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Cy-Fair High School

22602 Hempstead Hwy

Cypress, TX 77429

Volume 64 Issue 3

October 29, 2010

More Than Meets the Eye Athletic Trainer Reaches Out to Cancer Patients sa mVILLARREAL Reporter

Freshman Matt Ritch’s height of 4 feet 3 inches is not a hindrance in his everyday lifestyle. That’s the way he was made and it’s not something he has a problem with or feels the need to complain about. He was born with one of the most common types of dwarfism called achondroplasia, a bone growth disorder. Matt has normal intelligence and can live out the same lifespan as people without the condition; however his height and size are disproportional to his body. He has two siblings, one who attends Hamilton Middle School, and the other attends Hamilton Elementary. Everyone in his family, including his two younger brothers, are of normal size but it doesn’t bother Matt. “My parents joke and tell me they’re different, you’re not.’” Matt said. Because of his size, there are sports, such as baseball and football that are difficult for him but he doesn’t avoid them. He participates in what he enjoys and makes sure that he misses out on nothing. “There are things that I obviously cannot do, and most things are really hard but I still do it, like baseball,” said Matt, who is an athletic trainer and plans to try out for Cy-Fair baseball. As an athletic trainer, athletes tower over him. He runs from one side of the field to the other, catering to the needs of the football players, making sure they’re fully hydrated and ready to play. He observes the players throughout the game and is available to any athlete in need of medical assistance. He’s dedicated and loves what he does. He plans to continue and to pursue a career in sports training at Texas A&M University. Fans and players see him constantly on his feet, going where ever he is needed. What the fans don’t see is the three-year long battle he has survived. When Matt was in kindergarten, he was diagnosed with leukemia 27 days before his sixth birthday and was cured three years later. Although he is now cancer free, he is still able to provide a sense of

hope to patients fighting cancer. is a reason for the way he was made and disguise,” Matt said. Cancer has given One of Matt’s future plans is to play on because of his motivation from God, it’s Matt a chance to reach out to all kinds of a team with Cavan Biggio, Craig Biggio’s encouraging for him to know that he can people. As once said on a TV show, ‘Little (former Astros player) son. He met Biggio use his past experiences and his everyday through an organization called ‘Sunshine lifestyle to reach out to others in a way People, Big World’, Matt’s life motto is: “I can do everything everybody else can do, Kids’ that is dedicated to children with that not many people in this world can. cancer. This past summer Biggio became “I consider cancer as a blessing in just in a different way.” Matt’s godfather and a close friend to him and his family. Matt said the opportunities he gets to meet people he admires encourages him There’s a camp he goes to near College Station called ‘Camp For All’, which is a unique camping and retreat facility that enriches the lives of people with special needs and challenging illnesses. There are four each year that Matt and his family attend. He has met several people at this camp Matt has a guilt that is hard to deal with, and although he is cancer free, it’s hard to see close friends in the same situation, but with a different result. One cancer patient and friend that was treated and cured around the same time period as Matt is sophomore Maddie Haley. They were assigned to rooms on the same floor and became friends in the hospital while being treated. She also was diagnosed with leukemia. “We defeated our battle. It’s an awesome accomplishment and we’re just so blessed to have overcome it,” Haley said. Matt’s grandmother was also diagnosed with breast cancer five years ago and although it was hard for him to see her getting weaker by the day, he’s thankful she fought past his birthday this year, Sept. 27. He is aware that there JV Football: Freshman Matt Ritch stands on the field amongst referees at a game. Photo by Kody Sundholm.

WHAT’S I N S I D E Ghosts in Cy-Fair?

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‘Fight for the Future’

Who Has the Best?

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UPCOMING EVENTS Nov Band Concert in 04 Auditorium 5-8 p.m. Varsity Football Nov Vs. Jersey Village 05 Home- Pridgeon Stadium 7:30 p.m. SAT Testing Nov 6:30 a.m.- 2:30



Nov F/JV/V Girls Baskball 09 vs Westside 4/5/7 p.m. NovNHS Induction

10 Auditorium 6-9 pm

Football Players Get Pretty in Pink NFL Shows Support to Bring Breast Cancer Awareness ma ri a n n a YODER Graphic Designer

Every October, football teams and their fans deck themselves in pink in honor of National Breast Cancer Month, and this year, the tradition expanded to include not only the local football teams but also the professional teams. The National Football League joined the fight against breast cancer with the launch of their month long campaign: “A Crucial Catch: Annual Screening Saves Lives”. With this slogan, the professional league hopes to focus watchers on the importance of annual screening. Partnered with the American Cancer Society, the campaign aims at encouraging screenings, especially for women over 40, raising overall awareness of breast cancer. In hope of catching watchers’ eyes, all October games featured NFL players, coaches and referees decked out in pink. Players sported hot pink cleats, sweatbands, gloves and a handful also used pink chinstraps and mouthpieces. The sweatbands were not limited to players; the referees displayed pink on their wrists. But the pink didn’t stop there. The sidelines were flooded with hot pink Gatorade towels for the players

Fight For Our Right

while a few coaches sported baseball caps embroidered with pink. Even the fields featured on-field pink ribbon stencils. “It’s cool seeing all the players wear pink,” junior Aaron Verwold said. “People can think ‘Oh, they’re supporting it, maybe I should, too.’” Football enthusiasts such as Verwold and junior Colton Williams said that this campaign was a move in the right direction. “It’s good that respected people are showing support for breast cancer,” Williams said. “It really gets the idea out there and inspires people to support it.” With an estimate of 192,570 breast cancer cases and 40,470 deaths caused by the disease for the year 2009 in the United States alone, according to the American Cancer Society, survivors and their families are feeling a growing need to spread the word about breast cancer in both men and women. For junior Evann Hayden, this was just the case. “A few years ago, when my dad [was] getting married to my mom, she was fighting breast cancer,” Hayden said. “She survived, and ever since, I’ve wanted to help get the word out. What the NFL is

doing definitely helps spread the word.” Inspired by the NFL, Hayden bought a pair of pink gloves for himself. Shortly after, a few of his teammates joined him and bought pink gloves of their own as well as pink tape for the entire team. “We saw others doing this before, but we never got the opportunity to do it ourselves,” Hayden said. “It makes me feel good that we’re supporting this cause. Everything pink you buy gives back to breast cancer, so it goes towards research.” Thanks to the support of breast cancer research through walks, donations and campaigns like the NFL’s, early diagnosis’s and effective treatments including surgery, hormone therapy, chemotherapy and radiation, have been greatly improved. All the pink equipment that the NFL players, coaches and referees sported during the games are being auctioned off today at an online NFL auction. Proceeds will benefit the American Cancer Society as well as charities of each team’s choice. To learn more about the auction as well as help make a difference by participating in the auction, visit www.

Supreme Court Ruling on Case of Homosexual Protests al e gri aCORONA-SANDERS Entertainment Editor

The Supreme Court of the United States is in the process of ruling on a case which deals with a church protest and grieving families and may lead to states potentially being able to regulate freedom of speech. Fred Phelps, leader of the Topeka, Kansas Westboro Baptist Church, and his followers have gone under fire for what could be considered hate speech to families with deceased military family members. Yet the latest protest at the moment is against the family of deceased soldier Lance Corporal Matthew Snyder. “This case is not new terrain for the Supreme Court and I suspect that they are well equipped with precedent to help them deliver an opinion that will not place the value that we Americans so cherish, in jeopardy for a select minority that 99 percent of Americans vehemently disagree with, “ government teacher Hoyt Devries said. Albert Snyder, Matthew’s father, has made the claim that hearing the negative comments about his son has caused him emotional distress and is also an invasion of privacy, said CNN. There is speculation to why this type of speech can be legal or tolerated. “Perhaps we can get some guidance from previous Supreme Court rulings. In Gitlow vs. United States, the Supreme Court ruled that if previous speech was political in nature it receives full constitutional protection. It fully incorporated the right of free speech to the states,” Devries said. Westboro’s protest is about the

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rights and tolerance that homosexuals are receiving. Justifying their political protection with the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy, saying that the military doesn’t ask about sexual orientation but if a soldier serves openly gay then that soldier can be discharged, this policy relates back to the political component. Westboro said the reason for their picketing is to convey that the United States is a nation that tolerates homosexuality, God’s wrath transfers into military soldiers dying in battle. They use signs such as “God hates fags” and ”Pray for more dead soldiers” to get the message across. Although there is speculation that no speech, as long as it has a political component, can be taken away; the government can set regulations. “You can’t yell fire in a crowded movie theater; you can’t yell “bomb” at an airport or bus terminal. Therefore regulation of speech can take place,” Devries said. In regards to Westboro Church Protest “They have a right to protest about what they believe, but the way they’re going about it is mean and immoral,” senior Laura Long said. With this case being heard and reviewed, the underlying question is: How will the Supreme Court rule? “In the end, what I suspect the High Courts will do is follow precedent and allow for groups, no matter how revolting their message is to the majority of the masses, to continue to go forward while at the same time allowing states through their state legislatures to develop a legal scheme to develop to help regulate said speech,” Devries said.

Protests: Citizens protesting in front of the Supreme Court. Photo courtesy of David at at www.


M.U.N.: Seniors Alifya Ali and Alex Bradley stand with Model United Nations Co-sponsor Steven Campbell. Photo illustration by Marianna Yoder.

Calling All MUN Members Model United Nations Gear Up for Convention marianna YODER Graphic Designer

Every Tuesday, students transform a classroom into a hotbed of debate and serious discussion as they live up to their names as delegates and rush to create policies in response to current-day problems in European countries. They call themselves the Model United


Nations. They are among countless high schoolers from over 50 different schools in the Houston area who congregate every year for two days as part of the Houston Area Model United Nations. Held at the University of Houston, the groups represent each of the 192 countries in the United Nations; each student is assigned to a different comity or assembly, and interact with each other in order to solve

the problems faced by their representative country. “In a nutshell, we role play the United Nations,” senior and club co-president Alifya Ali said. “The main goal is to put ourselves in the place of the real UN and solve world problems with policies and resolutions.” Founded to replace the League of Nations after World War II, The United Nations is an international organization that aims at facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace. Today, 192 state members make up the UN, including nearly every sovereign state in the world. With the role of representing South Korea and Bosnia, senior co-presidents Alifya Ali and Alex Bradley waste no time in addressing problems such as literacy rates and illegal drug trafficking. “Female literacy is at 94.4 percent,” Ali said. “And while that is high it’s nothing compared to the male’s 99 percent. [We] also [decide] how to deal with the Croatian refugees, boundary issues with Croatia, and illegal drug trafficking.” Every year a common issue faces the delegates. “[We’ve] done policies involving global warming,” Ali said, “[and] the every rising population of the earth in comparison with our diminishing resources, economy, health care.” Despite the seriousness of the club’s primary purpose, delegates also provide time for a little horsing around. At least one or two joke resolutions get passed allowing students a good time and laugh, though often at the cost of others. “My freshman year, Germany wanted to commit a genocide on the leprechauns”, Ali said. “Then Ireland, being the home

of said leprechauns, made a counter resolution calling for potato weapons to ward off the Germans. My sophomore year we created a resolution about zombie awareness and the dangers if one were to face a zombie unprepared. And last year we made a resolution that destroyed England because most of the committee hated the person representing England.” New recruits, such as junior Nick Katsounas, who enlisted in the MUN joined because of the opportunities provided by the club, such as scholarships, refining debate skills and especially attending the convention. “I’m really looking forward to the twoday convention,” Katsounas said, “but not just because we get to miss two days of school. Really, I joined to see different cultures from their points of view and gain an understanding of their actions.” Other reasons students join include experiencing the job of a delegate and learning how to formally interact in a business setting, co-sponsor and world geography teacher Steven Campbell explained. “Delegates learn debate skills in a nontraditional setting,” Campbell said, “in a more real world setting. MUN also teaches them effective research and preparation strategies as well as parliamentary procedures.” While at the HAMUN convention, delegates earn awards for excellent debate skills, creating new legislations and making changes to them. Groups, according to school, are chosen based on these awards to go to the New York UN building, and possibly go to Europe to sit in on a real UN meeting. “Last year two groups from the Houston area were chosen to go to New York,” Campbell said. “I have hopes that soon it will be our turn.”

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‘It’s Not That Big of a Deal’ Student Achieves Perfect Score on SAT sa mBURDYL Sports Editor

Senior Ellen Sebastian walked onto the crowded bus, ignoring the freshmen who somehow still managed to be rowdy at 6:30 in the morning. She found her usual spot and sat down, pulling out her 5 pound SAT textbook and a flashlight, starting off her morning with some good, old fashioned learning. The SAT was in two weeks time and she wanted to do a good job - she hadn’t looked at the material in quite some time. “I was busy,” Sebastian said. “I had band and stuff, and I thought that the SATs were pretty important to get into college. I wanted to do well on it.” Her hard work paid off - Sebastian is now one of only .00019 percent of 1,530,128 SAT takers last year to achieve a perfect SAT score. “I was kind of surprised when I found out,” she said. “I didn’t really expect to make a perfect score.” Although she did not have to retake the test, her calculator ran out of batteries at the beginning of the test and she had to do the math sections by hand. “It didn’t really bother me when my calculator broke,” Sebastian said. “I was just kind of like, oh, well. I can do this. The hardest thing was the writing portion - I don’t write well under pressure, and also deciding whether to omit or answer a question.” Sebastian used only previously owned study materials given to her by other people - she didn’t buy anything to study with. On top of her perfect SAT score, she

plays B flat clarinet in symphonic band, ranked in the top 1% of her class, and is taking all AP level classes. “I didn’t really study all that intensely,” she said. “I’m just lucky. I’m not all that smart, I just test well.” Sebastian is rather calm about her rare score. “It’s not a big deal. Standardized testing is falling out of fashion, and SATs aren’t really major factors in getting into college. It’s important, but not that important.” She doesn’t even remember what her parents said to her when they found out about her perfect score. “I think they said they were proud of me,” Sebastian said. Sebastian wants to attend Stanford University to study Biology, with an emphasis on Microbiology, and possibly a music minor. She wants to go into biomedical research to come up with a cure for AIDS, Malaria or other infectious diseases. “I think these diseases don’t receive enough funding or attention proportional to the number of people they kill or disable,” Sebastian said. “I want to go to Stanford because I love the location and the atmosphere, and as a large, respected research university, I think it will give me the best chance to achieve my goals. But, there are many other great schools across the country that I would be happy to go if I don’t get in.” Sebastian offers advice to the students

Top 3 SAT Books 1. The Official SAT Study Guide

ABC: Senior Ellen Sebastian hopes to attend Stanford University. Photo by Lauren Rayburn.

about to take the SAT test. “Use logic to find your answers,” Sebastian said. “For the reading portion, look for evidence in the text, not from what you already know. For the writing portion, remember your grammar rules and use them for answers- not what sounds right. For the essay, back up your position with evidence, especially from world or US history or current events. For the math portion, eliminate answers as quickly as possible and check your work. Know the test - when you take a practice test, figure out why you got a question wrong.”

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Right Place, Right Time Cheerleading Coach Once Backup Singer

SMILE:Coach Carr shows off her backstage passes from bands that she traveled with. Photo by Ashley Gurney.

ma i te DON Copy Editor

She sang as a backup singer for the chorus of a Grammy winning album and teaches a variety of classes. Varsity Cheerleading Coach Laura Carr has been given the opportunity of a lifetime by getting a chance of achieving her dream not only does she get to work in the record industry, but also as a teacher. A teacher and a coach for 6 years, Carr has been teaching for 4 years as a freshman English teacher and she juggles her time between teaching AAS and coaching the varsity cheerleading team as well. She graduated from the University of North Texas with a degree in Communications and worked at a local radio station throughout her college years and then switched to EMICMG,

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the EMI Christian Music Group (Sparrow Records). Her dream was to work in the record industry and she got her chance by working at a music sound studio in Dallas called TM Century. “It was there that I happened to be in the right place at the right time,” Carr said. “A local band from New Orleans known for their down-home sound was at the TM Century, recording background vocals for their upcoming album.” The New Orleans group needed crowd voices in the background of their song called “Jaquemafinaney” and Carr and her fellow colleagues were picked. “We sang the chorus to ‘Jaquemafinaney’ about 100 times, after which it ended up on their album,” Carr said. “It was quite an experience.” Carr’s experience in the recording industry does not end there. While she was in college she worked at a radio station, 94.9 KLTY, for 7 years. She helped promote many artists’ work and even traveled with several Christian artists across the country during their tours. In 1998, she was a member of the Texas All State Dance Team and she started off her career there as a dance major. In fact, Carr even tried out to cheer for her favorite NBA team and made it to the preliminary squad. But due to her studies, Carr had to leave. She went to the Dallas Powerhouse of Dance, which offers dancers of all ages to have one of the best possible experiences

with their dancing and cheering. Carr’s dream to work in the record industry came true, but instead of pursuing it further she ended up teaching. Having to quit her job at the record industry to return home and care for her mother who was ill with cancer, Carr enrolled in an emergency certification program for people who wanted to become teachers. Once she finished the program, she was hired at her former high school, South Grand Prairie High School. “While being a teacher is never something that I thought would happen, it’s been the biggest blessing in my life. I love the kids I get to see each day, and they truly make it worth it,” Carr said. At home, she spends her time with her husband, Casey, and her 2 year old boy, Caden. Carr’s chosen career has brought her far and she does not have any hard feelings for anything that happened along the way. “I don’t regret much of anything I’ve ever done in this life,” Carr said. “There are ups and downs, but ultimately, I wouldn’t be where I am today if I had changed my path.” She also hopes to make a difference by showing her kindness to others. “My biggest passion in life is to be a blessing to those around me,” Carr said. “There are days when I fail, and there are days I succeed, but my passion is to be kind, and see it change the world.”

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Cy-Fair Has Its Own Ghostly Haunts Students Claim Spirits Roam the Halls of the School j o rd anTUCKER Op/Ed Editor

They linger on the edges of the earth and the imagination. Their time has passed, but their spirits still seem bound to the world they left behind. Many claim to understand them, but no one can truly prove they even exist. Ghosts have long been a speculative concept. The fact of their very existence has been a war raged between skeptics and believers for generations. But believer or not, certain spectral encounters have been reported by several students at CyFair. It is rumored that, some years ago, a boy fell to his death from a ladder while climbing to reach ‘the loft’ : a second story above the stage where the theater department keeps costumes. “He’s called the Ghost of the Black Box,” sophomore Brenna Larkin said. Larkin has had her own encounter with the alleged ghost. “I was in the loft trying to find some dresses for a scene we were doing the next day,” she said. “No one else was in the auditorium. It was dark, but when I flipped on the light switch, I got that feeling in my stomach where you know someone is watching you.” Larkin proceeded to search for her costumes when she heard a noise. “It


was a jingling, like a bell,” Larkin said. “I called out to see if anyone was there, but no one answered. Then the sound moved to another part of the room. It was like the noise was circling me. I forgot about the dresses and just got out of there.” But Larkin was not free of the spirit yet. A few days later, when trying to retrieve a stool from the ‘wood room’- a small area off the stage where the theater department keeps their furniture props- she heard the noise again. “There was this faint tinkling coming from the corner,” Larkin said “I didn’t freak out as much because we were in the middle of class, but when I told Mrs. Koern about it later, she said that ‘Unless we attached a bell to a mouse, you’ve heard the ghost.’” Theater department head Stephen Cabaniss, has also had many strange experiences himself. “Mrs. Koern and I will leave journals on the stage, but, when we come back, they’re in a completely different position than where we left them,” Cabaniss said. “Sometimes the lights will flicker when there’s really no reason for them to, and things that have gone missing will randomly reappear.” One night in particular stands out in Cabiniss’s mind. “It was dark, and I was the only one in the theater,” he said. “I went to turn on the lights for the custodians, before leaving. When I flicked the switch though, I heard

DO NOT ENTER: There have been reports of a ghost in the loft of the auditorium. Photo by Marianna Yoder. a low voice moan ‘No’.” As to whether or not these experiences are supernatural encounters, tricks of the light or just plain coincidence, Cabaniss is unsure.

“It’s actually more of an old wives’ tale that all theaters are haunted,” he said “There are two things you just always assume: Never say Macbeth, and there’s a ghost somewhere in the auditorium.”

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Fight for the Future Student Battles With Astigmatism and Blindness harl ey COOK Business Manager

Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Matt Hamill and Jeff Healey - handicapped, but capable in their fight against society and against the discrimination that plagues them. Junior Jovian Maciel has been fighting the same battle in an attempt to overcome his limitations as a young man going blind. He has also been fighting Retinal Detachment caused by an astigmatism and multiple blows to the eyes since birth. According to his sister, senior Lyric Maciel, Jovian was born with an astigmatism. While in a martial arts class, he had an accident that severed one of his retinas. Around a year later, Jovian severed his other retina while wrestling with a friend in his living room. “He’s hit both of his eyes so hard that the retinas were severed. It took a really long time to heal, and they are very weak. If he hits them again, he could go completely blind,” Lyric said. Jovian does not let this handicap keep him from living his dreams. He strives to become a professional in the things that he loves the most. “I’ve wanted to be a professional fighter

since before I could walk,” Jovian said. “I’ve also aspired to be a professional musician for a long time now, too. I think I started wanting to be one when I was five.” Jovian has been involved with mixed martial arts (MMA) for the last seven years, and is currently studying

“In my mind, it’s all in the feel of the instrument. You don’t need to see to play.” -Jovian Maciel Judo and Muay Thai. He also studies Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and gymnastics. “My love of MMA and my goal to be a professional fighter stemmed from my love of the military. I can remember playing around in the living room and wanting so bad to be like the soldiers that I saw on TV.” When it comes to music Jovian is a little bit more relaxed in the idea of playing music professionally. “In my mind, it’s all in the feel of the instrument. You don’t need to see to play,” Jovian said. However, Jovian knows there is a slim to none chance that he will find luck as a professional musician or as an athlete. He has a plan to fall back on if things

BRING IT ON: Junior Jovian Maciel doesn’t let his hardships get in the way of his future. Photo by Harley Cook

don’t work out the way he wants them to. “If I don’t make it in the world of professional fighting or the music business, I’ll join the military,” Jovian said. There are some that aren’t fully supportive of Jovian’s goals, though. “I’m there for him. I always have been, and will always be there for him. But I think that he should find something more fit for him. I don’t think that he should try

to be a professional fighter or a musician,” junior Dylan Drapkin said. According to Lyric, Jovian was born to defy the odds. “Jovian has always been a daredevilglasses or no glasses. He has always been the one to try something he’s only seen once, and keep doing it until he’s got it perfect. That’s how he is, and he wouldn’t be the Jovian any other way.” Office: 713.690.ITMD Cell: 713.277.4229

Laura Smith Designs Custom Cards, Invitation, and Gifts

281-373-9793 Features 06


Celebrate the holiday season at LSC-CyFair! *Nov. 18-20: “The Mikado” Opera

A popular Gilbert and Sullivan collaboration

Nov. 29: Annual Lighting of the Lake An evening of free activities, music and photos

*Dec. 3-4: “A Holiday Celebration”

Featuring the LSC-CyFair Concert Choir and Symphonic Band

Dec. 6: “String Power”

A free concert featuring the LSC-CyFair String Orchestra

*Dec. 8: “projectjazz”

A rousing show featuring the LSC-CyFair Jazz Ensemble

Lone Star College-CyFair 9191 Barker Cypress Cypress, TX 77433 Lone Star College-Fairbanks Center 14955 Northwest Freeway Houston, TX 77040

*Student tickets only $5 with valid student ID

For information on these events, go to affirmative action/eeo college

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Is This Love?

Tennis Team Plans to ‘Decimate’ a l l anPETERS


Undefeated and unstoppable, the tennis team has plowed through its competition leaving nothing but ravaged rackets in its wake. The toughest schools are under our belt and a 9-0 record tells others that we are on the top of the food chain. “[This is the] first time we have won the district championship in 5 years and we are thrilled,” Head Coach Sylvia McClure said. Assistant Tennis Coach Amy Bomba agreed. “Even if we lose a match or two, which we won’t, we will still claim district champions.”

Which goes even farther to show what an insurmountable force the tennis team is. The players, too, had an optimistic outlook; with conviction like that, there is absolutely no hope for opposing teams, according to varsity sophomore Erika Holum. “We want to decimate,” Holum said. Players and coaches tell all: exactly how the tennis team works and functions. “Tennis is a team and individual sport.” Holum said. While the players depend on one another for support and technique, every player is responsible for improving themselves in any way they can. “[Our] strengths [are] teamwork, the players are very supportive of each other and an experienced girls team,” McClure said. No one messes with a girl carrying a racket, especially when she knows how

SERVE: Jack Summer prepares to toss the ball into the air and execute a serve during Tennis practice. Photo by Jenna Rabel.

to use it. In addition to our lethal girls, a slew of experienced freshmen guys join the retinue. “Although our boys are not the best in the district, we never stop fighting,” senior Alex Lam said. This shows that the entire team has got fight and the skill to back it up. “The girls have always been good, but

New Year, New Look

Swim Team Loses Seniors, Gains Swimmers darb yNEVINS

Feature Editor

She takes a deep breath, closes her eyes and jumps. It’s 5:45 in the morning and freshman Morgan O’Neill is surrounded by freezing water. After slowly overcoming the cold she kicks up to the surface and swims off leaving a splash trail behind her. This is her typical morning for the next five months. O’Neill is one of the seven freshmen on varsity swim team and also a swimmer in the senior group at Fleet swim club. “I really think I am lucky to have made it onto the varsity team. I am going to work really hard this year to make my coach and team mates proud,” O’Neill said. Ten years ago O’Neill started swimming. It was three years ago when she decided to pursue the sport and now hopes to work through club and high school swimming to earn a scholarship. “I really love the sport. I have met many awesome people through it and it is just something I love because of the whole environment. Although the early morning practices aren’t always the most fun the

meets make up for it,” O’Neill said. Head coach Robert Tidmore believes that O’Neill along with other freshmen Kieron Tuff and Daniel Mahoney are expected to make a big, immediate impact this season. All belonging to Fleet Swim Club, these three young swimmers have the stuff to make it far this year because of past experiences with high level competition. “I am pumped about this year. I am going to work really hard to do well and

“We will do everything to get where we need to be” -Coach Tidmore

I am excited about swimming next to and with amazing swimmers,” Tuff said. After losing nine seniors last year, this year’s team has dwindled to three seniors and mainly consists of freshmen, sophomores and juniors. “It hurt to lose that many seniors but we have an exciting group of young swimmers now that are fast and have experience. I am going into this season

DIVING: Freshman Tiffany Chevallier dives into pool as Freshman Cassie Hilbun prepares to follow. Sophomore Nicole Kubera reaches the wall. Photo by Darby Nevins.

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completely open minded,” Tidmore said. Although it is a young team, most of the swimmers compete on club teams like Fleet, Pack and Lone Star bringing prior experience when it comes to state level competitions. After having two boy relays and a swimmer qualify in two individual events for state last year, Tidmore hopes for more swimmers to make it this year. “That is one of my goals, as it is each year, to get swimmers and divers to the UIL State Championships. I have set my standards high for this year’s team. We will do everything to get where we need to be,” Tidmore said. Along with the new year and new look, Cy-Fair is in a new region this year. The team joined Region 5, and is now with Katy ISD, HISD, Aldine ISD and Memorial High School. The two hardest schools from last year, Kingwood and the Woodlands High School ­- loaded with excellent swimmers - are out of Cy-Fair’s region so hopes are up for the Bobcats to make an impact in the region. “It is getting a totally new look with us coming,” Tidmore said. Swimming is a team sport, according to Tidmore. “Every one has a role to play within the team concept. Right now it is like a big puzzle as we go through the dual meet season process. We want to start putting that puzzle together to be successful as a team at the district meet and beyond,” Tidmore said. Not only will the Bobcats be competing with other schools but there will also be some inter-squad competition as well. “With the high level of skills this season there is going to be competition for events. What swimmers competed in last year might not be the same this year. I want my swimmers to push the person in front of them to be better,” Tidmore said. With district set for Jan. 22, the Bobcats have lots of hard work ahead of them but there are no doubts from Coach Tidmore that they can not make it. “The team is in for a promising year. We are going to prove ourselves and walk the walk,” Tidmore said.

the boys are getting stronger [too],” said Holum. The entire team trains after school five days a week, but most students train additionally after school 5 to 7 days a week. “[The team is a] hardworking group with a strong desire to win,” McClure said. “And they are proud to be BOBCATS.”

Watch out for these Bobcats in the pool this year: CAPTAINS Sr. Colin Dodson

(Varsity Boy’s Captain)

Sr. Erin West

(Varsity Girl’s Captain)

Jr. Alex Heldman

(Varsity Boy’s Captain)

So. Darby Nevins

(Varsity Girl’s Captain) JUNIORS

Ross Carroll Kaitlin Anderson Conner Patrick SOPHOMORES

Marcelle Morrison Sam Phariss Evan Lange Nicole Kubera Cayce Marlatt Meghan Davis Sam McCleney Amy West


The Future of Cy-Fair Football

JV Football Unrecognized But Just As Talented

DEFENSE: Nathan Diamond goes to stop Langham’s advance. Photo courtesy of Tyler Melancon.

sa ra hSMITH Entertainment Editor

Beating out the competition. Having a great season. Playing against Varsity. Playing on Varsity. This is Cy-Fair Junior Varsity Football. A successful season so far; the combined record of the two JV teams is 8-3. The best played game of the season so far, in Coach Tadd Hammel’s opinion, was the first game against Katy Taylor High School. “Our first game against Katy Taylor was the best played game. We were down 3 touchdowns but the kids battled back, and

even though we lost we never gave up,” Hammel said. “The team was confident that they could pull off a comeback and played strongly as a whole team.” Two advantages the teams have this year are the experience they gain from playing against the Varsity team as a scout team and also the amount of time spent practicing and being coached. As a scout team JV runs the Varsity’s upcoming opponent plays to give the Varsity team experience against the plays of their next adversary. Chris Frazier, sophomore JV free safety, said that playing scout team to the Varsity

is beneficial because they get more experience in playing. “I think it helps because it gives us a feel of how it feels to play against and on a Varsity team, and everybody wants to be able to play on Varsity,” Frazier said. Hammel, coach of offensive receivers, said that the extra coaching time gives CyFair an advantage because they have more exposure to the concepts and plays. “One of the advantages I think we have as a team is the amount of coaching time we get with the kids; we have a whole period during the day and after school. The kids grasp things we teach them better and understand the coaching and the game better,” Hammel said. The team has also demonstrated a good work ethic and eagerness to play and learn football strategies. This dedication is one of the things that makes this season better than previous ones, according to Hammel. Coach Hammel said that the CyFair football program is a success because of the hard work and attitude of the boys. “The overall program is a success because of the kids; they work hard, are receptive to new ideas; they are good boys and have a good attitude toward playing football. Their eagerness to play and do well is a pleasure to see,” Hammel said. For the boys, playing on Junior Varsity is a stepping stone to go onto Varsity and play in the big leagues. Junior linebacker Connor Patrick is hopeful to go onto Varsity next year and is excited for the

opportunity. “I’m pretty excited to go onto Varsity, it’ll be a cool experience with the big crowds and having the band there. It’ll be cool because everybody gets pretty pumped about the Varsity games,” said Patrick. Although the JV players have played exceptionally this year, they don’t get the recognition that the Varsity team enjoys. JV’s games are on Wednesdays or Thursdays, at Cy-Fair’s football field, and though the band may not perform at halftime the JV cheerleaders are at the games to provide some school spirit. Roy Smith, JV and Varsity football coach, acknowledges that the JV teams aren’t as celebrated by the school but he knows that they are just as talented. “They don’t get as much recognition, but they play just as well. We expect them to play well and get better, it doesn’t matter if they have the notoriety,” said Smith. Sophomore Chris Frazier, also said that JV doesn’t seem as important to the students and they don’t get as much support at the games. “We’re under appreciated. People shouldn’t assume we’re bad, maybe we aren’t as important as Varsity, but we’re still good and people should still support us. It would be great if more people came out to our home games and supported us,” said Frazier. Their combined season record speaks for itself, 8 wins and 3 losses, and so in the words of Russell Hicks, “’Nuff said.”

Like a Cheetah, Only Faster Girls Cross Country Grows to 60 ash l e y GURNEY Sports Editor The early mornings, the sweat, the drive, the run. That is the life of the Cy-Fair Cross Country girls. Running five mornings a week, these girls have an intense workout, including long distance running, sprints, plyometrics and weights. Sometimes they go to Coles Crossing to run in the morning, and other days they stay on the track at Cy-Fair and work on track workouts, which consist of running 800’s, sprints and other running excersises. Twice a week after school the top girls on the team also go to Spring Creek Park, doing what is known by most as two-adays, days when the girls have practice two times a day. Cross Country Coach Tom Kennedy said that the varsity and top runners go to afternoon practices at Spring Creek Park. “The girls morning workouts usually last from 60 minutes to 90 minutes,” Kennedy said. All of the girls are expected to go to these morning workouts. “The after school practices are usually longer. Usually only the top girls go to those,” he added. A new year brings about higher mileage for the girls to run. All the girls are on different levels of skill, so they run different mileage depending on their ability and what will help them improve. The typical mileage ranges from 3 to 7 miles. Varsity runners usually run 6 to 7 miles a day. Early in the season all the


girls start out with a lower mileage and it increases as the season goes on. Senior Amanda Warren, varsity runner, has been running cross country for 6 years. “Do I love running? That’s a trick question,” Warren said. “Yes and no. I mean, the workouts are hard when I’m doing them, but if I don’t run, I feel out of place—like something is missing.” Freshman Chloe Reeves ran cross country in middle school and is now on the cross country team at Cy-Fair. “There’s a lot more competition than in middle school. I love the competition though, because it makes me a better runner,” said Reeves. “I couldn’t live without running. It’s pretty much my life.” This year the girls’ cross country team consists of about 60 girls. “Our team is a lot bigger; it has grown, but I think because of that the girls have also become better runners,” said Kennedy. During Warren’s first year running cross country at Cy-Fair, the team consisted of very few runners compared to this team. “Our team isn’t as close as we have been in the past,” she said. “The competition, not just between the other teams, but between the other girls on our team, has gotten so much bigger.” The girls always have a spaghetti dinner the night before their meets. They also have cross country sleepovers. At these social events the seniors have fun and play pranks on the younger girls, but it’s mostly the freshmen who get the worst of them.

RUN, RUN, AS FAST AS YOU CAN: Geraldine Crispin runs to the finish. Photo courtesy of Melissa Borchgrevink.

“All the seniors play the traditional pranks on the freshmen,” Warren said. “This year we did some pretty good ones.” Attending most of these dinners and sleepovers, Reeves was a victim of one of the senior pranks but she took it with good nature. “The seniors this year are pretty awesome,” she said. “I can’t wait until I’m a senior.” During Warren’s freshmen year she looked up to the girls who were seniors as well. “Our goal as seniors this year is to make an impact on the freshman the way the seniors made an impact on me,” said Warren. “We want the girls to talk about us and remember us when they are seniors the way all of us remember the girls who were seniors when we were freshman.” Making an effort to bond with all the girls, they are slowly accomplishing this goal. “When I’m a senior I’m going to try and be really nice to the freshmen and

welcome them to the team,” Reeves said. “I want to be remembered as the fun, nice and awesome senior, just like I’m going to remember the seniors from this year.”

Sports 09

The New Epidemic:

Cracking Down on Bullying

Students discuss new intolerance for teasing ca rl y WOOD Reporter

Not only are schools like Hamilton Middle School and Rutgers State University coming under fire for bullying, but even Cy-Fair has started to shine a spotlight on bullying prevention and consequences. “We sincerely try to deal with bullying incidents when they’re reported,” associate principal Teresa Baranowski said. “But we don’t know whether anything is going on until someone reports it.” Baranowski said that punishment can vary depending

on the severity of the behavior and that Cy-Fair follows the code of conduct. Behaviors and consequences range from a conference to a suspension or placement in another school. A police officer is on site most days and we have direct access to Cy-Fair security, Baranowksi said. The way bullying incidents are dealt with depends heavily on the student’s actions. “If I’m ever getting bullied, I’ll tell the teacher,” senior Hebatalla Shabana said. “I make sure someone takes action.” Though there are different methods of dealing with bullying, there is one universal ideal when it comes to whether or not to tolerate it. “I can’t see myself in a bullying

Bullies in the Spotlight

situation,” sophomore Sruthi Kumpatla said. “But if I were in one, I do know I wouldn’t put up with it.” And now people are coming to analyze and scrutinize how schools answer to bullying. While the topic of bullying has become sort of controversial, popular and perhaps even taboo among students, sometimes bullying and teasing may actually seem like a norm - take, for instance, the “Junior-Senior wars”, which is basically a prank war between eleventh- and twelfth-graders. It’s been going on at Cy-Fair for years; whether it’s considered tradition by the students or not, though, it’s still against the rules. “The junior-senior wars are absolutely not acceptable,”

associate principal Baranowski said. “It’s just like any other form of bullying and segregation.” In some ways, victims of bullying are similar to each other. “The people that generally get picked on here are small, read a lot, dress differently, have a different religion, are homosexual - they can pretty much get picked on for just about anything,” said a Hamilton Middle School student who wished to remain anonymous. Shabana said she has experienced people calling her names and has reported it. “I’ve been bullied a couple of times, myself,” Shabana said. “People will tell bad words to me, tell me to ‘go back to your own country’, just to be mean. But they’re just stupid words.”

Over the years, bullies have found their place in Hollywood, where they can be glamorized and glorified, but in every favorite flick, these students meet an unhappy ending. Check out the most popular.

Name Biff Tannen What did they do? Terrorizes Marty

McFly and tries to cheat his way into getting money.

What did they say? “I suppose it’s

poetic justice- two McFlys with the same gun.”

What happened to Ends up becoming them? an auto-detailer.

Regina George Malfoy Makes everyone feel inferior to her.

Insults everyone who is not him.

“She thinks she’s gonna have a party and not invite me? Who does she think she is? “

“No one asked your opinion, you filthy Mudblood.”

Gets hit by a bus.

Ends up hated and living a normal, boring life.

: BULLYING 3rd In 2007, suicide was the

c hloeBEARD Editor in Chief

Bullying has always been a universal idea: one person humiliating another in some way. Though its effect has always remained the same, negative outcome causing harm, its implications have changed throughout the generations. We all laugh at the cliche images shown in movies and told by parents and grandparents of kids being stuffed in trashcans and lockers, but these somewhat juvenile bully tactics really did happen. Let’s not forget about those swirlies either.

Remember the days when children feared for the fate of their lunch money? It was a common occurance for the big, tough kids to steal the puny kids’ lunch money back in the least according to the show Recess.

15 to 24.


Evolution of Bullying

leading cause of death for young people ages

160,000 kids miss school each day to avoid being bullied.

100,000 carry a

gun to school.


Nowadays our bullies have gone technological. Facebook and texting are two of the most popular methods to attack their prey using hurtful words in statuses that are public to the entire internet, causing more humiliation and harm. These have become the major issues having to do with bullying recently. Cyberbullying is a serious matter, and even though our generation started it, we can also end it.

If you’re being bullied or know someone who is being bullies, check out these websites:

kids is bullied

Every child


kids is a bully

minutes, a is bullied


of students are bullied mentally, verbally, & physically. In a 2007 poll, these states were ranked as the worst places to live because of bullying.

1. California 2. New York 3. Illinois 4. Pennsylvania 5. Washington Statistics taken from

K and L Level, Together or Separate? Get on My Level al exBRADLEY

Managing Editor

SAM BURDYL: ‘keep classes the way they are’.

We Just Can’t Get Along s amBURDYL Sports Editor

Student K is the stereotypical “smart kid”HORIZONS certified since kindergarten, pocket protector, thick rimmed glasses and looking forward to his five hours of homework tonight. He’s used to challenge, brown nosing the teacher and study groups with his friends that normally dissolve into debating the newest update on World of Warcraft. Student L has lots of potential, but is lazier than most. She’ll get into college, she guesses, but she’s not too worried about it right now. She has much more pressing things on her mind. Like, that cute guy in her IPC class is probably going to be at the party this weekend and she has no idea what to WEAR. She’s not paying attention to the teacher; she doesn’t really want to. I can’t imagine these two students getting along, especially if thrown into the same learning environment- one classroom, one teacher, one level. CFISD has talked about melding K and L classes, putting them all on the same level. This would be a bad idea. On one hand, the teacher could slow down for Student L, give her the individual attention she needs, to repeat necessary information and keep her on task, and let Student K be bored, already too ahead of the rest of the class to care anymore. Everything’s too easy for him. He’s getting conceited. He has too much time on his hands. I don’t know about you, but a “nerd” with too much time on his hands is a very, very scary thought. On the other hand, the teacher could challenge Student K. Push him to his limits, give him more information at a higher difficulty, keep him focused, intent, on task and in love with learning, in love

Op/Ed 12

with all this new information. Student L, not used to the more difficult level, will be lost and slightly confused. There’s not enough time for the individual attention, for the teacher to go back and explain to her what’s going on. I don’t know about you, but in either situation, I’d start to really hate Student K. He’d be conceited. Ahead. Understanding far quicker than was normal. I’d want to be his partner for everything just so he could do all my work for me. He’d better let me cheat off him. If not, well, he was going to get it. It’s not fair to student K to be constantly bullied, lose peer support, encouragement and study opportunities, and yet still be expected to maintain his level of learning without getting the extra GPA point for his hard work. It’s not fair to Student L to put her in a class where she doesn’t understand the material, can’t receive help, and is only getting more and more frustrated by the day. CFISD should keep classes the way they are: separate. Student K and Student L don’t learn at the same level, and that’s

I am positive that when college admission counselors look at students from a school district with a 7 point GPA grade scale they want to rip their hair out. This of course is relevant to the fact that here you can choose to take two different level courses, obviously on-level or (to be pc) academic and K-Level classes. Likewise for an A in a K level class, a student receives 7 grade points for their GPA, where an A in L-Level receives a six, equivalent to a B in K-Level. For those students who have only gone to school in a district with the Multiple Level System, this stratification is completely normal. To me, it is a bizarre, difficult and unfair system. I think I feel this way because in most districts nationwide a four point GPA scale is used and all students are held to the same academic and behavioral standards. When I first started school here I quickly learned the difference between the two levels, as well as the stereotypes surrounding them. It appeared that the general opinion was that the reason for the system was that some students excelled and learned at different rates than others. However, it is noticeable that students in the different levels are held to different standards. K-Level students are expected to be more studious and face more rigorous curriculum than their counterparts. While to a certain extent this is true, you can’t fail to remember that when people are segregated into two different groups they generally follow the behavior patterns of the group they belong to. The system not only segregates but it tells us that it’s ok for us to settle for something less. For example, students in K-Level classes, when they feel pressured can simply drop to On-Level. Sure their GPA takes a hit, but it makes things a lot easier. Students in On-Level are taught at a slightly slower pace than K-Level students, which means they aren’t receiving the same quality of education

of their peers. Now by no means am I indicating that On-Level teachers aren’t as good as K-Level teachers, but rather the curriculum. Teachers teach what they are told to teach. Students in Advanced Placement, and Dual Credit classes also are hurt by the K level system. These students who take college classes while still in high school don’t get an extra grade point for their extra effort. So essentially there are three levels of classes, but the highest is just thrown into the pile with the rest. While it is argued that these students shouldn’t have to have an extra grade point because they are receiving college credit for those courses, they are still more in depth than either K-Level or On-Level. In the end, any student who wants to attend college is also thrown under the bus with our current GPA system. Even the students who have taken the most rigorous courses offered, still cannot attain a perfect GPA. This is because not every subject is offered in K-Level. Most colleges look at GPA in terms of a four point GPA, so when a person recalculates it to fit the four point scale, it’s impossible to have a four. For example, with my current schedule, were I to get all “A’s” my GPA would be 6.7 (for this year only). That calculates to a 3.8 on a four point scale. In another school district all “A’s” would equal perfect, but not here. My solution to the problem is simply to remove the different levels of courses and have just one type of course for each subject. Of course there would be an exception for AP and Dual Credit classes. This would mean a new four point scale, where an “A” would receive four grade points, a “B” three, and so forth. Some people argue that if there’s only one level than teachers will have to teach to the level of the lowest performing student, if this were true then we wouldn’t be anywhere in our education system. I think that it’s time we start the move to one level of classes, with a high curricular standard, and hold everybody accountable, and stop a problem from getting worse.

“It’s not right to focus on one student and let the others fall through the cracks...” -Sam Burdyl

perfectly acceptable. It’s not right to focus on one student and let the others fall through the cracks. Educating the two different students based on their different needs has worked pretty well so far and they should be left the way they are.

ALEX BRADLEY: ‘remove the different levels of courses’


Everyone Has a Story to Tell Finding the Person Beneath the Stereotype sa mVILLARREAL PR Manager

It’s my senior year. I claim to know at least half the student body and the majority of my own graduating class. It wasn’t until a couple of weeks ago during one of my classes that I began questioning whether I actually did. We were doing nothing that day and everyone was either sleeping or talking about their feelings toward the upcoming SAT. Neither one of those two options interested me, so I did what I’m known to do best: I talked for the remainder of the class period. Duh. But this time, I aimed for people who I had never spoken more than seldom

greetings to. I decided to simply turn around and talk to the kid behind me. The “quiet but super smart” kid that only talks when called upon. That kid. After no more than 15 minutes of me drowning him with my heavy questions, he surprisingly answered them all. After finding out his favorite color, animal, hobby and most embarrassing moment, he opened up enough for me to learn much more than I expected to find out. I learned from merely listening, that from the loss of a mother, and living with a father who is hardly home enough to notice him, he isolates himself and thinks he isn’t important enough to be noticed at school because of the lack of acknowledgement he receives from home. It became clear to me that day how hidden the true identity of a person can be, but how simple it is to find with a small dose of care and a five minute conversation. I also took the time to get to know the ‘class clown’. The kid whose goal is to make the entire class laugh instead of paying a single bit of attention, no matter how many jokes and write-ups it takes. The jokester I talked to was not what I expected. He actually had a low selfesteem and used jokes in order to seek

the approval of others because he doesn’t feel as though he is good enough to his divorced parents who often seem to forget their only son’s existence. Humor and laughter are used as a defense mechanism to hide his true feelings and struggles from his home life. The girl who can’t seem to possibly stay single for even one week lacks love from a strong father figure. Because her father left when she was young, she seeks the comfort she should receive from a father in relationships with boys who never seem to fully satisfy what is missing and necessary for her. Thus, the search continues because the boys don’t take the time to find out why she needs to be with someone so badly. Then there’s the student involved in just about everything offered at school. Knows everything about everyone, a member of more clubs than he can count with two hands, basically lives at school. You know that guy, and I talked to him. His parents struggle keeping a decent job and on top of that, he is the only child out of several who isn’t adopted, but is ironically the one who feels like he doesn’t belong. Being noticed at school means a lot to him because no matter how hard he works, how hard he studies and how dedicated

he is, at the end of the day when he goes back home, he becomes a nobody to the people he loves most. My perspective toward several kinds of people began to change in a matter of days. I met people on a completely different level that I can now say I truly know. I got a little risky and took the chance to see a different side in the guy whose life revolves around the gym and making his truck look better than all his friends. The kid who is highly convinced of being the coolest thing on earth and belittles everyone simply because “he’s better than them”, comes from a broken home and doesn’t know what it feels like to be treated with love and respect. Therefore, he treats others the way he was raised and treated himself. It makes perfect sense now. Everyone has a story to tell. It defines who they are and explains their outer character. It didn’t occur to me until I took the time to get to personally know these few people, that regardless of the outside personality that most often seems so transparent, you really can’t judge or determine the kind of person somebody is until you dig deep to find their true identity.

swear I will never enter again is the forest behind my house. Having encountered an owl while on an otherwise normal stroll, my dad and I passed under its tree and the owl proceeded to follow our progress by giving its head a full 360 degree rotation. Yeah, since then I haven’t put a foot inside the forest. That isn’t the last of the things that have occurred in my family. Oh, no. Far from it. There are stories that have been passed down through the years. Let’s see: There’s the one about the mysterious knocking on our door (nobody was there, shockingly enough), the random shadow that appears in our house looking out the living room window and the legend of La Llorona. La Llorona is a pale lady that comes out at night wearing a white dress and has flowing black hair, calling out for the children she drowned. If any children happen to be outside while she is searching, it is said that she will snatch them away and they will never be seen again. But the one story that sticks to my mind is the witch that followed my dad. So, the scenario started with my dad, who was 15 years old at this time. He had just left a party from a small town named San Martin and was making his way home on his bicycle. It was around 2 a.m., and he happened to be the only person on the street. The only thing he had with him was a loaded gun with crosses on the bullets. He was pedaling home and started whistling to himself to fill in the silence. What he found surprising was that someone, or something, whistled back. He braked and gazed around, looking over his shoulder to see if the thing his grandpa called a “witch” would follow him. Nothing met his eyes. The only thing

that registered was the movement of some leaves on a nearby tree. As far as he could see, there was a human shape lurking, hidden in the tree branches. He whistled once and the thing in the tree whistled back. He continued on his way, whistling, and hearing the witch whistle back. The witch leapt from tree to tree, following him as he continued pedaling. There was a river that separated him from getting to

and up the hill that would lead him to his room. When he reached the top of the hill he noticed that his loyal pet dogs were nowhere to be seen. He called out to them but the animal that came toward him was a skunk. He walked right up to the door of his room, which was separate from the rest of the house, with the skunk still following him. Then, safely inside his room, he swung the door shut and left the skunk waiting for him outside. To be honest, I was a little disappointed when he told me that his theory was that the witch had transformed into the skunk. I mean, it would have sounded so much cooler if the witch itself had walked up to him. Then again if the skunk/witch had been strong enough to make his own dogs run away and hide, refusing to answer his summons, who knows what would have happened. My theory is that the witch did transform into the skunk, probably hoping my dad would let his guard down. The only problem was that he was on high alert and knew that anything that could make his dogs ignore his calls was something dangerous. I know that these stories may sound far-fetched to some, but the experiences I have had have led me to believe that maybe some things that shouldn’t be here actually exist on this planet. There might be some spirits that have some unfinished business or just plain like scaring people to keep the legends alive. I know for a fact that there will always be something in my life that will make me look twice over my shoulder and wonder if it was just my shadow. You know, whatever is out there might just be waiting for the right opportunity to jump out and scare you.

Witch, Please! A Family Battle with the Supernatural ma i te DON

Copy Editor

I’m going to be honest here: I believe in otherworldly things. There, I’ve said it. I’ve had paranormal experiences and they are not something that I can easily forget. I’m not one of those scaredy-cat people who are afraid of those types of things. On the contrary, I’m fascinated by them. Growing up with stories about black dogs that come back from the dead, the devil’s carriage riding at midnight and laurel bushes that shake with no breeze, well, let’s say that I got interested in the subject. The superstitions that run in my family only fueled my interest. One of the major superstitions include the owls. My family considers owls to be some sort of warning sign. Every time someone in the family has been about to die, the owls have a party behind our house. They hoot and holler, having a grand time, and sometimes even have some smack downs. Then, the next day, the phone rings and someone gives us tragic news. I grew up on a ranch and still live there. My surroundings consist of huge pine trees and lots of grass that, if not mowed, grows up to your waist. The only place I


“I know for a fact that there will always be something in my life that will make me look twice over my shoulder and wonder if it was just my shadow.” - Matie Don the gate leading to his house and to the safety of his own room. That night, the river was full to the brim and the current was strong enough to drag him away. Instead of thinking about the current, my dad raised his right hand and crossed himself with the sign of the cross before taking off his shoes and crossing the river. Once on the other side, he looked up and clearly remembered seeing the witch at the very top of the avocado tree planted right beside the gate. Without hesitating, he took out his gun and thought about the crosses on the bullets. According to his grandpa, the bullets had to have a cross etched on them or they wouldn’t work on the witch. Taking aim, he fired once and saw the witch literally disappear into thin air. Calmly, he walked through the gate

Op/Ed 13

Staff Editorial

Bullying: Think Before You Speak High school is hard. This has been pounded into our heads ever since we can remember. There are cliques, hours of homework and everything else under the sun that can ensure any student four years of pain. And that includes bullying. Previously, bullying was a rarely-ifat-all mentioned subject at school code of conduct meetings. It was presumed that all students would use their common sense in a bullying situation: if you’re being bullied, go to your parents or to a school official; if you witness someone being bullied, report it; and if you’re the bully... well, please stop. However, recently, bullying has become the subject of many conversations. With the tragic news of the bullying victims committing suicide, many students, parents and even just plain citizens have come to question what is wrong and how we can all help stop it.

The blame game has been played all across the country. People such as concerned parents, the media and activist groups are criticizing school administrators for “not taking action.” But the truth is, the school staff can’t make anything happen unless a kind, concerned student submits a report about it first. The rest is up to the professionals, the officials. We can trust them. It’s their job to deal with these incidents. Anyone can be a target, whether it’s for the way he or she dresses, what he or she eats, his or her sexual orientation or nearly any other trait. But when it comes down to it, we’re all people with feelings and a need to belong. We’ve all been bullied at one time or another, and as we remember that, we can say with sad faces that it hurts. It can really make us second-guess ourselves and knock our self-esteem down to the ground. This breaks our hearts and

racks our brains, and even if the bully apologizes later on, our hearts don’t completely recover. A bully’s words and antics can stick in the back of our minds for the rest of our lives. Most of the time we don’t let bullying get to us. Sure, we’ll feel bad for a little while, but time mends most things and we’re back to normal before long. When bullying is continuous, though, or so strongly painful, it can take a huge toll on our lives. If we still have our lives in the end. Think before you speak. Even if you’re just kidding with a friend, even if what you say is the most insignificant and innocent thing, even if your prey “deserves it” (which nobody ever does), it can scar others around you forever. Remember the golden rule. Together, we can all bring an end to this tragic part of society, one decision at a time.

A Taste of Victory Student Experiences Sweetness After Sick Day j ord anTUCKER Op/Ed Editor

It was the kind of day that I believed all the gods known and unknown had forsaken me. Somehow in the night my eyes had been replaced with two slimy, crusted slits from which vision was virtually impossible. As I rolled over in bed, I felt my stomach lurch as though it had arbitrarily decided that it would much rather live outside my body. My face was not so much covered in skin as it was a sheet of writhing flames and sweat. I groaned, and my body groaned back. And it was a Monday. With a monumental will, I dragged

“The bus ride to school was a hazy blur of nausea, motion sickness and screaming children. (Like an amusement park minus the amusement).” -Jordan Tucker

my malfunctioning form out of bed and prepared for the day. Being the diligent seven year old that I was at the time, I did

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not mention my sickness to my parents. They had bigger things to deal with than their daughter dying anyway. I got dressed and tried to ignore the sensation of a knife being dragged along raw flesh as the cloth slid across my skin. I brushed my teeth and attempted not to vomit into the sink. I nearly fell over trying to carry my turtle shell of a backpack out the front door. All in all, it was a good morning. The bus ride to school was a hazy blur of nausea, motion sickness and screaming children. (Like an amusement park minus the amusement). By the time I arrived at the penitentiary- excuse meelementary school, my brain had given up functioning. It’s a wonder I even made it to my classroom, let alone half-way through the day. I can’t remember exactly what I learned that day. (My brain was probably too fried to absorb any information anyway.) But what I can recall is the way the room refused to stop spinning, and how my stomach seemed to have taken up gymnastics for all the back flips it was doing. I was in the middle of science when it happened. I had been fighting off nausea for hours when I felt it. Anyone who has been sick knows the feeling. THAT feeling, when you stomach turns inside out and you just KNOW you’ve reached the point of no return. I pinched my lips together as the contents of my tiny stomach changed course. I stood up and lunged for the trash can. I didn’t even make it two steps. Let’s just say that, with a few acrid heaves, the seat of my chair was covered in things that should only be known to a gastroenterologist. The room went deadly quiet (which is saying something, seeing

as I was in a room full of second graders.) Then it exploded. All at once my classmates let out cries of mirth and disgust. Some stuck out their tongues and looked at me like I was something greasy stuck to the bottom of their shoes. Others merely laughed, and a few even stood up, pointing their stubby little fingers as if they were the prosecution and I the accused. “Gross!” “Get her away from me!” “What a loser!” Though lacking in creativity, the catcalls were enough to spark tears in my eyes and trauma in my tiny seven-year-old heart. My teacher quickly snapped at the gremlins (children) to be quiet and whisked me off to the nurses office, but the damage was done. I cried the entire way home, my head spinning and still covered in my own stomach contents. (Not to mention that I threw up twice more in the car.) By some miracle I was perfectly healthy the next day, and forced to return to class. When I walked in the room, I expected the evil cretins to burst out laughing once more. I had to hold back tears just thinking about it. But as I entered, I was met instead by a classroom full of sorrowful faces. “Class what do you have to say?” My teacher asked. “We’re sorry!” they chirped in unison. They all held out little folded sheets of manila paper with the words ‘I’m sorry’ scrawled on the front in crayon. On the inside were apologies from each of them for laughing at me the day before. I had to hold back tears again. I found those cards the other day while cleaning out my bookshelf. I’ve never gotten rid of them, not even after all this time. I’ve never had a revenge that tasted sweeter.



10 Random Facts You Don’t Need To Know

1. In every episode of Seinfeld, there is a Superman somewhere. 2. If you eat a bar of chocolate every day for 36,500 days, you’ll live to be 100 years old. 3. The longest one syllable word in the English language is “screechedâ€?. 4. Most elephants weigh less than the tongue of a blue whale. 5. Butteries taste with their feet. 6. “Go.â€? is the shortest complete sentence in the English language. 7. The king of hearts is the only king without a mustache. 8. A giraffe has a 20-inch tongue. 9. It is possible to lead a cow upstairs... but not downstairs. 10. The world’s longest game of Monopoly lasted more than 660 hours. Facts courtesy of

Overheard in the Classroom with Mr. Lawyer

“Tomorrow we’ll be doing the Twilight recreation in class.�

“A lot of people know Edward Cullen took College Algebra 64 times as opposed to Jacob who struggled in Algebra.�

“I hate when people actually die from my math problems and they’re dead in the back of the classroom. It looks bad during evaluation.� “It’s a good thing, as Martha Stewart would say.�

a Texas A&M private res hall

top 3 reasons to live here: ( all for nearly the same cost as living on campus )












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Fun Page... kind of.



Wonderful World of Wings

Where to Get the Best Buffalo Wings in Cypress

kyl e ANDERSON News Editor In the messy food department, buffalo wings rank as one of the messiest. But they sure are delicious. When it comes to watching the big game, eating “with the guys” or being adventurous, buffalo wings are most appropriate. There are three main wing restaurants that I know of: Buffalo Wild Wings, Wings N’ More and Hooters. I will attempt to crown the wing champion based on five categories: atmosphere, hottest wing, best variety of sauces, most meat and best overall wing. Buffalo Wild Wings has the cool sports bar, man-cave appeal that definitely attracts the dudes. Plasma screens are on every wall, highlighting every sports game. When you walk in, there is an almost immediate sense of reassurance that general conversation will be all about sports and wings, most definitely not about how your girlfriend wants you to emote. There are also cool video game boards to rent. Wings N’ More, much like Buffalo Wild Wings, also has a “man-cave” feel. Although it is a very cool place, nothing at Wings N’ More stood out to me. And lastly, Hooters. Enough said. At any wing joint there has got to be a hot wing. From crazy hot to “are you serious?” hot, the hottest wing is really important. Hooters hot wings were most definitely hot. Right as the wing touched my mouth, my mouth was stinging. Second, at Wings N’ More, the hot wing there was especially hot. I literally could smell the heat and the

sauce as it was burning my nose hairs. Third, at Buffalo Wild Wings the term “blazin” fooled me. At first I was a little skeptical about the blazin’ wing, but as I began eating I realized that it was going to be harder to eat than I imagined. I put it in mouth. Took a bite. Then screamed. To call it hot would be an understatement. The variety of sauces at wings restaurant is essential. The sauce on a wing is what makes a wing, and give it, it’s taste. So the variety of sauces most definitely needs to be taken into account. First, at Hooters, the variety of flavors is pathetic. On the menu there are only two wing choices: Greasy and Spicy Greasy. Not that original in my opinion. As you eat the wings and gawk at the waitresses’ ridiculous clothing, you can feel the grease running down your throat and unsettling your stomach. Second, at Wings N’ More the variety is pretty good. There is regular original, garlic, BBQ, Lemon Pepper and specialty flavors like Cajun, Teriyaki and Hawaiian. And unlike most restaurants that have a “hot” flavor, at Wings N’ More, each sauce can be chosen as either mild, medium, hot, extra hot or suicidal. Third, at Buffalo Wild Wings the variety of the sauces is amazing. The flavors range from Sweet BBQ, Teriyaki, Mild, Parmesan Garlic, Medium, Honey BBQ, Spicy Garlic, Asian Zing and Caribbean Jerk, to name a few. The diversity of their sauces is definitely one of Buffalo Wild Wings strong points. The first bite into the Hooters wing was a good first impression. The meat on it was plentiful enough to most standards, but its meat content was the same as any other wing. Like the Hooters wing, the Wings N’ More was most definitely not colossal, but it did in fact have more meat on it than the Hooters wing. It took less of those wings to fill me up. The Buffalo Wild Wings wing was extremely meaty. It filled me up pretty well and didn’t leave me hungry. Like with the other two places the meat wasn’t extremely huge. It just was enough to quench my hunger. Although these factors contributed to my choice on the best wing, the overall

taste of the wing probably affected my decision the most. Hooters’ wings were one of the greasiest things I have eaten. The outer layer of skin was not coated in sauce like Orthodox wings; it was covered in a thin fried skin that didn’t have much a taste. The primary of the Hooters wing was most definitely grease that left my stomach in a salt induced coma. Wings N’ More wings were much like Hooters and had a fine layer of grease on the skin. Although they tasted okay, I didn’t find them to be too appetizing. My biggest complaint about this wing was that it had no sauce on it! A wing needs to be disgustingly lathered in a fine layer of oozing saucy sauce, and this wing looked as if it had been stripped of his clothing. I had never been to Buffalo Wild Wings before. The moment their wings touched the tip of my tongue, I knew I was in love. Perfect. The sauce literally had me up out of my seat clapping my hands together ferociously. You would have thought that my favorite football team had won the Super Bowl. But no, this wing had me hearing the Hallelujah chorus. In the atmosphere category third place winners were Wings N’ More, second place was Hooters, and first place is Buffalo Wild Wings. BWW is definitely first because of the awesome TVs, the great service, and the overall sports mania craze. It was pretty hard to determine the hottest wing, but there was only one wing that left me speechless. The hot sauce burnt my lips and tongue so I couldn’t speak for a good 20 minutes. In third place came Hooters. Rounding in at second came Wings N’ More, and in first came Buffalo Wild Wings. The Blazin’ wing was incredible. My lips are still quivering from the ferocious hot sauce, and my tongue looks like a beaten up Vietnam veteran. The last category played the most important role of my choice. Each restaurant had a good wing, but there was only one restaurant whose wing stood above the rest. In third place was Hooters with their “greas-tastic” wing. Although it was good, it left my stomach in a very unpleasant state. Second came Wings N’ More, which had a wing that

tasted all right but seemed more like a piece of miniature fried chicken than a wing. The restaurant with the best tasting wing is Buffalo Wild Wings. The sauce was exquisite. The meat content was proportional on each side. I could hear the Hallelujah chorus being sung while I ate this wing. Rounding out at third is Hooters. I’m sorry guys but I’m writing about the wings there, and it wasn’t extremely pleasing. The wings weren’t all that great, but the breasts were amazing! (chicken breasts) Sliding in at second is Wings N’ More. The wings, although better than Hooter’s, were not especially delicious. They lacked atmosphere but had wings that resembled a drumstick. And not even an awesome one at that. The champion of the wing battle royale is Buffalo Wild Wings. Everything about the place was perfect. The food, the awesome service, the great atmosphere and of course the amazing wings. It has now become my very spot for wings, and I recommend anyone in need of a “wingfix” should go to Buffalo Wild Wings. These restaurants each had good wings but only BWW had the angelic wing that not only quenched my hunger but also fed my soul. So put down the newspaper, grab your friends and head off to Buffalo Wild Wings to have some of the best wings in Cypress.

am brought a salad by a waitress of the culinary school dressed in black. This salad wasn’t a boring plain green salad. It was colorful and filled with lots of yummyness including star-cut cucumbers, metizina olives, cherry tomatoes and of course, leafy greens. To accompany the salad there was the choice of zesty Italian or ranch dressing. The Italian dressing had special powers and must have put a spell on me because I could not get enough of it. I emptied the whole container and drowned my poor salad. Before I knew it, the student waitress had arrived to rescue my veggies from the Italian dressing moat and serve me round two: lasagna and garlic bread. Let me break it down for you. The lasagna was big and took up half the plate as it towered half a hand high. It was cheesy and very delicious. My piece of the lasagna was stacked with ricotta cheese, long noodles and marinara sauce that tied it all together. The lasagna didn’t go down alone, oh no, it went down the hatch with a side of garlic bread.

I became a native speaker of “MMMMMmmmmmmmm” not solely because the food sent my heart to the moon and converted me to Culinary-ism, I babbled like a well-fed infant trying to bite off the hot, steaming cheese strand so attractively spilling from my mouth out. One slice of this perfectly crafted artisan bread was not enough, I darn near demanded enough. I darn near demanded a Transylvanian village from the likes of Edward Cullen. After completely clearing my plate that was filled with a mouth watering course, I was quickly greeted with a little white dish from the waitress. The content on the plate was not food. It was a work of art: A big peanut butter cookie, half dipped in chocolate and drizzled with white chocolate. My mouth started to water just thinking about it. After one bite, I was in love. The peanut butter and chocolate just melted in my mouth. Bite by bite, I was falling into a trance and I scarfed down the cookie within seconds. It was a perfect ending to an amazing meal.

Sated and stumbling back to 5th period proved nearly impossible. Not only did I have to pull myself from a relaxed, coolly professional and quaint dining room, but little Mario, my new food baby, was a biggun and daddy was having a tough time moving. Sitting in class later that day I realized I would have no issues should I have died and gone to Heaven as long as the Culinary food is standard fare.

BUFFALO: The Buffalo Wild Wings Logo. Photo courtesy of

Best Food in Cypress, Right Here at Our School darb yNEVINS AND jay DRUMMOND Feature Editor AND Op/Ed Editor Lunch, need I say more? The REAL most important meal of the day, especially for those of us whose morning scramble to school rarely includes eggs. That said, after the infinite span from 7 to noon when my stomach auditions to be the next Luciano Pavarotti, having to eat a lunch less than legendary is just sacrilege. God bless the Culinary restaurant. For those who don’t know, right between Cy-Fair and Arnold Middle School sits the Culinary School. Students have the option to take it as a one or two period class a day for the year. Every Friday, the Culinary School opens their restaurant and serves to teachers, staff and outside adults for a lovely low price of $7. Sorry students, it isn’t open to us. Lucky for me, I got the special treatment and was able to enjoy a wonderful meal. As I’m sitting down, drinking my nice, and tall glass of cold of ice water, I

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USE YOUR NOODLE: Senior Patricia Evans assembles lasagna in Culinary. Photo by Alexx Edwards.


Best Villains of All Time

If you’re looking for the girl from the Grudge, stop reading this. If you’re looking for Kyle Anderson’s face, stop reading this. If you’re looking for Ke$ha’s voice, stop reading this. (Don’t worry, we hate it too.) But if you’re looking for the best of the best, continue. Here is a list of some of the most feared villains of pop culture. At least according to me. kati e GOINS Reporter

Dracula Yes, there was a time before glitter

and love were a vampire’s first priorities. When Bram Stoker’s Dracula hit the screen, he opened up a whole new world for fiction lovers. Count Dracula became the sole influence on vampire movies to come. So he may not sparkle in the sun, but he’s the reason Edward Cullen exists.

The Joker

He might be the most deranged, maniacal villain around, but the Joker has a powerful weapon; intelligence. Though he claims to not make plans, the Joker’s schemes seem bulletproof. But can there really be a method to the madness? The Joker is unpredictable. He fears no spotlight or camera. Basking in the media, The Joker shows his painted face to everyone. Maybe what makes him so creepy is that he’s not lingering in shadows waiting to surprise you. He tells you what he’s going to do in advance, preparing you for it. Regardless, I think any man in lipstick is just kind of creepy.

Dr. Frankenstein Carrie White Think back far before our generation, before special effects and computers. In 1931, Frankenstein was born. However, he’s not the villain. Rather, he was the victim. The real villain of this classic was Dr. Frankenstein, who is responsible for creating him. Obsessed with the thought of the walking dead, Dr. Frankenstein made his creation with parts of corpses. And like my mother says about most of her children, he “created a monster”.

Darth Vader

Though I don’t worship the Star Wars series (mainly because I have a life), I do respect Darth Vader as a classic villain. Just the fact that he sliced off his own son’s hand puts him on the list, but the Dark Lord of the Sith has done so much more. This guy can choke you from afar and throw things at you by using his mind. That’s something to be afraid of. However, I still judge you for owning all six episodes and maybe even Clone Wars. In fact, I judge myself for knowing there are six episodes and an animated movie titled Clone Wars.

With all these protests and speeches about anti-bullying, maybe we should all be watching Carrie again. This 70s classic will scare anyone straight. What makes Carrie so terrifying is that, though isolated, she seems simply innocent and without friends. Yet, behind the shy girl, Carrie has a creepy gift of telekinesis. Just think blood and fire. At prom.


In some ways, Gollum could be considered a victim. But looking at him, I’m only creeped out because if that thing was lurking around my room, I’d feel no pity. It’s hard to imagine that this creature was once a river folk. Though the man within him, Smeagol, tried to rise through and show his softer side, his corrupted heart could only hide for so long and Sam, Frodo’s best friend, was waiting for it. However, nobody expected him to bite a finger off for it. The fact that Gollum’s entire journey consisted of him trying to get the ring back makes it fitting that he perishes in the flames with it.

The Ultimate Fright al l anPETERS Reporter

There is always that naively brave guy who thinks that haunted houses aren’t all that, yet is always the one that screams the loudest. For those who are new to running wildly through scary houses and to all of you haunted house veterans, let this be a guide to choosing the spookiest, most terror inducing place you could possibly find. First off, the scream factor: a rating of 1 to 5; from spooky to pure terror based on aspects such as atmosphere (decorations, actors, sounds, how it makes you feel), cost ($$$), content


(what do you get for the price of admission), and terror (how loud you scream). Now the survival guide. Most of the spooks operate on the snake theory; meaning the first person alerts the snake and the second get bitten. So guys, be a gentleman, and volunteer to go first. Only a handful of actors jump the gun and scare the first person to walk through the curtain. Always keep your ticket in your pocket, unless asked for it. This will prevent you from losing valuable stubs and may get you in to a house for free. Purchasing your tickets online is usually $5 cheaper than buying them at the gate and saves you from waiting in a long winding

line. Bring a couple people with you, but not too many for the best group experience. Don’t be a jerk, leave the scaring to the spooks. If possible, wait for a few more minutes before entering a house so you do not catch up to a slow going group. They really ruin the atmosphere and are rather annoying. If you are one of the super squeamish types, eat afterward to avoid trouble. Always remember; the actors are there to entertain you, not to hurt you. Phobia is scary to small children. After the first spook leaps out and roars in a raspy guttural voice, you realize how funny and redundant the place is. If you attend all the houses they start


   I remember being convinced by my brother that I wanted to see this movie. I also remember hiding behind a chair crying from terror. If you don’t already have a phobia for clowns, watch this movie and you will. “It” targets children and I was about eight when I watched it. That’s when I knew my brothers weren’t too protective. I don’t know what’s worse for people afraid of clowns: going to the clown house at Phobia or watching this movie.

Jack Torrance Torrance

The last guy I’d ever marry. In fact, I’d marry a boy from a lame, failure of a band before I married Mr. Torrance (like that nevershoutnever guy). Jack is creepy before he ever gets offered a job at the hotel, but by the end of the movie, sleep is as strange to be me as love is to Jack. Though Jack isn’t very bright nor very successful at much, with swings like his, I would be mortified to be stuck in a hotel with him. The only good or useful thing he’s done in his life was producing Danny, the cutest child in the world.

Wicked Witch Witch of thethe West West

Margaret Hamilton scares me in the first place, but paint her green and dress her in black and I’m terrified. While the Wizard of Oz isn’t exactly a horror film, the Wicked Witch of the West is known as one the scariest villains of all time. And with good reason. Nobody has made monkeys creepier or made hearing, “I’ll get you, my pretty” more terrifying.

Chucky C h u c k y

There is no movie that makes a toy look as creepy. That fear you had as a kid comes alive in Child’s Play. This blue eyed, freckled doll holds the soul of Charles Lee Ray, a vicious murderer and is the reason I hid my My Twinn doll in my closet at night. And Chucky was just the beginning. Soon came a wife and that’s one movie I decided to skip on.

Prices to blur together. Sorting through my memories, I can’t remember which house was which, but one house that did stand out was the Dawn of the Machine. Instead of just blood and guts; the house boasted robots, blood and guts. There is also a robot in there that clings to the ceiling and tries to grab you; he was the smartest spook I encountered. Phobia recommends allowing 20 minutes per haunt, so plan accordingly. At its best; Phobia merits a 3. With bloody chain saw carrying grunts in between houses, a staff dressed to scare, decorations to cringe at, sounds to jump at and actors to have nightmares about; the mood is bone chilling.


1 house: $13 2 house: $25 (online $20) 3 house: $30 (online $25) 4 house: $40 (online $35) 5 house: $50 (online $45) Exile 3 house special: $30 (online $25) *Houses: Dawn of the Machine, Claustrophobia, Mind Control, Dark Institute, 3D Clown Phobia and Exile: Simon Fowler Woods, Darke World and Mania


General Admission: $25 Thursday and Sunday Admission: $20 Fastpass: $35 (online $29)

Nightmare on the Bayou General Admission: $30 Sunday Admission: $25 Fastpass: $40

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Take a Ride on The ‘Hell-evator’ Horror Flick Filled with Crime, Blood and Suspense darb y NEVINS Feature Editor

Devil. The first thing that comes to my mind when I hear that word is a tiny candy-red animal looking thing with horns, a pitch fork and a tail. Hollywood has definitely redefined the “devil” image when they released the new movie “Devil” directed by John Erick Dowdle, the director of 2008’s “Quarantine”. Now, I’ve seen scary movies before, but just seeing the preview for this one, well, I knew it was going to be a little bit more terrifying than the others. The story behind the story: a group of five individuals who have never met each other before get stuck in an elevator and random scary events start to take place making them realize that the devil is among them. I know it sounds like quite a cheesy story line, but it got me interested to see it and find out the culprit. I arrived right as the movie was beginning. The lights had just dimmed, and the scary death-like melancholy sounds were playing. I expected to see some crazy death scene right away that would start my screaming and goose bumps for the next hour and a half, but no. The movie starts off strange with a faint voice speaking about the devil and the opening scene is a man cleaning in the lobby of a building. I must say it was not a great start that pulled me into the movie. Time goes on and nothing frightening

happens. I started getting comfortable in my seat and let my scare-guard down. After 20 grueling minutes, I am finally introduced to the lucky five that get stuck in the elevator together. There is Grandma, some strange and quiet old lady; Hulk, the big security temp; Cutie, the attractive young man; Creeper, the awkward salesman, and Miss Innocent, the pretty young woman who is hiding something. Let me tell you: these five individuals are people who you would not want to be stuck in an elevator with. Right away the tension is on between them. The smartass salesman tries to pounce on the pretty young woman and the grandma starts whining about everything. This upsets the security guard and annoys the cute male. It was like a domino effect. The suspense then started to rise because there was every sign that something bad was about to happen. My scare-guard went back up. The lights go out and bam, the first crime. The lights turned back on and immediately everyone starts to freak out and point fingers. The building security then realizes that they should probably contact the police. I believe they deserve a gold medal for using their brains here. Then the faint voice goes on to talk about the devil again. I started connecting the dots... The devil was causing everything. Really now, who would have guessed that?

The group then hopelessly tries to escape from the elevator (with no luck) when the lights start to flicker again. Oh no. Everyone starts freaking out. Lights go off, bam, crime two. This one was big. Someone’s dead. This was when everyone turned on each other for real. This continues for the next 30 minutes: people dying, others who were trying to help the ones in the elevator dying and the faint voice speaking about the devil. All of that was happening while the police were investigating and each new clue they found made me sit on the edge of my seat yelling at the screen telling them w h o was the culprit. Each time I yelled I was apparently wrong and received dirty looks from the people around me. It wasn’t my fault the directors wrote a confusing and tricking movie. Eventually there were only two people left in the elevator and both were ready to attack each other to remain safe. The lights go off and I was about fed up. I just wanted to know who it was and the movie was dragging it on forever. Lights on; bam. No, no, no. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I was just about to leave because I thought the movie was over but then it took a

completely unexpected twist and I was blown away. The devil was quite the sneaky one in this film. I still really don’t understand the whole movie but I will admit it was not as scary as I feared. Believe it or not, the film actually had a moral: no matter what you do in life, you can always be forgiven and live in freedom if you repent what you’ve done. To understand what that means I guess you will have to just see the movie

for yourself. Good luck.

FEAR: Bojona Novakovic in “Devil.” Photo courtesy

A Scary Spin On Romeo and Juliet ‘Let Me In’ A Different Kind of Horror j ayDRUMMOND Op/Ed Editor

Owen has been having some problems lately: his parents are getting a divorce, he’s isolated and alone, and oh yeah, the 12-year-old girl he’s been “going steady” with is a possessed, demanding, spiderwalking vampire with a thing for necks and a voice like Christian Bale as the Dark Knight. Talk about hickeys. “Let Me In” stars Kodi Smit-McPhee (The Road) as Owen, and his vampire friend Abby, played by Chloë Moretz (“Kick-Ass”), as a remake of the Swedish 2008 thriller , “Let the Right One In” (based on a book of the same name, “Låt den rätte komma in”), which won critical acclaim with the Founders Award for Best Narrative Feature at the Tribeca Film Festival, among other awards in its own right. Stephanie Meyer, the ball is in your court. In my opinion, Matt Reeves, the director of the gimmick-fest known colloquially as “Cloverfield”, really surprised me in his rendition of what I would have thought to be untouchable, sticking to the original, but adding enough of his own vision to keep it fresh. Unlike most contemporary horror films, Let Me In does not begin with the typical, warm and fuzzy world, just asking for something to go terribly awry, nor does the gore-fest begin from frame one. Instead, Reeves immerses the audience into the dark and lonely existence that is Owen, with not even the pretext of a serial killer hiding around the next corner. The real horror we are concerned with is that

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‘KNOCK, KNOCK’: Chloe Moretz as Abby knocking on the window in ‘Let Me In’. Photo courtesy of of the human condition. Of course all of this empathy can only be established after the people are given what they want. The movie opens with a police caravan winding through the snowblind roads of Los Alamos, New Mexico,

cuts to the hospital bed where a faceless and deformed victim awaits his fate. Now that the audience is certain they are in the right theater, the story can begin. Step aside “Saw”, this is what a plot looks like. Boy sees girl, the first person to truly

acknowledge his presence. His divorcing parents are more caught up in their problems than the effect they are having on their kid, so much so that neither of their faces are shown throughout the entire movie. His teachers ignore him while poor Owen is left to the mercy of Kenny and his entourage. All that remains is Abby, the girl he cannot help but fall for, despite her explicit warning that they could never be friends. And barring the fact that Abby’s “father” commits more and more murders in an attempt to feed his demon child, all you end up caring about is the burgeoning story of how love conquers all. As the saying goes, what doesn’t kill you, hang you upside, slash your jugular to drain your blood then dump you in a river, only makes you stronger. You are happy that the tension between Abby and Owen is melting, melting like her daddy’s face in acid, that he can accept her for being “not a girl” and she can put aside her own thirst for blood and bypass him for his neighbors. My only problem was the nearly gratuitous amounts of tween cursing and gore, although this I can forgive behind the poignant and touching retake on Romeo and Juliet. The world may fall apart around them, the detective hunting Abby down may always show up at the wrong times and Owen is eventually forced to choose between Christian morality and evil incarnate, but you will enjoy the emotional thrill ride. Walking out of the theater, elated in my fear of Hefty trash bag-head, can honestly say I let the right one in.


Travel Back to Medieval Times For a Day What to See, Do and Eat (and How to Get Married) at Texas Renaissance Festival j a yDRUMMOND Op/Ed Editor

Jousts, wenches, mutton? Sign me up! The Texas Renaissance Festival, although a safe haven and home away from home for closet warlocks, gypsies and faerie folk, normal people flock by the hundreds to indulge in the festivities. Ren Fest, as it is colloquially known, located in the boonies of Plantersville, is held on weekends from Oct. 9 to Nov. 28, 9 a.m. to dusk; and for the mere price of $23 admission, the fair acts as a timemachine, transporting patrons into a world in which they are so immersed in the Renaissance way of life that people will not hesitate to call you out for using the witchcraft of cell phones. Throughout the day, visitors are given the opportunity to view entertainment, including fair-goers in their costumes, shop, get body art on their faces or hands, learn various medieval occupations via demonstrations, dine on exotic foods, visit serene gardens and even get married in one of five locales. Upon first entering the fairgrounds, nay, before even leaving the safety of your car, you are bombarded with costumes ranging from hokey bedsheets and sneakers

to, shall we say, more serious patrons, regaled in the product of countless hours of sewing and ebay-perusing to construct their near-authentic Night Elf Mohawk. Heck, you might even hear the sweet warble of a Cockney accent. But, alas, what to do but people-watch? The entertainment offered embraces a wide array of tastes, including humor for both high- and low-browed persons (the Mudd Pit), period music, dancing, jugglers, an assortment of rides and games, a Grand Marche Parade, fireworks and even the famed jousts. Never can there be a dull moment. ‘Selectively’ dressed belly dancers show how honest their hips can be; pirates and musketeers duel to the death amidst the crowds; merchants call to you in the vernacular: “Good day, m’lord, could I interest you in my shiny things?” And so begins the endless search through a never ending circuit of venders, their handmade wares alluring as they reflect the light and/or emit a variety of scents. Whatever the desire, Ren Fest is sure to have it, be it scented oils and incense, live blades or wooden swords, leather works, animal puppets, period clothing, masks, jewelry, tiaras, candles, items made via an authentic printing press from 1440, metal

‘Shut Away From The World’

Photo courtesy of

ash l e y GURNEY Sports Editor

Suspenseful, twisting and captivating, it keeps your eyes glued to the screen as you watch, unable to look away from the horrors you see playing across the screen in front of you. Creating the wonderful and captivating story that became “Case 39”, writer Ray Wright also wrote the script for “Pandorum”, which came out in 2009. Director Christian Alvart did an equally wonderful job making Wright’s script for “Case 39” come alive on screen. Renee Zellweger, the voice of Katie in “Monsters vs. Aliens”, played main character Emily Jenkins, a Child Protective Services worker. Jodelle Ferland was another main character, who did an excellent job, as did Zellweger, both playing their roles perfectly and acting their parts very convincingly. The gorgeous and hilarious Bradley Cooper, best known from his appearance in “The Hangover”, transformed into someone calm, realistic and serious for this movie, but was still his typical Bradley Cooper gorgeousness that the girls love to see. Case 39 was many things, and disturbing


was definitely one of them. You watch it and think: ‘Wow who would do something like that?’ Then you realize how truly deep rooted the disturbia goes. As the movie plays on, all the truth comes out and there you sit, feeling horrified at what just happened. A precious little girl is abused by her parents. Shoved inside a lit oven with her mouth taped to muffle the screams. You think they’re crazy - who would want to kill that poor little girl? The children locked away and classified as dangerous. The little girl gets a new home, and as she gets more and more comfortable with her new life you start to realize that things aren’t what they seem. The wrong people were shut away from the world, not born crazy, but driven to it, by something more dangerous than you could ever imagine. Overall, a good quality scary movie should leave you absolutely terrified to go outside, to go anywhere alone, to be in the dark. Basically scared to go or do anything remotely relating to the movie. According to the general expectation of scary movies, Case 39 would not be classified as a truly scary movie. I walked away without the slightest feelings of terror. On a scale of 1 to 5, I would give this movie a 3.7. A good movie, yes. Horrifying, but not scary like I was hoping it would be.

works, furniture, et cetera. Thank heavens for the ATM machines placed nearly everywhere for convenience, although select booths will accept “Lady Visa or the Master of the Card”. The issue at hand is not how big your purse is, you’ve long forgotten about frivolities like money (especially when every sign replaces dollars with English pounds); no, the issue is which bauble to choose, which pair of tights doesn’t make your butt look too big, or how in JOUST: A Renaissance joust at the Festival. the name of Thor you’re going to Photo by Alifya Ali. carry it all. And who could forget the themed drunk couples itching to tie the knot. “Weddings aren’t unusual at all. There weekends? This particular weekend was deemed “1001 Dreams”, with such are about two or three a day, you might special events as a faerie costume contest even see one if you stick around long and scavenger hunt, but other weeks enough,” said a local leather worker. At the end of it all, even this review seems are reserved for Oktoberfest, Pirate Adventures, All Hallows Eve, Roman out-of-breath, a brisk jog through Ren Fest Bacchanal, Highland Fling, Barbarian magic; just enough to whet the appetite, but not a smorgasbord of information. Invasion and Celtic Christmas. At the end of the day, one can become Grab your leg of mutton, sheath your so lost in the festivities that an investment sword (at all times on fairgrounds), get in a festival guide becomes nearly a your butt down here! Yeoman, what on requirement for keeping sanity and truly earth could you be doing this weekend that is better than pilgrimages down to ye seeing all that Ren Fest has to offer. There’s even something to do for love- Olde Faire?

It’s ‘An Epic Quest’ sarahSMITH

Entertainment Editor

There aren’t many movies that are just stories anymore. So many movies nowadays are flashy and sparkly and celebrity-filled and explosion-happy. But this movie isn’t. Actually It’s just Kind Of a Funny Story. Yes, Zach Galifianakis may have a cultlike following because of “The Hangover”. Yes, Emma Roberts may be Julia Roberts’ niece. And yes, glamorous New York City may be the backdrop. But nothing about “It’s Kind of a Funny Story” screams “Hollywood”. This movie is an indie film tailored to satisfy mainstream America. All of the actors shine in parts that are quirky and off-the-wall. My personal favorites are Bobby, played superbly by Zach Galifianakis; Muqtada, Craig’s reclusive and hilarious Egyptian roommate; and Dr. Minerva, played with sophistication and skill by the beautiful Viola Davis. Now I know in the last sentence I used maybe too many superlatives, but every actor was really good. I mean really good. The acting alone saved the story from being too contrived and cheesy. The only flaw was Craig’s best friend’s on-again, off-again girlfriend and the object of Craig’s lustful obsession, Nia, played by Zoe Kravitz. Kravitz showed every quality of bad acting: plenty of fake angst, a soft and creepy voice and the laugh of a harpy. Thankfully she had only a few scenes and wasn’t on screen enough to ruin the movie. When the movie starts, the main character, Craig, is dreaming about jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge, all the while keeping up a steady personal narrative. Craig’s selfdeprecating, wry tone stays throughout the rest of the movie, and perfectly matches the journey that he goes on. The next day, a Sunday, he checks himself into a psychiatric ward. And that’s when the fun begins.

In my mind I see “It’s Kind Of a Funny Story” as an epic quest, starring Craig (the brave, dorky and slightly neurotic knight), Bobby (Craig’s Merlin/Yoda), Noelle (the “damsel in distress”, but not really) and the demons that haunt them all playing the role of the evil King. Craig, Bobby and Noelle get into all sorts of shenanigans, whether they are impersonating hospital personnel while roaming the ER, having fantasy sequences of singing “Under Pressure” in skintight leather and glittery tank tops or just having a pizza party to the sounds of Egyptian pop music playing on the gramophone. Craig certainly meets plenty of crazies in this loony bin, but they aren’t as crazy as they seem and he learns from them to live his life to the fullest, to do what he wants to do and to just be happy. The Valiant Knight Craig doesn’t actually end up rescuing anyone; instead, he is rescued by the wisdom of Bobby (and Bob Dylan), the questions of Noelle and the artist they coax out of him. And so after only five days in the psych ward, Craig comes out a changed man, still as dorky as ever but maybe a little less neurotic. And though it took three too many projectile vomiting scenes, arriving at the end of this Funny Story was a satisfying and enjoyable journey.

TOUCHING MOMENT: Keir Gilchrist and Emma Roberts as Craig and Noelle hugging it out in ‘It’s Kind of a Funny Story’. Photo courtesy of Go Moxie.

Entertainment 19

Snow White and the Seven Dwarves Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance”, a Lord of the Rings reference and an infamous John Lennon accent are just a few of the things you missed out on if you skipped out on seeing Cy-Fair Players’ production, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves”. Here is a collection of behind-the-scenes photos from the final dress rehearsal (hence the blue jeans). Jillian Smith as Queen Brangomar.

Bethany Roberts as Witch Hex.

Carmel Mehari, Carolina Pich, Katie Goins, Eliza McClatcher and Rebecca Norcini as Dwarves with Kari Ellingsen as Snow White.

Kari Ellingsen as Snow White.

Photos taken by Tyler Melancon.

Zac Sebren as Sir Dandiprat Bombas.

Kaily Baskett, Natalie Patton and Libby Grumulaitis as the Maids of Honour.

Jack Killen as Prince Charming.

Lalit Datta as Berthold.

The Reporter newspaper  

The Cy-Fair High School student newspaper, "The Reporter." Issue 3