theREPORTER Cy-Fair High School
22602 Hempstead Hwy
Cypress, TX 77429
Volume 64 Issue 2
October 1, 2010
Photo by Tyler Melancon
CY-FAIR’S GOT THE GAME SEWN UP Bobcats Defeat Cy-Creek Within Last Seconds katieGOINS
c hloeBEARD Editor in Chief
The formally known expression, “BFDT” (Bobcat Fight Dies Tonight) just got redefined. After an incredible win against Cy-Creek, our varsity football team gave it the definition “Bobcat Fight Dominates Tonight”. With less than three minutes on the clock, the Bobcats were ahead 28-23 and had the Crew crossing their fingers. The Cougars weren’t going to go down without a fight and managed to squeeze in a touchdown that broke down the spirits of fans in maroon. But not for long. With less than a minute and twenty seconds on the clock, the Bobcats had to gain 75 yards to have a chance. Facing 4th down and 16 yards, only 38 seconds remained on the clock.
Quarterback Chris Mangram predicted a win before the game saying “It’s going to be a close game and it’s going to come down to the wire. But I think in the end, the Bobcats are going to win.” Mangram’s prediction held true as kicker Blake Miles strutted onto the field and managed to kick a field goal in the last few seconds of the game changing the score to 31-31. The stands rumbled with the sound of the Crew scrambling to the opposite side of the stands, taking up the empty spot normally occupied by band to support the Bobcats at their end zone as the game went into over time. Once in over time, both teams had 4 downs to try to score from the 25-yard line. Bobcats were on offense first and made it to the 2 yard line. On the 4th down, Miles took his place back on the field to
WHAT’S I N S I D E
kick the winning field goal putting the Bobcats at 34-31. As the Bobcats proved the strength of their defense, they covered all receivers giving the Cy-Creek quarterback limited options on where to throw the ball. On their first down, Kyle Makatura forced a fumble. At the second down with 16 yards to go, Brian Dilworth’s pass rush forced Creek
VICTORY: (Top) Varsity football players celebrate win on the field. (Bottom) Score board at Pridgeon Stadium showing the final score. Photo by Tyler Melancon.
quarterback Chucky Keeton to throw the ball out of bounds. By the fourth down, Creek gave their last gasp effort. The Bobcats won as an incomplete pass was thrown to one of the Cy-Creek receivers. The stands radiated with spirit and camaraderie as fans cheered and hugged one another to celebrate the incredible victory.
Who Has the Best?
UPCOMING EVENTS Varsity Football vs Oct Cypress Ridge HS.01 Homecoming, Berry Stadium Oct Homecoming Dance 02 7 p.m., cafeteria Fr-A/B/JV/V Oct Volleyball vs 05 Cy-Ridge HS Home Oct Varsity Football vs 08 Cypress Springs HS Away, Berry Stadium
NEW POLICIES TAKE ACTION ca r lyWOOD Copy Editor
This year’s rules on the dress code, cell phones and iPods, tardies and other policies appear to be a little different from last year. From the ban on short-shorts to lunch detention to the 10-minute freeze, it’s almost like Cy-Fair High has gotten a complete makeover of the policies. “The district is always making up new policies,” Principal Michael Smith said. “It’s the school that speciﬁes the standards and the consequences.” Some students are upset over the changes, like sophomore Amanda Whyte. “[The policies] are a lot stricter--some of them are a little too strict, in my opinion,” Whyte said. “The dress code and tardy policies are especially bad this year. I don’t really like that we can’t wear those Nike shorts anymore, and I don’t think the new stuff for tardies make sense.” Others, such as senior Paige Hinn, don’t see a problem with the rules. “I don’t mind,” Hinn said. “I think they’re perfectly fair and the school’s got to do what the school’s got to do. I’m never really late for class—that’s never been a problem for me.” But assistant principal Bill Tommaney says the policies are very similar to last year’s. “We’re trying to make an effort to get off to a good start by making everyone aware
of the expectations,” Tommaney said. “The goal is not to aggravate students, but simply to make learning the main focus.” Tommaney went on to elaborate on some of the new things, like the changes to the tardy policy. “The 10-minute freeze is something [CyFair High] used to do and it went really well,” Tommaney said. “We’re bringing it back so we know everyone out in the hall during the freeze is really tardy. It helps the school run better when kids get to class on time. And the lunch detention is just an alternative way to enforce the tardies.” Principal Smith talks about the new consequence’s real purpose. “Lunch detention’s purpose is to try to give a consequence that isn’t truly severe to go between a warning and a full-on detention,” Smith said. Students like Whyte think differently. “I think lunch detention is kind of dumb. They already have weekend detention, so why do we need this?” Whyte said. The dress code has also been changed slightly, and sophomore Jose Montoya said he’s not too pleased about that. “They’re picking on us too much [for dress code violations],” Montoya said. “They’re being especially mean about girls’ skirts, saying they’re too short when they’re fairly covered.” Students like Hinn are unaffected by the
policy changes, and life goes on as usual. “When I was a teenager, I didn’t put much thought into the different policies at my school,” Principal Smith said. “I just accepted the rules as they were.” Regardless of what the students’ stance is on these changes, the “new policies” are here to stay. “No matter where the line is drawn, there will always be people challenging it,” Tommaney said. “It’s human nature.”
HEADPHONES: Assistant principal Michelle Provo holds a pair of conﬁscated headphones. Photo by Carly Wood.
LAPTOPS BRING NEW LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES mait eDON Copy Editor
Cradled to their chests, they’re placed down gently. Careless students forget that what they are carrying is fragile and slam it on the table. Juniors received laptops again this year through the “1:1 history program” that prepares them for the workforce and college. The laptops make life easier for juniors, such as not having to carry around the English and History textbooks, which are now downloaded into the laptop and with a simple click, can be accessed by students. Installed in the laptops is a new shortcut called Moodle, a learning software used mainly in US History where students can access and work on assignments online. Last year, students had to click the internet icon and had to type in the URL address. Now all they have to do click on the Moodle icon on the screen and are sent directly to the site. Technology assistant Doshina Turner keeps the laptops in good shape and helps students with any technology problems. At the beginning of the year, some computers were being repaired, leaving students without a laptop for a couple of weeks. Juniors also get to carry their laptops in gray sleeves instead of the shoulder bags students received last year. Along with the initial $25 given at the beginning of the year, they have to pay an additional fee depending on the damage. If laptops are lost, students also have to try to ﬁnd them. “If you lose your laptop and don’t come back for it, it is considered abandonment,” Turner said. “It would be an extra fee of $15.” Turner also said that some settings on the computer have been altered such as changing your background and logging on. “Some wireless settings have been
changed so students can log on without a problem,” Turner said. “Overall, connectivity is supposed to be better.” Although the laptops have been issued to help students enhance their technology skills and help with their schoolwork, some ﬁnd them to be a tool they can do without. “I think they’re unnecessary, the way the district’s using them,” junior Jacie Huang said. “If they’re going to spend that much money on laptops and have budget cuts everywhere, they should just put every class on there- like all or nothing, and not have every 11th grader carry them around like an extra textbook.” Junior Jessica Free likes the webcam. “The laptops can be a hindrance when things don’t work and you’re the odd one out until you ﬁnd a way to ﬁx the problem and then you have to catch up to everyone,” Free said. “Of course, everyone likes the webcam on the laptops and all its special effects.” Junior Stephen Brenz ﬁnds the laptops to be quite useful . “I haven’t experienced any problems yet,” Brenz said. “When I log on it’s quick and fast.” Sophomore Kendrew Chen thinks they are helpful when it comes to speed. “It helps to gather information faster,” Chen said. “And we can connect with other people.” US history teacher Cindy Pekkanen said that the laptops can be very useful, helping students increase their knowledge about the computers in a different way rather than using them to go on social sites. One Note, a software that helps students take notes in an efﬁcient way and saves automatically, aids students in their work. “It’s one big beneﬁt. Students are learning how to use the laptops for educational uses, like learning how to take a test online. One Note is fantastic and will beneﬁt students as well,” Pekkanen said. “The program is ever evolving, making improvements every day.”
CAMPUS CATS FIND NEW HOME
mariann a YODER Graphic Designer
large piece of truth. Until three years ago, feral cats lived Word of cats living on campus has under and around Cy-Fair. The cats drifted around for ages, but students don’t know that this myth holds quite a roamed around as they pleased and occasionally found a mouse to eat around campus. Although removals took place, it seemed that at least a cat or two were missed. Today, supposedly not one cat calls our school its home, but it wasn’t always that way. When Assistant Principal Jerry Orsak first came to Cy-Fair in 1981, back when the main building in the front was built on piers without a solid concrete foundation, he noticed that cats liked to take occasional shelter under the school. CATS: A.P. Jerry Orsak points to one of the holes that the cats “If you look at used to enter the school. Photo by Harley Cook. the bottom of the building, there are
little holes on each side,” Orsak said. “The cats would come in through there. The stray cats came from the country nearby and started living under the building.” Since a mouse would only appear occasionally, the cats received their food in a less feral way. “A woman named Trish Holt, who worked at the greenhouse connected to the Dorothy Carlton Center which used to be across the street from the school, cared for the cats,” Orsak said. “She was the one who fed them.” This cat society soon came to an end. When the Carlton Center was moved onto Spring Cypress Road, Holt was unable to feed the cats anymore. “After the center moved, someone from the community was feeding the cats,” Orsak said. “We still had the cats, but about three to five years ago we started catching them and handed them over to a shelter.” The district started trapping the cats due to safety issues. They carried diseases and had unpleasant dispositions. “They look like cute little cats,” Orsak said, “but they’re mean. They could attack a student. Though the disappearance of the cats was ultimately due to safety issues, a few students believe that it was related to the
mouse population. School administration, though, report that there was never a severe problem with mice. “The problem was mainly ants and cockroaches, but never mice,” Orsak said. Despite the lack of concern with mice, the real issue lies with food attraction, according to head custodian Jerry Brown. “They smell the food in teacher’s mini refrigerators,” Brown said, “and the crumbs from students’ food that gets into the carpet. They want to find food, so they’re attracted to the smell.” The mice are quite spirited when it comes to finding exactly where the food is hidden. In junior English teacher Jacquelyn Hamilton’s case, they went as far as to disrupt her class. “I had a problem with mice at the end of last year,” Hamilton said. “They would be running around the room during class.” This example is one of the reasons for the food crackdown this year. With less food in the carpet and overall classrooms, school administration wants to put any mouse problems to an end. “For now we’re doing good,” Orsak said, “but with time we’ll forget and they’ll start coming back again. We just need to keep any food in the cafeteria or in sealed boxes.”
CONSTRUCTION: WHEN WILL IT END?
New Additions Take Longer Than Expected alex BRADLEY
Expecting to return to school to see major additions to the science wing and gymnasium, instead students found only slight change since the beginning of summer. Administration expected that by the beginning of this school year work on the science hall addition would be in its middle stages and that Cy-Fair’s third gymnasium would have been framed. However crews have moved slowly over the summer as the framework for the science addition is just being finished and the foundation for the new gym has just been poured. Jerry Orsak, assistant principal, is responsible for the oversight of the renovations and recognizes the lack of progress. “I felt that things should be ahead of the game at this point,” Orsak said. Despite poor timing, construction is continuing at a steady pace, while there is still much basic work to be done, Orsak said that he thought work would pick up quickly. “Since the slab for the science halls has been poured and all the steel beams and rafters are in place, you will start seeing a lot more activity,” Orsak said. “They will start bringing in concrete block and brick to begin construction of the walls also.” Orsak also confirmed that work on the gym should also pick up the pace. “I walked out to the new gym and they had poured the pier beams for the foundation,” Orsak said. “All the gyms are looking good, all the steel for framing is already there, so they shouldn’t have to wait long to get started.” The new tennis courts going in will also
be starting soon. Work had been delayed not due to time restrictions, but rather the rainfall from recent tropical storm Hermine. “They had prepped for the tennis courts, but then we had rain. The slab for the courts has to set so they couldn’t work on them until after the weather had cleared,” Orsak said. While the work on the projects continue, students who drive have been adversely affected, having to park further away from the building than in the past. It’s likely that the school will face a parking space shortage second semester as sophomores who are able to drive will be purchasing parking stickers. “Juniors and seniors will always be the
“All the gyms are looking good. All the steel for framing is already there, so they shouldn’t have to wait long to get started.” -Jerry Orsak
priority when it comes to parking, as to whether or not sophomores will be able to get a pass, we will decided that around January,” Orsak said. “I would say there is an 85 percent chance that sophomores won’t get to park.” Sophomore Gabriela Mendoza, a cheerleader, is worried she won’t be able to park this next semester. “I think that we should be able to park, many of us have to stay after for something,” Mendoza said. “I’m in cheer and our parents can’t always come pick us up from school; they have things to do too.” Mendoza also showed concern that
CONSTRUCTION: The addition to the science wing under construction in September. Photo by Alex Bradley..
sophomores with siblings wouldn’t be able to drive either. “I’m the oldest in my family and a lot of other kids have younger siblings that they could help bring home,” Mendoza said. Other students face similar worries. Steven Miller, sophomore, also wants to park next semester. “It makes getting to and from school a lot easier. My dad is out of the country most of the time so when I have to stay after school it is hard on my mom,” Miller said. “Clearly there is not enough parking; with the reconstruction they should do something about it.” With phase one set to end around the end by May, a second phase is planned for the northern portion of the school, to receive a face lift and new integrated heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems over the summer.
NEW FOOD, NEW RULES, IT’S A WHOLE NEW WORLD Cy-Fair Welcomes New Student from Switzerland s amVILLARREAL PR Manager
Standing in the cafeteria line, she ordered nachos for the first time, curious as to how they would taste. “I loved the nachos. I didn’t know what they were, but they ended up being so good,” said sophomore Leila Hostettler, foreign exchange student from Switzerland. It was her first day of school. She looked around in amazement at the school buses, the lockers and the big auditorium realizing that all the American movies she had seen in Switzerland were actually real. Hostettler is from a city named Thun, in the canton (district) of Bern. She lives in a little village called Allmendingen and goes to a school named Gymnasium Thun Seefeld, which means High School Thun Lakefield in German. Before her school became a school, it was a village, so the students enjoyed sitting outside. It’s surrounded by a garden, a fountain and several trees. During lunch, everybody sits on the floor and they don’t have a cafeteria. A Thai woman cooks their food and lunch in town is also offered, which is about a 10-minute walk. Hostettler has had a hard time getting accustomed to all the rules. On the second day of school, she was stopped for her shorts being too short and had to call her host mom to bring her longer pants. That same day during lunch, she wanted to go to her locker but was told that during lunchtime everyone must stay in the cafeteria. Later that day, she went to the restroom during one of her classes and found it weird that she was required to ask for a hall pass in order to go. Compared to Thun Lakefield, Cy-Fair seems like some sort of education-offering prison, she said. Her school doesn’t have a bell; the students are just told to be on time to class. And the teachers from Thun Lakefield have different expectations.
“The teachers don’t care so much because they say it is our responsibility to do the homework and whether we go to class on time or not,” she said. At Thun Lakefield, the students aren’t punished for missing class and don’t have an established dress code; they are just asked to dress appropriately. Hostettler’s school has about 600 students, so it was very different for her when she experienced the tight squeeze in the hallways going from one class to another. “It was weird at the beginning, changing classrooms in a wave of other students. It’s always like a little fight going through the hallways,” she said. “At our school [in Switzerland] it is never, ever crowded. But the nice thing about it is that you see so many different people here.” Nervous but also excited to meet new people here in America, Hostettler said she is extremely grateful to have such an inviting host family that communicates well with her and cares about her interests. “I feel very welcomed in my host family and really comfortable,” she said. “I have never had the feeling that I’m not a member of the host family or that I don’t belong here.” When Hostettler returns to Switzerland, she will miss the football games, the pep rallies, the band and the cheerleaders most of all because they don’t have any of that in Thun Lakefield. “The first time I saw the cheerleaders and dancers, I was so impressed. They were very good and the pep rally was a lot of fun,” she said. Leila’s host brother, sophomore Nicholas Francis, plays bells in the percussion for the band, which is also an exciting experience for her. She loves theater and got a role in an upcoming play, “Snow White.” The fact that she actually had to try out for a part in the play was also new to her.
DANCING IN THE RAIN: Leila Hostettler plays out on the track a rain shower. Photo by Sam Villarreal. “Back in Switzerland, there aren’t auditions. You just choose the part you want and it’s yours,” she said. Her school also didn’t have an auditorium, so she was fascinated when she saw the size of the stage. “I really liked standing on the big stage. It was my first time and it was very exciting,” Hostettler said. A sport Hostettler has started to like that is not common in Switzerland is baseball. She went with her host family to a Houston Astros vs. Pittsburgh Pirates baseball game and her host sister’s friend caught a foul ball. “That day at the game, I got to hold a real baseball in my hand for the first time, and it was so cool,” Hostettler said. Shopping with her host family, Hostettler realized how little Americans travel by foot. In Switzerland, they travel everywhere by train, buses or bicycles, she said. “I found it so funny because in
Switzerland I would have just walked but here we went in the car just to go to a store right next door,” she said. Another major difference is that Switzerland is surrounded by mountains, unlike flat Houston. Hostettler said she enjoys the little things about America that most people don’t notice. She explained that when it rains here, it stays warm, which makes it fun, but when it rains in Switzerland, it gets really cold. She looks forward to learning more about America. With her host family, she’s going to visit Dallas, San Antonio, New Orleans, Austin and a beach in Florida, and is “looking forward to it very much.” She’s especially anticipating the beach because there aren’t any in Switzerland. Before she returns to Switzerland, Hostettler’s family will visit next summer and they will travel through the US. “I am so excited because I love seeing the water,” she said. “I love the sand and the waves the most.”
LEAVING A LEGACY, RETURNING WITH ART Student Who Started Key Club at Cy-Fair Returns as Teacher as hley GURNEY Sports Editor
Several new teachers have started here this year but one, while she is a new teacher, is not new to Cy Fair.
One of the largest clubs at Cy- Fair with more than 300 members, Key Club wasn’t always that way. In 1997, art teacher Sarah Hartman moved to Cy- Fair her sophomore year from Amarillo, Texas.
STENCILS, PENCILS AND MARKERS, OH MY! Art teacher Sarah Hartman helps out a student in her sixth period art class. Photo by Ashley Gurney.
She was involved in a strong Key Club at Amarillo High School the year before but learned that the same club was not at Cy-Fair. “I thought it would be a wonderful thing to get going,” Hartman said. “During my junior year I decided that I should find out how to get a Key Club started.” It took her most of her junior year to start everything with the local Kiwanis, an international organization “dedicated to changing the world, one child and one community at a time”, according to the Kiwanis International website. Key Club is sponsored by a local Kiwanis organization. It is a unique club that operates “not only on the local level, but on a district and international level. It is also the largest high school service organization of its kind in the world”, according to the Cy-Fair High School Key Club website. “It was my senior year that we really got started,” Hartman said. Hartman passed out flyers and talked to her friends and other students, letting them know what Key Club was all about,
how great this club would be for the school and more importantly, the community. The initial Key Club was very small, but managed to do some community service work with the few members it did have. However, by that time, in 2000, Hartman didn’t really get to see much come of it because by the time the club got members and really began, it was time for her to graduate. “The Key Club today is nothing like it was when I was here and I am very happy to see it be so successful,” Hartman said About five years after graduating from Cy-Fair, while she was at Willowbrook Mall, she saw a student wearing a Cy-Fair Key Club shirt. “This was fantastic because I knew it was still going on,” Hartman said. After talking to the student she found out that the small Key Club she started here as a student has now grown to be quite a large organization. “I would like to get involved again, maybe in the next few years,” she added. “I think it is a wonderful organization that does great things for the community and for our school, and also a great way for students to get involved.”
TRULY A DAY TO REMEMBER Nine Years After 9/11, ROTC Honors the Fallen jordanTUCKER Op/Ed Editor
The American flag rustles gently against the vibrant blue sky, Old Glory resting at half-mast this day. It is an indication of a country in mourning, yet the cars in the background do not slow, nor do the people seem at all troubled by the day itself. From Cy-Fair’s entrance, a column of students emerge. All are dressed in the same maroon shirts. All are bearing the same hard expression. They march into the front parking lot, lining up in rows, their postures erect, and their focus on the gently waving flag. At the forefront of this procession is junior Christina Rodriguez, a piece of paper clutched in one hand and a megaphone in the other. Behind her, four other students gather around the flag pole, all of them silent as Christina brings the device to her lips. Her voice carries over the screech of tires, the rumble of the passing cars and the static of the bustling world. On Sept. 11, while the rest of the world was wrapped up in its own commotion, she and her fellow ROTC members stopped and remembered. Nine years ago, the United States was attacked by terrorist forces, a tragedy that would claim approximately 3200 American lives, most of them civilian. And yet it is a day that most citizens have already started to neglect. “I don’t really
remember much of what happened that day,” Guadalupe Sanchez, sophomore, said. “I just remember hearing ‘Proud to be an American’ a lot. It made me sad.” Cy-Fair’s Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Core (AFJROTC), however, has helped to preserve the memory of Sept. 11 and the lives lost that day. Though ROTC has been at Cy-Fair for about six years, they have performed some form of memorial service for this date every year, be it a special prayer reading over the morning announcements or a flag ceremony. “The very nature of what happened on 9/11 and the number of teachers with sons or daughters in the military led a lot of the staff to hold their own special recognition of 9/11,” said Senior Aerospace Instructor James Boydston. “Through that, we have developed our own.” Boydston has had his own personal experiences with 9/11. His cousin worked on the 75th floor of the towers. Luckily, that fateful fall morning, the company she worked for had sent her on a business trip. “She left at about the time the first plane struck the tower,” said Boydston. But Sept. 11 is not just a day for recognizing civilian casualties. “We honor those who lost their lives on September 11th,” Christina Rodriguez said in her speech at the ROTC flag retreat, “[But] we also honor our brave service men and women who pledged
SALUTE: Cy-Fair ROTC stand outside on 9/11 honoring the people who lost their lives. Photo by Carly Wood. life and liberty to defeat a foe that struck proper bugle call,” Rodriguez said. “I our country without provocation, without do what I can to honor my country.” egregiousness nor a hint of hostile ROTC also used the ceremony to train their new freshman members. There intention.” Sophomore Victor Rodriguez played are about 60 new recruits to the Junior TAPS, a traditional military bugle call for Air force this year. “We take the time memorial services and funerals, during the to teach them all about procession lowering of the flag. He has been playing and ceremony,” Major Boydston said. the trumpet/bugle for five years, and After about a two-day preparation, the was elected to perform at the ceremony. ROTC and their ‘Fish Camp’ held the flag “It felt good to honor the flag with the ceremony. The service itself was not very long, lasting only about half an hour, and the dress of the students, though uniform, was casual. There was nothing overly flashy about it, no streaming lights, no fireworks, no big parades or large enthusiastic crowds. And yet, there was something in the air that no multi-million dollar Hollywood production could ever duplicate. It was there in the eyes of the watching students. It was there in the stillness of the crowd. It was there in the mournful call of Victor’s bugle as Old Glory was lowered from her post. The emotions of the students involved were as powerful as a physical force. Their respect honored a day more than worthy of recognition. As Christina said in her speech, “Stand by me, with the ghosts of those honored dead as we remember that the price of freedom is high, but it is a price well worth paying.”
‘GUARD GIRLS’ NO LONGER s amBURDYL Reporter
Sophomore Matthew Alexander could feel his heart pumping as he stepped onto the football field at the Woods vs. Fair game. He was in full uniform. And he was wearing makeup. Alexander is one of three guys on the 45-member color guard, a change from last year’s all-female guard. He is joined by juniors Ben Davis and Brendin Pierce. “I feel color guard is difficult, but that it’s also a privilege,” Alexander said. “Its fun, but it’s not an easy thing to do.” Edie Williams, the color guard director, said that she would only let guys on guard if at least five tried out. “I went to support my friend trying out for it, but got drawn in by everyone else wanting me to do it,” Alexander said. “He ended up not being able to do it, but I was interested enough to stay.” The change is welcomed by returning members of the guard. “The guys want it more,” junior Madison Duque said. “It was harder for them to get, and I think they work so much harder than some of the girls. They have higher expectations than the rest
of us, and I think they’re doing so well. Guys on guard is something different. It’s something new. Plus, they’re all awesome people.” Williams agrees that it’s been interesting. “Boys bring a strength to the sport that is fun and interesting to watch,” Williams said. Adding guys hasn’t been an entirely easy change for the guard. “There are some problems,” Junior Lieutenant Judith Larson said. “Like, we can no longer all change together, and we can’t refer to ourselves as ‘Guard Girls’ anymore. And it’s not just the guard that’s affected; this affects the whole band. It changes our drill and how the show is written.” The decision to add boys was brought on by a number of girls already on the guard wanting to shake things up a bit, as well as a number of interested male students curious to know if they could join. She doesn’t regret her decision, though.
COLORFUL: Lindsey Jones, Samantha Doxey, Brendin Pierce, Matthew Alexander and Megan Parra await their entrance for the debut game. Photo courtesy of Judy Megason.
“But I don’t think I can go back now. They work so hard.” Williams said. “The biggest reason why I added them to the team was because I saw how much they wanted this at tryouts.”
DISTANCE, SWEAT, DISTRICT: s arahSMITH
It’s 6:50 a.m. Students are trickling into school, sleepily walking from their cars and buses, thinking about the long day awaiting them. But one group of boys has been up and running since 6 a.m. and are thinking about something else. They are thinking about the District Championship that awaits them on Oct. 29 if they run hard enough. The Cy-Fair Cross Country boy’s team hasn’t won a district championship
in four years. With a 26-member team, plenty of promising runners and a high conditioning practice schedule, Coach Zane Penwell and the members think that this year is the year. This year they hope to return to or qualify for regionals once again. The year 2006 was the last time that Cy-Fair was the district champ, and in 2009 Cy-Fair placed third in district and went on to run in the regional meet. The boys have strengths this year in numbers and in the quality of their runners.
A Fight to the Finish
“This year we have a team almost three times larger than last year, a group of 11 freshmen and I think one of the advantages we have right now is the strong team unity,” said Penwell, head coach of the boys’ Cross Country team. The team’s first meet was on Sept. 3 in the Woodlands with a third place standing. Co-captain Senior Austin Schankel won the race. On Sept. 10, at the Seven Lakes Invitational Meet, they ran their way into the top five again by placing fifth and at the Klein Forest meet on Sept. 17 Varsity placed second and the freshmen team placed third. “[With first meet successes] we are starting out this year on the right track to take us to district at the end of October,” Penwell said. Schankel’s win on Sept 3 started off the year he hopes will be one of his best. “I go into every race expecting to win.
“I go into every race expecting to win.” -Austin Schankel
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT: Cy-Fair’s Cross Country boys race through the forest in preparation for the hard season ahead of them. Photo by Melissa Borchgrevink
In spite of being a minority, the boys want to show that they belong. “I’m going to do my best,” Alexander said. “I’m a part of this, and I’m going to do what I said I was going to do.”
You have to have that mindset. I expected to do well [at the Woodlands Meet], and I knew I would be up there,” Schankel
said. “This year I want the team to go to districts, and personally, I want to go to State.” The long-distance training and racespeed running the boys are doing now is a good preparation for the season and the meets that can range from two miles to 3.1 miles. “The running isn’t as hard on me anymore, but for people who aren’t used to it, all of the running can be kind of harsh. Though if we keep training the way we are, we’ll definitely do really good at district,” said Schankel. The members run twice a day, and on any given day the boys can log up to 14 miles. To junior Jacob Lefler, who has been running with the team for three years, this year is about fulfilling the dream of a district championship for the seniors. “There are a lot of seniors this year so we owe it to them to get the district title and do well,” Lefler said. As the team goes into the rest of the season, their journey to the District Meet will only motivate them more to come out as number one. “Cross Country is a really low-key sport, but it’s important to the people in it,” Lefler said. “We just want to win.”
THE RETURN OF THE BOBCATS allanPETERS Sports Editor
The locker room is a crazy atmosphere of joyful singing and dancing, burly
football players skipping around like little kids and bellowing off key notes to their favorite songs.
INTENSE: Quarterback Chris Mangram pulls his right arm back, preparing to launch the pigskin across the field. Photo by Taylor Kimble.
“We have a crazy locker room,” said varsity quarterback Chris Mangram. “We sing and dance, especially after a good win.” The locker room must have been deafening after a win of 21-20 against Katy Taylor and another win of 24-16 against Cy Lakes. And most recently, an overtime tie-breaker of 34-31 against Cy Creek. Despite our loss of 14-28 against Cy Woods the football team seems to be off to a great start. “[As a quarterback] I have the most pressure, I have to play better than everyone on the team.” Mangram said. This year, Cy-Fair is prepared for whatever the other teams can throw at it. “We have more drive [this year], more team spirit,” said junior Cody Thomas. “And we actually want to win.” Blake Miles, varsity kicker, said that the team has “camaraderie [and] leadership”. “There are no individuals, we are a team.” Also in the mix are new coaches like Walter Robb (Defensive Ends) and Mike Janak (Offensive Line). Cy-Fair may be getting a bus load of new fans due to the simple fact that we are now winning games. Although the stands
are always packed full of Cy-Fair fans, more will be on their feet yelling at the top of their lungs, because of the recent wins. This transformation did not happen overnight. It takes months of hard work and dedication to accomplish this. The people sitting in the stands cheering for our guys’ games see only a few hours result after days and days of hard work. This work is ongoing in their practices and was demonstrated in the pre-season drills such as the infamous two-a-days. “We bust our [butts],” Miles said. “7:00 to 11:00 working hard in the heat, a 45-minute break, weight lifting, then more practice that is physically and mentally draining,” Miles said. These players cope with the exhaustion of their practices and normal school days and they even manage to make it look like fun. When asked about the highly anticipated game against Cy Creek, the players were unanimous. “We’re gonna beat Cy Creek,” Mangram adds. “Its the battle of the cats, and the Bobcats are the better cat.” Turns out Mangram and his boys were right.
FRISBEE: NOT JUST FOR DOGS k y leANDERSON News Editor
The ref blows his whistle as the players return to the field. This will be their last chance to get to the end-zone before time expires. Both sets of players line up on each team’s end zone to begin the final play of the game. The captain of one team raises his hand in succession of the other to mark the beginning of the play. “Ultimate!” They scream, as one player of the defending team throws the Frisbee to the other half of the field. This is a typical play of the growing sport, Ultimate. Ultimate Frisbee has definitely gathered a following. Its features come from sports such as soccer, basketball and football. The field is much like that of soccer’s, except instead of a goal there is an end-zone, much like football. “It’s a fun sport to play,” said Robert Scott, chemistry teacher, who is going to be starting an ultimate frisbee club. After being introduced to ultimate while in college he was hooked. “I started just throwing around a Frisbee with friends in college intramurals,” said Scott, “Once we found out that it was a sport we began to play it.”
After learning all the basic rules which consist of advancing the disk up the field by passing from player to player while not being able to move while holding the disk, Scott and his friends decided to play as a team. After playing the game for over 20 years, Scott naturally wanted to create a club for his favorite sport. But his chance hasn’t come until now. In his first year teaching here at CyFair, Scott came to us from Cy Woods where he never got the opportunity to start a club. He said it was because he started second semester and didn’t want to start a club so late in the year. “I think that it’s such a fun sport and I want to be able to play with other people,” Scott said. Scott shouldn’t worry about attracting ultimate players because the sport has already gained a following here at CyFair. Over 30 people attended the first meeting. “Ultimate is such a cool sport because it’s so active and there is absolutely no stopping,” said Patrick Neitzey, senior, who started playing Ultimate as a
child. Scott’s goal though is to have the club evolve into a competing team. “All I basically want to do is start a club that can hopefully evolve into a real competing team,” Scott said. “ If we started a team that would be awesome because there are actual teams around the district that we can compete with. In fact last year Langham Creek won state.” Students last year showed interest in Ultimate by playing recreationally outside of school, but now more people can play for an official, school-sponsored team that will compete against other Ultimate teams in the district. “Making a team would be great because we could compete against other schools,” senior Danny Meyer said. “Scott also is a really cool teacher who is very encouraging and who I can already tell will provide a great playing environment.” Practices are scheduled for Thursdays on the football fields behind the tennis courts. Scott says that anyone is welcome to join. “People that exhibit good sportsmanship, and want to just have
FLYING: Sophomore Jackson Hornbeak dives forward to catch a speeding frisbee at the Ultimate club meeting. Photo by Kyle Anderson.
fun are welcome. Boys, girls, and all shapes and sizes.” But when it comes to a competing team Scott said that he will definitely want to make sure that each player is well rounded. “When it comes to making the decision on who is going to play for the actual competing team of course I’m going to want the best runners, and throwers.”
DON’T GET TANGLED IN THEIR NET
a sh le yGURNEY Sports Editor
HUDDLING: Varsity volleyball girls prepare for their next play. Photo by Peter Scales.
Junior varsity and freshman volleyball teams are so far undefeated in their 2010 season (6-0). Varsity volleyball is 5-1, having only lost to Cy Woods. Practicing since the beginning of August, the girls were preparing for their first scrimmage against the Woodlands on Aug. 6. They played at least 13 of out-ofdistrict schools during scrimmages and tournaments. The first district game of the season was Aug. 24th and they beat Langham Creek. “We practice really hard so that we can be prepared for anything that might come our way during the game that night,” varsity player Kylee Mann said. “For different games, we sometimes change up our drills a little bit according to which
team we are playing, focusing on their weakness.” So far, this strategy for games seems to be working quite well considering the girls’ records. The girls practice for an hour and forty five minutes before school and then another 45 minutes during their athletic period. “The team usually starts out with simple offense and defense drills and then towards the end we play team on team matches,” Varsity player Katherine Stuart said. All the players have great chemistry both during games and practices and outside of them.. “The girls this year get along so well. They support each other on and off the court”, Junior Varsity Coach Jo Beth Palmer said.
“[It] is so important to be supportive of each other on a team that is as competitive as volleyball is here at Cy-Fair.” Stuart believes that this year is going to be a great year. “We have a really strong team that plays really well together and as long as we work hard I definitely believe we can be a very successful team,” she said. Mann said that she foresees the team going a long way this year. “Our team connects with each other really well, which helps a lot, especially in how we act and how we play,” she said. Coach Palmer is excited about this year, too. “Things started out slow, but then got better and better. So far it’s definitely been a lot of fun,” she said.
A NIGHT ON THE Homecoming 2010
Preparing for the ‘Big Day’
Girls vs. Boys
1. Go to at least 15 stores to ﬁnd the “perfect” dress. 2. Find the “perfect” shoes. 3. Hopelessly bring up the topic of dates to cute guys. 4. End up going with the not-so-perfect guy. 5. Spend too much money on ribbons that your date won’t care about. 6. Worry about how unattractive you’ll look eating pasta. 7. Give an hour-long lecture to your date about how important it is to color coordinate. 8. Start drama over who’s in whose group. 9. End up wondering if you should even go.
1. Decide which girl will be the least annoying to spend ﬁve hours with. 2. Google creative ways to ask her. 3. Ask your mom what a mum is. 4. Borrow your dad’s tie. 5. Find a dress shirt you haven’t worn since your aunt’s wedding in the eighth grade. 6. Wonder if you’ll make it to ﬁrst base. 7. Get into a heated debate about feminism after complaining about having to pay the bill at dinner. 8. YouTube how to dougie 9. End up wondering if you should even go.
WILL YOU GO WITH ME? j ayDRUMMOND Op/Ed Editor
October 2: The big day that separates the men from the boys, debutantes from divas. You already have that special someone in mind who makes your heart do the Texas Two-Step, but here’s the trick: if you never ask, she’ll never know. Even for men already pinned down, there is still a duty to be done. You know what they say about making assumptions. “I think that boys should still ask her even if they are together; ask in a cute way and it doubles your chances,” senior Patrick Neitzey said. Now, ladies, you’re not off the hook. The 1800s are ofﬁcially over and there is no reason for you to sit at home that Saturday night with your tear-stained dress until you’ve found the courage to take matters into your own hands and ask that clearly oblivious boy in third period to be a gentleman and splurge on a lobster dinner and ﬂowers. And for those of us that need a little push toward inspiration, don’t worry. Get ready for that eureka moment. Zac Sebren and Austin Schankel, seniors, faced the same problem. The pair had been waiting for just the right moment to ask classmates Lauren Crow and Madeleine Livergood to the homecoming dance. “The plan was to purchase car paint in their favorite colors, a stuffed version of their favorite animal, and their favorite candy. We were going to get in their cars, put the animals in them, holding roses, and write on their vehicles a question asking them to homecoming,” explained
Sebren. And so they did, until... Enter the fuzz. As Sebren and Schankel were just ﬁnishing decorating, Ofﬁcer Potter arrived to reinstate order to the school parking lot. Sebren and Schankel were sentenced to two days of DMC, but managed to negotiate for after-school community service instead. In this case, the grand gesture worked, however, most dates are not going to want to match prison-orange. But not everyone has to scream their affections from the top of a ﬁre truck, and so then is the perfect time to resort to smaller, more personal invitations. The classic rose and box of chocolates method has worked wonders. Or perhaps you could get a little fresh air, put down the laptop for 20 seconds, look her straight in the eyes, and say, “something something homecoming, me blah blah you?” Come on, I’m not going to do all the work for you. At the end of the day, large signs and mini period-by-period scavenger hunts are cute, but sometimes face-to-face honesty is the best policy, and courage totally owns style points in a woman’s heart. Senior Jessica Robicheaux sums it up nicely: “It doesn’t matter to me if it’s an enormous surprise or a little surprise. I know it’s cliché, but it’s the thought that counts. I mean, the fact that he or she asked you is awesome. It takes a lot of courage and might to ask somebody to Homecoming because of the possibility of rejection. My past gestures have included love notes accompanied with roses, car paint, a phone call and even just asking the simple question face-to-face, ‘Will you go to Homecoming with me?’ Every gesture is perfect to me!”
Homecoming King & Queen Nominees Thyanh Nguyen and Kingston Ma
Hailey Gurney and Mitchell Sparks
Kennie Oguynseye and Nick Papaioannou
Destin Sensky and Emily Pickul
Stacey Johnson and Kim Goodhead
‘THIS ISN’T BIG PAPA PROM’ APATHY darby NEVINS Feature Editor
Homecoming; two days left. Dress: check. Shoes: check. Crap. How am I going to do my hair? Wait, oh-my-gosh what if someone has the same dress as me? What if “he” doesn’t think I look good? What if my hair dies? What if my makeup isn’t cute? What if, what if, what if. Do you have any idea how much I dwelled on those little things last year? It was pointless. If you really sit and think about it, Homecoming is just a dance. Yes, it is the one dance that our school has each year for all grades but it isn’t the big papa prom. I’m just saying there is no need to get stressed out about it. It’s hard to believe I’m saying that now because last year I was the one getting stressed. It wasn’t that I went psycho and everything had to be fairy-tale-perfect but I really wanted to make sure everything went well, including me looking good, to make it a night to remember. I spent hours on end trying to perfect my hair and makeup. I sat there looking in the mirror making faces and I am pretty sure I emptied a whole can of hair spray to get my hair to freeze the way I wanted it. I know, that is quite embarrassing. The worst part that I probably should have seen coming was that the second I got to the dance my hair and how it looked did not matter at all. You dance, you get hot, your hair isn’t important. I learned from all my wasted hard work last year (yes, perfecting your hair can be considered hard work)
that although having a cute ‘do’ can make you look good, the simpler the better and the less time you’re wasting just to have your hair drop dead later in the night. For those whose hair stays perfect throughout everything: I am so jealous, share your secret! Alright, now we have some things to chat about. Dresses. Did you know that there are dress shops all over the city with hundreds of dresses? My question has a point. Don’t worry. Some girls freak out about their dresses (i.e. if someone will have the same one or how it looks). There is no need. The only time your dress will actually been seen is picture time and I bet no one will have the same dress in your group so calm-it-down. My only real issue with dresses depends on the category they fall into. I have broken it down to two main ones. 1. Cute and Classy 2. Unsophisticated and (ﬁll in the blank) I don’t really think I need to go into much detail describing the ﬁrst category. It is what it is. Cute and Classy: my top pick of dresses. The type where the material actually covers your butt. I know, it might be hard to believe but they make those, and get ready for it, they also make ones where cleavage is not completely showing as well. It’s okay, take a moment to soak it in. You’re
probably asking “What, I don’t have to dress like a Regina George from Mean Girls?” No, you do not, so please don’t. It might be hard to grasp but not everyone wants to see your everything. There are so many other ways to look “hot” for the night with class. That brings me to category two. Do you know the saying, “If you got it, ﬂaunt it”. Go for it, just do it in a category one sort of way. Okay so you have your “perfect” dress now, your hair is done, makeup ﬁnished, you’ve gotten through the pictures and dinner and ﬁnally you are at the dance. It’s time to go dance, go party and even go show off your pretty-boy-swag on the dance ﬂoor but please don’t over do it. Come on, we all know how people dance. We have (or I hope) matured from the awkward boys on one side, girls on another giggling at each other stage. No one is holding you back from having a good time with your date or dance partner but try and remember it is a dance, so you should be dancing and not doing something well you know, bad. Last year I saw some interesting “dance” moves and I’m hoping this year people grow up a little bit. Don’t stress about this dance, I promise you that you will have a great time. Just go into the evening with a rockin’ attitude, remember to have some class and you will deﬁnitely have a memorable night.
Why Guys Don’t Care al l anPETERS Sports Editor
I am a guy. I am a wrestler, I play video games, I like trucks. I know nothing about ﬂowers, and even less about girls. I barely remember homecoming last year; the stuff I do remember is fuzzy at best. About this time freshman year I recall girls strutting their ﬂamboyant mums down Main street like a model down a catwalk, swaying their hips and drawing all kinds of attention. I couldn’t help but think what they were wearing and doing. With their bells and random trinkets jingling, they could’ve been lost cattle. Homecoming seemed to just whisk by and leave me standing there looking confused and clueless. I promised myself, that next homecoming I would at least ﬁnd out what all the fuss was about. First off, Mums are extremely important. To girls. Guys need to ask the girls in a special way. Or they are likely to say no. Girls would like a romantic prince charming, but sometimes they have to settle for a dork in tin foil. And just because you are going out with a girl does not mean you are going to homecoming with her. She can be snapped up by someone quicker and possibly stronger than you. Unlike your homework, you should not procrastinate to ask your girl to homecoming. They will all disappear. I recommend going in a group, you are less likely to make a mistake that you might regret for the rest of your natural life. Groups take pressure off of an individual couple and evenings tend to be cheaper. If you can’t ﬁnd anyone to go with to save your life, go with some close friends. You will have fun no matter what. Homecoming makes everyone nervous just don’t let it get the best of you. If you play all your cards right you and your date will have a great evening.
Students Speak on If you’re using If you’re usingAbsence Policy ‘Give It Up and Stop5Complaining’ 4 columns columns alex BRADLEY
kyle ANDERSON News Editor
chloe BEARD Editor in Chief
Last year our world panicked as alex BRADLEY the mainstream media scared us into Managing Editor believing that H1N1, aka Swine Flu, was Earth’s next great epidemic. Sales in Lysol, samBURDYL Reporter Germ-X and other motherly staples soared as people tried to “save themselves” from harley COOK Business Manager the supposedly deadly scourge. But most important for our student body was that the school district increased usual three alegria CORONA-SAUNDERS Reporter absence incentive for students to exempt semester finals to five absences. maite DON year went on, Swine Flu became a As Editor the Copy “joke” to many as it appeared that H1N1 posed little danger and that for most jay DRUMMOND Op/Ed Editorits effects were little more than people your everyday flu hyped up a bit. This also katie GOINS became evident on a local level, as Cy-Fair Managing Editor students contracted the Swine Flu. The large ashleyamount GURNEY of infected gave credit to the Sports Editor district’s original reasoning behind their decision: they didn’t want sick students darby NEVINS Feature Editor coming to school and getting more people sick. By the end of the first semester the scare had blown over and few people allan PETERS Sports Editor were getting sick from H1N1. Regardless
some students started to worry. Those students’ worries weren’t H1N1, kyl eANDERSON but rather that the district Reporter would take away our five absence incentives for finals and send us back to normality chl oe BEARDwhen only three were acceptable.Reporter Both fortunately and unfortunately they didn’t; we rejoiced al ex BRADLEY and it showed. Instead of the policy serving Reporter its original purpose, to keep sick students at home, it became an abused party. From sam BURDYL Reporter what I saw many students were “sick” more often than they had been historically harl ey COOK Reporter disappeared and quite a few more seemed for one or two class periods of the day. Despite the fact that alI egri have always held a CORONA-SAUNDERS Reporter that good attendance and hard work are extremely important virtues, I can’t say m ai t eDON that I myself wasn’t taking Reporter advantage of the policy, because there were certainly times that I did. Skipping class, oh I mean j ayDRUMMOND Reporter “being sick” all of the sudden became an option when I had a pre-cal or chemistry i e GOINS test I wasn’t prepared kat for. Several times I Reporter thought it wasn’t to my personal benefit to attend class that day, soeyIGURNEY didn’t. Why? ashl Reporter Because I could… what a wonderful thing a deadly sickness can be. Up until darby NEVINS last year I had hardly Reporter ever missed class, maybe one or two classes a semester, but because I knew that I alcould comfortably l an PETERS Reporter miss several classes and not have to worry
j ordan TUCKER
carl y WOOD
about losing my final exemptions I did. Not to say I was a lazy student, I slaved away 40 hours a week at Kroger and being prepared for school was never easy. While the lazy and devilish side of me is upset with the fact that we no longer are allowed the wonderful policy from up above, the hardworking and logical side of me recognizes the importance of stressing good attendance and timeliness. After all that is the entire purpose of the exemption system is to reward students who work hard by giving them a much deserved break at the end of the semester, not to give everyone a get out of jail free card. On that
note, it is important to take into account that exemptions are a privilege, not a right and that many school districts don’t allow for exemptions. In fact, I’ve got to believe that other school district’s administrators scorn when then they hear of CFISD’s policy, as attendance should need no reward. Now that we are back to the old system I find myself not only making it a point to be in class no matter what, but also doing my work and actually studying for my tests, where as I didn’t before. To say that our attendance policy is perfect would be an overstatement, given that funerals and days sickness are counted against exemptions. However when students say that we should still be allowed five absences it just makes them whiny. Despite the fact I thoroughly personally enjoyed my five absences, I do recognize CFISD’s method to their madness on this issue. While most students are indifferent on this issue, I have a favor to ask those of you ardently opposed to the three absence policy: get over it! Please.
Guilty Conscience for Staying Home Op/Ed Editor
marianna YODER Graphic Designer
Everyone can recite the magic number of days they can miss school before losing their exemptions: three days. But why does this number that students worship have to be so low? Absences happen, whether it’s due to a sickness or an unfortunate death in the family. Students jump though hoops and push themselves to their limits to avoid exceeding the maximum three absences for exemptions. In fact, these three days are so precious to students that they come to school when they’re running a fever or even pull their parents away from work in the middle of the day just so they can break free from the two hour exams at the end of each semester. Students hide their sickness from their parents, tell them it’s nothing and even sometimes just flat out confess that they can’t miss another day of school. But coming to school when they’re sick is the worst thing they can do for themselves. This stresses not only the body, but the immune system too. The illness has a very low chance of simply vanishing; instead, it gets worse. This leads to costly medicines, not to mention the spread of the illness. The wellbeing of the entire school is jeopardized by the students who are forcing themselves to attend school. Unfortunately, no matter how much the
aristay anna YODER school advises studentsmReporter to home when they have a fever, there is only a small possibility of them actually listening. The only time that it seemed that students were more willing to stay at home was when the magic absence number was raised to five absences. This allowed students to accept the fact that they should stay home because they felt like they had more time. It they get sick now and stay home, they also have the ability to stay home when they get sick again later. Students felt freer when the absences were higher, even by just two days. More allowed absences not
“This allowed students to accept the fact that they should stay home because they felt like they had more time.” -Marianna Yoder
only encouraged the thought of staying home, but also lowered the stress level, which allows the body to fight against the illness more effectively. But not only is actual sickness an issue with absences. On the regretful occasion that a death in the family occurs, a student must choose between attending the funeral and paying their respect to the lost relative or being able to stay at home sick
later in the semester. Though the school never says that a student cannot attend a funeral, they do count the absences, which discourages students. No person, whether a teenager or an adult, should have to make that decision. The well-being of the school, whether physical or psychological, can be easily increased by the increase of allowed absences. This does not mean, though, that a student cannot be absent more than three days. These absences only
concern the freedom of exemptions, which students unfortunately blow out of proportion; to a student, exemptions are much more than a privilege, and they treat it accordingly. Only when this number will be increased, such as the five absences allowed for exemptions last year, will students feel liberated enough to stay at home instead of coming to school and spreading illnesses, or feel conscience-free when they go to pay their respects to their late relative.
THEIR SPARK KEEPS BURNING THE MOST BEAUTIFUL SOUND
c arly WOOD Copy Editor
We first met when I was three years old, and he immediately captured my attention. He sat alone at the back of the room, staring out longingly at all the other people, and when our eyes met, I came to him. The spark of friendship that went off between us at that very second was so obvious. That spark is still there, even after all these long years. We grew up together, he and I, and I feel that our minds are so well connected, nobody else in the world understands me better. He talks a lot when he’s in the mood; when he’s angry, he yells at me; when he’s sad, he cuddles up beside me and we talk it out; and when he’s happy, we can do anything. When I close my eyes, I can see him clearly. A cheeky face with a tiny chin and a long, thin nose. Soft black hair. Bright, pale eyes. A charming smile. Well-built arms and legs. Big feet. Broad shoulders. In kyle ANDERSON News Editor his younger years, his ears looked huge on
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him, but he’s since grown into them. And how can anybody possibly eat as much as he does yet stay as slender as he is? I can see my whole world in his fiery moonlight eyes. Webster’s Dictionary defines the word “friend” as a person whom one knows well and is fond of. Well, for him and me, it’s so much more than that. It is defined for the two of us in the way we give each other a great big hug every time we see each other, the way we played together as youths, the way I kiss his cute little forehead after a long day of not seeing him, the way he can decode my tone of voice to find what I really feel. It’s always like those nights when I had seen a scary movie just hours before and was on edge, and he’d sit up in my bed with me all night and hold me. Or when I’m feeling generous and give him a quick lick of my ice cream. Or when he got bitten by his little step-brother and I smacked a kiss onto the wound to make him feel better. Who would have thought that he, who was such a pariah before, would blossom through me? It really is a great feeling, knowing I mean as monumentally much to him as he means to me, knowing that no matter what I’ll always have someone behind my back who cares about me in such an indescribably deep way. So sure, he may criticize my music preferences sometimes, or I just might let a secret or two about him slip and make him mad, but at the end of the day, there’s no other person I would rather spend time with than him. His name is Cocoa… k y leANDERSON Reporter And he is my cat.
a le xBRADLEY
sa mBURDYL Reporter
h a r le y COOK
a le g r ia CORONA-SAUNDERS Reporter
ma it eDON Copy Editor
ja yDRUMMOND Op/Ed Editor
ka t ieGOINS
a sh le y GURNEY July. Sports EditorIt should be a month of swimming pools, laughter and movies, but for the past two years it has been delivering a lingering d a r b yNEVINS Feature Editor feeling of mourning. It has dressed me in black and soaked me in tears. It’s forced a lla n PETERS me sit through speeches of solace Sportsto Editor and somber faces. It has had “they’re in better place” ringing in my ears. sa r aahSMITH Entertainment Editor All July has offered me for the past two years are sleepless nights and funerals. jo r d a n TUCKER July 9, 2009. I was sitting on an airplane Op/Ed Editor flipping through pictures of Mount Hood wondering sa mVILLARREAL which would impress my PR Manager grandmother most. I was laughing, happy, and sun burnt, my biggest grievance being r lyWOODsandal. It was any other day until aca broken Copy Editor I stepped off the plane. My father’s hair was and my sister was by his ma r iadisheveled n na YODER Graphic Designer side. Small out of place details I thought nothing of. We walked to the car with few words and my sister offered the front seat. Yet again, out of place. I climbed into the front seat and my dad turned to face me. As he reached over to grab my hand, I knew. I didn’t think of anyone else. I
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Her lips are blue. Her face is more pale and sickly looking than anyone’s I have ever seen before. Her eyes aren’t opened. It’s as if the yelling and chaos circulating around me was tuned out from the sheer sound of my thoughts which I couldn’t even decipher myself. She was dead, I thought. There was nothing any of us rushing around could do. She had been under for too long and there was just nothing we could do. Her parents would cry harder than I have ever seen someone cry while holding her frail body in their arms, I thought, and I would be there to witness it all. It’s as if the three minutes, if even that, of the entire situation had taken two hours; I can still replay it back in my mind as such. This short time span had brought me from feeling the cool, chlorinated water run along my arms and through my fingers as I listened to my mother talk about some thing or another at the pool in her apartment complex in North Houston to nervously pacing around a crowd of about 10 people standing over this child who looked like she hadn’t even been on this earth for more than 4 years. This little girl had drowned and laid at the bottom of the pool, without anyone noticing, for God knows how long.
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FINDING LIGHT IN THE END Editor in Chief
Logically, and with my lifeguard training from a year ago, I would assume she was there for at least a minute. This same lifeguard training, or lack there of, made me feel entirely useless as I watched the little girl’s parents struggle to save her life. Whether it was the pressure of the situation or the fact that a year had passed since I had even thought about CPR, I couldn’t remember a thing. My thoughts were zooming. The only thing I could come up with is the fact that A) she had water in her lungs and B) it had to come out before she would be able to breathe. What kind of CPR or even how to do CPR was the one thing, and practically the most important thing, that I couldn’t remember. I had never felt more helpless or useless in my life and was completely shaken up, as if I had no purpose in the situation or in my surroundings. That’s when the most beautiful sound I have ever heard came. The sound of the little girl’s scream came out of her mouth indicating that she had oxygen in her lungs and was alive. Literally, I never I thought a little girl’s scream would be a sound I couldn’t wait to hear until that day. The whole situation just showed me how accidents really do happen. Had the little girl’s parents been watching her, though it probably took seconds of them not watching, she could’ve been spared from the entire problem. Had they been truly watching, she wouldn’t have been on the brink of death. Though I did not know this little girl or her family, I felt more compassion and empathy for them than I had ever felt for any situation that had occurred in my life thus far. I will never forget it.
a le xBRADLEY Reporter
didn’t think of anything else. He didn’t need to say it and I didn’t need to hear it. s a mBURDYL Reporter “Laney’s gone.” And so it started with my father’s mother. a2010. rle y COOK 366 days later. July 10,hReporter I woke up early to the sound of my mother asking to talk to me. I quietly slipped out of a le g ria CORONA-SAUNDERS Reporter my friend the room, so as not to wake sleeping soundly beside me. Did my brother do something? Is hurt? m asomeone iteDON My mother looked at meReporter with tired eyes, mascara smeared. Take two. “Nana’s ja yDRUMMOND gone.” A year was not enough time. Reporter So July has lost its spark. It’s broken down spirits and stolen sleep. And now September k a tieGOINS is here and has given usReporter something else. I stood centimeters from the hospital saround h le y GURNEY door, cupping my handaReporter my ear to hear better. My sister was groaning in pain. I just wanted her tod aget it over with. rb yNEVINS Reporter I couldn’t sit in that waiting room any longer. I was restless and tired. My mind a lla n PETERS was flickering through nostalgic memories Reporter of my grandmothers. That’s when I heard the cry and my own eyes started s a ra hSMITH to burn Reporter with tears. He was born. rd a8n TUCKER Kase Dylan Slagowski,joReporter an pound 1.9 ounce miracle, was born at 11:16 p.m. on September 15, 2010. All ten fingers and all s a mVILLARREAL Reporter ten toes, this beautiful baby had given us something back. Suddenly, the funerals, aand rlyWOOD the speeches, the flowers,cReporter insomnia didn’t hurt us so much because in our arms was a brand new, healthy The m a ria n n alife. YODER Reporter moment that baby was placed in my arms all the drama, stress, and mourning felt lighter. Here was a perfect and pure being rested in my arms. A whole new journey. A whole new love. Life takes a lot from us, but in the end, we realize it gives us so much more.
Staff Editorial ‘TRASHY’ SPIRIT NEEDS TO END Sometimes our best isn’t always a win, but that changes absolutely nothing about our school’s pride. It’s hard to prove that statement to other schools if we treat them poorly when we lose. We will lose sometimes, and that should be okay. We will completely dominate sometimes, and that’s what we work for. Whether we lose most games or place in district, as Bobcats, we have an unrelenting ﬁght that literally will never die, regardless of how many schools claim to kill it after a simple k y l e ANDERSON News Editor There is no team out there, no win. game, sport or ﬁnal score and certainly school that has the ability to ever c h l ono e BEARD Editor in Chief take that away from us. It’s like a ﬁghting scene between a l e xChuck BRADLEY Managing EditorNorris and Bob Saget. Chuck Norris is expected to win because of “impressively high status” but s a mhis BURDYL Reporter has a bad day and Bob somehow
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wins. Chuck Norris is still considered the best. Just like Chuck, Cy-Fair may not always win, but we still, and always will, be considered the best. Showing fair sportsmanship and respect to a school with less success, originality and talent than your own isn’t easy or common. Our famous motto “Bobcat Fight Never Dies” means that win or lose, we’re always on our feet, lacking no less spirit, with a refusal to quit until we’ve done the best we are capable of doing. The alumni that were a part of making BFND such a big deal are depending on kyle ANDERSON Reporter us to uphold the good name of our school. Cy-Fair is held to a higher standard chloe BEARD than other schools, concerning not only Reporter the curriculum, but also the behavior expectations. The reason we have such strict rules and policiesalex is BRADLEY because as Reporter students, we are held to the same standard as our school and we are sam expected BURDYL to live Reporter up to it. The way a school is looked upon
is determined by the student body. Making a big fuss over a loss or a win only shows weak character, conﬁdence and lack of class. As Bobcats, we should be aware that we exhibit drive that is exclusively ours. To not accept the fact that sometimes our side isn’t always number one is just ridiculous because Bobcats don’t ﬁnish without a ﬁght, and with your support, we can take them further this year. We aren’t proving anything to our opponents by ignorantly accepting scores that sometimes don’t leave favor to the Bobcats. No matter what, we’re still the supreme school; all it takes is supportive students who will actually act like it when it matters most. In the words of Assistant Principal Dr. Tommaney: “We have nothing to apologize for, so let’s be classy about it.”
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h a r l e y COOK
a l e g r i a CORONA-SAUNDERS
Sugar, Spice and Floral Prints Business Manager
My Journey Through ‘Girl World’ m a i t e DON Copy Editor
j a y DRUMMOND Op/Ed Editor
k a t i e GOINS
a s h l e y GURNEY Sports Editor
d a r b y NEVINS Feature Editor
a l l a n PETERS Sports Editor
s a r a h SMITH
j o r d a n TUCKER Op/Ed Editor
I can feel them running down my skin like razors blades— scraping, poking, s a m VILLARREAL PR Manager pinching —cleaving off my ﬂesh particle by particle. The sensation of jamming c a r l y WOOD knives into each and every nerve and Copy Editor setting my cells on ﬁre ripples through me. bite my lip and ﬁght the urge to cry m a r iIa n na YODER Graphic Designer out in utter agony. I hate high heels. My mom is always telling me “You’re so pretty, if only you would actually dress up once in a while.” Personally, I don’t see the point in wearing uncomfortable clothing or caking make-up onto my face. If I’m ‘so pretty’ then why bother wasting the extra half hour in the morning primping when I could be asleep? Some call it laziness. I call it practicality. Still, I have always been interested in the reasons why so many girls enjoy painting their faces on and stressing out over what they should wear. Being a person who does not like leaving questions unanswered, I decided to act on my curiosity. I decided to dress like a “girl.” Of course, had I known the implications of trying on a simple pair of heels, that decision might have been
m aite DON Reporter
Reporter swayed. With a whimper akin to a starving katie puppy, I hobble over to my bedGOINS and throw Reporter myself down upon it. Tiny pinpricks of pain sear through the soles of my feet as ashley GURNEY Reporter the weight of my body is lifted off of them and my blood ﬁnally begins to recirculate. darby NEVINS Slowly, with an effort worthy of several Reporter epic poems, I peel the strappy, silver shoes off and hurl them across my room. allan PETERS I grimace as I examine the damage. Reporter My heels are chaffed pink, already a little raw, and the shoe’s silversarah clasps have left SMITH Reporter tender indentions in my skin. Perfect. The words of countless women echo jordan TUCKER in my mind as I rub my aching Reporter feet: Pain is the price of fashion.
VILLARREAL “Pain is thesamprice of fashion. carly WOOD Does that make blisters m arianna YODER the tax?” Reporter
Does that make blisters the tax? I look at my reﬂection in my bedroom mirror, peering into the face of a girl who I barely recognize. I have seen her before. She always made an appearance at weddings and other special occasions, but she was like a distant relative you receive holiday cards from but never actually spend the holidays with. She never came out for regular school days, but I would be using her today. I needed her for my experiment. About half an hour ago, I had asked my 11-year-old fashionista sister for her help in picking out my clothes (especially since I had about as much style as a blind monkey). She stayed awake long enough to drag an outﬁt out from somewhere in my closet, before passing back out on my bed. It was simple enough, a high-waisted ﬂoral skirt with a matching tank top, gray
bomber jacket and black leggings, nothing extravagant. Still, it’s a far cry from my traditional T-shirt and jeans ensemble. (The heels had also been her idea, and I was starting think they were some kind of retribution for waking her up at 5:30 in the morning.) I check my makeup, already irritated with the fact that I can’t touch my own eyes for fear of smearing the liner. I can only hope that this whole thing is worth it, especially seeing as I nearly put my eye out with a mascara brush. Grabbing my backpack, I remember that I still need shoes. I glance at the high heels I had attempted to walk in a few minutes before. I opt for ballet ﬂats instead. That day at school, something changed. Now normally, I’m not the most popular person. On the regular high school social ladder, I don’t even have a rung. Yet that day, people actually looked at me. It was utterly disconcerting. In the hallways, people whom I had seen before, but never really talked to, waved to me. In class, students who hardly ever approached me now welcomed me when I came in and complemented my outﬁt. Even those socialites who never glance in my direction laughed at my jokes. It was eerie. It was bizarre. (It was even strangely enjoyable.) I didn’t understand it. What made the me of that day so different from the regular me? Was it the clothes that constantly needed adjusting? The make-up the kept me from scratching my eyelids? Maybe it was unique way that I walked as I tried to keep the backs of my shoes from rubbing against my chaffed heels. Whatever the case, I found the change in the atmosphere around me to be quite strange. Perhaps someday I’ll take a break from the jeans and try it again. But the heels are still out of the question.
SIMPLE STORY, BEAUTIFUL MOVIE
Ballet Movie is Inspiring Memoir s arahSMITH
I am a sucker for true stories, those emotional, bawl-like-a-baby, beautiful epics that make you believe in humanity again. Yep, I love those. â€œMaoâ€™s Last Dancerâ€? is one of those movies. I saw the movie with â€œthe womenâ€? of my family and after two hours we had all been reduced to blubbery, snotty messes. Simple in story and composition, â€œMaoâ€™s Last Dancerâ€? is the story of Li Cunxin, a Chinese ballet dancer who studies with the Houston Ballet in 1979 and has the summer of his life. Li becomes the darling of Houstonâ€™s artsy circle and has his fair share of the drama a foreigner in America can have. Li grew up dirt poor in the Chinese countryside and his journey through the Beijing Arts Academy, as an exchange student and newcomer to America, and ďŹ nally as a star principal dancer with the Houston Ballet, is the basis of the movie. The contrast between the dark images of Liâ€™s early days in China against his illuminated days in Houston is incredibly striking. Seeing how little he had while growing up and then the â€œgood-for-you tortureâ€? he endures after being chosen to train to become a ballet dancer in China
makes you want to look away, but you canâ€™t. Being a ballet dancer myself, I marveled at the dancing ability and strength of all the dancers, especially the Chinese students. Every single bit of dancing in the movie was superb, and I only wish that I could have seen Li dance while he was in Houston, because to see him in person would have been breathtaking. I also enjoyed seeing Houston in the 1980s when we had the Oilers instead of the Texans and the Wortham Theater (Houston Balletâ€™s home theater) didnâ€™t even exist. As serious and emotional (in teenspeak â€œboringâ€?) this movie may sound, it really isnâ€™t. There is plenty of humor, situational and intentional. Just seeing Li adjust to America, wearing an Oilers ball cap, watching Chinese Kung Fu movies, learning the word â€œfantasticâ€?, even going on his ďŹ rst date is a hilarious journey in itself. And one of my favorite moments of the movie, however silly it may be, is when Liâ€™s VERY Texan friend looks at a picture of Mao Zedong in the Chinese Embassy and remarks that his grandmother had a cat named â€œChairman Meow.â€? Though Liâ€™s drama with the women of his life and his questioning of every single little thing in America can get to be annoying, they do add that bit of
frustration and lack of understanding some newcomers to America have when learning our ways and customs. I think these little quirks add to the movie as a whole, however pointless and ridiculous they may seem. I canâ€™t say enough about this movie,
except that I highly recommend it to anyone who has ever gone on a journey, loves dancing or just loves a darn good movie. Li Cunxin and his story will leave you with hope in your heart, music in your feet, tears in your eyes and a smile on your face.
FLYING: Chengwu Guo as a teenage Li Cunxin dancing in the Beijing Arts Academy in â€œMaoâ€™s Last Dancerâ€?. Photo courtesy of maoslastdancermovie.com
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WHO HAS THE BEST: Burr itos?
k y leANDERSON News Editor
If you live in the great state of Texas, then loving Mexican food is a must. And when it comes to Mexican food, nothing surpasses the burrito. But of all the places in Cypress that you could go to eat a burrito, there are three restaurants that rise above the rest. First there is Chipotle, the magical franchise that brought the burrito to the forefront of the Cypress Tex-Mex scene. Then there is Freebirds, founded before Chipotle, in California, appearing in Cypress and posing a lot of competition. Finally, there is Bullritos, the last to appear on the Cypress burrito scene, which has proven that even though you are new at something, you can be good at it. I divided the three restaurants into four categories: atmosphere, prices, variety of choices and food. Bullritos has a nice ambiance that is typical of a new-age restaurant. It has the nice luxurious booths, and the euphoric red and blue walls. But when I think of Bullritos, I always think of how you get to write your order on the cool bags. It’s a pretty cool part of the Bullritos experience, as well as a big part of the Bullritos advertisement scheme. Chipotle, on the other hand, has a nice cool and easy modern Mexico feel. The very artsy metallic shingles that line the walls and the cool Aztec/Mayan heads give it the awesome modern and ancient feel. But the atmosphere award goes to Freebirds. Not only is there grafﬁti plastered on the walls, but there is also
a motorcycle hanging from the ceiling. This seems like the perfect teenage restaurant because the tagged walls scream adolescence. And of course, the motorcycle, which is just cool. I don’t know about you, but both of those things give Freebirds an awesome feel in my opinion. The atmosphere award most deﬁnitely goes to Freebirds. When it comes to saving money, not many people would agree that teenagers know a thing or two about getting a good deal. But when it comes to picking a restaurant on “our” ﬁxed income, the prices have to be taken into account. First of all, Chipotle’s burritos are $5.95. Now that seems pretty cheap compared to the size of their burrito. Second is Freebirds, whose burrito is $5.99. Lastly there is Bullritos, whose burritos are $6.29, the most expensive of the three. All of the Burritos are relatively the same size, so Chipotle has the best deal. Since a burrito is a tortilla stuffed with basically anything that will taste good, the variety of choices has to be taken in to account. In my burrito, I like putting chili con queso, refried beans, sour cream, lettuce, pico de gallo, salsa and lots and lots of meat. The restaurant that has all the things that I look for in a burrito is Bullritos. But to say that they have the most choices is not accurate. The restaurant with the greatest variety is Freebirds. At Freebirds you have a choice from three different types of tortillas: regular, wheat and orange. Not only that but there is a choice a selection of three different types of beans. Also
there is a choice of dark or white chicken meat. Even though Chipotle and Bullritos do have a lot of choices, and Bullritos has the best choices for my type of burrito. Freebirds does have the greatest variety. The choice between three different types of beans it surely makes a difference. First of all, I’d like to apologize to all the Chipotle lovers before I talk about ﬂavor, because Chipotle came out in last place. I know it was the restaurant that basically brought burritos back, but it just can’t compare to Freebirds or Bullritos. Don’t get me wrong, I love the place and I think that their food is good. It just isn’t as good as the other two. Rounding up at second will have to be Freebirds. I’m sorry Freebird-maniacs. It had a good burrito ,but it wasn’t amazing. Winning ﬁrst place is going to have to be Bullritos. This place, in my opinion, has the best burrito out of the three. Its grilled meat has great ﬂavors. It has a great selection of salsas, and of course, it has something that I think all burritos should have: chile con queso, the most wonderful food invented in the world. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t choose the Bullrito burrito just because you can put queso in it. I did it because I thought it was overall the best- tasting. Now all these burritos were amazing, and each one is good its own way, but by far Bullritos has the better burrito. Even though it’s a little more expensive, I’d have to say that the food is deﬁnitely worth it. Now that the burrito champion has been crowned, next, I will have to delve into the wonderful world of toilet seats.
Atmosphere: 1. Freebirds 2. Chipotle 3. Bullritos Prices: 1. Chipotle $5.95 2. Freebirds $5.99 3 Bullritos $6.29 Variety of Choices: 1. Freebirds 2. Bullritos 3. Chipotle Food (tastiness) 1. Bullritos 2. Freebirds 3. Chipotle
WRAP THEM PUPPIES UP In Something Better jay DRUMMOND Op/Ed Editor
Dainty, well-groomed and perfectly naked. That’s my preference on feet, au naturale, just as nature and my budget intended. Unfortunately, courtesy of dress code, students have to wrap those puppies up, and thus, shoes are a must. But when I see people strutting their stuff in their new kicks, suffocating their 10 little piggies, it’s time to take a stand. Hygiene and protection are one thing, but some shoes j u s t
shouldn’t exist. Take for example the Gurkees rope shoes. Just in case Jesus sandals weren’t outlawed in the ﬁrst century, I’m doing it now. Then there’s the humble ﬂip ﬂop with the previously bare foot wrapped in knee high socks. Now, I have nothing against ﬂip ﬂops themselves -in fact, the easyexit system is invaluable when sitting in class, a little teenage rebellion against the Man and his constricting desks -but why the socks? Way to be a walking contradiction (no
pun intended). Either choose comfort or be satisﬁed with pigs in a blanket. Let’s not forget how shoes can affect your pockets. We’re talking money, and there is a ﬁne line between the same Gucci outﬁt every day and a full wardrobe. Check it. Now those toe shoes, the Vibram FiveFingers, are right up my alley. They’re refreshingly quirky and feel so light you forget you’re wearing them. The $85 retail price is a deal-breaker, though, and sadly, rich Uncle Pennybags is battling the recession. Ladies, just because I’m usually too style-ignorant to understand the majority of what you do to yourselves on a daily basis to look “cute”, there is one topic on which my soapbox will become permanent real-estate: highheeled sneakers. The sneaker is meant as active wear, and as I’ve learned from various dances, 10 second sprints to the next support is not active. Still, I would pay handsomely to see someone do a back-ﬂip in some Chuck Taylor High Top heels. OK, I know you’re trying for the happy medium of nasty and classy, but 50 is a failing grade, hon. And for all of you who still wear Crocs in public places, jump back in your time machine. We still don’t accept your kind. Hurry, before the angry villagers ﬁnish sharpening their pitchforks. To quote YouTube: “These shoes are $300, hey, let’s NOT get them.”
BLAST FROM PAST: Reviewing A 1970s Album alegriaCORONA-SAUNDERS Reporter
Cherie Currie, Joan Jett, Sandy West, Lita Ford and Jackie Fox. The five members of one of the first allgirl rock bands, The Runaways, came out with an amazing 1976 album entitled “The Runaways.” Coming straight out of the California Valley, these girls proved that any girl could play aggressive hard rock and do it just as well as any guy. They sang about drugs, sex, money, girl empowerment and love at a young age without apologizing to anyone for it. They didn’t feel the need to sugarcoat their lyrics or sound. In the music, there is true emotion and raw talent. With mesmerizing deep voices, lead singer Cherie Currie and rhythmic guitarist Joan Jett have an breathy, angsty sound in “Dead
RUNAWAY: Poster for the 1976 The Runaways album. Photo courtesy of therunaways.com
End Justice”, which is one of the big hits of the album and keeps up an aggressive, steady pace until it reaches the climax with Lita Ford’s piercing guitar solos. These girls with a 70’s sound came out with another great hit, “Rock ‘n’ Roll”, with the heavy drum beats courtesy of amazing drummer Sandy West and live free guitar melodies, followed by punching vocals, taking everyone back to their memories of hearing rock ‘n’ roll for the first time. Although these girls made it huge in Japan, back in the States, they weren’t known as well. Their most well-known song, “Cherry Bomb”, was definitely the best track on the album for its trance-like rhythmic guitar patterns and strong exhilarating screams; making anyone want to sing “Cherry Bomb” over and over again. The Runaways had an undenialable stage presence and nailed their performances with excellence. These songs were true rock ‘n’ roll in its prime, different from some pop music being considered rock. One could tell that they performed from the heart. They had a unique rock sound that definitely should be in more music today. Although within in two years the dream had ended due to creative differences and drug problems, during the time when girls were told they couldn’t play rock ‘n roll with hard work, The Runaways defied gender stereotypes and showed everyone that they could in fact play rock ‘n roll. They were the true queens of noise and deserve full recognition for being one of the first and best to pave the way.
‘MOCKINGJAY’: Taking Flight mait eDON Copy Editor
Those who anticipated the release of the highly acclaimed “Mockingjay”, the third and final book in the “Hunger Games” series, and were finally able to get their hands on it were not disappointed. The last book in the “Hunger Games” series continues to follow the footsteps of the main character, Katniss Everdeen, on her quest against the Capitol. The first and second novels build up the pressure to the third novel. A mix of action, action, and more action, with a little dash of romance to soften things up, is the recipe that author Suzanne Collins whipped up and gave the final result, “Mockingjay”. Every flip of the page makes you want more and leaves you digesting what you just read. There are many twists and turns throughout the whole book, not to mention scenes that make you want to hurl the book across the room at the injustice. The emotion that is portrayed throughout the book actually matches the mood. The action that defined the “Hunger Games” from the beginning is still alive, although the romance that made girls sigh diminished a bit in its place. All the action more than makes up for the absence of romance between Katniss and Peeta, or if you’re into Gale, the lack of romance between him and Katniss. “Mockingjay” takes place in a future dystopian America in which the country has fallen to ruins through war with the government that came to be known as the Capitol. America then became split into 13 districts but the 13th got destroyed for defying the Capitol. To punish the still remaining districts and to remind them who is in charge, the Capitol holds an annual competition in which one boy and one girl is picked to be thrown into an arena in which
the participants have to kill each other until only one victor is left standing. In the second novel, “Catching Fire”, previous Hunger Game winners have to participate in another competition called the Quarter Quell, in which they have to fight the odds to survive again. The difference between this competition and the original competition is that there are twice as many contestants and the stakes are higher since the participants are fighting against other victors who had won previous games and obviously know what they are doing. In “Mockingjay”, the story continues with Katniss, district 12 victor, trying to keep the rebel forces going. Her actions define the rebel forces and they look up to her to lead them to a country where they will never have to worry about losing their children to the Hunger Games. Fast-paced and full of memorable characters, “Mockingjay” is a good way to wrap up the series, even if some events in the chapters leave readers hanging and prompting the question: what happened?
DEMONS, DARKNESS AND DEATH ‘The Last Exorcism’ TERROR: Ashley Bell and Patrick Fabian in “The Last Exorcism.” Photo courtesy of thelastexorcism. com darbyNEVINS Feature Editor
So I’m not going to lie, I am a baby and scary movies with freaks who can move in strange positions and have demons living inside of them creep me out. Strangely, my fears, which started after seeing “The Last Exorcism” preview, made me interested in finding out the whole deal with the crazy chick that’s in it. It all started when I walked into the pitch black theater. The movie was just starting and you know how it is when scary movies start, the creepy slow, funeral-like Mozart instrumentals play, sounds that you know are leading up to you screaming with fear and having goose bumps. The start of this movie was no different. When the music ended and the acting actually began I was so confused. I saw a small town minister with his little son and wife being interviewed by a documentary crew. I started to realize the whole movie was going to be like a roller coaster because it was “being filmed” by the one camera man the whole time. Slowly, time went by and nothing scary happened. I started to wonder if my $8.95 was worth it. Finally, about 20 minutes into the movie, I started to understand. The crew and Reverend Cotton Marcus were out of their small town heaven and on some secluded farm. I started catching on, but nothing really scary yet. I spoke too soon. Enter the father and brother of the “disturbed” girl on the farm, who are not really big on socializing. When you see the troubled little girl in need of the exorcism,
Nell Sweetzer, she comes off as sweet and innocent, and I felt bad for her. She’s a girl who lives on a farm, has no friends and has a demon in her; now come on, that stinks majorly. Immediately you can tell there is something suspicious about the family. First exorcism down, a few jumps here and there but no big deal. As things begin to die down, you start thinking “wow, what a fail”, but just wait. Suddenly, it’s like the director turned on the scary switch, because each new scene makes you scream, jump and grip the person next to your’s hand. I definitely did. This went on for awhile, but finally the answer to everyone’s pleas came and everything got better. The family started to believe that their Nell is “normal” again, and Reverend Cotton thinks he saved the day. They were all wrong, but anyone could have guessed that. A total turn takes place, and I did not expect it one bit. So many twists and surprises happened in the last 20 minutes that left me confused and frightened, and I still don’t fully understand what happened. If you are a fan of blood, music that will make you sit on the edge of your seat to see what is coming, screaming at the actors as they idiotically walk into the dark rooms that clearly have every sign possible saying “DO NOT ENTER, DUMMY!” And freaky small town people, this is the perfect movie for you. But if you tend to get frightened quite easily, have nightmares or like cats this is not the best choice of a romantic Friday night movie with your loved one. Cheesy or not, “The Last Exorcism” is one movie I will never watch alone.
MOCKINGJAY: The cover of Suzanne Collin’s latest in the “Hunger Games” trilogy, “Mockingjay”. Photo courtesy of scholastic.com
WAIT, HOLD UP
CY-FAIR’S GOT THE GAME
SEWN UP 1
Photos 1, 4 and 5 by Melissa Borchgrevink Photos 2 by Taylor Kimble Photos 4, 6 and 7 by Tyler Melancon
CY-FAIR VARSITY FOOTBALL 2010