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The February 5, 2014

Green Pride @DHSGreenPride

35000 W. 91st De Soto, Kansas 66018

Volume 42, Issue 5

NOT IN OUR HOUSE? Over the past decade, marijuana use has exponentially increased and high schools are no exception Read more on page 7

Vol. 42, Issue 5


Scholars Bowl buzzes into League Jordan Wolf sports editor

The De Soto High School Scholars Bowl team’s postseason has kicked into gear with a successful performance at the League meet. The team placed third at the meet, which Paola High School hosted on Jan. 13. While the team could have placed higher, head coach Phillip Hamilton believes that the meet still went fine. “I think it went pretty well. To have such a new and young team and kind of a new lineup, I think we did good,” Hamilton said. The League team consisted of juniors Nick Mechler, Bryce Zimmerman, Joel

Sweeney and Erick Sherman, along with seniors William Walker and Madeline Field. Walker was the only member of this year’s team remaining from last year’s State championship squad. This can help to explain why the team is still developing and learning. The postseason is just now getting into full swing, as Regionals approaches with a bid to the State tournament on the line. If the team finishes in the top three, they will qualify to compete at State. After much deliberation, the coaches are just beginning to figure out who will be on the Regionals team. The team still has room

to grow and adjustments to make before they are ready for the postseason. “We’ve got to get better in some categories, especially social science and science,” Hamilton said. “We need to take a look at our lineups and see if that’s who we want to go with. In general, we need to keep practicing, and I think we will get there.” The team is attempting to win its fourth consecutive State championship this season. State will be held right here at DHS on Saturday, Feb. 15. However, the quest for a fourth straight title truly begins on Friday, Feb. 6, when Regionals is hosted at PerryLecompton High School.

Engineering conference looks to recruit girls

About seven girls will be attending the annual “Introduce a Girl to Engineering” conference held at the Overland Park Convention Center on Feb. 21. The conference serves to give girls more information about the different types of engineering, the future careers they could have and things that they could do in the engineering field. “It is also a great opportunity for them to network and just meet people in the field, and kind of figure out whether or not it is something they might be interested in,” counselor Lindsay Hothan said. While at the conference the participants will be able to ask questions and listen to college students who are enrolled in engineering classes. There will also be different break-out sessions that they can attend as well as an engineering discipline fair and an industry fair. The girls will also be able to learn about different schools of engineering at colleges such as Wichita State University, University of Kansas and Kansas State University.



Hothan believes that one of the best things that the girls will be able to do is meet other girls who are interested in the subject as well. The conference works to try and get girls interested in these careers since it is, statistically, a predominantly male profession. “I think there is kind of a stereotype. Math and science, a lot of times, get associated with guys and careers that involve a lot of math and science typically tends to go that way, and we have a lot of females students here who really excel in those areas,” Hothan said. One of the students attending is junior Kate Barger who is debating whether she wants to pursue engineering as a career. “I want to gain as much information as I can to help me make my decision, and since there is not a lot of girls in engineering I want to hear from their perspective and how they got into the field,” Barger said. Another student who will attend is sophomore Jaycie Thaemert. She decided to go because she is interested in engineering and the challenge that is presents. Furthermore, she thinks

that engineering is ‘fun.’ “It is really mentally stimulating. It is different from the rest of things in school; you have to think outside of the box,” Thaemert said. Hothan believes that these girls will gain very valuable information that could potentially pay off in the future. “Engineering is such an awesome field to go into right now just because the demand for jobs in that field is very high,” Hothan said. “I think it is good to let these girls know that if they are successful in these types of subjects that there are awesome opportunities out there career-wise that they could be successful in.”


Coming Soon Feb. 8 Feb. 13-14 Feb. 14 Feb. 15 Feb. 18

In this issue

Rebekah Burgweger co-editor in chief

Boys’ swimming @ Manhattan High School No School- Spring Conferences Wrestling Frontier League tournament @ Louisburg High School State Scholars Bowl @ DHS Girls’ and boys’ varsity basketball v. Eudora High School

Page 4 - DHS needs more spirit Page 6 - Tips for surviving the cold Page 8 - Freshman swimmer sets pace for rest of the season. Page 10 - Junior plays at Orange Bowl Page 12 - Natalie M. Fashion Show

News Feb. 5, 2014

District considers renovating DHS track Annie Shmucker staff reporter

Recently, rumors have been circulating around the school about the possibility of getting a new eight-lane track surface and turf for the football field. Principal Mark Meyer said that the plans for this project are “in the idea and concept stage.” The administration has not been granted permission to start any projects, but they are still hopeful that they will be able to resurface the track sometime soon. A committee called Activity Facility Improvement, however, has been formed by the administration from both De Soto High School and Mill Valley High School to discuss what needs are most important for the two high schools. One thing that continues to be a problem is finding the money to be able to do something substantial like this upgrade. If money wasn’t an issue, the committee would love to be able to have a normal regulation track and change the grass to turf so the football team could play in rainy conditions without tearing up in the field. Another issue, aside from

the resurfacing and the turf ideas, would be a new area for parking. Meyer explained that the parking is not ideal for the soccer games. Money that is referred to as “uncalled bonds,” from the 2008 bond issue could be used to pay for the upgrade. Money from this was originally designated for Phase 3, which includes a new media center and classrooms. Since De Soto is not at capacity, it is not necessary yet. The committee is looking into possibly taking money from Phase 3 and putting it into the resurfacing and turf fields projects. Another option being discussed is getting money from a different bond issue altogether. The USD 232 School Board has to agree to put another bond out to members of the community. This would then go through a voting process to help determine if this is a good use for the money. A challenge with this is putting the decision in the hands of the voters in the district. If this project becomes definite, Meyer hopes to start working on the track the day track season ends. After working all summer long, hopefully it would be ready

As shown in the picture above, the De Soto High School track only contains six lanes on the track, while the standard track has eight lanes. The eight-lane track is being considered by the Activity Facility Improvement committee. Photo by Ryanne Mercer

in time for fall sports. Another path would be to wait until right after football season or even shut facilities down. If the project grew, it could take up to a year for it to be completely finished. Since both Lexington Trails Middle School and DHS utilize the track, resurfacing seemed most important in terms of keeping athletes safe and able to perform at their best, since the current surface is old and rocky.

The committee is also exploring the possibility/cost of having the soccer and football fields becoming turf. The soccer team could share the field with the football team also. Turf would give teams the ability to play year-round, without the worry of rain or mud. Meyer explained that the reason this was being looked at instead of upgrading the theater was because of the matter of usage. The

theater is just not utilized as much as the track and the two fields. People on the committee are both from Mill Valley and De Soto, which includes district-level personnel, parents, students and coaches as well as the USD 232 superintendent. Right now, this project is still developing from an idea and thought stage. In due time, these ideas and projects could become a reality.

New drama teacher joins theater program Erin Kaul staff reporter

This semester De Soto High School has received a new addition to the Wildcat staff. Mary Yarnell is the drama department’s longterm substitute, and also a candidate for the permanent drama teacher position. Because she came into the position at semester, she only had winter break to prepare. Yarnell is still getting into the swing of things but is very excited to be here. “It was very overwhelming coming into a new situation with only Christmas break to prepare for that, and I’m still as we go preparing lessons

that, if I had the summer, I would probably have prepared already,” Yarnell said “It’s also been very exciting. I’m really excited to be here at De Soto. I just love the feel of the school, and I feel like it’s a great school.” Yarnell has felt very welcome at De Soto so far, which is one of the reasons she has taken the position. “The moment I walked in the building to interview it really felt like home. I love the feeling of this building. I feel like the administration and staff is all just so wonderful to each other and helpful and happy and joyful and in a lot of schools that is not always the case,” Yarnell said.

One of the responsibilities that came with coming in last minute was taking the DHS Thespians to the State Thespian Conference or “Drama Con.” This gave some of the students an opportunity to meet Yarnell before the semester started. “I loved getting thrown in going to Drama Con because I think it developed a good relationship with some of the Thespians we have here at the school.” Although she has not had much time to prepare, Yarnell has many plans in place for the theater department. “My plans for the theater program short term right

now are to get the thespian group up and running and meeting regularly and doing some activities. It’s important to me that the students who are serious about theater to go and see theater productions and that they get to experience theater workshops, and that is what my plan is for the thespians,” Yarnell said. Although it is being pushed back, there will also still be a spring play. “We are also putting on a play in April. I want that play to be a good, enriching experience for the students who participate as well as putting on a good performance.” One of the things that Yar-

nell is most excited about is the opportunity to grow and develop the theater department at DHS. She hopes to expand the program and make it as big as possible. “I’m excited about growing this theater program to be huge,” Yarnell said. “I want to come here where we have so much of the school population involved in different aspects of theater that it just thrives here and that we’re able to maybe take trips to New York City and maybe get special instructors that are honed in acting or stage combat or something and just really give the students a well rounded theater education.”


Vol. 42, Issue 4

Opinion The Green Pride @DHSGreenPride

De Soto High School 35000 W. 91st St. De Soto, KS 66018 Phone: (913) 667-6250 Fax: (913) 583-8376 EDITORS-IN-CHIEF Kaylee Asher Rebekah Burgweger NEWS EDITOR Ryanne Mercer OPINION EDITOR Kelsea Burns FEATURE EDITORS Makenzie Hill Maddie Torline SPORTS EDITOR Jordan Wolf ARTS EDITOR Emily Herrington STAFF REPORTERS Erin Kaul Tim Mayfield Erin Sullivan Annie Shmucker Rex Templin Emma Bascom Kyle Wernimont

School spirit needs improvement Erin Sullivan staff reporter

Let’s be real here, De Soto High School’s spirit sucks. Every year the school sponsors tons of different events that allow the entire student body to throw their cares aside and have fun. Spirit days, pep assemblies and games are meant for students create memories that will one day be told to your kids. The problems are that hardly anyone participates in anything and the ideas to promote spirit suck. On a spirit day, you will see four different groups of students participating: the seniors who actually want to take advantage of their last

year at DHS, the spirit squad and STUCO members who are forced to participate, the three juniors and sophomores who actually just want to have fun and the handful of freshmen who believe that everyone participates. With the exception of these people, the only group that truly has any school spirit is the band. Spirit days are dull and embarrassing, pep assemblies are boring and games are filled with a small amount of forced cheering by the few people who are actually paying attention. The first step to fix this would be to make the spirit days and assemblies more creative. STUCO members and the class officers do a good job of planning events

for the school, but many would appreciate it if more creativity and thought were put into the events. Seriously, who in their right mind would want to participate in Stoplight Day? The more creative these events are, the more people will want to participate and have fun. The second step is to stop caring about what everyone else thinks and have fun! Too many people these days are more concerned about the fact that they “look stupid” or that “other people will judge.” If you just stop worrying and have fun, no one will care about how stupid you look. You will get plenty of good memories out of it. It is not that hard to throw on a hat for Hat Day or wear

DHS shirt for Spirit Day. Clapping along to the beat of Wildcat Victory really doesn’t take much work either. If the student body simply puts a little bit more effort into participating in things, then high school can actually become enjoyable for a lot more people. So many other high school students show their pride by participating in everything that is offered to them and they all love it. Next time there is a school event, put on your best excited face, dress up in a crazy costume and come to school ready to participate. Forget about how stupid you may look and suck it up and show your spirit. I know everyone has a little bit of it.

CARTOONIST Ben Patton MULTI-MEDIA Michael Buffkin Nick Schmidt ADVISER Michael Sullivan


The editorial policy of The Green Pride is (1) Letters to the Editor must be typed, signed, and less than 300 words in order to be published and (2) the staff reserves the right to edit all copy. OPINIONS EXPRESSED in The Green Pride do not necessarily represent the opinions of The Green Pride Staff, De Soto High School, the DHS administration or the De Soto Unified School District #232 Board of Education.


Kansas Senate Bill 62 guarantees the same rights for student journalists as are given to professionals. These rights include, but are not limited to, all First Amendment rights, including the right of freedom of expression, insofar as published items may not contain libelous, slanderous or obscene statements, may not incite or promote illegal conduct, and may not cause a substantial disruption to normal school activity. This bill does not allow the adviser, administrators or any other faculty to censor the paper in any way.



New cartoons are worth watching Ben Patton cartoonist

There seems to be a strange sense of entitlement surrounding children that happened to be born in the years between 1990 and 1999. According to them everything after 1999 becomes worse for not being around during the ‘90s. Out of all the claims made by this self-entitled generation, the one that really stuck out to me was, “The cartoons were better in the ‘90s.” I don’t know why it bugs me. I guess as a high school senior, it’s my duty to be passionate about programming designed for children. Could the quality of animation, which has been around

since cavemen roamed the earth, really have reached the highest quality possible in the 1990s? Can the quality of cartoons really only go downhill from here? Should any young, aspiring animator give up because that person will never accomplish anything as glorious and cherished as a cartoon from the ‘90s? The simple answer is no. There have been many new cartoons released that go above and beyond the quality of any cartoon from the ‘90s. Cartoons have started to get past the common children-only motif and have began having more complicated, while still childish, story lines. Adventure Time, is one

such cartoon. Not only does the show have simple, goofy and colorful stories, but it also has had some of the most complicated and emotional stories seen in a children’s cartoon. It tackles matters such as childhood abandonment, loneliness, drug addiction and of course Finn’s continuing struggle to find another human. Adventure Time, and other recent cartoons, don’t insult their viewers with an overly simplified plot, unlike ‘90s cartoons. While I enjoy shows like Ed, Edd and Eddy, Rocket Power and SpongeBob, those show were always the same thing. They were nothing more than just simple entertainment for children.

When I would ask someone who claimed that newer cartoons are terrible shows why they think they are so terrible, the only reason that person would give me is that they look “creepy.” Some of the art is creepy, but it’s no worse than any cartoon before them. Remember The Power Puff Girls? It had a character that was literally the cross dressing version of Satan. I’m not saying that all these new cartoons are any better than any of the old cartoons we grew up with. They’re just not worse. But what do I know? I’m just a self-entitled cartoon expert. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go watch some Adventure Time.

Opinion Feb. 5, 2014

Excessive picture retouching: the W ar AG AINST NATURAL beauty Kelsea Burns opinion editor

You have to be perfect, nothing less. Not sure what exactly “perfect” is? Don’t worry, excessively digitally altered magazine covers and advertisements are here to show you just how inhuman you have to be to be considered attractive. Bear in mind that the use of programs like Photoshop is not wrong when it is used correctly. There is nothing wrong with altering a photo by adding a filter or adjusting the color contrast. What is wrong, however, is blatantly disfiguring the subject of the photo. The person editing the photo is claiming that the subject is not naturally good looking enough to be anywhere else but behind the camera without the aid of Photoshop. Some may argue that using programs like Photoshop to enhance a picture is harmless and that these programs can be used however the user or the subject of the picture chooses. While the latter is true, making pictures “flawless” is far from harmless. One of the worst offences of an extreme photo editor is that he or she sees a flaw in the subject of the photo. If the photo editor is not the

subject, excessive retouching is evidence of low morals since he or she is claiming that the subject isn’t beautiful. It is simply not the job of one or two people to set the standard of beauty for anyone else and then alter a picture of someone to fit their ridiculous standards. If he or she is the subject of the photo, it is simply evidence of low selfesteem, which is perhaps even more tragic. The fact that some people feel compelled to “fix” what isn’t broken is disturbing. What’s worse is that some choose to not see the correlation between excessively retouched photos in the media and self-esteem problems which can lead to eating disorders. The National Eating Disorders Association states on its website that “numerous correlational and experimental studies have linked exposure to the thin ideal in mass media to body dissatisfaction, internalization of the thin ideal and disordered eating.” Excessive photo editor in the media doesn’t just impact women. Images of men are also excessively edited. The National Eating Disorder Association claims on its website that portrayal of extremely muscular men is

largely “related to body dissatisfaction among men.” Retouching photos isn’t even an necessary measure to have a successful business. Aerie, a successful intimate apparel line, announced Jan. 17 that it would no longer use retouched photos from now on as a part of its “aerie Real” campaign. More companies should be taking stands like this. If “exposure to the thin ideal in mass media” leads



to self-esteem and body image issues, should we really consider it ethical to make thin models appear inhuman and underweight? Is it right to encourage body image issues just so that a magazine editor can portray what they believe is “perfect”? Is it ethical to encourage what causes body image issues which then lead to dangerous eating disorders? The answer is no. No single person should be allowed to set the beau-


ty standard for anyone and everyone else; no single person should be allowed to stretch a models arms, legs or neck so that the model can be considered “flawless”; no single person should be allowed to digitally alter someone else’s size; no single person should be allowed to contribute to the development of deadly eating disorders; no single person should be allowed to tell another that they are not beautiful.


of your-


One in five men are on a high protein diet and one in three use protein supplements in an effort to gain mass.

About 80% of men are unhappy with their muscularity. A little over 95% of these men also reported observing body image related messages in the media

About 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies and resort to dieting to achieve their ideal body shape.

Only 5% of women naturally possess the body type often portrayed by American media.

Sources: National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders,National Eating Disorder Association and the Succeed Foundation

Technology improvements aren’t fast enough Emily Herrington arts editor

With the exciting news that De Soto High School is preparing to allow students to bring their own computers from home, I have heard from many students who are anxious to break away from the dreaded laptop carts and just start using their own devices now. In elementary school, when my teacher checked out a laptop cart, I always dreaded every second of the class ahead. At the

time, it was simply because I took at least two hours to figure out my login information and then had to slowly chicken peck a URL into the keyboard. By middle school it was required that students get a number of technology credits and that meant learning to type correctly. After raising my typing speed to over 83 words per minute, using technology became a lot more convenient in regards to doing homework and communicating with others. It was a complete slap

in the face when I finally reached high school and was forced to return to hand writing a majority of my assignments. So much time is being wasted when I have to wait to go home to finish an assignment that would have taken 20 minutes in class. Don’t get me wrong, we could be much more worse off than having a few Mac and Dell labs and then several typically functioning laptop computer carts. The issue that I have is that even with the technology that is available and the

growing number of ways that we could make use of it in the classroom, DHS still seems to be repressing it. While the district is working to set up a network that allows us to use the internet at school, we should still be able and allowed to use our own devices right now. Rather than having to waste time on figuring out which laptops are going to be nice and cooperate during class, I know that I would get a lot more done if I were able to simply pull out my private computer

and do the assignment on Microsoft or Open Office. Neither of these need the Internet, along with many other different programs. While the DHS administration has been taking big steps in opening up to technology over the three years that I’ve been here, they aren’t quite the leaps and bounds that I had hoped to see. The use of technology has done nothing but grow all of my life. I see no reason for us not to embrace and take advantage of every possible aspect of it.


Vol. 42, Issue 5


Wearable tech: the future of fashion

By Makenzie Hill feature editor

Near the end of 2013 a new technology fad began to immerge. Wearable technology has become increasingly popular. From smart glasses to GPS jackets, 2014 will be the year of wearable technology according to CBC News and a plethora of other technology sources. The trend seemed to begin with Google’s announcement of the Google Glass. These glasses are promised to have a wide range of abilities. According to Google, users are able to translate things like signs and menus as they gaze at them or translate what they want to say. They can take instant

pictures and videos, send messages, get answers to questions and more. This seemingly spectacular device has spurred a trend of all sorts of technology, such as watches that send messages, track movement and sleep, give weather reports and receive notifications from a cell p h o n e . Many companies, like Apple and Samsung, have been creating their own versions of these versatile wrist attire. However, this seeming trend goes much further than watches and glasses. Other products that are more similar to clothing in nature have been popping up and being announced. The more functional of

these products are those like smart socks and smart sports bras. These intelligent pieces of apparel track the user’s activity and performance. Other utilitarian pieces are those that are programed for GPS purposes. These products, like jackets and helmets, use flashing lights to signals the user when and where to turn. Also, there is one fashion designer, Asher Levine, who has created styles for Lady GaGa and, that incorporates tracking chips into his couture looks. These chips connect to an app on the user’s phone in order to find the lost item. While there are those more practical items of “clothing”, there are those that use technology simply for the sake of using it. One such item is a holographic leather dress designed by Amy Winters. The dress reacts to sound around it and lights up and creates “visual music.” While the dress is interesting, it has no functional purpose. Another such product is a

line of dresses that move when someone is looking at them. Designed by Canadian fashion designer,

Y i n g Gao, the dresses use futuristic eye tracking technology that, when looked at, will move tiny motors to create new patterns. The dresses’ base fabric is made with, essentially, glow in the dark thread. Other designers have gone on the less flashy, and often cheaper, side. They chose to use simple light, usually LED, to add interest.

Through the recent years, technology has been an growing presence in our society. These creations go to show that technology will continue to play an ever increasing role in our lives. sources: and

Media is blowing wind over the Polar Vortex R e x Te m p l i n staff reporter

Earlier this month, records were shattered as the nation was hit with a friendly reminder of Mother Nature’s power. In some areas, the risk for hypothermia was so high, authorities begged citizens to stay inside. Even though it’s not likely that a record breaking cold front will happen again this year, the ridiculous cold shows that it’s important to know how to be safe. Inevitably, the media does what it likes to do and gave everyone a catchphrase: Polar Vortex. The fear surrounding the ‘Polar Vortex’ is a product of the media scaring people into getting more subscribers. (for a similar ex-



ample Google ‘Justin Bieber Drug Possession’). Even though ‘Polar Vortex’ sounds like something from a comic book, cold weather is nothing to be scared of and neither is this weather system. First, the facts: The Polar Vortex is a system of winds that circulate around the North Pole. It’s basically a collection of jet streams that drop down on America most years, however we usually get it in much smaller doses in comparison to our friends in Canada. This year it came further south. Under normal conditions, the vortex spins around tight to the poles, and it goes so quick that hardly any cold air can escape its pull. Now, because of global warming, the ocean temperatures heat the atmo-

sphere enough to make the vortex unstable, and the arctic temperatures are able to move in any way they want. What’s scary to think about, is that with more arctic ice disappearing every day there is a possibility that the vortex could do this more in the future. Oh, the irony: global warming causes us all to freeze. So in preparation for a live showing of The Day After Tomorrow, here’s a new take on some rules that were blatantly stolen from our generation’s pinnacle of film, Zombieland. 1. Don’t be a hero. This concerns fashion. Maybe the staple athletic shorts and sweatshirt can be put on the shelf for a day when your car starts and your

breath doesn’t crystallize on the windows. Adding on to that, just because your status went viral doesn’t mean you’re you have to go flying into a snow bank with nothing but your underwear on. 2. Wear your seat belt. While fishtailing on the way to school, eating breakfast, texting and thinking about the homework you forgot to do simultaneously you will at least be safe from hurtling out of the front windshield of your car if you buckle up. 3. Enjoy the little things. This also mean to take care in the little things. Make sure you’re properly hydrated before going out and shoveling: it will keep your head clear. As well as being an illegal activity, drink-

ing alcohol lowers your core body temperature, which is obviously not a good idea. Make sure you’re wearing the right shoes and layer clothing to stay warm. But seriously, it’s important to be mindful of what limitations your body has in respect to the cold. The Polar Vortex is an impressive weather system, and it brought temperatures to some cities that rivaled the surface temperature of Mars. Man has struggled with winter since the beginning of history, and just because it is ‘2k14,’ resist the urge to endanger the body. Please, instead of turning up, turn down for safety. Luckily, come spring this cold front will have disappeared. So, chill out people.

Feature Feb. 5, 2014

Opinions vary on new state marijuana laws Ben Patton cartoonist

The start of the new year marked the first time Colorado residents were able to take full advantage of the new state law established way back in mid 2013 allowing retailers to sell recreational marijuana in stores. Millions lined up outside of the 37 dispensaries spotted across the state, to spend their hard earned money on the new state delicacy. Demand for the now legal weed was so great that most dispensaries had to limit the amount of marijuana each costumer could buy even further (state residents were originally allowed to buy up to one ounce while out of town buyers are prohibited to a fourth of an ounce).

However dispensers reported that, after the first week, customer traffic was lower they still had lines leading out the door. In the first week alone dispensers made a combined $5 million, 25 percent of which went to the state. If these sales numbers keep up, the sales tax of marijuana could become one of the most well established sources of income for state and the federal government. Colorado has put down some ground rules for users, however, such as not to disturb those around them who don’t want to see or smell others smoking. Also, you must be 21 years of age to buy marijuana from dispensers. And you are confined to smoking in private areas. So no “cruising” with

Drug-free efforts are not effective to prevent drug use Kaylee Asher Co-Editor in Chief

For the 2013-14 school year, De Soto High school has attempted to embrace a “Not in Our House” mind set to motivate students to make good choices. One of the major points of the program is the idea of being drug free. Students are instructed to avoid drugs beginning as early as kindergarten with Red Ribbon Week. This week, dedicated to remaining drug free, persists through middle school. Once students reach high school, however, these little ribbons disappear and in its place comes a dormant banner on a wall. How effective are these tactics at turning students off of drugs? The answer lies within the student body. “Our school programs against drugs don’t work because there is just a poster on a wall. It’s easy to ignore,” said a De Soto stu-

dent who wanted to remain anonymous. When asked if the “Not in Our House” philosophy was effective, 85 percent of 58 DHS students polled argued that in the current way that it is being used, it is not. “I don’t think our school program works because most people believe that smoking weed is not wrong,” said another DHS student who wanted to remain anonymous. Most students argued that the reason that the school program is not effective is because the school does not explain the consequences. They say that marijuana use is wrong, but they never explain why it is wrong. According to some students, their parents’ influence is the main reason they choose not to participate in smoking marijuana. However, school programs are not alone, 62.5 percent of polled DHS students agreed that national

your buddies and no smoking out in public. The safest place to do it without being bothered is to do it in your own home, but some restaurants have re-established smoking sections specifically for cannabis. The most surprising thing about the new legalized plant is just how uneventful it has been. The only real problems came from people being ignorant to the laws prohibiting public smoking or driving under the influence of THC, but since these rules were not universally known many people were let off with a warning. But as people get more comfortable with legal marijuana, many should start expect of-

ficers to start cracking down more on those breaking these the laws. Colorado has people around the United States buzzing with both excitement and worry. “The nation as a whole should take a lesson from Colorado,” said a DHS student who wished to remain anonymous. “It’s only a matter of time before it gets legalized every where.” “Well, no doubt it’s going to help out the Colorado economy,” said a DHS staff member who wished to remain anonymous. “But I think it should be up to the individual states to decide.” While the benefits of marijuana are prevalent many

85% of DHS students agreed that “Not in Our House” is not effective.

programs against drugs are not effective either. “No matter how many campaigns there are, people are going to do it anyway,” said a DHS student who wished to remain anonymous. Some students agree with this idea. One student who wished to remain anonymous believes that marijuana “is fun, adds confidence and adds humor to a social setting,” This person believes “that weed, when used sparingly, is not harmful,” and the only

are still opposed to the plant. “Its a mistake,” said senior Max Simonian. “Its a drug so it should be illegal.” Many hold a neutral stance on the controversial plant. “I think the state of Kansas will never pass that law,” said a DHS staff member that also wished to remain anonymous. “I think there are good arguments on both sides. I also think too many of the students here think they’re in Colorado.” The recent events in Colorado have caused a shock wave to ripple across the nation. This has made many states and their residents, begin to reconsider their stance on the legalization of marijuana.

62.5% of students do not believe that national campaigns against drugs are effective. DHS students were polled for these statistics.

thing that makes them think twice is whether they will “get caught or have to drive somewhere far away.” However, other students feel that weed is harmful, and that while students use it, that decision is not a intelligent one. “It hurts people emotionally, physically and mentally,” said a student who wished to remain anonymous. For this reason, DHS “Not in Our House” campaign is not effective, according to some students. The


students mentioned earlier believe that it is just a banner on the wall, and not an all-encompassing mission statement that is posted and encouraged through out the school. Some students claim that they are not being convinced that marijuana is dangerous by their school or by their parents. “[Parents and schools] need to prove that weed does cause lasting effects and explain how it can be addictive despite popular belief,” one DHS student said.


Vol. 42, Issue 5


Webb personifies growth of boys’ swim team

Ryanne Mercer news editor

The De Soto High School boys’ swim team went from three swimmers last season to 10 members this year. “The boys work well with one another and have a competitive spirit that drives their commitment to the sport and success in the pool…” head coach Alissa Ruffin said. “I want them to realize their potential and give 110 percent to the pool

these next few weeks to see what they can really do.” Out of the 10 members on the team, half have swimming experience outside of school including freshman Cameron Webb. Webb is close to a State consideration in both the 50-meter freestyle and 100-meter freestyle. Webb has been swimming for four years with the Shawnee Sharks and the Tiger Sharks programs. “I’ve known Miles Arnold

for two years, and I was excited to know that some of the other freshmen had experience swimming before the season,” Webb said. His times rival those of upperclassmen, and even trump those at bigger schools. At the Turner Invitational, Webb placed third in the 50-meter freestyle. At the Jan. 21 meet he swam against 6A schools and in the 100-meter freestyle, came in second by .3 seconds.

“I have consistently dropped time at every meet. I dropped .9 seconds [on Jan. 21],” Webb said. In the 50-meter freestyle, Webb is swimming a time of 25.71 seconds. For State consideration, he has to drop to a 25.37. The 100-meter freestyle State consideration is set at 57 seconds flat, and he is .4 seconds away from getting that consideration. “Swimming works on you individually and you just

have to progress on how you work. You do not have to rely on other people for it, you rely on yourself and then must work hard for yourself,” Webb said. Over the next few meets, Webb would like to reach the consideration time for State and also continue to improve his times in the pool. “They call me the secret weapon because I don’t ever try in practice, but I’m a sprinter, and I’m incredibly fast,” Webb said.

Wrestling practices prove to be difficult but rewarding


Ben Patton cartoonist

Whether running suicides on the basketball court or running ladders on the track, every athlete is forced to painstakingly practice to hone their skills, and wrestlers are definitely no exception to this. According to some, wrestling is one of the most both physical and exhausting sports around, as the matches consist of two opponents continuously grappling with each other all the while trying to get the upper hand over the other. The matches can be quick but are always physically taxing, so it’s important to recreate the grueling situations seen on the mats during the team’s many practices. “Its tough,” junior Hunter Miller said. “It can be really bad for the guys that were not being active leading up to the season.” “People talk about how tough it is, but they don’t even know,” senior Rad Hampton said. “I once lost three pounds in the first week just from how much we had to do.” “I would have to say the drill matches are the toughest,” Hampton said. “It takes a lot out of you and we have to do it so much.” @DHSGreenPride

Miller went on to describe the practices as requiring constant movement involving numerous sprints, mountain climbers and lots of drill matches. “It helps us get into that mind set on the mats, to always be moving.” Practices have gotten so intense some times that some of the wrestlers have reportedly throwing up in the middle of running. “Its pretty common for some of the new guys to do that,” said Miller. “Sometimes even returning guys throw up cause they haven’t been very active leading up to the season.” Throwing up is just one of many thing that shows how difficult the practices are to the competitors. Despite all the difficulties faced at practice the wrestlers can’t help but feel they’ve walked away with useful experiences. “It really does help us out,” Miller said. “It gets us ready for how intense the matches can be.” “Oh yeah, it definitely has helped us,” Hampton said. “It really has helped us get into the right shape for our upcoming matches.” The Wildcats will soon be faced with competing in the Frontier League meet, which will be held at Louisburg High School on Feb. 14.

A referee at the De Soto High School Triangular meet raises junior Jeremy Slitor’s arm after winning a match on Jan. 21. Photo by Abby Cater

Sophomore Braxton Henry attempts to pull down his opponent at the De Soto High School Triangular meet on Jan. 21. Photo by Abby Cater

Sports Feb. 5, 2014

Basketball teams forced Bowling team to overcome adversity membership takes a big fall Kyle Wernimont

staff reporter

Junior Megan Bonar pushes the ball up the court on a fast break during a game against Louisburg on Jan. 17. Photo by Julia Sanders

Bowling is a relatively new sport here at De Soto High School. It has only been offered for the past three years. Though this year, the number of participants is even fewer than last year. This means fewer opportunities for the team to participate in bigger tournaments or to do better in matches and tournaments. “I believe that it is because neither of the coaches are working in the building, so we don’t have daily contact with the student,” Wilcox said. Whatever the case may be, this loss of players could affect the team’s schedule and the availability of some players to compete. Ideally, the coaches would like to have a team of 12 boys and 12 girls. The boys’ team has met that goal, but there are only seven athletes on the girls’ team. Senior Nate Hess, who

joined the De Soto bowling when it was first formed, also wants to see some more new faces on the bowling team next year. “We definitely need more people out for bowling. In the three years that I’ve been bowling here we’ve never had a full girls’ squad, so I’d definitely like to see more girls,” Hess said. Despite not increasing in size, the bowling team has still ben able to gain several new members. “This was the first year I’ve actually had someone from my grade join the bowling team,” Hess said. Though the bowling team has gained a few new faces, it is evident that the bowling team, especially the girls’ team, is in need of new members to achieve a full bowling team. Despite the loss of players, Wilcox said that the teams are doing well. “They are raising their averages almost every week, so that is good,” Wilcox said.

Senior Luke Stenzel attempts to make a layup over a defender during a game against Louisburg on Jan. 17. Photo by Maddie Torline Emma


staff reporter

The De Soto High School basketball teams have faced many challenges this season. The loss of four seniors on the boys’ varsity team from last year and six on the girls’, however, is one of the biggest challenges that the teams have been forced to face so far. “When you lose six seniors, you always lose leadership and experience. Especially with that group, because there were no seniors when they were juniors, so they were two year leaders,” head girls’ basketball coach Jim Bonar said. The teams are visibly trying to click, work together

and find out what roles each person plays. However, with the loss of last year’s seniors, who were viewed as the leaders of the team, it hasn’t happened yet. This is not daunting to either coach, or many of the players. Head boys’ basketball coach Matt Rice claims that he can see some team members trying to “step up to the plate”, and he believes that senior leadership will happen soon. “I think if we keep working hard and trusting each other, we will absolutely get better and win some more games,” Rice said. The players also have an optimistic outlook on the rest of the season, and even Sub-State, which De Soto

High School will be hosting this year. “I think we had a rough few beginning games, but we’re already better now than we used to be in the beginning of the season, like at Hays. And I definitely believe we can come back from those games and do really well,” senior Mackenzie Lancaster said. As the season progresses, the expectations for the teams are very high. “I just want to see us become as good as we can be, and not back down from anyone,” Rice said. The Wildcats’ next challenge is approaching soon. Both varsity teams will take on Basehor-Linwood High School on Friday, Jan. 31.


Vol. 42, Issue 5


Diamonds dazzle with new lyrical routine Ryanne Mercer News Editor

The De Soto High School dance team had never performed a lyrical dance before this year. This year at the Miss Kansas competition, held at Olathe South High School Jan. 17-18, it was the highest score they received. A lyrical dance is a slower dance where strong emotions are shown, as opposed to an energetic and upbeat hip-hop routine. “It’s something [the dancers] need to become more comfortable with and be able to express their emotions since it is different than the emotions they show during jazz or hip-hop,” head coach McKenzi Crow said. The Diamonds performed team lyrical, jazz and hip-hop dances. Sophomore Kelsey Mills performed a solo and a duet with sophomore Christa Stenzel and seniors Morgan Riley and Mackenzie Mathern performed an officer’s duet. The Diamonds received the Shining Star Award meaning they had to score at least a 240 out of 300 on

three or more routines. They also received the Sweepstakes Award. The lyrical dance got a choreography and routine judge’s award, showmanship and presentation award for hip-hop and technique and execution for their jazz routine. Each dance is critiqued by three judges on technique,

polish and precision, showmanship and choreography. The first practice after Miss Kansas, the dancers went over the judges’ critiques so that they could perform better in their next competition. “I feel like we can really show the audiences how much we’ve improved. I think we’re doing a really

great job. There weren’t any major things that were issue. I would personally just like to improve on energy and facials [expressions],” junior Sydney Webb said. On Jan. 25, their second competition was held at Lee’s Summit North High School. It was the Diamond’s first time attending this competition and it was

different than other competitions held in Kansas. In Missouri, judges can award first, second and third place finishes. At Lee’s Summit the team competed against schools of similar sizes and received fourth place on all three dances. Mills finished in the top 10 solos and both of the duets finished in the top ten spots.

Left to right: Junior Gabby Stephens, sophomore Christa Stenzel, senior Morgan RIley and sophomore Kelsey Mills performed the team’s lyrical routine at the Miss Kansas competition on January 17 and 18. Photo by Ryanne Mercer

Connor Kennard plays at the Orange Bowl Junior percussionist Connor Kennard was selected to play in the All Star Invitational Marching Band at the Orange Bowl on Jan. 3. He submitted an audition and was one of the 70 members who performed. Kennard performed during the half time show of the Clemson and Ohio state football game.


Wildcat Photo


B y M a d d i e To r l i n e feature editor

Over the recent winter break, junior Connor Kennard was honored with the opportunity to play in the All Star Invitational Marching Band at the Orange Bowl on Jan. 3. Kennard was selected from a vast number of auditionees to play in this band during the half time of the Clemson and Ohio State game. For the audition, Kennard had to record himself playing on four different percussion instruments. He also had to record himself playing while marching.

“I am really proud of [Connor]. Not only of this opportunity at the Orange Bowl, but also of the State band. He hasn’t been in band that long but right now he is the first percussionist in the State band, which means he is really good. He has a lot of spirit and is a good guy so I love having him in band, “ De Soto band director Matt Bradford said. Kennard and the other 60-70 members of the band flew down to Miami on Dec. 30, and rehearsed that night, then all day through Friday morning. Kennard was honored with the opportunity to play

center snare drum, which means that he not only was in the band but that all of the other snares were supposed to follow his lead. It is the equivalent to being first percussionist in the State or District band, which Kennard was for both bands his sophomore and junior year. This opportunity would never have immersed had Kennard not put his whole heart and soul into his love for band. “Band is wonderful and don’t quit band because that will be the worst decision that you will ever make in your entire life,” Kennard said.

Arts Feb 5, 2014

KMEA district band members make State Erin Kaul staff reporter

On January 11, several De Soto High School band students who made KMEA District Band had the opportunity to audition for the Kansas Music Educator’s Assosiation State Band. Many of the students who auditioned were successful, and some even have first and second chairs in

the band. State auditions were much more difficult than district due to the increased number of people and higher level of people auditioning. “There were a lot more people. There were about 100 clarinets at state auditions, and at district auditions there were probably 20 clarinets,” said senior band member Madison Kerr. The process included

splitting up by instrument and then playing a series of scales, excerpts and doing sight-reading. “All of the instruments got separated into different rooms. The clarinets had two rooms. In the first room we had to play one of our excerpts, which we practiced for. Then we played a chromatic scale,” Kerr said. “In the next room we did sight-reading and

played a major scale.” Connor Kennard, a percussionist who recieved first chair, did not know what to expect from the results after he auditioned. “There were tons of people there, so you never really know what to expect. Especially because this year the music was really easy,” said Kennard The students’ success at auditions is reflected

in the fact that Kerr received the second chair clarinet position, Kennard, a drummer, is the first chair percussionist. Additionally, Alexander Michalek is eighth chair trombone, Ethan AubreyMitchell is the fifth chair tuba, Jaycee Thaemert is a twelfth chair flute and Erick Sherman and Brenton Michalek are both alternates for trumpet.

Students place at technology competition

Tim Mayfield

staff reporter

Jan. 9th, 24 high schools and 600 entrants from Johnson County went to Johnson County Community College for the annual Technology Competition on. Among the entrants this year was De Soto High School, which sent 11 mixed-grade level students to compete. Of those 11, seven of them placed in their respective competitions. Senior Kaitlin Clough and junior Melinda Sanchez took

first place for their group entry to the graphic design advertising competition. Junior Sydney Webb took second place in the category of ceramics, senior Shelby Philbrook took second place in photography, senior Erin Sullivan took third place in photography, and junior Alex Lewis and junior Aman Gill took fourth play in digital design. While this was De Soto’s first year participating in the competition, those who went seemed to have enjoyed themselves immensely and

are planning on entering next year. “It was an awesome experience,” said art teacher Tim Mispagel. “It was obvious that Johnson County Community College had expended a lot of resources to make it a positive experience for everybody. When we got there the students all had tshirts printed for them, and the awards that we won were all complimentary as well.” Mispagel was the sponsor that took the students to competition. “It was really fun. We had

to walk a lot, but when we actually got to present, the ladies in there seemed really interested in our work. They gave us some tips and things that we could have changed, but overall they said we did really well,” Clough said. Even though they took first in their category, Clough and Sanchez experienced some last-minute stress and had to spend some of their own money to resolve a situation. “We had a typo in our Wildcat poster. We put the

wrong form of ‘to.’ We put ‘too’ instead of ‘to’, so we had to go and get it reprinted, and just laid it on top of the other poster. This all happened the day before the event,” Clough said. The event was also a good chance for some contestants to test the waters for a future career. “It was like a career sort of event. It was really fun to buy the posters and get a feel of what a career would be like, and presenting to judges, like you’d maybe present to a client,” Sanchez said.


Vol. 42, Issue 5

The Last Word

Natalie M. Foundation Fashion Show De Soto High School had four participants in the Natalie M. Foundation Fashion Show. This year, the fashion show was hosted on Jan. 12 at the Overland Park Convention Center. The show featured designs by Tony Bowls. Left: Juniors Meredith Wolfe, Abby Oberle and Tara Logan pose together for a picture after completing their walks down the runway. Right: Senior Meaghan King sashayed down the runway in a one-of-a-kind dress.

Right: Junior Abby Oberle struts down the fashion show runway at the Natalie M. Foundation Fashion Show. In order to participate in the show, each student had to sell 20 tickets to the event. A portion of the sales went to the Prom committee which is run by the Junior class.

Below: Junior Tara Logan smiles at the cameras as she walks down the runway and prepares to pose at the Natalie M. Foundation Fashion Show on Jan. 12.

Below: Junior Meredith Wolfe walks down the runway during the second show of the day. Each girl walked through three times on the runway and received a white rose.


Below: Fashion designer Tony Bowls and Foundation executive director Myra Nearenburg addresses the crowd at the fashion show. Bowls designed each dress for the show and offered a modeling shoot to one of the participants at the show. @DHSGreenPride

The Green Pride, Feb. 5, 2014  
The Green Pride, Feb. 5, 2014  

Student newspaper of De Soto High School