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November 2009- Volume 84, Issue 3 Clear Creek High School

2305 E. Main, League City, TX 77573

Theater puts on a smooth version of Hamlet Ashley Farmer After two months of demanding rehearsals, on October 29 the Clear Creek High School Theater department performed Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet. Students dedicated much of their time and energy, especially the main characters, junior Jonathan Sherer who played Hamlet, seniors Brittany Eckstrom and Ross Coburn who played Queen Gertrude and King Claudius, junior Cassandra Odenweller who played Ophelia, and senior Gino Sandoval who played Polonius. “Everyone is committed to doing their very best, which is amazing for high school students…I never believed young people can’t do challenging theater. Anyone can do anything with the right script and guidance,” Ms. Stephanie Forbes, the drama teacher and director of Hamlet, said. As the lights began to dim in the auditorium and the music grew audible, the

screens on both sides of the stage showed a video of Hamlet, both a “trailer” and introduction to the play. The first scene of the play takes place in front of a castle in Denmark where two guardsmen and Hamlet’s friend Horatio see the glowing ghost of the late King Hamlet. In his mystical and booming voice, the late King reveals to Hamlet the plot carried out by his uncle after an affair with his wife, the queen. He tells Hamlet he had been poisoned in the ear. This revelation drives Hamlet’s action throughout the rest of the play and creates his hunger for vengeance. Hamlet returns to the castle after the visit from his father’s ghost and initiates a plan. He pretends to have gone mad. Ophelia, a previous lover, and her father Polonius are convinced that Hamlet has gone mad with love for Ophelia. Meanwhile, King Claudius, his uncle, and Queen Gertrude, his aunt, enlist the help of two of his friends, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, to spy on him and uncover the real reason for his insanity. As a traveling theater comes into town, Hamlet arranges a test of King Claudius’ guilt by having the theater elaborately reenact the murder of King Hamlet. King Claudius reacts with anger, storming off the stage. Later Hamlet is talking to his mother and he hears someone listening in. Thinking it is King Claudius, he mur ders the eavesdropper, who turns out to be

Polonius, father of Ophelia. After realizing his mistake, he lifts Polonius up and nonchalantly drags him off the stage. The death of her father throws Ophelia into a medley of songs and dialog that portrays her insanity and gives her an eerie edge in the play. She ends up falling into the river and drowning. Faced with the death of his father and his sister, Laertus challenges Hamlet to a fencing match. At the beginning of the match, Hamlet is winning. To celebrate, his mother, Queen Gertrude, takes a drink from the victory cup. Little does she know, it has been poisoned for Hamlet. Laertus has also poisoned the sword and wounds Hamlet. During a very realistic scuffle, the swords are switched and Hamlet takes possession of the poisoned sword, wounding Laertus. When Hamlet realizes the plot that they had contrived against him, he plunges the poisoned sword into the back of King Claudius. In the final minutes of his life, Hamlet picks up the poisoned cup and holds it over the head of King Claudius, originally intending to force him to drink it, but ultimately pouring it over his face and onto the stage. King Claudius, Laertus, Hamlet, and Queen Gertrude die within minutes of each other. Tragedy rings through the

laboration on this is awesome,” eleventh grade StuCo member Alex Hodgson said. StuCo donated Halloween costumes to Herrera’s three boys, allowing them to trick-or-treat as a ninja and two G. I. Joe’s. Student Council was not the only group bringing people together to fight cancer with Ms. Herrera. On Saturday, October 24 CLEAR did the “Car Wash For Herrera.” Students joined together at the Advance Auto Parts on Egret Bay Blvd and aided in washing cancer away for Herrera. People left with clean cars and renewed spirits along with $414 for Herrera. “CLEAR loves Ms. Herrera and is so happy to give a little bit to her for everything she gives to Creek. We are all saying a prayer that she will be back soon,” Clear teacher Ms. Roten said. Saturday, October 31, on Halloween, the Theater Department put on “Hamlet for Herrera” and the $452 from the ticket sales was donated to Herrera. During Mix It Up Day on November 10 Creek’s HiLife staff will be selling “Hearts for Herrera” for $1. Once purchased, students will be able to write a note to Herrera. Then the HilIife staff will gather all of the papers and deliver them to Herrera as an assortment of encouraging cards and letters from Creek. Some of Herrera’s students went to her house to bring her candy. The Cavaliers have worn pink in their belts in October during Creek football games in honor of Ms. Herrera, and at the Creek

vs. Lake game on November 6 they will be doing “Kicks for Cancer” where people will have opportunity to donate money to Ms. Herrera at a kiosk. For every dollar donated, Creek’s Cavaliers will do one high-kick. “I am really excited for Kicks for Cancer because I think we are doing a great thing for Ms. Herrera,” senior Kelsey Sutton, Vice President of the Social Committee for the Cavaliers, said. On October 28, Ms. Herrera began a combination of radiation treatment and chemotherapy pills in an attempt to annihilate her cancer. “They [the doctors] anticipate it will grow back a n d

rafters of the auditorium. Aside from minimal line blips, the technology, music, sound effects, props and costumes were all flawless. Each actor portrayed his or her character uniquely through vocal inflections, movement, and interaction with other characters. Even the supporting roles defined their characters in ways that stood out. The two gravediggers who buried Ophelia, played by Elijah Lopez and Nick Sandoval, shone in their dramatic gestures, unusual accents, and humorous actions. Many of the actors said they see the play as a great accomplishment. “I’m really happy and people come to see our shows. I’m proud because we work so hard. The feedback we get from people makes it worth it,” Eckstrom said. Image by Graphics Factory Photos by Tabitha Dirrim

Ms. Herrera battles cancer with Creek’s help Jacob Mancini

Ms. Anya Herrera, an English II and III teacher at Creek, was diagnosed with cancer on October 6. When Creek discovered that Herrera had cancer, students helped support her by joining alongside Herrera in her battle. Herrera has an extremely rare type of tumor called Glioblastoma. Though it normally appears in the brain, Herrera has this tumor in her spinal cord, an incredibly unlikely place. After surgery, the doctors realized they could not remove the cancerous tumor because of its situation in Herrera’s spine. The tumor had wrapped around three of her vertebrae, totally unattainable by surgery. But Herrera’s courage never wavered even in the midst of facing cancer. She carried a positive attitude away from the hospital and to M. D. Anderson where she would receive treatment. While she has been on this journey, Creek has teamed up with her. Student Council sponsored “Hats for Herrera” on October 16 which allowed students to donate one dollar to wear a hat and the proceeds went to Herrera. A total of $1,600 was contributed to Herrera on that one Friday. “Creek’s student body and teachers have been amazingly generous and caring towards Ms. Herrera,” senior Simone Nagle, the President of StuCo said. “I’m so proud of students for coming together like this because there has been a lack of unity in the past for school-wide efforts. Everyone’s col-

I’m going to go ahead and not believe them,” Ms. Herrera said. She is not surrendering to cancer or the worries of others, and now has a walker, which she has decorated with pink tennis balls, and a wheel chair. She said it is extraordinarily difficult for her to take care of her kids and their dog, but she is still fighting. “I have always been the underdog; I wasn’t ever expected to do anything in life. But now I just don’t believe I was created to lose,” Ms. Herrera said. She is determined to get better and Creek is behind her.

Photo courtesy of Lauren Jeffcoat, CCISD Office of Public Information


2

Opinion

n e m h s e r F “I love fall because it means Christmas is almost here.” -Jordan Asberry “My favorite part of fall is spending time with family on Thanksgiving.” -Caitlin Stout “I love the smell of the breeze.”

Seniors

-Katelynn Barlow

“I love Halloween. It’s the one day of the year that you get to dress up as your favorite fictional character and look as silly as possible and not get made fun of.” -Melyssa Knuth “I love the shift of everyone’s mood when the weather changes.” -Rachel Janca

“The weather. It’s not [too] hot or humid so not a lot of bad hair days. It’s the perfect weather for a walk with just a light sweater or something.” -Jessica Montemeyer “Running and exercising in the fall.”

-Chris Trujillo

“I like fall because it’s full of fun holidays. Also I like it because of the fall play and the first choir concert.” -Rachel Rodriguez “It finally starts to get cool outside.”

-Melanie Moore

“It’s a very simple season. No hurricanes. No major problems. Just a perfect breeze until the chilling excitement of winter.” -Stephen Flores

Sophomores “I get to see my family in Oklahoma.”

W hat do you love most a bout fa ll?

-Breanna Ziesemer

“I like fall because it’s not only cooler than summer but because of leaves changing color. Up in Tahoe, NV there would be all kinds of colors, red, orange, tint of gold. Great for outside.” -Joshua Stephenson

“I like the Thanksgiving break from school, where I grew up in [Connecticut] I loved the color of the vast woods as the leaves changed color and jumping into leaf piles.” -Zane Montana “The clothes are [more cute,] such as boots, sweaters, scarves, and hats.” -Blaire Moreland

“Because it’s football season and I love going to the games! And I love to huddle up in my snuggie outside.” - Kristi Leonard

Clear Creek High School

“I love fall because Thanksgiving is in the fall and I love to eat!” -Devin Jackson

2009-2010 HiLife Staff

“I don’t sweat during football.”

-Adnan Walker

Juniors

“I like the pretty colors and the cool crisp air. And Starbucks has Pumpkin Spice Frappuccinos that are yummy and make me happy!” -Lizzie Nifong

“I like the fact that heat goes away to leave place [for] cold weather. I also love it because it’s close to Christmas.” -Greg Sparavier ‘It’s like there’s electricity in the air, and everything feels more alive.” -Brook Griffis “The crisp smell outside on the first day of fall.” -Rachel Johnson “I like to go outside, rake leaves, and jump off my house into them.” -Chris Kinsey “The weather is great and I can wear sweaters.” -Lauren Flottrop “Halloween, because you get free candy and dress up.” -Chelsea Woodbeck

Principal: Scott Bockart Advisor: Wynette Jameson Executive Editor: Jan O’Neil Editor-in-Chief: Allie Hinga Managing Editor: Chelsea Huebner News Editor: Jordan Little Assistant News Editor: Amber Arnold Around Creek Editors: Christine Sulkis Tracey Griffith Features Editor: Shannon O’Neil Creek Speaks Editor: Jacob Mancini Teen Interest Editor: Kaitlyn Blake Sports Editor: Christen Valcoviak Centerspread Editors: Will Sheffield Ellen Gaudet Advertising Manager: Jordan Little Photo Editors: Kaitlyn Boryk Assistant Photo Editor: Katlin Foote Photographers: Shauna Fererro-Donahue Emily Dismukes Tabitha Dirrim Mary Veedell Reporters: Jacob Arredondo Reanna Bain Kaitlin Casey Madison Doeckel Develin Polly Ashley Farmer Derek Gay Katherine Gughiocello Meghan Mistry Lyndsey Gordon Olivia Zinobile Kathy Chiang Email us at: Creekhilife@yahoo.com Visit us at: http://www.clearcreekhighschool.ihigh.com For ad rates call: (281) 284-1889 Fax: (281) 284-1705


3

Editorial Allie’s Abstractions

“More than tolerance: learning how to love”

Allie Hinga I have never quite been able to make myself believe in those stereotypes of what high school is like, with a clique on every hallway corner, in front of every locker, at every cafeteria table. Perhaps this is because I feel that Creek seems far less dictated by any particular social order than Hollywood would have me think. Perhaps it is because my idealism leads me to believe that people innately try to treat each other with at least some dignity. Either way, its hard for me to imagine that typical scene of the social outcast barred from a particular cafeteria table by a number of glowering faces as a reality. However, I know these things happen every day. As people, we have a tendency to label, to sort out the people in our individual universe into neat little boxes, letting some in and shutting others out. My fear, though, is that this human disease is much subtler than cafeteria cliques and hallway harassment. Ultimately, people are torn not by outright

abuse that cuts them down in an instant, but are slowly worn away by constant underlying prejudice. This judgment takes the form of that disapproving look shot at those we perceive to be different, that silent, barely concealed distaste we feel towards those who “annoy” us by the way they act, that grudge over some small forgotten argument that we refuse to forgive. It’s less of a matter of us rejecting others as much as it is one of simply refusing to really accept them. There are a number of campaigns that fight against judging and rejecting others, one of them being Mix It Up Day. These groups do an excellent job of encouraging diversity, but in the end these efforts require so much more than an organized event to break down the barriers they fight so valiantly against. These events may raise awareness about prejudice and hatred, but in the end it’s what we do with what we know that makes the difference. Chipping away social boundaries has to start when we decide for ourselves to step out and make a difference in our world every day by reaching out to others. This change requires more than most people realize. Often campaigns of this nature focus on tolerance for other people. While tolerance certainly encourages us to be fair to other people, it can sometimes be associated with the connotation of putting up with something irritating. Looking

at it like this, tolerance can only get us so far because in the end it still sees certain people as “the others” that we must learn to get along with, a refusal to reject others without ever really accepting them. Tolerance is good, but to really change people it needs to be taken a step further. More than just putting up with others who are different, we need to learn to embrace them, and dare I say it, love them. We must love them in the sense that we make the conscious decision to care about them for who they are as people and to look out for their best interests. This doesn’t mean we have to agree with people’s actions, but that we must accept them as they are and afford them that certain human dignity they deserve as people. It means that we have compassion for people as they are and reach out to befriend them, and truly befriend them, not just put on a face for show so we can impress others and feel good about ourselves. This acceptance needs to go beyond the typically attacked boundaries of race, clique, religion, or social status and extend to more seemingly more mundane qualities such as the way we speak, our off-beat sense of humor, and those unusual personality quirks that we all possess. It needs to surpass the trivial grudges we hold against each other over minor arguments and differences we are too proud to forgive. We need

to learn to see beyond those little things about people that might turn us away and learn to care for who they are as people. Bridging the division we have created between others and ourselves will require much work on our part. It demands that we be selfless, that we stop depending so heavily on the things and people we are comfortable with. We must be willing to go out of our way for others. We have to set aside personal preferences and learn to get along with each other not just as an act of will, but as an act of heart. The revolution has to start with us. People can make great speeches and film gut-wrenching movies and write moving editorials in their high school papers, but in the end we all have to be the ones who stop talking about how we should treat each other and finally take action to change it. In the same way that any structure has to be built from the bottom up, this radical change in viewpoint can only be possible if it starts with individuals who make the conscious choice to lay a foundation of reaching out to others as they are and not as we suppose they should be. It’s a difficult task that may go against every grain of our human nature, but in the end it’s something we have to do, or else we run the risk of remaining divided forever. Photo by Katlin Foote

Guest Editorial: Tracey Griffith “Time to forget the stress and live your life”

Tracey Griffith So far, high school has been the ultimate source of stress and drama in my life. But when I look back at my high school experience ten years from now, I want to remember the good times, the laughter, and people that I care about. This doesn’t include the sleepless nights spent finishing projects, the fights with friends, and the days spent worrying about my grades. So far, my junior year in high school has not been very pleasant. Between my two AP classes, band, and newspaper, I have hardly any free time. Every day I wake up, get ready, go to school, go to marching band practice, do my homework, and then get to bed after midnight. The lack of free time, and copious amounts of homework have left me stressed and not in the best mood. Because of this, there has been a strain in the relationships with my friends and family.

Recently, I realized that I was letting all of this stress rule my life. I was never in a good mood, and at the end of the day, all I could remember about school was a blur of being overwhelmed and feeling unhappy. I was getting my hair cut one night, and I explained this to the hairdresser during some small talk. She looked at me and said, “You’re making me worry about how much you worry. Just relax. Nothing that is going on now is going to matter in a couple of years. Just enjoy being young while you can.” It was about a week later that I took these seemingly inconsequential words to heart. I realized that I didn’t want to feel stressed anymore. I can only do the best I can so I shouldn’t worry about the things I can’t change. I just have to take the challenges as they come, and not worry about them in advance. My energy should be spent on having a good time and enjoying myself, even if it is just a normal day at school. I think that everyone should live in the moment. The past can’t be undone and the future can’t be predicted. So what is the sense in worrying about them? We should accept things that we can’t change, like past events, and that acceptance will lead to the relief of stress and happiness. Another thing that could help me to live life and forget stress is to change my

outlook and attitude towards things I do. I should reverse my habit of always expecting the worst and having a negative outlook to appreciating what I have and having a positive outlook. Instead of focusing on the negatives in my life, like lack of sleep and homework, I should be thankful for every positive thing that happens and every opportunity I have. I should remember that there is always someone dealing with worse circumstances than my own. Instead of getting caught up in the senseless chaos of life, I should focus more on the small, enjoyable parts. This could be just noticing my surroundings, like a rainbow after a storm or the perfect sunset. This could also include noticing the small acts of kindness as simple as someone opening a door for another person, that happen throughout every day. I have found that it is usually these small things that keep reality in check. It is also small things that can make my day. It makes me realize that there are more important things in life. I think all people need a designated time for rest, or to spend time with friends and family. When I am with my friends, I almost immediately relax. I forget about the hardships of life and just let myself have fun. Taking a break from life for a while helps me to relax. After relaxing, I usually find I am able to face the problems of life

more rationally and with new concentration. When it comes to the senseless high school drama like arguments and fights among friends that I’m pretty sure everyone has experienced at some time, I should just forget about it and look forward. Most of the time the cause of the conflict isn’t even that important. A couple of years from now, will it really matter? If the answer is no, why waste my time worrying about it or dwelling on it? I should also try to avoid causing this drama. The source is usually gossip and my tendency to look for the faults in others. Every person has faults and every person has bad days. Instead of looking for faults, I should look for the positive qualities of someone’s personality. This will create friends instead of enemies. Friendships are very important to my happiness. I need someone that I can trust. It gives me a sense of security that also helps to relieve my stress. High school can easily lead to a life ruled by stress. I should stop worrying about the future and live in the moment. Changing my attitude to a positive one and looking for the best parts of life and not dwelling on the bad parts is important for a memorable and stress free life. Photo by Tabitha Dirrim


4

N ews New biotechnology council forms in CCISD Amber Arnold

CCISD is well known for the quality and depth of its career and technical education programs. The District is now preparing to add a Biotechnology Program to the list of coursed preparing students for post secondary opportunities. CCISD also has a Media Technology, Culinary Arts, and Automotive Technology program. “I think that the new program is a great idea because it is good for the students to learn more about what they are interested in doing. For example, if someone wanted to be in a field with medicine, they could get practice with it to make sure that’s what they want to do,” Mrs. Brownson, a PAP Biology teacher at Creek, said. Members of the new biotechnology council want to help students with post secondary opportunities. This program is for students who are interested in going into the field of biology and technology. The new Biotechnology Program

and Laboratory will be located on the biology, chemistry, and math for the Education Village High School campus students of Clear Creek,” Ms.Reddick said. Dr. Bryan Olin from Cyberonics opening in fall 2010. “We choose to be on the council because is interested in developing and motivating we believe in supporting programs that math and science students to become future innovators and contributors to advancing promote scientific literacy m e d i c a l and science education t e c h n o l o g y. amongst students. One His role as a of the main goals of our community program is to increase liaison helps the number students who facilitate enter into biotechnology interactions programs and careers,” between the Heather Reddick, who highly skilled works for MD Anderson engineers Cancer Center, said. employed at “I think The Cyberonics Education Village is a unique setting that has CCISD is planning a biotechnology program. and other companies the potential to make a Photo by Will Sheffield and students at CCISD. He is also a large impact on the success of their students. It was apparent that the administrators parent of a CCISD student, and he feels it believed in building an environment that offers him an opportunity to help shape the enhanced problem solving, safety, applied math and science curricula in the district.

Obama’s first year Jordan Little

of his or her sexual identity or gender On October 9, 2009, less than identity. On October 22, Obama signed a year after his inauguration, President the Veterans Health Care Budget Reform Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize. and Transparency Act of 2009, which While some may be skeptical whether or not according to PolitiFact.com, “will provide the Norwegian Nobel Committee chose the more timely and predictable funding most qualifying candidate, the Committee to the VA (Veterans Administration) by stands firm in its choice. In a press release putting its budget on a 2-year cycle.” found at nobelprize.org, the Committee Some of Obama’s promises wrote that President Obama was chosen are labeled as “in the works” on the site, “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen including such promises as closing the international diplomacy and cooperation Guantanamo Bay prison, ending the use between peoples.” The Committee also of torture, begin removing combat bridges values Obama’s “vision of and work from Iraq, securing the borders, and creating for a world without nuclear weapons”. a National Health Insurance change. The Norwegian Nobel Committee Politifact.com also lists what promises has been on a search for the past 108 years have been broken, which include negotiate for a political candidate such as Obama, health care reform in public “the world’s leading spokesman” who sessions televised on C-SPAN, leads the world “on the basis of values and create a $3,000 tax credit for attitudes that are shared by the majority of companies that add jobs, and the world’s population.” The Committee the proposal to allow five writes that few people have “captured days of public comment the world’s attention and given its before signing bills. people hope for a better future” CNN also as President Obama has. released a progress Students at Creek report entitled “The have their own opinions 44th President: The about whether or not First Year” on its President Obama should website that provides have been awarded. more information “I think what President Obama has almost completed his about that it’s a big P r e s i d ent first year in office. step that Obama Obama has Photo courtesy of MCTCampus became President accomplished but I don’t think his current actions in his first year. He has passed a $ 787 billion have given him the right to achieve such economic stimulus plan, revealed measures an award that many others deserve,” to assist banks and homeowners and small Shannon Hill, a senior at Creek said. businesses in trouble, and has announced It may be hard to recall every that the prison at Guantanamo Bay will detail of President Obama’s year spent be closed by 2010. President Obama has in office, let alone all that has happened also increased the number of U.S. troops in in the past year since the President’s Afghanistan and has announced a plan to inauguration, but CNN has created a withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq. CNN states helpful link on its website that is specific that Obama has “reversed many Bush-era to President Obama. The link, at http:// initiatives” including a policy that limited www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2009/44. federal tax dollars for embryonic stem cell president/the.first.year/ provides more research as well as detention policies and information about his transition to power, harsh interrogation. He has also proposed inauguration, first 100 days, the state of a 2010 budget for funds for key energy the nation, and his first year as President. and education and health care programs. PolitiFact.com is a website As time progresses, more that provides more facts about Obama’s information will be made known to the public presidency, including a list of promises about President Obama’s accomplishments. that President Obama has kept. Recently, For more information about what Obama Obama has signed the Matthew Shepard has done in his first year of office, visit: Act, which is a hate crime act that makes http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2009/44. it illegal to assault any individual because p r e s i d e n t / t h e . f i r s t . y e a r / .

“As a Ph.D. in statistics with experience in collaborating with scientists and teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels, I am very interested in working personally with classes as they learn how to best design studies for the projects and then try to make sense of the data after completing the studies,” Mr. Olin said. “ I am very impressed with the breadth of the curricula and the commitment that CCISD is making to biotech. This is a very underserved area that is going to play an [an important role in an] aging population or helping identify innovative solutions for agriculture. By putting this program into place, CCISD will provide interested students an early headstart into exploring biotech and becoming acquainted with the science and technology required to succeed,” Mr. Olin said. With this new program students will learn about what they want to do and deciding if their career is right for them.

National merit scholar Madison Doeckel

This year Clear Creek Independent School District has 25 students at three high schools desgnated as semifinalists in the 2010 National Merit Scholarship Program. These students have a chance to win 8,200 National Merit Scholarships that are worth more than $36 million. There are many academic requirements to becoming a National Merit Scholars. The students must maintain a high academic ranking, be recommended by the principal, and have an SAT score that confirms their performance on the PSAT qualifying test they took during their junior year. After completing these tasks the finalist or semifinalist must submit an accurate scholarship application. “The semifinalist and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application, which includes the student’s essay and information about the semifinalist’s participation and leadership in school and community activities,” Janice Scott, Public Information Assistant Director, said. Once the applicants have submitted their application, it is sent to the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. The National Merit Scholarship Corporation was established in 1955. Since that time, NMSC has provided 335,000 scholarships worth more than $1.3 billion and has recognized over 3 million students. The National Merit Scholarship Corporation is an independent non-profit organization. The goals of NMSC consist of finding and honoring talented students’ in the United States, stimulating increased support for students’ education, and providing an effective scholarship program.

About 55,000 participants receive recognition from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation annually. There are more than 160,000 students who enter the program and only 4,700 of them are honored. This includes not only high school students that go to a high school but home-schooled students as well. As long as the student takes the qualifying test at an approved location they can be recognized by the NMSC. If the student is a sophomore, and plans to take 4 years of high school, they must re take the PSAT their junior year to qualify. Once the student has taken the PSAT and has qualified to be a semifinalist, he or she is sent an application through the high school. The semifinalists are the highest-scoring students of all the students who took the PSAT. If the semifinalist has met the criteria to proceed in the program, he or she is named a finalist. The finalists will receive a letter in the mail telling them they have qualified. Out of the finalists, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation chooses Achievement Scholarship winners. They are chosen based on the finalist’s skills, abilities, and accomplishments. About 800 finalists are notified by the NMSC that they have been selected to receive this scholarship. Finalists have a chance to win two scholarships,The NationalAchievement $2500 Scholarships and Corporatesponsored Achievement Scholarships. Creek’s semifinalist this year is senior Mie Millard. She is currently working her way through the process that may help make college more affordable for her.


News

5

CCISD able to recover from widespread virus Allie Hinga

CCISD is finally returning to normal after the Akbot!a virus forced teachers across the district to shut down their computers for nearly two weeks. Personnel across the district worked countless hours to get CCISD computers back up and running so that both teachers and students would be able to continue their work . On Monday, September 28 at 1:00 pm, the CCISD help desk received its first call regarding a particular computer error. By 2:00 pm, when the district had received multiple calls on that same issue, personnel realized that this was a district-wide issue and began to take action to stop the spread of what would later be identified as the Akbot!a virus. The infection was a variant of a bot virus created by New Zealand resident Owen Wilson. In November of 2007, 18 year-old Wilson was arrested concerning his use of a botnet virus and was accused of involvement in a gang that infected 1.3 million computers worldwide, according to The Tech Herald. Normally, the virus has the potential to steal information from infected computers, but CCISD security systems prevented it from doing so. The virus can also cause errors in the Microsoft Office Suite. The particular virus found in CCISD computers travels via email attachments, infected websites, and peerto-peer chats. Once the virus infected computers, it affected other units across campuses by calling them up using district network communications. “That’s how it spread so fast,” Dr. Chad Stevens, CCISD Chief Technology Officer, said. Once CCISD technology workers realized how the virus was communicating

with other computers, they decided to shut off district network services to slow the spread of Akbot!a and ordered teachers across the district to shut their computers down. CCISD currently owns about 20,000 computers, but since the problem was isolated to teacher computers, only about 5,000 needed to be shut down. At this point, district technology employees began working with McAfee, which provides CCISD with its virus protection software, to work out a solution to clean the virus from CCISD computers. Over the course of the next few days the c o m p a n y worked out m u l t i p l e solutions, but the virus continued to change, making it difficult to create a program that would destroy the virus. By that Friday,

80 people to come in Saturday morning to clean up computers across the district. By that time technology workers needed to have a workable solution to the virus. Some employees worked until 3:00 am that Saturday creating the program, which was eventually named Thor, after the middle name of the virus’ creator. ‘We basically wrote our own program to do it,” Stevens said. Employees spent that weekend making the cleanup process faster and better, disinfecting about 1,000 computers and working all night until that Sunday to make the program faster and better. Some people spent as much as 30-35 hours over the course of the weekend working on correcting the problem. Technology employees helped make the program user friendly so that principals could train teachers to run the program, and by that next We d n e s d a y, 99 percent of the computers h a d About 5,000 computers were affected by been fixed. the Akbot!a virus. “That was a Photo by Shauna Fererro-Donahue pretty monumental district employees decided to task,” Stevens said. create that program themselves. CCISD teachers who were affected CCISD sent out a call to all of its by the virus were unable to access their major partners and procured a team of computers and had to find ways to continue

class work as well as enter grades, since the six-week eligibility check was scheduled to occur as the district worked to clean up the virus. Teachers and administrators across the district used student computers and laptops, which were protected by a deep freeze function that restores the unit to its original state when it is shut down. Monday through Wednesday the week after the virus infected CCISD, teams of teachers were trained to run the program designed to destroy the virus and stayed after school to assist with the effort. “The teachers really were troopers and did what they could to help,” Stevens said. Though the virus had been eliminated from almost all of the computers in the district, CCISD personnel still faced the ongoing task of restoring rights to individual computers that had to be taken away to be protected from the virus. Currently, the district is working to get additional tools to ensure that CCISD computers will be protected should a virus try to invade the system again. The district will soon be renewing its antivirus software and will be evaluating many different products to try to get one that will allow both teachers and students to learn in an environment that ensures that district technology remains safe. With CCISD technology almost back to normal, the district is catching up on any setbacks caused by the loss of computer access and working to ensure that this doesn’t happen again. In the meantime, Dr. Stevens is grateful for all of the work put in by members of the technology department as well as teachers across the district. “It says a lot about our staff and it says a lot about our teachers,” he said.

Swine flu vaccines are becoming available Amber Arnold

and is similar to the seasonal flu shot. Starting on October 28, 2009 there The vaccine has very low side affects. are enough H1N1, or otherwise known as swine flu, vaccines in the Houston area and there are fewer restrictions on who can get it. The large shipments of the vaccines were brought in by the thousands to the Houston health department. According to Flu.gov H1N1 is a new influenza virus causing illness in people. The new virus was first detected in the United States in April 2009. The virus is spread from person to person in the same way that regular seasonal influenza viruses spread. The vaccine is new to the city and is a way to prevent the swine flue from spreading. “ I think the new vaccine is a great idea,” school nurse Tracee Fossier said. The city of Houston received more than 24,000 doses of the H1N1 vaccine.  The vaccines were given out to 20 different health clinics around town. When people arrive at a clinic, they will check in and receive a number and wait for their number to be called.   Once their number is called, they will receive their vaccine. The doses are available on Sara Hasten tries to avoid getting H1N1. a first-comes-first-serve basis, but Photo by Katlin Foote 6,400 doses of injectable vaccine are reserved for pregnant women and The bulk of current H1N1 those younger than 18 with medical shipments have been the nasal spray form conditions. The vaccine is FDA approved of the vaccine, which can be used by

healthy, non-pregnant people between the ages of 2 and 49. People who are not in one of those categories should not expect to be vaccinated until the vaccine becomes widely available.   Once the people are most at risk receive the vaccine, it is likely there will be enough vaccine available for everyone else. The state of Texas is expected to receive 15 million doses by mid January.   The federal government has provided the vaccine and associated supplies, but some providers are charging to administer the vaccine. The H1N1 vaccine is available at no cost for those who do not have access to a primary care provider or those with a provider that is not offering the vaccine.  The Galveston County Health District has over 5,000 doses of H1N1 vaccine available for Galveston County residents at high risk for getting the illness. It started giving out the injectable H1N1 vaccine on October

30 and is going to keep giving it out until it is gone. A clinic is set up at Mall of the Mainland in Texas City. For more information about Galveston County Health District immunization activities and vaccine supply call 409-938-7221. Accoring to the centers for disease control and prevention, flu activity is higher than normal for this time of the year and almost all of it is due to H1N1. If someone has difficulty breathing, and is unable to take fluids, or starts to be less responsive, or after appearing to recover from the influenza develops a fever and starts coughing again, then he or she should go see a doctor. “If students are feeling sick ,then they need to stay home for at least 24 hours after they are feeling better. Students today get stressed out really easily with all of the harder classes they are taking, so it makes them more likely to get sick,”school nurse Pam Allford said.


6

Features

This year’s “Ballunar Festival” Shannon O’Neil

In 1993, Steve Lombardi, contacted RE/MAX and NASA Space Center to help sponsor his idea for a festival devoted to teach the community about space and the technology of flight. The idea originated ten years ago with Lombardi. A year later the Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce decided to help and brought the skydivers and the other air demonstrations into the festival program. RE/MAX’s annual Ballunar Liftoff Festival was on October 23 through October 25. The Ballunar Liftoff Festival is a chance for business and members of the Houston area to launch their own hot air balloons off of the NASA property. On October 24 and 25, the sky was filled with numerous hot air balloons decorated with designs ranging from checkers to stripes that were all participating in the balloon competition. Not only did NASA provide a launching and landing spot but it also hosted a Johnson Space Center open house. Anyone who purchased a ticket to the festival on that Saturday received free access into the many buildings that make up the Johnson Space Center Houston. When the sun went down on October 23 and the 24, Curves and AllState launched their balloons that glowed in the night sky, and on October 25, there was another balloon competition. The educational part of the festival provided teacher Jeanne Kregel with an opportunity to teach about the flight. “You can change your direction

by changing [your] altitude and I think that’s very fascinating, relying on our elements,” Kregel said. Hot air balloons were not the only events featured in the sky. The festival provides many opportunities for the young and old to have a good time. Clear Creek High School’s National Honor Society volunteered at the festival helping direct traffic and collecting money for admission. Senior grader Nick Capuzzi, who is a member of the National Honor Society, said that about thirty students showed up to volunteer at the festival in different four-hour shifts. His favorite thing about the festival was being able to see the balloon’s glow at night. “I was almost run over twelve times, but seeing the balloons light up in the night made it all worth it,” Capuzzi said. The Ballunar Festival provided the community an opportunity to learn about space and flight, and also an opportunity to visit buildings at Johnson Space Center

Amber Arnold

Hot air balloons fill up for the competition. Photo by Mary Veedell

Debate team heading for success

to look at the literary side of what we do, Ashely Farmer With the goal of "making national which would incorporate acting and interpretation,” Mr. Garza said. champions out of each and every one" of This statement his students, the new debate coach, Luis rings true in light of Garza Jr. is working hard to ensure their the recent success success. He encourages his debaters of the CCHS deto reach out of their comfort zones bate team students and inspires them to use their talin individual events. ents to the fullest. Many team memThe Speech and Debers are getting involved in events bate tournament at that they were previously unaware Bellaire High School of and learning new things. on October 23 and 24 “Before this year proved successful I hadn't felt the need for the CCHS to go to tournaments debate team. and expand my ho Many rizons. However, students with Mr. Garza made imI’m realizing my portant potential and doing crazy things I never thought I'd do in public. Like singing for progress an introduction in their events and ador performing vanced to semifinals. poetry in front Freshof others. man Toni Coach push- Josh Sills is a member of the CCHS debate Nickel es us and I team. and juthank him!” Photo by Will Sheffield n i o r Jessica Studer, a sophomore and second year debater said. Stephanie Reyna advanced in Impromptu. Mr. Garza says he makes his Toni also advanced in Novice Poetry, along team reach out into the realm of speech with Sophomore Jessica Studer who went to and debate and incorporate many events. semi-finals in both Novice Poetry and Prose. He claims to put an emphasis on grow- Sophomore Sarath Thayil advanced in Exing and developing in the events the team temporaneous speaking, and senior Kasey has been previously involved in, but Utecht advanced in Dramatic Interpretation. also expanding and including new ideas. Students who pushed all the way into fi "I believe there is more to debate nals include Jessica Studer, who added to than just arguing. That’s why we call it her list of accomplishments by winning speech and debate; because we also have third place in Novice impromptu speaking,

Student deemed worthy of hero title

Ashley Farmer won fifth place in Dramatic Interpretation, and Daniel Surman won third place in Impromptu speaking and seventh place in Foreign Extemporaneous speaking. Daniel Surman walked away from the tournament with five out of the total ten points needed to advance to State. Although debate is a very serious event for those who participate in it, the CCHS debate team said it does not hesitate to kick back and have a little fun. Between events, debate tournaments are always full of bonding opportunities and memories just waiting to be made. The previous members of the team all bring diverse characters and personalities that they believe truly make it a unique family. These members are also very welcoming and encourage newcomers to get involved in as many ways as possible. Mr. Garza is proud of the intelligent, hardworking students on his team and feels they show great potential. He claims he would “not like to be any other place than here” and he believes that this team can become “national championship caliber.”

Mrs. Stephanie Forbes, a Drama teacher at Clear Creek High School, has a 10-year-old autistic son who recently became a hero for saving his art teacher’s life. His school and his Cub Scout pack are honoring him for his great deed. On October 13, 2009 at 10 am, at Hyde Elementary School, Mrs. Sheri Lowe was with Kyle Forbes in her art room. Lowe was eating an apple and began to choke. When Forbes noticed that Lowe was choking, he sprang right into action and preformed the Heimlich maneuver. Forbes learned the Heimlich maneuver last year in Cub Scouts and his father reinforced the teaching. Forbes was very excited that it was his first time to save someone’s life in an accident. Forbes has had autism ever since he was born, but his parents didn’t notice until he was about two years old when he was unable to pronounce words correctly. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders, Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a range of complex neurodevelopment disorders, characterized by social impairments, communication difficulties, and restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior. Also according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, experts estimate that three to six children out of every 1,000 will have ASD. Males are four times more likely to have ASD than females. Children with ASD may fail to respond to their names and often avoid eye contact with other people. They have difficulty interpreting what are thinking or feeling because they can’t understand social cues, such as tone of voice or facial expressions, and don’t watch other people’s faces for clues about appropriate behavior. “ I am so happy for Kyle. He is an amazing, smart and funny person and he proves that people with autism can do amazing things,” Mrs. Forbes said. Kyle Forbes is also going to get a chance to go to Los Angeles to be on the Ellen Degeneres show. Kyle Forbes is proof that children with autism can do anything other children can do.


Diversions

7

Used with MCTCampus membership


8

A round Creek Creek groups offer volunteer opportunities Meghan Mistry

Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.” CCISD does not require students to have volunteer hours to graduate, as many other school districts in the nation do. Without that requirement, many students decide that volunteering is not important. Applying for college is one of the hardest tasks many high school kids take on each year. It is very important to colleges that students checked the “yes” box to volunteering on their application. When a student volunteers, it shows that he cares for his community, and that it means more to him than just what he sees everyday. If a school district requires volunteering, the colleges take the ‘yes’ box as no surprise. But if the district does not, the college can tell that that student is very dedicated. Many students try to find volunteer opportunities. These opportunities are spread all over and are not easily disguised. Clear Creek offers several ways to become involved in the community. Many clubs at school have community

a leadership role for the high service objectives. They gather school and society. They work students and focus on how to help the on helping the high school reach surrounding area. Other organizations, it’s full potential and benefiting such as PALS, require a certain the community. Stu-Co’s number of hours to stay a member. recently put on its annual Best Buddies and Habitat Halloween Costume Drive for Humanity service the greater in the hopes of providing good of the community. In costumes to kids who can’t Best Buddies, students are afford to buy them. The given the opportunity to organization creates many be a buddy with another drives and opportunities student at Creek. They eat throughout the year. lunch with each other, and “Students merely have hang out, and befriend to go to meetings and each other. In Habitat join the organizations,” for Humanity, students the Communications gather together to help SLC counselor, build houses for people in the area. Ms. Updegraff, said. These houses can help families Ms. Bidelspach, a that aren’t in a position to finance a biology teacher at Creek, has reconstruction of their own house. even organized her own animal Student Council and the food drive. She is collecting Volunteering Club are other ways to food to take to the shelter become involved. The volunteering as it experiences low club meets every Wednesday Timothy Pigg volunteers budgets and a hard in C106 to discuss new ways by recycling. to help out the community. Photo by Shauna Fererro- time during the current economy. Students Student Council takes on Donahue

who help make posters for the collection and help her to load and give the pet food to shelters can receive credit for the hours put in. Pre-organized volunteer work is not the only way to go. It looks even better on a resume if a student begins his/her own volunteering organization. Each community has a unique set of needs, such as clothing, hygiene, or food collections or new fundraising. A newly founded volunteering organization can help to meet these needs, and students who organize and arrange all aspects of the institute will have an even more appealing feature to their resume. Students can also work alone by reading to kids with illnesses at the hospital, reading, playing music, or helping out at retirement/nursing homes, and helping out at animal shelters. New organizations are not always needed, but individual activities are. “Volunteer work definitely makes college applications look more appealing to admission officers,” said Updegraff. Volunteering is always a plus, whether it is with an old organization, a newly formed one, or individually. Colleges find community service very appealing.

Leahey fights cancer Opportunity in FFA Reanna Bain

“It’s moving. I cried a little Sarah Leahey, a junior at bit. I like to see students giving Creek, not only battled cancer, but also back,” Ag Teacher Ms. Voges said. donated $5,000 to the American Cancer Buyers who wanted to help Society for Melanoma research. Leahey’s gesture contributed addMelanoma, the most serious ons to increase the amount of money kind of skin cancer, has been diagnosed made by the sale. In total, Leahey in 62,480 people a year according was able to donate $5,000 to the to the Skin Cancer Foundation. American Cancer Society. Her However, if caught early, this doctors at MD Anderson Cancer kind of cancer is nearly 100% Center assured her that the curable.  Leahey discovered at money would go to finding new age 12 that she was among this cures for skin cancer, education, population. Leahey had to get a and possibly even to create mole removed from her head, and new grants for up to $100,000. further testing concluded that it was Leahey is currently stage 3 Melanoma. Unfortunately raising a cow for FFA and is by this time, the cancer had spread to enjoying her high school life her lymph nodes, and she was forced as a cancer-free student. Upon to undergo chemotherapy. graduation, she plans to The struggle Sarah Leahey donates money attend A&M to pursue her childhood dream of against cancer was hard to fight skin cancer. for Leahey. Despite her Photo by Kaitlin Foote becoming a veterinarian. troubles, she wasn’t Leahey has willing to let the bad parts of life take been cancer-free for six months now and over the good. At the 2009 CCISD FFA says that knowing her new diagnosis Auction, Leahey marched her goat into gives her a feeling of joy that can’t even the arena with a banner that surprised be described. She plans to continue to give the audience. On it, she printed that back to the research that saved her life. 75% of the proceeds made by the sale “The fight is always of her goat would go to the American worth it,” Leahey said. Cancer Society for Melanoma research. The victory was sweet for “I got the idea from a friend. Leahey. Her contribution has served as an I had always wanted to figure out a way inspiration to the Houston area by showing to give back to what has been helping the community the power of a teen’s me to survive, and she suggested that charity. Instead of being bitter about her my grand champion goat could raise circumstance, she embraced her experience . money for the cause,” Leahey said.

Madison Doeckel

Some of the events FFA In FFA at Clear Creek students are participates in are livestock judging, floral given the chance to raise animals of their own design judging, landscaping judging, or to be on a team to compete in the LDEs, horticulture judging, and dairy food which stand for Leadership Development judging. The judges of these events evaluate Events. FFA was founded in 1928 in Kansas each class in each subject. This can also City. Thirty three young farmers met in give the students scholarship opportunities. Kansas City’s Baltimore Hotel and charted The students in Ms. Voges’ floral design a course for the future.FFA originally class make mums in the fall for the senior stood for Future Farmers of America cheerleaders and football player’s mothers Many students who are in FFA during homecoming, which is just a side will go on to pursue a job in the same field. project to the events they really work for. The FFA students are currently “It gives the kids hands on experiences and it makes them more employable,” practicing for the Leadership Development says Agriculture teacher Mr. Stokley. Events. They are learning important leadership skills and The FFA meeting new people class is students from different schools. who want to learn “I like how close responsibility. FFA we are to the other school takes a lot of work because we all do field because the students trips together,” says junior have to take care of Rachel Woodworth about living things. FFA her favorite part of FFA. is an organization FFA requires that prepares more work then most students for premier people know. FFA leadership, personal students raise animals growth and career in the Ag barn and are success. There required to go to the are about a half a barn to take care of million students in their animals whenever FFA today. These necessary. This includes students are engaged feeding the animal as in agricultural well as maintaining the activities that can animal’s hygiene. Most lead to over three FFA students end up hundred career Michaela Pinder cares for an FFA going to the barn twice o p p o r t u n i t i e s goat. The FFA Photo by Shauna Fererro-Donahue a day and several times on the weekend. program at Clear “It’s great,” says teacher Creek has the Veterinarian class, which allows students to go off campus and Ms. Voges about the FFA class. FFA the students the students in visit professional veterinarian clinics. If the student is thinking of becoming a the class to do a lot of community service. veterinarian or going to college to become The FFA students painted and decorated a veterinarian this is a good class to take. pumpkins and delivered them to a nursing Career Development Events are home. They also made meals for Ms. events that prepare students for agricultural Herrera, a Creek teacher who recently careers. Career Development Events discovered that she had a tumor on her make the classroom come alive for the spine. National FFA week in February is students and offers several opportunities the time that students at Clear Creek can for students to compete against each donate money to FFA to help their program. other at district, area, and national levels.


Ads

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12Trooper

School


C reek Speaks 13 Rocking for friendship The sky’s the limit now Reanna Bain

and in December they will go Christmas shopping at the Baybrook Mall. All of High school is academically and these excursions are usual for the group; socially frustrating for many students, however, this year a new fundraiser is but can be especially overwhelming for planned to benefit the local Best Buddy those with disabilities. The best way to programs. Created in part by Best Buddy overcome difficulties like this is to have a event coordinator Ryan Ward, a junior friend who can be counted on. That’s why at Creek, a concert staring local bands, Best Buddies was created—to establish a including Creek’s own Low Frequency, global volunteer will perform at m o v e m e n t the Clear Lake that creates Park. The concert, opportunities entitled “Rock for for one-to-one Friendship,” will be friendships, held on Saturday, i n t e g r a t e d November 14 from employment, 5:00 to 9:30pm. and leadership “We originally development called Kent Loftin, for people with the Best Buddies intellectual and The Best Buddies leave for a field trip. Director of d e v e l o p m e n t a l Photo by Shauna Fererro-Donahue Texas, to tell disabilities. him of our idea Creek adopted the program because for our school. He thought it was such a students are able to influence the good idea that he began calling other Texas special education department and in high schools and before we knew it, we had turn be inspired by the kids who don’t 6 schools represented,” Ryan Ward said. always get the respect that they deserve. Tickets will be sold prior Clear Creek’s Best Buddies to the concert at $5 for students and program meets regularly throughout each $10 for adults. All of the proceeds go month, setting aside time for students to directly to the Best Buddies program. interact with the entire special education Those in the special group as well as with their own buddy. education class love to have a The group plays games like Simon Says buddy to talk to and hang out with. and creates art projects like pumpkin “I like how we get to hang painting so that the buddies engage with out with them. We get to be their each other in a one-on-one interaction. friend and see how we impact them,” The program also has monthly senior Alyssa Schaefbauer said. field trips or events. In September the group For those wanting to get involved, went go-karting at Bay Area Raceway. In visit www.bestbuddies.org or attend “Rock November, Best Buddies went bowling, for Friendship” to support the program.

Meghan Mistry

Clear Lake performed the show Jesters, Clear Brook presented Repeat, Repeat, This marching season, the Repeat, and the Clear Springs show was Clear Creek Wildcat Band performed Cirque du Soleil. Often, marching bands use the show Out of the Shadows. The props to add a special effect to their show. band performed at UIL, two marching This year, Creek used 7 foot tall walls in festivals, and every football game. The the back that hid some marchers to give the band received a superior rating at UIL. illusion of “coming out of the shadows.” This year, on November 2, 2009 Clear Springs had white boxes at 6:30 pm, and a ramp at Clear Creek the back of the Independent field which the S c h o o l color guard ran District up and danced hosted a on. Clear Lake marching also used a extravaganza giant jack-infor all of the the-box that high schools popped up at in the school the beginning district to of their show. perform T h e their shows Chris Magnuson leads Creek’s trumpet section “ m a r c h i n g in Veteran’s Photo by Kaitlyn Boryk extravaganza” Memorial was first Stadium. All the middle school students scheduled for October 12, 2009, but was in the district were invited to attend the rescheduled due to inclement weather. event and watch the high school bands The original purpose for the marching perform. After all four high schools festival was to act as a “Pre UIL” event for performed their shows, the eighth graders the band. The district hired three judges came onto the field and played the songs to give each of the bands comments of “America the Beautiful” and “Land of where groups could improve. However, a Thousand Dances.” Dean Muths, the after the event was rescheduled, it served CCISD Director of Visual and Performing a purpose of showing the eighth graders Arts, directed these songs. Next, the what they will be doing next year if seventh graders came onto the football they decide to stay in the band program. field and a picture of all band students in “I feel that the marching the entire district was taken. About 1,850 extravaganza helped give the eighth graders students were on the football field at once. a sense of what marching band is like, Other high school bands in the minus the hot-after-school asphalt,” Daniel district performed their shows as well. Jenkins, a senior member of the band said.

Members of the marching band and the color guard spend many hours practicing their drill. Students rehearsed over five hours a day five days a week in the month of August, and practice for two hours every day after school. Drum majors this year for the band are Ryan Siller, Lauren Gaylor, and Christos Patelis, and the Color Guard Captain is Jalina Smith.

Habitat for Humanity is an organization in which students or community members can volunteer to help build a house for a family. Creek has a chapter in the organization, sponsored by Mr. John Lewallen, and although the chapter has built many houses, it has yet to build one funded entirely by Creek students. The Change for Change program is a fundraiser to help the chapter build a house with money entirely from the Clear Creek High School student body. “I got involved because it was a great cause. As a VPA leader we made shirts that sell for $10 to help raise money. Also, in advisory we collect loose change. All the money goes to Habitat for Humanity.” Jeanne Kregel, a chemistry teacher, said. The program was named after its original purpose, to collect actual change from people to help change the lives of others. Many advisories are still collecting loose pocket change to benefit the organization, but many other fundraisers will take place as well. To kick off the program a hot air balloon was set up on Creeks auxiliary football field. The balloon was meant to take off in the air, affirming the program’s slogan, “The Sky is the Limit.” However, due to dangerous wind speeds, the balloon did not take off from the ground. Instead the balloon pilot stood in the basket disconnected from the balloon and fired up the burners. Immediately after the kick-off, the Visual and Performing Arts Smaller Learning Center (SLC of VPA) began selling shirts. Each shirt is $10, with a picture of Creek and a hot air balloon coming off of

it, along with the motto, “The Sky is the Limit,” across the front. All the proceeds go to the Change for Change program. Along with the shirts, the Change for Change Program is hosting the Harlem Ambassadors for the school. The group is a basketball team of both genders who are college educated and maintain professional attitudes. On January 17, at 5:00 p.m., they will play a game against Creek teachers and Creek basketball team members. The performance will include routines and an actual game. Ticket sale profits will go toward Change for Change. “Tickets will go on sale soon,” Kregal said. When the program ends in the spring, the Habitat for Humanity club will begin to buy the needed materials to start building the house. The entire house will be funded directly from the Change for Change program and built by Creek students and faculty members. “I hope to see the program achieve its goal of building a house entirely from Clear Creek High School,” Kregel said. The Change for Change Program will not only benefit the school, but the community as a whole. The house will make Creek history, being the very first built entirely from Creek students, faculty, and money. The three main fundraisers of shirts, Harlem Ambassador basketball games, and actual dimes and nickels will fund the entire house along with any larger donations from individuals and families. All ‘Change’ is appreciated so that the Change for Change program can reach the sky and accomplish its goal.

District bands hold a marching extravaganza Kaitlyn Blake

This year’s song also highlighted three solists in the band. The band played at every football game in the stands and at half time to help boost the football team to victory. “My favorite part of marching band is the tuba dancing in the stands during the football games,” Garrett Hellinghausen, a junior at Creek said.


14 Teen

Interest

Glee is an inspiration An unusual horror film is the most entertaining part of the show. The songs that members of the Glee “Glee” is the latest hit among high Club sing differ from songs featured on school students because it is heartening other shows because these songs are actually to students who are not necessarily current songs that teens listen to. Shuester the “popular” students at school. Glee tries to get the kids excited about Glee club, shows that the popular students may not so he picks songs that are current and popular. necessarily be happy with their lives and Although the actors in “Glee” are may want something terrible lip singers, to change. the renditions that the The Glee cast members sing are Club show choir some of the best. The provides the songs from “Glee” students with a have topped the charts feeling of family. It on iTunes. In the first creates friends that four episodes alone, share a common there have been over interest – singing 1.1 million downloads. and dancing. The cast’s “Somebody The sponsor for Actors perform “Somebody to to Love” (originally the Glee Club, Will Love” by Queen. sung by the British group Schuester, acts as Photo courtesy of Fox Network “Queen”) made the top a father figure for 10 of most downloads. the students. When Some of the most popular songs the cast Quinn Fabray learns that she is pregnant, has sung are “Don’t Stop Believing,” she asks Shuester, rather than her own the mash-up of “Halo” and “Walking on parents, to take her to her first doctor’s Sunshine,” and “Keep Me Hangin’ On.” appointment. After Finn Hudson Beyond the songs, the show also tells learns that he is the father of Quinn’s how the relationships between different baby, he confides in Shuester as well. characters have progressed. The show The members of the Glee Club are all demonstrates how even teachers have considered “geeks” by their peers in the relationship problems in their lives. school. But the outcasts of the Glee Club all form together to help and encourage The show humanizes everyone the one another. They bond together because students interact with on a daily basis. they all have something in common – show The show proves that everyone has choir. The season is leading up to the show problems in their lives, and it is how choir competition to see if they can beat they deal with that problem that matters. Even though the show “Glee” is not the other schools that are expected to win. necessarily the most realistic show, it is The vicious cheerleading coach, Sue entertaining. “Glee” is a truly inspiring show Sylvester, is the most honest, intense, that proves that everyone has similarities, vain, egotistic character portrayed in the even the geeks and the cheerleaders. show. Her intense hatred for the Glee Club

Kaitlyn Blake

Emily Dismukes

Shot in one week on an $11,000 budget, Oren Peli’s Paranormal Activity has been surprisingly successful. While most horror movies these days are full of CGI, dead bodies and gallons of blood, this one is refreshingly simple. There are only four actors, one of whom doubles as a camera man for much of the film. The lines are mostly improvised, which emphasizes the chemistry between the stars and gives Paranormal Activity a certain realism that many other movies in the genre lack. In addition to directing, Peli wrote the screenplay. During filming, he simply gave the actors an idea of what would happen in the scene and had them ad-lib. The plot follows Katie (Katie Featherston) and Micah (Micah Sloat), a couple who is “engaged to be engaged” and has just moved in together. After numerous, nearly harmless incidents, such as flickering lights and footsteps on the stairs, Micah decides to buy a video camera to document what happens in their bedroom as they sleep. What results is a startling account of the couple’s fight against the demon that has been stalking Katie since her childhood. The biggest complaint about documentary style movies (such as The Blair Witch Project or Cloverfield) is that the lack of steadiness of the camera gives viewers headaches. Although every bit of this movie is seen through Micah’s camera, complaints of headaches are not as common. The camera spends much of its time on a tripod, focused on the same static shot: Micah and Katie sleeping on the right and their open door, with a view of the hallway, on the left. It is through this door that most of the action happens. With a lack of gore or serial killers,

Paranormal Activity utilizes pure suspense as its main scare tactic. Each time Micah and Katie get ready for bed, everyone in the theater begins to hold his or her breath, waiting to see what the demon will do that night. A clock in the corner fast-forwards and then stops when something is about to happen. At first, the occurrences aren’t particularly scary, but they progress as the movie comes to a close. It doesn’t help that Micah continues to taunt the entity, even after Katie’s insistence that he is making things worse. This is not a horror movie in the normal sense of the phrase. There is no creepy stalker or mutated murderer. The most you see of Katie’s attacker is its footprints, formed from baby powder sprinkled across the floor. This gives the viewer no image to dwell over, but rather an idea. Instead of going to bed picturing a face, one tries to fall asleep while hoping that his or her blankets won’t be ripped off the bed inexplicably. Peli’s psychological approach to horror makes his movie one that lasts in the viewers’ minds. Paranormal Activity is definitely a movie that is better in theaters. Being among a crowd heightens the experience of the suspense. Having a friend to grab onto when something crashes or a door slams is essential. This is one to see with a boyfriend or girlfriend. Though there are some slow parts (many of the daytime scenes don’t contain much action), those parts are necessary to let the audience calm down a little. This film has an intriguing, exciting premise and convincing tension. It’s a must see for horror lovers, as well as those just looking for a little scare.

Where the Wild Things Are hits the box office Emily Dismukes

9 sentences, gave Dave Eggers, the With a tagline of “There’s one in screenwriter of the movie, little to work all of us,” Spike Jonze’s film adaption of with. Eggers managed to expand the story to Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things a movie spanning a little over an hour and a Are invites people of all ages to embrace half, but the question is whether or not he was the child successful in inside of keeping the them. It o r i g i n a l ’s tells the theme and simple feeling. y e t Although touching at times story of (particularly a boy near the named end) the M a x , film recalls w h o the simple dons a beauty of the wolf suit book, much and runs of the movie away to is drawn a world out and of “wild Monsters roam the forests in Warner Bros. Where confusing. t h i n g s ” the Wild Things Are. Many of the to escape Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures scenes seem a life to have no of being seemingly ignored purpose in moving the plot along. It’s by his older sister and mother. obvious that Eggers and Jonez were trying While Where the Wild Things to appeal to both adults and children, Are is a classic children’s book, one may but they don’t quite make it. Instead, the doubt whether or not Jonez’s film was movie is almost too boring for the younger even made for an audience under the age set, and the only thing that interests of eight. With a PG rating, there’s nothing adults at many times is the scenery. present in the movie that would keep Shot with handheld cameras in children from viewing it, but that doesn’t the Australian desert and set to an indiemean it’s recommended for them, either. rock soundtrack, Where the Wild Things Sendak’s original story, at only Are is more like an independent film than

a mainstream one. This doesn’t take away from it, though. It actually lends a nostalgic sort of romance to the movie that’s completely appropriate considering that many who will see this movie are teenagers who remember the story from childhood. The whole thing is perfectly reminiscent of the original illustrations, from Max’s wolf suit to the monsters and the forests they run through. It’s also refreshingly real, with the use of computer animation limited to the monsters’ expressions. Inside each of the wild things is a real human actor. And of course, a great deal of credit must be given to the young boy who stars as the self-proclaimed king of the wild things, Max Records. As the only human character throughout much of the movie, Records does a great job of interacting with what are essentially giant puppets. Throw in the fact that during filming, those puppets couldn’t make any facial expressions

and one realizes just how much work Records had to do and how well he did it. Records’ portrayal of a lonely and easily hurt little boy is realistic and will have many remembering not only the happy, carefree times of childhood but also how it felt to be such a small person in a world of things much more powerful than them. Despite its faults, Where the Wild Things Are has been continually praised by critics and viewers alike. Though they don’t look like creatures of this world, each of the seven monsters that Max rules over has a believable and endearing personality. It’s not particularly deep (the parallels between the fantasy world and Max’s real life are pretty obvious), but it’s suitably entertaining for a date or a family with no small children to see. If nothing else, the amazing sets and costumes will keep viewers enthralled.


Teen Interest

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Loud music can cause hearing loss in teens Tracey Griffith          A popular technology among teenagers is the iPod and other mp3 devices. Teenagers are often seen with ear buds in place listening to music at high volumes. According to The Boston Herald, there are currently 22 million people in the United States who own an iPod, not counting other brands of mp3 players. Some scientists say that this number is related to the number of people in the United States with hearing loss, 28 million people, half of whom are younger than the age of sixty-five. The cause behind the hearing loss for one-third of the 28 million is exposure to loud noise.            According to The Daily Barometer, Because the earphones, or ear buds, that are now popular for listening to music are actually inside of the ear, the noise is more likely to damage the cells of the hairs of the inner ear which are an important component of hearing. If these hairs are damaged, the impairment will be permanent because no treatment is possible.             According to Betanews, the United States Government Occupational Safety and Health Administration led an experiment that showed that noise at the

level of 80 decibels can “Hearing damage can accumulate. Even at cause damage to ears reasonable levels, damage can occur after only eight after continuous listening.” hours. Sound The maximum volume of at 80 an iPod is 105 decibels, decibels but the device can only is about be listened to at ninety the same percent of the maximum volume volume without risking as an damage to ear cells. alarm Sound at 100 clock, decibels can according cause damage the USA to the Today Tech inner Products. The e a r sound level after of a typical one to conversation t w o is said to be 60 hours. decibels, and a louder A safer sound, like that volume would of a live musical Teens who listen to music loudly may havebe sixty percent concert is 120 or hearing problems later in life. because a person more decibels. Photo courtesy of Graphics Factory could listen safely for USA Today also stated that Christine Albertus, an audiologist, said,

hours without risking damage to their ear. Hearing specialists advise those who expose themselves to loud

noises frequently to have their hearing examined. Some of the typical signs of damage to hearing include asking people to repeat themselves frequently during conversation, an increasing in the volume on the television, and ringing in the ears. Other signs of hearing damage include difficulty hearing in crowded places with a large amount of background noise or having trouble listening to more than one sound at once.   To prevent hearing loss, a person should prevent extraneous background noise when listening to devices like iPods, because they are more likely to increase the volume to an unsafe level. Another way to prevent hearing loss is to buy ear buds that fit more tightly in your ear as it will decrease the amount of background noise. Special soundisolating earphones can also be purchased to help eliminate background noise. Teenagers should be aware that their habit of listening to music at high levels can cause permanent damage to their hearing and remember that noises above 80 decibels are more likely to cause hearing damage.

A read that hits home Pagan film a success Ashley Farmer

Meghan Mistry

problem - the owner thereof is often During the late 1700s, when the action most incompetent to find the solution to of the Scarlet Pimpernel takes place, The this puzzle,” and creates sympathy for French Revolution is no longer a simple the character’s confusion and solitude.  revolt of the peasants. It has turned into a   Marguerite Blakeney and Sir Percy massacre of aristocrats, some guilty, but Blakeney have weaknesses that many many innocent. As the “cursed” aristocratic readers of the Scarlet Pimpernel can relate families are facing guillotine, justice is no to, making it easy to become emotionally longer a concern. The hero of the book, The attached to characters. Percy is seen as Scarlet Pimpernel himself, shines ardently dim-witted and dull, but beneath this false through these tragedies, representing mask he is capable of burning passions and general heroism and hope for the innocent. complex ideas. Marguerite is respected for This man breaks the social barriers her strong and majestic appearance and is inhibiting the English from involving seen as proud and level-headed, but behind themselves in the affairs of the French and her false mask of flawlessness, she is misled sneaks noblemen out of France under the by her impulses and hindered by her pride. very noses of those sentencing them to   Consistent with her character death. The Scarlet Pimpernel is the essence throughout the book, her passion lands of morality and honor, making him the her in a situation where she must choose inexplicable desire of every woman’s heart.  between condemning the fate of her beloved   From the first page of the book, the brother and father figure, Armand, and author, Baroness Orczy Emmuska, presents condemning the fate of the valiant Scarlet a satirical tone, praising the peasants for Pimpernel. Unable to squelch her pride their rise against the aristocrats who had and discuss her dilemma with her husband, oppressed them and “crushed them under the Percy, she makes a quick, irrational scarlet heels of their dainty buckled shoes.” decision and acts on her loyalty to her As the book progresses, however, the plight brother.  Little does she know, however, this of the aristocrats worsens, and the tone decision made in an effort to save Armand, becomes less sarcastic and more ominous.  will endanger the lives of her brother, the  The book, although named The Scarlet Scarlet Pimpernel, and her husband, who Pimpernel, mainly focuses on Marguerite are all three connected in unexpected ways. Blakeney, a beautiful Frenchwoman known  In an attempt to mend her fatal mistake, as the trendsetter of the English court Lady Blakeney throws herself in the midst who, like every other woman, fantasizes of deadly peril. Motivated by her regret and about the mysterious and evasive Scarlet determination, she travels to France to save Pimpernel and his true identity. She is, to the lives of those she loves the most, and her despair, married to Sir Percy Blakeney, warn the Scarlet Pimpernel of the impeding a rich shallow Englishman known for his danger. This dynamic story consumes the dimwitted mind, but liked for his handsome interest of the reader and throws them back features and amiable personality. Although and forth between the thrilling and ingenious their relationship began with ardent passion rescues made by Scarlet Pimpernel and love, pride and secrets involving her and the extravagant but emotionally inadvertent betrayal of an aristocratic family chaotic life of Marguerite Blakeney. tear the two apart, and Lady Blakeney is One can only hope that the sequels caught between her childlike admiration to this book, The Laughing Cavalier of the unknown Scarlet Pimpernel and (1914), The First Sir Percy (1921), her seemingly unreciprocated love for her Pimpernel and Rosemary (1924), and husband. The Baroness Orczy conveys The Scarlet Pimpernel Looks at the Marguerite’s distress through the quote World (1933), are just as enthralling. “A woman’s heart is such a complex

Sixteen-year old Carlos Pagan’s Gulf Coast Film Festival winning film, The Entertainer’s Last Stand, is a true masterpiece. The hour and a half movie proved deserving of its Best Drama award. The movie premiered at Star Cinema Grill, beginning with the executive from the film festival, and Ms. Marilyn Othon, making speeches on Carlos’s work. Carlos Pagan came into the theatre with his family, making a short speech and thanking the many people who made his film possible. The Entertainer’s Last Stand starred many young students, including Jordan Reeves, Jonny Reeves, Cole Anthony, Carlos himself, and former Creek student Ryan Milligan. Although there were many large characters, several other students played smaller roles. Chris Larson was a teenager who was beaten up and hurt by the prominent gang, the Hippos. Andrew and Emily Almaguer played other gang members, and several adults participated. Jordan Reeves stars as a young man hoping to one day become a comedian, and Pagan and Anthony are two young musicians. The movie begins when a very famous comedian comes to Big Man’s Joint, where Jordan works. Jordan gives the comedian a demo tape of his jokes in hopes that the comedian can produce more and make Jordan famous. The comedian gives it to his manager, and the manager gives a contract to Jordan hoping that Jordan will refuse the contract, which states that they will produce more tapes for $80,000 each, and be done with him. Beginning with Jordan’s story, the film moves backwards from Friday to Sunday. Each day is shown portraying different activities, which lead up to Jordan’s meeting with the comedian. On Sunday, instead of following Jordan’s story, the movie begins to focus on Pagan and Anthony’s story. Carlos and Cole are young musicians who perform regularly at Big Man’s Joint. Big Man, who is currently caught up with the mafia, thinks the musicians might be

catching onto him. To ‘get rid of them,’ he tells them to deliver a suitcase to a bridge at exactly 12:00 p.m. However, his plan does not succeed and the Hippos capture Pagan and Anthony. The gang tries to persuade them to help exterminate the body of a local producer, who made Jordan’s demo tape. The producer is said to be in debt to the gang, although Jordan and Jonny had helped him raise money to pay it off. Carlos and Cole help the police try to capture Big Man and the Hippo gang, which leads them to Big Man’s joint Friday night. At Big Man’s, the two musicians carry in the producer’s suitcase, which holds all the money meant to pay off his debts. The suitcase falls into Jordan’s hands, leaving him capable of signing the original contract to produce tapes. With the newfound money, he can now pay for the tapes to be advertised as well and achieve his dream of becoming a comedian. The film follows Carlos and Cole’s story from Sunday to Friday, until the two musicians meet the want to-be comedian Jordan at Big Man’s Joint on Friday night. The elaborate plot scheme and ingenious scripting intertwine Carlos and Jordan’s stories. The braiding of the two stories was crafted with superb excellence by setting up two completely different, seeming unrelated lives and linking them together. The movie was not only creative, but also absolutely hilarious. The characters underwent many relatively relatable experiences and some unfeasible. At many times the crowd erupted in complete laughter as the characters made surprisingly witty remarks. The cast, young and talented, made the movie entertaining and fun. The Entertainer’s Last Stand, directed, produced, written, and edited, by a fellow Creek student is a brilliant movie. At age 16, many great, original films are still to come from Carlos A. Pagan.


16

College

Derick Hutchinson visits Creek Allie Hinga

Every year, seniors face the seemingly daunting task of applying for college. That process may now be easier for Creek students, however, as they will now have the option to speak with Mr. Derick Hutchinson, an academic advisor who will be available once a week to offer advice on how to prepare for a post-secondary education. Hutchinson is currently an academic advisor at College of the Mainland (COM) who works to help potential students. He works through many different situations to help students enroll in and take the classes they need to be successful. He is now employing those skills at Creek as part of the “College Connection” program, which is funded by a Texas grant to help bridge students from high school to college. Mr. Hutchinson will be available in the college center each Wednesday to help interested students look for financial aid and scholarship information as well as apply to college. He believes that any student can go to college and hopes all Creek seniors an apply. “It’s my goal to help make that possible for everyone,” he said. Hutchinson offers many different services to make the college application process more accessible for students. He helps students narrow down possible college choices based on intended major, he helps students fill out applications, and

he provides students with the resources to find scholarships. He also offers guidance o n the content o f college essays, and he can provide more

Mr. Hutchinson in the college center Photo by : Kaitlyn Foote information about financial aid, such as filling out the FAFSA, which is something he recommends for all students. Hutchinson will be at Creek every Wednesday throughout much of the school year, except for the months of December and January, when he will

be at COM helping those students with registration. Students interested in speaking with Mr. Hutchinson can sign up on the school’s Naviance website, connection.naviance.com/clearcreekhs. Before visiting with him, students must pick up a permission form from Ms. Herd in room A146 which their parents must sign. This procedure is necessary because Hutchinson is an employee of College of the Mainland and not Creek. Starting this year he will also be able to help Creek students enrolled in dual credit, who will now be able to sign up for their classes at Creek instead of driving to the college. This year only students who are already enrolled in a class at COM will be able to use this service, but starting next year, new juniors and seniors wishing to take dual credit will be able to sign up through him. Thus far, Hutchinson said that his experience working with Creek students has been a positive one. “The high school students here seem eager to learn,” he said. Hutchinson believes that many students don’t realize that they can go to college. Even though some of them might struggle in high school, it doesn’t mean they won’t do well in their post-graduate education. Ultimately, he would like to see students coming back with the college acceptance letters. “College is for everybody,” he said.

Did you know? Facts on college - The movie Miss Congeniality was filmed on the University of Texas at Austin.

- The oldest institution of higher learning in the United States is Harvard University. - Texas A&M University is the oldest public university in the state of Texas. - The mascot for TCU is the horned frog. It is recognized as one of the weirdest college mascots. - An 18 year old, Alia Sabur, became the youngest college professor in 2008 -Information from: insidercollege.com, The Harvard Guide, nypost,com

Athletic scholarships for college Chelsea Huebner The college application process is a long and difficult one. College bound students must consider many things when choosing where to continue their education. For serious athletes, the sports programs offered at a college are a big deciding factor., especially when the sports programs are willing to pay for the athletes’ education. The first step in this process is to check eligibility and register with the NCAA clearinghouse. To be eligible, a student must graduate from high school, complete a minimum of 16 core classes for Division one schools and 14 for division two schools. A list of the accepted core classes can be found at the NCAA clearinghouse website, www.ncaaclearinghouse.net, under general information. Also, a student must have the required GPA and SAT or ACT test score. Once eligibility has determined the next step is to research and look at the competition. Colleges are looking for the best athletes to bring to their programs, and by best athletes they mean the best on the playing field, in the classroom, and in the community. There are three divisions of competition in the NCAA, division

one, two and three. Then a fourth option athletes have is the NAIA division. The Division one schools have the toughest athletic competition and many of the D1 schools offer athletic scholarships. Division two schools are also allowed to offer scholarships, but the athletic competition is not as competitive as the division one schools. Then the division three schools do not offer athletic scholarships and are generally small schools. The NAIA division is a newer division that has broken apart from the NCAA. This division has much more lenient rules on things such as recruiting, and many of these schools do offer athletic scholarships. After the athlete has compiled a list of schools that they have interest in, it’s time to contact these schools. There are many resources that aid students in this step. There are websites such as “be recruited” that allows athletes to post information where hundreds of coaches can view an athlete’s profile. Athletes do not have to wait for a coach to contact them. In many cases that coach won’t call. If an athlete takes the initiative to contact the coach it shows that the athlete is

serious about the institution and has a drive to succeed. After the initial contact the athlete needs to keep in touch with the coaches. A good way to keep up with coaches is to keep a notebook logging every call. Copies of any corresondence should be kept. Another important thing that the athlete seeking an athletic scholarship must do is to visit the campuses and meet the coaches. This is a very important step because if the coaches don’t meet the athlete and get a feel for their personality, they will be less likely to give that person a scholarship. Coaches don’t know how the athlete will fit in with the team. This is the same for the athlete. An athlete will be spending the next four years of his or her life with this team, and if the connection isn’t there, then the athlete will not be happy in his or her environment and will likely wonder what it would be like at a different institution. Check eligibility, register with the clearinghouse, research, contact, and visit. These are the steps in working towards an athletic scholarship and competing at the college level.

Application Checklist Take the SAT Take the ACT Ask for letters of recommendation Write and edit application essays Apply for scholarships Fill out the Texas Common Application Request and send your transcripts Be aware of deadlines Visit the campus Campus interview


Creek Clubs

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18

S ports Creek football team is in the fight for State Jacob Arredondo The Wildcats had another hard fought game on Thursday night in Veteran Memorial Stadium as the Wildcats lost to Brazoswood with the score of forty-nine to thirty-five. Creek’s lost put the Wildcats out of the three way tie out of 24-5A, their district lost put the Wildcats at 3-2 in district play. The Wildcat offense had another explosive night putting up five touchdowns on the board and had a total 483 offensive yards. Creek started out strong, answering the Bucs’ first two touchdowns. When wide receiver C.J. McElroy set up the Wildcats in the red zone, Garza threw a fade pass to Brent Commardelle for Creek’s first touchdown. In the second quarter, a thirty-yard strike from Garza to Commardelle tied up the game at fourteen all. The Bucs scored again, putting the score at twenty-one to fourteen. With an opportunity to score before halftime, Creek went for it on a fourth down and Garza threw a ball in the end zone but it was picked off. The first half performance for the Wildcats kept up with Brazoswood. Answering with touchdowns and solid drives down the field. The Wildcat D’ caused a fumble and tried

to contain the Bucs’ running game, all of Brazoswood’s scores in the first half came off running plays. In the second half, both Creek and Brazoswood answered each other’s scores. When the defense caused another fumble, the Wildcats took advantage of the opportunity. The Wildcats scored on a seventyeight yard touchdown a s McElroy took a screen pass from Garza a n d took it to the house. It kept Creek in the game, making it an one

Time to hit the green Reanna Bain Golf is teeing up for the season and is working to take district in full swing. The boys and girls teams have just started, but their progress toward success is headed in the right direction. In girls’ golf, two tournaments have already been played. The freshman team played at the Sienna Plantation in Sugarland on September 30. Laura Paige Brightwell won the tournament with a 9-hole score of 45. Shelby Drew placed 7th with a 49, Anna Hamilton placed 9th with a 50, Carly Carsy scored 59 and Channing Coleman shot a 66. The October 16-17 varsity Girls’ tournament was a victory as well. Held at Magnolia Creek, located by Clear Springs High School, Clear Creek took home the first place win. Senior Jordan Favret finish 4th overall, and Amanda Mire won 5th place overall. The teams practice Tuesday through Thursday at South Shore Harbour, and work out Mondays because the course is closed. On Fridays the team either works out or holds team meetings to talk about upcoming tournaments, determining who will be able to qualify for various events. “We prepare for big tournaments by spending an extra hour or so at the course, senior Simone Sharpe said. “We usually pay close attention to things that can really add up strokes, like putting.” The next girls’ sub-varsity event will be held at South Shore Harbour on November 16. The next girls’ varsity

tournament will be held November 20-21 at Eagle Point Golf Course.    The boys’ team has also been playing strong. Newcomer to the program, freshman Mitchell Becker, has won first place in three tournaments. The varsity-2 team wasn’t as fortunate at their first tournament on November 2. Creek came in 5th but felt like it was a good experience for the first tournament of the year. “I play 18 holes the day before tournaments. That way I can stick to my swing and don’t change what’s working,” junior Patrick Virgin said. The dedication and hard work of the golf team members prove that the teams have only just began their season and plan to rack up the wins and go far. “Our goal this year is to do something that Creek has not done in a long time and that is to win District and Regions and repeat our trip to State,” girl’s coach Kayla Williamson said. After the girls’ team made state last year, expectations have been high. The girls don’t take their previous success in vain though. They know that they must keep up the work to get to that level again. “I feel like the team is going to do great this year. We lost some good seniors but I still think that if we all work together and put the time and effort in, we can definitely persevere and make it to state,” senior Simone Sharp said.

 

Brazoswood player recovered. The Buccaneers scored on a forth-down try, putting the game out of reach of the Wildcats with just minutes to go in the forth quarter. Garza completed 27-of-34 passes for 346 yards and four touchdowns. He threw two touchdowns to Commardelle; he also threw a touchdown to McElroy and to running back Marcus Mata. McElroy had 193 all-purpose yards, Commardelle put up 99 yards receiving, and Mata had 136 total yards as well. With the loss, Creek is now third in the 24-5A Marcus Mata focuses on the game. district Photo by Kaitlyn Boryk standings tied with next drive. This Brazoswood and Dickinson. The playoff is when a huge scenarios are endless for the Wildcats; momentum shift they can even get a share of the district in the game title if the right schools wins and lose. With a recent update, Creek lost happened as a scrambling to Alvin 33 to 16. The lost was a setback Garza was to for the playoff hopes of the Wildcats. sacked and With a district record of 3-3 the Wildcats stripped of need to win against rival Clear Lake and the ball, Galveston Ball or Dickinson must lose. as a

possession game for the tie. The Buccaneers scored again to widen their lead on the Wildcats, thirty-five to twenty-one. Creek kept the urgency up and marched down the field to score on a five-yard touchdown pass to Tevin Jones. Brazoswood answered the touchdown and forced the Wildcats to score again on the

Athlete of the Month Christen Valcoviak

Christen Valcoviak

Photo by Shauna Fererro-Donahue

Photo by Tabitha Dirrim Senior varsity water polo captain Bobby Woolweaver is this month’s Boy Athlete of the month. He has proven himself athletically and academically worthy of this honor. Woolweaver started playing club water polo in the sixth grade. Currently on the high school water polo team, he plays the position of the driver and has been on varsity since his sophomore year. During his sophomore year, the team placed fifth in State. Woolweaver is currently one of the captains of the Creek water polo team. His job is to make sure that everybody is doing what they are suppose to be doing in practice. This year Woolweaver has received two major awards: the “First Team all Region” award and the “State MVP” award. “My goals [this year] are for us to break the relay swim record and go to State,” Woolweaver said. Besides water polo, Woolweaver is involved in National Honor Society (NHS). In order to challenge himself, he has also taken either PreAP or AP classes all throughout his high school career. As difficult as it may be, Woolweaver does keep up with his grades. He is in the top 10% of his class. He will graduate with honors at the graduation ceremony. Woolweaver intends to play water polo in college on a scholarship. He prefers attending a college in California or along the East Coast.

Senior varsity volleyball player Amanda Watson is this month’s Girl Athlete of the Month. She has earned many accomplishments in her lifetime that qualify her for this honor. Watson has been playing volleyball since she was 11 years old in the sixth grade. She started playing club in sixth grade and in seventh and eighth played on the girl’s volleyball team for Seabrook Intermediate. Watson has been on varsity at Creek since her sophomore year and plays the position of middle blocker. During Watson’s sophomore year, the volleyball team was a regional finalist and her junior year the team was a state semi finalist. Currently, the team is third in District and is going to the playoffs. Besides volleyball, Watson also participates in other extracurricular activities. She plays club ball and is in the National Honor Society (NHS). Watson is also in the top one percent of her class and has taken PreAP and AP classes all throughout her high school career. Watson received a full ride scholarship to play volleyball as middle blocker at Drury University in Springfield, Missouri and plans to play all four years in college. Watson will major in engineering and computer science and wants to be an engineer when she graduates from college.


S ports 19 Clear Creek wrestling team hits the mats Jacob Arredondo The wrestling Wildcats are back and they’re here to leave their mark on Texas wrestling. The boys’and girls’team are going to try and win another district championship to add to their impressive trophy collection. The boy’s team is coming off a loss to rivals Clear Lake at the district championship match last year. The boys have revenge on their mind and are working in the mat room everyday to bring another district championship for Creek. The boys are already on the long road back as they started an invitation only singles wrestling tournament at Amarillo. The girl’s team, who won the district title last year, is trying to win another district championship. The cocaptain Hayley

Mitchell is excited for the up-coming season. “We will win a third consecutive district championship. We also plan on taking the regional title and placing at state as a team,” Mitchell said. She is the defending district champion at her weight class and she is one of the four girls who are returning district championships at the weight class. The are planning to defend there district title with everything they got. The training and dedication for the wrestling sets the team up for superb conditioning and strength. Countless hours before, during, and after

school make the Creek wrestling team strong. With the boys coming in second and the girls coming in first last year, Creek is going full throttle for the championship. Despite the short history of Clear Creek wrestling, the Wildcats are already making a stand. Both boys and girls won the district title two seasons ago and sent multiple wrestlers to both regional and state tournaments. The first dual for the team is going to be “Meet the Wildcats” on Wednesday, November 11. This dual is going to showcase all the wrestlers on the team from the senior captains to freshmen who are new to the sport. The dual will also have a wrestle-off to see who will earn the varsity spots for the first

real

tournament of the season. The Wildcats wrestling team is looking to continue the winning of the past and to make sure that no one will take away another district championship. It was only three points that cost the team last year and the team will keep that in mind every time they wrestle a match. While wrestling is an individual sport, teams win as more wrestlers win. Points are given out for the way the wrestler beats the other wrestler. Pins, majority decision, and split-decisions all lead to the total amount of points that each team earns. The Wildcats start their real tournament at Kline Oak for the Gator Roll tournament. This will be the first chance for t h e Wildcats to showcase themselves to the Houston region.

Photo by Shauna Fererro-Donahue

Clear Creek Water Polo teams go to State Derek Gay Clear Creek High School water polo dominated the state finals. The girl’s team took fourth place, and the boy’s team took second place. “We possibly had the best season the boy’s water polo has had in a long time,” sophomore Connor Davis, said. The first game was against Lamar High School and Creek played viciously against Lamar, beating them by 3 points. The second game was against Cy-Fair High School. Creek trailed by 5 at the end of the third quarter. The game was tied in the last 20 seconds with a score by Evan Waidhofer. Creek went into double overtime with Cy-fair to take the win and qualify for Water Polo State Championship. Benny Berezin scored the game winning point for the second game. “We played like a team, and not like

individual players.” sophomore Gusti Escalante said. Unfortunately for Creek Polo, they were not able to pull off a win against Lake in the state championship game. The boy’s Most Valuable Player for state is Bobby Woolweaver, who was on the boy’s first team with Peter Silkowski. On the boy’s second team was Dustin Gathright, and an honorable mention was handed to Benny Berezin. “ I have no idea why we weren’t able to beat Lake in the state

Photos courtesy of the CCHS water polo booster club

championship game, I felt we were prepared, but in the end we weren’t able to come out state Champions.” Escalante said. “We are going to be losing a lot of great, valuable players that are seniors next year, but I think we will still have just as good of season next year.” Said Escalante. The Girls’ team was on fire coming in fourth place in the state championship. Emma Alexander was named to

the first girls’ all state team for water polo.Helena Terrell was placed on the second all state team for girl’s water polo.Honorable mention was awarded to Traci Williams and Ariane Finch. Both the girl’s team and the boy’s team were able to show their true colors in the state championship water polo matches.


20 Photofinish


November2009