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3000 S.R. 580

Friday, February 13th, 2009 - VOLUME 30, Issue 4

IN THIS ISSUE... Triple Threat

Page 2 A Remembrance The Student Government honors CHS’s fall heros with a plaque.

Page 4 Cigarette Tax Increase Your cigarette habit may soon support more cancer research.

Page 5 Backstage Pass An interview with comedian, DANE COOK

Page 6 Ends in Victory The Cougar basketball team ended their season with a oustanding trimuph over East Lake.

Page 8 Super Hard Sudoku Look in The Puzzler for some illusions and a connect the dots. PAW


di for New Me



ent er

staff writer even the littlest things can set off someone Someone hurls a punch at a stomach, in dire need to release their emotions. So someone else retaliates with a jab to the jaw, not always is a fight planned, not always and next thing you know there’s a crowd fit for is someone provoked by the same person a football stadium huddled around two people more than once. Often, fights are a result of – hitting, scratching, and kicking their way to sudden, misinterpreted conduct. the top. “I’ve heard students give the stupidest As long as there have been high schools, excuses to why they got in a fight. Like once, as long as there have been teenagers, there a girl came in and I asked her ‘Why did have been fights. The reasons are various: you get in that fight?’ and she replied, ‘She some guy’s girlfriend cheats on him with his was looking at me funny’,” said disciplinary teammate, some girl gossips to her classmate pr incipal Lewis Curtwright. about her best friend or someone steals some B e s i d e s one’s seat on the bus. Even things so simple as a misunderstood word can go as far as a full out, downright brawl. And it’s possible to say that whatever starts these fist-flying rumbles has good reasoning behind it. But if you survey the facts, take a good look at the consequences, and decipher whether you’d like to wear a giant bandage on your nose for six weeks, it might just change your mind. For many, a newly sprung interest in fighting may be a result of the per say “rising numbers” in fights. But truth is, there were not as many fights this year, as opposed to last year. In the 2007-2008 photo credit school year, approximately 18 fights were reported in the first semester. the common The first semester of the 2008-2009 school m i s c o n c e i v e d year, however, yielded just 11 fights. Despite word, another popular reason for fights in the numbers, it’s understandable to believe high school is the battle (no pun intended) that there has been an increase in fights; due to protect your respect. For the most part, to the extremely short length of time between teenagers, raging hormones and all, have the fights. For example: on a school day in the one thing they’re all after-respect. It could first quarter, three fights took the school by be said that high schoolers look to others surprise. A different day in the middle of the for support and ultimately the respect they second quarter, a whopping five fights brought feel they deserve. But, like most words in the students to their feet. the bewildering dictionary of teenagers, Like most actions we make on a day to day respect has more than one definition. basis, fights also have reason behind them. It’s “I think respect is something you earn, also a legitimate assumption to make that there or at least you need to. [It’s] something is not much thought put into fights, and that everyone can relate to. No one in high

Ever think about being.. a guidance counselor? An in-depth interview with Ms. Katherine Santiago on the stress and entertainment of being a guidance counselor.

Interested in joining a club A look into some of Countryside’s lesser known clubs.

Munch on some lover’s candy Look for some amazing recipes on valentine snacks that were created by CHS’s own students such as Lover Doodles and heart shaped cookies.

school wants to be stepped on, or pushed around. If you’ve got respect, life is a lot easier. It’s worth a lot more--it makes you feel like your important,” said freshman Kathleen Sprigg. For those who are riled up enough to actually get in a fight, probably the last thing on their minds is that silly old referral waiting for them in the principal’s office. But take a deep breath, and thinkwould this look good on my application? Whether or not they plan on attending college, a suspension from school, and a disapproving comment from the school’s administrators may be enough to steer off a possible employer. Okay, so most employers don’t look back that far, but they do look at grades and high school diplomas. If someone gets in a fight, chances are they get in other kinds of trouble, and ultimately miss more school than they should.That in turn means lower grades, which could lead to a difficult time obtaining a graduation diploma. And I’m sure as much as everyone loves learning about the anatomy of a frog, Oscar Wilde’s life in poetry and the distribution of a godly long equation, life after high school is waiting to be discovered. Something that is rarely remembered in the field of fighting is health consequences. Thankfully, no one at Countryside High has ever been too badly hurt. Others however, have not been so lucky. The National Youth Violence Prevention Center came to the conclusion that 33% of students in high school have been involved in some sort of a physical altercation, 12.5% have been in fights on school grounds, and about 4% have been hurt so badly in these fights that they required medical attention. We’ve all listened to some talk host, read a book or watched a movie that deals with the glamorization, or the affects that


Celebration of racial harmony krystalCASEY & kaylaYAMONICO




Page 11 TV

Countryside fighting is a persistent problem meganMASON

Today is an unlucky day, for most superstitious students.


Clearwater, FL 33761

our society is Martin Luther King staff writers Jr. He was discriminated as a young The month of February is known for many child and grew up in a prejudice notable events such as Groundhogs Day and world. This former pastor and loving Valentine's Day, but it is also Black History husband, boycotted buses and led a Month. Black History Month glorifies immarch to the Lincoln Memorial and portant people and events in the history of gave his famous "I had a dream" African Americans. It originated in 1926 by speech. Dr. King Jr. was the youngCarter G. Woodson, also known as Father of est person to receive the Nobel Peace Black History. He was the founder of the AsPrize for his efforts to end racial segsociation for the Study of African American regation discrimination. Life and History. In 2002, Woodson made the "I feel like Martin Luther King artin Luther King Jr. was one of the many list for 100 Greatest African Americans. people who has made a great impact on our Jr.'s dream is finally coming true beWhen Black History Month first originated, it was known as Negro History Week. society today, in the past and the future by standing up cause of the change that is going to happen [with] Obama," said sophoThe second week of February was chosen to for what he believed in. Photo credit more Valerie Ayala-Otero. be Negro History week because it marked the co-founder of the NAACP, was born. On President Obama's monumental apbirthdays of two Americans who greatly in- Feb.3,1870 the fifteenth Amendment to fluenced the African American society. Those the Constitution, granting blacks the right pointment as the first African American two Americans are former President Abra- to vote was passed. Also, on Feb. 12, 1909 President is quickly bringing Americans of ham Lincoln and abolitionist Frederick Dou- The National Association for the Advance- all ages and backgrounds together. While Black History has made a glass. Besides Lincoln and Douglass, February ment of Colored People (NAACP) was shows it's significant appreciation in Black founded by a group of concerned black and touch in society, it was not until the 20th century that it earned it's respect in history History. For example, Feb. 23, 1868: W.E.B white citizens in New York City. DuBois, an important civil rights leader and Another legend that positively changed books.




Friday the thirteenth is a triple threat this year Mardi Gras’ roots reach ajQUENELL

staff writer

Thirteen has been considered an unlucky number by the superstitious for centuries. Many office buildings and hotels will not list a floor 13 but call it 14 instead, cities take numbered streets and change just 13 to a named street, and some airports do not have a gate 13 or row 13 on planes. And let’s not forget the double dose of bad luck day- Friday the 13th. Every month that begins on a Sunday will have a Friday the 13th in it. The longest possible period of time without the unlucky day is 14 months. The 2009 calendar has a Friday the 13th in February, March and November. That’s three times in one year, for the first time in a little over a decade. The origins of the belief come from different religions.

The Viking God Loki for instance was considered the 13th God, along with Satan, to be christianized as the 13th angel in versions of the bible. Friday is also the day Christians believe to be the crucifixion of Jesus. In the United States alone, at least 17 million people suffer from paraskavedekatriaphobia- a word derived from the greek words paraskevi(Friday) and dekatries(thirteen), meaning fear of the day Friday the 13th. “I think it’s all hocus pocus and nothing will happen unless you psych yourself out,” said senior Mikey Evans. If you happen to be one of the many that fear this day, keep and eye out for black cats and broken mirrors. Good Luck.

February is the month of love kellyMcDONALD

staff writer

It can be hard to arrange a romantic date on Valentine’s Day with a meager budget, but it’s actually easier to handle than you may think. Taking the more personal route instead of a pricey one may in fact, benefit you and your wallet. When you think of Valentine’s Day, money signs flash before your eyes, but with a few mere money saving tricks you will be able to manage Valentine’s Day exceptionally well without breaking the bank. When you are a new couple that recently started dating, it can be hard to show affection without coming on too strong but there are plenty of subtle yet romantic things to do on this infamous holiday. Since Valentine’s Day is on a Saturday this year, a picnic at the park, beach, or even in your own backyard would be adorable. If you’re in the beginning stages of your relationship, this is a great way to show emotion without the intensity of a stereotypical Valentines date. “For Valentine’s Day, I would fill my girl’s locker with a ton of candy, her favorite kind. I would fill it so full that when she went to open it at school, it would fall all over the place,” said senior, Marcus Carr of an inexpensive Valentine’s gift. For the strong and steady couple that has been together for a while, it’s good to be tender and a little corny. A movie and take-out of their choice is sure to keep the mood light and this way, you don’t have to deal with over-crowded restaraunts or the costly bill at the end of the night. Don’t forget to throw in a few flowers or a box of chocolates to keep the tradition alive. “Even though it’s a little cliche, I still think the best gifts on Valentine’s Day are the candies. Flowers are good too, but nothing beats chocolate,” said Junior, Nicole Cooper.

Gifts like that will remind them that it’s not just a Saturday-night movie, and that you indeed, recognized the special day. Not all dates have to be over-the-top and expensive to still be romantic. “I would take her out to dinner, probably McDonalds, then we could go walk on the pier or something like that,” said Countryside senior, Tiernan Pardue. Just spending time with one another will still make for a idyllic night out, no matter the costs. Once you hit that year marker, wouldn’t it be nice to do something picturesque for your significant other? You know, like something out of a movie? Well for the most part, all of that can cost you an arm and a leg. So the real question is, is there any way to have an extravagant Valentine’s Day without the excessive price tag? The answer is quite simple. All you need to do is find a way to tell your beau that you love them. A love note, hand-written, and straight from the heart will definitely catch your girl or guys’ attention. Include all the small things about the other that they never would expect you to notice. If you add the minor little details, they’ll be sure to take note of how much you really do treasure the relationship. Adding a personal, unique touch to your date will show your Valentine that you honestly care and put a lot of thought and effort into it. The slightest, what you may think most insignificant detail, could leave an everlasting memory for the one you care most about. Creativity is guaranteed to get noticed. So this year, break out of the box and try something new. If you’re one among many high school students struggling to come up with the money for a fairy-tale Valentine’s Day, don’t stress. As long as you have an open mind and each other, the day is yours to express your love for one another in any way you’d like, even on minimal funds.

our neighborhood kaylaYAMONICO

staff writer

The streets are crowded, people yelling, jumping, screaming at the top of their lungs. The thousand pounds of glitter make the floats indescribable. People reaching up to drink their drinks are stopped by pounds of colorful confetti. This is the scene of Mardi Gras or “Fat Tuesday”. The good news is, students do not have to travel 680 miles to New Orleans to celebrate Mardi Gras. Downtown Dunedin throws their own version of the celebration on Main Street between Louden Avenue and Broadway. The admission is free, and its from 5:00pm-11:00pm on Feb 24. The parade starts at 7PM. “I’m extremely excited to go,” said sophmore Giovana Garabeli. The Kiwanis Club will handle the carnival-like food such as elephant ears and kettle corn. Also, there will be performances by The Vodknauts, Triple Threat, and Jennifer and the Venturas at 5PM in Pioneer Park. Mardi Gras made its first appearance in Mobile, Alabama in 1830. A man named Micheal Krafft and friends took agricultural items from sidewalk displays and started parading in the town. Mardi Gras is most famously celebrated in New Orleans. New Orleans has been through a lot these past few years, but that does not stop this strong port city from throwing the biggest party of the year. This fun celebration is traced all the way back to Medieval Europe. A FrenchCanadian explorer by the name of Jean Baptiste Le Moyne Sieur de Bienville discovered land directly south of New Orleans and decided to call it “Pointe due Mardi Gras” in 1699. In the 1700s pre-Lenten masked balls and festivals were used in their Mardi Gras while under French rule. By the late 1830s, to celebrate Mardi Gras, New Orleans allowed street processions, carriages and horseback riding. Some major events that take place in the New Orleans’ Mardi Gras include Krewes, balls and throws. The Krewes are made up of organizations and social clubs that make New Orleans famous . The Krewes of Mardi Gras range in variety. One Krewe in particular is the Bacchus Krewe. Using their king as a symbol to lead the parade, they have the largest and most extraordinary floats yet. One of their signature floats is the Rendezvous supper dance with Las Vegas-type entertainment. Every Sunday before Mardi Gras day, Krewe Bacchus has their parade drawing crowds of up to several hundred thousands each year. Another exciting event that takes place at Mardi Gras is throwing Beads, candy, stuffed animals, and cups. “I’m ready to catch those beads,” said Junior Max Wolfinbarger. The throwing of “trinkets” and such started in the 1870s by the Twelfth Night Revelers. Be aware, that if you reach down to grab a pair of beads, your hands might be squished! The balls at Mardi Gras are planned by the King and Queen, who are not revealed until that spectacular night. These balls are very formal and private. Women dress in gowns hoping to be “called out”, so they can have their dance with a prince. In 1892, The Rex Parade Theme selected the official colors for Mardi Gras. Each of the colors have a special meaning. Purple represents justice, green is faith, and gold is power. Not only do those colors have meaning but they also helped Louisiana State University and Tulane University choose their colors. Don’t miss out on the most exciting event of the year!

OPINION The unsanitary secret stored in the stalls bethanyREED

staff writer

It’s third period. You woke up so early that your body couldn’t even register hunger, but now it seems you’re famished. Your teacher is talking about one thing or another, and while you find the life of Mollusks to be incredibly fascinating, all you are focused on is quieting your stomach’s angry roars. You’ve worked diligently all day to scrounge up enough change from generous friends, and you’ve finally gotten enough for even the cheapest snack from a vending machine. Your teacher hesitantly lets you leave, so you pick up that plastic maroon pass and make your way to satisfaction. Pause with me now if you will, as we take a more in depth look at the item in your hands. It is after all third period, which makes you one of countless people who have had that very same pass in their possession already. Unless the janitors happen to spray each individual pass with even a mild form of disinfectant, the who-knows-what on the hands of your fellow Countryside students has now been transferred to your own. Let’s not forget that you are about to go get food, which will most likely be transported from its packaging to your mouth with said hands, spreading germs from the outside of your body to the inside. We resume now, and fast forward to a different Countryside High School student in fourth period. Toes tapping, legs crossed-anything to stop from thinking about having to use the restroom. Yet, out of fear of being that


What do you think of the bathroom passes?

kid that peed himself, the student hurriedly explains his situation to the teacher, gets the pass and sprints down the halls. Once in the bathroom he can’t be bothered with the pass and throws it onto the floor of the stall as he breaths a sigh of relief. Now being the hygiene conscious student he is, he spends a good five minutes washing his hands and makes his way back to class. Pause with me again, as we once more examine that gross garnet grievance. He just washed his hands. I’ll let that sink in...HE JUST WASHED HIS HANDS! And now, they’ve got their grasp on something that was just on the floor of the bathroom. I’m assuming he didn’t give the pass a good scrub at the sink too, so all the grime he just took the time to clean off, is right back on his hands, probably worse than before. I propose some kind of change. Anything. Please. We’re big kids. We can write our own individual passes. I’m sure it wouldn’t be that big of a stretch. Or, and this is a wild idea I know, we could use our planners. Oh but wait, that only applies to the freshmen. Or, how about each teacher takes what, ten pieces of paper, and prints out individual student passes that could be handed to us on our way out. School is supposed to be a wonderful place of learning and life building skills and not a place where everyone’s acquiring colds because they needed to leave the room.

“They’re covered in germs.” Ryan O’Neil sophomore

“It’s easy to spread germs, and it’s so unsanitary.” Cathy Meyer junior

“It’s a joke. It’s gross that I have to touch a pass that’s been in contact with male genitalia.” Matt Worner junior

“To be less sarcastic” Chris VanDemark, sophomore

“To eat healthier.” Claire Bough, freshman


“To go to the gym everyday.” Jamie Bednark senior

“What is your resolution?” “To learn how to use chop sticks.” Elizabeth Mason, freshman

“To raise my grades and start taking showers everyday.” Nate Albritton junior

The Paw Print Staff 3000 S.R. 580 Clearwater, Florida 33761 (727) 725-7956 ext. 2046 Fax (727) 725-7990 Editors-in-Chief Daniel Mineo, Pauline Murphy, & Sabrina Rocco

Staff Writers

Nicole Bolton, Krystal Casey, Ryan Duchane, Heather Ebert, Lauren Ince, Megan Koch, Rachel Lubitz, Megan Mason, Kelly McDonald, Evan Miller, Sara Mineo, Kaley Nemeth, Sandra Nguyen, Joe Polt, Andrew Quenell, Bethany Reed, Roger Schmidt, and Kayla Yamonico


Margaret Trautwein


Gerald Schlereth

Florida Scholastic Press Association Southern Interscholastic Press Association Quill and Scroll The Paw Print is publshed by the newspaper staff at Countryside High School. Advertising rates are available upon request by calling (727) 725-7956 ext. 2046. Advertising which promotes illegal products under Florida Law, or opposes any religion will not be accepted. The Paw Print has been established as an open forum for student expression as outlined in the Student Press Law’s model guidelines for student publications. The opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the faculty and administration but rather the author or the newspaper staff and its editors. The Paw Print welcomes letters to the editor on topics of interest to Countryside High and the surrounding community. We also welcome contributions from writers not in the staff. All freelance work should be submitted to room A-3 with the author’s name.



Lost soldiers recognized with plaques meganMASON

staff writer

Last year, Countryside High School Social Studies teacher and Student Council adviser, Chris Settle, devised a plan to commemorate the school’s faculty and alumni that have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. The result of


elow the flagpole, freshman Jordan Rossi reminisces over the plaque honoring his deceased brother, Jonathan Rossi. Although it has been more than a month since the ceremony, it is a solemn moment when Rossi revisits a memorial for his brother. Photo credit Megan Mason

this proposal is now visible in front of the main entrance of the school underneath the flag pole. One large plaque is inscribed with a message to remember all present and deceased veteran staff and graduates. Two smaller plaques specifically recognize the lives of Jonathan Rossi and Ar-

Schedule changes sparked by the country’s economical crisis heatherEBERT

staff writer

The Pinellas County School Board and the Pinellas Classroom Teachers Association are currently searching for a solution to calm the chaos recently created regarding a change to schedules. The district was given a budgetary cut of 43 million dollars, most likely due to the economical state of the country. In desperation to work with the given budget loss, the board implemented a seven period day-schedule to the middle schools. This decision concerned teachers, for they were being paid for working a 5-of-6 schedule but were working an extra period in a 6-of-7 schedule. The teachers association and the school board went in front of an arbitrator to discuss the issue at hand-did the board violate its contract with the teachers. The arbitrator, Christopher Shulman ruled in favor of the teachers association and required the district to restore all schools that did not vote in approval of the 6-of-7 schedule back to a 5-of-6 day by the next grading period or semester after Jan. 1, 2009. At Countryside High, the economical state of the country is coming into play as well. For five years the school has followed a 4x4 schedule that has given students room to make up credits if needed and enabled students to explore different options by opening their schedule for more electives. Now it is expected that the school there will be a new schedule starting in the 2009-2010 school year. Most likely the new schedule will be a seven period day. “[A reason for the change to the 4X4 schedule is, it is] costing more money,” said Assistant Principal Cindy Saginario. She further explained that with a 6-of-7 schedule, less teachers would need to be hired in comparison to the 4X4 schedule. For teachers and administration at Countryside, there are many thoughts and opinions on the idea of a new schedule. In the class I teach, I can cover more [with the 4X4],” said Business Education teacher, Sharon Buckman. “I think one positive thing [with the new schedule] is that we are going to have to go slower, so [students] may have more time to grasp the material.” Some teachers at Countryside see the change as a positive effort to better relate to students. “I would get to know the students better, since I would have them for a whole year,” said Spanish teacher Alice Turnier. The idea of switching to a seven period day at Countryside will save money and possibly improve student-teacher communication, but teachers may be stressed about the additional responisibilities. Today’s youth hold the future in their hands and while teachers and the school district are arguing over money the students are the ones, in the end that may suffer.

turo Huerta-Cruz. Rossi graduated from Countryside in 2005 and was killed in Iraq in 2007. Similarly, HuertaCruz graduated in 2003 from Countryside and was killed in Iraq in 2008. “I think it’s really special for the veteran’s [plaques] to be placed under the flag that they sacrificed their lives for,” said Mr. Settle. To dedicate the plaques, a ceremony was held Dec. 3, 2008 at the school. Family, friends and classmates of the honored alumni gathered to remember Rossi, Cruz and many other brave soldiers. “My brother did an honorable thing for our country, and he definitely deserves a plaque in his name,” said freshman Jordan Rossi. The Clearwater Police Department’s Color Guard performed as well as Countryside’s Pride Band. Clearwater Mayor Frank Hibbard, also a Countryside alumnus, attended the ceremony and deeply thanked the families for their honorable losses in his speech that spectators considered heartwarming and genuine. “There is absolutely nothing that we can ever do to repay you for the sacrifice that [your family members] have made to our country with their lives,” said Hibbard. “But we can make you one promise-we will never forget and continue to remember [them] in ceremonies like this.” Many other familiar faces joined to honor those brave soldiers at the ceremony and it can be noted that there


eneath the flag pole nearest the office, the large standing plaque reads: “In honor of alumni, faculty, and staff who have served this great country as members of the United States Armed Forces. You will always be remembered for your sacrifice.” Photo credit Megan Mason

was not a dry eye in the area by the time it was over. At the event,Rossi’s father,Air Force retireeMichael Rossi, told the Clearwater Citizen, “To get a call a year or so later, still honoring his memory and sacrifices is overwhelming. People still care and they want to remember this. They should [remember] not [only] my son but all the men and women who are sacrificing.”



Obama sworn in for change danielMINEO & sabrinaROCCO


A new era has come across this nation, in a time of economic downfall and rising concerns for health care as well as the tax dilemma and the dangerous situations arising daily in the Middle East. To overcome these challenges, a man was elected to rise to the occasion. On Jan. 20th, Barack Obama rode with former President George W. Bush in his limo to the Capitol to become the 44th President of the United States and the inheritor of these anomalies. That momentous morning more than two million people congregated all over the National Mall and beyond while baring the frigid 20 degree temperature to witness the historic event. Many gathered as early as four in the morning to ensure a clear view of the event. The FBI deployed four times more resources for security than the last inauguration of former President George W. Bush. “Snipers are not evident, but are definitely there,” said bystander Richard Lui. President Obama’s 18 minute inauguration address inspired hope and foreshadowed his plans regarding the problems that lie ahead. “Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real, they are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this America: They will be met,” said President Obama. During the new commander in chief ’s first days in the White House, he reversed many of former President Bush’s executive orders such as an order that made it easier for government agencies to deny requests for records under the Freedom of Information Act. Obama also repealed an order that allowed former presidents or their heirs to claim executive privilege in an effort to keep records secret. His first orders seemed to show that he intends on keeping his


aking U.S. history, Barack Obama becomes the 44th president of the United States Jan. 20, 2009. Photo credit Daniel Mineo promise of running a transparent government. “Starting today, every agency and department should know that this administration stands on the side not of those who seek to withhold information, but those who seek to make it known,” said Obama. President Obama also ordered ,within a year, the clos-

ing of secret CIA foreign prisons where the United States holds suspected members of terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaeda and Al-Jihad. One such prison is Guantanamo Bay (Gitmo),Cuba which is 90 miles from the coast of the United States. Obama issued a succeeding order that ends the use of harsh interrogation techniques such as waterboarding, which is defined as immobilizing a person on their back, and pouring water on their head and into their breathing passages. The President put into motion an order that would create regulations for the “detention, trial, transfer, release, or other disposition of individuals connection with armed conflicts and counter-terrorism operations...” The President also revealed his stance on abortion when he lifted a federal ban on distributing federal money to international groups that perform abortions or groups that inform about abortions. This ban was first put in place by Republican Pres. Ronald Reagan in 1984, then lifted by Democratic Pres. Bill Clinton in 1993. In 2001, it was re-instituted by Republican Pres. George W. Bush. As this issue was a very heartfelt one, he signed it without all the media attention that was given to the Gitmo prison closings. As the virgin seeds of the future of the United States begin to grow, the people of America hold onto the hope and promise President Obama has endured. “I teared up a little bit [during the inauguration] because it was a proud day for my race and for people of all races,” said junior Malcolm Garcia. The brisk, fervent morning of January 20th was undoubtedly a red-letter day in history as a man who would have once been declared by the Constitution as threefifths of a person is now able to hold the highest office in the United States of America.

A bill that is worth every penny meganKOCH & sandraNGUYEN

staff writers

At Countryside High School, it is an all too common sight to see some students smoking in the parking lot or the pavillion in front of the school. The American Lung Association concludes that approximately 4,000 people smoke their first cigarette between the ages 12 to 17 and an estimated 1,300 of those people will become everyday smokers. Every day 1,200 Americans die from smokingrelated illnesses. Two new state proposals, HB 11 and HB 477, may change the course of most lives effected by tobacco. The HB 11 was filed November 19, 2008 as a way to decrease the high amount of deaths related to tobacco use. It proposes a dollar tax increase on cigarette packs. The bill is sponsored by Representative Waldman with the help of his co-sponsors Heller, Kiar, Kriseman, Pafford, Rehwinkel Vasilinda, Schwart, Skidmore, Soto and Thurston. Not only are cigarettes an addicting product, but also a finacially draining product even without a tax increase. The amount of money an average person spends on cigarettes in America is about $1,000 per year. Think about how one can use that money on something beneficial instead of literally paying to end their lives faster. The Legislature finds that “...cigarette consumption dramatically impacts the state’s Medicaid budget and a substantial deficit has been created between what con-

sumers pay in related excise or privilege fees and what the state actually incurs in health care costs...” “[HB 11 will] help offset Florida’s budget deficit, lessen the burden of healthcare costs on the state, and discourage Floridians from smoking,” said Representative Rick Kriseman. “My father passed away from a smokingrelated illness [also], and I care deeply about seeing others avoid such a fate.” HB 477 was filed on Jan. 20, 2009 by Representative Weatherford, and it specifically explains where the extra money will be going. The cigarette tax will be used to “ monthly to the Board of the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute for certain purposes...” as well as pay for bonds or related financial products, debt service, deleting an obsolete provision and revising 10 provisions providing the use of cancer research, treatment, and facilities. “My hope is tobacco users will understand that the majority of Floridians support this proposal, that their smoking habit is harmful to

themselves and others and that they are placing an unfair burden on our health-care costs,” said Representative Kriseman. “Smoking is a choice, and ideally, those who smoke will begin to quit if the cost is higher.” The representatives are working closely with organizations such as the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association and other well known groups, and they all seem to have the same goal- decrease the amount of smokers. It’s been predicted that overall 123,000 people will quit smoking if the tax for cigarettes increases. The date that the bills take effect is currently undecided. For additional information about the increase in cigarette tax or smoking in general, visit the Amercian Cancer Society’s website, http://www.cancer. org/docroot/home/index.asp. Next time you want to take a puff on campus or off, think about the damage you’re causing yourself.



Neptunes is a launch pad for success evanMILLER

staff writer

Many teenagers who pick up a musical instrument today do so with the intent of forming a band. When this so called “band” is ready to preform, they need to find the place to play. This is when most people call up Neptune’s Lounge. Located on the Pinellas Trail in Tarpon Springs, this bike shop/ music venue has served as both a place for local bands to start off, but also as a stop for many out of state bands before they become famous. Some bands who are headlining 2000 capacity clubs today even played at this humble hangout when they first started. Neptune’s is infamous in the local scene for having more people stand outside while a band plays Blink-182 covers at their first shows. But Neptune’s has given the music scene a few diamonds in the rough. One local band, with members from Countryside High School, that has gathered a following by playing at Neptune’s is, One Way. The ska band has been playing at Neptune’s for a year and a half. “Neptune’s is a great place for kids to hang out and listen to live music,” said One Way bassist, senior Cody Unangst. sabrinaROCCO

grade, the band includes Countryside senior Vince Montemarano mainly on the drums. The band has only played Neptune’s once before, but they will be performing on Friday, Feb. 6. “We also play quite frequently at Gasoline Alley, Pegasus Lounge, Taste Safety Harbor and other venues,” said Montemarano. The Greys are busy working on their CD Dreams. Be sure to check up on the band’s progress at thegreysz. Neptune’s hasn’t always been a place just for local bands. Cute Is What We Aim For, The Academy Is..., hellogoodocated on the scenic Pinellas trail in Tarpon Springs, Neptunes is a place for bye, All Time Low, Sky Eats Airplane teenagers to enjoy live music and entertainment. Photo credit Evan Miller and A Day To Remember for instance, have all played at Neptunes. So if you One Way recently created their demo CD entihave a free weekend, make your way tled ROFLSTOMP. Be sure to check out the band down to Neptune’s and keep yours eyes peeled, beat or at Neptune’s cause you never know if one of the bands there might Lounge on Friday, Feb. 6 and Saturday, March 21. be the next big thing.The Neptunes Lounge is loAnother band that occasionally plays the Nep- cated at 13 S Stafford Ave in Tarpon Springs. tune’s circuit is, The Greys. Formed back in 8th



Comedian Dane Cook’s brilliant, witty antics captured his audience at the St.Pete Times Forum on Sunday, January 31st. The day before his performance, I had the opportunity to speak with Cook in a telephone conference. Here is what he had to say:

I’ve worked a lot of years to be able to share all different kinds of comedic stories with people and it’s worked out pretty well. So yeah... that’s my guess.

e g a t s : k s c s a a b p Dane Cook

do you plan your set beforehand or do you come up with most of it off the top of your head?

what was your g r e a t e s t struggle in high school?

Self confidence...feeling insecure...having belief in myself... [I was] a very intro-

I love being in the moment; being off the top. With that being said, to be a diligent performer you need to be as prepared for every combination of comedic math as its a mixture of both. I like to have an idea: 10, 20, 30 ideas or routines to pull from and then once I get in front of that crowd, I really like to adapt and kind of be a chameleon to that crowd and hopefully its a great give and take energy-wise.

when did you start discovering that you were talented at comedy? I think just having a funny mom and dad. I just had a funny family. We had our share of tough times and we certainly dealt with some pretty heavy, dark hits like many families do but at the center of that was always a lightheartedness and I absorbed that from my mom and dad and I felt like, “You know what? I’d love to do that.” I love P hoto credi watching comedy but I love interacting t ww with my mom and dad comedically. I felt like this would be a great way to make a living and making other people kind of make it through the things that we v e r t e d made it through [with] humor so they were probably the human being first couple of people that made me feel like it was okay to coming out of my shell. You start down this very long, intricate road to stand-up com- know, people see me on stage and edy and hoping to build a fan base which I was fortunate I’m sure they say “Oh, you seem like you’re... enough to do. the life of the party!” but it took a lot of years before I was even invited to the party. So, that was the toughest what do you think captivates your thing to overcome. Having a dream where people need to audience the most about your com- hear my ideas and imagination with people and realizing I didn’t have the voice to do it and that I needed to trust edy? people. Well...I think that’s a question for the audience or for the people sitting at the shows. I guess I would say just from corresponding with fans that people seem to ap- you were in the movie my best preciate my...dedication. My dedication to whatever I’m friend’s girl in 2008. are you planputting out there whether its absurd humor or storytelling ning on being in any other movies humor or physical humor or dark or maybe even vulgar this year? humor. We’re all made up of several different kinds of This is actually a kind of going back to the drawing board comedy - not [just] one kind of comedy makes you laugh.

year for me. I’ve certainly had many degrees of success in film; it was a blast...I got to be on six/seven movie sets over the last several years but what I really felt like I was really desiring was picking up a brand new slant on my comedy and what I’ve dealt with in my life personally and professionally and kind of going back to the starting point which is just pure stand-up comedy. So, a little bit of a hiatus from the film work . I was in comedy clubs all year this last year, five nights a week, working on a new set and I want people to not be distracted by whatever else I’m doing this year. I want them to be able to focus solely on my stand-up comedy.

so you do like doing stand-up comedy over movies... Oh, theres absolutely nothing better than live performance. You create an idea of something you think of in the course of your day and you can share it without anybody else cutting into your standards and regulators coming and telling you what you can and cannot say and editing you so...its the best...its the best way to make a living and I adore it.

do you do anything before a performance for good luck? I don’t have any superstitions or anything like that. What I’ve always really, really dug was hanging out with my good friends or family. I’m not one of those performers that needs to be off in the corner meditating or over thinking the show. I like to take that same energy and be around friends and family and just hanging out and feeling like a regular guy...bringing that into my performance so I guess you could say that that in itself is a need or desire for me. I like to just be around...great people who pat me on the back and say “Oh you’re gonna go on in two minutes! We’re gonna go to our seats. We’re gonna watch you,” and feeling that conversation but with a larger group for sure.

do you have any advice for high school students that want to go into show business? I think the best advice that I can think of is gathering as much knowledge of all the people that you admire as possible - the people that you look at and want to emulate. I believe that you should research them, find out what made them tick...what worked for them. Certainly focus more on the things that didn’t work for them and then get your own cement out there and lay your own path. Absorb as much as you can from the people that you are surrounded by and then throw all the rules out the window. Don’t try to be what they were - just understand how they handled themselves through the highs and lows.then get your own cement out there and lay your own path.



Red promotes their sophomore album ryanDUCHANE

staff writer

With the ever-expanding computer industry and a new generation of internet-savvy consumers, companies are finding new and innovative ways to advertise their products. One such method is by establishing an Alternate Reality Game (ARG). An ARG is a type of storyline that utilizes a combination of websites and multimedia in order to promote a product, often a video game or music album. One recent ARG is the “Dante’s Inferno” ARG created by Nashville rock band Red in order to promote their upcoming second album, titled “Innocence and Instinct”. Red released their first album, “End of Silence” in 2006. The CD was nominated for a grammy for Best Rock or Rap Gospel Album and the first single “Breathe Into Me” rose to #10 on the U.S. Mainstream Rock Chart. Red went on to tour with many well-known bands such as Seether, Breaking Benjamin, Three Days Grace, and Staind. In 2008, Red announced that they were in the studio working on their second album. The first single from the album, “The Fight Inside”, made history as Red became the first christian rock band to debut a song at #1 on the charts. To promote “Innocence and Instinct”, Red took a less direct approach, one that has recently become a more accessible form of advertising- an ARG. The album draws

much of its influence from Dante Alighieri’s “The Divine Comedy”, so the ARG itself focuses on “Dante’s Inferno”, the most well-known portion of the book. The ARG is much like a maze, where by clicking a link at one website, fans can follow clues to find new sound clips, posters, album artwork, etc. The trek begins on a fake myspace for a man named “Dante” where his “friends” leave clues and codes that help to unlock secrets and delve deeper into the maze. As more and more information is revealed, certain websites connect even more into the real world, prompting phone calls that result in automated messages. While not quite as elaborate as Nine Inch Nails’ “Year Zero” ARG, (where frontman Trent Reznor used maps to pinpoint hidden USB drives that contained songs from the upcoming album) Red’s advertising approach is very engrossing and clever. With the lack of advertising geared toward CDs these days, ARGs are just the kind of entertaining boost needed to keep fans excited up until the CD’s release. Red pulls off their game perfectly and has fans going over clues in forums as they wait excitedly for more. Red is a great band to check out, and both “End of Silence” ed’s first album, “End of Silence” was nominated for a Gram- and “Innocence and Instinct” are available in standard my in 2006. Their latest single has quickly reached #1 on and deluxe edition. Before checking out the album, you Christian radio charts. The new album, ‘Innocence and Instinct’ was can go to to delve deeper released on February 10th. Photo credit into the elaborate mystery of “Dante’s Inferno”.


Benjamin Button charms audiences


staff writer

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, based off of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story, is a coming of age motion picture- only the exact opposite. The film is filled with enough “Forrest Gump-ian” charm and warm Southern light to make even the most simple moment in Benjamin Button’s life extraordinary. The movie opens like an illuminated storybook being told backwards. As an infant, Button has all the qualities of a man in his eighties. His imagination mirrors that of any other child’s, yet his skin, hands, legs and voice are aged beyond imagination. He meets his first love, Daisy, when he looks seventy and gets his first job when he appears to be about fifty. Still with all the setbacks he retains the normalcy of any human being. The backdrop of the story is mainly colorful New Orleans. Button is adopted by a sweeter than honey woman after she finds him abandoned on her doorstep. She runs an old folks’ home where the boy physically fits right in. Although he looks like the others there, he is certainly


he Curious Case of Benjamin Button has acclaimed numerous recognitions due to the brilliant performances of Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett.

Photo credit

not growing up old. The gingerbread laced nursing home is a head-trip for the young Benjamin, but he finds his way out. Looking about fifty or sixty, he leaves for the high seas on a fishing boat in the company of a drunken captain. Benjamin has several affairs on his journey and as he grows younger things briefly go sour. After a World War II battle, he is seen back at home where all of his senior friends have withered away. He sees his own mother aging as well. In the same home he was brought up

Films filling theatre seats ajQUENELL


Starring: Billy Crudup Release: March 6 Rated: R for Violence In a world where superheroes have been outlawed,and the only ones allowed to operate are under the direct control of the U.S. government. Suddenly all these heroes, both active and retired, find themselves targets of an unseen enemy who wants to kill them one by one.

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li Starring: Kristin Kruek and Michael Duncan Clark Release: February 27th Rated: PG-13 Based on the classic video game, “Street Fighter” focuses around the game’s most popular character, Chun Li (Kruek), who embarks on a quest for justice as she faces off against a series of formidable opponents including many characters from the game.

staff writer

The Pink Panther 2

Starring: Steve Martin Release: February 6th Rated: PG for suggestive humor Steve Martin returns as the clumsy Inspector Jacques Clouseau in this sequel to the 2006 hit, The Pink Panther. Clouseau is tossed back into the game when thousands of priceless artifacts around the world begin to disappear including the Pink Panther Diamond.

Friday the 13th Starring: Jared Padalecki Release: February 13th Rated: R for bloody violence Mrs. Vorhees goes on a killing spree in revenge against the camp counselors that allowed her sons death. But, when she is slain herself, her son rises from the dead to take matters into his own hands.

Madea Goes to Jail

Starring: Tyler Perry Release: February 20th Rated: PG-13 After a high-speed chase puts Madea in front of the judge, and she lands herself in jail. A gleeful Joe couldn’t be happier at Madea’s misfortune. But Madea’s eccentric family members the Browns rally behind her, lending their special “country” brand of support.

in, he sees Daisy again, only she is much older and he looks much younger than before. Being his first love and last love, makes Daisy realize that she is growing older but he will soon be a child or maybe even an infant. After a long and passionate relationship it occurs to Benjamin that he does not want Daisy to be caring for him in her old age. The ending shouldn’t be revealed due to its levity and composition. It is to be said that Brad Pitt’s performance is certainly worthy of awards, and with his smooth southern accent and gullible eyes it is hard not to be charmed by him even when he appears to be eighty years old. Daisy, played by the brilliant Cate Blanchett, deserves recognition for her stunning performance also. The movie is a charming escape into a storybook world of adventure and captivation. It is the kind of movie you don’t want to end and it is the kind of movie you can escape into. So, if you are looking to get lost in a backwards fairytale world of loss, love, and mystification The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is an ideal film to see.

SPORTS Varsity basketball season ends in victory paulineMURPHY


The Countryside Varsity basketball team ended their season on a high note Tuesday, Feb. 3 defeating East Lake 73-51. Since it was also Senior Night, the senior cheerleaders and basketball players were recognized and escorted by their parents down center court before the game. Senior Ebony Gomez subsequently sang a praiseworthy version of the National Anthem. The starting line-up consisted of seniors Dustin Callan, Tucker Pollard, Craig Tobe, Joey Vince and Alex Huey. Just minutes into the first quarter, Pollard made a foul shot giving Countryside the advantage. Vince later followed his teammate’s lead, scoring two foul shots and raising the score 7-4. The game then became a 7-7 tie, until Pollard scored a two-pointer. Junior Dino Tabakovic made a two point rebound halfway into the first quarter, amping up the score to 16-12. The star shooter continued to be Pollard, who scored at least five more points before the period ended. Junior Jared Low was also a noteworthy asset to the team, making a two point shot near the quarter’s end. As the first quarter came to a close, the score tied up again 2020. Countryside was able to hold onto its lead though, thanks to a two point shot by Vince, which ended the quarter 22-20. Countryside’s lead in the second quarter increased thanks to a two point shot scored by Tobe. Soon, Tabakovic advanced the team’s chance at victory again with a three pointer after running the full length of the court. Countryside’s luck did not stop there. Lowmade a one pointer, followed by two successful foul shots from Tabakovic. This put the team ahead 30-20. Meanwhile, a collision with an East Lake player took

High School Open Gym

Tobe off the court with a minor leg injury in the middle of the second quarter. Despite the bruise, Countryside managed to remain ahead. At halftime, the score was 42-36 Countryside. The Junior Varsity team made their way onto the court during the 15 minute intermission to be recognized for their 17-0 season- the first in the school’s history. Tabakovic began the second half on the right track, scoring two points that progressed the score to 44-36. Low, Vince, and Tabakovic remained the powerhouses in the game. They scored at least 12 points between them in quarter three. An East Lake player pushed a two point shot made by Tabakovic out of the net at the end of the quarter, but the referees called goal tending and the basket counted, so the quarter ended with East Lake trailing Countryside 5642. Vince and Low made a series of two and three pointers in the fourth quarter. Pollard also made a foul shot for the team. With three minutes and 50 seconds left and a score of 69-46, the stands erupted into a chant, shouting “Jackie! Jackie!” Senior Andy Chantaman goes by the nickname Jackie Chan. He had not been put into the game yet. The coach immediately appeased the crowd and put “Jackie” in with only minutes to spare. It was a smart decision because he scored a two pointer as the minutes turned to seconds on the score board. The Varsity team ended their season with 14 wins and ten losses. They celebrated by pouring the orange Gatorade cooler on the coaches. “Our guys played harder than any others we faced all year,” said Varsity Coach Miron Huey. “We have not faced a team that has more heart or desire to win. Those who didn’t see these young men play missed an opportunity to understand what it takes to be a winner...It is a pleasure to coach players with such desire.”

Offered by the City of Safety Harbor

Tuesdays & Thursdays February 3—June 6 2:30-4:00pm $1 per player



Not your typical gaming tournament! You won’t know what game, or what system, you’ll play next! XBOX 360, Wii, N64 and more! **Pre -register by March 20th **

5 on 5 Flag Football Tournament Sat., April 4th 10am-5pm $50/ team **pre-register by March 14th


Steelers win Superb o w l X L I I I i n Ta m p a krystalCASEY

staff writer

There were two minutes and 38 seconds left in the game. The score was 20-23, and the Arizona Cardinals were in the lead. Then, all of the sudden the Pittsburgh Steelers’ wide receiver, Santonio Holmes, scored a touchdown with 35 seconds left in the game, putting the Steelers in the lead 26-23. The Cardinals tried to catch up but with little hope the game finished off with a score of 27-23, making this the sixth Superbowl win for the Steelers. Past championships were Superbowl IX, X, XIII, XIV and XL. The game took place on Sunday, Feb. 1, 2009. Kick off was at 6:32pm at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. Not even five minutes into the game Steelers’ quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, scored the first touchdown, but it was incomplete and was reversed into a challenge by the Cardinals. Place kicker for the Steelers, Jeff Reed, kicked an 18 yard field goal that put his team in the lead. The first quarter ended with the Steelers 3, Cardinals 0. With only 59 seconds into the second quarter, the Steelers scored another touchdown thanks to running back, Gary Russell. Reed kicked another good field goal giving the Steelers an extra point. The Cardinals received the ball after a 71 yard kickoff from Reed. The Cardinals’ quarterback, Kurt Warner, then passed the ball to the Cardinals’ tight end, Ben Patrick, for a one yard touchdown. Cardinals’ kicker, Neil Rackers, kicked a field goal putting the Cardinals in the lead 3-7. Rackers kicked the ball 66 yards to Russell who returned for 18 yards. Later, outside linebacker, Karlos Dansby, of the Cardinals intercepted the ball from Roethlisberger on a pass intended for Holmes. The Steelers then took their turn and intercepted the ball from Warner. Steelers’ linebacker,James Harrison, then took it back 100 yards as the time ended. By half time Pittsburgh led the Cardinals 17-7. Crowds cheered as former rock legend Bruce Springsteen got on stage. The first song he opened with was “Tenth Avenue Freeze-out”; then, he continued to play “Born to Run”, “Working on a Dream” and closed his performance with “Glory Days”. The Cardinals started the third quarter with a kick off 69-yards by Reed. Cardinals’ running back, J.J. Arrington, returned it for 23 yards. Cardinals’ punter, Ben Graham, then punted the ball 31 yards. Holmes made a fair catch. Later, Reed kicked a 21 yard field goal. Quarter three ended with Pittsburgh 20, Arizona 7. A penalty on Arizona for a ten yard hold started off the fourth quarter. Not even two minutes later Arizona was once again penalized for a five yard hold. Then, Warner made a one yard pass to Cardinals’ wide receiver, Larry Fitzgerald, for a touchdown. Rackers scored another point on a field goal. Warner made another pass to Fitzgerald for a 64 yard touchdown. By now, the score was up to 20-23. Every second counted in this game. Two minutes left and




Cougar athletes’ dreams come true kaleyNEMETH

staff writer

Student’s here at Countryside High School show hard work, dedication, strength, and believing to follow and achieve their dream. Now some have have received that wonderful opportunity to sign over to the college they might have wished to go to, and be a part of something they have always had a love for. Senior Brittany Dattilo has been playing softball since she was four years old. She began her training playing baseball with her father and then proceeded to play for


n Thursday Nov. 20th, 2008, the above gathered around Brittany Dattilo as she signed over to the University of Tampa. From left to right Ms. Elizabeth Collins, head of athletics, father Joseph Dattilo, Brittany, and mother Tina Dattilo. Photo credit Margret Trautwein.

the Countryside Little League softball team. After much extensive training, she received an award from the mayor of Pinellas county for Player of the Year. After graduation, she will be attending the University of Tampa on a scholarship to play for their team. Brittany had other colleges looking into having her attend their school, one for example was Campbell College. “It’s close to home and it’s perfect for me.” said Dattilo. Dattilo is a part of a prestigious softball team called Team Florida that selects talented women to join their team. “I practice a lot of hours”, said Dattilo. The positions that she plays can vary but her favorite position is catcher. This is something she has loved doing ever since that first day of playing in the yard with her father. She is very happy and excited to be going to U.T and cant wait. This could maybe put her on the list for our future U.S.A Olympic softball team, if she would like to take that path and make our country proud. “I kinda would like to make a career out of it but that’s not available right now” said Brittany Dattilo. She wasn’t the only one in the boat of receiving scholarships, there were more students at Countryside High School who have received scholarships, but for a variety of different sports. Many student’s think about where they want to go to college from time to time, but not many have officially been scouted and have signed to a school just into their junior year. However for junior Kendall Narum, that is exactly whats happened.

“I started playing soccer when I was four and I didn’t really like any other sport’s so I kept with it.” said Narum. Her father is one of her biggest supporters, he helps her by always being there by her side, and pushing her to go further. Throughout the year she is part of various teams, including the Clearwater Chargers, her high school team, and a regional team. Athletes work hard at what they do and the amount of time they spend practicing shines through when it’s game time. Narums club team, the Chargers, have won three state championship’s. She also said that she practices everyday for her high school team with games during the week, as well as having games for her club team on the weekends. While participating in a tournament with her regional team, a scout from Louisiana State University kept their eyes on her. She later contacted them and was told she should go visit and take a look around the campus. “I’ve always wanted to go to a SEC school and one with a big football team. I’m so excited, I can’t wait to leave, I wish i could leave right now.” said Narum. She was invited to go up there and start working with the other girls during her senior year, but wants to stay here and finish her high school experience. However she plans on leaving after graduation to start training during the summer. Now these two talented students are just waiting for that time to come, when they walk away from high school and step into the college life. They will have to not only perform well for their team but in academics as well. It might be tough but it will all be worth it in the end.

Colorguard spins their way into winterguard laurenINCE

staff writer

The Countryside Colorguard can be described as a “sport of the arts.” Members usually perform during football games alongside the marching band, incorporating weapons and flags in a synchronized choreography. During their winter season however, it’s another story. Countryside high school not only has a colorguard, but a winterguard as well. The colorguard performs with the marchingband, yet the winterguard presents a show of their own in a gym without the band, which includes their own music, drill and story. This year there are 17 talented girls on the winterguardsix handling weapons and eleven with flags. “I love the kids we have,” said instructor Jason Herrington. “They are very smart and act very grownup.” Every year the winterguard competes in several competitions. This year they have a total of seven competitions. One they annually compete in is in Dayton, Ohio. In order to make traveling possible, the winterguard gets help from fund raising with their boosters and personal finances. In order to succeed at competitions, the girls put an


etting ready for this years competitions, Casey Malone, Megan Camero, Alyssa Anderson, and Christina Rastti, practice on Tuesday Janurary 13th in the concourse. The team has recently competed and placed fourth. Photo credit Lauren Ince.

extensive amount of time into their show during practice every Tuesday and Thursday from 3PM- 8PM, and Friday and Saturday on occasion. Since this year’s winterguard is a mixture of freshmen to seniors, this extra effort is positive for their performance. “Our freshmen have really stepped it up this year [and] we have a really strong flag and weapon line,” said junior Kelsie Hubbard. Every year winterguard puts on a new show for competition. This year’s show is called Up To the Mountain, written by Patty Griffin for Martin Luther King. The show is about a group of people who have been discriminated against, and these people have a goal in mind that they strive to achieve. “We are working really hard [and] are almost done with our show,” said captain and senior Rachel Granata. If you get the chance to see them practicing in the concourse after school, take a moment to acknowledge their hard work. An audience is always welcome and appreciated by these dedicated performers.

Girls take on the gridiron nicoleBOLTON

staff writer

Another growing sport in high school today, is flag football. Flag football is a sport where young high school and middle school ladies, play in the game that isn’t just for guys. Both inside and outside of school the sport is growing at a quick pace, and in Pinellas county a recreational league is helping get the sport across to students as early as sixth grade. “The program mission of the Sugar Gliders flag football is to help promote life long flag football players. Our extensive training program is designed to exceed the expectations of all player’s, and create athletically confident and mentally prepared player’s,” said Countryside High School teacher, Pierce Brunson. Mr. Brunson is also the coach for the recreational flag football team the Sugar Gliders, which is a part of the TASCO league in St. Petersburg. The team consists of seven player’s, all student’s at Countryside. High School. “The training mission of the Sugar Gliders is to provide a safe, progressive, challenging, and rewarding set of regiments for any level of player. Your desire to improve is all you need to be successful.” said Brunson. The girl’s started training October 6, 2008, meeting at the Clearwater YMCA every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 2:45-5:00 p.m for three weeks. After that it moved to only Mondays and Wednesdays at the same times from then until mid-December.

On Mondays the team would focus on Offensive training, by doing various exercises such as running with parachutes to work on speed. They also would run routes so that not only would the girls be ready for game time, but the quarterback Kaley Nemeth would be prepared to throw long passes during the games. The team would also do mass amounts of lunges, sprinting, and just basic throwing of the football, and running routes, to work on strength and agility. On Wednesdays the team worked on defensive training by going one on one with Brunson while he tries to successfully catch the ball without someone swatting it away, intercepting it, or pulling his flag. Flag drills are also important because if the flag doesn’t get pulled your opponent may just get the touchdown unless she runs out of bounds. The Sugar Gliders game season started January 5, 2009. The girls hard work will have to shine through in order to make it to playoffs and possibly win the championship. So far the team his is the Sugar Gliders Team, led by Mr. Pierce Brunson. They has played three games and have a record of one grouped up for a photo after a game on Monday, January 26th win, one lose, and one tie. Help cheer on the team against the J.W. Hawks. The game was played in St.Petersburg Florida and go to the games on Monday nights at 7:00p. at the Meadowlawn Middle school fields. Photo credit Cristina Jones. m, at the Meadowlawn Middle School Fields in St. Petersburg Florida near Northeast High School.



the media has on somethings. For instance, the way perfect celebrity bodies impose upon young and old women alike. Perhaps, there has been a deal of glamorization involved with fighting at school. For the most part, this is accomplished in movies, and the list of movies that do involve brute encounters at school is lengthy enough to keep most people occupied for a long, long time. Because movies are so popular, it is reasonable to believe that they impact people in their everyday lives. Especially those who are drastically changing over a period of four years -say a teenager? It’s been a long day, a junior in high school has had five tests, dissected a common snake, and ran until her leg’s went numb at the county track meet. In need of a break before she begins her hours of homework, she grabs a bottle of soda and heads for the couch. Upon turning on the TV, two men are huddled around each other, vicious eyes grasping one another’s. This scenario, too, is common -- especially in the world of teenagers, where television is a very popular past time. Television hosts hundreds of shows monthly about fighting, such as UFC, TAPOUT,RAW, and other popular series where men and women alike duke it out to be the champion. Something that hits even closer to home for many of us are the hundreds upon thousands of homemade videos taking popular video-uploading sites, such as Youtube by storm. Weekly, hundreds of videos are being uploaded to the web of school brawls, usually from a cellphone or a standard camera. These fights are viewed by millions of people across the world as a way to humor themselves, or a way of entertainment. Within the last few years, the demand for these ludicrous videos have heightened to the point whereas many become staged, and fighters are no longer contenders in an impulsive melee, but actors looking to amuse. In more recent events, a heart-breaking incident was brought to the attention of Countryside High, Feb. 10, when paramedics rushed to the aid of a broken

student. Two boys, grades 11 and 12, released themselves into the concourse with a fun-filled attitude just before the bell sounded the end of 4th period. The two horsed around for a little while before something unpredictable occurred: the senior, picked up in a rowdy act of fun, had been dropped on his head accidentally by his own friend. He sustained critical injuries suspected to be a broken collarbone and a fractured skull. He is currently being hospitalized at Bayfront Medical Center, though most students remain in the dark about what happened when play-fighting went wrong. Assistant Principal Cindy Saginario said, “That’s why [the faculty and staff at CHS] are always telling kids not to play-fight. In an instant, a game can turn extremely serious.” Another tragic event, but a suitable paradigm in this case began last year, when six high school girls beat up their supposed friend to the extremity of knocking her unconscious. This incidence of barbarism took place March 30th, in Florida’s own Polk County. The attacking girls intended on putting the video on Youtube, and other successful sites where they would be remembered. After the affair, physchologists across the country spoke up in question: were acts of violence being triggered by the media and brutal fighting videos online? Fortunately, the sixteen year old survived without extensive damage, but that just goes to show how bad things can get, especially when it comes to girls. A sad statistic: 25% of girls say they’ve been in a fight before. Among Countryside, that statistic is prominent. Out of the 11 fights this year, about 65% were between girls. “Girls are just more vicious than boys. They’re always fighting over something,” said Curtwright. Whether the fight is between a girl or a guy, it is something everyone needs to think long and hard about. Despite what we’re told, if a teenager sets his or her mind on something, it’s going to take more than a few discouraging words to persuade us

against it. That implies to everything and everyone, but just remember to weigh the options: release your emotions on your high school rival and risk your future as a successful businessperson in New York or, count to ten take it all in and pat yourself


on the back for not starting something that could last longer than you think. Fighting affects you now, tomorrow, and maybe even in ten years. So before you take a swing, hold your breath and in the words of singer Kelly Clarkson, “just walk away.”




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What kind of couple do you think you are



Š Kevin Stone []

Q: Can you tell what this is a picture of?


Hint: Produces the main ingredient in chocolate.

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Answer: cow



Difficulty Level:


staff writer

Ladies and gentlemen of Countryside High School. I introduce you to Misfitz, our very own unofficial dance group. Formed as a nonviolent way to solve their problems, the foundation of the group sprung from hatred and turned into friendship as well as a sense of family. Former enemies ready to fight one another were ultimately brought together by their common love of dance. Starting by simply dancing throughout the halls, the Misfitz weren't a real group until just this year. Although they aren't aloud to officially be a club, that doesn't stop them from making progress. "[The administration] thinks it's too violent [and] gang related," said group member and junior Cory Richardson. Ironically, dancing has kept their minds on something constructive and has already helped in decreasing the amount of trouble the members f i n d



themselves in. These guys are doing more than just dancing by incorporating numerous styles into their routines. They practice almost everyday after school in the auditorium, yet the group seems to move anywhere and everywhere they get the chance. "At practices we do complicated tricks," said junior Chris Flowers. They group finds inspiration in movies such as Step Up 2 and Stomp the Yard, along with the popular MTV show Americas Best Dance Crew. The guys are not stuck on just one kind of music either. They step to the beat of musicians like Chris Brown, Mario, and Michael Jackson. The Misfitz performed earlier this year in Broadway to Go. Students will have another opportunity to see


their moves in the upcoming March Broadway to Go, as well as at the end of the year in the multi-cultural show. "We get a lot of respect from everybody," said Flowers. "We keep them entertained and therefore they give us respect." With all of the violence occurring in school alone these days, it's great to see a group of people who can set aside their differences and recognize that their similarities are what should bring them together.

Paw Print Newspaper Issue 4 08-09  

Countryside High School Paw Print Newspaper Issue 4