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Hidden talents pg. 16

Eagle Angle


Nicole Welch

Allen High School Allen, Texas, 75002 Volume 29, Issue 5, March 23, 2012

de vic


Kate Conroy

Le ft


th ei r



New policy allows technology in classrooms for learning experiences.

pg. 3




Saher Aqeel







Sophomore performs at Carnegie Hall on Feb. 18 after winning international contest.

pg. 5

Kayla Graves




Cherie Fruehan

‘Truth Is’ revealed

Sophomore creates anti-bullying music video

Ed uc







Students receive alternative forms of schooling before starting high school.

Rising star In her music video for “Truth Is,” sophomore Marcella Fruehan sings about the affects of bullying. Fruehan co-wrote the song with Josh Goode and filmed it in Gunther, Texas on Dec. 19-22.

pg. 8

story by Mckenzi Morris // staff writer er hands shake. Her tears flow. This is it. This is the moment when all the hours of writing, composing and planning finally pay off. The camera begins filming. This is it. This is sophomore Marcella Fruehan’s chance to make a difference. To stand up against bullying. “I got really emotional when we were doing the video because I had to act,” Fruehan said. “I didn’t lip synch, I actually sang. I had to act it out and


Kate Conroy





Staff writer reviews new restaurant, La Duni, at the Village of Fairview.

pg. 10

Kaitlyn Trujillo




in ,




Senior baseball player Anthony Samuel breaks the mold of a stereotypical jock.

pg. 14

it really got to me.” The crew began filming the video to “Truth Is” on Dec. 19 in Gunter, Texas and completed it in three 13 hour work days. Baylor University graduate Ben Davis directed and wrote the screenplay for the video. It was produced by A/V teacher JP Gregoriew, co-produced and edited by Tyler Hiott and Fruehan co-wrote the song with Josh Goode. This is Fruehan’s first music video but the second song that she wrote since she started writing songs nine months ago. Although

she said it was not originally meant as an anti-bullying song the concept for the video came to her when she witnessed the effects of bullying. “I remember I was sitting in class once and I saw cuts on this girl’s wrist,” Fruehan said. “I teared up. And [the cuts] weren’t even covered, they were just out there. They were hard to look at and see who gets bullied that bad that they have to hurt themselves.” Once Fruehan and Goode sat down to write the song, she said the words poured out and she finished

writing “Truth Is” in five hours. She said she wanted to finish the writing process while the idea was fresh on her mind and the emotions were at the surface. “I felt something when I was writing that song,” Fruehan said. “I felt all the emotions and it inspired me. I was expressing myself with my words.” The scene in the music video where the bullying victim goes to the closet, gets a gun and contemplates // continued on pg. 2

New district brings new competition story by Emily Cantwell // staff writer n order to decide what district a school will compete in academically and athletically, UIL released their biennial reclassifications and realignments on Feb. 2. For the 2012-2013 school year, Allen will remain in the 5A division, but will move from District 8-5A to District 10-5A, and from Region I to Region II. Allen will no longer compete in the same district as Lewisville, Flower Mound, Hebron


and Flower Mound Marcus. “Last year when we played Lewisville and Flower Mound, they were our greatest competition and we lost to them every time,” JV Blue softball player Lauryn Humbert said. “So [next] year, without having them we don’t have to worry about those two losses.” The realignments will cut back on transportation costs, not only for sports but for academic competitions as well. The academic portion of UIL will take place in Waco as opposed

to Lubbock. Instead of traveling to the Lewisville schools, located up to 35 miles away, Allen will travel to McKinney schools, located roughly 10 miles away. This year District 8-5A includes eight teams. Next year, the district will include only six teams. As a result, probability to qualify for the playoffs improves. “I think it improves our chances of winning not only in football but in all sports,” athletic director Steve Williams said. “First of all, [the 8-5A]

district is very tough and the quality of competition is very good and we were able to compete but just taking two teams away and going back to six teams improves your chances right out of the gate.” Williams said he feels like Allen is currently playing in one of the toughest districts in Texas. Senior varsity football and basketball player Cortland Tolbert agrees. “Night in and night out, whenever you have a competition, you // continued on pg. 2


2 UIL realignments affect competition, travel costs

Illustration by Lucas Lostoski

// continued from pg. 1 know you’re going to get somebody that’s always good no matter who it is in the district,” Tolbert said. Next year, Allen will compete against McKinney High School, currently in district 10-4A, and McKinney Boyd, currently in 10-5A. Allen played in the same district as McKinney Boyd two years ago. Head varsity basketball coach Steve Specht said he thinks placing McKinney Boyd and McKinney High into Allen’s district could renew old rivalries that existed between McKinney and Allen in the 1980s. However, Allen’s existing rivalries between Plano high schools will remain. “Since they’re so close, I would think it makes some pretty good

rivalries and hopefully build the crowds,” Specht said. No matter which district they are in, Specht said the basketball teams research other teams and break down their tendencies, strengths, personality and strategy. Decreasing the number of teams in the district allows the team to prepare more efficiently. However, Specht also tries not to over prepare his team. “Ideally you want to do what you do well,” Specht said. “You want to have your identity and not really change too much depending on who you’re playing. But on the other hand, it is a bit of a chess match.” For UIL competitions, like golf, where students can place as a team and as individuals, sophomore Elizabeth McCloskey, who plays on

the varsity II golf team, said the new districts will not majorly affect them. McCloskey said she believes that in golf it is more important how you play than who you play against. “It really just depends on the course and it depends on you,” McCloskey said. “Some people could care less about their competitors. It really all comes down to how well you played and how well your team’s doing.” UIL realigns districts every two years. “We feel like it doesn’t really make any difference what we’re going into,” Williams said. “We feel like we can compete athletically in any district we’re placed in.”

// continued from pg. 1 what to do with it was the first scene she filmed. Fruehan said she was intimidated and not entirely sure she could get through it. “I was really proud of myself for getting through the toughest part of the video,” Fruehan said. “I was so doubtful of myself at first because I thought I wasn’t going to do it right. I didn’t think I was going to do [the scene] good enough.” While the video was filmed Cherie Fruehan, Fruehan’s mother, said she sat on the steps and cried. She said she was thrilled at how well the video matched the message of her daughter’s song and how the lyrics show what someone feels about themselves after bullying happens to them. “I think that the words are really powerful and they make me feel bad for that person,” Mrs. Fruehan said. “But when the song ends it makes you realize that there are people that are there to support you, you just have to look. And you have to ask for help if you need it.” According to bullyingstatistics. org, 56 percent of students said they have witnessed bullying while at school. Gregoriew said he hopes this video helps people see that they are not alone if they are bullied. “That’s the powerful message that I felt Marcella brought at the end of the song by saying, ‘you know what, it was your friends that picked you up off the ground,’” Gregoriew said. “It was your friends that were always there that you couldn’t see because of the pain that was caused by

other people.” As the Eagle Angle went to press, “Truth Is” had received 23, 343 views and counting on YouTube. Allen’s association for teens in crisis, Teen Contact, shows the video to school counselors in hopes of getting it in schools as a public service announcement and anti-bullying movement. “I feel amazing,” Fruehan said. “I feel like I just won the lottery or something. Just touching people’s hearts and making a difference and doing something. It feels so good.” Davis said during filming they focused on ensuring that his and Gregoriew’s vision matched Fruehan’s story in the song. “I think it’s an important thing to remember that anyone can be bullied at any point in time and all it takes is for one person to stand up and say ‘I’m here for you,’ like in the music video and that can go a very long way,” Davis said. “It can get to the point of killing yourself. I just hope the people who watch the video find courage to step forward just like the girl in the music video.” Gregoriew said he has had personal experience with suicide, from witnessing its effects on the families of its victims to physically stopping people from committing suicide. He said Fruehan’s line, “You didn’t figure/When you pulled the trigger/You’d feel the bullet,” describes suicide victims’ feelings perfectly. “That line in itself tells me that one of the realizations is, it’s very painful to die no matter how you

ne the an w gl s e

The Eagle Angle

Allen High School // Issue 5 // March 23, 2012

Music video pulls from sophomore’s personal observations

Cherie Fruehan

Reaching out Over winter break sophomore Marcella Fruehan films the music video for her song, “Truth Is,” which promotes anti-bullying. The song is used at Allen’s association for teens in crisis, Teen Contact, as a public service announcement.

do it,” Gregoriew said. “And that’s something that I think is a really powerful message to get across to people because if someone already has suicidal thoughts in their head, you don’t have to talk to them about how painful life is. They are already dealing with that.” After seeing the completely finished video, Davis said he was happy with the outcome.

Feb. 20 -24

In order to increase awareness of their organization, FFA hosted FFA week Feb. 20-24. This is a national activity that includes students in agricultural and agricultural science classes. Each day, the nine FFA officers organized different events such as an agricultural olympics and bonf ire.

“It was really great to work on a project that turned out so beautiful and really married the song in such a perfect way,” Davis said. “It was just a really good, proud moment also to have worked on something that really is striving to make an effect for the good. It was with a bunch of people that I love and really care to work for. It was a great, great feeling.” Fruehan said she loves helping

people, and if she can do that and promote her singing career at the same time, she would be honored. “I’m so thankful,” Fruehan said. “It makes me feel like I’ve achieved so much and that this is just the first step to really building my career. It’s so exciting because it feels like I’m really helping people and it’s inspiring them.”

Junior-senior nurse Vicky Bayer won D-Magazine’s Excellence in Nursing Award and tied in the school nursing category. Bayer was awarded for her help containing a virus in the district in 2010.

Feb. 22

BYOD replaces old technology policy

3 news






illustration by Kayla Graves


technology like laptops, tablets, e-readers and cell phones with teacher approval in order to enhance their learning and educational experience in the classroom. In an additional move towards more technology, the district will install Smart Boards in all classrooms. Installation is expected to reach completetion before the end of March. “Our whole age group is really bent on technology with all their games and the network sites,” sophomore Jacob Peña said. “It could be a way of learning, [and] that’s what they are trying to do.” Junior Jaclyn Allen said she thinks it actually lessens distraction when teachers allow students to have their phones out. “I see a lot of kids who don’t use it as much as they would when they are restricted,” Allen said. “I think it takes more of your attention away to

hide it than having it out.” Students who choose to not bring a device will not receive penalties. In some classes, students are often provided with laptops to use. Sophomore Mackenzie Voorhies said she thinks students who bring a device have the advantage, but she chooses not to bring her device to school because it is difficult to carry around. “I like using a device sometimes over certain projects but sometimes there are glitches and it just doesn’t work out,” Voorhies said. “[Technology] is not dependable.” Students and staff can now access EagleNet, the wireless network, to use their devices. To sign into EagleNet students and staff must agree to the terms and service policy, and sign the Acceptable Use Policy at the beginning of the year, which is included in the Student Code of Conduct.

The Children’s Internet Protection Act, passed by Congress in December 2000, requires filtration on devices connected to a public school network. The law is designed to protect students from accessing offensive and derogatory content, but the terms do not apply to students who access blocked websites through personal data plans. Students that are connected to EagleNet can not go to blocked websites. English II Pre-AP/IB teacher Ramona Coleman said for science and math classes students can benefit from technology, but English teachers have more trouble incorporating it. “I don’t necessarily want [an assignment] nice and cleaned up by spell check,” Coleman said. “I want to know where your thinking is coming from.” According to the University of New Hampshire, 51 percent of students said cell phone use affects

concentration and the amount of information learned during class. “I don’t think [depending on technology] is a good thing,” Voorhies said. “We need to think for ourselves instead of relying on robots.” Along with the new technology changes, teachers give online assignments like quizzes and post instructional videos. “I guess it’s convenient for the teachers and the environment,” Allen said. “I don’t personally like it a whole lot. I’m still adjusting to it.” AP U.S. history teacher Rebecca Richardson said that instead of lecturing at the front of the room, technology allows her to have moving pictures, visual aids and audio. “You can combine every learning style in one presentation, discussion or activity,” Richardson said. “It really enables teachers to reach more kids in the way that they need to be taught.”

Fifth annual dodgeball tournament raises money for FCA camp

March 3 Eight students were named National Merit Finalists on Feb. 27. The students were Alyssa Atkinson, Andre Duvoisin, Chengxi Li, Conner Martin, Ethan Murphy, Katherine Thompson, Alexander Wendland and Yuhui Yan. All of the students were named semifinalists on Sept. 14 because they scored in the top percentile on their PSAT.

tournament] it seems like we have more people sign up which is great,” DeGroff said. “Because once you experience camp, the money is so worth it.” DeGroff said that every year is a different experience and that it was fun to have coaches versus seniors in the final game this year. “We got to see a different side of the teachers that you really don’t get to see in the classroom,” DeGroff said. “It was a lot of fun.”

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Key Club organized a garage sale in the cafeteria and raised $863 for their upcoming convention in April. Members collected, priced and sold items including clothes, furniture and small electronics.


Feb. 25

Feb. 27

the Allen Americans hockey team. “[The Allen Americans] care about their community and they want to reach out and promote their program and they’re doing an outstanding job of doing that,” Walker said. “I was so tickled to see that many of the actual Allen American players.” DeGroff attended the FCA camp at Hardin-Simmons in Abilene her sophomore and junior year and plans to become a “huddle leader,” or group leader, this summer. “Each year we do [the

The Eagle Angle

The Science Club participated in the Beal Bank Dallas Regional Science Fair on Feb. 25, competing against thousands of other students. Sophomore Charles Tian placed first in the senior division of computer science, juniors Mayura Kulkarni and Miti Patel placed second in medicine and health sciences, juniors Shanice Obonna and JoniRose Olofernes received honorable mentions in biochemistry and sophomore Vatsa Gandhi received honorable mention in earth and planetary science.

Walker said. “I’m still just a young athlete at heart. I want to get up and get involved as much as I possibly can.” DeGroff has competed in every tournament since her sophomore year and this year was her first time in the finals. She said that for her, losing did not matter. “It was just a game and we’re doing it to raise money for campers in the summer,” DeGroff said. “It was kind of disappointing but at the same time, it’s just funny that the teachers are all like, ‘Oh we’re older and we can still beat a group of 17-18 year olds.’” The championship games took place after 13 qualifying rounds. “Overall we stuck together and everyone had pretty good integrity throughout the games,” DeGroff said. “And we went out when we were supposed to. It was fun.” Altogether, 14 teams competed in the tournament, including the teacher team Educated Assassins and



means a team must lose twice to be eliminated from the competition. “From best to worst, it doesn’t matter,” Walker said. “It gives everybody opportunities to play.” By the championship round, the Heavy Hittas had one loss against the Coaches while the Coaches remained undefeated. The Heavy Hittas won the first game of the championship rounds. “We were just like, ‘Are you serious?’” senior president of FCA and Heavy Hittas team member Arin DeGroff said. “‘We have to play another back-to-back game?’ But it was fun and exciting.” The Coaches won the second game in the Championship round, making them the dodgeball tournament champions. The Coaches have made it to the finals every year since the tournament began. Walker, who played for the Coaches in the winning game, said he was elated to win. “I have a competitive side to me,”


story by Emily Cantwell // staff writer n order to raise money to send students to summer camp, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) held a dodgeball tournament organized by FCA sponsor Jennifer Clements on Wednesday, Feb. 29 in the gym. The Coaches team won for the second year in a row. FCA sponsor JD Walker started the FCA’s annual dodgeball tournament fundraiser in 2008, when Allen won the state championship in football. Athletes on the state championship team created a dodgeball team called the True Athletes and won the first tournament. “It was a huge success,” Walker said. “It’s just kind of grown each year.” This year the team Heavy Hittas and the Coaches advanced to the championship round. The tournament implemented the rule of double elimination, which

Allen High School // Issue 5 // March 23, 2012

story by Kathleen Sinor // staff writer wo and a half billion text messages are sent each day. 294 billion e-mails are sent each day. 206.2 million people are connected to the Internet. Due to the growing pace of technology, the administration on campus and at the central office passed the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy on May 2, 2011. Associate Principal for Curriculum Jill Stafford said administration took the policy into consideration for an extended amount of time in order to have a better educational environment. “As we move forward in preparing our students for the 21st century, we want to make sure we are utilizing the best technology,” Stafford said. “It allows for a lot of student interaction.” BYOD allows students to use

Faithful fighting


Senior uses religion to live with cystic fibrosis


Saher Aqeel

Strong survivor While at home, senior David VanNoorloos receives a treatment from a high-frequency chest wall oscillation to help

with his cystic fibrosis. VanNoorloss was diagnosed with Delta F508, a form of cystic fibrosis, when he was 2 and a half years old.

Statistically, most people with cystic fibrosis don’t survive past their 30s. “I will need lung transplants eventually,” VanNoorloos said. “But the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has gotten some good progress and I am optimistic that they will have the cure in my lifetime.” VanNoorloos has been hospitalized four times; two for surgery and two because he got sick from his cystic fibrosis. He said that being in hospital four times is nothing compared to others with cystic fibrosis. His future plans are to go to Collin College, to stay close to home. “In the past I thought I wouldn’t be able to keep up in class because of how much I missed,” VanNoorloos said. “I haven’t really thought about how [my cystic fibrosis] would have

an effect on me [in college].” Even though he cannot do the amount of running or sports that his friends can, VanNoorloos said that he can still run and play sports with his friends. “I always tell myself to keep up and run a decent amount, because it helps me keep my lungs clear,” VanNoorloos said. “It’s like a challenge, and it’s something I strive for.” Mrs. VanNoorloos said that her son is luckier than a lot of people with cystic fibrosis. “When David was in [the] hospital when he was little, there was a little girl in ICU,” Mrs. VanNoorloos said. “And she passed away from cystic fibrosis. Sometimes you see people with cystic fibrosis that are so severely handicapped that they can’t

talk. The first person I saw with cystic fibrosis was probably about 11 years old, in a wheelchair, on oxygen full time.” Mrs. VanNoorloos and her son both believe that God never gives them more than they can handle. “The Lord has a plan for everybody,” Mrs. VanNoorloos said. “And all we can do is trust him. Your role in life is not to question, and we just need to be faithful.” VanNoorloos said that he believes that he is the healthiest cystic fibrosis patient that he has ever seen and that it is a blessing to be so healthy. “Maybe if I was worse I would have a different attitude,” VanNoorloos said. “But right now everything is a gift.”

Golden ticket

Sophomore sings at Carnegie Hall after winning competition


Saher Aqeel

All the right notes While attending a vocal lesson on March 7 sophomore Shelby Gyger runs through the song “Thorougly Modern Millie” with her vocal instrucstor, George Variames, to improve vocal range and mouth structure for diction.

moment before she took the stage. “My stomach like dropped,” Gyger said. “I walked out [and] I was just like, ‘oh my gosh,’ I’m here. This is really happening.” Variames and Gyger picked the song she sang, “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” from the musical “Jesus Christ Superstar,” out of the list of suggested songs from the Golden Voices of America contest owners. Gyger said that she really did not like the song at first, nor did she like it before going on stage to perform it. But after performing it, she said that her thoughts about it changed. “I still didn’t really like it until

after I sang it there,” Gyger said. “Now it’s a special song to me because I’ve sang [that] song at Carnegie Hall.” Gyger said she felt nervous before this performance just like she feels before performing any time. “I don’t think there’s ever been a performance where I’m not [nervous],” Gyger said. “But once I get on stage, I just kind of forget that other people are there and I’m just like, you know what? I’m going to do this for me, and I just perform for myself really.” Gyger has taken lessons with Variames since she was 7 and said that the Gyger family ties with him have

benefitted her. “Through choir I did vocal lessons at the same time I was taking lessons from [George],” Gyger said. “It just wasn’t the same. It’s just that chemistry that we have because he’s like an uncle type figure for me.” Gyger’s mother, Julie Gyger, and two older sisters, Brittany and Chelsea Gyger, also went to New York for the performance where they saw four Broadway shows. Gyger said seeing these shows affected her decision to have Broadway in her future. “I want to major in musical theater,” Gyger said. “And possibly

be on Broadway or do some offBroadway stuff. So it was really cool to finally see it and be like, this might be what I want to do.” Gyger describes her voice as Broadway-loud and obnoxious. Variames said Gyger has a dynamic and strong voice. “[Her voice] is pretty powerful,” Variames said. “For her age, she’s got a very mature voice. She’s got a very wide range and has a lot of power behind it. She’s aggressive, she’s competitive and she pays attention to details and makes sure she gets a good performance.” Gyger is currently in the musical “Chicago” at the ArtCentre Theatre in Plano. Her mother often actively participates in Gyger’s musical productions and said she supports her. “Some days when she’s at the theater, I’m at the theater,” Mrs. Gyger said. “So it becomes kind of a family ordeal.” Gyger said her and her mother are worried that she won’t make it in Broadway as a career, so she has considered broadcast journalism and possibly law as back-up plans. “It’s either you go big or you go home,” Gyger said. “It’s a very tough industry to get into and if you don’t have what they’re looking for at exactly the right time, your degree is useless.”

The Eagle Angle

story by Saher Aqeel // staff writer t 3 years old, sophomore Shelby Gyger was a cute kid who stumbled onto the stage in her first musical, “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.” Thirteen years later she takes the spotlight, center stage, at Carnegie Hall. On Feb. 18, Gyger performed at Carnegie Hall, accompanied by her vocal instructor, George Variames. Gyger entered the Golden Voices of America 2011 international vocal competition through her vocal instructor in May 2011. After placing first in her division, Gyger earned the opportunity to sing at Carnegie Hall in New York City. She entered in the 13-15 years old category for the musical theater/Disney/Broadway/ jazz repertoire style. “The audience was full,” Gyger said. “It was really surreal. I don’t even know how to describe it.” Gyger was one out of the six people from Texas who won the competition, also through Variames. “Before I went on I was like, ‘oh my gosh, George, I’m so nervous’,” Gyger said. “He was just like ‘oh, you’ll do fine, kiddo’ and gave me a hug. I’ve known him my whole life so I look at him like an uncle. It was just cool to experience [that] with [him].” Gyger was 12th to sing out of the 41 people that were performing that day. She said she hadn’t given much thought to the matter until the

Allen High School // Issue 5 //March 23, 2012

frustrating sometimes,” VanNoorloos said. “But I can live with them.” Since VanNoorloos’ lungs are affected, his mother, Carol VanNoorloos, takes extra precautions to keep him away from smoke. “We don’t go around people who smoke,” Mrs. VanNoorloos said. “We don’t let workers in our house that smoke. We don’t go to any restaurant that has smokers.” VanNoorloos said that his family includes his mother, his stepfather, his sister and his stepbrother. He also said that he enjoys hanging out with his stepbrother, and that they all help him out, but he said that his mom is the person who helps him the most. “She encourages me to exercise and she helps me with my time management,” VanNoorloos said. “And she has a great approach to things.” Mrs. VanNoorloos said her son takes life more seriously than the typical adolescent, and said he believes that he is blessed to be alive. She also said he has a strong foundation in God and that he cherishes every day that he has. “He is just very grateful, for every day of his life, for every opportunity,” Mrs. VanNoorloos said. “If he didn’t have a strong faith in the Lord, then I think that it would be very difficult for him [to deal with cystic fibrosis].” According to Mrs. VanNoorloos, cystic fibrosis is an alteration in life and not a death sentence. “We are all eventually going to die, pass from this life,” Mrs. VanNoorloos said. “We don’t know when or what of.”


story by Rebecca Moss // staff writer he other kids did not want to play with him, or even go near him. They thought he would make them sick. People used to fear him. Even a simple trip to his sister’s school to pick her up turned out bad. But now he has friends that don’t care about his limitations, friends that accept that his disease is a part of him. At 2 and a half years old, senior David VanNoorloos was diagnosed with Delta F508, the most common genetic mutation for cystic fibrosis. According to, around 30,000 people have cystic fibrosis in the U.S. Cystic fibrosis is an inherited disease that occurs with a specific mutation in a gene, causing thick mucus to form from the exocrine glands, which are glands that are responsible for producing mucus, sweat, tears and digestive acids. Some parts of the body that can be affected include the sweat glands, the respiratory system, the digestive system and the reproductive system. “When you’re a kid, you just go through life happy, you don’t really pay much attention to details,” VanNoorloos said. “But when it really hit me that I had [cystic fibrosis], I couldn’t really do anything.” VanNoorloos’ cystic fibrosis affects his sweat glands, making his skin salty when he exercises, but his lungs and digestive system are affected as well. He has to take enzymes in pill form before he eats anything so his body functions normally. He cannot eat too much of one thing, but he can eat anything within reason. “[The stomachaches] get

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Tale of two countries


Middle school janitor relives Vietnam War experiences


Jessica Alaniz

Journey through the past Janitor Da Pham tells translator Brian Ta that in Eddie Adams’ photo, the crowd was cleared so the only person who was seen was the person getting shot. “The photographer, he apologized to the family because when he took the picture, he felt really guilty about it, he felt wrong,” Ta said on behalf of Pham.

After losing his job in California, he started working in Aramark, a department that performs the day-today building maintenance and general repairs in the school. As a custodian, Pham has worked for Aramark since 2008 at Ereckson Middle School, Allen High School and now Curtis Middle School. He works from 6:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. Pham used the nighttime hours when he wasn’t working to study for the citizenship test. After passing the test, he received his American citizenship on April 6, 2010. However, he still said he “speak no good” English. “I started talking to him and when we were having a conversation, he would actually write,” broadcast and IB film II teacher Dusty Parrish said. “He actually writes better than he converses, it helps him focus on it.”

A few years ago, when Pham worked at the high school, Parrish said he talked to him often. Parrish remembers Pham’s connection to the South Vietnamese general, Nguyen Ngoc Loan, who was famous for his anti-communist ideals and army leadership. Eddie Adams, a Marine Corps photographer during the Vietnam War, took a picture of Loan shooting a Viet Cong captain. “The general killed the Viet Cong. I killed the general with my camera,” Adams said for General Loan’s eulogy in a 1968 Time magazine issue. Before he passed away, General Loan was very close to Pham’s family. Pham’s friend knew Loan through his brother. “[He was] a good man, he was like a brother [to me],” Pham said. “In war, lives have to be lost. It can’t be

avoided, because it’s war. He was a good man.” General Loan died in 1998 at the age of 67, but his family still lives in California and two of his sons work for NASA, according to Pham. Pham has three sons and one daughter. He currently lives with one of his sons and Nguyen. Years ago his children sailed from South Vietnam to the United States, searching for a better place to live. They later sponsored their mother to come to the United States. His children now live in Iowa, Virginia, Colorado and Texas. The rest of Pham’s family, including his five sisters, still live in Vietnam. Parrish said that Pham is very friendly. When Pham lived in Vietnam, he worked on buses. He welcomed people on and put up their luggage and bags.

Interview of Da Pham translated by eighth grader Brian Ta.

Allen High School // Issue 5 // March 23, 2012

a Pham is only a little boy, hiding under his father’s protective arm with his five sisters. The dark basement shakes as bombs and rockets explode outside. The Communists have come again. They have invaded his town again. They have bombed the city again. He wonders how many more days he will have to live in fear of his neighbors. He cannot help but remember the good times before the war, before his life turned upside down. When he had food. When he went to school. When he had freedom. Another bomb explodes and he buries his face into his father’s chest, holding his sister’s trembling hand. Fifty five years later, as a custodian, Pham stares at the photograph that reminds him of his childhood. Memories flood back with the black and the white of the picture. The starvation. The fear. The death. “The communist[s] [are] like terrorist[s],” Pham said. Pham was born in North Vietnam in 1944 in Hai Phong. He moved to the South with his family in 1954 to Saigon, and lived there for more than 50 years. After the Vietnam War ended, Pham moved to the United States on Jan. 14, 2007. Pham’s wife, Van Nguyen, moved to California before him in 1999 and petitioned for him to come to the United States. Pham and Nguyen moved to Houston and then to Allen. Since he immigrated to the United States, Pham received his citizenship while working a variety of full time jobs. When Pham came to America, he assembled computers for a company, which later shut down.

“He was kind of an older guy. [He would always] wave and [say] hi,” Parrish said. “I would talk to Da [a lot]. It [became] a friendship.” Pham said that although he has many friends in Texas and California, most of his friends are from Vietnam. “[When] I lived [in Vietnam], it was sentimental,” Pham said. “And all I remember is my friends. [We] were always here for each other, always family to each other.” Pham said his parents, who died in Vietnam, were just like any other Vietnamese parents. Unlike in America, where parents take care of their children until they are 18, in Vietnam parents take care of their children until they get a job and can take care of themselves. “[My father], he was a good man,” Pham said. “My parents [took] care of me.” Pham said his memories of Vietnam are harsh. There were bad times with poor conditions and there were times when he said he had to go without food, sometimes starving. Parrish said that Pham is living history. “There is [only] a little bit of time you can interview people before they’re not here [anymore],” Parrish said. “And [then], that history is completely gone. There’s a story that is there. There is a reason for everything.” For 63 years, Pham lived in desperate conditions in South Vietnam. Now, for five years, Pham has had the advantage of experiencing something so much more different than that. Freedom. “I live in the America,” Pham said. “I am happy.”


story by Aafiya Jamel & Naina Pati // staff writers

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story by Kayla Graves // co-editor-in-chief t was spring, early spring and the air smelled of freshly cut grass. There was a group of girls cutting through the lawn, laughing. They stopped once they reached a bench and started pulling out notebooks and textbooks, pens and pencils. It was homework time. Nothing really stood out about them, except for their clothes. They were matching. The four girls wore the same dark green blazer. They wore the same starched plaid shirt and pressed kilt. They were identical until reaching their feet where their saddle oxfords were black, brown or the same dark green of the blazers. When junior Katie Christian visited the Hockaday School in Dallas for a lacrosse game her freshman year she realized that attending private school was something she wanted to experience. “I loved it,” Christian said. “[After the lacrosse game] I was just like, ‘If I ever got to go here it would make my life.’ When school was ending I was like, ‘It would be so cool. I’m just tired of public school.’ I wondered what they go through at prep school.” In the United States an estimated 6.82 million students attend private school or are homeschooled. Texas has an estimated 300,000 students that are homeschooled, according to the Texas Home School Coalition. Principal of Curriculum Jill Stafford said that the reasons students attend public or private school varies. “A lot of times it might be family situations,” Stafford said. “It might be a personal view of education. We


Kayla Graves

te pe John Paul II priva While attending Po shiba To a ase rch pu Doodling around to tian was required ris Ch ring tie du Ka ul ior Pa n jun school attended Joh r classes. Christian . en All to ck laptop to use in he ba g ar before transferrin her sophomore ye

don’t always ask necessarily because sometimes it might be about the course choice that we can provide or not provide.” Christian attended public school in Plano and Allen until her sophomore year when she went to Pope John Paul II, a Roman Catholic private school in Plano Texas, for a year before transferring back to Allen. After researching several private schools around the DallasFort Worth area, she chose John Paul because registration for Hockaday was already closed and she knew a friend that was enrolled. “My parents had nothing to do with [my research],” Christian said. “It was funny because we were talking about what we would do if we won the lottery and it was my turn and I was like, ‘I would go to private school’ and my parents were like, ‘Katie, if you really want this we can make it happen.’” John Christian, Christian’s father, said they were very supportive of everything their children do. “It was something she wanted to do,” Mr. Christian said. “I’m a very open minded parent and although it’s expensive, fortunately we had the resources to allow her to go.” While Christian went through the application process she said she decided not to tell her friends that she was applying to private school because she was embarrassed. “I wasn’t sure if I was going to be accepted,” Christian said. “I kind of kept it on the down low but as soon as I was [accepted] they were kind of supportive and they were happy for me.” After completing the application, which included two teacher recommendations, an essay and an interview, Christian was accepted and had to purchase uniforms and a Toshiba laptop, which is required for every student. On the first day of school she drove with her neighbor, Tressie Kendricks. “Everybody knew who she was so she introduced me to a bunch of people,” Christian said. “Thankfully I had her along or else I would have been totally lost. I would have like started crying.” After the first day of school Christian said she did come home and cry. “It was so different,” Christian said. “I liked it, but people weren’t as friendly as I expected.” When senior Hannah Weaver transitioned from home schooling to public school in ninth grade she said that she found friends very easily. “Everyone was really nice,” Weaver said. “I was afraid of that, I was afraid people wouldn’t be as welcoming but it was easy. It was nice. I liked it.” After Weaver’s mother, Carol

Weaver, saw a television program about home schooling when her eldest son was 2 years old, she said she decided she wanted to home school her children. “I didn’t know anybody that was home schooled,” Mrs. Weaver said. “I didn’t even know that was possible that you could teach your kids while you were at home.” Weaver has six other brothers and sisters who went through home schooling. Her two older brothers, however, did not attend public school because the school did not accept the credits they earned through home schooling. The other siblings began public school in ninth grade to avoid this problem. While Weaver was at home she worked out of curriculum books specifically designed for home schoolers. “I liked that you could work at your own pace,” Weaver said. “If you wanted to get done early, you could get done early.” John Paul offers a limited number of AP and Pre-AP courses so Christian only took regular classes. Her world history teacher, however, was also an AP teacher and she said he treated the class like one. “That would really scare me because he would do these things called roll test and he would just go down the row and ask questions in front of the whole class,” Christian said. “Then at the end of the nine weeks he would average how many you got right and it was a test grade. I get nervous all the time so I would freak out.” A theology class is required all four years at John Paul where students read the Bible for class discussion. In addition to theology the school held a mass once a month in the gym because they do not have an official chapel. The Christians are Catholic but only attend services on holidays. “[John Paul] was strict and really religious,” Christian said. “I mean, I believe in God but they were just taking it to the next level. They kind of shoved it down your throat.” In addition to her regular class schedule Christian also joined the tennis team, yearbook staff and took dance as an elective. “[I joined tennis] just as a thing to meet some people and I actually did meet people through that because we had bonding dinners and would go to Dallas to play tennis,” Christian said. “You find your people, like people who are instantly nice to you or just say ‘hi’ and walk away.” According to one of the disadvantages of home schooling is that children may see a decreased amount of social skills. However, while Weaver was home schooled she also participated in

sports through the Allen Sports Association (ASA) and made friends outside of her house through sports or church. “A lot of it was just like, I would meet someone and then I would meet their friends,” Weaver. “I’ve always had a lot of friends. When I started school I didn’t have a class where I didn’t know someone.” One of the reasons Christian wanted to attend a private school was because she said she thought that if she went she would have a closer relationship with teachers and they would write better recommendations for college. “I thought it would give me a better shot of getting into UT,” Christian said. “But when I went there, just because there’s less kids it’s more competitive. There were only like 120 kids in my class and everyone was like, ‘yeah, only two kids have gotten into UT Austin here’ and it really freaked me out. That kind of showed me how Allen actually offers more and that more people from Allen actually get into those kinds of schools so you don’t necessarily need to pay all of the tuition to get into a good school.” The cost of tuition and fees at John Paul is $13, 250 and does not include any of the other supplies Christian purchased such as uniforms and computer equipment. “It kind of stressed me out,” Christian said. “Even though it wasn’t my money, I was still freaking out about it.” Christian said that John Paul really pushed more donations. “They asked you to donate all the time,” Christian said. “My parents were like, ‘Your tuition was your donation.’ It made people a little mad because some kids didn’t pay anything to go and then other families were chipping in, but I understand.” When it was time to apply for the next year Christian said that her family was talking about getting another car and she would have rather received a new car so she could see her friends. “I used to cry all the time because I wanted to go back all the time,” Christian said. “I was never emotional but I used to get really crazy. I remember we went a month and a half without seeing each other.” When Christian made the decision to switch back into Allen schools she said she was kind of embarrassed because she only stayed at private school for a year. “All the friends I had made there were like, ‘no, don’t leave’ but I knew Allen was a better place for me,” Christian said. “I don’t necessarily want more attention from my teachers because I didn’t really take advantage of it.” Since students are provided

free education at Allen, Stafford said that this is an advantage for families because it allows them to make different decisions on where to attend school. “I think for Allen one of the greatest advantages we have is that we have a community that is committed to great programs and great education and support education for students,” Stafford said. “It allows us to provide a setting where students don’t have to choose between schools, but can have phenomenal programs and a phenomenal education in those programs that will prepare them for anything they will do after high school.” Christian said that she learned it’s not necessarily how much money you pay for your education but what you do with it. “With the programs that Allen provides I think Allen is a really good school district compared to some of the ones nationwide,” Christian said. “People shouldn’t take advantage of what they have because […] I took advantage of it after all those years. You still have the same opportunities that other people do through schooling.” This fall Weaver will attend the Aveda Institute of Dallas to study cosmetology. After attending public school for four years she said that she preferred home schooling to public school. “I really did like [being homeschooled],” Weaver said. “The only thing I like about school is that I’m with my friends. That’s the only thing I like better.” Weaver and her mother said that they believe there is a lot of wasted time in the classroom. “If you could do your work and then go on to the next class that would be amazing,” Weaver said. “I hate just sitting there in the classes and not doing anything.” Mrs. Weaver said that she is a big proponent of home schooling but it became too much for her to handle. “I think that if I can do it anyone can do it,” Mrs. Weaver said. “I don’t have a teaching degree or anything. It’s just a matter of sitting down and telling your kids this sound and one plus one. [I spent] all those years with them. No one can ever take that away from me.” Christian, who is currently taking AP and Pre-AP classes, yearbook and works at Banana Republic, said the experience helped make up her mind on the type of college she would like to attend next fall. “I just think with more experience, not only with change but [between] bigger [and] smaller [schools] and closer relationships it helped make up my mind,” Christian said. “I don’t care if I go to a big or small college.”

Although she did not finish private school through high school Christian said that she is glad that she tried it. “I definitely don’t think private school is a bad thing,” Christian said. “I think it’s a good thing for certain people who do better in smaller atmospheres. Some people like small schools and some people like big schools.”

Reviewing with an angle



Latin American restaurant not worth salsa dancing over

Not your typical date movie

story by Victoria Erb // staff writer

The Eagle Angle

Allen High School // Issue 5 // March 23, 2012


expected a great cultural experience. I expected a palate bursting with delicious flavors of fresh avocado and crisp lettuce. I expected the spicy salsa to knock me backwards. I expected to be wowed. But sadly, my experience was not at all what I expected The Latin American inspired La Duni, at the Village at Fairview, features everything from traditional Latin breakfasts to their famous cakes. For my entrée, I ordered a gaucho chicken breast sandwich on Peruvian pan de yema, a rich, sweet bread that is traditionally served on Day of the Dead celebrations, with yuca fries. The sandwich included a citrus oregano marinated grilled chicken breast with cabbage, lettuce, avocado, tomato and Manchego cheese. The first bite was delicious. The pan de yema was the perfect balance between soft and crispy. I could taste all the fresh ingredients, but then I realized that a veggie sandwich with some gaucho chicken breast would have been a more accurate name. The thin slice of chicken was sadly lacking. On the other hand, the yuca fries were a surprising treat. Yuca fries are made from yuca plants, starchy roots that can be used as a substitute for a potato. They were the perfect fries, warm and crispy on the outside, soft on the inside and perfectly salted. I wasn’t expecting fries made from a plant to taste good and was surprised by how much they resembled an actual french fry. After the server’s passionate spiel about how famous La Duni is for their desserts, I knew I had to try a piece and “taste love,” as their logo states. Without hesitation, he suggested the awarding winning cuatro leches cake. The cuatro leches, or four milks, cake is a layered mantecado vanilla sponge cake soaked in cuatro leches sauce and topped with caramelized Swiss meringue. The eagerly anticipated slice of heaven was dusted in powdered sugar and the meringue looked delicious, perfectly iced over the cake and the plate. It sat in a bed of milk, so I expected it would be extremely moist. But while the flavor was good, the dryness of the cake shattered my dreams. Cuatro leches cake is known as a moist cake and this one just wasn’t. I couldn’t believe it had won awards and the love of critics. I honestly could have gone to any grocery store to make my own sandwich using generic ingredients or bought a moister cake than the one at La Duni. I probably could have done a better job and I burn practically everything I bake. The food was not worth the outrageous prices. I felt like I was buying a pair of name brand jeans: paying for the name and not the quality. I definitely did not “taste love.”

story by Shaylon Miller // staff writer t’s cromantic. It’s creepy and romantic,” said best friends, FDR and Tuck, before their hilarious dive into an unforgettable love adventure. Actors Chris Pine, featured in “Star Trek,” and Tom Hardy, who appeared in “Inception,” both star in the movie “This Means War,” directed by Joseph McGinty Nichol. Pine plays FDR Fate, a cunning, gorgeous and flirtatious guy with crystal blue eyes that would melt any soul. Hardy,


playing Tuck, is the generous, British gentleman that treats every woman respectfully but is a single parent with a son. Together, the men claim to work as travel agent co-workers, but the real truth is that they are CIA spies. Their disguises are revealed when an assignment to capture a terrorist causes a massive commotion with evidence of dead bodies in the city. When the men are “grounded” by their boss for disobeying her covert order, Tuck begins to search for love on a dating website. Lauren, a beautiful blonde, played by Reese Witherspoon, has a very blunt and vulgar friend, Trish, played by Chelsea Handler, who sets up a racy profile for her on the same website. Coincidently, Tuck and Lauren are matched together. After their first date, FDR, stationed at a nearby movie store as brotherly backup, is oblivious to what Lauren looks like. When she comes by to rent a movie, FDR uses his slyness, experience and charming looks to also score a date with the irresistible blonde. And so the dating wars begin. The comedy aspect of the

so-called “war” is what’s most memorable. It will keep viewers giggling through their ride home. When FDR and Tuck each conduct intense background checks on Lauren in order to plan dates to win her over, they go as far as placing microscopic cameras in her house while cleverly taking advantage of all the spy gear they have. The most hilarious dates are when FDR surprises Lauren by presenting her with a private collection of paintings from her favorite artist, astonishing her with information about the artwork that a co-worker tells him through a device in his ear. This scheme falls apart, however, when Tuck takes over the microphone. FDR unknowingly repeats his childishly inappropriate information and utterly embarrasses himself. His failure makes for an ingenious and well-developed scene. Another funny date occurs when Tuck successfully impresses Lauren with his spy tactic bad boy side by dominating a field of little boys in a paint ball fight. Their shocked faces and Tuck’s gloating pride against children over half his age is pathetic

yet priceless. All laughter aside, the individual relationships between Lauren and the guys are a nice, sensitive touch to the movie and make it great for couples. The care each has for her begins to evolve, and you see the men simultaneously experience an enticing love for her. It makes up for the fact that Lauren is dating two guys at once. Complete with explosions, crazy gunshots and highspeed chases, “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” successfully meets “John Tucker Must Die” with enough romantic dates to thrill a girl’s heart. Though some scenes are choppy, there are great visual graphics in every fight, and the characters are well crafted with rich detail in their chemistry, including a hilarious script. But the film saves the best moment for last. A bromance. With Lauren affecting their true friendship, FDR and Tuck revert back to their close relationship with a compromise that ends it as a worthwhile cinema. This movie is not just for the comedy fans, hopeless romantics or action lovers. It’s a triple threat for any gender with any interest.

May Katniss be ever in your favor Staff writers join ‘Hunger Games’ debate over Gale, Peeta

story by Cory Fleck & Conner Martin // staff writers here’s a certain saying about heroism. About rising to the challenge and finding strength in the face of adversity. And it’s not “when the going gets tough, the tough pretend to be mud.” Unfortunately, if you’re Peeta Mellark, that’s exactly what you do in the face of danger. Peeta, one of the “heroes” of Suzanne Collins’ young adult novel, “The Hunger Games,” spends a good part of the book helping the antagonists hunt down his love interest, Katniss. It’s later revealed that he did this to help her, but good luck figuring out how that makes sense. He then spends the rest of the story lying injured in a cave while Katniss risks her life to take care of him. If you’re starting to question how well Peeta fits into the hero archetype, you’re not alone. Peeta’s high point in the book comes in a flashback when he supposedly saves Katniss’ life by intentionally burning a piece of bread at his bakery so that he can give it to her. That’s right, Peeta gets heaps upon heaps of credit from “Hunger Games” fans for his “compassionate” act of giving a starving girl a burnt, rejected scrap of bread. Fortunately, there is another choice. A skilled hunter and experienced survivalist. A dedicated friend to Katniss who helps her survive after her father’s death and keeps her family alive while she is in the Hunger Games. Gale Hawthorne. With his advice, like teaching her to make snares, Gale does more to help keep Katniss alive from outside the arena than Peeta ever does from


within. With the “Hunger Games” movie coming out in March, we thought it was time to address the massive injustice among fans concerning the Gale/Peeta conflict. Before the book’s main plot begins, Peeta is mysteriously absent from Katniss’ life while she and Gale forge a powerful bond as they work together to feed their families. They are forced to illegally sneak into the forest and hunt to survive, because in the impoverished District 12, miraculous gifts of burnt bread only come around every once in a while. Gale and Katniss create a true relationship of trust and genuine concern. And yet Gale is condemned by many fans and Katniss herself in the third book of the series when Katniss’ sister is killed by a bomb similar to one that he designed. How anyone could hope to actually blame Gale for this is beyond us. All he is guilty of is trying to win a war and save lives. Just because he made actual contributions to the war effort (while Peeta, by the way, was once again trying to kill Katniss) doesn’t mean it’s okay to blame him for every unpredictable death. So what have we learned? If you need someone to burn a loaf of bread, then Peeta Mellark is your man. But if you need someone with actual ability and dedication, it’s best to go with Gale.

story by Kacey Wilson // staff writer eam Peeta or Team Gale? Many “Hunger Games” fanatics ponder this question while reading Suzanne Collins’ books, and waiting for the upcoming movie in March. After reading the first two books, it is apparent that one character cares more about Katniss than the other: Peeta. Katniss is told in the third book that she must choose the boy, Peeta or Gale, that she can’t live without, meaning that she will marry the boy whose love and protection she can not continue to live a normal life without. Well, that’s an easy choice. The only time Peeta was not keeping Katniss alive was when he was brainwashed by the Capitol into thinking Katniss was going to kill him, and even then he still loved her. He even asks to be tied up so he won’t murder her. At the same time, Gale was planning to bomb innocent Capitol citizens, and managed to kill Primrose, Katniss’ sister, in the act.Yes, Katniss, go with the guy who killed your sister. There’s a good plan. Gale was best friends with Katniss her entire life and says he was in love with her that whole time. But because of the timing of Gale’s announcement of his love, you would have to be foolish to believe this. Gale never mentioned them as more than friends until after Katniss won the 74th Hunger Games. The very Hunger Games that she and Peeta were acting like a couple in. Gale only realizes that he is in love with her after losing her to another guy. His chance was gone. This doesn’t sound like real love to me. He is nothing more than


a sore loser. Just before Katniss and Peeta go into the Hunger Games together, Peeta announces that he has been in love with Katniss since he first heard her sing. His story makes it easy to empathize with him because most of us have had one person we’ll always have a crush on, whether it is JC from N’Sync or that kid who had a cubby next to you in 5th grade. Peeta saved Katniss and her family from starvation by giving her free bread from his family’s bakery, risking getting beat by his parents. Peeta makes Katniss safe in the deadly games after getting stabbed in the leg by another contender. He keeps her warm at night and feeds her when she is injured. It’s difficult for ladies not to fall in love with Peeta themselves because he is the sweet guy every girl dreams of. Trying to make a girl fall for him while managing to save his homeland from disaster is not an easy job, but Peeta helps the rebels defeat the Capitol and wins his dream girl after surviving torture with Tracker Jackers, a type of Panem bug that gave him a twisted vision of reality. Meanwhile, Gale was busy focusing more on killing everyone in sight who isn’t a rebel rather than how to save Panem from inevitable disaster and protecting the girl he supposedly loves. Peeta takes the time to insure that Katniss is safe along with everyone else in Panem. He acts for the safety of everyone, not just a select few people he deems good like Gale does. So, Katniss who are you going to choose:The Boy with the Bread or the Boy Who Murders?

School shooting brings awareness to bullying BYOD’s


he school shooting that occurred in Chardon, Ohio on Feb. 27 has left me deeply troubled. I am not angry, I am not outraged, I am just sad. My heart breaks for the families and the victims and the students and surprisingly, I can’t help but feel for the shooter, TJ Lane. I’m not sure what that makes me, if I am somehow a terrible person for including TJ Lane on my list of people that I mourn for. Maybe it makes me a bleeding heart or a radical or some other terrible name. But I think it

widespread, often goes unpunished and is inherently wrong. When 270 10 - 14-year-olds have killed themselves in the past year from bullying then something is not right. This system almost favors the bullies. I know of a student here who was bullied every day by a student who physically harassed him. One day they cursed at the bully and the victim got in trouble. Our country promotes a culture that accepts harassment. We sweep bullying under the rug by saying “kids will be kids.” When does it stop? How many more kids have to kill themselves, how many more innocents have to be slain by their classmates, how many more schools have to get shot up, before we get serious about bullying? Yes, we use a lot of anti-bullying rhetoric, but that’s not enough. We either punish the bullies now or risk

a shooting later. I see it every day. Kids get harassed by fellow classmates, while students and teachers stand by and do nothing. What kind of thoughts could they be harboring, what kind of plans could they be drawing up? It might be uncomfortable to think about, but TJ Lane is not some psycho. We can’t just dismiss his actions as deranged and ignore the problem. He’s a kid who was driven to the edge, not unlike several other school shooters. At the end of the day, the responsibility for the actions of TJ Lane falls squarely upon TJ Lane. However, the responsibility falls upon us to eradicate bullying. Because if this can happen in tiny Chardon, Ohio, it can happen anywhere.

Evolution of nerdom I

Illustration by Elaine Kirby

like I could take on the world with my smudged glasses and Vulcan hand sign. Life got so much easier with these people around. Each time I was called a nerd, it hurt less. Nerd meant something entirely different than it did when I was 6. Nerd meant intelligence, creativity and a sense of camaraderie with people that actually wanted to be friends with me. Nerd meant an extensive vocabulary that I could whip out during debates. Nerd meant that I wasn’t the one with issues in the first place. I had finally found my calling in life. I chose to be a nerd, and I wasn’t going to stand to be insulted any longer. For the first decade of school, life as a nerd was hard. My things were stolen, I was insulted and life was horrible. But I never caved and never thought of faking who I was.

But my days at the library were numbered. After my parents urged me to act more social, I found a group of boys to hang around. They understood and embraced my nerdiness with open arms. My entire world shifted, and life wasn’t nearly as bleak as it was before. We cracked jokes about Star Wars and read our weight in books every week. After the Dark Ages (a.k.a. middle school) I found a larger group of people that liked me for me, and were different from any friends I had ever made. They didn’t care what people said or called them. They openly quoted Spock and sang songs about elementary particles and Doctor Who. They dressed as characters from Japanese shows and jokingly insulted each other with Harry Potter puns. When I was around these people, I felt powerful,

the eagle angle

Allen High School

Eventually, I learned that I wasn’t alone. Nerd doesn’t mean pocket protectors and taped up glasses to me anymore. It means discussing if Matt Smith or David Tennant was a better Doctor, singing about anglerfish, finding comfort in knowing that I have someone to go to when I need to talk or even need a good laugh. I find strength in knowing that I’m not alone anymore, and because of that I can defend my right to express who I am. The insults don’t bother me anymore because, as the saying goes, “the people that mind don’t matter, and the people that matter don’t mind.”

300 Rivercrest Blvd. Allen, Texas 75002


EDITORS-IN-CHIEF Kayla Graves Nicole Welch




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editorial by The Eagle Angle staff ast year the school launched the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy, allowing students to bring their electronic devices, like laptops or e-readers, to school to use in classes with teacher permission. This policy expands the possibilities of education and should continue in future years. Technology has become an integral part in society and, more importantly, of education. The BYOD policy is a reassuring sign that the district does not intend to get left behind. The ability to remain current and keep up with advancing technology is sure to become a key factor in education for both sides of the classroom: students and teachers. A computer can become infinitely more effective than a textbook, and allowing students to take advantage of technology in the classroom is a powerful step in the right direction. Technology applications aside, giving students more freedom and agency is always a good thing. Policies in the past seemed to assume that students would only abuse and mistreat technology in the classroom. But the BYOD policy, while maintaining a necessary and reasonable degree of regulation, acknowledges students as capable adults able to conduct themselves with maturity. Liberating policies like this one serve a purpose beyond their actual goals: they help to foster an environment of mutual respect and understanding between students and faculty. Allowing students to use technology in the classroom puts a nearly endless expanse of knowledge and information at their fingertips. BYOD is an advantage that every student should have the opportunity to take. It makes research more efficient and projects more effective, giving students valuable real-world experience without every leaving the classroom. Technology is important in virtually every part of the business world. From office jobs to executive positions, learning to use technology is key in building a career. With student cooperation, bringing it into schools can only become a benefit. BYOD is a step into the future. The innovative and forward-thinking program opens the door to deeper and wider education in classrooms. Benefiting both teachers and students, it is truly a win-win situation.

Allen High School // Issue 5 // March 23, 2012

story by Elaine Kirby // staff writer n first grade, the mean girl of my grade called me a nerd. As a 6-year-old oddball who was dying to fit in, it was a pretty big blow to my mini ego. Membership into the “in crowd” was the highest peak of popularity. The “in crowd” meant that I too could be called cool. Cool meant that I would be invited to more birthday parties and I could finally participate as a cheerleader during kickball. It was my life’s dream. But nerd meant doom. Nerd meant pocket protectors, tapedup glasses and watching more Star Wars, History Channel and Star Trek: Enterprise with my dad. Nerd got me nowhere fast in the matters of social hierarchy. I get that I was only 6, but that was a lot of pressure on my bony little shoulders. I saw on Nickelodeon how nerds were made fun of. I knew that it could lead to a life of pimply mockery. As I entered fifth grade, the mocking continued, then grew significantly after I received my first pair of glasses. For a while, I chose to spend my time at the school library after I finished my schoolwork. The library was my favorite place to be. It was quiet, there were comfy chairs and I could read anything I wanted, from stories of a young boy with a lightning scar to a man driven mad by a prophetic talking raven. I liked to think it was my safe haven from people that didn’t like me.

positive impact


story by Lucas Lostoski // sports editor

makes me human. I am from northeast Ohio and I understand the regional pride that comes from living there. I know how hard the recession has hit the region and to add this tragedy on top of it all seems almost cruel. My entire extended family still lives within 60 miles of Chardon and the thought of “what if ” has definitely gone through my head. What if it had been my little cousin Lauren? Or what if he had shot my cousins Joe or Jack or Andy? This was so close to home that it has left me terrified and yet, I still feel for the ruthless killer. Now don’t mistake my sympathy as an excuse. Lane’s actions can and never will become acceptable. No matter what, murder can never become justified. But it can become understood. His actions can be rationalized. School bullying is


12 sports

Is the NBA better than college basketball?

Buy story by Akshay Mirchandani // staff writer he NBA: where amazing things happen. Amazing events in the NBA happen every night which are far more amazing than the college game. College basketball may have a charm to it that the NBA does not, but there is not another league where the best players in the world play. Seeing guys like Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard and Dirk Nowitzki light up every night on the court makes the NBA more enjoyable to watch than college basketball. The NCAA has its superstars, but the really great players only stay in school for one year before they head straight for the NBA. There’s more continuity in the NBA than in college because the NBA’s superstars aren’t going to go anywhere. March Madness may be more anticipated than the NBA playoffs, but there’s one thing the NBA playoffs has that March Madness doesn’t: superstars who are trying to chase their first ring, and boy is that fun to watch. Think back to last year’s NBA playoffs where Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks won their first championship. For that three month period, Nowitzki was the best player in the world, taking down super stars who have been debated as being the best player in the world en route to his first championship. This year maybe Kevin Durant or LeBron James will play like the best player in the world to try and win themselves their first championship. Other than the stars, the NBA is much more fun to watch because

Allen High School // Issue 5 // March 23, 2012


story by Lucas Lostoski // sports editor



t’s Laettner with 2.1 seconds left, it’s Bryce Drew from the wing, it’s Ali Farokhmanesh pulling up for three to slay No. 1 Kansas. It’s Chaminade over Virginia, it’s Loyola Marymount’s players shooting their free throws left handed to honor their fallen teammate. It’s college basketball. No other sport has succeeded in offering so many memorable moments, so many white knuckle thrillers, so many tear jerking memories. Those who love college basketball know that it’s true power comes from the idea that every team, no matter how small has a chance to play David to the mighty school’s Goliath. It is a sport that reaches all people, and sometimes even offers social change. It was the first sport to have a team crowned champion that featured an all black lineup. There is just something so pure about college basketball, in the way that the tournament is set up so every game could be the player’s last. Unlike the NBA where contracts are guaranteed, and there is always next year, in college basketball you might never get back or you might graduate and never get another chance. This win or go home mentality improves the level of play we get to watch as fans. Are these kids the best players in the world? (Compared to the NBA) Not by a long shot. However, their hustle, tenacity and will to win resonates much more with the average American than a bunch of millionaires selfishly playing to get on a Sportscenter highlight reel. They appeal to fans much more than a bunch of millionaires, who scream,

of the playoffs. The NBA playoffs are a lot better because of how much of a grind it is. It’s a seven game series as opposed to one win or go home game. Seven games of intensity, grit and action are better than one game of it. Every series is not going to a game seven, but when it does it is very fun to watch. Especially if it’s in the NBA Finals, the biggest stage in basketball. Back in the 2010 playoffs, the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics played each other in the finals, where the Lakers took the title in a seven game thriller. The NBA playoffs are also great when teams are down in the series trying to claw their way back in it, like in 2006 when the Phoenix Suns were down 3-1 to the Lakers and ended up winning the series in seven games. A lot is made of how great the upsets are in the NCAA Tournament, but don’t forget that there are upsets in the NBA playoffs as well. Just look at how the eighth seeded Memphis Grizzlies brought down the number one seeded San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the 2011 playoffs. Or go back to 2007 when the Golden State Warriors did the same thing to the 67 wins Dallas Mavericks. Upsets happen in the NBA as well, and they makes the NBA playoffs even better. The NBA playoffs bring out the best in teams with intensity and excitement. When sitting back and enjoying the NCAA Tournament, just remember that there is better basketball to come when the NBA playoffs come around in April.

whine, throw hissy fits and lockout their league because the mean old commissioner won’t give them more millions. Give me March Madness over the NBA playoffs any day. March Madness is mayhem jam-packed into four weekends of incredible games. Everyone and their dog fills out a bracket. It’s estimated that $1 billion is lost every year in March to the U.S. business sector due to employees checking on their brackets and scores. The NBA playoffs are drawn out over three months, including three days in between games for travel, and some series can take up to two weeks to complete. In college basketball each game is a series, win or go home. Every game has the intensity of a Game 7, because it is truly do or die every night. Plus, the flow of the game in college basketball far exceeds the NBA. Two 20 minute halves beat four 12 minute quarters. In college less fouls are called during the games, which helps stop it from turning into a free throw shooting contest like most NBA games. Recently, the Orlando Magic’s Dwight Howard shot 39 free throws in a single game, by himself.Yawn. Let the players play, refs. Opponets of college basketball say that its only appeal comes in March during the tournament, but even if that’s true, no tournament inspires more excitement, illegal gambling, memories or upsets. The drama of college basketball is unmatched. College basketball is the best. No league competes with it, not even the NBA.

Rangers still have edge in American League story by Akshay Mirchandani // staff writer ne pitch away. Twice. That’s how close the Texas Rangers came to winning their first World Series. One Neftali Feliz pitch in game six, leading the St. Louis Cardinals in the series 3-2, would have won the Rangers the World Series. But it didn’t. The Rangers collapsed in game six, the Cardinals managed to force a game seven and take the title. It’s been a long off-season for the Rangers after blowing the World Series, but that’s about to end with spring training. So, after a long and eventful winter, where do the two time American League champions stand in the grand scheme of things in the American League? It’s very simple. The Rangers are still the favorite to win the American

The Eagle Angle


League until someone dethrones them. The same applied before last season, and no one dethroned them. Now, I’m not saying getting back to the World Series will be easy. After all, the American League became a lot better this year starting with the Rangers’ division rival, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The Angels had a great rotation last year as it is, which improved when free agent pitcher C.J. Wilson, the Rangers’ No. 1 starter last year, decided to sign with them. What the Angels did next, however, turned out to be the most shocking move of the entire off-season. After they had Wilson in fold, they signed the most coveted free agent on the market and arguably the best player in baseball, first baseman Albert Pujols, to a 10 year $240 million deal. The Angels aren’t the only team that got stronger. The Detroit Tigers, who the Rangers beat in the American League Championship Series, also added fire power by signing free agent first baseman Prince Fielder to

a $214 million deal. With Fielder, the Tigers have a younger first baseman than Pujols and their offense gets a lot better. Oh, and it just so happens that they have the best pitcher in baseball, Justin Verlander, who won the AL Cy Young Award and AL MVP this last season. Don’t sleep on the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees either. The Yankees have revamped their pitching staff, and even though the Red Sox failed to live up to their World Series expectations last year, they are still a talented team. The Angels got stronger. The Tigers got stronger. The Yankees and Red Sox are always in the hunt, but the Rangers remain the favorite. At the beginning of last season, many thought the Rangers’ run to their first World Series was just a fluke, and that the Angels would go back to winning the AL West like they done in previous seasons. Now, the Rangers have done it two times in a row, not to mention we don’t know how these other teams’ scenarios are going to play out. Just because you win the off-

season, doesn’t mean you’re going to win a championship. The Philadelphia Phillies put together an amazing rotation last year with Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee. Two aces, and two perennial Cy Young award contenders. They failed to live up to their World Series expectations by losing in the ALDS to Cardinals. In the NFL, the Philadelphia Eagles signed defensive end Cullen Jenkins along with one of the best cornerbacks in the league, Nnamdi Asomugha. On paper their defense looked like the best in the league. Yet they ended up going 8-8 and missing the playoffs. During the 2010 NBA offseason, the Miami Heat re-signed Dwyane Wade, and signed Chris Bosh and LeBron James. Immediately, it seemed like analysts everywhere anointed them the NBA champions before they had played a single game yet. And then they lost in the NBA Finals to the Mavericks. So winning the offseason isn’t everything. The real question is whether teams can pull it together on

the field or court. The Rangers, on the other hand, are one of the best and most balanced teams in baseball. Their offense is stacked with big bats like Mike Napoli, Ian Kinsler, Adrian Beltre, Nelson Cruz and Josh Hamilton. The rotation is young and has a lot of talent in it. Perhaps the most intriguing pitcher on the roster is Yu Darvish, a guy many consider a potential ace. If Darvish can have a breakout season in his first year in the majors and if the other pitchers like Derek Holland and Colby Lewis can remain consistent, then this team will become even better. While other teams throw money around, possibly unsuccessfully, trust Nolan Ryan and Jon Daniels to make the right decisions to push the Rangers back to the World Series. After all, they’ve done it two times in a row. Until someone dethrones them, they are still the AL Champions.

Unexpected talent


Senior gains benef its from sports training


Kayla Graves

Lending a hand While at the athletic facility senior Fancesca Berkshire practices

how to prepare a student athlete for modalities.

get to see at school. She said she plans to stay with training “I had so much fun,” Berkshire

said. “I wouldn’t give it up for anything.”

Right on target

Archery places third at state, advances to nationals

story by Rebecca Barney & Dymielle Desquitado // staff writers


Lucas Lostoski

Sharp Shooters On March 5 the archery team accepts their third place trophy that they earned at the state tournament in Belton.

Dutch oven cooking and archery. The class is open to all students and counts as a P.E. or elective credit. Students can also choose to join the archery club and compete in tournaments. Currently, there are 65 members in the club, and the members can get their national certifications. “The reason [the club] is becoming so popular is because it’s new, and it’s something anybody can do,” Anderson said. “You don’t have to be a great athlete like a basketball player or a football player to shoot [a bow and] arrow. I think this is a program where we can reach out to everybody.” The coaches and sponsors supply the equipment for the students in the outdoor adventures class and archery club. Bruton said Cabellas donated over $20,000 in equipment to the outdoor adventures program. Through grants, the former Ag building at the Freshman Center

turned into their practice facility. “Now we have a beautiful facility over here,” Bruton said. “[The building] was trashed. It was condemned and full of junk. We had to clean it all out, and redo some things to get it set up for this program.” When teaching students how to shoot, Anderson and Bruton first explain the parts of the bow before they can pick up a bow and arrow. Anderson said that although archery may be easy, the hardest part is putting in the practice time. Practice is held at the Freshman Center every week on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, and Monday, Wednesday and Thursday after school. “[It] provides an opportunity for kids to do something they normally wouldn’t do,” Bruton said. Cooper, who has been doing archery for five years, said his parents are supportive of his interest in

archery. “My parents think it’s great for me to do archery because I’m out of the house and not bothering them,” Cooper said. “I’m staying out of trouble and doing something good.” Sophomore Celina Doro said that Bruton influenced her interest in archery through his stories. “I mostly look up to him as a role model because he changed my life,” Doro said. “He changed my view on hunters.” Doro said that at first, she thought that the class would be focused on hunting for a sport, but it turns out that Bruton believes hunting should only be used for food and resources. “Some hunters don’t respect the animals and that’s not right,” Doro said. “But if you’re hunting for the parts of the animals for food, I understand that. The animal didn’t die in vain.”

The Eagle Angle

ove over football. Archery is the new sport powerhouse in town. In its first year, the team finished third at the state tournament in Belton, and will advance to nationals May 12-13 in Louisville, Kentucky. Archery coaches at the Lowery Freshman Center, Dennis Bruton and Jason Anderson, took their top 30 archers to state where they had the opportunity to win $15,000 in scholarships. “It was really nice to get out and see what the state tournament was like because this was our first year and we’re just going to get better from here,” junior Brook Cooper said. “It’s just a big learning experience.” Out of 337 archers in the male division, Cooper placed second, freshmen David Kerrigan and Trevor Hoberg tied for 14th, senior Dylan Hillman placed 23rd and junior Kevin Shaw placed 24th. Out of 221 archers in the female division, freshman Emily Riddell placed 11th, sophomore Sarah May placed 13th and sophomore Carmen Cumming placed 20th. Kerrigan and Hoberg tied for third out of all the freshman in the male division, and Riddell placed first out of all the freshman in the female division. At the beginning of September, Bruton and Anderson created a program for students to learn archery. In a separate outdoors adventures class also taught by Bruton and Anderson, students learn about fishing, boating, GPS orientation,

In a competition, there can be 16 to 24 members, even though only the top 12 will score, and at least four of the team members have to be female. “They gear the tournaments to try to involve as many that can go, but they break it down,” Anderson said. “I have my top 12 archers that I put on a team.” Each ring of the target is worth a different amount of points for scoring. The center is worth 10 points and decreases outward by one point. At tournaments students shoot six rounds with five arrows in each round, standing 10 and 15 meters away. “[The maximum] points you can get is a total of 300 points,” Anderson said. “That’s what we’re aiming for. It’s kind of like bowling.” Anderson said that the hardest part of archery is concentration, discipline and tournaments. He said that the students must have discipline so people do not get hurt. “Kids get a little nervous at the tournaments because there are a lot of people,” Anderson said. “At the last tournament, there were around 300 kids. It’s a little nerve racking when you’ve got 40 kids lined up in a row and all shooting at one time.” Doro said her favorite part about archery is the satisfaction of hearing the sound of her arrow hitting the target. “[Archery] is really relaxing,” Doro said. “It gets the stress out of your mind, like school doesn’t matter anymore, jobs don’t matter anymore. You just have to hit the center of a target.”

Allen High School // Issue 5 // March 23, 2012

working at the clinic has helped her become better in the medical world she said that she does not want to go into physical therapy because she want to work more with sports. “I need something exciting,” Berkshire said. “The games are always on edge. They are upbeat sports. I like that.” Next year Berkshire will attend Collin County Community College and is still deciding whether she wants to become an athletic trainer or an orthopedic surgeon. If she chooses orthopedic surgery she said she will attend the University of Texas Southwestern medical school, and if she chooses training she said she knows there are plenty of good schools where she can get her degree. “[Training has] pretty much changed my whole life,” Berkshire said. “I never would have thought about being in the medical field.” Miller said that some of her students who have gone off to college to major in the medical field have said that they already learned the information at Allen. “It means that we’re running a good program,” Miller said. “We strive to make things better by getting both new materials and new books, so to hear our students go off to college and succeed at becoming athletic trainers or something in the medical field, it’s very rewarding.” Berkshire said that this experience has helped her see the other side of training that she doesn’t


story by Breanne McCallop // staff writer efore her freshman year, senior Francesca Berkshire wanted to become a crime scene investigator. But because of friends, Berkshire decided she would try training at the high school and now she loves it. Training has changed her life. “I can’t even imagine not being in the medical field,” Berkshire said. Berkshire works as a head trainer at the high school, as well as a physical therapy technician at Allen Sports and Spine Care. When the clinic needs extra help on the weekends and holidays she goes in to assist the physical therapists and help patients with rehabilitating exercises. She also helps with modalities, which are ice packs, cold packs and ultrasounds that are used to diagnose conditions of the body. She was given the job because she was one of the top trainers at the school. “It [is] a good experience to see if I wanted to become a physical therapist,” Berkshire said. “I got to learn so much, there was so much that I didn’t know about physical therapy that I do know now.” Berkshire began the training program her freshman year, and said during her first year she had no idea what she was doing. After a while it started to become something she loved to do. “I like helping [people],” Berkshire said. “I like seeing them get

better and being able to see them get back out there on the field and play. I enjoy knowing that I helped them get better.” James Lewis, a physical therapist at Allen Sports and Spinal Care, said that he has had a good relationship with athletic trainers, Mary Lynn Miller and Mike Harrison at the high school, so when he needed some help at the clinic he asked the trainers to send someone over. “They recommended [Francesca],” Lewis said. “We brought her in and gave her the rundown of the clinic and she was able to take over and do pretty good.” Lewis said that Berkshire has good potential in becoming a professional trainer from what he has seen of her work at the clinic. “She is good with the patients,” Lewis said. “She takes instruction well. She is able to carry out an exercise plan with a patient from start to finish. I think those qualities would lend themselves real well for getting through an athletic program.” While in school Berkshire is not able to work at the clinic as much as she would like to. At the clinic she helps the patients warm up on the treadmills or the elliptical machines and teaches the patients how to do the exercises. “All the patients there are super sweet,” Berkshire said. “They are really grateful that you are there helping them. ” Although Berkshire said that


meets baseball

Senior second baseman commits to more than just sports in college


laying a sport for your profession. Making ridiculous sums of money. Being the center of media attention around the world. This is the dream of the stereotypical high school jock. But senior second baseman Anthony Samuel is not the typical jock. “I don’t want to be famous,” Samuel said. “I want to be able to go on a walk with my wife. I want to go to my kid’s soccer games without being asked for an autograph. If I was meant to play baseball at the highest level then that’s what I have to do and do it the best that I can.” Samuel’s activities are not what most people expect from a student athlete. “He’s learned how to flip off the side of the house and the mailbox,” his mother, pathway advisor Charlotte Samuel, said. “He loves jumping on the trampoline. Over Christmas break he bought a unicycle. Sometimes he scares me.” Not a typical description of a high school varsity second baseman who recently signed to play baseball at Texas Wesleyan, a small private school just outside of Fort Worth. Wesleyan is not a school renowned for its athletics. Samuel said he doesn’t care though. He loves the school and the idea of playing baseball in college. “I was just so grateful and happy,”

Samuel said. “I was just blessed to know that I could still carry on playing baseball and learning and have fun in college.” From Samuel, there is no bitterness about being overlooked by Division 1 schools. He is very excited to play at Wesleyan. “Just to be able to continue to use my talent is just amazing,” Samuel said. “I don’t know how to explain it. I’m just so excited to go.” Samuel’s demeanor also doesn’t fit the stereotypical jock mold. He seems almost shy until he starts talking. Then the flow of words never stops. While he’s talking, his ear-toear grin, almost sheepish, never leaves his face. His words are confident and thought out, but have a hint of childlike excitability to them. “He is a kid, but he actually thinks like an adult,” Mrs. Samuel said. “He’s a very happy kid. He understands life very well.” Samuel doesn’t dream of playing baseball for the rest of his life. In fact, he would almost prefer not to. He will major in biochemistry at Wesleyan, but if he had it his way, he wouldn’t want to be just tied down to science. “There’s so much out there in the world to do,” Samuel said. “I definitely want to travel. I want to see just how different other people in the world are. I think traveling the world would be so exciting for me to do.” Outside of baseball, he stays very

active and not just by playing other sports. In school, he participates in a number of extracurricular activities. Samuel said his main goal is just to enjoy everything. “I’m in band, I was in cross country last year,” Samuel said. “I was a free runner, that was fun. Outside of baseball I just like to have fun. I’m always active, I’m always outside. I think life is just meant for you to be active and do stuff rather than let time pass you by. I just like to have fun.” When baseball season starts though, Samuel puts everything else on hold. “During baseball season, I don’t normally talk to people that much,” Samuel said. “I’m very emotional. It definitely affects my mood and my rest. It’s hard to do school and social life and sleep and baseball and be on top of your game in all of them, but something’s gotta give.” Mrs. Samuel said that he applies himself as much to baseball as he does to all of his other interests. “He is very hard on himself,” Mrs. Samuel said. “He is harder on himself than I am and I’m pretty tough on him. He takes baseball very seriously, and he takes his grades very seriously. That’s important or else he wouldn’t be where he is today.” Samuel said he understands the importance of not being too critical of his performance. “The hardest part about playing baseball is mentally staying confident

Kaitlyn Trujillo

At bat Senior Anthony Samuel pulls back his bunt attempt just as the pitch is about to

cross the plate.

in yourself,” Samuel said. “Just to be able to live with succeeding three out of 10 ten times mentally is just, wow.” Samuel has shown as he has progressed in his playing career that he can live with those seven failures as well. “[Anthony has grown in his] maturity,” Mrs. Samuel said. “I would say maturity and accepting that he can strike out sometimes or miss a ball on defense.” Mrs. Samuel said she understands how important Samuel’s other interests are to him. “There is always something different,” Mrs. Samuel said. “Everything he tires to do he excels

and is successful at it. He doesn’t quit. Whatever he puts his mind to he is going to do it.” Mrs. Samuel said she understands the fact that others probably don’t know everything about Samuel as well. “He is a great kid with a great heart,” Mrs. Samuel said. “He is very hard on himself and just needs to ease up. I just couldn’t ask for a better kid. I’m very proud of him. I think a lot of kids don’t know Anthony. A lot of kids didn’t know he was smart. A lot of kids didn’t know he plays baseball. But you can’t judge a book by it’s cover.”

Boys varsity lacrosse faces tough f irst matches Swim team breaks Allen districts, story by Grace Lee // staff writer


ix seconds left on the clock. The lacrosse players race down the field to block the other team from scoring, but before they know it, the buzzer rings. They huddle together and lift their crosses up as a team. All at once, the crowd stands up and cheers; the boys varsity lacrosse team just got their first win of the season. The boys varsity lacrosse team is 2-3 so far as the Eagle Angle went to press. In order to make it into the playoffs, they need to place in the top six in the Division 1-North conference, which consists of nine teams. “[I feel] optimistic [about this season],”Carson Boone, who plays in the attack position, said. “[But] we have to beat some good teams to make it in which is going to be hard.” After moving to Texas from Pennsylvania due to more coaching opportunities, this year is head coach Zack Colburn’s first year coaching

varsity and JV lacrosse at Allen. “I think that with the new coach that we have this year, the upcoming season is going to be great,” Austin Lapensohn, who plays in the attack position, said. “We’re learning new things, and it’s going to be better than last season.” Boone said that Plano Senior and Plano East are their two biggest rivals. “Well, Plano East just because it’s Plano and every game that we play usually gets a little trippy [and] a little intense with a lot of hitting,” Boone said. “With Plano Senior, it’s because the last three times we’ve played them, it’s been one point games so through that, it’s created a rivalry.” Last spring, all Division 1-North teams including Allen made it to the playoffs, but Allen finished last in their conference. Colburn said that the team’s biggest goal this year is to make it to the playoffs. “I want our success to be based on the fact that all 25 guys on [the] team are working together rather

The Eagle Angle

Allen High School // Issue 5 // March 23, 2012


story by David Barr // opinions editor

Grace Lee

Fast break In order to score a goal, senior varsity lacrosse player Baker Owens

swings back his crosse at the team’s first game of the season against Colleyville on Feb. 11. The lacrosse team won the game with a final score of 13-2.

than [having] five studs,” Colburn said. The varsity team practices four days a week on nongame weeks at Curtis Middle School from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. They also train at the Performance Course with Geno Pierce on Mondays and Wednesdays to build strength, speed and agility. “I would say [we need to work on] playing more as a team,” Boone said. “We’ve come a long way from where we’ve started, but we’re still nowhere near where we should be, and if we keep improving on more as a team then I think we’ll be good.” Their practice routine includes stamina work and conditioning, where they do stretches and sprints. Colburn said he focuses on getting the boys tired like they are in a game so that they are able to focus better during a real match. “[Lacrosse] is such a great sport,” Colburn said. “I think that every drill that you do is a part of the actual game. [I] just work them hard, manage the time they are on the field and try to utilize each game as a way of getting better and better.” The team’s next game is on Wednesday, March 28 against Coppell at Coppell High School. Colburn said that as a team, they need to work on having a better defensive team this season in order to make it to the playoffs. “[There is] the unity that comes with [lacrosse], not just with everyone on our team but with everyone who plays lacrosse,” Boone said. “Even if you play lacrosse way up North or from nowhere near here, when you see two guys play lacrosse, there’s that automatic connection between [them]. [Lacrosse] gives that connection to everyone across the country that plays.”

state records

story by Madyson Russell // staff writer fter last season was over, swim coach Brent Mitchell began planning for the 2011-2012 season. He focused on getting stronger and faster. He told them they had a great shot at winning districts. He was right. On Jan. 27 and 28 the swim team won the first place girls and boys district championship title. Junior David Tolstyka broke two deaf swimming American records in the 100 backstroke, 50 backstroke and as a lead off in the 200 boy medley relay. Other records that were broken at districts included the 50 free girls, 200 free girls relay, 400 free girls relay, 200 free boys, 100 fly boys, 100 free boys, 500 free boys, 200 free boys relay, 100 breast boys and 400 free relay for the boys. Mitchell also won the 2011-2012 coach of the year, which was awarded at the district meet. Mitchell said that meets are inconsistent because anything can go wrong at any moment. “There are so many ups and downs in a meet, I can’t pick out the best part,” Mitchell said. “So I’ll say this, my favorite moment was the end. When it was all over and I knew we had won.” The boys went on the finish eighth overall at state, the strongest male finish to date. Seniors Nicole Brennecke, Austin Kong, Justin Gibson, Tommy Frashier and Kristin Maxey, juniors Ethan Ho, Alyssa Stubblefield and David Tolstyka sophomore Sarah Vinezeano and freshman Thomas Kim attended state, held Feb. 24 and 25 in Austin. Sophomore Jennifer Brennecke said that Mitchell is more devoted to the team’s success than the swimmers


themselves. “I literally think he is the best coach there is,” Jennifer Brennecke said. “Because he cares so much about us.” Nicole Brennecke said that the swimmers listen to their pump up music before the race in order to prepare as well as learn from past races and experiences. “Music is definitely a big part [of preparing for meets],” Nicole Brennecke said. “And sometimes you close your eyes and visualize the race before you go to bed.” Kong said that Mitchell started the season off by centering practices on skill and technique so throughout the season the swimmers were forced to work harder to achieve the best of their potential. “We are one of the hardest trained teams in the area,” Kong said. “At the beginning of the season [Mitchell] pushes us really hard but then once the end of the season comes he always rests our body and I think that’s what helps us swim faster.” Gibson said that bonds are formed on the swim team because of the grueling practices. “There is a bit of a mob feel to the team,” Gibson said. “Negativity is very frowned upon with the team because if one person is complaining about something it’s going to get in everyone’s head and no one is going to be doing what they are supposed to be doing to get better.” Kong said discipline is required in swimming. “Swimming really taught me time management,” Kong said. “My attitude in the pool reflects my attitude in school and trying hard in swimming really motivates me to try hard in everything else I do in the classroom and in life.”

The Round Table with David Barr 15 sports

David Barr opinions editor he varsity hockey team just finished up their season. They are confident heading into the playoffs, and have high expectations for a deep playoff run. I had the pleasure of talking to senior captain Grayson Master (G), senior Cullum Morgan (C) and senior John Wooldridge (J). All are ready to help lead the team on their playoff run.



J: We are working hard in practice. We’re not doing a lot different, but we’re definitely working hard. D: What win are you most proud of this season? C: Senior night was a big one. We played Plano Senior and it was their senior night as well, so that was cool to beat them on theirs. G: Definitely senior night. That was a lot of fun. They had lots of fans. They came out to win, but we did too and pulled out the win. J: Yeah, senior night. It was just an exciting game. Their whole crowd was into it and we just got to take them out of it. D: What are some personal goals you set for yourself? C: Just to be the best hockey player I can be. This is probably going to be my last season. Whatever I come out with is what I’ll get. G: Just to lead the team to a state championship. Being a captain I have to be the man on the team and push the younger guys and build them up.

Stay positive and just be a leader. J: I wanted to get as much ice time as I could since this was my first year on varsity and I did that so I was happy with my season. D: What are your expectations for the playoffs? C: Going into the playoffs, we’re playing some teams we’ve beaten before. The competition is really tight, but we’re expecting that we should do pretty well. G: I’m hoping to win state. I’m the only player on this year’s squad that has won a state championship and I think the rest of the team really wants to win a championship and I think if we put in the time and effort we can accomplish that. J: I hope to do well in the playoffs [so] we can beat every team in the league [and] hopefully we go all the way.

Cullum Morgan senior

Allen High School // Issue 5 // March 23, 2012

John Wooldridge

D: How do you feel about your season so far? C: We’ve done pretty well, we’re a little bit over .500, we’re 10-9. We feel pretty good headed into playoffs. G: It was alright. I think we could have done better. We started out a little slow with our preparation, but its going to end well I think. J: It’s been pretty good. Considering we have evenly matched teams, we only have 6 teams in our league, but considering how evenly matched the teams are most of our losses have been really close games. We have about a .500 record so we could be a lot better, but we could be a lot worse. D: What are the coach’s expectations? C: They’re expecting the best out of us. They’re expecting to get the most out of every player in order to push us to get as many wins as possible. G: He’s an awesome coach. When we play bad, we skate and we work for it. He definitely works us hard.

Grayson Master



gl e




The varsity boys basketball season ended on Feb. 21 after an overtime playoff loss to the Coppell Cowboys, 43-41. The Eagles started the season 1-7, yet ended the regular season 20-13 which was good for third in District 8-5A. Following a 5-4 win against Lewisville, the varsity baseball team improved their regular season record to 8-4-1 (20). They are now tied for first in the district hunt with Flower Mound 14-3 (2-0). They play Plano West

next on March 23. The boys soccer team is in a heated race for District 8-5A’s fourth playoff spot. The team currently finds itself in a tie for third place with Flower Mound, and only 1 point ahead of fifth place Hebron. The team’s record stands at 10-4-4 (4-2-4) and the district features five teams with a realistic shot at the four playoff slots up for grabs. The Eagles have struggled recently, winning only one out of their last five games. The clubs’ record in those games is 1-1-3, a mark that

has to improve if they want to reach the playoffs. The softball team started the season with a 2-1 record in a tournament in Sequin and finished 4th in a tournament in McKinney. They played their first district game on March 6, losing to Plano 1-0 in the 12th inning. The team lost against Plano East on March 12 7-5, and also lost on March 15 against Lewisville 7-1. Their next games are March 27 against Flower Mound and March 30 against Plano.

The varsity girls golf team placed second in the March 6 Wildcat Spring Invitational. The team scored 19 strokes behind Trinity Christian Academy, shooting a total of 381 shots. Junior Taylor Dunlap of the girls track team came in first in the 200 meter dash at the March 7 meet in Coppell.

-compiled by the sports staff

The Eagle Angle


senior caption

Night of talent T

he 29th annual PALs Puttin’ on the Hits talent show was held March 8 in the Performing Arts Center. Nineteen student acts showcased dancing and singing at the event. Junior Imani White (pictured on the cover) won after singing “Set Fire to the Rain” by Adele. “I feel so grateful, I feel so honored and I just feel on top of the world,” White said. “You see how many people [there are] and how talented they are and it’s just amazing to see how much heart that people actually put into their act.” story by Kayla Graves // co-editor-in-chief

Nicole Welch

Nicole Welch

Katie Borchert

Heart of soul (top left) Singing “Steady my Heart,” senior Layne Castleman performs at the Puttin’ on the Hits talent show. Dancing with the stars (top middle) At the talent show held by the PALs, senior Breana Young performs a dance routine.

All that jazz (top right) Freshman

Adrianna Myers performs a dance routine from the musical “Chicago” at the talent show.

True love (center) Playing guitar senior Austin Brakebill performs the song “A Thousand Years” with senior Cydney Marek.

Nicole Welch

Swing along (far left) Making

the top five, swing dancers senior Catherine Santos and home school student Will Mangum perform at Puttin’ on the Hits.

Under raps (top)

Freshman Jordan Pryor performs an original rap at the talent show.

Toast-tastic (bottom)

Nicole Welch

Kayla Graves Nicole Welch

With a toaster and two forks, senior Brandon Kirkpatrick performs an original song about toast.

Issue 5  

The Eagle Angle 2011-2012