February 2020

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Shawnee Mission South High School 5800 W. 107th St., Overland Park, KS, 66207 913.993.7500

smspatriot smspatriot smsouthnews.com


Table of Contents News 03. U.S. Relations 04. Done Deal

Sports 06. Basketball 07. Winter Sports

Special Section: The Human Connection 10. Calling It Quits 11. I Love Me Like Kanye Loves Kanye 12. Quiet Conversations 13. True Friends 14. In the Coach’s Corner

Patriot Staff


Editors Nichole Thomas Editor-in-Chief Alma Harrison Editor-in-Chief Evan Shibel Asst. Editor-in-Chief & Sports Editor Gini Horton Online Editor Ansley Chambers Opinion Editor & Copy Editor Annalie Polen News Editor Katie Hiebl Features Editor McKenna Pickering Arts & Entertainment Editor Naomi Mitchell Photo Editor Trinity Clark Asst. Photo Editor Emma Harding Asst. Photo Editor Reese Woods Multimedia & Video Editor Abby Cox Social Media Editor

Ben Curtis Elias Henderson Nathan Judd Sarah Ohlde


Nic Camburako Haley Carter Paige Lambert Landrea Van Mol Jack Wagner


Tucker Love

15. How to Date 16. Never Been Kissed 17. Mediated 18. Debate: Restarting Relationships 19. We Need to Talk... 20. Q&A: Coming Out 21. Friends 22. Do It Yourself 23. Some Songs to Love

Mission Statement The Patriot is a news magazine that aims to objectively present topics affecting Shawnee Mission South High School, as well as connect with readers on issues concerning the student body. Staff members reserve the right to express their views in the Opinion section. These pieces are labeled and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the staff as a whole, except the Staff Editorial, which represents the views of the editors. Each section editor designs their own section’s pages, unless otherwise specified. Under the First Amendment and Kansas Law, The Patriot staff is entitled to freedom of the press and neither the school nor district is responsible for any content or coverage. The staff encourages letters to the editor; they will only be published if signed. The Editors-in-Chief reserve the right to refuse or edit any letters for reasons of grammar, length and good taste.

On the Cover

THE HUMAN CONNECTION All about relationships – not necessarily of the romantic kind. Humans are creatures of contact and connection. Whether it’s with each other or the world around them, they form relationships with all beings and even objects. They can escalate from measly acquaintances to friends to lovers – even within the realm of high school. Pages 9 to 23 of this special edition evaluate this “human connection.”

Photos by Naomi Mitchell

3 | NEWS

U.S. RELATIONS A timeline of all of the U.S.-Iran relations.


By Abby Cox Social Media Editor

1953: Overthrow of Mosaddegh The U.S. and British intelligence agencies started a coup to remove Prime Minister Mohammed Mosaddegh, the country’s democratically elected leader. Mosaddegh sought to examine the documents of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC), a British corporation, and wanted to restrict its control over Iranian oil reserves. It was the first covert action of the United States to overthrow a foreign government during peacetime.

1979: Iran Revolution The Iranian Revolution was series of events that involved the overthrow of the last monarch of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and the replacement of his government with an Islamic republic under the Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who was supported by the United States.

1979-’81: US Embassy hostage crisis

In November 1979 protesters seized the U.S. embassy in Tehran, holding American hostages inside for 444 days. The day of President Ronald Reagan’s inauguration in January 1981 the remaining 52 hostages were released.

1985-’86: Iran Contra scandal U.S. senior administration officials secretly shipped weapons to Iran, supposedly for Tehran’s assistance in freeing U.S. hostages in Lebanon. However, the profits were illegally funneled to Nicaraguan rebels which created a political crisis for President Reagan.

1988: Iran Passenger Plane shot down

An Iran Air flight is shot down by the American warship U.S.S. Vicennes in the Persian Gulf on July 3. All 290 passengers were killed, most of whom were Iranian pilgrims on their way to Mecca.

2002: “Axis of Evil”

President George Bush denounces Iran as part of an “axis of evil” with Iraq and North Korea in his State of the Union address which caused outrage in Iran.

2000s: Nuclear Fears and Tensions

In 2002 an Iranian opposition group announced that Iran was developing nuclear facilities which included a uranium enrichment plant. The U.S. then accused Iran of a clandestine nuclear weapons program but Iran denied the allegation. However, multiple rounds of sanctions were enforced by the U.N., U.S. and E.U. against the government of ultra-conservative President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. As a result, within two years Iran’s currency lost two-thirds of its value.

2013-’16: Nuclear Deal

In September 2013, U.S. President Barack Obama and Iran’s new moderate president Hassan Rouhani spoke by phone - the first top-level conversation between the countries in over 30 years. Diplomatic activity increased between the U.S. and Iran over the next few years. Then in 2015, Iran agreed to a long-term deal with a group of world powers known as the P5+1 regarding its nuclear program. The arrangement meant that in return for the removal of the debilitating economic sanctions, Iran agreed to restrict its sensitive nuclear activities and allow international inspectors.

4 | NEWS

By Katie Hiebl & Sarah Ohlde Features Editor & Reporter


he National Education AssociationShawnee Mission and SMSD negotiation teams have been in contract negotiations for almost eight months. Since an agreement could not be reached initially, a fact finder from the state, Henry Cox, was brought in as the next step. After listening to arguments from both negotiation teams, the fact finder presented his findings. On January 28, SMSD administration and the SMNEA met to negotiate a final time. Tuesday’s negotiation was the final step in the state-mandated process. The meeting ended with no agreement

Option 1

between the two parties. With no agreement between SMNEA and SMSD the contract issue falls to the board of education to decide. On January 30th The Board of Education unilaterally accepted the three-year contract. Teachers now have the choice of accepting the terms of the contract, continuing to work under last year’s contract or stepping down from their positions without penalty. The new contract is negotiated for this year, 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 school years. The contract guarantees a raise of 1% for the first year, 1.25% for the second year and 1.5% for the third. The details above that were agreed upon were unchanged from the proposal the district offered at Tuesday’s meeting. The board discussed gradually introducing

Option 2

• Teachers and staff can accept the • Teachers and staff can continue three year contract proposed by the to work under the 2018-2019 board. school year contract. • This contract includes a 1% pay raise • This option offers no mobility in the first year, 1.25% in the second, within the pay scale, as and 1.5% in the final year of the deal. teachers will continue to work • This also includes the possibility of for the same pay they earned in lessening teacher workload through the school year of 2018-19 the strategic plan.

At the Han. 13 SMSD Board meeting, Spanish teacher Leigh Rysko speaks out about the heavy workload teachers face across the district. “I beg you to come and truly engage with what is happening in our building and I beg you to use the extra money to reduce workload and class sizes and pay the frontline that has been taking one for the team,” Rysko said. Photo by Landrea Van Mol

changes to secondary staff teaching and workload starting in the 2021-2022 school year but said it won’t “risk the district’s long-term financial stability.” According to SMNEA President, Linda Sieck, a multi-unilateral contract “will destroy the relationship with teachers in this district.”

Option 3 • The final option is that teachers and staff can choose to resign. • They must do this within fifteen days of when the contract was presented (by February 14th). • This will result in no penalty to the teachers/staff.




A recap of one of the most exciting games of the boys’ basketball season.

Junior Andrew Brewer jumps to gain control of the ball when the game tipped off. South controlled the tip and gained possession of the ball.

Junior and Varsity cocaptain Erik Smith runs through tunnel. Smith was hyped up by his teammates as well as fans and cheerleaders. Sophomore Harrison Hughes battles his opponent’s defense. This is Hughes’s first year on Varsity.

Jumping to shoot the ball, Junior Andrew Brewer is cambatted by two Lancers. Brewer finished the game with eight points.



A new wave of underclassmen make up the starting five. Stories by Ben Curtis Reporter


Junior Max Close jumps for a board. Close made the game winning shot. Photo by Naomi Mitchell

ast year Shawnee Mission South’s Varsity basketball team had five seniors starting – night in and night out. As student athletes can only compete for four years, there tend to be cycles in high school athletics. A great group of senior leaders who work hard and perform at a high level is a gift to coaches and the program. However, after they graduate, a program can often be left scrambling for leadership and performers to compete. “The other seniors… are learning how to come together as a team,” senior and Varsity basketball player Mac Wissel said. “It takes a while [because] we had such little Varsity experience.”

Coaching a young team striving to perform at a Varsity level is a challenge. Inexperience at the Varsity level is a real obstacle. To contrast this, boys’ Varsity basketball coach Brett McFall is very experienced at the high school level. “Our team is extremely tough, hardnosed and gritty,” McFall said. The boys look forward to establishing a groove and having consistent starters heading into the later stages of the season. “We’re going to be playing our best basketball in February,” Wissel said. “The more we experience, the better we get.”


New head coach brings new philopsopy to girls’ basketball team.


he girl’s basketball program has experienced a major change on the coaching side. Girls’ Varsity basketball coach Mark Western began his first basketball season at South in November, but has been involved in the program since May. Western organized off-season weights and conditioning and took some of the team to a tournament in Pittsburgh, Kansas, this summer. Culture in the program has been on the rise according to senior Liz Crawford, which is a focus of Western’s. “Culture isn’t something that you get to and it’s done; it’s consistent actions on a daily basis,” Western said. The team has responded well to Western’s new focus. “We’ve been able to grow… more as a group this year,” Crawford said. For the program, the transition in coaches has been smooth. “We have an extremely high character group of seniors,” Western said. “The transition to South [has been] a dream come true.”

As ONW Ravens descend upon her, sophomore Lillian Kovalcik, number 30, falls to the floor grasping the ball. Photo by Landrea Van Mol

After losing to Olathe Northwest, senior Elisabeth Crawford and her fellow Varsity teammates congratulate the Ravens on their sportsmanship. Photo by Landrea Van Mol



As winter sports wind down, here are some highlights from the season. By Nathan Judd Reporter




Junior wrestler Brett Summers attempts to take down his opponent from Blue Valley North. Photo by Jack Wagner

W Samuel Aldeguer, a senior at South, dives into the new aquatic center during the Boys Varsity Duel. Aldeguer has qualified for state dive four years in a row. Photo by Landrea Van Mol


wim and dive’s season started Dec. 4 and now the team is more than halfway through the season. Juniors Owen Krussow, Nathan Snyder, Charlie Krause, freshman Carson Guthrie and sophomore Ryan Owens have all qualified for state for swim, and seniors Sam Aldeguer, Jacob Held and Tim Holmes have qualified for state in dive. “ [The season is going] pretty good. We are hoping to get a few more state qualifiers and hoping to compete there,” senior Sam Aldeguer said. The swim team only has their league and state meets left, while the dive team has one more tournament before then.

Sophomore Blake Williams throws the ball down the lane toward the pins. Williams finished with a 364 series. Photo by Naomi Mitchell


owling started on Dec. 2 and the team has already had seven meets. The boys’ Varsity team consists of juniors Tucker Kramer, Reid Venable, Paul Brandt, Hayden Spratlin, sophomores Tony Thomas and Will Kersting, but the Varsity lineup changes based off of averages. The girls’ Varsity lineup consists of seniors Nichole Thomas, Ashley Haines, Haley Ledman, juniors Jocelyne Trujilla-Mendoza, Cynthia Herman and sophomore Emily Haines, but this also changes. A lot of the success this season has come from siblings Nichole Thomas and Tony Thomas, who have both won in their respective competitions three meets in a row. “We have good upcoming talent, but our team is young so we just need to grow and get more experienced and then we will be a lot better,” Kramer said. The bowling season is winding down and the team is looking to end the season on a high note and win their last three meets.

restling started Dec. 7 and they have gone through four tournaments so far. “[The hardest part of it is] the mental part of it – knowing that you have to go in for two hours everyday and work your butt off and possibly have six minute matches where you are wrestling 100% with another guy who just wants to beat you down,” junior Sam Wright said. The wrestling team only has 13 spots on Varsity, but it is more individual than most other sports. The team only has six tournaments left with the season ending Feb. 29. “We are most of the way through the season, kind of getting into the ladder end stuff. We [have] one more normal tournament, then we go straight to district, league and then regionals and whoever gets out of regionals goes to state,” said Varsity coach Derek Bayless.


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THE HUMAN CONNECTION All about relationships – not necessarily of the romantic kind.

Humans are creatures of contact and connection. Whether it’s with each other or the world around them, they form relationships with all beings and even objects. They can escalate from measly acquaintances to friends to lovers – even within the realm of high school. Pages 9 to 23 of this special edition evaluate this “human connection.”





What do you not regret quitting?

Why quitting isn’t always a bad idea.


By Ansley Chambers Opinion Editor & Copy Editor

Matthias Miller

on quitting orchestra


quit orchestra for a semester, but then it allowed me to reassess what my goals were with it and what it meant in my life and then I was able to come back. It just allowed me to... enjoy it the last semester of high school.”


Jackson Underwood on quitting



quit because I... had come to a place where I wasn’t comfortable competing, but I also just felt like I was doing the same thing everyday and I wasn’t improving... Now I just do theater all the time.”


Sadie Holloway

on quitting choir


had been in choir since... 5th grade... There [were] expectations that I would keep going... All my friends had quit... There [wasn’t] really much for me to be in [there] for anymore... It wasn’t really adding to my singing abilities.” Science teacher

J.J. Wannamaker


on quitting football

found that football was probably not the right fit for me and wanted to explore cross country... I wasn’t really contributing and I felt I could contribute better to the cross country program... It was a hard decision, but no one gave me a hard time... The football coach... was probably one of my biggest supporters.”


ever give up.” “Don’t let one bad day break

you.” We hear these cheesy, inspirational sayings everywhere we go. But sometimes the best thing to do is quit. Don’t get me wrong, turning away at the thought of potential challenge is no way to live your life. It is good to push yourself and test your limits; that’s how we grow. One bad day should not make you throw in the towel, but one bad day after a series of bad days can sometimes be a sign that enough is enough. Some of us tend to push ourselves too far. We reach the level where we can’t go any further without making ourselves question our worth – a breaking point. This can be seen in many ways. For some it’s an unhealthy relationship, a sport you no longer enjoy or less than adequate conditions for working, living, etc. No matter what it is for you, it’s the thing you always find yourself complaining about to your friends; it weighs on you. But it’s not always so easy to see. It’s often something you love or once loved. If it was something you never enjoyed, you probably wouldn’t have continued with it – unless it’s something required such as school (which you should not quit as it is required for a reason). But when you find yourself in a relationship – whether it be romantic, with a part of your lifestyle or otherwise – that is continually causing physical, emotional or mental pain, it could be time to reconsider. If your friends seem to be constantly questioning you about it, they probably

have perspective that you struggle to see. This is not to say that you should always listen to your friends who are also just high school students trying to find their way and possess no more wisdom than you, but sometimes listening to their opinions isn’t a bad idea. For example: if you are dating someone who puts a lot of stress or pain on you, but you still love them – or at least think you do – and your friends are telling you that you can do better or that they are no longer worth it, listening to them may not be the worst option. When you are in love (with a person, object, etc.) you tend to be blind to any faults of the person or thing that you love. To those who have not dedicated so much time and love to what you have, it may seem obvious that you’re in an abusive relationship or that you’re giving away too much of yourself. But to you, it can be very hard to overlook your history with this person or thing. Although you should still respect previous time that you have given, it is important to not live in the past. There is nothing wrong with saying, “I’ve loved going to practice with all my friends over the past several years,” unless practice has been a dread for past few months and you won’t allow yourself to see that you no longer love it or benefit from it and it only upsets you. While it’s easier said than done to quit something that you’ve given so much to, it is good to check in with yourself and evaluate if every part of your life really is good for you. There should be no shame in leaving a toxic relationship or quitting something that only brings you pain.



Lainey Pace

on quitting cheer he whole reason I did cheer was because my mom got me into it since my older sister is into it... I didn’t really want to be in it anymore because I didn’t really like the environment... I have more time to hang out with friends and... catch up on homework.”


Hank Salsbury


on quitting soccer

t sucked to quit, but I knew I was going to cross country and that would be better for me... I just didn’t feel valued.”




The relationship you have with yourself is one of the most important relationships to maintain, yet one of the most commonly forgotten. By Ben Curtis Reporter


nstagram lifestyle influencers always seem so happy and fulfilled. The whole aesthetic of trendy health food, morning yoga and sparsely furnished homes as a path to wellness is simple, but infuriating. Yoga and trendy foods are costly and clutter does not simply vanish. Becoming healthy and happy isn’t as simple as Emma Chamberlain and Soul Cycle would want you to believe. Yet, these influencers are onto the basics of being healthy, happy and fulfilled, not only physically, but mentally. Health, happiness and fulfillment are ideals or values to strive for in your relationship with yourself. This relationship with yourself is the same as any other relationship, whether romantic or platonic. These relationships are constructed on paitence, time devoted and love. While romantic and platonic relationships are optional, a relationship with yourself is not. Sounds daunting, right? It’s quite simple and with patience and diligence, anyone can create and foster a healthy and happy relationship with themselves. Fulfillment and health are often compared to a pyramid with the basic blocks on the bottom being essential to the structure. Drinking plenty of water, sleeping for at least seven hours and eating well are highly beneficial. As students and adults in America, we often sacrifice health for convenience. Without performing the basic tasks of being healthy, you can’t hope to become truly fulfilled, happy nor accepting of yourself. Often the basic, common sense health suggestions are ignored, which leads to increased stress. Stress is the main obstacle to creating and maintaining a healthy relationship with yourself. Students can often feel overwhelmed. Seven classes, sports and clubs, a social life, possibly work and preparing for college can all weigh on students. Teachers experience a stress level comparable to their student counterparts,

with half of each group reporting a great deal of stress felt regularly, according to The Conversation. While stress is a normal biological reaction, too much stress over a long duration causes harm. Continual stress can lead to depression, obesity and heart disease. Openness and honesty about mental health and happiness are rare in the school environment. Escapism is incredibly

Repeating words of affirmation can be a technique to wire neural pathways to think more positively and develop a healthier relationship with yourself. Photo by Landrea Van Mol

common in American culture and very harmful to your relationship with yourself. Instead of confronting and working through issues in our lives, we tend to distract ourselves with retail expenses, food, drugs, alcohol and obsessive fandom. Habitual escapism results in continual stress which causes health issues and does not solve the problem that caused your stress in the beginning. Therapy or another outlet to express yourself can provide you with an honest opportunity to confront your problems instead of escaping them. A sincere discussion with a professional or nonbiased person, such as a psychologist, can greatly improve your relationship with yourself. Therapy is not exclusive to people with depression or phobias; therapy is just as useful in the wellness model of getting healthy, achieving potential and making a good life better, according to Psychology Today. Part of your relationship with yourself is devoting time to either improving yourself or allowing yourself some space to relax and unwind. Romantic relationships don’t function without devotion to your partner and a relationship with yourself can’t function without devoting time to yourself either. People who are constantly on the run are usually very tired and stressed. Rest is important for the body and the mind. While rest can be naps and actual sleep, rest is also enjoying a break from the brisk pace of life and indulging yourself in your interests. Often, we don’t set aside this important time, which leads to feeling overwhelmed and consumed by school, work and life. Self love is about supporting yourself and devoting time to yourself. We are very keen to apply those ideas to relationships outside ourselves. It’s logical and easy to support your friends and family and devote time to them. Why not do the same to ourselves?



QUIET CONVERSATIONS The science behind why we gossip despite its negative consequences. By Annalie Polen News Editor


ccording to a study by Nicholas Emler, 80% of our conversations are about other people through gossip. Whether it’s about our friends, family or people we have never even met, we tend to have a lot to say about them. On top of that, high school is the optimal environment for gossip to grow and thrive. As much as we would all like to say we don’t do it, that is often not true. We are constantly surrounded by the stories and claims made about the people around us. Whether it is good or – more likely – bad, we all consume the words about others and likely spread it to the next. A lot of times gossip isn’t meant to be malicious, but merely a way to communicate and form a bond with the person on the other side of the conversation. “I don’t really try to stop gossiping because I don’t think about it when I’m doing it,” sophomore Holden Schworder said.

Although often times people don’t even know they are gossiping, it has been a common human trait for a long time. “Anthropologists believe that throughout human history, gossip has been a way for us to bond with others—and sometimes, a tool to isolate those who aren’t supporting the group,” according to Psychology Today. Sometimes it’s even a tool for us to avoid calling people out on their actions. People often gossip if they are not willing to tell it to the person the content is about. This lack of honesty directly to the person may protect their feelings for the time being, but loses some of the sincerity and honesty of the relationship. “We are social beings in the aspect that conversation brings us together. Sometimes that conversation’s positive. Sometimes it’s negative. Sometimes it’s indifferent. But I think at the heart of gossip is [how] you feel connected to

another person,” psychology teacher Heather Sheppard said. We often don’t take the time to confirm that the information we are processing is true before spreading it on to the next person. “A lot of times we live in a very fastpaced life… We just want information very quickly and sometimes we don’t do our diligence in finding another source or asking around or trying to find evidence. We just accept it at face value,” Sheppard said. Everyone would be lying if they said they never gossip. I probably do gossip, but I don’t try to; I try to not gossip by just not caring what other people think,” junior Tucker Kramer said. Gossip is likely not going anywhere, but the content of what you talk about is in your control.











Friendships can be hard, but friend break-ups are so much worse.


By McKenna Pickering A&E Editor

think if I experienced anything like that I wouldn’t want to share it with anyone. I’m not saying that all friend breakups end in chaos, just the ones I’ve experienced. Just imagine spending a good chunk of your life with a group of people just for them to get mad at you for something stupid and then end up separating? It sucks. Plus, if you go to school with those people it’s just super awkward to see them. Do I smile? Do I wave? What do I do? The answer is avoid all eye contact in general. You’d think the worst breakup would be a girlfriend breakup, but after being involved in a group with a bunch of guys I’ve found out that it’s much worse to be dumped by

Yeah, I have been in a friend breakup and honestly it was great. A lot of weight was taken off my shoulders. I think that spending less time together would have led to us still being friends because we spent so much time together and it was draining. sophomore Crystal Ugalde

who you thought were like big brothers. It hits different. Dwelling on the past, however, is not ideal. What happened has happened and it was probably for the best. If you have gone through this or are currently going through a friend breakup, keep your head up and just keep on going. It gets better from there.

S “

I have been in a friend breakup. It wasn’t the best feeling in the world...I think communication with my friends during the friend breakup would have made it a lot better. Also I think that taking a break from each other would have made us stay friends longer. freshman Jayme Pickering

love having relationships with people. Whether it’s friendships, pet companionships, Family relationships or romantic relationships. They are all fun and games until the “love of your life” tells you they need time, your sibling distances themselves from the family for a “break” or even worse… a pet dies. On the other hand, when frienships end it’s usually messy. From experience, I haven’t had a single breakup from a friend group that didn’t end in tears and/or utter hatred for everyone around them. I’m not sure if I have met anyone who has been in a really great friendship and have it just end for no reason, let alone have it be messy. Honestly, though, I




IN THE COACH’S CORNER How the impact of students’ leaders on the field can impact their careers By Evan Shibel Asst. Editor-in-Chief & Sports Editor


(Above) In the heat of the game, Coach Mark Western watches the girls play against Olathe Northwest. (Below) Head coach Brett McFall gives encouraging speech during a timeout. (Bottom right) After the first dual, head coach Derek Bayless addresses his team. Photos by Landrea Van Mol and Jack Wagner

oaches are easily able to make the single greatest impact on an athlete with their inspiring words, motivating speeches and training schemes. One of the most important things to many high school athletes when making the transition from high school athletics to college athletics is the relationship with the coach. Coaching relationships are a key aspect in an athlete’s career and can determine their future in their respective sport. Jacob Wheat, a former cross country and track athlete at Shawnee Mission South, now runs distance for Adams State University in Alamosa, Colorado, one of the top Division II distance programs in the country. “It’s important to have a good relationship with your coach. Regardless of what sport or what level you are at in your sport,” Wheat said. “As athletes, we are the products of the coaches. It is the athlete’s job to represent the coach in a positive way in competition. Here at South, head basketball coach Brett McFall agrees. “Relationships are very important, whether in the classroom or on the court,” McFall said. “You spend so much time together as a team, you become

a family. These relationships you build every day are relationships that can last a lifetime... Some of my favorite memories are when older players come back and we talk about everything just like we hadn’t skipped a beat.” As athletes look towards the next level of competition after high school, McFall believes there is a distinct type of coach athletes should look for. “If my players decide to try and play at the next level I look for a coach that is transformational, not transactional. Transformational coaches build character and change lives, while transactional coaches only care what the kid can do for them. I am a transformational coach and when suggesting a kid for college, I am looking for the same thing,” McFall said. As many former athletes and current coaches can show how important the relationship between the two is, coaches can have impacts on athletes that can last a lifetime and change careers. These coaches can be seen from two sides – one being as people who give us jobs to do and the other as people that inspire us and encourage us everyday to do what we love. If this is found in a coach that an athlete has, that is the right athlete-tocoach relationship for them.




A guide to obtaining and maintaining the perfect relationship. By Naomi Mitchell Photo Editor


ome say high school is the best four years of your life and the relationships you have with people during these four years can make or break it, especially relationships of the romantic sort. Acquiring a romantic relationship can be hard and keeping it going can be even harder, but lucky for you, there are many techniques that can be used to both obtain and maintain a relationship in high school. First things first: Snapchat. Snapchat, being the greatest resource for potential relationships, is where all relationships begin. Snapchat helps to establish closeness by letting you know your potential partner’s location at all times via Snap Maps. Snap Maps is an incredible resource and should be used even after a relationship manifests outside of the phone screen to assist in catching your partner in lies. Before that point, however, the relationship must remain within Snapchat until an official title is assigned to your partnership. Acknowledging the presence of a mutual crush in person before making it official has great potential to ruin

the formation of a relationship. Once a title has been assigned to the relationship, making it public is a must. Everyone must know that you and your partner are dating. One way to make sure everyone knows about your relationship is to post on social media with your partner. However, posting too seldom with your partner could cause your relationship to be misinterpreted by others. To avoid being perceived as “ just friends,” posting at least once a day on multiple social media platforms is highly encouraged. Another way to publicize your relationship is through displaying affection in every public situation. Below is a chart to help guide how much affection should occur in different situations, but a general rule of thumb is to increase the amount of affection with the amount of people present. Now that your relationship has been made public, it’s time to focus on the relationship at the personal level. Your significant other is the most important person in your life and should be treated as such, even

if at the expense of other people in your life. Relationships are all about sacrifices and to prevent jealousy, you may need to distance yourself from your friends and avoid any contact with persons who may be perceived as threats by your partner. This helps to establish trust by conveying to your significant other how much you love them and that they are your number one. You may also need to set aside any other obligations you may have. This includes work, school, sports and any other activities that may take away time that you could be spending with your partner. While these tips are helpful, the most important thing to remember when dating in high school is to have high expectations of each other and the outcome of your relationship. Expect nothing but perfection from your partner and do not entertain the possibility of the relationship ending. After all, the future can be scary, so planning yours around your significant other can help make adulthood seem less daunting.

holding hands



acceptable with: yourselves, with one or two mutual friends.

acceptable with: small group of friends, known adults.

acceptable with: strangers, adults in positions of authority.



MEDIATED The digital world affects dynamics on relationships. By Nathan Judd Reporter


ewspapers, magazines, television and internet are all different types of media and they all influence our relationships differently. Media is considered as one of the best sources to know about what is happening in the world; it plays an important role and has influence in almost every aspect of our lives. These influences can be positive or negative depending on the media. Some of the positives of social media are being able to communicate with friends and other people we are in relationships with. Another positive impact of social media is being able to keep up with current events around the world so you have more things to talk about. Social media can also positively impact relationships by helping us meet new people and talk to different friend groups. Social media also makes long distance relationships way easier with apps like Facetime or Skype. “I think the best part of social media is being able to be in touch with my boyfriend. I use Snapchat the most, but I also use Instagram,” junior Maddie Schulte said. Although there are positive aspects of social media, it can also impact our relationships negatively too. One of the negative aspects of

social media is that it can decrease face-to-face communication in relationships, limiting the time you actually spend time together. Seeing interactions that aren’t real in shows or movies can even lead certain people to think that they need a relationship in order to be happy. Social media can also cause jealousy and lower self esteem in relationships because seeing other people’s social media can make you feel more insecure. Social media is essentially a highlight reel of everyone’s lives, which makes many people feel insecure. It can also negatively impact the dynamic of relationships by enforcing edited versions of other people’s lives as our own personal goals. “I guess a lot of people wouldn’t know I’m in a relationship because I don’t really post very much. I think it really just depends on how much trust you have in your relationship,” Schulte said. Overall, the media can help and hurt a relationship depending on how you use it. There are both positives and negatives, but if you are careful you can try to limit the negatives. The internet never turns off, so we have to learn to maintain a balance between digital and reallife relationships.




Never Been Kissed

Some students hold a different perspective on first kisses. By Ansley Chambers Opinion Editor & Copy Editor


didn’t really process it until afterwards. Very quick. Just a quick little peck. I think [it was] the same as everyone else’s first kiss. Mine was just a little later,” a senior girl said. It was Homecoming senior year when she had her very first kiss. “It’s definitely embarrassing to admit I had my first kiss so late,” she said. “It just feels like most people had theirs way before me and it feels weird being the odd one out.” Everywhere we look – the halls at school, TV shows and movies, social media – we are bombarded with the idea of passionate, romantic kisses, especially among teenagers. The idea that it’s abnormal to graduate high school without ever having your first kiss – let alone anything more – has been ingrained into our minds. “People would talk about having their first kiss in like kindergarten and I never ever had that… I did feel a little left out,” the same senior girl said. As children we imagined what it would be like to be 16 and to drive and to have our first kiss in

some super cliche way. And now that we’ve reached that point, it’s a societal expectation. We’ve all had our first kiss, right? Guess again. According to a poll of 57 people on The Patriot’s Instagram, 32% of respondents have yet to experience their first kiss. And according to a study in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, over 14% of college freshmen had never kissed anyone either. The majority of these students were also identified as being less extraverted, having lower self esteem, having more overbearing mothers and drinking less than their peers who had been kissed. They were also more likely to be in their college’s honors program. “I feel like… people assume that I haven’t [had my first kiss],” a junior girl said. Although people never truly know about the experiences of others, they can often make assumptions. “I think people probably just assumed that I hadn’t [had my first kiss] and they were correct,” the senior girl said, “Just because people know I never had a boyfriend.” Because of these assumptions, all of our sources wished to remain anonymous. While Shawnee Mission South is a fairly accepting place, it is still high school and there is still shame carried by students who feel that their stories do not align with the

status quo. And even if they remain fully confident in who they are and what they have or have not done, not everyone else will agree with them. “I want to be anonymous because my sexuality is mine and I don’t owe anybody details,” a sophomore girl said. Discussing a lack of kissing experience seems to be taboo, especially among males. Finding high schoolers that had not been kissed and were willing to talk about it was no easy task, but finding boys was particularly difficult. anything wrong with not being kissed, but it has the potential to be a running joke among friends – a joke that is funnier to some than others or can even be hurtful after hearing it one too many times. Continue reading online:







If you and your significant other break up, then get back together, do you restart the time that you have been together? By Evan Shibel Asst. Editor-in-Chief & Sports Editor

By McKenna Pickering A&E Editor



n relationships, the milestones you hit are big deals – six months, one year, two years, etc. But what if there’s a break in between? Do you keep it going after the break or start over from the beginning? If you breakup with your significant other, you should restart the time you were together. There’s nothing wrong with saying, “We dated for this many months, but then broke up,” but saying you dated for a year when you definitely broke up about five times in the process just doesn’t add up. Unless your “break” was less than a day long, then it doesn’t matter, but days, weeks and months definitely count. Think of it this way: you start a streak and then when you end it, it’s over. Dating is like that streak. You don’t start where you left off. If you and your significant other were dating for a long time and took a day or two off, then that’s another thing. Dating for five months, breaking up for two, getting back together and immediately celebrating your seven-month-anniversary just doesn’t seem right. It can be different for long term or married couples, but that doesn’t apply to teenagers. You ended your relationship streak. You ended the time together. Set aside the feelings because you can breakup and still care about someone. When you breakup you and that person are done. If you get back together, the time restarts. I feel like it’s just dumb to start back up where you left off when you had an agreement to call it off for a signifcant amount of time.



hile many people consider a break up as being the absolute end of a relationship, I believe otherwise. Yes, there are such things as breaks, but as long as that time during the break is not counted towards the total relationship time, it should be allowed to be continued after the couple gets back together. Imagine a couple is together for two years and one of them is going through a rough times with their family and just “needs a break” for a month or so. If the couple gets back together after and someone asks how long they have been together, imagine how awkward it would be if that answer was “Oh, just a couple weeks,” even though that person knows they have been together for now over two years. This scenario is fairly common in high school as well. Hearing about couples that are “taking a break” is not a rarity in high school and can make the length of a relationship a discrepancy within the relationship and something that can confuse many people around them. Thus, a break between two periods of a relationship should not be added to the total of the complete time in a relationship, but the two periods can be added together to make the total of a relationship to avoid the awkward responses when a couple has been dating for over two years, taken a break, then gotten back together and has to further explain that they have “only been dating for a week.”



WE NEED TO TALK... Everything that starts will find an end. By Alma Harrison Editor-in-Chief


our significant other is typing… Their name on your phone always brings butterflies to your stomach. What could they have said? Are they asking you to hang out? Are they wanting to FaceTime? Are they about to say the L-word for the first time? You open Snapchat and slide over. The butterflies well up in your throat and turn to tears. “This isn’t really working out.” But you guys have been together for so many months. How could he end things over Snapchat? And on the day of your freshman Homecoming? All of these thoughts ran through senior Lily Murdock’s mind four years ago as she finished getting ready for her very first high school dance. Her boyfriend at the time, now-senior Myles Tuttle, broke up with her 30 minutes before he would pick her up to take pictures. There are four things that can make or break the already dreaded situation of a break-up: contemplation, justification, execution and reflection. They are hard and painful no matter what, but if any of these things go too poorly, the whole thing will be even more difficult. Contemplation: waking up on the day of Homecoming, realizing that you’re not ready for the commitment of the relationship you’ve begun. Some time should probably be spent contemplating so you don’t make the wrong decision in the heat of anger or anxiety. “I just started really, really, really overthinking how little I wanted a relationship,” Tuttle said. “Hindsight is 20/20. I would’ve done it the day after had I thought about this, but I didn’t think about it and I did it that morning.”

Justification: if you really think that you need to break up with someone, that can be justified, but after spending some length of time being close to someone, then they deserve to hear specific reasons as to why you came to the decision of ending things. “I was like, ‘This is freaking terrifying. I’m not ready for all that. That’s a lot of commitment. I’m not that kind of person. What if I mess up?’” Tuttle said. Execution: wording and timing is everything. Perhaps right before an important event isn’t the best and waiting until you both aren’t busy and have time to process is best. “It took a year for us to be cool again because of how poorly it was executed,” Tuttle said. Reflection: looking back on a relationship also requires looking back on the ending. You don’t want to reflect on any aspect of it and realize you should’ve done something differently. “Ideally,” Murdock said, “If he would’ve just done it the day before – so that way I would’ve had time to process it – it would’ve been less awkward because we both would’ve been like, ‘Okay, whatever, we’re broken up with.’” You may cry, be angry, be at peace, be in denial or quickly move on. There’s no right or wrong way to feel – but you will move on. Things will get better. A relationship isn’t everything and neither is the break-up. And eventually, there is growth after the break. “I don’t think we were exactly soulmates or anything,” Tuttle said. Murdock agreed with her friend. “It’s not like we were meant to be together,” Murdock said.


92% break up in person

from an Instagram sample of 65 people









from a Twitter sample of 30 people



I decided – for the sake of journalism – to ask my boyfriend of a year, senior Julian Duff, how he would ideally like to be broken up with. “In-person. You want to be somewhat prepared if you’re going to break up with someone, so they should seem like they know what they’re saying and have some justification behind it. And it should be pretty open and fairly chill; you obviously don’t want

to be yelled at, having a storm be thrown at you, but that doesn’t always happen.” He also discussed an incorrect way to do it. “Obviously, a big no-no is over text or anything like that... unless you’re a freshman and you can’t drive, then maybe it’s a different scenario. But really it’s just not preferred to be broken up with over text.” Photo by Emma Harding




Three students describe their experiences coming out as LGBTQ+. By Sarah Ohlde Reporter

DECK: “Most of them were chill with it. The other ones just didn’t interact.”

Was there any negative backlash? INZERILLO: “I had a boyfriend at the time and then we broke up, so he was kind of upset about it.” DECK: “At the beginning, yeah, but once I started explaining stuff to people, a lot of people just started understanding it.”

How did the first person you told react and how did you feel? POINTER: “My sister [was who I told first]. She was super supportive and super good with it. She made me feel really comfortable and safe.” INZERILLO: “I don’t remember the first person I told, but it felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders and I could finally be myself. And their reaction was, ‘Oh, that’s cool.’ It didn’t change anything.” DECK: “The first person I really came out to that impacted me was my mom and she was like, ‘Oh, wow. Okay.’ She was a little bit surprised, but since it was the day before school started, she took me to get new clothes and everything. She was really accepting of it.”

I was really nervous that my friends would react differently at first, but the more I came out to people, the easier it was. Especially the further I transitioned and everything just got easier and easier. junior Marcas Deck

POINTER: “I feel like there was some weirdness with them. [My friends] were like, ‘Don’t know how to react to that...’”

It’s not really that hard. I mean, if it’s who you are just do it. junior Ella Pointer

How did your friends react?



f r i e n d s

Group of seniors have been friends since middle school. By Annalie Polen News Editor


think it’s been the coolest thing ever to have had all these friends since middle school and although you don’t always hang out every year of high school… we’re all still such good friends,” senior Avery Yarbrough said. Yarbrough is one of the members of a large senior friend group. Not everybody can say that they experienced high school taking part in a big friend group, but it has played a prominent role in the experiences made by these particular group members. Like many friend groups, this one formed by everybody naturally coming together when they first met in middle school. “It’s one of those things where…. you can just kind of tell when you have similar interests, so you just become friends,” senior Myles Tuttle said. Although the group first came together in 7th grade, it has seen many changes as the years have gone on. “We have had so many fights. I have

fought with almost everyone in the group. We didn’t hang out with the boys for so long because we got in a huge fight with them. It’s just high school. You kind of get a little bit bored, you go and try to find new friends, but everybody always came back to each other,” Yarbrough said. Having the opportunity to spend their time in highschool in a friend group has mostly had a positive effect on the members, but has had some challenges. “From the inside, it’s fun. It’s good to be a part of it, but so many people have said that we seem really cliquey and people think we’re so close-minded and it’s not like that… We found people that we really liked,” Tuttle said. They went on to explain that most people in the group were not only friends with each other, but also had friends outside of the group. Having so many connections has even lead to the opportunities of meeting even more

people. “I have no regrets because I don’t feel like it holds me back from anything. If anything they introduce me to more people and people they are close with,” senior Emily Lang said. Although being in the friend group has been looked on with a positive outlook by most of the members, there is still the curiosity in knowing what high school would have been like without that aspect. “I really love everyone that I’m friends with, but you never know what could have happened if you met other people at a certain point. Maybe I wouldn’t be who I am now,” Tuttle said. At the end of the day, these seniors are pleased with how everything worked out. They have many memorable moments together to take away from high school. “I would be sad if on the weekend I didn’t have a huge group to hangout with,” senior Daniella Campos said.



VALENTINES DAY TREATS Valentine’s Day DIY projects to try at home. By Abby Cox & McKenna Pickering Social Media Editor & A&E Editor



• • • • •

Candle Wax Mason Jar Wicks Scent/Essential Oil Hot Glue

• • • •

Paint Glitter Ribbon Double Boiler


STEP 1: Decorate the jar with paint, glitter or whatever you have handy. STEP 2: In a double boiler, melt and heat the wax until it reaches 180 degrees. STEP 3: While the wax is melting, use a hot glue gun to glue the wick to the bottom of the jar. STEP 4: Let the wax cool to 175 degrees, then add scented essential oil. STEP 5: Pour the wax into the jar while holding the wick upright. STEP 6: Let the candle cool for 24 hours.



• • • •

Wooden Box Glitter Paint Pictures

• •

Paper Ribbon


STEP 1: Decorate your box to your liking. STEP 2: Cut your paper in strips the same width as the box. STEP 3: Fold the strips accordion style, so a picture can fit on each side. STEP 4: Glue the pictures down the length of the paper on one side. STEP 5: Attach the ribbon to the back of the paper, leaving an inch or two excess at the top. STEP 6: Glue the bottom fold of the paper to the bottom of the box.



Check out the rest of our DIY projects at smsouthnews.com

Be Mine




SOME SONGS TO LOVE Music and its intersection with relationships. By Elias Henderson Reporter


potify playlists are a fun way to create a new listening experience and share music with friends. They allow you to share your music in a specific order or shuffled at random and can hold any number of songs that anyone can listen to. I enjoy sharing and organizing my music, which Spotify has proved to be the best platform for. I typically organize my playlists by moods, seasons, people or genres. For example, I usually have a new playlist once the weather shifts, especially winter to summer. Most of my favorite artists have their own playlist and I have playlists for most of my moods. However, music can play a big role in relationships. Many people bond over similar music tastes and end up sharing music with each other while talking or dating. Many couples have joint playlists or playlists for their significant other. Some people make playlists or send music to flirt. Music also helps people through sad times as break-up playlists are also very common. Music is a big part of the lives of myself and others and Spotify playlists help me listen and share my music.

Patriot Picks

My picks of songs submitted by The Patriot staff

“I resonate with Wash.


as it recognizes the reality of accepting a shift in a relationship. ”

Bon Iver

“I feel like this song


Kevin Abstract

“It’s one of the few songs that always uplifts me.”

Elias’s Picks

From my “Love and War in Your Teens” playlist My Spotify: @Elias Henderson


A lo-fi bop about waiting for a call from the person you most want to get one from.

Long Time (Intro) An uptempo catchy song that is Playboi Carti great to play on unforgettable



Childish Gambino

A song everyone loves about enjoying time with somone you love – an all time favorite.

Hard Feelings/ Loveless

The song version of going through a break-up and then getting over it.

Still Beating

An indie classic about lingering emotions and hurt feelings.


Mac Demarco

can turn my whole mood from bad to good.”

It’s Not Living The 1975

“This song gets me in my feels.”


King Princess

“A very poetic and relaxed song.”

Paris, Tokyo Lupe Fiasco

“Painful, letting go lyrics with a comforting melody.” Space Cowboy

Kacey Musgraves








Wrestling: Varsity District

3:00 p.m.



Swimming: Boys Varsity Sunflower League


ACT Exam

8:00 a.m.


Bowling: Varsity Sunflower League

10:00 a.m.

College Blvd. Lanes


Basketball: Girls Varsity Game

5:30 p.m.



Basketball: Boys Varsity Game

7:00 p.m.



Theatre: Mamma Mia

Various Times



No School


Swimming: Boys Varsity State Meet


Hummer Sports Park


Bowling: Varsity District

1:30 p.m.

Park Lanes


Wrestling: Varsity Regional




Sweetheart Assembly

10:00 a.m.


Basketball: Girls Varsity Game

5:30 p.m.



Basketball: Boys Varsity Game

7:00 p.m.



Wrestling: Varsity Regional




Sweetheart Dance

8:00 p.m.



ACT Exam

8:00 a.m.


Cheer Banquet

6:00 p.m.


KMEA State Music Conference in Wichita


Bowling Varsity Regional

10:00 a.m.

Park Lanes


Wrestling: Varsity State Meet




Band: Middle School Band Festival

7:00 p.m.



Choir: SMSD Choral Festival

7:00 p.m.



Basketball: Girls Varsity Sub-State




Basketball: Boys Varsity Sub-State




Bowling: Varsity State Tournament




Wrestling: Banquet

5:00 p.m.


Basketball: Girls Varsity Sub-State


Only Varsity (home) sporting events and state/district/regional sporting events are on the calendar. For all other sporting events, check out the Sunflower League calendar:

SM Aquatic Center

Cafeteria Wichita


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