Page 1

pg.20 Grand Dedication

Eagle Angle


Nicole Welch

Allen High School Allen, Texas, 75002 Volume 29, Issue 4, February 6, 2012

Eight teachers hired after TRE passes

Saher Aqeel








Culinary students participate in Cupcake Battle held in Blú.

pg. 3


Nicole Welch






Three seniors balance jobs, school, athletics and extracurricular activities.



story by Aafiya Jamal & Maggie Rians // staff writers




pg. 9



Fa u






Staff writer reviews anticipated young adult novel about two terminally ill teenagers.

pg. 12

LOVE WEEK Carly Osterman

family. Wideman, who taught physics at AHS three years ago, was diagnosed with invasive ductile breast cancer in October.

no c

ko u


Kayla Graves

Family Time While playing with her 18 month old daughter, McKinley, 2012 Love Week recipient Randi Wideman bonds with her



rn at




Varsity wrestler junior Oliver Pierce ranks eighth in the world.

Former teacher relies on religion to battle breast cancer

pg. 18

Kayla Graves

al t




Thirty nine students officially signed athletic agreements to various universities.

Se pg. 19

A journey through faith story by Rebecca Moss // staff writer andi Wideman sits in her house on her worst night since starting chemotherapy on Jan. 10. She prays to God, asking for him to use her struggle for his glory, and for others to see his love through her strength in this hard journey. She prays with her husband, Matt Wideman, quoting Psalm 23, one of her favorite verses from the Bible. “The Lord is my shepherd, even though I walk through the valley of


death.” She clutches her husband’s arm as they pray together for healing. Mrs. Wideman was diagnosed with invasive ductile breast cancer on Oct. 24, 2011. Although doctors never officially diagnosed the stage of her breast cancer, the size of the tumor makes it in stage 2B. She said that because she is only 28 years old, doctors want to treat her cancer aggressively. On Nov. 29, Mrs. Wideman had a bilateral mastectomy, where both breasts were removed to prevent the

cancer from spreading. In December, Mrs. Wideman was chosen as the 2012 Love Week recipient. Mrs. Wideman was a physics teacher at AHS three years ago, and has been a Young Life group leader for the past five years. Last July, Mrs. Wideman discovered a mass, that she initially thought was a milk sack, after she had finished breast-feeding her daughter. In October, when the mass didn’t go // continued on pg. 10

n order to improve high student to teacher ratios in classrooms, eight new teachers were hired for the second semester with the latest funds from the recent Tax Ratification Election (TRE), in which 60.5 percent of voters passed a higher tax rate. The additional funding was used towards hiring new teachers in math, science, social studies and foreign language departments to meet enrollment growth. “[Class ratios] were way over what we normally have,” Executive Principal Steve Payne said. “If I’m in a classroom of 26, opposed to a classroom with 32, I’m going to get more attention from the teacher in the class of 26 than I am in 32. It’s better in the long run for the student because it’s not crowded and they’re going to get the learning they need.” In the United States, the average number of students to teacher is 15.3to-1 and in Texas the ratio is 14.56-1 according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Comparatively, before the hiring process took place, the average number of students to teachers was 26.7-to-1. Now, it is 24to-1. “The sophomore classes had a lot of students in each of their classes,” Payne said. “We were able to reduce the overall student teacher ratio by three students per teacher. There will be additional hires for next year because of growth and more students. When they come in as sophomores, the freshman class will be the biggest class we have.” Foreign language department head Lillian Spangler said she agrees with Payne that the reduction in student to teacher ratios was necessary. “With foreign language, it is // continued on pg. 2



New budget changes student to teacher ratio // continued from pg. 1 necessary to do a whole lot more work individually and you have to teach four aspects: the listening, the reading, the speaking and the writing,” Spangler said. “When you have big classes, you can’t get to everyone as often as you need to. For the students, a class of 25 is a whole lot better than a class of 33.” Out of the 38 potential candidates who were interviewed, Marilyn Danz was hired to teach Spanish II. “It’s good to have the classes not extremely full because when you’re learning a second language, you have more time,” Danz said. “The teacher has more time to interact and the students have more time to practice the oral language, which is what they need.” Danz said she knows that transitioning to a new classroom

with new students can come with its difficulties, such as adjusting to new teaching methods. “And I understand that it is challenging for me as a teacher and for [the students], but I looked at the previous lessons and we review all the time,” Danz said. However, Danz said that most of her students have reacted positively. “The students have reacted in very mature ways and have been accepting of me,” Danz said. “It has been a good transition.” Sophomore Celina Doro, who was switched into a different Spanish class, said she found the transition challenging. “I know some classes are better with more kids and some aren’t, but my class was already small to begin with,” Doro said. “I knew my teacher and understood the way of her teaching.”

Payne said he understands the challenges that come with a new teacher. “Would we rather have a student change a teacher from one semester to the next? We wouldn’t do that. We try not to do that,” Payne said “But we need to so it’s better in the long run for the student because it’s not crowded and they’re going to get the learning they need.” Payne said that although this transition may be difficult at first, it will ultimately enhance the learning of the student, all thanks to the funds of the TRE. “I’m just thankful that the community supports our schools,” Payne said. “The community supports what we do. That we’re using money efficiently and applying it effectively. And with them passing the TRE, Tax Ratification Election, that just proves that they believe in their schools.”

Congress combats Internet piracy

Why do you teach? “I love teaching. I always did. I love to stand in front of people and inspire them and to teach.”

Brayden Bunting - Chemistry How do you feel about teaching? “I enjoy it. It’s a challenge, especially with some of my students. But it’s still fun to wake up and come here every day.”

Crystal Grider - Physics

Why do you teach this subject? “It is extremely important in our everyday lives. We are constantly dealing with physics every time we move or do anything that has to do with electronics. I love being able to relate physics to the student’s everyday life.”

Jamie Hernandez - Spanish III

Leanna Sokolik - Geometry Why did you choose this subject? “I have always loved math. Ever since I was young, I have always loved math.”

Illustration by CJ Kimberlin

essence, is good,” Stevenson said. “But what it could become is not good. People don’t need to steal at all, but if you give the government a little bit, how much more is it going to want to take?” On Jan. 18, thousands of websites, like Wikipedia and WordPress, “blacked out,” or blocked the content of their sites in protest of SOPA. Other sites, like Google and Tumblr, gave users the choice to contact their representatives about the bill. “If that bill does pass,” senior Clifton McVea said. “The very first thing we can see is Internet freedom being taken away bit by bit by government agencies.” Over 4.5 million people signed Google’s anti-SOPA petition that appeared to Internet users when they used the search engine. “They’re taking the law too far,” McVea said. “They’re trying to protect their money, or even trying to make

ne the an w gl s e

Allen High School // Issue 4 // February 6, 2012


The Eagle Angle

Christina Lau - Algebra II

Why do you like high school? “[It’s] the last step before they go to college or university and I want to give them that little push for them to be there.”

story by Elaine Kirby // staff writer

n light of recent concerns with cyber piracy, Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas introduced the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) into Congress October of last year. If passed, SOPA would give the U.S. Department of Justice and copyright holders the ability to fight online trafficking. “It’s just like if someone was selling you cars and they were selling you the deed to a car that they didn’t own,” social studies department head Kieth Sullivan said. “Well, that’d be illegal. And I think everybody wants to stop that, and that’s what they’re doing.” Lawmakers like Rep. John R. Carter highlight the positive side to the bill by showing how much the music and movie industry, and even the government itself, are financially suffering. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) estimates that $20.5 billion is lost each year because of piracy. “If we stopped online piracy, we would save businesses that were [running] out of money since people are going on the Internet and are selling things that aren’t theirs,” senior Brandi Petty said. “That’s taking money from our government. The point is to keep money circulating in the states.” While Petty said she feels the SOPA bill is the right decision, junior Katie Stevenson said there could be issues that arise if it passes. “What it’s trying to do, in

Meet the new teachers

Jan. 4 - 7

more of it, because that’s what it’s all about to the RIAA and the MPAA.” On Jan. 14, news broke that a vote on SOPA scheduled for Jan. 25 would be postponed indefinitely until a consensus could be reached. “The voice of the Internet community has been heard,” Rep. Darrell Issa wrote in a statement on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform’s website. “Much more education for members of Congress about the workings of the Internet is essential if anti-piracy legislation is to be workable and achieve broad appeal.” McVea said companies should find alternatives to protecting their content. “Music companies and Hollywood try to protect their music from pirates,” McVea said. “[But] because the Internet is such a powerful tool, things like that happen. You just can’t stop it.”

Mariah Shultz - English II & III Why do you teach? “I love the subject and I love sharing that with other students. I love seeing the lightbulbs go off and I love introducing people to things they hadn’t thought of before.”

Amy Komisarek - U.S. History

Why do you teach? “To make a difference. It’s not only the education of students that’s important, but looking beyond and caring more about their personal life. I care more about making a difference in the big picture.”

Marilyn Danz - Spanish II Why do you teach? “The ability to teach is a gift given to me by God. Teaching Spanish allows me to share with my students my Hispanic heritage and the language that is close to my heart.”

Health Occupations Students of America raised awareness and funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). They sold sneaker key chains, JDRF sneaker cut-outs and Valentine cookies for $1-$5.

FFA participated in the Collin County Livestock Show where they competed in raising different farm animals. Sixteen students placed for pig, eight students for goat, seven students for steer, 14 students for sheep and 12 students for rabbit. Additionally, seven students placed for horticulture, one student for a metal project and five students for furniture. For a full listing of results, check out

Jan. 17 -20

Jan. 18 -27

Clinical students tested on Jan. 18, 20, 25 and 27 to receive a certif icate to become a clinical nursing assistant (CNA). Students took a written test and performed three basic skills that were randomly selected in order to receive their certif ication. With this certif icate, students will be able to work in a hospital as a CNA.

North Texas high schools compete in Cupcake Battle 3 I


Victoria Erb

Saher Aqeel

Battle of the batter (Top) Chocolate

cheesecake cupcakes with chocolate mousse prepared by Lindsey Lawhorn wait for judges on Jan. 19 for the culinary Cupcake Battle.

Sweet escape (Bottom) Sophomore

Hanna Gabaldon decorates her vanilla bean cupcake with a chocolate covered raspberry, white chocolate shavings and a heart made out of white chocolate.

In the zone (Right) Junior Lindsey

Lawhorn layers chocolate batter by hand on top of the cheesecake balls inside her cupcakes.

at the regional competition. “I’m really impressed with the students and their work,” Cooper said. “They did really, really good. There are some really talented, creative kids that brought a lot to this competition.” Allen is the only school that allowed hospitality and culinary

Victoria Erb

students to compete. Other schools only allow their culinary students to compete. “We encourage culinary and hospitality to work together as a team,” Hyde said, “because in real life you can’t have one without the other.” Because this was only the first year North Texas held a cupcake

The Opinions Angle T

he Board of Trustees finalized the 2012-2013 calender to Option A. Option A keeps a week long break at Thanksgiving and a two week winter break. Option B would have shortened breaks during the school year and made the summer longer. Students, parents, teachers and administrators were asked to vote on the calendar. “We like to seek input from all parties involved - the students, the faculty and obviously the community because the school is here to do service to the community and whatever best fits the community needs,” House 600 Principal Jared Miller said. “I don’t really mind the new calendar because we have an entire week of Thanksgiving break when we only really need 2 or 3 days. [Since] Thanksgiving is on Thursday, why do we need Monday and Tuesday off?”

Megan Raden junior

“Well, if it’s cutting the breaks in half I’d like to have breaks more often rather than all at one end like summer. I have a daughter at college. I’d like to spend more time with her at Christmas.”

Andrew Fennell parent

“I’m for [the new calendar] because I would be able to get out of school earlier and not in June.”

Important dates for the new calender:

“It wouldn’t really affect anything with my football schedule though, but I’m still against it because in the middle of the school year, everyone needs a long break to go back to the next semester.” 1st Day of School

Aug 27 Sept 3

Chris Seo Labor Day Holiday sophomore

Nov 19-23

“A [longer] summer break would Thanksgiving Vacation be nice especially for those kids that do sports or camp or that Winter Vacation work it’s nice to have that, but I do think there are benefits for having those extra breaks in the Spring Vacation year to give everyone a refresher.”

Dec 24 - Jan 4 March 11-15 May 27

Bruce Roksandich teacher

Memorial Day Holiday

Nicole Asonganyi junior

Lauren Allen June 6 Counselor Last Day of School

Environmental Awareness club received a grant from Healthy Habitats for $10,000. They plan to build a bioretention area at Allen Station Park this spring that will function like a wetland area and cleans water before it enters the creek. Currently, the club is testing plants and dirt to figure out what will best fit the environment.

Jan. 21 - Feb. 12

Aéropostale and will sponsor Teens for Jeans through Feb. 12. According to, one of the f irst items homeless teens ask for is jeans. Students can donate old jeans to the local Aéropostale store for a 25 percent discount on a new item or to the information desk at the front of the high school. The school that donates the most jeans will receive $5,000, a new pair of jeans for every student and a school party.

Jan. - Feb.

The Eagle Angle

Twenty students competed in the Business Professional of America (BPA) Regional Conference. Advanced animation students created a two-minute short f ilm about space exploration. Students qualif ied in second and third place in C# Programming, f irst, second and third place in Visual Basic Programming and f irst place in Java Programming. A full list of students and results can be found on

Jan. 21

“It should remain the old way where the Winter break and Thanksgiving break remain long because those are traditional holidays when family get together and spend time together.”

battle, Hyde said she plans on expanding to host a state competition next year. “Next year we are going to have scholarships and big prizes,” Hyde said. “It’s going to be so fun.”

Allen High School // Issue 4 // February 6, 2012

n order to build relationships between local districts, Allen hosted the first annual North Texas Cupcake Battle on Jan. 9. For the competition, culinary arts and hospitality students prepared a dozen cupcakes from scratch and presented them to be judged. The first competition was for Allen students and determined who would advance to the regional level on Jan. 19. Juniors Mila Halinen, Elyse Simchik, Rebekah Hermann, Lindsey Lawhorn and Maclean Campbell and sophomore Hanna Gabaldon advanced to the regional contest. They competed against nine schools and 48 students. No Allen students placed. “We had some amazing cupcakes,” Sheila Hyde, hospitality and restaurant management teacher, said. “I was impressed.” Hyde brought the competition to Allen. The idea of a cupcake battle originated with Central Texas schools last year, and consisted of local, regional and state levels. “We wanted to do something to involve all of the students and create camaraderie between the different districts,” Hyde said. “This [competition] is just for fun, to just kind of meet other people that have the same interests as you do.” Halinen, a foreign exchange student from Finland in restaurant management, said she would like to

make baking a career. “When I came to Ms. Hyde’s class she was talking about [the cupcake battle] and I really like baking so I thought maybe I should do it,” Halinen said. “I [was a] little scared but super excited.” Halinen made butternut squash cupcakes with vanilla bean frosting, homemade caramel sauce and edible glitter. “It’s just a different, really cool recipe that I knew that no one else would do,” Halinen said. Hermann said she participated because for her baking is fun. “I like to do it, especially since I want to be a chef,” Hermann said. “I want to be able to know how to bake, but baking is not necessarily my preference, I’m more on the culinary cooking side.” Hermann’s cupcake was a Chinese five spice carrot pineapple cupcake with a ginger cream frosting. “I just chose it because I thought it was kind of original and different than the super sweet cupcake,” Hermann said. The judges for the local competition were teachers and for the regional competition the judges included people who support the high school or do business with the high school, people from other schools and a chef from Baylor in Irving. They judged the cupcakes on their textures and design. Allen Community Outreach volunteer Stacy Cooper was a judge

-c o Je mp nn i ife led rW b y ag G on rac er e an Le d e, V Je ic ss to ic r a ia N E as rb on ,

story by Jessica Alaniz // staff writer


4 Students need for financial aid increases as tuition prices rise story by Kathleen Sinor // staff writer

Allen High School // Issue 4 // February 6, 2012


enior Sam Lim received a scholarship to Baylor University for 35 percent of her college costs to be paid for. But she knows her total cost for one year of studying pharmacy at Baylor will cost $46,902, so her scholarship won’t be enough. She needs all of her college expenses to be paid for from outside sources other than her parents. As the price of college continues to increase, more seniors must seek out financial aid in order to attend college. At the high school, 18 percent of seniors will need full financial aid to attend college due to a 757 percent increase in tuition prices over the past 30 years. In 2010 alone, student loan debt reached $830 billion, which surpassed the national credit card debt of $825.9 billion. “I would love to go to Baylor,” Lim said, “but I feel like whatever happens, happens for a reason. I’ll be glad to go to college.” One way seniors can receive money for college is through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which assists students with federal financial assistance. An application can be filled out online beginning Jan. 1 on www.fafsa. FAFSA gives students billions of dollars in federal aid funds. “There are lots of different ways to get money to go to school if you are really determined,” College and Career Center director Pam Hill said. Lim’s parents came to America from Malaysia with insurance money received from a motorcycle accident. Her father earned an undergraduate degree in Singapore, a graduate degree in Texas and a postgraduate degree in Kentucky, yet Lim said her parents will struggle to pay for her college because of their jobs as a

piano teacher and pastor. “They are doing what they love. I feel like it’s just how it is,” Lim said. “It’s nothing to really be ashamed of.” Senior Haley Riley will attend UT Tyler and said she wanted to help her parents any way she could since she has a younger sister who will also go to college in two years. “My decision was somewhat influenced by cost,” Riley said. “It just so happens that the school I love is reasonable.” With the average cost of tuition in the U.S. at $26,273, up by four percent from last year, and with two younger brothers who will attend college at the same time as her, Lim’s parents’ average tuition bill will be $78,819. “My parents will probably pay for living expenses,” Lim said. “I’m hoping to get enough scholarship money to not be dependent on other people.” Hill said that Texas has more schools than any other state, which causes an increase in competition and makes earning scholarship money more difficult. Riley said she has applied for numerous scholarships. “I have lost count for how many scholarships I have applied for,” Riley said. “If I get a scholarship, it will allow me to have a little extra money to get started and start supporting myself with.” In the 2007-2008 school year, 66 percent of all undergraduates received some type of financial aid. “You may not be able to go to your number one school,” Hill said, “but if you get started and you’ve got a four year university that is willing to pay for your entire bachelor’s degree, you’d be foolish not to take advantage of that.”

Class of 2011 College Data

*all data was self-reported

Illustration by Kayla Graves

Robotics teams place in regional competition story by Lydia Gardner // managing editor

The Eagle Angle


t the Texas Computer Educators Association (TCEA) robotics regional competition, hosted at AHS on Jan. 14, a Lowery team finished first, Allen High team took third, Lowery team took fourth and another Allen High team took fifth. The first place Lowery team consisted of Keerat Baweja, Lucy Catlett, Megan Dellinger and Keshav Prathivadi. The other Lowery team consisted of Megan Westphal, Brandon Duran, Jack Fazackarley and Kelly Garrett. The third place Allen High team consisted of Casey Knighton, Caleb Lane, Mason Gartmen and Zach Decker. The other Allen High team consisted of Brandon Royal, Alexandria Brown and Austen Mathews. “We’re happy that we’re going to state,” senior Casey Knighton, whose team placed third, said. “but we were disappointed with how our robot did because we thought it originally was going to do much better, and on the first round it did. And on the second and third rounds it just kind of didn’t

do what it was supposed to.” In total, 18 counties were invited to participate, including Cook, Denton, Parker, Summerville, Rockwell and Dallas. In total 23 schools participated in the advanced division, along with two teams from Lowery and two teams from the high school. At the competition students presented a robot built from a Mindstorm Lego kit, which Allen students began programming in October. They are allowed to use as many pieces as needed, and build the robot around a “brain,” a box that they program on the computer then hook up to three motors. Two of the motors drive the wheels and one on top controls a wall that pushes various items. “I like programming it,” junior Austen Mathews, whose team placed fifth, said. “It’s cool to see the thing move.” At the competition, the students were given a pretend scenario in which a rocket ship crashed and their robots had to either physically pick up or move stacks of checkers, representing fuel pellets and rods. While building the robot,

students test-drove it on a 4-by4 game field, or mat. The mat the students practiced with was older then the fresh and different textured mats used at the competition, affecting the robot’s traction. “It was luck of the draw,” Robotics sponser Steve Mayberry said. “There was a little bit of difference, so you didn’t know. You prepared for all different kinds of variables and you didn’t know going into it what it was going to be like.” The top three schools from Saturday’s competition will attend the statewide competition against students from 20 regions. The event, held in Dallas in March, is similar to the area competition but with stricter rules. Mayberry said that robotics is enjoyable because it is something that any kind of student can do. “Call them geeks or whatever, but it takes all kinds [of students],” Mayberry said. “We’ve got athletes, we’ve got smart people, people that don’t begin to know what they’re doing, working together to as a team working on robotics.”

Caitlin Chandler

Do the robot During the TCEA robotics competition on Jan. 14 Austen Mathews’

team’s robot placed fifth. Students had to build a robot that could move stacks of checkers representing fuel pellets and rods.

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Months with mono


Sophomore misses semester due to contagious virus story by Dymielle Desquitado & Shaylon Miller // staff writer

diagnosed with mononucleosis for most of first semester and missed coursework that she has to complete online.

The Numbers Angle Measuring up mono


of adults between the ages of 35-40 years have been infected with mononucleosis.

15 -17

years of age is the time when the most adolescents are diagnosed with mono.


adolescents from the ages of 6 to 7 are diagnosed with mono every year.

20 - 50

year old men are twice as likely to be diagnosed with mono.

1- 4

weeks is the amount of time that mono symptoms last.

30 - 50

days is the amount of incubation time during which the virus can be spread.

statistics from

Allen High School // Issue 4 // February 6, 2012

Nicole Welch

Sick days Sophomore Sydney Long was

to give Long her missed assignments, homework and tests. “I was worried about her grades and how far behind she was getting,” Mrs. Long said. “So that was an awesome program that they have. It’s a great alternative especially since she was off for so long.” Long said that while she was trying to do schoolwork, her mind was not there, and she was slow at everything. “It was really scary because at first we didn’t know what was going on, and it really shuts down your body,” Mrs. Long said. “You can’t even get off the couch, [but] I’m glad it’s over.” Through Facebook and texting, Long said she kept in contact with her friends. Although the doctor said it may take up to six months for her body to fully return back to normal, Long returned to school on Jan. 3. “It felt weird before I got here,” Long said. “But within the first second I walked through the door, all the memories of everything just went ‘pop,’ and now it’s like I never left.”



ours after Sydney Long’s parents rushed her to the hospital and after her arms are covered with bruises from being pierced by needles, she learns she has mononucleosis. She brusts into tears. “It’s like you want to die,” Long said. “It’s like you are sitting there suffering and you’re miserable.” Mononucleosis, or mono, is a contagious disease usually spread by saliva or close contact with other people. It is more common in teenagers, affecting 45 of 100,000, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. On Oct. 14, Long began to feel fatigued and irritable. She developed a sore throat, headache and fever. After a week of continuous symptoms, she went to the hospital and found out she had an enlarged liver. “When I went to the doctor, the first time he touched my liver to see how big it was, it hurt really bad,” Long said. “I went to the hospital and he pushed down so hard, I was going to scream. It made my stomach even bigger, and I wasn’t even eating.” After the doctor diagnosed her with mono on Oct. 24, Long said it was a blessing and a curse because she did not have to worry about school

but felt miserable as she spent the autumn and winter holidays sick. Long missed two and a half months of school and returned in January for the second semester. “It kind of makes you depressed because you aren’t getting better for a long period of time,” Long said. While her symptoms of high fevers and irritability intensified, Long said her mother, Frances Long, was always supportive by ensuring she rested and had her favorite drinks, like milkshakes. “She had extreme migraine headaches, so we put heating pads on her at times on her stomach,” Mrs. Long said. “There was no medicine to give her to make it go away. So I really felt upset, and she just looked terrible.” Although there isn’t any medication to treat mono, Long took steroids to help with her sore throat. As she developed other symptoms, Long said she experienced bigger headaches and insomnia from the steroids. “It never went away,” Long said. “It drains your body of energy, life and thinking ability.” After missing three weeks of school, Long enrolled in home bound services. English teacher Angela Garwood came to her house after school two days a week for two hours

Illustration by Jeanne Bandelaria


New teacher overcomes hearing loss

story by Molli Boyd // staff writer


judge her. However, she sought a lifestyle set by example by her aunt and learned to embrace her disability. “She was not insecure about it,” Grinder said. “I kind of take on her role. I take on her way of looking at things.” Grider’s father and aunt have completely lost their hearing and her 5-year-old son, Austin, suffers from the disorder as well. “I’m kind of sad he is going to have to deal with that,” Grider said. “But at the same time it’s not anything he can’t overcome. I know it will actually make him stronger.” Grider said her disability has made her stronger, and she wants to set an example for others just like her. “Some people are a little bit prejudiced and automatically try to talk down to you,” Grider said. “I hope to change their opinion of people with hearing loss.”

The Eagle Angle

rystal Grider watches as her dad fidgets uncomfortably in a room full of “hearing people.” They automatically look down at him because he is deaf and they have to repeat themselves more than once. The snickers and side marks begin, but little do they know, Grider is not completely deaf and the words she can’t hear she can lip read. Grider, a new physics teacher, was born with a genetic disorder where her vestibulocochlear nerves are easily damaged.The nerve damage leads to a gradual hearing loss over the span of a lifetime. Grider now has 70 percent hearing loss. “I haven’t focused my entire life on my disability,” Grider said. “I try not to even think about it but I have to remember ‘oh gosh I have to get my hearing aids’ because a day without

them I [can] really see a big difference and I wind up being very frustrated at the end of the day because I could not hear.” Although Grider needed hearing aids at 8 years old she did not actually begin using them until she was 22 when she lost over 40 percent of her hearing. The years in between taught her how to read lips and to have patience for her daily struggles like not being able to hear people the first time or meeting people who do not understand. “It keeps me humble, that’s for sure,” Grider said. “You can become less confident in yourself and turn inside and become introverted but sometimes it can work in the opposite direction and can actually help you get to know people.” During the years she did not have hearing aids she said she learned how easy it was to expect people to

Nicole Welch

A new start New teacher Crystal Grider helps her physics students with a virtual lab. Grider has 70 percent hearing loss and wears hearing aids.

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February 19 YOUR story. YOUR pictures. YOUR coverage. Just Read It.

Juniors receive certif ication for scuba diving story by Neha Singh // staff writer

Nicole Welch

Diving deep After receiving their scuba certifications, juniors Rachel Jenson, Ashley Liang and Shelby Haveman planned a trip this

summer to scuba dive in Cozumel, Mexico.

of scuba diving is the high water pressure pushing on her eardrums. “It’s like, whenever you are taking off in an airplane, and you have to pop your ears,” Jenson said. “But just a little worse.” Thomas Haveman, Haveman’s father, also scuba dives. He has been scuba diving around the world, including in Okinawa, Japan. “Okinawa’s waters are just crystal clear,” Mr. Haveman said. “Without actually experiencing it,

people on land just don’t realize how absolutely gorgeous it is.” Mr. Haveman said he is excited to hear how his daughter feels about Cozumel, Mexico. “He wanted me to experience what he did,” Haveman said. “He’s a little proud of me.” Mr. Haveman said that getting a scuba diving certification was the best idea he has ever had. “The colors were all just fluorescent, and the animals were

just glowing,” Mr. Haveman said. “Anybody who hasn’t scuba dived is missing out on a beautiful and fantastic experience.”

Balancing act Three seniors stretch their time in extracurricular activities


Kayla Graves

In preparation Senior Senna Nilsson demonstrates to a Clinicals I student how to

properly change a pillow sheet. Nilsson is in Clinicals II, works at Sublime Chocolate Bar and is the varsity catcher on the softball team.

In the past two years TCU’s early applications have gone up by half. “I actually discovered it sophomore year and ever since [then] I have been wanting to go there,” Nilsson said. “It has the major that I want, which is neuroscience, that a lot of colleges don’t offer. It’s close but not right next door so I can come home when I need to, like for my siblings if I need to see them.” AP/IB classes are known to help students adapt when the change from high school to college gets closer. AP English IV literature and composition teacher Becky Adams said that there are studies that show simply being in an AP or IB class increases the likeliness that not only will the student go to college but that the student will finish in a four year time frame. “Their benefits go well beyond college,” Adams said. “Just being in the class has value and the students feel empowered and accomplished in the future.” Still, Nilsson said she wouldn’t encourage everyone to take on so much just because it is time consuming and hard to keep up. “I wouldn’t recommend it unless [they] really need to,” Nilsson said. “It’s just a lot of work and once you kind of get into it, it’s hard to get out. I would just say maybe wait a little bit to really think about it.” McClellan also has a full schedule. He was a linebacker on the varsity football team, works at Market Street in the bakery and is also in

anatomy, AP calculus, AP government and dual credit English. “It sucks [to be so busy],” McClellan said. “But it’s nice to have money.” Senior Clayton Vermeire agrees. He knows what it’s like to be busy. Vermiere was a wide receiver on the varsity football team, works at iHop on the weekends and is in AP government and the Ready Set Teach program. “I shouldn’t say it was hard, it was just a lot of work and that’s what kept me up,” Vermiere said. “It was very tiring.” Ready Set Teach sends students to schools to observe certified teachers, giving them a head start on college education programs. “I love school, I want to be a teacher when I grow up,” Vermiere said. “It’s extremely helpful from last year to this year. I have improved so much. It’s the whole shebang of being a teacher.” Even with their extracurricular involvements, advanced coursework and work schedules there is no guarantee they will be accepted to college. But, Vermiere said, there is one benefit. “I’m never bored I guess,” Vermiere said. “I never want to be bored. I just want to keep doing something, football, school and work just keep me busy and that’s what I like.”

The Eagle Angle

story by Breanne McCallop // staff writer leep is all but forgotten to senior Senna Nilsson. “I realize that sleep doesn’t come easy anymore,” Nilsson said. “I stay up way too late because when you have all these things sleep isn’t exactly a priority high on the list and then it’s forgotten.” This year, 61 percent of students at the high school participate in one or more advanced classes, including dual credit. But with an increase in tuition prices and a rise in overall applicants, an advanced course load is not enough to guarantee acceptance into universities. Students, like Nilsson and senior Carl McClellan, are also involved in AP classes, athletics and a part time job. Nilsson is the starting catcher on the varsity softball team, is a certified nursing assistant through involvement in health science and works 12-15 hours per week at Sublime Chocolate Bar in Watters Creek. “It’s a good workout, especially softball season,” Nilsson said. “It builds me in a way that I learn responsibility and how to balance time.” In a recent Dallas Morning News article admissions teams echoed the buzzword “holistic” to describe how students mitigate for a financial leg up. “[TCU] is pretty expensive so that’s why I really need to work,” Nilsson said. “It’s my way of helping out my family. I like being able to make money.”

Allen High School // Issue 4 // February 6, 2012

unior Ashley Liang’s head breaks through the freezing water of Clear Springs Lake in Terrell, Texas. She feels her limbs becoming numb. She struggles to make her legs move, and she pushes herself deeper. Finally, she opens her eyes and sees an Albino catfish swimming in the crystal clear water. Then, she knew she survived her first scuba dive. Liang received her scuba diving certification last spring, along with juniors Shelby Haveman and Rachel Jenson. They plan to go to Cozumel, Mexico to scuba dive and enjoy the exotic scenery with scuba coach Tim Smith during the first week of summer vacation. “We will be doing a lot of scuba diving [in Cozumel], because the water is really clear,” Liang said. “The visibility is about 200 feet. In the lake it’s around 20 feet.” The process for receiving a scuba diving permit involves six months of bookwork, then a 100 question multiple choice test, which assesses knowledge of the scuba equipment. “That’s the most boring part, the multiple choice test,” Haveman said. “Everything after that was just plain amazing.” After receiving their permits, they began practicing at Adventure Scuba in Plano, and after five to six weeks, at Clear Springs Lake. “It was kind of nerve-racking at first but it was so much fun once you got in the water,” Jenson said. “It’s a great experience, to be diving on your own.”



At first, Liang said that she just wanted to see if it was possible to get a scuba certification, but after finding out the certification was attainable, she and her friends got interested, and they decided to try it out. “It’s an indescribable feeling, being able to breathe underwater,” Liang said. “I am so happy that I got my certification.” Haveman, Jenson and Liang are going to test for Nitrox, advanced certification. For Nitrox, they must learn a new set of rules, and work with a different percentage of air in their tank. The test requires the same amount of training as a regular certification, but allows them to dive deeper, make night dives and explore caves. “It’s a whole new experience,” Jenson said. “Doing night dives would add an exciting sense of mystery, and we would be able to see different underwater life.” Clear Springs Lake is specifically designed for recreational scuba diving and scuba diving certification. “They have half of a shark’s head at the bottom [of the lake], for us to explore, so that was cool,” Haveman said. “But that’s it, so I’m super excited for Cozumel, because of the diverse underwater life.” The three girls said that their favorite part about scuba diving is being able to breathe underwater. “Whenever I went in the water wearing all this equipment, it was just so cool,” Liang said. “I wish the air in the tank lasted forever, the feeling is so lovely.” Jenson said that the worst part


Loving Memories

Peak-a-boo After dinner Randi e recipient.

// continued from pg.

down, she went to her doctor. “I was kind of scared,” Wideman said. “I was really surp because I was only 27 at the tim it was really frightening.” Mr. Wideman said that learning how to understan feelings about her cancer throu experience. “It was almost like a s punch to the gut,” Mr. Widema “You weren’t expecting it. I happened, and the wind gets kn out of you.” As Christians, the coupl that they are blessed throug strength of God. “I try to keep the persp that God has me right where he me, and that he is going to bri through this,” Mrs. Wideman s try my hardest to be joyful alo

IB stud

Funding Love (top) The Eagle E Thomas displays the Love Week sh


I try to keep the perspective that God has me right

where he wants me, and that he is going to bring me through this. I try my hardest to be joyful along the



Kayla Graves

entertains her daughter, McKinley, with animal noises. Randi was diagnosed with invasive ductile breast cancer last fall and is the 2012 Love Week


” Mrs. prised, me, so

he is nd his ugh the

sucker an said. It just nocked

le said gh the

pective e wants ing me said. “I ong the

journey.” Mr. Wideman, who calls Mrs. Wideman the love of his life, said that her relationship with God is what gives her all of her strength. “That’s where her true beauty comes from, that’s where her life resonates,” Mr. Wideman said. “Without [God] through this, I don’t know how we would do it.” After her surgery, Mrs.Wideman couldn’t pick up her 18 month old daughter, McKinley, for six weeks. She said that it was really hard not being able to hold her daughter. “I’m just so thankful that I get to have a daughter, because I don’t know if I’ll ever get to have another one,” Mrs. Wideman said. Mrs. Wideman’s chemo cycle consists of 16 rounds. The first four are rounds of three drugs every three weeks. After those four rounds, she will have chemo every week for 12

weeks, and she will only take one drug. The goal of the chemo is to kill the cancer cells, so that they don’t spread to other parts of the body. After the chemo, Mrs. Wideman often experiences nausea, vomiting and fatigue. “I used to be able to run four miles,” Mrs. Wideman said. “But now I can walk around the block.” The couple said that they were humbled that Mrs. Wideman was chosen to be the 2012 Love Week recipient, and that they didn’t realize how many people cared about them. “I just started crying,” Mrs. Wideman said. “I can’t even tell you how thankful I am and how much this touches my heart.” Sophomore Caroline Mason is a part of the group that Mrs. Wideman leads at Young Life. Mason said Mrs. Wideman is the happiest person she knows.

“I pretty much just cried for two hours [when I heard],” Mason said. “At Young Life camp, she was so enthusiastic. Most of my Young Life memories are of her being so happy.” Mrs. Wideman hasn’t been able to participate with Young Life for the past few months, but she said that after she is finished with her chemo in June, she will participate as much as she can. “As much as my energy allows it, I am going to be a part of it,” Mrs. Wideman said. “[Young Life has] just been a second family to me.” She said response from the amount of people who have reached out to them has been overwhelming. “I just want to make sure that I say how thankful I am for everything,” Mrs.Wideman said. “I just don’t think my words are personally adequate to express how thankful I am.”

-Randi Wideman Love Week recipient

The Numbers Angle Breast Cancer Awareness women will develop invasive breast cancer.

1 in 8 230,480 2% 39,520

new cases of invasive breast cancer were diagnosed in 2011.

is the amount that the breast cancer incidence rate decreased from 1999 to 2005. women were expected to die in 2011 from breast cancer.

2.6 million 5 - 10%

women were breast cancer survivors in 2011.

of breast cancer cases can be linked to gene mutation.

statistics from

dents, volunteers prepare for 2012 Love Week story by Madyson Russell // staff writer


Madyson Russell

Edge is selling Love Week shirts for $15 during every class period. Senior accounting student Janay hirt to junior Eric Juarez.

rom Feb. 13-17, students can pay to duct tape teachers to the wall in the cafeteria and purchase love muffins, love bugs, Love Week buttons and t-shirts, which are being sold now in the Eagle Edge store on campus and online. All proceeds will go to Randi Wideman and her family. “I’m really glad we chose Randi,” senior Love Week co-chair Megan Plate said. “She is the perfect recipient.” Love Week sponsor Deborah Vernon said Love Week originated by a Phoenix class when they read the book “1984” by George Orwell. “In the book they have a hate week,” Vernon said. “And that class decided that they should turn it around and make it a love week.” For the past three years IB has been responsible for all the preparation and planning, but

anyone can volunteer to help out. More students volunteered this year because Randi is a well-known adult in the community. “I’m really excited,” Plate said. “It’s going to turn out awesome and I think we are going to have so much support and everyone is really going to enjoy what we are doing.” When searching for a Love Week recipient the committee, comprised of student and adult volunteers, distributes nominations to all schools in the district. After the committee collects all the requests they choose a recipient based on needs and recommendations from the community. “Deciding upon a recipient is so difficult,” Plate said. “Because everyone is so deserving and you don’t want to turn anyone away.” Senior co-chair Betsy Arce said participating in Love Week makes her feel good about herself. “You are helping the community,”

Arce said. “And you are able to give back to someone who clearly needs it.” Friday, the last day of Love Week, is designated for wearing t-shirts and the benefit concert. “I’m really looking forward to that Friday at the end of the week after we sell all the t-shirts,” Plate said. “I’m expecting such a big turnout and just seeing everyone wearing the t-shirts, walking through the halls of Allen, is going to be my favorite moment.” Vernon said the district has a lot of support from administrators to encourage all the schools to participate in some way. “That is probably the thing that I am most proud of,” Vernon said. “That it has grown beyond something just at the high school to the whole community and the purpose is to get students to look beyond their own world and really see the crisis in their own community.”

Reviewing with an angle


12 Not quite great escape for ‘Alcatraz’

story by Conner Martin // staff writer he premise of “Alcatraz” is simple: in 1963, the infamous prison didn’t just shut down, all of the inmates disappeared without a trace. And now they’re reappearing in 2012 without having aged a day to resume their old crimes. The premiere episode explains almost all of this in the first five minutes, leaving the big mysteries, as expected, still unexplained at the end of the first hour. It’s an interesting idea for a show, and the premiere achieves a nice conspiracy vibe while setting up future stories. But unfortunately, the second episode, which aired back-to-back with the first, ends up falling flat. With the respective endings of these two episodes, and with the convention it has adopted for episode titles (each one named after a different prisoner), “Alcatraz” seems to be sending viewers a very clear message about its format for future installments: procedural, selfcontained and easy to follow. The second hour pursues this to a fault. The result is a show that seems to have a lot of potential beneath the surface but comes across as dull. The acting is solid enough but so far without much depth, as the script is heavy on exposition and lighter on emotional beats. Sarah Jones makes a good effort but doesn’t leave much of an impression as the show’s main character, a detective who stumbles into the Alcatraz mystery during a murder investigation. Jorge Garcia is likeable and once again fills the comic relief role as an author and Alcatraz expert. And Sam Neill doesn’t do much more than fulfill the “mysterious leader” cliché for the team. Overall, “Alcatraz” has signs of a show that could be good, but for now it just doesn’t seem to have much longevity. The central mystery, while intriguing enough, can’t be dragged out for long without becoming stale, and the one prisoner per episode routine will get boring quickly if the writers don’t have something up their sleeves to spice it up. At the moment, the show stands firmly in good, not great, territory.

Allen High School // Issue 4 // February 6, 2012


Movie choir creates truly ‘Joyful Noise’ story by Saher Aqeel // staff writer here is always a binding factor within a community. And no matter how far this bond is stretched, it will never break because at the end of the day, even if a person focuses on what tears them apart, this factor always brings them back. In Todd Graff’s newest movie “Joyful Noise,” he never fails to express that music, pure from the heart, is what is keeping this small Georgia town together. “Joyful Noise” is set in the longsuffering town of Pacashau, Georgia, the home of the Divinity Church Choir. After the unexpected death of choir leader Bernard Sparrow, the choir is led by Vi Rose Hill, an overprotective, hardworking mother of two played by Queen Latifah. But her choice of “old,” tired songs clashes with the opinion of Bernard’s wife G.G. Sparrow, played by Dolly Parton. Vi Rose’s character compliments Gigi’s character perfectly because while their differences bring up conflicts, they also bring out the best in the town. Watching Latifah and Parton take on these personas is a hilarious ride. After Vi Rose takes over, the Divinity Choir enters the national “Joyful Noise” competition and makes it to the semi-finals. The only things standing between their chances at victory are their recent loss, lack of money and tired, traditional songs. This aura of changing the style of the choir is put into motion by the arrival of G.G.’s bad boy grandson, Randy, played by Jeremy Jordan, who charms the choir with his charismatic personality and voice.


Not surprisingly, a romantic, almost star-crossed relationship between Randy and Vi Rose’s daughter, Olivia, played by Keke Palmer, develops. It’s a relationship of fluff, but still a charming one. The relationship between Randy and Olivia forms so fast that it feels as if the audience missed something. Though the relationship was predictable it didn’t have much time to manifest. Olivia is standoffish one moment and riding in Randy’s car the next. But, besides how their relationship started, the rest of their romantic rollercoaster ride was quite entertaining to watch. It is a cute relationship of a good-girl-gone-bad with a bad boy with a good heart. The best part of the movie is Randy and Olivia’s duet to “Maybe I’m Amazed.” The plot of the movie is original and entertaining mainly because of the many characters of the choir introduced. Their unique, personal stories are humorous and add a fresh twist to a serious plot. It is amusing to see how the choir remains cheerful, disregarding their struggles and living life as it comes to them. “Joyful Noise” is the perfect combination of fun-loving people, southern humor and incredible musical talent. The story line was not too exciting, but illuminates the true meaning of working together as a community. Palmer and Jeremy made a beautiful love story and Parton and Latifah were an unimaginable pair that brought the movie to a new height. The cast of the choir was crafted together magnificently, their voices together as one making the movie a truly joyful noise.

‘The Fault in Our Stars’ brings life to sad topic story by Emily Cantwell // staff writer he title of the book, “The Fault in Our Stars,” refers to a line from Shakespeare’s “Julius Caeser” in which Cassius said, “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars/ But in ourselves.” The rest of the book, however, is spent disproving this quote entirely, because the main character, Hazel, didn’t choose to get thyroid cancer. She didn’t choose for it to spread to her lungs. She didn’t choose to meet cancer survivor Augustus Waters at a lame support group, and she most certainly did not choose to fall in love with him. But that, unfortunately, is the fault in the new couple’s stars. In his fifth novel, bestselling young adult author John Green chronicles the romance between Hazel and Augustus. After they meet, they bond by sharing their favorite books. Augustus comes to treasure Hazel’s favorite, a fictional novel called “An Imperial Affliction,” too. Together, they share intellectual debates over what the book truly means and how it ends. Through the help of fate and a wish granting charity, they travel to Amsterdam to find Peter Van Houten, the author of “An Imperial Affliction,” and finally get some answers. All the while, Hazel is trying desperately not to fall in love with Augustus because she fears that she will only bring him pain as her cancer progresses. “Were she better or you sicker,” Van Houton tells Augustus, “then the stars would not be so terribly crossed, but it is the nature of stars to cross.”


Green’s inspiration for the book came from the months when he worked as a student chaplain at a children’s hospital. His experiences led him to write a book about terminally ill children and their families. But his attempts to write a book on this topic were not successful until he met Esther Earl, a fan turned friend, who died of thyroid cancer at 16. He said that knowing her helped him to write this story. In fact, the book is dedicated in her honor. One of the most striking things about the book, and Green’s novels in general, is the honesty and depth of his characters. In a world where whole aisles of the young adult section are dedicated to vampires and fantasies, it’s refreshing to read a book featuring down-to-earth characters facing everyday and not so everyday obstacles. Green manages to honor those with cancer while also bringing them to a relatable level. Instead of putting Hazel on a pedestal for battling cancer, Green humanizes her. He emphasizes her imperfections, which makes her all the more beautiful. The content of the book could easily get too sentimental or sappy, but in “The Fault in Our Stars,” Green makes sure to mix the good with the bad, the beautiful with the ugly and humor with the tragedy. The end result is a novel that poignantly represents the life and romance of a girl with cancer, and a story that lasts with you long after you put it down.

In quest of a perfect donut story by Kacey Wilson // staff writer was on a mission for the perfect donut. Spending three Saturdays in a row walking into three different donut shops was my January. The perfect donut cannot just be a sugar delight, it must be the perfect amount of sweet, just the right size and a nicely iced top. Only one of the shops stood out to me the most with what I think is the best donut in Allen. After driving around for a good ten minutes, I finally found a donut shop. The sign of the store read “Donuts” in large letters but the name of establishment is called Got Donuts?. As a kid I was taught not to judge a book by its cover, so I disregarded the outside appearance and walked into the store to begin my mission.


Kate Conroy

The Eagle Angle

Sonny’s Donuts is located at 1314 W McDermott Dr.

Kate Conroy

Got Donuts? is located at 1228 E. Exchange Pkwy.

Kate Conroy

Max’s Donut shop is located at 105 N Greenville Ave.

After ordering the first donut on my journey, a green iced sprinkle, I took my first bite. The suspense of a good donut was suddenly crushed when I discovered that the donut was average. I could have gone to the Kroger across the street and had the same taste that I experienced at Got Donuts?. Discouraged, I left the donut store to continue my mission the next week. At Max’s Donuts, customers begin to experience nostalgia as the familiar smell of fried dough hits their nose after their first bite of Max’s. Max’s Donuts thrives on their “sweet” fame to bring in new customers. This was the first time I had ever been to Max’s. After receiving a traditional chocolate iced donut, I enjoyed the treat slowly. The donut was chewy

and sweet, just like a donut should be. Unfortunately, their donuts were not up far enough on the delicious level to be deemed the perfect donut. The donut was a little too sweet to enjoy the taste of the dough and one donut was large enough to fill me up instantly. It was time to move on to my next and last location. Instead of getting my mother to drive across town again, I decided to walk to my last spot. Sonny’s Donuts is less than a mile from my house but I had only been there a couple times in my life. I decided on the donut I had been getting my entire life, a simple strawberry iced. My first bite was a thing of amazement. Sonny’s treats melt in your mouth as you chew. The taste of their donuts is delicious as the perfect amount of sweet fills your mouth.

Not only are the donuts great but the employees of Sonny’s are some of the nicest people you will ever buy donuts from. They greet you like you’ve been their friend forever even if it’s your first time buying donuts from them. My mission was complete. After three long weeks of eating fried food, I had found the perfect donut. If you’re in the mood for a sugary breakfast, go to Sonny’s Donuts. You’ll be treated to wonderful service and a tasty treat.

Disney movie brings out inner beauty A

since I first saw it. I used to dress up like Belle each time I watched it and imagine I was a princess. I loved the animation and the music, but what I loved most was that Belle was a role model I could identify with, unlike the other princess movies. Belle saw past people’s appearances and focused on what was on the inside. She is independent and doesn’t need a prince to rescue her, and the Beast isn’t exactly prince charming. The story is all about inner beauty, a lesson we can still use today.

In 3-D, the story became even more powerful. Each scene had new, fresher feel to it, because the animation was restored along with the new effects. It was almost like I was watching a movie that I had never seen before. Belle is still the role model I remember from my childhood, and I hope she will continue to teach important lessons to the younger and older audience. Society today focuses more on appearance than substance. Plastic surgery is used to make people more

beautiful, because a lot of people care more about how they look than how they are as a person. “Beauty and the Beast” teaches that if people look past someone’s appearance, they can learn to love them the way they are. It also teaches that people shouldn’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd. Belle doesn’t fit in, but that doesn’t stop her from being herself.


story by Rebecca Barney // staff writer beautiful princess, a handsome prince and a little bit of magic. A recipe for any romance, but in “Beauty and the Beast,” the prince is a terrifying beast under a curse and the princess doesn’t need a prince to rescue her.

This month, Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” first released in 1991, returns to the big screen, but this time in 3-D. The classic is the story of a cursed prince who must find a girl he loves and who loves him in return despite his appearance before the last petal of an enchanted rose falls off. When a young girl comes to stay at his castle, the spell is eventually broken when they fall in love. Grossing $377.4 million worldwide, it is one of Disney’s most successful films. I’ve loved “Beauty and the Beast”


Hey ladies, this column is for you


you down with negative comments. (Example: Who taught you how to bowl, Stevie Wonder? My apologies to all the blind people reading this.) So ladies, are you excited about our date yet? Keep listening, it gets better. How is that even possible you ask? Because I’m not only going to take you to the bowling alley (if that’s all we did on our date then I’d be a jerk), I’m also going to take you to the most romantic restaurant on the planet. Olive Garden. Now keep in mind how nice it is of me to take you to a girly, prissy restaurant like Olive Garden. So be grateful. I won’t hold the door open for you, but I will order your food for you because you don’t possibly have the necessary mental capacity required to engage in conversation with the waiter. Then I’ll order some girly pasta thing with asparagus for myself, and then complain that I have to eat something so unmanly. Next, my friend will probably call at some point to see how my date’s going; of course I’ll answer, because everyone knows bros before first dates. I’ll talk loud so everyone can hear my conversation. After all, most people came to Olive Garden to hear me talk on the phone, because I’m so clever and fun. Oh, and after the phone call, when that group of cute girls walks by, I’m going to check them out, but don’t worry, it’s only because they’re prettier than you are. But I won’t tell you that to your face, of course, I’ll only think it, because I’m a gentleman. When the meal’s over we’ll split the check, and you’ll have to find your own way home because I’ll have another date planned with some other lucky girl, because Lucas Lostoski is not a one girl kind of guy. (He’s currently a zero girl kind of guy.)

Then I probably won’t call you afterwards, so don’t get your hopes up for a second date. How are you still single Lucas? It’s a mystery to me.

Hello, womankind, how are you doing today? I’ve attached this application to my story as a way to keep all the girls who want to date me organized. If you think you have what it takes to date a guy as cool and great and fun as me, then go ahead and fill this out. Name: First: Last: (Check one) I am: Female


Lucas Lostoski: Cool Guy

Coolest Guy

Describe yourself in the next few lines and why you would be worth my time:

Allen High School // Issue 4 // February 6, 2012

story by Lucas Lostoski // sports editor y friends are always asking me, Lucas, how is it that you’re still single? And the truth is, I can’t quite figure out why either. I mean, I’m incredibly attractive, smart and can grow facial hair, yet no one wants to go on a date with me. And why not? It’s not like I’m shy or unromantic. In fact, I’m so romantic, I’ve already planned the most romantic first date ever in my head. Ladies, pay attention, because these next couple of paragraphs are for you. So, our date will start with me driving my failing 1998 Chevy Malibu to pick you up. (Ladies, please note that if my car breaks down with you in it, you’re going to have to push.) Once I get to your house I’ll honk my horn for you to come out, because, let’s face it, I’m way too cool to walk 10 feet to greet you. Once you’re in the car, I’ll strike up a conversation with you, but I probably won’t listen to a word you say. Or maybe instead of talking I could just blare my music to drown out your annoying voice. Because this is the most romantic date ever, I’m going to keep it classy and take you to the bowling alley. It will be our first stop on this love train. The bowling alley is great because the dim lighting will make it hard for us to see each other, and the cigarette smoke will take your breath away. Now, if you haven’t bowled before don’t ask me if you can use bumpers, because the answer is no, of course not. They’ll make me look stupid. And I’m not a big fan of things that make me look stupid. So we’ll bowl for a while, and I’ll amaze you with my athletic ability, while I let you know how bad you are at bowling by constantly putting

*My favorite movie is

(By the way if you answered “The Notebook” you can stop answering right now)

An opportunity to go out with Lucas Lostoski would be: Life Changing Truly Humbling Awesome Drop off your applications at room K109 if you’re interested in this opportunity of a lifetime. Who knows, you may be lucky enough to get chosen. *the correct answer was “The Shawshank Redemption”

When respect disappears T

hey walk among you. They hold themselves above any other. They do what they can to stay high on the social ladder. They go down the hallways saying and thinking that they are cool. But disrespect is not cool. Ignorance is not cool. Tainting school property is not

dollars on the CTE Center for us. It’s like getting a new car for your birthday and coming back a few days later with two doors missing and a crack in the windshield. Disrespect would be an understatement. I can’t quite understand why somebody would ruin a brand new building built for them. Perhaps they do it to mark property as if it were their own territory. Perhaps they do it to keep themselves at the top of the social ladder. But there is no good reason. When I was younger and we went to other people’s houses for dinner, my mother would warn me not to touch anything because I

might break it. She explained that it is rude to touch other people’s things without asking them, and if I broke something, it would be wrong and humiliating to her. She spent days teaching me how to eat properly with a spoon and a fork, so I wouldn’t be rude and stuff food into my mouth in front of guests. She told me to say please and thank you. She emphasized that theft was bad, that crime was bad, that lying was a crime through the victim’s eyes. I never met anybody who went against the rules my mother set up for me. Back then, I lived in a world where I thought nobody did those things. Where I thought that being

courteous was the best way to go, because my mom said so. These morals and values seem to be absent today, slowly disappearing as we watch crime rates, such as vandalism, go up, as more and more people began to think that the wrong option is the only option they have. What students need to realize is that it’s not, because you always have another option. The right option. Respect. Merriam Webster defines it as high or special regard; the quality or state of being. Students should start showing some.

The Eagle Angle

story by Naina Pati // staff writer

cool. Vandalism. Merriam Webster defines it as the willful or malicious destruction or defacement of public or private property. A few weeks ago, I went to the new bathrooms in K-hall, the ones with red tiles and stalls. I expected perfection because, well, they’re new. I walked in and found the walls defaced, carved into. This got me thinking of how much respect people have lost. From not responding nicely to others, to vandalizing property, it is out of control. While some may think this isn’t such a big deal, the fact is the district and community spent several million


Do not download

Allen High School // Issue 4 // February 6, 2012


story by Cory Fleck // staff writer


group of seniors go out to eat. They decide that the restaurant probably makes enough money. That it’s okay if they walk out without paying for their meal. Almost all of the world would agree that they are completely in the wrong and yet I have had many debates where people advocate that downloading movies or music on the internet is perfectly reasonable. When you download music for free, you are taking something that you like and refusing to provide just compensation for it. And just like the kids in the restaurant it is stealing, plain and simple. There is no middle ground or debate about stealing. That is the reason that downloading music for free is illegal and punishable with large fines and possible jail time. I’ve heard several people argue that the law does not decide what is moral and what is okay. But the most common argument I hear is that “most musicians already make a lot of money, so why does it matter?” Just because someone has a lot of money doesn’t mean that it’s okay to steal from them. Plus, when you download music illegally, you aren’t just taking money away from the band. Money is being taken away from the

studio, the production company and everyone that they employ. The band can still make money on the tour, but these employees have no other source of income. Not paying for songs is a lot like stealing from Wal-Mart just because the owner of the chain is probably really rich. Not only is money being taken out of the system for all the other people that are employed by Wal-Mart, but the owner of the company, who has earned money by providing goods for public use, is also being denied his fair keep. If a band is popular and people want them to continue making their music, then they should most definitely pay for their songs. Believing that taking an artist’s music can be justified by someone “not having the money” shows a lack of understanding for the fundamental way that the world works. Not having enough money is no excuse for theft. An alternative to illegally downloading music would be working to save up the money, in order to support the music that we enjoy so much. Art has always been intellectual property for it’s creators. Art has always cost money, because that is the artist’s job and therefore their source of income. It is only because

Illustration by Siena Krueger

they make money for their creations that they can have the time to make it. If your favorite musicians also had to work at Burger King then they would not have the time to make the music that you enjoy so much. There have recently been many protests for the SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act) bills that were before the House and

the Senate. While I oppose the bills themselves and disagree with the scope and power that they would have given the government, I feel as though a lot of people are missing the intention of these bills. Online piracy is a real threat, and it’s a real problem going on. The taking of other’s intellectual property occurs far too often in this country.

Students struggle to pick a college price tag editorial by The Eagle Angle staff oney is one of the biggest concerns when choosing a college. It’s what makes essays so critical and scholarships so precious. It can be the make-or-break factor for a college decision. But if money trumps all else, there may be a little too much emphasis on the financial aspect of college choices. The main reason money is so important in this process is that somewhere along the way, students have been conditioned to believe that paying more money equals a better education. But that can be a dangerous assumption to make. Unlike high school, college education is highly subjective. The experience


Illustration by Kayla Graves

the eagle angle

Allen High School

depends on the person: their area of interest, their goals, their study habits and so on. Paying more money for college doesn’t automatically guarantee a better experience. The cheaper schools may in fact be the better schools. Attending a well-known, prestigious school that doesn’t actually have a good program for your intended area of study means essentially just paying for the label. It’s important to remember that college is supposed to be about education. After all, since it costs money to be there, it makes sense to seek out the best education possible instead of picking a school based on its fancy credentials or its football team. And scholarships or no

300 Rivercrest Blvd. Allen, Texas 75002


EDITORS-IN-CHIEF Kayla Graves Nicole Welch



The Eagle Angle

Although SOPA and PIPA take it too far, I do believe that something needs to be done to help defend people’s creations. Theft is not a crime that can be circumstantially ignored, and the free downloading of copyrighted content is more than just illegal. It is immoral.



PHOTO EDITOR Katie Borchert

SPORTS EDITOR Lucas Lostoski


Aafiya Jamal Akshay Mirchandani Breanne McCallop Bryant Arias Carly Osterman Conner Martin Cory Fleck Dymielle Desquitado Elaine Kirby Emily Cantwell

Folake Olayinka Grace Lee Haly Nguyen Jennifer Wagoner Jessica Alaniz Jessica Nason Jessie Hamze Kacey Wilson Kate Conroy Kathleen Sinor Madyson Russell

Maggie Rians Mckenzi Morris Molli Boyd Neha Singh Nilanjana Pati Rebecca Barney Rebecca Moss Saher Aqeel Shaylon Miller Victoria Erb Zachariah Avellanet

scholarships, the reality is that in order to attend some of the more expensive schools out there, many people will still need financial aid, often in the form of student loans.This can become a heavy financial burden that may stick with you for years and have a large effect on your life going forward. In the majority of cases it would be much more beneficial to go to a cheaper school (as long as it still satisfies your educational needs) and come out of college largely debt-free. There are countless factors that go into choosing a college. Money is undeniably an important one, but with all things considered, it may be a good idea to make sure it doesn’t become all-important.

Policy: 900 copies of each issue are distributed on campus to faculty and students. Content may be viewed online at Letters to the editor should be submitted to Any errors found within the publication will be rescinded in the following issue. Businesses who wish to advertise should contact Callie Wiesner, newspaper adviser, at 972-727-0400 x 1609. The Eagle Angle reserves the right to deny publication of advertisements. Advertisements are not necessarily endorsed by the staff or administration. All editorials reflect the views of the authors, and do not necessarily represent the views of the staff, adviser or administration. The Eagle Angle is a member of Quill and Scroll, the Interscholastic League Press Confer-

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Is Terrell Owens coming to Allen a good thing for the Wranglers?

Buy story by Cory Fleck // staff writer


ith the recent acquisition of Terrell Owens, the Allen Wranglers made the kind of move that gets a small-town team nationally known. The deal that they made was good for T.O., it was good for the Wranglers and it was great for Allen. The Wranglers added an extremely high-caliber athlete, and he will help to elevate the team to the top of the league. Although he might not have been quite up to NFL standards, no one can deny that T.O. is an extremely gifted athlete. He had 72 receptions for 983 yards for the Cincinnati Bengals in 2010. Had he not torn his ACL he would have almost assuredly been on an NFL team this year. When he comes to the Wranglers, he will no doubt be motivated to prove that he still is an NFL quality athlete. The athletic ability and motivation that T.O. brings to the Wranglers is unmatched in the Indoor Football League and it will undoubtedly bring wins to Allen. T.O. price tag, $500,000 and partial ownership of the team, is great for both parties. T.O. now has a big paycheck and steady source of income, and the Wranglers paid a very small price when compared to the benefits of signing T.O. With the interest that T.O. generates, it is now likely that the Wranglers will sell out every game they play this season. Their chances of making it further in the playoffs have also increased, meaning more home games and chances to sell more tickets. Both of these factors


lead to a massive increase in revenue for the team, and completely offset the cost of acquiring T.O. Although T.O. might make a substantial amount more than his teammates, they will understand and appreciate having an athlete as talented as T.O. on the team. The acquisition benefits more than just T.O. and the Wranglers, it is great for Allen as a whole. When the deal was finally completed an ESPN text was sent to the entire country announcing that T.O. was coming to Allen; and most certainly several, if not all, of his games will receive coverage on ESPN or Sports Illustrated, or other big time sports news sources. Allen has always had some of the best sports fans around, and now they will get a chance to show it. This kind of national recognition will help to increase Allen’s recognition throughout the country, which will help to attract even more big name athletes, and could make Allen a much more important city in the sports world as a whole. Allen already has an extremely successful professional hockey team, and they deserve to have a professional football team that can win championships as well. With the signing of T.O the Wranglers have ensured that the city will get exactly that.

story by Lucas Lostoski // sports editor


e’s lined up alongside Jerry Rice. He’s caught over 1,000 passes from Steve Young, Jeff Garcia, Donovan McNabb, Tony Romo and Carson Palmer. He’s been fined several times for his over the top touchdown celebrations. He’s alienated teammates with his off-the-field antics and willingness to blame everyone but himself and he’s tried to kill himself twice during his 15 year NFL career. He is Terrell Owens. And he’s coming to the Allen Wranglers. Even the most enthusiastic sports fans in Allen probably couldn’t say much about this organization, so him coming to Allen does at least bring the team some notoriety, but the rest of T.O.’s antics will surely outweigh the publicity. For T.O. this is kind of pathetic. To take a job in the Indoor Football League, which is one step below the Arena Football League and about 1,000 steps below the NFL, is a last ditch effort. Unfortunately, the only reason he took the job is for the money. Paying child support to four different women, which annually reaches over $750,000, is difficult after all. A money hungry hasbeen in a locker room full of young guys trying to make a name for themselves simply won’t work. This is a guy nicknamed “Team Obliterator” by ESPN personality Skip Bayless. Here’s a guy who took the low road and blamed McNabb for his team losing the Super Bowl. Here’s the guy

who made derogatory, homophobic comments about Garcia his quarterback in San Francisco. He’s the guy who once was traded to the Baltimore Ravens and then forced them to trade him the next day after refusing to play for a team that he didn’t think matched his talent level. Why would a player who’s always been out for himself suddenly become a team player when he’s playing in a lesser league? T.O. has always been talented. No one can argue that. But to those who think the Wranglers will instantly breed success because of a 38-year-old receiver recovering from major knee surgery, hold off and just wait. They might win, they might be successful for a time. But just wait until the one game where T.O. doesn’t think the ball was thrown his way enough. Just wait to see his wrath. Wait for the unfolding of your organization to begin. It’s not really even his fault, it’s just who he is. He’s just naturally gifted at ruining team chemistry. So congratulations to the Wrangler organization, they got their guy. Hopefully he works out, because it would be fun to have a successful professional football team in this town. But if the past is any indicator of future events (and it usually is) then T.O. will take the money, alienate his teammates, then walk out of town without any championships or glory. But hey at least T.O. still knows that T.O. is the greatest receiver ever. Hopefully this works. I’m just afraid in the end I’ll have to say I told you so.

Bright future ahead for Mavericks story by Akshay Mirchandani // staff writer


one is DeShawn Stevenson. Gone is J.J. Barea. Gone is Caron Butler. Gone is Tyson Chandler. It is indeed an understatement to say that the NBA champion Dallas Mavericks team looks different. The moves the Mavs’ front office made during the off-season left Mavs fans up in arms. But the moves not only make sense, they will also pay off in the future. You can’t fall in love with players in this league. Owners know that, players know that and fans need to realize that. At the end of the day, this is a business. Teams are going to have to make decisions that fans may not agree with.

Not only that, but the NBA’s new collective bargaining agreement would have made it impossible for Dallas to bring back all of their free agents even if they wanted to. Just take it from the man who writes the checks himself, owner Mark Cuban. In an e-mail interview with Cuban he acknowledged that the CBA makes things a lot harder financially. But don’t think Cuban is just going to sit back and watch his Mavs lose. The guy wants to win. After Barea, Chandler and Stevenson left, the front office signed shooting guard Vince Carter, an eight time All-Star and a lock for the Hall of Fame, to a three year deal. Soon after they signed tough guard Delonte West to a one year deal, but perhaps the biggest move that the Mavs made during the off-season was acquiring Lamar Odom, the reigning Sixth Man of the Year from the Los Angeles Lakers. After losing key players to a glorious championship run, the Mavs immediately made themselves

contenders again in a Western Conference that is wide open. “Our goal was to win this year without destroying our chances to win in future years,” Cuban said. But it didn’t look like that in the beginning of the season. The Mavs struggled to find themselves as a team, but it’s hard to expect much more from a team where half the roster is new and there wasn’t much of a training camp to help the new players understand the system. However, lately the Mavericks new key additions seemed to have found their stride. West found himself starting at shooting guard and is an excellent perimeter defender. Carter accepted a bench role with the team and continues to do a great job spreading the floor, hitting the open shot and proving that he still has some game. Although struggling to find his role with the team, if Odom can play like the player we all know he is then this team can become even better. But let’s look ahead to next

year and what the Mavericks have done. At the end of this season Dallas can dump both Carter and Odom’s non-guaranteed contracts to clear up salary. They can amnesty center Brendan Haywood to get his big contract off the books and trade Shawn Marion in what would be a move to dump his contract. Jason Terry, Jason Kidd and West will be free agents so their contracts would be off the Mavs payroll. Basically, everyone not named Dirk Nowitzki is fair game to be either be traded or let go of to clear salary. If they do what I think they are going do. The Mavs will have enough cap space to sign another superstar to pair up with Nowitzki for the latter part of his career, and two huge stars may potentially be on the market: center Dwight Howard and point guard Deron Williams. Howard, arguably the best big man in the game, has made it known that he would like to play with the Lakers, Nets or Mavericks, while Williams is from Dallas and still

has strong ties to the area. With the moves the Mavs made this year they are also in position to potentially land Williams, Howard or possibly both in the off-season. It may be risky to go after one of these All-Stars with no guarantee that they will come to the metroplex, but people take risks all the time in professional sports. It’s just part of the business. Right now, the only thing Mavericks fans need to be concerned about is that the Mavs make the playoffs. Forget about seeding. Just make the playoffs and be healthy going into it. Think about it: contenders now and in position to potentially land another superstar to pair up with Nowitzki. So if the Mavs struggle this season, if you miss the players from last year that left or if you think that the moves Dallas made were idiotic, just remember what Cuban said after the Mavericks won the Western Conference Finals last year. “We ain’t done yet.”

16 A

silent swim

Allen High School // Issue 4 // February 6, 2012


Junior becomes deaf at the age of 15 story by Lucas Lostoski // sports editor he alarm clock doesn’t ring. Rather it shakes the bed where junior, David Tolstyka sleeps. He awakens to the silent flash of vibrant red numbers. He awakens to the silence. David rises from his bed in this new, unfamiliar home. Allen is a long way from Detroit, deafness is a long way from hearing. The clock flashes 5:15 a.m. Time for swim practice. As he drives to swim practice, David can’t help but notice how much nicer Allen seems than Michigan. Michigan. David’s childhood home, where he lived for 12 years until he and his family moved to Allen in December. Michigan. It’s where he first went to school, first learned to read, first learned that he loved to swim. It’s where he excelled, breaking every single individual record as a freshman swimmer. And it’s where he lost his hearing as a sophomore. The doctors don’t know how it happened. How a 15-year-old kid could just one day start to lose his hearing, and three months later have it completely disappear. They don’t understand what happened, and no blood tests provide answers. Without knowing sign language or how to read lips, David resorts to carrying around a white board. Frustrated. Embarrassed. Alone. Basic human interaction seems impossible when he can’t hear, when he is too prideful to make someone write down an entire conversation on a white board, when he is too afraid to speak. Swimming. It’s a sport based on muscle memory, based on habit and routine. Based upon the drive of the competitor, not on his physical prowess. Swimming is an equalizer, that’s why David has always loved the sport. Always loved the idea that one’s physical limitations can’t stop them from succeeding in the pool. At practice he walks along the edge of the pool towards the


Nicole Welch

Challenge accepted At the age of 15 junior David Tolstyka suddenly lost his hearing, but didn’t give up on swimming. “The insides of my ears are destroyed so I have no sense

of equilibrium... which made swimming really, really hard,” Tolstyka said. “But now my body is starting to adjust and adapt to it.”

starting block. Swimming is always a reminder of the time when he had no way to communicate, because to swim he must take off his “bionic ears,” David’s name for his cochlear implants, the device that has saved his ability to hear. His bionic ears are two magnets that send sound through a coil into his eardrums. To put them on in the morning is a reminder of the previous 15 years of his life filled with sound; to take them off is a bleak flashback to the darkest months of his life. He remembers being left out by his peers and thinking that since he was deaf no one wanted to talk to him. He remembers his inability to communicate, how he felt like a toddler in a 15-year-old body. He remembers people raising their voices to talk to him, not realizing that he couldn’t hear them no matter how loud they talked. He remembers

it all. But it’s not all bad. He wouldn’t trade the experience because it allowed him to mature. To gain perspective. Maybe faster then he ever wanted to or imagined, but at the age of 16, David became a man. He had already seen the extremes of two worlds. Hearing and not hearing. Agony and hope. And when his trials ended in the form of invasive surgery into his ear, in the form of a “bionic ear,” he had came out with a greater outlook on his own life. He admits that one of the only things that kept him going in the months where he could only speak through a whiteboard was swimming. Because swimming doesn’t change, it was the only thing that hadn’t changed in his life. Swimming doesn’t require ears, just a love for the sport and endurance doesn’t hurt either. So as he jumps into the pool

today at practice, and feels the cold water envelop his body, he can’t help but be brought back to Portugal, the sight of his greatest triumph. In 2011 David received a chance to compete in the World Deaf Swimming Championships, held in Portugal. David and his 19 member team became World Champions at this tournament. Individually he didn’t win gold, because as he puts it, “that Russian was fast.” David received a lot from these games, more than the medals and the awards and the pride that comes with getting to say that you are a world champion swimmer. He received confidence and support from others just like himself. He was accepted, understood. It was fun and important, and he says it was his first real glimpse of deaf culture. Flash forward to this year. To this school. To this new city. David helps

the Allen swim team win districts, but in the process also shatters two American deaf world records in the 50 and 100 backstroke. Not bad for the new kid. The rest of David’s day will be like anyone else’s. He will swim until class starts, and then go to school. He’ll sit by friends at lunch, walk through crowded hallways and he’ll be able to hear. Compared to a year and a half ago this life is almost a dream. But he’s brought out of this memory when he comes out of the pool for a break. His coach yells instruction at him, as the other swimmers quietly remind the coach that “he’s deaf.” “Yeah I’m deaf,” David says with a smile, “and I’m proud of it.”

Girls basketball hopes to finish season strong story by Cory Fleck & Akshay Mirchandani // staff writers

The Eagle Angle


Megan Baranski

Pushing forward Kayla Bise drives past a defender during the Jan. 17 game against

Plano. The girls team missed the playoffs this season with a 17 -15 record.

fter losing to Flower Mound Marcus 33-24 on Jan. 31, the varsity girls basketball team is officially out of contention for a playoff spot. They are now 17-15 on the season with two games remaining. Despite missing the playoffs this season, head coach Sean Weibling has tried his best to turn the culture of the program around over the past three years. They were still in playoff contention with five games left in the season. “The biggest thing is that we’ve been competitive in most of our games,” Weibling said. “That’s something that we have been working on and trying to turn the culture of the program around. That’s probably the one thing we’re most excited about.”

High points of the season include winning the Royce City tournament and starting the season 11-1. Weibling said that seniors April Kindle, Elaine Keim and Sarah Clark helped build the team in leadership this year, but also acknowledged that they weren’t the only ones who made major contributions. “[We got] scoring and production out of a lot of different areas,” Weibling said. “[We’re] getting them out of most of our different positions now, which is a good thing, it’s something that we’ve been working on. There are a couple of sophomores that have really helped us out and then our junior class - we have five juniors on varsity that [were] really contributing.” Weibling also said that because the team has spent so much time together they feel close and connected.

“[The team] gets along really well,” Weibling said. “We spend so much time together that we have to be kind of like a little family.” Although they didn’t make the playoffs, Weibling thought that it was good that his team showed improvement from last season. Weibling sees every drill as a chance to improve. “We want to make sure that we’re going hard, that we are competing with every drill that we do and that there’s consequences with every drill that we do,” Weibling said. The Lady Eagles have two games remaining on their regular season schedule: at home against Hebron and on the road against Flower Mound.

Senior competes with world’s top ten golfers in Puerto Rico 17 story by Lydia Gardner // staff writer contributions by Jessie Hamze


Allen High School // Issue 4 // February 6, 2012

Top golfer Practicing his swing, senior Justin Newby practices after his Puerto Rico competition with six of the 20 best national junior golfers. Newby placed 21 out 80 competitors.

Newby said that playing against other golfers affects his own personal technique. “Some kids hit different shots then other kids,” Newby said. “They’ll hit it lower or higher, move to the right or the left, something like that. Just seeing the way some of the best players handle the course or how they play could affect the way I do in the future.” After competing in Puerto Rico, Newby plans to start playing in larger tournaments in Florida or California. Gravely said she feels happy that Newby had the chance to participate in a larger scale tournament. “I thought it was a great opportunity and certainly something that will hopefully help him put in as many events as possible,” Gravely said. “I’m just real proud of him and what he’s done.” Newby said he hopes to continue golfing for the rest of his life, either as a career or as a hobby. “I would like to [play professionally] but it’s really hard to do,” Newby said. “I’m just going to go through college and see how that goes and if it looks like I have a chance then I’ll probably try.” After watching all that he has accomplished, Gravely said Texas State is fortunate to have Newby. “I think other teams are going to see him in the future and say ‘well we missed that one,’” Gravely said. “I think he is very much a diamond in the rough.”


Nicole Welch

is mind is totally blank as he steps up to the tee. His hands grip the golf club. He blocks out the nerves from going up against 80 other international golfers, including six of the 20 best junior golfers in the nation. This is the toughest tournament he’s ever played in. But senior Justin Newby has been playing golf his whole life. And he’s been practicing to play in a tournament like this for years. He takes a deep breath, and swings. “[I] just keep making the same swings over and over,” Newby said. “Just kind of zone out, forget about everything. I’ve done it thousands of times so I can do it again if I just don’t worry about anything.” Newby competed in a golf tournament in Puerto Rico Jan. 13-17, placing 21st. During the tournament, competitors play 18 holes each day Saturday through Monday and the total scores all count toward their final placing. After the first day, Newby was in fourth, but his score went down after the second day before rising again on the third. Newby began golfing in fourth grade with his dad, who golfed in high school, and started competing individually in sixth grade, before joining the school team in ninth grade. He estimates that he has participated in around 150 tournaments since he began golfing competitively. When playing with the school team, the four

best scores from the five players are accumulated to determine a placing, but when golfing individually the score depends only on Newby. “As an individual sport, there’s a deeper sense of wanting to strive to do better,” golf coach Karen Gravley said. “For some of us it’s better to do things on an individual basis because we know that it’s us or nothing.” Newby committed to Texas State for golf in the fall, which he said helped him play better in Puerto Rico because he felt less worried about the outcome. “In the past in all my bigger tournaments I’ve always not played as well, I’ve been nervous going in,” Newby said. “But I committed to college a few months ago and I just didn’t feel like as much was on the line. I was more excited than nervous.” Before going to Puerto Rico, Newby had never competed outside of the state. He said the tournament was different from the others, because of technical things like different types of grass that affect the way he hits the ball, as well as the different competitors. When traveling in state Newby usually plays with the same group of golfers, but at this competitions there were only three other golfers from Texas. “[It was] a good experience to go and play with better players,” Newby said, “to see some more players that I’ve never seen before, [and] different types of golf.”

The Eagle Angle

18 Junior national wrestling champion commits to Oklahoma University

Allen High School // Issue 4 // February 6, 2012


story by Cory Fleck // staff writer contributions by Bryant Arias


unior Oliver Pierce is confident as he steps onto the wrestling mat. Confident in his ability. Confident in his craft. A craft he has mastered after thousands of hours of practice. “I started when I was about 6 years old,” Pierce said. “[My dad and I] saw the NCAA championships on TV and we just decided to go out for wrestling.” Pierce has gained that confidence from a career of winning. Pierce was 84-1 going into his junior year and was an undefeated state champion his freshman year. “I just want to be the best,” Pierce said. “Standing on top of the podium is a pretty satisfying feeling.” He was junior national double All-American in the Cadet National Championship last year, finishing second in Greco-Roman and fifth in freestyle wrestling. He also represented America in the FILA Cadet World Championships, competing in the bronze metal match. “Every time that he steps out onto the mat he knows he’s going to win,” wrestling coach Jerry Best said. He is currently ranked number eight in the nation for his 150160 pound weight class, and has only lost one match all season. He recently committed to wrestle for the University of Oklahoma (OU) after he graduates. “Out of all the schools [I chose] OU because they’ve got good coaches


and they’re just good people to be around,” Pierce said. “They care about you outside of wrestling, so I feel like that was my best fit.” During Pierce’s tenure, the wrestling team has won state dual team championships the past three years. They also competed in the UIL state championships, winning in 2010 and 2011. “We’ve always been the number one team in state and no one really likes us,” Pierce said. “It’s kind of awesome. Everyone wants to beat us.” The wrestling team practices

every day in the morning and afternoon. “In the morning we lift,” Pierce said. “In the afternoon we have harder practices. It gets pretty tough after a while.” His family has been very important in his wrestling career. His dad, Geno Pierce, who is also in charge of the Performance Course athletic training program, was one of the big influences to get him started in wrestling. Pierce said that his family has supported him in his wrestling career.

“They’re always there for me,” Pierce said. “They really help me through a lot of things.” Best has been Pierce’s coach for the last 10 years of his successful career. “We went all over the country and all over the world travelling together and going to different tournaments,” Best said. “National tournaments, regional tournaments and [the] world championship. So we’ve been doing this for a while.” Best said he has been able to see Pierce grow as a person.

“It’s been a great experience, especially when you watch [Pierce] mature from being a young boy into a young man,” Best said. “Hopefully he’ll go on and do great things in college.” Pierce still has one more year of wrestling in Allen and said that he will do what it takes to continue to win. “That’s really all it comes down to, knowing that you put in the effort,” Pierce said. “It’s just a satisfying feeling when you’ve put all that work in and it pays off.”

things you should know about Allen sports story by McKenzi Morris // staff writer

Color Guard

The Eagle Angle

Carly Osterman

Head to Head During wrestling practice, junior Oliver Pierce and his teammates stretch and do sparing exercises. Pierce was 84-1 going into his junior year.





A roll of tape used to make their When the hockey team gets costumes stick throughout ready to take the ice, the goalie performances is passed around must lead them out. to all the color guard girls before they compete.They each kiss the tape for good luck.

For their pregame warm-up, varsity baseball gets in a circle in center field and stretches. Once they finish the starting pitcher does a headstand to rally them together.

Each week before a home game, the junior varsity volleyball team plays Little Sally Walker on the court.

Swimmers cannot shave before a meet so their body will not grow used to the water. They have to wait until the night before a meet to shave so they can improve their times.

“It kind of gives me like a little boost because it’s like ‘oh if I kiss this I’ll do really good in my performance,’” sophomore Karla Belen said. “I feel really empty without it.”

“It was basically just a joke at first, but after we kept doing it we kept winning,” senior Andrew Baldwin said. “It loosens everyone up before the game so we can relax and go play.”

“We do it to get pumped up because a lot of us were just dull,” sophomore Sarah Trees said. “[After] we played we would get really loud.”

“Normally in a meet you’ll just be swimming,” senior Mike Ding said. “But once you shave you feel like you are gliding.”

“I didn’t really see any reason that it shouldn’t be that way,” senior John Wooldridge said. “They are the leader of the team in a way.”


The Round Table with David Barr sports


he boys soccer team is vamped and ready to take command of their district this year. They are currently second in district standings to Plano, with a record of 10-4-8, (8-2-4 in district play). I had the privilege of talking with two of the captains on this year’s squad: Keller Thomas (K) and Samuel Glawe (S), both seniors. Both are eager to lead their team to a district title and potentially, a playoff berth.

David Barr opinions editor

goals set for yourself? S: Get first team all district again this year. It was a huge honor for me last year and I want to play up to that level again. K: Be more of a leader. Last year I didn’t feel I had as much of an obligation as an underclassmen to be a leader, but now as a captain there is a little more pressure to be a leader. D: Which teams do you really want to beat or really dislike? S: Any Plano schools, always a game you want to win. Plano is always a really good game, and we really don’t like them. K: We would have really liked to beat McKinney Boyd, but definitely Flower Mound Marcus and Plano. Plano is always really good and they have a lot of players that we know personally and they know us. Marcus is very overconfident and they’ve had decent players in the past, but they always carry a bit of an ego with them

so it’s nice to beat a team like that. D:What are your responsibilities as a captain? S: Make sure that everyone knows our goals and what we have to do every day. Also make sure that everyone is focused and dedicated every day. K: To me, being a captain means of course you’re a leader on and off the field, but it also means you’re a motivator, a demander and a calm presence on the field when things get crazy. D:What win are you most proud of this season and why? K: Our 1-0 win over J.J. Pearce. Pearce was a good team and our defense played really tough.They held onto a one goal lead for the majority of the game. S: We had a really good win against Naaman Forest. It was a really back and forth game, and we came through in the end and scored the goal that won the game.

Keller Thomas senior

Samuel Glawe senior

Athletes participate in National Signing Day story by Kayla Graves // co-editorin-chief


Kayla Graves

All in the family Senior Tori Bates (center) signed to Stephen F. Austin this fall for

The Allen Athletic Hall of Honor announced it’s 2012 class of inductees. This the first group to be inducted, and some of the athletes attended Allen as early as 1951. The class includes Bob Curtis, Zenford Jones, Mark Puckett, Jody Reeves, Chester Story, Vince Turner, Max Vaughan and Chanteau White. They will be recognized at banquet on Aug. 29, 2012 and again before the first game at the new Eagle Stadium.

The varsity football team had 12 seniors named to the academic all-state team. Austin Brakebill was selected as ELITE and Austin Przybyla was selected to the 1st team while four more students were selected to the 2nd team and six received honorable mention. To receive the award the students must have been on the football team for four years, have an average grade of 92 or above and be of good moral character.

The JV hockey team attended the 2012 TAAF Winter Games tournament from Jan. 14-16 at the Frisco Dr. Pepper Star Center. The team comprised of members from JV gold, with additions from JV silver, came away from the tournament with a 5-0 record and the gold medal. The team defeated the Plano Sr. Wildcats 4-2 to take the championship. The boys varsity basketball team is 16-13 and

known about their commitment to universities since last semester, other sports, like soccer, were signed as recently as last month. Varsity soccer player Ashley Casey officially committed to Texas Tech on Friday, Jan. 27. “I’m really excited because now I feel like I’m secured and I don’t have to worry about anything anymore,” Casey said. “I just know I have my spot and I’m just ready to go to college and play.”

in the hunt for a playoff spot. The Eagles beat the Plano East Panthers at home in the annual Jam the Gym Night in close game, winning 43-42. The Eagles have four games remaining on their regular season schedule. They will play Flower Mound and Plano on the road, and will play Hebron and Lewisville at home.

-compiled by the sports staff

The Eagle Angle

sp the an or gl ts e

volleyball. Bates, pictured with her mother, Susie Bates, and father, Willie Bates, said. “It [has] a really nice family kind of vibe. It was a home away from home and that’s want you want.”

hirty nine students participated in National Signing Day on Wednesday, Feb. 1 at the athletic facility. Signing Day recognizes senior athletes who have committed to colleges for their respective sport and offers the community an opportunity to congratulate them. House 300 Principal Matt Russell has attended the event for the past three years. “I think it’s very exciting,” Russell said. “It’s the culmination of a lot of hard work for a lot of kids.” Tori Bates, who committed to Stephen F. Austin (SFA) in early November of last year for volleyball,

has played since fifth grade. “A lot of hard work has gone into this scholarship,” Bates said. “It’s definitely my favorite school ever now, but at the beginning I wasn’t sure about it. Then I visited and I fell in love with the coaches and the whole school.” During the ceremony Bate’s parents, Susie and Willie Bates, bought their daughter a sheet cake decorated with the SFA logo and colors to show their support. “I’m just happy she’s happy,” Mrs. Bates said. “She’s worked so hard that she deserves everything that’s she’s gotten. I just want her to have a great life up there and just continue on doing great things.” Although students in sports like football and volleyball have

Allen High School // Issue 4 // February 6, 2012

D: What are your expectations for this season? S: As a whole, our expectation, first and foremost, is to win our district. We finished second last year, but I think we have what it takes this year to finish first. Playoff wise, we really want to see how far we can go and the ultimate goal is winning state. K: We have really big expectations. We have a lot of returning players, a lot of really good returning players. We’re definitely thinking that we can at least make the playoffs, and hopefully we can go much farther than that. Coach Hantak has pushed us to go for state all year. D: What expectations do the coaches have for this season? K: (Hantak) is definitely a lot tougher. That’s not necessarily a bad thing; you can never have enough coaching. They’re tougher, but it’s a good tough. D: Do you have any personal

Black tie affair O

n Saturday, Jan. 14 and Sunday, Jan. 15, the formal dedication gala for the Performing Arts Center (PAC) was held. Members of the community purchased tickets to attend a dinner prepared by the culinary arts department and a show featuring chorale, orchestra, wind ensemble and elite dance. Soloist CJ Aquino also played “Träumerei,” a piece by Robert Schumann. Senior Blake Lee, the emcee for the event, said he thinks the gala was important to have. “You get to show off how awesome the school district is, but also you get to show off the town of the students, which I think a lot of people don’t get to see,” Lee said. “I think it’s a perfect opportunity to see all that Allen really offers and all that we do behind-the-scenes that some people don’t hear about.” story by Victoria Erb // staff writer

Katie Borchert

Nicole Welch

Nicole Welch

Katie Borchert

Nicole Welch

Nicole Welch

Grace Lee

Tugging at heartsrings

(top left) While appetizers are served to guests of the gala, guest harpist Jenny Kirk Miller performs prior to dinner on Saturday, Jan. 14.

Keeping the beat

(second left) Playing the timpani, senior Daniel Farrington performs “Rhapsodic Celebration” with the band on Saturday, Jan. 14.

A powerful note

(bottom left) Senior solo pianist CJ Aquino plays “Träumerei Op. 15, No. 7” by Robert Schumann on Saturday, Jan. 14.

Voilà (top right) During

a performance of “Texas, Our Texas,” sophomore Betty Huang plays her viola with the symphony orchestra on Sunday, Jan. 15.

Maestro (second right) On Saturday, Jan. 14, guest conductor Gary Lewis leads the orchestra and chorale in a performance of “Texas, Our Texas.”

Blue man group (third right) On Sunday, Jan. 15, senior Josh Schaffner performs a juggling routine.

Tip of the toe (bottom right) Performing “Oblivion” by Aster Piazolch, senior Emily Parchman aerobesques with Elite Dance on Saturday, Jan. 14.

Issue 4  

The Eagle Angle 2011-2012

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