Bear Facts Senior issue VOL. 31 ISSUE 4
Bethel High School
1067 Big Bethel Rd. Hampton, Virginia 23666
Val & sal great pals pg. 12
Lessons learned and future fun Staff Reporters Ashley Preston Elizabeth Clay Regine Henderson Sherman Jones Jamicia Stamps Yudarys Suriel Chauncey Wiggins Jenae McCullum Rosie Moreno Adaoma Okafor Jean Tatum Emily Townsend Rozelyn Almond Portia Hightower Jayla Hill Shelby Pantel Nycki Copeland Steven DeShong James Parker Kiana Glover Advisor Beth Hoer Our purpose is to serve the students of Bethel High School as a forum for student expression. Editorials and opinion pieces will be clearly labeled as such. The Bear Facts is a self-supporting publication, and advertising revenue pays for publications costs. We encourage readers to submit ideas for stories, letters to the editor, photos, and art. We also encourage comments and suggestions about the newspaper.
He left Bethel in 1975 as a graduate, and now he’s leaving a veteran. Assistant Principal John Karatsikis in Bethel’s yearbooks from the past.
Editor-in-Chief Lauren Pell
During the four years I’ve spent at Bethel High School, my teachers and mentors have been preaching the same cliché phrases over and over again. As we’re preparing to enter a new chapter in our lives, I’m realizing that although many of their lessons seemed cliché, they actually ring true as lessons we should carry with us into adulthood. First of all, I found out that I don’t know everything. The inspiring seniors before us are great mentors, and teachers that know everything about their subjects humble me when I see how little I know. There’s always more to learn and I think it’s important for us to be open-minded and eager to learn from others. Because of the 2008 presidential election that put Barack Obama into office, I’ve learned that anything is possible when you try. I’m thankful that I’ve grown up in Hampton, which is a lot more racially diverse compared to most of the country. As students, we got to witness the historic event that many thought could never happen. Obama’s election made many African-Americans proud, and it should inspire students of all racial and ethnic backgrounds to go after their dreams. I’ve also learned that treating people as you would like to be treated will pay off. If you’re nice to people, they’ll be nice back. When there’s holidays or birthdays, students bring in treats for each other because Bethel students really love to brighten days. Students and faculty have a general consensus that the “golden rule” still applies in high school, which is a beautiful thing. I’m realizing that if my teachers give me a challenge, it’s an opportunity to grow. Whenever I was assigned a difficult project, I complained, and that never helped me get it done any faster. But now I’m understanding that those
teachers are helping me grow into an adult. If it’s easy, you’re probably not learning. Lastly, I’ve discovered that if you do what you love, you’ll be happy. The perfect example of someone who is good at what he does is assistant principal John Karatsikis (a.k.a. “Mr. K”). He’s been an assistant principal since 1993 at various schools, and he actually graduated from BHS in 1975. He is known around Bethel for quite a few things: yelling at boys to take off hats, stopping by classrooms to talk about concerns in the building, and asking how students are doing. “He treats everyone with honesty and tries to help them as best as he can. He does his job to the best of his ability and believes that everyone should also do the same. He has very high expectations of himself and others,” said his wife, Becky Karatsikis. Bethel loves him because we know he cares about the people in the school. Karatsikis plans to leave Bethel in October 2011 when he reaches retirement. Bethel surely won’t be the same without him patrolling the halls. He’ll be starting a new chapter and moving into new things, just as we will. I know that our class wishes him the best in the future, just as he wishes ours. Maybe the Class of 2012 will get lucky and he will stay. Pinpointing a few lessons I’ve learned in high school is strange because I know that I’ll still make a lot of mistakes. Unfortunately, June 18 won’t magically turn us all into responsible and intelligent adults. We’re close to the end of the beginning, and it really wasn’t too bad. We made it! I’ll see you at the reunion. Lauren Pell Editor-in-Chief
What makes the class of 2011? • The movie, Antz was released October • First version of Myspace was released (2003). 2nd (1998). • Facebook was first launched (2004). • Michael Jordan announces his final retirement from the Chicago Bulls (1999) • Hurricane Katrina (2005). • Don’t Cha- Pussy Cat Dolls (2005). • Nike’s first “Just Do It” commercial • First Episode of Hannah Montana came out( 2000). • Sony released Playstation 2 in North (2006). • Nintendo releases the Wii (2006). America (2001). • Juno was released ( 2007). • 9/11 (2001). • Ex-President George Bush signs No • New Hampshire legalizes civil unions for same sex couples (2008). Child Left Behind Act (2002).
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• Obama becomes first black Presi- • Tiger Woods cheating dispute with his wife (2010). dent (2009). • Apple announces the iPad • Michael Jackson passed away (2010) (2009). • Rihanna and Chris Brown break up • 8.9 earthquake; tsunami slams Japanese coast (2011). (2009) • a 7.0 magnitude earthquake strike • US forces kill Osama Bin Haiti, causing severe damage (2010). Laden (2011). • “Pants on the Ground” is performed on season nine of ‘American Idol’ (2010).
June Issue 2011
Friends come in cliques, crowds, and crews Sophomore Nick Clark roams the halls alone. “I’m one of the few that actually walks around by myself in the morning,” said Clark, who likes being by himself because it gives him a sense of individuality. “I like to stand out. Instead of people saying Nick and that crew, it’s just Nick. I never had a particular group of friends,” said Clark. Individuals that are independent do not belong to a clique. A clique is a group of people who share familiar interests and activities in school or out of school and although a few people do not belong to a clique, there are many people who do, such as sophomore Yuleisy Alvarez. Although she does not live in Michael Woods anymore, she is still a part of the clique. The Michael Woods Rosa Drive Corner Clique, which has meetings everyday for 30 minutes. Alvarez, the clique’s leader and originator, calls all the meetings at school. “We meet in the halls and talk about school and joke with each other,” she said. Jaelin Lewis and DeAndre Moore are also members of the clique. Moore is labeled as the clown or the funny person of the group. “DeAndre always makes us laugh,” said Alvarez.
June Issue 2011
Yuleisy Alvarez , Ogebi Ezechukwu, Jaelin Lewis, Antravius Gillard are members of the Corner Clique, an informal group of friends who gather to talk about the school day.
Cliques, groups, and crowds do not form on their own. The people who belong to social groups all have something in common and share qualities that are a part of their identity. Asking yourself “Who am I?” And possessing an iden-
tity makes you capable of finding a purpose in life, as well as finding the right people to hang out with. Junior James Darden thinks having an identity is important. “It gives me a feeling of individuality among the crowds,” said Darden, who does not
restrict himself to only one clique. “ I like to meet new people and try new things so if there is a way for me to do that, it’s by chilling with a variety of people.” When he does decide to socialize or hangout with one clique, it’s with the funny people. “I chill with funny people like Wesley Wooten, Freddy Moore, Sandy Ruffin, Tyree Cox and Mike Artis,” he said. The Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) says friendship is important because it helps adolescents obtain their independence and “prepares teens for mutual, trusting relationships throughout adulthood.” Although cliques and friendships are an important part of an adolescent’s development, cliques can cause problems. Rejection by others can result in isolation and possibly depression. The CHOA also believes that even though teens feel conflicted about something or know something is wrong, they do it anyway in order to please others to stay in a group. Sometimes a group can also develop unhealthy behaviors such as stealing, weight loss or bullying others. Portia Hightower Staff Reporter
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DANCING is outlet for expression
or the girls of the BHS dance line, the Golden Sensations, dancing has become a way of life. The members of the line have given up their time and extracurricular activities to meet the required goals. “I had to sacrifice track to get on the line, but I always liked dancing and it’s something different,” said sophomore Dominique Johnson. Every practice the girls must run at least five laps, stretch, and make sharp lines in dance moves. The girls practice from an hour and a half to two hours depending on how much time the line has to prepare for the next event. “Ever since Dr. Bailey approved the dance line that I worked so hard to create, I feel Bethel will go far and many girls will continue to tryout,” said captain Dori Smith. It took a lot to get on the team. Out of the 80 girls that showed up for an informational meeting last fall, 50 auditioned and nine made the cut. During tryouts the girls learned choreography, how to walk, and how to stand. In the final stages the girls had to make up their own dance routine and perform it in front of the judges. At tryouts senior Niquesha Dixon admitted to being nervous but excited to perform what she loves doing. The uniforms were chosen by line captain Dori Smith. The uniform consists of gold leggings, dance shoes and a shirt from Forever 21 with the line’s initials “G.S.” printed on the back.The uniforms were purchased through dues of $150. “Next year’s uniforms will be much more dramatic as we have received wonderful companies with many different models and style uniforms,” said coach Toni Ryan. “I am really proud of all the girls and their decorum throughout the entire season. They are a special group of girls who set a great standard for Bethel’s dance line,” Ryan added. Since the time when the team started, the girls have progressively become closer. “To a certain extent, we have our little insiders about everything, even the uniform,” said senior Shamauri Middleton. Belonging to the team has given the girls a sense of sisterhood, and they all plan to fur-
The members of the 2010-11 dance team included: Dori Smith, Dominique Johnson, Timmay Beale, Taylor Simmons, Zhana Johnson, Elizaebeth Beale, Nicole Cross, Jalyn Spain and Niquesha Dixon. See the Bear Facts blog for the new team members. Photo by Adaoma Okafor
ther their passion for dancing. “It is an honor to be on a team with others who share the same passion as me. It is truly a
Congratulations 2011 grads Enjoy your success!
Bethel Guidance Dept. 4
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sisterhood,” said freshman Taylor Simmons. Adaoma Okafor Staff Reporter
Bueno suerte. Feliz verano! Viel Glück-Schöne Ferien!
from the BHS Foreign Language Club June Issue 2011
Your hearing health
Gunshots harm school nurse Bethel High School’s nurse, Linda Boone, has a form of hearing loss. As a young adult, Boone and her parents spent their time pistol shooting. This hobby caused both her and her parents to lose some of their hearing. Boone explained that when she went for a doctor’s visit, the physician was able to detect that her hearing loss was the exact range of gunshots. “I was surprised that my hobby as a young adult resulted in this loss,” said Boone. According to the American Speech-Language Association, there are two types of hearing loss: conductive and sensorineural. Sensorineural occurs when there is damage to the inner ear, or to the nerve pathways from the inner ear to the brain. Boone said that this could also result from using devices such as the iPod with high volume for prolonged periods of time. In doing so, damage is being done to the delicate hair cells in the inner ear, which transform the sound waves to electrical signals in the brain. Other causes of hearing loss include illnesses, aging, genetics, and/or drugs that are toxic to hearing. At times it can be difficult to decide whether or not you are listening to noise that may be dangerous to your hearing. Junior Kebari Cheseman may not realize that by blasting his speakers he is causing severe damage to his
hearing. Both the level of noise and the length of time he listens to the noise influence the amount of hearing loss he will have on the future. If you have ever experienced a pain or ringing in the ears, then you should be aware that you are at risk of having impaired hearing. This pain or ringing is also known as tinnitus. Other indicators of dangerous volumes include not being able to hear someone three feet away, muffled or dull speech sounds after leaving a noisy area, or having to raise your voice to be heard. Cheseman said that he keeps the volume of his music controlled by making sure he can still hear people’s voices around him. He said that he has not noticed any signs of hearing loss in himself. Although Boone has already suffered from hearing loss, she can continue to take precautions that ensure the degree of her loss does not worsen. And Cheseman has the chance to prevent his development of hearing loss before it has to the chance to occur. Students must be aware that hearing loss is a serious issue but can easily be prevented by taking proper action. Shelby Pantel Staff Reporter
Clear skin at a high cost
Most teens will do anything for good skin. One BHS sophomore knows all about the ups and downs when it comes to clearing up his skin. He used the controversial drug Accutane to help his acne. “I had been going to the dermatologist for about 4 months before they prescribed me to Accutane,” he said. They gave him a big book with everything he needed to know about the drug. He knew some information about it but wanted to use it because the condition was affecting his health. He had to be on the drug for 6 months. “It was expensive... about $400 a box,” he said. Every time he went back for his checkups he was asked questions about how he was feeling and his health. At first it started bothering him because the effects of the drug started kicking in instantly. “It causes nose bleeds and depression,” he said. It also causes darkening of the skin, which is why he had to avoid the sun, even in the winter. Even through all of these dangerous side affects, he said it was all worth it. It seems like everybody that has used Accutane has said the same thing. But if it’s so dangerous, then why do people use it? Accutane has been reported to be associated with events such as birth defects, but it’s
June Issue 2011
Keeping your face clean does not always keep it clear. Photo by Adaoma Okafor
FDA approved. The manufacturer designed a program to ensure that patients returned all leftover medications so they would not take Accutane without a dermatologist’s supervision. In addition, a letter was sent to doctors who might prescribe Accutane, as well as those likely to see patients who develop psychiatric disturbance. The product is still undergoing research. To some people this is all new, but Accutane has been around since 1982. Chauncey Wiggins Staff Reporter
Wait to text According to data published by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the deadliest time for teens due to texting and driving is during prom and graduation season: May and June. In an informal survey of 50 students in Bethel, 35 students admit to texting while driving on a daily basis. “If someone can’t be called, I’ll send them a quick text message,” admitted junior Keith Griffin, who is not unusual. State Senator Mamie Locke said, “In 2009, a bill was passed that prohibits operation of a motor vehicle while using any hand held personal communication device to text or read a text message.” This law is for all drivers. In Virginia, if caught texting and driving you will have to pay a fine of $20 for your first offense and $50 for the second. “There was a bill this year to ban use of cell phones by everyone, but it did not pass,” said Locke. Most likely the bill will be reintroduced in Virginia and will be added on to the list of other 29 states with official laws banning texting while driving. Griffin said, “I never knew there was any kind of offense if caught texting and driving.” It takes the average teen 60 seconds to read a text message before responding. But just 5 seconds of looking down can result in loss of control of your vehicle and possibly into an accident. When dialing a number or texting you are in twice (2.8 times more) as much danger of a fatal crash. You shouldn’t put your life in danger for something that’s not a necessity. Driver’s Education teacher Kristen Tidwell said, “ As a teen driver you should pull over safely out of traffic following all the appropriate procedures, apply your hazards, place your car in park, and then make your phone call.” There are also other ways to avoid texting while in the driver’s seat. You can turn your phone off or if someone is riding with you, they can text for you. Following these procedures will help to get you to your destination safely without taking your eyes off the road. Since 2008, texting and driving has been responsible for 6,000 deaths among the United States and continues to rise. Jayla Hill Staff Reporter
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Every child, every day, whatever it takes These kids not limited Gifted Program Options
by intellectual disabilty
By eliminating courses with the gifted label, Hampton City Schools has opened up . the classroom for both students and teachers who want to challenge themselves in classes such as AP and IB, Governor’s School and Virtual Virginia. “If a class is labeled as gifted,” began Ruth Grillo, Director of the Department of Academic Achievement and Enrichment, “it must have a teacher with gifted endorsement, and meet other state requirements.”
What does “gifted” mean? Hampton City Schools identifies students as gifted in the area of general intelligence at the elementary level. “These students demonstrate high levels of accomplishment or show the potential for higher levels of accomplishment when compared to others of the same age, experience, or environment,” said Grillo. Students who are identified as gifted in elementary school remain as such until they graduate, however due to changing needs and interests they may choose not to take higherlevel courses. “The gifted students in elementary school are still there in high school, but they may be less visible to you,” said Grillo. “I used to feel gifted, but now I feel like I blend in with everyone else,” said senior Andrea Wallace, who was identified as gifted in elementary school. She was enrolled in the gifted programs at the Mary Peake Gifted Center and Jones Magnet Middle School. The transition from middle to high school can be difficult for students who are used to specialized attention. Students are ultimately the masters of their own educational fate. “It is up to the student to work with the school counselor to determine the most appropriate coursework for each student,” said Grillo. During scheduling, students have to be sure to take classes in courses that interest them. Even though a student may not be identified in the school system as gifted, he or she may have exceptional ability in certain areas such as math or science. According to Grillo, students should concentrate their time in courses that they have a particular interest in, or that fit into their career plans. For example senior Brittany Alexander intends to be a physical therapist. She has taken all the honors classes she can along with two AP classes, and has also taken Health Occupations, and Anatomy. While students must take a front seat role in their education, the skill set of the teacher does have an impact on what a student takes
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By the numbers
The numbers of gifted students in each grade are roughly equal, with slightly larger numbers in the Freshman Class. Gifted program offerings like AP, IB, and classes at New Horizons are open to all students, and do not require students to be identified as gifted.
a way from a class at the end of the semester or year. “All teachers in Hampton City Schools are required to meet the needs of students who have already mastered the required material, as well as to meet the needs of students who have not yet mastered the material,” said Grillo. Teachers should be able to use differentiation to meet the needs of all students, not just those who are gifted.
Teamwork A collaboration between teacher, student and parent should decide which coursework is best for a student. “By high school, our gifted students have a huge range of interests and possibilities, and no one sequence of courses or program would be appropriate for all of them,” said Grillo. “Instead of putting all of the gifted students in one strand in high school, we prefer to help each student find (or create) the strand that most suits his or her particular needs, skills, and interests.” Just because a student has not been labeled gifted does not mean that they do not posses talent in English, math, science or the arts. It is up to the student, teachers, parents and counselors to make sure that every student excels in the areas they hold the most talent in. “Every child, every day, whatever it takes,” is providing the frame work of Hampton City Schools which Grillo said, “will continue to work to make sure that we provide appropriate instruction so that all students can reach their true potential.” Kiana Glover Staff Reporter
Every green day on a Tuesday, Geraldine Roberts’ Intellectually Disabled (ID) Functional Class goes to Phoebus High School for a Practical Assessment Exploration System (PAES) lab. In the PAES lab they do basic training for recreational subjects. Students also participate in music and beenefit from coaching from the American Retardation Center, which helps them with speech. On gold days, they have physical education. In a recentBear Facts interview, Roberts’ students described math, life skills, and their attitudes about boring work, revealing a striking similarity to students in other more mainstream classes. Every kid has something in school that disinterests them. Michael’s mixture of brunette and blonde hair waves across his face, and his smile stretches from one ear to the next. His beautiful big brown eyes sparkle with the light. “I want to be a basketball player, and play for the NBA,” said Michael. He likes playing outside and listening to Hip-Hop music. John Legend could play on his radio all day, especially with Green Light.
About 50-55 BHS special eduction students graduate each year Some graduate with a standard diploma and others graduate with modified diploma, with 20 credits. Their diplomas satisfy the Individual Educational Plan. After high school, some of these kids go to 4-year universities, vocational schools, 2-year colleges or the military. “We have a transition plan after they get out of high school, to see where they’re going and what they’re going to do, and a year later we contact them to see if they followed through with what they said,” said special education Instructional Leader Sharon Graham. There are different specializations in special education, such as a specific learning disability, language and speech, or emotional disability (ED). Hampton City Schools has plans for the ED kids who find themselves in trouble, but no alternative place is established for bad behavior, for which students will receive homebound services. The majority of the time no alternative place is needed. All students at Bethel High School are set a standard they must achieve but are all equal. Special educated students attend Prom and try out for basketball, cheerleading, and other sports. They are encouraged to keep good grades. “Most of the kids are advocates for themselves,” said Graham. Rozelyn Almond Staff Reporter
June Issue 2011
Forensics class examines mock crime scenes “I have always wanted to take this class, but I am so excited I am teaching it,” said Forensics and Chemistry teacher Robin Turner. Forensics is the study and application of science to the matters of law. Students say the class is really fun and informative, with an exciting curriculum, which includes field trips and guest speakers. For the field trip they went to the Hampton Circuit Court, where the students saw the judge sentencing people who were then taken off to jail. “During the field trip we saw people get sentenced and we also took a tour of the cell rooms, which was really cool,” said junior William Edmundson. “The cells smelled strong like someone was trying to cover up a bad smell,” said junior William Edmundson. This field trip took place during the unit where the class was learning about the law. Later the class learned about finger printing and hair analysis. They just recently studied blood splatter. Also this year the Hampton Crime Scene unit and Office Noberto Cruz spoke to the class about crime scene analysis. Cruz came and talked to the class about the law and also the consequences for everyone’s choices. “Teachers call me all the time to talk to their classes, but
mostly is for behavior problems while Mrs. Turner calls mostly for information,” said Cruz. The students were also very interested in learning what Cruz had to offer them. “I am really glad that Officer Cruz came and spoke to the class, because it tied in with the lesson plan perfectly,” said Edmundson. “Students should make good grades, because this class is not that hard,” said Turner, despite the fact that it counts as an honors class. Turner loves teaching this class and she does a lot of work to set up the labs to help the students learn but also have fun. The students are very appreciative for all her hard work. “Mrs. Turner is a really great teacher,” said senior Davia Wilkinson. “I’m glad I signed up for this class, because it helped me learn more about the forensic field and to make my decision that I wanted to be a forensic hematologist,” said Edmundson. A hematologist is a person who studies the blood. To qualify for this class, students must pass Chemistry, a prerequisite for Forensics. Ni cole Copeland Staff Reporter
Grant expands AP program The U.S. Department of Army is funding a project by the Virginia Advanced Study Strategies (VASS) to change culture at BHS for an extended Advanced Placement studies program. Participation in this program will secure funding for AP English, math, and science classes, which could dramatically increase enrollment and achievement in these classes. Nineteen AP courses are taught in the four high schools in Hampton. Some courses are only offered at certain high schools, which limits students’ ability to enroll in them. With VASSfunds, more AP classes will be offered at all four schools, which will encourage student enrollment. “This program will strive to create an environment for a soft landing for students who are coming out of SOL preparation,” said Paul Nichols, CEO of VASS. Students will be eased into the rigor of AP courses after coming out of regular Honors classes. “There are kids cruising through SOL prep classes. We need to challenge them,” said Nichols. American universities are now the second and third tier universities, while foreign countries are beginning to reign and dominate as the first tier schools. NIchols said, “Two thirds of math
and science majors are foreign. Students in Panama are eating our lunch.” Foreign students are making a name for themselves in our country, and taking advantage of our many opportunities that we take for granted. AP English 11 teacher Tracy Bourne is ecstatic about the project. “This program will give the building more support, equipment, and books. It will provide extra training opportunities and will establish incentive for qualifying AP scores for both teachers and students,” she said. Various other schools across the nation that have been aided with this program have shown over a 97.7 percent increase in AP exams passed in math, science, and English. Project funds have been provided by donors such as Exxon Mobil Corporation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation. Other schools on the peninsula that have been chosen to participate are Hampton, Kecoughtan, Woodside, Menchville, Salem, and Green Run High Schools. The schools were chosen based on military involvement. Emily Townsend Staff Reporter
Enjoy summer reading! Thank you for supporting your library
Mary Pat Croft
June Issue 2011
NHS recognizes the seniors for excelling in academics and serving the community.
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Volkswagens bring senior friends together Some groups bond over sports, or clothes, but seniors Izzy Thompson, Matthew Pauley, and Dylan Crumpler were brought together by Volkswagens. The trio goes back to their freshman year. They spend a lot of time together working on their cars at Pauley’s house, with knowledge they have gained from Crumpler and Pauley’s fathers, and from Google. Thompson was attracted to her ’97 GTI VR6 Volkswagen because she loved the color and the sound the engine made. She has not had her car very long--only since January of this year--but her goal
for the car is to make it the fastest it can be. She plans to attend Advanced Technology Institute in Virginia Beach after graduation. Pauley plans on just working on his vehicle’s appearance as needed. He has had his 2004 GTI for almost a year. So far his only modification is turbo charging the vehicle, which helps to get more power out of a smaller engine. He plans to go to Thomas Nelson then transfer to Old Dominion University after he graduates. His advice to those interested in Volkswagens? “Try finding a clean one with low miles,” he said. Crumpler, who is the driver for
Photo courtesy of Steven Nguyen
Dylan Crumpler, 18 Make&Model: ‘96 Volkswagen Jetta Trek Special Features: 10k HID headlights, enhanced sound system, lowered H&R cup kit and other suspension modules. Why this car?: Speed capabilities and appearance Owned car since: about 6 months
the Arena Racing team, has had his ’96 Jetta Trek for about six months. VWs appealed to him because of their potential speed capabilities and their appearance. He has enhanced his vehicle with 10k HID headlights and a sound system. He also lowered it with an H&R cup kit, along with other suspension modules. He is currently undecided on what he wants to do after high school, but his other interests include skateboarding and Nascar. “You won’t spend a lot of money if you keep the maintenance up on your car. If you maintain it, it will run forever,” said Crumpler.
Photo courtesy of Steven Nguyen
Photo courtesy of Izzy Thompson
Izzy Thompson, 18 Make&Model: ‘97 GTI VR6 Special Features: standard Why this car?: The sound of the engine and the color. Owned car since: January 2011
Bethel celebrates high SAT scores
Matthew Pauley, 18 Make&Model: ‘04 VW GTI Special Features: Turbo Charged Why this car?: Good gas mileage and appearance Owned car since: about a year
Congratulations Bethel Arena Racing Team Dustin McCrae Dylan Crumpler Chad Weimer Matthew Pauley Tymere Raynor
On June 1, seniors gathered in the library for a celebration of receiving over a 1200 score on the SAT. Pictured left to right: Briaunna Burwell, Kiana Glover, Jonathan Eudailey, Alden Abernethy, Andreya Adams, Stuart “Dakari” Cooke, Tekari Keller, Lauren Pell, and Kevin Keene-Johnson.
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All three fund their cars from working at Auto Bell carwash, using their tip money to help with whatever modifications or maintenance they may need. They all hang out together outside of school and work as well, often spontaneously going on outings. “All of us love to have fun and go on random trips to anywhere, at anytime!” said Crumpler. They all plan to keep their cars around for a while, throughout their college years and maybe even beyond. They plan to keep in touch with each other and maintain their friendship and their vehicles. Emily Townsend Staff Reporter
Ben Williams Adam Williams Ryan Morris Alex Ramsey
The team finished top 8 in all 10 standard races and top 15 in all Top Dog races. June Issue 2011
5 Reasons To Scout 1
Is Teen Center under-used?
portunity for a job. Junior Whitney Rush has been working there for nine months. “I decided to work there because it was a place that I could showcase my responsibility by creating programs and assisting with the betterment of Hampton city youth like myself,” she said. The most important thing that gives the center its personality is its many activities for teens part in. Sophmore Deja Anderson has been going to the HTC since it opened two years ago. The recording studio is her favorite activity. “I love to sing and so the center having an open studio for everyone really makes me feel at home,” she said. It’s also a great chance for teens to get ready to perform at Open Mic, on the first Friday of every month during the school year. Regine Henderson Staff Reporter
June Issue 2011
Activities Each member of the troop is assigned a leadership role. They also get to help with the choice of what activities their troop will partake in. “We do camping and a lot of activities that deal with survival,” said freshman Trevor Motley.
FCCLA throws end-of -year party
With hamburgers grilled by assistant principal Tim Cason and snow cones served by teacher Darlene Peak, the Family Career and Community Leaders of America celebrated a year that included a variety of popular student activities, including the 2nd annual Fashion Show.
Organization With over four million members, the Boy Scouts organization is one of the largest youth organization’s in the world. Two of the organizations focus points are to develop character and citizenship. In one year alone all of the troops combined raised over $700 million for charity. However, the organization’s main purpose is to develop future leaders.
Deja Anderson and Anette Pirtle in the HTC’s Creativity Studio. Photo by Regine Henderson
The Hampton Teen Center (HTC) opened in August of 2009 as a youth-inspired and focused facility. The original mission was to provide a place where all youth could discover their potential and participate in endless varieties of activities that challenge them. But recently it was suggested that the Teen Center may not be exclusively for teens much longer. Like any other center in the community, a certain amount of participants are necessary in order for the center to stay open. According to Hampton City Manager Mary Bunting, the HTC isn’t getting as many members as originally expected. As a result of this the center may go from a place for teens to hang-out to a community center for people of all ages. Some opponents are saying that with this transition many changes will occur. There are many benefits of the HTC that might be lost after the switch, such as the op-
Leaders are often defined as dedicated people who are not afraid to take charge. It can be something that you are born with or something that is enhanced by the people that you constantly surround yourself with. There are many groups that involve people such as these, including Boy Scouts.
Ranks Freshman Christopher Dobbins is one of the many boys currently enrolled in Boy Scouts. He has been scouting ever since he was in second grade, almost nine years ago. “It gives us the chance to make our own decisions and helps us earn the qualities of a leader,” said Dobbins. Once a certain rank is reached the boys receive the opportunity to join a different troop that is led by members their own ages.
Scholarships Not only does the Boy Scouts promote all of these qualities and activities but it can also help you in the future as well. Scouting not only looks good on a college application but can help you receive many scholarships. “Colleges don’t just look at your grades but people who can be a leader in the future,” said Dobbins Jenae McCullum Staff Reporter
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“Maintaining Ou As the beat of the song begins, the bright spotlights rise, and the crowd cheers, 14 students take the stage with one thing on their minds: to maintain their only dream. Seniors Austin Garrett and Carlos Copely created an association of individual artists and producers by the name of M.O.O.D. Entertainment in the winter of 2010. Garrett had the vision of becoming an artist and wanted to see all of his close friends rapping and radiating a passion that reflected his. The name M.O.O.D. Entertainment is an acronym that Garrett created to express their main purpose, which is “Maintaining Our Only Dream.” These upcoming artists and producers are very determined to chase their dreams no matter what circumstances or obstacles get in their way. They believe that a person with big dreams can go so much farther than someone that doesn’t dream at all. The group’s members are also committed to overcoming life’s hurdles. Two young men in this affiliation have struggled with the loss of loved ones, a horrifying time in their lives. Senior Kam Bahar
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started rapping at the age of six. Losing his father at seven, and his mother at 10 to breast cancer, triggered his rapping hobby. Bahar got through this terrifying time of his life by writing and singing songs to release his emotions. He then got the courage to rap in front of his friends. Senior Kevin McIver lost his mother on his fifth birthday to cancer. That was the same day his mother gave him his first piano, a Casio SA-35. Although McIver is still trying to get over this tragedy he has not given up on his dream, which is to be one of the best music producers in the industry. Senior Brandon Barnes is motivated and supported by his mother. “God also motivates me because he puts me in real life situations that help motivate me rather than discourage me,” said Barnes. “I am motivated by my passion and the fact that I can express my feelings through a song instead of talking to someone. Just being in the spotlight and having the feeling of success on a stage motivates me as well,” said Garrett. Every song on their mixtape carries a significant
Where do you see yourself in five years? “I see myself as a physical therapist in this area.” - Jabrea Herron
Senior Issue 2011
ur Only Dream” and meaningful message. Junior Khalil Matthews feels that it is important to tell stories through his lyrics because it is easier to relate to people. He writes about love, life, struggle, and how to make it. Several struggle with daily life. Matthews struggled with the death of his grandmother and missing his father. “When I write my lyrics I try to portray a very positive message which is to keep your head up, never give up and to believe in yourself,” said Matthews. “Every song we make is creative but carefully thought over before being recorded. We always strive for perfection in every song. It takes much patience and time to perfect your verse but the completed result puts a smile on our faces every time. I hardly listen to the radio or mainstream rappers anymore because M.O.O.D. is much better to me,” said senior Cortez Moore. In senior Lorenzo Holmes and freshman Ashley Garrett’s lyrics, they both portray positive messages and have fun. Senior Kevin Dunn shows all of his emotions, his passion, and love for the craft of rap-
Senior Issue 2011
ping. The secret of success is to be ready for an opportunity when it comes. To get ready for the future, Copely is constantly brainstorming fresh new ideas and also getting information on how and what the producer should do. Copely will be attending an audio production school when he graduates to help further his career in the music industry. Senior David Savage is ready to start rapping publicly. He is a person that likes to put his feelings on a song and succeed in things. “I can see [us] performing at Madison Square Garden in New York City further along in our career,” said Savage. “In the near future I can see M.O.O.D. Entertainment signed and our music on the radio,” said Holmes. These students in M.O.O.D. Entertainment have high expectations of themselves and feel that if they keep doing what they’re doing, then they will succeed in life. Ashley Preston Staff Reporter
Where do you see yourself in five years? “Putting criminals behind bars and using DNA… that’s why I’m good at chemistry.”-Anecia Caldwell
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Influential people in their lives
Baseball and Ballet
From Top to Bottom: Cooke and his parents, Close friends of Cooke & Huth: Cierra Williams, Tevin Porter-Perry, Chelsea Forehand, Lisa Huth (Huth’s sister), Huth and her parents.
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Adding to the list of accomplishments for valedictorian Stuart “Dakari” Cooke and salutatorian Brittany Huth were the awards recieved by the duo on Senior Night. Both Cooke and Huth were voted Most Likely to Become a Billionare. Cooke is number one in the Senior Class, a baseball player, and an indoor track runner with a grade point average of 4.25. Cooke is also in Model U.N., National Honor Society, Scholastic Bowl, and the Jack & Jill Community Service Program. In the fall, Cooke will be attending the United States Military Academy at West Point because it will prepare him and give him the proper training to join the Army later in his life. He believes it’s a great academic school which help him get a job quickly, and where he can play baseball. Cooke said, “I have friends and people know me, but I wouldn’t say I was popular. I just worked hard and didn’t slack off.” Cooke has no intention of slowing down now, either. “Too many people don’t stay Seniors Stuart “Dakari” Cooke and Brittany Huth are at the top of the Senior class and were voted focused and try to be cool. I found “Most Likely to Become Billionaires.” a balance between chilling and homework. What happens your freshConcert Choir, Principal’s Advisory, Model U.N, and also man year will affect your senior year. If you build good volunteers in the school’s clinic, and in various churches. habits as a freshman, life is easier later on,” Cooke said. Huth has also been on mission trips to New Mexico, San “[Huth] is so cool. She works hard. She does Diego, and this spring break, to the Dominican Republic. a lot in and out of school, she’s a good person and “I love getting to know people and being around them. very determined. I’m going to Facebook her, call her, I don’t know if I consider myself popular, but I try to and text her when we go to college. She is my best make an effort to meet people...It comes naturally, but friend. If you ask her that, and she doesn’t say the I always make it a goal to say hi in the hall,” said Huth. same thing, there’s gonna be issues,” Cooke joked. “In high school, you worry too much about fitting in, Cooke wants to major in physics at West Point, but you have to just be yourself and go with it. of course, I and then join the Army. “It will be a good opportuam a little nervous about what the future holds; however I nity for leadership skills,” Cooke said. He will probtrust in God. He has my future in His hands and He has a ably stay for five years in the military, and then get a perfect will!” She believes there is only one reason she is in job at NASA. Cooke wants to be an aerospace engineer. this position and it is because of God. “He deserves all the AP U.S. History was his most difficult class, beglory. I am not one of those people who are naturally smart; cause it’s just so much information to take in. U.S. HisI have always had to work hard ever since I was little. God, tory is his only AP class this year, although he had three determination, perseverance, and hard work has brought last year. Pamela Hallissy,who taught him pre- calculus, me to where I am today.” Huth just wants to be a light of is his favorite teacher. “I’ve had good teachers,” he said. encourgement to the children she will have to work with, Brittany Huth is this year’s Salutatorian, and although relieve the pain and suffering they will have to go through. she has a GPA of 4.22 allowing her to get into the Univer In addition to “Becoming Billionares”, Huth was sity of Virginia, she isn’t your average “braniac.” Huth has voted Friendliest and Cooke was voted Best All-Around. been dancing since she was three, practicing ballet, tap, Yudarys Suriel jazz, pointe, and modern dancing styles. She is also a keen Staff Reporter participant in various clubs including Jazz, Show and Which year at Bethel was the most fun for you? “I think my senior year was the most fun because of my friends.” -Becca Bellflower
Senior Issue 2011
Alumni differentiate between college cultures It can be very challenging to choose a college because without touring the school, they can all appear to be the same. Bethel alumni from the class of 2010 are perfect witnesses to college life at local schools. Old Dominion University freshman Chantz Garrett stresses the great diversity in students at the school she has come to love. Garrett said, “Every ethnic group is represented from Africans to Arabians… it’s refreshing.” A few weeks ago one classmate took friends to visit her hometown in Washington D.C. at two in the morning. Garrett said, “You meet different people everywhere you go. I don’t see anyone sitting alone.” She was drawn to the school because it was close to home
but ironically appreciates it for the drastic differences in other students’ backgrounds. Norfolk State University student Kiara Crowell labels her school as simply accepting. “Whether you dress up for class, or you look like you don’t care, we are friendly and not judgmental,” Crowell said. It was easy for her to meet new people, especially other freshmen. She said her new friends are also more outgoing than her Bethel peers, encourage her, and try to get her to go out more. Crowell also said that, “Compared to Bethel, Norfolk State is exciting and more live!” Jackie Gomez, a student at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, said the atmosphere at her school is very relaxed. “People here
are more willing to branch out and try new things.” Gomez described high school as a “fashion show,” especially since many CNU students are wearing college sweat pants and hoodies to class. Gomez said that athletic teams, sororities and fraternities may isolate themselves sometimes but most of the students (many of whom are from Northern Virginia) get along. Chelsea Pittman defines her school, the College of William and Mary, as “Nerdy, in a good way.” It’s known for its competitiveness and Pittman agrees that it’s not an easy school but says the people are helpful. For a popular school, the class sizes are smaller and intimate, but not very diverse. James Parker Staff Reporter
CNU freshman Jackie Gomez said students at her school are “More willing to branch out.” Photo by James Parker
Photo by Ashlan Brown
Photo by Ashlan Brown
Photo by William DeShong
Dorm essentials and supplies schools don’t provide
Freshman Ashlan Brown’s media center at ODU.
William DeShong’s closet at Ohio State University.
Freshman Ashlan Brown’s dorm at ODU.
Seniors and best friends Ashley Drew and Gina Brase are in love with the theme of their soon to be Longwood dorm. “Toy Story,” they both yelled excitedly. They love Disney Classics. Everything in their dorm room will tie into the theme of Toy Story. Now all they have to do is figure out how they plan to pay for it. For graduating seniors, dorm rooms seem like a mere price on the list of expenses for college. What most fail to realize is just how costly they can be. Stores like Target, Wal-Mart, and Bed-Bath-andBeyond put dorm room items on sale as early as July, it doesn’t have to be expensive. Before go-
ing off to college, you should make a list of all the things you and your roommate will need. Discuss this with your roommate and see what he/she will be bringing. The costs for the essential items can be split up evenly if your roommates agree. Before going to the store to purchase new items, see what your family members have that will be of use to you. You can browse thrift shops, yard sales, and eBay to save money. When deciding what to buy you must first define the necessities of a dorm room. “Bedding, wall decorations, shoe and clothing storage, lighting, electrical cords, towels, laundry hampers, hangers,
safe/laptop locks. You will also need things like a mini-fridge, a microwave, laundry materials, bathroom essentials, computer accessories, and the usual school supplies. All these things added together can be expensive but they are what is necessary to live comfortably”, said alumni Jamal Parker. Buying all these things that Parker mentioned from your local Wal-Mart can wind up costing up to $500 or more. Before going off and spending money, you should view your dorm and see how much space you and your roommate(s) will have. This should give you an idea of how much to bring. Jean Tatum Staff Reporter
Senior Issue 2011
What is your biggest regret about your high school years? “It’s a crush thing. Like never telling someone how you feel.” Meghan Horvath
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Photo by Lauren Pell
Photo by Jean Tatum
Best looking Brandon Beharry and Briaunna Burwell Photo by Regine Henderson
Most talkative Tevin Porter-Perry(Friendliest) and Kiana Proctor Photo by Lauren Pell
Best smile Isaiah Alston and Daneya Roberts Photo by Lauren Pell
Next American Idol
Best shoe game
Johnny Rainey and Breanne Clemons
Photo by Regine Henderson
Brandon Barnes and Ashley Dawson
Cutest Couple Mike Davis and Bria Watson
14The Bear Facts
Americaâ€™s Next Top Model
Photo by Regine Henderson
Igee Okafor (Best dancer) and Niesha Gibbs (best all around)
Senior Issue 2011
Photo by Lauren Pell
Photo by Regine Henderson
Igee Okafor (Top Model) and Shamauri Middleton
Kiana Glover and Joe Goodwin (Class Clown) Photo by Lauren Pell
Photo by Lauren Pell
William “TJae” Beale and Rashaun Combs
William “TJae” Beale and Ra’shaun Combs
Class clowns Andreya Adams and Joe Goodwin (Most Popular)
First Senior Night a success
Most school spirited Nia Wilson and Sa’id Taylor
Senior Issue 2011
Photo by Lauren Pell
The auditorium was packed on Bethel’s first ever Senior Night. Seniors arrived fashionably dressing to impress at their red carpet-themed event. Hosts Kiana Glover and Alexandria Gentry entertained the crowd, which was mixed with students from different schools and age groups. DJ Smokey provided musical entertainment playing classic songs like “Party in the USA” by Miley Cyrus to “Swoop Swag” by Lil B. Between awards were performances by Shamauri Middleton, “SHE” Dance Troupe, Dominique Clayton, Let’s Move, and M.O.O.D. Entertainment. Many thanks to the Senior Class sponsor Ms. Gatlin who organized the event. Jean Tatum Staff Reporter What was your biggest accomplishment? “Making varsity field hockey.” -Gina Brase
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The Class of 2011’s Egyptian Night Neatly groomed dogs pranced around the Hampton Convention Center and a carnival was in full swing across the parking lot. One hour before Prom, students were eating, or just hopping out the shower, but senior sponsor Wanda Gatlin was preparing a trip to an Egyptian Utopia. High temperatures welcomed valedictorian Dakari Cooke as the first to arrive, but he left shortly after for dinner, taking the favorable weather with him. Then expensive limos, luxury cars, and party buses dropped off guests for last minute pictures and parental farewells. Christopher Johnson’s mother shared her prom experience, saying that she ended up marrying her prom date. Prom had some mishaps. Junior Samantha White had to rush out to get treatment for a developing rash on her arm after a pre-prom dinner, and SCA president Nia Wilson didn’t know if she would be going to prom stag. “My date broke his ankle at 2 p.m. before Prom. He [Carlos Richardson] fell off his motorcycle and I was crying in the hair salon,” said Wilson. The most popular dress style was the mermaid dress with a close fit in the abdomen, bust and hips but loose and flowing. Curled updos were the most popular hairstyles, while the guys went with simple low hair cuts. A lot of guys wore white tuxes and bow ties. However, attire varied for those dressing to amaze or simply be comfortable. While senior Krystal Bibo and others walked in with flipflops, attendees such as senior Mike Severs came to impress, he said, “I wanted to be the snazziest person here,” while sporting a top hat and monocle.
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Senior Lamaura Davis wore a dress with a butterfly backing and senior Josh Keithley wore Jordans. As the students filed into the Egyptian lounge, many immediately found a seat around projections of large ancient symbols or in royal couches. By 9 PM junior Donte Wilkins was the only party goer dancing to music by 103 Jams DJ, Jack of Spades. But it wasn’t long before songs that students recognized from previous years revived their 90s and early 2000s excitement. Just after 10 p.m. “Pop Lock & Drop it” and the “Chicken Noodle Soup” kept feet moving, but during “Drop It Low” the music suddenly stopped. Silence swept through the room but like clockwork the crowd broke out into a roaring “flash beat” of the No Music to retain the enthusiasm. The attempted redemption faded away and guest flocked to the buffet line, until the music returned almost ten minutes later. Sa’id Taylor and Chelsea Forehand were named Prom Pharaoh and Queen. The crowd cheered as they shared their slow dance and soon joined in with the commencement of a more upbeat ballad. Officer Noberto Cruz noted his anticipation of refined behavior because of the gowns and suits, and the student body’s actions certainly befitted an Egyptian empire. Senior Jazmine Wright agreed and she said, “I (also) went to Kecoughtan and Hampton’s proms and ours was the most classy. We had fun without compromising ourselves.” Principal John Bailey had equally positive expectations for the remainder of the evening. Bailey said, “At 12, I’ll put on shorts and a t-shirt to head over to
After Prom so we can sit back and have fun.” As the hands on the clock struck midnight, the Egyptian scribes were greeted by a few Hampton High students outside and then journeyed toward the Spare Times Bowling Alley for an extended night of festivities at After Prom. Some students showed concern that After prom wasn’t at the Teen Center, but were happily surprised and pleased with the activities at the bowling alley. Bowling, of course, was the main attraction, but some people tried a game of laser tag. “I kicked butt at laser tag,” said senior Ashley Drew. Others enjoyed card games, arcade games, and “minute to win it” games. A long line snaked around the photo booth all night long and those who weren’t tired yet danced more. For those who wanted a late-night snack, kind parents were ready to offer food like Vincent’s Italian Ice and brownies. At the end of the After Prom, door prizes were given out. Senior Class president Kiana Glover won a television. “A lot of people thought that it was rigged because I’m president,” she said. Senior Jacob Ray won an iPod and immediately gave it to his girlfriend, Katie Guye. “He was like, that’s me, then he came back and was like, here you go, love,” said Guye. This overflow of enjoyment lasted until 4 a.m., when students departed from their last leisure time as a class. James Parker Shelby Pantel Madelynn Poulson
Senior Issue 2011
Row 1: William Burrell, Jaquayl Butler, Carmella Thomas, Philip Powell, Chelsea Forehand, Sai’d Taylor, Alessandra Faraci Row 2: Siera Smith, Chelsea Armstrong, Jamal Chapman, Kaila Warren, Travis Paine, Gregory Jenkins, Clifford Clark Row 3 : Casey Riley, Logan White, Taylor Bowen, Wanda Gatlin, Sai’d Taylor, Chelsea Forehand, Row 4: Kendra Robinson, Chris Mclaurin, Cutouts: Tevin Williams, Janice Sethman, Josh Keithly, Lamaura Davis, Candice Hockland, Brya Thompson, Krystal Bilbo, Chelsea Yarborough
Senior Issue 2011
The Bear Facts
Say so long...
Spring’s Senior Athletes
Baseball & Softball
Name: Luis Perez Position: 3rd Base Playing since: 10 years old Future Plans: St. Augustine College
Name: Nancy Smith Position:Short Stop Playingsince: 4th grade FuturePlans:AttendEast Carolina University
Name: Chelsea Forehand Position: Center MidForward Playing since: 6th grade Future plans: Longwood University
Name: Kyle Wagner Position: MidForward Playing for: 10 years Future plans: Military
Track and Field
Name: Devin Spencer Position: Shot put Playing for: 6 years Future Plans: Virginia Union University
Name: Rashaun Combs Position: 4 x 400 meter Playing since: 4 years old Future Plans: St. Augustine College
Name: William Beale Name: Taylor Long Position: #1, #1 Doubles Position: #2, #1 Playing since: 2010 Doubles Future plans: Playing since: 2005 Participate in track Future plans: the at Old Dominion Art Institute of University Virginia Beach
Kicking & Screaming
Opinion: Jv players learn a lesson from another team’s bad sportsmanship For the most part, Hampton City School’s athletes are good sports, but they must also learn how to deal with bad sportsmanship when it’s on the part of the opposing team. When Bethel’s JV girl’s soccer team played Nansemond River, “It looked like a fight was about to break out on the field,” said sophomore Carmella Thomas. After the game, another Bethel player had to be held back to avoid a physical fight. “I thought they were rude, but I learned that we should never act like we did,” said sophomore goalkeeper Ciera Bolton. According to Bethel’s athletic director, Ray Smith, bad sportsmanship is not a problem, but is
18The Bear Facts
an ongoing issue that needs to be addressed with athletes and parents. Unlike some other school districts, Hampton City Schools does not have a sportsmanship policy. A common sight at sporting events is parents yelling at their athlete or team from the sidelines, and even arguing with referees about a call they did not like. What they may not know is that excessive arguing with officials can get them banned from attending games. Sportsmanship is something that kids, parents, and fans must be continually educated on. “You should win and lose with humility. You want to win, but when it’s over, it’s over,” said
Smith. When observed, bad sportsmanship is dealt with using the Virginia High School League’s rules, most commonly resulting in the player sitting out the next game. Another common consequence is being carded. A yellow card is a warning, a green card requires you to sit out the rest of the game, and a red card requires you to sit out the rest of the current game and the next game. Elizabeth Clay Staff Reporter
Senior Issue 2011
ATHLETES WILL FOCUS ON SPORTS TO IN THEIR FUTURES
Ledford advances in lacrosse Senior Gaston Ledford’s accomplishments have made his high school life an exciting time. Ledford is ranked #3 in his graduating class with a GPA of 4.21 and earned a spot in the Virginia Military Institute Lacrosse team. “The coach was impressed with the hard work and knowledge of the game by my team members that tried out for his team, so he recruited more from our team,” said Ledford, whose position on the team is the face off. “I was excited when I got a spot in the team, because I am better at lacrosse than football,” said Ledford. Football has helped him be more aggressive and has also helped him play better defensively. Ledford got along well with the team members, which added to his excitement. He hopes to help turn VMI’s record from 2-11 from this year when he gets there. His parents were also thrilled because all the time he spent on lacrosse paid off. Ledford’s parents were very strict when it
came to school, so grades were important. That’s why he is a candidate to get scholarships for college. Ledford has played lacrosse since he was in 6th grade. Some of his friends got him interested in playing, so he decided to try out. Ledford has played for the Williamsburg Warriors for five years. “We play some of the best teams and have one of the hardest schedules of all the club teams in the state,” he said. The Williamsburg Warriors have been named number one in the state. He is going to VMI to study Economics and Business. He chose VMI because it was more structured than other schools. “I don’t need it, it’s just how I am,” said Ledford. He also liked that there was no military commitment there. “I might go into the military when I graduate. I haven’t decided,” he said.
Rosie Moreno Staff Reporter Ledford faces off against his opponent. Photo courtesy of Sheila Matthews
Ortiz overcomes past
Miguel during a game against Menchville Photo by Lauren Pell
Senior Issue 2011
After severe ligament damage to his left thumb early in the baseball season, senior Miguel Ortiz had to sit out for a week and a half per doctor’s orders. During the fall baseball season, Ortiz was forced to sit out temporarily due to a cyst rupture. “It felt like I was trying to pass broken glass through my stomach,” he said. Despite major setbacks, he is still the “brick wall” behind the plate. He began catching for Bethel’s JV team in his sophomore year. As a junior last year, he trained diligently with the starting catcher William DeShong. The two catchers practiced their drills with their equipment on. The catchers’ practices appeared to be difficult with drills such as wall-sits (sitting in a chair-like position with their back against the wall and hands above their head for 10 minutes), two-ball drills to work on their peripheral visions, and blocking baseballs bounced off the wall. These drills are demanding for a normal baseball player but as an injury-prone player, they are brutal. Ortiz has had difficulties in life from health problems to having to move halfway up the coast. “I’ve literally had over hundreds of kidney stones that were about half the size of my fingernail. I’ve also had two surgeries:
one in January 2008 and the other in November 2010, to take out blood-filled cysts in my kidney due to a hereditary disease called Polycystic Disease (when cysts fill with blood and cause fevers),” said Ortiz. “Back in 2000, the kidney stones threatened my life. I was playing pee-wee football and I passed out on the sideline. My blood pressure went up and I almost had an aneurysm,” said Ortiz, who still manages to persevere athletically and academically. “One important thing I learned throughout high school is to not get behind on your work or else it will come back and bite you in the butt,” he said. After high school, Ortiz is going to St. Leo University in Florida to major in sports management for baseball. He has two younger siblings—Jasmine, 11, and Edwin, 6. His mother is from Puerto Rico and his father was born in New York and raised in Puerto Rico. Ortiz’s grandmother has also dealt with a lot of health problems because she’s diabetic. “Even though she went through so much, she still is great,” said Ortiz. “She’s the reason why I learned to ignore the physical pain in my life, and basically just live in the moment.” StevenDeShong Staff Reporter
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Swinging with the golf club PG. 7
m.o.o.d. ent/prom 2011/superlatives/spring sports