e q TIGER u a PRINT l i t y ? THE
BLUE VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL Vol. 43 Issue 9 April 2013 Stilwell, Kan.
AVOIDING AVERAGE Taking advantage of every opportunity imperative to not falling into a rut in life
THE BIG APPLE Choir students perform at prestigious performing arts high school, tour the city page 10
EVERY MAN FOR HIMSELF Seniors begin annual student-run assassin game, compete for prize money page 12
What is equality: Due to recent judicial discussions of gay marriage and rights, concept of equality comes into question. Pages 8-9. Photo by Bailey Outlaw.
Class competitions evoke feeling of unity; students question competition’s fairness
Events Calendar April 13 — Practice AP Test, 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. in the BV Library Spring ACT Testing, 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. in the mobiles April 15 — No School: Professional Development Day April 20 — Prom, 9 p.m. - 12 a.m. at the Ritz Charles April 21 — After Prom April 24 — Signing Day, 3 p.m. in the Commons April 25 — Senior/Faculty Challenge Main Stage Show: 1984, 7 p.m. in the PAC
Performing during the sweetheart assembly, the juniors dance to “Waka Waka” by Shakira. The junior class won the class competition. “It’s cool to show junior spirit with class competitions and above all, I like to dance,” junior Brandon Lee said. Photo by Bailey Outlaw.
rileymiller staff writer With every school dance at Blue Valley, there comes one thing in particular students look forward to: class competitions. Whether it’s dressing up for “Disney-Pixar Day,” decorating teachers’ doors or dancing in front of the whole school, students find a variety of ways to get ahead of the other grades. Sophomore Catherine Eatherly said she loves participating in class competitions, and she doesn’t think it should cause any problems between the students. “It’s supposed to be fun, and it is fun,” she said. “I think it’s just healthy competition between all of the grades. I mean, I don’t know if it’s 100 percent fair, but I think [the judges] do their best. It’s not going to be perfect.” Student council member senior Courtney Woodworth said it has always been controversial between students as to whether or not the competition is fixed. “I feel like people tend to be like, ‘Oh, it’s rigged because the seniors always win,’” she said. “I don’t think there have been any huge conflicts because of it, I think there have just been some petty people that get upset.” Junior Kelly O’Donnell said it’s common for the seniors to win the class competitions, but she’s still skeptical if the competition is rigged or not. “[Winning is] what every senior experiences, and it’s something to look
forward to, so I don’t really think it’s rigged,” she said. “Every single year the seniors have had a lot of participation, so I think that’s what it is. I don’t know — maybe it is rigged — we’ll find out.” Eatherly said she enjoys getting ahead of the upperclassmen, especially the seniors. “I think it’s fun knowing [the sophomores] can beat [the seniors] because usually you would think that when you’re a senior they would always win,” she said. Woodworth said BV has a strong senior class, and they do what it takes to win the competitions. “If we fall behind, we’ll definitely find some way or make a plan to get ahead again,” she said. O’Donnell said she thinks the freshman think the class competitions are unimportant, so they don’t partake in any of them. “My freshman year, everyone participated, but [this year’s freshmen] just don’t participate,” she said. “You don’t realize until, like, junior year that you don’t look like an idiot if you don’t do things [for spirit days].” Woodworth said she thinks the freshman’s worry of looking stupid is the reason behind their lack of participation in the competitions. “As you get older, and by older I mean growing up through the high school ranks or whatever, I feel like you participate because it’s fun and all your friends do it,” Woodworth said. “But as a freshman, you’re just kind of like, ‘What if I look stupid?’”
Freshman Jeff Gurley said the freshmen class still has time to grow throughout their high school experience. “It’s a little bit disappointing that we don’t have that much spirit to show but at the same time we are the freshmen, but we do need to kind of step our game up. I think over [the] next year we’ll do better, and then junior year and senior year everyone will start doing it,” he said. “Just because we’re freshmen, I guess intimidation plays a factor.” Eatherly said class pride is an important part of spirit day competitions, and it creates a good school environment. “It does create a good vibe,” she said. “Everyone likes to see what their friends are wearing, and it can be really funny. It’s really special the week before a dance.” O’Donnell said the junior class comes together during the class competitions regardless of the circumstances. “We have a kick-ass junior class,” she said. “We take it super seriously, so it feels really good to beat people.” Eatherly said the competition is more interesting when everyone participates. “For the most part, everybody gets involved, and it can be really fun when you go all-out,” she said. Woodworth said the students’ spirit makes the competitions more fun. “I think we are all a group of very fired up individuals,” Woodworth said. “Together, we just create a really nice atmosphere for spirit days — because we actually participate, because we love Blue Valley.”
April 26, 27 — Main Stage Show: 1984, 7 p.m. in the PAC April 29 — Jazz Night, 7 p.m. in the Commons April 30 — Orchestra Banquet and Concert, 6 p.m. in the Commons May 1 — Senior Awards Night, 7 p.m. in the PAC May 3 — It’s Paper Day: May issue of The Tiger Print distributed National Art Honor Society induction, 5 p.m. May 6 — BV Pizza Hut Fundraiser Band Banquet and Concert, 6 p.m. May 10 — Senior Picnic Yearbook distribution Rep Theater Showcase, 7 p.m. May 11 — Drill Team Spring Show, 7 p.m. May 14 — Forensics Awards and Showcase, 6 p.m. in the Blackbox Theater May 16 — Choir Spring Show, 7 p.m. Senior Class Day Rehearsal and Senior Video Senior Finals 1 & 2 May 17 — Senior Class Day, 9-11 a.m. May 18 — Choir Spring Show May 19 — Graduation, 1 p.m. at Kemper Arena
jansenhess sports editor Think about it. Think about how much we’ve progressed since we were born. Think about yourself as a sixth grader compared to sixth graders today. Because I sure didn’t say, “I don’t have a dirty mind, I have a sexy imagination,” as an 11 year old. When I heard this come out of my sister’s friend’s mouth, I was in shock. She’s a baby. She’s so innocent. Eleven year olds shouldn’t know this stuff. I blame technology, honestly. When I was their age, I didn’t have a cell phone, and my TV had parental controls that restricted TV past 11 p.m. and anything with an over PG rating. Now, kids have nicer cell phones and belong to more social networking sites than I do. Their innocence is being
destroyed by the overexposure to all these adult-like things. When I was their age, my friends had to plan out their hugs with their boyfriend of that particular week. Now the sixth grade couples can’t keep their hands off of each other. Most kids these days have a smartphone, an iPad or some sort of tablet. All these devices have the ability to access the Internet or support social networking sites. These open a whole gateway to a more mature life that middle schoolers really don’t need to be experiencing just quite yet. It makes me scared for what’s going to become of their lives by the time they’re in high school. A sixth grader I know has already told me about all the different types of vodka and other alcohol he’s consumed. Not to mention the weed he’s smoked. The only type of weed I knew of at that age was a dandelion. In all honesty, adults are the ones doing the exposing, whether they know it or not. The adults are the one’s who pay for the device and the phone bill. They’re allowing their kids to grow up too fast. And it’s only going to get worse as technology progresses. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying technology is bad in the hands of kids. I’m saying they’re abusing their power by trying to act grown up. News flash, kiddos: all us high schoolers wish we could
Avoiding the mundane leads [VOHWWPULZZM\SÄSSPUNSPML
kellycordingley editor-in-chief We all worry. We worry about being good enough, being all we want to be, being ourselves — whoever that is. Eventually we’ll all leave Blue Valley for good and go on to do something more — maybe less — but usually more. We’ve grown up being told if we try hard enough, we can do anything we want to do. But there are so many options and so many obstacles. I want to travel and be cultured and work somewhere I love and make good money and fall in love and have a family. But, Christ, there’s not enough time in life it seems. Granted, I’ve put this pressure on myself, as many of us have, but I want to do so much. I want to help people, and I want to learn. I don’t want to look back and wish I’d done more, worked more, experienced more, lived more. We don’t want to live mundane lives — maybe we don’t want to make the same mistakes our parents or siblings made.
We don’t want to be stuck in this rut of waking up, rushing to work, working in some office for eight hours, grabbing dinner on the way home, sleeping and repeating that for 40-some years. That sounds horrible, and yet so many people have that life. They seem happy. But what if we look back on that life we had with that person we met in college and that job that was good enough and wonder if we did everything we should have. If we settled. If we would be happier had we taken time off. If, if, if. I want to be on the fast track to success and making money — yet, as a journalist, I doubt six digits are in the salary future for me. I don’t want to be stuck, but I want to be stuck to the right thing. To the right job, to the right person, to the right state. I haven’t quite figured out how to avoid getting stuck to what, in years, I may wish was different, but I know we all have to try. After college, we can’t settle. We can’t assume we can’t do anything more than what we’ve done. We can’t be satisfied with what we’ve seen generations before us do. If we do, we’re stuck. And if we look back on life and feel we’ve been stuck and dragged down by what we thought we couldn’t do, we might not have the time to change it.
have our childhood back. Don’t waste it. Parents: don’t let your kids grow up too fast. Monitor their technology and protect them because it’s a cruel world out there. They may throw a tantrum and scream at you, saying you’re ruining their lives. They’re middle schoolers. They’ll wake up in the morning and will be perfectly fine. But you shouldn’t be fine with your 11 year old acting like a 16 year old. But apparently Victoria’s Secret thinks it’s perfectly OK for them to act like 18 year olds. With their new teen line, Bright Young Things, Victoria’s Secret seems to be targeting the middle school-aged kids. Seriously? What 12 year old absolutely has to have a bright pink thong with the words “Call Me” or “Wild” printed across the front? I’ll answer that for you. None. No middle schooler needs their innocence destroyed before they even reach high school. Instead of sitting inside on their iPads taking selfies, they should be outside enjoying their childhood while they still have it. Because once it’s gone, they can never get it back.
Parents must give children leeway, recognition for best effort
rileymiller staff writer Parents. They may not ask for a lot, but you know they expect a lot. They want you to get all A’s, but B’s are OK, too. Getting a C is average, but god forbid you get a C. Some of your friends may get D’s and F’s, but your parents don’t care about those friends. Failure is not an option. Your parents care about you — unless of course your friends are doing something right, then they’re allowed to compare them to you. It makes complete sense, right? You know your parents would be happy if you were a star athlete, so you practice every single day to improve. You know your parents would be happier if you had the same work-ethic some of your friends have, so you start to work harder at getting your homework done. You know your parents will be happiest if you get all A’s, so you try to get all A’s. Although they may not be pushing
you to do these things, the pressure is still there. The initiative to wake up extra early to get to weights in the morning is still there. The staying up all night to study for a test is still there. The obsessive grade-checking every day is still there. It’s all still there. We live in a world where the only things that really seem to matter are grades and scores, but our parents don’t really seem to notice how hard we work for them. But when you do something wrong, even if it’s the littlest thing, that’s when they notice. There’s always a lack of recognition for your hard work. Not to mention, it’s still expected that you’re in a good mood when you get home from school. I’m not asking for a trophy. I’m just asking for a little understanding — maybe a little bit of leeway when I make a tiny mistake or when I want to lay in bed for the duration of a Saturday and not do anything. Trust me, sometimes I’m really happy to have my parents push me and tell me what to do because I don’t want to grow up to be a lazy bum. I would just like a break every once in a while. Your best is all you are capable of, and if that means making B-team, having a few missing assignments or not having ideal grades . . . well, your parents are just going to have to accept that.
Ev luti nof
Equality colingregory staff writer
I was taught to love them, but to not accept them. I was taught that they were going through a phase, due to a damaged childhood or some other abnormality in their youth. I was taught that what they were wasn’t natural — that decent people veered far away from that lifestyle. I was taught to love and accept thy neighbor, but try to change who they really are. I was taught wrong. You can probably guess I’m talking about the weighty subject of gay marriage. As I write this, the issue is being discussed in the Supreme Court. They are deciding whether or not it was constitutional for gay marriage to be banned in California. Because of this impending decision, this is the most relevant gay marriage has ever been, at least in my eyes. If not, this is at least the most I’ve ever heard it discussed in the hallways in my four years at Blue Valley or seen it debated about over social networking. Want to make your voice heard? Just change your profile picture to a red equal sign on a more red background, and voilà, you just told the world your stance in under 30 seconds. That wasn’t so hard. Before I go any further, I should make my position on this issue abundantly clear. You could probably infer it from the opening sentences, but let’s not beat around the bush. I, like our president and millions of other enlightened souls around the world, support the right for gay and lesbian people to get married. There are more popular opinions to have in Kansas, but there you have it. If you oppose gay marriage, it is likely for one of two reasons (or both). The first reason is that gay people, and the prospect of homosexuality, freaks you out. If that is the case, then I have nothing to say to you except you are ignorant, and the 1950’s would be a better place for your backward and tremendously outdated mindset. The second reason people oppose gay marriage is because their view comes from the Bible, or God’s word.
Supreme Court hearings on gay marriage prompt discussion of rights
That thinking may be a little more relevant, but it’s relevancy doesn’t make it any more correct. First of all, please don’t hate me if I say there are parts of the Bible that are massively outdated. I’m a Christian, but if I followed every word of the Bible, I would never shave my face or wear mixed fabrics. If you quote a passage saying how homosexualty is wrong, I’ll remind you the book of Exodus tells me it’s OK to beat my slave as long as he doesn’t die. Oh, how the times have changed. I believe there are parts of the Bible you can take as words to base your life around, and there are parts that are just a simple telling of what life was like when Moses was around. Gay marriage in the Bible falls under the latter. And I can see why, a couple of millenniums ago, homosexuality may have been frowned upon. A homosexual couple cannot create life. So, in a world where every child may be needed to ensure the survival of humanity, creating as much life as possible wasn’t just important, it was essential. But right now, in 2013, with some 7 billion-odd people on Earth, we have no such needs. If you want to claim that gays shouldn’t get married because they can’t procreate, by that logic anyone who is infertile shouldn’t be able to get married. There is no reason anymore to mask who you really are, and there is no real reason to oppose a fight that so obviously has a right and wrong side. This fight for equality was mirrored a half century ago, when Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks and Jackie Robinson fought for the equality of those who were inherently different. Homosexuality is the same thing as having blue eyes, curly hair or black skin. It’s who you are. As we see the same fight now that we did in the past, we also see the same hate. Which is curious, especially because those who hate use evidence from the Bible to fuel their argument. However, the Bible also warns against divorce and premarital sex, and I don’t see crowds of people protesting that. I’m not criticizing the Bible — I’m criticizing those who misinterpret it. If you think the sanctity of marriage will be violated, then you need to realize that marriage used to be a land contract between two families. One hundred years ago, if I started talking about violating the sanctity of marriage, people would think I was talking about interracial marriage. They also might think I was talking about the ability to get divorced. Or they might think I was talking about a woman having any rights in a married couple. Marriage, as a principle, changes — anyone who thinks differently is sadly unstable.
Speaking of sadly unstable, I recently saw the fine folks from the Westboro Baptist Church while attending a basketball game at the Sprint Center. Sure, I’d heard all about their bigotry which angered me plenty, but seeing them in person was, for lack of a better word, fascinating. It was fascinating in the same way that the movie “Schindler’s List” is — what you’re seeing is sickening, but you can’t look away. This brought to mind many questions, questions that hadn’t occurred to me until that moment. Seeing the modern equivalent of the Ku Klux Klan does that. I wondered what compelled them to spew hate. I wondered if the specific members truly believed in the hate their signs brutally portrayed. I wondered how they had the nerve to call themselves a church. I wondered if they can really pray to their God with a clear conscience. No one knows the answers to these questions. Those people are meant to puzzle us, challenge us, motivate us. They represent the worst side of a complicated issue. If you’re reading this, and you believe in a traditional marriage, just know that, while I disagree with you, I don’t lump you with those monsters. I realize shades of gray come with this issue. It’s an easier question for me to answer than it is for other people. But when it comes down to it, it doesn’t matter if you believe gay people should be married or not. It comes down to if you think a man is capable of loving another man. If you do, then this is an easy issue for you to take sides on. If not, if you believe the only kind of real love is a heterosexual one, then the choice may not be so clear for you. However, surely you cannot presume to tell someone who they can and cannot love. No human should ever do that nor should any government. You can debate the prospect of what constitutes love all you want. The fact remains that marriage is a basic human right. If you oppose gay marriage, you oppose love. That’s a little blunt, but this is an issue too important to stay lukewarm. Being conflicted is one thing, but choosing to ignore the issue altogether is far worse. If you think either gay marriage or gay rights is wrong, then I applaud you for having an opinion on the issue. But you’re wrong. Marriage is not between man and woman. It is between love and love.
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staffeditorial TIGER THE
National Honor Society requirements do not challenge students, need to be raised Scholarship. staff editorial Leadership. Service. Character. National Honor agree disagree Society. You could say it’s a big deal. Or at least it’s supposed to be. To be eligible for NHS at Blue Valley, a student must have a 3.5 weighted or unweighted GPA and 20 hours of community service. BV has already raised these requirements from the national ones. But still, with these requirements, almost everyone is eligible. It isn’t as special anymore. Now, that doesn’t mean everyone eligible gets in. Not everyone can — or wants — to get all the recommendations filled out on time. But enough people do it that it loses its importance. This past March, 139 juniors and a few seniors were inducted into NHS. As an honor society, it appears to be exclusive and prestigious, but how can it be exclusive if almost half the students get in? This isn’t saying NHS is a bad thing. It’s simply saying we, as a school, need to raise our requirements. Not that a 3.5 GPA is low, but students at this school are held to a higher standard, and more is expected of us that raising the requirements could be possible. To be eligible for the National Science Honor Society at BV, students must have a 3.5 GPA in their science classes and be enrolled in at least one AP science class. Many students are already at a 3.5 GPA or higher. NHS should take into consideration the students who are enrolled in honors and Advanced Placement classes. They could have the same GPA as a student in easier classes but get the same recognition. This isn’t fair to the students taking the more difficult path. NHS should be an elite group of students who can proudly say they are a part of it. How proud are you if you’re standing up there with 200 of your closest classmates? At other schools, a 3.5 GPA could mean top of your class. Therefore, those requirements would be reasonable. But we are capable of more than that. Challenge us.
editor-in-chief Kelly Cordingley website editor Odi Opole photo editor Bailey Outlaw
design & news editor Hailey McEntee features editor Maddie Jewett
business manager, managing editor Anna Wonderlich staff writers Raine Andrews Sally Cochran Gennifer Geer Colin Gregory Meghan Kennedy Riley Miller Mitch Sundquist Danielle Williams
photographers Megan Ball entertainment editor Molly Johnson Abby Bamburg Alex Kontopanos
Cartoon by Caroline Kalmus.
Make us want to reach new levels so we can be a part of it. Don’t let us assume we will get admitted just because “everyone does anyway.”
What’s your opinion on NHS requirements? Tweet your thoughts to @bvtigernews with #tigersoundoff.
opinion editor Caroline Meinzenbach
cartoonists Becky Winegarner Caroline Kalmus
sports editor Jansen Hess
adviser Michelle Wilmes
The Tiger Print is published 10 times a year for students, faculty, and the surrounding community of Blue Valley High School. It is an open forum for student expression. Therefore, the opinions expressed within this paper do not necessarily reflect the views of the administrations of Blue Valley Unified School District #229. Letters to the editor and reader responses are encouraged for publication. The Tiger Print reserves the right to edit all submissions for both language and content and encourages letters to be no more than 350 words. Letters should be submitted to room 450, emailed to email@example.com or mailed to: The Tiger Print c/o Blue Valley High School 6001 W. 159th St. Stilwell, KS 66085 phone: 913-239-4800 Pacemaker winner, 2012. Pacemaker finalist, 2009, 2010, 2012. Member, Kansas Scholastic Press Association, National Scholastic Press Association and Columbia Scholastic Press Association.
On the f
With the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act and Californiaâ€™s Proposition 8 recent
The issue of gay marriage and gay rights isnâ€™t something that just captivates the United States. The Netherlands in 2001 was WKHĂ€UVWFRXQWU\WROHJDOL]HJD\ marriage, according to CNN. com. The French Senate debated a ELOOWROHJDOL]HWKHPDUULDJHRI gay people and give them the right to adopt starting April 5. The Uruguayan Senate was in favor of passing a same-sex marriage bill, as are many legislators in the United Kingdom. The issue is also a hot topic in Australia, where 68 percent of the country agrees it should be legal, according to CNN.com. Denmark was the most recent FRXQWU\WROHJDOL]HJD\PDUULDJH in 2012. Previously, Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain and Sweden DOOOHJDOL]HGLWWRR
From the country
identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered
3.7% 1.7% 10%
Highest in the nation District of Columbia
Statistics from 2012 Gallup Poll.
Same-sex couple households in Kansas
Public acceptance of gay and lesbian relations as morally acceptable
56% 38% 2002
15% of Americans live in states where same-sex marriage is legal. 2011
Statistics from Gallup Poll.
Iâ€™m for it because everyone deserves to be with who they love. -junior Katie Herbel
How do you feel about gay marriage?
Lowest in the nation
Statistic from CNN.com
It is wrong to judge someone. They canâ€™t help it. They didnâ€™t choose to be gay, and they just want to do something everyone else is doing. -sophomore David Berkowitz
Not just a US topic
2011 Statistics from census.go
Love is love, I donâ€™t care be doesnâ€™t affect me. Not allow riage is discrimination. -freshman Noah Butenas
forefront Stories by Kelly Cordingley.
ntly argued at the Supreme Court, the issues have risen to grasp the media and public’s attention
DOMA One of the issues on the table of the Supreme Court is the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which, according to “The Washington Post,” “denies equal protection to gay Americans under the law since they are barred from getting married.” Edith Windsor filed the original case that eventually made its way to the Supreme Court when her partner of 42 years died, leaving Windsor inheritance, according to CNN. However, since in the eyes of the legal
of Americans ages 18-29 identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered in a survey of 120,000 by Gallup Poll.
Prop 8 system, the women weren’t considered married, Windsor was left with the burden of taxes of $363,053, according to CNN. In October, the second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that DOMA violated the equal protection clause in the Constitution. According to CNN, during arguments at the Supreme Court, Chief Justice John Roberts said the vote to pass DOMA in 1996 was not fueled by hate for gay people.
Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia
States allowing civil unions, providing state-level spousal rights to same-sex couples: Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey and Rhode Island Statistics from ncsl.org.
68% of Americans were opposed to same-sex marriage in 1996.
as many 18-29 year olds in America identify as LGBT than those of 65-year-olds.
48% of Americans were opposed to same-sex marriage in 2012.
Statistic from CNN.com
I think it is against human nature because God created us different genders, women and man, to love each other. Thats how it’s supposed to be. -senior Haryo Tulodo
I think gay people should be allowed to be together and love each other, but a marriage should remain between a man and a woman. -junior Victoria Moravek
Statistics from CNN.com
The reason why I don’t believe in gay marriage is because I am a religious person and from my stand point, I don’t believe God created people of the same gender to be married. -freshman Tre’von Woodard
ecause it wing gay mar-
California in 2008. The law was passed by voters months after California’s Supreme Court ruled samesex marriage was legal. The day after the vote to add Prop 8 to the California constitution was completed, three lawsuits challenging that ruling were filed, according to courts.ca.gov.
States issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples:
DOMA is just one of two issues the Supreme Court will rule on, the second being California’s Proposition 8. California at first made same-sex marriage legal for 142 days, but then opponents of the decision pushed Prop 8 to be passed. According to “The New York Times,” Prop 8 banned same-sex marriage in
Choir spends spring break performing in New York, tours the city
Talent maddiejewett features editor
The city that never sleeps. Buildings taller than you have ever seen and swarms of people everywhere. The lights of Broadway illuminate the excited faces of tourists. In the midst of the hustle and bustle that is New York City, some members of Blue Valley’s choir department got the chance to perform. Every year, the Chambers group and any other seniors in choir are able to participate in a spring break trip. Each year the choir members alternate between visiting New York and Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Students raise money through fundraisers every
year to pay for some of the cost of the trip. This year, the group performed at LaGuardia High School, a prestigious performing arts school. Chambers singer junior McKinzie Norton said this proved to be rather different than performing in BV’s PAC. “It was kind of challenging,” she said. “The space that we were given to perform in was about one-third of the space we’re used to, so we definitely had to adapt and make adjustments. The audience was very receptive, though, and, despite the minor obstacles we had to overcome, everything turned out great. It was a blast.” Senior Grayson Yockey said students went shopping, took dance classes and saw various Broadway shows in addition to performing while they were there. “I really enjoyed the view of the Empire State Building,” he said. “I’ve been on it many times before,
but there’s nothing quite like it. It makes you feel incredible. We also got to see our pick of different Broadway shows and take backstage tours, and we got to talk to a lot of the stars in the shows.” Yockey said the group performed for the students at the school. “They were all performers, so they understood what it was like,” he said. “It was like if we would perform for ourselves, but even better.” He said the entire experience was unforgettable. “Getting to travel and make memories with your best friends is probably the best way to spend your break,” he said. Norton said she loved spending spring break in New York with her friends. “My favorite part was just being able to spend so much time with such amazing people and having the opportunity to grow closer as a group,” she said. Photo submitted by Laura O’Donnell.
Choir Comparison Levels of choir allow for singing growth, development throughout high school gennifergeer staff writer Concert Choir. Choraliers. Chorale. Chamber Singers. Unless you’re in one of these classes, it can be confusing to know which choir course is which, especially since they all start with the letter ‘C.’ Concert Choir is for freshmen girls, no audition required. Freshman Lauren Browning said it’s a good class to get started in the choir program, and the singers in other classes help the freshmen learn. “I think, mostly, it’s watching [the upperclassmen] and learning from them,” she said. “When we get to do big numbers with them, it’s really cool.” For girls, going up a level promotes them to Choraliers, but freshman and sophomore boys enroll in this class, also. For concerts, choir director Marsha Moeller said the Con-
cert Choir joins the Choraliers and they sing together. Chorale consists of robed singers. Junior and seniors make up this group, a similar composition to Chamber Singers. “The Chambers singers are a select, auditioned group of boys and girls that do show choir music and contest music,” Moeller said. The singers in that group are in the highest level of choir at Blue Valley. Browning said she admires them for their talent. “[Getting into Chambers is] everyone’s goal going into [choir],” Browning said. “I know that’s my personal goal.” In addition to the choir classes, choir students can audition for singing groups outside of the school day. Classy Ladies, a girls’ group, performs extra show tunes and dances. The male equivalent, Select Blend, takes singers from Chorale and gives them more concert and show music. Freshmen recently auditioned for these groups. Brown-
ing and the other freshman girls audition for Classy Ladies, and she said she hopes to continue climbing the ladder of choir. Browning said she enjoyed watching the older choirs perform in concerts. Choir concerts occur six to eight times a year. “All the groups are performing groups,” Moeller said. “They all compete. They all go to contest in the spring.” BV takes eight ensembles to the spring contests, along with 30 soloists. Every singer gets a chance at singing in an ensemble, but the level of difficulty in the music varies. The older students sing more complicated music, such as pieces with four to six parts. The less experienced singers work on two to three part music. Moeller said the younger students learn the harder pieces and adjust to higher levels well. “I love watching the growth from freshman year to senior year,” Moeller said.
Life After Loss
Students cope with losses, learn to not take life for granted
Stories by Danielle Williams.
Holding his hand tight. Traveling to find treatments. Still grasping on. Spending your days by his side, making each moment count. Gripping on with all your might. Hearing the news that will change your life forever. Finally learning to let go. Life can change in an instant. When she was only 5 years old, sophomore Jocelyn Dennis learned how life can change in the blink of an eye. Her father passed away at the age of 38 after being diagnosed with a brain tumor before she had even graduated kindergarten. “He was diagnosed a month or two before I was born,” Dennis said. “We would go to different states and different doctors for surgeries. He [went through] 7 surgeries, 18 months of chemotherapy and 2 types of radiation. Dennis said because she was so young at the time of his passing, she wasn’t fully aware of the repercussions, which made coping a little easier. “I think if I had been older, it would have affected me a little more,” she said. “I think just because I was so young it didn’t really set in until he was actually gone.” Dennis said her father’s positivity and humor never diminished, even through such a trying time. “He still is a big inspiration to me
because he was so strong and positive during such a hard time,” she said. Dennis said November 6, 2002 started off as a normal day until the principal called her Dennis out of class and drove her home along with her older sister who seemed to have a better understanding of what was going on. “My sister just all of a sudden started bawling, and I had no idea what was going on,” she said. “Then we pulled up to my house, and I remember walking through my door, and all my relatives were in there all bawling. I was just so confused.” Dennis said her mother said she had to say her last goodbyes to her father because she asked the hospice nurse to take him off the medicine due to his critical condition. “She knew that it was going to be that day. I think she had a gut-feeling,” she said. Dennis said her mother was trying to hold it together and put on a brave face for her daughters. “She was emotional, but she wasn’t emotional around me and my sister,” she said. “I think, with what I know now, she was probably a little depressed and trying to hold it together.” Dennis said everything in her life im-
Sophomore Savannah Martin also dealt with the passing of her father when she was 10 years old. Martin said her father was an excellent parent and stayed very involved in his children’s lives. “He was around a lot and kept our family together,” she said. “He provided for us and was just really outgoing and Smiling, a young Savannah Martin happy all the time. We embraces her father. Photo submit- have the same sense of ted by Savannah Martin. humor.” Martin said he was diagnosed with lung cancer almost two years before he passed, and those years were full of treatment and appreciation for each remaining moment. “When he had to be in the hospital, it wouldn’t be that bad because he would just have to get chemotherapy,” she said. “The only time it was bad was when he got really sick
mensely changed after his passing, and these changes put a strain on her relationship with her mother. “It’s harder to get along with my mom sometimes just because she has to be the mom and the dad,” she said. “It’s hard not havPosing with his family, John Dennis cradles his daughter Jocelyn ing a second parent.” and smiles for the camera. John passed away when Jocelyn was 5 Dennis said her years old. Photo submitted by Jocelyn Dennis. whole elementary Dennis said she doesn’t know if she will school was extremely supportive during her ever fully recover from her loss. family’s time of grieving, and many of them “I don’t think it’s really going to sink in even attended the funeral alongside her. until I get to places in my life that a dad “My friends have always been supportive would be a big part of, like my wedding, or and try to make me feel better,” she said. those things you want your dad there for,” “It’s always hard having to tell people that she said. my dad died, and it always gives people a Dennis said she’s learned a variety of different outlook on me.” important lessons through her father’s Dennis said Relay for Life has become passing. a very helpful and important event in her “I know you have to make the best out life because she is able to spread awareof every situation, even if it’s crappy,” she ness about the effects cancer can have on said. “It’s just about making yourself happy everyone. and others happy.” “Relay for Life is important because canDennis said her advice to anyone else cer is a terrible thing, so raising money for who has lost a parent at a young age is to be the cause is a great thing,” she said. “When positive. they were reading off the names [during “Try to see good in what he or she was the Luminaria Ceremony] and they said when they were alive, and try to find the his, was when it really hit me, and I kind of happy side of it,” she said. lost it.”
from the chemo, but that didn’t really happen that much.” Martin said since she was a little bit older, it was harder to deal with the loss. “I knew him well enough to remember a bunch of things, but it wasn’t really that long either, so it’s kind of a hard age to deal with it at,” Martin she said. Martin said they found out the chemotherapy wasn’t working six months before, so they were all preparing themselves for the inevitable. “I heard my mom talking to the nurse [while] I was sleeping on the couch, and I heard her go in the kitchen, and it woke me up,” she said. “I heard her talking to [the nurse], and that’s how I found out he had died.” Because her father provided for the family in many ways, Martin said after his passing, everyone took on new responsibilities. “[My mom] started working again as a nurse,” she said. “She works full-time, and now she has to do taxes and stuff. She had to take on his responsibilities, so we kind of had to take over hers. [My brother and I] just pretty much
do a lot of housework, and she does the bills and stuff.” Martin said the biggest difference in her family now is they don’t participate in as many activities as a family. “We don’t do as much family stuff anymore, like family vacations, just because my mom works full-time,” she said. “We don’t do family meals, and we never really see his side of the family anymore.” Martin said her classmates were very supportive even though they were a little too young to fully comprehend her situation. “I was gone for a while, and they all made me cards and stuff,” she said. “People knew it was happening, but I don’t think they really knew.” Martin said through her father’s passing, she learned that life is short and nothing should be taken for granted. “What motivates me to keep going is probably just that that’s what he would want us to do,” she said. Martin said she and Dennis have formed a special friendship through knowing they’ve both lost a parent, and it has helped to know someone else understands her situation. “We went through the same thing, and she just gets it,” she said. “We both only have one parent in the house, [and] it’s nice to know you are not the only one.”
tr u s t no one haileymcentee design & news editor
On the way to school, you make sure you’re securely locked in your car before opening the garage door and risking a possible attack. If you have a practice or game, you devise an escape plan before leaving the field — you have one of your teammates check if the coast is clear, and then you make a run for the car. You go home and hide away in your house. You won’t leave unless it is absolutely necessary. And while doing all these things, you have to find a way to ambush your target. This is how the many seniors involved in the annual game of Senior Assassins will spend their time for the next few weeks or months. Each year, members of the senior class organize the game towards the end of the school year. The game this year began April 1. Everyone who signed up to participate had to pay $5. At the end of the game, the players who get first, second, and third place will all receive a portion of the money. Additionally, the player with the first kill and the player who has the most creative “kill” will receive some money. Each participant was assigned to someone else who is playing, and then he or she has to “assassinate” their assigned target with a water gun. Each target is chosen at random by putting all of the names in on a website that picks a target for each player. Senior Alex Leatherman is helping to organize Senior Assassins 2013. She said she is really excited to see how the game plays out. “I want to see how most people decide to get their target and how long it will take,” she said. “I know last year it went into the summer, so I’m wondering if we’ll have ours end up like that too. It’ll be interesting. My phone is going to be blowing up for the next few months because we’re using my number as the ‘kill hotline,’ so each time someone assassinates their target or gets killed they have to text me so I can check my list for their next target.”
Seniors participate in annual Senior Assassins game Senior Mackenzie Hanson said Assassins will be really exciting. “I have a feeling it’s going to be a crazy, all-out brawl,” she said. “I haven’t really kept up with the past years’ Senior Assassins games, but I’m sure our grade will have a lot of fun with it.” Hanson said it will be fun to have a big activity like this for the seniors. Hanson “It’s going to be sad knowing this will be, like, our last big activity as a senior class, but it’ll be very fun,” she said. “I’m looking forward to graduating and moving forward.” Leatherman said she likes seeing how into the game people get. “It’s exciting to see what extremes people will go to just to get their target,” she said. “Since everyone pays to play and has the chance of winning money, I guess that’s a good motivator even though it’s just a game.” Hanson said, for her, winning the game will be very tough. “With soccer, it will be a challenge,” she said. “I’ll be really busy, and there will be a schedule of where and when all of our games are, so that could be a problem. I feel like people who play sports have a disadvantage in general.” Leatherman said Senior Assassins is something for seniors to be excited about during their last quarter. “It’s just another thing to look forward to besides school,” she said. “It pushes us apart because nobody wants to be assassinated, but at the same time it brings us closer as a class.” Hanson said she is looking forward to Senior Assassins. “I’m really excited, but also nervous,” she said. “I have a feeling that I’ll end up being kind of paranoid — it’s just kind of freaky knowing someone will be following me and figuring out my schedule and stuff. I’m going to try to trust my best friends, but really you can’t trust anybody.”
Follow @BVAssassins on Twitter for updates on the latest kills and rules.
From Out of
Left Field jansenhess sports editor
Although this is baseball coach Tony Scardino’s first year at Blue Valley, his resumé shows it is not his first year coaching. Scardino started coaching baseball in 1992 in Independence, Mo. as an assistant coach. Then from 2001-2007, he was the head coach at Bishop Kelley High School in Tulsa, Ok. Under his wing, the Bishop Kelley baseball team won two State championships, six Regional championships and five Conference championships. For the last five years, Scardino was the assistant coach at Blue Valley West. Scardino came to BV because he said it reminded him of Bishop Kelley. “I always admired the school spirit and tight community I saw here for the past 5 years,” he said. “That was something I wanted to be a part of — great school, great kids and great athletics, academics and performing arts, too. I said, ‘That’s for me.’ When Coach [Matt] Ortman became the [athletic director], I immediately called and told him I would like an opportunity to interview. I did, and they thought enough of me to give me a chance, and for that I will always be grateful.”
Despite new coach and super fans joining BV baseball program, not much will change Scardino said he started coaching because he likes to work with young people. “Everyone has questions in their lives, and helping young men and women answer some of those is a great thing,” he said. “We all have doubts about ourselves, no matter our age. Also, I have some very good Scardino friends that have been in education, and I envied them because they always loved their jobs.” Scardino said his expectations for this season are that the players always work hard and try their best. “We will hustle at all times, and we will handle ourselves with class representing the school in a positive manner,” he said. “I always have high expectations — not just for our players, but for our staff as coaches. If we do those things, then wins and losses will take care of themselves.” Varsity baseball player junior Ryan Brady said he also has high hopes. “We’re returning a lot of position players,” he said. “So, hopefully that will be our strength, and we’ll have a good season.” Scardino isn’t the only new thing to the baseball program
this year. This season also marks the start of the baseball super fans, the Diamond Dolls. Co-founder junior Savannah Spicer said the Diamond Dolls will attend games, decorate lockers and hallways, make goodie-bags for the players and promote game attendance. “Our main goal is to support the boys and get students more involved in the games,” she said. “Considering that baseball doesn’t have a large student attendance like football or basketball, hopefully we’ll be able to support the boys and bring out more fans.” The Diamond Dolls are made up of approximately 20 junior and senior girls. “For being a new group, that’s great,” Spicer said. “We’re looking at adding freshman and sophomore girls for next year depending on how things go this year.” Besides the Diamond Dolls, Scardino doesn’t plan on changing much about the program. “My grandma told me, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,’” he said. “I would imagine things will change some, given you always bring in new ideas, but overall, I would think it won’t be drastic. Coach Ortman, and Coach [Larry] Hare before him, have set the bar high. I am going to do my best to keep it going.”
Lindsay Ball mitchsundquist staff writer Out in Stilwell, just beyond 199th street, there lies a court. On the brick that surrounds the court, there is a message painted. “Play hard or go home.” The court belongs to Blue Valley boy’s sophomore basketball coach Gary Lindsay, who attended and played basketball at Blue Valley from 1973-1977. Lindsay decided to build the court after one of his longtime friends sold his house. Lindsay and others had gathered there to play basketball every week. “When Ed sold his house over there we were all kind of sad because we had played over there every Wednesday and Saturday for probably ten years,” Lindsay said. “It was a place for us older guys to gather and play.” Lindsay said the court started out as a dream of his, but it came to reality once it was finished six years ago. “I had the dream for probably five to ten years, and then finally I convinced [my wife] to let me build the court,” he said. The court was built by Sport Court, a company that specializes in designing and building outdoor courts. Lindsay said he is pleased about how his court has been
Basketball coach shares backyard court with students
treated over the years, although he has had a few problems. “A lot of the kids in the neighborhood use the court, and most of the time they’re pretty good with it,” he said. “Sometimes we have to scold them if they leave any trash out or leave any of the balls out.” One of the unique aspects of the court is the lights, which happen to be Lindsay’s favorite feature. Lindsay said he has had to work on the lights over the years. “I had some lights that I kept having trouble with them going out. Those were halogen lights,” he said. “But these are monster lights. They’re kind of a gas light where they come on slow, but they light it up pretty well.” Lindsay’s court is open to all who wish to play there, and he allows students to play whenever they please, even late into the night. Junior Jalen Fulce began playing at Lindsay’s over Thanksgiving break. “[Junior] Brandon Botts invited me one day,” he said. “I had always heard about ‘Lindsay Ball’, but I never really wanted to drive out to Stilwell. It was well worth the drive.” Fulce said he continues to play at Lindsay’s because it is a place where he can go to enjoy the game. He also enjoys playing with his friends and the intensity of the games. “Once the games get intense and taken seriously, they are exciting,” he said. “You play for [reputation] at Lindsay’s.” Senior Garrett Mann also regularly plays at Lindsay’s court. Mann started playing during the summer last year
and said the games are very competitive. “They are usually very competitive and hard-fought because you want to win,” he said. “Sometimes we go out just to shoot and have fun, but a majority of the time it is very competitive. There are usually a couple fights here and there and people getting mad at each other, but it’s just in the heat of the moment.” Although Mann has only talked to Lindsey a couple times, he said Lindsay is a great man, and he appreciates the opportunity Lindsay has provided to students. “I think it’s cool that he built something awesome and allows kids to have a great time,” he said. “It’s cool that he trusts kids to use the court properly and not abuse the facility. It’s just a great place to go play some basketball, and it’s awesome that there is something like that.” As a basketball player for BV, Fulce has spent more time with Lindsay and said he thinks very highly of him. “I’ve never seen anyone with the same amount of passion for basketball as Coach Lindsay,” Fulce said. “I think it’s great that he lets kids play, get better and compete.” Lindsay said he is happy with his decision to build the court because it gives him the opportunity to play the game he enjoys. “It’s a game that I love and have a passion for, but I can’t play it like I used to,” he said. “I’m glad that I did it. I wish that I could have afforded it when I was younger. But it’s still a great a feeling to be out there at night, under the lights and just shoot around.”
Tennis team predicts successful season, optimistic about outcome
Stories by Raine Andrews.
“Love.” “15.” “30.” “40.” “60, game.” With spring sports already underway, Blue Valley’s boys tennis team has been at work practicing for upcoming matches and tournaments. Returning player and captain junior Andy Porter said he has practiced at Overland Park Racquet Club twice a week since the summer. Porter said the team’s main goal will be to qualify for State and perform well at Eastern Kansas League (EKL). “[We want to] be competitive in EKL because [the competition is], like, [Blue Valley] North and [Blue Valley] Northwest and St. Thomas Aquinas,” Porter he said. “[They] are really good, so if we can just compete with them, that would be really good for us.” Porter said the team only lost a couple of seniors, but have acquired many new players, including last year’s 5A State winner sophomore Anil Patel who transferred from Lansing, Kan. “We lost two seniors that were both two-time State qualifiers,” he said. “We have a lot of good freshmen coming in.” Joining member freshman Charley Thomeczek said he decided to join the team after his friend introduced him to the sport. “About two years ago, a friend of mine was playing tennis, and I decided to play with him,” he said. “I took a class, and I really like playing. I decided to start playing for Blue Valley.” Thomeczek said he aims to excel during this Thomeczek season. “My goals are to do the best I can and win a few matches,” he said. “[I] just want to play as hard as I can and put forth my greatest effort. As long as I try my best, I [will] feel accomplished.”
Team captain senior Ryan Redd said he aims be a team leader and other players to rely on him for help if needed. “[I want] to always set a good exRedd ample for the younger players on the team and to help improve their game,” Redd said. “Personally, [I want] to qualify for State and hopefully win it.” Redd said the coaches are relaxed, but they help the team to improve. “[They are] tough when they need to be, but can also have fun and crack jokes with the rest of the team,” he said. “Coach [Nelson] Elliot helps us recognize our flaws and weaknesses and gives us suggestions on how to improve our game.” Redd said his favorite part of tennis is winning. “You work hard everyday to try to be better than the other guy on the court, and to win proves that you worked harder for it than he did,” he said. “There's no point in playing the game if you're not winning, or at least not putting the work in to win.”
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TURF sports in brief
TRACK AND FIELD
Previous Action: 4/5 BV Relays @ BVNW Upcoming Action: 4/12 @ SMS 4/19 KU Relays
Previous Action: 4/8 vs. Gardner Upcoming Action: 4/12 vs. Mill Valley Record: 4-0
Previous Action: 4/11 @ Blue Valley Upcoming Action: 4/22 @ Topeka West
Previous Action: 4/11 @ Topeka Seaman Upcoming Action: 4/16 @ BVN @ DAC Record: 3-1
Previous Action: 4/11 @ BVW Upcoming Action: 4/16 @ STA 4/18-20 River City Classic Record: 4-0
Previous Action: 4/11 @ ONW Upcoming Action: 4/15 @ Bishop Miege
Previous Action: 4/11 @ Loch Lloyd EKL Upcoming Action: 4/15 KCCC EKL Results current as of April 7.
SNL to FNL
Sketch comedy show incorporates teachers, unusual props for night of comedy, antics
(Left) Contorting herself, senior Bri Woods attempts to give a “full body massage” to senior Courtney Woodworth. While Woods and Woodworth created the idea, director Jeff Yarnell wrote the skit. “We wanted to leave a legacy behind as seniors,” Woods said. “We wanted something to look back on, to see that we left a tradition.” Photo by Alex Kontopanos.
(Below) Stabilizing a bicycle, science teacher John Holloway portrays a concerned neighbor during a skit. Seniors Grayson Yockey and David Cline were also involved in the skit. “Mr. Yarnell thought of the idea,” Cline said. “They do something similar at his daughter’s school.” Photo by Bailey Outlaw.
(Far left) Dancing to “Gangnam Style” in a lab coat, science teacher John Holloway opens “Friday Night Live.” Holloway said he learned the dance through the internet. “I did a Google search on how to do Gangnam Style, and there was a Youtube video that showed you step by step how to do the dance,” he said. “I think it was somewhat recognizable, and if it was a little off, that made it a little more funny.” Photo by Alex Kontopanos. (Near left) Performing to Beyonce’s “Single Ladies,” sophomores Calum Fletcher, Jefferson Harwood and their fellow actors pantomime a scene. Performers put “Friday Night Live” together in a short amount of time. “I’d say we prepped for a couple weeks,” Fletcher said. “We didn’t have as much time as we have for other shows, but overall it turned out well.” Photo by Bailey Outlaw.