3 entertainment system. A few weeks later, on Nov. 4, Microsoft released Kinect, a motion-sensitive infrared camera attachment for the Xbox 360, providing a “controllerfree gaming and entertainment experience,” according to “Xbox” Online. Nintendo plans to launch its new 3-D handheld system, the Nintendo 3DS, in March of 2011. These changes have been attributed to entertainment companies trying to extend current gaming consoles’ “shelf life,” meaning how long they stay in demand, according to “Kotaku” Online. In other words, instead of creating new consoles, companies are making new attachments for old ones. “It’s a great idea with a tight budget,” junior Daniel Hoover said, “especially in this economy. Who can buy an entirely new system?” Others, like freshman Chad Piatek, are doubtful of the attempt to expand the shelf life of consoles. He thinks that supporting the hardware without the software is unwise. “I think it would be difficult to extend the life span of a console because if you add new hardware to a system, you need new software to go with that hardware,” Piatek said. “They can try, but in the end, they will always have to focus on one device. It will be difficult to focus on two things.” The PlayStation Move, the earliest of this new console “generation,” uses a “simple, easy-to-use controller [that] captures a full range of motion,”

Price: $100

“[Kinect] is an interesting device that has been according to “Playstation” Online. It requires revolutionary to the gaming world,” Piatek said. “It is a PlayStation 3, a PlayStation Eye camera, very user-friendly and easy to use for all ages. I think and the wand-shaped controller to work and everyone who has an Xbox 360 should get one for can be used with over 50 current PlayStation their family.” 3 games. However, of the 17 games listed on the Kinect website “The Move is very cool,” Piatek said. “Unlike the for launch, 13 of them are E-rated, meaning they are [Xbox] Kinect, where there are no controllers, there meant for everyone, and most of them are marketed as are [controllers] for the Move. I prefer the Move over “casual” games. the Kinect just for that reason: the controllers. They “I’m sure that once the Kinect gains a reputation, are easy to use and are very similar to the average high-quality games will show up,” Hoover said. PlayStation controllers.” Piatek said the current shift toward casual Some, however, feel gamers is a good business technique, meant to that there are too many widen the market. similarities between the “I think it could widen the market even for PlayStation Move controller older people,” Piatek said. “As a hardcore gamer and another controller on myself, I wouldn’t mind some hardcore gaming the gaming market. options later, but I think it is a good move.” “The Move is just a Nintendo has not announced any new replacement for the Wii content for the Wii, but it has revealed the controller with a camera Nintendo 3DS, a handheld system that uses and a flashlight on the end stereoscopic (glasses-less) 3-D during games of it,” freshman Wesley and movies. The system will come with two Shafer said. screens—the top one in 3-D, the bottom one Another motion-based a touch screen—a microphone and a “3-D controller was released DANIEL HOOVER, 11 slider,” which allows players to turn the 3-D after the Move: the Xbox functionality on and off. Kinect. Kinect “brings “The 3DS is another revolution by Nintendo games and entertainment in the way we play games,” Piatek said. “I personally love to life in extraordinary new ways without using a Nintendo because of the way they change the gaming controller,” according to “Xbox” Online. Kinect uses a industry. The 3DS allows you to see 3-D games without camera connected to the Xbox 360 console to track those stupid glasses. They also are remaking my favorite body movements. Kinect launched with at least 17 game of all time, ‘Zelda: Ocarina of Time,’ on it.” new games.

I’m sure that once the Kinect gains a reputation, high-quality games will show up,


Includes: Motion Controller and Playstation Eye Cam Features: 3-D camera and Motion Controller

Price: $150


Includes: Camera and “Kinect Adventures” Features: Voice command and camera







WITH OLIVIA OBER Opening up a new notebook for the first time scares me to death. This seems like an irrational fear for someone who has accumulated a large amount of notebooks in her 18-year-old life, but I cannot get over it. Writing or drawing is no difficult task in itself, but beginning the job fills me with a feeling similar to dipping my toe in the pool to find it is ice cold. I know the water will be fine, but jumping in always takes some courage. I was both excited and overwhelmed upon receiving my blank Moleskine notebook for “The Sketchbook Project 2011.” The project was created by Art House Co-Op, a Brooklyn-based group geared toward creating a community of artists through international projects. The premise of the project is simple: order a sketchbook, choose a theme, fill the book with artwork and then send the completed book back to Art House to go on a nationwide art tour with the other books. Art House states the artistic project is “like a concert tour, only with sketchbooks.” My friend and I decided on joint custody of our Moleskine under the theme “Figuring You Out.” As expected, I was nervous to start our book, and I knew it would someday be touring with the work of artists far more talented than me. However, once I took the first step, I was so glad we decided to take part in the project after a month of hard work. I can leave this piece of advice from participating in one of many Art House projects: never be afraid of a blank canvas, and do not back down from the chance to create something wonderful.

Art House Co-Op The Sketchbook Project


Global Affairs BREAKING NEWS Jan. 15 will be WITH RACHEL FISCHER the anniversary of when the country of Haiti was struck with tragedy when an earthquake hit. The earthquake affected about three million people, according to the Red Cross. Haiti was struggling with its government and money at the time of the earthquake, and other countries, including the United States, rushed to help Haitians. Overall, the United States spent $180 million to help relieve Haiti, according to “Examiner” Online. Meanwhile, around the time of the earthquake, the United States had 43 states reporting a rise in their unemployment rate, according to “CNN Money” Online. The U.S. government should have helped its own country before spending so much on another disaster-torn country. Yes, it was great that the United States helped out another country in a time of need, and it should have been done, but there was absolutely no need to spend that much. More than 40 countries helped Haiti, according to “BBC” Online. America should not have used $180 million on Haiti when the United States’ debt is well over $13 billion and growing every second, according to “U.S. Debt Clock” Online. The United States’ government needs to start watching how much money is spent and what it is spent on. It is already grim looking at the “Debt Clock.” Why should the country spend more money it does not have? The government needs to consider that it does have a nation that needs to be taken care of and that money should be used to help its own country before any other country.

GAMERS’ ASYLUM I have been WITH JORDAN COFFMAN wondering about the future of multiplayer gaming, and, yes, I am nerdy enough to wonder about things like that. Raging 12-year-olds dominate games like “Call of Duty.” The success of the game, and those that imitate the franchise, promotes more games like it. That is why I picked up “Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood.” It boasted a new online experience, and it delivered. The basis of multiplayer is simple: eliminate a certain player before someone else takes you out. It is a tense experience, with moments of stealth followed by chaotic chases as you attempt to take down your escaping target or evade your own assassin. The main draw is trying to spot your opponents in a crowd and avoid being spotted yourself. For once, stealth, style and subtlety are valued over a twitchy trigger finger. The multiplayer alone is enough to pick up the game, but there is also a single-player story. It continues from “Assassin’s Creed 2,” and you play as Ezio Auditore, a Renaissance-era Italian assassin trying to stop the conquest of Rome. It is a tale full of intrigue as Ezio makes and breaks alliances to get what he wants, but the story seems as unnecessary as a bayonet on a Gatling gun when you see that this game is “Assassin’s Creed 2.5” instead of “Assassin’s Creed 3.” Not much gets accomplished in the bigger picture. “Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood” feels like a $60 expansion pack for “Assassin’s Creed 2” with multiplayer. Any game where you can exact revenge on all those twitchy kids is fine by me.

Assassin’s Creed:

Brotherhood Game Review

Broad Ripple Vintage

brings past to present



As I walk into Broad Ripple Vintage, a clothing store, I am welcomed by the hospitable owners, Stephanie and John, the rich scent of the past and the soulful voice of Jim Morrison of “The Doors.” The walls are covered in colorful music paraphernalia and posters of famous personalities from throughout the years. This atmosphere is a rarity and makes this store attention-worthy. Broad Ripple Vintage opened its doors 12 years ago and has been wellknown throughout the Indy area ever since. I am sure to find a great piece of clothing (and history) from the 40s and beyond with the owners’ aid. Stephanie, in particular, is a wealth of knowledge in textile history and the culture of specific decades. I leave it to her to pinpoint the perfect combination of pieces to fulfill my costume or everyday wear needs. As pricing goes, it is not the cheapest vintage clothing store out there, but it is not overpriced either. T-shirts usually cost no more than $25, and they almost always have bargains on their large array of accessories and footwear. The cost of these pieces, whether overalls from the 60s, a tie-dyed tank top from the 70s or a jean jacket from the 80s, becomes more reasonable when you consider the rareness and character of the clothing. Broad Ripple Vintage is definitely not the norm, and it is a treat for anyone looking for classic, interesting and reasonably priced clothing. Broad Ripple Vintage allows us to “travel” back into the past and bring a piece of it back to our wardrobe. ECHO · JANUARY 2011



E D I T O R I A L School needs to refocus class ranking

Ranking should be based on high grades, involvement in school Throughout high school, students often feel pressure to receive good grades, especially when asked to list class rank on college and scholarship applications. While the desire to have a high class rank can motivate students to do well, if ranking is based solely on weighted grade point average, it is not significant enough to be a fair measure of students’ academic abilities. For example, Avon’s class size averages at about 600 students, which leads to cutthroat competition for the top class ranks. Receiving the top grades in high school is not the only predictor of a person’s life and should not be treated as such. The fraction of a grade point that changes one’s class rank says little about a student’s academic achievement, and college admissions counselors should continue to place higher consideration on grade point averages (GPAs), extracurricular activities and standardized test scores than on class ranks. With class rank being affected by fractions of a grade point, top-ranked students often take Advanced Placement classes in lieu of classes that might be more relevant to their futures. Having a class rank skews the focus of schooling from education to numbers, and Avon should not support the idea that class


rank means much in the grand scheme of one’s path to success. Realistically, eliminating class rank may be too drastic of an action, and too soon. To motivate students in a less competitive way, Avon should implement a system that incorporates all the important factors of students’ education. Instead of competing for just the highest grade point averages, students at schools like Carmel High School earn points for high grades and participation in extracurricular activities throughout their high school careers. The top 25 students with the most points are honored for their commitment to their education and activities. Instead of stressing grades only, Avon should consider a point system similar to Carmel’s in order to encourage students to focus on more than just accumulating more grade points. According to the National Association for College Admission Counseling, over half of U.S. high schools have stopped ranking students or reporting students’ rankings to colleges. However, if class ranks are needed to make Avon students competitive with others, we should develop a more meaningful system of ranking that considers both academic and extracurricular achievement.


Susan Hoffman



PHOTO / COPY EDITOR Rachel Fischer



Belle LeBeau

STAFF MEMBERS David Allspaw, Krystal Andry, Ben Brown, Jordan Coffman, Ashley Hancock, Kenton Hipsher, Grace Kelly, Sarah Kennedy, Mallory Mankin, Megan Medellin, Mandy Packnett, Tasha Rollings, Miriam Thomas

ABOUT THE ECHO The Echo exists as an open forum through which its readers can express concern and gain insight into local, national and international issues as they relate to Avon High School students or teens in general. The Echo holds the viewpoint that no subject is too sensitve to discuss if done so in a responsible manner. The First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech and of the press. The Echo recognizes that with this freedom comes responsibility. Journalistically, this means accurate, fair and objective coverage. A.) The purpose of the Echo is to inform, to entertain, to create interest and to evaluate. B.) The Echo does not express the views of the administration, faculty members, or the like, except in quotations or letters to the editor. The views of the Echo are not necessarily those of Avon High School students, parents, administrators or staff. C.) The Echo does not condone censorship or any policy of prior review. D.) The Echo will respond to complaints about accuracy, fairness and completeness of copy. When a report is found to be wrong or misleading, a correction will appear in the next issue of the Echo. E.) Letters to the editor are welcome provided they are signed. Under special circumstances, the Echo will withhold the names. However, the Echo will not protect the identity of the writer should a lawsuit occur. The Echo reserves the right to edit letters for libel and defamation, obscenity and copyright. The editor may also edit for length and correction of expression. F.) The Echo will be distributed in a manner to be determined by the editorial team. The Echo student subscription price will be included in book rental. G.) In the occurrence of a death of a student, faculty member or school staff personnel, a standard size obituary will run. It will be a short feature and include a photograph, if one is available. Cause of death will not be reported.




Basketball managing has been a great learning experience for me.


SPORT MANAGERS Sports teams around the school include not only players and coaches but also sport managers. Managers complete tasks for their teams. “I do everything the guys can’t do,” junior Becky Torres said. “I do their laundry, give them water, get the basketballs out of storage and set up the clock.” Some students become managers due to injury.

Freshman Ashley DeWeese manages girls’ basketball because she was injured earlier in the year, leaving her unable to play. “I like how I’m still a part of the team even if I can’t play,” DeWeese said. Torres believes other students should manage. “I’m glad I did managing,” Torres said. “I love these guys. They would not let me quit.”



Issue Three - Jan. 13  

Avon High School's newspaper

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