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THE TIGER PRINT Blue Valley High School — Vol. 47 — Issue 5 — February 2017 — Overland Park, Kansas

The Concussion Discussion: How does

the district handle the phenomenon of high school head trauma?

Photo illustration by Courtney Carpenter.

2 news February 2017

inside this issue

Going Global International news explained







Since Venezuela’s oil economy crashed in 2014, the country has suffered a major economic crisis. Venezuela is not able to support itself because the value of its currency — the bolivar — has seen a drastic decrease in the past years. In turn, the country has been unable to pay for food such as meat and bread.







SYRIA China, home to more than 1 billion people, has been in a brutal battle with a smog problem for the last few years. Recently, the government declared a red alert in 24 cities due to the severity of the situation. The red alert enforces the closure of schools, businesses and prohibits some forms of transportation.



In 2011, just after the Arab Spring, the Syrian civil war began. Since then, the country has experienced waves of destruction. Most recently, Aleppo saw the worst of it. In the midst of the chaos, thousands had been evacuated from the city alone, leaving the remains nearly vacant. Thousands more have been killed.


Just a few years after attaining its independence, South Sudan entered an ethnic civil war, of which has yet to end. More than 3 million civilians have been displaced in the country or have fled it entirely. Even after multiple attempts to instate peace in South Sudan, war crimes rage on.




Teaser photos by staff photographers. Stories by Julie Freijat. Page designed by Courtney Carpenter and Julie Freijat.

In 2013, Ukraine witnessed protests against its president. President Viktor Yanukovych decided not to expand their economic integration with the European Union and later fled the country after heavier protests. Subsequently, Russia took over Crimea, annexing the region. This heightened ethnic tensions in the area and incited violence between Russia and Ukraine, killing around 9,000 people in the area and causing approximately one million to flee.


February 2017 news 3

drama con BV students attend theater convention, participate in various workshops, competitions regankassing staff writer Every year, at the start of second semester, most of the upperclassmen drama students are conspicuously absent from class. They aren’t participating in a program-wide skip day — they’re attending Drama Con. “It’s a big convention for all of the people in theater and the International Thespian Society,” senior Maili Cotter-Brown said. “There’s one in every state, so we go to the Kansas State Festival.” The convention brings together drama students from all over Kansas. “There’s State shows that get adjudicated, and they go, so we get to see some of the best high school shows in the state of Kansas,” CotterBrown said. “They also have people that are really qualified and work in theater and are really good at different aspects of theater who teach and conduct workshops.” The workshops teach students about a wide variety of topics, CotterBrown said. “We spend most of our time in Rep Theatre putting on shows, and we learn a lot about theater through

Senior Grace Bamburg doing shows,” she said. “At Drama Con, there are workshops that are not things I would learn in a classroom setting. I took one about how to memorize things, and we made lines into these weird picture stories in our heads. That was really fun because I took it with a bunch of my friends. I’ve taken swing dancing classes and a sword-fighting class, [too].” Senior Hannah Maxwell agreed the workshops are a great way to learn. “[I got] to do workshops that I wouldn’t even have known about,” Maxwell said. “The career choice that

“[I got] to do workshops I wouldn’t have even known about.” — Maxwell

I’m making, drama therapy, I learned at Drama Con through one of the workshops.” Senior Kailey Meacham said this year’s convention provided a great opportunity to hang out with other

Photo by Kelsie McFadden. Page designed by Regan Kassing.

drama students. “One of my favorite things was just getting to know all the sophomores and the juniors that go that we don’t get to see every day in class,” Meacham said. Students also have a chance to perform in various acting competitions. Meacham and fellow senior Dalton DeWeese were chosen to perform in front of the entire conference — around 2,000 people. “We got a superior [individual event rating], which is the highest rating you can get,” Meacham said. The duet was called “Boy Meets Girl: A Young Love Story.” “It’s all about two kindergarteners who meet and they have a crush on each other, and it’s all about how elementary relationships are hilarious.” Drama teacher Jeff Yarnell said all his students did well. “Everyone who performed an IE, they all got superior ratings, and only about 10 or 15% of the state got that, and we had one [group] that got to perform, and then we had never competed in Quizbowl before and we won that in State, and then Fifth Wall won again for the third year in a row. We had a really outstanding year.”

Engineering a Future 4 news February 2017

BV students take engineering classes to prepare for potential jobs

Honors Principles of Engineering

Raise your Voice:

Braden said. As an easy-going environment, with lots of room to grow, HPOE is always looking to the future. “I hear from my former students a lot,” Braden said. “They always give me good feedback saying that it helped prepare them for their engineering classes at KU, K-State or Wichita State or wherever they go.” Whether or not students know what they want to do in the future, HPOE and Braden will guide the way. “I knew I wanted to go in the architectural side of things, and this class has helped me grow with that and learn more with it, which I greatly appreciate,” Merry said. Braden has been teaching for nine years and is planning to continue his career. “If you’re looking for true happiness, Honors Principles of Engineering is the answer,” he said.

why did you take HPOE?


I took this class “because I wanted to

learn a lot more engineering concepts, and to find out if engineering is a good career choice. — senior Jack Johnston


I took engineering “because my dad is an

electrical engineer, so he gave me some good insights into what it’s like to be an engineer. — sophomore Rebecca Ha

As one of the many classes offered at Blue Valley, Honors Principles of Engineering (HPOE) is most commonly swept under the carpet — many students are unaware that the class exists. Instructor Kyle Braden explained what the class is and what the students participate in. The main goal for the class is that kids decide if they want to be engineers or not, and if they decide they do want to be engineers, what type of engineering they’re interested in the most. “We build bridges out of pasta and Elmer’s Glue and go to a competition as part of our civil engineering unit,” Braden said. “We create circuits and build solar powered cars as part of our environmental engineering and electricity unit. We [also] build a machine that can

separate different types of marbles using mechanical sensors for our computer programing unit, and we build ping pong ball launchers as part of our projectile motion unit.” The industrial science class allows students to pave their paths for the future. Junior Jenna Merry is one of 13 girls enrolled in HPOE, and she said the male-dominated class wasn’t a problem for her. “I felt like that wouldn’t be an issue in the long run,” Merry said. “It doesn’t make a huge difference as I feel like I can work similarly with guys and girls, so the lack of females was never an issue.” In the past year, the number of girls taking the class has increased from seven to 13. “As the years have gone on, and I have been able to get more females to sign up for the class, now the word of mouth is starting to go that direction,”


I took engineering “because I plan on

lorenreed staff writer

being an engineer. — junior David Carpenter

February 2017 news 5

CAPS Engineering Strand meganhegarty co-editor Senior Martin Romo was in the CAPS engineering class last semester. Although there are various areas of engineering that can be studied through CAPS, Romo focused on the design process. “We applied what we learned by using a laser cutter to make a box,” he said. “We learned how the equipment works and made a solar oven.” One opportunity unique to CAPS is the ability to do real-world projects and present them to engineers. Junior Lily Ehler is currently working on a project to redesign the Johnson County airport. “They asked the CAPS class to design a new building for the airport that includes offices, a restaurant and a viewing area,” she said. “The project is entirely student-led, so our group is in charge of everything from setting up meetings and consulting with the client to drawing up the building’s actual design.”

Ehler said the CAPS engineering program is entirely project-based, which makes it different from other classes. “There’s no formal classroom instruction,” she said. “There are four engineering teachers that focus on different aspects of engineering such as architecture, electrical and robotics, and mechanical. You sign up for specific projects in the area that interests you. It makes it really easy to try out different areas since most of what you’re learning is what’s relevant to your current project — a lot like real-world projects.” Engineers are required to keep engineering notebooks so proper credit can be given to those employed for a given project. CAPS gives their students those same notebooks so they know how to use them in the workplace later. “After you’re done on the project, someone else might work more on it,” Romo said. “The documentation is really important to know who does what.” Although Ehler had some engineering experience after taking Drafting I, she said CAPS is a unique opportunity to learn more about the field. “I’ve always had an interest in architecture, so I wanted to be able to experience what it would be like to have a career in that field,” she said. “CAPS gives you the opportunity to get an idea of what going into that field would be like.”

all about the

pasta bridge competition 22 bv teams


winners based on power ratio

bvw bvhs bvnw

weight held weight of bridge

spent building 2.5 months


the requirements School Glue

4-6 inches wide



<6 inches tall

must span a 30 inch gap

regular white glue ONLY no painting the bridges

no more than layers of lasagna

Freshman Ryan Brown sets his bridge down to be tested in competition. Brown and his partner freshman Avi Misra won the competition with a power ratio of 18.12. “I think the sides are what made the bridge successful. It was very light and the truss and lasagna made it very stable base. So it was able to hold the weight.” he said. Photo by Megan Hegarty.


weighs between 2-5 lbs. 0.00

Page designed by Megan Hegarty.

6 news February 2017

S O T O H IN P 1.

3. 2.


Page designed by Isabelle Allen.


1. Standing in front of Blue Valley students, Bob Stutman discusses drug abuse. Stutman is a veteran DEA agent and a drug and alcohol education and prevention specialist. “We are not here to tell you not to do drugs,” Stutman said. “We are here to raise a generation in knowledge on the dangers of drug consumption.” Photo by Meredith Halliburton. 2. Reading his music, freshman Owen Bienz plays in the Spaghetti Concert. Bienz is in Concert Band, which is directed by Carol Lowman. “I have been playing drums since fifth grade,” Bienz said. “[Band] is fun, and there is a lot of people that like the stuff I do.” Photo by Isabelle Allen. 3. Senior Sammy Draper stands at the end of the stage in “Little Shop of Horrors” for Rep Theatre. The musical was performed Dec. 7-10. “My favorite part of ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ was working with the rest of the cast to learn choreography and songs,” Draper said. “We all got to know each other really well and enjoy the show process together.” Photo by Melanie White. 4. Playing in a tournament, senior Gus Gomez prepares to shoot the ball. The BV boys basketball team played in the Shootout Dec. 6-9. “The highlights were making it to the championship and going into double overtime,” Gomez said. “Even though we lost it was still fun playing with all the seniors.” Photo by Olivia Gurley.

February 2017 ads 7


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8 opinion February 2017

The Valentine Debate charlotterooney opinion editor For some people, Valentine’s Day is the worst time of the year. Singles especially see Valentine’s Day as something only for those in a relationship. I’ve pretty much been single my entire life, but Valentine’s Day has always been fun. I love hanging out with my friends or going out to dinner — nothing about the holiday is limited to people with a significant other (SO). Not having an SO doesn’t mean Valentine’s Day should be ruined for you. Going out and having a good time or just chilling by yourself doesn’t mean your day was horrible. People host singles parties, and you can always make reservations to eat with your friends. Another plus is a lot of singles are out on Valentine’s Day, and it’s possible to meet someone. Being single shouldn’t put a damper on the holiday — or any day of the year. If not being in a relationship or just hating romance in general makes Valentine’s Day the worst day of the year, it probably

doesn’t have anything to do with the day and has more to do with insecurities surrounding being alone. Bottom line — it’s a holiday and it should be enjoyed with friends regardless. Just like Halloween, Hanukkah or Christmas, having friends and family around is a staple, so having a partner shouldn’t be the top priority. Love doesn’t have to be between a boyfriend or girlfriend. Love is shared with friends and family as well. Love isn’t limited, it can be felt by anyone and between anyone. If spending the day with your dog makes you happy, then do it. If using a face mask does it for you, then do it. If eating a great meal with friends and family gets you in the spirit, then do it. Valentine’s Day isn’t just for people in a relationship — don’t restrict what love can be. Valentine’s Day is what you make it, so if you want to sulk all day then maybe that’s why you hate it. Worst case scenario, at least you can get discount candy at the store on Feb. 15.

Page designed by Charlotte Rooney.


mckennacole staff writer Make sure to have your copy of “The Notebook” and a box of tissues on hand in the weeks to come. It’s finally here: Valentine’s Day — where there is enough love in the air to make your eyes water, and the PDA is around every corner. We all know what comes next — heart-shapedboxed chocolates, assortments of red roses and 10-foot teddy bears fill the store aisles. Restaurants are booked infinitely by table-for-two dinner reservations. But most painful of all, the Shane Co. monologue is embedded into your brain by the never-ending commercials for diamond earrings. Everything is planned weeks in advance — it has to be special, and it has to be perfect. But if the description above doesn’t match your yearly, single routine, don’t sweat it. I’ve been single my entire life, and if there is one thing I can count on, it’s that I don’t have to worry


about Valentine’s Day. I can easily ignore it. But if you are in a relationship, that is the last thing you want to do. Valentine’s Day’s true purpose is to serve as a time to express your endless love. Unfortunately, the expectations of an unconventional gesture, combined with the pressures to be romantic, can actually derail a relationship, not enhance it. Partners may not meet standards, and these failures can lead to harmful outcomes. When partners no longer seem to make ends meet, alternatives may seem more and more alluring. Valentine’s Day can also turn relationships into a ticking time-bomb, serving as the final push toward the inevitable break-up. All those issues that you and your partner tried to avoid are now rising to the surface, and struggling relationships may break under the pressures of the big day. Although this holiday was intended to create a celebratory lovefest, it has transformed into a highly-marketed spectacle and hazardous ride for lovers. So if you’re upset about not catching cupid’s arrow, just see it as dodging a bullet.

February 2017 opinion 9

staffeditorial the

TIGER PRINT newspaper

Cartoon by Kaitlin Yu. The election of 2016 was one of the most polarized elections in America’s history. There was no perfect candidate. However, the country is not over just because Donald Trump is now president. Through the next four years, our country will be able to learn, and any worries about the presidency could turn out to be obsolete. Of course, just like any other presidency, things can go south, but he deserves at least a chance to show the American people what he plans to do and how he plans to do them. Although there are many hurt feelings and fears surrounding the recent inauguration — especially felt by women, black people, immigrants and those in the LGBTQ community — we can still unite as a country. Regardless of fears, no president can take away the inherent principles of our country — freedom, liberty and justice for all. The president doesn’t uphold that — the people do. As long as Americans stay hopeful and stand by our core beliefs, our country will prosper. Loving the president isn’t the goal — working together for a better and more accepting future should be what everyone is engaged and invested in. President Trump needs to be given the chance to do a good job. Just like every other president, he needs support and guidance. Support him not as Donald Trump, but as President. As Americans, we have the right to criticize

our government, and that’s not going away because Trump was inaugurated. Although there are flaws within our country and society, the election is not a reason to complain solely about the president and stop focusing on things that matter. Continuing to unify as a country despite our differences and progress the economy, as well as creating ways to combat the Islamic State and other terrorist groups should be seen as priorities. Even with those flaws, we’re still great. We’ve always been great and will continue to be great. Our president has advisors and the system of checks and balances — even though there is a Republican majority — to ensure the values of America remain sacred. The importance of state governments also gains increasing importance during this time as states like California were a Democratic majority vote. The next four years could be an amazing time — it could really surprise us in a good way. It’s understandable that President Trump wasn’t a first choice for many, but as many Democrats and Republicans have both said, he does deserve a chance to succeed. The election was a whirlwind of insults and scandals, but now that’s over. It’s time to become supportive of the best country on Earth and be model citizens to lead this country into further greatness. Now is the time to put support in each other to ensure that the results that we want happen.

co-editors staff writers Courtney Carpenter Allie Ament Megan Hegarty Talia Amjadi Marie Biernacki photo editor Courtney Brown Isabelle Allen Cassidy Carpenter McKenna Cole news editor Sarah Day Julie Freijat Tori Donnici Kyle Elmendorf opinion editor Anna Gyori Charlotte Rooney Molly Holmes Caitlin Hoy features editor Lauren Huck Alli Williams Regan Kassing Noma Kreegar web editor Nick Lamberti Emilee Holscher Grace Lutz Sadie Myer photographers Loren Reed Olivia Gurley Ifrah Sayyada Meredith Kaitlin Yu Halliburton Claire Stein adviser Melanie White Michelle Huss “The Tiger Print” is an official publication of Blue Valley High School, an open forum distributed to all students at least seven times a year. This publication may contain controversial material. Kansas law prohibits the suppression of a student publication solely because it may contain controversial matter. Blue Valley Unified School District No. 229 and its board members, officers and employees may disclaim any responsibility for the content of this publication; it is not an expression of school policy. Student authors and editors are solely responsible for the content of this publication. Letters to the editor are encouraged for publication. “The Tiger Print” reserves the right to edit all submissions for both language and content. Letters should be submitted to Room 450, emailed to or mailed to: The Tiger Print Blue Valley High School 6001 W. 159th St. Overland Park, KS 66085

10 opinion February 2017

PDA = not OK nomakreegar staff writer Imagine you’re walking to your next class. On the way, you see two people kissing in the hall. For many young couples, a public display of affection (PDA) is a means to publicize their relationship. However, at some point, enough is enough. PDA can quickly become unwarranted and uncalled for — especially at school. Excessive PDA at school is disrespectful to everyone else passing by who doesn’t want to see it. The school environment should promote learning, and PDA in the hallways, cafeterias or classrooms is not appropriate. It’s awkward for people who aren’t involved, and it perpetuates an unprofessional and disturbed space to learn. Nobody wants to see a couple sitting on each other while walking to math class.

I’m not saying all PDA is horrible. There’s just a time and a place for it to happen, and it’s not at school. There’s a huge difference between polite, well-mannered displays of affection and those that disrupt and unsettle the learning environment provided for us when we go to school. It’s reasonable to expect that school will be an atmosphere where I can learn and concentrate, and it’s reasonable to claim that Tiger Paws’ make-out sessions interrupt that atmosphere. Expressing feelings toward others is a personal concern and should be treated as such. I understand affection builds and maintains healthy relationships, but there are plenty of opportunities outside of school hours that would actually serve better in assembling a positive and well-balanced relationship between you and your significant other. It’s much more appropriate if you’re affectionate in the comfort of your home or places like public parks, where PDA is tol-

Page designed by Noma Kreegar. Photo by Meredith Halliburton.

Too much PDA disrupts learning environment, breaks down productive atmosphere

erable. School doesn’t provide the context for appropriate PDA to take place, especially when it is treated as a professional learning space. Excessive displays of affection tear down the productive school environment our administrators work so hard to maintain. In order to conserve the professional atmosphere, our school should start to take steps to limit the amount of PDA that happens during school hours. If midriffs are considered distracting by the staff, it’s rational to consider PDA off-putting as well. Public schools should work toward promoting a professional environment by discouraging PDA and enforcing any existing rules against PDA. In turn, the student body should respect existing rules by avoiding excessive PDA like sitting on each other, kissing and hugging for extended periods of time. The next time you think about engaging in PDA, take into account how others feel about it and the environment you’re doing it in.

Raise Your Voice: How do you feel about seeing PDA in school hallways?

Diaz “It makes me feel uncomfortable. There’s a lot of people who go to school here, and they don’t need to see that. Nobody wants to see it.”

— sophomore Tina Diaz

Cuthbertson “It’s great that you love each other, but I just want to get to class in peace.”

— freshman Josie Cuthbertson

black history is american history

black history month is meant to bring people together

1881 1881


patented his invention of the carbon filament which improved the life span of Thomas Edison’s light bulb.

1893 1893


published “A Red Record” where she personally examined anti-black lynchings in America.



became the first black woman to earn a pilot’s license.



was the first black woman to be head of personnel at NASA.



won four Olympic gold medals in Berlin.



the first black Supreme Court justice, wins Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka.

Information from



delivers his most famous speech “The Ballot or the Bullet.”



published “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” which brought her international acclaim.

February 2017 opinion 11

kaitlinyu staff writer Black History Month comes around every year, and every year, it continues to stir up a boiling pot of controversy. Often times, this dispute ends up dividing people even more than before, but Black History Month should be producing a stronger community. First of all, this month should not be offensive — it is not meant to be a time to place blacks on a pedestal over other races, and it is not meant to put others down. February is just supposed to be a time to celebrate black people’s achievements despite adversity. It’s a period for blacks to praise their current accomplishments in culture and in business. It’s a time for them to encompass themselves in self-love, when all of history has been telling them that they are less than because of their skin color. And no, we don’t need a White History Month. That is every day of our lives — we learn about it in school, and it’s constantly taught to us. Black History Month is here because we don’t talk about it very much otherwise. It’s background noise in the classrooms, a topic to brush off by many historians, a subject people generally don’t want to discuss. I mean, when your Tiger Time teacher pulled up the Black History Month lesson in previous years, how many of your classmates paid attention to it? Did you blow it off, too? When a minority group gains a privilege that most people already have, that does not mean it’s being stolen away from the majority. This month exists as a platform for dialogue — among everyone, of all races, not just black people. This dialogue can and will enrich previous knowledge, even for black people. It will remind everyone to not take for granted the rights they have today. It will dissolve ignorance and prejudice of black culture and of blacks. However, it will only do all of this if everyone begins to observe the celebration together. Page designed by Kaitlin Yu.

12 feature February 2017

3 things you didn’t know about your favorite teachers

Tierney Weed

What is something most students wouldn’t know about you? “I took tap dancing classes all the way through high school. It’s really kind of embarrassing. But I also did jazz dancing, and I was on the dance team for a couple years in high school.” What is your motto in life? “‘Do your best and be kind.’ If you do both of those things, then no one can fault you for anything.” What’s one thing you would tell your high school self that you know now? “Relax. None of this is going to matter in 10 years. Have fun. Don’t stress about things that aren’t going to be important in 15 years.”

Page designed by Talia Amjadi.

Jonathan Jost

What is something most students wouldn’t know about you? “I played baritone and trombone in band in high school and also played a little guitar. I really wish I had learned to play piano. Also, my favorite class in high school was AP U.S. History — not a math class.” What is your motto in life? “I’m not sure I have a motto. I just try to be a positive person. I really like the quote by John Wooden, ‘If we magnified our blessings the way we magnify our disappointments, we’d all be a lot happier.’” What’s one thing you would tell your high school self that you know now? “Listen more to my parents and adults when they gave me advice. A lot of things could have been easier if I had followed some advice from people in my life. I would also tell myself to find things I enjoy and put forth my greatest effort pursuing those things.”

Azie Taghizadeh

What is something most students wouldn’t know about you? “That I can speak another language fluently — Farsi, the traditional Iranian language [which is] where I’m from.” What is your motto in life? “I really believe you have to give your all, so you can live with no regrets. So as long as you can give your best at the things that you do, you can’t look back and wonder, ‘What if?’” What’s one thing you would tell your high school self that you know now? “Maybe to try a little bit harder — to make sure that you realize in the end it all will work out, and you don’t have to stress as much.”


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14 features February 2017



Does our district foster conversation on the importance of concussion awareness?




Concussions can happen anytime an object comes into contact with a person’s head — simple, everyday activities can cause concussions. The highest rates of high school concussion incidents from sports are seen in full-contact athletics such as football, soccer and hockey. According to BV District Athletic Director Lane Green, the district and individual schools are extremely committed to preventing and resolving concussions. “We place a very high priority on making sure all of our coaches are

Every year in the United States, over 300,000 concussions are reported among high school and college-aged individuals. Car accidents make up the highest percent of head injuries — roughly 14 percent — with sports following closely behind, causing 8.9 percent of high school head injuries in America last year. Concussion instances in teenagers have risen by more than 200 percent in the past decade. Even with these rates of incidents, some students and athletes across the U.S. and at Blue Valley still ignore or do not recognize the dangers of the invisible injury — a trauma that, due to inadequate treatment, affects and inhibits about 5.3 million American adults in their daily lives. The Tiger Print investigated this phenomenon in our school and district, as we spoke to administrators and students about their experiences with dealing with head trauma in an effort to foster conversation about the district protocol and possible consequences of improper concussion treatment.

educated with regards to concussions — that they understand the signs [and] symptoms of concussions, that they understand what to do if a student-athlete has a concussion and can act on it,” Green said. “We place a very high level of importance on making sure everyone in the sports community handles concussions the right way.” The school district has a specific, detail-oriented protocol for athletes with possible concussions. This procedure enables all BV institutions, including middle schools, to treat concussions in

the exact same manner. Athletic trainer Caitlin Truhe said BV’s system is similar to those of other area districts as well. “If an athlete sustains a concussion or we are concerned that an athlete has sustained a concussion, they will be seen by the school nurse or myself,” Truhe said. “They will then be referred to a physician. If the physician diagnoses them with a concussion, they are supposed to follow the academic protocol and exercise program that the doctor prescribes. At the end they are required to complete a five-step process to return to play.”

District protocol is continued on page 15 Stories by Courtney Carpenter, Sarah Day, Olivia Gurley, Anna Gyori and Alli Williams. Photos by Isabelle Allen. Pages designed by Courtney Carpenter and Alli Williams.

February 2017 features 15 The imPACT test — the nationallyrecognized tool for diagnosing concussions that requires athletes to identify patterns, memorize numbers and think creatively — is another tool used by the district athletic trainers. This exam is done on a computer and functions as a baseline for the athlete. Once a concussion is suspected, the student will retake the imPACT test to compare the results and determine if a head injury was sustained based on the differences of the scores. “When you don’t experience physical symptoms [such as headaches and nausea], you might think your concussion is gone,” Truhe said. “But, you might still have limitations cognitively with learning and retaining information. That is the danger in concussions — the things you can’t necessarily feel.” According to Green, a student or trainer cannot rely on the imPACT test alone as sole evidence of a concussion, but it is simply another accessory the district utilizes to ensure the safety of its athletes. “The challenge with concussions is there’s no true outward sign,” Green said. “There’s not a bone sticking out of a leg,

zack willis


high school football concussions occur each year

Senior Zack Willis sustained a concussion from playing football during the State championship game against Derby in 2016. “I started to get dizzy, and things got a little blurry,” Willis said. Because he is a center on the team, he got his injury on the line. “A linebacker kept running at me and beating me with his head — it was just play, after play, after play,” he said. “Somewhere along the way, I had taken too many hits

there’s not a bandage and there’s no blood or a cut. There’s nothing visible on 5 steps to the surface that will tell somebody return to play you’ve had a concussion. Diagstep one: nosing concussions is primarily cognitive rest: reading, school, light aerobic exercise based on looking at the symploud noises, — 5 to 10 minutes on NO toms that a student athlete physical activity, an exercise bike or light might explain at that time. electronic devices jog; no weight lifting, resistance training The imPACT test is somewhat concrete information step two: moderate exercise because it compares how step three: — 30 minutes of non-contact training a student did after they’ve running at moderate drills in full uniform intensity in the gym or had their suspected — may begin weight on the field concussion to how well lifting, resistance training they did the first time step four: around. It’s a good tool, but full contact step five: it’s not the only tool.” practice or return to training full game play Green said the district looks to employ the finest athno more than one step letic trainers to assist students, can be completed in a coaches and parents. “At Blue Valley, you have Caitlin Truhe [as your athletic trainer],” he said. “She is very, very up-to-date on the signs and symptoms of concussions. She does a great job helping the coaches and the athletes determine if the athlete had a concussion — you are in great hands.” at least one player recieves a mild 1in 4 concussion at high school of all high every football players school football game among all will recieve a concussions concussion in a levels happen in




against the head.” He said he could immediately tell during the game what was wrong. “After about 8 or 10 hits, my head was pounding — I just knew,” he said. However, instead of taking himself out of the game, Willis continued to play. “It was the State championship, and I [had] been waiting and working for three years for that opportunity,” he said. “There was no way I was sitting out of that game.” While in recovery, he said he couldn’t participate in a number of activities he had previously been

Photo by Alex Roberts.

able to. “I was in weights class, and [usually] I like to play games,” he said. “I couldn’t really do anything. I couldn’t run, I couldn’t lift weights — anything like that. I was just getting headaches and was dizzy. I took about a week and a half off before I started running again.” After playing through his concussion, Willis said he is lucky to have not experienced any further problems or complications with his mental health. “I experienced symptoms for about two weeks after the game,” Willis said. “After that, I was pretty fine — back to normal.” Statistics from and

16 features February 2017




Last year, junior Steve Babcock was heavily involved with football and hockey, two of the most concussion-prone sports. He said he regularly took hits to the head due to colliding with other athletes on the turf and on the ice. Steve said concussions had simply become another part of sports to him. “I’ve had overall six hospitalized concussions,” he said. “[The doctors] think I’ve had around 10 total. I chose to continue playing without going to the doctors for a while, so it was probably more.” Due to these multiple head injuries, Steve has chosen to no longer participate in sports. Plagued with constant headaches, Steve said he cannot function normally in a traditional school environment anymore. “I can’t concentrate in class,” he said. “I have only been able to handle going to two classes a day for about three months now. I have to do a pass-fail option in pretty much every class. If I even try to think of a math problem or write it down, [my] head is in pain. Reading hurts. Anything that you do hurts. Looking at the computer


hurts.” Steve said he was able to play through the concussions because he didn’t tell his coach about his symptoms or the pain he was experiencing — which has caused lasting damage. He said looking back, he wishes he realized the outcome of continuing to play with head trauma. “I really should have taken it more seriously,” Steve said. “I should’ve also quit sports earlier. Looking back, it would’ve been good to tell [someone].” After his third concussion, his symptoms became too difficult to hide, and he began to tell the truth about his condition. If he had continued to lie, he said he might still be playing today. “Our trainer, Caitlin, put me on protocol my sophomore year and helped me recover,” he said. “I could’ve kept playing right now if I really wanted to.” After his football career ended, he remained active in hockey for another year. Eventually it all became too much, and the concern about his health grew exponentially. Steve now visits a neurologist regularly, and Scott Babcock,

Steve’s father, said some of his recent test results are alarming. “Steve’s brain scans appeared ‘borderline normal’ according to the doctors,” Scott said. “This means he potentially has some brain damage. His brain development has halted in some areas, before the parts were fully developed.” Steve has also experienced startling effects to his energy levels, due to his new development of sleep apnea. Recently, Steve participated in a sleep study, and the results made it clear that the concussions have deeply affected his body and brain. “Steve was waking up over 40 times per hour,” Scott said. “He actually stops breathing for over 20 seconds, six to nine times per hour.” Steve is now well aware of the consequences of his actions. He said he advises other students to be honest about their health because it could cost them their future. “If you have multiple concussions, you should stop playing,” Steve said. “You should be honest about how you feel. If you feel you should quit, then quit.”

what to do if you believe you have a concussion

1. If you’re an athlete, tell your coach immediately. If you’re not an athlete, tell a teacher or an adult. 2. You will be sent to see the athletic trainer or nurse to explain your symptoms to the best of your ability. 3. The trainer or nurse will refer you to a licensed professional where you will be further examined.

Babcock (right)

Marqu welt on swolle the acc

Although frequently associated with sports, concussions can occur nearly anywhere. Due to a car accident on a night in September of 2016, junior Grace Marquardt suffered a concussion while sitting in the passenger seat of a vehicle. Marquardt was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the incident. “The driver [of the car I was in] went over a median [in a parking lot],” she said. “The car went up and shot all the way down, and my head hit the ceiling [handlebar].” Marquardt said she initially lied about showing characteristics of a concussion. “It’s a stupid thing,” she said. “I thought if I didn’t think about [my symptoms] and nobody babied me about them, they would just go away.” Because she downplayed her symptoms, Marquardt said she was unaware of her concussion after visiting an emergency room that night. “[The accident] happened

on a S “I we Mond that I I was teach and [ Aft able t schoo the la concu M suffer are aff negat “I I get times mont she sa encin M cerne affect “[M that] fully, go aw from said. miss concu

February 2017 features 17



na 6,

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Marquardt suffered a large welt on her forehead and a swollen, bruised eye following the accident.

headaches stiff neck blurry vision light sensitivity

nausea lethargy lack of focus eye pain

symptoms of head trauma





on a Saturday,” she said. “I went back to school on Monday, and I didn’t know that I had [a concussion yet]. I was sent to the nurse by my teacher because I was dizzy and [was] falling over.” After diagnosis, she wasn’t able to attend a full day of school for six weeks due to the late recognition of her concussion. Marquardt said she still suffers a few symptoms that are affecting her life in more negative ways. “I get dizzy sometimes, I get headaches about five times a day and it’s been months since the incident,” she said. “I am also experiencing memory problems.” Marquardt said she is concerned about the concussion affecting her life in the future. “[My biggest worry is that] my head won’t heal fully, the headaches won’t go away and it’ll keep me from doing more things,” she said. “There’s a lot I’ve had to miss out on because of [my concussion].”

The BV district, with such a specific and careful protocol, still is plagued by athletes who value the game over their personal health. Even non-athlete students who end up with head injuries still can be hesitant to seek aid. The district can implement as many policies to prevent, treat and rehabilitate concussions, with the most informed, careful coaches and teachers, but until the athletes and students realize the danger of playing through a concussion or not seeking help, they still have the power to lie through their teeth, Green said. Green said students, especially athletes, cannot afford to ignore the possible dangers of any head injury. “They’re playing with fire,” he said. “A concussion in and of itself, if treated, is not a terrible thing. However, what is really, really bad is if an athlete gets another concussion before the first concussion was completely healed. That’s called Second-Impact Syndrome. We see it happen across every school. Everything — I mean everything — is at risk if you withhold the fact that you feel you

For more information on concussion awareness, visit these websites for personal stories and more detailed statistics regarding concussions among high school students and athletes:

might have a concussion from your coach. If you get a second concussion, it can result in anything from permanent impairment in terms of memory function, motor skills and other bodily functions all the way to death.” According to Green and Truhe, students must approach concussions as a professional matter — concussions must be treated as abruptly and as seriously as a broken leg. Green said because of the rise in student deaths relating to concussions, those in the area cannot afford to deal with the consequences due to a choice to play in a game or to go to school with a head injury in fear of missing a game or class. “It’s not that those students [who did not report their concussions] did anything wrong — they might not have known they even had a concussion to start out with — but they cannot lie. The bottom line is if you feel dizzy, if you feel a sensitivity to light, if you feel any type of memory loss or headaches, inability to focus on your studies, it is imperative that you let your coach or the athletic trainer know because the risks are way, way too serious, and it can be too costly a mistake.”

• • • • concussion-management

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February 2017 features 19

Sieging the Rap Game

Music provides student hobby, possible career after high school kyleelmendorf staff writer

This year’s senior class president at Blue Valley is C.J. Swimmer. However, Swimmer is not just your typical class president. When he is not helping run BV’s Student Council, he can be found recording raps in his home studio. When Swimmer is rapping, his name is Lil Siege, and he said he hopes one day he will be able to rap for a living. Swimmer said he typically writes verses during school and usually finishes the day with five pages of material. Swimmer said his inspiration came from his love for music. “I’ve just always loved music — I thought it was fun and me and some friends just did and some people liked it,” Swimmer said. “I get my inspiration from Ugly God, another rapper. He is why I started rapping.” Swimmer said he got his stage name from a nickname his friends gave him. “I go by C.J.,” he said. “So one of my friends started combining the C

and the J together, and it made ‘Siege.’” Although Swimmer isn’t in a rap group, he creates raps with other local rappers. Swimmer said while he does enjoy collaborations, he eventually wants to move on and record with someone else. “I like working with other people until they just start annoying me,” he said. “Then I just tell them to leave — then I work by myself.” Swimmer said there are other rappers who go to BV, but he said most aren’t very serious about furthering their rap careers. “There are [other rappers at BV] but none of them are ‘real,’” Swimmer said. “Alex Wang did one with me. [Others] have their little rap thing, but it’s whatever. They’re just kind of fake. They’re not ‘professional.’” Swimmer said he gets mixed reactions from his family and peers. “[My family] supports me in whatever I do, but they think it’s interesting,” he said. “My friends like it, I guess. Some people [at school] are positive — some people are negative.”

Swimmer’s music can be found at “

cj-swimmer ”

Page designed by Kyle Elmendorf.

do t ha W

Swimmer had his first live performance Dec. 10 at Club 906 in Liberty, Missouri. He performed with Wang and had another performance there on Saturday, Jan. 14. “[Performing at Club 906] was a good experience. It wasn’t a huge venue — just a small club — but had around 40-50 people and [it] was a fun time. It was good practice.” Swimmer said. “I met with some other local rappers there, and I’ve been talking to a producer that works for The Grammys, as well as working on some opening acts at the Midland [and] Granada.” Becoming a professional rapper is a goal of Swimmer’s, but he said he does have a backup plan if his career doesn’t take off. “I’m planning to go to KU, but I’ve been talking to people like agents and record labels, and I’m trying to see what I can do,” Swimmer said. “If I could do it for a living, that would be cool. But I don’t know if that’s going to happen, so I guess we’ll see. Hopefully everything goes well.”



ink h t

Before his first performance at Club 906, Swimmer (middle) poses with his friends, seniors Alex Wang, Connor Holmes, Remi Dunlap and Braxton Beal. “[When I perform,] I get a little of the cut, but it’s really just to get my name out and see what people think,” Swimmer said. “I hope it’s fun and the crowd likes it. I hope it’s a good time.” Photo submitted by C.J. Swimmer.

se i Ra

e eg i S l i tL u o ab


ce i o V r u Yo

He’s a fantastic rapper. He’s changing the rap game in general, and I’m excited to see what the future holds for him. —senior Connor Holmes

He’s pretty inspirational. He’s dedicated, he works hard and he’s trying to achieve his goals. —senior Alex Wang



20 features February 2017

all about


s discuss t u o c s le g a rE Junior, senioy Scouts of America role in Bo

Juniors Matthew Boushka and Andrew Stark and seniors Clay Christenson and Cooper May are all Eagle Scouts — the highest rank a Boy Scout can achieve — for Troop 10 and have been heavily involved with the Boy Scouts of America since elementary and early middle school. Christenson said the process of becoming a Boy Scout is simple — whoever wants to become a scout chooses a troop and fills out paperwork. Before middle school, potential members enter as Cub Scouts, and once a scout turns 11, he becomes a Tenderfoot, the lowest official rank of a Boy Scout.

Stark and May said this transition through the different ranks takes time and effort. “Becoming an Eagle Scout is kind of a lengthy process,” May said. “If you think of it almost like karate is to a black belt — you enter as a general scout rank. Then, you have to work up to first class, second class — there are different levels that you have to test on scout skills to show you have mastered things.” The skills Boy Scouts must grasp include anything from tying different knots to being able to perform life-saving CPR to surviving outside in the woods in an isolated group. Boushka said the skills learned


personal management

family life

The troop takes a hike through rural New Mexico.

Information from Story and pages designed by Courtney Carpenter.

from Boy Scouts are essential. “It’s a lot of group experience — it gives you life experience,” he said. “Some people will be thirty and they won’t know how to do half of the stuff we do. It’s really nice to know.” Christenson said he has been on multiple overnight survival trips. “Every summer, I go to a camp for a couple days, to California, West Virginia and New Mexico with [the troop],” he said. “I learned how to survive when my parents aren’t there and how to work with a group of guys. It was a great time for me. [Boy Scouts] is a lot of fun — you meet a ton of great guys.”

February 2017 features 21

must earn at least 21 honor badges camping

citizenship in the community



personal fitness

first aid


Stark said participating nerds — which is so true in Boy Scouts has opened — but the coolest part of other future connections. it is there are a lot of peo“It teaches you to be a ple dedicated to helping leader in the communithe community. ty,” he said. “I’ve actually To get to Eagle Scout, had people in it come that’s really the main up to me and offer me point — to help others jobs for when I get out of and give back to the comcollege, and it gives you a munity.” ton of new May opportunisaid he “That’s really the recomties. It’s also a good remain point — to mends Boy sumé-buildto help others and Scouts er.” everyone Angive back to the interested. other vital “It gives community.” part of the you the — May Boy Scout freedom program is to do the community service whatever you want, to aspect, May said. just go out and not think “There’s the exploring, about anything,” he said. the fun events and the “You don’t have any social outdoor stuff people know media out on the hikes about scouting, but the and trips — whether you most important part of it like the exploring side or all is the service we give,” the service side, there’s a he said. “Boy Scouts is ton of opportunities to do known to be a bunch of some really cool stuff.”



average eagle scout age

s Scout Quick Fact 10,913 eagles scouts

in central region

in 2015, there were 54,366 eagle scouts


$196 million

total hours spent on total worth of service service projects project work time in 2015 only 5% of boy scouts

earn eagle scout rank

Christenson and May pose during a hike.

t u O ’ n i g g e V

22 features February 2017

Students share reasons, experiences with cutting animal products from diet

alliwilliams features editor Each year, approximately 8 million animals live in overcrowded cages, deprived of sunlight, where they are treated with harmful and unnatural diets before being slaughtered, according to Seventy percent of the grain produced in America is fed to farmed animals, instead of humans, despite the issue of world hunger currently taking place. of students don’t The high eat certain meats cholesterol and because of religion saturated fat the most popular content in animal reason students product, especially avoid meat in red meat, is a . is the large contributor to the number-one killer in America — heart disease. These facts add up to just a few of the reasons 22 percent of Blue Valley students said they avoid eating certain meats, based on a poll of 138 students. Senior Karla Prats said she took on a vegan lifestyle two years ago. “I was finally made aware of the extreme cruelty that goes on behind the walls of a slaughterhouse and the impact it has on our bodies, the environment and animals,” Prats said. Because she was a vegetarian for one year before entirely cutting animal products from her diet, she said she hasn’t eaten meat in three years. “When my family found out I wanted to go vegan, they weren’t exactly surprised, but they called it a phase,” she said. “[They] didn’t think I’d last more



Page designed by Alli Williams.

than a month. Now, they are very proud to tell their friends about my lifestyle — it’s pretty funny actually.” She said no one else in her family avoids eating animal products, which made her transition difficult. “The hardest part about being a vegan was finding support for what I was doing,” she said. “I’ve never actually met another vegan in my life, so I felt a little isolated in my beliefs when I first started.” Junior Saketh Pachalla said he doesn’t eat certain meats for health reasons. of students are either “By not eating vegan or vegetarian pork or beef, I have a decreased based on a poll risk for high blood of 138 BV pressure and heart students. disease, among others,” Pachalla said. However, unlike Prats, Pachalla said his parents are vegetarians, and in result, he has never consumed cow or pig. “The hardest part about not eating [them] is how often others talk about ‘how good this steak was’ or ‘my dad cooked this lit bacon,’” he said. Prats said some people are judgmental when they find out about her choice. “Usually it goes two ways,” she said. “One — people give me props for what I do and say they wish they could be vegan, too. Or two — they ask me where I get my protein from and criticize what I do. For some reason, some people take offense to the fact that I don’t eat meat or dairy, and they like to argue my beliefs a lot.” Despite Prats’ difficult transition to veganism, she said her diet has im-




proved her health. “After going vegan, I had a huge boost of energy all the time,” she said. “I was overall very happy, and it made me feel greater than ever about my body.” Since the majority of the food her family makes every night has meat in it, she said she cooks all of her food by herself. “I usually get my recipes from other vegan advocates on social media, or sometimes I come up with my own,” she said. “My all-time favorite food to make is a classic veggie pasta.” Pachalla said he has never been tempted to consume either pork or beef. “I consistently eat a variety of different vegetables,” he said. “I get my protein from lentils and beans. I love Taco Bell.” According to, a recent study in Britain revealed vegetarians are 32 percent less likely to develop heart disease than those who consume meat. “Without eating pork or beef, I can live a longer, healthier life,” Pachalla said. The average vegetarian in America saves 25 land animals annually by not eating meat, according to “Knowing that what I’m doing is actually making that kind of a difference in the world is probably the best thing about it,” Prats said.


February 2017 features 23


Students share experience of having a YouTube channel, making videos

Junior Jaron Lucas

The Evan Network Q: Why did you start YouTube? A: “I bought some root beer flavored Oreos and figured I could make a video out of them.” Q: What software do you use to edit the videos? A: “The charm of the show is in its low-quality production — at least that’s what I tell myself to justify my laziness.

Jaron Lucas

I film the videos on my phone and upload them straight to YouTube. Should there be some editing or at least sound balancing involved? Probably, but where’s the fun in that?” Q: Who inspires you and your content for the channel? A: “The show isn’t inspired by any channel in particular, and in fact the reason there was such a long gap between videos recently was because I discovered a glut of similar content

things society puts in our heads. I also upload covers of songs and even original songs, too. I would like to get more into short films. I like the idea of telling a story through them.” Q: Who inspires you and your content for the channel? A: “I think who inspires me the most is probably Jesus. He’s the reason I’m here

and I’m able to do what I love.” Q: What do you expect to come from making YouTube videos? A: “My goal is not to gain subscribers or gain fame — it’s more to tell people who I am and what I love to do.”

Question: When did you start YouTube? Answer: “I started YouTube back in early June [of 2016].” Q: Why did you start YouTube? A: “It’s important to do something that I love doing, and I truly love the process of making a video — there’s something about it I just really like.” Q: What kind of content do you upload? A: “I upload me talking about things I’m super passionate about, such as negative

Senior Evan Phillips

on the site. Eventually I decided I was just unique enough to have a reason to exist. I would like to shout out RyanBeard, which is a channel featuring my friend Ryan Beard, who was on the last season of ‘America’s Got Talent.’” Q: What do you expect to come from making YouTube videos? A: “I don’t make the videos for any long term endgame. I have thought about announcing the channel’s end a few times in the past, but every time I do, some random person will tell me they just started watching and they love it. This gives me the will to soldier on.”

Sophomore Sabine Fardoun

Q: Why did you start YouTube? A: “I grew up watching YouTube, so I was easily inspired by the creators I watched. I found the whole concept very exciting and knew I wanted to make videos just like my favorite YouTubers did.” Q: What content do you upload? A: “[My friends and I] mostly make sitdown talking videos, lots of challenges, monthly favorites, shopping hauls, face painting and occasionally some failed

attempts at baking.” Q: Who inspires you and your content for the channel? A: “Since I started watching YouTube, Bethany Mota has always been a huge inspiration to me. As of now I really enjoy [watching people’s channels who are] very passionate about the videos they make. They all showcase their different talents and en-

THIRDWHEELING tertaining personalities on the internet, and it inspires me to do the same.” Q: What do you expect to come from making YouTube videos? A: “Fame and money.”

Stories by Ifrah Sayyada and Allie Ament. Page designed by Ifrah Sayyada.

24 a&e February 2017

playing her cards right

senior shares experience of reading tarot cards

nicklamberti staff writer You may have heard about tarot cards before. They are spiritual cards that can tell you about your past, present or future. You can get them read just about anywhere, but you might find a reader unexpectedly close. “I got my tarot cards read when I was 7, and ever since I’ve wanted a deck of my own,” senior Paige Pritchard said. “I’ve always been very, very interested in them.” Pritchard is a tarot card reader. She said it’s a bit like playing cards — every card means something different. “There’s the big cards, like Death, the Moon, the Sun, and there’s the little ones that are divided into the cups, the coins, the swords and the staff,” she said. “However they land — face up, backward or turned, tells you what the other person needs to know. It depends on how you lay them out and what you ask for. It’s like an intuition.” Pritchard said she didn’t begin reading tarot cards until 11 years after she first had hers read. “I got my first deck [this fall],” she said. “You have to be gifted the deck, you can’t go buy your own or else it’s bad luck — they won’t work. I got my first deck from my ex-boyfriend.”

Most people don’t believe what tarot strange occurrences at her house. cards can do, Pritchard said. “One day we were hanging out after “A lot of people are curious as to school and some things would hapwhat it’s all about, and a lot of people pen, and we would just brush them are skeptics and are like ‘Oh, what do off.” Crawford said. “We were sitting you know? This is [fake],’” she said. in my kitchen and I moved away from “They’re usually pretty shocked about the sink. There were five glasses on the what I can tell them. People also go for counter, and they all [suddenly] just fell answers. If they’re struggling in the sink. [Another] time, with inner-turmoil, they want to [Pritchard] was downstairs by know how something’s going to herself and she heard cupwork out.” boards opening and closing, Pritchard’s friend, senior so she figured my mom was Maggy Crawford, got her cards home making food. She got up read by Pritchard. there and no one was there.” “She told me she was going After hearing about this, to read my tarot card, and I Pritchard said she wanted to Pritchard wasn’t sure what it was about,” use a ouija board at Crawford’s Crawford said. “When house. she did it I was like, “We did the ouija board and nothing ‘Wow, this is really cool.’” really fancy happened,” Crawford said. Besides reading cards, “It probably wasn’t even real.” Pritchard said she also Pritchard said she is still uses ouija boards. learning about tarot cards, but “I rarely [get responses she hopes to become better at out of the board],” she reading and undersaid. “The school [has a lot standing what the of energy], though. I’ve done it in the cards are trying to PAC. There was a lot of activity on it — tell her. it didn’t tell me anything specific. I got “I like when it’s name — it was some generic name people follow up aflike Scott or something. It just moved ter I read their cards,” all around the board, which isn’t a good she said. “My favorite part about sign. I want to take it to the warehouse reading is seeing and see what happens.” people who are Crawford said she turned to skeptical change Pritchard for answers after experiencing their minds.”

Page designed and photos by Nick Lamberti.

February 2017 a&e 25 Home




Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s happening?







Page designed by Julie Freijat.

26 a&e February 2017

Atypical Attraction Dating simulators create different way to spend Valentine’s Day mariebiernacki staff writer If you are forever alone — or are simply bored — on Valentine’s Day, here are two dating simulators you can play to make everything hurt a little less.

Hot Date

Mystic Messenger


In this indie game, the player goes on different speed dates with pugs. The pugs have many personalities — some are stuck up and snooty, while others are trapped in a dead-end job and need to vent. Players can choose from a variety of questions and the pugs will always have an interesting answer. The pugs will only address the player as the name they enter — anyone of any gender can play and feel included.

Platforms: PC, Mac, iPhone Cost: Free (PC, Mac) $0.99 (iPhone) Where:


App Store


Platforms: iPhone, Android The player takes on the role of a female character Cost: Free who downloaded a messenger app that causes her Where: App Store to join a charity foundation. They need her help to Google Play Store organize their next event. The game lasts 11 days and Rating: plays in real time. The player receives messages and joins group chats with the characters via the app. The first four days are when the player shows which character they favor by choosing the appropriate responses. By the end of the fourth day, the user should have the route of their favored character. The player will have a normal, good or bad ending based on their choices.

Raise Your Voice: What is your opinion of dating simulators?


“It’s interesting how it’s a fictional character that’s computer programmed, and you still feel like you’re actually dating.” — sophomore Josephine Harding


Screenshots from the App Store. Page designed by Marie Biernacki.

“Obviously, they’re a little controversial because [others say,] ‘You’re just replacing people’ or ‘It’s fake love.’ But, if you are not [playing] them as a way to find love virtually, it’s totally harmless.” — junior Juliet Holmes

“They’re not my favorite genre, but it’s a cool idea — a lot of people like them.” — junior Carter Newport


l w o B r e p u S e

g you



perfect need for a


February 2017 a&e 27


Easy Appetizer Man Dip

The Basics

Let’s say the Patriots are on offense and have the ball. The Falcons are on defense. The Patriots have three guaranteed plays (called downs) to go forward 10 yards. If the Patriots go at least 10 yards, they get a first down and earn a new set of three downs. The Patriots keep going toward the Falcons’ endzone until they don’t get a first down or score. If the Patriots don’t make it after three downs, they have to make a decision for fourth down — they can either go for it, punt the ball downfield or kick a field goal. If the Patriots don’t get the first down after going for it or miss the field goal, the Falcons get the ball right where the offense failed on fourth down. If the offense punts, the ball goes downfield where a Falcons player is waiting to catch it.


Touchdown: 6 points After the touchdown the offense can either kick an extra point (1 point), or try to run or pass into the end zone (2 points). Field Goal: 3 points The offense kicks the football through the goal posts. Safety: 2 points The defense tackles the offense in the offenses’ end zone, so the defense scores.

Week 4 2013 The last time the Patriots played the Falcons

Ingredients: 1 container Whipped cream cheese 1 can Hormel chili with beans (Vegetarian option: Hormel vegetarian chili with beans) 1 can chopped green chilis 2 cups Mexican cheese Directions: 1. In a glass or ceramic pan, spread the cream cheese across the bottom. 2. Mix the green chilies with the Hormel chili, and layer that on top of the cream cheese. 3. Sprinkle the Mexican cheese on top. 4. Microwave for five minutes or until cheese is melted.


• 2017 NFC champions • The Falcons are led by quarterback Matt Ryan, who has made the Pro Bowl 4 times in the 9 years that he has been in the league, had 4,944 yards in the regular season. • The Falcons’ number-one receiver is Julio Jones, who had 1,409 receiving yards in the regular season. • Vic Beasley plays outside linebacker. He had 15.5 sacks in the regular season, so look for him putting pressure on Brady.


• 2017 AFC champions • This will be the Patriots’ ninth Super Bowl, the most of all time for a franchise. • The team is led by quarterback Tom Brady (four-time Super Bowl Champion and three-time Super Bowl MVP) who had 3,554 passing yards in the regular season. • The Patriots’ top receiver is Julian Edelman who has 1,161 receiving yards on the year. • Watch out for cornerback Malcom Butler on the defensive side of the ball — he’s their big playmaker. Photo courtesy of Tribune News Agency. Page designed and story by Megan Hegarty.

28 sports February 2017

on the

sidelines rite o v a f e r a sh Students


orts p s g n i g ana m f o s t c aspe

4+ hours spent at swim

boys swim managers

practice weekly

courtneybrown & caitlinhoy staff writers Blue Valley is known for its outstanding athletics and many State titles. Many students at BV don’t see what goes on behind the sports and the hard work of every person on the team — all students see is the players taking on the court or field. Last year, sophomore Molly Holmes managed baseball and said it required extra effort. “The freshman managers have to do most of the work,” Holmes said.“It involves filling up the water jugs and water bottles. We Holmes have to take all the stats during the

12+ hours at wrestling practice


games and do what the coaches want from us.” Football manager senior Katie Miller agreed that managing takes a lot each day. Miller “On weekdays, we’re at practice from 3 to 6,” Miller said. “On Fridays, we were there from about 5 to 10.” Along with the large time commitment, managers also have to balance their school work. “One [challenging part] is I got pulled out of class a lot,” Holmes said. “It was hard keeping up with the classes I missed. It was also hard taking stats — it can be hard to keep up with the game.” Despite the amount of time that goes into managing, they both agreed the job

Photo by Olivia Gurley. Page designed by Courtney Brown & Caitlin Hoy.


boys wrestling managers

has its upsides. Senior Darby Thompson manages for the boys basketball team and said he likes spending time with the players on the team. “During the season, they are really busy, so it’s nice to still be around them a lot,” Thompson said. “Since I didn’t make the team, this was my other option. I’m glad I chose to manage.” Miller’s favorite part of managing is feeling like a part of the team. “Even though the managers are not actually playing the sport, they put as much effort into the sport as the players,” Miller said. “We feel the same satisfaction along with the rest Thompson of the team.”

February 2017 sports 29

JV Spotlight JV teams serve as important experience for future varsity athletes

oliviagurley & kyleelmendorf photographer & staff writer When it comes to high school sports, the varsity squad gains the most attention. However, for most varsity teams, there is also a junior varsity team for the younger and less experienced players to gain valuable playing time, so they might one day compete in a varsity game. The JV teams help athletes prepare themselves and develop skills used at the varsity level. “It is important to have JV teams to allow as many [students] as possible to participate in a sport that they enjoy and to help them find a team whom they can trust, develop friendships with and learn from,” JV girls basketball coach Devan Boeger said. “JV teams help support the varsity teams by challenging their skills and helping each other improve and

sophomore Rachel Graves

perform at a higher level.” JV is a way for the players to get better both on and off the court. “This year especially, it improved me for being a leader and role model since it was mostly made up of underclassmen,” JV volleyball player junior Maddie Brown said. “[I] showed them the ropes, how things are done and also [how to] take charge.” Basketball player sophomore Rachel Graves said she is having fun with her teammates on JV this year, and she enjoys playing for Boeger. “The best part about playing on JV is my teammates,” Graves said. “They encourage me to be my best every day and every game. I don’t know what I’d do without them by my side. I have learned to develop as a leader by listening and taking advice from the upperclassmen.” JV soccer coach John Dale said the JV team is a good way for players to get used to a program’s playing style and

JV girls basketball team

help them become better athletes. “Player development is the critical function of any JV team,” Dale said. “Those athletes who have aspirations to contribute at the varsity level often need practice and game time to improve. The JV team provides that atmosphere to grow into future varsity athletes in a competitive environment with other athletes performing at a similar level.” Dale said it’s important not to rush players up to the varsity level before they’re fundamentally sound. He said it can hurt a player if they’re forced to compete at such a high level when they’re not ready for the competition. “[The difference between JV and varsity is] the definition of success,” Dale said. “With varsity teams, success is most often judged by the win-loss record relative to the talent level. JV teams evaluate success on the overall level of individual and team improvement as well as enjoyment.”

JV girls basketball coach Devan Boeger Photos and page designed by Olivia Gurley.

30 sports February 2017

BOWLING 101 To some people, bowling is simply considered a fun Saturday night out with friends. To others, such as the Blue Valley bowling team, this sport is not as easy as it seems. Bowling coach Mark Mosier and bowler junior Kameron McKenzie explain how there is more than meets the eye when it comes to pins and a bowling ball.

Fun Facts

• The average bowling ball is 16 pounds. • Wooden balls were used until 1905. • Bowling is the number one participation sport in America • A ball for an inexperienced bowler should be between 12 pounds and 14 pounds.

Kameron McKenzie Q&A

What tips do you have for someone who is new to bowling? “My tips would probably be just take your time, do it the way that feels best for your own style and have fun.”

What do you enjoy most about bowling? “I enjoy the atmosphere and how it’s very open and accepting to anyone. Also, everyone at the meets from other schools are really nice and it’s fun to get to know people.” Are there any special techniques or tricks that you use during your meets? “Look at the lines on the lane instead of the pins. [Coach Mark] Mosier hammers that into our minds all the time. Try to keep your arm straight when you swing it back, so then the ball goes exactly where you want it to go and not into the gutter. I try not to over think it and go for it.” Stats from Story and page design by Emilee Holscher. Photo by Meredith Halliburton.

Step-by-step tips on how to bowl The Four-Step Procedure

Step 1: Hold the ball at your waist and push out. Step 2: Swing back. Step 3: Your body should be back at the first step. Step 4: Slide on your lead foot, and follow through with a natural swing. Your swing should end at the height of your ear.

February 2017 sports 31

Reaching upward, senior Tyler Geiman shoots a basket. Geiman has played on BV’s varsity team since his freshman year. “There is more of a leadership role I had to take on as a senior,” Geiman said. “I feel bigger and stronger this year.” Page designed by Meredith Halliburton.



Charging toward the basket, senior Azia Lynch dribbles down the court. The Lady Tigers lost to Blue Valley Northwest 49-45 in overtime on Jan. 5. “The team has improved more every year and we’ve bonded,” Lynch said. “It’s helped us play better.” Photo by Melanie White.

During Senior Night, senior Owen Andersen walks through the spirit tunnel. The swim team competed against Saint James Academy Jan. 18. “[This season] I want to break my own record and place top-8 at State” Andersen said. Photo by Meredith Halliburton.

Laying on the mat, freshman Jake Hutchison attempts to pin his opponent. Hutchison has been wrestling for 3 years. “I started wrestling because I liked the idea of having a sport that sixth graders could do,” he said.

32 photo essay February 2017




1. Talking to his team members, senior Will Hobson gives a pep talk. Hobson is a member of the varsity basketball team, so he coaches his friends instead of playing. “I coach them because it is a good way to get involved with activities outside of school,” he said. “I help the team by having the starting lineup ready and drawing plays up that will help them succeed to victory.” 2. Freshman Trevor Lister shoots during his rec basketball game. His team is named the


Goofy Goobers. “[I started playing rec basketball] to have fun with my friends,” he said. 3. Making a basket, senior Jordyn Clough shoots over the head of another player. She used to play basketball competitively. “Now it’s just a good time for me to [spend time] with my friends,” Clough said. 4. Senior Lexi Palacio dribbles down the court. Palacio joined rec basketball because her friends were on the team. “I’m really bad at basketball, so I thought it would be really



Photos by Megan Hegarty. Page designed by Melanie White.

funny [to join],” she said. 5. Getting ready to shoot a free throw, freshman Carson Taylor lines up his shot. The Goofy Goobers are 2-1 this season. “[One of] my favorite parts of playing rec basketball is just playing good old basketball,” he said. “I’ve been playing since I could walk.” 6. Senior Michael Lane shoots a layup, and scores for his team. Lane has been playing rec basketball since his sophomore year. “I love how it gives me the opportunity to play competitive games with my friends while also being able to have fun and mess around,” he said.


The Tiger Print — February 2017  
The Tiger Print — February 2017