Page 1

Graphic Illustration and Photo by Morganne Atutis

Buccaneer Bulletin

OHS & Novelis Engineers Rebuilding Electric Car for Future Competitions Page 2 Volume 11 Number 6 May 2008

Oswego High School’s Student Voice



Study Halls Solve Substitute Teacher Shortage By Katie DiVita


We all get out of bed every morning Monday through Friday to come to this institution and receive an education. Our parents pay hundreds of tax dollars per year for us to learn the secondary school basics, and we deserve this instruction as students. However, more and more frequently we are confronted, not with appropriate lesson plans, but with signs on the doors of our classrooms herding us by the masses to study halls due to a lack of substitute teachers. Most students, at least those who take an avid interest in their academic schooling, have wondered why they sometimes must spend their math, social studies, or English classes sitting at a desk in study halls like room 200 or 237. OHS student Steve Abramski said, “I feel disappointed, like someone is wasting my time when I see those signs. I go to school to learn, not to sit in a crowded room and stare.” It is obvious that not all students are thrilled to learn that their classes have been cancelled for the day. OHS student Jenna Skubis also noted, “Administrators are always frustrated with low academic performance, but how can we learn and improve if we don’t have class?” The obvious reason that students are sometimes “warehoused” to study halls is that enough substitute teachers are not available to fill in for absent teachers. This is partly due to the fact that there is

a shortage of available substitute teachAlthough many people have found but only nine percent of the calls were ers in the Oswego City School District. a scapegoat in the newly implemented accepted and appropriately processed. Mrs. Carrie Patane, First Vice President Sub-it program, in reality, it is probClearly, this issue is as complex and of the Oswego Classroom Teachers’ As- ably only an extension to the overall multi-dimensional as it is frustrating sociation, said, “We were once a school quandary. Patane said, “We (OCTA) and disappointing. However, parents, district that paid its substitute teachers have been meeting each month in order students, and teachers are continuing more than surrounding districts. Now, to find out whether the Sub-it program to respond to these signs on classroom due to contract changes, these teachers has contributed to this problem. How- doors as representations for the substisometimes opt to go to other districts ever, it is difficult to say whether or tute teacher problem. OHS parent Mrs. where they are paid more.” With less not with sound data.” Sub-it is an au- Dorothy Rumrill said, “I think this is a incentive to work in this district, most tomated substitute teacher notification problem that needs to be fixed immesubs find their efforts more rewarding at system which was put into practice by diately, and hopefully it will be soon.” neighboring districts such as Fulton or the Oswego City School District last Teachers are often especially anHannibal, leaving noyed by this issue, us with this prob- “Administrators are always frustrated with low especially when lematic scarcity. they spend hours However, no academic performance, but how can we learn of time putting matter how much and improve if we don’t have class?” together a lesson other school displan for a substiJenna Skubis tute teacher and tricts pay their substitute teachOHS Senior later finding that ers in relation to it could not be folours, many are experiencing this same year. The automated calling features of lowed. OHS social studies teacher Mrs. frustrating predicament. A state-wide the Sub-it program have allowed more Patricia Runeari, said, “I am concerned study released by the Wisconsin Educa- subs to be called in a morning than ever about students losing instructional tion Association Council (WEAC) found before, but this has still not ensured that time, the potential overcrowding of that ninety-one percent of school dis- every position is filled on a given day. study halls, and the effort teachers tricts are having more problems hiring Ironically, people’s misconceptions go through to provide lesson plans.” and keeping qualified substitute teachers and lack of confidence in this technolThis current substitute teacher than in past years. It found that qualified ogy may contribute to the issue. Substi- problem is a noticeable disservice to candidates were not likely to accept such tute teachers sometimes do not answer students and an inconvenience to all low wages when many job opportunities the phone in time or do not know how to parties involved in the educational sysare so readily available. OHS principal log into the system properly to alert the tem. However, unless a drastic measure Mr. Peter Myles said, “Most districts district when they can or cannot work. is implemented to rectify this problem, are experiencing a shortage; there just According to Patane, on one particular expect to see more of those substanaren’t enough people satisfied with sub- morning in March, over 4,000 calls dard signs on your classroom doors. stitute teaching positions to go around.” were made to fill teaching positions,

Novelis Engineers Donate Time and Expertise By Chrissy King Editor-In-Chief

The students who take courses in the Technology Department are always building innovative and interesting projects. The newest creation of these dedicated students is an electric car. The car was built originally seven years ago by a group of students who have long-since left OHS. The model that they built held up well and now current OHS students are fixing it up. The students refurbished the original car and added some new parts to make it more modern. The actual car is a go-kart, but has a lot of new parts to make it more like a real car. Mr. Chuck Rowlee, of the Technology Department commented, “The car was originally built seven years ago. The students finished it, but the battery was kind of like one that is in a drill; so it wasn’t very powerful and didn’t stay on long. This car’s battery can stay on longer and we can control it and make it go much faster.”

Buccaneer Bulletin

The students who helped fix up the electric car are Mike Vivlemore, Anthony Sterio, Chris Wallace, Steve Snyder, Sara Finn and Nick Jadus. Sterio stated, “We all wanted to help rebuild the car and get it done. We all worked on the car just because we wanted to; it was all after school and during free periods.” Rowlee also helped keep the students on track. He commented, “Honestly, I didn’t really help them at all. I only got involved when they had questions or when they didn’t know how to use a tool. I wanted them to experience it.” The original vehicle specifications and parts included a 1 HP 1750 RPM, 90 volts, 10 amps, top speed of 15 mph with parade gearing, single disk breaking system and could go from 0-15 mph in .8 seconds. The car has been re-modeled and includes an advanced DC motor A00-4009, AllTrax AXE-4834 controller, 1PB-6 Curtis Potbox, 1 Albright Contacto SW-80 and 1 Albright F/R Contactor DC-182. The students also ex-

perimented with solar panels to make the car more ecofriendly and to see how much the panels could power. The students were mentored by some engineers from Novelis including Blake Adkins and Brian Martina, as well as Nick Thomas who helped build the original car. Adkins specializes in electrical engineering, while Martina specializes in mechanical engineering. Sterio commented, “We all worked together, but certain people worked with Blake on the electrical part of the car while others worked with Brian on the mechanical aspect. Nick helped out with everything as well.” The students are hoping to enter their electric car in the Tour De Sol contest in New Jersey on June 6-8. Senior Chris Wallace commented, “We think we are going to put it into acceleration and breaking competition. We have a motor from a kit used to convert a Geo Tracker to an electric car, which means the go-kart has the power of a car.”

May 2008



OCSD Attendance Policy Dictated by NYSED hard work their teachers put in for them. The NYS Education Department guidelines Ciera Toolan, a senior at OHS stated, “It is impor- specify compulsory education laws; the law states tant to come to school because when you come back that “each minor from six to 16 years of age, that after an absence you have so much more work to do, is mentally and physically fit will be in regular atand teachers still expect the work to be done.” tendance for the entire time schools are in session.” When students miss class, it is hard for them However, on an average day, attendance at OHS is By Chrissy King to “play catch up” because they have not only their approximately 88% - 89%. Myles stated that “It’s Editor-In-Chief back work to do, but their regular work from all of not good, percentage of attendance is in the same OHS is a “school in need of improvement.” their classes. Sometimes ballpark as it was last Every year we hear promises of new air and heat- the increased workload The Relationship Between year. I would prefer to see ing systems that will work, no more leaky ceilings, just doesn’t get all done. mid-nineties every day, Attendance & Graduation Rates healthier lunches, and higher test scores. However, Students missing class but even when we had a it is questionable whether these promises will ever also increases their teachpolicy that would deny come to fruition. ers’ work load. “I spend a credit, attendance was A more practical plan to improve OHS may lot of time putting together still in the low nineties.” not lie in more tasty lunches for its students, but make up work, but the NYS education laws instead, in the education of said students, and most kids never come to get it. are not the only reason importantly, the amount or time that they actually It’s like teaching an extra that the daily attendance attend school. day because it’s never the policy was deleted. DeAttendance policies are used to help en- same kids who are missnying credit to students sure proper attendance so that the optimum ing,” commented Burt. who miss days is a good amount of work can be accomplished. Many Phillips also comincentive to get students American high schools have mandatory atten- mented, “The end of the to come to school, howdance; however, Oswego is not one of them. marking period I was ever, some students who There is no punishment for students who miss buried with back work had legitimate reasons Attendance Rate school; students can miss as many days as they want and kids coming in to take to miss school and were Courtesy of (with legal excuses) with no disciplinary action. Mr. quizzes and tests that they doing well in their classes Robert Burt a member of the Social Studies Depart- weren’t there to take when they were given. It was were being denied credit, even with high averages. ment commented, “Every day, my first period class overwhelming; I’ve never had that much back work “We were denying credit to 90 average students. By has less than 50 percent attendance.” to grade and that number of people coming in to denying credit to them, it was putting the school at Mrs. Eve Phillips, a member and team leader of make things up.” risk of being sued if the family knew about the NYS the English Department also commented on similar Some students that miss school routinely have education laws,” commented Myles. behavior in her first period class stating, “The atten- trouble doing the work that they are assigned on time. OHS does have some new plans to encourage dance in my classes varies from student to student; So how do they think that they will complete it if they attendance for years to come. Myles explained that it’s not great and it’s certainly not what I’d like.” aren’t in school at all? “My first period class has twen- (using C4E grant money) the school has hired a School is a t y- t wo s t u - full-time social worker who will be responsible for place to learn “The Board of Education had to comply dents in it and helping students and their families with attendance n ot o n ly t he with NYS education laws; any law that it (the five will fail problems and help students get to school. material that is because they The school is hoping to see a phone system next given to you, New York State Education Department) has don’t show up. year that will automatically call home when a student but also a place trumps a Board of Education policy.” Some of them is absent. Myles commented, “The call will alert parto learn about seniors and ents. It is fine if they know their child is home sick in Executive Principal are life. High school some are ju- bed, but if they dropped their kids off at the door and Mr. Peter Myles niors who are they aren’t in school, that’s another story.” is like a prep course for real going to have a Myles also stated, “It is a known fact that stulife, where you have to get a job and do your work hard time making the class up in time to graduate,” dents do better when they attend their classes, without well and on time to get rewarded. However, a lot of commented Burt. a doubt. It’s difficult to learn the content of any class students at OHS are not learning a very good lesOHS was not always so lax on the attendance of if you aren’t there to learn it; the first step is to get son because they are not being held accountable for its students; we used to have an attendance policy. here. It’s frustrating because there is no “hammer.” missing school or being excessively late. “It is hugely The old attendance policy stated that if a student There are no consequences other than failing for detrimental to a student’s education when they miss missed 18 days of school he/she would lose credit for students who miss habitually, however, it is only a class, not only because they obviously miss things, the course and have to re-take them. This attendance small percentage of students who are not coming to but it is fostering very bad habits. No employer in policy was discontinued because it is against New school and failing.” the real world would stand for an employee coming York State education laws. Executive Principal, Mr. The small population of students that is doing in late and not doing his work. He/she would be fired Peter Myles stated, “The Board of Education had to poorly are the students of greatest concern. There in no time flat,” commented Phillips. comply with NYS education laws, any law that it are a lot of students who miss days and are still being Teachers work hard for their students by mak- (New York State Education Department) has trumps successful in their courses. So, the ultimate problem ing up lesson plans, designing projects, and grading a Board of Education policy.” This is the rationale seems to be not whether an attendance policy should assignments. At the very least they deserve for us to the OCSD has used for years since discontinuing be in place, but rather what should be done about the work hard for them and come to class. It seems that the attendance policy, but how is it that some NYS students who aren’t here, aren’t trying, and don’t students don’t care about their education or about the schools still have a policy? care. Graduation Rate

On an average day, attendance at OHS is approximately 88% - 89%.

Buccaneer Bulletin

May 2008



Budget Cuts Slash Deeply into Electives By Waruguru Gichane Reporter

The Oswego City School District is facing one of its hardest budget votes in the past several years. The community has been in uproar over proposed cuts in music, art, theater and technology programs. Thanks to several vocal citizens, many positions and programs have been restored. Yet, the district still needs to find 2.8 million dollars. The first question that many people are asking is why we suddenly need such a large sum of money. The answer is not simple. One reason that we are experiencing a deficit is the fact that in the past two budget votes, residents have voted on a zero percent increase on taxes. Zero percent tax increases do not take into account the rate of inflation, and the rising costs of expenses. Fuel costs alone have risen exponentially. Pair that with repairs on buildings, and the cost of new materials, and all funds have been depleted. Recent tax assessments at the Oswego Steam Station are also contributing to the district’s issues. According to OHS principal, Mr. Peter Myles, the steam station will be paying 1.6 million dollars less in school taxes. This is money the Oswego City Schools were depending on. Decreased enrollment in the district is an issue with both immediate and long-term negative effects. Approximately one hundred students are lost each year. Mr. Peter Colucci, Assistant Superintendent of Business expects to see a decrease of four hundred students at Oswego High School in the next five years. The cost to educate a student per year will increase, and there will be fewer residents to pick up the costs. Mr. David Fischer, Superintendent of the Oswego City School District, noted at a budget proposal meeting on April 8 that the school district was also expecting an additional $1.2 million in state aid that will not come. Add that million to the $1.6 from the steam plant, an economy in recession, and a higher cost of living expenses, and the results are not favorable. For the district budget to be maintained as is, taxpayers were facing a 15.75% tax rate. Mr. Fischer stated, “A 15.75% tax rate would be unacceptable to the taxpayers in the community.” Cuts must be made. At the April 1 Board of Education meeting, a proposal was presented that

Buccaneer Bulletin

showed numerous cuts. The most controversial of these were the cuts of a music teacher, art teacher, and a theater position. The meeting was filled to capacity, and people were forced into hallways. The Oswego community was not going to allow its programs to be eliminated. At the meeting a speaker noted, “Pride and excellence. I would really like you to think about that. Because we have something in this community that is so excellent and can bring so much pride to so many people in this school district.” The proposal displayed the cuts of: 1 Art Teacher 1 English Teacher 1 Home and Careers Teacher 1 Library Clerk 1 Library Media Specialist 3 Monitors (part time) 0.5 Music (strings) 0.5 Social Studies Teachers 1 Technology Teacher 1 Theater Position Many concerned students and teachers voiced their opinions about the losses Oswego schools would face if these positions were cut. Chelsea Bartlett, a junior at OHS stated, “It (music) gives students a lot of skills that they wouldn’t have otherwise, such as leadership and other things like that.” Current students and teachers were not the only ones inflamed by the idea of cutting out these vital pieces of our community. Alumni of the Oswego City School District have banded together to send letters and emails to the Board of Education about what the music and art programs meant to them. Groups such as SAVE THE MUSIC (OSWEGO), Oswegonians in the Support of Music/Drama Education and Save OHS Electives! have been created on the social networking website Facebook. In these groups, members have posted about the significant impact that their music educators had on them growing up. Although not all of them ended up pursuing careers in music, the impact of the programs upon their childhoods and adolescence was immense. Mr. Thom Turner, an OHS and SUNY grad created the group Oswegonians in the Support of Music/Drama Education, posted, “ It [music] changed me completely as a person. I am a full-time musician now. It helped me with my problem-solving skills and how to work in large groups. I am who I am because of my experiences in choir, the musicals and jazz band. To

Photo by morganne atutis

Concerned citizens attended recent budget meetings held at OHS.

penalize that group by taking it away from them or degrading their experience with music and drama and that of the theater is just plain irresponsible...” Mr. Jonathan Lombardo, also an OHS graduate and SUNY Oswego student posted, “Our youth should be encouraged to have any experience they can while in school, not forced into some mold that society thinks we should fit into. Life is all about experience and how will that impact our youth if we show them early on that anything beyond what is necessary isn’t worth their time or money.” While former OHS musicians have been the most vocal, former artists, and parents of technology students have chimed in as well. Ms. Maggie Henry, a 2005 graduate of OHS, wrote to The Palladium Times stating, “I was so fortunate to have had the fabulous art programs that I did when I was in high school. I can’t imagine getting into the college of my choice now without them. During college recruitment days, the most prestigious art colleges, Rhode Island School of Design, Pratt, RIT, MICA and even Syracuse University were openly impressed with Oswego’s teachers and programs.” Mr. Bob and Wendy Finn, parents of two graduating OHS seniors wrote a similar letter about the technology programs at the high school. “Cuts may also phase out a successful pre-engineering

program that took years of investment and development by our technology department. The “Project Lead the Way” Program, a cooperative with Rochester Institute of Technology, has afforded students interested in hands-on learning a path to engineering schools and scholarships. In today’s world, this program should be expanded, not phased out.” The Board of Education has taken into account all the input of the community and has reconfigured the budget. In this new proposal, an art position, music position, home and careers and music position have all been restored. The new cuts stood as follows as of our April 20 deadline: 1 English Teacher 0.5 Social Studies Teacher 3 Monitors (part time) 1 Library Media Specialist 1 Library Clerk 1 Technology Teacher To clarify, the cutting of the English and social studies positions do not mean that a teacher will be fired. Instead, a teacher will not be hired to replace Mr. Robert Burt who will be retiring, and only one teacher will be hired after the retirements of English teachers Mrs. Margaret Dixon and Mr. Thomas Frawley. With these cuts, Myles stated, “The tax increase will only be 8.71 percent, which is a lot easier to swallow.” To most,thesecutsdonotseemthatsignificant. The battle to save electives would continued on page


May 2008



AP English--Here Yesterday, Gone Tomorrow By Fred Maxon Art Director

After being advertised in December to juniors who were mapping out their senior year schedules, the AP English course was pulled from the program of studies for next year, causing those who had signed up for the class to have to chose between SUPA English and World Lit for their 12th grade English course. The decision to offer it in the first place, however, was one that the English Department had little say in. English Department Team Leader, Ms. Eve Phillips, said that she first learned of the decision to offer the course by accident when she was covering an 11th grade English class for a colleague. The next day the students were going to be choosing their classes for their final year of high school, so Phillips was going over some of the English offerings in the course catalog, with the students. She noticed that AP English was listed, but was unsure as to why, since she previously had heard nothing about it. She found it quite embarrassing, as head of the department, having not been informed of the fact that it was being offered. Mr. Peter Myles, Executive Principal, the administrator who authorized it to be offered, stated that he had been in talks with the English Department prior to this decision. He had decided the class would be offered in anticipation that a curriculum would be ready for the 2007-2008 school year. As time has gone by, however, it became evident that AP English would not be prepared in time for next year. According to Phillips, the task of creating an AP English class is an arduous one, involving the creation of a curriculum and choosing books from a lengthy reading list. There are hundreds of books on this list for the teachers to choose from. After the literature

is chosen, instructors would have to re-read all of the books in addition to their already hectic schedules and heavy loads of papers to grade as full-time teachers. After creating their curriculum, including units and lesson plans, they must spend a week over the summer in a workshop about how to teach AP English. Many OHS English teachers have young children, making it difficult for them to spend a week in the summer at the workshop. “It’s something you want to do well,” Phillips said. Myles was disappointed in the fact that it wouldn’t be ready for next year, yet saw these as valid reasons. Like Phillips, he wanted to be sure that the curriculum was 100 percent ready and thoroughly thought out. There are many alternatives to AP English. If a student would still like to take the AP English test, Phillips is more than willing to stay after school to help prepare those who wish to take the exam. For those in SUPA English who wish to audit World Lit, that is also possible. Jake Pagano, a student who graduated in 2006, took SUPA English and audited World Lit. and he still completed many of the assignments, such as the MacBeth paper. “I don’t want to slight SUPA…It’s a terrific course,” Phillips said, explaining that AP would’ve focused more on literature, while SUPA focuses on analyzing texts. Myles has no intention of offering a grade 12 honors class, stating that SUPA is considered the honors level English course for seniors. Mr. Kurt Phaneuf, one of the SUPA English teachers at OHS, says that he has some “intellectual reservations” regarding AP English. He says that SUPA’s course of study is in line with Syracuse University, and that students at OHS pay only a fraction of what it would cost to take the class at SU. Phaneuf also points out the fact that SUPA English

has, historically, been a good program, having been taught by Mrs. Deborah Deeb, Mr. Thomas Frawley and Mr. Michael Sullivan. The program has seen a decline in enrollment in recent years, and Phaneuf thinks that next year could be its final year. The class currently has 13 students, with 11 students taking it for college credit. It originally had around 22 students in September, but some dropped the class due to a failure to meet the minimum requirements. Others dropped it for other reasons, causing the SUPA English class to be one of the smallest in a long time. There are only between five and ten students signed up for next year. However, while this explains the situation behind the AP confusion and some alternative options, there is no denying that over 40 students who signed up for AP still feel annoyed at this debacle. Ted Croucher, a junior, said “I am very upset.” He voiced his annoyance over the possibility of spending his time in a two-period English class. Junior Katie Van Wert gave another reason for her annoyance, stating “They don’t give you an inbetween class.” This was echoed by Nicole Bivens, a junior who wanted to take a challenging English class, yet still wasn’t sure as to whether or not SUPA English was right for her. Many students, like Kelsey Scanlon, had to change their schedules to accommodate the change in English offerings, often having to compromise classes in an already-full schedule. Van Wert voiced the opinion of many of the displaced juniors on the matter of the failure to offer of AP English in two words; “Absolutely absurd!” Phillips stated that she hopes the AP curriculum will be ready for the 2009-2010 school year, and Myles stated that they have a teacher who might start the training process.

Tobacco Purchase Age Could Go to 19 By Kristen Diment Reporter

Your eighteenth birthday is generally considered a rite of passage; aside from legally drinking (that’s still 21), you’re free to do anything from tattooing your body to buying lottery tickets, to joining the army. For some teenagers, turning 18 means it’s finally legal to buy tobacco…for now. Lee Walker Jr., the legislator for Oswego County’s 15th District, is hoping to change that. If he succeeds, the legal age to purchase tobacco products will rise from 18 to at least 19 years of age. Walker’s proposed law, prompted by seeing the mostly underage kids at “Smoker’s Corner” near OHS, intends to keep tobacco away from schools

Buccaneer Bulletin

and ultimately make it difficult for in this endeavor. Students, however, younger teens to acquire it. Though the seem to disagree. Sophomore Maggie law seems to be centered on prevent- Ellis feels that changing the smoking ing smoking in and around schools, age would be pointless. “There’s reWalker hopes that the law would bring ally no point in changing the smoking awareness to the community and hope- age—people are just going to find other fully eradicate underage smoking altogether. T h e l aw, w h ich The law, which would be called would be called “Tobac- “Tobacco 19,” is scheduled to co 19,” is scheduled to go for vote next month. So go for vote next month. far, Walker has received “overwhelming support” from OCSD Superintendent David Fis- ways to get tobacco.” cher, who told Walker, “I will support In the majority of New York State, you 100 percent.” Also, many other the law requires you to be at least 18 legislators and the American Cancer years of age to buy tobacco; however, Society have given him plenty support some counties have already made the

transition into a 19-or-older tobacco law. Suffolk, Richland, and Nassau counties have all adopted the law. Not only would the new law eliminate exposure to second-hand smoke and prevent the inhalation of tobacco use among youth and young adults, but there would also be a big impact on smoking statistics. The average smoker begins smoking before the age of 18. According to the official Tobacco Free CNY website, people try their first cigarette at age 14 ½. A staggering 4,000 kids try their first cigarette each day. With the new law, Walker hopes to have a positive impact on some of these statistics. In Walker’s opinion, “If it helps one kid, to me, it’s worth it.”

May 2008



Clubs Begin to Wrap up Successful Year Band

O n T hu r sd ay Apr i l 24 ou r school’s wind ensemble put on a performance, “Sounds of Spring” at the OHS Theatre at 7:30 PM. On May 23 our jazz groups will be putting on “an evening of big band jazz” featuring guest trumpet player Byron Stripling at the Faust Theatre at 7:00 PM. The Jazz A group will also be performing at the farmer’s market June 5 around 6:00 PM. The highly anticipated seniors’ concert, featuring all our talented bands, will be held May 30 at 7:30 PM in the theatre.

Becca’s Closet

Becca’s Closet was a great success in this year’s JV show. Thank you to everyone who took part in their fashion show. Since the JV show, the collection of dresses has grown. However, they are still looking for more. If you would like to donate, please do. If you are in need of a dress please, contact Morganne Atutis, or Jillian Doty, at


Friday, May 9 22 of our finest singers will be in the NYSSMA solo festival in Fulton. The seniors’ concert, featuring all of our choir groups, will be performing May 16 at 7:30 PM in the Faust Theatre at OHS.

Drama Club

On Saturday May 17 the Drama Club will be putting on a dinner theater production of Story Theater, an array of fairy tales adapted by Paul Sills from the Brothers Grimm and Aesop’s Fables. A small group of actors will portray multiple roles. This will be held at Bridie Manor at 7:00 PM, with dinner being served at 6:00 PM. All tickets are presale, at $23.00. Ticket reservations and menu choices are only available by telephone at 341-2277.

Future Engineers Club

Members of the Future Engineering Club are working on refurbishing an electric car. Engineers from Novelis are helping the club work on their electric car. Members of the club are researching national competitions in which they can enter the car. The club also plans to run the electric car in the annual Fourth of July parade in Oswego.

Buccaneer Bulletin

Photography Club

Photography Club is working on finalizing many different aspects of its first annual photography contest. There will be announcements and posters hanging when the dates are set for deadlines to turn in prints and when the winner will be chosen.

TV Club

T.V. Club is working with the Junior Class on selling DVDs of the Junior Variety Show. If you are interested in purchasing a DVD, contact Dan Howse at Videos cost $16.95 for one night, a DVD of both nights costs $20.95 T.V. Club is also tying to get crews together to record spring sports, so they can put the footage on the announcements. T.V. Club meets once a month in the television studio. Any OHS student can join, at any time in the year. If you are interested, talk to a d v i s e r M r. C h r i s M a n g a n o.

Travel Club

Travel Club is currently selling items out of the Current Inc. catalog. It sells flower kits, cooking items, greeting cards and wrapping paper. The Gertrude Hawk chocolate sales were the biggest success. There will be a Travel Club meeting on May 7 in room 104. So far, twenty two people will be attending the trip to Greece in June. That includes chaperones. They hope to leave a week or so after graduation.

Mrs. Crannell’s Class

Mrs. Elizabeth Crannell’s fourth period math applications class spent its class time on Monday, April 7 in the company of News Channel 9 because they were this year’s “Street Cents” champions. Street Cents is an annual competition that takes place in the fall and is set up by the Syracuse TV Station. Each team started with $100,000 in imaginary money and picked four stocks and tracked them over a four-week period. At the end of the four weeks, the students with the biggest profit won. Crannell’s class made an $11,589 profit, making them this year’s champions. Crannell’s class chose Apple Inc., because the company is well known and is always coming out with new products. Apple made the biggest profit out of all the stocks the class picked. The

Photo by morganne atutis

Students and staff donated blood at the annual blood drive, sponsored by the National Honor Society, the Red Cross, and the OHS nurses.

Spanish Club

class also picked Telefonos de Mexico, a telephone company; because a student had to look at this company’s stock for economics class and it did well. The class chose Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold along with Tompkins Trustco Inc., local stocks that appealed to them, rounding out their winning portfolio. Early in the competition Crannell’s class was in 55th place out of 60 teams and had many ups and downs. It was not until the secondto-last day when they took the lead.

The Spanish Club continues to hold its meetings two times a month on Wednesdays. The first meeting is held to discuss travel, fundraising, and finances for the Mexico and NYC trips, while the second meeting is held to do something fun and cultural through arts and crafts. Those going on the NYC and Mexico trips should be upto-date on their payments by now. If you aren’t, please contact Señor Cook or Señorita Button with any questions.

Sailing Club

Yearbook Production

The Sailing Club is finally up and running again! Now that the weather is looking nice, those who participate in Sailing Club can finally get back on the water. The Sailing Club meets every Sunday at the Oswego Maritime Foundation from 1:00 P.M to 5:00 P.M to prepare for the summer season. The sailors are in the process of mapping out a calendar of events for this season, which includes a trip to Fair Haven State Park and some competitive sailing. If you have any questions or if you would like to join the Sailing Club feel free to contact club adviser Mr. Joe Rotolo at

Students from yearbook recently went to New York City and visited Columbia University to take informational classes and to hear the winners of a national competition that they took part in. Alumnus Danielle Eason won a Certificate of Merit Scholastic Award from Columbia University for her feature spread on the music program in the Paradox. This is a significant award for Eason since fewer than a hundred students receive recognition from over five thousand submissions nationwide. Congratulations Danielle and to all of the hard working students who took part in the 2006-2007 yearbook!

Editor’s Note: Clublicity is a regular feature in The Buccaneer Bulletin. If your clubwants an item published in the June issue, send it to

May 2008



Whatever the Topic, Assemblies are Worthwhile Point Kristen Hadley A few whiny students moan and groan about sitting through lengthy assemblies. These students at Oswego High School think it’s a waste of time to have to hear the tedious lectures about drinking and driving or about the African American culture, but the truth is, it is contributing culture and informing students about life lessons. Without cultural and informational assemblies and field trips, students would be unable to explore their options outside of the usual classroom instruction. According to Mother’s Against Drunk Driving (MADD), 17,602 people died due to drunk driving accidents. Maybe if more schools had prevention programs put in place, there would be fewer drunk driving accidents among teens. Students cannot evaluate information that they don’t receive, and by

showing them how real the dangers of drinking and driving are, it may widen their perspectives. Another example of how an assembly can affect student thinking is Rachel’s Challenge. This public awareness movement about the Columbine shootings has helped thousands of students personalize violence in schools. It is one thing to hear about what has happened, but to actually see the parents of a victim and to hear their painful story has moved many students to consider the consequences of violence in schools. TV and newspaper stories do not create the personal connection that actually hearing from the victim’s families can create. School field trips may also be highly educational and motivational for students. Some young children because of economic status or lack of parental support may not have the opportunity to visit and explore new places. Some young children may not have had the opportunity to see animals first hand and learn about their habitat without a field trip to a zoo. They may not have had hands-on opportunities to explore energy or space without a field trip to a place like The Museum of Science and Technology (The MOST).

These opportunities inspire children to learn about and explore their world. It opens up opportunities for less advantaged students that they may not otherwise have. Likewise, assemblies and field trips help students learn about different cultures. One recent assembly held at Minetto Elementary School featured a group of Native Americans who shared with students the highlights and customs of their culture. They spoke to students about the history of Native Americans in our state and shared the dances and cultural ceremonies that have been passed down in their culture throughout the years. An assembly like this can help children understand how people of different cultures fit into society. School assemblies and field trips play an important role in helping students understand differences, explore new ideas, and personalize events. They bring the real word into school and help students make more informed decisions about their behavior. The value of these events should not be minimized. The more assemblies and field trips the better. To paraphrase Mark Twain, we should never let school get in the way of our education.

Too Many Assemblies are a Waste of Class Time the AP students who will have tests this month. If education is so valuable at OHS, why don’t we show it? We’re supposed to be a “school in need of improvement,” yet we have pointless assemblies interrupting class time. The juggling assembly is not the first, or the last assembly that has had this effect. Last year, Mark Wood’s electric violin presentation was scheduled two days before the AP Psychology test. This put Mr. Mark Mirabito, AP Psychology teacher, and his students in a bad situation. Although the assembly was “fun,” it was not overly educational and was certainly not necessary. We’re not in elementary school any more. In high school, there’s no “snack time, recess, or nap time.” I understand that not all assemblies are purely for entertainment and many hold true educational value. For example, the mock DWI car accident is a very effective, pertinent assembly. The difference between this assembly and frivolous ones is that people will take the car accident seriously. It is likely to affect many people, and hit “home” for others. This, in turn, may

Counter point Sophie Rosenbaum Juggling, electric guitars, and Russian dancers. How many times do we need to change the bell schedule for “special events?” It seems like every year there are increasingly more field trips and assemblies that are pointless. What is the educational value in juggling? If you really want to learn how to juggle, go take Dr. Altman’s physics class where he teaches his students how to juggle (an activity that is a part of his curriculum). Personally, I don’t see any educational value in juggling, rather it is just another excuse for students to get out of class, leave school early, and miss out on valuable education time. It seems as if it is a commonality for these “extra-special-super-duper events” to occur during the later portion of the school year. Not only does that interrupt teachers attempting to prepare their students for end-ofthe-year exams in June, it also affects

Buccaneer Bulletin

cause them to change their decisions and plans that they have made for pre-prom and post-prom activities. Other assemblies of this nature are also effective in communicating to students the importance of their decisions. On the OHS website, it says, “The mission of the Oswego City School District is to empower all students to reach their full potential in the best possible learning environment.” So, let’s empower our students with knowledge, not pure entertainment. The music assemblies (i.e. musical “teaser,” holiday concert, etc.) are also nice because they show the other students in the school what talent our students possess. A student who watches one of these assemblies may be intrigued and decide that next year, they would like to be a part of the band or be a member of the play. These assemblies provide a sense of school pride as well. Some see all assemblies as beneficial because they take time away from the high-stress classroom environment and give students a break from the same old activities. Once again, this is a nice thought, but extremely unnecessary. An assembly every once in a while will not make my life less stressful, rather it works

in a reverse fashion. First of all, it causes the teachers to have to alter their lesson plans in order to make sure that all of the material needed to be covered, is taught. This puts stress on the teachers which, in turn, is passed on to the students. “In the modern world, teenagers will do what they’ve always done. They imitate the behavior of the adults in their lives. The adults in the school shouldn’t be surprised that our students don’t respect the important class time because we [adults] regularly take students out of class for things that should be after school activities. We are demonstrating to them that class time is not important,” Mirabito said. When you think about it, if students really liked these assemblies, wouldn’t they behave better and be more attentive to them? I’m not saying do away with all assemblies at OHS, just pick and choose more wisely. Many students make fun of the assemblies and choose to leave school early or skip the assemblies because they think it sounds “stupid.” Why not give the students a choice and a say in the matter? Let us decide who comes to the school, whether it is a juggler, a motivational speaker, or a police officer.

May 2008



talk about it, complain about it, but Weather: We there’s nothing we can do about it. Don’t Know


Jack Carmody To say that Oswego has unpredictable weather patterns would be an understatement. It seems often that it’s cold one day, hot the next, and rainy the same afternoon. We at The Buccaneer Bulletin are committed to having our questions answered, so of course, I had to put out in the open what exactly makes Oswego weather so varied. For the information that I was going to need, I relied upon the expertise of local meteorologist Dr. Steven Skubis, whose daughter Jenna Skubis attends OHS. He supplied me with a plethora of data concerning the temperatures that rise and fall throughout the year here. With the help of this invaluable information, I managed to form some conclusions that I otherwise, would not have made.

For starters, no global warming exists here. Our temperature scheme here in Oswego hasn’t altered significantly in recent time. Temperatures have risen in our area, but fairly slightly, and the temperatures haven’t become anymore extreme. The bell curve of how cold or warm it is during a specific month has been fairly unchanging, although the most varying spans of time are from March to June and October to November. These periods have the biggest range in temperature from day to day. Our temperatures here proved less erratic than thought, so I investigated another culprit for our nutty weather… the lake. Lake Ontario gives Oswego those wacky weather events due to the fact that a colder or warmer front will go over the lake, and with the temperature change between the front and the lake, energy is made from the movement of higher to lower pressure systems. This movement creates powerful wind, which expedites most weather systems by taking a snow cloud or rain cloud and putting it on

Courtesy of SUNY Oswego Meteorology Department.

an express lane our way. Sometimes it comes to our advantage, eliminating a big rain cloud that would have hung over our town all day, and at other times it hits us with an unforeseen blizzard (“lake effect snow” is this city’s trademark). With these factors of how Oswego weather operates in mind,

people can safely say that even though the weather here may seem strange and unpredictable, there is a method to our madness. If you are further interested in the study of meteorology, I would suggest looking into SUNY’s wonderful Department of Meteorology for more information.

Underage Drinking Problem Never Goes Away A poll by ABC News in 2005 showed that 75 percent of the public said that underage drinking is a “serious problem.” If it is such a serious problem then why does it seem like not much is done about it?

allow them to legally have a toast to celebrate such occasions? Many people argue this because if young men and women are old enough to be able to make

By Danielle D’Amico Reporter

Underage drinking is a huge problem in America and has been for years. Many experts feel that America is dealing with this situation in the wrong way. Underage drinking is a problem that is all around us. Last year, a survey was done through our school yearbook, The Paradox which stated that 74% of the students at OHS who participated in this survey had consumed alcohol. Now this is not only a problem because it is illegal, but because it is also very dangerous. Is it right to allow people between the ages of 18 to 21 to join the army, get married, or vote, but not

Buccaneer Bulletin

such important decisions, then why is it not legal for them to consume alcohol? According to John McCardell, the former president of Vermont’s Middlebury College, “It’s a bad social policy and a bad law.” If so many people feel that this policy is unjust, then why do statistics such as a poll organized by ABC News in 2005 show that 78% of the public was opposed to lowering the drinking age? It is important to realize that no matter what the law states, underage people will still consume alcohol. Is the matter really how to make it less of an issue and make these young people more aware of the effects and the proper procedures to make drinking a safer activity? Some experts also believe that our young people don’t know how to drink responsibly and we need to find a way to reduce the harm. “I think we should teach our young people how to drink as well as how not to drink,” suggests David J. Hanson, an alcohol researcher and retired professor of the State University of Potsdam, during a recent interview with Parade Magazine. A poll organized by ABC News in 2005 also showed that 75 percent of the public said that underage drinking is a “serious problem.” If it is such a serious then why does it seem like not much is done about it?

Courtesy ofgoogle images

May 2008



HS Athletes Depend on Energy Drinks By Brett McClelland Reporter

Energy drinks such as Monster and Red Bull are the new coffee for teens. Energy drinks have become very popular within teens and people in their 20’s, with over 500 new energy drinks around the world. According to Simmons Research, 31 percent of U.S. teenagers say they drink energy drinks. The biggest problem is with how some of the kids drink them. Some say that they chug several cans in a row to get a buzz, and a new study in Chicago says that the researchers found 265 cases of caffeine abuse. Twelve percent led to a trip to the hospital. The average age of the patient was 21. An energy drink is simply a more intense can of soda. Both are carbonated, and both have sugar and caffeine, but an energy drink has much more. An average can of soda has 25-40 milligrams of caffeine, most energy drinks have double that. A study by the University of Florida shows that energy drinks contain two to four times as much caffeine as a can of Coke. One new energy drink advertises an amazing 280 milligrams of caffeine. Now that

energy drinks are growing in popularity, there are also growing in size to get a competitive edge. The biggest so far is 24 ounces. Industry leader Red Bull, who made the first energy drink has had rumors thrown around about it for years. One is that the ingredient taurine is made from bull urine. This is not true. Taurine is an amino acid to aid digestion. Another rumor (not true) is Red Bull contains a substance linked to brain tumors. Also, there was no evidence that people in Ireland and Sweden died suddenly because they drank Red Bull. Energy drinks should not be used to quench thirst during exercising. Because of all the sugar, the drinks actually dehydrate you. It should not be mixed with alcohol either, unless it’s manufactured that the way like Anheuser-Busch and Miller are doing with their beers containing caffeine, called energy beers.

Red Bulls and vodka has been mixed in bars for years. These are drinks called a Friday Flattener or a Dirty Pompadour. A study has shown that college students didn’t feel as drunk as they actually were after drinking vodka and Red Bull. Their coordination and reaction time did not match with how drunk they felt. This can be a big cause of accidents, as if alcohol wasn’t a big enough problem. It will also cause more alcohol poisonings. Young people are taking caffeine to stay awake, to get a buzz, or go out drinking with friends and many are ending up in the emergency room. As Dr. Danielle McCarthy of Northwestern University stated “Caffeine is a drug and should be treated with caution, as any drug is.” The bottom line is, drink energy drinks in moderation. They should not be a drink you need to get through the day.

Tanning Has Become an Addiction to Many By Liz Waterbury Reporter

When you think of “addiction,” the first thing that probably comes to mind is a drug/alcohol addiction. However, there is a variety of other things that have become addictions to many people as well, such as weight lifting, shopping, and suprisingly, tanning. The need to be physically attractive is becoming increasingly crucial to both men and women, in hopes of being socially accepted or noticed. Unfortunately, the pursuit of beauty can be very harmful to the body and quite costly, whether it be plastic surgery, or the package-deals at tanning salons. The so-called ‘ideal’ outer appearance consists of a thin, toned, bronzed physique, which leads to the crazed mind-set to meet those standards, eventually leading to Tanorexia, or obsessively addicted to tanning. During the summer months, men and women soak up their hot tan under the natural sunlight. While some sunlight is healthy, being outside basking in the sun is no different than being under the lights of tanning beds. But as the colder seasons approach, that option diminishes. People then turn to the alternative of jumping in a

Buccaneer Bulletin

tanning bed for ten to fifteen fast and easy minutes, in an effort to achieve a “hot bod.” According to statistics provided by the Oprah Winfrey Show, an estimated 28 million Americans go tanning. The more often you continue tanning, the human brain and body become addicted to the UV rays, due to the euphoric feeling, from the endorphins released in the human brain, much like running. This feeling is addictive because it is a natural pain-killer for our bodies, almost creating a natural ‘high’ as well. Even in non-UV beds, tanorexics have reportedly developed withdrawal, very much like narcotic withdrawals when they haven’t gone tanning recently. You may enjoy the result of a darker skin tone, but that is not the only result. It is actually a product of skin cell damage, it ruins the skin cell’s DNA, and that is how people acquire cancer. The UVA and UVB rays emitted from the sun and tanning beds result in skin cancers, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. More than one million diagnoses of skin cancer were reported in 2006, which has been estimated at a 9 percent increase from previous years. The strong addiction to tanning

overcomes the knowledge of potentially-fatal consequences proving that it is a serious psychological habit, with also a small level of chemicals too. The precise reasoning of the chemicals creating this addiction is so far beyond researchers’ knowledge. The psychological addiction has been proven on a recent topic on the Oprah Winfrey Show. A woman has been tanning for 23 consecutive years, five times each week.This woman has been going for such a long time, and had never visited a dermatologist. As a part of being on the show, she was tested for skin cancer. Luckily, she is free of cancer, so far. To think of risks of tanning in more of a logical way, Dr. Oz, also appeared on the show, stating, “Think of the skin like a cup, you fill it up with water, being sunlight. The sun brings you lifesustaining nourishment. It’s your ally. When you fill it too far, it begins to overflow.” Many OHS students share the viewpoint of the woman on Oprah. “I only tan during the summer, because I feel insecure being pale in my bikini,” said sophomore, Maia Czarnecki. Another woman was also on Oprah and was just like many young teens. She labeled herself a “sun

worshipper since a teen.” She visited the beach every chance she could, and loved to burn because she knew she’d receive a nice tan in a few days. Just like Czarnecki, she felt confident and beautiful in her tanned skin. The second woman is now an adult, and has permanent scars on her face from removing melanoma. She stated, “I was just like you. I’m paying the price now. You have to respect yourself enough to stop – and your family, and your friends. I was really lucky, my melanoma didn’t spread. It doesn’t mean that in two years it won’t be everywhere. I have to live with that every single day – just because I wanted a tan, and it’s just not worth it. You do not need to do this to you, yourself. You’re beautiful. You do not need to be tan.” A sun-kissed coloring isn’t impossible to achieve. There have been recent healthy alternatives created for aspiring beauty queens, such as self-tanning lotions, spray-on tans, and bronzing cosmetics. The most important thing to do is try and limit your sun or UVB ray exposure, try other ways to be tan, and most definitely visit a dermatologist to ensure you’re free of any skin cancers.

May 2008


10 Buccaneer Bulletin Oswego High School’s Student Voice Editor-in-Chief Chrissy King Katie DiVita Layout Editor Pat Dougherty Entertainment Editor Sophie Rosenbaum Clublicity Editor Jack Carmody Alumni Editor Morgan McNamara Sports Editor Kathryn Lazarski Business Manager Liz Waterbury Sportswriters Joe Bucher, Ryan Galloway, Kailyn Gray, Brett McClelland Art Director Fred Maxon Art Staff Amanda Donovan Chief Photographer Morganne Atutis Photographers Blair Harvey Caitlin Sawyer Ad Representatives Emily DiFabio, Catie Furletti, Ad Designers Michelle Stepien Senior Writer Kevin Kearns Reporters Dillon Coates, Danielle D’Amico, Kristen Diment, Kaitlyn Scanlon, Kristin Hadley, Christian Scaccia Advisers Bill Reeser Mike McCrobie

The Buccaneer Bulletin, a member of the Empire State School Press Association, and The Quill and Scroll, is published periodically by the students of the Oswego High School, 2 Buccaneer Blvd.; Oswego, New York 13126; (315) 341-2200. It is intended as a vehicle to inform, educate, and entertain the student body. Printing services are provided by The PalladiumTimes. Opinions expressed are those of the students and do not necessarily reflect those of the administration or the advisers.

Buccaneer Bulletin

Drawing Board

cartoon by Jenna Skubis

…To the reopening of the remodeled Cam’s New York Pizzeria. We’re glad Tony’s back! …To the boys’ hockey team for being the number two scholar athlete team in New York State. …To Mr. Jim Graham, who recently raised $250 for Cammeo Lazzaro’s medical expenses. …To the award-winning art students, who recently earned accolades at the Salmon River Fine Arts Center exhibit. The top winners include Sara Rogers, Mark Suchnicki, Matthew Hammond, and Juan Berengier Hidalgo. ...To Mrs. Carrie Patane and the Poetry Club for another successful Slightly Open Mic and Slam Night.

..To all of the people who apparently need parking lessons. The large spaces in between cars on Liberty Street cause students to park blocks away. …To the alleged school shooting rumors that went through the school like wildfire last month. The school was in a frenzy over a couple a posters about the second amendment. …To the random 12:15 bell. It constantly interrupts classes and is always a good laugh for students in the middle of seventh period.

May 2008

Editorial OHS Needs The Paradox, Buc Bulletin; Proposal to Cut Publications Courses is Foolish

As stated at the April 8, 2008 board meeting, the headlines, layout, design and photography) early Oswego High School faces the loss of six of its fac- in the semester. They teach us these skills that ulty or staff members; an English teacher, a library will stay with us throughout the production media specialist, a library clerk, and a technology process all year, and long after we graduate. position, in addition to one and a half hall monitors These marketable skills also cover leadership and (part time) and half of a social studies position. We teamwork. In this competitive world, the skills feel as though each of these cuts would be severely learned here give students a much-needed edge. detrimental to the educational process, as each of Our teachers lay down a foundation in journalthese positions is a necessity in a high school setting. ism education so strong that mistakes are minimized. At the April 10 public forum, it was made known When/if someone does make an error, the student is that the loss of half of a social studies teacher would never chastised in extremis, but rather directed to result in the loss of the Holoother projects. Other caust class, as well as Crimischools just tell their nal Justice, Psychology, Soci- We feel as though this move students to “Go,” ology and classes. would be the death knell to and unleash them We feel that these classes these publications as we know on programs like give important insights into Adobe InDesign, a human nature and provide them. program that while students with a stepping stone one of the best in into their prospective careers. As of our deadline, the field, is rife with bugs and oddities that require most English electives have been lost due to the re- skill to overcome. With these projected cuts, this duction of the English staff by one teacher. Classes fundamental knowledge would not be covered, like poetry and short fiction provide students with an and thus, the product that we take pride in above outlet not only for their creativity, but also for emo- all else would be substandard. After-school sestions and stress. We see any positive outlet for emo- sions would have to be every day in the fall in tion as something wholly necessary to our school. order to receive the same amount of education With the loss of a technology teacher, discussed we currently get. That would add an exhausting at the April 22 meeting, the staffs of The Paradox chunk of time to our already jam-packed days. and The Buccaneer Bulletin will be directly afStaff members are basketball players and softfected, as both publications are slated to be moved ball athletes; dancers and musicians; bag boys and from an in-class setting to an after school, club-like food servers. We volunteer for events for Key Club setting. We feel as though this move would be the and NHS, and numerous other events that have a death knell to these publications as we know them. positive impact on our community. There are not The Buccaneer Bulletin and The Paradox have deep enough hours after school to be a star athlete, a valroots dating back almost as far as OHS itself, and ued member of a society, a part-time employee and to move these programs to an after-school setting a member of Oswego High School’s student voice. would destroy the programs, and, in turn, would In times like these, choices will have to be put an end to the individual journalism accom- made, and we recognize that without being told so plishments Oswego students have become known by a board member. In this time of cuts and rumors, for. Our reputation, as a school that produces top the thing that the students need, above everything publications and publications’ students is at risk. else, is a voice. For years, The Buccaneer Bulletin We owe this good reputation to the coursework. has been that voice, and we hope to continue to Our journalism advisers have designed be an advocate for the students for years to come. classes that teach journalism theory (writing,

Letters to the Editor

Disperse the Hallway Crowds

Why is it that people have to make a big crowd around fist fights. It’s so ridiculous that you can’t get around. What if you don’t care about the fight and want to get to class on time? I think being on time to class is more important than watching people beat each other up. This is high school not elementary school. Jackilynn Hart Class of 2010

Typing Course Needed at OHS

Will you work on the yearbook or journalism staff if it’s only an afterschool activity next year? Amanda D’Amico “No, I play varsity sports in the fall and in the spring and if yearbook is after school, I won’t have enough time to be dedicated to its production.” Class of 2010

Christian Scaccia “If journalism is after school next year I will not be able to participate due to having other extracurricular activities.” Class of 2009

Brett McClelland “No, I wouldn’t be able to partake in journalism if this is the case; I have way too many sports and other activities after school.” Class of 2009

When I made my schedule for my Junior year of high school, I thought it would be cool if they taught a typing class. The class would teach how to type the “proper” way. If the typing course was available I would be interested in taking it. I think it will help people type faster and be more accurate. It will also help people get work done Anonymous Class of 2010

It is the policy of The Buccaneer Bulletin that letters-to-the-editor be signed. We may, however, withhold the name if the writer requests. We ask that matters of good taste be kept in mind. Letters may be edited for length or content. They may be sent to or given to any member of The Buccaneer Bulletin staff.

Buccaneer Bulletin


Maia Czarnecki “No, I par ticipate in sports and I wouldn’t have enough time to participate in both; yearbook takes a lot of time and dedication to be successful.” Class of 2010

May 2007



Budget Cuts Force Students to Re-work Schedules Continued from Page 4

appear to be won, but that’s not exactly true. The cuts of an English, social studies, and technology teacher will decrease the number of electives students have to choose from next year. Mr. Warren Shaw, the Team Leader of the Technology Department at OHS stated, “There will be more kids in study halls... without electives there won’t be enough choices.” He also foresees a loss of interest in some classes. “Students seem to perceive core class as requirements to simply pass.” Most students get most of their enjoyment from the hands-on courses that they choose themselves. The cut of one technology position at OHS will hurt many students. Many technology courses will have to be offered on a rotating yearly basis, whereas some classes will have to be eliminated completely. Amongst the classes on the chopping block are wood working, transportation, civil engineering and build-your-own-business. Shaw has spoken about how technology classes offer a hands-on approach for students, and many enter fields related to the courses they take. “Kids choose their careers from their electives.” Cutting these courses at the high school will be a letdown to incoming students. He said, “At Oswego Middle School, they do a good job exciting the kids about technology, but they get to high school and the classes aren’t there.” Programs like Project Lead the Way will lose momentum due to the cut, potentially discouraging students away from the field of engineering. Due to the cut of one English teacher, most English electives will be eliminated. This means that poetry, drama, short fiction, and speech communications will no longer be offered. It was discussed that Journalism and Yearbook might be offered only as after school activities. Mrs. Carrie Patane, an OHS English teacher who taught the poetry elective stated, “Courses like these grant students vast opportunities that they would not have otherwise known existed.” OHS has been a deemed a “School in Need of Improvement” by the state of New York due to low scores on ELA and Math exams. Cutting English electives seems counter-productive. The elimination of a social studies position will also bring about a decrease in course offerings. Criminal justice,

Buccaneer Bulletin

Sociology, anthropology, Holocaust and the half-year psychology course will not be offered starting next fall. Mrs. Nancy Richardson, a global studies teacher and creator of the Holocaust course is disappointed by the cuts. “I created the Holocaust course, but can’t teach it anymore. There just wasn’t enough time to teach about the Holocaust i n global st ud ie s (the elective course) was an opportunity to teach photo by morganne atutis justice and tolerance.” The social Elective cuts may result in the need to reinstate the overcrowded cafeteria study hall. studies electives 1 Literacy Coach at OMS the students who use art as an outlet. at OHS were a 1 AIS Math Teacher at OMS “It’s a time for more shy kids to express way for students to display a well1 Instructional Coach at OHS inner conflict that wouldn’t come out rounded transcript. Richardson stated, 1 Director of AIS/Management otherwise.” “We won’t look as good on paper.” 1 Literacy Teacher With this current budget proposal, The removal of three hall monitors 1 AIS Math Teacher at Minneto the estimated tax increase will be 8.71 from the 2008-2009 budget at the high and Kingsford Elementary Schools percent. While this may seem like a school should not be cause of worry. (part time) steep increase, it only entails paying an OHS will now have a full-time secuAt the April 8 Board of Education extra $1.66 for every assessed thousand rity officer. Myles stated, “We have an Meeting, Mrs. Susan Swindells, a gendollar value of a home. This may not be individual here all day. I think we can eral music teacher at Leighton Elemenpossible for every resident in Oswego still maintain a safe environment with tary School spoke about how the loss of to absorb. Colucci stated, “We have to a full-time security official.” music teachers would affect the district. make sure that it fits into the budgets of Oswego Middle School and the five Programs like Leighton’s Festival of the the families we serve.” For a home aselementary schools in the district will suffer cuts that may not be felt until Arts, and the musicals put on by several sesed at seventy thousand dollars with of the elementary schools may become a STAR deduction, the increase will be those students reach high school. On the elementary level the OCSD things of the past. Developing interest roughly $73.80 increase per year, about in the arts in a young age is vital to suc- six dollars a month. Myles wonders if is losing: cess in teenage years, and on through homeowners will pay extra, even if will 2 Art Teachers adulthood. not directly affect them. He stated, “We 6 Classroom Teachers Mrs. Cheryl Rogers, an orchestra have to convince the elderly on fixed 1 Elementary Counselor teacher at OHS stated, “It’s like were are incomes, and those without children to 2 General Music Teachers talking about it being Jenga. You pull support the tax increase.” 1 Physical Education Teacher the bottom out and you are losing the Whether or not this particular bud2 Reading Teachers foundation of the school program.” get is passed, cuts will still have to be 2 Librarians While many question what effect made, and a tax increase is inevitable. Oswego Middle School will be cutting these courses will have on future Thanks to the Oswego community, losing: careers and college choices, Ms. Billie many wonderful programs will remain 1 Clerical Position Jo Peterson, an art teacher at OHS has in the OCSD--at least for now. 1 Foreign Language Teacher something else on her mind regarding Editor’s Note: Facts for this story 1 Special Education Teacher the cuts of art on the elementary level. were as of mid-April. Some figAdditions to the budget include: “When are the students going to have 1 Social Worker at OHS the chance to be creative...use the other ures and details may have changed 1 Social Worker at OMS sides of their brains?” She also fears for since our deadlines.

May 2008



Movie Shows Why the U.S. is No Longer #1 Film looks at education in the three superpowers of the 21st century. Morgan McNamara


From the time you step foot into high school, your time starts ticking. You have exactly two million minutes to build your intellectual foundation before high school graduation, two million minutes to prepare for college (and ultimately your career) and two million minutes to transform from a teenager to an adult. How students spend their free time is primarily the most important ingredient to their success in the future. The documentary Film Two Million Minutes takes an inside look on education of the three superpowers of the 21st century--China, India and the United States. The goal of the film is to show the broader story of the universal importance of education today and address what many people are calling a crisis in U.S. schools. Though America has always been known for many bright individuals and technol-

Buccaneer Bulletin

ogy advances, many experts are begin- experts who are very compelling, and Gerald Bracey. “India still has an ilning to believe that America is taking you also see with your own eyes what’s literacy rate of over one-third, so it’s a backseat to its global competitors. happening in our classrooms and probably easy to convince these kids “You just want to shake America and homes and in other countries,” stated that they are among the lucky ones.” say, ‘Wake up. We are falling behind Sue Reynolds, executive director of the The clear message of the film was daily,’” says Robert Compton, the American Student Achievement Insti- to make people afraid and for Ameribrainchild of Two Million Minutes. tute, in an interview with USA Today. can students to realize their competiThe documentary finds plenty of While some people are troubled tion and to work harder. Some critics things to be worried about: not enough about how the American schools are are finding that even if the contrast study or homework time, not enough portrayed in the film, many people between the US students and foreign parental pressure, students is comnot enough focus the eco“You just want to shake America and say, ‘Wake pelling, on math or enginomic developneering. American up. We are falling behind daily.’ ” ment is not a zeteens, it argues, are Robert Compton ro-sum game. If preoccupied with The brainchild of Two Million Minutes China and India sports, after-school succeed, it’s not activities and leiat our expense. sure. The film repeatedly contrasts said that it’s not exactly true, and the So the question still remains: are foreign students with what seems like experts are not looking at the whole American students spending too much “American cluelessness.” The docu- picture. A few educators called it an time watching Grey’s Anatomy and mentary is very controversial and has unfair attack that leaves the impres- not focusing on schoolwork, while been an eye-opener for some, yet has sion that most U.S. kids don’t work as their competitors are hard at work, put others in an uproar. Compton says hard as peers elsewhere; a few critics diligently improving their intellectual the film was a surprise hit among high say the Chinese and the Indian high foundation? As of now, the controschool teachers, who see it as a clear achievers in the film do not reflect versy is still in debate. No matter message for students to work harder. their nations as a whole. “Only 40 where you stand on this topic, Two “The film is very compelling because percent of Chinese kids get past ninth Million Minutes might open your eyes you’ve got the data, you’ve got the grade,” says education researcher and educate you about this hot topic.

May 2008



The Cell Phone Revolution Goes High Tech By Liz Waterbury Reporter

Most people would agree that every time you turn on the television, you’re lured to the newest, sleekest cell phone from every cellular telephone provider. The competition for cellular telephone technology becomes increasingly more complex, almost daily. Among the newest and most exciting devices are “smartphones.” Smartphones behold the name due to their extravagant features, such as fast internet connection (some now including Wi-Fi), 2-3 mega pixel cameras with flash, Bluetooth, etc. They carry almost every feature a PC does. Lately, the new competition is based between the Blackberry’s Research In Motion internet server, the Apple iPhone’s Safari Web Browser, and among many phones, Windows Mobile. In hopes of overtaking the iPhone, Windows Mobile has reported to be upgrading from Windows Mobile 5, to the addition of many things such as upgrading to Windows Mobile Web Browser, with the ability to view the entire web page, as well as copy and paste text. This will be Windows Mobile 6.1. Smartphones catch the eye of consumers, since they do so much more than make phone calls and text messages. According to Scott Rockfeld, product manager for Microsoft’s mobile group, in 2007, Microsoft sold 14.3 million licenses to cellular phone

Buccaneer Bulletin

manufacturers, which is twice as many as 2005. In an interview with NBC, Robbie Bach, president of the corporation says he expects to see about a 100 percent growth from now until 2009. So which phone is the best buy? For the longest time, Research In Motion’s Blackberry has been the top competitor. Now, the iPhone is gradually outrunning them with its extensive features. This past year, the iPhone blew everyone away by, raising the bar of expectations for RIM’s Blackberry and Windows Mobile. Users have reported positives and negatives about the iPhone. “Well I definitely enjoy it. I can text faster and also use the internet at my own will. It’s a very user friendly phone with a lot to offer to an adult or a teenager,” said OHS senior Parker Farley regarding the iPhone. Many cell-phone manufacturers caught on and began producing phones much like the iPhone. Verizon’s Voyager, features touch screen accessibility, as well as a full QWERTY keyboard. Windows Mobile collaborated with Sprint Nextel Corporation to construct the ‘Touch.’ However, it failed in comparison to Apple’s iPhone, while the touch-screen was most user-friendly using a stylus, rather than your fingers. Within the first day and a half, that Apple released the iPhone with wireless company AT&T, they sold 270,000 units. In comparison, RIM sold

1,030,000 Blackberries in just 90 days. Considering the race among each competitor, it would seem natural for RIM to come out with something even better, right? Right. By later this year, the Canadian company is planning to upgrade the traditional full keyboard, to a touchscreen device, the Blackberry 9000. “The 9000 is supposed to be a touchscreen device, very similar in form factor to the iPhone, which means that it is not an enterprisef r ie n d ly d e v ic e ,” stated Carmi Levy of AR Communications in an interview with Unstrung. The device will even include an expansion of multimedia capabilities. For those against the savvy touchscreen phones, RIM will proceed in production of the original model, upgrading to the Blackberry 8830 World Edition smartphone. According to Blackberry, it’s the first CDMA Blackberry smartphone with capability of roaming globally, along with complete mobile voice and date coverage. Windows Mobile, in an attempt to follow close behind Apple and RIM, is featuring Microsoft Office on each telephone, providing Microsoft Word, Pub-

lisher, and PowerPoint. With a successful background of PC’s, the company reports to NBC that it is crucial for their company to be a player in the realm of wireless, considering that productivity may soon run PC’s out of style. Arguably, Windows Mobile 6.1 should have a very effective stance in the competition. Bach says, “ R ig ht now, we’re competing with Apple and others quite well. This year, about 20 million devices will be ship with our Windows Mobile operating system. That puts us ahead of R I M ’s Blackber r y.” Howeve r, the matter of which phone is more efficient is based completely on personal choice and opinion. Each phone features items that may rise above the other, while they are becoming very much alike in many ways as well. Everyday the companies brainstorm new ways to draw people towards their product…a handheld PC!? And we thought the creation of notebook computers was an era of greatness, what’s next?

May 2008



Athletes in Conflict over School, Club Sports In-Step Michelle Stepien Young teens in their high school years often commit their time to multiple sports. This creates conflicts among activities and usually ends in letting one team or another down. Being active is a positive factor in a young teen’s life, but how much activity is too much? The overbooking of sports is not only caused by being involved in several activities, but also coaches contribute to this conflict by the amount of dedication they expect from their players. A major conflict that teen athletes have to deal with is choosing between community sports and school sports. Many community sports tend to carry on for the majority of the year, having several practices with a game to two a week. Likewise, many teams participate in weekend tournaments or competitions. On a daily basis, a schedule such as this would not be a hard task to accomplish, but add a school sport to that, and there’s your conflict. A lot of players have to make a choice between which practices, games, or activities to attend, causing an athlete to become stressed over the decision. How is a kid to judge which is more important? Adding to this stress are the coaches sometimes demanding dedication to their specific teams. Many school coaches stress that during the season of a school sport, players should dedicate their time to that sport above any community sports. The Oswego boys’ hockey coach, Mr. Mark Fierro feels this way, saying “During the hockey season, we expect that hockey is their number one priority as far as sports go.” High school teams have to hold tryouts which end in cuts, so this is one reason why coaches may be so demanding. A player who gets cut may have wanted to be on that team even more than the players who were fortunate enough to make it. Sometimes coaches are challenged with an athlete on the team who quits halfway through the season due to playing on other sports teams. This is why coaches demand dedication, from those who truly want to be there. Fierro stated, “Getting 50 or 60 kids trying out for the team, we have a lot of kids who don’t make it who would love the opportunity to play, so we are not going to allow a kid to go play a club team. Ultimately, high school sports get first priority.” They feel that it is unfair for an athlete who was able to make the team toquit halfway through and take the spot of an athlete who could have stuck it out for the whole season. Athletes often cut down the number of activities they participate in, purely based on the fact that they do not have enough hours in a week to be in multiple sports, clubs, and extracurricular activities. This causes athletes to quit teams they’d love to

Buccaneer Bulletin

be a part of because they are unable to commit the Coaches are equally torn by this dilemma. appropriate amount of time to each team. Senior Mr. Mike McCrobie, varsity softball coach, has athlete Lindsay Usherwood commented on the strong opinions on the topic. “There just aren’t fact that she did, in fact, have to give up a sport to enough athletes to go around in a school our size. allow more time for another team, which to her, Our school teams have to compete with CNS and was her number one sport. Usherwood commented, Liverpool who graduate a significantly larger “Yeah, I wish I number of students, and we could’ve made get fifteen to try out Athletes often cut down the number can’t it work, but it for varsity softball because of activities they participate in... of commitments to club, was just too much.” To her, travel, and AAU teams. The eliminating a problem is compounded by sport was the only logical solution. the fact that volleyball, hockey, and basketball are Another student athlete, Cari Reed, also sports that are now year-round, whereas softball, commented, “In middle school, I gave up softball because we live in the northeast, is played in a very because AAU basketball kept me pretty busy in the small time frame outdoors.” spring and started early.” With all the conflicts between sports, many These student-athletes have proven the fact that feel that participating in multiple sports is indeed many times, athletes must give up something to a healthy thing for young kids. Not only does it decrease the number of conflicts between two (or keep kids active, but it allows kids to interact with more) sports or activities. School coaches ask their multiple coaches and other athletes. Most feel players to put the school team first. Travel coaches that kids should participate in multiple sports. As ask some players to put the travel or club team first. Usherwood stated, “I think unless you’re serious So how is an athlete to choose which practice or about going to college for one sport, (you should) game to attend? Reed commented, “I think school play a variety of sports. It’s more fun and each helps sports are important, even though I have prior out the other in ways.” commitments to my AAU team. I would draw a line Even with all the conflicts, finding time at a certain point if my school team needed me.” for multiple sports is something to consider. As Many athletes base their decisions on which Liz Conway stated, “It is important for kids to team may have needed them more or the importance participate in several sports because it teaches you of a game or practice. This is how most athletes to work with several people, manage your time, and would choose one team over the other if burdened it keeps you in shape.” with the choice.

Where Did the Off-season Go? A Lot of Gall Danielle D’Amico No off-season anymore--the pros and cons of the year-round commitment to sports. What players and coaches have to say and the toll it takes on their bodies. Some of the pros of playing one sport all year round are that the athletes are constantly in the best physical condition. They are performing at the highest level because it becomes second nature. Playing a sport all year round also helps an athlete to be more confident and to really know the game that he/she is participating in. Some cons of playing one sport all year round are that it doesn’t really give an athlete a chance to play different sports, which I believe is important at the high school level. You don’t always know what sport you love the most and I don’t think that you should have to choose until you reach the college

level. It also puts a lot of strain on the same muscles that are being used everyday when playing one sport all year round. It is important to develop and strengthen your other muscles as well. This can be difficult to do when you are playing only one sport all year. Varsity softball player Laura Miceli, thought about playing one sport all year round. “I play softball and that’s the only sport I play all year, but it’s not just for the spring season. It’s a big commitment, and it takes up a lot of my time. When I am not playing it during the spring and summer, I am training for it during the other months of the year. It takes up a lot of my time so it makes it really hard for me to participate in other sports,” Miceli stated. OHS varsity boys’ basketball coach Warren Shaw commented, “Playing one sport all year round helps to improve the players’ skills. Nowadays athletes almost have to stick with one or two sports all year round to keep up with the competition. Summer is where it is the most difficult because all coaches are competing for the athletes’ time.”

May 2008

Walking The Plank


Veteran Coach Humbled by Dedication of Track By Kat Lazarski


Editor’s Note: On Friday, May 2 at 4:30 pm, the track and field complex at the Oswego Middle School was officially dedicated as the Erwin “Jeep” Dewey Track. We sat down with the longest-tenured Oswego High School coach and asked him about his career, his family, and his latest honor.

BB: How do you feel about the track being named after you? ED: I think it’s a great honor. I think it’s not only a great honor for me, but a great honor for all of the kids that came through the program, too, and the assistant coaches I’ve had. It’s a longevity thing, and I’m very proud that they’re naming it after me.

Sports Editor

Buccaneer Bulletin: What’s your full name? Erwin Dewey: Erwin Dewey BB: How long have you been coaching in Oswego? ED: 46 years BB: What sports teams have you coached in Oswego? ED: I’ve coached football, basketball, and track…freshman, jayvee, and varsity…all levels. BB: What sport have you been coaching the longest? ED: Track BB: How long have you been coaching track? ED: 46 years BB: What’s your favorite moment during your career? ED: I don’t think I have any really special moment. I just enjoy watching the kids improve and I like to see my kids get up on the podium at the state meet, getting their medals. I didn’t remember all of the highlights. I mean, we’ve had many, many athletes go on and win medals down at states and finish in the top almost every year. BB: How did you get the nickname “Jeep?” ED: I’ve had it for all of my life. BB: What’s your overall record? ED: I don’t know…more wins than losses, though. BB: How many holes of golf do you usually play in a day? ED: Now that I’m getting older 18, maybe 27 on some days, but that doesn’t start until track season is

Buccaneer Bulletin

BB: Did you ever think something would be named after you? ED: No, I still enjoy coaching and I still enjoy coming here at two o’clock and meeting with my teams. I hope I can do it longer. BB: How do you think Oswego athletics can improve? ED: I think the only way Oswego athletics will get better is if we had more participation among the students. I think a lot of students just sit back and don’t come out for sports, and it’s something that we’ve got to find the answer to. We usually have a number of kids out here and we’ve had good teams in the past, but track is like any other individual sport-it’s hard. If you go out for basketball or football or something else you at least get to scrimmage. Here, you tell the kids nine miles is your workout for the day and a lot of kids don’t want to do that kind of stuff. (It’s like swim team), you go in the pool, and you just swim and swim and swim; it’s boring. So, I really think that kids have got to want to do it to excel here. BB: What do you like more, mowing your lawn or playing golf? ED: Well I take pride in what my lawn looks like. You’d be surprised how many people stop me and ask me how I do it. But it’s work just like anything else, you’ve got to stick with it all the time. But I like golf…golf takes longer, but I usually put some time in everyday during the summer doing yard work. BB: If you could eat dinner with three people, dead or alive, who would it be? ED: Jim Beoheim, he’d be number one because he’s one of my heroes.

Photo by Morganne Atutis

Coach Dewey oversees a track meet--like he has for the past 46 years.

Then Doug Campbell and Tony DeRose, they’re my best friends.

BB: Who were the top five OHS athletes that you coached? ED: The top five? I’d hate to name five and leave somebody out that was really a tremendous athlete. In 46 years you have a lot of them, and I think you can almost look at the list on the board and see who holds the records. BB: What do you like to do in your free time? ED: It’s a funny thing, when I retired from teaching and just coached I thought I’d have a lot of free time, but I don’t. I think that’s the only way to go when you retire, have something to do and keep busy. But you name it: I play golf, I work in the yard, I go to all my granddaughter’s games. I’m pretty busy. BB: What’s your favorite color? ED: It’s got to be Buc blue. BB: Do you have any plans for retirement in the future? ED: I just hope the district will keep hiring me. I don’t know what I’d do (without coaching). This is my life, I enjoy being a coach. I really enjoy

working with the kids.

BB: What’s your favorite movie? ED: Pretty Woman, It’s a great movie. I love the way it’s put together. I could watch that every night of the week it’s so good. BB: What’s your favorite snack on the bus for away meets? ED: Well, a diet Pepsi is one of them, but being a diabetic I have to watch what I eat, so I don’t bring snacks on the bus. BB: Have you ever coached any of your kids? ED: Yes, I’ve coached my son Kevin for football. BB: Was it hard coaching him? ED: Yeah, it was because I’m always wrong. My wife always takes his side in things. But (seriously), it was good. I enjoyed coaching Kevin. BB: Do you think you’ll coach one of your grandchildren? ED: I don’t know. I’m not going to say that it can’t happen. I know when I’m at the soccer games, I get into it when my granddaughter is playing.

May 2008



Boys Lax Rebuilds After Losing 19 Seniors By Christian Scaccia

Nelson believes that in a year or two, his team will be just as good, or better, than his previous teams. Last year’s team not only had a large number of graduates, but they also had a wealth of talent. Almost all 19 seniors contributed to different areas of the game. Whether it was through physical play or leadership skills, the success of last year’s team

players. Whether it’s Brett McClelland racking up the goals or Ted Croucher doing all the dirty work, Most large athletic teams that are composed of the Buccaneers are certainly “still in the game.” over 25 athletes, typically have a decent number of When a team loses so many upperclassmen, returnees for their next season. One OHS team lost they will be forced to bring up a large number of 19 players to graduation, leaving only 9 players beunderclassmen to complete the roster. Most of the hind for this season--the boys varsity lacrosse team. underclassmen had not yet experienced a varsity level The lax team lost season, so it took a 19 seniors last year, 12 After last season, with so many players moving on to college, while for them to of whom are now playgain experience. “At ing college lacrosse. many of their fans moved on with them. Coach Nelson would like any given time, we’re As much of a deficit to encourage more fans to come out and support the team just as basically a JV team as this may seem to out there. Everyone be, they started their last year’s fans did is just getting used season off fairly well. to each other,” said Most teams would take an entire season or two would not have been exactly the same had there been Nelson. “We don’t have the firepower we used to.” to recover from a loss like this, but they have done a single player missing. Losing core players in areas Although this year’s team is somewhat young, hours of pre-season work and late-night practices like leadership and physical play gives other players they are a group of athletes who are dedicated that have certainly paid off thus far. The few return- the opportunity to step up and take control. After enough to the game to want to strive for success. ing players have stepped their games up this year, losing last year’s goalie, Bay Stoker, Brian Buske has Things are finally starting to mesh for the young knowing that they have big shoes to fill from the stepped in and kept Oswego’s goalkeeping standards Buccaneers, but one thing is still missing. After last previous year. “Our returning 9 played a lot last high. “Brian Buske, who is our current goalie, is a season, with so many players moving on to college, year; we’ve got a solid base,” said head coach Mr. pleasant surprise. He has made a big improvement,” many of their fans moved on with them. Coach Doc Nelson. “Joe Farella only played half the season said Nelson. Buske, along with the rest of the team, Nelson would like to encourage more fans to come last year and this year, he’s started very strong.” has already begun to fill in the roles of the last year’s out and support the team just as last year’s fans did.


Softball Captain is the Athlete of the Month Deming is hoping to lead the tough Central New York Counties League in stolen bases By Joe Bucher Reporter

Lexi Deming, co-captain of the varsity softball team opened the senior season of her career with a stellar 4-4 outing, driving in six runs, scoring two herself and stealing four bases. Deming is a three-year varsity soccer player as well as a four-year varsity softball player; she has been playing for 13 years. As a four-year varsity player Deming, has been a member of the scholar athlete team all four years, she made first team all league as a sophomore and second team all league as a junior. She has rarely missed an inning. Now just past the midway

Buccaneer Bulletin

point of her final year, she’s enjoying her most successful season yet. Mr. Mike McCrobie, veteran head coach of the team, attributes a lot of her success and improvement this season to the weight room. Deming put in a lot of work this off-season trying to step up her game. What was her motivation? “Losing Abby Martin last year made me realize that someone had to step up and I just wanted to be one of those people,” she said. This season, Deming is hoping to lead the tough Central New York Counties League in stolen bases and as a lead-off hitter is hoping to improve her on base percentage as well. She wants the whole team to step up and improve its team batting average of the past two years. Coach McCrobie feels that Lexi sets a good example on and off the field. “She pays attention to detail so not only is she able to tackle the large obstacles she has to face, but she does all of the little things well too,” he said. Next year Deming plans to attend SUNY Cortland, but is undecided on whether or not she will be playing softball. She is also undecided about what she plans to study. McCrobie

photo by morganne atutis

Lexi Deming rounds second base in recent OHS varsity softball action.

feels Deming can continue her softball career at the next level. “Lexi can definitely play division three softball. Cortland has a super pro-

gram, so she’ll have to walk on, but I think there’s a spot on any SUNYAC roster for a player with her ability.”

May 2008



A Tribute to Brett Favre--the Face of the NFL By Ryan Galloway

considering the physical toll on an NFL downs and leading the Packers to a 41-7 led the Packers to a 12-3 regular-season Early last month, the sports world quarterback’s body. victory. “I don’t know what it was, but record, NFC North championship, and lost a true icon. Brett Favre, a 17 year vetFavre became a household name there was something going on that night. NFC championship game berth. Tom eran of the NFL, suddenly and surpris- during the 1996 season. During the pre- I told him before the game to just let it go, Brady received 49 of the 50 MVP votes; ingly retired from the league. In a league vious season, Favre won his first NFL I was catching anything he tossed up that the only other player to receive a vote was where helmets are worn and players are MVP award. He was gaining popular- night,” said star receiver Donald Driver Favre. In the second game of the season, recognized more by the numbers on their ity, and to cap it off, he and the Packers the records started falling. backs than their actual faces, Favre was won the Super Bowl, defeating the New In a game in week 2 the face of the league. England Patriots, 35-21. against eventual Super Bowl Playing in a high school that ran the Prior to the 1996 Super Bowl, Favre champion New York Giants, ball 99 percent of the time, Favre received came public with his addiction to painFavre broke John Elway’s rea full scholarship to the University of killers. After his car accident, he had cord for most wins by a startSouthern Mississippi. After a car crash them prescribed to him, and after a series ing quarterback with 149. nearly ended not only his career, but of serious injuries, he became dependent Two weeks later, he broke his life as well, Favre started to become on them and entered a rehab program his most significant record a household name. Leading his team to cure himself. He was successful and of the season, Dan Marino’s to game-winning drives at the end of never took another pill. touchdown pass record. In games, and taking a mediocre football In 1997, Favre once again won the the first quarter against the team into the national spotlight, Favre NFL MVP Award, giving him an NFL Vikings, Favre connected was a growing phenomenon. record three, and the Packers once again with receiver Greg Jennings Drafted by the Atlanta Falcons 33rd won the NFC championship. However, for his 421st career touchoverall in 1991, the Falcons owner did not this time they were defeated by the Dendown pass. approve of the decision. Favre’s only pass ver Broncos and Hall of Fame quarterLater in the season, when of his first season was an interception back John Elway. Favre had an excellent the Packers beat Kansas City, returned for a touchdown; things looked game in the loss, throwing for almost 300 Favre became only the third bleak. Finally, prior to the 1992 season, yards and three touchdowns. quarterback to defeat all 32 the Green Bay Packers and Atlanta FalIn the years following the two Super other NFL teams. Favre also cons agreed on a trade to send Favre to Bowls, Favre led the Packers to another broke Dan Marino’s record Green Bay. NFL record, 13 consecutive winning for most three-touchdown Photo courtesy google images During the physical with the Pack- seasons. The streak ended in 2005 when games with 63. He also broke ers, Favre was diagnosed with avascular the Packers finished the season with a Brett Favre’s enthusiasm helped make him Marino’s record for all-time necrosis, the same disease the ended Bo 4-12 record. Favre would never get back one of the most popular players in NFL passing yards with 61,655. He Jackson’s career. Doctors recommended to the Super Bowl, but he did accomplish history. broke the record for passing that he fail the physical, but Packers man- a few amazing feats since 1997. completions and attempts in ager Ron Wolf overruled them and Favre In what many describe as the most after the game. a career. After the season was over, Favre officially became a Packer. emotional sports game one player has “I didn’t expect this kind of perfor- held just about every significant quarFavre was backing up quarterback ever played, in 2003 Favre had the mance, but I knew my dad was watch- terback record. Favre was also named Don Majikowski in his first year in Green country on the edge of its seat during a ing,” stated Favre on his heart-warming the 2007 Sports Illustrated Sportsman Bay when the starter was injured in the Monday night game in Oakland. On Sun- performance. Favre would win an ESPY of the Year. second game against the Tampa Bay day, December 21, 2003, Favre’s father, award for best game later in the year. After the Packers lost to the Giants Buccaneers. Enter Favre, whose first pass Irving, sustained a heart attack while More heartache followed for the in the NFC title game, most experts were was deflected and caught by him for a driving and crashed into a ditch and was Packers quarterback in the following convinced Favre would return for his loss of 7 yards. years. In 2004, his cousin was 18th season, but he surprisingly retired Favre then had “In a league where helmets are worn killed in an all-terrain vehicle a few weeks ago, ending his storied and his first ever accident. Later that month, his Hall of Fame NFL career. game-winning and players are recognized more by the wife Deanna was diagnosed with He became the player that all the drive in the numbers on their backs than their actual breast cancer. Finally, in 2005, average fans could relate to. From his NFL when he home was destroyed by survival of a serious car accident, to his faces, Favre was the face of the league.” Favre’s threw the winHurricane Katrina. Favre contin- addiction to painkillers, to the heartning touchued to play through it all. ache of his father dying and wife being dow n pa ss After injury hampered the diagnosed with breast cancer, he was a giving the Packers a 23-17 win. killed. The very next day, Favre decided Packers’ 2005 season, Favre elected to normal person playing in a super-human Favre started the next game against to make the trip to Oakland and play. return for the 2006 season where the game. the Steelers, beginning the NFL record John Madden recalled the event saying, Packers doubled their win total from the He always had the boyish charm that streak of starts for a quarterback. When “No one expected much. If he had a bad previous year. was never more evident than during the Favre retired, the number stood at 275 game, everyone would understand. If he Retirement rumors started to spread divisional playoffs this year against Seatconsecutive starts including the playoffs. had a good game he would be a hero, but again, but Favre shot them down when he tle, when after Favre threw a touchdown (Peyton Manning sits in second place no one expected what happened.” once again elected to play in 2007. to Donald Driver, he celebrated by havwith 160.) Many argue that this record is Favre played on pure emotion, At 39 years of age, 2007 became ing a snowball fight on the sidelines. the greatest single record in the sports, throwing for 399 yards and four touch- Favre’s best statistical season ever. He


Buccaneer Bulletin

May 2008



Scoreboard for Softball Nearly a Reality By Brett McClelland Reporter

If you have ever been a spectator at a Lady Buc softball game, you have probably noticed that it’s hard to keep track of the score, outs, or even the inning. If the fans, local businesses, coach, and parents get their way, soon this will be no worry because there could be a scoreboard in place by next season. Many people who attended games in the past years have always wondered, why at such a nice facility, there was no scoreboard while almost every other school had one. Dedicated fans, Francis “Butch” Gallagher and his wife Joan came up with the idea for a scoreboard at the varsity field. They approached Coach Mike McCrobie with the idea of a new scoreboard before a sectional playoff game last year. McCrobie said that due to the cost, without fundraising the team could not afford it. To afford the scoreboard, the team and community would have to raise nearly $5,000. Generous donations from local businesses, individuals, and softball alumni have accumulated around $3,000 and the team has raised $1,700 themselves. The Gallaghers could not believe the support and donations the community gave. “These people are asked for donations every week,” Joan Gallagher (OHS Class of 1955) said. “Oswego is a small town, but the people have really come through. Everybody’s been wonderful. I’m so happy about it.” The scoreboard will be located along the right field line, which can be seen by the fans sitting down both baselines. With a beautiful field, great dugouts, the new scoreboard will be icing on the cake to a five-year upgrade of the softball field.

Courtesy of Bill Foley

Dave and Maria Johnson of C’s Farms present a check for $1,000 for the scoreboard fund to Joan Gallagher, Emily Oleyourryk and Lexi Deming.

Concussion Testing Program to be Implemented in Oswego Athletic Dept. By Kevin Kearns Senior Writer

As a result of a recent decision by Oswego athletic director Scott Sugar, next fall, all Oswego athletic teams will be required to participate in a program which will determine an athlete’s mental baseline in order to help decide when he/she is healthy enough to return to play after suffering a concussion. “At the moment, when someone gets a concussion, our athletic trainer, Michelle Wink, would see the player and then the athlete would see a doctor in order to determine when it would be right to return to competition…” said Sugar. “The problem with this is that some doctors may not be trained in the areas of concussion recognition as well as we would believe they would be.” According to Sugar, next fall, after an athlete suffers a concussion, along with the advice of a doctor, he/she will be required to have a mental baseline near the baseline of their pre-concussion state. The program tests an athlete’s memory, verbal skills, memory visual skills, visual-motor speed composite, reaction time, and impulse control. Sugar hopes to prevent students from suffering multiple concussions and as a result ending up impaired for the rest of their lives. Currently, the program is being used by numerous professional sports teams, ranging from the New York Mets to the New England Patriots. The program will cost around $500 annually, and a donation is supposed to be made by Oswego Health to cover this cost. “Even if we are not able to find a sponsor every

Buccaneer Bulletin

year for the program, I consider this a very good investment for our athletes’ safety, and either my department or the Buccaneer Boosters would probably pay for the program,” said Sugar. Although this program will be relied upon very heavily in deciding whether or not an athlete is ready to return to participation, it will not be the only factor considered. “This is not the end all, tell all. It is just tool we are going to use to make sure that our athletes are safe,” said Sugar. Many involved in Oswego athletics view this step as a very good sign. “This year we had six different players suffer concussions,” said Oswego football coach David Gryzca. “Any time we can find out anything about a kid losing any mental function it would be a great thing. Any injury involving the head is definitely an injury that you don’t want to mess with.” “I think it’s a really good idea,” said Oswego junior football player Jason Audlin. Sugar realizes some parents may not trust something as important as their child’s health to a computer program, and he plans to inform the parents of all the professional teams that use this program and that nearly every medical official approves of the program. It has not been determined yet what percentage of an athlete’s pre-concussion baseline an athlete will have to achieve to be able to return to action. Although some high school sports are have a low risk of concussion such as golf, every single Oswego athlete will be tested because there is no extra cost to test additional athletes.

Buc Flashback 15 years ago (1993)

The Oswego varsity football team will have a new coach in the upcoming fall. Coach Paul Muench coached the freshmen and JV teams previous to his new coaching position as the head of the program. Although there is a great difference in competition from the JV to varsity level, Muench believes that the lower level experience is critical in developing discipline and dedication to the sport.

20 years ago (1988)

The boys’ varsity lacrosse team was .500 early in the ‘88 season in division one, despite two costly injuries to Rusty Saucer and Bill Snyder. Attackman Jason Mantaro led the team in points with 12 goals and 6 assists. In goal, Nick Canale had done outstanding. “I haven’t seen anyone better,” said coach Doc Nelson. The team hoped to finish off the season by making sectionals.

25 years ago (1983)

Three OHS hockey players were selected to join the Empire State Games hockey team for the summer ‘83’ games. Mark Proud, John Vashaw, and Steve Davis were chosen from a field of over 200 applicants. “I didn’t think that I had made it. All I did was skate down the rink with the puck a couple times,” said Vashaw.

May 2008

May 2008  
May 2008  

This is the May 2008 issue of the Buccaneer Bulletin.